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Manmohan Singh being welcomed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy
BRICS nations discuss major global issues
VOL 17, No. 896
November 11, 2011
F 1 SUCCESS PUTS INDIA IN BIG LEAGUE
Obama names Ajit Pai as FCC Commissioner Details on page 6
Details on page 11
Court dismisses bail plea of Kanimozhi Details on page 8
Neera Tanden to head prestigious think tank
Kejriwal returns Rs 9 lakh dues to government
Details on page 10 Details on page 6
INDIA POST SURVEY email@example.com This week’s question
FIRST RATE TRACK & FACILITIES: Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (R) leads the pack at the start
Should India pay more heed to private sector?
of the Formula One Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida on October 30
Last week’s result
Indian values are only for lip sympathy? YES 34%
he success of the first-ever Formula One event organized by Jaypee Group - a private enterprise - put into shade memories of the organizational disaster that the Commonwealth Games was. A marvelous racing facility, the famed warmth in hospitality and passionate fans filling up
the stands, it all came together perfectly to make India's Formula One debut a blockbuster. Double world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull blazed his way to the 11th win of the season ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Details on page 44
7000 PIO, 29,000 OCI cards issued in NY Details on page 12
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 34-35
Row over 'Hindu' ground-breaking
Classifieds ------------------------- 47 Community Post -------------- 10-20
Date Book -------------------------- 46
India Post News Service
Edit Page --------------------------- 49
NEW YORK: In these tough economic times and job-strapped states proliferating across the US, a $180 million investment and 250 projected new jobs should have been a great story of hope. But, perhaps, not in these times of warped political priorities. On Oct 28, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky joined community leaders and officials of the Indian-owned Flex Films in Elizabethtown to take part in a 'bhoomi pujan' (ground breaking or ground blessing) ceremony in preparation for the flexible packaging Details on page 5 company's first US manufacturing plant. Details on page 5
HealthScience Post --------- 40-42
Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”
Horoscope ------------------------- 23 Immigration Post ------------- 36-39 Life Style ----------------------- 24-27 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 TechBiz Post ------------------- 44-45 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-31
November 11, 2011
November 11, 2011
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November 11, 2011
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opular trivia of the day shows that put shoulder to shoulder, all of the 7 billion people in the world today would fit into Los Angeles. I'd think that given a little elbow space, and to those who can grab it, some leg space, it shouldn't be so unmanageable a world, right? Ah, but it's a lot more complicated than that obviously. Which is why, no expert or lay person received this news with celebratory enthusiasm when it was announced last week that we are now a world of 7 billion people. Population, like someone said, has become a dirty word, and 'more' definitely is not 'merrier' anymore. It's not about the imbalance in distribution of wealth and resources between the First and the Third World (the haves will soon have more to worry about their survival than the have nots). It's simply about the overwhelming human demand for anything and everything. Consider this: visionary planners who built the bridges and tunnels in this country had in mind, growth and demand for over a hundred years. But somehow, even the best of brains today are unable to satisfy even present demands, let alone build for the future. Engineers, technocrats, scientists, economists, administrators and politicians are struggling to cope with human needs that they have themselves created, what with population growth looming over them like a Frankenstein. If the prospect of food-water-energy scarcity is not scary enough, hark to pessimists who say more people means more voices, which in turn means more dissent and ultimately more conflict. Neither faster internet nor a cell phone with the most apps would help if eventually there's not enough cultivable land to grow food or enough hospitals to take care of the sick. A lot of us that are already on earth today might live to see the population hit 8 billion. But, surely we don't want ring side tickets to watch that spectacle unfold. If anyone is watching and smiling now, it is Charles Darwin from his grave. He told us a long time ago - about survival of the fittest - remember?
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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Schizophrenic 'Heroine' Kareena Kapoor is all set to play a schizophrenic character in Heroine and has completely drowned herself in the role.
Cover Story: F 1 success The success of the first-ever Formula One event put into shade memories of the organizational disaster that C’wealth Games was.
Community: PIO, OCI cards The Indian Consulate in New York has issued more than 7000 PIO cards and more than 29000 OCI cards so far.
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November 11, 2011
Row over 'Hindu' ground-breaking tives and state and local officials suitable market development pro- tremendous impact on our region, mount to "idolatry." Williams participated in the ceremony. grams. It is an honor for us to be giving us an economic boost also stated that as a Christian, he "Today's ground blessing cer- associated with the wonderful when we needed it the most," said would not participate in Jewish, NEW YORK: In these tough emony is an exciting step toward people of Kentucky, and I am Rep. Jimmie Lee, of Elizabethtown. Muslim, or Hindu prayers, and economic times and job-strapped the opening of Flex Film's first US looking forward to this plant be- "I want to thank Gov. Beshear and hoped Hindus would open their the other state and local eyes and "receive Jesus Christ states proliferating across the US, facility, one that repreofficials who worked so as their personal savior." a $180 million investment and 250 sents at least 250 new "The words of Sen. Williams closely together to help projected new jobs should have jobs and a $180 million make this possible. This are not only an affront to Hindu been a great story of hope. But, capital investment in Gov. company has a very Americans, but all Americans as perhaps, not in these times of Kentucky," Beshear said on the bright future here in the he conjures up the lowest sentiwarped political priorities. Commonwealth, and ments of exclusion and bigotry," On Oct 28, Governor Steve occasion. "Our efforts today's ceremony is a said Suhag Shukla, HAF's ManagBeshear of Kentucky joined com- to attract companies major step in that direc- ing Director and Legal Counsel. munity leaders and officials of the from all over the world "He's shown he's ignorant and intion." Indian-owned Flex Films in are paying off, and to"We are excited about tolerant - two qualities that we hope Elizabethtown to take part in a day is proof of that this excellent opportunity Kentuckyians will reject at the 'bhoomi pujan' (ground breaking success." The project will inito create yet another polls." or ground blessing) ceremony in Williams, who trails Beshear by long-term relationship preparation for the flexible pack- tially create 125 new with an international cor- a nearly 2-1 margin in the polls, aging company's first US manu- jobs and a $90 million inGov. Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams vestment, ultimately poration right here in further criticized the Governor for facturing plant. Hardin County," said sitting cross-legged with a "dot on However, the picture of the doubling in scope for a Hardin County Judge-Executive his forehead," and described the governor and the local mayor sit- total investment of at least $180 Harry L. Berry. "The more than $180 ceremony as "polytheistic," disting shoeless and cross legged million and 250 jobs. Flex Films has million in construction and 250 jobs paraging "Hindu gods." around a sacred file while a Hindu indicated that the first phase of the ‘While it is necessary to Gov. Beshear's campaign, meanUFLEX brings through this project priest chanted mantras, did not go project will be operational by the condemn Senator to our county is a big boost to con- while, issued a statement calling down too well with the Republi- end of 2012. The second phase Williams' intolerant tinuing the strong economic growth the State Senator's remarks "pacan State Senator and Senate would begin shortly thereafter. within this region. We are very thetic and desperate." Flex Films, the Global Films comments, it is equally President David Williams, who is pleased Flex Films chose our com"While it is necessary to conrunning for Kentucky Governor- Business arm of the UFLEX Group munity to be their first manufactur- demn Senator Williams' intolerant ship. Senator Williams lambasted currently operates state-of-the-art important to congratuing venture in the United States. comments, it is equally important Gov. Beshear for participating in manufacturing facilities in India, late Governor Be We look forward to decades of our to congratulate Governor Beshear the Hindu prayer ceremony, ac- Dubai, Mexico and Egypt and is continued partnership and and Mayor Tim Walker for respectcusing him of worshipping "false setting up another operation in shear for respecting growth." ing America's religious diversity Poland. It has also established of- America's religious gods." "It is a great day for by participating in the ceremony," Williams' reaction had an al- fices all over the world and has a Elizabethtown," said said Samir Kalra, HAF's Director most immediate counter reaction market presence in 110 countries. diversity by participatElizabethtown Mayor Tim Walker. and Senior Fellow for Human "We are very excited to take ing in the ceremony’ from Hindu Americans who are "We are very excited to have Rights. "Their actions epitomize berating the legislator for his "ig- our relationship with the ComUFLEX locate here in our indus- our nation's great traditions of monwealth of Kentucky to the norance and intolerance". Flex Films' foray into Kentucky next level. Our core philosophy coming a shining jewel in our trial park. We are also very proud religious tolerance and pluralto be home to the first manufac- ism, and they should be celThe Flex Films manufacturing continues to be that we will give crown." To make this investment pos- turing Greenfield project by an ebrated." plant project, which will occur in freshly produced materials to our Hindu priest Rajan Zed of Netwo phases, stems from Gov. American customer friends just in sible, the Kentucky Economic Indian company in the US. On Beshear's first economic develop- time and ask them to keep their Development Finance Authority behalf of the city of vada said that it was upsetting to ment trip to India in the fall of 2010. money in the bank and not in ware- preliminarily approved UFLEX for Elizabethtown, welcome to the hear that ancient sacred Hindu ceremony was reportedly termed as Flex Films garnered interest in house," said Pradeep Tyle, CEO tax incentives up to $20 million community!" an act of idolatry. "Kentucky govthrough the Kentucky Business The controversy the Commonwealth after learning of Flex Films. The Hindu American Founda- ernorship candidate David Will"We are driven by a firm con- Investment program. The perforabout the Governor's efforts to increase foreign direct investment viction that what we sell is ser- mance-based incentive allows the tion (HAF) strongly condemned iams should apologize for the reopportunities for Indian companies vice, and therefore, it has long company to keep a portion of its what it called a "blatant attack" ported comments about the Hindu in Kentucky. The company made been our cherished ambition to set investment over the term of the by the Kentucky legislator against ceremony, because if elected on its first site visit to Kentucky in up a premium manufacturing fa- agreement through corporate in- Gov. Beshear, for participating in November eight, he would be the January and finalized its decision cility in the heartland of the USA, come tax credits and wage assess- the Hindu religious ceremony. Governor of all Kentuckians, into locate in Elizabethtown after which is the world's largest and ments by meeting job and invest- Journalists began contacting the cluding Hindu Kentuckians," Zed ment targets. "This is an exciting development for our community and our The picture of the governor and the local mayor state," said Sen. Dennis Parrett, Williams, who trails Beshear by a nearly 2-1 of Elizabethtown. "These 250 new sitting shoeless and cross legged around a sajobs will provide a boost to our margin in the polls, further criticized the cred file while a Hindu priest chanted mantras, economy and offer new opportu- Governor for sitting cross-legged with a ‘dot on nities for our workforce. Flex Films did not go down too well with the Republican is exactly the kind of creative com- his forehead,’ and described the ceremony as State Senator and Senate President David Willpany that we want to recruit to enhance our position as a prime ‘polytheistic,’ disparaging ‘Hindu gods’ iams, who is running for Kentucky Governorship location for innovative business and industry. We look forward to meeting with Gov. Beshear on a most advanced Packaging market. having Flex Film's first United HAF office in Washington, D.C. said. Zed further said that Ken"We absolutely believe that, States packing company here in soon after Williams' comments second visit to India in the spring. The Governor's office said the despite the economic slowdown, Elizabethtown. Gov. Beshear that Gov. Beshear's participation tucky politicians should be welblessing ceremony is a traditional there is immense potential for shows his continued leadership in the bhoomi pujan ceremony coming this $180 million 250-job service in India for new homes, growth in flexible packaging film in job creation to seek out and was not "in line with what a gov- manufacturing plant during this businesses or other facilities, and demand here, and we can actively support this excellent new addi- ernor of the Commonwealth of recession instead of being critiKentucky ought to be doing," cal of way the owners and their to show partnership in the new drive this growth by delivering tion to our community." "Flex Films has already had a and that his actions were tanta- associates worshipped. endeavor, both Flex Films execu- high-quality films, innovation and SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
November 11, 2011
Obama nominates Ajit Pai Spot-fixing trial: Jail for tainted Pak trio as FCC Commissioner India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Indian American legal luminary Ajit Varadaraj Pai has been nominated by President Obama as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Pai, a Republican, has been nominated for the post along with Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, both of who are widely expected to be confirmed by the Senate. According to the Wall Street Journal, the pairing of a Democrat and a Republican for agency posts has in the past smoothed the way for nominees in a divided Congress. Pai is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Jenner & Block LLP, a position he came into after gaining extensive experience in virtually every bureau at the FCC. Politico reports that Pai would replace Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who left her post at the FCC in May to join Comcast. Citing his Pai's Hill credentials, Politico says, while his policy positions are less clear, he's
known for his telecom expertise and easy-going personality. The FCC has plenty on its plate, including implementing incentive spectrum auctions (if granted authority by Congress) and Universal Service Fund re-
Pai also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, and as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc form, a media ownership review and continued implementation of the National Broadband Plan. Immediately prior to joining Jenner & Block, Pai worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications
Commission, where he served as Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Special Advisor to the General Counsel. Previously, he served as Chief Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights and as Senior Counsel at the Office of Legal Policy at the US Department of Justice. Pai also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, and as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc. Pai began his career as a law clerk to Judge Martin L.C. Feldman of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and then as an Honors Program trial attorney in the Telecommunications Task Force at the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. Pai holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
LONDON: Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and two of his teammates - pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - were sentenced to varying jail terms after being found guilty of spot-fixing, making them the first cricketers ever to be imprisoned for corruption. Butt was sentenced to two and
and eight months in prison by Justice Jeremy Cooke after a trial that ran for close to three weeks. "These offences, regardless of pleas, are so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice," Cooke told the convicted quartet here. Butt, who apparently corrupted his teammates, was called the "orchestrator" of the scam that was revealed after a sting operation on Majeed by the nowdefunct tabloid 'The News of the Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir World' in August last a half years, Asif was handed a year. one-year term, while the 19-year"It's clear you were the orchesold Amir was sentenced to six trator of these matters. months of prison time by the You had to be to make sure Southwark Crown Court here. these two bowlers were bowling Players' agent Mazhar Majeed at the time of the fix," the judge got the strongest punishment as stated. he was sentenced to two years To Asif, Cooke said: "Whilst no money was found in your possession, it's clear that you conspired to bowl a no-ball. There's no evidence on your part of prior fixing but it's hard to who claimed that he did not "vio- see that this could have been an late" any bond provisions and isolated incident." Butt and Asif were found guilty resigned from the job after the of conspiracy to cheat and constipulated three years of rejoining spiracy to accept corrupt payduty following his study leave. ments by a jury, while Majeed and The Office of the Chief ComAmir pleaded guilty at a pre-trial missioner of Income Tax (CCIT) in September. had on August five issued a noThe cricketers, however, might tice to Kejriwal asking him to pay have to serve just half of their senRs 9.27 lakh, which Kejriwal and tences as they can be released on other Team Anna members had license if their behavior is good. termed as an action of the The three players were also orgovernment's "dirty tricks departdered to pay up the prosecution ment" under instructions from cost of the case. While Butt was political bosses. In his letter, Kejriwal claimed that asked to fork out 30,937 pounds, he did not violate any rules but Asif and Amir were told to pay "your government is asking me to 8,120 and 9,389 pounds respecreturn the salary which I took dur- tively. "Now, when people look back ing study leave with interest. at a surprising event in a game or "Your government is asking me a surprising result or ever in the what did I do during my two years of leave without pay. It was dur- future there are surprising results, ing this period that I prepared the followers of the game who have draft for RTI. As I have pointed paid to watch cricket or who have out, I was not given any posting watched cricket on TV will wonfor over an year. Do you think it der whether there has been a fix was right to take salary without or what they have watched was any posting for three and half natural," the judge said. years?" he contended. The trio entered the courtroom Kejriwal said he received inter- amid high drama as media persons national recognition like jostled with laymen for seats in Magsaysay award during the pe- what was perhaps the biggest riod when he was on leave but in criminal trial involving cricketers the eyes of the government, it looks and their sentencing ends a year like a wrong thing and is accusing of high drama which has left Pakihim of committing wrong.-PTI stan cricket embarrassed.-PTI
Kejriwal returns Rs 9 lakh dues to government NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal has returned over Rs nine lakh in dues to settle the issue of his resignation from the IRS, insisting that he was doing so in protest and it does not mean he has accepted any mistake. Kejriwal sent a cheque of Rs 9,27,787 along with a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him not to "trouble" his six friends, including Magsaysay winner Harish Hande, who had given him an interest-free loan to settle his dues. The 43-year-old activist's decision to settle the dues is seen as an attempt by the Team Anna member to blunt attacks from detractors. Government has claimed that he had violated bond rules by quitting the service before completing three years of service after going on a study leave on full pay. However, Kejriwal said he took nonpaid leave and quit the service after serving bond conditions. In his letter to Singh, he said, "I am enclosing a cheque for Rs 9,27,787. This does not mean that I have accepted the mistake. When I don't know what was the mistake I committed, then there is no question of accepting it. "I am returning the dues in protest. I appeal to you to instruct the Finance Ministry to accept
my resignation. Once my resignation is accepted, I retain my right to approach the court to reclaim the dues," he said in the four-page letter. Claiming that he did not have any savings and he took loans from six of his friends to pay dues, he said many people offered him
that your government should not trouble those people who have given me loan," he said. . Kejriwal had taken study leave on full pay for two years from November 1, 2000 after signing a bond that he would return the salary if he resigns or retires or fails to resume duty within three years
Civil Society members Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi speak to the media after a meeting of the Standing Committee on Lokpal Bill at the Parliament House in New Delhi on Nov 3
the money but he did not take it as it may be construed as "misusing" the anti-corruption movement. "That is why I took loan from only those people whom I know for years. The whole government machinery is after Team Anna. I appeal to you with folded hands
of his study leave. He rejoined on November 1, 2002 but took non-paid leave after 18 months. The government argues that taking leave after 18 months was violation of bond conditions, an argument objected by Kejriwal
November 11, 2011
Yash Paul Soi honored by Guyana VISHNU BISRAM
Yash Paul Soi being congratuled by PM Manmohan Singh
GEORGETOWN: Yash Paul Soi, an Indian-American born in India, recognized as a Guyanese freedom fighter by many, was honored recently by President Bharrat Jagdeo at a special ceremony at State House, Georgetown. He was recognized for his outstanding role in the struggle for free and fair elections and development of
tions in Guyana from 1989 through his association with New Yorkbased Indo-Guyanese who were immersed in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in their homeland. By the late 1980s, many of Dr. Jagan's own followers gave up on him, never believing he would one day return to power. But Yash, Ivy League Co-
Yash, who was born in Punjab, served in New York City government under several Mayors, and had a lot of contacts in the US as well as ran a radio program. He is well respected by mayors Bloomberg, Giuliani and Koch Guyana and generally contributing to the national interests of that country. It is a rare honor as only one other foreigner, President Jimmy Carter, was honored by the government of Guyana. Soi is no stranger to awards and recognition. On July 30, 2008, he received a Congressional Honor for his tireless service to the Indian American community and for being a beacon of hope to the Guyanese people during his campaign for free and fair election which eventually led to restoration of democracy in that country. Soi became deeply involved in the campaign for free and fair elec-
lumbia University graduate, held faith that once free and fair elections were held Jagan would win. Yash, who was born in Punjab, served in New York City government under several Mayors, and had a lot of contacts in the US as well as ran a radio program. He is well respected by mayors Bloomberg, Giuliani and Koch. Yash became intrigued with Jagan and his struggle for free and fair elections in Guyana and decided to become involved in the struggle. Soi met Dr. Jagan on several occasions hosting him on his weekly radio program. Soi appealed to listeners to assist with lobbying American poli-
ticians to pressure the Guyanese dictatorship to hold free and fair elections. And he organized a float on Guyana for the India Day Parade in 1990 with a message emblazoned on it stating "Dr. Cheddi Jagan: Next President of Guyana". Soi organized fund raisers for then Opposition Leader Dr. Cheddi Jagan at a time when few wanted to be associated with Jagan and he also urged American politicians to take an active interest in rights abuses in Guyana and the denial of the right to vote. Soi's activities were critical in the restoration of Cheddi Jagan to his rightful position as President of Guyana. Yash urged President Carter to grant an audience with Cheddi. He also urged the Federation of Indian Associations, which he once headed, to write President Carter requesting him to take up the issue of human rights abuses in Guyana. Soi, who did fundraisers for former President Jimmy Carter's re-election efforts in 1980, was instrumental in getting President Carter to meet Dr. Jagan to discuss human rights abuses in Guyana and to support the campaign for free and fair elections. Soi was one of four individuals from overseas honored for their service to Guyana. The others were Pandit Ramlall, Ramesh Kalicharran, both settled in New York, and scientist Dr. Suresh Narine of Toronto. President Jagdeo applauded the work of the four honorees encouraging them to continue their stellar service to the Diaspora and the nation. He told their family members and well wishers that "Soi, who is an Indian national, and Kalicharran and Pandit Ramlall were very much involved in the struggle to restore democracy, having played an important role during the difficult years in helping the founder of the People's Progressive Party, Dr. Cheddi Jagan in the struggle. Most of you know that those three decades of undemocratic rule took a significant toll on Guyana, not just in terms of development but in terms of losing its most valuable assets, its peopleâ€Śmost of them had to migrate to seek their fortunes elsewhere, because of depression and the lack of freedom". Jagdeo said "these are very special people and I wanted to make sure that their contributions are recognized". The President said Guyana is grateful for their service and applauded their commitment and hard work on behalf of the nation. The awardees said they are extremely grateful for the award rec-
A beaming Yash Paul Soi receiving award from President Jagdeo
ognizing their work abroad among the Guyanese Diaspora. In an invited comment to the media, Soi said "he was grateful to the President and Guyana government and the people of Guyana and those Guyanese in the Diaspora in New York for offering me the privilege to serve you". He said "to be recognized with this special award, at this special ceremony in this way by the President and this beautiful nation is a very humbling experience. I feel very proud to be associated with Guyana to join the struggle for free and fair elections and to assist Guyanese".
communicated with President Carter urging his involvement in the campaign for free and fair election". During his visit to Guyana to receive the award, Soi visited the Memorial Samadhis of Dr. Jagan and his wife, Mrs. Janet Jagan, and the village where Dr. Jagan was born and raised. He also visited the monuments dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru as well as the Indian Arrival Monument and Arya Samaj monuments. Soi also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sam Hinds and visited the home of Pandit
Yash Paul Soi (right) with Dr Jagan in New York in 1989
He added: "I came to know of Guyana through friends like Mr. Kalicharran, Vishnu Bisram, Pandit Ramlall and other Guyanese who were immersed in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in your lovely country. Through them, I met Dr. Jagan and later Sam Hinds before he became P.M. I was moved by their stories of Guyanese being denied their right to freely choose a government. I was so motivated that I initiated several fundraisers to assist the freedom movement. I
Reepudaman Persaud in Prashad Nagar in response to an invitation from the former Minister and Leader of the Parliament. Soi said he is very impressed with the pace of housing and infrastructure development in Guyana and plans to revisit the country to assist with a number of developmental projects and poverty alleviation. Guyanese New Yorkers applaud the President for honoring Soi for he is indeed a freedom fighter of Guyana.
