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Top US award for Bunker Roy & Malala Yousufzai Details on page 5

VOL 19, No. 993

September 27, 2013

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SIKH PROF ATTACKED IN NY HATE CRIME

NEW YORK: A Sikh professor, who was brutally attacked and injured by a mob of up to 30 people who called him "Osama" and "terrorist" in New York, has said he would invite the attackers to visit the Gurdwara and interact with members of the community to better understand his faith. Prabhjot Singh, assistant professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, said it is "absolutely critical" to work with students and community organisations to spread awareness about other faiths and religions. "If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if

they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. Maybe invite them to the Gurdwara where we worship, get to know who we are... Make sure they have an opportunity to move past this as well," a sombre looking Prabhjot, wearing a blue turban, said at a press conference on Sept 23. Mr Singh was brutally attacked by about 20-30 young men who repeatedly punched him and "pulled his beard" as he was walking in the city's Harlem neighbourhood on Sept 21 night. Details on page 5

Teena Sukhwal

Singh, Sharif to meet in NY on Sept 29 Details on page 6

Clinical staff urged to get trained for ICD 10 Details on page 18

Indian-American is runner up as Ms Vegetarian

US manufacturers launch anti-India campaign

Details on page 24

Details on page 6

World War-I Indian martyrs in Belgium

CONTENTS Bollywood -------------------------- 28 Classifieds ------------------------- 47

Details on page 30

Community Post ----- 18-27,34-35 Date Book -------------------------- 49

INDIA POST SURVEY

Edit Page --------------------------- 54 HealthScience Post --------- 50-52

survey@indiapost.com

Horoscope ------------------------- 14

This week’s question

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

IS US manufacturers’ complaint against India valid? Last week’s result

Davuluri crowning challenges notions of American identity? YES 67%

NO 33%

Life Style ----------------------- 30-33

POLITICAL RELEASE: YSR Congress Party President YS Jaganmohan Reddy greets his supporters after he was released from the Chanchalguda Jail in Hyderabad on Sept 24 after 16 months in jail. Reddy was granted bail in the disproportionate assets case against him with the BJP alleging misuse of CBI by the UPA government at the Center. (Details on page 10)

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Philosophy ------------------------- 53 Publisher’s Diary ------------------ 4 TechBiz Post ------------------- 12-13 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 40-43


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ooks like the Indian American community will never see the end of this. I am talking about the anti-Narendra Modi lobbies in this country that are becoming embarrassingly divisive and vitiating the opportunities for mainstream communities to participate in many Indian, particularly Hindu events in the US. This week marks the 120th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's landmark speech at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. The celebrations under the banner of World Without Borders, were to be co-sponsored by the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) among others. Intriguingly enough, last week, the CPWR that had originally sponsored the historic 1893 Chicago conference, decided to withdraw its support to the current event, stating that it did not want to be associated with some of the co-sponsoring organizations that promoted "controversial political positions." The instigator, if we can call that, behind the CPWR decision, is alleged to be the Coalition against Genocide (CAG), an Indian American organization that was formed following the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. The problem with organizations like the CAG is their tactics usually tend to have other more embarrassing fallouts. Like, in taking its decision to withdraw from the event the CPWR did not consult the two Hindu trustees on its Board, Anju Bhargava and Dr. Anantanand Rambachan. This also now dims the esteem in which the CPWR is held by many Indians, for wittingly or unwittingly falling to pressures and equating unconnected events. The Coalition against Genocide is one of the organizations that has for long, been lobbying against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being granted a US visa. While I would not care to take a stand on that issue, what I fail to understand is how far these anti-Modi lobbies are going to stretch their agenda, and mar perfectly legitimate occasions like the commemoration of Swami Vivekananda's speech. It is so ironic that this kind of all round intolerance should be witnessed in the name of one who dedicated his life to preaching religious tolerance.

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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Couple chemistry Saif and Kareena are coming together again in the movie Happy Ending, though Kareena will feature only in a cameo.

Cover Story: Sikh attacked A Sikh professor was brutally attacked and injured by a mob of 30 people who called him "Osama" and "terrorist" in NY

Community: AAPIO meeting The AAPIO Semi-Annual Meeting in Milpitas discussed the emerging medical practice issues in the community

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Immigration: AAPI lobbying An influential group of Indian American doctors meet lawmakers seeking a say in the immigration reform bill.

Life Style: Indian martyrs It has been 100 years but Belgium has not forgotten its World War-I dead including thousands of Indian soldiers

Techbiz: India, China contracts Indian and Chinese companies from sectors such as cotton yarn, marine and agriculture have signed 15 contracts

Travel: Hampi, Karnataka From atop the Matanga Hill, Hampi is every inch the capital city of a golden empire which once had the world in sway

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Sikh Prof attacked in NY hate crime NEW YORK: A Sikh professor, who was brutally attacked and injured by a mob of up to 30 people who called him "Osama" and "terrorist" in New York, has said he would invite the attackers to visit the Gurdwara and interact with members of the community to better understand his faith. Prabhjot Singh, assistant pro-

nity to move past this as well," a sombre looking Prabhjot, wearing a blue turban, said at a press conference on Sept 23. Mr Singh was brutally attacked by about 20-30 young men who repeatedly punched him and "pulled his beard" as he was walking in the city's Harlem neighbourhood on Sept 21 night.

Prabhjot Singh

fessor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, said it is "absolutely critical" to work with students and community organisations to spread awareness about other faiths and religions. "If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. Maybe invite them to the Gurdwara where we worship, get to know who we are... Make sure they have an opportu-

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he also works as a physician, and admitted with severe bruising, swelling, small puncture in his elbow and fracture in his lower jaw. The New York Police Department has released a surveillance video of the suspects believed to be involved in the attack. The grainy clip shows a group of young 15-20 suspects riding their bikes shortly before they encountered Mr Singh.

Two days after the attack, Mr Singh, said he will not be deterred from his goal. There is need to understand "who gave these kids the green light to hate." "These sort of things are not who we are. This is not an America that I recognise," he added. He said the attack will not change "how I move around the neighbourhood." He would continue going to all parts of the city, "will still go there and still be received with the degree of welcome that I have received. "It is clear that the associations between beards and turbans and terrorism are devastating for an entire community, so I want to continue working to show that core American values are core Sikh values as well," said Mr Singh. "Most importantly, I want it so that my 1-year-old has nothing to fear in this neighborhood. It makes me even more committed to our community and redoubling our efforts," he said. "I want to live in a community where somebody feels comfortable asking me what is on your head, why do you have that beard, what are you doing here, are you American. We should be able to ask those questions. "I want to live in a community where young men instead of having to scream out and act out, can engage and learn about it some other way," Mr Singh said. Recalling the attack, Mr Singh said as he passed the group of men, he heard one of the men shout "get him Osama" and "terrorist".

"There is a sensational aspect to this and there is painful aspect to this. I was called 'Get him Osama', I heard terrorist, my beard was pulled. It certainly felt that it was motivated by my appearance." Mr Singh is working with the New York police department's hate crime unit, which is trying to solve the case on a "priority" basis. Last year, Mr Singh had written an op-ed in the New York

he had written in the op-ed titled 'How Hate Gets Counted.' The incident comes less than two weeks after the first-ever nationwide public perception assessment of Sikh Americans, titled "Turban Myths," which showed 70 per cent of Americans misidentify turban-wearers in the US as Muslim, Hindu or Buddhists. The study, conducted by Stanford University researchers and sponsored by Sikh American

"It is clear that the associations between beards and turbans and terrorism are devastating for an entire community, so I want to continue working to show that core American values are core Sikh values as well," said Mr Singh Times days after six Sikh persons were killed in a tragic shooting at a Wisconsin Gurudwara in August. "The legacy of anti-Sikh violence and its contemporary prevalence make it painfully obvious that anti-Sikh violence is often purposeful and targeted. The government must begin tracking and counting anti-Sikh hate crimes, just as it must continue to vigorously combat bias and discrimination against all Americans, including Muslims. "We must do away with a flawed and incomplete assumption of 'mistaken identity' regarding Sikhs; until we do, we will all be the ones who are mistaken,"

Legal Defence and Education Fund, also showed that nearly half of Americans believe "Sikh" is a sect of Islam, and more associate the turban with Osama bin Laden than with named Muslim and Sikh alternatives. "Unfortunately our research confirms that Prabhjot's experience is not the result of isolated misperception and intolerance," said Jasjit Singh, SALDEF's executive director. "Here you have a practicing doctor, a teacher and a community servant falling victim to hate in the largest and proudest melting pot in America. This violence is an affront to all Americans' core values."-PTI

Bunker Roy & Malala Yousufzai receive top US award NEW YORK: Indian environmentalist Bunker Roy and Pakistan's teenage education activist Malala Yousufzai have been declared winners of this year's prestigious 'Clinton Global Citizens Awards'. Roy is the founder of the Barefoot College, which has been providing solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years. As a result of Barefoot's work, one million liters of rainwater have been harvested to provide clean drinking water to over 239,000 school children in more than 1,300 communities worldwide. The Barefoot Approach is a proven community-based model, providing basic infra-

structure for power and water in remote, rural areas, as part of an integrated solution to alleviating global poverty. Roy has been named one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet by the Guardian and one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. The model of community-owned, managed, and financially sustained household solar light systems is today replicated in more than 54 coun-

Malala Yousufzai

Bunker Roy

tries, empowering more than 600 Women Barefoot Solar Engineers and providing clean energy access to 450,000 people in nearly 1,650 communities throughout India, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, and Asia. Sixteen-year-old Yousafzai, who, after being shot by the Taliban less than a year ago for her outspoken support for girls' education, has co-founded the Malala Fund to continue advocating for universal access to education. The Clinton Global Citizen Awards were launched in 2007 to honor outstanding individuals for their visionary leadership, demonstrated impact, and sustainable and scalable work in solving global issues. -PTI


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US manufacturers launch Singh, Sharif to meet in NY on Sept 29 anti-India campaign WASHINGTON: An apex body of American manufacturers has launched a massive anti-India campaign just ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's United States visit, protesting India's allegedly discriminatory trade practices. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is launching digital and print advertisements in New York and Washington, in major publications like Politico, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Roll Call and The Hill. "Manufacturers and Congress Agree: India must play fair on trade," one of the advertisements said. The total amount being spend by NAM on this campaign is not clear. "At a time when Washington can't agree on much, there is overwhelming bipartisan opposition to India's discriminatory trade practices, with over 170 house members and 40 recently signing letters urging Secretary (John) Kerry to take action," NAM said in statement. The move comes after a series of campaign urging the Obama Administration to press India on

addressing concerns over several Indian trade and business policies. Singh is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on Sept 27 during which economic issues are expected to be a major topics of discussion, according to White

NAM alleged that over the past year, Indian government agencies and courts have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination and forced localization designed to benefit India's corporations at the expense of manufacturing jobs in the United States House officials. Through its campaign, NAM has urged the Obama Administration to raise their concerns at the

highest levels of the Indian government and to coordinate closely with the European Union and other like-minded economies. "Reversing discrimination and restoring trust would be a win-win, enabling American exporters to further invest in India's future and help India grow its economy and create opportunities for its people," it said. NAM alleged that over the past year, Indian government agencies and courts have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination and forced localization designed to benefit India's corporations at the expense of manufacturing jobs in the United States. "The Indian government has demanded that much of its market for certain information technology, clean energy, and power equipment be satisfied by domestic-based firms," it said. "Administrative and court rulings have repeatedly ignored internationally recognized rights by imposing arbitrary marketing restrictions on medical devices and denying or revoking patents for nearly a dozen lifesaving medications," NAM added. -PTI

Bombay Bullion Association extends support to Modi MUMBAI: The Bombay Bul- UPA government. Bourse have said they will host lion Association Ltd (BBA), the "We at BBA strongly believe Modi at a function at Bandraapex body of bullion and jewellery that a Modi-led NDA government Kurla Complex here on September bodies in India, has announced would normalize the industry by 30. its support for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate. BBA president Mohit Kamboj along with some others joined main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of senior party leader Gopinath Munde here. BBA had extended its support to Modi as the Ruling United Progressive Alliance government had brought about a "policy paralysis" in the economy, BJP President Rajnath Singh opened the corporate office of the Bombay Bullion AssociaKamboj said. tion at Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai. Also seen are Ashish Shelar, President – Mumbai, "There are over 50 Bharatiya Janata Party and Mohit Kamboj, President of Bombay Bullion Association lakh workers associBJP president Rajnath Singh ated with the bullion and gold in- introducing friendly policies," he had earlier inaugurated the BBA dustry, which has been facing the added. Members of Bharat Diamond corporate office at Zaveri Bazaar brunt of the current policies of the here. -PTI

NEW YORK/ISLAMABAD: Ending days of speculation over their meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on September 29 in New York at the hotel where Singh will stay during his US visit. Both Singh and Sharif, who are traveling to the New York to attend the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, will be meeting on the morning of September 29. Meanwhile, a report from Pakistani media said, "The muchawaited and widely-discussed maiden meeting between Sharif and his Indian counterpart Singh on the margins of the 68th UNGA has been scheduled as the two premiers will be having a breakfast meeting in Manhattan hotel

where the Indian Prime Minister will be the host." However, there was no official confirmation for the meeting. The report in 'The News' also said the two leaders will have delegation-level talks besides having a one-on-one meeting. The report added that the meeting between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India has attained conspicuous significance against the backdrop of tense ties between the two countries. "It could break the impasse spreading over two years in the relations of the neighboring countries. Nawaz Sharif is viewed as a champion of peace with India and he would put his best efforts to bring about normalcy between the two nuclear countries," the report said. -PTI

CPWR withdraws support to Vivekananda event CHICAGO: The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions has disassociated itself from an event being held here to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, saying it was co-sponsored by groups "promoting controversial political positions". "We honor Swami Vivekananda and that legacy he left creating interfaith cooperation to build a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. Our organization was not informed that an event we were asked to co-sponsor was also co-sponsored by organizations promoting controversial political positions," CPWR said in a statement. The Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR) is the host and organizer of the Parliament of the World's Religions since 1893. Among its honorary international advisors include Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and the Dalai Lama. "While we do honor and promote the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, we respectfully withdraw our name from any cohosting or co-sponsorship of the 'World Without Borders' event and any connection to this event or its other co-sponsors," CPWR

said in its statement that did not mention any particular organization or individual. The statement was signed by Mary Nelson, its executive director and A Malik

Swami Vivekananda

Mujahid, chair of the board. According to the event flier and its website, 'World Without Borders' to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda being organized by the Chicago-chapter of Vishwa Hindu Parishad-America. Baba Ramdev is listed as its chief guest.-PTI


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Nayak's conditional guilty plea for mail fraud charge India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Raghu Nayak, an Indian businessman and a community activist, has pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and impeding tax authorities in connection with a scheme that paid doctors to refer patients to his chain of surgery centers, according to the US Attorney's office in Chicago. The Raghu Nayak case has been set to go on trial on Oct 1 in US District Court in Chicago but in the wake of his guilty plea he is scheduled to appear for sentencing before Judge Robert Gettleman on Jan. 22, the US Attorney's office says. Nayak maintained that the mail fraud allegations should be dismissed since the patients did receive adequate medical care and were not required to undergo unnecessary testing or surgeries. The prosecutors did concede that patients did not receive unnecessary medical care. Without such allegations and evidence at trial, the government cannot show that Nayak had the intent necessary to engage in a scheme to defraud, his attorneys argued. Judge Gettlemen denied the motion to dismiss. Nayak however can appeal Judge Gettleman's denial of the motion to dismiss the mail fraud count. If he wins in the appeal, Nayak could withdraw his guilty plea to the mail fraud.

Under the plea agreement with the US attorney office and in the light of Federal guidelines, Nayak could get prison up to 46 months. He admitted paying doctors to have some surgeries conducted at his two surgery centers in Chicago. No instance is cited that the

volving total payments in the range of $28,400 to $42,600. The US Attorney's office originally charged Nayak with 18 criminal counts but earlier this month, prosecutors dropped 10 counts against him. He also opted at about the same time for a bench

WASHINGTON: Supporting India's concerns on the immigration reform bill, an eminent IndianAmerican has asked US lawmakers to make the necessary changes in the pending legislation, which if passed, among other things would badly hit the global competitiveness of American companies. "While the Senate has made important progress, their bill contains provision; that will result in unintended consequences, damaging American businesses and aiding our competitors abroad," Ashok Mago, of the Greater Dallas Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a letter to Congressmen and Senators ahead of the US visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "Additional and arbitrary lay-

ers of red tape and increased fees will make it much more difficult for businesses to hire skilled STEM workers through the H-1B visa program. This program, designed to give businesses access to a global talent pool with STEM expertise, is a vital component of efforts to address the STEM worker shortage in America," said Mago, a founding member of the chamber. The bill's so-called outplacement provision is discriminatory and will make it impossible for many businesses to recruit the high-skilled workers they need to perform highly technical tasks onsite from the global labor pool, potentially driving tens of thousands of American jobs overseas, he argued. -PTI

Canadian firms keen to bring pension funds to India Raghu Nayak

patients suffered because of surgeries at the centers, he claimed The US Attorney's office said in a news release that Nayak admitted he paid one physician, a podiatrist, approximately $200-300 in cash per surgery he conducted at Rogers Park or Lakeshore. The podiatrist was paid for about 142 surgeries he performed at Rogers Park between 2004 and 2009 in-

trial, rather than a jury trial. In the plea agreement, the government says Nayak's conduct warrants a sentence of between 51 to 63 months. However, the judge may decide to reduce the sentence to a range of 37 to 46 months if it determines that he has accepted responsibility for his conduct and pleaded guilty well in advance of trial.

Ivory bust of Raja Rammohan Roy unveiled in UK LONDON: A rare ivory miniature bust of Indian social reformer Raja Rammohan Roy has been unveiled at a ceremony in the UK commemorating his 180th death anniversary. Roy died of meningitis at the age of 61 during a visit to Bristol in south-west England in September 1833 and was buried at the city's Arnos Vale Cemetery. "The ivory bust was the star of the annual event held in memory of the Raja," Carla Contractor, a trustee of the cemetery who organizes the commemoration ceremony every September since the 1980s, said. "While the main marble statue

Senate immigration bill to hit American competitiveness

by sculptor George Clarke has been lost, this is a faithful copy in miniature created by Benjamin Cheverton using a Pantograph machine. It is an amazing find," she said.

"It is a happy meeting place for the Unitarians, Brahmo Samajis

and Bengalis of Bristol in memory of the Raja," added Contractor, a local historian and former history lecturer from Bombay University. The ivory bust belongs to a private collector, who has chosen to remain anonymous but agreed to a request from his art historian friend, David Wilson, to present it for public view at this year's gathering. The event was attended by hundreds, including the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Faruk Choudhry. The bust is considered the best and most accurate three-dimensional likeness of Roy, who was not very keen on having his personal portraits done.-PTI

NEW DELHI: Canada has said that it is keen to bring in investable capital in the form of its pension funds into India which provides a long-term secure and stable capital investment. Canadian High Commissioner Stewart Beck said his country has the strongest pension funds in the world and it wants these funds to come to India. "He said that representatives of five largest Canadian pension funds were in India to talk about how to bring Canadian capital in this market. Those five funds alone represents around 700 billion dollars of investible capital," said Beck. Beck said his country believes that India provides a long-term se-

cure and stable capital investment. "One of the concerns the Canadian pension funds have is the taxation system in India. India has layers of tax. Canadians do not have any problems in paying tax. Already, some Canadian pension funds have invested in India and although they are not large investments, by normal standards it's pretty large and we want to bring in more because we see the opportunities," said Beck. The comments come after India recently passed the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill which provides for investment in funds in equity markets and opens the sector up to 26 per cent FDI. -PTI

Indian abducted in Oman rescued from Pak captors MUSCAT/NEW DELHI: An Indian, who was kidnapped from the city of Sohar, 200 kilometers from Muscat, has been rescued by the Omani police which arrested two of the seven Pakistani nationals involved. Official sources in New Delhi said the Indian Mission in Muscat had taken up the matter with local authorities over the weekend and were assured that necessary action would be taken. Meanwhile, the family of the worker identified as Haneefa from Kerala had received calls demanding huge ransom for his release,

according to media reports. His family reportedly received phone calls from Oman by "Urduspeaking people" demanding money in return for his release, the reports said. "They were calling from Internet phones. Later, when we stopped receiving those calls, we discovered they had pressured Haneefa to make calls from his own number," his family said. The family had said initially the callers were demanding OMR 2,000 (USD 5,201) within 24 hours for his release, but later the demands were changed. -PTI


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Jobles Indian kills wife in Dubai to avoid alimony DUBAI: A jobless Indian man in Dubai allegedly strangled his wife to death with the help of his Pakistani friend because he could not afford paying her alimony after divorcing her. The 23-year-old man, identified only as AB, fled to India after the murder in March but was arrested later. He is believed to have had long time problems with his wife and he planned to get rid of her, according to the testimony of his Pakistani friend, identified as RS, who is also charged with helping him kill the woman. The two men stood trial in the Court of First Instance on the charge of premedi-

AB's father said that his son and RS were very close friends and were colleagues, as well. They used to share the same accommodation before the woman's arrival in Dubai to work tated murder of the victim by strangling her with their hands as she was sleeping, Khaleej Times reported.

