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Sidharth Mukherjee

‘Mobile radiation doesn't cause cancer’ Details on page 5

Miss America asks school to spare student

VOL 19, No. 1023

April 25, 2014

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Periodical Postage

INDIA TO FORM INSURANCE POOL ON N-LIABILITY NEW DELHI: Moving to address the liability issue that has held up deals with various countries, the government has decided to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool which will have a number of stakeholders to meet the requirement of huge financial cover in case of a mishap. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is pursuing the matter with the Ministry of Finance for creation of the pool after no single insurance company, including the General Insurance Company, expressed its ability to provide financial cover to the nuclear plants considering the huge monetary requirement.

Under the Liability Law, compensation of up to Rs 1500 crore will have to be paid in case of a mishap involving a nuclear plant. At present, India has 20 nuclear plants and their number is expected to grow as the industry expands. The move indicates the urgency to insure reactors, especially units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), under the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act (CLND), 2010. An agreement with Russia for setting up units 3 and 4 was signed recently. Details on page 12

Details on page 6

Sant Chatwal pleads guilty to violating US laws Details on page 5

Democrats return Chatwal's campaign funds Details on page 5

Modi disapproves of 'petty' statements Details on page 9

India may drag US to WTO in case of IPR action

NYC attacker of Sikh professor arrested

Details on page 6

Details on page 8

India reduces exposure to US securities

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 52

Details on page 6

Community Post -------------- 16-25 Date Book -------------------------- 50 Edit Page --------------------------- 54

INDIA POST SURVEY

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

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Horoscope ------------------------- 51

This week’s question

Immigration Post ------------- 44-46

Will the insurance pool on n-liability satisfy US?

Life Style ----------------------- 48-49 Philosophy ------------------------- 53

Last week’s result

Indo-US relations will improve after polls? YES 87%

NO 13%

Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4

JOINING THE FUN: A group of American tourists display placards urging people to vote during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, as part of an election-themed tour of the holy city of Varanasi on April 22

Real Estate -------------------- 38-39 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-14 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 41-43

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Publisher’s Diary

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shley J. Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment is a friend of India. In his view, the decline in US-India relations began with the 2011 Indian nuclear liability law under which a nuclear supplier or operator of a nuclear plant is liable for damages up to Rs.1,500 crore in the event of a nuclear disaster. Not only the US but many other nuclear equipment supplying countries like Russia and France worry that this law disproportionately burdens sellers of nuclear technology with compensation payments in the case of an accident. They also say that India's liability law is not consistent with international nuclear policies. It needs to be remembered that the issue of an accident is sensitive in India, where a gas leak in a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal city killed about 20,000 people in 1984 in one of the world's worst industrial disasters. And the US courts and prosecutors, unlike the arrest and humiliation of an Indian diplomat over underpaying a maid, did not allow him to prosecuted for these murders. That is why the stringent Indian nuclear liability clause was adopted by Indian parliament under pressure from activists and the opposition. Tellis has put faith in a new government under Narendra Modi that it will put India back on the reforms path and the growth of India's economy will itself restore faith in India among US businessmen who are now cribbing over UPA's unfriendly policies. The Obama administration is also guilty of taking eye off the ball by appointing a lightweight ambassador to India. During her last days in India, Nancy Powell found it difficult to even meet officials of the Indian government after the Devyani Khobragade incident. She had to wait for two months to have a meeting with Narendra Modi. Although the departure of Powell next month has been announced but the Obama administration is yet to announce her replacement upon which much will depend on reviving Indo-US relations. Perhaps they are also waiting for Modi to take over. Romesh K Japra

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Caught dating Dressed in casual outfits, lovebirds Ranveer and Deepika were snapped outside hotspot Olive in Mumbai.

Cover Story: Chatwal guilty Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal has pleaded guilty at a court in New York to violating federal election laws

Community: Hindu seminars Two major seminars on subjects that impact the Hindu community will be hosted at the Hindu Conference in San Jose

28 5 16

Immigration: H-1B madness The first reason to be mad about the H-1B cap is that it forces employers to scramble way before the start of the 2015 fiscal year

Life Style: TOI story In her book, Malhan digs deep into facts, traverses the media landscape and the minds of the people who changed the rules.

Techbiz: Nuclear Insurance Moving to address the liability issue that has held up deals with various countries, India in to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool

Travel: Srinagar Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, this dream destination is surrounded by beautiful lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar

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Sant Chatwal pleads guilty to violating US laws NEW YORK: Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal has pleaded guilty at a court here to violating federal election laws by using straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns and will pay a million dollars to the US as part of his plea agreement. "Chatwal admitted that he used straw donors to secretly funnel money to political campaigns so

tion Campaign Act (the 'Election Act') by making more than USD 180,000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed and to witness tampering. There is no allegation that the candidates participated in, or were aware of, Chatwal's scheme, federal prosecutors said. As part of his plea agreement with the government, he agreed

The Washington Post said Chatwal faces a maximum of nearly six years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. He is free on a USD 750,000 bond secured by property in Manhattan.A spokesman for Chatwal said he "deeply regrets his actions that he could gain access to the politicians, and he coerced another person to hide his crime," said acting US Assistant Attorney General David O'Neil. Chatwal, 70, had raised at least USD 100,000 for former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama. He pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to conspiring to violate the Federal Elec-

to forfeit one million dollars to the US. "Chatwal went to great lengths to undermine both election laws and our system of justice. Today's guilty plea shows our vigilance and determination to prosecute those who damage the integrity of elections by masking the true sources of campaign contributions," O'Neil said. "Chatwal's scheme sought to subvert the very purpose of the

Election Act. Chatwal then rolled the dice to stymie the government's investigation, thinking he could corruptly convince witnesses to his federal election crimes to stay silent. That gamble did not pay off," said US Attorney Loretta Lynch. The Washington Post said Chatwal faces a maximum of nearly six years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. He is free on a USD 750,000 bond secured by property in Manhattan. A spokesman for Chatwal said he "deeply regrets his actions and accepts full responsibility for the consequences." Chatwal was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his role in the historic India-US civilian nuclear deal. He heads the chain of the upscale Hampshire Hotels. Lynch said Chatwal's scheme sought to subvert the very purpose of the Election Act. "Today's conviction sends a clear message that this office is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting individuals who are responsible for committing crimes in connection with federal campaign donations and witness tampering," Lynch said. "Attempting to buy elections through illegal campaign contri-

Mobile radiation doesn't cause cancer: Mukherjee NEW DELHI: Terming cancer as a detective story, renowned oncologist and Pulitzer award winner Sidharth Mukherjee has said that there is no prevalent evidence that radiations from cellphones and mobile towers cause cancer. "I think preponderance of evidence shows there is no link," Mukherjee said when asked if there is a link between cancer and EMF radiations from cellphones and mobile tower. There have been fears among people that radiations from mobile towers cause cancer and have other ill effects on health. In a bid to check radiation threat, the government has put guidelines in place which say the specific absorption rate (SAR), a measure of radiation, on mobile phones sold in India should not exceed 1.6 watt/kg averaged over a mass of 1 gram of human tissue. Mobile tower radiation norms in India have been set at one-tenth of the level that most countries follow. A World Health Organization (WHO) panel had added

cellphones to a list of things that are "possible carcinogenic". Carcinogen can be defined as an agent which is directly involved in causing cancer. Mukherjee, who has been conferred a Padma Shri award, said

he oncologist said if we lump everything into the category of "potentially carcinogenic", from toxic potatoes to McCarthy's grave, then our scientific language around cancer begins to degenerate he has written to WHO for downgrading the risk of cellphone radiation as a possible carcinogen. He, however, added it that does not mean studies should not be carried out. "WHO must downgrade the

risk of cellphone radiation as a possible carcinogen. However, that does not mean studies should not be carried on but as of now evidence does not exist pending further investigation," he said. The oncologist said if we lump everything into the category of "potentially carcinogenic", from toxic potatoes to McCarthy's grave, then our scientific language around cancer begins to degenerate. On tower radiation, he said there is not too much known about it but studies have shown a largely negative relation. "Cancer is like a detective story, you solve it using not one piece of evidence but you combine pieces of evidence in order to solve the puzzle," he added. Mukherjee, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2010 book called 'The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer' is already working on his new book. "I wouldn't talk much about the book but I am in the middle of writing the next book called the 'History of a Gene' as a twentieth century idea," he said. -PTI

butions is unacceptable. It is also illegal," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos. Internal Revenue Service's Chief Richard Weber said Chatwal admitted his actions were de-

without campaign contributions, "nobody will even talk to you...That's the only way to buy them, get into the system? What, what else is there? That's the only thing."

Sant Singh Chatwal

signed to circumvent the Election Act. The evidence against Chatwal includes an October 2010 recorded conversation between Chatwal and a business associate who became an informant, in which Chatwal underscored his view as to the importance of political campaign contributions, stating that

According to court filings, Chatwal sought to obstruct the grand jury investigation into his Election Act scheme by tampering with a witness, a person whose business performed construction work for Chatwal and Chatwal's companies and who had recruited straw donors at Chatwal's direction. -PTI

Democrats return Chatwal's campaign funds NEW YORK: Several top Democratic leaders in the US are returning the funds collected by Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal in the wake of his guilty plea to federal prosecutors for making thousands of dollars in illegal donations to political campaigns through "straw donors". New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign said it will return more than USD 15,000 in cash raised by Chatwal, 70, "Yes, we are returning all funds given or raised by Chatwal," Jonathan Rosen, who worked for de Blasio's campaign, told the New York Observer. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Senator Mark Warner are also returning the money by donating to charity funds tied to Chatwal who heads the chain of the upscale Hampshire Hotels. Chatwal had appeared before United States District Judge I Leo Glasser of the Eastern District of New York and pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign

Act by making more than USD 180,000 in federal campaign donations to three candidates through straw donors who were reimbursed and to witness tampering. While the identities of the candidates for whom the campaign donations were made were not disclosed, the Wall Street Journal had quoted a lawenforcement official as saying that the donations were made to the political campaigns of former US Senators Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd and former Florida Representative Kendrick Meek. There is no allegation that the candidates took part in, or were aware of, Chatwal's scheme, federal prosecutors said. Chatwal, who has very close to the Clintons and to senior US Senator Harry Reid, was also a key supporter of de Blasio, serving on the host committee of at least one of the candidate's fund-raisers and bundling thousands of dollars on his behalf, the New York Observer said.-PTI


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Miss America asks school to spare student NEW YORK: Indian-American asked her to take a selfie with him. Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri Davuluri replied "Maybe later" has asked a school in Pennsylva- and Farves cheered as he walked nia to reconsider its decision to suspend an 18-year-old student who had asked her to be his date for the prom night when the beauty queen had visited the school for a lecture. Patrick Farves had asked Davuluri to the annual end of the year dance and gave her a plastic flower when she was speaking to students at the school's auditorium. At the end of a question and answer session, Farves rose and asked Davuluri, 24, if she would be his date at prom. Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri Davuluri laughed and Farves ran up to the stage, handing her a plastic back from the stage. The school flower he had bought for her and however did not take the prank

lightly and suspended Farves for three days, saying the student had "deliberately" defied school administrators, who had requested him that he not ask Davuluri the question after they learned of the planned stunt. In a message posted on the Miss America Organization's Facebook Page, Davuluri said she has "reached out to the school in hopes that they will reconsider their decision" when she learnt of the disciplinary action taken against the student. She said she was "flattered" by Farves's gesture but said "unfortunately" she would not be able to attend the prom with him due to her travel schedule. "Meeting and interacting with students across the country has been an important and rewarding part of my year as Miss America. I always encourage students to follow their dreams through education, and I'm inspired daily by the enthusiasm and aspirations of the bright young adults I have the pleasure of meeting through my

India may drag US to WTO in case of IPR action NEW DELHI: India will drag the US to the WTO if Washington decides to put New Delhi in the Priority Foreign Country list for intellectual property rights (IPR), which could lead to trade curbs on domestic firms, sources said. This was decided at a highlevel meeting called by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth to discuss problems related to IPR issues with the US, especially in the pharmaceutical sector. "Indian IPR laws are fully compliant with WTO and other international norms. Any unilateral action taken by the US will be violative of WTO and India will suitably respond by dragging the US to WTO's dispute resolution mechanism," sources told PTI. US industry, particularly the pharmaceuticals sector, and trade lobbies have been putting pressure on their government to place India under the Priority Foreign Country list for IPR. Under the US Trade Act, a Priority Foreign Country is the worst classification given to those that deny adequate and effective protection of IPR or fair and equitable market access to US entities relying on IPR protection. The US Trade Representative is scheduled to come out with a report on April 30 on Special 301,

which also talks about the priority foreign country list. "We are waiting for that report. The Indian government will not engage with private American firms," they added. Indian Ambassador to US S Jaishankar had suggested that the government should engage with US pharma firms on the matter. US companies allege India's IPR re-

"The withdrawal of GSP benefits may impact exports of MSME sector to the US. However, overall, the move would not impact Indian exporters much," gime is not compliant with international norms and discriminates against them. Officials at the meeting, including Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant and Health Secretary Lov Kumar Verma, appraised the Cabinet Secretary on all IPRrelated issues between India and

the US. According to sources, as part of trade sanctions, the US may consider withdrawing benefits under the scheme of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides reduced tariffs for Indian goods entering the US markets. "The withdrawal of GSP benefits may impact exports of MSME sector to the US. However, overall, the move would not impact Indian exporters much," they said. Officials have said the demand is completely unfair as India's IPR regime is compliant with global laws, including the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Obama administration has strongly criticized India's investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceutical and solar sectors. US pharma companies had objected to India's move in March 2012 to allow Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell a generic copy of cancer-treatment drug Nexavar at about 3 per cent of the cost charged by patent holder Bayer. India's pharma exports increased 10 per cent to USD 14.6 billion during 2012-13, with shipments to the US accounting for about 26 per cent of the total. -PTI

travels," she said in the message. In suspending Farves, his school said "It is not our practice to discipline a student for asking someone - even Miss America -

Patrick Farves

to a school dance. However, it is our practice to set expectations for student behavior, to communicate those expectations and

rules to students and families and to ensure those rules are followed within our schools. This practice is not uncommon and happens every day, multiple times a day, in schools, businesses and homes across America." Farves had told the local York Dispatch that he was pretty much set "to ask Davuluri the question even though he had been asked by his school not to behave in such a manner. "I was a little pressured. Everybody expected me to do it. I'm the kind of person who, if someone says I won't do something, I'll prove people wrong. I will." Farves later apologized, writing a letter to the district's assistant superintendent that he was sorry for the commotion. "I do understand why the administration was mad," he told the Dispatch. "I don't want to be the kind of person to try to justify myself ... I didn't intend to disrespect the administration. I can see how it was seen as a slap in the face." -PTI

India reduces exposure to US government securities WASHINGTON: India has India, China and South Africa) reduced its exposure to the US nations too have trimmed their government securities this year exposures in February comso far with the holding coming pared to January. down to USD 67 billion in FebEven though China cut its ruary. holding marginally, the counIn the first two months of this try is still the largest holder of year, India has trimmed its hold- American government securiing by more than USD 1 billion ties with holdings worth USD reversing the trend witnessed 1.27 trillion. during the last few months of Among the BRICS mem2013. While India's holdings in Febru- Even though China cut its ary stood at USD 67 billion in Febru- holding marginally, the ary, the same was at country is still the largest USD 68.1 billion in the preceding holder of American governmonth, according to latest data from ment securities with holdings the US Treasury worth USD 1.27 trillion Department. India held US Treasury securities worth USD bers, Brazil has the second 68.5 billion in December last year. largest exposure at USD 243.9 Growth prospects are slowly billion, followed by Russia improving for the US, the whose holdings stood at USD world's largest economy, even 126.2 billion in February. as many of the developing South Africa held USD 11.4 countries are facing economic billion worth such securities headwinds. during the same period. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Japan with securities holdthe American economy grew 2.6 ings of USD 1.21 trillion at the per cent, as per official figures. end of February is the second Meanwhile not only India, largest holder of US Treasury rest of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, securities. -PTI


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NYC attacker of Sikh professor arrested NEW YORK: A 20-year-old man, accused of pulling the beard of a Sikh professor in the US, has been arrested and charged with hate crime for the brutal assault during which the attackers called him "Osama" and "terrorist". Christian Morales was arrested and charged with aggravated harassment and committing a hate crime in connection with the attack on Prabhjot Singh, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Singh, 31, was assaulted last September by a group of 20-30 young men while he was walking in the Harlem neighborhood near here. The father of one had been "brutally attacked" and was rushed to the hospital with severe bruising, swelling, small puncture in his elbow and fracture in his lower jaw. While in hospital, Singh had told the police that his assailants had taunted him and beat him, calling him "Osama" and "terrorist" as they pulled at his long beard. He was repeatedly punched in the face and head. Singh was returning from dinner, dropping his wife and one-year-old son at home before going for a walk. While being attacked, he saw one of the assailants put his arm inside his coat as if reaching for a

gun. Addressing a press conference days after the attack, Singh had said he would want his attackers to visit the Gurudwara and interact with members of the community to better understand the Sikh

Prabhjot Singh

faith. "If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. May be invite

them to the Gurudwara where we worship, get to know who we are... Make sure they have an opportunity to move past this as well," Singh had said. The New York police had released a surveillance video of the suspects believed to be involved in the attack. The grainy clip showed a group of young 15-20 suspects riding their bikes shortly before they encountered Singh as he walking with a friend. Singh, who has lived in the city for 10 years, had said he would not be deterred from his goal of engaging with communities to educate and uplift people to make them become better human beings. There is need to understand "who gave these kids the green light to hate." "These sort of things are not who we are. This is not an America that I recognize," he had said. In 2012, Singh had written an op-ed in the New York Times days after six Sikh persons were killed in a tragic shooting at a Wisconsin Gurudwara in August. "We must do away with a flawed and incomplete assumption of 'mistaken identity' regarding Sikhs; until we do, we will all be the ones who are mistaken," he had written in the op-ed titled 'How Hate Gets Counted.' -PTI

Congress, Police connived at anti-Sikh riots: Sting NEW DELHI: A sting operation carried out by a news portal has claimed that the government failed to take action to stop the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and senior police officers "colluded" with the then government to teach Sikhs a "lesson." An investigation conducted by Cobrapost - Chapter 84 claimed to have confessions of officers of Delhi Police most of whom have admitted in the sting to their "failure" as a force to take

Police stop Sikh protesters during a protest against Congress leaders over 1984 anti-Sikh riots outside AICC headquarters in New Delhi on April 21

action against the culprits. Cobrapost recorded the conversations of Shoorveer Singh Tyagi, the then Station House Officer (SHO) Kalyanpuri, Rohtas Singh, SHO Delhi Cantonment, S.N. Bhaskar SHO Krishna Nagar, O.P. Yadav, SHO Srinivaspuri, and Jaipal Singh SHO Mehrauli. The news portal claimed that

Indian-origin doctor unfairly sacked: UK tribunal LONDON: An Indian-origin heart surgeon in the UK was unfairly sacked after he raised concerns about patient safety, an employment tribunal has ruled. Dr Raj Mattu was dismissed by University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in 2010. In 2001, he had exposed the cases of two patients who had died in crowded bays at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. Fifty-four-year-old Mattu said he was "absolutely relieved" at the ruling. The trust said it was disappointed and would examine the ruling for grounds to appeal. Mattu was first suspended over allegations he bullied a junior doctor. He was allowed to return to work but only after re-training - which he never completed. In 2009, General Medical Coun-

cil cleared Mattu of the bullying allegations yet he was sacked by the hospital trust. Employment Judge Pauline Hughes ruled the consultant "did not cause or contribute to his dismissal" and had been subject to

terest", she said. She also ruled that the surgeon had been treated "unfavorably" by the trust as a result of a disability. But she dismissed Mattu's claims of racial discrimination. Mattu told BBC Radio that the

"They have also, in the way they have treated me, discouraged any further whistle blowers in the NHS from coming forward and risking having their career and livelihood destroyed," Mattu said. "many detriments" by the trust for being a whistle-blower. His allegations had been "serious" and "attracted a great deal of media coverage and public in-

trust had made false allegations against him as a "plausible alternative" for his dismissal - when the real reason had been his whistle blowing.

