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Diwali Mela celebrated in Sunnyvale Details on page 16

Venture Capital drops for S. Asian entrepreneurs

VOL 15, No. 789

October 23, 2009


Periodical Postage


AIA remembers Mahatma with a banquet dinner Details on page 11

First ever Diwali celebration inside White House Manavi's Silent March to end domestic violence

Details on page 22

Study claims Basmati did not originate in India

Details on page 11

50 killed in simultaneous Taliban attacks

Details on page 20

Probe into US funds given to Indian firms

Details on page 7

UN lauds India's contribution to peace keeping

Details on page 7

Details on page 7

India, Russia to launch 5th gen fighters Details on page 7

Indo-US council on education to be set up

NAMASTE: US President Barack Obama bows alongside Sri Narayanachar Digalakote (R), a Hindu priest, after lighting an oil lamp during an event celebrating Diwali in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 14

SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY From the White House India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: Sanskrit chants of "Asatoma sadgamaya, tamasoma jyotirgamaya…" rang out in clear diction from a Hindu priest as President Barack Obama lit the traditional diya to mark the first ever Diwali celebration inside the White House and wished a roomful of In-

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 30-31 Classifieds --------------------- 44-46

INDIA POST SURVEY This week’s question

Will Obama benefit India more than Bush? Last week’s result

Will Zardari be able to control military? NO 83%

Details on page 6

Details on page 8

Community Post -------------- 11-18

Details on page 9

YES 17%

dian Americans and other Asian and Pacific Islanders community members a "Happy Diwali" on Oct 14. "In the spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House Diya and with you all a Happy Diwali …" the President said to mark the event that was clubbed together with the signing of an executive order to increase participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in federal programs.

USINPAC asks US Congress to probe AQ Khan

Arnold Schwarzenegger

California Governor vetoes 'Kirpan' bill

Date Book -------------------------- 47

WASHINGTON: A bill to educate law enforcement officers about the religious significance of 'kirpans' has been vetoed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who found it "unnecessary," drawing angry reaction from the Sikh community in the US. The decision came as a shock to the organizations, individuals and lawmakers who supported the bill. The veto was particularly surprising given bipartisan votes in favor of the bill in both houses of legislature, advocacy group Sikh Coalition said in a statement. The bill was passed unanimously in both Houses, by 77-0 in the Assembly and by 36-0 in the Senate. Details on page 16

HealthScience Post --------- 20-21

Edit Page --------------------------- 49 Horoscope ------------------------- 38 Immigration Post ------------- 40-43 Life Style ----------------------- 24-27 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate ------------------------ 28 Sports ------------------------------- 19 TechBiz Post ------------------- 22-23 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 33-37

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”


India Post

October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

India Post

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India Post

India Post

October 23, 2009

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iwali celebrations for us in the US are just not complete without the American President marking the event in the White House, a tradition that was started by former President George W. Bush, which has been kept up by President Barack Obama this year. In a marked variation from the previous years though, President Obama was personally present to light the lamp on the occasion unlike President Bush who used to send in an official to represent him. In yet another marked variation from the previous years, almost all of the Indian community leaders who had lobbied hard all those years for Diwali to be recognized as a major Hindu festival which should be celebrated in the White House were left out of the event this year. While I see this as the result of the number of second generation Indian Americans working in the White House and influencing policy on Capitol Hill, it is difficult to be cynical about it because, I think it is a big deal that the Hindu festival has been brought inside the White House finally. I mean, in a country of 300 million for Indian American Hindus who might be less than a million in number, should be recognized thus, it is indeed a big deal. But then, we have earned that recognition. Not only have we made ourselves significant as a component of the diverse American polity, but we have also helped make the political leaders of this country realize the importance of India as an indispensable ally to the United States. President Obama's subtle yet concrete ways to reach out to the Indian Americans paves the way for the forthcoming state visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the White House next month. Irrespective of the multi-billion dollar deals the two countries are likely to ink between them during Singh's visit, I believe, it is simple community outreach efforts like the American President lighting a Diwali diya in the White House, that go a long way to make a people feel they belong.

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Bollywood Amitabh’s favorite In Delhi, Amitabh had dinner with friends, which included a surprise guest, his favourite actress Waheeda Rehman.


Cover Story: Obama’s diya President Barack Obama lit the traditional diya to mark the first ever Diwali celebration inside the White House.

Community: Gandhi anniversary AIA celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by hosting a dinner banquet at Ashyana Banquet Hall.

Life Style: Kathak dance The Fountain Theater partnered with Chitresh Das Dance company to present a new series of Kathak classical dance.




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Golf anniversary South Asian Golf Association celebrated its fifth anniversary at Royce Brook Golf course in Hillsborough, NJ.

TechBiz: Quality data India’s Oceansat-2 sattelite has been steadily beaming good quality data back to the space station.

19 22





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Travel: Dehradun Exploring a different Dehradun, one finds the fascinating ONGC Museum and Vishranti, a bird watcher's delight.


October 23, 2009

India Post



Cover/Top Stories

India Post

October 23, 2009

First ever Diwali celebration inside White House SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY From the White House India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: Sanskrit chants of "Asatoma sadgamaya, tamasoma jyotirgamaya…" rang out in clear diction from a Hindu priest as President Barack Obama lit the traditional diya to mark the first ever Diwali celebration inside the White House and wished a roomful of Indian Americans and other Asian and Pacific Islanders community members a "Happy Diwali" on Oct 14. "In the spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House Diya and with you all a Happy Diwali …" the President said to mark the event that was clubbed together with the signing of an executive order to increase participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in federal programs. Although the tradition of celebrating Diwali was started by former President George W. Bush six years ago, the event was never held inside the White House per se. It used to be a small Indian American community affair inside the Indian Treaty Room in the adjoining Executive Offices building celebrated in the presence of a White House official representing the President. President Bush himself had never attended the Diwali event. President Obama, however, made it a first for the community

by personally gracing the occasion and holding it in the East Room of the White House amidst a gathering of a hundred odd representatives of the Indian American and other Asian communities who gathered to witness the signing of the executive order for reestablishing the President's Advisory Commission and White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. The event began with a song performance by Penn Masala, a young Indian American A cappella group before the President walked in. Following his brief address, the President lit a tall silver diya while Narayanachar L. Digalakote, a priest attached to the Sri Siva-Vishnu temple in Maryland chanted the Sanskrit shloka. President Obama then bowed to the priest with a namaste and shook hands with him. He then signed the executive order and left exhorting the gathering to "enjoy." A visibly beaming Narayanachar later told reporters his opportunity to recite the Sanskrit shloka in the White House that too in the presence of the President was "God's grace." In his address, President Obama said it was fitting that the work of the White House initiative and the Advisory Commission began in the week leading up to the holiday of Diwali - the festival of lights - "when members of some of the world's greatest faiths celebrate the triumph of good over evil." "This coming Saturday, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate this holiday by lighting Diyas, or lamps, which symbolize the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance," the President said. "And while this is a time of rejoicing, it's also a time for reflection, when we remember those who are less fortunate and renew our commitment to reach out to those in need." "While the significance of the holiday for each faith varies, all of them mark it by gathering with family members to pray and decorate the house and enjoy delicious food and sweet treats. And in that spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to

President Obama lightning the traditional Lamp on the occation of Diwali Celebration at the White House on Oct 14, Pandit Narayanachar Digalakote is chanting slokas during the celebrations. Pics Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia

Although the tradition of celebrating Diwali was started by former President George W. Bush six years ago, the event was never held inside the White House per se light the White House Diya," he added. Indeed, all invited guests were gifted a small box of Indian mithai, a gesture that is true to Diwali. Talking about the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, President Obama said, "On a personal note, when I talk about America's AAPI communities, I'm talking about my own family: my sister, Maya; my brother-in-law, Konrad; my beautiful nieces, Suhaila and Savita; and the folks I grew up with in Indonesia, and in Honolulu, as part of the Hawai'ian Ohana, or family." AAPI communities, he said,

Interestingly, most of the senior Indian American community leaders who are regulars at such events in Washington DC in general and the White House in particular, were conspicuous by their absence, reportedly because they were not invited

were all about industry and entrepreneurship of people who have helped build this nation for centuries as laborers, farmers and leaders in every sector of American life from business to science to academia, law, to musicians, athletes and soldiers serving the US Army. The tradition of serving the US army continues even today in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world, he said. Stating that there were several challenges facing the AAPI com-

House initiative created by President Clinton 10 years ago." The President said that it was the mission of the initiative and commission to work with 23 agencies and departments across the government to improve the health, education, and economic status of AAPI communities. The initiative and commission will be housed in the Department of Education, and they'll be co-chaired by Secretaries Arne Duncan and Secretary Gary Locke.

President Obama greets Indian Americans on the occasion of Diwali Celebration at the White House on Oct 14

munities, President Obama said, "There are the disparities that we don't even know about because our data collection methods still aren't up to par. Too often, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are all lumped into one category, so we don't have accurate numbers reflecting the challenges of each individual community. Smaller communities in particular can get lost, their needs and concerns buried in a spreadsheet. And that's why I'm signing this executive order today, reestablishing the advisory commission and White

Old order changeth Interestingly, most of the senior Indian American community leaders who are regulars at such events in Washington DC in general and the White House in particular, were conspicuous by their absence, reportedly because they were not invited. The invitees were markedly from the younger set of Indian Americans, a number of them who work in the Administration and on Capitol Hill, or have been associated with Obama's presidential campaign. Cont’d on page 7

Top Stories

October 23, 2009

India Post


50 killed in simultaneous Taliban attacks LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Suspected Taliban militants unleashed a fresh wave of terror in Pakistan storming three security facilities in Lahore in near-simultaneous attacks and carried out a suicide bombing at a police station in northwestern Kohat city, leaving at least 50 people dead. At least 20 people -- 16 security personnel and four civilians - were killed in attacks on an office of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and two police training facilities in Lahore by three groups of terrorists between 9.15 am and 9.40 am local time, police said. Ten of the attackers were gunned down by security forces or blew themselves up. Nearly 40 people were injured in all the attacks. In Kohat, 11 people died when the suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the city's police station. Witnesses said the bomber slammed his vehicle into the outer wall of the police station, causing a massive blast. Some policemen and school children were among the dead, police said. The police station was severely damaged. In Lahore, the terrorists exchanged heavy gunfire with security forces at the FIA office on Temple Road located close to Mall

Road, the Elite Force police training centre at Bedian Road which is six kms from the airport and the police training facility at Manawan on the outskirts of the city. Almost five hours after the attacks began, Lahore city police officer Pervaiz Rathore said security forces had thwarted all of them.

Pakistan has witnessed a sudden spurt in terror strikes since May when it launched an offensive against the Taliban in the restive North West Frontier Province. Pakistani channels reported that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility Pakistan has witnessed a sudden spurt in terror strikes since May when it launched an offensive against the Taliban in the restive North West Frontier Province. Pakistani channels reported that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the

Lahore attacks. Two inspectors and four civilians died in the attack on the FIA office, police officials at the site told PTI. A terrorist wearing a suicide jacket was gunned down by security forces. Among the civilians who were killed was a banker. The dead terrorist was also carrying packets of dates and dry fruits. Security officials said this indicated he probably planned to take hostages and hole up in the building. Guards deployed at the gate stopped the attacker before he could enter the FIA office. Security forces evacuated the office and nearby buildings and launched a search for three more terrorists believed to be in the area, said SP (Investigation) Haider Ashraf. The terrorists who attacked the police training centers at Bedian Road and Manawan lobbed several grenades and traded fire with policemen and paramilitary Pakistan Rangers troops that surrounded the facilities. SSP (Operations) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad said seven policemen and four terrorists were killed at the Manawan facility. One of the terrorists wearing a suicide jacket blew up when he was shot by policemen while another detonated his explosives.-PTI

Govt probing issue of funds given by US companies NEW DELHI: With BJP and CPI(M) raking up the issue of "illegal" funds being given by some US companies to certain Indian entities, the government said a probe has already been ordered to ascertain facts of the matter. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said the letter of Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar, dated May 12, reached here when the country was in the midst of Lok Sabha polls. "As soon as the government settled down, a probe was ordered," the sources said, adding "everything in the case is being looked into." According to Shankar's letter to the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T K A Nair, prominent Indian organisations which received funds include Maharashtra State Electricity Board (which got

India, Russia to launch 5th gen fighters MOSCOW: India and Russia will launch the joint fifth generation fighters by year end and have agreed to collaborate to develop heavy lift cargo helicopters and futuristic infantry combat vehicles.

First ever Diwali celebration inside White House Cont’d from page 6

Representing the Indian government were the Indian Ambassador to US, Meera Shankar and India's Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma, who is on a visit to Washington DC. Long time political activist Toby Chaudhuri, also second generation Indian American, said the event was historic because, "This is the first time that a sitting President has observed Diwali in the actual White House; not only did he commemorate Diwali but he also lit and shined a candle into the darkness of our community as well by starting this executive commission which will essentially find out the problems facing our communities so that the government can help solve those problems." On the presence of the Hindu priest, Chaudhuri said, "Obviously the White House wanted to ensure that there was a religious leader here who could conduct the ceremony properly." The White House Diwali was

President Obama speaking on the occasion of Diwali celebration at the White House

more a message to the Indian American community rather than for India, Chaudhuri said. "We all know the Indian Prime Minister is coming to visit the White House next month, but this dialogue is irrespective of that. What we are seeing here is a community that is more organized than ever before; we have brought more voters to the polls, we have introduced a new generation of leaders both to elected of-

fice and the White House and we have an administration that believes that the Indian American community specifically is a very important part of this polity. The President wants to make sure that the government is working for them." Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of SAALT, who was in attendance at the event, remarked, "The signing of the Executive Order is an important step towards better un-

payments from Mario Covino of Control Companies), Indian Railways (by Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation) and Central Insecticides Board (by Dow Chemicals). The US companies have been booked under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US, according to the letter. BJP has released the Ambassador's letter and questioned the government's silence on the matter saying it "amounts to shielding the corrupt. This means the government does only pep talk on the issue of corruption." Expressing concern over the development, CPI(M) has asked the government to take firm action against persons who allegedly took bribes and blacklist all US firms involved in it. -PTI

derstanding, documenting, and addressing the needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. SAALT looks forward to working with the Administration and federal agencies as the Executive Order is implemented. We will continue to advocate for effective data collection, improved services, and stronger connections between federal agencies and AAPI communities."

The path for more hi-tech defense collaboration between Moscow and New Delhi was paved with the signing of the joint defense protocol by Defense Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov. The protocol extends military interaction between the two countries till 2020 and this is expected to make the path clear for inking more major defense joint ventures during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in early December. The protocol was signed here at the end of 9th session of IndiaRussia Intergovernmental Commission on military-technical cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) after assurances from Moscow that all pending issues like the delivery of aircraft carrier Gorshkov and nuclear submarine Nerpa would be resolved at the earliest. The protocol provides for completion of formalities by the year end to launch the joint designing, development and production of fifth generation fighter aircraft project. Besides the development of a state-of-the-art multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) through a joint venture along the lines of highly successful BrahMos JV, India and Russia have also agreed to jointly develop a heavy lift cargo helicopter and futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV). -PTI


Top Stories

India Post

October 23, 2009

USINPAC asks US Congress to investigate AQ Khan claims India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) has expressed strong concern over claims made by disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist, AQ Khan, particularly about the illegal transfer of weapons technology to Iran. Responding to Khan's statements, USINPAC Chairman, Sanjay Puri, said, "It is troubling to see that the man Time Magazine called the world's most dangerous nuclear trafficker is busy gloating on TV about his nuclear proliferation exploits. “He has provided sensitive technology to some of America's biggest foreign policy concerns yet the United States does not have access to him. The man, dubbed as the Merchant of Menace, has a lot of information that we as Americans should have the right to know, especially since one of our allies is the country protecting him - a country, which Mr. Khan alludes to being complicit and supportive of his nuclear supermarket for rogue nations." In a recent television interview, AQ Khan stated that assisting Iran was a planned operation to create "a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure", and also to "neutralize" Israel's power.

Puri further said, "I strongly urge President Obama to pressure our ally Pakistan to allow AQ Khan to be brought in front of a global body such as the IAEA so that the international community can get to the bottom of what appears to be a nexus of proliferation with countries such as Iran, North Korea and possibly others." Manish Thakur, USINPAC's Na-

Most alarming is the possibility that he sold nuclear technology to terrorist groups who want to directly attack the United States itself tional Security Coordinator, said, "These statements are yet more disturbing revelations by one of the world's most prolific proliferators. In addition to the damage he has clearly done in Iran, we now have more clues from him about the critical nuclear expertise he illegally provided to North Korea. We have over 30,000 American troops in South Korea who are in greatly increased danger due to his activities. Most

alarming is the possibility that he sold nuclear technology to terrorist groups who want to directly attack the United States itself. We urgently need to question this man, but the United States has deliberately been prevented from talking to him directly by our ally, Pakistan. That this ally receives billions of dollars in aid from us is stunning. Congress needs to get to the bottom of this fast." Meanwhile, USINPAC has also expressed its concern over the United States Congress passing a bill tripling US aid to Pakistan without first establishing accountability and transparency of Pakistani expenditure of US aid funding, past and present. In addition to that, says USINPAC, the United States Government has failed to: Gain access for questioning to A.Q. Khan; Investigate Pakistan's proliferation of nuclear weapons technology to rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran; and Audit the safeguards and security of Pakistan's nuclear assets from seizure and control by terrorist groups. Puri says that while the Pakistan assistance legislation has provisions that are intended to direct Pakistan military purchases towards a counterinsurgency mission, the US still has no real ability to track how the money is spent.

Axa Equitable hosts Diwali celebration India Post News Service

NEW YORK: AXA Equitable held a coordinated Diwali celebration for employees in three of the company's major locations: Charlotte, NC, Jersey City, NJ and Syracuse, NY. More than 400 employees joined in the celebration of the "Festival of Lights," one of the most important holidays for Indians, which traditionally marks the New Year in Indian culture. "At AXA Equitable, celebrating cultural differences is a key component of our diversity and

troupes performed classical dances in each location: Nrityangan Cultural Academy Rituparna Mukherjee performed in Charlotte; Bollywood Dance Funk performed in Jersey City and the Naach Bollywood Studios performed in the Syracuse office. Employees also enjoyed traditional Indian sweets and explored interactive exhibits highlighting elements of Diwali. "AXA Equitable is committed to a workplace that is diverse and inclusive," said Tracey GrayWalker, senior vice president and

inclusion program," said Kevin Murray, executive vice president and chief information officer for AXA Equitable. "Cultural awareness events, like those we held in celebration of Diwali, serve to educate our employees about their colleagues' different backgrounds while creating a culture of inclusion and employee engagement." Mr. Murray hosted the event in Jersey City, where he spoke about Diwali, and the importance of diversity and inclusion. His speech was broadcast live to Charlotte and Syracuse via video teleconference. Professional Indian dance

chief diversity officer. "Celebrating our cultural uniqueness at the workplace demonstrates that commitment and provides a forum for employees to highlight their diversity." Diwali is one of the most wellknown celebrations in Indian culture. It is known as the "Festival of Lights" for the common practice of lighting small oil lamps, diyas, and placing them around the home. In urban areas, candles are used. Diwali signifies different things to Indians from different parts of the country, but for all it is a celebration of the renewal of life and marks the start of the planting season in India.

India objects to Chinese activities in PoK

LEARNING RANGOLI: American architecture graduate Cailin Shannon (L) learns Rangoli making from Suchiben Mehta in Ahmedabad on October 14. Rangoli, the Indian art of arranging finely ground coloured powders, is here seen at the 'Jagdip Mehta Heritage House', a structure over 200 years old renovated and restored jointly by the Ahmedabad Heritage Centre and the French Embassy in 2005

NEW DELHI: Hitting back at China, India has taken objection to its engagement in projects in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and asked it to cease such activities taking "long-term view" of India-China relations. A day after China objected to the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh, External Affairs Ministry took a strong view of President Hu Jintao's remarks that China will

continue to engage in projects with Pakistan inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir. "Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir since 1947. The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan occupied Kashmir," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in a statement.-PTI

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October 23, 2009

India Post


UN Peacekeeping official lauds India's contribution India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Alain Le Roy, visited India Oct 13 to15, to carry out a series of meetings with government officials and national authorities, as part of an official visit to Troop Contributing Countries. The main purpose of Le Roy's visit was

Indo-US council on education to be set up NEW DELHI: Ahead of his visit to the US next week, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said a number of American institutes are keen on investing in India and that both countries will set up a joint council to take forward bilateral cooperation in education. Sibal held a meeting with visiting US Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J Burns and discussed the scope for collaboration and investment by the American institutes in India. The Indo-US Council will comprise industry leaders and academicians and will work on how to facilitate investment and collaborations of American institutions with Indian universities. "We will set up Indo-US council on education. Burns said the universities in the US want that the roadmap for their entry to India be expedited and that they are ready to come. There is a lot of enthusiasm from private sector, government and universities in this direction," he said. Sibal said he will lead a delegation of industry leaders and university people to the US on October 24. He is scheduled to visit a number of institutions, including Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and George Washington University. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit the US in November. -PTI

India to extend military cooperation with Russia NEW DELHI: With an aim to extend their military and technical cooperation till 2020, India and Russia will sign an inter-governmental agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow this December. A broad protocol for continuing with the Inter- Governmental Commission for Military and Technical Cooperation (IGC-MTC) was agreed to during Defense Minister A K Antony's three-day visit to Russia. The 10-year IGC-MTC, which was signed in 1998, began in 2000 and will come to an end in 2010. The protocol signed by Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov was for extension of the IGC-MTC till 2020, an agreement for which would be signed during Singh's visit, Defense Ministry officials said here.-PTI

to express appreciation for the country's outstanding contribution to UN Peacekeeping. Also, Le Roy engaged in an open discussion regarding current and future challenges of peacekeeping, recognizing that the growing expectations and the increasing complexity of mandated tasks have a profound effect also on major contributors. "We know that the growing gap between the demand for peacekeepers and the available supply complicates the contributor's task and increases the burden, but we are committed to seeking practical solutions to this rising challenge. UN peacekeeping is a truly shared responsibility and we want to make every effort to further strengthen our partnership with India," Le Roy said.

