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US authorities release Vikram Chatwal on bond Details on page 5

Modi sends overtures to Mamata

VOL 18, No. 970

April 19, 2013

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U.S. USES LOTTERY FOR H-1B VISA RECIPIENTS WASHINGTON: The US, which received about 124,000 on April 5 it announced to have reached the cap. applications for the 85,000 H-1B visas up for grabs this "For the first time since 2008, USCIS has reached the year, has used lottery to determine who all would be given statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 the most sought after work visas among IT professionals. within the first week of the filing period," an official stateThe US Citizenship and Immiment said, adding that it also regration Services (USCIS) said that ceived more than 20,000 H-1B Implications of reaching petitions filed on behalf of perthe lottery was done on April 7. The federal agency had started sons exempt from the cap under H1B cap early receiving applications for H-1B the advanced degree exemption. See page 43 visas on April 1 and five days later Details on page 5

Kamla Harris

Obama sends apology for ‘sexist remarks’ Details on page 5

US agreed not to strike Kashmir focus militants Details on page 10

LeT to reorient and invest in Kashmir: US

Details on page 6 Details on page 7

Wikileaks says Rajiv was ‘middleman’

Husband breaks down at Savita inquest

Details on page 7 Details on page 10

Indian couple fight to regain custody of son

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 47

Details on page 7

Community Post -------------- 16-27 Date Book -------------------------- 36 Edit Page --------------------------- 54

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

Is Narendra Modi peaking early? Last week’s result

Novartis verdict will have world-wide impact? YES 83%

NO 17%

HealthScience Post --------- 32-35

BIG GUNS: Among the honored guests and

Horoscope ------------------------- 52

speakers at the Annual Convention & Trade Show of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) in Houston on March 28 were former Secretary of State Colin Powell (above) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi. (Details on page 16)

Immigration Post ------------- 43-46 Life Style ----------------------- 48-51 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 30-31 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-14 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 39-42

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kay this is an old joke - although the context in which I am reminded of the joke is no laughing matter, so I assure you the humor is unintended - Indian parents living in the US with very young children used to say that they take their children to India once in a while so they can be spanked freely because back in the US they are afraid to punish them for fear of the child protection services. Though I doubt if children can as easily be spanked in India too these days, I think of the huge cultural divide between these countries where parenting is concerned. While child welfare is so rigidly institutionalized in one part of the world, it is still a question of fundamental right in the other. We had cases earlier where two Indian kids were taken away by child protection services in Norway; a 1-and-half year old child being taken away by the US social services from Indian parents in New Jersey; and now we hear of British social service officials taking away a 5-year old kid of Indian origin parents because the child is believed to have said in school that his father was a "bad man" who does "dirty things". Sometimes it's scary to think of how much meaning of vital import could be lost in mere translation of cultural language. Of course laws are not framed on whims. But as a parent of Indian origin I think I know where these unfortunate parents whose children have been taken away are coming from. We take our love for our children for granted forgetting that we are bringing them up in a culture that not only thinks differently, but understands differently. Sometimes when I think of children who are put to day labor, begging on the streets, living in shanties along railway tracks, woefully malnourished and many even trafficked in countries like India, I wonder what's more cruel - laws that are overprotective in one culture, or those that are overly inadequate in another. Either way, the victims are the children - whether of irresponsible parents, or of robotic state apparatus.

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Cold vibes The two divas of B-Town Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone shared cold vibes during the opening ceremony at IPL 6.

Cover Story: H-1B lottery The US, which received about 124,000 applications for the 85,000 H-1B visas, has used lottery to determine the winners

Community: AAHOA Convention The four-day 2013 Annual Convention & Trade Show of AAHOA in Houston turned out to be a huge success

Immigration: Lack of skill While H1B cap has been reached early, there are jobs in the US but the lack of skilled laborers is alarming

Life Style: New look Sami Adnan Sami, the multi-talented pianist, singer, composer, actor, musician mesmerizes Chicago with a grand show

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US uses lottery for H-1B visa recipients WASHINGTON: The US, which received about 124,000 applications for the 85,000 H-1B visas up for grabs this year, has used lottery to determine who all would be given the most sought after work visas among IT professionals. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that the lottery was done on April 7. The federal agency had started receiving applications for H-1B visas on April 1 and five days later on April 5 it announced to have reached the cap. "For the first time since 2008, USCIS has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period," an official

statement said, adding that it also received more than 20,000 H-1B

"For the first time since 2008, USCIS has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period," an official statement said petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.

"USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption," USCIS said. "On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a "lottery") to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit," the statement said. "For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing," the federal agency said.

The agency conducted the selection process for advanced de-

Petitions filed on behalf of current H1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated fiscal year 2014 H-1B cap gree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random se-

lection process for the 65,000 limit. USCIS said it will however continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated fiscal year 2014 H-1B cap, it said. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the US, change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers, allow current H1B workers to change employers and allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. -PTI

Obama apologizes to Kamla US authorities release Vikram Chatwal on bond Harris for sexist remarks WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has apologized to Kamla Harris, the California Attorney General, for his comment in which he described the IndianAmerican as the best-looking attorney general of America - which many here alleged was a sexist remark. Obama called Harris to "apolo-

and he did not want in any way to diminish the Attorney General's professional accomplishments and her capabilities," Carney said. He was responding to questions on the comments made by Obama on Harris at a Democratic fund raiser in California wherein he praised 48-year-old Harris. "She is brilliant and she is dedi-

File photo of President Barack Obama walking with California Attorney General Kamala Harris

gies" for both his "remarks" and the "distraction" that it caused for one of the brilliant attorney generals of the country, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "The president did speak with Attorney General Harris last night after he came back from his trip, and he called her to apologies for the distraction created by his comments. And you know, they are old friends and good friends,

cated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake," Obama said praising Harris, who is the first women and first Indian-American to be elected as the Attorney General of California. "She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country -- Kamala Harris is here," Obama had said amidst ap-

plause. "It's true. Come on," he said amidst laughter. "She is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years," said the US President, which soon became a buzzword on the social media and a point for criticizing Obama. "I think I made clear he apologized for creating this distraction and believes very strongly that Attorney General Harris is an excellent attorney general and that she's done great work, and she's dedicated and tough and brilliant," Carney said. "I would note that he called her, in those same comments, brilliant, dedicated and tough, and she is all those things. She has been a remarkably effective leader as Attorney General. She is a key player in the mortgage settlement, which will help many, many middle-class families who are struggling to deal with the mortgage situation in this country. He believes and fully recognizes that the challenges women or he fully recognizes the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance," Carney said. Daughter of an Indian mother Shyamala Gopalan - a breast cancer specialist who emigrated from Chennai, to the United States in 1960 - and a Jamaican American father, Harris is the first female, African-American, and Asian American attorney general in California, as well as the first ethnic Indian American attorney general in the United States.-PTI

NEW YORK: Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal, arrested earlier this week at a Florida airport for allegedly carrying drugs, has been released on bond. According to the TMZ website, the city-based millionaire hotel owner was arrested on April 2 at the Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials found drugs hidden in Chatwal's luggage as he was about to board the flight. A spokeswoman at the Broward Sheriff's Office in Florida told PTI that Chatwal was released on April 3 on a bond of about USD 56,000. When contacted by PTI to comment on the arrest, the Sant Chatwal-led Hampshire Hotels and Resorts said the company has "no comment on the issue at this time." According to the police report, 41-year-old Chatwal has been charged with one count of trafficking of drugs and seven counts of possession of cocaine, heroin and other drugs. The report said Chatwal was stopped by TSA's Behavior Detection Officers at the Florida airport and a search of his carry-on bag revealed several different types of loose white pills that appeared to be controlled substances.

The officials also found a small piece of white plastic wrap in Chatwal's jacket pocket that contained a white powder substance, which turned out to be cocaine, the report claimed. Chatwal was then placed under arrest and searched by officials who found that he had hidden a bag in his pants that contained quantities of drugs including heroin and marijuana. He also possessed several pills,

Vikram Chatwal

including sedatives, for which he did not have any prescription, the report claimed. "The arrestee provided a statement to narcotics detectives wherein he admitted possessing and purchasing the controlled substances illegally," Officer Carmen Hunsinger said in the police report. Chatwal, who has acted in a few Indian movies, owns the Dream Downtown Hotel here, a popular venue for celebrity events. He has previously been admitted twice to rehabilitation facilities for alcohol addiction. PTI


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BJP holds massive Karyakarta Mahasammelan CHANDRU BHAMBHRA

AHMEDABAD: On the evening of Saturday 6th April, the BJP held a massive Karyakarta Mahasammelan in Ahmedabad to mark the 33rd Sthapana Diwas of the Party. BJP President Rajnath Singh attended the Mahasammelan and was felicitated on taking over as the National President. Also felicitated were newly appointed Vice President Smriti Irani and General Secretary Amit Shah. Addressing a packed gathering, Chief Minister Narendra Modi affirmed that the BJP was not born out of the lure of power or for brokers of power but the party was born for the well being of each and every citizen. He pointed out that the BJP's 33-year journey has been that of creating a new ray of hope among the people of India. He said wherever the BJP has reached it is not due to any one person but generations of Karyakartas and their families. He affirmed that for the BJP, the 'Desh' is above the 'Dal' (The nation is above the party). "We will work anywhere for Bharat Mata. Our Mantra here is Gujarat's growth for India's growth. I said it on my first day and I am saying it now - will leave no stone unturned in working hard." Modi said, "There is a big difference between the BJP and the Congress. There cannot be a comparison." Taking on the Centre for the rampant misuse of power Modi affirmed, "I want to warn those sitting in Delhi - if you think your CBI attacks will make us unhappy you are wrong. If you think you can trouble BJP Governments with Governors then take it in writing‌the people will give you an answer and have already answered you." Talking about the patriotic zeal of BJP workers, Modi stated,

gress leadership for their poor understanding of India. He declared, "I heard a speech of the Congress leader and I was pained. I wondered if they think like this for the nation! The Congress leader said India is a beehive. For you it may be a beehive but for us, this nation is our Mother. Bharat is our Mata and its people are our brothers and sisters. This is a pure land and a land of saints, Rishis." He added, "Do not insult our Bharat Mata. If you do not understand India go learn but do not do this." Taking on the Congress leaders, both in Gujarat and in Delhi, Modi said, "There is a big water shortage but their leaders are not even aware of it." He affirmed that the Gujarat Congress leaders are misleading the people in the name of water and pointed out, "I tell them, if you are worried about the farmers, tell your Government in the Centre give permission to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. We cannot wait any longer to finish work on the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Congress will have to give an answer to the people." The Chief Minister shared that the people of Gujarat have taught the Congress a lesson in the elections, defeated their leaders and given a fitting answer to the sort

goes to my Karyakartas brothers and sisters. If they had not worked hard, who would know Narendra Modi? This is all due to them." Modi further opined that there are political parties that have been in existence for over 80 years still have not been able to come to power but it was the BJP, which in a very short span formed the Government at the Centre under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Modi urged the Karyakartas to go out with the determination to make the Lotus shine and to those throwing dirt on the BJP he said, "The more dirt you throw, the more the Lotus will shine." Modi's speech was followed by an oath, read out by Rajya Sabha MP Parshottam Rupala where the BJP leaders and Karyakartas vowed to relieve the people of their hardships and to make India the greatest nation. Speaking before Modi, BJP President Rajnath Singh said, "If there is the most popular leader in India today, it is Narendra Modi." He said Modi has walked on the path of Mahatma Gandhi and made Gujarat a model state of development. He also lauded Modi for rising above divisive politics. On the development of Gujarat, Singh said that even the

(merchant of death) but the people have answered these elements very well. Congress got an answer for calling him 'Maut ka Saudagar' and this time when

you called him Yamraj, the people will teach you a lesson, wait for 2014." Rajnath Singh took on the Congress for running the nation and asked why do prices rise only during Congress rule. He shared that the BJP too was in Government for six years but they did not allow the prices to rise. He also took on the UPA over their attitude in the Italian Marines case. The entire State Cabinet, Ahmedabad Mayor, all heads of various BJP morchas among other BJP leaders were present during the Karyakarta Mahasammelan. Party workers from all across Gujarat attended the event in large numbers.

Modi sends overtures to Mamata Banerjee KOLKATA: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has sent overtures to his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee - a former NDA ally - when he expressed confidence that she will fulfill the aspirations of the people after taking over from the Left which had "ruined the state for 32 years". He also alleged that the Centre is discriminating against non-UPA

they are filled," the Chief Minister said. He was speaking at a program organized by the Merchants Chamber of Commerce here. "I believe efforts are being made to fill these potholes and I am confident that the dreams of the people will be fulfilled," Modi said. BJP needs more allies to strengthen NDA and TMC is said to be on its radar especially after

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with members of various chambers during a special session on Vibrant Growth Model in Kolkata on April 9

"When one does good, there are many obstacles. What is the reason that in states like Kerala and West Bengal so many BJP workers lose their lives, at the hands of Left cadres, for the sake of the country? In spite of this and despite the fact that they are nowhere close to power our Karyakartas continue to work" Modi took a dig at the top Con-

of language they used yet, they have not changed. "We thought they will change, follow democratic ideals but only now we are completing 100 days and they were not willing to wait even for so long." Thanking Rajnath Singh for his very kind words earlier during the program, Modi said, "You have been very kind to me. The name may be taken of Modi but the credit

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, that is headed by the Congress President, lauded Gujarat's progress and so did a report from USA, which called him incorruptible. Referring to the various phrases and adjectives used against Modi by Congress leaders, Rajnath Singh affirmed, "It hurts when such as Chief Minister is called a 'Maut Ka Saudagar'

states including West Bengal. Modi appeared to be reaching out to Trinamool Congress which can be a prospective NDA ally after it walked out of the UPA government. "What you see in Gujarat is a result of 12-13 years of hard work, not of one or two years. Congress had created such potholes that it took me so much time to fill them. In West Bengal, the Left government created these potholes for 32 years. I don't know how many years of efforts it will take before

it broke off from the Congress-led UPA. But with Muslims forming a sizable 24 per cent of the West Bengal population, Banerjee is reportedly apprehensive about a tie-up with BJP, more so if Modi, who has the image of a Hindu hardliner, is the party's face in the Lok Sabha polls. Modi tried to reach out to Banerjee by raking up the issue of 'discrimination' against non-Congress ruled states and maintained that the Centre was trying to demolish the federal structure. -PTI


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Wikileaks says Rajiv was middleman Indian couple fight to for Swedish aircraft regain custody of son in UK NEW DELHI: The BJP has demanded an explanation from Congress on the "serious" "accusation" based on Wikileaks that Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for a Swedish aircraft company when his mother was

Rajiv Gandhi is playing some role in aircraft purchase and Indira Gandhi taking a final call in defence deals. These allegations become even more serious against the backdrop of the helicopter scams," Javadekar said, referring

the Prime Minister and urged the government to make public documents on the issue. "These revelations are serious. The nation has a right to know the truth. These are 30 years old documents which point out to a possible connection of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in different defence acquisitions," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. "The party owes an explanation and the government must make all related documents public," he added. A newspaper report claimed that as per secret cables leaked by Wikileaks Rajiv Gandhi may have been a middleman for the Swedish company Saab-Scania, when it was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s. His mother Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister then. The Congress has trashed the claim as "baseless". "There is an accusation that

to the Augusta Westland deal which came to light recently. Javadekar maintained that earlier there were charges of Italian businessman Ottavio Qauttrochi's involvement in the Bofors scam. "Why is it that in deals of Swedish and Italian firms, there is a ref-

legation against Rajiv Gandhi has no basis whatsoever, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi referred to the last line of the particular cable to emphasise that there was no foundation to the allegation and and accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of "spreading lies and falsehoods." He also urged media not to fall for "temporary gains" and added "we are very hurt with the news" but dismissed questions on whether the party will resort to any legal action into the matter. "Having noted what the Swede has said, the cable makes the comment that there was no additional information to either refute or confirm the information. The foundation of the whole story falls flat here," he said quoting parts of the cable. The leaked secret cable claimed that Gandhi was the "main Indian negotiator" for a massive aircraft deal for which his "family" connections were seen as valuable. The cable dated October 21, 1975 says that the "Swedish Embassy Official has informed us that

"There is an accusation that Rajiv Gandhi is playing some role in aircraft purchase and Indira Gandhi taking a final call in defence deals. These allegations become even more serious against the backdrop of the helicopter scams," Javadekar said erence to the (Gandhi) family," Javadekar asked.

Cong trashes WikiLeaks claim The Congress has trashed the reports based on WikiLeaks claims. Making it clear that the al-

main negotiator with Swedes on Viggen (a fighter aircraft) at New Delhi end has been Mrs Gandhi's older son, Rajiv Gandhi. Latter's only association with aircraft industry (to our knowledge) has been as pilot for Indian airlines and this is first time we heard his name as an entrepreneur."

LONDON: An Indian couple for the return of their child since from Oxford are fighting to regain March 6 and have even written custody of their five-year-old son letters to British Prime Minister after he was taken away by social David Cameron and their local services over allegations of MP. abuse. Meanwhile, an emergency pro"They simply don't understand tection order passed by the local the difference between the Indian family court allows the parents to and British culture. Their style of see their son three times a week upbringing is totally different from our culture," claims father Rajat Puri, who has been suspected by the authorities of "improper" behavior towards his son Achintya. "Our child is in a bad state. He has been crying and begging to be sent back home be- “Our child is in a bad state. He cause he is scared of being shut up in has been crying and begging a dark room every to be sent back home benight," adds mother Shruti Beri, cause he is scared of being who insists the case has been mis- shut up in a dark room every interpreted by the night," adds mother Shruti Beri Oxfordshire County Council. Achintya's teachers at Bayards for up to an hour. Hill Primary School in Oxford The couple, originally from called in police and social ser- Punjab, moved to the UK in 2009 vices last month after he is be- after living in South Africa for five lieved to have described his fa- years. ther as doing "bad things". Under child protection rules in They feared it may be a refer- the UK, a local council can start ence to sexual or other kind of "care proceedings" if it is conabuse. cerned about the welfare of a However, Beri is certain it was child. a reference to her husband's soThe council can take the child cial drinking and smoking which into care on a temporary basis for she had often described as a "bad up to eight weeks at first, which habit" in an attempt to put her son can be renewed every 28 days. If off copying similar behavior. the case goes to court, it can take Puri, who works in an invest- up to a year, or even longer, for a ment firm, and his software pro- decision on what should happen grammer wife have been fighting to the child.-PTI

LeT to reorient and invest in Kashmir: US report NEW YORK: As the country prepares to pull out of Afghanistan next year, a US military report here has warned that some of the Pakistan-based militant groups like LeT, backed by "elements" in Pakistani security establishments, will "reorient to and invest more broadly in the conflict in Kashmir" post the 2014 American drawdown. The report noted that because of the US troops presence in Afghanistan post 2001, the conflict there has functioned as an opportunity, and

also potentially as a distraction for some of the Pakistan-based militant groups. While the number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan has generally risen since 2008 (with seasonal ebbs and flows and yearly fluctuations), the level of militant-linked violence in Jammu and Kashmir -the theatre where many Pakistan-based groups have historically been active has declined from levels seen during the late 1990s and early 2000s, US Military Academy in West Point here said in a report.

"Once the primary battleground for jihad in South Asia; over the last decade the fight in

It said that it is difficult to predict the directional priorities of Pakistan-based militant groups after the US reduces its role in Afghanistan

Kashmir just hasn't been as relevant for jihadist actors. "If history and the area to which Pakistani militants (aided by the state) turned their operational attention after the Soviets departed Afghanistan is any guide, the reduction of the US footprint in Afghanistan in 2014 could help to change that," said the report titled 'The Fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death'. The comprehensive report is result of a multi-year research ef-

fort conducted by a lead team of five eminent authors, including C Christine Fair, Don Rassler and Anirban Ghosh, and is based on a study of over 900 biographies of the deceased LeT militants. It said that it is difficult to predict the directional priorities of Pakistan-based militant groups after the US reduces its role in Afghanistan, especially in light of the internal security challenges faced by Pakistan and the state's own shifting threat priorities. -PTI


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Maharishi Smarak inaugurated during Kumbh Mela JAMES GREG

ALLAHABAD: Maharishi Smarak set up to immortalize the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was inaugurated here during

of the building is up, and it is a beautiful tribute to this great knowledge that no man need suffer when the ocean of happiness,

system of Transcendental Meditation. Being at the Mela was quite exciting for us and we got to visit with some members of the TM family including many of the over 50,000 Pandits that Maharishi had trained in both Yoga and Yagya. A large group of over 1000 Pandits is stationed permanently in Allahabad close to the Sangam of the three great rivers and another 2400 are at the geographical center (Brahmasthan) of India near Jabalpur in The Atirudrabhishek with 1,331 Maharishi Vedic Pandits is performed daily at the campus Madhya Pradesh. in the Brahmasthan of India Every day in the Kumbha Mela. creativity and intelligence lies the Brahamsthan, the The Smarak is a memorial to the within his own Self Atirudrabhishek Yagya is performed teachings that Maharishi had Maharishi laid great emphasis with 1331 Pandits all reciting tobrought out in his more than 50 on the scientific validation of this gether in unison - a most powerful years of travel around the world. teaching, and to date over 300 performance to experience. While not actually fully complete published studies document the Not since ancient times has in time for the Kumbha Mela, most beneficial effects of this simple such a Vedic performance been

done on a regular basis. These regular performances plus the group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced techniques form the basis of Maharishi's legacy to cre-

City, (Iowa) home to over 700 Maharishi Vedic Pandits where we often have public performances of 121 Pandits reciting the Maharudrabhishek, where all the homes are built according to

The Maharishi Smarak nearing completion overlooking the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad

ate world peace. The goal now is to raise the number of Pandits at the Brahmasthan campus from 2,400 to 9,000 for the peaceful effect to reach the whole world. For America, some very, very large yagyas are being performed by the Maharishi Vedic Pandits in India for the benefit of our country to help create happiness, prosperity, good fortune and harmony for all of us who live here (nationalyagya.org). We encourage you to come visit us here in Maharishi Vedic

Vastu Shastra, where there is a functioning Jantar Mantar or Vedic observatory similar to ones in India, and also home to a worldclass Ayurvedic spa, The Raj. You may visit Maharishi University of Management a fully accredited university to the PhD level, and the Maharishi School where all the children practice meditation and yoga (mum.edu). James Greg is Director of Expansion Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation. IOWAUSA

India defends rejection of Novartis patent bid GENEVA: An Indian court was fully justified to reject a patent bid by Swiss drug giant Novartis, India's trade and industry minister insisted in Geneva, defending the country's generic drug business. "The reasons for the denial... are absolutely justified under the law," Anand Sharma told reporters following a ceremony marking his country's accession to the Madrid Protocol, an international trademark system. Novartis had fought a sevenyear legal battle to gain patent

protection for an updated version of its blockbuster leukaemia drug Glivec, arguing the compound was a significant improvement because it is more easily absorbed by the body. India's Supreme Court however fell in line with three previous court rulings and found that the compound "did not satisfy the test of novelty or inventiveness" required by Indian legislation. "Our law does not accept evergreening," Sharma pointed out, referring to India's law restricting pharmaceutical compa-

nies from seeking fresh patents for making minor modifications. Speaking at the World Intellectual Property Organization in

“Why are we not being respected for having granted the 147 patents to the same company rather than (discussing how) the Indian judiciary has denied one?�

Geneva, he emphatically stressed the independence of India's judiciary and insisted the government had nothing to do with last week's ruling, which enables generic drugmakers to continue copying Glivec, and which was harshly criticized by Novartis. That company and other global drugmakers say India's powerhouse generics industry and strict patent filtering reduce commercial incentives to produce cutting-edge medicines. Sharma meanwhile pointed out that Novartis is the third largest

beneficiary of registered patents in India, behind Roche and Sanofi, with 147 patents to its name in the country. "Why are we not being respected for having granted the 147 patents to the same company rather than (discussing how) the Indian judiciary has denied one?" he asked. Sharma insisted his country was "committed to protecting intellectual property," pointing out that patent applications in the country had more than doubled in the past five years.-AFP


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India destined to be a close partner of US: Pentagon WASHINGTON: Noting that India wants to upgrade its military technology by not just buying them but through close technology cooperation and co-production, a top Pentagon official has said the country is destined to be a close partner of the US. "India is, I think, destined to be a close partner of the United States. We just share so much in the way of values and aspirations, and our people just seem to mix it up so easily and so well. "That has nothing to do with the defense or military but I think will be reflected there," Ashton Carter the Deputy Secretary of Defense said here. He was speaking on the US Defense Rebalance in Asia at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies here.

