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Chinese President Hu Jintao with SM Krishna

Ties with China priority of India: Krishna Details on page 7

Indian jewellery showcased at Las Vegas show

NEW YORK • WASHINGTON D.C. • CHICAGO • ATLANTA • CALIFORNIA

VOL 17, No. 926

June 15, 2012

50¢

Periodical Postage

INDIA UNEASY OVER U.S. PLAN ON CHINA

New bill seeks to reform highskilled visa policy Details on page 40

8 held in visa fraud; Indians given options Details on page 8

Details on page 7

Rajat was not authorised to reveal

Twenty Indians receive 'Light of India Awards

Details on page 9

Details on page 10

Mahindra faces lawsuit by dealers in US Details on page 8

CONTENTS

Punjabi Festival honors Fallen Soldiers

Bollywood ---------------------- 34-35 Classifieds ------------------------- 47 Community Post -------------- 10-17 Date Book -------------------------- 46

Details on page 16

Edit Page --------------------------- 49 HealthScience Post --------- 36-39

INDIA POST SURVEY

CHINA ON MIND: US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on June 5

Immigration Post ------------- 40-43

survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Should India support US Navy move on China? Last week’s result

India, China rivals in Myanmar? YES 63%

NO 37%

Horoscope ------------------------- 28

NEW DELHI: India has indicated its unease over the US move to shift bulk of its naval fleet to the Asia Pacific region to counter China by making it clear that it favors a multilateral security architecture in the area. During a delegation-level meeting with Defense Minister A K Antony, his US counterpart Leon Panetta also promised to initiate measures to provide access to dual use technology to India which has been contending that

American norms were leading to denial of export of such sophisticated items. "Antony emphasized the need to strengthen multilateral security architecture in the Asia-Pacific and to move at a pace comfortable to all countries concerned," Defense Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said about the meeting.

India ---------------------------------- 21

Details on page 5

Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-31

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Life Style ----------------------- 24-27 Perspective -------------------- 44-45 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 22-23 TechBiz Post ------------------- 18-20


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June 15, 2012

IndiaNewsweekly Post Mission Statement To empower the Indian Diaspora and make their voice strong and effective in countries of their adoption. RJ Media conglomerate offers a credible, professional and complete package of news, opinion, entertainment, networking and information.

Publisher’s Diary

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hat's not just unfair. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families. That's bad for kids, it's bad for communities, and it's bad for the entire country." That could well be a feminist flyer from the '60s, but it is not. What makes it ironic is that it is from a political flyer from the Obama Administration's 2012 election campaign that is trying to woo women voters by telling them that it is high time they demanded their right for equal pay. "It's been nearly 50 years since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, but today a woman who works full time still earns just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man," the Obama campaign says. So apparently the President is supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is designed to update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and help close the pay gap. Congress is scheduled to vote on the legislation this week. It is shameful that we should still be talking about pay parity for women that too as an election year gimmick, in 21st Century America. Of course this is not all that surprising considering in 2012 we are still allowing a bunch of lawmakers to debate on whether or not a woman should have the right to make reproductive choices. Funnily enough, these lawmakers remind me of the draconian Khap leaders in the northern states of India and to take it an extreme stretch further, they do seem like a shadow of the Taliban who think it a male privilege to pass edicts on the very existence of women. A handful of women in key political and corporate positions are not at all indicative of their equality to men. I do not know if it is a man-woman issue or simply an issue of vested politics, but looks like so long as there are politicians and elections, women's rights, abortion rights, gay rights, and minority rights will remain "issues" irrespective of what century we live in.

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Cover Story: India uneasy India has indicated its unease over the US move to shift bulk of its naval fleet to the Asia Pacific region to counter China.

Community: Indian achievers 20 global Indian achievers were honored with the 2nd annual The Light of India Awards, an initiative of Remit2India.

Immigration:

SAN DIEGO Neelu Bhardwaj Bureau Chief SACRAMENTO Madan Sharma Bureau Chief Janak Sidhra Correspondent Upen Shukla Correspondent

CAROLINAS Nalini Raja Patel Correspondent

Bollywood:

Romesh K Japra rkjapra@indiapost.com

BOSTON Gope Gidwani Bureau Chief

YUBA CITY (CA) Satnam Tatla Correspondent

HIGHLIGHTS

Startup bill A group of US lawmakers have introduced a bill that aims to create and keep jobs in America and increase access to talent.

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Life Style: Chicago kitemaker A poetic journey to Ahmedabad, Patang weaves together stories of six people transformed by India’s largest kite festival.

Techbiz: Pinnacle Award Norman Mineta and Dinesh C. Paliwal will be among Outstanding 50 Asian Americans to receive the "Pinnacle Award".

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Travel: Kasauli Kasauli, a beautiful hill station located just 77kms from Shimla, has an old-world charm of the British era.

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June 15, 2012

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India uneasy at US plan on China NEW DELHI: India has indicated its unease over the US move to shift bulk of its naval fleet to the Asia Pacific region to counter China by making it clear that it favors a multilateral security architecture in the area. During a delegation-level meeting with Defense Minister A K Antony, his US counterpart Leon Panetta also promised to initiate measures to provide access to dual use technology to India which has been contending that American norms were leading to denial of export of such sophisticated items. "Antony emphasized the need to strengthen multilateral security architecture in the Asia-Pacific and to move at a pace comfortable to all countries concerned," Defense Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said about the meeting. The stand has been taken by India in the light of US plans to shift majority of its aircraft carrier fleet to the Asia Pacific and its announcement that New Delhi was key to its plans of rebalancing power in the region. Commenting on New Delhi's role in its strategy, Panetta while

addressing a gathering at the IDSA, said, "Defense cooperation with India is a lynchpin in this strategy. India is one of the largest and most dynamic countries in the region and the world, with one of the most capable militar-

for all. "India supports unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters for all," he said. Beijing claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea area and has disputes with countries

US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta meeting Defense Minister A. K. Antony in New Delhi on June 6

ies." On the issues related to dispute over the South China Sea involving countries in Asia Pacific, Antony told Panetta that India favored unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters

such as Philippines and Vietnam over the issue. US to provide technology access to India Dual use technology Panetta promised to initiate measures to provide access to dual use technology to India

Drone attacks in Pak to continue: Leon Panetta NEW DELHI: Ignoring Pakistan's protests, the US has said the drone attacks against alQaeda will continue in that country with which it has "often frustrating" and "desperate" relation-

during an interaction at the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) here. His assertion came a day after Pakistan summoned the US envoy in Islamabad and lodged a protest

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivers a speech on Indo-US Defense Relations at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi on June 6

ship. "We have made it very clear to Pakistani leaders that we will continue to defend ourselves," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said

which has been contending that American norms were leading to denial of export of such sophisticated items. This assurance was given during hour-long discussions during which the two defense ministers

over continued drone strikes, terming these as "unlawful" and violative of the country's sovereignty. Pakistan lodged the protest

soon after a drone attack killed alQaeda's second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi along with 15 other militants in its northwestern tribal region. Admitting that the US' relationship with Pakistan were "complicated", he said it was "often times frustrating, often times desperate, often times difficult." But, at the same time, he said, "It is a necessary relationship." In a strong defense of the drone strikes, Panetta said it was a matter of guarding the sovereignty of the US as much as it was about protecting Pakistan. He noted that more than 3,000 American nationals were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York and the leadership of these attackers was holed up in Pakistan's tribal regions. Panetta said Pakistan faced the same kinds of threat as the US from the al-Qaeda leaders holed up in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). The strikes were not just about protecting the US but were protecting Pakistan as well since people in that country were also targets of the insurgents, he said. -PTI

reviewed the security situation in South Asia and the AfPak region, defense ministry officials said The denial of dual-use items by the US to various laboratories under the Defense Research and Development Organization

(DRDO) was a key issue for discussion between the two sides. DRDO chief V K Saraswat had recently said that US President Barack Obama's assurance on removal of DRDO from the entities list and easing exports of dual use items had remained on paper. In the backdrop of China asserting its naval presence in the South China Sea, Antony told Panetta that India favored unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters for all. His remarks come in the wake US announcement of moving six aircraft carriers in the Asia Pacific region. Antony also told Panetta that in case of bilateral issues between countries, it was desirable that parties concerned should settle their contentious matters in accordance with international law. Sources said that Panetta did not bring up the contentious Logistics Support Agreement, Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) or the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) during his discussions with Antony. -PTI

'India will not ally with US against China' BEIJING: Chinese analysts say dent in making its own foreign that US efforts to make India part policies while maximizing its naof its alliance against China will tional interests. not succeed as they believe India "For example, India has repursued independent foreign frained from becoming deeply inpolicy focusing on its national volved in the South China Sea interests. rows because it viewed any fricUS Defense Secretary Leon tion with China as being against Panetta's visit to New Delhi is as its fundamental national interpart of Washington's efforts to make it part of alliance against Beijing ‘But India has its own but India's interest lie agenda in the region,’ Wang with Beijing, Wang Dehua, a specialist on said noting that India wants South Asia studies at to be independent in makthe Shanghai Institute for International Stud- ing its own foreign policies ies said. while maximizing its "It seems that the US is sparing no efforts national interests in forging a semi-circle of alliance against China from the South" as Panetta ests," Wang said. has attended the Shangri-La Dia"India's interests lie in wider logue in Singapore and afterward economic and cultural cooperavisited Vietnam and India, Wang, tion with China. This is China's a specialist on South Asia told opportunity to break up the US state-run Global Times which car- intention to contain China," ried an article highlighting Wang said. Panetta's visit to New Delhi. Recent write-ups in the Chi"But India has its own agenda nese media were consistent with in the region," Wang said noting expectations that India would rethat India wants to be indepen- main independent.-PTI


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All set for third India-US Strategic Dialogue WASHINGTON: Besides expanding and deepening on a whole set of bilateral ties, the third round of India-US Strategic Dialogue here would among other things prominently focus on Afghanistan and regional integration of South and Central Asia, a senior US official has said. "Our nations share a distinct vision for economic integration in the South and Central Asian region. This will be a theme that plays prominently in discussions between Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton and (External Affairs) Minister (S M) Krishna," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said. The talks scheduled to be held on June 13 are likely to include India's Look East policy, integration opportunities between India, Bangladesh, and increasingly Burma; and developments in Afghanistan, he said. In his remarks to an event organized by the US-India World Affairs Institute, Blake said the regional and homeland security cooperation between the two countries have never been stron-

ger. "On Afghanistan, the United States and India share a commitment to that country's stable and prosperous future and have each signed Strategic Partnership Agreements with the Afghan government. The SD will give us a

The talks scheduled to be held on June 13 are likely to include India's Look East policy, integration opportunities between India, Bangladesh, and increasingly Burma; and developments in Afghanistan, he said chance to together build on the momentum from the NATO Summit in Chicago, while preparing for the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July," he said at the event which was co-hosted by the Asia Society and the East West

Center. Blake said on May 25, the two countries held the 13th annual Counterterrorism Joint Working Group meeting in Washington. Dan Benjamin, the State Departments Counterterrorism Coordinator, and his Indian counterpart, Special Secretary Asoke Mukerji, along with representatives from across the interagency, met to discuss issues related to counterterrorism and homeland security. "This dialogue has been the cornerstone of our counter- terrorism relationship with the Indians since 2000. This year, the sides discussed efforts to counter violent extremism and terrorism finance, as well as to see the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks brought to justice," he said. The national security councils of the two countries will also host a second round of US-India Cyber Consultations early next week to further advance our bilateral coordination on key cyber policy issues and to enhance information sharing between our governments in support of counterterrorism and cyber crime mitigation. -PTI

New program to send more US students to India WASHINGTON: The United States has come out with a "Passport to India" program to encourage more and more American students to go to India for studies. A public-private initiative, the program is part of the US efforts to increase people to people relationship and build on next generation of leadership who are well versed in each other's culture. "The goal of Passport to India is to significantly increase the number of Americans who visit India for a study and learning experience abroad. The most recent data showed that while nearly 104,000 Indians study here in the United States, fewer than 4,000 Americans study in India," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said. However, that number is far too low, Blake conceded in his remarks at an event organized by US-India World Affairs Institute in association with the Asia Society and East West Centre. "Indian students in American communities and American students in Indian communities cre-

ate the friendships and linkages we are working to build. Secretary (of State, Hillary) Clinton and I see expanding opportunities for American students in India as a major investment in three key areas," he said.

Blake said that Interns will work side by side with their Indian peers to work on software development in IT companies, on innovation and management practices "It's an investment in US-India relations, it's an investment in the American and global economies and it is an investment in our young people so they have the skills and experience they need to succeed in their professional lives. "For our rising generation to

be globally competitive, they must know and understand India," Blake said. "The Passport to India initiative is a public-private partnership. To date, we have pledges from both US and Indian private entities to support 225 internship opportunities for American students over the next 3 years in India-based organizations and we are working hard to generate more," he said. Blake said that Interns will work side by side with their Indian peers to work on software development in IT companies, on innovation and management practices in manufacturing firms and on the needs of the marginalized and underserved with local NGOs. "It all comes down to one thing: By building the next generation of leaders who are well versed in each other's culture, language and business, we will be better prepared to work together and resolve common challenges for the benefit of not only our two countries, but for the international community as well," he said. -PTI

Indian-Americans symbols of best of America: Blake WASHINGTON: Growing serve the country he loved - and strong, the small Indian American became the first Asian American community is a powerful symbol elected to the Congress. Even the of the best of America and is play- youngest Indian Americans are ing a key role in strengthening the making their mark. Nine of the past relationship between the two larg- 13 national spelling bee champiest democratic countries of the ons have been Indian American world, a top Obama Administra- children whose abilities are surely tion official said here. the envy of all of us who must "IndianAmericans who work tirelessly to improve ties between the United States and India and the lives of their fellow citizens in both countries are a powerful symbol of the best of America: our commitment to community service, our idealRobert Blake ism, and our optimism," Assistant Secretary of rely on our computers and smart State for South and Central Asia phones to catch our spelling erRobert Blake said. rors," Blake said. "From Congress to the National To support that unwavering Spelling Bee, the Indian American commitment to philanthropy and community is one of the most en- service, Blake said the US is soon ergetic and successful Diaspora launching a project to facilitate groups in the United States. You American generosity towards Inhave one of the highest per capita dia. incomes of any Diaspora group, "India is home to about 1.5 miland Indian Americans are increas- lion NGOs, but much of their work ingly active in American politics is not fully known here in the as the success of Governors United States. In addition, it is not Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley and so easy to identify the NGOs credmany others shows," he said. ible enough to receive a donors In his remarks to an event or- money. We are helping to change ganized by the US-India World this," he said. Affairs Institute, Blake said com"We will soon launch, in partmon thread - from the classrooms nership with the Indian non-profit of Chennai and Charlottesville to GuideStar India, an online searchthe boardrooms in Mumbai and able database of Indian NGOs. It Minneapolis -is the passionate will include organizations that and committed Indian-American have been vetted to ensure they community. "All of you are helping shape and guide ‘We will soon launch, in one of the defining bi- partnership with the Indian lateral relationships of the 21st century," he non-profit GuideStar India, said at the event which an online searchable datawas co-hosted by the Asia Society and the base of Indian NGOs. It will East West Center. include organizations that "Indian-Americans have also helped write have been vetted to ensure the story of this nation. they are accountable’ President Obama reminded us just a few weeks ago at a gala celebrating are accountable and transparent our Asian Pacific American heri- so the maximum can go to the intage of 'the trailblazer' Dalip Singh tended beneficiaries," Blake said. Saund. As a young man in 1920 This site will also list all the inhe came to the US to study agri- termediary institutions that can faculture, stayed to become a farmer, cilitate tax-deductible donations. and took on the cause of citizenThe US has signed on promiship for all people of South Asian nent participants including leaddescent," he said. ers in the India philanthropy "And once Saund earned his space like GiveIndia, Global Givown citizenship, he stepped up to ing, and Give2Asia.-PTI


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Indian jewellery showcased at Las Vegas show WASHINGTON: Reinstating India's position as global jewellery hub, exemplary works by the country's top designers and brands are being showcased in Las Vegas.

same period was USD 4.6 billion. The presence of the popular Bollywood star and international brand ambassador of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Sonam Kapoor added glamour

Ambassador Rao inaugurating the JCK, Las Vegas 2012

Given that India's export of diamond and diamond jewellery to the US touched USD 8 billion in 2011, the government has termed the country's participation in JCK Las Vegas 2012, as an 'India Show'. The US export to India during the

to the event in Las Vegas, which was inaugurated by Nirupama Rao, the Indian Ambassador to the US. As many as 65 leading Indian exporters are participating in the JCK Las Vegas 2012 show, casing works that incorporate a seamless blend of

the best international quality and workmanship with Indian talent and design in jewellery making. The pieces are crafted by India's finest and leading manufacturers and retailers in designer jewellery. The showcase has categories such as mass produced, couture, designer, and further that of gold and silver. "India has emerged as the world's largest manufacturing centre of cut and polished diamonds. We contribute about 85 per cent of the world's supply in volume of such diamonds. Eleven out of every 12 diamonds set in jewellery world-wide are processed in India," Rao said in her inaugural address. "We are also the third largest consumer of polished diamonds. With strong efforts of the Government of India and other stakeholders, the Indian gems and jewellery sector that currently pegs at around USD 36 billion, is poised to record a compound annual growth of approximately 13 percent," she said. The show will open a new

growth path for stronger commercial links between Indian suppliers of diamond and gold jewellery, and US and other international buyers, Rao added. The India Pavilion covers a

been a participant at JCK Las Vegas since 2004 and the Indian Contingent has grown manifolds since then. "The cultural acts by ICCR, Indian Cuisines, promotions

Ambassador Rao and Sonam Kapoor unveiling the catalogue Treasure Trove at the India show during JCK, Las Vegas 2012

wide array of fine jewellery products such as watches, designer jewellery, antique and estate, bridal and high-end gift-ware. It features a variety of regionally inspired and product specific pavilions. India Pavilion by GJEPC has

across the Show by Ministry of Tourism and GJEPC is an effort to build an aura of India and establish identity for the Brand India, as it is the most sought after destination today," said GJEPC Chairman Rajiv Jain. -PTI

Ties with China priority of India, says S.M. Krishna BEIJING: India has told China that it sees improving bilateral ties as a priority of its foreign policy and expressed desire to expand strategic cooperation, setting aside concerns here over future direction of the relations in the backdrop of the big US push into the Asia-Pacific region. Conveying a strong message about India's intention to firm up ties with China, visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told

to take over as Prime Minister next year after the leadership change in the ruling CPC. "I indicated that India desires to expand the strategic and cooperative partnership that exists between our countries. It is important for us to continue building better understanding and trust between us since that will help to maintain a strong and healthy relationship between India and China," he said.

‘I conveyed to him that our relations with China are a priority in India's foreign policy and we believe that India-China relations will be one of the most important bilateral relationships in the 21st century," Krishna told Indian media Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang that it is important for both the countries to build trust and understanding to maintain strong and healthy relationship. "I conveyed to him that our relations with China are a priority in India's foreign policy and we believe that India-China relations will be one of the most important bilateral relationships in the 21st century," Krishna told the Indian media here after a 45-minute meeting with Li, who is widely tipped

His assertion about India's desire to build friendship with China comes after US announcement about a major push into the Asia-Pacific, specially the South China Sea, where China is grappling with maritime disputes with a host of countries. Chinese analysts feel that the US is wooing India in a bid to counter China's growing influence in Asia-Pacific. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who announced Washington's plans to deploy 60

per cent of US naval assets in the Asia-Pacific in the next few years raising strong concerns in Beijing, was in India seeking to strength US-India military ties. Asked whether the US policy of Asia Pivot figured in the talks and what was his message to the Chinese leadership, Krishna said his discussions centered on the "bigger picture" of improving bilateral ties in the light of leadership changes coming up in China. On the South China Sea, Krishna said "India's position is very clear. These are all international waterways to increase trade amongst nations, hence we will have to look at it from that angle. We have to strengthen that angle," he said, adding India is willing to cooperate with other countries so that the trade relations will get a boost through these waterways. The Indian minister, who is here to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, said he utilized the meeting with Li to understand how the new and younger Chinese leadership thinks about future direction of India-China ties. Li is set to assume higher responsibilities, Krishna said referring to reports that Li is set to take over as Premier after incumbent Wen Jiabao's retirement this year. "We discussed the bigger pic-

ture, the vision that the Vice Premier has for India-China relationship and what he feels, what he believes to be the agenda for the next decade," Krishna said. "So I think it was like a peep into the future with the Vice Pre-

youth Communist activist. "India is not the same as it was in 1985, so I look forward to his (Li's) visit to India at his convenience," he said. Krishna also sought China's participation in the massive infra-

Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7

mier being the head of the government here in the policy-making process. That way I feel very encouraged," he said. Krishna said he invited Li to visit India and the Chinese leader responded by saying that he had visited the country in 1985 as a

structure projects undertaken by India and assured him of creating a level- playing field for Chinese companies in the international bidding process. He also asked China to address the trade imbalance between the two countries..-PTI


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8 held in visa fraud; Indian students given options WASHINGTON: With eight officials of a New Jersey based educational institution arrested on charges of foreign student visa fraud, federal authorities have given the students, mostly from India, multiple options to continue their studies or return with prejudice. Taking into consideration the "strong reaction" from New Delhi in the case of Tri Valley University last year, the authorities gave the students the opportunity to continue their studies or return to their country. Unlike in the Tri Valley University scam, wherein it is the students who were arrested and were subject to radio tagging, federal authorities nabbed the officials of the New Jersey-based American Health and Technology Institute (AHTI) and Vision Career Consultants USA Inc, which helped Indian / foreign students get admissions at AHTI. Fifteen-year-old AHTI has nearly 200 foreign students, majority of them being from India. AHTI did not respond to the phone calls made by PTI in this regard. According to its website, AHTI is approved to operate in New Jersey by the Department of Education, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce New Jersey. AHTI is authorized by the US government to enroll non-immigrant alien students. Informed sources said the in-

stitution has been issued notice of withdrawal of its certification. The foreign students, said to be overwhelmingly from India, have been given options to either continue or seek transfer to another university or return to India without prejudice. Special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations executed three search warrants, in-

Unlike in the Tri Valley University scam, wherein it is the students who were arrested and were subject to radio tagging, federal authorities nabbed the officials of the New Jersey-based (AHTI) cluding two at school campuses located in Iselin and Jersey City. Unlike in the case of Tri Valley University and Northern Virginia University wherein intermediaries or the immigration companies remained untouched, in the case of AHTI, a New Jersey-based immigration company Vision Career Consultants USA Inc (VCC), has also been charged of doing visa

fraud and its officials arrested. The names of those arrested and charged which was released by the US Attorney's Office, New Jersey. Most of them appear to be people of Indian origin. Those charged by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations are Dhirenkumar Patel, Vanrajsinh Chavda, Manamadurai Somalingham, Hemantkumar Patel, Michelle Alphonso, Maulik Gajjar, Tiffany Thomas, Yasmin Rivera, Hemlata Christian. All of them except for Hemantkumar Patel, have been arrested. Somalingam is president of AHTI. They have been charged with conspiracy to obtain and use phony visas and conspiracy to conceal illegal aliens. All those arrested made their initial appearances before US Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz in Newark federal court. "The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) opens educational opportunities to deserving foreign students and enriches the educational environment at our schools," US Attorney Paul J Fishman said. "Their actions highlight the need for constant vigilance in protecting all avenues of entry into this country. The defendants tried corrupt this worthy program to enable illegal entry into the country and to reap personal profit," he said in a statement.

According to the Criminal Complaint filed in this case Dhirenkumar Parikh (34) (aka Ren Parikh) of Old Bridge, New Jersey was the president, owner, and registered agent of VCC which operates as an intermediary between students and various academic institutions within the US, recruiting students for the institutions in exchange for a referral fee and

Parikh and his coconspirators defrauded the Student and Exchange Visitor Program by providing foreign nationals, for a fee, the documents needed to obtain student visas, without verifying assisting students with the application process. "Parikh and his co-conspirators defrauded the Student and Exchange Visitor Program by providing foreign nationals, for a fee, the documents needed to obtain student visas, without verifying any of the foreign nationals information," the Justice Department alleged.

According to the complaint, Parikh and others allegedly ran their criminal enterprise through VCC and AHTI, formerly known as 'PC Tech Learning Center LLC', a school that was certified by SEVP to enroll foreign students. In addition to counterfeiting documents and falsely certifying that the foreign nationals had met AHTI's school admission requirements, the defendants falsely certified attendance records and actively assisted some students with hiding their prior violations of immigration law. Meanwhile, there was no information posted on the respective websites of AHTI and VCC about the latest developments with regard to the arrests and charges of visa fraud against them. According to information available on its website, VCC has branches in Britain, Australia, India, Canada and New Zealand. Interestingly, VCC has four branches in India and all are in Gujarat Ahmedabad, Anand, Baroda, Gandhinagar and Nadiad. In a message posted on the president's page of the website, Ren Parikh says: "We are not inclined to boast about our achievements, though, of course, we are proud of the fact that we had an opportunity to extend our helping hand to more than 10,000 people who are happily settled across the world."-PTI

Mahindra faces lawsuit by dealers in US ATLANTA: A group of automobile dealers in the US has filed a lawsuit against Mahindra & Mahindra, accusing fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy, which the Indian firm has denied. According to Michael Diaz, managing partner of Diaz Reus & Targ, the law firm that is representing various dealers, the lawsuit alleges that "Mahindra duped hundreds of US auto dealers and walked away with more than USD 60 million in cash and trade secrets". "Mahindra told the dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the US market. However, Mahindra intentionally delayed certification of its vehicles after obtaining the dealership fees and trade secrets and began pursuing other partners in the US and elsewhere in clear violation of their commitment," Diaz said in a statement. When contacted, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) said: "Mahindra unequivocally denies all allegations of fraud, misrepresentation and conspiracy."

