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Dr Desai named again on Florida Education Board Details on page 8
VOL 16, No. 871
May 20, 2011
WIDESPREAD FASTS OVER INDIA VISA
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai
PM calls Afghan spl friend; 'it can count on India' Details on page 7
Protest against govt’s passport surrender rules
India Post News Service
Arjun Reddy Dyapa
$10,000 reward for clue to Dyapa killer
NEW YORK: In a unique protest, groups of Indian Americans observed a 36-hour fast in 11 different cities across the US, to protest against the recent Indian government’s passport surrender rules for naturalized citizens of Indian origin and other issues concerning Over-
seas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cards. Initiated by a group in Houston, Texas, the protest fast was observed late last month in Houston and Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, GA; Tampa Bay, Miami, and West Palm Beach, FL; Columbia, SC; Chicago, IL; Washington DC; New Jersey and New York. Details on page 40
Vinod Khosla donates half of $1.4 b wealth
Details on page 12 Details on page 22
Obama speaks to Manmohan on Osama raid
Another fatal accident kills 4 Andhra students
Details on page 8 Details on page 12
Sikh Summit disscusses civil rights
Joint India, US policy group set up
Details on page 9 Details on page 7
HAF decries US listing of India on 'watch list'
CONTENTS 14 TIMES GUILTY: Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam (L) exits the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House at 500 Pearl Street after being found guilty of 14 charges against him on May 11, in New York City. After eleven days of deliberation a jury convicted Rajaratnam with all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy
Details on page 6
INDIA POST SURVEY firstname.lastname@example.org This week’s question
India harasses Indians, welcomes foreigners Last week’s result
Tri-Valley, not students, should be blamed YES 74%
Rajaratnam now a convicted felon: Bharara SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Sri Lankan born Tamil Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire hedge fund manager was found guilty by a jury, and convicted after a drama-ridden eight week trial, in Manhattan Federal Court in the biggest ever insider trading scam on Wall Street.
The jury convicted Rajaratnam on 14 counts for illegal stock trades in companies including Goldman Sachs, Clearwire, Akamai, AMD, Intel, Polycom and People Support. At sentencing, which is set for July 29, Rajaratnam faces a maximum prison term of 205 years in total and at least $45 million in fines.
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May 20, 2011
May 20, 2011
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May 20, 2011
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istorians who classified time in the Biblical context of "Before Christ" and "After Christ" would not have imagined in their wildest whims that one day people would see their lives with reference to time as "Pre-9/ 11" and "Post-9/11". While that is the modern day reality, pundits-come-lately have now begun to describe the current geo-political, and perhaps economic era as pre-Osama and post-Osama, in a bid to understand what the last decade has done to the world as a result of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hoping to predict the far reaching and countless possible outcomes of Osama's killing by the US in Pakistan. Not many, even the best of on-the-ground journalists, analysts, politicians, historians or defense experts, have been able to completely wrap their minds around the situation as it continues to evolve in the aftermath of Osama's death, as yet. Current world affairs have become way too complex and unpredictable. While many countries around the world can afford to take an almost clinical view of possible developments, unfortunately, where India is, it's not a happy neighborhood to be in. It is ironic that although the 9/11 attacks happened in the US, bin Laden, the perpetrator hid in Afghanistan and then was eventually found and killed in Pakistan, the entire gamut of somebody else's actions and reactions, have a direct bearing for India and its national security. Already, India's security forces are preparing for the vintage terror attacks on India whenever Pakistan finds itself facing domestic flak. India also is at a loose end if the US, now under pressure from its own people, withdraws its troops from Afghanistan. India needs to keep the Afghani leadership in good humor to hold it from coming under the control of Taliban and Pakistan. And for all this, India needs the US to continue to be engaged with both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The US in any case, sticks its neck out as a matter of policy. So, in the new post-Osama era, is peace possible? No, not as long as his (ideological) spirit haunts the earth.
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17.5 crorepati Yashraj Films has been forced to cough out a whopping Rs 17.5 crore and a share in the profit for Salman Khan.
Cover Story: Visa harassment Indian Americans observed a 36-hour fast in 11 different US cities to protest against Indian government's passport surrender rules.
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Indian American venture capitalist billionaire Vinod Khosla has pledged half of his $1.4 billion wealth for philanthropy.
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Travel: Mussoorie From the Mall in Mussoorie there is a feast of views of the surrounding hills and the Doon Valley below.
May 20, 2011
May 20, 2011
Rajaratnam now a convicted felon: Preet Bharara SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Sri Lankan born Tamil Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire hedge fund manager was found guilty by a jury, and convicted after a drama-ridden eight week trial, in Manhattan Federal Court in the biggest ever insider trading scam on Wall Street. The jury convicted Rajaratnam on 14 counts for illegal stock trades in companies including Goldman Sachs, Clearwire, Akamai, AMD, Intel, Polycom and People Support. At sentencing, which is set for July 29, Rajaratnam faces a maximum prison term of 205 years in total and at least $45 million in fines. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced May 11, that Rajaratnam was found guilty by a jury in Manhattan federal court of conspiracy and securities fraud crimes stemming from his involvement in the largest hedge fund insider trading scheme in history. Rajaratnam, prosecutors said, had gained as much as $60 million through illegal tips that helped him avoid losses. In just over 18 months, Bharara's office has charged 47 individuals with insider trading crimes; Rajaratnam is the 35th per-
son to be convicted. "We will continue to pursue and prosecute those who believe they are both above the law and too smart to get caught," Bharara announced. Fifty-three year old Rajaratnam was the Managing Member of Galleon Management, LLC, the General Partner of Galleon Management, L.P., and a portfolio man-
ager for Galleon Technology Offshore, Ltd., and certain accounts of Galleon Diversified Fund, Ltd. He was convicted after an eight-week trial before US District Judge Richard J. Holwell. Bharara stated: "Raj Rajaratnam, once a high-flying billionaire and hedge fund manager, is now a convicted felon, 14 times over. Rajaratnam was among the best and the brightest - one of the most educated, successful and
privileged professionals in the country. Yet, like so many others recently, he let greed and corruption cause his undoing. The message today is clear - there are rules and there are laws, and they apply to everyone, no matter who you are or how much money you have. Unlawful insider trading should be offensive to everyone
Rajaratnam repeatedly traded on material, nonpublic information pertaining to upcoming earnings forecasts, mergers, acquisitions, and other business combinations ("Inside Information"). The Inside Information was given as tips by insiders and others at hedge funds, public companies, and investor relations firms - including Goldman Sachs, Intel, InternaKumar, Goel, Smith, tional Business Chiesi, Mark Kurland, Machines Corporation (IBM), an employee at New McKinsey & Castle Partners, and Company, Robert Moffat, a Senior Moody's Investor Services, Vice President at IBM, Market Street were charged with Partners, Akamai Rajaratnam and have Technologies, and Polycom. all previously Based on the pleaded guilty Inside Information, Rajaratnam, who believes in, and relies on, the it was established, executed market. It cheats the ordinary in- trades in the stock of public comvestor, victimizes the companies panies, including Goldman Sachs, whose information is stolen, and Clearwire, Akamai, AMD, Intel, is an affront not only to the fair- Polycom, and People Support, ness of the market, but the rule of earning tens of millions of dollars. law." The evidence at trial included, According to the Superseding among other things, recordings of Indictment filed in Manhattan fed- wiretapped phone calls between eral court, other court documents, Rajaratnam and his various coand statements made during re- conspirators, including Anil lated court proceedings: Kumar, a senior partner and direcFrom 2003 to March 2009, tor at McKinsey; Rajiv Goel, an
employee of Intel; Adam Smith, a portfolio manager and analyst at Galleon; and Danielle Chiesi, an employee of the hedge fund New Castle Partners. Rajaratnam engaged in overlapping conspiracies to commit securities fraud with these individuals, as well as with Roomy Khan, who traded securities on her own behalf. Kumar, Goel, Smith, Chiesi, Mark Kurland, an employee at New Castle Partners, and Robert Moffat, a Senior Vice President at IBM, were charged with Rajaratnam and have all previously pled guilty to insider trading charges. Roomy Khan was arrested on October 19, 2009 and has also pleaded guilty. Rajaratnam was found guilty of five counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and nine counts of securities fraud. Each of the conspiracy counts carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Each of the securities fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its extraordinary assistance in the case.
HAF decries US listing of India on religious 'watch list' India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has strongly criticized the listing of India, the world's largest secular democracy, with the likes of Russia, Afghanistan, and Cuba on a US State Department advisory group's "watch list" of violators of religious freedom. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced its censure of India for the third consecutive year at a news conference held at the National Press Club late last month. According to the HAF, India's inclusion came despite spirited testimony by HAF in support of India's track record on religious freedom. Although USCIRF reported that measures to improve religious freedom are ongoing in India, it argued India should be kept on the watch list "because justice for past communal violence continues to be slow and ineffective and because of concerns about the state
'Freedom of Religion Act(s).'" The USCIRF decision, however, was not unanimous. Commissioners Felice Gaer and William Shaw dissented, describing the listing of India on the watch list as "ill-advised" and "inappropriate." HAF was the only organization invited by USCIRF to testify on demanding India's removal from the watch list, and its arguments were echoed by the two commissioners in their public dissent. Prof. Ramesh Rao, the author of HAF's annual Hindu human rights report, and Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF's Managing Director and Legal Counsel, testified before the USCIRF Commissioners in Washington, D.C. in March, arguing that India did not belong on the watch list due to its robust human rights mechanisms and independent judiciary that comprehensively probed incidents of inter-religious violence. They insisted that the "predatory proselytizing" supported by American mega-churches vitiates inter-religious harmony in India as well as other countries and must be con-
sidered in any comprehensive analysis of international religious freedom. In extensive opening statements and testimony, the HAF team responded to a host of questions posed by Commissioners that focused particularly on what
Shukla and Rao offered evidence of the Constitutional and legal accommodations provided to India's minorities, including the existence of separate personal and family laws for Muslims and Christians USCIRF labeled as "anti-conversion" laws in some Indian states, the deadly riots in Gujarat after a mob burned a train full of Hindu pilgrims in 2002, and the Orissa riots of 2007 after a Hindu spiri-
tual leader was murdered. Over the course of the year, HAF also submitted evidence of anti-Hindu discrimination in Malaysia and Bangladesh that Rao said required Malaysia's inclusion on any watch list and Bangladesh's designation as a country of particular concern. "USCIRF's decision to club India in with a dozen or so of the worst violators of religious freedom in the world, while overlooking others, again raises questions of bias and flawed methodology there," said Rao after the announcement. "The Commission's censure of India in 2011, despite that country's celebrated pluralism and absence of any significant recent religious discord - despite provocative terror attacks seems based more on a disagreement over some states' efforts to monitor coercive and forced conversions." Shukla and Rao offered evidence of the Constitutional and legal accommodations provided to India's minorities, including the existence of separate personal and
family laws for Muslims and Christians, governmental subsidies for the annual Hajj pilgrimage for Muslims, and the right of all religious communities, except Hindu, to independently control their respective places of worship free from government interference. They also highlighted India's affirmative action policies and reservations in government and educational institutions, intended to afford economic and social advantages to religious minorities. "We are disappointed that the compelling evidence we presented did not move the majority of commissioners away from their deeply flawed assumptions about India," added Shukla. "But continuing to call out bias within quasi-government bodies such as USCIRF that lack Hindu, Buddhist, or Sikh representation, and bringing to light the damaging role that predatory proselytization plays in inter-religious relations around the globe, are guiding principles and imperative for HAF."
May 20, 2011
PM calls Afghanistan spl friend; 'it can count on India' KABUL: Describing Afghanistan as "a very special friend" and not just a neighbor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here the war-torn country can "count" on India to build its society, economy and polity. "We wish to see a peaceful, stable, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan, that is in harmony with the culture, genius and temperament of its people," Singh said at a banquet lunch hosted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai shortly after he arrived here on a two-day visit to Afghanistan. Singh, who is on his second visit to this country in six years, noted Afghanistan had endured great suffering and that the time has come to put an end to violence. "We strongly support the Afghan people's quest for peace and reconciliation. India supports the unity, integrity and prosperity of Afghanistan," the Prime Minister said. "The journey ahead for both India and Afghanistan to fulfill the aspirations of our peoples is a long one. There will be obstacles, but if we stand together we will achieve our goals and we will win," he said. The banquet, which was attended by senior ministers in the Afghan government and officials, had a lavish spread comprising Afghan delicacies and mouthwatering breads. "I am delighted to be here in Afghanistan.... When I see the love, affection and friendship in the eyes of the many faces around
me, I know that I am visiting not just a neighbor but a very special friend," Singh said. Calling Karzai a "great patriot", the Prime Minister said Afghanistan has made "significant" strides under his leadership as he has led his country without fear or favor. Recalling the centuries-old
count on us as you build your society, economy and polity," he said. Stressing the need for a longterm vision of bilateral relations and acting accordingly, Singh said, "We should be ambitious in shaping our future ourselves. We should harness the goodwill that exists between our people and
encourage much greater exchanges at all levels both within and outside government."
Welcome to your second home, says Karzai Shortly after he landed in the Afghan capital amid tight security cover, Singh was warmly received by Afghan President
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai during a banquet in Kabul on June 12
ties between the two countries, Singh said they are immortalized in the poetry of Amir Khusro, the shrines of Salim Chisti and Moinuddin Chisti and the grave of Bidel Dehlavi. "I have come here with a message of solidarity, friendship and goodwill from the people of India to the people of Afghanistan. India is your neighbor and partner in development. You can
Calling Karzai a ‘great patriot’, the PM said Afghanistan has made ‘significant’ strides under his leadership as he has led his country without fear or favor
Hamid Karzai who told the Prime Minister "Welcome to your second home" at a ceremonial reception by the Afghan Police, the Army and the Air Force in the grand Presidential Palace 'The Arg'. He was earlier received at Kabul airport by Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasoul, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and other senior officials.
Joint India, US policy group set up India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Aspen Institute India joined hands to form the US-India Joint Group on shared national interests. The group - composed of former government officials and scholars from both countries - is co-chaired by Robert D. Blackwill, former US Ambassador to India and CFR Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow for US foreign policy; and Naresh Chandra, former Indian Ambassador to the United States and chairman of India's National Security Advisory Board. The group will provide policy recommendations in seven areas: the rise of Chinese power, the status of Pakistan, the future of Afghanistan, ongoing changes in the Middle East, opportunities for global and bilateral economic cooperation, joint efforts on climate change and technology develop-
ment, and possibilities for defense cooperation. Findings will be released following the concluding meeting in September. Members from the United States include: Graham T. Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard
ning at the State Department - Stephen J. Hadley, senior adviser to the United States Institute of Peace; former national security adviser - John D. Podesta, president and chief executive officer, Center for American Progress; former White House chief of staff - Ashley Tellis, senior associ-
The group - composed of former government officials and scholars from both countries - is co-chaired by Robert D. Blackwill, former US Ambassador to India and CFR Henry A. Kissinger and Naresh Chandra, former Indian Ambassador to the United States University; former assistant secretary of defense - Dennis C. Blair, former director of national intelligence; former commander-in-chief of US Pacific Command - Richard N. Haass, CFR president; former director of policy plan-
ate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former senior director on the National Security Council staff; former senior adviser at the State Department - Philip Zelikow, professor, University of Virginia; former counse-
lor at the State Department; former executive director of the 9/11 Commission Members from India include: - K. Shankar Bajpai, founding chairman, Delhi Policy Group; former Indian ambassador to the United States - Sanjaya Baru, editor, Business Standard; former media adviser and spokesperson for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, foreign editor, Hindustan Times - P. S. Das, former commander-in-chief, Indian Navy Eastern Naval Command Tarun Das, president, Aspen Institute India; former chief executive of the Confederation of Indian Industry - Jamshyd N. Godrej, chairman and managing director of Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd. - Brajesh Mishra, former national security adviser and principal secretary to Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee - C. Raja Mohan, strategic affairs editor, In-
"This is a tremendous honor for the Afghan people to welcome His Excellency Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, to second home Afghanistan," said Karzai, welcoming Singh. The Prime Minister, in turn, described India and Afghanistan as "partners in progress". "It is always a great honor and privilege to visit you. That you have invited me to visit is an honor to entire people of India. "India and Afghanistan are partners in progress and we will stand by you through thick and thin, and we reaffirm our solidarity with the people and government of Afghanistan," he told the Afghan president at the reception at the palace. The presidential palace houses the president's office, his residence, and the office of the Afghan National Security Adviser. The presidential complex also houses the home of Afghanistan's last King Zahir Shah, where Prime Minister Singh is staying. Singh is the first foreign head of government for whom the late king Zahir Shah's home has been thrown open. National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Prime Minister's special envoy to Afghanistan Satinder Lambah and other senior officials are accompanying Singh. India will step-up its assistance for various developmental projects which already cover almost two-third of the provinces in Afghanistan. -PTI
Gilani inaugurates N-plant at Chashma project ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani inaugurated here a nuclear power plant at the Chashma project built with Chinese assistance and called on the world community to "eliminate discrimination" in giving Pakistan access to atomic technology for peaceful use. The second unit of the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant in Punjab province, which will produce 330MW of electricity, was completed more than three months ahead of schedule, Gilani told a gathering that included senior military officials and federal ministers. It is the country's third operational nuclear plant. "I wish to use the occasion of the inauguration of C-2 (nuclear power plant) to urge the international community to eliminate discrimination between nations and make this promising technology accessible to Pakistan for peaceful use like power generation," he said.-PTI
May 20, 2011
Dr Desai reappointed to Florida Education Board
India signs Nagoya Protocol on Genetic Resources at UN
Dr. T. Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India signing the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources at the United Nations in New York on May 11. Pic Mohamammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia India Post News Service
Crystal Desai, Seema Desai, Mrs. Emma Scott (mother of Governor Rick Scott), Florida Governor Rick Scott, Ann Scott, Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Priyanka Desai, and Dr. Akshay Desai at their home in St. Petersburg, Florida. India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Dr. Akshay Desai, founder and CEO of Universal Health Care Group has been reappointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Florida State Board of Education for a second four-year term. Dr. Desai was initially appointed four years ago by then-Governor Charlie Crist. The appointment is yet to be confirmed by the Florida Senate. Upon the announcement, Dr. Desai stated, "It is an honor to serve the State of Florida. The education of our children is critical to the future success of our great State. I thank Governor
Scott for his consideration and for bestowing this opportunity and privilege to serve upon me." The Florida State Board of Education is essentially a committee comprised of seven members appointed by the Governor. These members are charged with the task of guiding and directing public K-12 and also community college education within the state of Florida. The Board meets monthly to discuss issues and consummate its mission "to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient system, by providing them with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through
learning opportunities and research valued by students, parents, and communities, and to maintain an accountability system that measures student progress toward the highest student achievement, seamless articulation and maximum access, skilled workforce and economic development, and quality efficient services. Universal Health Care Group is the parent company of Universal Health Care, Inc., a managed care company that has been providing Medicare Advantage Health Plans to Medicare eligible beneficiaries since 2003, currently serving approximately 160,000 individuals located in 13 states.
NRI first flying car owner in India AHMEDABAD: NRI businessman Subhash Shihora's wife and six-month-old son were not allowed to board a flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad despite having a valid ticket because of a technical glitch in 2008. Shihora, a major stake-holder in the Rs 2 lakh crore Urok consultancy firm in the UK, was so angry that he sued the airline for Rs 21 crore. He also wanted to ensure that it never happened again. And he found a way out - Shihora has become the first Indian to buy the world's first commercial flying car called 'Transition' from a company in Massachusetts, US. Shihora now wants the car to be parked at his farmhouse off SG Road in Ahmedabad. But he fears getting permission may not be easy. He will need clearances from not just aviation agencies, but security agencies as well and has
started talking to officials. "I fly down to Ahmedabad at least six times a year and then fly to Mumbai and Rajkot. I had taken
The car, designed with foldable wings, successfully completed its first flight on March 5, 2009 and recently got clearance from the US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration a test drive of the flying car. By pressing just one button, the car
turns into an aircraft. I have started taking flying lessons to get the license," says Shihora. He booked the car in 2009 and will get delivery in 2012. Shihora, who moved to UK in 1998, booked it for Rs 1 crore and will pay another Rs 1 crore by the time it is delivered. "With all taxes and duties paid, the car will cost me around Rs 6 crore in Ahmedabad." The car, designed with foldable wings, successfully completed its first flight on March 5, 2009 and recently got clearance from the US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration. The two-seater vehicle falls in the light aircraft category and requires a private pilot license to fly it. The vehicle, which is big enough to fit into a home garage and runs on unleaded petrol, can travel up to 450 miles and can fly at 115 mph. Courtesy Times of India
NEW YORK: India has, on May 11, signed the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, at the United Nations in New York. The Protocol was signed by Dr. T. Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. The Protocol was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at its 10th meeting on October 29, 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. So far, 23 countries have signed the Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol is a landmark treaty that links conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity with development. Speaking on the occasion of the signature, Chatterjee said, "As a mega diverse country and the incoming President of the 11th Conference of Parties, I am happy to share that India has participated actively and contributed substantively to the negotiation and adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Shar-
ing. Further, domestically, India has adopted several measures and public policies that give priority to the sustainable use of biodiversity and the services that
it provides as essential elements of human well-being." As incoming President of the 11th Conference of Parties, India will host the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biodiversity and the 6th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety in October 2012.
Obama apprises Manmohan on Osama operation India Post News Service
NEW YORK: A week after American Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in a covert attack on his hideout in Pakistan, President Obama spoke with the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to discuss the successful American action against the al Qaeda leader. In his telephonic conversation the morning of May 9 with Prime Minister Singh, President Obama reviewed with the latter, the progress in implementing the initiatives launched during the
President's November 2010 visit to India. According to an official White House release, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to building a global, strategic partnership, including defense cooperation, and looked forward to the upcoming meetings of the Strategic Dialogue, the Homeland Security Dialogue, the Joint Space Working Group, and the HighTechnology Cooperation Group. The two leaders also discussed global and regional issues of mutual concern, the White House release stated.
May 20, 2011
Sikh Summit highlights community advocacy for civil rights India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Nearly 50 members of the Sikh American community met over 30 members of Congress and government agencies to advocate for Sikh civil and human rights at the 3rd Annual Sikh Summit held May 2-6 in Washington DC. The annual advocacy week consists of addressing ongoing civil rights issues that most affect the Sikh community nationally to reach meaningful solutions. The Summit is an opportunity for Sikh community members to advocate for policies that protect and honor Sikh civil rights by presenting their personal experiences to lawmakers to effect positive change on a national level. The main issues that were addressed at this year's Summit were: racial/ religious profiling specifically at airports and through national security policies; the prevalence of bias based bullying and its impact on the Sikh community; religious accommodations for Sikhs seeking to serve their country (military) and for Sikhs wearing dastaars, kirpans, and karas in other contexts; employment discrimination; hate crimes and international issues of concern such as: the mass graves found in Panjab, India; the kirpan ban in the Quebec Parliament; and the forcible turban removal that recently occurred in Mohali, India. During each meeting, Sikh community members laid out these issues and discussed possible solutions. In the coming weeks, the United Sikhs legal team will be implementing the next steps and actions items that were outlined at these meetings in the hopes of working with government officials to further promote the rights of Sikhs across the nation. "As Chairman Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I see United Sikhs' work in preserving cultural heritage, promoting civic engagement and providing humanitarian relief as vital to the broader mission of the Asian American community," said Congressman Mike Honda in a statement. "Our community and our nation need stronger engagement in the political process and better leadership to succeed. It is only through the strength of our diversity and the commitment of organizations such as United Sikhs that we will be able to meet our challenges head on." The Sikh Summit dinner, held midweek, was another opportunity for community members from
all over the country to bring up relevant issues. Attendees were able to hear comments from the White House Office of Public Engagements Associate Director Paul Monteiro, Congressman John Conyers, and Congresswoman Judy Chu. Renowned social justice rap artist GNE had a special surprise in store, and after dinner, the crowd was able to enjoy a program entitled, "Rapping
community as we fight for fairness and justice here at home and around the world." Becky L. Monroe, Acting Director, Community Relations Service at the Department of Justice said, "The Community Relations Service welcomes the opportunity to meet with the United Sikhs to talk about how we can continue to work together to empower local community leaders, law enforcement officials, and government leaders to address discrimination and prevent hate crimes against Sikhs and people of all faiths and backgrounds. CRS has had the opportunity to work with volunteer leaders from United Sikhs who helped lead cultural professionalism programs for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as assisted in development of sustainable mechanisms to improve dialogue between community members and law enforcement officials. CRS looks forward to working with United Sikhs to support students, teachers, parents and administrators develop safe school environments that foster understanding and respect for people of all religions and ethnic backgrounds." Mankanwal Singh, one of United Sikhs' directors, had this to say to the participants, "Your involvement was invaluable. Advocacy organizations like this play a vital role in protecting our civil rights, but without community members who are willing to raise their voices to promote social justice, we could not do the work that we do successfully."