S.C. Tandon - the then chief of police -conveniently parried all questions while Gautam Kaul, then Additional Commissioner of Police straightaway rejected the idea that he had any first-hand knowledge of rioting. The news portal claimed that confessions of these officials revealed that while warnings about the simmering communal sentiments against Sikhs went unheard by senior officers, only two per cent of the messages of news of

"Scores of false allegations, some of them quite heinous, were put forward," he said. "The saddest thing out of all of this for me is that the people who have lost out the most are the patients and the public because for 13 years the trust management have prevented me from looking after patients. "They have also, in the way they have treated me, discouraged any further whistle blowers in the NHS from coming forward and risking having their career and livelihood destroyed," Mattu said. During the tribunal, Mattu said his concerns about overcrowding in wards had been ignored. He claimed a policy of allocating five patients to four-bed bays in 1999 had prevented vital equipment being used to save the life of a 35year-old man.-PTI

arson and rioting which bombarded the police control rooms, were recorded. It also claimed that police logbooks were "conveniently" changed to eliminate evidence of inaction on the part of senior officers while some other officers did not act for fear of punishment being transferred. According to the confessions of these officers, Cobrapost claimed, some police officers dumped bodies of victims somewhere else to minimize riot-related crimes and messages were broadcast directing police to not take action against rioters who were shouting slogans of Indira Gandhi zindabad. "The government of the day did not allow the police to act while creating an impression that the police were not performing their duty," the news portal alleged. "While most of them candidly admitted to their failure as a force, some of them confessed that the top brass of the police force colluded with the government of the day to teach Sikhs a lesson," the news portal said in its statement. The sting was carried out over one year with vast majority of the shoots in the last two months. "The idea behind it was to get a snapshot of the 1984 traumatic event which followed after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi," it said.-PTI


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Will reach out to all, Muslims Modi disapproves of 'petty' statements included: Modi NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi has said he would reach out to Muslim "brothers" like any other citizen of the country and made it clear that the contentious issues of Ram Temple and Uniform Civil Code would be addressed within the Constitutional framework. The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate underlined that he sees all Indians as one and it is his "responsibility" to reach out to all sections of the society, which includes Muslims.

he would implement these unfulfilled subjects of BJP agenda considering his 'tez tarrar' (fiesty) image. "The country does not run by 'tez tarrari' (fiestyness) but by the Constitution. Fiestyness is for elections but not for running the country," the BJP's Prime Ministerial nominee said, making clear that he would abide by the Constitution on these issues. He was also asked whether his work as Prime Minister would

Asked about different voices in BJP over whether action should be taken against Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra in connection with alleged inappropriate land deals, Modi made it clear that he would focus on development rather than such issues "As Chief Minister of Gujarat, I have tried to connect to six crore people of the state as much as possible. Now I have been entrusted with the national responsibility. I will use all efforts at my command to reach out to 125 crore people. This is part of my responsibility and I must do it. "It may mean walking 100 steps. I may walk three steps, five steps or seven steps, that is a different matter. But it is my responsibility that I must make demonstrative efforts to reach out to every citizen of the country," he said. He was responding on ABP News channel's 'Ghoshnapatra' program when pointed out that he appeared to have started establishing contact with Muslim community. Asked specifically whether his effort to reach out to every citizen included Muslims, Modi replied, "I will never go by this terminology of yours. Even if you drag me, I will not. I will meet my countrymen. I understand only one language that they are my countrymen, they are my brothers. You may see with whatever color you want, Modi will not go into that color." He went on to add, "even if I lose elections, let it be so, I have no problem. But the country has been destroyed by this language, the mindset of you people and I will never own that mindset. And you please stop such attacks on my freedom." Modi was referred to the issues of Ram Temple and Union Civil Code, which have been a major point of contention between BJP and Muslims, and asked whether

have "RSS imprint" since he has been groomed by it. "Let me tell you, I have to run the government. A government runs according to the Constitution. I believe that a government has only one religion -- India first. A government has only one holy book -- our Constitution. A government has only one kind of devotion -- towards nation. A government has only one style of functioning - 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' (cooperation of all, development of all). When referred to 2002 riots, the Gujarat Chief Minister said he has "stood the test" and was "ready for any test" but would "never

Citing his "track record" as Chief Minister of 14 years, he said it "shows that I have never opened any file against anybody. I believe that one gets entangled in such things and cannot do good work surrender before lies and political motives." He said, "...Till 2007, I have spoken a lot on this issue. Whether you like it or not, I will not succumb to you (on the issue)." Attacking the UPA government, he said it "dragged" him to the Supreme Court on the issue and "now I should not speak as SC should be influenced."

He, however, referred to the questioning he faced on the matter from the investigators. "Till now, no CM has been grilled by policemen for nine hours. It was done on the orders of Supreme Court. SC has seen the video of that recording. I have stood that test and even in future, I am ready for any test," he added. . Asked about the statement by BJP leader Giriraj Singh that those opposing Modi should go to Pakistan, the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said "nobody can agree with that (statement)." To buttress his point that he would not be vindictive, Modi said, "After election victory of 2002, I went to thank the electorate of Maninanagar (in Gujarat). There, I said 'this government is of those who have elected it, this government is also of those who voted against and this government is also of those who did not go to vote'." Asked about different voices in BJP over whether action should be taken against Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra in connection with alleged inappropriate land deals, Modi made it clear that he would focus on development rather than such issues which will be dealt with by the law as deemed fit. "We get elected for five years and for five years should we roam around with this mess or do some good work? My personal belief is that my energy should be utilized for positive and good work. Otherwise, five years is very less time. If we get entangled in this, what good work can we do," he said. Citing his "track record" as Chief Minister of 14 years, he said it "shows that I have never opened any file against anybody. I believe that one gets entangled in such things and cannot do good work. I have only focused on positive initiative. I do not even keep information about old cases. It is for government, let them do." At the same time, he said, "Nobody is above the law. Imagine if there allegations against Modi and he is the Prime Minister. Should the case not be pursued just because he has become the PM. It should not be so that it should be stopped. I am not above the law. I am not answering the question you asked. So do not mix up." On the controversy over the 'marriage' section of his affidavit and whether he expected it, he said, "I do not get surprised by anything. -PTI

AHMEDABAD: Amid raging controversy over statements by BJP leader Giriraj Singh and VHP leader Pravin Togadia, BJP Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi said that he disapproved of "petty" statements by those claiming to be BJP's well-wishers as they are deviating from the campaign. "Petty statements by those claiming to be BJP's well-wishers are deviating the campaign from the issues of development and good governance," Modi said. "I disapprove (of) any such irresponsible statements and appeal to those making them to kindly refrain from doing so," he said in a series of tweets on micro-blogging site Twitter. "With great happiness, the entire nation is looking toward BJP for going to people solely on the issue of good governance and development," he further said. Giriraj Singh had said that those opposing Modi should be sent to Pakistan while Togadia had asked his supporters to forcibly vacate a house purchased by a Muslim

in a Hindu-majority area of Bhavnagar. Modi's remarks come in a backdrop of Congress and other parties mounting an attack on him and BJP for not coming clean on the statements made by two leaders. On Giriraj Singh's comment,

Narendra Modi

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said that he would "prefer to go to Pakistan" than stopping criticism of Modi. Addressing an election rally in Anantnag district, he had said, "I will prefer to go to Pakistan than stop criticizing Modi. Thanks to the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus, I won't have to go to New Delhi. I can board the bus from here only." -PTI

Indian-American woman kept dead son for 5 days HOUSTON: An IndianAmerican woman in Texas kept her 10-year-old son's body on ice for five days, claiming she was complying with Hindu rituals to preserve it while waiting for her husband to return and perform the funeral. Pallavi Dhawan, 38, was charged with first-degree murder of her son Arnav about three months ago. Frisco-based Dhawan described the events in a sworn affidavit sent to police. The sixpage affidavit gives details of her son's medical history, his school and the events leading up to and following Arnav's death. The family said Arny had preexisting medical conditions. The Collin County medical examiner ruled the cause of death as "undetermined" but "natural disease is most likely".

Dhawan said when she tried to wake her son for school on January 29, he was cold and unresponsive. She said at first she thought her son was faking being asleep to avoid going to school, but when she tried to carry him to take a bath, she realized he was dead. After checking Arnav's pulse and heartbeat and trying to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), Dhawan said she went into a state of shock. In the affidavit, she said: "I proceeded to give (Arnav) his deceased bath according to Hindu customs, dressed him in his favorite clothes and kept his favorite toy next to him and I later put his head on his favorite pillow along with his favorite blanket." -PTI


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Bid to spiritualize Indian poitics with prayers SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: Overseas Friends of BJP (OF-BJP), Chicago held a meeting on Sunday, April 20 followed by spiritual prayer at the premises of Gayatri Gyan Mandir in Itasca, a suburb of Chicago, with a view to imparting spiritual undertone to the decaying political arena in India. It also prayed to foster atmosphere conducive to project Narendra Modi as the most popular as well as able person to lead the country after the general elections. Narendra Modi now popularly known as NaMo has huge experience as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for a consecutive three terms and the development of the State of Gujarat stands for the testimony for their confidence in his leadership and a sure mean to prove that he has the potential to be a successful PM at the helm o f Indian government Many important and influential persons from Chicagoland and Indiana including Dr. Bharat Barai, Harendra Mangrolia, Amar Upadhyay, S. Vemuri and Prasad Yalamanchi joined the meeting and also spoke about the issues, problems and urged the members of the audience to work as conduits to their relatives and friends back in India to support the efforts of Narendra Modi to clinch the victory and become instrumental in making the country a land of prosperity and unite the people of various languages and religions and succeed in making the country fulfill her destiny, "One Nation

JALANDHAR: It was an emotional homecoming for leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul to his childhood schools and his birthplace in the city here. Overwhelmed with nostalgia, Lord Paul, a prominent peer in Britain, visited his alma maters Doaba Primary School and Doaba Secondary School and thanked his parents for having admitted him into these institutions which shaped his life ahead. "I feel marvelous. It is a wonderful and a memorable moment for me. I am feeling highly emo-

Accompanied by his family, the 83-year-old business magnate and philanthropist said he brought his children and grandchildren along to "show them their roots". Talking to PTI on the sidelines he said, "I am getting old and I don't know when would I be able to come here next. I don't know if I would be able to come here next at all. Therefore I wanted my children and especially my grandchildren to show them their roots, so that they can understand where they come from." "I showed them the schools I

Prayer at Gayatri Gyan Mandir

and one people amid a great diversity." Earlier, religious ceremonies and rituals like Puja (adoration) and a spiritual discourse were held by a guest speaker from India. The Gayatri Gyan Mandir in Chicago and similar facilities across the world is the outcome

of huge efforts on the part of Pandit Shriram Sharma who established the Gayatri Tapobhumi, which subsequently spread across and India and in many parts of world. It now has become a beacon of spirituality to millions of adoring devotees of "Gayatri Sadhana".

NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul shakes hands with school children as his daughter-in-law Michelle looks on during a visit to Doaba Primary School in Jalandhar on April 19

tional. And, I believe you students are very lucky to study here," Lord Paul said. During his close to two hours visit, in which he also took his family to his house where he was born, now converted to a school too, Lord Paul was visibly moved to "return to his roots" and termed the moment as "priceless".

went to as a child and I also showed them the college I had attended," he said. The noted industrialist, accompanied by his son Angad, daughter Anjali, daughter-in-law Michelle and three grandchildren took a tour of the three places and offered floral tributes on the statues of his parents.-PTI

Idol of Ved Mata Gayatri and picture of Acharya Shree Ram Sharma

Essilor launches eye care Foundation for Indians SINGAPORE: French company Essilor has launched a campaign to provide eye care to children in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka as part of its initiative to serve Indians with uncorrected vision. Essilsor Vision Foundation would start its charity work by screening children's eyesight in public schools of the two states, said Essilor Chief Corporate Mission Officer Jayanth Bhuvaraghan. "We will start the campaign with school children and low income individual and families in the two states," Bhuvaraghan told PTI. Those screened under the Foundation program would be given free eyeglasses, he said.

I'm here to show my children their roots: Lord Paul

French eye care major Essilor would use its Indian network of 30,000 opticians, more than 5,000 employees and joint venture partners in its 25 companies to reach out across India to people who can not afford eyeglasses. Teachers in the Indian public schools would be trained under the program to identify pupils and students who need to have their vision corrected, Bhuvaraghan said. "The Foundation marks a new milestone in our goal to bring good vision to everyone in India," he said. The Foundation, under the India Trust Act, is headed by health and community development ex-

pert Dharamaprasada Rai, who has worked with international organizations including the Clinton Foundation and Population Services International. As many as 550 million Indians have uncorrected poor vision, Bhuvaraghan said. This has far reaching social impact on individuals and their communities as well as an estimated economic impact of USD 37 billion in lost productivity at work places each year in the Indian subcontinent, he said. The Paris-headquartered multinational corporation has provided free vision care to almost 600,000 people around the world over the past 25 years. -PTI

Gujarat docs offer discount to patients who vote AHMEDABAD: The doctors in Gujarat will give minimum 25 per cent discount on consultation fees to patients who show their inked finger to prove that they have cast their vote during the Lok Sabha polls, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said. IMA president Dr Jitendra Patel said the move, aimed at encouraging citizens to vote, would be valid for one week after the voting day on April 30. "Our motive is to increase the voter turnout on the polling day. Whoever shows the ink mark on the finger, will be given at least 25 per cent discount in consultation fees by doctors in the state," Patel said. This is a nationwide exercise, as IMA has sent the official letter to all 116 local medical associa-

tions in the country to implement the scheme, Patel said, adding that doctors could choose to give more discount. "25 per cent is the minimum limit. In many places, such as Ranchi in Jharkhand, doctors offered 50 per cent discount. We hope citizens will be encouraged to vote to take benefit of this scheme," he added. The IMA has also released a health agenda prepared by it. "The agenda is a road map as well as suggestion to the new Central government about what can be done to improve the health sector in India," said Dr Patel. It includes several demands like making essential drugs available free of cost and allowing duty-free imports of essential medical equipment.-PTI


Tech News India's forex reserves zoom $2.79 bn to $309.44 bn MUMBAI: India's foreign exchange reserves jumped by USD 2.797 billion to USD 309.444 billion in the week ended April 11 on the back of a healthy rise in currency assets. The total reserves had shot up by USD 2.974 billion to USD 306.647 billion in the previous week. Foreign currency assets (FCAs), a major part of the overall reserves, rose USD 2.746 billion to USD 281.552 billion for the week ended April 11, RBI said. FCAs, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of the non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in its reserves.-PTI

Indians top foreign investors list in Dubai DUBAI: Indians have topped the list of foreign investors in real estate in Dubai, pumping in USD 1.6 billion during the first quarter of 2014, according to a government agency. According to Dubai Land Department (DLD), 111 nationalities secured property deals in the first quarter of 2014. Indians were at the top spot for international investment, both in terms of the number of investors (2,414) and the amount of expenditure (USD 1.6 billion or 5.895 billion dirhams), according to the data. British ranked the second, making 3.145 billion dirhams worth of investments, followed by Pakistanis with investments totaling 2.410 billion dirhams.-PTI

China new hub to smuggle fake Indian currency NEW DELHI: In a worrying trend, central intelligence agencies have found that China has emerged as a new transit hub for Pakistan-based operators to circulate fake Indian currency which was also being routed in 'diplomatic bags' to Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and via two leading courier services. "Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) are being routed to Pakistan High Commission in Colombo through diplomatic bag. FICN are being routed from Pakistan to India and Nepal via China through FedEx and DHL courier in the form of parcels," according to a report of meeting of Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.-PTI

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President of Global Sales & Chief Financial Officer, HTC, Chia-Lin Chang (C), Country Head, HTC-India, Faisal Siddiqui (L) and President of HTC South Asia, Jack Yang at the launch of their new products in New Delhi on April 21

India to form Nuclear Insurance Pool to address liability issue NEW DELHI: Moving to address the liability issue that has held up deals with various countries, the government has decided to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool which will have a number of stakeholders to meet the requirement of huge financial cover in case of a mishap. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is pursuing the matter with the Ministry of Finance for creation of the pool after no single insurance company, including the General Insurance Company, expressed its ability to provide financial cover to the nuclear plants considering the huge monetary requirement. Under the Liability Law, compensation of up to Rs 1500 crore will have to be paid in case of a mishap involving a nuclear plant. At present, India has 20 nuclear plants and their number is expected to grow as the industry expands. The move indicates the urgency to insure reactors, especially units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), under the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act (CLND), 2010. An agreement with Russia for setting up units 3 and 4 was signed recently. This will also pave way for in-

suring big-ticket projects like Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) where French firm Areva is constructing 6 EPR reactors of 1650 MW each as also future atomic energy programs. In a letter written last week to the Ministry of Finance, DAE has said the formation of Nuclear In-

the remaining liability. DAE and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) had approached GIC for insurance. However, the public sector undertaking has said it does not have the capacity to insure the reactors in view of the high cost and also the number of reactors involved.

surance Pool should be "expedited" on "priority basis" as suggested by GIC. The volume of the pool will depend on how the government contributes to it for every project. Interestingly, in Canada, the nuclear liability law caps liability to an extent after which the government takes the responsibility of

In response to an RTI filed by Greenpeace, an organization working in the field of environment, GIC had said that it was not offering any insurance to KKNPP units 3 and 4. Sources claimed the reason for this was that the insurance company did not have the resources to insure such big-ticket projects.

DAE has an option of bringing in foreign insurance companies. The atomic agency is, however, strongly opposed to foreign insurance companies because with them come foreign inspectors whom the department does not welcome. "We are not very keen to have foreign insurance companies as this will attract inspectors of those companies, something which the department is not comfortable with. More importantly, why should a hefty premium be given to foreign companies when something could be worked out internally," said a government official. This has led to the government to decide on forming the Nuclear Insurance Pool along with GIC in which several insurance companies or other entities could come together to build resources to insure reactors. With countries like Canada and the United States having a sizable number of reactors, they also have nuclear insurance pool to deal with liability clause and also premium involved. Interestingly, the concept has been in practice in several western countries that have strict liability clause. The US has Association of Nuclear Insurers while China too has this concept.-PTI

Embrace modern economy, US group tells India WASHINGTON: With a new government due to be formed in India in more than a month from now, a prominent American think tank has urged the country to embrace a path towards modern economy to reverse its slow growth. "To reverse its slow growth, spur global competitiveness, and restore the Indian Economic Miracle, India should instead embrace a "Modern Economy Path" that aims to spur acrossthe-board productivity growth across all sectors based on competitive markets, liberalized trade, and robust innovation

policies," the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) said in a report. The US-based think-tank on IT in its major report "The Indian Economy at a Crossroads" said this strategy will create strong in-

novation-based industries at home that can effectively compete globally, while providing a much more effective strategy to achieve the broad and sustainable income and employment growth India seeks.

"To reverse its slow growth, spur global competitiveness, and restore the Indian Economic Miracle, India should instead embrace a "Modern Economy Path" that aims to spur across-the-board productivity growth across all sectors

Running into more than 130 pages, the report said that India's economic success this past decade is increasingly threatened by innovation mercantilist policies like Preferential Market Access (PMA) rules for government procurement of ICT products and compulsory licensing of bio pharmaceutical intellectual property - designed to promote selected domestic industries, even at the expense of other Indian industries and Indian consumers. Cont’d on page 14


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More companies hiring via social media MUMBAI: The social media has moved rapidly from being 'purely social' to a 'business tool' as more and more companies are now using the platform to recruit

their social network and they also update about their own status and change of roles. This trend began almost in 2010, and is growing by 50 per cent every year," leading

the right people for specific jobs and this trend is expected to grow by about 50 per cent this year from 2013, according to experts. "In day-to-day busy schedules, people only get social media platform to know about what is happening in the industry and

executive search firm GlobalHunt Managing Director Sunil Goel told PTI. Most of the updates, he opined, give the recruiter an information link to reach the right people for the specific job for their client companies.