The woman's body was discovered by a cleaner in a sandy location in Al Foqah area on Dubai-Al Ain road on March 11. The body was wrapped in a big, black garbage plastic bag, with the upper part of the body out of the bag. AB's father said that his son and RS were very close friends and were colleagues, as well. They used to share the same accommodation before the woman's arrival in Dubai to work, a few months before she was killed. The father said that the victim used to complain about AB beating her up and drinking alcohol. She was also not happy with his friendship with RS.

He added that the victim was upset because her husband was cheating on her with a Filipina, which was one of the major reasons for their fights. The police tracked RS who confessed that AB had given him a gold necklace and borrowed Dh 600, which he needed to purchase an airline ticket. "RS confessed that AB wanted to divorce the victim but feared the Indian law which would oblige him to pay her a monthly alimony which he could not afford," the officer added. The pair dumped the body in a remote location. RS then dropped AB to the airport the following day and was caught shortly after that. Records did not specify how and when the husband, AB, was arrested. -PTI

Indian doc pleads not guilty to causing harm to patient MELBOURNE: Indian-origin surgeon Jayant Patel has pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing potentially life-threatening bodily harm to a patient during a surgery in Australia in 2004. The 64-year-old doctor, who was the head of surgery at the Bundaberg Hospital in southern Queensland, is facing trial in the Brisbane District Court for unnecessarily removing patient Ian Rodney Vowels' colon during the surgery. It took nearly an hour for a jury to be selected. Six jurors had to be excused and replaced after raising matters privately with Justice Te r e n c e Martin. According to AAP n e w s agency, Justice Martin warned all jurors the empanelling process would be Jayant Patel more complicated and lengthier than usual because of the extensive media coverage surrounding the case. A list of witnesses was read out and jurors were asked to consider if they knew any of the individuals, and whether that would affect their ability to be fair. Jurors are now required to answer a questionnaire, including whether they have heard anything adverse about Patel. Justice Martin told jurors they were not allowed to discuss their responses with each other. The case has been adjourned while the jury completes the questionnaire. Patel, who was born in Jamnagar in Gujarat, was jailed in 2010 after a jury convicted him of unlawfully killing three patients and causing grievous bodily harm to another while a surgeon at Bundaberg hospital.-PTI


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Maldives Supreme Court delays presidential elections MALE: The Supreme Court of the Maldives has delayed the final round of presidential elections following a legal challenge, threatening more political instability in the Indian Ocean archipelago. "We order the Elections Commission and other relevant state institutions to delay the second round of the presidential election scheduled for 28 September 2013 until the Supreme Court issues a verdict in this case," read a ruling from the court. The court has been holding hearings in a case filed by the Jumhooree Party, which demanded that the results of the first round on September 7 be annulled because of alleged discrepancies. The election, the first round of which was found to be free and fair by international observers, was seen as a test for the young democracy a year and a half after the violent ousting of the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed won the first round comfortably with 45.45 per cent of the vote, but faced a run-off contest on Sept 28 against Abdullah Yameen, the half brother of the islands' former autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. "The Supreme Court has gone against all common sense, international opinion and the majority of the country without any evidence to do so," an MP from Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party, Hamed Abdul Ghafoor, said. Nasheed resigned in February last year after a mutiny by police which he branded a coup, allegedly orchestrated by Gayoom, who ruled the honeymoon islands for three decades. -PTI

Indo-Canadians spread AIDS awareness TORONTO: Hundreds of Indo-Canadian youths participated in a campaign to spread awareness about AIDS and raise funds for a charity for HIV-infected people. "This year is our goal is to raise Canadian dollar 4,00,000 that will help AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) to meet the needs of 20,000 people who have been tested positive for HIV," the campaign's organizer, Scotia Bank's senior manager Sante Tesolin said. "Youths, wearing red shirts and carrying placards, participated in the five-km walk to spread awareness about the disease," he added. The route for the walk was created to commemorate the work of AIDS service organizations, their volunteers and those who lost to, and living with, HIV-AIDS, he said. Around 40 million people are infected with HIV across the world, of which around 65,000 people are in Canada. -PTI

KHURSHID IN NEW YORK: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid (C) poses with Indian Overseas Congress members at a meeting in New York on Sept 23

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Misuse of CBI in Jagan assets case: BJP NEW DELHI: Alleging misuse of CBI in Jaganmohan Reddy disproportionate asset case, BJP has alleged Congress has maintained double standards in the way it has asked the probe agency to handle cases pertaining to Gujarat while asking it to go soft on Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Asked if BJP is supporting Jaganmohan, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that is not the issue but charged that Congress is definitely playing some game with Jaganmohan and it is clear that both are "walking hand in hand". BJP said the release of Jaganmohan after he had spent 16 months in jail raises several questions. The party alleged ten charge sheets were filed against him in a staggered manner over several months in a clear case of misuse of CBI and with the hope of influ-

encing a by-election in 2012. Sitharaman sought to know why CBI has now - 16 months after his arrest - said that in seven cases filed against Jaganmohan there is not enough material. Though a person can be incarcerated only for 90 days for custo-

"The government's double standard is also clear in the way in which CBI is instructed to handle cases related to Gujarat� dial questioning, in his case it has been 16 months. The main opposition also charged that another misuse of CBI is the fact that five cabinet

ministers, who are named in cases where Jaganmohan is the first accused, have not been arrested so far and even continue to be ministers. Sitharaman named Sabita Reddy, Dharmana Prasad Rao and Geeta Reddy as well as M Venkat Ramana as the ones not arrested while Ponnala Lakshmi Narayana is now a witness. "The government's double standard is also clear in the way in which CBI is instructed to handle cases related to Gujarat. The obsessive pursuit and harassment to please political masters stand out. Why does CBI not handle the Andhra Pradesh ministers, both on disproportionate asset or on encounters similarly?" Sitharaman asked. She alleged the government has asked CBI to close the disproportionate assets case against Mulayam Singh Yadav and he is being "completely let-off".-PTI

Modi-themed SmartNamo phones launched NEW DELHI: A Gujarat-based group has launched two Narendra Modi-themed smartphones in India, named SmartNamo Saffron One and SmartNamo Saffron Two. The two smartphones are now available for pre-order at e-commerce website Snapdeal for an initial booking amount of Rs 999.

The 16 and 32GB variants of SmartNamo Saffron One have been priced at Rs 18,000 and Rs 23,000, respectively. SmartNamo Saffron Two will cost buyers Rs 24,000. Both the phones will be available for delivery in the second week of October, according to the website. Both devices are pow-

ered by Android 4.2 and have 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 3,150mAh battery and dual-sim functionality. SmartNamo Saffron One has a 5-inch IPS screen with 1920x1080presolution and 441ppi pixel density. Available in two stor-

age options, this device can be purchased in black or white colors. Its connectivity suite consists of features like 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB. Saffron Two has a 6.5-inch screen, making it one of the biggest smartphones in the world. Its IPS display also has a 1920x1080p

resolution and 338ppi pixel density. Other key features of the device are 32GB internal storage, microSD support up to 64GB, 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB. The company is offering an extra battery, a leather case, as well as another dual-sim feature phone worth Rs 1,111 free with this handset. Both the phones will come preloaded with wallpapers, videos as well as apps related to Modi. According to the official website of the smartphone maker, Namo is an acronym for Narendra Modi as well as Next-generation Android Mobile Odyssey. Modi is popularly referred to as NaMo on social networking websites. The Smart Namo group is backed by Gujarati businessmen who have mobile businesses in China. Ammeet Desai, the spokesperson for Smart Namo was quoted by The Wall Street Journal saying that they got the idea for this phone from China itself, where several products like MP3 players and smartphones are branded with their leaders' name.Agencies

VK Singh says money paid to J-K ministers was not bribe NEW DELHI: Facing fire over his statement that ministers in Jammu and Kashmir were given money by the Army, former Army chief Gen VK Singh has sought to do damage control by saying it was not a bribe but aimed at creating goodwill among people. "I did not commit any mistake. When I had said some politicians were given money, it was not meant for their personal purpose or political purpose. It was not for lining their pockets or for bribe. If somebody says that any minister was given a bribe, it is totally wrong. "It was meant solely for stability, to win hearts and minds of people, to wean people away from separatist activities under the overall umbrella of sadbhavna (harmony)," he said addressing a press conference at his residence in Gurgaon. Gen Singh met reporters as his remarks came under attack from various quarters including Union ministers, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and the Congress party. He claimed such activities are carried out by the Army in many areas and are not limited to Jammu and Kashmir. He, however, refused to name anyone. He said the "leakage" of an army inquiry report on the functioning of the controversial Technical Support Division (TSD) set up by him amounted to treason

and rejected the contention that the intelligence unit was his "private army". Singh suspected that the report was "leaked" and a controversy is being sought to be created in order to cover up certain "burning issues". "After the report surfaced, a number of burning issues were pushed to the background. Was this not a reason behind leaking

Gen VK Singh

the report? All this was done deliberately to create a smokescreen and divert the attention of the people," he alleged. Slamming those who "leaked" the report about the functioning of the intelligence unit, he said "if we discuss the functioning of the intelligence agencies in public, then it is treason. It should be probed how this report was being leaked and action should be taken against persons who have attempted to make such a leak. This is treason." He said such activities cannot be carried out while being in uniform, therefore intelligence units carry out such tasks.-PTI

Cabinet clears ordinance to shield convicted MPs, MLAs NEW DELHI: The UPA cabinet has cleared an ordinance to reverse the Supreme Court judgment that calls for immediate disqualification of lawmakers convicted of a criminal offence punishable with two years or more in jail, TV channels are reporting. The ordinance allows convicted MPs/MLAs to continue if their appeal is admitted by a higher court within 90 days and the conviction stayed. The lawmakers, however, will not vote or draw salaries till the case is decided. The Supreme Court had said that lawmakers sentenced to jail for over two years will stand disqualified. Most political parties

had reacted strongly against the July 10 verdict of the SC and wanted it reversed through an amendment to the Representation of the People Act, but public opinion forced a rethink. Following the court order, senior Congress Rajya Sabha member Rashid Masood, convicted in a corruption case on September 19 and to be sentenced on October 1, risked losing his seat. Lalu Prasad, former rail minister and chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which gives outside support to the UPA, too would have lost his membership of the Lok Sabha if found guilty in a fodder scam case to be decided on September 30.


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Ishrat case: CBI grills Gujarat minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja AHMEDABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned Gujarat Minister of State for Law Pradeepsinh Jadeja in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, sources in the Central agency said here. The CBI had also sent a notice

recorded conversation of the meeting. Singhal is now out on bail, as the agency failed to file the charge sheet against him in the stipulated 90 days. The nine people who were present in the meeting held in pri-

Suspended IPS officer G L Singhal, who was among the nine persons who attended the meeting, had submitted two pen drives to investigators containing the recorded conversation of the meeting to state Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, asking him to appear before it, sources added. Jadeja was questioned in Gandhinagar about an alleged meeting held in November 2011 to decide the strategy "to obstruct the investigation" of the fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan and three others, CBI sources said. Suspended IPS officer G L Singhal, who was among the nine persons who attended the meeting, had submitted two pen drives to investigators containing the

vate chamber of Advocate General Trivedi were G L Singhal, Singhal's lawyer friend Rohit Verma, G C Murmu, A K Sharma, then MoS (home) Praful Patel, Jadeja, then former minister and now agriculture minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and another accused in Ishrat case, Tarun Barot. Last week, CBI grilled Murmu, secretary to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and Crime Branch Joint Commissioner A K Sharma. The agency also grilled sus-

Chandrababu Naidu walks out of NIC meeting over Telangana NEW DELHI: TDP chief and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu walked out of the National Integration Council meeting here in protest against

N Chandrababu Naidu

the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. During the meeting, which was convened to discuss the growing incidents of communal violence, attack on women and atrocities on SCs and STs, Naidu wanted to raise the issue of Telangana and bring Central government's attention to the continuous protests in

Seemandhra region against the bifurcation move. Naidu said when he raised the issue, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi objected to it and told him that NIC was not the forum to discuss the Telangana issue. Gandhi was immediately joined by Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in preventing Naidu to raise the issue of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. The TDP chief said Chidambaram told him that he would not be allowed to speak on Telangana in the NIC meeting and if he wishes, he can walk out of the meeting, which he did. "My point is, if I am not allowed to speak such a serious issue in such a forum where top leadership of the country is present, where will I go," he asked. Naidu said there is continuous tension in entire Seemandhra and protests and strike has crippled the region.-PTI

pended IPS officer D G Vanzara last week regarding his resignation letter in which he had hit out at Modi government for failing to protect the jailed police officers with regard to fake encounter cases. CBI has named Singhal, Vanzara, suspended IPS officers P P Pandey and Tarun Barot, N K Amin, retired DSP J G Parmar and commando Anaju Chaudhary in the charge sheet, accusing them of murder and criminal conspiracy with regard to the encounter killing of 19-year-old Ishrat, Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in June 2004. CBI's probe in the case was still on, it had said when filing the charge sheet in July 2013. -PTI

BJP hits out at Chidambaram for attacking Modi NEW DELHI: Hitting out at Finance Minister P Chidambaram for attacking Narendra Modi, BJP has accused him of indulging in "statistical jugglery" about the growth figures and making unfair comparisons of the UPA's nine years of rule with the NDA government's achievements. "Can Chidambaram explain why the growth rate today is 4.8 per cent? When growth rate in this period goes down they have all kinds of explanation on why it has gone down. And then they quote figures from our time to say that they have a better average," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters here. Chidambaram has charged the Gujarat Chief Minister with staging a "fake encounter with facts" regarding his claims of economic growth during BJP-led NDA be-

ing 8.4 per cent and said nothing can be further from truth. Sinha alleged that this statistical jugglery is being done by Chidambaram as the UPA government cannot compete on year-toyear basis with the NDA regime and hence is taking out averages. "They are comparing nine years average with five years average of NDA," Sinha said, adding that when NDA came to power the growth rate was 4.8 per cent and when the BJP-led coalition relinquished office it was 8.6 per cent. "Chidambaram is doing terrorism with facts.... He is only comparing on averages. This is only jugglery of figures," he said. The former Finance Minister also maintained that while NDA had created 60 million jobs in five years, the UPA government has only provided 2.7 million jobs in nine years.-PTI


Tech News 3G row: Court asks Bharti Airtel to approach TDSAT NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked Bharti Airtel to approach telecom tribunal TDSAT with its plea against a DoT order asking it to stop providing intracircle 3G roaming service outside licensed circles by entering into pacts with other service-providers. The bench, comprising justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde, also asked the telecom major to move within two weeks Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) which would decide the case by the year end. The apex court however, clarified that its interim order restraining Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel from adding new customers via 3G roaming pacts would continue till December-end. It also asked Airtel to name Reliance Communication as a respondent in the petition before TDSAT which in turn would decide as to whether RComm has the right to be heard or not. Besides Bharti, DoT has also asked telecom majors Vodafone and Idea Cellular Ltd to stop providing intra-circle 3G roaming service outside licensed circles by entering into pacts with other service-providers.-PTI

Grameen Bank to be brought under central bank DHAKA: Bangladesh has decided to bring Nobel Prize winning Grameen Bank under the central bank's jurisdiction amid controversy over the fate of the pioneering micro-credit body after its founder Muhammad Yunus was forced to quit two years ago. "We have decided to bring Grameen Bank under the Bangladesh Bank's jurisdiction in line with the suggestions of the (government-constituted Grameen Bank) Commission," Finance Minister AMA Muhith told reporters. He said the commission was yet to submit its final report to the government but "we already know about its contents and are taking steps to make the change as it suggested". The three-member commission was constituted last year to review Grameen Bank's governing structure after Yunus was forced to quit as its managing director losing his final court battle. For the last one year the Bank was running without the managing director as Yunus obtained a stay order from the High Court over the appointment of the bank's executive head while Muhith said initiatives were now underway to dispose the writ. -PTI

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September 27, 2013

Fairfax-led consortium to buy BlackBerry NEW YORK: Following months of speculation of a buyout, BlackBerry has said it has signed a letter of intent with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited to buy the struggling Canadian smartphone maker for USD 4.7 billion. BlackBerry has signed a letter of intent agreement (LOI) under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence, it said in a statement.-PTI

Indian, Chinese companies ink pacts worth USD 338 million NEW DELHI: Indian and Chinese companies from sectors such as cotton yarn, marine and agricultural products have signed 15 contracts worth USD 338 million. The pacts may help India correct to some extent the trade deficit that ballooned to USD 39 billion in China's favor in 2012-13. India's exports to China were only USD 13.53 billion while imports stood at USD 52.24 billion last fiscal. "In a structured process of procurement of Indian products, 15 MoUs between Indian and Chinese companies, worth value of USD 338 million have been signed," said a Commerce Ministry statement. These contracts were signed during the 'India, China Business Matchmaking Symposium' here. A 50 member buyers' delegation from China is here for business meetings. It said the products regarding which procurement MoUs were signed include zinc and copper

concentrates, cotton yarn, frozen fish/linter, castor oil and guar gum, acrylic tow and Indian granite block. Chinese firm Chinatex Corpora-

ration inks a pact of USD 60 million with Cotton textiles Export Promotion Council for purchase of cotton yarn. Similarly, Chinalight Resources Imp & Exp Corp has

tion inked a purchase contract worth USD 5 million with Indian Acrylics Ltd to import acrylic from India. China-based CITIC International Co signed a purchase contract worth USD 130 million with MRI Trading to buy zinc concentrates and copper concentrates. China Textile Industrial Corpo-

inked a contract worth USD 35 million with Sanchita Marine Products for Indian frozen fishlinter purchase, a CII statement said. From the Indian side, nearly 60 companies from varied sectors attended the symposium and the B2B meetings. Nearly 150 B2B interactions between enterprises

Canara Bank launches housing schemes for NRIs, HNIs NEW DELHI: State-owned Canara Bank has launched two new housing schemes for NonResident Indians (NRIs) and High Networth Individuals (HNIs), in a bid to cash in on the festive fervor. The demand from NRIs for

houses has increased considerably and enquiries with regard to housing loans from NRIs with builders have grown by 20 per cent at present, Canara Bank

Chairman and Managing Director R K Dubey said here. Home loan of up to Rs 30 lakh would be available to an NRI at the base rate of 9.95 per cent, while loans in the bracket of Rs 30-75 lakh will be available at a rate of 10 per cent. Loans of above Rs 75 lakh would attract Rs 10.20 per cent. Further, the demand from HNIs for housing loans of above Rs 1 crore has also increased, Dubey said, adding, the premium housing loan scheme is exclusively for HNIs having gross annual income of Rs 25 lakh and above. The minimum loan amount under the scheme is Rs 1 crore and the rate of interest charged would be 10.05 per cent. Processing charges for both the schemes have been waived till October 31, he added. -PTI

were scheduled. Earlier, Asit Tripathy, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Commerce said that India's trade deficit with China is a matter of concern and should be addressed appropriately to sustain the growth of bilateral trade on a long term basis. He said that Indian products like engineering goods, petroleum down stream products, agriproducts, pharmaceuticals and services like IT are internationally competitive and should be provided access in the Chinese domestic market. The Chinese business delegation was led by Jia Guoyong, Vice Director General of Trade Development Bureau (TDB) China and had members from varied sectors like chemicals, plastics, steel, mines and minerals, cotton and textiles. Guoyong said imports from India are going to be a long term policy backed by measures like reduction in tariff. -PTI

