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CBI to appeal against Sajjan Kumar acquittal Details on page 5

Banks, LIC caught moneylaundering Details on page 12

India set to scale up ties with Iran

VOL 18, No. 974

May 17, 2013

50¢

Periodical Postage

INDIA, CHINA END BORDER FACE-OFF

BEIJING/NEW DELHI: A day after India and China ended their three-week long face-off in Ladakh, the Indian government has said there was no "deal" with China, which also confirmed that the "stand off" has been "terminated." Dismissing speculation of any "deal" while resolving the situation, government sources said the two sides have only agreed to sit and talk about the peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while restoring to the status quo in the sector.

Meanwhile, China stopped short of acknowledging that its troops, which had intruded 19 kms into Indian territory, were going back to position prior to April 15 but said the "stand off incident" has been resolved through "fruitful consultations". In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying said in a statement, "China and India have reached an agreement on resolving the incident in the western section of the border. Details on page 5

Details on page 14

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi

Mumbai doc gets US award for tobacco control Details on page 32

Dinesh Gandhi launches finance firm Details on page 22

FIA hosts kick off event for India Day celebration Details on page 21

‘Delhi most creative state in India’

Anti-immigration party makes big gains in UK

Details on page 12 Details on page 44

Legally working Indians in Saudi to be regularized

China plans 5-year visas to attract talent

Details on page 6 Details on page 47

The best Booker book is now a movie Details on page 30

EXTENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM: Ro Khanna (center) has full support of the community in his 2014 contest for the Congress from AD 25. Here he is flanked by Rahul Roy and Dr Romesh Japra at an event in Fremont to endorse his candidature.

Time for us to change Washington: Ro

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 28-29 Classifieds ------------------------- 50 Community Post -------------- 16-27 Date Book -------------------------- 48

INDIA POST SURVEY

VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Should India bolster conventional defense on China border? Last week’s result

Can CBI be granted autonomy? YES 37%

NO 63%

FREMONT, CA: Ro Khanna, a Silicon Valley Democrat will run for Congress in 2014 against longtime incumbent Rep. Mike Honda. Rahul Roy, Chief Technology Officer of American Reprographics Corporation (ARC) and Chief Executive officer of MirrorPlus Technologies, the software development arm of ARC, hosted a gala dinner on May 3 at his Fremont residence. The

event was attended by eminent professionals from all facets of life to endorse Ro Khanna for the Congress run in 2014. Ro's commitment to service is rooted in the belief that the American Dream that inspired his family should continue to inspire future generations, says Rahul Roy, host of the event. He says Silicon Valley is full of innovation and it needs effective representation in Congress and Ro would do a fitting job.

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Details on page 16

Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 32-35 Horoscope ------------------------- 52 Immigration Post ------------- 44-47 Life Style ----------------------- 30-31 Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 36-37 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-14 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 39-43


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canning through some Indian newspapers the other day I did a double take when I saw this PTI Photo of two "intruding Chinese troops" at Daulat Beg Oldi sector of Ladakh holding a red banner with "YOU'VE CROSSED THE BORDER, PLEASE GO BACK" written on it. Really? I thought it was the Chinese who crossed the border into India? Or maybe this is what is called a matter of perception - like history, it depends on who's looking, and which side you are looking from, right? For many of India's Independence generation, China is viewed only from the jingoistic veneer of Jawaharlal Nehru's tears that were purportedly shed upon listening to Lata Mangeshkar's 'Ae mere watan ke logon'… not many of us remember much of the Indo-China war beyond that. Of course border talks have been on between the two countries over the years and there was also the renewed Chinese claim to Arunachal Pradesh. It's no secret that countries get around to fingering their neighbors whenever they desperately need to divert their people's attention from unmanageable domestic issues. Although India is being written off by international investors as a basket case, the Chinese right now are having bigger problems with a bubble economy that is threatening to burst. And there's no better boost for a flailing industry than the possibility of a war. Yeah, it's hard not to learn such lessons from America. Anyway, without digressing, I think, China definitely has a problem it's in denial about, and wants to divert its mind by pushing India into a diplomatic tight corner. On the other hand, maybe it's India that needs to hold a mirror to its corrupt face. All those corruption scandals are turning India into a laughing stock. Do its politicians realize that while they are busy stuffing their coffers with ill-gotten monies, the country's neighbors could be planning a strike? China is no Pakistan and I would expect India to be more wary in dealing with it because as a diplomat said, bilateral relations between the Asian giants remain very fragile, very easy to be damaged, and very difficult to repair.

Romesh K Japra rkjapra@indiapost.com

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Twitter love Uday Chopra has fuelled rumors of his link up with Nargis Fakhri by praising the 'Rockstar' actress on Twitter

Cover Story: Face-off ends India and China ended their three-week long face-off in Ladakh with both sides confirming withdrawal

Community: Endorsing Ro Silicon Valley changed world; now time for us to change Washington, says Ro Khanna, candidate for Congress

Immigration: Drubbing for Tories David Cameron's Conservatives took a drubbing in local elections amid a surge of support for an anti-immigration party

Life Style: Midnight's Children The novel which launched the career of Salman Rushdie in 1981 has now been converted into a movie

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Travel: Mussoorie Visitors glide up and down the Mussoorie Mall, gulp the fresh mountain air and gaze at the assortment of goods in the shops

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May 17, 2013

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India, China end border face-off BEIJING/NEW DELHI: A day after India and China ended their three-week long face-off in Ladakh, the Indian government has said there was no "deal" with China, which also confirmed that the "stand off" has been "termi-

Chunying said in a statement, "China and India have reached an agreement on resolving the incident in the western section of the border. "The frontier forces of the two countries have terminated the

An earlier aerial view of Chinese tents in Indian territory

nated." Dismissing speculation of any "deal" while resolving the situation, government sources said the two sides have only agreed to sit and talk about the peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while restoring to the status quo in the sector. Meanwhile, China stopped short of acknowledging that its troops, which had intruded 19 kms into Indian territory, were going back to position prior to April 15 but said the "stand off incident" has been resolved through "fruitful consultations". In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswomen Hua

standoff at the Tiannan River Valley area". She added, "Since troops from the two sides began facing off in the western section of the ChinaIndia border last month, both sides have moved forward and adopted a constructive and cooperative attitude and calmed the tensions through border-related mechanisms, diplomatic channels and border defense meetings". In New Delhi, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said India and China have agreed to restore status quo along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh as it existed prior to April 15. Announcing this, he also said

flag meetings have been held to work out modalities and to confirm the arrangements. The spokesperson also officially announced the two-day visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China. Khurshid and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi "will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of concern to both sides. They will also discuss the proposed visit to India of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang," he said. The sources also dismissed reports that the recent Chinese incursion was a "military affair" and said it was probably done to bring to table Beijing's concerns over India's efforts to build up its defense capabilities along the Ladakh and Arunachal borders. When asked whether after the incursion, India will slow down or reverse its moves to build up its defense capabilities, they said, government will do what it needs to do. In her first comments after the decision of the two countries to withdraw troops from the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area after a 20day stand off, Hua said, "As far as I know relevant consultations have been fruitful". "We believe that maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas serve the common interests of the two sides. China is ready to join hands with the Indian side to seek a mutually acceptable and fair solution to the border question at an

CBI to appeal against Sajjan Kumar's acquittal NEW DELHI: CBI will challenge before Delhi High Court the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by a city court as it has found "strong grounds" which could form basis of its petition. CBI sources said that the agency is likely to wait till the court pronounces its verdict on the quantum of sentence for those found guilty in the case. District and Sessions Judge J R Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi's cantonment area. Five others - Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councilor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - were convicted for their involve-

ment in the riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi who was refused a Congress ticket for 2009 Lok

legal department has studied the judgment and highlighted several strong grounds on the basis of which it is likely to approach the Delhi High Court challenging the acquittal of Kumar. His acquittal has led to protests by Sikh outfits

District and Sessions Judge J R Aryan had on April 30 acquitted Kumar in the 29-year-old case in which he was accused of murder and of instigating a riotous mob that killed five Sikhs in Delhi's cantonment area Sabha elections, still faces trial in another 1984 rioting case. In a third case, the Delhi Police have filed a closure report, saying there was no evidence against Kumar to implicate him. CBI sources said the agency's

in the national capital and in parts of Punjab. They said CBI would approach the Law Ministry seeking its approval for initiation of the process of appeal in the high court to challenge the verdict. -PTI

early date", she said. Pressed for more details on the settlement, including dismantling of tents erected by the PLA, Hua said, "I need to follow closely the latest information". "As I said before the two sides bear in mind the larger interests of bilateral relations," she said. The two sides have taken a constructive and cooperative attitude and have maintained communication and consultation and made positive progress, Hua said. "I will share with you relevant information if I get the latest information," she said. Asked whether the Chinese troops moved back from their po-

you are very concerned about this and I must follow the information to tell you the correct information", Hua said. A platoon of Chinese troops estimated at about 50 and accompanied by vehicles and dogs had intruded 19 km inside the Indian territory across LAC in Daulat Beg Oldi sector on April 15 and set up five tents. The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 meters. The troops of the two sides had held four flag meetings. However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings, which went hand-in-hand with

The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 meters. The troops of the two sides had held four flag meetings. However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings. Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing sition, when did that happen and how far they withdrew, she replied, "I have said the two sides have been constructive and cooperative and have been maintaining communications through relevant mechanism in the border regions". "Relevant consultations have made positive progress. I know

high-level diplomatic efforts to break the impasse. An agreement was reached for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, the sources said. Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, they said. PTI

Bhullar's wife moves SC for stay on execution NEW DELHI: 1993 Delhi blast cluding then Youth Congress convict Devinderpal Singh president M S Bitta. Bhullar's wife has approached the The apex court had on March Supreme Court seeking stay on 26, 2002 dismissed Bhullar's apexecution of his death sentence peal against the death sentence till her review plea against its verdict is Khalistan Liberation Force decided. She submitted in her (KLF) terrorist Bhullar was plea that she has filed a review petition against convicted and awarded the Supreme Court ver- death penalty for triggering dict of April 12 in which a bomb blast here in the court had rejected her petition to commute September 1993 his death sentence to life imprisonment on ground of awarded by a trial court in August delay on the part of the govern- 2001 and endorsed by the Delhi ment in deciding his mercy plea. High Court in 2002. Khalistan Liberation Force He had filed a review petition (KLF) terrorist Bhullar was con- which was also dismissed on Devicted and awarded death penalty cember 17, 2002. Bhullar had then for triggering a bomb blast here in moved a curative petition which September 1993, killing nine too had been rejected by the apex people and injuring 25 others, in- court on March 12, 2003. -PTI


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South Africa suspends 5 over 'Indian wedding' row JOHANNESBURG: Five South African officials, including police and military commanders, have been suspended after a chartered plane carrying about 200 guests

tions - during the wedding guests' transfer from the military base to Sun City. Authorities were also investigating the alleged use of marked police vehicles in the inci-

The aircraft that carried the wedding party prepares to take-off from the Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria, South Africa

from India to a lavish family wedding was allowed to land at a South African air force base, the government said here. The scandal, in which the passengers allegedly bypassed customs procedures on their way to an entertainment complex, has angered many South Africans who see the episode as a case of cronyism linking big business and the highest levels of government in a country where corruption is a growing problem. The government sought to stem public outrage over the incident, launching an investigation into how the Airbus A330 was given permission to land at the Waterkloof Air Force Base and ordering it to fly to a civilian international airport in Johannesburg. The wedding festivities wrapped up on May 3. The guests attended the wedding of Vega Gupta, whose Indian immigrant family has powerful business interests in South Africa, and groom Aakash Jahajgarhia in an extravaganza spanning several days at Sun City, a leisure centre northwest of Johannesburg. Some current and former South African officials also attended. Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said the suspended officials included two Brigadier Generals at the air force base and the head of state protocol, Bruce Koloane. Mr. Radebe added: "Our particular concern is that the aircraft was carrying international passengers who do not fit the category of government officials or VIPs on official duty" According to authorities, two police officers and a reservist were also arrested for working for a private security company that provided escort vehicles - black BMWs equipped with illegal emergency lights and false registra-

dent, Mr. Radebe said. The Democratic Alliance, an opposition political party, said in a statement that Parliament should open an investigation and alleged that the government's reaction was as an attempt to protect President Jacob Zuma and

SABC, South Africa's state broadcaster, quoted Virendra Gupta, India's high commissioner, as saying permission for the plane to land at the base had been requested because of security concerns for VIPs and "senior political figures from India" on the flight. The South African government, however, said it did not have a record of notification from the Indian High Commission. Instead, it said, India's Defense AttachĂŠ in South Africa requested clearance from the air force, which consulted the office of state protocol without informing the military chief. Photographs of the wedding ceremony showed the couple as they floated on a platform across a pool at the Palace of the Lost City, one of Sun City's deluxe locations. The bride was also photographed joining the groom after stepping out of a sculpture of a giant lotus flower. While many South African

SABC, South Africa's state broadcaster, quoted Virendra Gupta, India's high commissioner, as saying permission for the plane to land at the base had been requested because of security concerns for VIPs and "senior political figures from India" on the flight Cabinet Ministers from the "political fallout" of the scandal by targeting lower-ranking officials. South African media reports said a son and a nephew of Mr. Zuma were among the guests.

newspapers focused on the scandal, the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper carried a frontpage headline on the event: "A union of elegance and tradition."AP

Legally working Indians in Saudi to be regularized DUBAI: Indian workers who The Joint Group also dishave traveled to Saudi Arabia le- cussed re-employment of those gally will be allowed to regularize overstaying Indian workers in their visa status, get new jobs or Saudi by availing the facilities ofto return home if they register fered by the Ministry of Labor involuntarily with the Saudi authori- cluding services of the newly set ties during the three months grace up mega-recruiting companies, period announced by the King- the statement said. dom, according to officials. It asked all Indians affected by This was among the issues dis- the Nitaqat program and those cussed at the Joint Group meet- overstaying in Saudi Arabia to ing held this week at the Saudi register their names at the Labor Ministry of Labor. The group will Ministry website continue their discussions next week, said a statement issued from The Joint Group also disthe Indian embassy in cussed re-employment of Riyadh. The Joint Group was those overstaying Indian set up during the dis- workers in Saudi by availing cussions between Saudi Labor Minister the facilities offered by the Adel Fakeih and Indian Ministry of Labor including delegation led by Overseas Affairs Minister services of the newly set up Vayalar Ravi in Jeddah mega-recruiting companies on April 28. The Group is mandated to discuss all issues per- www.redyellow.com.sa. taining to the welfare of the InSaudi's Ministry of Labor will dian community in Saudi Arabia take measures aimed at helping the including immediate issues per- expatriate workers to regularize taining to implementation of their stay in the kingdom or to reNitaqat program and overstaying turn to their countries. Indian workers. Those workers volunteering to The 'Nitaqat' law makes it man- utilize the three months grace pedatory for local firms to hire one riod and have no legal issues Saudi national for every 10 migrant pending against them will not be workers. There has been wide- blacklisted and would be allowed spread perception that the new to return to Saudi Arabia with appolicy will lead to denial of job propriate visas. opportunities for a large number They also need not go through of Indians. deportation centers. Over two million Indians are The Ministry of Labor incurrently working in Saudi Arabia. formed that those who have legal The Saudi government was imple- cases against them would need to menting the Nitaqat law to cut un- settle such cases before their reemployment in the country. turn to India. -PTI

Sikh draws flak for shaving head to protest money politics SINGAPORE: Malaysian Sikhs are angry with a local Sikh politician who has shaved his head bald at a Chinese temple in the Datuk Keramat city to protest against money politics in the general election in Malaysia. Jagdeep Singh Deo, a candidate for the Datuk Keramat state seat in northern peninsular Malaysia, joined other Chinese candidates campaigning in the general election to protest by having their heads shaved bald. But the Sikhs in the country have reacted to the act of Jagdeep, son of prominent Ma-

laysian lawyer and opposition leader Karpal Singh. The Gurdwara Sahib Kangar president Pritpal Singh has described Jagdeep's act as an insult to Sikh religion, the basic tenet of which is never to shave their hair. Pritpal said Jagdeep had forgotten the fundamentals of his own

religion in his bid to uphold his cause against money politics. Jagdeep's facebook shows he and his family were not Amritdharis and he has cut his hair and was not wearing a turban. But this time he has shaved bald, according to a report in the New Straits Times. "Cutting your hair or going

Cutting your hair or going bald without any medical reason is unacceptable. It is worse coming from a public figure like him," the New Straits Times quoted Pritpal as saying

bald without any medical reason is unacceptable. It is worse coming from a public figure like him," the New Straits Times quoted Pritpal as saying. "There are many other ways of showing one's displeasure. As a Sikh, it is his communal duty to bear in mind the sensitivity of all Sikhs and their religion," Pritpal said. Lawyer Ranjit Singh Dhillon has also criticised Jagdeep for forsaking his religion for cheap political stunts. "For a Sikh to go bald in public is an insult to the religion and the community," he said.-PTI


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5 Indian Americans win Soros fellowships

Amar Bakshi India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Five Indian Americans and one Bangladeshi are among the 30 winners of the 2013 national competition for Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Selected from more than 1,050 applicants, each Fellow will receive tuition and stipend assistance of up to $90,000 in support of graduate education in the US. Announcing the result, the Soros Fellowships website said, "What is most striking about the resulting community of New Americans is its diversity." The five Indian Americans are Amar Bakshi, Nishant Batsha, Sejal Hathi, Amrapali Maitra and Vivek Viswanathan. Ryaan Ahmed is from Bangladesh. The Fellows are selected on the basis of individual merit and promise who seem best-positioned to make a distinctive contribution to some aspect of American life. The son of Indian immigrants, Bakshi was raised in Washington, D.C. His visits as a teenager led him to found a nonprofit that en-

Nishant Batsha

Choosing to fight the charges rather than pay a bribe, however, he won his freedom. After graduation, Bakshi edited a web site at the Washington Post, and then traveled to a dozen countries for a series of texts and videos documenting "How the World Sees America." Bakshi has finished course work for an MA in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies and is now pursuing a JD at Yale Law School. Batsha was born in California to parents who immigrated to the United States from Bihar in the late 1970s. As an undergraduate at Columbia, Batsha initially planned to follow a pre-med curriculum. A history course, however, unexpectedly generated a passion for the study of the past. He served on the editorial board of the Columbia Undergraduate Journal of History, and founded and edited the Columbia Undergraduate Journal of South Asian Studies. He graduated from

The son of Indian immigrants, Bakshi was raised in Washington, D.C. His visits as a teenager led him to found a nonprofit that enriches education in under-resourced schools by linking them to local artisans At Harvard, Bakshi earned a bachelor's degree in social studies and visual & environmental studies, magna cum laude. riches education in underresourced schools by linking them to local artisans. At Harvard, Bakshi earned a bachelor's degree in social studies and visual & environmental studies, magna cum laude. A Truman Scholar, he conducted interviews on the local media in Zimbabwe for his honor's thesis. As he was leaving the country, he was jailed on charges of stealing government secrets.

Columbia magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in history and in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies. As his commitment to history grew, he was also being drawn to creative writing. His first non-fiction piece, "Existential Googling," was listed in the "best tech writing of 2011" and his first short piece of fiction was published in 2013. He is now exploring lives and experiences in the South

Sejal Hathi

Batsha was born in California to parents who immigrated to the United States from Bihar in the late 1970s. As an undergraduate at Columbia, Batsha initially planned to follow a pre-med curriculum. A history course, however, unexpectedly generated a passion for the study of the past Asian Diaspora, both as a writer working on his first novel and as a research scholar pursuing a Ph.D. in history at Columbia. Hathi grew up in the Bay Area as the child of parents of Indian origin from Uganda and Tanzania. In coping with illness as a youth she found resonance in the needs of other girls facing gender inequality issues. The resulting insights led her, at age 15, to start a nonprofit, Girls Helping Girls. Subsequently she and a colleague founded "girltank." These organizations train and mobilize young women to create sustainable social change. The response has been astonishing: the two organizations have grown into a global movement that now reaches more than 30,000 young women in more than 100 countries. Hathi attends Yale University as a Global Health Fellow. A U.S. Presidential Scholar and a Truman Scholar, she will graduate in spring 2013 with a BS in molecular biology. She plans to earn her MD at Stanford Medical School and then to work at the nexus of medical entrepreneurship, international women's health, and so-

Amrapali Maitra

Vivek Viswanathan

cial innovation. Born in India, Maitra spent part of her childhood in New Zealand before the family settled in Texas when she was ten. The narrative of her grandfather's migration during the Partition of South Asia inspired her to pursue studies of history and literature. At Harvard, Maitra won the Oliver Dabney Prize for her junior essay on the literature that emerged during Sri Lanka's civil war. A summer volunteering as an HIV/AIDS educator in Tanzania made her aware of how strongly stigma, domestic violence and other social variables affect the experience of illness. Returning to Harvard, she led a student-run peer counseling group and wrote her senior thesis on representations of madness in Indian literature, for which she was awarded highest honors. An accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, she also directed Harvard's South Asian Dance Company. As a medical student at Stanford, Maitra served as a

celled as a writer and historian. He served as managing editor of the Harvard Political Review and was awarded highest honors by the history department for his thesis. Following graduation from Harvard, Viswanathan earned a master's degree (MPhil) in historical studies as a Henry Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Viswanathan is also an accomplished endurance athlete. He recently finished an Ironman triathlon - a 2.4-mile swim, 112mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in less than 14 hours. Viswanathan is pursuing joint JD and MBA degrees at Stanford. He plans a career as a policymaker and hopes to serve as well as an elected public official. Ahmed was born in the UK to physicians from Bangladesh. Throughout high school he was drawn to music: he studied classical guitar, played in rock and jazz bands, and sang in choirs. When Ahmed went on to Harvard he intended to pursue a degree in neurobiology and then a career in medicine. As a freshman, however, he discovered the

Born in India, Maitra spent part of her childhood in New Zealand before the family settled in Texas when she was ten. The narrative of her grandfather's migration during the Partition of South Asia inspired her to pursue studies of history and literature. At Harvard, Maitra won the Oliver Dabney Prize for her essay on the Sri Lanka's civil war manager of a student-run free clinic and conducted research on attitudes toward domestic violence in Bangladesh. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology as well as an MD. Viswanathan was born in Brooklyn to parents of Indian descent. His parents supported his childhood passion for history through family visits to 12 presidential libraries. Admitted to Harvard, he ex-

lute and was soon playing in an opera pit and a baroque orchestra. At Harvard, he directed the Harvard Early Music Society, a baroque opera company, and the Harvard Chamber Singers, a choir for Renaissance music. Ahmed will continue his studies with Paul O'Dette as part of his study for an MM degree in early music at the Eastman School of Music.