"Mid and senior-level professionals do not want to project themselves as easily available resources but by putting up their resume in job portals or an agency makes them easily available resources, which affects their role and compensation negotiations," he added. Sectors like IT, ITES, banking and financial have been recruiting across levels using this platform, he said. However, even FMCG, manufacturing, power and energy, retail, automobile are also using the social media for mid to senior level hiring, he added. Career adviser firm Michael Page's India Regional Director Alf Harris said social media is obviously a much-talked about aspect of recruitment and it undoubtedly offers individuals an excellent opportunity to access opportunities and for companies to reach out to talent. "However, one must keep in mind that social media is part of the recruitment process. Once the recruitment process moves into the assessment cycle, there is limited impact from social media," he said. The advantage of social media is the ability to reach a significant number of people quickly and easily compared to traditional recruitment process, he said. -PTI

Americans wary of futuristic science, hi-tech WASHINGTON: Americans are generally excited about the new technology but when confronted with some advances that already appear possible - from skies filled with drones to meat made in a lab - they get nervous, according to findings of a new survey. "The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage," a report released by the Pew Research Center which sought to know public opinion about our rapidly changing world of science and tech. Overall, respondents were upbeat about how technology will shape the near future. In the report, 59 per cent of Americans think tech developments will make life in the next half-century better,

while only 30 per cent said they will make life worse. More than eight out of 10 respondents (81 per cent) said they think that in the next 50 years, people who need transplants will be able to get

Only 37 per cent of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time them with organs grown in labs. And more than half (51 per cent) think computers will be able to create art as skillfully as humans do. Interestingly, some of the advances that may be closest to becoming reality are the ones sur-

vey respondents were most worried about. Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if US airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children. Meanwhile, only 37 per cent of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time. "In the long run, Americans are optimistic about the impact that scientific developments will have on their lives and the lives of their children - but they definitely expect to encounter some bumps along the way," CNN quoted Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at Pew and the author of the report, as saying.-PTI

TCS, Mitsubishi sign agreement; to merge IT units NEW DELHI: India's largest petencies in industries like retail, software services firm Tata distribution and trading, TCS said. Consultancy Services (TCS) has This will complement TCS' deep signed an agreement with Japa- domain knowledge, technology nese major Mitsubishi Corporation expertise and strong execution to form a single IT services unit, track record, it added. the company said here. "This strategic transaction sigThe merger, in which TCS will nifies our serious commitment to hold 51 per cent stake and the Japan market. TCS will now Mitsubishi 49 per cent, will create a new IT services company of sig- TCS Global Network Delivery nificant scale in the Model (GNDMTM) capabiliJapanese market with annual turnover of over ties will also enable the USD 600 million. Japanese corporations' "TCS Japan, IT Frontier Corporation (ITF)- globalization ambitions Mitsubishi's 100 per cent IT subsidiary -- and Nippon have the scale, strong local presTCS Solution Center (NTSC), to ence and our full range of global merge as a single new entity," TCS capabilities to serve the Japanese said in a statement. corporations effectively and accelTCS will hold 51 per cent in the erate our growth in Japan market," merged entity, while Mitsubishi TCS CEO and Managing Director will have 49 per cent and the N Chandrasekaran said. merged entities would be operaTCS Global Network Delivery tional from July 2014, it added. Model (GNDMTM) capabilities ITF brings its long-standing re- will also enable the Japanese corlationships with Japanese corpora- porations' globalization ambitions, tions, talented workforce and com- TCS said. -PTI


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Smart innovations by IIT students of Delhi NEW DELHI: Does the often time-consuming line up at pathological labs to collect your medical test reports disturb you? Are you looking for environment friendly options to lead your life? Do you believe in the power of technology to offer you clean

lovers, enthusiasts, novices as well as experts. A range of such solutions was displayed at "Open House 2014", the annual event of the premier institute here recently. On show was a 'Hemometer' that can instantly estimate hemoglobin count; a bio gas technol-

governance? Students at IIT Delhi attempt to find solutions to a lot of such problems with a list of innovations that are aimed to delight science

ogy that promises to replace CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), petrol and diesel as engine fuels; a cholesterol analysis kit at a price half the market rate; a waterless urinal

Perception in India that big cos do cozy deals NEW YORK: The biggest challenge on policy front is the fight against the perception that a small number of big corporations do cozy deals with the government, India's Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahulwalia has said. He also said the new government after elections will get a considerable time during which whatever initiatives it wants to take will not be questioned. "But probably 6-8 months down the line the honeymoon period will be over and all the issues will come up again, he warned, even as he said "a broad continuation" of policies will give better results as there is a surprising amount of overlap in what the two major political parties want. "From the policy point of view, the biggest thing we have to fight against is the perception that a small number of big companies do cozy deals with the government. Along with the revolution of rising expectations, there is a global distrust of governments all over the world. We suffer from that

too," Ahluwalia said addressing India business conference at the Columbia Business School here. His comments come in the backdrop of allegations of crony capitalism flying thick and fast. It may be noted that Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal during his 49-day tenure as the Delhi Chief Minister had ordered CAG

Montek Singh Ahulwalia

audit of power discoms and initiated action against Reliance Industries and Oil Minister Veerappa Moily in February charging them with complicity in fixing gas prices. Ahluwalia said that "messages" coming out from all major political parties ahead of and during national elections is that there is keenness to restore investor confidence, no rollback and confidence that India can do well in a global integrated economy.-PTI

project and the use of technology for transparent governance. "The buzzword this time is innovation and design. We have tieups with many brands and market players who are selling our innovation produced by students and faculty," Professor Suneet Tuli, Dean, Research and Development, IIT Delhi says. A case in point may be, the 'Early clean coated fabric' , a fabric that can be cleaned with more ease and speed than the other cloth materials. The fabric also possesses light weight flame retardant elements, that has the property of extinguishing fire on its own. The product designed by a team led by Professor Manjit Jassal, is already available in the market and is being sold under the label of 'SRF Ltd Chennai'. "The objective behind the design was to create a fabric that is an improvement on what is already available in the market. We were able to reduce the content of toxic chemicals to a considerable extent in our fabrics. These are PVC coated polyester fabrics that are light weight compared to the

Data mining, cloud vital for Indian companies NEW DELHI: Technologies like data mining, cloud and cyber security have a high strategic importance for Indian companies in helping them transform their business over the next five years, a study by CII-PwC said. According to the study, 79 per cent of the respondents (CEOs of Indian firms) said technological advancements are changing how their consumers, workforce and operating environments work. About 71 per cent said "demographic shifts" and "shifts in global economic power" (51 per cent) would also play a role in this change, the report added. "Already, the way business is being conducted is undergoing a paradigm shift. The CIO is now a strategic partner and an integral part of the boardroom, driving conversations on evolving the business model to compel innovation," the report said. It is now imperative to run IT as a business, constantly focusing on how to make it perform better and stay ahead in the market, it added. Top performing companies were those that were able to build a collaborative environment for both their IT as well as business functions, it said, adding that in these companies, while IT understood all aspects of the business, the reverse was also part of the deal.-PTI

heavy garments available in the market," says Manjit. 'TrueHb Hemometer', a device that helps in accurate hemoglobin estimation, seems to take forward the adage that technology adds comfort to life. Not only is the device important in diagnosing anaemia, Profes-

you around Rs 500-800, is priced at Rs 120 by the innovators at IIT. "An average person goes from healthy at 26 to obese at 38. The root cause for most heart related ailments is the suboptimal body cholesterol ratio, driven by our lifestyle. We expect our inno-

sor Veena Koul, points out that it also "bats the problem of blood smudging and the inability of testing in varied temperatures". "The device can be a potent tool in anemia screening. It has been tested at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) on 200 samples and across a temperature scale of 5 to 45 degree Celsius. You can also save one-fourth of the money being paid at the labs if you use this device," says Veena. The device is priced at Rs 7000 tentatively. Professor Anurag S Rathore offers a 'Lipoprotein kit' that can check the cholesterol level of the body at the cost of a hamburger. The usual check that might cost

vation could significantly improve affordability of cholesterol testing and aid in early diagnosis," says Rathore about the device. Next in line is 'Zerodor', a waterless urinal that aims to minimize the use of water in sanitation. "We are professing a non-water based sanitation system that does not involve any chemicals or recurring costs to maintain. It is a completely touch-free, power-free and zero maintenance product. In a water starved society like ours, we can save around 40-50,000 liters of water annually with such experimentations," says maker Professor V M Chariar. The product is out with the label of 'eKAM eco solution'.-PTI

Embrace modern economy, US group tells India Cont’d from page 12

"But while such policies may seem beneficial in the short-term, they will ultimately prove counterproductive, by hampering domestic productivity, lessening India's attractiveness to foreign direct investment (FDI), and potentially leading to retaliatory measures by other nations that would imperil the global trading system," the report said. ITIF comes up with a series of recommendations in its report designed to create a comprehensive, pro-productivity strategy that can strengthen Indian innovation and spur the development of new industries and high-tech sectors that can generate sustainable growth. This includes improving the

process of Indian inter-agency communication and coordination in the development and promulgation of administrative and agency rule-making. ITIF urges the Indian Government to bring increased clarity and certainty to India's regulatory environment across national, state, and regional levels and appoint a National Productivity Commission based on Australian model. Urging India to join international negotiations seeking to expand product coverage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), it calls for repealing Preferential Market Access (PMA) rules. "Complete a US-India Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement to promote foreign direct investment in India," ITIF recommends.-PTI


April 25, 2014

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Desi News AAP meet stresses need for change HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: More than 80 people gathered Sunday April 20 at Holiday Inn, Mt. Prospect, a northwest Chicago suburb, to discuss support to Aam Admi Party fighting elections in India. The meeting was hosted by S Mat Singh Dhillon, business owner, and joined by local supporters of AAP in Illinois. The program was Emceed by Thakar S Basati, Community activist in Chicago. Professor (Retd) S. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, an educationist, Mrs Chaitra Padsalgi, an IIT professional and Major (Retd) S Gurcharan Singh Jhudge, Businessman, were pesent and spoke at the meet S. Mat Singh Dhillon said, "Law and order for a common Indian has become mockery. Details on page 20

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

16 India Post

SURI SWAMY

SAN JOSE, CA: Two major seminars on subjects that impact the global Hindu community will be hosted at the Global Hindu Conference 2014, scheduled for Saturday April 26 and Sunday April 27 in San Jose, CA. Global Hindu Conference is

ELIZABETH CHALIERVISUVALINGAM

Details on page 22

Details on page 26

April 25, 2014

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Unique seminars coming up on Hindu Historiography & Christianity

Story of being neither here nor there CHICAGO: On April 13, two days before the landmark decision by India's Supreme Court to recognize the intersex as a "third gender" endowed with the same legal rights and privileges as men and women, an academic panel comprising five knowledgeable South Asians and Americans was discussing the (self-) representation of the intersex at the downtown Chicago Temple building.

Mind cannot be conquered merely by self-effort

Vishal Agarwal book will be released at the conference

sponsored by a number of Hindu organizations and is organized by Global Hindu Foundation Inc. One of the two seminars is on development of Hindu Historiography. This seminar is one of its kind initiative that is being done outside of, and in parallel to, the conventional academic establishment. Sumeet Saxena, the coordinator and chair of the historiography seminar, said here that history plays too important a role in selfidentification of Hindus all over the world, to be left only to the academia to deal with. The informal sector could also engage equally in history writing. The conventional academic framework, which is based on Western worldview, is inadequate to capture the complexity of Hindu culture and civilizational experience, in order to properly express the Hindu historical narrative. Thus, the western expression of Hindu history often stands at odds with the representation of

Plight of Pak Hindu refugees

Hindu community in global public affairs, leading to atypical "castesati" type caricatures, mocking and even hate crimes. Decades of discrimination has led to low self-esteem among Hindu youth, who now shun their

Hindu identity in public spaces. Therefore, the use of unorthodox methods and setting is needed to accomplish the task of Hindu historiographical development. The history seminar will feature author Vishal Agarwal who has masterfully written an elaborate critique of Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus: An Alternative History." Dr Doniger is one of the prominent Western Indologists who had authored the controversial book on history of Hindus, demeaning Hinduism as a religion of sex and perversion. An activist organization in India had taken her publisher to the courts, and as an outcome of the legal process, the court had ordered the pulping of her book. Agarwal, a Hindu scholar-teacher and a practitioner, has critiqued Dr Doniger's book paragraph by paragraph. His work is being released in a book titled "The New Stereotypes of Hindus in Western Indology," at the conference. Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Acharya Arumuganathaswami, editor and managing editor, respectively, of Hinduism Today magazine will conduct a special session on the representation of Hinduism in American public schools. The presentation will draw on their two decades of experience with the portrayal of Hinduism in school textbooks. Cont’d on page 19


April 25, 2014

India Post 17 www.indiapost.com

Bharatam showcases journey of Bharatanaytam

Aarambham - Beginnings Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: The 'Bharatam Dance Showcase 2014' at Oswego East High School Auditorium on March 22 gave a dazzling dis-

play of Bharatanatyam by over 120 dancers from beginners to those of high professional calibre. The show was witnessed by an audience of over 900. The emcee for the evening, Ranjani Rajan, welcomed the audience and introduced each piece. In her introductory remarks, Vanitha Veeravalli reiterated that art of Bharatanatyam is a rich continuum and living tradition of India. It was apparent from the performances that this art is alive and thriving in the US.

Vanitha Veeravalli, Artistic Director, Bharatam

Cont’d on page 19


18 India Post

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April 25, 2014

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Grayslake Mandir to host Maharudram Yajnam SUNDARESAN SUBRAMANIAN (SUBI)

GRAYSLAKE, Illinois: The Hindu Mandir in Grayslake - Lake County is hosting a three-day celebration of Maharudram Yajnam in Grayslake from May 2 to May 4. It is expected to be attended by hundreds of devotees not only from Chicgoland but neighboring States of Wisconsin and Indiana too. Maharudram essentially means worshiping Lord Shiva, the Para Brahman, visualized as Rudra-Siva who teaches the supreme knowledge to all and whose energy flows in everything. The Vedas Hindus have many holy books like the

Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana but there is a single common scripture that is considered holy by all sections of Hindus. It is called the "Vedas." The word Veda comes from the Sanskrit root 'Vid' - "To Know." So, Veda literally means knowledge or wisdom. The Vedas are considered as Anaadhi or Apaurusheya - without a beginning or human composer. So, there is no copyright! Vedas have been hailed as the very lifebreath of Parameswara, the Almighty! The Vedas are believed to have been heard by the ancient enlightened seers (rishis) and

hence called in Sanskrit as 'Shruti' (what was heard). They were later transmitted by the Rishis by word of mouth, memorized by their disciples and passed on to us through generations. The Vedas have stood the test of time through centuries and are considered the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus. Sri Rudram Sri Rudram is an essential part of the Vedas and is revered as the crown jewel of Yajur Veda! Just as we pray to Lord Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasranamam, we worship Lord Shiva in the fierce form of Rudra in Sri Rudram. Sri Rudram has two parts, Namakam and Chamakam, each with eleven sections called Anuvaakas. Each anuvaaka has a number of hymns in different Vedic meters. The first part is called Namakam because there is repeated use of the word "Namah" showing reverence to Lord Shiva. The second part is called Chamakam because the word "Chame" is repeated. Namakam In Namakam, we pray to Lord Shiva to shed his fury, drop his weapons and shower benevolence on his devotees. The very first lines of Namakam offer salutations to Lord Rudra and his primary weapons of bow and arrows: Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya (Oh Rudra, My salutations to you.) Namaste rudra manyava uto ta ishave namaH (My salutations to your anger and to your arrows) Namaste astu dhanvane bAhubhyAmuta the namaH (My salutations to your bow and to your two fore-arms.) The hymn stretches further and asks Lord Rudra to shed his anger, and be kind and benevolent. In the subsequent anuvaakas, the Lord is worshipped as an Omnipresent, Omnipotent power that exists in all forms - living as well as non-living - the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the conceivable and the inconceivable including creatures and green foliage. Namakam bestows peace and bliss to devotees. Chamakam After the pacifying chants of Namakam, devotees seek various boons from Lord Rudra in Chamakam. The words Cha me literally mean "and to me." In Chamakam, a devotee seeks from Rudra numerous items both for worldly living and for spiritual fulfilment - from basic necessities such as grains, food and other materials, to the highest of health and spiritual needs. Cont’d on page 20


April 25, 2014

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Bharatam showcases journey of Bharatanaytam

Rama the Savior Cont’d from page 17

This was a testimony to Guru Vanitha, who has trained these dancers imparting the cherished art with care and diligence. Her commitment to the art of Bharatnatyam is a testimony that for her, dance is a way of life. The program began with Nrittanjali, a dance offering with pure classical dance elements by Annu Mutholam and Sutikshna Veeravalli, both Bharatamanis, graduates of Bharatam. Next, dancers in different age groups rendered different compositions, with each item progressing in order of difficulty and skill level. Starting from Aarambham, by young learners, the performance showcased Alarippu, Kavuttuvam, Jatiswaram and Shabdam in a progression of movement and complexity which set the stage for more traditional story lines that drew their inspiration from Hindu mythology. Avahanam, a fast piece set to catchy and sprightly instrumental music was performed by a group of inspired moms, who take Bharatnatyam lessons from Vanitha, following their daughter's footsteps. Varnam, central piece of a Margam, was performed by senior dancers in praise of Devi. In Adinaye Kanna performers beau-

tifully portrayed Krishna dancing by riverfront in a moonlit night. Two Bharatmanis (Bharatam graduates) Sathvika Ashokkumar and Annu Mutholam presented solos in the program, reminding audiences of the training and disciplined growth they had undergone.

aspirational human qualities. It was indeed worthy of attendance at the event just by itself. Thillana, based on the story of Lord Krishna subduing giant snake Kaliya, was a great confluence of energy and rhythm, and this was lapped up by audi-

Varnam on Devi

While each presentation evoked a positive response from the audience, some of the most memorable moments included Guru Vanitha herself. She appeared on the stage, joining her daughters Sutikshna and Satvika in presenting a Kavadi Chindu, a form of folk music that richly delineated

Krishna and Kaliya

ence with thunderous applause. The dance outfits and colors, meticulously chosen to match the moods of the songs, were a treat to watch. It is heartening to note that great knowledge from our rich traditions is transmitted to students in Chicagoland through Bharatam.

Unique seminars coming up on Hindu Historiography & Christianity Cont’d from page 16

integrated with the more holistic mission of Sindh Hindu heritage revival, in order to effect a more meaningful relationship between the Pakistani Hindu refugees and the global Hindu community. Touching upon the purpose and vision behind the whole exercise, Rajiv Varma, the conference director, observed that the central theme of the meet is to build intellectual competencies among the Hindus for a meaningful engagement with the outside world. Development of Hindu historiography is a must to write an authentic Hindu narrative. He added that it is imperative to build Hindu ideological competencies, and incre-

The target audience will be parents of Hindu children and social studies school teachers who teach Hinduism in public schools. The special session will feature the Northern California premiere of their documentary titled "The History of Hindu India". The documentary establishes a historical continuum of faith and practice by narrating the history of Hinduism since the Indus Valley civilization until the modern age. The other seminar at the conference will be on Hinduism-Christianity Comparative Religion. The purpose of the comparative religion seminar is to build competencies for a deeper and more meaningful engagement with the Christian world. The current Hindu-Christian interlocution is largely one-sided where the Hindus have been dependent on old ideological formulations that were formed in a colonial milieu of 19th century India, which is acutely compromised in its core and one that has yielded indeterminate results. This necessitates the need to learn more and understand Christianity in a new light from Kalavai Venkat book on Hindus and Christians its original sources. The book "What Every Hindu Should Rajiv Varma, the conferKnow About Chrisence director, observed that tianity" authored by Kalavai Venkat, will be the central theme of the released at the confermeet is to build intellectual ence. Venkat, a scholar of comparative competencies among the religion, in his book leverages cuttingHindus for a meaningful edge scholarly reengagement with the searches in textual criticism and cognioutside world tive sciences to arrive at a reasonable understanding of Christian beliefs. The mentally build clarity on the nafindings it presents reveal a hith- ture of Hinduism in relation to erto unknown face of Christianity Abrahamic religions in general, to the rational Hindu. Venkat, in and with Christianity in particular, his book, provides a roadmap on in order to provide ideological dihow Hindus should engage Chris- rection to the next generation of Hindus. tianity. He also outlined a vision of esPlight of Hindu refugees from tablishing a comprehensive proPak The conference will also unveil gram for reviving Sindh's classia comprehensive plan for provid- cal Hindu heritage, and integrating relief to Pakistani Hindu refu- ing the efforts towards Pakistani gees, who are languishing in vari- Hindu refugee rehabilitation into ous refugee camps all over India. that program. He clarified that this Rahul Chandra, project director of is necessary to establish an emothe Sindh Hindu Heritage and tional and cultural connection beEmpowerment program, stated tween refugees and the global that refugee rehabilitation must be Hindu community.


20 India Post

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AAP meet stresses need for change HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: More than 80 people gathered Sunday April 20 at Holiday Inn, Mt. Prospect, a northwest Chicago suburb, to discuss support to Aam Admi Party fighting elections in India. The meeting was hosted by S Mat Singh Dhillon, business owner, and joined by local support-

never provided ever since India gained independence. Fake conflicts are created between religions to gain votes. Politicians play with religious sentiments of people. Something needs to be done before it is too late and here is a golden opportunity for Indian people to cast their votes for

because of lack of fair chances to succeed." Major (Retd) S. Gurcharan Singh Jhudge spoke about unfair practices by career politicians and their families who have done more harm to India than invaders. Religions are attacked by influential people who break all laws and es-

Sikh TV producer, read a poem about how corrupt people are destroying India and people need to change the system. S. Lal Singh, who has been a strong supporter of AAP and belongs to Delhi, spoke about achievements of Arvind Kejriwal in his 45 days as Delhi's chief minister. S. Sarwan Singh Tiwana, producer of Chan Pardesi Radio, said his radio show is live on Internet and he will support factual statistics exposing corruption and high handedness of corrupt officials and leaders of India. Dr Munish Kumar Raizada talked about his involvement with AAP since its

inception in Chicago. He wants India free of corruption. He said educated people of Indian origin all around the world have an obligation for their children and coming generation to live with pride, not with remorse. IIT graduate Kakoli Dutta from AAP Chicago spoke how she spends about half an hour every day talking to people in India and encouraging them to rise and lend support for a just cause. Thakar Singh Basati was thanked for keeping the program going. Dinner was provided by Shri KK Pamma of Clay Oven restaurant Schaumburg, Illinois.