Moody's cuts SBI's debt rating to 'Baa3' MUMBAI: Global rating agency Moody's has downgraded the senior unsecured debt and local currency deposit rating of India's largest bank SBI by a notch to 'Baa3' from 'Baa2', citing asset quality and recapitalization concerns. "A combination of increasing pressure on credit fundamentals and ongoing reliance on fiscally constrained government to maintain capital at levels desired by regulators argue for appropriateness of supported debt and deposit ratings at a level no higher than the sovereign," Moody's said in a statement. SBI's revised rating for the senior unsecured debt and local currency deposit instruments would now be Baa3 from the earlier Baa2,

it said, revising down the outlook on the bank's financial strength rating to negative from stable. Explaining the rationale behind

the action, Moody's said the ongoing gloom on the economic front will result in the asset quality, with its loan impaired ratio already touching 8.6 per cent, with a heavy increase in the June quarter.-PTI


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September 27, 2013

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Indian govt files affidavit on coal blocks identification NEW DELHI: The Indian government has filed its affidavit in the Supreme Court stating various developments taking place since 1992 on coal block identification and allocation to private companies. In its 24-page affidavit, backed by voluminous records, the Centre contended the Coal India Ltd

Institute Limited (CMPDIL) but the allocation of blocks for captive mining is done by CIL. "In the circumstances, it is clear that basic identification exercise was conducted by CMPDIL but a final decision allowing such blocks to be given for captive mining had to be that of CIL since basically the interest of CIL had

is the lessee of state governments in respect of the coal mines which were vested Coal Mines Authority after nationalization of the natural resources in 1973. It said basic identification exercise of coal blocks is done by the Central Mine Planning and Design

to be taken into consideration," the affidavit said. The Centre said 172 blocks came to be identified for captive mining in 1997 which were not proposed to be taken up by CIL. It said total geological reserve available for Coal India is estimated

around 123 billion tonnes. The affidavit was filed to answer the apex court which had on the last hearing questioned the Centre on how coal blocks belonging to CIL were allocated to private companies. The affidavit also said the government had failed to produce certain documents on the progress of government policy on the coal block allocation to private companies which started in 1993. "If these coal blocks identified by CIL and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) are part of the lease hold area of CIL, then how can further right be created in favor of other companies," the apex court had said on the last hearing. The bench had said the issue is "most vital" for the case and it cannot proceed in the matter without government's clarification on it. It had also asked the AG to supply all booklets of CMPDIL for identifying coal blocks and how applications from the companies were received by the Centre. The apex court was hearing final arguments on PILs seeking cancellation of coal blocks allocation. -PTI

Lord Paul welcomes RBI decision to hike repo rate LONDON: Praising the new RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan for "not falling to populism", leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has supported the decision to raise a key interest rate which had disappointed the Indian industry. "I congratulate the governor for his policy because he has not fallen to populism but is doing the best for the economy and the country. (In the) long-term, the economy needs correction. There is no better time than to do it now," Lord Paul said. Rajan had unexpectedly raised the policy rate by 0.25 per cent, the first increase in almost two years, to keep inflation under check. There were expectations that RBI would maintain a status quo on policy rates. "Sooner or later, we will have to create correction to the economy by bringing the current deficit down. "The Food Security Bill is very good and also some of the other measures...for meeting the needs

of the ordinary people of India, particularly the poor and the middle class. "Inflation must be kept down as that hurts these people most," Lord Paul said. Reacting to Rajan's move, CII Director General Chandrajit

Banerjee had said the repo rate hike could have been avoided as the industry is already reeling under pressures of high cost of capital and low availability in a tight liquidity situation. "The increase in repo rate comes as a surprise," Banerjee said. -PTI

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan

Germany pushes for early conclusion of India-EU FTA NEW DELHI: Germany has ing here," he said. pressed India for early conclusion Launched in June, 2007, the of the long-pending Free Trade negotiations for the proposed Agreement with the European Broadbased Trade and Investment Union, saying it would be a pity if Agreement (BTIA) between India India "misses this FTA train" just and the 27-nation European bloc because elections are nearing. has witnessed many hurdles with German Ambassador Michael both sides having major differSteiner stressed that if India wants ences on crucial issues. to get back to growth of eight per Despite the hiccups, Indian cent, it needs investment. Under- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scoring the importance of Free had in July voiced hope that the Trade and Investment agreement pact will be sealed soon. for India, he said both the Indian The EU side has been pressing Prime Minister and the German for hiking FDI cap to 49 per cent in Chancellor are in its favor. With Chancellor An- With Chancellor Angela gela Merkel securing a Merkel securing a stunning stunning hat-trick win in Germany's parliamen- hat-trick win in Germany's tary elections, the am- parliamentary elections, the bassador said nothing ambassador said nothing will change on the fundamentals in the foreign will change on the fundapolicy front. mentals in the foreign "Germany continues policy front. to be absolutely proEurope, pro further integration steps and will continue the insurance sector. India has exon the path of solidarity and so- pressed its inability to do so withlidity," he added. out an approval from the ParliaThe ambassador said it is "stra- ment. tegically important that European Besides demanding significant Union facilitates its relations with duty cuts in automobiles, EU is India". also demanding for tax reduction "The trade aspect is not so im- in wines and spirits and dairy prodportant but investment is. ucts and a strong intellectual propIf India wants to get back to erty regime. growth of 8 per cent, it needs inOn the other hand, India is askvestment. We need investments ing for granting data secure nafrom companies who are not fol- tion status to it by EU. The matter lowing the philosophy of hot is crucial as it will have a bearing money but really strategic long on Indian IT companies wanting term presence in the country. It market access. It also wants liberwould be a pity if India misses this alized visa norms for its professionFTA train and others will go ahead als and market access in services simply because elections are near- and pharmaceuticals sector.-PTI


Horoscope

14 India Post

September 27, 2013

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Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

SEPTEMBER 28 TH - OCTOBER 4 TH , 2013 (March 21 to April 20)

M

oney expected will show up as promised. Spouse may be nervous about few issues involving family members. You may receive few offers but may decide to let them go and wait for the right one. All business meetings will go well and change of vendors will save money in long terms. You may relish food of your choice with family at the restaurant.

(July 23 to August 22)

S

trong Venus will help many obstacles at work. People in business will see sales shooting up this week. You may start looking for a deal to change one of your old vehicle. Efforts you make will continue to bring desired results. You may be writing a small check to a government agency also. Stocks can get you some extra money.

(April 21 to May 20)

Y

our attention will be on children this week. You may dispose off some money making stocks and put the money aside. Some money will be spent on buying some gifts for others. People seeking a change in career will be called for second interview. You may travel to a nice place with family this weekend. handle all tools with extra care.

(August 23 to September 22)

M

oney will come but will not stay for long. Old commitments may continue to drain you out for some more time. Things may keep getting slightly tough at existing place and as a result you may start applying for job outside. Some of you may be getting ready to move to a nice place. bachelors will consider recent proposal seriously.

(May 21 to June 20)

S

itting is not going to make things happen. You need quick and timely actions as this could be the turning point in your life when planets are in right order to do the magic with little efforts from you. You will enjoy benefits for your efforts for many many years to come. You will be spending lots of money on a child this week.

(September 23 to October 22)

A

colleague may try to involve you in an unnecessary argument. You may start the process to obtain a loan or line of equity. You may invite few close friends at your place this week. Luck is definitely on your side so continue working on the new project. You may change your plan to visit a holy place on last minute.

(June 21 to July 22)

Y

ou will successfully resolve a tricky issue with a government agency. You will try to make good use of extra time on hand and may take spouse to a nice place for dinner. There will be sight confusion but you will ultimately take the right decisions at work. You may be still double minded about taking a trip overseas in near future.

(October 23 to November 22)

A

female will be the cause of trouble and you may have to pay a price for mistake made in past few weeks. you may contact an expert to seek opinion and easy remedy. You may dispose off some stocks and put the money in savings. Money wise you will continue to do well. You may visit a mall and buy some new cloths also. (November 23 to December 22)

A

ll meetings will go well and sign would be positive. You will start to enjoy company of a new colleague and may take him out for lunch. You may make final payment on couple of bills and still have plenty leftover. Spouse will make big changes in diet at home. Lucky break you had been waiting for just around the corner. (December 22 to January 19)

L

ittle time spent on phone will help clear few confusions and get roadblocks out of way. You will pay all your bills and still have plenty in the bank. You may buy new furniture or some decorative items for the house. A government agency may give final clearance. You may attend a small celebration in close family this week. (January 20 to February 18)

Y

ou will take many wise decisions after careful consideration. It will be better to seek expert opinion before you answer any legal query. money will come and will be well spent on good reasons. you may stretch your limits when spending on a child. Good advice coming from a matured person. (February 19 to March 20)

S

ome one in the family will be going away for few days. You will be looking for ways to have more peace at home. Money will come and disappear fast as usual. A close friend will call and send invitation too. You may try to get in touch with an old friend who was very helpful. Boss may politely ask you about the project on hand.

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

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


September 27, 2013

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Desi News Gandhi Trust to pay tribute to the Mahatma on Oct 2 SURENDRA ULLAL India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Gandhi Memorial Trust, a no profit body in Illinois, has announced celebrating Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, to pay tribute to Father of the Nation on Wednesday, October 2. Trustees will be present at the

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

Great Gurus, devoted students at Indian Music Festival Details on page 26

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Clinical staff urged to get trained for new classification of diseases VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

MILPITAS, CA: The Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPIO) Semi-Annual Meeting was held on September 20 at the India Community Center, Milpitas. The social hour began at 6 pm followed by the General Meeting at 7:30 pm. There were three invited guest speakers for the event. The first speaker was Alameda-Contra Costa Medical

pensation Reform Act (MICRA). Joseph Greaves, Assistant Executive Director, ACCMA addressed the gathering on ICD10 coding. On October 1, 2014, the ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures will be replaced by ICD-10 code sets. It codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases. The code set allows more than

Mahatma Gandhi statute in Skokei

statue of Mahatma in Skokie, a north side suburb of Chicago, to facilitate the celebration from 10 am to 11 am that day. Since it is working day, members of the community and others and families are encouraged to visit the statue during the day at their convenience Mahatma Gandhi's basic peace and Ahimsa message is most relevant in the present strife-torn world. "Peace is the only way to resolve the conflicts. Gandhi teaching is needed more than ever. This visit will be good reminder of Gandhian teaching and also to educate children about the man who brought freedom around the world through non-violence," said Om Prakash Kamaria, Chairman of the Trust. He said that only flowers will be offered so the visitors need not bring any candles so as to maintain the cleanliness near the statue which is located on the east side of the McCormick Blvd between Dempster and Church in Skokie.

Donald Waters, Executive Director ACCMA

Sunita Japra, Dr Romesh Japra & Dr Harmesh Kumar

Association (ACCMA) Executive Director Donald Waters who was introduced by Dr Kranthi Achanta, President of AAPIO. Donald outlined the emerging medical practice issues in our community, including 10th International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD10) and Medical Injury Com-

Air Tours set for fresh push in traveltour business Details on page 23

Cory Booker addresses South Asian Community Details on page 25 Priya Gandhi

14,400 different codes and permits the tracking of many new diagnoses. The codes can be expanded to over 16,000 by using optional sub-classifications. Joseph mentioned ICD10 would impact clinical staff as well as the physicians and urged them to get trained on the same. The third speaker of the evening was Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Indian philanthropist and cardiovascular surgeon from Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, India. He was introduced by Dr Vijay Tiwari, Secretary of AAPIO. Dr Devi Shetty completed his graduate degree in Medicine and post-graduate work in General Surgery from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. He was trained in cardiac surgery at Guy's Hospital in the United Kingdom. Dr Shetty was awarded Padma Bhushan, third highest civilian award in the Republic of India for Medicine in

Joseph Greaves, Asst. Executive Director ACCMA

Dr Devi Shetty

2012 and Padma Shri in 2004 to name a few. He was the personal physician of Mother Teresa. In 2001, Shetty founded Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH), a multi-specialty hospital with 5000

beds in Bangalore. He believes that the cost of healthcare can be reduced by 50 percent in the next 510 years if hospitals adopt the idea of economies of scale. Cont’d on page 20


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Ganesh Visarjan reminiscent of Mumbai ceremonies

Vipan Bhanot and Raj Bhanot with Anuradha Paudwal and the priest

VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

SUNNYVALE, CA: Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with much aplomb by people outside India as well and the rituals associated with the festivities go on for 10 days. Sunnyvale Hindu Temple had organized a week long

Ganeshotsav. The festivities came to an end with the grand Ganesh Visarjan on September 15 in Pacific Ocean. The rituals started with Ganapathi Pooja around 8 am on September 15, followed by Ganapathi abishek, bhajan and mahaarti by priests of Sunnyvale Hindu Temple. Melody queen

Anuradha Paudwal sang in praise of Ganesha bhagvan and did the mangal aarti. Devotees from Suunyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, San Jose took part in this auspicious ceremony. Devotees boarded the buses at 1:30 pm and reached the pier at around 2:30 pm. On the cruise the pandits performed maha

The visarjan in Pacific

abhisekham and aarti. Amidst dhol and bhajan, Ganesh Visarjan was done by Raj Bhanot. This was followed by devotees performing the arti and visarjan for

their own Ganapthi idol. Ganesh Visarjan in Pacific Ocean amidst puja and religious ceremonies was recreating Mumbai in US, says a devotee.

New Whole Foods store offers best tastes & highest quality VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service

FREMONT, CA: On September 19, around 4:30pm, I was joined by over 20 media members and a group of Whole Foods representatives on a media sneak peek of the new store in Fremont. Whole Foods Market opened its new Fremont store at 3111 Mowry Avenue on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The 39,000-square-foot store, located at the corner of Mowry Avenue and Paseo Padre Parkway, features worldly decor with locally sourced tiles from Fire Clay Tile in San Jose. Shoppers will find a salad bar, the hot bar, fresh pro-

Harvindar Singh

Lisa Maria Wilson and Pedro Fonseca

duce and meat, plus a few unique treats such as pizza cafe and Dosa corner. Decorations reflect the diverse culture of city of Fremont. Green design elements include reclaimed Douglas fir wood used for various fixtures; LED lights on exterior lighted signs, track lighting, hood lighting and all refrigerated food cases and electric car charging stations. All new wood fixtures and wood cladding throughout the store are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood. The FSC standards represent the world's strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. The store features fresh produce from local vendors such as CCOF, Hillcrest Olive Oil,

Foolish hens, Ramavtar Singh farms, Terra Bella Farms, Chan Saelee to name a few. These farms are within 100 miles of Fremont. The store employs 189 team members and 60 per cent of them are local Fremont residents and freshers. It features meat, seafood, grocery, prepared foods, bakery bulk section, nut butters, whole body sections. Mission Peak Tap Alley is the unique element of Fremont whole foods store and has seven beers on tap in a charming tap room housed within the store. Local beers on tap are from breweries including Bison Organic Beer, Ale Industries, Drake's Brew-

ing, Cali Craft and Red Branch Ciders. The store also houses a "Dosa Corner" catering different varieties of dosa using organic ingredients complemented with yummy chutneys. The store is planning to sell curry leaves, karela (bitter gourd), okra, neem powder, fresh turmeric and is a definite stop for the Indian community for high quality organic produce, says Harv Singh, Forger at Whole foods. "Whole Foods Market looks forward to being part of Fremont's diverse community, as well as building lasting relationships with local vendors, the business community and residents alike," said Pedro Fonseca, store team

dards, which include that animals are raised on a vegetarian diet without being administered antibiotics or added growth hormones. All beef, pork, chicken and turkey carried in the fresh and prepackaged cases at all Whole Foods Market stores in the US comes from farms that are rated according to Global Animal Partnership's 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating. Four times a year, Whole Foods Market sets aside a day on which five percent of the day's net sales is contributed to a local non-profit organization. The Fremont store will kick off a "Week of Giving" on September 30 and have five one-percent days.

leader. The store offers the besttasting, freshest and highestquality meat available that meets the company's strict quality stan-

The first 250 shoppers received a free gift bag filled with Whole Foods Market signature items.


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Hawaii Swami cautions on the promise & peril of Yoga India Post News Service

SANTA CLARA, CA: Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami of the Himalayan Academy in Hawaii spoke at the Dharma & Yoga Festival here on science and consciousness. He explained how quantum physics now understands that consciousness created the brain and not vice versa. Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami is the editor-in-chief of Hinduism Today magazine, and is one of the stewards of Saiva Siddhanta Church, Himalayan Academy and Hindu Heritage Endowment. The Paramacharya talked about the evolution of Hatha yoga in America, how media initially viewed Yoga as a heathen invasion of America to now when it's become so popular. Time magazine has put Yoga on its cover twice and now it's become so hot, so cool, so this minute! 22 million Americans profess to practice Yoga, and it's a 20 billion dollar industry. Michelle Obama teaches yoga on the White House lawn as part of a program to reduce obesity in children. The US Government Patent Board has 1876 Copyrights, 567

Patents and 2993 Trademarks that are related to Yoga. Yogis are using these to tie each other's hands as infringements on the use of Asanas and terminologies. US

The Paramacharya spoke about the Kundalini by narrating the story of someone who experimented with all the Kundalini techniques he read in a text, on his own

Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami

Federal court last year has agreed that a specific sequence of 26 poses can't be copyrighted. A politically savvy group, the Hindu American Foundation, is fighting to take back Yoga from being stripped from its authenticity and becoming commercial.

without a Guru. He had wonderful spiritual experiences, but then he had a long descent into great pain and sorrow. He described it as though too much of an electric current was driven through a small wire, which his nervous system, and burned through his spine. He

Clinical staff urged to get trained for new classification of diseases Cont’d from page 18

Narayana Hrudayalaya also receives patients from outside India, and it has created a record of performing nearly 15,000 surgeries on patients from 25 countries. Its low cost model has attracted international acclaim and several states have shown interest to set up hospitals on similar model. Dr Shetty spoke on Global Healthcare initiative and how to

come the first country in the world to dissociate healthcare from affluence, says Dr Shetty. Indians are genetically thrice vulnerable for heart disease than Europeans. India needs 2.5 million heart surgeries a year, but performs only 90,000. "We worked with L&T to build a 300 bed super specialty hospital for US $7 million and completed the project in eight months as against the normal time period of three years,"

A section of the audience

bring down healthcare cost. Explaining that his job as a heart surgeon means he puts a price on human life every day, Dr Shetty said he is trying to reduce the cost of heart surgeries from $1400 to $800 and dialysis to $10. India will be-

says Dr Shetty. Shetty indicated that there are hundreds of towns in India with a population of 500,000 to one million where there are no heart hospitals. Over the next few years, Narayana Hrudayalaya targets to

build this kind of easily replicable low cost model in such towns and Tier 3/Tier 4 cities. According to Narayana Hrudayalaya practices, a very important aspect in keeping the costs low is to monitor and measure it regularly. It has implemented an Oracle ERP on cloud that provides detailed information on a real time basis. Dr Shetty also aims to add 30,000 beds in the next seven to ten years as he believes that the country requires close to two million beds and does not foresee the government providing it. "Adding just 1,000 to 2,000 beds is not going to make a difference. The need is just tremendous," he emphasized. The evening's entertainment was a fashion show and light music by local desi band. The program concluded with music and dancing and sumptuous dinner by Amber India.

couldn't sit, stand, or sleep, and finally got cancer of the spine. This is what happened by the early arousal of the Kundalini. It's become a bit too popular to talk about Kundalini Yoga in unknowledgeable circles and Paramacharya would like this change. His Guru says to be cautious of those who promise great Kundalini awakening and spiritual rewards, without proper preparation, initiation and renunciation. Those who get angry should not practice Kundalini Yoga. There are four main paths, or Yogas: Karma, Raj, Bhakti and Jnan. The general opinion is that one should pursue the path that

is akin to one's nature. Paramcharya has another take on who should practice these Yogas. Jnan Yoga is for those with a strongly developed mystical sense, it's a direct experience of higher states of consciousness, of what a Yogi becomes and not an intellectual study of the texts. He says that very intelligent people often benefit more from opening their hearts through Bhakti Yoga. Karma, Raj and Bhakti Yoga are a pre-requisite for Jnan Yoga for the proper preparation for Jnan Yoga. These Yogas are cumulative stages and none should be abandoned along the path, all four need to be integrated, he said.

