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‘Beijing using Pak to slow Indian growth’ Details on page 9
Sonia, Tata among Forbes' most powerful
VOL 16, No. 844
November 12, 2010
Prominent Indian American winners among many disappointments
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Bush admits to making errors in Iraq war
Friends of India to take up key positions Details on page 8
More than 4000 South Asian voters kept out Details on page 6
Voters' message to govt: Change or get lost
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Crisis feared as Chinese govt debt mounts
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PRIDE OF INDIA & AMERICA: South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley speaks to voters at Hudsonís Smokehouse after the victory on November 3, in Lexington, South Carolina India Post News Service
Indian among CNN Heroes 2010
NEW YORK: In what has been recorded as one of the most expensive and contentious mid-term elections that saw Republicans laying siege over the US House and Democrats meekly managing to hold on to the US Senate, Indian American candidates - also a record number this election cycle - registered some historic wins and several
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Jury finds Dr. Sinha murder not hate crime
INDIA POST SURVEY email@example.com This week’s question
Do you believe Dr Sinha murder was not hate crime? Last week’s result
Should the US be held accountable for Headley? NO 21%
I have to protect American jobs: Obama
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disappointing routs. While Republican Nikki Haley strode handsomely into the South Carolina governor's mansion, Democratic candidate for California State Attorney General Kamala Harris managed a narrow win to become the first African-IndianAmerican woman to hold that post in California history.
Dr. Divyendu Sinha
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NEW JERSEY: A grand jury 11-count indictment handed out to the five juveniles accused in the murder of Dr. Divyendu Sinha of Old Bridge, has determined that the attack was not a hate crime. The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office states that the indictment was handed up following an exhaustive investigation that revealed no evidence that the attack on Dr. Sinha and his family; the assault of Anthony Martino in an unrelated incident or the subsequent plan to assault another victim, was motivated by the victims' race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ethnicity, as required by New Jersey's Bias Intimidation law. Contíd on page 7
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November 12, 2010
THE SIKH ARTS & FILM FESTIVA V L 2010
NOVEMBER 19-21 DODGE COLLEGE OF FILM AND MEDIA ARTS : CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, ORANGE, CA Get ready for a sumptuous treat that will light up all your senses with a diverse assortment of ﬁlms, books, art, performance pieces, and music that is “Sikh-centric.” ” This is the ﬂagship Sikh cultural event in Southern California. It premieres stirring documentaries, thought-provoking ﬁlms, book signings by notable authors, and creations from world-renowned artists. SAFF provides a venue for artists to present their “Sikh-centric” ﬁlms, art, and music to the broader community with the intent of showcasing their talents and generating increased Sikh awareness.
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November 12, 2010
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November 12, 2010
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he mid term madness has come to a close with course altering results for American politics. The US House has been splashed red with Republicans storming in although the Democrats managed to keep the US Senate blue. Anti-incumbency votes during the mid-terms are not rare but this time around they rode on deep disappointment with Obama, if not on the right wing machine of misinformation and fear politics. President Obama didn't do enough to convince the hurting electorate that they needed to be patient to see the results of what he was trying to do to turn the economy around. The biggest blunder on part of Obama and his advisors was to underestimate the Tea Party movement; of not seeing through the big money machinery that churned out incendiary propaganda demonizing the President in particular and his administration in general. Without understanding even the meaning of the terms, impressionable Americans thought they voted against a 'big government'; against 'socialism'; against 'Islamization'; and against the threat of 'minority takeover' of America. Not since I have been taking an interest in American politics have I ever seen such a deep chasm between the left, which has been stretched too far left, and the right, stretched so far extreme right, that there appears to be no ground left in the middle anymore. The moderates whose voices have always dominated as the voice of reason, have simply fallen into a giant sinkhole. On the desi front, while it was heartening to see the number of Indian Americans in the fray in all kinds of races, it was mildly disappointing to see most of them failing to make it. Well, we are proud of Nikki Haley for becoming the first Indian American woman governor of an American state. But, like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, she flew high as Nikki Haley, a Methodist and not Nimrata Randhawa of Sikh origins. Nevertheless, these are indeed interesting times - to use a mild adjective - and I am more apprehensive than eager to see what lies ahead for the American polity.
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Favorite of Khans Kareena Kapoor is one Bollywood beauty who is a favorite of all the big Bollywood Khans.
Cover Story: Hits & misses Indian American candidates - also a record number this election cycle - registered some historic wins & several disappointing routs.
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Voters have told Obama administration they are not happy with handling of its economic and political affairs.
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Travel: Tawang The small town of Tawang, amidst the eastern Himalayan ranges, is famous for its 400-year-old monastery.
November 12, 2010
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November 12, 2010
Nikki Haley's historic romp to victory SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Republican Nimrata Nikki Haley made history Nov 3 when she emerged as the first woman Governor in South Carolina and the second Indian American governor in the United States. Haley waded through a murky campaign with flying accusations of extra-marital affairs, and utter
her election was the "turning of the page." "This is where we go back to the basics, this is where we look at the fact that governments were intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people and never intended to be all things to all people." Born of Sikh immigrant parents from Punjab, Haley - now a Methodist - ran a fledgling campaign that took off when former Republican vice presidential candidate
Acknowledging her profile as the first woman and second Indian American to become a state governor, Haley told CNN she hoped it would make women of this country as well as the Indian American community proud. ‘But really, what I hope is historic is the work that we do in January’ lack of support from the local media to poll 52 percent of the votes defeating Democratic rival Vincent Sheheen. "It's been a long 18 months and in all honesty I don't think it set in yet, but we certainly are excited," Haley told CNN the morning after the results came in. "This was the people finding the power of their voice; this was people saying we want government to remember who it is they work for; for the government to know the value of the dollar; and that they want jobs and
Sarah Palin endorsed her just before the primaries. As a Tea Party favorite, Haley's victory may not have been a foregone conclusion but her show of gumption and steel in handling a nasty campaign wherein two different men claimed to have had "affairs" with her in the past, won her the support of the people of South Carolina. But as she told CNN, Haley believes there is no room for personality conflicts when one is in politics. "If you really want to work for the people you don't let those
Acknowledging her profile as the first woman and second Indian American to become a state governor, Haley told CNN she hoped it would make women of this country as well as the Indian American community proud. "But really, historic as a lot of observers are going to say this is, what I hope is historic is the work that we do in January and the things that we are going to get done in the first year of the Haley administration. That's really what would be historic, but we are certainly proud for the women of this country and we are proud for the Indian American community and certainly for the State of South Carolina." Haley, one of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, was first elected to represent the 87th District in Lexington County in 2004, when, as a virtual unknown she beat the longest serving state legislator in a Republican primary. In 2008 Representative Haley was sent back to the statehouse with 83 percent of the vote - the highest percentage earned by any lawmaker facing a contested South Carolina election that year. For her efforts to cut taxes and slow the growth of government spending, Haley was named "Friend of the Taxpayer" (2009) by the S.C. Association of Taxpayers and a "Taxpayer Hero" (2005) by Gov. Mark Sanford. She has lifetime "A" ratings from the South Carolina Club for Growth, the Palmetto Family Council, and the National Rifle Association. Born in Bamberg, S.C., the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley's first job was keeping the
South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley shares a hug with her mom Raj Randhawa after speaking to voters at Hudsonís Smokehouse on November 3, in Lexington, South Carolina
books for her family's clothing store - at the age of 13. She went on to graduate from Clemson University with a B.S. degree in accounting and following her graduation worked as Accounting Supervisor for the Charlotte, N.C. based corporation FCR, Inc. and five of its subsidiaries. Nikki then went back to the family business where she helped oversee its growth into a multi-million dollar operation. Nikki and her husband Michael, a full time federal technician with the South Carolina Na-
tional Guard and an officer in the Army National Guard, attend Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington. She was previously a board member of both the Orangeburg and Lexington County Chambers of Commerce and a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Currently, Nikki sits on the board for Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, Medmission. Nikki and Michael live in Lexington with their two children, Rena, 12, and Nalin, 8.
More than 4000 South Asian voters kept out of polls India Post News Service Nikki Haley, second from left, watches election results come in after the polls closed from a hotel restaurant with her husband Michael, from left, son Nalin 9, and daughter Rena 12, Nov. 2, in Columbia, S.C
the economy to come first," she said. "This was all about people saying we've had enough… it wasn't about a party, it was about taking their state and the country back and they started with South Carolina… we're thrilled." Haley may not be popular with South Carolina legislators, many of who fear that as preceding Governor Mark Sanford's protégée, she will perpetuate his policies, but she has risen to national prominence as a potential Republican candidate for 2012. For the doubters, Haley said
things get in the way. Politics is the art of distraction; when they saw that we were winning, they tried to distract us, we didn't let that happen. Our focus was always in doing what was right for the state in terms of jobs, education and more importantly in terms of how we spend our dollars." Haley added that while it was a brutal 18 months, she certainly didn't wish that on anybody. "We had to do it, because when you push on the establishment, the establishment pushes back. But it was our job to get this done."
NEW YORK: Taking Our Seat, a Queens-based not-for-profit released a briefing paper on the special election held Nov 2, to fill the open seat in the 28th district of the New York City Council. The analysis found that 4,225 South Asian-American voters were not able to vote in an election that determined the Councilmember from two largely South Asian neighborhoods: Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park. The eventual winner of the race only garnered 3,347 votes with 10,737 total votes cast for 7 candidates. "4,225 additional South Asian voters would have had a tremen-
dous impact on this race," said John Prakash Albert, founder of Taking Our Seat. "We conducted this analysis to show how an election that is supposed to empower our community actually demonstrates how powerless we are. When more than 4000 possible voters in our community aren't allowed to come to the polls we don't actually have a voice in the process." Taking Our Seat's briefing paper examined South Asian population density, electoral office district lines and voter registration in those neighborhoods and found that a vibrant South Asian community was arbitrarily divided when district maps were drawn. The analysis shows that the
five census tracts that have the highest concentrations of South Asians in that area are not all grouped together in one City Council district even though those census tracts border each other or are within blocks of each other. Worse yet, even those highest density census tracts that are in the 28th Council district are split with other districts, diluting the South Asian vote. In response to the findings, Taking Our Seat is launching a grassroots advocacy campaign 'Brown Districts Now' to advocate within the upcoming redistricting process to keep South Asian-American neighborhoods together when districts are redrawn. Cont’d on page 7
November 12, 2010
Hail Nikki Haley and Kamala Harris Prominent Indian American winners among many disappointments India Post News Service
NEW YORK: In what has been recorded as one of the most expensive and contentious mid-term elections that saw Republicans laying siege over the US House and Democrats meekly managing to hold on to the US Senate, Indian American candidates - also a record number this election cycle - registered some historic wins and several disappointing routs. While Republican Nikki Haley strode handsomely into the South Carolina governor's mansion, Democratic candidate for California State Attorney General Kamala Harris managed a narrow win to become the first African-Indian-American woman to hold that post in California history. Also celebrating their victories this election cycle are Democrat Sam Arora who ran for Maryland State Assembly District 19; Maryland House Delegate Democrat
San Francisco District attorney and Democratic candidate for California Attorney General Kamala Harris arrives at a campaign rally with California Attorney General and democratic Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown at the Los Angeles public library
Kumar Barve who retained his seat; Democrat Aruna Miller, also for Maryland State Assembly from District 15; Democrat Sim Gill for Salt Lake City County District Attorney. However, five of the most eagerly watched campaigns for the US House of Representatives by the Indian American community, failed miserably at the polls. All of them Democrats, Dr. Ami Bera (California), Raj Goyle (Kansas), Dr. Manan Trivedi (Pennsylvania), Surya Yalamanchili (Ohio), and Ravi Sangisetty (Louisiana) lost their spirit runs. For the South Asian touch, Democrat Hansen Clarke who ran for Michigan's 13th District won easily over his close Republican rival John Hauler. Clarke's origin, depending on who claims it, is Indian if one considers his father migrated from the undivided Bengal in India, or Bangladeshi going by the proud celebrations of the Bangladeshi American community. Clarke has been State Senator, ex-State Representative, Attorney, Ex-Congressional Aide and a mayoral candidate in Detroit in '05. As a matter of record, Clarke becomes only the third South Asian in US Congress after Dalip Singh Saund (1957-63; first Asian American in Congress) and Bobby Jindal (2004-2007).
Jury finds Dr. Sinha murder not hate crime Contâ€™d from page 1
Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced Nov 3 that a grand jury in Middlesex County indicted the five defendants on charges of fatally beating Dr. Divyendu Sinha and assaulting his two minor sons in Old Bridge on June 25. The five defendants - Cash Q. Johnson, Steven K. Contreras, Christian M. Tinli, Christopher Conway, and Julian C. Daley - all juveniles at the time of the assaults, will be tried as adults in Superior Court under an earlier Family Court decision. The grand jury, sitting in New Brunswick, also charged these five defendants, all Old Bridge residents, with the unrelated aggravated assault of Anthony Martino, 18, of Old Bridge, who was attacked minutes before the assault on Dr. Sinha and his sons. The grand jury further charged that Daley and Conway conspired to commit another assault following
the attacks on Martino and Dr. Sinha and his family. The defendants were arrested and charged before any such assault could occur. The initial investigation by Detective Greg Morris of the Old Bridge Police Department and Investigator Paul Miller of the
In addition to murder, the grand jury charged the defendants with various counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault upon Dr. Sinha, his sons, and Martino Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office began after police received a call at 11:42 p.m. on June 25, and arrived to find Dr. Sinha and his sons, ages 16 and 12, had been
beaten as they walked near their home on Fela Drive in Old Bridge. Dr. Sinha's sons also sustained injuries. His wife was not harmed. No weapons were used. Dr. Sinha was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge and later was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he died on June 28. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was due to a head injury. The Prosecutor's office has said that minutes before the attack on the Sinha family, the defendants attacked Martino. During that assault, one of the defendants threw an unknown object at a car that Martino was driving and caused more than $2,000 in damages to the vehicle. The five defendants, who were quickly apprehended by police, were charged as juveniles because of their ages. Superior Court Judge Jane Cantor, sitting in Family Court in New Brunswick, subsequently signed an order permitting the Middlesex County Prosecutor's
Office to try them as adults. In addition to murder, the grand jury charged the defendants with various counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault upon Dr. Sinha, his sons, and Martino. Additionally, the grand jury accused the defendants of riot and a related count of conspiracy, contending they acted as a group to
commit crimes. The five also were charged with two counts of hindering for trying to protect themselves and each other from prosecution by concealing evidence or misrepresenting facts about the attacks. Along with the assault charges, the grand jury also charged the defendants with criminal mischief for damaging the car that was being driven by Martino.
More than 4000 South Asian voters kept out of polls Contâ€™d from page 6
"By keeping our communities intact during the upcoming redistricting process we will be able to give South Asian voters a voice. Candidates who choose to represent our neighborhoods will have to give details on how their ideas will specifically impact our community. Ultimately this is about
fairness to our voters and accountability for our elected officials," said Taking Our Seat board member Mohammed Sadiq. Taking Our Seat seeks to empower South Asian-Americans in the electoral process and works to stop voter dilution by redrawing political district boundary lines to keep communities together.