‘UN peacekeeping could not have advanced as far as it has without India, who has a long and outstanding tradition of supporting peace operations. In many ways, India has been a model in peacekeeping’ With 8,767 military and police deployed in nine peacekeeping missions throughout the world, in places like the DRC, Sudan

and Lebanon, India has consistently been one of the top contributors to peacekeeping. One hundred and twenty Indian peacekeepers have paid the ultimate sacrifice under the blue flag. "UN peacekeeping could not have advanced as far as it has without India, who has a long and outstanding tradition of supporting peace operations. In many ways, India has been a model in peacekeeping, not only contributing a large number of troops but also addressing key issues such as the participation of women or the contribution of tactical aviation units. We are deeply thankful and look forward to our continued collaboration," Le Roy concluded.

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10 India Post

October 23, 2009

Air India takes home more Indian Americans for Diwali 'Feel the difference' says Chicago Manager Jude Crasto AQ SIDDIQUI India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Air India, the leader in flying Indian Americans back home from North America, wears a new look and set for the changes that could appeal to travelers of all tastes. The National Indian carrier will now even meet the core satisfaction of its die-hard critics. Flying most convenient hours from Chicago, New York and New Jersey daily to all major cities in India, Air India has set new record of on time service. It is 100 percent except for delays caused due to weather conditions. Operating the new 777LR aircrafts from New York and Chicago, Air India is all set to meet new challenges in the most competitive travel times. A new approach, new aircraft, redefined customer services on board and ground, a newly planned Meal Menu, on time performance and reduced fares, you get all in one the new Air India experience. "Feel the difference" says Chicago Manager Jude Crasto. In an exclusive interview with this paper, Jude Crasto spoke about the changes coming within Air India. This is the most competitive period in travel industry where you survive if you satisfy and appeal more than others. Air India is set for changes that will appeal to all, he says. Air India is leading among all airlines flying to India, taking more Indian Americans to all major cities in India from North America. It operates daily four flights with new modern comfortable Boeing 77L and 77W aircrafts from New York, New Jersey and Chicago. New operations from all three North American gateway cities are so well planned that it has time saving

convenient flights to all cities in India. Daily two flights leaving out of New York (JFK) now operate non-stop to Mumbai and Delhi. Flight AI 140 leaving JFK 9.30pm daily arrives in Mumbai at 10.15pm and connects to 1am Kochi,

Air India Midwest Manager Jude Crasto

1.05am Ahmedabad, 1.30am to Bangalore, 1am to Chennai and leaves 2am for Hyderabad. All connections make it smooth transfer of passengers for customs and immigration at Kochi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad. No other airline offers a better flying concept covering all cities than Air India. Flight AI 102 leaving JFK non-stop to Delhi is now extended to Kolkota. AI 144 leaving daily from Newark (EWR) New Jer-

sey airport is meant for Ahmedabad. Yet it offers transfer of passengers to Hyderabad and other cities. Ai 126 daily from Chicago leaves for Delhi via Frankfurt and extended to Hyderabad. The brief stop at Frankfurt provides refreshing ex-

There is new concept of "care" in Air India customer service both at ground and on board. Air India's main attraction, the Meal Menu is redefined. The Indian flag carrier offers tasty cuisines on board in all cabins. The timings of meal service are well planned and to the core need of passengers boarding and arrival hours perience for Chicago Delhi and Hyderabad passengers. There is new concept of "care" in Air India customer service both at ground and on board. Air India's main attraction, the Meal Menu is redefined. The Indian flag carrier offers tasty cuisines on board in all cabins. The timings of meal service are well planned and to the core need of passengers boarding and arrival hours. Air India has been a favorite airline by senior citi-

zens. It now attracts youths and kids as well. The hi-tech modern aircraft have monitors for each seat in all cabins loaded with full entertainment for all tastes and games for the kids. So while you sleep, the kids are busy with video games on board, Jude pointed out. Flying Air India for this year Diwali is a treat for Indian Americans, affordable and comfortable.

AI to deploy B777 on Paris, Tokyo route NEW DELHI: To provide luxury and comfort to passengers, Air India will deploy its newly-acquired Boeing 777 aircraft on its long-haul flights to Paris and Tokyo from October 25. "The airline will offer passengers to Narita (Tokyo) and Charles De Gaulle (Paris), many of whom are business and leisure travelers, the comfort and luxury of the brand new state-of-the-art B777-200LR aircraft," an airline spokesperson said. It would be an upgrade from the A330 service currently in operation, he added. Air India presently operates the B777 aircraft on New York, Chicago, Frankfurt and London sectors. The spokesperson claimed that the national carrier's domestic schedule would offer seamless connections between metro cities and to Tokyo and Paris. -PTI

Kerala community honors Shashi Tharoor India Post News Service

NEW YORK: At a dinner reception organized by the World Malayalee Council in New York last week, in honor of India's Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, representatives of the Indian American Malayalee community urged the

Mohan, Global Chairman, Alex Vilanilam Koshy, Past Global President, Dr. Gorge Jacob, Former Chairman, Advisory Board and Varghese Thekkekkara, Regional Chairman of America Region and Philip Maret. While Alex Vilanilam Koshy reminded the minister of the solid support provided by WMC during his election campaign in

Dr. Kavil said Tharoor was a new brand of politician in India, and India needs people like him with knowledge, experience and above all unquestionable integrity. The audience was thrilled to have a former New Yorker in India as a minister minister to look into a Memorandum on the Pravasi Property Protection Bill. The memorandum was earlier presented to India's Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi at a conference at Hague held last month. The memorandum was given to Tharoor by Dr. Sreedhar Kavil, Chairman of the Advisory Board of World Malayalee Council, accompanied by Daniel

Trivandrum, Dr. Sreedhar Kavil spoke about the Pravasi bill which would benefit the 25 million or more Pravasis of Indian origin in the world that hold property/assets in India. He solicited the support of all members of the Indian Parliament. Tharoor said that the bill has to be handled by the Pravasi Minister and the Minister of Law. However, he said he would

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor at a community reception organized by the World Malayalee Council in New York City.

speak to his colleagues in the Ministry in support of the bill. The reception was held at Cortilion restaurant hall in Long Island and there were quite a few speakers representing several social and cultural organizations. Tharoor spoke eloquently about his thrilling experience during the election in Kerala and thereafter and said he was

delighted to be of service to his country. Dr. Kavil in his very brief remarks said Tharoor was a new brand of politicians in India, and India needs people like him with knowledge, experience and above all unquestionable integrity. The audience was thrilled to have a former New Yorker in India as a minister.

Desi News

Indian CG dinner helps raise funds for flood victims RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A dinner reception hosted by the Chicago Indian Consulate in honor of visiting dignitaries from India and Washington DC turned out to be a mini fund raiser for the flood victims in Southern Indian States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Indian Federal Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubatti Purandewari. and Indian Ambassador to US Meera Shankar were honored in Chicago last week with the Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri and Mrs Usha Attri hosting a dinner reception.


11 India Post

California Governor vetoes 'Kirpan' bill

October 23, 2009

Details on page 16

AIA remembers Mahatma with a well attended dinner banquet

Details on page 12

2,500 walk to help end global poverty MOHAMMAD GHOUSE India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Over 2,500 participated in the Chicago Partnership Walk last week. This event is held annually in major cities across the US at the initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) to raise awareness and funds to alleviate global poverty and promote partnership betweenAmerica and the developing world. Details on page 14

Goodrich celebrates 'diversity of India' India Post News Service

TROY, Ohio: To promote mutual understanding, trust and respect, a cultural event "Diversity in Indian Culture" was held at the Troy facility of Goodrich Aircraft Wheels & Brakes. The company believes that "A strong culture - and the right culture are essential for any company to achieve its objectives." Goodrich enjoys diverse cultures due to its presence worldwide, and one of the principles for working together is mutual trust and respect. Details on page 15

AIA President Naren Patel, Ambassador Meera Shankar and Indian CG Ashok Attri

RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: The Association of Indians in America (AIA) kept up its decades long tradition celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by hosting a din-

AIA Trustee Board President Prof Ghanshyam Pandey with CG Ashok Kumar Attri

ner banquet at Ashyana Banquet Hall in Downers Grove, a Chicago suburb, last week. The event was well attended with over 200 members, guests and invitees crowding the hall and listening with rapt attention the relevance of Mahatma's teachings

in the modern day world riven with conflicts. The featured speakers were Professor of Anthropology at University of Chicago Kathleen Morrison and Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri. Indian Ambassador to USA Ms Meera

Shankar was Guest of Honor. The program started with vaishnav jana to tene kahiye je sung by group of people including Beena Patel, Dr. Sonal Patel and Paulomi Shukla. Cont’d on page 13

Manavi's Silent March to end domestic violence India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Manavi held its fifth annual Silent March on Oak Tree Road, in Iselin, NJ on Oct 3. Manavi began conducting the Silent March in 2005 as a way of saluting South Asian survivors of violence appropriately during October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Around 30 people attended the March this year including Manavi staff members, volunteers, and community members. Manavi volunteers handed out flyers detailing Manavi's services to curious on-lookers. Additionally, information was also distributed to store owners who displayed Manavi lit-

guages such as Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, and Urdu so that the message could be un-

New Jersey Many passersby stopped to read signs and placards which spoke about violence against South Asian women Silent March '09

erature for customers. The event was extremely successful as it had been in previous years. Many passersby stopped

to read signs and placards which spoke about violence against South Asian women. Signs were made in various South Asian lan-

derstood by all. The community showed their support by stopping to find out more about the issue at hand. Cont’d on page 15



India Post

October 23, 2009

Indian CG dinner helps raise funds for flood victims RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: A dinner reception hosted by the Chicago Indian Consulate in honor of visiting dignitaries from India and Washington DC turned out to be a mini fund raiser for the flood victims in Southern Indian States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Indian Federal Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubatti Purandewari. and Indian Ambassador to US Meera Shankar were honored in Chicago last week with the Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri and Mrs Usha Attri hosting a dinner reception. The event was well attended with the presence of prominent Indian America businessmen and professionals besides a number of American academicians and business interests. Ms. Daggubatti Purandewari after an introduction from Indian CG Attri made an emotional appeal for helping the victims of devastating floods in the States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. She said that the loss ran in millions of dollars with at least 1.5 million people rendered homeless and over 20,000 cattle lost. "The farm sector is badly hit and the farmers need whatever help that is rendered to them. I would appeal to you to come forward and offer any assistance that you can give," she said. Her appeal met an instant re-

Ambassador Meera Shankar addressing the gathering

sponse with Naren Patel CEO and President of MedStar Laboratory in Chicagoland announcing a donation of $5000 each for the States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. "Let this be just the beginning and I would urge you to do more," said Purandewari. Indian CG joined her in appealing all those present to do their best to alleviate the sufferings of flood victims. Yet another aspect that she touched upon was close cooperation between India and US. She said that India was the Land of Ideas and the USA was the Land of Opportunity. "Let the two sides pull together more strongly for the good of both the countries," she said amidst applause. Ms. Meera Shankar also made mention of the presence of the leader and members of top level Karnataka business delegation who came to attend Pan IIT 2009 held in Chicago from October 9 to 11.

She said that the Indo US relations would grow closer and stronger in coming years. "The

She said that India was the Land of Ideas and the USA was the Land of Opportunity. ‘Let the two sides pull together more strongly for the good of both the countries,’ she said amidst applause graph is upward and the relationship would now go beyond the nuke cooperation and nuke sectors, and encompass economic,

Indian CG Ashok Kumar Attri greeting Indian Minister Daggubatti Purandewari and Indian Ambassador Meera Shanker at a Dinner reception organized by Indian Consulate in honor of visiting dignitaries on Oct. 9. Satyen Pitroda, Indian Minister and telecom wizard is on the left

cultural, science and technology and medical fields." She felt that the increased all around cooperation was quite achievable because both countries shared democratic ideals and values and follow federal form of governments. She praised President Barrack Obama's leadership and complimented him on behalf of the Indian people and Indian government for his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. She talked about her first visit to Chicago and how inhospitable it looked with snow and blowing winds. Her next visit was after a year in April and she found that everything was different and pleasant. "I should think it is one of the most hospitable cities in the world," she said. Among Indians and Indian

Americans present were Satyen Pitroda, Indian minister and Telecom Wizard, Naren Patel, Mafat Patel CEO Patel Bros., Raghu Nyak of Gen. Hind Hospital, Banker Rohit Maniar, Bhailal Patel former FAI President, Mohan Rao of MRD Associates, Dr. Sriram Sonty of Sonti Renaissance, Dakshesh Laxati and Subhash Bhatt of Gandhi Memorial Trust, P Aniruddhan a recipient of PBS award, Vinesh Virani of Art of Living, Ms Santosh Kumar of Metropolitan Asian Family Services, Chris Zala of Chicago City Hall, P.K. Mishra of State Bank and Jude Crasto of Air India. Hema Ramamoorty, social secretary CG Office proposed a vote of thanks while Ms. Usha Attri looked after each guest personally.

Mahatma remembered during Skokie peace march HARISH RAO

the present Board members. Daxesh Laxpati, president of the Trust, said that the "scuffle left bad taste in everybody's mouth and especially with American dignitaries like Mayor of Skokie and others." The prayer meeting on October 2 was well attended despite inclement weather. Amongst those

The program started with a Mirabai bhajan of Gandhiji "Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo" sung by Gita Bhatt and Neha Pathak. CG Ashok Kumar in his address lauded the efforts made by Indian Americans in remembering the legacy of Mahatma and informed about a new scheme launched in India "Mahatma

One of the founder members of the Trust, Usha Kamria took offence that her role and that of her husband, Om Prakash Kamaria, in establishing the Trust and statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Heritage Park in Skokie was not given due recognition Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Skokie Heritage Park

Community activists at Gandhi Peach March gathering on Oct 4. (L-R) Pratapbhai Sampat, Dina Modi, Mrs Daxesh Laxati, Dorothy Brown, Daxesh Laxati, Mayor of Skokie George Van Dusen, Geeta Bhat and VIP Shah, Subhash Bhatt

CHICAGO: One of the recently formed organizations in Illinois named after the Mahatma, Gandhi Memorial Trust, decided to celebrate Gandhiji's 140th birth anniversary with a prayer meet on October 2 and a Peace March on October 4 in Skokie.

The event went off to a good start with a good attendance not only from Indian Americans but even Americans who have high regard for Mahatma. There was an unwelcome end to the entire proceeding and as put by Bhailal Patel, a former head of FIA, "Peace

march ended with war." One of the founder members of the Trust, Usha Kamria took offence that her role and that of her husband, Om Prakash Kamaria, in establishing the Trust and statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Heritage Park in Skokie was not given due recognition by

present were Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Atri and his wife Ms. Usha Kiran Attri, Clark of Circuit Court of Cook County Dorothy Brown, Mayor of Skokie George Van Dusen, CEO of Med star Lab Narendrabhai Patel, Director of Human Services of Skokie Maureen Difrancesca and President of Skokie Clergies Pasture Eric Weber.

Gandhi Rural Development Guarantees Scheme" on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. According to the scheme, hundred hours employment shall be provided by the Government for people living in small villages. It is like Social Security Scheme prevailing in USA and will be of great help to the villagers in India, he observed Cont’d on page 14

Community Across America

October 23, 2009

India Post


AIA remembers Mahatma with a well attended dinner banquet Cont’d from page 11

AIA President Naren Patel welcomed the guests saying that his organization celebrated important national events including Republic Day, India Day, Mahatma Gandhi Birthday and would also hold a meet on November 14 this year, birthday of Jawaharlal Nehru. Paying handsome tribute to Mahatma Gandhi he said that he was Messiah of Peace and the world needs him today more than any time in the past . He said he was grateful to all the dignitaries and members sparing their time to come to the Banquet on Sunday evening. Professor Ghanshyam Pandey, Chairman Trustee Board briefly touched upon the activities of AIA since its inception in eighties and said that one of the main objectives of his organization was to promote the interests of Indian Americans. He said that all major national events are celebrated by AIA and it was the only organization here that had been celebrating Mahatma's birthday year in and year out. He introduced Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri, Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar and then Prof Kathleen Morrison. Indian Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri talked about Mahatma's teachings and legacy. He said that Martin Luther King

Jr, the civil rights leader, took a page from Mahatma's teachings and fought for equal rights for African Americans. An audio of Martin Luther King Jr's speech while in India was played to the delight of all attending the event. Attri also praised the sustained efforts by organizations like AIA to promote Gandhian thought thru celebrating Gandhi

relevance of Mahatma's teachings and philosophy in the modern world. Mahatma Gandhi stood for positive change in society but all the time he stressed the importance of means in achieving the end. Purity of means was as much of importance to him as the end. People resort to violence in many parts of the world in the name of God but this would prove self-de-

‘Purity of means was as much of importance to him as the end. People resort to violence in many parts of the world in the name of God but this would prove selfdestructive in the end’ Prof Kathleen Morrison

Jayanti. He said he was happy that other organizations in IllinoisGandhi Memorial Trust and others- had organized Peace March and Prayer and so also Indian Americans in Milwaukee. In Wisconsin a function was held eulogizing Gandhi's contributions to the world by celebrating Gandhi Jayanti. Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar eloquently described the

structive in the end. She also pitched for openness in society and pointed out that India was one of the most diverse countries in the world with 22 languages, 800 dialects, many ethnic groups and all the people practicing all the religions of the world. Openness is rooted in India's culture and it has survived because of that tolerance and openness. She also said that Mahatma was a

strong environmentalist and lived with nature and in nature. Also, the youth in India has gained a newly found interest in Mahatma's teaching and now opt for Gandhigiri and not Dadagiri, she said. Shreeya Patel, Ronal Patel and Payalia Dance Studio students presented flowers to the Ambassador Paying handsome tribute to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Prof. Kathleen Morrison, Director of the Center for International Studies and teaching Anthropology and of Social Sciences at University of Chicago, said that Gandhi did not receive Nobel Peace Prize but he was very much present in the recent awarding of this coveted prize to US President Barack Obama. She said that Martin Luther King Jr., "inspired by the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, led a movement of civil rights in this country which, though still incomplete, helped create a context for a US led by President Obama." Touching upon her over two decades of India studies, she said that India was changing fast with the spread of education and technology. "The college and graduate students are terrific and they are the future of India. But the landless villagers of interior parts of the country (citing example of Kadebakele in Karnataka) are also inheritors of Gandhi's India and they too deserve to share in India's success." Sounding a note of op-

timism, she said that recently the "re-named as Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act has been important for families dependent on wage labor in rural India." This is also a reflective of Gandhi's commitment to create positive change by bringing people peacefully to demand a change in the economic and political environment. "India today and across the world, a new and potentially exciting form of civilization, in the Gandhian sense, is being forged and we all are required to make our contributions to it," she said. She was citing a response to a reporter's question in London by Mahatma "every human being has a right to live and therefore to find the wherewithal to feed himself and necessary to clothe and house himself. But the test of orderliness in a country is not the number of millionaires it owns, but the absence of starvation among its masses." "America faces many choices as we work to address the challenges of our time. Let us all rededicate ourselves to living Gandhi's call to be the change we wish to see in the world," she said in conclusion. Om Dhingra, vice president, proposed a vote of thanks. Anil Sharma and his group presented a lively cultural program of Bollywood and patriotic songs.