Honda announces bill to expand social security benefits India Post News Service

WASHINGTON, DC: Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) has announced the introduction of the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, helping lead an effort in Congress to modernize Social Security and ensure that it is a sustainable, solvent system for future beneficiaries. The bill, H.R. 3118, was pre-

into Social Security, ensuring that all individuals pay into the program at the same rate. Currently, individuals are only taxed on the first $113,700 of income, allowing a person earning $1 million annually to be taxed at a significantly lower percentage than a worker making $50,000 - the national average. The bill also makes formula adjustments to increase benefits

Rep. Mike Honda

viewed at a press conference in Silicon Valley this summer. "This legislation will ensure that benefits keep up with today's rising costs, and that current and future retirees regain the security of aging with dignity," remarked Rep. Honda upon the bill's introduction. "There is no doubt that the program needs structural improvements, and the fairest, simplest way to keep it solvent is to require all Americans - regardless of income level - to contribute equally." The bill - introduced with Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) - eliminates the cap on taxable income paying

by approximately $800 annually to better reflect today's rising healthcare costs. "Americans at every stage of life are concerned about whether they will have enough money to live on when they retire," said Sen. Harkin. "The American Dream promises that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will be able to save for retirement and enjoy your golden years with your grandchildren. We must ensure that, after a lifetime of hard work, Americans are able to retire with dignity and financial independence. This legislation helps to achieve that goal." Cont’d on page 22


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'A Bug's Light!' teaches electrical safety to students India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: A superhero insect is headed to 10 underserved elementary schools across Southern California Edison's (SCE) service area to teach students about electrical safety through a live theatre production of "A Bug's Light!" Sparky the Wonder Bug stars in the multimedia, interactive safety production, produced by The National Theater for Children (NTC), which actively engages students in learning what they and

their families can do safely around electricity. An estimated 5,400 saw the production Sept. 16-20 as part of National Preparedness Month. Edison International, parent company of SCE, donated $25,000 to NTC to produce the play to educate children in schools in Southern California, including Compton, Alhambra, Santa Ana, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino and Oxnard. "Safety is our No. 1 priority and we want children, as well as adults, to know how to be safe around electricity," said Janet Clayton,

Wendi West (NTC actor), Diane Tasaka (Public Education and Communications Manager, SCE), Steven Longacre (Principal, Taft Elementary), Dalilah Davaloz (Senior Communications Specialist, SCE), and Michael Van Schoick (NTC actor)

Wendi West (Sparky the Wonderbug, NTC actor)

senior vice president, Corporate Communications for Edison International and Southern California Edison. "When we saw how well students and teachers reacted to 'A Bug's Light!' last year, we were

excited to bring it back again and continue educating children about electrical safety in a way that makes learning fun." The production uses a combination of interactive learning tech-

niques that include an entertaining, all-school assembly performed by professional actors, classroom curriculum, digital educational games and homework assignments.

Chico City Council opened with Hindu prayer India Post News Service

C

hico City Council in California (USA), incorporated in 1872, had its first historic Hindu invocation on September 17, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture.

in common use, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He started and ended the prayer with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude

darkness to Light, and Lead me from death to Immortality." Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Councilmembers, city employees and public were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads

thanked Zed. "It is a historic moment of pride for the community when the prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures are being read in this great hall of democracy of this great city of Chico", Zed stated before starting the invocation. Female majority Chico with oak-shaded downtown claims to maintain "a special sense of community" and is nicknamed as "City of Roses". Home to Bidwell Park spread in 3,670 acres, said to be the fourth largest municipal

park in USA; Chico has topped the Forbes list of "Best Places in America" and has been recognized as "Top Place to Live the Western Dream" and "#1 Cycling Community in America". Mark Sorensen and Brian Nakamura are Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively. Prominent people associated with Chico include Olympians Emily Azevedo, Joseph Bottom and Leslie Deniz; actress Amanda Detmer; painter Jackson Pollock and musician Mat Kearney.

Honda announces bill to expand social security benefits Cont’d from page 20

Just before the Chico City Council Hindu invocation, from left to right, are Councilmember Ann Schwab, Councilmember Tami Ritter, Councilmember Randall Stone, Rajan Zed, Mayor Scott Gruendl, Vice Mayor Mark Sorensen, Councilmember Mary Goloff and Councilmember Sean Morgan

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer. Zed recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still

religious work. Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed said, "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which he then translated as "Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from

bowed down during this invocation. Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India on the podium before the prayer. Zed presented a copy of prayerbook Srihanumanchalisa to Mayor Scott Gruendl, who introduced and

Said Karen Friedman, Executive Vice President and Policy Director at the Pension Rights Center: "We applaud Rep. Honda for sponsoring and being a vocal advocate for this critical bill, which will strengthen and improve Social Security for today's and tomorrow's retirees. There is no question that Social Security is the nation's most important social insurance program, and this legislation will ensure that it remains a strong foundation of retirement security for millions of Americans."

Virginia Reno, Vice President for Income Security Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), characterized the bill as a necessary step toward reform: "NASI's non-partisan research finds strong public support for changes that strengthen Social Security revenues in ways similar to the provisions of this bill. There is widespread agreement among large majorities of Americans across age, income, party lines, race, and ethnicity - who value Social Security and are willing to pay more, if necessary, to preserve and improve it."


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Air Tours set for fresh push in travel-tour business RAMESH SOPARAWALA, HITESH DESAI & ASIAN MEDIA USA

CHICAGO: A premier Indian owned travel and tour company, Air Tours Inc, is set for further expansion of its operations and activities in the coming year with a view to serving its burgeoning number of customers better. Mafat Patel, President of the company and Ravi Shanker, Managing Director of Mumbai based Vacation Exotica, told this paper that Air Tours and the Mumbai firm will soon launch tours for Indians in North America seeking to visit certain places and destination in the country for a relatively short period. Varsha Patel, Managing Director of Air Tours, said that two such group tours are planned for temples in South India and tourist places in Rajasthan. This will be followed up with many such tours depending on the interest shown by Indians and even Americans here. Air Tours have group tours done for destinations other than India like China, Russia, Australia and Africa. "Our success in these

The Air Tours Team with Mafat Patel (center sitting) flanked by Varsha Patel (to his right) and Ravito (his left)

boarding and transportations and this has led to tour successes and we will do one better with India," he said. The travel and tour business has shown a sign of revival, he

over 600 guests and invitees attending the near three-hour program After socializing hour of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, the program started with MC Buena Patel

"I remember when this venture first started, we barely had the resources to run a business, besides struggling just to get up from the ground. We relentlessly worked toward our objectives and carried out all the necessary steps towards growth and success," he said beaming with joy. Analyzing factors behind Air Tours stupendous growth he said "challenges are part of life but in the long run hard work and honesty always pays off." A video clip by a satisfied customer who had availed of their services for Tickets/Vacation Packages & Cruise Vacations was shown. Air Tours Managing Director Varsha Patel introduced her staff, starting with Schaumburg Branch

Manager Pravina Patel. The team comprised ticketing agents Pavithra, Mohini, Farheen and Sana. Manshi Brahmbhatt manages the Devon Head Office team comprising Hema, Rutva, Asra and Bhaskar. Manager of vacations and cruises Hitendra Desai's team comprises Vandana Laxmi, Sunita, Binita, and Jagdish and Anil. Accounts Manager Manoj Chokshi and his assistant Rohan rounded up the list of staff members felicitated. There were many raffles including two business class air tickets & vacation packages to Dubai/Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Turkey & India and many surprise prizes for their valued clients. The Mumbai Masti Group (MMG) provided live entertainment with full energy. The Etihad Aiways offered Two Business class tickets to the winner of the draw The Air Tours Holidays & Vacation Exotica offered five Raffles for a couple to various destinations of the world. Masti Cruise, well known Cruise planner for Family Vacations & Groups with their preferred partner Norwegian Cruise Lines, offered Bahamas Cruise Vacation. Raffles Draw was done by Associate Partners, Valued Clients, Patel Family. There were many surprises in between with a live quiz show giving instant Raffles apart from Main Raffles. These were again US$1500 Off Voucher for Holidays & Two US $250 Gift Vouchers from SAHIL.

Lamp lighting ceremony (L-R) Amrit Patel, Mafat Patel, Tulsi Patel, Amathi Patel and Naren Patel

areas induced us to have a similar platform for India too," she said. Ravi Shankar said that yet another motivating factor was a sharp fall in the value of rupee vis a vis dollar. "The group Indian tours would look more attractive now than before," he said. Vacation Exotica will look after the tourists once they land in India. He said that unlike many other tour operators they will have extra emphasis on quality and service "which is our wont for similar tours to Europe, China and other destinations in the world. We do not compromise on services- lodging,

said, after slow ending of the economic recession. "We have been doing extremely good with our group tours to Russia and China. The Indian business is up too and one of the factors is drop in rupee value," he said. Ravi Shankar flew from Mumbai to attend the Customers Appreciation event hosted by Air Tours here. The annual customer appreciation banquet of Air Tours was held on Sunday September 22 at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. It was for their Ticket / Holiday & Cruise Customers. The hall was packed to near capacity with

welcoming the guests and invited Air Tours President Mafat Patel, VP Tulsi Patel, and Founder Amrit Patel joined by Amathi Patel [Director] and Medstar Laboratories CEO Naren Patel for traditional lamp lighting ceremony. She recognized Mohammed Anwar from Etihad Airways, CEO Ravi Shankar from Associate Partner Vacation Exotica, and Business Development Specialist Sandra Agusti from Norwegian Cruise Lines, Mafat Patel, a man of few words, thanked his staff for their commitment and also clients for their continued trust and support.

An artist performing at Air Tour Party


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Indian-American is runner up in Ms Vegetarian contest PRAKASH SWAMY

NEW YORK: Following the recent crowning of Nina Davuluri as 2014 Miss America pageant, another Indian-American student Teena Sukhwal was on achievement list. She was Miss Vegetarian Runner Up in the Mr and Miss Vegetarian Pageant organized by Vegetarian Vision in Long Island in New York. An American girl Pamela Osborn Popp was chosen for Miss Vegetarian title. Mr Vegetarian title went to

Harshil Parekh and Mr Vegetarian runner up is Meghav Parikh. More than 40 talented contestants between the age group of 18 and 26, representing over 20 different colleges from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut shared their thoughts on vegetarian way of life and exhibited exquisite talent. Teena is a pre-med student at New York Institute of Technology and a resident of Sayville, Long Island. She is 5.9 tall weighing 115

lbs. Her parents Chandra Sukhwal, a businessman and Kalpana Sukhwal hail from Rajasthan. Teena has been chosen to represent New York at Miss Jewel USA contest in 2014. Vegetarian Vision, a not for profit to promote vegetarianism, organized the first annual intercollegiate tri-state Mr & Miss Vegetarian Pageant at the Maguire Theatre in Old Westbury in Long Island.

Navin Shah honoring Teena Sukhwal, the runner up in Vegetarian Pageant

The pageant was organized with the goal of promoting vegetarian way of life among youth and college students in the US, said its Founder and Chairman Harshad K. Shah. The contestants went through three different rounds for the pageant namely - personality and traditional round (top 21); Talent Round (Top 11) and Question answer round (Top 6). Animesh Goenka president and

Naveen Shah pageant adviser and incoming President honored the winners. The audience was also given an opportunity to participate in the selection process. The selected winners received scholarship checks from Vegetarian Vision. Founder and Chairman Harshad K. Shah spoke on the need to make people healthy by consuming vegetarian food and change in lifestyle to save animals.


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Cory Booker addresses South Asian Community we celebrate is Late Martin Luther King, Jr. But if we see pictures of Martin Luther King in his home you will see a picture of Mahatma G a n d h i . " Booker, through s t u d y i n g Gandhi's life and p h i l o s o p h y, also gained an interest in studying Hinduism and the

India Post News Service

EDISON, NJ: Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, who is running for the US Senate on a Democratic ticket, on Sept 14 addressed an intimate gathering of the South Asian Community at TV Asia, with focus on diversity. "I'm very encouraged by this spirit that we have in NJ. This resiliency this toughness, and I believe it's that spirit that makes us strong," said Booker. "But the South Asian Community to me in many ways is like a jewel in our state that many people don't recognize." Regarded as one of the most versatile Democrat leaders, he is facing Steve Lonegan, Mayor of Bogota (R) in a special election to be held statewide on October 16 for US Senate. This election is caused due to the death of veteran US Senator, Frank Lautenberg (D). His vacant seat is temporarily filled by NJ

L-R Newark NJ Mayor Cory Booker, NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D), Chairman & CEO of TV Asia H.R. Shah & TV Asia's Senior News Anchor Rohit Vyas after a Face to Face Interview

Referring to a story of Mahatma Gandhi, Booker said, "The way we make change in this world is by exhibiting it ourselves. You cannot ask another culture to respect you unless you respect that culture; you cannot expect there to be love unless you are an agent of love and understanding." Governor Chris Christie appointing Attorney General Jeffrey

Vedanta. At the beginning of his visit, TV Asia's Chairman H.R. Shah presented Booker with a traditional garland, and a statue of Lord Ganesh, a Hindu deity who is referred to prior to the beginning of any new venture, as a symbol of good luck. Amongst those in attendance were NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D), CEO of India Abroad Rajeev Bhambri, Anil Patel, Gulshan Chhabra, NJ Councilman Dr Sudhanshu Prasad, Sunil Naik, Dr Deepak Shah, Dr Dhaduk, and Chandrakant Trivedi.

Chiesea as a Senator. Referring to a story of Mahatma

Gandhi, Booker said, "The way we make change in this world is by exhibiting it ourselves. You cannot ask another culture to respect you unless you respect that culture; you cannot expect there to be love unless you are an agent of love and understanding." Booker, who received continuous applause for his words, went on to acknowledge all the religious communities present. Connecting diversity in the United States, Booker added, "One of the greatest Americans

L-R Newark NJ Mayor Cory Booker, Chairman & CEO of TV Asia H.R. Shah & NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D) after Cory Booker was presented a statue of Lord Ganesha

BAPS Charities Health & Children Fair in Chicago SEETA BRAHMBHATT

CHICAGO: Bochasanwasi Akshar Purshottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) Charities conducted a health fair recently keeping up its

preventive medical care. The Health Fair was held on Sunday Sept 8 at the BAPS Chicago Mandir Complex in Bartlett.

Health care professionals at BAPS Health Fair

tradition of providing community at large access to health care services, receive quality advice and

Over the course of two weekends during the month of August and September, more than 500 local resi-

dents and community members received services through the Fair. Participants received preventive medical care including routine lab

sionals providing expert care and medical advice, patients were better informed about medical risks, prevention tools, and how to take

Eye exam in progress

work and tests for bone density, and consultative advice. With over 80 healthcare profes-

an active role in improving their daily health. Over 20 specialties were represented including ENT,

Cardiology, Orthopedics, Eye Diseases, Gynecology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology Pharmacy and Rheumatology. The Health Fair was run efficiently and in a two-step process. The patients' blood was drawn ahead of the time of Health Fair. This permitted the physicians to integrate evaluation with the test results during their interaction with patients. Specialist's advice was most welcome by the participants. On Sunday, August 18, BAPS Charities hosted its 2nd Annual Children's Health Fair and Safety Day. Over 200 children participated in the hands-on work shop, learned about care provided by police and fire department, poison prevention, Teddy Bear clinic to experience about a mock doctor's office visit, balanced diet, and obesity prevention. The success of this health fair was due to the tireless efforts of the volunteers of BAPS Charities and many health care professionals.


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Great Gurus, devoted students at Indian Music Festival SHUBHA SUBBARAO

ST LOUIS: A two-day St. Louis Indian Music Festival held at the Midwest Music Conservatory in Ballwin, Missouri, on September 14 and 15 brought in the elements of music styles together on one platform through great Gurus and their devoted students. The Festival attracted hundreds from far and wide places across USA The Indian classical music Ragas and Talas are time tested and there are two main traditional systems in India - Carnatic (from south India) and Hindustani (from North India). Veteran vocalists

lighted the feelings portrayed by women and what levels they carried the emotions to. Interestingly, the lyrics to a large extent were composed by Seema Kasthuri's mother, Mrs Vasantha Murthy, a well-known writer from Karnataka. Guru Sandhya Pandurangi spoke about the music style and the clarity of the melodies and the rhythm through the CD. Dr Nagamani Srinath, teacher of Mrs Seema Kasthuri, blessed her student for continued success and also touched upon the value of 'bhavageethe' in bringing social Impressive Ramani Concert artists

Release of song album "Nireeksha" by Mrs Seema Kasthuri

such as Dr Nagamani Srinath, Mrs Seema Kasthuri and Ashok Ramani performed with accompaniments such as percussion and strings. Richard Bennett from New York presented a new twist to Jazz with Indian Ragas along with Sitarist Indrojit Roy. Other well-known musicians such as Mannargudi Easwaran, Srinivas Venupuri both extraordinary mrudangists; violinists such as Nagai Muralidharan, Shiva Sankalp; tabla (an Indian drum) player such as Naren Budhkar performed with gusto. Preceding the music festival concerts, was the release of a song album - "Nireeksha" by Mrs Seema Kasthuri, produced by Red Chair Recording company. After the traditional 'lighting of the lamp' by representatives of the supporting organizations, the CD was released by Dr Ashwath Rao. Jagadish Atri spoke on the History of 'Sugum Sangeeth'. Dr Shankar Sastry, eminent Professor spoke on the literature used in the lyrics of the CD. Shankar Devanahalli brought in the essence of music that can be understood by the lay person. Mrs Hema Srikanta, through examples from the songs on the album, high-

awareness amongst people through simple yet valuable life lessons. A short recital by upcoming young musicians of St. Louis, Anushka, Ipsita, Hershita, Niharika, Roshni, Samhita, Sanjana, Lakshita, Nivedita, Samanvita, Divya, Vindhya, Pratishta, Priya and Shruthi, was enjoyed by parents, grandparents and guests. "Raga Jazz" was a much awaited program in the festival. Guru Prasanna Kasthuri, the lead

organizer of this festival and director of Soorya Performing Arts, had invited a trio of musicians from New York - Richard Bennett on the grand piano, Indrojit RoyChowdhury on the sitar and Naren Budhkar on the tabla. Raga Jazz was a blend of classical and fusion On his first visit to STL, Richard paid his respects by playing the St. Louis Blues. He played pieces with the sitarist and the tabla player and also did a few solos. He concluded by playing a short piece on the 'melodica'. Indrajit Chowdhury played a traditional classical piece in Raga Gowti set to Teen Taal in between the trio's Jazz rendition. Naren was brilliant on his tabla. The trio played Raga Gunakali, Vachaspati, Hamsadwani and Mia Ka Malahar. The highlighted artist of the second part of the festival was Dr Nagamani Srinath, classical music exponent, professor of music, organizer and composer from India. Starting off with the popular Muthuswami Diskhitar krithi in Raga Hamsadvani, Vaatapi ganapathim bhaje, she held the audience in a musical trance for an enchanting three hours of classical Indian repertoire. Other pieces from the great composers that she included were

Richard Bennett from NY with accompanying musicians was a star attraction

Swatitirunal composition in Raga Kaanada (Maamavuta shri) and Tyagaraja's composition in Hindola. She sang a beautiful krithi "Lambodaracharanam" which was her composition in vilambakala (slower pace). She concluded the concert with a Purandaradasa devaranama and a tillana. She was ably accompanied by violinist Shiva Sankalp, Columbia, Missouri and mrudangist Srinivas Venupuri from Tampa, Florida. Seema

Ashok Ramani, a classical musician from India. Invited by Sangeetha, a non-profit organization for the promotion of Indian classical. Ashok started off with Tyagaraja's Brochevarevare raghupathe in Raga Shree Ranjani followed by Sarasaksha paripaalaya in Raga Mayamalavagowla. Ramarama Rama in Raga Vasantha was fast paced and very enjoyable. Swara rAga sudhA rasa yuta

Upcoming young musicians of St. Louis enthralling the audience

Kasthuri, her student, sang with her for a few numbers. The second day of the festival started with Mrs Seema Kasthuri's concert - a two hour recital in the disciplined style of classical Carnatic music. Starting off with a varna, Valachi, in Ragamalika, she went on to render other melodious krithis such as Gajamukhane s i d d h i d a y a k a n e , Brahmavidyaambike shri (a Dikshitar composition), and Shankarashrigirinatha prabho. Seema chose Raga Kamboji for her 'aalapne' (manodharma). Manodharma is a form of improvised music and is created on the spot during the performance, but within the confines of strict grammar of music. ElaraKrishna, a Tyagaraja composition in the same raga was just blissful! Towards the end, she chose to perform a devaranama composed by Guru Prasanna Kasthuri based on the story of Akrura and concluded with a Telugu composition, Uyaalanooguma shrisatyasai. Yet another outstanding performance of the evening was by

bhakti in Raga Shankarabharana was followed by an intense RagaTana-Pallavi in Raga BrindavanaSaranga. He concluded with a Purandaradasa devaranama, Venkatachala nilaya and a short mangalam. Nagai Muralidharan, the violinist stole the show with his sensitive accompaniment and inspirational solo versions. All the artistes were recognized by presenting them with floral bouquets and a beautiful silk shawl as a mark of respect. The festival was organized by Soorya Performing Arts whose goal is to preserve and propagate Indian performing arts through training and performances of Indian classical music and dance. Partnering with Soorya for this festival were Missouri Arts Council (MAC), Regional Arts Commission (RAC), Sangeetha and Sangama, which are two cultural organizations in the St. Louis area. Local businesses such as Mayuri, Kumon, Simply Math and Reading, Seema Enterprises and Mideast market supported the festival along with generous donations from art patrons.


