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India, Bangla agree to remove trade barriers Details on page 7

Post-9/11 crimes against Asians acknowledged

VOL 17, No. 888

September 16, 2011

50¢

Periodical Postage

DELHI TERROR EMAIL TRACED TO KISHTWAR 12 killed, 76 injured outside High Court

Upendra Chivukula with his wife

Chivukula’s 60th birthday in Chennai Details on page 9

US Diocese settles case against Indian

Details on page 8

Details on page 9

CAG lambasts Oil Min for favoring Reliance

Hounded by Republicans, Obama yields

Details on page 8

Details on page 36

Number of highworth Asians to touch 2.8 mn

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 34-35 Classifieds ------------------------- 47

Details on page 8

Community Post -------------- 12-19 Date Book -------------------------- 46 Edit Page --------------------------- 49

INDIA POST SURVEY

HealthScience Post --------- 36-39

survey@indiapost.com

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

This week’s question

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

Can India ever prevent terror attacks?

Life Style ----------------------- 24-26 Philosophy ------------------------- 48

Last week’s result

Should Anna fast again if govt dithers? YES 63%

NO 37%

Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4

AFTER THE BLAST: National Security Guard (NSG) experts arrive at the site of the bomb blast outside Delhi High Court on September 7. Scenes at the RML hospital in New Delhi (from left) An injured with his relatives; a wailing Manmohan Singh Jolly whose son Amandeep was killed in the blast and mourning relatives of a blast victim. (Details on page 5)

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Real Estate -------------------- 20-21 TechBiz Post ------------------- 22-23 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-31


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Publisher’s Diary

T

en years since 9/11, $1.3 trillion on two wars and $400 billion on domestic security later, I guess, we could call ourselves safer, even if with a few curbed freedoms. This year is particularly significant - we've been living with the word "Terror" for ten years now. While, some of us have found closure, what with the death of the man associated with that terror - Osama bin Laden - a lot of us have come to accept the new normal of living with terror, Osama or no Osama. We've learnt to live with the term 'homeland security'; tighter airport securities; the presence of police, K-9 security and often the special forces in public places; increased coverage of terror attacks in foreign countries in the media; heightened religious fervor and right wing rhetoric against Muslims; and words such as 'profiling', 'religious discrimination', 'civil liberties'. Just as the people who lost their loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks that day ten years ago are learning to move on, the site at Ground Zero itself is moving on too as new construction speeds on at a busy pace. For South Asian Americans, specifically South Asian Muslims and Sikhs, these past ten years have been somewhat more difficult to cope with than other communities. Many of those families experienced the trauma of those midnight knocks by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and have had their families torn apart with unwarranted deportations. And then there have been those who have since been suffering the ignominy of 'hate crimes' by ignorant Americans who simply couldn't rationalize between doing the right thing by fellow humans and their patriotic zeal. Of the changed lifestyles of post-9/11 Americans, some changes were acceptable and most simply tolerable, but it's okay really. We haven't had another major attack in all these years. And for that alone, we would gladly take our shoes and belts off for whoever wants to check, whether at airports or post offices. I'd rather live with that than live through another terror attack - something Indians in India just don't seem to have the luxury of living without.

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Stranded in New York Minissha Lamba, in New York for an event, was stuck on the 22nd floor of Hotel Radisson until Hurricane Irene blew over.

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Cover Story: Email traced The HuJI email claiming responsibility for the blast outside the Delhi High Court has been traced to Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir.

Community: New NY law

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NY Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that will significantly enhance religionbased protections for employees.

Health: Obama retreat President Barack Obama scrubbed a clean-air regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog.

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Travel: Andaman & Nicobar The major attraction in Andamans is the Cellular Jail, slowly being claimed back by nature, overgrowing with plants.

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September 16, 2011

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Delhi terror email traced to Kishtwar 12 killed, 76 injured outside High Court NEW DELHI: Investigators have traced the HuJI email claiming responsibility for the blast outside the Delhi High Court to a cybercafe in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district and were poring over initial forensic reports for definite leads. A massive manhunt was launched to nab the perpetrators of the blast even as Home Minister P Chidambaram held a highlevel meeting to take stock of the situation. National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon was present at the meeting. The bomb had ripped through a crowded reception area at the entrance to New Delhi's High Court. Police said the bomb had apparently been placed in a suitcase near the reception where scores of petitioners were queuing for their entry passes to the court complex, situated in the centre of the Indian capital. The death toll in the terror attack rose to 12 with a 40-year-old man succumbing to his injuries at RML Hospital. The victim was

identified by Police as Pramod Kumar, a resident of west Delhi's Hari Nagar. The condition of four of the victims continued to be critical, Police said. 76 people were injured in the high intensity blast. The High Court also resumed full fledged proceedings amid tight security as lawyers and litigants were subjected to a rigorous security check. "We are investigating the email link from Kishtwar district in connection with the Delhi blast," DGP Kuldeep Khoda said in Jammu. There is an input about an email being sent from Kishtwar district, he said, adding police is working on it. Khoda said no arrests have been made so far. However, there were reports that some people were detained and the cyber cafe owner was being questioned. According to police sources, the email was sent by Harkat-ulJehadi Islami (HuJI) from a cyber cafe in Kishtwar from the address harkatuljihadi2011@gmail.com. The Bangladesh-based terror out-

A policeman carries a wounded blast victim at the RML Hospital in New Delhi on September 7

fit had claimed responsibility for the blast. Investigation into HuJI

NIA announces Rs 5 lakh reward NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has announced a reward of Rs five lakh for anyone providing clues about the Delhi High Court blast even as investigators were quizzing a Patna-based man in the case. "NIA has announced a reward

of Rs five lakh for anyone giving any information to follow up the case. As far as investigation is concerned, that is going on. Delhi Police and NIA are coordinating (with each other)," Union Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters here.

The sketch of the suspects released by the Delhi Police on September 7 in the blast that took place outside the Delhi High Court

A man from Patna, who was arrested on charges of using a stolen ATM card, is already being interrogated by the joint team led by NIA for obtaining leads in the probe. Singh said that a car which had been under scanner for suspicion of having ferried the perpetrators of the blast is "not connected" to the case

A man from Patna, who was arrested on charges of using a stolen ATM card, is already being interrogated by the joint team led by NIA for obtaining leads in the probe. Singh said that a car which had been under scanner for suspicion of having ferried the perpetrators of the blast is "not connected" to the case. Earlier in the day, Delhi Police and National Investigation Agency (NIA) teams met Delhi High Court Chief Justice Dipak Misra and discussed with him measures to beef up security in and around court premises and installation of CCTV cameras, metal-detectors and other security gadgets. Official sources said the government has also decided to hand over to NIA the case relating to the May 25 low-intensity blast outside the Delhi High Court. Earlier, Home Minister P Chidambaram held a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in the wake of the blast even as investigators got preliminary forensic reports with regard to the explosion. National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon and other senior officials in the security establishment attended the meeting.-PTI

email in advanced stage: Omar Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in Srinagar that investigation into the e-mail claiming responsibility for the Delhi High Court blast, which has been traced to Kishtwar district of the state, is in an "advanced stage". "I am not in a position to share any details with you, other than the fact that various leads have been shared with us and we are in advanced stage of investigating those leads," Omar said on the sidelines of a function. Asked if there was a link between the bomb blast in New Delhi and militancy in Kashmir, Omar said it will be premature to "reject or accept this premise". "Obviously certain leads have

been shared. Investigations are ongoing. We will share our findings with the NIA and they will then decide how to take it further," the Chief Minister said. In Delhi, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said, "We have received initial forensic reports. We are waiting for some more," after he visited the RML hospital, where the maximum number of injured are admitted. At the High Court, a security personnel manning one of the gates at the High Court said, "We are requesting even lawyers to show their identity cards and submit themselves to thorough security check in wake of the terror strike." Every litigant could be seen going through the security check.PTI

Relatives of a High Court blast victim mourn at the RML hospital


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HC blast despite intelligence alert in July

UN Security Council condemns Delhi terror attacks India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The members of the United Nations Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that occurred in Delhi, India, on September 7, causing numerous deaths and injuries. They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of this heinous act and to their families, and to the people and Government of India. The members of the Security

Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

Funds for treating injured would be given by govt Home Minister P. Chidambaram leaves after inspecting the site of the blast outside the High Court in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: As terror struck capital again, Home Minister P Chidambaram regretted that the bomb blast near High Court here had taken place despite intelligence being shared with Delhi Police in July and the force being on high alert. Making identical statements with "profound sorrow and regret" in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram noted that Delhi is a target of terrorist groups and when Parliament is in session and during certain other times of the year, the capital is placed on high alert. "Intelligence agencies constantly share intelligence inputs with Delhi Police. Intelligence pertaining to threats emanating from certain groups was shared with Delhi Police in July, 2011," the Home Minister said. Observing that the objective of terrorist groups was to strike fear and to destabilize the country, Chidambaram said, "We are clear in our mind that there is no cause

that will justify terrorist acts. Government unequivocally condemns the terrorist attack." Appealing to Parliament and the country to "remain resolute and united" at this point of time,

Giving details of the incident, the Home Minister said the "high intensity" blast occurred at 10.14 am just outside the reception centre of the High Court between gate no. 4 and gate no. 5 he said, "We must not show any vacillation. We shall never be intimidated by terrorist groups." Chidambaram said the case has been handed over to National Investigative Agency (NIA). "On behalf of the government,

I offer my sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. I offer my sympathies to those who have been injured," he said, assuring the House that the government would extend the best medical treatment to the injured. Giving details of the incident, the Home Minister said the "high intensity" blast occurred at 10.14 am just outside the reception centre of the High Court between gate no. 4 and gate no. 5. "It is suspected that the bomb was placed in a briefcase," Chidambaram said, adding teams from Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL), NIA and NSG rushed to the spot. "A post blast investigation team of the Delhi Police is also carrying out investigations," he said. The scene of the incident was cordoned off immediately and ambulances reached the scene and removed the injured within 20 minutes, he added. -PTI

Indian Mujahideen also claims responsibility NEW DELHI: A day after Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami claimed responsibility for the Delhi high court blast that killed 12 and injured 76, another terror group has owned up. In an email, Indian Mujahideen has claimed that it was behind the Delhi court blast, according to the Home Ministry. "Mail can't be ignored, we will investigate it," said an MHA official. The Indian Mujahideen is described by global intelligence firm Stratfor as "a relatively amateur-

ish group that's been able to carry out low to medium intensity attacks." While its members are mostly local Muslims, the group is suspected of having been trained and backed by militant groups in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh. The group first emerged during a wave of bombings in north India in 2007. They have since claimed responsibility for bomb attacks in the cities of Jaipur, Ban-

galore, Ahmedabad and New Delhi. The last attack they claimed was in 2010 in the western city of Pune, where a bomb blast at a tourist spot killed nine people. Police say the Indian Mujahideen may also include former members of Bangladeshi militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami. The demands of the Indian Mujahideen, like their targets, have tended to be domestic.

NEW DELHI: With victims of the Delhi High Court blast complaining of inadequate medical attention, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered that funds and expertise required for treating the injured would be provided by the government. The direction from Singh came after an assessment carried out by his Principal Secretary T K A Nair

the Prime Minister had deputed Nair to carry out the assessment, PMO sources said. Nair presented his assessment to the Prime Minister, they said. The death toll in the blast outside the Delhi High Court rose to 12 with one of the victims succumbing to injuries at a hospital. A high intensity briefcase bomb ripped through the crowded

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talks to Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad after visiting the injured persons at RML hospital in New Delhi

following complaints from some patients that the treatment was not adequate. In the wake of such complaints,

reception area in the Delhi High Court on September 7. Over 75 people were injured in the blast. PTI

Sonia condoles Delhi bomb blast NEW DELHI: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has expressed "sorrow" and "anguish" over the Delhi High Court blast. Gandhi, who returned here from London after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed ailment, expressed her condolence to the affected families. "The Congress President has expressed her heartfelt condolences and sympathy to those

who died and were injured in the unfortunate incident," AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said. Gandhi also thanked all those who wished her speedy recovery when she was undergoing treatment. It is understood that doctors have advised her complete rest for some more time and hence the Congress President would not be meeting people very soon. -PTI


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India, Bangladesh agree to remove trade barriers DHAKA: India and Bangladesh have agreed to remove all barriers and improve infrastructure like road, port and rail links for enhancing bilateral trade. This was agreed after a twoday successful visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here. During his visit, Singh announced to remove 46 textiles lines, of interest to Bangladesh, from India's negative list for the least developed countries under the South Asia Free Trade Area Agreement (SAFTA). Import duties on these items from Bangladesh will be eliminated with immediate effect. Singh and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reviewed the progress of bilateral trade. "Recognizing the need to address factors including non tariff and para tariff barriers and port restrictions that hamper the natural growth of bilateral trade, the Prime Ministers directed officials

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at a meeting in Dhaka on September 6

to identify and remove all barriers to unfettered bilateral trade," the joint statement said.

While the border haat at Baliamari has been started, both sides agreed to open new such

local bazaars at different locations. The two leaders also urged

expeditious conclusion of power purchase agreement between Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and NTPC for purchase of 250 MW power from India by Bangladesh. It was agreed that Bangladesh would procure the additional 250 MW of power from the open market in India utilizing the full capacity of the power transmission line being established through inter-grid connectivity at Bheramara and Behrampur. Both the Prime Ministers also noted that road, rail and waterways were building blocks to an interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship among the countries of the region. The establishment of the physical infrastructure would promote exchange of goods and traffic, and lead to the connectivity of services, information, culture and people. PTI

Bangladeshi manufacturers welcome duty waiver DHAKA: Bangladeshi garment manufacturers have welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's announcement of dutyfree access to 46 textile items from the country, saying the move would further encourage contract

(BKMEA), said Bangladeshi apparel makers will do well in Indian market. "I am hopeful that our clothes will be competitive in terms of both quality and prices," said the BKMEA president.

manufacturing by Indian firms as well, he said. David Hasanat, chairman of leading clothes maker Viyellatex Group, said the duty-free benefit will help boost garment exports to India which has a market in the form of growing middle class. In April this year, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had announced dutyfree import of garments from Bangladesh from 8 to ten million pieces. Hasanat said Bangladeshi clothes are better than those of India in terms of quality. Singh, on a visit to Dhaka, had anPrime Minister Manmohan Singh with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina on his nounced the unilatdeparture from Bangladesh to New Delhi, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, in Dhaka, eral trade concesBangladesh on September 7. Gursharan Kaur is also seen. sion to Bangladeshi textiles after his manufacturing by Indian export"Our export earnings will talks with Bangladesh Prime Miners and boost exports. double in the years ahead due to ister Sheikh Hasina seeking to adBangladesh had been pressing an opening of market opportuni- dress Dhaka's concern over huge for the last two years to get duty ties in India," said Osman. trade surplus with Bangladesh. waiver on 61 products. Of the He also said the zero duty benWhile exports from India to products, 47 were apparel items efit will give a boost to the ho- Bangladesh more than doubled to including pants, shirts, blouses, siery industry, which employs USD 4.05 billion in 2010-11 from skirts, kids wear, cotton nightwear, three lakh people, by widening the USD 1,998.58 million in fiscal 2006jeans, swimwear and tracksuits. market opportunities for under- 07, according to official data, imSalim Osman, president of garments. ports from Bangladesh is to the Bangladesh Knitwear ManufacThe duty-free benefit will give tune of about USD 400 million. turers and Exporters Association rise to opportunities for contract PTI

The Chairperson of BNP and Leader of Opposition, Begum Khaleda Zia meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Dhaka, Bangladesh

'India's interest protected in boundary pact with Bangla' NEW DELHI: Allaying concerns over boundary agreements with Bangladesh, the Government has said India's interest has not been sacrificed and a comprehensive statement will be made in Parliament after return of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Dhaka. "No interest of India has been sacrificed. India's interests have been fully secured," Home Minister P Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha after some members, particularly from AGP, alleged that land belonging to Assam has been given away to Bangladesh under the agreements. The two countries demarcated the entire land boundary and resolved the status of enclaves and adversely possessed areas. Chidambaram said the government had earlier answered ques-

tions in Parliament on the issue. Describing these as unresolved issues for several years, he said the agreements are "historic". "Upon the Prime Minister's return, the Government will make a comprehensive statement before the House," he said. Earlier, agitated AGP members, supported by BJP, AIADMK and TDP, wanted clarification as to whether India's land has been given away. Birendra Prasad Baishya (AGP) said, "It was a question of the sovereignty of the country. Assam land has gone to Bangladesh. We totally oppose this." He said while AGP is for good relations with neighboring countries, it should not be at the cost of Assam land. -PTI


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President's Commission acknowledges post-9/11 crimes against Asians India Post News Service

NEW YORK: On the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, members of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders acknowledged the impact of the horrific tragedies on the lives of Asian immigrants and American Muslims as also South Asians. The immediate aftermath of 9/ 11 compelled many Americans, including AAPIs and American Muslims, to contribute heroically to relief and recovery efforts and serve their fellow citizens and communities, the Commission said in a statement. The aftereffects of the 9/11 tragedy also saw a rise in hate crimes against American Muslims, Arab Americans, and those perceived to be Arab or Muslim. Specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found a 17-fold

increase in hate crimes against American Muslims immediately after 9/11. Tragically, this backlash included the loss of lives of American Muslims and those who

The immediate aftermath of 9/11 compelled many Americans, including AAPIs and American Muslims, to contribute heroically to relief and recovery efforts and serve their fellow citizens were perceived to be Muslim. In the wake of such acts, the government took steps to counter such backlash and make clear that

the 9/11 attack was an attack on all Americans, including Muslims, Sikhs and persons of Arab and South Asian descent. President George W. Bush urged all Americans to treat their fellow American Muslims with respect. Likewise President Obama underscored the administration's commitment to upholding America's values in saying, "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." Over the past ten years, the Department of Justice has placed a priority on prosecuting bias crimes and incidents of discrimination against Muslims, Sikhs and persons of Arab and South Asian descent. To date, DOJ has investigated more than 800 incidents involving violence, threats, vandalism and arson, obtaining 47 convictions.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez has engaged in extensive outreach to Muslim, Sikh, Arab and South Asian communities, and has expanded the Civil

President Obama said, ‘I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear’ Rights Division's anti-discrimination enforcement efforts in this area. Additionally, in the aftermath

of 9/11, DOJ's Community Relations Service (CRS) provided technical assistance and targeted training efforts towards establishing dialogue between government officials and Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities in the United States, working with community leaders to develop a Cultural Awareness Program for law enforcement officials. Thus far, CRS has provided this training to more than 500 law enforcement departments and agencies across the country. CRS continues to respond to tension and conflicts related to allegations of disparate and discriminatory treatment faced by Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities across the country by offering conciliation and mediation services, as well as appropriate training programs for law enforcement, government officials and members of the community.

Number of high-worth Asians to CAG lambasts Oil Min for favoring Reliance touch 2.8 mn by 2015 NEW DELHI: Asia is likely to get richer, with the number of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in the region pegged to touch the 2.8 million-mark in the next four years, driven by robust economic growth, a high savings ratio and the rise of Asian exchange rates, says a report. According to a report by brokerage and investment group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, titled, 'Fat Cats in Fast Lanes: Surge in High Net-Worth Individuals', there were 1.2 million wealthy Asians in the year 2010, which is likely to swell to 2.8 million by 2015, translating into a 140 per cent increase. "The forces for wealth creation are extremely favorable for Asia over the coming years. As Asia gets richer, the surge in wealthy Asian spending power will become a multi-decade theme," Amar Gill, the Head of Special Projects Research at CLSA, said. "The economies are growing faster than any other region in the world. Savings ratios are high and appreciation is a big driver of wealth," Gill added. The rise of Asian exchange rates adds to Asians' spending power for internationally priced goods. The report estimates that "4 per cent Asian-currency appreciation against the US dollar will account

for one-third of the increase in HNWIs by 2015". The key sectors to benefit from this wealth boom include asset management, autos, consumer, healthcare, leisure and property.

China will account for 60 per cent of the rise in HNWI wealth over the next five years, while Indonesia will witness the fastest HNWI growth rate of 25 per cent, as against 22 per cent in China, Gill said "With some USD 600 billion of stocks, these sectors will be buoyed by the wave of wealth," CLSA said. Warning about the underlying

risks in the Asian economies, which are extremely volatile to overseas markets, the report said, "A global downturn, slowdown in China's growth, an unexpected dollar rally could hinder Asian wealth expansion." The projections of the report are much more sensitive to currency and GDP growth than stock market returns. "It is important to realize that Asia's rich generally have a larger part of their wealth in properties than equities," CLSA said. In the Asian region, the HNWIs comprise only 0.06 per cent of the adult population, while in developed markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong, HNWIs represent 1.5 per cent of the adult population, the CLSA said. China will account for 60 per cent of the rise in HNWI wealth over the next five years, while Indonesia will witness the fastest HNWI growth rate of 25 per cent, as against 22 per cent in China, Gill said. The report analyses wealth distribution in 10 Asian economies, namely China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. HNWIs were defined as those individuals with investable assets of USD 1 million or more, excluding their first homes. -PTI

NEW DELHI: National auditor should review the determination CAG (Comptroller and Auditor of the entire contract area as 'disGeneral of India) has castigated covery area' strictly in terms of the the Oil Ministry for allowing Reli- PSC provisions," the CAG said, ance Industries to retain its entire asking for delineation of the diseastern offshore KG-D6 block in covery area and relinquishment of contravention of the Production the rest. Sharing Contract, but did not comThe CAG was critical of govment on more than tripling of the ernment oversight, particularly on field development cost. high value procurement decisions, The CAG, in its much-awaited and sought an "in-depth review" report tabled in Parliament, did not of 10 contracts, including eight say if the capital expenditure for awarded to Aker Group by ReliKG-D6 being raised from USD 2.4 billion proposed in 2004 to It faulted the Oil Ministry and its USD 8.8 billion in 2006 was unjustified or in- technical arm, the Directorate flated. General of Hydrocarbons It faulted the Oil Ministry and its technical (DGH), for allowing Reliance to arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocar- retain the entire 7,645 sq km bons (DGH), for allow- KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) block ing Reliance to retain the entire 7,645 sq km in the Bay of Bengal KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) block in the Bay of Bengal after the giant Dhirubhai-1 and ance on a single-bid basis. Giving Reliance a breather on 3 gas finds were made in 2001. As per the PSC, Reliance charges of 'gold-plating' its KGshould have relinquished 25 per D6 expenses, the CAG said "apcent of the total area outside the proval of estimates (first USD 2.4 discoveries in June, 2004, and billion and then USD 8.8 billion 2005, but the entire block was de- in 2006) does not constitute acclared as a discovery area and the ceptance of the cost projects", company was allowed to retain it. which can be done only through "We recommend that the Min- an audit of the actual cost inistry of Petroleum and Natural Gas curred. -PTI


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Chivukula celebrates 60th birthday in Chennai PRAKASH M. SWAMY

CHENNAI: The 60th birthday (Shashti Aptha Poorthi) of New Jersey Assemblyman and Deputy Speaker Upendra Chivukula was celebrated with religious fervor by his family members and friends in Chennai recently. Rudra Ekadhasini homam (havan) Ganga pooja, ayush homam, panchamurthy archanas and pouring of sacred water over the couple were part of the religious celebrations performed by a team of Hindu priests who recited the slokas in Sanskrit. According to Hindu shastra, Shashti Aptha Poorthi is done on the completion of the 60th birth day. It's like a samskara and so just as aptha poorthi (1st anniversary) of a child the celebrations are done; Tamil and Telugu calendars (Panchangam) have a 60-year cycle. It is also celebrated as a second wedding of the person completing 60 years of age and his

Chivukula tying the mangals sutra on his wife. All pics Prakash M Swamy

spouse, typically by the couple's children, in the presence of family and friends. Chivukula, clad in nine-yard dhothi and an uttariyam (upper cloth) and bare-chested, tied the

mangala sutra (sacred thread) around his wife Dayci's neck to the shower of flowers by those gathered. On the occasion, Cubaborn Dayci Chivukula, wore a silk sari that adorned Goddess

Chivukula's elderly mother pouring holy sacred water on the couple

Kamakshi and presented by the chief priest Nataraja Sastri of Sri Kamakshi Amman temple in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Chivukula took blessings of his 86-year-old mother Sathya

Narayana amma. A large number of relatives, friends and also some well wishers from New Jersey and New York who happened to be in Chennai on that day participated in the ceremony.