The company, however, said it cannot make further comments as "the matter is in the courts". In the lawsuit, Diaz Reus & Targ alleged that M&M duped hundreds of US automobile dealers and walked away with more

‘Mahindra told the dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the US market. However, Mahindra intentionally delayed certification of its vehicles after obtaining the dealership than USD 60 million in cash and trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed on June 4 in the district court in Atlanta by dealerships in New Hampshire, Florida, California, New Jersey and Washington.

"Dealers across across the country paid initial dealership fees, undertook marketing on Mahindra's behalf, built Mahindra showrooms, display platforms and showcases and hired additional personnel, all at Mahindra's urging," the statement said. It further said M&M had "obtained USD 9.5 million in fees from the dealers" with a promise that products from the Indian auto maker would be launched in the US by 2008. "Over the next two years, Mahindra continued to reassure the US dealers that its certification process was on target, while in fact it was delaying submitting its documentation to regulations as a pretext for terminating its agreements. "Mahindra repeatedly failed to live up to its obligations. Now, after spending millions of dollars on behalf of Mahindra, the US dealers have nothing to show for their time and energy other than a series of false promises," the law firm said. M&M said some dealers had

earlier filed a suit against Mahindra and its erstwhile US distributor Global Vehicles (GV) in the US District Court in Missouri. "The Missouri Court dismissed all claims against

Atlanta-based GV had claimed that it spent close to USD 35 million in preparation for the launch of the Mahindra vehicles in the US and had signed with as many as 360 dealers nationwide Mahindra in that suit. Significantly, the Missouri Court also ruled that Mahindra could not be held liable for any action of Global Vehicles with respect to its dealers," M&M said. Already, M&M has been in-

volved in a legal tussle with GV, which dragged the Indian firm to court in 2010 over delay in launching its pick-up truck based on the Scorpio platform. M&M had said it planned to launch its pick-up trucks in early 2009, but got delayed due to regulatory issues. The entry deadline was revised twice and then to end of 2010, which too was missed. In March this year, M&M had said an international arbitration panel ruled in its favor in the case against GV, the firm that was to sell its vehicles in the US. Atlanta-based GV had claimed that it spent close to USD 35 million in preparation for the launch of the Mahindra vehicles in the US and had signed with as many as 360 dealers nationwide. The case was then referred to the London-based arbitration panel. M&M and GV had entered into an agreement on September 28, 2006, according to which the latter became the sole distributor of the Indian company's motor vehicles in the US. -PTI


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Goldman board discussions confidential: CEO at Gupta trial NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group CEO Lloyd Blankfein has told jurors in the insider trading trial of his former colleague Rajat Gupta that discussions at the company's board meetings were strictly confidential and the Indian-American was not authorised to disclose them. Blankfein, 57 took the witness stand in Gupta's trial, which began in a Manhattan court on May 21. The Goldman CEO, one of the most high-profile government witnesses to take the stand so far, was testifying for the government for the second time in over a year in an insider trading trial. He had given testimony about Goldman Sachs's policies for safeguarding confidential information in convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam's trial last year in March. Rajaratnam is serving an 11-year prison sentence. "Anything discussed in a board meeting is confidential," Blankfein said in a courtroom packed with media persons and general public, who had turned up

to listen to one of the key government witnesses in the case. Blankfein did not look at Gupta as he walked up to the witness stand, but during a jury break as he left the courtroom the Goldman CEO appeared to nod to Gupta, raising his head and eyebrows. Gupta's expression did not

During his testimony, Blankfein said "no", when Assistant US Attorney Reed Brodsky asked him if he had ever authorised Gupta to discuss anything that was confidential about the board meetings, particularly one held in St Petersburg, Russia in June 2008 change. During his testimony, Blankfein said "no", when Assistant US Attorney Reed Brodsky asked him if he had ever authorised Gupta to discuss anything that was confidential about the board meetings, particularly one held in St Petersburg, Russia in June 2008 when the board discussed whether to buy a commercial bank

'EU crisis slowed down growth in US, India and China' WASHINGTON: Crisis in Europe is casting a pall over everything, and has slowed down growth not only in the United States, but also in countries like India, China and Brazil, the former US President Bill Clinton has said. "The big factors are Europe, which is, like, casting a pall over everything, all this trouble in Europe where unemployment is three points higher in the Eurozone than it is here. And it's slowed

or insurer. "You're not supposed to discuss," he said. Referring to the June 2008 strategy meeting in Russia, he said: "The fact it was in the board meeting meant it was confidential" and added that "all parts" of the board meeting were "confi-

the American people about. But to me it doesn't, for two or three reasons. One is I think that the jobs creation has slowed down partly because maybe we were a little robust in the winter, because we had a warm winter, and maybe that's given a slower spring," he said. But the bigger factor is the European crisis, he noted. "Secondly, I think that the government has the real ability to generate employment through infrastructure in窶連nd it's slowed down vestments and aid growth in India, China and to state and local governments, but Brazil, too, as well as here," the Congress won't Clinton told the PBS News pass the jobs plan. And we've had, in Hour in an interview the last 27 months, 4.3 million new pridown growth in India, China and vate-sector jobs, but we've lost Brazil, too, as well as here," 600,000 public jobs because we Clinton told the PBS News Hour didn't continue what the stimuin an interview. lus had done there," he said. Clinton, who is campaigning "The third thing is we're still for reelection of the US President working out of this housing thing. Barack Obama, was responding If we could accelerate the rate -to questions on the high unem- and it does seem to be picking up ployment in the United States. now -- accelerate the rate in which Latest jobs report last week re- all these mortgage issues are revealed that only 69,000 jobs cre- solved, then I think you would see, ated across the country last particularly on the part of small month. businesses, a lot more borrowing, "Well, that means it's some- a lot more investment, a lot more thing he (Obama) needs to talk to activity," he said.-PTI

dential." Prosecutors have alleged that in a July 28, 2008 conversation between Gupta and Rajaratnam, the Sri Lankan hedge fund founder asked Gupta if he had heard a "rumour" that Goldman is looking to acquire a commercial bank to which Gupta had replied there was a "big discussion" about it at the board meeting.

Morgan Stanley scales down India forecast to 5.8pc MUMBAI: Global investment bank Morgan Stanley has blamed a misguided policy approach focused on consumption for the steep fall in the growth momentum, while scaling down its FY13 growth forecast to 5.8 per cent, the lowest estimate so far. The New York-headquartered bank has cut its growth forecast from the earlier 6.3 per cent for the current fiscal citing a 'bad growth mix'. Explaining the 'bad growth mix', bank's chief economist for Asia Pacific Chetan Ahya said the much-talked about consumption story is being supported by a high fiscal deficit, while elevated rates have resulted in a decline in private investments, which is "not sustainable". In FY14, Ahya said improvement in the overall global macroeconomic situation will lead to the domestic growth improving to 6.6 per cent. Official data released last week pointed to the March quarter growth slowing down to the lowest in nine years at 5.3 per cent and the full fiscal growth slipping to 6.5 per cent. However, a day after the FY12 growth numbers were out, Ahya had revised downwards the forecast for the fiscal to 5.7 per cent, blaming it to 'a stagflation type environment', but now he clarified that it was for calendar 2012 and not for the fiscal.-PTI

Rajaratnam is understood to have not traded on that information. Gupta has been charged with passing confidential tips about a USD five billion investment in Goldman Sachs by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway in 2008 and about Goldman's earnings in first quarter of 2007 and fourth quarter of 2008 to Rajaratnam within seconds of learning about the information in company board meetings. Rajaratnam then made millions of dollars of profit by trading on the basis of that information. Blankfien said Gupta, his company's former Director, was present at Goldman board meetings, including in early 2007 for the bank's audit committee meeting, which had learnt about "record earnings" in the first quarter of 2007.

Blankfein said he was traveling to Washington on September 23, 2008, and had only learnt of Buffett's proposed investment later in the day after checking back in with his office. He said he had a brief conversation with Buffett and was to speak with him again after the market closed. Blankfein also testified that Gupta had expressed his intention to leave the Goldman board in September 2008 in order to join KKR, formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, in an advisory position. Gupta was keen to work out an arrangement by which he could be associated with both companies but Blankfein said Goldman had competed with KKR in certain areas and Gupta working with both companies could have created a situation of conflict. -PTI

Leaked information after Rajaratnam taunt: Kumar NEW YORK: An Indian-American former McKinsey consultant has told a US court that he "committed a crime" by passing on secret information to convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam after the Sri Lankan "chided and taunted" him for not knowing enough about what was happening at various firms. Anil Kumar, 53, is a government witness in the insider trading trial of his mentor and fellow Indian native and ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta. Kumar, an IIT Mumbai and Wharton Business School alumnus, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges of passing inside information to Rajaratnam and had testified at the Galleon founder's trial last year. A Chennai native, Kumar is hoping to get a lenient sentence for his charges in return for cooperating with the government in its crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street. During testimony earlier against 63-year-old Gupta, Kumar

told jurors in a Manhattan courtroom that he gave inside information to his Wharton batchmate Rajaratnam after the Sri Lankan taunted him for not knowing enough about companies, including regarding chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), despite working as a partner at McKinsey. Rajaratnam "taunted and chided me and said that he knew more about AMD than I did. I tried to show him I had more information about AMD and other companies and committed a crime," Kumar said in his testimony. In a 2008 telephone conversation between Gupta and Rajaratnam, the hedge fund founder says that he is giving Kumar "a million dollars a year for doing literally nothing." During Rajaratnam's trial last year, Kumar had admitted accepting USD 1.75 million from him and said he tipped the onetime billionaire on deals involving McKinsey clients including AMD.-PTI


Desi News NDA will bring back black money: Sinha India Post News service

WASHINGTON: Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) - USA organized a public reception in honor of the visiting senior BJP leader and former finance and external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha. The event was hosted at the local Minerva Party Hall, in Washington DC area. Despite being a working day, over 200 people attended the event to meet, greet and listen to Yashwant Sinha. Many OFBJP workers even came from neighboring states of New Jersey and New York to attend the program. The program started with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony and paying floral tributes to the pictures of Mother India and the founding fathers of Jan Sangh and BJP, followed by the rendition of Vandemataram.

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

Evia Travel celebrates move to new location Details on page 13

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June 15, 2012

20 global Indians receive 'Light of India Awards'

Details on page 12

Ranjana Khan honored as Woman of Distinction

India Post News Service

India Post News Service

NEW YORK: It was a day of celebrating women's inherent potential and success stories. Over 260 women came to Children's Hope India annual Spring Lunch in Crest Hollow Country Club, Long Island, NY, to support the vocational training projects supporting the girl child in urban slums and rural India. The highlight of the afternoon was connecting with noted jewelry designer Ranjana Khan, who was honored as CHI's Woman of Distinction. CH Board member Maya Rajani spoke about the new CHI vocational programs for young women in India, before introducing the CH Woman of Distinction, Ranjana Khan. Details on page 13

50 youth attend Hindu Dharma annual camp India Post News Service

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, PA: Memorial Day Weekend brought together over 50 Hindu youth from over ten universities across the country for the 22nd Annual Hindu Students Council (HSC) Camp on the grounds of Vraj Bhoomi in Schuylkill Haven, PA. Details on page 17

NEW YORK: More than 300 of New York's crème de la crème from the business, finance, and entertainment communities converged at the 2nd annual The Light of India Awards, an initiative created by Remit2India and presented by The Amrapali Group. The awards ceremony, held on Friday, June 1 at the Taj Pierre Hotel, is a platform to honor the excellence and exemplary achievements of Indians living abroad. An extravagant blue carpet welcomed the likes of celebrities such as Arun Sarin, Narendra Patni, Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Amitav Ghosh, Padma Lakshmi, Lisa Ray, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Pooja Batra, Sabeer Bhatia, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, just to name a few. Winners were announced by esteemed jury members in the categories of Business, Corporate Leadership, Education,

Science & Technology, Arts & Entertainment, and Literature. "Remit2India The Light of India Awards is an initiative to acknowledge the contributions of the global Indian community in making India the emerging superpower," says Avijit Nanda, President of TimesofMoney Group.

The Amrapali Group, the title sponsor for the event. "The Amrapali Group is glad to be associated with these leading lights and hopes to work together in further enhancing the global image of India and its people." And the winners are... Excellence in Business Leader-

An extravagant blue carpet welcomed the likes of celebrities such as Arun Sarin, Narendra Patni, Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Amitav Ghosh, Padma Lakshmi, Lisa Ray, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Pooja Batra, Sabeer Bhatia, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, just to name a few "These leading lights have lit the global skyline with their beams of brilliance." "It is great to see so many leading luminaries excel and build the profile of India globally," says Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma, Chairman of

ship • Bharat Desai Founder of Syntel - Jury Award • Gurbaksh Chahal Internet entrepreneur and a best-selling author - People's Choice Award Excellence in Technology

All pics: Michael Toolan

• Pradeep K. Khosla Dean of the College of Engineering Carnegie Mellon University - Jury Award • Sabeer Bhatia Co-Founder of Hotmail Service - People's Choice Award Excellence in Medical Sciences • Siddhartha Mukherjee Assistant Professor of Medicine Columbia University - Jury Award Excellence in Corporate Leadership • Anshuman Jain Co-CEO of Deutsche Bank - Jury Award • Padmasree Warrior Chief Technology Officer of Cisco Systems People's Choice Award Excellence in Education & Academics - Deans & Presidents • Renu Khator President of the University of Houston - Jury Award & People's Choice Award Excellence in Education & Academics- Scholars & Professors • Soumitra Dutta Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology Insead - Jury Award Cont’d on page 12


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Inspiring talk on Sanatan Dharma by Malhotra SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: NRI Foundation, a not-for-profit organization of non resident Indians in Chicagoland, hosted a press conference in Schaumburg, a suburb of Illinois, in honor of. Rajiv Malhotra, a software engineer and telecommunication entrepreneur turned scholar, Indologist and an eminent thinker. An enlightened talk on Sanatan Dharma was followed by a question answer session and Malhotra answered several questions posed by the Chicago Media relating to Sanatana (Hindu) Dharma, culture and history through several millennia. Malhotra appropriately classified the subject of his talk as "Sanatana Dharma and Western Civilization". He revealed his erudition and sense of history of India, which is lamentably lacking among Hindus in India as also from those across the world because of heavy influence of Western scholars, especially those of British or European descent. Even such eminent scholars as R.G. Bhandarkar depended on the writings of occidental authors for their study of history. Prasad Yalamanchi introduced Rajiv Malhotra appreciating his

one man effort to teach the truth about Hindu Dharma (society), which has been misrepresented by a variety of anti-Hindu groups during the last couple of decades, although they themselves had glorified Hindu culture and its contribution to the modern civilization during 18th and 19th centuries.

He considers that a positive stance on India has been underrepresented in American academia. They sneer at Indian culture in the same manner as colonialists once did. He is of the opinion that the academia is abetting the Italianization of India, which would also lead to the Italianization of other Asian coun-

The Infinity Foundation is one the most prominent and active Indic study organizations in the United States involved in the study of "Indic traditions" that include Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Hinduism. The Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work and in support

He revealed his erudition and sense of history of India, which is lamentably lacking among Hindus in India as also from those across the world because of heavy influence of Western scholars, especially those of British or European descent Rajiv Malhotra

Rajiv Malhotra is an IndianAmerican author, philanthropist, public speaker and writer on current affairs, world religions and cross-cultural encounters. He is founder of the Infinity Foundation. After a career in software, computer, and telecom industries Malhotra took early retirement to pursue philanthropic and educational activities.

tries. Malhotra states that by 1900 Aryanisation had been firmly established in German academic circles. German thinkers first glorified India as their cradle, then did a U-turn and asserted German nationalism - its purity and the lower status of Indians. Despite the extent of German study of India, India's influence is barely mentioned in contemporary western texts on European history.

of programs including visiting professorship in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, the research and teaching of non-dualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, and endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of

India at University of Pennsylvania, among others. Answering a question what the Hindu community in Chicago can do to help him, he enthusiastically urged that they could help by popularizing his works so that more people buy and read them. He said he could help research assistants and in turn use their help in translation of his books to other languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali and other Indian languages. Other help includes editing illustration and indexing. This kind of help not only promotes Hindu thoughts and ideals within the community but also trains volunteers in various aspects of writing and publishing. He encouraged parents to have their children participate in all these activities so that we can be assured of preserving and promoting our culture in the young generation. Malhotra gave inspiring and instructive talks elucidating the knowledge base of Hinduism and their values in the modern world at Balaji temple, and Hindu temple during the next two days before flying back to New Jersey.

Congressman Davis honors Amma Karunamayi Asian Media USA

CHICAGO: US Congressman Danny Davis of the Seventh Congressional District of Illinois presented the Golden Eagle Award 2012 to Amma Sri Karunamayi: Bhagavathi Vijayeswari Devi, Founder President of S.M.V.A.

presents the Golden Eagle Award annually to an individual who has made an exceptional difference to humanity usually during the Asian American heritage month. On arrival, Amma was greeted by a band of Westside drummers, buglers and trumpeters. The colorful processional included sev-

Dr Krishna Sunkara, the Awards Chair, listed her various welfare programs which include free schools, free colleges, the 100 bed hospital, food distribution program, women's welfare programs, mobile medical vans, the housing program Trust, Sri Manidweepa Mahasamsthanam, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, India. The event was held at the West Side Baptist Ministries Conference in Chicago in recognition of Mother's selfless service and dynamic leadership in providing numerous welfare programs for the underprivileged. Congressman Danny Davis's Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force

eral elected officials, Bishops and Pastors of various churches and community leaders. The flower girls Hampton sisters made it a truly East meets West welcome. Tanya Prabhakar, a law student served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the glittering Award Ceremony. The Reverend Michael Stinson offered the opening prayer followed by the invocational by Mrs Kathakali Dasgupta

singing a Tagore song to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate. One of the hosts, Pastor Reverend Dr W.H. Foster Sr. Rev A. P. Randall, Vice President of the Westside Baptist Ministers Conference welcomed the large gathering, described Amma as one of the world's leading humanitarians. Lowry S Taylor, the Executive Director of the Multi Ethnic Advisory Task stated that Amma is revered by many as the embodiment of wisdom, peace and unconditional love, quoting Amma, "I have not come to you as a Guru... I have come to you as your own mother." Dr Krishna Sunkara, the Awards Chair, listed her various welfare programs which include free schools, free colleges, the 100 bed hospital, food distribution program, women's welfare programs, mobile medical vans, the housing program, disaster relief programs, water treatment plants and her peace initiatives. Amma also has an Ashram in Bangalore and Nellore in India focusing on world peace. A moving power point presentation of Amma's welfare programs of love in action followed. Amma has a 501.c-3 not for profit

organization in the U.S., S.M.V.A. trust. This is the 20th year Amma is visiting the USA. She is currently on a 38 city world tour. Presenting the Award to Amma,

head a coalition of faith based organizations to address domestic violence, drug abuse and homelessness in Chicago. He invited Amma to be the guest

Amma with Congressman Danny Davis and her supporters

Congressman Davis described her as a leader with a vision for the future motivating and inspiring others to go in the right direction. He appealed to Amma to spear-

speaker at the Congressional Junetthe Reception on Thursday, June 21st at Washington DC. Cont’d on page 12


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NDA will bring back black money: Yashwant Sinha India Post News service

WASHINGTON: Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) - USA organized a public reception in honor of the visiting senior BJP leader and former finance and external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha. The event was hosted at the local Minerva Party Hall, in

Washington DC area. Despite being a working day, over 200 people attended the event to meet, greet and listen to Yashwant Sinha. Many OFBJP workers even came from neighboring states of New Jersey and New York to attend the program. The program started with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony and paying floral tributes to the pictures of Mother India and the founding fathers of Jan Sangh and BJP, followed by the rendition of Vandemataram. Yashwant Sinha spoke in chaste Hindi in the midst of constant cheers from very receptive and enthusiastic audience. In his address, Sinha enthralled the gathering by first outlining BJP vision to solve current problems India is

facing on all fronts. He painted a very grim picture of India under the misrule of UPA-II which has failed on all fronts. Scams are tumbling out from the cupboards of every ministry in UPA government. The country is facing the worst economic crisis, inflation is skyrocketing, the petrol prices have risen unprecedently, rupee is fall-

ing, deficit is of record level and the government is sleep walking. Sinha praised NRIs and thanked them for rising to the nation's call during 1998 post Pokharan economic sanctions and buying India resurgent bonds whose targeted amount was reached within 10 days after issuing them. He further elucidated about NDA government policies whose fruits were reaped by the UPA government after 2004 and added that because of the Congress leaders are visionless, India's growth rate and economic index are coming down very steeply. He asserted that only BJP led NDA government can revive and revitalize the Indian economy and national growth. He recalled his

trip to Pakistan as part of India's delegation led by Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2001, where Atalji subtly but firmly put forwarded India's position on cross border terrorism. Similarly, he recalled how during NDA regime India had established itself at a very high position in the comity of nations so much so that the heads of USA, UK, and USSR used to listen very attentively to the opinion of soft spoken Atalji on many international matters of mutual interests. He exhorted the Indian American community and OFBJP karyakartas to help BJP win the next parliamentary elections whenever they are held. While replying to a question he categorically stated that if NDA is voted to power it will bring all the black money stashed in foreign banks. He further mentioned that there are no treaties that prevent GOI to disclose the names of the account holders in foreign banks. On another note, he also said that Pakistan must fulfill previous promises before engaging in future talks. Earlier, Raghu Varma, Chief coordinator, Washington-DC OFBJP Chapter welcomed the public. Dr. Adapa Prasad, immediate past President recognized and welcomed the community leaders as they presented flower bouquets to Yashwant Sinha. Leaders from eleven Indian and ethnic organizations attended the meeting to felicitate Yashwant Sinha. Dr. Prasad introduced Jayesh Patel, OFBJP President and Yashwant Sinha to the audience. Dr. Prasad also briefed about the OFBJP organization and how OFBJP has been interacting with local, state and federal lawmakers and members of think tanks. He also mentioned the OFBJP initiatives of interactions with republi-

Congressman Davis honors Amma Karunamayi Cont’d from page 11

Receiving the Golden Eagle Award, Amma said that she is humbled by this honor. She announced that she would like to host a multi faith world humanitarian & peace summit in Chicago in 2013 in co-operation with Congressman Davis. Responding to Congressman Davis' request, she said that she will be happy to start a community meditation therapy center in Chicago to address the problems of drug abuse, alcoholism and violence. Amma urged Congressman to assist her in establishing solar energy parks and water treatment plants in India to combat the cur-

Amma Karunamayi at her Award event in Chicago

rent power crisis and water shortage that rural villages face. Amma also said that she will soon start an outreach program in Ghana and

other places in Africa. She invited Congressman Davis and his wife, Mrs Vera Davis to visit India and participate in the 10th anniversary celebrations of the S.M.V.A.Hospital. Community leaders representing different communities offered their felicitations to Amma on the occasion. Bishop Rev Dr Samuel Vallabdas, Founder- Pastor of India's Telugu Methodist Church, Oak Park gave the blessing and benediction. Kishor Mehta, proposed a Vote of Thanks. Bringing down the curtains on the well conducted awards ceremony; Poonam Bhatia rendered India's National Anthem in her melodious voice. A gourmet vegetarian reception followed the Award Ceremony.

can and democratic parties and cited the recent visit of Republican Party Institute (RPI) delegation to India. Jayesh Patel was given a rousing reception by the community. Later, he briefly described OFBJP activities in the last one year all across the country. He reminded how OFBJP has been in the forefront in taking up the issues pertaining to NRIs and India at various forums. For example, OFBJP conducted a nationwide survey

to the external affairs minister S. M. Krishna's attention for further action. He exhorted the community leaders to work with OFBJP shoulder to shoulder in highlighting the causes of India and Indian Americans. Sinha's speech was followed by a vibrant question-answer session conducted by Sameer Chandra, an executive member of OFBJP, Washington-DC Chapter and Mahesh Kuruba. The event concluded with a vote of thanks by

He exhorted the Indian American community and OFBJP karyakartas to help BJP win the next parliamentary elections whenever they are held. While replying to a question he categorically stated that if NDA is voted to power it will bring all the black money stashed in foreign banks on Indian American community's nightmarish experiences regarding visa, and passport issues at India consulates. OFBJP had presented the survey results at Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in India. Yashwant Sinha actually forwarded those results

Dr. Satish Misra, Joint General Secretary followed by sumptuous dinner. The local organizing committee members, Madhu Bellam (National Council member), Giri Sadu, Ramesh Kalwala, Srinivas B were appreciated in helping organize this event.