Aussie company apologizes for 'Hindu Swimwear' India Post News Service
fore that. Within a few hours of his protest letter, the swimwear company took down the denigrating swimwear and apologized to the Hindu community. A statement from Lisa Blue said: "Lisa Blue has been born out of a love of conservation, spirituality and a respect for all people. At no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence. The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand. We would like to offer an apol-
NEW YORK: Following a protest letter from a local volunteer of the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA), Lisa Blue, an Australian swimwear company apologized to Hindus and stopped the marketing of its latest collection of swimwear with the images of Goddess Lakshmi on them. Lisa Blue carried an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front, calling it 'Hindu The main issues that Swimwear' and paraded the deniwere addressed at this grating swimwear with images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva year's Summit were: in Australian Fashion Week. racial/ religious profilWhen FHA'sr Atul Dighe from Brisbane reing -specifically at Dighe said, the swimwear with ceived a forwarded email, airports and the appealing everyone to the Lakshmi images was a prevalence of bias protest the denigrating denigration of Hinduism and its swimwear by Lisa Blue, followers. "According to the based bullying and its he immediately wrote to Law of Karma, any such impact on the Sikh the company regarding act of denigration the Lakshmi images. community In his letter, Dighe accumulates as a sin said, the swimwear with for Human Rights." the Lakshmi images was a denigra- ogy to anyone we may have ofCongresswoman Judy Chu tion of Hinduism and its followers. fended and advise that the image (CA-32), a champion of Sikh rights "According to the Law of Karma, any of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear said, "I was honored to be a part such act of denigration accumulates on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear of the Sikh Summit in Washingas a sin, and one has to undergo its for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range ton that raised awareness of the equivalent unhappiness. civil rights challenges facing the I am sure you would not portray and pieces shown on the runway community." Congresswoman such pictures of any other religion from last week removed. This range Chu continues, "Racial profiling like Islam, Christianity, etc. Hence, I will never be available for sale in has become rampant in the Sikh urge you to kindly remove and with- any stockists or retail outlets anycommunity and that is why earlier draw all the swimwear with Hindu where in the world. We apologize to the Hindu comthis week I called a meeting with Gods printed on it immediately from the head of the TSA and made the market," he wrote adding that munity and take this matter very sure he knew that we were not his group was organizing an event seriously." Meanwhile, Hindus in the US going to stand for prejudicial poliin Melbourne to educate the comcies at airports or anywhere else. munity about such denigrations and welcomed apology from Lisa Blue Hindu priest Rajan Zed, in a I will continue to stand by the Sikh hoped the company would act bestatement in Nevada pointed out that this apology was "a step in the right direction". Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed added. Lisa Blue Swimwear claims to represent "the girl of the future who can be sexy, beautiful, powerful and environmentally aware at the same time", whose designer-owner is said to be Lisa Burke. Besides Australia and an online presence, it has stockists in the US, Ireland, New Zealand and Indonesia. RAFW, held this year against the spectacular backdrop of Circular Quay, is claimed to be Australia's premier fashion industry event providing a platform for designers to showcase their wholesale collections to the world's most influential AMERICAN GANDHI: US Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer spins a cotton wheel at the Gandhi Ashram in buyers and media. Australian GovAhmedabad on May 10. Roemer said that America was not adopting double standards while dealing with the ernment, New South Wales GovernSeptember 11, 2001 and November 26, 2008 Mumbai militant attacks, stating that India and the US have become closer since the incidents ment, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel were some of its partners.
10 India Post
May 20, 2011
UN launches article series in worldwide publications India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The UN Alliance of Civilizations on May 9, launched a unique articles series in prominent newspapers worldwide including the Hindustan Times published from India. As part of the series, some of the most prominent newspapers around the world will be provided to simultaneously publish a unique article series Religion and the Public Space, written by eminent analysts and commentators worldwide. The series, which will run over several weeks, aims to offer newspapers around the world a unique set of commentaries by prominent thinkers and analysts. Newspapers involved in the project include The Straits Times (Singapore), Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), Jordan Times (Jordan), Guatemala Times, Hindustan Times (India), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Publico (Spain), Sidney Morning Herald
(Australia), Daily News Egypt (Egypt), Malta Independent (Malta), Gulf Times (UAE), Christian Science Monitor (USA), La Croix (France), Le Devoir (Canada), Le Temps (Switzerland) and the pan Arab daily Al Hayat. The series will be published in five languages (English, French,
The experts include prominent academics from the USA, Iran, France, UK, Malaysia, Brazil, Australia and India Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic). The project stems from the UNAOC's global mission: amplifying the constructive role of the media in increasing public understanding of divisive debates, ensuring that a diversity of voices are heard from, and providing free quality content to newspapers
around the world. "The UNAOC is committed to maintaining the broad intellectual reach and the global scope that enables readers to see how a common issue is experienced in different ways around the globe. Questions of the engagement of religion in public life are among the most pressing and complex on the international agenda and within many countries," says UNAOC Director Marc Scheuer. Throughout the series, experts address different aspects of religion and politics in the public space and reflect a variety of professional, cultural, and geographical backgrounds, and political perspectives. The experts include prominent academics from the USA, Iran, France, UK, Malaysia, Brazil, Australia and India, but also civil society leaders from various countries. The UNAOC, established in 2005, is supported by a growing Group of Friends of 128 governments and international organizations.
Obama does not want next Google, Intel in India, China HOUSTON: Making a strong pitch for his immigration reforms, President Barack Obama has said that he does not want the next corporate giants like Google and Intel to be created in India and China, which are giving stiff competition to American firms. "We don't want the next Intel or Google to be created in China or India. We want those companies and jobs to take root in America," Obama said, as he made a case for bringing 11 million illegal immigrants out of the shadows and putting them on a path to citizenship. Arguing that immigration was fundamental to his country's economic wellbeing, he said that the US could not afford to train future entrepreneurs at US colleges, then send them home to compete with American firms. "Look at Intel and Google and Yahoo and eBay -- these are great American companies that have created countless jobs and helped us lead the world in high-tech industries. Every one was founded
by an immigrant." Obama said Republicans would seek to block his drive for immigration reform, in an apparent play for vital Hispanic votes in his 2012 reelection bid. In a major speech on the USMexico border, he mocked the Republican position on immigration, accusing party leaders of stepping away from the table to appease their conservative political base. His comments are likely to draw ire from his opponents. "We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement," Obama said, at the southern US border in El Paso, Texas. "Even though we've answered these concerns, I have got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goalposts on us one more time." "They'll say we need to triple the border patrol. Now they will say we will need to quadruple the border patrol.-PTI
Cocktail reception for E. Ahamed
he Consulate General of India in New York organized a cocktail reception on May 5 in honor of E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs. Prominent members of Indian-American community, from all walks of life attended the function. The Minister later interacted on one-to-one basis with the guests and listened to their stories, achievements and grievances. Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamedâ€ speaking at Indian Consulate in NY on May 5, Ambassador Prabhu dayalâ€ can be seen in pic. Pics Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
E. Ahamed arriving at Indian Consulate in NY, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal and INOC General Secretary George Abraham escort him to the podium
May 20, 2011
Rana appears in court for status hearing CHICAGO: Pakistani born Canadian citizen Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with David Coleman Headley in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks appeared in court here for a status hearing of his case, even as his lawyer claimed that the Indian government had not approached him yet for access. At the status hearing, discussions were held about the com-
mencement of trial next week, in what is supposedly the most important terrorism trial ever to be held here. Commenting on recent reports that India may gain access to him, like they did to Headley last year, Rana's attorney Patrick Blegen said that he was yet to be approached by the Indian government. On April 25, in a second super-
Lawmaker introduces bill to defund Pakistan of US aid intelligence services facilitated the transfer of an unexploded American Tomahawk missile recovered NEW YORK: Close on the by the Taliban, to Communist heels of Congressman Ted Poe's China. The Chinese were then able (R-Texas) proposed Pakistan For- to reverse engineer the missile and eign Aid Accountability Act, dissect its components allowing which seeks to freeze foreign aid them to learn its vulnerabilities and to Pakistan, Rep. Dana defeat its capabilities. During the raid in Abbottabad, Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced H.R. 1790, the "Defund United a specially configured stealth U.S. States Assistance to Pakistan Act Special Forces helicopter crashed of 2011," after last week's suc- and even though our soldiers atcessful raid that killed Osama Bin tempted to destroy it, the tail was Laden made it clear that Pakistan's left intact and recovered by the leadership concealed, protected Pakistanis. Rep. Rohrabacher has and enabled the al-Qaeda leader demanded immediate return of the debris for fear of American milifor many years. Pakistan has received over $18 tary secrets being compromised. "If this is not done immediately, billion in US aid since 2001. it is probable, given Pakistan's history, that According to a May 9, 2011 our technology has alreport in Defense News, the ready found its way into the hands of the wreckage has seemingly disCommunist Chinese appeared, leading to speculamilitary that is buying, tion that pieces may have been building, and stealing shipped to China or made the necessary military technology to chalavailable to Chinese lenge the United engineers in Pakistan States," said Rohrabacher. According to a May 9, 2011 "We can no longer afford this foolishness," said Rohrabacher. report in Defense News, the "The time has come for us to stop wreckage has seemingly disapsubsidizing those who actively peared, leading to speculation that oppose us. Pakistan has shown pieces may have been shipped to China or made available to Chiitself not to be America's ally." The bill, moved May 10, out- nese engineers in Pakistan. The PRC and Pakistan have lines several accounts of Pakistan's duplicitous behavior signed a Memorandum of Undertoward the United States includ- standing calling 2011 the "Year of ing recent reports of Pakistani China-Pakistan Friendship" and the leadership lobbying Afghan Presi- Pakistan leadership reaffirmed its dent Hamid Karzai to move away alliance with China yesterday, callfrom "imperial" America and to ing them their "all weather friend." H.R. 1790 prohibits assistance embrace Communist China. The Chairman of the Joint to Pakistan under any provision Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael of law and would take effect on Mullen, said the Pakistani intelli- the date of enactment. Rep. Rohrabacher is a senior gence service has had a long relationship with the Haqqani terror member of the House Committee group that is right now "killing on Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight Americans" in Afghanistan. In 1998, Pakistan's military and and Investigations. SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
seding indictment, US prosecutors charged four additional men, all Pakistani residents, in the 26/ 11 terror attacks that left 166 dead, including six Americans. Dressed in an orange colored jumpsuit, Rana smiled as he looked around in the courtroom. The government would file its Santiago Proffer later, parts of which will be sealed. The Santiago Proffer is a document in which the government presents its case and connects the evidence by joining point to point the evidence, witnesses, conspirators and other details. Next week jury selection would begin with jurors being questioned and questionnaires being filled. "Rana is a very nice and polite man and it has been very difficult for him and his family," Rana's attorney Blegen told media here at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Blegen said that his client
might not testify and he would not disclose whether he would or would not testify. "We're very much looking forward to cross-examine Mr Headley," he added. Headley is likely to testify at
Tahawwur Hussain Rana
the trial. While Headley pleaded guilty, Rana has pleaded not guilty. Blegen also mentioned that the government's prosecutorial team had a very good track record. Asked on what kind of juror he
was wanting, Blegen said that he wanted just and fair jurors who could put aside facts and emotions and apply logic to the case. Rana was indicted by a federal grand jury under 12 counts on February 15 last year for planning the attacks, providing material support to LeT to carry out the attacks and guiding Headley in scouting targets in Mumbai in the process. Headley, who was originally Daood Gilani, changed and anglicized his name in order to carry out the carnage without disclosing his Pakistani identity. Rana, who had served as a doctor in the Pakistani Army Medical Corps, before he migrated to Canada, is also accused of plotting an attack with Headley on a Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. If convicted, Rana faces a possible life sentence. -PTI
Desi News Asha set to be the foremost agency fighting TB RAMESH SOPARAWALA & SURENDRA ULLAL India Post News Service
CHICAGO: With 140 centers in eight States of the Indian Union, Operation ASHA is now set to leapfrog to be the most premiere organization fighting TB not only in India but the world over. The ASHA progress in the past five years of its existence is stupendous with taking care of less than ten patients in the first year; it touched the lives of 5000 patients in 2010 and is now set to reach the figure of 10,000 patients in the current year. The goal is to serve 24 million disadvantaged people and treat 25,000 patients by 2013.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
12 India Post
Indian American students honored for excellence Details on page 20
May 20, 2011
Another fatal accident kills four Andhra students
Details on page 14
IONC welcomes Punjab delegation in New Jersey SURI SWAMY
NEW JERSEY: Pam Kwatra, the first woman president of Indian National Overseas Congress (IONC), held a dinner reception in honour of visiting team of former Congress Ministers from the Punjab State at Royal Albert's Palace here on Friday April 29. The occasion was also taken to announce the new executive Board of New Jersey Chapter of IONC. The event began with the singing of National Anthem by Eric Kumar which was followed by a warm welcome by Pam Kwatra. Details on page 16
BAPS Health Fair in Bartlett a big success SANDIP PATEL
BARTLETT, IL: BAPS Charities dedicated April 2011 as Health Fair Month and organized a community health fair on Sunday, May 1 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL. The health fair offered a range of services and information for children and adults. A number of volunteer healthcare specialists were involved including physicians, pharmacists, dentists and nurses. Specialists in the fields of cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, neurology, dermatology, gastro-entrology, pulmonary and endocrinology were also on hand and in total, provided personal consultations to over 450 visitors. Details on page 19
Srikanth Ravi India Post News Service
NEW YORK: A fatal highway in Missouri claimed the lives of four Telugu students and critically injured a fifth student who was driving at the time of the accident. According to police and newspaper reports, the four Rolla residents were killed on the spot of the accident. Sriharsha Chittury (Visakhapatnam) 22, Dheeraj Gudlawar (Hyderabad) 23, Srikanth Ravi (Hyderabad) 21, and Srupun Velumula (Karimnagar) 24, were passengers in a vehicle driven by Murali Bottu, 22, who was seriously injured and was air-lifted from the spot to University Hospital. The Highway Patrol said Bottu was traveling westbound on Hwy
Srupen Reddy Velumula
42 at Hawkins Cemetery Road around 10:45 a.m. Sunday when he lost control of the vehicle. He crossed the center line and over-
the passenger side. Upon being informed by the family members of the victims, the emergency aid wing of Telugu
and volunteers went to the location and hospital to provide help and guidance. The president of the St Loius Telugu Association Rajanikanth Gangavarapu, STA members Chandra Gummi and Ram Mohan Paduru also traveled to Camdenton and Columbia, MO to assist the family member and friends of the victims. TANA Secretary Mohan Nannapaneni, has been coordinating with the university, funeral homes, volunteers, family members and making arrangements to send the deceased to India. The expenses for medical services and transferring the bodies to India are being covered via student's Insurance and with assistance from their University.
The Highway Patrol said Bottu was traveling westbound on Hwy 42 at Hawkins Cemetery Road around 10:45 a.m. Sunday when he lost control of the vehicle. He crossed the center line and overcorrected, causing the vehicle to become sideways in the roadway corrected, causing the vehicle to become sideways in the roadway. That's when a Chevrolet Silverado, driven by one Darren J. Denter, 38, of Glencove, collided with the victims' Toyota Camry on
Association of North America (TANA) - TANA TeamSquare reacted immediately to provide emergency assistance and logistical support. Many of the TANA members
Pharma Company offers $10,000 reward for info on Dyapa killer India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: Ten days after prominent Telugu American community leader and pharmacist Arjun Dyapa was shot dead in his pharmacy in Trenton, New Jersey, as investigators continue to hunt for the killer, the reward money being offered for information on the assailant has soared from $1,000 to $10,000 with a pharmaceutical company pitching in. ContĂd on page 14
Family and friends pay homage to Arjun Reddy Dyapa on the tenth day ceremony held at his ranch in Hamilton, NJ. Wife Geetha and daughter Pooja can be seen with NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula and his wife Dayci. (Pic Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia)
Community Across America
May 20, 2011
Manavi launches new programs on 26th anniversary
A skit being presented India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: Manavi, a New Jersey based non-profit organization dedicated to ending violence against South Asian women, held its Annual Community Dinner at Akbar Restaurant on May 7, in celebration of its 26th anniversary. Over 200 individuals, com-
rights, and the complex idea of "home" for immigrants in her writing. Freeman also gave a poignant thanks to her husband for taking the primary role of caregiver to their children so that she can pursue her passion. Manavi guests were excited to leave the event with autographed
Staff pose for photograph
the recession, Manavi has been able to launch two new programs that will help South Asian survivors of violence. One is Manavi's Economic Empowerment Program which is designed to help battered women gain financial independence and the other project, 'Bolo Behen' or "Speak Sister", is a partnership with Christ Hospital that will increase
Ru Freeman on mike
grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In the most important part of the night, the community was able to hear the stories of two survivors who touched upon the complex issues of transnational abandonment and trafficking included in the spectrum of violence against women. Manavi also performed a
of engaging the community to do the important work of ending violence against South Asian women. Established in 1985, Manavi was the first organization to specifically provide services for South Asian women (those descending from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). Through a wide variety of programs such
In the most important part of the night, the community was able to hear the stories of two survivors who touched upon the complex issues of transnational abandonment and trafficking included in the spectrum of violence against women Ru Freeman with husband and guests.
prised of staff, board, volunteers, community members, lawyers, politicians, organizational partners and supporters gathered on the occasion. Social Justice activist and renowned author of A Disobedient Girl, Ru Freeman, gave the key note address in which she discussed exploring issues around her Sri Lankan identity, women's
copies of her book, which sold out due to its popularity. Freeman was the first Sri Lankan guest speaker at a Manavi Annual Dinner and the organization hopes to build upon this important connection into the Sri Lankan community. Also at the event, Manavi's Executive Director, Maneesha Kelkar announced how despite
Maneesha Kelkar with volunteer Samita Loomba
Manavi's presence in Jersey City and raise awareness about sexual violence in the community. At the event, for the first time, Manavi's Economic Empowerment Video, entitled Sonia's Search was screened. The 10 minute- nontraditional instructional video was professionally filmed by director, Vaishali Sinha, and funded by a
Manavi volunteer with Ru Freeman
powerful skit this year "Blanketed by Blame" adapted from an exercise created by activist Ellen Pence, to show how community members' words can implicitly support or discourage violent behavior in the community. The evening ended with fine dining, dancing, and an overall celebration of Manavi's 26 years
as culture specific supportive counseling, legal assistance through clinics and referrals, interpretation, support groups, and transitional housing, Manavi ensures that women of South Asian descent in the US can exercise their fundamental right to live a life of dignity that is safe and free from violence.
Community Across America
14 India Post
May 20, 2011
Asha set to be the foremost agency fighting TB RAMESH SOPARAWALA & SURENDRA ULLAL India Post News Service
CHICAGO: With 140 centers in eight States of the Indian Union, Operation ASHA is now set to leapfrog to be the most premiere organization fighting TB not only in India but the world over. The ASHA progress in the past five years of its existence is stupendous with taking care of less than ten patients in the first year; it touched the lives of 5000 patients in 2010 and is now set to reach the figure of 10,000 patients in the current year. The goal is to serve 24 million disadvantaged people and treat 25,000 patients by 2013. The huge stride that ASHA has taken so far and is set to leapfrog further, however, gets dwarfed while looking at the enormity of the problem. Each year, 1.8 million new cases of TB occur in the country, of which
about 0.8 million are highly infectious new smear-positive pulmonary TB cases. Sandeep Ahuja, a one time McCormick Tribune Community Leadership Fellow turned a full time administrative head, said that India conservatively need over 600,000 TB centers and "we have just touched the tip of the iceberg." Sandeep was in Chicago and met representatives of ethnic Indian media at Mysore Woodland Restaurant on May 11. He said that ASHA has been in a position to be more efficient and effective in addressing the needs of the patients as it is getting more and more technological. The upshot is that it needs huge funds and for the current year only it is falling short of $600,000 in its budget. A suggestion was offered that ASHA should get more and more donors involved at the grassroots level with a donation
of $51 for One Patient. Sandeep readily agreed and his acceptances also met a ready response with three journalists pitching in $51 each for a patient. Operation ASHA is the largest non-profit organisation in TB treatment in India, serving 4 million of the country's poorest.
Furthermore, Operation ASHA has joined forces with the MIT for evaluation of its unique methodology. It has partnered with Microsoft Research, which has developed the latest Biometric technology for best results. In order to spread this technology and to enlarge the treat-
He said that ASHA has been in a position to be more efficient and effective in addressing the needs of the patients as it is getting more and more technological. The upshot is that it needs huge funds
It has started TB centres in Cambodia and has laid the groundwork in several other countries. By 2013, Operation ASHA plans to reach out to 70 million disadvantaged people.
ment of the TB population, Operation ASHA has now found a promising partner. Sandeep said his organization has joined hands with 'My Hollywood Production" a young upcoming
company for high-end gifts in Bonn and New York. My Hollywood Production (MHP) is a recently founded company of experienced media experts and established Hollywood entertainment executives and agencies who work together offering high-level earners exclusive participation in a Hollywood production. This participation varies depending on the package that is purchased. A visit on the film set, lunch with the team, an exclusive invitation to the Cannes film festival and even a speaking role in a Hollywood movie are possible gifts to be acquired. Operation ASHA is the latest charitable organisation to benefit of My Hollywood Production's net proceeds. In return, Operation ASHA provides its wide-spread media contacts hence ensuring a successful promotion of this cooperation.
Pharma Company offers $10,000 reward for info on Dyapa killer
Floral tribute ContĂd from page 12
Two local store owners had spontaneously announced $500 and $1,000 cash rewards respectively, the day after Dyapa was killed in his Brunswick Avenue pharmacy on April 29. Rafal Szumilo, a businessman with Trim-o-Tech, an LLC solar company from Lawrenceville, who was working with Dyapa to install solar panels on the roof of the pharmacy, offered a $500 and Steve Ettman of Westside Pharmacy on Heritage Avenue offered $1,000 for information leading to finding the killer. On May 3, Purdue Pharma, a privately held company founded by physicians, joined city police and Crime Stoppers in seeking information on the beloved pharmacist's killers and offered the $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, according to NJ.Com. Purdue Pharma's RxPATROL, which put up the re-
ward money, links companies, drugstore owners, and law enforcement agencies investigating pharmacy theft. "We urge the public to provide tips, no matter how big or small, to give the detectives assigned to this case some direction
Arjun ReddyĂs wife & daughter
pharmacy counter and demanded pills from Dyapa, who refused and began to struggle, police said. From behind the counter, the suspect shot Dyapa and ran out the front door, and Dyapa died on the way to the hospital, au-
Purdue Pharma, a privately held company founded by physicians, joined city police and Crime Stoppers in seeking information on the beloved pharmacist's killers and offered the $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case in the investigation," acting police director Joseph Juniak said in a statement. According to police, Dyapa was in Brunswick Pharmacy at 701 Brunswick Ave., just before 6 p.m. April 29, when an armed robber entered. The suspect went to the
thorities said. Police said later that Dyapa's killing may be connected to a series of recent armed pharmacy robberies in Trenton and Hamilton. Brunswick Pharmacy was robbed once during the spree.
Dyapa, a native of Jadcherala village in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, is survived by wife Geetha and 16-year-old daughter Pooja. Dyapa was an active community activist and one of the founders of North American Telugu Association (NATA) and also a senior leader of American Telugu Association (ATA). He was involved with several social and cultural organizations in New Jersey. Meanwhile, city and township police are working with the FBI on the investigation. The suspect is described as a black male in his late teens, 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9 inches tall, between 140 and 150 pounds. He was wearing all dark clothing with a dark bandanna pulled up to his face, and he walks with a slight limp, authorities said. Anyone with information about this crime or the suspect is asked to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at (888) 479-8477.