Indian stabs ex-wife to death in Italy ROME: An Indian-origin man has been arrested in Italy for murdering his Italian ex-wife and her teenage daughter in a village south of Rome following a fight over a monetary deal that was struck at the time of marriage, media reports here said. 37-year-old Kumar Raj confessed to have fatally stabbed his 56-year-old ex-wife Francesca Di Grazia and her 19-year-old daughter Martina Incocciati in their home in the village of Flora in Central Italy. Kumar and Di Grazia were married in Kurukshetra in Haryana in December 2008, but no longer lived together. As Di Grazia's husband, Raj obtained Italian citizenship and agreed to pay her 8,000 euros in installments of 150 euros, Italian newspaper 'Quotidiano Nazionale' reported. Kumar worked as a laborer at construction sites in Italy. According to him, Di Grazia had recently been nagging him for ever-bigger chunks of the cash. After a dispute over money turned violent, he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her in the throat. The dispute awakened her daughter. The result was a scuffle during which Martina managed to injure Kumar, but was later stabbed to death, the report said. The weapon was found by police in a canal not far from her apartment. "I was exasperated - they kept asking me for more and more money," Raj, 35, told police during questioning, a local newspaper reported. After the incident Kumar returned to nearby town of Neptune, where he told his roommate that he was injured in an accident. But, Kumar was soon tracked down by the local police via cell phone records. He was arrested in nearby Aprilia. Just hours after his arrest, Kumar confessed to the double murder during interrogation before magistrate Giuseppe Miliano. -PTI

"One area of particular importance where I think we would make a lot of progress quickly is in building the Indian military

“India is an emerging power that we believe will help determine the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century with others," he said

capabilities. They don't want to do it just by buying things. India wants to do it with close technology cooperation and co-production," Carter said in response to a question. Earlier in his opening remarks, Carter said India is a key part of US rebalance in Asia. "More broadly, (India is) an emerging power that we believe will help determine the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century with others," he said. "Our security interests with India converge on maritime security and broader regional issues, including India's "Look East

Policy. "We're also working to deepen our defense cooperation, moving beyond purely defense trade toward technology sharing and co-production," he said. Carter added that the US rebalance towards Asia is the perpetuation of the pivotal American military role in the Asia-Pacific region, of providing the peace and stability that has allowed the countries of Asia, first Japan, then South Korea, Southeast Asia, and now China and India, to develop politically and economically in a climate that has been free from conflicts.-PTI


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Sunita asks kids to take more interest in space science MUMBAI: American astro- ISRO and NASA would also col- Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on naut of Indian origin, Sunita Will- laborate and that would open up July 15, 2012. iams charmed the students of several opportunities for young The video, which began with Mumbai, who had gathered at the Indians interested in pursuing narrating the preparatory drill for Nehru Science Centre to listen to career in space exploration. a space travel, also showed the her experiences in space travel. Even as students were jostling for space to get a view of their 'space icon', Sunita Williams appealed to Indian children to take more interest in space exploration. "I am really looking forward to India's participation in the space program in a big way," she said. The NASA astronaut said "space program entails a lot of creativity and requires great imagination. Follow your dreams to realize your creative potential." Speaking about the InterIndian-American astronaut Sunita Williams speaks at an interactive session with students of various schools, in Mumbai on April 4 national Space Station, Williams said "it is a collaborative venture, where different countries During her interactive lecture, working environment inside the are actively participating. It has she made a video presentation on space station, nature of experibrought the world together." her latest - Expedition 33, which ments conducted, performance of She also hoped that in future, was launched from Biakonur space walk, etc. -PTI

Husband breaks down at Savita inquest LONDON: The husband of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died after being denied an abortion in Ireland, broke down in tears as he recounted the incidents leading up to his wife's death during an inquest which opened here. Praveen Halappanavar explained how his wife asked twice for a termination as she lay in hospital in excruciating pain and broke down in the dock 45 minutes into his statement, which had to be halted by coroner Ciarn McLoughlin to give him time to recover. "Savita asked for a termination two times. Savita was in tears. She said she could not take it. The doctor did not come back that day," he told the hearing. According to local Irish media reports, the courthouse was packed to capacity for the hearing before a jury of six men and four women into the death of 31-year-old Savita who died at Galway University Hospital following a miscarriage last October. Praveen said he and his wife had asked consultant obstetrician Dr Katharine Astbury for a termination on October 23, 2012, after learning that she was miscarrying

at 17 weeks. Astbury told her that "unfortunately" the fetus was still alive. The couple again asked for a termination the following day. "She said, 'unfortunately, I can't. This is a Catholic country,"

said sorry and walked away. Halappanavar's statement then went on to recount the deterioration in his wife's health, which resulted in her death on October 28. As part of his 90-minute statement reported in the 'Irish Times',

Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of Savita Halappanavar arrives for the inquest into her death at Galway Coroners court. in Ga;way Ireland April 8

the 34-year-old engineer Boston Scientific in Galway told the inquest. He said his wife pointed out that she was a Hindu and wasn't an Irish citizen, but Dr Astbury

Praveen Halappanavar related how he met and married Savita and how they traveled to scenic sites around the country and developed a network of friends locally.-PTI

Sikh families join White House Easter Egg Roll WASHINGTON DC: Sikh Americans marked another step forward for the next generation of the Khalsa by attending the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The Easter Egg Roll is the largest

The Sikh Coalition was honored to provide 30 tickets from the White House to Sikh children, their parents and their grandparents, who journeyed to the nation's capital from places around the country, including California, Illinois, New York, New

annual public event held at the White House and is a tradition dating back over a century, to 1878. This year marks the fourth year Sikh children were specifically invited to join in the festivities.

Jersey, and the DC area, to represent the community. There they participated in a range of activities: an egg roll, sports, storytelling, learning about healthy living, celebrity appearances and more.

India Post News Service

US agreed not to strike Kashmir focus militants NEW YORK: In a secret deal, The "secret deal" over drone Pakistan allowed American drone strikes was reached after CIA strikes on its soil on the condi- agreed to kill tribal warlord Nek tion that the unmanned aircraft Muhammad, a Pakistani ally of the would stay away from its nuclear Afghan Taliban who led a rebelfacilities and the mountain camps where Kashmiri militants were Pakistani intelligence offitrained for attacks in In- cials insisted that drones fly dia, according to a me- only in narrow parts of the dia report. tribal areas ensuring that they Under secret negotiations between Pakistani would not venture where intelligence agency ISI Islamabad did not want the and America's CIA dur- Americans going: Pakistan's ing 2004, the terms of the bargain were set, the New nuclear facilities, and the York Times reported. mountain camps where "Pakistani intelli- Kashmiri militants were gence officials insisted that drones fly only in trained for attacks in India narrow parts of the tribal areas ensuring that they lion and was marked by Islamabad would not venture where as an "enemy of the state," the Islamabad did not want the Ameri- NYT reported, citing an excerpt cans going: Pakistan's nuclear fa- from the book 'The Way of the cilities, and the mountain camps Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and where Kashmiri militants were a War at the Ends of the Earth'. trained for attacks in India," the A CIA official had met the then paper said. ISI Chief Ehsan ul Haq with the Pakistani officials also insisted offer that if the American intellithat they be allowed to approve gence agency killed Muhammad, each drone strike, giving them "would the ISI allow regular armed tight control over the list of tar- drone flights over the tribal argets, the NYT added. eas," the report said.-PTI


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US probe rules out wrong doing Dance is Mahi's passion & meditation in killing of Indian fisherman WASHINGTON: A US Navy investigation has ruled out any wrong doing into the killing of one Indian fisherman in a firing incident off the Persian Gulf last year that also injured three others. “The investigation found that the use of force was appropriate and in accordance with Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Standing Rules of Engagement,” said the report released by the Commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command. Soon after the incident on July 16, 2012, India had called for a transparent investigation. An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded when a security team onboard the

US Navy ship fired at their small boat off the Dubai coast. The investigation report said the entire sequence of events oc-

An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded when a security team onboard the US Navy ship fired at their small boat off the Dubai coast

curred in less than two minutes. “The boat’s rapid closure speed, apparent collision course, and failure to respond to two attempts to warn the approaching boat, led the EST (US Navy embarked security team) to make a reasonable assessment that the boat represented an imminent threat and was demonstrating hostile intent. The EST responded with direct fire,” the report said. “The investigation made several recommendations. These include commencing escort operations into the UAE further off shore, and exploring the use of different warning devices,” the report said. -PTI

ROUND THE WORLD: Lt. Commander Abhilash Tommy waves from INSV Mhadei as he enters the Mumbai harbour on April 6 after creating history by becoming the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation of the globe.

RITU MAHESHWARI India Post News Service

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son of dance reality show "Sai to Dance" inspired by "Dancing with the Stars." Judged by Indian Michael Jackson Prabhu Deva, Mahi came up semi finalist in this show. In 2010, he came to United States to pursue his film making studies. He joined San Francisco School of digital film making where he learned digital film making and assisted/directed many short movies. His latest work includes assisting R.P Patnaik (famous Tollywood Director) on his new movie "Tulasi Dalam". Mahi says his dance continues to be his passion and is his meditation. "Dance lets you go deeper,

hat comes to your mind when you conjure up these dance images Kathak, Bharata Natyam, Odissi and several other India classical dance forms? Add folk dances. Mix up couple of esoteric dance forms like aerial dance and rope dance. Bhangra. And throw in western influences too - Salsa, Country, and so on. That's the world of Mahi (Mahesh Hiremath), film making student, a Bay area resident, an intense performer and teacher, and an avid student of Bollywood dance trends, legacy and cul- His forthcoming dance ture. Exploring various extravaganza is scheduled Indian dance traditions, for April 20 in Palo Alto. fusing them together in creative ways for Titled "Bollywood Fusion Bollywood numbers, 2013", tells the story of the showcasing them and different style of Indian teaching them are Mahi's passions and profession. dance forms Started at 6 years, a self-learner and performer for most be more of yourself, explore your of his younger years, Mahi later boundaries, take stress out and trained at Shiamak Davar's com- gain so much joy. Every individual pany to hone his dancing skills. It has dance built in them. His forthcoming dance extravais here that his interest in various Indian dance forms grew stronger ganza is scheduled for April 20 in and he started learning various folk Palo Alto. Titled "Bollywood Fudance formats. Along the way, he sion 2013", tells the story of the learnt Salsa from "Salsa freak" Edie different style of Indian dance and got internationally certified - forms through the rich and enternot a common feat for an Indian taining world of Bollywood. More than 100 dancers will perdancer at that time. He expanded his repertoire further at LVDS add- form in this quarter showcase, including students and professional ing Latin, Jazz, and hip hop. Mahi appeared on the first sea- associates of Mahi.

Chakrapani's Kachhapi Veena gives peace to soul CRYSTAL TWIN

LOS ANGELES: Pt. Ravi Shankar introduced Indian instrument Sitar in USA and Chakrapani Singh introduced Kachhapi Veena among us. Chakrapani is an amazing artist. I attended his concert and I just forgot everything except his music. His music is fabulous. He brings India in USA through his music. He is promoting Indian Classical Music through his musical concerts, teaching yoga through his music, teaching about music and his unique instrument "Kachchapi Veena" to the school kids. Kids are amazed with his performance and want to learn and ask more and more about his music. He plays traditional music, ragas, jazz, fusion and his own compositions. His instrument has total 35

Chakrapani Singh

sympathetic strings which give a different appeal and rhythm. The tonal quality and the sound production are so rich that sometimes you hear playing Sitar, sometimes

Sarod, sometimes Veena and sometimes Slide Guitar. It's a unique instrument with the combination of Sarod, Sitar, Veena and Slide Guitar. After Sitar people

have started liking this unique instrument "Kachhapi Veena" a lot and want to see this instrument and learn to play it. Chakrapani is planning to open a music school here in which he wants to teach music to music lovers of all ages. He says, "Music is very important. In this hectic life one has lot of tension, problems. People are running after money and their comfort but nothing can give peace except music. Money and comfort can give physical peace but music touches the soul and can give peace to the soul, which is very important in life." Recently he performed on the occasion of Cesar Chavez MultiFaith Service and the Schools & Libraries of USA. His upcoming concert is in Sierra Nevada Inter-

national Guitar Series, Spring 2013 for five days. The Sierra Guitar International Classical Guitar Series is coming up April 17-21 in the Tahoe/Northern Nevada area. More shows might be added at additional locations in May. • Wednesday, April 17, 6:00PM Carson City Library, Carson City, Nevada • Thursday, April 18, 8:00PM Hope Lutheran Church, South Lake Tahoe, California • Friday, April 19, 8:00PM St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Incline Village, Nevada • Saturday, April 20, 8:00PM Reno First Congregational Church, Reno, Nevada • Sunday, April 21, 4:00PM Squaw Valley Chapel, Olympic Valley, California


Tech News MHRIL acquires 49% stake in Dubai hotel NEW DELHI: Mahindra Group company Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd (MHRIL) says it has picked up 49 per cent stake in Arabian Dreams Hotel Apartments LLC, a company that operates a hotel property in Dubai, for an undisclosed sum. "MHRIL has subscribed to 49 per cent of the share capital of Arabian Dreams Hotel Apartments

LLC, which operates the Arabian Dreams Hotel Apartments," the company said in a statement. With this, MHRIL has now access to the entire 75 rooms at the 'Arabian Dreams Hotel Apartments' located centrally in Dubai, for use by its members as well as guests, it added. This is the second addition the company has made in an international destination after Bangkok in November 2012, MHRIL said in a statement. Commenting on the development, MHRIL Chairman Arun Nanda said: "We are committed to expanding the choice of destinations for our members. Following through with our strategy of building where Indians love to go for vacation, we have now added Dubai to our footprint." -PTI

New Nasscom chief sees big biz in small units MUMBAI: Taking over as the new Nasscom Chairman, MindTree CEO K Natarajan has said technology needs in India, driven by small and medium enterprises, presents a huge opportunity for the IT sector even as he expressed confidence of achieving 12-14 per cent growth in exports. He replaces TCS chief N Chandrasekaran as the chairman of the industry body, which represents the country's USD 100 billion Indian IT-BPO sector. Expressing confidence in meeting the target of 12-14 per cent growth in exports, which accounts for a huge chunk of the sector's revenues, he told PTI: "Challenges like uncertainty in regions like Cyprus, and currency volatility and quality talent requirement continue, but we already have various programs in place to address these issues." -PTI

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Bollywood Actor Yami Gautam (R) with SK Kim, Sr. Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India pose during the launch of the Samsung Smart TV at a press conference in Bengaluru on April 9

5 of 10 top economies in the world drop the Dollar

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he U.S Dollar is quickly los- ing up to compete in a post-dollar ing its status as the world world. reserve currency. Five of Additionally, Brazil, who agreed the top ten economies in the world, in principle to drop the dollar with plus a few others, no longer use bilateral trade with China some the dollar as an intermediary cur- time ago, just made it official with rency for trade. This trend poses $30 billion in annual currency a huge risk to the dollar and the swaps which will facilitate around United States along with it. 50% of all trade between them. ZeroHedge points out that Besides those agreements with Australia, the world's 12th-ranked China, some of these nations have economy, has now joined a grow- made other similar agreements with ing list of nations that have agreed each other. India and Japan began to bypass the dollar in bilateral swapping $15 billion in each trade with C h i n a . C h i n a , The United States' ranked 2nd good economic behind the U.S., also has fortune is due solely similar agree- to the fact that world ments with Japan (3rd), must use the dollar, Brazil (6th), the Petrodollar if you India (9th) will, in order to make and Russia their nation's indi(10th). Although vidual oil purchases; u n i l a t e r a l this provides the only agreements have been in source of backing for place for the U.S. dollar some time between China and the countries other's currency in 2011 to handle listed above, recently the BRICS their bilateral trade. And the sanc(Brazil, Russia, India, China and tions against Iran haven't stopped South Africa) agreed to set up a them from trading oil with China, development bank to compete Russia, and India in anything but with the IMF, indicating it's gear- the dollar.

Here's how the current reign of the US dollar compares to previous world reserve currency: It appears that the dollar is certainly nearing the end of its reign, which could lead to severe economic hardship for the United States. Dave Hodges writes:

The United States' good economic fortune is due solely to the fact that world must use the dollar, the Petrodollar if you will, in order to make their nation's individual oil purchases; this provides

the only source of backing for the U.S. dollar that the Federal Reserve requires in order to somewhat sustain our back-breaking debt that the banker-occupied United States government has passed along to the American taxpayer in the form of bailouts. And Marin Katusa of Casey Research writes: If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar's valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry - if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. Cont’d on page 14

Indian food mobile app! launched India Post News Service

NEW YORK: MyPref has introduced a brand new smartphone app allowing foodies to search and locate specific food items from restaurants. Craving the best Biryani, or the spiciest Chicken Tikka Masala? MyPref takes the guesswork out of specific menu items by providing reviews for each dish on a restaurant's menu. The app available on Android

and iOS smartphones is free to download and makes finding your favorite food more simple, effort-

less and efficient. In less than 60 days of commercial launch, MyPref cracked the Top100 free

Food & Drink apps for iPhone, ranking at #58. 'The idea behind MyPref came to us when Manan and I (MyPref cofounders) were sitting in a restaurant trying to figure out what to eat there. A friend of ours had suggested something to try and we

just couldn't remember it. That's when we thought, what if there was an app that could track our preferences and based on location, tell us where to find them. Cont’d on page 14


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Cutting duties on imported cars opposed NEW DELHI: Automobile industry body SIAM has said custom duties on fully imported cars and engines must not be lowered

such a step will severely damage the sector. While releasing a 'White Paper' on the proposed India-EU FTA and

“Opening the CBUs to imports/lowering import duties under the EU FTA is a retrograde step and will have a severely damaging and long term irreversible effect in several ways for the Indian economy, auto industry and consumer at large," the paper said as is being proposed in the ongoing free trade negotiations between India and EU, stating that

its possible implications on the automobile sector if it's included, Society of Indian Automobile

Manufacturers (SIAM) said "it has to be avoided at all cost". "Opening the CBUs to imports/ lowering import duties under the EU FTA is a retrograde step and will have a severely damaging and long term irreversible effect in several ways for the Indian economy, auto industry and consumer at large," the paper said. The list of tariff lines, comprising completely built unit (CBU) and engines, should be kept in India's Negative List in all FTAs, it added. "The Government of India has consistently maintained this policy in all FTAs, including FTAs

with Japan, ASEAN, South Korea etc. These items have also been identified in the Automotive Mission Plan 2006-2016. We would like to reiterate that these tariff lines should be kept in India's Negative List under India-EU FTA," SIAM said. SIAM further said reduction of tariff on CBUs under India-EU FTA will be a complete reversal of the policy of high tariffs to force investment, local manufacturing, local value addition and local employment.

"SIAM is deeply concerned with the way India-EU FTA negotiations are taking place. From the beginning of the negotiations, EU had said that India-EU FTA cannot be concluded without auto CBUs being included in the FTA. "India seems to have bowed down to this condition by EU as it is still discussing with EU despite such threat. It is understood that negotiations on reducing the import tariffs on auto CBUs are in an advanced stage," SIAM said. Besides, SIAM said India-EU

"This will jeopardize the entire Automotive Mission Plan 20062016 targets since already some manufacturers have started withholding investment because there is no clarity with respect to tariff reduction in this sector," it added. The industry body also pointed out that EU is a declining market in terms of automotive exports, while India is a rapidly growing market. Therefore, the gains through this FTA will only be for EU and not for India.

FTA has become more dangerous with the introduction of the concept of 'Non-New Goods'. "EU is demanding that India cannot 'apply to non-new goods requirements or other measures, including enforcement measures, which are more restrictive than to new goods. Non-new goods shall be understood to include notably used and re-manufactured goods'," it added. -PTI

Caparo to expand business in India: Paul NEW DELHI: Looking to double its India revenue in the next 3-5 years, London-based diversified conglomerate Caparo Group has lined up ambitious plans for new businesses like power and financial services and hopes to eventually set up a bank as well in the country. NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul-led Caparo Group, which currently has revenues of over Rs 2,000 crore and profits of more than Rs 200 crore from India businesses, has set up various manufacturing facilities here for auto ancillary and steel products. Globally, the group commands an annual turnover of over Rs 10,000 crore and has presence in a host of engineering and manufacturing sectors, energy, hotels, media and design businesses, among others. "In my view, the scope in India is fantastic and I would like to see much more growth here," Paul told PTI in an interview here. He said the Caparo Group is very focused on India and he would like to at least double the group's revenue from the country in the next 3-5 years and account for a minimum one- third of the global turnover. "We have about 8,000-9,000 employees in India. Our India headcount would be two-third of the total numbers worldwide, which is 13,000-14,000 people. "By and large, we have mostly been in manufacturing business, but diversification has always been at the core of our business strategy and that is why we decided to enter the financial services arena in India with an NBFC," Paul said. "We have serious plans to ex-

By and large, we have mostly been in manufacturing business, but diversification has always been at the core of our business strategy and that is why we decided to enter the financial services arena in India with an NBFC," Paul said pand our presence in this business. Currently we are providing financial products like advisory

would be interested in applying for a banking license as RBI has initiated the process for grant of new licenses, Paul however said there are no immediate plans for the current round, but it hopes to eventually seek to set up a bank in the country. "I don't think we will apply for the license at the moment, but it is certainly our hope that some day we will. It's a new business for us and I am not the one who would jump into everything without thinking. So, hopefully we will one day be a bank," said Paul, who lives in London and is currently on a visit to India. "We will like to expand our NBFC, but whether first it would be into retail space or something else, that we will decide. We have a very

Lord Swraj Paul, NRI industrialist and Chancellor of Wolverhampton University addresses a function where the University awarded scholarships to five underprivileged school girls in New Delhi on April 8

services and we are in the process of expanding this business," he added. Asked whether the group

competent management and there is a very good team in the financial services segment. We are building new offices," he said. -PTI


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Indian economy to grow at 6 pc in 2014: ADB NEW DELHI: Multilateral funding agency ADB has said India's growth rate will improve to 6 per cent in the current fiscal on the back of stronger external demand and progress on reforms. Reforms are needed in India to facilitate the turnaround from growth deceleration due to struc-

by a slump in services, weak consumption, contracting exports and also reduced agricultural growth due to the late onset of the monsoon. However, the growth will pick up to 6.5 per cent in 2014-15 on the back of expected improvement in global outlook and increase in

Recent reforms like the creation of the Cabinet Committee on Investment to expedite government clearances for large projects, and cabinet approval for a land acquisition bill, are steps in the right direction, it said tural bottlenecks, deteriorating investment and a worsening current account deficit, said 'Asian Development Outlook 2013' report. The Manila-based funding agency said, however, the forecasts are subject to risks like another bad monsoon, slow headway on fiscal consolidation and reforms, and continued sluggishness in the global economy. During 2012-13, India is expected to grow at 5 per cent, the slowest in the decade exacerbated

exports, the report of Asian Development Bank (ADB) said. "Supply and policy obstacles have seen growth decelerate and investment and industrial output slump, with the statistics compounded by weak global demand," said ADB Deputy Country Director Narhari Rao. "Policymakers need to remove structural hurdles to faster growth, and while there have been some encouraging recent reforms, more is needed," he said.

The report said the next two years should see some improvement, with a normal monsoon likely to lift agriculture, and exports, industry and services expected to expand on stronger domestic and external demand. On the rate of price rise, the ADB report said, core inflation pressures are likely to recede, aided by more regular weather conditions and easing global commodity prices, although wholesale prices will remain elevated. India's inflation is seen at 7.2 per cent in 2013-14, easing back to 6.8 per cent the following year as government steps to raise diesel prices are completed. Recent reforms like the creation of the Cabinet Committee on Investment to expedite government clearances for large projects, and cabinet approval for a land acquisition bill, are steps in the right direction, it said. However, the report said, much more is needed if India is to go back to 8 per cent plus growth trajectory. This includes ending delays in environmental clearances, obtaining Parliamentary approval of

J&K earns Rs 30 crore from Gondola cable car project SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government earned a record Rs 30 crores from the Gondola cable car project in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg last year, which saw around 14 lakh tourists visiting the Valley. The second highest ropeway system in the world, Gulmarg Gondola managed by Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) earned a whopping Rupees 29.50 crores in the financial year 2012 to 2013 against a target of Rs 22 crores, officials said. "We have earned almost Rs 30 crores, Rs 29.50 crores to be exact, in the year 20122013," Managing Director JKCCC, Talat Parvez told PTI. State Minister for Tourism G A Mir said revenue of about Rs 30 crores equals the total cost of the project and is a proud achievement. "The first phase of the project was completed at the cost of Rs 12 crores and the second at Rs 18

crores. We have been able to achieve the total cost of the project in a single year and it is a proud achievement," Mir told PTI. Parvez, who is also Director Tourism Kashmir, said the revenue achieved is a record in the history

23.50 crores," he said. Parvez credited the online system, which the department introduced in 2011, for the leap in the revenue increase. "We first achieved a leap in the revenue in the financial year 2011-

the complex land acquisition bill, and improving infrastructure for fuel deliveries to power plants to end electricity shortages, it said. The report further said the central government aims to cut its budget deficit in 2013-14 through enhanced revenue collections and reduced subsidies. The government has targeted a fiscal deficit of 4.8 per cent of the GDP for the current fiscal against 5.2 per cent in 2012-13. Cutting the fiscal deficit will help raise domestic savings and encourage private investment, the ADB said.

With the tax structure remaining largely the same, it said, the reduction in deficit would be heavily dependent on a pickup in growth and continued revisions

of diesel prices. Terming rising current account deficit (CAD) a concern, the report said reversing this trend will require removing constraints which are deterring investment and undermining exports and domestic growth. -PTI

Indian food mobile app! launched Cont’d from page 12

We felt our frustration and concerns were not unique. There should be an app to take care of these things for us." says MyPref Co-Founder Abhishek Chhajlani Aside from searching for dishes on the app, MyPref also tells you exactly where to locate it. Once you arrive and check-in at the restaurant via the app, it also reminds you of your previous food preferences and their reviews. This emphasis on menu items and not just restaurants is what differentiates MyPref from other competitive food and drink apps. MyPref hosts an extensive database of restaurants in various cuisines; however keeping its forte is Indian food. MyPref

founders, Abhishek Chhajlani and Manan Bhandari believe the Indian food industry is a highly untapped and unexploited market from the application industry's point of view. They believe there are only a few applications that are primarily addressing this market and the number of restaurants using such applications as mediums to reach out to their target market is also extremely sparse. Abhishek and Manan also highlight that Indian cuisine is not just popular among Indians but also amongst numerous other food lovers, therefore, ensuring to provide one of the largest and most exhaustive databases of Indian restaurants across US available for search on MyPref.