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Community Across America

Dayananda Saraswati opens student centers in tribal areas India Post News Service

New York Briefing media at Chennai Garden restaurant in New York City on Oct 7, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder-trustee, said the nation-wide movement formed in 2000 is now reaching out to 10 million people in rural and tribal areas across 15 States from Karna Prayag to Kanyakumari. The objective of AIM for Seva is to make education accessible to every child in the inaccessible tribal and rural areas through the concept of chatralayas (student homes), he said. The independent public charitable trust has 122 projects now 79 chatralayas, 20 schools with 18,000 students and five hospitals and 17 healthcare centers, 11 medical clinics including seven mobile medical units treating about 200,000 patients every year. "Each student home is located near existing secondary schools and each student is provided with clean living environment, nutritious food, regular health check up, books and stationeries, vocational training, special coaching classes, after-school activities and soft skills all free of cost to help them come up in life. We need a donation of less than a dollar a day to take care of one student," Swami Dayananda said. Students grow in a safe and healthy environment that encourages competition of secondary

India Post News Service

Chandrika and Swami Dayananda

and higher education and supports students as they grow from consumer to contributor. Many students who have joined college return to the student homes on weekends to act as mentors to inmates of the home, he added. "Because of the care taken, school drop out rates dropped to 10 per-

Swami Dayananda said the student homes make education accessible to every economically weaker child in rural, tribal areas and remote regions and works towards creating better job opportunities cent in chatralayas compared to 60 percent in tribal and rural areas. We were able to do this thanks to a large battalion of volunteers and local support groups," he said. In recognition of stellar services rendered in India to provide education to the weaker sections, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of United Nations has accorded a special consultative status to the movement, he added. The Department of Posts, Govern-

ment of India released a special day cover to mark the occasion of inauguration of 75th student home in Palani in Tamil Nadu. Swami Dayananda said the student homes make education accessible to every economically weaker child in rural, tribal areas and remote regions and works towards creating better job opportunities to students by imparting vocational education. In addition, AIM for Seva is involved in providing basic healthcare to people living in remote areas of the country, he added. Students undergo a strict daily routine that includes compulsory yoga, prayer, personal reading time, supervised study and play. Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner is served to every student. The students are imparted value lessons, culture and fine arts, first aid, extra academic coaching and counseling and guidance. Several large corporations make an annual commitment to the activities of the trust as part of their corporate social responsibility, he added. L. Shanti Kumar, board of trustee of AIM for Seva and founder-trustee of Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation, said The Aim for Seva is planning to hold fundraisers across the US and Canada to collect donations that are tax exempted both in the US and in India.

Mahatma remembered during Skokie peace march Cont’d from page 12

The people present at this function requested Mayor of Skokie George Van Dusen to name the park where Gandhi's statue stands as "Peace Park". Dorothy Brown in her address reminded all about the spirit of tolerance taught by Mahatma Gandhi and observed that he brought all communities and races of India together in fight for Indian independence by adhering to Non-Violence. "In this country we have a huge diversity of color, race and religion and we

2,500 walk to help end global poverty MOHAMMAD GHOUSE

NEW YORK: The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva promoted by Swami Dayananda Saraswati founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Saylorsburg, PA, has opened student centers in 15 states in rural and tribal areas across India to prevent school drop outs and increase job opportunities.

teach them tolerance for each other's Culture," she said Emceeing the event, Subhash Bhatt said that all the persons present here is VIP and that is one of the messages of the Mahatma. Each and every speaker offered flowers near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The second Phase of Celebration of "Gandhi Jayanti" was arranged on Sunday October 4 at 1:00 pm at Flag Park Skokie in form of "Peace Walk". Another event started with flagging of a mile long peace walk from the corner of McCormick to Gandhi statue.

Nearly a 100 people from different communities, religions and cultures participated in this walk. During the Peace March, two days later, participants chanted "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram" continuously. In his welcome speech, Daxesh Laxpati, President of the Trust, said that a modest start of nonviolence fight against color discrimination in South Africa by the Mahatma changed the mindset of not only Indians but the whole world 40 years thereafter. Cont’d on page 18

October 23, 2009

CHICAGO: Over 2,500 participated in the Chicago Partnership Walk last week. This event is held annually in major cities across the US at the initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) to raise awareness and funds to alleviate global poverty and promote partnership betweenAmerica and the developing world. Held at Montrose Harbor in Chicago, Partnership Walk brought together families, friends, students and leaders in government, business and media for a day of learning activities, fundraising and culturally diverse performances. Teams from corporations, universities, schools and community organizations demonstrated their solidarity to take a step at ending global poverty. The Chicago Partnership Walk raised $250,000. All the funds

Aga Khan Foundation's education programs bring to light the power of partnerships and reflect the Foundation's enduring commitment to education. Many of the Aga Khan Foundation's programs in East Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan have been supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and others. For over a quarter century, Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. has worked in the developing world in the areas of health, education, rural development, civil society and the environment. These efforts equip people with life-long skills to overcome poverty and embrace the time-tested principle of helping people to help themselves. Dr. Eboo Patel, Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a member on the AKF USA National Committee, noted in the keynote address at the opening ceremony: "The people in front of me today

Young participants at the Partnership Walk in Chicago

raised at Partnership Walk go directly to the projects supported by the Foundation. The cost of organizing the Walk is completely underwritten by AKF USA and inkind contributors. No contributions are used for administrative costs. Since 1995, PartnershipsInAction events have attracted over 280,000 participants, raising $32 million. This year marks the 15th year for Partnership Walk and nationwide over 30,000 are expected to participate in the Walk in nine cities, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orlando and San Francisco. Addressing the theme of education, Illinois State Representative Elaine Nekritz observed, "It is much more than traditional primary and secondary education; much more than obtaining a university or advanced degree. For the Foundation, it includes basic literacy, training new teachers and designing curriculum to promote cross-cultural understanding. It also includes early childhood education. I am proud that the State of Illinois joins with the Foundation in stressing the importance of early childhood." The opening program featured lively entertainment celebrating the diversity of world cultures.

are the bridge builders. We follow in the vision of this man [His Highness the Aga Khan] who has dreamed of a world of bridgesbridges of hope, bridges of cooperation, bridges between people. We are building the arch so that other people can get to the other side. ‌ The other side is the future. The other side is a world in which fiveyear-olds everywhere from Afghanistan to Alaska are excited about school, a world in which nurses and doctors every where can save the lives of people who come to their hospitals, a world in which business people everywhere, whether they're in Kabul, Karachi or Kansas, have the tools in front of them to begin their own businesses, to create a life for themselves and their families that they can be proud of, that they feel is dignified." AKF USA, established in 1981, is a private, non-denominational, non-profit international development organization committed to alleviating poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. The Foundation presently supports over 100 programs in 18 countries for the common good of all citizens regardless of their gender, origin or religion. The geographic focus of the Foundation's development programs is in East Africa and South and Central Asia.

October 23, 2009

Community Across America

India Post


Goodrich celebrates 'diversity of India' Lotus Award for Khubanis India Post News Service

TROY, Ohio: To promote mutual understanding, trust and respect, a cultural event "Diversity in In-

Ohio dian Culture" was held at the Troy facility of Goodrich Aircraft Wheels & Brakes. The company believes that "A strong culture and the right culture are essential for any company to achieve its objectives." Goodrich enjoys diverse cultures due to its presence worldwide, and one of the principles for working together is mutual trust and respect. The Goodrich Corporation, with operating history of nearly 140 years, is a global supplier of systems and services to aircraft and engine manufacturers, airlines and defense forces around the world. It employs more than 25,000 people worldwide with over 80 facilities across 16 countries, including a facility in Bangalore, India. The diversity event started early afternoon with a steady flow of employees in attendance. The program included colorful displays of exhibits (posters), artifacts, a video presentation, musi-

Participants and visitors at "The Diversity of India" event

cal instruments and cultural dance. The exhibits presented a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage from all four corners of India. The exhibits covered wide ranging topics of Indian history, cultures, religions, economy, religious and historical places like Taj Mahal, Ellora, Golden Temple etc. Costumes from different parts of India and musical instruments like Harmonium, Tabla were displayed. Visitors had a keen interest in the exhibits especially on the distinct identity of Sikhs. The guests asked many interesting questions about the significance of long hair, tying of turbans, and Golden Temple. Kim Mullins from Human re-

sources, organizer of the event welcomed the visitors. Visitors enjoyed a performance of Punjabi dance by 11 year old Ravjot Kaur. Sameep Singh Gumtala, an AWB engineer, and Karanveer Singh demonstrated Harmonium and Tabla. Parag Mathuria and Ravindra Uppar, both engineers from Goodrich, provided explanations on various exhibits to visitors. Visitors enjoyed Indian snacks like Samosa, pakora, Gulab Jamun, Rosogoola etc. Participants also included family members of employees Dr. Bhupinder Kaur, Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala and Charanjit Kaur from Amritsar India, Sarabjit Kaur and her family from Springfield, Ohio.

Bollywood dancers at Buckingham Palace SURI SWAMY

CHICAGO: Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Phillip and Princess Michael of Kent were among British royals who watched dancers from the British Asian group Nutkhut swing to the throbbing rhythms of Bollywood tunes in steps that could have come right out of a film set in Mumbai. The event, an advance reception in honor of the October-end visit by President Pratibha Patil, was held on October 13 in the ornate ballroom in Buckingham Palace - the largest of its 775 rooms and one that is more used to hosting stately dinners than Bollywood shows. Many young Indian Americans have gone ga-ga over the first-ever such performance at Buckingham Palace in London. According to reports, fifteen

minute long performance with three male and five female dancers was held in the lavish Ballroom, where German composer-organist-conductor-pianist Felix Mendelssohn performed organ recitals for Queen Victoria. It included seven costume changes and a romantic boy-meets-

Illinois girl storyline. The performance has been termed as "sexy and hot". Two Indian chefs worked with palace chefs to prepare canapĂŠs for guests. The Queen had already seen Bollywood dancing during a visit to Bradford in the past. Bhavin Krishnaraj, an avid Bollywood film viewer, said that

he was really excited over the news and this was indicative of the fact that Bollywood is getting global, especially after Slumlord Millionaire winning Oscar. Madhu Patel, an Indian music lover and community activist, said that the Queen's invitation would give a big boost to the Bollywood image. He however said that of late "our film makers and the industry as a whole" has gotten more Westernized, and this had its impact on our culture and social thinking." Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism in Nevada, said that traditionally Lord Shiva invented dance who first danced the cosmic tandava. And the sage Bharata first codified rules of classic Indian dance in Natya-sastra treatise.

Manavi's Silent March to end domestic violence Cont’d from page 11

It was a great way to raise awareness about the issue of violence against women and to inform the South Asian community about Manavi's services. Simultaneously, the event also helped in engaging the South Asian community in

coming together in solidarity to tackle the often ignored issue of violence against women. Support and cooperation from the community coupled with the enthusiasm of the marchers gave way to making this a very successful event. Manavi is a New Jersey based women's rights organization com-

mitted to ending all forms of violence and exploitation against South Asian women living in the US. Established in 1985, Manavi was the first organization to specifically provide services for South Asian women (those descending from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).

NEW YORK: A.J. and Poonam Khubani (left and center) were recently presented with the prestigious Lotus Award for their volunteerism, generosity and dedication to Children's Hope India and honored with a traditional Lamp Lighting Ceremony at the Indian Consulate in New York City. The non-profit organization feeds, educates, houses and clothes children in need throughout India. Children's Hope India ( also provides college scholarships for students in need in New York and counseling services for immigrant children and their families as well as support services for children attending inner city schools

New York in the tri-state area. Telebrands Corp., founded in 1983 by entrepreneur Ajit Khubani and headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, is the driving force behind the direct response television industry. The company has introduced more fun and useful inventions to consumers worldwide than any other company in history. Such popular products as the PedEgg, PediPaws, ShoesUnder and the EZCombs, are sold through television advertising, the Internet, and in retail stores in over 100 countries around the world.


India Post

Temple's Festival of Lights a shining success VICTORIA TRUVER

RIVERSIDE: Children from Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir were given a chance to showcase their talents on Oct 10 during the Annual Deepavali Cultural at UCR's University Theatre. A group shot of the over 150 participants, volunteers and Mandir officials was taken before the event began. President Bachbhai Chandravadia blew a conch and Dr. Shukavak Dasa and Pandit Seshacharyulu Samudrala recited shlokas to signal the beginning of the program. The lighting of the diyas by Amiben Chandravadia, Suma Hareesh and Archana Sheth officially began the function. Details on page 17

Sikh film festival focus on shorts India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: SikhLens has announced films to be showcased within the Sikh Art and Film Festival "Focus on: Shorts" to be held on Saturday November 14 from 5:30 pm to 7:45 pm. Starting off the cluster is the film The Spirit of Hola Mohalla. Directed by Vani Subramanian , Hola Mohalla is a film showcasing mock battles enacted by Nihangs on the play fields of Charan Ganga. This tradition, started by Guru Gobind Singh in 1680, encourages Sikhs to hone their martial arts skills and remain active in their physical and mental form so as to fight any wrong whatsoever against their fellow citizens. Details on page 18


October 23, 2009

California Governor vetoes 'Kirpan' bill WASHINGTON: A bill to educate law enforcement officers about the religious significance of 'kirpans' has been vetoed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who found it "unnecessary," drawing angry reaction from the Sikh community in the US. The decision came as a shock to the organizations, individuals and lawmakers who supported the bill. The veto was particularly surprising given bipartisan votes in favor of the bill in both houses of legislature, advocacy group Sikh Coalition said in a statement. The bill was passed unanimously in both Houses, by 77-0 in the Assembly and by 36-0 in the Senate. "This loss for the Sikh community is a reminder of our serious lack of political clout in this state. After months of hard work and 100 per cent support from our lawmakers, the Sikh voice was still not strong

enough to overcome the whim of one man," said Prabhjot Singh, Sikh Coalition Board chairman. The Bill AB 504 was introduced in February 2009 by Assembly

has been an increase in the arrests of Sikhs nationwide for carrying kirpans in the absence of an understanding among law enforcers. Police mistakenly believe them

‘This loss for the Sikh community is a reminder of our serious lack of political clout in this state. After months of hard work and 100 per cent support from our lawmakers, the Sikh voice was still not strong enough to overcome the whim of one man’

Arnold Schwarzenegger

member Warren Furutani to use education to help stem the arrests of Sikhs for carrying kirpans in California. Over the last few years, there

to be in violation of concealed weapons laws, the Sikh Coalition said. "AB 504 was our first attempt to change this," the statement

said. Though the bill did not touch the legality of the kirpan, it said police officers be trained about who Sikhs are and learn about the significance of the kirpan, hoping that religious understanding would decrease arrests. The Governor decided to veto the bill as "unnecessary" though it was endorsed by groups ranging from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and party consultants from both sides, as well as several religious and civil rights groups. "We suspect that the final veto was the result of law enforcement's strong desire to avoid promoting the acceptance of Sikhs with kirpans," the coalition said. "The Governor's response is very disappointing. It shows his lack of support for promoting religious understanding in California," said Neha Singh, Western Region Director of the Sikh Coalition.-PTI

Diwali Mela celebrated at Hindu Temple

Naranji Patel, Raj Bhanot (with diya), Chandru Bhambhra among others

Naresh Kanodia, Mahesh Kanodia with Nathu Thakkar

JAYA GAUTAM India Post News Service

SUNNYVALE: Enticing aromas and melodious songs floated through the air as Diwali Mela 2009 was celebrated at Sunnyvale Hindu Temple from October 9- 11 in Sunnyvale, CA. In celebration of Diwali, the 'Festival of Lights', the temple had a three day mela with Lakshmi Pooja. The 'Rath Yatra' was held on Saturday morning. On all three days, people thronged the stalls set up on the temple grounds offering all kinds of food, jewelry, information and services. Mela visitors were entertained by the cultural offerings including the Talent Competition and singers including Alka Bhatnagar and Preetysha among others. The Mela was crowded on all days, economy and recession not-

People pull the 'Rath'

withstanding. The visitors felt that it could only be beneficial to attend a festival in honor of Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth). Of course, it gave them a chance to wear new clothes, eat

Mela visitors were entertained by the cultural offerings including the Talent Competition and singers including Alka Bhatnagar and Preetysha among others delicious food, browse various stalls for crafts, clothes, jewelry, henna, books etc. The Mela was just the right note to strike as the New Year is in the process of being ushered in.


October 23, 2009

India Post


Temple's Festival of Lights a shining success VICTORIA TRUVER

RIVERSIDE: Children from Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir were given a chance to showcase their talents on Oct 10 during the Annual Deepavali Cultural at UCR's University Theatre. A group shot of the over 150 participants, volunteers and Mandir officials was taken before the event began. President Bachbhai Chandravadia blew a conch and Dr. Shukavak Dasa and Pandit Seshacharyulu Samudrala recited shlokas to signal the beginning of the program. The lighting of the diyas by Amiben Chandravadia, Suma Hareesh and Archana Sheth officially began the function. The Masters of Ceremonies Shreena Kurani, Niki Shah, and Deepa Patel kept the audience laughing with their unique, clever and amusing commentaries. The first item, a Bharat Natyam dance was directed and choreographed by Anusha Subramanium. "Natyalaya" students included Emma Gill, Vidhi Srivastava, Niharika Kishan, Saadhvi Hariharan, Anuragini Sinha, Ashani Sinha, Prathyusha

L-R: President Bachubhai Chandravadia prepares for his speech while Pt. Seshacharyulu Samudrala and Dr. S Dhukavak Dasa recite opening slokas

iature Taj Mahal was given as a token of appreciation. A folk dance choreographed and directed by Ragini Iyer of Nritya Geetanjali Dance Academy was the second item. Anangha Nambisan, Manushi Rawal, Sahiba Khera, Mira Kubba, Natasha Spangrud and Nidhi Kejriwal performed

Mandir officials pose with Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge

The fourth item was an Odissi dance directed and Choreographed by Nandita Behera of Odissi Dance Circle. Samita Boyapalli, Krishty Mukherjee, Preea Biswas, Devina Sen, Mona Bhuyan and Nira Ula performed to Jagjit Singh's "Jai Jai Maa." Choreographer and Director

Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge appeared at this time and wished everyone a Happy Deepavali. A gift of a perfect miniature Taj Mahal was given as a token of appreciation. A folk dance choreographed and directed by Ragini Iyer of Nritya Geetanjali Dance Academy was the second item Dasari, Supriya Baskaran, Shreya Gurunathan, Keerthana Toure, and Sachi Pawooskar, who performed "Pushpanjali and Allaripu." Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge appeared at this time and wished everyone a Happy Deepavali. A gift of a perfect min-

"Tere Sangh Nachungi." Shakti Dance Company's Viji Prakash of Shakti School of Bharat Natyam directed and choreographed "Dheem ta Dare," the third selection. Swathi Balaji, Manasa Kothappalli, Divya Kameti and Namita danced to "Nache Bhole Nath."

Reetu Patel chose a film dance for Hope, Esha, Maya, Janavi, Sagarik, Monica, Dianna, Kriti, Reetu, Zuri, Daniel, Ale, Marybell and Brenda were members of "Bollywood Masala." This was followed by a raffle award while Mandir officials prepared

Guide to understanding birth, death and beyond India Post News Service


asting forever…Birth, death and beyond…" a compre hensive book, written by Satya Kalra emerged out of her life experiences and numerous counseling sessions offered to the grieving loved ones, aptly captures thought provoking quotes from the Divine Scriptures. The book was released on Mount Kailash Mansarovar (Tibet-China) during the Pilgrimage Yatra on September 6 by Swami Chidanand Saraswati. (Parmarth Rishikesh) This colorfully designed book with beautiful illustrations, and easy-to-understand language answers numerous, conflicting and complex queries that we all have with regard to life, death, God, heaven, hell, soul, and many such

similar concepts. Like a mother nurturing a baby, this book takes us through a spiritual journey, liberating us from the pain of birth and death cycle, helping us live our life happily and

peacefully while striving towards a higher purpose. If the given tips are sincerely contemplated and practiced for 30 days, one will feel self-transformed and emotionally strengthened. Satya Kalra is the founder of the Path to Anandam, a non-profit organization. Path to Anandam is the road that takes one to the hidden treasure of eternal happiness and peace by unshackling one from all emotional attachments and negativities through a spiritual journey of self-transformation. The book "Lasting forever…Birth, death and beyond…" is the second book in the series of "Path to Anandam". It is available through website

for their procession. They carried a picture of Lakshmi Narayan high on their shoulders through the theatre on to the stage. The Ladies of the Festivals Committee Suma Hareesh, Rajishwari Chakrapani, Lopaben Patel, Jyotsna Patel, Sraboni Mukherjee, Daksha Amin, Kokila Gorajia and Archana Sheth were joined by Mahendra Patel, Bachubhai Chandravadia, and Viraj Jani for a Dandia stick dance choreographed by Reetu Patel. Paulomi Pandit of Rangashree Dances of India directed and choreographed "Ghado Tippani," the seventh number, a traditional folk dance from Western Gujarat. Anika Desar, Simrina Desar, Naneeta Desar, Richa Shah, Vibhuti Purohit, Sachi Murdeshwar, Swarna Das, Kanak Das, Lasya Dulla, and Manasi Kadamani acted the part of ladies sprinkling water on the ground, leveling it ,and singing to forget their tiresome work. During the 45 -minute intermission the crowd of over 600 rushed out for the snacks, which were on sale. The program resumed with a lively Bhangra danced by Vridhi, Priyanka, Meghna, Mehak, Ashwarya, and Nikita Lau, the Director and Choreographer. (For details logon to:

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For further details please call or visit the website.