Community Across America

September 27, 2013

India Post 27

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AHC joins efforts for health insurance enrollment SEETA BRAHMBHATT

CHICAGO: With open enrollment due to start, the Asian Health Coalition (AHC) and its partners have been actively conducting education and outreach about the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. AHC is one of 44 communitybased organizations around the state that have been selected to participate in the outreach and enrollment initiative for the Affordable Care Act. The agency has a collaborative partnership with Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services (Hamdard), to assist in efforts to reach limited English speaking

Ranjana Paintal and Kiran Siddiqui

Laotian, South Asian and Eastern European communities in Chicago and the Western region of Illinois stretching from Kane to

Krishna Janmashtami celebrated in St Louis ASHWIN PATEL

ST LOUIS: The ISKCON temple of St Louis celebrated Krishna Janmashtami event at the Mahatma Gandhi Center. The event was open to the general public to par-

A section of the 2nd floor hall was converted into a temple room by the auspicious presence of Krishna-Balarama deities and the altar was beautifully decorated

Devotees worship Lord Krishna

ticipate in the sublime festivities. Participants were welcomed at the entrance with a registration desk and a fully-stocked gift shop which included Srila Prabhupada's (Founder-Acarya of ISKCON) transcendental books and articles.

with flower garlands. The event kicked off with kirtan, chanting of Lord's Holy name - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Cont’d on page 34

Bhajan sandhya at Lord Krishna Janmashtami celebration

More Community stories on pages 34-35

Winnebago counties. "We are 501(c) 3 non-profit agencies and share a similar goal of improving health and access to quality, affordable care for underserved minority communities. We recognize the immediate need to help educate the public about the more affordable and comprehensive options that will be available through the Marketplace," said Ranjana Paintal, Project Director at AHC in a joint statement with Kiran

Siddiqui of Hamdard. Enrollment in the Marketplace will begin on October 1with coverage to start Jan 1, 2014. Individuals can set up an appointment to meet with an in-person counselor to learn more about the health insurance options available. Bilingual counselors are available in English, Bosnian, Hindi, Urdu, and Laotian. For assistance in Bosnian, Hindi, and Urdu, contact: Kiran Siddiqui (773) 465-4600 x27


TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS

1 Get On The Dance Floor: Chennai Express 2 Titli: Chennai Express 3 Gulabi: Shuddh Desi Romance 4 Ye Tune Kya Kiya:

Once Upon

A Time In Mumbaai Dobara 5

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September 27, 2013

Lungi Dance:

Chennai Express

6 Sun Le Re: Madras Cafe 7 Tere Mere Beech Mein: Shuddh Desi Romance 8 Main Rang Sharbaton Ka : Phata Poster Nikla Hero 9 Shuddh Desi Romance: Shuddh Desi Romance 10 Zinda:

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

“SAIF, WHO IS THE FILM'S PRODUCER, WANTED KAREENA TO BE PART OF THE FILM WHEN SHE VISITED SAIF ON LOCATION IN DETROIT. AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, RAJ AND KRISHNA KNEW EXACTLY WHERE TO FIT KAREENA INTO THE PLOT�

S

o far, Saif and Kareena together on screen before or after marriage have spelt no magic at the box-office. They are coming together again, now in Raj Nidimoru & Krishna DK's Happy Ending, though Kareena will feature only in a cameo. Confirming this, co-director Raj Nidimoru says Kareena won't appear for a song only. "Saif and Kareena have scenes together. And we're planning to shoot a song as well." While Raj is unwilling to reveal any more details, sources say that Kareena's role has been written into Happy Ending as an afterthought. Says the source, "Saif, who is the film's producer, wanted Kareena to be part of the film when she visited Saif on location in Detroit. As luck would have it, Raj and Krishna knew exactly where to fit Kareena into the plot." Interestingly, Preity Zinta too has a cameo in Happy Ending while Ileana D'Cruz plays the female lead. Raj says both Kareena and Preity's cameos are for the better. "They both add something vital to the plot." he 'Ram Leela' trailer shows some sizzling chemistry between

T

the odd pair of Bollywood, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The chemistry between them is the USP of the film and the trailer shows Ranveer and Deepika in an intimate position. The trailer also shows them sharing a passionate lip-lock. Ranveer who is rumored to be dating the 'Cocktail' actress said that his chemistry with Deepika in 'Ram Leela' is mainstay of the story. "We were destined to be cast opposite each other. It's a chemistry between Romeo and Juliet. I hope it works as our chemistry is the driving force of the story," Ranveer told reporters. When the long legged actress was asked about the much talked about lip-lock scene, she said: "I find it amusing when people ask me about lip-lock scenes. As an actor there is no difference between any scene. But when you are working with Sanjay sir, he makes even the simplest scene most difficult. He tweaks the scene in his mind."

A

amir Khan features in one of the most awaited films of the year, 'Dhoom 3'. However, he says he is not thinking about how many records it will break. Reacting to reports stating that he has claimed that Dhoom 3 will surpass the business of Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express Aamir said in a statement, "I am not interested in breaking records. I am an artist, and what gives me a high is to entertain my audience, to give them a good time, and to satisfy them emotionally." Aamir's last release Talaash was appreciated for his performance, but the movie couldn't mint too much moolah. The actor believes the challenge does not lie in building numbers at the box-office, it lies in winning the audience's adulation. "I want to earn the love of my audience. That is what I am thirsty for. I like to challenge myself and do work that I have not done. I like to surprise my audience. These are the things that I am interested in," said the versatile actor, who will be seen in a negative role in Dhoom 3.


September 27, 2013

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Menin Gate Memorial of the Missing in Ieper, Belgium

30 India Post

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September 27, 2013

WW1 Indian martyrs in Belgium PREETI VERMA LAL

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ames etched in black on a buff marble plaque. Names without faces. Names without an address. Without the date on which the soldier fell to a cruel bullet. There is no epitaph. Not even a flower in the memory. Names stoically listed under designations: Havildar. Sepoy. Naik. Lance Naik. Bugler, Rifleman‌ A few with their mili-

tary identification number. Names of First World War Indian soldiers in Flanders Fields who have 'no known graves'. Names - just names - etched on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, in Ieper, Belgium. During World War 1, Ieper was the theatre of war; the Germans menacingly heading to the town that sits close to Brussels, the

capital of Belgium. The year 2014 is the centenary of WW1 in which thousands of Indian soldiers were killed. It has been 100 years but Ieper has not forgotten its dead. On the walls of Menin Gate, 55,000 names have been imprinted; names of Commonwealth soldiers from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Africa and India

List of Indian soldiers etched at the Menin Gate

PREETI VERMA LAL

who went missing during the war with 'no known graves' as the etching on the Menin Gate reads. Among them were Indian soldiers who fell to the enemy during the Battles of Ypres. Walk up the stone steps of the gate designed by Sir Reginald Bloomfield and in the middle of a manicured park there is a four-lion statue, specially dedicated to the Indian martyrs. On the lion statue that has Satyamev Jayate engraved are heart-wrenching statistics: "Over 130,000 soldiers of the In-

dian corps comprising two cavalry and two infantry divisions fought in the Flanders Fields. Over 9,000 were killed. India lost 160,000 in the two World Wars". The Menin Gate, however, is not the sole memorial to soldiers who went missing during the 1914-1918 war. In the Ieper Bedford Cemetry where nearly 5,000 graves are neatly arranged, there are 21 tombstones dedicated to Indians: 14 known and 7 unknown soldiers.

Graves of Indian soldiers in Bedford Cemetery in Ieper, Belgium

A photograph of Sikhs at the Menin Gate exhibited in Flanders Fields Museum, Ieper, Belgium.

Menin Gate

Cont’d on page 32


September 27, 2013

India Post 31 www.indiapost.com

Neeta Lulla designs for Rajinikanth's Kochadaiiyaan India Post News Service

F

ashion Designer Neeta Lulla has conceptualized for each of the characters in India's first Photorealistic Performance Capture Film, Kochadaiiyaan - The Legend. The highlight however remains designing the look of Rajinikanth who stars as a legendary mytho-

Kochadaiiyaan - The Legend

logical character in the film. Talking about his look in the movie, director Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin said, "Neeta has done an outstanding job. The details in the amour and the weaponized look of the costumes really creates an impact. The photorealistic performance capture technology used in the film is extremely advanced and the work done on the costumes really shines through." A gargantuan 150 costumes per character was designed on paper, of which 20-25 costumes for each character were selected and detailed. Due to the intricacy of the designs for the costumes, each embroidery pattern was photographed and expertly placed on the garment, to deliver a flawless finish. Neeta also created a range of 20 to 30 looks especially for the amour suit as well as the supporting cast of

Kochadaiiyaan. The amour suit included predetermined detailing that was achieved through careful understanding of its movement and appeal, in keeping with the authenticity and credibility of the era. Neeta Lulla says, "We created the looks not in fabric form but a detailed overview in sketch form. My creative team and I worked for

almost 8 months on the various characterizations of Rajni sir and the other supporting cast. It was a different kind of design experience altogether." To create the costumes, the characters were created by Neeta on a sketch format - first in color then a croqui developed by the CG technicians. Detailed research was

also conducted to achieve the right ornate look for the fine-looking jewellery, its use on the sketch and eventually on the form. Taking into account the script and the accurate look for the characters the detailing was embellished which took almost 6-8 months of sketching and re-sketching in order to arrive at the final result.

Rana armour

Rana warrior

Rana wedding


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September 27, 2013

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Aloo Jeera, Dahi ka raita served up Russian style! ELABUGA, Russia: Aloo Jeera, Dahi ka Raita and Aloo ke Paranthe might be common dishes in India but when served in a small town of Tatarstan, a state under the Russian Federation, it can leave anyone surprised. That is exactly what happened to a group of Indian journalists who visited Elabuga and were served these dishes by their tourism centre hosts at a lunch inside a museum. Tatarstan's cuisine involves a three-course meal in which first salad is served, then soup and finally the main course which involves meat with bread. And of

cooks downloaded the recipes from the internet which were in English, then they translated it to Russian and perfected the dishes to make the guests happy." "Russian hospitality might not be fabled but certainly it is a cut above the rest as unlike their media image of being stiff they are a set of warm and friendly people," an official said. The journalists were also left surprised, when they were taken to a popular 'Indian' restaurant "Malabar" in Kazan which served everything but 'Indian' food. Probably, the 'Indianess' of the restaurant was limited to the dressElabuga

hosts smile, and we are satisfied if we manage to do that," Tanzilya Agishina, the Deputy Director General for Development, Tatarstan, said. Elabuga, often referred to as 'a

city of museums', is located over 200 kilometers to the east of Tatarstan's capital Kazan. It lies at the confluence of the Toina and Kama rivers. Elabuga's museums, including

the well-preserved house of first Russian female soldier Nadezhda Durova and Russian landscape artist Ivan Shishkin's House museum, leave a lasting impression on the mind of the visitor. -PTI

Glamour first for Ileana D'Cruz S Tatarstan

course if you happen to be a 'vegetarian' you will be given fish. In a surprise, the Russian hosts in Elabuga laid out a lunch table which included dishes like Aloo Jeera, Dahi ka Raita and Aloo ke Parathe. On being asked how they had managed to prepare such a menu, Svetlana Andarzyanova, a Ministry of Culture official, said "the

ing of the waiters and waitresses, who were wearing Kurta Pyjamas and Salwar Suits respectively. Also, foot-tapping Bollywood numbers were playing aloud. Though Tatarstan in entirety is a tourist's delight, but Elabuga, with its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage is a special place to visit. "We just want to make our

he wowed everyone with her understated performance in her Bollywood debut "Barfi", but Ileana D'Cruz says she is more comfortable doing hardcore commercial roles. The 25-year-old actress's second film is Rajkumar Santoshi's action-comedy "Phata Poster Nikhla Hero", which is a departure from her first Hindi film. Ileana feels Bollywood and glamour go hand-in-hand and she is no Vidya Balan to pull off roles like "Barfi" on regular basis. "I must admit that if you want to survive in Bollywood, you have to have a certain amount of glamour attached to you other wise it is difficult may be. I can't talk about other actresses but I have relied on glamour in films in the south. It works. "If you look glamorous, dress well, it works in the film. You can pass off in a film by just looking good. I am not Vidya (Balan). She is great and does not need glam-

our. I cannot even compare myself to her," Ileana told in an interview.

Ileana D'Cruz

The actress says she decided to be part of "Phata Poster..." as she felt people had started taking her too seriously after her portrayal of Shruti in Anurag Basu's

"Barfi" and feared getting typecast. "I think before 'Barfi' released, I had a feeling that people won't be able to accept me in such a serious role because they have never seen me do something like this before. After the film they started taking me too seriously and I didn't like it. "I wanted them to understand that I am a commercial heroine. I have done hard core commercial films down south. I think I wanted to get into that space again," said Ileana, who has starred in Telegu superhits like "Devadasu", "Pokiri" "Jalsa", "Kick" among others. In "Phata Poster..." the actress has been paired opposite Shahid Kapoor. The film follows the story of Vishwas Rao, an aspiring actor mistaken as a super cop. It comes from the director, who has earlier made hit comedies like "Andaz Apna Apna" and "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani".


September 27, 2013

India Post 33

WW1 Indian martyrs in Belgium Cont’d from page 30

In the Flanders Field Musuem is the picture of Sikhs who laid flowers at the Menin Gate during the Armistice Day commomeration. Ieper pays homage to the soldiers ev-

eryday. Each night at 8 pm, the traffic is stopped at the Menin Gate and members of the local Fire Brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the Memorial's arches. The Last Post started in 1927 and continues until today with a brief interruption during the Word War II German occupation.

List of Indian soldiers ethced at the Menin Gate A lion statue in memory of Indian soldiers who died in Flanders Fields between 1914 and 1918

The Menin Gate is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. It is almost 100 years since the Indian soldiers left their homeland - and all that they held dear to ther heart - to fight for the A miniature statue of Menin Gate Memorial of the Missing

British army. War silenced the beat of their hearts. Some went missing and were not even honoured with tombstone. The Menin Gate in Ieper, Belgium, is a memory. Of a war. Of the soldiers who laid their lives. Of those who'd never return. Of those who have seen the end. As Plato said: Only the dead have seen the end of war.


34 India Post

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September 27, 2013

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Sandip debut in Chicago a runaway success SURENDRA ULLAL India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A budding musician from India, Sandip Bhattacharya had his maiden musical program in the US at the residence of Madhu Patel, Desplaines on Sunday September 15 in the presence of connoisseurs of music in Chicagoland. He was captivating in his debut performance here and so enthralled the audience that they sat through the entire three-hour performance. Many yarned for a repeat performance and all felt that

a new star was born in the music world. Each and every moment was an absolutely "scintillating and of mesmerizing joy," as Sitaram Patel from among the people told this reporter. Some among the audience expressed their desire to organize similar functions, and the highly grateful Sandip assured them of more exposure depending on his schedule. Sandip belongs to a family with a deep rooted musical background. He was initiated into music by his mother Krishna Bhattacharjee at the age of four and he continued his training un-

der Amita Dasgupta later. When in his teens, Sandip became a residential scholar at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy under the guidance of Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan and Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, sons and disciples of the legendary Sarangi maestro late Padmashree Ustad Shakoor Khan. It was essentially here that Sandip was nurtured in the true guru shishya parampara system of training of the Kirana Gharana. Now he is a senior musician scholar at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Tollygunge, Kolkata. Sandip also holds a First

Monthly Hindi Kavi Manch launched RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A burgeoning Indian American social organization, Hindi Lovers Club, has taken one more step in its bid to popularize the Indian national language Hindi - in this part of the world by announcing to host once a month Hindi Kavi Manch. Vinita Gulbani, president of the Club said that the Manch will meet every third Tuesday of the month at different libraries in Chicago land from 6-30 p.m. to 8-30 pm and will encourage hidden talents among Hindi lovers in the community to come forward and recite

Sandip Bhattacharya

Newly elect President Vinita Gulbani (left) and founder President Gurbachan Kaur (right) with Treasurer Rami and committee member Jodhsingh Rawat

Class degree in Graduation from Rabindra Bharati University (Kolkata), in classical music. Other than pure classical music he is competent in singing semi classical forms like bhajans, ghazals and Nazrulgeeti as well. Sandip also has to his credit three commercial releases - a CD on khayal by Sonic Octaves, Mumbai, a CD of Bengali songs by R.P Techvision, Kolkata and a CD on Bhajans by Sonic Octaves, Mumbai. Gifted with a robust voice,

Sandip is today one of the most promising young classical artists of the country, which is borne out by his regular performances across India and abroad (United States, Europe and Bangladesh). A recipient of the title Surmani from Sur Singar Sansad Mumbai, Sandip also broadcasts regularly over All India Radio as an "A" Grade artist. His scintillating taiyari in the Taans and Sargams have been spontaneously appreciated by listeners and musicians alike everywhere.

Krishna Janmashtami celebrated in St Louis Cont’d from page 27

The youth group then performed a drama enacting Govardhan Lila where Lord Krishna manifested his supreme power and Indra was reminded of his role as his ordercarrier. It was followed by a unique

beautiful pictures) ultimately ending in Kamsa's death. The adult group performed a drama revealing the most confidential secret to overcoming life's miseries, which is to chant the holy name with humility and proper consciousness. The celebrations concluded

Hindi Diwas Celebrations in Downers Grove L to R Acharya Rohit Joshi, Dr Virendra Bisla incoming President Vinita Gulbani Indian Consul General Dr. Dr Ausaf Sayeed and Mrs Sayeed , CEO MedStar Naren Patel and Gurbachan Kaur

their poetry or poems of renowned Hindi poets at the Manch meet. She said that former president of the Club Gurbachan Kaur Neelam saw a big love for Hindi poetry in Hindi Diwas celebration on Sept.15 in Ashyana Banquet and "collectively we felt that why not have a monthly gathering to recite poetry to each other and enjoy the same along with facilitating social interaction." "As being a poetess myself, I love to write and read Hindi poetry, and I thought that we need

to provide a platform to many like me to express their inner thoughts and feelings through poems. Gurbachan Kaur and others instantly fell for the idea and hence, Manch and a meeting once a month," she said Young Besides this is yet another way, she added, to promote Hindi literature, one of the objectives for which

A skit by young local artists

artists presenting Vivekananda Skit

the Club had been started three years ago.

opportunity to personally bathe the deities and invoke their blessings for one's own spiritual advancement through the Kalash Abhiseka program. It was then time for a discourse by Romapada Swami who nicely described pastimes of Krishna's return to Mathura (assisted with

with Aarti and the whole place was immersed in transcendental vibration of the Holy Name. Delicious and sumptuous vegetarian prasadam was served free to all the attendees. Volunteers' flawless conduct during this annual Janmashtami celebrations needs to be commended by all.


Community Across America

September 27, 2013

India Post 35

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IAC to hold annual gala banquet on Sept 29 S RAMESH

CHICAGO: A front ranking secular service organization in Chicagoland, the Indo-American Center (IAC) serving the community for the past 23 years, has slated its annual fund-raising gala on Sunday, September 29 at 6 pm, at the Marriott Hotel in Oak Brook.