5 of 10 top economies in the world drop the Dollar Cont’d from page 12

of the cable car since its inception in May 1998. "The revenue earned is a record. Earlier we used to have an increase of a crore or two per year, but now we have increased the revenue by Rs six crore from last year's Rs

2012 which was Rs 23.50 crores against the target of Rs 14 crores. It was mainly because of the online system we put in place. Then we introduced e-ticketing system as well and that too has added to the advantage," he said. -PTI

But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed. America's imperialism, combined with its ultra-fiat status of unending debt creation, appears

to have created a final downward spiral that has caused many of the top economies to abandon a sinking ship. It might not be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Now might be a great time to consider diversifying into other currencies, and even digital currencies, to mitigate growing losses in the U.S. dollar. --Courtesy Activist Post


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Desi News Immigration film depicts triumph of American Dream RITU MAHESHWARI India Post News Service

MILPITAS: "Shattered Freedom" premiered on March 31 in Milpitas to a packed house of excited movie lovers and dignitaries at an event managed by Sheetal Ohri. Co-written and produced by Shah Peerally, 'Shattered Freedom' is a film that every immigrant can relate to. The film is pure fiction inspired by Mr. Peerally's and his law firm's experiences, and above all the hope of living the American Dream that survives amidst it all. It is about being offered the opportunities that one did not know existed, within the American society and American legal system.

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SONIA SIDHU India Post News Service (L-R) Immediate Past Chairman Alkesh Patel greets Chairman Mehul Patel

Chronic stress & Cortisol contribute to weight gain

HOUSTON: The four-day 2013 Annual Convention & Trade Show of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, turned out to be a huge success judging from the attendance and the quality of the programs highlighting the meet. As the largest annual gathering of hoteliers, the Convention attracts hoteliers and vendors from all over the country to network to make deals and to take advantage of superior professional development opportunities. The theme of this year's Annual Convention was "Inspired by the Past, Building for the Future," and it fittingly captured the energy and passion of AAHOA members as they gathered in the heart of Texas. One of

the highlights - the two-day trade show - surpassed all previous marks by hosting more than 400

exhibitors. Another highlight of the event was the captivating guest speakers. The Keynote speaker on Thursday, March 28 was General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.). For over 50 years, General Powell has devoted his life to public service culminating as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, the first African American to do so. AAHOA also welcomed Steve Forbes, the well-known CEO of Forbes and Editor-In-Chief of Forbes magazine, as well as PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi during the Opening General Session on Wednesday, March 27 and Howard Putnam, the

AAHOA office bearers (L-R) President Fred Schwartz, Vice Chairman Pratik Patel, Chairman Mehul Patel, Treasurer Jay "Jimmy" Patel, Secretary Bharat "Bruce" Patel

CHITRA THAKUR

W

hat is stress? Stress is sim ply a fact of nature - forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. Six myths about stress Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Let's look at these myths. Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody. Details on page 24

Details on page 26

RAMESH SOPARAWALA & CHRIS CARLSON

City of San Jose commends Rajan Zed

Details on page 21

April 19, 2013

Top icons and speakers mark AAHOA's best convention ever

Details on page 23

SAN JOSE: San Jose in California, the tenth largest city in USA, has commended Hindu statesman Rajan Zed "in recognition of his efforts to promote interfaith dialogue". A Commendation certificate signed by Mayor Chuck Reed and Council member Ash Kalra mentions Zed's dedication to "peacefully uniting religious communities throughout the world through enriching discussion and other initiatives" and describes him as "an Indo-American and Hindu statesman who is also a noted leader in interfaith relations".

To know God, approach a Spiritual Master

Bruce Patel greeted by supporters after his election

former President & CEO of Southwest Airlines, during the General Session on Friday, March 29. "This stellar lineup of speakers and icons within their respective industries just set the stage for one of our best conventions ever," said beaming AAHOA Chairman Mehul Patel. "AAHOA members came to Houston from all over the country to learn from the best in terms of how to achieve the highest levels of success." Pointing out as the Convention chair, he observed that "every aspect of our agenda was carefully planned to offer a well-rounded experience that our attendees would never

A cultural presentation - highlight of the Convention

forget." In addition to these dynamic speakers, AAHOA presented an Industry Issues Panel discussion moderated by former AAHOA Chairman H.P. Rama. This discussion included industry executives such as Wayne Goldberg, President & CEO of La Quinta Corporation; Kirk Kinsell, President, The Americas of InterContinental Hotels Group; Steve Joyce, President & CEO of Choice Hotels International; and Arne Sorenson, President & CEO of Marriott International. These high-profile industry leaders discussed a wide range of issues affecting the hospitality industry. They also provided insights regarding strategies and solutions to overcome the biggest obstacles facing the industry. The Convention showcased an exciting lineup of education sessions in addition to special conferences for both Young Professionals on Wednesday, March 27 and Women in Hotel Leadership on Thursday, March 28. During these interactive sessions, attendees heard from industry professionals along with legal and financial experts on how to handle the biggest issues confronting the hospitality industry today. Cont’d on page 20


April 19, 2013

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Air India flying with colors RISHIKANT SINGH

A

ir India takes this opportunity to salute its women colleagues, who have, in their respective areas of operations, proved over the last few decades that the hands that rock the cradle can actually propel an airline to soar high as well. Like every year, this year too Air India operated ten domestic and international flights with an all-women cockpit and cabin crew on March 8. Air India's foray into all-women crew flights dates back to November 1985 when Capt. Saudamini Deshmukh and Capt. Nivedita Bhasin operated a Fokker Friendship flight from Kolkata to Silchar in eastern India. For most of these commemorative flights, the technical services have been attended by a woman aircraft engineer, a lady flight dispatcher, while the non-technical work on ground has been handled by a lady duty manager, a female helper, a lady medical doctor.

Women have been contributing to Air India's success working with confidence, commitment, and a

sense of pride. Air India provides equal opportunities to women in key areas of its activity including specialized technical areas and senior management. Women pilots, flight dispatchers, technical

officers, aircraft engineers, safety and quality auditors, ground instructors for training pilots etc all form part of a highly skilled technically proficient team of women. Air India has been facing financial turbulence due to global economic slowdown that has adversely affected the aviation industry for nearly a decade. The horizon now has a silver lining as several economies have started picking up slowly. Within Air India, hard work and resilience from employees and support from loyal customers has started to bear fruit. With Government of India setting targets under the Turn Around Plan (TAP) and Financial Reconstruction Plan (RFP) Air India's performance has been in line with the targets set registering an all-round enhanced performance, such as on-time performance at 85 per cent, higher passenger load factor and higher yields. Yet, this is just the beginning, and they have miles to go to achieve the mission of making Air India - the natural choice of all passengers. The Government's Economic Survey 2012-2013 has reposed its faith in Air India's performance,

Jalaram Mandir annual health fair a big success Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: The fourth annual health fair organized at Shree Jalaram Mandir in Hoffman Estates, a north side suburb of Chicago, on Sunday April 7, turned out to be a huge success. Over 275 individuals availed the free services provided at this health fair. It is the annual community service event open to any individual, including those without medical insurance or visitors in need of medical check-up. More than 100 enthusiastic health care volunteers of Jalaram Mandir participated in organizing this event. The health fair, the 4th in a row, started at 8 am and concluded at 1 pm. The main coordinator of this event was Bakulbhai Thakkar. Patients received height,

weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, urine analysis, complete blood count, comprehensive chemistry and Lipid Profile, EKG and bone density testing. These patients were then directed to the specialty consultants of Internal

with various specialists all under one roof. Other humanitarian activities conducted by Mandir include blood donation drive, bone marrow drive, yoga classes, classical dance classes, music and instrument classes, youth activities, di-

Participants at Jalaram Health fair. Pics Asian Media USA

Medicine, Cardiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dentistry, Chiropractor, Physical Therapy and Optometry etc. Hasmukhbhai Thakkar, Chairman of Shree Jalaram Mandir, said that the primary goal was to provide comprehensive medical checkup and needed consultations

dactic classes etc. Attendees were all served with hot coffee, Masala Chai after the fasting blood work was completed. At the conclusion of the event, homemade delicious hot lunch was provided to all the hard working volunteers. Cont’d on page 19

saying that the company has turned EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) positive in the financial year 2012-13, for the first time since the merger of Air India with Indian Airlines in 2007. Improved operating profits for the financial year 2013-14 are being targeted. The Indian Government on behalf of the people of India has re-

tionalized in 1953. On this base, two airlines were built with no further equity infusion till recent years making it one of the most under-capitalized companies in the aviation industry. Several national goals of furthering international trade, economic and political ties were achieved. Domestic operations to the remotest corners and economically backward regions were facili-

Air India's performance has been in line with the targets set registering an all-round enhanced performance, such as on-time performance at 85 per cent, higher passenger load factor and higher yields cently approved the infusion of further Equity to the extent of $ 1billion during the financial year 2013-14. This would result in an improved net worth and Debt/Equity ratio. It is to be noted that total equity infusion in combined Air India was under $37million in today's exchange rate when na-

tated for development and growth in keeping with national policies. More than a dozen political evacuations were organized including the largest civilian evacuation by air in history of over 111,000 people during the Gulf crisis. Cont’d on page 19


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Rang Rangili Holi by Anila Sinha Foundation MADHU PATEL

CHICAGO: Anila Sinha Foundation (ASF) presented a lively program on Holi, festival of colors, through beautiful dance choreography with colorful costumes on Saturday March 23 at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center in Palatine. It is said that the tradition of Holi was started by Lord Krishna who applied color on his beloved Radha to make her look pretty and funny. This program "Rang rangili holi" started with an item "Aaj biraj mai", where by group of people of Brij are going around the village celebrating Holi by singing, dancing and putting colors on each other's faces. This was followed by a series of items depicting festival of colors with different groups of participants from little children to adults. Some of the highlights were "Sakhi ri maine kheli shyam sang holi", "Kanhaiya ghar chalo guiya", "Holi khelat hai girdhari" and several others. The program came to an end with a grand finale where all the Gops and Gopies joined Radha and Krishna in a Holi dance which was mesmerizing for the audience. All together 30 artists participated in this event of various age groups. The artists who enthralled those in the auditorium for nearly three hours were Gurmeet Marhas, Deepa Devasena, Medha

Bhargaw, Puja Saha, Serena Dhaon, Charu Jain, Antara Datta, Shiwali Varshney, Laxmi P Sarathy, Kamal Gupta, Raj Deshmukh, Manoj Bhargaw, Siva Shivkumar Vandana Karan, Meghna Karan,

Artistic Director, a long time disciple of great Kathak Legend Pandit Birju Maharaj. Master of ceremony Anju Lal did an excellent narration of the events. Music was specially designed and

mance one of the attendees observed: "One thing that was patently obvious to al those present was that the Eastern culture, especially the Bharatiya culture, has developed and promoted commu-

ASF is a not for profit organization established in 1998 in memory of Mrs Anila Sinha an accomplished Kathak dancer and a pioneer in promoting the North Indian classical performing art,

Holi dance in Palatine with ASF stage performances

Rishika Singh, Komal Sharma, Anika Chandola, Adya Varma, Muskan Bhatla, Shreya Patel, Simran Mahajan, Tanvi Mathur, Tanisha Mathur, Anika Tripathi, Ashka Shah, Manya Gulati, Aashna Varma and Ananya Shahi. The choreography was skillfully done by Kiran Chouhan, ASF

recorded in India for this event. Dr Denise Jorgans, Director of The International House, University of Chicago was the Chief Guest. The event was photographed by Dr Malli. This program was partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Chicago. Commenting on the perfor-

nal harmony and love besides shunning materialism while a great number of other stage performances degenerate themselves to cheap marketing and rank materialism. We try to bring Heaven to Earth while they try to kill others to go to heaven. What a contradiction. Kudos to ASF team."

Kathak in North America. Since its inception ASF has presented numerous main stage performances as well as two International Kathak Festivals, one in 2004 and the other in 2009, well received by different communities and the students of dance and music.

Young professionals Gujarati community celebrates immersed in Holi colors Holi with fervor ASHWIN PATEL

ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: Members of the Gujarati Community of St. Louis celebrated with a lot of enthusi-

at each other with their water guns, balloons and also played with Gulal. Although elders were a bit reluctant in the earlier hours but they too joined in sprinkling Gulal on each other's face. Music in the background filled the air with songs relating to Holi and other n e w songs. A group of Gujaratis after spraying color While on each other many joined asms and fervor the festival of Holi in the singing, others on Sunday March 31 at Illinois enjoyed dancing to Park. the tune of songs. Even though the weather was The colorful festichilly, it did not deter the people val of Holi, which litfrom coming to the festival in huge erally means 'burnnumbers. The children started run- ing', went in full swing ning around and sprinkling water when people from all

ages gathered to light the bon-fire at 6:30 pm. In olden days Holi was celebrated as a symbol of victory over everything that is bad (unholy). As the fire grew, people circled around the fire offering corn, grams, and coconut to the fire and prayed to God for goodwill and peace on planet earth and also prayed for prosperity and good health.

Family enjoying color

ST LOUIS: Young profession- interaction. People then gathered als from India with their American in backyard of the restaurant and friends celebrated Holi on March experienced the actual spirit of the 23 at the Haveli restaurant in St. festival, tossing color at each Louis. other and into the air in a blast of They shared food, music and vibrant pink, purple, yellow, coculture with a lot of fun outside the restaurant. The occasion, organized by Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) of St. Louis, marked the arrival of Spring and encouraged people of all backgrounds to get involved and enjoy the Spring festival. Young professionals play color during Holi celebrations The celebration at restaurant began with delicious Indian balt, and red pigments. food and light conversation and Cont’d on page 21


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Share-a-Smile dance raises Jalaram Mandir annual funds for seniors health fair a big success ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: Share-a-Smile Chicago (SASC) hosted its annual fundraiser to aid senior citizens with an evening of entertainment on Friday, March 16 at India House Banquet Hall in Schaumburg, Ill with close

of ceremonies was Dan Nainan. Largely targeting teenagers, often having communication problems with their parents and divergent expectations, he played a great deal on his own mixed parentage with a Malayalee (Keralite) father and Japanese mother. Talented youth from a c r o s s Chicagoland performed dances from China, India, Middle-East and Mexico. There were in all seven dances, starting with A R Rahman's "Jai Ho" Current committee of Share-a-Smile Chicago. Back row standing (L to R) c h o r e oPriyanka Sublok, Neelam Bhardwaj, Ritu Singh, Tina Khurana, Sunaina Reddy, graphed by Vandana Walia. Seated front row: Rajni Asija, Sushma Bhanot, Deepa Bharaj and Trupti Kuvadia Missing in the picture are: Meenakshi Mehta and Dipti Thakkar Kuvadia. An Indian medto 400 people attending.' ley was performed by middle school girls This year's beneficiaries were Sukhdham, choreographed by Anjali Patel and Shriya an organization that serves abandoned par- Patel. ents on the outskirts of Delhi, the Barrington Barrington Middle School kids presented Area Council on Aging (BACOA), and other the lyrical "Ho hey" by the Lumineers. This charities. version was choreographed by Serena Event coordinator was SASC Founder Shah. Barrington High School Dance Group Sushma Bhanot. SASC President Trupti presented Bollywood-inspired "Chamak Kuvadia gave the welcome speech. Master challo" an Indo-Western fusion medley choreographed by Sanaa Walia and Akash Khurana. Barrington High School SASC, focused on giving back to seniors and the underprivileged in Barrington and Dance Group presented Chicagoland, then reaching out to India and Bollywood-inspired elsewhere. It showed slide of Sukhdam and of its work across Chicago area. Previous "Chamak challo" an fundraisers have contributed to a senior Indo-Western fusion home Sukhdham and international eye care medley choreographed foundation in India, welfare projects in Africa, educare.org and flood relief in Haiti. by Sanaa Walia and Sukhdham in New Delhi houses "orphaned" Akash Khurana seniors who have been abandoned by their family.

Air India flying with colors Cont’d from page 17

The present initiatives of continued cost cutting and rejuvenated efforts of improving revenues would continue aggressively. Focus on improving service in every area of operation will be the driving force. The loyalty and support of Indians settled globally will be needed to achieve complete turnaround and restore national pride. For the benefit of patrons, Air India has come up with very competitive fares under the advance purchase (apex) scheme in Business Class and special fares for Senior citizens in the US and India markets. In India

the recently launched 60 day Jaldi Jaldi offer is aimed at attracting the leisure and holiday travelers. These competitively priced fares are comparable to the air-conditioned AC class fares of Indian Railways for summer vacationers to plan their trip in advance. These new initiatives will spur growth in air travel and invigorate the Indian market. For growth Air India plans to expand their global network through new services to Italy, Russia, Australia and a second airport in UK, besides adding to domestic services within India. Rishikant Singh is Air India ManagerMidwest

Cont’d from page 17

consultation, laboratory tests and providing free prescription medicines on an ongo-

Regular activities at the temple include bhajans every Thursday, first and third Sunday, Sundarkand Path every Saturday, Abhishek on Mondays and on Ekadashi, group Satyanarayan Katha, Jalaram Jayanti, lectures of saints from A group of Jalaram volunteers India and celing basis. Educationally, the activities inebrations of all religious events. There are plans to provide monthly medi- clude yoga classes, music teaching, Gujarati cal clinic Seva, which will include doctor's classes and religious classes.

Patient examinations including EKG


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Top icons & speakers mark AAHOA's best convention ever Cont’d from page 16

Attendees also enjoyed mouth-watering Indian cuisine and dazzling entertainment featuring some of Bollywood's biggest names, including Mauli Dave and her team of dancers, singers, and musicians supplemented with some of the hottest names in comedy performances by Dan Nainan, Kapil Sharma and Mantra. No AAHOAAnnual Convention & Trade Show would be complete without a spectacular Gala Night celebration. On the final night of the

more than 11,000 members owning more than 20,000 hotels that total $128 billion in property value. AAHOA members employ 578,600 full and part-time workers with a $9.4 billion payroll. AAHOA officers include Chairman Mehul Patel, Vice Chairman Pratik Patel; Treasurer Jay "Jimmy" Patel; Secretary Bharat "Bruce" Patel and President Fred Schwartz, each of whom works closely with a 33-member Board of Directors to provide direction for the association. AAHOA recognized its award winners at the 2013 AAHOA An-

Hotelier of the Year Award that recognizes the woman hotelier who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and made significant contributions to the industry and her community. Former AAHOA Chairman Mukesh Mowji of California received the Cecil B. Day Community Service Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the Asian American community. US Rep. Jared Huffman (DCA) and US Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) each received the Political Former AAHOA Allied Director Faheem Khan with Vice Chairman Pratik Patel displaying the check presented by Chase Paymentech representing the added revenue generated for AAHOA. over the past year

AAHOA Director Board for the current year

event, Friday, March 29, AAHOA hosted a night to remember featuring top-notch cuisine and entertainment. Headlining this year's Gala Night were electric performances by Richa Sharma and Kamal. "AAHOA Annual Conventions are already known throughout the industry for providing a wealth of personal and professional growth opportunities, and this year's event did not disappoint," said AAHOA President Fred Schwartz. "The energy and passion was apparent from minute one, and this event offered something for everyone." AAHOA founded in 1989, is now one of the fastest-growing organizations in the industry, with

nual Convention. The winners honored were: Paresh Patel of Delaware received the AAHOA Award for Excellence which recognizes the Asian American hotelier who has made a significant contribution to the lodging industry. Dipesh Patel of Florida received the Outstanding Young Professional Hotelier Award that recognizes an individual under the age of 30 who has displayed a potential for development and success. Priti Patel of Georgia and Nancy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Development, the Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, each received the Outstanding Woman

Forum Award for Advocacy which recognizes an individual extensively involved with helping to advance AAHOA's mission and the concerns of its members by participating in the legislative process. Haroon Khawaja of Florida re-

Himanshu Vyas, Gujarat, India; Kamlesh Patel, Carrolton, Texas; Mahendra Patel, Portland, Ore.; Mukund Patel, Atlanta, Ga.; and Suresh Patel, Manning, S.C. "These award winners underscore the special qualities which are the basis for their success in business and in their communities," said Fred Schwartz, AAHOA President. "We are the youngest group of officers in the history of AAHOA and our generation is different," explains Chairman Mehul Patel. "As a board, we are ambitious and eager, we're resourceful, and we multitask. Now we're bringing those qualities to our leadership of AAHOA." When accepting the chairmanship of AAHOA on the conclud-

AAHOA received a Congressional recognition during the Gala night on March 29 highlighting achievements of the hoteliers, their struggles and their contributions to the society at large. 2013-2014 New Board AAHOA has elected new Board members to complete its Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 term holding elections at the Convention. The AAHOA membership elected Bharat "Bruce" Patel, CHO as the association's newest Secretary. Prior to his election, Bruce Patel served as a Director at Large for AAHOA. The 2013-2014 Board of Directors comprises the following Officers and Directors, with the terms of the newly elected members

One of the honored guests Indra Nooyi at the Convention Trade Show and Nooyi with a group of AAHOA members

Guest speaker former Secretary of State Colin Powell

ceived the Outreach Award for Philanthropy which recognizes an individual who is deeply involved with philanthropic and charitable activities, either locally or abroad. Jagubhai Patel of Los Angeles, California, received the IAHA Independent Hotel of the Year Award which honors an independent hotel that sets a high standard of excellence in quality, service and guest satisfaction. Chairman's Awards were presented to the following individuals for their dedicated service to AAHOA and the hospitality industry: Bakula Patel, Emerald Isle, N.C.; Bankim Patel, Orange, Calif.; Divyesh Desai, Portland, Ore.;

ing Gala Night of the Annual Convention in Houston, Mehul unveiled a slogan that captures the attitude he brings to his new responsibilities: "Next Is Now." "We're the next generation of hoteliers who are taking AAHOA to the next level with the next wave of programs - and we're doing it now," emphasized Mehul. "The energy and vision of this new board are sure to put the unmatched reach and resources of AAHOA to good use," said Fred Schwartz, President of AAHOA. "We are well positioned to achieve a new level of results in programs and progress that our members want, need, and deserve."

indicated below: Officers Chairman Mehul B. Patel, Vice Chairman Pratik R. Patel, Treasurer Jay R. "Jimmy" Patel, Secretary Bharat "Bruce" Patel, President Fred Schwartz. Immediate Past Chairman, Alkesh R. Patel, There are twenty Regional Directors covering the entire length and breadth of the country, seven Directors at Large , two Female Director at Large, Jagruti Panwala for Eastern Division, and Komal "Tina" Patel for Western Division. Dave Patel will be the new Young Professional Director while Rajan Batra was appointed to a 2-year term as Allied Director at Large.


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Loriyyan to raise funds for women's shelter SURI SWAMI

Navraaz Basati

CHICAGO: A woman activist from Chicagoland, Navraaz Kaur Basati aka Bini, has recently released a song titled "Loriyaan" on iTunes, and several other music websites such as Amazon Music. The song addresses the issues of gender discrimination and the tragedy of declining female births. It reminds us of what we would miss in our lives if there were no more girls within our villages. All the proceeds collected from the sales of the song will be donated to Unique Home for Girls, a girls orphanage based in Jalandhar, Punjab. If you search Loriyaan on the different music websites it will be under the artist Navraaz. For more information on Unique Home for Girls please visit their website at unique home for girls.co.uk. A video will also be uploaded to YouTube shortly. Navraaz (Bini) has recorded two Punjabi tapes already called, "Heth Barotte De" with her sister Navreet (Mini) and a solo tape titled, "Navraaz."

City of San Jose commends Rajan Zed

Rajan Zed delivering the Hindu invocation of San Jose City Council. On extreme right is Mayor Chuck Reed

SONIA SIDHU India Post News Service

SAN JOSE: San Jose in California, the tenth largest city in USA, has commended Hindu statesman Rajan Zed "in recognition of his efforts to promote interfaith dialogue". A Commendation certificate signed by

Mayor Chuck Reed and Council member Ash Kalra mentions Zed's dedication to "peacefully uniting religious communities throughout the world through enriching discussion and other initiatives" and describes him as "an Indo-American and Hindu statesman who is also a noted leader in interfaith relations". Cont’d on page 23

Young professionals immersed in Holi colors Cont’d from page 19

All in all, people laughed, snacked and posed for pictures with their families and friends, while wishing each other "Happy Holi." NetIP mission is to serve as the voice for the South Asian Diaspora by developing and engaging a cohesive network of professionals to benefit the community.

Child's play

Picture of Indian woman


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Brahma Samaj celebrates colorful Holi SURESH JANI

CHICAGO: Living up to its tradition, the Brahma Samaj of Greater Chicago hosted a colorful Holi Celebration at Manav Seva Mandir in Bedsenville, a north side suburb of Chicago, on Saturday, March 30. Magic, color, laughter, live music, rich Gujarati culture and cre-

the energy levels at the highest, entertainment for the adults centered with a grand performance by Pratapbhai Rawal and company. Recently, this performing company was awarded the recognition at the Swarnim Gujarat ceremony in Ahmedabad. The troop performed Lok Sangeet (old tradition

to break the ice and really form bonds which are important to keep them coming to events and allow the parents to have their own fun! DJ Khush and DJ Damaniac, well respected Chicagoland DJs kept the crowd fueled with energy and excitement by playing songs which created the ambiance of the

Brahma Samaj President Dr Ravi Trivedi presenting a plaque to musician Pratap Rawal

cago is a non-profit organization with over 300 members on the rise. "We are united with a mission to keep our religious traditions and create a social atmosphere to teach the youth the importance of our heritage. One of the main thrusts this year will be to broaden

the base of our organization and host a fund raiser in the moth of June or July," he said in a talk to this paper. "We look forward to a fun filled calendar of events for 2013, and to host the World Convention of Brahmins July 4-6th 2014," he added.