India Post

October 23, 2009

Sikh film festival focus Deevali or Bandhi Chhor Divas on shorts DR. JASWANT SINGH SACHDEV

India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: SikhLens has announced films to be showcased within the Sikh Art and Film Festival "Focus on: Shorts" to be held on Saturday November 14 from 5:30 pm to 7:45 pm. Starting off the cluster is the film The Spirit of Hola Mohalla. Directed by Vani Subramanian , Hola Mohalla is a film showcasing mock battles enacted by Nihangs on the play fields of Charan Ganga. This tradition, started by Guru Gobind Singh in 1680, encourages Sikhs to hone their martial arts skills and remain active in their physical and mental form so as to fight any wrong whatsoever against their fellow citizens. Next, the festival is showing Virtues Misinterpreted. This short documentary directed by Minu Singh looks at the transformation of the meaning of Langar, Sikh community kitchen. The film highlights the evolution of Langar from its original intent to its current level of extravagance, while searching for possible solutions. SikhNet has partnered with the Sikh Art and Film Festival to showcase some of the winning films from the SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival, including turBAN. First-place winner of the SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival (Senior Division), turBAN is a music video aimed at challenging the ban on religious symbols, including the Sikh turban, within France's public schools. turBAN is a powerful joint project between Dashmesh

Pictures (Sartaj Singh Dhami) and G.N.E. (Tanmit Singh and Gurvinder Singh). Blade Battle is a computer animated video directed by Pardeep Singh. This flm captures the art of Gatka, a Sikh martial art form. Singh employs interactive design methods in this high action short film. Finally, this cluster will close with the film Turbanology. The documentary seeks to demystify

Starting off the cluster is the film The Spirit of Hola Mohalla. Directed by Vani Subramanian , Hola Mohalla is a film showcasing mock battles enacted by Nihangs on the play fields of Charan Ganga the turban by exploring why it's worn by Muslims, Sikhs and some Christians. Director Jay SinghSohal delves into British and European history to show how the turban, far from being the fashion of a fanatic, represents spirituality, identity, knowledge and wisdom. SikhLens will be holding its inaugural Sikh Art and Film Festival 2009. It will be held at the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, California from November 13-15th, 2009.

Mahatma remembered during Skokie peace march Cont’d from page 14

He related an anecdote that enlivened the spirit of all present. A nine grader student (Lilly) from Wakefield high school asked President Obama that with whom living or dead individual you will like to take dinner? Answering her, the President named Gandhiji which suggests that Gandhiji still lives in the hearts of all. After this Subhash Bhatt introduced all dignitaries. Dr. Katherine Schuster, Prof. of Education at Oakton Community College said that she has studied in great depth the Gandhian philosophy. "Gandhi's message of love and peace, satyagrah, nonviolence, equality of all people and harmony between all religions is a universal message" she said. In global perspective, she said, the Gandhian thought is used towards peaceful solution of any problem. "His is a message

for all times, for all societies and for all people, she added. The other speaker was Jodh Singh Rawat, who is a long time Gandhian. He regarded Gandhi ji as a prophet of our time. He threw light on Gandhian philosophy by saying "Gandhi did a miraculous job in South Africa by uniting Indians there and opposing the apartheid rule and fought injustice. When he came back to India he was welcomed by his countrymen who were agitating against the British rule. Under Gandhi's leadership they found a new direction. Gandhi's satyagraha, civil disobedience and non-violent approach made their agitation more forceful and involved every Indian in this struggle for freedom. Gandhi's peaceful vision electrified all classes of people, even the British govt. was at a loss to understand how to fight this peaceful war. (For details logon to:


eevali, Divali or Dipavali, the festival of the lights, indeed happens be a queen among all the festivals that are celebrated in India and by Indians elsewhere. In keeping with its name, this festival truly excites the minds, bodies and spirits of all the people of the Indian subcontinent irrespective of their age. And this is true not only among the Indians living in India; rather such is the case with the non-resident Indians settled in any country of the world as well as their foreign born children. Like Christmas is to the Western world, so is this Dipavali to the people of Indian Subcontinent. Most of the Sikhs are aware about Guru Hargobind Ji's initiation of adoring two swords on his person; one signifying Miri, the temporal authority and other the Piri, or the spiritual authority of the Sikhs. It was for this reason that he came to be known as "Miri Piri de Maalak" or a supreme being incorporating both authorities in one. The use of this moral and temporal authority in liberating fifty two kings from the fort of Gwalior and delivering them to Amritsar on this day of Divali set the ground for redefining this festival as" Bandhi Chhor Divas" for the Sikh people forever (The exact date or day of arrival may be subject to correction and be better left for historians). Yet in the early part of post-partition era, the name "Bandhi Chhor Divas" somehow didn't truly ring the kind of bell it should have, thanks to the historians of modern day India who failed to inform the public at-large about the important factual events pertaining to the Sikh history. Since the beginning of twenty first century and during the last few decades of the last century, the number of the Indians including the Sikh living in the West has significantly increased. Along with the increase in their number, an increase in the weekly and monthly publication of newspapers both in ethnic vernacular and the English language was but natural. Furthermore, the live-media i.e. especially the ethnic Indian television didn't stay behind in coming of the age at least in term of advertisement for collection of the revenues. All of this led to a definite awareness of anything Indian including both positive and negative aberrations of their own culture among the members of Indian subcontinent diaspora. Consequently, the factual historical understanding of their own festivals that they had been celebrating, sometimes without full comprehension, also started to take a turn for the better. Therefore, the word

"Bandhi Chhor Divas" has now taken a kind of rebirth in the psyche of the Sikhs all over but more so with the NRI Sikhs. The festivities of Dipavali or Deevali are observed primarily all over India on Amavasya, the last day of the dark half of the lunar month of Katack or Kartika. It usually falls either in the latter half of October or sometimes in the early part of November like it has happened this year. From time immemorial, it had been a seasonal festival. In olden times it was celebrated to ward off evil malignant spirits of darkness and illluck by dispelling or expelling them through illumination. With passage of time, Dipavali like other festivals became linked with religions thus bringing more credibility to it. Most obviously and importantly it was the day when Lord Rama returned back to Ayodhya after spending fourteen years in exile. To welcome Him and celebrate His return, people deco-

Most obviously and importantly it was the day when Lord Rama returned back to Ayodhya after spending fourteen years in exile. To welcome Him and celebrate His return, people decorated and illuminated their houses rated and illuminated their houses with whatever resource they had. The Hindus also consider Dipavali to be an important day for worship of Lakhshmi, the goddess of good fortune, beauty and wealth. Hinduism, being the faith of majority in India, this worship has become synonymous with Dipavali in India. The Sikh faith, on the other hand was a late entry in the religious landscape of India but given the style and nature of the Sikhs, they did not stay behind. Sikhs started to celebrate this festival with great gusto though for different reasons. As stated earlier, on this day, Sri Guru Hargobind Ji, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs returned back home after having fifty-two Rajas of mountain and sub-mountainous terrain of Shivalik hills liberated from the clutches of Emperor of India. Upon his return, Amritsar, the most important town of the Sikhs where Golden temple is located, was decorated for the first time. These Rajas had been incarcerated and kept captive in the fort of Gwalior for trivial reasons. Guru Hargobind Ji was also taken into

prison as he was perceived to pose an evolving threat to the kingdom by the emperor who thought that Sikhs under Guru's leadership and temporal authority might challenge his kingdom. But upon realizing his folly the Emperor wanted to let Him go. But Guru Ji stood fast and informed the emperor that he would only leave if all incarcerated Rajas were also liberated with him. Guru Ji then asked all Rajas to hold his "Chola or Choga" the free flowing long dress. All fifty-two of them held on to Guru Ji according to His instructions thus leaving no choice for the authorities except to set all of them free who otherwise could not have been able to achieve freedom for themselves. From then on, this day amongst the Sikhs has been known as "Bandi Chhor Divas" the day of liberation of the captives. The Sikh Sangat celebrated Guru Ji's arrival with illuminating Darbar Sahib under the guidance of Baba Buddha. The religious gathering of Sikhs to remember and celebrate the noble act of Sikh Guru in liberating those hill-Kings never stopped thereafter. In fact illumination of Golden temple complex over time on this day has become worth a scene and beyond description. The Sikhs always arrived in Amritsar on this day to celebrate it irrespective of where they would be and no matter what the circumstances might be. During eighteenth century, when Sikhs were roaming warriors, fighting the cruelty and control of the invaders from the mid east and Afghanistan, they would often try to converge to Amritsar to celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas despite all the roadblocks and dangers to their lives. Bhai Mani Singh, a most widely revered Sikh of the eighteenth century was put to death through extreme degree of torture by the then Government because of his endeavor to arrange for such a celebration in Amritsar at Darbar Sahib. Despite that in the year 1758, a proclamation of Sarbat Khalsa from Akal Takhat declared the independent ownership of respective misls by its leaders or Sardars. Since those times, in almost all the Gurdwaras, religious congregations are arranged in the evening and extensive illuminations are carried through. At the same time the homes of the Sikhs are illuminated extensively with earthen divas, like the rest of population around. Formal dinners and exchange of gifts, primarily of sweets, among family and friends is another important component of social celebrations of this day. (For details logon to:

Sports Track Younus Khan quits Pak captaincy ISLAMABAD: An annoyed Younus Khan has quit captaincy of the Pakistan cricket team after being grilled by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports, which wanted him to explain the team's performance in the recent Champions Trophy. The standing committee had asked Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt, Younus, coach Intikhab Alam and manager Yawar Saeed to explain their defeat against Australia and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy and the Pakistan captain was upset at the grilling. It was not immediately known whether the Pakistan Cricket Board has accepted his resignation or were persuading him to reconsider his decision. Television reports said that PCB has rejected his resignation. -PTI

Sreesanth given 'final warning' by the BCCI KOCHI: Indian cricket's enfant terrible S Sreesanth has been given a "final warning" by the BCCI to mend his on-field behavior, failing which he would be suspended from domestic matches. The latest Board missive, dated October 5, was sent to Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) secretary T C Mathews to be handed to the player. BCCI has warned Sreesanth against repeating the on-field misbehavior he showed during the recent Irani Cup championship against Mumbai in Nagpur. -PTI

Australia happy with Games preparations NEW DELHI: Australia has expressed happiness over the preparations for the Commonwealth Games to be held in the national capital next year and sought to down play suggestions that work was behind schedule. Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith visited two games venues here and said his country shares India's confidence that the games will be organized smoothly. "My observation is that things are on track. Some commentaries say that preparation is behind schedule. But these comments are always made in the run up to any Commonwealth Games and any Olympics Games," he told reporters. -PTI

SPORTS 19 India Post

Younger cricketers not hurt by CT loss

October 23, 2009

MUMBAI: India's Champions Trophy debacle has not hurt the younger cricketers of the side much as they are losing focus due to the lure of easy money in cash-awash Twenty20 leagues, BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty has said. "One of the senior players called up after the Champions Trophy (where Indian were knocked out in preliminary stage in South Africa) and said other players (youngsters) did not feel it (the loss as much as him). He said there was no feeling whether we win or not. -PTI

A golf weekend in perfect weather

SAGA Tour 2009 Winners From Left: Pir Mohammed (2nd), Mahesh Yadav (3rd), Dr. Bipin Patel (1st), with Consul General of India Ambassador Prabhu Dayal (extreme left) and Under Secretary General, UN, Vijay Nambiar (extreme right) India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Another memorable year has gone by for the South Asian Golf Association (SAGA), founded by IT entrepreneur Mahesh Yadav. On Oct 3, SAGA celebrated its fifth anniversary at Royce Brook Golf course in Hillsborough, NJ, notwithstanding an agonizing couple of days before the event that was filled with trepidation as to the weather forecast. Board members Paresh Desai, Vinay Bahugana, Mahesh Hegde and Pir Mohammed led by Mahesh Yadav kept a close watch on the forecast and made the right decision of moving forward with the event and a miracle did happen‌

And on Saturday, the gods did bless the gold enthusiasts with perfect weather. All the golfers were present in full force and were ready with their A - Game to attack the Pins and conquer Royce Brook's challenging terrain. And

The SAGA Team From Left: Pir Mohammed, Mahesh Hegde, Vinay Bahuguna, Mahesh Yadav (Founder), Paresh Desai

ambience to host over 150 people to a great evening of cocktails and dancing. Hiranandani Palace Gardens stepped forward to be the title sponsor for this year and made it possible to have the "Hiranandani

This year SAGA had as special guests Vijay Nambiar, Chef du Cabinet for the UN Secretary General and Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India, New York like every year, an exciting day on the Golf Course was followed by families and kids joining for a fun Putting Contest and interesting prizes that were raffled out to all. The gala dinner at night in an enclosed pavilion had the perfect

SAGA Open 2009" on a grand scale even in this economy. Besides United Healthcare and Optima Global Solutions as the annual patron sponsors since the formation of SAGA, other sponsors including the NJ Group Services, Medimax,

Withum Smith + Brown, HSBC NRI Services, were encouraging of efforts of the SAGA team to keep taking the organization forward. Among the many exciting prizes that were won, the most notable was a Mercedes Benz Convertible for the hole-in-one contest. This year SAGA had as special guests Vijay Nambiar, Chef du Cabinet for the UN Secretary General and Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India, New York and the newest SAGA member who played a fabulous round of golf and presented the "SAGA TOUR 2009" Championship trophies to the winners - Dr. Bipin Patel (1st Place), Pir Mohammed (2nd Place) and Mahesh Yadav (3rd Place).

Dravid dropped; Sehwag, Yuvi back CHENNAI: Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid has been dropped while the dashing duo of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh return to India's 15-member squad for the first two cricket one-dayers of a seven-match series against Australia starting October 25. Dravid, who was surprisingly named in India's Champions Trophy squad, failed to find favor with the selectors, who have decided to persist with young righthander Virat Kohli. Kohli had been inducted in the Champions Trophy squad after Yuvraj was forced out due to a finger injury. In an apparent fallout of India's Champions Trophy debacle, out of form all-rounder Yusuf Pathan and pacer R P Singh were dropped

from the squad announced by the BCCI after a meeting of its selection panel here. Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik and young all-rounder Abhishek Nayar were also dropped. Rookie Uttar Pradesh pacer Sudeep Tyagi was the lone new

Meanwhile, the BCCI said Yuvraj, who is still recuperating from a fractured finger, will be completely fit by October 28 for the second one-dayer in Nagpur and might as well be available for the first one-dayer on October 25 in Vadodara.

In an apparent fallout of India's Champions Trophy debacle, out of form all-rounder Yusuf Pathan and pacer R P Singh were dropped from the squad announced by the BCCI face in the squad, which marked the return of another fast bowler Munaf Patel and young allrounder Ravindra Jadeja. Tyagi has played 16 first-class match and has taken 57 wickets at an average of 25.73.

"Selectors are advised that Yuvraj would definitely be fit to play on October 28. It is possible that he may be able to play the first match as well," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement. "The decision on the playing

XI for the first match will be made based on Yuvraj's fitness on October 25," he added. Sehwag, meanwhile, has already recovered from his shoulder injury and is currently playing in the Champions League Twenty20. The spin combination of Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra have retained their place in the side along with in-form fast bowler Ashish Nehra. The squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Harbhajan Singh. -PTI

„ Health


Montana state hospital bans smoking WARM SPRINGS, Mont.: The Montana State Hospital campus snuffed out smoking this summer to boost the physical health of patients who have landed at the western Montana facility for psychological care. So far, a few patients and employees at the Warm Springs hospital have been caught violating the policy; patients are caught with tobacco or lighters once or twice a week, said Chief Executive Officer Ed Amberg. The changes went into effect in June as administrators sought to find healthy social activities to replace smoking, which had become a popular means of connecting staff and patients. -AP

„ Program aims to put docs in rural areas STILLWATER, Okla.: Oklahoma State University's medical school has long tried to send graduates to smaller communities to practice. The school has a new program in which students can get additional training in rural medicine. Associate Dean Dr. William Pettit says the program is targeting students who grew up in small Oklahoma towns so they can be groomed to return. One student in the program, 23year-Charity Holder from Coalgate, says she'll be finished medical school at about the time the town doctor is ready to retire. Holder says that doctor at times sees up to 100 patients in a day. She says the hard work and lower pay would be worth it if she can be at home. -AP

„ Nursing class at Tioga High School TIOGA, La.: Shelly Winn, 17, and Andrew Mahfouz, 19, sighed in relief. They smiled at each other. They could feel the baby breathing again. It didn't matter that the baby actually was a dummy, with a bright red plastic body and paperwhite arms, legs and head, on which they were practicing cardiopulmonary resuscitation as part of their nursing class. For them, it was dead serious. And so it was for the other 15 Tioga High School seniors practicing the same drill with their own dummies. They're in the school's first certified nursing assistant program, a two-semester course in partnership with the Louisiana Technical College Alexandria campus. -AP

Health Science 20

India Post

October 23, 2009

Vermont insurer to give free swine flu shots BERLIN, Vt.: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont says it's voluntarily covering the cost of swine flu vaccinations in hopes of getting the shots for as many people as possible. -AP

Study claims Basmati did not originate in India India Post News Service

NEW YORK: A new Cornell study reports that the gene that gives rice its highly valued fragrance stems from an ancestor of basmati rice and dispels other long-held assumptions about the origins of basmati. Rice is classified into two major varietal groups: Japonica and Indica, both of which were grown in China some 8,000 years ago and are believed to have originated from there. The new study, published Aug 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms that basmati rice, long assumed to be an Indica variety, is actually more closely related genetically to Japonica rice. Basmati, which is endemic to northern India, Pakistan and Iran, has been falsely assumed to be in the Indica group due to its characteristic long, thin grains and because it is grown in India, where Indica varieties are widespread. Japonica varieties, which include sushi rice, are widely grown in East and Southeast Asia and tend to have shorter, stickier grains. When the gene, called BADH2, loses its function through the

natural process of mutation, rice becomes fragrant. This study reports eight novel mutations in BADH2 associated with fragrance and found that a previously discovered mutation, or allele, is shared by the vast majority of fragrant rice varieties today, including the fragrant Japonica varieties known as basmati and the fragrant Indica variety known as Thai jasmine. Through genetic analysis of the

The new study supports findings from a 2005 paper by McCouch that showed the close genetic relationship of basmati rice to the Japonica varietal group. "India has both Indica and Japonica rice," McCouch added. "Basmati is a unique type of rice but it is genetically more closely related to sushi rice from Japan than to many of the long grained Indica rices grown elsewhere in India. It is

Rice is classified into two major varietal groups: Japonica and Indica, both of which were grown in China some 8,000 years ago and are believed to have originated from there DNA flanking BADH2, the researchers determined that the major fragrance allele originated in a Japonica-ancestor of basmati rice and was later transferred to Indica varieties, including Thai jasmine rice. "People think that all rice [varieties] in India are from the Indica varietal group, but that's not true," said Susan McCouch, professor of plant breeding and genetics and the paper's senior author. Michael Kovach, a doctoral student in McCouch's lab, is the paper's first author.

intriguing to think about what these relationships tell us about human migration and cultural exchange." The findings have important implications for claims of ownership of rice varieties and traits, said Kovach. Rice fragrance is one of the most highly valued traits of rice, and it can command higher prices on the global market. Thai scientists recently patented the use of a genetic engineering strategy to knock out the BADH2 gene while claiming the

fragrance trait was part of their national heritage -- through Thai jasmine rice -- and "belonged to the Thai people," Kovach said. "They would like to use this approach to impart this characteristic fragrance on other crops like wheat and maize," Kovach added. "There was no proof that the common BADH2 allele causing fragrance in Thai jasmine rice actually did not originate in jasmine varieties, until this study." "The results suggest something profound and interesting about human culture, and that is, we are all hybrids," said McCouch. "Claims of ownership of rice are important for national identity, but people's concepts of national identity are often over-simplified. Humans continuously exchange ideas, technology and everything that is valuable, and in the exchange, they become something new. The lesson is that while each culture and each rice variety represents something unique, much of what we value most is shared by all." The study was funded by the Plant Genome Program of the National Science Foundation and the European Union Project Metaphor.