November 11, 2011
Court dismisses bail plea of Kanimozhi, seven others NEW DELHI: Dashing the hopes of DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven other accused in the 2G case, a Delhi court has dismissed their bail pleas saying the charges leveled against them were of "grave nature". The court rejected CBI's stand of not objecting the bail pleas of Kanimozhi and four others saying its concession was of "no consequence in the eyes of law". The CBI stand triggered hopes in the accused that they would now be able to get bail after the Court had framed charges and the Supreme Court had told the accused that their bail plea could be raised then. "I may add that such an objection/concession given by the prosecution to the bail plea of an accused is of no consequence in the eyes of law as the bail plea is required to be decided strictly and solely as per the law and facts and circumstances of the case," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said. The CBI had preferred not to oppose the bail pleas of Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits
and Vegetables directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani, whose names had figured in the supplementary charge sheet filed on April 25. The accused have been in the jail for last five to nine months. Kanimozhi had been in jail since May 20. Besides the five accused, the court also dismissed the bail pleas of former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, former Telecom Minister A Raja's erstwhile Private Secretary R K Chandolia and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa. Brushing aside the CBI's no objection, the judge said, "No objection by the prosecution to the bail plea of an accused may carry some weight in the facts and circumstances of a given case but where the allegations and charges
leveled against the accused are of grave nature, such no objection, in my humble opinion, is of no legal consequence. "There is no distinction between the accused charged on the basis of main charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet. There is only one charge sheet in the eyes of law." The court said the 2G case is of grave magnitude resulting in huge pecuniary benefits to the two accused telecom firms Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd - -due to the criminal misconduct, breach of trust and other offences committed by the accused. The court, in its 76page order, also rejected pleas by Kaninmozhi's counsel for bail on the ground of being a woman as prescribed under sec-
Denying bail a grave miscarriage of justice: Jethmalani NEW DELHI: The denial of bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi by a Delhi Court has been termed as a "serious miscarriage of justice" by her counsel Ram Jethmalani who hoped that the Supreme Court would set it right. "What the judge has done is a serious miscarriage of justice. I believe this judge seems to have decided that no relief should be given except by the Supreme Court itself. He is not therefore wanting to do what is plainly right. "I consider it grave, grave miscarriage of justice and a deliberate misapplication of law, I hope the Supreme Court will soon put this right," Jethmalani said. The senior advocate said that bail can only be denied if a person is likely to abscond to tamper with evidence but "there is no such evidence at least in the case of this woman (Kanimozhi)." Special CBI Judge O P Saini denied bail to Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, A Raja's erstwhile Private Secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables directors Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal and Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani in the case. Senior advocate Aman Lekhi and counsel for Behura said the CBI by not opposing the bail pleas of the five accused admits
to a case for bail. "Only on the ground that it is a big scam and people involved are high profile, it is not appropriate to keep a person in prolonged custody unless there is credible justification for the same," he said on the outcome of the order. Janata Party President
them in till witness deposition is over," he said. On CBI going soft on the accused in not opposing their bail, Swamy said, "CBI is not going soft on all accused but where politicians are concerned, it seems to be under pressure and probably prefer the court to tell them to do
Subramanian Swamy, who is pursuing the 2G case, welcomed the judgment saying it is wise to keep the high-profile accused in jail till the recording of statements by witnesses. "These are not ordinary people. These are billionaires who have international connections. Consequently, when witnesses are called, these witnesses could be affected by atmosphere created by their coming out, celebrations for them, holding rallies etc. In that situation, it is a wise thing to keep
what they have to do." Kanimozhi's husband Aravindan said they would be moving the Delhi High Court to appeal against the trial court order. To a question if he was optimistic (about getting bail from the High Court), he snubbed, "What do you expect me to be? Why are you asking the obvious question?" Former Additional Solicitor General Raju Ramachandran expressed surprise and disappoint-
ment over the order denying bail to eight accused. Though Raju did not appear for any accused, he said, "I am frankly surprised and also a little disappointed." "The normal rule is bail not jail. Now here's a case where prosecuting agency says they do not need to keep accused in jail any more and that the investigation is complete and charges have been framed. There really is no reason whatsoever in these circumstances to deny bail," he said. "Let's remember denying bail should not become a punishment by itself and let's also remember denying bail prejudices the right of fair trial. The trial is to begin from November 11. If the accused have been denied bail, she or he does not have the right to freely converse with lawyers in free surroundings," he added. On the court relying on gravity of charges to deny bail, Ramachandran said gravity of charges can have no bearing in question of grant or refusal of bail unless there is a possibility of witnesses being tampered with, intimidated or accused likely to flee from justice. "None of those circumstances were there. Merely because it is felt that there should be general atmosphere of security, that can not be a ground of refusal of bail," he said. -PTI
tion 437 of the CrPC. The judge said the provision of section 437 of the CrPC give benefit to a woman for the reason that they are generally considered weak and exploited, both socially and economically, and as such, requires some extra protection, but Kanimozhi, being an MP, belongs to upper echelons of the society. "Accused Kanimozhi Karunanidhi belongs to upper echelons of society and is also a Member of Parliament. By no stretch of imagination, she can be said to be suffering from any discrimination on the ground of being a woman," he said. Dismissing Morani's submission that he was sick and was not in good health and should be granted bail as per section 437 of the Cr PC, the judge said the medical records do not suggests that "standard of illness of Morani is so high as to categorize his custody as detrimental to his health." "Accordingly, in the facts and circumstances of the case, as narrated above, the benefits of this beneficial provision, do not accrue to them," the judge said.-PTI
'Bail and not jail' should be guiding principle: Cong NEW DELHI: The Congress has come out with a guarded response to the rejection of the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi in 2G case, saying "bail and not jail" should be the guiding principle. "We will first have to study the judgment and then, if required, we will articulate any opinion. However, the flow of jurisprudence has been that bail and not jail should be the guiding principle," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said. While refusing to go into the merits of the judgment, Tewari also reminded that there have been cases where superior courts have come to conclusions which were entirely different from the findings of the subordinate court. "But as to why a particular court has arrived at a particular conclusion can only be discerned after perusal of the judgment. Having said that it is not unknown in our legal scheme of things that a superior court can come to a conclusion which may be totally different from the findings of a subordinate court," he said. Sources close to M Karunanidhi in Chennai said that the DMK chief is 'very upset' over rejection of bail to his daughter PTI
November 11, 2011
Accused may be kept in custody PMO denies information on 2G till evidence is over: Court NEW DELHI: The victim and witnesses should feel secure to tell the truth and for that accused might be kept in custody till their evidence is complete, said a Delhi court while dismissing the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven other accused in the 2G case. "If the witnesses do not gather courage to tell the truth before the court, the tripod (of accused, victim and witness) would break down and truth will not come out and cause of justice would suffer," said Special CBI Judge O P Saini while dismissing the bail pleas. "One way of generating the sense of security in the mind of victim and the witnesses is to keep the accused in custody till their evidence is complete," he added. He said the courts have to strike a balance between liberty and rights of accused and safety and security of the witnesses to ensure fair trial. "In the given case, victim and witnesses may be from the same group or family or they may be totally unconnected as one may
be victim or witness by a quirk of fate or just by unfortunate circumstances. "Victims and witnesses cannot be left to their own fate while protecting the rights of the accused. They also must have a sense of security and safety and must have
‘If the witnesses do not gather courage to tell the truth before the court, the tripod (of accused, victim and witness) would break down and truth will not come out and cause of justice would suffer’ a feeling that no harm would come their way by just being witness in a case and disclosing the truth before the investigating agency and the court," the judge said. . Brushing aside the contentions of the 2G case accused that there is no apprehension of witnesses
being influenced or evidences being tampered with, the court said witnesses would be "under a lot of pressure" in view of the "unprecedented nature" of this case. The judge said, "Every criminal case is a dyad or triad constituted of accused, victim and witnesses... the rights of the accused are very important in our criminal jurisprudence and they are required to be protected under all circumstances...." "There is no doubt that continued and unnecessary incarceration of an accused is violative of his rights. If an accused is required to be kept in custody during the trial, the reasons for the same must be valid, both in law and fact. "Having said that, I may also record that the rights of victim and witnesses are also no less valuable and are required to be protected equally during the trial," the judge said. The court observed that rights of accused, witnesses and victim should be protected fairly and over emphasis on any one may result in subversion of justice. -PTI
NEW DELHI: Mired in contro- ment) evidence given before a versies, the Prime Minister's Office Parliamentary Committee shall not (PMO) in India has declined to dis- be published until it has been laid close information related to 2G on the Table in Indian Parliament. spectrum allocation issue citing "Therefore, papers constitutbreach of parliamentary privilege. ing evidence given to a ParliaReplying to an RTI query by mentary Committee whose report advocate Vivek Garg, the PMO is yet to be tabled are exempt from said since the issues relating to the disclosure," the Central Pubthe allocation of second genera- lic Information Officer of the PMO tion spectrum is being looked into said in reply to an RTI application by Parliamentary Committees, the information cannot be made public. ‘I have filed an appeal The surfacing of a 2G note of the Finance over the denial,’ Ministry on the basis of Garg said. an RTI query filed by Garg had caused crises in the government in September. filed by Garg. The Finance Ministry note writSection 8 (1) (c) bars "informaten on March 25, 2011 had said tion, the disclosure of which would that the then Finance Minister of cause a breach of privilege of ParIndia P Chidambaram could have liament or the State Legislature". avoided the scam had he insisted "It is a setback to transparency on auctioning of spectrum. law. The PMO has wrongfully de"Papers and records on the is- nied information. I have filed an sue have been requisitioned by appeal over the denial," Garg said. these committees. Under Section Both the Public Accounts Com8 (1) (C) of the Right to Informa- mittee and Joint Parliamentary Comtion Act, such information, the mittee are looking into several alledisclosure in terms of Rule 275 of gations of corruption and irregularithe Rules of Procedure and Con- ties in the allocation of second genduct of Business in Lok Sabha eration spectrum to certain telecom (lower House of Indian Parlia- companies in 2008. -PTI
10 India Post
November 11, 2011
Neera Tanden to head prestigious think tank India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Center for American Progress (CAP) has appointed Neera Tanden as its new President. Tanden will succeed John Podesta as President, who will remain at CAP in the new position of Chair of the Board. Tanden is currently the Chief Operating Officer of CAP and is part of the founding team that created CAP in 2003. She has played a key role in CAP's development over the last eight years and has helped lead this institution in advocacy, management, policy development, and strategy. She is a committed public servant, having served in the administrations of President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton, and as a longtime advisor to Hillary Clinton. A graduate of Yale Law School, Tanden has proven expertise in areas like health care reform, economic growth, and justice, and crafting foreign policies that reflect our nation's values and strengths. "Neera has the experience, the intellect, the policy chops, the
public communication skills, and the leadership ability to blaze a path for this great organization. She is the right person to take this institution to a new level," said Podesta. "I'm honored by the faith placed in me to lead this organization that is so vital to the progressive cause at this important time and I look forward to working with CAP's executive team as we chart bold progressive solutions to America's most pressing problems, not just in 2012, but for 2020 and beyond," said Tanden. Podesta will remain at CAP and will focus on CAP's longterm strategic growth and drawing new initiatives into the organization. "I am extremely proud of what CAP has accomplished and look forward to the days ahead as we move forward under Neera's leadership. In less than a decade, CAP has become an impact player in the policymaking process and in the political arena. CAP will continue to do the work and analysis that this country needs at this critical time," Podesta added. Sarah Wartell, Executive Vice President for Policy, and a co-
founder of CAP will continue to develop policy priorities for the long-term progressive agenda. Jennifer Palmieri, who succeeded Podesta as President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund earlier this year, will continue in that role and will also
continue to lead CAP's communications team. Tanden, as President of CAP, will lead a diverse group of talented men and women at every level of the organization. She will be aided in that effort by CAP's superb executive team: Winnie
Stachelberg, who will continue to lead CAP's strategic outreach efforts; Rudy deLeon, who guides CAP's National Security team; and Carol Browner, who chairs CAP's Executive Committee. These management changes will take effect November 1.
CAPTAIN TO LT COLONEL: Army chief Gen VK Singh greets cricketer MS Dhoni during the pinning ceremony in New Delhi following grant of honorary rank to him of Lt Colonel in the Territorial Army
November 11, 2011
BRICS nations discuss major global issues
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chinese President Hu Jintao at Palais des Festivals for the first working session of the G-20 summit in Cannes in France
Manmohan Singh with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Canada PM Stephen Harper and South African President Jacob Zuma at Palais des Festivals for the first working session of the G-20 summit in Cannes in France
CANNES: Hours before the opening of the G-20 Summit, leaders of emerging giants Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) met here to chalk out a common stand on major issues
dent Hu Jintao and South Africa President Jacob Zuma met at Hotel Carlton here in this French coastal resort prior to the meeting of the world's biggest economies. Ahead of the summit, Singh
facing the world, including the Eurozone debt crisis. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese Presi-
Sonia, Manmohan in top 20 of Forbes power list NEW YORK: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh figure among the top 20 most powerful people on earth in the latest Forbes list that is topped by US President Barack Obama, who claimed back the spot in the glow of American successes against Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. Gandhi has been placed at the 11th place in the list and comes out as the most powerful Indian, and Forbes described her as a politician who has "twice refused to serve as prime minister, delegating that job to Manmohan Singh". Singh himself is placed at the 19th place and is described by the influential magazine as an "incorruptible" Cambridge, Oxford educated economist. Despite a poor popularity run at home, Obama, who was last year toppled by Chinese President Hu Jintao as the most powerful person in the world is again at the helm of the list, while Hu has slipped to the third spot behind Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. The magazine said Hu's diminishing influence as he gives up political office was part of the rea-
son why Obama was able to reach up even while falling down in popularity charts at home, so was America's continued supremacy in the world. "Despite faddish American declinism, the US remains, indisputably, the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most
‘Indian GDP is expected to grow at 8 per cent this year, although spreading the benefits to the poorest remains difficult,’ the magazine says. It also points out at the ‘nation-shaking anti-corruption hunger strikes by Anna Hazare’ as a lowpoint in Sonia Gandhi's year innovative economy and the deadliest military," it said. The US forces' success in eliminating its enemy number one Osama bin Laden and the US-led NATO forces' success in Libya are indicators of America's con-
tinued might in the world. The issues of corruption that have bogged down the Manmohan Singh government notwithstanding, Forbes describes him as an "incorruptible" economist, "widely respected as the man behind India's economic reforms, which have led to the subcontinent's blistering growth over the last decade". "Indian GDP is expected to grow at 8 per cent this year, although spreading the benefits to the poorest remains difficult," the magazine says. It also points out at the "nation-shaking anti-corruption hunger strikes by Anna Hazare" as a lowpoint in Sonia Gandhi's year that also saw her going out of the country to seek medical attention. Business magnates Bill Gates (five), Mark Zuckerberg (nine) and Warren Buffet (20), besides religious leader Pope Benedict XVI (seven), are the other names in the top 20 list that is dominated by politicians. Besides Gandhi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel at number four and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at number 16 are the other two women in the top 20 bracket.-PTI
had said that he expected the twoday meeting of world's 20 leading economies to signal a "strong and coordinated approach" to put the global economy back on track, while addressing medium-term structural issues. India has already hinted that it may be ready to offer supplementary financing to sort out the Eurozone crisis after a credible assessment of solvency problem is made. "Our assessment of the situation
is let them (Eurozone) make a credible assessment of solvency issue, try to sort out those problems and then supplementary financing could be considered. Let us see what the leaders decide," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told reporters in Delhi. He was replying to a query on Greece government's decision to seek referendum on a proposed EU rescue package which has created a fresh turmoil in the financial markets.-PTI
A DIFFERENT ROLE: Shatrughan Sinha, MP and Member of the Indian Delegation, speaking to the second committee of 66th UNGA on Implementation of the outcome of the UN Conference on Human Settlements on November 1. Pic Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
Desi News Diwali at Northwestern University in Evanston ARPAMUKHERJEE
CHICAGO: For nearly a decade now, the OM Hindu Cultural Council has served as Northwestern University's foremost organization for portraying and creating awareness about Hinduism and its related culture. One of its larger social events, Diwali, is a celebration with which the larger Northwestern community has slowly become more familiar over the years. This year's celebration took place on Friday, October 28. It consisted of a Lakshmi puja guided by Acharya Rohit Joshi and a catered Indian dinner afterwards. Even non-Hindus were present at the Puja, curious to witness Hindu religious customs. Details on page 14
Community activists honored at Diwali mela India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Four prominent Indian Americans were honored for their service to the community in their chosen fields at the gala Deepavali mela organized by New York City Council Member Peter Koo in the historic Flushing Town Hall in New York. Social activist Malini Shah, political activist John Prakash Albert, Manikant Patel, president of Gujarti Samaj of New York and Dr. Gaddam D. Reddy, physician were presented the community service awards by Councilman Koo on the occasion. Details on page 16
Ground-breaking for unique Char Dham Temple India Post News Service
WOODLAND, TX: The Bhoomi-Puja (ground-breaking) for a unique Char Dham Hindu Temple will be held in The Woodlands (Texas, USA) on November 12. Instead of usual one, this Hindu temple plans to have four worship centers-Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath and Rameshwram. Besides sanctuary, it will also have a multi-use cultural center, a yoga center and priest residence. SKAI (Surya Kabita Amlan Ishan) Foundation, non-profit organization established by Dr. Surya Sahoo and his wife Kabita Sahoo in 2007, are slated to construct, operate and maintain this Temple. Details on page 18
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
Indian Cultural Society celebrates Deepawali Utsav Details on page 19
12 India Post
November 11, 2011
More than 7000 PIO, 29,000 OCI cards issued by NY Consulate India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Indian Consulate in New York has issued more than 7000 PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) cards and more than 29000 OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards so far, informed India's Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, at a reception hosted in his honor at the Consulate Oct 27. Minister Ahamed is visiting New York to take part in the ongoing session of United Nations General Assembly. Addressing the large gathering of the Tri-State Indian American community that turned out despite bad weather, Minister Ahamed credited the efforts of Consul General Prabhu Dayal for considerable improvements in all spheres of work at the Consulate, which he noted over his visits to New York since Ambassador Dayal has been in office. However, that was not to say that there was no scope for further improvement and developing the existing facilities, the Minister said. Minister Ahamed also informed that compared with 22500 business visas issued in 2010, around 20000 business visas have already been issued till October this year by the Indian Consulate in New York. The Minister said the Indian government was making every effort to address community problems and grievances and exhorted the community members to become a bridge in build-
Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed with Consul General Prabhu Dayal and Consulate staff
ing up the good working environment since the Consulate was their office. There was no grievance which could not be redressed by mutual understanding, he added. Minister Ahamed said that this
interact with them, listen to their problems and to find ways to lessen their grievances. On the occasion, the minister also released the special issue of Hudson Valley Malayalee
On the occasion, the minister also released the special issue of Hudson Valley Malayalee Association's magazine 'Kerala Jyothi' was his fourth visit to New York during Ambassador Dayal's tenure and that the Ambassador has always organized such large receptions for him to enable him to meet the community members and
Association's magazine 'Kerala Jyothi'. Earlier, while introducing the Minister, Ambassador Dayal said that the Minister was well known to him owing to his long association go-
ing back to the period when he was Consul General in Dubai, Ambassador to Kuwait and then to Morocco. He especially recalled the minister's close and endearing relationship that he had developed with the Government, the people and the King of Morocco when he himself was the Ambassador in that country. He recalled that the King of Morocco always made it a point to personally receive Minister Ahamed whenever he visited Morocco. During one such visit, when the King was out of town, he sent his private plane to bring the Minister along with the Ambassador to the place where he was staying to have a meeting.
India a crucial component of Asian security: BJP leader India Post News Service
Prakash Javadekar (left) with community leaders
NEW YORK: America's policy towards Pakistan was a failure, according to Prakash Javadekar, senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in Indian parliament. Javadekar, BJP spokesperson and Member of Parliament, who was in New York recently to participate in the meetings in the United Nations, spoke at a reception organized in his honor by the America India Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in cooperation with the Association of Indians in America (AIA), Indian American Intellec-
tuals Forum (IAIF), Rajput Association of North America (RANA),
"America can provide us cutting edge technology and we can provide services and skilled manpower and several other associations in New York on Oct 27. Contâ€™d on page 15
Community Across America
November 11, 2011
India Post 13
Diwali celebration by Obama gladdens Indians HARISH RAO
CHICAGO: Indian Americans across Chiicagoland irrespective of their caste creed or religion have lauded United States President Barack Obama keeping up the recently established tradition of celebrating the festival of Diwali at the White House. The celebration this year on October 28 had the added glamour as accompanied with the First Lady, the US President participated in the festivities with Indian community leaders and Administration officials in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building located next door to White House in Washington DC. "While previous administrations have observed the holiday, President Obama is the first to participate personally each year. He and the First Lady celebrated the holiday in India last year as the Vice President led the commemoration back here in DC", according to a White House announcement. "I was proud to be the first President to mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House", Obama is credited with the observation on the White House website White House has also invited the public to share their favorite Diwali memories with them on Twitter and hosted a "Diwali Twitter event" on October 28. From the White House to your house, we join with the President in wishing you
and yours a Happy Diwali!...To all who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak, White House website states. A blog posted on White House website by Deputy Chief of Staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service, says: "I am proud to serve for an Administration that espouses these same Hindu values and demonstrates them every dayâ€Ś" The
region followed by a near billion Hindus worldwide. Hindus believe in the eradication of darkness from the mind and heart of human beings and yearn for peace and prosperity of mankind. I would be more happy if President Obama takes the initiative and commences the celebrations of yet another important religious festival of India - Holi, a festival of color which was the most popular event before India was invaded by Mus-
Madhu Patel, president of the NRI Press Club said that he would send an appreciation letter on behalf of his organization to the President Obama who apparently set an example that needs to be followed by other world governments, especially of the States with a large segment of Indians. "I would also go to the extent suggesting the secular Indian government should also take a lesson from the Obama administration and come out in the open and celebrate this biggest Indian festival," he said. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA), observed that Hindu community worldwide felt honored by Obama's active participation in Diwali and urged heads of state of all countries of the world to be a part in the Diwali celebrations in their respective countries. "It is a step in the right direction", said Rajan Zed, and urged the US Postal Service to launch a Diwali postage stamp. He also urged the school districts with large Hindu populations to declare Diwali as school holiday so that families could celebrate Diwali together. Most popular of Hindu festivals, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
President Obama and the First Lady celebrated the holiday in India last year as the Vice President led the commemoration back here in DC", according to a White House announcement Eisenhower Executive Office Building is located next to the West Wing, and houses a majority of offices for White House staff. Nand Kapoor, a former president of Association of Indians in America, said that Diwali at White House was a very happy development and that the participation by the head of the State was all the more welcome. "This signifies that the President Barack Obama recognized that Hinduism is not only the oldest but still a very potent
lims," he said. Sohan Joshi, a former head of the Federation of Indian Associations, observed that the celebration at White House was a belated but still quite welcome development from the viewpoint of the followers of this oldest world religion. It would be in the fitness of things if this practice is followed at the State level by the governments of the regions with thick Hindu populations like New Jersey, New York and even Chicago.
Golden Temple Rep recognized by President Obama WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama officially welcomed the Shiromani Gurdwra Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) representative from Darbar Sahib, the Golden Temple, at the White House during an official celebration of Diwali. Bijay Singh, Assistant Secretary of the influential Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC was visiting Washington and his attendance at the White House ceremony was arranged by Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education. President Obama, before the lighting of the White House Diya, welcomed over 200 Indian Americans and prominent individuals from Obama Administration gathered from all over the country. He
From Left to right: Dr. Rajwant Singh, Paul Monteiro, President Obama's Assistant, Bijay Singh of SGPC, Varinder Kaur and Mohinder Singh Taneja, Sikh activist from New York
acknowledged the presence of Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao,
Deputy Chief of Mission, Arun K. Singh of the Indian Embassy in
President Obama speaking at the White House during Diwali celebrations. Official Diya (lamp) to be lighted is on his left.
Washington, Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and
Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), Rajiv Shah, head of the US AID, Contâ€™d on page 15
Community Across America
14 India Post
November 11, 2011
Diwali at Northwestern University in Evanston ARPA MUKHERJEE
CHICAGO: For nearly a decade now, the OM Hindu Cultural Council has served as Northwestern University's foremost organization for portraying and creating awareness about Hinduism and its related culture. One of its larger social events, Diwali, is a celebration with which the larger Northwestern community has slowly become more familiar over the years. This year's celebration took place on Friday, October 28. It consisted of a Lakshmi puja guided by Acharya Rohit Joshi and a catered Indian dinner afterwards. Even non-Hindus were present at the Puja, curi-
ous to witness Hindu religious customs. Conducting the Puja, Acharya Joshi explained for Hindus and non-Hindus alike, the significance of the verses that were being uttered and the purpose of each action. Often, the presence of so many gods and goddesses mentioned in pujas is a source of confusion for those coming from monotheistic backgrounds. However, Acharya Joshi illuminated the audience upon their significance. For one portion, he described how the prayers were primarily being distributed to three goddesses to obtain the components of Shakti
NW University students celebrating Diwali
(power)- Maha Lakshmi for Power of Material Goods / Money; Maha Saraswati for Power of Knowledge; and Maha Kali for Power of Action. Additionally, he described how one of Diwali's symbolic intentions in lighting the lamps is to
cussions include cross-cultural conversations with members of other communities. Just like other religious communities on campus, OM has increasingly felt the need for interfaith dialogue and equal represen-
It consisted of a Lakshmi puja guided by Acharya Rohit Joshi and a catered Indian dinner afterwards. Even non-Hindus were present at the Puja
Prayer at the end of Puja
tries to promote. Though the founding members of OM had simply the promotion of Hindu
culture and ability to celebrate Hindu customs in mind, nowadays OM also takes into consid-
eration the impact of the 'melting pot' phenomenon on Hindu culture and those affected by it. Dis-
dispel darkness or ignorance. After the puja, at least one nonHindu Northwestern student remarked that she felt "calm" after participating in the puja and more curious about the religion. Her positive encounter with OM is one of many that the organization
tation amongst its peer groups. The dinner which followed Diwali was well attended, with many delighted to taste Indian food. The dinner lasted for over a couple of hours, with discussion of related Hindu cultural issues heard until the end.