20 global Indians receive 'Light of India Awards' Cont’d from page 10

• Mohanbir Sawhney Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation at Kellogg School of Management - People's Choice Award Excellence in Literature & Journalism • Amitav Ghosh Author - Jury Award • Indu Sundaresan Author People's Choice Award Excellence in Arts & Entertainment • Padma Lakshmi Host of 'Top Chef' America- Jury Award • Lisa Ray Actor & Host of 'Top Chef' Canada - People's Choice Award Lifetime Achievement Awards • Jagdish Bhagwati Columbia

University Professor & Economist - Lifetime Achievement Award For Study In Global Economics • Narendra Patni Founder & CEO of Patni Computer Systems - Lifetime Achievement For Business Leadership • Arun Sarin Former CEO of Vodafone Group - Lifetime Achievement Award For Global Corporate Leadership Three Special Awards: • Gurbaksh Chahal Chairman & CEO of RadiumOne - Amrapali Young Achievers Award • Satish K. Tripathi University of Buffalo President - Power Of Influence Award In Education • Ajay V. Bhatt Co-inventor of USB Technology - Power Of Influence Award In Technology


Community Across America

June 15, 2012

India Post 13

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Ranjana Khan honored as Woman of Distinction

Maya Rajani, Ranjana Khan, Tinku Jain and Kavita Lund India Post News Service

NEW YORK: It was a day of celebrating women's inherent potential and success stories. Over 260 women came to Children's Hope India annual Spring Lunch in Crest Hollow Country Club, Long Island, NY, to support the vocational training projects supporting the girl child in urban slums and rural India. The highlight of the afternoon was connecting with noted jewelry designer Ranjana Khan, who was honored as CHI's Woman of Distinction. CH Board member Maya Rajani spoke about the new CHI vocational programs for young women in India, before introducing the CH Woman of Distinction, Ranjana Khan. Ranjana Khan spoke eloquently about her journey as model, wife, mother and entrepreneur in the dizzying world of high fashion. She noted, "I never went to college but I fought the odds and followed my passion for fashion. At 42, I started my own business and at 53, I started my own brand. My message today to all

the beautiful women in the room is that it's never too late and to follow your passion. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life." In honor of Ranjana Khan, Children's Hope presented a check

dynamic young members of the benefit committee had organized a fun afternoon which is looked forward to as the social event of the Spring season. A sizzling Miami ambiance had been created right in the middle of Long Island at the Crest Hallow Country Club by events planner Jharna Jaisinghani of Artistic Affairs. Women had come in from the tristate area to catch up with friends, enjoy cocktails and lunch - and shop for a great cause. There were colorful pop up boutiques set up by young women entrepreneurs: SexiGuru showed the best in resort wear; Sonika Nanda showed her stunning collection of shawls - Shawls by Sonika; Priyal Kothari of Jewel Joy displayed her latest collection of fine, contemporary jewelry. Noted pastry chef Surbhi Sahni of Tulsi restaurant has turned entrepreneur with her line of packaged desserts by Bittersweet NYC, and guests got a delicious tasting

Guests at Miami Beat, Children's Hope fundraising lunch

to Nivedita Chandrappa, director of Wishwas, a New York based organization which assists lowincome South Asian women with vocational training, and which Ranjana Khan supports. It was an afternoon of doing good - and also feeling good. The

besides a chance to buy. Other highlights were an informal fashion show by Shimmer Boutique and a sizzling performance by Peter and Julz of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio which brought the heat of Miami right to the dance floor.

Evia Travel celebrates move to new location

Iftekhar Shareef cutting ribbon with Air India chief Jude Crasto looking on

K RAJDA India Post News Service

new premises that reads as, "Buying online tickets and paying more? Yes, no .com fare is cheaper than consolidator's fares." Speaking to this reporter, Faizan the Indian desk expert said "it is a myth that online fares are cheaper, consolidator fares are $30 to $80 less than any .com fare and distributed through travel agents." Travel agents offer best convenient, reliable and cheaper

CHICAGO: Evia Travel Inc, serving Indian and Pakistani communities for over 12 years, held a ceremonial prayer meeting on June 2 commemorating its shifting to a new office on Lincoln Avenue with better facility. Many prominent community members and officials of international airlines joined the inaugural fete. Air India Manager Jude Crasto and Sales Serving as low fare experts, Manager Katherine Evia Travel Inc has a new Thorate congratulated Evia team for moving to slogan for its new premises its own premises. Rashan that reads as, ‘Buying online Acar from Turkish Airtickets and paying more? lines, Shahid Jamal Manager PIA Chicago, Ali Yes, no .com fare is Kazmi Sales Officer, Emir- cheaper than ates, Shahbuddin, Sales Officer Qatar Airways, consolidator's fares’ Manali Vitkar and Mohammed Anwar, from Chicago choices than what comes through Etihad airways, Sami Khaja Sales of- online booking engines. Many fice Jet Airways also expressed their travelers had problems for mulbest wishes for Evia Travel for the tiple airline connections they bought as cheaper tickets online, new location. Well known community leader Faizan added. Online booking and former FIA president Iftekhar engines are airline's own website Shareef sent his best wishes offer published fares, only much through email. Other FIA members higher than consolidator's fares. Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Ranjit Evia Travel Inc is a consolidator Ganguly and TV Asia host and approved agent by Air India,

AQ Siddiqui of Evia Travel (4th from left) with Evia staff and Airline officials

Members of the Luncheon Benefit Committee

Vandana Jhingan also conveyed their best wishes. Serving as low fare experts, Evia Travel Inc has a new slogan for its

Etihad, PIA, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Jet airways, BMI and others.


14 India Post

Community Across America

June 15, 2012

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Chalo Gujarat to host World Gujarati Conference SUDHIR VYAS

EDISON: Gujarat is once again set to revisit New Jersey after a gap of nearly four years when the Association of Indian Americans in North America (AIANA) holds its third Chalo Gujarat World Gujarati Conference during the Labor Day weekend of August 31 to September 2 at the Raritan Expo Center. The theme this year will be "Gujarat, Gujarati Gujaratism". As many as 40,000 Gujaratis from all over the world are expected to attend the three-day extravaganza. Giving details of the event, president of AIANA, Sunil Nayak, said, "It will be a memorable event and we want to showcase Gujarat of glorious past, the enterprising present and the bright future. The event will be quiet different as compared to the earlier two ventures. This will be a unique event to showcase Gujarat", he exclaimed. Preparations are in full swing. One of the highlights of the event will be a three-dimensional film on Gujarat in Gujarati and will be screened for the first time on a giant screen. Besides that multimedia show, seminars on different subjects, a pageant for Gujarati girls, the usual Gujarati dayro, musical entertainment and not to forget the mouth-watering Gujarati cuisine will be served. According to Sunil, the worldfamous Gir lions will come back with a roar as highlighted in every brochure, pamphlet and publicity material. The key to the success of the event is to popularize the best 2-letter Gujarati word "Kem Cho" as universal greeting all over the world. "It will be a 3-day event, in 3 dimensions and the 3rd edition of Chalo Gujarat", Sunil said adding "we plan to unite those Gujaratis born in Gujarat and flourishing all over the world. And the best example of this was none else but Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Narendra Modi. They were from Gujarat and were followed by the world including Time magazine". During the event it has been planned to take the people on a virtual tour of the state of Gujarat, sitting in New Jersey looking through the eyes of a kaleidoscope. "This will include not only Gujarati cuisine. Fifteen auto rickshaws from the roads of Ahmedabad and 15 world famous chakdas from Saurashtra are being shipped to the Raritan Center. These rickshaws and chakdas will ferry people from the parking lot to the main concourse and during the short journey it will halt at places for the vendors to sell the famous peanuts as seen on roads of Gujarat". Besides, a 30-feet tall wooden charkha - popularized by Mahatma

Gandhi will also be run throughout the three-day event. According to Sunil, the main gate will have a 12 feet high replica of the famous Rudramala Gate of Patan. Besides that, plans are also in place to have 10 people dressed exactly like Mahatma Gandhi who will be riding the Harley Davidson motor bikes in front of the floats during the Independence Day Parade in New York and on Oak Tree Road. The idea is to send a message that Gujarat and Gandhi have come to Manhattan, Sunil explained. Sunil, known for his perfection, has planned a unique invitation

‘It will be a memorable event and we want to showcase Gujarat of glorious past, the enterprising present and the bright future. The event will be quiet different as compared to the earlier two ventures’ card which will highlight the concept of the famous Kabirvad and the name of the invitee inscribed on it. "This can also be kept as a memento in your drawing rooms as it will be something unique." To cater to the entertainment of the crowd, plans are afoot to have kiosks of famous Gujarati songs and a karaoke lounge. One of the

highlights of the event is life-size statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel specially designed by a Chinese company on the lines of Madam Tausaud's museum. According to Sunil, the aim of organizing the event is "to unite and discuss business, education, culture, social, health, spiritual and entertainment issues along with other topics affecting the Gujarati community. The pioneering aim is to bring Gujaratis settled all over the world under one roof for three days and revive the spirit of Gujarat." Sunil said, "It is for this very reason that the event has a logo which to some extent resembles the spectacles of Mahatma Gandhi, but it also looks like the umbilical cord which signifies that the people who have gone out, still have contact with their motherland. Some topics for the seminars also include the good and bad impact of internet, the glorious past and bleak future of Gujarati films, increasing price of properties in Gujarat and if that could enable to fulfill the dream of having a another home in Gujarat, the role of Gujarat in global warming. Besides that, the recent taxation changes for having foreign exchange and a host of other topics which affect the common Gujaratis settled all over the world. As per his plans to make the event a success, Sunil has decided to dispatch teams comprising three to six members to other countries including UK, UAE, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Canada to familiarize the Indian community and Guajratis in particular about the event and if possible to persuade

them to attend the three-day festivities. Plans are also afoot to have live telecast and talks are on with two channels to beam the event live into the living rooms of those Gujaratis who could not be physically part of the celebrations. Not to leave any stone unturned, Sunil is planning to bring in material from India through nine containers. Special cooks are being flown from Mumbai and Gujarat to tingle the taste buds of the attending people. "This three day event will have speeches from political and spiritual leaders, captains of business and industry and entertainment

Some topics for the seminars also include the good and bad impact of internet, the glorious past and bleak future of Gujarati films, increasing price of properties in Gujarat, the role of Gujarat in global warming leaders with conferences closely tucked in between. Steps are also being taken to give local Gujarati talent to showcase their abilities. According to Sunil, the exhibition floor has been designed in such a way that people visiting the arena will pass through specially constructed tunnels which will start with what Gujarat was, what

Gujarat is today and what will be the future of Gujarat The dance troupe from Lester in UK, which won the heart of the people during the last outing here, would also perform this year. Along with that the handicapped girls from Manthan group near Gandhinagar, which were the heartthrob of the thousands who admired their talent last time, would once again show case their abilities. Handicapped children from Gujarat would also add glamour to the event and showcase that physical difficulties were in no way hampering their overall performance in life. Special care is also being given to the security at the venue with new state-of-the-art gadgets to ensure that the people enjoy the event. Asked about the total cost involved in the three-day extravaganza, Sunil h claimed it would be somewhere around $ 1.1 to $ 1.5 million. When probed further as to how he would manage to raise the funds in these difficult economic times, Sunil said, "we have sponsors lined up and all my partners would also chip in to make the event a once-in-a-life time celebration". Efforts are being made to ensure that personalities like Sam Pitroda, Zubin Mehta, Mukesh Ambani, Pankaj Udhas, Paresh Rawal, Nitin Mukesh and several others make it to the event. He plans to charge $ 15 per person including food for the event and tickets would be up for grabs on Pay Pal. Sunil claimed that 40,000 people would take advantage of the celebrations.

Reno Police honors Rajan Zed HARISH RAO

RENO: Rajan Zed, a community activist heading Universal Society of Hinduism was presented with a "Leadership Achievement" award at

the 3rdAnnual Excellence in Policing & Community Leadership Awards Banquet of Reno Police Department in Reno (Nevada, USA).

Rajan Zed (center, with the award) flanked by Reno Mayor Robert Cashell (right) and Reno Police Chief Steven Pitts (left). Pic Michelle Gitmed

The citation of award presented to Zed, said: For your leadership and continued commitment t o … o u r c o m m u n i t y. Your leadership…is a model for others to follow. You demonstrate the importance of being proud of who you are and what you do, you do not substitute words for action, and are willing to face any challenge to make…our community a safer place. Reno Police Chief Steven Pitts listed Rajan Zed's various activities in religious leadership on the occasion. "2011 was a year of unbelievable tragedy for our community. The stories and examples of true leadership and selflessness left an imprint on all of us", the Banquet brochure said. Zed opened the Banquet with prayers from Rig-Veda, oldest ex-

isting scripture of mankind; and Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures; in Sanskrit followed by English translations. Besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, Rajan has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award, Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, Director Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc. The Reno Police Department is nationally recognized as a model for community oriented policing and problem solving.


June 15, 2012

Community Across America

India Post 15

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Grand performances at Sofkin fundraiser

Artists who performed at Sofkin event

From Asian Media USA

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ: The Support Organization for Kids In Need (Sofkin) presented Rhythm 2012 on June 2 at South Brunswick Cross Roads South Middle School, 195 Major Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ. Over 500 people attended this prestigious event that is an Annual Fundraiser to support Sofkin homes and to raise the awareness in the community about Sofkin. Chaya Pamula, the Founder of Sofkin and the managing committee had organized this fundraiser In the Cross Roads South Middle School, the Rhythm 2012 performance was truly remarkable. The backstage and hallway areas were filled with enthusiastic and smiling faces of children of various ages (6-19 years), waiting to perform on stage. The children were wearing traditional Indian outfits and jewelry, and had unique makeup for various performances. Rhythm 2012 kicked off with a performance by Bhavesh Khatri, who sang five popular Hindi songs from films. Next, the Sofkin Youth Group sang the US National Anthem. The Master of the Ceremony was Venky Sadagopan who did a great job throughout the Rhythm 2012 event. The Sofkin Youth Group (Jasel Patel, Thomas Weng, Pranav Venkatraman) shared a brief introduction about their own inspiration and involvement with the organization. Three Short Films on Sofkin children, produced by Anusha Pamula, were presented. Rhythm 2012 held an exhilarating dance competition among the four dance groups. All the groups were acknowledged for their extraordinary performance, hard work and dedication. The judges included Divya Yeluri, Alka

Agarwal and Donnalyn Patakos. It was an opportunity for the children to display their talent, as well

Neoclassical Dance Second Place: Dinka Chika & Aadat Se-Bollywood Dance

Rhythm 2012 kicked off with a performance by Bhavesh Khatri, who sang five popular Hindi songs from films. Next, the Sofkin Youth Group sang the US National Anthem as make a true difference in a child's life in India. The Rhythm 2012 Winners for the Dance Competition were: First Place: Lord of the Dance-

Third Place: Ore KanchiBollywood Dance Fourth Place: Love Dance Other Performances: Hara HariKuchipudi classical dance and the

Grand Finale choreographed by Sofkin children. Sofkin Board of Trustees are Chaya Pamula, Satyamohan Pamula, Prasad Tenjerla, Raju Kakani, Joyce Leftly, Hima Bindu Sahu. The prime objectives of Sofkin are: Develop compassion, awareness and the spirit of charity to benefit the needy in the community; establish and support Sofkin homes and provide care and love to underprivileged children; promote family and moral values through books, music and focus groups; inculcate prime values such as honesty , integrity , fairness and safety among

kids; promote child talent by identifying and supporting talented under privileged kids; support and cooperate with persons and organizations already engaged in similar activities. Sofkin is currently supporting over seventy children in four homes located in Hyderabad and Pune, India. Each home consists of 15-20 children and 2-3 house mothers. It is a unique organization that strives to teach the children "how to fish." 'Love, happiness and smiles' is the foundation in all the homes". Sofkin is more than just giving a house, it is "giving a home."

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16 India Post

June 15, 2012

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Punjabi American Festival honors Fallen Soldiers

Over 10,000 attend day long festivities JS BEDI & LISA ZIMMERMAN India Post News Service

YUBA CITY: The Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds hosted thousands of people Sunday May 27 during the 18th Annual International Punjabi American Festival. Sponsored by the Punjabi American Heritage Society (PAHS) of Yuba City, the festival is a way for those with Punjabi roots to celebrate and share their culture with fellow Americans. This year, the community also honored the families of three soldiers killed while serving in Afghanistan: U.S. Marine Corporal Gurpreet Singh, U.S. Army Specialist Rueben Lopez and U.S. Army

Famlies of Fallen soldiers with Cong Garmaandi and PAHS members

181 and ACR 97 recognizing contributions of Sikh Americans and declaring the of month of November as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. PAHS awarded four scholarships to local students Yassra Maheen Murtaza, Kiranjeet Kaur,

Specialist Chase Marta. The ceremony was held to recognize the bravery of those that died in service of their country and the sacrifice of those families that are left behind. Congressman John Garamendi also joined PAHS members to honor the families. Assemblyman Dan Logue complimented the Punjabi American community for their hard work and contributions to the State of California. He also read excerpts from recently passed California resolutions ACR

Manjinder Singh and Ruby Phagura. Mr. Mohinder Singh Sandhu and Mrs. Surinder Kaur Sandhu of Sacramento were honored for promoting cancer awareness. Mr. Jaspal Singh Soos was recognized

for promoting poetry and friendship with artists from UK and Pakistan. The festival included hundreds of local performing artists including 200 students who participated in stage events by showcasing their talent. The Festival com-

menced with the U.S. National Anthem and Devotional Shaabad and culminated by the spellbinding singing performances by internationally acclaimed singer Jazzy B and new sensation Sherry Mann. The stage was ably

handled by Asha Sharma and many PAHS members. About 50 booths and stalls sold mouth watering South Asian delicacies, clothing, artifacts and books. The Punjabi American Heritage Society was founded in 1993 with the purpose of promoting friendship and understanding within the community and to educate Punjabi children about their ancestral roots. In the past seventeen years, many events have been organized to increase awareness and understanding. Recently, PAHS unveiled the first ever Punjabi American Museum exhibit in Yuba City and launched a web site, Punjabipioneers.com to honor the story and struggles of South Asian pioneers to USA. Southern California can learn a

lot from the PAHS. The festival is unique and one of a kind that has put Yuba City on the international scene. Then there are the lesser known aspects of this festival. There is great emphasis on cleanliness and it's not like the So Cal melas where the grounds are left so filthy that the city refuses to rent it out to the FIAs etc the following year. There is always a price ceiling

at the food booths unlike local So Cal melas where people get to buy bad food at exorbitant prices. PAHS is perhaps the only desi community organization that has reached out and made a place for the community in mainstream America. I do not know of any So Cal organization honoring fallen warriors. On the contrary, So Cal community leaders/organizations are prone to giving plaques and honoring yesteryear's forgotten Bollywood actors and all and sundry who happen to write a fat check towards a sponsorship. And these are folks whom nobody has ever heard of. It's a joke! As for media relations, So Cal "community leaders" are falling

over each over in a melee to get their pictures taken for publication in the local Indian weeklies. Whilst they want the publicity, they tend to take the media people not only for granted, but at times the media has complained of being mistreated.

Fast forward Yuba City and the Punjabi American Heritage Society. . . and this is my personal experience. This year my vehicle broke down at Turlock on Highway 99. It was a Saturday on a holiday weekend and at 4pm there was nothing I could do.

Cont’d on page 17


Community/California

June 15, 2012

India Post 17

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50 youth attend Hindu Dharma Slyo for new generation of Sri Lankans annual camp India Post News Service

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, PA: Memorial Day Weekend brought together over 50 Hindu youth from over ten universities across the country for the 22nd Annual Hindu Students Council (HSC) Camp on the grounds of Vraj Bhoomi in Schuylkill Haven, PA. HSC serves as a medium for college students and young professionals to help foster awareness of issues affecting Hindus, offers opportunities to learn about Hindu heritage/culture, and pro-

Institute of Technology, "It's nice seeing other people my age who are interested in the same things I am." Vineet Chander, the Hindu Chaplain at Princeton University, gave a talk on "The Dharma of Dating," followed by a question and answer session. "It was great discussing a topic that Hindus as a whole are reluctant to address," said Ravi Jaishankar, General Secretary of HSC. In addition, he told the story of Dhruva Maharaja from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and related it to how Bhakti could be

Throughout the weekend the attendees participated in a game in which they were grouped into kingdoms named after Hindu dynasties: the Cholas, the Guptas, the Mauryas and the Pandyas. The students competed in physical and intellectual games to earn points for their Kingdom vides seva (service) to the community. HSC chapters from universities across the nation, as well as individuals and organizations interested in Hindu Dharma, attended the camp. The annual camps are a place for chapters across the nation to meet, network, share ideas and discuss issues. "Coming to HSC camp helped fill a void I was feeling all year long when I was away at school," remarked Khamini Harinarian, an upcoming sophomore at Syracuse University, "After this weekend, I feel complete again. I missed this." Nikunj Trivedi, past president and current member of the Board of Trustees, spoke about the importance of Hindu Dharma and the role HSC has been playing to educate college students about Hindu culture and heritage. Throughout the weekend the attendees participated in a game in which they were grouped into kingdoms named after Hindu dynasties: the Cholas, the Guptas, the Mauryas and the Pandyas. The students competed in physical and intellectual games to earn points for their Kingdom. Attendees also enjoyed the cultural celebrations in the evening with Garba and Bhangra. While the camp connected the youth deeply at a spiritual and intellectual level, games and dancing helped them connect on a social level and build on the bonds already formed throughout the weekend. "When I go to other camps, it's usually full of kids who are way younger than me and their parents," remarked Mahesh Persaud, the President of HSC at Rochester

practiced in our day to day lives. Camp participants especially liked his practical and modern approach to applying spiritual teachings to modern life. Kanchan Banerjee, one of the founding members of HSC, gave a history about the origins of HSC. On the last day, Memorial Day, he reminded the importance of remembering those who have fought for their country, not just in America, but all over the world.

His daughter, Shoilee Banerjee, led the American and the Indian National Anthems to commemorate the national holiday. This was an occasion to remember the ancestors and great sages who gave to the world so much in terms of spiritual knowledge. Dr. M.G. Prasad gave a lecture on "Science, Technology and Vedic Hinduism," followed by a question and answer session. He also led students in explaining and chanting the Vishnu Sahasranamam (1000 names of Lord Vishnu). Mitesh Kapadia, in addition to leading the daily morning yoga sessions, gave a lecture on "The 5 T's of Total Transformation," which brought a spiritual perspective on taking control of one's life. Haimanti Banerjee, part of the founding group of HSC, spoke about the life and message of Swami Vivekananda. HSC is an international forum providing opportunities for college students and young professionals to learn about Hindu heritage through various activities, events and projects. Hindu Students Council was formed in 1990 by three college students who saw the need for Hindu representation on campuses. With over 55 chapters in North America and several HSC-inspired chapters around the world, HSC is the largest Hindu Youth organization outside of India.

India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Sri Lankan Youth Organization (Slyo) is rapidly growing in popularity among the South East Asian community of Southern California. The organization was founded by Aruni

Ganewatte of Lake Balboa, CA. Aruni moved to the states when she was 12 years old and like many of the young Sri Lankans in SoCal, experienced the sometimes challenging task of balancing her Sri Lankan roots with the American culture. The one thing that was missing when she was growing up was an official network of young Sri

Lankans that she could join and relate to. Because of her hope to provide this type of network and outlet for the current generation of Sri Lankan teenagers and young adults, Slyo was born. The Slyo mission is simple but essential. To bring the Sri Lankan youth throughout the United States together to provide opportunities in leadership and community service as well as build friendships and connections that will last a lifetime. This is provided by holding various community service and social events throughout the month. The members learn the importance of giving back to the community and keeping the rich cultural values and traditions alive. Recent events have included the homeless feeding with the Compassion Project of Los Angeles, a fashion show/music and dance showcase at Sri Lanka day Santa Monica and the Sri Lankan New Year day booth at Woodley Park. Upcoming events include Vesak Lantern event at Cramshew temple and paint-balling in Santa Clara. The key element that sets Slyo apart from existing Sri Lankan organizations is that while it values the traditions and customs of Sri Lanka, it also upholds a fresh, young and trendy vibe that keeps the youth engaged.

Punjabi American Festival honors Fallen Soldiers Cont’d from page 16

After arranging for safe storage of my truck, I checked into a hotel and contacted my friends Satnam Tatla and Dr. Kang telling them what had happened. Both Satnam and Dr. Kang were constantly in touch with me and lo and behold, the next morning my friend Gurjatinder Singh Randhawa called me to inquire as to my whereabouts. Sure enough, he was there at the Greyhound station in Sacramento waiting for me as I got off

the bus. In Yuba City as always, PAHS had already booked a luxurious room in an upscale hotel for me. Throughout my stay in Yuba City, elaborate arrangements were made to ensure that I did not lack in transportation and in everything in general. PAHS also arranged for me to be driven to Turlock where I was able to get my truck fixed and head back home to L.A. So Cal community organizations/leaders - can you even come close to PAHS when it comes to media relations! You should learn something from PAHS.


Tech News PM sets target of adding of 2000 MW n-power NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set a target of adding of 2000 MW of nuclear power capacity within the next year. This 2000 MW power will be added after commissioning two 1,000 MW units of the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project. The target was set at a meeting convened by the Prime Minister to speed up pending projects in the infrastructure sector. The government looks forward to a capacity addition of 18,000 MW in the power sector. The two units at Kundankulam are in an advanced stage of completion. The project has been delayed due to protests over safety and concerns over its impact on the environment. The first unit of the Kundankulam project is expected to be commissioned by August. -PTI

Pak trade official visits Shimla Mega Mart SHIMLA: The Pakistan Trade Commissioner, Naeem Anwar, has appreciated the efforts of PHD Chamber in promoting bilateral trade between India and Pakistan. Anwar, who visited the ongoing Shimla Mega Mart 2012 to explore the possibilities of bilateral trade between India and Pakistan, said India and Pakistan must increase the bilateral trade as there was huge demand of each others products. About 40 exhibitors from Pakistan are displaying a wide array of products like garments, footwear, handicrafts, dry fruits, gems and stones, onyx marble artifacts, kitchenware, furniture, decorative items etc., at the Mega Mart.

Uefa Euro 2012 live on the internet in India

N

eo Sports, the official broadcast partner for Uefa Euro 2012 in the Indian Sub-continent, has tied-up with iStream.com, a premier video portal, to provide exclusive live streaming in India of the Neo Sports telecast of 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (Uefa Euro 2012). Neo Sports, the all sports channel, has the exclusive television broadcast rights across the Indian subcontinent.

TechBiz 18 India Post

www.indiapost.com

June 15, 2012

Samsung to launch Galaxy S III despite Apple ban request

S

amsung has said that the launch of the Galaxy S III will go on sale in the US market as planned, despite a sales injunction request filed by Apple to a US court. "Samsung believes Apple's request is without merit. We will vigorously oppose the request," the South Korean firm said in a statement. "We would also like to assure consumers that the U.S. launch and sales of the Galaxy S III will proceed as planned."