Deductibles bigger part health equation this year


orkers may need to do more homework when they evaluate their health coverage options this fall. This year, more employers may include a new type of plan that can chop premium payments by nearly 20 percent and give consumers a tax break. The tradeoff is higher deductibles, which have the potential to swamp customers with big bills. The plans, called consumerdirected health plans, vary from employer to employer and require careful comparison with other choices before making the switch. These plans have been around for several years, but more employers are considering offering them as health costs rise and the recession fosters a new push to cut costs. Employees could see these higher deductible plans among their choices for the first time as open enrollment, the an-

nual window when businesses allow employees to adjust their coverage, begins in a few weeks at many companies. A consumer-directed health plan typically pairs insurance that carries a high annual deductible with an account fed either by an employer or by the employee through pre-tax

from devastating medical bills. Some plans also provide annual physicals and other screenings at no cost to patients to encourage basic and preventive care that could stave off bigger bills down the line. Some employers help cover the out-of-pocket cost by funding what's called a health reimburse-

These plans have been around for several years, but more employers are considering offering them as health costs rise and the recession fosters a new push to cut costs contributions to help cover costs. The deductibles _ which start around $1,200 a year and can approach $10,000 for family coverage _ make the customer pay more money out-of-pocket for care before most coverage starts. The idea behind this insurance is to give clients an economic incentive to spend carefully, while providing protection

ment arrangement for employees to tap. The money belongs to the company and stays with it if an employee leaves. A common alternative is to offer health savings accounts. Employees can deposit pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses not covered by insurance. Some employers contribute to these HSAs. Un-

used money grows in the account, which belongs to the worker and is portable if he or she changes jobs. A consumer-directed health plan can help people on both extremes of the health care spending spectrum, but it can be risky for some who fall in between or for those who don't fund their HSA, financial planners and insurance brokers say. ``It doesn't fit most people,'' said Jon Beyrer, vice president of wealth management for Blankinship & Foster, a Solana Beach, Cailf.based financial advisory firm. The plans offer premiums that are, on average, about 19 percent cheaper than the cost of more common insurance plans with lower deductibles, according to statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. Cont’d on page 21

Health Science Post

October 23, 2009

India Post


Alcohol in womb led to problems BILLINGS, Mont.: A woman who helped her boyfriend kill a hiker and bury his body in Glacier National Park in 2001 said it came as a relief to her when she was diagnosed with a condition related to her pregnant mom's heavy drinking. After eight years in prison, Michelle Ford believes she is rightly being held for crimes she knowingly committed. But she also believes the mitigating factor of fetal alcohol syndrome helps explain why she did what she did. ``If I had been not brain damaged, I don't think I would have committed that crime,'' Michelle Ford told the Billing Gazette. ``I still did it, and I'm still responsible for it. I don't want to hide behind my brain damage and say, 'It's all the brain damage's fault.' `` Ford, who turned 30 this year, is one of many people who have spent their lives coping with their mothers' substance abuse. Some estimates put the number of American babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome at about 10,000 a year, with another 30,000 infants less obviously affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol. It's an epidemic that costs more than people's lives. The United States spends $5 billion a year on

fetal alcohol syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not including the cost of caring for people with related disorders. ``Of all the substances people abuse, alcohol produces by far the most neurobiological effects on a fetus,'' said Deborah Henderson, manager of the Infant, Child and Maternal Health section of the state Department of Public Health

'If I had been not brain damaged, I don't think I would have committed that crime,' Michelle Ford told the Billing Gazette and Human Services. ``And alcohol is Montana's drug of choice.'' She described such disorders as ``a lifetime problem that can't be cured.'' Often, the defects are invisible and, if they are recognized at all, are mistaken for other problems, such as attention deficit disorder, rebelliousness or bad parenting. ``No one understands these kids,'' said Deb Watson, whose

brain-damaged son served time in prison for helping kidnap and assault a Billings pizza delivery driver. ``They fly under the radar because they look so normal.'' Those affected can live in a different world, said Lissie Clark, a 33-year-old Great Falls woman diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. Even though she knows it, she doesn't know her limits. ``I am very susceptible,'' said Clark, who owns a gourmet dog biscuit business. ``I do have that constant struggle of who's right and who's not? Who do I follow?'' That's why she relies on her adoptive mother, Johnelle Howanach, for guidance, a strict routine and structure. ``When she's with me, she acts like me,'' said Howanach. ``When she's with somebody else, she does what they do. People with this challenge can be talked into anything.'' Mark McManus, 49 and a Billings chaplain, as well as his brother, were exposed to alcohol in the womb. His brother was diagnosed as slightly mentally retarded as a youngster. For McManus, however, nobody noticed anything wrong. "I looked normal,'' he said. -AP

Deductibles bigger part health equation this year Cont’d from page 20

People who use little health care can benefit from that price break and build up their HSA accounts. Plus they earn unique tax benefits. Money deposited in the accounts is either taken from your paycheck before taxes or it can be a deduction, it grows tax free, and then it is not taxed when taken out for qualified medical expenses. ``There's no combination like that in any other savings vehicle,'' Beyrer said. People who use a lot of health care can benefit because HSA plans come with limits set by the government for how much money

a customer spends out of pocket each year. Next year, that will be $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for family plans, counting the money you spend on the deductible. Out-of-pocket maximums are typically listed in the insurance benefits summary. Depending on a plan's coverage, these lower limits could help someone with a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes or someone who needs expensive medications, said Paul Frontsin, director of the health research and education program for the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute. -AP

Tech News Infosys posts 7.5 per cent increase in net profit BANGALORE: The second largest IT exporter in India, Infosys Technologies has posted a 7.5 per cent increase in its net profit on annual basis for the quarter ended September 30, 2009. The company has recorded net profit of Rs 1540 crore and total income of Rs 5585 crore for the second quarter of the fiscal 2010, said a press release. Total income has shown 3.1 per cent increase in year-on-year basis and grown 2.1 per cent sequentially. Earnings per share increased to Rs. 26.86 from Rs. 25.02 in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Infosys honored with Oracle Titan Partner Award BANGALORE: Infosys Technologies Limited has been named a winner of a North America Oracle Titan Award during Oracle® OpenWorld 2009. Oracle has recognized their leading partners for outstanding solutions and business practices developed or delivered in fiscal year 2009. "We are honored to be recognized by Oracle as a Titan Award winner and proud to receive this award for our successful implementation with a leading global high tech distributor," said Chandrashekar Kakal, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys. "This award reflects our strong relationship with Oracle, our deep knowledge of their solutions and Oracle's trust in Infosys to consistently deliver the highest quality of service to our mutual customers."

Indian economy likely to grow around 6.5 pc NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister's economic panel has said the economy is likely to grow by around 6.5 per cent in the current fiscal, a bit slower than 6.7 per cent a year ago, due to a decline in farm production because of a deficient monsoon. "I think, we are providing for fairly substantial growth rate in industrial production and also in services sector, even some decline in the agricultural growth rate, 6.5 per cent appears to be reasonable growth rate," Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said.-PTI

TechBiz 22 India Post

October 23, 2009

AT&T complains to FCC about Google service


elecom carrier AT&T complained about Google to the FCC, alleg ing that the company's Google Voice service blocks calls to rural numbers to reduce the access charges it must pay which is not the case with so called 'common-carriers' such as AT&T. Following the complaint, the FCC sent a letter to Google requesting information about its Voice service, which lets people sign up for one number that can route incoming calls to cell, office or home phones. The service also lets users place calls, including international calls, at low rates. Among other things, the FCC is asking Google to explain how its Voice service works, whether it blocks calls to certain numbers and whether it informs users that it does so.

Venture Capital funding for South Asian entrepreneurs drops India Post News Service

BOSTON: Annual venture capital funding received by South Asian entrepreneurs in the United States dropped for the first time since the IndUS Business Journal started its annual venture capital report in 2002, according to the 2009 Venture Capital Report released recently by the IndUS Business Journal. The numbers are part of an annual survey of venture capital raised by US-based, South Asianrun companies completed by the IndUS Business Journal. "South Asian entrepreneurs saw a significant drop in venture capital fundraising from the previous year, raising $1.54 billion in 2008, down from $2.07 billion in 2007," said Martin Desmarais, editor of the IndUS Business Journal. "The downtrend continues this year, with only $292 million raised in the first six months of 2009 -- a far cry from the $1.07 billion raised by South Asian entrepreneurs in the first six months of 2008." The 2007 total of $2.07 billion in venture capital raised was a 37 percent increase in funding from the previous year, which reflected

the largest year-to-year increase since the newspaper began its venture capital survey seven years ago. However, the 2008 total of $1.54 billion raised by South Asian-run companies swings the other way, dropping 34 percent from the 2007 total. In 2008, 87 South Asian-run companies raked in venture capital funding, also down from the 130 companies that raised money in 2007.

"The only good news in the South Asian venture capital market in the US has been the average deal size," said Upendra Mishra, publisher of the IndUS Business Journal. "The average deal size for South Asian companies in 2008 was $17.78 million as compared to an average deal size of $7 million for all U.S. companies." The dollar amounts and num-

‘South Asian entrepreneurs saw a significant drop in venture capital fundraising from the previous year, raising $1.54 billion in 2008, down from $2.07 billion in 2007," said Martin Desmarais, editor of the IndUS Business Journal’ South Asian entrepreneurs raised 5 percent of the total venture capital raised by US companies in 2008. Overall, US companies raised $30.49 billion in venture capital funding in 2008, according to Dow Jones VentureSource, which is published by News Corp. subsidiary Dow Jones & Co. This is a 3.6 percent decrease from the $31.61 billion in venture capital raised by all US companies in 2007.

ber of deals reported in the newspaper's venture capital survey are conservative because some companies did not respond to inquires or do not release investment numbers. The top South Asian venture capital recipients in the 2008 survey include: Range Fuels Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., with $166 million; SunEdison LLC of Beltsville, Md., with $131 million; Achronix Semiconductor Corp. of San Jose,

Calif., with $52 million; Soma Networks Inc. of San Francisco, with $51 million; and Suniva Inc. of Atlanta, with $50 million. The top-five states for venture capital raised by South Asian companies in 2008 are California, with 50 companies raising $776.97 million; Colorado, with one company raising $166 million; Maryland with one company raising $131 million; Massachusetts with nine companies raising $130.75 million; and Texas with seven companies raising $71.65 million. The first six months of 2009 suggest that the 2008 decrease in overall venture capital funding raised by South Asian-run companies will only continue to worsen. With only $292 million raised by 28 companies, South Asian entrepreneurs are nowhere near the $1.07 billion raised in the first six months of 2008 and setting a pace to perhaps fail to cross the $1 billion dollar mark, which has not happened since the IndUS Business Journal started its survey of venture capital raised by U.S.-based, South Asian-run companies. The lowest year total, found by the survey, was just over $1 billion raised by South Asianrun companies in 2002.

Oceansat-2 beaming 'good Indian scientists developing quality' images of earth drought-tolerant crops


he Indian Space Research Or ganization (ISRO) is tasting success with the recent launch of the Oceansat-2 remote sensing satellite as Oceansat-2 has been steadily beaming good quality data back to the space station. ISRO said that Oceansat-2 has begun beaming "good quality" images of the earth and relaying data on sea surface wind speed and direction. The remote sensing satellite launched on September 23 carries three basic scientific payloads namely the Ocean Color Monitor (OCM), the Scatterometer and the Radio Occultation Sounder for atmospheric studies. "The sensors have been turned on and are providing good qual-

ity data, including images," the state-run Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said in a statement here. The OCM is a multi-spectral imaging radiometer which provides information on chlorophyll concentration, and helps locate potential fishery zones, in seastate forecasting, coastal zone studies, weather forecasting and climate studies, with a 360-metre spatial resolution and a swathe of 1,420km. The Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer, an active microwave sensor with a ground resolution of 50km x 50km, facilitates retrieval of sea-surface wind speed and direction, and monitoring polar sea-ice.

BANGALORE: India's scientists are developing drought-tolerant crops and submergence-tolerant rice, a key agricultural research institute official said here Deputy Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Dr Swapan Dutta said these crops, termed precision designer crops, are now under the evaluation stage. "It (submergence-tolerant rice) can come in for commercial release within the next two to three years", he told reporters after attending a multistakeholder workshop on ensuring food security and agriculture sustainability through advances in agriculture. Referring to submergencetolerant rice, he said that during sub-

mergence (by rain or flood waters) metabolic functions and photosynthesis of these plants would be very low. "This plant will easily survive for two weeks (under water)". During submergence, these plants would produce ethanol, giving them energy during that period. Once water recedes, these plants, which would appear pale during submergence, would rejuvenate themselves and be back to their normal functioning. On drought-tolerant crops such as tomato, brinjal, cabbage and maize, he said "we have to design a crop in such a way that these plants would only activate these genes under drought or salinity when it's needed. -PTI

TechBiz Post

October 23, 2009

India Post 23

Ohlone College gets technology boost from Movea FREMONT, CA: The Ohlone College Foundation has received over $10,000.00 worth of Gyration Gyro Transport in-air presentation devices from Movea, Inc. a Silicon Valley-based creator of mo-

tion-sensing technology for business communications, home entertainment and mobile computing, including the concept for the Nintendo Wii-mote. Movea¹s Gyro Transports will greatly assist our instructors in their classroom presentations, said

CEO salaries: One has to pay talent, says FICCI BANGALORE: Amid the raging debate over high CEO salaries, industry chamber FICCI's President Harsh Pati Singhania has said if talent is to be attracted one has to pay for it and that in most cases they are "within limits". Asked for his reaction to Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's recent remark on outrageous salaries paid to CEOs, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries chief Singhania said, "If you want talent, you have got to pay for it". "In most cases, it's all (salary of CEOs) within limits", he added. VC and MD of Bharti Enterprises Rajan Bharti Mittal favoured the "horses for the courses" approach in this regard. "If they are efficient companies who are doing well, who are responsible, well-governed, they are responsible towards shareholders a n d stakeholders...I think let them be left alone," Mittal said, adding that the government can have an issue if the companies are not governed well. On October 4, Khurshid advised India Inc to refrain from doling out "vulgar" salaries to CEOs: "I think when we are working on this (austerity), we can hardly say that we (will) shut our eyes on what salary the CEOs are going to take," he said. Reacting sharply to Khurshid's com-

ments India Inc had said any regulation of CEOs' pay may lead to flight of talent and capital from India and that pays are best decided by in-

‘If you want talent, you have got to pay for it. ‘In most cases, it's all (salary of CEOs) within limits’ dustry. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also ruled out any move to impose restrictions on CEO remuneration, saying it is best left to boards of companies. -PTI

David W. Smith, Executive Director of the Ohlone College Foundation. Movea was cognizant of the fiscal challenges that we face as a community college, and motivated by the opportunity to expose our faculty and students to enhanced classroom technology," he added. The Movea Gyro Transports will be made available to faculty at both the Fremont and Newark campuses of Ohlone College. The Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology is not only "The Greenest College in the World," but it already features cutting edge classroom technology which will be further enhanced by Movea. Movea, Inc. is the US wholly owned subsidiary of Movea SA. In January 2008, Movea SA, a spin-off from the French research institute CEA-Léti, acquired all assets of Gyration, Inc. to compliment and expand both companies motion-sensing technology to benefit consumers worldwide in home entertainment, gaming, healthcare, mobile phone and computer input devices.

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India Post

October 23, 2009

Farah Yasmeen Shaikh

Anjali Nath

PREM KISHORE India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Fountain Theater, Los Angeles, partnered with Chitresh Das Dance company to present Mehfil-E, a new series of Kathak classical dance and music

from North India on the second Sunday of every month. Fountain Theater co-artistic director Deborah Lawlor says "We are calling the series Mehfil-e which literally translated means an evening of courtly entertainment in an intimate setting." The Fountain Theatre's first program in the series on Sunday Oct 11 night presented dancers Farah Yasmeen Shaikh and Anjali Nath who showcased their scintil-

lating Kathak style of dancing. The duo, students of Pandit Chitresh Das, mesmerized the audience with their amazing unpredictable rhythmic exchange, storytelling, creative strengths and innovation. The passionate focus of the dancers was thrilling whether it was bewildering , revved up mathematic beat or a luminous expression dramatized by a perfect frozen movement in time.

It was a feast for the senses as the dancers celebrated with finesse, subtlety and pure joy the intricacies of taiyari (technique) and khoobsurti and nazakat( movement and expression). The program began with an invocation or puja by Anjali Nath reflecting homage paid to the Goddess Durga who maintains moral order and justice in the universe. Cont’d on page 26

October 23, 2009

India Post


Have you found Hanuman yet?

Alister Taylor


NEW YORK: For all Indians who were lucky to grow up listening to their grandparents' weave glorious tales from the epic Ramayana night after night, Torchlight Publishing's illustrated children's book 'Where's Hanuman' might come across as perhaps the most simplistic interpretation of the epic saga. The story that begins with Sita's wedding and ends with Rama returning to Ayodhya in the Pushpaka is encapsulated in pre-

cisely 12 short paragraphs. But within those few pages, the author and illustrators open up to the reader an amazing world of fertile imagination and epic imagery that's beyond the scope of mere words. For millennia, India's most beloved epic, the Ramayana, has been handed down from generation to generation throughout India via literature, story telling, art, dance and drama and song. Practically every Indian, wherever in the world, is familiar with the characters and the story in which Hanuman is one of the greatest of heroes. Alister Taylor, the author - like illustrators Christopher Woods and Ben McClintic - doesn't unveil the whole story of Lord Rama and Sita. But the crisp narration and 12 colorful drawings are suffused with mirth and mischief which, after all, are the typical characters of Hanuman. Thus 'Where's Hanuman' gives young children a captivating and fun way to begin learning the treasured story of Rama and Hanuman.

Within the 32 pages of this over-sized volume, children journey into the midst of the most exciting scenes of this adventure. Each of the pages is actually a tightly packed puzzle scene with

Each of the two-page puzzle pictures has scores of characters occupying the entire space, each with one's own distinct set of features and activity. More often than not, Hanuman himself is just one among the several beings and articles cleverly hidden - it's

Within the 32 pages of this over-sized volume, children journey into the midst of the most exciting scenes of this adventure

Hanuman Cover

hundreds of humorous characters and dozes of sub-scenes. From Sita's Wedding, to Demons in the Forest, to Attacking Lanka, children will have their minds, eyes as well as their funny bones fully engaged as they try to find the characters cleverly hidden in each scene.

tough to spot him in the height of festivity, and hence the title, says the author. In the publisher's afterword, Taylor says the book was created entirely by Westerners, and therefore seeks forgiveness if it implies any disrespect in its humorous representation of Hanuman and his associates. "We realize he is venerated and even worshipped by many Hindus, but at the same

time, we feel he would not be unhappy if this presentation of his adventures brings joy to the hearts of even a few children," he says. Taylor says his life-long interest and love for the great classics of India began with a friend in New Zealand gifting him a copy of the Ramayana some 28 years ago. "It was in fact one of the main reasons that I started Torchlight Publishing in California ten years ago," he says. "I have always felt that India's great classics - Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita deserved more recognition in the West. I am happy that Torchlight's renderings of the Mahabharata and Ramayana retold by Krishna Dharma are now the best selling versions in the English world and have been translated into 12 languages." Having visited India frequently in the last 25 years, Taylor says, he found children in particular are losing awareness and understanding of their great cultural heritage. "I find this sad, and this book is part of our small attempt to revive the interest of India's youth in their great culture, particularly in Ramayana and Mahabharata."

Cancer-stricken actress' campaign Tyeb Mehta's Mahishasura sells for $1.2 million for cancer awareness India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Indian-American actress, Namrata Singh Gujral, of Warner Bros' "Americanizing Shelley" and Bollywood's "Kaante" fame is currently undergoing treatment for invasive breast cancer. Gujral is undergoing radical cancer treatments including chemotherapy, but is currently producing and directing "1 a Minute", a docu-drama on Cancer, with Olivia Newton-John, Jaclyn Smith, Kelly McGillis, Melissa Etheridge, Billy Baldwin, Danny Baldwin, Diahann Carroll and Bollywood's Mumtaz and Priya Dutt, among others. The film is expected to hit global theaters in 2010 to raise global awareness on cancer, with a focus on Breast Cancer. This comes on the heels of a cancer diagnosis for Lisa Ray, another South-Asian actress, who will also be featured in this documentary. Gujral received rave reviews for her performance as "Shelley" in Americanizing Shelly and also bagged awards including "Best Female Actor" at CTFF 2008 (which she shared with Stephen Baldwin for "Flyboys").

Gujral also made her singing debut in 2008 with Dancin' in the Clouds, currently playing on VH1, CMT and MTV, a never-beendone-before "Country Rock" meets "Bollywood" style duet, which is being included in the

Namrata Singh Gujral

Guinness Book of Records. She cut this single with country star Steve Azar ("Waitin' On Joe" w/ Morgan Freeman). With this hit single, Gujral becomes the first Eastern artist ever to make it to CMT and bags another first for finally placing an Eastern language

(Hindi) in Country Music for the first time in history. A 1998 graduate from the University of West Florida, Namrata moved to Hollywood in 2001 and was quickly "taft-hartleyed" into the Screen Actors Guild after booking the recurring role of "Fari Bin Ghori" on CBS's The Agency, produced by Wolfgang Peterson ("Troy"). This was followed rapidly by castings as "Nurse Kathy" (a five year stint) on NBC's Passions (2001-2005) and the role of "Renu Mathur" in Bollywood Blockbuster Kaante with stalwarts Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt. Along with her acting career, Gujral also serves as President of UniGlobe Entertainment. Gujral has been invited as guest speaker at several high profile global events including FICCI Frames 2008. Often referred to as "America's Spiciest Sweetheart", Gujral's other credits include a cameo in Dreamwork's House Of Sand And Fog. Although the role was small, Gujral found this an opportunity to work with Ben Kingsley and accepted the role in this Oscar winning feature. She also featured in Denzel Washington/Ethan Hawke starrer Training Day.

India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Eminent socialite and art collector, Priyanka Gill, recently bought renowned artist Tyeb Mehta's 'Mahishasura for $1,280,900, the most expensive Indian painting sold this auction season at Christies in New York. The painting had formally been in the collection of The Times of India Group, New Delhi before being bought by Christies New York. Gill is not only an art collector with a vast collection of the most reputable and expensive Indian art but is also a member of many elite organizations such as Quintessentially, and charity organizations such as Pratham.

Tyeb Mehta's 'Mahishasura


October 23, 2009

India Post

Cont’d from page 24

Rangmanch evoked the five elements of nature, the four cardinal directions and five elements of the senses. Thaat and Bol in 16 beats- beginning with a seductive slow tempo progressing rapidly and culminating in

Mehfil-E Kathak Drut Laya was a splendid classic and Anjali Nath was astonishing in this highly charged work. Even though she missed a

pirouette, she promptly asked the musicians to repeat the segment while she spun around in rapture ending on the perfect beat. Bravo! She then segued into Ghat Bhhao Holi Tarana ushering the spring festival of Holi where the beguiling Radha fills a pitchkari, a spray gun with colored powder and teases Lord Krishna. The notes in the brochure elaborated that Radha's desire for Lord Krishna and "his elusiveness represents our desire for being in touch with the divine force" and how we attain that connection, lose it and seek to reconnect. Exploring the elegiac lyrics, Anjali Nath presented an evocative performance drawing repeated applause. The second part of the program introduced Farah Yasmeen Shaikh who did pranam and praised Lord Ganesha the God of knowledge, wisdom and wealth. She selected a taal in a 14 beat cycle. A challenging collage of recitation, movement, and improvisation that made the senses literally whirl in a kaleidescope of color and imagery. A dramatic storytelling in Kathak style invited the audience into the world of Vrindavan where

the people were saved by Lord Krishna from the violent anger of Lord Indra. Elegant, stunning costumes and sparkling jewels highlighted Farah Yasmeen Shaikh's grace, and nuances of expression. Shyam Sundara, a Meera bhajan ended this segment where Meera surrenders to Lord Krishna through her passionate verse.