Share and Care Foundation raises more than $1m at gala
Sandeep Nath award to sponsor Swati & Sudhir Vasihnav of Sahara One. India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: More than 1,500 supporters were in attendance for the Share and Care Foundation's 29th Annual Gala event
Oct 23 held at NJPAC in Newark, New Jersey. The New Jersey based, not for profit Foundation that counts among its members more than eight hundred business leaders,
Sandeep Nath presenting a poem for SCF.
young entrepreneurs, professionals and high net-worth individuals, raised over a million dollars at the event. In addition, a silent auction which featured an original autographed cricket bat
among other items has contributed over $20,000 to assist the Foundation's Educate to Graduate (E2G) program. Contâ€™d on page 16
November 11, 2011
Community Across America
India Post 15
Golden Temple Rep recognized by President Obama Cont’d from page 13
Pratima Dharm, the first Hindu Chaplain for US Armed Forces. Obama also mentioned Bijay Singh's presence and asked him to be recognized. Each dignitary and special invitee stood up to be welcomed by the President at the celebrations. This is the first time that a representative from the Golden Temple has been welcomed and recognized by the American President at the White House. Bijay Singh thanked President Obama and said, "It is a kind gesture by President Obama to acknowledge my presence and it reflected that he has deep respect for Sikhs and all minorities. His welcoming me as a representative from the Golden Temple, Amritsar, at the official center of American Government will be seen extremely positively by Sikhs all across the globe. We pray for Guru Ram Dass Ji's (Creator of holy city of Amritsar) blessings upon the American President. " Before President entered the celebrations, a number of official and political appointees from Asian and Indian American communities spoke and listed various initiatives launched by the Obama Administration for the benefit of minorities. Following the President, others who spoke were Joshua DuBois, head of the White House office of Faith Based Initiative and Paul Monteiro from the White House Office of Public Engagement. President Obama in his message to the Indian Americans on Diwali, said, "To-
India a crucial component of Asian security: BJP leader Cont’d from page 12
"I am of the opinion that in future American arms transfer to Pakistan should be based on the condition that Pakistan will use the arms only against the terrorist groups operating against India and the USA," Javadekar said. India, he said, was rising as a crucial component of Asian security and stability. "America can provide us cutting edge technology and we can provide services and skilled manpower. It is mutually advantageous to both of us. In fact, we are natural allies," he said. Commenting on the Wall Street protests in New York, Javadekar said that they reflect the widening gap between rich and poor. In his opening remarks, Jagdish Sewhani, President of AIPAC said that the mission of AIPAC was to strengthen ties between the US and India. He further said that the US should stop financial aid to Pakistan whose military is wedded to a paranoid, antiquated and dangerous mindset. "It is a paradox that American financial aid to Pakistan is being used to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan," exclaimed Sewhani.
‘I was proud to be the first President to mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House, and last year Michelle and I were honored to join in Diwali celebrations during our visit to India’
day, here in America and around the world, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebrate the holiday of Diwali - the festival of lights. Many who observe this holiday do so by lighting the Diya, or lamp, which symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. I was proud to be the first President to mark Diwali and light the Diya at the White House, and last year Michelle and I were honored to join in Diwali celebrations during our visit to India. "Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends and-as we experienced in India-celebrating with good food and
dancing. It is also a time for contemplation and prayer that serves as a reminder of our obligations to our fellow human beings, especially the less fortunate. To all who are observing this sacred holiday here and around the world, Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak." Dr. Rajwant Singh said, "Throughout his Presidency, President Obama has gone out of his way to make all communities and Sikhs as being part of the American fabric. This has made the country stronger and we feel proud of being led by such a visionary leader."
Community Across America
16 India Post
November 11, 2011
Share and Care Foundation raises more than $1m at gala
SCF Members Ketki & Sharad Shah - SCF Chairman, with Drs. Leena & Nitin Doshi, Dr & Mrs Navin Mehta, Sandeep Nath. Contâ€™d from page 14
This year's event was focused on creative ways to promote sustainable growth through higher quality education and empowering women and girls. Chairman Sharadkumar Shah announced commitments valued at approximately a million dollars in 2012 to service the needs of rural India. The commitments are expected to benefit more than 700,000 people when fully funded.
"Now more than ever, it is essential that, businesses, society, and the media work together to take action to generate more sustainable and equitable growth," said Shah. "For three decades, SCF members have done just that improving the lives of more than 3 million people across India in substantive, measurable ways that has reversed the cycles of poverty and economic upheavals." Launched in September 2007,
"E2G - Signature program campaign" reached its target of supporting 500 brilliant but needy students in August 2011. At that time, the campaign committee recommended increasing the goal to 1000 students that will require funding of $1 million a year for four years. "With the philanthropic support of those who share our passion, we have made good progress in current year and continuing to 2012. Together, we have the opportunity to do great good for the needy, brilliant students- a precious asset to communities and to the nation and see that it does not go wasted," Shah said. The gala also honored those who have made a positive impact in the nonprofit community, either through their philanthropic efforts or their dedication to Share and Care's mission. Among the distinguished honorees were Drs. Leena and Nitin Doshi, Drs. Rohini and Arvind Dhruv, Kalpana and Amit Doshi, Jayshree and Mahendra Patel, Drs. Sudha and Sudhir Parikh, Damini & Girish Soni, and Swati and Sudhir Vaishnav.
Community activists honored at Diwali mela
Malini Shah being honored by Council Member Peter Koo India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Four prominent Indian Americans were honored for their service to the community in their chosen fields at the gala Deepavali mela organized by New York City Council Member Peter Koo in the historic Flushing Town Hall in New York. Social activist Malini Shah, political activist John Prakash Albert, Manikant Patel, president of Gujarti Samaj of New York and Dr. Gaddam D. Reddy, physician were presented the community service awards by Councilman Koo on the occasion. The function was jointly organized by Peter Koo (20th Council
conveying their greetings on the occasion. Dilip Chauhan, chairman of NYC Deepavali Celebrations Committee welcomed the gathering. Peter Koo in his address outlined the significance of celebrating Deepavali and the contribution of Indian-Americans to the growth and prosperity of Flushing area. He said the festival is celebrated all over the world and conveys the global message that good will triumph over the evil. John Prakash Albert is counsel to the prestigious law firm Manatt, Phelps and Philips. He has a high level of expertise in government affairs working on behalf of children. He is also the founder-chairman of
Peter Koo in his address outlined the significance of celebrating Deepavali and the contribution of Indian-Americans to the growth and prosperity of Flushing area
Indian community supports SCF 29th annual Gala at NJPAC, NJ.
St Louis Gujarati Samaj hosts Raas Garba ASHWIN PATEL
ST LOUIS: Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis successfully celebrated Navaratri Garba from September 30 to October 15 on weekends. The event was held at St. Louis University, St. Ann Community Center & University of Missouri campus on different days in the presence over 400 members, friends, and well wishers of Gujarati Samaj, on each night. Live musical performance was provided by Ramzat group from India. Extraordinary vocal and instrumental talents of this local musical group led by Naresh
Rajput, captured and thoroughly entertained the audience for over three hours with traditional Garba and Raas on October 14 and 15. The Garba program started with Be-Talli (two claps) for one hour, then Tran-Talli (three claps) and followed by well known RaasGarba. After that, as per request from youth and members, famous Sanedo and Bhangada dances were performed. Youth of St. Louis enjoyed this cultural event the most. This shows that this kind of event will preserve our culture in the next generation. This is the
main motto of Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis. In this Garba, colorful dresses Chaniya-Choli, Kurta-Pyjama etc were worn by participants. Also, kids to youth to adults participated in different dances and performance. The whole event was nicely coordinated by the committee members and volunteers under the dynamic leadership of President Rakesh Bhakta. The event of Navratri brought together groups of all ages to enjoy and share the spirit of the season with each other.
District) and Hindu Temple Society of North America, Nritya Kala Kendra, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba temple, Gujarati Samaj of New York, Hindu Center, Swaminarayan Temple and South Asian Americans of New York. Dr. Uma Mysorekar, president of Hindu Temple Society of North America spoke on the significance of Deepavali and the victory of good over evil. Pramod Bajaj, Deputy Consul General of India, conveying the greetings of the Indian Consulate and Consul General Prabhu Dayal said Deepavali was king of Indian festivals and brings cheer and festivity into every Indian home - be it in India or abroad. New York City Council Member Daniel J. Halloran and, Assistant Police Chief and Commanding Officer of Petrol Borough Queens Diana L. Pizzuti spoke
Talking Our Seat, a non-profit organization that focuses on electoral reforms in New York state and city. Malini Shah is the founder of Nritya Kala Kendra and remains the premiere activist in promoting India's art and culture through classes, workshops and lectures. She is a successful entrepreneur and serves as president of her diamond company and also acts as advisor to Queens Museum of Art and Board of Trustee for SAYWE. She has traveled extensively as India's cultural ambassador. Manikant Patel has been chosen for special recognition and honor for his decade of service to the community. A key activist in Gujarati Samaj promoting Gujarati culture and folk dance, he has also sponsored annual health expo and instituting innovative and creative programs to senior citizens. Contâ€™d on page 19
Community Across America
November 11, 2011
India Post 17
Vishwa Gujarati Samjaj heading for global base RAMESH SOPARAWALA & SURESH BODIWALA
CHICAGO: Krishnakant Vakharia, the Global president of the Ahmedabad based Vishwa Gujarati Samaj, said here that he wanted to make his near two decades old organization a real global one covering most areas which have big Gujarati population. He also wanted VGP to be an essentially broad based entity in the sense that all those who either resided, were born or raised in Gujarati could be members of the body and help promote its ideals of Jyan Jyan Vase Ek Gujrati Tyan Tyan Sadakal Gujarat (Wherever there is a single Gujarat in any part of the world there will be always a
Elmhurst Friday October 28. Vakharia and Kusum Vyas, the Joint General Secretary traveled from India to join the celebration. The event was attended by VGS members, invitees and guests numbering over 300. It started with social hour at 7 am and lasted till well past 10-30 pm. The event was well organized and there was not a dull moment. The formal speeches were kept to the minimum and the entertainment program with a lot of Gujarati folk dance and songs kept the audience glued to their seats Hitesh Master and his orchestra conducted music for Garba, Bhajan, melodious Bollywood and
VGP USA President Naren Patel, VGP Global President Krishnakant Vakharia and Emcee Sonal Patel
Prosperous New Year greetings to all those present. Nishal Patel,
the grandson of Naren Patel came up on stage to enlighten
eration of Indian Consulate, we organized Bhavai program that
the audience about what Diwali truly represents. The event was elegantly emceed by Sonal Shukla, an official of VGP USA. Naren Patel in his brief address recounted the achievements of VGP USA and assured that it would to do better in coming days with the help of all Gujaratis. "Our first get-together and music program was held at Waterford which again was followed up with the grand celebration of Swarnim Gujarat in May 2010. Subsequently with co-op-
proved a super hit. This was the first Bhavai Show performed in Chicago," he said. He thanked the main sponsors Hiren Patel of National Republic Bank, Mafat Patel of Patel Brothers along with Rakesh and Swetal, Neal and Raj from Medstar Laboratory besides many others. He ended his speech with, "Enjoy the traditional Gujarati food, cultural program, and music from Hitesh Master."
VGP officials with sponsors and supporters
Gujarat there). Gujarat is not a geographical entity but a cultural one and it needs to be viewed with this perspective as it would help all Gujaratis to preserve and promote with cultural entity rather that limit their loyalty to physical entity, he told this paper in an interview. Vakharia, a practicing senior Advocate in Gujarat High Court Bar for more than 57 years, was in Chicago to attend the annual celebration of Diwali hosted by Vishwa Gujarati Samaj USA at Waterford Banquet Hall in
Gujarati Lokgeet while local artists presented Raas Garba and other Bollywood film dances. It was the traditional Deep Lighting Ceremony with the chief guest VGS Worldwide President Krishnakant Vakharia joined by VGS USA President, Naren Patel, Hiren Patel [NRB Bank] Mafat Patel, Neal and Raj Patel from Medstar Laboratory, Dinesh Gandhi, Beena Patel, Sonal Shukla, Vinod Parikh, Kishore Chugh and Dr. Yash Amin. They extended Happy Diwali and
VGP audience. (Pics Asian Media USA)
Vakharia, a practicing senior Advocate in Gujarat High Court Bar for more than 57 years, was in Chicago to attend the annual celebration of Diwali hosted by Vishwa Gujarati Samaj USA
Artists performing Garba
Contâ€™d on page 18
Community Across America
18 India Post
November 11, 2011
Ground-breaking for unique Char Dham Temple India Post News Service
WOODLAND, TX: The Bhoomi-Puja (ground-breaking) for a unique Char Dham Hindu Temple will be held in The Woodlands (Texas, USA) on November 12. Instead of usual one, this Hindu temple plans to have four worship centers-Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath and Rameshwram. Besides sanctuary, it will also have a multi-use cultural center, a yoga center and priest residence. SKAI (Surya Kabita Amlan Ishan) Foundation, non-profit organization established by Dr. Surya Sahoo and his wife Kabita Sahoo in 2007, are slated to construct, operate and maintain this Temple. SKAI's mission includes
"relief for the poor and the underprivileged", "eliminating prejudice and discrimination", "provide religious services", etc. It claims contribution to local food banks, provision of clean water to underprivileged in rural India and plans to establish scholarships for needy students. Its tagline is: "We believe in spiritual power which can be achieved by sincere devotion and meditation." Other officials associated with this project include Partha Mohanty and Hema Pillutla. Free breakfast and lunch will be served on Bhoomi-Puja day and shuttles will be provided every ten minutes to bring devotees and others to the Temple site. The Woodlands is a masterplanned community within the
MKCA elects new office bearers HARISH RAO
CHICAGO: The Mangalorean Konkan Christians Association elected office bearers for the 201112 year during its general body meeting held here. The new Executive Committee consists of: President Godwin Rego; Vice President Lawrence Mascarenhas;
Secretary Steven D'Souza; Associate Secretary Royan Misquita; Treasurer Eric Fernandes. The following members were appointed to the Board of Directors: James Saldhana; Sal Rodrigues; Mark Rodrigues; Dr. Merlyn D'Souza; Allen Martis; Lance Dias.
Community activists honored at Diwali mela Cont’d from page 19
Dr. Gaddam Reddy of the Interfaith Medical Center has achieved a level of expertise in the fields of pediatrics and pediatric cardiology. He has worked for the community as chairman of the Hindu Temple Society of North America and worked for the betterment of the underprivileged children.
Jessica Bauch of Nritya Kala Kendra sang the American national anthem and students of Omana Ancient Art performed Mahishasura Mardhini dance. Neha Rao and Sahiti Kovvuri of Sadhanalaya performed a varnam in Bharathanatyam and Shanna Somaroo of Nritya Kala Kendra presented a Bollywood item song.
Vishwa Gujarati Samjaj heading for global base Cont’d from page 17
The traditional Garba was performed by age group of 8 to 10 year girls with "Dudhe Te Bhari Talavdi Ne, Moti De Bandhi Pal Re". The participants were Shriya Patel, Riya Patel, Ishani Majumdar, Mona Panchal, Maya Tanna, Karina Dharia, Roma Nayak and Isha Nayak. The Garba was choreographed by Dr. Sonal Patel, followed by Chicago Dhamal group dance. Sumptuous Kathiawadi dinner and music program lasted until wee hours of late night.
Vishwa Gujarati Samaj is a worldwide organization established about 25 years ago. VGS, USA chapter started with President Naren Patel in 2009. VGS, USA has achieved a great name recognition and growth in a short period. VGS, USA memberships for a couple have been only $100 for five years. The members have been reaping great benefits throughout the years due to free shows and events by VGS, USA. From this year, Vishwa Gujarati Samaj USA is charging $100 per couple for two years.
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area of Texas which has won a Special Award for Ex-
Gerald Irons, porn star Teagan Presley, country musician Jack Ingram, rapper Chamillionare,
Free breakfast and lunch will be served on Bhoomi-Puja day and shuttles will be provided every ten minutes to bring devotees and others to the Temple site cellence from the Urban Land Institute. Notable people associated with The Woodlands include NFL players Danny Amendola and
wrestlers Torrie Wilson and Nick Mitchell, basketball player Lance Blanks and Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson. Bruce Tough
and Lloyd Matthews are Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the Township Board while Don Norrell is the President. Another temple called Hindu Temple of The Woodlands opened in this town in June. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this new temple would help in this direction.
Tributes paid to legendry poets, singer ABDUL SIDDIQUI
CHICAGO: Asian American Seniors Association (AASA) and Pakistan Heritage and Cultural Association (PHACA) held a function to pay tributes to Punjabi poets Dr. Iftekhar (Ifti) Nasim, S Randhir Singh New York and World famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh who passed in last few months. S Thakar Singh Basati, Coordinator AASA and Janab Sajid Chaudhry Sahib of PHACA welcomed the participants and audience and also had people observe moment of silence in the memory of departed souls. Prof. Jagindar Singh Ramdev, President AASA, Janab Amin Haider, Ejaz Nasreen, elder sister of Dr. Ifti Chaudhary
S. Randhir Singh and Ifti Nasim
He wrote articles in Urdu newspapers. His column appeared in Pakistan newspapers regularly. S Randhir Singh of New York was an engineer by profession. He wrote seven Punjabi poetry books. One of his books "Gagar Ton Sagar" was also published in
Randhir Singh of New York was an engineer by profession. He wrote seven Punjabi poetry books. One of his books "Gagar Ton Sagar" was also published in Shahmukhi in Lahore Nematullah and Dr. Navdeep K Sandhu presided over the function. Dr. Ifti Nasim had published nine books in Urdu, Punjabi and English. Some have been translated into other languages. He started a radio show "Sargam" on AM radio on Sunday evenings. It is also available on Internet now.
Shahmukhi in Lahore, Pakistan. Someone also did an M.Phil on one of his books. He was known as "Chhoti Behar Da Wadda Kavi". Jagjit Singh was an award winning singer who sang Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi ghazals and songs. He was playback singer for some well known movies. He made un-
derstanding of Urdu ghazals easy with his special rendering. His Mirza Ghalib ghazals are memorable and trend setting classics. Sajid Chaudhry started the program by narrating his meetings with Dr. Ifti Nasim. He narrated his couplets "Charag tha, agar mein bujh gya.., jitni deir jalla, roshni to ki meine." He also recited S Randhir Singh's poem, "Sarhadd tup aiye," that S Randhir Singh recited at one of Global Punjabi Milaaps in Chicago. Milaap is held to bring people together who migrated to different countries in the world especially from India and Pakistan. Sajid Chaudhry also said that whenever he is down, he listens to Jagjit's ghazal, "Ye shohrat bhi le lo". The event, held at Palatine Public Library, was sponsored by S Jassi Singh of Remax Showcase Realty and Dr. Navdeep Kaur Sandhu of Sandhu Petroleum.
GOPIO biennial meet in New Jersey India Post News Service
NEW YORK: GOPIO International, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, is holding its 2011 Biennial Convention Nov 18 -20, at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. The theme of the conference is "Issues and Concerns of the Indian Diaspora" and will provide an opportunity to deliberate on the Global Indian
Diaspora, evaluate GOPIO's progress in 22 years, to network, exchange ideas and connect with PIO/NRI delegates from around the world. The conference will evaluate, assess, debate, discuss and deliberate on the current, critical issues of interest and concern that confront people of Indian origin of more than 25 million people living in many countries outside of India. Specific issues that will be ex-
amined are: Consular Services, Property, Taxation & Foreign Accounts Disclosures and related issues; issues related to Health, Women and Youth; the Kolkata Memorial and Indian Migration; Entrepreneurship & how to Leverage Diaspora Networks to Jump Start New Ventures; challenges and opportunities for political empowerment and successful adaptation in adopted countries. Cont’d on page 20
November 11, 2011
India Post 19
Indian Cultural Society celebrates Deepawali Utsav GARY SINGH
LOS ANGELES: Indian Cultural Society of Los Angeles (ICSLA) celebrated Deepawali Utsav on Sunday, October 23 in Artesia, California. The full day celebration began at 10 am by broadcasting a Deepawali Utsav video. The cultural activities and contests focused on depicting Indian cultural traditions started at 11 am. Over 30 students from age 5 years to 25 years participated in Rangoli Competition, Deepawali Fun Quiz, Drawing Competition, Deepawali Trivia Contest, Student Speakers Contest. The prizes for all these contests were sponsored by Bhindi Jewelers. "These activities are important in fostering and promoting Indian cultural values in first and second generation Indian-Americans through arts, education and fun, which is one of the basic objectives of Indian Cultural Society of Los Angeles" summarized Vijay Patil, the co-founder of ICSLA. At around 1:15 pm Vijay Patil welcomed the cultural program audience and the cultural program began by singing American National Anthem followed by Indian National Anthem. A group of 6 year old boys and girls performed Prabhat Vandana, a set of Indian traditional songs depicting various characters Ganesh, Ram, Sita, etc. Yash Zumale, Anushka Zumale, Riya Shewale, Kira Ranjnekar, Anika Patil, Arya Kulkarni, Aahan Rajnekar, Kuval Ingale, Nishka Ingle and Shahbeig Bajaj amused the crowd through their beautiful costumes and innocent acting. Vrabhat Vandana was followed by Ganesh Vandana, Saraswati Vandana, Guru Vandana and many other regional songs and dances. The performances, songs and dances represented various regions, traditions, languages and cultures of India. "ICS is not about any particular region or tradition in India" said P.K. Nayak, the other co-founder of ICSLA, "Our cultural program represents all the regions - Haryanvi, Panjabi dances from north, Maharashtra and Gujarati performances and Garba from West, Bengali songs,
From left (standing) - Bhavi Trivedi, Pooja Nayak, Vijay Patil, Rohit Singh, Joy Dhokia, Alka Patel, Sandesh Malpure, Balvinder Garcha, P. K. Nayak. From left (sitting) - Tony Lima, Carol Chen, Bruce Barrows, Alieesa Badresia.
Odissi dances from East and Bharat Natyam and Kerala Folk Dance from South". The cultural performances included Bollywood solo and group dances from over a dozen dance academies and dance groups in southern California. At around 3:30 pm, youth leaders Pooja Nayak and Bhavi Trivedi welcomed the Guests of Honor and started the ceremony. Vijay Patil then showed President Obama's Diwali message video to the audience. "India, the oldest living civilization on earth, offers a diverse culture that has worked successfully for over 10,000 years" said Vijay Patil in his welcome speech "and the goal of ICS is to nurture our rich cultural heritage so that our next generation can understand and adopt the basic Indian values - respect for elders, tolerance, sacrifice - to lead a successful life". Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, Artesia Mayor Victor Manalo, Councilman Tony Lima, Cerritos Mayor Carol Chen, Councilmember Bruce Barrows and Hollywood model and actress Alieesa Badresia were the guests of honor. Mr. Patil invited P.K. Nayak, the co-founder and other ICS commit-
tee members - Manu Patel, Alka Patel, Prakash Mehta, Sunil Narkar, Balwinder Garcha, Marzi Mody, Sandesh Malpure, Prashant Dwivedi, Joy Dhokia, Mohan Sharma and other ICS champions on the stage.