November 12, 2010
It feels bad, says Obama after defeat WASHINGTON: Hours after his Democratic party was trounced by the Republicans in the mid-term elections, US President Barack Obama took responsibility for the defeat and said that "it feels bad". Addressing a crowded press conference on his party's first major defeat since he assumed office nearly two years ago, Obama acknowledged that the Americans feel frustrated as the unemployment rate continues to be high and economy has not moved as they would have expected despite best of his efforts. "People are frustrated. They're deeply frustrated with the pace of our economic recovery and the opportunities that they hope for their children and their grandchildren. They want jobs to come back faster. They want paychecks to go further. And they want the ability to give their children the same chances and opportunities as they've had in life," Obama said. The press conference was solely dominated by his party's defeat and there was no mention of the 10-day long Asia trip, which Obama is all set to undertake. "Over the last two years, we've made progress. But clearly too many Americans haven't felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday. And, as President, I take responsibility for that," Obama said. In the same vein the US President said the ground political realities of the day now dictates that both the Republicans and the Democrats need to work together for re-
US President Barack Obama answers a question during a press conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 3
In this century, the most important competition we face is between America and our economic competitors around the world solving all the pressing issues of the Americans. "What yesterday also told us is that no one party will be able to dictate where we go from here; that we must find common ground in order
to make progress on some uncommonly difficult challenges," Obama said, adding that in a telephonic conversation with the Republican leaders he told them he is very eager to sit with members of both parties and figure out how to move forward together. Someone who has unsuccessfully tried to adopt a bipartisan approach to key policies since the very beginning of his administration, Obama acknowledged that this would be difficult. "I'm not suggesting this will be easy. I won't pretend that we'll be able to bridge every difference or solve every disagreement," he said. "But what I think the American
Obama takes responsibility for voter frustration WASHINGTON: Reeling under mid-term poll debacle for the Democrats, US President Barack Obama took direct responsibility for the slow pace of economic recovery over which American voters were frustrated. "As President I take responsibility" for the failure to restore job growth more quickly, Obama said at a press conference, shortly after the angry US voters delivered a stunning defeat to his Democratic Party handing control of the House of Representatives to opposition Republicans and also cut deeply into the Democratic majority in the Senate. Reaching out to the Republicans, a reflective Obama said he was eager to sit down with the leaders of that party as also the Democrats "and figure out how we can move forward together."
The President, however, hastened to add that this was not an easy task since both parties differ profoundly in some key areas. . Obama said there were "tough choices" before him but expressed his willingness to compromise on a whole range of issues like energy. The President said he will have to work harder to build consensus in Washington. Obama voiced his disappointment over the poll result that saw Republicans capturing 60 seats to take control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats clung on to the Senate despite losing seats. "It feels bad," he responded when a reporter asked for his reaction over the results. Obama said he will listen to Republican ideas to improve
health care system but would not scrap the law. Republican leaders have already vowed to reverse Obama's health care reforms and to cut spending. Noting that he had inherited a big deficit when he assumed office in January last year, Obama said the economy had begun a recovery since then but Americans became wary when they saw government bailouts of failing banks and two of the Big Three US automakers. "I think people started looking at all this, and it felt as if government was getting much more intrusive into people's lives than they were accustomed to," he conceded. A subdued Obama said, "I have got to do a better job -- just like everybody else in Washington does." -PTI
people are expecting and what we owe them is to focus on those issues that affect their jobs, their security and their future, reducing our deficit, promoting a clean energy economy, making sure that our children are the best educated in the world, making sure that we're making the investments in technology that allow us to keep our competitive edge in the global economy," he said. "Because the most important contest we face is not the contest between Democrats and Republicans. In this century, the most important competition we face is between America and our economic competitors around the world. To win that competition and to continue our economic leadership, we're going to need to be strong and we're going to need to be united," Obama said. -PTI
Friends of India to head key Congressional committees WASHINGTON: Influential Republicans lawmakers and well known friends of India may now head the key Congressional committees in the aftermath of the party's sweeping win in the Congressional elections to take control of the House of Representatives. Though Indo-US relationship enjoys bi-partisan support, Indians in the US feel that pro New Delhi lawmakers heading key committees could be advantageous to get through any Indiaspecific legislation. The powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee would now be headed by Republican Ileana RosLehtinen, who played a key role in the passage of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. She is unlike the outgoing Democrat Chairman Howard Berman, who had introduced killer amendment to the civilian nuclear deal. Republican Ros-Lehtinen, has also been highly critical of the Pakistan's half-hearted approach towards war against terrorism. Similarly, Ed Royce, Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus is all set to chair the House of Representatives sub-committee on terrorism, non-proliferation and trade. Only last week, Royce had written a letter to the US President, Barack Obama, urging him to strengthen defense co-operation with India and speak with the Indian leadership, when he visits there later this week, on purchase of American military hard-
ware. A key-advocate of Indo-US relationship, Royce had played a prominent role in lifting of sanctions imposed in India after the 1998 nuclear tests. Like Ros-Lehtinen, Royce too has been highly critical of Pakistan, and has been seeking US access to A Q Khan, the notorious Pak nuclear scientists. In fact, Royce is also a top contender for becoming the Chairman of House Committee on Financial Services. He would replace Barney Frank, who is said to have been unhelpful in India related matters. In Kansas, one of India's known friend Sam Brownback was elected the governor. Brownback as Congressmen was instrumental in passage of the "Brownback amendment" that eased sanctions against India after the 1998 nuclear tests. Former Bush trade negotiator Rob Portman won the Senate seat from Ohio. During the Bush Administration he built strong personal ties with Indian leaders. A large number of lawmakers from the India caucus members have been reelected during the Congressional elections. Among prominent winners are Gary L Ackerman, Earl Blumenauer, Joseph Crowley, Sheila Jackson Lee, Brad Sherman, Frank Pallone and Fred Upton. In the outgoing Congress there are 152 Congressmen who are member of the Congressional India Caucus, of which more than 110 have won. -PTI
November 12, 2010
I have to protect American Beijing using Pak to slow Indian growth: Blackwill jobs: Obama WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has indicated that he was unlikely to accommodate India's concerns about his policy of discouraging outsourcing of US jobs, saying it was his responsibility to support jobs and opportunity for the American people. Obama, who has recently spoken against outsourcing of American jobs to countries like India and offered tax breaks for those creating jobs in the US, was asked whether he would address concerns in India where this is seen as a restrictive policy. "As President, I have a responsibility to support jobs and opportunity for the American people, and I believe the US-India economic relationship can and should be a 'win-win' relationship for both of our countries," he told PTI.
He said his administration is "focused on America's economic recovery, investing in America's future, creating and keeping jobs in the United States, increasing
Obama said the US has realized that its economy ‘cannot recover and grow’ without growth in other places our exports and providing incentives and creating conditions under which businesses can grow and prosper." Making out a case for free ac-
cess to American companies in India, the President said, "Our market is open to products, services and investment from around the world. We believe other countries, including India, should give US companies the same access to their markets that we give." He made no reference to any specific sectors but the Americans have been pushing for greater access in financial and retail sectors. Obama said the US has realized that its economy "cannot recover and grow" without growth in other places. "India has world-class companies, many of which are creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the United States, and my administration wishes to encourage more such investment," he said. -PTI
Outsourcing: 'Need to watch US political scenario' NEW DELHI: India needs to watch how the anti- outsourcing sentiment evolves in the "new political scenario" in the US, Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said here. "We have to see how national debate evolves in the new political scenario, where you have a House going to the Republicans, Senate being probably retained by Democrats and to a different political scenario," she said while responding to a query on the anti-
outsourcing rhetoric in the US. Shankar also said she does not want to predict or comment on political developments in the US. Regarding a question on whether outsourcing would be a diversion during President Barack Obama's visit this week, Shankar said, "I think the relationship is one, where we discuss issues which are of the interest to the two sides in a spirit of candor and in the spirit of maturity..."
"I think that is the way we will discuss all the issues of interest to both the sides," she added. Recently, the state of Ohio had banned IT outsourcing. Democrat and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who once wooed Indian companies to invest in the state, justified the move, asserting that outsourcing undermines economic development and even has unacceptable business consequences for his state.- PTI
'Obama may make a big impact or disappoint Indians on UNSC' WASHINGTON: Given the sensitivity of Indians on UN Security Council aspirations, US President Barack Obama during his forthcoming visit to India will either make a big positive impact or disappoint it, a former top American diplomat to New Delhi has said. "Will the President, while he is in India and probably while he is speaking to the Parliament, utter the words, 'The United States supports India's permanent membership in a reformed UN Security Council' or not? "If he does, it'll have a very, very positive effect on both the people of India, and on the national security elite of India. If he does not, they'll be disappointed," Robert Blackwill, former US Am-
bassador to India, told reporters in a briefing on Obama's India visit. "I'm not now going to do the merits of the case on that, but he'll either make a big positive impact or disappoint them," Blackwill said, who currently is Henry Kissinger Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, a prestigious US-based think tank. Blackwill said Indians will be watching most carefully for the president's position on the Security Council and on the entities list. "I think that my prescription would be that he say to the Indian Parliament, which would get them on their feet with rapturous applause, that the US supports India's permanent membership in the Security Council in the con-
text of a reformed Security Council. "That's a very direct way of saying it. And if he uses more equivocal language, of course, the Indian scribes will take the more equivocal language apart a sentence and a -- or, sorry, a phrase and a word at a time," he said. "Just to put one more fact forward: Now the US and China are the only two countries that are permanent members of the Security Council that have not endorsed India's membership -- permanent membership in the Security Council. So, I don't think that's very good company for the US to be keeping on this issue. So I very much hope he'll say that to the Parliament," Blackwill said. -PTI
WASHINGTON: Relations be- No way faster to clear a Delhi tween India and China have dete- drawing room than to begin to riorated in the last 18 months and talk about containing China. are unlikely to get better, a former "But what India would like is US Ambassador to India has said an agreement with the US that and he shared the perception of over the long term, the US and many Indian strategic thinkers that India will keep in close touch, Bejing is using Pakistan to slow both to the issue of Chinese beIndia's rise. havior and trying to decipher it, "I think it's fair to say now that and second, close touch on tryChina-India relations are not very ing to shape Chinese external good and in fact have been dete- behavior in a positive way," riorating for about last 18 Blackwill said. months," Robert Blackwill, former Blackwill, the former US AmUS Ambassador to India said in a bassador to India, said that "so conference call with reporters in a that's what the Chinese national briefing on Obama's India visit. security elite is waiting to hear "The Indians have a long list from the Obama administration, of Chinese transgressions, which which is, do you see us as a partin my judgment are accurate, hav- ner, if not the most important parting to do with Chinese policy on ner in Asia, in trying to help manKashmir and on the border dis- age the rise of Chinese power, not pute between the two countries in a confrontational way, but in a and the so-called 'ring of pearls' way that seeks to find instruof Chinese quasi-military installa- ments to produce Chinese behavtions in Bangladesh and in Sri ior which is more congenial to Lanka and in Pakistan and so both US and Indian long-term forth," he said. Blackwill is currently the Henry Kissinger Senior Fellow for US If India is preoccupied, if Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Re- pinned down by crosslations, a prestigious border terrorism from US-based think tank. "So the relations Pakistan and problems in aren't very good between the two. The the India-Pakistan relation, Prime Minister keeps saying, and I think that it will slow the rise of deeply believes, that India as a great power. there's no reason why India and China could ‘In other words, China not have a good longterm relationship. But it using Pakistan to slow isn't clear that same degree of enthusiasm for India's rise,’ Blackwill said that end state is felt in Beijing," he said. Many Indian strategists think vital national security interests?" that think there's some evidence "That wish on the part of Inthat China's preoccupation with dia to have that informal underPakistan and its long-time close standing with the Americans has links is closely connected to the been accelerated and intensified Chinese realization that if India is by Chinese external behavior preoccupied, if pinned down by over the last year and a half, incross-border terrorism from Paki- cluding, again, to add more, the stan and problems in the India- South China Sea and so forth. So Pakistan relation, that it will slow that's the way India sees China," the rise of India as a great power. he said. "In other words, China using "I think it would be true to say Pakistan to slow India's rise," that the Indians regard the rise Blackwill said. of Chinese power, at least most "So China-India relations are of the Indians, the national senot good, and I myself don't curity experts -- the rise of Chithink they're going to get very nese power as the most important much better on the geopolitical of the long-term strategic chaland security side. Now on the lenges facing India. economic side, they're thriving, "And since at least I believe and of course, that's good for the rise of Chinese power is the both countries," he said. most important long-term chal"The Indians have no interest lenge -- strategic challenge facing in thoughts of containing China, the US, we ought to have a lot to a concept that one sees in the talk about with the Indians," he American media from time to time. said. -PTI
10 India Post
November 12, 2010
George W Bush admits to making errors in Iraq war NEW YORK: Former US President George W Bush has admitted that he committed many errors involving the Iraq war and said he "felt like the captain of a sinking ship" towards the end of his presidency when dealing with recession, according to his new book. In his book, 'Decision Points', to be released next week, Bush writes of the errors involving the Iraq campaign and the failure to find the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), despite a number of US intelligence reports pointing to their existence there. He admits feeling a "sickening feeling" when he learned there were no mass destruction weapons in Iraq and said "cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure of execution in the war," according to excerpts from his book,
released by 'The New York Times'. The former President has also disclosed he considered replacing his Vice President Dick
Former US President George W Bush
Cheney who offered to step down in 2003 so that he could pick someone else as his 2004 campaign running mate. Bush considered the offer, writing that while Cheney "helped
with important parts of our base, he had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left". He said accepting the resignation offer would help "demonstrate that I was in charge", but he decided to stick with Cheney. "He was seen as dark and heartless -- the Darth Vader of the administration," Bush was quoted as saying in his book. He adds: "The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt Dick should stay. I hadn't picked him to be a political asset; I had chosen him to help me do the job. That was exactly what he'd done. I asked Dick to stay..." In his book, Bush has also disclosed that he "felt like the captain of a sinking ship" towards the end of his presidency, when dealing with the recession.-PTI
Manmohan Singh's admirers include Bush, Obama WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have got on famously well with his predecessor, but he appears to have hit it off with US President Barack Obama too. "People of India deeply love you", Singh had told then US president George W Bush at a time when he was becoming deeply unpopular in his own country. Bush in turn had called Singh a wise leader whom he really liked.