Top honors for Norman Mineta and Dinesh C. Paliwal India Post News Service

NEW YORK: This year's Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business top awards will be presented to Norman Mineta, former Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush, who will receive the "Lifetime Achievement Award" and Dinesh C. Paliwal, Chairman, President and CEO of Harman International Industries, Inc. who will receive the "Pinnacle Award", at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on June 19. This annual event which is organized by the Asian American Business Development Center, marks the 11th anniversary of the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award, will also honor 46 other Asian Americans from California to New York, representing a multitude of Asian ethnic backgrounds. It continues to be the only forum to highlight the achievements of Asian Americans across the United States. The award recipients represent a microcosm of the elite Asian American business owners, professionals and corporate executives who

Norman Mineta and Dinesh C. Paliwal

are engaged in a wide range of business interests. The award committee identifies and selects individuals with outstanding leadership, vision and accomplishments who have built a successful business or who have

distinguished themselves in their community. The Pinnacle Award is given to a person who has reached the acme of his/her professional career and is widely acknowledged by his/her peers as a leader in the industry. The Life-

This year the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award will cumulatively have honored more than 500 successful Asian American women and men from multiple ethnic backgrounds

time Achievement Award is a special recognition. This year the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award will cumulatively have honored more than 500 successful Asian American women and men from multiple ethnic backgrounds, representing over 50 industries and professions. "The award not only honors individuals, but serves to encourage the development of talent and leadership of Asian Americans," said John Wang, president of AABDC. This year Aetna, ColgatePalmolive, Con Edison, Harman International, Macy's, Pfizer, Verizon and Zenith Watches are among the sponsors of the event. The Asian American Business Development Center, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1994. AABDC's mission is to assist Asian American businesses to strengthen their capacities to compete in the mainstream marketplace, to expand business opportunities and to promote greater recognition of Asian American businesses' contributions to the general economy.

Reliance forms JV with America's Brooks Bros NEW DELHI: Reliance Brands, a unit of Reliance Industries, has announced a joint venture with America's clothing retailer Brooks Brothers to set up the latter's shops in India. Through the new joint venture, in which Reliance Brands holds 49 per cent stake, Brooks Brothers' products will be available in major cities across India through exclusive mono-brand stores which will carry the entire range of menswear and women's wear including clothing, sportswear, and accessories. "We will be looking at opening five stores over the next three seasons, starting with Fall-

Winter 2012 running through FallWinter 2013," Reliance Brands said in response to a PTI query. The company is targeting Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore,

oldest clothing retailer, introduced the first ready-to-wear suits in 1845. Its flagship store is at Madison Avenue, New York City, a location it has held for almost a hun-

Brooks Brothers' products will be available in major cities across India through exclusive mono-brand stores which will carry the entire range of menswear and women's wear Chennai and Chandigarh. "However, at the same time we have a parallel focus on Hyderabad and Kolkata which are important cities for us as well," it said. Brooks Brothers, America's

dred years. Commenting on the development Reliance Brands President and CEO Darshan Mehta said: "By all accounts, Brooks Brothers is an immensely distinguished heri-

tage brand that is forever woven into the history of American clothing." As of 2011, Brooks Brothers is available at 210 locations in the United States and 200 in other countries, including Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, France, the United Kingdom, Chile, Canada, Italy, Mexico, and Greece. Reliance Brands' current portfolio includes labels like Diesel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hamleys, Kenneth Cole, Paul & Shark, Quicksilver, Roxy, Steve Madden, Thomas Pink, Timberland and over 25 brands that comprise the Iconix Brand Group, Inc. -PTI


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Air India to hire hundred new pilots NEW DELHI: Air India is going to induct about 100 new pilots in the next few months, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said here while virtually shutting the doors for striking pilots, asking those sacked to apply afresh. Indicating that the 101 sacked pilots could be replaced by new ones, Singh said 90 pilots were currently undergoing training and would be available for flying in August. "We're making sure we have enough resources - pilots and engineers to operate the new flights we have planned," he said in reply to a spate of questions on the month-long pilots' agitation spearheaded by the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG). The striking pilots questioned the Government's plan. "We have serious doubts about ministry's move (to hire pilots). Whom do they want to benefit? At a time when the company is under severe financial crunch, can these new pilots be afforded at a

Members of the Indian Pilots' Guild participate in a silent protest march on the 30th day of their strike in Mumbai on June 6

salary which is double of ours?" Captain Anil Kumar Rao, Joint Secretary of IPG, told reporters after pilots staged silent marches in Delhi and Mumbai. "Such a move by the ministry can jeopardize fight passenger safety. Hiring foreign pilots without study of their track records could lead to compromise with safety issue," he alleged.

"We appeal to the AI management to come forward and have a dialogue. We want to fly. But for that somebody from the management or the ministry should hear us," he said. But after facing a loss of over Rs.400 crore due to the strike in the peak holiday season, Government was in no mood to make any placatory moves.

Google alerts users of statesponsored cyber attacks NEW DELHI: Search giant Google has warned users that their accounts may be "targetted" by state-sponsored cyber attacks and asked them to take immediate steps to protect their data. In the official company blog, Google Vice President Security (Engineering) Eric Grosse said, "We are constantly on the lookout for malicious activity on our

tempting to compromise your account or computer. Protect yourself now." "When we have specific intelligence - either directly from users or from our own monitoring efforts - we show clear warning signs and put in place extra roadblocks to thwart these bad actors," Grosse said. In an emailed statement, a

systems, in particular attempts by third parties to log into users' accounts unauthorized...Today, we are taking that a step further for a subset of our users, who we believe may be the target of statesponsored attacks". Many Gmail users have seen a warning message in a pink colored bar saying, "We believe statesponsored attackers may be at-

Google spokesperson said the warning was developed to supplement the company's existing account security technologies and notifications. "We believe it is our duty to be proactive in notifying users about attacks or potential attacks so that they can take action to protect their information. And we will continue to update these notifications

based on the latest information," he added. Grosse clarified that the warning message does not necessarily mean that the account has been hijacked. "It just means that we believe you may be a target, of phishing or malware...and that you should take immediate steps to secure your account," he added. Grosse did not elucidate on how the company ascertains that this activity is state-sponsored. According to Grosse, the company's detailed analysis -- as well as victim reports -- strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored. The warning comes amid increasing concerns about 'Flame virus' which has been spreading in the Middle East and indications of cyber warfare impacting the US and many other countries. Grosse suggested that users should create a unique password mixing capital and lowercase letters, punctuation marks and numbers; enable 2-step verification as additional security; and update their browsers, operating systems, plugins, and document editors. "Attackers often send links to fake sign-in pages to try to steal your password, so be careful about where you sign in to Google," Grosse said. -PTI

On the contrary, a tough-talking Singh said the sacked pilots will have to apply fresh along with new pilots if they intend to get back. "As far as we are concerned, the pilot's strike is over. If the (striking) pilots don't accept Dharmadhikari report which is part of the airline's turnaround plan, I don't think there is any point in their coming back....If terminated pilots want to come back, they will have to apply afresh," Singh said at a press conference convened to announce Air India's new global operations plan. -PTI

Bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad cleared NEW DELHI: Two ambitious rail projects - proposed elevated rail corridor in Mumbai and a bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai - got a boost as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh finalized the targets for key infrastructure projects in PPP model in railways. At a meeting with ministers and secretaries of key infrastructure ministries, it was decided to flag off the elevated rail corridor project for Mumbai suburban service with a total investment of Rs 20,000 crore in 2012-13. The elevated rail corridor is crucial for Mumbai as it aims to give a faster service to daily commuters

in the metropolis. However, Railway Minister Mukul Roy was not present in the meeting. Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal attended the highlevel meeting chaired by the PM. It was also decided to finalize the action plan for the 500-km high-speed corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, said railway sources. The project is estimated to cost about Rs 60,000 crore. Known as bullet train project, the train is expected to run at 350 km per hour speed reducing the travel time to four hours between the two cities from seven hours by Duronto, the fastest train at present. -PTI


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HC notices to Centre, Facebook India, Google India on PIL NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has sought responses of the Centre, Facebook India and Google India on a plea by former BJP ideologue K N Govindacharya for recovery of taxes on their income from operations in India. "Issue notice to the respondents. The Centre is to file its reply within four weeks," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajiv Shakdher said. Govindacharya, presently a patron of 'Rashtriya Swabhimaan Aandolan', in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, has also sought directions to the Centre and the two websites to "ensure proper accounting compliances as per RBI guidelines". The petition also sought a direction to ensure safety of the data of 50 million Indian users, which were transferred "to the USA and being used for commercial gains in violation of the right to privacy." "Issue a writ of mandamus ...to ensure verification of all existing users and future new members of social networking websites with instructions not to do agreements with children below 13 years," said the plea, filed through lawyer

Virag Gupta. The plea also sought creation of a national register of persons, indulging in sexual offences and heinous crimes and stopping such persons from joining social networking websites. The petition, which listed the alleged violations of various terms

The petition also sought a direction to ensure safety of the data of 50 million Indian users, which were transferred ‘to the USA and being used for commercial gains’ by the websites, also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that government officers "do not use social networking websites through government computers" as they may pose threat to sensitive data and national computer network. "As per telecommunication

RBI stops charging prepayment penalty MUMBAI: In a relief to borrow- reduction in the discrimination ers, the Reserve Bank of India between existing and new borrow(RBI) has asked banks to immedi- ers and competition among banks ately stop charging penalty on pre- will result in finer pricing of the payment of home loans taken on floating rate home loans. floating interest rates. "Though many banks have in "It has...been decided that the recent past voluntarily abolbanks will not be permitted to ished pre-payment penalties on charge foreclosure charges\pre- floating rate home loans, there is a payment penalties on home loans need to ensure uniformity across on floating interest rate basis, with immediate effect," the Reserve Bank said in a communi- This is particularly so cation to banks. considering that banks The RBI noted that the Damodaran Committee had ob- were found to be hesiserved that foreclosure charges tant in passing on the levied by banks on prepayment benefits of lower of home loans were resented by interest rates to the home loan borrowers. This is particularly so con- existing borrowers sidering that banks were found to be hesitant in passing on the benefits of lower interest rates to the banking system," it added. the existing borrowers in a falling Some banks were charging preinterest rate scenario, it added. payment penalty of 1-2 per cent of "As such, foreclosure charges the outstanding loans. are seen as a restrictive practice With an aim to ensure unifordeterring the borrowers from mity across the banking system in switching over to cheaper avail- home loan segment, the RBI in the able source," the RBI said. annual monetary policy for 2012The removal of the charges or 13 had proposed "not to permit" penalty, the RBI said, will lead to banks to levy the charges.-PTI

minister's statement in Parliament, the government lost 4 billion USD every year due to cyber-crimes and approximately 90 million government websites were hacked in last 3 years," it said. Govindacharya, in his PIL, said "Facebook gross revenue for previous year was approximately 37 billion USD but they are not paying due taxes on their Indian operations as per the provisions of Double Tax Avoidance Agreement and the government is not taking any action to safeguard the national interest and the sovereignty of the country." Anonymous hackers have again threatened to attack the government websites from June nine "to protest blocking of websites illegally sharing video contents," the petition said. It also sought directions to the Centre to impose penalty on social networking sites and other internet companies "for non-verification of users and to recover damages for causing huge loss to the government and the Indian economy due to anonymous users' illegal operations through such sites." -PTI

China's Xinjiang keen to trade directly with India BEIJING: China's Muslim-dominated Xinjiang Uyghur province has made a strong pitch for opening up direct border trade with India, which is currently done through Pakistan's Rawalpindi city, citing improvement in the economic ties between the two countries. Xinjiang province's trade with India is currently conducted through Pakistan as there are no border posts, Shu Dagang, Vice Chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, told a media briefing here. Every year, Indian traders and Xinjiang businessmen meet at Rawalpindi to discuss the trade volume and items, he said answering a question. With the deepening of IndiaChina ties, Xinjiang, which shares borders with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) besides a host of central Asian states and Russia looks towards developing direct trade links between New Delhi and Kashghar, a border town in Xinjiang. It only takes about 50 minutes by air from New Delhi to Kashghar and the land distance between both is about 1200 km.-PTI


I

n the galaxy of the history of India's freedom movement, V.D. Savarkar is among the brightest stars that will shine and inspire the people of India for ages to come. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, born on May 28, 1883 in Nasik, Maharashtra, was an Indian revolutionary and a great community activist. In 1901, Vinayak Savarkar married Yamunabai, daughter of Ramchandra Triambak Chiplunkar, who supported his university education. Subsequently in 1902, he enrolled in Ferguson College in Pune. As a young man, he was inspired by the new generation of radical political leaders namely Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai along with the political struggle against the Partition of Bengal and the rising Swadeshi campaign. He was involved in various nationalist activities at various levels. In 1905, during Dusherra festivities Vinayak organized setting up of a bonfire of foreign goods and clothes. Along with his fellow students and friends he formed a political outfit called Abhinav Bharat. Vinayak was expelled from college due to his activities but was permitted to take his Bachelor of Arts degree examinations. After completing his degree, nationalist activist Shyam Krishnavarma helped Vinayak to go to England to study law, on a scholarship. It was during this period that Garam Dal was formed under the leadership of Tilak, due to the split of Indian National Congress. The members of Garam Dal did not acknowledge the moderate Indian National Congress leadership agenda which advocated dialogue and reconciliation with the British. Tilak advocated the philosophy of Swaraj and was soon im-

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An Indian Saddhu (holy person) watches the transit of Planet Venus across the sun with protective eyewear in Guwahati on June 6. Sky-gazers around the world held up their telescopes and viewing glasses to watch a once-in-a-lifetime event as Venus slid across the Sun

Veer Savarkar: A hero maligned by the British SURENDRA ULLAL

prisoned for his support of revolutionary activities. A multi-dimensional personality Savarkar was a poet, writer and playwright. He also joins the rank

As the Greco-Roman history and subsequently of Europe and America clearly show slavery in ancient and middle age proved to be of advantage to the nobles and

dia and England, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies including Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society, as well

While in jail, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He was released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency of great Hindu leaders, from Gautama, Guru Nanak to Mahatma Gandhi, for his incessant effort to reform Hindu society by dismantling the caste system unfortunately embedded in the Hindu social mores. However it was mostly misused by the religiously and politically powerful for their selfish aggrandizement.

mercantile class to increase their wealth and influence. In the same context, caste system in Hindus is a bane of Hindu culture. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, which is distinct from Hinduism and sought to create an inclusive and collective identity. Savarkar's revolutionary activities began when studying in In-

as publications espousing the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. Savarkar published a book, The Indian War of Independence, about the Indian uprising in 1857 that was banned by the British authorities. He was arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House.

Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles, Savarkar was sentenced to two life terms amounting to 50 years' imprisonment and was moved to the Cellular jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. While in jail, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, openly espousing Hindu nationalism. He was released in 1921 under restrictions after signing a plea for clemency in which he renounced revolutionary activities. Savarkar was a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, Savarkar endorsed the ideal of India as Hindu Rashtra. He became a fierce critic of the Indian National Congress and its acceptance of India's partition, and was one of those accused in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. He was acquitted as the charges were not proved.

Sachin takes oath as MP, says focus is cricket NEW DELHI: Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar took oath here as member of the Rajya Sabha making it clear that his focus would be cricket and hinting at concentrating on Parliament work after he stops playing the game. However, he hastened to add that he does not want rumors to swirl that he has stopped playing cricket for Parliament. "...I am here because of my cricketing career. I cannot take any focus away from my cricket. That is where it all started for me. I will focus on my cricket and as and when I stop playing cricket, I don't know, when I will start attending to other things. "I don't want rumors to start that I have stopped playing cricket. I will let everyone know when I will stop playing cricket," he said when asked how he would assuage people who raise questions whether he would be able to do justice to the job in Parliament

Vice President and Chairman, Rajya Sabha Mohd. Hamid Ansari, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Food Processing Industries and Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat and the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla with the new Member, Rajya Sabha, Sachin Tendulkar at a swearing-in Ceremony, in New Delhi on June 4

when he is still playing cricket. Earlier, 39-year-old Tendulkar took oath as member of the Rajya Sabha (Upper house of Parliament) in the presence of Chairman Hamid Ansari and India's Union Ministers Rajiv Shukla, Harish Rawat and V Narayanasamy. Tendulkar, along with film actor Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga was nominated as members of the Rajya Sabha by President Pratibha Patil on April 26. "Cricket comes first," Tendulkar told reporters as he and wife Anjali were chaperoned by Shukla to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's chamber. There was much excitement in the corridors of Parliament as a large number of officials gathered outside Ansari's chamber where Tendulkar took oath. A number of Parliament staffers took out their mobile phones to capture a glimpse of the cricketer.-PTI


Realty Tidbits „ Realtors eye redevelopment as land dries up MUMBAI: With limited availability of open land parcels in the city, major developers are now looking at venturing into the redevelopment space, say industry experts. "Due to scarce availability of unoccupied land, growth in real estate, particularly in terms of fresh supply is largely dependent on redevelopment activities," global property advisory DTZ India chief executive Anshul Jain told PTI. "As a result, slum redevelopment schemes as well as redevelopment of old cessed-buildings are playing a key role in realty development in Mumbai," he said. Scarce availability has made land parcels expensive in the city, resulting in higher project cost, he said. "However, in case of redevelopment and rehabilitation, land cost is much lower and provides better returns to both developers as well as investors," Jain said. There are over 20,000 housing societies, 17,000 cessed buildings and over 3,000 MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) structures, which are waiting for redevelopment proposals.-PTI

„ CREDAI seeks PM intervention to curb black money NEW DELHI: CREDAI, the apex body for real estate developers, has sought Prime Minister's intervention to bring reforms for curbing black money in the realty sector. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) suggested reforms in four key areas that impact the real estate - administrative, land, tax and banking. "The economic reforms initiated by Manmohan Singh as the Finance Minister over 20 years ago have seen the end of the License Raj, but the real estate sector is still governed by controls and increased controls," CREDAI President Mr Lalit Kumar Jain said in a statement. He regretted that industry's demand for quick approvals of project through single-window clearance system has received poor response from authorities like the Environment Ministry. "We are victims of the system, not the beneficiaries! We hate this system which makes us look ugly. We curse every person who exploits us to give us a legitimate permission which we deserve instantly and without any illegitimate demand," Jain observed.-PTI

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GMR-led DIAL questions CAG audit New Delhi: Questioning the jurisdiction of CAG which had detected a loss of Rs 1.63 lakh crore in the leasing of land to GMR-led private operator, DIAL said the concessions available to it to run the Delhi airport were part of the bid documents and were available to every bidder. CAG, in its draft audit report which is yet to be tabled in Parliament, states that Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) could earn Rs 1.63 lakh crore over a period of 60 years from land that leased out for a mere Rs 100 per year.

June 15, 2012

Cont’d on page 23

India sees 3rd highest rise in housing prices NEW DELHI: India witnessed the third highest rise of 12 per cent globally in housing prices in January- March quarter of 2012 over the year-ago period, according to consultant Knight Frank. Housing prices in India, however, declined by 0.9 per cent when compared with the previous quarter. "Brazil recorded the strongest annual growth (23.5 per cent) and Ireland the weakest (minus 16.3 per cent)," it said. The Knight Frank Global House Price Index monitors and compare the performance of 53 mainstream residential markets across the world. Austria ranked fourth with 11 per cent rise in housing prices, followed by Germany (9.8 per cent), Colombia (9.6 per cent), Turkey (8.7 per cent), Russia (8.2 per

cent), Iceland (7.3 per cent) and Canada (6.8 per cent). In China, the prices have de-

and purchasers alike have had bank finance squeezed as a consequence of the ongoing cooling

clined by 2.2 per cent. "The Chinese housing market has had a tough 12 months as developers

measures. "Lending restrictions, new taxes, the curbing of multiple prop-

Deshmukh, Shinde being probed in Adarsh case MUMBAI: The CBI is investigating allegations against Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, two former Maharashtra Chief Ministers, who are at present Union Ministers, in the Adarsh Housing scam. In an affidavit, the CBI, which is probing the Adarsh housing society scam, has informed the Bombay High Court that the investigation against the two leaders is based on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Social activist, Pravin Wategaonkar, had in April this year filed an affidavit before the

High Court based on the CAG report alleging that Deshmukh, former Maharashtra Chief minister, owns two proxy flats in the scam tainted Adarsh society in south Mumbai. In the affidavit, filed by Ravindra Singh, Superintendent of Police, Sushil Kumar Shinde & Vilasrao Deshmukh the CBI said "I say that the reference made by the petitioner (Wategaonkar) mission and omission on part of about the report of CAG on public servants, are being thorAdarsh society, which has oughly investigated by CBI. "I say that the allegations made brought out certain acts of comby the petitioner against Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sunil Tatkare (Maharashtra cabinet minister) and others are being thoroughly investigated by CBI," the affidavit filed on June one said. CBI has recorded the statement of Deshmukh and Shinde in the national capital last years during which both the cabinet ministers have denied having any role in the multi-crore housing scam. The High Court had in the last hearing posted the matter to June 18 after CBI said that it would file its chargesheet in the case by June 15.

erty purchases, and new regulations to restrict the inward flow of hot foreign money have had the desired effect," Knight Frank's Director of Research in Asia Pacific Nicholas Holt said. The report further said that during the first quarter of 2012, the housing prices fell in 58 per cent of the countries monitored by the index. Knight Frank's report noted that the Global House Price Index recorded its weakest annual performance since the depths of the recession in 2009, recording only 0.9 per cent growth in the year to March 2012. "Doubts over the Eurozone's future, along with the Asian governments' staunch efforts to cool their markets and deter speculative investment, have taken their toll," it explained.

Ansal API to pump in Rs 450 cr in Punjab CHANDIGARH: Ansal API, leading real estate developers has launched Tulip & Carnation Towers at Orchard County, Mohali in Punjab which would be built with an investment of Rs 450 crores. Vikas Gupta, Vice President of the company said that "Mohali is witnessing a tremendous growth in terms of job opportunities and people are migrating from all across India to set up their base in the city. That offers huge opportunity for housing. Another advantage that Mohali enjoys its proximity to Chandigarh which happens to be one of the bestplanned cities in the country." The new real estate project is located on the main Kharar-Landran road near here. Gupta said that Ansal API is in the business for over four decades now and has developed some of the most prestigious projects in the country and it operates in a number of business verticals like integrated townships, condominiums, group housing, malls, shopping complexes, hotels, SEZs, IT Parks and offices. Coupled with facilities like the swimming pool, clubhouse, gym and the myriad parks and orchards.


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Hudco eyes Rs 10,000 cr through tax-free bonds NEW DELHI: State-owned housing and urban infrastructure developer Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) says it plans to raise about Rs 10,000 crore through tax-free bonds and other instruments this fiscal to fund business expansion. "We are planning to raise about Rs 10,000 crore in 2012-13," Hudco Chairman and Managing Director V P Baligar said after announcing financial results of the company here. Of the total resource mobilization target for the current fiscal, he said, Rs 5,000 crore would come from tax-free bonds. Besides, some amount would be raised from non-tax free bonds, he said, adding, the company is also talking to National Housing Bank for loans worth Rs 500 crore at a competitive interest rate for its social housing operations in rural areas. The company will also mobilize about Rs 400 crore from its public deposit scheme, he added. During 2011-12, the company mobilized a total of Rs 10,395.95 crore. Of this, it raised Rs 5,000 crore of tax-free bonds. In addition, Hudco also mobilized an amount of Rs 667.40 crore via taxable bonds.

Talking about the financial performance of the Hudco during 2011-12, Baligar said, the company recorded a 14 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 629.18 crore, which is also the highest ever.

The company is also talking to National Housing Bank for loans worth Rs 500 crore at a competitive interest rate for its social housing operations in rural areas. The company will also mobilize about Rs 400 crore from its public deposit scheme The net profit of the company was Rs 550.03 crore in the previous year. The company registered a growth rate of 35 per cent in disbursement with releases of Rs 6,906 crore as compared to Rs 5,105 crore in 2010-11. "We have sanctioned a total

loan of Rs 20,511 crore, in 2011-12, which is the highest so far," he added. During the year 2011-12, he said, Hudco sanctioned a total amount of Rs 14,204 crore for urban infrastructure projects. A substantial focus has been laid during the year on core infrastructure projects, which affect the quality of life of citizens, he added. Of the total sanctions for infrastructure projects, about 56.10 per cent constituted for core infrastructure projects (Rs 7969 crore) covering water supply, sewerage, drainage, solid waste, roads/transport sector and social infrastructure projects, he added. With regard to the asset quality, Baligar said, the gross nonperforming asset (NPA) of the company stood at 6 per cent while the net NPA was 1.35 per cent at the end of March 2012. Loans of about Rs 300 crore given to Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation, Konaseema EPS Oakwell Power Ltd have turned NPA, he said. The company will be making efforts to bring down its non-performing assets during the financial year by focusing more on recovery.

GMR-led DIAL questions CAG audit Cont’d from page 22

"At the outset we would like to state that DIAL, being a publicprivate partnership, does not come under the purview of CAG audit," DIAL said in a statement. GMR-led DIAL said it had won the bid to develop Delhi airport through a global tender where terms like concessional land and usage of 5 per cent of airport land for commercial purposes were available to all bidders. "The bid process and conditions were reviewed and upheld by the Supreme Court of India in 2006," it said. Stating that the figure of Rs 1.63 lakh crore as value of land was "theoretical and grossly misleading", it said the amount of revenue accruing to DIAL over 58 years does not represent the time value of money. "It (Rs 1.63 lakh crore) is simply the absolute amount of revenues that accrue to DIAL over 58 years (45.99 per cent of the same will be shared with Airport Authority of India) - and does not represent the time value of money. The net present value of this land

would be only Rs 4,547 crore (about Rs 19 crore per acre)," the statement said. On CAG's criticism of Civil Aviation Ministry allowing DIAL to charge airport development fees (ADF) from air passengers in violation of agreement, the operator

The imposition of the development fee on passengers at Delhi airport came under attack in the Rajya Sabha last month with CPI-M, BJP, SP and BSP members questioning the levy for incoming passengers said development fee is a form of pre-funding that is globally applied in number of airports. "ADF is permitted under Section 22A of the AAI Act and this was known to all bidders. Hence this was not a post bid change," it said. CAG had stated there was no

mention of a development fee in the original bid and levying of such a charge violated the Operation Management Development Agreement (OMDA). GMR-led DIAL said the levy of development fee was necessitated on account of inability of AAI to infuse further equity and lenders not willing to provide further debt. The imposition of the development fee on passengers at Delhi airport came under attack in the Rajya Sabha last month with CPIM, BJP, SP and BSP members questioning the levy for incoming passengers. "For DIAL, it must be noted that, amount of DF levied directly reduces the basis used for calculating the aeronautical tariff at the airport to be charged from passengers and airlines," the statement said adding passengers and airlines would have else been paying 200 per cent of additional tariff hike. "As a result, DF is actually detrimental to DIAL as it meant a loss of nearly Rs 546 crore of revenue per year," it said adding DIAL has delivered world class infrastructure in fulfillment of its commitment under the concession document.