US Diocese settles assault case against Indian priest CHICAGO: A Roman Catholic Diocese in the US where an Indian priest is alleged to have sexually assaulted an American girl several times when she was a teenager has agreed to pay USD 750,000 to settle a lawsuit against him.

2004. The victim, Megan Peterson, 20, said Jeyapaul sexually abused her when she went to speak to him about becoming a nun. Jeyapaul ministered three parishes in Crookston where he was accused of misappropriating

Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul

Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, who now serves as Secretary of Education Commission in the Diocese of Ootacamund (Tamil Nadu) had been charged with sexually assaulting two girls while he was posted at the Crookston Diocese in Northern Minnesota in

church funds and sexual abuse. Charges were filed by the girl after the Church refused to answer her calls. Jeyapaul returned to India before the charges came to light. "Right now Jeyapaul is a fugitive from justice in the United States. The Vatican and Bishop

she was raped several times by Jeyapaul. Jeyapaul has said he is innocent and denied ever knowing the two girls. The other girl was 16years-old at the time of alleged abuse. The terms of the agreement include a commitment by the Diocese of Crookston to continue its safe Jeyapaul returned to environment work. According to India before the KSTP-TV Channel, charges came to Peterson appeared at a news conference to light. ‘Right now Jeyapaul is a fugitive announce the settlement of USD 750,000. from justice in the "I'm here today to United States. The speak my truth, and to protect kids," she Vatican and Bishop said. of Ootacamund in Peterson said that India are admitting she tried to kill herhim to remain in the self a couple of years ago and was hospiministry in India and talized. are putting their She said her faith reputation over the in God and the church well being and was "taken" by Jeyapaul, and she safety of children’ wants to make sure he can't hurt other The plaintiff, Megan Peterson, kids. and the Diocese of Crookston "I just think he needs to be out agreed to terms of settlement on of ministry and away from kids July 13, 2011, prior to a trial. and that's my main concern right A payment of USD 750,000 now," she said. "I won't rest unwas agreed upon, an amount til he is." covered by Diocese's insurance. The settlement requires the Peterson says she was 14 and Crookston Diocese to post a picaspiring to become a nun when ture of Jeyapaul on its website of Ootacamund in India are admitting him to remain in the ministry in India and are putting their reputation over the well being and safety of children of whom we are concerned right now," the woman's attorney Jeff Anderson told PTI over phone.

along with details of the abuse. The diocese must also warn parishioners about Jeyapaul and notify Catholic authorities in India to express concern that children were at risk from him. Last year Jeyapaul had agreed to come to United States and fight the charges against him, but later changed his mind. Prosecutors in Roseau County are seeking to extradite Jeyapaul to face two counts of criminal sexual conduct. Jeyapaul has said he is innocent. The Diocese of Crookston said in a statement that it regrets any harm that may have caused to any person due to the actions of Jeyapaul, and the hardships the parishes have endured during this difficult time. The Safe Environment program in the Diocese of Crookston mandates that every volunteer, employee or clergy who serves the Church is subject to a criminal background check and safe environment training. The statement added that on August 25, 2005, the Diocese of Crookston received a complaint against Father Jeyapaul alleging inappropriate behavior with a teenage girl. Upon receiving this complaint, the Diocese notified the proper civil authorities. -PTI


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NDA protests in Parl complex; seeks PM resignation

NDA leaders led by senior leader LK Advani protest against the arrest of two BJP MPs in the cash-for-vote scam, at Parliament in New Delhi on September 8

NEW DELHI: NDA leaders protested in Parliament premises against the arrest of two former BJP MPs who had acted as "whistleblowers" in the cashfor-vote scam and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging that he was heading a corrupt government. Senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Jaswant Singh, Rajnath Singh and others, along with ally JD(U) led by Sharad

Yadav, held a protest demonstration at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex against the arrest of the two former BJP MPsFaggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagore. The leaders shouted slogans like, "Prime Minister should resign", "The government which is incompetent has to be removed" and "This government of scams will not continue". BJP had given notices for suspension of Question Hour in

both Houses of Parliament to discuss the new developments in the cash-for-vote scam case. When the Chair did not permit this, they forced an adjournment of the two Houses. Soon thereafter, NDA MPs from both Houses gathered at the Gandhi statue to hold the demonstration. BJP maintains that injustice has been done to its two former MPs as they had only acted as "whistleblowers" in the cashfor-vote scam of July 2008. -PTI

New website features post 9/11 backlash stories India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States, officially launched a video wall website Sept 2 entitled Unheard Voices of 9/11 (www.unheardvoicesof911.org). As the world remembers the innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks one decade ago, the new website invites visitors to upload videos and written accounts of backlash discrimination and violence in the post-9/11 environment. One year after the 9/11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recorded a 1600 percent increase in the number of reported hate crimes based on bias toward Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. To this day, Sikhs continue to be targeted for hate crimes, employment discrimination, and school bullying by ordi-

nary citizens, and profiling by law enforcement agencies. This discrimination occurs because the popular image of the Sikh turban and beard being the face of a terrorist has hardened over the past ten years. "Members of the Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American communities were twice victims of 9/11," said Amardeep

Singh, Program Director of the Sikh Coalition. "Like all Americans we endured a horrific attack on our country by terrorists. We also continue to endure backlash discrimination and violence by our fellow Americans. The Unheard Voices project is designed to ensure that our history is documented and that our voices are not ignored."

AI move to acquire 111 planes a recipe for disaster: CAG NEW DELHI: The decision to aircraft. acquire 111 planes by Air India It said the revised plan saw "a through debt was "a recipe for di- dramatic increase" in the number saster" and should have raised of planes to be purchased and alarm in the government, the Comp- maintained that the sequence of troller and Auditor General has events up to November 2004 said. clearly demonstrated that the preTerming the move for getting of merger AI "hastily reworked" it's a "large number" of planes as earlier plan. "risky", the CAG said the aircraft "This increase in numbers does acquisition had "contributed pre- not withstand audit scrutiny, condominantly" to the airline's mas- sidering the market requirements sive debt liability of Rs 38,423 crore obtaining then or forecast for the as on March 31 last year. future, as also the commercial viabilIn its latest report tabled in Par- ity projected to justify the acquisiliament, the public audit body also tion. The acquisition appears to be called the merger of two erstwhile supply-driven", the report said. state-run carriers - Air India and Commenting on the "speed" at Indian Airlines which the acquisition process for "ill-timed" and said that "the fi- 68 aircraft proceeded, it said while nancial case for the merger was not the first plan took eight years to adequately validated prior to the decide on 28 planes, "between merger." August 2004 and December 2005, "The entire acquisition (for both the proposals were formulated by Air India and Indian Airlines) was AI, approved by the Board, examto be funded through debt (to be ined and approved by the MoCA, repaid through revenue generation), except for a relatively small equity Terming the move for getting infusion of Rs 325 crore of a ‘large number’ of planes for Indian Airlines. "This was a recipe as ‘risky’, the CAG said the for disaster ab initio and aircraft acquisition had ‘conshould have raised alarm signals in Minis- tributed predominantly’ to the try of Civil Aviation, airline's massive debt liability Public Investment Board and the Planning Commission", the report said. the Planning Commission, the DeSignificantly, the CAG recom- partment of Expenditure, Public mended, among other measures, "a Investment Board, empowered total hands-off approach (by the Group of Ministers and also the government) with regard to the Cabinet Committee on Economic management of the airline". Affairs". The report dealt with several Observing that many assumpaspects of the ailing national tions for the revised plan were carrier's losses, fleet acquisition, "flawed", the CAG said the negomerger, huge debt burden, delay tiation process was "irregular and in joining the global airline group- adversely affected the transparing Star Alliance and its financial ency of the process". and operational performance. Maintaining that "no benchNoting that the fleet acquisition marks" relating to comparable process took an "unduly long prices and commercial intelligence time", the CAG said the initial pro- were set, it said, "Consequently, posal was made in December 1996 in the absence of such benchand its examination continued "in marks, the effectiveness and effifits and starts" till January 2004 cacy of negotiations and the reawhen a plan was made to buy 28 sonableness of the price arrived at planes, which was revisited and is difficult to ascertain". later a decision taken to acquire 68 The public audit body also took the Civil Aviation Ministry to task for liberalizing the bilateral air traffic entitlements with other countries in a manner which "did not been recently diagnosed with a provide a level playing field to AI medical condition and was ad- (and to a lesser extent other Indian vised surgery. private airlines)". The Congress President had "These (bilateral) agreements, handed over reins of the party to besides not affording adequate a group of four comprising Rahul time to AI/IA (Indian Airlines) to Gandhi and senior leaders A K set their houses in order and gear Antony, Ahmed Patel and up for a highly competitive enviDwivedi. ronment, very evidently worked to Rahul had recently returned to the detriment of the national and India after attending to his ailing Indian private carriers", the CAG mother. -PTI said.-PTI

Sonia returns to Delhi after surgery abroad NEW DELHI: Congress President Sonia Gandhi returned here on Sept 8 from London after undergoing surgery for an undisclosed ailment a little more than a month ago. "Congress President returned early today and she is fine," party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said without disclosing details of the nature of ailment, surgery or the place where it was

done. 64-year-old Gandhi arrived here at 6.20 AM from London in a British Airways Flight BA-0257 and Congress sources said she is unlikely to meet anyone for sometime. She left the country on August two and had thereafter undergone a surgery. Immediately after her departure, Congress had made a brief announcement saying Gandhi had


September 16, 2011

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Desi News Shirdi Sai Mahotsav at Chicago Mandir S SURUBOTLA

CHICAGO: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir Chicago celebrated its 11th Shirdi Sai Mahotsav in the presence of an international congregation of Sai devotees during the Labor Day weekend of September 2-4 in Aurora, a south west Chicago suburb. The main objective of the Mahotsav is to spread Sai philosophy with the motto, ‘Sabka Malik Ek - God is One.’ Participation in the Mahotsav was open and free to all. Many Sai devotees from Chicagoland and neighboring cities gathered to get Baba’s blessings while enjoying musical and children’s programs and participating in the Rathotsav. Details on page 14

PAL donates backpacks to school children India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Partnership for the Advancement of Learning (PAL) for the second year in a row donated $10,000 worth 400 colorful backpacks filled with supplies including notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers and pencils cases to two elementary schools in Worcester, Massachusetts. Two hundred backpacks were given to the children attending the Lincoln Street School and 200 backpacks to the children at Burncoat Elementary School. The Mayor of Worcester City, Joseph O'Brien attended and distributed backpacks at both schools. Details on page 15

Spiritual leader honored at ancient science meet

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

Details on page 19

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September 16, 2011

Bloomberg signs landmark employee protection bill into law India Post News Service

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a bill initiated by the Sikh Coalition that will significantly enhance religion-based protections for employees working in New York City. Council Member Mark Weprin (D-Queens) is the law's primary sponsor. Present at the signing were representatives of the Gurdwara Sant Sagar and the Sikh Coalition. It was through the joint efforts of the Gurdwara Sant Sagar, the Sikh Coalition and Council Member Weprin that this historic bill passed. In the passage of this bill, Council Member Weprin fulfilled a promise made during the last New York City Council Election to Baba Ji Sajjan Singh and the Board of Trustees of the Gurdwara Sant Sagar, according to the Sikh Coalition. "This new law will squarely focus an employer's eye on whether an employee can perform their job and nothing else," said Amardeep Singh, Program Director and Cofounder of the Sikh Coalition. "Today's law is a major step for-

ward in ensuring Sikhs and other religious minorities are not unfairly excluded from jobs for which they are otherwise qualified. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for signing it into law."

claims of religious workplace discrimination by public and private city employees. Under previous city law, employers are required to make 'reasonable accommodations' for the religious practices of their employ-

“This new law will squarely focus an employer's eye on whether an employee can perform their job and nothing else," said Amardeep Singh, Program Director and Co-founder of the Sikh Coalition Michael R Bloomberg

A welcome change in law The bill, called the "Workplace Religious Freedom Act" by supporters, would change the legal standard by which courts review

ees. However, employers can bypass this requirement by showing that such accommodations would impose a minimal difficulty or expense on the employer's business. The new law will still allow employers to deny religious accom-

modations, but only by proving that such accommodations would constitute a "significant difficulty or expense."

A national movement

This proposed change in the city law tracks a national movement to enhance federal employment discrimination laws. Every year Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduces a federal "Workplace Religious Freedom Act." While efforts to change the standard at the federal level have not yet seen success, both state and local municipalities are moving to adopt a more faith-friendly workplace accommodation standard. "We congratulate Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council, Council Member Weprin, and Speaker Christine Quinn for their leadership today," said Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition. "We're thrilled that our city is demonstrating national leadership on the issue of workplace religious discrimination. We urge our federal government to also move in this direction." Cont’d on page 13

'Harijan' leader from India talks about Christian conversions India Post News Service

India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Lawmakers joined over 2,500 people gathered at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset recently to honor Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swami, a spiritual leader of India. Among the lawmakers were Senator Michael Doherty (representing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) Senator Christopher Bateman, Stephanie Alonso (representing United States Senator Bob Menendez) as well as Deputy Mayor Rajiv Prasad of the Franklin Township. Also present at the event were Councilman Theodore Chase and Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman. Details on page 16

Valley I-Day attracts big crowd

Bhagwati Bhatpare

NEW YORK: Civil rights activist and Indian "Harijan" leader, Bhagwati Charan Bhatpare, recently completed a multi-city tour of the United States sponsored by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). Bhatpare, who hails from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, is a member of the Satnami subcaste community and the Ramnami religious community. Members of both groups have traditionally been referred to as "Untouchable" in the region, or by the government

designation "Scheduled Caste." Bhatpare was well-received at large gatherings in Orlando, Tampa Bay, Houston, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he described his community's strong

ing caste-based discrimination and predatory proselytization by Christian missionaries," said Rishi Bhutada, HAF Executive Council Member and Houston resident. "His talk was extremely inspiring,

Bhatpare was well-received at large gatherings in Orlando, Tampa Bay, Houston, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he described his community's strong commitment to Hindu beliefs and practices commitment to Hindu beliefs and practices, despite facing several challenges. "Mr. Bhatpare provided great personal insight into the everyday struggles endured by the Satnami and Ramnami communities, includ-

and hearing of his community's immense pride in their Hindu heritage that inspires them to retain their religion despite coercive efforts, must be heard by every Hindu around the world." Cont’d on page 13


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Jugalbandi between Bharatanatyam and Jazz ARJUN VENKATASWAMY

Akash Mittal and his Quartet

CHICAGO: Soham Dance Space, a Center for Indian Dance, Chicago presented a highly innovative and ambitious new work "Joining Hands". Brainchild of artistic director Anjal Chande with the concept, choreography, poetry, story and voice-over written and done by her, she had a much needed support from Akash Mittal. Both Mittal and Chande directed and composed the music for this unique production. The Aakash Mittal Quartet comprising Aakash Mittal on saxophone and flute, Matthew Fuller on guitar, Jean-Luc Davis on double bass, and Josh Moore on

drums, accompanied Chande on August 19th-21st at the Vittum Theater in Chicago. Chande and Mittal complement each other to

The show is an exploration of the complex emotions that accompany the creative act. With its well paced developments of these states, "Joining Hands" keeps the audience rapt through to the satisfying finish create a far richer experience than either artist could have achieved alone. "Joining Hands" draws from established traditions of clas-

Bloomberg signs landmark employee protection bill into law Cont’d from page 12

Sikh discrimination in NYC Sikhs suffer high levels of employment discrimination because of their Sikh identity, the Coalition said. According to a research report issued by the Coalition in 2008, one in ten Sikhs in New York City reported suffering discrimination in employment. This is unusually high compared to the general population. Most egregiously, in New York City, Sikhs may not work for the New York City Police Department unless they remove their turbans. This policy exists despite the fact that turbaned Sikh soldiers currently serve in the United States Army in Afghanistan. Similarly, Sikh and Muslim

sical Indian dance Bharatanatyam, western Jazz, and contemporary influences to weave a fresh tapestry with wide aesthetic appeal.

workers who currently work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) are forced to brand their religious headwear with an MTA logo. The MTA began imposing this job requirement on Sikh and Muslim workers only soon after 9/11. While the new law signed by Mayor Bloomberg does not force either the MTA or NYPD to accept Sikhs with their full articles of faith, it creates a legal framework within city law that makes it very difficult to continue to exclude them from city jobs. "This bill sends the message that people should not have to choose between serving our city and adhering to their religious beliefs. All Americans should receive the full embrace of our country's constitutional freedoms," said Council Member Mark S. Weprin.

Chande is a storyteller at heart, and the arc of the performance feels like dramatic theater. It exhibits Chande's exceptional abhinaya

Anjal Chande

ability to invoke perfect mood and rasa to draw in the audience with her. Her impeccable rhythmic sense as a percussionist energizes her dancing. The show is an exploration of the complex emotions that accompany the creative act. With its well paced developments of these states, "Joining Hands" keeps the audience rapt through to the sat-

isfying finish. The most evocative section of the evening is a three-part piece about a young dancer's growth as an artist. It exemplifies everything that is so appealing about the show, with multiple artistic media enhancing the experience of the piece instead of competing for audience attention. Cont’d on page 16

'Harijan' leader from India talks about Christian conversions Cont’d from page 12

Bhatpare, who works as a school principal in the village of Borsi near his native village of Matiya, was accompanied on his tour by Ramdas Lamb, PhD, Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Hawaii. Lamb is the founder of the Sahayog Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on providing education and health assistance to the poorer students in rural Chhattisgarh, most of whom belong to the Satnami community. The organization plans on building a new school in the area for the youth with whom they work. Bhatpare serves as a Board Member of the Foundation as well, and provides his students with an educational environment grounded in Hindu Dharmic ide-

als. According to the Sahayog Foundation, Christian missionaries have been frequenting Matiya and the surrounding villages over the last few decades, attempting to convert Satnamis through offers of free health care, food, and education. Despite such inducements, however, the vast majority of Satnamis have remained Hindu. "We teach all of the students with whom we work that caste prejudice is not a necessary part of Hinduism, and that they do not need to change their religion in order to get an education or be treated fairly," explained Bhatpare. "The main problems with conversion in our villages is that the missionaries are more interested in turning us into Christians than in really trying to help us. In the process, they create many problems

for the families of those who do convert." Bhatpare garnered widespread attention recently after he provided a personal testimonial in HAF's report Hinduism: Not Cast in Caste. "Mr. Bhatpare is living proof that caste-based discrimination exists in India, but his life is also proof that this practice is irrelevant to the personal spirituality of these devotees of Lord Rama (Ramnamis)," said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF's California-based Director. "Bhatpare's personal story is a powerful example that there are a plethora of opportunities, and an urgent need, for Hindus to serve, contribute and give the hope that many communities seek to remain Hindus for generations to come."


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Shirdi Sai Mahotsav at Chicago Mandir S SURUBOTLA

Rathotsav at Sai Temple

CHICAGO: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir Chicago celebrated its 11th Shirdi Sai Mahotsav in the presence of an international congregation of Sai devotees during the Labor Day weekend of September 2-4 in Aurora, a south west Chicago suburb. The main objective of the Mahotsav is to spread Sai philosophy with the motto, ‘Sabka Malik Ek - God is One.’ Participation in the Mahotsav was open and free to all. Many Sai devotees from Chicagoland and neighboring cit-

Sthapana was done. Children from Bala Vidya Mandir sang a beautiful Ganesh bhajan while lighting panitis (diyas) around Baba’s pedestal. This was followed by Archana. An excellent musical performance by the Mandir Bhajan Group followed by the Shej Aarati and distribution of Maha Prasad concluded the first day celebrations. On Saturday September 3, program started with Kakada Aarati at 6 a.m. This was followed by Maha Linga Archana. This was an event unique in itself. 365 Shiva

nevolence, Effulgence, and Auspiciousness. After all these Shiva Lingas were arranged, devotees did Ekadasa Rudra Abhishek, while Baba’s Abhishek was being performed to the chants of Holy Rudram comprising Namakam and Chamakam from the Taittiriya Samhita of Yajurveda for eleven times. After the Abhishek, Pushpa & Bhasma Archana were done followed by Madhyahna Aarati and distribution of Maha Prasad. Afternoon session perfor-

Deepotsav

the evening, Bala Vidya Mandir, Sunday school for children at the Mandir, amazed the devotees with an outstanding play and narration performance highlighting the Life and Teachings of Sai Baba titled ‘Gems from Sri Sai Satcharitra’.

Many Sai devotees

of Maha Prasad. The final day’s program on Sunday September 5 started with Kakada Aarati and was followed by Holy Bath to Baba and Archana. At the outset, Bala Vidya Mandir students rendered melo-

After all these Shiva Lingas were arranged, devotees did Ekadasa Rudra Abhishek, while Baba’s Abhishek was being performed to the chants of Holy Rudram comprising Namakam and Chamakam from the Taittiriya Samhita of Yajurveda

from Chicagoland and neighboring cities gathered to get Baba’s blessings while enjoying musical and children’s programs and participating in the Rathotsav. Shirdi Sai Mahotsav started on September 2 Interfaith prayer

ies gathered to get Baba’s blessings while enjoying musical and children’s programs and participating in the Rathotsav. Shirdi Sai Mahotsav 2011 started on Friday September 2 with Invocation of Lord Ganesh and Guru Puja. After Swasti, Punyaha Vachanam and Maha Sankalpam, Akhanda Deepa

Lingas made out of clay are arranged in a prescribed shape, order and method while listening to the Rudra Ghanam. This arrangement is called Tripura Sundari Sameta KailasaYantra Prastaram. Shiva is ‘Satyam’,’Sundaram’, ‘Mangalam’, ‘Dyutim’, and ‘Subham’ i.e. Truth, Beautiful, Be-

mances from different music schools enthralled the devotees. Performances included students of ‘Amrit Bala Kendra’ and ‘Raja Veena School of Music’. Hindustani Vocal Concert by Sri Ganesh Desai from India held the audience spell bound. Followed by Dhoop Aarati in

This was followed by Deepotsav – Festival of Lights and Rathotsav. Baba’s Ratha was decorated with many special buntings such as horses, Garuda, a big “OM” and many colorful lights. Many devotees danced to the tune of music. The day’s program concluded with Shej Aarati and distribution

dious bhajans followed by the Inter-Faith prayers titled “One Truth – Many Paths”. The gala came to a close with the grand Food Festival under the cool shades of the natural woods in the Mandir premises. Varieties of cuisines were served at free of cost for all the devotees to enjoy.


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PAL donates backpacks to school children

PAL Team (L-R) Chris Uhl, Jake Lynch, Beth Pezzoni, Suren Nannapaneni, Nithin Donepudi, Hiren Donepudi, Grace Uhl, Pooja Ika, Aarya Ika (front) India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Partnership for the Advancement of Learning (PAL) for the second year in a row donated $10,000 worth 400 colorful backpacks filled with supplies including notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers and pencils cases to two elementary schools in

Worcester, Massachusetts. Two hundred backpacks were given to the children attending the Lincoln Street School and 200 backpacks to the children at Burncoat Elementary School. The Mayor of Worcester City, Joseph O'Brien attended and distributed backpacks at both schools. "On behalf of the kids and fac-

‘When people make gestures like this they understand that there is hope and people really do care about them’

Sikhs donate books on anniversary

(L-R) Dhan Singh, president of the Sikh Awareness Society; Project Leader Jagir Singh Bains; New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; Society members Satwinder Singh Sandhar and Lakhvir Singh Sandhar India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Sikh Awareness Society culminated a 10-year project Sept 6 to increase understanding of their culture and religion by donating books, pamphlets and DVDs to the Office of City Council Member

Jimmy Van Bramer in Sunnyside, NY. It topped off a project that donated more than 2,200 books and audio visual items to the 62 locations of the Queens Library. The books, DVDs, and pamphlets are on Sikh culture, history, human rights and religion. Cont’d on page 17

ulty at Burncoat Prep, I can't tell how grateful we are for this amazing group of young men and women, who donated their time to do this for our school. It may not seem like a major gesture but it means a lot for the kids, many of whom have been significantly impacted by poverty and trauma often having senses of hopeless-

ness. When people make gestures like this they understand that there is hope and people really do care about them. This truly is one of the obstacles they have to learning," said Debra Frank, Principal, Burncoat Street Preparatory. Cont’d on page 16


16 India Post

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September 16, 2011

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Spiritual leader honored at ancient science convention India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Lawmakers joined over 2,500 people gathered at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset recently to honor Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swami, a spiritual leader of India. Among the lawmakers were Senator Michael Doherty (representing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) Senator Christopher Bateman, Stephanie Alonso (representing United States Senator Bob Menendez) as well as Deputy Mayor Rajiv Prasad of the Franklin Township. Also present at the event were Councilman Theodore Chase and Councilwoman Rozalyn Sherman, both of Franklin Township, as well as Councilman James Major of the Woodbridge Township. The dignitaries welcomed the Swami with garlands and commended his humanitarian work and spiritual leadership. In turn, the Swami garlanded the dignitaries, creating colorful splendor on the dais. Honor citations and proclamations were issued on behalf of the local, state and federal governments. Riti Sunshine Bhalla, a TV host for the Sahara television network, emceed the event. Senator Doherty read out a personal letter from Governor Christie, commending Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swami for "promoting

Participants in the Convention with Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swami

peace throughout our planet", and "using your influence to deepen the bonds of common humanity amongst people and nations." The event was part of the Ancient Traditional Science Secrets Convention which was hosted by Bhagwan Shree Lakshmi Narayan Dham, a charitable organization engaged in the pursuit of global peace and harmony. "The convention was held for people to learn the tools of Cosmic Science,

The dignitaries welcomed the Swami with garlands and commended his and spiritual leadership

Cont’d from page 15

"We are very thankful to the young people of the Partnership for the Advancement of Learning for this generous donation to 400 kids across the city of Worcester.