Patil, Nilla Dwivedi, and Lubna Singh. Tony Lima, Carol Chen, Bruce Barrows and Alieesa Badresia spoke about Indian culture and Deepawali for a few minutes and offered their wishes to the ICS and the entire Indian com-
A group of 6 year old boys and girls performed Prabhat Vandana, a set of Indian traditional songs depicting various characters - Ganesh, Ram, Sita The Guests of Honor were welcomed by Indian traditional way with Tilak, Mithai (sweets) and flowers by the women's team leaders Rupa Nayak, Alka Patel, Pritee
munity. P.K. Nayak thanked all ICS organizers, volunteers, champions and the audience and wished all "Happy Deepawali and Happy New Year."
The dances were choreographed by Paulomi Pandit, UCLA Nasha, CSUF, CSUN, Geetika Jain, Vandana Dance Group and others. This was followed by prize distribution by Vinod Bhindi. Attractive raffles prizes were presented which included Hawaii round-trip ticket for 2 sponsored by C N Travels, and gift items and certificates sponsored by Frontier Heritage, Bhindi Jewelers, Raj Jewelers, Surati Farsan Mart and others. Hollywood model and actress Alieesa Badresia, a talented, young, and beautiful actress with strong Indian traditions and family values was the center of attraction for the crowd. ICS' Deepawali Utsav was also attended by over 15 booths representing different aspects / traditions / business lines related to India. The booths included food, Bramhakumaris, Vonage and some non-profit community organizations. The colorful, energetic and charming event ended at around 6 pm. It was attended by over 600 people including students, businessmen, community members, professionals from the Los Angeles and San Diego area. Indian Cultural Society of Los Angeles (ICSLA) is engaged in fostering and promoting Indian cultural values. ICSLA inspires young generation (Gen-Y) leaders in planning, coordinating and organizing traditional Indian cultural events. ICS members and champions are dedicated to nurturing and sharing Indian culture and values by engaging in grass-root projects to build stronger communities and improving human conditions across the globe. ICS, a prominent organization in Greater Los Angeles area, is supported by several community organizations.
20 India Post
November 11, 2011
Calif. Sikh barred from job over beard settles SACRAMENTO, CA: California has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who was barred from becoming a prison guard because he refused to shave the beard required by his Sikh religion, officials said. Civil rights organizations said the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's policy amounts to religious discrimination. They say the state makes exceptions for men with certain medical conditions and should make similar allowances for Sikhs, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and others whose religion requires facial hair. Under the settlement, the state will not change its rules requiring most men to be free of facial hair so they can be fitted for gas masks. But it is paying Trilochan Oberoi $295,000 in damages and giving him a $61,000-a-year job as a manager in the corrections department. The 63-year-old, who once served in the Indian Navy, has worked at a Walmart store while he fought a six-year battle to become a guard at Folsom State Prison east of Sacramento. The department's policy since 2004 has been that gas masks must fit tightly to protect correctional officers from tear gas and
pepper spray sometimes used to quell inmate uprisings. However, the policy allows beards up to an inch long if a doctor verifies that a guard has a skin disorder or irritation. San Francisco attorney Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, who represented Oberoi on behalf of the Sikh Coalition, said she is disappointed the state refused to change its policy but promised to keep fighting such
rulings in his favor, she said, but feared he might have lost at trial in part because people often mistake him and other Sikhs for Muslims because of their turbans and unshorn beards. "There's a lot of prejudice against Sikhs after 9/11," Dhillon said. "Who can say what would happen before a jury?" Civil rights groups had petitioned Gov.
He said he originally applied for the guard position because he is familiar with weapons and paramilitary organizations after 26 years in the Indian Navy, where he rose to the rank of commander, and nine years as a captain in India's merchant marines restrictions by both state and local law enforcement agencies. "Our community has a long-standing tradition of being involved in law enforcement and the military," Dhillon said. "It's a matter of pride and honor, and a lot of Sikhs would be signing up for these jobs if the prejudices were swept away." Oberoi felt he had the law on his side, based on several court and administrative
Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris to change the department's policy. However, Brown's office declined comment and Harris fought the lawsuit in her capacity as the state's lawyer representing the corrections department. Corrections spokeswoman Dana Toyama said she couldn't comment because the department is reviewing its regulations to make sure they conform to state occupational
safety and health rules. Oberoi earns barely more than minimum wage as a Walmart cashier but has no guarantee of job security at the corrections department, Dhillon said. The department recently sent out 26,000 layoff warnings as it downsizes under a new law that shifts responsibility for lower-level criminals to counties. Dhillon said less than a third of Oberoi's settlement will go to lawyers who represented him during a four-year fight in court and before the California State Personnel Board. Oberoi said he is happy with his new job, where he expects to help develop rules and policies in the department's Regulation and Policy Management branch. He said he originally applied for the guard position because he is familiar with weapons and paramilitary organizations after 26 years in the Indian Navy, where he rose to the rank of commander, and nine years as a captain in India's merchant marines. He came to the United States in 2001. "In my country I worked for that country," Oberoi said in a telephone interview. "Now I am a citizen here, so I wanted to work for this country."-AP
Mcnerney abusing franking privilege: Ricky Gill India Post News Service
LODI, CA: Congressional candidate Ricky Gill has called on Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, to explain his use of taxpayer funds to send several glossy, campaignstyle mailers to residents of his district in recent weeks. In a letter to McNerney, Gill noted that the mailers - which promote McNerney's stances on vet-
erans, seniors, and San Joaquin County issues -clearly cross the line from permissible constituent communications into taxpayerfunded electioneering prohibited by law and regulation. Gill further noted that the mailer regarding Medicare contains language nearly identical to the content of McNerney's campaign website. Noting that McNerney has campaigned on a platform of
cleaning up Washington, Gill called on the incumbent to account for his franking expenditures. He also called on McNerney to demonstrate that he has lived up to other campaign promises, including not meeting secretly with lobbyists, not accepting privately-funded travel, and ending outside financial relationships. "As these taxpayer-funded re-
election flyers demonstrate, Jerry McNerney would rather 'mail it in' than actually do the hard work of representing our Valley and Delta communities in Congress," said Gill consultant James Fisfis. "Jerry McNerney's constituents would be better off if he put half as much effort towards creating jobs as he puts towards designing slick, taxpayer-funded campaign materials."
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GOPIO biennial meet in NJ Cont’d from page 19
The day will conclude with a Gala Reception and Banquet. "GOPIO is a unique organization among all other Indian organizations as it serves the broadest population exceeding 25 million strong Indian Diaspora spread throughout the world. Its sole purpose is to advocate on behalf of all NRIs and PIOs and in the process get some problems resolved and others brought to the attention of concerned authorities/governments," said Piyush Agrawal, 2011 Convention Convener and National Coordinator, GOPIO. "It is not only during GOPIO conventions when issues are raised and discussed, its mission of service to the Indian Diaspora is continuous and 24/ 7/365. The leadership of GOPIO is dedicated to this mission." "GOPIO is commemorating 22 years of remarkable achievements and accomplishments addressing critical issues of interest and concern of the global Indian Diaspora. GOPIO's successes in achieving much needed resolutions to crucial matters are significant to many in our global community. We encourage attendance and participation in the convention," said Ashook Ramsaran, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International.
November 11, 2011
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar
NOVEMBER 11TH - NOVEMBER 17TH (November 23 to December 22)
(March 21 to April 20)
eetings will go well but you will have to wait few days to get the positive response. Major changes in career are just around the corner. You may dispose off some stocks and keep the profit. There will be slight change in travel plan also. You may be in touch with a learned person for last minute advice.
long distance journey is in the air. You will have couple of fresh opportunities to make some extra money. Some of you may lay your hands on few small contracts on the side. Time spent on phone will not go waste and the results will be instant. People looking forward for an addition in the family will hear the good news.
(May 21 to June 20)
(December 22 to January 19)
ou will be full of energy and become more optimistic. Changes you had been working on will start taking place at fast pace. Opponents and enemies will quit bothering you from now and on. You may launch another project with the help of some experts. Money wise you will start to feel comfortable once again.
ou will finally lay your hands on something that was supposed to come long time ago. Appeal will get accepted and the justice would be served in your favor. Some of you will be offered a dream opportunity with added benefits and power. You will be doing some serious charity work.
(July 23 to August 22)
(January 20 to February 18)
eople ignoring you in the past will start returning your calls. You will be able to salvage almost dead money or losses soon with the help of a female. You will also hear some good news from distant places. You may also finalize a big move to a better place. Some of you will start getting ready for an upcoming trip.
aturn's transit in ninth will be very helpful. If you are ready to make little sacrifice, you can easily fulfil your dream. Overseas trip will take final shape. Money wise you will continue to see steady growth. Spouse will be paying more attention to health and may start going to gym or for a walk.
(September 23 to October 22)
(February 19 to March 20)
xalted Saturn in your sign is favourable. You should start to see the positive signs now. You will also receive the letter of acceptance from university of your choice. Some of you may accept a challenging assignment with big rewards when completed. You may need new pair of eye glasses also.
(April 21 to May 20)
ou will hear few good news this week. Strong Saturn in sixth will crush opponents and help you move up in career. A big change or promotion is imminent. Spouse will get little agitated for no big reason so have patience with immediate family members. You will continue to make changes in upcoming travel plans.
fforts will not go waste and you will make some recovery at least and promise for rest. Money from insurance can finally show up in mail. Some one close in office will make a futile attempt to hurt your image. Family will be excited and start preparing for an upcoming important trip.
J K Rowling the astrologer
(June 21 to July 22)
big move will become clearly visible. Loan application should go through without nay difficulty. You should continue to try your hand at lottery for some more time. Boss may assign additional work with some pressure of deadline too. Some of you may have some work or clean up done around your home this week.
(August 23 to September 22)
rojects started recently will start to show positive signs. Legal matters should not be ignored and should be paid prompt attention. You may be in touch with a government agency to inquire about a pending application or appeal. You will take time out of busy schedule and take family out for dinner.
(October 23 to November 22)
eople prone to litigation's should be extra careful from now and on. Though your decisions will be impulsive but You will continue to make good choices in career. Growth will be slow for those in business and more money will go on advertising. Watch out for a female trying to play some kind of game and trying to make a fool out of you.
n the BBC TV series "Antiques Roadshow", a woman submitted a horoscope in a plastic folder containing 12 typed pages with a handdrawn colored image on the front. The natal analysis had been prepared by Harry Potter series author J K Rowling who had become friends with the lady. The pair of mothers-to-be had attended childbirth (antenatal) 'classes' together. The horoscope was prepared for her son Jack David Buchanan born
Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: email@example.com
in 19 February 1994 who was naturally contemporary with Rowling's daughter Jessica. It was reported in July 2010 that this rare unpublished work by J K Rowling was being offered for sale at ÂŁ25,000. It provided a detailed interpretative reading, including of the sun sign, ascendant, ruling planets, significant conjunctions and oppositions, and their effect on character. Rowling prepared this horoscope while she was writing her first Harry Potter novel: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (published 1997). Paul Fraser, in Vendors of the Horoscope, says, "Rowling seems to have a detailed technical knowledge of Western astrology. She is at ease explaining the significance of having one's Moon in the First House but peppers her interpretations with quotations and wryly amusing comparisons. â€œIn general the astrologers that she cites tend to be popular rather than academic. Rowling's knowledge of astrology has undoubtedly played into the Harry Potter books."
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Saada Haq: Rockstar 2 Tum Ho: Rockstar 3 Hawaa Hawaa: Rockstar 4 Bhare Naina: Ra.One 5 Raftaarein: Ra.One 22
November 11, 2011
6 Criminal : Ra.One 7 Chammak Challo: Ra.One 8
9 Habibi Habibi: Azaan 10 Khuda Ke Liye: Azaan
A.One is out and over. Now, Kareena Kapoor will give all her time exclusively to the much talked about and super controversial film, Heroine, which is directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Buzz has it that Bebo is all set to play a schizophrenic character in the film. Kareena has planned to completely drown herself in the character. The production house and the director have decided to allot a whopping Rs 1.2 crore of the film's budget to costumes. A source revealed that Kareena Kapoor will have 130 costumes designed especially for her by ace designer Manish Malhotra. The source explained, "Kareena plays a diva at the prime of her career. Each scene will have at least four costume changes. Heroine is an extravagant project and they are leaving no stone unturned to make it look as glamorous as possible."
eepika Padukone who was recently in London for a shooting schedule with the cast and crew of Desi Boyz was put up at Oxford University for a couple of days. On one particular occasion, she happened to be strolling alone inside the campus. A source from the sets says, "While she was walking around, students at the university thought she was a new student and were very thrilled at having a new, pretty girl on the block. While initially she thought the comments and stares would eventually stop, they didn't for a while and she started attracting more attention. Some students apparently even hit on her, but she ignored it and started moving ahead. Despite that a couple of students kept following her and talking to her." Finally she got really flustered and while the adulation was overwhelming, she decided to confront the students. She spoke to this guy who was following her and told him that she was an actress from Bollywood. Apparently, he didn't believe her. She had to look around for a crew member who revealed that she indeed was an actress. The source continues, "The student thought it was a prank and still didn't believe them. The crew person then took the student and showed him the shooting equipments and a few stills from the movie, following which he was in shock and felt extremely embarrassed."
irector Milan Luthria is one busy man these days. Apart from his new movie The Dirty Picture, he is also focusing on his forthcoming film, the sequel of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. The sequel will have Akshay Kumar essaying the lead role. In the sequel, Akshay will play a romantic Dawood Ibrahim. Milan Luthria says, "The latter promises a different take on the underworld. Unlike the original, it'll show the romantic side of underworld in a big way." Any guess on who would be playing Akki's lady love in the film? Well, if buzz is to be believed, Milan and producer Ekta Kapoor might just rope in Kareena Kapoor. Apparently, Bebo has even read the script. The director stresses on the fact that the film sequel will see less of violence and more of love and romance. It would be a happy and entertaining film.
November 11, 2011
angna Ranaut has been taken on board to be India's first sci-fi female character. After experi-menting with roles ranging from a supermodel- superstar to that of a drug addict, it's now time for her to prove her acting prowess further. Filmmaker Rakesh Roshan who is planning 'Krissh 3', yet another sequel to the superhero franchise, has reportedly signed the curly haired actress for it. Roshan's always wanted Kangna to play the role but due to her date issues she could not be a part of their project, when she was approached first. Senior Roshan discussed the supergirl role with many big actresses in the past six months but only returned disappointed. On being back to square one, when he re-approached Kangana recently, he got lucky. Apparently, initially the actress had given her dates to 'Dedh Ishqya', shooting schedule for which got pushed to next year. At the same time, Roshan himself pushed the shooting of 'Krissh 3' to December this year. Two subsequent moves, destiny and luck, has finally landed Kangy baby the role of India's first supergirl. Kangana could not be happier on grabbing this opportunity that once almost slipped out of her hands. We have all seen her portray critical characters that involve human emotions, with great finesse. But now the question is, will she be able to pull off a super girl act or not.
Sonam goes GaGa!
onam's favorite English music band is undoubtedly Coldplay, but once in a while she does not mind listening to other artists as well. Recently she made an exception for pop star Lady GaGa when she learnt that she was coming to India to perform at the inaugural F1 Indian GrandPrix. Sonam who is known to be quite a fashionista is mighty impressed by Lady GaGa who is also famous for her queer dressing sense. The party where GaGa was performing was hosted by actor Arjun Rampal and his restaurateur partner, AD Singh in the capital. A source says, "Sonam was super-excited about attending the gig as she is a huge fan of Lady GaGa's music. The day she received the invitation, she started planning as to what she would wear to who she would take along with her. But naturally her first choice was her sister and best friend Rhea Kapoor. Both of them are fans of her music and decided to pre-book a table in advance for the day of the gig. Sonam also worked out her dates and booked her flight accordingly for the race, as well as the gig." While she attended the gig and managed to meet the pop star, she also got the opportunity to witness the race from the pit. She tweeted, "so was at the f1 with all my Delhi buddies and saw the race from the pit! It's amazing! Also went to see @ladygaga. Had the bestes time with my best friends." After F1 and her tryst with Gaga, Sonam is now also looking forward to the release of her next film, Players.
hey set the screen ablaze with their mind blowing chemistry in 'Band Baaja Baarat'. Ever since, there has been no turning back for Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. In a recent shooting for Filmfare magazine, the couple shot a series of romantic pics. They literally created magic, together. Anushka and Ranveer get candid during a tête-à-tête with the magazine. When asked if there was real life romance in their life, Ranveer said, "First of all there was no relationship. When we aren't working together we are not in touch. We aren't even connected on the phone. But I'd again say I was never in a relationship with Anushka. Meri aisi kismet kahaan…" And when questioned Anushka on Ranveer's cooking for her, in Goa, during the Ladies V/s Ricky Bahl shooting schedule, Anushka replied that even if she was dying, Ranveer would not be able to cook for her. She also admits to the fact that Ranveer will always remain very special to her.
November 11, 2011
Chandan Kaur and Maaza Miss Teen India New York Sumeet Bhinder with Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, IFC chairman -Pics Mohamed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
Chandan Kaur was crowned Maaza Miss India New York 2011 at a beauty pageant held in Queens in New York on October 30 India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Chandan Kaur and Sumeet Bhinder were crowned Miss India New York and Miss Teen India New York respectively at the 29th Maaza Miss India New York and the Fourth Miss Teen India New York pageants held Oct 30, at the Community Center Auditorium, Flushing, New York.
The contestants participated in Indian attire, evening gown, and talent segments. Miss India New York is different from other pageants as there is no swim suit segment. Emphasis is placed on the talent and promotion of Indian culture and heritage Produced by the New York based IFC, Miss India New York is the oldest Indian pageant outside of India. The pageant draws never-married contestants of Indian origin between the ages of 17 and 27. The Miss Teen section accepts contestants in the age group 13-17. Chandan Kaur and Sumeet Bhinder
Contâ€™d on page 27
November 11, 2011
India Post 25
November 11, 2011 www.indiapost.com
Ra.One rakes in record collections in domestic market India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Eros International has announced a stunning opening for Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One, produced by Red Chillies Entertainment which released across theatres worldwide on Oct 26. The Diwali release has garnered a gross collection of Rs. 62.50 crore in its opening two days of Diwali and New Year. Ra.One grossed Rs. 26.5 crore with a net of Rs. 18.5 crore on Wednesday Oct 26, making it the highest ever Diwali day collection in the history of Indian cinema. The second day collections were even more impressive with the film raking in Rs. 36 crore gross with a net of Rs. 25.10 crore making it the highest collection ever on a single day for an Indian film. Also in the overseas market, the film has shown the highest collections for any Indian film so far. Commenting on the opening, Nandu Ahuja, Sr. VP, Distribution, Eros International Media Ltd said, "We are witnessing unparalleled collections across the country with record breaking figures from different territories. Business usually gets hampered on Diwali day in the evening due to Laxmi pooja,
despite which Ra.One has performed exceptionally well across the country and has proved to be the biggest ever Diwali day release. The film has opened at 95 to 100% collections from most terri-
records for the highest collections for a single day for an Indian film." Kamal Jain, Group CFO, Eros International Media Ltd added, "Majority of the film's costs have been recovered before the film hit
tories and is a sure sign of one of the biggest blockbusters in the making in Bollywood. The second day figures have also broken
theatres and the box office numbers are exemplary giving major boost to profitability. We are extremely happy with the box office
performance of the film as the same is very much in line with our expectations." Releasing over the extended festive weekend, Ra.One opened across more than 4,000 plus
screens worldwide (3,100 plus screens in India and 904 prints internationally, including 3D, Tamil and Telugu) to rave responses and continues to draw in record numbers released across.
Shah Rukh graces IFFLA event India Post News Service
BEVERLY HILLS, CA: The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), Eros International and Red Chillies Entertainment hosted Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan at a special screening of his latest movie RA.One on the eve of its general release in North America. The invitation-only event was held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the prestigious Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the packed theater included IFFLA patrons, sponsors, and Hollywood media and entertainment executives. RA.One, replete with sophisticated special and digital effects never before seen in Bollywood films, is about the travails of a mother and son pursued by a monster who escapes the virtual world of a video game. In a rare Los Angeles appearance, Khan, currently the most successful Bollywood superstar and heartthrob of Indians around the globe, was accompanied by the movie's director Anubhav Sinha, Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, and Red Chillies Entertainment VFX COO Keitan Yadav. They addressed the audience before the screening and partici-
pated in a Q&A later. IFFLA Chairman Arnold Peter who welcomed the guests said that Red Chillies VFX, a division of Red Chillies Entertainment, founded by Khan and his wife, Gauri, "was making waves both in Bollywood and Hollywood with its fine-cut innovation â€Ś it is really the spirit, the inspiration and the muscle behind today's film."
Khan acknowledged that at 45, he may be past the age to take on a superhero role but confessed his longtime desire to play one Khan acknowledged that at 45, he may be past the age to take on a superhero role but confessed his longtime desire to play one. "The idea was that if I could muster enough resources, enough talent, the best in the world, then perhaps I would attempt it and Ra.One is a step in that direction." IFFLA, the premier Indian film festival in North America, will celebrate its 10th anniversary April 10-15, 2012.
November 11, 2011
Anil Kapoor to host Tom Cruise in India?
ot only is Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible 4" ("M:I:4") releasing in India ahead of the US, the Hollywood star is taking out almost two days for his first-ever India trip. And while a Mumbai touchdown for a screening of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" is certain, he may add Delhi to the itinerary too. Also, he's not coming alone - he's bringing along wife Katie Holmes and daughter Suri, who's loved by cameras and is arguably the world's youngest globally recognized fashionista.
And while a Mumbai touchdown for a screening of ‘Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol’ is certain, he may add Delhi to the itinerary too The actor will come to India after a promotional trip to South Korea, and will therefore take a flight from Seoul to either Mumbai or Delhi to arrive late at night on December 3. He will fly out on the 5th, after spending about a day-and-a-half in the country. Anil Kapoor would be playing host along with Viacom 18 for the famous star. About details of Tom's visit, he said, "This is not just a movie promo trip. I see it as a combination of movie promotions and the keep-
Tom Cruise with wife Katie and daughter Suri
ing of a gentleman's word. This goes back to the Golden Globe awarded to "Slumdog Millionaire" in January 2009, you'd remember Tom was the celebrity called to give away the award, and that was when I first spoke to him. We spoke about what a huge
Chandan Kaur is Maaza Miss India
Chandan Kaur flanked by Noopoor Akruwala 1st runner up (right) and Raishma Mohan Ram 2nd runner -Pic Mohamed Jaffer-SnapsIndia Cont’d from page 24
The contestants participated in Indian attire, evening gown, and talent segments. Miss India New York is different from other pageants as there is no swim suit segment. Emphasis is placed on the talent and promotion of Indian culture and heritage. The winner of Miss India New York will
represent the state in the Thirtieth Miss India USA pageant on Nov 20 at the Royal Albert's Palace in New Jersey. The winner of the Miss India USA will represent USA in the Twenty First Miss India Worldwide pageant on February 25, 2012 in Suriname. Miss India Worldwide in Suriname is being supported by the President and Government of Suriname.
fan following he has in India, and I told him he must plan a trip. He'd promised me that he would try to work that out. Then, when I landed a guest appearance in "M:I:4" and met him next in LA, I reminded him of the India trip, and this time, he said
he was going to have it in place shortly. I think he has built this into his global travels this time as a conscious effort along with the studio. After all, when has a star of his stature ever come here as part of a movie promo activity?"
Realty Tidbits Â„ Tata luxury residential project in Mumbai
ata Housing Development Company has recently announced the launch of Amantra, a luxury residential township with 14, 24, 29 and 34-storey towers with a total project cost of Rs 1,000 crore on the Thane-Kalyan Road, a Mumbai suburb. Amantra has approximately 2,500 apartments including 2 BHK and 3 BHK houses, and the prices range from Rs 40 lakh (for a minimum size of 927square feet) to Rs 65 lakh. Strategically located on the Thane-Kalyan Road, on the NH3 highway, this residential property provides high-speed access to airports, business centers, shopping malls, schools, healthcare facilities, entertainment areas and many other important destinations. The company claimed that Amantra will be designed by world-renowned architectural firm HOK of USA.