Hubtown Hillcrest

Hubtown launches 20-80 payment scheme MUMBAI: Listed developer Hubtown, erstwhile Ackruti City, has launched a 20-80 payment scheme at two of its residential projects in Mumbai. The scheme allows the buyer of the property to pay 20% of the price upfront, while rest can be paid at the time of possession, the company said in a release. The realty developer has tied up with ICICI Bank to offer loans to customers in this special scheme. Under the scheme, the buyers are not required to make any monthly installments or interest payment until the property possession is provided. The scheme offers residential units in two projects namely

Hubtown Sunmist at Andheri suburb and Hubtown Hillcrest at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. Currently, both the projects together have pending inventory of around 110 units. "The scheme has been launched to help buyers who are keen to own a residential property but sitting on the fence due to prevailing high realty prices, interest rates," said Hemant Shah, chairman, Hubtown. The scheme that was launched by several developers in Mumbai in 2010 in the backdrop of falling sales then had received good customer response, and Hubtown is also looking to prop up its sales now through launch of this scheme this time, said a property broker.

Hubtown Sunmist


India Post News Service

NEW YORK: A poetic journey to the old city of Ahmedabad, Patang weaves together the stories of six people transformed by the energy of India's largest kite festival. Every year a million kites fill the skies above Ahmedabad -

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India Post

15 in New York City (Cinema Village), New Jersey (Big Cinemas in Edison and North Bergen), and Chicago (AMC River East 21). It then releases on June 22 in Toronto Director Prashant Bhargava

dueling, soaring, tumbling and flying high. When a successful Delhi businessman takes his daughter on a surprise trip back to his childhood home for the festival, an entire family has to confront its own fractured past and fragile dreams. Praised by film critic Roger Ebert, Patang releases in theaters on June

www.indiapost.com whose films have played at top film festivals. He sat down to discuss the making of this award-winning film which premiered at the Berlin and Tribeca film festivals.

June 15, 2012

played with them, flew kites with them, got to know their families. Each year, I was certain I had found our lead child actor. But when I returned the next year, they

kids was amongst the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences of my life. I learned so much from them as a human being and director.

CHICAGO'S 'KITEMAKER' Award winning director reveals making of 'Patang'

and Vancouver, June 29 in the SF Bay Area, and additional US cities in July. Director Prashant Bhargava grew up in Chicago and has now become an acclaimed filmmaker

How did you cast and work with the kids in the film? During my visits to Ahmedabad over the years to research the movie, I had befriended several kids -

A scene from ‘Patang'

had grown and changed. A few months prior to the shoot, our casting department selected sixty children. Eventually, we conducted a workshop with twelve children. We played theater games to build trust, discipline and freedom in front of the camera. Many of the children had seen adversity in their past, yet their smiles and laughter were pure. We chose Hamid as our lead child actor, because he was so effortless in front of the camera; he had an uncanny wisdom and persistence in his expression. During the shoot, we never shared the script with the kids. I would just give them physical tasks. For instance, I would direct Hamid to catch ten cut kites as they fell from the skies above. He'd run through traffic, revel as he caught one, fight with rickshaw drivers as he darted in front of them. The kids never acted; they were always themselves. Their work shines in the film and sets the bar for the performances by the established actors. Working with the

The kids never acted; they were always themselves. Their work shines in the film and sets the bar for the performances by the established actors What is your approach to shooting Patang and the film's cinematography? During the three years of research, we accumulated over 100 hours of research footage. We would sit for hours with a camera in hand on a corner, in a shop, in a home or on a rooftop. Beautiful stories would unfold as we silently observed. We slowly let go of our preconceptions. By the third year, we were orchestrating locals to naturally enact scenes of the film. The visual language originated from this immersion and observation. Cont’d on page 26


June 15, 2012

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Exploring the Dhrupad-Dikshitar connection PRAKASH M SWAMY

HOUSTON, TX: Be it abhangs, bhajans and ashtapadis being sung in raagams like Behaag, Desh, and Khamaas, Carnatic music has adapted several Hindustani compositions into the kutcheri format. Except for an occasional Daasar padam of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi or a Charukesi of Pandit Ravi Shankar, the same cannot be said emphatically about Hindustani music. "Meditative Moments: Guruguha - Dhruvapada" by Padmashri Gundecha brothers

Kanniks Kannikeswaran

curated by visionary musicologist Kanniks Kannikeswaran was a unique, first-of-its-kind presentation that included South Indian composer Muthuswamy Dikshitar's compositions that resemble Dhrupad music in structure and flow.

Experiencing this concert added credence to the idea that some of Dikshitar's work might have been inspired by Dhrupad, possibly during his five year stay in Benaras with his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi. It should be borne in mind that traditional Dikshitar compositions such as Budhamaasrayami or Sri Kaalahasteesa in purely South Indian raagams would not be comparable to Dhrupad. In Kanniks' opinion, "regardless of whether Dikshitar was inspired by Dhrupad or not, some of his compositions and Dhrupad stutis seem to reach towards a common source, a syllable based approach to Indian classical music, something that both the North and South traditions of Indian classical music can relate to; something at the core of a pan Indian musical tradition." Asked how this idea came about, Kanniks said, "I heard some Shiva stutis by Gundecha in a CD recording in February 2002. I was blown away by how similar the stutis sounded to Dikshitar's rupaka taala kritis. Ever since then I got deeper into the study of both Dhrupad and Dikshitar. I visited the Gundecha brothers' Dhrupad Gurukula in Bhopal, India in 2011 and sang compositions of Dikshitar that resemble Dhrupad. They were very receptive to the idea of a unified presentation of Dhrupad and Dikshitar." The concert started with the well-known Dikshitar composition Ardhanaareesvaram after an elaborate aalaap in Raag Kumudakriya. Talking about this

Gundecha brothers

opening piece, Kanniks says, "Kumudakriya is a not very frequently heard raga; it is uniquely seen in Dikshitar tradition. When I first proposed this composition to the Gundecha brothers, they

Kanniks Kannikeswaran is an award winning visionary composer, music educator and scholar whose work has been performed in and has had an impact in several parts of the world loved it. Ramakant Ji sang with me phrase after phrase when we first met in Bhopal; that was the beginning. What the brothers rendered in Houston was unforgettable." The natural choice for the next

Namsate - Seductive mix of santoor & saxophone India Post News Service

W

hen the elements of melody and harmony are carefully balanced, the convergence of one world with another results in a beautiful sound. Namaste is a collaborative album crafted by Rahul Sharma - a native of India's Kashmir region and a third-generation master of the exotic, 100-string santoor and saxophonist Kenny G, a multiple Grammy-winning titan on the contemporary jazz landscape for more than two decades. This unusual and daring project captures the best of these two musicians - with a chill ambiance set up by mixer/producer extraordinaire Kid Tricky, (along with Walter A. and Soul Seekerz)

Kenny G and Rahul Sharma

- is set for release on June 26 by Concord Records. The evolution of Namaste is a fascinating story of two artists transcending cultural boundaries, beginning when Sharma, who first learnt the santoor from his father

the legendary santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, approached saxophonist Kenny G during the latter musician's performance in Mumbai a few years ago. Cont’d on page 27

piece was Dikshitar's Parimala Ranganaatham in Hamir, which is a common North Indian raga. When Kanniks had sung this composition to Dhrupad maestro Ustad Fariduddin Dagar at IIT Bombay in 2005, he had remarked "Yeh toh Dhrupad hi hai." The last two pieces were traditional and popular Dhrupad pieces that are not composed by Dikshitar but remind us of his compositions in terms of their lyrics and structure. The compositions were Jayati Jayati Sri Ganesh in Malkauns and Shiva Shiva Shiva in Adaanaa. The last piece "Shiva Shiva Shiva" is a megahit of the Gundecha brothers that they get requested to sing wherever they go. The pakhaawaj support from their brother Akhilesh Gundecha especially for this finale was outstanding. When asked about the significance of this memorable concert, Umakant and Ramakant Gundecha said that "We hope this will open new dimensions of Dikshitar compositions and also that more North Indian musicians will come to take up South Indian music. This concert is a sign of great possibility of accessing each other's music." Reflecting on their collaboration, the Gundecha brothers said: "We are very thankful to Shri Kanniks Ji for proposing this project to us and to help us learn these compositions. It was a very smooth and productive experience to work with him. We hope we can carry on such work." Kanniks adds that "it has been a joy working with the Gundecha brothers, trading notation back and forth,

and the numerous skype sessions. I admire their simplicity, their willingness to explore, and the combination of their pure Hindi and their tech savviness!" The next steps are to perform similar concerts at other locations and make a recording of a few Dikshitar compositions in Dhrupad style. However, a live performance is no substitute for a recording. To have experienced this unique concert featuring the best Dhrupad vocalists of our times singing Dikshitar compositions on the full moon night of Buddha Poornima was simply an unforgettable magical experience. Kanniks Kannikeswaran is an award winning visionary composer, music educator and scholar whose work has been performed in and has had an impact in several parts of the world. Kanniks is the pioneer of the Indian American choral movement. His far reaching work in this area has led to the founding of Indian community choirs in several places such as Cincinnati OH, Allentown PA, Tampa FL, Houston TX, Minneapolis MN and more. Kanniks has collaborated with artists such as The Gundecha Brothers, Lakshmi Shankar, Mallika Sarabhai, with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra to name a few and his work has been performed by large ensembles at the National University of Singapore. Kanniks has been teaching at the University of Cincinnati in the capacity of an Adjunct Faculty since 1994. Kanniks' award winning research and recording of the 18th century Indo Colonial music of India is beginning to have an impact on Indian musical pedagogy. Kanniks is often described as a renaissance personality who effortlessly traverses diverse disciplines such as music, spirituality and management. He has won prestigious awards such as the McKnight Fellowship and the Ohio Heritage Fellowship. He is the founder of the 'American School of Indian Art', an Institution committed to bringing the best of the East and the West to the Indian American Diaspora and beyond.


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June 15, 2012 www.indiapost.com

Cont’d from page 24

I was fortunate to collaborate with Shanker Raman (Harud, Peepli Live), our director of photography. He took a leap of faith, embracing the uncertainty inherent in the process. He has a peaceful aura about him on the shoot more akin to a documentary cinematographer. I communicated with him as I would with an actor, providing emotional objectives rather than framing. We did whatever we could to help the actors to forget about the presence of the cameras. We shot in natural light for the daytime scenes, during early morning or late afternoon. For interior and nighttime scenes, Shanker designed lighting setups that allowed the actors to move freely. Both Shanker and I were shooting with small HD cameras, so we could do long takes upward of forty minutes. Many times we found ourselves pushing one another out of the way. As time progressed we developed our own rhythm with the actors. Shanker fo-

CHICAGO'S 'KITEMAKER' cused on the overall coverage of the drama, and I would capture small moments and experiment freely. We had an unspoken sense of when the magic would occur. What was your process working with composer Mario Grigorov of the Oscarnominated film Precious to create the film's score? Mario Grigorov (Precious, Taxi to the Dark Side) was a blessing, a joy to work with; his palate is incredibly diverse. My vision was to create a theme-driven score that tied together the fate of all the characters. We began in a novel way. We sat together for a week and composed the entire score together on the piano. We developed a theme and melodies that highlighted the journey of the kite and the troubled past of the family. Mario led musicians in improvisations

Returning to Ahmedabad to share the film with our cast and crew and the community was a magical experience. I felt honored and humbled when people from Ahmedabad embraced the film as their own story based on these melodies - little of the piano remained in the final score. Mario's work brought depth and clarity to the narrative. We then collaborated with legendary vocalist Shubha Mudgal for the final two pieces of the score. After we discussed the emotional journey of each scene with her, she sang atop Mario's melodies remotely from India. Her voice is delightful and soulful, guiding the destinies of the characters.

the edit captured the narrative of the original script. During the last two months of the process, I worked with the talented editor Joe Klotz (Precious, Rabbit Hole, Junebug) to cut down the two-and-a-half-hour rough cut. We'd go back and forth, revising the larger structure, pacing scenes, preserving the environment and the voice of the film. The editing was challenging, but it was the part of the process where I grew most as a director. What was the response of the community in which you filmed Patang when they saw the finished film? Returning to Ahmedabad to share the film with our cast and crew and the community was a magical experience. I felt honored and humbled when people from Ahmedabad embraced the film as their own story. Audience members remarked how the film gave their lives and city an identity and a voice and captured the living heritage of their home. The passion we sought to communicate with the film filled the air as we screened it and then celebrated the kite festival to-

A scene from ‘Patang'

What was the process behind editing Patang? Scenes were not rehearsed; they were improvised largely with non-actors and shot hand-held in long takes, without the conventional over-the-shoulder or master shots. As a result, the edit was a two-year process of distilling and constructing a scripted narrative from 200 hours of documentary-like footage. Just watching the footage took over a month. We would have more than a hundred minutes of footage for each minute of screen time. It was a joy in retrospect but very difficult being in a room by myself. I began by constructing those scenes with major plot points and then proceeded to the transitional scenes. I would make small discoveries, pulling a shot from here, splicing it with a magic moment there, and then returning to the overall structure. Eventually

gether. So many lives have been affected during the journey of making this film. I hold the memories and the friendships very dear. Sheer family and love. What are the challenges of making the kind of cinema you would like to make? We broke every possible rule in making this film. We created a subtle, understated family drama. We shot in a foreign language for the international market. We shot using handheld cameras with no storyboards, doing improvised takes with largely non-actors. The crew had to take a leap of faith. We chose to work within the community and preserve the simple and natural beauty found within Ahmedabad's old city. So often during the process, we were told that what we were trying to do was crazy. And it was. Yet somehow we managed to persevere and make it happen.


June 15, 2012

India Post

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Namsate - Seductive mix of santoor & saxophone Cont’d from page 25

Sharma, who has developed a substantial domestic and international following since the late 1990s via more than 50 studio recordings and extensive touring, introduced himself to Kenny by presenting him with a few of his CDs during his visit. Some informal discussions ensued, and an idea quickly took shape to collaborate on a studio recording by emailing music files back and forth from opposite ends of the globe and two very diverse musical perspectives. The result was Namaste India, released in India in 2011, a collection of seven tracks that were deeply rooted in the traditions of Indian folk and classical music, but were also finely embellished with saxophone solos and accompaniments of an unmistakably Western orientation. As musical and cultural marriages go, it was a thing of beauty. "It was an experiment to see how the santoor and the saxophone would work together," says Sharma. "I knew Kenny would add so much to the compositions. But when I listened to the final results, I thought, 'Wow, this is even better than I expected.'

The way he ended many of the tracks with a few simple notes was such a beautiful complement to the entire composition. He would improvise in a way that was so unexpected, and then find a way to fit it back into a melody that wasn't typical of the kind of music he has recorded in the past." Kenny G, for all of his artistic and commercial success over the past two decades as a composer and an improviser, admits that working his way into Sharma's tracks was no routine task. "It wasn't the usual formula of playing the melody, improvising, repeating the melody, and then doing an ending," he says. "It was more a question of 'Where do I fit in? What notes do I play that will best serve this piece of music?' But it was fun. It was an opportunity to just experiment with the sounds and notes and phrases. Little by little, over the course of several months, we put together the first few songs, and we realized, 'Hey, I think we have something going here‌'" John Burk, Executive Vice President of A&R at Concord, was immediately taken with the album's seductive world beat, but wondered whether there might be

a way to enhance the overall set with a chill mix to bring the subtle backbeat slightly more to the forefront without losing the music's inherent mystical essence. Enter mixer/producer Marc Burrows, also known as Marc JB of the UK dance music group

"I knew Kenny would add so much to the compositions. But when I listened to the final results, I thought, 'Wow, this is even better than I expected' Bimbo Jones, and operating on this project in the alternate guise of Kid Tricky. Burrows reconfigured the entire album with a shade more rhythmic presence, and isolated a couple songs namely the title track and the otherworldly "Transcendental Consciousness" - for a full remix. "In some ways," says Burk, "the album is actually a three-way collaboration - mostly between Kenny and Rahul, but with a little bit of additional production from

Kid Tricky." The set opens with Kid Tricky's remix of "Namaste," a track that walks a fine line between a hypnotic Eastern groove and the melodic solo lines and accents crafted by Kenny's tasteful sax work. The entire track is underscored by a rhythmic beat that carries the song without being overly obtrusive. In "Brahma Vishnu Shiva," Sharma sets up the kind of rich foundation that only 100 strings can provide, but the arrangement allows plenty of room for the saxophone to deliver a well-balanced counterpoint to the santoor. Further in, "Lotus Lovers" opens with a gentle but persistent combination of drumbeat and shimmering keyboards - a configuration that serves as the backdrop to a pleasant and engaging conversation between Sharma and Kenny. Kid Tricky inserts a slightly offbeat rhythm underneath "Valley of Flowers" that forces the listener to engage with the song even before the saxophone and santoor come in. "Om Shanti" borrows riffs, vocal chants and other elements from two earlier tracks - "Namaste" and "Brahma Vishnu Shiva" - and

weaves them into a hybrid piece that is familiar and yet new at the same time. The album closes with remixed tracks that don't appear on the original Namaste India, including a stirring version of "Transcendental Consciousness," as reimagined by Walter A, and a rendition of the tile track remixed by the Soul Seekerz. Indian music and contemporary jazz saxophone piped through chill mixes may seem like a gamble, but Namaste comes with a significant payoff. "At first it seemed like an odd combination," admits Burk. "But then we listened to it and we realized that it was two great masters of their respective instruments getting together and doing something very innovative and even very daring. And it's going to force people to hear Kenny in a way they may not have heard him before. This record provides a fresh glimpse of his versatility that sometimes gets forgotten in the shadow of such major success." But regardless of his own range and versatility, Kenny knows that there's always more to be learned by taking chances and reaching across cultures.


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Horoscope

India Post

June 15, 2012

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

JUNE 15TH - JUNE 21ST (March 21 to April 20)

(November 23 to December 22)

S

B

tocks purchase long time ago will start moving up. Money wise it should be another favorable week as you have Jupiter and Venus in second. People in business will experience better sales and have couple of good clients. Sun in the third can help you get a favorable decision from the court or a government agency.

usiness trip will be an instant success. Avoid any conflict with a new colleague. An old friend may suggest a business in partnership. Bank balance will continue to grow but at very slow speed. Some of you will be getting ready for an upcoming big trip. Time very favorable for all legal matters also. (December 22 to January 19)

(April 21 to May 20)

S

ome one older may not keep well and need extra medical care. With little diplomacy you will overcome a difficult situation or come ahead of strong business competition. Mind will be relaxed other wise and you will receive blessings of a holy person. You will also plan a short trip with family this week.

P

roblems will be followed by easy solutions. Presence of Jupiter and Venus in first will give you the wisdom to make correct choices in life. Your valuable advice will help others also change their lives for betterment. Right eye may start to give some trouble. You may buy some fine quality item for personal use and write a check to a government agency also.

P

(May 21 to June 20)

Y

ou will become more diplomatic and resolve few tricky issues. New contract will finally arrive with easy terms. Some money will go towards repairs to home or on a car this week. You will enjoy the company of a new friends and even plan a small trip with him. Expenses will not leave you alone and you will need to do lots of juggling in order to meet commitments.

(February 19 to March 20)

S

ome of you may decide to get out of a venture not doing so good lately and just focus on job. A property deal can finally come through this week. Trip will be good and relaxing. You will be doing some investigation and research about an opportunity offered recently before making the final commitment.

(June 21 to July 22)

M

oney wise things will start looking up from now an on as Mars moves out of house of finances. You will make a very calculated move in career and the success will be instant. Some of you may go for legal option to prove your point. You will spend quality time with children and may travel to a nice area with family this week. Good advice coming from a matured person.

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

510-886-4370

(July 23 to August 22)

egal notice should be paid prompt attention or you will end up paying hefty penalty in future. You may also start some kind of loan process or borrow against your cards. Business will keep getting better but at slow pace. You will make a very useful contact during the course of a trip or attending a business meeting.

C

ombination of Mars and Saturn in your sign is slightly disturbing. You will need to control your temper and handle all machines and vehicles carefully for next several weeks. It looks like another favorable week for all financial matters. Business will improve and you may be able to dispose off some property finally. (September 23 to October 22)

A

void taking any risk and stay away from stocks for some time. You will hear some encouraging news at work this week. A new and younger associate will be really helpful. Commitments made in the past could chew up your savings. You may start the refinance process for your property. Family may leave for a trip this week. (October 23 to November 22)

C

hanges you had been waiting for will start taking place in career. You will come across few good opportunities to make extra money this week. New relationship will keep getting stronger. Value of stocks recently purchased will appreciate. You should do little more research before making the final commitment in a new venture.

website: www.parashar.com

Meet the new man in Shilpa Shetty's life

L

(August 23 to September 22)

(January 20 to February 18)

roblems you thought were over could haunt you again. Presence of Mars and Saturn in eighth is not good. People prone to litigation should be extra careful. Going to a religious place will definitely mitigate the intensity of problems.

E

nding the suspense and the waits of her family and fans, Shilpa Shetty delivered a baby boy on May 21 at a Mumbai hospital. His personality traits: He belongs to the zodiac sign Gemini. And being a Gemini, he will be funny, brimming with life, full of ideas on one hand; inconsistent, capricious, superficial on the other. These are the twins that represent Gemini, a bundle of maddening contradictions. Be that as it may, he will be simply adorable who loves life and adds zest and happiness to the world by being what he is. He will be the life and soul of any party, amazing all and sundry with apparent knowledge of everything. He may be a Jack-of-all-trades but it does not mean that he lacks the ability to master

skills. He will be versatile and will have an amazing grasp of the subject he chooses, although it may not interest him for long. His ruling number is 3: This number is governed by the Planet Jupiter and having born under it, he will be a lover of morality, justice, mercy and pure love. He will be naturally attracted to people born between June 21 and July 20, between October 21 and November 20. He will also have an affinity for those governed by the numbers 3, 6, 7 and 9. He will be lucky in financial matters and will get plenty of opportunities for career advancement. His ambition, leadership and drive will always motivate him to strive for constant improvements in his professional life.


29 India post

The narrow roads of Kasauli slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights

K

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asauli is a beautiful hill station located just 77kms from Shimla. The small town was built in 19th century by the British and it has an old-world charm. The Central Research Institute in Kasauli set up in 1900, is the oldest in India, taking care of pet, police and army dogs as well as their masters. It was also featured in the Time's best of Asia list under "Best Literary Excursion". The narrow roads of Kasauli slither up and down the hillside and offer some magnificent vistas. Directly below is the spread of vast plains of Punjab and Haryana which as darkness falls, unroll a gorgeous carpet of twinkling lights. At 3647 m, the peak of Choor Chandni (also called the Choordhar) powerfully dominates the lower hills and across the undulating ranges, Shimla is visible. The upper and lower malls run through Kasauli's length and one can enjoy long walks on it. A mixed forest of pine, oak and huge horse-chestnut encircles the town. Its colonial ambience is reinforced by a stretch of cobbled roads, quaint shops, gabled houses with charming facades and scores of neat little gardens and orchards. This picturesque hill-station, oozing old-world charm is covered with tall

June 15, 2012

Deodar, wild flowers, rhododendrons, wild roses, flame of the forest, and flowering Kichnar in summer and is a popular hub for bird-watchers. Winters, with snowfall, are beautiful too. What to see Monkey Point: 3 ½ Km from Hotel Ros Common a hill which derives its name from Rishi Man-ki who used to worship an idol of Lord Hanuman and later the summit is crowned with a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and presently being looked after by the personnel of Air Force, stationed here. Cont’d on page 30

Cont’d on page 30


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Travel & Hospitality Post

June 15, 2012

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Ponywallahs stopped from 1200 cr to promote Gujarat entering Gulmarg coastal tourism SRINAGAR: A day after they called for a strike and blocked the road leading to Batapathri demanding that no vehicle be allowed in their territory, ponywallahs have been stopped by authorities from entering the tourist resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, official sources said. They were not allowed to proceed from Tangmarg, 16 kms downhill, towards Gulmarg, the sources said. Some ponywallahs and local guides had clashed with the police while they were try-

ing to clear a road after which tear gas shells were lobbed to chase away the protestors. They were demanding that no tourist or private vehicle be allowed to enter Gulmarg bowl or proceed to the recently opened Batapathri, 10 kilometers from Gulmarg as this would affect their livelihood. They also wanted the authorities to stop e-booking of tickets for Gondola cable car rides, the sources said.