Brahm Samaj office bearers L to R Purvish Pandya, Ami Dave, Raj Trivedi, Bhavik Pandya and Bhavesh Trivedi

ative activities for children were the major highlights of a successful event rekindling the spirit of Holi. The celebration was kicked off with a magical experience like no other, thanks to the acclaimed best magicians of Chicago dating back to the Bozo TV show - Paul Lee. He kept the children and young at heart mesmerized, energized and laughing with the illusional acts. The night was still young, and

of our culture of getting together and sharing stories) and Duha, Kathiavadi jokes and the stories of Saurashtra's kings and their bravery. In the "Kids Zone" balloon twisting, educational activities, art and craft stations like flag making, mask painting, tattoos and a Dance Off created a very social atmosphere symbolic of Holi for kids of all ages. The children were able

Holi festival. The evening progressed with a delicious Gujarati thali dinner catered by Itasca Mandir. Samaj President, Dr Ravi Trivedi thanked the members and the committee for the success of the event. "We could not have made this event possible without the strong united team of members, donors, sponsors and the leadership committee," he observed. Brahma Samaj of Greater Chi-

Gayatri Mantra opens Holocaust 'Day of Remembrance' India Post News Service

NEVADA: Gayatri Mantra, considered the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, opened the "Day of Remembrance" at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on April 7 in remembrance of lives lost or altered by Holocaust and genocides around the world. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, chanted Gayatri Mantra from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world and ended the invocation with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Rajan also read from Brahadaranyakopanisad, another ancient Hindu scripture, thus: "Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, Lead us from death to Immortality", after reciting the origi-

Goddess Gayatri & Mantra

nal in Sanskrit. Besides Zed, Christian, Buddhist and Jewish leaders also participated in the Candlelighting ceremony on the occasion. Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer delivered the benediction.

Dr. Robert Krell, Emeritus Psychiatry Professor of University of British Columbia, and Holocaust survivor and educator who was born in Netherlands, delivered the keynote address "Why Remember the Holocaust?" Dr. Krell has treated Holocaust survivors and their families as well as Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps. He founded Vancouver Holocaust Education Center, which teaches 20,000 students annually. . UNR Interfaith Students Club, with Daniel R. Sanchez as president, aims to "cultivate social cohesion among people of different religions". UNR, founded in 1874 and which has over 18,000 students, is known for helping to create the world's most accurate atomic clock and is home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs.

Children enjoy magic show

Nanubhai Foundation announces fifth annual gala India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Nanubhai Education Foundation will celebrate nine successful years by hosting a Fundraising Gala in New York City on May 10. This much anticipated annual event will take

place at Midtown Loft and Terrace, an upscale venue in the heart of New York City in Midtown Manhattan. Spokesman for Nanubhai Education Foundation, Actor Manish Dayal, along with Fashion Designer Payal Singhal, Cont’d on page 23

Nanubhai Board Members and Celebrities at the 2012 Gala. Pic 1000 Words Studios


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Peerally film on immigration depicts triumph of American Dream RITU MAHESHWARI India Post News Service

MILPITAS: "Shattered Freedom" premiered on March 31 in

is a film that every immigrant can relate to. The film is pure fiction inspired by Mr. Peerally's and his law firm's experiences, and above all the hope of living the American

Shah Peerally getting recognition from Assembly Member Bill Quirk's office

Milpitas to a packed house of excited movie lovers and dignitaries at an event managed by Sheetal Ohri. Co-written and produced by Shah Peerally, 'Shattered Freedom'

Dream that survives amidst it all. It is about being offered the opportunities that one did not know existed, within the American society and American legal system. 'Shattered Freedom', is the story

of a woman, Jasmine (Yasmine) who has survived tremendous odds and an abusive relationship. She comes to the United States with a dream and the story recounts how that dream is shattered bit by bit, but how she emerges in the end and what happens to her. The film and its story show the resources present in the American legal system to help victims with immigration problems. Shah Peerally, who is a well known attorney and civil right activist, seeks to add his experiences about the immigration law. The film contains experienced inputs from real life of immigration attorneys. The film stars Shah Peerally as a lawyer, Dr Pannu as dentist,

The story is a hard hitting one and showcases the fears of many women who have actually been taken advantage of and been abused by different relationships and being threatened of deportation

Nanubhai Foundation announces fifth annual gala Cont’d from page 22

Actor Pooja Kumar, Actor Ami Sheth, Actor Neelu Sodhi, Actor Samrat Chakrabarti, Celebrity Photographer and star of Bravo TV's Double Exposure Indrani PalChaudhuri, and Indian Supermodel Nina Manuel, will come forth to honor and raise funds for the progress of education in rural India. Previous gala supporters have included Actors Kal Penn and Sendhil Ramamurthy. Spokesman for the foundation, Manish Dayal says "I'm fortunate to have been a part of the Nanubhai team for the past 2 years, and see the substantial growth in our schools. More specifically, our goals would have been impossible to achieve without the hard work of our Executive Team, our onsite team members, and most importantly you; our supporters. Without your contributions we are unable to further our mission. So,

lend a hand and join us at our Fifth Annual Gala and help us achieve the partnerships we are cultivat-

The gala is the primary source to raise funds for the Nanubhai Education Foundation's Teacher Training and Professional Development Program ing to improve the quality of English language instruction in India's rapidly globalizing economy." The annual gala will be an exciting evening of cocktails, Hors D'oeuvres, entertainment, music, dancing and much more. Designer Payal Singhal's "Taj" Summer 2013 collection will add an array of glam-

our to the venue by draping mannequins in her collection which is inspired by filigree, jaali work and floral inlays seen in Islamic architecture. The gala is the primary source to raise funds for the Nanubhai Education Foundation's Teacher Training and Professional Development Program, which focuses on enhancing the teaching skills, classroom management techniques and English language capabilities of local teachers. "Working with local teachers to build upon their skills is critical to create sustainable and scalable change in rural India" says Nita Nehru, Executive Director of the Nanubhai Education Foundation. "We are committed to building a cadre of exceptional local teachers in rural India so that every student that passes through their doors is better educated, eloquent in English and can leverage these skills to access India's economic opportunities."

With Ash Kalra, Council Member at City of San Jose

Pavneet Saluja and many other very talented Bay Area individuals. The story is a hard hitting one and showcases the fears of many women who have actually been taken advantage of and been abused by different relationships and being threatened of deportation and how the application of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and other immigration and nationality laws can help them. The movie features the hardships of dealing with government departments which are entrusted to protect the country and control the number of immigrants enter-

ing and living in the United States. With its films, documentaries and radio shows, the Shah Peerally Production house has actually three important goals in mind: 1) educate immigrants about their rights 2) give a chance to local talents and 3) recognize lawyers and other individuals fighting for human and civil rights. Perhaps the main aim of the production house can be summed up in these few powerful words from Shah Peerally himself: "If we can save one person from deportation through this film, the Shah Peerally Productions' goal would actually have been achieved."

City of San Jose commends Rajan Zed Cont’d from page 21

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, recently opened City Council of San Jose, founded in 1777, with Hindu mantras, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture Rig-Veda. Zed seeks inter-faith harmony across the world and has observed that Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world and has about three million followers

in USA. San Jose was California's first civilian settlement and the site of its first state capital. Its taglines include "Among America's Most International Cities", "World Class Climate, Parks & Entertainment" and it claims to be recognized as an international epicenter of arts, culture, and technology. Madison Nguyen and Debra Figone are the Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively of San Jose, whose only 44% people speak English at home.


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Chronic stress & Cortisol contribute to weight gain CHITRA THAKUR

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hat is stress? Stress is simply a fact of nature forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. Six myths about stress Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Let's look at these myths. Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody.

Stress is different for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way. Myth 2: Stress is always bad for you. According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the

violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us. Myth 3: Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it. You can plan your life so that

stress does not overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties. When stress is mismanaged, it's difficult to prioritize. All your problems seem to be equal and stress seems to be everywhere. Myth 4: The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. We are all different, our lives are different, our situations are different, and our reactions are different. Only a comprehensive program tailored to the individual works. Myth 5: No symptoms, no stress. Absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the strain on your physiological and psychological systems. Myth 6: Only major symptoms of stress require attention. This myth assumes that the "minor" symptoms, such as headaches or stomach acid, may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to do a better job of managing stress. Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual as well as their environment. Because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, your home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you're confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body's ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. * Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being, and the

amount of sleep and rest you get. Unmanaged stress affects body, mind, emotions and behavior. The symptoms can be Cognitive Symptoms: • Memory problems, inability to concentrate • Anxious or racing thoughts, constant worrying • Poor judgment • Seeing only the negative * Emotional Symptoms: • Agitation, inability to relax • Feeling overwhelmed • Sense of loneliness and isolation • Moodiness, irritability or short temper • Depression or general unhappiness Obesity, aches and pains due to inflammation, poor digestion etc are the major symptoms seen

due to chronic stress. The biomolecules involved are Leptin, Leptin receptors, Cortisol, Ghrelin, PYY hormones etc. Chronic stress and Cortisol can contribute to weight gain by: * Slowing down our metabolism * Causing cravings * Altering blood sugar levels * Increasing fat storage A change in lifestyle, eating habits as well as body composition are the central aspects to reduce the stress and hence weight. • Build downtime for non productive into your schedule. • Drop activities that drain your time or energy. • Rethink your messages or words. • Get moving. • Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way. Yoga, meditation, good sleep, exercise, healthy snacking, eating, doing something good for happy feeling are the keys to handle weight gain due to stress. Six Tips to Lower Your Cortisol Production: Here are 6 tips that give you the top recommendations to decrease cortisol levels and experience optimal health. 1. Eliminate caffeine from your diet. It's the quickest way to reduce cortisol production and elevate the production of DHEA, the leading anabolic youth hormone. Cont’d on page 25


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Sikh Environment Day celebrated in Orange County India Post News Service

SANTA ANA: In collaboration with EcoSikh, The Sikh Vatavaran Diwas was celebrated on March

celebrations included the kirtan and shabad vichar and langar in steel plates. Kids contributed with their special art exhibition on Sikhi and nature conservation.

EcoSikh table with the coordinator, Dr. Ginny Kaur Chawla (standing Right), GNCA Principal Mrs. Dhillon (standing Middle) and Poster Board signing Coordinator Sahej Kaur Chawla (standing Left)

17 at the Sikh Center of Orange County. This day is celebrated throughout the world every year during the week of March 14 to coincide with the enthronement day (Gurgaddi Diwas) of the seventh Guru of Sikhs, Sri Guru Har Rai. The local Coordinator for the Sikh Environment day for Sikh Center of Orange County, Dr. Ginny Kaur Chawla, implored all the Sangat members to share what the gift of air, land and water means to all of us and celebrate the message of "Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat". Sikh Center of Orange County started a pilot project to test their shift from styrofoam to steel plates. The

The children of Guru Nanak Children Academy and the Sangat members of the Sikh Center of Orange County coordinated and performed the following activities in Santa Ana Gurudwara Sahib, on this day: a) During the GNCA (Guru Nanak Children's Academy) assembly, Gurpreet Bicky Singh discussed and shared with the kids what they can do individually, as a family and as a community to be more eco-conscious and emphasized the importance of "reduce, reuse and recycle". b) The Principal of GNCA School, Mrs. Sukhjit Dhillon reiterated the importance of being ecofriendly and urged the kids to keep the environment clean around them. c) Sahej Kaur Chawla, 12 year old student of GNCA, coordinated the poster board signing for GNCA children to decorate and express themselves. Kids expressed their ideas how they plan to implement the Ecosikh values in their day to

Kids performing Keertan

Ecosikh Kids

day lives. d) Kids Keertan Jatha rendered a beautiful Shabad in keeping with the theme of being Earth Friendly. e) This was followed by EcoSikh Power Point Presentation about "Sikh Vision on Environment" and Two short vides on how Gurbani relates to environment. f) Ecosikh flyers, posters and banners decorated the Gurudwara Sahib at various places to create awareness about being more considerate towards our environment in all our daily dealings and decisions, especially using of Steel or reusable utensils during langar. g) Sangat members wore green color so as to look eco friendly h) Dr. Arinder Chadha initiated the use of stainless steel thalis on that day. Langar was served in stainless steel thalis / plates that inspired everyone to limit the use of disposable cutlery and save environment. Paper cups were used instead of the Styrofoam cups. Volunteers from Sangat were seen in large numbers helping with

washing the dishes. According to Dr Ginny Kaur Chawla , the experience was very heart-felting where all the Sangat members including the kids joined together to express the awareness and need of protecting our habitats, keeping our Gurudwaras, homes and surroundings garbage free and keep our planet beautiful.

Kids eating in steel plaes

Chronic stress & Cortisol contribute to weight gain Cont’d from page 24

200 mg of caffeine (one 12 oz mug of coffee) increases blood cortisol levels by 30% in one hour! Cortisol can remain elevated for up to 18 hours in the blood. This is the easiest step to decrease your catabolic metabolism and increase your anabolic metabolism. 2. Sleep deeper and longer. The average 50 year old has nighttime cortisol levels more than 30 times higher than the average 30 year old. Try taking melatonin, a natural hormone produced at night that helps regulate sleep/wake cycles, before going to sleep to boost your own melatonin production that also decreases with age. I prefer PrimeTM DreamzTMand I always take it on trips to recover from jet lag. You may not need it

every night, but if you are waking up in the middle of the night or too early in the morning, melatonin can help you sleep deeper and lengthen your sleep cycle. If you get sleepy during the day even though you had plenty of rest, back off the melatonin for a while. It's a sign you are getting too much. 3. Exercise regularly to build muscle mass and increase brain output of serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals that reduce anxiety and depres-

sion. It is recommended to take DHEA to shorten the adaptation period when out-of-shape muscles and cardiovascular system dis-

courage people from continuing to exercise before they get in shape. DHEA also accelerates the build-

ing of muscle mass and increases the feeling of being strong and energetic. 4. Keep your blood sugar stable. Avoid sugar in the diet and refined carbohydrates to keep from spiking your insulin production. Eat frequent small meals balanced in protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats like olive oil and flax seed oil. Diets rich in complex carbohydrates keep cortisol levels lower than low carbohydrate diets. Keep well hydrated - dehydration puts the body in stress and raises cortisol levels. Keep pure water by your bed and drink it when you first wake up and before you go to sleep. 5. Take anti-stress supplements like B vitamins, minerals like calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc, and antioxidants like vitamin

C, alpha lipoic acid, grape seed extract, and Co Q 10. Adaptogen herbs like ginseng, astragalus, eleuthero, schizandra, rhodiola and ashwagandha help the body cope with the side effects of stress and rebalance the metabolism. These supplement and herbs will not only lower cortisol levels but they will also help you decrease the effects of stress on the body by boosting the immune system. 6. Meditate or listen to relaxation tapes that promote the production of alpha (focused alertness) and theta (relaxed) brain waves. Avoid jolting alarm clocks that take you from delta waves (deep sleep) to beta waves (agitated and anxious) and stimulants like caffeine that promote beta waves while suppressing alpha and theta waves.


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To know God, approach a Spiritual Master SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA

T

here are some very important facts of the Absolute Truth which are reiterated time and again by saints and scriptures. We also discuss these eternal elements of spiritual science in our everyday life. For instance, we all know that the God is seated in our hearts. But then what is it that is separating us from Him? If we know we are the soul and not this body, why are we still mortified of death? We do perceive the existence of defects such as anger, greed, lust, envy and hatred;

miseries and to reach God we need knowledge. But knowledge cannot be attained simply by the thinking power of our intellect because the intellect itself is where the ignorance resides. So its own thinking capacity is inherently incapable of destroying its ignorance. There is an immense treasurehouse of knowledge in the Vedic scriptures but they are again impossible to understand merely by the analysis of our intellect. Just as God is Divine, the scriptures too

We are separated from God not because of physical distance but because of the ignorance within us, which has existed since infinite lifetimes. Thus to overcome miseries and to reach God we need knowledge. But knowledge cannot be attained by intellect and we wish to get rid of them, but are unable to. We are separated from God not because of physical distance but because of the ignorance within us, which has existed since infinite lifetimes. Thus to overcome

are Divine. If on our own we attempt to comprehend them, we end up confused, for there are so many apparent contradictions in them. However, there is a reason for us to rejoice because in the Vedas, God Himself has taught the easi-

est way to dispel the ignorance of our hearts. Tadvigyanartham sa gurumevabhigachchhet… (Mundakopanishad 1.2.12) He says, "To know God, approach a Spiritual Master, who is both well-versed in the knowledge of the scriptures and also God-realized. Serve him with faith and humility." Here are answers to some important questions on finding a true Guru and progressing in our spiritual life: Question: In the Indian culture, we all have heard hundreds of times since childhood that we need a Guru. But is there any definition of who a true Guru is? Swami Mukundanand: The word "Guru" has now been adopted by the English language as well, and so we hear terms such as Marketing guru, Economics guru, Finance guru, etc. However, when you refer to the true Guru, you are enquiring about the spiritual connotation of the word as described in the scriptures. The meaning of the word "Guru" is: Gu shabdastvandhakarasyat ru… (Advaya Tarakopanishad 16)

"The syllable "gu" means "darkness," and "ru" means "to destroy." Hence, one who dispels the darkness of our nescience, and

brings us to the light of true wisdom, is the Guru. Cont’d on page 27

Judge Virginia Phillips addresses SABA's 10th Banquet India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The South Asian Bar Association of Southern California Public Interest Foundation held their 10th annual ban-

quet at the Doubletree by Hilton in downtown Los Angeles on March 28, drawing a crowd of about 300. Attendees included prominent members of the legal community. The Public Interest Foundation

is a non-profit affiliate of the South Asian Association of Southern California, which was established in 2003. The foundation's mission is to organize, support, and promote public interest activities

for the benefit of the Southern Asian community and the Southern California community at large. After the cocktail hour, the evening kicked off with a short video presentation featuring the

past 10 years of the Public Interest Foundation. The founders and past presidents of the foundation spoke about the growth the foundation has seen in the past 10 years. In addition, recipients of grants provided by the foundation spoke of the difference the organization has made. At the banquet the Virginia Phillips of US District Court was presented with the Judicial Appreciation Award. The Judge spoke about the importance of public interest work and the diversity within the legal community. Soon after, a Bharatanatyam performance took place and dinner was served. As the event was brought to an end, the foundation announced the installation of 20132014 boards. Shivbir Grewal from Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth was awarded the Trailblazer Award. He is involved in health care entities dealing with corporate and securities law and advises corporate entities on governance and structure issues. Laboni Hoq, Litigation Director at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center was awarded the Public Interest Award. She speaks about her civil rights cases and her involvement with litigated workers' rights.


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To know God, approach a Spiritual Master Cont’d from page 26

The true Guru must have two qualifications. Firstly, he or she should possess theoretical knowledge of the scriptures - this is called shrotriya. Secondly, he or she should have realized that knowledge and be seated in the Truth - this is called brahm nishth. Hence, a true Guru is one who is both Shrotriya and Brahm Nishth. In these, the second criterion is most important, i.e. the Guru must be God-realized. Only one who has attained God can help others attain Him. If one is a beggar himself, how can he give money to others; if one has no knowledge himself, how can he teach others. If one has not attained the Bliss of Divine love, he cannot give it to others. Q: There are so many Gurus from different religious sects that it becomes confusing to choose one Guru. What is the process of finding a Guru? SM: There is a saying in Hindi: Pani piyo chhanake, guru banao janake "Drink water only after filtering it; make a Guru only after carefully knowing him." We must not accept anyone as our Guru, merely because of a friend's suggestion; we must ourselves recognize someone as a true Guru, and only then should we surrender to him. However, just as it is not pos-

cannot do this. However, the Sadguru possesses realized knowledge, for he or she has seen the Truth, and is able to reveal it with the benefit of experience to sincere seekers. 3. A true Guru does not give his or her disciple material allurements. Rather, he teaches his followers that the world is not the goal. Nowadays, many so-called saints claim to have a magic formula for removing all the material miseries and bestowing money, wealth, prestige, etc. Allured by such false statements, people flock to them in thousands. We must beware of such imposters who have not yet even understood that detachment from the world, and not material attainments, is the goal of spiritual life. 4. If we associate with a true Guru, we will naturally find ourselves getting attached to God and detached from the world. 5. The above points are all helpful in recognizing a Saint, but the strongest indication will come from God Himself. The Lord is seated in our hearts, and when He sees that we have a sincere desire to meet Him, He will guide us to a true Guru and create faith in Him. And when the inspiration comes from God, we will know it by its intensity; our heart will urge us that we have found the Guru we were looking for. Q: There is an age old saying: "When you are ready the teacher will appear." What is that "readi-

However, just as it is not possible for a Grade One student to evaluate the capability of a college teacher, similarly, it is not easy to recognize a Guru, who is a Divine personality, while we are only at the beginning of the path of spirituality sible for a Grade One student to evaluate the capability of a college teacher, similarly, it is not easy to recognize a Guru, who is a Divine personality, while we are only at the beginning of the path of spirituality. Yet, there are certain characteristics that provide helpful indications: 1. The true Guru's words are very impacting. Although we may have heard and read the same knowledge many times without being moved, when we hear it from the mouth of a God-realized Saint, the words change us from within. The reason for this is that the Sadguru does not merely elucidate what he has read in books; he explains from the depths of personal realization. 2. Whatever doubts we have on the spiritual path, if we place them before the Guru, he or she can easily dispel our confusions. A mere theoretical scholar of the scriptures

ness" required for the Guru to appear? SM: The Vedic scriptures have repeatedly instructed the need to surrender to a Guru, for attaining God. However, the question that stumps a seeker is how to find a true Guru. Fortunately, God helps the sincere seeker in this task. He is seated in everyone's heart, and so when He sees that we are ready, He not only brings us in contact with a genuine Guru, but also creates our faith towards the Guru by inspiring us with the feeling, "Yes! This is the personality whom I was searching for." Without this inspiration that comes so strongly from within, we may stand before the Guru, and yet not recognize him as a true Saint. Or we may recognize his Divinity, but feel no motivation to surrender to him. But when God bestows His

Grace, He inspires us and creates strong faith in the Guru. Hence, it is said that when God sees we are ready, we find our Spiritual Master. Here, readiness means a sincere aspiration to attain God. We must firmly decide that our goal is Godrealization, and we must desire it

And to cleanse the heart, we can chant any name of God; there is no need of a special mantra. Guru mantras are Sanskrit words that usually mean things like: "O Shree Krishna, I surrender to you," "O Shree Ram, I offer my obeisance to you," However, if we were to say

True deeksha is not merely the giving of a mantra in the ear of the disciple. True deeksha means to give the Divine power of God to the disciple. It should result in liberation from Maya, attainment of Divine Knowledge, Love and Bliss intensely. When God sees this readiness in any soul, He creates our connection with the Guru. Often people search for spiritual teachers but their desire for God is mixed with material aspirations. In accordance with their motive, their faith is created in unauthentic spiritual teachers who pander to their material desires. After many years, such seekers realize that their guru was not perfect, and they feel they have been cheated. But it was their own insincere aspiration that was to blame for their developing faith in a wrong personality. Hence, the best way to find a genuine Spiritual Master is to develop an intense yearning for God. When He sees this "readiness" in our heart, He will arrange for us to meet our teacher. Q: What is the special power in the Guru mantra that is given in the ear of the disciple at the time of deeksha (initiation)? Is it compulsory to receive a mantra for our devotion? Why are we told to keep it a secret and what will happen if we tell our Guru mantra to friends? SM: True deeksha is not merely the giving of a mantra in the ear of the disciple. True deeksha means to give the Divine power of God to the disciple. It should result in liberation from Maya, attainment of Divine Knowledge, Love and Bliss, and initiation into the eternal pastimes of God. Such deeksha is given by the Guru only when the disciple has totally cleansed his or her mind through the practice of Sadhan Bhakti, or preparatory devotion. The problem arises when people do not want to purify their hearts. They look for shortcuts whereby they can retain all their worldly desires, and yet attain God. Therefore, claims of magic mantras, tantras and yantras are very appealing to them. And Gurus who offer such allurements become very popular. But we must remember that until the heart is totally cleansed, we will not receive the divine grace which is necessary for God-realization.

the same thing in another language, would God not listen? God is the knower of the hearts. If we do not utter even a single word, but simply think of Him, God will understand and reciprocate our sentiments. So there is no need of receiving a mantra in the ear. God has unlimited Divine Names, and the He is seated in all of them. So we can chant any of His Names, such as: Krishna, Govind, Damodar, Gopal, Ram, Shiv, Narayan, etc. Even if the Guru gives the dis-

ciple a mantra in the ear, keeping it secret serves no purpose. Jagadguru Ramanujacharya's guru gave him a guru mantra and asked him not to reveal it to anyone. But Ramanujacharya went to the crossroads, and shouted out the mantra before the crowd. He said, "If it is beneficial, then why keep it secret. Let others also know it and benefit from it." Swami Mukundananda is a world renowned spiritual teacher from India, and is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and founder of JK Yog. He has received his degrees in engineering from world renowned institutes in India, IIT and IIM. He has inspired people all over the world on the path of spirituality, holistic health, yoga, meditation, service to society and God realization. This year, Swamiji will be conducting weeklong programs in 30+ cities of USA from April onwards. For more information visit: http://www.jkyog.org/ or contact: secretary@jkyog.org To attend Swamiji's Yoga, Meditation and Spiritual Discourses in USA, see the schedule for your city: www.jkyog.org/2013

Indian communities unite for Mendoza's fundraiser India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: Federation of Indian Community of Southern California organized a fundraiser for Tony Mendoza on his forthcoming election for State Senate

ous speakers one by one, who all spoke highly about Tony. Tony then spoke giving details about his election plans followed by a speech by Kenya Parham. Those who spoke included Mohan Sharma, K V Kumar, Sam

L to R: Amrit Bhandari, Mohan Sharma, Tony Mendoza, Sam Bhogal, Dilip Butani & K V Kumar

at the Haveli Restaurant, Artesia. It was a well attended meeting by various community leaders. Chairman Dilip Butani started the meeting introducing Tony Mendoza followed by a brief speech by the President Amrit Bhandari. They both invited vari-

Bhogal, Kishan Hingorani, Kewal Kanda, Aparna Hande, Vasu Pawar, Vineeta Vineet, Mike Raja, Keshav Patel and Manu Patel. The speeches were followed by music session by Dr Kailash Dhamija, Bhavin Mehta, Veena Singh and Sheela Bhandari.