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Changes in report made on suggestions of Law Minister: CBI NEW DELHI: The CBI Director has admitted before the Supreme Court that certain changes were made in the Coalgate draft report on suggestions given by Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Attorney General G E Vanahvati and the officials of PMO and Coal Ministry. In its nine-page affidavit, CBI chief Ranjit Sinha gave details of the meetings which took place between the officials of the probe agency, the Law Minister, AG, then Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry. The submission made by Sinha contradicts the stand taken by the Law Minister and AG, who had refuted the allegation that they had suggested changes in the draft report. The affidavit said the changes made in the draft report on the suggestion of the Law Minister and Vanahvati have "neither altered the report nor shifted the focus of inquiries in any manner". Sinha also said that "no names of suspects or accused were removed from the status report and also that no suspect or accused was let off in the process." "Majority of these changes were done by my officers in order to refine the report either on their own or in consultation with the ASG (Raval) and his assisting advocate or by Law Minister. Besides, a few changes were also done on the suggestion of AG and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry," Sinha said. The Director, however, said, "It is difficult at this stage to attribute each change to a particular person with certainty." The CBI chief in his affidavit also referred to certain changes made in the final status report on the suggestion of the law minister, the AG, and the officials of PMO and coal ministry. "The tentative finding about non-existence of a system regarding allocation of specific weightage/ points was deleted at the instance of the officials of PMO and coal ministry. "The other tentative findings about nonpreparation of broadsheet or chart by the screening committee to the best of my recollection was deleted by the law minister," the affidavit said. The affidavit also says, "These changes made by the law minister, PMO and coal ministry officials were accepted by the CBI as they pertained to its tentative findings." It further says that "the deletion of a sentence about the scope of inquiry with respect to illegalities of allocation while the amendment to law was in process, was done by law minister." The CBI affidavit also names officials of PMO and Coal ministry, who had perused the draft report and on whose suggestions changes were made in it. Sinha said Shatrughan Singh and A K Bhalla, the joint secretaries in PMO and ministry of coal respectively were "in regular interaction" with his officers with regard to ongoing inquiry in the coal scam. "It is submitted that sharing of status report with the persons mentioned above and the consequent changes therein have neither altered the central theme of the report nor shifted the focus of the inquiry or investigation in any manner," the affidavit

CBI chief Ranjit Sinha

says. "The central theme of the status report had not changed post meetings. There were no deletions of any evidence against any suspect or accused nor were any let off," the affidavit said. Extending unconditional apology for any inadvertent omission or commission, Sinha said there is nothing in the CBI manual to guide whether status reports in an ongoing investigation in a sub-judice matter are to be shared with others. "The departmental circular and government instructions are also silent on

this point," Sinha said, while answering a specific question posed by the apex court on the last hearing as to on what basis the law minister and officials were entitled to go through the CBI status report. He also said there are no minutes of meetings which took place with law minister and officials of PMO and coal ministry and details of his affidavit "are based on best recollection of my memory and of my officers". The affidavit also said that there was no intention to suppress from the Supreme Court the fact that the draft report was shared with political executive and government officials. -PTI


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Indian, US delegates discuss bilateral trade HOUSTON: US Senator John Cornyn and Indian Consul General in Houston Harish Parvathaneni met here to discuss a host of bilateral issues, along with possibilities of mutual cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy. The two delegates held talks on issues related to economy, energy, trade and immigration between the two countries. "Today's global environment provides many opportunities for our nations to partner, and it is encouraging to see what the Indian-Americans in Texas are doing to foster strong community," said Cornyn, the co-chairman and a co-founder of the Senate India Caucus. Parvathaneni, in his statement, said with enhanced prospects for cooperation in the field of energy and in view of the US shale gas revolution, we will witness in the next few years LNG exports from

Consul General Harish Parvathaneni & Senator John Cornyn

US to India. "This will have a huge significance for Indian households and the industry. We look forward to

Senator Cornyn's support to realize the promising prospects in this regard for Indian and US companies," he said. -PTI

Imran's party raised funds in US; transmitted $7 lakh WASHINGTON: Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and a staunch critic of America, is raising funds in the US through an agent to promote democracy and eradicate terrorism in his country, improve ties between the two nations, among other objectives. As per the filings made with the US Department of Justice, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, USA (the registered agent) transmitted funds totally USD 775,000 (over seven crore Pakistani rupees) to the party in Pakistan for the purpose of "operating expenses" between October 31, 2012 to March 3,2013. In addition to the US, the funds are also being collected from Canada, mentions a latest filing by the PTI USA, LLC, the party's registered agent here. Among all the political leaders in Pakistan, the cricketer-turnedpolitician has been the most vocal critic of the US and its policies towards Islamabad. During his election campaign for the May 11 elections, Khan has been very vocal against the USled war on terror, especially the drone attacks inside Pakistan. According to the filings, PTI USA was appointed as a registered agent of Khan's party in late March this year, prior to which the party

had another agent here. The party had informed the Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration division on March 25 that it was appointing California-based Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf, USA, LLC as its Registered

As per a latest filing made by PTI, USA, LLC, it has not received any money from Khan's party and has volunteered to work for PTI without any financial compensation. The filing further mentioned that the agent "performed a mem-

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan

Agent in the US, in place of Texasbased Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf NA, LLC. Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) here, all the agents working for foreign entities need to register themselves with the Justice Department and make regular disclosures about their fund-raising and other activities.

bership campaign to promote and collect funds on behalf of the foreign principal (Khan's party) in an effort to improve US-Pakistan relations, promote democracy, improve judicial and economic justice, modernize the education system, eradicate terrorism, and provide humanitarian assistance in Pakistan." -PTI

US 'concerned' over patent norms, innovation climate in India WASHINGTON: Raising ques- report said. tions over innovation climate in The USTR was referring to the India, the US has said the recent April 1 verdict by the Supreme decision by India's Supreme Court Court that rejected Swiss drug to prohibit patent of Novartis' can- maker Novartis AG's plea for cer drug Glivec could "preclude patent protection for its cancer issuance of a patent" in the coun- drug Glivec. The apex court had try. ruled that there was no new inIn its '2013 Special 301 Report', vention and no new substance the United States Trade Repre- used in the drug prescribed for sentative (USTR) also said action by India like allowing of compulsory The USTR report further said licensing "establishes a India remains on the Priority troubling precedent" and "raised serious Watch List in 2013, as "it questions about the inmade limited progress in novation climate in India" improving its weak IPR legal The USTR report framework and enforcefurther said India remains on the Priority ment system" in 2012 Watch List in 2013, as "it made limited progress in improving its weak IPR treating blood, skin and other legal framework and enforcement types of cancer. system" in 2012. "...the decision appears to con"The United States is con- firm that India's law creates a specerned that the recent decision by cial, additional criterion for select India's Supreme Court with re- technologies, like pharmaceutispect to India's prohibition on cals, which could preclude issupatents for certain chemical forms ance of a patent even if the appliabsent for showing of "enhanced cant demonstrates that the invenefficacy" may have the effect of tion is new, involves an inventive limiting the patentability of poten- step, and is capable of industrial tially beneficial innovations," the application," the report added.-PTI

Gandhi's personal effects to be auctioned in UK LONDON: Mahatma Gandhi's portant letters. personal effects and documents, One of these, written in 1937 including his prayer beads, drink- settles a highly controversial dising cup, bed sheet and ivory- pute which was taking place within carved 'Three Wise Monkeys', will the Indian National Congress. go under the hammer in the UK There are also original porthis month. traits and photographs of Gandhi, Articles included in the sale are some of which have been personthose which belonged to the Father of the nation when he was re- The articles up for sale in covering from illness at Ludlow, include his personal Juhu in 1924. The articles up for prayer beads, shawl, sale in Ludlow, include made from linen thread he his personal prayer beads, shawl, made spun himself, bed sheet, from linen thread he personal bowl with fork spun himself, bed sheet, personal bowl with fork and spoon and spoon, personal drinking cup and even his per- ally signed by him. sonal ivory-carved 'Three Wise In addition to the items of Monkeys'. Gandhian interest, the sale also The sale takes place on May features a wealth of documents, 21, during the next Mullock's Auc- paintings and artifacts relating to tion of important historical docu- India and the Punjab. ments at Ludlow Racecourse in These include rare original the English Midlands. photographs of Maharajah Also in the sale is Gandhi's will Duleep Singh, one of which shows and power of attorney which he him with the young Edward VII. wrote in 1921, and a series of im- PTI


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Need to begin from where we left: Sharif on ties with India ISLAMABAD: Emphasizing on the need to begin from "where we left in 1999", exPakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif has promised never to allow the country's soil for anti-India activities and said he will expedite the 26/11 trial here and probe ISI's role in the Mumbai terror attacks if he returns to power. He stressed on the importance of resolving the Kashmir issue peacefully and suggested that back channel negotiations should be reactivated besides making the 1999 Kargil operations an "open secret". "We have to start from where we were interrupted in 1999. Vajpayee saab came across, we signed that historic Lahore accord. He had said very good things about Pakistan which are still fresh in my memory. I also reciprocated. I think those times must come back again," Sharif said in an interview to CNN IBN's Devil's Advocate. He added that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had told him, 'Nawaz saab why can't we declare 1999 as the year of

resolution of all problems between India and Pakistan'. "He has said very good thing. If we get a chance to rule this country, this will be our main priorities", Sharif said. On cross-border terrorism, the PML-N chief, who is widely expected to form the next government here, said, "We don't want our territory to be used for terrorist activities. These elements are deliberately spoiling the relationship". Asked about Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, he said, "Many of these organizations have already been banned. If I become prime minister I will make sure that Pakistani soil is never used for any

MQM USA march against Talibanization of Pak from Pakistan." Central Organizer for MQM USA Junaid CHICAGO: The Chicago Chapter of the Fahmi had called on Pakistani Americans Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), to "join their fellow Americans in condemnwhich translates into United National ing these dastardly acts of terrorism and Movement, organized a protest march at share the grief and sorrow of the nation. A the corner of Devon and Claremont av- news release expressed confidence that law enues from 3 pm to 7 pm on Saturday, May enforcement authorities will soon discover 4 to protest against the brutal killing of the identity of perpetrators of this wellMQM workers and ordinary citizens in Pa- planned act of terrorism and bring them to kistan by religious extremists, Taliban mem- justice with the full force of the law. MQM is the third largest political party bers, as well as criminal gangs. in Pakistan and second More generally, these largest in Sind province peace demonstrations, enjoying 85% of the elecwhich were also held in More generally, New York City and Wash- these peace demon- toral mandate from the citizens of urban Sindh. ington D.C., were to upstrations, which were MQM's vision under the hold and promote proleadership of Altaf gressive liberal values also held in New Hussain is to transform and call for free and fair York City and WashPakistan into an eduelections, as was evident cated and tolerant socifrom the banners in En- ington D.C., were to ety, where everyone reglish and Urdu and the uphold and promote gardless of their race, respeeches delivered by progressive liberal ligion, sect, and ethnicity community leaders. The can live freely. MQM has demonstrators appealed values and call for to the Pak community at free and fair elections always stood strong against any extremism large to stand firmly and the monster of against terrorism. In the last few days Tehrik-i-Taliban Pa- Taliban zipping into the mainstream socikistan (TTP) Pakistan had attacked two ety in Pakistan and the business hub of the MQM election offices, killing more than country, the city of Karachi, one of its twelve innocent workers and injuring more spokesmen here said. The Devon protestors were voluntary than 40 others. They had also claimed responsibly for these attacks through the workers for the overseas branch of MQM national media, warning citizens of Karachi Pakistan. Pakistan's mainstream liberal political not to take part in the election saying they "will target those political parties in Paki- parties including MQM, PPP and ANP are stan who are secular, moderate, liberal, and being kept from taking part in campaigning enlightened. Also they will eliminate MQM for the election on May 11. Asian Media USA

such design against India. We must not allow such speeches to be made against India by anybody including Hafeez Saab".

Nawaz Sharif

Replying to a query on terror convict David Headley's statement implicating ISI in the Mumbai attacks, he said, "If he has given such a statement that needs to be verified first...But how far these statements are true, we have to see. I think such issues to be investigated carefully including what happened in Kargil".-PTI

Will be Army chief's boss: Nawaz Sharif ISLAMABAD: Refusing to play second fiddle to the powerful military, former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he will be the Army chief's "boss" if voted back to power in the May 11 general elections. A combative Sharif, whose party PMLN is widely expected to form the next government here, hinted that the current army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would be replaced by the "senior most" when he retires in November. "All I know is when I was a Prime Minister, the policies were being formulated by federal government, by the civilian head of the state and then of course executed by the institutions," Sharif said in an interview to Karan Thapar on CNN IBN's Devil's Advocate. "I want that to continue and I'm very clear on that, that everybody must remain in their respective domain," he said. He was replying to a query if under his rule, the Army would continue to control Pakistan's relations with US, India besides security policies of the government. Asked if that means the Prime Minister will be Army chief's boss, he said, "He is. The Army is an attached department of the federal government and of course the Chief of Army staff works under the federal government and implements the policies of the federal government". -PTI


Tech News Himachal to hold Investor Meets and Road Shows SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government is planning investor meets and road shows in different parts of the country to attract investment to the state and three state-of-the-art industrial areas are being developed on 300 acres land in Solan, Una and Kangra districts. About 100 acres of land has been identified in each district and infrastructure facilities would be created soon for allotting industrial plots, an official spokesman said. The focus would be on food processing industry. The government would soon come out with 'Vision Document' and road map for promotion of the food processing industry. 'Food parks are also being envisaged, he said. A major incentive for setting industries in the state is abundant supply of electricity at cheap rates, peaceful law and order situation and industrial peace. The state government has set up State Level Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh wherein all clearances are accorded under one roof. The Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority has accorded approval to 38 industrial proposals with an investment of Rs 608.64 crore during past four months.-PTI

Delhi most creative state in India, says report NEW DELHI: In terms of use of modern technology, talented people and tolerance, Delhi is the most creative state in the country, says a study. According to the Creative Index Report 2013, Chandigarh, Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and Maharashtra round out the top nine. Haryana and Manipur are tied for the tenth position, it said. "Delhi takes the top spot as the most creative state in India with the greatest potential for success in today's creative economy," it said. The study explores the presence of the 3Ts - Technology, Talent and Tolerance in economic development within each state and Union Territory in India. Cont’d on page 14

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Russia keen to partner India in civil aircraft initiative NEW DELHI: Russia has evinced keen interest in partnering India in its ambitious initiative to design and develop a regional transport aircraft. United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Russian state-owned civil and military airplane manufacturer, has offered to set up joint development and manufacturing facilities in India, officials said. The offer was made during a recent visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Moscow for the Intergovernmental Commission meeting on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation. -PTI

Banks, LIC caught money-laundering; ministry orders probe NEW DELHI: Within hours of online portal Cobrapost alleged money laundering by financial institutions, the Finance Ministry has asked PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) banks and LIC to take immediate action against employees "appears to be advising" customers on ways of violating KYC (Know Your Customer) and other regulatory norms. "An inquiry must be initiated and completed expeditiously," Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru asked heads of several state-owned banks and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). Takru's communication has been sent to SBI and its associate banks, LIC, PNB, BoB, Canara Bank, BoI, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, Indian Overseas

Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, UCO Bank, United Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, Indian Bank, Corporation Bank, Union Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Syndicate Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce. In its expose earlier in the day, Cobrapost has named as many as

wide money laundering racket, blatantly violating laws of the land." They are alleged to have violated the 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) and 'Anti Money Laundering' Guideline. The Financial Services Secretary asked the CMDs to place un-

The banks, the ministry said, should also "initiate a detailed scrutiny of such officer's work and institute a special audit, if necessary, for this purpose". Takru has also asked the banks to divest the officials concerned of their current portfolio and advise them to proceed voluntarily on leave pending investigations 23 public and private sector banks and insurance companies for allegedly "running a nation-

der suspension with immediate effect officers and employees "who clearly appear to be advis-

ing potential customers along lines that would be an infringement of the legal process/could facilitate money laundering/ could defeat the KYC norms or the norms of due diligence prescribed by RBI and the law". The banks, the ministry said, should also "initiate a detailed scrutiny of such officer's work and institute a special audit, if necessary, for this purpose". Takru has also asked the banks to divest the officials concerned of their current portfolio and advise them to proceed voluntarily on leave pending investigations. Besides, the Finance Ministry has sought detailed reports from the financial institutions about names of erring employees, their designations and action taken against them. -PTI

OxiCash India's first independent wallet facility MUMBAI: OxiCash Wallet, a money transfer facility, has become the country's first independent/ non-bank mobile wallet facility. Launched by Oxigen Services on the IMPS (immediate payment service) platform of the National Payment Corporation, OxiCash is a real-time, round-the-clock facility that can be used even by a person without a bank account. Launching the service, Reserve Bank chief general manager at the payments and settlement division, Vinay Chug said, for the first time, the country has seen electronic payments overtaking cheque payments in the just concluded fiscal, but did not offer details. On the importance of popularizing the electronic payments systems, Chug said, on an average 5 billion mobile money transactions take place in a month in the country and said on a value point of view it would be many billions. Chug also noted that still we

are a cash-driven nation with as many as 95 per cent of deals taking place in cash mode. OxiCash allows one to transfer and receive funds from any bank into the OxiCash Wallet. The tie up of NPCI with Oxigen's mobile e-wallet.

Pramod Saxena head of Oxigen Services, which claims to be country's first and largest e-payments solutions provider, said his company was the first company in the country to launch the wallet facility called OxiCash in 2008, and now with NPCI, Oxigen is the

first non-bank mobile payment wallet service. "OxiCash money transfer service would be available at more than 1 lakh Oxigen retailers across the country to help the unbanked with an instant remittance service," he said. -PTI


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AI to reduce free baggage allowance from 20 to 15 kgs NEW DELHI: Air India would lower the free baggage allowance from 20 to 15 kgs on the domestic sector and start charging a flat rate of about Rs 200-250 per kilo on excess baggage, airline sources said. This follows a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) cir-

allowed to carry only 15 kgs of free check-in baggage and pay a flat rate of about Rs 200-250 per kg on excess weight, the sources said. The excess baggage charges currently vary between Rs 150-400 per kg depending upon the sector. There would be no charge for hand baggage up to seven kgs,

cular allowing the airlines to charge fees for 'unbundled services' like check-in baggage, preferential seats, meals, snacks or drink (barring drinking water) and sports and musical instruments on their domestic flights. Air India passengers would be

they said, adding that registered frequent flyers would be allowed to carry up to 20 kgs of checked in baggage as is prevalent now. The national carrier is also contemplating levying charges for preferred seats but no decision has been arrived at as yet, they said,

adding, there would be no charge on this count for business class passengers. The business class passenger is in any case allowed to carry 30 kgs of baggage free. Air India would also shortly take a decision on whether and how much to charge for meals on board, which is offered free currently as part of the full-service carrier's services. There would no change in the rules for international flights, the sources said. While no-frill carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet charge for preferential seating and food on board, Jet Airways was also considering going in for the same. But no formal decision has been announced so far. Air India is making changes in its ticket booking software to make the passenger know their free baggage allowance as also the excess baggage charges and other such fees which are yet to be decided, the sources said. Air Passengers' Association of India and travel agents' bodies have opposed the government's decision to unbundle these services and levy extra charges for them. -PTI

ADB to provide USD 6 billion to India GREATER NOIDA: India will get loan of about USD 6 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) over the next three years for various projects, including those in energy and education

tain the level of lending to India," ADB President Takehiko Nakao said at the concluding day of the 46th annual meeting of the funding agency in the north Indian city Greater Noida.

ADB President Takehiko Nakao addressing a press conference at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB in Greater Noida

sectors. "Our idea is ADB will maintain its lending level to India, approximately USD 2 billion over next three years."We are now working on the country partnership strategy and we are planning to main-

India is the biggest borrower of ADB as the Manila-based multilateral lender had extended USD 2.4 billion loan to it in 2012 across sectors like transport, energy, commerce and industry, trade, finance, agriculture and natural re-

source management and it will like to continue extending assistance in these sectors. Nakao said that the bank will continue to lend USD 10 billion a year across the member-nations despite generating lower return from investments. Stating that ADB is facing a resource challenge, he said this issue will require urgent and careful attention. "We will look at all options for ensuring that our lending level remains adequate." Actively investing in different kinds of assets can be one of the options for larger revenue, he said, adding that "financial safety and return is the key objective while making investment". Asked whether there was discussion on augmenting the capital of the bank at the Board of Governors meeting, Nakao said: "That is a very difficult issue. At this point I want to mention what kind of objections we are getting to maintain the level of lending. I don't want to specify what kind of idea we have at this moment." ADB's capital was tripled in 2009. The fund enhancement came after a gap of 15 years.-PTI

I-T detects unaccounted assets worth over Rs14k cr NEW DELHI: Stepping up its and state governments to finish effort to unearth black money, the its probe in these cases. Finance Ministry has detected These STRs, sent by the FIU, unaccounted income and assets were regarding banking transacworth over Rs 1,400 crore during tions including cash deposits in the first three months of this year. bank, cheque clearances, inter and The detection came to light af- intra banking dealings between ter Financial Intelligence Unit individuals. (FIU), an agency tasked with anaAs many as 13,871 STRs were lyzing and disseminating informa- disseminated by the FIU during tion relating to dubious financial 2011-12. transactions, alerted Central Of these, a highest of 10,956 Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) were passed on to CBDT, 1,615 to about 32,000 suspicious banking Enforcement Directorate, 1,130 to transactions, official sources said. Central Board of Excise and CusFurther investigations by the toms (CBEC), Directorate General tax authorities on these Suspicious of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Transaction Reports (STRs) re- Directorate General of Central Exsulted in detection of unaccounted income and assets of Rs 1,408 Further investigations by the crore, they said. tax authorities on these An STR involves a transaction of Rs 10 lakh Suspicious Transaction Reand above, which gives ports (STRs) resulted in derise to a reasonable tection of unaccounted ground of suspicion that it may involve the income and assets of Rs proceeds of crime in- 1,408 crore, they said. cluding drug trafficking An STR involves a transacand illegal money. As many as 32,098 tion of Rs 10 lakh and above STRs were sent by the FIU to CBDT, under which Income cise Intelligence (DGCEI), 117 to Tax department functions, be- Securities and Exchange Board of tween January and March this India (SEBI), 51 to Reserve Bank year. The tax sleuths have also of India (RBI) and two with Insurseized assets worth about Rs 21 ance Regulatory and Development crore across the country, the Authority (IRDA). sources said. Government has been taking The CBDT, along with its field various measures to check generaformation of tax officials spread tion and movement of black money across the country, is in the pro- in the country. cess of concluding the probe on It has early this year set up an some of these dubious transac- online data bank - Virtual Office tions. for effective coordination and disSources said the CBDT is in semination of various inputs pertouch with agencies concerned taining to illegal funds. -PTI


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Submarine cable system to connect 5 countries India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Alcatel-Lucent and a consortium comprising Vodafone Group, Dialog Axiata, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), Reliance Jio Infocomm, Omantel and Telekom Malaysia, have signed a turn-key contract to deploy a new 100 Gigabit-per-second (100G) submarine cable system to connect Oman, the United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. The Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) cable system will enhance the robustness and reliability of international connectivity into and out of the six countries via landing points in Barka (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Mumbai and Chennai (India), Ratmalana (Sri Lanka), Penang (Malaysia) and Singapore. Commercial operation of the system is planned to start by end of 2014. It will offer an ultra high design capacity, underpinning the continued growth of new applica-

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Director/Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC (extreme right) on the occasion of signing the Bay of Bengal Gateway Consortium agreement with other international consortium partners

tions and services in the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and the Far East. Edward West, Chairman of the BBG Interim Procurement Group said: "BBG, the first system to be lit as 100G on day-1 will be a step change in capacity on this important route. The bandwidth, resil-

ience and traffic routing of the BBG configuration, and AlcatelLucent's capabilities and track record, give us the confidence that this system will be able to address the fast-evolving expectations of our customers in line with their demands." Philippe Dumont, President of

India set to scale up economic ties with Iran ON BOARD SPECIAL PLANE: Notwithstanding sanctions against Iran, India is set to scale up economic and commercial engagement with it with proposals for joint investment in infrastructure and joint exploration of oil high on the agenda. These proposals are besides India's decision to participate in the upgradation of strategically-crucial Chahbahar port of Iran, which will give access to Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Iran had offered joint exploration and Production Sharing Agreement in an oil block which will be pursued. In this regard, the Iranian Oil Minister will be visiting in India shortly. "We are willing to do joint investment for them in Iran or in India. That is not a problem," he told PTI in an interview while returning home after winding up a three-day visit to Iran during which he held talks on a broad range of subjects. Giving examples, Khurshid said India has strategic interest in energy security. "If we have a joint investment, we give greater confidence to each other and then we get the best," he said. During Khurshid's talks with his counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi under the framework of Joint Commission, the Iranian side offered Production Sharing Agreement on exploration of a major oil block in

the energy-rich country. "We have an offer...The offer is to participate in one of their oil fields... And we must now respond," he said, adding Iran is keen to pursue this offer which is reflected by their decision to send the Oil Minister here.

Salman Khurshid

"If the Oil Minister is coming to India, that means he is serious. He is pursuing this," Khurshid said. Iran is under sanctions of the UN, the US and the 28-nation European Union over its nuclear program. India has maintained that while it will adhere to the UN sanctions, it is under no obligation to apply the sanctions of individual countries or groupings.

Chahbahar port Khurshid, who conveyed to Iran the decision about India's par-

ticipation in upgradation of Chahbahar port, made it clear that New Delhi will not switch off its age-old relations with Tehran just because of sanctions. The Chahbahar port upgradation, which will be undertaken in three phases over the next few years, is crucial for India's access to Afghanistan, particularly when Pakistan is denying transit facility to it. While talking about the prospects of cooperation with the Persian Gulf nation, the External Affairs Minister said the Indian business community needs to be given confidence regarding areas which are not affected by the sanctions and the government will do "some hand-holding" in this regard. "Clearly, as far as India is concerned, Indian enterprise is concerned they would want to be sure that they will not be bitten by the sanctions. "We need to create more confidence. We need to show which are the areas which the sanctions cannot bite. And if sanctions issue is going to arise, what are the consequences, etc. The government has to do some hand-holding and we will do that," he said. PTI

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: "We are pleased to deliver to the BBG consortium state-of-the-art technology and solutions that will help them flexibly and reliably manage bandwidth expansion on-demand. As a leader in advanced coherent technology, Alcatel-Lucent's 100G

technology and advances in its branching unit set a new benchmark for the supply of fully robust high capacity systems with a clear upgrade path to higher speeds." About the Alcatel-Lucent solution The BBG consortium will integrate Alcatel-Lucent's latest innovations in subsea communications, including the Advanced Coherent technology incorporating the latest Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SDFEC) technology in the 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal and an advanced branching unit offering dynamic features for enhanced system resilience. Alcatel-Lucent will also install cable and repeaters, and the cable system will be managed by Alcatel-Lucent's endto-end submarine network management system. As part of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will also be in charge of project management, system design, marine operations and system commissioning.