Community Across America
May 20, 2011
India Post 15
Nassau County honors Brahmrishi Kumar Swami
VIPs on stage India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Spiritual leader from India Brahmrishi Kumar Swami was honored April 29, at the Chamber of Nassau County Legislature on Long Island, in the presence of Judges of the New York Supreme Court, members of the New York State Assembly and Senate and public officials from all over Nassau County. United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joseph Crowley were also represented at the public reception organized by AWB Food Bank, a charitable hunger relief organization. The dignitaries welcomed Kumar Swami with garlands and commended his humanitarian services and spiritual leadership. In turn, the Swami garlanded the dignitaries creating a colorful splendor on the stage. Assemblyman Tom McKevitt joined Senator Jack Martins in presenting a Senate Proclamation declaring April 29 as 'Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami Day' in the state of New York. Senator Kisten Gillibrand commended the efforts of the Swami to improve the welfare of others through humanitarian assistance. Congressman Crowley issued a Proclamation citing the Brahmrishi as "one of the most scholarly figures of the world religions" and bestowed congressional recognition upon him. County Executive Edward Mangano recognized the "distinguished and outstand-
upon distributing 8 million meals to the needy since 1991. The humanitarian work of Kumar Swami also received recognitions from several leaders of New York State and Nassau County. New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued an Honor Citation applauding "Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami for his leadership in promoting human welfare." Assistant Comptroller Joe Galante, representing
Assemblyman Tom McKevitt joined Senator Jack Martins in presenting a Senate Proclamation declaring April 29 as 'Brahmrishi Shri Kumar Swami Day' in the state of New York. Senator Kisten Gillibrand commended the efforts of the Swami to improve the welfare of others through humanitarian assistance DiNapoli, commended the humanitarian efforts of both the Swami and the AWB Food Bank and said, "The AWB Food Bank has been providing physical nourishment for the last 20 years while Kumar Swami Ji has
The New York State Proclamation
ing record of excellence in community services" rendered by the honoree and delivered a Citation through his Deputy County Executive, Dr. Phillip Elliott. Mangano also issued a Citation to AWB Food Bank for 20 years of selfless commitment and dedicated efforts for hunger relief and recognized its founders, Ratna Bhalla and Varinder Bhalla,
been providing the spiritual nourishment all his life; therefore, it is very appropriate for the two to come together for this event." The hall was packed to capacity; while majority of the people came from Long Island, many traveled great distances - from Canada, California and Florida - to meet the revered spiritual leader.
Nassau County AWB Proclamation
Community Across America
16 India Post
May 20, 2011
IONC welcomes Punjab delegation in NJ
Delightful dance and Harikatha Ganam SHREE GURUSAMY
Lavanya Ananth performing at a concert in Aurora.
Star attraction KK Bawaji honored. Seen in the picture with Ms Pam Kwatra, IONC President
NEW JERSEY: Pam Kwatra, the first woman president of Indian National Overseas Congress (IONC), held a dinner reception in honour of visiting team of former Congress Ministers from the Punjab State at Royal Albert's Palace here on Friday April 29. The
talked about India's economy and the Indian society observing their rapid changes recent year in the context of the globalization policy of the government and the keen interest of major world economies to tap the consumer base of India's rising household income.
She cautioned that there "is still huge task ahead of us, to align our ethics and put to task the power of the NRI community resources in the field of finance, medicine, technology & science areas of impact towards achieving the common goal of defeating poverty in Indiaâ€™ occasion was also taken to announce the new executive Board of New Jersey Chapter of IONC. The event began with the singing of National Anthem by Eric Kumar which was followed by a warm welcome by Pam Kwatra. She
She cautioned that there "is still huge task ahead of us, to align our ethics and put to task the power of the NRI community resources in the field of finance, medicine, technology & science areas of impact towards achiev-
Mandeep Singh, the incoming NJ president honored
ing the common goal of defeating poverty in India, raising voice against domestic violence, better health care for the poor and distressed, abolishing abortion of female fetus and to continue the positive changes taking place." She extended hearty welcome to the visiting team of Punjab ministers and activists - Jasbir Singh Sangrur, Malkit Singh Dakha, Charan Singh Gurm, Shri Krishan Kumar Bawa, and Baba Singh Bahadur. K.K. Bawaji was a victim of more than 12 bullets during Punjab riots. KK was the star of the evening. The New Board for IONC NJ was then announced starting from Mandeep Singh Hans as Chairman, Raj Patel as Co- Chairman, Jasjit Singh Bindra as General Secretary, Jagdish Sadhana as Joint General Secretary, Jitu Rathod as Treasurer with Ram Gadula as Joint Treasurer, Sureshwar Singh as Fund Raiser and Membership Chair, Kavita Ramaswamy as Legal Advisor and Rahul Bathla as the Youth Chairman for INOC New Jersey. In closing remarks Pam Kwatra thanked all the prominent community and political leaders Upendra Chivukula, Gulshan Chhabra, Rupender Singh Nayar, and others. She mentioned that the mission and purpose of INOC is to protect democracy and promote secularism and give India and Indians better representation and respect. She also thanked Albert's Palace for their support. The many guests had the joint photo session with ministers and INOC President Pam Kwatra.
AURORA: Celebrating the spirit of Sri Ramanavami, Sri Balaji Temple Cultural Committee hosted Smt Jayanthi Savithri, a renowned Harikatha artist from the Annamacharya Project, Tirumala Tiupathi Devasthanam, on Saturday, April 30. The artist presented a Harikatha Ganam on 'Seetha Rama Kalyanam' at the temple auditorium. Harikatha means the story of Lord Hari. It is a composite art form comprising story telling, poetry, music, drama, dance, and philosophy. Narrated in Telugu language, Jayanthi Savithri was able to narrate beautifully the story of Seetha Rama Kalyanam, interspersed with keertanams, slokas and bhajans from ancient Hindu Vedas and Puranams. Presenting the grandeur and beauty of the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, Lavanya Ananth performed with a live orchestra from Chennai, India, Her presentation titled "Nrithya Samarchita", was a compilation of original choreographic works encompassing a variety of poetry and techniques within the classical boundaries of Bharatanatyam grammar in different Indian languages. A dancer par excellence, her performance was marked by professionalism in her delivery of nritta, nritya and abinaya. Supported by a team of accomplished musicians, she kept the audience spellbound by her flawless execution and impressive list of dance items. This event was cosponsored by Natya Dance Theatre, Nrithyanjali School of Dance, and Nrithya Sangeeth School of Dance. Lavanya Ananth trained under Gurus Sri S.K.Rajarathnam Pillai, Smt K.J.Sarasa and Padmabushan Smt Kalanidhi Narayanan. She began her recital with an invocatory item- Nrittanjali, a piece
in Brindavanasaranga and set to Aadhi thalam. She followed it up with a Devi sthuthi that comprised verses from Lalitha Sahasranamam and Rajeshwari Ashtakam. In this item, she outlined the various forms of Goddess Durga such as Ambika, Sambhavi, Rajeswari and Meenakshi. Her next piece was the celebrated Varnam composed by K.N.Dandayudapani Pillai "samiyai azhaittodi va" in ragamalika, set to Adi talam. She excelled in abhinaya and thoughtfully displayed varied emotions in this classical number. Her next two
Presenting the grandeur and beauty of the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam, Lavanya Ananth performed with a live orchestra from Chennai, India items were a Javali in Telugu and a kirthanam in Kannada. Both pieces were performed with grace and finesse. She then followed with Ardhanareshwara, depicting Shiva and Parvathi, representing the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (Purusha and Prakriti). Her final piece was a fast paced Thillana which was a great visual treat in terms of fine lines and postures she displayed with perfect angasuddam, which is a basic requirement of Bharatnatyam dance. This enthralling performance by Lavanya Ananth was a remarkable evening of pure dance aesthetically profound in nature.
Community Across America
May 20, 2011
India Post 17
Grand violin concert at Hindu Temple SARASWATHI RANGANATHAN
CHICAGO: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC) recently hosted a violin concert by Ganesh-Kumaresh brothers and the consensus among those attending it was that it was "spectacular, original and unique" The concert started off on an in-depth purely classical note with the unique multihued bowing techniques and almost vocal-like handling of the violin that sent the rasikas on a delightful journey to musical paradise. A music-lover's treat, Raaga
prasthaara. Ganesh surprised the audience by picking up the mike and singing kalpana swaras. The audience was very appreciative of that! The piece de resistance of the evening came in the form of Ragam Tanam Pallavi in tri-raaga-maalika: Ranjani, Janaranjani and Shreeranjani. When asking the audience to pick a raga for RTP, some voted Ranjani, some voted Shreeranjani: so Kumaresh quipped: "buy one get two free (ragas)!!" and they played the L to R: Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangum, Ganesh and Kumaresh playing violin and Tanjavur Govindarajan on Thavil
The piece de resistance of the evening came in the form of Ragam Tanam Pallavi in tri-raagamaalika: Ranjani, Janaranjani and Shreeranjani. When asking the audience to pick a raga for RTP, some voted Ranjani, some voted Shreeranjani: so Kumaresh quipped: "buy one get two free (ragas)!!" Naasikaabhushini was given excellent treatment at the hands of Ganesh and Kumaresh with the subtle nuances of the raaga brought forth beautifully through swara prasthaara. The duo presented Saragunapalimpa, the grand stately krithi in Kedaragowla raga with all its royal bearings - embellishing with alapana and swara
Pallavi in all three ragas. The presentation of the pallavi seemed meticulously planned: they played alapana in Ranjani, tanam in Janaranjani and pallavi in Shriranjani!! Tanam in Janaranjani was exquisitely ornamented with bowing and plucking techniques on western music-like notes in the lower octaves. In addition to the conventional
playing in three kalams, GaneshKumaresh included a fourth kalam - which was was at an incomprehensibly blistering speed! They did neraval in Janaranjani and Ranjani followed by kalpana swaras again in Janaranjani, Ranjani but now adding a whole other dimension with ragamalika swaras in Kaapi, Vasantha, Revathi, Varaali, Naatakurunji, Hamsaanandi, Abheri, Malayamaarutha, Swarasamyojini. Subsequently they started playing swaras in the second speed of tisra nadai and in the fourth speed, leaving for tani avarthanam. The tani avarthanam was a real treat to the rasikas: where would you have heard the kind of Mridangam playing that is as
handsome as thunder and rain yet gentle and soft as a flowing mountain brook? Thanjavur Govindarajan on the thavil delighted the audience with his playing techniques. Where there were improvisations involved, what was interesting was the co-ordination between Mridangam Patri Satish Kumar and the Thavil Thanjavur Govinda Rajan. It seemed like Patri Satish Kumar could feel the pulse of the main artist and play in such perfect sync that it was temptingly almost dangerously pleasing: the rasika felt like throwing their shoes up and dancing! Imagine over 200 people tapping feetâ€Śyes, it could be dangerous! Patri Satish and Govindarajan
interspersed their Tani with different nadais and korvais. The speed and unique handling of the left side of the Mridangam by Patri Satish seemed to emanate sounds not quite heard of before, presenting the rasikas with a delightful 'laya madhuryam'. The evening concluded with popular 'tukkadas' like 'Ta m b u r i m e e t i d a v a ' , Bhagayadalakshmi baaramma', nagumomu galavani, interspersed with singing songs 'Aazhi Mazhai Kanna' in Behag composed by Kavi Kannan- which again was a treat to the discerning ear! The HTGC fine arts committee chair Raghu Baddi and Smt Renuka Reddy proposed a vote of thanks to conclude the program.
MAFS holds Ayurveda Camp for seniors HIMALI BHARUCHA
CHICAGO: A prominent Ayurvedic physician from New Jersey, Dr Dinesh Pandya, M.S.A.M, PhD (Pharmacology) was the keynote speaker at the Ayurvedic camp organized by of Metropolitan Asian Family Services on Tuesday, May 3. Not only he gave an interesting and informative talk to seniors at MAFS in Chicago but also conducted Pulse Diagnosis, one of the surest means to diagnose disease in a patient's body as practiced for years in India by Ayurvedacharyas. Dr Pandya began presenting fundamentals of Ayurveda. Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit words - Ayu, meaning "life", and Veda, meaning "knowledge". Thus, Ayurveda means "knowledge of life." He explained two objective of Ayurveda. (1) To prolong life and promote perfect health (add years to life and life to years) (2) To completely eradicate disease and dysfunction from the body. He mentioned about the seven human constitutions (Prkruti) according to Ayurveda,
Dinesh Pandya addressing the MAFS meet
and said that a constitution is inherited when one is in the womb of his/her mother and is a genotypic condition that cannot be altered. This also determines an individual's health and disease conditions. He convinced everyone present that Ayurveda is a science which helps to keep people healthy and happy by many means i.e. Pulse Diagnosis and the Rejuvenation Therapy. Dr Pandya demonstrated Pulse Diagnosis as per Ayurvedic way.
According to him, thousands of people undergo this therapy for reversal of aging since it has been found to reduce biological age and enhance immune system
He examined more then 60 people, old and young; and, to their surprise, without the help of any modern investigations - X-Ray, blood test etc. - diagnosed accurately and advised very simple remedies. Dr Pandya briefly discussed about the Rejuvenation Therapy widely known to Ayurveda as "PanchKarma". According to him, thousands of people undergo this therapy for reversal of aging since it has been found to reduce biological age and enhance immune
system. This therapy has earned its reputation in successfully treating many auto immune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Ulcerative Colitis, Alopecia, Chron's disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, - Multiple sclerosis, SLE-Scleroderma-Sjogren's syndrome etc. He mentioned that rejuvenation therapy is also for those who are not suffering from any disease but wish to prevent it in future. ContĂd on page 18
Community Across America
18 India Post
May 20, 2011
India Cultural Center opens in Utah
Youth camp at Bharat Seva Sangha Ashram SURESH SHAH
Indian Cultural Center in Utah India Post News Service
SALT LAKE CITY: An India Cultural Center of Utah (ICCU) has started functioning in South Jordan (USA) whose "primary function is to promote the heritage, arts, crafts, sports and culture of India". A subsidiary of Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah, ICCU, an 8,378 square feet multi- use facility, claims to have taken up a leadership role towards preserving the classical music and dance forms of India. Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert recently inaugurated it. ICCU, for which over $1.8 million were reportedly raised by volunteers, also includes a Dinesh & Kalpana Patel Auditorium, named after the prominent Utah couple who donated $100,000 plus. Venkatesh Subramanyan, Dev Avasarala, Jayadatta Narasipura, and Harikumar Selvaraj are ICCU
President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary respectively; while Indra Neelameggham and Pavitra Chari are its Manager and Assistant Manager respectively. Dinesh Patel, a trustee, said that
mances and other activities from Utah and around the country South Jordan City, settled in 1859 along the banks of Jordan River, has two Churches of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples and its
ICCU, for which over $1.8 million were reportedly raised by volunteers, also includes a Dinesh & Kalpana Patel Auditorium, named after the prominent Utah couple who donated $100,000 plus the Center was a culmination of more than a decade of fundraising and volunteer work. The center's president, Venkatesh Subramanyan observed there are more than 5,000 people living in Utah from India or have ethnic ties to the country. The center will host Indian art shows, musical perfor-
tagline is "It's all about people". Notable people associated with it include Olympic medalists Apolo Anton Ohno and Denise Parker, sculptor Edward J. Fraughton and National Football League player Keven Curtis. W. Kent Money and John H. Geilmann are Mayor and City Manager respectively.
CHICAGO: Bharat Sevashram dia with its headquarters in Sangha of North America, a no Kolkata, India. It is a renowned profit socio-religious organization spiritual brotherhood of monks & in Aurora (Illinois) has announced selfless workers dedicated to the organizing its annual youth camp service of humanity with non-sectarian, non-communal and non the Youth Summer Camp 2011 political outlook. - this year too for children and It was founded in India during youth aged 6 to16 beginning July 18 to 29. The Camp will be held at the Ashram premise in Aurora. The theme, according to Sucheta Sadhukhan, a spokesperson, is to instill Hindu moral Children and youth at BSS Camp last year values, heritage, culture and religion in youth and the chil- 1917 by the illustrious patriot dren. Swami Pranavanandaji Maharaj. The curriculum includes Surya The Sangha is a pioneer organizaNamaskar, Yoga, Meditation, Les- tion engaged in socio-cultural, sons from Ramayana, Chanting educational activities and relief Gayatri Mantra, Participation in a work at the time of natural calamidrama based on Ramayana, Craft ties like flood, earthquake etc. and Play time. There will be a Quiz around the world. It has more than Competition based on Ramayana three hundred branches around with gift certificates as prizes. the world including India, UK, Bharat Sevashram Sangha is a USA, Canada, Trinidad and leading monastic institution of In- Guyana.
Babu Verma elected Christian Fed President MAFS holds Ayurveda Camp for seniors HARISH RAO
CHICAGO: The Indian Christian Federation of Midwest, a front ranking organization of Indian Christians here, recently held its annual meet and elected a new executive team for the current year. A large number of members of the federation participated during the general body election meeting, but the elections were unanimous. The new Board members are : Chairman - Vinubhai Chitnis, President- Babu Varma, Vice Presidents - Milton Pandya, Clerin Parmar, General Secretary -Girish Christie, Treasurer- Oliver Parmar, TrusteeSamsonbhai Macwan Recognized Pastor - Rev. Dr John Rathod The new Board of Directors are - Raman Sutaria, Binny Christian, Victor Christian, Smita Christian, Dilip Rathod, Victor Dabhi and Madhukant Chitnis. The Women's Group is headed by Ruth Varma and the co-chair is Mary Jyotika Sutaria. After the election result were declared by Satyadev Christian, the out-going president, Vinubhai Chitnis thanked all the past office bearers for their sup-
Newly-elect Babu Varma being greeted by outgoing president Vinu Chitnis (center) and Ms Smita Christian, director (right).
port for the smooth running of the federation. Chitnis also wished all the best to all new elected board members. Replying to the felicitation, newly elected President Babu Varma thanked all the federation's members for electing him unanimously and assured them that he will follow the footsteps of outgoing president Chitnis. The federation will help in looking for resi-
dence for new and needy students from India and will do the social and charity work with available resources. Indian Christian Federation of Midwest is a non-for-profit, tax exempt 501 (c) 3 charitable organization. The federation was established in 2000. Rev. (Dr) John Rathod blessed the newly elected members and offered prayers for their success.
Seniors intently listening to Dr Dinesh ContĂd from page 17
It cleans up the body internally in today's stressful life. Studies and research carried out by Dr Dinesh Pandya at MAPC of Fairfield, USA showed the following benefits during and after Rejuvenation Therapy - Reduced cardiovascular risk factors, Decrease in lipid peroxide levels (LP), Reduction in total cholesterol levels, Increased HDL cholesterol,
Reduction in diastolic blood pressure, Reduced anxiety levels, Reduction in levels of toxins such as lead, PCB and dioxins. Dr Pandya promised to come back and visit MAFS to help seniors add years to their lives as well as take on a crucial role to prevent diseases to make a positive difference in the lives of other members of the society with age old techniques and remedies of Ayurveda.
Community Across America
May 20, 2011
India Post 19
BAPS Health Fair in Bartlett a big success SANDIP PATEL
Participants at the Health Fair with medical personnel
Patients being examined.
BARTLETT, IL: BAPS Charities dedicated April 2011 as Health Fair Month and organized a community health fair on Sunday, May 1 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL. The health fair offered a range of services and information for children and adults. A number of volunteer healthcare specialists were involved including physicians, pharmacists, dentists and nurses. Specialists in the fields of cardiology, pediatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, neurology, dermatology, gastro-entrology, pulmonary and endocrinology were also on hand and in total, provided personal consultations to over 450 visitors. "I really enjoyed volunteering at this event; working alongside BAPS Charities re-
minds me of the reason I became a doctor - to help people," said Dr Sherry Merchant. All participants received preliminary physical examinations
spirit of the saying, 'an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,' BAPS Charities is educating individuals about potential risk factors and prevention methods to improve their quality of life." Two weeks prior to the health fair, a separate teddy bear clinic was held for younger children.
"The dangers of undetected high blood pressure can be fatal," said Dr Umang Patel, a healthcare physician who volunteered at the fair. "In the spirit of the saying, 'an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cureâ€? and had their blood pressure, blood sugar level and body mass index measured. "The dangers of undetected high blood pressure can be fatal," said Dr Umang Patel, a healthcare physician who volunteered at the fair. "In the
Over 70 children sat in special sessions and were taught about healthy eating habits along with how to maintain good hygiene. They learned the proper techniques of brushing their teeth, the importance of washing one's
hands after sneezing, how to care for cuts and wounds, and handle emergency situations. The BAPS Charities Health Fair at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, IL is one of over 40 such fairs which BAPS Charities organizes annually throughout North America. In total, over 2,500 health care professionals from local communities treated nearly 12,500 participants across the nation. In India, BAPS Charities regularly provides treatment to villagers in remote areas and manages 9 charitable hospitals and 11 mobile medical vans, which have treated over 2 million patients to
date. Throughout the year, BAPS Charities hosts health fairs, blood donation drives, flu vaccination drives, health awareness lectures, walkathons, education and career development seminars, disaster relief operations, blood drives and much more. BAPS Charities sincerely serves the community, by improving the quality of life of individuals and families. BAPS Charities is affiliated with BAPS as an independent charity and social services arm. The 55,000 BAPS volunteers networked in over 3,300 centers around the world provide over 12 million volunteer-hours of service annually.
News outlets remove image linking Sikhs to Osama
Gopio launches Atlanta Chapter
Major news outlets continue to confuse Sikhs with Arabs as shown in this Financial Times online grab India Post News Service
Some of the GOPIO Honorees
diverse cross-section of Atlanta's prominent In dian-American associations, professionals, academics and community activists attended the inauguration of the Atlanta Chapter of the Global Organization of Persons of Indian Origin (GOPIO-
Atlanta), with its first Awards Gala & Banquet Reception on April 23. The event was graced by the presence of the Consul General of India (Houston) Sanjiv Arora along with Guests of Honor, GOPIO North America Regional Vice President and National Co-
ordinator for USA, Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal; Gwinnett County Chairwoman of the Board of Commissioners, Charlotte Nash and former Member of House of Representatives, Mike Glanton. The program was emceed by Atlanta's popular Rifka Mayani.
WASHINGTON: On Friday, May 6th, two major news outlets, CNN and Financial Times (FT), published online articles about Osama bin Laden using images of a Sikh to supplement the news stories. Both images were featured on the outlets' homepages and were likely viewed by millions of readers. Within minutes of the images being published, SALDEF contacted editors at both outlets and alerted them to the inappropriate use of the image. CNN removed the image from its homepage within thirty minutes and FT removed the image within three hours. FT acknowledged the error and
provided a written apology. SALDEF is currently pursuing an apology from CNN and seeking an opportunity to conduct a presentation for the CNN staff, as this is the third instance within the last two years that they have inappropriately used images of Sikhs. In letters to the media outlets, Jasjit Singh, SALDEF Associate Executive Director, stated, "Normally, we would be pleased that [CNN / FT] is using the image of a Sikh to show how the general public is reacting to a story. In this case however, the image negatively impacts the Sikh American community and increases the likelihood of bias against community members by conflating our identity with that of Osama bin Laden."