While confirming the incident, Chief Executive Officer of Gulmarg Development Authority Masood Ahmad Shah said it was impossible to "force" the tourists to travel 20 kilometers on a pony. "I think there will be very few people visiting Batapathri which has opened after 22 years to tourists," he said. Sources said that the ponywallahs tried to block the Srinagar-Gulmarg road at Tangmarg which was cleared by police within 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, some hoteliers have welcomed the police action while claiming that ponywallahs and local guides were "fleecing" tourists, which brought a bad name to the state's tourism industry. "A local guide charges as much as Rs 2,000 for showing around Gulmarg. The pony charges are separate. How will we attract the tourists?" General Manager of a leading hotel in Gulmarg said. -PTI

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government's plan to boost coastal tourism has received a shot in the arm as the Planning Commission has approved a Rs 1,200 crore special grant for the project. The Planning Commission gave its nod for the special grant during a high-level meeting between its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, held in Delhi. To boost coastal tourism, the state government has chalked out a project which includes developing 10 beaches on the 1,600 kms coastline area of Gujarat. Though Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country, coastal tourism in the state has been very low due to lack of infrastructure available at its beaches. " T h e Gujarat government submitted a proposal for a coastal tourism project in the state and a special grant of Rs 1,200 crore was approved after considering its merits," state tourism secretary Vipul Mitra said. "The Centre will allocate the amount of fund in a span of five years and an amount of Rs 306 crore will be released in the current year itself. The disbursement this year will also include one-time immediate grant of Rs 70 crore," he added. The ten beaches that are proposed to be

developed are Nargol, Tithal in Vadodara district, Gopnath and Bhavani beach in Bhavnagar district, Sarkeswar in Amreli district, Ahmedpur Mandvi and Madhavpur in Junagadh district, Miyani in Porbandar district and Pingleshwar and Mandvi in Kutch district. Tourism in the state has received a boost following an advertisement campaign 'Khushboo Gujarat Ki', featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is brand ambassador of the state. The state government plans to develop

infrastructure at the ten beaches so that tourists get good stay facilities and activities like water games. Infrastructure development activities include construction of approach road from main road to beach site, creation of entrance plaza with defined entry points to the beach, construction of view points and rest huts with local materials, provision of light posts and high mass illumination, construction of pay and use toilets, drinking water and children play equipment. -PTI

Kasauli: Picturesque hill-station, oozing old-world charm Cont’d from page 29

The area being restricted from security point of view, no belongings like camera, bags are allowed. Legend has it that Kasauli came into being when Lord Hanuman, on his way to getting the Sanjeevani herb, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. At Kasauli there is a Hanuman Mandir atop the 300-mt high hillock, called Monkey Point, where Hanuman is supposed to have rested his feet. The other attractions: An ancient Church is worth seeing located on the Upper Mall Road. A little above this place, there is a Central Research Institute established in 1906 by Dr. Sample, It prepares vaccines for treatment of typhoid, cholera, smallpox, and snake-bite and is only of its kind in Asia. Close to this there is Pasteur Institute founded in 1900 to produce anti-rabies vaccine against dog-bite. There is a sanatorium for TB patients who benefit by its healthy environment. TV Tower is another

landmark. Baptist Church established in 1923 is also worth seeing. Baba Balak Nath Temple: On the Graner Hill top is a famous temple of Sidh Baba Balak Nath. It is believed that Baba Balak

Nath one night appeared in dreams to a local resident named Vijay Kumar and told him to build a temple at the place. This temple is one of its own kind where issueless couples visit to be blessed with a child. Baptism cer-

emony of children is also performed in this temple. Photographs of such blessed children are kept as record by Baba Vijay Kumar in the Temple. Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir: Built in 1989 by Sai Sudha Trust, it is a famous temple located half km away from Garkhal. The idol of Sai Baba was built in Jaipur and the burning flame in this temple signifies the divine power of Sai Baba of Shirdi. When to go: Best time to travel to Kasauli is between April-June and September-November. How to reach: Air - From Kasauli the nearest airport is Chandigarh. Shimla is nearest airport for Solan. Rail - Nearest railhead is Kalka in Haryana, which is 40-km from Kasauli and 44-km from Solan. Solan is also connected with narrow gauge railway line from Kalka. Road - Solan and Kasauli are well connected by road. Buses, coaches and taxis are easily available from Chandigarh and Delhi.


June 15, 2012

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

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4.5 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir Valley

Tourists on Shikara rides on Dal Lake in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: The number of tourists visiting Kashmir Valley has reached close to half a million this year so far, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah

has said. "In last five months, nearly 4.5 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir Valley," Omar said in an award function here.

The Valley has been witnessing a huge rush of tourists with hotels booked to the full and the resorts across the Valley jampacked.

Single window clearance for film shoots in Himachal SHIMLA: The Himachal government has evolved a single window clearance mechanism for allowing film units to shoot in various parts of the state, chief minister P K Dhumal said. Film units visit the state throughout the year and the single window clearance system would not only facilitate such activities but also

boost tourism, he said while inaugurating the five-day long exhibition organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be organizing Mega Mart as an annual feature during summers to enter-

tain and exhibit products besides giving boost to tourism promotion activities. Dhumal said that Himachal had been allowed a 10-year tax holiday for opening and running hotels in tribal and remote areas with a view to give a boost to tourism activities in virgin and hitherto unexplored areas.

The 'Home Stay' scheme had been successful and 403 units have so far been registered. A large number of tourists are visiting rural areas and enjoying their stay away from hustle and bustle of overcrowded cities, he said. The government was making a

serious endeavor to create best possible infrastructural facilities to attract high end tourists and participation of private sector was vital for this purpose. Dhumal demanded subsidized helicopter services in the state on the lines of northeastern states to facilitate tourists to hop from one destination to other and visit more places during a short stay. He said that heli-taxi service introduced by the government was gradually picking up. He said that matter of expanding existing airports at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu-Manali had been taken up with the Centre. The Chief Minister demanded construction of BhanupalliBilaspur-Barmana broad gauge railway line as a time bound project and that it be extended to Leh and Ladakh as a strategically important railway line. Dhumal welcomed delegates from different parts of the country, especially from Pakistan and said that such initiatives would improve bilateral ties and give boost to trade and tourism. Chief Secretary S Roy said that the state was vying to emerge as a Green Tourism Destination and the government was very circumspect in allowing industrial units to set up base in the state. -PTI

The chief minister said cultural activities should be showcased to the tourists. "We would want to share our cultural identity, history and art with the tourists," Omar said. Open air theatres in the Valley

can be used to promote cultural activities, he said. He backed a 15-day program to take Kashmiri culture to the tourists. Omar said the culture and tourism are related and should be projected in the same way. -PTI

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Naina Re: Dangerous Ishq 2 Pani Da Rang: Vicky Donor 3 Chokra Jawaan: Ishaqzaade 4 Mar Jayian (Sad): Vicky Donor 5 Jannatein Kahan: Jannat 2 34

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India Post

June 15, 2012

6 Pareshaan: Ishaqzaade 7

Dhadhang Dhang : Rowdy Rathore

8

Aa Re Pritam Pyare : Rowdy Rathore

9 Duaa: Shanghai 10 Morcha: Shanghai

W

e have been continuously hearing about the wedding date of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan's but all those were the big ripples making the rounds of the media. A few days back, there were rumors about the wedding date i.e. 16th October but Kareena, in an interview, strictly and sternly denied all the reports saying all focus of the media and people was on her relationship and marriage. She also said there was no plan of marriage yet and that she was focusing on her movies only. But now her mother-in-law to be Sharmila Tagore has confirmed it and put the silence mark on the wedding date's rumors saying 'yes, this (16th October) is the marriage date, we have zeroed in.'

S

onam Fashionista Kapoor, as always has made it to the news again with her bigmouthed and insulting comments. The fresh target this time is, Chikni Chameli Katrina Kaif, whom Sonam just tagged as "shameless". While at Cannes, Sonam made her loud and open statement to film journalist Anupama Chopra, and stated, "I would like to give Katrina a bouquet of flowers." On being asked why so, she reverted: "I don't know how she does that. You need a certain kind of commitment and a certain kind of shamelessness to do certain things. You get that may be with stardom or with confidence in your talent or with who you are as a person. I need to develop that before I do films like that." She also affirmatively articulated about herself being a trendsetter. She declared "I was just being myself, people caught on and now it has become a trend. All the actresses have started hiring stylists. It's always nice to be a trend-setter." Also she remarked "I've been here (Cannes) for five years, and I've done six films. When it comes to movies, there is so many of us we can talk about. But when it comes to fashion, there is only me, at the risk of sounding immodest."

So now what will you say Kareena? Obviously now that Sasu Maa has confirmed it, you will only be silent and your silence will make it confirmed. Sharmila Tagore says that the marriage will happen on the same date and there will be a reception but not that big. The reports have it that the marriage will take place at Pataudi's ancestral home where only close family members will be there to bless the couple. Later, another wedding reception will be arranged in Mumbai for family members and close friends. This too will not be lavish. Kareena has confirmed to Sanjay Leela Bhansali that she will continue shooting for his film Ram Leela as she has to continue with films post marriage.


June 15, 2012

Bollywood

India Post

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CHHOTE BHAIYA

D

ebuting with Ishaqzaade, Arjun Kapoor is bagging films after films. This newbie has already started working for his next project with the YRF Films once again, donning a double role. The movie is titled "Aurangzeb" directed by Atul Sabharwal. Double role translates to doubled expectations, and young actors don't easily risk themselves with double roles, but Arjun keeps the Dabbang attitude of the real life role model, Salman Khan and acts fearless in taking up such challenging roles. Instead he is animated and delighted to accept the challenge of enacting and delivering two different performances in the same film. Up his sleeve, is another movie from the Rajshri Productions Camp, titled "Bade Bhaiya?"And guess who plays the role of "Bade Bhaiya"? None other than Salman Dabbang Khan. Salman had always played the role of younger brother in prior Rajshri films, but the tables have certainly turned. Arjun is playing the younger one who is a rebel, and he would be under Salman's guardianship, the one bringing him on his track of being a mature and calm person. Sooraj Barjatya was blown away after seeing Arjun's performance in Ishaqzaade, and found in him the young character he was looking for. Arjun has always strutted around claiming Salman to be his mentor in his real life, whose advice in losing extra kilos from his plumpy body helped him in achieving the macho looks he flaunts now.

P

ost her entry into Bollywood, Sunny Leone has become an actress, a model, brand ambassador and a PETA campaigner. She has now so many roles to play and all roles and more will be added to her repertoire by the passage of time and all thanks and credit goes to Bollywood industry. Pooja Bhatt, the co-producer and director of 'Jism 2', has initiated an interesting and unique project for charity. She will auction the outfits including the undergarments of the leading stars of the movie. The funds to be raised from the auction will be used for charity. Pooja says she is going to auction Sunny Leone's lingerie and her undergarments. Randeep Hooda and Arunoday's complete wardrobe, including their underwear, too will be auctioned. Pooja has confirmed that in order to give surety to the people that the undergarments belong to the leading cast of the movie, each garment would accompany an autographed picture of the star and a certificate of authentication. It would interesting to see Sunny Leone's lingerie displayed. There would be many buyers for this hot sexy siren's undergarments.

LEONE'S LINGERIE

GEEK'S FANTASY

P

riyanka Chopra, who has been endorsing various technological projects including Nokia and Nikon, loves technology and tries to own the latest gadget in the market. "I love technology. I consider myself geek's fantasy. Any new gadget in the market, I need to have one," Priyanka, the brand ambassador for Digital Direct Broadcast (DDB) technology, told reporters at a press conference. Describing DDB, she said: "This DDB is so simple it's like a file. It's like a folder where I can put all my memories in one. All information is digitalized and comes in one TV." "It was impossible for me not to be associated with this. Everything is digitalized today, it has become easy. It is one gadget which has everything. It is part of progressive evolution of technology." After the blockbuster "Agneepath", the 29-year-old will be seen in romantic saga "Teri Meri Kahaani" that travels three time-zones.

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„ Health

Line

Colo Gov promotes whooping cough vaccine

DENVER: Gov. John Hickenlooper is appearing in a campaign by Colorado health department officials to raise childhood vaccination rates. In a public service announcement promoting the whooping cough vaccine, Hickenlooper says his son was hospitalized as an infant for two days due to whooping cough, or pertussis. He then urges parents to immunize their children. The pertussis vaccine is typically administered in a series of doses. Hickenlooper's spokeswoman Megan Castle said that Hickenlooper's son received one dose and was exposed to whooping cough four days before he was due to receive a second dose. Washington state has had an outbreak of whooping cough this year with more than 1,900 cases. Colorado health officials say 14 pertussis cases recently were confirmed in Greeley. -AP

„ Mass. House to take up health care bill BOSTON: The Massachusetts House of Representatives is taking up their version of a bill that aims to lower unnecessary health care costs in the coming years. State representatives will debate on their health care cost containment bill and its multiple amendments. The House's bill is designed to even out disparities in the costs of hospital services by requiring hospitals that charge more than 20 percent above the state median price for a service to pay a 10 percent surcharge into a fund to help support hospitals serving the poor and most vulnerable. Last month the Senate passed their version of the bill, which requires health care providers to disclose service costs upon a patient's request and makes changes to the current medical malpractice system. -AP

„ Health code violations in Skid Row, LA LOS ANGELES: The city of Los Angeles is violating the county health code for hazardous conditions on Skid Row, including nearly 90 rats' nests, a dozen hypodermic needles and 90 piles of human excrement on sidewalks, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has found. Details on page 37

Health Science 36

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www.indiapost.com

June 15, 2012

Hormone pill slows prostate cancer growth CHICAGO: A hormone-blocking pill approved last year for some men with advanced prostate cancer now also seems to help a wider group of men who were given it sooner in the course of treating their disease. Details on page 39

In California, it's Big Tobacco vs Lance Armstrong SAN FRANCISCO: Fabled as a Mecca for the health-conscious and fitness-obsessed, California is also one of only a few states that has not hiked its cigarette taxes in the last decade, meaning it is less expensive to light up in Los Angeles and San Francisco than many other places in the country. The tobacco industry wants to keep it that way. It has amassed nearly $50 million to kill an initiative before California voters that has been championed by cycling star Lance Armstrong and supported by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $500,000 to its campaign. Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc., RJ Reynolds and other tobacco heavyweights have spent their millions on a media blitz to snuff out Proposition 29, which would slap an additional $1-perpack tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to fund cancer research. If the tax passes, California would still have only the 16th high-

est tax rate in the nation, at $1.87 per pack. But tobacco companies and their allies say that voter approval of an extra tax on primary ballot in the nation's largest cigarette market would crush owners of small businesses and spark anti-smoking measures elsewhere. ``We all know that Big Tobacco

The Public Policy Institute of California found that support for the initiative dropped from 67 percent in March to 53 percent by late May, reflecting the blizzard of radio and TV ads from the tobacco industry. A statewide Field Poll found that 50 percent of likely voters said

Smoking rates are among the nation's lowest in California, at 12.1 percent, and highest in Kentucky, at 24.8 percent, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2010 has poured tens of millions in this campaign saying, 'Don't tax us any more,''' said Armstrong, who beat testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs more than a decade ago. ``But the fact of the matter is the product they sell leads to about $9 billion a year in health care costs for California. I think if this passes, other states will follow.'' Its passage is uncertain.

they will vote yes on the measure, with 42 percent voting no and 8 percent undecided. As the primary approaches, Armstrong and other smoking foes, including Bloomberg and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, are pouring in their own money to counter the industry. Bloomberg has banned smoking in New York City bars and

parks during his decade in office. ``California is a particularly important state, and it's very visible on this issue,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``A lot of people there will die unless we do something to stop Big Tobacco.'' The $12.2 million anti-smoking groups have raised comes to about one-quarter of the $47 million war chest built by the major tobacco companies. Smoking is not as common in California, the nation's most populous state, as it is in other pockets of the country. Smoking rates are among the nation's lowest in California, at 12.1 percent, and highest in Kentucky, at 24.8 percent, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2010. Still, California represents a huge market for the tobacco industry. Smokers in the state bought about 970 million packs of cigarettes - spending approximately $5.2 billion - in fiscal year 2010, the most recent year for which national figures are available. Cont’d on page 39

'Smart bomb' drug attacks breast cancer CHICAGO: Doctors have successfully dropped the first ``smart bomb'' on breast cancer, using a drug to deliver a toxic payload to tumor cells while leaving healthy ones alone. In a key test involving nearly 1,000 women with very advanced disease, the experimental treatment extended by several months the time women lived without their cancer getting worse, doctors reported at a cancer conference in Chicago. More importantly, the treatment seems likely to improve survival; it will take more time to know for sure. After two years, 65 percent of women who received it were still alive versus 47 percent of those in a comparison group given two standard cancer drugs. That margin fell just short of the very strict criteria researchers set for stopping the study and declaring the new treatment a winner, and they hope the benefit becomes more clear with time. In fact, so many women on the new treat-

ment are still alive that researchers cannot yet determine average survival for the group. ``The absolute difference is greater than one year in how long these people live,'' said the study's leader, Dr. Kimberly Blackwell of Duke University. ``This is a major step forward.''

tain protein. Researchers combined Herceptin with a chemotherapy so toxic that it can't be given by itself, plus a chemical to keep the two linked until they reach a cancer cell where the poison can be released to kill it. This double weapon, called TDM1, is the ``smart bomb,'' al-

The treatment seems likely to improve survival; it will take more time to know for sure. After two years, 65 percent of women who received it were still alive versus 47 percent of those in a comparison group given two standard cancer drugs A warning to hopeful patients: the drug is still experimental, so not available yet. Its backers hope it can reach the market within a year. The treatment builds on Herceptin, the first gene-targeted therapy for breast cancer. It is used for about 20 percent of patients whose tumors overproduce a cer-

though it's actually not all that smart. Herceptin isn't a homing device, just a substance that binds to breast cancer cells once it encounters them. Doctors tested T-DM1 in 991 women with widely spread breast cancer that was getting worse despite treatment with chemotherapy

and ordinary Herceptin. They were given either T-DM1 infusions every three weeks or infusions of Xeloda plus daily Tykerb pills the only other treatments approved for such cases. The median time until cancer got worse was nearly 10 months in the women given T-DM1 versus just over 6 months for the others. That is about the same magnitude of benefit initially seen with Herceptin, which later proved to improve overall survival, too, Blackwell said. T-DM1 caused fewer side effects than the other drugs did. Some women on T-DM1 had signs of liver damage and low levels of factors that help blood clot, but most did not have the usual problems of chemotherapy. ``People don't lose their hair, they don't throw up. They don't need nausea medicines, they don't need transfusions,'' said Blackwell, who has consulted in the past for Genentech, the study's sponsor. Cont’d on page 39


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Health code violations in Skid Row, LA LOS ANGELES: The city of Los Angeles is violating the county health code for hazardous conditions on Skid Row, including nearly 90 rats' nests, a dozen hypodermic needles and 90 piles of human excrement on sidewalks, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has found. The department ordered the city to clean up the 10-block core of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles and will start making routine inspections, roughly every week, to ensure that hygiene is maintained, said Jonathan Fielding, county director of public health. ``The situation has reached a point where it needs a systematic approach,'' he said. ``Conditions seem to have been exacerbated there. There are more people, more material of different kinds on the sidewalks. That does pose clear health hazards.'' Skid Row houses the nation's densest population of homeless people, most of them mentally ill and substance abusers. Some 800 people bed down on sidewalks nightly and 3,000 others cram into shelters and special housing. During the day, they teem into the streets. Homeless advocates have long decried the city's neglect of the area. Public health officials have conducted inspections of Skid Row in the past in response to specific complaints, but this was the first comprehensive look at the neighborhood's overall sanitation, Fielding said. The inspection last month was requested

by the city attorney's office as it gathers evidence in a bid to overturn a federal judge's order last year prohibiting the seizure of homeless people's property from sidewalks without notice. The city says the order is making it difficult to clean up the area as sanitation workers are not sure what is personal property and what is trash. Meanwhile, nearby businesses and residents have complained

People also were disposing of human waste, including vomit and buckets of urine, in storm drains. Inspectors found 13 hypodermic needles strewn on the ground, and disposable rubber gloves tucked under tree roots about the proliferation of furniture and shopping carts and people living in tents as police have stopped removing tents. ``The deposits on sidewalks have reached a crisis point,'' said Jane Usher, special assistant city attorney, adding that sanitation workers have been intensely cleaning the neighborhood to remedy the violations. The May 21 report to the city attorney's office underscored the precarious conditions in the neighborhood, noting the

crowded, unsanitary conditions made it a high risk for communicable disease. Four cases of meningococcal disease cropped up in March 2011, it said. Inspectors found 88 rats' nests, mostly around street planters, people living in 57 tents on sidewalks - some with animals and 90 piles of human waste scattered on the eight of 10 blocks surveyed. On one block alone, 29 piles of excrement were noted. People also were disposing of human waste, including vomit and buckets of urine, in storm drains. Inspectors found 13 hypodermic needles strewn on the ground, and disposable rubber gloves tucked under tree roots. The report recommended the city install more trash cans and public toilets, provide soap, water and hand basins, and step up waste collection. Noting the desperate condition of many residents, inspectors also recommended increasing efforts to get more social services to people. The city must implement a vermin control program in the area and monitor for hypodermic needle litter, the report said. Fielding said the county health department will continue to press the city on the problems. ``The city has demonstrated a willingness to address the concerns, but ultimately, it is our responsibility,'' he said. Homeless advocates, who have long decried the city's neglect of Skid Row, said the violations are a black eye for the city. -AP

TIP OF THE WEEK

Heal sinus problems with horseradish

L

atest studies show sinusitis is the nation's number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn't just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.


38

Health Science Post

India Post

June 15, 2012

www.indiapost.com

Make communities more disaster resilient: WHO India Post News Service

BANGKOK: WHO has called on countries to invest more in strengthening the resilience of communities to save lives during disasters and emergencies. The UN health agency applauded the efforts of community-based NGOs and community health volunteers at a Regional Meeting on Disaster Risk Management in Health in Bangkok. "Communities have largely been the source of innovative ideas on how to better manage health risks during disasters and emergencies" said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. "Countries have also strengthened their national disaster management authorities and coordination of preparedness efforts with

various sectors including NGOs and the private sector has improved tremendously in the recent years" he added. Countries of WHO's SouthEast Asia Region accounted for

2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, Cyclones Sidr in Bangladesh and Nargis in Myanmar and floods in Bangladesh and Thailand. Health experts from ministries of health, NGOs, UN agencies and

The 2004 tsunami was the turning point in disaster risk management and countries in the Region built their capacity from the lessons learnt from the tsunami 46% of the total global deaths due to all disasters during 2001-2010. In recent years the Region has witnessed disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the

national disaster management agencies are discussing various issues at the meeting such as community resilience, information and research and strengthening inte-

W.Va. small businesses part of health care debate CHARLESTON, W.Va.: With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule this month on the federal health care law, its supporters are touting its potential benefits to West Virginia's small businesses. But some of these employers are among the overhaul's biggest critics. A recent report by the group Families USA highlights tax credits meant to encourage small businesses to provide coverage for employees. It estimates 16,730 West Virginia businesses employing 91,600 people qualify for these credits. The credits available to West Virginia employers were worth $80.7 million, or about $881 per worker in 2011, the report said. Perry Bryant, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, noted 7,030 small businesses in the state qualify for the maximum credit, worth 35 percent of the employer's share of policy premium costs. The value of that credit will increase to 50 percent of the employer's share in 2014. ``The Affordable Care Act has some great potential for some small businesses,'' said Bryant, whose group has championed the federal law. Terrell Ellis obtained credits for her Charleston-based consulting firm, Terrell Ellis & Associates, and its four employees. Ellis noted her business offered health coverage before the credits became available. ``It's an incentive to continue to provide that coverage,'' Ellis said. But the federal law's oppo-

nents include the National Federation of Independent Businesses and its West Virginia members. One of these members, owner David Klemencic of Ellenboro Floors in Ritchie County, is among a handful of individual plaintiffs in one case challenging the overhaul now before the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices are expected to rule toward the end of this month. The NFIB's West Virginia chapter recently held a forum on the

"We've provided health insurance. We've done the right thing since we've been in business, and we're facing this hidden tax. I don't think that's very fair" law in Wheeling along with the local chamber of commerce. The event focused on the tax that it will require insurance companies to pay starting in 2014. Businesses expect insurers to pass this tax along to them and other policyholders in the form of higher premiums. These critics estimate the higher costs will increase premiums for an employee with a family plan by $500 annually, and sap the sales of West Virginia small businesses by $1 billion between 2014 and 2021. ``Looking at the big picture, if

this is fully implemented, then the largest sector of employers in West Virginia would take a direct hit financially,'' said Gil White, executive director of the West Virginia NFIB chapter. ``In many cases, it would be a hardship that the business community is telling us they can't afford.'' Those who spoke at the Wheeling forum include Tom Susman, managing member of TSG Consulting. Susman's public relations and lobbying firm, based in Charleston, provides health insurance to its five employees. Susman's resume includes a term overseeing the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency and other insurance-related offices in the Democratic administration of former Gov. Bob Wise. He said he decided to speak out as a business owner, and is also working with a coalition of business and trade groups, Stop the HIT, seeking the health insurance tax's repeal. ``We've provided health insurance. We've done the right thing since we've been in business, and we're facing this hidden tax. I don't think that's very fair,'' Susman said. Bryant cited the purpose of the tax: to fund provisions of the federal law that will gradually expand coverage through such programs as Medicaid, to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. He estimated the average family pays an additional $1,000 on annual premiums because of the shifting of costs from hospitals and other providers treating people who have no coverage. -AP

gration of disaster risk management in the health sector. The health experts are taking stock of current capacities as measured systematically using a benchmark system developed by WHO's Regional Office for South-East Asia. The participants also discussed the strategic directions to take this forward in the next few years and bring knowledge and practice to the communities. The 2004 tsunami was the turning point in disaster risk management and countries in the Region built their capacity from the lessons learnt from the tsunami. This was clearly demonstrated by the 8.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the coast of Aceh in Indonesia on 11 April 2012. The earthquake lasted over four minutes and tremors were felt in India, Thailand, Maldives and Sri Lanka. In contrast to the 2004

tsunami, people were evacuated to higher-ground levels including all coastal communities from Aceh and Nias Island in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand saving hundreds of lives. Despite improvements in many areas, disaster risk management needs to be better integrated in the health sector. WHO is highlighting the need for awareness to ensure the safety of critical health infrastructure such as hospitals; research on health interventions for response to disasters; innovative community resilience approaches; and a more strategic approach to capacity development including incorporating this subject into existing medical and allied medical profession's curricula. Consensus on these topics will provide directions for the next few years.