Indo-US ties may have cooled somewhat since Obama took over the presidency nearly two years back but the current President also turns out to be an admirer of Singh. "From our very first conversation in London, I have found that the Prime Minister and I share many of the same values, the same goals and the same vision for the well-being of our people," Obama told PTI. Stating that he and his wife
Michelle were both excited to go to India, Obama remarked, "one of the great joys of my visit to India is the opportunity to see the Prime Minister again." Obama said, "Michelle and I were so pleased to host the Prime Minister and his wonderful wife (Gursharan Kaur) for our first State dinner (a year back)." Singh and Obama have met several times since their first interaction about 20 months ago in London-PTI
Gandhi, Tata in Forbes' most powerful people list BOSTON: Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata are among the five Indians named among the most powerful people in the world by Forbes in its this year's list of 68 people "who matter". India's business tycoons Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and steel giant ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal also make this year's list. China's President Hu Jintao has topped the 2010 Forbes list of the 'World's Most Powerful People'. For the top spot, Jintao pipped US President Barack Obama, who comes in at second place. Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, Forbes' list comprises "the 68 who matter. The heads of state, major religious figures, entrepreneurs and outlaws on the second annual list were chosen "because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will. Gandhi debuts on the 9th spot in this year's list of the world's most powerful people. Incidentally, she was not featured in Forbes' recent list of the world's most powerful women. Recently elected to record fourth term as head of India's ruling Congress Party, 63-year old Gandhi has cemented her "status as true heiress to the NehruGandhi political dynasty." Forbes said despite her Italian birth, foreign religion (Roman Catholic) and political reluctance, "Gandhi wields unequaled influ-
Obama Admin didn't get off to good start with India: Blackwill WASHINGTON: Obama Administration did not get off to a very good start with India, a former US Ambassador to India has said but asserted that during the forthcoming presidential visit there will be enough aggregated forward movement that can put this perception behind. "I think it's widely shared around the national security community in both countries that the Obama administration did not get off to a very good start with India," Robert Blackwill, former US Ambassador to India, told reporters in a briefing on President Obama's India visit. He said when President
Obama took office he faced global recession and two wars took his time up and he got distracted. And the Kashmir issue, which President during his campaign talked about a US diplomatic emissary to Kashmir, of course, "is anathema to India". "Dick (Richard) Holbrooke's efforts to include India in his portfolio in that regard, and then USChina communique in Beijing which seemed to say that China had a role in South Asia and may be even in Kashmir, and then the IT services dispute and so forth," Blackwill said. "So I think, yes, it got off to a
rather rocky start. And again, to be fair on the Indian side, you have a complicated coalition government - and a lot of other things on the Indians' mind, too. I think that's why this visit is so important. "And hopefully, in all the dimensions that I mentioned, there will be enough aggregated forward movement that we can put that perception behind us and the two governments can say to one another and to everybody else: Well, we might have gotten off to a kind of slow start here, but now watch our momentum. So that's what I think," Blackwill said. -PTI
ence over 1.2 billion Indians. Having "handpicked brainy Sikh economist Manmohan Singh" as Prime Minister, Forbes said Gandhi remains the real power behind the nuclear-tipped throne. She is now grooming her 40year-old son Rahul for prime minister's role. Singh, "universally praised as
India's best prime minister since Nehru," is ranked 18th on the list. He has moved up in the list from last year's 36th position. Forbes said the soft-spoken Oxford-trained economist is "ideally trained to lead the world's fourth-largest economy in terms
of purchasing power into the next decade." (MORE) PTI YAS Credited with transforming India's quasi-socialist economy into world's second-fastest growing, 78-year old Singh is now enjoying the fruits of free -market policies he implemented as India's finance minister in early 1990s. With the World Bank forecasting India's GDP to surge 7.6 per cent in 2010 and another eight per cent in 2011 - not far behind its 9 per cent forecast for China Forbes said this is clearly the case of "slow and steady will win the race." Ambani, who has a net worth of USD 29 billion, comes in on the 34th spot. His ranking too improved from last year, when he was ranked 44th. The 53-year old "business maharaja" is Asia's richest person, who certainly likes to live like a king, Forbes said. His one billion dollar 27-floor high-rise in Mumbai is the world's most expensive private residence. His petrochemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries is India's most valuable private sector company with a market cap of USD 80 billion. It accounts for nearly five per cent of India's GDP and 15 per cent of exports. The Reliance refinery at Jamnagar in western India can process 1.24 million barrels daily making it world's single largest refining complex in one location. "Firm is setting up a joint venture in Marcellus Shale, one of the most promising gas deposit regions in the US," Forbes said. -PTI
November 12, 2010
Indian among CNN Heroes 2010 India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Chennai, India based chef Narayanan Krishnan has been voted among the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010. The top 10 - remarkable individuals nominated by viewers for their sacrifices and accomplishments - were revealed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on CNN.com. This year marks CNN's fourth annual global search for everyday individuals changing the world. Since January this year, the network has aired weekly profiles of CNN Heroes, chosen from more than 10,000 nominations submitted by viewers in 100 countries. A panel comprised of luminaries recognized for their own dedication to public service selected this year's top 10 CNN Heroes. The blue ribbon panel includes humanitarians, activists and philanthropists such as Muhammad Ali, Sir Richard Branson and Yo-Yo Ma. In addition to the $25,000, each of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes will be honored at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," airing from the Shrine Audi-
torium in Los Angeles, California, on Thanksgiving night, November 25. The global broadcast, with Cooper as the host, will culminate with the announcement of the CNN Hero of the Year, selected by the public in an online poll. The individual receiving the most votes will receive an additional $100,000. Krishnan founded his non-
profit Akshaya Trust in 2003 through which he feeds the poor. Now 29, he has served more than 1.2 million meals - breakfast, lunch
and dinner - to India's homeless and destitute, mostly elderly people abandoned by their families and often abused. Krishnan seeks out the homeless under bridges and in the nooks and crannies between the city's temples. The hot meals he delivers are simple, tasty vegetarian fare he personally prepares, packs and often hand-feeds to nearly 400 clients each day. He says many of the homeless seldom know their names or origins, and none has the capacity to beg, ask for help or offer thanks. They may be paranoid and hostile because of their conditions, but Krishnan says this only steadies his resolve to offer help. The group's operations cost about $327 a day, but sponsored donations only cover 22 days a month. Krishnan subsidizes the shortfall with $88 he receives in monthly rent from a home his grandfather gave him. Krishnan sleeps in Akshaya's modest kitchen with his few co-workers. Since investing his entire savings of $2,500 in 2002, he has taken no salary and subsists with the help of his once-unsupportive parents.
White House says time constraint prevented Golden Temple visit WASHINGTON: Barack Obama would have loved to spend more time in India but time constraint was preventing him from visiting the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple, the White House has said, seeking to dispel reports that said the requirement of a head gear prompted him to shelve plans to go to Amritsar. Ahead of the presidential visit beginning November 6 White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said that, "Anybody that would go would love to go to (India)...to spend a lot more time there". "We're afforded a short trip to a very important country in a very important region of the world because the trip obviously is also anchored by the important economic meetings later on in the trip," Gibbs said in response to a question.
Asked why Obama is not visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar or the Taj Mahal in Agra, Gibbs, said: "I said even before we started these briefings, we are in India for three days. There's -- you could spend a lot longer than that, and obviously anybody would".
"We picked our schedule based on what we wanted to get accomplished, and that focus was on New Delhi and Mumbai, and that's going to be the focus of our trip." Obama would be arriving in Mumbai on November 6, a day after Diwali. He would stay in Mumbai on November 6 and would reach New Delhi on November 7. The official meetings are scheduled for November 8 and he is scheduled to leave for Jakarta on November 9. After the Golden Temple visit was called off, reports suggested that the Obama administration was wary that a head scarf, as required at the religious site, might portray an image of a Muslim. Surveys in America this year have revealed that a large chunk of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim. PTI
Sikhs urge Obama to raise '84 riots issue in India India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Hundreds of Sikh Americans gathered outside the United Nations in New York Nov 1 to commemorate the November 1984 Sikh genocide and demand President Obama to bring up the issue of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in India, when he addresses the Indian parliament during his India visit Nov 5-9. Organized by Sikhs for Justice, a human rights organization supported by Gurudwaras of North America, the "Justice Rally" was attended by many US political activists including NYC Councilwoman Julissa Ferraris, Hispanic Organizations, and prominent Sikh activists from the US, Canada and India. Gurpatwant Pannun, an attorney representing Sikhs for Justice said President Obama must raise the 'Sikh genocide' issue in his address to the Indian parliament. Dr. Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, Coordinator of Sikhs For Justice who happened to briefly meet President Obama in September and talked to him about the issue of Sikh genocide stated that "victims of Sikh genocide will keep reminding President Obama of his moral and legal duties and will "Chase Obama from New York to New Delhi" reminding him of the issue. The representative organizations also wanted the United Nations to intervene to bring the perpetrators of the antiSikh attacks to justice. The Sikh American protestors believe that President Obama has a moral a legal obligation to address the human rights violation. The protestors are hoping that First Lady Michelle Obama would
visit 'Widow's Colony' in Delhi, where thousands of Sikh women whose male family members were killed in the '84 riots. Sikh Americans have also expressed disappointment that President Obama will not be visiting Harmandar Sahib (the Golden Temple in Amritsar) during his visit to India. Although the community feels disheartened by this decision, some of the Sikh American organizations have decided to continue to actively encourage the US President to visit Sikh places of worship in America and abroad. More importantly, with the White House's confirmation of President Obama's visit to Pakistan in 2011, they are imploring the President to visit Sikh places of worship on that trip. The Sikhs point out that there are many significant Gurdwaras in Pakistan. One of these is Nankana Sahib (birthplace of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak). There is also Panja Sahib, where United Sikhs is currently undertaking Humanitarian Disaster Relief work in assistance of displaced Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh victims
of the floods. Senior Staff Attorney for United Sikhs, Hansdeep Singh, told Politico, that the organization would "continue to push" Obama to visit Sikh shrines in the United States and abroad. "We want to have a continuing dialogue with the White House," he said.
Desi News Grove North hosts Diwali for Indian patients India Post News Service
SKOKIE: A Skokie based Grove North Long Term Care and Nursing Home that has 35 long term care Indian patients, held a beautiful Diwali Party on Sunday October 31 for their Indian residents. The nursing home is very popular with the South Asian community because of their numerous Indian and Pakistani staff members including nurses, nurse's assistants, activity aides and even a chef. Registered Nurse Gulzar Khemani said, "Diwali is a very significant and holy event for the Hindu community. Many of our residents have fond memories of celebrating it in the past with their families and friends.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
IMA holds 'glamorous' Convention in Southern California Details on page 18
12 India Post
November 12, 2010
Voters' message to govt: Change or get lost SURESH SHAH
Details on page 12
Misrepresentation of yoga in Playboy condemned SURENDRA ULLAL
CHICAGO: Well meaning Indian Americans here and many an Indian across the globe are upset over what they see as the misuse of age old and revered system of yoga by Playboy for mercantile greed and have urged it to withdraw all its yoga related products. A well known Indian American scholar and leader Rajan Zed, criticized Playboy's depiction of yoga as erotica. In a statement in Nevada, he said that yoga, referred as "a living fossil", was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy and was highly revered in Hinduism. Details on page 14
Silver Jubilee of Telugu Association in Boston India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Telugu Association of Greater Boston celebrated its silver jubilee on the Oct 30 at the Aleppo Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington, MA in the presence of more than 2200 audience. US Senator Scott Brown and Lt. Governor Timothy P Murray graced the occasion with their presence. The event started off with 'Sita Rama Kalyanam' conducted by priests attached to the Jeeyar Education Trust. Details on page 16
Balwinder Singh with Vice President Biden
CHICAGO: Voters in USA have sent a strong message to the Barack Obama administration that they are not happy with the way the government has been handling its economic and political affairs. Democrats have suffered losses and have lost control of the House of Representative in the Congress. Though they are strong in Senate, the loss of the Senate seat held earlier by Barack Obama was a big shocker especially in the context that the President Obama took personal interest and came to Chicago twice to get Alexi Giannoulias elected. He lost in a very close race to Republican Mark Kirk who also had a tarnished record of embellishing his military record. The race for Illinois Governor is very tight and the counting of absentee ballots might swing the balance for one or the other candidate. Incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn is fighting to retain this seat against the Republican candidate Bill Brady who enjoyed a slender lead in gallop poll before the election. Besides, two time winner Congresswoman Melissa Beans also lost in her bid to get elected again. There is a near unanimity among Indian Americans in their assessment of the factors behind
the Democrat setback. It is believed that the unresponsive economy and joblessness played a big role in turning away voters from the Democrats. The people in general had pinned high hopes on Barack Obama to
Though they are strong in Senate, the loss of the Senate seat held earlier by Barack Obama was a big shocker especially in the context that President Obama took personal interest and came to Chicago twice to get Alexi Giannoulias elected get economy back on its feet but nothing looked changed in the past two years and they felt tired, said Mafat Patel, a prominent businessman on Devon Avenue. It may be, as put by one of the Indian community activists, that Obama may learn the lesson and change his ways and get more responsive to the needs of
the people. Democrats control over Senate may be nebulous in the sense that the loss of the House to Republican should put many a program championed by Barack Obama in jeopardy, especially the Health reforms. Many
Dr Ram Gajjela
entertain apprehensions that the President Obama would go more populist to wrest the "initiative" from Republicans and this might induce him to push for programs like immigration reform or getting social security doles to even "illegal immigrants. The consensus is that the post election period may not prove very constructive
for the economy and party politics in the Congress would hamper the authorities to take actions demanded by the situation. Dr Ram Gajjela, president of the Indo American Democratic Organization (IADO) said that losing the House might upset the applecart of many a program. The President would have to devise a new strategy or approach for bi-partisanship to push forth his program. He said the loss of Alexi Giannoulias, Dan Seals, and Melissa Beans is too much to digest. IADO supported all of them besides many others and the overall picture looks gloomy, he felt. Balwinder Singh, a front ranking Democrat and an ardent supporter of President Obama, was askance at the loss of many Democrats including Giannoulias, Bean, Dan Seals, Manan Trivedi, Raj Goyal. Ami Bera and others. He had supported all of them directly or indirectly, and was hopeful that many would scrap thru. "The economy, bad economy," he lamented" is the culprit and things now could go from bad to worse on the economic front." Contâ€™d on page 14
Community Across America
November 12, 2010
India Post 13
Grove North hosts Diwali for Indian patients India Post News Service
SKOKIE: A Skokie based Grove North Long Term Care and Nursing Home that has 35 long term care Indian patients, held a beautiful Diwali Party on Sunday October 31 for their Indian residents. The nursing home is very popular with the South Asian community
North want them to continue enjoying that and are honored to hold the joyous celebrations" The event was celebrated with rows of lighted earthen lamps, Raas-Garba and scrumptious mouth watering food with traditional sweets. The residents, many in wheel chairs, gathered in the main dining hall on the first floor,
The festival celebration started with Garba, a swirling dance with rhythmic thunderous music from DJ "Arun". The participants were mostly relatives, friends because of their numerous Indian and Pakistani staff members including nurses, nurse's assistants, activity aides and even a chef. Registered Nurse Gulzar Khemani said, "Diwali is a very significant and holy event for the Hindu community. Many of our residents have fond memories of celebrating it in the past with their families and friends. We at Grove
which was decorated for the occasion. The festival celebration started with Garba, a swirling dance with rhythmic thunderous music from DJ "Arun". The participants were mostly relatives, friends and employees of the facility. Due to age and health issues, many senior residents joined in Raas Garba but celebrated with their hearts. They
Garba at Grove North Diwali celebration -Asian Media USA
clapped with each drumbeat, sang with choked voices filled with uncontrollable joy and appreciating a world which has not forgotten about them nor their contributions. Dina Modi, the wife of Dr. Chandrakant Modi, on behalf of the residents' families, stated "It warms our hearts to serve the seniors who dedicated themselves to our well being when we were young and in need. The least we
can do is do the same for them". Mr. Rebel, assistant administrator, urged the South Asian community to visit the facility more often because of the overwhelming joy it brings to residents. The dinner was served with many sweets and other special customary delicious items. Assistant Director Rebel stated that "we had our first Indian patient little more than two years ago by the name
of Mrs. Manjula Modi, mother of Dr. Chandrakant Modi. Since then the Indian population has sky rocketed due to our excellent care and accommodating nature which is needed for our Indian patients". Explaining further, he said, "We hired an experienced Indian cook who prepares vegetarian meals. We are also very proud of our employees like Meena Kansara. Every day for about 2 and Â˝ hrs, Meena coordinates Hindu/ Jain group prayers for all interested residents. She also reads scripts from holy books like "Gita" sings bhajans, kirtans etc. This daily activity takes place for entire group in special community assembly room. Rebel also thanked his other team members Administrator Mark Bubaick and Jamie D'latt, the Director of the facility. The facility is equipped to provide personalized therapy, orthopedic rehabilitation, wound care, pain management, geriatric strengthening program, neuromuscular re-education program, restorative program etc.