Dr Vishakha Desai

The keynote speaker for the event is Dr Vishakha Desai, Special Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University and Professor of Professional

Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs. What started with a handful of visionaries to help out just a few needy people is currently providing nine programs to the community. Its regular services include Youth After-School, Help for KGrade 8, English as Second Language (ESL) classes, free hot lunch for Senior Citizens, health awareness and workforce development workshops, assistance with immigration and government benefits documentation, and Computer Literacy program. Additionally, several youth activities are held during summer. The IAC is run by a Board of Directors who are volunteers and committed to the mission of IAC. "This is what attracted me to the Center as we extend our services to the needy. We do not ask where they are from or what faith they observe," says Board President Dr Basanti Sen Banerji. The Interim Executive Director, James Lemonides, directs the programs and is responsible for day-to-day

Dr Basanti Sen Banerji

operations of the IAC. The Board represents 18 dedicated directors who are from various professions. Current office bearers are: Basanti Sen Banerji (President), Dr Ralph Nicholas (Vice President), Nitin Bajaj (Secretary), Ravi Shankar (Treasurer), Dr Bapu Arekapudi, Rajeev Bahri, Sujata Banerjee, Dr Netta D'Souza, Ranjit Ganguly, Dr Madhuvanti Ghose, Kamal Hans, Ashref Hashim, Dr Deepak Kapoor, Ram Kelkar, Mafat Patel, Radha Patel, Sher Rajput, and Shobhana Sanghvi.

THAKAR BASATI

Sikhs, even senior citizens have been attacked. Sometime Gurdwaras have been attacked, even though Gurdwaras welcome

school principals, teachers, police, fire chiefs. They need to host seminars, open houses. Sikhs needs to show up during local celebrations

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford at Sikh Gurdwara in Palatine

people from any religion any race any time, but Americans aren't aware of that. State Treasurer Rutherford suggested that Sikhs need to be outgoing. It is their responsibility to educate people. They have to invite elected officials to their Gurdwaras. They need to invite

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Spate of robberies in Naperville cause concern

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State Treasurer visits Palatine Gurughar PALATINE: State of Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford accompanied by members of his staff visited Palatine Gurdwara Sahib located in Palatine, a Chicago suburb. Rutherford is the first elected Treasurer to visit Gurughar and is also the first elected official who sponsored an exhibition of Sikh Soldiers' contribution in World Wars. The exhibition stayed open for a whole week in State of Illinois building. He was greeted by President Sikh Religious Society (SRS) S Sokhi Singh, Board members and Sangat members with a flower bouquet and was presented a Community Service Award plaque for his support of Sikhs He had a private meeting with some eminent members of society afterwards. A candidate for Governor from Republican Party, he has announced picking up an Asian as his running mate as Lieutenant Governor, Steve Kim. Sikhs sometimes face identity crisis as a good number of Americans mistake them for being Talibanis in the light of their wearing turban. People asked him, "How to fight identity crisis?"

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like Memorial Day, 4th of July and other local festivities. They need to leave their comfort zone and be part of society. Rutherford expressed his gratitude to SRS for inviting him to the Gurdwara and to Sarwan Singh for presenting him the poster of Sikh Soldiers in World wars.

embers of Indian criminal elements. When that American and even happens over and over again, other Asian commu- the criminals would devise their nities are greatly concerned and plan of action carefully doing perturbed at the spate of robber- their homework. ies in Naperville area in recent Obviously, the thieves/crimiweeks. The concern sparks from nals would care two hoots about the fact that a good number of other things - the huge imporcommunity members feel tar- tance that these immigrants atgeted by the robbers and anti- tach to rainy day savings, their social elements for their money hard work in making money or and jewelry. hard work ethics, controlled The Naperville Indians live in lifestyle, priorities etc. They big houses and during their fes- would just see that the immitivals or marriage flaunt jewelry grants have money and are quite and drive in fancy cars sugges- wealthy - that's all. tive of their wealth. The robbers are believed to be targeting many immigrants' homes and businesses but more specifically A street in Naperville suburb of Chicago homes/ shops of South Asians/Indians. The happenings in Sometimes they wonder if the Naperville may be catching eye employees of a given hotel, say of late in the wake of spate of big name franchise ones, watch robbery and thefts. But this, in curiously and carefully the wed- fact, is happening all over dings taking place in their pre- Chicagoland and may be in othmises. The events organized or ers parts of the country. The imattended by immigrants are quite migrants, especially those who frequent. It is believed that they have sweated to raise their stanwatch the expensive & attractive dard of living by hard work, educlothing plus real jewelry. The cation and family values need subsequent talk among those to learn their lessons and spread working there gets percolated the news. If we don't help ouroutside too. selves, nobody else will. The same thing could be happening with realtors and auto Ajit Gandhi & dealers and the repair shops. Concerned Residents The word likely has spread to Naperville Illinois Area


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F

rom atop the Matanga Hill at daybreak, Hampi is every inch the capital city of a golden empire. Though what lies before are but the bones of an enchantress, who once had the whole world in her sway, Hampi is far from what one would call ruins. Once visited by the Portuguese, Arabs, Persians and Orientals, the capital city of Vijayanagara, has only grown in popularity across the centuries. And no surprise that! Every bend in the road is punctuated by a 14th century, if not older, temple; perched on nearly every hillock is a four-pillared canopy-like monument and its entire horizon, pixilated by huge gestalt-ish boulders. The regal 9-storey tall gopura of the Virupaksha Temple, where Siva is believed to have married Parvati, watches over the city like a specially-appointed god - its memory of magnificence and grandeur forever etched in stone. Hampi gives an impression of preserving itself for the past to resume. The wedding ceremony of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated every year at the Virupaksha Temple, as it has been for centuries. The long bazaar avenues stand in expectant silence, as if waiting for that kind of commerce to resume, where diamonds and precious stones were used as currency. In the evenings, like a zillions dusks before, the dying rays of the sun turn the entire Vijaya Vittala Temple to gold; a sight which is as much a wonder as the temple's 56 musical pillars that produce the sounds of 56 different musical instruments. The Royal Enclosure waits in readiness for its sandalwood halls to be returned, the massive elephant stables, the Lotus Mahal - shaped like a lotus blossoming in the sun, the Hazararama Palace temple with intricate stories carved over its every side and the Mahanavmi Dibba or the Victory Platform still majestic and proud await to fall back into routine. Cont’d on page 41


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Elephant Stables

HAMPI

Every inch the capital city of a golden empire Cont’d from page 40

The sheer detail of the carvings and the number of sculptures speak of a race of artisans that weren't quite done in their business of outdoing each other in craftsmanship. Monolithic structures carved out of a single rock

waiting arms of the Sanapur Lake. Hampi has challenged time, survived the centuries and lived to tell the tale. And, they say, if you listen carefully enough, you might learn a thing or two on how to do the same. Tourist attractions in Hampi lie in its boulderladen landscape and rocky outcrop hemmed in a lush green surrounding. The ruins remind you of a mighty empire, which dominated large part of south India after the Mughals.

PLACES TO SEE Hampi Bathe imposing Lakshmi Narasimha, zaar: Located near the Virupaksha the majestic Stone Chariot, the Temple, the Hampi Bazaar is also massive Ganesha statues, the known as Virupaksha Bazaar. On Badavilinga are proof of the bril- either sides of this one kilometer liance that was once envied. Cross long street near the temple, are pavilions which were once a part of the markets of the nobles. Most of these pavilions, particularly towards the west of Virupaksha Temple have shops and restaurants. The street is congested and thereLakshmi Narasimha Temple fore, most of the vehicles are rethe Tungabadra River over to the stricted in the bazaar except for two ancient capital of Anegundi and wheelers. there are leisurely roads to traverse, myths to chase and boulCont’d on page 42 ders to scale and dive off, into the Hampi Bazaar


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HAMPI

Every inch the capital city of a golden empire Cont’d from page 41

Matanga Hill: Matanga hill is a well known tourist destination in Hampi. Its main attraction being the breathtaking aerial view of the Hampi landscape during sunset or sunrise. When on top, you can appreciate the sheer wisdom of the Vijaynagara rulers for selecting Hampi as their capital. The best track for trekking enthusiasts is the one that begins from Hampi bazaar to the Achyutaraya temple. The picturesque sight from the top comprises the Tungabhadra River, the Kodanda Rama temple, the Veerbhadra temple and the Turthu canal. Matanga hill is historically connected to the epic Ramayana as it was the hiding

place for Sugriva, the ruler of Kishkinda. Vithala Temple Complex: A unique architectural masterpiece, Vithala temple in Hampi is situated opposite the village of Anegondi. The temple is named after Vithala, an avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Marathas. Vithala temple is built in the form of a complex with compound wall and gateway towers. The one thing that immediately catches attention is the stone chariot which has assumed iconic heights over the years for Karnataka tourism. The pillared halls are intrinsically carved with sculptures that speak volumes about the glorious past of Hampi. Another feature that is worth men-

Virupaksha Temple

tioning here is the musical pillars that emanates the seven notes when tapped. Hazara Rama Temple: The Hazara Rama temple complex in Hampi is located in the middle of the Royal Centre and was once used as a place of worship by the royal family members. Inscriptions inside the temple indicate that it was built by Devaraya I in early

fifteenth century. This temple is renowned for its elaborate frescos extensively portraying scenes from Hindu mythology. There are about one thousand fantastically carved bas relief and inscriptions that illustrate the mighty epic Ramayana and the Mahanavami festival. Depiction of processions of elephants, horses with attendants, dancing girls and armored soldiers testify the expertise of the Vijayanagara artists. Lakshmi Narasimha Temple: The Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Hampi attracts tourists specifically due to its monolithic structure and the sheer enormity of its size. It is the single largest statue in Hampi with a height of 6.7 meters. Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted as sitting on the giant coil of the celestial snake Adisesha. The seven heads of the giant snake shielding Narasimha, arched by a Kirtimukha

temple consists of a sanctum with a mandapam in front, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. Among the three towers the eastern tower is the tallest standing at a height of 160 feet and is nine tiered. Virupaksha portrays Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in their various avatars. The chariot festival is celebrated in the premises of this temple during the month of February. Elephant Stables: A large dome shaped building was used as Elephant Stables to house the ceremonial elephants of the royal household. The architectural style of the building has a strong IndoIslamic influence that gets reflected in its domes and arched gateways. The building consists of eleven chambers amongst which ten of these are crowned with domes. These chambers were used as elephant stables. The metal hooks that were probably

Torana in the front, is an architectural masterpiece in itself. However, several features of the monolithic structure are missing and the most prominent among these damaged and missing structures is the seated figurine of Narasimha's consort Lakshmi on his left lap. By entering inside the enclosure, one can see the land of Lakshmi on Narasimha's back with her fingers, nails and rings, all beautifully sculptured. Virupaksha Temple: Amidst the ruins of the ancient city Vijaynagar the Virupaksha temple stands tall with all its earlier structures still intact. The temple personifies Lord Shiva and is still used for worship. The inside of the

used to chain the elephants are still visible in the ceiling of some of the rooms. Special manholes were constructed for the mahouts to facilitate their easy entrance to the elephant compartments. HOW TO REACH By Air Bellary is the nearest domestic airport, which is about 60 km away and Bangalore is the nearest international Airport, which is 350 km away. By Bus Hampi is well connected by KSRTC bus services with all nearby cities. By Train Nearest railhead is Hospet, which is nearly 13 km from Hampi.


September 27, 2013

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Shortage of one lakh hotel rooms in India: Chiranjeevi KOCHI: With foreign tourist arrivals expected to witness an eight per cent growth by 2020, there is a need to fill up the shortage of about one lakh hotel rooms in the country, Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said here. "India has over two lakh rooms in hotel and guest house category and there is shortage of about one lakh rooms, especially in the budget and mid market segment," the minister said in his inaugural address at the 48th Annual convention of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association here. There is a need for more hotels in nonmetro cities in India, he said. "The tourism industry has been witnessing an upswing in the last few years and revenues are expected to touch USD 431.7 billion by 2020

up to Rs 152 crore in the 11th plan. Six projects worth Rs 78 crore had been sanctioned for the state last year. This year, three projects worth Rs 5.76 crore had been sanctioned, he said. The Tourism ministry has prioritized 14 projects for grant of central financial assistance, he said adding the pace of utilization of central funds had increased in the state. With emphasis shifting to off beat destinations, Indian travelers were seeking to explore more exquisite travel options, he said. Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal said the ministry is working on upgrading airports in Tier III cities and the work in this regard has already begun. Thirty-five non-metro airports have been

end. Foreign tourist arrivals will register over eight per cent growth by 2020," he said. The tourism ministry has currently initiated 29 mega projects in 22 states, Chiranjeevi said. The government is focusing beyond traditional tourism avenues like medical tourism, wild life, wellness tourism, and village tourism, he said. Referring to Kerala, he said his ministry had sanctioned Rs 126 crore for various projects in the 10th plan, which had gone

identified for upgradation and new airports would come up in at least 15 locations, including two in Kerala, he said Venugopal said a new international terminal would be set up at Kozhikode airport at a cost of Rs 110 crore. A GPS-aided geo augmented navigation system 'Gagan', which is awaiting clearance, is expected to be launched soon, the minister added. Sitaram Yechuri, MP, Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport,

GTDC green lights sea plane service PANAJI: Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has approved a proposal by a Mumbai-based firm to launch a maiden sea plane service in the coastal state from coming touring season, a senior official said. "These planes can also be used for sky diving and other adventure sports that may be taken on at a later stage depending on viability," GTDC Chairman Nilesh Cabral told PTI. Mumbai-based MEHAIR company had submitted the proposal in this regard, which is approved by the corporation. "Initially, MEHAIR will deploy one single engine Cessna plane with nine-passenger capacity, and depending upon the response additional planes will be brought in," Cabral said. Cabral also informed that an agreement with MEHAIR will be executed shortly and the initial tie-up will be for a period of five years and MEHAIR will share revenue with

GTDC through online and offline bookings. Sea plane services are expected to give a big boost to tourism in the state which will be one of few states in the country to oper-

ate such service for tourists, thereby promoting high-end adventure tourism, he added. Cabral said the GTDC has reported a net profit of Rs 40 lakh this year.-PTI

Tourism and Culture, said though there is sources in the tourism sector. vast tourism potential in India; it is "under The state government had taken some utilized". He said there is a need to arouse visitors' curiosity to go to tourist spots in the country. "Tourism is not a product that we have to sell. But you have to create that curiosity to tell people what it is all about," he said. Yechuri said there is also a need for trained manpower in the tourism industry, especially trained guides. Pointing out that Uttarakhand, where June floods claimed several Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi lives, was an example of "irresponsible" religious tourism, he said there is a need to regulate pil- steps in the last three months, he said. grims to the shrines in the hill state as it is Stressing the need to utilize the potenbeing done at Amarnath. tial of coastal tourism, he said proposals Kerala Tourism minister A P Anil Kumar have already been submitted to the Toursaid the state government had in the last ism ministry and urged Chiranjeevi to take two years spent Rs 500 crore for infrastruc- it up on a priority basis with the environture development in the tourism sector. ment ministry. This would help boost tourKerala's Sea plane project has been in- ism in a big way, he said. augurated and regular operations would Coastal tourism was yet to gain momencommence after the monsoon, he said. tum in Karnataka. Karnataka Tourism Minister R V Issues relating to CRZ and opening of Deshpande said there is a need to concen- resorts in the Western Ghats have to be trate more on infrastructure and human re- taken up. -PTI


In Brief Pakistani sentenced in bribery for green card BALTIMORE: A Connecticut man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison in a plot to bribe an immigration officer to get a green card. Forty-six-year-old Amjad Israr of Cheshire, a citizen of Pakistan, was sentenced in federal court in Baltimore. Israr operated several convenience stores in Connecticut, called Krauszer's. According to his plea agreement, he entered the U.S. in 1994 using another person's Pakistani passport. Prosecutors say in 2011, Israr and a Maryland attorney contacted a person whom the attorney said would provide immigration documents for money. Authorities say neither Israr nor his lawyer knew the person was, in fact, an undercover agent. Officials say Israr agreed to pay the attorney $30,000 for the immigration documents. Prosecutors say Israr received a green card issued by the agent. -AP

Okla. college presidents want immigration reform OKLAHOMA CITY: The presidents of 13 Oklahoma colleges and universities have sent a letter to the state's five U.S. representatives, calling for them to work for passage of immigration reform this year. The letter sent to the five Republican congressmen - Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Markwayne Mullin, Jim Bridenstine and James Lankford - asks them and the other U.S. House members to ``work together to develop a comprehensive, bipartisan solution'' for immigration. Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry told The Oklahoman that there are students from more than 50 countries at his university and many want to stay in the U.S. after graduation but can't because of visa issues. Those students would economically benefit the state if they had the chance to stay, he said. ``This is not a partisan issue, by any means,'' Henry said. The letter cites the number of foreign-born graduate students who are working toward degrees in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, areas that the presidents say Gov. Mary Fallin has identified as a critical need for the state.-AP

Immigration 44 India Post

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Republicans depart House immigration group

Details on page 45

Indian-American physicians want a say in immigration reform WASHINGTON: An influential group of Indian American doctors has sought a say in the immigration reform bill, arguing that the pending legislation does not take into account the huge shortage of physicians in the US. During their day-long meetings and hearings at the Capitol Hill wherein they met lawmakers and the Congressional aides, American Association of Physicians of Indian-origin (AAPI) leadership said given that Indian-American doctors see every 7th patient in the US, their views on this crucial issue could no longer be ignored. "Our statistics of seeing one in every seven patients demand a seat at the table of immigration reform. We are uniquely poised, of having unique experience of dealing of patients and areas where all resources are not available," AAPI president Dr Jayesh Shah said during the Capitol Hill Day that focused on immigration reform and health care reform. Supporting the move to clear green card backlogs, Dr Sampat Shivangi, the AAPI Legislative Committee co-chairman, urged the lawmakers to include physicians

in the list of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for given preference or priority in green card. As part of comprehensive immigration reform, foreign students

ment. Such a proposal would enable more physicians to be eligible for Green Cards and address the ongoing physician shortage," he said. "These physicians would still

Ed Royce

graduating with degrees in STEM are eligible for green cards. This proposal enables highly-skilled workers to remain in the US after receiving their higher education in America, Shivangi said. "Physicians graduating from accredited US residency programs should also receive similar treat-

be required to meet all US licensing standards before they could officially practice medicine. Hospitals and physician practices would be able to quickly hire qualified physicians who can make an immediate impact in local communities," Dr Shivangi said. Such a move, officials said

would benefit Indian physicians. "Once the STEM bill includes physicians category, that would clear the process of Indian American physicians," Dr Shivangi said. The AAPI meeting was addressed by several top American Congressmen including Ed Royce, Joe Crowley, Joe Wilson, Ami Bera and Frank Pallone. Speaking on the occasion, the lawmakers assured the IndianAmerican physicians to introduce necessary amendments in the current legislation to address their concerns. Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he is in favor of skilled and education-based immigration. "I am a big fan for immigration which is education and skill based. Move towards unskilled based in not good for the country. You need to focus on skilled immigration of the United States," he said. Royce along with his other Congressional colleague Joe Wilson spoke to bringing down the health care cost and favored promoting doctor-patient relationship. -PTI

Can an undocumented lawyer practice law? CYRUS D. MEHTA

A

ll eyes are focused on whether the California Supreme Court will grant an undocumented lawyer a law license in the case of Sergio Garcia. If an undocumented lawyer like Garcia is granted a license, what would happen if he chooses to practice immigration law? In the past, undocumented lawyers who practiced immigration law have been disciplined by bar counsel within the immigration agencies. The same fate should not befall future undocumented lawyers if they choose to practice immigration law after

the state has granted them a license to practice law.

It boggles the mind as to why the DOJ would read ยง1621 so broadly so as to oppose the granting of a license to a lawyer who has been authorized to remain in the US The first question is whether an

undocumented lawyer can be granted a law license by the relevant state. The Department of Justice has argued that 8 USC ยง1621 prohibits a state from granting a public benefit to an undocumented alien, which also includes a professional license. At the oral argument on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, the judges seemed to agree with the DOJ's position. However, 8 USC ยง1621 also allows a state to bypass ยง1621 by enacting specific legislation that could grant a benefit to an undocumented alien. Thus, even if the California Supreme Court rules against Garcia,

the California legislature has passed specific legislation, AB 1024 that would authorize the granting of law licenses to undocumented aliens. This legislation, if signed by the governor, will moot the case in the California Supreme Court, but the DOJ is likely to make the same argument in other states. The DOJ's hypertechnical argument clearly goes against the spirit of the Obama Administration's deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) policy, although Garcia was too old to take advantage of it. Cont'd on Page 46


Immigration Post

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House chairman pledges action on immigration WASHINGTON: The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has pledged action on immigration overhaul legislation even as most of the attention on Capitol Hill is focused on fights over the budget and debt. Rep. Bob Goodlatte said the immigration issue needs to be solved and work is happening behind the scenes toward that goal. Goodlatte, R-Va., said members of his committee are working on four bills to address various aspects of the immigration system, in addition to four that the committee already has approved. He didn't elaborate on the bills in the works, but he and others have previously discussed legislation to grant work visas to lowerskilled workers, as well as a bill to give immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids an ``earned path to citizenship,'' as he described it. Goodlatte also has raised the need for changes to the asylum and refugee program, and, most controversially, to resolve the status of the 11 million people already in the country illegally.

