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India Post


Peter Lavoy

US defense expert to head South Asia desk Details on page 6

Scientist Murty chosen for US president award Details on page 6

VOL 20, No. 1072

April 3, 2015


Periodical Postage

PARENTS OF 'ABDUCTED' KIDS SEEK U.S. HELP Call for sanctions against India

WASHINGTON: Around 60 Indian-Americans have asked the US government and the Congress to consider imposing sanctions on India, alleging that they have "not been able to get justice" from the Indian system in reuniting with their kids who have been "abducted" by their spouses there. In all the cases, the "abduction" is by their spouses, who fled to India after marital dispute and got court orders against them. All these "abducted" kids are American citizens and in

the past few months American lawmakers have joined hands in urging the Obama Administration to consider imposing sanctions on countries like India where the government is not helping them getting back the abducted US kids. Nearly a dozen of these Indian-American parents from various parts of the US last week held a series of meetings with officials from the State Department, testified before a Congressional committee, met a large number of lawmakers urging to help them get their kids back to the US. Details on page 5

Ash Kalra - An Indian American inspiration Details on page 24

Modi, Satyarthi among greatest leaders: Fortune Details on page 8

US supports India's bid to be leading power Details on page 8

2 Senators for special emphasis on India

Delhi girl crowned Miss India World

Details on page 6

Details on page 50

Personal details of Modi, 30 others leaked

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 48

Details on page 7

Community Post -------------- 16-23 Date Book -------------------------- 47


Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 32-35

Horoscope ------------------------- 49

This week’s question

Can the issue of ‘abducted’ kids be resolved by US? Last week’s result

Easier L-1B visa will help Indians most? YES 83%

NO 17%

GREAT FRIEND OF INDIA: World leaders observe a moment of silence during a state funeral for Singapore's founder and first premier Lee Kuan Yew held at the University Cultural Center, Sunday, March 29. Among those in the picture (left to right front row) are Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Former US President Bill Clinton. In the back row, seen from left to right, are Bhutan's Queen Jetsun Pem, and King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, top right. (Details on page 9)

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Immigration Post ------------- 44-46 Life Style ----------------------- 50-52 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 37-39 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-15 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


India Post

April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

India Post



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echnological advancements where humans are now able to discover different earths in the universe, grow human organs in labs, develop wearable devices (think Apple, Google), and build transcontinental highways (Europe to US), simply do not change their basic social behavior. Now some may call it regressive, and other a status quo, but when it comes to sexual preferences of men and women, somehow everyone from the old aunt to the third-door removed neighbor to the Supreme Courts and governments of the land have a say in what your choice should be. In the hypocritical world of laws, one can be old enough to choose to smoke, drink, drive a vehicle, vote, or marry, but not to choose a sexual partner of preference. What is frustrating is the so called decision makers and those assuming the authority to tell you who you - as a normal consenting adult - can have sex with or not in the privacy of your home (we are obviously not talking about pedophiles and molesters), are themselves as divided as are the common people. While the US continues to harbor debates on gay privileges at the legislative, legal and open public forums, India too has begun to play the vacillating game of "now you have it now you don't" in giving them any legal status at all. And intriguingly, on a recent vote moved by the UN Secretary General on granting equal privileges to gay couples in the organization, India chose to stand with the likes of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, Iran, Syria and Russia, to say no. Six years ago the Delhi high court had decriminalized gay sex, but that ended before the celebrations in the gay community because India's Supreme Court overturned that order recently. If 21st century people can accept designer babies, that the way to communicate is not through hand written letters anymore but through WhatsApp, and that God can be a discernible particle, which can be identified by scientists, why can't they accept that men can have sex with men and women with women? And it's a human thing. So what's the big deal?

Romesh K Japra

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Admiring rivals Kangana Ranaut, declared the best actress at the National Film Awards, says she has no rivalry with Priyanka Chopra

Cover Story: ‘Abducted’ kids 60 Indian-Americans have asked the US govt to help them reunite with their kids "abducted" by their spouses in India

Community: Support for Garcia Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia has won the support of Indian and Pakistani Americans in his campaign

Volatile issue It's becoming clear that immigration is a volatile issue that can trip up Republican presidential hopefuls

Life style: Miss India World Delhi girl Aditi Arya was crowned fbb Femina Miss India World 2015 at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai

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April 3, 2015

India Post


Parents of 'abducted' kids seek US help Call for sanctions against India WASHINGTON: Around 60 Indian-Americans have asked the US government and the Congress to consider imposing sanctions on India, alleging that they have "not been able to get justice" from the Indian system in reuniting with their kids who have been "abducted" by their spouses there. In all the cases, the "abduction" is by their spouses, who fled to India after marital dispute and got

Aspects of International Parental Child Abductions ("Hague Convention") but India is not a signatory to it. As per State Department reports, between 2012-13 India ranked as the #1 non-Hague signatory country, said Ravi Parmar, one of the Indian-American parents. A law was passed by US Congress last year after years of inac-

Bindu Philips with her twin boys before they were allegedly abducted by her ex-husband

court orders against them. All these "abducted" kids are American citizens and in the past few months American lawmakers have joined hands in urging the Obama Administration to consider imposing sanctions on countries like India where the government is not helping them getting back the abducted US kids. Nearly a dozen of these IndianAmerican parents from various parts of the US last week held a series of meetings with officials from the State Department, testified before a Congressional committee, met a large number of lawmakers urging to help them get their kids back to the US. They held a candle light vigil at the White House and also went to the Indian Embassy to submit a memorandum to the Indian Government. These Indian-American parents are part of the larger group - Bring Our Kids Home which consists of parents facing the same traumatic problem of "abducted children" in other countries like Pakistan, Russia, Japan and Greece. International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA) is a form of child abuse and a violation of US and International law. Several nations have signed the Hague Convention on Civil

tion on the part of successive US Administrations to enforce existing US laws and Hague Convention obligations. "This new law could result in sanctions on those countries that don't cooperate in returning US children, victims of IPCA," said Vikram Jagtiani, another parent. Most of these Indian-American parents have written multiple letters to both Prime Minister

Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, but have received no response so far. "Why I am not getting my children back. They need to be with me," Bindu Philip, who testified before a Congressional committee last week, told PTI. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) says 86 per cent of all active cases of abductions to India are open two years or more and 51 per cent of all active India related cases are open five years or more. Twenty one per cent of all India related cases close without the child returning or child turning 18 years. "These are staggering numbers," Parmar said. According to NCMEC, currently there are at least 64 cases of American kids being abducted in India. Each year, about 1,000 Ameri an kids are allegedly abducted by one of their own parents overseas. Parmar said the primary issue is that Indian courts do not recognize the wrongful removal of children from their home countries like the US as child abduction and routinely assert jurisdiction over clear cut child abduction case, where the cause of action is in a foreign country. "In my case multiple Indian courts (Family Court, Pune, Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India) disregarded the New Jersey Orders and declared that they have jurisdiction to decide the case between foreign nationals under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act," he noted. "My eight year old son, Abdallah, is one of thousands of

American children who are abducted out of the US every year, by one of their own parents. Abdallah is being held hostage in India for the last two years by my abusive husband, as a way to torture me into staying married to him," Samina Rahman, who is a doctor originally from Bangladesh, told PTI. India, she alleged, continues to allow abducted children into the country, and refuses to facilitate the return of abducted children to their home country. "The Indian courts argue that they have competent jurisdiction, subsequently the child gets involved in a long custody battle in India, meanwhile having to adjust to a new school, a new home and a new life without one of their parents. Child abduction has long being recognized as child abuse,"

one or the other, and the American spouse is left completely without rights and without ability to access to their children or child. And it's very, very painful thing and I have seen the cost of as you have," Kerry said. Testifying before the Committee on House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Jeffery Morehouse executive director for non-profit Bring Abducted Children Home called for imposing sanctions on countries like Japan and India which are not returning abducted American children to the US. "Sanctions under the Goldman Act will provide some of the necessary public pressure on Japan to create change to this ongoing human and family rights crisis,"

"The Indian courts argue that they have competent jurisdiction, subsequently the child gets involved in a long custody battle in India, meanwhile having to adjust to a new school, a new home and a new life without one of their parents she said. Testifying before a Congressional committee early this month, Secretary of State John Kerry said the US is working with these countries where American kids have been abducted. "We need accountability in countries on this issue," he said. "There are many, many more people abducted than anybody knows, taken away to a country of origin by a wife or husband,

he said. Goldman Act instructs the State Department to take serious action when the case is pending for over a year. "I request the State Department and the Office of Children's issues to take speedy action and to please implement the law as early as possible and put back the smile on the faces of our children and us, the left behind parents," Philips said.-PTI

Harried mom seeks Cong help to reunite with kids WASHINGTON: Battling overwhelming odds to reunite with her twin children, an IndianAmerican mother has turned to US lawmakers seeking their help to get her sons back who were allegedly "abducted" by her exhusband while on a trip to India. Bindu Philips, 44, testified before a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with several other parents of abducted children, requesting their help to reunite with her children, Albert Philip Jacob and Alfred William Jacob, now aged 14. "I respectfully request that you, the members of the Congress, help me to make my voice heard in a way that shall be mean-

ingful and allow me to be reunited with my children who need the love and nurturing of their mother," she said. Philips, from Plainsboro in New

"Please help me to end this nightmare that Sunil Jacob has created for my family," she said. Both Sunil and Philips are from Kerala.

Philips, from Plainsboro in New Jersey, accused her husband Sunil Jacob of "violently" disrupting her world in December 2008, when he "orchestrated the kidnapping of the children during a vacation to India Jersey, accused her husband Sunil Jacob of "violently" disrupting her world in December 2008, when he "orchestrated the kidnapping of the children during a vacation to India."

Philips said Sunil "pressed me to agree to a family vacation to India during the children's winter break" when he "very cruelly separated" her from her children with no means to communicate with them.

"I would like to point out that Sunil Jacob's plan to kidnap the children and sequester them in India out of my reach was not a decision that was quickly or lightly reached," she told the subcommittee. Unable to communicate with the children, Philips finally returned to the US four months later on April 9, 2009. "I literally came home to an empty house." "They took everything, leaving me with not even a single photograph of my children," she accused. Philips said that since Jacob has not allowed her to communicate with her children she has created a website to "send my love." -PTI


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April 3, 2015

US defense expert to head South Asia desk WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has roped in a wellknown defense expert to head the South Asia desk at the National Security Council as his government wants to be India's best partner, withdraw troops from Afghanistan and wean away Pakistan from its policy of backing non-State actors. Peter Lavoy, who earlier served in various key positions in Pentagon and intelligence agencies on South Asia, has been appointed to serve as Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. In his new role, Lavoy will advise the President and National Security Advisor Susan Rice on national security and foreign policy matters related to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives and coordinate US policies toward South Asia across the departments and agencies of the US Government. Along with Lavoy, the White House has also appointed Joshua T White from the Stimson Center - a Washington-based think-tank -as Senior Advisor and Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. Lavoy previously served as

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and before that as Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council,

eign Policy magazine. "Obama's India trip last week brought symbolism but also substance. This is a moment to press forward and demonstrate what the US-India relationship can be-

for ways to promote India's deeper engagement in Asian regional architecture, they said. "Respecting India's history of non-alignment, the US can look for ways to deepen both the economic and defense elements of the burgeoning US-India-Japan relationship, and in other trilateral and 'mini-lateral' formats formalize cooperation on defense and counter-terrorism issues alongside common partners in Asia," they noted. -PTI

Lay special emphasis on India: Top US senators Peter Lavoy

and National Intelligence Officer for South Asia. "It has been a tremendous honor to work with Michael and the entire Stimson team," said White. "I consider it a privilege to take up these issues at the NSC at a time when US engagement in South Asia is as important as it has ever been," he said in a statement. Lavoy and White last month penned a joint article for the For-

come," they wrote. "The US can and should continue to help to broker India's distinct global role, even as it presses New Delhi to resolve difficult issues such as intellectual property rights, foreign direct investment caps and trade restrictions that might limit India's own economic ambitions over the long-run," they wrote. "Similarly, Washington should recognize that the vestiges of

Scientist Murty chosen for US presidential award WASHINGTON: An IndianAmerican biology professor is among 15 scientists who have been selected for a prestigious US presidential award for excellence in the field of science, mathematics and engineering mentoring. Murty S Kambhampati, a professor of biology at Southern University at New Orleans will receive the award at a White House ceremony later this year. Kambhampati has been a mentor of high school and undergraduate students in research and successfully boosted graduation rates, the White House said in a statement. "These educators are helping to cultivate America's future scientists, engineers and mathematicians," US President Barack Obama said. "They open new worlds to their students and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That's transforming those students' futures, and our nation's future, too," he said.

India's non-alignment policy afford it a rare ability to bridge between Russia, the Middle East, and the West, a position that could give it quiet influence in the global campaigns to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions and the rise of the ISIS," they wrote in the article on February 4. Lavoy and White argued that the US should encourage India's efforts to build a capable defense industrial base. The United States should look

Another person selected from Indian subcontinent, Sri Lankanorigin Tilak Ratnanather is an associate professor in the biomedical engineering department of the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.

Murty S Kambhampati

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal de-

velopment of students studying science and engineering. Candidates for the award are nominated by colleagues, administrators, and students in their home institutions or through professional affiliations In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients receive awards of USD 10,000 from the National Science Foundation. Kambhampati, a PhD holder from both Jackson State University in Environmental Science and Andhra University in Ecology is an active research mentor for undergraduates. He has won several awards for his work as a mentor, including the National Role Model Faculty Award from Minority Access, in 2008. His current research interests include shape analysis of brain structures in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, depression, and deafness in addition to mathematical and computational problems in cochlear and cardiac physiology, according to his university profile.-PTI

WASHINGTON: Two top The results of India US deAmerican Senators have appealed fense partnership have already to US Defense Secretary Ashton proved fruitful, they wrote. Carter to place special emphasis The two countries have coopon India as a "critical ally" so that erated in countering terrorism, the two countries could pursue combating the proliferation of their broad array of strategic in- weapons of mass destruction and terests in the Asia-Pacific region. bolstering the security of the re"Our partnership with India is gion. critical as we focus on strengthOver USD10 billion dollars in ening America's long-term role in defense trade deals between the the region. As you consider a United States and India have been wide range of important strategic signed since 2008, and our two and defense issues during your counties now conduct more militenure as Secretary, we ask that tary exercises with each other than you place a special emphasis on with any other country. India as a critical ally," Senators "Through the new 10-year Mark Warner and John Cornyn agreement, programs such as wrote in a letter to Carter. these will continue to deepen our Democratic Party's Warner and partnership. We also welcome Republican Party's Cornyn are Co-Chairs of the influential Senate "We believe that focusing on India Caucus - the only country specific caucus cultivating India as a stratein the US Senate. "We believe that fo- gic ally now will pay great cusing on cultivating dividends for both nations India as a strategic ally now will pay great divi- over the long run," dends for both nations over the long run," they wrote in the March 27 dated letter. India's initial steps toward liberalThey said the US' strategic part- izing its foreign direct investment nership with India was among the rules in the defense sector which "most important" and America will allow for greater investments had a broad array of strategic in- by US companies as well as both terests in the region, "from the countries' renewed emphasis on long-term security and stability of the Defense Technology and Afghanistan to our strategic pivot Trade Initiative," the two senators to the Asia-Pacific". said. The renewal of the 10-year They also hoped that India framework for the US-India de- would make needed reforms in fense relationship is an important defense offsets as "the current component to help solidify these system is difficult to navigate and strategic interests, they said. is often a roadblock to foreign in"This renewal signal[s] a new vestment". depth and sophistication in our "It would be beneficial to purdefense and security cooperation, sue a two-tiered system where ensuring that it continues to be offset funds that cannot be spent one of the strongest pillars of our on traditional Indian defense innations' broad strategic partner- dustries could flow to a second ship - a partnership that will help tier of other Indian priorities such forge security and stability in Asia as education, skills development, and across the globe," they said. or manufacturing," they said.-PTI

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April 3, 2015

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Personal details of Modi, 30 others leaked LONDON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among 31 world leaders whose personal details were inadvertently compromised at the G20 summit held in Australia last year, a media report said. An email error by an employee of Australian immigration department accidentally sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of the heads of government attending the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane last November to the organizers of the Asian Cup football tournament, the Guardian reported. Besides Modi, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and British Prime Minister David Cameron were among those whose details were exposed, the report said. The Australian privacy commissioner was contacted by the director of the visa services division of Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protec-

tion to inform them of the data breach on November 7, 2014, and seek urgent advice. But the newspaper claimed that it was not considered necessary to inform the world leaders of the privacy breach. In the email, obtained under Australia's freedom of information laws, the breach is attributed to an employee who mistakenly emailed a member of the local organizing committee of the Asian Cup held in Australia in January with the personal information. "The personal information which has been breached is the name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders (ie

prime ministers, presidents and their equivalents) attending the G20 leaders summit," the officer wrote. "The cause of the breach was human error. (Redacted) failed to

"The matter was brought to my attention directly by (redacted) immediately after receiving an email from (the recipient) informing them that they had sent the email to the wrong person. The

G20 leaders

check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person's details into the email 'To' field. This led to the email being sent to the wrong person.

risk remains only to the extent of human error, but there was nothing systemic or institutional about the breach," the officer wrote. The immigration officer then

recommended that the world leaders not be made aware of the breach of their personal information. "Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the email, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach," the officer wrote. The recommendation not to disclose the breach to the world leaders may be at odds with privacy law in some of their countries. Australia's deputy opposition leader, Tanya Plibersek, called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott, to explain why the world leaders were not notified of the breach. Australia's immigration department was also responsible for the country's largest ever data breach by a government agency. In February 2014, the 'Guardian' had reported the agency had inadvertently disclosed the personal details of almost 10,000 people in detention - many of whom were asylum seekers - in a public file on its website.-PTI


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April 3, 2015

Modi, Satyarthi among greatest leaders: Fortune NEW YORK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi have been named among the 50 greatest leaders in the world by Fortune magazine in its annual list of "extraordinary" men and women transforming business, government and philanthropy."

On Modi, Fortune said the Indian leader has "actually" begun to deliver on his election promises and is "making genuine progress" in his efforts to make India more business-friendly and less regulated, addressing violence against women, improving sanitation and "patching up rela-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi

Modi is ranked 5th on the 2015 roster of 'World's Greatest Leaders' with Satyarthi coming in at the 28th spot. The list has been topped by Apple CEO Tim Cook. A notable exclusion from the list is US President Barack Obama, who has not been named in the list for a second year in a row. Fortune said that "faced with difficult circumstances" domestically and globally, Obama has "surrendered."

tions with other Asian countries and the US". It said there is still a "long way to go" and fully achieving Modi's goals will require "reforming India's powerful, widely corrupt bureaucracy." Fortune noted that Modi has put the bureaucrats on notice and has been taking action where he can. He has also greatly simplified the procedure for getting a visa to visit India, symbolically lowering the status of bureaucrats

and raising that of potential outside investors, it added. "Modi still faces huge challenges such as privatizing India's vast portfolio of state-owned businesses and deregulating labor markets. But simply by declaring those as goals, he has seized control of the national agenda and sent a message that it's time for all of India -not just its infotech services sector - to join the 21st century," Fortune said, citing forecasts by the IMF that India will be growing faster than China in the next couple of years. On Satyarthi, Fortune said while he had been "overshadowed" by last year's other recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, Satyarthi has led the global fight against child labor for more than three decades. It said no one has done as much to prevent child labor as he has. The list includes European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the second spot, followed by Chinese President Xi Jingping (3), Pope Francis (4), General Motors CEO Mary Barra (9), Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (17), Bill and Melinda Gates (18), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (25), J P Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon (38) and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (44). The list also includes Indianorigin CEO of nonprofit Last Mile Health Raj Panjabi on the 34th spot. Panjabi, a native of Liberia, is working with Liberia's government to launch a national community health worker program.-PTI

US supports India's aspiration to be leading power WASHINGTON: America welcomes India's constructive leadership on global challenges and supports its aspiration to become a leading power, a top US diplomat said. "As India's strategic plus partner, we support India's aspiration to become a leading power," US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said here in his maiden public appearance in the city after becoming the top American dip-

trol regimes. We support its robust engagement with ASEAN and leadership role in the Indian Ocean Rim Association," he said. In his address at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Verma said that India can be a valuable partner in multilateral institutions. "We can work towards civil nuclear cooperation today because India implemented IAEA safeguards for their civil nuclear program, including the Additional Protocol. "India also demonstrated its leadership by upholding and supporting the July 2014 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. These are the actions of a constructive and responsible global actor that respects a rules-based system," he noted. Verma said the "strategic plus" partnership is bigger, more ambitious and it reflects the true convergence of interests between the two nations not US Ambassador to India Richard Verma only for today, but for the years and decades ahead. lomat in New Delhi. "The reinvigorated relationship "We also welcome India's con- is built on a simple premise: if Instructive leadership on global dia and the US are the closest of challenges. We support greater friends and partners, not only will Indian participation in multilateral our two countries benefit, but the institutions, including its candi- world will be a safer and more prosdacy for permanent membership perous place. That's the strategic on a reformed UN Security Coun- bet we have made on each other. cil and its eventual membership It's a bet for the future and one in all four multilateral export con- with huge potential gains for our people and their aspirations," he added. Strategic plus, he argued, is about an enhanced partnership, a new way of operating and thinkkeen to invest more funds in In- ing, a commitment to see the larger dia and will work with Indian tech- objectives for global peace and nology entrepreneurs as he be- prosperity, even as they may pelieves Internet can transform the riodically get bogged down in day country's future. to day disputes. The Hangzhou-based firm will "It is a way of describing and "invest more in India, work with visualizing a relationship on the Indian entrepreneurs and technol- ascent. Strategic plus does not ogy companies," he had said at mean we will be free from disputes that time. or disagreements. But it does Alibaba, which in September mean that when we have such 2014 raised USD 25 billion in a conflicts or see situations differrecord initial public share offering, ently, perhaps rooted in our hisalready has on its site a large num- torical perspectives or within our ber of small Indian businesses own self-interests, that we remain selling goods ranging from spices committed to our larger goals and to chocolates to tea. strategic interests," he said. "Over the next three years, one Strategic Plus Partnership, he of the key strategies for Alibaba said, has six elements ?- regional is to globalize and to make sure cooperation, including the importhat we can help more small busi- tance of coordinating closely on Afnesses around the globe, use our ghanistan, space cooperation, deservices to do businesses," Ma fense relationship, economics and had said at a business event here.- trade; climate and clean energy; and people to people ties.-PTI PTI

Alibaba chief meets Modi; to help small businesses NEW DELHI: Looking to expand its presence in India, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba's Chairman Jack Ma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he came on a visit to India for the second time in just about four months. Ma discussed with Modi how Alibaba can help empower small businesses in India, the ecommerce major said without elaborating further. "Had a very good meeting with Jack Ma," Modi tweeted. "Jack meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss how Alibaba can help empower small businesses in India," Alibaba Group separately tweeted. During his last India visit in November 2014, Ma could not meet Modi. One of Alibaba's key strategies over the next three years is to glo-

balize so that the firm can help more small businesses around the globe. Ma, the richest man in China with a fortune of about USD 24.4 billion, founded Alibaba in 1999 in Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. According to research firm IDC, Alibaba is the world's largest online and mobile commerce company by GMV (gross merchandise value) in 2013. During his last visit here, Ma had said Alibaba was

Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba group, Jack Ma calls on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on March 30

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India deeply valued Lee's friendship: Modi SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Singapore's founder and first premier Lee Kuan Yew as a "global thinker" and said India deeply valued his friendship and his support for its economic progress. Modi said the former Singapore Prime Minister was "among the tallest leaders of our times". 91-year-old Lee died of severe pneumonia on March 23. Noting that Singapore's transformation in one generation is a tribute to Lee's leadership, Modi said his death marks the end of an era. "He inspired not just Southeast Asia, but all of Asia, to believe in its own destiny," he said. "In the 50th anniversary year of Singapore's independence, I am sure that he (Lee) left satisfied with Singapore's achievements and confident about its future." Modi underlined India's relations with Singapore, saying it "is one of our strongest relationships" in the world.