Thank you so much," said Joe O'Brien, Mayor of Worcester MA Suren Nannapaneni, founder of PAL thanked his team members, Jake Lynch, Nithin Donepudi,

The backpacks in the store

Connor Light, Pooja Ika, Chris Uhl, Beth Pezzoni, Grace Uhl and Pep Ruckpanich, who helped raise funds and packing backpacks. PAL is a completely studentrun nonprofit organization that is committed to partner with likeminded people for the Advancement of Learning. Nannapaneni said, "After helping my father's non-profit organization Friends Foundation with this project in the past few years, I was motivated to do it on my own

President of the New Jersey Chapter of Bhagwan Shree Lakshmi Narayan Dham. Similar Conventions were also held in New York and Baltimore, where the Brahmrishi Swami was honored by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

humanitarian work

PAL donates backpacks to school children

Nannapaneni said, "After helping my father's non-profit organization Friends Foundation with this project in the past few years, I was motivated to do it on my own and help more schools and children”

which is becoming increasingly popular in the western world," said Dr. Aruna Sapra. The two-day Convention continued on the second day when "more than 3,000 people attended despite the inclement weather," according to Ashwini Kumar,

and help more schools and children. I started the Partnership for the Advancement of Learning shortly known as P.A.L., to help. "This year our volunteers began fundraising at the start of the summer, reaching out to family friends as well as local businesses. We also received contributions from Staples, who donated all of the crayons and Pencils in the Backpacks. In the end we are once again able to donate 400 backpacks and supplies, worth over $10,000."

Jugalbandi between Bharatanatyam and Jazz Cont’d from page 13

The animation of David OforiAmoah adds visual effects to the story. His fluid, whimsical style captures Anjal's playful personality and serves as a dynamic backdrop to her movement, while Chande's spoken word voice-over guides the audience through the metaphorical narrative. The entire sequence exemplified well-oiled precision and complementary orchestration. Chande was not just dancing to the quartet; she was its kinesthetic extension. The quartet's musical dissonance supported cognitive dissonance in the story. Each part meshed so well with the others that it was hard to be distracted by how much was going on The riskiest part of the show is the improvisational sequence in the second half. Pure improvisation has the potential to either reach transcendence or descend into banality, but that uncertainty makes this section quite exciting to watch. There are a few points that threaten to drag, but Chande and the quartet communicate so well that they always manage to inject vitality back into their interaction. The conversational style of jazz plays to the quartet's strengths,

and each member shines. Especially engaging was the interplay between Chande and drummer Josh Moore. Chande's percussive stomps deliberately punctuate Moore's patterns to create charmingly unexpected rhythmic harmonies. The show as a whole touches on a range of moods, but stays

Layered integration of many media keeps the show multifaceted without being busy. "Joining Hands" showcases two promising young performers on their path to expand the definition of art charged and invigorating throughout. Tight coordination and everpresent communication keep the performers moving as a single, cohesive unit. Layered integration of many media keeps the show multifaceted without being busy. "Joining Hands" showcases two promising young performers on their path to expand the definition of their art.


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September 16, 2011

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Free medical camp by Geeta Dham

Janmasthami & Ganesh Chaturthi at St Louis temple ASHWIN PATEL

Janmasthami Puja

At the start of medical camp at Ram Devra, Sant Tara Devi paying respect to Shree Hari Har Ji, the founder of Geeta Dham and Ashrams

RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Geeta Dham, a parent organization for 500 plus Geeta Ashrams worldwide, organized a free medical camp near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan to offer medical help and consultation to thousands of villagers who flocked to attend a month long Baba Ramdev Peer Mela (fair) at Ram Devra. According to Bhanwar Joshi, a spokesman for the Geeta Ashram Chicago, four to five qualified medical professional rendered their services and the Rajasthan Government through its CMHO in Jodhpur provided free supply of medicines. "This was highly appreciated by all of us, including those visiting our camp," said Kishore Joshi, Deputy Administrator of the camp. The camp was inaugurated by

Sant Shri Tara Devi on August 25 and ran thru September 1. Sant Tara Devi Ji again visited the Dham on 29th August with her followers (Mandli) and had satsang at the camp in Tinwari till 10 pm. During the duration of the free medical camp, according to Bhanwar Joshi, the total no of pa-

votedly. Kishore Joshi involved some young men of Tinwari who remained associated with the camp. Geeta Dham and Geeta Ashrams worldwide were established by Shri Hariharnadnji Maharaj who lived up to 102 years. Geeta Dham runs various projects like Gurukul Vidya

ST LOUIS: Krishna Janmashtami was celebrated at the Hindu temple of St. Louis on August 21. Evening pooja was performed by devotees and this was followed by distribution of prasadam. Bhajan session was conducted until midnight to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna The temple also celebrated Ganesh Chathurthi on September 1. Devotees performed Samuhika

Ganesh Pooja for Lord Ganesha. Two poojas were conducted to help devotees to avoid crowding. Prasadam was distributed to the devotees from 6 pm onwards. The management of the temple has slated a Benefit Dinner for the Hindu Temple On Saturday, September 24 at 6 p.m. There will be social hour followed by presentation and announcement and dinner thereafter.

Geeta Dham runs various projects like Gurukul Vidya Mandir with classes up to standard 12, has Gaushala and Gobar gas plants for generating renewable energy, solar energy plant tients treated were 1321. Kishore Joshi, Dy. Administrator and Chatar Singh the Male Nurse had the key roles in organizing the camp successfully. They put in very hard work. Umesh Jain, Asst. Manager, also worked quite sincerely and de-

Mandir with classes up to standard 12, has Gaushala and Gobar gas plants for generating renewable energy, solar energy plant, Vermi culture plant, greenery project, mobile dispensary that runs around nearby villages and three temples for spiritual solace.

Ganesh Puja

Sikhs donate books on anniversary Cont’d from page 15

They are available for the public to borrow in every community in Queens. Council Member Van Bramer attended the first donation of materials, which took place shortly after 9/11/01. He was honored to be the capstone. "I was present at the very first donation of books donated by the Sikh Community in Queens, and I am thrilled to see them complete their goal of donating books to each branch. The diversity of Queens helps make this Borough the best place in the city. The donation of books to the Queens Library helps to highlight the important cul-

tural and historical traditions in the Sikh Religion, increasing understanding among our diverse communities. I congratulate and thank the members of the

The project was aimed at increasing public awareness and understanding of who Sikhs are and what they believe in, following a series of hate crimes target-

The project was aimed at increasing public awareness and understanding of who Sikhs are and what they believe in, following a series of hate crimes targeting Sikhs Sikh Community in Queens for their generous contribution to our great library system," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

ing Sikhs. "It became very important to educate the local community. We hope these donations will acquaint more New Yorkers and more Americans with Sikhs,"

said Jagir Singh Bains, the project's leader. Bains is a community activist and member of Community Board #8. He was born in Punjab, India and came to the US in 1974. There are 25 million Sikhs worldwide, making Sikhism the 5th largest religion. In India, Sikhs are about 2% of the population, mostly from Punjab; today they can be found living around the world. The Sikh Awareness Society also donated notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons and other basic supplies for school children who cannot afford to purchase them to Council Member Van Bramer's office. Council Member Van Bramer has been collecting such items for distribution.


18 India Post

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September 16, 2011

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Hindus welcomed at Nevada Eid celebrations

SEWA USA announces global activity plan SURENDRA ULLAL

Rajan Zed (fourth from left) with northern Nevada Muslim leaders and others during "Id ul-Fitr" celebrations in Sparks. India Post News Service

NEVADA: In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Muslims welcomed Hindus and one of their leaders Rajan Zed to their "Id ulFitr" celebrations in Sparks (Nevada, USA) on September 4. Welcoming Zed, Mahmoud Hendi, President of Northern Nevada Muslim Community (NNMC) Center, listed Zed's various efforts at bringing diverse faiths together and thus cohesiveness in the community. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, talked about building bridges despite seriously different faith traditions through dialogue and mutual trust. Dialogue would provide us mutual enrichment, Zed added. American Muslims of Bangladeshi, Syrian, Somalian, Pakistani, Ethiopian, Jordanian, Indian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian, etc., origins reportedly came to "Id ul-Fitr" celebrations in their ethnic best dresses to a sumptuous dinner which included various chicken and other meat dishes, biryani and rice formations, vegetables and lentils, sweet vermicelli, kheer, puddings, etc., to name a few.

Prayers from Quran (the scripture of Islam) were read and Hendi listed various projects and achievements of NNMC. A temporary children's playground containing inflatable bounce houses and slides was created for the oc-

American Muslims of Bangladeshi, Syrian, Somalian, Pakistani, Ethiopian, Jordanian, Indian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian, etc., origins reportedly came to "Id ul-Fitr" celebrations in their ethnic best dresses to a sumptuous dinner casion. According to an estimate, there are about 2,000 Muslim families in northern Nevada of about two dozen national origins, with Bangladesh having the highest numbers. NNMC was launched in 1980.

CHICAGO: Sewa USA recently announced that the Sewa Day activities have been extended globally. A video has been shot to specifically document some of the activities being planned in Bali, Indonesia. Sewa USA further announced that the Sewa Day activities are going to be conducted in over 15 countries including in their local US chapters from September 11 through September 25. The latest feature from Sewa Day TV, "Sewa Day Goes Global" has been launched in over 15 countries. This video highlights an exciting environmental project in Bali in addition to portraying. The Mother Temple of Besakih, one of Bali's most popular Hindu temples. It is an important socio-religious development in the relations between Hindus in India and Bali. It finally recognizes the mutual cultural and religious affinity of millennia which was hitherto ignored, rather treated with indifference obviously by the more numerous cousins of India. Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93.18% of Bali's population of 3,151,000 (as of 2005) adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existinglocal beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Other religions include Islam (4.79%), Christianity (1.38%), and Buddhism (0.64%). When Islam surpassed Hinduism in Java (16th century), Bali became a refuge for many Hindus. Religion as it is practiced in Bali is a composite belief system that

embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. Caste is observed, though less strictly than in India. With an estimated 20,000 puras (temples) and shrines, Bali is known as the "Island of a Thousand Puras", or "Island of the Gods". Balinese Hinduism has roots in Indian Hinduism and in Buddhism, and it has adopted the animistic traditions of the indigenous people. Balinese Hinduism is deeply interwoven with art and ritual. Apart from the majority of Balinese Hindus, there also exist

Religion as it is practiced in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic Chinese immigrants who follow a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali. Sanskrit is also commonly used by some Hindu priests in Bali, for Hinduism literature was mostly written in Sanskrit. English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the require-

ments of the tourism industry. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world. The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. Other festivals throughout the year are specified by the Balinese calendar. Tourism, Bali's chief industry, has provided the island with a foreign audience that is eager to pay for entertainment, thus creating new performance opportunities and more demand for performers. Since the 1930s sacred rituals such as the barong dance have been performed both in their original contexts, as well as exclusively for the tourists. This has led to new versions of performances which have developed according to the preferences of foreign audiences. Balinese society continues to revolve around each family's ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at thousands of temple festivals, private ceremonies, or public shows. The Hindu New Year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence. Balinese dancers wearing elaborate headgear, photographed in 1929.

An evening with Swami Sri Atmananda SOHAN JOSHI

CHICAGO: Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago has slated an evening with Swami Sri Atmananda, Founder of Satyachetana International Spiritual Movement on Friday, September 16 from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Vivekananda Meditation Hall in Lemont. Born in a village in Orissa, India, in 1951, Swami Sri Atmananda showed a pull to spiritual life and soon became linked with the master whom he considers his guru, Thakura Nigamanandaji. After completing his formal education, he like many Indians, was immersed in worldly activities but during the period he practiced and experimented with the principles of Gita, and sadhana deeply. The prompting to pursue his own path independent of any physical master came to him while serving Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That

prompting led him to travel all over India and meet many masters. The journey culminated at Pondicherry where he surrendered to the

Sri Atmananda's first spiritual work as a master started in 1993 and after 2000 he began to expand the mission and gave the call for manifestation Mother. The Mother guided him to a cave in the holy mountain Arunachala, where, in 1993, he at-

tained the culmination of his sadhana. After remaining in the state of pure Nirvikalpa for several days, he regained his awareness and came to the world carrying the consciousness of aham brahmosmi ("I am Brahman"), the unity consciousness that enables the yogi to consciously carry the guru-shakti. Sri Atmananda's first spiritual work as a master started in 1993 and after 2000 he began to expand the mission and gave the call for manifestation. His primary residence is at Satyachetana's main ashram at the foot of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. His work encompasses the yoga of Bhagavad Gita, and Veda. At present, he travels all over the globe to show to mankind this path of yoga and revive the pure wisdom that has been lost.


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September 16, 2011

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Valley Independence Day attracts big crowd

Members of IALA Committee and Board during the singing of American and Indian National Anthems. India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: India Association of Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley) celebrated India's 65th Independence Day with great pomp and show on August 27 at Birgham High School grounds. An estimated 10,000 people attended the gala event. Deputy Consul General of India Kumar Tuhin unfurled the flag followed by American and Indian national anthems. The program was started by Chairman Raman Chadha who introduced association president Bobby Kumar. Bobby welcomed the audience and spoke briefly about India Independence Day

Nat. Congressman Howard Berman spoke, "With the reforms that began in the early 1990's, India has become a model for emerging democracies around the world, a model of democracy, pluralism, and a pillar of regional stability. The U.S.-India relationship has grown from one that was focused on what we could not do together, to the many things that India and the United States can and are doing together. The United States and India are now working together to further scientific and technological innovation, cooperate in space exploration, expand educational opportunities, improve agriculture

President Bobby Kumar displaying certificate received from Congressman Brad Sherman

celebration in the San Fernando Valley. He also thanked members of his Executive team and other volunteers who have worked very hard to make the event truly successful one. Congressman Brad Sherman has been attending the event regularly for several years. He greeted the audience with "Namaste", and presented US flag to President Bobby Kumar and another to Executive Vice president Gursharan

outputs, develop clean energy technologies, expand trade opportunities between our countries, and increased defense cooperation and training exercises. Our relationship with India is one of the United States' fastest-developing partnerships with any major country in the world." Congressman Berman further remarked, "As we celebrate India's Independence Day here today, it seems only right to highlight

President Bobby Kumar, Congressman Brad Sherman and Executive VP Gursharan Nat

India's nonviolent independence movement and its leaders like Mohandas Gandhi, who remain examples to both the United States and the world, of how people and movements can alter the course of human history." Raman introduced association co-founder Inder Singh who talked about IRS requirement of reporting bank accounts in foreign countries for which the Offshore Volunteer Disclosure Initiative was introduced in February 2011 and which expired on September 9. He urged the two Congressmen to help in: • Raising the limit of $10,000 to $25,000 as the limit $10,000 was fixed several years ago, and if cost of living index is applied, that amount could be as high as $50,000. • Waiving off penalties for the inheritance or the money in the bank prior to migrating to the United States; • Exempting the temporary workers, such as H1b and L1 visa holders. India Independence Day was celebrated on a grand scale, for the first time in San Fernando Valley, in 2000. Since then, the annual celebration has become a tradition.

Deputy Consul General Kumar Tuhin unfurling the India Flag with IALA president Bobby and Inder Singh, GOPIO Chairman

This year, over sixty booths were installed. Food booth renters had long lines of visitors and delighted them with mouth watering dishes. Boutique shops demonstrated the latest design in women apparel. Insurance and travel agencies and several others rented booths to put themselves in front of the prospective valley customers. The cultural program showcased India's rich heritage of classical dances, the new wave of film

song-and-dance and ever popular folk dances. Mollie Dave of Sa re ga ma pa fame enthralled the audience for almost two hours. The large participation of Valley Indian Americans clearly demonstrated that the community appreciated the efforts of IALA volunteers who devoted countless hours to organize the event. However the organizers should have started the program on time and could have got good stage emcees.

SALDEF to honor Rana Singh Sodhi India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: At the National Gala here on Saturday, October 8, along with marking its fifteenth anniversary, SALDEF will commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, honor awardees and provide a cultural entertainment. Rana Singh Sodhi will be recognized for his work in promoting awareness and acceptance following his personal loss after the tragedy of 9/11. Since 9/11, Mr. Sodhi has been devoted to mobilizing the Sikh American community to create awareness about the Sikh faith, as well as serving as a spokesperson against hate and violence. Tragically, his brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi, became America's first post 9/11 hate crime murder victim. A year later, his brother, Sukhpal Singh Sodhi, was shot

Since 9/11, Mr. Sodhi has been devoted to mobilizing the Sikh American community to create awareness about the Sikh faith, as well as serving as a spokesperson against hate and violence Rana Singh Sodhi

driving a cab in San Francisco. Despite these tragedies, Rana works to educate his fellow Americans in an attempt to prevent further hate crimes. He serves as an advisor to the Phoenix Police De-

partment and supports the activities of several civil rights organizations. Rana's dedication to the community has been awarded by the City of Phoenix and the Anti-Defamation League.


Realty Tidbits „ Ministry invites suggestions on SEZs

Real Estate

T

he Commerce Ministry has called for suggestions from all stakeholders to comprehensively address the policy framework and operational issues of Special Economic Zones (SEZ). This, the Ministry said, is to accelerate the growth of SEZs. Suggestions may be sent in the linked format at the official Website for SEZ, it added. According to official sources, the Government has decided to eject non-serious players from SEZ. They said the Government does not want any developer sitting idle on the approvals. It wants the developers to either start work on the ground faster or surrender their applications and apply afresh when they are ready. However, it understands that the imposition of the Minimum Alternate Tax and Dividend Distribution Tax on SEZs as well as the economic slowdown have hit the development.

„ Wave pays Rs 375 cr as stamp duty

W

ave Infrastructure says it has paid about Rs 375 crore as stamp duty for registration of about 151 acres of land in Noida, which the company had won in the country's biggest land deal for a whopping Rs 6,570 crore. In March this year, Wave Infrastructure had bagged 6.14 lakh sq meter plot for Rs 1.07 lakh per sq meter at Sector-32 and 25A from Noida Development Authority, outbidding real estate firms Amrapali and The 3C Company. "We have deposited about Rs 375 crore as stamp duty for registration of the land," Wave City Executive Director R K Jain told PTI.

„ CCI charges DLF in another case of violation

A

nti-competitive practices watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has charged real estate major developer DLF of abusing its dominant position in yet another high-profile residential project in Gurgaon, Haryana. In a verdict, CCI clubbed eight complaints filed by the Park Place Residents Association to direct DLF to stop formulating and imposing unfair conditions in its agreements with home buyers and formulate modified conditions in three months.

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September 16, 2011

US billionaire Sam Zell plans India entry

B

illionaire Sam Zell is entering the real estate mar kets in India and Columbia soon as he continues to favor international investments over US property deals. Zell, chairman of Chicago-based Equity International, will invest in real estate in Colombia and will eventually move on to residential projects, he told Bloomberg Television. In India, he plans to open hotels. "In India, we're doing a hotel/motel program like Residence Inn at Marriott and we hope to build a chain across the country," he said.

CREDAI, developers miffed over new land acquisition bill

A

new land acquisition bill has been introduced in Parliament that tries to bridge the gaps in existing legislation. Popular protests against governments acquiring land for private projects have spread across the country and toppled a 35-yearold Left government in Bengal. The Congress hopes to gain some political mileage from the new law and deflect accusations of policy drift. Industry, however, was less than enthusiastic about the new law. "It is disastrous. If private land is bought under this act, be sure that very little land can be developed. There are too many points of conflict. It is an absolutely mindless idea to bring private land acquisition under this act," said Lalit Kumar Jain, national president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (Credai). The bill, which seeks to replace colonial era legislation and hopes to draw a line under a hugely sensitive issue, offers generous compensation for land owners in the form of subsistence allowances, annuity payments, employment and a share in any future appreciation of the land. This will have

to be paid irrespective of whether the land is acquired by the government or industry. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had got allies such as Trinamool Congress, which has strong views on land acquisition,

provisions of eminent domain and public service under very limited circumstances. The ability to invoke 'urgency' clauses has been limited to instances related to national security and natural calamities.

Ramesh: "We understand that development and urbanization should continue while farmers' rights should be protected. We have tried to take a balanced stand" Lalit Kumar Jain National President of CREDAI

on board before presenting the bill before the Cabinet. The bill, originally championed by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and tweaked many times, will update the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Under the new bill, the state will be able to invoke the

The definition of 'livelihood losers' under the draft bill has now been changed to mean people who have been employed in the land being acquired for three years or more. So squatters on public land, for instance, will not be able to seek immunity under this provi-

sion, but farm wage workers will. The new law says 80% of the people affected by an upcoming project must agree to the acquisition, unless it's being done in public interest. "This is a big mess. If I have to take 80% consent, I might as well take 100%. Why should I go to the government at all? If this bill is passed as it is, GDP growth is bound to come down to 6% or less if we are growing at 8%," Jain added. Ramesh, however, said the bill has tried to take a balanced view of the issue, "We understand that development and urbanization should continue while farmers' rights should be protected. We have tried to take a balanced stand."

Bill impractical

Developers and builders have said the bill is not only anti-development but also impractical. If the bill is passed and implemented, there cannot be any planned development of townships in the country, said Anil Sharma, CMD of Amrapali Group, who is also vice-president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai). Cont’d on page 21

CREDAI opposes regulatory body

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eal estate industry body CREDAI has opposed constitution of a regulatory body for the real estate sector, saying that it would become a "breeding ground for corruption" if implemented. "The proposed regulatory bill will become a breeding ground for corruption (if implemented)," the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) President Lalit Kumar Jain told reporters. The Centre has proposed to form a regulatory body through the Real Estate Regulation Bill 2011 which seeks to protect home buyers from fly-by-night developers. Arguing that the objective of draft regulatory bill was limited to just consumer protection, Jain sought the jurisdiction of the bill be expanded to address other

pressing issues like long delay in approval, rising cost of material and labor etc, which hold utmost importance for the sector. "Only controlling one issue (consumer protection by the regulatory bill) is not going to help unless the

fairs department, the Competition Commission of India to redress consumer grievances. "Then what is the need for increasing the number of windows for (consumers)," asked CREDAI Vice President Getamber Anand. The

‘The Code of Conduct not only ensures transparency in real estate deals but will also imbibe setting up of a grievance redressal cell’ entire spectrum of the industry is handled by the proposed bill," he said. CREDAI further questioned the formation of any regulatory body on the ground that there were a number of options and mechanism like the consumer af-

real estate sector complained that delay in getting approvals from different departments, especially environment, cause bottlenecks for projects. "There are 48 departments attached to the real estate sector which leads to exploitation of

developers…we are victims of corruption," Anand said. "If the time taken for (statutory) approvals for starting a project is reduced, then the sale prices of the property could come down from 10 to 25 percent in the entire country," he said. Jain also pointed out that the spiraling labor and material cost had also put an additional burden on the real estate players. Meanwhile, CREDAI unveiled 'Code of Conduct' for the real estate sector for Punjab, aimed to bring transparency in the conduct of the business. "The Code of Conduct not only ensures transparency in real estate deals but will also imbibe setting up of a grievance redressal cell for the people who have unsavory experience with respective real estate companies," he said.