His committee already has approved a bill on agricultural workers, one on high-skilled visas, a third to strengthen immigration laws and empower state and local

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

governments to enforce them, and a fourth to require employers to verify their workers' legal status. The approach stands in contrast to the Democratic-led Senate, which passed a single, farreaching bill in June including billions for border security, new legal work visa programs and a path

to citizenship for the immigrants already in the country illegally. ``We are taking what we call a step-by-step approach. We have objections to the Senate bill, but we don't say we want to kill the Senate bill,'' Goodlatte said at a gathering organized by House Republicans with Hispanic Republican leaders to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. ``We say we want to do immigration reform right.'' Goodlatte said he'd like to see the full House begin voting on the committee-passed bills next month. Although it's not clear that will happen, such an approach could result in House approval of a package of bills that could lead to negotiations with the Senate on a compromise immigration bill. The issue is one of President Barack Obama's top second-

term priorities. But the fall House agenda is crowded with fiscal fights that have commanded lawmakers' agenda and crowded aside immigration - an issue that many rankand-file Republicans have little appetite for anyway. Goodlatte pledged that the House approach would address the major problems of the immigration system - enforcement and security; legal immigration; and the status of the millions living in the country illegally. As he has in the past, Goodlatte rejected the ``special path to citizenship'' he said was in the Senate bill, instead saying that immigrants here illegally - aside from those brought as kids should be allowed to obtain legal

status, then use the existing avenues of work or family sponsorship to attain citizenship. Immigration advocates see the possibility for compromise in this approach. ``That will not result in every single person who came here unlawfully getting all the way to citizenship, but I feel very strongly in my conversations with people it would be a major solution to the problem,'' Goodlatte said. For people brought illegally as kids - often called DREAMers after Dream Act legislation that failed in an earlier Congress Goodlatte endorsed what he called an ``earned path'' to citizenship that would give people legal status and allow them to get citizenship through education, military or other routes. -AP

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Republicans depart House immigration group WASHINGTON: A bipartisan House group that's been working in secret to write a comprehensive immigration bill splintered with the departure of two Republicans, the latest sign of difficulty in solving the contentious issue. Texas Reps. John Carter and Sam Johnson said they can no longer be part of the effort because they don't trust President Barack Obama to enforce any legislation they write. Their move may amount to the end of the group, which even before the development had failed to produce a final product after months of delay. Rep. Mario DiazBalart of Florida is now the sole Re-

publican with four Democrats involved in the effort. Another Republican, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho,

A joint statement from Johnson and Carter underscored how the thorny immigration issue is made even tougher by partisan politics on Capitol Hill departed the group several months ago. A joint statement from Johnson and Carter underscored how the thorny immigration issue is made

even tougher by partisan politics on Capitol Hill and the distrust many House Republicans have for Obama. ``The administration's practice of hand-picking what parts of laws they wish to enforce has irrevocably damaged our efforts of fixing our broken immigration system,'' their statement said. ``If past actions are the best indicators of future behavior, we know that any measure depending on the president's enforcement will not be faithfully executed. It would be gravely irresponsible to further empower this administration by granting them additional authority or discretion with a new immigration system,'' they said.-AP

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Can an undocumented lawyer practice law? Cont'd from Page 44

The DOJ has also argued in a similar case in Florida that ยง1621 precludes a state from granting a law licenses to a person who has since received work authorization under DACA. It boggles the mind as to why the DOJ would read ยง1621 so broadly so as to oppose the granting of a license to a lawyer who has been authorized to remain in the US

ployment, when otherwise not authorized to work, cannot adjust status under INA ยง245. It does not prohibit self-employment, and in any event, an undocumented person is ineligible to adjust status. So, what would happen if an undocumented lawyer is granted a license, which is about to happen in California, and then decides to practice immigration law? The DOJ's brief in the Sergio Garcia case cites instances of disciplinary ac-

With respect to an undocumented lawyer who may remain in the US, he or she need not be employed by an employer in violation of federal immigration law. Such a lawyer could potentially work as an independent contractor or perform pro bono work as a volunteer without potentially violating the employer sanction laws. and work under DACA. There are compelling arguments why an undocumented lawyer should be granted a law license. A law license should be separated from the ability to work in the US. There are many foreign lawyers who get law licenses in this country even though they may not be eligible to work in the US. They have entered the US on student or tourist visas, and take the state bar exam. While they may not be able to remain in the US longer than their visa and plan to return to their countries, they are nevertheless granted a license based on their competence and fitness to be lawyers. Such lawyers can practice US law in their own countries, and even apply their knowledge of such law, when they legitimately visit the US for business purposes. With respect to an undocumented lawyer who may remain in the US, he or she need not be employed by an employer in violation of federal immigration law. Such a lawyer could potentially work as an independent contractor or perform pro bono work as a volunteer without potentially violating the employer sanction laws. The DOJ in its brief cites Matter of Tong, 16 I&N Dec. 593 (BIA 1978) to argue that self-employment qualifies as working without authorization. But Matter of Tong was decided long before the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which made it unlawful for an employer to hire a person who is not authorized to work in the US. Matter of Tong only held that an alien who engages in self-em-

tion taken against licensed attorneys who were not authorized to work in the United States by disciplinary counsel within the USCIS and the EOIR. See Matter of Ravindra Singh Kanwal, D2009-053 (OCIJ July 8, 2009) and Matter of Noel Peter Mpaka Canute, D2020_124 (OCIJ March 16, 2001). In both the cases, the attorneys had work authorization and then fell out of status, but never contested the charges and consented to the order of discipline. They were indefinitely suspended, but could apply for reinstatement if they could demonstrate that they had lawful immigration status or were granted employment authorization. Both of these attorneys were then reciprocally disciplined by their state bars in New York and Colorado and other states where they were admitted as attorneys. Despite the groundswell of support for granting licenses to undocumented attorneys, bar counsel within the immigration agencies could potentially start disciplinary actions against them if they practice immigration law based on the prior precedents. When a state has granted a law license to an undocumented lawyer, knowing fully well that the lawyer is undocumented, one is hard pressed to think about the ethical basis to discipline a lawyer who decides to practice immigration law. Under 8 CFR 1.1 and 1001.1, both the DHS and EOIR must recognize an attorney "who is eligible to practice law in and is a member in good standing of the bar of the

highest court of any State, possession, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and is not under any order suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting him in the practice of law." An undocumented attorney who falls under this definition is recognized under federal law to engage in the practice of immigration law. Although the two published decisions are devoid of details as the immigration attorneys conceded to the disciplinary charges, it is hard to find a disciplinary ground under the federal immigration rules in 8 CFR 1003.102 that would sanction an undocumented attorney who chooses to practice immigration law, especially if such an attorney is not employed in violation of the employer sanction provisions, practices as an independent contractor and otherwise engages in ethical conduct. Moreover, in the unfortunate event that such an attorney does get disciplined by the immigration agencies for merely being undocumented, it would be equally hard for a state disciplinary authority to find a reciprocal disciplinary ground under the various state rules of professional responsibility, which have largely adopted the ABA Model rules. Even ABA Model Rule 8.4(c), which can sanction attorneys who "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" or Rule 8.4(d), which sanctions attorneys who" engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice" can hardly apply to an undocumented lawyer who has been granted a license by his or her state bar, and who otherwise does not engage in unethical conduct. Even from a public policy standpoint, a foreign national lawyer, who is otherwise in H-1B visa status, can fall out of status unbeknownst to him or her if the employer forgets to timely file an extension of the H-1B status. This lawyer may have also mistakenly received an I-94 authorizing him or her to remain in the US up to a date earlier than the date on the H-1B approval notice, and the lawyer only finds out after it is too late. A lawyer may have also applied for adjustment of status based on marriage to a US citizen, and timely applies for a renewal of the em-

ployment authorization document, but may not receive such a document from the USCIS in a timely manner. Lawyers who find themselves in such situations, and while waiting for the government to extricate themselves from this mess, may still wish to engage in a pro bono case for a foreign national client. Should such a lawyer be disciplined for unethical conduct? The disciplining of an undocu-

Act, or a person can obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS), if a calamity were to befall his or her country such as the recent TPS program and its extension for Haitians after the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. Conversely, a documented person, such as one in H-1B status can accord the government also technically be considered not in status, during the pendency of an extension request, although this posi-

Even ABA Model Rule 8.4(c), which can sanction attorneys who "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" or Rule 8.4(d), which sanctions attorneys who" engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice" can hardly apply to an undocumented lawyer mented lawyer also goes against the grain of prevailing policies and attitudes towards undocumented immigrants. There are millions of undocumented people who are waiting for immigration reform, and the Senate has already passed S. 744, which will give them Registered Provisional Status, and then put them along the pathway to permanent residency and eventually citizenship. Indeed, being documented or undocumented is part of the same continuum. A thoroughly undocumented person, when placed in removal proceedings, can seek cancellation of removal under stringent criteria pursuant to INA ยง240A(b), such as by being physically present in the U.S. on a continuous basis for not less than 10 years, by demonstrating good moral character during this period, by not being convicted of certain offenses and by demonstrating "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien's spouse, parent, or child," who is a citizen or a permanent resident. Such a person whose visa has long since expired could also possibly get wrapped up in a romantic encounter with a U.S. citizen, marry, and dramatically convert from undocumented to permanent resident within a few months. Until the recent fall of DOMA, a lawyer in a same sex marriage with a US citizen could not even apply for an immigration benefit through that marriage. At times, Congress bestows such permanent residency, as we have already seen, through section 245(i) or the LIFE

tion has been successfully challenged. The following extract from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Plyer v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), which held that undocumented children could not be deprived of a public education, is worth noting: "To be sure, like all persons who have entered the United States unlawfully, these children are subject to deportation. But there is no assurance that a child subject to deportation will ever be deported. An illegal entrant might be granted federal permission to continue to reside in the country, or even become a citizen." As undocumented immigrants become attorneys, many may want to get involved in some way in the practice of immigration law. Many of them were brought to the US as children and are without status for no fault of their own. They may engage in advocating for the rights of immigrants, for immigration reform and may also perform pro bono work in the immigration field. They can hardly be accused of engaging in unethical conduct by bar counsel within the immigration agencies, especially when their states have granted them licenses after being fully aware of their undocumented status. (The views expressed in this article are the author's personal and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization that he is a part of)

* Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


September 27, 2013

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Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NETWORKING BIDDERS CONFERENCES for RFP #901156 Transition and Aftercare Supportive Services South County –Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM, Social Services Agency, CA Poppy Room, 24100 Amador Street, Hayward, CA and North County –Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM, General Services Agency, Room 1107, 11th Floor, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA Response Due by 2:00 pm on November 4, 2013 County Contact: Lovell Laurente (510) 208-9621 or via email: lovell.laurente@acgov.org Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Specifications regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County GSA Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 9/27/13 CNS-2534067#


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Datebook

September 27, 2013

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NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sat, Sep 28

Thu, Oct 3

• 15th Grand Dushahra Festival

• DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra

Venue: Lake Papaianni Park at 100 Municipal Boulevard, Edison NJ 08817 Time: 1:00 pm Contact: 732-234-6682

Venue: Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 718-207-0058

- A Musical Evening

Fri, Oct 4

Sat, Oct 5

Contact:

• Bollywood Legend, Farooq Sheikh Venue: Edison Hotel, 3050 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ 08837 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 732-277-6687

Sat, Oct 5

Sat, Oct 5

Venue: Dunn Sports Center-NJ, 600 Pearl St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202 Time: 9:00 pm Contact: 908-656-2020

Venue: Haveli Indian Cuisine, 17221 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

• Navratri Rass-Garba Venue: Navratri Rass Garba 2013 St. Anthony’s High School 275 Wolf Hill Rd, Melville, NY 11747 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: 347-455-8515

• J K Yog Satsang and Bal

• Sef Dandia 2013

Mukund Hindi Classes are held every 2nd and 4rth Sunday of Month

Venue: Kellogg Gym, 3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768 Time: 8:00 pm Contact:714-587-7466

Time: 7:30 pm 562-869-9009

• Raas Garba Benefit Venue: Van Wyck Junior High School, 10 Hillside Lake Rd, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: 845-245-6047

• ICS Presents Navratri 2013

Fri, Sep 27 • Lata's Voice Klose To My Soul

Sat, Sep 28

Sat, Sep 28 • Planet Bollywood Venue: Ultraseude Hollywood, N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: 858-610-7388

Sat, Sep 28 • Invitation for Dharma & Yoga Fest Venue: Granada Hills high school , 10535 Zelzah Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91344 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 805-203-0726

Fri, Oct 4 • The International Gem and

Sat, Oct 12 • HTHF Navratri Raas-Garba & Dandiya 2013 Venue: Arcadia Masonic Center, 50 W Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91007 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 626-991-4789

Sat, Oct 12 • "Bharathanatyam Fund Raiser" Venue: Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91605 Time: 4:00 pm Time: 8183575313

ATLANTA Upcoming

Jewelry Show

Fri, Oct 11 • Durgostav 2013

Venue: Los Angeles Convention Center,

Venue: Berkmar High School, 405 Pleas-

1201 Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90744

ant Hill Rd, Lilburn, GA 30047

Time: 12:00 pm

Time: 9:00 pm

Sat, Oct 5 • Raas-Garba With Jayshree

Contact: 678-764-5179

Venue: Anaheim Convention Center,

Sun, Oct 20 • Dussehra Mela 2013

800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim,

Venue: Atlanta Event Hall, 3750 Venture

CA 92802

Dr, Duluth, GA 30096

Time: 4:00 pm

Time: 3:00 pm

Contact: 951-318-7375

Contact: 404-934-9991

Gohil & Group

Chicago Satsang Information: J K Yog, Chicago - Swami Mukundananda Venue: Clarion Inn/Waterford Banquets, Board Room, 933 South Riverside Drive, Elmhurst, IL 60126 Time: 3:30pm-5:30pm Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807 Website: www.jkyog.org

1st and 3rd Sunday of Month • Chicago Children's Bal Mukund Character Building Program and Hindi Literacy Classes Venue: Vogelei Center, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffmann Estates, IL 60192 (Next to Nissan Dealership) Contact: Ajay & Arti Chandhok @ 630-561-4807 Website: www.jkyog.org/bal-mukund

Sat, Oct 5 • Grand Musical Concert By Abhishek Raghuram Venue: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Rd, Lemont, IL 60439 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 630-403-8342

Fri, Oct 18 • Shree Jalaram Mandir : Garba 2013 Venue: Shree Jalaram Mandir, 425 Illinois Blvd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 Time: 5:30 pm Contact: 847-596-0363


„ Health

Line

Ravalli County rejects family planning money HAMILTON, Mont.: Ravalli County commissioners have declined to reconsider a decision to reject $50,000 in federal money to pay for a family planning clinic in the county's public health department. The Ravalli Republic reports that none of the three commissioners who previously voted to reject the money made a motion to reconsider the decision. Commissioners earlier this month voted 3-2 to turn down federal Title X money. That means the county's public health department starting Oct. 1 will not operate a family planning clinic for the first time in more than 40 years. The clinic provides health services ranging from birth control to cancer screenings for more than 400 mostly low-income women. -AP

„ Binge eating more likely to lead to health risks in men WASHINGTON: Obese men who binge eats are more likely to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure than their female counterparts, a new study has found. Binge eating disorder is defined as the repeated consumption of large quantities of food in a short period of time without some other compensatory activity, such as the vomiting seen in bulimia. People with binge eating disorder also report feeling of a loss of control over their eating. Men have generally been under-represented in studies of obesity and of binge eating disorder, said Tomoko Udo, associate research scientist in psychiatry at Yale University and lead author of the study. "People used to think binge eating was less common in men than women," she said. The study examined 190 people (141 women and 49 men) who were seeking treatment for obesity and binge eating disorder in a primary care setting. Even after adjusting for race and body mass index, men were three times as likely to meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study group consisted of people who sought help with their weight, which may have a bearing on the higher incidence of metabolic syndrome seen in men, Udo said.-PTI

Health Science Cost of elderly left out of Pa. Medicaid debate 50

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September 27, 2013

Details on Page 52

US House vote triggers showdown over government shutdown WASHINGTON: House Republicans turned up the political heat by passing a spending plan that defunds President Barack Obama's health care law, a ploy that pushes government toward shutdown and possible default. Congress now has just few days to breach a bitter ideological divide and approve a shortterm federal budget before several government agencies and programs shutter at the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on October 1. Lawmakers voted along party lines 230-189 to fund government operations at current levels through December 15, setting up a showdown with the Democraticled Senate, which will consider and almost certainly reject - the measure next week. The Republican bill includes a provision that strips funding for the health care law, which its critics have nicknamed "Obamacare" and which the GOP has fought to repeal since its passage more than three years ago. Speaker John Boehner, whom Democrats accuse of caving in to

extremists in his caucus, insisted the vote reflected Americans' frustration with ill effects of the health law.

But with both sides insisting they will not blink in the face-off, the nation careened into fiscal

US House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor speaks as Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner and other House Republicans look on during a rally after a vote September 20

"Our message to the United States Senate is real simple: the American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare," Boehner said, to loud cheers from his Republican members.

whitewater. "We really have no idea - no idea - how this is going to play out yet," a Republican congressional aide told AFP. Obama looked beyond the shutdown threat to a more por-

tentous battle next month - the need to raise the US borrowing limit, which Republicans have also vowed to try and block unless the health care law can be delayed by a year. The President, visiting a car plant in Missouri, accused Republicans of risking a "tailspin" for the still recovering US economy by putting partisan zeal ahead of the good of the nation. "If we don't raise the debt ceiling - we are deadbeats," Obama warned in a fiery speech, saying it was "the height of irresponsibility" for House Republicans to threaten a government default unless they get their way. Later, he telephoned Boehner to urge the House leader to fulfill Congress's role in paying the nation's bills, but Obama also said he "wouldn't negotiate with him on the debt limit," according to a Boehner aide. "The Speaker was disappointed but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead," the aide added. "It was a brief call." -AFP

Health law separates potential GOP 2016 contenders MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich.: A clear divide over the health care law separates the emerging field of potential GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential race, previewing the battles ahead as they try to rebuild their party and seize the White House. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says he will fight ``with every breath'' to stop President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, even if that means shutting down parts of the federal government. It's an approach that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush calls ``quite dicey'' politically for Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says flatly that a shutdown is ``a dumb idea.'' ``I'm acknowledging we probably can't defeat or get rid of Obamacare,'' Paul told reporters while attending a Republican

conference in Michigan. ``But by starting with our position of not funding it maybe we get to a posi-

they are making a principled stand, willing to oppose the law at all costs.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

tion where we make it less bad.'' Allied on the other side with Cruz are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and others who say

Then there are those taking what they call a pragmatic approach by accepting the law, if grudgingly, and moving on. This

group includes Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who say a shutdown would violate the public trust. ``The government we have should work, so that's why I don't believe we should shut the government down,'' Walker told reporters at the Michigan conference. The Republican-controlled House has passed a short-term spending plan that would continue funding government operations through mid-December while withholding money for the health law. Some GOP lawmakers also advocate holding back on increasing the nation's borrowing limit, which could result in a first-ever default, unless the law is brought down. Cont'd on Page 52


September 27, 2013

Health Science Post

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FDA alert puts Ranbaxy under scanner of other regulators NEW DELHI: With the US health watchdog finding serious lapses at Ranbaxy's Mohali plant in Punjab, regulators in Australia and Europe are assessing if any drugs exported by the Indian firm to their regions are affected. Regulators in Australia and Europe, including the UK, have sought information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the lapses, which last week led to a US ban on imports of products made at the Mohali facility.