Delhi most creative state in India, says report "Each of the 3Ts is important to economic development, no one T on its own can provide sufficient support to sustain growth and continued prosperity. Taken together, these 3Ts of economic de-

vesting in the infrastructure required to mobilize more innovation and recognizing the importance of openness and diversity in gaining economic advantage," he added. It also said within India, the Far North, Far East, and Southern

velopment combine to produce the Creativity Index, a measure of a regions overall creative economy," said Kevin Stolarick, Research Director, Martin Prosperity Institute. He said India should recognize the importance of building talent, courting technology and promoting tolerance in gaining an economic advantage. "Such an approach for India would mean recognizing the creative talent of its residents in order to develop the businesses and industries of tomorrow; in-

States and Union Territories appear to have higher concentrations of the creative class than central and western regions. The leading regions in India that are the most technology sophisticated are the states and UTs in the far north and south. "Delhi ranks the highest of all regions followed by Kerala, Mizoram and Karnataka," it added. The report was launched by Martin Prosperity Institute, Institute for Competitiveness and The Prosperity Institute of India. -PTI

Cont’d from page 12


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Desi News Hindi lovers organize Hindi Kavi Gosthi J RAWAT

CHICAGO: Hindi Lovers Club has announced hosting Hindi Kavi Gosthi on Wednesday May 29 at Schaumburg Library on 130 Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, a northside suburb of Chicago, from 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Gurubachan Kaur of the Club said that new and professional kavis (poets) will recite and listen to each other's poetry and have fun at this poetry nite. "If you are not able to come up with an original work, you can recite some other poet's creations," she said Hindi Lovers Club was formed to preserve and promote the national Indian language in foreign lands and has been organizing events to realize this goal in Chicagoland.

FIA hosts kick off event for India Day celebration RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: It was a ritualistic 'kick-off' event of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) announcing the three days of crowded program celebrating Indian Independence Day mid-August. It could have passed on without much luster but the newly elect president Hina Trivedi and an old guard Trustee Babubhai Patel stole the show with their out of turn speeches. The event was held on Sunday May 5 at North shore Banquet Hall on Devon Avenue in Chicago.

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

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Gyan increases Bhakti & Bhakti increases Gyan Details on page 20

Silicon Valley changed world; now time for us to change Washington: Ro VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: Ro Khanna, a Silicon Valley Democrat will run for Congress in 2014 against longtime incumbent Rep. Mike Honda. Rahul Roy, Chief Technology Officer of American Reprographics Corporation (ARC) and Chief Executive officer of MirrorPlus Technologies, the software development arm of ARC, hosted a gala dinner on May 3 at his Fremont residence. The event was attended by eminent professionals from all facets of life to endorse Ro Khanna for the Congress run in 2014. Ro's commitment to service is rooted in the belief that the Ameri-

The core team comprising of Rahul Roy, Dr Romesh Japra, Anil Yadav, Inder Dosanjh, Dr Raj Salwan, Mahesh Pakala and Yogi Chugh endorsed Ro Khanna for his 17th Congressional District run in 2014. The core group announced their decision on financial and campaign support for Ro on his race. Dr Romesh Japra spoke on how Indo-Americans are there in all walks of life and now it's our time to serve US politics. Supervisor Richard Valle, Mayor of Fremont Bill Harrison, Vicemayor of Fremont Anu Natarajan, Assembly member Bill Quirk graced the occasion and endorsed Ro for the race. Ro Khanna on the occasion spoke on his vision, leadership

L-R: Anil Yadav, Dr Raj Salwan, Inder Dosajh, Dr Romesh Japra, Mahesh Pakala & Joe Johal

Rahul Roy, Anil Yadav, Dr Raj Salwan, Inder Dosajh, Dr Romesh Japra

Details on page 21 L-R: Rahul Roy (host), Ro Khanna, Dr Romesh Japra & Vijay Thapar

Dinesh Gandhi launches finance company RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A top ranking Chicago banker and a former officer with National Republic Bank, Dinesh Gandhi, is back in his own area of expertise in lending and investment with the launch of his finance company - Small Business Solutions. "My principal aim " he told India Post in a talk, "is to provide a facility to small and medium class business entrepreneurs get start up capital and finance for their ventures with ease which otherwise is a Herculean task in a tight fisted market now. Details on page 22

can Dream that inspired his family should continue to inspire future generations, says Rahul Roy, host of the event. He says Silicon Valley is full of innovation and it needs effective representation in Congress and Ro would do a fitting job.

and solutions. Silicon Valley changed the World, now its time for us to change Washington, says Ro. He spoke on how he feels Fremont occupies an imperative position at the national front. Cont’d on page 19

Manorama Joshi, Parvati Roy & Shamba Bagchi

Rahul Roy, Bill Harrison, Anu Natarajan, Anil Yadav, Raj Salwan, Dr Romesh Japra & Supervisor Richard Valle

Dr Romesh Japra, Anil Yadav, Dr Raj Salwan, Rahul Roy, Mahesh Pakala


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Important to celebrate diversity, says Bindra India Post News Service

IRWINDALE, CA: Celebrating business and community partnerships, Southern California Edison

board of directors of Edison International and SCE, and a recognized leader in the South Asian American community. He is the founding chairman of the board of di-

Jagjeet S. Bindra (Board of Directors, Edison International)

(SCE) hosted its eighth annual Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebration on Friday May 3, highlighting the company's partnerships with local business customers and organizations. "SCE takes pride in cultivating relationships with diverse business customers and community organizations on energy conservation, supporting our local communities, and working towards a better environment," said Lisa Cagnolatti, SCE's vice president, Business Customer Division. "We are pleased to recognize the positive contributions made by Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations and businesses in our service territory." Keynoting the event was Jagjeet S. Bindra, a member of the

rectors of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting issues affecting the South Asian American community. "I am honored to be a part of the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration with Southern California Edison," said Bindra. "It is important to celebrate diversity and recognize the achievements made by leaders in business and nonprofits serving the community in Southern California." The Energy Efficiency Participation Awards were presented to IMPEX Inc. and Park Avenue Chinese Cuisine for their efforts to conserve energy. The Diverse Business Enterprise Award, which honors a business that is part of SCE's Supplier Diversity and De-

velopment Program, will be given to Apex Computer Systems, Inc., a Chinese-owned company that provides complete technology services to companies of all sizes. The Community Partnership Award was presented to the Samoan National Nurses Association (SNNA), which is currently working on a project with SCE to create policies to provide a safer environment for the elderly. Serving as this year's emcee was Jannelle So,

host and producer of Kababayan L.A. SCE began this event in 2006 to recognize the accomplishments of AAPI businesses, their contributions to economic growth, and their commitment to being energy efficient. SCE Diversity Facts: • Within the region SCE serves, 35 languages are spoken. • Over one-third of the nation's AAPI citizens reside in California,

and out of that more than half reside in Southern California. • SCE spent over $1.5 billion during 2012 with suppliers owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans - 38.2 percent of all such spending. This represents a 199 percent increase since 2008. • In 2012, 54 percent of SCE's 16,500 employees and 55 percent of SCE's new hires were part of diverse ethnic groups.


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BAPS celebrates Swaminarayan Jayanti & Ram Navmi India Post News Service

CHINO HILLS, CA: This year, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills celebrated the 232nd birth anniversary of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, also known as Swaminarayan Jayanti, on April 21. The day is also auspiciously known as Ram Navmi for the celebration of the birth of Shri Ram. This year's program included the re-enactment of the Yash Gatha, a musical narration of the journey led by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and a depiction of his countless spiritual endeavors.

The youth of BAPS brought to life the story through the singing of the Yash Gatha. With each stanza, a part of the journey was depicted, accompanied by dances, speeches and dramas interspersed throughout the performance. The story began with portrayals from Bhagwan Swaminarayan's birth to his childhood, a time when he was known by the name of Ghanshyam. The audience stilled as the first notes began, the world disappearing behind them as the music delved into the life of a young boy, whose journey touched the hearts of thousands.

The intensity of the scenes re-enacted by the youth drew the audience in. The subtle crescendo hidden in the music of the Yash Gatha grew as the story developed to describe the sacrifices made by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Following the codes and standards shared through ancient Hindu scriptures including the Vedas and Upanishads, B h a g w a n Swaminarayan taught others to live by virtues such as compassion and integrity and to share these values with others. These teachings were further shared through the stories narrated about Shri Ram, who sacrificed everything to be the ideal son while maintaining his dharma, or code of behavior. From describing the movement to uplift women to the practice of ahimsa (principle of non-violence) to helping enlighten a generation of people, Bhagwan Swaminarayan helped increase the moral standard of living for many in an age where adharma once prevailed. The music connected with the members

of the audience bringing them together to commemorate the birth and legacy of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Today, the continuation of this journey is seen through His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj who continues to inspire devotees to follow the same moral teachings.

Earlier in the day, a blood drive took place at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Devotees, as well as visitors, took time out to donate blood, collecting over 63 pints. Blood drives will continue throughout the year as BAPS Charities is dedicated to serving the community. BAPS Charities will also be holding its 16th annual walk-a-thon at Veteran's Park in Chino Hills, helping causes such as the American Heart Association and the Chino Hills Community Foundation.


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Bollywood Dreamz show mesmerizes Bay Area RITU MAHESHWARI India Post News Service

FREMONT: Theater is a powerful medium to, not only entertain, but to convey a message. Sheetal Ohri Inc., very effectively presented Bollywood Dreamz, "Journey of a Star", a Broadway show to mesmerize a packed hall of over 400 viewers. The show beautifully combined key Bollywood elements of acting, dancing and singing with superb theatrics and strong storyline to create first Broadway style show to be performed in Bay Area on Bollywood theme. The show is based on a simple yet powerful theme of an innocent boy's dream of making it big and the travails and tribulations along the way. It goes on to show that there are choices one has to

scripted and given shape by Sheetal Ohri of Sheetal Ohri Inc. She says, "The inception of this Broadway show was after SVA Awards 2012 last year where I produced and directed Laila

The show is based on a simple yet powerful theme of an innocent boy's dream of making it big and the travails and tribulations along the way make along the way in order to achieve one's dreams. However, it is important to make the right choices and be on the side of good, as in the end, success is meaningful only when it comes by just means. Show was conceptualized,

Majnu for the entertainment part. It was very well received by the attendees and also worldwide through its You tube link, in a fantastic way. I started working on the idea with choreographer Uma Dhanapal of Kriyaa Dance academy and produced, directed my

vision along with script writing for this one hour 50 minutes Broadway show this year. I have plans to take this to various other cities." The show was well attended not only by Bay Area patrons, but also graced by the local dignitaries such as San Ramon, Vice Mayor David Hudson, Indian Consul Community Affairs Anand Jha, Immigration attorney Anu Peshawaria and Teresa Cox. The Star guest was Hollywood Actor Roger Narayan. This show featured musician Madan Oak of Wings on Strings Ensemble, choreographer Uma Dhanapal of Kriyaa Dance Academy, and Anusha Anand of Anusha Anand Dance Connection. Ausaf Masud performed the lead role. The show also gave lo-

cal Bay Area talent a chance to shine. The cast of over 75 re-

hearsed tirelessly in making this show a success.

Sindhi community celebrates Hanuman Jayanti DILIP BUTANI

Silicon Valley changed world; now time for us to change Washington: Ro Cont’d from page 16

He said United States in 20 years down the line would look diverse as Fremont is today. Our top priority as a nation must be to promote economic growth so that it can bring good jobs bring to middle-class families and those who hope to reach the middleclass. We should allow companies that have money overseas to bring it back to the United States at a lower tax rate, but only if they invest in creating American jobs. We should provide tax incentives for long-term capital investments in innovation, start-ups, and manufacturing. On Educational front, we have to expect more from our students when it comes to learning math and science. We need a cultural change in our approach to education. He spoke on women rights, healthcare, immigration, seniors. India Post team wishes Ro Khanna all success in the Congressional District run.

Shekhar Ekbote, Dilip Butani. Kishan Hingorani, Siddharth Pathak & Vijay Joshi

Rahul Roy, Vijaya Aasuri, Manorama Joshi, Ro Khanna & Dr Romesh Japra

Deepak Chabra, Vijaya Aasuri, Manorama Joshi & Ro Khanna

LOS ANGELES: The Sindhi of Lord Rama, and is worshipped Community of Southern California for his unflinching devotion to celebrated Hanuman Jayanti on him. Hanuman Jayanti is an imSunday, April 28 at The Sindhu portant festival of Hindus. Center. Hanumanji is the symbol of Hanuman Chalisa was recited strength and energy. Hanumanji 108 times non-stop. The recital was lead by Pandit Siddharth Hanuman Chalisa was Pathak and his group. The program started at recited 108 times non-stop. 10 am with 'Ahavan' fol- The recital was lead by lowed by non-stop rePandit Siddharth Pathak cital. The program lasted and his group for about seven hours ending in Aarti. Everyone then enjoyed a sumptuous is said to be able to assume any dinner. form at will, wield rocks, move Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated mountains, dart through the air, to commemorate the birth of Shri and seize the clouds and rival Hanumanji. It is celebrated on the Garuda in swiftness of flight. He 15th day of the Shukla Paksha, is worshipped in folk tradition as during the month of Chaitra. a deity with magical powers and Hanumanji is an ardent devotee the ability to conquer evil spirits.


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Muslim delegates attended Gyan increases Bhakti & Democratic Party Convention Bhakti increases Gyan SACRAMENTO, CA: A record number of American Muslim delegates to the Democratic Party attended and participated in the California Democratic (CADEM) Party Convention in Sacramento, California on April 12-14. In the beginning of the year, more than thirty

egates attended workshops on voter registration, voted and passed resolutions, voted on party and caucus officers and networked with party activists and elected officials. A version of one resolution submitted by the Progressive Caucus and supported by the California Muslim Delegate group was

five delegates from a diverse background, six of whom were elected to the Executive Board, were either elected or chosen to represent their California Assembly District at the Convention. Hailing from Northern to Southern California and cities in between, the California American Muslim Democratic Party del-

passed unanimously at the convention. The official committee resolution strongly called on the Obama administration to end the use of drone strikes and extrajudicial executions. The American Muslim delegates also attended the launching and formation of the first ever Muslim American Caucus for the

India Post News Service

California Young Democrats. One delegate, S. Nadia Hussain, was elected to be its first secretary. She was also elected to the board of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. Also at the convention, a number of American Muslim delegates were elected to the board of the Arab American Democratic Caucus: Sarah Moussa as Chair, Basim Elkarra as Northern California Vice Chair, Rashad Al-Dabbagh as Southern California Vice Chair, Fatima Dadabhoy as Treasurer and, Iyad Afalqa as Secretary. The diversity of the American Muslim community was reflected in the background of the delegates themselves: men and women ranging in age from 23 to 63 years old; people from all professions including entrepreneurs, homemakers, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers and engineers to name a few; and South Asian, Arab, Latino, and Anglo-American ethnicity. Noteworthy also were two sets of siblings; brothers Affad and Affan Shaikh and sisters Fatima and Ambereen Dadabhoy. The next California Democratic Party Convention will be held in 2014 in Los Angeles. Among the issues to be decided on at next year's convention is the CDP's platform.

Sikh memorial vigil for Boston blasts victims India Post News Service

PACOIMA, CA: To pay homage to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, the Sikh community of Southern California held a Memorial Prayer Vigil on Sunday, April 28 at Khalsa Care Foundation (KCF) in Pacoima, CA. The community prayed for those who suffered the loss of loved ones, were injured, and to all those affected by the horrific attacks. They joined the nation during this time of adversity and also remembered in gratitude the sympathy and support they got during Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, from all Americans especially

from President Barack Obama who went so far as to lower the American flags half-mast. The ceremony included recita-

(Sikh American defense and educational fund) and United Sikhs. Executives (sevadars) of the KCF and especially Sirdars Gurdip

tion of prayers and homage to the victims by the Sikh leaders of various Gurdwaras (the Sikh temples), university students, SALDEF

Singh Malik and Surinder Singh were thanked for hosting the event and providing Guru Ka Langar, free meals.

SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA

I

f someone gives you a piece of jewellery, and you have no knowledge of its worth, will you have any love for it? Not really, but if someone told you that it is worth a million dollars, you will immediately develop immense love for it. Similarly in the spiritual journey, as we get knowledge of the glory of God and our rela-

Question: Please explain the difference between Gyan Yog and Bhakti Yog. Swami Mukundananda: Gyan Yog is the path of God-realization based on the premise of Non-Dualism that the soul itself is God; when it dispels its covering of ignorance and gets seated in knowledge, it will get liberated from the

Swami Mukundananda

tionship with Him, our devotion illusion of Maya. Then it will realtowards Him also increases. ize itself to be one with the formHence true knowledge leads to less Brahman for eternity, devoid Bhakti. of any form, attribute, activity or As we engage in Bhakti, God qualities. seated within the heart gives us The Gyan Yogi strives to attain deeper and newer realizations. knowledge of the self, and be pracAnd here Bhakti leads to Gyan tically situated on that platform. (knowledge). They are both inti- This requires analyzing that one mately interrelated: Gyan in- is not the body, senses, mind, increases Bhakti, and Bhakti in- tellect and ego. One first theoreticreases Gyan. The topic of "Gyan cally understands this knowledge vs Bhakti" is one of the most in- by hearing from the Guru and the tensely debated topics in Indian scriptures. Then one repeatedly philosophy. Spiritual aspirants should however not Bhakti and knowledge go confuse Gyan (knowledge) with Gyan Yog. hand in hand, but it is indisGyan Yog is a path of pensable for devotees to sadhana based on a particular philosophic understand the meaning of viewpoint which sug- gyan, gyan yog and its gests that the soul is itself God, and by situat- difference from Bhakti Yog ing oneself in the knowledge of the atman (self), one will attain liberation. meditates on the knowledge and There is yet another kind of tries to realize it practically. In this Gyan, called Shabdik Gyan, which manner, material desires related to means dry intellectual knowledge, the body slowly diminish. Finally, without concomitant practice. one gains practical insight into the Such Gyan, which is without real- nature of the self. ization, leads to pride, and does Bhakti Yog is based on the more harm than good. Thus, it has premise that the soul is an integral been criticized by the scriptures. part of God; it has turned its back Bhakti and knowledge go hand towards God, and hence it is sufin hand, but it is indispensable for fering in the cycle of life and death devotees to understand the mean- because of Maya.This Maya is not ing of gyan, gyan yog and its dif- an illusion; it is energy of God. So ference from Bhakti Yog. Different the soul needs to surrender itself paths are a part of God's diverse to God and attract His Grace, by creation, and their sound knowl- which it will receive the Divine edge helps in making suitable Knowledge, Love and Bliss of choices in our journey to the Ab- God. Cont’d on page 23 solute Truth.


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FIA hosts kick off event for India Day celebration incursion across our borders." For any country in the world safety and sanctity of its borders should be of paramount imporCHICAGO: It was a ritualistic 'kick-off' tance and India cannot be an exception, he event of the Federation of Indian Associa- said He urged Indian Americans here to wake up and educate the mainstream American society about such periodic nightmares that the country has been suffering since 1962 and wanted FIA to take FIA Kickoff guests Ald Deba Silversein and State Sen Ia Silverstein (extreme lead in stagright) Trustee chief Iftekhar Shareef (1st from L) and FIA President Hina Trivedi. ing demonPics Asian Media USA and A.Siddiqui strations tions (FIA) announcing the three days of across the country highlighting the plight crowded program celebrating Indian Inde- of a non-violent nation. Hina Trivedi is the second woman Presipendence Day mid-August. It could have passed on without much luster but the dent leading this umbrella organization here newly elect president Hina Trivedi and an and besides talking about the celebrations, old guard Trustee Babubhai Patel stole the she touched upon the need to help young ones getting better skills thru education and show with their out of turn speeches. The event was held on Sunday May 5 at training. She pitched for initiating steps that North shore Banquet Hall on Devon Av- would induce students to go to school and enue in Chicago. It was off to the start with not get dropped out and recalled her school Alderwoman Debra Silverstein [50th ward], days when those enlightened in the sociState Senator Ira Silverstein, Hina Trivedi, ety helped kids going to school. Iftekhar Shareef, the head of the FIA Iftekhar Shareef and a host of FIA Trustees joining to light the ceremonial lamp that Trustee Board, was in his elements as usual would herald grand-scale India Day cel- and made one wonder how would FIA funcRAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

Speakers from L to R Iftekhar Shareef, Hina Trivedi and Trustee Babu Patel

ebrations that consisting of Independence Day Parade, Gala Banquet and Flag-hoisting ceremony in Chicago downtown. Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, FIA's Executive Vice President welcomed the guests and led the opening festivities. He reminded the guests of the rich historical traditions of FIA in hosting major events besides honoring India's Independence. But it was Babubhai who underlined the real "celebration" and was lustily cheered when he asserted in a very emphatic voice that "no celebration would be worth its name if we do not wake up to the recent Chinese

tion efficiently and effectively if it does not have a leader of his caliber. He welcomed everybody including the Chief Guests Ald Debra Silverstein and State Senator Ira Silverstein, and acknowledged their help in ensuring the success of FIA program and implementation of its agenda. Ald Debra Silverstein was all positive in offering all possible help to the FIA Board and members while holding Parade and other festivities in Rogers Park area. She also urged all those present to bring to her attention any concern or problem in the 50th

Ward that she represents. Senator Silverstein was brief and yet quite positive in his speech. Keerthi Ravoori of FIA adds: In her remarks Alderwoman Debra Silverstein said "Indian Americans are an important part of the City's 50th ward and I commend you for bringing such vibrant richness and FIA Team with young artists diversity to the ward." She further for presenting beautiful dances and said said that Indian Americans have helped to steering children in such traditions will help bring flourishing business establishments build healthy communities. State Senator on Devon Ave and pledged that she would and Committeemen Ira Silverstein echoing work with the community to foster growth the sentiments commended FIA for hosting and development of adding more busi- events that highlight the spirit of Indian nesses in the sprawling India Town in her Independence. ward. Cont’d on page 22 Ald. Debra Silverstein thanked the kids


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Dinesh Gandhi launches finance company to help businesses RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A top ranking Chicago banker and a former officer with National Republic Bank, Dinesh Gandhi, is back in his own area of expertise in lending and investment with the launch of his finance company - Small Business Solutions. "My principal aim " he told India Post in a talk, "is to provide a facility to small and medium class business entrepreneurs get start up capital and finance for their ventures with ease which otherwise is a Herculean task in a tight

sized projects in Midwest region. Some of the recent ventures that got financed by his company, he pointed out, include Best Western Indiana ( $ 4 million ) Wingate IL ( $4.5 million ), Hampton Inn MI ($ 5 million) Independent Hotel IL ($ two million) , a missed use commercial building($2.5 million), commercial office bldg ($ 2 million and gas station, IL ($500,000). Further, he said that he has proposals for financing over $70 million covering a gamut of businesses ranging from subways, Dunkin Donuts, gas stations, liquor stores, convenient stores and different brands of Pizza joints. "A

He said that he has proposals for financing over $70 million covering a gamut of businesses ranging from subways, Dunkin Donuts, gas stations, liquor stores, convenient stores and different brands of Pizza joints fisted market now. I have lined up a number of financial institutions and banks so that the funds are available at competitive rates and attractive terms to the borrowers." Even though Small Business Solutions is a nascent firm, Dinesh Gandhi said it has helped finance a number of small and medium

good number of projects these types of projects are being helped by Small Business Solutions to get them on their feet and in the process, create more jobs and help boost the economy," he said with obvious pride. Dinesh Gandhi is not new in the finance world as a Director- Com-

mercial Hospitality he was a doyen figure with the hotel motel owners financing over $ one billion of their projects, including new construction, acquisitions and renovations all over USA. Besides his association with the Bank that he has served for 20 years, Dinesh Gandhi had also worked as owner-administrator of Lakeside Nursing Home, Uptown Nursing Home, Owner-Partner of Point South Motel, Mastyeer Host Inn Nashville TN and Vice President of JC Deagan Mfg. Co. His passion for community service landed him with helping a number of community organizations like Care and Share USA, Chicago Delhi Sister City Committee, Key Coordinator of all Midwest Region conventions and town hall meetings of AAHOA, Gandhi Samaj of Chicago, Gayatri Temple Chicago and an active supporter of BAPS, among others. He rendered a significant help to Gujarat earthquake victims, 9/ 11 Victims in New York a few years ago when working with American Indian Foundation of former president Bill Clinton. Collectively he helped them raise quarter million dollars to help those who suffered during these natural and manmade calamities. His community work has been appreciated by BAPS, Jain Temple Bartlett, Gayatri Temple in Chi-

FIA hosts kick off event for India Day celebration Cont’d from page 21

FIA President Hina Trivedi speaking on the occasion thanked the executive board and trustees for their collective efforts in making FIA a vibrant umbrella community organization. She paid tributes to the spirit of volunteerism that is hallmark of FIA and thanked FIA for its deep-rooted commitment to the community. Iftekhar Shareef, FIA Trustee Chair who presided over the event, thanked the host of trustees and board members for their unstinted support. He especially acknowledged help from the Media, Ankur Chaudari for spearheading new website for FIA and Harish Kolasani for providing valuable assistance in hosting the kick-off program. He also gave historical information about FIA and its steadfast growth. To show FIA's appreciation for chief guests, he then invited Hina Trivedi to honor Ald. Debra

Silverstein with a colorful shawl followed by Vandana Walia, FIA Secretary putting a golden shawl on State Senator Ira Silverstein amidst applause. Later, Iftekhar Shareef announced three major events to be

Young children in colorful costumes presented three beautiful folk dances which depicted the traditions and rich culture of some of the Indian states hosted for India Day: (1) Grand Day Parade Saturday, August 17; (2) Gala Banquet Friday August 16; (3) and Indian Flag-Hoisting Thursday, August 15, downtown Chicago. He then recognized the

2013 executive board comprising Keerthi Ravoori, Executive Vice President, Ravi Harsoor, Vice President, Veenod Patel, Vice President, Amar Upadhya, Vice President, Vandana Walia, Secretary, Minhaj Akhtar Treasurer, Kalyan Anandula Reddy, Joint Treasurer and Chris Christian, Joint Secretary. Young children in colorful costumes presented three beautiful folk dances which depicted the traditions and rich culture of some of the Indian states. Vandana Walia, FIA Secretary proposed a vote of thanks. Among the prominent attendees were Dr Ashish Sen, President IADO, Dr. Basanti Bannerji, President, IAC and Chandresh Brahmbhatt, AAHOA's Upper Midwest Regional Director. Some of the FIA Trustees present were Babu Marsha Patel, Anil Pillai, Bhailal Patel, Prahlad Patil and Ranjit Ganguly. The event concluded with lunch hosted by FIA.

cago, Indian Medical Association and other ethnic organizations and is bestowed with numerous awards recognizing his contributions to society at large. He feels confident that with his vast experience in the banking field and huge community support that he has gained over the years; his newly established company is set to carve out a big name and fame in the finance world.