Gujarat Samaj celebrates grand Deepawali
Chief Guest Sunil Shah (right) with L to R Kshama Shah, Dr Bharat Barai, Outgoing President, Mukesh Shah, Naren Patel Asian Media USA & India Post News Service
CHICAGO: A front-ranking ethnic organization in Chiicagoland, Gujarat Samaj of Chicago, celebrated its annual event and Diwali festival in a grand manner at India House Banquet Hall in Schaumburg recently. The evening event title 'Rangeen Tareene,' was attended by more than 600 members, guests and invitees from across Chicago and neighboring area. Dignitaries attending the near four hours of entertainment and dinner program included Ms. Michelle Mussman, candidate for State Representative for the 56th Dist., Congresswoman Melissa Bean, Fred Crespo 44th District state, Hofman Mayor Willaiam McLeod, Naren Patel, CEO Medstar, Sunil Shah and his wife Rita
Shah, Dr. Bharat Barai and others. Prominent Gujarati community activist Sunil Shah was a grand sponsor of the event that was compeered by Bharati Desai who captivated the audience for the
Members of New Board of Gujarat Samaj headed by Suryakant Patel (left)
Patel. He listed the activities that the Samaj undertook during his leadership and pointed out that Mid West FOGANA Raas, Garba and Folk Dance competition on July 31, 2010 was something that ev-
Dignitaries attending the near four hours of entertainment and dinner program included Ms. Michelle Mussman, candidate for State Representative for the 56th Dist., Congresswoman Melissa Bean, Fred Crespo 44th District state and Hofman Mayor Willaiam McLeod entire length of the program Mukesh Shah, president of GSC greeted all those present with Diwali and New Year wishes and announced the new Board for next year headed by Suryakant
erybody could be proud of. Thanking his friends, family members and everybody for the generous support that he had, he pitched for the younger generation of members to come forward and give their
time for the Samaj to carry on the good work for the benefit of the community. "It is important that we here in our adopted country preserve and promote our Gujarati heritage and culture for upcoming generations," he said Introducing Sunil Shah, guest of honor of the event, Mukesh, listed his awards and the support given to the organization by Sunil and his wife Rita Shah. Responding Sunil Shah thanked the committee and board members, and asked everyone to nurture the spirit of unity, amicability and loyalty. He asked the younger generation to be the torchbearers of the community. Emphasizing on similar lines by Arvind Modi and Bharat Acharya, chairman of Samaj asked younger generation to take the share and the burden of community. Contâ€™d on page 23
Community Across America
14 India Post
November 12, 2010
Hamdard Center gala raises $250,000 Asian Media USA
CHICAGO: Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services held its 18th Annual Gala at the Donald E. Stephens Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, north side Chicago suburb, on October 30 in the presence of 1000 plus guests, supporters and the Center members. Hamdard's Mission is to "Promote the physical and emotional health and psychological wellbeing of individuals and families by offering hope, help and healing". Dignitaries included Bosnian Consul General Elden Kajevic and Pakistani Consul General Zaheer Pervaiz Khan. Hamdard Center raised $250,000 at the gala making the 18th gala the most successful in its history so far. All of the amount will go towards their seven programs including the domestic violence division, transitional housing, senior services, youth services, primary and mental health services, and case management. The evening started with a warm welcome from the volunteers at the registration desk as each attendee was greeted and registered. This was followed by a cocktail hour in the lobby area,
A section of the audience
which was shared by over 15 exhibitors and vendors creating a small bazaar ambiance by dis-
and paintings. Some of the participants were Charsima Boutique located in Westmont, IL
Dr. Muhammad Saudye received the Farzana F. Hamid Community Service Award. He praised Kiran Siddiqui, the executive director of Hamdard, as a "bright young director playing their beautiful products such as Indian clothing, jewelry
and Yoomna's gifts from Naperville, IL and numerous oth-
Voters' message to govt: Change or get lost Contâ€™d from page 12
Touching upon Obama's Indian trip, he said that his image would get tarnished a bit now that he had lost the House. His view was shared by Mafat Patel who felt that "compromise" would be a key to succeed at the Federal level for Obama. He was not very sanguine about a swift economic recovery in the light of election results. Iftekhar Shareef, a former presdient of FIA and the first Dual Citizen for US and India, said that the voters have given their verdict and both the parties should accept the same and learn important lessons. The first lesson is the bad economy and that needs to be improved. Democrats faced the hole of trillion dollar deficit given by Bush administration. When President Bill Clinton left he had a surplus economy and it got fully reversed when Bush Jr left. Had the economy turned the corner and unemployment got cut, the situation would have been
still favorable to Democrats despite the deficit. But that did not happen.
About the India trip by Obama, he felt that this time the President has little to offer on any front. He is bent on cutting "out sourcing", is lukewarm on nuclear deal and now comes Congressional setback Shareef felt that the elections have lessons for Republicans too. They have to follow and support people-friendly policies and it
would be suicidal for them to oppose Obama for the sake of opposition. Some of his programs like health insurance to uninsured are liked by a large number of people and a bi-partisan approach would be welcomed and watched closely by voters. "However we are heading for the compromise era," he observed About the India trip by Obama, he felt that this time the President has little to offer on any front. He is bent on cutting "out sourcing", is lukewarm on nuclear deal and now comes Congressional setback. "Let us hope that he still wins the hearts of Indians," he said. Bhailal Patel, former head of NFIA, said that voters have called the shots and those in power should get this message clearly. He does feel that the economy may not show a recovery in coming years unless some drastic and far sighted measures are initiated. Indo -US relations may not suffer but Obama's image has definitely gone down with Indian intelligentsia.
Fashion show in progress
ers, who participated in making the Gala a successful event. The Master of Ceremonies Ravi Baichwal from ABC News Channel delivered the opening speech. This was followed by a speech from the Chairman of Hamdard, Dr. Mohammad Hamid. He introduced this year's new Associate Executive Director, Kiran Siddiqui. He also discussed the additional progress that Hamdard is making such as the negotiations for adding a new domestic violence shelter and expanding an after school program for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Furthermore, guests were honored to see an exciting fashion show by Designer Studio and their 2011 collection. There were over 20 fashion show participants who walked up and down the ramp with a vibrant collection from Shaymeel and
Umar Sayeed's collection, an esteemed Pakistani designer. The collection consisted of their men's and women's evening attire and bridal collection and new fall collection of designer coats. Dr. Muhammad Saudye received the Farzana F. Hamid Community Service Award. He praised Kiran Siddiqui, the executive director of Hamdard, as a "bright young director overseeing the agency's operation in the most effective manner possible". The community service award was presented to Ravi Baichwal who strongly supports Hamdard Center's mission over the past four years. The night ended with Live Entertainment by Amjad Sabri who is a renowned performer of Qawali and the son of Ghulam Fareed Sabri.
November 12, 2010
Community Across America
India Post 15
Misrepresentation of yoga in Playboy condemned SURENDRA ULLAL
CHICAGO: Well meaning Indian Americans here and many an Indian across the globe are upset over what they see as the misuse of age old and revered system of yoga by Playboy for mercantile greed and have urged it to withdraw all its yoga related products. A well known Indian American scholar and leader Rajan Zed, criticized Playboy's depiction of yoga as erotica. In a statement in Nevada, he said that yoga, referred as "a living fossil", was one of the six systems of orthodox Hindu philosophy and was highly revered in Hinduism. It is actually a serious mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) unites with universal-soul (parmatman). Sohan Joshi, an activist in Chiicagoland, said that it was abhorring to see American media playing around with Indian gods, goddesses and religious books as well as its scriptures in a derogatory and ridiculous manner without impunity. Playboy.com shows a "Playboy's Naked Yoga" free video depicting Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood doing various yoga poses on a yoga mat totally naked. It says: "â€ŚSara Jean Underwood wants you to gain an intimate
ture, physical and mental. Zed pointed out that just for plain mercantile greed, Playboy should not attempt to distort the esteemed yoga tradition as it would hurt the devotees. Adult entertainment and lifestyle company Playboy Enterprises is known for its magazine for men "Playboy" with 26 international editions and a global readership of over 18 million. Playboy brand appears on a wide range of consumer products in over 150 countries. The Company also has a range of adult-movie channels; its television programming is available in more than 100 countries and, in the United States alone, it is accessible in more than 65 million households. Hefner is still Editor-inChief and Chief Creative Officer, while Scott N. Flanders is Chief Executive Officer and David I. Chemerow is Chairman of its Board of Directors. Agreeing with the views of Zed, leading community activist Madhu Patel expressed his profound disgust at the irresponsible, asinine and abhorrent behavior of the editors and management of Playboy and said that Patanjali defines the word "yoga" simply as yogas citta-vritti-nirodha, meaning
It was abhorring to see American media playing around with Indian gods, goddesses and religious books as well as its scriptures in a derogatory and ridiculous manner without impunity. Playboy.com shows a "Playboy's Naked Yoga" free video depicting Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood doing various yoga poses on a yoga mat totally naked Sohan Joshi
understanding of the various postures and positions practiced in yoga. The next best thing to doing so in person is watching these sexy nude videos that are designed to raise your heart rate". It is also selling DVD titled "Erotic Nude Yoga" which shows full nudity, besides "Totally Nude Yoga Tai Chi" video, and "Erotic Yoga for Couples" (Intimate Routines for great sex) DVD, which it says "is sure to bring plenty of fresh excitement to your erotic arsenal. On its website, model Missy Tarrington says in an article that yoga is a "great way to meet girls". Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further says that some sages have described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which leads to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some have used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers. According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, yoga is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human na-
controlling the attributes of the mind such as thoughts, imagination, sleep and memory. There are numerous opinions on what the goal of Yoga may be, but generally it involves the idea of union, either of a personal or a non-personal nature. Within the monist schools of Advaita Vedanta and Shaivism this perfection takes the form of Moksha, which is a liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara) at which point there is a cessation of thought and an experience of blissful union with the Supreme Brahman. For the dualistic bhakti schools of Vaishnavism, bhakti itself is the ultimate goal of the yoga process, wherein perfection culminates in an eternal relationship with God. He however greatly appreciated millions of Americans, led by highly informed women who have taken to the discipline of yoga whole-hog and have integrated Yogic practice into their lives. Throwing light on the other important branch of knowledge, Tantra practice which dates farther back into pre-Vedic time, Sohan
Joshi, offered some education to these blind allies of obscurantism that along with Yoga, Tantrism is a practice through which an individual perceives reality as Maya, illusion, and the individual achieves liberation from
ingly become non-competitive and unaggressive in studies as well as other pursuits for excellence, which was the benchmark of Americanism not long ago two ago. Noting the contribution of Yoga and
Agreeing with the views of Zed, leading community activist Madhu Patel expressed his profound disgust at the irresponsible, asinine and abhorrent behavior of the editors and management of Playboy and said that Patanjali defines the word "yoga" simply as yogas citta-vritti-nirodha, meaning controlling the attributes of the mind such as thoughts, imagination, sleep and memory
it. Where Yoga relies on progressive restriction of inputs from outside; Tantra relies on transmutation of all external inputs so that one is no longer dependent on them, but can take them or leave them at will. This particular path to salvation among the several offered by Hinduism, links Tantrism to those practices of Indian religions, such as yoga, meditation, and social renunciation. Many Indian intellectual traditions, he said, were codified during the medieval period into a standard list of six orthodox systems, the shad-darshanas namely, Nyaya, the school of justice, Vaisheshika, the atomist school, Samkhya, the enumeration school, Yoga, the school of Patanjali (which assumes the metaphysics of Samkhya), Purva Mimamsa (or simply Mimamsa), the tradition of Vedic exegesis, and,
other schools of intellectual pursuits he added that each of the six schools makes some practical contribution to education: atheistic Samkhya explains the evolution of natural elements from subtle to gross, Patanjali's yoga describes the eightfold method of meditation, Nyaya sets forth the techniques of logic, Vaisesika considers the basic metaphysical categories of reality, and Mimamsa establishes the standard tools of scriptural interpretation. At an early period, during the formation of the Upanisads and the rise of Buddhism, Jainism and Charvakins there already existed a common heritage of meditation and mental discipline practiced by people with varying affiliations to non-orthodox (Veda-rejecting) and orthodox (Veda-accepting) traditions. These schools, such as Buddhism, Jainism
Sohan Joshi called the Playboy as worthless piece of junk, which educated none but teaches the young and impressionable indiscipline, that leads them to a life of wanton pleasure and ultimate destruction of their lives. This is obvious from the current state of American youth, who have increasingly become non-competitive
Vedanta(also called Uttara Mimamsa), the Upanishadic tradition. Sohan Joshi called the Playboy as worthless piece of junk, which educated none but teaches the young and impressionable indiscipline, that leads them to a life of wanton pleasure and ultimate destruction of their lives. This is obvious from the current state of American youth, who have increas-
and Charvakins are regarded as heterodox (nastika) and orthodox (astika) Brahmanism. The Tantric traditions in Hinduism, have both astika and nastika lines. Tantras are also divided as astika or Vedic and nastika or non-Vedic. In accordance with the predominance of the deity the astika works are again divided as Shakta, Shaiva, Shaura, Ganapatya and Vaishnava.
16 India Post
Community Across America
November 12, 2010
Interfaith meet held in New Jersey India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: Community and religious leaders representing various faiths practiced in India, gathered at a solemn event to celebrate 'Loving Light Interfaith', held at the Royal Albert's Palace in New Jersey recently. Organized by the Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) NJ Chapter, the event was attended by around 500 people. "All faiths preach peace and harmony," commented Pam Kwatra, president of INOC NJ chapter of INOC. She said that her organization stood for secularism and communal harmony as its mission. "We are determined to work for promoting peace and prosperity for every human being. The spirit of love and unity must prevail in the world," she told the audience adding that unity among communities and equal voice and representation for all was most important mission of her organization. On the occasion, Jassi Khangura, a legislator from the State of Punjab in India, who left the UK to return to India and take part in its governance, raised a number of issues concerning Indian settlers in foreign countries. Khangura urged the audience to raise their voice for the rights of non-resident Indians. "Indian settlers returning to India face a number of problems while dealing with local authorities," he said and pointed out that India needed NRIs to return to India and work for social and political causes.
DIWALI SMILES: On Nov 1, Cherie Blair, wife of former British PM Tony Blair, film actress Preity Zinta
Anju Bhargava, president of Asian Indian Women in America and a member of President Obama's Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and founder of Hindu American Seva Charities, urged Indian Americans to take advantage of initiatives taken by Obama administration to get assistance for charitable causes. Others who spoke on the occasion included NJ Assembly-
and New York socialite and philanthropist Meera Gandhi joined together at the Loomba Foundation's Third Annual Diwali Dinner at the Essex House in New York City to raise funds to aid widows and their children and to urge the United
On the occasion, Jassi Khangura, a legislator from the State of Punjab in India, who left the UK to return to India and take part in its governance, raised a number of issues concerning Indian settlers in foreign countries man Upendra Chivukula, Episcopal priest Diana Doyale Clark, Dr. Jatinder Singh Sawhney, Acharya Girish Jha and Imam Syed Fakhruddin. Imam Fakhruddin attracted applause as he commented about the importance of holy places in India and unity between Hindus and Muslims.
Nations to support International Widows Day. (Pic Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia)
Apana Ghar fundraiser on Nov 14 India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Apna Ghar, a Chicago-based organization that provides in addition to an emergency shelter and transitional housing, a variety of programs and services for victims of domestic violence, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Sunday, November 14 with a fund-raising gala at the Carlisle Banquet Hall in Lombard, a south west Chicago suburb. Shyam Benegal, award winning Indian film director will be the Keynote Speaker and Professor Margaret Abraham, Professor of Sociology at Hofstra University in New York will be the Guest of Honor. Recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Benegal's films Bhumika, Ankur and Manthan have created awareness around women's issues. Abraham is the
author of the acclaimed book Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence among South Asian Immigrants in the United States. She has been involved in research and activism in the field of domestic violence in the South Asian
Shyam Benegal, award winning Indian film director will be the Keynote Speaker and Prof Margaret Abraham Guest of honor immigrant community for more than a decade. Acclaimed Natya Dance Theater will perform a specially choreographed dance sequence. The mission of Apna Ghar is to
break the cycle of domestic violence through culturally appropriate, multilingual services, including emergency shelter and transitional housing. While serving all domestic abuse survivors, they address the special needs and challenges of immigrants from South Asian and other countries. In addition to the shelter and transitional housing, clients receive counseling, legal aid and case management services. Apna Ghar has Supervised Child Visitation and Safe exchange program as well. Funds raised from this year' sponsorships will go toward paying off the mortgage for the new shelter. To date Apna Ghar has hosted 19 successful fundraisers. In the 'Taste for Life' event Chief Chef Sanjeev Kapoor (India) and Chief Chef Vikas Khanna (NY) along with local chefs/restaurants participated.