Childhood cancer survivors face new risks CHICAGO: Women treated with chest radiation for cancer when they were girls have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than previously thought, doctors warn. Even lower doses of radiation therapy posed a risk for survivors of childhood cancer something not known before, researchers found. That means more women might need to be screened beginning at age 25 for breast cancer. ``We find that by age 50, approximately 30 percent of women treated with radiation for Hodgkin lymphoma'' as girls have developed breast cancer, said Chaya Moskowitz, a biostatistician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who led the study. That is far higher than the 4 percent rate for the general population and is comparable to the rate in women who have mutations in inherited BRCA genes that increase risk. Among women who had chest radiation for any type of childhood cancer, 24 percent developed breast cancer by age 50. The study was presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago. Radiation treatment has saved countless children from lymphoma, leukemia, soft-tissue tumors and other cancer types, but it can damage the DNA of healthy cells and lead to cancer decades later. Children treated today get much lower doses, and to much

smaller areas of the body, than kids did in 1970 to 1986, when the women in this study were girls. A federally funded study has been tracking more than 1,200 of them, and researchers used a second study of relatives of women with breast cancer to compare the odds of developing breast cancer

"We find that by age 50, approximately 30 percent of women treated with radiation for Hodgkin lymphoma'' as girls have developed breast cancer, said Chaya Moskowitz, a biostatistician at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center in New York who led the study among various groups such as those with BRCA gene mutations. Guidelines currently urge annual screening with mammograms and MRI scans starting at age 25 for women who had radiation therapy totaling 20 Grays a measure of how much radiation is absorbed. The new study finds higher risk even among women who received more moderate doses 10 to 19 Grays as girls. -AP


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Hormone pill slows prostate cancer growth CHICAGO: A hormone-blocking pill approved last year for some men with advanced prostate cancer now also seems to help a wider group of men who were given it sooner in the course of treating their disease. In a study of nearly 1,100 such men, Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga doubled the time patients lived without their cancer getting worse. The drug also seems to be improving survival, but it will take longer follow-up to know for sure. Independent monitors stopped the study once it was clear the drug was helping and let men who had been getting dummy pills to switch to Zytiga. At that point after a median treatment time of two years 34 percent of men on dummy pills had died versus 27 percent of those taking Zytiga. ``Our hope is that this can become a new option'' for up to 30,000 men each year in the United States, said study leader Dr. Charles Ryan of the University of California, San Francisco. He gave results at a meeting in Chi-

cago of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. In the United States alone, more than 240,000 new cases and 28,000 deaths from the disease are expected this year. Many cases don't need treatment

The drug also seems to be improving survival, but it will take longer follow-up to know for sure. Independent monitors stopped the study once it was clear the drug was helping and let men who had been getting dummy pills to switch to Zytiga. At that point after a median treatment time of two years 34 percent of men on dummy pills had died versus 27 percent of those taking Zytiga because the cancer grows so slowly it isn't a threat. For men who choose treatment when the disease is still confined to the prostate, surgery and radiation are common options. Once it spreads, though, it often is treated with drugs that curb testosterone. They block about 90 percent of the hor-

'Smart bomb' drug attacks breast cancer Cont’d from page 36

``The data are pretty compelling,'' said Dr. Michael Link, a pediatric cancer specialist at Stanford University who is president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the group hosting the Chicago conference where the results were being presented. ``It's sort of a smart bomb kind of therapy, a poison delivered to the tumor ... and not a lot of other collateral damage to other organs,'' he said. Dr. Louis Weiner, director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, said the results strongly suggest T-DM1 improves survival. It delivers more drug directly to tumors with less side effects, ``a clear advance,'' he said. Denise Davis, 51, a customer service representative at a propane company, was diagnosed three years ago with breast cancer that had spread to her liver and bones. Since

February of last year, the Lynchburg, Virginia, woman has made the two-hour trip to Duke in Durham, North Carolina, every three weeks to get infusions of T-DM1. ``I call it `Herceptin-plus,''' she said. Scans every six weeks show ``everything is still shrinking or stable,'' she said. ``Right now, I'm feeling pretty good about it. The only way I'd feel a little better is if it took care of everything, but I'll take what I can get.'' Genentech, part of the Swiss company Roche, plans to seek approval later this year to sell the drug in Europe and the United States. Another company, ImmunoGen Inc., made the technology combining the drugs. Genentech says the price of T-DM1 has not been determined. Herceptin costs more than $4,000 a month plus whatever doctors charge to infuse it. Herceptin's U.S. patent doesn't expire until 2019. -AP

In California, it's Big Tobacco vs Lance Armstrong Cont’d from page 36

Some of that money went to an existing tobacco tax, which sends 25 cents from each pack purchased to fund anti-smoking programs, provide health care services to the poor and fund tobacco-related research. That helped reduce tobacco sales. In the 15 years after it went into effect in 1988, the industry lost $9.2 billion in pre-tax sales, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Then, in 2006, tobacco companies spent $66 million to defeat a previous measure

mone, ``but that remaining 10 percent can still stimulate the cancer and cause death from the disease,'' Ryan said. Zytiga blocks virtually all of it ``it's really complete chemical castration,'' said another study leader, Duke University's Dr. Daniel George.

that would have created an extra $2.60-perpack tax. So far, the opposition campaign has centered its messages on the state's budget mess, calling the California Cancer Research Act a folly that will force taxpayers to support a bloated bureaucracy that will send research money out of state. Opponents also have said it could end up raising millions of dollars yet produce little research that develops new cancer treatments. The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst's Office says Proposition 29 would generate about $735 million a year in revenue if approved. -AP

The drug won federal approval last year for men with advanced prostate cancer whose disease had worsened despite treatment with standard hormones and chemotherapy. The new study tested it earlier in the course of illness in men with advanced prostate cancer who have not yet received chemotherapy. Researchers gave more than 1,000 patients in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia either Zytiga or dummy pills plus a steroid that also is widely used to treat such cases. When the study was stopped, the median time until cancer worsened in the group getting dummy pills was about eight

months. Those on Zytiga were faring much better, so doctors can only estimate the time it is taking for their cancers to worsen at least 16 months, Ryan said. There were more cases of high blood pressure, fluid retention and heart problems among men on Zytiga. Like other hormoneblockers, it can cause hot flashes and sexual problems. And Zytiga is expensive $5,500 a month in the United States. The study was sponsored by the drug's maker, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen division, and some study leaders have financial ties to the company. The company plans to seek approval later this year to sell the drug for men like those in the new study. Michael Wells, 65, a retired construction worker from Oakville in California's Napa Valley, was diagnosed nearly 12 years ago with prostate cancer that had spread to his bones. Standard hormone and radiation treatments kept it in check for many years, but when it started growing, he enrolled in the study. Zytiga gave him high blood pressure but other than that, ``I have not noticed any difference taking the pills I've always had hot flashes'' on prostate medicines, he said. He has now been on Zytiga for nearly three years, and scans show his cancer is in check. ``It's worked for me, and it's still working,'' Wells said. -AP


In Brief Feds, strippers to talk sex trafficking in NM ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: Strippers and owners of topless clubs are scheduled to meet with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials who hope to bring more awareness to sex trafficking, a growing problem some call ``virtual slavery.'' The special conference at the Elegante Hotel in Albuquerque is aimed at educating around 125 people in the adult entertainment industry about the dangers of sex trafficking and how to report it if they see it. With the help of a female Homeland Security Investigations agent working in southern New Mexico, the arm of ICE is seeking to reach out to people who may be working alongside victims of sex trafficking without even knowing it. ACE National, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group that represents strip clubs and other adult entertainment establishments, is hosting the event as part of organization's nationwide push to help dancers and club owners identify sex trafficking and rescue victims. ACE National's executive director, Angelina Spencer, said the group has trained 2,000 people nationwide, and club owners have an important interest in keeping any ties to sex trafficking out of their industry. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, sex trafficking involves prostitution and other adult services that are induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under 18 years old. Often victims are drawn into sex trafficking by kidnappings, promises of a better job in another country, or being sold into the trade by family members. -AP

Illegal immigrant tuition reviewed by Metro State DENVER: Metropolitan State College of Denver is considering a tuition cut for illegal-immigrant students. The proposal being considered by an advisory board would cut rates by more than half. According to the Denver Post, students would have to prove they are high school graduates and have lived in the state for at least three years. The rate would still be higher than the rates for instate students. Colorado lawmakers rejected a similar proposal earlier this year. -AP

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Bill to block immigrant detention center fails SPRINGFIELD, Ill.: Legislation that would have blocked plans to build a suburban Chicago detention center for immigrants facing deportation has failed in the Illinois House. -AP

New bill seeks to reform high-skilled visa policy MADHU PATEL, SURENDRA ULLAL & RAMESH SOPARAWALA

CHICAGO: A group of US lawmakers in House of Representatives - Reps. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY) Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Devin Nunes (R-CA) - introduced a bill the Startup Act 2.0 that aims to create and keep jobs in America besides increasing America's access to talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by reforming highskilled visa policies. The bill also seeks to raise opportunities for startup businesses with tax incentives and access to resources for innovation. From the view point of India and many other countries like India, that can boast of huge skilled labor, this bill would help a lot their technocrats and scientists to come here not only for sharpening their skills but also stay here if they so desire. Rep Robert Dold of Illinois said in a talk to this paper that Startup Act 2.0 helps to create jobs here

Rep. Robert Dold

Rep. Loretta Sanchez

Rep. Michael Grimm

in America by allowing individuals from other countries who pursue advanced degrees in science,

apply for a visa to work and live in America after they complete their education.

will spur the economy and get more people back to work." Robert Dold added. "The one thing we can all agree on is the need to jumpstart our economy and create jobs here at home. Startup Act 2.0 is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that will help to spur the economy and empower job creators by recognizing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, empowering small businesses, and rethinking burdensome regulations that prevent job growth," observed Dold.

From the view point of India and many other countries like India, that can boast of huge skilled labor, this bill would help a lot their technocrats and scientists to come here not only for sharpening their skills but also stay here if they so desire technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to stay in the country after they finish their degree. This could help the Indian community because it will allow individuals from India to

"By encouraging individuals from India, and from around the globe, to pursue advanced degrees in America, and then allow them to stay here to startup businesses and create new jobs, we

Cont’d on page 42

USCIS launches online immigration system CYRUS D. MEHTA

O

n May 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched the first phase of its electronic immigration benefits system, USCIS ELIS. Individuals can establish a USCIS ELIS account and apply online to extend or change their nonimmigrant status for certain visa types. Eligible individuals include foreign citizens who travel to the United States temporarily to study, conduct business, receive medical treatment, or visit on vacation. USCIS ELIS will also enable USCIS officers to review and adjudicate online filings from multiple agency locations. Following this first release, USCIS anticipates making adjustments and improvements in response to user feedback. Future releases will add form types and functions to the system, gradually

expanding to cover filing and adjudication for all USCIS immigration benefits. USCIS said the benefits of using USCIS ELIS include filing applications and paying fees online, shorter processing times, and the ability to

urged Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, not to propose changes that "would undermine the L visa program" when USCIS issues new guidance on the L-1B "specialized knowledge" stan-

USCIS said the benefits of using USCIS ELIS include filing applications and paying fees online, shorter processing times, and the ability to update user profiles update user profiles, receive notices, and respond to requests electronically. The system also includes tools to combat fraud and identify national security concerns. Senators urge Mayorkas not to 'undermine' L Visa Program Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) recently

dard, expected in the near future. The senators shared their thoughts in a letter sent to Director Mayorkas on March 7. The senators said they were concerned that the L-1B visa program, which allows companies to transfer employees with specialized knowledge from their foreign facili-

ties to their U.S. offices, "is harming American workers" because some employers, especially foreign outsourcing companies, "use L-1B visas to evade restrictions on the H-1B visa program." For example, the senators noted, the L-1 program does not have an annual cap and does not include the labor protections of the H-1B program. In January 2011, the Department of State issued new guidance to consular officers on adjudicating visas under the specialized knowledge category, outlining criteria including (1) the proprietary nature of the knowledge possessed by the visa applicant, (2) whether the visa applicant is "key" or normal personnel, and (3) whether the applicant possesses more skills or knowledge than an "ordinary" employee. Cont’d on page 43


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Brewer loses bid to dismiss immigration law case PHOENIX: A judge has rejected a request by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to dismiss one of three remaining legal challenges to the state's 2010 immigration law, ruling that the people who filed the lawsuit in question had legal standing to contest the law because they properly alleged that they would be harmed by its enforcement. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton means the people and coalition of groups behind the lawsuit can continue pushing their argument in court that the law should be overturned in its entirety. The governor's lawyers had argued that those who filed the challenge hadn't shown that they would be harmed because their alleged injuries were too speculative. Attorneys pressing the case contended, in part, that their clients faced increased risk of being stopped by police under the law because of their appearances and limited English proficiency. They also argued that two sections of the law can't be enforced in a raceneutral way. Bolton wrote it was realistic that police will rely on physical and

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

The governor appealed Bolton's ruling and took the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower appeals court rejected her request to let the blocked sections take effect linguistic characteristics in enforcing two sections of the law that the judge herself blocked officers from enforcing in 2010.

The blocked provisions would require police to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally and allow police to arrest people without warrants in cases where they commit crimes that make them removable from the United States. Bolton has prevented the law's most controversial elements from being enforced. The governor appealed Bolton's ruling and took the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court after a lower appeals court rejected her request to let the blocked sections take effect. The Supreme Court heard arguments in Brewer's appeal in late April. During arguments over the law, liberal and conservative justices reacted skeptically to the Obama administration's argument that Arizona exceeded its authority in creating the requirement that police check people's immigration status and the provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without a warrant. A decision in the case is expected in late June. Three of the seven challenges to the Arizona law remain alive. No trial date has been scheduled in the three cases. -AP

Mexican native graduates school after getting visa FRANKFORT, Ind.: An Indiana homecoming queen who missed her senior prom because she was stuck in her native Mexico for six weeks dealing with an immigration issue celebrated graduation with the rest of her classmates after making it back just in time.

said the class salutatorian and star athlete. Olivas came to Frankfort at age 4 but had been a day late of applying for a green card within six months of her 18th birthday, as required by law. She missed her prom, senior

Elizabeth Olivas, who returned to Indiana recently after receiving a visa at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, thanked her classmates at Frankfort High School and others who supported her while she fought red tape Elizabeth Olivas, who returned to Indiana recently after receiving a visa at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, thanked her classmates at Frankfort High School and others who supported her while she fought red tape to get home for the ceremony. ``I want you all to know that a very special part of my heart is touched by all of you, and I wouldn't be there without you,''

honors night and other events during her stay in Mexico, but was determined to graduate with her approximately 170 classmates. ``I honestly felt like I was in a dream, and knowing that everyone was supporting me and knowing that everyone was happy that I was there just made my day even better'' Olivas said. Many students who spoke at the ceremony mentioned her fight

and what she went through to make it to graduation day. ``Your courage, leadership and strength fueled the rest of us,'' said class president Moises Garcia. ``We love you, and welcome back.'' Valedictorian Chloe McLaughlin said the ceremony would not have been the same if Olivas had been required to stay in Mexico. ``Without Betty, this graduation would have felt incomplete for many of us,'' McLaughlin said. ``We know that she deserves to be there.'' McLaughlin said she did not want Olivas' situation to detract from the accomplishment of the rest of the graduates. ``I hope you will all be as passionate in life as you have been in getting Betty home this week,'' McLaughlin said. ``We are the future, and in the future, students should not have to fight to attend their graduations.'' Olivas said she plans to study nursing in college. -AP

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

Former Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney

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

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


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New bill seeks to reform high-skilled visa policy Cont’d from page 40

Startup 2.0 helps increase America's access to talent by creating a new set of conditional visas for 75,000 immigrant entrepreneurs and 50,000 foreign STEM graduate students, that are linked to the creation of American jobs. Research has demonstrated the positive impact of immigrants on American job creation. More than 40 percent of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, and each foreign-born advanced degree holder who stays in the U.S. to work in a STEM occupation created an estimated 2.6 American jobs. "Startup 2.0 legislation is a natural follow-up to our efforts to jumpstart the economy and it is exactly the kind of legislation the United States needs to keep up with India, China and the rest of the global market," said Rep. Sanchez. Rep. Grimm said that Startup 2.0 is about creating American jobs. Too often we educate the world's best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us. This bill will keep top talent here in the U.S. to build businesses that hire Americans, and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. "I thank Senator Moran for his leadership on this legislation in the Senate and thank my colleagues in the House for working together across the aisle for the greater good of the American people and the U.S.

The team of US Congressmen that introduced Startup Act 2.0 Bill in Congress

economy," added Rep. Grim. "The Startup Act 2.0 is a great example of Congress working in a bipartisan manner to put Americans back to work. This legislation will help keep America a glo-

support to stay afloat and add employees. ," said Rep. Yoder. Rep. Polis said that this was exactly the kind of bipartisan, jobcreating legislation that Congress should act on immediately.

‘Too often we educate the world's best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us. This bill will keep top talent here in the US’ bal leader in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and in the competition for the brightest minds of future generations. Additionally, it will give small businesses much-needed

"The Startup Act will encourage investors who want their money to grow American jobs and it will put funding for research and development right on the cutting edge of discovery, at our

colleges and universities. It will give the men and women who are educated in America, who want to innovate and invent in America, a chance to do exactly that. We can create jobs in America that can never be sent overseas. We can build products that lead the world. We can do what we have always done in this nation; invent, innovate and deliver on our potential. The Startup Act will help make that happen," said Rep. Carnahan. "America has always attracted the best and brightest entrepreneurs. If we are to continue building on this legacy, we must act now," said Rep. Nunes. The bill also creates tax incentives for the creation of new businesses. Research shows that startups create

3 million jobs per year, on average. In addition, over the past 30 years, companies less than five years old have created almost all the new net jobs in America. "Technology companies are driving vital job growth and opportunity that is crucial to America's economic recovery. To sustain this growth, companies like Microsoft need to be able to recruit and retain the world's brightest minds, enabling them to work with our large number of American employees. We applaud Representatives Grimm and Sanchez for introducing this critical legislation that will help fuel innovation and create more jobs in this country. We urge Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation quickly," said Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Microsoft. The Startup Act 2.0 was also introduced in the Senate on May 22 by Senators Jerry Moran (RKS), Mark Warner (D-VA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Christopher Coons (D-DE). "To get America's economic engine roaring once again, entrepreneurs must be free to pursue their ideas, start businesses in the United States, and create American jobs. These ideas have bipartisan support, and I am pleased my colleagues in the House are joining me in the effort to prove the critics wrong: Congress can get something done during an election year by coming together to strengthen the economy and create jobs," said Senator Moran.

Immigration groups say tourists should avoid Ala. MONTGOMERY, Ala.: A national coalition of civil rights and labor organizations has said they will run advertisements around the country encouraging people not to visit tourist sites in Alabama because of the state's crackdown on illegal immigration. Leaders of the group said in a telephone news conference that they also plan to have demonstrations in front of 73 Hyundai dealerships around the county to encourage the South Korean auto manufacturer to publicly take a stance against Alabama's immigration law. Wade Henderson, the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said changes the Alabama Legislature made this year to the law have not resolved the problems civil

rights organizations had with the law that has been described as the toughest crackdown on illegal immigration in the country. ``In fact, they have made the law even harsher and more punitive than it was before. Our mes-

Alabama's immigration law is to make sure that people who live and work in the state do so legally. ``There is nothing unkind or unjust about that,'' Ardis said. ``Some people want us to turn a

Sentell said immigrants would be hurt by any action that reduces the number of tourists visiting Alabama because of the number of immigrants who have jobs in the tourism industry sage to the Legislature is simple: If we can't appeal to your humanity then we will appeal to your pocketbooks,'' Henderson said. He said the coalition was not calling for a boycott, but wanted to make people aware of the law. Jennifer Ardis, press secretary to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, said the protest seems misguided. She said the purpose of

blind eye to the issue of illegal immigration. We will not do so.'' The executive director for corporate communications for Hyundai, Chris Hosford, said in a statement that Hyundai has a longstanding commitment to human rights and he does not understand why the company would be singled out for the protest. ``Given our commitment, it is

puzzling that the coalition would unfairly single out Hyundai from the state's hundreds of thousands of businesses, including other automakers. Hyundai continues to believe that the coalition's efforts on this important issue would be best directed toward the Alabama Legislature, which enacted and has the power to amend the legislation,'' Hosford said. Hyundai's large manufacturing plant in Montgomery is running at full capacity and has about 2,500 employees who manufacture more than 1,300 vehicles a day. The company recently announced plans to add a third shift and 877 new jobs at the plant. State tourism director Lee Sentell says tourists spent $10.2 billion in Alabama last year. He said it was the first year tourists had spent more than $10 billion in Alabama.

Sentell said immigrants would be hurt by any action that reduces the number of tourists visiting Alabama because of the number of immigrants who have jobs in the tourism industry. Joining the news conference was Cindy Edwards, national vice president of the United Auto Workers said she is especially concerned about a section of the law that would require families of school children to report their immigration status. That section for now has been stopped by a federal court. ``As a mother, I'm shocked and insulted that out state legislators would vote in favor of a law that discriminates against children ... and creates and environment where kids have to go home and wonder whether or not their parent is going to be there,'' Edwards said. -AP


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USCIS launches online immigration system Cont’d from page 40

The senators also noted that in July 2008, USCIS's Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) considered the definition of "specialized knowledge" and concluded that such employees are "an elevated class of workers within a company and not an ordinary or average employee." The senators advocated adoption of the standards and reasoning articulated in the January 2011 Department of State guidance and the July 2008 AAO decision. "We are concerned that any weakening of the standard would create additional incentives for some employers to use the L-1B visa program in order to circumvent even the minimal wage and other protections for American workers in the H-1B visa program." A USCIS spokesperson said, "USCIS is currently reviewing its L-1B policy guidance, which is comprised of a series of memoranda dating back to 1994, to assess whether that guidance assists adjudicators in applying the law in new business settings that companies face today." CDMA sends comment on proposed provisional waiver rule Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates,

P.L.L.C. (CDMA) sent comments on the recently proposed rule regarding "Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives" (DHS Docket No. USCIS2012-2003) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on June 1, 2012. USCIS has proposed regulatory changes pursuant to which an applicant for an immigrant visa could, prior to departing from the United States to attend a visa interview, be granted a provisional waiver of the inadmissibility under INA § 212(a) (9) (B) that will result from the applicant's prior unlawful presence in the United States when the applicant departs the United States to apply for an immigrant visa. CDMA proposed that USCIS remove provisions in its proposed rule which would forbid the grant of a provisional waiver to various types of applicants who are or have been in removal proceedings; that USCIS alter how the proposed rule addresses applicants who may face inadmissibility under INA § 212(a) (6) (C) on the basis of alleged fraud; and that USCIS extend eligibility for provisional waivers to over-21year-old sons and daughters of

U.S. citizens. While commending USCIS for its proposal, CDMA's comment points out that allowing applicants who are in removal proceedings or are subject to a final removal order to apply for a discretionary

In Flaum, the NLRB concluded that "IRCA does not require that the Board permit baseless inquiry into immigration status in every case in which reinstatement or backpay is granted" provisional waiver of inadmissibility will create greater efficiencies and is consistent with past regulatory practice in the area of advance permission to reapply for admission. Moreover, allowing either an advance waiver of inadmissibility due to fraud, or at least an advance determination of whether an applicant should be found inad-

Long gap in Arizona sheriff's immigration patrols PHOENIX: The Arizona sheriff known for his hardline stance on illegal immigration has gone months without using his most controversial law enforcement tactic. Critics of America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff say legal pressure has led Joe Arpaio to suspend his immigration sweeps. But the Maricopa County lawman says his opponents have it all wrong. ``I haven't stopped anything,'' Arpaio said. ``I don't know why anybody thinks we stopped.'' The special immigration patrols are at the center of two separate federal lawsuits, one from the U.S. Justice Department, accusing Arpaio's office of discriminating against Latinos. During the sweeps, as many as 200 deputies and volunteer posse members flood a designated area, making dozens of traffic stops and arrests. The enforcement zones are sometimes in areas with a large Hispanic population. Illegal immigrants account for nearly 60 percent of the approximately 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps Arpaio has launched since Janu-

ary 2008. It's been nearly eight months since the last such patrol, marking the longest pause in more than four years. Arpaio said the break isn't unusual. He added that the news media have not reported about immigration arrests made during more routine patrols by his deputies. ``I am not backing down regardless of them taking me to court,'' he said. ``I am still enforcing immigration laws. They are being arrested and are going to jail.'' But Arpaio's critics, such as the ACLU of Arizona, say he has backed away from the patrols because they make it more difficult to defend against the lawsuits that say his deputies racially profile Hispanics in immigration enforcement efforts. ``It's not in his best interest to conduct these high-profile sweeps before he is put on the stand to defend his practices,'' said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. The sheriff's office completed its last sweep in southwest Phoe-

nix in October. Previously, the longest break was a six months stretch during the first half of 2009, when civil rights officials with the Department of Justice told the sheriff they were investigating him. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit last month saying the sheriff's office carried out a pattern of discrimination against Latinos in his sweeps and had a culture of disregard for basic constitutional rights. Arpaio is accused of launching some sweeps based on citizen letters that complained about people with dark skin congregating in a given area or speaking Spanish but never reported an actual crime. -AP

missible due to fraud, will allow more applicants who may otherwise need to pursue a complex claim under Matter of Quilantan, 25 I&N Dec. 285 (BIA 2010), in immigration court, to utilize the provisional waiver process instead. Finally, expanding the provisional waiver process to cover adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens could fill some of the gap left by the failure to enact the DREAM Act. NLRB issues guidance on compliance cases The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued guidance on May 4 to regions for investigating and litigating compliance issues under Flaum Appetizing Corp., 357 NLRB No. 162 (Dec. 30, 2011). The memo acknowledges that the Supreme Court in Hoffman Plastics Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002) concluded that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) bars the NLRB from awarding backpay to any individual who was not legally authorized to work in the United States during the backpay period. However, the NLRB noted that an employee's work authorization status generally is irrelevant to the merits of an unfair labor practice compliant; it only becomes a triable issue at the compliance stage.