"India's integration with Southeast Asia and beyond is growing. Singapore is a key pillar of India's

with Singapore's Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses media in Singapore on March 29

Exhibition of Hindu temples & gods in Malaysia from 9th to 11th century during Chola dynasty rule in India. In a commendable developKUALA LUMPUR: An exhibition supported by the Malaysia's ment, Malaysian Prime Minister Ministry of Tourism & Culture Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak joined displaying Hindu temples and in Hindu Thaipusam celebrations gods is touring various cities of at Batu Caves Hindu shrine near Kuala Lumpur on February 3, thus Malaysia. Titled "Grandeur of Chola sending signals of inclusiveness Temples of India" (Higher than and harmony in Malaysian society. The Indian community of Malaysia plays a significant role in the development of this south-east Asia's most vibrant economy and had its share in the fruits of its decades of industrial growth. Hindus A picture on display at the Malyasia exhibition had contributed significantly to the earth, Bigger than the sky), was building and development of Mashown at National Visual Arts laysia, Members of Hindu community Gallery of Kuala Lumpur till March 28. Then it will be displayed in across the world including USA Georgetown's Penang Town Hall and Canada, have applauded the from April 4 to 12, at Ipoh's Rayan Malaysia government for supCultural Hall from April 17 to 26, porting Hinduism focused exhibition. Rajan Zed of Universal Soand at Sungai Petani in May. Said to be first of its kind in ciety of Hinduism in a statement Malaysia, it is organized by in Nevada (USA) said that govIndia's Ministry of Culture and ernments of other nations should created by American Institute of also patronize Hinduism focused Indian Studies in cooperation with displays, thus sharing the rich Malaysia's National Visual Arts Hindu heritage, concepts and traGallery. This exhibition of photo- ditions with their populace. It was graphs shows Hindu temples and a step in the right direction for statues of Hindu deities created Malaysia government, Zed added. India Post News Service

Act East Policy," the Prime Minister said. Modi also held two meetings

Parrikar in Japan discusses defense ties NEW DELHI: Amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the IndoPacific region, Japan has sought enhanced cooperation with India in defense and security sector including in the field of maritime security. Making it clear that India considers relations with Tokyo of "great importance", Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said Japan is a privileged partner in the 'Make In India' initiative including the defense technology sector. Parrikar, who is on a four-day visit to Japan, held talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. During the talks, Kishida emphasized on the commonality of strategic interests between the two countries and conveyed Japan's desire to enhance bilateral defense and security cooperation including in the field of maritime security. He said Japan would like to further enhance economic cooperation with India and work jointly to enhance regional connectivity, an official statement said. Parrikar welcomed Japan's initiative to strengthen bilateral ties. India and Japan are looking at deepening bilateral defense cooperation amid Tokyo's ongoing tussle with Beijing. Japan has been witnessing conflict with China over control of private islands in South China Sea. -PTI

Shamugaratnam, conveying his condolences to the Singapore leaders and people. "I am visiting Singapore at a sad moment," said Modi. "He (Lee) was a global thinker, who saw things ahead of others. He was an advocate of economic progress, but also made tireless efforts to advance peace and stability in our region. "We deeply valued his friend-

ship and his support for India's economic progress and global role," he said, adding Lee "believed in India's potential more than many of us did." Lee's "vision is coming true. The seeds he sowed are bearing fruits today," said Modi, who had earlier visited Singapore as Gujarat Chief Minister in October 2006. "Personally, he was a source of inspiration for me. His achievements and thoughts give me confidence in the possibility of India's own transformation," Modi said. "The people of India share this nation's grief over the loss of its founding father and leader," he said, noting that India was observing a day of public mourning in honor of Lee and the deep bonds of friendship the two nations share. "I bring here today the condolences and prayers of the people of India," Modi added. Apart from Modi, several world leaders are expected to attend Lee's funeral, including former US President Bill Clinton, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian King Abdul Halim Shah. Lee's body had been lying in state in parliament's main lobby since after he died on March 23.PTI

Lee helped to develop ethnic Indian community SINGAPORE: Singapore's founder and first premier Lee Kuan Yew had helped the Indians in the country, especially women members of the community by encouraging them to work and help their families financially, a prominent Indianorigin trade union leader said here. Paying tribute to Lee, trade unionist G Muthukumarasamy said the late prime minister helped in the financial development of ethnic Indian community and upliftment of women from the group. "Lee saw the hardships experienced by the Indian community at the time and he was determined to help and make a difference," he said in Tamil. "During those days, most Indian families had single incomes because they did not allow their women to work," Muthukumarasamy said.

He credited Lee for encouraging Indian women to join the workforce, to learn a skill and help their families financially. Muthukumarasamy recounted how, when he was young, his father would often tell him about Singapore's founding father, the Straits Times reported. On a personal note, the general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers said that Lee had inspired his development as a worker, a unionist and a leader, and shared an experience that was so vivid to him that it seemed "like it happened yesterday". Singaporean Indians or Indian Singaporeans form 9 per cent of the country's citizens and permanent residents, making them Singapore's third largest ethnic group after Chinese and Malays.-PTI

10 India Post

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Seminar discusses remittances and OCI Cards RUCHIT SHAH India Post News Service

AHMEDABAD: An interactive session on Passport, Visa, Emigration, OCI /PIO cards and foreign remittances was held on Thursday March 26 at Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad. It was organized under the aegis of NRG Foundation of Government of Gujarat and GCCINRG Center. Addressing the seminar, M.D. Antani, former Home Secretary, Gujarat, said that from January 2015 Government of India has merged the PIO and OCI cards which are issued to Indians possessing foreign citizenship. Now only OCI cards are issued.

OCI cards are however not issued to persons residing in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Antani also informed that Domicile Certificate was an important document for obtaining Overseas Citizens of India card. OCI card holders enjoy practically all privileges except engaging in political activity and holding any Constitutional position. Anita Shukla, Dy. Passport Officer, Regional Passport Office, Ahmedabad said that the graph re(From Left) Rohit Patel, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) Executive Member; Jigar Patel, International Tax Attorney; Anita Shukla, Regional Passport Officer, Ahmedabad; K H Patel, Chairman, lating to passport activities of ReGCCI NRG Committee /Centre; M.D. Antani, IPS ( Retd.), Former Home Secretary; B.M. Chavda, Director, gional Passport Office was up by Gujarat State Non Resident Gujarati Foundation; S.V. Modi, Chairman, GCCI Indirect Tax Committee 10% to 30% every year .She informed that India did not have the concept of dual citizenship and once an NRI obtains foreign citizenship, he/she must relinquish Indian citizenship and surrender their Indian Passport. Regarding Police Clearance Certificate she mentioned that application has to be made online. Regarding babies born abroad, Indian passport is issued provided the parents are holding Indian citizenship. The application has to be made in the country of stay. Jigar M Patel, International Tax Attorney informed the participants that an NRI can open two types of bank accounts i.e. Non Resident External Account-NRE and Non Resident Ordinary-NRO Account. In the liberalized investment scenario, NRIs now have the liberty to invest in all sectors except purchase of new agricultural land. Similarly NRIs can remit outside India an amount up to US $ one million after paying all applicable Indian taxes.

Indian army team on Swatch Everest mission NEW DELHI: An Indian Army team is embarking on a challenging journey to scale the highest mountain in the world to mark 50 years of the first ascent of the Mount Everest by India with an added mission to cleanse the region. The Indian soldiers will not only climb the highest and the fourth highest mountain in the world - the Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse - but also clean the Everest region by bringing down non-biodegradable waste. The army mountaineers thus aim to give back to 'Sagarmatha' a measure of reverence she merits, and contribute to restoring the ecological balance of the route, conveying a message of the Prime Minister's vision of a clean environment to the entire world. The team will leave for Kathmandu on April 4 and plan the ascent in mid-May. Major RS Jamwal, an experienced mountaineer of international repute, is the expedition team leader. Fifty years ago, an Indian team, led by Capt (then Lieutenant Commander) M S Kohli had conquered the coveted Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) for the first time.-PTI

April 3, 2015

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NEWS on your desktop


Tech News Apple chief Cook to give his wealth away SAN FRANCISCO: Apple chief Tim Cook is joining Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and other technology titans who have vowed to donate their wealth to charities, according to a report in Fortune magazine. "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change," Cook was quoted as saying in a Fortune story focused on how he has brought his own winning style of leadership to the iconic California company more than three years ago. Cook plans to give away his entire fortune, after setting money aside to pay for a 10-year-old nephew's college education, according to the Fortune article available online and to appear in a printed version of the magazine due out at the start of April. His net worth was estimated at about USD 120 million, based on the amount of Apple stock he owns. Cook also owns restricted shares that could be worth USD 665 million if they become fully vested.-AFP

BlackBerry posts $28 mn profit in Q4 NEW YORK: Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has posted a profit of USD 28 million for the last quarter ending February helped by rising average selling price of its smartphones and growing traction in software business. The firm's revenue fell by 32 per cent to USD 660 million in the February 28 ended December-February quarter, from USD 976 million in the same quarter of 2014 fiscal,

it said in a statement. The revenue also includes a negative impact of USD 12 million on account of currency fluctuations. The company follows MarchFebruary as fiscal year. The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm had posted a net loss of USD 423 million in the year-ago period. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 fiscal includes about 42 per cent from hardware, 47 per cent from services and 10 per cent from software, it said. During the quarter the firm said that "... 1.6 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers, with an average selling price of USD 211 compared with USD 180 in the previous quarter".-PTI

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April 3, 2015

Jet launches more daily flights to Abu Dhabi NEW DELHI: Private carrier Jet Airways has launched daily international flights to Abu Dhabi from Pune, Ahmedabad and Mangalore. It is the first time that Jet Airways has offered international flights from Ahmedabad and Pune, a release said. The new services rolled out offer an enhanced air connectivity from India to destinations in the Gulf and beyond to North America, Europe and Africa with the carrier's strategic partner Etihad Airways, the release said. The airline will deploy a 178seater Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) aircraft, with 12 seats in premiere class and 156 seats in economy class to service the three new routes, it said.-PTI

Govt creating environment conducive to investments: Jaitley NEW DELHI: Government is trying to create a conducive environment, both in terms of taxation and ease of doing business, as investments won't come just by opening doors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here. The new government has endeavored to restore credibility of the Indian economy and the decision making process in order to boost investments, domestic as well as foreign, he said addressing investors at the 'Urja Sangam' conference. The government, he said, is focusing on "quick and effective decision making", as the country needs huge amount of investments. "Investment has to be both domestic and international and for that we have to in the first instance open our doors for those investments. But merely by opening doors, investments won't come," Jaitley said. The Finance Minister, who presented his first full year budget last month, said investors expect a conducive environment and a reasonable return. "...and for that conducive environment, what we popularly call ease of doing business... slowly but surely we have been taking steps in that direction," he said. Jaitley further said that the gov-

ernment is undertaking some of the most significant taxation reforms. He told the gathering that in the second part of the Budget Session, starting April 20, the government intends to go ahead with the Constitutional Amendment Bill on

Talking about the slump in global oil prices, Jaitley said both the government as well as the domestic oil companies have taken "very responsible positions". "Huge benefits have been transferred to consumers. This in

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

the GST, an ambitious indirect tax reform. "I already said with regards to taxation, direct or indirect, the regime of enacting retrospectively or taking people by surprise is now over. Our effort is to make direct taxation system not only nonadversarial but also globally compatible," he added.

turn helped us in containing inflation, which in turn has reversed the need of the increasing interest rates, at least we had two reductions (by the RBI...," Jaitley added. As part of making taxation system globally compatible, Jaitley said he has announced a roadmap for next four years to bring down the corporate tax from 30 per cent

to 25 per cent in a phased manner and do away with exemptions. The new government has taken several steps to attract investors, which include raising FDI ceiling in defense and insurance sectors, in addition to opening the railway infrastructure segment, to foreign investors. The Finance Minister further stressed on rationalization of subsidy regime. "At some point of time, India will have to take a decision to distinguish between those who can afford to pay and those who cannot afford to pay. And those who cannot afford to pay must get benefit of state support," he said while referring to subsidy on cooking gas. Jaitley said the government will have to make efforts to rapidly reduce dependence on energy imports as suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. " our own exploration program, within the resource available, our own efforts for acquisition of assets internationally are all areas we will have to look at...," he said. Earlier in the day, while referring to India's 77 per cent dependence on energy imports, Modi said the effort should be to reduce it by 10 per cent by 2022, when India will celebrate 75 years of Independence.-PTI

Vedanta slaps Notice of Claims on Government LONDON: After Cairn Energy of UK, London-listed Vedanta Group has slapped a Notice of Claims against the Indian government challenging the Rs 20,497-crore tax imposed on its subsidiary using retrospective legislation. Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led group said it will take "all necessary steps" to protect interest against the tax notice on Cairn India. The Group filed the notice against I-T Department move to impose Rs 20,497 crore in taxes and penalties on Cairn India for allegedly failing to deduct tax on capital gains made by its former parent Cairn Energy while doing

a business reorganization seven years back. Cairn Energy had in 2006-07

got it listed on stock exchanges. It sold major shareholding in Cairn India to Vedanta in 2011.

transferred its India assets including the giant Rajasthan oil fields to a new company, Cairn India and

"... Vedanta's Board of Directors has instructed counsel to file a notice of claim against the GoI

under the UK-India bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in order to protect its legal position and shareholder interests," Vedanta said in a filing to the London Stock Exchange. "If enforced, such tax demand would have serious consequences for Cairn India and therefore Vedanta's investment in Cairn India," the metal, mining and oil major said. Indian government has also made a parallel tax demand on Cairn UK Holdings, for which the Edinburgh-based company has sought arbitration and is seeking compensation under the UKIndia Investment Treaty.-PTI

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Hinduja brothers top UK's 'Asian Rich List' LONDON: NRI industrialists G P Hinduja and S P Hinduja have emerged as the richest Asian-origin entrepreneurs in Britain for the third consecutive year with an estimated personal fortune of 15.5

way," G P Hinduja had recently said while talking about plans to take up the Narendra Modi-led government's 'Make in India initiative' to expand the group's manufacturing base in India.

G P Hinduja and S P Hinduja

billion pounds. The India-born brothers topped the 'Asian Rich List 2015' released here and the annual rankings showed that they had added 2 billion pounds to their personal fortune in a year to be worth an estimated 15.5 billion pounds. The Hinduja brothers, who head the Hinduja Group global conglomerate spread across defense, banking, automotive and power sectors, are also the richest men in the UK. "We are expanding in a big

The 'Asian Rich List' assesses the total wealth of Britain's top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Marketing Group (AMG). This year's analysis showed that the UK's richest Asians have added an estimated 3 billion pounds to their fortunes to be collectively worth 54.5 billion pounds. It also showed that low interest rates and slowing economic growth have hit the UK's wealthiest as the pace of their wealth cre-

ation slowed by more than half last year to just 5 per cent. While 59 of the 101 millionaires have seen an overall increase in net worth, 30 have remained static and 12 have seen a drop in valuation. Most notably steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal's net worth dropped 2.7 billion pounds to a total of 9.7 billion pounds due to the plummeting share price of his company ArcelorMittal. Mittal is ranked second in this year's tally. Last year's highest new entry to the list, plastics tycoon Prakash Lohia, is now the UK's third richest Asian with an increase in net wealth of 1 billion pounds, taking his fortune to 3 billion pounds. Discount retailer B&M Group founders Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora come in at fourth with 2.1 billion pounds, with London Stock Exchange listed Vedanta Group chief Anil Agarwal completing this year's top 5 with an estimated wealth of 1.5 billion pounds. "Despite the challenges of the general economy, many business leaders in the community have seen opportunity and potential and moved quickly to capitalize," said AMG Executive Editor Shailesh Solanki, who compiles the 'Asian Rich List'. “The list shows the remarkable resilience and diversity of Asian businesses in the UK," he said.PTI

Use plastic currency to tackle black money: Jaitley NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has pitched for greater use of "plastic money" and cheques saying that it would discourage use of unaccounted wealth and help in tackling the menace of black money. "As the economy grows, there is a roadmap, and the roadmap is that more and more people start discarding the use of currency and switch over to either cheques or plastic currency," he said. Speaking at the Foundation Day celebrations of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) here, Jaitley said there is now a need to launch a campaign to create an awareness among people

for using more and more RuPay cards which can be a game changer as far as India is concerned. "More and more people should be incentivised to use plastic money such as credit cards, Rupay cards and cheques or any other negotiable instrument. They should be discouraged to use hard currency or unaccounted money," he added. The Finance Minister said that most developing countries such as the UK and the US have highest denomination of c u r -

rency in form of 50 pound and 100 dollar currency notes respectively. He said the government is taking steps to reduce the incidence of high value cash transaction. "Some steps have also been announced which make use of cash a little difficult," he said, adding that the move would check use of unaccounted money. In Budget 2015-16, Jaitley had announced steps to deal with the menace of black money by disincentivising cash dealings in real estate and other such transactions. The government has also taken steps to incentivise the use of credit and debit cards and putting a cap on cash transactions. Quoting PAN has been made mandatory for all sale and purchase of over Rs 1 lakh.-PTI

Hinduja Group expanding in India defense sector LONDON: Global conglomer- manufacturing into one vertical. ate Hinduja Group is making a foray "Defense does not mean I am into the defense sector in a "big going to build aeroplanes or way" and may soon add it as their submarines; I am going to pro11th autonomous business to vide them (the makers) the fa"strengthen India's self-security". cilities that I have; manufacturThe London-based Hinduja ing parts, designing engineergroup has the ability to manu- ing, local knowledge, expertise. facture parts that might be Whatever facilities we have needed in the field of defense within our companies to whoequipment, NRI industrialist and ever is coming to India and Co-Chairman Gopi Hinduja said. wants to do defense business "We are expanding in a big and make something in India. way in the defense sector be"After all, the country needs cause within the group we have the capabilities and fa- "Defense does not mean I cilities for the 'Make am going to build in India' concept," he said, referring to aeroplanes or submarines; the slogan coined I am going to provide them by Indian Prime (the makers) the facilities Minister Narendra Modi to manufac- that I have ture as much as possible in India. self-security. Today, India is sufThe company may soon add fering in a big way because it an 11th "vertical" - defense - to needs to do much more to prothe 10 they already have, namely tect itself." autonomous businesses in the The self-help philosophy that areas of health, energy, power Modi has espoused is one with generation, automotive, finance which the Hindujas agree. ad banking; oil and gas, IT and Gopi said that Modi has BPO, media and cable; real es- "clear cut objectives". "There tate and trading. was a time when India was goHe said: "At the moment, we ing to the world for showcasing have three companies dealing that India is a good investment with defense, but the objective destination. Today, the world is of the group is to centralize coming towards India.-PTI


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April 3, 2015

India to become 3rd largest auto manufacturer COIMBATORE: India's automotive industry is expected to reach 7 million vehicles milestone by 2020, making the country the third-largest auto manufacturer in the world, behind the US and China, a top official at Ford Motor

has said. The automotive sector has a direct bearing on the economy with a near 7 per cent contribution to the GDP, playing an important role in the development of other crucial sectors as well, David

Gujarat CM Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel with Mark Fields, CEO Ford and others during the inauguration ceremony of new Ford plant, in Ahmedabad on March 26

India among source markets for capital into Dubai DUBAI: India was among the top source markets for Dubai whose infrastructure development initiatives and the services industries remained the major drivers of capital into emirate in 2014. The emirate witnessed USD 7.8 billion (28.6 billion dirhams) in foreign direct investment (FDI). Estimates by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), shows that the United States, the UK, India and other European countries, such as France and Germany were major source markets. Out of a total of 41 source countries, the top ones - US, UK, India, Netherlands, Germany and Italy - generated a total of 23.9 billion dirhams throughout the year across 141 projects. In terms of investment, these countries represented almost 84 per cent of the total FDI for the whole year and 59 per cent of the total in terms of the number of projects. With clear signs of recovery and iconic projects on board, the real estate sector, financial services, hotels and tourism, alternative/renewable energy, business

services, software and IT services were the top sectors together accounting for 78 per cent of investment, or 22 billion dirhams in 2014. These sectors also claimed 133 projects, half of the total FDI projects in 2014. "The latest FDI figures once again prove that Dubai remains the preferred and ideal destination for investors and businessmen, who

have confidence in the national economy, which is witnessing steady growth in various sectors." "Dubai hosting the Expo 2020 has stimulated a major influx of investors and growth opportunities. We welcome all kinds of investments and global companies that are looking for stability and business development in an integrated investment environment," said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.-PTI

Dubensky, President and Managing Director, Ford Motor Private Ltd, said here. Addressing the students at the graduation function of the Kumaraguru College of Technology, Dubensky said India is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world and as the country moves towards this milestone, the opportunities to build a career in the automotive sector are tremendous. He said by working together as one global team over the last 110 years, Ford been able to fully leverage the resources around the world. "We are building great products, creating strong business, and contributing to a better world", he added. Advising students to be open, flexible and willing to learn, even if the lesson is a hard one, Dubensky said, "Bring people together, and work together, for something bigger than yourself." -PTI

140 crore mega food park for Ludhiana CHANDIGARH: Five primary processing or collection centers and pack houses would be set up in the state as part of the proposed Rs 140 crore multi-product mega food park in Ludhiana, officials here said. The park would be set up by Punjab Agro Industries on 100 acres of land at Ladhowal. An official spokesperson said that Punjab has been growing rapidly in the area of food processing, which will definitely witness transformation in the current beleaguered agriculture sector in the state. He said five collection centers would be setup at village Muskabad (Samrala), Saholi (Nabha), Kangmai (Hoshiarpur), Lalgarh (Samana) and Babri (Gurdaspur). Besides, the state is going to identify five more such centers to develop world-class fruits and vegetables clusters. He said fetching big investments in food processing industries was one of the top priorities and the state had launched its agro-industrial and food processing policy to provide incentives to the entrepreneurs. "Punjab has tremendous potential and the state was launching special drives to make aware the farmers in this regard", he added.-PTI

I-T dept to act on public grievances after PM's rap NEW DELHI: CBDT has called taxpayers and officious behavfor according a "top priority" to ior of our officers," Kapur wrote addressing taxpayers' grievances in her recent communication to by the Income Tax department af- the field offices of the I-T departter Prime Minister Narendra Modi ment. expressed his disappointment The CBDT boss told the officabout delays in corrective action ers that the deadlines set for this and harassment of the assesses task earlier should be scrupuby tax officials. lously followed. Taking a stern view of the As per stipulated guidelines, PM's rap on the knuckles to the grievances pending for more than department, Central Board of Di- one year have to be resolved by rect Taxes (CBDT) Chairperson Anita Kapur has asked all The apex policy making Principal Chief Combody of the I-T department, missioners and Directors General of Income has assured that it will fix Tax department in the the issue before the PM country to pull up their takes the next review on socks and put the house in order before the said subject. the next review of the subject by Modi. "The status of pending pub- April 30 while those pending for lic grievances with the Income more than two months should be Tax department was reviewed by addressed by June 7, 2015. the PM on March 25 through The apex policy making body video-conferencing.....During of the I-T department, during the the meeting, he expressed dis- PRAGATI public grievance satisfaction about delays in re- redressal initiative of the PM, has sponding to public grievances assured that it will fix the issue by our officers as well as about before the PM takes the next rethe harassment meted out to the view on the said subject.-PTI

Prabhu invites private investment in Railways NEW DELHI: Inviting private investment, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has said a transparent system is being put in place to facilitate it and moves are afoot to revamp the ministry's publicprivate-partnership (PPP) cell. He ruled out privatization of railways but said private capital is required to improve the services of the public transporter and make it financially strong. " A l l

ticipation in rail projects. Railways has opened for 100 per cent FDI in more than a dozen areas including station development, installation of bio-toilets, setting up of laundries and cleaning of trains and stations. "We do not want Railways to be privatized but we want private capital in rail projects," the minis-

businessmen are also stakeholders of it. You bring ideas and investment in railways to make it better and financially strong," Prabhu said while addressing global rail convention organized by PHDCCI. "Railways can transform India and together we can make it," he added. He said railways are making the system transparent for private par-

ter said. To attract private investment, railways have set up a committee to suggest ways for revamping its PPP cell. "We are also taking help of DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and NITI Aayog to formulate a mechanism for private investment in railways in a transparent manner," Prabhu said. -PTI

TechBiz Post

April 3, 2015

India Post


India 83rd in list for e-commerce readiness GENEVA: India has been ranked a lowly 83rd on a new index compiled by the UN trade body UNCTAD for assessing the readiness of countries for electronic commerce and it has the fourth largest number of complaints made against companies selling online. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) new Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce - businesses selling to the general public - index, which surveyed 130 economies, covers countries on four indicators of internet use, secure servers, credit card penetration and postal delivery services. The index value is strongly correlated to the variation in the share of individuals shopping online. India scores 40.6 on index value with 1.8 per cent individuals over 15 years owning a credit card (2011 data), 12.6 per cent using the

internet (2013 data), 48.2 secure servers per million people and 100 per cent population having mail delivered at home. "India is quite far down and you can see why because you have low levels of credit card use. Also, at the country level you still have relatively low internet use. But one of the strong points is that you have mail delivered at home. Far from all (countries) have 100 per cent (mails delivered at home) like in India," said Torbjorn Fredriksson, chief of the Information and communications technology analysis at UNCTAD. "It's (e-commerce) taking off in

ISRO working on satellite for SAARC countries SRIHARIKOTA: Indian space agency ISRO is working with SAARC countries for setting up a dedicated satellite for them as mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "That process is on. We are also having discussions with SAARC countries on how exactly they will use. Very soon, the whole configuration and system will be decided", ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters here. Speaking after the successful launch of navigational satellite IRNSS-1D from here, he expressed confidence that once the project gets approved, significant development would take place in the next 18 months. Aiming to play a key role in the development of South Asia, Modi has asked ISRO to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a "gift" to the neighbors. Modi had made the suggestion during his visit here last year to witness the launch of PSLV-C23. On IRNSS-1D launch, the ISRO chief said "today we have been able to put fourth navigation satellite which would give us an independent technology to locate the ground receivers... We will be able to make use of

receivers to locate ourselves". "It is 28th successful launch and a great credit for the team. But when we start getting numbers like 28,29,30, we have to be more careful because we have the responsibility," he said. Asked whether the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) would be different

from the Global Positioning Satellite system of US, he said "location of GPS satellites are over the orbit from the Geosynchronous orbit. GPS is global system. But our system is mainly meant for regional coverage." To a query when the remaining three navigation satellites IRNSS-1E,1F and 1G would be launched, he said the space agency was expected to complete the missions before the next financial year. "We are planning to complete the remaining before March 2016," he said.-PTI

India and you have some companies like Flipkart that are getting through but at the aggregate level India is still a small player though the potential is very big in India," Fredriksson said. Though globally credit cards still account for the biggest share of e-commerce settlements according to WorldPAy 2014, for India cash-on-delivery is used for more than half - 50 to 80 per cent - of all online transactions.