Real Estate

September 16, 2011

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South City Projects to foray into Lanka

S

outh City Projects (Kolkata) Ltd - a consortium of six Kolkata-based real estate companies - will enter the real estate sector in Sri Lanka. The company, through its Sri Lankan subsidiary Indocean Developers Pvt Ltd, will invest nearly $100 million (approximately Rs 450 crore) to set up a residential-cum-commercial project in Colombo. The mixed-use project will be funded through a combination of debt and equity. South City Projects is a consortium of Merlin Group, Shrachi, Rameswara Group, Emami, JB Group and Surekha Group. It has an eponymous project - a shopping mall cum residential - in South Kolkata, Bel Air and Gardens and an IT and logistics hub called Pinnacle. Indocean Developers is a subsidiary of South City formed under the Board of Investments of Colombo. "We are open to expansion in other markets including India. Plans are afoot for projects in southern parts of India too,"

said Anil Khetawat, director, Indocean Developers Pvt Ltd. Spread over 2 acres, the Sri Lankan project - South City's first overseas project - will consist of high-end retail stores, restaurants,

Although the company is yet to decide on the name of the project, it will, however, use the South City brand for it spas and residential apartments. Although the company is yet to decide on the name of the project, it will, however, use the South City brand for it. Land has been obtained at $35 million (over Rs 150 crore) from the Sri Lankan Government.

Luxury Juhu bungalow sold for Rs 105 Cr

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n industrialist is all set to own a super-luxury, 11storey bungalow apartment building-JVPD1-constructed by Mayfair Housing Pvt Ltd at Juhu, costing Rs 105 crore. Real estate sources say the deal is unique for the simple reason that the building has been purchased by a sole individual. "Considering that apartment sales have dropped so much, the sale of an entire building surprised us, that too, at a reasonable price when one considers the financial turmoil," said a leading broker. Using the incentive parking floor space index, the developer has constructed approximately 50,000 sq ft (as per approved plans by the civic body) on the 700 sq yards ground plus one storey Suman bungalow, named after Broker's wife. At the sale price of Rs 105 crore, the rate per sq ft works out to about Rs 23,000, less than the

quoted market rate of approximately over Rs 28,000 a sq ft, said brokers. The building, on a period bungalow owned by Gujarati litterateur Padmashree Gulabdas Broker, boasts of a car park on each

The building boasts of a car park on each floor, rooftop gymnasium, lap pool, double basement and a grand reception lounge floor, rooftop gymnasium, lap pool, double basement and a grand reception lounge with piped music streaming through it. The building has five bungalows, each having five bedrooms and admeasuring 6,200 sq ft. Nayan

Shah, chief executive officer of Mayfair, said the deal was yet to be finalized. "Negotiations are still on. However, the price is much lower than the Rs 105 crore being quoted," said Shah, refusing to name the buyer. Shah had purchased the 700 sq yards ground plus one storey bungalow for approximately Rs 21 crore from Broker's son Vinod in 2007-2008. The bungalow is located strategically at the corner of JVPD road no 5 and V L Mehta road. Old timers say before huge buildings were constructed, Juhu beach was a 10-minute walk from Broker's residence. Broker, who died in 2006, was awarded the Padmashree in 1992 in literature. Sources said the industrialist buying the building runs a chemical business. "The industrialist will occupy the top two bungalows. The rest could be rented or used to house guests or senior executives," said sources.

Rs 1.85 cr/acre compensation proposed for Mohali land CHANDIGARH: Amid growing concern over inadequate compensation offered to farmers in many states for land acquisition, a panel has recommended the highest ever reward of Rs 1.85 crore per acre to be given to farmers for procuring land in Mohali for an ambitious Medicity project. "The District Land Fixation Committee has recommended to

pay compensation amounting to Rs 1.85 crore to farmers for acquiring their land at Mullanpur in Mohali," a senior official of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) said here. About 150 acres of land has been proposed to be acquired from farmers at Mullanpur, near Chandigarh, for setting up the Medicity project.

He ruled out any impact of land compensation on property rates in Chandigarh, saying that the current prices have already peaked

CREDAI, developers miffed over new land acquisition bill Cont’d from page 20

"This bill is kind of one-sided, ill-thought-out doles may sound very altruistic and pro-poor, but these are unsustainable and will kill the goose that lays the golden egg," he said. The proposed bill will help those who indulge in unplanned development. "The bill, if passed, will increase the cost of acquisition of land to unrealistic level. It will be almost impossible to acquire 50-acre or 100-acre land at one place for planned development," Getamber Anand, MD of ATS group, who is also vice-president of Credai, said. "If we do not facilitate urbanization in an organized manner, all the incremental population will be housed in slums with dire consequences for our economy. Hous-

ing prices will become unaffordable. In the long run, even farmers will suffer hugely as fringe development of urban centers will largely be in the form of unauthorized developments and they will not realize the true economic potential of their lands," Anand said. According to R K Arora, CMD of Supertech, a large number of provisions proposed in the bill are unrealistic. The bill says that after transfer of land within 10 years from the date of acquisition, the company will be required to share 20% of the appreciated value with the original owner. "Normally, within five years of the acquisition, a developer sells the project to end-users. Now, if end-users sell the apartments to third parties at profit, who will ensure that they should share 20% of the profit with the original land owner. Be-

sides, if a buyer sells at loss, who will compensate for the loss," said Arora. Another provision - reservation of 20% of the developed land for landowners as part of rehabilitation entitlement would make the projects financially unviable as it will increase the cost of developed land by almost 100%, Arora added. And this additional cost will be passed on to the buyers. Provisions like subsistence allowance for 12 months and annuity for 20 years are very difficult to implement, he said. The compensation package envisaged by the bill lacks proper assessment and research. The government has totally lost sight of the middle class citizens of the country who need good and affordable accommodation, he added.

Now, the recommendation of the District Land Fixation Committee will be sent to Cabinet SubCommittee on land compensation to be chaired by state Industries Minister Tikshan Sud on September 8, the official informed. The Punjab government earlier had offered the highest land compensation of Rs 1.50 crore per acre for a housing project - Aerocity followed by reward of Rs 1.30 crore per acre upcoming another housing project at Mullanpur in Mohali. The Medicity project is proposed to house an integrated medical care facilities and in the first phase it will be developed on 150 acres of land. Property experts, though, pointed out that the rate of compensation of Rs 1.85 crore per acre, if approved, was even less than the current market rate of Rs 2.25 crore to 2.50 crore per acre.

"Farmers in Mullanpur are not ready to sell their land below Rs 2.25 crore or 2.5 crore per acre. However, if the land compensation of Rs 1.85 crore per acre is fixed, the market rate will touch new high of Rs 3 crore per acre," said city based real estate consultant Kamaljit Singh. However, he ruled out any impact of land compensation on property rates in Chandigarh, saying that the current prices in the city have already peaked. Mullanpur in Mohali has turned out to be the most preferred destination for property investment because of its proximity with Chandigarh. Leading realtors DLF and Omaxe have already announced to build residential properties in Mullanpur, causing spurt in property rates. GMADA had also announced to set up residential project in Mullanpur. -PTI


Tech News Banks should keep strong vigil on loan portfolio: FM NEW DELHI: Cautioning that the economy is passing through turbulent times, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has asked banks to maintain a strict vigil on the quality of their loan portfolio. "The commitment to moderate levels of inflation has led to higher interest rates. In this environment, banks need to keep a strong vigil on their asset quality. These are turbulent times and we should watch every step that we take," Mukherjee said at 106th foundation day of Bank of India here. "The global economy is still trying to cope up with the after effects of the financial crisis...But this should not prevent us from taking bold and innovative steps," he said. -PTI

'Industry should focus on meeting social objectives' LUDHIANA: Punjab Governor and UT Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj V Patil impressed upon industrial and business community to give a push to productivity and overall prosperity, with focus on meeting social objectives of corporate sector. He stated this while addressing the 33rd Annual function of Ludhiana Management Association. He further emphasized upon the need for stepping up programmers for empowerment of people by upgrading their professional skills and utilizing their potential for speedier socio-economic development of the country. Patil said state and national government alone cannot do much to develop technology. "For this, he said industries should cooperate," he said. -PTI

CITU demands amendment of J&K Accountability Act JAMMU: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded amendment of the Jammu and Kashmir Accountability Commission Act and Rules to give more teeth to the anti-graft State Accountability Commission (SAC) for weeding out corruption in the state. The state committee of the J&K Centre of Indian Trade Unions, which met under the chairmanship of Kulgam MLA M Y Tarigami, passed four resolutions at its meeting here, which included amendment of the Accountability Commission Act, construction of hydel power projects on the Chenab River and protection of trade union rights and labor laws in the state. -PTI

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Essar rejects allegations of paying Maoists NEW DELHI: Essar Group has rejected allegations made in the US diplomatic cable published on WikiLeaks that it paid protection money to Maoists, saying it is a law abiding corporate. "Essar is a law abiding corporate. We don't think it is appropriate or necessary to react to baseless and unfounded allegations," an Essar spokesperson said in a statement. As per the cable published by whistleblower internet website WikiLeaks, "A senior representative from Essar, a major industrial company with large mining and steel-related facilities in Chhattisgarh, told Congenoff (the Consul General's Office) that the company pays the Maoists 'a significant amount' not to harm or interfere with their operations." -PTI

SAMMA Summit to focus on South Asian influence in US India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment Association (SAMMA) has announced its 3rd Annual South Asian Media, Marketing and Entertainment Summit to be held Sept 16-17 in New York City at Time Warner Global Headquarters, presented in collaboration with Time Warner Inc. The SAMMA Summit is the first and largest US-based industry event aimed at networking and growing the industry of South Asians in US and Indian media, marketing and entertainment industries while giving the US media industry a glimpse into the growing impact South Asians and India in the industry. Attracting over 200+ executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs, conference participants span TV/film, marketing and advertising, digital and social media,

music/sports, South Asian marketing, and global entertainment atlarge. Unheard of a decade ago, South Asians - and India - increasingly find themselves at the forefront of US media, marketing and entertainment, attracting greater interest of the US industry. South

other's markets; and Bollywood and Hollywood are collaborating more than ever. The SAMMA Summit will bring together South Asian professionals and US industry leading these trends to share learning, explore new opportunities emerging from the growing presence of

‘We're proud of the leaders participating this year and hope to inspire other South Asians to the endless possibilities for success in our industry’ Asians consumers have emerged as a critical audience for top marketing companies; six of the top 10 US television sitcoms boast South Asians in prominent roles; US brands and entrepreneurs are increasingly eyeing India; US and South Asian music artists are increasingly collaborating in each

South Asians and India in the media, entertainment and marketing space; and to strengthen ties between South Asian professionals in the industry. "We created the SAMMA Summit to give voice to the growing number of South Asians in media and entertainment in the US

as well as to bring together South Asian leaders in the increasingly interdependent worlds of media, marketing, and entertainment. Let's face it, networking and shared insight breeds greater success. That is our goal," said Rajan Shah, co-founder and Board Member of SAMMA. "We're proud of the leaders participating this year and hope to inspire other South Asians to the endless possibilities for success in our industry". SAMMA's membership has grown five-fold since the organization's inception with increasing support from Fortune 500 companies and leading brands that recognize the opportunity amongst an influential and growing demographic. The buying power of Asian Americans in the United States is expected to increase 40% by 2012, reaching more than $2 trillion.

Hooda invites Japan to invest in Haryana CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who met Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit in Tokyo, stressed on combining the technological prowess of the Japanese with the enterprise and technical skills of Indians. He sought creation of new capacities in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, freer flow of high-end technologies and asked Japan to step up investment in Haryana. Hooda stressed the need for closer economic and social ties between India and Japan, an official statement said. Addressing a special session on Haryana, Hooda invited Japan to invest in Haryana, highlighted the achievements made by the state, and unfolded his vision of making Haryana Number 1 State in all respects. A high-powered delegation, led by Hooda, is taking part in the India-Japan Global Partnership

Summit being held at Tokyo in Japan from September 5 to 7, which has been organized by the India Centre Foundation of Japan.

Advisor to the Prime Minister; Prahalad Kakkar, Founder of Genesis Film Production; Amitabh Kant, CEO and MD of DMICDC;

Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Power Minister of Haryana, highlighted the initiatives taken by the State in generation, transmission and distribution Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda

The summit has attracted some of the top names of the corporate, policy-making, political, media and spiritual worlds, including Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Group; Rakesh Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises; Sam Pitroda,

of power Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Founder, Isha Foundation etc. The Haryana session generated enthusiastic response. It started with a speech by the Chief Minister who likened Japan's growth story with Haryana's.

Hooda stressed the importance Haryana attached to its relations with Japan and highlighted the strides made by Haryana during the last few years. This, he said, had been endorsed by independent studies and findings. He invited the Japanese to visit Haryana to catch a glimpse of its development and invest in the state. Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Power Minister of Haryana, highlighted the initiatives taken by the State in generation, transmission and distribution of power, one of the most crucial segments of infrastructure. Industries Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala explained what made Haryana a preferred destination for investors. The state offers tremendous investment opportunities in view of infrastructure facilities backed by sound policy and peaceful law and order situation. Contíd on page 23


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CBI places TRAI report on 2G spectrum before SC NEW DELHI: The CBI has placed before the Supreme Court the report of the TRAI which said it was not possible to predict with certainty the precise value of 2G spectrum that would have emerged in auction between 2001-08. The report, which was placed before a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu, said it was a "tricky" exercise to estimate the annual value of spectrum for eight years. The bench, which was hearing the bail pleas of two of the accused in the 2G spectrum scam, had said that it would like to go through the TRAI report after senior advocate Ram Jethmalani had submitted that telecom regulator in its report had given a finding that there was no loss in the allocation of spectrum.

The report said "retrospectively estimating annual value of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band

We conduct the exercise of estimating market value of spectrum under severe data constraints and a changing technological environment for eight years between 2001 and 2008 is a tricky exercise at the best of times. Access to data is cru-

cially important, but equally, if not more important is access to business plans and forecasts of service providers who invest in the market. "We do not have access to the latter information and even the data that we have is inadequate, as documented in our report. We, therefore conduct the exercise of estimating market value of spectrum under severe data constraints and a changing technological environment". Asked whether CBI's case becoming weak due to TRAI's report that there was no loss to the government due to spectrum allocation in 2008, TRAI Chairman J S Sarma said that "the experts have given the range of values but they could not arrive at any definitive figure." -PTI

Posco-India new CMD calls on Naveen BHUBANESWAR: Amid wide speculations on the fate of South Korean steel major Posco's proposed Rs 52,000 crore mega steel project near Paradip, Posco-India said it would renew the Memorandum of Understanding with the Orissa government soon. "MoU renewal with the Orissa government will be made as soon as possible," Posco-India Director Y K Kim told reporters in presence of the company's new CMD Y W Yun. Yun assumed office of PoscoIndia's CMD on September 3. Yun is Posco-India's third CMD since the company was formed in 2005. He replaced C Kuhn Know who left for South Korea last

month. Company's first CMD was Sung Sik Cho. Describing Yun's meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as a "courtesy call", Kim said that they discussed on the progress made in the project. "There was no specific discussion with the Orissa government," Kim said. Asked if the issue relating to MoU renewal figured in discussion, Kim said "different aspects relating to the progress of the project came up during the 30-minutes talk." Shifting of Know and appointment of another person as CMD at this juncture was considered significant as the state government

has been insisting the company to delete swapping clause in the revised MOU. The original MOU between the state government and the Posco-India lapsed on June 21, 2010. Though more than a year had already passed since lapse of the MoU, both Orissa government and Posco-India have failed to renew the agreement. Meanwhile, the activities at the proposed plant site villages, where the state government has already acquired about 2,000 acres of the land for setting up the Posco project, came to a grinding halt due to opposition from the local people. -PTI

Hooda invites Japan to invest in Haryana ContĂ­d from page 22

The session was moderated by Rajeev Arora, Managing Director of HSIIDC, who made a comprehensive presentation on 'Destination Haryana'. It witnessed signing of MOUs by Indian and Japanese companies, including three MOUs by Navin Raheja of Raheja Developers with Zenrin Co.- Abacus Venture; Okamura Homes Co.; Abacus Venture-Quantum Leaps Co. The other MOU was signed by the Pranav Gupta of Parabolic Group with a leading Pharmaceutical company of Japan. Earlier during the day, Capt Yadav, Surjewala, and Rao Narender Singh, Health and Medical Education Minister, addressed separate sector-specific sessions and issues and also answered queries of the gathering.

The official-cum-business delegation, led by Hooda, is on a visit to Tokyo for participating in the India-Japan Global Partnership Summit 2011 being held from September 5-7. Speaking at the opening session of the summit, Hooda highlighted the importance of building relationship between the two sides. He stressed the need for combining the technological prowess of the Japanese with the enterprise and technical skills of Indians. The Chief Minister said that a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between the two would create new opportunities for India's pharmaceutical industry in the Japanese market, and help meet Japan's growing demand for high quality and relatively inexpensive generic medicines.

India welcomes greater Japanese participation in Indian industry through foreign direct investment. He sought creation of new capacity in India's manufacturing and infrastructure sectors and freer flow of high-end technologies. The Chief Minister also met Osamu Suzuki of Suzuki Motor Company of Japan. The two discussed issues relating to the investment proposals of Suzuki in Haryana. Suzuki also apprised the Chief Minister about the progress of the on-going projects in Haryana. The meeting lasted for about an hour. The Chief Minister later inaugurated the Haryana expo at the summit site, where the achievements and investment opportunities in Haryana have been displayed. -PTI

HUDCO offers to finance projects in Himachal SHIMLA: Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) has offered to finance housing, urban development and hydro-power projects in Himachal Pradesh. The offer was made by D Subramanium, Executive Director, and HUDCO during a meeting with Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal here. Welcoming the offer, Dhumal said that there were a large number of projects under execution in different sectors in the State which were being financed by World Bank, NABARD, CRF and Asian Development Bank etc and finance by HUDCO would give boost to developmental activities. He said that HUDCO was already extending financial assistance for construction of Housing projects by providing assistance

through Himachal Urban Development Authority (HUDA). Dhumal said that the State would welcome funding of hydro power projects by HUDCO and said that there were large number of projects under execution and in the pipeline and availability of additional funds would speed up the execution. He said that the Government was motivating private entrepreneurs to undertake the hydropower projects in the state while some projects were being executed by State Electricity Board and HP Power Corporation. He said that the State would explore the possibilities of identifying prominent religious shrines for construction of Night Shelters with the financial grant from HUDCO to facilitate the devotees. -PTI

India's GDP to grow 8.1% in 2011 NEW DELHI: The Indian economy is likely to expand by 8.1 per cent in 2011, the fastest growth rate in the world after China, UN agency said. In its global release of Trade and Development Report 2011, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said the India economy will grow by 8.1 per cent in 2011, against to 8.6 per cent in 2010, despite slowdown in developed nations and many other countries. According to UNCTAD, only China will surpass India. The East Asian giant is likely to register a growth of 9.4 per cent in 2011 compared to 10.3 per cent in 2010. "In South Asia, India contin-

ues to pursue rapid economic growth (close to 8 per cent), based mainly on strong domestic consumption and investment, but also on the positive contribution of net exports," the report said. UNCTAD's projection for India in 2011 is a tad lower than International Monetary Fund's forecast of 8.2 per cent growth. The government expects the Indian economy to grow by around 8.5 per cent in 2011-12, while the RBI has projected the GDP growth of 8 per cent this fiscal. The World Bank had in June said India's economy would expand by 8 per cent in 2011-12, while the Asian Development Bank projected a growth of 8.2 per cent during the current financial year. -PTI


India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Salman Khan scored a gigantic opening in North America with his latest film Bodyguard which premiered with an astounding $1.4 million over its six-day debut period. In less than one week, the Reliance Big Pictures release has already surpassed the entire lifetime gross of his recent blockbuster hit Dabangg and has beaten the combined lifetime totals for his films Ready and Wanted.

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Amitabh Bachchan joins DiCaprio in 'The Great Gatsby'

September 16, 2011

The Reliance Big Pictures release has already surpassed the entire lifetime gross of his recent blockbuster hit Dabangg and has beaten the combined lifetime totals for his films Ready and Wanted

NEW DELHI: After his glorious four decades in Bollywood, Mega star Amitabh Bachchan is making a foray in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio starrer 'The Great Gatsby', an adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's classic.

Playing in 88 theaters across the United States and Canada, Bodyguard's weekend numbers included $863,531 over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $1,051,132 across the Friday-to-Monday Labor Day holiday period. Since opening on Wednesday August 31, the action-romance has collected $1,361,790 and is expected to break the $2 million barrier in its second week. Bodyguard's per-theater average of $11,945 was by far the highest for any film in the North.

Details on page 28

India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Yummy Chef is the first ever "heat and eat" gourmet line of Indian vegetarian cuisine was introduced by veteran actor and brand ambassador Dharmendra at a hotel in New York last week. The innovative new line of culinary products comes in convenient family and partysize packs. Explaining that Yummy Chef is not just another "me too" product, but rather a top-quality, exclusive product for those seeking the largest selection of exotic North Indian dishes, the actor said these products are for everyone, for any occasion, any event, for any number of family and friends.

Being personally involved in the concept, Dharmendra explained that each dish could be ready in under five minutes. "The first Yummy Chef must-taste recipe is Dal Makhani, followed by the decadent Moong dal halwa dessert," Dharmendra said. "With 19 different brilliantly flavored and exotic varieties - including dessert you can make a different combination every time, and never get bored. I invite you to try Yummy Chef - you'll love it." The products have been recently launched in the USA and are available at local grocers and online.

Dharmendra launches new line of Indian cuisine


September 16, 2011

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Tagore's paintings on display at Asia Society India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Rabindranath Tagore: The Last Harvest, an exhibition of paintings by the renowned Indian poet, marks the 150th Anniversary of Tagore's birth and first US museum exhibition devoted to his artistic legacy. The exhibition is on view through December 31 at the Asia Society in New York. Rabindranath Tagore (18611941) is lauded around the world as a poet and writer, yet few outside India know that he was also a highly regarded visual artist. Marking the 150th anniversary of the year of Tagore's birth, this exhibition comprises more than 60 works on paper, drawn from three collections in India. Many of the works have never been shown in the United States. The exhibition is curated by Professor R. Sivakumar of Visva Bharati University and is co-organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, Ministry of Culture,

government of India and Asia Society Museum, New York. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, edited by Professor Sivakumar and featuring essays by leading

training; his artistic practice grew from his habits as a writer and poet, with revision marks and scratched out words on his manuscripts becoming free-form doodles. Tagore's cross-cultural

A transformative figure in the modern cultural history of India, Tagore began painting in 1924 at the age of 63

scholars on Tagore's writing, philosophy and artistic practice. A transformative figure in the modern cultural history of India, Tagore began painting in 1924 at the age of 63. He had no formal

encounters during his many trips abroad influenced his work - tribal artifacts of the Pacific, Javanese music and dance, ancient bronzes from China, arts and crafts of Japan, and European modernism are

Amitabh Bachchan joins DiCaprio in 'The Great Gatsby' Nicole Kidman starrer. Fitzgerald's novel begins soon after the First World War and depicts the "roaring 1920s" of America through the ill-fated love story of Jay Gatsby, who turns bootlegger to win the heart of his lady love, a superficial society woman married to a rich man. While DiCaprio plays the title character, Carey Mulligan essays the role of Daisy Buchanan, his lover. Maguire plays Nick Carraway, the narrator of the story. -PTI

NEW DELHI: After his glorious four decades in Bollywood, Mega star Amitabh Bachchan is making a foray in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio starrer 'The Great Gatsby', an adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's classic. Bachchan will play Meyer Wolfsheim, a man with a dark past, who helps DiCaprio's character make money when he first comes to New York after the First World War. "Bachchan, the elder statesman of Indian cinema and one of the most recognized faces on the planet, will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim," Warner Bros said in

all evident. Tagore's friend Victoria Ocampo, an Argentinian socialite and poet who was part of the vanguard scene in France, saw his drawings and encouraged him to pursue art. With Ocampo's help, Tagore mounted the first exhibi-

a statement. The 68-year-old star, who was in Sydney toward the end of August, where the film is being shot, did not disclose his reason for being in the city on his blog but did hint, saying, "Time has been spent well and hopefully judiciously. Days ahead will tell us whether it was fruitful or not." The USD 125 million film is being adapted on the big screen in 3D by Baz Luhrmann, the man behind films like 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Australia'. The director has a fascination for Bollywood and even used hit item song 'Chhamma Chhamma' from 'China Gate' in the

tion of his artwork in Paris in May 1930. The show traveled to Europe, Russia and the United States, earning him critical acclaim in the West, where Expressionists and Surrealists were celebrating the subconscious and exploring raw sensations as a means of breaking from academicism and stylistic conventions. Despite favorable responses to his artwork abroad, he was hesitant to exhibit his works in India and did not do so until 1932 when he held a major show at the Government School of Art in Calcutta (Kolkata). He continued to paint until his death at the

age of 80 in 1941. Exhibition organization The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections. A section titled 'The Beginning' looks at the origins and development of his drawing and painting; 'Beyond the Pages' explores Tagore's landscape paintings. Tagore's landscapes were less a depiction of actual scenery and more a focus on rhythm and the universal spirit of life that he felt permeated all of nature. Many of his works depict acrobatic figures that sometimes morph into various forms found in nature; 'Discovery of Rhythm' considers how his creative work in other fields, particularly music and dance, enabled Tagore to project movement and gestures into pattern, forms and fields of color in his drawings and paintings; and the 'Faces of the World' section explores Tagore's representation of the human face, the most frequently recurring form in his painting. Some may resemble Peruvian or Indonesian masks that he saw during his travels but most are recognizable as universal types or bhab (a character, spirit, or quality in Bengali). They may be viewed as an extension of Tagore's own emphasis on commonality and coexistence, rather than divisions based on caste, culture and country.