20 India Post
May 20, 2011
Indian American students honored for excellence India Post News Service
LONG BEACH, CA: Samir Shah in High School category and Aditya Gurbani in the Middle school category were declared the top winners at the silver jubilee function of Indian American Heritage Foundation. Samir Shah was presented a check of $2500 and a revolving trophy in a glittering ceremony at Hilton Hotel, Long Beach. The award for the first place winner in high school category has been instituted by Sanjiv Chopra in memory of his father Kishan Gopal Chopra while the revolving trophy "Profiles in Excellence" has been funded by Ashok Madan & family in memory of Ashok's parents, Thakar Singh and Shanti Rani Madan. Ashok Madan and his wife Manju presented the trophy to the winner. Aditya Gurbani received a check for $500 and a revolving trophy instituted by Dr Awtar Singh in memory of his late wife, Teji Singh. The second place winner in high school category, Manan Shah got $1500 while the third place winner, Lakshmi Prathivadi got a check of $1000. The next five winners, Kavya Singampalli, Sridevi
Praneet Mylavarapu won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Math, Science and Technology instituted by Dr Mani Bhaumik in recognition of the "most important numeral zero invented in India", and Vaidehi Buch won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Sports instituted by Jack Khangura in memory of his wife Rajinder Khangura. Vaidehi also received revolving trophy for excellence in sports instituted by Dr M.C. Gupta of Corona in memory of his father Shri RBL Gupta. Dr Rajesh Kadakia was personally present with his wife and mother to present the award
place academic award winner also bagged Visual and Performing Arts award instituted by Mollie Rachna Singh in honor of "Teachers, parents and family." Rabinder Singh Bhamra of Jus TV Network came from New York to see the process of recognizing and rewarding the youth. He spoke about investing in our youth and honoring young people for excellence is a great example of investment in our young people. Ramesh Murarka, India West publisher, spoke about his experience of organizing similar awards function for over eight years for the graduating students in Northern Califor-
is the leading Indian American organization in the USA to publicly recognize, reward and celebrate excellence of the community's best and brightest graduating students in Southern California. The Foundation started with eight scholarship awards and now eighteen scholarships are given eight academic excellence awards ranging from $2500 to $500 in the high school category, five ranging from $500 to $100 in the junior high/middle school category, four of $500 each for Outstanding Achievement Awards in math and science, sports, community service, visual and performing arts in
Mylavarapu, each had 2340. The annual event has been made possible with the committed support of some well meaning people from the community including Ashok & Manju Madan, Dr Awtar Singh, Dr M.C & Usha Gupta, VJ & Simi Singh, Dr C. R. Viswanathan, Harbhajan Singh Samra, Jagdish Khangura, Kumar Jawa of India Sweets & Spices, Dr M.L. Bhaumik, Mollie Rachna Singh, Dr Rajesh Kadakia, Sanjiv & Renu Chopra, Dr Satinder-Ranjit Bhatia, Uma-Avadesh Agarwal and VJ Singh. This year, BU Patel and Jimmy Sandhu also became co-sponsors and supported the
high school category and one of $250 in visual and performing arts for the middle school category. To qualify for the awards, the applicants needed to have a GPA equal to B or higher, have at least one parent of Indian origin, and be a graduate from a Southern California school. For high school category, GPA and SAT were evaluated at 70 percent while extra-curricular activities and quiz on India and Indian Americans were each evaluated at 15 percent. Samir Shah had a perfect score in ACT, Manan Shah had 2370 while Sridevi Korand and Praneet
event. All the sponsors were introduced through a Power Point presentation by Simmi Singh and Ranjit Bhatia, both sponsors along with their spouses. In the entertainment program, Ruhani Patel sang a light classical bhajan. Applicant Shane Patel and his Bhangra team of Gagan Grewal, Damini Trehan, Ritwik Trehan and Simrann Sidhu captivated the audience while Kavya Singampalli who has already done arrangteram, gave an excellent performance.
The award for the first place winner in high school category has been instituted by Sanjiv Chopra in memory of his father Kishan Gopal Chopra while the revolving trophy "Profiles in Excellence" has been funded by Ashok Madan & family Korand, Praneet Mylavarapu, Shane Patel and Vaidehi Buch, each got $500 as the cash award. The second place winner, Manan Shah also won the Outstanding Achievement Award in community service and was presented with a check and revolving trophy instituted by Dr Rajesh Kadakia in memory of Maniben Manilal Kadakia. Kavya Singampalli won top award in Visual & Performing Arts and got cash award and revolving trophy instituted by Kumar Jawa of India Sweets and Spices, in memory of his father, Jiwan Dass Jawa.
and trophy for community service. Other sponsors who came to attend the annual event and to present awards and encourage the young winners included Harbhajan Samra, who was given the title of "King of Okra" in the US by the New York Times and Simran Singh, an IT manager for Chase bank. In the junior high school category, the second place winner was Saahil Shah while the third place winner was Devika Chandramohan. The fourth and fifth place winners were Pranati Pillutla and Anish Sinha respectively. Pranati Pillutla, the fourth
nia. He complemented Inder Singh and his team for organizing the event for twenty fifth consecutive years. Niraj Baxi, formerly president of National Federation of Indian American Associations, who took over responsibility for two years from Murarka, spoke about his experience and praised Inder Singh for his continued commitment in organizing the event. The Indian American Heritage Foundation has been recognizing the achievements of Indian Youth, graduating from High and Middle Schools in Southern California for the last 24 years. The Foundation
ContĂd on page 19
May 20, 2011
India Post 21
Feeding the hungry to celebrate motherhood India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: As the unemployment rate remains high, the food demand in local food banks of southern California continues to rise: Los Angeles County has 1.7 million hungry residents, 700,000 people in Orange County are at risk of hunger, and over 480,000 people face hunger in San Diego County. Sikh women of southern California recognized and responded to this need by celebrating Mother's Day in memory of Mata Khivi. In 1539, Mata Khivi pioneered the sprit of generosity and service by establishing a free communal kitchen and continued to support that cause for the remainder of her life. "What could be better than to feed the hungry to celebrate motherhood" said one of
and equally in Gurdwaras, which is the Sikh place of worship. Sikhwomennow.com is a platform for the modern Sikh woman to collectively engage with the community and make a positive difference through dialogue and volunteering. Nearly 2000 lbs food was collected at ten Sikh Gurdwaras across southern California, a mark of success that the organization is proud to have been involved in. "People donated very generously, and the bins were overflowing by early morning; we expect to collect double the amount on next Mothers Day" said Minu Singh, the director of Sikh Women Now.
the key pillars of their faith. Sikh women, much like their turbaned male counterparts, are often stereotyped as women who are suppressed, uneducated or with-
In 1539, Mata Khivi pioneered the sprit of generosity and service by establishing a free communal kitchen and continued to support that cause for the remainder of her life the donors. Sikhs, who strongly believe in the ethics of sharing with the community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind, practice community service as one of
out rights. The fact of the matter is that Sikh women have played a vital role throughout the history of Sikh faith. Furthermore, women have the right to participate fully
Indian American students honored for excellence ContĂd from page 18
Three Americans, Corinne, Zena & BreAnn presented three Bollywood style items and won the hearts of the audience. Inder Singh, Foundation president thanked all the sponsors who
provided necessary funding for the continuity of the awards program. He particularly thanked the panel of judges who undertook the grueling task of evaluating the applicants. He praised his "work-
ing Crew" -- team of volunteers -who have been working hard to make the event a success. He said, "An individual, howsoever brilliant, intelligent and smart, would find it difficult, if not impossible to match the collaborative efforts of an effective team and he is blessed with a team which has been providing selfless service for the cause of our youth." His team included Abdulgani Shaikh, Ashok Madan, Deepi Singh, Dr Mallappa Yerasi, Ajoy Dube, Kewal Kanda, Amrit Bhandari, Dilip Butani, Ajmer Singh, Rajinder Dhunna and Yash Singh. Heritage Award Winners High School Category: Samir Shah, Manan Shah, Lakshmi Prathivadi, Kavya Singampalli, Sridevi Korand, Praneet Mylavarapu, Shane Patel, Vaidehi Buch Visual & Performing Arts: Kavya Singampalli Community Service: Manan Shah
Math, Science & Technology: Praneet Mylavarapu Sports: Vaidehi Buch Middle School Category: Aditya Gurbani, Saahil Shah, Devika Chandramohan, Pranati Pillutla, Anish Sinha Visual & Performing Arts: Pranati Pillutla
Tech News Contempt notice to makers of Rajnigandha NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has issued contempt notice to the Managing Director of Dharampal Satyapal group of companies, makers of two popular brands of tobacco, for allegedly defying its order banning use of plastic sachets for sale of their products. A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly also asked the Centre to ensure total compliance of its December 2010 order "in letter and spirit". The bench asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to file an affidavit on the compliance so far carried out by the states/Union Territories. -PTI
CSIR registers firm to reap profits on patents NEW DELHI: Aiming to monetise its numerous patents, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched a private company to commercialise various technologies. The company - CSIR-Tech was registered in Pune on May 2 and eminent economist Vijay Kelkar assumed charge as Chairman of the Company four days later. CSIR, India's largest network of state-funded research laboratories, holds nearly 4,000 patents, including those registered in the country and abroad. "CSIR-Tech has been set up to further enhance the innovation capacity of CSIR and to explore newer models of bringing processes, products and services to the markets," CSIR Director General Samir Brahmachari said. -PTI
Physical agility determined seniority in 2G NEW DELHI: The CBI opposed the bail plea of Swan telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa saying the first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy was manipulated by former Telecom Minister A Raja and others to such an extent that physically fit persons got away with the 2G licenses. "Physical fitness of the applicants became the deciding factor in the grant of licenses," senior advocate and CBI prosecutor U U Lalit told Special Judge O P Saini. Balwa, who is in jail since his arrest in Mumbai on February 8, has moved the bail application saying he has been "unfairly" targeted by CBI and committed no offence. -PTI
TechBiz 22 India Post
May 20, 2011
RBI fears for portfolio inflows; wants more FDI BANGALORE: The Reserve Bank of India has pitched for increased foreign direct investment into the country, even as it expressed apprehension over the quality of portfolio inflows. RBI Deputy Governor Shyamala Gopinath said India has been able to absorb capital inflows because it has a current account deficit. "But we have expressed apprehension on the quality of inflows in terms of portfolio inflows," she told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. "But as we see today, we are not seeing too much volatility in that sense. But we would want more of FDI to come in so that quality of the flows do alter," she added. -PTI
Vinod Khosla pledges half of $1.4 b wealth for charity India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Indian American venture capitalist billionaire Vinod Khosla has pledged half of his $1.4 billion wealth for philanthropy. Last month, 10 more of America's wealthiest families committed to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy by taking the 'Giving Pledge', bringing the total number of pledge signatories to 69. Launched by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in June of last year, the Giving Pledge is a long-term charitable initiative that aims to inspire conversations about philanthropy and increase charitable giving in the United States. Both Buffett and the Gateses have also recently had conversations with wealthy families and business leaders in China and India, to learn about their philanthropy efforts and what has worked in their communities.
"We are seeing great progress in less than a year," said Warren Buffett, pledge co-founder and chairman and CEO of Berkshire
versations it has sparked with families from all walks of life, are inspiring. We welcome our 10 new pledgers wholeheartedly."
Last month, 10 more of America's wealthiest families committed to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy by taking the 'Giving Pledge', bringing the total number of pledge signatories to 69 Vinod Khosla
Hathaway. "I am delighted that so many wealthy Americans are taking a public pledge that supports philanthropy. The continued energy and passion for this project, and the many philanthropy con-
The Giving Pledge is an effort to help address society's most pressing problems by inviting the wealthiest American families and individuals to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to
philanthropy or charitable causes. The pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract, and it does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. While it is specifically focused on billionaires or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving, the idea takes its inspiration from other efforts that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. Khosla was one of the cofounders of Sun Microsystems, where he served as its first CEO & Chairman in the early 1980s. In 1986, he became a general partner of the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, where he remained through the early 2000s. In 2004 Khosla formed his own firm - funded entirely with family funds - Khosla Ventures, which focused on venture investments in various technology sectors, most notably clean technology.
Edison celebrates Asian-American Heritage Month India Post News Service
IRWINDALE, CA: Southern California Edison (SCE) hosted its sixth annual Asian- American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration here at the utility's Energy Education Center in Irwindale. More than 300 people attended this year's program, including community members, business leaders, elected officials and SCE employees and executives. With the theme, "125 Years â€Ś Powering Innovation and Diversity," SCE highlighted the diversity of AsianAmericans and Pacific Islanders and the company's commitment to helping its business and residential customers conserve energy, money and the environment. "SCE is proud to share 125 years of innovation and growth with the diverse customers we serve," said Lisa Cagnolatti, SCE's vice president, Customer Service Business Unit's Business Cus-
(L to R): Erwin Furukawa, SCE senior vice president, Customer Service Business Unit; Vijay Amirtraj, visionary businessman and philanthropist; Daphne Ng, SCE executive director of Asian American Professional Association; Ron Litzinger, SCE president; Ted Craver, Edison International chairman and CEO.
tomer Division. "We are pleased to honor the accomplishments of a noteworthy corporate leader, a health care provider and a scholarship fund from the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community." SCE presented the Leadership Award to Vijay Amritraj, a vision-
ary businessman and philanthropist. The Corporate Award was given to AHMC Healthcare for meeting the unique health care and cultural needs in the San Gabriel Valley. The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the nation's largest nonprofit organization devoted solely to providing
scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander students, received the Community Service Award. To highlight SCE's commitment to maximizing opportunities for diverse business enterprises, the company also presented two Diverse Supplier awards to Lopez & Associates and Zones Inc. The program also highlighted SCE's dedication to partnering with Asian-American community organizations to better serve the needs of this diverse group. In addition, Edison International Chairman and CEO Ted Craver and Southern California Edison President Ron Litzinger highlighted the strength of diversity at the company, and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, delivered the keynote address. Special guest Betty Chinn shared her inspirational story of overcoming adversity and giving back to the community. Jinah Kim of NBC4 was master of ceremonies.
May 20, 2011
Economy unlikely to grow at 9% this fiscal: Pranab NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said it would not be possible to achieve the targeted growth rate of 9 per cent in the current fiscal because of rising global commodity prices. However, he said, inflation would moderate to 7-7.5 per cent from about nine per cent currently. "Due to volatility in international commodity prices and other supply constraints, it may not be possible to achieve the growth rate of 9 per cent (+/-0.25 per cent) for the current financial year", Mukherjee said while addressing the probationers of the Indian Economic Service (IES) here. Indian economy grew by 8.6 per cent during 2010-11. Referring to rising prices, the Minister said, "the inflation is likely to be in the range of 7 to 7.5 per cent." The Reserve Bank has been trying to bring down inflation by increasing repo (lending) and reverse repo (borrowing) rates. It increased these rates again early
this month, the ninth time since March 2010, by 50 basis points at its annual credit policy. Headline inflation (WPI) for March stood at 8.98 per cent,
(Gross Domestic Product) growth at the rate of 9 to 10 per cent with fiscal prudence and moderate inflation". High growth, he said, was also
‘Due to volatility in international commodity prices and other supply constraints, it may not be possible to achieve the growth rate of 9 per cent (+/-0.25 per cent) for the current financial year’ Mukherjee said Pranab Mukherjee
while food inflation was at 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16. According to Mukherjee, one of the major challenges faced by India is to "achieve sustained GDP
essential to raise resources for funding social sector schemes like MGNREGA, Right to Education and the proposed Right to Food Act. -PTI
Fitch rates Jaguar-Tata outlook stable
itch Ratings has assigned UK-based Jaguar Land Rover PLC (JLR) and its India-based parent Tata Motors Ltd (TML) Long-term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of 'BB-' and 'BB', respectively. The Outlook on both IDRs is Stable. Simultaneously, the agency has also assigned JLR's proposed GBP1bn senior unsecured notes an expected rating of 'BB-(exp)'. The final issue rating is contingent on the receipt of final documents confirming to information already received. Using the top-down approach under its "Parent and Subsidiary Rating Linkage Criteria", Fitch has notched JLR's rating to a level down from TML's, reflecting the strong linkages between the two manufacturers. The agency believes that JLR remains strategic to TML, as reflected in its share of EBITDA contribution and the direct/indirect support provided by TML since the acquisition in FY09. The rating of TML reflects its dominant position in the Indian automobile market and the sharp improvement in margins and leverage over the financial year ended 31 March 2010 and three quarters of FY11. The improvement was driven primarily by the turnaround of its operations at JLR, which contributes the bulk of TML's consolidated revenues and net profits (58% and 81% respectively, for the period April-December 2010). Con-
sequently, EBITDA margins recovered sharply to 14.8% for the nine months ended 31 December 2010 from 9.3% in FY10 (FY09: 3.9%). Financial leverage (net adjusted debt/EBITDAR) also improved to 3.3x for FY10 from 14.8x for FY09, and Fitch base case forecast sees
TML's rating is further underpinned by a favorable outlook on the Indian auto industry and Fitch's expectation that premium car manufacturers in Europe will outperform volume segment players over the next two years. It also factors in JLR's strong brand in both developed and emerging markets this to be sustained below 2.0x for the next three years. TML's rating is further underpinned by a favorable outlook on the Indian auto industry and Fitch's expectation that premium car manufacturers in Europe will outperform volume segment players over the next two years. It also
factors in JLR's strong brand in both developed and emerging markets, its strong design teams, its readiness for meeting tightening emission regulations, and product development capabilities. However, the rating also takes into account JLR's smaller size and scale of operations relative to Fitch-rated peers and its limited product diversification. Fitch notes that product synergies between TML and JLR remain limited; however cost benefits on account of its various initiatives and announced plans to set up manufacturing in China and knock down assembly in India to cater to JLR's requirements will help TML offset input cost increases to an extent, supporting EBITDA margins at over 10% over the medium term. The rating of TML also benefits from a one notch uplift on account of potential support from the Tata group. Fitch has assessed the ability of the Tata group to provide support to TML and draws comfort from the strategic importance of TML to the group. Any weakening of linkages between the group and TML and/or the group's inability to provide support would act as a negative rating guideline. Similarly for JLR, any weakening of linkages between TML and JLR and/or inability of TML to provide support would be a negative rating guideline.
Sequoia, IDG invest $10 million in Sourcebits India Post News Service
BANGALORE, India: Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures India have announced an investment of $5 million each in Sourcebits, the global leader for consumer and enterprise mobile app development. Sourcebits is the leading third-party developer of innovative applications for mobile devices, with 300 engineers and designers working on a strong global client portfolio. Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures India are the first investors in Sourcebits. The investment will help Sourcebits expand their footprint globally and locally. The funds will be utilized to set up engineering and sales centers in the United States, as well as augmenting a design engineering team in India and Europe. The company will also initiate a competition that will foster new thought, with the top 3 winning ideas being developed to create cutting edge mobile applications. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital, said "Sourcebits is the leading mobile app development company today and already has a fantastic portfolio of global clients and best-selling apps. The company has developed over 300 apps, 20 of which are in the top 100 in leading app stores. “We are thrilled to partner with the team at Sourcebits and are confident that their award winning design and development team will continue to be a top destination for companies looking to create world class apps." Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures India, said, "The market for mobile applications is experiencing phenomenal growth and is ex-
pected to hit $35 billion by 2014 according to IDC. Within this, third-party app developers are providing the focused technical and creative skills, speed and quality to make the market a reality. Sourcebits stood out to us as the emerging global leader for thirdparty mobile application development. We are excited to partner with home-grown entrepreneur Rohit Singal and his global management team to help them achieve their vision for Sourcebits". Rohit Singal, Founder and CEO, Sourcebits, said "We are excited to have Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures India on board with us as we look at expanding our operations. Having the backing of these two investors will give us the added impetus to innovate, excel and grow as market leaders in mobile and web applications." Sourcebits has built its formidable reputation with a strong lineup of apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Windows 7 mobile platform using design lead engineering. The company has years of experience and its client base includes companies ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups. Some of the most popular apps developed by Sourcebits include Robokill, Knocking Live, Daily Deeds, Night Stand, Skyfire, Beast Farmer and more. The application Night Stand, an app which converts the iPhone/iPad into an alarm clock, reached the number two spot for All Time Top Download on the iTunes App Store within four days of its release and has been downloaded more than 3 million times. Knocking Live, the first live streaming app for iOS, developed by Sourcebits has more than 2.3 million downloads.
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Capping off five days of Indian cinematic excellence, the 11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival came to a close in grand fashion on May 8 with the spectacular Closing Night red carpet premiere of Rituparno Ghosh's powerful film 'Noukadubi'. Among the many celebs in attendance were actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor, writer Salman Rushdie, filmmakers Mira Nair and Aparna Sen, Madhur Jaffrey and Consul General Prabhu Dayal. Following the premiere at Asia Society in Manhattan was the festival's annual awards ceremony. Of the winners, Sthaniya Sambaad (Spring in the Colony), directed by Arjun Gourisaria & Moinak Biswas won the Best Feature Film award;
The Film Festival kicked off in spectacular fashion on the night of May 4, with the Opening Night celebration which featured the US Premiere of the Delhi-set comedy Do Dooni Chaar, Disney's first live-action Hindi film
May 20, 2011
(L-R) Presenter Neetu Singh Kapoor and Best Actor winner Rishi Kapoor (Do Dooni Chaar) -Photo Credit: MichaelToolan
Aparna Sen won Best Director for Iti Mrinalini; Rishi Kapoor won Best Actor for Do Dooni Chaar; Konkona Sen Sharma won Best Actress for Iti Mrinalini; Mohan Raghavan and T.D. Dasan won Best Screenplay; Bhopali by Max Carlson won Best Documentary; and Just That Sort of A Day by Abhay Kumar won the Best Short Film award. The Film Festival kicked off in spectacular fashion on the night of May 4, with the Opening Night celebration which featured the US Premiere of the Delhi-set comedy Do Dooni Chaar, Disney's first live-action Hindi film. Contâ€™d on page 27
(L-R) Neetu Singh Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor on the red carpet
(L-R): Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh Kapoor, director Habib Faisal, and NYIFF director Aseem Chhabra at the post-screening Q&A
May 20, 2011
Qwikmind introduces 'Go Go Mongo!' app for iOS India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Qwikmind Inc., the online gaming developing company, has introduced "Go Go Mongo!" a new educational game for iOS. The Go Go Mongo Team is comprised of founder Ahmed Siddiqui, Dhiren Patel, and Jajeev Nithananda, along with Josh Dovishaw, Justin Kelley, and Michael McGee. The new game is geared towards kids ages 2 and up. Go Go Mongo! features Mongo, the cute and cuddly cartoon character that loves to eat. The Qwikmind game was chosen by Apple to appear on its "New and Noteworthy" list, and has appeared in the Top 50 Educational Games. QwikMind is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families. On its website, the GoGo Mongo Team calls itself a rag-tag team of artists, game developers, and business guys obsessed with making fun games for kids. "We want to improve learning through
fun and learning can be complimentary. "The Go Go Mongo! team of game designers, artists, programmers, musicians, and marketing experts have been very gratified
On its website, the GoGo Mongo Team calls itself a rag-tag team of artists, game developers, and business guys obsessed with making fun games for kids. "We want to improve learning through play," they say. Go Go Mongo! can be enjoyed by adults and children alike play," they say. Go Go Mongo! can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. In gameplay, players tilt the iOS device to catch select falling foods and to navigate Mongo's position. Through
gameplay, children will help build motor-skills, short-term memory, and names and recognition of various foods. The animated character Mongo is very emotionally expressive, creating a fun and captivating game at-
mosphere. The game is highly interactive, capturing the manual dexterity, emotional connection, and intellectual understanding of a young child. With a well-designed game such as this, it is evidenced that
by the fantastic reception our game has received," stated QwikMind spokesperson Ahmed Siddiqui. "We wanted to make the best game we could for our own kids; and now we have the pleasure of sharing it."
May 20, 2011 www.indiapost.com
Hollywood partner with Liquid Comics for novel/film India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Hollywood filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black, Get Shorty, Addams Family, Addams Family Values and "Pushing Daisies," for which Sonnenfeld received an Emmy for directing), announced May 10, a publishing and producing partnership with Indian American founded Liquid Comics and producer, Arnold Rifkin (Hostage, 16 Blocks, Live Free or Die Hard). Under the new partnership, Sonnenfeld will simultaneously develop a graphic novel and film property called, "Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens," with superstar comic book writer, Grant Morrison (Batman, The Invisibles, 18 Days), who will write both the graphic novel and the screenplay. "Growing up my fascination was all things dinosaur, and as an adult, I've had some success mak-
CEO & Co-founder, Sharad Devarajan shall be Producers on the film, with WME packaging the project. Morrison and Liquid's Cofounder, Gotham Chopra shall also be attached as Executive Producers.