Dinesh Gandhi

Greater civic participation by Indian-Americans urged India Post News Service

Department of State's Global Intergovernmental Affairs Division, and an Obama Administration transition team member. James Pappachen from IACS team welcomed the gathering while chairman of IACS highlighted a growing awareness of the need for more civic participation by Indian Americans. Despite growing economic clout and visibility, the Indian community re-

EVANSTON: A networking event hosted here by the Indo American Community Services (IACS) organization turned out to be a big success with a relatively large number of Indian-American professionals and students from the Chicago area besides several members of the South Asian community who are currently in influential positions in U.S. Senate and State Department offices in Despite growing economic Washington D.C., attending near three-hour clout and visibility, the meet and talk. Indian community remains The event included a largely under-represented panel discussion focused on the history in U.S. legislative, political and future of South and public policy Asians in the American making processes political process. Panelists included Manu Bhardwaj, Senior Advisor mains largely under-represented in at the US State Department, and U.S. legislative, political and pubformer Obama Administration tran- lic policy making processes, sition team member; Pasha Majdi, Katragadda noted. It is only by Professional Staff member of the actively engaging in such proUnited States Senate Committee cesses that the Indian community on Energy and Natural Resources, can make its voice heard on matand former advisor to Senator Lisa ters of importance to them, he Murkowski; and Rhagu added. IACS used the networking Devaguptapu, Principal at Adelstein Liston, a leading politi- event to announce that five of its cal strategist and first Asian Ameri- student nominees have been secan to be named political director lected to work as summer interns at Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and of a national party committee. The panel was moderated by Congressman Bill Foster's (D-IL) Rhonda Binda, Vice President of offices in Washington D.C. Government Relations at P3GM, a Cont’d on page 25 former Deputy Director for the US


May 17, 2013

Community Across America

India Post 23

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Gyan increases Bhakti & Bhakti increases Gyan ity and hatred, and in the senseless killings that have taken place in the religious wars in Bhakti Yog involves developing immense history. The perpetrators of such violence love for the Lord. In such a state, the devo- apparently have a world view in which they tee develops an intense longing to see God, see people not subscribing to their beliefs as meet Him, and be with Him. Whatever one enemies, who can be killed without compuncdoes, the mind remains attached to God and tion. Unpleasant divides in this world are crethe thoughts flow towards Him, like the riv- ated when we fail to see the connection beers flow towards the ocean. Such love in tween God and His creation. the heart cleanses it of all impurities. However, this unity does not mean that With a pure heart, one begins to see God in we must neutralize all the diversities that exall living beings and in all things. As the ist. There is unity in diversity, and also dithoughts become sublime, the devotee expe- versity in the unity. That diversity is the exriences the unlimited Divine Bliss of God and pression of the greatness of God Himself, becomes fully satisfied. On liberation, the soul who creates innumerable species of life, and does not become God; it goes to His Divine innumerable varieties within each species. abode, and there in a Divine body, it eternally Is it possible to live without seeing the participates in the loving pastimes of God. diversity of creation? Imagine life without Q: Everyone says that Bhakti Yog is easy, categories. Can we say that we hate categowhile Gyan Yog is difficult. What is the ries, and so we do not distinguish between reason for this? shirts and trousers? Can we wear them in SM: Understand this by comparing a place of each other, and when people laugh baby kitten and a baby monkey. The kitten at our dress, tell them that we see this world is tiny in size and delicate in build. Yet if it is as one, and so do not categorize kinds of to be moved from one place to another, it clothes. Can a doctor tell the patient that he does not need to worry. Its mother holds the does not categorize, and so the patient should kitten with her mouth and carries it. On the take any medicine from the cabinet? other hand, the baby monkey is responsible Without accepting the diversity of life, it for holding its mother tight, while the mother is not possible to live. If we express our distaste for categorization beThis unity does not mean that we must neutween Gyan and Bhakti, we have tralize all the diversities that exist. There is in effect created unity in diversity, and also diversity in the a distinction between categounity. That diversity is the expression of the and nongreatness of God Himself, who creates innu- rized categorized. If there is abhormerable species of life, and innumerable rence for catvarieties within each species egories, then why see the difjumps from one branch of the tree to another. ference between categorized and non-catIn the above analogy, the path of Gyan egorized? Why find the need to criticize catYog is comparable to the mother monkey and egorization? its baby. It is based on self-effort. Since the Similarly, there are various paths leading premise is that the soul itself is the Ultimate to the goal of life. All these paths are maniSupreme Entity, there is no concept of sur- festations of the infinite variety created by render to God or dependence upon His God. We must definitely not create any illGrace. Hence, the aspirant strives on his or feeling or ill-will towards anyone. However, her own strength. we must clearly understand the pros and cons Bhakti Yog is comparable to the cat and its of each and then make an intelligent choice kitten. In Bhakti Yog, the aspirant learns to of the path we wish to follow. surrender to the Lord, and thus attracts His Gyan and Bhakti are both praiseworthy, but Grace. Through Grace, God assists and pro- it does not imply that there is no distinction tects the devotee. Thus, the path of Bhakti between them. We must clearly understand Yog becomes easy compared to Gyan Yog. the difference and the relationship between In Gyan Yog, the danger of pride is enor- them. Then we will be in a position to reach mous. The poor conditioned soul gets our ultimate destination of God-realization. trapped in the pride of being God. In com- Q: If the soul is a part of God, then why did parison, the path of Bhakti involves practic- such a great Saint such as Jagadguru ing humbleness before God, and hence the Shankaracharya say that the soul is God pitfall of pride becomes marginalized. Himself? Did he not understand the scripQ: Why should we distinguish between tures? Gyan Yog and Bhakti Yog as two different SM: When the Nitya Siddha paths? Such divisions in the name of reli- Mahapurushas, or Eternally liberated Saints gion are the cause of so much of strife in the descend upon this earth, they preach accordworld, and the fighting between religions. ing to Desh, Kaal and Patra (time, place and There is only one entity called Brahman in circumstance). The teacher may be D.Litt. but existence, so why don't we stop making dis- if he is teaching Grade One students, he will tinctions between different paths? explain simple mathematics: five minus three SM: We must definitely try to see the is equal to two. It does not mean that the wonderful form of God behind everything teacher only knows that much; it means that sentient and non-sentient. That is what both the students can only understand so much. Bhakti and Gyan teach us to do. The lack of Even before Shankaracharya, came Gautam this vision of unity is what leads to animos- Buddha. He was an Avatar of Lord Vishnu, Cont’d from page 20

and hence He is respected and worshipped by Hindus. But He did not accept the authority of the Vedas. This was because at that time people were misinterpreting the Vedas; they were doing animal sacrifices and justifying them by distorting the meaning of the Vedas. They were exceedingly inclined to rituals and neglecting the cleansing of the heart. So the Buddha thought that if he tried to convince them on the basis of the Vedas, they would insist that their own interpretation was right. So he decided to move the people away from the Vedas. He also focused on getting people detached from the world. When Shankaracharya came on this earth, a few hundred years after the Buddha, Buddhism had spread all over Bharatvarsh (India). In accordance with its philosophy, people believed in voidism, or the non-existence of the soul and God. In that atheistic environment, it was not possible to preach the glories of devotion to Shree Ram and Shree Krishna. So Shankaracharya accomplished the task of bringing the people back to the Vedas. To do this, he emphasized the formless, attributeless, all-pervading Brahman. However, he was a great devotee of the personal form of God himself, and wrote hundreds of verses in praise of the various Gods. The following conversation is from Shankaracharya's Prashnavali.

One of his disciples asked, "What should that soul who earnestly desires salvation do?" Shankaracharya replied, "He should break the bonds of material attachment and engage in devotion to God." Again, his disciple asked him, "What is that work which does not lead to repentance later." Shankaracharya immediately replied, "Only one who engages in devotion to Shree Krishna has no regrets later." In fact, Shankaracharya, the unrivalled propagator of Non-Dualism, advised his mother to practice Bhakti, and blessed her with a vision of Shree Krishna. Swami Mukundananda is a world renowned spiritual teacher from India, and is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and founder of JK Yog. He has received his degrees in engineering from world renowned institutes in India, IIT and IIM. He has inspired people all over the world on the path of spirituality, holistic health, yoga, meditation, service to society and God realization. This year, Swamiji will be conducting weeklong programs in 30+ cities of USA from April onwards. For more information visit: http://www.jkyog.org/ or contact: secretary@jkyog.org To attend Swamiji's Yoga, Meditation and Spiritual Discourses in USA, see the schedule for your city:www.jkyog.org/2013


24 India Post

Community Across America

May 17, 2013

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IAMA event raises $100,000 for the under-served CS ZALA & ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: It was once again a successful annual effort on the part of Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation of Chicago (IAMACF) to raise funds for its charitable operations hosting a gala banquet here as it helped it raise over $100,000 in pledges and donations. The event themed "Basic Healthcare for the Uninsured," was held on Sunday, April 28 at the Waterford Banquet Hall in

Elmhurst (a north-west Chicago suburb). The Chicago elite - physicians, politicians, prominent businessman, community leaders blending with general public were present to show their support to the organization and extend help to those in need mostly uninsured, under served, low-income population. IAMACF free community health clinic is located on Peterson Avenue in Chicago. West Ridge Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare, Ravi Bachwal TV Anchor and Dr. Rambha Radhakrishnan, Medical Director IAMACF

IAMA Charitable Foundation team officials, volunteers and supporters. Pics Asian Media USA

community has been providing free, basic primary healthcare services on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 for over 18 years. As of March 2010, it also started providing extended hours on Wednesday evenings from 4 pm. to 7 pm. According to Dr Rambha Radhakrishnan, the clinic's medical director is run by volunteer physicians from the Indian American Medical Association and medical students, coordinated by

New Life Volunteer Services, providing medical services to any and all that walk through its doors. The total patients visiting in the year 2012 were over 3000. The three-hour program was embellished with the keynote address from Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and live entertainment from Bollywood Sargam and Hitesh Master's Orchestra Saregama. Emcees for the event were Ravi Baichwal of ABC's Channel 7 and IAMACF's very own, Dr Annita John, a former President.

get involved and volunteer in various IAMA functions, including the Charitable Clinic. He urged young physicians of Indian origin to become members and provide the organization a strong voice to deal with the health care issues and successfully implement innovative ideas in tackling today's challenges and preventing tomorrow's problems. Dr Sanjay Amin, Dr Letticia Gunaratnam and Dr Vijay Khiani received Awards for their outstanding dedicated selfless volunteerism to advance the goal of the organization.

In her keynote address, Julie Hamos shared vital information on the Affordable Care Act, the state of Illinois' healthcare system, challenges it faces and the vital role the medical community plays in delivering healthcare services In her keynote address, Julie Hamos shared vital information on the Affordable Care Act, the state of Illinois' healthcare system, challenges it faces and the vital role the medical community plays in delivering healthcare services to the uninsured. IAMA President Dr Rajinder Arora in his welcome address exhorted members of the medical fraternity to participate,

Following dinner, Raju Bankapur, known as Kishore Kumar of Chicago and Partibha Jairath entertained the audience with their melodious voices rendering one after another popular Bollywood tunes accompanied by Hitesh Master's Orchestra. There was a lot of variety in the show; from slow romantic numbers to fast dance numbers.

The Saregama Group - singer Bankapur, Pratibha , Hitesh Master and others


May 17, 2013

Community Across America

India Post 25

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Green Kumbh Yatra comes to Jerusalem India Post News Service

JERUSALEM: A unique environmental pilgrimage, 'Green Kumbh Yatra', travelling across various countries to promote the importance of environment and biodiversity conservation, was received in Jerusalem on April 22. The Green Kumbh Yatra is the brainchild of Kusum Vyas, founder of GYAN and Living Planet Foundation of Houston, USA. Vyas was in Jerusalem to attend The First International Jerusalem Symposium from April 21 to April 25. The Symposium was timed to celebrate Earth Day, a history making day for the Green Kumbh Yatra. During a ceremony at the Old City's Jaffa Gate with the Tower of David and the Old City walls serving as a backdrop, Vyas presented the Green Kumbh to Hon. Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem. Earlier, Vyas took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the Cool Globes Exhibition with the aim to inspire a call to environmental action. On April 24, when residents of Jerusalem came together to welcome the return of the Common Swift to their nesting sites in the Western Wall, Vyas was invited to offer Hindu prayer at the ceremony. In a brief statement followed by a Vedic prayer, Vyas compared the arrival of the swifts to the huge flocks of winged Siberian birds that she saw during her visit to the Maha Kumbh Mela at the confluence of the sacred Rivers Ganges and Yamuna. The Green Kumbh Yatra has no modern precedent. It was formally

Presenting the Green Kumbh to Hon. Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem. Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur on left. Pics Studio Aviad Tevel

launched on October 14, 2012 at COP11-Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity at Hyderabad in collaboration with the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and others. Since its launch, it has travelled through India, Kenya, Nepal and Israel. It is expected to arrive in the UK where Green Kumbh activities are planned for several cities. After leaving the UK, the Yatra will continue its journey across various countries to ultimately arrive in South Korea for COP12 in 2014. While the Green Kumbh

Kusum Vyas joins others in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the Cool Globes Exhibition Public Art with the aim to inspire a call to environmental action

Kusum Vyas, founder of Green Kumbh Yatra offering Hindu prayers at the Western Wall. Naomi Tsur, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem on left

is rooted in the Hindu religion, Vyas feels that spiritual leaders and those associated with any religious organization should come forward to help solve the practical problems of climate change and biodiversity loss. "Our main aim is to mobilize the masses at grassroots and raise public and political awareness by highlighting the profound connection between the collective wisdom and resources of the faith traditions and their role in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use" says Vyas. Naomi Tsur, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and organizer of the Symposium, says, "Faith Communities of the world actually constitute the largest civil society movement on planet Earth. And that is a tremendous force for impact and change for good".

Greater civic participation by Indian-Americans urged Cont’d from page 22

The five students will receive a stipend of $1,500 each from IACS. This is the second year in a row that the organization has succeeded in placing Indian-American students in Congressional internships in Washington. The goal of the IACS Leadership Internship Program is to develop a corps of young Indian American leaders with the skills, outlook and contacts necessary to generate and sustain positive change within their local communities. Alumni will return to their communities knowing what it takes to pass legislation, form public policy and create coalitions. Selection to the IACS Leadership Internship program is highly competitive and is based on a va-

IACS Networking meet. (Left to right, sitting) Pasha Majdi, Manu Bhardwaj, Raghu Devaguptapu, Rhonda Binda and James Pappachen. Some students who attended are standing in the back

riety of factors including scholastic achievement, excellent communication skills, community contributions and leadership

skills. "This program provides a great opportunity for Indian American students to learn about the U.S. legislative and public

policy-making process and to receive leadership training," Katragadda said. One of the IACS 2012 Wash-

ington Intern Tavni Sri Jatla shared her experiences as an aid to Senator Mark Kirk (R) in Washington DC. Jagan Bukkaraju, IACS Secretary thanked all the speakers and the attendees. Bharat Barai presented plaques from IACS to all the Guest Speakers. IACS, based in Greater Chicago area, was established in 2010 with a mission to nurture and foster the development of the South Asian community in the region through job fairs, women's empowerment forums, student internships and professional networking opportunities. IACS also organizes an annual South Asian Women's Forum in Chicago featuring panel discussions, workshops and mentoring sessions to help women of South Asian origin develop strategies for achieving success in their careers.


Community Across America

26 India Post

May 17, 2013

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Ilantus teams up with Sitapur Hospital to help underprivileged ARVIND PATEL

CHICAGO: A Bangalore based hi-tech company with facilities across USA, Ilanuts Technologies, a leader in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) domain, announced a partnership with Sitapur Eye Hospital in northern India to create awareness and raise donations to support the hospital's charitable mission. The hospital's goal is to provide the best eye care at no charge or for the lowest price possible to India's underprivileged populations. Ilanuts has a mature and established global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative - the Ilanuts Giving Program (IGS) - to give back to communities across the world. The Sitapur Eye Hospital is the newest CSR initia-

tive at Ilanuts. "The IGS is dedicated to improving quality of life for all individuals and is specifically designed to bust the myth that cor-

done with the Sitapur Eye Hospital, to enable and support organizations in need in the communities where they operate." Ilanuts is fully vested in this

of Indian origin, to get them more and more involved in community oriented activities," he said The Sitapur Eye Hospital, established in 1935 in rural area of

Sitapur Eye Hospital

porate charitable initiatives are limited to large corporations," said President and CEO, Binod Singh. "We hope to inspire other small and medium sized businesses like my company to start initiatives, such as what we have

initiative with an on-going donation of the monthly costs to update and maintain the Sitapur Eye Hospital website. "It is highly important that we create awareness among enlightened global community, specially among people

Gujaratis join marathon to support Boston victims

Uttar Pradesh has blossomed into a world class facility with premiere equipment serving more than 50,000 patients annually in over 32 cities and towns in the states of Uttranchal and Uttar Pradesh in northern India. With

Dr Sachin Chopra elected to Hospital Medical Board India Post News Service

ASHWIN PATEL

A group of runners in St Louis who helped raise funds for Boston victims

ST LOUIS: Members of Gujarati Samaj and Youth Group participated for Unity run with hundreds of runners in St. Louis' Forest Park Saturday, April 20 to show support for the Boston Marathon and the running community. Organizers of the Go St. Louis Marathon put together the run. There was no fee for what was deemed the Boston Marathon Unity Run. Several runners wore blue and yellow, the official Boston Marathon colors.

Go St. Louis began organizing the run two days after the bombing at the Boston Marathon. A local woman wants to keep the passion for marathon running alive. Kelly McBride is an avid runner on a mission. Her goal is to unify runners from all walks of life to get together and show support for the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. McBride came up with the St. Louis Unity Run For Boston, a 3 -mile run to honor and sup-

port Boston and everyone affected by the recent marathon bombing. The grassroots effort started with a Facebook page. McBride says she hopes to get her message of unity and peace across. "I think that a lot of acts like aim to give people fear so they won't go out and not show strength in numbers and unity. This is really just up against that and saying no we're strong Marathoners."

highly qualified and experienced doctors performing services ranging from a simple eye exam and glasses fitting to more extreme cataract or cornea surgeries, it has earned a worldwide fame and recognition. The hospital also provides a full-service system to pick-up patients from their homes in rural villages, provide them with food, shelter and the medical attention they need and then return them to their homes so they can continue with their lives free of the vision difficulties they were previously facing. Ilanuts Technologies is a leading product and solution provider in identity management, access management, access governance, and information security.

NEW YORK: Dr Sachin Chopra was recently elected to the Medical Board of St. Joseph's Hospital and Nursing home. The teaching facility was founded in 1888 and is one of the oldest healthcare providers in the tri state area. The hospital has a 115 million dollar operating budget; 1200 employees; 194-bed acute care hospital and a 200-bed nursing home. Dr Sachin Chopra is a graduate of Cornell University, New York Medical College, and NYCOM. He was awarded the prestigious "Resident of the Year" Award at the Long Island Jewish/ North Shore Health System at Plainview; and was also honored by the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate for medical care helping the critical care a n d underserved

populations. Chopra thanked his family and colleagues, and said he was honored to be a part of the medical team that is dedicated to patient care. He said he was eager to bring about change, and encouraged those around him to improve the Health care system in the years to come.

Dr. Sachin Chopra


Community Across America

May 17, 2013

India Post 27

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Ram Navmi at Vedic Day Care Center KRISHNA VINOD

CHICAGO: The Vedic Day Care Center, a pre-school and kindergarten educational facility, held its annual Ram Navmi function here on Sunday April 28. Over 100 people attended the program. The children of the Vedic Day Care Center recited Bhagavad Gita slokas, sang nursery songs and performed folk dances. To accompany this extravagant display put on by the children was a play based on Lord Ram's pastime along with a drama based on Lord Krishna's pastime as well. The director of the Center, Vrashabh Das, briefly enlightened the crowd on the progress of the facility and gave a lecture on the significance of Ram Navmi. The Day Care Center is really appreciative of the generous donations made by the parents of the children, who were honored, to show the gratitude of the Day Care. Amongst the many that financially supported the Center are Sohan

Vedic Day Care children perform during Ram Navmi celebrations

Joshi, Chetan Patel and family, Roopal Bhrambhatt, Kalpesh Patel, Hansa Ben (Swati Restaurant), Valabbhai and Niruben Kapadia (Jai Hind Restaurant). Sohan Joshi, president of NFIA

(National Federation of Indian American Association), was the Chief Guest during the program. He has been a front ranking supporter of the day care. All the time in the past many years he has

Hamdard Center granted homecare services

assisted in helping the Vedic day care in multiple ways. NFIA is the one and only one umbrella organization of all Indian American Associations. It is known for promoting the Indian commu-

nity nationwide and their issues at the national level. NFIA has interactions with senators and high officials in which they promote business and cultural educational activities, said Sohan Joshi.

Multi-faith prayer-service for Boston victims India Post News Service

ARVIND PATEL

CHICAGO: Local non-profit Hamdard Center has been granted 'In Home Care Services' by the Illinois Department on Aging. To mark this occasion, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at Hamdard on May 1 at 11am. Local officials attending the ceremony were Cathy Smith, Chief of Staff for Senator Heather Steans office and Pat Ewert, Community Outreach Coordinator for State Representative Kelly Cassidy's office. Both Ms Smith and Ms Ewert addressed the seniors gathered at Hamdard and spoke of the importance of the community care programs (CCP) for seniors and pledged continued support to

Chief Guest Sohan Joshi (center) at Ram Navmi celebration

RENO, Nevada: Leaders of Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and other faiths came together on April 30 to help Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Reno (Nevada) students to raise funds for victims of recent Boston tragedy. This prayer-service, lead by Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, included

at helping the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15. Besides multi-faith prayer service, it also included local Boston Marathon participants Amy Blomquist and Sonja Pippin, live music, entertainment and VA Women's Color Guard. Participating TMCC student groups included Student Government Association (SGA), Phi Beta Lambda, South Asian Students, Truckee Meadows Veterans Club, Toastmasters, Philippine United

Staff, clients, guests of honor

keep funding for CCP as a priority. Hamdard's Executive Director Kiran S i d d i q u i thanked Ms Smith and Ms Ewert as well as the seniors who came to attend the ceremony and also introduced the first senior who became Hamdard's First In Home Care Client. In her brief adPat Ewert, community coordinator for Rep Cassidy, dress, she also Cathy, Sheila Green, Hamdard's director of elderly observed that services and Kiran Siddiqui cutting the ribbon "with the cur-

rent state fiscal crisis, this was a momentous feat for organizations such as Hamdard to receive payment from the state so that we can continue to provide services to seniors". The In Home Care program is for seniors and is staffed by dependable and hard working caregivers who assist seniors in their homes with household tasks such as light house keeping, planning and preparing meals following special diets, doing laundry, shopping and running errands, assistance with personal care tasks such as dressing, bathing, grooming and accompanying the seniors on doctor's visits. These caregivers service Hamdard's clients throughout the week, including weekends and holidays.

Religious leaders who participated in this multi-faith prayer service, from left to right: Bishop Luther James DuPree Junior, Ian Bulla, Bashir Al-Amin of Muslim community, Toni de Salvo of Lutheran Church, Matthew Fisher of Reno Buddhist Center, Rajan Zed, Daniel R. Sanchez of University of Nevada, Hillel, Reverend Liesa of Spiritual Living, Rev. Rich Smith of First Congregational Church, and Craig Dutton of The Church of Jesus Christ

prayers/reflections from various faith traditions and began with lighting of the candles and participatory rendition of Gayatri Mantra, considered most sacred mantra of Hinduism. Organized by TMCC students, this Boston Benefit Event aimed

Student Organization and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. According to SGA President Navgeet (King) Zed, all proceeds will go to non-profit Wiggle Your Toes Foundation, which supports amputees and their families that have experienced limb loss.