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Sapna Mera Toota: Nautanki Saala 2 Mera Mann Kehne Laga: Nautanki Saala 3 Taki Taki: Himmatwala 4 Aaja Meri Jaan: I Love NY 5 Judaai Unplugged: I Love NY 28

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April 19, 2013 6 Aake Tere Kareeb:

he two divas of B-Town Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone shared cold vibes during the opening ceremony at Indian Premier League 6. Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padkone and Katrina Kaif kept around 50,000 spectators at the brightly-lit Salt Lake stadium spellbound - and millions more glued to TV sets in their drawing rooms - with their enthralling performances. However, the two leading ladies were seen ignoring each other. Deepika, who was in a serious relationship with Ranbir, allegedly blames Katrina, who got friendly with the Kapoor lad while shooting 'Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani' for her break-up. And this is the reason she didn't even look at Kat during the performance. It is learnt that SRK had to arrange a separate plane for Katrina as she seemed uncomfortable accompanying her counterpart in the three-hour long journey. Deepika left for Kolkota late in the evening in a different charter plane. "Both Katrina and Deepika didn't interact with each other and preferred staying aloof. Even when they all took to the stage, Katrina was all by herself. But Shah Rukh Khan played the perfect host and friend. The star was seen making both feel comfortable," a source revealed.

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uring the shoot of Nautanki Saala's latest hit song Dil Ki Toh Lag Gayi, Ayushmann Khurrana is said to have stolen one or two looks too much at newbie Evelyn Sharma's sexy curves. Can we blame him? After our hearts went dhak dhak for her hot dance performance in the famous Madhuri Dixit remake Dhak Dhak Karne Laga, Evelyn is now seducing us with sparkling eyes and slender moves in a Moulin Rouge kinda act, wrapping Ayushmann around her little finger. After so much praise for the soundtrack and Ayushmann's two new chartbusters Saadi Galli and Mera Mann, Dil Ki Toh Lag Gayi is definitely the one that tugs at our hearts the most! Now we are beginning to understand, why this girl has signed five major Bollywood movies already.

Ammaa Ki Boli 7 Kaali Kaali: Aake Tere Kareeb 8 Meethi Boliyaan: Kai Po Che! 9 Yaaram: Ek Thi Daayan 10 Manjha: Kai Po Che!

W

ith Deepika Padukone cheering for Shah Rukh Khan owned KKR in the inaugural match, the King Khan promised to egg on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in this IPL season when they are not up against KKR. Deepika is from Bangalore. "It is really great to have Deepika with us. She performed really well in the opening ceremony, after that she agreed to stay back and cheer for KKR. So I have decided that in this IPL season when RCB is not up against KKR, I will cheer for RCB along with Deepika," said an elated Shah Rukh. With KKR registering a six wicketwin against Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural match of IPL season six, Kolkata erupted in joy as KKR fans celebrated the victory by dancing in the streets a n d “I will cheering for the cheer home for RCB team.

along with Deepika�


April 19, 2013

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fter tickling the funny bone of the audiences, 'Dostana' duo Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are teaming up again, but this time for an action film, which is a remake of 2012 Tamil hit 'Vettai'. The South film was written and directed by N Linguswamy and starred Arya, R Madhavan, Sameera Reddy and Amala Paul. Earlier it was reported that Linguswami himself would direct the film and it would star Shahid Kapoor in the lead. But now Linguswami has been replaced by Abbas-Mustan. "We will direct the film ('Vettai'). To suit the sensibilities of mass audience here we have made certain changes," the director duo said. "To see Abhishek and John together on screen is a treat for cine goers," Abbas-Mustan said. The original revolves around two brothers - the elder being sensitive to violence and the younger being a jobless rogue. After the death of their father, a police officer, the elder brother takes on the same job.

onakshi Sinha's al ways been her papa's little girl. While shooting in Lucknow for Tigmanshu Dhulia's 'Bullett Raja', she began to miss him a lot. So, Shatrughan Sinha lost no time in booking a flight to Lucknow, and was there beside his daughter on the sets for the entire first half of one Sunday. A friend of Sonakshi said, "Sonakshi was glad to have her dad on the sets. For quite some time, he sat next to the monitor and watched his daughter perform. He spent quite a few hours

"Sonakshi was glad to have her dad on the sets. For quite some time, he sat next to the monitor and watched his daughter perform there, chatting heartily with Tigmanshu and producer Rahul Mittra." While shooting for Son of Sardar too, Shatrughan had flown to the outskirts of Punjab where his daughter was shooting just to be with her.

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t's not the first time that Ranbir Kapoor has played prank on his Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani co-stars. Dur ing the shoot of a wedding scene, the actor's prank on Kalki Koechlin put her and him in a bit of a spot, quite literally! A source says, "Ranbir, who was in a mischievous mood, was supposed to apply a small amount of turmeric paste on Kalki's face. But instead of applying a little paste on her face for the shot, Ranbir went ahead and plastered it all over. To make things worse, Kalki's sensitive skin reacted badly." Although the 29-year-old actress took the whole episode sportingly, the shooting came to a standstill. "Kalki couldn't shoot for two days as the rashes were quite visible. So the unit thought of waiting for her skin to go back to normal. It was very difficult to do the scene again as we were scared what if she develops the rash again?" laughs the source. The second time around, however, there were no pranks and the shoot went off smoothly.


„

Realty Tidbits

Adopt advance construction tech: NAREDCO NEW DELHI: Real estate developers should adopt advance construction technologies for faster execution of housing projects, realtors' industry body says. The developers should adopt modern construction technologies for completing housing projects within 12 months as against nearly 30 to 36 months at present, NAREDCO President Navin Raheja said at a conference. "This would help in construction of housing on a massive scale and minimize the shortage of housing in coming years, particularly lower income groups," he said in a statement. Speaking on the occasion, Y S Malik, Financial Commissioner & Principal Secretary, Department of Industries, Commerce & IT, Haryana called upon planners and real estate developers to adopt long term vision of 100 years and beyond with a provision for in built flexibility of revision of master plan every 5 years. -PTI

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MUMBAI: New launches and discounts offered by real estate developers have resulted in pick-up of sales volumes across cities during January-March, a report by US financial major Merrill Lynch said. "New project launches at attractive prices, discounts and schemes on offer to attract buyers and launches by renowned developer brands resulted in pick-up in sales during the period," it said in a statement.-PTI

6 worst home fixes for the money DANA DRATCH

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t's the magic phrase uttered by almost anyone who's ever con sidered the cost of home remodeling: "We'll use our home equity and get it back when we sell."

upgrades these days, says Sal Alfano, editorial director for Remodeling. These are the projects that often recoup the biggest slice of expenses at resale. But prices and returns do vary regionally, he

Unless you keep those projects practical, though, you might just be kidding yourself. For example: Steel front door: Good. Master suite addition costing more than the average American home: Bad. Every year, Remodeling magazine looks at the hottest home upgrades and renovations and calculates just how much owners get back when they sell. Upkeep is more popular than

says. Ever wonder what brings the lowest return when you plant that "for sale" sign? Think high-dollar, high-end and highly personalized add-ons that make you drool. Like a totally tricked-out garage built from the ground up. Or a super luxe master suite addition. Or the home office redo designed just for you. Here are the six improvements that, in their 2010 report, ranked dead last nationally when it comes

„ Dubai realty prices to move up further in 2013 DUBAI: Property prices here are likely to continue their upward march this year after rising in the first three months of 2013 on the back of higher demand, says a report by Asteco Property Management. Apartment sales prices grew on average by 12 per cent in the three months to the end of March 2013, with year-on-year growth standing at 27 per cent, it said. In comparison although average villa sales prices only climbed 5 per cent in Q1 2013, growth over the past 12 months averaged 24 per cent. The performance of rental rates was also impressive, average apartment and villa rents grew by 3 and 4 per cent compared to Q4 2012, but still managed to climb 19 and 21 per cent respectively over the past 12 months. "The overall outlook is positive with demand and rates expected to continue to grow. However, this will also mean that some tenants and buyers will be priced out of certain buildings or communities," said John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco Property Management.-PTI

New launches, discounts boosted sales in Jan-March

to getting those renovation dollars back at resale. Want to get an idea what today's office-awayfrom-the-office looks like? Walk into Starbucks. These days, a home office consists of a multiple-choice combination of wireless laptops, smart phones, PDAs and touch-screen tablets. And that worker bee might be toiling anywhere from a home patio or a favorite restaurant to a park bench. The standard home office renovation, meanwhile - complete with plenty of built-in storage and hightech wiring - is this year's biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at re-

space, Alfano says. He offers two tips for home-office remodelers when they sell. First, opt for something that can be easily converted back into a bedroom or den for (or by) the next buyer. Second, when you're selling, call it a study, den or hobby room. "There's lots of call for multipurpose space. Don't lock yourself into that one use," Alfano says. Don't use words that invoke images of actual work. Or the office. You see a backup generator and imagine all of the comforts no matter what the weather. But potential buyers hailing from outside your local area may not share that vision. (And a handful of those who do might have watched too many zombie movies.) On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power

The standard home office renovation, meanwhile - complete with plenty of built-in storage and high-tech wiring - is this year's biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes sale, according to the report. Return on investment doesn't reflect your enjoyment of the

generator installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. Cont’d on page 31

Neighbors over the line with gate, fence STEVE MCLINDEN

Dear Real Estate Adviser, My parents, who are both disabled, own property in rural eastern Texas, where they lived before moving to the city for advanced health care. My brother recently checked on their property and discovered that neighbors had built a gate and 60 feet of fence on my parents' side of the land. I've read

that squatter's rights don't apply when property owners are

costly court battle? The last time anybody lived on the property was 2002. - B. Scarce This type of thing is often Dear B., Squatter's rights, also done when the owners, known as adverse possuch as your parents, aren't session, are sometimes afforded to parties who on hand to challenge it have used a property openly and without obdisabled. What are my parents' jection from the actual owner for a remedies to undo this without a set number of years, which varies

by state. In your case, the property in question is a strip of land where the neighbors erected a gate and fence. This type of thing is often done when the owners, such as your parents, aren't on hand to challenge it. I might add there is a loophole in Texas state law that has given latitude to some squatters to try to claim entire homes in recent years. Cont’d on page 31


Real Estate

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Housing finance cos rule out reduction in lending rates MUMBAI: Leading housing finance companies like HDFC and LIC Housing Finance have ruled out immediate reduction in their lending rates citing higher cost of funds. "It (lending rate cut) is the function of cost of funds. When it comes down, we will pass on the same to customers," HDFC vice-chairman and chief executive Keki Mistry told reporters on the sidelines of an event. The chief executive of LIC Housing Finance VK Sharma also expressed similar sentiment, saying "reduction in interest rate will depend on the cost of funds," and pointed out that banks have not reduced their interest rates. On the expectation from the monetary policy, Mistry said he

additional tax benefit of Rs 1 lakh in home loan segment over and above the existing tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh, if the value of the property is under Rs 25 lakh. Meanwhile, LICHFC said it was receiving good response for its

Neighbors over the line with gate, fence Cont’d from page 30

was not expecting any rate cut in the policy scheduled to be announced on May 3. He also said that despite higher interest rates, the demand for home loans was better last year compared

to the previous three-four years. "Additional tax benefit provided in the Budget will encourage more people to buy property," Mistry added. The Budget has provided for an

6 worst home fixes for the money Cont’d from page 30

Going with a slightly less expensive model or having a less complicated installation could cut the costs significantly, Alfano says. Average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5 percent. Real estate agents will tell you that potential buyers want square footage, pristine condition and lots of light. So a brand-new room that has the word "sun" in it, it has to be great for resale value, right? Not necessarily. Your first clue: The word "addition" -- which means expanding the footprint of your home -- indicates that this is not a renovation for the faint of heart (or wallet). "It's one of the more expensive projects," Alfano says. While it seems simple enough, the national average for a sunroom addition is $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6 percent when

Who doesn't want to wake up in a five-star-hotel-quality suite with an attached spa bathroom and a kitchenette that affords you coffee and pastries before facing the world? Once you see the price tag, it won't just be the coffee keeping you up at night. For a super-deluxe master suite addition -- which adds square footage and uses only top-dollar materials -- the average cost is about $232,062, according to the report. That's 460 nights at a posh resort with enough left over to raid the minibar. In years past, this project was "sort of a trend in vacation homes" that migrated to primary dwellings, Alfano says. Sellers can expect to recover about 52.7 percent at resale. Your buyer can purchase a newer house with the same features as part of the original floor plan that "probably lays out better anyway," says Loren Keim, au-

This time, it would have all the organizational built-ins, and a durable, easy-to-clean floor to ensure it would never be messy again. And windows for natural light they sell. That doesn't mean that adding a sunroom is always a bad move. If your home needs another common area, a sunroom could be the answer, says Katie Severance, co-author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling Your Home." An addition is best considered in the context of the whole home, she says. "The doctor has to treat the whole patient. You have to look at the house and say 'What's out of balance?'"

home loan scheme 'Bhagyalakshmi' targeted at women. "In the last 2.5 months, we have sanctioned more than Rs 3,300 crore. Response from young generation ladies has been tremendous," Sharma said. -PTI

thor of "How to Sell Your Home in Any Market." So while the next buyer may appreciate your luxury accommodations (which could even tip their decision in your home's favor), chances are they won't want to pay the full tab for your remodel. Unless you're a hermit who never entertains, you've probably wished for an extra bathroom now and then. But bathroom additions require serious coin. For a moderately out-

fitted addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, figure parting with about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood of

$40,710. Either way, you get about the same return: 53 cents on the dollar. "In the buyer's mind, the additional bathroom isn't worth that additional $20,000 to $40,000," Keim says. Investigate a less-expensive way to get the same result without flushing quite as much cash. While additions usually cost more, pros might be able to reconfigure your existing space to add a bathroom for less, Alfano says. Instead of cleaning out the garage, how much would you pay to have a new one built from scratch? This time, it would have all the organizational built-ins, and a durable, easy-to-clean floor to ensure it would never be messy again. And windows for natural light. Oh yeah, and you could store a couple of cars in there, too. The price tag for a top-of-theline detached two-car with all the trimmings is about $90,053, according to the report. You can expect to recover about 53.6 percent of that when you sell. "This one is completely decked out on the inside," says Alfano. "Courtesy Bankrate.com

Most of these squatters, I'm pleased to note, have been foiled by court orders and extricated. Your case is simpler. From the looks of it, your parents weren't around to witness the construction because they were disabled and even institutionalized for treatment. Normally, the real owners have five years to 10 years, depending on circumstances, to recover property that's used or held under adverse possession. However, if the original property owners suffered from legal disabilities such as your parents at the time squatters made their move, state statutes "toll" (stop or suspend) the countdown until those disabilities are removed or 25 years pass. So the law is on your family's side. That doesn't mean the gate and fence can be immediately torn

First off, you can request in writing that your neighbors remove the fence and gate. If the neighbors dispute the line, you may have to go to the local township or county office and pull the property survey, then check it against the property lines. You may even have to order a new survey if there's ambiguity, and that could be costly (more than $1,000 on a large rural property). Here, you could offer to split the survey's costs with the neighbor and agree beforehand to abide by the results. If it does turn out that your neighbors' construction is on your folks' property and they won't budge, you can offer to sell the disputed land, assuming it won't affect the marketability of, or access to, your parents' land. If the neighbors balk again, then ask them in writing to move the construction to their property. If that

Your case is simpler. From the looks of it, your parents weren't around to witness the construction because they were disabled and even institutionalized for treatment down. Sometimes such an encroachment is an honest mistake resulting from a bad survey, contractor error or a miscommunication in the past between neighboring parties. Other times, it's deliberate. Of course, I wouldn't blame you for suspecting that the departure of your parents may have bolstered the neighbors' courage in this case.

fails, you may be entitled to carefully remove it yourself - but be very cautious on this one. Alas, you may have to consult with an attorney to determine what statutes allow you to do. As you can imagine, that road could get rocky and costly. It's always best to work these things out civilly if at all possible. Good luck! -Bankrate.com


„ Health

Line

US authorities announce bird flu vaccine effort WASHINGTON: US health authorities have said they are liaising with domestic and international partners to develop a vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed five people in China. With the number of confirmed infection cases climbing to 14, authorities in Shanghai have begun the mass slaughter of poultry at a market after the virus was detected there in samples of pigeon. Noting an ongoing probe by Beijing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a US federal agency said it was following the situation closely. Its efforts will include "gathering more information to make a knowledgeable public health risk assessment, and developing a candidate vaccine virus." The CDC is also "reviewing posted genetic sequencing of the H7N9 viruses and assessing possible implications in terms of the viruses' transmissibility and severity and whether existing influenza diagnostic tests need to be enhanced or new ones developed." -AFP

„ Himachal to open drug de-addiction centers SHIMLA: Drug de-addiction centers will be opened in all district hospitals in Himachal Pradesh to check the increasing tendency of drug abuse among youths in the state, a state minister has said. Replying to discussion on increasing drug misuse initiated by BJP leader Mohinder Singh in Vidhan Sabha, Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chawdhary said the government would be taking slew of measures to regulate supply of narcotic drugs. The minister said that an awareness campaign has also been started to eradicate this social evil. He said the doctors would check drug users in every district hospital in the OPD and Drug Addiction centers and nurses were also being train to tackle such cases. As many as 1,172 cases were booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in last three years while government was keeping a close vigil on the sale and purchase of psychotropic substances and Narcotic drugs in the state. He said that department officials were conducting several raids to seize such illicit substance and 30,957 psychotropic capsules and tablets had already been seized up to February 28, 2013.-PTI

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Man stole US cancer data to study in China Details on Page 35

Virginia lawmakers OK measure to bar abortion coverage RICHMOND, Va.: By a single Senate vote, Virginia's General Assembly approved Gov. Bob McDonnell's amendment to ban abortion coverage from being sold through a new federally run health insurance exchange. Capping a day of passionate rhetoric and dramatic delays over the emotional issue, the Senate voted 20-19 to accept the Republican governor's amendment to legislation defining how the exchange - forums through which people who don't qualify for Medicaid can purchase low-cost coverage - would operate. Earlier in the day, the House, by a 55-37 vote, also approved the amendment. Its real test was destined to be the Senate where Democrats and Republicans each control 20 seats. Opponents - including the lone Republican to oppose the amendment, Sen. John Watkins - said McDonnell's measure was so extreme that it will not only interfere with a woman's reproductive rights decisions, it takes the unusual step of dictating to private

insurers' policies what they can't cover. Federal law for more than 35 years has prohibited the use of taxpayer funds for abortion ser-

nies what kind of mandates you have to cover, but we've never told an insurance company that you can't cover something even if you want to cover it,'' an incredulous

Gov. Bob McDonnell

vices. But, Democrats noted, McDonnell's amendment even denies firms selling policies through the exchange the opportunity to sell separate riders to cover abortions to customers who don't use government subsidies. ``We've told insurance compa-

Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, a Democrat from Fairfax County, said. Debate was visceral and sometimes explosive in both chambers. In the House, the General Assembly's most ardent abortion opponent, Republican Del. Robert G. Marshall, provoked gasps

and grimaces within the House chamber when he said the amendment didn't go far enough because it allows what he considers an overly broad exception allowing abortions when a pregnant woman's life is in peril. Marshall said he would abstain to voice his displeasure, and a fellow anti-abortion legislator, Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, sought to change Marshall's mind by arguing that McDonnell's amendment does more harm than good. ``If he truly believes this amendment would not save one life, then I certainly understand that that is a valid argument, but if he believes it will save any lives, why then would he not attempt to do that?'' Gilbert asked. ``Mr. Speaker, anybody here could go out in front of an abortion clinic and blow it up and probably slow down the number of abortions for a week. I'm not willing to use any means to achieve even a good end,'' Marshall shot back. Cont'd on Page 35

Miss. lawmakers OK restrictions on abortion drugs JACKSON, Miss.: A bill headed to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says a physician would have to be present when a woman takes abortion-inducing drugs. Senate Bill 2795 also says the woman would have to return to the doctor's office two weeks later for a follow-up examination. With little explanation and no debate, the Senate passed the final version of the bill 46-6. The House passed it 84-30. Supporters say the bill is designed to prevent the practice of the drugs being administered by someone from a remote location while communicating by phone or webcam. While Bryant's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the governor has said frequently that

he wants to end abortion in Mississippi. If he signs the bill, it would become law July 1. Sen. Brice Wiggins, RPascagoula, said the bill received

support from state and national Right to Life groups and from the state Baptist association. He also said the Mississippi State Medical Association and the OB-GYN

Gov. Phil Bryant

association were ``fine with it.'' Republican Sen. Sally Doty, of Brookhaven, was among those voting for the bill. ``It's very important for me to look for ways to safeguard women's health,'' Doty said. ``I think this helps set standards that will help reach that goal.'' Democratic Sens. Kenny Wayne Jones, of Canton, and Derrick Simmons, of Greenville, voted against it, saying government shouldn't be so deeply involved in women's health decisions. ``It's an attack on women's rights,'' Simmons said. ``In recent national and state politics, there has been an emergence of men legislatively concerned about women's health. I don't understand that.'' Cont'd on Page 34


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Mo. House panel backs Medicaid legislation JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.: A Republicanled House committee approved a plan to expand and remake Missouri's Medicaid program, but it may never take effect because it falls short of the demands of President Barack Obama's health care law. The legislation would authorize a fivefold increase in Missouri's income eligibility thresholds for adults to qualify for Medicaid. Yet it would not go as far as Obama's administration has said is necessary for states to receive full federal funding for the Medicaid expansion. The Missouri legislation contains an automatic self-destruction clause that would prevent it from taking effect if federal officials rule that it cannot qualify for

attorney who is sponsoring the Republican legislation. The vote came on the same day that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon took the unusual step of meeting behind closed doors with more than 100 House Republicans to discuss a Medicaid expansion. Nixon said he supports many of the market-based Medicaid proposals in the Republican plan, though he also stressed that it does not go far enough to qualify for full federal funding. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to lowerincome residents. The program's expansion was one of the key ways that Obama planned to provide coverage for millions of Americans now lacking insurance. Missouri currently has one of the toughest At issue is a adult eligibility thresholds in the nation provision of denying coverage, for example, to a the 2010 federal law that called single mother of two children who earns for states to exmore than about $3,700 annually. tend Medicaid Barnes' plan would expand adult Medicaid coverage to adults earning eligibility up to 138 perthe enhanced federal funding. cent of the poverty level, about $27,000 anNonetheless, the 7-2 vote by the House nually for a family of three. States that do Government Oversight and Accountability so can get full funding for the first three Committee marked the first time that years, starting in 2014, then an amount that Missouri's GOP-led Legislature has em- gradually decreases to 90 percent federal braced anything even resembling the Med- funding by 2020. A Supreme Court ruling icaid expansion envisioned by the 2010 fed- last year made the expansion optional for eral law. The legislation still must clear an- states. other House committee to receive debate Missouri currently has one of the toughby the full chamber. est adult eligibility thresholds in the nation ``This bill presents an opportunity to - denying coverage, for example, to a single make Missouri a leader in Medicaid reform mother of two children who earns more than for the entire country - to show other states about $3,700 annually. how we can drive costs down and bring Barnes' plan would expand adult Medicthe savings we can achieve here nation- aid eligibility to the poverty level, which wide,'' said Rep. Jay Barnes, a Jefferson City Obama's administration has said is not suf-

Aurobindo gets tentative nod from USFDA for Anti-AIDS drug NEW DELHI: Drug firm Aurobindo Pharma has said it has received tentative approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market its anti-AIDS combination drug Efavirenz/Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate tablets in the

American market. The company has received tentative approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for the combination

drug in the strength of 600mg/200mg/300mg Aurobindo Pharma said in a statement. The tablets are generic equivalent of Gilead Sciences Inc's Atripla tablets in the same strength combination and fall under the anti-retroviral (ARV) segment, it added. "It is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults. This ANDA was reviewed under the expedited provisions of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR)," Aurobindo said. The company now has a total of 182 abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) approvals (156 final approvals, including two from Aurolife Pharma LLC and 26 tentative approvals) from USFDA, it added.-PTI

ficient to trigger full federal funding. Before passing the bill, the House committee defeated a Democratic amendment that

ing to do it,'' he said. Barnes' legislation would require the state to seek competitive bids from private insurers to offer managed-care policies to Medicaid recipients. Enrollees would have to make co-payments for medical services and could get cash incentives for holding down their health care costs - for example, by avoiding hospital emergency rooms for routine problems that could be treated by a priGov. Jay Nixon holds a brief press conference in Missouri's Capitol in Jefferson City, on April 3, mary care physician. It also would have raised adult eligibility to 138 could shift thousands of children from the percent of poverty. Medicaid program to government-subsiBarnes said Missouri should test the flex- dized private insurance policies that are to ibility of the Obama administration. be available through online insurance mar``If they don't cooperate, we're not go- ketplaces.-AP


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Breath test can predict if you are Dr Reddy generic Zoledronic acid injection in US likely to gain weight WASHINGTON: The content of your breath may indicate how susceptible you are to weight gain, according to a new study led

by an Indian-origin researcher. People whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gases are more likely to have a higher body mass index and percentage of body fat, according to the study. The combination of the two gases signals the presence of a microorganism that may contribute to obesity. A person exhales larger amounts of hydrogen and methane gases when a microorganism called Methanobrevibacter smithii (M smithii) colonizes the digestive tract. Previous research has shown that M smithii is the predominant organism in the human gastrointestinal tract responsible for methane production.