Â„ Unitech's launches 'Crestview Apartments'
ealty firm Unitech has announced the launch of "Crestview Apartments" in Gurgaon. Crest-view is being launched as a part of Wildflower Country, a 100-acre township in sector 70, Gurgaon, being developed by Unitech. Crestview offers apartments in sizes ranging from 925- 1,402 square feet in G+13 level towers with each floor having four units. It will spread across seven acres of land, and has a total saleable area of more than 6,00,000 square feet. Commenting, on the development, a Unitech spokesperson said, "We expect to generate a salesbooking of Rs 400 crore from this project over two months and also, expect to garner revenue of Rs 2,000 crore, from Wildflower Country Township over the next three to four years." Crestview offers twoand three-bedroom apartment with basic price of approx Rs 65 lakh and Rs 73 lakh, respectively.
November 11, 2011
Godrej shifts focus to residential projects
odrej Properties Ltd, the real estate development arm of the Godrej group, has reconfigured two key projects to have more residential spaces and drastically reduced the sizes of both the developments, raising questions about the company's strategy. In its Ahmedabad township project, Garden City, the largest in Godrej's portfolio, the company has reduced the developable area from 40.4 million square feet to 24 million square feet and increased the residential portion of the development from 65 to 90 per cent.
Delhi property prices set to zoom as Govt hikes circle rates
roperty prices in the capital are set to zoom as Delhi government has hiked the circle rates by up to 250 per cent to check black money in sale and purchase transactions. This is the second such hike in circle rates - the minimum valuation of land and immovable properties - in the city in the last nine months. The rates were hiked by over 100 per cent in February. As per the revised rates approved by Delhi Cabinet, Rs 2.15 lakh per square meter has been fixed as new circle rate for category A colonies such as Defense Colony, Greater Kailash, Gulmohar Park, Panchsheel Enclave, Anandlok, Green Park, Golf Links and Hauz Khas. This means nobody will be allowed to buy land and immovable properties in these colonies for less than Rs 2.15 lakh a square meter. The existing rate in these colonies was Rs 86,000 per sq meter and the hike effected by the government is 250 per cent. "We have decided to hike the circle rates in the range of 15 per cent to 250 per cent so that the property transactions reflect the real value," the chief minister, Sheila Dixit, said
after the Cabinet meeting. She said the government would be able to generate an additional revenue of Rs 800 crore annually due to increase in collection from property transaction through stamp duty
stamp duty and registration fees. "We wanted to stop flow of black money in the property transaction and enhance revenue generation," they said. Dixit said the government has
and registration fees. Revenue department officials said the government hiked the rates as in most cases, actual rates of properties are not shown on paper due to which the government suffers loss in revenue in
also decided to revise the rates at an interval of two years. The circle rate of properties is the system in which the government fixes the minimum or maximum rate of the land depending on the category of colonies it falls in and no trans-
action is allowed below the minimum rate fixed by the government in any area of the city. As per the Cabinet decision, Rs 1,36,400 per square meter has been fixed for B category colonies such as Andrews Ganj, Kalkaji, Munirka Vihar and Nehru Enclave. The rate for these colonies was fixed at Rs 68,200 per sq m in February. Similarly for category C colonies, the rate has been hiked by 100 per cent and the new rate would be Rs 1,09,200 per sq m instead of current Rs 54,000 per sq mt. For category D colonies, the rate has been hiked from Rs 43,600 per sq m to Rs 87,200, which is an increase of 100 per cent. For category E and F, the rate has been fixed at Rs 47,800 and Rs 38,640 per sq m instead of existing Rs 36,800 and Rs 32,200 respectively. The new rate for categories G and H was fixed at Rs 31,000 and Rs 15,870 against current rate of Rs 27,400 and Rs 13,800 respectively. The revenue minister, A K Walia, said the new rates may come into effect within one week. A notification would be issued to effect the hike.
AR Group launches high-end villa project
he Chennai-based AR Group, which had earlier promoted the premium IT park, Acropolis in Chennai's upmarket Dr Radhakrishnan Road, has announced the launch of premium high-end villas on the sce-
nic East Coast Road (ECR). The project, Amara Ananta, coming up at Palavakkam on ECR and located close to the city, will offer a total of 25 high-end premium villas. Each villa will come up on a two and half ground land (one ground = 2,400 square feet) and around
and a 1,000 sq ft gym, besides service areas and terrace BBQ facility. "Amara Ananta will be one of the best gated communities in the city. It will be a contemporary design executed with the best quality materials available in the mar-
Given the amenities and the large land area that comes to be owned by the buyers, the price per villa ranges between Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 7 crore 5,500 square feet built-up area. Each villa will have a private swimming pool and facility to park two to three cars. Being developed as a gated community, the common facilities will include a large club house with a swimming pool, a 1,500 sq ft multi-purpose party hall
ket," says Amarnath Reddy, managing director of AR Group. "The construction, which has already started, is in full swing and the villas will be handed over in about 18 months from now," Reddy added. The gated community will also have four boutique show-
rooms to match the lifestyle of the villa owners and six different elevations, besides being centrally air-conditioned and furnished (except for furniture). Located just a few minutes' away from the beach, the villas are modern, idyllic homes with the finest amenities, coupled with expansive estate, with spectacular green landscapes, Reddy observed. Given the amenities and the large land area that comes to be owned by the buyers, the price per villa ranges between Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 7 crore, depending on amenities and fixtures chosen by the buyers. AR Group is targeting business people, HNIs and toplevel executives for the villas in Amara Ananta, since it is not only coming up on ECR, but also located close to the city as well as easily accessible to OMR, the city's IT Corridor.
Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hills
ysore is located in the South Indian state of Karnataka around 140 km from Bangalore. It is well connected through road and rail networks with other parts of Karnataka and India. Best time to visit: The weather in Mysore is pleasant throughout the year. The summers are warm and winters cool. April is the hottest month with the daily temperatures varying between 21°C and 34°C while in December, the coldest month here, the temperatures ranges from 16°C to 27°C. The average annual rainfall in the district is 761.9 mm. One can visit the city any time of the year but it is advisable to avoid the rainy seasons. History: Mysore city was the capital of the old royal Mysore province. The word Mysore expands to "Mahishasurana Ooru" which means the town of Mahishasura. The story goes that the demon Mahishasura was killed by goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hill near Mysore, hence the name. Ever since, the Mysore royal family has worshipped Chamundeshwari as the palace deity. Hills dedicated to her stand at the eastern end of Mysore town today. The Wodeyar family ruled Mysore since
November 11, 2011
14th century except for a short period of 40 years when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were the rulers. Mysore has never failed to mesmerize the tourists with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. The charm of this city leaves no one untouched. Tourist attractions The Mysore Palace was built over one thousand years ago, in AD 897. Saracenic in style, the palace has both Hindu as well as Muslim influence. After a fire in 1897, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV rebuilt the palace as we see it today, under the supervision of architect Henry Irwin. The main building is of massive gray granite with a tower covered by a gilded dome. A temple is situated within the royal courtyard. St. Philomena's Church is one of the oldest churches in Mysore. Built in Gothic style, the church is among the largest in India. Stained glass windows and lofty towers give this cathedral an imposing look. Cont’d on page 30
Travel & Hospitality Post
30 India Post
November 11, 2011
PM forms committee to expedite tourism projects NEW DELHI: With the aim of boosting tourism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has formed an inter-ministerial committee comprising senior officials from 14 ministries to put tourism projects on the fast track. "The Prime Minister has formed the high level inter-ministerial committee comprising secretaries of 14 ministries to expedite tourism projects in the country. The Principal Secretary to the PM, Pulok Chatterjee will head the committee," a senior Tourism Ministry official said. Defense Secretary, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Chairman Railway Board, Planning Commission Secretary, Rural Development Secretary and the Tourism Secretary are among others in the high level committee. "There are many issues like visa, taxation, infrastructure, rail and air connectivity, roads and hotels which need to be sorted out for facilitating tourism sector," he said. Besides secretaries of Urban Development Ministry, Road and Transport Ministry and Civil Aviation Ministry are also the part of the high level committee. The first meeting of the committee is ex-
pected to be convened shortly. Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay had made a presentation to the prime minister in June on the 'Socio Economic Relevance of Tourism and the Way Forward' about the various strategies to be adopted during the 12th Five-Year Plan. Currently India attracts about 5.58 million foreign tourists which is just 0.6 per cent of the total number of international tourists, the official said. Tourism Ministry is aiming for a growth of up to one per cent in the coming years and this will require additional 2,50,000 rooms and a massive investment, he said. The target will give a boost to the economy, additional room capacity and infrastructure will generate employment in the sector, he said. The ministry has specifically raised the issue of rationalization of taxes and making tourism services globally competitive. It has also demanded for grant of infrastructure status to tourism. "There are many such issues which can be tackled at PMO level only. So the committee will coordinate with concerned ministries to promote tourism in the country," the official added. -PTI
Kerala roadshows get good response in Australia THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Tourism Department has kicked off an aggressive marketing drive targeting the emerging global markets, starting with road shows at Sydney and Melbourne in Australia recently, which proved to be a success. "Both the road shows proved to be good quality draws, giving a slice of Kerala to the trade members in these cities," Kerala Tourism secretary T K Manoj Kumar said about the road shows. In Sydney, around 75 tour operators and travel agents turned up while at Melbourne there were 60 people from the travel business. "Kerala is already a known brand even in Australia, but after seeing the progress made by the state in the recent times, the industry appears keen on promoting Kerala further," Kumar, who led the delegation, said. Presentations by the Tourism officials on what made Kerala a super brand across the globe, screening of much-acclaimed ad film 'Your Moment is Waiting' and business-tobusiness meets to forge new collaborations were some of the highlights of the marketing drive. There had also been interactive sessions
on October 25 and 26 at the two Australian cities to give a taste of Kerala to the travel fraternity, a state tourism department release said. Australia is an emerging market for Kerala with 36,854 arrivals in 2010, making it
Presentations by the Tourism officials on what made Kerala a super brand across the globe, screening of much-acclaimed ad film 'Your Moment is Waiting' and business-to-business meets to forge new collaborations were some of the highlights of the marketing drive the fifth biggest market. But, it was just 5.59 per cent of the total foreign arrivals. United Kingdom with 23.7 per cent and US with 10.8 per cent, France with 9.8 per cent led among the foreign markets. -PTI
Mysore: Quaint charm, rich heritage, beautiful gardens Contâ€™d from page 29
Shri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery was established in 1875 and has a rare collection of some beautiful paintings from the same era. The gallery is located in Jagmohan Palace and exhibits paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetsolav Roerich and traditional paintings from Mysore. The traditional gold leaf paintings and some exquisitely carved statues in sandalwood, ivory and stone are also exhibited in the gallery. The old paintings in the gallery have been done in mineral and vegetable dyes and paints. The Mysore Zoo was set up by the royal family and houses some rare and exotic birds and animals. Situated amidst lush green surroundings, the zoo has acquired fame for breeding some rare animals in captivity. The Chamundeshwari Temple is one of the noted Hindu places of worship and is situated atop the Chamundi Hill. On way to the Chamundi Hills is the Lalitha Mahal, a guest palace now converted into a heritage hotel. Places around Situated around 19 km north west of Mysore are the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Vrindavan Garden. The garden attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to see its dancing musical fountains.
Entrance to the Ambavilas Palace, commonly known as Mysore Palace
Fourteen km northeast of Mysore is Srirangpattnam, an island fortress and the capital of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu's summer palace, Daria Daulat, has now been turned into a museum. Sangam, the confluence of two branches of the Cauvery River, is situated around 3 km off Srirangpattnam. Ranganathittu is a bird sanctuary situated around 18 km off Mysore and allows a close view of exotic and common birds. Somnathpur is situated around 35 km east of Mysore and is famous for the Hoysala Temples that are still in excellent condition. Eighty-two kilometers away is the Cauvery Fishing Camp, a paradise for anglers where the
mahaseer is found in abundance. The Bandipur National Park is 80 km off Mysore on the way to
It is believed that the presiding deity of the city has the power to conquer evil forces and this has led the citizens to celebrate the festival with much gaiety and fervor Ooty and a famous tiger reserve. Spread over an area of 875 km, the
Karanji lake in Mysore
park has a variety of animals such as the tiger, barking deer, tusker, and bison. Fairs & festivals Dussehra in Mysore is a sight one would remember for a long time even after leaving the place. It is believed that the presiding deity of the city has the power to conquer evil forces and this has led the citizens to celebrate the festival with much gaiety and fervor. The tradition of celebrating Dussehra with such grandeur started with the 16th-century rulers of Vijayanagar. After the disintegration of Vijayanagar Empire, the tradition was kept alive by rulers of Mysore and continues till now. During the month of October
and November, for ten days the Dussehra festival is celebrated and the city is at its colorful best with music and dance, sports, literary competitions, fairs and exhibitions all over. All this culminates in the Dussehra procession and a torchlight parade on the tenth day. How to reach Air - The nearest airport from Mysore is 140 km away in Bangalore, from where one can take flights for most of the important cities in India. Rail - Mysore is connected with most of the metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai through regular trains. Road - There is a good network of roads that connects Mysore to other important cities of the region.
Travel & Hospitality Post
November 11, 2011
India Post 31
Australia, NZ and Canada to look into travel advisories PERTH: Australia, New Zealand and Canada will look into the issue of travel advisories against India after New Delhi raised the matter with these countries saying that the language used in these notices was "disproportionate" and had an adverse impact to its tourism sector. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Australia, New Zealand and Canada on the sidelines of CHOGM Foreign Ministers' meeting here and raised the issue in detail. Krishna had taken up the issue with his Australian, Kiwi and Canadian counterparts. "All three said they will look into the issue. The Australian Foreign Minister said it was a routine updation done for all countries during holiday or festive season...They still have travel advisory on Bali even though 10 years back 100 Aussies were killed in a bomb blast," official sources told PTI. The sources said Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told Krishna that legally they are bound to provide information and it is also due to policy of insurance companies. "The risk of insurance payment eases when travel on advisory. He
(Rudd) had no clue of the advisories. He also said that a separate department looks into the advisory and has no input...not based on any terrorist information or attacks
‘The Canada foreign Minister said that they (will) henceforth look into the issue and said that Diwali in Canada is as important as Christmas and in the Canadian Parliament a resolution by the Prime Minister was passed wishing all on Diwali...He even said that they promote tourism to India and is growing’ and are general," the sources said providing details of the meetings. The meetings on the sidelines of the CHOGM come in the wake of many countries, including US and Australia, issuing travel advi-
sories to their citizens and New Delhi taking serious note of the issue, maintaining such notices do not reflect the reality and have adverse effect on tourism to the country. The sources said Rudd assured Krishna that they "follow the other countries in advisories and in fact the same language is seen." "The Canada foreign Minister said that they (will) henceforth look into the issue and said that Diwali in Canada is as important as Christmas and in the Canadian Parliament a resolution by the Prime Minister was passed wishing all on Diwali...He even said that they promote tourism to India and is growing." Asking Rudd to withdraw the travel advisory, Krishna told him that "The language in advisory is rather disproportionate and contrary to the current trend of tourism to India." During Krishna's meetings with his Kiwi counterpart Murray McCully, New Zealand assured it will look into the matter. McCully said the advisory was meant to make his citizens aware to avoid all rallies and demonstrations. Meanwhile, Stephen Smith, the Defense Minister and Former Foreign Minister said that flights from
Surge of Indian tourists in Sri Lanka COLOMBO: The arrival of Indians to Sri Lanka increased by 50 per cent, contributing to an over 27 per cent surge in tourism in September year on year, amid the launch of a plan by the government to boost the sector still reeling from the impact of a threedecade ethnic conflict. In the first nine months of the year, the cumulative arrivals had increased by over 34 per cent. Maldivian tourists (with 46.8 per cent) was the next highest after Indian nationals visiting Sri Lanka, tourism authority said here. Last month, Sri Lanka launched its five-year tourism growth plan to achieve 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, up from the average 600,000 currently. Tourism is of high economic importance to Sri Lanka following the end of the bloody ethnic con-
flict in May 2009 which killed nearly 100,000 people. The sector is a major foreign exchange earner
The tourism industry has been irked by the decision of the government to scrap the 'on arrival' visa system applicable to 78 countries, including India for the country. The arrivals from the UK had fallen by 11 per cent in September
while there has been an increase in visitors from France by 46 per cent and Germany by 10 per cent. There was 20 per cent increase in arrival of Dutch and Russian visitors surged by 43 per cent. The tourism industry has been irked by the decision of the government to scrap the 'on arrival' visa system applicable to 78 countries, including India, from next year in bid to streamline the issuance of the travel document. The government has been complaining of foreign nationals abusing the on arrival visa policy. From January 2012 the visitors to Sri Lanka other than from Maldives and Singapore need to apply online for an electronic entry permit. The authorities believe the system would not deter tourists as it will be quick and hassle free. -PTI
Melbourne to Delhi and Mumbai by Air India were committed a year back and the chairman had gone to Melbourne and finalized all details and agreements.
"They want the direct flights to start. He said he is coming to Delhi on December 8 and wants more travel of Aussies to India," the sources said. -PTI
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Tech News J-K announces Rs 8.7cr incentive to saffron farmers PAMPORE, J&K: The Jammu and Kashmir government has said it will distribute Rs 8.70 crore as incentives under the National Mission on saffron among over 1,800 farmers in south Kashmir. Cheques were distributed among several hundred saffron growers at the Incentive Distribution Function held at Galander village near Pampore town in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. The money was part of a scheme where 70 per cent amount is to be paid by the government to saffron farmers who follow the rejuvenation component -- the replanting of the saffron corn, Director Agriculture Farooq Lone said. He said total of Rs 8.70 crore will be distributed among a total of 1872 farmers in the state. Centre has sanctioned Rs 376 crore National Mission on Saffron, a major initiative to safeguard the saffron crop and enhance its production and marketing, last year. The mission offers several incentives and benefits to the saffron farmers to increase the productivity and quality of the saffron. -PTI
Haryana will remain Maruti's base: Hooda CHANDIGARH: Dismissing opposition charge that Maruti was shifting from Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda asserted that the state has and will remain the auto major's base, and the company is planning expansion in the state. "INLD and Haryana Janhit Congress leaders have recently been issuing misleading statements about Maruti shifting base from Haryana. I want to clarify that none of this is true. Maruti has its base here and in future too Haryana will be its base," Hooda told a press conference here. He said opposition's claims suggesting that Maruti was packing up from Haryana and shifting to Gujarat was not true. "In fact, I recently received a letter from Mr (Osamu) Suzuki (of Suzuki Motor Co), stating that the company was planning to pump more investment in Haryana," he said, adding that Maruti's Gujarat move had nothing to do with recent labor unrest in the company's Manesar plant. He said that the Haryana government had no objection to Maruti's proposal to set up a plant in Gujarat for export market near a port. -PTI
TechBiz 34 India Post
B'desh, Russia ink n-deal to set up atomic reactors DHAKA: Energy-starved Bangladesh inked a landmark nuclear cooperation deal with Russia that includes the setting up of an atomic power plant in the country's northwestern Pabna district. The bilateral agreement opens the way for setting up Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant (NPP) to produce 2000 megawatt electricity at Rooppur, 125 km northwest of capital Dhaka. Russia would provide assistance in the setting up of two nuclear units with a capacity of 1000 megawatt each under the pact.
November 11, 2011
ContĂd on page 35
India, China should help finance Eurozone debt crisis: Hinduja LONDON: Countries such as India and China should help finance the Eurozone debt crisis in return for investment in their own countries, S P Hinduja, leading NRI entrepreneur and Chairman of the Hinduja Group has said. In a letter addressed to leaders of the G-20 meeting to be held at Cannes in France, Hinduja urged them to adopt a "two-way street solution" to the current financial crisis. He said, "The foremost need is to urgently bring about an understanding among the Eurozone leaders to deal with the sovereign debt crisis of its members." "The emerging economies, such as India and China, can significantly contribute to the easing of the crisis. For example, India plans USD 1 trillion worth of investments in infrastructure in the next five years, creating job opportunities for its economic partners," he said. With its population of 1.2 billion and an expanding middleclass, India has immense consuming power potential, he said. Referring to the two-way street solution, Hinduja said "implementation of infrastructure projects in developing countries with invest-
ments or export credits from developed countries will yield dividends for both investor and recipient countries." It would also help in poverty alleviation in developing countries that, in turn, will reduce the dan-
â€˜The need of the hour is to emphasize business ethics. The focus should be on the interest of the common man in harmony with nature and the environmentâ€™ gers of internal and external conflicts, he said. "In implementing such infrastructure projects, he said, the focus should be on inclusive growth, employment and fast delivery of benefits to the common man," Hinduja said. "In developing countries, to
achieve inclusive growth, key business infrastructure should be promoted in semi-urban and rural areas, with private economic development initiatives encouraged. An international platform can be explored to promote public-private
S P Hinduja
partnerships," he said. To encourage flow of capital into social and physical infrastructure, the governments of emerging countries should consider giving the investors a total package of projects containing all the required approvals from all agencies, instead of requiring them to
run around politicians, bureaucrats and government departments, he said. Simplification of project clearance procedures would avoid delay and corruption and facilitate speedy implementation. He said, "The need of the hour is to emphasize business ethics. The focus should be on the interest of the common man in harmony with nature and the environment." Employment generation should be given priority to ensure an even distribution of the fruits of growth so that the rise of social tensions within countries was avoided and public sentiment did not increasingly turn against globalization which has in many ways tied the economies of the developed and developing countries in win-win situations, Hinduja said. He said, "The leading economies should aim for inclusive sustainable growth with respect for the environment." The focus should be on living in a balance with nature, which is the only way to overcome the longer term global challenges of poverty and conflict or the immediate ones of the current financial crisis, he said. -PTI
Decision on MFN to help India-Pak ties: Sharma NEW DELHI: India "deeply appreciated" Pakistan's decision to grant New Delhi the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, stating the move will also help improve political ties between the two neighbors. "We deeply appreciate this positive gesture that Pakistan has taken," Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here. Sharma spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim immediately after the decision taken by the Pakistani Cabinet. When asked whether the move would help improve political relationship between the countries, he said: "...It will be influencing definitely in positive manner. We need to sustain this in the coming
step forward in this direction. Under the MFN status, Pakistan will treat India at par with its other favored trading partners.
months." He said that when bilateral economic engagement improves, it brings prosperity and growth to both the partners. Sharma said the Makhdoom's September visit here was a major
The India-Pakistan commercial negotiations were revived after almost four years in April. The bilateral economic ties were badly hit after November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai India has already granted this status to the neighboring country way back in 1996.