After the US, China and the UK, India has the fourth largest number of complaints made against companies selling online, however, the reported incidents in the US in 2013 was 48.7 per cent while in India was much smaller and stood at 2.3 per cent. Globally, the top four countries with highest readiness for electronic commerce are Luxembourg, followed by Norway, Finland and Canada.-PTI

Desi News Naresh Solanki elected to Cerritos City Council India Post News Service

CERRITOS: Naresh Solanki has been elected to the Cerritos City Council in a crowded field of nine candidates. There were three open seats and Mark Pulido, Jim Edwards, and Naresh Solanki were declared winners and sworn into office. Solanki garnered over 2500 votes and won by a slim margin of 27 votes. Solanki is a resident of Cerritos for the last 27 years and has served on Cerritos' Planning Commission for the past eight years. In addition, he owns and operates a chain of grocery stores throughout Los Angeles County. Solanki and his team spent weekends going door to door speaking to voters directly about issues concerning them. These efforts were the key in helping to register 400 new voters and increasing the voter turnout from only 300 Indian Americans voting in past elections to 1,200 Indian American voters. Due to his extensive expensive Solanki was not only supported by the IndianAmerican community but also other ethnicities.


16 India Post

Solanki's goals as a councilman are to ensure the city's high quality of life, safety of the residents, and balancing the budget. Solanki wants to post the city's budget online so that the residents can understand where the money is coming from and where it is going.

Chuy Garcia flanked by two young Indian Americans. Pics A.Q. Siddiqui & Asian Media


CHICAGO: Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia looks forward for the development of City of Chicago by embracing all diverse immigrant communities who adopted it. "Let us make Chicago a global city by embracing all people of this city", he said. Garcia was addressing a large gathering of Indian and Pakistani Americans who joined for a fundraiser call from veteran Indian community leader Iftekhar Shareef. The event was held at Holiday Inn O'Hare Airport on March 28. Young Azhar Shareef, son of

Iftekhar Shareef and Kareem Lakhani, emceed the event. Chuy Garcia hailed the young supporters and remarked they looked like his own sons campaigning for him. In his brief address, Chuy Garcia thanked the Indian American community for showing such incredible solidarity of support for his candidacy and assured the leaders that his administration will form a robust representation of Indian Americans, both in the city and in the sister-agencies. Garcia pledged that his administration will reflect the rainbow coalition of all communities coming together to make the city a vibrant city of great standing. He recalled how he landed in



n our report on Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia published in our issue dated March 27, 2015, we inadvertently mentioned that Ms Susan Patel represented Patel Bros. This is not so. Ms Susan was there in her individual capacity. The error is regret -Editor

April 3, 2015

Details on page 23

Indian American community comes out in support of Garcia

India Post News Service

Naresh Solanki

How to become a successful Karmyogi like Arjun

Garcia with a group of supporters

Chuy Garcia with host Iftekhar Shareef and campaign volunteer Ms Theresa Mah

the city of Chicago in 1965 as a 9 year old kid and adopted it. The


change. "For a mayor who listens to people than a mayor who listens to big houses." Iftekhar Shareef thanked all for joining the event and called for support to Chuy Garcia. Shareef also introduced important Indian and Pakistani community members to Chuy Garcia. He announced that presence of senior members of Federation of Indian Shareef garnishing support from Associations Community members (FIA) Chicago automatically encity has embraced dorsed Chuy Garcia from the Indiverse immi- dian community. grants from many Shareef also announced supcountries and de- port for Garcia from other organiveloped by contri- zations, namely American Telugu bution from all im- Association (ATA) represented migrants. Garcia by Hanumanth Reddy and Ameriliked to include all can Muslim Task Force(AMTF) communities for represented by Sher Muhammed the city develop- Rajput and Muhammed Salik ment projects. He Akhtar and many Chicago stualso looked for- dents, Indo American Democratic ward to making Organization [IADO] with its presiChicago a port dent Ram Villivallam. city, connecting it Among many other senior Chithrough waters to cago community members present Michigan and be- were Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Kanti yond. Patel, Dr Mehboob Kapadia, Garcia is confi- Balvinder Singh, Mansoor dent that Chicago Lakhani, Dr Jaychand Pallekonda, communities will Harish Kolasani and Babubhai elect him for a Patel.

April 3, 2015

Community Across America

India Post 17

Indian American Republicans endorse Chirico NIMESH JANI

NAPERVILLE: Next week a new Mayor of Naperville will be elected for the first time in 20 years. Among the front runners for the coveted post is a lifelong Naperville resident, local business owner and current member of City Council, Steve Chirico, who has recently been endorsed by Indian American Republican Organization (IARO). Because of Chirico's plan for responsible economic development, vision for the future of Naperville and commitment to maintaining property taxes, he has been endorsed by IARO. "I am honored to have received this endorsement from the IARO," Chirico said. "The IARO is an esteemed organization in our community and I fully appreciate the consideration that was put into endorsing me for Mayor of Naperville." Recognized for his visionary leadership, passion for community service and strategy for ensuring the future of our great schools and safe neighborhoods, Chirico has also been endorsed by The Daily Herald, Naperville Fraternal Order of Police and Naperville's Professional Firefighters. Raised in Naperville, Chirico graduated from Naperville Central and went on to attend Northern Illinois University. While working his way through school, he started a small tile shop in Naperville called Great Western Tile; now known as Great Western Flooring - one of the area's leading specialty flooring stores. In 2011 Chirico was elected to the Naperville City Council. His desire to serve

the town in which he grew up was encouraged by his wife Julie and family. As Councilman Chirico has worked to support initia-

cause I want to help Naperville continue to thrive," explained Chirico. "Naperville is at a defining moment in time. We need to pro-

Steve with his Indian supporters

tives designed to thoughtfully drive Naperville into the next generation. His record shows a focus on fiscal responsibility, economic development and continued safety for our evolving community. Now, after serving on City Council, Chirico is poised to serve Naperville as the next Mayor. "I am running for Mayor be-

Mayoral candidate Steve Chirico with members of Indian community actively supporting him

tect our rich history yet have the vision to shape the next generation of prosperity." A visionary leader Like many residents, Chirico is concerned about Naperville's debt which has bal-

looned over the past 10 years. As Mayor, his top priority will be to plan for reducing the debt and invest in our city using savings. While serving on City Council, Chirico and Councilman Fieseler led the charge to apply the 2013 budget surplus to public safety pension debt. As a result Naperville will have their public safety pension fully funded by 2027. This means Naperville may be the first major city in Illinois to fully fund our public safety pension which would free up $15 million in expenses annually. Chirico also understands the importance of a well-balanced community. A community with a strong business climate and a plan for economic development can provide residents with essential amenities like quality schools and safe neighborhoods while maintaining the best property value as taxes are kept in check. Chirico encourages all residents to learn more about his voting record, plans to keep a tight rein on property taxes and commitment to shaping the future of Naperville together with the community at "As you head to the polls, please keep the facts and endorsements in mind," Chirico said. "And remember to vote for Steve Chirico on April 7." Chirico and his wife Julie have seven children - all graduates of Naperville School Districts 203 and 204.

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Community Across America

April 3, 2015

Cook County Attorney visits Sikh Gurudwara HARISH RAO

PALATINE: Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez visited the Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) on Sunday March 22, to reaffirm her pledge to end hate crime and showcase her initiative on "Hate Crimes Advisory and Prosecutions Council" that has also Sikh community representation. The council will advise her to take preventive measures to stop hate crimes in her jurisdiction. Ms Alvarez was greeted by the society president Dr Jasbir Kaur Saluja, community leaders and congregation members. Ms Alvarez and her associates were given an educational presentation "Who Are the Sikhs?" by Amrith Kaur Aakre highlighting the salient features of Sikhism, with emphasis on equality of man-

Cook Count State Attorney Anita Alvarez at Palatine Gurudwara seen talking to Sikh community members

kind. Through the presentation, valuable bits of information were shared such as the fact that post 9/11, Sikhs bore the blunt of bul-

lying and hate crimes. Efforts to stop hate crimes and bullying of the Sikh community were discussed.

Anita Alvarez getting Plaque from Gurudwara officials showing British Indian Sikh Soldiers of World War I & II

Alvarez was visibly moved after watching video of a 12 year old Sikh boy in Georgia being taunted and bullied in a school bus by his peers for wearing his Sikh article of faith, a turban. Satnaam Singh Mago said that people become misinformed and react in ways that could be hurtful. He brought up the Boston Bomber story and how the media hastened to broadcast a picture of a Sikh man labeled on the screen

as terrorist, who had been mistakenly arrested in connection to the crime at first, prior to nabbing the actual perpetrators. Responding, Anita Alvarez said that her office is working to educate the community and local law enforcement offices about the Sikh community, which is often plagued by hate crimes. Cont’d on page 20

April 3, 2015

Community Across America

India Post 19

Air India presents new Summer Onboard Menu NEELA PANDYA

NEW YORK: Air India New York invited Media Partners to "Air India's New Summer 2015 Inflight Menu Presentation" on Wednesday March 25 at Flying Food inflight caterers, at JFK International Airport. Regional ManagerAmericas Rishikant Singh and members of his team welcomed the invitees. Samples of the menu in all three classes of service were on display for inspection. James Ball, Flying Food Group VP Sales & Services, and Intiaz Yasin, Accounts Manager for Air India, along with their team of talented chefs were on hand to describe and present the variety of items served inflight, and described the entire process of food preparation and quality control. Air India has been known for its onboard cuisine, and for the gracious hospitality with which it is served. Unlike many airlines these days, Air India still offers multiple meals and drinks onboard at no cost, and the quan-

tities served ensure that passen- quests need to be made minimum dia which can be booked online gers will have no trouble in fall- 48 hours prior to departure, espe- or through your travel agent: ing asleep after their meals! The Regional Manager discussed the importance of food in Indian culture, and the great variety of cuisines found in India - all of which are reflected in Air India's inflight menu. The dietary or religious requirements can be taken care of including kosher, halal and no beef. First class Air India Invites Media for tasting its Onboard Chef explains and responds to Media passengers enMenu joy the luxury of Asian Vegetarian (Hindu Vega multi-course meal at the time of cially for economy class. Following are some of the etarian); Jain Meal (vegetarian their choosing. All Special Meal (SPML) re- types of meals offered by Air In- meal without roots & tubers);

Vibrant celebration of Holi in St Louis RAJ IYER & ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: It was another major celebration in the compound of Hindu Temple and Mahatma Gandhi Center on March 7 that Bal Vihar children eagerly await - cel-

it in their own way. As with every year, children rush through their food and line up to get their hands on the colors. They start thinking about how

Play of color by young and old at St Louis Bal Vihar celebration of Holi

ebration of Holi, the festival of color. Bal Vihar joined hands with the Hindu temple to extend the festivities with larger community around greater St. Louis. This attracted over 300 Holi revelers with colors in their hands. Bal Vihar families used this opportunity to mingle with others to socialize and share the joy and spirit that the occasion offers. Being so far away from the origins of their culture and having grown up in a very different setup, Bal Vihar students form part of the next generation that is keeping the culture and spirit alive while improvising

they are going to throw colors at all their friends and other elders while trying to stay clean themselves. As soon as the first set of p a c k e t s opened, the colored dust started filling the atmosphere. One could see the enthusiasm in the environment as children were running around throwing colors at

their parents, friends and anyone they knew. Adults could be seen applying colors to the faces and greeting each other. Within half an hour, most of them were covered in multiple colors from head to toe. Center for Indian Cultural Education - Bal Vihar of St. Louis, since its inception in 1992 has been serving the Metro St. Louis Indian community. As Bal Vihar nears completing 22 successful years, its popularity has grown with over 370 students now attending classes every other Sunday. Classes are focused on overall development that includes Bhajan, Yoga and regular curriculum that includes teachings on India, its states, history, culture, neighbors etc. The primary focus of this organization is to provide Indian cultural education to students age 518, its application and integration with the global multicultural and multifaceted society.

Hindu Meal (Non vegetarian excludes beef); Baby Meal/Infant Food (Vegetarian/NonVegetarian);Bland Meal (Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian); Child Meal (Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian); Diabetic Meal (Vegetarian/NonVegetarian); Fruit Platter Meal; Gluten Intolerant Meal (Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian); Kosher Meal; Low Calorie Meal (Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian); Low Fat Meal (Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian); Low Salt Meal (Vegetarian/ Non-Vegetarian); Moslem Meal; Low Lactose Meal (Vegetarian/ Non-Vegetarian); Vegetarian Raw Meal; Seafood Meal (only in first & executive classes); Special Meal (needs to be specified); Vegan Meal (vegetarian meal without dairy products); Lacto-Ovo Meal (vegetarian meal with dairy products & eggs); Vegetarian Oriental Meal. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian choice needs to be specified with all Special Meal (SPML) requests in all classes.

Vaisakhi event to showcase Punjabi culture RAJINDER SINGH MAGO

CHICAGO: The Chicago Punjabi Cultural Society's (PCS) flagship annual event "Rangla Punjab 2015" to celebrate Vaisakhi festival is slated to be held on Saturday April 4 at Meadows Club Banquet Hall in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

Punjab" for more than two decades. Popular Punjabi dances Bhangra and Giddha, Punjabi music and songs, comedy skits, poetry, and many other items will be presented. The program has been sold out in many previous years,

Scenes from Rangla Punjab, 2014

Over 25 performing arts items will be presented. The University Bhangra teams and Giddha teams from Milwaukee, Chicago and Ohio are also performing at Rangla Punjab. Vaisakhi festival is the celebration of completion of harvest season, and beginning of a new cycle. It's a symbol of renewal and also a new year. PCS has been organizing this traditional Punjabi cultural program titled "Rangla

so advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Parking is free and children under 10 are admitted free. Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is an all volunteer notfor-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, education, good citizenship, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond.

Community Across America

20 India Post

April 3, 2015

Seniors celebrate Holi and Ram Navami

Ram Navami celebrated at Swaminarayan Mandir JAYANTI OZA


BSC members enjoying Holi-Dhuleti dance

CHICAGO: More then 300 members of Bhartiya Senior Citizens of Chicago (BSC) celebrated Ram Navami, Holi and Dhuleti on Monday March 23 at Rana Regan Community Center in Carol Stream, IL.

The program began with Ganesh Vandana. Vice President of BSC Parsotam Pandya welcomed members and their guests. He introduced popular singers Shaila Khedkar of Chicagoland and Mahesh Bhide of New York.

BSC members performing Ram Navami drama

BSC Executive Member Madhubhai Patel and Kalyani Patel briefed all those gathered with relevance of festivals of Ram Navami and Holi. BSC President Haribhai Patel greeted all with good wishes for Ram Navami and Holi-Dhuleti. He then talked about the events and programs chalked out for the year 2015. Executive member Pratima Shah and her team performed Ram Navami and Holi-Dhuleti drama. Shaila Khedkar and Mahesh Bhide sang Bollywood Holi songs for over two hours. All seniors enjoyed dancing with Holi songs. At the end of the program Vice President Parsotam Pandya presented flowers to all members whose birthdays and wedding anniversaries fell in the month of March.

Ram Janam swing decorated with toys

CHICAGO: Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan celebrated Ram Navami -the birth day of Lord Ram - at Streamwood (a northwest suburb of Chicago) on March 28 with lot of devotion and enthusiasm. More than 150 satsangis actively participated in the celebrations. In one of the highlights 5 to 10 year old kids sang Ram Janma songs capturing the hearts of all

attending. Devotees sang Swaminarayan Ram Navami bhajan and then watched Ram Navami video on the screen. President of this Sansthan B. D. Patel gave brief information about coming convent events in July 2015 at Streamwood. At the end all participating kids in this event got a toy gift from the Sansthan.

Cook County Attorney visits Sikh Gurudwara Devotee enjoying Lord Swaminarayan Ram Navami celebration

Exploring God through multi-faith lens India Post News Service

Anita Alvarez with a group of young Sikh members Cont’d from page 18

She said that, "as a State's Attorney, it is my job to reinvigorate efforts to raise awareness. Hate crimes go unreported and have a ripple effect on the entire community." To this effect she announced that she has named Amrith Kaur Aakre, one of her Assistant State's Attorneys, who handles the office's diversion, to the Hate Crimes Advisory and Prosecutions Council.

She also named Rajinder Singh Mago, a Sikh American community outreach and public relations activist, to her Asian American Advisory Council. Amrith Kaur Aakre said Sikhism promotes equality and, at its founding, was committed to abolishing the Indian caste system. One of the marks of the faith is wearing of the turban, which has become a target for religious intolerance. Satnaam Singh Mago, a young

Sikh, spoke of his own experiences as a child being bullied and the conflicts he faced growing up. "We do not mean to say that since we are not Muslims so leave us alone and go after them, but our stand is that no innocent person, no matter what faith they belong to, should be the target of hatred or violence," said Rajinder Singh Mago. Ms Alvarez was given a tour of the facilities, Langar Hall (community kitchen), and children's Sunday school.

NEVADA: "Looking for God" the seven-week long discussion about religion and God led by experts of various religions/denominations will be launched on May 6 in Minden, South of Nevada's Capitol. Organized by Linda Finch and Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, it would provide a platform for Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders to give scholarly presentations about their faith and approach to the divine and answer questions from a diverse audience of Nevadans. A religion professor will delve into the history and future of religion.

Speakers include Professor of Religion at University of Nevada Kenneth G. Lucey, President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed, Roman Catholic Pastor Nathan Mamo, Jewish Rabbi Evon J. Yakar, United Methodist Pastor Tony Hoefner, Northern Nevada Muslim Community President Sherif A. Elfass, and Buddhist Priest and Meditation Guide Jikai' Phil Bryan. Rajan Zed and Linda Finch point out that the purpose of this event is to promote interfaith harmony and unity, create a culture of love and peace, encouraging inter-religious dialogue and cooperation and building better relationships among people of diverse beliefs in Nevada.

April 3, 2015

Community Across America

India Post 21

Side effects of Maharashtra 'Beef Ban' already visible A.Q. SIDDIQUI India Post News Service

The Maharashtra Government's ban on slaughter of bulls, the so-called "beef ban" in the State is already showing its side effects. How many bulls were slaughtered in Maharashtra and what is happening to them now? On an average, more than 1000 bulls were slaughtered at Deonar abattoir in Mumbai alone. Over 100 were slaughtered in major cities such as Pune, Nasik, Akola, Amravati or Nagpur. Where have these animals gone and what is the impact on farmers who were raising these animals? The bulls are there but not tied in abattoirs, they are free strolling on major streets in many cities and causing traffic jams. The Government has no plans to rehabilitate them or their owners. The bull owners cannot afford to feed them. They need to spend more than 100 rupees for feeding a bull. Why to spend money now when there is no return in sight? So they let them loose to go around. The animals now eat wherever they can and they release shit on main roads. As expected, the prices of vegetables have gone up by 10 percent. The lamb meat

or mutton price is up by 100 rupees. It was Rs 350 per kilo, now it is 420 or 450 per kilo in most cities. Earlier, mutton vendors used to wait till evening for finishing a slaughtered lamb sale or even wrap up the remaining flesh for next day sale. It is brisk business now for mutton sale. As soon as a goat is slaughtered, the meat is sold within few minutes. Such is the demand for meat, that customers are seen waiting in front of mutton shops. But the supply is less than the demand. So small goats are slaughtered to meet the sales demand. Will goat supply continue for the demand? While eating beef was a preferred choice of Muslims, Christians, Dalits and many economically weaker families of Hindus, mutton is mostly consumed by all who can afford it. Contrary to common belief that Hindus are vegetarians, over 70 percents Hindus in Maharashtra eat mutton and chicken. They are worst affected as the supply of mutton and chicken has already started dwindling in the state. Besides soaring prices of goat or lamb; chicken prices are also soaring high. Here is also a list of businesses largely affected by Beef Ban. The small time transporters who used to transport bulls from villages to city beef traders are worst affected. They have no jobs. The Government has no rehabilitation plan for them. The farmers raising animals in small villages are left with unwanted bulls at home with no buy-

ers. The leather industry in Maharashtra is planning to wind up and quietly move to neighboring Telangana where leather supply is abundant. The Nashik sugar factories are worried as beef fat is required to color the sugar. The toothpaste and soap manufacturers in the State are worried for their supply of beef ingredients. And of course there are thousands of beef traders, butchers and resellers across the State who have no jobs

and the government has done nothing to rehabilitate them. As the beef ban continues, few pertinent questions remain, "Can rulers in power deprive people of the food of their choice and the whole world watch in silence? Why are the Congress and other opposition parties silent? Why are more sensible people not lodging PILs in the Supreme Court?" A few voices have been raised. Famous

Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor twitted on social media, ""I am angry. Why do you equate food with religion?? I am a beef eating Hindu. Does that mean I am less Godfearing then a non eater? Think!!" The lawyers in Chennai High Court did a different protest. They distributed free beef lunch in court corridors. But the best is a comment in a news item that says "God endows people with certain "unalienable" rights. A Government cannot take away those unalienable rights from the people. Even if the whole world remains silent, God's punishment will surely come for those who would not let people eat what they want."

Community Across America

22 India Post

April 3, 2015

Hilarious 'Taming of the Shrew' in Hindi ARCHANA ASTHANA

To sum purush, na mo sum- nari (No man like you, no woman like me) (The Taming of the Shrew): a Hindi adaptation


o wonder the title did not resonate when I first heard about the latest play by Naatak, stated to be "The

with the shape of things to come. Turns out the play was set to the classic theme of Shakespeare, in this unique language with captions in English. A disclaimer by the director, assured the audience to not seek any deep meaning in the play, and just to enjoy the classic comedy

(L to R) Ekta Brahmkhatri, Ravi Chopra, Pratiksha Rao-Vaidya. Pics Neha Kumar

Taming of the Shrew", a Hindi adaptation, performed in San Jose. A surprise awaited us immediately upon the start of the play as a duo dressed in period costume began

presented in a novel way. The language initially threatened to be a challenge, and distracted from following the story line while synchronizing the spo-

(L to R) Ravi Chopra, Abhishek Das, Ratnesh Rai, Rajiv Nema

spouting some strange dialect, like Hindi, but distinctly different. We assumed it must be a court jester type introduction to the play, so common of Shakespearean adaptations. However, there were twists and turns in this plot even before the play began. Apparently, the strange yet familiar language was Bundelkhandi, a dialect spoken in UP and MP in India. The comedic duo did not just use the language and their conjured up scenarios simply to toy with the audience, but to familiarize them

ken dialect with the captioned dialogue. The first half of the more than two hours long play was an attempt to set the stage for the antics of the suitors, Lucentio, Gremio and Hortensio for the hand of the fair maiden, Bianca, the daughter of the rich Baptista of Padua. The challenge for Lucentio, besides defeating the other suitors, was also to get Bianca's sister, Katherina, the shrew married off, to satisfy the precondition for Bianca's marriage. As the familiar

play unfolded, with exchanged and mistaken identities to add to the humor, high level of overacting and physicality added to the intentional absurdity of the storyline. Pratiksha Rao-Vaidya, as the shrew, presented a convincing performance of being a foul mouthed, ill tempered woman and fiancee to Petruchio, who is successful in hatching a plot to "tame" the shrew. From the outrageous wedding outfits, to bizarre behavior after the nuptials, and finally the" killing with kindness" strategy, Navjyoti Sharma, as Petruchio commanded the scenes. The transformation of the shrew is subtle, yet powerful, as Petruchio goes about giving Katherina a taste of her own vile medicine, all in the name of love, to get her to change. In the meantime, Lucentio, ably played by Amit Sharma continues to woo his love interest, Bianca, the demure Ekta Brahmakshatri, while posing as a tutor in the household. The agile, Abhishek Das as Hortensio, too poses as a music instructor to gain access and impress Bianca, and draws the audience into the humorous portrayal when he emotes his terror after trying to teach music to Katherina. The courtship scenes between these characters are overtly clownish, and more like a caricature, with abundant physical acting, however, they do get the point across. The older suitor, Gremio, the beguiling Rajiv Nema, delivers some pithy dialogues and gracefully bows out of the running for Bianca's hand, while the younger ones duel with words. Even though the play is overly misogynic and politically incorrect in today's times, the comedy of errors ends on a sweet note with bonhomie and camaraderie palpable between all players, and the feel good message that "love conquers all" is warmly omnipresent. There is even a reference to reverential and profound respect as the basis for peace and harmony, as Petruchio stands by his demure and docile wife, the changed shrew, and draws the play to a close. The director, Manish Sabu with his intentional use of Bundelkhandi as the language of choice, strives in a sincere effort to make the already absurd play, even funnier. He revealed a personal connection, as his maternal grandparents spoke the dialect. There are hardly any subtleties or nuances as the acting has to be over the top, and greatly physical, in accordance with the setting of the period piece, and the polar

(L to R) Abhishek Das, Rajiv Nema

opposite of the "less is more" school of acting. Preserving the costumes and set designs as depicted in the

by the strange antics and dialogues initially, even the skeptics came away suitably impressed with the acting prowess

(L to R) Pratiksha Rao-Vaidya, Ekta Brahmkhatri

original, allowed only one variable to be changed, and kept the muse intact. All said and done, peeling away the layers of the performances, story, direction and sets, actually provide a peek into the cleverly directed rendition of the adaptation. Although thrown off

of all cast, and the directorial chops. Kudos! Is there a Bhojpuri adaptation in the offing next? Just kidding! I think one linguistic deviation gives you the idea that Shakespeare, in any other language, still remains Shakespeare.