When an alien invasion attacks Earth in the age of the dinosaurs, our planet's only saviors are the savage prehistoric beasts ing films about aliens, so this is a dream come true. I met Sharad several years ago when I wrote a forward for one of Liquid's graphic novels and we've been trying to do a project together ever since," commented Sonnenfeld. The story for Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens is based on a
secret world war battle that was never recorded in our history books. When an alien invasion attacks Earth in the age of the dinosaurs, our planet's only saviors are the savage prehistoric beasts which are much more intelligent than humanity has ever imagined. Sonnenfeld, Rifkin and Liquid's
"My collaboration with such pedigreed talents as Barry, Sharad, and Grant has proven to be a wonderful creative experience, and I look forward to being a part of bringing Barry's vision to the screen," added Arnold Rifkin, President of Cheyenne Enterprises.
Liquid Comics reaches out with new Arab Superhero India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Indian Americanfounded Liquid Comics and the Open Hands Initiative, a US-based nonprofit dedicated to public diplomacy efforts, announced May 6, the launch of a new comic book that will introduce children around the world to the Silver Scorpion, an Arab teenager who loses his legs in a tragic accident, but whose powers - his creators hope - include the ability to help build bridges between the youth of America and the Arab world, starting with Syria. The first issue of the Silver Scorpion was given away free across comic book retailers in the United States May 7 as part of "Free Comic Book Day". In addition, a digital edition of Silver Scor-
pion is also now available for free on the home page of Scribd.com where it can be read online and through iPad devices, as well as shared with friends through Facebook and Twitter. Silver Scorpion is more than just a new superhero; it represents
pion "will help to establish trust and understanding between cultures, to empower young people with disabilities." "As the Arab world is undergoing historic and transformative changes, the American people can, and should, play an important role
The first issue of the Silver Scorpion was given away free across comic book retailers in the United States May 7 as part of "Free Comic Book Day". In addition, a digital edition of Silver Scorpion is also now available a unique breakthrough in US public diplomacy efforts at a crucial juncture in the relationship between America and the Arab world. As President Bill Clinton highlighted at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, the Silver Scor-
in strengthening and deepening the relationships between the people of our two cultures," said Jay T Snyder, American businessman and Co-Founder and Chairman of the Open Hands Initiative. "This comic book is an act of pub-
lic diplomacy, a gift from the young people of America and Syria to the world." "Disability is an issue that connects all people, no matter their race or religion or country," said Dr. Valerie Karr, a Contributing Editor to the Comic and a specialist on disability. "A dedication to the rights of people with disabilities is the most fundamental expression of shared values one can find. The Silver Scorpion is the embodiment of those values." In August 2010, Liquid Comics joined the Open Hands Initiative to take a group of American youths with disabilities to Damascus, where they met with a group of young Syrian counterparts at the first-ever international "Youth Ability Summit". Contâ€™d on page 28
Liquid will launch the first graphic novel story for the franchise later this year in print and digital formats for the iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices. Artwork for the graphic novel will be done by acclaimed Liquid Comics artist, Mukesh Singh (Gamekeeper, Devi, 18 Days). "This epic story is everyone's dream battle come to life. We are thrilled to work with Barry Sonnenfeld to bring his vision of dinosaurs versus aliens to the world and with Arnold Rifkin whose prolific experience as a producer will enable us to take this story to the screen," added Liquid's CEO, Sharad Devarajan. "Barry's creativity is also enhanced by the amazing talents of Grant Morrison who remains one of graphic fiction's modern masters." Liquid Comics is a digital entertainment company focused on creating cinematic and mythic graphic novel stories with filmmakers, creators and storytellers. The company was founded by entrepreneurs, Gotham Chopra, Sharad Devarajan and Suresh Seetharaman and uses the medium of digital graphic novel publishing to develop properties for theatrical live-action films, animation and video games. Liquid has created original graphic novels with acclaimed filmmakers and creators including John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Shekhar Kapur, Deepak Chopra, Dave Stewart, Jonathan Mostow, Edward Burns, Nicolas Cage, John Moore and others. The Company currently has a number of film and television projects in development including Gamekeeper with director Guy Ritchie; Virulents with director John Moore; Voodoo Child with Nicolas Cage and Reliance; The Leaves with Summit Entertainment; and First Family in development at FremantleMedia.
May 20, 2011
India Post www.indiapost.com
Rishi is best actor Contâ€™d from page 24
The star-studded red carpet premiere, held at Manhattan's prestigious Paris Theater, was attended by special guests Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor along with writer/director Habib Faisal. Also attending the premiere were Aparna Sen, Madhur Jaffrey, Aditya Bhattacharya, Ajay Naidu, Samrat Chakrabarti, Meetu Chilana, Rehana Mirza, Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, Sarita Choudhury, Ami Sheth, Poorna Jagannathan, and many other actors and filmmakers whose films were screened through the four-day festival.
(Standing L-R): IAAC Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani and NYIFF director Aseem Chhabra. (seated L-R) Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor at the gala dinner
Best Director winner Aparna Sen (Iti Mrinalini)
May 20, 2011 www.indiapost.com
India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: We have all seen the Asian stereotypes in film and television: the nerdy student, the submissive lotus blossom, the sinister Fu-Manchu or Dragon Lady type. On May 10, in honor of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Screen Actors Guild Affirmative Action & Diversity invited a group of distinguished Asian American entertainment industry professionals to the SAG national headquarters in Los Angeles to discuss how to overcome the stereotypical portrayal of - and lack of portrayals ofAsians in television and film. The program, The New Asia America: Transforming Perceptions, was presented by SAG National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee and included Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy), James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China, Kung Fu Panda), Chris Tashima (Visas and Virtue, Day of Independence), producer Ken Mok (America's
Shattering Asian American stereotypes portrayed by Caucasian actors. "About one in 20 people in the United States identify themselves as Asian or Pacific Islander. Increasing Asian representation in entertainment - both in front of and behind the camera - is vital to a true reflection of the American Scene," said National EEO Committee Co-Chair Bertila Damas. The panel discussion covered many topics, including whether Asian actors should turn down stereotypical roles, the role of the artist in helping to affect change and how to get more Asian storiestold. The panel praised portrayals of roles for Asian actors that are complex and multidimensional , such as Oh's portrayal of Dr. Christina Yang on Grey's Anatomy and the multiple strong Asian characters of Lost, which included series regular Daniel Dae
L-R: Jodi Long, James Chacko, Bertila Damas, Vivicca Whitsett, Joi Carr and Shyla La'Sha at Screen Actors Guild's panel discussion on The New Asia America: Transforming Perceptions -Photo courtesy Screen Actors Guild, all rights reserved
reotypes will finally fade away. With a global audience easily accessible via the Internet, there have neverbeen more opportunities for people to create their own projects and tell their own stories. "The only person who is going to help you in this industry is yourself. You've got to take things into you own hands." Mok said.
Hong, a former SAG Board member, agreed. "Here you have to be a capitalist. You have to pursue what you want as a businessperson. You split yourself down the middle and half of you is the businessperson and half of you is the creative person - the actor," Hong said.
Liquid Comics reaches out with new Arab Superhero Contâ€™d from page 26
L-R: James Hong, Julia Kim and Chris Tashima at Screen Actors Guild's panel discussion on The New Asia America: Transforming Perceptions -Photo courtesy Screen Actors Guild, all rights reserved
Next Top Model), casting director Julia Kim (My Bollywood Bride, But I'm a Cheerleader) and Ellen Ho (Ktown Cowboys), and was moderated by Jodi Long (Sex in the City, All-American Girl). "Asians and Asian Americans have for too long been a missing presence in popular film and television, or relegated to onedimensional characters in minor roles," said National EEO Committee Co-Chair Vivicca Whitsett. "We hope this event helps to revive this discussion and inspire Asian actors and those of every ethnicity to make their voices heard." According to Screen Actors Guild casting data reports, only 3.8% of all television and theatrical roles were portrayed by Asian Pacific Islander actors in 2008, compared to 6.4% portrayed by Latino actors, 13.3% portrayed by African Americans and 72.5%
Kim, who played Jin Kwon on the series and now stars as Chin-Ho Kelly in Hawaii Five-0. "[Lost was] one of the first series where the Asian males were not emasculated," Mok said, adding that Kwon and Miles Straume, played by Ken Leung, were fully realized characters. Tashima warned that it is not always easy to judge a role from the script. Oh said actors can help make change through their performances that go beyond the written word. "It does not matter what part it is - I will transcend it. It doesn't matter if I don't have any dialogue, I will transcend it. It doesn't matter what wardrobe I'm wearing, I will transcend it," Oh said. Mok, who became a producer after working as an executive for NBC and ABC, said it is ultimately up to Asians to tell their own stories, and that is the way that these ste-
L-R: Chris Tashima, Ellen Ho, James Hong, Sandra Oh, Jodi Long, Ken Mok and Julia Kim at Screen Actors Guild's Panel Discussion on The New Asia America: Transforming Perceptions -Photo courtesy Screen Actors Guild, all rights reserved.
In workshops led by Liquid Comics and disability experts from the Victor Pineda Foundation, the children were asked to work together to create an original superhero that reflected their cross-cultural values and ideals as well as the challenges of living with a disability. By the end of the summit, the wheelchair-bound character of the Silver Scorpion was born. The Silver Scorpion tells the story of an Arabic teenager, Bashir Bari, who loses his legs in a tragic accident. Consumed with anger and grief, Bashir retreats into a world of isolation, resentful of the pitiful looks and whispers of strangers. When he accidentally witnesses the murder of Tarek, a mysterious local metalsmith, Bashir is unwittingly chosen as the new guardian of an ancient power that has remained hidden for centuries. With new abilities allowing him to manipulate the metal around him, Bashir must rise above his personal grief and use this newfound gift to protect the world, while learning firsthand to embrace the values of tolerance and cooperation to achieve great heights. Liquid Comics worked with leading comic book talents Ron Marz and Mukesh Singh to help take the ideas of the youth participants and turn them into an exciting comic book story. Liquid Comics Co-Founder & CEO Sharad Devarajan says the Silver Scorpion's superpowers go even further. "Our hope is that the Silver Scorpion will also be a positive role model to increase a dialogue and tear down some of the divisive political and social rhetoric between the West and the Arab region. Great superheroes have always been allegories to larger societal issues in the world. The bigger story of our generation is the story of globalization and our ability to overcome our regional and cultural differences to find our common humanity. While
I hope people enjoy the adventures of Bashir and his transformation into the Silver Scorpion, for me, the more exciting story is how this comic book was created- from the minds of two very different groups of extraordinary youths who speak to the very best of globalization in the years ahead." Snyder added, "What is truly amazing about this comic book is not just that it features a disabled superhero as the main character, but that it was inspired by youths who came from the United States and Syria. They had never met before. They spoke different languages.
With new abilities allowing him to manipulate the metal around him, Bashir must rise above his personal grief and use this newfound gift to protect the world They had different cultures and backgrounds. Yet still, they found common ground through their creativity, and have given the world a character that transcends their differences." "We hope the character also teaches children with disabilities to overcome the perception of their disability as a weakness, and instead find empowerment and pride in who they are, regardless of their differences," added Devarajan. In addition to the US release, 50,000 copies of the Silver Scorpion in Arabic will also be distributed for free to schools and youth centers within Syria, as well as in various countries throughout the region. The comic series will feature additional issues and superheroes in the coming months, including female and western heroes, who will interact and engage with the Silver Scorpion as he seeks to defeat a mysterious evil.
ussoorie, like other hill resorts in India, came into existence in the 1820s or thereabouts, when the families 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 wellto-do Indians, many of whom follow the lifestyle of their former colonial rulers. In most cases, the old names have been retained. 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 chitter-chatter of a cosmopolitan band of people from the plains flows from one open end of the Mall to the other. Contâ€™d on page 31
29 India Post
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
May 20, 2011
Travel & Hospitality Post
May 20, 2011
Badrinath temple reopens for pilgrims DEHRA DUN: Soon after Kedarnath, the portals of famous Himalayan shrine of Badrinath have been reopened for pilgrims after a gap of six months. Amid blowing of conches and chanting of Vedic hymns and shlokas, Chief priest of Badrinath shrine Rawal Keshava Namboodiri opened the doors of the temple as the palanquin carrying the idol of
With the opening of portals of Badrinath, all the four shrines collectively known as Chardham have been thrown open for pilgrims. The Chardham Yatra comprising pilgrimage to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri Lord Vishnu was taken inside the sanctum sanctorum, said Anusuiya Prasad Bhatt, Chairman of Shri Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee. During the opening ceremony of the temple, situated at a height of 3,133 meter in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand Disaster Management Minister Khajan Das and prin-
DEHRADUN: A helicopter service to airlift pilgrims to the Chardhams -Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri - has been started in Uttarakhand. "The service would not only help to promote tourism but also help people to travel four dhams in much less time as well," Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said at the launch. He also lauded the first-ever effort to connect all the four dhams
with air-service. The helicopter being used for Chardham yatra is the six-seater AS350B3 Eurocopter, which can fly at an altitude of 23,000 feet for about three-and-a-half-hours continuously. "The air service for the four dhams is not a business initiative. It is the group's commitment to serve the people of the state. This is a social service," Prabhatam Group CEO Rakesh Sharma said. -PTI
Mughal Road Motor Rally from June 25 cipal secretary, Religious Tourism Department Rakesh Sharma were also present along with hundreds of devotees outside the sanctum sanctorum braving chilly winds. Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was also scheduled to attend the ceremony but he could not reach Badrinath due to some reason, said Bhatt. The portals of another famous shrine of Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district were thrown open for pilgrims earlier and Nishank was among the first ones who paid obeisance at the temple. With the opening of portals of Badrinath, all the four shrines collectively known as Chardham have been thrown open for pilgrims. The Chardham Yatra comprising pilgrimage to Badrinath,
Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri nestling in Garhwal Himalayas started with the opening of portals of both Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines on May 6. Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines are situated at a height of 3,200 meter and 3,615 meter respectively in Uttarkashi district and Kedarnath at a height of 3,584 meter in Rudraprayag district. The Chardhams reopen in April-May every year after a gap of six months as the area remain snow-bound during the winter period. The annual yatra is considered as the backbone of thriving religious tourism in the state that attracts nearly 15 lakh pilgrims every year both from India and abroad. -PTI
Core group to promote spiritual tourism in Mathura MATHURA, UP: The holy city of Mathura will soon get a facelift so as to promote spiritual tourism. Union Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahay announced that a core group under the leadership of Commissioner of Agra has been formed to chalk out a plan for integrated development of the city that would pave the way for promotion of spiritual tourism. "As Agra is famous for its heritage tourism, potential of Mathura would be tapped for promoting spiritual tourism," Sahai said while talking to reporters here. The Union Minister added that the core group after doing the ground work would suggest tentative date for holding a workshop in Delhi. "Different related ministries, representative of Planning Commission, authorities of the tourism
Helicopter service starts for Chardham yatra
department of Uttar Pradesh and noted environmentalists would be invited for the workshop," he said. The stress would be on the use
He said that just like Buddhist circuit of eastern UP, circuit for heritage tourism of Agra and spiritual tourism of Mathura can also be developed of Private Public Partnership (PPP) model for integrated development to motivate investors and donors. "Mathura and Agra come un-
der Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) and efforts should be made to avoid wastage of funds by duplication of work," the Minister said. He said that just like Buddhist circuit of eastern UP, circuit for heritage tourism of Agra and spiritual tourism of Mathura can also be developed. "Government would try to allure tourists to Agra and Mathura through planned and integrated development as influx of domestic tourists is more in Mathura than Agra," he said. The development plan will provide job opportunities to unemployed youth, Sahay said. Earlier, the Minister presided over a meeting of officers, leaders of political parties, NGOs, social workers and discussed tourist potential of Mathura in detail. -PTI
SRINAGAR: The state tourism department in collaboration with the Himalayan Motor Association will organize a three-day motor rally on Mughal Road to promote adventure tourism in the state. The second Mughal Road Motor Rally will be conducted from June 25 to 28 this year, an official spokesman said after a meeting chaired by Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora here. Over 50 Motor Sports teams from across the country will participate in the event, the spokesman added. During the meeting, threadbare deliberations were held on the agenda points to make the event a grand success for attracting worldwide adventure lovers to Jammu and Kashmir. The President, Himalayan Motor Sports Association, Vijay Parmar apprised the meeting about
pros and cons of the rally and gave an account of the arrangements required for the successful conduct of second Mughal Road Rally from the concerned departments.
The second Mughal Road Motor Rally will be conducted from June 25 to 28 this year, Over 50 Motor Sports teams from across the country will participate in the event The concerned authorities assured their full cooperation besides all possible facilities to the rallyists during the event days, the spokesman said. -PTI
Valley beckons you: JKLF to tourists SRINAGAR: Separatist outfit Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front has appealed to tourists to return to Kashmir and enjoy its scenic beauty and hospitality. "We appeal to tourists across the globe, including India, to visit Kashmir as every part of the valley is ready to welcome them," JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik said in a statement here. He said "there is no truth in the negative propaganda unleashed by vested interests to keep the tourists away from Kashmir." "We are sure the scenic beauty of Kashmir and the hospitality of its people will win over hearts of the tourists so that they can return to enjoy the paradise
on earth again and again," Malik said. Interacting with a group of tourists at the party headquarters here, he alleged a negative campaign was being unleashed by some vested interests, including those connected with tourism industry from Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, to keep holiday-makers away from Kashmir. "Like in the past, Kashmiris will defeat this baseless and negative propaganda by their traditional hospitality," he said. "Kashmiris have extended whole-hearted support to the Amarnath pilgrims during the summer unrest and shown to the world they are not communal," the statement said. -PTI
May 20, 2011
Travel & Hospitality Post
India Post 31
www.indiapost.com Cont’d from page 29
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. 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 walking sticks or handmade cane baskets and other wares. There are embroidered wall hangings, dry pinecones, hill jewelry, garments and a dozen knickknacks besides. If tired of shopping or windowshopping, there is the cable car that starts from the Mall and goes up to Gun Hill. 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 light appear one by one in the valley below. Simultaneously, the Mall transforms itself into 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 rest and the shaggy mountain horses too have gone. The soft mountain nigh, 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 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 envi-
Mussoorie: Queen of the Hills
Facade of St. George's College, Mussoorie, estb. 1853.
rons. 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
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
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 Mussoorie, also soars to an altitude of 10,000 feet, and entails a fairly long, taxing but exhilarating 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. 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
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 distinctively 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. 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. 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 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. How to reach: From the Jolly Grant airport of Dehradun, you may go up to Mussoorie (2¼ 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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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Mit Jaaye Ghum: Dum Maaro Dum 2 Teri Justaju (Saaware): Shor In The City 3 Awaaz: F.A.L.T.U Shor In The City
ashraj Films, the prestigious Bollywood banner which special izes in churning out mushy romantic super hit films at regular intervals but infamous for not paying superstars even like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan their market prices, has been forced to cough out a whopping Rs 17.5 crore and a share in the profit for Salman Khan.
May 20, 2011
Salman Khan, who plays the lead in upcoming spy thriller 'Ek Tha Tiger', was able to hammer out this arrangement with the numero uno banner of Bollywood due to his growing clout in the industry. In fact, director Kabir Khan was hell bent on signing Sallubhai for the lead and there was no other way left for Aditya Chopra' s banner than to sign Salman Khan for the amount that he was asking for. After the super success of 'Wanted' and 'Dabangg' at the box -office, Salman Khan is being offered and getting even more than this Yashraj price for
S SHEILA TO MADHUBALA
atrina Kaif's career seems to be only sky rocketing despite her films bombing at the Box Office of late. The latest is that Katrina would be dancing to a special number in the film Mere Brother Ki Dulhan which will be a tribute to the gorgeous and talented Madhubala. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a Yash Raj Film's production co-starring Imran Khan and Ali Zafar. The buzz is that the song sequence would be triggered after Katz sees a picture of Madhubala
at a roadside dhaba. Apart from the Madhubala tribute in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, rumors are adrift that Katz will also be donning the role of Madhubala in Anurag Basu's biopic on Kishore Kumar. We don't know if Katrina has the ability to pull off a Madhubala but, it is sure something to look out for in the coming days. Katrina could potentially change her Sheila tag to Madhubala if she is able to pull this off. What say you gals and guys?
4 Saibo: Shor In The City 5 Jiyein Kyun: Dum Maaro Dum 6 Bhojhal Se: I AM 7 Sau Baras: Haunted 8 Maine Yeh Kab Socha Tha: Game 9 Tum Bin Yeh Dil Ghabraye: Zokkomon 10 Wundoo Yeredoo: I AM
working with other production houses. Yashraj, too, went with Salman Khan's market price to a certain extent as they desperately needed a blockbuster from their stable. For quite some time now, Yashraj Films are not doing as good as they would expect to do at the box- office and this must have propelled them in accommodating Salman Khan's price.
iddharth and Shruti Haasan have taken their relationship to an all new level. They are so confident about their relationship that they have started living-in to get to know each other better. The couple hasn't hidden anything from the actress-singer's father Kamal Haasan and have also got his blessings. When Kamal learnt that the two were intending to take their relationship forward, the progressive father was more than happy to bless the duo. "They felt they should live-in, given the fact they have never really fought with each other or had any sort of misunderstandings. Shruti is head-over-heels in love. She is willing to even chase a career down South and keep Bollywood as a secondary option. She has rejected around five good offers. She feels proximity with her beau will make her relationship work. The couple very much wants to settle down a few years down the line," says a reliable informer. The insider further adds, "Kamal is very happy about Shruti choosing Sid. He feels the actor is good for his girl. He liked Sid as an actor even before Shruti and Sid started seeing each other. Shruti has also not been performing with the new band that she had formed - the reason, again her relationship which doesn't leave her with much time to do anything else."
May 20, 2011
rachi Desai may have come a long way since the homely 'Bani' of small screen hit serial 'Kasam Se' to the stylish wife of 'Rock On' to Emraan Hashmi's love interest in the superhit 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbai'. However, the 'Pee Loon' girl still has to open up and shed her inhibitions some more to be game for Bollywood Masala movies. Recently, she refused to indulge into an on-screen kiss with our hunk John Abraham with whom she stars in her next flick. This Shrishti Arya's movie has Chitrangada Singh apart from John and Prachi and John plays a Casanova role. Prachi explains that she has a no-kiss clause written in her film contracts. So, now instead of a steamy kiss, a hot and sensuous number will be shot between John and Chitrangda who will be seen first time together on-screen. Prachi, however, goes on to make it clear that she has no qualms about discussing her character and giving in to the demands of the role as per the script demands.
Mallikaâ€™s politics B
ollywood may have acknowledged Mallika Sherawat only for her sex appeal and not for her talents as such, but the girl sure is making her presence felt in the international scene. Be it the Oscars ceremony or her meeting with US President Barack Obama for a cup of tea, the girl has sure made it a point to mingle with the most important people of the west. Going a step further, recently she was spotted at the White House, attending the Saturday Night White House Correspondent Dinner there. Mallika admits that she was more than surprised to witness the amount of security that was organised for the event. This was the second time she meets the US President and though he was seated with other dignitaries on the podium, he made it a point to speak to Mallika from there and they even cracked a few jokes. Mallika looked gorgeous and effortlessly elegant in her white Shahab Durazi dress. The actress is apparently touring the US and the White House to promote her upcoming Hollywood flick, Politics Of Love.
xpressing dismay over reports of kissing to his costar Kareena Kapoor in his much awaited sci-fi thriller 'Ra One', Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan has said he will never kiss on screen as it is something he is uncomfortable about. "There are two things that I am uncomfortable about doing on the screen -one is torturing animals and the other is kissing. At the outset, I tell the producer's of the film about my discomfort about these things," Shahrukh says. Shahrukh expressed dismay about reports appearing in the media about his kissing Kareena Kapoor in 'Ra One'. "Where did you hear this, "Shahrukh asked the lady reporter who asked the question. On being told that the reports were there all over the internet, Shah Rukh said, "You should never believe every report that you come across on the internet." Saying that in his long career in Bollywood, he had never kissed on screen, Shahrukh said, "I do not do it because I am uncomfortable doing it. And if there is something that I am uncomfortable doing, I will never do it. So I will never kiss on screen." In a lighter vein, he said, "So you will never find me ride a horse or for that matter even laugh in a film."