November 12, 2010
Community Across America
India Post 17
Telugu Association in Boston Sikh leaders regret Obama decision celebrates 25 years to skip Golden Temple India Post News Service
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Telugu Association of Greater Boston celebrated its silver jubilee on the Oct 30 at the Aleppo Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington, MA in the presence of more than 2200 audience. US Senator Scott Brown and Lt. Governor Timothy P Murray graced the occasion with their presence. The event started off with 'Sita Rama Kalyanam' conducted by priests attached to the Jeeyar Education Trust. The day-long programs included classical dance performances, games promoting Telugu culture, stand-up comic routines,
felicitation of both the local talent as well as that invited from India,
US Senator Scott Brown and Lt. Governor Timothy P Murray graced the occasion with their presence. The event started off with 'Sita Rama Kalyanam' conducted by priests and a musical extravaganza featuring popular Telugu singers from India.
WASHINGTON: Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education has regretted that President Obama missed the opportunity to send the powerful message of global peace and harmony in the South Asian region and in the world by visiting the Golden Temple. He said in a statement," After all he is winner of a Nobel Peace prize. He would have been blessed at this spiritual oasis of peace. Harimandir Sahib, (Golden Temple) represents a deep spiritual message of the Indian civilization that each faith and an individual is blessed by God and we must live respecting each other. "The Golden Temple is sacred to all Indians and not just for Sikhs. It represents one of the four great religious traditions India has given to the world. Over 150,000 people of all faiths, visit this place and similar number of people are fed daily, representing equality and human dignity. Why would the President of United States not visit if this is his vision and if this is what he wants to promote in the world. This surely would have shown America's respect for all faiths and traditions. Also this would have been a wonderful opportunity to show that America is not all about war and money."
Dr. I.J. Singh, a Sikh writer and a commentator on contemporary Sikh affairs, said, "It is now confirmed that President Obama has decided to forgo his opportunity to go to Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar and will instead visit Hamayun's Tomb in Delhi. It is not a simple trade off when one real-
Harmandar Sahib is a place of worship for millions who visit it every day. It is open to all irrespective of religion or even no religion. Humayun's Tomb is just that - a fine reminder of monarchical profligacy and excesses; the final resting place of a king izes what each edifice represents. Harmandar Sahib is a place of worship for millions who visit it every day. It is open to all irrespective of religion or even no religion. Its volunteers prepare and feed thousands of people free every day, several times that number
on the high holy days. Hu mayun's Tomb is just that - a fine reminder of monarchical profligacy and excesses; the final resting place of a king, perhaps his lasting achievement in the sands of time. Such are the political realities of the day. What a pity. I expected something like this. Naturally we are disappointed." Kanwal Prakash Singh from Indianapolis, Indiana, a Sikh activist and a writer, said, "Sikh Americans and the Sikh world are stunned to read of the reasons for President Obama not visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The White House's action to cancel his trip based on that would reinforce the unconscionable stereotype that all those who cover their heads in America are Muslims rather than Sikhs (for whom covering their heads is a faithmandated commandment and tradition). Mr. Obama canceling the trip to Amritsar to avoid an association with any faith other than his own can lead to further misunderstanding and perpetuation of unprovoked hostility, harassment and hate crimes, problems of mistaken identity and discrimination against Sikh Americans in the U.S. The Sikhs are not Muslims; covering one's head is associated with huContâ€™d on page 23
Photog Jaffer traveling with Presidential media India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Mohammed Jaffer Editor of SnapsIndia Photo Service is traveling as part of President Barack Obama's White House Media to India. Jaffer is the only Indian photo journalist who had earlier traveled with President Bill Clinton to India in the year 2000, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2010. Jaffer comes from a family of journalists in Hyderabad. His father late M.A. Rahim established SnapsIndia in 1953 and the Government of Andhra Pradesh has instituted the 'M.A. Rahim best press photographer award' for photo journalists. In the year 2000, President Bill Clinton had inaugurated Jaffer's photo exhibition at St Regis Hotel, on Wall Street in New York. A photograph shot by Jaffer of President Clinton sitting crosslegged and addressing a meeting at the Sabarmati Ashram in 2001
Mohammed Jaffer with President Obama
hangs in his presidential library. Clinton went to the Ashram when he visited India after an earthquake in Gujarat. Jaffer is a recipient of the Out-
standing Citizen award given by New York City Council in 2007. His name has been included in the US Congressional record by Congressman Frank Pallone.
18 India Post
November 12, 2010
Cal News Wedding Store 24 one stop shop for matrimonial bliss
IMA holds 'glamorous' Convention in Southern California
India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Wedding Store 24 originated as the first bridal boutique and event planning retail store situated in the heart of little India. Created initially to serve as an outlet for both the Indian community and for the vast, eclectic array of Southern California population, Wedding Store 24 stands as the only true locale which provides the client with a one-stop shop opportunity to envision their special event, enlist the services of any/all vendors needed to facilitate that special occasion, and ensure that their dream ceremony comes to life. Details on page 20
Karwa Chauth amid sea of colors India Post News Service
RIVERSIDE: Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir was a sea of colors as 200 beautifully dressed women came for Karwa Chauth. The wives participated to ensure the prosperity, longevity and well-being of their husbands. Pandits Vipul Jani and Seshacharya Samudrala instructed them to sit in circles and explained each step of the puja. The women go without food or water from sunrise to sunset, not eating until the moon can be seen. The fast is broken after first offering water to the moon. This is the most important annual fast for women. Details on page 21
Discrimination against Sikh child reversed
Dr Abha Gupta
JS BEDI India Post News Service
NEWPORT BEACH: The Indian Medical Association of So Cal held its annual convention this past Halloween weekend. The three-day event was held at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel in Newport Beach. This was the most well organized, and glamorous convention of Indian Medical Association of Southern California. The convention started on Friday with beautiful decoration and Diwali Puja, which was followed by evening of music with noted Bollywood singer Shivangi Kapoor, younger sister of actress Padmini Kolhapure, who sang melodious songs of Noor Jahan, Lata Mageshkar, Asha Bhosle and others. One of the highlights of the convention was its Continuing Medical Education, organized by Dr. Sudhir Gupta in which noted faculty from UCI, UCLA, and
UCSD participated. Dr. Frank Arena a noted Oncologist, and the President and Co-Founder of the Sass Foundation, a Chari-
Dr Sudhir Gupta
ern California also hosted AAPI Governing Body meeting. Saturday night gala event was held in the ballroom, which was
One of the highlights of the convention was its Continuing Medical Education, organized by Dr. Sudhir Gupta in which noted faculty from UCI, UCLA, and table Foundation in New York participated Celebrity Designer Rohini Bedi
table Foundation in New York devoted to cancer, gave an excellent description of breast cancer from century of art. Indian Medical Association of South-
transformed with lights and decoration, an imprint of President Abha Gupta. The emcee of the evening was Meenu Saini and Dr. Michael Drake, Chancel-
lor of UCI delivered the Keynote address. He also announced establishment of Sudhir Gupta Endowed Chair in Molecular Immunology at the University of California, Irvine. Among the awards presented were Distinguished Physicians award to Dr. Inder Chopra, Distinguished Physician Service Award to Dr. Naren Gurbani, and Medical Student Scholar Award to Kevin Shah, which was endowed by Dr. C.K. Rao. Dr. Abha Gupta, President elegantly dressed humbly thanked her team for the job well done. She outlined achievements of her presidency, including recruitment of highest number of new Life Members in the history of the Association. She specially thanked her husband Dr. Sudhir Gupta, who was the major architect of the convention. Guests were treated to dances by Bollywood Steps, beautiful fashion show by Rohini Bedi, and music by Parthiv Gohil, winner of 1997 Sare Ga Ma, and Janvi Srimanker. Contâ€™d on page 20
CG to address visa issues at public meet
India Post News Service
India Post News Service
CLUTE, TX: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) in collaboration with the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) has succeeded in overturning a long-standing policy of discrimination against religious headgear in the Brazosport Independent School District in Texas. The case has allowed a Sikh American fourth grader to enter school and also resulted in a revision of the District's school dress code.
LOS ANGELES: Ambassador Susmita Thomas, Consul General of India, San Francisco, has agreed to outreach the Indian community in Southern California and address issues regarding consular services such as visa for India, OCI/ PIO card, surrender of Indian Passport, relinquishing of Indian citizenship, etc. She and members of her staff will also answer questions from the audience relevant to consular services at 2 pm on Saturday, November 13, at United Methodist Church (Backside of Bhindi Plaza) Artesia, CA. The Church has been used
Details on page 23
Emcee Meenu Saini
many times for Visa camps in the past. Members of the Indian community in Southern California are encouraged to come and get answers
the Consul General's outreach program and talk in person. The Consul General's outreach program for the members of the Indian community in Southern
The purpose of the outreach program is to brief the community about the changes and new requirements in the grant of various types of visas to their questions directly from the Consul General and her staff. If anyone has not received a satisfactory response from the Consulate, it will be high time to attend
California is a welcome step towards streamlining relations with the community. In May, 2010 Government of India introduced some security
measures which resulted in hardships to the community in obtaining visa for India. Some of the rules have been relaxed and grant of visa by the Consulate has also become reasonably easier. The purpose of the outreach program is to brief the community about the changes and new requirements in the grant of various types of visas while following the limitation imposed by Government of India. She also would invite suggestions to further improve consular services. According to a GOPIO release, If anyone plans to attend, s/he may send email to email@example.com or call at 818.708.3885.
November 12, 2010
India Post 19
Fundraiser for Congresswoman Barbara Boxer by Ashwani Bhakri & Group at Hyatt SFO
20 India Post
November 12, 2010
Wedding Store 24 - one stop shop SCE incentives for completing energy-use surveys for matrimonial bliss India Post News Service
India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Wedding Store 24 originated as the first bridal boutique and event planning retail store situated in the heart of little India. Created initially to serve as an outlet for both the In-
traditional background with a modern flare. As a testament of passion, hard work, and utmost devotion for success in a turmoil filled time, drowned with economic and financial woes, the Grand opening for Wedding Store 24
of time, serving as a beacon by which all others are driven toward and preserving that timeless tradition of matrimonial bliss for all brides and grooms. The Wedding Store owners thanked those who attended and participated for sharing "the first
Having been held on Diwali (Saturday October 30th), a most joyful and celebratory of days for the Indian community, Wedding Store 24 is certain to withstand and endure throughout the test of time dian community and for the vast, eclectic array of Southern California population, Wedding Store 24 stands as the only true locale which provides the client with a one-stop shop opportunity to envision their special event, enlist the services of any/all vendors needed to facilitate that special occasion, and ensure that their dream ceremony comes to life. Wedding Store 24 symbolizes a culmination of several years dedicated toward the wedding and floral industry. With a genuine commitment for establishing a most reputable business that strives to enhance the entire wedding experience for brides & grooms, and simultaneously facilitating an easier, more sound and direct relationship between vendors and clients, Wedding Store 24 offers that and so much more-all the while embracing a
embodied the true nature for which all cultures and this great country is driven toward. Having been held on Diwali (Saturday October 30th), a most
day of the rest of your life" with some of the finest vendors in all of LA, alongside City of Artesia Mayor, Tony Lima at Pioneer Plaza, the heart of little India. The
joyful and celebratory of days for the Indian community, Wedding Store 24 is certain to withstand and endure throughout the test
festivities and ribbon cutting ceremony were truly breathtaking and will be remembered for years to come.
ROSEMEAD, CA: Southern California Edison (SCE) is offering incentives to customers who complete a Home Energy-Efficiency Survey. SCE is also making a small donation to participating school districts for each completed survey returned by parents. Most customers who complete the survey will be rewarded with a $10 gift card from Starbucks. Those in participating school districts will receive a $5 Cold Stone Creamery gift card, plus a $5 donation to their child's school. The surveys eligible for a Cold Stone Creamery gift card plus a $5 school donation will be brought home by students. The program runs through Wednesday, Dec. 15, or until supplies last, so customers are encouraged to take their surveys as soon as possible. "The online or mail-in HomeEnergy Efficiency Survey is a 30minute investment. For that, our customers will not only get energy-saving solutions specific to them, but great incentives," said Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of Energy Efficiency and Customer Solar. "We have free and low-cost energy-saving solutions for nearly every customer, whether they're renters, homeowners, businesses, schools, nonprofits or government." In addition to the gift cards, each customer who completes the Home Energy-Efficiency Survey will receive a free home energy kit containing: • Two compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are 75 percent more
energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. • Three water-saving faucet aerators. • One low-flow showerhead. • One ultra-efficient LED (lightemitting diode) night light. Customers completing the survey will also receive a free, personalized energy-and wateranalysis that will help them: • Understand their annual water and energy use. • Pinpoint which household appliances and equipment are
In addition to the gift cards, each customer who completes the Home Energy-Efficiency Survey will receive a free home energy kit likely to use the most energy and water. • Compare their usage patterns with similar homes in their neighborhood. • Learn cost-saving ideas and conservation tips. Schools participating in this program are located in Chino, Chino Hills, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Diamond Bar, Irvine, La Puente, Malibu, Moreno Valley, Newhall, Newport Beach, Ontario, Orange, Palm Desert, Rowland Heights, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, Saugus, Valencia, Walnut and West Covina.
IMA holds ‘glamorous’ Convention in Southern Cal Cont’d from page 18
Rohini Bedi is a So Cal based designer and is renowned for her creations that bring in the best of the East and West. Her fashion show was a collage of colors showcased by a group of very talented models that included Argentine movie actress Luz Maria Utrera. One by one the girls sashayed onto the stage to the applause of the guests. Rohini's creations and designs are on display at her studio in Costa Mesa and she has carved a niche for herself as a major player on the international scene. This is totally in contrast to the Bollywood designers who are unknown outside the Mumbai tinsel town. The Convention ended on Sunday with entertainment by comedian Rajiv Satyal.
Argentine Movie Actress Luz Maria Utrera in a Rohini Bedi Outfit
November 12, 2010
India Post 21
'Muslims for Peace' message resounds in So Cal
India Post News Service
CHINO: 'Muslims for Peace,' the nationwide message by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community against extremism was taken to Upland Fire Station recently. The 'Muslims for Peace' pamphlets were distributed at an event sponsored by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The event was attended by over 2000 Muslims from all over Southern California, where Imam Shamshad joined by two Ahmadi members were in attendance. At the interfaith event held at a fire station in Upland, some 200 participants representing various faiths were present at the morning breakfast and seven Ahmadi Muslim members with Imam Shamshad also joined. The Upland Interfaith Council (UIC), that Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a member of, had arranged its 15th annual 'Prayer Breakfast' at the same location as the last year - the Fire Station No. 1, located at the corner of Arrow Highway and 2nd Street in Upland, California. With several dignitaries from Upland city government and the president of the UIC at the head
table, prayer meeting opened when Imam Shamshad Nasir recited the opening chapter from the Muslim Holy Scriptures, the Holy Quran. Imam Shamshad Nasir related sayings of the Holy Founder of
Islam, the Prophet Mohammad that pertain to spreading of peace in the community - especially by the Muslims. "We are Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani," proclaimed Imam
Shamshad. "And, our motto is Love for All, Hatred for None." The event was also attended by two other Muslim organizations, one of whom offered poetry of Moulana Jalal-ud Din Rumi, a Muslim Sufi Saint and poet from the 13th century. The other organization recited versus from the Holy Quran and offered translation and brief commentary. At the end of the event Ahmadi Muslim members distributed Muslims for Peace pamphlets and many recipients were engaged in discussions about Ahmadiyya Community's door-to-door peace message and its anti-terrorism efforts. At the CAIR organized event in Anaheim, California, Imam Shamshad Nasir presented the renowned book, Philosophy of the Teaching of Islam by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, to Imam Siraj Vihhaj of At-Taqwa mosque of
New York, who was one of the notable speakers at this fundraising event. Hassam Aylosh, executive director and Fawad Yaqoob, president of CAIR - LA came over during dinner and each exchanged pleasantries and offered courtesies. The two organizers from CAIR thanked Imam Shamshad and fellow guest at the table for their presence at the event. At the departure from the event, Imam Shamshad Nasir and Rehman Abdul Aleem of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community walked the lobby areas and distributed 'Muslims for Peace' pamphlets to the attendees. Muslims for Peace, a national campaign of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is being promoted in Southern California through bus ads, door-to-door contacts, interfaith events and multiple radio programs.