"Normally, the collection of microorganisms living in the digestive tract is balanced and benefits humans by helping them convert

food into energy," said lead author Ruchi Mathur, director of the Outpatient Diabetes Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology at CedarsSinai in Los Angeles. "When M smithii becomes overabundant, however, it may alter the balance in a way that makes the human host more likely to gain weight and accumulate fat," Mathur said. M smithii scavenges hydrogen from other microorganisms and uses it to produce methane, which is eventually exhaled. Researchers theories that the interaction helps hydrogen-producing microorganisms extract nutrients from food more effi-

ciently, which encourages weight gain and obesity in the human host. These microorganisms also may play a role in insulin signaling and regulation. "This is the first large-scale human study to connect the dots and show an association between gas production and body weight," Mathur said. The prospective study analyzed the breath content of 792 people. Based on the breath tests, four patterns emerged. The subjects either had normal breath content, higher concentrations of methane, higher levels of hydrogen or higher levels of both gases. The people whose breath test contained higher concentrations of both hydrogen and methane tended to have higher body mass indexes and higher percentages of body fat.

NEW DELHI: Drug firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories has said it has launched generic Zoledronic Acid injection used for treating osteoporosis and Paget's disease of bone in the US market following approval from the US health regulator. The company has launched Zoledronic Acid injection (5 mg/ 100 mL) following approval of its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) by the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA), Dr Reddy's Laboratories said in a statement. The product is generic version of Novartis AG's Reclast injection in the same strength, it added. "The Reclast brand had total US sales of approximately USD 355 million for the most recent twelve months ending February,

that getting teeth "deep cleaned" can dramatically reduce the chances of developing atrial fibril-

lation - an irregular heartbeat which is one of the major stroke risk factors. Even dental scaling done just once a year seemed to have a pow-

NEW YORK: Nearly half of young women say the first time they lived with a guy, they weren't married. That's the finding of a government survey.

The study will be published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). -PTI

erful protective effect, the Daily Express reported. The team of researchers, from the Taipei Veter-

ans General Hospital in Taiwan, recruited nearly 29,000 volunteers over 60 with no history of heart trouble and questioned them about how often they went to the dentist for dental scaling, where the build-up of plaque and tartar is removed. They then tracked them for nearly five years to see which ones went on to develop atrial fibrillation. The results, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, showed that patients who saw their dentist for a scale and polish at least once a year were a third less likely to develop an abnormal heartbeat. And the more frequently they had it done, the bigger the benefits, the research found. It is believed that bacteria increase the rate at which arteries get blocked. -PTI

fusion, it added. Paget's disease of bone is a chronic disorder that can result in enlarged and misshapen bones.PTI

Many young women live with men first, marry later

Dental hygiene wards off stroke risk Regular visits to the dentist will not only give you healthy teeth but also cut your risk of stroke, new research has claimed. Taiwanese researchers found

2013 according to IMS Health," Dr Reddy's said. The company's Zoledronic Acid injection is available in a single use vial for intravenous in-

The results are a marked changed from 1995 when only 34 percent said they moved in together. Now it is 48 percent.

Back then, 39 percent said they married first, compared to 23 now. Experts say the numbers show living together is being increasingly used as a testing ground for marriage. About 40 percent of the women who lived with a guy went on to marry him within 3 years. T h e survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention questioned more than 12,000 women younger than 45 from 2006 to 2010. -AP

Miss. lawmakers OK restrictions on abortion drugs Cont'd from Page 32

Barbara Whitehead, president of Mississippi Right to Life, issued a news release thanking lawmakers for passing the bill and saying she expects Bryant to sign it into law. ``Good medical practice dictates that a doctor should be physically present when a woman undergoes an abortion,'' Whitehead said. ``This bill will help pro-

tect women's health and save unborn babies' lives.'' Felicia Brown-Williams, director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, urged Bryant to veto the bill. ``Women don't turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments,'' Brown-Williams said. ``Politicians should not be involved in a woman's personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.'' -AP


April 19, 2013

Health Science Post

India Post 35

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Man stole US cancer data to study in China MILWAUKEE: Suspicion quickly fell on a research assistant who had been working in a scientist's lab when three vials of a possible cancer-fighting compound disappeared recently from the professor's desk at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Security video showed Hua Jun Zhao, who studied in China and whose wife lives there, was the only person who entered the professor's office that day. Investigators later found research results from another professor on Zhao's computer. Zhao has been charged in a federal complaint with economic espionage, accused by prosecutors of stealing academic research to pass off as his own in China. Prosecutors said he hoped to study the compound and other materials at Zhejiang Uni-

versity, one of several Chinese schools that have been troubled by plagiarism, fraud and academic misconduct. Zhao, 42, worked on a team led by professor Marshall Anderson, who is researching whether the compound can help kill cancer cells without damaging healthy ones, school spokeswoman Maureen Mack said. The compound is still being studied in a lab and has not yet advanced to clinical testing, she said. The stolen vials of the C-25 powder are worth USD 8,000, the complaint said. Leonard Peace, an FBI spokesman in Milwaukee, said he couldn't comment beyond what was in the complaint, except to confirm the vials had not been recovered. Anderson noticed the vials missing on

Doctors complain about Vermont plan regulations MONTPELIER, Vt.: A group of Vermont insulting. There's nothing in the Hippodoctors and mostly Republican lawmakers cratic oath about that.'' have warned that if Vermont goes ahead She argued that what's unethical is a with its plan to push toward a Canadian- health care system that turns patients away style, single-payer health care system, the for an inability to pay, or that ``patients state will ``regulate the private practice of have to be treated differently because of medicine in Vermont out of existence.'' their insurance.'' At a news conference called by the At the news conference, doctors backed group Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, an amendment defeated by the Vermont which has been critical of the single-payer House last month that would have barred plan championed by Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Green Mountain Care Board from setcrafted by a Democratic-controlled Legis- ting salaries and rates for doctors and prolature, the lead spokesman for the physi- tected the right of patients to enter into cians, Burlington psychiatrist Robert Emmons, warned that the state's ef- The lead spokesman for the physiforts to control health care cians, Burlington psychiatrist Robert costs would force them to Emmons, warned that the state's efforts reduce quality. ``When you control to control health care costs would how the doctor is paid, you force them to reduce quality control the doctor's clinical decisions,'' Emmons said, calling Green voluntary financial agreements with their Mountain Care, the name the state has given doctors. to the single-payer plan to begin operations Rep. Mike Fisher, chairman of the House in 2017, incompatible with medical ethics. Health Care Committee, called the measure Dr. Deb Richter, a physician and long- premature, saying the Green Mountain Care time advocate for single-payer health care Board had not begun to set up the finanin Vermont, called the idea that medical eth- cial structure of the coming single-payer ics would be influenced by money ``really system.-PTI

Virginia lawmakers OK measure to bar abortion coverage Cont'd from Page 32

In the Senate, Republican Thomas A. Garrett of Louisa rebutted the Democrats' claim that McDonnell - a social conservative - and the GOP were restricting private individuals from using their own money. ``We talk about private contracts, but these private contracts, by the language of the bill, are administered with public funds, therefore it's not a private transaction,'' he reasoned. ``And we talk about this bill as if it's demeaning. It is hard for me to conceive

of something more demeaning than a human life tossed into a refuse bin, a garbage can.'' The amendment was identical to a provision passed two years ago as part of a law that would have governed the operation of a state-run and state-funded insurance exchange as required under the Affordable Care Act that Congress enacted in 2010. But McDonnell decided against a staterun exchange, leaving the federal government to operate and fund the exchange in Virginia. -AP

February 22. School security video showed Zhao was the only person who entered

Zhao has been charged in a federal complaint with economic espionage, accused by prosecutors of stealing academic research to pass off as his own in China. Prosecutors said he hoped to study the compound and other materials at Zhejiang University Anderson's office that day. Federal investigators questioned him about the vials on February 27, but Zhao claimed he did not understand their questions, the complaint said. The school immediately placed him on administrative leave. Zhao's co-workers told the FBI that Zhao spoke excellent English and he had lived in the US for many years. Mack declined to say how long Zhao worked at the school and would not provide details of his immigration status, referring questions to the FBI.

Zhao was arrested on March 29 and charged with economic espionage, which

Hua Jun Zhao

carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a USD 500,000 fine. A judge ordered him held at Milwaukee County Jail until trial. No trial date has been set but a preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11. Zhao's public defender, Juval Scott, said it was too early to comment on the case. "Right now I know that a talented professional has been accused of a serious crime," she said in an email, "and our office looks forward to rolling up our sleeves and working on his behalf." -AP


Datebook

36 India Post

April 19, 2013

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NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sun May 19 • Soorya Festival Sangamam Venue: Woodbridge High School, 750 St Georges Ave, Woodbridge Township, NJ 07095 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: (800)-213-7080

Sat Apr 27 • NRITHYOPANAYANA – Healing through Dance Venue: Lawrence High School Auditorium, 2525 Princeton Pike, Lawrence, NJ 08648 Time: 3:30 pm Contact: 609-912-0951

Sat Apr 20 • India Fair Dance Competition 2013 Venue: New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 1:00 pm Contact: 609-240-2350

• Bharat Matrimony Spark Event: Hindu Singles at Pranna

Sunday April 28 • Prince of Carnatic Music Sikkil Gurucharan Concert

Venue: Pranna, 79 Madison Avenue(Corner of 28th Street), New York City, NY 10003 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: 646-481-1687

Venue: Stanford Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305 Time: 10.30 am to 2.00 pm Contact: 408-806-9142

Wed Apr 24

Sun May 5 • Masters of Indian Music Venue: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 212-545-7536

Fri May 10

• Vaanga Pazhagalaam Venue: Hoover School Auditorium, 3501 Country Club Dr, Lakewood, CA 90712 Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 310-213-7342

Sat Apr 20 • Krazy 2

Sat April 27 • Lil' Krishna Kidz -Ramayana Festival 2013 Venue: SScott Lane Elementary School, 1925 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95050 Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 408-729-8634

• Soorya Festival New York Venue: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: 832 643 9131

Sat May 13

Sat April 27 to Fri May 3 Discourses by Swami Mukundananda • Bhagavad Geeta for Everyday Living Venue: Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, 420-450 Persian Drive, Sunnyvale CA 94089 Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

• Essence of Spirituality Venue: Fremont Hindu Temple, 3676 Delaware Drive, Fremont, CA 94538 Time: Sat: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Sun: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, Tue: 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm Prasadam: Prasadam will be served after the program May 4th (Sat) to May 10

• Regular

On-going Bal-mukund Class Venue: 3839, Heriatage Terrace #232, Fremont, CA Contact: 510-794-3368, Email: babitarpur@gmail.com • Regular On-going Satsang: Contact: 408-594-8197 Email: lisamousum@gmail.com, 510-573-2288 Email: karuna101_sharma@yahoo.com

Venue: Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, 777 Chick Hearn Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90015 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 714-584-7466

Sat Apr 20 • Archanana 2013 Venue: Thousand Oaks Civics Art Plaza, 2100 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 805-754-9861

• J K Yog, Chicago - Swami Mukundananda Chicago Satsang Information: J K Yog Satsang and Bal Mukund Hindi Classes are held every 2nd and 4rth Sunday of Month 330pm-530pm @ Clarion Inn/Waterford Banquets, Board Room, 933 South Riverside Drive, Elmhurst, IL 60126 Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-5614807 -Website: www.jkyog.org Chicago Children's Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes- Bal Mukund Classes are held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of Month 11am-1pm @ Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-5614807 - Website: www.jkyog.org/bal-mukund

ATLANTA

Two superhit Gujarati plays are coming to Chicago

Upcoming

1. Eak Bejane Nadta Rahiye

Friday Apr 19 • Sunidhi Chauhan & Ali Zafar's Krazy live in Atlanta Venue: Atlanta Civic Center, 395, Piedmont Ave, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 Time: 8:30 pm Contact: 404-576-8909

Fri Apr 26 • Paresh Rawal in Double Roll Venue: GWCC in Sidney Marcus Auditorium, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 Time: 8:45 pm Contact: 404-786-7860

Sat Apr 27 • Dhoop Chaoon's Annual Entertainment Show Venue: Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Rd, Lilburn, GA 30047 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 404-513-9926

Date Venue:

March 22, 2013 Jain Center, Bartlett, IL

2. GujjuBhai Ni Golmaal Date: Venue:

March 29, 2013 Jain Center, Bartlett, IL

• Shreejidwar Community Events Venue: Vaishnav Samaj of Midwest, 440 W Fullerton Ave., Addision, IL - 60101 Time: Holi-Rasiya-Rangotsav: Sun Mar 24, Shree Mahaprabhuji Pragatyosav: Sun May 5, Haveli Patotsav: Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun/ Jul4/5/6/7 Nandmahotsav: Sat Aug 31 Sharad Poonam/Rasotsav Garba: Sat Oct 18 Annakut Mahotsav: Sat Nov 9 Tulsi Vivah: Sat Nov 16 Tavasmi & Kirtan Classes every other Sunday… Satsang Every Saturday & Sunday After Sandhya Darshan Sakha Mandal 3rd Sunday Contact: 630-543-38-71


India Post 37

April 19, 2013

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M

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unnar is Kerala's premium hill station. Surrounded by gently undulating hills swathed in the soothing green of vast tea estates makes it perfect tourist destination in south India. Situated at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level, its bracing climate with the laidback atmosphere and its delightfully refreshing colonial air makes it one of the most soughtafter destinations. Kerala itself is called God's own country, with National Geographic Traveler selecting it as 'One of 50 must see destinations of a lifetime' and 'One of the 10 paradises of the World'. And Munnar is the most popular spot in Kerala. The holiday facilities, peaceful environment and the tranquility that it provides make it the perfect serenity spot to rejuvenate and revive the most jaded of travelers. Munnar lies in Idukki district, at the confluence of three mountain rivers. It is pronounced "Moon-aar", meaning 'three rivers' in Malayalam. The rivers; Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala meet in the center of the town. The place is encircled by wooded hills of the Annamalai Ranges, with the towering bulk of Anamudi, which is peninsular India's high-

April 19, 2013

est peak, at 2695 m. Munnar was once a sleepy little hamlet, until Scottish planters discovered it. Later the British who ruled India, developed it more into one of southern India's most important centers for the cultivation of tea, coffee and spices. They made it their summer hideout because of the cooler climate and the mesmerizing mountain scenery. Munnar is sometimes called the 'Switzerland of India'. The mountain streams, valleys, tea plants and plenty to discover in the surrounding region, this hill station offers a great variety of choices. It is an excellent base for trekking through the surrounding hills, which are covered by lush green rainforests; for going picnicking beside a crystalclear mountain stream; for wildlife watching; or for simply getting the kinks out of a tired system! Cont’d on page 42


40

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

April 19, 2013

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No decline in foreign tourist arrival: Chiranjeevi NEW DELHI: Tourism minister K Chiranjeevi has said recent incidents of violence against foreigners may have short term impact but there is no dip in foreign tourist arrival. "When such a thing happens then knee jerk reaction will be there but long term it will not be there...The recent data did not show any dip in the number of foreign tourist arrivals," he told a press conference here. Chiranjeevi also announced that India would host United Nations World Tourism Organization

(UNWTO) Commission's Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development and 25th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia, Pacific and South Asia will be held at Hyderabad from April 12-14. Twenty-one countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, LAO PDR, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam - have confirmed their participation in the event. -PTI

BSNL launches wi-fi module for cars INDORE: In a development which is probably the first of its kind in the country, BSNL's Indore division has launched a wi-fi technology module for cars which will enable people to use Internet while they are traveling. A wi-fi technology module which costs around Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 was first installed on an experimental basis in the official car of BSNL Indore

unit's General Manager G C Pandey. Pandey said that this was probably the first model in the country where the car has an antenna which receives wi-fi signals with a 3.5 mbps speed, from an exchange based on CDMA technology. The model is expected be adopted by customers in a big way, once it gains popularity, he said. -PTI

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CATERING IS OUR SPECIALITY

India & China main growth drivers in Asia Pacific NEW DELHI: Global business travel management firm Carlson Wagonlit Travel today said emerg-

ing markets like India and China will be the main drivers of growth for the company in next five years in the Asia Pacific. "Emerging markets will be the main drivers of growth for CWT in

Asia Pacific in next five years. India, China and Brazil will be the key markets," Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Asia Pacific President Kelly L Kuhn told PTI. Positive gross domestic product (GDP) numbers in China and India and in most of the countries in Asia Pacific will boost the company's business, she added. Commenting on the volume of business in India, Carlson Wagonlit Travel India CEO Geeta Jain said:" In 2012 India had close to 2 million transaction counts." Meetings and events besides small and medium enterprises will

be key segments that will drive growth, she added. Mobile technology will also play an increasingly important role on the way the business will be conducted in the coming years, Kuhn said. Energy sector will also drive business growth. "This will be another major growth sector," she added. The company that follows a 'transaction fees model' also said it plans to increase its head count in India from the current 1,200 employees in next five years as it pursues aggressive expansion plans in the country, the company said without giving the numbers. Paris headquartered Carlson Wagonlit Travel serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations in about 150 countries across the world. -PTI

Singapore woos Indians with ''city in a garden'' NEW DELHI: 'Go as parents and return as children' entreats the new ad for Singapore Tourism Board, which has launched a customized and differentiated marketing campaign for India. Focusing on Singapore's emergence as a "city in a garden" the campaign throws the spotlight on its latest attraction, the acclaimed Gardens by the Bay, a park spanning 250 acres of reclaimed land in central Singapore, dominated by giant 25 meters to 50 meters treelike structures that dominate the landscape. "Gardens by the Bay are one of the latest attractions adding to our city's evolving landscape. We believe that the experiences offered in Singapore will continue to resonate strongly with the Indian travelers and draw them for repeated trips to Singapore," said Chang Chee Pey, Executive Director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. The campaign says it recognizes the Indian traveler's shift in preference, from sightseeing trips to engaging holidays that offer enriching experiences, allowing them to acquire new skills and knowledge while connecting with loved ones. "Back in 2005 we had actually launched a very ambitious tourism master plan, where we aimed to double our tourist arrivals from 8 million to 17 million visitors and to

triple our tourism receipts from 10 billion Singapore dollars to 30 billion Singapore dollars. "Some fruits of our labor for the grand master plan have starting to show. India is the 5th largest in the context of tourist arrival in the country and the highest spender," said Chang Chee Pey, Executive Director, South Asia, Middle East and

101 hectares of prime land at the heart of Singapore's new downtown Marina Bay. The Garden comprises of three waterfront gardens: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. "Gardens by the Bay offer journeys into diverse botanical worlds, right on the equator. From the best of Singapore flora, to the cloud

Africa, Singapore Tourism Board. These insights have enabled Singapore Tourism Board to collaborate with stakeholders to curate resonant experiences for the India market. "We have integrated major projects like casinos, the world's first Formula One night race and of course our key project Garden by the Bay to attract visitors," said Pey. Gardens by the Bay span over

forest of tropical highlands, to the colorful blooms of Mediterraneantype climatic regions, visitors can now take a 'botanical holiday' and enjoy the natural wonders of faraway realms all in one place. The Gardens brings the world of plants to Singapore, and in doing so, presents Singapore to the world," said Dr Kiat W Tan, Chief Executive Officer, Gardens by the Bay. -PTI


April 19, 2013

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

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Kerala tourism ad wins award Shelburne Museum to open art center in August for conservation message THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Tourism's print campaign on World Tourism Day encouraging travelers to save precious rain forests through their simple actions has won the 'Olive Crown Award' for communicating

sustainability. The print advertisement released on September 27 last year showing how a simple act like postponing a hotel laundry could help sustain rain forests, lifted the Award in the Press Services category, a state tourism press release said. The Olive Crown Awards, given by the India chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA), recognizes excellence in communicating sustainability, it said.

The advertisement featured the state's pristine hills and forests on a towel with a message, "A simple act can wipe away more than you can imagine," seeking to remind travelers "to put our simple acts together, every time we travel".

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said the travel and tourism sector in the state was committed to promote sustainable tourism with the co-operation of the visitors. "We firmly believe in the partnership between travelers and the trade towards conserving and preserving our nature," he said, adding "it would take only simple actions by travelers to show that they care for nature." The Kerala Tourism's campaign

Chinese tourists world's biggest spenders in 2012 BEIJING: Chinese tourists overtook travelers from Germany and the US to become the world's biggest spenders in 2012 with an expenditure totaling a record USD 102 billion. Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eightfold since 2000. A study by the United Nation's World Tourism Organization said Chinese citizens' overall expenditure on overseas travel reached a record high of USD 102 billion last year registering a 40 per cent jump from a year earlier pushing China ahead of Germany and US, traditionally the top two spenders, the WTO report said. Over the past decade China has been, and still is, by far the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world due to rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travelers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese travelers

spent a record USD 102 billion in international tourism in 2012, a 40 per cent jump from 2011 when it amounted to USD 73 billion, it said. "With this sustained growth, China has become the largest spender in international tourism glo-

Over the past decade China has been, and still is, by far the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world due to rapid urbanization bally in 2012. In 2005 China ranked seventh in international tourism expenditure, and has since successively overtaken Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. "With the 2012 surge, China leaped to first place, surpassing both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to USD 84 billion in 2012)," the study said. -PTI

was chosen for the award from entries from several other Asian countries. The State Tourism Department had also won national award for the Best Rural Tourism Project for Kumarakom's Responsible Tourism model for successfully linking local community with the hospitality sector for an eco-friendly tourism. "Sustainability is at the centre of Kerala's tourism development model," said Kerala Tourism Director Rani George. "We have been sensitizing the tourism trade and travelers to the need for conserving Kerala's natural wealth and will strengthen our efforts in that direction. -PTI

SHELBURNE, Vt.: The Shelburne Museum's new Center for Art and Education is scheduled

to open on Aug. 18. The opening will mark the first time in the museum's 66-year history that it will be open year-round.

The center will allow the museum to have an expanded range of exhibitions and new programming. The 18,000-squarefoot center was designed by Ann Beha Architects, a Boston-based firm. The center includes galleries, an auditorium and a classroom. The Center for Art and Education is part of the Campaign for Shelburne Museum, a $14-million capital campaign. The campaign also includes an endowment to sustain the center and installation of a fiberoptic communications network throughout the museum's 45-acre campus. -AP


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'One of the 10 paradises of the World' Cont’d from page 39

Three rivers In both Malayalam and Tamil, the word 'Munnar' means three rivers, as it is merging place of three

mountain streams. The Duke of Wellington was the first prominent person to visit Munnar. Munnar was once the summer capital of the British in southern India. Some of the bungalows that were built for estate managers of British origin are still in good condition and are being used. The local people here speak Malayalam, the official language of Kerala and since there are a lot of Tamilians, the second language is Tamil. Munnar has an ancient history and prehistoric relics that can be dated back to Stone Age civilization. The written history begins only from 10th century. In the early 19th century, the headman of the villages of Anchanad, Kannan Thevar, held lands to the north of the high ranges, which belonged to the local Rajah of Poojar. According to record history, the first tea sapling was planted by A.H. Sharp at Parvathi, part of the present Sevenmullay estate. It consisted of 50 acres of land in the surrounding jungle. J D Munro, a British lawyer and tea planter leased close to 600 sq.

km of land around Munnar, which was then covered with thick jungle, from the Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore. He then cleared the jungle for tea plantations. This

grow 30 to 60 cm in height, but under more favorable conditions they can grow well beyond 180 cms. It can be found only in high altitudes between 1,600 meters and 2,600 m and what makes it so

land was later known as Kannan Devan (Kannan Thevar) Concession Land. Later in 1895, Messrs Finlay Muir & Company bought Munro's land and in 1976 Tata-Finlay Ltd. purchased it. Then in 1983 James Finlay Group sold their remaining share holdings and the company became known as Tata Tea Ltd., the largest integrated tea company in the world. Munnar is blessed with a rich variety of flora and fauna but the most well known among them is Neelakurinji The Neelakurinji or Kurinji is a unique shrub species that blooms in Munnar and the hills across Western Ghats. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) belongs to the family of Acanthaceae. The species name Kunthiana has been derived from the River Kunthi. The genus has around 300 species, of which at least 46 occur in India. Besides the Western Ghats, it can also be found in Eastern Ghats.

special, apart from its beauty, is that it blooms only once in 12 years. The mass flowering and subsequent death of the Kurinji is the subject of hill folklore.

cal name of the flower. For those in Munnar, the blooming of Kurinji flower is a reminder that their lives have gone past another twelve years and for those from far off places it maybe once in a life time opportunity to witness the Kurinji flowers covering the hills of Munnar in a blanket of blue. The Nilgiris, which means blue mountains, got its name from the blue flowers of Neelakurinji. Once they used to cover the entire Nilgiris like a carpet during their flowering season. However, now plantations and dwellings occupy much of their habitat. The departments of Tourism, Forests and Wildlife have initiated a campaign for the preservation of Neelakurinji and its natural habitat. During the last blooming in 2006, the biggest Neelakurinji flowering was at the Eravikulam National Park in Munnar. It also bloomed gregariously at several places around Munnar and in Kodaikanal. The next mass flowering is expected to

The Nilgiris, which means blue mountains, got its name from the blue flowers of Neelakurinji. Once they used to cover the entire Nilgiris like a carpet during their flowering season Although Neelakurinji has flowering cycles ranging from one to 16 years, it has been flow-

take place in 2018.

ering every 12 years since 1800. What triggers the massive flowering every 12 years is not known. Plants that bloom at long intervals like this are called plietesials. But stray flowerings do occur in between. The flowering season comes between August and November and the peak in late September and October although some varieties exhibit little variation. It looks light blue in the early stage of blooming and has purplish blue color when aged. Neela means blue in Malayalam and Kurinji is the lo-

Tea Gardens Munnar's top attraction is its scenic tea gardens which are a top priority on any travel itinerary in this area. There are around 30 tea estates, all privately owned (about 27 of them owned by Tata Tea Company), but most estate managers will allow visitors to wander around the estate for free. Tea factories at the estates offer a great opportunity to witness the entire process by which tea changes from being a fresh, hand picked leaf to the fragrant product that makes it to breakfast tables across the world. Some tea factories also offer tea on

Munnar Attractions

sale for visitors. Mattupetty Lake and Dam Mattupetty Lake and Dam, which lie 13 km from Munnar, en route Top Station, at an altitude of 1700 mt, are popular picnic spots. The lake and dam surrounded by wooden hills and tea plantations, makes a great view. The Shola forests around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and bird watching, with a variety of birds found there. Small streams and waterfalls cut through the tract here and there, which again adds more attraction to the place. Boating is allowed on Mattupetty Lake and combined with picnic and trekking, it makes for a great outing from Munnar. Swiss Livestock Project Farm Also known as Mattupetti (cattle village), the Swiss Livestock Project is a highly specialized dairy farm where over a hundred breeds of high-yielding cattle are reared in eleven cattle sheds. Visitors are allowed into three of the sheds during fixed hours. How to reach Munnar Munnar by Air Nearest major airport is Cochin which is about 125 km away. Taxi services are available from airport to Munnar. Cochin airport is well

Neelakurinji On the hills, the plant usually connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad. Munnar by Train Nearest rail head is Angamaly or Alwaye, both are nearly 120 km away from Munnar. Angamaly is an important rail junction on Ernakulam-Trissur route and is well connected to all cities in India. Munnar by Bus Munnar is connected to other cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by state government public transport buses, but these are not frequent.