First lady hosts fitness demonstrations
WASHINGTON: First lady Michelle Obama is offering some physical fitness opportunities to military families. Mrs. Obama announced that the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association would offer free memberships to immediate family members of actively deployed reservists. She said the American Council on Exercise would provide at least 1 million hours of free personal training. And the Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition will hold a series of events with military families and celebrities. Mrs. Obama was joined by gymnast Dominique Dawes, figure skater Michelle Kwan and basketball players Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets as they led demonstrations at activity stations on the South Lawn. -AP
Govt warns on use of psych meds in nursing homes WASHINGTON: A new government report says many elderly nursing home residents suffering from dementia may be victims of overmedication with strong anti-psychotic drugs that could harm them. The Health and Human Services inspector general says that in 2007, more than 300,000 nursing home residents got powerful drugs meant for treating serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. But nearly 90 percent of the time, the prescriptions were for patients suffering from dementia, a condition for which the anti-psychotic drugs are not approved. -AP
4 more resistant flu cases confirmed in Delaware DOVER, Del.: State public health officials report that four additional cases of antiviral-resistant flu have been confirmed in Delaware. The new cases bring the total number of resistant flu cases in the state this flu season to 10. The most recently confirmed involved a 2-month-old Sussex County boy who was briefly hospitalized, a 7-year-old Sussex County girl who did not require hospitalization, a 45-year-old Sussex County woman whose February death had been previously announced, and a 28-year-old New Castle County man who was briefly hospitalized. -AP
Health Science 36
May 20, 2011
NM to train health professionals to help elderly ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: Doctors and other health professionals would help spot and report financial fraud against the elderly under a new training program set up by the state of New Mexico. -AP
India's vaccine manufacturing set to soar to $800m: Prof Steven Myint India Post News Service
NEW YORK: India has emerged as a key vaccine manufacturer in recent times. It already produces 60 percent of the global health vaccines. The country had revenue of $665 million in this space which was expected to reach $800 million soon, said Prof. Steven H. Myint, chairman of Chennai-based Green Signal Bio Pharma Private Limited. The Indian vaccine market is forecast to grow at 23 percent from 2009-10 through 2011-12 registering revenues around $2 Billion. Vaccines have emerged as one of the growth drivers of the global pharmaceutical industry, he said on a recent visit to New York. The distinguished scientist said that scare of the avian influenza, bioterrorism organisms and new emerging infections like SARS and the introduction of cancer and rotavirus vaccines have led to phenomenal growth in the vaccine market in the last few years. Exports have a major share in the Indian vaccine market, with 70 percent vaccines being exported. Of the total domestic market, the private sector's share stood at
$120 million or at 40 percent. Top vaccine manufacturers have a reasonably diverse product portfolio which has led to reduced competition in the Indian market. The Indian market includes foreign majors like GSK, Sanofi, Eli Lily, and Merck to name some. But the scene is essentially
2005-08 and reached a size of approximately $20 billion. Growth from the sales of vaccines has surpassed the growth in many traditional pharma areas of vaccine manufacturers such as GSK, Merck, Wyeth and Sanofi Aventis. Globally, the US recorded the largest share in the vaccine market at around 43 percent and Eu-
Top vaccine manufacturers have a reasonably diverse product portfolio which has led to reduced competition in the Indian market Prof. Steven H. Myint
dominated by Indian players such as Green Signal Bio Pharma based in Chennai who have gained significant expertise in manufacturing practices for macromolecules with quality but at low cost and have capitalized on the rising global demand for affordable vaccines, he said. The global vaccine market grew at a healthy 28 percent during
rope is the second largest vaccine market and source of production. However, it is estimated that in the future more opportunities for manufacture and sales of vaccines will emerge from developing nations such as India and China, he said. Prof. Myint, an eminent senior board level physician with experience in public health, academia and biopharmaceutical industries
is a well - known strategist, planner and organizational leader supported by outstanding research and analytical skills. He took over as chairman of Green Signal Pharma Private Limited from its founder-president N. Sundar Paripoornan in Jan 2011. As head of Green Signal Bio Pharma which is one of the top vaccine manufacturers in India and one of only two producing BCG and BCG oncology vaccines, Prof. Myint is all set to take the company to next level to make it a global vaccine manufacturing company producing other vaccines as well for overseas markets especially in global health. The company, in pharma field for the last six years, has now diversified into manufacturing vaccine. With the objective to go global, GSBPL has many on-going joint venture projects with many government and private manufacturers of the World. Besides manufacturing it is undertaking R&D both in house and with Partners in UK, Singapore and US. Manufacturing and quality control is done to GMP requirements and is on par with all international Standards. Cont’d on page 38
Governor vetoes changes to kids' health insurance HELENA, Mont.: Gov. Brian Schweitzer is striking down a Republican budget bill that was aimed at restricting a popular children's health insurance program. The measure sought to divert money from a main funding source of Healthy Montana Kids, a plan approved by voters several years ago to provide health insurance to more children. Families earning up to 250 percent of the poverty level are eligible to apply. Republicans anticipated the veto and built a main budget bill that works without the money transfers. Schweitzer's veto strikes down a GOP policy statement in the bill that would have made it much easier to remove presump-
tive eligibility from the program. In the future, that eligibility could have simply been changed by administration rule-making rather than through changes in law, under the proposal. In vetoing the bill, Schweitzer
Schweitzer said about 85,000 children receive help through the children's health insurance program. That number has grown substantially over the course of the recession. State Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Hel-
The measure sought to divert money from a main funding source of Healthy Montana Kids, a plan approved by voters several years ago to provide health insurance to more children. Families earning up to 250 percent of the poverty level are eligible to apply called it another example of an "incompetent Legislature." "This one is a big piece of something," Schweitzer said of the bill. "It's being vetoed just because it's bad policy."
ena, said the only real policy loss for the GOP with the veto is the forward-looking ability to curtail eligibility. "We will have to deal with that at some point in the future," Lewis
said. Schweitzer has yet to act on the main budget measure, known as House Bill 2. He has said he will use his veto authority to strike out aspects he doesn't like. He has been sparring with Republican leaders over a budget deal that has crumbled amid accusations that each has failed to deliver their side of the bargain. This has left the governor free to vet parts of the spending package. Last week, he struck down a proposal to place a surcharge on businesses buying worker's compensation insurance through State Fund that Republicans argued was needed to repay an old fund deficit largely created when lawmakers took money out of it years ago. -AP
Health Science Post
May 20, 2011
Mass. sees spike in Hepatitis C virus infections BOSTON: Health officials are warning that Massachusetts is facing an ``epidemic'' of Hepatitis C virus infections among adolescents and young adults, particularly among those who are injection drug users. The cases were reported from all areas of the state, occurred predominantly among non-Hispanic whites, and were equally distributed among males and females. The increase came as overall Hepatitis C infections have dropped or leveled off according to the study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2002 to 2009, rates of newly reported Hepatitis C infections, confirmed and probable, among those aged 15 to 24 in Massachusetts increased from 65
per 100,000 individuals to 113 per 100,000 individuals. ``The increase in case reports appears to represent an epidemic,''
While those infected with Hepatitis C don't show symptoms, left untreated it can lead to liver disease and liver cancer the study said. ``Of cases with available risk data, injection drug use (IDU) was the most common risk factor.'' State health officials say one
possible cause for the spike in Hepatitis C infections could be the state's ongoing battle with addiction to opioids like OxyContin and oxycodone. From 1996 through 2007, the number of fatal overdoses from drugs like heroin and OxyContin among Massachusetts residents jumped from 178 to 637. In 2008, the number of deaths fell slightly to 594. State epidemiologist Dr. Alfred DeMaria said that those addicted to OxyContin and oxycodone can move onto cheaper and more potent heroin, which can require the use of syringes to inject. Sharing needles or failing to properly sterilize the equipment needed to prepare heroin for injection can result in the passing
Nevada employee benefits stoke north-south tension CARSON CITY, Nev.: Tensions are running high over a proposal to have southern Nevada state employees subsidize the higher health insurance premiums of their northern Nevada counterparts. Lawmakers in a joint budget committee voted to pass the governor's recommended budget for the Public Employees Benefits
Program. The program's board already approved proposed costcutting changes including reducing vision and dental coverage and shifting employees to high-deductible insurance plans that closer reflect the market cost of medical services. Legislators from southern Nevada were unsuccessful in block-
ing a portion of the budget that would equalize the HMO insurance premiums between public employees in the north and south. Health care costs more in northern Nevada because the population is smaller and fewer providers compete against each other. Northerners said equalizing payments was only fair. -AP
on of the Hepatitis C virus, he added. ``We need to do something to reverse this trend,'' he said. ``We need to better define what the risks are and address those risks.'' He said the state has already taken some steps, including offering Hepatitis C virus testing in HIV testing centers and teaching intra-
venous drug users how to keep themselves safe from the virus. While those infected with Hepatitis C don't show symptoms, left untreated it can lead to liver disease and liver cancer. DeMaria said that while there are treatments for the virus, they are not 100 percent effective in everyone. -AP
Health Science Post
May 20, 2011
New data shows Chesapeake streams in bad health BALTIMORE: Most streams in the Chesapeake watershed are in poor condition, according to data released by the Chesapeake Bay Program. The federal and state partnership that coordinates restoration efforts, also released data showing reductions in key pollutants over the past 25 years at monitoring sites along tributaries that feed the Chesapeake, but noted levels were still below restoration goals. The stream survey involved sampling of nearly 8,000 streams sites between 2000 and 2008 and found 54 percent were in poor or very poor condition while 27 percent were in excellent or good condition. Peter Tango, Chesapeake Watershed Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, said the monitoring shows a clear link between land use and stream quality with those in urban, farming and mining areas faring the worst. Chesapeake Bay Foundation scientist Beth McGee said the findings show the fragile nature of streams, and how small amounts of development can affect them. Paved surfaces covering as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of an area can affect nearby streams, and urban areas such as Baltimore and Washington can often have 30 percent to 50 percent, McGee said. Streams are affected because paved surfaces do not allow rainwater to seep into the ground where it is filtered, but instead runs off the hardened surfaces into waterways, carrying pollutants.
``When you keep that in context it's not surprising a majority of our streams are not in good health,'' said McGee, a water quality scientist for the foundation, a nonprofit bay advocacy group that was not involved in the research. Nitrogen and phosphorus monitoring, meanwhile, found reductions at 70 percent of monitoring sites throughout the bay watershed while cuts in sediment, which
Peter Tango, Chesapeake Watershed Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, said the monitoring shows a clear link between land use and stream quality with those in urban, farming and mining areas faring the worst can cloud water and bury bay grasses, were noted at 40 percent of the 32 monitoring sites. The readings were adjusted to account for differences between rainier and drier years, the researchers said. Scott Phillips, the U.S. Geological Survey's Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, said much of the improvement can be attributed to upgrades to wastewater treatment plants, which often yield the most immediate gains because they affect a single source. Changes in farming practices
and other changes that are spread over wider areas take longer to detect, but are having an impact, he said. The program also released its estimates for the amount of each of the three pollutants that entered the bay in the 12 months ending in September. Flows into the bay were about average, but heavy winter snows led to higher flows at times that washed pollutants into the Chesapeake. About 9 million tons of sediment, for example, entered the bay in that period, an increase of seven million tons over the prior year and one of the highest loads in the past 20 years, more than double the longterm average of four million tons. Meanwhile, about 278 million pounds of nitrogen reached the bay, 43 million pounds
more than 2009, and about 16 million pounds of phosphorus, seven million pounds more than in 2009. The bay program's goal is about 202 million pounds of nitrogen and 13 million pounds of phosphorus. Nitrogen and phosphorus, which come from sewage, fertilizer and automobile and power plant emissions, are socalled nutrients that can cause algae blooms that rob bay water of oxygen. Will Baker, the president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency over the slow pace of bay restoration, said the reductions were good news but incremental steps in the restoration process. ``If we let down our guard now, there's no doubt in my mind the bay will revert to being even worse than it is today,'' Baker said. -AP
India's vaccine manufacturing set to soar to $800m: Prof Steven Myint Contâ€™d from page 36
In India, GSBPL has judicial developmental partnerships, new products in pipeline, economical pricing and successful marketing strategies for vaccine field, he said. Unveiling his plans, Prof. Myint said the company would go in for manufacturing R & D in-house to improve vaccines including introducing circumvention of the 'cold chain'. It would also partner with companies across the globe to help develop new vaccines. Using his network with established pharmaceutical companies outside India, he has lined up partners and associates for tie-up for these future expansion projects. "India is growing faster than China in the area of biopharmaceuticals and we will introduce new vaccines with the help of new technology. Our company had lined up partners and would be ready to go into action in Singapore and another one within India to help us with technology to diversifying into newer areas," he said. According to Prof. Myint developing newer vaccines is an expensive process and hence the company needed partnerships with research grants and aids. We will be doing a lot of manufacturing R and D in India in house. "We are also developing plans with the Nigerian Government and with a major university in Nigeria where PhD students are involved in tuberculosis research projects for making biomarkers for TB vaccines," he said "The company will work closely with bodies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to get grants to do research, Green Signal Bio Pharma has spent the last four years developing BCG vaccines on its own and the credit should go to the outgoing chairman Sundar Paripoornan and his team who have made a successful effort to get those vaccines out," he added. "What I do not want to do is to take another four years to develop our next vaccine but would work in collaboration with partner companies. Within 18 months we will have that next vaccine being produced for the market. We could be a hub for the whole world not only Asia because of our strategic location in India," he said.
The company plans to work in partnership with the Gates Foundation in the TB vaccine project. Green Signal Bio Pharma has offered to give free vaccines for the coming years to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for use in poorer countries, he said. With a number of blockbuster vaccines in pipeline, the market is expected to explode in future with vaccines expected to grow faster than any other therapy area at around 13 percent during 2009-12, registering highest growth rate among all the therapy areas, he said
Successful development and launch of a vaccine is a highly cash intensive work. Anything between $500 million to $1 billion may be incurred in successfully launching a vaccine in the market Successful development and launch of a vaccine is a highly cash intensive work. Anything between $500 million to $1 billion may be incurred in successfully launching a vaccine in the market, and failure in any of the clinical trial phases would leave the company with substantial loss. This risk is mitigated to a large extent by assured support from Government and NGOs in the form of immunization financing. Vaccine developers have to contend with the lack of infrastructure and facilities for conducting large-scale clinical trials in developing countries. In phase III trials, the developer should not only manufacture the vaccine in relatively small amounts needed for the trials, but should also be prepared to manufacture the vaccine for wider use as soon as possible in case the vaccine is found effective. However, developers face considerable risks by investing large amounts in manufacturing capacity before the trials conclude, since the vaccine may yet be proven ineffective, Prof. Myint said.
May 20, 2011
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar MAY 20TH - MAY 26TH ARIES (MARCH 21 TO APRIL 20)
TAURUS (APRIL 21 TO MAY 20)
resence of Jupiter in first will help you take the right decisions and make the correct choice. Your advice will benefit some one in close circle. You may be sending a check to government agency in shape of a fine or penalty this week. You will gain an edge over people trying to compete with you at work.
t will be another hectic week. You will need to do lots of juggling in order to meet fresh commitments. You will need to pour in more money in your existing business. Some money will go towards an upcoming trip also. You may call a trusted friend for some advice also. You may become double minded about a relationship.
GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)
CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)
resence of Mars and Jupiter in tenth should bring some interesting changes in career. A big change for betterment is imminent. Money wise you will continue to do fine and may make some money through stocks or win some in lottery. Legal matters will continue to move in right direction but at a very slow pace this week.
ou will gain friendship of a very useful person. Any trip you take this week will bring instant positive results. It is another favorable week for job seekers. A big move is on final stages. Be careful when sending out any papers to a government agency. Left eye may stay red and allergies could bother you this week.
LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22)
hings will start moving in right direction once again at fast pace. There will an addition in family soon. Your past efforts will pay off and you will receive the phone call you had been waiting for. You may still have to keep an eye on bank balance every day for some more time. Your will be in great demand every where.
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 22)
arge gains from overseas possible. Some of you may be leaving for a long distance trip soon. You may finally recover a large chunk of money from insurance also. You may start using extra vitamins to counter exhaustion and stress. An old friend will call and share his problems with you. Try your hand at lottery.
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 22)
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 22)
ou may maintain a tough stand and wait for other side to bow down. You may be traveling to a real nice and warm place to attend to some important business. Your move will be well calculated but response may not come as quickly as anticipated. There will be some interesting and positive development in litigation.
ry to look beyond immediate. It will be better to do further investigation before making any big commitment. You will benefit from a person belong to a different culture. Application will finally get accepted and soon the money would be funded. You may have to change your travel plans because of fresh commitment.
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 TO DECEMBER 22)
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 TO JANUARY 19)
ou will feel free as many restrictions will be lifted. There will be lots of improvement on professional as well as personal front. You will be aiming for your long term goals. The news of a new member will cause excitement in the family. Some of you will be making a smooth switch to a better job soon.
ove will be on the final stages. You will come in contact with a very interesting and mysterious person. Idea of going overseas this summer will continue to occupy your mind. You may call overseas more frequently to enquire about some one's health. A bis business deal you had been working on, will materialize.
AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 18)
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 20)
t will be a very fruitful week. Results will start coming for efforts made in the past. There will be lots of excitement in the house as some one will confirm their arrival date. You will receive invitation to couple of parties. Over the counter medication will help resolve issue that crop up around this time.
Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: email@example.com
oney will go towards an upcoming trip or vacation. Offer you had been waiting for can also come during the week. Financial juggling will reduce the liability. You may dispose off some stocks and pocket the money. Boss will call you and discuss some important issue. You may also sign some papers related to a property this week.
925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com
In Brief Immigration trial replays horrors of 1994 genocide WICHITA, Kan.: The horrors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide are being replayed in a federal courtroom in Wichita as the second week of testimony begins. The case involves a Kansas man accused of inciting atrocities and then lying about his role to U.S. immigration authorities. Lazare Kobagaya was indicted two years ago on charges of unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship in 2006 with fraud and misuse of an alien registration card. Prosecutors have said it is the first case in the United States requiring proof of genocide. The 84-year-old Topeka man says he is innocent. Prosecutors say they expect to wrap up their case either this coming week or early the following one. -AP
Arizona going to Supreme Court on immigration PHOENIX: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put the most controversial parts of the state's immigration enforcement law on hold. Parts of the law blocked from taking effect include a provision requiring police to question people's immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is a reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally. Other provisions that are on hold include: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers; making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job; and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant. -AP
Hispanics to halt immigration enforcement tactic WASHINGTON: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is adding its voice to those who want the federal government to stop checking fingerprints of people booked at local and state jails to find immigrants who can be deported. The caucus has written a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to freeze the fingerprint searching program known as Secure Communities. Through Secure Communities, the FBI shares with the Homeland Security Department fingerprints that local and state law enforcement have sent to the FBI to get criminal histories. -AP
May 20, 2011
Pope visits Venice, urges welcome for immigrants VENICE, Italy: Pope Benedict XVI has urged Italy to welcome immigrants fleeing to its shores, invoking the historic role of Venice and the once influential church in nearby Aquileia as a cultural bridges during his twoday visit to northern Italy. -AP
Community across US fasts in protest against India's passport/visa rules India Post News Service
NEW YORK: In a unique protest, groups of Indian Americans observed a 36-hour fast in 11 different cities across the US, to protest against the recent Indian government's passport surrender rules for naturalized citizens of Indian origin and other issues concerning Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Cards. Initiated by a group in Houston, Texas, the protest fast was observed late last month in Houston and Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, GA; Tampa Bay, Miami, and West Palm Beach, FL; Columbia, SC; Chicago, IL; Washington DC; New Jersey and New York. According to a press release, these US citizens of Indian origin fasted to protest recent Indian Embassy/Consulate policies that defy common sense and violate Indian government's social responsibility. The two most egregious rules they cite are: (1) the retroactive application of the Surrender Certificate and the senseless fees charged for canceling an invalid (and often expired) passport; (2) the newly added requirement for obtaining an OCI-lifetime visa to India which demands depositing your current US passport
with a non-communicative, nontransparent, unprofessional Indian consulate or its outsourced agency for up to 6 months until the OCI visa is processed. Over 125 Indian-Americans observed the fast (some without even water) to show solidarity and protest the Indian government's non-responsiveness to the community's anguish. Thousands of Indian-Americans came in support and signed an online petition to the Prime Minister of India as
and discouraged many from visiting India. Sixteen people fasted in protest on April 30 at the Sardar Patel Bhavan. The oldest person fasting was 89 years old. The two elders, 89-year old Shri Mangal Patel and 77-year old Shri Vinod Patel, related this protest to Sardar Patel's historic efforts for nonviolent resolution and national integrity in the Indian freedom movement. Forensic Scientist Vasudev
‘The sheer labyrinth of bureaucracy that the community has had to endure makes each trip to their motherland a little more painful and a little less enjoyable’ well as letters to the US State Department and to their respective US Congress representatives for assistance. In Atlanta, Georgia, the press release said, hundreds of US citizens of Indian origin have been frazzled by the Houston Consulate's recent handling of the process to obtain an OCI-lifetime visa and to get old passport cancellation certificates. These recent processes have created great stress, cost thousands of dollars,
Patel said, "The demands for an immediate repeal of the surrender certificate rule and fast and courteous services at Consulate and Travisa is getting stronger and stronger here in the Indian community at Atlanta." At a commercial center in Dallas, Texas, eight people fasted and hundreds signed letters to the US State Department. Ghanshyam Kakadia reported, "Our community is not happy about Indian Consulate services at all. There are
lots of frustrations. Most of the people were complaining about customer service - that the Houston Consulate office does not respond to e-mail, does not answer the phone, etc. There were lots of personal stories too: Krishnamurti got a letter from the consulate to fix errors in his OCI application and was surprised to find somebody else's passport in the package. Kakadia paid $40 for expedited visa service to attend a funeral in the family and despite the additional fee, did not get his visa on time, the press release said. In Tampa Bay, Florida, 11 community leaders and a number of senior citizens observed a daylong fast at the India Cultural Center. Says Vashishtha Doshi, "Many of the Indian Diaspora of Tampa Bay still have family in India or frequent India very often due to their religious and cultural ties. The sheer labyrinth of bureaucracy that the community has had to endure makes each trip to their motherland a little more painful and a little less enjoyable. They made their voice heard against, what they perceive as, a hindrance to reconnect with their birth-land." Cont’d on page 42
Feds crackdown on employers CYRUS D. MEHTA
n an investigation of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, DC, asked Chipotle on April 13, for documentation related to hiring issues at its 1,092 restaurants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had recently audited Chipotle's records in several areas, resulting in the company's firing of at least 490 workers. In another case, federal agents arrested the owners and an outside bookkeeper for Chuy's Mesquite Broiler and detained 40 suspected undocu-
mented workers at 15 locations in California and Arizona. The federal indictment charged the owners with employing about 360 undocumented workers and keeping two payrolls, one for the undocumented workers, for whom no taxes were paid, and another for workers with employment authorization. USCIS continues to accept FY 2012 H-1B petitions U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 8 that it continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions that are subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap. The agency began
accepting these petitions on April 1. USCIS is monitoring the number of petitions received that count toward the congressionally mandated annual H-1B cap of 65,000 and the 20,000 U.S. master's degree or higher cap exemption. As of April 22, 2011, the agency reported that it has received approximately 8,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 5,900 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees. Cases for premium processing of H-1B petitions filed during an
initial five-day filing window are undergoing a 15-day processing period that began April 7. For all other H-1B petitions filed for premium processing, the processing period begins on the date that the petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center. Meanwhile, petitions filed by employers who are exempt from the cap, as well as petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap within the past six years, will not count toward the cap. Cont’d on page 41
May 20, 2011
Feds crackdown on employers Contâ€™d from page 40
DOL orders back wages The Department of Labor (DOL) recently ordered the school system in Prince George's County, Maryland, to pay $1.7 million in penalties and $4.2 million in back wages and penalties to more than 1,000 teachers recruited from foreign countries, many from the Philippines. School authorities had required the teachers to cover expenses for their H-1B work visas, in violation of the law. Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., plans to appeal the findings. He noted that the fines "may have a devastating impact on [the Prince George's County school system] and its employees and the school system's ability to continue to place a highly qualified teacher in every classroom." Under the ruling, the Prince George's system must pay $4.2 million in back wages to the foreign teachers and $1.7 million in penalties. DOL spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said that the school system "refused to acknowledge" the problem sufficiently or to negotiate a settlement. County schools spokesperson Briant Coleman countered that school authorities had been unaware of the requirement and, when informed, "we corrected it immediately and paid the fees ever since." Ms. Alexander said cases
involving other school systems are pending. An AFL-CIO report found that in 2008, Prince George's schools obtained approval for 239 petitions for H-1B visas. Baltimore schools obtained 229 such approvals, the report found, and East Baton Rouge Parish schools in Louisiana obtained 205, Dallas schools 105 and New York City schools 96. USCIS issues Q&A on H-1B Cap-Gap Regs
An AFL-CIO report found that in 2008, Prince George's schools obtained approval for 239 petitions for H-1B visas U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a Q&A document on April 1, 2011, addressing the automatic extension of F-1 student status in the U.S. for certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions (indicating a request for change of status from F-1 to H1B) for an employment start date of October 1, 2011, under the fiscal year (FY) 2012 H-1B cap. Although the first business day of October 2011 is Monday, October 3, eligible F-1 students must
Napolitano urges federal immigration overhaul ATLANTA: The nation's domestic security chief has stressed that a comprehensive immigration overhaul should be left up to Congress, rebuking Georgia politicians who recently adopted a crackdown on illegal immigration that's considered among the nation's toughest. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Atlanta Press Club that federal immigration laws are badly in need of a sweeping update, but that Congress should take the lead. She said Georgia residents should be focused on encouraging Congress "that it is time to get to the table." "It's something that only Congress can solve, and the administration is right there saying it's time to deal with this very serious problem as a nation and not state-bystate," she said. Napolitano would not comment on Georgia's legislation, which Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has pledged he would sign. But she pointed out that the federal government has options, noting that the Justice Department
filed a lawsuit to block a tough immigration overhaul in Arizona from taking effect. That litigation is still pending. The Georgia measure would require employers to use a federal database to make sure new hires are in the country legally. It also would allow law enforcement to check the status of people being investigated, even during a traffic stop, if they don't have an acceptable form of identification. State Rep. Matt Ramsey, the Peachtree City Republican who sponsored the measure, argued that illegal immigrants are a drain on the state's resources and that state legislators were forced to take a bold stance because Congress hasn't. "The federal government's failure to secure our borders serves as an open invitation for illegal immigration," Ramsey said as lawmakers were considering the proposal. Napolitano said she's "dismayed" by the suggestion that federal authorities aren't enforcing the law. -AP
make sure to request Saturday, October 1, as their start date in order to qualify for the cap-gap extension, USCIS said. Once a timely filing has been made requesting a change of status to H-1B on October 1, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin and will continue until the H-1B petition adjudication process has been completed, USCIS explained. If the student's H-1B petition is selected and approved, the student's extension will continue through September 30 unless the petition is denied, withdrawn, or revoked. If the student's H-1B petition is not selected, the student will have the standard 60-day grace period from the date of the rejection notice or their program end date, whichever is later, to prepare for and depart the U.S. To obtain proof of continuing status, a student covered under the cap-gap extension should go to his or her designated school official (DSO) with evidence of a timely filed H-1B petition (indicating a request for change of status rather than for consular processing), such as a copy of the petition and a FedEx, UPS, or USPS Express/certified mail receipt. The student's DSO will issue a preliminary cap-gap I-20 showing an extension until June 1. If the H-1B petition is selected for adjudication, the student should return to his or her DSO with a copy of the petitioning employer's Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a valid receipt number, indicating that the petition was filed and accepted. The student's DSO will issue a new cap-gap I-20 indicating the continued extension of F-1 status, USCIS said. USCIS strongly encourages students "to stay in close communication with their petitioning employer during the cap-gap extension period for status updates on the H-1B petition processing." House hearing testimony on H-1B An article in Computerworld says that recent cables released by WikiLeaks include "anecdotes" about fraud in the H-1B visa process in countries such as Mexico, Libya, and Iceland that do not normally receive a lot of attention for it. Among other things, a cable sent two years ago from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City refers to "persistent fraud problems" in the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, including applicants overstating experience, education, or future job responsibilities. The embassy also reportedly said that some individuals "may also set up shell companies as a means to live in the U.S." * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PRADEEP ROY-SINGH B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Attorney-at-Law
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2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659
May 20, 2011
Mass. court makes key ruling on immigrant benefits BOSTON: Immigrant advocates are praising a decision by Massachusetts' highest court that they said could help restore full subsidized health care to tens of thousands of legal immigrants living in the state. A 2009 decision by the legislature to deny coverage to legal immigrants was the first major rollback to Massachusetts' landmark 2006 health care law, which was used in part as a blueprint for the national health care law signed by President Barack Obama. A ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court does not actually decide the case, but it answers key legal questions that will allow it to proceed. The court ruled that while protections against discrimination in the Massachusetts Constitution don't explicitly protect individuals based on their immigration status, any attempt to deny benefits to ``resident aliens'' should be held to the strictest judicial scrutiny possible. The court also appeared to reject a key cost-cutting argument that lawmakers used in 2009 when they decided to block legal immigrants from the Commonwealth Care health plan. The plan provides subsidized care for those earning up to three times the federal poverty level. The cut was estimated to save
the state about $130 million a year. Legislative leaders at the time said they had little choice, given the state's dire financial straits. ``While we are acutely aware of the financial difficulties presently facing the Commonwealth, the fiscal consequences of any subsequent judgment on the merits can't be permitted to intrude on consideration of the case before us,'' the court ruled. The court also noted that during the first three years that the law was in effect, subsidized health care benefits were offered to qualified immigrants living in Massachusetts. Given their ``particularly vulnerable status,'' the court added, ``it thus remains necessary to exercise heightened vigilance to ensure that the full panoply of constitutional protections are afforded to the Commonwealth's resident aliens.'' Lawyers for the immigrants said the answers provided by the ruling make it much harder for the state to argue that the 2009 decision to block legal immigrants from the program was constitutional. ``This is an important victory,'' said Wendy Parmet, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit that was filed last year.