Elegant, stunning costumes and sparkling jewels highlighted Farah Yasmeen Shaikh's grace, and nuances of expression Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, a truly significant artist ignited the crowd with her inspired rhythms, dazzling footwork as she drew on the rich heritage of ancient Kathak traditions. The irresistible potent combination of dancers, Farah Yasmeen Shaikh and Anjali Nath onstage was an explosive double bill, brilliant and demanding. The duet segments by Farah and Anjali in-

troduced us to Kathak Yoga one of Pandit Chitresh Das' innovations within a structured tradition. Inspired by the spiritual disciplines of sadhus who push boundaries to attain moksha (liberation) Pandit Das has desired to push these boundaries through dance. In Kathak, the dancer recites, sings and dances. Pandit Das adds the element of the dancer also playing an instrument. Farah played the harmonium while swirling around in perfect time, while singing, and reciting without a misstep or being out of breath. (Kathak Yoga and Pandit Das''s work is the subject of Dr Sarah Morelli's PHD dissertation at Harvard University.) Jogkauna Tarana - The tarana is a melody which uses syllables instead of words, inspired from the language of the drum to convey rhythm. Apart from the fluent , languorous, movements of Kathak, the spontaneous question and answer, complex rhythmic exchange between accompanying musicians and the dancers is always a tour de force. The two dancers made it a compelling and exciting classical piece. The program ended in a moving Raghupati Raghava devotional song in praise of Lord Rama…Rama ,Lord of Heavens, blessed is thy name.Some of us call you as Shiva, and some others as Allah, but we beg you Lord, that you bless us all… a bhajan always associated with Mahatma Gandhi. Apart from their impeccable technique and singular vision the dancers interacted with vivacity and humor with the audience making it a memorable evening. Farah is a senior instructor at Chhandam, tours extensively and was awarded the Shenson Performing Arts Fellowshiip. Anjali Nath has performed in arts education programs and toured several times in India. At the harmonium was Dr Gopal Marathe an accomplished musician who once accompanied the great Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. He has been teaching Hindustani music in Southern California since 1980 and accompanied Pandit Jasraj and Girija Devi and other world class classical singers. Ben Kunin trained under the maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Jhan Sahib and tabla under Pandit Swapan Chaudri. Javad Butah at the tabla has played world wide and is the disciple of tabla master Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. The vocalist was Rina Mehta. Although she sang with ease, the voice was far too muted, perhaps a technical glitch. The Chitresh Das company and Chhandam School was founded by Pandit Chitresh Das in 1980. Kathak performances will be held on Oct 18.

October 23, 2009

India Post


Big Cinemas revolutionizes movie-going experience India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: BIG Cinemas, a division of Adlabs Films Ltd. and a member of Reliance ADA Group, re-opened Movie City in Edison NJ after undergoing major renovations. The makeover did wonders to restore the theater, while also updating it to accommodate a modern audience with its worldclass features. What is refreshing about these recent renovations, however, is that a great deal of effort was put into ensuring the movie goers are receiving a better experience. The theatre now features BARCO 2k digital projection equipment for the best quality audio and visual effects so when Movie City goers buy tickets, they will get an enhanced viewing experience, and the confidence of world class entertainment with a world leading cinema brand, BIG Cinemas. Some other changes Movie City patrons will notice is the completely renovated lobby, which includes flat screen monitors, modified and painted ceilings, brand new heating and air conditioning systems, as well as reno-

vated restrooms and expanded concession stands, all for customers' enjoyment. For better aesthetic appeal, a new box office station has been installed at the main entrance. This was designed to open up the lobby for space, and to facilitate the flow of movie going traffic.

What is refreshing about these recent renovations, however, is that a great deal of effort was put into ensuring the movie goers are receiving a better experience The digital projection not only assists in cost reduction by avoiding multiple copy creation, but also reduces the chances of piracy. For one day only, October 22nd, BIG Cinemas invites all movie goers to an open house on first come, first served basis, creating an excellent opportunity to experience free movies with the new enhancements.

Similar to the strategy in India, Big Cinemas is setting up standalone properties and cinemas in malls. It is also taking over current properties, renovating the theaters, and taking advantage of their considerable existing infrastructure and brand value. Other theaters that will be rebranded with Big Cinemas in the coming months are: Bombay Theater, Flushing, NY; Columbia Park 12, North Bergen, NJ; ImaginAsian NY; Norwalk 8, Norwalk, CA; Golf Glen 5, Niles, IL; IMC 6, San Jose, CA; Laurel 6 Cinema, Laurel, MD; Loehmann's Twin Cinema, Falls Church, VA; Union Station 9, Washington, DC; Peachtree Funplex 8, Norcross, GA; South Dekalb Stadium 12 & Jazz Bar, Decatur GA; and Novi Town Center 8, Novi, MI. In the year to come, more than 30 million people are expected to watch a movie on a BIG Cinemas screen. Having been the first cinema chain to cross 100 screens, Big Cinemas is India's largest chain with close to 430 screens spread across India, US, Malaysia and Mauritus. After pioneering the IMAX experience in India

and creating flagship properties like Metro BIG Cinemas in Mumbai, the cinema chain is committed to providing access of world-class cinema experience to its audiences across the world. It is this customer orientation that has won BIG Cinemas several awards in the retail space, not only in India but in

Asia as well. It was awarded "International Exhibitor of the Year" at the prestigious CineAsia 2008, "Retailer of the Year" in Entertainment for the second year running at the India Retail Summit and "Most Admired Retailer in Entertainment" Award at the Images Retail Awards 2007.

BLUE DEBUT: Kylie Minogue with Akshay Kumar in a scene from Blue in which she makes her debut in Bollywood. Blue, a slick underwater thriller, is one of the biggest budget films Bollywood has made, and marks Kylie's first feature film appearance since Moulin Rouge


Realty Tidbits

Sloane Robinson ups stake in Indiabulls MUMBAI: Foreign fund house Sloane Robinson LLP has hiked its stake in Indiabulls Real Estate to 5.42 per cent through open market share acquisition. UK-based Sloane Robinson LLP, as investment manager of various entities, has bought 19.82 lakh shares (0.50 per cent stake) of Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd through open market transactions, the realty developer said in a disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Post the transaction, Sloane Robinson holds a 5.42 per cent stake in Indiabulls Real Estate. The transaction of shares was executed on October 8, the disclosure added. -PTI

„ Indiareit Fund launches domestic venture capital CHENNAI: Indiareit Fund, a real estate capital fund promoted by Piramal Enterprises, has launched a close-ended domestic venture capital fund scheme, focused on investing in Indian real estate market. "The investment objective of the fund is to make investments in projects within the gambit of real estate focusing on long-term capital appreciation," Indiareit CEO and MD Ramesh Jogani told reporters here. He said the fund would participate by means of equity instruments of unlisted companies (special purpose vehicles for specific projects identified by the fund for investment) engaged in real estate. "Indiareit Fund Scheme IV - is empowered with 'industry first' features including pledge facility and draw down holiday, which will make fund a rewarding real estate investment vehicle," he added. -PTI

„ HDFC sees opportunity in low-cost housing NEW DELHI: The country's biggest mortgage lender HDFC has said robust activities in the low-cost housing segment presents an important growth opportunity for the real estate market. In order to cash in on the lowcost housing segment, HDFC is hosting a property exhibition on October 10-11 showcasing affordable homes by 28 leading developers in the national capital region. -PTI

Real Estate 28 India Post

October 23, 2009

Ansal to develop over 500 villas MUMBAI: Real estate firm Ansal Housing & Construction has said it would develop over 500 luxury housing units in Maharashtra, which could fetch the company a revenue to the tune of Rs 400 crore. The company has already launched the 225-acre project -- Ansals Suvarna Vilas -- at Shahpur in Thane, near Mumbai. "In all Ansal Suvarna Vilas will have over 500 Thai style villas with an expected turnover of Rs 400 crore," Ansal Housing & Construction said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). -PTI

Not much genuine demand for homes NEW DELHI: Is the demand for homes getting real again? It seems to be a mixed bag so far. While developers are aggressively talking about a spurt in demand, industry experts and buyers attribute this 'revival' to the strong nexus between developers and intermediaries. In fact, the demand in the residential segment for Q3 of this calendar year remained marginally higher than the previous quarter. However, leading developers said that the growth has been optimistic and some even claimed a 30% rise in demand in these three months. Last month, India's largest real estate developer DLF claimed to have sold 1,250 flats in two hours in the second phase of its Capital Greens project in Delhi. Rival

Unitech too said that they had a sale of 3,500 apartments across cities between July and September. Similarly, BPTP sold nearly 2,100 apartments in the same quarter.

‘To some extent it is artificial hype but it is not completely a false story. Around 35-40% of such stock goes to end users and 50-60% goes to brokers or investors who want to sell it off later’ For Delhi-based realty firm Omaxe, Q3 got a sale of Rs 300 cr, up 50% from the previous quarter. And according to Niranjan Hiranandani, MD of Mumbaibased Hiranandani Developers, there has been an overall industry

Housing demand to rise, says Ficci NEW DELHI: Housing demand, which has been hit by the economic slowdown, is expected to rise up to 30 per cent by the end of this year with maximum demand being seen in the price bracket of Rs 5-25 lakh, says a Ficci survey. "Affordable housing seems to be flavor of the day. Not just among the political class, but among the real players at the ground," Ficci said in a statement. "Although the real estate sector has started to show some signs of revival a majority of the industry experts expect the residential segment to recover by the end of 2009 with a 25-30 per cent renewal in demand," the survey said. The survey found out that 34 per cent of the demand in the residential segment was in the price range of Rs 5-15 lakh and 26 per cent was in the bracket of Rs 1525 lakh. As much as 22 per cent demand is in the range of Rs 25-40 lakh, 12 per cent in the range of Rs 35-50 lakh and a mere six per cent for properties priced above Rs 50 lakh, the study revealed. "Parking funds in affordable housing projects has emerged as the safest bet for the developers followed by developing demand based commercial spaces," it said. According to the survey, in-

sale of 10,000 units in the Mumbai region in these three months. These figures, no doubt, look impressive. But there is a catch. Industry experts and buyers say that this business is mainly the

dustry experts believe that demand in retail segment would rise by 1012 per cent during the next three months and will recover only by the last quarter of 2010. The commercial segment is expected to pick up after the third quarter of 2010. . "Real estate developers now seem to concentrate on high volumes and lower margins as against

As much as 22 per cent demand is in the range of Rs 25-40 lakh, 12 per cent in the range of Rs 35-50 lakh and a mere six per cent for properties priced above Rs 50 lakh, the study revealed low volumes and higher margin and have shifted focus towards the affordable housing segment," the statement said. The stimulus packages and interest rate cuts have to an extent eased the accessibility for bank finance for the developers, the survey said, but added that banks are still cautious in extending loans to realtors. -PTI

result of a strong developer-intermediary network. "To some extent it is artificial hype but it is not completely a false story. Around 3540% of such stock goes to end users and 50-60% goes to brokers or investors who want to sell it off later," says Pankaj Jain, executive director of Realistic Realtors, a North Indian real estate consulting firm. Jain is not the only one echoing this view. Other reputed brokers in the industry also have a similar take. Rajesh Arora, vice chairman of Arora and Associates Realty, puts it this way, "It is not practical to sell 2,000 or 3,000 apartments within a few hours. They would have sold it to middlemen or agencies. The demand in the sector has remained the same as in the last quarter and though the prices in Mumbai have increased, in Delhi they are at the same level." Businessman and prospective buyer, Anil Dhawan, says that such claims by developers do not hold any meaning. "Financiers take up most of the stock. End users would possibly make up only 10% of the buyers in these cases." Dhawan says that al-

though the time is conducive to buy right now, he would mainly look at a ready to move in property over an under construction one to avoid delivery hassles. Developers, however, are upbeat about the housing demand. DLF is basking in the glory of 'good demand.' "We have launched the second phase of Capital Greens project. We are selling one flat per pan card and buyers cannot sell the property within a year. So I am sure that end users are the buyers right now," says Rajeev Talwar, group executive director, DLF. The demand is 'robust,' says CMD of Omaxe, Rohtas Goel. "There has been a 30% increase in this quarter. We had a sale of Rs 300 cr in these months as against Rs 200 cr in the last quarter." Many also are of the view that the fear of increased prices later is propelling more number of buyers to come forward right now. That is leading to increased enquiries as well as conversions. "People think that is the best time to buy as prices may go up later. The price band of Rs 15-Rs 40 lakh is doing quite well. We will be launching more projects in the affordable segment. Our target is to launch 30 million square feet in residential space by the end of this Financial Year," reveals a Unitech spokesperson. Home loan offtake too bears out increased demand statistics. The management of HDFC is upbeat about 20-25% growth in the home loan disbursement. Also, according to a senior official from Indian Bank, the demand of home loan remained the same as it was in the previous quarter. "The demand for loans between Rs 15-20 lakh is more than the rest," said the official.

October 23, 2009

India Post 29

1 Dont Say Alvida - Main Aurr Mrs Khanna 2 Mann Ka Radio - Radio 3 Rehnuma - Blue 4 Haan Hain Jitni Martaba - All The Best 5 Yeh Jism - Acid Factory


India Post

October 23, 2009

6 Iktara - Wake Up Sid 7 What`s Your Raashee - What`s Your Raashee? 8 Tu Hi Haqeeqat - Tum Mile 9 Ek Haqeqat Tum Lagte Ho Shaabash! You Can Do It 10 Daata Sun Le - Jail


fter working with Aamir Khan in Ghajini, Asin was told horror stories about Salman Khan when she signed London Dreams opposite him. Though she was confident that she would be able to handle situations by herself, she wasn't too sure what was really in store for her. However, all her misgivings were sorted out once she started shooting with him. "See, we all know about Aamir being so disciplined. So once I signed London Dreams with Salman, various kinds of stories started coming my way. People commented that 'Aah, you have worked with Aamir; now see what it is to be with Salman", remembers Asin. "I can slice and dice a dozen odd instances when it was proven time and again that Salman was nothing like he was being made out to be", shrugs Asin, "I have absolutely no clue how negative stories about him keep emerging out of nowhere. As I look at them today, I believe these are all someone's cooked up imaginations." "Let me begin with the misconception of Salman being unpunctual", Asin says, "Our first schedule took place abroad and it was wrapped up many days in advance. This means that it was a disciplined shoot and everyone including Salman was punctual."



n a recent visit to Delhi, Amitabh Bachchan had dinner with friends, which included a surprise guest, his favourite actress Waheeda Rehman. He wrote in his blog, "Now aged and well within her years, she to me describes what the conventional Indian woman ought to be in look and behaviour. Those early films 'Pyaasa' and 'Kaagaz ke Phool' and 'Chaudhavi ka Chand' and 'Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam' are unforgettable for the charm and grace and childlike softness of an ethereal looking Waheeda ji, alluring and dynamic by the intensity of her simple and endearing looks and performance." The superstar waxes, "I was and still am her great admirer and fan. She signified to me the epitome of Indian grace and culture. She possessed in her the mischievous streak of that precocious village belle and the spirited movement of a Shiv Tandav. She looked vulnerable and lost, searching for protection in one moment, yet knowledged and mature in another. You felt like protecting and guarding her from all the evil of the world and to gently wipe away any frayed eyebrows that may have accumulated on her face. Her performances were pure and clean, without effort and deliberate design. They were just a part of her - simple and soft." He talks of the first time he was cast with her, "And you cannot imagine the excitement when I came to be cast with her in Sunil Dutt's 'Reshma aur Shera'. The fun of our work in the heated confines of a brutal desert, the escapades with other unit members and crew and the absolute delight of being a part of the story that involved the great and divine, Waheeda Rehman. My moment of glory being the day when I was asked to carry her 'chappals' to her in the hot sands that were scorching her bare feet. I could have kept doing that for the rest of my life. Such was the passion of my devotion."

veryone who's seen Katrina in the promo of 'Blue' has been pleasantly surprised by her 'biker chick' look. The pretty actress who always been portrayed as a girl next door, is for the first time sporting a gothic grunge look with a stud pierced below her lip, dreadlocks and tattoos all over her arms. Kat's look has been designed to complement Zayed's character in the film that of a daredevil biker. Says a source form the production team, "Kat was extremely excited about her new look as it's a huge contrast from her earlier roles. She gave a lot of inputs and worked closely with the designers on minute details." But one thing that gave nightmares to Kat is her hairdo! The dreadlocks that she sports causes a lot of damage to one's hair and Kat was very particular about that. "She'd immediately go for a hair wash once the shoot was over" says a source from the team. Ask Kat about her striking appearance in 'Blue' and the actress gives all the credit to her designer Rocky S who gave her the confidence to pull off the look so stunningly!


October 23, 2009


eha Dhupia couldn't be happier with her newfound Hollywood glory as Bollywood Hero, an American TV series in which the actress plays a B-town star, has received rave reviews in the US -- even The Incredible Hulk actor Ed Norton was impressed with her acting skills. It's another thing, however that Dhupia took a while to recognize Norton. The actress reveals, "After the premiere of the show, when the lights came on, I saw Ed Norton sitting with me and I screamed! He said `hello' and complimented me, and I screamed again. He said, `I'm not that scary that you scream every time I ask you anything'. That was my Ed Norton moment." With her pictures up on billboards in Times Square, Dhupia has become quite a known face in Hollywood. She recounts, "I was taking a taxi in New York and saw that the top of it had my picture... I couldn't stop gaping and said [to the driver]: `that's me on the top'...he came out to look and said `yes, that's you'. I didn't have to pay a dollar for the taxi ride."


fter Barbara Mori episode, HrithikSussanne's married life had hit a rough patch. But now, Hrithik wants to mend his ways and is going out-of-his-way to please his wife. Latest Bollywood news has it that the actor has agreed to do a film 'Welcome to the Jungle' with father-in-law Sanjay Khan. The film will also see his brother-in-law Zayed Khan in the lead role. Apparently, Sanjay Khan wants to revive his flop son's career and wants Hrithik onboard to pull the crowd to theatres. In the film, Hrithik will be playing the role of a wildlife explorer. It is believed that Hrithik's character is drawn on the lines of the famous comic character, Shikari Shambhu. "It is an adventure film and Zayed Khan plays the lead role along with Hrithik," a source revealed.


jay Devgun has turned out to be quite a co-operative guy. It so happened, that Ajay's car was stopped by security at a city multiplex and he was not allowed to leave the place. Ajay, who had gone there for a promotional event for his next 'All The Best', apparently lost his parking ticket hence the security did not allow him to leave from the premises until the organizers gave in a go ahead for him to leave. Whilst the security called for the organizers, Ajay patiently waited outside his car, smoking, obviously to kill time, as it took almost five minutes for all the things to get settled. Instead of losing his cool and throwing tantrums, Ajay just stood patiently waiting for the security to do their jobs. No tantrums. That's great.

India Post


32 India Post

October 23, 2009



ot so far in the hoary past, if you drove into the me andering streets of Dehradun, instead of the heady smell of vehicle emissions, you would have been laden with the aroma of rum and plum being mixed with dough, of biscottis being baked in black ovens, of wedding cakes wearing a sheath of icing sugar…Those were the days when the British puntered on their

33 India Post

The road to Sahastradhara is so curvy and steep that it can leave you giddy, but no one goes back from Dehradun without a picnic at the Dhara and a prayer at the temple

horses and waltzed the night away. Once upon a time Dehradun was the hub of confectioneries and

nition, the red brick buildings of Forest Research Institute, Indian Military Academy and yes, the


miliar Delhi-Dehradun road again. But this time I wanted to do something different; something away from the sphere of banal woes and clichéd delights of the city that takes its name from Dera (camp) and Dun (valley) and is said to have been founded in early eighteenth century by Shri Guru Ram Rai, who founded the Udasin Sect of Ascetics. Mythology would have one believe that this was once the abode of Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas. But as

October 23, 2009 could hear the chirping of birds and my thoughts were interrupted by a bump in the dry river bed. At the end of verdant stretch, who would have thought that I would meet flamboyant macaws, mischievous pheasants, noisy budgerigars, gold fish in an organic resort, and would pick up Rum Revelations in Holdy’s Pub that is littered with cricket memorabilia from the mantelpiece of Michael Dalvi, a former Ranji player. This Dehradun certainly seemed very different from all putative notions. I did hear the call of the raucous budgerigar but the martini and the putting green would have had to wait, it was a gurgling waterfall that was beckoning me. The road to Sahastradhara is so curvy and steep that it can leave you giddy, but no one goes back from Dehradun without a picnic at the Dhara and a prayer at the temple. Beyond monsoon, the waterfall is not at its glorious best but the


The walls of Vishranti are littered with decorative plates from across the world.

patisseries. And yes, it was here that stick jaws were born; stick jaws that add to the fame of this town replete with hills and dales. Much before the milk rusk and stick jaws gave Dehradun its ‘sweetest’ defi-

Doon School, groomed goose-stepping cadets, suave forest officers and students that would spell class wherever they went.