In Brief Indian biz demands MFN, liberal visa regime from Pak NEW DELHI: Seeking to enhance trade between the two countries, Indian businesses have sought the much- delayed Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, as well as a liberalized visa regime, from Pakistan. "We want Pakistan to grant MFN status to India at the earliest. We also want liberalization of visa policy from Pakistan, especially for businessmen," former President of PHD Chamber Ravi Wig said while addressing a Pakistani business delegation here. Several industry officials present at the meeting endorsed Wig's view, saying that these steps will strengthen bilateral ties. They also wanted more facilitation of trade at the Wagah Border. Meanwhile, Ayesha Ahsaan, Political Counselor at the Pakistani High Commission here, said that her country has been liberal in its visa policy. "We issue more visas, Indian High Commission in Islamabad needs to reciprocate this."-PTI

Md.advances immigrant licensing bill ANNAPOLIS, Md.: The Maryland House of Delegates has advanced a measure that would allow people with an unlawful immigration status to continue to obtain driver's licenses. If passed, the bill would make the existing driver's license provision for immigrants living in the country without permission permanent and expand the program to include people who have no social security number or whose immigration status currently prevents them for applying for a license. The Senate has already approved the measure. In 2009, state legislators revised the Motor Vehicle Administration's rules to comply with the federal Real ID law, which required that state-issued identification cards meet certain several standards, including that they are issued to people lawfully in the country. Those who don't have a social security number and cannot demonstrate legal residence in the U.S. - but still had a state driver's license prior to June 2009 - could renew by getting a special license that clearly states that it isn't a valid ID for federal purposes. The law was to expire July 1, 2015.-AP

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April 19, 2013

White House encouraged by progress on immigration reform Details on page 45

Implications of reaching H1B cap early: Skilled jobs will not be filled SHAH PEERALLY

T

he USCIS has announced that the cap for the H-1B visa has been reached for the fiscal year (FY) 2014. The 65,000 regular cap was reached on April 5 and on April 8, the USCIS also received more than 20,000 H1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. As a result the USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption henceforth for the mentioned fiscal year. The next step is to conduct a computer-generated random selection process, also known as the lottery for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions will be conducted first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, the USCIS has not yet announced the exact day of the random selection process. Moreover the, USCIS has not provided any information regarding the exact number of petitions that it has received. The news only confirms the impending sense of anxiety that affected skilled potential workers

and US employers throughout the past weeks, knowing fully well that the overwhelming number of petitions would again mean a large number of posts in US firms would not be filled by skilled professionals due to the cap placed by the Congress on the number of yearly

jobs in the US, which is good news considering the fact that there are still many who are facing the effects of recession. On the other hand the lack of skilled laborers amongst the US citizens is indeed alarming, to say the least. Mr. Brad Smith, (the general

A country needs to be secure in the knowledge that its economy can gallop to far off goals if it takes along the best of the world with it. Restricting immigration policies, even to the best of the minds can only make the process go back, not forward. The question is whether, based on this demand allotted H1B visas. Needless to say, this has important implications, not just for these workers and their potential employers, but also for the economy and the job creation scene in the US. While on the one hand it is indication that there are

counsel Microsoft) says in his blog that, "This is a problem that adversely affects every industry all across the US. The American economy creates 120,000 new computer-related jobs annually that require a bachelor's degree, but we are currently producing

about 51,000 graduates with a degree in computer science each year." There is of course renewed speculation about the problems of not having enough skilled workers for vacant positions in the US. This allied with the fact that the situation hampers the economy and the process of indigenous entrepreneurship and in an indirect way also encourages US firms to outsource their jobs. The solution to this dilemma lies in a two-fold process of improving immigration laws which can integrate more high skilled labor into the country while at the same time developing a work force that is more skilled, within the country to tackle future such problems. A country needs to be secure in the knowledge that its economy can gallop to far off goals if it takes along the best of the world with it. Restricting immigration policies, even to the best of the minds can only make the process go back, not forward. The question is whether, based on this demand, the government will actually change the H1B cap or completely abandon the idea of a cap. That remains to be seen. Shah Peerally is Managing Attorney, Shah Peerally Law Group PC

USCIS to release handbook for employers CYRUS D. MEHTA

U

S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9), effective March 8, 2013. All employers must complete an I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. Changes to the I-9 include new fields, reformatting, and revised instructions to both employees and employers. Optional fields have been added for employee e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, as well as foreign passport information

if applicable. Employers should have begun using the newly revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13) N for all new hires and reverifications. Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions [(Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/ 09) Y] until May 7, 2013. After May 7, 2013, employers must

only use the I-9 version with the revision date of (Rev. 03/08/13) N. The revision date of the I-9 is printed on the lower left corner of the form. USCIS noted that employers should not complete a new I-9 for current employees if a properly completed I-9 is already on file. A Spanish version of the re-

USCIS noted that employers should not complete a new I-9 for current employees if a properly completed I-9 is already on file

vised I-9 is available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only. Spanish-speaking employers and employees in the 50 states; Washington, DC; and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version for reference but must complete the English version of the form. USCIS said it is updating, and will release shortly, a new handbook for employers containing guidance for completing the I-9. USCIS is holding numerous upcoming webinars on the I-9 form. Cont'd on Page 46


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Immigration bill envisions new farm worker program WASHINGTON: Sweeping immigration legislation taking shape in the Senate will aim to overhaul the nation's agriculture worker program to create a steady supply of labor for farmers and growers, who rely more than any other industry on workers who are living in the country illegally. Farm workers already here would get a speedier path to legal status than other immigrants here illegally, and a likely new visa program would make it easier for foreign workers to come to the US. Policymakers aim to install such workers in place of the half or more of the nation's farm labor workforce estimated to be in the country illegally. Negotiators have been working to finalize an agreement in time for the measure to be included in bipartisan legislation, but disagreements on wages and numbers of visas are proving tough to solve. Labor groups are accusing growers of pushing to lower farm workers' wages, while growers dispute that and say they want to pay a fair wage. Meanwhile, labor is resisting growers' attempts to increase the potential numbers of new workers who would come in, as growers argue their industry's viability depends on a strong new labor supply. ``It comes down to either we're importing our labor or we're importing our food, and if we don't have access to a legal supply of labor we will start going offshore,'' said Kristi Boswell, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation. The issue has gotten little public attention in an immigration debate focused on securing the border, creating a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally, and designing a new visa program for

low-skilled workers outside of agriculture. But for states from California to Georgia to Florida with booming agriculture industries, it's a critical part of the puzzle. At least 50 percent and as much as 70 or 80 percent of the nation's farm workers are here illegally, according to labor and industry estimates. Growers say they need a better way to hire labor legally, and advocates say workers can be exploited and need better protections and a way to earn permanent residence. ``One thing that we know is that there's not an industry that will benefit more from a new immigration program than agriculture,'' said Giev Kashkooli, United Farm Workers vice president. ``The problem is industry needs people who are both willing and able to do the work. And it's difficult work.'' The reason agriculture uses so much illegal labor has to do with the need for workers, but also the inadequacy of current immigration programs. There is a 10-month visa program for farm workers, called the H2A visa, but growers argue it's so hard to use that once they've completed the paperwork

Part of the solution, growers and unions say, is to create a more permanent agricultural workforce. Senators would likely accomplish this by giving a new ``blue card''

Separately, growers are pushing to replace the H2A visa program with an entirely new program with visas offering multiyear stays. But there is disagreement over

agriculture issue is being handled differently from other parts of the Senate immigration bill. It's being negotiated by four senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Orrin

visa granting legal status to farm workers who've worked in the industry for at least two years and intend to remain in it for at least five years more. At that point, potentially, these workers could become eligible for

how many such visas would be offered and how much money workers would make - the same issues that hung up a deal between the US Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO over nonagricultural low-skilled workers before a resolution was reached over the weekend. The UFW contends that growers are trying to push farm workers below their current average wage of $10.80 an hour, but growers say that wage is skewed by a small number of high earners and that most farm workers make less. In light of the dispute, the UFW has begun to argue that a new visa program may not be necessary at all. The two-pronged structure of the emerging deal is similar to legislation called AgJobs negotiated in years past that never became law. Because of that history, the

Hatch, R-Utah, Marco Rubio, RFla., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. - only two of whom, Rubio and Bennet, are part of the so-called Gang of Eight senators writing the overall bill. All involved hope for a resolution of an issue that has been in need of one for years, ever since the last major immigration overhaul, in 1986, failed to establish a workable visa program for farm workers and others. ``The problem we have on the ground today with a 50 to 70 percent unauthorized labor force in agriculture is a direct reflection of what was missing in the bill that passed in 1986,'' said Craig J. Regelbrugge, co-chair of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform. ``We made our bed and have been lying in it ever since so this is a chance to get it right and not repeat those failures.'' -AP

The UFW contends that growers are trying to push farm workers below their current average wage of $10.80 an hour, but growers say that wage is skewed by a small number of high earners and that most farm workers make less whatever crop they needed picked may well have withered. There were about 55,000 H2A visas issued in 2011, representing a small percentage of the nation's approximately 2 million farm workers.

green cards, which allow permanent residency and eventual citizenship - faster than the 10-year path to a green card that other immigrants in the country illegally are expected to face under the Senate immigration bill.

Senate to vote on immigration reform: Leahy WASHINGTON: As the negotiations on a comprehensive immigration reform among key stake holders enters its last phase, a top American Senator believes that the

sive immigration reform and that each member will take into consideration the significant process that the Senate Judiciary Committee will have completed," Senate

‘To continue to attract and retain those who want to better their lives by coming to the US and contributing to economy, the US must adopt a sensible immigration policy’ Senate would be able to vote on a bill in this regard by this summer. "By this summer, I hope that all members of the Senate will be able to vote for or against comprehen-

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a letter to the Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The Republican Senator from Florida is among the eight key

Senators called the gang of eight who are holding the negotiations. Some members of this group said over the weekend that they have almost reached an agreement and a draft of the bill would be available by May. Leahy's letter to Rubio was in response to his letter concerning the Committee's timeline for proceeding to legislation. The former US Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza said to continue to attract and retain those who want to better their lives by coming to the US and contributing to economy, the US must adopt a sensible immigration policy. "Our main economic competi-

tors are structuring policies to lure immigrant talent. Without immigration reform, we risk seeing those

invent, and start and grow companies go elsewhere. Our great country can't afford such an out-

Patrick Leahy

who would come to the US to work hard and get ahead, innovate and

come," he said. Cont'd on Page 45


Immigration Post

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White House encouraged by progress on immigration reform WASHINGTON: Confident of introducing the immigration bill to the House of Representatives in coming months, the US said that they are encouraged by the progress made on immigration reform by lawmakers but it is not a done deal yet. "We are encouraged by the continuing signs of progress that we are seeing in the Senate as the Group of Eight and the Senate, more broadly, works on comprehensive immigration reform. We are also encouraged by reports of an agreement, or progress at least, between the Chamber of Commerce and labor on that particular aspect of immigration reform," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "The President's principles are clear. We are, again, encouraged by the progress. We note comments

by Senators over the weekend about just how far that group has come and how close they are to

in the Senate. Legislation has to be written, drafted, and we will evaluate the specific aspects of

producing an agreement, and we find that good news," Carney said. However, we're not there yet, and this process is still underway

that legislation when it is produced," Carney said. Some of the eight Senators, who are involved in this negotiations

Senate to vote on immigration reform: Leahy Cont'd from Page 44

Garza said several recent studies underscore just how significant immigration has been in helping drive US economic success. For instance, that 18 per cent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list (the annual ranking of top American companies by revenue) were founded by immigrants. These 90 companies span all sectors of the economy, generate more than USD 1.7 trillion in annual revenues and employ more than 3.6 million people worldwide. They include such recognizable names as Goldman Sachs, AT&T, Google, DuPont and US Steel, he noted. Immigrants also fuel small business creation, a reflection of the entrepreneurial drive that is typical of an individual who leaves home to start a new life abroad. Eighteen per cent of US small business owners are immigrants, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute, and 30 per cent of small business growth over the

past two decades has been due to immigrants, Antonio Garza said. Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native born, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. This is an important insight

The National Venture Capital Association reports that a quarter of new venture backed tech companies are immigrant-led. And foreign-born inventors have contributed to more than 75 per cent of the patents given that new business generation, which has reached its lowest rate in 30 years of recorded data, is critically needed to spur eco-

nomic growth and job creation. In 2011 immigrants started 28 per cent of all new businesses, employing 1 in 10 US workers and adding more than USD 775 billion dollars of revenue to our GDP, the study found. "Many of the new businesses immigrants start are in the hightech sector," the former US diplomat said. The National Venture Capital Association reports that a quarter of new venture backed tech companies are immigrant-led. And foreign-born inventors have contributed to more than 75 per cent of the patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing US universities, another study found. Moreover, foreign-born students who graduate with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) and remain in the US for work create an estimated 2.62 American jobs. "We need such graduates in order to retain our global competitiveness and to surmount a looming skills gap," he said. -PTI

process also called the Gang of Eight, said that they have agreed on the broad features of the immigration reform and that the bill in this regard would be drafted now and introduced in May. US President Barack Obama has made clear in his blueprint, that there has to be an earned path to citizenship and it has to be real. "It has to end in citizenship. It also has to require folks getting into the back of the line and it is part of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes strengthening border security, continuing that effort; holding employers accountable; and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century," Carney said. The Democratic Party leader Steve Israel on MSNBC called for House Republicans to end their extremism and inflexibility on im-

migration reform, and join Democrats and the bipartisan group of senators in solving real problems for Americans. "In the Senate it sounds like they're still dotting some I's and crossing their T's; in the House, Republicans are going to have to decide, do they want to cross their base, do they want to cross their Tea Party Extremist base? Only House Republicans can stop it now. So far, they have not shown an ability to compromise," he said. "They are inflexible, they are chaotic, they put politics ahead of solutions. If they continue down that route, then I'm less optimistic. They have to make a fundamental decision - do they want to be problem-solvers, or do they want to continue to be part of the problem on this and other issues?" Israel said. -PTI

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Can GOP win without Hispanics? Look at Arizona PHOENIX: On the political map of the Southwest, Arizona stands out. Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico are independent-minded states that once leaned Republican but are trending Democratic, partly because of increasing numbers of Hispanic voters alienated from the GOP by its tough stance on illegal immigration. California, a GOP bastion for

In November, Democrats picked up two congressional seats, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney easily won the state with a slightly better margin against President Barack Obama than Arizona Sen. John McCain posted in the 2008 White House contest. That record has led advocates of tighter immigration restrictions

An anti-immigration rights protester lholds up a sign as he is pointed at and shouted at by immigration rights marchers during a Puente Movement event March Against Deportation, Family Separation, and Workplace Raids in front of Montgomery County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s office on March 11 in Phoenix

decades, is now solidly Democratic and the ultimate example of the dangers for Republicans on this issue. Nowhere is a harder line on immigration taken than in Arizona, where Republicans have a lock on statewide offices and dominate the Legislature.

to point to Arizona as a model for how Republicans can maintain their tough stance on the issue and still win elections. ``It's an example of a different way for things to play out than the conventional story,'' Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington

think tank that favors tighter immigration policies, said of Arizona. ``What's happened there is the non-Hispanic vote has become increasingly Republican.'' National Republicans, aware of demographic trends, are pondering how to win over more Hispanic voters in order to be more competitive in presidential elections. It's unclear whether Arizona will remain a GOP stronghold. Plenty of Arizona Republicans fear their state will go the way of its neighbors unless the GOP softens its immigration stance. That includes McCain, who in 2005 joined with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to sponsor legislation that included a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally. A staunch supporter of strict border enforcement in 2008 and 2010, McCain has swung back after last year's election to supporting an overhaul of the immigration system that includes citizenship for those in the U.S. without authorization. He says he was convinced the GOP could not survive with a hard-line stance in states like his. ``If you have a large bloc of Americans who believe you're trying to keep their ... fellow Hispanics down and deprive them of an opportunity, obviously that's going to have an effect,'' McCain told reporters earlier this year. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Romney called for ``self-deportation,'' or creating an environment so uncomfortable for immigrants here illegally that

they would choose to return to their original countries. Romney also praised Arizona's approach to immigration. Two years earlier, the state became well-known for restrictive immigration legislation with the passage of legislation requiring police officers, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. While that part of the statute survived, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three other provi-

Republicans. A bipartisan group of eight senators, including McCain and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. - is drawing up a bill that includes such a provision. Arizona was always one of the less-promising states for Democrats for reasons other than immigration, said Scott Smith, the Republican mayor of Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. ``You have a lot of retirees in Arizona - Midwestern, conservative Republicans,'' he said.

A Republican National Committee panel recently released a report that advises more outreach to minorities and support for an immigration overhaul that eventually would legalize the status of most immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally sions of the law. Arizona's stance has national implications as leading Republicans try to reorient their party following the 2012 election, when Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians went for Obama in overwhelming numbers. A Republican National Committee panel recently released a report that advises more outreach to minorities and support for an immigration overhaul that eventually would legalize the status of most immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. That's an idea that's anathema to some Arizona

``Republicans far outnumber Democrats in registration, and the independents tend to be conservative more than liberal.'' President Bill Clinton helped make immigration a major issue in Arizona. In an attempt to tamp down illegal immigration in California, his administration fortified the border with Mexico in the late 1990s. The bolstered enforcement effectively pushed migrants east into the mostly empty desert that straddles Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.-AP

USCIS to release handbook for employers Cont'd from Page 43

The revised form is available in English and Spanish. The Department of Homeland Security published a notice in the Federal Register about the revised I-9. USCIS also released a new M274 Handbook for Employers. It has a revision date of 3-8-13 and is available at http:// www.uscis.gov/files/form/m274.pdf. No wages due If H-1B employee is voluntarily nonproductive The Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges recently found that North Shore School for the Arts (NSSA) did not owe an H-1B nonimmigrant employee back pay for voluntarily nonproductive "work" time. NSSA had employed Natsuko Imai as a piano/music teacher for 20 hours per week at a wage rate of $40 per hour.

Among other things, an NSSA representative stated that Ms. Imai took some students into her own private studio rather than continuing to work with them as NSSA students, which was against

He noted that wages are to be paid for nonproductive time if the employee is "ready, willing, and able" to work and the nonproductive time resulted from a decision of the employer NSSA policy. The representative also stated that Ms. Imai was uncooperative in working to get more students. The representative made suggestions for doing so

that Ms. Imai rejected. Despite claims to the contrary, Ms. Imai was trying to get into graduate school and spent much of her time practicing piano rather than teaching or performing related outreach duties. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Stephen M. Reilly noted that wages are to be paid for nonproductive time if the employee is "ready, willing, and able" to work and the nonproductive time resulted from a decision of the employer. He found Ms. Imai's testimony "rife with evasiveness, equivocation and forgetfulness." He said that her demeanor during testimony "raised questions regarding her truthfulness." He also found her disregard of the law "troubling" because she admitted to working while on an F-1 student visa and also to working outside NSSA while she was in H-1B status, which are violations. She further admitted that she

did not report income for tax purposes. She said she knew these actions were against the law when she did them. ALJ Reilly gave her testimony "little weight" because of these

She said that obtaining a doctoral degree was not her plan, but acknowledged that she had applied to doctoral programs and sought and obtained several recommendations for that purpose factors and her evasive answers. For example, the ALJ noted that she said that obtaining a doctoral degree was not her plan, but acknowledged that she had applied

to doctoral programs and sought and obtained several recommendations for that purpose. ALJ Reilly also noted that although Ms. Imai spent long hours at the school, her focus was on practicing the piano, not teaching or performing her job duties. He found that Ms. Imai did not make herself available to perform her job duties and thus was not ready, willing, and able to work. The ALJ did not hold the NSSA's representative blameless either, stating that she was "blinded to reality." ALJ Reilly found the employer responsible for back pay for work performed (74.5 hours plus interest, for a total of $2,980), but not for the hours in dispute during which Ms. Imai was not performing work.

* Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


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HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: Adnan Sami, the multi-talented pianist, singer, composer, actor, musician, and also the world's fastest keyboardist, was back in Chicago after eight years with a spectacular show on Saturday, March 30 at Sears Center, Hoffman Estates, a north side suburb of Chicago. Sami mesmerized an enthusiastic crowd of more than 3800 for about three hours. British-born 39-year old Sami started by singing "Allahu Akbar" and showing his virtuosity on the keyboard. He went on to sing a number of his popular songs like Mehbooba mehbooba, Meri baahon main, Kuch lafdaa hai, Udi udi, Bheegee bheegee raaton main and finally brought the curtain down with his famous song Lift kara de. The evening began with a 13-minute nonstop performance by the new young talented group, Yeh Cheez. Guitar-playing Noman Khan danced amidst the crowd to "Challa." He returned with a two minute medley of "Shahid Kapoor with a hint of Punjabi Tadka," which started off with "Hadippa" and culminated in "Desi Boyz". Coming onstage to "Don's Dialogue" in the background, Kevin Tony made the first moves and froze. Anand Bhatt joined him to a dialogue from "Rowdy Rathod" and performed the second verse. Finally, Khan and Sharma joined in to "Race 2's Dialogue" and all eight performers danced to "Desi Boyz"

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Adnan Sami performing on stage. Pics Asian Media USA

April 19, 2013

Organizer Karla Sr and Jr with Adnan Sami and his wife, Mayors of Hoffman Estate and Schaumburg, Sunil Shah-Sponsor

remixed by DJ Afridi in an amazingly novel way, and transitioning seamlessly into "Gangam Style" which drove the crowd crazy. Sponsors of the event Sunil Shah and Jasbir Suga of Suga Builders were invited onto the stage. Shah credited Karl Kalra, young and dynamic national promoter and CEO of Live 2 U Entertainment for bringing this lively show to Chicago. Shah also recognized the Mayors of Schaumburg and of Hoffman Estates, Al Larson and William McLeod respectively. Both mayors thanked Sunil Shah and Karl Kalra for having invited them. Huge crowd enjoying Adnan Sami concert

A unique blend of doctor, actor, producer dies and the key dance numbers have been choreographed by world renowned dance choreographer of magine saving people in Emergency Room as doc Slumdog Millionaire fame Longinus Fernandes. The tor and acting/producing in a film the next day. That film has been captured ethereally by ace cinematogis what multi-faceted professional Kalpana Pandit rapher Selvam. The direction and screenplay are by Sandeep Malani is. She is an actor/ producer Being a Medical Emerfrom the Indian Film Industry Being a Medical Emergency gency Doctor by profesbased in Arizona, USA. sion, Kalpana is planning Doctor by profession, Kalpana Chosing a hectic career as on pledging a percentage ER doctor did not deter her is planning on pledging a of each film's profits to from being close to her childpercentage of each film's critical medical causes in hood love of acting in films. profits to critical medical the remote village hospiShe acts and has also estabtals of India. Her first short lished her banner " House of causes in the remote village film Jo Jo Laali, received Pandit" and completed the hospitals of India rave reviews across the first Hindi full fledged Feature board and is a film on Film " Janleva 555" which has released successfully in Indian theaters across the coun- aids awareness. It bagged for her the coveted try and just finished a grand run of 150 days in the Best Actress Award at the South Indian Mega single screens circuit. It boasts of 13 foot tapping melo- Film Festival in 2011.