Grayslake Mandir to host Maharudram Yajnam Cont’d from page 18 People on stage (L-R) Prof (Retd) S. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Mrs Chaitra Padsalgi and Major (Retd) Gurcharan Singh Jhudge

ers of AAP in Illinois. The program was Emceed by Thakar S Basati, Community activist in Chicago. Professor (Retd) S. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, an educationist, Mrs Chaitra Padsalgi, an IIT professional and Major (Retd) S

change. He was followed by Mrs Chaitra Padsalgi who has been involved with AAP Chicago for few years now. She said, "I am sick of dirty politicians who have worked for themselves and not the country

S. Surinderpal Singh Kalra spoke about the atrocities against minorities in India both under the rule of Congress and BJP. If people don't wake up now, they will have to wait for another five years for any change Gurcharan Singh Jhudge, Businessman, were pesent and spoke at the meet S. Mat Singh Dhillon said, "Law and order for a common Indian has become mockery. People in high places do what they feel like. There is no place common man/ women can lodge complaints. Basic facilities are promised but

or its people. Listen to your soul. Not career politicians who lie all the time but specially educated youth needs to come forward and put a stop to all corruption. It is insulting especially for NRIs when scandals reach media overseas and name of India figures in them. Overseas every Indian becomes successful but in India they fail

cape judgment. People who have been jailed are staying in jails way beyond their terms which is against the country' constitution. Governments should be held responsible. He expects change with new party coming to power. Major Jhudge personally knows Gurkirat Kaur Panag, AAP candidate from Chandigarh. S. Surinderpal Singh Kalra spoke about the atrocities against minorities in India both under the rule of Congress and BJP. If people don't wake up now, they will have to wait for another five years for any change. He thanked the organizers for taking initiative to bring people together who feel something needs to be done. Professor (Retd) S. Jagindar Singh Ramdev talked about promises made to Sikhs before partition. Many Sikhs were killed or displaced during partition which could have been saved easily had the politicians cared about people. Again Punjab was divided on the basis of language and even today Punjabi language is ignored in all Government offices. He talked about the personal setbacks his family suffered at partition. Educated, sincere and hard working people need to win elections so that India again could become "Sone Di Chidiya." S. Jaswinder Singh Dhillon recited a poem asking people to vote for Jharru (broom) and send corrupt politicians packing. People who sold tea at tea stalls have become filthy rich by corrupt practices. S.Indermohan Singh Chhabra,

and the conduct of life. There are indeed Vedic mantras that help us to transcend this life and become one with the Ultimate Truth. Some mantras that create vibrations in our naadis (nerves) accomplish the same noble task of taking us to such a goal." Sri Rudram presents Lord Shiva, not only as the Almighty for prayers, but also as the one who is not separate from the devotee.

The Glory of Sri Rudram Sri Rudram is cited in hundred and one Yajurveda Sakhas (Yajurveda branches) and Lord Shiva as Rudra is worshipped in hundreds of forms; hence Sri Rudram is also called 'Shatarudriyam' (Shata means hundred). Chanting Sri Rudram is said to offer great benefits as can be seen from a short verse from Rishi Bodhayana says that Soothasamhitai of Vedic chanting Sri Rudram literature which explains the essence of "Rudra provides relief from all sins Japam" (Sri Rudram and diseases, apart from chanting) as follows: required wealth, mental "Just as watering the root of a tree nourishes peace, long, healthy, all the branches, chant- and happy life. ing Rudra Japa (Rudra hymn) pleases all the devatas (all It is the only hymn of its kind that forms of gods). By chanting Sri unfolds the concept of God perRudram with devotion, one gets meating in everything - the pleasBhukti (material enjoyments) and ant and the creative, so also the Mukti (freedom from the bondage dreadful and the destructive. This of re-birth, the ultimate goal)." is a unique concept in Hinduism Just as melodious music makes not found elsewhere! us feel happy, listening to the soThe benefits arising from Sri norous chanting of Sri Rudram Rudram recitation are far too many creates vibrations that help to to describe. Siva Purana explains: strengthen our mind. In the Maha "By chanting Rudram, one gains Rudram event, 121 ritwiks chant both worldly pleasures and liberaSri Rudram 11 times making it a tion." Rishi Bodhayana says that total of 1331 times. With chorus chanting Sri Rudram provides rerecitation in such large numbers, lief from all sins and diseases, apart the potency and power of mantras from required wealth, mental in Sri Rudram get significantly en- peace, long, healthy, and happy hanced. life. The 68th Sankaracharya of Sri Rudram holds a great potenKanchi Kamakoti Peetam, popu- tial to open up a new spiritual path larly known as Paramacharya, for the community to gain not just summed up the impact of vibra- material benefits in this world but tions of Vedic mantras as follows: seek the ultimate truth behind hu"The vibrations of the Vedas serve man existence. Such is the glory the purpose not only of creation of Sri Rudram!


April 25, 2014

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Hari Om Mandir celebrates Anniversary & Baisakhi Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: Hari Om Mandir celebrated its 27th Anniversary and Baisakhi on April 13 with great pomp and show. A large number of devotees attended including many founder members and seniors who helped develop the temple.

Shastri Yogesh Pandya and Pt. Dinesh Kumar performing anniversary Havan

On this occasion, the two extended its thanks to all the devopriests Shastri Yogesh Pandya tees for their generous donations. and Pandit Dinesh Kumar did a Upcoming events are Akhand Havan for the well being of all Ramayan Paath and Mother's Day members who contributed in many ways towards the growth of the temple. They also did the Shanti Path in the memory of beloved ones who HOM ladies performing Gidda on the occasion of Baisakhi worked hard for the growth of the temple celebration. but are no more now. Hari Om Mandir Executive The Mandir celebrated Baisakhi Board: Indrajit Sarkar; President, with exuberance and gaiety. Anil Saxena; Vice President, Sneh Pratibha Jairath, Raju Bankapur Chaudhary; Secretary, Gopal and other singers sang bhajans Tiwari; Treasurer, Rajeshwari and Punjabi songs. Baisakhi is the Rawat; Special Events, Sham time when the new spring year Taxali; Inside Property Managebegins and the harvesting of the ment, Ramesh Bhardwaj; Outside Rabi crop ends in various parts of Property Management, Jeetu India. Patel; Publication, Usha Verma; Hari Om Mandir management Food & Prasad.

First Bank Skokie branch wins award STEPHANIE KULKE

SKOKIE: First Bank & Trust's especially gratifying to be honored 4007 Dempster Street branch was for Beautification from the commuone of three businesses awarded nity we serve. a 2013 Property Owner Award on First Bank & Trust is a locally April 7 at the Council Chambers owned and managed community of Skokie Village Hall. bank founded in 1995 by Robert Awardees, chosen by the Yohanan, Howard Kain and Jay Beautification and Improvem e n t Commiss i o n , w e r e cited for maintaining their property in an exceptional First Bank & Trust, 4007 Dempster St., Skokie. manner Pic David M. Ward during Lytle, with a mission to put comthe year. First Bank & Trust's branch munity first, and provide personmanager Lu Ann Stempel said, alized banking and investment "Last year we earned a LEED Gold services to individuals, ownercertification for leadership in energy managed businesses and the notand environmental design. But it is for-profit community.


22 India Post

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Story of being neither here nor there ELIZABETH CHALIER-VISUVALINGAM

CHICAGO: On April 13, two days before the landmark decision by India's Supreme Court to recognize the intersex as a "third gender" endowed with the same legal rights and privileges as men and women, an academic panel comprising five knowledgeable South Asians and Americans was discussing the (self-) representation of the intersex at the downtown Chicago Temple building. The context for the debates was Brahman/i "a one-hijra stand-up comedy show" featuring Fawzia Mirza in the title role that debuted at the Chicago Temple on March 27 and continues till May 4. The one person comedy is hosted by Silk Road Rising in collaboration with About Faxe Theatre group. The panel "In the Other's Shoes: Identity and Representation in Storytelling (Brahman/i)"

an eye-catching exhibition by photojournalist Dayanita Singh from March 1 till June 1. The highlight of the installation is the series titled Myself Mona Ahmed (1989-2001), which tells the despairing story of a Muslim outcaste eunuch in Delhi whom Singh befriended and enables to speak directly to us through words and pictures. They have together endeavored to think through and explain what it means to be truly unique

in the world. "She wanted to tell the story," writes Singh, "of being neither here nor there, neither male nor female, and finally, neither a eunuch nor someone like me." Written by Aditi Brennan Kapil, directed by Andrew Volkoff, and co-produced by Silk Road Rising and About Face Theatre, Brahman/I explores history, mythology, gender roles, and going to high school in the U.S. through the unique perspective of an intersex person.

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Fawzia Mirza in her self-conflicted gender role as the intersex Brahman/i

did comprise an intersex person, who was actually very open to their being portrayed empathetically, after due research

by male or female actors, of whatever sexual orientation. At the same time, the Art Institute of Chicago has been hosting

Braman/i - Rehabilitating the Intersex Gender

W

e recently saw the play Brahman/i by Silk Road Rising and About Face Theatre, which has been dis cussed at length in Desi and mainstream media. Brahman/i tells the story of an Indian American intersex person played by the talented Fawzia Mirza. The engaging play tackles a narrative familiar to many of us, the idea of straddling complex identities - male and female, straight and gay, American and Indian. At times, Brahman/i oversimplifies identities and draws upon misconceptions about intersex people and hijras. It left us wondering whether this play incorporated the perspectives of actual intersex people. But to its credit, to address such questions, Silk Road Rising hosted a bold panel discussion about actors portraying "the other" when they are not the other themselves. We need precisely this type of dialogue to honor and empower our most vulnerable community members in the arts and in society at large. Research shows that South Asian youth experience high rates of bullying. Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and gender non-conforming (LGBTQ) community members face high rates of mistreatment in school and at work and are more likely to commit suicide. But those who are accepted by their families are much less likely to face such harm. We might think that it is not our place to get involved. We might stay silent when we hear homophobic and transphobic jokes. But our silence makes us complicit in oppression and, on the other hand, our acceptance can make a positive difference - as highlighted in Brahman/i itself. We can all take steps to show acceptance. When we talk about the ongoing Indian elections, we can mention how transgender community members are now allowed to vote and exercise other rights. When we talk about movies, we can mention how Bollywood actors and corporate leaders have denounced Section 377, a law criminalizing homosexuality. And we can speak up about accepting our LGBTQ community members and direct people to resources such as Chicago Desi Youth Rising, the Transcend support group hosted by Invisible to Invincible, Trikone Chicago, and the many other organizations and individuals who provide critical support. Viveka Ray-Mazumder, Youth Organizer, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, and named to The Trans 100 of 2014 Ami Gandhi Executive Director, South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI), Chicago Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.


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Mind cannot be conquered merely by self-effort SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA

T

hese days we talk about the need of purifying our mind, body and soul. A plethora of techniques and self-help books are available in the world for practicing positive thinking in its various forms and connotations. However, all these techniques have very limited effectiveness, and the results achieved are temporary. So what is it that can truly purify our mind and help the soul achieve a state of purity which is so natural to it? Remember that the mind is made from Maya, which is God's energy, and it cannot be conquered merely by self-effort. The mind can be permanently and totally healed only by the Grace of God. So the most powerful practice for cleansing the mind and receiving the grace of God is to engage

beyond the three gunas and becomes Divine. Question: In today's materialistic world, the soul takes a beating, and the extent depends on the society, the profession, the community and each person's ability to bear it. How does one cleanse or heal his soul? Swami Mukundananda: Here it is important for a person to understand that you are the soul, which is a part of God, and hence by nature you are perpetually Divine. You do not need to cleanse the soul. The problem is that the soul is identifying with the body, mind, and intellect. Hence, when the mind feels tormented, the soul experiences the misery. So when you say that the soul takes a beating, what you mean is that the mind takes a beating, and the soul experiences the pain vicari-

Swami Mukundananda

it in 'Bhakti', or 'love of God'. That is the verdict of all the Vedic literature and the essence of all religion. Shri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad Geeta that Maya has three gunas (modes of material nature) - sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance). These three modes are also present in the mind, and thus it fluctuates between these three gunas. Whatever atmosphere one gets or wherever one attaches the mind, the corresponding guna becomes dominant in it. However, God is beyond these three gunas. He is Divine, and so if we attach our mind to Him, it too rises

ously. Once the mind is sufficiently cleansed, the soul will be able to perceive the distinction between itself and the mind, and dis-identify itself from its dualities. Hence, we must endeavor to cleanse the mind. And as mentioned already the most powerful practice for cleansing the mind is to engage it in Bhakti, or love of God. The Bhagavatam states: Dharma satya dayo… "We may follow all the rules of proper conduct, we may perform severe austerities, and we may accumulate the most esoteric knowledge, but without Bhakti, none of these practices will suf-

fice in cleansing the mind." Q: What is Divine Love and how is it different from worldly love? SM: Divine love is that where the desire is simply to give…give…and give. There is no selfish desire for anything in return. Worldly love is that where the desire is to take…take… and take. It is a selfish affection for one's own happiness. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu compared the two to sunlight and darkness: Kamer tatparya nij… "Worldly love (lust) is for the sake of self-pleasure while Divine Love is for the sake of Shri Krishna's pleasure. Reject all kinds of religiosity to practice devotion to Shri Krishna. Relish this Divine Love for the sake of Shri Krishna's happiness. There is a great difference between Divine Love and lust; the former is like the rays of sunlight, while the latter is like darkness." Q: If in unconditional love we should not ask God for anything, then why should we also ask Him for His grace? SM: The scriptures ask us to engage in devotion for the pleasure of God and to make His service as our goal. However, we can only serve God if we possess love for Him. God is not interested in our mechanical actions; He is pleased by the love of our heart. So with the goal of serving God and making Him happy, we can ask for Grace, Divine knowledge, Divine Love, renunciation from the world, etc. Since our objective is the satisfaction of God and Guru, our asking will not be considered selfish. Q: How can the gopi's love for Krishna be interpreted in the path of devotion? SM: We should not make figurative interpretations of the Divine pastimes of God; rather we should take them as literal and true. The word for devotion in Sanskrit is "Upasana", which means to go and sit close to God. But how will we go close to Him? There are five bhavs (sentiments) of devotion that help us develop proximity with Him: 1. Shant bhav or the sentiment of Majesty: "Shri Krishna is my King." 2. Dasya bhav or the sentiment of Servitude: "Shri Krishna is my Master." 3. Sakhya bhav or the Fraternal sentiment: "Shri Krishna is my Friend." 4. Vatsalya bhav or the Maternal sentiment: "Shri Krishna is my Mother."

5. Madhurya bhav or the Conjugal sentiment: "Shri Krishna is my Beloved." These sentiments get us sequentially closer to God. The gopis loved Shri Krishna as their Beloved, and this is considered the highest sentiment of devotion. It is distinguished from the sentiment of worldly lovers by the trait of selflessness.

Grace, or is it something that is developed in the heart by purusharth (self-effort)? SM: Prema Shakti (Divine Love) is the essence of the essence of the essence of the highest power of God (Divine Internal Energy called Yogmaya). It is such a power that God Himself becomes a servant of whoever possesses it.

Remember that the mind is made from Maya, which is God's energy, and it cannot be conquered merely by self-effort. The mind can be permanently and totally healed only by the Grace of God. So the most powerful practice for cleansing the mind and receiving the grace of God is to engage it in 'Bhakti', or 'love of God' The great Acharya of Bhakti, Narad Muni states: Yatha braj gopika bhav (Narad Bhakti Darshan) "The highest ideal of devotion was manifest in the gopis." Hence, the scriptures and the great Saints have alike praised the devotion of the gopis and we should not misinterpret it to be some kind of material love. Q: Is Bhakti something that is bestowed upon the soul by God's

This highest power of God cannot be attained by purusharth (self-effort). It is only attained by the Grace of the God-realized Saints who already possess it. Lord Ram told Lakshman: Bhakti taat anupam… (Ramayan) "Bhakti is the source of incomparable Divine Bliss. It is obtained when the Guru bestows His Grace upon the soul." Cont’d on page 25

Tamil Manram to celebrate grand 'ChithiraiFest' VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: The Tamil month of Chithirai is a special month in the Tamil calendar. Chithirai marks the beginning of the season called as 'Ilavenil' in Tamil and 'Vasantham' in Sanskrit. Whether it is the 'Chithra Pournami', the full moon day of the Tamil month Chithirai or popular Madurai's 'Chithirai Festival', all these events are very special and popular for the Tamils. The San Francisco Bay Area Tamil Manram celebrates the Chithirai festivities every year in a grand manner. This year, the event has been planned to be conducted in a traditional manner but in a huge form reminiscing of the street festivals. The event named as 'ChithiraiFest' is designed as a huge one and happens on April 26 at Centerville Middle school, Fremont. The massive event will be very similar to the several Art and Food festivals conducted in the Bay Area. There is a long list of cultural events queued up, starting with

folk music, dances, various Tamil art forms and a fitting grand finale with a full fledged orchestra performing a light music event. This is a completely FREE event for everyone, especially designed to attract the main stream population and the entire India Diaspora. The center of attraction will be the 'Food Pavilion'. More than 10 popular restaurants from the Bay Area serving South India cuisine are participating and will be serving authentic 'Tamil' food. Most of the dishes are not part of the normal menus and will be available only in this event for the first time in the Bay Area. The cost of the food passport is $25 and $15 and can be used in all the participating restaurants. More details about the same can be found a t h t t p : / / www.bayareatamilmanram.org/ eng/ChithiRaiFEST2014.html. This event is going to be memorable one and is conceived to be a huge entertainer. As it is almost a whole day outdoor event, please bring your camp chairs, blankets and come with our family and friends to enjoy wholesome entertainment.


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April 25, 2014

Community Across America

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Nirankari Mission shares message of Oneness at UN PRAFULL LANDE & SANJEEV SAGAR

NEW YORK: Over 6,000 representatives of 193 Member States of the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations with Consultative Status with ECOSOC assembled at the UN headquarters in New York from March 10 to 21 to discuss the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls. The Sant Nirankari Mission (SNM) also participated as a nongovernmental organization with consultative status with ECOSOC granted to it since July 2012. SNM's delegation was led by Rev Dr. Iqbaljit S. Rai, President, SNM in USA, from San Francisco. The other members included Mrs. Harlivleen Bajwa (Executive Social Welfare, SNM, USA) from Ohio, Mrs. Shashi Madhok and Rajesh Bhasin (New Jersey) and Sanjeev Sagar and Prafull Lande (San Francisco). SNM's delegates dwelt upon 'equality through spirituality' as preached by His Holiness Baba

Dr. I S Rai (President, SNM, USA) in discussion with delegates from Haiti

The United Nations General Assembly hosted a high-level event entitled, "The Contributions of Women, the Young and Civil Society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The aim of the

conditions as well. All religious and faith-based organizations may want to join hands and work together to achieve this. We need to recognize oneness of all religions as there is only one supreme

for natural disasters, blood drives, free medical camps, homeopathy pharmacies, schools, colleges, economic empowerment of women in society by providing tailoring and embroidery training centers.

The SNM's delegates emphasized that to remove gender bias and bring equality, only educating women is not enough; we need to change their economic conditions as well

SNM Delegates in a conference

Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj (The Head of the Sant Nirankari Mission) and said that faith-based organizations can play a vital role in helping empowerment of women and girls in every sphere of life. Referring to the Mission's approach, they explained that here we always treat women with the profoundest respect, regard and honor as they play a much more important role than men in all societies. They said the Social Welfare Department of the SNM continuously works for empowerment of women in many ways. Its principle of divinity revolves around the fundamental equality of human-beings. In the dowry-less Nirankari marriages also it is solemnly affirmed by the couple that both of them will have equal rights and duties. Care-giving is imbibed in the nature of its followers. Women are taking equal part in the administration and preaching of the Mission.

event was: "How can the post2015 development agenda address the diverse and intersecting inequalities that challenge inclusive sustainable development prospects on the basis of income, gender, age, race/ethnicity, disabilities and other factors of marginalization?" The delegates of the SNM shared with UN members basic principles of the Mission in achieving success in Post 2015 development agenda. They also pointed out that Sant Nirankari Mission is making an attempt in Universal Brotherhood and Oneness of Humanity that can bring the spiritual organizations to eliminate the barriers of society of inequality. Addressing the panelist of session - "Women's Participation in Building Bridges and Culture of Peace", the SNM's delegates emphasized that to remove gender bias and bring equality, only educating women is not enough; we need to change their economic

power above all religions. Delegates quoted message of His Holiness saying, World is too small for walls, let's build bridges." SNM's delegates met with Dr. Anju Malhotra Principal Adviser, Gender and Rights, UNICEF, Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a French minister Najat VallaudBelkacem, Ms. Lopa Banerjee, Chief, Civil Society Section, UN Women, Ms. Sally Kader, President, USFMEP. During discussions they were made aware of social work that Mission has been doing in the area of women's equality and empowerment. In one of the side events organized by Public Private Alliance Foundation (PPAF), delegates spoke about its principles as well as social work that it has done around the globe in relief projects

The Sant Nirankari Mission believes that "Equality through Spirituality" is the only way to go in future. When one perceives the self-realization through God-realization, then there is no duality.