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Talat to enthrall ghazal lovers of Chicago SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: A close contender to Jagjit Singh for the coveted crown of Ghazal King, Talat Aziz is coming on September 17 to enthrall the Chicago audience at Gateway Theater on Lawrence Avenue as part of his North America tour paying tribute to legendary Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hasan. The Talat concert organized by community activist Amrish Mahajan has accompanying artists in Ustad Tari Khan on Tabla, Pt Ramesh Mishra and Rajendra Shankar. The concert, says Mahajan, "is a way to appreciate and offer our tributes to Mehdi Hasan as also to welcome Ghazal King Talat among us." The show will start sharp at 730 p.m. Interestingly, Talat wanted to be a top cricketer but fate willed otherwise and he has no regrets now. This is especially so when young Talat (born in 1956) was dismayed at the steady deterioration of Hindi film music in late 60's and 70's with Western Jazz and pop winning over the youngsters. He decided to tap his latent resource in writing and penning ghazals and then reciting them initially at closed Mehfils at his home. His mother Sajida, a famous Urdu writer and poet, used to organize Mehfils in their house in which great artists like Jagjit Singh, Jan Nisaar Akhtar, the father of famous writer Javed Akhtar, to name a few, took part. It was Jagjit Singh who introduced Talat to the public. Greatly influenced not only by Talat's filmi looks but more so by his

Talat Aziz, Tari Khan, Pt Mishra and Rajendra Shankar

mellifluous and soft voice well suited for ghazals that he decided to release his first album in 1979 - Jagjit Singh Presents Talat Aziz. It was phenomenal success giving him a launch pad for his meteoric rise. But for

Suroor, Manzil, Saughaat, Dhadkan, Irshaad, etc. He is equally versatile while singing popular hits like "Damadam Mast Kalandar" or the soul stirring rendition of "Aaina Mujhse Meri" from the film Daddy.

Talat wanted to be a top cricketer but fate willed otherwise and he has no regrets now. This is especially so when young Talat (born in 1956) was dismayed at the steady deterioration of Hindi film music in late 60's and 70's with Western Jazz and pop winning over the youngsters several years he was to struggle for a living. His career took a turn with his singing some ghazals in films like Umrao Jaan and Bazaar, which were super-hits. Since then he has released various albums like Talat Aziz live, Lehren, Ehsaas,

Between 1979 and 1984 he was the top artist recording for Music India Company. He also composes music for TV serials and has also acted in several of them. He composed music for teleserials like Deewar, Baaz, Adhikaar, Ghutan, Sailaab,

Aashirwaad and the magnum opus, Noorjehan. His acting was appreciated in serials like Ghulam, Manzil, Sahil, Sailaab, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayee and Noorjehan a TV serial written by Nida Fazli. Talat Aziz took his initial training in music from Kirana Gharana. He was trained primarily by Ustad Samad Khan and later by Ustad Fayaz Ahmed who were famous classical music singers. And for his ghazal training he became a disciple of Mehdi Hassan in 1978 whom he is paying tributes during his current North America tour Talat Aziz has been singing in concerts for over three decades and has traveled the globe with his sell out performances. He completed his silver jubilee with the launch of a special audio and video album in 2004.Since then he has released many albums.

Jagmohan Mundhra passes away MUMBAI: Filmmaker Jagmohan Mundhra known for his films like Bawandar (2001), Provoked (2007) and Shoot At Sight (2008), passed away here after suffering from gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

Mundhra was brought to Bombay Hospital as he was suffering from chest pain and had low blood pressure. As these symptoms were that of a cardiac attack, he was admitted in the critical care unit immediately Filmmaker Jagmohan Mundhra

Mundhra was brought to Bombay Hospital as he was suffering from chest pain and had low blood pressure. As these symptoms were that of a cardiac attack, he was admitted in the critical care unit

immediately. The hemorrhage caused pneumonia and multiple organ failure, which ultimately was the cause of death. Mundhra's last film was Govinda starrer Naughty At 40.


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Horoscope

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September 16, 2011

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

SEPTEMBER 16TH - SEPTEMBER 22ND ARIES (MARCH 21 TO APRIL 20)

TAURUS (APRIL 21 TO MAY 20)

Y

R

ou may find it difficult to defend your self properly in any ongoing legal matter. You may be spending more time in office or away from home in other state. You will need to overcome one more hurdle before deal is finalized. Major changes in career just around the corner. You may be in touch with an old confidant for advice.

unning around will not go waste but you will end up making useful contacts that are going to help you in near future. People in business will see new clients and business growing this week. You will be writing a big check to government also this week. Any relationship started at this point can become permanent in time to come.

GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)

CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

Y

ou will start to feel better and more confident. There will be several fortunate developments in life. You may be offered a dream opportunity in career. Since the luck is on side, you will get many jobs done without any difficulty. You will recover money long overdue and may dispose off some stocks for a decent profit.

B

ank balance will grow and from now and on expenses will come down a lot too. You may be suggested minor surgery as a permanent solution to overcome an old health issue. You will come across an interesting personality during the course of a business meeting. Children will finalize a short vacation. You may dispose off some stocks.

LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22)

P

eople involved in research and development work will see sudden success. An important person will make an offer that will be hard to turn down. Finances issues will start resolving and soon you will be free of many small debts. You may come out with flying colors in a c highly competitive exam. Spouse will give many good ideas.

VIRGO (AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 22)

S

aturn in your sign will make you work extra hard from now and on. You will need to develop more patience. Soon you will reap rich rewards for the hard work being performed this week. Strong wordings will get the job done and you will recover what belonged to you in first place. Eye sight may start to give some trouble.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 22)

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 22)

O

ou may end up just renewing the contract for the time being. Property related papers will get finalized too. Time is ripe to cash those profit making stocks. Some one in the organization will move out making room for your promotion. You will meet few political figures at the party. Do not take a chance with changing weather.

pportunity will come from distant place and will be hard to ignore. Confusion will clear and you will see lots of money coming your way. An important issue involving your child may take little longer to settle. All meetings will go well and you will get the assurance quickly. Value of stocks recently purchased will appreciate considerably.

Y

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 TO DECEMBER 22)

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 TO JANUARY 19)

L

pportunity will be offered on a silver platter. Do not let past scare you. Take your chance, it's a sure thing. You will write a check to government but hold it for some time before mailing it out. Some of you may replace your old vehicle with a newer and expensive model. You may be seriously thinking of legal action to prove your point.

ong cherished desires can get fulfilled if you are ready to pay a price. A close friend will call to seek your advice and may offer a part in the venture. Some one close will make wrong allegation just to put you down. You will be slowly working towards an upcoming trip also. You will make final payment on couple of old bills this week.

O

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 18)

PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 20)

Y

Y

ou will go on an important trip. You will need to pour in more money into your business or project. Gambling instincts will surface and you will not be scared to take few risks this week. Rewards will be huge. Some of you will start shopping for an upcoming trip. Drive carefully and look out for traffic cops, small error will cost you.

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

ou will be able to control and trim your expenses. People in business will get rid of old and find new and better suppliers. You will be still double minded about making an offer on a property. Some of you will be taking a break from busy schedule and go on a trip with family soon. It will be better to dispose off money making stocks.

925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com


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29 India Post

I

n Andamans one should let oneself go completely, to recharge the body and collect new ideas. The Andaman Islands, despite lying more than 1,000 km east of the Indian mainland and only about 300 km west of Bangkok, run the same time as Delhi i.e. the Indian Standard Time. On a trip to these islands, one should make sure to bring a lot of good books, some strong sun lotion, a hammock and snorkeling equipment. Tourist attractions: Port Blair, the only sizable town on the islands, serves as the administrative capital. The center of the town is the lively Aberdeen Bazaar. Constructed entirely of wood, it has been razed to the ground several times in the past. However, every time, reconstruction was completed in no time and now it is as colorful as ever. Port Blair is the only place to do some sightseeing. The major attraction here is the Cellular Jail, slowly being claimed back again by nature, overgrow-

ing with plants and moss. Today, the jail is a memorial to the freedom fighters, who laid down their lives to make the country indepen-

Port Blair is the only place to do some sightseeing. The major attraction here is the Cellular Jail, slowly being claimed back again by nature, overgrowing with plants and moss dent. The library here has some interesting books for those interested in knowing more about the

indigenous tribes. The Anthropological Museum displays some tools, dresses and photos. An interesting place is the Marine Museum, which covers the history and geography of the islands and the Fisheries Museum displays the rich marine life of the Andaman Sea. Day trips from Port Blair offer various natural and historical excursions. Cont’d on page 31

September 16, 2011


30

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

September 16, 2011

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Center okays Kerala's plan for backwater tourism THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tranquil and picturesque backwaters of Alappuzha in Kerala, which has emerged as a top Indian spot on the world tourism map, has received a boost with the Centre approving the first phase of the Rs 400-crore master plan for development of the area. The works to be taken up in the

cuit linking more places and creating more routes for houseboats," a Kerala Tourism release quoting Kumar said. Shopping centers, handicraft stalls, restaurants and live performances of traditional art forms will give a real feeling of Kerala culture and cuisine to the visitors at these places, Kumar said.

Shopping centers, handicraft stalls, restaurants and live performances of traditional art forms will give a real feeling of Kerala culture and cuisine to the visitors at these places Rs 50-crore first phase of the project would include creation of a backwater circuit for which the Union Tourism Ministry had given its nod, Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said. As part of this, a string of houseboat terminals, resting points, night halt centers and curio and souvenir shops would be built along the panoramic banks of the backwaters. "The first phase will be launched very soon with the cir-

The plan had also taken into account the security aspect of the backwater cruise as building safe night halts for houseboats carrying tourists was a major component. The new facilities would be developed on a public-private partnership mode. The state would lay the infrastructure for the purpose while private players would create and run the shops and other ventures to woo the visitors. Besides tour operators and hoteliers, many others in 58 village

India to hold road shows in Israel NEW DELHI: India will organize road shows in Israeli cities to attract more tourists from the West Asian country. "We are going to tap the Israel market in a big way and we will organize road shows there. Investment as well as more tourists will come from Israel," said Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai after meeting Israel Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov here. Tour operators from the country will visit Israel shortly to promote Indian destinations, he said. "We have already signed the MoU with Israel. There will be a joint working group meeting to be held in Israel as a follow-up to the MoU," Sahai said. Misezhnikov along with senior officials from Israel Tourism Ministry met Sahai and discussed various ways to promote tourism in both countries. Israeli Tourism Minister, who is visiting India for the first time said, "I am very pleased to be here. It is my first visit to the country. We have great potential between our countries. About 40,000 Indians visit Israel and the same number of Israelis also visit India." Tourist traffic from Israel to India was 40,581 in 2009, which rose to 43,539 in the year 2010. An

agreement between India and Israel on cooperation in the field of tourism was signed in New Delhi in May, 1993. Both the countries have rectified this agreement. "Our target is to attract as many as 5 million foreign tourists and Israel will be one of our target markets to attract high-end tourists from that country, Sahai said adding "They want to invest in hotels in Bangalore and other cities."

Misezhnikov along with senior officials from Israel Tourism Ministry met Sahai and discussed various ways to promote tourism in both countries Both the countries have decided to consider exchanging experience in destination management and promotion. Manpower development will be another area of cooperation between India and Israel. Exchange program for teachers, students, and exchange of information on teaching modules will be considered by the two countries. -PTI

Houseboat in Alappuzha backwaters

civic units and three towns would benefit from the balanced development of tourist spots from Aroor near Kochi to Kayamkulam near Kollam. The master plan also suggested South and North Vembanad Lake and certain areas alongside the river Pampa as new routes.

Bottlenecks posed by some bridges at places like Kidangara, Vattakayal and Pulinkunnu that obstruct free movement of boats would be solved. There would be provisions for waste management with focus on eco-friendly tourism. The Government would also consider propos-

als of allowing luxury houseboats and floating restaurants, if the private companies come up with proposals. The Union Tourism Ministry, which has identified potential areas for tourism development, would extend financial support for the scheme. -PTI

'Windmills blowing away sanddunes & tourism' NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha members from Rajasthan have expressed concern over installation of "cobweb-like" windmills for power generation in their constituencies as these were blowing away sand dunes and driving away tourists. Addressing their concern, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said during Question Hour that a windmill atlas was being formed and asserted that there was no danger to sand dunes in Barmer region as it had enough sand.

However, Bikaner member Arjun Meghwal, Barmer MP Harish Chaudhary and others were on their feet saying the minister's contention is wrong as there are not enough sand dunes in the region. They insisted that the windmills were blowing away sand making the place less attractive for tourists. "We are not here to destroy tourism.... We also want to improve environment," Abdullah assured the House, and promised to look into the issue.

Jaswant Singh, who belongs to the Jaisalmer region of Rajasthan, told Abdullah that the "huge cobweb-like windmills" in the region were destroying the beauty of the place and affecting tourism. "There is no power deficiency in the region as the Rampur power plant is supplying enough electricity. We are, in fact, exporting power from there," Singh said, adding the windmills were not required. Abdullah assured Singh that no more windmills would be installed in the region. -PTI

Travel & tourism fair draws good response MUMBAI: The September edition of Travel Tourism Fair & Outbound Travel Mart (TTF&OTM) here has received a good response from tour operators, the organizers claimed. "Mumbai is the only city where a second edition of TTF&OTM is being organized. It shows Mumbai is the biggest travel market in the country. Such a response was unexpected. We had to refuse some last minute bookings by tour operators who wanted to be present," said Sanjiv Agrawal, Chairman & CEO of Fairfest Media, which is organizing the fair.

Organized in all major cities since 1989, Manipur Tourism Commissioner K K Chhetry and Tourism Authority of Thailand Director Setaphan Buddhani opened the event, being attended by 166 tour operators from India and those from seven countries - Thailand, Canada, China, Japan, the Maldives, Singapore and Switzerland. "The domestic tourism sector is growing because the Government's tourism policy is supported by private sector. They work together with hoteliers, while management of assets is done

through a private-public partnership," Chhetry said. The event is supported by the Union Tourism Ministry as well as travel trade bodies like the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Over the last fortnight, the event was organized at Ahmedabad and Surat, and before that in July at Hyderabad and Kolkata. Next year, it will be held in Chennai and Bangalore in January, and then return to Mumbai and New Delhi in February, organizers said. -PTI


September 16, 2011

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post 31

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Andaman & Nicobar: Be escorted by Hero Group to foray into hospitality sector dolphins, spot giant tortoise Cont’d from page 29

One can either take a boat to Ross Island, the early administrative center of the British, or hike up Mount Harriet. Scuba diving is an option available in Wandoor, 30 km southwest of Port Blair. Languages: Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Nicobarese, Telugu Best Time to Visit: December to early April Places around The easiest accessible islands from the capital are Neil and Havelock. Small boats leave the Phoenix Bay Harbor four times a week to Havelock, usually docking at Neil on the way. One can be escorted by a school of dolphins or spot giant sea tortoise and flying fish. It is worth spending a few

Calcutta and Port Blair and four flights between Chennai and Vishakhapattnam connect the is-

lands to the mainland. Sea - There are around three to four ships sailing between Haddo

NEW DELHI: OP Munjal-promoted Hero Group says it will foray into India's hospitality sector and plans to develop a five-star hotel in Haryana. The group, which is mainly into auto components and bicycle business, has already acquired 3.9 acre land to develop a 280-room property in Gurgaon. "We have acquired the land through bidding done by a bank...the skeleton of the building already exists and it will be further developed into a five star property with around 280 rooms," a Hero Group spokesperson told PTI. He said the group is currently holding talks with several international hospitality brands, including Four Season, Conrad, JW Marriot for management contract. "The property is likely to be ready in the next twelve months from now," he added. He, however, declined to provide details of the investments made by the group in the project. Commenting on the group's new initiative, Hero Motors Managing Director Pankaj Munjal said: "Looking at the huge growth potential and dynamic social changes, we see a room for a highend hotel in this part of the NCR."

The group has plans for a bigger play in the hospitality market of India. "This is just a beginning for us, the sector is growing and going forward we would like to grow as the sector achieves new heights...we see the opportunity

We see the opportunity for growth in tourism is extremely high in India and this is the right time for us to venture into the sector," Munjal said in a statement for growth in tourism is extremely high in India and this is the right time for us to venture into the sector," Munjal said in a statement. The average growth rate in tourism in India over the past five years has been over nine per cent and 5.6 million foreign tourists arrived in India last year, he added.-PTI

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days on Neil. Basic accommodation is provided in the small settlement near the jetty. Havelock, lying north of Neil is one of the islands chosen by the government to turn into a luxurious tourist destination. The coral reef here is still intact and is what makes snorkeling a great pleasure. Only the northern part of Havelock is populated. To make it easy to remember locations, they are numbered from one to seven. The boat docks at no 1. The best accommodation is at no 5 and when one plans to take a stroll on a beautiful beach he should head for no 7 then turn left at the junction at no 3. How to reach Air - Five weekly flights between

Jetty, Port Blair in the Andamans and Calcutta and Chennai on the mainland. There is one sailing from Vishakhapattnam every two months. The Shipping Corporation of India runs these sailings. The distances between Port Blair and some of the important cities on the mainland are Calcutta - 1255 km, Chennai - 1190 km and Vishakhapatnam 1200 km. Local transport: The Directorate of Shipping Services maintains regular interisland foreshore and harbor ferry services to cater to the needs of inter-island commuters. There are local buses, bicycles, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, and taxis available for local transport on the islands.

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TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Teri Meri : Bodyguard 2 I Love You : Bodyguard 3 Isq Risk : Mere Brother Ki Dulhan 4 Gumsum : Phhir 5 Rabba Toh Mar Gaya Oye :

34

India Post

www.indiapost.com

September 16, 2011

Mausam 6 Acha Lagta Hai : Aarakshan 7 Yaadein : Phhir 8 Mere Brother Ki Dulhan : Mere Brother Ki Dulhan 9 Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi : Mausam 10 Khwabon Khwabon : Force

H

urricane Irene has just claimed a Bollywood captive. Minissha Lamba who arrived in New York for an Indo-US cultural event was stuck on the 22nd floor of the Hotel Radisson until the Hurricane blew over and air services from out of the US were restored. For 36 hours, Minissha was under 'hotel curfew'. Speaking from her hotel room, the actress said, "It's really really scary out here. For 36 hours the entire New York is going to have to stay indoors. A state of emergency has been declared. Everyone is in their homes. As I look out of my hotel window I see a deserted street down below, Can you imagine New York without traffic? It's like a scene out of Armageddon." Trying to suppress her hysteria, Minissha says, "I am all alone here. My stay has been extended for a week. I had no choice. The airports are shut. All flights are cancelled. Half of New York, New Jersey, Staten Island have been evacuated. I can't return." Ominously, Minissha had been getting warning calls during the week that she was to leave for New York, ordering her to cancel her trip. "Now I wonder if the caller had a premonition and was trying to warn me from traveling into catastrophe."

K

atrina Kaif's fans can't get enough of her Sheila act, and now we hear that the actress is set to do Munni in Tamil remake of the Hindi blockbuster Dabangg. The makers are reportedly signing Katrina for the Tamil version of the popular item song, Munni Badnaam Hui, and have allotted a handsome Rs 2.5 crore for it. Earlier, actor Sonu Sood, who is acting in Tamil Dabangg, titled Osthi, tweeted that hunt is on for Munni. The actor even asked his followers to suggest names, as to who will be fit to do the Munni act in the film. Well, it's a tough call for the makers as comparisons with the original are bound to happen. So they decided to take a different course and in the turn of events zeroed down on Katrina, also putting aside a staggering Rs 2.5 crore for the song. Reports also have it, that Sonu Sood is backing Katrina, as he is a good friend of the actress. But, why not Malaika Arora, the original Munni? Malaika has made her stance clear that she is not going to do any item song outside her home banner. The song is going to be choreographed by Saroj Khan, and since Katrina is not busy with any film shoot, she might lap up the chance and become Munni too.

Who woos whom?

B

ipasha Basu has rubbished rumors that she is trying to woo the much single Ranbir Kapoor. Ever since Bipasha Basu broke up with John Abraham, rumormongers have been busy linking her up with different men, be it Josh Hartnett or Ranbir Kapoor. Yes, all it took was a word of praise for Ranbir from Bipasha for the gossip mills to swing into motion and surmise that she is trying to woo Ranbir. After watching the trailer of Rockstar, Bipasha was quite bowled over by Ranbir Kapoor's "powerhouse performance". She posted on Twitter: "Really hve 2 share this, Rockstar is by far d best n d most captivating trailer tht I hve seen. Ranbir looks like a powerhouse performer!)" It's no secret that Ranbir and Bipasha have been friends since Bachna Ae Haseeno. But Bipasha was surprised at how rumormongers who read her tweet on Ranbir jumped to the conclusion that she was trying to woo Ranbir. "Woke up to a news report tht says 'Am wooing Ranbir'! Bizarre! Just bcoz I love Rockstar trailer n I tweeted abt it!


September 16, 2011

Bollywood

India Post

35

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I

f you thought that your favorite actors and actresses make easy money, think again! Reportedly, Sonakshi Sinha has just one banana as her breakfast so that she can stay in that perfect figure! Sonakshi Sinha certainly looks slimmer and oomphier post Dabangg. The actress was asked to lose some weight for her film Joker being directed by Shirish Kunder; and no wonder Sonakshi has been following the instructions! Pune-based Priyanka Bhole, who was chosen to live the life of Sonakshi Sinha through UTV Stars "Live My Life", received an affectionate greeting at the lobby of a five-star hotel, was booked into a duplex suite full of delights which included Being Human T-shirts, an IPad, and a letter from her much loved star, Sonakshi Sinha. But Priyanka definitely did not see this coming - only one banana in breakfast! Well, since the concept of the show "Live My Life" gives the fans an opportunity to live the life of their favorite stars, Priyanka was also given all the goodies that are used by Sonakshi Sinha, along with the breakfast she eats, which constituted just one banana! Priyanka, however, was sporty and did not crib. Well, one thing is for sure, it is not just our Bollywood hunks who sweat it out in the gym; the actresses, too, work hard to stay in the perfect figure.

Next Yash

E

ver since Yash Chopra announced his next film a few months ago, the wait for this film has already begun. The veteran, who directed Veer Zaara more than seven years ago, is all set to begin his next film with Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in the lead. This time, the respected and revered film-maker has signed A.R. Rahman to score the music of his forthcoming film. The latest on the project is that Yash-ji is all ready with the script, but since Shah Rukh is busy with Ra.One and Don 2, the actor has requested the film-maker to begin filming once he's through with these two films. Of course, the veteran film-maker and the actor share close ties, hence the principal shooting of the film will commence only after the release of these two films. In the meanwhile, Rahman is expected to record the songs of this film, before the film goes on floors. This film, one is more than sure, will be on every moviegoer's 'must watch' list when its release date is announced.