(L to R) Navjyoti Sharma, Ravi Chopra

April 3, 2015

Community Across America

India Post 23

How to become a successful Karmyogi like Arjun

Emotion is energy in motion; don't waste it



n the last article, it was explained how it is possible to remember God all the time, even while engaged in worldly activities. We will now learn some useful techniques to achieve constant remembrance of God at all times, in order to become successful Karmyogis. Remembering God at all times sounds very ambitious, especially when one is engaged in worldly activities on a day to day basis. However, if Arjun could practice it during a war, why should we feel discouraged? Practicing the presence of God There is an effective technique which can be employed to practice remembering God throughout the day. Wherever you spend your day - at the office, in school, at home, etc - choose a location where you are going to mentally place Shree Krishna. It could be in front of your desk, or by the window, or in the air - the location is not important, as long as you fix a place. Before beginning your activities, visualize Him at that place and feel that He is watching you. Then start your work. After that, every hour, stop what you are doing for a few moments to glance at the spot where you placed Shree Krishna. Remember that He is with you, and you are not alone. You do not have to take the time to visualize the details of His appearance - you only need to remember that He is there. This will habituate your mind to feeling His constant presence. It also interrupts any negative or critical thinking that may be going on in your mind. Once you get used to this time interval, you can shorten it to every 30 minutes. When you become accustomed to that, then you can do it every 15 minutes. Eventually, you will find that you naturally feel Krishna's continuous presence with you. Whenever you get a longer break from your work - anywhere from one minute, to five minutes, or longer - instead of spending the time looking at your smart phone or in idle conversation, you can engage your mind in doing jap of Radha Krishna name. This is done silently, and in coordination with the breath. One way to practice this is to silently say "Ra-" in your heart as you inhale, and "-dhey" as you exhale. Alternatively, you could say "Radhey" on the inhalation and "Shyam" on the exhalation. Aside from the obvious spiritual benefit of helping us towards our goal of remembering God all the time, this technique is also a pow-

erful stress reliever. It instantly causes you to relax and deepen your breathing, and it puts you in a completely different mental space for a few minutes. If you have to go somewhere, for example to another classroom or even to your car, there is another technique that can be used to feel that you are bringing Shree Krishna along with you. Place Him in your heart and then go on your way. When you reach your destination, again take Him out and place Him in a specific location near you so that you feel He is with you and watching you. Implementing these techniques, along with deeply understanding the philosophy behind karm yog, will put us on the path

to actually living the teachings of the Gita in our everyday life. When we do that, we will begin the process of gradual heart purification which is the true goal of spirituality. Regarding the benefits of karm yog, there are a few questions left unanswered. How can I learn to implement the teachings of the Gita? Swami Nikhilanand helps both young and old not only understand the philosophy of the Gita but also how to implement it in daily life. He says, "It's not just a theory to be understood and filed away - it has to be lived. Only then will someone appreciate the value of what is taught in a scrip-

Swami Nikhilanand

ture like the Gita. In his Family Gita classes, the highest teachings of the Gita that relate to God, soul, dharm, duty, karm yog, meditation, liberation, and enlightenment, etc, are broken down into simple and easy-to-understand


modules in an interactive workshop format so that each child and parent understands how their life will improve if they decide to apply this knowledge into daily practice. There is plenty of time for questions, and the kids are especially enthusiastic about getting the answers to long-held confusions about Hinduism. The adults benefit too, when they learn the nuances about the philosophy at a much deeper level. All in all, the family Gita class is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to gain a greater appreciation of Hindu heritage, culture, and religion. "These are fun and interactive classes - there is even a friendly game of Jeopardy at the end of each hour-and-a-half session. But the topics covered have the power to really change a person's life for the better. They learn things like how to balance spiritual practice with everyday demands of life in the world, whether it be at school, home, office or business; how to perform their duty without attachment; how to do their best, but not be attached to the results; how to develop a higher sense of duty and compassion for all living beings; how to develop a stronger sense of self; how to reduce stress; how to remain calm in all situations." Disciple of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj: Swami Nikhilanand Ji is a Canadian born Hindu spiritual leader based in Austin, Texas. He is a sanyasi disciple and pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Attracted to the teachings of Hinduism from a young age, Swamiji eventually let his deep spiritual longing lead him to India, where he was most fortunate to come under the guidance of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Thereafter, living in the ashrams of JKP, he extensively studied Hindi, the philosophy of the prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Darshan Shastras, Gita, Bhagwatam), and practiced meditation in the tradition of raganuga bhakti. In 2003, he was given sanyas. Swamiji conducts weeklong Family Gita classes across various cities in the U.S. Through these enlightening sessions, Swamiji imparts the true knowledge of the Hindu heritage, tradition and universal principles to children and adults alike. For more information regarding upcoming Family Gita classes in your city, please visit


uality of our life is the greed for money is so high. quality of our emotion. If Something is lost in their purwe are emotionally weak, suit. People want money or pleaour life becomes weak. If our emo- sure not for its sake, is it not? tions are insipid, our life also beThey feel money, pleasure or comes insipid. power will change the way they What is an emotion? It is en- feel or change their emotion. ergy in motion. All of us are look- When they have money, they will ing for energy, is it not? We say feel good, feel joyous, and feel we have less energy; we need fulfilled. So, basically they want more energy, etc. Where do we to "feel better" and in the process find this energy? they become bitter. We have to look deeply into They miss this point. So the this. Our body has energy, our feel- object of pleasure or money has ings have energy, and our intel- become more important than the lect has energy. Tapping that en- "feeling of joy". Thus, if one is ergy constructively is the need of aware, one will see "this feeling" the hour. is uplifted and in that state they If one wants to use the body contribute for others uplift. effectively, one needs to drop enYou connect to people through ergy wasters in the body. Then communication. Have you obone's body will remain charged. served that your communication To conserve energy, it is crucial to is not only through words but also handle one's emotion. Mother's through the feelings that flow love for the child brings in energy through words? There are four levof giving and contributing. Life is els of communication. Words are pleasant, if such pure energy in us is tapped. Irrespective of age, one's love to serve and to contribute should always be in the forefront. I have seen this trait in some of my students. They have shown tremendous flexibility Swami Sukhabodhanad in balancing their energy demands. at one level and feelings, energy Let me illustrate this with a few or the music of feelings is at anexamples from the life of some of other level. So, musicians in singmy students. One is serving me ing not only choose the words but even today in spite of going also the right feeling. If there is through divorce and the energy disconnect between words and the demands for bringing up children; feeling, then something is missing. one rose to the occasion to serve The third level is "intent". Inme by balancing the energy de- tent also communicates. Lastly, if mands from family due to sickness one can drop the ego then another of mother; and one despite being energy or emotion emerges. So, in in hospital and undergoing sur- communication there are four levgery had the energy to ask me for els and the energy flows in all the updates on enrolments. four levels. This is Vak Tapas - i.e., I have no words but only tears austerity in speaking. of gratitude for their loving heart. You need to bring all these emoSomehow they have discovered tions at home and in your spiritual the right emotion, the right love family and also deeply reflect and passion. Life is an opportu- whether, in your feelings, you are nity for such a discovery and for connecting or disconnecting with such a growth. It is a pathway for fulfillment of energy with others. inner growth. Swamiji is giving classes in Why is one after pleasure? Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Dallas, Why is one after money or power? TX and SV temple, Pittsburgh, PA If you look at their life, you will in April first 3 weeks. Please visit find that their basic needs are pro- Swamiji's website vided for and in spite of that the


Making a Difference

India Post

April 3, 2015

A monthly column highlighting the achievements of Indian Americans locally and beyond.


ith this column, we intend raising political awareness, inspire all of us to excel, reach greater heights. We Indian Americans are ourselves going through transitional evolution in this country. We are all doing a lot of good as entrepreneurs, high tech geeks, doctors, lawyers, imposing our good will upon this fantastic country. But our involvement can run deeper. It starts with simple contribution and involvement in our local community. There are few who are already beginning to make a mark - we want to highlight these SatyAgrah souls.

We invite success stories you have observed around you, provide us your insights on Indian Americans locally and nationally who made things happen. The ones who made a small change in the community, got into the school board, or planning commission. These perspectives will help construct roadmaps for our community to empower ourselves, to represent our local communities as leaders, and make this glorious country of America a better place. You can email your recommendations for this spotlight coverage to Rishi at

Ash Kalra - An Indian American inspiration


e kick off this column with a meeting with Councilmember Ash Kalra: Ash in his 2nd term to the San Jose city council represents Council District 2, which is located in the Southern region of San José. District 2 has approximately 100,000 residents. He has been a resident of San José for over 36 years and is proud to be the first Oak Grove High School graduate on the San José City Council. Councilmember Kalra serves as the Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee. He is the immediate past Chairperson of the Santa Clara County Valley TransRishi Kumar portation Authority (VTA) Board, and past chairperson of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board. Ash is a Professor at Lincoln Law School of San José and he previously was an instructor at San José State University. For 11 years, Kalra worked as an attorney for the Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office representing indigent clients in Drug Treatment Court prior to being elected. He is the first Indian-American to be elected to the San José City Council. Earlier this year, Ash announced his intention to run for Assembly from California's Assembly District27. Ash, you have been a pioneer representing the Indian American community in the Bay Area on so many fronts. What led you down this path of community service and running for office? From a young age, I have been motivated to find a way to serve my community. This urge began as far back as high school and led me down a unique path. I was never quite drawn to material wealth or even fame or celebrity. I was drawn to stories of those who have come before me that made a profound impact on their surroundings through diligence, courage, and dedication to the truth. Some of those historical figures that I read volumes on included Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. It was that attraction to historical fig-


ures coupled with my upbringing as a Hindu that helped me find a path that sought to work for the betterment of the community without being attached to personal gain or immediate results. There are many intervening events and steps that occurred during my journey, but this gives a little flavor of how it began. The road not traversed by many is never easy. What were some of the challenges along the way? I would not describe my journey as difficult although it was certainly a path less traveled. I always followed my passion for service even when I did not know quite what that meant during my college years and even into law school. Ultimately, I decided to become a public defender in order to represent the poorest and most needy individuals who had been accused of crimes. This was certainly not a common path, particularly for a South Asian. Despite many questioning whether I was making the most out of my Georgetown

Law School degree, I never doubted my decision as it was the most rewarding and challenging job I could ever imagine. As I became more and more involved in my com-

munity and local politics, it was a challenge to run for office. Turning the attention to myself after spending over a decade focused solely on my clients was not the most comfortable position for me. It was due to the support of family, friends, and a community that rallied behind me in ways I never felt I even deserved that allowed me to win my race for City Council in 2008. What is the one incident (if any) that set the tone, that perhaps emboldened you onto this path? It is impossible to think of one specific incident or event that led me down my path as I truly believe it was a culmination of many factors throughout my childhood and into my college years that molded me into seeking a life of service. However, I do have flashbacks of when I visited India when I was 8 years old. I remember seeing children that looked just like me begging for money and food from me. I felt a combination of guilt and obligation. I did not do anything personally to be born into a family that allowed me to grow up in California and have comforts that the majority of people in the world could only dream about experiencing. I never quite felt the same about what I expected for life or the path I would pursue as I grew older.

Ash Kalra

Cont’ d on page 25

File photo of San Jose, Calif., City Councilman Ash Kalra is shown with California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at the Jan. 31 launch of Kalra’s campaign for State Assembly

April 3, 2015

Making a Difference

India Post 25

Ash Kalra - An Indian American inspiration Cont’ d from page 24

You have a busy public life, how do you keep up? What inspires you to keep running as hard as you do? I know a lot of people that I have grown up with or I have come to know over the years that have worked just as much as or harder than I have over the years. I take inspiration from them. More significantly, I see those who surround me in the community who do back breaking labor for hours on end in order to give their children opportunities they never had. To that end, it is my father's example that has taught me about a strong work ethic and it is his sacrifices that continue to inspire me. Ultimately, I do not feel as if much of what I do is work since I am passionate about service and doing whatever I can to reduce the burdens of those in my community. Tell us about your 2016 run for Assembly. What are some of your key priorities? As a State assemblyman, I want to create incentives encouraging Silicon Valley companies to remain in the State. In recent years, Northern California has experienced an exodus of technology companies migrating out of the State. I care about our ability to keep quality employers in our region and

figure on the San Jose city council? Over the next few years, one of the issues I hope to continue to work on is civic engagement for IndianAmerican youth. We have some of the brightest, energetic young people you can find anywhere. Whether they become doctors, engineers, or lawyers, I would love to see as many of them as possible be fully aware of how their local government works and how they can influence important decisions being made on their behalf. I also hope to continue to help create bridges between the Indian community and other large communities here in San Jose, such as the Latino and Vietnamese-American communities. I believe there is a lot we can learn from each other and a lot of help we can give one another as we continue to make America our home in growing numbers.

Over the next few years, one of the issues I hope to continue to work on is civic engagement for Indian-American youth. We have some of the brightest, energetic young people you can find anywhere. Whether they become doctors, engineers, or lawyers, I would love to see as many of them as possible be fully aware of how their local government works and how they can influence important decisions being made on their behalf State. Tenant improvement funding and bridge loans allowing startups to scale up as successful initiatives were promoted by the city of San Jose. I want to ensure we launch similar programs to keep companies here in Silicon Valley. I also want to see smarter approach to criminal justice. We are already seeing a reduction in recidivism rates by investing more in mental health and substance abuse treatment, job training and wrap-around services for nonviolent offenders. In order to help those released from jail and prison adjust back into the community, we should invest in what they need to educate and train themselves in order to be contributing members of society. By locking people up at taxpayer expense without any support system upon release, we are setting up those released for failure and increase the likelihood that there will be more victims in the future. I would like to support California's high speed rail project aimed at reducing travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It must be built in a cost-effective manner, using private and public funds. Do Indian American issues surf up on your agenda as an elected official, public

What are you doing to encourage up and coming leaders in the community? One of the great joys of being in a relatively high profile position is the great privilege of serving as a mentor to others in the community. I relish the opportunity to speak with young people generally and mentor young leaders specifically. There are a number of different clubs and leadership programs that I am formally involved with that focus on cultivating young talent and creating a pipeline of leadership in our community for years to come. I try to encourage the youth to take advantage of the sacrifices of their parents and grandparents by finding a

career they are truly passionate about and by living a live that truly fulfills them while never forgetting to serve those who may

and making real friendships with so many of the diverse ethnic groups we are so fortunate to have as neighbors and co-

With Community leaders

not have the same advantages they may have been fortunate to receive. What is your vision for Indo Americans in the Bay Area and across the country? As the Indian-Americans here in the Bay Area and throughout the country continue to grow in power and influence in the world of business and politics, I hope they stay grounded and not allow the success to alter the compassion and selflessness our community has shown as we have evolved in this country. I envision a community that becomes more involved in their local community as much as they are concerned about national affairs here in the United States or in India. We must take ownership of the streets and schools in our own community and I hope to see more Indian-Americans getting outside of their comfort zone

workers. Rishi is Silicon Valley's energizer bunny deeply engaged in local causes to make his community a better place. He is an elected city councilmember in Saratoga, CA and a Silicon Valley hitech executive who continues to follow his passion for community service and community building. Rishi Kumar is also the founder of the Bay Area Indian American Democratic Club whose charter is to further the interests and values of Indian Americans, work towards political empowerment and advance ethical standards in the political system. You can reach him via his website He would love to get your recommendations for coverage of engaged Indian Americans demonstrating leadership in the community by emailing your recommendations to him at

Bringing happiness around

Divine Vastu

26 India Post

April 3, 2015

It teaches living in harmony with Earth


astu Shastra is the traditional Indian system of ar chitecture and design of Vedic origin. Vastu means the dwelling of humans and Gods. Many Vastu rules are derived from 'Vastu Purusha Mandala' which is depicted as a man lying with his head pointing north-east, in a grid of usually 64 squares. The different directions and sectors are assigned to different Gods and Guardians. It aims at providing guidelines for proper construction. Vastu orientates, places and dictates the proportions of every detail in building lines, skylines, elongations, levels, slopes, water (underground and overhead), kitchen, bedrooms, restrooms, staircase, heights of ceilings and roofs, entrances, loci of doors and windows, compound walls and so on. Vastu is affected with positive power of five elements: the earth,

the water, the fire, the space and the air. Vastu Shastra comprises philosophy and theory of architectural works to construct any building and as well as living style of people. Vastu Shastra is based on various natural energies like Solar Energy; Lunar Energy; Earth Energy; Electric Energy; Magnetic Energy; Thermal Energy; Wind Energy; Light Energy; Cosmic Energy. Ancient sages of India laid down several principles for constructing buildings by taking advantage of the nature. Knowledge of directions and their significance In Vastu Shastra, eight directions namely North, East, West, South, North-east, South-east, South-west and North-west are considered as important. Each of these directions and sub-directions has its own merits and demerits and yields results accordingly. Every direction has a deity

or lord that rules it. If you are planning to build your bungalow or any other building on the basis of Vastu Shastra,

Rewa Kumar

first of all you should have knowledge of your plot's direction. Then you should decide in which direction you ought to keep your main gate. You may if necessary, take the help of a compass to know the directions.

As the numerals have their apparent influence of human life, similarly influence of the directions is also apparent. Richness or penury of a person can be known from the location of his house. In which direction is the house located? Which direction does the entrance of his house face? How is the interior decoration? These and other related things reveal the economic condition of a person. Similarly, changes that must be made in order to bring prosperity and to prevent imminent danger or crisis can also be known with the help of Vastu Shastra. EAST: 'Indra' is the ruling deity of the east. He is capable of destroying enemies. The east is also known as a direction of lineage. During the construction of the house, some portion must be left open in the east. It leads to long life for the owner. WEST: The west is the opposite of the east. No work can progress in the west. 'Varun' (Neptune) is the lord of this direction, which is under the influence of sage 'Agastya'. Sea is the abode of 'Varun' (Neptune). He therefore, has most influence on the water bodies. A proper utilization of westerly portion of plot leads to reputation, fame, prosperity and success for the owner. NORTH: 'Kuber' is the lord of this direction. Literally, 'Kuber' means the one who controls the imminent events and causes increments. He has inaccessible wealth and property. Mercury is the planet that rules the north. North is also a place of mother. Leaving some portion open in north leads to prosperity of maternal side as well as provides wealth, comforts, peace etc. for the owner. SOUTH: 'Yama' is the lord of this direction. South direction weakens human life, hence all the auspicious tasks are forbidden in the south. In all the south direction yields nothing but mourning, depression and pain. 'AGNEYA' (South-East): Direction that lies midway between the east and the south is known as Agneya (south-east). 'Agni' (fire) is the lord of this direction. He is the preserver and defender of every being. Agni also provides them with comfort, peace, pros-

perity and progeny. While constructing a house, the first pillar must be erected in the south-east direction. Alternatively, kitchen of the house should occupy a place in this direction. This is the foremost and an important rule of Vastu Shastra. A warm 'Agneya' direction makes a man healthy, whereas a faulty use makes the owner short tempered. 'NAIRITYA' (South-West): It lies midway between the south and the west directions. 'Nairitya' is the ruling lady of this direction. Literally, Nairitya means repeated happening, whether be it the birth of a baby or any other event. If the house is built in this direction, the home suffers continuous decay. South-west portion of the house should never be left open, nor should a pit be dug is this direction. This direction is an abode of demons and ghosts. To prevent the accumulation of inauspicious and pain causing things, digging of pit in south-west is prohibited. If for some reason, digging is necessary it should be covered as early as possible or a sapling be planted in its place. 'VAYAVYA' (North-West): It lays mid way between the west and the north. 'Vayu' (wind) is the lord of this direct i o n . Northwest angle is the progenitor of friendship or enmity. Hence, a faulty use of this portion of plot may result in majority of the enemies. If you use this angle of your plot wisely and flawlessly, you will have many friends who will undoubtedly benefit you. 'ISHANYA' (North-East): The angle that lies midway between north and the east is known as 'Ishanya' (north-east) direction. 'Shiva' is the lord of this angle. Portion of the house in this direction must be kept holy for it yields many kinds of divine powers to the owner. Proper utilization of this portion of house provides wealth, reputation, property and every kind of excellence for the owner. A faulty utilization of this angle, however, may block successful continuation of progeny. This collectible article on Vastu Shastra is provided by Rewa Kumar of Divine Vastu Consultations and Research Center

April 3, 2015

India Post 27


1 Jeena Jeena : Badlapur 2 Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan : Roy 3 Jee Karda: Badlapur 4 Khamoshiyan : Khamoshiyan 5 Sooraj Dooba Hai : Roy

28 India Post

April 3, 2015

6 Tu Hai Ki Nahi : Roy 7 Judai : Badlapur 8 Tu Har Lamha : Khamoshiyan 9 Chhil Gaye Naina : NH10 10 Dard Karaara : Dum Laga


"I hate losing. But if I had to take a back seat to anyone this year it would be you #KanganaRanaut! Congratulations!yay Queen!#SmallTownGirls." -PRIYANKA


angana Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra were pitted against each other at the 62nd National Film Awards but the Queen star, who was declared the best actress, says they have no professional rivalry. Kangana, 28, won her second national award for the Vikas Bahl-directed film. "It's been longlong journey with Priyanka and it began during Fashion when I was a starryeyed fan of hers. She was a superstar during that time and today I am competing with her. It feels great. We have always maintained our friendship since 2008. She had no reason to choose me as her friend because I was a nobody at that time. She called me from California and congratulated me after the awards were announced. We spoke for an hour," Kangana says.

eepika Padukone, who will be seen sharing the screen space with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in Piku says their chemistry in the film is very organic. "In the years I have known Amitji outside work, our chemistry came to us very naturally. I remember him mentioning that I remind him of his daughter and he is also very protective about me. Our chemistry in the film is very organic," Deepika told reporters during the film's trailer launch. Directed by Shoojit Sircar and written by Juhi Chaturvedi, Piku features Amitabh, Deepika and Irrfan in lead. The film also saw a very unusual promotion where parents were invited for the trailer launch and according to reports it was Deepika's idea. "Somewhere we have all contributed in whatever way possible. The film itself is a very personal journey of Piku and Baba. Its more than the story... it's about the characters. Even in terms of our communication, we have kept it as intimate and as personal as possible. We hope all of you liked the idea," she said.

Ke Haisha


rrfan Khan, who is sharing the screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in Shoojit Sirkar's upcoming film Piku, says Big B was fun to work with. "It was a wonderful experience. Whoever is thinking of becoming an actor or taking training, should observe Mr Bachchan. Otherwise, he/she will never be aware of the nuances of acting," Irrfan said at the trailer launch of the film. "Mr Bachchan follows his director's vision in a very obedient way. At the same time, he is very playful too. Sometimes when a person is hardworking that can be boring for other people. But I will always remember his playfulness," said Irrfan.