Mind cannot be conquered merely by self-effort Cont’d from page 23

We need to keep in mind that the Grace of God and the Guru is not a whimsical occurrence. Grace is bestowed when we prepare the vessel of the heart to receive it. The heart is cleansed by doing Sadhan Bhakti (Preparatory Devotion). Thus, we need to do Sadhan Bhakti and then by the Grace of the Guru, we will get Siddha Bhakti (Divine Love). Swami Mukundananda is a

world renowned spiritual teacher from India, and is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shri 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. For more information visit: http://www.jkyog.org/

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Offo: 2 States 2 Baby Doll: Ragini MMS 2 3 Locha-E-Ulfat: 2 States 4 Chaar Botal Vodka: 2 States 5 London Thumakda: Queen 6 Mast Magan: 2 States 28 India Post

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On their way out, Deepika was in a hurry to make a quick exit but Ranveer as usual was in his jovial mood, making funny faces at the lens men

April 25, 2014

7 Party Toh Banti Hai: Bhootnath Returns 8 Tu Hi Hai Aashiqui: Dishkiyaaon 9 Palat (Tera Hero Idhar Hai): Main Tera Hero 10 Dard Dilo Ke: The Xpose

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ovebirds Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are painting the town red with love. Though the couple has been tight-lipped about their relationship, they have been captured several times on lens on their public outing. The couple was snapped outside the hotspot named Olive in Mumbai. Both were dressed in casual out-

fits. Clean shaved Ranveer wore denims and white t-shirt, flaunting his abs, while Deepika too matched him with a denim and white t-shirt. On their way out, Deepika was in a hurry to make a quick exit but Ranveer as usual was in his jovial mood, making funny faces at the lens men. After 'Ram Leela', Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are yet again signed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali for 'Bajirao Mastani' and the long legged beauty hoped for a better chemistry with Ranveer this time. "I think the chemistry that Ranveer and I shared in the film really clicked. I think chemistry is something which two actors bring to the character. I hope whatever film Ranveer and I do next is as good as or even better than 'Ram Leela'," Deepika told PTI in an exclusive interview.

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nurag Kashyap has finished the shooting of 'Bombay Velvet' and he hosted a private wrap up party at his residence. Celebrities from Salman Khan, Karan Johar to Ranbir Kapoor were present but the lead actress of the film Anushka Sharma gave the party a miss. Karan at the party chuckled over Anushka's absence. Karan was at his witty best and when everyone enquired about the actress's absence, Karan replied, "Arrey shayad cricket match chal raha hai na, isliye... (IPL is going on, maybe that's why)", and everyone present had a great laugh. However, immediately Anurag Kashyap came to Anushka's rescue and said, "She is shooting in Jodhpur for her film NH10 so couldn't come." It was on Karan Johar's chat show, 'Koffee With Karan' where Anushka's lipjob done hit the headlines. Later the actress had to make a clarification for the lip enhancement.


Bollywood

April 25, 2014

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eads turned and everyone froze on the set of the Shaukeen remake when Akshay Kumar sprayed champagne on a shocked Lisa Haydon, drenching her from head to toe. Lisa, dressed in a short pink dress, looked at him quizzically but Akshay did not stop with the bottle of bubbly. And the actress had no option but to run back into her vanity van and change her dress. The shoot was stopped for over 90 minutes as Lisa had to re-do her hair and makeup too before returning to the set. The incident took place at Film City where the two were pasteurizing a song, Alcoholic, with real champagne. When contacted, Ahmed Khan who choreographed the naughty number, admitted that it was his idea to wet Lisa and not Akshay's. The shot of Lisa getting drenched in champagne has been canned and will be used in the film.

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hitrangada Singh has been officially granted divorce from golfer husband Jyoti Randhawa by a Gurgaon family court. This news ends months of speculation about her marital status. A Mid-Day report says the couple had applied for a divorce last year, but it is only recently that the court has granted their request for divorce. Their son Zorawar's custody has been given to the actress. Chitrangada and Jyoti have been married for 13 years and were considered a very glamorous couple by the media. However, there was speculation that they were facing marital problems. Things apparently worsened when Chitrangada went to Mumbai to pursue her Bollywood aspirations and hardly visited her husband in Delhi. There were also rumors that the actress was allegedly in a relationship with filmmaker Sudhir Mishra. However, the pretty actress has always maintained silence about her personal affairs.

Sonam Kapoor has denied that she has a problem with newcomer Shraddha Kapoor after she allegedly ignored the 'Aashiqui 2' star at a fashion event. Sonam, 28, walked past Shraddha at the red carpet of the Grazia Young Fashion Awards. But the actress took to Twitter to clarify why she did not stop to greet Shraddha. "Oh... I have no issue with Shraddha Kapoor... I was late and had to run in! #youknowwhatimean," Sonam posted on Twitter. Sonam recently made headlines when she took potshots at other actresses - Deepika Padukone, Parineeti Chopra and Alia Bhatt on filmmaker Karan Johar's chat show. When asked what fashion advice she would give Parineeti, Sonam had said that the actress should stop wearing tight clothes while Alia should dress her age. The 'Raanjhanaa' actress said her contemporary Deepika had an over enthusiastic PR team.

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„ Health

Line

Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients LAFAYETTE, Ind.: A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment. The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal & Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties. The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will make more money by refusing to accept insurance. But even that pool is shrinking. More than 25 percent of psychiatrists are poised to retire in the next decade, and few medical school graduates are pursuing that field.-AP

„ Iowa gets $72 million in tobacco payment DES MOINES, Iowa: Iowa received $71 million last week from tobacco companies - its annual share of a 1998 landmark legal settlement in which tobacco companies pay states for smoking-related health care costs. The Iowa Attorney General's Office says that since 1999, the state has received more than $960 million in tobacco payments. This week's payment included a regular annual sum of more than $54 million as part of the master agreement and an additional ``Strategic Contribution Fund'' payment of more than $17.5 million.-AP

„ Health school gets $1M for long-term care PROVIDENCE, R.I: Brown University's School of Public Health has received a $1 million grant to launch a center to improve long-term care for the elderly. The grant to establish the Long Term Care Quality and Innovation Center is from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living. The center will research and test best practices that improve long-term and post-acute care with the aim of turning them into training programs that can be implemented at skilled nursing centers.-AP

Health Science

Ban sale of animal tested products: PETA to Government Details on Page 35

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Healthcare users urged to change passwords over Heartbleed fears WASHINGTON: People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administrationwide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw. Senior administration officials said there is no indication that the HealthCare.gov site has been compromised and the action is being taken out of an abundance of caution. The government's Heartbleed review is ongoing, the officials said, and users of other websites may also be told to change their passwords in the coming days, including those with accounts on the popular WhiteHouse.gov petitions page. The Heartbleed programming flaw has caused major security concerns across the Internet and affected a widely used encryption technology that was designed to protect online accounts. Major Internet services have been working to insulate themselves against the problem and are also recommending that users change their website passwords. Officials said the administration was prioritizing its analysis of websites with heavy traffic and the most sensitive user information. A message that will be posted on the health care website reads: ``While there's no indication that

any personal information has ever been at risk, we have taken steps to address Heartbleed issues and reset consumers' passwords out of an abundance of caution.'' The health care website became a prime target for critics of the Obamacare law last fall when the

largely fixed during the second month of enrollment and sign-ups ultimately surpassed initial expectations. Obama announced last week that about 8 million people had enrolled in the insurance plans. The full extent of the damage caused by the Heartbleed is un-

Officials said the administration was prioritizing its analysis of websites with heavy traffic and the most sensitive user information

opening of the insurance enrollment period revealed widespread flaws in the online system. Critics have also raised concerns about potential security vulnerabilities on a site where users input large amounts of personal data. The website troubles were

known. The security hole exists on a vast number of the Internet's Web servers and went undetected for more than two years. Although it's conceivable that the flaw was never discovered by hackers, it's difficult to tell. The White House has said the

federal government was not aware of the Heartbleed vulnerability until it was made public in a private sector cybersecurity report earlier this month. The federal government relies on the encryption technology that is impacted OpenSSL - to protect the privacy of users of government websites and other online services. The Homeland Security Department has been leading the review of the government's potential vulnerabilities. The Internal Revenue Service, a widely used website with massive amounts of personal data on Americans, has already said it was not impacted by Heartbleed. ``We will continue to focus on this issue until government agencies have mitigated the vulnerability in their systems,'' Phyllis Schneck, DHS deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications, wrote in a blog post on the agenda website. ``And we will continue to adapt our response if we learn about additional issues created by the vulnerability.'' Officials wouldn't say how government websites they expect to flag as part of the Heartbleed security review, but said it's likely to be a limited number. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the security review by name.-AP

Girl's ear reattached with help of leeches WASHINGTON: Doctors in the US have reattached a 19year-old girl's ear, which was entirely torn off by a dog, with the help of blood sucking leeches. A pit bull attack left the girl's left ear entirely torn off in addition to a small laceration on her arm. Surgeons at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence attached a tiny artery to the girl's blood supply with three microscopic stitches. The artery brought fresh blood to the girl's reattached ear,

but the team could not find a vein to drain blood back to the body. Therefore, they turned to the

blood sucking leeches which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for

use in medicine, 'Live Science' reported. "The body is very efficient at making new arteries and veins, so the leeches are temporary," Dr Stephen Sullivan, a plastic surgeon at the hospital said. "They act as temporary drainage for the ear while the ear makes its own new veins," said Sullivan. For more than two weeks, the woman recovered in the hospital with leeches attached to her left ear, draining away deoxygenated blood. -PTI


Health Science Post

April 25, 2014

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Food stamp backlog still costs NC governments RALEIGH, N.C: Meeting deadlines set by federal regulators to eliminate North Carolina's backlog of food stamp applications still came with a cost to state and local governments. State health officials told legislators it cost $14 million for counties and $7 million for the state to address the backlog and issues related to a new computer system called NC FAST that counties use to determine service eligibility.

Dr Aldona Wos

Social Services Director Wayne Black said county money paid staff, overtime pay and equipment upgrades. Dr. Aldona Wos, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the state helped counties with staffing and support to whittle down the waiting lists. The state faced losing $88 million if tens of thousands of applications pending at first for at least 90 days weren't processed, and later for those waiting at least 30 days. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told

DHHS this week it was satisfied with the state's work. The federal health care overhaul law caused the backlog and the expense to clear it, said Angela Taylor, the acting director of NC FAST. The law required a new computer software update for Medicaid last July 15 before the state had planned to add it, as well as additional Medicaid eligibility questions that county social service workers must ask of applicants, according to Taylor. Now there are nearly 86,000 Medicaid applications delayed beyond federal processing timelines, acting state Medicaid Director Sandy Terrell told the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. More than 26,000 of these applications came from the federal health care insurance website, while about 31,000 more are delayed due to a new method to determine income eligibility. The state has received 95,000 Medicaid applications through the federal health care law since October, and the number is likely to grow, Terrell said. The state government budget approved by legislators last summer through mid2015 prepared to pay for the state's share of additional enrollees of people who signed up through the health care law. But lawmakers questioned whether the number may be higher than planned.-AP

Bullying impact still evident after 40 years LONDON: The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study by King's College London is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. The findings come from the British National Child Development Study which includes data on all children born in England, Scotland and Wales during one week in 1958. The new research studied 7,771 children whose parents provided information on their child's exposure to bullying when they were aged 7 and 11. The children were then followed up until the age of 50. "Our study shows that the effects of bullying are still visible nearly four decades later. The impact of bullying is per-

sistent and pervasive, with health, social and economic consequences lasting well into adulthood," said Dr Ryu Takizawa, lead author of the paper from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. Just over a quarter of children in the study (28 per cent) had been bullied occasionally, and 15 per cent bullied frequently similar to rates in the UK today, researchers said. Individuals who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and cognitive functioning at age 50. Individuals who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts. Cont'd on Page 34

Indian-origin doc held for health care fraud New York: A 61-year-old Indian physician has been arrested on health care fraud charges and faces life imprisonment for illegally distributing opioid pain medication that resulted in the deaths of two patients in the US. Pawan Kumar Jain of New Mexico was arrested by the officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI and was produced in federal court. A federal grand jury returned an 111-count indictment charging Jain with the unlawful dispensing of opioid pain medication and healthcare fraud charges, Acting US Attorney Damon Martinez said. The indictment charges Jain with 61 counts of unlawfully dispensing controlled substances and 50 counts of health care fraud. According to the indictment, Jain allegedly committed the offenses between April 2009 and June 2010 when he was a licensed physician with a neurology subspecialty who operated a pain management medical practice. Jain' medical license was suspended in June

2012 and subsequently revoked in December 2012 by the New Mexico Medical Board. Each of the 61 dispensing charges alleges that Jain unlawfully dispensed prescription painkillers, primarily oxycodone and methadone, to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the 61 charges is 20 years in prison and a million dollar fine. The health care fraud charges allege that Jain engaged in a scheme to defraud two health care benefit programs Medicare and Medicaid, by submitting claims for payment for prescription medications he had given to patients outside the usual course of medical practice and without any legal medical purpose. The indictment further alleges that Jain's unlawful dispensing of prescription painkillers and fraudulent conduct resulted in the death of a patient. Jain dispensed 540 tablets of oxycodone and 405 tablets of methadone to the patient between April and September 2009.- PTI


Health Science Post

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New controls after Medicaid paid for dead CHICAGO: Gov. Governor Pat Quinn has promised tighter controls after a review found that the Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people who had already died. The Democratic governor told

Republican lawmakers seized on the mistake as evidence that Illinois' Democratic leadership has failed to do all it can to clean up the Medicaid rolls and shield the system from abuse. The error emerged during one of the most hotly contested governor's races

The memo says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths reporters he's not happy with the findings and the state is on track to get back all of the money. ``We've already recouped a great deal of the money,'' Quinn said. ``We intend to get every single penny.''

in the nation and could become an issue in the campaign. When asked about the matter, a spokesman for Quinn's Republican opponent, wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner, said it warranted further scrutiny and

was ``another troubling sign pointing towards Pat Quinn's inability to run state government.'' The Associated Press learned of the mistake from an internal state government memo it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The memo says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths. Quinn said that in most of the cases, managed care insurance companies had improperly billed the state for those people. ``When we discover this we get the money back from those insurance companies,'' he said. The memo states that more than $7 million has been recovered and the rest is expected to be

recouped by year's end. It was written by the directors of the departments of Healthcare and Family Services and Human Services, the two state agencies involved with Medicaid payments, and is addressed to their senior staff members.

aid rolls following 2012 Medicaidreform legislation. But the contract ended last year, and the work was shifted to state employees, after Illinois' largest public-employee union objected and an arbitrator ruled the contract should end.

Governor Pat Quinn

Vitamin B3 delivered to Earth by meteorites WASHINGTON: Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis. The findings support a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts. "It is always difficult to put a value on the connection between meteorites and the origin of life; for example, earlier work has shown that vitamin B3 could have been produced non-biologically on ancient Earth, but it's possible that an added source of vitamin B3 could have been helpful," said Karen Smith of Pennsylvania State University. "Vitamin B3, also called nicotinic acid or niacin, is a precursor to NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is essential to metabolism and likely very ancient in origin," said Smith, lead author of the study, along with co-authors from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. This is not the first time vitamin B3 has been found in meteorites. In 2001 a team led by researchers from Arizona State University discovered it along with related molecules called pyridine carboxylic acids in the Tagish Lake meteorite. In the new work at Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Labora-

tory, Smith and her team analyzed samples from eight different carbon-rich meteorites, called "CM2 type carbonaceous chondrites" and found vitamin B3 at levels ranging from about 30 to 600 partsper-billion. They also found other pyridine carboxylic acids at similar concentrations and, for the first time, found pyridine dicarboxylic acids. "We discovered a pattern - less vitamin B3 (and other pyridine carboxylic acids) was found in meteorites that came from asteroids that were more altered by liquid water. One possibility may be that these molecules were destroyed during the prolonged contact with liquid water," said Smith.

"We also performed preliminary laboratory experiments simulating conditions in interstellar space and showed that the synthesis of vitamin B3 and other pyridine carboxylic acids might be possible on ice grains," Smith said. The team doubts the vitamin B3 and other molecules found in the meteorites came from terrestrial life for two reasons. First, the vitamin B3 was found along with its structural isomers related molecules that have the same chemical formula but whose atoms are attached in a different order. These other molecules aren't used by life. Non-biological chemistry produces variety of molecules - basically everything permitted by the materials and conditions present - but life makes only the molecules it needs. If contamination from terrestrial life was the source of the vitamin B3 in the meteorites, then only the vitamin should have been found, not the other, related molecules. Second, the amount of vitamin B3 found was related to how much the parent asteroids had been altered by water. This correlation with conditions on the asteroids would be unlikely if the vitamin came from contamination on Earth. The study was published in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.-PTI

In the document, they outline steps to fix the problem. Quinn, speaking to reporters after an unrelated event in Chicago, said the goal is ``zero tolerance for any kind of mistake.'' ``We have to put in even tighter controls,'' he said. ``... The important thing is to recoup every dollar for the taxpayers. We're doing exactly that.'' Republicans have pressed for the state to renew a contract with a private company that had been working to verify Medicaid eligibility. Maximus Health Services was hired to scrub state Medic-

Republicans wanted Quinn to appeal the ruling. They have repeatedly said better verification of eligibility and rooting out fraud and abuse could help save the cash-strapped state much-needed funds. Republicans say that in light of the findings they will renew that push. Quinn said he favored sticking with the state's own verification work. ``We're doing that right now,'' he said. ``We have everything in place to identify anything, anybody, any practice that isn't proper.''-AP

Bullying impact still evident after 40 years Cont'd from Page 33

Individuals who were bullied in childhood were also more likely to have lower educational levels, with men who were bullied more likely to be unemployed and earn less. Social relationships and wellbeing were also affected. Individuals who had been bullied were less likely to be in a relationship, to have good social support, and were more likely to report lower quality of life and life satisfaction. "We need to move away from any perception that bullying is just an inevitable part of growingup," said Professor Louise Arseneault, senior author, also from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's.

"Teachers, parents and policymakers should be aware that what happens in the school playground can have long-term repercussions for children. "Programs to stop bullying are extremely important, but we also need to focus our efforts on early intervention to prevent potential problems persisting into adolescence and adulthood," Arseneault said. The harmful effect of bullying remained even when other factors including childhood IQ, emotional and behavioral problems, parents' socioeconomic status and low parental involvement, were taken into account, researchers said. The study is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.-PTI


April 25, 2014

Health Science Post

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Ban sale of animal tested products: Dental groups oppose oral PETA to Government surgery measure NEW DELHI: After strongly campaigning for a ban on testing of cosmetics and household products on animals, the animal rights group PETA has now urged the Health Ministry to ban the sale and marketing of such products in the country. In June last, India became the first country in South Asia to ban the testing of cosmetics and its ingredients on animals, while it became the second country after Israel to ban animal testing for household products in January this year. "Now that the Bureau of Indian Standards committees, that determine what tests are required for cosmetics and household products have removed animal tests from the relevant standards, there is no reason as to why they should be sold here," Chaitanya Koduri, PETA India Science Policy Adviser, said. "Though the companies in India have been instructed to not practice this, but it doesn't ensure that the consumers will not use the products which have been tested on animals. Hence, we have written to the

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to ban their sale in the country," he said. The Drugs Technical Advisory Board under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has

of all cosmetics and household products that are tested on animals. A sales ban in India is expected to prevent companies from outsourcing testing and import-

also recommended earlier that there should be a ban on the import of cosmetics tested on animals. Such a move would place India in line with the European Union, which has banned the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics, and Israel, which has banned the sale

ing animal-tested beauty products back into India for sale. "It will not only ensure that the consumers in India are not using such products but will also create pressure on other countries. For example, we import cosmetics from China which doesn't have a ban on animal testing," Koduri said.-PTI

TULSA, Okla: Some Oklahoma duty permit, similar to applying dental groups are opposing a bill sealants and assisting in the adin the state Legislature, proposed ministration of nitrous oxide. as a reaction to the case of an The bill has also been oporal surgeon accused of main- posed by the American Dental taining filthy office conditions, Assistants Association, The that deals with training require- Oklahoma Dental Association ments for oral surgery dental as- and The Oklahoma Dental Hysistants. gienists Association. But the head of the state denRogers said there is some tal board says the language in the confusion over the bill. bill has been misunderstood. ``The language is being comThe Tulsa World reports that pletely misconstrued and misinthe bill would set forth the training required to obtain a permit as an oral surgery Bonnie Flannigan, presidental assistant. dent of the Oklahoma Bonnie Flannigan, president of the Oklahoma Dental Hygienists AssociaDental Hygienists Asso- tion, says she believes the ciation, says she believes bill would allow assistants the bill would allow assistants to perform intrave- to perform intravenous nous sedation on patients. sedation on patients In a letter to Susan Rogers, executive director of the terpreted,'' she said. Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, Liz Dr. W. Scott Harrington, the Schultz, president of the Okla- oral surgeon whose two Tulsahoma Association of Nurse area clinics were shut down last Anesthetists, said she believes March, was found to be allowdental assistants should never ing his assistants to perform IV be able to perform IV sedation, sedation and was cited by the even if it were made an expanded state Board of Dentistry. -AP


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„

Realty Tidbits

Investor sentiment in real estate sector positive

Real Estate

Realty developers banking on post-poll stable govt Details on Page 39

I

nvestor sentiment in the Indian real estate sector is becoming increasingly positive with the prospects getting brighter for the formation of a stable government in New Delhi in the post-poll scenario. "A change of government in New Delhi after 10 years of rule by the United Progressive Alliance led by the Congress looks almost a certainty and we hope the next government's economic policies will be key drivers to reviving the growth in the real estate sector," said D.K. Aggarwal, chairman of SMC Real Estate Advisors, a leading financial services provider in India. Aggarwal, who was in Dubai to take part in the Indian Property Show organized by Magicbricks.com, said the last three years have been a period of sluggish growth across all sectors in India.