Nonetheless, the NLRB memo states, a respondent "may not use the compliance phase as a means to fish for disabling employee conduct under IRCA, i.e., no legal authorization for its employees to work in the United States." In Flaum, the NLRB concluded that "IRCA does not require that the Board permit baseless inquiry into immigration status in every case in which reinstatement or backpay is granted." In the compliance phase, the NLRB memo says, regions should demand a full accounting of evidence upon which a respondent intends to rely to assert that employees are ineligible for backpay under Hoffman Plastics. The NLRB memo also notes, among other things, that before Flaum, an employer was permitted to require discriminates to complete the appropriate portion of the I-9 employment authorization verification form and submit appropriate documentation as a condition of reinstatement. "A reinstatement offer will no longer be considered valid if it is conditioned on re-verification of employment status," the NLRB memo states. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


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Perspective

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Paths are made by walking: Nipun Mehta 2012's Baccalaureate speaker at the University of Pennsylvania was an unconventional choice for an Ivy League school. To address their newly-minted graduates, aspiring to dazzling careers, they picked a man who has never in his adult life, applied for a job. A man who hasn't worked for pay in nearly a decade, and whose self-stated mission is simply "to bring smiles to the world and stillness to my heart". This off-the-radar speaker launched his address with a startling piece of advice. Following up with four key insights gleaned from a radical 1000 km walking pilgrimage through the villages of India. As he closed his one-of-a-kind Graduation Day speech, the sea of cap and gowned students rose to their feet for a standing ovation. What follows is the full transcript: NIPUN MEHTA

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ight now each one of you is sitting on the runway of life primed for take off. You are some of the world's most gifted, elite, and driven college graduates and you are undeniably ready to fly. So what I'm about to say next may sound a bit crazy. I want to urge you, not to fly, but to - walk. Four years ago, you walked into this marvelous laboratory of higher learning. Today, heads held high, you walk to receive your diplomas. Tomorrow, you will walk into a world of infinite possibilities. But walking, in our high-speed world, has unfortunately fallen out of favor. The word "pedestrian" itself is used to describe something ordinary and commonplace. Yet, walking with intention has deep roots. Australia's aboriginal youth go on walkabouts as a rite of passage; Native American tribes conduct vision quests in the wilderness; in Europe, for centuries, people have walked the Camino de Santiago, which spans the breadth of Spain. Such pilgrims place one foot firmly in front of the other, to fall in step with the rhythms of the universe and the cadence of their own hearts. Back in 2005, six months into our marriage, my wife and I decided to "step it up" ourselves and go on a walking pilgrimage. At the peak of our efforts with ServiceSpace, we wondered if we had the capacity to put aside our worldly success and seek higher truths. Have you ever thought of something and then just known that it had to happen? It was one of those things. So we sold all our major belongings, and bought a one-way ticket to India. Our plan was to head to Mahatma Gandhi's ashram, since he had always been an inspiration to us, and then walk South. Between the two of us, we budgeted a dollar a day, mostly for incidentals - which meant that for our survival we had to depend utterly on the kindness of strangers. We ate whatever food was offered and slept wherever place was offered. Now, I do have to say, such ideas come with a warning: do not try this at home, because your partner might not exactly welcome this kind of honeymoon. :-) For us, this walk was a pilgrimage - and our goal was simply to be in a space larger than our egos, and to allow that compassion to guide us in unscripted acts of service along the way. Stripped entirely of our comfort zone and accustomed identities, could we still "keep it real"? That was our challenge. We ended up walking 1000 kilometers over three months. In that period, we encountered the very best and the very worst of human nature - not just in others, but also within ourselves.

Soon after we ended the pilgrimage, my uncle casually popped the million dollar question at the dinner table: "So, Nipun, what did you learn from this walk?" I didn't

As we traversed rural India at the speed of a couple of miles per hour, it became clear how much we could learn simply by bearing witness to the villagers' way of life. Their

Back in 2005, six months into our marriage, my wife and I decided to "step it up" ourselves and go on a walking pilgrimage. At the peak of our efforts with ServiceSpace, we wondered if we had the capacity to put aside our worldly success and seek higher truths know where to begin. But quite spontaneously, an acronym - W-A-L-K - came to mind, which encompassed the key lessons we had learned, and continue to relearn, even to this day. As you start the next phase of your journey, I want to share those nuggets with the hope that it might illuminate your path in some small way too. The W in WALK stands for Witness. When you walk, you quite literally see more. Your field of vision is nearly 180 degrees, compared to 40 degrees when you're traveling at 62 mph. Higher speeds smudge our peripheral vision, whereas walking actually broadens your canvas and dramatically shifts the objects of your attention. For instance, on our pilgrimage, we would notice the sunrise everyday, and how, at sunset, the birds would congregate for a little party of their own. Instead of adding Facebook friends online, we were actually making friends in person, often over a cup of hot "chai". Life around us came alive in a new way. A walking pace is the speed of commu-

Nipun Mehta

entire mental model is different - the multiplication of wants is replaced by the basic fulfillment of human needs. When you are no longer preoccupied with asking for more and more stuff; then you just take what is given and give what is taken. Life is simple again. A farmer explained it to us this way: "You cannot make the clouds rain more, you cannot make the sun shine less. They are just nature's gifts - take it or leave it." When the things around you are seen as gifts, they are no longer a means to an end; they are the means and the end. And thus, a cow-herder will tend to his animals with the compassion of a father, a village woman will wait 3 hours for a delayed bus without a trace of anger, a child will spend countless hours fascinated by stars in the galaxy, and finding his place in the vast cosmos. So with today's modernized tools at your ready disposal, don't let yourself zoom obliviously from point A to point B on the highways of life; try walking the backroads of the world, where you will

As we traversed rural India at the speed of a couple of miles per hour, it became clear how much we could learn simply by bearing witness to the villagers' way of life. Their entire mental model is different - the multiplication of wants is replaced by the basic fulfillment of human needs. When you are no longer preoccupied with asking for more and more stuff; then you just take what is given and give what is taken nity. Where high speeds facilitate separation, a slower pace gifts us an opportunity to commune.

witness a profoundly inextricable connection with all living things. The A in WALK stands for Accept.

When walking in this way, you place yourself in the palm of the universe, and face its realities head on. We walked at the peak of summer, in merciless temperatures hovering above 120 degrees. Sometimes we were hungry, exhausted and even frustrated. Our bodies ached for just that extra drink of water, a few more moments in the shade, or just that little spark of human kindness. Many times we received that extra bit, and our hearts would overflow with gratitude. But sometimes we were abruptly refused, and we had to cultivate the capacity to accept the gifts hidden in even the most challenging of moments. I remember one such day, when we approached a rest house along a barren highway. As heavy trucks whizzed past, we saw a sign, announcing that guests were hosted at no charge. "Ah, our lucky day," we thought in delight. I stepped inside eagerly. The man behind the desk looked up and asked sharply,"Are you here to see the temple?" A simple yes from my lips would have instantly granted us a full meal and a room for the night. But it wouldn't have been the truth. So instead, I said, "Well, technically, no sir. We're on a walking pilgrimage to become better people. But we would be glad to visit the temple." Rather abruptly, he retorted: "Um, sorry, we can't host you." Something about his curt arrogance triggered a slew of negative emotions. I wanted to make a snide remark in return and slam the door on my way out. Instead, I held my raging ego in check. In that state of physical and mental exhaustion, it felt like a Herculean task - but through the inner turmoil a voice surfaced within, telling me to accept the reality of this moment. There was a quiet metamorphosis in me. I humbly let go of my defenses, accepted my fate that day, and turned to leave without a murmur. Perhaps the man behind the counter sensed this shift in me, because he yelled out just then, "So what exactly are you doing again?" After my brief explanation he said, "Look, I can't feed you or host you, because rules are rules. But there are restrooms out in the back. You could sleep outside the male restroom and your wife can sleep outside the female restroom." Though he was being kind, his offer felt like salt in my wounds. We had no choice but to accept. That day we fasted and that night, we slept by the bathrooms. A small lie could've bought us an upgrade, but that would've been no pilgrimage. Cont’d on page 45


June 15, 2012

Perspective

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Paths are made by walking: Nipun Mehta Cont’d on page 44

As I went to sleep with a wall separating me from my wife, I had this beautiful, unbidden vision of a couple climbing to the top of a mountain from two different sides. Midway through this difficult ascent, as the man contemplated giving up, a small sparrow flew by with this counsel, "Don't quit now, friend. Your wife is eager to see you at the top." He kept climbing. A few days later, when the wife found herself on the brink of quitting, the little sparrow showed up with the same message. Step by step, their love sustained their journey all the way to the mountaintop. Visited by the timely grace of this vision, I shed a few grateful tears - and this story became a touchstone not only in our relationship, but many other noble friendships as well. So I encourage you to cultivate equanimity and accept whatever life tosses into your laps - when you do that, you will be blessed with the insight of an inner transformation that is yours to keep for all of time. The L in WALK stands for Love. The more we learned from nature, and built a kind of inner resilience to external circumstances, the more we fell into our natural state - which was to be loving. In our dominant paradigm, Hollywood has insidiously co-opted the word, but the love I'm talking about here is the kind of love that only knows one thing - to give with no strings attached. Purely. Selflessly. Most of us believe that to give, we first need to have something to give. The trouble with that is, that when we are taking stock of what we have, we almost always make accounting errors. Oscar Wilde once quipped, "Now-a-days, people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing." We have forgotten how to value things without a price tag. Hence, when we get to our most abundant gifts - like attention, insight, compassion - we confuse their worth because they're, well, priceless. On our walking pilgrimage, we noticed that those who had the least were most readily equipped to honor the priceless. In urban cities, the people we encountered began with an unspoken wariness: "Why are you doing this? What do you want from me?" In the countryside, on the other hand, villagers almost always met us with an openhearted curiosity launching straight in with: "Hey buddy, you don't look local. What's your story?" In the villages, your worth wasn't assessed by your business card, professional network or your salary. That innate simplicity allowed them to love life and cherish all its connections.

Extremely poor villagers, who couldn't even afford their own meals, would often borrow food from their neighbors to feed us. When we tried to refuse, they would simply explain: "To us, the guest is God. This is our offering to the divine in you that connects us to each other." Now, how could one refuse that? Street vendors often gifted us vegetables; in a very touching moment, an armless fruit-seller once insisted on giving us a slice of watermelon. Everyone, no matter how old, would be overjoyed to give us directions, even when they weren't fully sure of them. :) And I still remember the woman who gen-

connections allows for a profound quality of mental quietude. Like a still lake undisturbed by waves or ripples, we are then able to see clearly into who we are and how we can live in deep harmony with the environment around us. When one foot walks, the other rests. Doing and being have to be in balance. Our rational mind wants to rightfully ensure progress, but our intuitive mind also needs space for the emergent, unknown and unplanned to arise. Doing is certainly important, but when we aren't aware of our internal ecosystem, we get so vested in our plans and actions, that we don't notice the

Extremely poor villagers, who couldn't even afford their own meals, would often borrow food from their neighbors to feed us. When we tried to refuse, they would simply explain: "To us, the guest is God. This is our offering to the divine in you that connects us to each other." Now, how could one refuse that? Street vendors often gifted us vegetables; in a very touching moment, an armless fruit-seller once insisted on giving us a slice of watermelon erously gave us water when we were extremely thirsty - only to later discover that she had to walk 10 kilometers at 4 am to get that one bucket of water. These people knew how to give, not because they had a lot, but because they knew how to love life. They didn't need any credit or assurance that you would ever return to pay them back. Rather, they just trusted in the pay-it-forward circle of giving. When you come alive in this way, you'll realize that true generosity doesn't start when you have some thing to give, but rather when there's nothing in you that's trying to take. So I hope that you will make all your precious moments an expression of loving life. And lastly, the K in WALK stands for Know Thyself. Sages have long informed us that when we serve others unconditionally, we shift from the me-to-the-we and connect more deeply with the other. That matrix of inter-

buildup of mental residue. Over time, that unconscious internal noise starts polluting our motivations, our ethics and our spirit. And so, it is critical to still the mind. A melody, after all, can only be created with the silence in between the notes. As we walked - witnessed, accepted, loved - our vision of the world indeed grew clearer. That clarity, paradoxically enough, blurred our previous distinctions between me versus we, inner transformation versus external impact, and selfishness versus selflessness. They were inextricably connected. When a poor farmer gave me a tomato as a parting gift, with tears rolling down his eyes, was I receiving or giving? When sat for hours in silent meditation, was the benefit solely mine or would it ripple out into the world? When I lifted the haystack off an old man's head and carried it for a kilometer, was I serving him or serving myself? Which is to say, don't just go through life

File picture of a graduation event at U Penn

- grow through life. It will be easy and tempting for you to arrive at reflexive answers - but make it a point, instead, to acknowledge mystery and welcome rich questions ... questions that nudge you towards a greater understanding of this world and your place in it. That's W-A-L-K. And today, at this momentous milestone of your life, you came in walking and you will go out walking. As you walk on into a world that is increasingly aiming to move beyond the speed of thought, I hope you will each remember the importance of traveling at the speed of thoughtfulness. I hope that you will take time to witness our magnificent interconnections. That you will accept the beautiful gifts of life even when they aren't pretty, that you will practice loving selflessly and strive to know your deepest nature. I want to close with a story about my great grandfather. He was a man of little wealth who still managed to give every single day of his life. Each morning, he had a ritual of going on a walk - and as he walked, he diligently fed the ant hills along his path with small pinches of wheat flour. Now that is an act of micro generosity so small that it might seem utterly negligible, in the grand scheme of the universe. How does it matter? It matters in that it changed him inside. And my great grandfather's goodness shaped the worldview of my grandparents who in turn influenced that of their children - my parents. Today those ants and the ant hills are gone, but my great grandpa's spirit is very much embedded in all my actions and their future ripples. It is precisely these small, often invisible, acts of inner transformation that mold the stuff of our being, and bend the arc of our shared destiny. On your walk, today and always, I wish you the eyes to see the anthills and the heart to feed them with joy. May you be blessed. Change yourself change the world. Nipun is the founder of ServiceSpace.org, a nonprofit that works at the intersection of gift-economy, technology and volunteerism.


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Philosophy

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orrow has been a constant companion for many of us, and yet we are content with the mind's interpretation of what it is. What if sorrow is not what it appears to be? What if it is a deep invitation to return to authenticity and naturalness? What if, in your heart, you know that sorrow is a sane response to the human condition of confusion and suffering? Everything in nature has a function, and depression's function is to dissolve the sense of isolation and the unnecessary defenses. We all know that when sorrow fills us, there is no escape. The depths of sorrow each one of us has experienced is so great. For some of us, there are circumstances that appear to cause sorrow and sustain it. And yet for others, we cannot trace it back to an event. In both cases, if we feel it deeply, it is too large to be ours alone. For a moment, don't touch the narrative of sorrow and notice its fathomless depths. What does this reveal? Have you ever wondered how we have the capacity to feel so deeply? How is it that we can experience the loss and disappointments of the human heart? There is so much

TARUN SARDANA

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he journey to the Self is a little complicated: The more one walks towards it, the farther it goes; the moment one stops, one finds oneself there. "Dissolved" is a state where two become one. Just as a river dissolves in the ocean, a raindrop in the water, a fragrance in the air, and a seeker in the Self. The book 'Dissolved' is about the journey of a seeker, Vivek, who goes within to seek the truth and in the process becomes one with it. The following is an excerpt from the book: Guru Ji: Listen Vivek. Now I will share with you the highest of all wisdom. I would like you to close your eyes and tell me, what do you see? Vivek: (Bows down to Guru Ji and closes his eyes. After a while, he speaks up) I see nothing Guru Ji. It is all blank. Nothing in there. (Vivek opens his eyes) Guru Ji: We are not done yet, Son. Keep your eyes closed. (Vivek apologizes, bows down to Guru Ji and closes his eyes again) Guru Ji: So what do you see?

about us that remains unseen. In our innocence, we listen to thought's interpretation of who we are and what is happening in our life. And yet in the background, there is a presence of such intelligence and wisdom that is already carrying the life we call ours. This is our natural Self. We all have played so many roles in our lives, variously leading to joy and sorrow. The only

of yourself? And what if sorrow was pointing to that? Sorrow is a call, home. The human condition of dissatisfaction and depression was born of the perceived separation from our essential Self, our naturalness. At the heart of sorrow there is longing, an unquenchable hunger that we try to fill with experiences, food, love affairs and material acquisitions.

role? As you look inside, are you aware of an aliveness that is naturally open? Right now, all the sensations and emotions have free movement through us. One of the functions of this constant flow of emotions and thoughts is to awaken this alive intelligence to its innate capacity to soothe emotion and clarify the mind. This is when the natural Self starts to

Sorrow is an invitation to return to naturalness

Pamela Wilson

We all have played so many roles in our lives, variously leading to joy and sorrow. The only thing that has remained a constant is this presence: that which is aware of the daily ups and downs

thing that has remained a constant is this presence: that which is aware of the daily ups and downs, that which feels the emotions and all the body's sensations - and even listens to thoughts. Have you ever noticed that whatever the age of your body, you often felt much younger? What if you weren't defined by your birth date, or how others view you, or even how you view yourself? What if you were so much greater and simpler than any idea

Longing, when felt directly, is the invitation back to what is Real - to who we are behind our roles and personality. In the West, the focus is on fixing the personality so it can function better and feel complete. This can be a lifetime process because the personality itself is imagined: it is not who we are. Like a piece of fabric, it cloaks our innocence and attempts to protect the openness within. Just check, are you really your

know itSelf - to recognize that it simply is. There is no need for the Self to change or improve; it is complete and perfect just as it is. This is true rest. When the body and mind are at rest, it is easy to see who we are, innate naturalness, the presence that is always in the background. Based in New Mexico, Pamela Wilson is one of the leading spiritual teachers in the United States.

Vivek: There is nothing in there Guru Ji. It's all dark. It's all empty. Guru Ji: If your eyes are closed, who is the one, who sees this darkness? (Long silence. Vivek breaks the silence and speaks up) Vivek: I don't know Guru Ji. I mean, it is me but I can't see myself. Guru Ji: Don't worry, Vivek.

thing for me up till now but I am not able to see myself. Please be kind and tell me: Who am I? Guru Ji: I can understand your dilemma Vivek, but it is very important that you find it on your own. My grace is with you, so don't be scared. Go deep within. Your true Self is already waiting to uncover itself. It has been wait-

still any Vivek left. Scriptures say, to realize the ultimate truth one has to die. Is this the death, they talk about? Vivek was dead for the outside world. Rain, storms, days, nights, hunger … had no effect on him. His breath had stopped. After a long interval, Vivek

A state where the seeker dissolves in the Self

Tarun Sardana

Just take some more time and see who is this "ME", who sees this darkness. (Long silence. No movement. Complete, perfect silence. Vivek has lost track of time. Everything has come to a standstill. Vivek again breaks the silence and speaks up) Vivek: Please help me Guru Ji. I am not able to see myself. I have been doing every-

‘I am not able to see myself. I have been doing everything for me up till now but I am not able to see myself. Please be kind and tell me: Who am I?’ ing for years. So don't get hassled. Dive deep within and you'll find it. This time the Silence is much longer. There is no movement. It appears as if Vivek has left his body. Hours pass … Days pass … Still no movement … Outside, there is complete silence. Inside, whatever was happening only Guru Ji knew or Vivek, if there was

opened his eyes, looked at Guru Ji, smiled and bowed before him. This time, he had no questions. His eyes were steady and calm. His face reflected peace. He had nothing but silence to share with Guru Ji. Young Tarun lives in Delhi. He quit his successful career as software professional to devote time to knowing the "I".

I am a little pencil in God's hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. -Mother Teresa The absolute is a sphere whose center is nowhere and whose circumference is everywhere. -St. Bonaventure Once you have seen the face of God, you see the same face on everyone you meet. -Deng Ming-Dao You will get to your maturity quickly if you stay in the nothingness. -Nisargadatta Maharaj The eye with which I see God is the same eye that God sees me. -Meister Eckhart This very body is the buddha. This very place is the lotus paradise. -Buddha We can see the drop in the ocean, but can we see the ocean in the drop? Do not attribute duality to God. All existence is God and nothing is outside of God. -Rabbi Moses Cordovero Because the Beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation. -Rumi

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India's ambitions in Myanmar: A Chinese perspective PENG NIAN

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cus on combating India's anti- which will be the core idea of India's government armed groups. Myanmar policy. For the consideration of ecoAlthough India-Myanmar relanomic and strategic interests, In- tions continue to improve in redia was very cent years, and Singh's visit furcautious in es- ther demonstrates India's urgent tablishing con- desire to further strengthen relatact with tions, there were several insurMyanmar's pro- mountable obstacles that had to democracy ac- be overcome. First, there was a tivists, so as not deep-seated anti-Indian sentiment to arouse the in Myanmar. Although India acsuspicion of the tively tried to engage with Government of Myanmar, India's double-dealing Myanmar. policy not only failed to win the Since the trust of the Myanmarese governGovernment of ment, but also that of Myanmarese Myanmar initi- activists. ated the move to Second, due to sanctions imaccelerate the posed by Western countries, process of politi- Myanmar's national sentiment cal reform at the grew rapidly. Third, Myanmar was end of 2011, In- interested in trying to use India to dia began to balance the big country in the disstrengthen its trict, but India lacked the capacity contact with to provide strategic resources to Myanmar's pro- Myanmar. democracy acFinally, the recent political rePrime Minister Manmohan Singh with Myanmar's tivists, hoping forms in Myanmar have been opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to not miss the given the thumbs up of the West, opportunity to which may reduce India's role in ing the democratic movement expand its influence in Myanmar Myanmar. India has always maintained leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. It was as the pro-democracy activists reclose contact with pro-democracy understood that the two countries board the political arena. Singh's visit showed that India activists in Myanmar, which the signed 12 agreements covering national security, border areas de- would adjust the 'two-track Myanmarese government has velopment, trade and investment policy'. India would strengthen been extremely sensitive of. Alagreements, transportation and ties with the Myanmar pro-democ- though political reforms have beracy activists actively and pub- gun to be implemented, it does not other aspects of cooperation. Singh's visit attracted signifi- licly, demonstrating India's belief imply that the Government of cant interest, especially at a time that the future of Myanmar is de- Myanmar is ready to fully open when Myanmar's political reform mocracy. In this visit, India process continues to accelerate, and its relations with Western said that it would help to establish the countries continue to improve. Against this backdrop, there Myanmar Institute are three observations worth not- of Technology, and ing: the consultations on the is- a Centre for Agriculsue of border security, Singh meet- tural Research in an ing Aung San Suu Kyi publicly, agricultural college and India's emphasis on the need in Naypyidaw. The two sides also to exert 'soft power' in Myanmar. India's Northeastern region reached a consen(NER) is an important channel at sus on many asthe forefront of India's Look East pects of air services policy (LEP), and it is therefore es- and cultural exsential to ensure stability in the re- change cooperagion. However, the frequent armed tion. This shows that anti-government activities in the region have impeded the effective India is interested in using soft power to implementation of the LEP. During the visit, Singh ex- strengthen its influpressed that India needed ence in Myanmar. Manmohan Singh with Presdient of Myanmar's coordination to com- Through the rapid Myanmar U. Thein Sein bat the anti-government armed development of culforces that have fled to Myanmar tural exchanges befrom the Northeast. However, tween India and Myanmar in re- the doors to the pro-democracy Myanmar may not be fully coop- cent years, and India's increasing activists. The writer is Graduate student, erative with India. The conflicts emphasis on soft power, India is between Myanmar government attempting to use its unique cul- Institute of South Asia Studies troops and domestic ethnic armies ture, democracy and soft power to (ISAS), Si Chuan University, continue, making it difficult to fo- expand its influence in Myanmar, China. Courtesy IPCS n 29 May, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ended his threeday visit to Myanmar, after meet-

India Post Speak to people

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ndia is a democracy but none of its leaders in the ruling party can speak to the people. Manmohan Singh, it is said, cannot win a Lok Sabha election. This is not true but the diffident Sardar has never tried after his defeat in the first attempt from a constituency in Delhi. Anybody (even Dimple Yadav) can win a Lok Sabha election if you have the party's support. Remember Dimple (wife of the present chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav) also lost her first election in 2009 but she is contesting again and is sure to win as the Congress wanting Samajwadi Party support for the Presidential election has decided not to oppose her. Strategizing is what the Congress does well. Even Dimple Yadav would be uncomfortable speaking to the people. But she has a good excuse. She is not the Prime Minister of India. If the Prime Minister of India is reluctant to speak to the people of India, there is a problem. Even the Congress supremo, Ms Sonia Gandhi is unable to speak to the people. Granted her Hindi is no good and she has to read from a paper, still she is unable to connect to the people. It is not evident that she is aware of the concerns of the common man. And she operates her politics from closed rooms. Nothing is known of her mind and if someone tries to read her mind, or get close to her to convey her thinking, he/she might be snubbed. And true to the undemocratic functioning of the Congress party, the crucial decision to select the Presidential candidate for the forthcoming election has been left to her. And rest assured, even though there is a countrywide debate on the merits of a President, the people will not be taken into confidence. There is the octogenarian trouble-shooter of the Congress, the venerable Pranab Mukherjee. He can at least speak to the media. Our PM and Congress supremo cannot even do that. And what comes out of the lips of Pranab Da is old world politics which has been the bane of this country. His old world budget as finance minister has sent sentiments plummeting. Instead of explaining to the people he behaves like a stern school master as if the economic problems are due to the mistakes of the common people. Ditto is the behavior of Home Minister Chidambaram who talks in homilies. What distinguished leaders like Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Atal Behari Vajpayee was that they could talk to the people. And people would listen because these leaders were sincere. Todays' so-called leaders cannot talk to the people because they are not sincere. Their politics is of backroom calculations and deals and then lying and cover up if the secret is out. Their concern is not people's welfare but feathering their own nest, whatever its size. It could be the size of their party. Rama Bijapurkur, market strategy consultant, says in a recent column that no one is communicating and explaining the situation to the people. "Not the government and not the media. Not the opposition. There are no takers for the opposition's call for a bandh, because, for the self-employed, that is a day away from earning, and times are bad enough." Talking of the angry middle class, she says, "Their success stories are a role model to the rest‌that hard work can give you what you dream of. They aren't political. All they want is to work hard, consume hard and dream big. Surely they will listen if you talk to them." Is anybody willing?

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