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

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

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May 17, 2013 6 Aake Tere Kareeb: Ammaa Ki Boli 7 Kaali Kaali: Aake Tere Kareeb 8 Meethi Boliyaan: Kai Po Che! 9 Yaaram: Ek Thi Daayan 10 Manjha: Kai Po Che!

U

day Chopra has fuelled rumors of his link up with Nargis Fakhri by praising the 'Rockstar' actress' "beautiful smile" and "amazing body". Nargis took to Twitter, and posted: "Let's start Feel Good Fridays! Where we remind ourselves what we are grateful for and what we love about ourselves! Five of each!" Uday was the quickest to respond. He tweeted: "@NargisFakhri, I'm grateful for - 1) Your beautiful smile 2) Your gorgeous face 3) Your amazing body 4) Your striking personality and 5) Your positivity." To that, Nargis responded: "Oh Lord you can do better than that! But thank you for being grateful for my physical attributes." Uday, who has been taking care of his home banner Yash Raj Films' (YRF) Hollywood wing, wrote back: "My dear Nargis, why involve The Lord when we can amicably settle this between ourselves. I'd love to do better as long as you teach."

"My dear Nargis, why involve The Lord when we can amicably settle this between ourselves. I'd love to do better as long as you teach."

T

he remake of the 1973 Amitabh Bachchan starrer Zanjeer has been facing hurdles ever since it began shooting. Though the film's release is still a bit sketchy, it is learnt that Priyanka Chopra will be doing an item number in the film. After gyrating to 'Babli' in 'Shootout at Wadala', she is ready for her next item number called 'Pinky'. Pee Cee sizzled in the track Babli Badmaash with her special outfit made of rubber and leather, which made her look more chic and sexy. The actress had taken her first item song to a new level in her own style. Once the song hit the net, it became viral. The 'Pinky' number sung by Mamta will be choreographed by none other than ace dance guru Ganesh Acharya. Zanjeer directed by Apoorva Lakhia, also stars Sanjay Dutt, Prakash Raj and Mahie Gill.


Bollywood

May 17, 2013

India Post 29

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HOT boy is COOL

B

ollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor has dismissed the idea of him being labeled as one of the hottest young stars of the Indian film industry. "I don't take any tags seriously. I don't consider myself hot or good looking. I just concentrate on my work," the 30-year-old actor said while promoting Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani where he is seen romancing former girlfriend Deepika Padukone. "There was no baggage. We have remained friends and both of us just loved our parts in this film. It is great to see her growth as an actor and I look forward to working with her again," he said in reference to the couple's on-screen chemistry. The film is produced by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukerji, the director of Kapoor's previous box-office hit Wake Up Sid. While the latest project is packaged within a romance genre, the actor stresses there is a far deeper thread running through it.

SPURNED AGAIN

I

f there was one thing Deepika Padukone was truly looking forward to through her hectic shooting schedule in the last month; it was the promotion tour for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD) to the UK and UAE. She has bent backwards to please her directors Rohit Shetty and Sanjay Leela Bhansali with practically working round the clock because she wanted a week off. Those seven days were reserved for the foreign promotions of YJHD with Ranbir Kapoor. But the weather played truant in Munnar where she was shooting for Chennai Express and she got delayed. The delay has cost her dearly. She has to now allot dates to Ram Leela and forgo her foreign trip with RK Junior. One hears that Katrina Kaif, who has a few days off, is reportedly flying to London around the same time as Ranbir. It's likely that this piece of information could put Deepu in a blue funk again.

P

Thanks moTher!

ooja Chopra, who has made entry in Bollywood with successful film Commando claims that she had no plans to act, but always desired to open a restaurant for her mother. Pooja shares her desire to bring lot of happiness to her mother. "After Miss India I never planned to act. In fact, I wanted to open a restaurant for my mother. So, that she doesn't need to work under anyone and owns that place. However, my mom told me to be an actor," said Pooja. "I am glad that my mom told me to get into Bollywood as I love acting and I am happy that it's also my career," added the Commando actress. On being asked whether Bollywood is the obvious choice after Miss India, she said, "Yes, it's an obvious choice, but it's a gradual procession. You have to be in the glam industry."


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30 India Post

May 17, 2013

Saleem & Parvati in Dacca

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or the connoisseurs of SouthAsian literature written in English, the book "Midnight's Children" has to rank near the very top. The novel which launched the career of Salman Rushdie in 1981 not only won the prestigious Man Booker Prize soon after its release but The Booker of Bookers award as well in 1993 for best book in the 25 years of Booker history. And if that was not enough, it won the Best of the Booker award in 2008 marking 40 years of that prize. Keeping such a background in mind and the length of the novel, when this scribe heard that Midnight's Children was being made into a single movie, the first thought that came to mind was "not possible". Others who have read the book may or may not agree but this is not just the story of Saleem Sinai and his many friends but an epic directly related to two countries, India and Pakistan and includes the birth of a third, Bangladesh. There is just too much in this "factional" tale to condense into a single screenplay, but Salman Rushdie has done exactly that and quite successfully here. Stepping forward and taking the challenge to make this film, Director Deepa Mehta (of Fire, Earth and Water fame) had a lot on her mind during a phone interview on the making of Midnight's Children. An abbreviated form of the exchange is presented below: Ras: One can think of few other books more challenging to make a movie on. What made you choose the Midnight's Children story to make into a film? Deepa: It's a great story. Saleem Sinai born at midnight on India's independence, and the subsequent turn of events making it his personal and also a national journey. Anybody can relate to it. I'm so glad that

RAS H. SIDDIQUI

Salman wrote the script for it. Ras: How did you come to choose actor Satya Bhabha to play Saleem, the lead role in the movie? Deepa: I saw him in a play and in a film.

Ras: The roles of women in the movie appear to be stronger than those in the book. Was that by choice or are some of us looking too much into their presence? Deepa: One of the reasons I was attracted

the film appears subdued. Did you have any constraints regarding the length of this movie so that not all characters could be fully explored? Deepa: I have to disagree. Every character got the time that we felt was needed in the film. Ras: What are your expectations from this movie? Was it somewhat challenging to find distributors earlier in spite of or due to the Rushdie name attached to the movie? Deepa: No challenges at all. We have had distribution since the day that it was framed. This is the way it is done. Ras: Do you think that South-Asians will continue to see many more films related to Partition? Deepa: I have no idea. How do we know? People are still making movies about the Jewish Holocaust and will continue to do so because they have a powerful message to convey. Similarly the horrors of Partition contain a lesson and a grim reminder for us not to make the same mistake again.

The Movie Salman Rushdie & Deepa Mehta

He is a great actor of mixed heritage. His father is Indian and his mother European. The character Saleem Sinai is Anglo-Indian so I wanted to have that look. Ras: What were you looking for in the actor who played Shiva? Deepa: The dark side, I was looking for somebody who looks very powerful. Shiva is all about power, quite the opposite of Saleem.

to the book was because of its powerful women characters. As a Director, I have always been attracted to strong female roles like those in this movie. The role of Naseem played by Shabana Azmi for instance. The characters Parvati, Emerald and The Prime Minister etc. are all about strong women. Ras: One of my favorite characters in the book Midnight's Children had to be Picture Singh, but somehow his presence in

And now on to the movie which begins once upon a time (as narrated by Salman Rushdie) at Dal Lake in Kashmir in the year 1917 when Aadam Aziz (Rajat Kapoor), Saleem Sinai's "grandfather" embarks on a Hol(e)y romance with a young lady patient named Naseem under the watchful "eye" of her father Ghani Sahib (Anupam Kher). Aadam who is blessed with an imposing nose with "Dynasties waiting inside it," is anxiously waiting for his patient to have a headache. Cont’d on page 31


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Nitin Mukesh wins over music lovers

The best Booker book is now a movie

LALCHAND RAJPUT

ST LOUIS: It was a memorable performance by Nitin Mukesh and

Nitin Mukesh with organizer Ashwin Patel of Seema Enterprises. Pics Manhar Bhakta

team at Clayton High school in St Louis on Friday April 26, organized by Seema Enterprises & Seema

of us -from Awaara, Chhallia, Shree 420, Sangam, Kabhi Kabhi, Milan, Saraswati Chandra to Roti Kapada aur Makan. His melodies are many and immortal. Having been intimately involved in the life of Mukesh, who better to bring his music and moods back to you than his son Nitin. Nitin started with a shloka and then commenced what can only be termed a command performance for over three hours. Mukesh's incredible association with India's great showman Raj Kapoor was virtually brought to life through some magnificent renditions of ageless hits like Jeena yahan, Jaane kahaan gaye who din from Mera Naam Joker and the duet Oh mere sanam and Dost dost na raha from Sangam. Manasi Paranjape, the young

Audience savoring every bit of his rendition

World Travel. The theme of the near threehour performance was "Remembering Mukesh", the legendary Bollywood playback singer of yesteryears. Nitin Mukesh, his son, a very accomplished singer in his own right was presenting the immortal melodies of Mukesh. He was accompanied by the finest Bollywood orchestra. They captured the heart and imagination of all those who came to the show. Accompanying Nitin Mukesh was female singers Namarta Sheth (Nitin Mukesh's younger sister) and Manasi Paranjape. "Remembering Mukesh" brought memories back for all

singer who has accompanied Nitin Mukesh on several tours, excelled in both her solo numbers and duets with Nitin Mukesh. The accompanying seven-member band also put up a tremendous performance for St. Louis music lovers.

Nitin dances with one of the audience members

Cont’d from page 30

Aadam and Naseem (Shabana Azmi) get married, settle down in Agra in to get caught up in the emotions of the partition of British India along with their daughters Alia, Mumtaz and Emerald. After a political murder, a poet of questionable potency by the name of Nadir Khan (Zaib Shaikh) hides underground in the Sinai house and befriends Mumtaz (Shahana Goswami). In a house where mother Naseem takes a vow of silence but has the ability to invade the dreams of her daughters in which the lovely Emerald (Anita Majumdar) finds the confident and dashing Major Zulfikar (Rahul Bose) and Alia dreams of Ahmed Sinai (Ronit Roy). Naseem and Nadir tie the knot but all is not what is supposed to be since story, family and genetics take unexpected turns as Ahmed Sinai enters Naseem's life, transforms her into Amina Sinai, and moves with her to Bombay. Partition fast approaches and Buckingham Villa, a residence in Bombay is sold to the Sinai's by an Englishman by the name of William Methwold (Charles Dance) who appears to be doing a lot more than keeping the empire alive during its dying days besides listening to a street singer named Wee Willie Winkie and his wife Anita. The midnight hour of India's independence arrives and two children are born in the same hospital at around the same time to Amina Sinai and Anita, to be named Saleem and Shiva, an opportunity for to a nurse by the name of Mary Pereira (Seema Biswas) to change history for love. Partition happens; "Pakistan and India were born washing themselves in one another's blood," narrates Rushdie. From that midnight when Jawaharlal Nehru's "Tryst with

Destiny" begins, 1001 children are born close to that time, each having special powers with the ones arriving into the world closest to midnight being the ones most powerfully gifted. Saleem the gentle rich kid and Shiva the hatefully strong poor one, the two opposites born at midnight become the leaders of Midnight's Children and from then on the history of India (and to some extent Pakistan) becomes their life story.

Picture Singh & Saleem Sinai

Saleem and Shiva have a parting as Saleem moves to Pakistan (where he assists in the 1958 coup) and Shiva remains in India joining the military. The other prominent characters are Picture Singh (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) "The most charming man in the world" and Parvati - the witch who was born 7 seconds after midnight, "sister" Jamila (Soha Ali Khan) and last but not least The Prime

Minister (Sarita Choudhury). It is in Dacca (now Dhaka) and 1971 during the birth of Bangladesh that Saleem, Shiva and Parvati reunite to move back to Delhi with the help of magic. It is a time when India's democracy comes under attack and a long period of darkness follows during which Midnight's Children are targeted for elimination. Satya Bhabha is a convincing Saleem, his role being that of a weak hero and Siddharth plays a powerfully violent Shiva, but the Parvati, Mumtaz, Emerald and Jamila characters also shine in this movie. The musical score is well done and the lyrics for songs including those by Ghalib and Faiz certainly add to the attractiveness of this film. To conclude here "Midnight's Children" the movie succeeds in its attempt to convert a SouthAsian epic into a single film. This book could easily have become a trilogy but Deepa and Salman have made it work as a single effort. And after having watched it more than once (the luxuries of being the reviewer) one has to concede the earlier point on Picture Singh to Deepa. His character is warm and generous and well-acted. What is missing is the symbolic "Chutney" of the Left, like in the book. Rushdie seems to have somewhat diluted its politics even though his radical spittoon is ever present!


„ Health

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$2.8 mn for man paralyzed at hospital COLUMBUS, Ohio: A jury has awarded $2.8 million to a Columbus man who was paralyzed after hospital employees put him in a restraint hold. Michael Dillon sued OhioHealth, the parent company of Doctors Hospital in Columbus, in June 2010, a year after the incident. The lawsuit says that an employee severely injured Dillon's cervical spine by applying excessive force to his neck and body. The Columbus Dispatch reports that an eight-member jury unanimously found in Dillon's favor after a month-long trial. They awarded him a total of about $2.8 million for medical costs and care, and damages. -AP

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One-third of Chinese adults have high blood pressure

BEIJING: More than 330 million Chinese people suffer from high blood pressure, which means one in every three adults is estimated to have hypertension, an official report said. "The prevalence rate for hypertension in Chinese men between the ages of 25 and 34 has surpassed 20 per cent," said Liu Lisheng, President of the World Hypertension League. He was citing a report released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on the matter. "However, most people have poor awareness of the danger of high blood pressure, with about 130 million people unaware that they have the condition and 75 per cent of patients not receiving proper treatment," state-run Xinhua quoted Lisheng as saying.-PTI

„ 5 students win contest to meet Warren Buffett OMAHA, Neb.: Five lucky students won the chance to consult Warren Buffett on their ideas for improving the health of their schools. The students won a national contest and got to meet Buffett on the eve of the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. The students are all Ambassadors for Fuel Up to Play 60, the wellness program backed by the NFL and the National Dairy Council. As part of winning the contest, the students will each receive $4,000 grants to implement their ideas. -AP

Health Science 'Facebook can make you mentally ill' 32

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Details on Page 35

Mumbai doctor gets US award for tobacco control efforts WASHINGTON: An Indian doctor of Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital has been awarded with the prestigious Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence for his innovative efforts in reducing tobacco consumption in India. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, cancer surgeon, received the award by the 'Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids' at a function here. "The smokeless tobacco industry has unleashed an epidemic of such cancers in India, with alarming increases among our youth. In fact, India has

He added that tobacco kills at least one million Indians each year. This is equivalent to ten packed jumbo jets crashing every day or ten tsunamis hitting our shores every year. Chaturvedi also heads the advocacy group Voice of Tobacco Victims, which is leading India's growing tobacco control movement that has resulted in ban of smokeless tobacco products in nearly all Indian states and increased taxes on tobacco throughout the country. "We have worked through our courts and state governments to ban sale of gutka, a cheap and

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi

earned the dubious distinction of being the mouth cancer capital of the world," Chaturvedi said in his acceptance speech through video.

popular form of smokeless tobacco that is a primary cause of the oral cancer epidemic. 23 of India's 28 states and five of seven union territories have

"The smokeless tobacco industry has unleashed an epidemic of such cancers in India, with alarming increases among our youth. In fact, India has earned the dubious distinction of being the mouth cancer capital of the world," Chaturvedi said in his acceptance speech through video now banned the sale of gutka," Chaturvedi said. He added that tax on tobacco products in 20 Indian states covering a total population of over

700 million people have been increased. "If these tax increases result in comparable price increases, they can save as many as 5 million lives. These changes were unimaginable just a few short years ago," he said. The Wilkenfeld Award was established in honor of Judy Wilkenfeld, the founder of Tobacco-Free Kids' international program, who passed away in May 2007. The award recognizes international tobacco control advocates who contribute significantly to reducing tobacco use and inspire others to do the same in the spirit exemplified by Wilkenfeld. The Campaign for TobaccoFree Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. -PTI

States fear losing aid for 'uninsurables' WASHINGTON: Thousands of people with serious medical problems are in danger of losing coverage under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul because of cost overruns, state officials say. At risk is the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, a transition program that's become a lifeline for the so-called uninsurables - people with serious medical conditions who

can't get coverage elsewhere. The program helps bridge the gap for those patients until next year, when under the new law insurance companies will be required to accept people regardless of their medical problems. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, state officials said they were ``blindsided'' and ``very disappointed'' by a federal proposal they contend would shift the risk

Kathleen Sebelius

for cost overruns to states in the waning days of the program. About 100,000 people are currently covered. ``We are concerned about what will become of our high risk members' access to this decent and affordable coverage,'' wrote Michael Keough, chairman of the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans. Cont'd on Page 35


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Philadelphia abortion murder trial has national impact

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or weeks, jurors in Philadelphia heard grim testimony about deaths and squalor at Dr. Kermit Gosnell's innercity abortion clinic. While they listened, the murder case reverberated far beyond the courtroom, changing - at least for the moment - the tone of the national debate on abortion. Groups supporting legal access to abortion, after major successes in the 2012 national elections, find themselves on the defensive as they distance themselves from Gosnell. ``All of us are appalled by the substandard illegal practices,'' said Vicki Saporta, who as CEO of the National Abortion Federation represents hundreds of U.S. abortion clinics. ``But to make the leap to say that's indicative of the state of abortion care throughout the U.S. is absolutely false.'' Anti-abortion activists, in contrast, are energized by the case, citing it in fundraising appeals and renewed efforts to expand state restrictions on abortion. ``It's very seldom we get such an opportunity to look at the realities of what's happening in abortion,'' said Dr. Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing five people - a patient and four viable babies that prosecutors say were born alive. Among scores of other counts, he also is accused of performing abortions after Pennsylvania's 24-week limit. Anti-abortion groups have seized on the case as a chance to reach an audience beyond their regular followers. Those efforts were enhanced midway through the trial when abortion opponents used social media to accuse some national news outlets of a ``blackout'' of the case, resulting in in-

this country.'' Anti-abortion groups are trying to make the case that he does, arguing that lax regulation and callous attitudes have allowed dangerous conditions to persist in many clinics. They also contend there's little practical difference between what Gosnell is charged with killing four babies who were born alive - and a late-term abortion. The trial ``shows people that abortion is about killing human beings that have arms and legs and in this case, a lot of attention has been focused on necks and spines that can be cut. They're alive and something has to be done to them to cause them to die,'' said David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. One anti-abortion group, Live Action, has used the case to publicize the latest in a series of undercover videos it has made at abortion clinics. ``Gosnell Not Alone in Late-term Abortion Brutality,'' declares a news release about videos which, according to Live Action president Lila Rose, show abortion providers discussing possible outcomes of late-term abortions that she depicts as infanticide. Another group, Americans United for Life, is using the case to bolster its promotion of state laws requiring abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as outpatient surgical facilities. ``You are going to see legislators taking a look at this horrific situation in PhiladelGosnell, 72, is charged with killing five phia and say, `We do not want this in our state,''' people - a patient and four viable said spokeswoman Kristi Hamrick. babies that prosecutors say were born Anti-abortion activalive. Among scores of other counts, ists were already feeling he also is accused of performing abor- emboldened by the Republican electoral gains tions after Pennsylvania's 24-week limit of 2010. Since then, GOP-dominated state creased news coverage. legislatures have passed more than 160 reCertainly, there's been national attention. strictive abortion measures - more than in Beth Burkstrand-Reid, a University of Ne- the seven previous years combined, acbraska law professor who teaches courses cording to a tally by the Guttmacher Instiabout abortion and gender issues, says her tute. students have been coming up to her beIn the 2012 election, abortion-rights supfore and after class to talk about the case. porters countered by accusing the GOP of The horrific allegations against Gosnell waging a ``war on women,'' and some anti- whose clinic was licensed but hadn't been abortion Republicans lost high-profile Seninspected since 1993 - have prompted the ate races. abortion-rights lobby to repudiate him as a Now the Gosnell case is providing abor``rogue operator'' employing practices far tion opponents with fresh ammunition as outside the norm. they seek tighter clinic regulations and ad``This was an incredibly horrible situa- ditional restrictions on late-term abortions. tion and when it came to light, he was some- For example, they are citing the case in urghow associated with the abortion commu- ing Congress to ban abortions in Washnity, which he's not,'' said Elizabeth Nash ington, D.C., beyond the 20th week of pregof the Guttmacher Institute, a research nancy, based on the disputed premise that group which supports abortion rights. ``It's a fetus can feel pain at that age. taking a long time for that message to get Eleven states already have so-called feout. He does not represent abortion care in tal pain laws, though only six are in force.

Courts have blocked enforcement in three states, while in two states the measures have yet to take effect. Late-term abortions are relatively rare.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell

According to federal data, about 92 percent of abortions are performed at 13 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. Some states are now targeting those early-stage abortions. New laws would ban most abortions after 12 weeks in Arkansas

and after six weeks in North Dakota. In Pennsylvania, the Gosnell case has already had a direct impact on policy. A law that took effect last year raised safety standards for abortion clinics, including requirements for wider hallways and doorways, bigger operating rooms, and full-time nurses. The law also mandates unannounced inspections. Since the law's enactment, five of the state's 22 abortion clinics have closed, according to the Health Department, though reasons for the closures vary. Abortion-rights supporters say the Gosnell case illustrates the need for increased access to abortion services, not less. They argue that restrictions drive down the number of reputable providers and force desperate, low-income women to turn to unsafe options, as was often the case before the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established a nationwide right to abortion. ``The kinds of restrictions that the antichoice lobby has been trying to put in place for years and years are the exact kinds of restrictions that keep people like Kermit Gosnell in business,'' said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. ``Peeking at Gosnell's clinic is like peeking into U.S. history pre-Roe v. Wade.'' -AP


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Doctor, wife selling everything, moving to Haiti BRENTWOOD, Tenn.: A Brentwood doctor and his wife are boxing up their belongings and either giving them away or selling them off as they prepare to move to Haiti for full-time mission work. The Tennessean reports Dr. David Vanderpool and his wife, Laurie, plan to serve the medical, educational and spiritual needs of the people there. They are closing LaveMD, a practice that does aesthetic treatments such as fixing varicose veins and liposuction, and have a May 10 date set to close on the

school sweethearts in the '70s in Texas. Now, with their youngest child in college, they thought the time was right to go. ``It's sad that it shocks people,'' said Cheryl Reed, a friend who has been on several trips with Vanderpool's Live Beyond medical mission nonprofit. ``They make us think,'' Reed said. ``They're so bold, so courageous.'' David Vanderpool says he is living his Christian faith. ``Here we are, the most affluent country and we're obese,'' he

The Vanderpools said they have dreamed about retiring to mission work since they were high school sweethearts in the '70s in Texas. Now, with their youngest child in college, they thought the time was right to go sale of their home. Laurie Stallings Vanderpool says she and her husband, who have participated in several mission trips over the years, are ``being promoted to something really grand.'' ``I've been giddy since September, when we made the decision to go,'' she said. The Vanderpools said they have dreamed about retiring to mission work since they were high

said. ``Go two hours off our border and 80 percent of the children don't get enough food. ``We spend money on ourselves,'' he said. ``We're Pharisees.'' At a recent fundraiser he told stories about the desperation in Haiti, including that of a starving mother who killed her infant so the baby wouldn't starve to death. ``Can you feel the gut-wrenching poverty that would make you

Dr. David Vanderpool and his wife, Laurie. Pic The Tennessean

kill a baby?'' he asked those who had gathered. ``Why does this happen?'' he said. ``Many ask, `Why does a good God allow this to happen?' ``I have another question. Why do good Christians allow

this to happen? ``Go into all the world,'' said Vanderpool about Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28. ``He said, `Go.' ``Jesus left the ultimate gated community,'' Vanderpool said.