„ Connecticut to study Rocky Hill Veterans Home ROCKY HILL, Conn: A push to end homelessness among Connecticut veterans by 2015 is generating renewed interest in the state's Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office is creating a working group that will determine the best way forward for the 90-acre complex that serves military veterans, said Andrew Doba, the governor's communications direction. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman will lead the effort. Advocates for the homeless estimate Connecticut has more than 500 homeless veterans, and Malloy said in his State of the State address in February that the number is unacceptable. Malloy's proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes $500,000 for a study of how state buildings can best be put to use for veterans. -AP

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How not to buy a lemon of a home MARCIE GEFFNER

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any states have socalled lemon laws that protect consumers who buy a brand-new car that turns out to be defective. But no lemon law protects homebuyers. Safeguards do exist for homebuyers: • Sellers usually are required by state law to disclose, though not necessarily repair, material defects. • Builders typically offer warranties for brand-new houses. • Home warranty policies can be bought for resale houses as well. Still, no house is perfect, and none of those protections is a guarantee against the risk that any house could wear out, fall apart or break down in myriad ways after it's bought. In fact, all houses suffer wear, tear and damage over time. Inspect to detect defects, insects, imperfections A buyer's best protection against a lemon house right at the start could be thorough inspections of the home and its components before the sale closes, says James Budrow, owner of Sacramento Inspection in Sacramento, Calif. "The bottom line is that there is no guarantee, but if buyers put their faith in a home inspector, they are going to be a lot further ahead," Budrow says. Find a home inspector To find a good inspector, Budrow suggests asking about: • Experience. • Background - preferably in construction. • Tenure in the business.

“Inspectors who've been in the business 10-plus years are normally the cream of the crop," Budrow says. "They've been able to sustain the market and make a living. They tend to be a little bit more expensive, but in the long run, that's better for the client." The eyes, ears and nose know Sharp inspectors rely on their eyes, ears and nose as well as skill and experience, Budrow suggests. Eyes look for stucco or ceiling

"Don't go with the cheapest person," he says, adding: • "Go with the most reputable person." • "Go online and read their reviews or call them and ask about their experience." • "Talk to two or three inspectors until you find one that really sounds the most knowledgeable." Does the house have a finished basement? A new roof? Some other major repair or improvement?

lowed by specialists and contractors, depending on what the findings were. It's a very time-sensitive window, but we often see buyers cram in as much as they can to feel comfortable," she says. Examples of supplemental inspections include: • Checking for mold. • Detecting termites or other pests. • Identifying any structural problems. Another tip, also from Butterworth: • If the property is a condominium, make sure the inspection includes the common areas as well as the individual unit. Older home means more repairs A thorough inspection is especially crucial for an older home because it typically requires more maintenance. In fact, older homes can be so problem-prone that Budrow advises first-time homeowners to steer clear of them. "The older the house, the more

If so, Pozek has another tip: • Ask the city's building department for a list of permits that have been pulled for the property. Do the improvements have accompanying permits? If not, the workmanship could be shoddy or not in compliance with building codes. You might want multiple inspections Buyers typically can have more than one inspection, though the time frame permitted for multiple inspections might be short, says Amy Butterworth, associate broker for Gibson Sotheby's International Realty in Boston. "If buyers have an inspection contingency, we often see a full professional home inspection fol-

costs to upkeep it," he says. "It's better for a new buyer to go for a newer home." Buyers should be most concerned about the age and remaining useful life of what Budrow characterizes as "the big expensive things": Heating; Air conditioning and ventilation; Windows; Water heater; Foundation; Roof. Inspectors who have been in the business in the same area for some time "can shed some light on issues they've seen in the neighborhoods," Budrow says. He adds, though, that every home is different and "to generalize about a neighborhood might not be completely fair." -Courtesy Bankrate.com

“Inspectors who've been in the business 10-plus years are normally the cream of the crop," Budrow says. "They've been able to sustain the market and make a living” stains or swollen baseboards. Ears listen for rats, chipmunks or squirrels in crawl spaces or slapping sounds that could indicate a loose plastic water supply line. The nose smells for mold, pet urine or sewage. "A lot of times, painters forget to paint the ceilings in the closets. If there is a moisture issue, a lot of times, it will show up there," Budrow says. Reputation trumps costs Buyers shouldn't choose the least expensive inspector in town just to save a few bucks on what likely will be the costliest purchase of their lifetime, says Ken Pozek, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Northville, Mich.


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Bangalore No. 1 market for luxury homes BANGALORE: When it comes to luxury homes - units priced above Rs 5 crore - Bangalore is setting benchmarks to emerge as the country's top luxury home market, says a report by JLL India, an international property consultancy firm. Quality of construction, design, ventilation, floor-to- ceiling height, amenities, floor plans, building elevation and configuration aspects are among the factors fuelling Bangalore's rise to the top, the report says. Most importantly, pricing of luxury residential properties in the country's IT capital is seen to be far more reasonable and realistic than Mumbai and NCR, says JLL's report, shared exclusively with TOI. "Luxury properties in Bangalore are 20% to 30% cheaper. While luxury apartments that cost between Rs 6 crore and Rs 30 crore may seem exorbitant, they are in fact very reasonable when compared to the rates going in premium locations of established

cities like Delhi and Mumbai," notes Om Ahuja, CEO-residential services, JLL India. Citing research data, Ahuja adds: "A luxury apartment in Indiranagar or Koramangala is still an attainable reality with

Realty developers banking on post-poll stable govt MUMBAI: The real estate industry, may very well re-enter the market in good which has been going through a rough numbers," Nair said. patch for the last few years, believes that a ASK group managing director Sunil stable government after the ongoing na- Rohokale said, "Investors, both domestic tional elections will revive the investment and global, want to invest in the real estate sentiment, a report said. in the country, but due to lack of clarity on "The real estate sector is holding its policy front and challenges on supply side breath for the potential optimism which is they are deferring their decisions. expected to boost investment sentiments. "The new government will have to deal The next government's economic and em- with increase in governance in asset class ployment policies will be key drivers to and bring in ease of investment and exits. growth in the real estate sector for the next We believe we will have a stable governfive years," Jones Lang LaSalle's Ramesh ment which will address these issues." Nair said in a report. Shriram Properties managing director M "The business community is looking at a Murali said, "We have seen the Ahmedabad stable government with a new Prime Minister and a new Finance Minister. As "The new government will have to deal an industry, we have been with increase in governance in asset bringing to fore the need to address the issue of class and bring in ease of investment housing on a war-footing. and exits. We believe we will have a "The new Prime Minisstable government which will ter and Finance Minister will decide the future and address these issues." we expect positive things to take place in the coming years," Rustomjee development model. It is necessary that such group chairman Boman Irani said. models are replicated in other parts of the counAccording to experts, investment senti- try as well. We believe once we get a stable ment in the realty sector is likely to improve government, the sector will see a boom." post-elections. He, however, maintains that with the The country received less than 1 per cent boom, the sector needs to regulate itself and of total USD 130 billion invested in the real should not wait for any regulatory bill to estate sector in the Asia Pacific region in govern it. "The government will also have 2013. "Fence-sitting investors and home to take steps to ensure effective implemenbuyers will remain spectators during this tation of the various reforms and policies election season. Election results do not formed by the outgoing government," make or break a market, but they are likely Murali said, adding "policies related to land to reinstate confidence and uplift home buy- acquisition, rehabilitation, clearances, real ers' sentiment. Post-elections, if the road to estate regulation bill should be implemented recovery is unhindered, property buyers efficiently".-PTI

prices ranging from Rs 9,000 to Rs 12,000 per square foot. No other premium locations of other major Indian cities offer such prices in the luxury segment." While Bangalore reports sales of close to 100 luxury units - including villas - on a quarterly basis, Mumbai and NCR, in comparison, see only around a dozen such sales. Data shared by the consultancy firm LJ

Hooker shows that Bangalore has around 5,400 luxury units under various stages of construction and planning. After Mumbai and NCR, Bangalore is the third largest market for luxury property sales and product offerings. It is also the third largest real estate investment hub for high net-worth individuals (HNIs), but tops the list in terms of investments from NRIs looking at settling down in India. While much of the city's luxury homes demand is fuelled by millionaires from the IT/ ITeS sectors, the demand is also being driven by Kolkata and Chennai-based HNIs. JLL estimates Bangalore to have over 10,000 dollar millionaires. In terms of product, JLL reported that luxury residential offerings in Mumbai and NCR fall more or less in the vanilla category when compared to products in Bangalore. "In Mumbai and NCR, location aspects such as sea view or PIN code tend to define the flair and profile of a property far more than the positioning of the product in terms of luxury and design parameters," says Ahuja. Demand across all metros for luxury residential products was subdued over three to four financial quarters, but has picked up in the past 60 days, say analysts tracking the real estate sector.


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rinagar, a city that embodies romance and beauty, is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir; perfectly placed in the center of the Kashmir Valley. Srinagar literally meaning 'the city of wealth & abundance' in Sanskrit, was founded around 150 AD by King Pravarasen II. Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, Srinagar is surrounded by beautiful lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar, whose glittering waters reflecting the rays of the sun is a sight to behold. Its vividly vibrant & beautiful houseboats

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sailing along the scenic Dal Lake against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan snow clad mountains makes Srinagar a dream destination for every traveler. Srinagar also has a special place in the history of ancient India. Excavations carried out here have identified many valued evidences of ancient settlements dating back to 5,000 years. The artifacts collected from the excavation are displayed in Srinagar museum, which include arrowheads, animal skeletons, implements, tools and pots from the Neolithic age.

April 25, 2014

Irrespective of the season, Srinagar attracts tourists throughout the year to enjoy its snow clad mountains, colors of fall and greenery of the summers. Dal Lake, spread across 26 sq. km, is home to the maximum number of houseboats and Shikaras. No trip to Kashmir is complete without a stay on one of its luxurious house boats and a boat ride on a 'Shikara' along the pristine lake. While the winters offers visitors the beauty of snow clad mountains and crisp, chilly winter breeze; summers showcases the abundance of colors on the canvas of nature from deep greens, to autumn browns and deep oranges. Some of Srinagar's best kept natural beauties is at the sprawling Mughal Gardens - which houses the Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. Lakeside views, magnificent sunsets, floating markets, verdant greens, authentic Kashmiri cuisine and hospitable locals are just some of the reasons why tourists from all over the globe flock to this 'Paradise on Earth'. Cont’d on page 42


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Dream destination of lakes & mountains seum has valuable ancient terracotta heads of the 3rd century found at the Buddhist site at Ushkur and molded terracotta plaques of 4th & 5th century from Harwan. Dal Lake: Popularly known as 'Srinagar's jewel' the Dal Lake is the most popular tourist attraction in Srinagar. Renowned for its house boats and Shikara boat rides, set against the snow clad glorious Himalayas, the Dal Lake continues to be on the canvas and subject of several poets and artists. Houseboats: No trip to Srinagar is complete without staying on one

Cont’d from page 41

Some of the must see places in this splendid lake side city include the well laid out Mughal Gardens, the pristine Dal Lake, enjoy a relaxing Shikara ride, bow down at the Shankaracharya temple, indulge in shopping for the famous Pashmina shawls and Kashmiri handicrafts and last but not the least, enjoy some adrenaline rushing activities like skiing, trekking, white water rafting, paragliding, camping and Kayaking. ATTRACTIONS

ing to Jammu and Kashmir. These gardens are a fine example of the Mughal style of architecture and design. Shalimar Bagh: Constructed by the great Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619 for his beloved wife Nurjahan, the sprawling garden with four terraces, imposing fountains, well laid out manicured gardens, tall trees and fresh mountain air is one of the must visit places while in Srinagar. Nishat Bagh: Nishat Bagh, meaning the 'The garden of joy' located on the eastern side of the Dal Lake is a marvelous garden

Floating Vegetable Market

Pari Mahal (Quntilon): Pari Mahal (House of Fairies) also known as Quntilon, is a historic monument placed above the beautiful Chashma Shahi Gardens near Srinagar. The ancient monument brings out the architectural brilliance of the bygone age. Sri Pratap Singh Museum: Pratap Singh Museum, erstwhile summer palace of Kashmir Kings, is a historically important museum in Srinagar established in 1898. Located in Lal Mandi, on the left bank of the river Jhelum, the mu-

Spring Royal

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of the several luxurious houseboats. Anchored along one of the largest lakes in India, the Dal Lake, these houseboats are complete with vibrantly furnished bedrooms, a drawing room, kitchen & bathroom. Mughal Gardens: Mughal Gardens, as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period is a marvel located around 13 km from Srinagar. These gardens are the major attractions for tourists com-

e me Chash

designed by Asaf Khan, Nur Jahan's brother. Laid out in 1633 it is among the largest of the Mughal Gardens. Chashme Shahi Garden: Founded in 1632 with a length of 108 meters and breadth of 38 meters, is a small beautiful place, the smallest among the famous Mughal gardens. It is also known as Royal Spring and is located near the Nehru Memorial Park in Srinagar and is easily reachable by road.

Shahi

Garde

Nagin Lake: Nagin Lake got its name from the trees surrounding the lake. Popularly known as the 'Jewel in the Ring', it is one of the impressive lakes in east Srinagar. The lake with its deep blue waters is separated from the Dal Lake by a thin causeway and is an exciting tourist spot with number of houseboats dawdling in the calm waters. Saffron Fields: Saffron fields,

located in Pampore, around 12 km from Srinagar draw a huge number of visitors during late October to early November. From earlier times, saffron from these fields has graced feasts of Emperors and commoner alike. Shikara Ride: The quintessential reasons why people come to Srinagar are the houseboats and the Shikara ride. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic snow clad Himalayas is indeed an experience in itself, both enjoyable and unforgettable.

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Wular Lake: The largest freshwater lake in India, it serves as a natural reservoir by drawing excess water from River Jhelum. Remains of a wonderful island built by King Zain-ul-abidin can be seen in the midst of the lake. Best time to visit: Srinagar has only two climates, pleasant summers and a very chilly, freezing winter. Rainfalls are scanty. The best time to visit is from April to October HOW TO REACH By Train: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum. By Air: Srinagar domestic airport is connected with many airports of the major cities in India. Regular flights operate between Srinagar and Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh. International travelers get the connecting flights from Delhi International airport, which is at a distance of 876 km from Srinagar. By Bus: Many tourist bus service providers arrange deluxe luxurious bus package tours from many neighboring cities to Srinagar. Srinagar is well connected to Chandigarh (630 km), Jammu (290 km), Delhi (876 km), Leh (434 km) and Phalgam (96 km) by tourist bus services.


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Alternative to NYC horse carriages: Old-timey car? NEW YORK: An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City was presented at the New York International Auto Show, as critics expressed their distaste for the idea. The ``Horseless eCarriage'' prototype was commissioned by

and customization business, said the selling price could be between $150,000 and $175,000. Wenig called the car ``an homage'' to an earlier time, with a body shape that ``reflects and celebrates an era that's of amazing historical significance to this city.'' But before the cars could make

Visitors to the New York International Auto Show sit in an electric carriage prototype in New York

NYCLASS, a group advocating for a ban on carriage horses because they say it's inhumane to have the animals toiling in an urban environment. The prototype car seats eight people and is made to look like it's from the early 20th century, with lots of brass and oversized wheels. Creator Jason Wenig of The Creative Workshop, a car restoration

their way to the streets around Central Park, legislation banning the carriage horses would have to be passed. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to ban the horses. But carriage-horse operators and their allies - including actor Liam Neeson - have loudly opposed the mayor's plan and the council has not yet introduced the legislation. The Central Park Conservancy,

a nonprofit that oversees the park in partnership with the city, was against the idea of bringing more cars into the popular place. ``Forty million people visit Central Park each year, including runners, bicyclists, kids and dog owners,'' said Doug Blonsky, president and CEO of the conservancy. ``Adding vehicles to the mix will make the park less safe for all of them and increase congestion.'' Wenig said the cars would be able to go up to 30 mph outside of the park, but would be kept electronically from going more than 5 mph inside it. Asked about the conservancy's opposition, de Blasio said he thought it was a ``misunderstanding'' of what's being proposed. ``Right now, besides the fact that the horse carriages are not humane - there have been a number of accidents involving carriages - the routes we're talking about would be the same as our existing routes,'' he said. ``You're talking about electric cars for tourists that go slow on purpose because they should go slow and because tourists want to see things. That's very different from other issues about cars in parks, and it is a cleaner, better, more humane approach, that obviously will also provide employment opportunities and will be good for our tourism industry.''-AP

Everest avalanche leaves climbers in doubt KATHMANDU: An Australian mountaineer who narrowly escaped the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest says some local guides and climbers were ques-

about 5,800 meters. "We saw it approach... it was an extremely close call, a matter of minutes," Turner told AFP in a phone interview from Everest base

tioning whether to scrap their summit plans after 13 Nepalese were killed in an avalanche. Gavin Turner was scaling the treacherous Khumbu Icefall with his sherpa guide when he saw the avalanche strike climbers just ahead of him, at an altitude of

camp. As news of the accident sent shockwaves among mountaineers, most of the sherpas on the mountain gathered their belongings and left, leaving the world's highest peak deserted but for tents packed with western climbers stunned by

the disaster. The accident underscores the huge risks borne by local guides, who ascend the icy slopes of the 8,848-metre peak, often in pitchdark and usually weighed down by tenting equipment, ropes and food supplies for their clients. The nature of their work means that sherpas will usually make many more trips up the mountain and expose themselves to far greater risk than foreign climbers who pay tens of thousands of dollars to summit the peak. While rescue helicopters buzzed overhead, plucking snowblanketed bodies out of the mountain to base camp using cables suspended from the aircraft, hundreds of sherpas said they wanted to take a break from the climb. Some said they would not come back at all this season. "My sherpa said he won't be returning - he has a wife and a twoyear-old son and the love of his family outweighed any financial reward," Turner said.-AFP

Chinese cancel Malaysia trip over missing MH370 KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly 30 per cent of Chinese tourists have cancelled their bookings to visit Malaysia this year since the mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian jet with 227 passengers, over two-thirds of them Chinese, adversely hitting the country's tourism industry. "Due to the promotion of Visit Malaysia Year 2014, many had initially made preparations to visit Malaysia in the second half of this year but we have received many cancellations since the MH370 incident," Tourism Malaysia Chairman Ng Yen Yen has said. More than two-thirds of those on board the missing Beijingbound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are Chinese. Malaysia has been criticized for its handling of the tragedy, particularly by the relatives of the 154 Chinese passengers on board the plane, besides being accused of hiding crucial information. It is estimated that 100,000 tourists from China visit Malaysia each

month and each of them would spend RM2,800 (USD 865) while in the country, but following the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight, 30 per cent of their bookings have been cancelled and it involved a cost RM100 million in just six weeks," she told reporters here last week. Ng said the tragedy had also

affected travel and tour operators who were now left to handle only five groups of tourists daily compared to 20 groups daily previously, Bernama news agency reported. The data on the slump in inbound tourists from China was collected by the Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association which manages a majority of the Chinese tourist arrivals in the country through its network of some 70 companies.-PTI

New roller coaster debuts at Kings Island MASON, Ohio: Kings Island theme park in southwest Ohio is unveiling a new inverted roller coaster more than 4,000 feet long with speeds up to 68 miles per hour. The ``Banshee'' made its debut at the park north of Cincinnati. Kings Island says the steel roller coaster named for a wailing mythological messenger from the underworld includes a 167-foot lift hill and a 150-foot curved first drop.