Parmet said the state will now have to prove under a ``strict scrutiny'' standard that there is a compelling reason to continue denying subsidized care for legal immigrants. ``Under strict scrutiny they will have to show that the discrimination was necessary for a compel-
The cut was estimated to save the state about $130 million a year. Legislative leaders at the time said they had little choice, given the state's dire financial straits ling state interest,'' Parmet said. ``It's very, very tough to prove.'' Gov. Deval Patrick's budget chief, Jay Gonzalez, said providing equal coverage for legal, taxpaying immigrants has been a pri-
ority for the administration. ``While this unfortunately has not been possible under the budget constraints of the past few years, the administration has worked successfully with the Legislature to preserve comprehensive coverage for this population,'' Gonzalez said in a statement. The administration will review the ruling and their options as they wait a final decision in the courts, he said. Immigrant activists say the Legislature should take a cue from the court and once again allow some 40,000 legal immigrants to be covered under Commonwealth Care. ``In the long run this is going to help the state,'' said Eva Millona, executive director of The Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. ``It is fiscally responsible to have this population covered.'' In 2009, Patrick created a separate program to provide some
health coverage to legal immigrants after they were denied access to Commonwealth Care. The Massachusetts House voted last month to restore about half of the money for the Commonwealth Care Bridge program after the House Ways and Means Committee had previously voted to eliminate funding. Patrick had pushed for the funding and said in a statement that he was grateful for the House action. Health care activists also hailed the ruling. Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director of the advocacy group Health Care For All, said the court's decision upholds the state's core values as a Commonwealth. ``All legal residents of Massachusetts deserve equal access to health care,'' Slemmer said. ``These are our friends and neighbors who have a right to the same health benefits we have all enjoyed for the last five years under health reform.'' -AP
Community across US fasts in protest against India's passport/visa rules Contâ€™d from page 40
In New Jersey, 42 people (including youth, senior citizens, and women) fasted at the Six Miles Run Community Hall in Manmouth Junction. Hundreds of IndianAmericans of different backgrounds (Goanese, Konkani, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi and many temple organizations) supported by attending and sharing their personal experiences regarding the surrender certificate rule. Many promised to join future protest events. In Freeport, NY, eight people participated in a protest fast from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 30 at the ISKCON temple. According to Rajendra Singh who organized the New York protest, "Every one expressed strong opinion against this (Surrender) Certificate rule." In Chicago, Illinois where the community maintains an ongoing dialogue with the local Indian Consulate office, 35 Indian-Americans fasted and protested the rupture
in the India-American diasporic connection to their birth land. Community members carried banners on Devon Avenue, the Indian shopping district hub. Prasad Yalamanchi said "There were many instances when people needed to go to India for legitimate reasons and were unable to get visa[s]. We wanted to cor-
Jitendra Desai said, â€˜I am fasting because the surrender certificate is not proper. The charges are very exorbitant. Their policies are creating hardshipâ€™ rect this kind of situation[s] in future and therefore went on fast and peaceful protest." In Columbia, South Carolina, the husband and wife team of Janak and Parul Dalal embarked on a 24-hour fast in protest of Indian Consulate actions. Janak Dalal says, "Our Community in Columbia SC is against the Surrender Certificate rule. We demand accountability from the Indian Consulate and demand that this discriminatory policy be abolished immediately." In Washington DC, a political group joined the cause. Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) - USA or-
ganized a Satyagrah (fasting) program from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the local ISKCON temple, Potomac, MD on April 30. While, six individuals including Dr. Adapa Prasad did the fasting for this important community cause, over 200 people supported the Satyagrahis and encouraged them. In Houston, Texas, over 20 people fasted under a tent outside the VPSS Haveli for 36-hours from 8 a.m. on April 30 to 8 p.m. on May 1. Spokespersons Prakash Patel and Dr. Sulekh Jain gave radio and TV interviews. Hundreds of supporters signed an online petition to the Prime Minister of India as well as letters to the US State Department and their local congressional representatives. The level of outrage mixed with heartbreak was palpable. Almost everyone had a story to tell. Jitendra Desai said, "I am fasting because the surrender certificate is not proper. The charges are very exorbitant. Their policies are creating hardship. That's why I'm fasting." Dr. Sulekh Jain from Sugar Land, said, "Last weekend's dharna with complete non-violence by many Indo-Americans in 11 cities of the United States against the very policies and procedures of the Government of India that make getting a visa to India tedious, time consuming, expensive and bureaucratic was a very uplifting experience. I am glad I was able to participate in it."
May 20, 2011
Fri May 20 • Athirudram-2011 Venue: Sanatan Dharma Temple, 15311 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, CA Time: 7am Contact: 714-759-2511
Sat May 21
Sat May 21 • Mruthyunjaya Chanting@HTGC
Venue: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Road, Lemont, Illinois Time: 9am to 9pm Contact: 630-972-0300
Sun May 22 • Hasya Vyangya Kavi Sammelan Venue: Franklin High School, 500 Elizabeth Ave, Somerset, New Jersey Time: 2pm Contact: 856-625-4335
Wed May 18 • The Diner And The Dinner Venue: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, California Time: 7pm Contact: 408-934-1130
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Sat May 21 • Jk Yog Presents science of God-Realization Venue: Ma Durga Temple, 2007 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, California Time: 6pm to 7:30pm Contact: 626-351-5253
• RK Video & FFTL Productions Presents Wedding Album
Sat May 28
Fri May 27
• Gujarati Matrimony for Tri State
• Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Satsang
Sat May 28
Venue: Hindu Auditorum, 143-09 Holly Ave, Flushing, New York Time: 8pm Contact: 800-851-8514
Venue: Quality Inn or crown plaza, Morrestown, New Jersey Time: 10am Contact: 215-699-6501
Venue: Sons of Italy, 155 Clay Street, Weed, CA Time: 6pm to 9pm Contact: 512-750-0045
• Hema Wellness Program
Sat Oct 8 • Rhythm For Relief Venue: Haven NYC, 244 East 51st St, NY Time: 6pm Contact: 347-307-1378
Fri May 27 • Milwaukee Mega Concert with RDB & Nindy Kaur Venue: Sharon Lynne Wilson center for Arts, (Inside Mitchell Park), 19805 W. Capitol Dr, Brookfield, Wisconsin Time: 8pm Contact: 414-578-7584
Sat May 21
Upcoming Mon May 23 • Washington Performing Arts Socity Presents Ravi Shankar live in Concert Venue: Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 1818 N St, Washington Time: 8pm Contact: 202-785-9727
• BlacKMahal & Guests
Sat May 28
Venue: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, 760 Howard Street, San Francisco, California Time: 1pm to 2:30pm Contact: 415-543-1718
• Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Live in Los Angeles
Sun May 29 • Second Annual Punjabi American Miss & Mr. Punjabi American Talent Contest
Venue: National Mall (in front of Air & Space Museum), Washington, DC Time: 10:30am to 9pm Contact: 301-299-2100
Venue: Yuba Sutter Fairgrounds, Yuba City, CA Time: 9:30am Contact: 707-290-5700 Highlights: This is a talent contest and to promote understanding of Punjabi American Heritage. It is not a beauty contest. Winner will get $500 scholarship and runners-up $250 in both male and female category. The scholarships will be provided by PAHS.
Sun May 29
Fri June 3
• Baltimore Rathyatra, Festival of India
• San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
Venue: Baltimore Inner Harbor, Pratt Street and Light Street, Baltimore, Maryland, WDC Time: 12:15pm to 17pm Contact: 443-762-2524
Venue: Zellerbach Hall, 4800, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, California Contact: 415-474-3914
Mon July 4 • Rathyatra, Festival of India
Fri June 24 • Art of living course Venue: Art of Living Ashburn center,Virginia, 43618,Millay Court, Ashburn, Virginia Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: 703-723-8181
Venue: Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda Center, 7466 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles Contact: 866-436-5621
Fri June 10 • Warrior Formal Venue: CSU Stanislaus Main Dining Hall, One University Circle, Turlock, California Time: 6:30pm Contact: 209-535-3468
Venue: Terrace Theater, 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, California Time: 7pm Contact: 510-610-0750
Sun June 5 • SALDEF's 15th Anniversary Celebration Venue: Diamond Bar Center, 1600 Grand Avenue, Diamond Bar, CA Time: 5:30pm to 8:30pm Contact: 714-504-5264 & 818-416-2952
Sun July 17 • Indian Cruise to Mexico from Long Beach Venue: Carnival Splendor, 231 Windsor Way, Long Beach, California Time: 4:30pm Contact: 858-925-7806
Mon Aug 1 • Yogalicious! Venue: Art of Living Center Los Angeles, 948 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, California Time: 6:30pm to 9pm Contact: 310-820-9429
Court questions Sahara about fund raising
ounsel for the Sahara group of companies came in for some uncomfortable queries from the Supreme Court on its appeal against the bar on its recent fundraising schemes. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had first barred two group entitites and their promoters from raising money. The Allahabad high court had, last month, declined to interfere with the order, also rapping the Sahara group in the process. The SC asked Sahara India Real Estate Corporation to produce before it the proforma in which investors were asked to apply for debentures. A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia also asked the corporation to produce the list of its agents employed to raise money. The court said it was not clear about the concept of the Optionally Fully Convertible Debenture through which the firm said it was raising the money. It asked Soli Sorabjee, counsel for the Sahara group, to explain it, but he was unable to. "If you don't understand it, how can rural people understand it?" asked the court.
Godrej properties posts net profit of Rs 59cr
eading real estate developer, Godrej Properties Limited (GPL), posted a net profit of Rs59 crore, a marginal increase of 3%, in the quarter ended March 31 on the back of new bookings and new projects. The overall sales of the company grew to Rs334 crore, in fourth quarter (January-March), up 9%, from Rs306 crore in the year-ago period. The consolidated net profit stood at Rs130 crore in FY 11, up 6%, as against Rs122crore in the previous fiscal.
BCIL coming up with two residential projects
CIL is coming up with two residential projects - Zed Woods and Zed Earth - on the Yelahanka-Doddaballapur Road in Bangalore, which promise a harmonious blend of green living and urban comforts. The company is investing Rs 108 crore - Rs 90 crore for Zed Earth and Rs 18 crore for Zed Woods. The Zed Earth villas come with a price tag of Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 4 crore, while Zed Woods the price tag is Rs 25 lakh to Rs 80 lakh.
May 20, 2011
PE Analytics to launch real estate price index
ew Delhi-based research firm PE Analytics has drawn up plans to launch a real estate price index in partnership with a leading commodity exchange. P E Analytics owns and operates PropEquity, an online subscription-based real estate data and analytics portal covering over 27,000 projects of 5,100 developers across 40 cities in India. The data and analytics enable clients to spot market trends and maximise risk-adjusted returns.
NJ launches foreclosure prevention initiative India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: The Christie Administration IN New Jersey announced May 9, the launch of the New Jersey HomeKeeper Program, a foreclosure prevention initiative that will assist New Jersey homeowners who have a track record of making their mortgage payments on time but are now at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure as a direct result of unemployment or underemployment. "The New Jersey HomeKeeper Program is here to assist homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments because they lost a job or have seen their paychecks reduced," said New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lori Grifa. "We understand that New Jersey families like households around the coun-
try - continue to face difficult economic realities, and we want to help them keep their homes as they look for work." The HomeKeeper Program provides 0 percent interest rate, deferred payment mortgage loans to unemployed and underemployed homeowners who,
approved job training program. Qualified homeowners may be eligible for up to $48,000 in assistance for up to 24 months. The assistance loan is repayable should the homeowner sell, refinance, transfer or cease to occupy the property within 10 years from the date of the HomeKeeper
‘For the homeowners who qualify, the HomeKeeper Program will allow them to focus on becoming reemployed at a level that they can resume making payments on their own’ through no fault of their own, are financially unable to make their mortgage payments and are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The program allows time for the homeowner to seek reemployment or to complete an
loan and there is sufficient equity to repay the loan. The HomeKeeper Program is administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), a DCA affiliate, with funding from the U.S. Trea-
sury Department's Hardest Hit Fund, a federal initiative that provided funds to 18 states and the District of Columbia hardest hit by the economic downturn. "For the homeowners who qualify, the HomeKeeper Program will allow them to focus on becoming reemployed at a level that they can resume making payments on their own," said HMFA Executive Director Anthony Marchetta. The HMFA was created by the New Jersey State Legislature in 1983 to advocate for the production and financing of homeownership and rental housing that is affordable to lower income residents of the State of New Jersey. As part of its mission, the HMFA provides a variety of fixed interest rate mortgages and down payment and closing cost assistance programs to assist homebuyers and homeowners.
Growth will benefit Indian real estate
espite the continuing turbulence and uncer tainty in other parts of the globe, two economies - India and China - will continue to grow at an annual rate of 8-10%. In fact, by 2020 India will become the 3rd largest economy after China and the US. What will give India's economy such an edge over the next decade? Actually, it enjoys many advantages that encompass an ever-increasing per capita income and a concurrent domestic consumption pace, which nevertheless leave in their wake a substantial rate of annual savings. Moreover, India's infrastructure investments will have increased massively by 2020, significantly enhancing its attractiveness for investment. The implications of such growth potential on the Indian real estate industry are fairly obvious. There is, beyond any doubt, a staggering opportunity
in the Indian property sector over the next decade. The writing is on the wall even now - consider the fact that the value of investmentgrade real estate under construction in the country crossed $100 billion at the end of June, 2010. Only China can compare with India on this count.
ware and electronics will increase from the existing $45 billion to $400 billion. In fact, domestic banks will have to scale up their asset sizes five times over next 5 years in order to cope with this increasing demand. This trend will reflect very visibly on the Indian office real es-
The Indian retail market will once more emerge as a major force driving Indian real estate. This market, which is now valued at $500 billion, will rise to a value of $900 billion by 2020 Another chapter in India's rapidly developing success story is the IT sector, which has been a major driver of the country's economic growth over the past few years. By 2020, the current size of the IT / ITeS market in India will have grown from the current $67 billion to $225 billion. Simultaneously, the markets for hard-
tate market, which is already on an encouraging upswing. Demand for commercial properties in India has already doubled from a low of 20 million square feet to 40 million in 2011, and is going to increase to 45 million square feet by 2012. 2011 is, by any yardstick, the best year ever for India in terms of commercial space, and the trends that
are now driving it will multiply exponentially by 2020. At the same time, the Indian retail market will once more emerge as a major force driving Indian real estate. This market, which is now valued at $500 billion, will rise to a value of $900 billion by 2020. Organised retail, which currently accounts for only 5% of the total market, is increasing by 15% every year. It will move from its current value of $25 billion to $250 billion by 2020. This rate of growth is going to translate into massive additional requirements for retail space over the coming years. Demand for retail real estate rose from 4 million square feet in 2010 to 11 million square feet in 2011. If we factor in the spiraling aspirations of Indian shoppers, the constant development of new residential catchments, townships and satellite cities, the real estate demand from Indian retail by 2020 can well be imagined.
May 20, 2011
India Post 45
Difficult to afford commercial Govt may end onesided contracts property in Mumbai
he pricing of land in the city has always been beyond the means of the man on the street. But a recent report by a real estate research firm shows that even big corporate entities are finding it increasingly difficult to rent or buy space in the financial capital. According to Knight Frank, the sale and lease size in the last quarter of 2009-2010 was 2.81 million sq ft, which dropped to 0.88 million sq ft in the same quarter of 2010-11. And the worst thing, the report says, is that CBD Belapur and Nariman Point, the business hubs in the metropolitan, saw nearly no deals. Instead, western suburbs, especially the AndheriJogeshwari- Goregaon belt, fared better. Of the total commercial deals in the last quarter, 63 per cent were struck in the western suburbs, whereas BKC saw a mere six per cent of the total share. The central Mumbai belt, mostly Lower Parel and surrounding areas, retained 22 per cent of the share. Property experts believe that lack of parking space and cheaper property rates are driving MNCs
and other corporate groups to the suburbs. But the realty there doesn't sell for a song either. As such, many firms are putting off investing in office space, at least for the time being. Ravi Bhinder, director, Prime Commercial Prop-
The reason why Andheri and the western suburban belt did well is because the owners did not hesitate to reduce the prices erty, agrees that deals are rarely getting sealed because of the rates. "Owners who are ready to bargain and slash the rates are able to strike a deal. But those unwilling to budge from their demand may be in for a long wait until they make their next sale," he said. There is also talk of corporates wanting to wait because of rumours
regarding lowering of real estate rates in coming months, which is likely to bring in more stock. The average price at which commercial spaces are selling in the first quarter of this fiscal is Rs. 12,696 per sq ft. Last year, it was Rs. 14,002 per sq ft. Incidentally, of the total deals struck in the current quarter, 42 per cent are owed to the IT sector, 11 per cent to manufacturing, and 6 per cent to banks and financial institutions. Other sectors make up the rest of it. "Only those builders who reduce prices will survive. The reason why Andheri and the western suburban belt did well is because the owners did not hesitate to reduce the prices," said Bhinder. Ajay Chaturvedi, a real estate expert, gives other reasons for a dip in the sale and leasing out of property. "The actual area and the area the seller charges for vary by a huge margin. Other than that, different taxes have been imposed on commercial property - there is VAT, and the property tax, which has been doubled. This has affected deals," he said.
Wave to launch township project in Ghaziabad
ave Inc, the erstwhile Chadha Group, has an nounced the launch of its mega self sustainable integrated township christened Wave City in Ghaziabad. Spread across 4,500 acres, this township is situated on NH 24, Ghaziabad, one of the most happening real estate destinations in Delhi-NCR. "We are happy to announce a township that will potentially change the dynamics of real estate in Delhi NCR. We assure people that we will deliver the dream homes within the promised time period. It is an opportunity for the people to get attached with the development that will give them lifestyle of the highest order. We have proved our excellence and set benchmarks in the past with Wave Cinemas - that changed the way people enjoy movies; and malls that brought world-class shopping experience to Indian households. In residential too we want to maintain this image of providing lifestyle that people haven't experienced before," says Manpreet Singh Chadha, director, Wave Inc. Equipped with all the modern infrastructure and lifestyle facilities, the first phase will involve developing 1,671 acres of the
project. The first phase is envisaged to be completed in 30 months and each phase of development will be done in blocks of 30 months each. The entire city will span across an area of 4,500 acres and is envisaged to be completed in 60 months. "NH 24 is witnessing a huge real estate movement and the areas near
In the first phase, the company will develop 1,671 acres of land consisting of approx 7,500 plots which would house plotted development it have evolved over the years. Our township is the largest development on this stretch and will rewrite the rules of great projects. â€œThis integrated city aimed at addressing the housing demand in the middle income segment and will offer all the infrastructure facilities and lifestyle amenities that a person aspires to see in his neighborhood," says RK Jain, executive director, Wave City.