April 3, 2015

India Post 29


ctor-filmmaker Aamir Khan, who directed the sensitive Taare Zameen Par, rues that negli gible content is being served to children in films and television. He feels this unavailability of content has forced youngsters to watch what's not meant for them. The actor was speaking at the Ficci Frames 2015 conclave, when he opened up about his fears over entertaining content for children. The 50-year-old said: "If you look at our children's content, it's almost negligible, and the little that I see is very scary. It scares me to see the kind of children's content they (people) are making. About 80 percent of the kids are not actually watching the content specially made for them, they are watching content which their parents are watching," he added. He feels the entertainment industry can contribute to the nation's growth by serving healthy and pure content to children. "We can contribute to nation building in a very dynamic way in what we choose to tell our children in our stories, in our characters," he said.

will , who Solid e e s m le in re Pada zahn minent ro medy gen o, a h S o o s r t c s p e he en o a ctr n in he loves t . Off-scre nks on e e s be ra ss gh ing p s tou s, say Patel hough it i or by play ent n ext I even are of hum a e b er sh y, and has to sona ke comed d o o n joys h m. r n e e p e li en sh to ea na. I hing d in n scre lm's t the fi actor's o life perso difficult t ositive an lid l n a p t So e s "A ne's r f the mo keeps you team of t it is o f o o e th tha ghs sion it's one sitive ks on s, lau t h i n k ... so joke ying pran m is so po aid. a a s n hen s c r e e I l o v e p l y o f t h e t e S h a z a h n s a y s : " W ot, . a g " , mode . The ener ith them abh Varm during sho m r w s r P a t e l h a v e f u n r e c t o r S a u e d i r e c t o ce for a co i c h i i t o o d a t n h p s o tc a n f u n id Patel p r a n k e the righ t o h a v e i l l i a n t a s Sol y r ad pla going ing is b ave m tress ith, an ac ow you h eday, I am omic tim o work w ht n c t m k you ovie. So her. Her a fun girl eping it lig f e edy m because o hazahn is g jokes, k n S k i . c y c a pla att ani iling, o org and s always sm added. e she is sitive," h o p and



hraddha Kapoor has joined the bandwagon of celebrities who have stepped into fashion design ing with her label Imara. The actress says that it has always been a dream to create her own fashion line and she has now fulfilled it. The design is exclusively available at "Partnering with Anjana (Reddy) of USPL made my dream come true. Imara is all about fairytales and this is my fairytale coming true," Shraddha said on the opening day of Amazon India Fashion Week. About the collection, the actress-singer and now designer says that it is inspired by the modern woman and is a contemporary rendition of the conventional. "Imara caters to the youth and young at heart," added the Haider fame actress who feels proud that the film has bagged five National Film Awards.

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April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

India Post 31







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„ Health


Mobile towers impacting health in Goa: Minister PANAJI: Goa Environment Minister Alina Saldanha has said the towers installed by mobile service providers have an impact on health and there must be scientific research to study the impact. Responding to the 'Calling Attention' motion moved by BJP legislator Vishnu Surya Wagh, Saldhanha said that towers do have health impact though there is no scientific study on it. She said that a study should be conducted in the state to assess the impact of mobile towers on health of people residing in the vicinity around towers. The minister said that she had two towers demolished in a constituency as they were set up without getting proper permission from local panchayat. Wagh had moved calling attention motion raising fear in the minds of people of Zuariwada area in his constituency over erection of two mobile towers flouting rules and regulations. Saldanha said that the state Pollution Control Board will be asked to conduct a study on the impact on of mobile towers in Zuariwada. -PTI

„ Diet sodas fall in US; Pepsi back to No. 2 NEW YORK: Americans bought less soda for the 10th straight year in 2014, with diet sodas shrinking more than their sugary counterparts, according to a report. An annual report by the industry tracker Beverage Digest found that overall soda volume slipped 0.9 percent last year, moderating from the decline of 3 percent the previous year. And the poor performance of diet sodas in particular led to a shake-up in the top 10 U.S. soda rankings; even though people bought less Pepsi, it managed to regain the No. 2 spot from Diet Coke, which suffered an even steeper decline. Diet Coke had knocked Pepsi off the No. 2 spot in 2010. Coke remained by far the most popular soda in the U.S., selling about twice as much as No. 2 Pepsi. John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest, attributed the moderation in soda's decline in 2014 to the continued growth of energy drinks. He also noted that Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have improved marketing for their soda brands. -AP

Health Science

54% Indians self-initiate health cover buying

32 India Post

April 3, 2015

Details on Page 34

Indiana Gov declares public health emergency due to HIV epidemic INDIANAPOLIS: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence overrode state law and his own anti-drug policies to authorize a short-term needle-exchange program designed to help contain HIV infections in a rural county where more than six dozen cases have been reported, all of them tied to intravenous drug use. Pence issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency in Scott County, an economically depressed area about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, that has seen 79 new infections since December. The county typically sees only about five HIV cases each year, health officials said. All of those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the county, and all of the infections have been linked to needle sharing among drug users. Most of the infections involve people who injected a liquefied form of the prescription painkiller Opana. Methamphetamine and heroin account for the remaining cases, health officials said. Pence, a Republican, said officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who arrived in the county said it would be ``medically appropriate'' to au-

thorize some type of needle-exchange program to help stem the infections. Such programs are illegal in Indiana, and Pence has opposed needle exchanges as part of drug-

Needle-exchange programs allow drug users to turn in used hypodermic needles in return for sterile ones in an effort to contain diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. HIV is spread mostly through

control efforts. But his order allows Scott County officials to request state approval for a limited, short-term program. The governor said he was acting to halt the spread of the virus ``despite my reservations'' about providing clean needles to addicts.

sex. Pence's executive order will run for 30 days. After that period, he will consider whether to extend it for another 30 days.

30pc Maharashtra women face breast cancer risk MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Deepak Sawant has informed the state Legisla-

Deepak Sawant

tive Assembly that according to a survey, 30 per cent of women in urban areas of the state face

the risk of breast cancer. Sawant, in a written reply to Madhuri Misal (BJP), said the survey conducted by a Pune-based private organization revealed that 30 per cent of women in cities of Maharashtra face the risk of developing breast cancer. The survey was released last month, the minister said. Admitting that cost of treatment of the fatal disease is enormous, he said breast cancer is treated free of cost under the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi scheme.-PTI

disposal and HIV testing and treatment. ``This is all hands on deck. This is a very serious situation,'' Pence said. After meeting with Pence, Scott County Sheriff Dan McClain said that his county has been fighting prescription pills for years, and the infections tied largely to Opana are just the latest development in a long-running drugabuse trend that has drained local resources. ``We have become the local rehab, mental health and treatment center, as well as the correction center here,'' McClain said. Don Des Jarlais, director of research for the chemical dependency institute at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, said the places most vulnerable to infections include rural and suburban communities where a new group of drug users started with prescription painkillers and moved onto injecting heroin. Without drug treatment or syringe-exchange programs, these areas ``are ripe for outbreaks, and

The places most vulnerable to infections include rural and suburban communities where a new group of drug users started with prescription painkillers and moved onto injecting heroin. Scott County's cases have surged from 26 in late February to nearly 80, and that number is expected to rise. Officials are trying to contact as many as 100 people tied to those with confirmed infections of the virus that causes AIDS. Pence's order directs the state health department to set up a command center to coordinate HIV and substance-abuse treatment and establish a mobile unit to enroll people in a state-run health program to get HIV testing and treatment. The state has also launched a public-awareness campaign focusing on drug treatment, infection prevention, safe sex, needle

we should expect more of them unless we really ramp up our HIVprevention services in those areas,'' he said. The county's 79 HIV cases represent more than half of the 146 new HIV cases that have been confirmed statewide in Indiana since January, said Ken Severson, a spokesman for the Indiana State Department of Health. The recent surge in infections is the state's largest-ever HIV outbreak. Des Jarlais called on Pence to make the needle-exchange program permanent. ``The potential for continued transmission,'' he said, ``will be there for a decade or more'' in southern Indiana.-AP

April 3, 2015

Health Science Post

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NY cracks down on napping health workers ALBANY, N.Y.: By day, Tanya Lemon was a 35-year-old single mother who took care of her four children. By night, she worked 12-hour shifts as a nurse at a state group home in suburban Syracuse, paid to watch over vulnerable residents as they slept. That's also when she got her own sleep, prosecutors say - a routine that led to felony

The case has brought renewed attention in New York to the problem of fatigue among health care workers - and in particular highlights the low-paid nurses, aides and others who care for vulnerable people at night charges when Dennis Dattalo, a 25-year-old disabled man who couldn't speak, ran low on oxygen while on her watch and later died. The case has brought renewed attention in New York to the problem of fatigue among health care workers - and in particular highlights the low-paid nurses, aides and others who care for vulnerable people at night, when sleeping can all too often become part of the job. Nurse Barbara Parsons worked with Lemon at the Briarwood Lane home in DeWitt, making $34,000 a year. Some staff, she said, signed up for extra shifts to get overtime pay and would shave a half-hour off second shifts to avoid rules limiting work hours. Sleeping on night shifts was com-

mon knowledge. ``She wasn't the only one,'' Parsons said. ``Everybody knew it.'' While health workers who willfully sleep on the job - as opposed to nodding off or making errors because of fatigue - are more often disciplined or terminated. Lemon's case last spring fired up prosecutors and invigorated a push by regulators in New York. New York's Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, established in mid-2013 with oversight of six state agencies responsible for more than a million people in direct state care or statefunded nonprofits, identified 458 reports alleging abuse or neglect from its first year that cited sleeping on the job. An additional 64 were classified as ``significant incidents,'' with potential to harm someone's health, safety or welfare. The center in December issued guidance to agencies, caregivers and families statewide in the effort to detect and deter the problem. Statistics on the number of prosecutions of sleeping health workers are scant; several states contacted by The Associated Press said they don't track such cases. But judging by the number of cases of sleeping in New York and Ohio, the problem is fairly widespread. In Ohio Last year, the Department of Developmental Disabilities substantiated 88 instances in which paid caregivers slept on the job. Many happened on overnight shifts, when individuals in their care were asleep. No harm came about, and no law enforcement action was taken. New York's guidance on the fatigue problem cited five specific cases of develop-

Dubai tycoon, ex-sheriff honored in Mumbai MUMBAI: Dubai-based business tycoon Ram Buxani and former Sheriff of Mumbai Bakul Patel were conferred with the honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D Litt) by a university here. The degrees were presented to them by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at a function at D Y Patil University in Navi Mumbai. Buxani is the Chairman of ITL Cosmos Group in Dubai, which is a 60-year-old conglomerate. He is also among the pioneer promoters of IndusInd Bank Ltd in India and was its Director until recently, a release here said. 74-year-old Buxani chaired the Board of the prestigious Indian High School in Dubai from 2000 to 2004. He is also the founder chairman of Overseas Indian Economic Forum which subsequently paved the way for many business councils. He is also the author of the book titled 'Taking the High Road' which was the bestseller for several months in Dubai in 2003. He also received Ph.D for his thesis 'Governance of Dubai: The influence of tribal

tradition in decision making', especially in the critical periods of development of the city-state, in 2004, the release said.

Dubai-based Indian Ram Buxani, right, is the Chairman of the ITL Cosmos Group.

Patel is on the Board of the executive committee of the Nehru Centre in Mumbai, since its inception in 1975. She is also a member of the governing council of Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre since 1992 and is on the Board of Trustees of Bombay Community Public Trust. -PTI

mentally disabled, mentally ill, drug-addicted and juvenile clients in state homes, all considered vulnerable and needing supervision. One had an unattended seizure. Another, with a tendency to choke, was eating alone at night. Others helped themselves to unlocked medications. One ran away. Six were in a vehicle when their caregiver fell asleep and crashed.

Lemon pleaded guilty to felony endangerment of a disabled person, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years' probation, lost her nursing license, and is barred from working with individuals New York considers vulnerable. Patricia Gunning, the special prosecutor for New York's Justice Center for disabled people, led the case against Lemon. She draws a sharp distinction between fatigue or nodding off and deliberate sleeping. ``Willful sleeping on the job is something that rises to criminal conduct,'' Gun-

ning said. Her office is investigating another possible criminal case. If they can prove supervisors knew about sleeping and looked the other way, at the Briarwood Lane home or any others, they'll also be prosecuted, she said. According to authorities, Lemon was supposed to check on Dattalo every two hours to ensure he was getting enough supplemental oxygen from a mask and to keep his airway clear. For eight hours he wasn't checked, suffered brain damage from oxygen deprivation and was taken to a hospital, where he died 14 days later. Lemon pleaded guilty to felony endangerment of a disabled person, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years' probation, lost her nursing license, and is barred from working with individuals New York considers vulnerable. Advocates for health workers like Lemon note that they work a tough job at a trying schedule for low pay, and have called for raises for what they say is important and underappreciated work caring for people who can't care for themselves. Lemon's attorney, Jeffrey DeRoberts, said she has taken responsibility and is returning to school to learn to drive a truck, and he also noted case information indicated napping on overnight shifts was ``not unusual'' at Briarwood Lane. -AP

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April 3, 2015

54% Indians self-initiate health cover buying MUMBAI: About 54 per cent of health insurance policy holders self initiate the buying process of the health cover, according to a survey. "More than half of the owners (54 per cent) self-initiate the purchase process," according to Max Bupa Health Insurance Pulse 2015. However, only 40 per cent health insurance policy renewals were self-initiated by the owner, it added. Max Bupa Health Insurance Pulse 2015 study was conducted among over 1,500 respondents in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and tier I and II cities in states like Hyderabad, Punjab and Rajasthan. The study also revealed that there is a shift in age groups of health insurance buyers, with 32

years emerging as average age of health insurance purchasers across cities. In terms of gender related findings, an increasing number of women are becoming the sole decision makers in buying health

also is a key reason for health insurance purchase, followed by rise of lifestyle diseases (33 per cent), tax planning (31 per cent) and age (31 per cent), it pointed out. The study said consumers

We have also observed that the most common sum insured individuals opt for is Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh in case of a family cover. In fact, there has been a two-fold increase in the claims from the segment with a ticket size of over Rs 10 lakh since last year insurance (55 per cent). Almost two third of them are not aware that new born and in-laws can be covered under health insurance, the study said Doctors' advice (50 per cent)

seek day care treatment (41 per cent), loyalty or renewal benefits (40 per cent) and new benefits like maternity (34 per cent) as significant features in their health insurance cover.

Jindal health care budget has gaps, cuts BATON ROUGE, La.: Gov. Bobby Jindal's hospital privatization deals that provide care for uninsured patients are precariously balanced in next year's budget recommendations, with one-third of their financing reliant on tax changes uncertain to win passage from state lawmakers. The House Appropriations Committee was told that the governor's $9.5 billion health care spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 relies on $407 million from Jindal's proposal to shrink spending on certain tax breaks. Most of that uncertain money, $332 million, is plugged into payments for Jindal's contracts that turned over the LSU-run hospitals and clinics to private managers. If those dollars don't show up, hospital payments would be cut from more than $1.1 billion to $815 million under the governor's budget. ``If that (money) is not seen, do you foresee a possibility of any of these partnerships coming back to the table, backing out, being revised?'' Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, asked Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert. Kliebert replied: ``Certainly, I would see the possibility of the partners coming back and some requesting to be out of the contract, out of their agreement, or they would have to significantly reduce services.'' Already, the private operators of the state-owned hospitals and

clinics say they need $142 million more than Jindal's budget provides - even with the money from the tax break scale-backs. Nearly $88 million of that request would pay for the hospital in New Orleans, which will shift services from an interim facility to a larger, new hospital this summer. Kliebert said she thinks she has identified a funding stream to pay

from the tax changes ``because that takes a lot of action to ever get there.'' Smith and other committee members worried about the potential impact on health care services for the poor and uninsured if the LSU privatization deals face steep cuts. ``Since we are already in a very detrimental place when it comes to health outcomes, that would be

Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert reviews notes and financial documents before making her budget presentation to the House Appropriations Committee. Lawmakers on the committee expressed concerns about possible cuts to health services for next year.

for the increased costs of the new hospital in New Orleans. But Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin told her she should not assume the dollars from Jindal's proposal to rework the tax credits would arrive. Business leaders and lawmakers are balking at the biggest tax credit on the chopping block in the governor's plan. Fannin, RJonesboro, said lawmakers need to consider the health care proposal without having the money

even more detrimental to us as a state, wouldn't you agree?'' she asked Kliebert. ``I certainly would agree, yes,'' Kliebert said. Jindal has privatized nine LSUrun hospitals and their clinics over the past two years. In most instances, the management company of a nearby hospital took over operations. Three contracts closed an LSU hospital and shifted its services to private hospitals. -AP

"Health insurance consumers are evolving from being price conscious to being value conscious with majority of them preferring family health plans over individual coverage and opting for a sum insured of Rs 6-7 lakh. "We have also observed that the most common sum insured individuals opt for is Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh in case of a family cover. In fact, there has been a two-fold increase in the claims from the segment with a ticket size of over Rs 10 lakh since last year," Max Bupa Head-Marketing Anika Agarwal said. Among the metros, it revealed Mumbai has better understanding of health insurance with 66 per cent Mumbaikars aware of the distinction between life and health insurance. In Delhi and Chennai,

it is 36 per cent and 39 per cent respectively. The study showed an increasing demand from people living in tier I and II cities to be optimally insured, where Hyderabad recorded the highest average sum insured of Rs 8,70,000, with Rajasthan and Punjab at Rs 4,50,820 and Rs 6,80,270, respectively. In the metro cities, Delhi feels the most dissatisfied with their current health coverage with 72 per cent of health insurance owners in city saying that their health policy is not enough for their future health needs. Around 80 per cent of the health insurance owners in Mumbai and 54 per cent in Chennai consider themselves to be adequately protected. -PTI

Obama ready to sign bill revamping Medicare doc fees WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has said he's ready to sign ``good, bipartisan'' legislation protecting physicians from steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements as Senate Democrats seemed to soften their opposition to the package. Obama's remark, made a day before the House is expected to approve the measure, seemed to add political momentum to the package's prospects in the Senate, where Minority Leader Harry Reid and others had complained about abortion curbs and other provisions. The overall bill is a compromise worked out by House Speaker John Boehner, ROhio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. ``As we speak, Congress is working to fix the Medicare payment system. I've got my pen ready to sign a good bipartisan bill,'' the president said at a White House event marking the five-year anniversary of his signing his health care overhaul. Earlier, No. 3 Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the Medicare bill's restrictions on abortions at community health centers were not as ``severe'' as abortion curbs in a separate bill on human trafficking Democrats are blocking. A day earlier, Reid, D-Nev., also

distinguished between the abortion language in the two bills. Also, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the Medicare measure would cost $214 billion over the coming decade. In a letter to Boehner, the budget office said $141 billion of those costs would come from increasing federal deficits. The rest would be paid for with added costs for

President Barack Obama

Medicare beneficiaries, mostly higher premiums for the highestearning recipients, and payment cuts to nursing homes and other providers. Republicans have been saying some of the agreement's provisions would produce large savings beginning a decade from now, an argument that could help win them votes from conservatives unhappy about the idea of increasing federal deficits. The budget office said it is hard to make such a projection. It said the measure could yield savings or added costs in the second decade after enactment, with the middle ground being small savings. -AP

April 3, 2015

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Sachin, UAE healthcare offer Rs 1 crore for needy DUBAI: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and an NRI founded healthcare facility in the UAE have committed to offer Rs 1.69 crore to support the needy and the downtrodden in India. Inaugurating the 150th outlet of Aster Pharmacy in Abu Dhabi, Tendulkar, who is the brand ambassador of Aster DM Healthcare's Aster Pharmacy vertical, said,

"In fact, I debuted for India in 1989 which happens to be the same year that Aster Pharmacy opened its first outlet and both of us did well from there on". "I am particularly impressed about responsible and responsive manner in which Aster DM Healthcare touches the lives of thousands of people around the region," he said. The legendary cricketer and recipient of Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian award,

Tendulkar and the Aster DM Healthcare have committed to offer 1 million dirhams (1.69 crore rupees or USD 2.72 lakh) on various initiatives to support the needy and the downtrodden in India, the healthcare said in a statement. "Mr Tendulkar's presence and support will help us to reach out to the society better and more efficiently on our various community initiatives," Anoop Moopen, Director of the healthcare said. Tendulkar said he is delighted to be appointed as the brand ambassador of Aster Pharmacy, which is the most successful retail pharmacy chain in the region. "This will help Aster Pharmacy to showcase many unique products and services to the customers. It will also aid the task of educating the masses about the importance of healthy living and safe medication. "Sachin will also be a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives helping to spread the message and reach out to the public with socially relevant causes," Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director of the healthcare, a native of Kerala and Delhi University alumnus, said.-PTI

Harmless bacteria may help prevent meningitis LONDON: Researchers have shown for the first time that nasal drops of harmless bacteria can inhibit a related bug that sometimes causes meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is caused by Neisseria meningitidis, which can infect the lining of the brain and the spinal cord, causing meningitis. Strains of the bacteria can also cause serious bloodstream infections. N meningitidis can also live silently in a person's nose and throat, without illness. These "colonized" carriers can spread the pathogen to others through close contact. In the study, researchers placed drops containing low doses of Neisseria lactamica, a related but harmless bacterial strain, into the noses of 149 healthy university students in the UK. A control group of 161 students received drops of saline instead. Nose swabs were taken at regular intervals over six months and tested for both types of bacteria. Among students who received the N lactamica drops and became colonized, the harmless bacteria appeared to prevent N meningitidis from colonizing the students' throats.

The "good" bacteria also displaced the worrisome pathogen in those who were already carrying it when the study began. The effect was seen after just two weeks, when the number of students carrying N meningitidis in their upper airway dropped by 9.5 per cent among those who were also

'Good' bacteria may help prevent meningitis.

colonized by N lactamica using the drops. The effect lasted for at least four months. "It's the first time that anyone has taken a bug - a friendly bacterium - and has shown that it changes the way that you can become colonized by the meningitis bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis," said study author Robert C Read of the University of Southampton in the UK. -PTI

Bill to raise age for tobacco purchases PROVIDENCE, R.I.: Doctors and public health organizations told lawmakers that making the state the first in the nation to raise the age for legal tobacco purchases to 21 would help prevent death and disease, while convenience store owners urged them not to hurt their businesses. Lawmakers considered Democratic Rep. Teresa Tanzi's bill to raise the age from 18 at a House committee hearing. Tanzi said making it harder for young people to get cigarettes could prevent them from starting to smoke, and have tremendous health implications statewide. Karina Holyoak Wood, policy director for the American Lung Association in Rhode Island, said Tanzi's proposal is ``free, easy and effective.'' ``It's an emerging public health measure, but we consider it a promising practice,'' she said. ``We don't think there's anything to lose.'' Although some municipalities including New York City have raised the minimum age to 21, no state has done so. Four states have set the age at 19. Tanzi's bill would apply to all forms of tobacco and take effect immediately. Public health professionals testified in support.

Retailers and electronic cigarette businesses that were concerned her bill would include vapor products opposed it. The House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare held the bill for further study. Rep. Robert Lancia, a former Navy chaplain, said he struggled with the potential freedom implications. He noted that

people can fight and die for the country at the age of 18. Muhammad Qandil, who owns a 7Eleven store in Providence, and Yasin Muhammad, who owns a Pick N Pay Food Mart in Bristol, said smokers would go across the border to buy tobacco products, and they would get their milk, candy and lottery tickets while they're there. -AP

36 India Post

April 3, 2015

Realty Tidbits

Soft loans for cops to buy own homes MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said the government is trying to facilitate availability of loans at low interest rates for police personnel to buy homes. "We are trying to build government houses for police and also trying to make available soft loan for the police department employees so that they can buy their own houses," Fadnavis said in the state Legislative Council here. The state government has already sanctioned Rs 298.67 crore this year for police housing, he said. "Even the Police Housing Corporation has been given Rs 500 crore that can be used for the housing," he said. The police personnel can take benefits of an additional FSI of 4 given to build more houses, Fadnavis said. A definite plan to provide houses to all policemen in the state will be chalked out within a few years. The issue was raised by BJP MLC Bhai Girkar, who asked how police department employees are staying in BDD chawls which are in a dilapidated condition and demanded redevelopment of the chawls. "Apart from Rs 500 crore HUDCO provision, additional funds would be given too. We will soon come up with a redevelopment scheme for the BDD chawls," Fadnavis said. -PTI

Real Estate 37 India Post

April 3, 2015

Wells Fargo closes Milwaukee office, cuts jobs NEW YORK: Wells Fargo will close its home lending servicing office in Milwaukee and eliminate 1,000 jobs, saying fewer homeowners are falling behind on payments and seeking help keeping their homes. In an emailed statement, Wells Fargo & Co. said that as the economy has improved over the last two years, it has received fewer delinquent payments, and fewer customers have required assistance staying in their homes. The company says it will continue to offer assistance to borrowers facing financial hardship. -AP

What if home appraisal comes below your sales price?


ising home values and a lack of inventory in many markets could set them up to receive competing offers, but that dynamic could also increase the likelihood that the appraised value of the home could fall short of the agreed upon sale price, potentially scuttling the deal. Banks rely on appraisals to determine whether the size of a mortgage being sought by a homebuyer is justified by the market value of the home they're looking to buy. Lenders do this to ensure that they will be able to recover their funds in the event they have to sell the home should the borrower default on the mortgage. When an appraisal comes in below the agreed upon price, a buyer may not be able to borrow the amount needed to buy the home. At that point, the buyer usually has to make up the difference with a larger down payment or walk away. This scenario was widespread in 2010, as foreclosures swelled

following the housing bust, resulting in a surge in homes being valued by appraisers below what some buyers were willing to pay. The same may be happening again, but for very different reasons.