Riders also will experience a zerogravity roll. Three trains containing eight cars each will be able to carry 1,650 riders per hour. Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. The Sandusky-based company owns and runs 10 other amusement parks, three outdoor water parks, an indoor water park, and five hotels.-AP


In Brief 80 immigrants arrested at Texas camp McALLEN, Texas: At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the United States illegally were arrested in a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas. They were found in an undeveloped patch of scrub near an abandoned tennis club in McAllen. They were camped under tents and huts camouflaged with mesquite branches and cacti. Some told authorities they had been there sleeping on pieces of cardboard with little food or water for at least a week. It was unclear whether any of those arrested were guides suspected of guarding the immigrants, Border Patrol spokesman Danny Tirado told The McAllen Monitor. A short time later, Border Patrol arrested 132 immigrants found in two buildings on a property in Alton, about 8 miles west of McAllen, according to KRGV-TV. The Border Patrol made more than 154,000 arrests on the section of the U.S.-Mexico border in southernmost Texas last year, more than anywhere else on the Southwest border. The majority of the immigrants come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Guides typically lead the immigrants across the Rio Grande in smaller groups and then mass them in so-called stash houses on the Texas side of the border until their transportation can be arranged for the next leg of their journey.-AP

„ Alabama school admits immigrant student FORT PAYNE, Ala: A north Alabama school system has enrolled an immigrant student who was initially denied admission. The Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center says Fort Payne schools allowed the Mexican-born 17-year-old to begin attending classes after he was turned away twice from Fort Payne High School. The law center says the system also has changed policies to make it clear that students can enroll without a Social Security number. And it says the district has removed information from a website about Alabama's law cracking down on illegal immigration. Major parts of the law were overturned by courts. The school system has said it doesn't use national origin in enrollment decisions.-AP

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April 25, 2014

Outsourcing giants prefer H-1B visa holders Details on page 46

Why we should all be mad about the H-1B visa cap CYRUS D. MEHTA

T

he USCIS announced on April 9, 2014 that it had re ceived 172,500 H-1B visa petitions for the 65,000 H-1B regular cap and the 20,000 additional cap for graduates with advanced degrees from US universities. This is much more than the 124,000 H1B visa petitions the USCIS received in 2014. The H-1B cap makes no sense, and here are 10 good reasons why we should all really be more upset about it this year for the simple reason that we face the cap each year, and nothing ever changes. Enough is enough! The first reason to be mad about the H-1B cap is that it forces employers to scramble way before the start of the 2015 fiscal year, which is October 1, to file for H-1B visas, only to get rejected by a randomized lottery. This is no way to treat US employers who pay thousands of dollars in legal and filing fees, along with all the steps they need to take in being in compliance. The whole concept of a nonsensical quota reminds us of Soviet era central planning, and then

to inject a casino style of lottery into the process, just rubs salt into an oozing old wound. Second, one can only feel for all the foreign national prospective employees, who all need to qualify to work in a specialty occupation, as defined under the H1B visa law. Out of the 172,500 H1B cases received, 87,500 people will get rejected. That is 87,500

87,500 who will be rejected could actually come and work in the United States. Their employers would benefit and become more globally competitive - and could have less reason to outsource work to other countries. They would have also been productive workers, and spent money in the US economy, including buying houses and paying taxes. The H-

It forces employers to scramble way before the start of the 2015 fiscal year, which is October 1, to file for H-1B visas, only to get rejected by a randomized lottery. This is no way to treat US employers who pay thousands of dollars in legal and filing fees hopes and dreams dashed. Many who are in the United States after graduating from American universities may have to leave. Others won't be able to set foot into the United States to take up their prized job offers. Third, imagine if all of these

1B cap has robbed the economy of this wonderful cascading effect. Fourth, the USCIS has taken pains to encourage entrepreneurs to establish startups in the United States because of the potential of creating new technologies resulting in more jobs and keeping the

country competitive. The entrepreneur portal encourages entrepreneurs to use the H-1B visa to sponsor themselves through their own startups. What a pity to lose out on that entrepreneur who could create the next Google or Tesla electric car. Fifth, immigration attorneys and their staff who toiled away hard for the past few weeks will feel really bad for their clients, and also for themselves that their labor will not come into fruition. Sixth, people who have lost the lottery will try to come to the United States under other options, which are much harder. They may also resort more to the B-1 business visa, and although the business visa is ambiguous enough to cover activities that go beyond a business meeting, many will fall afoul of the visa wittingly or unwittingly. Using the B-1 visa when the H1B visa is not available is like engaging in risky unprotected sex. People will get into trouble at some point in time and the party will be Cont'd on Page 46 over.

Obama again urges Congress to pass immigration reforms WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has urged the Republican leadership of the Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform, which he said would improve the national economy and strengthen the security as well. "It (immigration reform) would strengthen our economy, it would help with our security, and it would provide relief to families who have lived here for years their children and other members who are US citizens," Obama told reporters at a White House press conference. Asserting that the Congress should act, Obama accused that the House Republican leadership for holding back on immigration reform. The "House Republican lead-

ership is not willing to go ahead and let the process move forward," he said. During the news conference, he disputed the Republican version of

the telephonic call he had with the House majority leader, Eric Cantor. "You are always kind of surprised by the mismatch between press releases and the conversa-

President Barack Obama

tion. I wished him happy Passover. What I said to him privately is something that I would have said publicly, which there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform," he said. "It was a pretty friendly conversation. I think in his press release, I gather he was referring to the observation that we made a day earlier that it had now been a year since the Senate had passed a strong bipartisan bill, and that although we had heard a lot of talk about the House Republicans being interested in doing something, nothing had happened yet, and suggesting that we need some urgency here. I still feel the same way," Obama said. Cont'd on Page 46


Immigration Post

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Homeland Security reissues immigrant asylum rules WASHINGTON: The Homeland Security Department has reissued asylum rules to immigration officials amid concerns that they are misinterpreting how to decide which immigrants get to see a judge for asylum claims. The chief of the asylum division at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has told asylum officers that immigrants who make a ``credible fear'' claim, the first step in the asylum process, must have a ``significant possibility'' of winning an asylum case before a judge. In a Feb. 28 memo, the official, John Lafferty, said in order to meet that standard immigrants have to ``demonstrate a substantial and realistic possibility of succeeding in court.'' The memo, which updates an officer training course lesson plan, does not substantially change the standard for how the immigration agency handles such cases. The same language was used to de-

scribe the standard to win a full hearing before an immigration judge as far back as 2008, according to the USCIS website. Lafferty wrote that the there were concerns that the standard was not always being met in re-

possibility does not meet the ... standard,'' Lafferty wrote. Lafferty also said the revised guidance was issued because of a significant increase in the number of ``credible fear'' claims cases the agency was handling.

While asylum requests from Mexican nationals and immigrants from Central America fleeing drug cartel and gang violence have spiked in recent years, the odds of winning asylum in the United States remain low cent cases. ``In light of concerns that the application of the `significant possibility' standard has lately been interpreted to require only a minimal or mere possibility of success, the revised (guidance) clearly states that a claim that has no possibility or only a minimal or mere

In 2013, Lafferty wrote, USCIS handled more of these claims than from 2007 through 2011 combined. And the agency recorded a 250 percent increase in such cases from 2012 to 2013. The National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an immigrant advocacy group that has staged several pro-

Scott and Bush want in-state tuition bill passed

tests along the border that have included young immigrants seeking asylum, released the memo to the news media. It was first reported on by the Los Angeles Times. Jeff Carter, a USCIS spokesman, said in a statement that the government's rules for asylum seekers have not changed. ``The current training guidelines are to ensure proper implementation of the statutory standard that governs these screenings,'' Carter said. Republican lawmakers recently have voiced concern that the asylum system was being abused by immigrants who have little or no chance of winning asylum. In many cases, asylum seekers who are approved to have a judge hear their case are released from immigration detention and allowed to apply for a work permit while their cases are pending. In some

cases, it could take years for an asylum case to reach a courtroom. Immigrants who ask for asylum at the border are subject to what the government has called ``expedited removal,'' meaning they can be deported without seeing a judge if their initial ``credible fear'' claim is denied. While asylum requests from Mexican nationals and immigrants from Central America fleeing drug cartel and gang violence have spiked in recent years, the odds of winning asylum in the United States remain low. David Bennion, a lawyer who has worked with the immigrant youth alliance, said multiple asylum cases in San Diego recently have been denied since the memo was issued internally at USCIS. He described the denials as ``retaliation'' for the group's advocacy activities.-AP

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

Former Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney

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

TALLAHASSEE, Fla: Florida Gov. Rick Scott, along with former governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez, made an urgent lastminute plea for legislators to pass a tuition break to students who entered the country illegally. The push from Scott - and two other Republican governors comes one day after key GOP state senator Joe Negron used a procedural move to block the legislation from being heard. The move makes it nearly impossible for the legislation to be considered during the final two weeks of this year's legislative session. Scott called on the Senate to take ``immediate action'' to keep the bill alive. ``Students who have spent their childhood here in Florida deserve to qualify for the same in-state tuition rate at universities their peers and classmates do,'' Scott said in a statement. ``We want our students to stay here in Florida when they go to college and when they

choose a career, and that means we must make college more affordable for all those students who call

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Florida home.'' Bush, whose own recent comments on immigration have put him at odds with some members of his own party, joined with Scott in calling on the Senate to take up the legislation.

``Punishing some children for their parents' acts by creating obstacles to a college degree isn't in their interests, or ours,'' Bush stated. The debate on in-state tuition for students who entered the country illegally with their parents has been perennial in Tallahassee. This election year it has emerged as a top priority for some Republicans, including House Speaker Will Weatherford. But the proposal has needed Democratic support to survive since many other Republicans including Senate President Don Gaetz have remained opposed. Negron, R-Stuart, and Senate budget chief, refused to allow the bill to be considered during its final committee stop in the Senate. Negron said that a need for the in-state tuition break ``has not been established'' and he raised questions on its potential costs. Cont'd on Page 46

http://www.proy-singh.com

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


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Charlotte weighs immigrant-friendly city policies CHARLOTTE, N.C.: North Carolina's biggest city is looking at ways to boost growth by attracting new immigrants to the United States, a move some complain would include welcoming people living in the country illegally. The Charlotte City Council created a group last fall to study what other cities are doing to encourage immigrants to start businesses and get involved in civic life, though other cities have not yet proved whether those policies work, The Charlotte Observer reports. The task force of economists, school leaders, law-enforcement officers and business representatives will hold its first public listening session next weekend. The end result of the yearlong study

will be a series of recommendations to council members that could help immigrant families, cochair Emily Zimmern said. ``It's about the economic and

Louis and Nashville, Tenn. In 2012, Nashville had the fastestgrowing immigrant population of any American city, with 12 percent of its population born outside the

“Americans don't realize they are getting the best of people from foreign countries, because hard-working people are the ones who come to make a better life. The lazy people don't want to leave their countries,'' social benefits of being immigrant friendly,'' Zimmern said. ``Addressing the broader issue of immigration reform is not what we're asked to address.'' Cities that already are trying more immigrant-friendly policies include Detroit, Louisville, Ky., St.

United States. Nearly half were recent immigrants who entered the country since 2000. But the head of a North Carolina group demanding tougher enforcement of immigration laws said Charlotte officials seem as eager to entice people in the coun-

Outsourcing giants prefer H-1B visa holders FREMONT, C.A: Every year there are thousands of aspirants who migrate into the U.S. with the expectation of making it big. U.S too houses the power generator of success through multinational I.T companies and top notch universities, where Indians flock by

hordes every year. According to reports of USCIS five outsourcing IT companies namely Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), Wipro Limited, Infosys Limited and Accenture hire a large percentage of graduates many of them on H-

Scott and Bush want in-state tuition bill passed Cont'd from Page 45

He also said that the break should only go to students who are U.S. citizens and Florida residents. The in-state tuition rate is roughly one-quarter of the rate paid by out-of-state students. Scott came out in favor of the Senate bill (SB 1400) earlier this year because it would also place limits on how much universities could raise tuition rates. Scott's turnabout is a vast change from 2010 when he urged a strong crackdown on illegal immigration. Scott's move comes during an election year when Hispanic voters could play a key role in deciding his reelection. The legislation has already cleared the Florida House by an 81-33 vote. The House bill could be taken up by the Florida Senate but it would require waiving Senate rules by a supermajority vote. That may be difficult given the level of Republican opposition. A spokeswoman for Gaetz said Scott has never contacted the

Senate president about the instate tuition bill. Katherine Betta added that Gaetz ``will follow the Senate rules'' which means he would not support taking any further action to help the legislation.

Jeb Bush

The Senate bill (SB 1400) would offer the tuition break to anyone who had attended a Florida high school for three years prior to graduation. The legislation would also require any student seeking the tuition break to show proof that they had applied for citizenship.-PTI

1B visa. The percentage of graduates hired to postgraduates is much larger in all the above mentioned companies and this is sourced to the convenience of a less pay scale. Although the H-1B visa is granted to highly skilled immigrants with special knowledge mainly in the fields of technology, science and medicine, reports by the Centre for Immigration Studies (CIS) say that, many of these visa owners are lowskilled workers. American technology companies have constantly urged the government to increase the quota on H-1B visa as it is difficult for them to find enough skilled workers to fill the posts in their organization. Five labor outsourcing companies accounted for 37 percent of the 65,000 temporary work visas approved, excluding the 20,000 reserved for special categories, according to federal immigration data. One of the eminent outsourcing company, TCS gained permit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for 6,184 of the H-1B visas during the fiscal year 2013. Tata Consultancy spokesman Benjamin Trounson told IBTimes that, "TCS is among the top job creators in the US within the IT services industry and has actively recruited more than 5,000 Americans over the past three years, many of whom are working on technologies and systems that support critical client needs and help to drive America's innovation economy". However the figures clearly show that immigrants are given more importance than locals. Out of the top 10 companies that received the largest share of H-1B visas, only, Microsoft Corp was a tech company and the rest were all outsourcing firms. -Courtesy siliconindia.com

try illegally as legal immigrants. ``There is no problem embracing legal immigrants in this country, so what are they trying to fix?'' said Ron Woodard of NC Listen. ``What this committee is trying to do is lump legal with illegal immigrants together as if they were one and the same.'' The city could help immigrants by hiring more government employees who are bilingual, said Manolo Betancur, who is from Colombia. He and his wife, Zhenia

Martinez of Mexico, run Las Delicias Bakery. Betancur operates a second business that picks up people from bars and chauffeurs them and their car home. Betancur said he works up to 80 hours a week, long hours which can be typical for immigrants. “Americans don't realize they are getting the best of people from foreign countries, because hardworking people are the ones who come to make a better life. The lazy people don't want to leave their countries,'' Betancur said. -AP

Obama again urges Congress to pass immigration reforms Cont'd from Page 44

Obama said that many Republicans in the House and Senate are supportive of the immigration reform. "I know it is hard politics for Republicans because there are some in their base that are very opposed to this. But what I also know is that there are families all across the country who are experiencing great hardship and pain because this is not getting resolved," he said.

"I also know that there are businesses around the country that could be growing even faster, that our deficits could be coming down faster, that we would have more customers in our shops, if we get this thing resolved. We know what the right thing to do is", Obama said. It is a matter of political will. It is not any longer a matter of policy. And I am going to continue to encourage them to get this done," Obama added.-PTI

Why we should all be mad about the H-1B visa cap Cont'd from Page 44

Seventh, the While House very recently announced that it would allow a limited number of spouses on H-4 visas the ability to work. The whole purpose is to encourage highly skilled people to work in the United States on H-1B visas. What is the purpose of such an announcement when the cap eliminates the ability of people to enter the United States on H-1B visas in the first place? It all feels like a joke, rather like flatulence, on this day when it was announced that 172,500 people applied for a meager 85,000 visas. Eight, even the lucky ones who have gotten selected are by no means guaranteed that their H-1B cases will get approved. The USCIS applies rigidly impossible standards, and also reviews the cases unevenly, the California Service Center being far more cruel than the Vermont Service Center. And even those whose H-1B visa petitions get approved may not be issued visas at the US Consulates overseas, especially

consuls in India who use the visa process as a trade barrier to curb the flow of Indian IT professionals from making it to the United States. Then, those who finally make it will also likely get subjected to oppressive green card quotas down the road. Ninth, one should also really be incensed at Congress for not doing anything about the 65,000 cap since 2003. Tenth and lastly, even when Congress does get into the act of doing something, it may make things worse rather than better. The H-1B proposals in the Senate bill, S. 744, make the H-1B visa far more difficult to use and have an outer limit of 180,000. In other words, Congress may not be capable of fixing the problem. Postscript: I am actually an optimist, but the only way we can bring about positive change to the H-1B visa cap problem, is to collectively get mad about it! * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


April 25, 2014

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48 India Post

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April 25, 2014

PREETI VERMA LAL

W

henever a book jacket is sepia tinged, you immediately know what lies inside. It is either nostalgia, history of a bygone era, of a dear departed or an unknown story from the past. Sangita P. Menon Malhan's The TOI Story: How a Newspaper Changed the Rules of the Game, puts all of this in a 243-page book that took 12 years to write. In journalism jargon (I use this because Malhan is an ex-TOI journalist), the newspaper story hinges on the five Ws and one H of Times of India - from its birth on November 3, 1838, as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce to its growth as the world's largest selling English newspaper. In between then and now there lie a million stories of enterprise, innovation, controversies, marketing leaps, circulation strategies, price wars, audacious moves. And in the centre of it a reclusive man who 'changed the rules of the game'. The man: Samir Jain. The designation: Vice chairman. His USP: charisma of turning a large, conservative, disparate group into a lean, profitable behemoth. In 2000, Malhan was - as she says - 'gripped' with idea of chronicling the history of Indian media and its boom. She knew that the task would be tedious. Information won't be forthcoming. And culling facts from gossip and anecdotes would be back-breaking. But she held on that audacious nerve of an intrepid journalist. In two spells, she interviewed journalists, editors, marketing and advertising managers, media analysts and planners, critics and even some members of the extended Jain family. What perhaps started as a 'chronicling' whim concluded as an incisive story of the Indian newspaper industry (specially early 1980s and 90s, the era that rewrote the Indian media landscape. The TOI Story begins with Hickey's Bengal Gazette, the first English newspaper to be printed and published in India. It was in 1780 that this two-sheet weekly newspaper made its maiden appearance. Others followed. But it was Times of India,

the Old Lady of Bori Bunder that would prove to be the most innovative and tenacious. However, for decades, Indian newspapers saw themselves as 'watchdogs of democracy'. Bennett & Coleman (BCCL) dared to hoist another definition: the media was also a business. It was this mantra that prompted the way media houses functioned and churned revenues. Rivals TOI and Hindustan Times locked horns to capture more readership turf. Magazines metamorphosed from drab black/white to vibrant all-color. Verbosity made way for sketches and graphics. And as the India economy embraced liberalization, the chasm between news and advertising was spanned. Malhan digs deep into facts, traverses the media landscape and the minds of the people who changed the rules. She captures intrigues and gets insiders as narrators. Within the pages of paperback lie the story of The Times of India, the newspaper that is a morning companion for millions. Pick the book. It will change the way you look at a newspaper.

Sangita P. Menon Malhan


India Post 49

April 25, 2014 www.indiapost.com

HIT BOOK; HIT FILM Extraordinary successes of Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat

H

e churns out bestsellers which tempt filmmakers to lend them to big screen adaptations. The success ratio of Hindi movies inspired by Chetan Bhagat's books has so far been high, and with the promising response to 2 States, he seems to be cementing his space in the Bollywood circuit. "My readers' silent support is my biggest strength. Today you displayed it to the nation. Thank you for the phenomenal opening. 2 States," Bhagat had posted Friday, the day when 2 States hit the screens to houseful theatres across India.

The movie is based on his bestseller 2 States: The Story Of My Marriage about a couple coming from two different Indian states. It was an instant hit in 2009. Said to be inspired by the reallife story of the north Indian author and his wife who is from Tamil Nadu, the book found a connect with youth and elders alike. Now, the movie seems to be working its magic with viewers of all age groups and managed an opening day collection of over Rs.12 crore "commendable", according to trade analysts. Cast on screen in the roles are Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, two of the most talented actors from the young lot. Like several youngsters their age, the two actors also have their memories attached to the book. While Alia had read it before it was getting made into a film and found it to be "beautiful", Arjun has said that the bestseller occupies a space on his late mother Mona

Shourie Kapoor's bookshelf till date. Whether 16 or 60, people of different sensibilities, generations and ideas are flocking to the theatres to watch the movie, about two states,

Even celebrities have loved it. Commenting on the movie, megastar Amitabh Bachchan has said: "2 States...I like. All aspects just so correct - writing, directing,

inspired by his One Night @ the Call Center did not get a great reception. Nevertheless, following the success of Kai Po Che! last year, it

different cultures and families and one love story.

music and performances." Actor Vivek Oberoi tweeted: "In my opinion Chetan Bhagat is by far the most successful contemporary Indian writer of our times! His individual fan following is epic. He has an incredible ability to communicate, especially with the youth." No wonder then that Bhagat's waltz with Bollywood seems to be just getting better with every novel that's turned into a movie. 2 States is the fourth out of his five works to get a film version. Two managed to paint a successful box office story - 3 idiots (based on Five Point Someone) and Kai Po Che! (based on The 3 Mistakes Of My Life), while Hello,

was only natural for viewers and readers to have high expectations from the Abhishek Varman-directed 2 States. In times when remakes and sequels are swarming the Bollywood scenario, Bhagat is among the few new-age authors whose books have been constantly picked by filmmakers for the big screen. It works in his interest too! Bhagat, in a recent interview, said: "I like to reach more Indians, and movies help me do so. The bigger the audience I have, the more likely they are to read my non-fiction columns on national issues or be interested in my views."