RITU MAHESHWARI

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Cont’d on page 50

Kalpana Pandit


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Hrithik's Krrish now a cartoon character

'Eden' - the world where innocence is crushed MAGDA MARCELLA

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India Post News Service

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Rakesh Roshan's internationally successful and box-office topping franchise of Koi ‌ Mil Gaya and Krrish went on to become the first superhero films of the Indian film industry. The third instalment - Krrish 3 - is scheduled for a Diwali 2013 release, and will once again star Hrithik in the title role. This time he will be joined by Bollywood Priyanka Chopra, Kangna Ranaut and Vivek Oberoi. Speaking about the project, Rakesh Roshan says: 'Since 'Krrish 3' will be ready for release this Diwali, I wanted to revive the

he mighty Hrithik Roshan has conquered most feats in the cinematic world, from high-octane action roles, to drama and romance. But now the Bollywood heartthrob and 'Asia's sexiest man' has set his sights even higher - by becoming a cartoon superhero. Hrithik's much-loved Krrish character has piqued the interest of leading animation production house Toonz, which has partnered with Cartoon Network and director Rakesh Roshan's Film The cartoon films will depict the Kraft Productions to produce childhood adventures of Krishna, four animated who discovers that he can help movies based on people and save the world with the Hindi superhero. The car- the special powers bestowed toon films will upon him. depict the childhood adventures of Krishna, who memory of 'Krrish' with children discovers that he can help people and the newer generation who may and save the world with the spe- not have seen 'Koi Mil Gaya' or cial powers bestowed upon him. 'Krrish. I also want to spread the The films will be created over a 24 message of friendship and love month period, with the first, titled: through this series. My grand'Kid Krrish', due to air on Cartoon sons loved the idea and are excited about this project.' Network in mid July 2013.

den is a film about Hyun Jae (played superbly by Jamie Chung), an eighteen year old Korean-American who is kidnapped by an extensive human trafficking ring and forced into prostitution. It takes place in 1994 and is based on the true story of Chong Kim, a former victim of sex slavery who is now an outspoken activist against human trafficking. Hyun Jae is the shy and sheltered daughter of hard-working Korean immigrants who run a restaurant called "Garden of Eden." She helps her parents run their business, and her only rebellion is sneaking out In the back to smoke cigarettes. One day, Hyun's friend Abbie (Tracey Fairaway) convinces her to go to a bar after work. Hyun's mother begrudgingly re-

lents after getting assurance from Hyun that she'll be back by ten o'clock and will spend the entire Saturday cleaning the restaurant. Once at the bar, Hyun meets a charming fireman who introduces himself as Jesse (Scott Mechlowicz) and who seems quite taken in by Hyun, despite her braces and awkwardness. He plies her with alcohol and offers to take her home, but Hyun never makes it home. Instead, she gets sold to her traffickers and is renamed "Eden." The next several scenes show Hyun's new environment. We see

the warehouse where the (mostly twelve-tosixteen-year-old) girls, victims, slaves are housed. We see the locked storage compartments where they sleep on bunk beds, four to a room. We see the hallway where they line up every day - each one dressed in a grey tank top and grey panties. We see the communal shower room. We see their daily rituals: shower three times a day and after sexual intercourse, dry off with identical grey towels, wait in line for a daily pregnancy test. The warehouse is grey, cold,

and unyielding as steel. Filmmakers Griffiths and Phillips do not throw Hyun and the audi-

ence head-on into the midst of the horrors, the blood, the sweat, the fear, the pain of forced prostitution. No, they fan the flames. The film is completely void of sexual or nude scenes; violent scenes are rare and used only to make a point. We all know what happens to these girls. The girls themselves know what will happen to them. As the traffickers torture their victims by strumming their fear and anxiety of what is to come, the filmmakers make sure the audience feels the girls' growing dread. Through intimate close-ups of Hyun's face, we feel her fears and we experience the horror of her situation. Cont’d on page 51


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April 19, 2013 www.indiapost.com

Payal presents 'Taj' Collection at Lakme week India Post News Service

MUMBAI: This season, Payal Singhal's 'Taj' collection is inspired by the fine detailing and intricate patterns of filigree,

jaali work and floral inlays seen in Islamic architecture. The collection is influenced by the interplay between "swadeshi" dress codes and

sartorial styles for women set in the backdrop of the extravagant lifestyle of colonial India. Payal Singhal has chosen to combine contemporary urban silhouettes, swadeshi home woven Indian

textiles and exquisite fine design. Silhouettes include silken Sufi falda pants worn with structured cholis, buttery mul saris with free-flowing kurtas. Short

anarkali kurtas with voluminous salwars and asymmetric tunicblouses with traditional saris in silks, katarva cottons and benarasi and mul silks. The delicate detailing of the patterns are embellished with resham, silver and gold taar, pita kora and filigree or jaali work in trellis patterns. Payal explains, "This collection represents an authentic summer bride that exudes elegance and tradition - her style statement though is experimental with an edge." Payal's collection was showcased at Lakme Fashion Week on March 25.

Indian immigrant entrepreneur launches memoir India Post News Service

PRINCETON, NJ: In her new book, From Hindustan Cables Limited: Journey of a SmallTown Indian Immigrant Woman (Das Publishing), Sharmistha Das tells the story of an ambitious girl who grew up in a 250 sq. ft home with no running water in an unknown town of Bengal, India, studied in Calcutta and became the first female engineer from her town, and worked in Thailand before coming to America where she realized her dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur and a strong, independent single mother. She faced and overcame numerous failures, including the failure of her marriage, always recalling the words of her father, "I did not need to follow social rules to raise my

daughter correctly. I need you to always do the same. Do what you

feel is right." It's something that few South Asian immigrant women will discuss but many experience: Divorce. Sharmistha found the courage to overcome the heartbreak of her divorce and share her story with the rest of the world. This inspiring memoir shows women how they can actually achieve their dreams of career, their dreams of family, and ultimately their dreams of a happy and healthy life, even after a divorce. In moving prose, Das shows that anyone can fulfill their dreams, even if cultural norms seem to be against them. Her story of hard work, patience, and a loving heart will touch the soul of anyone, and, hopefully, inspire people to step out of their comfort zone.

A unique blend of doctor, actor, producer Cont’d from page 48

The film also recently won Best Story by Sandeep Malani and Best Title Track awards at the Imphal International Film Festival. Kalpana has acted in several Bollywood movies notably Moksha with Arjun Rampal, Gajagamini with Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah, Pitaah a Sanjay Dutt film and more recently Love Khichdi with Randeep Hooda.

She is currently acting and coproducing a feature film in Hindi Tum Ho Yaara which is getting ready to hit the silver screens in late 2013. She is excited about a brand new entrepreneurship where she has teamed up with a global company brokering telecom and energy and is multilevel marketing at its refined best. Kalpana maintains filmography and latest news on her website: http:// www.kalpanapandit.com/


April 19, 2013

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'Eden' - the world where innocence is crushed Cont’d from page 49

We empathize with her. It is through the day-to-day rituals and details that Griffiths and Phillips are able to make the world of sex trafficking not some extreme statistic, but hit very close to home. The head traffickers running the organization, the menacingly icy Bob Gault (Beau Bridges) and

the troubled, psychotic, and methaddicted Vaughn (Matt O'Leary) keep the girls in check by manipulation, violence, rape, and‌ kittens. Although Chong Kim told me that there were never any kittens

during her experience as a sex slave, I find their inclusion in the film by Griffiths and Phillips very interesting. Bob Gault gives each of the girls a kitten, to teach them the "responsibility of caring for a living animal that is dependant" on them. I cannot help but think this is just another tactic to create fragmentation of personality and dissocia-

tive disorder in the victims. Bob Gault is the guy at the top of this operation. The CEO, so to speak. He runs his business without emotion, with cool-headed calculation.

In addition to being a shrewd businessman, Bob Gault also does a little bit of law enforcement on the side: he is a high ranking law enforcement official in Nevada. He regularly speaks out about the horrors of human trafficking and even holds seminars for police officers on how to spot traffickers. Bob is a well-respected and dearly beloved pillar in his "official" community. His position in law enforcement also makes it that much harder for the victims to escape. I can only imagine what this sense of complete and utter entrapment and the realization that no one can or will help you - not even those whom you are taught to trust does to your psyche. I can only imagine how it must feel to have your soul crushed and suffocated

by this barren hopelessness. What it feels like to stare into the eyes of evil and be mocked by the cold and lifeless gaze that is returned you. This is what happens when the world places objects above people. It is a testament to Hyun, and her real-life counterpart Chong Kim, that she is able to find the strength within herself to navigate and manipulate her captors in order to eventually free herself. However, the vast majority of victims are never that lucky. Most of these girls die, either as a result of

their horrendous circumstances, or because their captors eventually murder them after they are no longer useful. Chong Kim is a remarkable woman who inspires admiration and strength. She is coming out with a book about her story," Broken Silence," later this year. She is the Director of Public Awareness at Breaking Out Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on human trafficking and providing resources to human trafficking victims.


Horoscope

52 India Post

April 19, 2013

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

APRIL 19 TH - APRIL 25 TH 2013 (March 21 to April 20)

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nd you will find time to entertain your self and may travel to a nice place with family this week. You may buy some nice things for all family members. Hurdles will keep getting out of your way. You may be looking for one more ideal partner for your new project. Spouse may complain of minor aches and pains in joints in body.

(July 23 to August 22)

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our actions will reflect confidence and courage. You will perform some serious charity or religious work. Most of the attempts you make will hit the bulls eye. Some of you will be excited and start preparing for an upcoming big move. Just read all fine lines before you sign any papers. Clearance from government agency will come.

(April 21 to May 20)

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here is no point in prolonging the issue and you should go for the easy settlement to avert further mental stress. You may be spending more money on a child this week. People looking for a change may receive a weak offer. Paper work will be accepted and the deal can also close in coming weeks. Keep an eye on speed o meter when driving.

(August 23 to September 22)

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hances of recovering money through a law suit very strong for next few weeks. People working on developing some product for quite some time will make the final breakthrough. You will receive some good leads and benefit from some one lot younger person. You will continue to work on an important travel plan this week.

(May 21 to June 20)

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nother favorable week as far as the money matters are concerned. Planets are still in good shape to get you the deal you have been waiting for very patiently for past several months. Just do not be double minded and take action. You will spend some quality time with family and may take them out to a real nice place for dinner.

(September 23 to October 22)

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o not be nervous and stick to your guns. You can make those dreams come true quick. Big change in career just around the corner. You will feel relieved after making final payment on couple of outstanding cards. It will be better to understand the deal and take second opinion even before you make the counter offer.

(June 21 to July 22)

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ou may finalize the property deal this week. Strong Sun along with other planets will make you more popular in social as well as professional circle. You will hear some good news involving a child. Value of your stocks will appreciate. You may also finalize a short trip to a real nice place never visited before with family.

(October 23 to November 22)

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f you are not vigilant, legal trouble become imminent. Lead from an old trusted person will help you gain edge over your opponents. You may also dispose off stocks recently purchased for a small profit. New colleague will be helpful and take some burden off your shoulders. A big refund will show up in mail this week. (November 23 to December 22)

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uick thinking and prompt actions will lead you closer to your goals this week. Other side will not take much to agree on your terms. You may plan an outing with family and go to a place that offers lots of activities for children. Some of you may be in market to replace an old vehicle with a newer model. (December 22 to January 19)

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eetings and business trip will go well. You may dispose off some old item and pocket the money. Justice will be served soon in ongoing legal battle. Email or letter you send will also get quick positive results. An old friend will call to invite you at his place. Chance of addition in the family still strong. (January 20 to February 18)

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ou will be signing two very important contract this week. Little diplomacy and politeness will get the job done quicker you can imagine. You may make some exciting plans with close friends or relatives. Some of you will start your search for another property to move in. Be careful when handling any tools. (February 19 to March 20)

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hances of hitting some kind of financial jackpot still strong for another few weeks. People looking for a change should grab the offer they receive during the week. Some of you may find another temporary assignment and make good use of extra time on hands. A big refund may also show up in bank account or in mail.

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

510-886-4370 website: www.parashar.com


Philosophy

April 19, 2013

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis SWAMI SIVANANDA

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am Nam has a transforming effect not only on the psychological but also the biological personality. Even physical ailments can be overcome by the chanting of the Divine Name. Ram Nam is unfailing in its action, infallible in its operation. Ram Nam, properly understood, is the same as Omkara, the symbol of the Absolute, and Rama to the true devotee is the Absolute itself. Sri Rama is all-pervading; He is in the heart of all beings as the Antaryamin. What a power and glory should His Name possess! Even ordinary names of things of the world have the power of stimulating a corresponding mode of consciousness in man. How much more powerful should the Name of God be! Saint Tulasidas says: The name is even superior to the Lord, because the Nirguna and Saguna aspects of Brahman are tasted and realized by the power of the Name. Rama delivered a single woman, Ahalya, while His Name has purified crores of wicked people. Rama gave salvation to two of his faithful servants, Jatayu and Sabari, but His Name has been the savior of countless wicked persons. Blessed is the son and blessed are his parents who remember Sri Rama in whatsoever way it may be.

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ahavir made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexities. His teachings reflected the inner beauty and harmony of the soul. Mahavir taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed on the importance of a positive attitude in life. Mahavir's message of nonviolence (Ahimsa), truth (Satya), non stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahma charya), and non possession (Aparigraha) is based on universal compassion. Mahavir said that, 'A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it an abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception (Anant darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant gyana), perfect power (Anant virya), and perfect bliss (Anant sukha). Mahavir's message reflects the freedom and spiritual joy that a living being (the soul) is capable of achieving. Mahavir emphasized that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form, how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them. This way he preached the gospel of universal love. Mahavir rejected the concept of God as a creator, a protector and a destroyer of the universe. He also

Blessed are even the Chandalas who repeat the Name of Rama day and night. What is the use of high birth to one who does not repeat Ram Nam!" What a mighty power is latent in Ram Nam! Only those who are endowed with devotion know it. The scientists now declare that sound vibrations have such a tremendous force that they can direct this power to silk fabrics and clean

to unite itself with the Divine Being. The nervous system is in a state of perfect harmony when the vibration produced by the chanting of the Divine Name pervades it with a force of integration. The Divine Name is not merely a sound; it is a force which can overcome all the destructive forces in the human system and render it pure and make it fit for the experience of Sattva, the highly

be divided between two or more Mantras. One should stick to 'Ram Nam' with full confidence in it. The more the faith and concentration, the quicker does the Lord's Name destroy the evils in man. Ram Nam should not be used for the sake of obtaining worldly ends. Ram Nam is the savior of man from the afflictions of mortality itself. It raises man from all penury and exalts him to the status of an

Ram Nam is superior even to the Lord Himself

Lord Rama

The Divine Name is not merely a sound; it is a force which can overcome all the destructive forces in the human system and render it pure and fit for the experience of Sattva

them of all dirt more thoroughly than a washerman can. The moment you utter the word Rama, the form of the Lord is aroused in your consciousness. So the advanced devotees say that the Divine Name is the exclusive support of those afflicted by the tribulations of Samsara. The idea of the Divine Being generated in the mind at the time of the repetition of the Name, gives a direct fillip to the mind in its attempt

transparent medium through which the Immortal Being is reflected. Ram Nam like the Ashtakshara or the Dvadasakshara Mantras, is a powerful aid in destroying the animal passions in man. Passions are agitative forces, and Ram Nam is a tranquil force. When one adheres to Ram Nam with exclusive and genuine devotion, it becomes the destroyer of all pains. But one's faith must not

undaunted sovereign over himself. Why do you use a gun to destroy a mosquito? Ram Nam can cure the disease of Samsara itself; what to speak of lesser wants and turmoils. Therefore, use Ram Nam as a Moksha Mantra and not as a servant to fetch you the glittering glass-pieces shining in the form of the objects of the world. Excerpted from the book 'Beauties of Ramayana'. Ram Navmi will be celebrated on April 19

denounced the worship of gods and goddesses as a means of material gain and personal benefit. The ultimate objective of his teaching was how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent state of bliss. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom or Moksha. Mahavir explained that since eternity, every living being (soul) due to its ignorance is fettered by karma. These karmic atoms are continuously accumulated by our good or bad deeds. Under the in-

further accumulation of karmas. Mahavir preached that right faith (samyak darshana), right knowledge (samyak jnana), and right conduct (samyak charitra) together were the real path to free the soul from the bondage of karma. Mahavir considered men and women to be on an equal footing as far as spiritual advancement was concerned. The path of renunciation and liberation attracted women as well. Many women followed Mahavir's path and renounced the world in search of ultimate truth and happiness. The following are some of his

cause others to kill, nor consent to the killings by others. The greatest mistake of a soul is non-recognition of its real self and can only be corrected by recognizing itself. Every soul is in itself absolutely omniscient and blissful. The bliss does not come from outside. All Souls are alike and potentially divine. None is superior or Inferior. There is no separate existence of God. Everybody can attain Godhood by making supreme efforts in the right direction. Know thyself, recognize thyself, be immersed by thyself - you

There is no separate existence of God Lord Mahavir

fluence of karma, the soul is habituated to seeking pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. This is the deep-rooted cause of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and other such vices. These result in

Mahavir emphasized that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form, how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should respect them sayings: All living beings long to live. No one wants to die. Just as I dislike pain, so all other beings dislike pain. Silence and Self-control is nonviolence. A wise person does not kill, nor

will attain God-hood. God is neither the creator nor the destroyer of the universe. He is merely a silent observer and omniscient. The 2612th birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir will be observed on April 23.

It is He who causes this universe to appear, and it is He who causes it to vanish as well. When He is revealed, the universe disappears; when He is concealed, the universe shines forth. -Sant Jnaneshwar

The one who has created the laws of nature also has the powers to break the laws of nature. -Sri Ramakrishna

Things that are Real are given and received in Silence. -Meher Baba

It should happen this way, it should not happen this way - in this there is all sorrows. -Swami Ramsukhdasji Maharaj Limited efforts cannot produce limitless Results. -Swami Tadrupanand When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near truth. - Rumi "Love and attachment are two different things. Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all. Attachment is possessing something. In reality, it is bondage. -Swami Rama

You Insure all your Valuables, all are replaceable except YOU! So Insure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs


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Pakistan elections: Movers, shakers and losers D SUBA CHANDRAN

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ay 11, 2013 - another decisive date in the arduous democratic journey of Pakistan, especially after completing the government without any major interference, despite the judicial coup. More than the success of the previous regime in completing its term, despite the forced change in the Prime Minister, free and fair elections in May 2013 will ensure that the democratic process is on track. Clearly, the process towards the next elections has been smooth so far. But the crucial question will be - what after the elections? Will the polity in Pakistan be able to elect a government for the federal and provincial legislatures? Will a government be formed smoothly, immediately after elections? There are two more questions: Will the Taliban allow the elections to be conducted? Will the military and its much hated Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) allow a free and fair election? For the purpose of this analysis these two questions will be kept away, perhaps to be discussed separately. The primary focus now is on what is likely to be the elections results. There are two major political parties at the national level - PPP and PML-N, besides the religious parties including the Jamaat-eIslami (JI) and two factions of the JUI. Of the regional parties, who will make a substantial contribution to the final tally of the National Assembly - MQM from Sindh and the ANP from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be substantial. There have been huge expectations on Imran Khan's PTI and Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League, though they have not tested their electoral strength. Besides the above, there is also PML-Q, which was originally supported by Musharraf. The contest clearly is likely to be between the above political parties. Of the above, PPP and PML-N are cadre based political parties with substantial presence at the grassroots level. Despite the criticism of favoritism and being run like a feudal organization by the top leadership, both these parties have substantial presence at the ground level. Of these two, the PPP's primary strength comes from Sindh, especially its vast rural districts. In the recent months, ever since the debate on dividing Punjab into two North and South, there is a belief, though untested, that the PPP has gained some foothold in the districts of Southern Punjab, especially Multan and Bahawalpur re-

gions; the fact that the former Prime Minister of Pakistan from PPP Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani also came from this region gives credence to this belief that the PPP may do better in Southern Punjab. However, there are many critics who question that the PPP will do better even in rural Sindh. This criticism comes from the fact that the PPP could not do anything substantially for Sindhis during its tenure. If one has to forecast how rural Sindh will vote - much will depend on any credible alternatives for the people, even if they are dis-enchanted with the PPP. Neither the MQM has a base in rural Sindh, nor any other party or individuals have a substantial hold. By default, the rural Sindh is

PML-N, the other major political party, is likely to do better in Punjab. The Sharif brothers have been politically very calculative during the last five years and ensured that they overtly and covertly supported the multiple movements and protests against the PPP government. likely to vote for the PPP. PML-N, the other major political party, is likely to do better in Punjab. The Sharif brothers have been politically very calculative during the last five years and ensured that they overtly and covertly supported the multiple movements and protests against the PPP government. As a result, Punjab, especially the Northern parts are likely to vote for the PML-N. Though the PPP and even PML-Q expects to do better in the southern districts of Punjab, it will not be an easy win for them. PML-N will remain a strong force in South Punjab as well. In Sindh, especially in Karachi, the MQM is likely to remain the strong party. Despite the problems and numerous political somersaults by the MQM leadership, Karachi is likely to vote for the MQM; thanks to the undivided Mohajir vote bank. In the recent years, the ANP has made substantial inroads in Karachi, thanks to

the sizeable Pashtun population in this mega city. Karachi is believed to be the largest Pashtun city in the world, surpassing even Peshawar and Kandhar! The primary base for the ANP remains the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While the MQM remains an undisputed leader of the Mohajirs, the same cannot be said about the ANP for the Pashtuns. Even within Karachi, ANP's influence is waning in the recent months, thanks to the growing TTP influence. Pakistani Taliban will remain a crucial factor in affecting the chances of the ANP, by threatening those who are likely to vote for the party. Besides, Imran Khan is also likely to divert the Pashtun vote bank of the ANP. Will Imran Khan be able to make a substantial impact in 2013 elections? Though he has not made an impact in the previous elections either at the national or at provincial levels, his popularity has grown substantially since the last elections. However there are two primary problems for Imran Khan; first, his party, unlike the PPP or PML-N, does not have a strong base at the grassroots level. Most of his leaders have defected from other parties, or are former bureaucrats. The youths, who vociferously support him in the social media - many of they have not voted in their lives and a substantial section of this group is not even in the electoral rolls. The religious political parties have a strong street presence. This street power never materialized into seats in the National Assembly, essentially if the elections are free and fair. Despite coming together earlier under the banner of the MMA, the religious parties are no more united. The TTP is also not likely to support these religious political parties. Finally, the much expected return of Musharraf has not elicited any strong response from the people so far. Like Imran Khan, his party also has a serious problem at the grassroots level. In fact, Imran seems be better mobilized for the elections than Musharraf. The above analysis is based on an assumption, that the elections will be free and fair, and have no interference either from the Taliban or from the all powerful intelligence agencies. Much will depend on how the electoral process heats up in the next few weeks. As of today, the election situation stands polarized with no single party having an absolute lead in Pakistan. The writer is Director, IPCS

None of them

T

he buzz around the alleged PM-aspirants Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi keeps growing. So much so that the two have started to take the media hype about them seriously. Rahul Gandhi recently condescended to get off his high horse of concern for the poor and downtrodden to address captains of Indian industry at a CII event where he lauded them as job creators. He called for a closer relationship between government and big business and unleashing the potential of the Indian "beehive". Deliberately picking up the "beehive" remark out of context as if he was called upon to counter the other aspirant, Narendra Modi grew emotional and declared that his "Congress friends may think of this nation as a beehive but for us this nation is a mother." This is neither here or there but confirms the suspicion that Narendra Modi has started running for 2014 gaddi. It is not certain that in a fractured polity any party will get enough seats to have its leader ensconced on the PM seat. Still the debate about Modi vs Rahul continues. A BJP sympathizing commentator Swapan Dasgupta opines that like the 1984 election where Indira Gandhi staged a comeback with a majority, the media is missing the national mood favoring a strong leader like Modi. He thinks that sick with the PM for a few days experiment of the various small Dals, the electorate voted positively for a strong leader. Once again the scenario is similar and India of 2014 will vote for a strong leader. He is probably missing the fact that nationwide the BJP doesn't enjoy a favorable image. Rahul Gandhi pointedly spelled out the danger of a divisive leadership. But he himself is too timid and has consistently refused for the last nine years to take on any responsibility. Anna Hazare and company have been advocating a "none of the above" category for voters if they do not approve of any of the candidates they are expected to vote in an election. On similar lines, the voter today has the choice to say "none of them" to both these PM aspirants because none of them fits the requirements for this high office. In a recent interview with Karan Thapar, historian Ramchandra Guha spells out why. He said, "From what we know of him as a thinker and actor, as politician and social reformer, it seems quite clear that if the Congress were in a position to form the government after the next general elections, and if the party then nominates Mr Gandhi as Prime Minister, the nation shall not be in safe hands." In fact he agreed with the questioner that it will be dangerous to hand over the reins of the country to him. Giving his reasons, he said, "Rahul hasn't shown the determination, the will, the intelligence, the courage, the hard work, the political canniness that being Prime Minister of this country requires. He should have at least started as a minister. You know Nitish Kumar has won a state. You know Narendra Modi has won a state. You know P Chidambaram has won several ministries. But Rahul Gandhi, all you have is some well-meaning words and fortitude in the occasional overnight visit to a Dalit village. That's all." He also emphasized that if Narendra Modi was to become Prime Minister, the nation will not be in safe hands either. Explaining he said, Narendra Modi is arrogant and bullying even during his speeches. "And that kind of contemptuous arrogance is not comfortable in any kind of politician in a society as complex as India. So, I have reservations as a democrat about Narendra Modi. As for his leadership qualities, he says, "because you can run a state in a dictatorial way you can't run a country as complex as India in that kind of way. Narendra Modi is incapable of listening to someone else." There is still a year to go. We can wait for the right candidate.


April 19

, 2013

www.indiapost.com

India Post 55


56 India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 19, 2013

IndiaPost_04-19-2013  

Voice of Indians Worldwide

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