Perfect banana

S

alman Khan is the flavor of the season and rightly so. With Body guard emerging a major moneyspinner at the ticket window, the media is focusing on Salman and only Salman these days. Be it the mind-boggling start undertaken by his new film Bodyguard at the box-office or his surgery in the U.S., not a day passes when you don't read or watch a news bulletin about the developments in the actor's personal and professional life. Now here's something about the actor not many know. Salman, who underwent surgery in the U.S., has started promoting Bodyguard while recuperating in the U.S. [he has been advised a week's rest by the doctors]. Fully aware that he's required to reach out to his fans when his movie releases, the actor has started connecting with Indian moviegoers via television, radio and print interviews. Meanwhile, the actor will commence filming Ek Tha Tiger at a foreign destination. And like this year, which witnessed two releases [Ready and Bodyguard], Salman will have two releases next year as well - Yash Raj's Ek Tha Tiger [which will release soon after the IPL cricket matches] and Sohail Khan's Sher Khan [Eid release].

Flavor of the season


„ Health

Line

Adult smoking rate edges down slightly

CHICAGO: A new government report shows fewer U.S. adults are smoking, and those who light up are smoking fewer cigarettes daily. But the trend is weaker than the government had hoped. Overall, about 19 percent of adults said they smoked last year, down from about 21 percent in 2005. The rate for smoking 30 or more cigarettes daily dropped to about 8 percent from almost 13 percent. The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared last year with 2005 and says the decline means 3 million fewer adults were smoking. -AP

„ Abortion foes back Ohio healthcare amendment COLUMBUS, Ohio: The antiabortion group Ohio Right to Life is throwing its support behind a ballot issue that seeks to keep the government from requiring people to buy health insurance. The organization said it was endorsing what's called the Health Care Freedom Amendment. The proposed amendment to the state's constitution would prohibit any law from forcing Ohioans to participate in a health care system. Voters will decide the issue on November 8. Opponents of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are hoping to use the amendment to legally challenge the federal law. -AP

„

FDA cooking up helpful new nutrition label

LOS ANGELES: Uncle Sam wants you to know more about what you're eating. The Food and Drug Administration is revising the nutrition facts label - that breakdown of fats, salts, sugars and nutrients on packaging - to give consumers more useful information and help fight the national obesity epidemic. A proposal is in the works to change several parts of the label, including more accurate serving sizes, a greater emphasis on calories and a diminished role to daily percent value numbers for substances like fat, sodium and carbohydrates. It's the latest attempt to improve the way Americans view food and make choices about what they eat, and comes in the wake of major advances in nutrition regulations by the Obama administration. -AP

Health Science 36

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September 16, 2011

Newborn screening urged for sickle cell disease SPRINGFIELD, Ill.: Illinois health officials are reminding families about ways to reduce the impact of sickle cell disease. Details on page 37

Hounded by Republicans, Obama yields on smog rule WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama scrubbed a cleanair regulation that aimed to reduce health-threatening smog, yielding to bitterly protesting businesses and congressional Republicans who complained the rule would kill jobs in America's ailing economy. Withdrawal of the proposed regulation marked the latest in a string of retreats by the President in the face of Republican opposition, and it drew quick criticism from liberals. Environmentalists, a crucial Obama constituency, accused him of caving in to corporate polluters, and the American Lung Association threatened to restart the legal action it had begun against rules proposed by President George W. Bush. The White House has been under heavy pressure from Republican lawmakers and major industries, which have condemned the stricter standard as an unnecessary jobs killer. The Environmental Protection Agency, whose scientific advisers favored the tighter limits, had predicted the proposed change would cost up to $90 billion a year, making it one of the most expensive environmental regulations ever imposed in the U.S. The Clean Air Act bars the EPA from considering the costs of

US President Barack Obama

complying when setting public health standards. Obama said his decision was made in part to reduce regulatory

That was little consolation for many of the President's supporters. The group MoveOn.org issued a scathing statement, saying Obama's decision was one it would have expected from his Republican predecessor. ``Many MoveOn members are wondering today how they can ever work for President Obama's re-election, or make the case for him to their neighbors, when he does something like this, after extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and giving in to ... demands on the debt deal,'' said Justin Ruben, the group's executive director.

'Many MoveOn members are wondering today how they can ever work for President Obama's re-election, or make the case for him to their neighbors, when he does something like this' burdens and uncertainty at a time of rampant questions about the strength of the U.S. economy. White House officials said the President's decision was not the product of industry pressure, and they said the administration would continue to fight other efforts by Republicans to dismantle the EPA's authority.

The American Lung Association, which had sued the EPA over Bush's smog standards, said it would resume its legal fight now that Obama was essentially endorsing the weaker limit. The group had suspended its lawsuit after the Obama administration pledged to change it. Underscoring the economic

concerns: a new report that showed the economy essentially adding no jobs in August and the unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at 9.1 percent. The regulation would have reduced concentrations of groundlevel ozone, the main ingredient in smog, a powerful lung irritant that can cause asthma and other lung ailments. Smog is created when emissions from cars, power and chemical plants, refineries and other factories mix in sunlight and heat. Republican lawmakers, already emboldened by Obama's concessions on extending Bush-era tax cuts and his agreement to more than $1 trillion in spending reductions as the price for raising the nation's debt ceiling, had pledged to try to block the stricter smog standards as well as other EPA regulations when they returned to Washington after a national holiday that honors America's workers. Michael Steel, spokesman for Rep. John Boehner, Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, said removing the smog regulations was a good start but ``is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stopping Washington Democrats' agenda of tax hikes, more government `stimulus' spending and increased regulations.'' -AP

More parents get exemptions from vaccine law TWIN FALLS, Idaho: More Idaho parents are refusing to let their children receive vaccinations that are normally required to attend school, state Department of Health and Welfare officials say. Idaho rules allow exemptions to immunizations under three conditions: medical, religious and personal. The Times-News reports that in the Twin Falls region and across the state, personal beliefs are the leading reason for exemptions. Idaho Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan said exempted children make up about 3 percent of the school population statewide. School exemptions in south-central

Idaho have increased more than 62 percent since 2005. That jump has health officials worried. ``Overall, the number has been fairly stable. But even though we may not see a lot of mumps, it's all

trict, which serves eight counties, were exempted from school immunizations - about 3 percent of kids enrolled in kindergarten through seventh grades. Meanwhile, enrollment in those grades has risen 11 percent since 2005.

Diane Peterson with the Immunization Action Coalition says that when pockets of a community refuse to vaccinate their children, it increases the chance of disease outbreaks a plane ride away,'' he said. ``Those traveling can bring it back. There's that concern for the children that aren't protected.'' Last year, 253 children in the South Central Public Health Dis-

``I think the trend is just starting here,'' said MaryBelle Anderson, nurse manager for the district's Jerome office. ``It's been a pretty significant trend in California and Arizona, and now it's impacting us.''

Still, Idaho's overall immunization rate has improved over the past several years. In 2008, Idaho ranked 49th among states for immunization rates. Now, it's at 42nd in the nation. Diane Peterson with the Immunization Action Coalition says that when pockets of a community refuse to vaccinate their children, it increases the chance of disease outbreaks. Cases of measles and whooping cough are on the rise in the Northwest. ``It's a situation where we're victims of our own success,'' Peterson said. ``We've been able to reduce the numbers of diseases like polio, but young parents can't see how important that is so they question the need for the vaccine.'' -AP


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Time for flu shots, and some may get a tiny needle WASHINGTON: It's flu vaccine time again - and some lucky shot-seekers will find that the needle has shrunk. The first flu shot that works with a less-scary skin prick instead of an inch-long needle is hitting the market this fall. Sorry kids, this option so far is just for adults, and it's so brand-new that it will take some searching to find a dose. But there are plenty of the other varieties - standard shots, a special high-dose shot for seniors and the needle-free squirt-in-the-nose option - to go around. At least 166 million doses of flu vaccine are expected to be produced this year. The big question is whether people will get it. Usually each year's flu vaccine varies from the previous versions as different influenza strains emerge. This year, the vaccine's a duplicate because the three flu strains that sickened people last winter still are circulating. Scientific studies aren't clear about how much a person's immunity wanes over a year, although it varies by age and overall health. But federal health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics

weighed the evidence and say don't skip this year's vaccination it's the only way to be sure your immune system remains revved enough for the best protection. ``You're not going to be able to count on that vaccine protecting you throughout a second season,'' says Dr. Lisa Grohskopf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

fectious Diseases. "You should be vaccinated each and every year to ensure both you're protected and you're giving the maximum protection to people around you,'' he says. Here are some questions and answers about flu vaccinations: Q: How does the new skindeep vaccine work? A: Sanofi Pasteur's Fluzone In-

This year, the vaccine's a duplicate because the three flu strains that sickened people last winter still are circulating A yearly vaccination now is recommended for virtually everyone, except babies younger than 6 months and people with severe allergies to the eggs used to make it. Last year, 49 percent of children and 41 percent of adults were vaccinated. Say you never catch the flu? You could be a carrier, unknowingly spreading the misery when you feel little more than a sniffle, says Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, president of the National Foundation for In-

tradermal uses a needle less than a tenth of an inch long to inject vaccine just below the skin's surface. This layer, called the dermis, is so rich in a certain type of immune cell that the new shot uses a lower dose of the same vaccine that's in regular flu shots. Studies found it triggered as much protection as full-strength muscle shots although it did cause more skin reactions like redness, swelling and itching. There's little data on pain perception. But it's only for 18- to 64-yearolds. It hasn't been studied in

children's more-tender skin. Sanofi estimates it will sell less than 1 million doses this year while introducing the newly approved product to doctors, before a full market launch next flu season. Q: What about the original ouchless flu vaccine, the nasalspray version? A: MedImmune's FluMist is for a different age group, people ages 2 to 49 who are healthy, meaning no one with underlying health conditions or who is pregnant. Unlike flu shots that are made with killed flu virus, FluMist is made with live but weakened virus. Q: For older adults, does CDC recommend the high-dose shot? A: The immune system weakens with age so that it doesn't respond as well to an ordinary flu shot. Sanofi's Fluzone High-Dose is a standard into-the-muscle shot but it contains four times the usual dose, to spur more immune response in people 65 and older. First sold last year, studies still are under way to track if that translates into fewer illnesses and hospitalizations. It can cause more of the typical flu-shot side effects. Cont’d on page 38

Newborn screening urged for sickle cell disease SPRINGFIELD, Ill.: Illinois health officials are reminding families about ways to reduce the impact of sickle cell disease. September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month. The Illinois Department of Public Health says newborn screening, parental education and comprehensive care can help. Sickle cell primarily affects people of African and Mediterranean ancestry. It's also prevalent in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. The state health agency has diagnosed more than 2,900 newborns with sickle cell disease since 1989. State health officials work with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois to provide communitybased support, counseling and education to patients and families of infants who test positive or are at risk for sickle cell disease. The Illinois Sickle Cell Action Network connects families, regardless of insurance status, with specialty health care providers. -AP


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Paramedics filling health care gap as need grows DENVER: A select group of paramedics in several states is helping to provide primary health care by making house calls an initiative encouraged by the federal health care law to address shortages in primary care and cut down on expensive visits to doctors and emergency rooms. In Colorado's Eagle County, paramedic Kevin Creek makes house calls to take electrocardiograms, check patient prescriptions, check blood pressure, change dressings, draw blood and make other observations that used to require a doctor's visit. ``We all get into this because of the adrenaline rush,'' Creek said of his career as a paramedic. ``I've done the car accidents. I've done the shootings and the stabbings. Instead of taking out the blood and guts, this is a move into preventative care, so people don't have to call 911.'' Creek and a colleague participating in the pilot project through the Western Eagle County Ambulance District work full time under

the supervision of doctors who refer them to patients. The doctors evaluate information provided by the paramedics and decide the next steps of care. The Community Paramedic Program is free for anyone in Eagle County, which has an uninsured rate of 26 percent. But it is funded so far by $700,000 in grants from the Colorado health department, two private health organizations and the ambulance district, said district program coordinator Lisa Ward. ``We're the eyes and ears of the primary care physician in the home,'' said Ward. ``It's out-of-thebox health care, and it's the future.'' Colorado approved the fiveyear pilot program to determine how much money the state and federal government might save in Medicare and Medicaid spending in the county, which has a population of about 52,000, many of them in rural areas. ``We are so far away from a hospital and it's always hard to make that decision about whether

to go,'' said Dr. Angela Ammon, one of the doctors who refers patients to the program. ``Sometimes to bring patients back the next day (after a doctor's visit or being released from the hospital) would be a nightmare.'' Health care providers are optimistic.

Jennifer Hefferan, of Eagle, credits a scheduled follow-up visit by paramedics for saving her daughter, Danielle Tracy Hofeditz, a board member of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, said more than 600,000 people who are uninsured in Colorado could benefit from such a program without sacrificing the effectiveness of emergency responders. Randy Kuykendall, president of the National Association of EMS Officials, said the recently passed federal health care plan

calls for demonstration projects for innovative primary care. ``We assume emergency medical services can take care of some of that,''' Kuykendall said. In Fort Worth, Texas, Dr. Jeffrey Beeson, past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said allowing paramedics to visit patients can reduce the number of ambulance calls. He said local paramedics who normally would have spent downtime waiting for such calls have used that time to visit more than 200 patients over the past two years. Dr. Michael Wilcox, of New Prague, Minn., runs a similar program that has treated more than 400 patients since 2008. He said paramedics there have been doing the work for free but that he hopes the federal government will pick up the tab if the program proves it can save money. Most patients in New Prague are indigent or elderly patients who can't afford to go to a doctor for routine or preventive care, Wilcox said. Participating paramedics, he said, are trained to assist with the management of chronic illnesses.

``They can do lab work, vaccines and blood studies, all under the direction of a medical doctor,'' Wilcox said. Wilcox said he's had inquiries from other states, including Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wyoming and Nebraska. In Colorado, Eagle County health officer Drew Werner said he hopes a successful pilot program can persuade insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid to pick up the tab when the grant ends. Jennifer Hefferan, of Eagle, credits a scheduled follow-up visit by paramedics for saving her daughter, Danielle. She had been hospitalized last year for heart and breathing problems. At home, Danielle had difficulty breathing, her mother said. ``I couldn't tell if she was better or worse from the day before. She looked the same to me,'' Jennifer Hefferan said. ``After the paramedics came, the doctor called back and said she needed to see her right away.'' ``Having the eyes of someone else who has expertise to make the call. ... I credit them with saving her life.'' -AP

Measles outbreak could have been worse Time for flu shots, and some

FORT WAYNE, Ind.: State health officials are crediting a northern Indiana doctor correctly diagnosing five family members with the measles as a key factor in containing the potential outbreak to 14 cases. The Journal Gazette reports the initial case was misdiagnosed as dengue fever, which produces a measles-like rash. Until emergency room physician Daniel Maas of IU Health Goshen Hospital correctly diagnosed the five

cases, the original patient had carried on with daily life in the community. The state health department says that during a five-week span, 12 cases were reported in Noble County and two in LaGrange County. State and local health officials say without a speedy response, the outbreak could have been much worse. Maas was honored with the state's Excellence in Public Health award last month. -AP

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The CDC says it's OK for seniors to choose either a high-dose shot or the regular shots from a variety of manufacturers. Q: Who's at highest risk from the flu? A: Young children, anyone 50 or older, anyone with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and certain heart or kidney problems, and pregnant women. A flu vaccination during pregnancy has the added benefit of passing some protection to the baby.

Q: When should I get vaccinated? A: Anytime, but it takes about two weeks for protection to kick in. Flu typically starts circulating around November, and peaks around January. Some chain pharmacies started vaccinating a month ago. Next month, Hawaii begins offering free in-school vaccinations for elementary and middle school students. Don't put it off too long, says Dr. Scott Gorenstein of Great Neck, N.Y., an emergency physi-

Rabies confirmed in bats in two New Mexico counties SANTA FE, N.M.: The New Mexico Department of Health says one bat from Bernalillo County and another from Dona Ana County have tested positive for rabies. They say the rabid bat in Bernalillo County bit an adult within Albuquerque city limits. That person now is now receiving the series of post-exposure rabies vaccinations. No people or animals are

known to have been exposed to the bat that tested positive from Dona Ana County. This year, there have been 10 rabid animals reported in New Mexico, six rabid skunks, one rabid horse and a rabid dog. Health officials are warning the public throughout the state to make sure their dogs, cats, horses, and other valuable livestock are vaccinated against rabies. -AP

cian whose own son Nate, then 4, nearly died of flu during the 2009 pandemic. The boy already had been exposed by the time vaccine finally was available that fall. Now, Gorenstein says the whole family gets inoculated in early fall even though Nate has developed a vaccine allergy and as a precaution checks into the hospital for his dose. "We got lucky,'' says Gorenstein, who now advises a group called Families Fighting Flu. ``You just don't want to be a statistic that is preventable.'' -AP

Immunization rates on the rise in Virginia RICHMOND, Va.: Virginia public health officials say immunization rates for children and adolescents have significantly improved for most vaccines. Citing survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health reports increased immunization rates for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, influenza type B, rotavirus and HPV. -AP


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Fishing risks lost on many Indiana anglers HAMMOND, Ind.: Indiana anglers who are eating the fish they catch in state waterways might not be aware of potential health risks because they either don't have a fishing license or haven't checked out warnings issued by the state, officials say. The state issues a fish consumption advisory report annually through a cooperative effort between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Management and the state health department. But The Times in Munster reports the state stopped that practice two years ago. Those buying fishing licenses now get a six-page pamphlet containing basic information and a link to the full report online. Fish can contain toxins in fatty tissues that are harmful, but some fear people who are fishing out of economic necessity might not be spending the $17 for a license and are therefore unaware of the potential health risks. Heather Eicher-Miller, director of Indiana's Food for the Hungry program at Purdue University, said food pantries might be a good place to distribute information about the fish consumption advisories. She said such places would reach those most likely to be fishing out of necessity. ``There aren't supposed to be any barriers to access there,'' she said. ``You don't have to provide any information that might

keep some of the population ... from seeking assistance,'' she said. Phil Bloom, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said the state thinks its best option for informing people of rules and risks lies with information distributed when a fishing license is purchased. ``I certainly understand the economic plight people may be in, but we also need to address that issue,'' he said. ``The best

Food pantries might be a good place to distribute information about the fish consumption advisories mechanism is to provide that licensed buyer with that information. If there are people out there avoiding purchasing a fishing license, there isn't much we can do about that.'' Roger Christian, 68, of Hammond said he fishes in the channel south of Cargill Inc. almost every day. He eats whatever he catches. He said he wasn't aware of the state advisories but isn't concerned about health risks. ``Oh yeah, this is a clean lake,'' Christian said. -AP

Air pollution rules prompt ND, federal regs tussle BISMARCK, N.D.: North Dakota health officials and federal regulators don't agree on the best way to reduce air pollution in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and a state administrator says the dispute is likely to end up in court. Dave Glatt, chief of the state Department of Health's environmental health section, told the North Dakota Legislature's interim Natural Resources Committee that the Environmental Protection Agency is insisting that two coal-burning power plants use pollution control technology that may not work, and is much costlier than an option that state regulators support. State regulators, and the utilities themselves, believe the state's preferred method will reduce nitrogen oxide pollution by half, Glatt said. The EPA believes its method will cut pollution by 90 percent, but Glatt called the estimate ``speculative.'' The reduction is part of new federal rules intended to cut down on pollution-caused haze above some environmentally sensitive areas in western North Dakota, including the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the nation's top duck breeding grounds. Glatt said even if the federal anti-pollution strategy worked as advertised, the results would not be apparent. ``This program has nothing to do with

public health,'' he said. ``The difference between the emission reductions between the two ... you would not be able to see with the human eye.'' North Dakota is part of an EPA administrative region that has its headquarters in Denver. Carl Daly, director of the agency's regional air quality program, said the pollution-control technology the EPA wants is more efficient and would remove more pollutants.

Glatt said even if the federal anti-pollution strategy worked as advertised, the results would not be apparent Daly said the equipment would cost the plants between $260 million and $340 million to install. Glatt said the technology favored by state regulators, which he said is more suited to western North Dakota's lignite coal, will cost about $50 million. State and federal regulators use different methods in calculating the effect of the pollution reductions on visibility. Glatt said when compared to today's views, the changes will be visually undetectable. -AP


In Brief Bill would let illegal immigrant students get aid SACRAMENTO, Calif.: The state Senate has approved the second half of contentious legislation that would allow students who are illegal immigrants to apply for state-funded scholarships and financial aid. The Senate approved AB131, also known as the California Dream Act, with a 22-11 vote, leaving it just one step away from the governor's desk. The state Assembly must consider changes to the bill it previously passed before it can go to Gov. Jerry Brown. ``These students are valedictorians, they're class presidents, and they're all-star athletes. They are the future of California,'' said Sen. Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, who carried the bill in the Senate. Cont’d on page 42

Some immigration detainees win quicker hearings PHILADELPHIA: The Justice Department may not hold immigrants fighting deportation for years without bail hearings, a U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia ruled. It was unreasonable to detain a Pennsylvania man for nearly three years as he fought deportation to his native Senegal over a 1995 drug case, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled. The ruling would grant other detainees held within the 3rd Circuit which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware the right to faster bail hearings. ``We do not believe that Congress intended to authorize prolonged, unreasonable, detention without a bond hearing,'' Judge Julio M. Fuentes wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. -AP

Utah woman charged in fraudulent scheme SALT LAKE CITY: Salt Lake County prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a former state worker who authorities say helped illegal immigrants get fraudulent Utah driver's licenses. Evevia Nez was charged with four third-degree felony counts of receiving or soliciting a bribe. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison. The 47-year-old Kearns resident declined to comment. She remained free and had not yet been arrested. -AP

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Advocates rally on NM immigrant licenses SANTAFE, N.M.: Lawmakers returning to the capital for a special session have been greeted by immigrant rights activists opposed to Gov. Susana Martinez' attempts to repeal a law that lets illegal immigrants get New Mexico driver's licenses. Details on page 42

Romney rallies GOP Hispanics, opens campaign HQ TAMPA, Fla.: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told an enthusiastic crowd of Hispanic Republicans that they are ``living proof'' of the benefits of legal immigration, but said he wanted to toughen enforcement on illegal immigration. Romney, who discussed the economy and immigration at a meeting of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida, promised that he would secure the borders if elected. ``I am a great proponent of legal immigration,'' he said. ``Our country must do a better job of securing its borders and as president, I will.'' Romney also said the federal government must ``get tough'' on employers who hire illegal immigrants and said that when he was

Massachusetts' governor, he vetoed legislation that would have provided in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants and beefed up the powers of state troopers to enforce immigration laws.

ary. The project was originally expected to be in place by this year. Instead, only about 53 miles of operational ``virtual fence'' was put in place in Arizona at a cost of about $15 million a mile.

Romney opened his Florida campaign headquarters in Tampa, just a few blocks from where the GOP convention will be held in August of 2012 Romney also said he supported ``completing construction of a high-tech fence'' along the USMexico border. A physical fence was built in spots along 2,100-mile border from California to Texas. But a virtual fence along the Mexican border was officially abandoned in Janu-

Romney praised those at the Tampa event. ``The people who came to America did not come for a handout. They came here for opportunity,'' said Romney. ``That is not what brought people to these shores.'' The event underscored the

importance of Hispanic voters to Republican candidates - there are about 138,000 more Hispanics registered as Democrats in Florida than are registered as Republicans. Romney's remarks clearly resonated with the group. Romney opened his Florida campaign headquarters in Tampa, just a few blocks from where the GOP convention will be held in August of 2012. Florida Democrats were quick to jump on Romney's Tampa events and his remarks. During a conference call held an hour and a half after Romney left his state headquarters, State Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando said Romney has flip-flopped on many issues, including immigration, but didn't specify. -AP

DOL suspends prevailing wage determinations CYRUS D. MEHTA

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he Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's (OFLC) National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) has suspended temporarily processing of prevailing wage determinations (PWDs), redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews. The NPWC handles PWDs for the PERM labor certification, H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-2B, and E-3 programs. As a result of the suspension, prevailing wage requests filed since early June 2011 are still pending. Previously, such requests were routinely processed in three to four weeks. DOL also published a final rule on wage methodology for the H2B (temporary nonagricultural employment) program, effective September 30, 2011. In response to practitioners' inquiries concerning pending requests, the NPWC has been issuing the following e-mail: The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determina-

tions to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule will be published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to com-

(DOL) about this topic. Among other things, Dr. Bill Carlson, a representative from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification, said that DOL was very aware of the impact of the prevailing wage hold and that the agency has been reviewing all appropriate suggestions from stakeholders. However, in considering pos-

DOL also published a final rule on wage methodology for the H-2B (temporary nonagricultural employment) program, effective September 30, 2011 ply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC. If you have further questions concerning your PWD, please contact 202-693-3010. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) published notes on a stakeholder call with the Department of Labor

sible suggestions, he stated that DOL was not considering any proposal that would require waiving regulatory requirements. DOL must issue all of the H-2B wage redeterminations before September 30 to comply with the court order. The stakeholder notes say that after DOL has cleared the H-2B wage redeterminations, it will then move resources to H-2B processing and must process those cases within 30 days. As those are processed, DOL will begin working on PERM and H-1B wage requests.