Rani, Adi marry in Italy

A

ctress Rani Mukerji has confirmed that she married Aditya Chopra, the head of Yash Raj Films in Italy on April 21. Among the select guests at the wedding was filmmaker Karan Johar, who directed Rani in her breakthrough film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and thereafter in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. "It was a beautiful wedding in the Italian countryside with just a few of our close family and friends with us. The one person I missed terribly was Yash Uncle, but I know he was there with us in spirit and his love and blessings will always be with Adi and me," said the 36-year-old star in a statement. She added, "I have always believed in fairy-tales and with God's

grace my life has been exactly like one, and now as I enter the most important chapter of my life - the fairy-tale continues." Rani, star of films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Black and Bunty Aur Babli allegedly began dating

Adi Chopra, 42, in 2008. He is divorced. Chopra, son of legendary Bollywood film-maker Yash Chopra, has directed blockbusters like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and Mohabbatein.


Datebook

50 India Post

April 25, 2014

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NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Fri, April 25 • Simply Bhangra Nights With

• J K Yog Satsang and Bal Mukund Hindi Classes are held

Live Dholi

Sst, May 3 • “Mother’s Day Celebration with Sangeetika”

Venue: Agenda Lounge, 399 South 1st

Venue: Mehran Restaurant, 5774, Mowry

Street, San Jose, CA 95113, USA, San

Month

school road, Newark, CA 94560

Chicago Satsang Information:

Time: 7:30 pm

J K Yog, Chicago - Swami Mukundananda

Fri, May 2 • Madhura Delights Presents Girls night out ! Venue: RASOI III, 620 Geoges Road, Manmouth JN, NJ 08852 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: 609-436-9890

Sat, May 3 • Natya-aalinganam 2014– Embracing Dance Venue: Lawrence High School Auditorium, 2525 Princeton Pike, Lawrence, NJ 08648 Time: 2: 30 pm

Sun, May 11 • Karthikudan Oru maalai ilaveyil Neram. Mothers day special Venue: Montgomery High School, 1016 Route 601,, Skillman, NJ 08558 Time: 3:00pm

Sat, Apr 26 • Vaisakhi Mela 2014 Venue: Colden Center, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11367 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 516-852-2222

Fri, May 2

Jose, CA 95113

• An Evening Of Indian Classic Music

Time : 9:00 pm

Venue: New York Insight Meditation Center, 28 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001 Time: 08:00 pm Contact : 718-672-3211

Sun, May 4 • Carnatic Violin Duet - Lalgudi G.J.R.Krishnan And Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi Venue: American-Scandinavian Foundation, 58 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016 Time : 2:00 pm Contact : 732-433-0836

Contact:

408-569-2417

every 2nd and 4rth Sunday of

Venue: Clarion Inn/Waterford Banquets,

Sat, May 3 • Udit Narayan - Alka Yagnik Live In Concert

Board Room, 933 South Riverside

Venue: Jordan High School Auditorium,

Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok

Venue: Dosa N' Biryani, 250 E Java Dr,

6500 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805

@ 630-561-4807

Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Time: 6:00 pm

Time: 7:30 pm

Contact: 310-715-3030

Sat, Apr 26 • Karaoke Show Chalkaye Jaam

Friday, MAY 09 • Superstar Mickey Singh LIVE in LA! Neon Theme Party! Venue: Club Metropolitan, 652 N La Peer Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069 Time: 10:00PM

June 5th to 8th • Ugadi Celebrations Prana Prathishta Mahotsavam of Anjaneya Swami, Ayyappa Swami, Durga Matha, Nava Graha's and Sri Kanyaka Parameswari (Vasavi Matha) Venue: Hindu Temple of St Louis, 725 Weidman Road, St. Louis, MO 63011 Time: 6 pm Contact: (636) - 230-3300

ATLANTA Upcoming Sat, May 3 • Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra Concert Venue: Universities at Shady Grove Auditorium, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850 Time: 7:00pm

Drive, Elmhurst, IL 60126 Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm

Website: www.jkyog.org

Sunday May 4 • Swami Ishatmananda Special Discourse on Shankara Venue: Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, 14630 Lemont Road, Homer Glen, Chicago Time: 11 am Contact: info@chicagovedanta.org

Fri, 16 May

• Klose To My Soul - Sonu Nigam

Sun, Apr 20 • Hariharan Live in Concert Mehfil-e-Ghazal & Geet

Venue: Sears Centre Arena - Chicago, IL, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 Time : 08:30 pm

Venue: Grand Ball Room, 6100 Live Oak Pkwy, Norcross, GA 30093 Time: 6:00 pm

Mondays and Fridays

Sun, May 18 • Klose To My Soul Sonu Nigam Live In Concert Venue: Atlanta Civic Center, 395, Piedmont Ave, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 Time: 7:00 pm

• Free ESL - English as Second Language Classes Where: Metropolitan Asian Family Services Venue: 9015 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, IL, Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 773-465-3105


Horoscope

April 25, 2014

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

APRIL 25 TH - MAY 1 ST , 2014 (March 21 to April 20)

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deas crossing your mind are brilliant. You will receive complete support from family on this issue and one of your child will start working on it. you will not look at the tag when it comes to buying gifts for family. You may be slowly working on a future long distance trip. You will also attend a big social event with family.

(September 23 to October 22)

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pouse will feel nervous with your decision. You may finally hear on the application sent few weeks ago. You may start gather ing paper work for an upcoming interview also. Keep an eye on credit card statement. You may be in the process of finalizing a long distance journey. You will meet few distant relatives at the party.

(October 23 to November 22)

(April 21 to May 20)

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trategy will work and expenses will come down and you may be able to fix the hole draining you out for past many many months. You will ignore a very tempting offer to make quick money that clashes with your moral and principles. Drastic change in diet will not only bring issue under control but you will shed some weight also.

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fter giving it a lots of thought, you will make a very calculated move in career. Financial rewards for your actions this week could come as early as first week of May. Any relationship started at this point could become permanent before the year end. Some of you will be studying hard for an upcoming big exam.

(November 23 to December 22)

(May 21 to June 20)

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rip will be rewarding as you will express your self well convince the other side to accept your deal. You will be sharing and help ing spouse with daily chores. Your search for another source of income will continue at fast pace. More training to subordinates and implementation of new strategy will show positive results.

F

avorable planets will give you many reasons to celebrate. You will have the lucky touch and success will come quick in first attempts. Money may come through legal channel soon. New strategy will ease off lots of work related stress. You will do some research before going for a big interview. Value of stocks will appreciate.

(June 21 to July 22)

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xpect sudden positive change in life. things going haywire in the past will stop and planets will help you make a great come back in life. There can be some dramatic change in career to your advantage this week. You may start the process of buying a nice property also. There is no harm in trying your hand with few lottery tickets.

(December 22 to January 19)

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ou will buy some nice items for the house you had in mind for long time. Spouse will help you with getting rid of items gather ing dust in the house this weekend. Obstacles will be followed by easy solutions. You may also finish an important project well before deadline. You may change your mind on last minute to visit someone.

(July 23 to August 22)

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ou are definitely on a roll. Issues consuming time and mind in the past will get resolved once for all. You may also receive some kind of clearance from a government agency. You will be surrounded by admirers at the get together. Some one new you meet this week will be very helpful from day one. Keep an eye on credit card charges.

(January 20 to February 18)

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trong Venus in second should bring several opportunities to make money with little efforts. Business will pick up suddenly and you may succeed in recovering most of your investments made recently. Bachelors will be introduced to some one already in close circle. You may successfully negotiate with a government agency.

(August 23 to September 22)

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ou will have to be firm if you want things to get done this week. Money wise you will do well from this week and onwards. Chances improves to get money out of a legal battle. You will gain friendship of an interesting person this week and benefit from it for rest of this year. A big check will also show up in mail.

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

(February 19 to March 20)

P

eople in business will spend heavily on advertising and reaching out new clients. You may have to pay a ticket or some kind of penalty to government this week. Some of you may sign a small but temporary contract to supplement income. You may visit an old friend this weekend. Try to stay away from stocks and speculations.

510-886-4370 www.parashar.com


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Classifieds

April 25, 2014

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PROPERTY FOR SALE IN MUMBAI

PROPERTY FOR SALE IN BANGALORE

Luxurious 5 Bed, 6 bath 3730 sq. ft duplex apartment with 1380 sq. ft private garden + servants room having attached bath in Ashok Towers, next to ITC Hotel in Parel. Apt is in premium 18 acre complex with club house, swimming pool, tennis, squash, badminton courts, football field and jogging track. Excellent maintenance.

Premium 3 Bed, 3 Bath apartment in Mantri Classic in Koramangala. Complex has swimming pool, landscaped gardens, squash and badminton courts, club house with gymnasium and steam room, table tennis and pool tables, indoor games, back up generator, water treatment plant and many other modern amenities.

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Philosophy

April 25, 2014

India Post 53

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis MARY FAIRCHILD

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he Jewish high priests and elders of the Sanhedrin (the supreme council, or court, in ancient Israel) accused Jesus of blasphemy for claiming that he was their Messiah. So they arrived at the decision to put him to death. But first they needed Rome to approve of their death sentence, so Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. Although Pilate found him innocent, unable to find or even contrive a reason to condemn Jesus, he feared the crowds and let them decide Jesus' fate. Stirred by the Jewish chief priests, the crowds declared, "Crucify him!" As was common, Jesus was publicly scourged, or beaten, with a leather-thonged whip before his crucifixion. Tiny pieces of iron and bone chips were tied to the ends of each leather thong, causing deep cuts and painful bruising. He was mocked, struck in the head with a staff and spit on. A prickly crown of thorns was placed on his head and he was stripped naked. Too weak to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry it for him. He was led to Golgotha where he would be crucified. As was the custom, before they nailed him to the cross, a mixture of vinegar, gall, and myrrh was offered. This drink was said to alleviate some of the

O

ne day, Lord Mahavira visited the town of Vanijya and gave a big sermon. After hearing the sermon, Anand, a millionaire, decided to accept the twelve vows of householder at the age of fifty years. Fourteen years passed by following those vows, and then he decided that he would rather retire from his household responsibilities. So, he called his children and transferred all the responsibilities of business, and household activities to them. He also, told them that no one should seek his advice in worldly affairs anymore. After that, he was spending the rest of his life in penance and meditation. He, thus, stopped worldly activities for rest of his life. After some time, on the account of his pure mental condition and performing of austerities, he attained Avadhijnan (Limited Divine Knowledge). It so happened that Lord Mahavira, and his disciples were in town and at this time Gautamswami was collecting alms (food), going from one house to other. He overheard people talking about Anand's poor health, and he had attained the special knowledge, so Gautam Swami decided to visit Anand. When Gautamswami arrived to Anand, he

suffering, but Jesus refused to drink it. Stake-like nails were driven through his wrists and ankles, fastening him to the cross where he was crucified between two convicted criminals. The inscription above his head tauntingly read, "The King of the Jews." On the cross Jesus hung for his final agonizing breaths, a period that lasted about six hours. During that time, soldiers cast lots

earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life." It was typical at crucifixions for Roman soldiers to show mercy by breaking the criminal's legs, thus causing death to come more quickly. But this night only the thieves had their legs broken, for when the soldiers came to Jesus, they found him already dead.

• Although both Roman and Jewish leaders could be implicated in the sentencing and death of Jesus, he himself said of his life, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10:18 NIV). • The curtain or veil of the Temple separated the Holy of Ho-

Jesus Christ was crucified for claiming he was the messiah Although Pilate found him innocent, unable to find or even contrive a reason to condemn Jesus, he feared the crowds and let them decide Jesus' fate. Stirred by the Jewish chief priests, the crowds declared, "Crucify him!" for Jesus' clothing, while people passed by shouting insults and scoffing. From the cross, Jesus spoke to his mother Mary and the disciple John. He also cried out to his father, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" At that point, darkness covered the land. A little later, as Jesus gave up his spirit, an earthquake shook the ground, ripping the Temple veil in two from top to bottom. Matthew's Gospel records, "The

Instead, they pierced his side. Before sunset, Jesus was taken down by Joseph of Arimathea and laid in a tomb according to Jewish tradition. Points of Interest • Christian theology teaches that the death of Jesus Christ provided the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, thus making the crucifix, or cross, one of the defining symbols of Christianity.

lies (where the presence of God dwelled) from the rest of the Temple. Only the high priest could enter there once a year, with the sacrificial offering for the sins of all the people. When Christ died and the curtain was torn from top to bottom, this symbolized the destruction of the barrier between God and man. Good Friday was observed on April 18. Excerpted from http:// christianity.about.com

offered his salutation laying in the bed, and told Gautamswami what he had attained and he could see up to the 12th Devaloka. Gautamswami told Anand that such knowledge was not possible for the householder. Thus, he told Anand if he should regret (do prayshchit) for telling a lie. Anand was puzzled because he was telling the truth. He did not want to disobey his

get the clarification. After reaching Lord Mahavira, Gautam asked him about his conversation with Anand. Lord Mahavira said, "Gautam, Anand was right. He had attained that much of Avadhijnan. How come a knowledgeable person like you made such a mistake. Therefore, if at all, it is you who should ask for forgiveness." Gautam realized his mistake and

This story tells us how humble shravak should be in correcting the mistakes of their teachers. It also, shows how simple, humble and a true follower of Lord Mahavir, Gautamswami was, that when Lord Mahavir pointed out his mistake, he went to Anand without any arguments, or thinking that he being the first disciple of Lord Mahavir why should he ask for forgiveness.

A teacher is not too big to admit his mistake Gautam realized his mistake and instead of finishing his meal, he went to Anand and apologized for his mistake and requested for forgiveness. Anand was very happy that Lord Mahavira took the side of truth spiritual teacher, but at the same time, he was thinking it would not be fair to repent for telling the truth. So, he politely, with respect, asked Gautamswami, "Guruji, is it necessary to repent even when someone is telling the truth?" Gautam said, "No." Gautam still could not believe Anand. So, he went back to the Lord Mahavir to

instead of finishing his meal, he went to Anand and apologized for his mistake and requested for forgiveness. Anand was very happy that Lord Mahavira took the side of truth, and not that of his first disciple, Gautamswami. He was also, happy that even a monk like Gautamswami, who had a very high accomplishment,

Lord Mahavira

It also, shows how great was the teacher, Lord Mahavir that even though it was the mistake of his first disciple, he did not cover it up, but on the contrary, he took the side of truth, and explained to Gautamswami his mistake. Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated on April 13. Excerpted from www.umich.edu

The unexamined life is not worth living. -Socrates

Do one thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt

I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched. -Edgar Allan Poe

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. -Maya Angelou

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. -Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. -Saul Bellow

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. -Walt Disney Company, Mulan

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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India Post

April 25, 2014

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India's No First Use: Preventing deterrence breakdown MANPREET SETHI

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everal recent writings, in cluding in the context of a possible revision of the Indian nuclear doctrine as mentioned in the BJP manifesto, have mentioned the need for a reconsideration of the no first use (NFU) principle. Many argue that India's 'retaliation only' strategy may no longer be an effective deterrent in the wake of the recent developments in nuclear capabilities of its adversaries. The allegations against the NFU are that it is a pacifist, idealist, Gandhian strategy that has no role to play in the modern context. Is this really true? Is a first use nuclear doctrine more credible and better at deterrence than NFU? Would the adoption of first use doctrine by India deter Pakistan more and better? Militaries like to function according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) - whether in peace or war. This inclines them towards offensive doctrines where they can stay with a pre-deliberated course of action while denying the adversary the advantage of playing out his moves. With conventional

Therefore, despite an offensive nuclear strategy, neither can victory be assured, nor the extent of damage (owing to the very nature of the weapon) be considered acceptable. Is it then useful, or even credible, to threaten first use of nuclear weapons? In fact, even though conventional wisdom has us believe that first use is more liberating than a counter-strike strategy, serious thought to the actual execution of first use reveals the complexities involved in doing so. After all, the purpose of first use should be to deter by communicating that such use would substantially improve the situation of the user, making him emerge from the crisis looking better after use. This can only happen if there is no riposte to his action because if there is, then he can hardly 'look better' after suffering nuclear damage. Therefore, the essential question that the first user has to ask and answer is whether in a state of mutual vulnerability, the initiator can ever be in a better position?

Kudankulam Nuclear Plant in Tamil Nadu

weapons, this may be a prudent approach, since the military can concentrate on the first phase of offense, thereby increasing its chance of victory. But the equation gets skewed with the entry of nuclear weapons. In a situation where both sides have secure second strike nuclear capabilities, a first use of nuclear weapons, even in the form of a splendid first strike, cannot rule out the possibility of nuclear retaliation. Hence, the calculation of the first user cannot be limited to the damage it causes, but must also factor in the damage it will suffer from the response.

An NFU strategy, on the other hand, concedes the onus of escalation to the adversary and surprisingly, becomes more liberating. Firstly, the military is not straining the nuclear leash on hair trigger alert that can easily fall prey to misadventure. Neither is there a need to perfect the logistics of first use, which is not easy considering that it requires coordinating a nuclear attack with speed and surprise to hit the adversary's forces before they can be launched or dispersed. Secondly, the political leadership is freed from the psychologi-

cal pressure of having to decide when, at what stage of war, to use the weapon - a decision that is sure to weigh on him/her personally for the damage caused, opprobrium earned, and retaliation invited and suffered. First use postures based on projection of nuclear war-fighting require large arsenals of first strike weapons (such as accurate missiles with multiple independently re-targetable vehicles), nuclear superiority to carry out counterforce attacks, elaborate and delegated command and control structures to handle trigger readiness and coordinate simultaneous nuclear attacks from dispersed forces. None of this is easy. It is, rather, dangerous; raising the possibility of an accidental nuclear war based on a miscalculation, and also lowering the threshold of nuclear war in a crisis situation. If Pakistan is going down this route, it is raising dangers for itself too. The answer to this from India does not have to be adoption of first use, but to enhance the credibility of its NFU, through better communication of survivability measures that ensure retaliation. It will be the threat of punishment that far outweighs any advantages that Pakistan reaps from its first use that will stay its hand on the trigger. Meanwhile, by continuing with a stabilizing posture of NFU, India is only helping itself since such a strategy alleviates the adversary's insecurity that may tempt him towards a preemptive strike. By taking the 'use or lose' pressure off the adversary, India is helping its own cause of preventing deterrence breakdown. By letting the adversary make the difficult decision, while communicating punitive nuclear retaliation, India has wisely steered away from nuclear brinkmanship. And, by establishing the nuclear weapon as an instrument of punishment, it has encouraged the possibility of 'no use' instead of 'sure use' of the nuclear weapon. The writer is ICSSR Senior Fellow affiliated with the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS). Courtesy IPCS

India Post

A

Modi bashing

dmitted that India is a big country, distances are huge and terrains are difficult, still a five-week general election seems a bit too much stretched. With the availability of latest technology which can surmount these problems, the election could have been finished in say a week or 10 days. India is not Afghanistan where many things had to be done manually. In the large gap between elections there is danger of people losing enthusiasm or changing their mind based on the fresh reports and developments. The language being used by candidates in this election has not been very civil. The result is that a candidate like Giriraj Singh in Bihar claiming that those opposing Modi will have to go to Pakistan queers the pitch for BJP candidates in other parts of the country also. And with the BJP taking no action against such a candidate, it raises fears about its conduct after the elections. With increasing certainty of Modi taking over as prime minister of the country after elections, the amount of scare mongering about Modi has also increased in the media. All negative stories about him culled from Gujarat and elsewhere have been shoved into limelight. Apart from the extreme Modi fanatics, the saner supporters are not coming forward to be counted. If the BJP is not trusted by Muslims, they are now convinced that the Congress has let them down. In fact it has made use of them for electoral purposes and forgotten about them after elections. For instance, MJ Akbar, the well known journalist holds the view that the Congress has been bad for Muslims but he won't say so in public. What he privately told Shekhar Gupta of Indian Express has been detailed by him in a recent column titled "Secularism is Dead." According to him, under "Congress/secular" view so far, the Indian Muslim had to conform to one of three stereotypes: "the decadent, decrepit feudal with sherwani fraying at the collar, as portrayed in the 1960s' 'Muslim socials' like Mere Mehboob, a riot victim like the crying Gujarati with folded hands in that infamous 2002 portrait, or a petty criminal in the image of Haji Mastan, even if sometimes with a sacrificing heart of gold." He concludes that mainstream, liberal politics in India has deliberately failed to treat the Muslim as a mainstream Indian. Will Modi be different? He has promised that his project of development is not based on one community or pitting one community against the other. A Modi aide who knows his mind, asks, what have the Muslims got from all the secular parties they have supported for the last more than 60 years? "Your community remains where it was more or less for the past four to five decades. All you have got for believing them are empty promises that are not kept, a meaningless certificate of secularism, and a constant perceived threat that only they can protect you from the BJP/Sangh Parivar etc who are out to finish you off, that Modi is a Maut ka Saudagar, sowing zehar ki kheti and so on and so forth." The people of India have trusted the Congress for so long although it keeps betraying them. Modi is right in asking for a chance to prove that all the scare-mongering about him is a Congress/secular propaganda which has thrived so far in injecting fear in the electorate. Here is a chance to vote in favor of development for all Indians irrespective of their caste or religion. There are enough safeguards in the Indian constitution and the media is strong and vibrant to prevent any wrongdoing. The prolonged electoral suspense is putting a stop to all governance and is not doing any good to the country. Even day-to day business like repairing roads has come to a standstill on the ground that decisions can be taken only by a new government.


April 25, 2014

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