Karwa Chauth amid sea of colors
India Post News Service
RIVERSIDE: Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir was a sea of colors as 200 beautifully dressed women came for Karwa Chauth. The wives participated to ensure the prosperity, longevity and well-being of their husbands. Pandits Vipul Jani and Seshacharya Samudrala instructed them to sit in circles and explained each step of the puja. The women go without food or water from sunrise to sunset, not eating until the moon can be seen. The fast is broken after first offering water to the moon. This is the most important annual fast for women. For newly wedded brides the first Karwa Chauth is the most important. They will attend the festivities dressed in their bridal finery. The brides will be showered with gifts, especially given by their new mother-in-law. Every year the festival grows in size and popularity. Even restaurants now have special Karwa Chauth dishes included in their menus. The women begin several days before the event shopping for the necessary items. Hands are painted with henna and new pink, red or green saris are pur-
chased. The festival name derives from the Karwa which is an earthen pot with a spout, used for storing grain and which is a symbol of prosperity. Shiva, Parvati and their son Kartikeya are worshiped on this
For newly wedded brides the first Karwa Chauth is the most important. They will attend the festivities dressed in their bridal finery. The brides will be showered with gifts, especially given by their new mother-in-law day along with the 10 'karwas' (earthen pots) filled with sweets. Chauth (from char meaning four) corresponds to the fourth day after the Full Moon in the month of Kartik. Karwa Chauth takes place after the monsoon harvest which is a time of celebration.
22 India Post
November 12, 2010
Diwali that lights up young & old alike JESSI KAUR
he memory of my childhood Diwali celebrations in India leaves me nos talgic even today. I waited all year for the festival that lit up young and old alike. The very air was redolent with rich mithais and crackling phuljharries; thunderous rockets burst like little suns in the night sky. Even though our young hearts missed a beat at the deafening explosion, dressed up in our newest and very best outfits we watched awestruck and clapped our hands in glee. It was fun and festive, stately and mystical, with visions of a king coming home and the defeat of evil. It was magical and luminous, a night when the stars came down to earth and everything was right with the world. Friends and neighbors dropped by with boxes of good wishes and hugs were exchanged as everyone lingered for a bit before going to the next person to spread more bonhomie. Many decades later, I was told that Diwali was a Hindu festival, and, the Sikhs observed "Bandhi Chhor" day. When I was a child, Diwali was owned by everyone. It is still celebrated in Harmandir Sahib, a tradition started by a muchloved secular emperor of India, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It was very inspirational for me to hear about Guru Hargobind Sahib's creative releasing of 52 prisoners. That gave me one more reason
to celebrate the victory of good over evil that Diwali had symbolized for me; a reason that was more personal and dear. Perhaps, it was the all embracing life style of my mother, from whom I imbibed respect for various cultures. I remember her explaining the importance of the new moon during Eid-ul-Fitr, and, how it marked the end of Ramadan. She would also use the occasion as a teachable moment to stress how fasting was not a Sikh way of life. Once in a while, when the spirit moved her, she would serve the family sewain - di kheer in memory of her neighbors and friends left behind in Pakistan. Eid-ul-Fitr, she explained was not to be confused with Eid-ul-Juha, when a goat was sacrificed and the Muslims all over the world had mutton. Another teachable moment: we did not believe in sacrificing animals and the injunction for us was to eat jhatka meat only. I learned at an early age about diverse festivals and multiple customs, but I also learned the finer differences of the Sikh tradition. We observed gurpurabs, birthdays, and anniversaries, and reveled in the richness they brought to our life. As children we watched the neighborhood Ram Lila, and looked forward to the burning of the multiheaded larger than life effigy of Ravana. All of us girls enjoyed the puri alu , panjiri, and small change we got from our neighbors during kanjaka, and for many years tied rakhri to our brothers and cousins. This ceremony was abandoned by many of us as we moved out of the cultural influences
always stopped at our house. Dewey winter mornings found us bundled up and waiting for the roving singers in whose off-key singing we joined unabashedly. Our friends from other traditions were right there holding their hands out for parsad. Since moving to the US, I have attended Passovers and have been so inspired by
Hindus have found different reasons to celebrate the festival of lights which was a day of victory and renewed friendship for all. Diwali brings back memories of innocence when oneness was not preached, it was lived. We did not talk about interfaith outreach, we reached out. There was no political correctness, we were intuitively correct.
the Sade,r that I wrote a Song of Gratitude based on Sikh history. I have often wished that Sikhs who are spread out all over the
Muslim friends greeted us with Sat Sri Akal while we bade them Khuda Hafiz as they went on their way. All of us knew who we were; distinct identities in the colorful tapestry of multiple faiths, enriched by the sheer proximity to each other. Recently, I joined a group of friends who were observing Navratri, the nine nights of prayer to celebrate the manifestations of Durga. It was also the day of Guru Ramdas ji's birth anniversary. I shared with my friends the special gift of Guru Ramdas ji to the World ; the Golden Temple, for which the land was donated by Emperor Akbar, and whose foundation was laid by a Muslim saint; the Golden Temple, with its four doors facing all directions, welcoming people of all castes, creeds and faiths. In turn, I learned that while the nine days of Navratri were symbolic of different manifestations of divinity, they considered the true Lord to be formless, above and beyond all symbolic idols. We ended the celebration by chanting Guru Gobind Singh Sahib's "Tuhi Tuhi." It was led by a Hindu lady who had heard it at a Sikh Gurdwara, and, was touched by its sweet simplicity. The take away for us was a better understanding of each other's faith and culture. I realize, how important it is for all of us to celebrate our festivals and special occasions, that mark our own tradition; it strengthens our roots. I offer that it is also enriching to spread out our branches and participate in the festivities and cultural events of other faiths. By sowing the seeds of understanding and honoring diverse traditions, we will perhaps make life on our shared planet a tad more harmonious. May the spirit of Diwali bring love and light to all!
It was fun and festive, stately and mystical, with visions of a king coming home and the defeat of evil. It was magical and luminous, a night when the stars came down to earth and everything was right with the world. Friends and neighbors dropped by with boxes of good wishes and hugs were exchanged of India. We knew they were not strictly a part of our tradition but we were a part of the larger landscape of festivities. The birth anniversaries of the Gurus were extra special. Parbhat Pheries started days ahead, and built up to the entire day of Kirtan and Langar, held in gigantic dewans in the open fields of old Delhi. The parbhat pheries
world would commemorate Baisakhi not just with Bhangra performances but a shared meal of sarson ka saag, makki di roti and sweet lassi. Adding to the mix a sprinkling of stories, and songs that recount our challenges through the centuries, and celebrate our unvanquished spirit that prevails at all times. The cherry on top would be inviting our friends from the mainstream community to join us on our special day- our new year, our birthday and our thanksgiving day to the universe that provides so much. The contradiction of the current era in which political correctness masks rigid religious divides is much evident in the way we live our life. Muslims commemorate their special days with Muslims and Sikhs and
November 12, 2010
India Post 23
Sikh leaders regret Obama decision to skip Golden Temple
Discrimination against Sikh Sikh Art & Film Festival from child reversed India Post News Service
mility and respect Cont’d from page for 17 a faith tradition.
The visits by world leaders to the Golden Temple has enhanced their stature and admiration in the global Sikh community and among people of their own nations, many of whom are well aware of the history, tradition, and the foundation of the Sikh faith as based on equality, sanctity of all faiths and sacred traditions, and dignity and justice for all human beings. His canceling the trip due to the reasons being floated by the media is a terribly shortsighted decision could be a missed opportunity to see one of the world's most beautiful spiritual heritage centers. Dr. Sawraj Singh, Chairman, Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice, said, "We all felt let down when we heard that President Obama will not be going to the Harimandar Sahib. We sincerely hope that he will again reconsider his decision of not going there and will see the merits of going there. If he decides to go there then the World media will be focused there. This will provide a good opportunity to the Sikh community to give the right information about itself and dispel the wrong impressions about the Sikhs. The rest of the World will also benefit from this, because they will learn about a philosophy which can be accepted by the whole mankind. Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, has such spirituality and ideology that can be accepted by the whole mankind."
CLUTE, TX: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) in collaboration with the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) has succeeded in overturning a longstanding policy of discrimination against religious headgear in the Brazosport Independent School District in Texas. The case has allowed a Sikh American fourth grader to enter school and also resulted in a revision of the District's school dress code. Earlier this year, Gundeep Singh's parents attempted to enroll him in Gladys Polk Elementary School in Clute, TX. The enrollment proceeded until a school official saw Gundeep with his patka, a religiously mandated head covering. At that point, the Singh family was told that Gundeep would not be able to wear a patka nor keep his uncut hair at the school because it was in violation of the school's "no hats" policy and the district's dress code policy regarding hair length for boys. They were then referred to Deputy Superintendent of the school district, Mr. Dennis McNaughten, who advised the family to enroll Gundeep in another school. "The school's policy prevented its students from practicing their religion freely, which is in direct violation of the United States Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act," said SALDEF Managing Director Kavneet Singh. "Regrettably we still see such incidents across the country of Sikh Americans being refused access to public schools, denied employment, and being subjected to hate crimes, primarily due to their distinct identity." TCRP and SALDEF issued a letter to the
district to contest the school's position and demand that Gundeep be allowed to enroll. Additionally, TCRP and SALDEF urged the District to revise their school dress code polices to include safeguards for individuals of various faiths and to conduct a training seminar to ensure administrators across the district would be better informed about the religious practices of Sikh American children, as well as more fully understand the issues they face, specifically with regards to bullying and harassment. Within a few days, Gundeep Singh was admitted into Gladys Polk Elementary. The
‘The school's policy prevented its students from practicing their religion freely, which is in direct violation of the United States Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ school district also adopted revisions suggested by SALDEF to their "no hat" policy and the existing standard for hair length for boys. These revisions will ensure that students of various faiths who hold religious beliefs will be able to "keep hair long or uncut, or wear religious headwear or clothing." "We're glad we stood up for our rights and that our son can go back to school," said Gundeep's father Jarnail Singh. "We are so thankful to TCRP and SALDEF for their assistance and support of our son and family."
India Post News Service
ORANGE, CA: Sikh Lens, Southern California's premiere film and art experience for everything "Sikh-centric," is holding the 2010 Sikh Art & Film Festival November 1921at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. "The festival's aim is to showcase Sikh art and film to not only Sikhs but to transcend cultural boundaries and create awareness within the greater population. We are very happy to be having the festival at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts this year as the location serves as the perfect setting for the festival to instill cultural and religious awareness," exclaimed Tina Anand, festival cochair The three-day festival kicks off with a red carpet opening celebration, a cluster of short films, live entertainment and the premiere of the 2011 SikhPoint calendar. The evening continues with a delectable dessert and dancing reception for guests as they enjoy the beautiful Sikh and cultural aesthetics surrounding them. Saturday and Sunday events include special film clusters and programs each focusing on matters aimed to ignite passion and instill inspiration within the community, including youth-focused films, creative Sikhs panel, a Sikhs-of-the-world film cluster and for the first time the festival will be featuring an interactive segment on filmmaking. Early bird ticket sale is now on.
Gujarat Samaj celebrates grand Deepawali Cont’d from page 13
Bharat Acharya then introduce new board member to the audience - Suryakant Patel, President, Kamlesh Shah, vice - president, Deepen Modi, general secretary, Jayesh Parikh, jt. general secretary, Amit Desai, treasurer, Devang Desai, jt. treasurer, Kshama Shah, cultural secretary, Swati Shah, jt. cultural secretary, Board of Directors including Narendra Patel, Ashok Shah, Avani Shah, Manish Pandya, Gopali Sheth, Praneta Desai and Bhupendra Bhatt The event concluded with delicious authentic Gujarati dishes. The musical evening kicked off with Dr. Bader Iqbal - a doctor by profession with all time great song "Pukarta chala hu main gali gali bahar ki" of film Mere Sanam originally sung by all time great singer of Indian cinema late Mohammed Rafi. The very first song of the evening bought a freshness and mood among the people. A great song was accom-
Captivating singers Dr. Badr Iqbal and Mausami Shah
panied by a one of the best music artist Anis Chandani who was showing his music karishma by playing keyboard and flute simultaneously with complete command. The evening followed by super duper hit duet song of Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhosle "Diwana hua pagal" from Film Kashmir ki Kali being performed by Dr Bader Iqbal and Mosami Shah. The evening continued with
The musical evening kicked off with Dr. Bader Iqbal - a doctor by profession with all time great song "Pukarta chala hu main gali gali bahar ki"
Gujarat Samaj audience. Congresswoman Melissa Bean at extreme right
many memorable oldies before the break for dinner. After dinner, the artists presented a great line of Gujarati songs. Again Dr Bader Ali demonstrated his complete command over Gujarati even though it's not his mother tongue. He started by a very popular song "Tari Aankh no Afini, Tara bol no bandhani" followed by "Nazar na jam chhalkavin ne chalya kya tame"
and "Mara bhola dil no" followed by "Chelaji re mare hatu patan thi patola moklavjo" and "Panddu lilu ne rang rato" presented by Mosami Shah. Dr. Bader Iqbal demonstrated a great mix of Gujarati and Hindi song by presenting a super Gujarati ghazal "Kahu chu jawani ne pachhi vali ja". The night continued with many memorable songs, old and new, from Bollywood.
India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and final adventure in the Harry Potter film series, is a much-anticipated motion picture event that will be told in two full-length parts. The first will debut nationwide in both conventional and IMAX theaters on Nov. 19. The second part and the coveted final eighth Harry Potter film will be released in 2D, 3D and IMAX on July 15, 2011. For the past decade, Harry Potter and its mesmerizing magic world have become favorites for many audiences around the world. Based on J. K. Rowling's best-selling books, each one of the Harry Potter film series have consistently ranked among the highest in box office sales in many countries, including Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and India. The latest movie installment in the most successful film franchise of all time again reflects the director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves' remarkable imagination and the technology that brings these visions to life. Like previous Harry Potter films, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" demonstrates the bond and value of friendship, sacrifices and battle between good and evil - popular story themes that Asians relate to and often observed in various Asian cultures. Breaking from the tradition of the film series, filmmakers decided to separate "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" into two parts. Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the franchise, said it was the dense action of the final novel that decided the two-part strategy. "I think it's the only way you can do it,
November 12, 2010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" demonstrates the bond and value of friendship, sacrifices and battle between good and evil - popular story themes that Asians relate to
â€? without cutting out a huge portion of the book," Radcliffe said. "There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut, but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go." Warner Bros. Entertainment President and Chief Operating Officer Alan F. Horn added that the decision to split the film into two parts will allow "an extra hour and a half to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas in the amazing story."
November 12, 2010
Koena Mitra event in Sunnyvale Koena starred in the Bollywood feature film, Apna Sapna Money Money which became one of the most bankable movies at the box office and kept the cinema halls occupied for over 150 days. 'Dil
KAVITA ARORA India Post News Service
SUNNYVALE, CA: Success Events in association with Manish Patel and DBR presents Diwali with Koena Mitra at Faultline Brewery in Sunnyvale, CA on Saturday, November 13, at 7:30 pm. VVIP tickets include a Meet and Greet and dinner with Koena Mitra at Madhuban Indian Cuisine on November 12 at 8:30 pm. Koena is the winner of Gladrags Mega Model 2002 and also the finalist of Miss Intercontinental. After being featured in music videos for various artists such as Taz from Stereo Nation in the song, 'Ishq,' Koena made her film debut in an item number in Ram Gopal Verma's Road. This was followed by a small role in Musafir. Her lead role was in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena directed by Suparn Verma with Fardeen Khan.