Off the beaten track a bird bird’s eye of the city compensates watcher's delight view for the trickling waterfall. On

Not to forget the Buddhist monks praying fervently for peace in their maroon and orange robes in countless monasteries. Monks, masters, majors….They were always so integral to the valley. To me, Dehradun always meant that pretty dale on the foothills of the Himalayas. Nothing changed that definition. Not even countless trips. Until that sultry September morning when I took to the fa-

the car swerved towards the valley, all mythology and proclaimed facts started getting redundant, I was not paying heed to any of them. I ignored the city completely and headed right from Nanda Ki Chowki into a street that seemed straight out of a jungle book anywhere my eye went all I could see was the statuesque sal and the expensive teak lined haphazardly in an endless stretch far away from the municipal limits. I

way back to the heart of the city, a bunch of Buddhist monks in their traditional orange and maroon robes caught my attention and the car screeched in front of the Sakya Centre, the personal monastery of Sakya Trizin. Built in 1964, the Center’s façade is embellished with painted Jataka stories that add to the monastery’s mystic allure. Cont’d on page 35


Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

LA Zoo's reindeer romp event India Post News Service

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LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Zoo kicks off the holiday season with activities for the entire family at Reindeer Romp. Santa's reindeer fly into the Zoo on Thanksgiving Day and stay until January 3, 2010. Kids of all ages can get close to these beautiful creatures, talk to the reindeer keepers and make their own reindeer antlers and holiday crafts. Plus, on weekends everyone can listen to festive holiday entertainment, see the Zoo's animals enjoy holiday treats and take photos with Santa (for a nominal fee)!

October 23, 2009

'Peepal' tree to be Bihar tourism's new logo PATNA: Bihar Tourism will now have a new logo carrying the image of a 'peepal' tree. "This is the land of Lord Buddha who attained enlightenment under peepal tree," Tourism Minister Ram Pravesh Rai told PTI. "The logo will also help in promoting tourism in the state as an attractive brand." The newly selected logo has been designed to represent Bodhi Tree -- the peepal tree near the

The new logo was designed by a twomember team from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. The insignia was selected out of three designs. All the Bihar Tourism infrastructure, monuments, hotels, publications and vehicles would now carry this logo embossed on them, the minister said Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, he said. The new logo was designed by a two-member team from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. The insignia was selected out of three designs. All the Bihar Tourism infrastructure, monuments, hotels, publications and vehicles would now carry this logo embossed on them, the minister said. The department was also planning to have a tagline attached to the logo and for this open entries have been invited. -PTI

October 23, 2009

Travel & Hospitality Post

Dehradun: Off the beaten track a bird watcher's delight Cont’d from page 33

Sticking to my resolve to explore a different Dehradun, I walked into ONGC’s Tel Bhawan that houses the country’s sole oil/ petroleum museum. Think museums and you think of dreary places where artifacts are arranged chaotically and where learning is monotonous. Take the first step into the ONGC Golden Jubilee Museum and it begins to fascinate you - the pendulum that sways languorously, photographs repeating the history of oil exploration, a film about oil drilling; press buttons and tiny displays would simulate offshore and ground drilling, the speaking well and a garden full of bits that bore through the earth’s heart. That’s not all, there’s flexible stone too - it is actually flexible! I had packed so much in that one day in Dehradun that my knees were going wobbly and I needed to put my feet up and relax. So when evening melded into night, I headed to Holdy’s Pub in Vishranti, an organic spa and resort. I thought I would relax, instead I got busy looking at the eclectic collection from across the world - there are cricket bats with signatures of stalwarts from the cricketing world, there’s an old Elvis Presley poster, the King looking drop-dead in a gold suit; fishing baits an traps neatly arranged on the walls; cushions with newspaper prints, tankards that were doled

as cricket trophies, old photographs, everything tiger in the Tiger Room; out-of-print books on mahogany desks. My reverie, however, was interrupted by the twitter of the 50 species

One wakes up to the sound of the gregarious budgerigars and pheasants, one can walk in the organic garden and pick gerberas in the polyhouse or put a hole in the 9-course green of birds that make Vishranti such a bird watcher’s delight. One wakes up to the sound of the gregarious budgerigars and pheasants, one can walk

in the organic garden and pick gerberas in the polyhouse or put a hole in the 9-course green. There was Mussoorie waiting about 36 kms away, but for the moment I was relishing the peace in Vishranti. And there was no room for another thought! Fact File: Getting there: Dehradun is 245 kms from Delhi; you can fly into Jolly Grant airport or take the Shatabadi train. What to see/do: Ghanta Ghar, Forest Research Institute, Indian Military Academy, Shastradhara, Sakya Centre, Monasteries. Pick milk rusk and stick jaws from Ellora’s Bakery in Rajpur Road; buy clothes and woolens in Tibetan Market. Places nearby: Rishikesh (40 kms), Haridwar (65 kms), Mussoorie (40 kms) (

India Post



October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 You will need to replace some electric gadget in the house. Planets will help those seeking better jobs. Money could go towards a future trip. You will have a good opportunity to sit with and learn from successful people. Spouse will stay restless but may not complain openly. You will make plans with close friends to travel to a nice place for a day.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 You will keep pouring in money in your projects and hope for things to turn around quick. Gambling instincts will pay off in near future. You may be looking for more options in career and even thinking of changing field. New subordinate will need lots of training. A big family reunion will take place soon. You will become very bold.


October 23 to October 29

You will feel tired of others taking advantage or pushing you and take some action to send a strong message across. You may also associate your self with some charity or volunteer work. Money wise you will start to better from now and on. Some one will give you a very good business idea. You will be invited to a big party.

NEWS at your doorstep

Readers Write...

Harassment at Delhi airport


ecently my relatives went to India. After landing they were approached at the airport by strangers, who offered to help load their luggage on to their car and then asked for dollars for helping. It happens to us all the time too. When you leave airport they follow you and touch your cart seeming to help you. All of a sudden they start loading your luggage on to your

cart and then ask for foreign currency only. Why can't the Government hire coolies like it has at bus stands and railway stations? Why isn't there any police in parking lots? Harassment starts the minute you land at the airport. What impression does this give to the visitor? Thakar S Basati Palatine, Illinois

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Things in career should get more relaxing and stable. You may dispose off some money making stocks and pocket the profit. People on other side may ask you to sign the contract without making any significant changes. You will make some changes in the house and reshuffle furniture. You will be invited to a big event.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 Though everything will work out quickly but you will be extremely cautious. You will ear respect in professional world and some one will even call to seek advice from you. Money long overdue may show up. You will plan an evening with siblings and some very close relatives. It's a favorable week for people looking for a soul mate.

CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 Developments will bring confidence back. You will start to see the changes happening in career and a dream opportunity is within your reach. Bank balance will start growing too but slowly. Meetings with boss will go very well and you will get the help you had been asking for. Children will also do better from now and on.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 Planets in fifth will help you make several intelligent choices in life. You will be bubbling with great ideas and even start working on few of them right away. You will hear people talking good about you at the party. Money will come and go but will not bother you. You will be slowly working on a future trip. Spouse will encourage you.

LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 Offer will come but from distant place. You will have to be little firm but will save a lot in long term. Money will go on buying gifts for others. You will be taking a short but interesting trip with family this week. Papers from a government agency will shake you temporarily. You will be working on a great business plan.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 Very promising week for people looking for an ideal soul mate. This is the right time to put your plans into action by launching them. People creating hurdles will calm down. You will be attending few important meetings during the week. A new member will be added in the family soon. You will call some one trusted for advice.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 Some of you will be traveling in connection of some important business this week. Keep an eye on your blood pressure also. You can accomplish a lot if be diplomatic and listen to other people first. Planets very favorable for all speculations and even lottery. A relationship falling apart will suddenly revive.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 You will be spending longer hours at work in order to finish an important assignment. Financial commitments are on increase. You will buy some expensive item for the house and may opt for an easy payment plan. Mail you write will get quick attention and the reply will come in positive. You will meet few old friends this week.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 Planets very favorable for all money matters. If you are firm and stick to your requirements, soon you will be rolling into lots of cash. You may take time out of busy schedule and take family out for dinner and movies. You may stop wasting your time with a person who failed to keep up his words lately.

October 23, 2009

India Post 39

In Brief Mass. immigration report to be made public BOSTON: A co-chair of Gov. Deval Patrick's panel appointed to gather public comment on immigration reform says the panel's report will be made public Nov. 17. Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said that the panel's report will include a list of recommendations that the state can immediately implement and others that may require further state legislation. Patrick sent the Governor's Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants around the state last year to come up with suggestions for new immigration policy. Last week, Patrick told reporters from ethnic media outlets the panel's report contains 131 recommendations but declined to give details on any recommendations he planned to quickly implement. -AP

Illegal immigrant sentenced in fatal Phoenix crash PHOENIX: Authorities say an illegal immigrant previously convicted of DUI and other offenses has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for a fatal car crash that killed a Phoenix woman last October. Maricopa County prosecutors say 36-year-old Jose Luis Mendoza-Cardenas pleaded guilty to manslaughter in June. Police say Mendoza-Cardenas had a blood-alcohol level of .182 - well above the 0.08 percent legal limit to operate a vehicle in Arizona - when his car was involved in the Oct. 5, 2008, collision that killed 50-year-old Patricia Robledo and seriously injured her teenage son. -AP

Man gets two life terms for shooting officer ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.: A Bulgarian immigrant has been sentenced to two life terms for armed robbery and attempting to kill a St. Petersburg police detective. A judge sentenced 20-year-old Velislav Matzov. A jury found the man guilty in August. Authorities say Matzov was one of three suspects who robbed a Blockbuster video store in April 2008. When confronted by plainclothes detectives outside, prosecutors say Matzov fired several shots and hit the officer. The injured detective, who still works undercover, has not been identified. -AP

Immigration 40

India Post

October 23, 2009

Court to decide constitutionality of bad advice WASHINGTON: Supreme Court justices have questioned whether defendants should expect their lawyers to correctly advise them on all the possible consequences of a guilty plea, including on important issues like deportation. Details on page 43

Nashville sheriff signs agreement with Immigration NASHVILLE, Tenn.: A Tennessee sheriff who objected to a federal immigration program's secrecy rules has reached an agreement with federal officials over the public release of information about inmates held locally on immigration charges. Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall's office has agreed to coordinate the release of information with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. If the federal agency wants to keep certain documents secret it must show proof of a federal law or regulation or executive order authorizing that withholding. Metro attorneys have been negotiating for months over revisions to the agreement that allows deputies to check the immigration status of jail inmates and flag them for possible deportation. Hall says keeping the program open to public scrutiny is important. ``I really think this program has

been misrepresented, maybe because there's not enough information out there,'' Hall said. ``It's good for the public to know what's going on and to know whether it's working or not.'' It's part of a national program called 287(g) that also allows some state and local officers to make

changes to 287(g) after a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found widespread differences in how it is implemented and a lack of oversight. In the originally proposed wording, information about suspects and cases were part of a broad category of documents that the

Metro attorneys have been negotiating for months over revisions to the agreement that allows deputies to check the immigration status of jail inmates and flag them for possible deportation arrests for immigration offenses, a power normally reserved for federal immigration agents. Davidson County deputies do not participate in that aspect of the program. Critics say 287(g) encourages racial profiling, punishes people who are generally law abiding, and often splits up families. Earlier this year, ICE announced

agreement said ``shall not be considered public records.'' Hall had said he would not sign the document as it was and wanted the guidelines for release of documents to conform with Tennessee law. Under a compromise agreement filed with the Metro Council, the sheriff's office can make docu-

ments public when that is not prohibited by federal law. If ICE and the sheriff's office disagree over making documents public, the sheriff's office agrees to inform ICE of its intent to release those documents ``so that ICE may seek a judicial order, stay, or other intervention barring release on the proposed date.'' The agreement failed to please some immigrants' advocates. ``They've made the whole process much more complicated,'' said Tricia Herzfeld, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. ``This will delay, if not deny, the release of records.'' At least 13 agencies across the country have been approved to sign the new 287(g) agreement, while 66 agencies operating under the old agreement, including Davidson County, were given until mid-October to decide whether they wanted to participate in the revamped program. -AP

USCIS announces new website design CYRUS D. MEHTA

(Continued from last week's article) S Citizenship and Immi gration Services (USCIS) says its redesigned Web site, in English and Spanish, is more customer-centric, providing users with a "onestop shop" for immigration services and information. Before the redesign, users described the USCIS Web site as "frustrating" and "hard to navigate." The new "Where to Start" tool, located on the top left of the homepage, allows for direct navigation to information. By clicking on the first drop-down menu, users have the opportunity to choose who they are from a number of options. After selecting who they are, clicking on the second drop-down menu allows them to select what they want to do.


USCIS says the "Where to Start" tool will take users to the information they want without having to search the entire site. Applicants for citizenship may also follow the progress of their cases online, and receive notifications via e-mail or text messages when their application status changes.

Global Entry allows prescreened, approved, registered travelers (including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and citizens of certain other countries) to use automated kiosks to receive expedited processing upon arrival at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Global Entry participation is

By clicking on the first drop-down menu, users have the opportunity to choose who they are from a number of options The USCIS Web site is at Global Entry Program now available at Detroit Airport Global Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) new clearance system for international air passengers, is now open at Detroit Metropolitan International Airport.

voluntary. Participants must possess a machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent resident card, pay a non-refundable $100 application fee, submit an online application, and complete an interview at a CBP enrollment center. "Detroit is a major international gateway, especially for flights from Asia and Europe, as well as a

hub airport for Delta, the world's largest airline," said airport authority CEO Lester Robinson. "We treasure our international passengers and this added convenience provided by [CBP] is one more customer service we can highlight when marketing our airport and our region." Global Entry is now available at Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sea-Tac, Dallas, Newark, San Francisco, Boston, Orlando, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Orland-Sanford, Philadelphia, San Juan and Fort Lauderdale, as well as Detroit. The Detroit announcement is available at newsroom/news_releases/ 09182009_4.xml. Change in CBP Policy on Deferred Inspection of Legal Permanent Residents with Criminal Convictions - October 1, 2009 Cont’d on page 43

Immigration Post

October 23, 2009

India Post


Ga. immigration program has led to profiling Enforcement training in Charleston, S.C. The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department in July became the fifth law enforcement agency in Georgia to be approved for participation in the program. In addition to Cobb and Gwinnett counties, Hall and Whitfield counties and the Georgia Department of Public Safety also participate.

King bristles at the notion raised by opponents of the program that people are deported for relatively minor offenses like having a busted tail light or driving without a license Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office the investigative arm of Congress said ICE had not clearly explained to local law enforcement agencies that serious criminal offenders, such as drug smugglers and mur-

derers, should be the main targets. The U.S. Homeland Security Department, which oversees ICE, said changes have been made to incorporate the GAO's suggestions in the program. The ACLU report echoes complaints by many immigrant rights advocates nationwide that the changes don't go far enough to prevent racial profiling. Cobb County resident and antiillegal immigration activist D.A. King is the founder of the Dustin Inman Society, which seeks stricter laws against illegal immigration and is named for a Georgia teen killed in a traffic accident caused by an illegal immigrant. King bristles at the notion raised by opponents of the program that people are deported for relatively minor offenses like having a busted tail light or driving without a license. They are deported, he said, because their illegal status is revealed when they are arrested for these or more serious offenses. Cont’d on page 42

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ATLANTA: A 2-year-old program that gives the Cobb County sheriff's office power to enforce federal immigration laws has led to racial profiling and other problems, a civil liberties group said in a report. ``Terror and isolation in Cobb: How Unchecked Police Power under 287(g) Has Torn Families Apart and Threatened Public Safety'' also claims that immigrants have been unnecessarily detained under Cobb County's 287(g) program. The program is named for the section of immigration law that governs it. The report is based on interviews with 10 residents who have been affected by the program and five community advocates and attorneys based in Cobb County, said report editor Azadeh Shahshahani of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. ``Cobb County residents who appear to be foreign-born have been subjected to rampant racial profiling and are routinely picked up by the police for minor or nonexistent violations,'' the report said. ``Families have been torn apart as people are arrested on their way to conduct everyday business, leaving many wary of leaving their homes.'' Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren did not return a phone call seeking comment about the program and did not respond to questions sent by e-mail. The report said the program causes immigrants to distrust law enforcement, making them less likely to report crimes and emboldening criminals. ``We had someone call us. He was arrested for false ID. He was walking down the street. A police officer came up to him and asked for his papers. They said they were fake and they arrested him. We do not live in a police state,'' civil rights lawyer Jamie Hernan said in an interview quoted in the report. The report's release coincides with the departure this week of 18 deputies from another metro Atlanta county for about a month of U.S. Immigration and Customs


Immigration Post

India Post

October 23, 2009

Marine's widow gets bipartisan Senate help NASHVILLE, Tenn.: A Marine's widow who has been fighting to remain in the U.S. with her 8month-old son is now getting bipartisan help from the Senate. Hotaru Nakama married Sgt. Michael Ferschke by phone in 2008 while he was stationed in Iraq and she was in Japan. He died in combat a month later, but a 1950s immigration rule says the couple's marriage was not consummated though she was already pregnant with their child. Hotaru and her son have been staying temporarily with her in-laws in Tennessee, but immigration officials denied her request for a permanent visa. Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat from Virginia, and Tennessee Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and

Bob Corker announced they would sponsor a private bill to match an effort in the House to allow her permanent residency.

While the military has recognized her marriage, she was denied when she applied for permanent residency Webb said the bill would ``right a wrong for a Marine's family who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.'' The couple were together

Citizenship grant denied for Mass. immigrant group BOSTON: A Lowell immigrantadvocacy group that helps Cambodian refugees obtain US citizenship has been denied a federal grant to continue its program, the group's executive director said. Victoria Fahlberg of ONE Lowell said her group was recently notified by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement that it would not renew the group's three-year grant for $180,000. She said that leaves 550 refugees who were seeking US citizenship without the help of the group's free classes, individual tutoring and assistance with immigration documents. ``This is going to impact a lot of people who were in the process of becoming citizens,'' Fahlberg said. ``There is no other free pro-

‘This is going to impact a lot of people who were in the process of becoming citizens,’ Fahlberg said gram like ours in the area. I don't know what's going to happen.'' Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the federal grant program, said there were no problems with ONE Lowell's application. But other applicants in the competitive bidding process for the grant money scored higher, he said. Fahlberg said that with the grant, the group has helped about 1,300 refugees, many elderly Cambodians, become US citizens. -AP

about 13 months before she found out she was pregnant. Not wanting to wait until his tour was complete, the couple agreed on a proxy wedding. Hotaru Ferschke said she and her husband got their proxy marriage simply by completing the paperwork and their marriage was final on July 10, one month before he was shot during a house search. While the military has recognized her marriage, she was denied when she applied for permanent residency. The Immigration & Nationality Act says that, for the purposes of immigration law, the definition of spouse does not include a ``wife or husband by reason of any marriage ceremony where the

Ga. immigration program has led to profiling Cont’d from page 41

“287(g) was never intended to only go after a certain group of criminals,'' he said. The law essentially allows local officers to perform the same functions as immigration officers. However, it also says local agents are beholden to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has said the program should be used ``to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens.'' Hernan, the civil rights lawyer, said in a phone interview that he doesn't disagree with the program's premise but thinks it's used incorrectly. -AP

contracting parties thereto are not physically present in the presence of each other, unless the marriage shall have been consummated.'' US Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee first introduced a private bill into Congress this summer. A private bill does not affect immigration policy.

Corker said private bills should only be used as a last resort, but that all administrative and judicial remedies have been exhausted. ``This bill seems to be the only way to honor the wishes of the late Sgt. Michael Ferschke and allow Hotaru to raise their child in the United States,'' he said. -AP

Life 'on hold' because of NY terror probe NEW YORK: The friend of an Afghan-born immigrant accused of planning a terror attack in New York City said that his life has been put ``on hold'' because of the federal investigation into the accusations. Naiz Khan said during a rally organized by Muslim advocates outside the Flushing Public Library in Queens that he has been unable to get a job or to travel to Pakistan to see his wife and children for the Eid al-Fitr holiday since his friend of nearly 10 years, Najibullah Zazi, became the focus of the terror probe. ``My personal life has been so affected,'' Khan said. Last month, Zazi stayed at Khan's apartment during a visit to New York City, leading authorities to raid the apartment as part of the investigation centered on Zazi, who has denied being involved in a plot and is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Khan has said that he did nothing wrong and that he has been under constant surveillance by authorities.