``He was the star of heaven, there at creation with all the riches of heaven. ``He left that,'' he said. ``He became poor so we could become rich. ``How can we live any differently than that?'' -AP

Gene that halts cancer growth discovered WASHINGTON: Scientists have identified a "master regulator" gene that, when repressed in cancer cells, puts a halt to tu-

mors and stops them from enlarging and spreading to distant sites. Researchers hope the gene may be the key to developing a new treatment for tumors resis-

tant to current drugs. This master regulator is normally turned off in adult cells, but it is very active during embryonic

development and in all highly aggressive tumors studied to date," said Linda Resar, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Our work shows for the first

time that switching this gene off in aggressive cancer cells dramatically changes their appearance and behavior," said Resar. Resar has been investigating genes in the master regulator's family, known as high mobility group or HMG genes, for two decades. In addition to their role in cancer, these genes are essential for giving stem cells their special powers, and that's no coincidence, she said. "Many investigators consider cancer cells to be the evil twin of stem cells, because like stem cells, cancer cells must acquire special properties to enable the tumor to grow and metastasize or spread to different sites," she said. In the newly reported study,

the Resar's team applied the same techniques to several strains of human breast cancer cells in the laboratory, including the so-called triple negative cells - those that lack hormone receptors or HER2 gene amplification. The Resar team blocked HMGA1 expression in aggressive

more like normal breast cells growing in culture," said Resar. The team also found that the cells with suppressed HMGA1 grow very slowly and fail to migrate or invade new territory like their HMGA1-expressing cousins. Researchers next implanted

Remarkably, within a few days of blocking HMGA1 expression, they appeared rounder and much more like normal breast cells growing in culture breast cancer cells and followed their appearance and growth patterns. "The aggressive breast cancer cells grow rapidly and normally appear spindle-shaped or thin and elongated. Remarkably, within a few days of blocking HMGA1 expression, they appeared rounder and much

tumor cells into mice to see how the cells would behave. The tumors with HMGA1 grew and spread to other areas, such as the lungs, while those with blocked HMGA1 did not grow well in the breast tissue or spread to distant sites. The study was published in the journal Plos One. -PTI


May 17, 2013

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'Facebook can make you mentally ill' JERUSALEM: Facebook and other social networking sites may affect your mental health by causing psychotic episodes and delusions, researchers warn. As Internet access becomes increasingly widespread, so do related psychopathologies such as Internet addiction and delusions related to the technology and to virtual relationships, according to the study. Computer communications such as Facebook and chat groups are an important part of this story, said Dr Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center. According to Nitzan, patients shared some crucial characteristics, including loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one, relative inexperience with technology, and no prior history of psychosis or substance abuse. In each case, a connection was found

between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications. The good news is that all of the patients,

States fear losing aid for 'uninsurables' Cont'd from Page 32

said Nitzan. "All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer," he said. Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her. Some of the problematic features of the Internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of non-verbal cues, and the tendency to idealize the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face. All of these factors can contribute to a patient's break with reality, and the development of a psychotic state. The study was published in the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences. -PTI

Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her

ees, and that funding is spent appropriately,'' he said in a written statement. The new contract stipulated that states will be reimbursed ``up to a ceiling.'' ``The `ceiling' part is the issue for us,'' Keough said in an interview. ``They are shifting the risk from the federal government, for a program that has experienced huge cost overruns on a per-member basis, to states. And that's a tall order.'' State officials say one likely consequence of the money crunch will be a cost shift to people in the program, resulting in sudden increases in premiums and copayments. Many might just drop out,

States and local nonprofits administer the program in 27 states, and the federal government runs the remaining plans. ``We fear...catastrophic disruption of coverage for these vulnerable individuals,'' added Keough, who runs North Carolina's program. He warned of ``large-scale enrollee terminations at this critical transition time.'' The crisis is surfacing at a politically awkward time for the Obama administration, which is trying to persuade states to embrace a major expansion of Medicaid under the health care law. One of the main arguments proponents of the expansion are making is that Washington ``The `ceiling' part is the issue for us,'' is a reliable financial Keough said in an interview. ``They are partner. The root of the prob- shifting the risk from the federal lem is that the federal government, for a program that has health care law capped spending on the pro- experienced huge cost overruns on a gram at $5 billion, and per-member basis, to states the money is running out because the beneficiaries turned out to be costlier to care for said Keough. than expected. Advanced heart disease and If a state and HHS can't come to an agreecancer are common diagnoses for the group. ment, the federal government will take over Obama did not ask for any additional that state's program for the rest of this year. funding for the program in his latest bud- Amie Goldman, director of the Wisconsin get, and a Republican bid to keep the pro- program, said that would be an unneeded gram going by tapping other funds in the and possibly risky disruption for patients health care law failed to win support in the who'll have to change insurance next year anyway, when the pre-existing conditions House last week. Brian Cook, a spokesman for the HHS plan formally ends. agency overseeing the health care law, took Goldman said in her state, for example, issue with idea that thousands of people the University of Wisconsin hospital isn't could lose coverage, though he did not part of the federal government's provider network. ``My colleagues in other states elaborate. ``These actions are part of our careful have similar concerns about holes in the management of the program to ensure that network,'' she said. ``I think it puts people there is a seamless transition ... for enroll- at medical risk.'' -AP

who willingly sought out treatment on their own, were able to make a full recovery with proper treatment and care, Nitzan said. While technologies such as Facebook have numerous advantages, some patients are harmed by these social networking sites, which can attract those who are lonely or vulnerable in their day-to-day lives or act as a platform for cyber-bullying and other predatory behavior, he said. All three of Nitzan's patients sought refuge from a lonely situation and found solace in intense virtual relationships. Although these relationships were positive at first, they eventually led to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and invasion of privacy,


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Realty Tidbits

Godrej ties up with United Oxygen for housing project NEW DELHI: Godrej Properties has entered into an agreement with United Oxygen Company to develop a housing project in Bangalore. The company, part of Godrej Group, said it has entered into a development management agreement with United Oxygen to develop a project with saleable area of 10 lakh sq ft. The land belongs to United Oxygen Company Ltd. "We are happy to enter into an agreement for a new project in Whitefield. This project will be designed to be a landmark development in the location and will further build our presence in Bengaluru...The development management model fits well with our strategy of capital efficient growth," Godrej Properties MD and CEO Pirojsha Godrej said in a statement. Mumbai-based Godrej Properties is currently developing residential, commercial and township projects spread across 82 million square feet in 12 cities. -PTI

„ NCP targets CM on expensive MHADA flats MUMBAI: Targeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, NCP has asked him to direct the state housing body MHADA to lower prices of flats in this year's lottery, and demanded a clear statement on when the under-construction Mono-rail and Metro rail in Mumbai would start operating. Speaking to reporters here, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the rich can purchase flats at any cost, but government housing schemes were for the poor. "MHADA should ensure that there are affordable houses for the poor and the middle classes," he said. MHADA flats were now out of bounds for the common man and as the Housing department was with the Chief Minister, he should look into the matter urgently, Ajit said. -PTI

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Inquiry into properties of political parties: Mamata PANIHATI: Alleging that CPI (M) had amassed movable and immovable property running into crores of rupees in the last 34 years, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said there would be an inquiry to ascertain the 'benami' property of political parties. "CPI (M) amassed thousands of crores of rupees in property. Property wise, CPI (M) now ranks next to Congress and BJP," Banerjee told a Trinamool Congress rally here. -PTI

5 housing trends for spring 2013 POLYANA DA COSTA

H

omeowners who endured years of declining home values will discover that the game has changed in their favor. With low mortgage rates and home prices gaining momentum, an increasing number of buyers are expected to shop for homes this spring. The good news for sellers: The inventory of homes for sale is shrinking, so they have less competition and more control of the situation. Loan modes: As more distressed homeowners regain equity in coming months, many with high-interest loans will be able to refinance and perhaps cash out some equity. If you fell behind on your mortgage payments, you might get a second chance to modify your loan. Homebuyers are losing bargaining power as the market shifts in favor of sellers. But home prices remain attractive for the most part, and low mortgage rates should stay on their side for a little longer. Here are five housing trends

Demand from homebuyers is growing faster than the supply of homes for sale, according to data from the National Association of Realtors you should expect to see this spring. Fewer options, higher prices and bidding wars If you plan to buy a home this spring, expect competition.

Demand from homebuyers is growing faster than the supply of homes for sale, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. "It's creating a little bit of a shortage and a mismatch between

supply and demand," says Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the National Association of Realtors. Buyers are encountering bidding wars in many parts of the country, Smith says. Competing offers pose a challenge for first-time homebuyers. Competition: "Multiple offers seem to be the norm these days," says Patty Da Silva, owner of Green Realty Properties in Davie, Fla. She says she recently represented a seller who received more than 15 offers in one weekend for a house in Cooper City, Fla. "Home listed Wednesday evening; first showing on Saturday at 1 p.m.; several offers came in on Saturday and several Sunday; the home was under contract by Monday morning," she says. As of February, there were 1.94 million homes for sale nationwide. That represented a supply of 4.7 months at that month's sales pace. A balanced market requires about six months' of supply. Cont’d on page 37

Seller was deceptive about triplex defects STEVE MCLINDEN

Dear Real Estate Adviser, We placed a bid on a triplex that was accepted, then we ordered a home inspection. It revealed rotted support beams, an undisclosed well, asbestos, chimney damage, no attic venting, major electrical problems through all three units and much more. The inspector said a licensed electrician was needed at once because there was reversed polarity, open junction boxes, etc. The seller didn't disclose these problems and won't

do anything about them. Our agent says she'll probably just find a less-discriminating buyer. Is this legal? What are our options? Should I report the seller? -Annie O. Dear Annie, Surely you can overlook a few rough spots. I am joking of course, but in a sober, whistling-past-thegraveyard sense. These aren't your garden-variety flaws, after all. Some even sound potentially deadly. And yes, the seller has a legal obligation to disclose such

glaring defects to potential buyers in practically all instances -

Some shy away from environmental problems and some electrical issues, and yours didn't. He may have saved you a lot of angst even if she is selling "as is" - and

this lady is really rolling the dice by ignoring such potential hazards. Her apparent philosophy of saying little in hopes of gaining a lot is not unique, unfortunately. Let me applaud your thorough inspector. Some shy away from environmental problems and some electrical issues, and yours didn't. He may have saved you a lot of angst. Now let's explore your options. These are: Cont’d on page 37


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May 17, 2013

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5 housing trends for spring 2013 Cont’d from page 36

During the same period last year, there was a supply of 6.4 months. "Back in 2010 we had 9.4 months' of supply," Smith says. Loan modifications made easier for some Homeowners who are behind on their mortgages may get a hasslefree opportunity to reduce their monthly payments. The Federal Housing Finance Agency will require mortgage servicers to offer a streamlined modification program to borrowers with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, starting in July. The offers will be sent to homeowners who are at least 90 days behind on their loans but no more than two years behind. To qualify, borrowers must owe at least 80 percent of the home's value. The modification reduces the loan's interest rate and extends the loan term to 40 years. Minimal paperwork: Borrowers won't be required to submit any financial documentation to the lender to get approval. The loan modification becomes permanent after three payments are made dur-

ing the three-month trial period. "Streamlined modification provides borrowers who face difficulty satisfying the documentation standards of traditional workout programs with a path to stay in their homes with reduced paperwork requirements," says Meg Burns, senior associate director for housing and regulatory policy for the FHFA. "This option should be es-

The FHA currently requires borrowers to pay for mortgage insurance on FHA loans until the balance reaches 78 percent of the original value of the home pecially helpful to those who are self-employed, part of multigenerational households, or simply overwhelmed with the document-collection burden." FHA loans lose appeal -- again Borrowers seeking low-payment mortgages will be charged for mortgage insurance for the life of their loans if they don't get their Federal

Housing Administration mortgages by June 2. The FHA currently requires borrowers to pay for mortgage insurance on FHA loans until the balance reaches 78 percent of the original value of the home. Pay forever: Once the change goes into effect, all new FHA loans with less than a 10 percent down payment will carry mortgage insurance until the loan is refinanced or paid off. Loans with a 10 percent down payment or greater will have to pay for mortgage insurance for at least 11 years. For borrowers who plan to stay in their homes for less than 10 years, the new rules won't make that much of a difference, says Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans. That's because normally, it takes borrowers about 10 years to reach the required loan level for the insurance to cancel anyway. "But for those who are planning (to) keep their houses for an extended period, this is a big deal," Findlay says. "They can always refinance later -- but who knows where rates are going to be 10 years from now?" Equity loans and cash-out refis are back -- sort of

About 1.7 million homeowners regained equity in their homes last year, and an additional 1.8 million are close to it, according to a recent study by CoreLogic. All they need is home values to go up by another 5 percent, CoreLogic says. As home prices rise, millions of homeowners might consider turning to their homes as a potential source for a loan. Cash-out refi-

For borrowers who plan to stay in their homes for less than 10 years, the new rules won't make that much of a difference, says Cameron Findlay nances and home equity loans, which were popular during the housing boom, are slowly returning, along with the temptation to tap into equity. "I'm starting to see some of that," says Michael Becker, a mortgage banker at WCS Funding in Baltimore. He says he has recently received a couple of inquiries from parents who are thinking of using

some of their equity to pay for college expenses. Another client is considering a cash-out refinance to pay off credit card debt. Home as ATM: Lenders remain somewhat reluctant because these types of loans contributed to the mortgage meltdown as homeowners turned their homes into ATMs. But borrowers who have good credit scores and sufficient equity should be able to find lenders willing to do cash-out refis and home equity loans this spring. Mortgage rates rise at a snail's pace Mortgage rates are expected to creep up this spring but should remain low. Up just a little: The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates the 30-year fixed rate will reach 3.9 percent by the end of the first quarter this year. That's not as good as the superlow rates that borrowers got in December 2012, when the 30-year fixed hit a record low of 3.5 percent in Bankrate's weekly survey. But it's still a good deal for most buyers and refinancers, housing experts say. "Rates are climbing slowly, but even by the end of year, they are not going to be astronomical," Smith says. "They are still a bargain." - Courtesy Bankrate.com

Realtors welcome rate cut; Seller was deceptive about triplex defects seek more reduction Cont’d from page 36

NEW DELHI: Welcoming the RBI decision to cut key policy rates by 0.25 per cent, the real estate sector has said there is a need for further reduction so that the interest cost to builders and home buyers falls considerably. "We sincerely hope that the RBI will keep up the trend of repo rate cut and facilitate a fall in interest rates so that EMI burden on common house buyer gets reduced considerably," Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) Chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said in a statement. CREDAI has over 10,000 members across the country. The Reserve Bank has cut the short-term lending rate, or repo, by just 0.25 per cent to 7.25 per cent and kept the liquidity enhancing cash reserve requirement unchanged. Country's largest realty firm DLF said that the rate cut was "too little" to boost realty sector as well as economy. Commenting on the policy, DLF

Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar said: "The rate cut is too little to give economy a boost. There is a need for further reduction". However, he said that if the banks and housing finance companies pass on the rate cut to consumers, it would have a positive impact on the sector. Echoing similar views, Royal

would continue monetary easing in the coming months and would further reduce the rates," Sandhir said. PropEquity Founder and CEO Samir Jasuja said: "We welcome the repo rate cut of 25 basis points by RBI in the latest credit policy review. However the real estate sector requires larger cuts in the repo rate and we hope RBI con-

The Reserve Bank has cut the short-term lending rate, or repo, by just 0.25 per cent to 7.25 per cent and kept the liquidity enhancing cash reserve requirement unchanged. Country's largest realty firm DLF said that the rate cut was "too little" to boost realty sector as well as economy Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) South Asia Managing Director Sachin Sandhir, welcomed the rate cut by the RBI. However, he said the realty sector requires more such incentives. "To revive investments in the sector, we hope the apex bank

tinues monetary easing in the coming months." Assotech Managing Director Sanjeev Srivastva termed the repo rate cut as "a good move" and hoped that the rate cut would be passed on to consumers by financial institutions. -PTI

1. 2.

Exit stage left, or exit stage right. You really don't want that triplex building unless it has been priced way, way down to a sum that would cover the countless thousands of dollars in needed remedial work and your sweat equity. But I'm not so sure that even a steep markdown is a justification to proceed here because there could be other hidden defects.

Withdraw that offer By the way, I can't imagine a scenario where that seller would have contractual leverage over you, given the home's condition and all those serious flaws she somehow happened to not mention. While each state (and city) can have different disclosure requirements, you are surely off the hook and I hope you have rescinded your offer by now and retained your escrow deposit.Courtesy Bankrate.com


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M

ussoorie, like other hill resorts in India, came into existence in the 1820s or thereabouts, when the fami lies of British colonials began making for the hills in order to escape the scorching heat of the plains. Small settlements grew into large stations and were soon vying with each other for the title of "queen of the hills." Mussoorie's name derives from the Mansur shrub (Cororiana nepalensis), common in the Himalayan foothills; but many of the house names derive from the native places of those who first built and lived in them. Today, the old houses and estates are owned by well-to-do Indians, many of whom follow the lifestyle of their former colonial rulers. In most cases, the old names have been retained.

"The Mall would be lifeless without people and people would find Mussoorie lifeless without the Mall," a shopkeeper observes. The main artery of Mussoorie, the Mall certainly responds to the influx of visitors in the same manner as a person fighting for life-sustaining breath revives after receiving oxygen

Tourist attractions "The Mall would be lifeless without people and people would find Mussoorie lifeless without the Mall," a shopkeeper observes. The main artery of Mussoorie, the Mall certainly responds to the influx of visitors in the same manner as a person fighting for life-sustaining breath revives after receiving oxygen. Shops closed for the winter spring to life when summer approaches. Soon, the trickle of visitors swells to a steady, heartening stream. Happy laughter and the gay chitterchatter of a cosmopolitan band of people from the plains flows from one open end of the Mall to the other. Forming

a fascinating fashion parade with a potpourri of fashions from different parts of the country, visitors glide up and down the Mall, gulping the fresh mountain air, gazing at the assortment of goods in the shops that line the Mall. There is no noisy traffic here. Only the occasional, measured clatter of hooves as a horse-riding tourist goes past. And every now and then, pedestrians move to the sides as two sturdy hillmen pulling hand rickshaws occupied by people reluctant to walk, signal their approach with the spirited ringing of a bicycle bell mounted on the handle of the quaint rickshaw. Cont’d on page 42


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Travel & Hospitality Post

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May 17, 2013

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India hospitality sector attracts $3.2 bn FDI NEW DELHI: The country's hotel and tourism sector has witnessed a sudden spurt in foreign direct investment (FDI) during the last financial year, reflecting increased interest in the country's hospitality industry. According to the data of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the sector has attracted FDI worth USD 3.21 billion during April-February 2012-13. DIPP is an arm under the Commerce and Industry Ministry which deals with FDI related matters. The FDI flow in the sector in the last fiscal is significantly higher as compared to the flow of USD 3.37 billion which the country received during the last 12 years ending March, 2012. The foreign inflows in the hotel and tourism sector did not figure in the DIPP's list of the top 10 recipients of FDI prior to September, 2012.

Industry experts attributed the sudden spurt in the FDI to factors like improving investment climate in the sector besides increasing opportunities.

Subhash Goyal

"Now everybody is looking at India. Huge opportunities are there in Indian hotel and tourism

sector. FDI climate in the sector has improved a lot in the country," President of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Subhash Goyal said. He said that 100 per cent FDI is allowed in the sector and further opening up of civil aviation sector for foreign airlines has also helped in attracting foreign players. However, he asked the government to take more steps to boost investment in the sector. "There is a need to look at land related problems for the sector besides taxation and human resource related issues," he added. Further, in India, services sector attracted highest FDI. During April-February 2013, the sector received foreign inflows in the order of USD 4.74 billion. During the period, overall FDI has declined 38 per cent to USD 20.89 billion.. -AP

NRIs, tourists being harassed in Italy KOCHI: Alleging that NRIs and tourists from Kerala were being "harassed" in Italy in the backdrop of Italian marines case, International Forum for Cultural Heritage and Tradition has asked Union External affairs, Defense Minister and Kerala Chief Minister to intervene. Austin Paul, President of the Kochi based Forum, said tourists from the state visiting Rome, Vatican, Milano, Pisa, had complained about the harassment. The Forum urged the Indian government to take up the matter with the Italian authorities and en-

sure the safety of NRIs and pilgrims. Two Italian marines, who had

Italian marines

shot and killed two Indian fishermen from a cargo vessel off Kerala coast last year, had been arrested and are facing murder charges. -PTI


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Asiatic Lions can be seen in Amreli too AHMEDABAD: Tourists visiting Gujarat to get a glimpse of the Asiatic Lions might get to see them at a new address at Ambardi in Amreli district, the eastern end of Gir Sanctuary, by this year-end. With a view to ease burgeoning tourist rush during the peak seasons at Sasan Gir, the state government is developing Gir Interpretation Zone Ambardi in Amreli, on the lines of Devaliya park, in Junagadh district. "A replicate of Devaliya Park is being developed at Ambardi near Dhaari in Amreli district, which would be housing 6-8 zoo-bred lions. The sanctuary is contiguous internally," Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden C N Pandey told PTI. Gir National Park (Sasan Gir), is the last abode of Asiatic Lions, a protected area from south east of Junagadh to south west of Amreli. Devaliya Park, is situated near Sasan Gir. It is around 75-100 kilometers away from the proposed new zone in Amreli. "It's a beautiful picturesque place near a river. The fencing work has been completed...animal

houses have been constructed...just the infrastructure required for tourist handling is to be developed there," Pandey said. The zone is being developed on an area of around 400 hectares with fund assistance from Centre as well as the state. State forest department officials estimate that the new zone, which would have lions in a closed but natural environment along with host of other animals, could be opened for tourists by this year end.

Vizag-Bheemunipatnam beach corridor foundation laid

The beach at Mangamaripeta, a fishing village, which attracts a large number of winged visitors, will be developed as a tourist spot under VizagBheemunipatnam beach corridor project

VISAKHAPATNAM: Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi laid the foundation stone of the Rs 45-crore VisakhapatnamBheemunipatnam Beach Corridor Tourism Circuit project at the Bheemunipatnam beach here. Speaking on the occasion, he said the Centre had sanctioned tourism projects worth Rs 221 crore for Andhra Pradesh in the last last six months, and many more were in the pipeline. Tourism destinations in the Madhurawada hills in Visakhapatnam district would be developed at the cost of Rs 1,000

crore, he said. As a part of the 30 km V i s a k h a p a t n a m Bheemunipatnam Beach Corridor project, sites such as Ramakrishna beach, Kailasagiri, Rushikonda beach, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda Erramatti Dibbalu, Mangamaripeta and Bheemunipatnam beach including Pavuralakonda would be developed. The project is estimated to take 18 months. It would position Visakhapatnam as a world-class tourism destination, Chiranjeevi said. -PTI

Guided bus tours would be made available to tourists, they said.

"The idea is to attract tourists arriving directly in Bhavnagar and Amreli...otherwise they have to travel all the way to south western end of Sasan Gir in Junagadh," a forest department official said. Sasan Gir has a defined tourism zone where tourists are usually allowed to go on eight routes. To handle rush during the peak season officials open four new routes, but at times it is not sufficient to meet demand. Nearly 150 vehicles go inside the sanctuary on peak days during the season, otherwise usually 90 vehicles meets the tourist requirement on daily basis, a forest department official said. As per the state forest department officials, after the launch of

Khusboo Gujarat Ki, an ad-campaign on tourism promotion featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, the tourist inflow at Sasan Gir has just doubled in last two years. According to forest department official at Sasan Gir, the tourist inflows shot to a high of 4.83 lakh visitors in FY 2012-13. "There has been a steep rise in tourist inflows at Gir over the last four years. It has sharply risen from 1.29 lakh visitor levels in 2009-10, after the ad-campaign on state tourism promotion was launched in 2010," a forest department official said. As per officials, tourist inflow at Gir stood at 2.69 lakh visitors in 2010-11 and 4.15 lakh in 201112.-PTI


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Favorite pastime gliding up and down the Mall Cont’d from page 39

Running through Kulri Bazaar, on towards Library Chowk, the Mall, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, offers an amazing variety of pastimes. Haggling, bargaining with rosy-cheeked Tibetans over the prices of 'imported' goods and Tibetan metalware; browsing through a bookshop; searching for antiques in the curio-shops; choosing hand-carved

rest and the shaggy mountain horses too have gone. The soft mountain night, the coolness, the sudden, complete silence that descends on the Mall act like a salve. Couples walk peacefully hand in hand, talking, perhaps, of the good times that were and will be‌. The Mall is Mussoorie's main artery, certainly. It is also a catalyst of dreams. The high ride: Most people ascend the 400 meters or so from the

Dhanaulti

walking sticks or handmade cane baskets and other wares. There are embroidered wall hangings, dry pinecones, hill jewelry, garments and a dozen knick-knacks besides. If tired of shopping or windowshopping, there is the cable car that starts from the Mall and goes up to Gun Hill. There is a revolving restaurant and scores of fancifully named eating-places. Citybred children are torn between trying to run up and down every steep path they can spot, and video parlors, a tiny park with swings and see-saws, candy floss wallahs, balloon wallahs From the Mall, there is a feast of views of the surrounding hills and the Doon Valley below. As evening falls, there is the prospect of watching a glorious sunset, and in the deepening darkness, twinkling lights appear one by one in the valley below. Simultaneously, the Mall transforms itself into a long, glittering rows of shops. As the shopkeepers on the Mall bring down their shutters on yet another day, the mood changes again. Visitors spill onto the Mall. The shopkeepers have left, the hardworking rickshaw wallahs have earned a

fashionable Mall to the historical Gun Hill with bated breath. For them, there is the thrill and excitement of reaching Gun Hill in a cable car, coupled with the promise of rare, mesmeric views of the great Himalayan peaks and a bird's eye view of Mussoorie and its environs. But not many people are aware that both Gun Hill and the ropeway and its two cable cars have a chequered history. Places around The highest point that one can visit around Mussoorie is the famous Surkhanda Devi Temple at 10,000 feet - 35 km down the Mussoorie-Tehri road. Perched on a peak, the temple demands a stiff two-km climb form devotees. The temple, goes the legend, was built on the site where the head of Shiva's consort (Shiva is the destroyer in the Hindu trinity) fell after it was chopped off to stop Shiva's terrifying dance of death that was shaking the universe to its very core. Nag Tibba, 41 km from Mussoorie, also soars to an altitude of 10,000 feet, and entails a fairly long, taxing but exhilarating

The Mall

trek, and therefore more time. Thick pine forests, mountain brooks and slate-roofed villages keep one company for the greater part of the trek to Nag Tibba peak. The nearest accommodation is a forest rest house at Deolsari, about five hours of trekking below Nag Tibba. Most people looking for a few quiet days prefer to sojourn amongst the picturesque pine-clad slopes of Dhanaulti, 24 km from Mussoorie, 11 km before the Surkhanda Devi temple. A comfortable tourist bungalow and a private hotel, the Dhanaulti Breeze, make Dhanaulti an ideal getaway from the milling season crowds at Mussoorie. Thirty-one kilometers form Dhanaulti, along the Tehri road, is Chamba-the home of apples. A tourist bungalow has been built atop a mountain, and with the approach of the monsoon, fluffy clouds come in low, enter through the windows, move across the room, and float out through the door. Closer to Mussoorie, at an altitude of 4,500 feet, Kempty Fall is perhaps the biggest attraction. The highest (over 40 feet) and most beautiful (the fall splits into five distinct cascades) of the waterfalls around Mussoorie. Kempty Fall is 15 km from Mussoorie, on the road to Chakrata. Past Kempty Fall, 12 km downhill, you cross the Aglar River and reach the legendary Yamuna River. Trout are in abundance here, and fishing permits can be obtained form the Divisional Forest Officer, Mussoorie. The latest addition to man-made attractions around Mussoorie (six km away, on the road winding down to Dehradun) is a small, artificial lake, complete with pedal boats. Walk-ways: Often described as the piece de resistance of walks in Mussoorie, Camel's Back Road rivals the Mall in popularity. About three kilometers long, Camel's Back Road was so christened, it is said, because of a rock that resembles the back of a camel. This distinc-

tively shaped rock can be seen from a point near the gate of Mussoorie Public School. Curving round a mountainside, the road itself looks like the back of a camel. The Hawa Ghar is the most inviting of the resting places along Camel's Back Road.