Koena starred in the Bollywood feature film, Apna Sapna Money Money which became one of the most bankable movies at the box office Mein Baji Guitar' from this movie is one of her most popular songs. Koena has also been featured in the movies, Blackmail, Cash, and in the hit song, 'Woh Sharabi Kya Sharabi.' Kavita Arora is Anchor & CoProducer of Sitaarre TV
Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar Shah Rukh takes Rome by storm honored by Asia Society of the 1971 film Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India. Through rare footage of the late 1960s and early '70s, the film, narrated entirely by Shankar, traces his journey to America and Britain, as well as his emotional return to India to visit his guru, the great Bengali multi-instrumentalist and composer Ustad Allauddin Khan.
ROME: Shah Rukh Khan took Rome by storm during his visit for the screening of My Name is Khan at the Rome Film Festival on October 31. The Bollywood Badshah made an entry with some brightly dressed Indian dancers and the crowds went berserk. He walked the red carpet without Karan Johar
got carried away and kissed Shah Rukh, making him cringe! Shah Rukh was accompanied to the event by son Aryan. He attended a question answer session with the international media. Shah Rukh's pal and director of the film Karan Johar could not attend, being unwell. "Poor karan couldnt make it.
Composer Philip Glass delivered the introductory remarks with some touching Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Asia Society in New York presented Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar with a Cultural Legacy Award Nov 1, recognizing a relationship that stretches back more than 50 years to when the Society sponsored Shankar's first US concert appearances. Shankar was unable to accept the award in person due to illness, but graciously thanked the Asia Society via a short video message from his home in California. His daughter Anoushka Shankar, herself a sitarist of note,
accepted the award on his behalf. Describing her father's career, Anoushka Shankar noted, "He had an extraordinary zeal and passion for his music that drove him across the world," before concluding, "He's still like that - at ninety." Composer Philip Glass delivered the introductory remarks with some touching anecdotes about his long friendship and musical collaboration with Shankar, whom he referred to as a "mentor" and the "conduit... of a fantastic tradition." The award ceremony was followed by a special screening of the re-release and DVD premiere
anecdotes about his long friendship and musical collaboration with Shankar Raga also sheds light on Shankar's early beginnings as a dancer in his older brother Uday Shankar's dance troupe, and his later collaborations with renowned Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison. Shankar candidly reflects on his deep love for his motherland, the complexity of Indian classical music, and the challenges of getting Westerners to perform it properly. - Reported by Preeti Bhuyan
Shah Rukh Khan walked the red carpet to a staged, over the top Bollywood themed reception at the 5th Rome Film Festival on October 31
who is down with malaria. The festival organisers say that they haven't heard such shrieks even for the biggest Hollywood names. Dolled up female dancers in mid riff revealing ethnic attires sprinkled petals and performed prayers as the Bollywood's superstar strode in wearing tuxedos, black patent dress shoes and a high wattage smile. Such was the excitement, a dude
down with malaria...he would have really felt proud about 'Khan". missing having him here...he would love rome." Shah Rukh tweeted. A delighted Shah Rukh shared his Rome experience on twitter: "had a wonderful reception at the rome red carpet for KHAN. fantastic to feel roman love with my son in tow...now to trevi fountain." Shah Rukh has been on the move since October 27, on a break from filming Don 2 in Berlin.
November 12, 2010 www.indiapost.com
Band of Boys' musical rendezvous with Hollywood NEW DELHI: Well into their 30s, members of India's first boy band still prefer being called boys as the raw energy with which they kickstarted their musical journey is seen still going strong in their latest track for Hollywood flick "From Paris With Love," starring John Travolta. "It all happened by chance," Karan Oberoi, member of "Band of Boys," told PTI during a visit to the capital recently.
"A member of the Hinduja group, which is bringing the movie to India, approached us and asked us if we could come up with a title track for the movie. We watched the movie and at the end of it we looked at each other and said 'Let's do it!'" The band, which released its first album "Yeh Bhi, Woh Bhi" in 2002, comprises Karan Oberoi, Sherrin Varghese, Chin2 Bhosle and Siddharth Haldipur.
All the â€˜boys,â€™ apart from being members of the band, are also well known faces in the media. Karan, for example, has acted in a number of soaps With hit tracks like "Meri Neend" and "Gori" in their kitty, everyone thought the band was here to stay, but much to the surprise and dismay of many they took an almost three year break, only to make a comeback with this project. "A lot of people questioned us about the long gap after our last album. It's just that we needed our breathing space. We had to focus on our careers apart from music. But we hadn't completely cut ourselves off from music. We have been frequently doing shows," says Sherrin, adding that despite a break after their last album it took only two days for them to come up with "Paris Ke Jalwe" for the Travolta starrer. "The music came to us spontaneously. The track is progressive in nature. It is semi Bollywood but the racy, edgy and adrenaline side of it gives it the Hollywood feel. The best part is the blend of catchy words like "TodPhod" which gives the song the kick.
Although it took only two days for us to come up with this, a lot of hard work was involved. We had a lot of differences and clash of opinion we had to overcome for this," he explains. According to the band members this is the first attempt by a purely Indian or Asian band to compose and sing the title track of a Hollywood movie for its India release, second only to the Pakistani band Strings who did a title track for Spiderman with their number "Najane Kyun." "Over the years India has become a bigger market for Hollywood movies. I call the process 'Bollywoodisation of Hollywood.' For bands like us this process creates new avenues for us thus giving us more exposure. This project, for example, is a step in a new direction," Siddharth told PTI. So, did they get a chance to see Travolta? "Not yet. We were too busy performing... or so we would like to believe," laughs Sherrin, quickly adding that the Hollywood actor was the "ultimate hero" of any guy and they would love to meet him. All the "boys," apart from being members of the band, are also well known faces in the media. Karan, for example, has acted in a number of soaps. So how do they manage to balance both lives? "Even when we are not playing gigs we are together most of the times. Trust me sometimes it's a relief to be apart, otherwise we will drive each other insane!" laughs Siddharth. "But on a more serious note, when we are together, we are not just bringing our talents together but our capacity to put up with each other is also tested and in the process we discover our core strengths." Adds Karan, "We all have different strengths and weakness. We compensate for each other's flaws. Working together isn't easy. It's, in fact, arduous. All of us have different tastes leading to clashes of egos but we try to transcend petty issues and work towards the common aim of making good music which we eventually manage." -PTI
November 12, 2010
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Discover the World of SITA HAPPILY MARRIED, AT LAST: Vivek Oberoi and bride Priyanka Alva pose at a reception party late night October 31, in Mumbai
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'Not taking action is also an action' NEW DELHI: Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here Delhi Police not filing a case against noted writer Arundhati Roy for her alleged seditious speech recently was in accordance with the letter and spirit of law. "Not taking action is also an action," he shot back when a journalist asked him why the government was not acting against her for her Azaadi (independence) remarks made at a convention on Kashmir here recently. "Section 124(A) of the IPC (related to sedition) is for deterrence and punishment. The spirit of the law and true interpretation of law is that unless there is direct incitement to violence, the state must show tolerance and forbearance. -PTI
'Only Congress can unite the two Hindustans' NEW DELHI:Asking party members to work for the weaker sections who can take the country forward, Rahul Gandhi has said it was only Congress which could unite the "two Hindustans"-- one for the rich and the other for the poor. The 40-year-old Congress general secretary, who sat in the back row on the dais at the AICC session here, rose to speak after vociferous demands from party workers. "This (his speech) was not part of the plan. "You cornered me at the last minute," he said as Congress members cheered and clapped in Talkatora indoor stadium. -PTI
'PMO approved cost escalations for Games 5 times' NEW DELHI: Upping its ante on CWG irregularities, BJP has claimed that the PMO and the Union Cabinet approved cost escalations for Games projects five times between 2007 and 2009 that shot the expenditure up from Rs 1000 crore to over Rs 2,400 crore. "The Cabinet approved Rs 1000 crore budget in its meeting on March 15, 2007. The revised cost estimate passed by the Cabinet stood at Rs 2,460 crore on March 5, 2009," party President Nitin Gadkari said in the statement here quoting from Cabinet notes. He claimed the documents mention the role of the Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet, Group of Ministers, Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and the Ministries concerned. -PTI
India News 28
November 12, 2010
Fancy 'Made in China' festive items pushing out local products NEW DELHI: With huge availability and growing demand of festive items "Made in China", local artisans are facing stiff competition to sell their products during this Diwali season. From fancy lights, lampshades, Ganesha and Laxmi idols to crackers and other such sundry items, the market is surging with Chinese products and consumers seem to be making a beeline to buy these attractive and cheap items. -PTI
Development in India not a threat to China, says Chinese leader NEW DELHI: India's development is not a threat but an opportunity for China and the two sides should work together to further cement their strategic and cooperative partnership, a senior Chinese leader said today. "China's development is an opportunity rather than a threat to India. Likewise, India's development is not a threat but an opportunity for China," Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Zhou Yongkang said here. He was addressing a seminar on Sino-India relations organized jointly by the Communist Party of China and the Congress. Pointing out that the two countries were more interdependent on each other for global stability,
Yangkong said, "In light of such a situation, it is all the more necessary for China and India to handle our relationship from a stra-
'For controversial issues and disagreements in exchanges, we should deal with them properly on the basis of mutual respect'
tegic height and long-term perspective. "At the new historical starting point, let us push for the further development of the strategic, co-
operative partnership between us and jointly create a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity," he said. Observing that Chinese gov-
ernment policies advocated peaceful relations with India, Yongkang said the two countries should promote mutual political trust, economic and trade ties, expand friendly ties and strengthen international cooperation for further development of Sino-Indian relations. Seeking strengthening of friendly consultations, he said, "For controversial issues and disagreements in exchanges, we should deal with them properly on the basis of mutual respect, consultation on an equal basis and the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation, so as not let improper handling of specific issues affect the overall relations." -PTI
Chidambaram visits CII's Leh housing project India Post News Service
CII has undertaken to
LEH, Ladakh: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram handed build all of 13 totally over the house key of the first damaged houses in house inaugurated under the CII Leh Rehabilitation project in Saboo village, built Saboo village in Ladakh. The Minister was on a visit to under the Prime Leh to take stock of the Rehabili- Minister's Model tation work for the Flash flood Village Scheme victims. Mr Chidambaram spent about 20 minutes on the site where CII The Minister was accompais constructing houses, interacted nied by Mr Rigzin Jora, Toursim with the villagers and the benefi- Minister - J&K and the MP from ciaries. He inaugurated the house Ladakh; Mr Khurshid Ganai, Prin(see pix) and went into each room. cipal Secretary (Plg), J&K, the The CII team explained the technology used, material used to him. The CII team informed the Minister that the construction cost of each house is close to Rs 5 lakh. The CII team also presented him with a four sheeter on CII Leh Rehabilitation work. He went through it. He also saw the photographs of the house that CII team had taken when it was under construction and of the brick making machine. The CII team showed him the material used in construction Home Minister P Chidambaram, handing over the key to the beneficiary of the house of houses.
Home Minister P Chidambaram, inaugurating the house. Also seen is Mr Rigzin Jora, Toursim Minister - J&K on the left
current Deputy Commissioner and a host of other officials. The CII team informed the Minister that CII team has been in Leh since 14th August. CII has undertaken to build all of 13 totally damaged houses in Saboo village, built under the Prime Minister's Model Village Scheme. The Flash floods struck on 6th August, CII has been present on the spot since 14th August 2010. After the initial Relief work was over, the re-construction work began in last week of September. CII has completed two houses in one month and will construct the
balance 11 houses in March end/ April 2011 when the season permits. Right now, due to harsh winters setting in, the construction has to stop. Meanwhile, thinking ahead, CII has already stored all the construction material for April 2011, in the Community Centre in Saboo. CII has requested the District Administration to identify 20 beneficiaries to whom CII would give building material (cement, steel debars, CGI sheets etc). It has already given 100 cement bags for repairs and reconstruction to affected families in Skiu and Kaya (farflung villages).
he small town of Tawang is located amidst the eastern Himalayan ranges. It is famous for its 400-year-old monastery. This monastery is one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries to be found in India and is an important pilgrim center for the followers of Buddhism. Apart from its religious importance, Tawang is famous for its natural beauty, which attracts and enchants the traveler. Location: Tawang is located in the northwestern part of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, in the northeastern region of India. It is adjacent to border with Bhutan. It is set amongst the mighty Himalayas at an altitude of 3400 m above sea level. The weather in Tawang is alpine. Summers (April-June) are short and mild, while winters are very cold (November-February). It experiences scant monsoon rains in July-September. It experiences snowfall in the months of De-
November 12, 2010
The small town of Tawang is perched at a height of over 10,000 ft above sea level. It is an important Buddhist center of northeast India. The origin of the Tawang monastery can be traced to the mid-17th century. A monk, Mera Lama, a contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama, founded this monastery cember and January. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Tawang is between the months of June and October. History: The origin of Tawang is obscure. It was a part of the kingdom of Tibet in medieval times. Local tribal rulers governed it from time to time. The British had declared this area as off-limits in 1873. The area around Tawang became a cause of disagreement between India and China, after India gained independence in 1947. The Chinese army invaded Tawang in 1962 but they later withdrew. Tourist attractions: The small town of Tawang is perched at a height of over 10,000 ft above sea level. It is an important Buddhist center of northeast India. The origin of the Tawang monastery can be traced to the mid-17th century. A monk, Mera Lama, a contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama, founded this monastery. The sixth Dalai Lama was born in this monas-
Galden Namgyal Lhatse
tery. The Tawang Monastery is also known as the 'Galden Namgyal Lhatse.' This monastery is a virtual treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhist culture. The Parkhang hall within the monastery has a library that houses a good collection of rare Buddhist manuscripts and thanka paintings (traditional Tibetan paintings on cloth). The monastery complex also houses a towering 18-fthigh gilded statue of the Buddha in the prayer hall. The monastery is situated on a spur about 2 km from the heart of the town. Tawang provides the traveler with panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. The area around Tawang is
suitable for trekking and hiking. Places around: The picturesque town of Bomdila is an important town to visit near Tawang and is known for its natural beauty and Buddhist monasteries. Fairs & festivals: The Tibetan Buddhist festival of Losar is celebrated in the month of FebruaryMarch every year with great fanfare in the Tawang monastery. How to reach Road: Tawang is located in a remote part of India amongst the lofty Himalayan ranges. It does not have an airport or railway station of its own. It is connected by road with other towns in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam via Bomdila. Tawang can be reached from the town of Tezpur in Assam by local bus (24 hours), while it takes 12 hours in a shared jeep.