The Department of Labor's final rule, published at 76 Fed. Reg. 45667 (Aug. 1, 2011), is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys. AILA's notes are available at http://xa.yimg.com. For an indepth commentary, see Cora-Ann V. Pestaina's blog Prevailing Wage Determinations Suspended Until Further Notice: How Do I File A Perm Labor Certification? http:// cyrusmehta.blogspot.com. DHS Publishes Regulation to Facilitate Electronic Filing The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published the first in a series of regulations intended to promote the migration of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) benefit filings from a paper-based environment to an electronic one. USCIS said the regulation "is an important step toward modernizing how USCIS handles the more than 6 million benefit applications submitted annually." Over the next several years, USCIS plans to roll out an online account system that will enable people to submit benefit requests and supporting documents electronically. Cont’d on page 41


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Perry tells NH 'no' to border fence MANCHESTER, N.H.: He may have been 2,000 miles from the border, but Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's immigration record in Texas quickly became the focus in New Hampshire. Speaking to hundreds of Granite State voters at a private reception, the Texas governor was asked whether he supported a fence along the Mexican border. ``No, I don't support a fence on the border,'' he said, while referring to the long border in Texas alone. ``The fact is, it's 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.'' Instead, Perry said he supported ``strategic fencing'' and National Guard troops to prevent illegal immigration and violence from Mexican drug cartels. The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member. And it exposed an ongoing rift with some conserva-

tive voters over Perry's immigration record. Tea party activists in Texas have been particularly upset by his steady opposition to the fence. He also signed a law giving illegal immigrants in-state tu-

Even in New Hampshire, he said illegal immigration is a key issue with his members and raised concerns about Perry's immigration policies. DeLemus said a border fence should be part of any policy ition for Texas universities. And Texas tea party groups sent Perry an open letter this year expressing disappointment over his failure to get a bill passed that would have outlawed ``sanctuary cities,'' municipalities that protect illegal immigrants.

Perry has surged to the lead in national polls since joining the presidential race just three weeks ago. But New Hampshire Republicans are just getting to know him. ``I think there are a lot of questions out there still,'' said tea party activist Jerry DeLemus, chairman of the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC. ``We don't know him very well.'' Even in New Hampshire, he said illegal immigration is a key issue with his members and raised concerns about Perry's immigration policies. DeLemus said a border fence should be part of any policy. ``Any deterrent is a good deterrent,'' he said after Perry's second private reception in Chichester. This is the third time Perry has visited the first-in-the-nation primary state since joining the race. Despite having deep Southern roots and conservative social positions, the Texas native has indicated he will compete aggressively in New Hampshire, where both Republicans and independents vote in the primary election. -AP

DOL suspends prevailing wage determinations Cont’d from page 40

The new Web-based system is intended to simplify the process of applying for immigration benefits. It will assign new users a unique account that will enable them to access case status information, respond to USCIS requests for additional information, update certain personal information, and receive decisions and other communications from USCIS. The new regulation revises more than 50 parts of DHS title 8 regulations. It eliminates references to outdated USCIS benefit request forms and descriptions of paper-based procedures. In addition, the regulation removes numerous obsolete provisions. The public is invited to comment on this regulation and offer suggestions on further improvements. Comments must be received by October 28, 2011. The new regulation will become effective on November 28, 2011. The new regulation, which was published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2011, is available at http://www.gpo.gov. The USCIS announcement is available at http:// www.uscis.gov/ ABIL Preparing Amicus Curiae Brief on Extraordinary Ability Case The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) of which Cyrus Mehta is a member,

is preparing an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in response to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) recent request concerning the appeal of a denied immigrant petition for a foreign national seeking to be classified as an alien of extraordinary ability. This decision will critically affect the adjudication of

The Kazarian court scolded USCIS for making up and applying extra-regulatory evidentiary requirements immigrant petitions for persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and exceptional ability immigrants. In ABIL's view, USCIS misread the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit when it reviewed an AAO decision dismissing the appeal of an extraordinary ability petition. Kazarian v. USCIS, 596 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2010). Among other things, the Kazarian court firmly reminded both the USCIS and the AAO that they must carefully apply the statutory and regulatory requirements when performing

their duties. Although the "extraordinary ability" visa requirements are restrictive, the AAO cannot impose arbitrary requirements on applicants. By forcing the USCIS and the AAO to make their determinations based on the regulations exactly as written, the Ninth Circuit has assured that the burden placed on future "extraordinary ability" visa applicants will not be higher than what the immigration regulations require. The Kazarian court scolded USCIS for making up and applying extra-regulatory evidentiary requirements, yet USCIS has responded by requiring a "final merits determination" analysis. The amicus brief will be prepared by ABIL members Bernard Wolfsdorf, Cyrus Mehta, Robert Loughran, Charles Kuck, and Angelo Paparelli. Sadly, the implementation of USCIS's erroneous policy has resulted in almost one-third of the 12,000 first preference immigrant visa numbers going "unused" last year as the top foreign nationals in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics have been turned away in droves, only to make other countries more competitive. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com

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Panel rejects suit over immigrants' adult children PASADENA, Calif.: Immigrants might have to wait longer to bring their now-adult children to the United States after they themselves had waited years to get here, a federal appeals court

has ruled. A three-judge panel for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a 2002 law aiming to prevent lengthy processing from affecting children's immigration

applications does not enable all of the children, once they are grown, from immigrating to the U.S. quickly. It can take more than a decade to obtain a green card through a relative, but only children under 21 can immigrate on their parents' petitions. That means children may wait years to get a green card with their parents only to find out they got too old to qualify for one while they were waiting. Immigration attorneys argued that the 2002 law meant these now-grown children should be

allowed here soon after their parents, now green card holders, filed paperwork on their behalf.

Immigration attorneys who argued the case say thousands of immigrants face similar delays in bringing their children here But Citizenship and Immigration Services argued these now-

grown children were new applicants and must start the process anew. That can be years more waiting, especially for immigrants from countries such as the Philippines and Mexico due to country-based immigration quotas. Immigration attorneys who argued the case say thousands of immigrants face similar delays in bringing their children here. The attorneys will likely request a rehearing before the full appeals court, said Carl Shusterman, one of the attorneys representing immigrants in the suit. -AP

Advocates rally on NM immigrant licenses SANTA FE, N.M.: Lawmakers returning to the capital for a special session have been greeted by immigrant rights activists opposed to Gov. Susana Martinez' attempts to repeal a law that lets illegal immigrants get New Mexico driver's licenses. Border Network for Human Rights said it sent a bus of around 80 people from southern New Mexico to Santa Fe. Another group, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, has also planned a rally in front of the state Capitol. Cristina Parker, media coordinator for the Border Network for Human Rights, said her group included college students and workers who talked about how immigrants benefit from the current law. ``These are working people who all have personal stories to share,'' said Parker. ``I hope that the governor gets the message that this law has helped working people.'' Somos Un Pueblo Unido hoped to draw advocates, community and religious leaders from around the state for an ``Immigrant Day of Accion'' in front of the Capitol. ``This is really a grass-roots effort,'' said Marcela Diaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido in Santa Fe. ``This is a moral issue.'' Martinez, fulfilling a campaign promise from 2010, is pressuring the Legislature to end New Mexico's policy of granting

driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Lawmakers rejected the plan earlier this year. The Republican governor and other critics of the law contend it jeopardizes public safety and attracts illegal immigrants who fraudulently claim to

Border Network for Human Rights said it sent a bus of around 80 people from southern New Mexico to Santa Fe live in the state only to get ID cards that make it easier to stay in the country. Advocates, however, said it allows more drivers to be insured in the state and helps law enforcement obtain needed safety data. They said the fraud cases Martinez often cites for reasons to change the law are isolated. A recent study by a New Mexico State University finance

and business law professor found that allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses or requiring lawful residency identification has an ``insignificant impact'' on the percentage of uninsured drivers in the state. New Mexico is one of only three states - the others are Washington and Utah - where illegal immigrants can get a driver's license because no proof of citizenship is required. However, Utah's permits cannot be used as government ID cards. Since New Mexico's 2003 state law was enacted, more than 80,000 driver's licenses have gone to foreign nationals in the state. Officials have said the state doesn't know how many of those went to illegal immigrants because it doesn't ask the immigration status of license applicants. Four state legislators and a Silver City woman recently filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Martinez's administration from trying to verify whether immigrants who received a driver's license in New Mexico still live in the state. -AP

Bill would let illegal immigrant students get aid Cont’d from page 40

The bill is part of a legislative package by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Last month, Brown, a Democrat, signed a separate bill by Cedilla approving private scholarships and loans for illegal immigrant students. AB131 would make those students eligible for state-funded financial aid. Critics say allowing access to those state resources encourages illegal immigration. Supporters counter that the students, many of whom were brought to the

United States as young children, shouldn't be punished for their parents' actions. Sen. Doug La Malfa, R-Willows, opposed the bill. He read a letter from a constituent who said his daughter's California education grant was recently cut. He said passing a law such as this would be like rubbing salt in his wound. Cedillo's legislative package differs from the federal Dream Act, a proposal that would create a path to citizenship for those who are brought to the country illegally as children. -AP


Datebook

September 16, 2011

India Post 43

www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sat Sept 17 • Natak: Sasoo No Suntaap Venue: Hindu Temple Auditorium, 143-09 Holly Avenue, Flushing, New York Time: 6pm to 9pm Contact: 718-575-9888

Fri Sept 30 • India House Navratri 2011 Venue: Garden State Exhibit Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, New York Time: 6pm Contact: 732-283-9696

Sat Oct 8 • Rhythm For Relief Venue: Haven NYC, 244 East 51st St, NY Time: 6pm Contact: 347-307-1378

Sat Sept 17 • IT-Bhu Global Alumni Aega Meet Venue: Hilton Lisle/Naperville, IL Contact: 630-699-8900 Highlights: The program will contain a fun filled walk down the memory lane with cocktails and dinner.

NEW JERSEY

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sun Sept 18

Sat Sept 17 to Sun Sept 18

• Natak: Sasoo No Suntaap

• Vedika Global Yoga Bharati Present A Two Day Workshop

Venue: North Brunswick High School Auditorium, 98 Raider Road, North Brunswick, NJ Time: 5pm to 8pm Contact: 609-448-0192

Sat Sept 17

Mon Sept 25

• Satinder Sartaj Live in Concert

• Janam Utsav Sant Rajinder Singh Ji

Venue: Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, Illinois Time: 7pm to 11:30pm Contact: 312-772-3324

Sat Oct 1 to Tues Oct 11

Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St, Iselin, New Jersey Time: 10am to 11:30am Contact: 732-207-7592

• Durga Puja

Fri Sept 30

Venue: Bharat Seva Shram Sangh, Chicago Time: Morning puja-8:30am to 1:15pm, evening puja 5:30pm to 7:30pm Highlights: Arti and Prasad distribution everyday

• India House Navratri 2011 Venue: Garden State Exhibit Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, New Jersey Time: 6pm Contact: 732-283-9696

WASHINGTON DC

Upcoming Sat Sept 17 • Seminar on Hindu Awaremess Venue: Hindu Temple of Metropolitan Washington DC, 10001 Riggs Road , Adelphi, Maryland Time: 8:30am to 4:30 Contact: 301-963-4767

Sat Oct 1 • Navratri Dandiya and Raas Garba Venue: Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, 5001 Meadowbrook Lane, Ellicott City, Maryland Time: 8pm Contact: 443-568-1300

Sat Oct 8 • Diwali Mela 2011 Venue: FedEx Field, 1600 Fedex Way, Landover, Maryland, DC Time: 10pm Contact: 571-276-4066

Venue: Vedika Global, Emeryville, CA Time: 9am to 4pm Contact: 877-708-3342

Fri Sept 16 • IA Sargam Presents: Eighth Annual Mohd. Rafi Nite Venue: Venus Banquet Hall, 20825, Sherman Way, Winnetka, CA Time: 7:30pm Contact: 818-884-4770 Highlights: Featuring the scintillating voice of Avtar Chadda and others artists.

Fri Sept 23

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Fri Sept 16 • Southern California Edison's Ethnic Media News Briefing on its Three-Year Plan to Provide Safe, Reliable and Affordable Electricity Venue: The Garvey Center - FGT Room, 9108 Garvey Ave., Rosemead, CA Time: 10am Contact: 626-302-2255

Fri Sept 17 • Jugalbandi Concert: A Coming Together of Musical Traditions Venue: Chinmaya Rameshwaram Auditorium, 14451 Franklin Ave, Tustin, California Time: 7pm to 10pm Contact: 949-300-8912

• Parampara-Tradition

Fri Sept 23

Venue: Palace Theatre, Stamford Time: 7:30pm to 11pm Contact: 203-322-9862 Highlights: Ishwara: The Dancing Lord, By Shijith & Parvathy. North Indian Classical Vocal by Ritesh & Rajnish Misra with Pt. Subhen Chatterjee on Tabla.

• Desi Rock Friday - Candyland theme party

Sat Sept 24 • Demystifying The College Admission Process: Info Bank Seminar Venue: Mission San Jose High School in Room C120, 41717 Palm Avenue, Fremont CA Time: 6pm to 8pm Contact: 510-668-0880 Highlights: Robert Jackson: Former Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University.

Fri Nov 18 to Sun Nov 20 • The Sikh Arts & Film Festival Venue: Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, in Orange, CA Contact: 714-759-4SAF Highlights: The festival opens with a red carpet welcome night, filled with films and entertainment, and a sumptuous dessert reception.

Venue: Crimson, 1650,Schrader Blvd, Los Angeles, Louisiana Time: 10:pm Contact: 323-205-5594

Fri Sept 30 • The Arohi Ensemble Venue: Boston Court Theater, 70 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, California Time: 8pm to 10pm Contact: 805-409-6266

Sat Oct 1 • CRY Socal 5K Walk/Run (3K for kids) Venue: Crescent Bay Park at the beach, 20002054 N Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, California Time: 9am to 11am Contact: 818-519-8355

Sat Oct 8 • Tour the ARTS.MWQ Venue: Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles, 510 W. 7th St,, San Pedro, CA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 323-366-9986


44

India Post

Perspective

September 16, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Ten years since 9/11 DoJ pledges never to rest India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, the United States has been defined by its resolve, its values and the resilience with which it has overcome this tragedy. The US Justice Department, holding prevention of further terrorist attacks on this country, has pledged to continue vigilance against those who target Americans and America. Ten years after 9/11, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, while still a serious threat, have a severely degraded capability to attack the homeland. As a result of offensive actions abroad and vigilant security measures at home, the US government has reduced terrorists' capabilities to perpetrate spectacular attacks on American soil. For its part, the Justice department has improved its ability to identify, penetrate and dismantle terrorist plots as a result of a series of structural reforms; the development of new intelligence and law enforcement tools; and a new mindset that values information sharing and prevention, while vigorously protecting civil liberties and privacy interests. Working with partners in the intelligence community, the military and law enforcement, as well as with communities across America and counterparts around the world, the department has not rested - and will never rest - in its efforts to safeguard America. "Even as we strive to thwart 100 percent of the plots against us, we know that violent extremists need only succeed once," the DoJ says in a statement. "While absolute security is not possible and much work remains to be done, the Justice Department and its partners have built a much stronger security architecture to maximize our ability to protect the homeland, and are constantly adapting operations in a way that enhances the nation's security while further delegitimizing the actions of terrorists." Some of the key actions taken by the department over the past decade to enhance the nation's counter-terror efforts, while upholding civil liberties and privacy interests: I. Protecting America Through Investigation and Criminal Prosecution Over the past decade, the department has successfully and securely used the criminal justice system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of defendants for terrorism and terrorism-related offenses that occurred both in the United States and overseas, including plots targeting both civilian and military targets. These post-9/ 11 terror prosecutions have proceeded without any terror defendant escaping federal custody or terrorist retaliation against a judicial district. Over the past three years, America has dealt with some of the most significant terrorist threats to the homeland since 9/11. These threats have become increasingly diverse and decentralized, often making them more challenging to identify and counter. There has been an expanding universe of groups and people targeting our country, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Pakistani Taliban and other

affiliates, as well as an increasing number of radicalized U.S. citizens and residents. There has also been greater diversity in terms of tactics, with a trend toward smaller, faster-developing plots, rather than larger, long-term plots like those carried out on 9/ 11. The Justice Department has played a vital role in combating these emerging threats, and it continues to adapt its operations. During calendar years 2009 and 2010, the Justice Department charged more defendants in federal court with the most serious terrorism offenses than in any two-year period since 9/ 11. Some of the more significant international terrorism prosecutions in recent years include the following: New York Subway Plot: In September 2009, a combined law enforcement and intelligence effort thwarted an al-Qaeda-sponsored plot to attack the New York subway system. Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York in February and April 2010, respectively, in connection with their roles in the plot. Co-defendant Adis Medunjanin is currently awaiting trial. Zazi's cousin also pleaded guilty to helping Zazi obtain al-Qaeda training and obstructing the terrorism investigation, and Zazi's father and uncle have also been convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice in

ers affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban. In October 2010, Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. Mumbai and Denmark Terror Plots: In March 2010, David Headley pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Illinois to a dozen terrorism charges, admitting that he participated in planning the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as later planning to attack a Danish newspaper that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. In June 2011, Headley codefendant Ta h a w w u r Rana was convicted of participating in the Denmark terror conspiracy and providing material support to the Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. Six other defendants, including alleged Pakistani terror leader Ilyas Kashmiri and accused Lashkare-Tayyiba operative Sajid Mir, have been indicted as part of the investigation. Al-Shabaab Terror Recruitment: Since 2009, 19 individuals have been charged in the District of Minnesota as part of "Operation Rhino," an investigation that has focused on the recruitment of young men from the Minneapolis-area to fight on behalf of the terrorist organization, alShabaab, in Somalia. Six of the defendants have pleaded guilty thus far. Many other defendants remain fugitives in Somalia. The earliest group of identified travelers de-

Daniel Boyd pleaded guilty in February 2011 in the Eastern District of North Carolina to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to kill abroad, stemming from his efforts to recruit and help individuals travel abroad to kill on behalf of violent extremists. Daniel's son, Zakariya Boyd, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in June 2011 the terrorism investigation. An additional person was convicted of lying to federal agents in connection with the case. Five additional defendants, including Adnan ElShukrijumah, who is accused of being a senior leader of al-Qaeda, have also been indicted as part of the investigation. Times Square Plot: In June 2010, Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to attempting to detonate a car bomb in New York City's Times Square on the evening of May 1, 2010. Shahzad admitted that he received explosives training from train-

parted in 2007, while others left in 2008 and 2009. Upon arriving in Somalia, the men resided in al-Shabaab safe-houses until constructing an al-Shabaab training camp, where they were trained by a senior member of al-Shabaab and a senior member of al-Qaeda. At least two of the travelers from Minneapolis have died in suicide bomb attacks in Somalia and several others have been killed in combat fighting for alShabaab. In other judicial districts, the department has charged numerous other defendants with terror violations involving al-Shabaab.

Countering Homegrown Violent Extremism In recent years, the Department of Justice has brought charges against an increasing number of individuals, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, who were living in this country; had become radicalized; and had taken steps to act on their extremist beliefs. While some have acted at the direction of foreign terrorist groups, many were lone actors, operating independently of foreign terrorist organizations but motivated or radicalized by terrorist propaganda. Examples of recent homegrown terror prosecutions are below: In recent years, the Department of Justice has brought charges against an increasing number of individuals, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, who were living in this country; had become radicalized; and had taken steps to act on their extremist beliefs. While some have acted at the direction of foreign terrorist groups, many were lone actors, operating independently of foreign terrorist organizations but motivated or radicalized by terrorist propaganda. Examples of recent homegrown terror prosecutions are below: Michael Finton pleaded guilty in May 2011 in the Central District of Illinois to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction stemming his efforts to detonate a vehicle bomb outside a federal courthouse in Illinois. Finton was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Farooque Ahmed pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia in April 2011 to attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda and collecting information to assist in planning terrorist attacks on transit facilities in the Washington, D.C., area. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Daniel Boyd pleaded guilty in February 2011 in the Eastern District of North Carolina to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to kill abroad, stemming from his efforts to recruit and help individuals travel abroad to kill on behalf of violent extremists. Daniel's son, Zakariya Boyd, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in June 2011. Zachary Chesser pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia in February 2011 to charges of communicating threats against the writers of the South Park television show, soliciting jihadists to desensitize law enforcement and attempting to provide material support to al-Shabaab. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Colleen LaRose pleaded guilty in February 2011 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill abroad and other charges stemming from her role in a plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Mohammed. Her co-defendant, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Hosam Smadi pleaded guilty in May 2010 in the Northern District of Texas to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction stemming from his efforts to bomb a 60-story skyscraper in Dallas in 2009. Smadi was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Cont’d on page 45


Perspective

September 16, 2011

India Post 45

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Ten years since 9/11 DoJ pledges never to rest Cont’d from page 44

Assisting in the Intelligence-Gathering Process Over the past decade, in case after case, the Justice Department has sought not just to convict and incarcerate criminals but also to develop cooperators and informants who can be used to hold accountable co-conspirators and others involved in plots against the United States. Some examples from the past 10 years in which valuable information about terrorist organizations has been elicited through the questioning of individuals at different stages of the criminal justice process, are below. David Headley, who pleaded guilty in 2010 in the Northern District of Illinois in connection with a plot to bomb a Danish newspaper and his role in planning the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, has provided valuable intelligence on those attacks, the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Pakistan-based terrorist leaders. Headley also testified in the trial of co-defendant Tahawwur Rana, who was convicted in June 2011 of participating in the Denmark terror conspiracy and providing material support to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. Earnest James Ujaama pleaded guilty in 2007 in the Southern District of New York to terrorism charges arising from his efforts to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Ore., and his efforts to facilitate violent jihad in Afghanistan. Ujaama later testified in the trial of Oussama Kassir, who was charged with a conspiracy in connection with the Bly training camp and with operating numerous terrorist websites. Kassir was found guilty of all 11 counts against him in May 2009, and received a life sentence plus 115 years in September 2009. Ujaama's testimony was considered instrumental in helping to secure Kassir's conviction. Iyman Faris, who trained and fought in Kashmir and Afghanistan in the late 1980s, provided valuable intelligence about alQaeda operations, leaders and plans for attacks in the United States. Faris pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to casing a New York City bridge for al-Qaeda, and providing information to al-Qaeda on tools necessary for possible attacks on US targets. He was sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison. John Walker Lindh pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002 in the Eastern District of Virginia for supplying services to the Taliban while fighting on the Taliban's front lines in Afghanistan. As part of his plea agreement, he provided valuable intelligence about training camps and fighting in Afghanistan. II. Structural Changes to Enhance Counter-Terrorism Efforts Over the past decade, the Justice Department and its component agencies have fundamentally restructured their operations to better address national security threats and prevent terrorist attacks. Some of the major structural reforms during this period include the following: Creating a National Security Division In 2006, the Justice Department created the National Security Division (NSD), the

first new Justice Department division in 49 years, to merge the department's primary national security components into a single division to more effectively combat national security threats. The division brought together the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, the Counterterrorism Section and the Counterespionage Section from separate parts of the department. The new Office of Law and Policy, the Executive Office and the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism have completed the NSD. NSD's structure is designed to fuse the authorities and capabilities of the law enforcement and intelligence communities to strengthen the government's national security efforts. Since its inception, some

requests to use information from FISA-authorized activities as evidence in criminal prosecutions of terrorists and spies. Created and staffed a new Office of Law and Policy to harmonize national security legal and policy functions for the entire department, and to promote important national security priorities, such as updating FISA and other legislation, supporting cyber security efforts and strengthening counter-terrorism capabilities of our partners overseas. Funded and staffed the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism, and designated 159 international terrorism events to allow for U.S. victim expense reimbursement.