One key factor: The inventory of homes for sale was at just 4.6 months in February. That's down from a historic average of around 6 months. ``We're definitely in a market that's shifted since 2012 to one

The median price of previously occupied homes has climbed 7.5 percent over the past year to $202,600, according to the National Association of Realtors.

where you're more likely to see a sales price that's above the appraisal,'' said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at real estate data firm RealtyTrac.

Here are some tips on what home sellers can do if their appraisal disappoints: BE PROACTIVE To determine the market value of a home, an appraiser compares prices of comparable homes recently sold in the area. Then they take an apples-to-apples approach, excluding or making adjustments for certain features, such as a swimming pool or finished basement. One way to make it less likely that the appraiser will miss something is for the homeowner to provide details on any improvements made to the home, said Lance Coyle, president of the Appraisal Institute, a professional association. Homeowners can also ask to accompany the appraiser during the inspection, although they should run that by the lender first, as the appraisal is done on behalf of the bank. Cont’d on page 39

Training for increasing native homeownership

NY task force fights home-as-hotel rentals

PIERRE, S.D.: Thirty South Dakotans went through training recently in Pierre on how to help American Indians in the state buy their own homes. The South Dakota Native Homeownership Coalition sponsored the financial education. The 30 participants representing nonprofit organizations, tribal housing entities, tribal departments and community development financial institutions became certified to provide financial literacy training for natives. The class focused on budgeting, savings, understanding credit and planning for the future. The coalition is a collaboration of representatives from South Dakota's tribes, federal and state agencies, tribally designated housing entities, nonprofit organizations, housing developers, lenders and others. -AP

NEW YORK: From an office by the Brooklyn Bridge, a specialized team of investigators tackles a fast-growing concern in the nation's biggest city: apartments being rented like hotel rooms. Building and fire inspectors, police, lawyers, city tax specialists and others combine doorknocking, digital sleuthing and even video surveillance in an uncommon approach to an issue bubbling up around the country. New York's investigators have cited over 7,000 fire and building code violations, shut down over 200 short-term apartments and sued several operators - ending an additional 250 short-term rentals - over the last nine years, according to the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement. With Airbnb and

other websites sparking a shortterm rental boom, some lawmakers now want to triple the illegalhotel investigation staff and have

pect listings. ``The problem has skyrocketed in the past few years,'' and enforcement must keep pace, says City

Fashion icon Audrey Smaltz listens during a interview in her rooftop penthouse at the Branson building, in New York.

it go beyond answering complaints to scour the web for sus-

Council Housing and Buildings Committee Chairman Jumaane

Williams. But some proprietors have called the city's tactics heavyhanded. Airbnb says New York unfairly lumps occasional users in with hotel-scale operators, although officials say enforcement focuses on big players. ``It can get overzealous,'' says Airbnb public policy head David Hantman, who wants New York laws changed to exempt people renting out their own homes and ``target the truly bad actors.'' It's largely illegal in New York to rent entire apartments for under 30 days, though it can be OK to rent out spare rooms if a resident also stays home. Yet vacation rental sites boast many apartments. The city fielded 1,150 illegal-hotel complaints last year, up 62 percent from 2013. Cont’d on page 39

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38 India Post

April 3, 2015

Artist housing from abandoned urban properties LOVELAND, Colorado: A national movement that counts on painters, dancers and musicians to help revitalize downtown districts is coming to this Colorado city as the first residents prepare to move into new low-income apartments built for artists and their families. It's the latest project by Artspace, a Minneapolis-based organization that develops artist housing from abandoned urban properties. Artspace got its start three decades ago when it turned

an early 20th century warehouse in St. Paul into low-income artists' housing and space for nonprofit arts organizations to do business. Its newest projects include Loveland and turning an abandoned public school in New York's East Harlem neighborhood, into housing for artists and space for arts organizations. ``There's a wave of awakening to the value of creative people in the community,'' said Wendy Holmes, an Artspace senior vice

president. In Loveland, more than $5 million in Colorado Housing and Finance Authority tax credits, plus grants from national development groups, spurred the transformation of an old mill building and vacant lots, warehouse and factory space along railroad tracks in the lakeside community an hour's drive north of Denver. Entrepreneurs are opening restaurants and galleries near the 30-unit housing complex, which will be occupied

Crackdown on illegal short term rentals LIHUE, Hawaii: Kauai County has been telling owners of illegal short-term rentals to cease operations. The county sent notices to 320 people operating vacation rental, bed and breakfast and homestay businesses without proper permits, The Garden Island newspaper in Lihue reported. The alleged violators were identified from a list of 4,000 vacation rentals on Kauai, said Michael Dahilig, the county's planning director. Some businesses were found on popular online websites like Airbnb and VRBO or Vacation Rentals By Owner. The county began sending out zoning compliance notices last year and has been going down the list, he said. Alexis Boilini and Michael Levy, who have welcomed people from all over the world into their home for 23 years, received one of the notices on March 9. The letter told them to cease all B&B operations within two weeks and close down their online website. Bollini said existing laws don't sufficiently define what constitutes a homestay or bed and

breakfast. She said she wants a clear permitting process. Many operators, she said, pay state general excise taxes and transient accommodations taxes and want to have the proper permits in hand to operate their businesses. ``We were told in 14 days to shut down our doors and turn all of these people away with no-

our bills to continue to exist?'' Boilini said. ``How would you feel if you lost your job in 14 days? You'd be scrambling, right?'' Dahilig said the county didn't need to notify anyone before sending cease-and-desist letters. ``Do we need to tell somebody that we're going to do a drug sweep, or do we have to tell some-

Ina Lejins, an innkeeper-in-training, left, and Alexis Boilini prepare an almond pear tart in the kitchen of their property in Lawai, Hawaii Kauai County has been telling owners of illegal short-term rentals to cease operations.

where to go except another island - it's impossible if they can find something at this point during spring break - and how do we pay

body that we're going to be looking at white-collar crimes, so please open your books so we can see what you're doing,'' said Dahilig, who pointed out that the Kauai County Council tasked the Planning Commission with stepping up enforcement efforts. ``I think people just aren't used to the idea that other laws have to be enforced, too.'' Dahilig said people have applied for permits for years. He said the problem is that people don't want to comply with the law. A proposed ordinance that would permit homestays in commercial districts, resort zoning districts and residential zoning districts on Kauai will be taken up by the Kauai Planning Commission at its next meeting on April 14. -AP

in May. Mayor Cecil Gutierrez said downtown sales tax revenue has increased 10 percent in recent years as buzz about the development has grown. In a pattern familiar nationwide, Gutierrez said the downtown area began to die in the 1970s when a large mall opened in the region. Its opening cut traffic to a shopping district of department and hardware stores. Loveland repeatedly launched downtown development studies, to no avail. Gutierrez believes targeting the arts meant the difference between seeing more proposals fade away and seeing them take off. ``Loveland is a brilliant microcosm of what is happening across the country,'' said Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlace America, which brought together major funders like the Ford and Rockefeller foundations to distribute grants weaving the arts and artists into community planning and development. Jason Schupbach, director of design programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, said the idea that art can make or break a city has been around at least since Michelangelo. But he said the last dozen years have seen policy-makers settle on goals, agree on ways to measure progress and coin a phrase - creative place making - that have given the concept a modern twist. Artists have been the focus of development efforts in Detroit, Boston, Baltimore and Chattanooga, Tennessee. As Loveland's new apartment building neared completion, rehabilitation began on a cavernous 1892 mill that went out of business in the early 2000s. Felicia Harmon, long involved in development and the arts, had been trying to save the mill from demolition. She credits artist Megan Tracy with helping others see the charm in the mill's soaring brick walls and roomsized grain hoppers. The mill will

house a business incubator, gallery and performance space. As artistic director of what became known as Arts (at) the Feed & Grain, Tracy has found support from ArtPlace, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and the National Endowment for the Arts to bring more than 100 artists and 20,000 art lovers to the mill over the past three years. Collaborators have put on conceptual, site-specific shows such as one in which silk sheets floated over the mill's scarred wooden floors, or another featuring ceramic discs that appeared to flow from the ceilings like water. Musical and literary performances also have been part of installations. ``Artists just think differently,''

Tracy said. ``They can show you things you didn't see before.'' The developments promote others. Doug Erion, a painter, renovated a long-vacant warehouse, transforming it into artist galleries and workspace. He's planning an expansion and helped a sharedspace business for engineers and other technofiles next to that. None of Erion's projects are connected to the Artspace development, but he could not imagine any of them happening without it. ``I would love to see Loveland be a community of creators, whether it be computer programmers or whatever,'' Erion said. -AP

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April 3, 2015

India Post 39

NY task force fights home-as-hotel rentals Cont’d from page 37

Hosts say ``home sharing'' helps them pay bills and makes traveling funkier and cheaper. But city officials note that guests generally don't get fire sprinklers and other safety features required in hotels, and residents contend with rotating casts of strangers. ``You get on the elevator, and you don't even know who's going to get on,'' says Audrey Smaltz, a fashion-industry entrepreneur whose Manhattan apartment building has been used as a $500a-night hotel, according to a city lawsuit. ``I don't feel safe.'' Countless travelers have learned the front-door entry code, and a stranger wandered onto the roof and stared at Smaltz through her penthouse terrace window one night last fall, she said. There are no short-term rentals in the building now, the owner said in court papers. Many cities are addressing, and

sometimes allowing, short-term vacation rentals. San Francisco is now crafting rules permitting some home-as-hotel stays and

We want to make sure that we're allocating our resources to getting and eradicating the absolute worst operators'' and safety risks, Parra said. determining enforcement procedures. In Chicago, a business and consumer department handles unlicensed vacation rental complaints and can issue fines. New York, meanwhile, uses its multi-agency Mayor's Office for Special Enforcement. Investigations generally start

What if home appraisal comes below your sales price? Cont’d from page 37

TALK TO THE BUYER Homeowners can appeal an appraisal, but before taking steps to do that they should find out if the buyer is willing to pay the higher price. ``There are some buyers who will not pay a penny more than the appraised value,'' said Paul Stone, an agent for the real estate brokerage Redfin in Denver. Buyers who agree to pay the contract price will be willing to help make the case to their lender in favor of considering an appraisal appeal, he said. REVIEW THE APPRAISAL Ask for a copy of the appraisal report. Federal law requires lenders provide the appraisal upon request within 30 days. Look for potential factors that the appraiser may have missed when comparing the property to similarly priced homes that sold recently. Does the house require major remodeling, or is the number of bedrooms and baths comparable? Did the appraiser make adjustments for the lot sizes of the homes? MAKE YOUR CASE Most lenders have appraisal appeal procedures, known as reconsiderations of value. With the buyer's permission, contact the lender and show them

any discrepancies or information that the appraiser didn't consider in the assessment. One option is to ask the lender to order a second appraisal for comparison purposes. If the lender agrees, that can run from about $200 and up, depending on the home. And there's no guarantee the new appraisal will turn out any different. Ultimately, the original appraiser will determine whether any information submitted in the appeal merits a change to the initial appraisal. NEGOTIATE If the original appraisal stands following an appeal, the process is over. At this point the sale will likely fall through, unless the buyer can kick in a bigger down payment to cover the difference between the loan and the contract price. ``From the buyers' perspective, if the appraisal comes in low, it's either an opportunity to renegotiate the price or it means you're overpaying,'' said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Still, in markets where the inventory of homes for sale is particularly tight, there will be more pressure on the buyer to make up the difference in the appraised value versus the contract price, particularly if it's only a few thousand dollars.-AP

with a police officer, fire inspector and building inspector knocking on doors and asking denizens whether they live there, acting director Elan Parra says. When investigators find a paying visitor, they'll request booking details. That can lead to violation notices, fines, follow-up inspections and evacuations, if inspectors declare a serious safety threat. The consequences might not

end there. Using software to cross-reference information, investigators look for patterns in complaints, listings, lessees, building owners, managers, companies or other factors that might point to a multiple-apartment operation and warrant not just administrative fines but a lawsuit for damages. Occasionally, investigators will stake out a building with video cameras, Parra said.

``We focus on the places where people are complaining, where there are clearly presented concerns and issues. ... We want to make sure that we're allocating our resources to getting and eradicating the absolute worst operators'' and safety risks, Parra said. This month, his office shut down three Brooklyn dwellings it said were bunk-bed-stuffed, fire-hazard hostels.-AP

40 India Post


ayanad is a derivative of the term Vayal Nadu, where Vayal means paddy fields and Nadu the land; together they repre sent a land of paddy fields. Wayanad is explicitly beautiful with mist clad mountains, intense forests and fertile green plantations. The forests of Wayanad are cosmic landmasses for animals to enjoy their natural dwelling on Kerala packages in Wayanad. Snuggled amidst the Western Ghats mountains, Wayanad is an exquisite hill station in Kerala. It is a revenue earning state due to foreign exchange possibilities of cash crops such as vanilla, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom and many other condiments. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. Wildlife aficionados and nature lovers will find Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries as the right place of visit. The place enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year.

Having an influential history, numerous evidences depicting new Stone Age civilization are seen on the Wayanad hills. Relics and edicts found in this place emphasize the prehistoric epoch. According to history, Wayanad was ruled by Vedic tribes. It was then taken over by Pazhassi Rajas, and later Hyder Ali conquered Wayanad. When Tipu took over, he handed it to the British. It was the British who introduced cash crops, laid roads and developed

April 3, 2015

Wayanad significantly. The prominent festivals such as Onam, Maha Shivaratri and Vishu display eternal harmony. Rice, rasam, sambhar, poricha kootu, moru kootan, avvial, pal payasam, and many more items make their food a classy substance. Tourist attractions Edakkal Caves: Edakkal cave is 25 km from Kalpetta and just 3 km from Ambalavayal. This is a crevice for about 96 ft in length and 22 ft width. A fissure was created due to a rock splitting due to natural weathering. The depth of the crevice and the fissure is nearly 30 ft which gives the appearance of a cave to any observer.

Banasura Sagar Dam: Banasura Sagar Dam is approximately 21 km towards the north west of Kalpetta. It is considered to be the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia. The dam extends to a wide area with crystal clear waters. Undisturbed and engulfed amidst the hills, Bansura Sagar Dam is an absolute beauty. Chembra Peak: Chembra is the tallest peak in all of Wayanad district. It is at a staggering height of 2100 meters above sea level.

Cont’d on page 42

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Take a dive at Natural History Museum LONDON: If you've ever wanted to see coral reefs but don't fancy getting wet then London's Natural History Museum may be the place for you. The museum's new show plunges into the underwater world, featuring a ``virtual dive'' that provides a 180-degree view of five coral reefs controlled by a joystick, including one vista with a manta ray in Komodo Island, Indonesia. ``We know more about outer space than we do about the oceans,'' said Miranda Lowe, the museum's collections manager for marine invertebrates. She said the patchy health of coral reefs globally could have dramatic consequences for the thousands of species of marine life that depend on them, and added the recent cyclone in Vanuatu could spark a massive bleaching of corals if water temperatures rise substantially. The exhibit also includes six corals collected by Charles Darwin demonstrating his first-ever scientific theory about how coral

A Pacific lipstick tang -Naso Lituratus- swims in an aquarium as it appears to look at Vikki a member of staff at the Natural History Museum during a media preview of 'Coral Reef - Secret Cities of the Sea' exhibition at the museum in London

reefs are formed. Hint: It involves volcanos. Other specimens include a parrotfish and hawksbill turtle, which both feed on coral, helping it to regenerate. That isn't the case for the crown-of-thorns starfish, which is an increasing threat to reef stability. In addition to marine species living in coral reefs, the show also features those that just come by to hunt, including the jaw of a tiger shark. The usually solitary sharks often swim thousands of miles to Raine Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to feast on weak and injured turtles during nesting season, using their razor-sharp teeth to bite through turtle shells. Lowe said the exhibit aims to increase understanding of the human impact on the oceans, noting that how we dispose of waste affects turtles, fish and other animals. ``Most people in London won't be able to go diving so this is the next best way for them to see a coral reef,'' she said. -PTI

Fadnavis announces 2017 as 'Visit Maha' year MUMBAI: In a bid to attract foreign tourists, the Maharashtra government has announced year 2017 as "Visit Maharashtra" year along with organization of 'international travel mart' in September this year. "We are also trying to host the meeting of SAARC tourism ministers in the state," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds Tourism portfolio, told the Legislative Assembly in the reply to a debate on the budgetary demands of the department. Fadnavis said a 'single window scheme' would be created for the hospitality in-

Devendra Fadnavis

dustry and number of permissions would be drastically cut down from about 140 to 20. The draft is being prepared and all departments would be taken on board before finalizing it, he said. Fadnavis told the House that a new tourism policy would be unveiled soon and that Aurangabad will be declared as a tourism district. He said tourism in the state will be developed through a transparent public-private-partnership (PPP) model and an integrated tourism development plan for Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg will be submitted for inclusion in the C e n t r a l government's coastal tourism project. Plans are also afoot to develop sea forts in Konkan region, he added.

Authorities start demolition drive near Dal Lake SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) has kick started a demolition drive as part of its efforts to preserve the world famous Dal Lake - the star attraction for tourists visiting the summer capital Srinagar. "A massive demolition operation was

carried out in the Saida Kadal and Ashai Bagh areas in the periphery of Dal Lake as various illegal constructions had come up in the prohibited area," an official spokesperson said. He said LAWDA intends to carry out series of demolition drives in the coming days. Cont’d on page 43

Fadnavis said his government would aggressively market the tourism sector and strive to develop Maharashtra as a tourism brand. A proposal to declare the Lonar crater in Buldhana district as a mega destination project is being prepared.

Similarly, the Nagpur-BhandaraChandrapur area would be developed for lake tourism, the chief minister said. He said the sea world project in Sindhudurg district in Konkan and the phase-III of Ajantha-Ellora preservation project will be vigorously pursued. -PTI


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April 3, 2015

Wayanad, Kerala Natural beauty plus abundance of cash crops Cont’d from page 40

This peak is especially popular with mountain climbers and trekkers. Temporary camps are set up atop the peak so that anyone who has successfully climbed the peak can choose to easily stay there for

a few days. The climb is rather intense, but the reward on the top is worth the sweat! Kuruva Dweep: Kuruva Island is situated on the tributaries of the river Kabani and is a fabulous picnic spot. Its serene silence and wide expanse of the evergreen forest leaves one astonished. This island is isolated but an array of uncommon species of birds, herbs and orchids are the monarchs of Kuruva Island. Meenmutty Falls: Meenmutty is the most impressive waterfall in Wayanad district. Gurgling down from a height of 300 meters, it falls in 3 separate tiers. Reaching the falls involves a 2 km trek, but the view of the falls makes it worth the effort. During the monsoons, this waterfall can be enjoyed only from a distance, due to the voluminous

level of water. Neelimala View Point: At a distance of 27 km from Kalpetta and 12 km from Sultha Battery, Neelimala View Point is a scenic spot that offers bird's eye view of the Meenmutty falls and the valleys surrounding it. The route to the point is a good for trekking

too. Pookode Lake: The Pookode Lake is a breathtaking location. The water is clear and the foliage that surrounds it is beautiful and boating is a must indulgence. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride against a serene backdrop. An ideal picnic spot, this beautiful lake is the perfect spot to admire Mother Nature. The area surrounding the lake has handicraft and spices emporium and fresh water aquarium along with a children's park. Soochipara Falls: The Soochippara Waterfalls, also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, is situated near Meppadi and is a nature's treasured gift. The waterfall cascading from a height of 100 to 300 feet is a treat to the eyes. Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctu-

ary: Pakshipathalam is 7 km towards the north-east of Thirunelli Temple, in the Wayanad district. Perched 1740m above sea level, Pakshipathalam is a haven for passionate bird lovers. With moist deciduous forests traveling to Pakshipathalam is a venture. Steep hills, streamlets and trekking make

this place an ideal picnic spot. Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary:

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

Tholpetty is a popular wildlife sanctuary in Wayanad. A memorable experience here is night camping. The watch tower of this sanctuary is situated above the lake and is the main water source to animals. This gives a thrilling experience, as at night animals come to drink water. The sanctuary is abun-

a salubrious climate all through the year. The best time to visit is from October to May. How to reach By Train: Nearest Railhead to Wayanad is Kozhikode railway station, which is nearly 110 km from Wayanad.

Soochipara Falls

dant with flora and fauna. Animals like bison, jungle cats and elephants can be spotted here. Wayanad / Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary: The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, also referred to as the Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary, is located on 345 square kilometers of densely forested land. It is popular with birdwatchers. Birds such as peacocks, babblers, egrets, snipes, bulbuls, peafowl, and cormorants can be seen here. Best time to visit: Wayanad has

By Air: Nearest airport is Karipur international airport at Kozhikode, which is about 100 km away from Wayanad city. Karipur is connected to many cities in India. By Bus: KSRTC buses connect Wayanad with all nearby cities. Public super fast buses connect Wayanad with Trivandrum, Mangalore and Kochi. Deluxe bus services are available from Bangalore, Chennai and Trivandrum up to Kozhikode.

April 3, 2015

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post


Mantalai to come up as International Yoga Centre JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir government, in its move to develop Jammu region as an independent tourist destination, has announced creation of an International Yoga Centre at the famous pilgrim spot of Mantalai in Udhampur district. J-K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed also said the government will favorably consider a 'subsidized tour package' for leisure destinations in Jammu region in the upcoming holiday season. "Mantalai will be promoted as a brand. International Yoga Centre here will have a cascading effect on tourist inflow. I am sure that once the Centre comes up, the flow of tourists to Mantalai will pick up," Sayeed said, while addressing an interactive session during a J&K Tourism Conference. The conference, organized to conceptualize an out-of-box strategy to put Jammu on the country's leisure tourism map, was attended by tour and travel operators from across the nation as well as the state.

Entrusting responsibility to optimally utilize the intake capacity at various destinations in Jammu region to public and pri-

J-K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed

vate stakeholders, the Chief Minister said, Tourism sector was bound to play a multiplier effect on other sectors like handicrafts

Michigan sheriff increases airport security FREELAND, Mich.: A sheriff says he's the law enforcement presence serves as a increasing security at MBS International deterrent. Airport in Michigan following an attack by Federspiel also says the number of bomba machete-wielding man at an airport in Loui- sniffing dog sweeps at the facility has insiana. creased. Saginaw County Sheriff William The 63-year-old machete-wielding man Federspiel says that members of the sheriff's was shot March 20 night at New Orleans' department have been at the airport in Freeland, Michigan, more frequently and in greater numbers, using reserve officers to increase the law enforcement presence. T h e Saginaw News reports that Federspiel says Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel speaks with reporters at MBS ``we're in a state International Airport in Freeland, Mich., of vigilance.'' The sheriff's department has a contract international airport and died the next day.with the airport to provide security. He says AP

Authorities start demolition drive near Dal Lake Cont’d from page 41

and services which will help in improving the State's economy. He asked the private tour and travel op-

Vice Chairman of LAWDA Sarmad Hafeez, who supervised the demolition drive, appealed people to demolish illegal structures on their own to save this prestigious water body for posterity. "People are advised to desist from carrying out illegal constructions in the area falling in the jurisdiction of LAWDA and demolish their illegal structures on their own to save this prestigious water body for posterity," he said. -PTI

erators to play an active role in changing public perception across the country about Jammu & Kashmir as a safe tourist desti-

nation. Describing Jammu as an ideal tourist destination whose potential has largely remained unexplored, Sayeed said "Jammu has to be branded on the pattern of Kashmir so that the hidden nature spots in the region were brought to fore." Baghliar Dam catchment will be developed as a potential water-sports destination in the region, he added. Calling for an aggressive marketing campaign to mobilize leisure tourists from outside the State to places like Sudh Mahadev, Sanasar, Patnitop, Bhaderwah and Batote, Sayeed stressed development of Bani-Basohli-Bhaderwah-Jai as a Tourist Circuit to exploit area's huge tourism potential. He also spoke about developing Suchetgarh as part of Border Tourism, on the analogy of Wagah Border and about the potential of Mubarak Mandi Heritage complex. -PTI

Now seamen have to carry passports NEW DELHI: In a significant move, government has made it mandatory for seamen to carry passports before traveling abroad from June 1, withdrawing the over four decade-long exemption given to them. In a statement, External Affairs Ministry said the Passport Act, 1967 provides that no person shall depart from, or attempt to depart from India, unless he holds a valid passport or travel document. However, as per the Gazette Notification issued by the Government of India in 1968, in view of the functional requirement of seamen's foreign travel, the members of the crew and tindals of sailing vessels [holding identity cards or permits, under the Sailing Vessels (Members of Crew) Rules, 1967] are exempted from the mandatory requirement of holding passports before traveling abroad. This provision allowed seamen to travel abroad on the basis of their identity card. "The above provision has been recon-

sidered by the government and it has been decided to withdraw the above facility with effect from 01.06.2015. A copy of the Gazette Notification dated 16.03.2015 is annexed," the MEA said. In view of the above, all Indian citizens, who are also members of the crew and tindals of sailing vessels are hereby informed to obtain passports for their inter-

national travel, it said. All passport issuing authorities in India and abroad are requested to extend their full support in expeditious issuance of passports to such applicants, it added.PTI

Dogs to chase geese off National Mall WASHINGTON: The National Park Service wants to begin using border collies to chase away Canada geese that frequent the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool and other spots on the National Mall. The agency said that it is seeking public comments on a proposed plan to use the dogs to haze the large and growing geese

population and chase them away to other parts of the park. Park officials say large flocks of geese leave excessive droppings. One goose can leave behind 2 to 3 pounds of feces per day. Park officials say the goose droppings can damage pipes and filters in the reflecting pool and create a public health hazard. -PTI

In Brief Citizenship test for Tennessee students likely NASHVILLE, Tenn.: Tennessee students would have to pass the U.S. citizenship and immigration services' civic test before getting a high school diploma under legislation advancing in the state House. The measure sponsored by Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga was approved on a voice vote in a House education subcommittee. The legislation is similar to other measures being proposed across the country. In order to pass, the Tennessee bill requires students to answer at least 60 percent of the questions correctly. They will be allowed to take the test as many times as necessary to pass. -AP


Faith leaders demand end to family detention DILLEY, Texas: Faith leaders from around the country have signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking that the government stop detaining immigrant women and children at family detention facilities. More than 80 religious figures signed the letter which calls the practice of detaining immigrants, mostly women and children from Central America, inhumane and harmful. Several bishops also toured the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, speaking with some of the 390 women and children housed there. The facility is expected to eventually hold 2,400 people. -AP

„ Six charged in Houston fraud, immigration scam HOUSTON: Six people have been indicted in an alleged Houston marriage fraud scheme involving Nigerian nationals and efforts to bypass U.S. immigration laws. A federal indictment unsealed in Houston names three men and two women, who remain in custody. Prosecutors say another woman, Anisha Nicole Gable, is considered a fugitive in the investigation into sham marriages. All six suspects are charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Three defendants are charged with aiding and abetting marriage fraud. Two defendants are also accused of committing marriage fraud. -AP

Immigration 44 India Post

April 3, 2015

Immigrant students fasting for NY Dream Act Details on page 46

Immigration becomes volatile issue in Republican race DENVER: It's becoming clear that immigration is a volatile issue that can trip up Republican presidential hopefuls who must compete for conservative primary voters who oppose amnesty for immigrants living illegally in the U.S. Just ask Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants. He stepped up in the Senate as the co-author of a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. But he soon came under withering criticism from the party's ultraconservative tea party wing. The Senate passed the bill, but it failed in the House. In a moment of candor, Rubio remembered the months of trying to get back up as ``a real trial for me.'' He now says the bill does not have the support to become law and the first focus should be on border security, a standard Republican position. Rubio ultimately wants to create a process that leads to legal status and then citizenship.