Camel's Back Road, the walk to the Municipal Garden or Company Bagh, and on towards Cloud End are gentle, leisurely walks blessed with superb views. Quite obviously, scenic beauty is a feature shared by all walks in Mussoorie. Even the walk towards Charleville

Kempty Fall

The two-kilometer walk from Library Chowk to the colorful Municipal Garden, still known by its old colonial name of Company Bagh, is yet another favored walk in Mussoorie. Beyond the garden with its artificial lake, the walk can be continued, if one is so inclined, towards Cloud End. In the vicinity can be seen the estate of the first Surveyor General of India, Colonel George Everest (later sir George Everest), after whom the world's highest mountain is named. A Bibi Khana - outhouses for the Indian consorts of Englishmen - is an interesting feature of the timeravaged estate, which, according to land revenue records of 1839, "belonged to Colonel Everest." The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has now acquired the sprawling 192-acre estate and plans to convert it into a holiday resort. For many cricket fans, the walk towards Cloud End offers a landmark of more recent times. On a road branching off before Cloud End, is a house that belongs to the father-in-law of Sunil Gavaskar, the cricketing legend.

and the Tibetan settlement of Happy Valley is a rewarding experience. However, for the more intrepid tourist there are challenging walks as well such as the ones to Benog Hill (7,000 feet high, seven kilometers from Library Bazaar, it boasted once of an observatory), and to Lal Tibba, the highest peak (8,000 feet) at Mussoorie. About four kilometers from Picture Palace, Lal Tibba is an ideal location for a picnic. Near Lal Tibba is Childer's Lodge, where a powerful 'coin-operated' binocular is available for surveying the mountains around. In the distance can be seen peak after peak of snow-capped mountains. How to reach From the Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun, you may go up to Mussoorie (2 hours, 60 km). The overnight Mussoorie Express links Delhi to Dehradun, the railhead for Mussoorie. Delhi to Mussoorie is 290 km by road. Dehradun to Mussoorie is 35 km. Best time to visit April-June; September-October


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Prepaid system for pony rides Indian visitors to Nepal decline by 25% in Gulmarg SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government is putting in place a prepaid system for pony rides in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, a move that is expected to curb the "annoying" of tourists by ponywallas, which creates an "adverse image" of the state. "We are putting in place a prepaid system for pony rides in Gulmarg so as to stop the rushing off after the tourists by ponywallas, which scares away the tourists," Director Tourism, Kashmir, Talat Pervez told PTI. He said the department has time and again asked the ponywallas not to annoy the tourists by forcing them for horse rides, but there has been no improvement so far. "They go after tourists and force them to take pony rides. This creates an adverse image of Kashmir. Some tourists like to ride horses and some do not...there is no need to force them. By having a prepaid system, we will ensure

that tourists are not scared away," he said. The official said the ponywallas have sought 10 to 15 days time, after which the department will strictly enforce the mechanism. "Ponywallas have to own up and honor the system. Some of them are already working under the prep a i d system...they have sought time after which we will enforce it strictly," he said. "There are s o m e elements...some unregistered ponywallas ...who are creating trouble, but we are acting against

them and we would not let them annoy tourists," he added. The department is also working on the modalities to launch an online booking system for pony rides, like the one in place for Gondola cable car, so that "tourists do not feel any inconvenience." -PTI

Tharoor to ask questions for online quiz on Kerala THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor will host Kerala Tourism's

Referring to his initiative in St Stephen's, Tharoor said "It was the first college Quiz Club in the country and is still in existence, a model for others." In the upcoming show, Tharoor will pose questions on the nature, geography and culture of "Gods Own Country", whose virtual platform is the Kerala Tourism W e b s i t e keralatourism.org. The Quiz Show has already received a huge response with thousands of enthusiasts registering themselves for the event, a Kerala Tourism release said. A majority of the registered participants are from outside Kerala, including thousands from across

India and abroad, though the well spread-out Malayalee Diaspora accounted for only about 10 per cent of the participants so far. The registration is open during the entire course of the Quiz Show. The participants will get 24 hours to answer the questions posed by Tharoor everyday. The answers could be posted online, on the Kerala Tourism Website. The Quiz Show runs up to July 8. As many as 6,200 gifts will be up for grabs for the correct answers. The gifts will be presented on a daily and weekly basis during the show. Tharoor, who represents Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the Lok Sabha, is a former United Nations Under-Secretary General. The quiz master will be aided by visual clips for his questions. -PTI

Shashi Tharoor

online quiz show starting from May 10. Tharoor, who founded the Quiz Club at his alma mater St. Stephens College in Delhi in 1974, will be asking one question everyday for almost two months in the first online quiz show by a tourism department in India.

The participants will get 24 hours to answer the questions posed by Tharoor everyday. The answers could be posted online, on the Kerala Tourism Website. The Quiz Show runs up to July 8

KATHMANDU: Frequent agitations in Nepal seem to deter foreign tourists, particularly Indians, with a significant drop reported in their numbers who travel to the Himalayan nation by air.

in the month of April as compared to the same month last year. The visitors from SAARC countries show a 21.6 per cent decline, with the Indian visitors witnessing the highest decline in April as

The number of Indians visiting Nepal by air has dropped by 25 per cent in April to 12,069 from 16,159 during the same period last year, according to figures released by Immigration Office, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The decline in Indian visitors may attributed to frequent agitation by political parties and unfavorable weather condition in the month of April. Meanwhile, the total number of tourists coming to Nepal by air has declined by 8.9 per cent

compared to visitors from other SAARC countries. Visitors from Pakistan and Sri Lanka have declined by 10.9 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. However, Bangladesh has registered a positive growth of 16.6 per cent. The total number of foreign visitors who arrived by air in April has declined to 54,119 from last year's 59,415. However, arrivals from Asia, other than South Asia, have recorded a positive growth of 18.1 per cent in aggregate. -PTI

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In Brief Obama supports including gays in immigration bill SAN JOSE, Costa Rica: President Barack Obama says he supports recognizing gay unions in a broad immigration bill pending in Congress but won't say whether he would sign legislation that fails to do so. Obama says that recognizing same-sex relationships in the bill is ``the right thing to do.'' But he says it would be premature to telegraph what he will or won't do before lawmakers send him a bill. Gay rights supporters are pushing for an amendment to the bill to allow gays to sponsor their partners to come to the U.S. But Republicans, including some who helped draft the bill, have made it clear that amending the legislation in that fashion would cost their support.-AP

La. immigrant ID law oversteps feds NEW ORLEANS: A state appeal court in Louisiana says a state law unconstitutionally pre-empts federal law by requiring drivers from other countries to prove they are in the United States legally. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles overturned the conviction and sentence of a Honduran man stopped in Lafayette Parish. After three months in jail, he pleaded no contest to violating the law but reserved the right to appeal. The decision cited last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling against an Arizona immigration law that had similar provisions. The court record does not state whether the man was in the country legally, only that he was ``involved in the immigration process'' when arrested. -AP

Another apparent suicide at Eloy Detention Center PHOENIX: Federal authorities say another Guatemalan resident being held at the Eloy Detention Center has died from an apparent suicide. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced that 40-year-old Jorge GarciaMejia was found unresponsive in his cell by staff conducting security checks. Detention facility personnel immediately called 911, but emergency medical technicians were unable to revive him. Authorities say Garcia-Mejia was being investigated by Phoenix police for suspected sexual conduct with a minor. -AP

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India Post

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May 17, 2013

Rubio seeks to boost border language in new bill Details on page 47

Anti-immigration party makes big gains in UK LONDON: David Cameron's Conservatives took a drubbing in local elections amid a surge of support for an anti-European Union and anti-immigration party, heaping pressure on the British prime minister to appeal to the dissident right-wing of his own party. Echoing results across Europe, British voters appeared to punish the ruling government, fed up with economic doldrums and austerity measures. Britain's nationalist party appeared to be the recipient of a sizeable protest vote against the political elite and the EU, analysts said. According to returns from 34 contests across England, the rightwing United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, won 139 county council seats, while the mainstream opposition Labor Party gained 291. The Liberal Democrats - junior partners in Britain's coalition government - were down 124 county council seats, while Cameron's ruling Conservatives lost 335 seats in the vote.

David Cameron

UKIP leader Nigel Farage whose party Cameron once referred to as a bunch of ``fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists'' - said the results will send a ``shock wave'' through the British political establishment.

``This is a real sea-change in British politics,'' Farage told the BBC. Cameron's popularity has taken a beating as the government sticks to a strict policy of austerity to cut Britain's debts, slashing public

sector jobs and welfare payments. As results streamed in highlighting UKIP's strong showing in the election, Cameron said respect must be shown for those who chose to support the party. ``We are going to work really hard to win them back,'' he added. The prime minister now finds himself in the difficult position of trying to shore up right-wing backing ahead of the next general election in 2015, while trying to maintain his own affinity for more leftwing causes. The results are a mixture of typical midterm protest and ``rage against the machine,'' said Tony Travers, director of the government department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. ``It is a traditional midterm protest vote and it's found its lightning conductor through UKIP,'' Travers said. ``However, there is a more generalized protest that isn't just against this government in its midterm, but is also a protest against mainstream elite politics.'' Cont'd on Page 47

Some observations on draft immigration bill DAVID A. ISAACSON

U

.S. Senate's "Gang of 8" - that is, Senators Charles Schumer (DNY), John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) - introduced a proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill. A copy of the bill as introduced is available on Senator Schumer's website. Its short title is the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act", and so I will refer to it in this article as BSEOIMA, although that acronym is somewhat more difficult to pronounce than previous well-known immigration bills such as 1986's IRCA and 1996's IIRIRA. (Personally I

would tend to pronounce it "B'soyma", although Angelo Paparelli reports that Dan Kowalski, Editor-in-Chief of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, has dubbed the bill "BESSIE MAE").

marily those present in the United States since December 31, 2011 who lack any significant criminal record - and various provisions designed to handle the "future flow" of immigration somewhat

Broadly speaking, it combines increased border security with a new "Registered Provisional Immigrant" (RPI) status available to much, but not all, of the current undocumented population - primarily those present in the United States since December 31, 2011 Broadly speaking, it combines increased border security with a new "Registered Provisional Immigrant" (RPI) status available to much, but not all, of the current undocumented population - pri-

differently than our current system, such as a merit-based system of awarding some immigrant visas to those who accumulate an appropriate number of "points" in a system reminiscent of that cur-

rently used in Canada. The Immigration Impact blog of the American Immigration Council has already published some preliminary reactions to BSEOIMA, and AIC and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have also released a detailed summary of the bill. In this article, I do not claim to provide a comprehensive summary of the bill, which is after all 844 pages long, and which has already been summarized by AIC/AILA (and others as well). Instead, I will simply highlight some of the portions of the bill that caught my attention on a first read-through, with citations to the page number of the introduced bill on which they appear.

Cont'd on Page 46


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New farm season arrives amid immigration debate YAKIMA, Wash: Several Washington farm leaders joined three immigrants at a forum before Democratic Sen. Patty Murray to stress the importance of ensuring a stable labor force and reuniting families torn apart by deportations. The immigration forum came as Congress prepares to consider sweeping legislation that would create a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people who have entered the country illegally, improve access for work visas and spend billions of dollars more to secure the border. The bill isn't perfect, Murray said, but it's a compromise toward improvement. ``I don't think there's anyone who could say the immigration system works today in this country,'' she said. The Senate probably will take up the bill in June. Washington agriculture leaders have been among the biggest proponents of immigration reform in the state.

Growers face not having enough labor, and families fear being ripped apart as the federal government steps up efforts to deport immigrants who entered the country illegally, said Bruce Allen

boring to protect fruit trees from freezing in the cold spring nights, as growers worry whether they'll have enough employees to harvest crops at the height of the growing season.

of Columbia Reach Pack, a fruit packer, and Chiawana Orchards. ``You couldn't ask for a worse pot of stew,'' Allen said. This year, workers already are in fields picking asparagus and la-

Many growers scrambled last fall to find pickers during a record apple harvest. Those labor uncertainties are impeding overall economic development in the agricultural sector,

Immigration reform will attract highly-skilled entrepreneurs WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has said the ongoing effort to fix the existing "broken immigration system" will not only provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the illegal immigrants, but would also attract the highly- skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create jobs. In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said the "commonsense immigration reform bill" introduced in the Senate is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted - including him. "But it's largely consistent with the principles I've laid out from the beginning," he said. "It would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. It would

provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally," Obama said. "It would modernize our legal immigration system so that we're able to reunite families and attract

President Obama

the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy. These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. So

there's no reason that immigration reform can't become a reality this year," he said in his weekly web and radio address to the nation. Addressing the nation, in the midst of his ongoing trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, Obama said he is there because Latin America represents an incredible opportunity for the United States, especially when it comes to his top priority as President: creating good, middle-class jobs. "We learned that our businesses created another 176,000 jobs last month. That's 2.2 million new jobs over the past year, and 6.8 million new jobs over the past 38 months. But as I've said before, I won't be satisfied until everyone who wants a job can find one. So I'm going to keep doing everything I can and going everywhere I need to go to help our businesses create jobs," he said. -PTI

said Mike Broadhead, president of Central Valley Bank. Agriculture revenue comprises 42 percent of the bank's $120 million portfolio. ``Do you really want to commit capital with the uncertainty of labor?'' he asked. ``All we're after is a firm solution.'' Growers reported monthly employment of nearly 106,000 seasonal farm workers in the state last year, but they also reported a nearly 9 percent labor shortage in September alone. That's the highest mark in six years and the second straight September of increased labor shortages in Washington orchards, according to John Wines, economic analyst for the state Employment Security Department. During the forum, 34-year-old

farm worker and mother of four Erendira Maya recounted how immigration enforcement officers invaded her home searching for her children's father in 2009, one month after she gave birth to her youngest child. ``They came into my home like he was a terrorist,'' she said through a translator. ``I fled. I just abandoned the home. I was scared.'' Murray said farmers face a maze of bureaucracy trying to ensure they have enough workers in their fields. She said too many people who contribute to communities in many ways are uncertain about their futures in the United States. ``Having the ability to know they have some stability and this works is very important to them,'' she said. -AP

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46

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Some observations on draft immigration bill Cont'd from Page 44

Readers should keep in mind that this is a preliminary assessment of complex legislative language that may change in the future (assuming the bill passes at all), so it should not be taken as a precise description of the future final version of any provision; it is, so to speak, a first-draft reaction to the first draft of the bill. Because this is an entirely subjective list of some provisions that happened to catch my attention, it is also naturally skewed to the sorts of provisions that were of interest to me as an attorney practicing immigration law; I do not

if they have already been lawfully present for 10 years or finish accumulating that total period of consecutive lawful presence after the bill passes, they'll be able to apply for LPR status under the new meritbased system, about which more below. Expunged convictions don't count for purposes of determining eligibility for RPI status, but otherwise any felony, an aggravated felony, or 3 misdemeanors will disqualify RPI applicants, except for convictions under state and local laws having immigration status/ violations as essential elements-for example, some crimes created by Arizona's recently infamous SB

Expunged convictions don't count for purposes of determining eligibility for RPI status, but otherwise any felony, an aggravated felony, or 3 misdemeanors will disqualify RPI applicants, except for convictions under state and local laws mean to deprecate the significance of the substantial provisions for increased border security with which the bill begins, for example, but since I am not in the habit of advising people to enter the U.S. unlawfully or smuggle in others, they are of less direct relevance to my practice and thus attracted less of my initial attention. And this is not even a list of every single provision that caught my attention on a first read - such a list would be a bit too lengthy for an article. With those preliminaries out of the way, here are some of the provisions that were interesting to me and may be interesting to readers as well: Non-immigrants who are lawfully present according to DHS or DOS records will not be eligible for the new RPI status, even if they have violated status or been employed without authorization - ap-

1070. Pages 61-66. There is a limited discretionary waiver under which some people could be eligible for RPI status even after previous departure or removal, at pages 71-72. While the language is complex, it appears that the waiver will be potentially available to certain "DREAMers" (those who would have been eligible for relief under the previously proposed DREAM Act that is in large part incorporated in BSEOIMA), spouses and children of U.S. citizens and LPRs, and parents of U.S. citizen or LPR children. Employers will be able to continue employing people who they know are, or will be, RPI applicants, pending adjudication of the application for RPI status, without violating the INA. Page 78. This will help avoid the specter of employers being reluctant to assist with the RPI applications of their em-

Employers will be able to continue employing people who they know are, or will be, RPI applicants, pending adjudication of the application for RPI status, without violating the INA parently making the analysis under BSEOIMA different from the one that was used under IRCA to determine whether applicants were known to the government to be here unlawfully by the key date and thus eligible for legalization. Pages 64-65. While non-immigrants with a currently valid status as of the date of introduction of the bill are excluded from RPI status, however,

ployees because, having come to know that their employee lacks valid immigration status authorizing employment, they would otherwise be supposed to fire them. RPIs will not be able to be absent from the United States either for a continuous period of more than 180 days, or for more than 180 days in any calendar year, without extenuating circumstances; other-

wise they will lose their status and not be able to adjust status to permanent residence. Pages 89-90, 9495. While there are limited exceptions based on age and disability, most RPIs will need to show that they have been continuously employed or had resources above 125% of the poverty line, or have been full-time students, in order to adjust to LPR. Pages 96-99. The DREAM Act is present in modified form as proposed INA section 245D: the DREAMers will only need to be RPIs for 5 years before they can become LPRs, instead of the usual 10. There can be a "streamlined procedure" for those who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DREAMers (including the DACA grantees) will be able to apply for naturalization as soon as they complete their five years of RPI and adjust to LPR (but not sooner). Pages 110-116. The "AGJobs" bill benefiting certain agricultural workers, which like the DREAM Act has been floating around for a number of years, also makes an appearance in BSEOIMA. Like DREAMers, AGJobs "blue card" holders will be able to adjust after 5 years under certain circumstances, not 10 years like other RPIs. See pages 150-255. We learn on page 262 of BSEOIMA that while siblings of U.S. citizens and married sons and daughters over 31 would no longer be separate family preference categories, they would get points in the new merit-based system that will make up a substantial portion of future immigrant visa numbers. Although the diversity lottery in its current form would be abolished, the preference for diversity in the current lottery system also lives on somewhat in the form of an award of points to people from countries from which fewer than 50,000 nationals were admitted in the previous 5 years. (Page 263.) You will also be able to get points in the new system for things like speaking English, being between the ages of 18 and 37 (you get the most points for being between 18 and 24), having specific types of employment, or even civic involvement. See pages 260-265. Beginning on October 1, 2014, people whose employment-based petitions and family-based petitions filed before the Act have been pending for more than 5 years will begin to become eligible for meritbased visas on that basis (although this eligibility will not be immediate for everyone affected, but will phase in over a 7-year period). People who have been "lawfully present" for not less than 10 years will also be eligible for this non-

points-based side of the meritbased visa system. See pages 270273. RPIs will not be able to adjust status to LPR except under this second merit-based track, based on 10 years lawful presence-a provision which may hopefully be changed before the bill is finally enacted, since it seems unnecessarily cruel to prohibit, for example, an RPI who marries a U.S. citizen from becoming an LPR in the same way that any other lawful entrant who became a bona fide immediate relative of a U.S. citizen could adjust status under section 245(a) of the INA (even if they had, for example, overstayed a tourist admis-

of BSEOIMA making even clearer how automatic conversion is supposed to work. Pages 287-288. Priority dates from any approvable-when-filed immigrant visa petition will be transferable to any other petition, regardless of category. Page 288. The numerical per-country limitations will be raised to 15% for family-based cases and eliminated for employment-based cases, which is good news for Indian and Chinese nationals who currently face substantial employmentbased backlogs, and also (to a somewhat lesser extent) good news for Mexican and Philippine nationals who currently face sub-

The numerical per-country limitations will be raised to 15% for family-based cases and eliminated for employment-based cases, which is good news for Indian and Chinese nationals sion). Pages 108, 269-274. Anyone, including RPIs and others, who was lawfully present and work-authorized for 10 years before becoming an LPR, will be able to naturalize 3 years after becoming an LPR instead of 5. Pages 109-110. BSEOIMA will recapture previously unused visa numbers from past fiscal years, so that should also reduce the backlog of people awaiting immigrant visa numbers. Pages 276-279. Spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) will become "immediate relatives" not subject to a visa number limit. Pages 280-281. The BIA's highly dubious decision in Matter of Wang, 25 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), rejecting automatic conversion and retention of priority dates under the Child Status Protection Act, would be overturned legislatively by a provision

stantial family-based backlogs. Pages 294-296. Visa number usage calculations would no longer include employment-based derivatives, the employment-based first preference (all three subcategories), aliens with a doctorate, or former J nonimmigrant physicians who have completed their 2-year foreign residence requirement under section 212(e) of the INA or obtained a waiver thereof. Pages 299-303. STEM graduates with a master's degree or higher (as a practical matter this just means masters since doctorates are separately exempt) would be able to be exempt from the visa number limits if they have a job offer from a US employer and earned their degree within the 5 years preceding the petition filed for them. These STEM immigrants would not require labor certification.Pages 304-312. (To be continued)

Mexico detains Central American, India migrants MEXICO CITY: Mexican immigration agents say they have detained 11 migrants from India and dozens of Central American migrants. Eight of the Indian citizens, including two minors, were being transported in a truck near Mexico's border with Guatemala when they were detained. Twentyfive Guatemalan migrants and three Salvadorans were also aboard the vehicle. The National Immigration Institute said the truck was being

driven by a Mexican man who ignored police orders to stop. The migrants told agents they entered Mexico through Guatemala and paid smugglers USD 1,500 apiece to take them to the US border. In a separate raid, three other migrants from India and 18 Central Americans were detained at a bus station in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. The migrants were taken to detention centers for possible deportation. -AP


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Rubio seeks to boost border language in new bill WASHINGTON: Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says a new immigration bill he helped write needs stronger border security provisions or it will fail in the House and may even have trouble getting through the Senate. Rubio, who is the chief emissary to conservatives on the contentious legislation, said in a radio interview and in an opinion piece being published in Wall Street Journal that he's been hearing concerns in recent days that more work is needed to boost the bill's language on the border and he said he's committed to trying to make those changes. In his Wall Street Journal piece, Rubio cited ``triggers'' in the bill that aim to make new citizenship provisions contingent on border security accomplishments. Critics say those provisions are too weak, because in some cases the Homeland Security secretary is tasked with undertaking studies - but not with delivering results - before millions in the U.S. illegally can obtain legal status. Rubio also mentioned revisiting ``waivers'' in the bill that give federal officials discretion in applying the law, another flashpoint for conservative critics; concerns about the bill's cost; and the possibility of making legalization pro-

visions for immigrants already here ``tougher, yet still realistic.'' He didn't offer details. ``Clearly what we have in there

Marco Rubio

now is not good enough for too many people and so we've got to make it better. And that's what I'm asking for and that's what we're working on,'' Rubio said separately this week in an interview with ``The Sean Hannity Show'' radio program. ``This bill will not pass the House and, quite frankly, I think, may struggle to pass the Senate if it doesn't deal with that issue, so

we've got some work to do on that front,'' he said. Rubio's comments came during Congress' one-week recess. Back home, lawmakers are hearing feedback about the 844page bill. Rubio and seven Democratic and Republican senators _ the socalled Gang of Eight _ introduced the legislation April 17. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin voting on it next week. In addition to improving border security, the bill would create new visa programs to bring many more foreign workers into the U.S., require employers to check their workers' legal status, and create a new pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally. The bill faces a tough road in the Democratic-led Senate and an even tougher one in the GOP-controlled House, and some supporters say it will only be successful if Republicans believe it does enough on the border.