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and the Terrorist Screening Center, into a single branch. Established Field Intelligence Groups in all 56 FBI field offices and embedded intelligence groups in each operational division at FBI headquarters. Doubled the number of FBI intelligence analysts and tripled the number of linguists. Created the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) at FBI headquarters, consisting of approximately 41 member agencies. Realigned resources, shifting some agents from criminal programs to counterterrorism matters and creating threatbased fusion cells to address the FBI's top counterterrorism priorities, and to ensure that the collection of intelligence is focused against priority threats. Established various units that have enhanced counterterrorism capabilities, including the 24/7 Counterterrorism Watch, which serves as the FBI's primary point of notification for all potential terrorist threats; the Terrorism Financing Operation Section, which centralizes efforts to track and shut down terrorist financing; and fly teams, which respond to terrorism incidents or threats around the world. Created and implemented a new operating manual for domestic operations based on new Attorney General Guidelines that apply across all program areas. III. Legal Changes to Enhance CounterTerrorism Efforts Over the past decade, the Justice Department has worked closely with Congress and other federal agencies to strengthen the nation's laws against terrorism, update the legal authorities needed to detect and disrupt terror plots, and tear down walls hindering intelligence and law enforcement officials from gathering and sharing information critical to protecting the nation. Some of the most significant changes in this area include the following: USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 and the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 The USA PATRIOT Act, which was enacted in 2001, has helped investigators identify, dismantle and disrupt many terrorist plots. Expiring provisions of the Act were reauthorized by the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005, and by subsequent legislation in 2009 and 2011, allowing investigators to continue to use these vital authorities. These laws have helped law enforcement and intelligence agencies protect the nation in the following ways: Helped tear down the so-called FISA "wall" that prevented effective information sharing between law enforcement and intelligence personnel. Allowed federal agents to better track sophisticated terrorists trained to evade detection, and provided national security investigators with tools comparable to those commonly used in criminal cases. Updated investigative tools to reflect new technologies and threats, and allowed authorities to obtain search warrants from a single court regardless of where terroristrelated activity occurred.

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Sikh leaders in the USA meet for a rally against hate crimes.

of NSD's accomplishments include: Improved coordination between prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, on the one hand, and intelligence attorneys and the Intelligence Community, on the other, to strengthen the effectiveness of the nation's counterterrorism efforts. Developed and promoted a national counterterrorism enforcement program that has yielded prosecutions against hundreds of defendants as a result of collaboration with department leadership, the FBI, the intelligence community and the U.S. Attorneys' Offices. Re-organized and dramatically increased staffing for the Office of Intelligence (formerly the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review), with three new sections to handle the increased Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) workload, better coordinate FISA litigation and improve national security oversight. Reviewed, processed and submitted thousands of FISA applications to the FISA Court on behalf of the government to ensure that intelligence community agencies have the legal authorities necessary to conduct intelligence operations. With the lowering of the FISA "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement investigations, NSD has overseen and processed a steady increase in the number of

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Transforming the FBI to Meet the New Threat Since 9/11, the FBI has undertaken the most significant transformation in its history. The bureau has restructured its operations in order to better detect, penetrate and dismantle terrorist enterprises as part of its larger cultural shift to a threat-based, intelligence-driven, national security organization. Today, the FBI serves as a vital link between the intelligence and law enforcement communities, bringing the discipline of the criminal justice system to its domestic intelligence activities in a manner that is consistent with American expectations and protections for privacy and civil liberties. As part of this strategic shift, the FBI has overhauled its counterterrorism operations, expanded its intelligence capabilities, modernized its business practices and technologies, and improved coordination with its partners. Some of the major changes include: Established clear priorities emphasizing prevention while ensuring the protection of privacy rights and civil liberties. Established the FBI National Security Branch in 2005, which centralized the FBI's national security programs, including its Counterterrorism Division, Counterintelligence Division, Directorate of Intelligence, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

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Perspective

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Ten years since 9/11 DoJ pledges never to rest Cont’d from page 45

. Increased penalties for those who com-

mit certain terrorist crimes and those who support them. The USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act added dozens of additional safeguards to protect privacy interests and civil liberties. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 In 2008, legislation was enacted that modernized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which passed with a bipartisan majority of Congress and broad support from the intelligence community, allows intelligence professionals to more quickly and effectively monitor terrorist communications, while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. Among other things, the law accomplishes the following: Ensures that the intelligence community has the tools it needs to determine who terrorists are communicating with, what they are saying and what they may be planning. Provides critical authorities that allow the intelligence community to acquire foreign intelligence information by targeting foreign persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States. Preserves and provides new civil liberties protections for Americans. Requires court orders to target Americans for foreign intelligence surveillance, no matter where they are, and requires court review of the procedures used to protect information about Americans. Provides critical liability protections for companies whose assistance is necessary to protect the country from terrorist threats. IV. Protecting the Privacy and Civil Liberties of Americans As the nation's primary law enforcement agency, the Justice Department strives to be a model for ensuring that Americans' privacy and civil liberties are forcefully protected in all the department's national security efforts. In recent years, the department has dramatically enhanced oversight of its national security activities. It has also restored the department's Civil Rights Division as the nation's preeminent civil rights law enforcement agency. In Fiscal Year 2009, there were more federal criminal civil rights cases filed by the Justice Department than in any prior year - and in Fiscal Year 2010, the department broke that record once again. The department's commitment to civil rights has never been stronger, and protecting the rights of the Muslim and ArabAmerican communities, and other communities, is a critical part of that commitment. Below are some of the advances the department has made since 9/11: The Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys' Offices have brought federal hate crime charges in 52 post-9/11 backlash cases, with 47 convictions to date. Department attorneys have also coordinated with state and local prosecutors in numerous non-federal criminal prosecutions, in many cases providing substantial assistance. The Civil Rights Division has also worked to ensure that Muslims are free to practice their religion without facing illegal barriers or discrimination. Using its author-

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ity under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the division has taken action in a number of jurisdictions around the country to ensure that land use and zoning decisions are not used to illegally prevent Muslim communities from building places of worship. The department appointed its first Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer in 2006, and subsequently created the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties to support the duties and responsibilities of the Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer. The principal mission of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties is to protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people through review, oversight and coordination of the department's privacy operations.

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actions taken since 9/11: The Justice Department and the FBI have constructed strong, lasting relationships with national Arab-American, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian American organizations and their leaders. The Attorney General has made engagement with the Muslim American and Arab American communities a priority, and U.S. Attorneys are active in reaching out to Muslim communities in their districts, with a special focus on local situations and issues. The department's Civil Rights Division holds bi-monthly meetings that bring together top officials from various federal agencies with representatives of the Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities to address civil rights issues.

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As the nation's primary law enforcement agency, the Justice Department strives to be a model for ensuring that Americans' privacy and civil liberties are forcefully protected in all the department's national security efforts. In recent years, the department has dramatically enhanced oversight of its national security activities

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The department's National Security Division has dramatically enhanced its oversight of FBI national security activities, and in many cases, those of other intelligence community agencies, to ensure adherence to the nation's laws, rules and regulations, including privacy interests and civil liberties. The FBI created the Office of Integrity and Compliance in 2007 to ensure the bureau's compliance with laws, rules and procedures, not only in national security activities, but in all FBI activities. The department developed and issued guidance to federal agencies in 2003 expressly prohibiting racial profiling in federal law enforcement practices. V. Partnering with the Muslim, Arab and Sikh Communities In conducting national security investigations and prosecuting cases, the FBI and Justice Department rely on the support, cooperation and trust of the communities we serve and protect. Members of the Muslim and Arab-American communities are valu-

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The Justice Department's Community Relations Service has held more than 250 town and community meetings around the country in the last decade, addressing 9/11 backlash discrimination issues against ArabAmericans, Muslims, Sikhs and South AsianAmericans. The Service has also deployed conflict resolution specialists to more than 50 communities to alleviate tensions in the wake of backlash incidents. The FBI has launched innovative grassroots programs in each of its 56 field offices to meet the needs of Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, South Asian-Americans, and other communities within their domains. FBI outreach efforts range from formal national-level relationships with established groups to local multi-cultural advisory boards, Citizen's Academies and youth activities. Most important are the individual relationships established by FBI personnel in the field with leaders in their local communities through regular dialogue and information sharing. VI. Partnering with Domestic and International Counterparts

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The Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys' Offices have brought federal hate crime charges in 52 post-9/11 backlash cases, with 47 convictions to date. Department attorneys have also coordinated with state and local prosecutors in numerous non-federal criminal prosecutions, in many cases providing substantial assistance able partners in a shared effort to combat terrorist threats. They have regularly denounced terrorist acts and those who carry them out, and have provided critical assistance in helping to disrupt terrorist plots and combat radicalization. The department and the FBI regularly engage in extensive outreach efforts with the Muslim and Arab-American communities, and many other communities, to improve our ability to perform our duties in a manner consistent with civil liberties, diversity and a commitment to religious freedom. Among the

In order to address terrorist networks operating around the world, the department has increased its partnerships at every level of government in the United States and has forged strong ties with its counterparts overseas. Some of these efforts include: Coordinating with Federal, State and Local Partners Created Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils in each U.S. Attorney's Office to enhance information sharing with state and local authorities in each district, and to enhance communications between the department and

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U.S. Attorneys on terrorism matters. Increased the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) around the country from 35 to 104, and increased the number of JTTF personnel from approximately 1,000 to nearly 4,500. Helped fund and participate in the 72 information fusion centers that have been created in states and localities around the country since 9/11 to serve as the focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering and sharing of threat-related information. Partnered with other agencies to establish the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), which provides standards, policies and processes for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement to share timely, relevant information about behaviors recognized as precursor activities to terrorism. The NSI also is training analysts to recognize patterns and share behavior-related patterns and trends with law enforcement. Provided critical participation and support to the multi-agency National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which integrates terrorism intelligence, conducts strategic operational planning, and serves as a central repository for terrorism intelligence. Provided critical leadership and support to the Terrorist Screening Center, a multiagency center under the umbrella of the FBI's National Security Branch that manages the consolidated terrorist watch list. Provided critical participation in the multi-agency Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, which provides information that helps keep foreign terrorists and their supporters out of the United States, or leads to their removal, location, detention, surveillance or prosecution. Created the FBI Office of Law Enforcement Coordination to build bridges to national, state, municipal, county, tribal and local partners. Coordinating with International Counterparts In the past 10 years, the department has leveraged international law enforcement cooperation to target and dismantle terrorist enterprises both at home and abroad. In this area, the department has: Expanded the number of FBI Legal AttachĂŠ offices in foreign countries from 44, on 9/11, to 62 operation offices and 13 suboffices today. Increased the number of overseas FBI personnel from 112 agents and 74 support employees, in 2001, to 182 agents and 107 support personnel, for a total of 289 employees stationed abroad-an increase of nearly 55 percent. Responded to hundreds of formal requests from partners around the world for assistance in terrorism investigations, though our global network of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. Shared thousands of pieces of threatrelated information with our international partners. Provided critical evidence to other countries for use in terrorism-related prosecutions, and received critical evidence from other countries for use in U.S. terrorism-related prosecutions.

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September 16, 2011

Classifieds

India Post 47

www.indiapost.com Notice is hereby given that sealed

MATRIMONIALS

competitive bids will be accepted

BRIDEGROOM WANTED

in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NETWORKING/NORTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFQ #900791 for Inmate Transport Trucks, Monday, September 19, 2011, 10:00 a.m. 単 General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Room 228, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA NETWORKING/SOUTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFQ #900791 for Inmate Transport Trucks, Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 2:00 p.m. 単 Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Chabot Room, Castro Valley, CA Responses Due by 2:00 p.m. on October 26, 2011 County Contact: Evelyn Benzon (510) 208-9622 or via email: evelyn.benzon@acgov.org Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Information regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 9/16/11 CNS-2167043#

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Philosophy

India Post

September 16, 2011

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis JOAN TOLLIFSON

S

ince so-called Eastern spirituality has come to the West, many westerners have rushed to Japan or India or someplace in the Far East to get the real goods. There is nothing wrong with traveling, but what these teachings point to is right here in front of you. You don't need to go somewhere else. In fact, you never do go anywhere else. Places appear in you, in awareness. They come and go, dream-like. It has been said that the truth is inside, not outside you. That doesn't mean it's in your intestines or in your emotions, but not in the chair across the room. It means it's in the undivided awareness that beholds intestines, emotions, chairs, birds, and everything else. It points to the realization that there is no boundary, that inside and outside are one whole. In the same way, past and future are inseparable from Here / Now. When I talk about the jewel of Here / Now, I'm not in any way intending to disparage the study of history or the creative envisioning of the future. I'm simply pointing to the fact that it all shows up Here / Now as one indivisible whole that is boundless, seamless, timeless and spaceless. How to realize that? Well, first of all, notice that the question itDAVID GODMAN

O

ne morning Maharaj (Nisargadatta) seemed to be more-than-usually frustrated about our collective inability to grasp what he was talking about. 'Why do I waste my time with you people?' he exclaimed. 'Why does no one ever understand what I am saying?' I took my chance: 'In all the years that you have been teaching how many people have truly understood and experienced your teachings?' He was quiet for a moment, and then he said, 'One. Maurice Frydman.' He didn't elaborate and I didn't follow it up. I mentioned earlier that at the conclusion of his morning puja he put kum kum on the forehead of all the pictures in his room of the people he knew were enlightened. There were two big pictures of Maurice there, and both of them were daily given the kum kum treatment. Maharaj clearly had a great respect for Maurice. I remember on one of my early visits querying Maharaj about some statement of his that had been recorded in I am That. I think it was about fulfilling desires. Maharaj initially didn't seem to

self is rooted in the assumption that it is not realized right now. Is that true? What are you imagining that such realization would look like? Perhaps the acquisition or the sighting of an enormous object like a giant dinner plate? Or maybe an experience like being permanently high on drugs? Or maybe some mental understanding like an algebraic equation or a verbal formulation that would be the final answer to every ques-

here and now. Of course, India, Japan, robes, bells, gurus, teachers, retreats, satsangs - it's all the jewel. There's no escape. But when we think the jewel is in India but not in Chicago, or that we need to go to a retreat or a satsang to find it, then we are like a wave looking for the ocean. The imaginary problem can only be resolved Here / Now. After wandering all over the world seeking the truth "out there" somewhere, after having

the heart of the matter, the jewel that is being sought is not "out there" somewhere apart from you or in the future. No one can give it to you. You must discover it yourself. And the only thing that makes this discovery seem difficult is how easy it is. It is already perfectly realized. The thought of "somewhere better" keeps us from seeing that what we are seeking, we already are. The postponements, the ways

Is India more nondual than Chicago? The thought of ‘somewhere better’ keeps us from seeing that what we are seeking, we already are. The postponements, the ways we move away, get subtler and subtler

Joan Tollifson

tion? Does it make sense that totality would be an object, an experience or a formulation? Does it make sense that "you" would need to find it? The truth itself is so simple that the mind habitually keeps overlooking it by looking elsewhere. Endlessly fascinated by glittering distractions (India, Japan, robes, bells, gurus, teachers, retreats, satsangs), we overlook the jewel of

amazing spiritual experiences and breakthroughs, we inevitably end up back in our ordinary everyday life. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we wake up back in Kansas. The whole journey is inside us, and what we are seeking is inside us, too. And when I say inside us, again, I don't mean inside the bodymind - I mean Here / Now. And that's really what all spiritual teachings are pointing to - that

we move away, get subtler and subtler. Wanting to never run off on another journey to Oz ever again is itself running off on such a journey! You have no choice! But you see that the choice "you" appear to make is actually coming from the whole universe and could not have been otherwise. It is the action of totality, not the action of some phantom executive.

agree with the remarks that had been attributed to him in the book, but then he added, 'The words must be true because Maurice wrote them. Maurice was a jnani, and the jnani's words are always the words of truth.' I have met several people who knew Maurice, and all of them have extraordinary stories to tell

and somehow persuaded him to abdicate and hand over all his authority to people he had formerly ruled as an absolute monarch. His whole life is full of astonishing incidents such as these that are virtually unknown. I have been told by someone who used to be a senior Indian government official in the 1960s that it was

in the Ramanasramam books, and in the few incidents that do have Maurice's name attached to them, Ramana is telling him off, usually for trying to give him special treatment. In an article that Maurice wrote very late in his life, he lamented the fact that he didn't fully appreciate and make use of

Nisargadatta treated Maurice Frydman as a jnani

Maurice Frydman

about him. He visited Swami Ramdas in the 1930s and Ramdas apparently told him that this would be his final birth. That comment was recorded in Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi in the late 1930s, decades before he had his meetings with Maharaj. He was at various stages of his life a follower of Ramana Maharshi, Gandhi, and J. Krishnamurti. While he was a Gandhian he went to work for the raja of a small principality

It was Frydman who persuaded the then India Prime Minister Nehru to allow the Dalai Lama and the other exiled Tibetans to stay in India Frydman who persuaded the then India Prime Minister Nehru to allow the Dalai Lama and the other exiled Tibetans to stay in India. Frydman apparently pestered him continuously for months until he finally gave his consent. None of these activities were ever publicly acknowledged because Frydman disliked publicity of any kind and always tried to do his work anonymously. There are not many stories

Bhagavan's teachings and presence while he was alive. However, he did use his extraordinary intellect and editing skills to bring out Maharshi's Gospel in 1939. This is one of the most important collections of dialogues between Bhagavan and his devotees. The second half of the book contains Frydman's questions and Bhagavan's replies to them. The quality of the questioning and the editing is quite extraordinary.

The ego submits only when it recognizes the Higher Power. -Ramana Maharishi In the presence of my Master I found out that man could be perfect, even in this body. -Swami Vivekananda The meaning of life is to see. -Hui-neng The observer is the observed. -J Krishnamurti You are the perceiving not the perceiver. -Ch'an Either I become what I draw or I cannot draw it. -Frederick Franck As long as you're holding yourself back, you won't be happy. -Swami Vidyatmananda Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem. -Jiddu Krishnamurti All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain? -Buddha

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Will Mullah Omar negotiate? What is Taliban's end game? D SUBA CHANDRAN

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ith the 2014 deadline approaching fast, both US and Pakistan have their end games unraveling in Afghanistan. While, both have been fooling the rest of the world in projecting a moderate, if not a good image of Taliban, it is important to analyze what will be Taliban's game plan? Will it negotiate with the US and (or through) Pakistan and what will it negotiate on? First, the most important question - who is being talked to? While one may be cynical about new factions in the Taliban, the idea of negotiating with any of these sections should be welcome. The reasons for this are simple. One, the deadline is fast approaching; clearly, there is no end game in sight in reference to Karzai and his administration. Neither has he been able to deliver in terms of administration or convince the Afghans of his ability to govern, nor is he in a position to protect himself forget protecting the capital. The Afghan security forces are far from having the capacity to take over the security situation and deliver. Moreover, the Afghans no more respect or trust Karzai and his administration. But to be fair, Karzai inherited this problem from the previous administrations and the international security forces that had multiple agendas in Afghanistan. Second, despite a decade after 9/11, the Taliban's networks remain intact. Though al Qaeda has been damaged considerably, especially after the killing of its top leadership including Osama bin Laden, Taliban has smartly gone underground and has preserved its leadership. Or perhaps, the global war on terrorism was al Qaeda specific, keeping the Taliban as a secondary target which has helped it to escape. Third, irrespective of the rupture between Pakistan's links with the TTP, its relation and influence vis-Ă -vis the Afghan Taliban seem to be continuing. The question then is whether the Afghan Taliban is willing to negotiate? Within the Afghan Taliban, there are two major networks led by the Huqqanis and Mullah Omar. Mullah Omar's

Quetta Shura, as the name suggests is alleged to be based in Pakistan and conducting operations primarily in Afghanistan. There is no adequate evidence to prove that Mullah Omar is interested in taking on Pakistan's security forces and looking east of the Durand Line, so far. It appears he is using Pakistan only as a base and is aiming to get back to Kabul While Washington is working

Mullah Omar

hard to bring Mullah Omar on board, it appears except for few regional commanders (warlords to be specific), who joined the Taliban in the later phase, Omar's network does not seem to be in a hurry to negotiate with the US. At the time of 9/11, not the entire Taliban leadership belonged to the diehard Mullah Omar network.

The Huqqani network has to be the moderate face of Taliban, for they are willing to negotiate. But, will the Huqqanis be able to deliver along with Karzai after 2014? As his forces started winning towns after towns in the mid 1990s, many of the erstwhile mujahideens and local war lords embraced the Taliban phenomenon and became converts. The reasons were purely tactical and not based on any loyalty or love for the Taliban. This conversion suited them in the 1990s; ten years after 9/11, another conversion will not hurt them. This is

evident in the fact that there is not a single mujahideen leader, except perhaps for the Lion of Panchsheer, who can claim that his loyalties never changed. The Mullah Omar network seems to be convinced that the American exit will automatically pave way for their takeover of Kabul. Even if the US has to leave a small contingent, it is unlikely that the American troops will continue active counter insurgency operations against the Taliban after 2014. Thus, Mullah Omar would rather wait until 2014, and restart his campaign from Kandhahar, as he did in the 1990s. This should be dĂŠjĂ vu for him and his network. If few commanders of him are willing to negotiate with the US, perhaps it is a part of the plan. On the other hand, the Huqqani network seems to be under great influence from Pakistan's security forces. Unlike the Omar network, the Huqqanis may not be able to survive either in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. According to media reports within Pakistan, the Huqqani network has already shifted into the FATA region. Taking over Kabul by being Pakistan's proxy in Afghanistan may not hurt the Huqqanis; but an independent functioning might. Clearly, the Huqqani network has to be the moderate face of Taliban, for they are willing to negotiate. But, will the Huqqanis be able to deliver along with Karzai after 2014? Or will they join Mullah Omar network after 2014? They are being Pakistan's proxy now; but who are they likely to play for after 2014? This is a dilemma that still needs to be addressed. If the Obama administration is not serious about what will happen after 2014 that will be the biggest disservice to the victims of 9/11 and those who gave their lives in Afghanistan and Pakistan since then. Obama is extremely busy, getting ready to deliver another rhetoric and self-patting speech ten years after 9/11. And why not? After all, did he not eliminate the US enemy number one? The writer is Director, IPCS & Visting Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia

India Post Party interest

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eleaguered by corruption charges, the ruling Congress party of India has reacted in the expected way - digging up dirt against its opponents and setting its pet wolf, the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) upon the adversaries, particularly those who have been levelling the corruption charges. The trend was evident even at the beginning of the anti-corruption agitation by Anna Hazare, when a Congress spokesperson described him as "steeped in corruption from head to toe". He later apologised but the Congress tactics continued with cases or threat of cases against Anna team members Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi. Earlier it had set the CBI on Yoga guru Baba Ramdev after his much-advertised fast fizzled out in Delhi. The Enforcement Directorate has filed a foreign exchange laws violation case against him and a couple of cases against his aide. Of note is the timing of these cases, to teach a lesson to the Yoga guru for launching an agitation against the government. It is another matter that the Yoga expert turned out to be a novice in politics and ended up with mud on his face and a loss of prestige. Since the main Opposition party, the BJP, has also joined in the anti-corruption campaign against the government, the Congress has got BJP stalwarts in Karnataka arrested by the CBI for corruption in mining. It is no one's case that the BJP is a paragon of virtues. But the timings of the Congress moves are suspect. In another suspicious move, the Congress Governor of Gujarat has appointed a Lokayukta (ombudsman to check corruption charges against the state government) without consulting the BJP government of the state. Although the law doesn't require it to consult the government of the state, it is a move timed to hit back at the BJP for attacking the government over corruption. The BJP has responded by stalling parliament once again. Even the much publicized supping with the poor and living in mud huts trips of Rahul Gandhi, the crown prince of the Congress, have been significantly in states ruled by the Opposition like Uttar Pradesh and Odissa. It is a moot question why doesn't Rahul visits the huts of the poor in Congress ruled states like Haryana, Rajasthan or Andhra Pradesh? Is there no need to expose the condition of the poor in these states? Thus, as in the US, the two main political parties of India are putting party interest before national interest and preventing any meaningful engagement over issues of governance and misuse of power. The BJP also needs to put its own house in order. It may have benefited by the public reaction to the massive scandals tumbling out of Congress cupboards but its own conduct in Karnataka shows that it won't behave any better when handed power to rule at the Centre. Its former chief minister had to step down because of corruption charges and three of its former ministers, involved in illegal mining, have been arrested by the CBI. Raids on their houses have yielded large amount of unaccounted gold and currency. The BJP is on a defensive mode there. In fact it continued to defend to the last its chief minister Yeddyurappa who finally had to go when faced with the inquiry report of the Lokayukta. By launching a counter-attack on those accusing it of corruption, the government wants to show that is not the only guilty party. Others are also neck deep in the loot. But as a ruling party it has not shown the responsibility, the guts or the vision to take the country forward. Vendetta doesn't absolve it of its own misconduct and governance paralysis.


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