"It will be beneficial for both the countries. It opens up new pathways of alleviating our economic engagement to a much higher level," the minister said. In 2010-11, the bilateral trade stood at USD 2.6 billion. The India-Pakistan commercial negotiations were revived after almost four years in April. The bilateral economic ties were badly hit after November 2008 terror attack in Mumbai. In April, the engagements were revived with Commerce Secretary level talks in Islamabad. These were followed by Fahim's visit to New Delhi in September. Pakistan Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood would be visit India in mid-November for further review of economic ties. -PTI
November 11, 2011
Indian scientists decode Arhar genome NEW DELHI: In an entirely indigenous effort, farm scientists have for the first time decoded genome of arhar dal, a breakthrough which would help in developing new varieties and enhancing productivity of the pulse crop. A group of 31 scientists from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, state agricultural universities and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), led by Nagendra Kumar Singh from ICAR's National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology at New Delhi, decoded the genome of pigeon pea (arhar). This is the first plant genome sequenced entirely through a network of Indian institutions and it will provide highly valuable resource for variety improvement of pigeonpea, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) statement said. Availability of the Arhar genome se-
quence would accelerate development of new varieties and hybrids with enhanced productivity by making use of germplasm resources. Average pulse crop productivity in In-
resistant varieties is a major factor for the stagnant pulse productivity. Slow progress in breeding high yielding Arhar varieties is attributed to dearth of genetic information coupled with large crop
This is the first plant genome sequenced entirely through a network of Indian institutions and it will provide highly valuable resource for variety improvement of pigeonpea, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) statement said dia has remained low at about 650 kg per hectare for the last six decades leading to soaring 'Dal' prices with increasing demands. Lack of high yielding, disease and pest
duration and intractable pod borer problem and poor utilization of wild germplasm resources. The genome of popular Arhar variety 'Asha' was assembled using long sequence
reads of 454-FLX second generation sequencing technology resulting in 511 million base pairs of high quality genome sequence information. The scientists have identified 47,004 protein coding genes in the Arhar genome, of which 1,213 genes are for disease resistance and 152 genes for tolerance to drought, heat and salinity that make it a hardy crop. The genome sequence was used to develop a large number of 'Arhar' DNA markers which were experimentally validated for high rate of variation among the pigeonpea varieties. Pigeonpea or red gram (Arhar or Tur) is an important grain legume (Pulse) crop of India. About 85 per cent of the world pigeonpea is produced and consumed in India where it is a key crop for food and nutritional security of the people. -PTI
Walmart introduces Christmas price guarantee India Post News Service
BENTONVILLE, Ark: It's a Christmas nightmare for shoppers: They buy a present or something nice for their family and three weeks later find it on sale somewhere else. Bah, humbug! This year, Walmart turns that nightmare into a holiday dream with the Christmas Price Guarantee. Here's how it works: If a customer buys an eligible product at Walmart anytime between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, and then finds that same product advertised for less at another store, Walmart will give the customer a gift card for the difference through Dec. 25. "The greatest gift we can give our customers this holiday is great low prices on the things they want most," explained Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. "Walmart is easing shopping stress this Christmas by allowing customers to shop when and how they want, all while guaranteeing low prices through the entire holiday season."
Walmart's Christmas Price Guarantee is valid on purchases made Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 on identical items (the same brand, size, color, quantity, grade and model number) that are currently available at competitor's stores located within the same local market as a particular Walmart store. To apply for the Christmas Price Guarantee, customers need to simply bring in their original Walmart cash register receipt and the local competitor's current printed ad to Walmart's Customer Service desk through Dec. 25. Once validated, a gift card for the difference will be issued. Items placed on layaway will also be eligible for the Christmas Price Guarantee. "We're confident Walmart will have fantastic prices on a wide assortment of gifts from electronics to toys, so customers can shop early and spend the holiday enjoying time with their families," continued Mac Naughton. Walmart's Christmas Price Guarantee, combined with additional holiday offerings, is aimed at help-
ing customers beat the holiday's economic Grinch and ensure no Christmas is stolen: • Holiday Credit Offer: Shoppers can receive no interest if paid in full within six months on every purchase, every day in November
Walmart's Christmas Price Guarantee is valid on purchases made Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 on identical items (the same brand, size, color, quantity, grade and model number) and December 2011, in store or on Walmart.com with your Walmart® Credit Card. With no minimum dollar amount required, customers can buy the gifts they want from any department on any product in the store or at Walmart.com. • Fast, Faster, Fastest; Ship the
B'desh, Russia ink n-deal to set up atomic reactors Contíd from page 34
"I hope our future nuclear cooperation would extend to peaceful use of nuclear energy in the field of agriculture and medicine," said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was present at the function in the capital where Yafes Osman, the State Minister for Science and Information & Communication Technology signed the deal on behalf of Bangladesh. Officials familiar with the pro-
cess said a separate deal would be inked between the two governments for financing the nuclear power plants. "Russia will provide the necessary nuclear fuel for the plants on a long-term basis and it would take back the spent fuel of the plants," said an official of Bangladesh's Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC). He said Moscow would also provide training for human resource development at different
levels of the project. The official said Russia's joint stock company Atomstroyexport would perform its responsibilities as a contractor, while BAEC would perform its responsibilities as a customer. Osman earlier said the deal would greatly help the country meet its power demands. The pact comes nearly two years after Dhaka signed a framework agreement with Moscow for the nuclear plant at Rooppur by 2017-18 at a cost of USD 1.5 to USD 2 billion. -PTI
Way You Want for Free: Customers can now ship the way they want for free. Nearly 95% of Walmart.com products - including hundreds of thousands of electronics, home furnishings, apparel, beauty products, diapers, sporting goods and more - are now eligible for free shipping via Site to Store, Pick Up Today, FedEx Site to Store and Home Free shipping programs. Customers can ship any purchase over $45 for free to their neighborhood Walmart or direct to their home, or choose to order online for same-day pick up in their local store. • Bite-size Payments: Walmart's Christmas Layaway program enables customers to make payments on purchases in varying amounts when they want through Dec. 16. Toys and electronic gifts with a retail price of $15 or more are eligible, including dozens of toys on Rollback to $15, such as
Leapfrog Scribble and Write, Disney Princess Toddler Dolls, Transformers 3 Mechtech and select Lego playsets. Other great gifts included in the Christmas layaway program are bicycles, HDTVs and video games. • Save Money on Gas: The Gas Rollback program has been extended through Dec. 24, and is available at participating Murphy stations at more than 1,000 Supercenters and 10 Walmart stations. This program gives customers a $0.10 discount on each gallon of gas or diesel fuel purchased at participating Murphy USA or Walmart stations. Walmart will also help guarantee Christmas for local nonprofits and the families they serve. With help from the Walmart Foundation, Walmart stores across the U.S. will donate more than $10 million to community organizations this holiday season.
In Brief Alabama immigration fight recalls civil rights era MONTGOMERY, Alabama: The epicenter of the fight over the patchwork of immigration laws in U.S. states is not along the Mexico border. It's the Deep South state of Alabama. The nation's strictest immigration law has resurrected ugly images from Alabama's days as the nation's battleground for civil rights a half-century ago. And it's a near certainty that the law will become a test case for the U.S. Supreme Court, even though Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Utah and South Carolina have also passed similar laws. Opponents have been especially vocal about one provision, which has been temporarily blocked, that requires schools to check the immigration status of students. -AP
SC, Justice Dept. discuss illegal immigration law COLUMBIA, SC: Officials with the US Justice Department have met with South Carolina's attorney general as they review the state's new illegal immigration law. US Attorney Bill Nettles met with state Attorney General Alan Wilson to discuss the law. Wilson said the meeting was cordial but would not release details. The Justice Department is reviewing immigration-related laws passed by several states and is challenging some of them in court. South Carolina's law requires police to check suspects' immigration status and mandates that all businesses check a federal online system when they hire people. -AP
November 11, 2011
States talk immigration economics at Utah summit SALT LAKE CITY: As more states consider stronger immigration laws, political, business and religious leaders from throughout the West examined the economic impact of enforcement measures and guestworker programs during a one-day summit in Salt Lake City. -AP
American immigration policy is chaotic says new book India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Lessons for American policymakers to improve the dysfunctional immigration system in the US are highlighted in a new book by Ray Marshall, former US Secretary of Labor, released recently by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The book Value-Added Immigration: Lessons for the United States from Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, by Marshall, who worked under President Jimmy Carter, and a founder of EPI, primarily draws the lessons from the migration policies of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, each of which is an "immigration nation" like the United States. It details the lessons American policymakers can learn from the other countries about migration policy as they attempt to improve the dysfunctional immigration system in the US. Marshall explains that American immigration policy is chaotic and unconnected to specific policy goals. The American sys-
tem emphasizes family-based immigration, while more effective immigration systems stress economic migration. Marshall identifies seven key lessons that legislators and officials can learn from the immigration systems of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom: Lesson #1: Adopt a strategic
should be centralized in the Department of Labor rather than given to a number of agencies, as it is now. Lesson #3: Appoint a highlevel ad hoc commission to recommend measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the employment-based migration system.
Reform temporary foreign worker programs - The existing programs lack sufficient oversight and provide little protection for domestic workers vision for value-added immigration - Policies to admit foreign workers to the US should have the goal of improving productivity and innovation and overcoming labor shortages. Currently, they depress wages and working conditions in the US and displace American workers. Lesson #2: Assign high-level federal responsibility for employment-based migration -Responsibility for immigration policy
Lesson #4: Create a permanent, independent Commission on Foreign Workers - An independent body that can provide policymakers with objective and evidence-based advice on migration is critical. Lesson #5: Enact comprehensive immigration reform - Unauthorized migrants in the US undermine legal immigration programs. Lesson #6: Reform and improve employment-based migration poli-
cies and programs - Better employment-based migration programs would add to the nation's skills and productivity and avoid displacing US workers. Lesson #7: Reform temporary foreign worker programs - The existing programs lack sufficient oversight and provide little protection for domestic workers. Secretary Marshall has a long history of administering and analyzing the nation's immigration and guest worker programs. As Secretary of Labor from 1977 to 1981, Marshall administered the department's certification of worker shortages and enforced its labor protections. He commissioned an early effort to develop statistical measures to identify shortage occupations. In the 1980s and 1990s Marshall researched and authored essays on immigration policy, and in 2007 and 2009, EPI published Marshall's groundbreaking essay, "Getting Immigration Reform Right," and his book Immigration for Shared Prosperity, both of which are about immigration reform.
EB-3 to EB-2 boost may not protect your child CYRUS D. MEHTA
Ariz. employer pleads guilty to hiring immigrants PHOENIX: A southern Arizona contractor pleaded guilty in Tucson to knowingly hiring illegal immigrants in the first case in the state in which authorities charged such a violator with a crime rather than just impose a fine. Ivan Hardt, president Sun Dry Wall & Stucco Inc. of Sierra Vista, faces up to six months in jail for his misdemeanor illegal hiring conviction when he is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 26 by US District Judge Raner Collins. Hardt also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants, but his lawyer says the felony conviction will be dropped if he agrees to pay the government $450,000. -AP
f you were born in India and are being sponsored for a green card through your employer under the employmentbased third preference (EB-3), the wait is likely to be 70 years. If your employer filed the first step towards the green card, the labor certification, sometime in 2006, and you managed to file an adjustment of status application (Form I-485) when the EB-3 miraculously opened up for one month under the July 2007 Visa Bulletin and closed after that, the wait may be shaved off by a few decades, but it will still be very long. The only saving grace, besides being able to derive the benefits as a pending adjustment applicant, is that the filing of the I-485 application in July 2007 may have frozen the age of your child under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) even if your child is sub-
stantially over 21 today. If the green card comes through for you finally after 40 years, your child will still be protected under the CSPA, even if he or she is middle aged by then, and be able to derivatively obtain the green card with you as a child.
requires an advanced degree. Their employers could file new labor certifications with a view to obtaining classification under the employment-based second preference (EB-2), which applies to job positions requiring advanced degrees or their equivalent while the
Their employers could file new labor certifications with a view to obtaining classification under the employment-based second preference (EB-2) Many who are in the never ending pipeline for the green card under the EB-3, especially those born in India, may have upgraded their qualifications and obtained an advanced degree, or if they already possess an advanced degree or the equivalent, they may today qualify for a position that
EB-3 is applicable to positions requiring bachelor's degrees or 2 or more years of training or experience. The EB-2, while still backlogged for India, is moving substantially faster than the EB-3. Take the example of a foreign national born in India whose employer originally filed a labor certi-
fication on November 1, 2006 for a position requiring only a bachelor's degree and some experience. The next step in the process upon the approval of the labor certification, the I-140 immigrant visa petition, was filed on March 1, 2007 under the EB-3 and was subsequently approved. At the time of filing the I-140 petition, his daughter, who was born on March 1, 1988, had just turned 19. When the State Department opened up the EB-3 during July 2007, our foreign national from India rushed to file the I-485 applications for himself, his spouse and his daughter who was still 19. The filing of the I-485 application for his daughter, on say July 15, 2007, permanently froze her age under INA section 203(h)(1). Under Section 3 of the CSPA, which has been codified in INA Contâ€™d on page 38
November 11, 2011
US town welcomes immigrants as policy point DAYTON, Ohio: On the same afternoon thousands of Hispanics in Alabama took the day off to protest the state's strict new immigration law, Mexican-born Francisco Mejia was ringing up diners' bills and handing containers piled with carnitas to drive-thru customers on the east side of Dayton. His family's Taqueria Mixteca is thriving on a street pockmarked with rundown buildings and vacant storefronts. It gets packed with a diverse lunchtime clientele of Hispanic laborers, white men in suits and other customers, white and black. ``Business is very good,'' Mejia said, smiling broadly between orders. It's the kind of success story that leaders in Dayton think offers hope for an entire city. It has adopted a plan not only to encourage immigrants to come and feel welcome here, but also to use them to help pull out of an economic tailspin. Dayton officials, who adopted the ``Welcome Dayton'' plan unanimously Oct. 5, say they aren't condoning illegal immigration; those who come here illicitly will continue to be subject to U.S. laws. While states including Alabama, Georgia and Arizona, as well as some cities, have passed laws in recent years cracking down on illegal immigrants, Dayton officials say they will leave that to federal authorities and focus instead on how to attract and assimilate those who come legally. Other cities, including nearby Columbus and Indianapolis, have programs to help immigrants get government and community help, but Dayton's effort has a broader, and more urgent, feel. Mayor Gary Leitzell told the city commission before the vote that immigrants bring ``new ideas, new perspectives and new talent to our workforce. ... To reverse the decades-long trend of economic decline in this city, we need to think globally.'' Hard-hit for years by the struggles of U.S. manufacturing, particularly in the auto industry, the recession pounded Dayton, which as the Wright Brother's hometown calls itself ``the birthplace of aviation.'' Thousands of jobs were lost with the crippling 2009 exodus to Georgia of NCR (formerly National Cash Register), one of Dayton's signature corporations, after 125 years, and by the 2008 shutdown of a General Motors plant in suburban Moraine. Dayton's unemployment is nearly 11 percent, 2 percent higher than the national average, while population has fallen below
142,000, down 15 percent from 2000. Meanwhile, the city's official foreign-born population rose 57 percent, to 5,102, from 2000 to 2010, according to census figures. City leaders aiming to turn Dayton around started examining the immigrant population: Indian doctors in hospitals; foreign-born professors and graduate students at the region's universities; and owners of new small businesses such as a Turkish family's New York Pizzeria on the city's east side and Hispanic-run car lots, repair shops and small markets. They say immigrants have revitalized some rundown housing, moving into and fixing up what had been vacant homes. ``This area has been in a terrible recession, but it would be even worse without them,'' said Theo Majka, a University of Dayton sociology professor who, with his sociologist wife Linda Majka, has studied and advocated for Dayton's immigrants. ``Here we have this underutilized resource.''
Around the country, the bad economy has helped inspire new laws targeting illegal immigrants, seen as taking scarce jobs and overburdening schools, police and services Dayton officials say their plan still needs funding and volunteers to help put it in place; they hope by the end of the year. Its key tenets include increasing information and access to government, social services and housing issues; language education and help with identification cards, and grants and marketing help for immigrant entrepreneurs to help build the East Third Street section. ``We will be more diverse, we will grow, we will have more restaurants, more small businesses,'' said Tom Wahlrab, the city's human relations council director, who helped lead the plan's development. Besides thousands of Hispanics, there are communities in Dayton of Iraqi refugees, Vietnamese and other Asians, Africans from several countries, and Russians and Turks who, officials say, are already living here quietly and industriously. ``Immigrants are hard workers with a propensity to create jobs,
and this will invigorate the economy,'' said Festus Nyiwo, an attorney in his home country of Nigeria who has been a small-business entrepreneur since coming to Dayton about eight years ago. Around the country, the bad economy has helped inspire new laws targeting illegal immigrants, seen as taking scarce jobs and overburdening schools, police and services. In Alabama, a new law allows police to detain indefinitely those suspected of being in the country illegally and requires schools to check new students' status; some farms and businesses say they're losing workers because of it. Georgia and Arizona also added tough restrictions. The immigration debate continues in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where officials five years ago passed a law aimed at driving out illegal immigrants they blamed for drugs, violent crime and overwhelming schools and hospitals. The measure has since been tied up in court challenges. Dorothy Balser, manager of refugee resettlement services for Catholic Social Services, said that finding jobs can be a struggle, but that refugees have generally been able to fit into the Dayton community. She thinks the Welcome Dayton plan will have a ``natural positive effect'' on those already here without causing a significant rise in numbers immediately. Dayton's schools say they're helping 525 students learn English, up from 420 less than two years ago. About half are native Spanish-speakers; the rest are a mix of Turkish, Arabic, Swahili and more. They're ready to accept more. ``We already are currently experiencing many students from many nationalities living in Dayton. That is a reality,'' said Jill Moberly, a spokeswoman for Dayton Public Schools. Opponents fear it will encourage illegal immigration and give preferences to immigrants. ``If Dayton wants to help build its economy by letting people know that illegal immigrants are welcome, that's their prerogative,'' said Steve Salvi, founder of Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC, an advocacy group that focuses on illegal immigration. ``But when they accept a plan that clearly has the purpose of including those people, that's a problem for everyone.'' Roy Barber, who owns Roy's Lock Shop on East Third Street, says he's been in business for 30 years and doesn't like the city's plan. ``Nobody ever talked to me,'' he said. ``Why not help us?'' -AP
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November 11, 2011
US won't help Alabama apply NY judge orders release of immigrant program memo harsh immigration law WASHINGTON: The government has not offered to help Alabama put in place a strict immigration law that the Obama administration is challenging in court, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said. The administration has sued to block the law, considered the toughest state immigration controls in the country. “We have been working with the Department of Justice in its challenge to that law,'' Napolitano told the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. A federal appeals court in Atlanta, Georgia, temporarily blocked a part of the law this month that required public schools to check the immigration status of students. The court did not bar law enforcement officials from detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally. A final ruling in the case is not expected for several months. Alabama Republicans have argued that the law, passed this year by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Rob-
ert Bentley, was necessary to protect the jobs of legal residents. Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, a Republican, said he is not surprised by Napolitano's comments. ``I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the federal government won't help us enforce our laws con-
Opponents to the strict state law have argued that giving immigration enforcement power to local authorities would lead to racial profiling sidering it hasn't been enforcing its own law for years. That's why we're in this mess to begin with. In Alabama, we're trying to turn off the magnet drawing illegal aliens across the border. The Obama Administration is trying to make the magnet stronger,'' said Hubbard.
The Obama administration, which is challenging a similar law in Arizona, has argued that enforcing immigration law is a federal responsibility. Opponents to the strict state law have argued that giving immigration enforcement power to local authorities would lead to racial profiling of immigrants, both legal and illegal. “Commonsense law enforcement is about prioritizing resources,'' said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. ``The Department of Homeland Security should work with the Department of Justice to hold Alabama accountable, and prioritize valuable enforcement resources carefully to make sure the most dangerous individuals are detained and deported.'' Napolitano said that while it is too soon to know what impact the new law will have, such worries “should be a real concern.'' Similar laws have been passed in Utah, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana. Civil rights groups have sued to block them. -AP
NEW YORK: A federal judge has ordered the release of a document expected to show why the U.S. government ended up mandating a program for identifying deportable immigrants after they've been detained. US District Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered the government to turn over a key memorandum by Nov. 1 to civil rights groups and immigrant advocates who had included it in a Freedom of Information Act request. The memo was expected to explain why a program known as Secure Communities was optional for states and municipalities through at least the beginning of 2010, but became mandatory by the end of that year. The program enables the fingerprints of detainees arrested locally to be shared with federal authorities. Critics say the program has made immigrants reluctant to report crime because they fear deportation. In a statement, the plaintiffs assert that the judge's order will shine light on a program plagued with secrecy and lies. Advocates for an immigration overhaul say the pro-
gram has resulted in the deportation of people accused of traffic violations or other misdemeanors. Several states have objected to participating, arguing that immigration is a federal, not state, responsibility. A government spokeswoman, Jerika Richardson, declined comment. In her ruling, Scheindlin ordered the government to turn over at least 18 versions of what became known as the ``October 2 Memorandum,'' with a redaction only of material that does not appear in the final version of the document or is not in any other public document. She said the final version must be released in full, except for one paragraph on the third page and an accompanying footnote that are exempt from her order. The memo was completed four days before Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a news conference on Oct. 6, 2010 that the Secure Communities program was mandatory. The judge said the analysis in the memo ``seems to be the only rationale that the agency could have relied upon and adopted as the legal basis for the policy.'' -AP
EB-3 to EB-2 boost may not protect your child Cont’d from page 36
section 203(h) (3), if the child's age is below 21 when the visa petition is approved and the priority date becomes current, whichever happens later, the child's age remains permanently frozen under 21 provided she also sought to apply for permanent residence within one year of visa availability. In our example, the daughter's priority date became current on July 1, 2007, when the State Department announced that the EB-3 was current. Eligible people could file adjustment applications until August 17, 2007 as a result of a threatened law suit, which compelled the State Department to extend the filing period beyond July 30, 2007. After the July 2007 Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 severely retrogressed several years and has moved forward again at a snail's pace, especially for India, since then. As of the time of writing, the cut-off date for India under the EB-3 is July 22, 2002. However, since the daughter filed her I-485 when the EB-3 date became current in July 2007, her age at that time, which was 19, permanently froze under the CSPA. Today in 2011, even though the daughter is over 23, her CSPA age is technically still 19 and she can some day in the distant future, when the priority date of November 1, 2006 becomes current under
the India EB-3, adjust with her father as a derivative (as if she's still under 21) however old she may be. While our Indian foreign national, his wife and his daughter can remain legally in the US as pending adjustment of status applicants, this is not of much solace for her father who is yearning to break free with a green card. He has been stuck with his job for many years, and even if he is provided some job mobility under INA section 204(j), he must work in a similar occupation under which he was sponsored through the labor certification. Thus, if he was sponsored as a Computer Programmer, and can now qualify for a position as a Controller of his new IT company after obtaining an MBA in Finance through an evening executive MBA program at an Ivy League business school, his adjustment application will get denied when ultimately adjudicated if he is unable to show that he has "ported" to a same or similar occupation. One way to resolve this is if his present employer can file a new labor certification presently under the EB-2 as a Controller requiring an MBA and experience in the peculiar financial aspects of an IT company. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer files a new
I-140 petition but can magically capture the priority date of the old I-140 under EB-3, which is November 1, 2006. A USCIS rule, 8 CFR 204.5(e), allows you to do this provided that petition is not subsequently denied or revoked. Once the I-140 petition under the EB-2 is approved, it can be inter-filed with the pending I-485 application that was initially filed with the original I-140, and since the EB-2 cut-off date is well be-
The CSPA is an extremely complex statute subject to varying interpretations, which even Circuit courts cannot agree upon yond November 1, 2006, he will suddenly get the green card. While this may be manna from heaven for him and his spouse, the filing of the new I-140 will most likely not be able to protect the daughter under the CSPA at this point as it was filed much after her 21st birthday, even though the new I-140 petition will recapture the priority date of the old I-140 petition filed under EB-3. While this can be open to interpretation, the CSPA
applies to the "applicable" petition only, and it will be difficult to bootstrap the new I-140 onto the "applicable" EB-3 I-140 petition, which is no longer being utilized but was filed before her 21st birthday. While there may be some room to interpret the term "applicable" petition to include the new I-140 petition under EB-2, especially since the new I-140 petition recaptured the priority date of the prior I-140 petition especially if it was filed by the same petitioning employer (See Li v. Renaud), it will be extremely risky to go ahead with this knowing that there is an aged out child who is otherwise protected under the CSPA. Thus, while dad and mom get the green card, their daughter may get left behind. Parents who thus wish to upgrade from EB-3 to EB2 should beware about doing so if they have a child who is over 21 but who has been protected under the CSPA through the filing of an adjustment application under a prior I-140 petition. We have already written extensively about the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Khalid v. Holder, which correctly interpreted INA section 203(h)(3) providing for the automatic conversion of the priority date of the earlier petition to the appropriate category. If the daughter is unable to seek
the protection of the CSPA, after her parents got their LPR status under EB-2, she can use the November 1, 2006 priority date, if she resides in a jurisdiction where Khalid v. Holder is binding, to a family-based second preference petition for an adult child (F2B) that her father can potentially file on her behalf as a green card holder. But even Khalid v. Holder may not throw her an immediate life line since the current cut-off date under the F2B is much earlier than November 1, 2006 at this time. The CSPA is an extremely complex statute subject to varying interpretations, which even Circuit courts cannot agree upon, and the thin protective cover that it provides can quickly unravel based upon even an inadvertent misstep. Of course, this blog assumes that the child of an EB-3 beneficiary has already been covered under the CSPA through an earlier adjustment application. If the EB3 for India is truly expected to take 70 years before a green card materializes, a foreign national being sponsored today with a 1 year old child will have absolutely no hope of protecting the age of this child under the CSPA! * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
November 11, 2011
Non-Latino immigrants less worried about Ala. law BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala.: Alabama's tough new law targeting illegal immigrants has provoked concern among Hispanics even causing some to leave the state but members of other immigrant groups appear to be less worried. Mai Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who arrived more than 20 years ago in Bayou La Batre, the heart of Alabama's Gulf Coast seafood industry, said there was some initial fear, especially among those who speak limited English. ``I was a little worried when I first heard about it because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to explain to a police officer that I'm here legally,'' Nguyen said through a translator. But now she says she's more concerned about the shrimp harvest. Nguyen is part of the robust community of Southeast Asians who settled here after the Vietnam War. Since they are naturalized American citizens or legal permanent residents, Alabama's new law targeting illegal immigration shouldn't affect them. Some parts of the law have been blocked by courts, but a section that allows police to check a person's immigration status during traffic stops still stands. Some immigrants, even those in the country legally, worry that this could lead to improper detentions or racial profiling concerns that police and supporters of the law dismiss. People in Bayou La Batre's Southeast Asian community, especially the older generations, have been encouraged to apply for wallet-size passport cards that they can easily keep with them. That helped alleviate fears about the law, said Grace Scire, regional director for the VietnameseAmerican advocacy group Boat People SOS. Since Alabama's law was enacted, many Hispanics the state's fastest growing immigrant group over the last decade have reportedly left the state. Even among legal residents, many said they were leaving either because they feared the law would lead to racial profiling or because they have family members who are here illegally. ``Hispanic immigrants definitely feel like this is a law targeting Hispanics,'' said Elizabeth Brezovich with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. But she added that some other immigrant groups are worried. ``It's making a lot of people start to think even if they're here legally about what they need to do to get their papers in order, to make sure they're OK if they get stopped by police,'' she said. ``The legislative hearings and
record bear out that the people who introduced and passed the law were motivated to get Hispanics to self deport,'' said Olivia Turner with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. ``But I think its effects may be broader.'' Turner said she's heard from members of the south Asian community, many of whom are Muslim, that this law is yet another tool that will be used to harass them in the aftermath of 9/11. Some Haitian immigrants fear it will lead to racial profiling, she said. Nguyen arrived in Bayou La Batre in 1990 after spending a year in nearby Mobile. She can see some parallels between her own experience and that of the Hispanics. When she first arrived with her family, seeking a better life, some American workers resented the foreigners filling jobs even humble
â€˜Hispanic immigrants definitely feel like this is a law targeting Hispanics,â€™ said Elizabeth Brezovich with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. But she added that some other immigrant groups are worried jobs like shucking oysters. One of the main stated purposes for Alabama's new law is to make sure illegal immigrants don't take jobs from Americans. As refugees, including many who fled persecution after Communist regimes seized power, the Southeast Asians have legal residency status and many are naturalized American citizens. They've lived in Bayou La Batre for more than three decades and are entrenched in the local economy. Nguyen sympathizes with the Hispanic immigrants somewhat, but she said the law might have a good effect if illegal immigrants leave the state. They are often willing to work for lower wages and in worse conditions, meaning employers tend to prefer them over those who are here legally, she said. And with boats staying docked amid a slow economy, lots of people need jobs. Food market owner Tom Khanthavongsa and his wife, Duang, immigrated to the U.S. from Laos in 1980. Khanthavongsa, 55, said he hasn't given much thought to the new law. ``We're not worried, we have all
our papers and everything,'' he said, adding that a bigger concern is the struggles of the local Southeast Asian community who are his primary clients. Across Mobile Bay, along the Gulf Coast, which attracts hordes of tourists to its white sand beaches in the summer, many lowskilled jobs are filled by workers from other countries. Employers in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, where beachfront hotels, souvenir shops and waterfront restaurants cater to tourists, said they lost some Hispanic workers who they say were here legally when the law took effect. But many jobs are filled by young people from Eastern Europe or Jamaica who come on temporary work visas to wait tables or clean hotel rooms during the summer high season. The law took effect as the season was ending, so it's too early to tell whether it will dampen their willingness to come to Alabama. Eugeniu Gorbatia works as a bartender in a harbor-side restaurant. The 28-year-old from Moldova, who was granted political asylum, has lived in the U.S. for five years and speaks with a thick accent. He said he's not worried about the new law. ``I was pulled over during the summer, but the police didn't ask me about my immigrant status,'' he said. ``But if they did I wouldn't worry. I have my papers.'' His employer, Matt Shipp, said his workers on temporary seasonal visas weren't concerned about the new law, but he lost a handful of Hispanic workers, all of whom he believes are in the country legally. Some moved to Florida where the laws are less strict. In the Montgomery area, the small Korean population is only concerned that the broad discretion granted to police officers may be misused, said Alabama State University professor Sun Gi Chun. ``Most people (in the community) are working here legally, so we don't have any fear about the law,'' he said. ``We are a little concerned about people who might abuse their authority, but we haven't felt any abuse so far.'' Mohamed Elhady, president of
the Huntsville Islamic Center, which has members from many places, including India, Pakistan, Turkey and the Middle East, said he hasn't heard much concern about the new law.