Others, too, have shifted on the matter. In 2013, Wisconsin Gove. Scott Walker said it ``makes sense'' to offer a way to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally. Ear-

state in presidential nominating contests. One of them, state leader Jennifer Horn, says that Walker favored legal status, a position many conservatives equate with ``amnesty.''

Marco Rubio

lier this month, however, he said he no longer supports ``amnesty.'' Complicating that switch, Walker recently discussed immigration with party leaders in New Hampshire, a key early voting

Worse for Walker, The Wall Street Journal reported that he actually said he favored a path to citizenship, though Horn denies Walker said that. Even former Florida Gov. Jeb

Bush, who has a strong voice and a book - on immigration, has wiggled. Rubio and Walker are not alone in embracing an immigration overhaul at some point. But doing so raises the specter of ``amnesty'' in the minds of those who want people unlawfully in the country to be given no relief from the threat of deportation. ``All the candidates have mixed statements - they have statements that seem to support amnesty and they all have ones that seem to oppose it,'' said Roy Beck, executive director of Numbers USA, which seeks to reduce immigration. ``They're torn between the big-money people who gain from high immigration and the voters who oppose it.'' Luis Alvarado, a Californiabased Republican strategist, said most Republican officials privately acknowledge that the country has to legalize the status of people who are here unlawfully while also bolstering border security. Cont'd on Page 46

Christie joins fight against Obama reform NEWARK, N.J.: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has repeatedly refused to outline his positions on the nation's immigration system, has quietly signed onto an amicus brief opposing President Obama's executive action on immigration. The brief filed by New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana and South Dakota urges an appeals court to uphold a preliminary injunction blocking action that could spare millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally from deportation. The states involved say moving forward with the programs would cause them ``irreparable injuries.'' ``The question presented is whether the President can unilaterally legalize the presence of millions of people and unilaterally give them myriad legal benefits, including work permits,

Medicare, Social Security and tax credits,'' they wrote. ``Washington's attempt to turn this into a policy debate only underscores the dearth of legal ar-

Chris Christie

guments to support Defendants' unilateral efforts to hand out government benefits in violation of

federal law,'' the brief read. Christie, who is weighing a run for president, has been generally critical of President Barack Obama's immigration policies, but has refused to answer questions about how he would approach the issue. His office did not publicize the brief. A spokesman confirmed New Jersey had signed on, but declined to comment. Twenty-six states, led by Texas, joined to challenge Obama's November 2014 actions as unconstitutional, arguing the policies would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, defended

the legality of Obama's actions and pointed to the residents who would benefit from them. ``Let's not forget that an estimated 204,000 people in New Jersey will be able to come out of the shadows and contribute to the community and the economy thanks to the President's executive actions,'' he said in a statement. ``These are moms and dads - good people, hard-working people - who will register with the government, pass a background check, get a work permit, pay taxes and no longer fear deportation.'' The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice also criticized the state's move, saying, ``Governor Christie's support of this misguided lawsuit is further proof his political aspirations trump the needs and will of the people of New Jersey.'' -AP

Immigration Post

April 3, 2015

India Post 45

Walker's immigration stance at center of dispute WASHINGTON: A dispute over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's position on immigration has erupted highlighting the Republican's struggle to appeal to conservatives on the explosive issue as he prepares to launch a Republican presidential bid. The two-term governor has consistently opposed what he calls ``amnesty'' for immigrants in the country illegally, but his definition of amnesty has evolved. In a recent closed-door meeting with top New Hampshire Republicans, Walker said such immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country legally. That's according to New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn, who organized the meeting and challenged a report in The Wall Street Journal that Walker said he supported giving such immigrants a pathway to citizenship. ``I specifically asked a followup question on the immigration reform issue, where he very clearly identified he was advocating a path for legal status but not citizenship,'' Horn said in an interview with The Associated Press. There is perhaps no more con-

tentious issue heading into the 2016 presidential contest than illegal immigration. Republican voters remain deeply divided and the nation's surging Hispanic population is expected to play a key role, particularly in swing states. The distinction between a path-

Bush, who has been widely criticized by the GOP's most passionate voters for supporting ``amnesty.'' Bush says he would start by verifying control of the U.S.Mexican border, but also supports allowing people in the country illegally to seek legal status by first

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

way to citizenship and legal status matters little to many conservatives, who support widespread deportation to handle the estimated 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. Walker's position is largely the same as former Florida Gov. Jeb

pleading guilty to illegal entry and serving a sentence of fines and community service. Horn said Walker's comments came as he and his wife shared dessert in a Bedford, New Hampshire, restaurant with roughly 10 leading Republicans.

In the half-hour discussion, Walker called for securing the border and allowing for more visas for high-skilled workers. He also said it was unreasonable to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally, preferring a system that allowed them to pay back taxes and achieve legal status over time, according to Horn. ``The governor was very specific that he was not advocating for citizenship for illegal immigrants,'' Horn said. However, in a 2013 interview with a Wisconsin newspaper editorial board, Walker said that offering such immigrants a pathway to citizenship ``makes sense.'' Earlier this month, he was asked during an interview on ``Fox News Sunday'' if he could ``envision a world where if these people paid a penalty, that they would have a

path to citizenship.'' The governor responded: ``I believe there's a way that you can do that. First and foremost, you've got to secure that border or none of these plans make any sense.'' Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesman for Walker's political action committee, said that Walker ``has been very clear that he does not support amnesty and believes that border security must be established and the rule of law must be followed.'' ``His position has not changed,'' Kukowski said. ``He does not support citizenship for illegal immigrants.'' Kukowski did not respond to a follow-up question about Walker's position on granting immigrants legal status, which is considered amnesty by many conservative activists. -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

Push to put driver's licenses in immigrant hands ST. PAUL, Minn.: Advocates of a push to grant driver's licenses to people living in the country illegally packed a Minnesota House hearing, at times breaking into tears as supporters explained how the change would affect

insurance. But some argue giving licenses to those without legal resident status will make it easier for them to commit voter fraud. Ana Serrano told the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee that the move

them. The move has support from a broad coalition of businesses, religious leaders and law enforcement officials who say it will make roads safer as more people take driver's safety tests and buy car

would help her parents, who immigrated from Mexico years ago. They rely on her older brother to drive them around Willmar because they can't legally obtain driver's licenses. Rep. Rod Hamilton, who's car-

rying a bill to make the change, said he was initially skeptical of the idea. But the Mountain Lake Republican said he's since realized the public safety impacts the move would have. The bill's Senate version would mark such licenses as ``for driving only'' on the back to address concerns over voter fraud. But that's not enough for Minnesota Majority President Dan McGrath. ``I've been ID'd for many things throughout my life and never in my life has someone looked at the back of my identification,'' McGrath said. ``So I think that any designation like that, for purposes of election integrity, needs to go on the front.'' Gov. Mark Dayton said his own view on the issue has shifted from initial opposition to likely support. ``I still have problems with it because I think people who are here, even if they are not here legally, should still follow other laws,'' Dayton said. But the Democratic governor said as long as it's clear that the licenses cannot be used for voter identification, he would let the bill become law.-AP


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

Immigration Post

46 India Post

April 3, 2015

Immigrant students fasting for NY Dream Act NEW YORK: About 50 immigrant students who live illegally in New York state have started a hunger strike after a proposal that would allow them to apply for state financial aid for college was not included in the state's budget, some of the students said.

situation for students like her, who struggle to pay for college. ``Our elected officials need to understand that they can't play with our lives'', Sibri said. ``Please listen to us. We need the Dream Act in the budget''. Frank Sobrino, spokesman for

Immigration activists participate in a protest announcing their intent to go on a hunger strike in New York City.

Monica Sibri, a 22-year-old student from Ecuador who was brought illegally to the U.S. by her family when she was 16, said during a press conference in Manhattan that this a painful

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, referred The Associated Press to comments Cuomo made to reporters. The governor, who has said he supports Dream Act, said that he would push for the

measure after budget negotiations were finished. After years of asking for it, advocates believed the bill stood a better chance of becoming a reality this time. Cuomo had linked the proposal with an education tax credit that would incentivize donations to private school scholarship funds as well as public schools. While Democrats favored the Dream Act, Republicans favored the tax credit but no agreement was reached at the end. The immigrant students, known as ``dreamers,'' said they would not eat and only drink water until state officials include the Dream Act in the budget. California, Washington, New Mexico and Texas have already passed similar measures. Advocates and New York state education officials estimate that more than 4,500 students who live illegally in the state graduate from high school each year and could be eligible for state aid. The Dream Act, they have said, would cost $27 million. -AP

Casino-hotel won green light with Reid's help LAS VEGAS: When a $415 million casino-hotel needed its immigration visa applications sped through for foreign investors in order to keep the business deal alive, Nevada Senator Harry Reid leaned on the director of the agency overseeing the visa program to make it happen, according to a Homeland Security inspector general's report. A report said SLS Las Vegas received special treatment when the director expedited the petitions after agency staff turned down the request. The SLS Las Vegas request was among a few mentioned in the report and investigated by the agency watchdog after staff complained that U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas was playing favorites with politicallyconnected projects. Well before the hip casino-hotel debuted last year, its owners were in need of funding and found some of it from foreigners willing to invest at least $500,000 each with the promise of a U.S. visa in return as part of the U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services' EB-5 program. The overall financial deal, though, was contingent on a portion of hundreds of those investors getting their visa petitions approved within a few

The overall financial deal, though, was contingent on a portion of hundreds of those investors getting their visa petitions approved within a few months. months. Agency staff told SLS Las Vegas that the petitions couldn't be sped up ahead of others because the deadline was of the developer's own design. But according to the report, Reid's office soon contacted staff and eventually Mayorkas to urge the

petitions be expedited. Mayorkas did, despite staff concerns that it wasn't warranted and would set a bad precedent if others knew they could cut in line. The report said weekly briefings were held with Reid's office for several months thereafter. ``Senator Reid's work helped get SLS built and created thousands of Nevada jobs,'' said spokeswoman Kristen Orthman in an emailed statement. Reid wasn't involved in the security screening process of the applicants, she said. Orthman said the Senate minority leader ``considers it part of his basic responsibility as Nevada's senator to ensure that projects that benefit Nevada get fair and timely consideration from the federal government.'' A representative for SLS Las Vegas declined to comment on the report's findings. SBE Group and Stockbridge Capital debuted the 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas last year on the Las Vegas Strip's north end as a pricey renovation of the Sahara casino-hotel.-AP

Nigerian held for trying to return with fake passport JAIPUR: A Nigerian man who came to study nursing at a dental college here was arrested on the charge of having a "fake Indian visa", police said. Sameul Olaolu Onaolapo, 35,

had applied for renewal of Indian visa through the state CID-Crime Branch. A case under various sections of the IPC, Foreign Act, and Pass-

port Act was registered against him after the CID-CB produced him with an FIR at the Manak Chowk police station. The accused had a diploma course from the dental college here, and his "fake" Indian visa was meant for 2013-15. His passport was to be verified whether it was original or duplicate, they said. Sameul, who was involved in teaching privately had married an Indian woman of Kerala-origin and was living in Jhotwara locality, they said.-PTI

Immigration becomes volatile issue in Republican race Cont'd from Page 44

``They believe that no one in their conscious mind can deport 11 million people from this country,'' Alvarado said. ``But, politically, they have to play word games to be elected in the primary.'' Among the potential 2016 hopefuls: • Bush has said he will not back away from his support for giving legal status to many in the country illegally. But his 2013 book outlining that stance marks a departure from an earlier position that envisaged eventual citizenship. Bush's wife is from Mexico. • Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul voted against Rubio's bill but says the millions of people in the country illegally cannot all be sent home. • Texas Sen, Ted Cruz, the only declared candidate so far, has kept a fairly consistent tough line on the issue, supporting efforts to overturn President Barack Obama's executive orders deferring deportation for millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said ``the ground has shifted'' on the issue for two reasons. He cited the influx of Central American youth crossing the border illegally last summer that overwhelmed federal officials, and Obama's unilateral acts to shield

some immigrants from deportation that made it politically impossible for a Republican to embrace a pathway to citizenship. But Frank Sharry of America's Voice, which supports an overhaul, said some of Bush's rivals are ``going to be accused of flipflopping and that's going to become a character issue'' playing into Bush's hands. The wide-open nature of the Republican race also brings to

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul voted against Rubio's bill but says the millions of people in the country illegally cannot all be sent home. light a tension between what some Republican fundraisers want - an overhaul with a legal path - and what conservative primary voters wish for. Spencer Zwick, finance chairman for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is one donor who has said he will only support candidates who favor such an overhaul. But Beck of Numbers USA predicts that the candidates will rally behind a harder line once the hopefuls hold their first debates later this year.- AP


April 3, 2015

India Post 47











Fri, Apr 10 • Non Stop Bhangra Night Fash-

Fri, Apr 17 • IFFER - International Night

Sat, Apr 4 • Jago Hindustani Venue: J. P. Stevens High School, 855 Grove Ave, Edison, NJ 08820 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: 908-601-6704

Sat, Apr 4 • Prevention Is Power – Health Awareness Day Venue: East Brunswick Public Library, 2 Civic Center Dr, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 Time : 11:00 am

Sat, Apr 18 • Shobanas Krishna, A Musical In English Venue: Montgomery High School, 1016 Route 601,, Skillman, NJ 08558 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: 973-760-6762

Sat, Apr 4 • Gujjubhai Banya Dabang Venue: Hindu Community Hall, 143-09 Holly Ave, NY 11355 Time : 7:00 pm Contact: 718-639-2881

ion Show Venue: Raja Sweets & indian cuisine, 1275 W Winton Ave, Hayward, CA 94545 Time: 8:00 pm

Thu, Apr 9 • Ranjeet Rajwada Prince Of Ghazal Venue: Hindu Auditorium, 143-09 Holly Ave, Flushing, NY 11355 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 347-989-6104

Contact: 650 669 0281

Sun, Apr 12 • A Special 35th Anniversary Event, Bharatanatyam – Temple Legacy Lecture, Demonstration and Performance

Sat, Apr 25

Venue: Cubberly Theater, 4000 Middlefield

• Hamari Devrani Fame Paresh Bhatt & Samir Rajda

Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Venue: Hindu Auditorium, 143-09 Holly Ave, Flushing, NY 11355 Time : 7:30 pm Contact: 516-336-9042

Time: 5:00 pm

Tue, Apr 14 • Master Classes in Smt.

Venue: Golden Peacock Banquets, 24989 Santa Clara St, Hayward, CA 94544 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 650-921-2846

Sat, Apr 25 • Marathi Movie- Coffee Ani Barach Kahi Venue: Serra Theaters, 200 Serra Way, Milpitas, CA 95035 Time: 1:00 pm Contact: 650-248-7804


Jose, 4950 Hamilton Ave, San Jose, CA 95130 Time: 7:30 pm

Sat, May 16 • Isayum Thendral The healing breeze Venue: DMarsee Performing Center, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506 Time : 05:00 pm

Fri, Apr 17 • Carnatic Concert By Sudha Raghunathan Venue: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, CA 95035 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 510 796 5252

Venue: Meadows Club In Rolling Meadows Illinois Time: 4:00 to 7:00 pm Contact:

1st and 3rd Sunday of Month • Chicago Children's Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes Venue: Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807

Mondays and Fridays


• Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Metropolitan Asian Family Services

Fri, Apr 24 • Ranjeeet Rajwada Live in Atlanta

Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

Balasaraswati’s traditional Venue: Abhinaya Dance Company of San

Sat, Apr 4 • "Rangla Punjab 2015"

Venue: The Palace Restaurant, 6131 Peachtree Pkwy, Norcross, GA 30092 Time: 6:30 pm

Sat, Apr 26 • CMA Walkathon 2015 - for CORD

Mondays and Fridays • Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services

Venue: Settles Bridge Park, 380 Johnson Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024 Time: 9:00 am Contact: 678-428-4718

Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

Mon, Aug 31 • MITHAS 2014 Membership

• Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services

Venue: Wong Auditorium, MIT, 70 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142 Time: 07:00 pm Contact: 857-205-9731

Mondays and Fridays

Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105

India Post


For Classifieds Ads Call NORTHERN CA (Sonia) Tel: 510-938-8668 (Priya) Tel. 510-275-4467 SOUTHERN CA (Shashi Trivedi) Tel: 562-441-5511/ Fax: 562-947-0632 CHICAGO (Ramesh Soparawala) Tel: 773-973-7394 / Fax: 773-973-7396 NEW YORK (Pinky) Tel: 908 338 3752


April 3, 2015


April 3, 2015

India Post


Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar April 3rd - April 9th 2015 (March 21 to April 20)


o not allow heart rule over your head and do not let emotions rule when taking any decision about career. Opportunity could require relocation. Letter or mail you send out will get the things done. Very favorable time for those looking for an expansion in the family. You may get rid of some junk piling up dust in the garage.

(April 21 to May 20)


ou will reap rich rewards for all the efforts made recently. Business will pick up all of sudden. You will sign a new contract which will help you financially for a long time to come. There will be some changes at work and you may be moved to another unit. You may successfully resolve a pending issue with a government agency.

(May 21 to June 20)


hoice will be hard to make but you will end up taking the right decision. New venture will need little time to turn profitable. Transit of Mars in second for some more time will keep you on the edge as far as the finances are concerned. Bachelors may travel long distance to meet some one introduced to them recently.

(June 21 to July 22)


o not stretch your limits and avoid lending money to a friend or extending too much credit or will have hard time recovering it. If appearing for any highly competitive exam this week, chances are you will clear it in first shot. Things will keep improving at work and a small raise or promotion can become a reality this week.

(July 23 to August 22)

(November 23 to December 22)


egotiations will continue to move in right direction but final contract could take little more time to take place. Money wise you will do well and may make some quick money through a stocks transaction. You will be successful in shedding of few pounds with the help of little exercises and change of diet. Just handle tools with care.

(August 23 to September 22)


ou will be making couple of wise decisions about career this week. Success will be instant. You may go out to the mall and buy some new cloths or perfume for personal use. Check your blood pressure and take medication on time. You may have some special prayers done at your place or visit a holy place with family this weekend.

(September 23 to October 22)


trong Venus in angle will help you resolve few tricky issues this week. A female will be very helpful. People seeking job will be successful in laying their hands on one. Financially you will continue to grow and even start putting some money aside for rainy days. You will study some very useful material to update knowledge.

(October 23 to November 22)


ou may have to deal with some hurdles this week. An older family member may not keep well and need to have some tests done. A child may be getting ready to move away for educational purpose. You may travel to another town to attend a social event with family this weekend. Do not hesitate to buy few lottery tickets.

PANDIT PARASHAR, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at:


roperty deal can finalize. People in business will be able to recover major part of past dues. New source of additional income will open up. some You may drop or change your earlier travel plans. A reunion with a close family member will take place in near future. You may buy some nice furniture items for the house.

(December 22 to January 19)


n overseas business trip will be finalized. Getting irritated with people is not going to help, you should stay calm and you will end up getting things done quickly. You may plan an evening with a colleague this weekend. A child not doing so well in the past will be on the right track from now and on and will stay focused.

(January 20 to February 18)


ou will be making some very calculated move in career. Gamble will pay off in shape of better money and more relaxed terms. Some money will go towards legal expenses also. You may receive good piece of advice from an experienced person. Customer count will grow and you will help many people with your expertise.

(February 19 to March 20)


here will be some interesting changes in career. You will be assigned an important task and may be promoted to next level with additional benefits and help. Spouse too will have better luck with everything this week. Some of you may start a new project in partnership with some highly intellectual people.


50 India Post

April 3, 2015

Miss India World 2014 Koyal Rana crowned Aditi Arya as the new Miss India World 2015.

MUMBAI: Delhi girl Aditi Arya was crowned fbb Femina Miss India World 2015 at a glittering ceremony at Yashraj Studios here. Afreen Racheal Vaz was adjudged first run- hosted by Manish Paul, who entertained the audiner-up while Vartika Singh second runner up at ence along with Neha Dhupia. The 2015 edition saw electrifying perforthe grand finale of 52nd year of fbb Femina mances by Bollywood stars Miss India. Aditi will represent the country Kareena Kapoor, Jacqueline at Miss World pageant and the runFernandes, Shahid Kapoor and ners-up Afreen and Vartika will comfamous singers like Kanika pete for various international titles. The 2015 edition Kapoor, Meet Brothers, The event was judged by saw electrifying perforand Shalmali Kholgade. eminent personalities from the mances by Bollywood The stunning 21 finalists industry like John Abraham, stars - Kareena Kapoor, were introduced in gorManisha Koirala, Sonu Nigam, Jacqueline Fernandes, geous saree gowns by ace Anil Kapoor, Firoz Nadiadwala, Shahid Kapoor and designer Mandira Wirk. Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, famous singers like They were then seen in Shilpa Shetty, Sonali Bendre, Kanika Kapoor the special collection of fbb Shiamak Davar and Chitrangada created by Sailex that featured Singh. the finalists draped in luxuriously elJohn Abraham said, "We judge the egant styles of the house, crafted as per personality. It is not just about the looks, it is about the character, because a Miss India rep- the fbb Spring Summer 2015. The Top 5 finalists resents our country at Miss World. It is more Afreen Racheal Vaz, Tanya Hope, Vartika Singh, about personality, more than just plain looks." Aditi Arya and Deeksha Kaushal, were escorted While Sonu Nigam said, "This is my third year on the ramp by popular TV actors including Gautam judging Miss India. It is great because you see Gulati, Karan Tacker amongst others. The grand finale also saw the crowning of two so many aspirants who want to make it big in life." Anil Kapoor said that every girl has some- sub-titles - fbb Miss Beauty with a purpose Vartika Sing and Reliance Digital Miss Multimedia, Rewati thing special. The red carpet saw celebs like Rocky S, Chetri. This year the pageant featured 13 city audiNaseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal. The show was tions, 3 regional auditions and 2 pageants.-PTI

Aditi Arya doing the traditional final walk in a blue gown after being crowned as Miss India World 2015.