The regulators said action will be taken after assessing the FDA's reply. Ranbaxy Laboratories, which was acquired by Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo in 2008, commissioned the Mohali plant in 2011 and started exports from there in 2012. It is the third Ranbaxy facility in India to face FDA action, after the Dewas and Paonta Sahib plants. The US FDA banned import of drugs made at the Mohali unit after it found lapses, including tablets embedded with 'black fiber' suspected to be hair from an employee's arm and 'black spots' of oil from machines in tablets. The drug maker, which has 16 manufacturing units in eight countries and ground operations in 43 nations, said it will continue to fully cooperate with the FDA and

take steps to resolve the concerns at the earliest. A spokesperson for Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) told PTI it will determine whether any action is required when the FDA information is assessed. "The TGA is in communication with the US FDA and is awaiting details to determine whether any Australian medicines may be affected by the FDA findings," the spokesperson said. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said an impact assessment is in progress. "We are currently working with the FDA and other European regulators to assess the impact the FDA's action has on the medicines from the Mohali site that are destined for the UK and European market. "There is currently no evidence that medicines on the UK and EU market manufactured at this site are defective so people should continue to take their medicines," MHRA said. The World Health Organization did not comment on its action plan, saying only that it had taken note of the US FDA's past actions against Ranbaxy. Ranbaxy said in May it signed a consent decree with the US FDA and agreed to pay USD 500 million to settle charges after a US Department of Justice probe of data integrity and manufacturing processes at certain company units in India. Ranbaxy clocked over USD 1 billion sales in the Americas in 2012, while it garnered over USD 420 million in Europe and over USD 270 million from Asia and Africa. -PTI

Nike co-founder gives $500M for cancer research PORTLAND, Ore.: Nike Inc. founder Phil Knight pledged $500 million to Oregon Health and Science University in the form of a challenge he hopes will launch a $1 billion cancer research initiative. The gift is contingent on OHSU raising at least $500 million for cancer within two years. The gift by the hospital is the third one from Knight and his wife, Penny, to OHSU. A 2008 gift of $100 million went to the hospital's Knight Cancer Institute. The Knights announced the gift at a gala for the cancer institute. ``It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming,'' Knight said, in comments distributed by the hospital. Knight Cancer Institute Director Dr. Brian Druker, who helped develop a drug that targets genetic defects in a particular cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed, said the pledge will help kick-start solutions to the next major challenges in

cancer research. ``This is a transformative moment,'' said OHSU President Joe Robertson in comments distributed by the hospital, ``not just for OHSU and for Oregon, but for the

``It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming,'' Knight said, people who matter most. ``This is about changing the lives of cancer patients around the world.'' In September 2012, Knight pledged $125 million to establish a cardiovascular institute at the hospital that is expected to help in recruiting doctors and bridging the socalled translational gap between the data found in research and its application in a clinical setting. -AP

Matheson bucks Dems, votes vs. health care law SALT LAKE CITY: Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah was one of only two Democrats who crossed party lines to vote for legislation to eliminate funding for the 3-year-old health care law and simultaneously prevent a partial government shutdown. Matheson said he voted for the bill even though he thinks the GOP legislative strategy of trying to scuttle President Barack Obama's health care law by threatening a government shutdown is irresponsible. The Republican-controlled House approved the measure by a 230-189 vote. Matheson, the lone Democrat in Utah's congressional delegation, noted he opposes the Affordable Care Act and his main goal is keeping the government operating. He assumed the Senate would restore the funding, forcing the House to take up the issue again. He preferred a bill that extends government funding at current levels, while the parties continue negotiating a broader spending deal. ``This (vote) reflects my position on both of those issues,'' Matheson told The Salt Lake Tribune. ``We should avoid shutting down the government. I think we ought to keep our eye on that prize.'' Utah's three Republican House members

- Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart - issued a joint statement saying the bill not only keeps government working but eliminates funding from ``one of the most destructive and expensive laws ever passed.'' They urged their colleagues in the Senate to pass the bill as is and send it to the president. The Obama administration opposes the House measure, saying it would deny millions of hard-working middle-class families affordable health care coverage. ``I think fighting Obamacare in its extreme form is a losing cause for Republicans because they've lost so many times on it, including in the Supreme Court,'' Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, told the Deseret News. The GOP should attack the deficit and specific aspects of the health care law that need reform rather than resort to brinksmanship, he added. ``It seems, at this point, taking a sledgehammer to Obamacare is not going to work,'' Jowers said. ``Taking a scalpel could very well work because even President Obama has acknowledged there are some significant difficulties with this law.'' -AP


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Health Science Post

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Cost of elderly left out of Pa. Medicaid debate HARRISBURG, Pa.: Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to extend taxpayer-paid health insurance to hundreds of thousands of the working poor came with his repeated warnings that it is not an expansion of Medicaid and that he would not expand an entitlement program that he views as already too costly, bloated and ineffective. What went without mention by Corbett, however, is the driving force behind the cost of Pennsylvania's Medicaid program: the elderly who need nursing home care or something like it on a long-term basis. ``When you talk about the escalating cost of the (Medicaid) system, you can't get around it without attacking the longterm care problem that we have,'' said Michael Rosenstein, who represents the arms of private insurers and hospitals that are paid by Pennsylvania to manage the care of 1.6 million Medicaid enrollees. Nearly half of the state's 2.2 million Medicaid enrollees are children. More than 900,000 elderly and disabled receive Medicaid services, whether for health care, to stay in a nursing home or get help in their homes with tasks they have difficulty doing. Then there's the cost. Statistics from the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission in Washington, D.C., or MACPAC for short, show Pennsylvania spent more than $23,000 in 2009 for each elderly person on Medicaid _ among the costliest in the nation _ and

$15,700 per year for each disabled person on Medicaid. The 2009 data was the latest available. The price tag for someone to stay in a nursing home is around $60,000 a year. Those figures dwarf the cost of covering the kind of working-age, able-bodied adult who would primarily benefit from the

Gov. Tom Corbett

use of Medicaid expansion money that becomes available Jan. 1 under President Barack Obama's signature health care law. For example, each able-bodied adult who is already on Medicaid because they are destitute or are a low-income parent cost $4,600

in 2009 to insure, according MACPAC's information. Meanwhile, the elderly continue to be the fastest growing group of Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania, which is among the nation's oldest states. The question of what to do about the cost to care for the growing number of elderly on Medicaid is not a new one. The Medicaid managed care companies in Rosenstein's group are lobbying to extend their services to also include nursing care for the elderly and disabled, a move they say would save money and improve quality of life. The AARP is pressing for Pennsylvania to catch up to other states in expanding the role of attendants who take care of the elderly in private or community homes. Meanwhile, some nursing home operators insist the Medicaid enrollees in their care cannot get the 24hour care that they need anywhere else. Rather, they say the growth of the elderly on Medicaid is due to the expansion of in-home services that has displaced the role once filled by family and friends.

Ronald Barth, whose organization represents not-for-profit businesses that provide various services to the elderly, said the state needs to update its Medicaid reimbursement system so that the elderly get better access to a wider range of services that often cost less than a nursing home. The reimbursement system is rooted in the 1960s, when people didn't live as long and were more likely to have able-bodied family members nearby, Barth said. ``We have the old-old to care for now,'' Barth said. ``Medicaid and Medicare were created when the lifespans of people were not reaching the mid-80s and the 90s and mid-90s the way they are today.'' Tucked into Corbett's plan to use the federal Medicaid dollars to extend health insurance to an estimated 520,000 low-income adults is a pledge to create a ``LongTerm Care Commission to recommend best practices that improve the coordination of care for all Pennsylvanians in need of longterm care services and support.'' There were few details beyond that. ``We don't know what the results of that could be, as far as policy changes,'' said Ray Landis of the AARP of Pennsylvania. ``I'm hoping that, since that was in there, it's a recognition that that is a big cost driver in Medicaid.'' -AP

Health law separates potential GOP 2016 contenders Cont'd from Page 50

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to scold ``a faction on the far right'' of the Republican Party, and he said he would not allow ``anyone to harm this country's reputation or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people, just to make an ideological point.'' While attending the Michigan conference, Paul said Republicans could force a vote in both houses of Congress, then negotiate changes to legislation in a joint conference committee. But, he added, time is running out. Less than one-quarter of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, about the same as approve of Republicans in Congress, according to recent national polls. Democrats poll slightly higher, and large majorities disapprove of the work of both. Yet, only about a third of Americans say they approve of the health care act. Christie has accepted for his state key provisions of the law, yet campaigned on behalf of candidates who support dismantling it. He has taken no public position on whether to fight the law to the point of government shutdown. ``He is either unwilling or unable to speak up against these guys,'' Democratic National Committee spokesman Mike Czin said. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, hosting the conference where Paul, Walker and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke, said a shutdown ``reflects poorly on the national political culture.'' Bush was more pointed. He said Repub-

licans would be guilty of overplaying their hand if they passed a spending measure that did not include money for the health care law. Noting that Republicans control only the U.S. House in Washington, or ``one-half of one-third of the leverage'' in the capital, Bush

Less than one-quarter of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, about the same as approve of Republicans in Congress, according to recent national polls. said in Washington there ``needs to be an understanding of that, or, politically, it gets quite dicey'' for the GOP. Cruz said concerns that voters would blame Republicans for a shutdown are unfounded. ``If history is a guide, the fear of deep political repercussions - I don't think the data bear that out,'' he said. Republican lawmakers and Democratic President Bill Clinton failed to agree on spending in 1995, which resulted in two partial government shutdowns. Clinton was re-elected the following year, but Cruz noted that Republicans held the majorities in both the House and Senate in 1996 and 1998, and collaborated with Clinton on spending cuts and other changes that preceded economic expansion.-AP


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e should have awareness in all that we do. Only then does karma become karma yoga. Discipline helps good thoughts and qualities to develop, which in turn leads to Shraddha or awareness in action. For one who has Shraddha, everything becomes Puja (worship). Nothing will be wasted, everything will be practical. To control the mind, discipline is needed. We need to meditate, do japa, do seva. Only one who has a strong grounding in the Shastras (scriptures) can survive without this. Meditate in the morning. Go for your seva after that. Read books and make notes. What is the use of showing light to a blind person! You have to awaken yourself. Only then will you have that yearning. We had that sort of discipline during childhood - at dusk we would wash our hands and feet, light the lamp and pray. We would also place a pot of water in front of the lamp for God, so that God could wash his feet if he comes to our house! People had such innocent faith then. • During prayers and bhajans, we would have to sit with folded hands as a mark of devotion and respect. Even now if I am not able to come for bhajans I sit with the tambura and sing bhajans in the JALAL AD-DIN MUHAMMAD RUMI

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alal ad-din Muhammad Rumi's words have rung out for more than 800 years, resonating with readers around the world and transcending all religions with his common themes of unity and faith in God's will. Here are some beautiful and wise Rumi quotes to share: • I want to see you. Know your voice. Recognize you when you first come 'round the corner. Sense your scent when I come into a room you've just left. Know the lift of your heel, the glide of your foot. Become familiar with the way you purse your lips, then let them part, just the slightest bit, when I lean in to your space and kiss you. I want to know the joy of how you whisper "more." • Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. • Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. • If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?

room itself. Even when I had throat problems, I do still sing. Irrespective of the situation, you will be able to pursue your practice if you had an early discipline. During Archana, you can either chant or keep silence and imagine that you are doing an abhisheka with flowers to God, flowing from head to feet - that way you will be able to visualize the whole form. Archana can be

thing and everything anywhere with the remembrance of God. I am very sad when I do not see such an attitude in my children. You should have that intensity, but many of you seem to lack it. Most of you are like an ordinary bus. That goes so slow, stopping here and there again and again. Moreover, you keep on loading the bus with each and everything you see at every stop till

slander finds root, God leaves, Devil will rule the mind. Center of Love Without a center you cannot draw a circle. Without that center of love, there won't be fulfillment to life. That is what makes life full. Doing actions as an offering to God is karma yoga. Here, in the ashram you can do this very easily - you can think that you are doing it for Amma.

Without the center of love, there won't be fulfillment You know the story of Kaikeyi and Manthara from Ramayana. If within the mind, some gossip and slander finds root, God leaves, Devil will rule the mind.

Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man's ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. -Seneca

Mata Amritanandmayee

chanted together but should be in synchrony, with the same speed and shruthi. You can chant wherever you are. You can look at the sky as you travel and look into the skies and perceive the 'Ishta devata' is moving with you. While traveling by road, you can imagine Devi driving in a chariot/car ahead of you. While cooking you can see Devi's face in the fire as you blow. So you can do any-

the bus breaks down and you lose everything. Then you wait for the next bus. Make a resolve; That we should reach a particular place by a particular time. It is only then that we will have the urgency to reach our destination. We should have the yearning and the Jijnasa - the desire to know." You know the story of Kaikeyi and Manthara from Ramayana. If within the mind, some gossip and

Remember that Amma has offered herself to the world. Amma is always in Atma-bhava, in the state of Self. She is your Atma; She is not different from you. So if you do actions with that attitude, then it is the Self offering it to the Self. Excerpted from an address to Ashramites on 23 May, 2011.The 60th birth anniversary of Mata Amritanandmayee is being observed on September 27

• The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along. • The wound is the place where the Light enters you. • What you seek is seeking you.

• When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. • When I am with you, we stay up all night. When you're not here, I can't go to sleep. Praise God for those two insomnias! And the difference between them. • Knock, And He'll open the

lights up the sky. • Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death. • My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. • Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with oth-

Don't seek love, but barriers to it within you Knock, And He'll open the door. Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun. Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything. • Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. • You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life? • Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free. • Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

door. Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun. Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything. • Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. • And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, " You owe me." Look what happens with love like that.It

Jalal ad-din Muhammad Rumi

ers. Unfold your own myth. • In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. • Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation. The 806th birth anniversary of Maulana Rumi will be observed on Sept 30

When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. -D.T. Suzuki Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power. -Lao Tzu Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. -Henry David Thoreau Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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September 27, 2013

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Tweaking deterrence to the peculiarities of South Asia

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n 'Nuclear Weapons, Costs and Myths', an article that appeared in The Indian Express on 27 August, Chinmaya Gharekhan, India's former permanent representative to the UN, asked whether 'nuclear weapons have made us more secure against potential adversaries'. This article will pick up from where Amb Gharekhan left off, and fill in perceived gaps. Referring to India's adoption of Cold War vintage nuclear strategy, the article points out that India and Pakistan have no parallels with the Cold War US-USSR equation. The Cuban Missile Crisis is forwarded as an interesting case of the 'failure of deterrence'. Admittedly, this argument has its merits. Moments from the Cold War period such the Falklands War demonstrate that countries were not in fact deterred from waging war against nuclear-capable adversaries. However, and with particular reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis, it must also be recognized that despite the brinkmanship, peace was ultimately maintained. As Ward Wilson says, this was achieved if not with the effectiveness of deterrence then at least through the practice of caution because of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. This is more than what can be said for the level of violence witnessed during the two World Wars. Cold War nuclear strategy may not be 'reproducible in our region' but this should not be the basis of the denunciation of the 'usefulness' of nuclear weapons and the applicability of deterrence theory to South Asia. The primary function of nuclear weapons rests on the applicability of deterrence. It could therefore be more constructive to debate how deterrence can be adapted to the present scenario instead. The concept of the 'survivability' of the deterrent, which originated during the Cold War, is also taken issue with. It is precisely because of a first strike's potential ability to damage a state's nuclear command and control structure that a nuclear deterrent demands that the latter be maintained comprehensively and at all times, thereby ensuring 'survivability', threatening massive retaliation

India Post

RUHEE NEOG

and preventing a first strike altogether. The South Asian nuclear deterrence situation is best explained by the stability-instability paradox: a state in possession of nuclear weapons might be encouraged to conventionally vex its adversary and take greater risks in the knowledge that said adversary would not respond via nuclear means. The 1999 Kargil War has been cited as a significant example of the failure of deterrence. However, Kargil did not escalate to a nuclear level. This example is of course notwithstanding the presence of sub/non-state actors in South Asia, who can derail deterrence - which in any case makes

versary, but given the potential escalation in case of conflict with Pakistan, time has perhaps come to agree to a limit on their respective arsenals. How is this scenario envisaged if China keeps its options open? Second, as also stated by Bharat Karnad in his critique of Amb Gharekhan's article, a move such as this amounts to voluntary recognition of Pakistan's strategic parity with India, which the Indian government would surely be absolutely unwilling to do. Third, there has been widespread discussion on how China's rise is not 'peaceful', and its entitled behavior has not gone unnoticed. This definitely asks to be

Agni II ballistic missile

a point not for the failure of deterrence but rather its adaptation to the peculiarities of South Asia. However, this point is not raised. In addition, it is also said that during Kargil, 'it is Pakistani nukes that restrained us from using our conventional superiority to drive away the invaders. We were deterred by Pakistan's nukes'. The problem therefore seems to be with India conceding its conventional advantage by adopting a nuclear stand, and not deterrence in general. However, it must also be acknowledged that while nuclear weapons may have allowed Pakistan to foray into Indian territory, it also deterred them from coming to the rescue of their troops when they were targeted by Indian ground and aerial attacks. Restraint was visible on both sides. Should India 'consider a freeze' on its stockpile 'even if it is only with reference to Pakistan'? Here, the foregone conclusion is that nuclear war with China is unlikely given their level of advancement and concomitant refusal to acknowledge India as a nuclear ad-

factored into the discussion. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which have been referenced at different points in the article, there exists a state of nuclear taboo. It is unlikely that either Indian or Pakistani establishments would be willing to risk breaking this taboo and consciously invite universal indictment. This calculation however of course does not include the role of non-state actors. Nuclear deterrence holds as long as nuclear weapons are not used - this paradox is central to the problems posed by nuclear weapons. To question this in the specific context of India and Pakistan, and to then suggest a freeze on stockpiles so as avoid nuclear usage does not answer the question. A freeze on stockpiles, given the presence of variables such as non-state actors, does not make us anymore secure against potential adversaries. Closer to the mark would be a debate on how deterrence can be tweaked so as to be a good fit for South Asia. The writer is Senior Research Officer, NSP, IPCS

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Presidential style

ndian democracy is quite different from American democracy. A future leader of the country may not be known till such a selection is made by a successful party (or parties) after the elections. Whereas in the Presidential form of democracy practiced in the US, the two contestants for the leader of the country are known much in advance and these two contestants put into shade rest of the political battles taking place simultaneously. In India this time, the BJP has taken a cue from American elections and is trying to turn the 2014 general elections into a presidential form of contest. They have named their prime ministerial candidate in Narendra Modi almost eight months before the elections and are challenging the ruling Congress party to name their candidate. Spurred by the popularity of Narendra Modi, the BJP has also caught on to the American practice of charging for attendance at political meetings. Beginning modestly, it charged Rs 5 for entry to Modi's meeting in Hyderabad. It was announced that the money thus collected will be used for relief for the Uttarakhand flood victims. The move turned out to a big success. There are meetings coming up for Modi and for the one in Bangalore later this month, the BJP has upped the charges to Rs 10. However, unlike in the American system, this money is not said to be for the party but for some noble purpose like relief for disaster victims. The very fact that they can charge for a Modi meeting and people are not dissuaded by this novel practice shows the change in the approach of the Indian people. So far, under Congress culture, people are believed to wait for free doles viz free electricity, free water, free bus rides. These may still find prevalence during election campaigns but it is doubtful if freebies can turn people to vote for the party doling out these benefits. These are becoming old style politics. Taking people to be gullible who would be taken in by the few gifts handed out before elections. The practice has been that just before elections, the roads are repaired, power shedding is stopped and water is available aplenty. After reaping the benefits of votes, the administrating politicians go back to their old ways of rewarding their relatives and friends and forgetting about the common people for another five years. In another departure, BJP's Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley described Narendra Modi's anointment as the prime ministerial candidate as the outcome of "primary" which is a vocabulary taken straight from the American electoral system. There are other parallels with American style primaries. Candidates pitch themselves by getting the grassroots to come and vote for them, and then conquer the party by winning state after state. Modi did the same. R Jagannathan writing in First Post describes it thus: "He lit a fire under the BJP's central leadership by demonstrating his clout with mid and lower level party workers and demonstrated his popularity. Then he went after the states, starting with his own. In fact, Modi has effectively won the BJP primaries fair and square without getting the party to actually hold one." Earlier, on August 15, Modi did something which has never been done before - challenge the Independence Day speech of the Prime Minister in the American debate style. He pitched for a debate in the manner similar to which discussions were held between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for Presidential elections in the US. Speaking a little after the Prime Minister, he took him on point by point to demolish the repetitive arguments of the PM about achievements of the UPA. Modi was severely criticized for confronting the Prime minister of the country, but his intervention was also welcomed because here was someone asking the questions that the people on the street were asking and who had no voice to counter the PM.


September 27, 2013

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September 27, 2013


Indiapost 09 27 2013