Anti-immigration party makes big gains in UK Cont'd from Page 44

He suggested UKIP's appeal and the local election results - bear echoes of the Tea Party movement in the U.S., complete with cries of ``we need to get our country back.'' ``This is a vote against `they're all the same.''' While the results will jeopardize the Conservative Party's success in the 2015 general election, Travers was skeptical the local elections would steer Cameron further to the right. ``Cameron is quite awkwardly trapped,'' Travers said. ``The number of options available to him to shift towards UKIP are limited if he's to keep faith with his own commitment to modernizing the Conservative Party,'' Travers said. Still, the results in the short term could lend momentum to voices within Cameron's party urging the prime minister to introduce legislation needed to enshrine his pledge for a referendum on European Union membership by 2017.

That promise of a referendum was seen by many as a political play to shore up support for the Conservatives amid growing signs of discontent within the party and voters flocking for the exits.

‘What they have to do now above all is restore the public's faith in the competence of the government - in particular its economics. That will help to bring these folks back’ The heart of UKIP's success lies not only in harnessing antiimmigration sentiment and appealing to socially conservative views on gay marriage, but exploiting Britons frustrations with a stagnating economy. John Curtice, a politics profes-

sor at the University of Strathclyde, said the challenges facing Cameron's Conservatives in clawing back voters were underscored by the response to the prime minister's pledge to change Britain's relationship with the EU. ``It went absolutely nowhere,'' Curtice said. ``What they have to do now above all is restore the public's faith in the competence of the government - in particular its economics. That will help to bring these folks back.'' But while many called the local elections indicative of a protest vote, UKIP leader Farage dismissed any suggestion the UKIP surge would be a short-lived phenomenon. ``The next big vote is a European election this time next year in which we will be positioned as the only party saying we should divorce ourselves from a political union and have a simple free trade alternative,'' he told the BBC Voting took place in 34 council contests across England, plus the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. -AP

The bill allocates $5.5 billion for border measures aimed at achieving 100 percent surveillance of the entire border and blocking 90 percent of border crossers and wouldbe crossers in high-entrance areas. The Homeland Security Department would have six months to create a new border security plan to achieve the 90 percent effectiveness rate. Also within six months, the department would have to create a plan to identify where new fencing is needed. Once that happens, people living here illegally could begin to apply for a provisional legal status. If the 90 percent rate isn't achieved within five years, a commission made of border state officials would make recommendations on how to do it. After 10 years, people with provisional legal status could apply for permanent residency if the new

system is tracking who leaves the country. Critics say these triggers don't do enough. ``The triggers aren't triggers at all,'' Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said in a statement. ``The day the bill passes, there will be an effective amnesty for the vast majority of illegal immigrants _ abandoning the Gang of Eight's public promise of enforcement first.'' But changes aimed at strengthening the border security provisions could cause heartburn among Democrats. Advocates and the Obama administration have been reluctant to see citizenship made contingent on border security. Immigrants here illegally already face a 13-year path to citizenship under the bill - which Rubio said actually could stretch to as many as 20 years for some, given how long it takes to under-

Critics say those provisions are too weak, because in some cases the Homeland Security secretary is tasked with undertaking studies - but not with delivering results before millions in the U.S. illegally can obtain legal status security and fencing plans are operating, a new mandatory employment verification system is in place, and a new electronic exit

take certain steps - and anything that could make it more onerous raises concerns with supporters on the left. -AP

China plans 5-year visas to attract overseas talent BEIJING: China plans to issue multiple-entry five year visas to attract high-skilled foreign professionals to broaden its technological base. Foreign talent will soon be eligible for China visas valid for up to five years, according to a draft regulation, official media here reported. The draft was released by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and public opinion is being sought for a month. It states that China will grant two new types of visa, R1 and R2, for foreign professionals. Both types will be granted to foreign talent and professionals at senior level that the country urgently needs, state-run China Daily reported. A R1 visa will come with residency rights, while a R2 visa will allow multiple entry and exits. Liu Guofu, an immigration law specialist at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said R1 visa holders can apply for a residence permit for up to five years, while a R2

visa will allow professionals to stay in China for 180 days at a time. The regulation will be implemented under the Exit and Entry Administration Law, which takes effect in July. Also China Ministry of Public Security is drawing up a draft regulation, under which foreigners who work in China for 10 consecutive

The draft was released by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and public opinion is being sought for a month years may be eligible for a "green card". Visa holders should be experts recognized by provincial-level governments and above, and professionals that China urgently needs. -PTI


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NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sun May 19 • Gulzar Baat Pashminey Kii (Hindi Musical) Venue: Shri Krishna Vrindavan, 215 May St, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 480-518-7393

Sun May 19

Sat, May 18 • EKAL 2013 Annual Fundraising with Sanjivini Venue: Westover Magnet School , 412 Stillwater Ave, Stamford, CT 06902 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: 203-354-2742

• Soorya Festival Sangamam

Fri May 24

Venue: Woodbridge High School, 750 St Georges Ave, Woodbridge Township, NJ 07095 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: (800)-213-7080

• Soorya Festival

Sat, May 25 • Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live in New Jersey Venue: Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 609-432-3301

Venue: Queensborough Community college, 222-5 56th Ave, New York, NY 11364 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 800-213-7080

Fri Jun 7 • An Evening Of Indian Classical Music Indradeep Ghosh Venue: Tibet House, 22 W 15th St, NY 10011 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 917-626-1470

Fri, May 17 • Ohlone College Chops Big Band Spring Concert Conducted by Ken Crowell Venue: Smith Center at Ohlone College 43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont Time: 8:00 pm Contact: (510) 659-6031 Website: www.smithcenter.com

Sun, May 19 • An Evening Of Qawwali With Fareed Ayaz And Abu Mohammad Qawwals Venue: The Sanctuary at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101 Time: 6:30 pm

Fri, May 24 • Jatt and Juliet Venue: David Starr Jordan High School, 6500 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 626-450-5450

May 2nd - 25th • "UnderCurrents and

Sat, May 18 • Vaisakhi - Miss Pooja & Gippy Grewal Venue:Birmingham Charter High School, 17000 Haynes St, Los Angeles, CA 91406 Time: 6:30 - 8:15pm Contact: 818-835-3374

Sat, May 18 • Antakshari Venue: Haveli Cuisine Of India, 17221 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701 Time: 6:00pm Contact: 818-749-6360

Sun, Jun 9

May 12th through June 9th • Salma Arastu's Spiritual paintings Venue: CSE Gallery (in the Compassion Building, first floor) 1146 University Avenue San Jose, CA 95126

Mukund Hindi Classes are held every 2nd and 4rth Sunday of Month Chicago Satsang Information: J K Yog, Chicago - Swami Mukundananda Venue: Clarion Inn/Waterford Banquets, Board Room, 933 South Riverside Drive, Elmhurst, IL 60126 Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807 Website: www.jkyog.org

• Shankar Ehsaan Loy Live Concert In LA

1st and 3rd Sunday of Month • Chicago Children's

Venue: Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Time: 6:00pm Contact: 404-502-8846

Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes

ATLANTA Upcoming Sat, May 18 • Mrs India International 2013 / Mrs Pakistan International 2013 Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 1075 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA 30076 Time: 6:00pm Contact: 404-645-8372

the Quest for Space," Venue: Somarts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Time: 5pm - 8pm

• J K Yog Satsang and Bal

Fri, May 24 • Nitin Mukesh Live In Atlanta Venue: Atlanta Event Hall, 3750 Venture Dr, Duluth, GA 30096 Time: 9:30 pm Contact: 404-806-1429

Sat Jun 14 • Singing Sensation Venue: Impact Conference Center, 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Norcross, GA 30071 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: 678-463-6613

Venue: Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807 Website: www.jkyog.org/bal-mukund

Sat, May 18 • 3rd Annual Rang De Basanti - Dance Festival Venue: Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple, 1145 Sullivan Rd, Aurora, IL 60506 Time: 5:00pm Contact: 312-560-1074

May 24-26 • Sri Ramakrishna's Teachings in Eight Aphorisms A Week-end Retreat with Swami Brahmarupananda Venue: Vivekananda Monastery & Retreat 6723 122nd Ave., Ganges, MI 49408 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: (269) 543-4545


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May 17, 2013

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Horoscope

52 India Post

May 17, 2013

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

MAY 17 TH - MAY 23 RD 2013 (March 21 to April 20)

C

oncentration of five planets in house of finances will provide you with an opportunity to make money quickly. If you are not careful you may make big commitment before you actually touch that money. Be careful when signing any contract or legal document this week. There is no harm in enjoying as long as you do not exceed limits.

(July 23 to August 22)

C

oncentration of five planets in house of career is very favorable, so grab the offer before other side change their mind. Your actions and past performance will help you gain popularity in professional world and you may be invited to speak at an event. Some of you may take over another business this week. Bank balance will keep growing.

(April 21 to May 20)

C

oncentration of five planets in your sign will bring an excellent opportunity. Take little time and consult an experienced person as any hasty decision can ruin the larger and long term gains. A property deal can also get finalized this week. Letter you had been waiting for will show up in mail. Park your car at proper place.

(August 23 to September 22)

F

ive planets in house of luck will help you overcome even big problems or hurdles this week. You will benefit from some one living overseas. Some of you will be going on a long distance journey in near future. You may have a meeting with legal expert about initiating a law suit. Keep an eye on new help you hired recently.

(May 21 to June 20)

S

ee if you can postpone your major decisions for some other time. Things may slow down all of a sudden. There will be some major development in project overseas and you will hear some encouraging news from a distant place. you may be spending money on replacing some expensive item in the house. You may also have to entertain few friends.

(September 23 to October 22)

A

very favorable week for people involved in any kind of research work or developing a new product. Money will come but will disappear fast. Spouse may have to buy some expensive gifts for others. Over the counter medication will be enough to resolve health issue that keep coming back from time to time. Party will be kind of boring.

(June 21 to July 22)

P

lanets keep getting better this week. Take your chances and the world is yours. Money can keep pouring in from all directions. An upcoming move will cause excitement and you may finalize the strategy for smooth transition. Chances of hitting some kind of financial jackpot still strong. Keep ungrateful friends off your mailing list.

(October 23 to November 22)

F

ive planets in seventh are favorable. Help will come from a successful and well known person of society. People in business will see remarkable improvement and increased foot traffic and new clients. You may spend an evening with some politicians this week. What you have in your mind is an excellent idea, keep working on it. (November 23 to December 22)

P

lanets in sixth will help those seeking a change in career. Offer will be lucrative and you should quickly grab it. People in business will see one of their main competitor closing down or move away. There is a strong chance that the outcome in legal matters will be favorable and will be another reason for celebration. (December 22 to January 19)

P

lanets in fifth will bring financial relief and cause some improvement at work also. One of you child may get little hurt while playing some sports. Its good to be busy but have food on proper intervals. Transiting Saturn in tenth can help you get justice in ongoing legal matter. You will put some money away for rainy days. (January 20 to February 18)

P

roperty deal may ultimately finalize after some haggling. Mind will lean towards spirituality and you may make some donation to a charity or have some special prayers performed this week. Some of you may also take over another running business in partnership with some well known and experienced people but little away from home. (February 19 to March 20)

T

ransiting five planets in third are very favorable. time spent on phone and writing mail will get quick and favorable response. This is the right time to get in touch with a government agency and apply for the clearance. Try to stay little calm when you are on phone. People in communication or sales will benefit most this week.

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

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


Philosophy

May 17, 2013

India Post 53

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis J. KRISHNAMURTI

I

do not think we shall understand the complex problem of love until we understand an equally complex problem which we call the mind. Have you noticed, when we are very young, how inquisitive we are? We want to know, we see many more things than older people. We observe, if we are at all awake, things that older people do not notice. The mind, when we are young, is much more alert, much more curious, and wanting to know. That is why when we are young we learn so easily mathematics, geography. As we grow older, our mind becomes more and more crystallized, more and more heavy, more and more bulky. Have you noticed in older people how prejudiced they are? Their minds are fixed, they are not open, they approach everything from a fixed point of view. You are young now, but if you are not very watchful, you will also become like that. Is it not then very important to understand the mind and to see whether you cannot be supple, be capable of instant adjustments, of extraordinary capacities in every department of life, of deep research and understanding, instead of gradually becoming dull? Should you not know the ways

R

amanuja was the exponent of Visishtadvaita philosophy or qualified non-dualism. Ramanuja's Brahman is Savisesha Brahman, i.e., Brahman with attributes. According to Ramanuja's teachings, Lord Narayana or Bhagavan is the Supreme Being; the individual soul is Chit; matter is Achit. Ramanuja regards the attributes as real and permanent, but subject to the control of Brahman. The attributes are called Prakaras or modes. Lord Narayana is the Ruler and Lord of the universe. The Jiva is His servant and worshipper. The Jiva should completely surrender himself to the Lord. The oneness of God is quite consistent with the existence of attributes, as the attributes or Shaktis depend upon God for their existence. Ramanuja had a very large heart full of compassion. When his Guru Nambi initiated him he extracted from him a solemn promise of secrecy. The Guru said: "Ramanuja! Keep this Mantra a secret. This Mantra is a powerful one. Those who repeat this Mantra will attain salvation. Give it only to a worthy disciple previously tried". Ramanuja's love for humanity was unbounded. He wanted that every man should enjoy the eternal bliss of Lord Narayana. Realizing that the Mantra was very pow-

of the mind so as to understand the way of love? Because, it is the mind that destroys love. Clever people, people who are cunning, do not know what love is because their minds are so sharp, because they are so clever, because they are so superficial - which means to be on the surface, and love is not a thing that exists on the surface. The mind says, "I think; it is

Or, if I believe in something in God, in communism, in a certain political system - the very belief begins to set the pattern because that belief is the outcome of my desire, and that desire strengthens the walls of the pattern. Say, for example, I possess you as a wife or as a husband. Do you understand "possess"? You possess your saris or your coats,

your coat away, you feel irritated because inwardly you are being deprived of that feeling of being rich, that feeling of possession. Owning creates a barrier, does it not, with regard to love. If I own you, possess you, is that love? I possess you as I possess a car, a coat, a sari, because in possessing, I feel very rich; I depend on it; it is very important to me inwardly. This owning, this pos-

If I own you, possess you, is that love? J. Krishnamurti

Have you noticed in older people how prejudiced they are? Their minds are fixed, they are not open, they approach everything from a fixed point of view

mine; it is yours; I am hurt; I am jealous; I love; I hate; I am an Indian; I am a Muslim; I believe in this; I do not believe in that; I know; you do not know; I respect; I despise; I want; I do not want." Your desire crystallizes your mind. Say, for example, I want to be a very rich man. The desire of wanting to be a wealthy man creates a pattern, and my thinking then gets caught in it, and I can only think in those terms.

don't you? If somebody took them away, you would be angry, you would be anxious, you would be irritated. Why? Because you regard your saris or your coat or kurta as yours, your property; you possess it because through possession you feel enriched. Don't you? Through having many saris, many kurtas, you feel rich, not only physically rich, but inwardly rich. So, when somebody takes

sessing, this depending, is what we call love. But if you examine it, you will see that behind it, the mind feels satisfied in possession. After all, when you possess a sari or many saris or a car or a house, inwardly it gives you a certain satisfaction. Excerpted from the Ninth Talk at Rajghat, Varanasi, Dec 19, 1952.The 109th birth anniversary of J. Krishnamurti was observed on May 11.

erful, he called all people, irrespective of caste and creed, to assemble before the temple. He stood on top of the tower above the front gate of the temple, and shouted out the sacred Mantra to all of them at the top of his voice. When Nambi, his Guru, came to know of this, he became furious. Ramanuja said: "O my beloved Guru! Please prescribe a suitable punishment for my wrong

Ramanuja`s teaching is to submit oneself to God and give up apprehension. He taught people that their present situation is due to past Karma. This would go away and the future can be shaped by a life sticking to Dharma. One should avoid the company of the worldly people. Ramanuja`s teachings help to strengthen the Visistadvaita theory of Vedanta. His arguments

Ramanuja stated in his Vedarthasamgraha text that the universe is made up of souls, matter and Brahman. He asserted that souls and matter are dependent on Brahman as well meet the criteria of Brahman`s existence. The relationship between finite souls and matter is that of inseparability. His system of thought is known as qualified non-dualism as Brahman is supposedly qualified by chita

Chita & achita are attributes of God yet part of Him

Ramanujacharya

action. "I will gladly suffer the tortures of hell myself if millions of people could get salvation by hearing the Mantra through me". Nambi was very much pleased with Ramanuja. He embraced Ramanuja, blessed him and gave him the authority to succeed him. Ramanuja's teachings bring together the intellectuals and the simple religious. The crux of

He stood on top of the tower above the front gate of the temple, and shouted out the sacred Mantra to all of them at the top of his voice. When Nambi, his Guru, came to know of this, he became furious were against Shankara`s rival school of Advaita Vedanta. Ramanuja`s system of Vedanta was his respective interpretations of the Upanishads and Brahma sutra Bhasya. Ramanuja assumed three interrelated theories as regards to the unity and diversity of Brahman: the "Body of God" doctrine, samanadhikaranya and the sarira-sariri bhava.

and achita. Such qualities are distinct from God yet consist of interrelated modes of God`s body. He used the concept of organized postulation in order to show how two aspects of Brahman can be different from each other yet they cannot be different. The 996th birth anniversary of Ramanujacharya will be observed on May 14.

Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known. -Mahatma Gandhi

A tree does not withdraw its cooling shade even from the one who has come to cut it." -Mahabharata

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial." -Henry David Thoreau

One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous." -Ramakrishna

"There is only one religion, the religion of love. There is only one God, the light that shines in your heart." - Satya Sai Baba

"Learn to be thankful to everyone, to the entire creation, even to your enemy and also to those who insult, because they all help you to grow" - Amma

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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Afghanistan: When India and China touch base J JEGANAATHAN

I

ndia and China recently held a bilateral meeting on Afghanistan, for the first time in Beijing, to chart out a joint plan to secure their multi-billion dollar investments in the war ravaged country whose future remains uncertain post US withdrawal in 2014. This cooperative mechanism raises three important questions: What are the prerequisites for such a bilateral mechanism to be more effective and sustainable? Will the Sino-Indian strategic partnership on Afghanistan assuage Pakistan's security concerns, and if yes, then to what extent? Whether it is a stand-alone approach or part of a grand strategy towards Afghanistan is also a moot question. Although this bilateral dialogue can be considered as a part of similar bilateral and multilateral endeavors by others including the US, UK, France, Germany, Turkey, India, and Pakistan, it has two unique features. First, it brings together India and China, which

the meeting has not been officially disclosed to the media. Or, it is possible that it might have been overshadowed by the latest SinoIndian border tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region. Nevertheless, it is passionately argued, especially by South block, that India should enhance its bilateral relationship with China to focus particularly on Afghanistan since both share common interests, and to secure their large scale investments. By doing so, India will be able to assuage Pakistan's concerns over India's increasing role and presence in Afghanistan, and also secure its men and materials placed in Afghanistan from Pakistan-backed militias.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). For China, its grand strategic interests are more important than immediate security concerns in Afghanistan. Once viewed as a 'graveyard of empires', China has started to see Afghanistan as a 'gateway to Central Asia' which will help it to harness energy resources and ensure supply through land routes for the benefit of its economy. On the contrary, India's immediate concerns are purely securitybased; its investments in Afghanistan, as well as the life and integrity of Indians working on various developmental or civilian projects in Afghanistan. In the past, Indian workers including embassy personnel have been brutally targeted by insurgent groups, allegedly supported Security Concerns by Pakistan. Moreover, India is Entwine Strategic paranoid about Afghanistan beInterests coming a safe haven for terrorist In a media briefing, Chinese organizations, which have heiMinistry of Foreign Affairs nous designs against India, parspokesperson Hua Chunying ticularly in Kashmir. stated, "The two sides agreed that Unlike China, India can contemplate its strategic interests in Afghanistan only in the long-term perspective, due to the fact that articulation of such interests would instantly raise Pakistan's security concerns. For now, India's Look West strategy, if there is one, will have to be satisfied by its access to Iran, which can serve as a 'gateway to Central Asia' via Chabahar port in Gulf of Omen to meet its energy interests. A l t h o u g h Salma Dam is one of the major construction projects in Afghanistan that was initiated Afghanistan's stability in 2006 with financial collaboration from India and security is indelibly linked to India's national are the two great powers of Asia the Afghan issue concerns re- security, it will remain a security in terms of military capability and gional security and stability." It hotspot for India and continue to signifies that common ground haunt its national security. politico-economic stability. Second, they hold the largest pushed these two powers to coThus, the rapprochement on investment projects in Afghani- operate. Primarily, China's security common concerns and shared instan, particularly in the mining sec- concerns in Afghanistan are two- terests between India and China on tors. (So far, India had pledged fold: to secure its investments in Afghanistan is rather superficial, USD 2bn for Afghanistan, whereas Afghanistan after 2014, and to pre- and the asymmetry within could China has invested USD 3bn on vent the threat of jihadi spill over eventually cause a trust dilemma various mining projects). Thus, it from Afghanistan to its western between the two. In the long-run, is no surprise that both share com- Xinjiang province which has a pre- Pakistan will remain a strategic partmon interests as well as concerns dominant Uyghur (Muslim) popu- ner for China's grand strategy in lation. in Afghanistan. and beyond Afghanistan. However, China has not yet During the dialogue, both sides What India lacks is the politiagreed that the Afghan issue categorically emphasized its secu- cal vision to articulate a grand or raises concerns for regional secu- rity concerns since it can handle regional strategy beyond its narity, stability, and peace, and also such concerns very well within the tional security concerns. Instead acknowledged the need for re- scope of its strong bilateral coop- of just talking the talk, both should gional cooperation and consulta- eration with Pakistan, an all- devise a regional strategy for the tion to help Afghanistan achieve weather friend and inevitable fac- Afghanistan quagmire. independence, peace, and stabil- tor in Afghanistan affairs, or mulThe writer is Research Fellow, ity. However, the exact outcome of tilateral frameworks such as the IreS, IPCS

Freedom for CBI

W

hat is surprising in the latest Congress scam is that the CBI could get close to a minister's nephew without the minister getting a whiff of it. Otherwise, in the normal course expected as in the scandal just before this one - case of the Law Minister of India vetting CBI report - the CBI could have gone to Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal pleading for permission to prosecute his nephew. And as is the law of the Congress party, permission would not have been granted. Knowing that this would be the case in any inquiry, hundreds of such trails would have gone cold and the smoking gun, although clearly visible in the government coffers, would never be found. If the CBI still tried to get close to the rulers, it would be pulled up and put in its place. So what has happened now that without the government knowing, a senior government functionary is found to be misusing his position through his relatives? It seems the CBI must have been in the know of, among others, this case of the kin of the Railway Minister. Sensing the weakness of the government which is fighting for survival with its own prime minister's reputation in tatters, it went for the kill. In these days of technological advances where things can't remain hidden for long, any arched eyebrow at CBI would bring repercussions. That is the secret of the newfound courage of CBI. Doubts however arise as to how further the CBI will be able to take this case. In 2009 it had arrested the son of Buta Singh for accepting a bribe of Rs 1 crore for silencing a case against a contractor for exploitation of dalits before the National Minorities Commission. A former Home Minister, Buta Singh at that time was Chairman of the Minorities Commission. The CBI had claimed it had enough evidence against Buta Singh. The case however could not be brought to fruition because of lack of "evidence" and six months later the CBI had to give a "clean chit" to Buta Singh. It is suspected that something similar might take place in the case of both the railway minister and law minister Ashwani Kumar. The main investigating agency of the Indian government cannot investigate the government under whose thumb it works. For every little case against senior government officials, it has to obtain permission of the government to prosecute them. As is well known, the permission is either not given or the decision is delayed so much that the case loses its immediacy and the focus of the people shifts to some other fresh scandal. The CBI faced a volley of questions from the Supreme Court recently on its functioning particularly in cases relating to top political personalities. Was it to prove to the Supreme Court that it can act independently that it swiftly booked a nephew of the railway minister? Earlier also the agency had started investigations in some high profile cases, such as the Bofors scam and the JMM bribery case with much fanfare but later the cases just fizzled out in court. The way the government, and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have chosen to brazen it out and not seek the resignations of the accused ministers, it seems they are confident the CBI cases will go where they have gone before - to a dead end. The Lokpal bill was too ambitious. If only Anna Hazare and his team had focused on this one issue - making CBI independent all its other demands would have dovetailed into this. The CBI reports to the government. Its senior officers' appointments, promotions, transfers and post retirement career options are in the hands of politicians. This same CBI is asked to investigate the government when scams emerge. How can a slave investigate the master? And every political party when in power uses the CBI to fix its opponents and protect its own. This system is horribly flawed and unless it is changed there is no hope for corruption in high places to be probed.


May 17, 2013

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