``Our community is different,'' he said. ``It is made up professionals doctors, teachers, engineers who are all here legally, so the law doesn't affect us. We are not concerned.''-AP
Missouri testing specimens in E coli outbreak
ST. LOUIS: Missouri health officials say they're testing specimens and trying to determine the cause of an E. coli outbreak that sickened nearly two dozen people in St. Louis and four surrounding counties. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a statement that it's testing 34 specimens reported to contain E. coli. Spokeswoman Jacqueline Lapine says complete tests will take several days, but so far 18 of 34 specimens have tested positive for a byproduct of E. coli. Testing also continues to determine the cause of the reported illnesses. -AP
Washoe sheriff rounding up pills for safety RENO, Nev.: Washoe County sheriff's deputies and the Drug Enforcement Agency say they're staging another installment of a popular pill round-up that aims to get old drugs off medicine cabinet shelves and out of reach of teens who might abuse them. Officials say two Washoe County stores are allowing residents to drop off expired or unused medications so authorities can safely dispose of them. More than half a million pills have been collected in past roundups hosted by police in Reno and Sparks. Authorities say prescription drugs are now the second most commonly abused drug among teens, and the top drug among youth ages 12 and 13. -AP
Health officials offer flu season tips CHICAGO: Health officials say there are simple tips to stay healthy this flu season. Dr. Catherine Cheng at Northwestern Memorial Hospital recommends flu vaccines. She says one of the misconceptions is that it makes people sick. She says it may cause temporary side effects but it won't put people at risk of getting the flu. Health experts say everyone over the age of six months should receive one. It's especially important for children under five and adults 65 or older, among others. Some people who have had allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past or suffer from egg allergies should look for alternate methods of protection. -AP
Health Science 40
November 11, 2011
Gov't considers testing anthrax vaccine on kids WASHINGTON: A government advisory panel is considering whether the anthrax vaccine should be tested on children. Health experts worry that terrorists could one day use the potentially deadly bacteria in an attack on the United States. -AP
AAPI launches nationwide CPR awareness campaign India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Following the successful nationwide community awareness campaigns launched by American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) on maintaining physical health in the form of walkathons, physicians associated with the group have now launched an awareness program on Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) all across the US. The national AAPI along with Central Ohio wing of the organization AAPIO recently kicked off its first community awareness campaign and CPR training classes in Columbus, Ohio, for South Asians in conjunction with AAPI Governing body meeting, along with Twinepideminc, Inc and Ohio State University Medical Center Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is indicated in those who are unresponsive with no breathing or abnormal breathing and may be performed both in and outside of a hospital. CPR involves chest compressions at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of at least 100 per minute in an effort to create artifi-
Ohio Community leader Nirmal Sinha, AAPI President Dr Sunita Kanumury, Dr William Brustein, vice provost of Ohio State University, Dr. Ranga Reddy and Dr. S. Balasubramanian, former AAPI Presidents. -Pic AAPI Media
CPR involves chest compressions at least 5 cm deep and at a rate of at least 100 per minute in an effort to create artificial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart cial circulation by manually pumping blood through the heart. The process of externally providing ventilation is termed artificial respiration. Current recommendations place emphasis on highquality chest compressions over artificial respiration; a simplified CPR method involving chest compressions only is recommended for untrained rescuers.
Cardiovascular disease has become the number one killer for South Asians. Many people are not aware of the necessary preventative measures to eat healthy, exercise and follow up with their physician for assessment of the hypertension and hyperlipidemia. They are also not equipped to handle an emergency situation. Sudden cardiac death accounts
for 50 percent of the deaths from coronary artery disease. According to the most recent AHA guidelines, bystander CPR now only requires chest compressions, no longer is mouth to mouth resuscitation required. Chest compressions only CPR have been proven to be effective however many people are still not trained on how to perform CPR and often are helpless in a crisis situation. Dr. Sunita Kanumury, AAPI President said AAPI will lay stress on preventive medicine to improve the wellbeing of the people and acknowledged the role three key physicians- Dr. Lakshmi Mehta, Dr Vemury Murthi and Dr. Kris Vijay played in devising the program for CPR. Dr Rani Lakhi had mounted enormous efforts to bring the community to the program and over 150 people were trained in CPR on that day. The goal of national AAPI is to bring awareness in spreading the message across every state in the country by offering and conducting free CPR classes to South Asian and other communities, said Dr. Bipin Desai, AAPIO president. Dr. Gautam Samadder, past president and Dr. Sailesh Patel, secretary of AAPIO organized the training programs. Dr Kanumury presented recognition awards to Dr. Bipin Desai, Dr. Samadder and Dr. Chanden Sen for their role in making the event a success.
Global health fund probe uncovers $20m losses GENEVA: A global health fund investigating its own losses in grant money said here that 12 more probes had turned up an additional $20 million of mismanagement, alleged fraud and misspending. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria posted the results, contained in three fraud probes, eight audits and an internal review of travel involving about $1 billion in grant money, on its website. Earlier probes by the fund's internal watchdog, the inspector general's office, had detected about $53 million in losses, according to fund documents, some unpublished, provided by senior officials.
The fund's board chairman two new cases in Nigeria and InSimon Bland told The Associated dia could lead to criminal charges. Press it has now reviewed about The fund says it has recovered $19 one-seventh of million in misspent $14 billion in or undocumented In India, at least grants disbursed money so far. but it would be $872,000 had ``We think the misleading to exGlobal Fund stanbeen misappropri- dards of accounting trapolate the percentage of corrup- ated, some are really high,'' tion turning up in transferred to a Bland said. ``We will fund programs. not tolerate misuse He said the shell corporation of our resources.'' fund, which has In Nigeria, the approved more than $22 billion in probe found $22 million in unauthogrants since its creation in 2002 as rized foreign currency exchanges by a major financing tool, is demand- a not-for-profit center in Abuja that ing repayment of the money - and diverted hundreds of thousands of
dollars to non-fund accounts. In India, at least $872,000 had been misappropriated, some transferred to a shell corporation and used to rent and renovate an official's home. A third probe was in Mauritania, where $6.73 million in potential fraud and other losses were found but the country has already paid back $4.2 million. Auditors also looked at grants in Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Swaziland and Togo, and examined almost a half-billion dollars in fund programs run by Washington, D.C.-based Population Services International. -AP
Health Science Post
November 11, 2011
Obama in 'excellent health,' ADHD drugs don't raise heart risks for kids physician says WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is in excellent health and tobacco free, his doctor said in the results of the president's second physical exam since taking office. In the two-page report released by the White House, Dr. Jeffrey C. Kuhlman also said Obama is physically active, eats a healthy diet, stays at a healthy weight, and on occasion drinks alcohol in moderation. ``The President is in excellent health and `fit for duty,''' Kuhlman wrote. ``All clinical data indicate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency.'' Obama, who turned 50 in August, seems to have improved his health on some fronts since his last physical, which Kuhlman conducted in February 2010. At that time, Kuhlman said Obama should stick with ``smoking cessation efforts,'' and also said his cholesterol level had crept to borderline high and he should alter his diet accordingly. Since then, Obama, who chewed nicotine gum, appears to have quit smoking entirely an
achievement his wife, Michelle Obama, announced earlier this year. And his cholesterol is now described as ``ideal.'' Obama's total cholesterol level now stands at 193, compared with 209 in February 2010. His LDL, or bad cholesterol, is now 110, down from 138 last year.
Obama, who chewed nicotine gum, appears to have quit smoking entirely an achievement his wife, Michelle announced Obama frequently works out and plays basketball and golfs. Kuhlman, a Navy captain, recommended that the president have his next physical in December 2012. The president was checked for and found free of colon cancer with a virtual colonoscopy last year, so he wasn't due to be tested again.
The new report says he was also screened for prostate cancer using a PSA blood test. That's a test that the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against earlier this month, saying it can do more harm than good in part because many tumors found are too slow-growing to be a threat. The report cites ``informed patient request'' in giving Obama the screening. His PSA level, or prostate-specific antigen, was found to be low. The president is 6-foot-1 (185.4 centimeters) and weighs 181.3 pounds (82.2 kilograms), according to the report. His blood pressure was recorded at 107 over 71, up from 105 over 62 in February 2010, but still well within the normal range. The doctor said Obama's vision was 20/20 in both eyes for both distance and near vision. The report found a ``wellhealed lower lip laceration'' apparently a reference to an injury Obama sustained about a year ago when he was elbowed in the lip while playing basketball and had to get stitches. -AP
italin and similar medicines that millions of American children and teens take to curb hyperactivity and boost attention do not raise their risk of serious heart problems, the largest safety study of these drugs concludes. Heart attacks, strokes and sudden death were very rare and no more common in children on the drugs than in kids not taking them, the federally funded study found. That was true even for children and young adults with a higher risk of heart problems a group doctors have long worried about when prescribing these drugs. ``This study would suggest that their risk is remarkably low. And that's good news,'' said the study's leader, Dr. William Cooper, a pediatrics and preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University. ``Parents should be very reassured,'' said Dr. Laurel Leslie, a pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston who had no role in the study but served on a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel examining drugs for ADHD, or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
The study was sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the FDA. Results were published online Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. Results from similar studies of these medicines in adults are expected soon. More than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, which hampers a child's ability to pay attention and control behavior. Although it seems counterintuitive, stimulant medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Strattera can help these children, and about 2.7 million of them are prescribed such drugs each year. However, isolated reports of heart attacks and strokes in kids taking the drugs caused worry, and the Canadian government curbed use of one drug in 2006. The FDA added a black box warning to some ADHD drugs, and the American Heart Association gave the controversial advice in 2008 that it was reasonable to screen a child starting on such a drug with a heart EKG test. Contâ€™d on page 42
Health Science Post
November 11, 2011
US deaths from painkillers triple in decade NEW YORK: The number of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers more than tripled in the US over a decade, the government reported Tuesday a trend the nation's top health official called an epidemic, but one that can be stopped. Narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and methadone led to the deaths of almost 15,000 people in 2008, including actor Heath Ledger. That's more than three times the 4,000 deaths in 1999. Such painkillers ``are meant to help people who have severe pain,'' said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which issued the report. ``They are, however, highly addictive.'' The report shows nearly 5 percent of Americans aged 12 and older said they've abused painkillers in the past year using them without a prescription or just for the high. In 2008-09 surveys, Oklahomans reported the highest rate of abuse; the lowest was in Nebraska and Iowa. The overdose deaths reflect the spike in the number of narcotic
painkillers prescribed every year enough to give every American a one-month supply, Frieden said. Prescriptions rose as doctors aimed to better treat pain and as new painkillers hit the market. Frieden and White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, who joined him at CDC headquarters in At-
'America's prescription drug abuse epidemic is not a problem that's going to be solved overnight lanta, said states need to take strong actions to reverse the longrunning trend. States oversee prescription practices and can rigorously monitor prescriptions and crack down on ``pill mills'' and ``doctor shopping'' by patients, Frieden said. Doctors should limit prescriptions giving only a three-day supply for acute pain, for example and look for alternative treatments, he said.
``For chronic pain, narcotics should be the last resort,'' he added. A federal drug plan announced this year calls for state programs to track prescriptions. All but two states Missouri and New Hampshire have approved them, said Kerlikowske. But a number of states don't have them in place yet or doctors aren't using them enough to check on their patients' past prescriptions, he said. ``America's prescription drug abuse epidemic is not a problem that's going to be solved overnight, but at the same time, we're not powerless,'' said Kerlikowske. He urged parents to get rid of unneeded or expired painkillers so they aren't misused. Overall, there were 36,450 fatal overdoses in 2008, including accidental cases and suicides involving illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine along with prescription medicines. About three-quarters of the deaths from prescriptions involved narcotic painkillers. Ledger died that year from an accidental overdose of painkillers and sedatives. -AP
ADHD drugs don't raise heart risks for kids Contâ€™d from page 41
``There's such strong feelings around these drugs'' and whether they are overused in children who might be helped by behavioral therapy alone, Cooper said. ``The potential safety questions have added another layer of concern.'' His study was aimed at resolving the safety question. Researchers used medical records from four big health plans covering more than 1.2 million people ages 2 through 24. They found 81 cases of serious heart problems from 1998 through 2005 among all people in the study. Those on ADHD medicines were no more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or sudden death than were non-users or former users of such drugs. More than half of children and young adults taking ADHD drugs used methylphenidate generic Ritalin and researchers saw no increased risk from that specific drug either. ``The good news is that it doesn't look like overall, there's an increase in cardiovascular events in kids who are on ADHD drugs,'' said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, a Johns Hopkins University heart specialist and president of the American
Heart Association. ``The question parents should be asking themselves is, `Does my child really need this?''' Cooper, the study's leader, and Leslie, the Boston pediatrician, defended the drugs' use, especially with careful medical monitoring and behavioral therapy.
'The good news is that it doesn't look like overall, there's an increase in cardiovascular events in kids' ``I take care of kids all the time who are helped by these drugs,'' Cooper said. FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh said stimulants ``should generally not be used in patients with serious heart problems, or for whom an increase in blood pressure or heart rate would be problematic.'' Patients on ADHD medications also should be watched for changes in heart rate or blood pressure, she said. -AP
November 11, 2011
India Post 43
Sat Nov 12 • Fifth Annual Indian Classical Dance Festival Venue: Baruch Performing Arts Center 55 Lexington Ave 25th St, New York Time: 12pm Contact: 212-561-0504 Thurs Dec 1 • DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra Venue: SOB’s 200 Varick Stree, New York Time: 7pm Contact: 212-252-2392
Fri Nov 11 • Bankim Pathak Live in Concert Venue: Copernicus Theater 5216 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL Time: 8:30pm Contact: 773-764-7576
Sat Nov 12 • Super Mega Star Show Balle Balle 2011 Venue: DES Plaines Theater, 1476 Miner Street, Des Plaines, IL Time: 7:30pm Contact: 847-770-1088
Sat Nov 12 • South Asian Theater Festivel-11 Venue: New Jersey Performing Arts Center 1 Center Street, Newark, Philadelphia Time: 7pm Contact: 732-750-1546
Sun Nov 20 • Shazia Manzoor Live In Concert- First Time in NJ
Fri Dec 4
Sun Nov 13
Venue: Union County Performing Arts Center 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ Time: 5pm Contact: 732-921-7350
• Karishma TV & Pali Presents EID Festival 2011
• Hamdard Center Gala Featuring Kavita K. & Fashion Show
Sun Dec 4
Venue: Antuns 244, West Old Country Road, Hicksville, NY Time: 7pm Contact: 718-600-0954
Venue: Donald E. Stevens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont IL Time: 6pm Contact: 630-835-1430 ext 23
• Dulhan Expo- Somerset Venue: Garden State Exhibit Center 50 Atrium Dr. Somerset, NJ Time: 12:00pm Contact: 732-469-4000
Upcoming Sat Nov 12
Sat Nov 12 • Hello Namaste Salaam Satsriakal Masti Venue: Chandn Restaurant, 5748 Mowry School Rd, Balentine Plaza, across Hilton Hotel, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 7pm Contact: 510-299-1138
Fri Nov 18 to Sun Nov 20 • The Sikh Arts & Film Festival Venue: Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, in Orange, CA Contact: 714-759-4SAF Highlights: The festival opens with a red carpet welcome night, filled with films and entertainment, and a sumptuous dessert reception.