In the first phase, the company will develop 1,671 acres of land consisting of approx 7,500 plots which would house plotted development, row - housing, built-up floors, bunglows. In addition to this, the first phase will have approx. 1.7 crore sq ft of group housing schemes consisting of built-up flats starting from 900 sq ft area to 3,000 sq ft area.. The overall development in this phase will also have commercial complexes, hospitals, dispensary, schools and IT/ITeS spaces, industrial spaces (non-polluting) and dedicated green areas. The entire city will be environment friendly. Some of the USP facilities to be provided at Wave City are proposed mechanised cleaning and sweeping, closed loop city Mass Rapid Transport system, approx. 2 acre park for a population of every 400 people and a lake spanning 3 acres (The Central city park for the first phase of the project will be of 51 acres.), and minimum 12 metre wide road network and in certain areas with 18 metre, 24 metre, 45 metre and 60 metres depending upon the built-up area and population concentration throughout - the widest road network within the city limits anywhere in India.
oon, your telecom operator, bank or real estate devel oper may not be able to get away with one-sided contracts. The government is set to revamp the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to provide for acting against unfair terms in contracts which are skewed heavily in favour of service providers or manufacturers. Government officials said discussions are on to bring in transparent rules on unfair contracts. Under the present laws, the contracts are unilateral and there is no protection against unfair contracts. The planned changes are likely to be introduced in Parliament soon. "Work is underway on the issue and we hope to bring the changes for debate soon," a senior government official said. Often, service providers want consumers to sign on the dotted line
which should be avoided. In recent years, the consumer movement has gathered pace in the country and consumer courts have seen a steady increase in the number of cases. Government officials said there was a need to further strengthen consumer protection laws in the country in order to keep pace with the changing economic scenario and the need to educate and protect consumers against unfair trade practices and contracts. According to the Law Commission report, it has become necessary to provide additional provisions in India for redressal against unfair terms of contracts, apart from the existing provisions contained in the Indian Contract Act and Specific Relief Act. It had said that business and commerce in the country will be put to serious disadvantage if a
Under the present laws, the contracts are unilateral and there is no protection against unfair contracts. The planned changes are likely to be introduced in Parliament soon even if the terms and conditions are stiff and give little leeway to consumers. Nearly five years ago, the Law Commission had said that in view of the need to protect consumers and particularly to grant protection from the disadvantages of extensive introduction of standard terms of contracts which are one-sided, it has become necessary to evolve general principles regulating unfairness in contracts. It had cited new laws in developed countries and said these legislations on unfairness contained several important provisions intended to protect the weaker party against the stronger. The Law Commission had characterized unfair terms in contracts into three categories - procedurally unfair, substantively unfair and voidable,
new law regulating unfair terms of contract is not in place. The panel had rejected the argument that such a law will affect foreign investment in the country and had cited such laws already in place in countries such as the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Legal experts say such a law will help consumers in some of the unregulated or under-regulated sectors of the economy such as real estate and airlines. As the economy evolves, there are sectors where monopolies might exist and contracts may be loaded against the consumers. The law is expected to help consumers where unfair contracts are thrust upon parties due to unequal bargaining power and they can seek redressal in civil courts, experts say.
May 20, 2011
Education diplomacy, a modern tool of development KISHAN S RANA
ducation diplomacy is of great value as a method of building relations between states. Countries should have a focused program to attract foreign students, and to guide their own students to go overseas. Several interwoven strands need be examined, if we search for a full response. Education is a great connector between countries and peoples; a 'returned' student almost invariably retains powerful impressions of the foreign country where s/he studied. For the receiving country, this becomes a source of earnings, and a vehicle for future connectivity. Thus the gains are economic, political and even cultural. This is public diplomacy at its best. Let us look at the broad picture of how education diplomacy works, with some real world examples. First, the human connections: those that have studied abroad go back with warm feelings for the countries that received them, acting as their unofficial envoys. Often, such a person becomes an advocate of strong connections with that country. In the technical disciplines, this often results in a preference for the products and technologies of that country. Even if the foreign students were not well received, encountering racial prejudice or stereotyping, the majority tend to remember the good times. Through associations of returned students and friendship societies it is possible to use them as anchor points for sustained understanding between the countries concerned. During my time in Kenya (1984-86), Agriculture Minister Omamo, a product of the Punjab Agricultural University, chaired the 'Kenya-India Friendship Association', and regularly visited the High Commission to preside over its meetings; he was a valuable contact. Second, the numbers can be im-
pressive: in 2010 the number of Indian students in the US was 105,000, or 15% of the total number of foreign students, second only to 128,000 Chinese. The US earning from them was put at $15.5 billion in 2009, but it is not clear if this counted only the direct gain in terms of academic fees and the like, or if it included all the secondary earnings in terms of their stay in the country. In the reverse direction, the number of American students in India was just 2690, making India the 21st destination in comparative terms. Third, some destination countries have done especially well: the US, UK and Canada draw huge numbers, to earn money, and to use this as a diplomatic tool. Australia with some 300,000 foreign students, has come from nowhere, if we consider the situation even 10 or 15 years back, and China has made strides too, with over 250,000 foreign students. In fact the Chinese model should be of special interest to us, because its education opportunities are not tied with prospect of migration, which is a major draw in the other cases. What are the deeper elements involved in education overseas? • Fee levels and differentials: in countries where university fees are low -- as in India and on continental Europe, including France and Germany -- home universities have little incentive to chase after foreign students. In contrast, Australia is a land of public universities, but they charge high fees for foreigners. A BA in humanities costs around A$6000 in annual fees for a local, but about A$16,000 for a foreign student. An MA in humanities costs A$18,000 and A$24,000 respectively. Contrast this with Germany where typically fees are about Euros 1000 per semester, at identical rates for locals and foreigners. Of course, one has to add to this the cost of living,
usually much higher than at home, which adds to overall costs. • Migration prospect: this is the powerful draw in the case of the US, Australia and Canada (UK has now largely closed the door for students to stay on). Since this migration not a factor in the case of China, those numbers are all the more impressive. China has around 9000 Indians studying medicine, in new institutions run with sizable Indian faculty; this is a demonstration of entrepre-
One segment of education exchanges growing in India and elsewhere, takes the shape of short overseas visits by students in technical, scientific and business courses, either in the summer, or for a single semester. At present more Indians go abroad on such exchanges than what we receive in India, but in both directions numbers are growing neurship. One hears that an agreement on degree equivalence is under negotiation; without that, the first of the graduates who return in a year or so will have a tough time. • Language and other elements: this is a real barrier in much of Europe, even though Germany has now a fair number of courses that are taught in English. The UK does extremely well with its 1-year MA, which violates the provisions of the
'Bologna Process', a gentleman's agreement among European countries on standardization; UK makes tons of money out of what is virtually the world's only high quality 1year MA across most disciplines though it involves 12 months of continuous slogging. • Sense of security: this is an understated, but real, element in parts of Europe, because hostility to foreigners emerges from time to time. One consequence: despite years of German promotional effort, the total number of Indian students is barely 5000. But they do have several tens of thousands of Chinese, South Koreans and Malaysians. Despite these attributes, education diplomacy often gets less attention than it merits. That is certainly the case with India; the country has a long tradition of receiving students from Africa and elsewhere, but today we do not even know with any accuracy the number of foreign students in India. One figure offered is 25,000, but this is surely a serious under-count. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has a mandate from its founding days that covers foreign students, but its annual report is silent on numbers. Some factors: • With no fee differential in Indian public universities, they have no incentive to accommodate foreign students in larger numbers. Of course, a huge unmet demand for seats from Indian students also acts as a barrier. • Indian elite institutions, including IIMs and IITs should surely move to a fee differential for foreign students, and provide more seats for them, even while they undertake overall expansion. • Plans to allow foreign universities to open shop, even as minority partners hang in the balance, with a bill covering this still under examination in parliament. Authoritarian
China has fewer inhibitions about this, and this too should be factored into our plans. One segment of education exchanges growing in India and elsewhere, takes the shape of short overseas visits by students in technical, scientific and business courses, either in the summer, or for a single semester. At present more Indians go abroad on such exchanges than what we receive in India, but in both directions numbers are growing. One outstanding new example is the 'Khorana Program for Scholars', named after the Indo-American Nobel laureate and run out of the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the 15 Indian undergraduate scholars it annually receives since 2008 is to be stepped up to 100, and American undergraduates are also to go to India. Germany has a similar program with IIT, Delhi, and business schools often work out their own direct arrangements. Typically, such programs depend on support from the concerned governments, but they also draw in other agencies in public-private partnerships. The current HRD minister, Kapil Sibal, is a strong advocate of improving and opening up university education, but one wonders if the wider political and public diplomacy gains through encouraging more foreign students to come to India is taken into account. What is needed is a carefully drawn, holistic policy on two-way exchanges. With the Ministry of External Affairs silent and inactive on this issue, we have no advocate to argue the case for using higher education as a device for building relations with foreign countries. Thus much of the larger potential for India's 'education diplomacy' withers on the vine. The writer is a former Indian ambassador, teacher and author
Death of an enemy of human civilization KANWAL PRAKASH SINGH
uch has been said, written, and analyzed about the death of Osama bin Laden in the world media. Shakespeare reminded us a few centuries earlier that the evil that men do lives long after they are gone. The horrific anguish, pain and suffering caused on many continents and to many communities by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda followers is likely to be with us long past his death. His death was a righteous act and an unbelievably courageous execution of a very dangerous mission by the U.S. Navy Seals that made it possible to end the reign
of terror of Osama bin Laden, the leader of this gang of mad zealots who often targeted innocents in his campaign to spread global mayhem. The al-Queda ideology and campaign, driven primarily by their hatred of those who do not conform to their ways and evil designs, has been a growing menace and threat to human civilization. Even with the death of Osama bin Laden, our fight against terrorism will not be over any time soon until the nations in their ignorance or hatred for the power and influence of the West stop providing safe sanctuary or sympathetic and logistical support to this "army" of murderers. In the name of Islam they
have already killed thousands around the world and caused untold suffering and disruption at many levels to the world order and particularly to millions of Muslims by unfortunate association. Sikh Americans and Sikhs around the world, with their own great tradition and history of uprooting evil and standing up and delivering justice, are especially grateful to the American resolve to end this tyranny and hunt down Osama bin Laden and the alQueda leaders. Innocent Sikhs have been killed and harassed since 9/11because their faith-mandated Sikh turbans were often associated with the turban that the
al-Qaeda leader, his followers, and many Taliban in Afghanistan wear. Sikhs are not Arabs, certainly not al-Qaeda, Taliban, or Muslims. Yet, this iconic image of bin Ladin unfairly confused many about Sikhs with this gang of terrorists. The world proudly acknowledges, with deep gratitude, the legendary bravery and successful operation of the U.S. Navy Seals to strike at the heart and soul of this mastermind of terror against America and the world. Unchecked, this evil will continue to spread and spare no one; it will continue to end many more dreams and terrorize humanity. Sincere and urgent cooperation is needed
from those knowingly or unknowingly are harboring, sympathizing, or supporting this evilmenace to mankind. Nations of the world that are still on the sidelines need to unite with those who are already leading the fight against terrorism and help end this long nightmare so that the world may once again focus on the well-being of all nations, cultures, and communities. We join all Americans with our prayers for the families of the 9/ 11 victims and with the young men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces who are making incredible sacrifices for the peace and freedom of our world.
May 20, 2011
India Post 47
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May 20, 2011
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uddha tried for six years continuously to know what the divine is, and it cannot be said that he left anything undone. He did everything that is humanly possible, even some things which seem humanly impossible. Whatever was known up to his day he practiced. Whatever methods were taught to him, he became a master of them. He went to all the gurus that existed in his time. And whatever they could teach, he learned, he practiced. And then he said, "Anything more, Sir?" And the guru said, "Now you can go, because all that I could give you I have given, and I cannot say, as I say in other cases, that you have not practiced. You have practiced. This is all that I can give." Buddha said, "I have not known the divine yet." With each guru this happened. Then he left all the gurus. Then he invented his own methods. Continuously, for six years, he was in a struggle of life and death. He did everything that could be done. Then, at last, he was so tired of doing, so deadly tired, that one day when he was taking his evening bath in the Niranjana River near Bodhgaya, he felt so weak and so tired that he could ADI SHANKARACHARYA
hree things are hard to achieve, and are attained only by the grace of God human nature, the desire for liberation, and finding refuge with a great sage. He is a suicide who has somehow achieved human birth and even manhood and full knowledge of the scriptures but does not strive for self-liberation, for he destroys himself by clinging to the unreal. Who could be more foolish than the man who has achieved the difficult attainment of a human body and even manhood but still neglects his true good? People may quote the scriptures, make sacrifices to the gods, perform actions and pay homage to the deities, but there is no liberation without recognizing the oneness of one's own true being not even in the lifetime of a hundred Brahmas (countless millions of years). Scripture declares that there is no hope of immortality by means of wealth, so it is evident that liberation cannot be brought about by actions. So let the man of understanding strive for liberation, abandoning desire for the enjoyment of external aims and pleasures, and after becoming the pupil of a good and great teacher, let him fix his
not come out of the river. He just clung to a root of a tree and a thought came to his mind, "I have become so weak, I cannot even cross this small river. How will I be alive to cross the whole ocean of the world? I have done everything, and I have not found the divine. I have only tired my body." He felt that he was on the verge of death. At that very moment he felt that he had done everything, and now there was nothing to do. He relaxed, and new energy came
with some sweets. Buddha is there - tired, pale, bloodless, but relaxed, absolutely unburdened and it is a full moon night with nobody around. The girl, Sujata, felt that the deity of the tree had come to receive her homage. He took the food, and he slept. This was the first night after six years that he really slept. He was relaxed with nothing to do. Then there was no worry. There was no tomorrow even, be-
The mind is just a faculty for doing something, a technical faculty. No mind, nothing to do, no effort on his part, indifferent to whether he was alive or dead, he just opened his eyes, and he began to dance. He had come to that knowing to which he could not come through so many efforts. Whenever someone would ask him how he achieved, he would say, "I cannot say I achieved. I can only say I tried so much that I was annihilated. I tried so much
I tried so much that I was annihilated: Buddha Buddha
He felt that he was on the verge of death. At that very moment he felt that he had done everything, and now there was nothing to do. He relaxed, and new energy came upon him because of his relaxation
upon him because of his relaxation. All that was suppressed through those six years flowered. He came out of the river, he felt just like a feather, a bird's feather - weightless. He relaxed under a Bodhi tree. It was a bright full moon night. Someone came - a girl, a shudra girl named Sujata. She had promised the Bodhi tree to pay it some homage daily, so she has come
cause tomorrow exists only because one has to do something. If one has not to do anything, then there is no tomorrow. Then the moment is enough. Buddha slept, and in the morning, when the last star was withering away, he was out of the sleep. He saw the last star disappearing, with no mind, because when you have nothing to do there is no mind.
that any effort became absurd. And the moment came when I was not trying, when the mind was not. Then something happened, and I cannot say that this something happened in that moment. I can only say that this was always happening, only I was not aware." The 2574th birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha falls on May 17
mind on the goal he indicates. Sunk in the sea of samsara, one should oneself rouse oneself by holding onto right understanding until one reaches the state of the attainment of union. Abandoning all actions and breaking free from the bonds of achievements, the wise and intelligent should apply themselves to self-knowledge. Action is for the purification of
Achievement of the goal depends primarily on a fit seeker. Things like locality and time are merely secondary in this matter. So he who would know his own nature should practice meditation on the subject after taking refuge with a guru who is a true knower of God and an ocean of compassion. It is the wise and learned man, skilled in sorting out the pros and cons of an argument who is
after that dispassion for the enjoyment of the fruits of action both here and hereafter, and then the group of six qualities including peace and of course the desire for liberation. "God is the Truth and the world is unreal." It is this realization that is considered discrimination between the permanent and the impermanent. Dispassion is the turning away from what can
Discrimination, and not actions lead to Realty Adi Shankaracharya
the mind, not for the understanding of reality. The recognition of reality is through discrimination, and not by even tens of millions of actions. Proper analysis leads to the realization of the reality of the rope, and this is the end of the pain of the fear of the great snake caused by delusion. The realization of the truth is seen to depend on meditation, on statements about what is good, not on bathing or donations or by hundreds of yogic breathing exercises.
The realization of the truth is seen to depend on meditation, on statements about what is good, not on bathing or donations or by hundreds of yogic breathing exercises really endowed with the qualities necessary for self-realization. Discriminating and dispassionate, endowed with peace and similar qualities, and longing for liberation - such is the man who is considered fit to practice seeking for God. The wise talk here of four qualities, possessed of which one will succeed, but without which one will fail. First is listed discrimination between unchanging and changing realities and
be seen and heard and so on in everything which is impermanent, from the body up to the highest heavenly states. The settling of the mind in its goal, by turning away from the mass of objects through observing their defects again and again, is known as peace. Excerpted from Vivek Chudamani The 2799th birth anniversary of Adi Shankaracharya was celebrated on May 8
A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and becomes swallowed up by the world of illusion. -Sai Baba Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy. -Aristotle A vow is a purely religious act which cannot be taken in a fit of passion. It can be taken only with a mind purified and composed and with God as witness. -Mohandas Gandhi If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. -Ramakrishna The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own happiness, the happiness of others. -Paramahansa Yogananda
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May 20, 2011
Operation Geronimo: A game changer for Pak military? ARUN SAHGAL
he killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, 55km north of the capital of Pakistan has once again brought forth in stark terms the duplicity of the Pakistani establishment in negatively influencing the War on Terror. The fact that Osama bin Laden was living in a safe house right under the nose of the Pakistani military establishment rather than the rugged hills of FATA is particularly disconcerting. The larger issue is not so much the Pakistani tendency to simultaneously run with American hounds and hunt with the Taliban and al Qaeda but the motivation that is prompting this duplicity. It will be too obvious to state that Pakistan see these as strategic assets that will help shape the post-withdrawal political discourse. What, then, are the other motivations? Pakistan today is on a gradual implosion course, with civil society and state institutions yielding political space to religious extremist forces who are fast gaining traction by aiming at both hard and soft targets. Adding to the above scenario is a poor economic situation with dwindling GDP, falling industrial production and little or no foreign direct investment. Soaring inflation, lack of essential commodities, high energy prices and 14 to 16 hours of power cuts is complicating the situation further, and making life for the average Pakistani very difficult. Given the prevailing circumstances, it is only the military that is able to maintain a semblance of order by prodding the political establishment to be both more effective and responsive. However, towards this end, the military is also forced to make deals with religious extremist elements to ensure that the Frankenstein they created does not turn on them. All of these measures are to protect the base of their power, the Punjabi heartland. This can be seen by the support the ISI is providing to Punjabi-dominated groups like the LeT, JeM, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, seen as frontline soldiers against India. The military also continues to fight the Tehriq -e-Taliban Pakistan, against whom the Pakistani army has launched nearly 8 divisions in FATA and SWAT. Despite continuous operations using air and artillery, and large casualties to the tune of nearly 5000; the Pakistani military
has failed to fully establish control over SWAT, let alone FATA. Despite prodding by the Americans, the military is reluctant to undertake operations in North Waziristan, where its assets like Haqqani brothers and other supporting Afghan Taliban groups operate. The game of the Pakistani military is to ensure that while they deal ruthlessly with the TTP, they encourage the Afghan Taliban's nationalist aspirations within the territory of Afghanistan, precluding any notions of 'Pakhtunistan' over both sides of Durand line. This to a large extent defines Pakistani policy of balancing Americans and religious radicals. It is
dent Karzai during his off the record visit to New Delhi in April 2011. That Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought to cancel his visit to Afghanistan following these consultations is significant. In the second track between the Taliban and President Karzai, it appears that that post the Lisbon conference, Karzai, at the initiative of NATO and with a general endorsement from the US, opened negotiations for discussing broad modalities for reconciliation. However, the process has lately come to a halt owing to US and NATO forces not defining their exit plans. The second element of the puzzle is the forthcoming spring
The compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
under this policy construct that Pakistan continues its duplicity. The question is to be asked is whether this behavior will change with the death of Osama, in which regard, two issues must be addressed. First, there is a twin-track negotiation process on with the Taliban. One is between President Hamid Karzai and the Pakistani military leadership who are attempting to midwife reconciliation, and the other, between President Karzai and the Taliban, supported by NATO and endorsed by the Americans. Emerging signs indicate that a broad understanding has been reached between Pakistan and Afghanistan (High Council of Peace) mediated by Turkey, which supports the reconciliation and reintegration of Taliban for eventual peace and stability. As part of this understanding, Karzai has even agreed to the Taliban opening a representative office in Turkey or any other neutral location. Having been left out of these developments, an obviously concerned New Delhi reportedly sought clarifications from Presi-
offensive and the US response. A series of incidents suggest an upping of the ante by the resurgent Taliban. These have in fact belied the coalition's claims that the policy of degrade, destroy and defeat following the US surge is progressing steadily. Given the above perspective, what options does the US have post-Osama? In the short-term, it needs the support of Pakistan, both for logistics and intelligence. Strong words notwithstanding, there is every likelihood of a workable reconciliation, including economic and counter-terrorism assistance in a classic TINA factor. In so far as Afghanistan is concerned, in the short-run the US and coalition forces could up the ante against the Taliban as a show of their new found resolve. However this is unlikely to detract from the reconciliation and reintegration process that is now underway within the Taliban. Whatever the rhetoric, political and economic compulsions will force a policy of cold pragmatism upon the US, leading to as early an exit as feasible from Afghanistan. The writer is Consultant, IPCS
India Post Chinese axe
here is hardly any country in the world which has not welcomed the elimination of Osama bin-Laden, the symbol of Islamic terrorism. He has brought a bad name to Muslim societies even though most of them would prefer modernity and technology in order to build a better life for themselves and their families, without compromising on their basic religious beliefs. Even in Pakistan, a large section of the populace would like to live in peace without bothering about Afghanistan or India the desire to dominate over whom has led to a military led administration into queering the pitch of normalcy. In these circumstances, it is intriguing to find the Chinese government going out of its way to support the Pakistani government and military faรงade on the recent raid by the Americans in the "impregnable" cantonment of Abbotabad. It has even changed its original reaction of welcoming the killing of the terrorist mastermind and is now squarely blaming the Americans for violating the sovereignty of Pakistan. And as if by habit, or on cue from Pakistan, it has taken swipes at the Indian media calling its response as "over-reaction". In any developments in South Asia, China likes to take out its grouse against India which according to it, "boasts of being a fully open nation in terms of media coverage." The openness of Indian society irks China no end as it puts the spotlight on its own control on media, Internet and the society in general. It wants to hit back against the idea of India's openness by trying to expose the country's lack of security alertness and by strengthening its army's firepower on the borders. It would surprise China to read the Pakistani media which is crying for answers from the army about its complicity or incompetence in the case of Osama raid by the Americans. It has sought to defend the Pakistani role saying, "The intelligence co-operation and the information gleaning efforts from the Pakistani side did play a big role in the operation." Further boosting the Pakistani line, it calls it unfair to suggest that Osama's presence within its territory reflected Pakistan's complicity or incompetence. This reads almost like a bulletin from the Pakistani embassy in Beijing. That China has gone to such an extent to defend Pakistan and blame India shows up its struggle in the battle of ideas for the freedom of the individual. The continued massing of its troops, the construction of new roads and upgradation of infrastructure on the Tibet border shows how China wants to keep up pressure on India so as to defeat its idea of openness which is a subverting threat to its own society. The shelter that India has given to freedom-loving Tibetans under the Dalai Lama is something China is unable to forgive and forget. It thinks that by amassing troops it will frighten India into abandoning its policy of giving shelter to the persecuted. For a country which is now a big power challenging even the might of America, it is intriguing how the Tibetans enjoying a free life in India are a constant thorn in its side. Its policies against India are shaped by the Tibetan issue. Its forcible occupation of Tibet it tries to equate with India in Kashmir and repeatedly plays up the dispute over Arunachal Pradesh. The recent issuing of stapled visas for residents of Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are pin pricks that the Chinese keep inventing to discomfit India. They will certainly think up some more pernicious ways to hamper, unsettle and handicap India. And in this endeavor they can find no better partner than Pakistan.
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