India Post 51

April 3, 2015

Documentary bares the real Sunny Leone


he documentary on me made by Dilip Mehta talks about the good, the bad and the ugly," said Sunny Leone in a no-holds-barred video interview with Bollywood Hungama's Faridoon Shahryar. Sunny said that the documentary may take another year for achieving its final shape since Mehta has around 22000 hours of footage and sifting through it and compiling it together will be a tedious process. Leone talks about the double standards of her acquaintances in Canada. She also opens up about seeing her parents pass away in front of her eyes and why she does the Charity that she does. She shares her thoughts on her forthcoming film Ek Paheli Leela that has generated a tremendous response and is expected to be a sure shot success. Your statement 'No matter if they like me or hate me, they are still Googling me!' in your column in Bollywood Hungama has become very notable. You are also the most Googled Indian celebrity in 2014. How do you react? I am flattered. It is better than winning any award. These numbers don't lie. I haven't paid people to google my name 24 hours a day

(laughs)! So I am very proud and it's my fans that keep Sunny alive! You've always been honest about your reality. You've always said that 'I can't erase internet and this is what I am'. What is that makes you open? Is it the fact that you've stayed abroad which is a more open society or is it naturally Sunny Leone? I definitely think that I have a liberal attitude. I have had this attitude since I was a kid. Not the adult entertainment part but the idea that once I've made the decision this is the direction I'm going to head whether it's a right decision or wrong decision this is what I've decided. It was with the same attitude that I came to India. When I was offered Bigg Boss 5, I was sitting with Daniel and I said, screw it, let's do it. I felt it would have been silly not to have done the show. Had you ever dreamed about the fame and fans' love in Bollywood that you have at present? I never dreamt it in a million years. I never thought that I would walk outside and there would be thousands of people waiting just to say 'Hello' to me. I actually get

to see and meet people mainly on my movie tours. To see so many people turning up is the craziest thing I have ever seen. People are jumping on my car, little kids are banging on my car's door and they don't care if they get hurt or

Your father had cancer I believe… Yes and my mother suffered from organ failure. I watched both my parents pass away, right in front of me.

Sunny Leone

trampled upon which I am very scared about (laughs)! Dilip Mehta is making a documentary on your life. I believe he has 22000 hours of footage and it also talks about your childhood. Also, it's not going to be all glam-

Tigers and leopards do not drink blood NEW DELHI: Do tigers drink blood? No, says a naturalist duo who seeks to demystify the popular perception about big cats and several other mysteries of nature. "Tigers and leopards do not drink blood. These carnivores do not have any mechanism to suck blood when they kill their prey. The solid, tapered (conical) canines are so tightly fixed on the throat or nape of the prey that there is no space for blood to be spilled out or to be sucked," say Arefa Tehsin and Raza H Tehsin. The duo have come out with their new book "Do Tigers Drink Blood? And 13 Other Mysteries of Nature". "These cats spend a lot of energy in stalking prey and lose a good amount of body fluid by

perspiration. Once it kills the prey, the cat gets the mental satisfaction of having secured i t s food and its thirst overpowers i t s hunger. "Many times it leaves the kill at a secure place and goes to drink water or rest. This habit made some naturalists (falsely) conclude that after sucking blood

orous… Yes, that's true. It talks about the good, the bad and the ugly! In everybody's lives, some good things have happened and some sad and horrible things have happened. So we explored every part that we could. Nobody out there knows when Daniel & I started our production company. We started with zero money and a credit card. And then it just grew into such a big empire! Lot of people don't know how my parents passed away.

the beast has satisfied its hunger for the time being," says the book. The authors say that few other reasons have made naturalists think that big cats drink blood. These are tigers or leopards hanging on to their prey for long to ensure that the prey is dead and the act of gulping saliva which gives a false impression that the cats are sucking blood, they say. The book, published by Red Turtle, also looks at the behavior of some other animals. Why does the hare eat its own droppings? "Rabbits and hares cannot nibble on grass and other vegetation at leisure in the open areas as they have many predators. So they need to eat their food in a hurry. -PTI

And is that the reason that you have done charity work for cancer and organ related issues? Yes. I do charity work with the American Cancer Society. They donate money to cancer survivors and victims. So there is lot of different things about my life that people don't know. We even went back to my childhood town! The people out there actually don't like me and don't want to talk to me. They refused to co-operate with Dilip. He was made to wait for hours in the freezing cold and he was trying to just get an interview from these people. Because of who I am, the people in the Indian community have no qualms saying "I know her", "I know Karan", "I held her in my hands when she was a baby" but they hesitated saying the same thing in detail to Dilip. That's the biggest hurdle he faced - trying to get people to talk - the ones who I grew up with.

You've always been lucky with music and the songs of Ek Paheli Leela are doing great. It's probably one of the best music ensembles that I have had. Every song is amazing. What is your personal favorite song from Ek Paheli Leela? It would be 'Dholi Taaro'. Every time I watch the song, there are some sequences where I go 'Oh, that's me!' or 'I don't remember doing this move.' I had to give almost 50 retakes for some shots; it was horrible. And that too in 4550 degree heat in Rajasthan in the desert. So not only physically, it was also mentally frustrating. There's a promo in the shot where I am walking. It looks like a very simple shot. But I had to probably do it 20-30 times because Bobby (Khan) wanted the 'gaav-ki-ladki' feel. Your intimate scene with Rajneish Duggal where you are straddling him is highly erotic because of the body language and body movements… It's a beautifully choreographed sequence. We were shooting in the night and they had these huge camera lights on. And because of these lights, itne bade keede hote the… they would come out of nowhere! If anybody knows anything about me, I am deathly afraid of bugs. And I've got Rajniesh who had just won 'Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi'. So I'd jump up, run behind him and push him forward and go 'Bachao…get the bugs away'! Who is your favorite Khan? I do love Salman Khan. He's a great person. He's my favorite.

52 India Post

April 3, 2015

Face of 'Dark is Beautiful’ campaign


andita Das is alternate cinema's poster girl, who works in few but quality projects. Have you inherited art from your painter father Jatin Das? The fact that my upbringing was with a father who is an artist has definitely impacted me. He has always been interested in craft, music, dance and visual art.

you've been with your 'Dark is Beautiful' campaign? By default, I became the face of it because most of the actors who were dark have progressively become lighter and lighter with every film. When I joined the campaign, I got so many emails and letters and people literally stopped

How successful do you think

All your movies are very intense. How do you unwind? My son Vihaan is the biggest form of de-stress. Also, music is very therapeutic. Tell us about your upcoming projects. I'm writing my next project, it's a film on Saadat Hasan Manto. He was a great writer of the 40s, who wrote edgy stories about common people. I'm also writing a project for an Australian producer. It is based on the aboriginal culture there, the native culture of the indigenous people of Australia. It's a very interesting subject.

Having a Bachelor's degree in Geography, how did movies happen? Movies happened completely by accident. Safdar Hashmi, who I was doing plays with, would always say 'Why don't you join National School of Drama' but I never focused on taking up acting. So, I did my Bachelors in Geography because I loved the subject. Then I didn't like it enough, so I did my Masters in Social Work and worked with NGOs for four-five years, and then got into acting. Does it bother you that your city Delhi is always in the news for all the wrong reasons? In a way, I'm glad all the muck is coming out so that we can try and clean it up. In fact, it is said that there is a rise by 200% in the reporting of cases. We are being called the rape country and Delhi the rape capital, but this is happening everywhere, across countries.

was my co-star in Firaaq, tried to play cupid. Subodh and I had some similar aspirations, dreams and journeys and that's how we anchored towards each other.

Nandita Das

me on the streets to say 'Thank you for supporting this campaign. It makes me feel better'. How did you meet your husband Subodh Maskara? Was it love at first sight? No, it wasn't love at first sight. I met Subodh through a common friend. In fact, Milind Soman, who's an old friend of Subodh and his then girlfriend Shahana Goswami, who

``He deals in metal and glass crystals, which spoke to us. Spaceport America is already iconic and strong,'' Anderson told

Newly installed sculpture at Spaceport America by artist Otto Rigan called GENESIS, arcs up to the sky. Glass embedded in the sculpture mirrors the summer sky over the spaceport. (Courtesy of New Mexico Spaceport Authority)

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark.: Dogpatch USA, the Li'l Abnerthemed amusement park in Newton County, Arkansas, has a new owner with a new vision for the property. About 10 miles south of Harrison, Arkansas, the remains of the park are visible from Highway 7, just beyond an empty, faded marquee and padlocked gate. Charles ``Bud'' Pelsor first drove past Dogpatch USA in the

added that it's easier to develop a property that has already been developed. On February 22, a ``suspicious'' fire destroyed three buildings. Pelsor said this was a small setback that just shifted his focus temporarily and strengthened his resolve to revitalize the area. ``I'm one of those guys, you give me an obstacle and I'll make an opportunity out of it.'' Pelsor's first priorities are op-

Any message for your followers? We all want a more peaceful world, a safer world, a more environment-friendly world and we wait for somebody from the outside to come and do it for us. But that's not going to happen. So, I'd suggest engage more with things that happen around you. How was it chatting with your fans? It was fun. I'm thankful that there are people who like my work and support what I believe in and want to engage with me. -Courtesy Times of India

40-foot sculpture at Spaceport America entrance LAS CRUCES, N.M.: The installation last month of a 40-foot long sculpture marks the end of a long process to bring art to the entrance of Spaceport America. Arizona artist Otto Rigan said he has received mostly positive feedback for his 11,000 pound sculpture over the last three weeks. ``It's been really pretty positive so far, which is good because I know the spaceport is pretty controversial all over New Mexico,'' Rigan said. Rigan was chosen from more than 200 artists who submitted proposals in 2012, according to the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department. New Mexico Spaceport Authority Executive Director Christine Anderson said Rigan's past work complemented the existing architecture at the spaceport the best.

A new dream for an old theme park

the Las Cruces Sun-News. A panel awarded him $200,000 to design a plaza and observation deck at the remote site as well as build the steel sculpture. The piece, titled ``Genesis,'' is inlaid with glass pieces containing mirrors that mimic the pattern of the stars seen over the spaceport. The sculpture's look changes throughout the day, depending on the lighting. The project required some of the ``oddest mandates'' Rigan said he has ever encountered as an artist. Whatever piece he designed, it could not block the view from one side of the spaceport's roundabout to the other. The sculpture also could not get in the way of the path of a 100-foot rocket fuselage that was being driven by on an adjacent road. Also, officials didn't want it impacting the historic Camino Real trail. -AP

Dogpatch USA, the abandoned theme park in Newton County, Arkansas, is under new ownership. Charles "Bud" Pelsor has been cleaning up the property and has plans for a trout farm and artisan village.

`70s. He never visited the park, but he fell in love with the Ozarks. ``This is one of the most beautiful places I've been in my whole life,'' he said. Pelsor and his partner bought the property for $2 million in August. He's the inventor of the ``Buddy Bowl,'' a spillproof dog bowl, and runs the business from the old ski lodge next to Dogpatch that he moved into with his assistant and his wolf Dia, short for Miss Arkansas Diamond. Since August he's been working hard to clear overgrowth. Dogpatch closed in 1993, but Pelsor can tell some of the overgrowth is older. ``They stopped maintaining well before they closed. It was going downhill for a long time,'' he said. Workers uncovered flower beds and water fountains that were hidden under thick vegetation, The Baxter Bulletin reports. ``It is humbling because it's such an overwhelming undertaking,'' Pelsor said, laughing at his juxtaposition of words. He

erating the trout farm and the mill. Then he'll focus on making the Village of Dogpatch a destination for music, food and art. Pelsor envisions a village of resident artists including blacksmiths, woodcarvers, basket weavers, glass blowers and fine artists. He wants to add at least one restaurant, and he wants to hear music everywhere. Eventually, the Village of Dogpatch will be an off-the-grid ecotourism destination with gardens, orchards and a vineyard, Pelsor said. ``We'll teach the world how to grow.'' High interest in the park led Pelsor to host a Riverwalk Tour in December that brought more than 5,000 people from seven states. ``Everybody that comes here wants to come back and when they hear about it they want to know what is the attraction,'' Pelsor said. The public will have another chance to see the progress at Dogpatch in May. Another Riverwalk Tour is in the works, and Pelsor hopes to see twice as many visitors. -AP


April 3, 2015

India Post 53

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he following are the last seven words of Jesus Christ on the Cross recorded in Scripture: The first word: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."-Gospel of Luke 23:34 Jesus is looking down from the cross just after he was crucified between two criminals. He sees the soldiers who have mocked him, scourged him and tortured him, and who have just nailed him to the cross. He probably remembers those who have sentenced him Caiaphas and the high priests of the Sanhedrin. But is Jesus not also thinking of his Apostles and companions who have deserted him, to Peter who has denied him three times, to the fickle crowd, who only days before praised him on his entrance to Jerusalem, and then days later chose him over Barabbas to be crucified? The second word: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." -Gospel of Luke 23:43 It is not just the religious leaders or the soldiers that mock Jesus, but even one of the criminals, a downward progression of mockery. But the criminal on the right speaks up for Jesus, explaining the two criminals are receiving their just due, whereas "this man has done nothing wrong." Then, turning to Jesus, he asks, "Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). What wonderful faith this repentant sinner has in Jesus - far


he evolution of a soul from the lowest depths of misery to the highest summit of bliss is of the greatest benefit to humanity. This feature is the chief source of interest in the lives of Tirthankaras like Mahavira and other great personages revered by the Jains. The spiritual advancement of a soul is not an easy one. On the other hand it is fraught with the greatest difficulties. There are various obstacles both external and internal in the way. The green earth, the charm of nature, the zest of life and the pleasures and temptations of the world are too engrossing in their attraction to be resisted by ordinary humanity. Only a few rare souls, by their profound and soul-stirring experiences, become enlightened and commence on their onward march towards spiritual progress. If the spiritual awakening is strong enough, the soul's ultimate progress towards the goal of salvation is assured, in spite of temporary setbacks, impediments and obstacles, which bring down, the soul very low at times in the spiritual scale. We have instances of even great ascetics, who sustain a great fall from their spiritual heights, by succumbing to the

more than the doubting Thomas, one of his own Apostles. Ignoring his own suffering, Jesus responds with love and mercy. Jesus shows his Divinity by opening heaven for a repentant sinner. The third word: "Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son." Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother." -Gospel of John 19:26-27 What sorrow must fill Mary's heart, to see her Son mocked, tortured, and crucified. Once again, a sword pierces Mary's soul. There

me?"-Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 One is struck by the anguished tone of this expression in contrast to the first three words of Jesus. This cry is from the painful heart of the human Jesus who must feel deserted by His Father and the Holy Spirit, not to mention his earthly companions the Apostles. The fifth word: "I thirst." Gospel of John 19:28 The fifth word of Jesus is His only human expression of His physical suffering. Jesus is now in shock. The wounds inflicted

wine, he said, "It is finished;" and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit. - Gospel of John 19:29-30 The sixth word is Jesus' recognition that his suffering is over and his task is completed. Jesus is obedient to the Father and gives his love for mankind by redeeming us with His death on the Cross. The seventh word: Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."-Gospel of Luke 23:46 Jesus recalls Psalm 31:5 - "Into thy hands I commend my spirit;

I searched for God and found only myself. I

The seven last words of Jesus on the Cross This cry is from the painful heart of the human Jesus who must feel deserted by His Father and the Holy Spirit, not to mention his earthly companions the Apostles.

searched for myself and found only God -Sufi Proverb If words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart, but if they come from the tongue, they will not pass beyond the ears.



are four at the foot of the cross, Mary his Mother, John, the disciple whom he loved, Mary of Cleopas, his mother's sister, and Mary Magdalene. He addresses his third word to Mary and John, the only eye-witness of the Gospel writers. The fourth word: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken

upon him are taking their toll. Systematic studies of the Shroud of Turin, as reported by Gerald O'Collins in Interpreting Jesus, indicate the passion of Jesus was far worse than one can imagine. The sixth word: They put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had received the

thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God." Luke repeatedly pleads Jesus' innocence. Jesus was obedient to His Father to the end, and his final word before his death on the Cross was a prayer to His Father Excerpted from http:// Good Friday falls on April 3.

surging passions which overwhelm them at times. But some noble souls came to their rescue at such junctures and arrest this downward march and enable them to attain their goal of liberation.

to say that the spiritualist lives in a world of dreams, doing nothing and idling away his time. On the other hand, it should be realized that the spiritualist's task is the most strenuous. He has to fight against the established sway of mighty armies, ill-equipped and unfitted as he is for the mighty struggle. He can find his way only slowly, and assert his strength by

then braved successfully the storms that rage eternally in the world outside as well as within the human breast. Lord Mahavira is one of such rare souls who have been the beacon light to floundering humanity. Lord Vardhamana has been fittingly called Mahavira, the great warrior. The spiritual awakening dawned on this great soul, when

Fighting spirit In fact the fighting spirit is essential for a soul in order to attain

Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need. -Essential Sufism The Thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it. -Bayazid Bistami Happy are those who find fault with themselves instead of finding fault with others.

Greatest conquest is conquest of one's own self

-Muhammad Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it

If the spiritual awakening is strong enough,

would overwhelm.

the soul's ultimate progress towards the goal

-Idries Shah

of salvation is assured, in spite of temporary setbacks, impediments and obstaclesa the supreme goal of everlasting happiness. The greatest conquest is the conquest of one's own self, the subduing of passion, the evil in oneself. The passions are mighty forces, and it demands constant vigilance, rare skill and undaunted and neverfailing courage to quell the passions that rage incessantly in the human breast. Hence it is wrong

slow repeated and patient effort over the mighty forces. How cautiously then should such a fragile being proceed in his attempt to free himself from the mighty forces that have held sway over him for millions of years? Such a well-nigh impossible task is enough to cow down the mightiest heart. Yet there have been souls of such tough fiber, who now and

Lord Mahavira

he was a lion in one of his previous births, ferociously tearing a deer to pieces for food. It was then that a great saint appeared before the lion and preached the truth. From that moment commenced the spiritual career of this great soul. Excerpted from The 2614th birth anniversary of Lord Mahavira falls on April 2.

Whatever we perceive in the world around us tends to reflect who we are and what we care about most deeply, as in the old saying, "When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets."

sure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs

-Robert Frager,


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India Post

April 3, 2015

Risks and gains in India-Nepal Power Trade Agreement


he Power Trade Agreement (PTA) signed between Nepal and India in September 2014 was much touted as the most significant achievement of the 18th SAARC summit. This agreement has been perceived as a major advance in not just addressing the increasing power demand in India and Nepal but also as a major economic boost for Nepal. However, not much analysis has been presented on this subject, perhaps because the implementation is still pending. Will the PTA result in the remarkable benefits that it is expected to deliver? Or will it result in new disputes between the two countries? The deal, termed 'historic' by both the governments authorizes the two neighbors to develop transmission interconnections,


stance, vis-Ă -vis the Koshi Treaty (1954) and the Mahakali Treaty (1996), there still remains contention regarding two principal issues: water rights, and the question of the management, control and operation of the barrages. Additionally, information-sharing and co-operation on water issues is also crucial. This was particularly due to high ambition coupled with a lack of vision and cooperation from both ends. Therefore, it is important that the two countries seek to arrive at a common framework of perspectives on this subject. As the first step, joint mechanisms need to be evolved for water management and control. An inclusive approach would forge trust and make both countries accountable. While these mechanisms are yet to be evolved, Nepal has en-

Furthermore, the agreement makes no mention of any mechanism to tackle problems of natures similar to those that have plagued previous. Importantly, the onus of effective management and balancing of both the investors and buyers will lie with Nepal. Given the current internal and external political state-of-affairs in Nepal, carving a meticulous strategy to balance both, without letting them overpower the state itself, will be a challenge for Kathmandu. In this regard, a clear implementation strategy specifying Nepal's role as well as the degree of ownership over the project must be carried out before any forwardmovement on this course. Where mutual trust and co-operation have to be the foundation for sustainable water relations, this area appears particularly strained in case of Indo-Nepal relations. India views Nepal with much suspicion vis-Ă -vis its relations with China and Pakistan and the widespread anti-India sentiment in Nepal has been a major spoiler in the bilateral. Nepal's internal instability, widespread corruption and lack of coherent views regarding hydro-power ventures cannot be overlooked. Additionally, corruption levels in Nepal Electricity Authority is on the higher end. File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Nepalese counterpart The exaggerated comSushil Koirala during a meeting at PMO Chambers, Singha Durbar in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 3, 2014 parisons of Nepal's water resources with the Gulf grid connectivity, power exchange tered into another ambitious PTA countries' oil reserves and termand trading through governmen- with India. While it appears to be ing Nepal as the power hub of tal, public and private enterprises an actionable project on the sur- Asia has projected a misleading on mutually acceptable terms. It face, it contains vague and ques- image and vision, driven by lofty also allows licensed electricity pro- tionable clauses. For instance, the ideals instead of reality-based ducers, buyers and traders from statement "The agreement enun- analyses. The assessment of risks both countries to engage in cross- ciates that it will enable coopera- associated with the 2014 PTA apborder electricity trading, includ- tion in the power sector, including pear crucial. ing via power exchanges, and to developing transmission interconThe Indian market will be the seek cross-border transmission nections, grid connectivity, power single largest end-buyer and conaccess as per the laws of the re- exchange, and trading through the sumer of electricity produced on spective countries. governmental, public and private export-oriented foreign investThis is not the first time Nepal enterprises of the two countries ment. In this backdrop, Nepal has entered into agreement with on mutually acceptable terms," needs to carefully examine the India vis-Ă -vis power trade and stops short of specifying what the risks and gains associated with water sharing. There are multiple 'mutually acceptable' terms are, these ambitious goals, given its water sharing treaties that have and whether or not they will be a limited market access and lack of been signed in between the two win-win for both sides. capability to invest. Additionally, from the 1950s to the 1990s; and Also, the arrangement of sepa- asymmetric power relations with they too were lauded and consid- rate agreements between the con- India that limit its negotiating caered as path-breaking as the 2014 cerned entities on project-to- pacity also needs assessment, or PTA. project basis for investments and this can add to the pre-existing However, in the long-run these related terms and conditions in ambiguous relationship between treaties have proven to become developing specific cross-border the two countries. major bones of contention be- transmission projects for power The writer is Research Intern, tween India and Nepal. For in- trade needs meticulous scrutiny. IPCS

India Post Defending Hinduism


ggressiveness is foreign to Hindus. They have been under subjugation for years and have generally been on the defensive after Independence. The selective application of "secularism" has further confused them about their identity. And the adoption of violence and bullying by the "Hindutva" brigades, as a reaction to the activities of members of other religions, has further complicated their regard for themselves. Should they start behaving like other religionists? Internationally also, the focus is greatly on the negatives of Hinduism, like the caste system, treatment of women and the worshipping of idols and thousands of gods. Intellectuals of the Left, both in India and America, have been dominating the discourse and have created an image of Hinduism that is to be treated with contempt. Foreign writers discussing India even with some sympathy have an in-built bias against Hinduism. There is great hullabaloo if a book by Salman Rushdie or a documentary on rape in India is banned. But recently when the Oxford University cancelled pro-Hindu lectures by Dr Subramanian Swamy and Rajiv Malhotra, on subjects like "India's Economy" & "Revisionist History," there was no general condemnation of the move. Freedom of expression slogan is so readily bandied about but clearly there is a bias in the West about who enjoys this freedom. It is not for those who want to present another, deeper picture of Hinduism. Protesting against the cancellation of these lectures, the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) says in a press release, "A statistical review of who has been barred and who has been welcomed may reveal an uncomfortable correlation and point to a persistent phenomenon concerning the clarity of vision and "discrimination-free" credentials of the senior members of the Oxford Academic Faculty, particularly it would seem when the rights being trampled underfoot are those of "brown skinned Hindus". The press release asks, "Whether we are to conclude that in Oxford, Hindus are most welcome as long as they adhere to and preserve the underlying subliminal "colonial Christian supremacist" ideology and contribute generously to the coffers of "EuroCentric perspective fixated" colleges. The evidence before us may indicate that when this dominant theme and the western world view is challenged by any academic Hindu of stature - unfettered racism and religious discrimination seem to arise and completely obscure the otherwise pristine vision of the principles of "freedom of speech". Is this merely the latest expression of a residual bigoted, deeply anti Hindu strand of the colonial psyche, a psyche which has overseen the destruction of all other indigenous religions and cultures and now appears to have its focus on India and Hindus?" it asks. Generally intellectuals in India have quietly accepted the western view of Indian history and have even contributed to this vision. This seems to be changing with few bravehearts like Rajiv Malhotra trying to correct distortions in this western view and trying to hold up to Indians a mirror about their realty. Another to take up cudgels for the right perspective of India is Vamsee Juluri, professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco, who has come out with a new book called 'Rearming Hinduism.' In an interview in Times of India he says it is time for us to speak up against the Hinduphobia of foreign writers. Asked about the title of the book, if he wants Hindus to turn aggressive to uphold their faith, he says the title 'Rearming Hinduism' actually follows the cover image of the Narasimha statue in Hampi. In this one hand is missing but he is trying to write something. "This is like the predicament the Hindu community faces right now: we wish to write our history but don't have a hand; it's symbolic. All I mean is we need to "re-arm" ourselves to be able to write our own history instead of passively receiving Eurocentric histories of Hinduism that often lack sensitivity and cultural understanding."

April 3, 2015

India Post 55

56 India Post

April 3, 2015

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