Sat Nov 19 • Abhinaya Dance Company Presents 'Jwala-The Immortal Flame'
• Free Two-day Introductory Training course in Pranahuti Aided
Venue: McAfee Theater 20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070 Time: 6:00pm Contact: 408 871 5959
Venue: Pam Virginia Center, Herndon, VA Contact: 510-364-2427
Sun Nov 20
Thur Nov 17 • Sahasra Deepika 2nd Annual Gala Venue: J.W. Marriott 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, 20004 Time: 12:00am
Sat Dec 31 • Kaveri Kannada Association 2011 Membership Venue: Kaveri Kannada Association 10070 Darnestown Road # 232, Rockville, MD 20850 Time: 10pm Contact: 301-633-5311
• SEF Presents Kanmaniye Venue: Chabot College Performing Arts Center 25555, Hesperian Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94545 Time: 5:00pm Time: 1-866 Sankara
Sun Dec 04 • Khushbu Se Bhare Khat, A concert in Tribute to Jagjit Singh Venue: Joan Pisani Community Center, 19655 Allendale Ave, Saratoga, CA Time: 4:00pm Contact: email@example.com
Sat Dec 10 • Christmas & New Year Celebrations Venue: EverGreen Hight School, 3300 Quimby Road, San Jose, CA Time: 12:00pm Contact: 408-836-5804
Sat Dec 31 • Yuva Bharti Membership 2011 Venue: Yuva Bharati 870, Ames Avenue, Palo Alto, CA Time: 12am Contact: 650-565-8859
Sat Dec 31 • Friend of Abhinaya Membership Venue: Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose, 52 Harold Avenue, San Jose Time: 12am
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Sat Nov 12 • Diwali 2011: Maharashtra Mandal Los Angeles Venue: Long Beach Polytechnic High School 1600 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA Time: 4pm Contact: 434-227-9430
Sun Nov 26 • KKNC Presents Prerna A Mega Fundraiser Event
Sat Nov 19
Venue: Chabot College 25555, Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA Time: 4:30pm Time: 510-586-3378
Venue: Norwalk Presbyterian Church, 11345, Resecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA Time: 2pm Contact: 805-328-3932
• 2011 Annual Fall Youth Retreat
November 11, 2011
India's F1 debut a resounding success
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the race during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida
NEW DELHI: Without any doubt, India made a grand entry into the world of Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport. A marvelous racing facility, the
together perfectly to make India's Formula One debut a blockbuster. Initially, there were apprehensions, dogs on the track, a powercut in the middle of a press con-
The memories of the organizational disaster that the Commonwealth Games was, were drowned in the noise of the Formula One cars racing at over 350kph at the Buddh International Circuit. The racers left India with memories to cherish and desire to come back famed warmth in hospitality there to be seen, and passionate fans filling up the stands, it all came
ference and a bat flying in the media centre but in the end praise flowed India's way like an uncon-
trolled stream. Apprehensions vanished with each passing minute, leashes were put on dogs and every single glitch, although there were not many, was addressed with determination and eventually removed. The memories of the organizational disaster that the Commonwealth Games was, were drowned in the noise of the Formula One cars racing at over 350kph at the Buddh International Circuit. The racers left India with memories to cherish and desire to come back, administrators lauded the organizers - Jaypee Group - for creating a super circuit with a challenging racing track.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany, winner, McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button (C) of Britain, second place, and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, third place, spray champagne as they celebrate on the podium
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates with the trophy after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confessed that he feared if the race will happen at all as construction work continued till the last minute but took a flight back by saying that "India delivered on all counts". Sebastian Vettel, a proud winner of the first ever Indian GP, discovered in less than a week's stay here that Indian people are happy and content despite having not much in contrast to Europeans, who have every luxury to enjoy. "I think it is a very impressive country, very different to what we probably know from Europe, but very inspiring. If you keep you eyes and ears open I think you are able to learn a lot, the way the people handle things here. They enjoy life and in the end that's what it is all about. If your life comes to an end it is more the thoughts, the emotions, the friends, the friendships you
take with you rather than whatever you have in your bank account," the German remarked philosophically after his win. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was third behind McLaren's Jenson Button, gave India a rating of nine on a scale of 10. "I think when you host the first race even in a new country, there are things that for sure you learn and you improve. I think next year it will be even better, in terms of how the teams will settle, how the electricity will work, after we had some problems, which is very normal for a first time that we use an environment like this one. I think the starting point next year will be a lot better than the starting point this year the starting point is already very high, from zero to ten maybe it's nine so it's very good but the ten will be reached very soon," the Spaniard said.-PTI
November 11, 2011
Waving chequered flag a memorable experience: Tendulkar
95,000 crowd throng BIC to watch inaugural Indian GP GREATER NOIDA: A bevy of dignitaries, film stars and cricketers were among the 95,000-odd crowd that thronged the Buddh International Circuit to witness the inaugural Indian Grand Prix here in the north Indian city. Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were among the cricketers present at the circuit as double world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull blazed his way to the 11th win of the season ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The film world was represented by Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Gulshan Grover among others. North Indian state Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati Devi did the honors to bring the curtains down on a successful event by presenting the winner's trophy to Vettel amid loud cheers at the stands. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vicechairman of Airtel, the title sponsors, presented a trophy to a Red Bull official for his driver winning the race. Executive chairman of Jaypee Group, the race organizers, Manoj Gaur, presented the trophy to Button for his second- place finish, while Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India chief, Vicky Chandhok, gave away the trophy to Alonso. Being the final race day, Sunday's turnout was 45,000 more than Saturday's qualifying. -PTI
Sachin Tendulkar waves the checkered flag as unseen Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany crosses the finish line during the Formula One's Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida on October 30
GREATER NOIDA: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, a self-confessed Formula One fan, described waving the chequered flag at the end of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix here as a memorable experience in his life. Tendulkar, who witnessed the race along with wife Anjali and
daughter Sara, waved the chequered flag after double world champion Sebastian Vettel crossed the finishing line to win the race at the Buddh International Circuit. "What an experience it was to wave the chequered flag!!! Got to keep it as well!!!," Tendulkar wrote
Sachin Tendulkar and Michael Schumacher
on his Twitter account. He also praised the organizers, Jaypee Group, for the facilities at the circuit and the successful hosting of the race. "Wonderfully organized F1 event by Jaypee. A world class track with excellent facilities for spectators. Truly a memorable day for all of us," he said. Tendulkar was the cynosure of all eyes as he mingled with the who's who of motorsports, including F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who himself had invited the star Indian cricketer for the race. Tendulkar also met seven-time world champion and 'dear friend' Michael Schumacher and Mercedes team's other driver Nico Rosberg before the race. He later joined the F1 fraternity in observing a minute's silence as a mark of respect to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli who recently died in tragic crashes in IndyCar and Moto GP races respectively. -PTI
Sachin has small stake in i1 Super Series MUMBAI: Machdar Motorsports, the promoters of i1 Super Series Championship, clarified that cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has bought "a small stake" in the motorsports event but refused to divulge the details. Machdar Motorsports CEO M Darshan had earlier told PTI that reports of Tendulkar buying a stake in the motorsports event were speculative and not true but
company sources said that he indeed has a stake, though small. "Tendulkar has a small stake in the il Super Series. It is a small one. I cannot tell the details more than this," a company source said. Reports have said that Tendulkar, a huge motor sports fan and who was present at the inaugural Indian F1 Grand Prix, held a 26 per cent stake in the nine-team Super Series with promoter Anjana
Reddy. Darshan said that Ten Sports channel has been signed up as the broadcasters of the USD 2 million prize money championship for one year. He also said that another star Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh "had shown his intent" to buy a stake in one of the teams in the past but the deal has not been concluded.-PTI
Karun Chandhok, Team Lotus Renault T128 and cricketer Harbhajan Singh during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix
Ferrari plans to bring owner training progs to India NEW DELHI: Fresh from tasting success in the first-ever Formula One race in India, Italian sports-car maker Ferrari plans to conduct owner training programs and a challenger series in the country at the Buddh International Circuit. The company, which officially entered India earlier this year with the appointment of the Shreyans Group as official importer, has launched its four-seater model FF at a price starting from Rs 3.42 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). "The idea is why not have our challenger series (a racing competition) and have customer training programs now that there is a world-class track here in India," Ferrari SpA Chief Executive Officer Amedeo Felisa told reporters here. With the Formula One race being held in India and a lot of Ferrari fans in India, he said: "We had success with Alonso... We hope
that the popularity of the brand will increase." Shreyans Group Chairman Ashish Chordia said by the first quarter of next year, Ferrari might finalize modalities for the challenger series and customer training programs in India. Commenting on the latest FF model, which made its global debut earlier this year, Felisa said Ferrari has so far sold 800 units and bookings are already complete for next year, at over 1,000 units. In India, Ferrari will study the customer response and it might take about 12 months for delivery of vehicles. "We will work closely with Ferrari to see if that period can be shortened whenever we get an order, but as of now, we have just launched the car. We will be assessing customer response first," Chordia said.-PTI
November 11, 2011
Should one get involved in 'dirty' politics? SENATOR S. RAMAKRISHNAN OF MALAYSIA
just returned from Sydney attending a forum organized by the Tamil Diaspora. One person from the audience asked a question which I should have answered but was preoccupied with other issues and did not answer. That is bothering me and I want to share with everybody. I thought I will share it with you all and hope it will reach others and I feel relieved that even though I missed the question in Sydney but my response will reach many others. Hope by providence's grace it will reach the person who asked this question. I have received similar questions especially from the Tamil population in Malaysia too. The question was: 'Politics is dirty and therefore should be dumped in dustbin and that we should not get involved. This is what I read in books and comments from respected people. What does the panelist say about it?' This was the question and two other panelists responded. I should have replied but somehow did not. My reply would be that politics affects all aspect of our life. Whether we accept it or not political decisions by political decision makers, namely Parliament, state legislative councils and even municipal council decisions very much influence the way we live and the effect of these decisions gets into our minds and bothers us. The prices of basic essential items like rice, sugar, etc are all influenced by politics. Our religious freedoms, syllabus content in schools, what is allowed to study in schools are influenced by political decisions. The housing schemes, public
transportation systems, job opportunities, scholarships, business opportunities are political decisions. Some of the bills
in the political process of which ever country they live in. They must influence the political decisions both national and interna-
Malaysian Tamils during a funeral procession of a fellow Tamil A. Kugan who died in police custody under suspicious circumstances -Jan 2009
passed like ISA, OSA, emergence ordinance, university and society acts, printing and publishing acts in parliament have far reaching consequences. These acts of parliament bring about fear, anger, disgust and disturb our minds. Therefore politics affects our inner self. The crucification of Jesus Christ and assassination of Mahatma Gandhi are about political considerations and nothing religious or spiritual. The emergence of religious bigots and extremism are about political dominance and controlling the hearts and minds of people so that they can be in power. Therefore the Tamil population must reconcile with this reality and not be too concerned about what some armchair critics say. Tamils all over the world must have more political awareness and participate
tionally. Israel is a small country in Middle East surrounded by their enemies. But they are in control of their surroundings and they
what can we do? As a community Malaysian Indians and Tamils are ignorant people. They only know how to complain all the time and expect others to give handouts and support when they are in need. But when others are in dire situation the Tamils will look the other way. Tamils generally bring up their children to become doctors and lawyers etc. They frown and fear at the thought of going into politics. These actions of good people leave a vacuum for others to occupy political post and therefore the world is what it is. This looking down on politics must change among Indians, particularly the Tamils. Tamils are all over the world therefore they must go international in politics. If a Tamil were to head UN, would Sri Lanka get away with war crimes? The atrocities and killing of innocent people would have been averted.
Tamil culture places too much importance on temples and religious rituals. Temples and all rituals must be used to build a community with high values. Temples must become community centers that bring together the segregated and cast-ridden Tamil population have strong presence in the US which protects them. They are a minority in their region and in the US too. But they are the most powerful people sitting in the most powerful political decision making bodies. Malaysian Indians always lament that we are in a minority
We must stop begging and blaming others but on the other hand take-charge of our own welfare. One of the culprits who keep Tamils mental poor is the Tamil linguists who prevent the Tamil masses from integrating with the other communities by not learning Hindi. Today they have less influ-
Jayalalitha on the offensive
commentary in the Indian website expressbuzz.com/opinion reads as follows and illustrates mounting pressure that will unavoidably harden Delhi's stance.
"Jayalalithaa has submitted a memo to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that lists demands for post-conflict Sri Lanka. She has said that the Sri Lankan regime should be held accountable for war crimes during the last days of the fratricidal war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), where thousands of civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands became refuges, Tamil areas of the north were reduced to rubble, and humanitarian assistance to Tamils denied. Jayalalithaa has asked that Colombo immediately transfers adequate powers to the north and east of the island nation so the Tamils can have autonomy of governance, a long-standing Tamil demand. Jayalalithaa has insisted that India should impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka if it does not comply. In effect India should
change its policy on Sri Lanka". Sri Lankan President Rajapakse seems to have taken fright and is sending emissaries
Sri Lankan President Rajapakse seems to have taken fright and is sending emissaries bearing pleas and invitations to placate the redoubtable lady bearing pleas and invitations to placate the redoubtable lady. She, however, is unlikely to indulge in appeasement, as it will be seen as treachery by her political base. Appease-
ence in Indian federal decisions. They acclaim that their language is their mother and God. Most of Tamil politicians do not have high and noble values but are very profound in their language skills. They use their Tamil oratory skills to keep Tamils from going national or global. Tamil language is rich in noble and spiritual values because of the great contributions from Tamil speaking saints and sages. But the Tamil armchair critics and politicians will only focus on literature and language and their greatness and totally leave out the noble and spiritual values that need to be emulated from the Tamil saints and sages. Tamils must aspire to be rich in values, realistic and pragmatic and not get drowned in the greatness of language. Their language will not save them but on the contrary, they save their language. Tamil culture places too much importance on temples and religious rituals. Temples and all rituals must be used to build a community with high values. Temples must become community centers that bring together the segregated and cast-ridden Tamil population. Temples can be learning and character building centers for the younger generation. All temples must focus on these issues if they truly love the Tamil god and people. Great political leaders must come out of temples to care for the Tamil population all over the world. That is my humble wish and prayer. Transcribed by Zarina on behalf of Senator S. Ramakrishnan
ment is impossible at a time when Delhi is already denigrated as complicit in war crimes in Lanka's civil war. In fact she seems to have taken a leaf from Rajapakse's own book. Chief Minister Jayalalitha is a quick learner and her current guru seems to be none other than her bete noir, President Rajapakse. Here are the two mirror images. His version: Talk tough on terrorism, pursue war without concern for civilians, be a triumphant leader and shine (for a while) as the greatest since Duttugemanu (legendary Sinhalese king who killed Ellalan a Tamil king). Her version of the same story: Talk tough on Tamil rights, pursue Rajapakse to The Hague, play on emotions of genocide of Tamils, and keep Congress and Karunanithi at bay (for a while). These days, both men and women are from Mars! The stage is set for collision course as both play their hands to opposed chauvinist suits.
November 11, 2011
India Post 47
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f I had a palace made of pearls, inlaid with jewels, scented with musk, saffron and sandalwood, a sheer delight to behold seeing this, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. Without the Lord, my soul is scorched and burnt. I consulted my Guru, and now I see that there is no other place at all. If the floor of this palace was a mosaic of diamonds and rubies, and if my bed was encased with rubies, and if heavenly beauties, their faces adorned with emeralds, tried to entice me with sensual gestures of love - seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. If I were to become a Siddha, and work miracles, summon wealth and become invisible and visible at will, so that people would hold me in awe - seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would not enter into my mind. If I were to become an emperor and raise a huge army, and sit on a throne, issuing commands and collecting taxes - O Nanak, all of this could pass away like a puff of wind. Seeing these, I might go astray and forget You, and Your Name would
om Le Saux, a French Benedictine, went to India with the intention of witnessing to the gospel of Jesus Christ by living as a Christian monk among Hindu sadhus. However, a few years after his arrival in India, he ceased seeing himself as a Christian missionary, and, some might argue, "became more Hindu than the Hindus." Despite his new name, Abhishiktananda was not a Hindu convert. Shortly, after his arrival in India (1948), he wrote: "it was only the passing visitors to the ashram who took the white sannyasi for a genuine convert to Hinduism." A few years later, he referred to himself as "a poor Christian monk in the midst of Hindu monks." Around that same time (1952), he further characterized himself as "truly the Christian successor of the sadhus, who for centuries have followed each other in the crevices of this sacred mountain." Twenty years later, and shortly before his death, Abhishiktananda could still write: "Take good note that we should not change our 'tradition.' It is under the sign of Jesus Christ that we have awoken to Brahman [God], even if it needed
not enter into my mind. If I could live for millions and millions of years, and if the air was my food and drink, and if I lived in a cave and never saw either the sun or the moon, and if I never slept, even in dreams - even so, I could not estimate Your Value. How can I describe the Greatness of Your Name? The True Lord, the Formless One, is Himself in His Own Place. I have heard, over and over again,
ing through hundreds of heavens, and if I was invisible, neither eating nor drinking anything - even so, I could not estimate Your Value. How can I describe the Greatness of Your Name? O Nanak, if I had hundreds of thousands of stacks of paper, and if ink were never to fail me, and if my pen were able to move like the wind, and if I were to read and recite and embrace love for the Lord - even so,
the scholars about this? O Baba, the splendor of Maya is deceptive. The blind man has forgotten the Name; he is in limbo, neither here nor there. Life and death come to all who are born. Everything here gets devoured by Death. He sits and examines the accounts, there where no one goes along with anyone. Those who weep and wail might just as well all tie bundles of straw. Nanak seeks the company of the
Blessings of His Grace rain down to lowest of low As it is pre-ordained, people speak their words. As it is pre-ordained, they consume their food. As it is pre-ordained, they walk along the way
and so I tell the tale; as it pleases You, Lord, please instill within me the yearning for You. If I was slashed and cut into pieces, over and over again, and put into the mill and ground into flour, burnt by fire and mixed with ashes - even then, I could not estimate Your Value. How can I describe the Greatness of Your Name? If I was a bird, soaring and fly-
I could not estimate Your Value. How can I describe the Greatness of Your Name? As it is pre-ordained, people speak their words. As it is pre-ordained, they consume their food. As it is pre-ordained, they walk along the way. As it is pre-ordained, they see and hear. As it is pre-ordained, they draw their breath. Why should I go and ask
lowest of the low class, the very lowest of the low. Why should he try to compete with the great? In that place where the lowly are cared for - there, the Blessings of Your Glance of Grace rain down. Excerpted from Guru Granth Sahib, Siree Raag, First House The 542nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak will be celebrated on November 10
the Veda to make us fully aware of Him." There is significant evidence that Abhishiktananda's transformation resulted from his finding the non-dual "place" which transcends the plurality of particular religions - that place where true mystics of all religious traditions, and Ultimate Reality, are said to be one.
the non-dual experience which transcends all particular religions, an experience which for him was made possible only by his meditation on the Upanisads. By relegating particular religions to an age that has passed, Abhishiktananda even appears to claim a certain normativity for non-dual spirituality, for the present and future ages of humanity.
to enter a new era, one towards which the world is blindly groping its way.... (M)en's relationships with each other, and the relation of each man with 'God' will be lived out of an interior experience at once of pure Presence and of Communion. There is also evidence that Abhishiktananda saw himself as a reformer working from within
Transformation of Dom Le Saux to Swami Abhishiktananda
‘Meditation on the Upanisads makes me ever more keenly aware of the transformation through which the Church, and indeed all religions, must pass. The age of religions ... has passed’
Later in his life, Abhishiktananda wrote: "Meditation on the Upanisads makes me ever more keenly aware of the transformation through which the Church, and indeed all religions, must pass. The age of religions ... has passed." This is a striking statement indeed. The age of religions, Christianity included (since it, too, is in need of transformation), has passed. In this instance, Abhishiktananda does seem to be claiming for himself
Along these same lines, Abhishiktananda further states (in a discussion of the relevance of the Upanisads): The Upanisadic experience has nothing to do with any religion, whatever.... It is of a different order altogether. It is the ultimate awakening of the human spirit, with which religions are now being confronted.... “The wider dissemination of this experience is even preparing the way, it seems, for humanity
Christianity, rather than as a critic standing outside. Stuart notes that Abhishiktananda thought that the church needed to challenge Christians "to penetrate beyond the merely intellectual and moral level of their faith, and to recover the sadly neglected mystical dimension of their tradition." It has been India's special gift to model this inward emphasis. Excerpted from Indian Journal of Theology
God, whose love and joy are present everywhere, can't come to visit you unless you aren't there. -Angelus Silesius To study the way of the Buddha is to study your own self. -Dogen At first you may experience silent awareness only after the dissolution of perception, but later you will be in the silence in both the presence and absence of objects. -Jean Klein Nothing to do, Nothing to force, nothing to want and everything happens by itself. -Ven. Lama Gendun Rinpoche Great knowledge sees all in one. Small knowledge breaks down into the many -Chuang Tzu We cannot integrate with Consciousness because we are never disintegrated from it. -Ramesh Balsekar
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November 11, 2011
AFSPA in Jammu & Kashmir: Why should it go? FIRDAUS AHMED
ead bureaucrats of the home and defense ministries and the cabinet secretary reportedly had a pre-Diwali meeting to attend to a divergence between the two ministries that needed attention at the political level. News reports carry unconfirmed reports of the CCS having met to settle the divergence. That no announcement of the retraction of the 'disturbed areas' status from parts of J&K have been made since means that the decision is to persist with the AFSPA in its present ambit. The divergence between the two ministries was therefore not of a trivial level in which the army was merely disputing the disturbed areas status of a few areas. If that was the case it could well have been settled at the Unified HQs level. From governmental reticence it can be inferred that the divergence is more extensive. Selfevidently, the army has weighed in against the rollback of the AFSPA, irrespective of whether normalcy has returned to areas in question or not. That no announcement has been made of any rollback as had been indicated by Omar Abdullah, reportedly after commiserations from the home minister, implies that the CCS is persuaded with the army's viewpoint. What is the viewpoint and what are its implications? The army argues that there are 2500 terrorists in 42 camps across the state. At seven of these camps there are 700 terrorists set to cross. It is no secret that terror infrastructure has not been rolled back by Pakistan. Pakistan is capable of reasserting itself in Kashmir and may do so once its current preoccupation to the west is over. It still has support in the Valley and terrorists inside have been instructed to survive till they are employed. Having the AFSPA rolled back in the interim will generate greater freedom of movement for resurgence in terrorism. This presumably reinforces the input of agencies such as RAW and IB that the government is privy to. This also perhaps explains the lack of action from the suggestion made by Omar Abdullah that the AFSPA's imminent retraction will only occur in select areas where the security situation is more permissive of it. However, if it was only a question of security then the government's inaction could be received with equanimity. But the implications of inaction are graver. The suggestion that emerges is
that the government is unwilling to switch its 'main effort' from a military template to a political one. The understanding that the Prime Minister gave in his interaction with the all party delegation at the end of last summer's tumult, that the problem in J&K has both internal and external dimensions that require to be addressed politically, stands nullified.
tary to political. In other words, the government is not interested in following up on its own tried and tested doctrine that conflict termination can only be through political initiative. The problematic aspect is therefore less about whether the disturbed areas status needs be revoked in some areas and more about the government's unwilling-
India Post Evolving movement
Indian troops in Kashmir
The confidential recommendations in the interlocutors' report in early October provided an entry point into furthering a political solution. The practicable ones do not need to await the outcome of governmental deliberations. These could have progressed piecemeal along with a modifica-
The government is not interested in following up on its own tried and tested doctrine that conflict termination can only be through political initiative. The problematic aspect is therefore less about whether the disturbed areas status needs be revoked in some areas and more about the government's unwillingness to comprehend a political opportunity tion to AFSPA's application in J&K, for instance by withdrawal of the disturbed areas status of areas south of the Pir Panjals. That this has not been done indicates not just a lost opportunity but a deliberate government strategy that disallows the switch from mili-
ness to comprehend a political opportunity. That this is not a case of inability is quite clear for India has not been better placed both internally and externally in two decades. Two significant implications remain. One is that the government expects to be able to handle the external factor. Second, that it would consequently be able to manage the internal fallout, if any. This may well be true. Pakistan is under considerable pressure. However, the understanding that containment as strategy can result in changing its strategic posture is questionable. But more worrying is the tacit acceptance of the government that it can withstand anything Pakistan throws across with diminished ability in Kashmir. This betrays a willingness to expose the hapless citizenry to machinations from without and the resulting consequences once again. The AFSPA issue therefore has graver implications. If the understanding here is a misplaced one, then the implication is far worse, namely that the government lacks the credibility to over-rule its military. In other words the military has a veto, making it an issue in civilmilitary relations. It is to dispel this unfortunate, if unwitting, message that the government needs to modify the sway of the AFSPA in J&K irrespective of whether it is persuaded by the military case or not. The writer is a Freelancer. Courtesy IPCS
hat there would be attempts to discredit the Anna Hazare movement by the government and vested interests was to be expected. How the movement reacts to these attacks will prove its resilience. The charges leveled against prominent members of the Anna team are mere peccadilloes compared with the massive fraud carried out by government functionaries, some of who are in jail. An adage is being repeatedly thrown at the Anna team which means that those accusing others should themselves have a clean reputation. It is well meant and has to be accepted. But in this case it is being used as a ruse to protect the guilty in the government who would stand exposed once a strong Lokpal Bill is passed. The attacks on the Anna team have helped it to evolve to the next phase of its struggle. It will now take it for granted that the dirty tricks department of the government and others in the dock will leave no stone unturned to weaken the Anna movement. So far these attempts have only succeeded in strengthening the resolve of the team. After serious debate in its core committee, some correctives have been brought about. The Anna team has made its audit report for six months public to counter charges of financial irregularities. Also, it was decided that in future it will not campaign against any political party but appeal to people to vote for honest candidates. In the recent Lok Sabha by-election in Hisar, Haryana, the Anna Team had vociferously campaigned against the Congress party. The Congress was duly defeated (its candidate lost his security deposit) but the winner was not one of the cleanest persons. Justifying his earlier anti-Congress stance, Anna Hazare in a letter to the Prime Minister explained that for most of the years after Independence, the Congress party has been in power and therefore most of the responsibility for the progress or lack of it in the country lay with this party. But after strong criticism even from within the movement about its anti-one party approach, Hazare announced a significant shift of strategy. He made it clear that in the proposed campaign in five election-bound states next year, Team Anna will not canvas against Congress but would rather appeal to people not to vote for the "corrupt, goonda and looter" elements. Anna Hazare has issued another threat of going on fast if the Lokpal Bill is not passed in the winter session of Parliament, as promised by the government. There is a debate on over whether issuing threats is the proper way of functioning in a democracy. The government has also questioned the Anna team's strategy of issuing threats when the Prime Minister himself and many of his cabinet ministers have expressed themselves in favor of a strong Lokpal Bill. In Indian democracy, governments can be characterized as lethargic bureaucracies. If you accept their way of functioning, which has been the norm so far, you can say goodbye to any progress or any developments in favor of a better life for the common man. In such a situation it becomes necessary to push the government. It doesn't move by appeals and pinpricks. It has been proved that mass movements can goad the governments to do what is necessary. So far there was no one who could organize the people for a mass movement to push the government. India has now found its man in the form of an upright Anna Hazare who won't be cowed down by the usual dirty tricks of the government. So here is justification for the necessary coercion he is exercising in a democracy.
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