He said at the rally that people in the Afghan immigrant community are living in fear because of law enforcement tactics, such as raids and what he said was racial profiling. Yesha Mahmooda, an organizer of the rally and member of the immigrant rights group Desis Rising Up and Moving,

Last month, Zazi stayed at Khan's apartment during a visit to New York City, leading authorities to raid the apartment as part of the investigation centered on Zazi said she has heard from many community members complaining of being watched by law enforcement officials. ``They are very scared of being surveilled,'' Mahmooda told the Daily News. Other Muslim advocates said that a climate of fear in their community had led to plummeting attendance at Abu Bakar Mosque in Queens. -AP

Immigration Post

October 23, 2009

Court to decide constitutionality of bad advice WASHINGTON: Supreme Court justices have questioned whether defendants should expect their lawyers to correctly advise them on all the possible consequences of a guilty plea, including on important issues like deportation. Jose Padilla, who was born in Honduras, wants the high court to throw out his 2001 guilty plea to drug charges in Kentucky. Padilla, who has lived in the United States for more than 40 years as a legal permanent resident, said he asked his lawyer at the time whether a guilty plea would affect his immigration status and was told it wouldn't. Padilla's trial lawyer was wrong, and he now faces deportation. His lawyer for the appeal told the Supreme Court that the incorrect information that was given to Padilla was a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to ``effective assistance of counsel.'' Attorney Stephen Kinnaird

said it is the constitutional duty of the lawyer to explain not only the direct consequences of a guilty plea but any collateral consequences as well. ``His duty is to inform the client of the legal risk,'' he said. Congress tightened the rules in the mid-1990s to make depor-

A binding requirement to advise clients correctly on areas outside their expertise would encourage lawyers ‘to be silent’ tation automatic for many crimes. Immigrants often don't know the deportation consequences of the guilty plea, Kinnaird said, and have a right to that information in criminal cases before making a decision. But Kentucky Assistant Attorney General WM Robert Long Jr.

said criminal attorneys' only constitutional duty is to advise defendants on guilt, innocence and sentencing when it comes to pleas, not what may happen in the future because of the plea. The purpose of a criminal defense attorney ``is not to advise'' on immigration matters, Long said. A binding requirement to advise clients correctly on areas outside their expertise would encourage lawyers ``to be silent'' when some defendants might not be able to afford a second immigration lawyer, Long said. If Padilla wins, Justice Antonin Scalia questioned whether the courts would also have to make exceptions for other consequences of guilty pleas, like loss of child custody, loss of property through seizure, loss of voting rights or loss of the right to own a weapon. ``We have to decide whether we're opening Pandora's box here,'' Scalia said. -AP

USCIS announces new website design Cont’d from page 40

CBP has told AILA that, beginning on October 1, 2009, there is a greater likelihood that returning Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) with criminal convictions will be put in removal proceedings at ports of entry versus a grant of deferred inspection so that they can further provide clarification on their admissibility. In addition, depending on the nature of the con-

viction, CBP staffing, and available detention bed space, among other factors, it also is possible that more returning LPRs with criminal convictions will be detained. CBP confirmed, however, that deferred inspection for such returning LPRs is still an option. CBP explained that it modified its policy based on information reflecting that an appreciable percentage of those granted deferred inspection do not show up for

such inspection. More guidance to the field will be forthcoming from CBP, but be aware of the likelihood of an increase in the number of LPRs being detained and/or issued NTAs at ports of entry. CBP confirmed that this policy already had been in place in Georgia and Florida. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or

India Post




India Post

October 23, 2009


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October 23, 2009

India Post 45


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India Post

October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

India Post 47

NEW YORK Upcoming




Fri Oct 23

Sat Oct 24

Sat Oct 24

• Carnatic-Hindustani Jugalbandhi

• Bihar association Diwali & Eid Celebration

• Hinduism Summit (Hindu Dharmasabha)

Venue: Lang Auditorium at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue (69th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues), NY 10065 Time: 7pm to 9pm Contact: 917-853-1416

Venue: Eola Community Center, 555 S Eola Rd, Aurora, ILL Time: 6pm to 10pm Contact: 630-830-5038 Highlights: An evening filled with fun, music, games and good food!!!

Venue: Marathi Vishwa Community Center, 143 State Route 35, Laurence Harbor, NJ Time: 2.30pm to 6pm Contact: 1866 303 3FHA

Sat Oct 31

• Diwali Santram Satsang Celeberation

Sun Oct 25

• Bhangra & Gidha Competition

Venue: Diwali Santram Satsang, Essex County College, 303 University Ave, Newark, New Jersey Time: 11:30am to 7pm Contact: 732-906-0792

• Featuring Show Tunes and Concert Pieces

Sat Oct 24 • Desi Dhamaka's Bhangra Allstars Venue: Page Hall, Suny Albany, Western Avenue, Albany, New York Time: 6pm to 10pm Contact: 518-301-1058

Sat Oct 31 • Masquerade Ball

Venue: Waterford Banquets, 933 S. Riverside Dr, Elmhurst, Ill. Contact: 312-226-4425

Sat Oct 31 and Sun Nov 1 • Seventh International Conference Finding Innovative Strategies to Alleviate Poverty and Mitigate Climate Change

Sun Oct 25

• Prathanjali '09 Venue: Hindu Temple Auditorium, 143-09 Holly Avenue, Flushing, New York Time: 9pm Contact: 718-806-1286

Venue: Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, 199 Smith Road, Parsippany, New Jersey Time: 5pm Contact: 917-655-2837

Sat Oct 31

• Boogie Woogie Chalo America Chicago Finals 2009

• Diwali Dinner & Show Venue: Moorestown High School, 350 Bridgeboro Rd, Moorestown, New Jersey Time: 5:30pm Contact: 856-339-5332

Venue: The Meadows Club, 2950 W Golf Rd, Rolling Meadows, Illinois Time: 6pm Contact: 847-566-2029

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Gayatri Mantra Saturday - 11 AM - To 12 PM by Gayatri Pariwar Contact: Naresh Sethi (For Jagrata). TEL: 510-825-1927, 510-487-2844

Sundar Kand Ka Paath on 3rd Saturday of everymonth from 10:30 am to 12: 00 pm Dewali celebration 10/17/09 & Mela 11 am - 11 pm Mata ka Jaagraata by Geeta Peshavaria (Student of Sh Purshotam Jalota, father of Sh Anoop Jalota on 10/24/09 7pm to 10 pm

Sun Oct 25 • Ohlone Wind Orchestra Fall Concert Venue: Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Boulevard in Fremont Time: 2pm Contact: 510-659-6031 Highlights: Featuring Show Tunes and Concert Pieces.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming • Durga Mata Ka Jagaran Venue: 2335 S. Diamond Bar Boulevard, DBC Center, Diamond Bar, CA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 909-519-1579, 626-810-2345

Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8) • Gurukul Classes for Children

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Venue: Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Boulevard in Fremont Time: 2pm Contact: 510-659-6031

Every 4th Sat every Month


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• ShaadiChic Bridal Soiree

Sun Nov 8

Sun Nov 1

• NRI Global Summit 2009

Sat Oct 24

Venue: Illinois Institute of Technology, Rice Campus-201 East Loop Road, Wheaton, IL 60187 Contact: 630-303-9592

Venue: Astor Hall, 5th Ave & W 42nd St, New York Time: 9pm Contact: 914-498-8347

Sat Oct 24


Venue: Sindhu Center, South California Time: 2pm to 4pm Contact: 818-541-1754 & 909-576-1114 Highlights: Children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children will be taught the Fundamentals of Hinduism, Prayers, Shlokas, Bhajans and Values of our culture.

Sat Oct 24 to Sun Oct 25 & Sat Oct 31 to Sun Nov 1 • Fun at "Boo at the Zoo" Venue: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027 Time: 10am to 4pm Contact: (323) 644-4200 Admission: $13 for adults and $8 for children ages 2 to 12. This event is free with paid Zoo admission.

Sun Oct 25 • 15th Annual Partnership Walk being held Venue: Santa Monica Pier, CA Time: 11am Highlights: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Congressman Brad Sherman have been guests of honor at the most recent Partnership Walks held in 2007 and 2008.

Thurs Nov 5 • International Youth Conference

Fri Nov 6 • Kalpataru- Cerritos,CA

Mon & Tues Nov 7 & 8 • Nithyananda Spurana Program






Venue: Nithyananda Vedic Temple, 9720 Central Ave, Montclair,CA - 91763 Contact: 909-625-1445 Highlights: Paramahamsa Nithyananda(Swamiji) will be giving a discourse, conducting a Meditation and giving the Darshan.

Fri to Sun Nov 13 to Nov 15 • Sikh Art and Film Festival Venue: 6404 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 304, Los Angeles, CA Contact: 323 466-5000 Highlights: The Festival celebrates Sikh culture and heritage, and will offer a variety of avenues for contributors to share their talent.

Thurs Nov 26, 2009 to Sat Jan 3, 2010 • Celebrate the Holidays at LA Zooís Reindeer Romp Venue: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens 5333 Zoo Drive, LA Time: 10am to 4pm Contact: 323-644-4200 Highlights: The LA Zoo kicks off the Holiday season with the activities for the entire family at Reindeer Romp. Kids of all ages can get close to these beautiful creatures.



India Post

October 23, 2009

Page Sponsored by Sahanis the positions at the same time. Before we get to where we can get to through the middle path, let us first try to understand what middle path is. Many Buddhist thinkers believe that middle path is unique to Buddha. This word has been coined by Buddha but the concept is also present in Gita. Krishna and Buddha are very close on this topic. The Tathagatha avoids the two extremes and talks about the Middle Path. What this is, that is; this arises, that arises. Contd from last week ife is not static. Life is flux. Life is a journey. We all have to follow a path. What is that right path? We are all looking for the right path to follow. We want to know the right path because we are not sure about the path we are on. We all want to change in our lives. How do you bring about a change in your life? Schools and colleges bring education to us but they do not show us the right path. They do make us book smart but they do not make us street smart. Even when we do become street smart, we can become Donald Trump but we do not become a Buddha. We do not become a tathagata or a sthitapragya. Middle path is something that can make us a Donald Trump on one side and a Buddha on the other. It is possible to get to both



e have gathered highly detailed information about almost everything under the sun. We know the work, qualities and properties of all the objects and phenomena of the earth. But we do not know ourselves. The very persons who have been study-

cease. Through the cessation of birth, death, decay, sorrow, etc. cease." (Samyuktagama, Chapter 12) naty-asnatas 'tu yogo 'sti na caikantam anasnatah na cati-svapna-silasya jagrato naiva carjuna There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough. (Bhagavad-Gita 6:16). Krishna's Samatva Yoga and Buddha's middle path come very

Middle paths of Krishna & Buddha identical Middle path is something that can make us a Donald Trump on one side and a Buddha on the other. It is DR KRISHNA BHATTA

possible to get to both the positions at the same time

Through ignorance volitional actions or karmic formations are conditioned. Through birth, decay, death, lamentation, pain etc. are conditioned. When this is not, that is not; this ceasing, that ceases. Through the complete cessation of ignorance, volitional activities or karmic formations

close. The difference may be present more so on a different level. Samatva yoga may be a concept while middle path may be a process. The principles remain the same. There is need to understand this middle path in its earnest. Clarity (ek buddhi, right knowledge, nishal tattva) is a pre-requisite for both samatva yoga and for

are two parts of the middle way. He taught the two characteristics of the Middle Path: The Middle Path of Dependent Origination and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Law of Dependent Origination explains the process of human activity. The Noble Eightfold Path shows the way of practice that enables one to uplift oneself. To be continued

Thought control is hard to attain. Its difficulty will astonish you. The brain will rise in mutiny. Like the sea, the human mind is ceaselessly active. But it can be done. Most questers feel that self-illumination is far off, a goal to be reached in some future life. But you can achieve it in the same life-

like, he must do so of his own free will. Otherwise we'd all be little more than automatons. Everything we show forth returns to us, therefore we must be careful as to what we do to others, because the law of destiny is always at work, always sending back what we sent out, paying us in our

When we understand that this whole world and not merely a part of it - the part which pleases us is a divine manifestation, we understand that God must be in the gangster too. We must face facts bravely and realize that the divine will is ultimately behind the whole universe and consequently must even be behind the horror and agony and wickedness too. Each man has a private door opening on to the eternal brightness. If he will not press and push it open, his darkness is selfdoomed. All language is hopelessly inadequate, shabbily poverty stricken, when confronted with this grand experience which one day awaits the whole human race and even now awaits every individual who truly and perseveringly seeks it. We must dig with the drill of mind beneath the attraction of the physical world, and try to find the eternal reality which hides. Then the secret of life, which has baffled the brilliant intellects of illustrious men, will be discovered and become our joyful possession.

Divine will is behind horror, agony & wickedness too PAUL BRUNTON

ing all the sciences have yet to study the science of self. Unseen but seeing, unheard but hearing, unperceived but perceiving, unknown but knowing...This is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal. Wrapped in the folds of our nature hides a rare jewel, though we know it not. None has yet dared to set a price upon it, nor will any dare to do so, for its value is beyond all known worth.

middle path as well. Abhyas yoga is something Krishna stresses on and so does Buddha. Middle path does not mean no path as some would like to believe. There is trouble in town. A house is burning. You do not sit on the side and talk about middle path. You do not panic and you do not jump in the fire and get burnt. You do find a way to extinguish the fire. You use your head and not act out of panic or haste. This is the simple part of middle path. Buddha goes a lot further. There

God, if he willed, could heal all the sorrows of this planet in an instant, but if man is to grow God-like, he must do so of his own free will time IF you desire it strongly enough. After all, you ARE going to attain it someday, why not make up your mind it will be sooner rather than later. Go all out for it! And then even if you don't succeed in this life, the results of your hard work will show in the next life, so it will be worthwhile. God, if he willed, could heal all the sorrows of this planet in an instant, but if man is to grow God-

own coin. The material world is the great lethal chamber of the soul. Only spiritual heroes can arouse themselves sufficiently to escape from its stupefying effect upon consciousness. It is the mind that can set man free again. This is not done by running away to monasteries or mountains and spending one's life there. It is done by using the mind to enquire into its own operation.

The 111th birth anniversary of Paul Brunton falls on October 21

There is nothing but water in the holy pools. I know, I have been swimming there. All the gods sculpted of wood or ivory can't say a word. I know, I have been crying out to them. The Sacred Books of the East are nothing but words. I looked through their covers one day sideways. What Kabir talks of is only what he has lived through. If you have not lived through something, it is not true. -Kabir No birth, no death, no caste have I; Father, mother, have I none. I am He, I am He, Blessed spirit, I am He! -Adi Shankaracharaya It needs no effort to be ecstatic, it needs great effort to be miserable. That's why you looks so tired, because misery is really hard work; to maintain it is really difficult, because you are doing something against nature. -Osho Real silence is explosive; it is not the dead state of mind that spiritual seekers think. This is volcanic in its nature; it's bubbling all the time--the energy, the life-that is its quality -UG Krishnamurti The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress. -Ramana Maharishi No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings. -William Blake Music is the celestial sound, and it is sound that controls the whole universe, not atomic vibrations. -Swami Satchidananda

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October 23, 2009

India Post 49

Land of rising Sino-Indian tension MIRZA ZULFIQUR RAHMAN


t was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who during his two day visit to Arunachal Pradesh in January 2008, referred to it as "our land of the rising sun," saying in his speech to a rally in Itanagar, "the sun kisses India first in Arunachal Pradesh." The Chinese government was quick to register its protest with New Delhi over the visit of the Indian Prime

Singh was the second visit by any Indian Prime Minister to Arunachal Pradesh in over twelve years, the first being his visit in January 2008. This has been the sign of the diplomatic caution that India seems to be exercising in the matter of Arunachal Pradesh. China continues to time its regular protests to India at will, when some important official visit

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Arunachal Pradesh

Minister to Arunachal Pradesh. Incidentally, Manmohan Singh had just returned from a successful visit to Beijing. The recent official protests by Beijing over Manmohan Singh's electioneering visit to Arunachal Pradesh therefore should not come as a surprise to New Delhi. Beijing has consistently voiced protests over a host of issues related to Arunachal Pradesh, including the Asian Development Bank loan to India which included some projects in the state and the proposed visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tawang coming November. President Pratibha Patil's visit to Arunachal Pradesh was also taken up by Beijing with New Delhi, although no official protest was registered. The question remains as to how Sino-Indian relations, which have for the past two years been tense over the question of territoriality in Arunachal Pradesh, can move ahead towards constructive engagement which otherwise seems to be voiced in regular bilateral meetings. The Special Representative level talks on the boundary question are not providing tangible leads to any possible solution in the near future. The Chinese stand seems to be consistent and clear on the question of Arunachal Pradesh, but it is India that has been diplomatically cautious about its moves in Arunachal Pradesh. The recent visit by Manmohan

by either side is due, in order to make the impact more strong. India, on the other hand has not been able to move beyond the regular defense of asserting its sovereign rights over Arunachal Pradesh, in carefully worded and rehearsed official statements. India should show some urgency and resolve to take the ongoing boundary talks to a higher

In this period of growing strategic engagement with the world, India can ill afford to let these issues fester and come back to affect it at a later stage, especially when it expects to have robust economic engagement with China level than the current Special Representative status. It should work towards expediting talks towards a solution in the near future, as delaying this further could mean additional linkages to the territorial question, which will put in India in a tight spot later. In this period of growing strategic engagement with the world, India can ill afford to let these issues fester and come back to affect it at a later stage, especially when it expects to have robust

economic engagement with China. India should diplomatically and creatively neutralize this Arunachal card that China is able to play every now and then, accompanied by the effect Beijing desires. India should develop Arunachal Pradesh and make its strategic presence felt in the state. The major bottlenecks of connectivity and infrastructural development which is painfully slow in the state must be addressed with urgency. The Trans-Arunachal Highway which was announced by Manmohan Singh during his last visit to the state is still stuck in feasibility studies. The democratic experiment in the state cannot alone be attributed to the state being the sovereign right of India. It has to do a lot more to raise the state out from its developmental deficit visible at present, in spite of its potential. The huge hydel projects which are being pushed by India cannot be the only markers of development in a society which needs more basic amenities in place. Chinese armed forces are making their presence felt close to the borders with Arunachal Pradesh and in neighboring Bhutan, where Indian forces are stationed, and there have been some instances of incursions in the region. New Delhi has earmarked funds for development of the region both in terms of connectivity and infrastructure which will bolster military movements and preparedness, but it now really needs to accelerate these programs to match Chinese preparations across the border. The recent strong protests by Beijing are only a precursor to the impending visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama; and more are sure to follow. India should seize this moment and make the visit of the Dalai Lama a success, and not be jittery about it. It is to be noted that the Tibetan political and spiritual leader is an important player in the Arunachal Pradesh territorial question, as any settlement of the boundary dispute between New Delhi and Beijing should have his blessings in order to be final; as it is Tibet which has historical claims on Arunachal Pradesh, with China merely asserting its claim through its control over Tibet. India should therefore create a purposive platform for future boundary negotiations with China, instead of playing the prolonging game, which will certainly prove counterproductive. The writer is Research Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

India Post Villain of the peace


here have been attempts by civilian governments in the past to control the military in Pakistan, but all were unsuccessful. Will the present struggle also end up the same way? The difference this time is that the civilian government of President Zardari is bolstered by the United States, particularly now through the Kerry-Lugar bill which seeks to keep watch on the Army's activities. The US wants the Pakistani Army to fight the Taliban and the Al Qaeda but not interfere in politics, train and instigate the army of militants or indulge in nefarious nuclear proliferation activities. It also wants civilian oversight over army promotions. The army has protested over the restrictive clauses of the aid bill and the media has gone to town calling the US move as an 'Insult.' The Opposition has also come to the support of the Army not wanting to lose an opportunity to embarrass the government. The media, the opposition and the people of Pakistan need to be reminded if they want return to the days of Musharraf dictatorship. The civilian government is weak partly because of the quality of leadership. In the tussle between President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani, the latter is championing the military cause. A civilian government cannot survive without the support of the Army in these turbulent times where the self-created monsters like the Taliban and the al-Qaeda are coming home to roost. And the army also cannot go it alone or ride roughshod over civilians as it has experienced under Musharraf. The best solution is the cooperative way. The Army should mind its business - that is fighting - and take orders from the civilian government as is the case the world over and as is the preference of Zardari himself. The army unfortunately has a hand in every Pakistani pie including industry and real estate. It won't willingly give up the power and influence it has acquired over years of military rule. It also has control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons and continues to have relations with proliferators like China, North Korea, Libya and Iran. In spite of having invested top men and materials in the region, the US is unable to make much headway in Pakistan. It is slowly discovering the not well kept secret that the problem of the region is not Afghanistan but Pakistan. Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek has confirmed this by pointing out that there is virtually no Qaeda presence in Afghanistan. He says, "Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen recently acknowledged what U.S. intelligence and all independent observers have long said: Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, as is the leadership of the hard-core Afghan Taliban. All attacks against Western targets that have emanated from the region in the past eight years have come from Pakistan and not Afghanistan." The rogue army of Pakistan has been the subject of many recent studies and books. The many exposes will not allow the army to resume its earlier pre-eminent position. It depends on the politicians how they play their hands. If they keep fighting among themselves, as has been the evidence so far, it might pave the way for a return to army dominance. A cornered army is also prescription for disaster. The Pakistani army thrives on a staple of "threat from India." If there is no such threat it would like to manufacture one. How it must be itching for another 26/11 like incident to distract attention from itself and get back to what it likes best - India bashing! It would also give it a pretext to pull out from the US war it is constrained to fight and train its guns on its pet project. In short, India better watch out!

50 India Post

October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

India Post 51

52 India Post

October 23, 2009






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India Post_10-23-2009