Travel & Hospitality Post
HP Govt signs MOU for Heli-Taxi services SHIMLA: The Himachal government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three private companies, Mesco, Sim Sam and Shiva for operating Heli Taxi services in the state, Tourism Department Director Arun Sharma said. These companies had already obtained permission from the Director General Civil Aviation and likely to commence operation after November 15, after the helicopters already deployed in Bihar assembly elections were free. The state government has offered its 57 helipads to private operators for operating heli-taxi services, while 10 more helipads were under construction in Mandi, Kinnaur and Sirmaur districts. To begin with, these services would be operated to all the districts headquarters and few famous tourists spots. The government would not charge anything from the operators but provide lo-
gistic spot to these companies and help make the service amiable. The government had not so far fixed the tariff heli taxi service and was keen that the tariff was not too high. The heli taxi service would not only facilitate the high
To begin with, these services would be operated to all the districts headquarters and few famous tourists spots paying tourists but also provide services during natural calamities and other emergencies. The tourism department had already contacted the star hotels in Shimla and other places to have assured occupancy in flights from there clients. -PTI
Maharaja Palace to become convention centre SRINAGAR: The Maharaja Palace at the famous Ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, declared as a heritage site by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), will be developed by the Jammu and Kashmir government into a convention centre to hold tourism-related conferences at the national and international level. "The conservation work of the palace, costing Rs 1.61 crore, has been prepared by INTACH to develop and preserve the heritage site as a convention centre in two phases to hold national and international level tourism-related conferences," Minister of State for tourism Nasir Aslam Wani said. He said the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) has been directed to immediately start conservation work on the Palace. The conservation plan of the building was adopted at a highlevel meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah here recently to restore the pristine glory of the palace, the
minister said. He said the truss work of the heritage site would be completed by next month which is necessary to protect the structure during coming winter. Under the first phase, the gov-
â€˜The conservation work of the palace, costing Rs 1.61 crore, has been prepared by INTACH to develop and preserve the heritage site as a convention centre in two phasesâ€™ ernment has released Rs 50 lakh for safeguarding the structure and it would be executed by the GDA. The INTACH would provide the design of the conservation project and also monitor its execution, the minister said. -PTI
November 12, 2010
Adventure athlete sets world record in Nepal KATHMANDU: Adventure athlete Sean Burch has set a world record by becoming the fastest man to trek through Nepal. Burch trekked through high altitude peaks across the Great Himalayan Trail in 49 days, six hours and eight minutes. He traveled 1,250 miles, took millions of steps and tackled elevation gains/losses of over 500,000ft. The historic trek aimed at promoting mountain tourism in the country, was facilitated by the Nepal Trust and Nepal Tourism Board. Burch started his high altitude trekking from eastern Nepal's Ilam district and ended in Darchula in the far west after climbing an altitude of, in some points, 6,000 meter. Blinding snowstorms, one of worst monsoons in Nepal's history, landslides, high altitude, leeches,
Indian tourists among top visitors to Singapore SINGAPORE: India is among the top five tourist-generating markets for Singapore, with 55,000 Indian tourists visiting the city state in September, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced. Indonesia topped the list of visitors to the island city with 244,000 visitors in September, followed by Malaysia with 95,000 visitors, Australia with 80,000 visitors and China with 74,000 visitors.
The STB attributed the 18.4 per cent year-onyear increase in September tourist arrivals to the hosting of Formula One night race The top five markets accounted for 58 per cent of the total 947,000 visitor arrivals in September. The STB attributed the 18.4 per cent year-on-year increase in September tourist arrivals to the hosting of Formula One night race and the draw of many leisure and entertainments events under the Grand Prix Season. -PTI
hypothermia and extreme daily mental and physical exhaustion were some of the obstacles Burch
Adventurist Burch, was felicitated for his trek in a function organized by the Nepal Tourism Board here. Burch, also an Everest summiteer, is a world renowned multi-world record holder in extreme adventure sports and an active explorer faced during the expedition. Burch crossed 18 districts and broke the previous world record,
set in 2003, by 19 days. Normally it takes 157 days of trekking to complete the distance. Adventurist Burch, was felicitated for his trek in a function organized by the Nepal Tourism Board here. Burch, also an Everest summiteer, is a world renowned multi-world record holder (with 6 world records) in extreme adventure sports and an active explorer. Some of the world records set by him include the fastest Winter Ascent of Mt. Fuji, Japan (4:05:42); scaling of 63 unclimbed peaks in 23 days; Solo; Tibet and fastest ascent of Mt. Kilimanzaro (5:28:48). To a question as to why he had chosen Nepal for the expedition, Burch said, "I loved the country and wanted to see the entire country from Tibet in the north to India in the south, east and west. -PTI
Maldives apologizes to 'love ceremony' abuse victims COLOMBO: The President of the Maldives said that a loving couple who were subject to verbal abuse in the local language during a supposedly idyllic beach ceremony had asked him to protect their privacy. The pair, who are from Europe but whose nationality is uncertain, were called "swine" and "infidels" during a tirade of foul invective read out by hotel staff who were supposed to be conducting a renewal of marriage vows. President Mohamed Nasheed spoke to the couple by telephone to apologies on behalf of the Maldives, and said they told him the subtitled Internet video had caused them "considerable distress and embarrassment". Nasheed said in a statement that they had asked him to appeal for the media to respect their privacy. The Maldivian ambassador in Geneva had earlier expressed the government's "profound and heartfelt apologies" to the couple, but it was not confirmed that they were from Switzerland. One official source told AFP they were French. After the video surfaced on
YouTube, the Vilu Reef resort said it was unforgivable that a staff member had solemnly read out a series of extreme sexual and religious slurs in the Dhivehi language. The wife, wearing a white dress and carrying a bouquet, and her husband smile shyly through the ceremony, obeying orders from the "minister" when to sit down, stand up and hold hands. In front of a table decorated with incense sticks, the Englishspeaking couple bow their heads in prayer through the torrent of bizarre accusations, curses and swearing. Maldivian police have arrested two hotel employees over the ceremony, for which the couple paid USD 1,300. "We have started investigations and are treating this as a very serious matter," police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam told AFP by telephone from the capital island Male. The republic of the Maldives, a nation of palm-fringed islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, is one of the world's most exclusive honeymoon destinations and its economy relies heavily on tourism. -AFP
Wi-Fi, upgradation of infrastructure at Gulmarg SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government is taking various steps, including installation of internet Wi-Fi and upgradation of infrastructure, in Gulmarg to make the hill station a tourist friendly spot. Minister of State for Tourism Nasir Aslam
Wani, who visited Gulmarg, directed Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) to install Wi-Fi technology to provide high speed wireless internet and network connections in the area. "The WiFi system will keep Gulmarg connected to the rest of the world and will en-
sure that timely intervention is made to meet natural calamities like avalanches and road blockades," the minister said. He has also directed the GDA to procure three snow scooters on a trial basis for the visitors. Wani also asked GDA to complete the
ice skating ring without any delay and asked them to complete the work on Gulmarg Golf Course in time. "A Task Force headed by Omar Abdullah has been constituted for early completion of Gulmarg and Pahalgam golf courses," Wani said. -PTI
November 12, 2010
Travel & Hospitality Post
Nepal seeks to boost tourism industry KATHMANDU: The government has stepped up efforts to give a boost to Nepal's tourism industry as it seeks to attract one million international visitors to the country, which still reeling under the impact of a decade-long Maoists-led insurgency that came to an end in 2006. The government plans to formally launch the 'Nepal Tourism Year 2011' on January 14 with a grand function. Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has appointed multiple Guinness World Records holder Deepak Sharma Bajgain as its goodwill ambassador to promote tourism in the country. Subhash Nirula, senior director
of NTB formally handed over a letter appointing him as a goodwill ambassador at a function here. Bajgain is a Guinness World Records holder for continuous reading and holding table tennis ball with a bat. He recently set a new record by sticking 70 postal stamps in 60 seconds. He said he aims to promote tourism during his visits to Europe and USA. Earlier, Nepalese tourism authority had appointed Miss Nepal Sadichha Shrestha and 2007 winner of Indian Idol Prashanta Tamang as goodwill ambassadors to promote tourism in the country. It was expected that with the end of the Maoists-led insurgency
in 2006, the country's tourism sector would get a boost. However, the country has been faced with political and economic instability, that has impacted the tourism sector. Four months after the 22-party coalition led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal collapsed, 14 rounds of elections in Parliament have so far failed to elect a new leader. The constitutional deadlock that has put the country on the brink of a financial crisis, as officials warned that the government would be unable to pay civil servants and run essential services if the delayed budget is not passed by mid-November. -PTI
China inaugurates fifth airport in Tibet BEIJING: China has inaugurated its fifth airport in Tibet, strategically close to the Indian border. The new "civil airport" at Xigaze City in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region began operations after it was inaugurated at a colorful ceremony, the official media here reported. An Air China Airbus 319 landed at "Xigaze Peace Airport" in Jiangdang Township at 9:50 am, marking the airport's formal opening. The plane took off from Chengdu, the capital city of neighboring Sichuan Province, and stopped at Lhasa before flying to Xigaze. The USD 79.7 million airport is located 3,782 meters above sea level and it is the fifth airport in Tibet built by China. The other airports included Lhasa, Nyingchi, Qamdo and Ngari.
The new airport has a terminal space of 4,500 sq m and is expected to handle about 230,000 passengers and 1,150 tonnes of cargo annually by 2020, said Xu Bo, chief
Tibet's trade with India picked up after the opening of the Nathu La Pass, a historic trade route of the Civil Aviation Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region. Over the past five years, China has poured over 70 billion yuan (USD 10 billion) into Tibet in 188 infrastructure projects to boost
the regional economy and promote tourism, he said. Xiagaze, housing the monastery of the China-appointed Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual Buddhist leader next to the Dalai Lama, is also the closest Tibetan city to the Indian, Nepal and Bhutan borders. Tibet was very much in news in the recent months as China expanded its air, rail and road network to connect almost all parts of the region to mainland China. Tibet is also reporting increase in its trade with India and Nepal. Tibet's trade with India picked up after the opening of the Nathu La Pass, a historic trade route wedged between Yadong County of Tibet's Xigaze Prefecture and Sikkim, Xinhua said.-PTI
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Amazon Indians hit by deadly epidemic
CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan health workers say an epidemic that may be malaria has killed dozens of people, decimating three villages of the Yanomami Indians, whose struggle for survival in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest has attracted worldwide support. Two indigenous health workers who visited the area told The Associated Press that village chiefs told them that about 50 people have died recently, many of them children. ``There are still many, many sick people,'' Andres Blanco said by telephone from Puerto Ayacucho in southern Venezuela. Blanco, a Yanomami health worker in a government program for the indigenous communities, alerted regional officials this month after trekking for days to visit three remote villages. -AP
Las Vegas center helps kin cope with Alzheimer's LAS VEGAS: It happened almost imperceptibly. Jean Georges now realizes that the first sign that something was wrong with her husband, Leonard Georges, came in some of his investment ambitions. They weren't grounded in his usual well thought-out logic. The fact that an undercapitalized entrepreneur wanted him to put up practically all the money for yet another wedding chapel in town and then also run the venture at the age of 75 even though he was recovering from strokes sounded good to him. -AP
Mancos man infected with hantavirus dies MANCOS, Colo.: A 35-year-old part-time construction worker who died suddenly last month had contracted hantavirus, a disease spread through dust particles containing contaminated feces or urine of deer mice. State health veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck told the Durango Herald the Mancos man traveled in several places where he could have encountered contaminated dust. Lawaczeck says test confirmed the disease and now they're trying to pin down exactly where he got it. The last death in Montezuma County in southwest Colorado happened in 1993, when the then mysterious disease was first identified in the Four Corners area. -AP
Health Science 34
November 12, 2010
Request to lift medical marijuana ban rejected GREAT FALLS, Mont.: A district judge has rejected a request for an injunction by three men to prevent the city of Great Falls from enforcing a ban on medical marijuana businesses that took effect July 1. -AP
Fast food products leading to increase in diabetes SHOBHA SHUKLA
orld Diabetes Day is on 14th November. Diabetes, one the four priority non-communicable diseases (NCDs) identified by the World Health Organization (WHO), remains a misunderstood and neglected epidemic with numbers increasing alarmingly in every region of the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there are over 300 million people with diabetes worldwide with low and middleincome countries accounting for 4 out of 5 cases of diabetes. There are 50.8 million people with diabetes in India and 92.4 million in China. To add fuel to fire, India seems to be at a threshold of an 'outbreak' of obesity, more so in urban Indian cities. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk for the development of early-onset type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and coronary heart disease (CHD). This phenomenon is accelerated by nutritional westernization and sedentary lifestyle. There is a near global consensus amongst doctors and scientists that healthy dietary and lifestyle practices should be inculcated in children to prevent future development of T2DM and CHD. Unless preventive measures are
taken, obese and insulin resistant children will get affected with T2DM and CHD in young adulthood. According to Prof (Dr) G Choudhuri, Professor and Head, Department of Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Lucknow, "The age of onset of diabetes is decreasing, and it is occurring at a younger age these days. Diabetes has a strong genetic component but gets unmasked with disorganized
children, snack almost throughout the day. Such findings raise concerns that more children in the world are moving toward a dysfunctional eating pattern-one that can lead to unhealthy weight gain and obesity." According to Prof (Dr) Anoop Misra, former Professor, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Director and Head, Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Fortis Hospitals (New
Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk for the development of early-onset type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and coronary heart disease (CHD) lifestyle and eating habits. The 2 important lifestyle issues of concern are increased body weight and lack of exercise. Indians, especially urban ones, are particularly predisposed to exercise deficient lifestyle. These changes are being increasingly observed now in urban children, and nearly 20% or more school kids are overweight or obese, and are potentially at risk of developing diabetes." Prof Barry M Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina rues that, "some children, including very young
Delhi and Noida), who is also the Director, Diabetes Foundation (India): "Trans fatty acids are one of the strongest poisons affecting human metabolism today." Trans Fats are found in fast food products made with hydrogenated oil in an unregulated market, a time bomb waiting to explode, even as the Indian Union Health Ministry is contemplating for processed food manufacturers to list the Trans-fat content on nutrition basis. Diabetes Foundation (India), with help from other global agencies, is striving to create aware-
ness about lifestyle related diseases in children and adolescents through three major community centric health initiatives involving the education of schoolchildren, teachers and parents regarding diabetes and obesity. These are: Project MARG (Medical education for Children / Adolescents for Realistic Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes and for a Healthy Aging), which focuses on primary prevention of not only obesity and diabetes, but also of non-communicable diseases in general, by targeting school children in several cities of India. Project CHETNA (Children's Health Education Through Nutrition and Health Awareness), which aims at prevention of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, in order to inculcate healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits in school children. Project TEACHER (Trends in childhood nutrition and lifestyle factors in India) which covers 4 major cities of India to obtain indepth understanding of nutrition and lifestyle behaviors that affect the health and well being of urban Indians , particularly children, through detailed knowledge attitude and practice survey questionnaires, group discussions and anthropometric measurements of children and their mothers. Cont’d on page 35
Doctor living with diabetes creates iPhone app EUGENE, Ore.: Take it from retired physician David Calder: When it comes to managing diabetes, you can't take the Greyhound approach and simply ``sit back, relax and leave the driving to us,'' he says, quoting the wellknown bus company slogan. Just the opposite, says the 73-year-old, who ought to know for a couple of reasons. One, because he devoted his entire medical practice to diabetes treatment and helped launch the Diabetes Wellness Assessment Program for the three-state PeaceHealth medical system. And also because he was diagnosed as prediabetic. His fast-
ing blood sugar is not diabetic but not normal two years ago. Since then, he's taken a look at diabetes from the patient's point of view. He exercises regularly and carefully monitors what he eats. He has dropped 20 pounds in the process. He also takes medication to slow development of the condition. When it comes to describing how to live well with diabetes, Calder switches to a Hertz car rental analogy. ``This is a time when you have to slip into the driver's seat,'' he says. Having a personal as well as a professional interest in the subject, Calder has taken his knowledge and interest a step further.
He's written a book, ``The Diabetes Office Visit: Helping You Help Your Doctor Help You,'' available either in paper or electronic form. On top of that, being a selfdescribed iPhone fanatic, he's also created an application for the device that allows diabetic patients to log glucose levels, carbohydrate consumption, medication and exercise into a tiny spreadsheet that maps patterns to help guide treatment and adjust behavior. Because Type II diabetes in its early stages has no symptoms, at least a quarter of the nearly 23 million people in the United States who have it don't know it, accord-
ing to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 57 million are prediabetic and probably don't know it either. About 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed every year. Even when they do know they have diabetes, ``Lots of people don't take it seriously because they have no symptoms,'' Calder says. ``They don't wake up until they have that first heart attack or they develop retinopathy or some other serious problem.'' The whole purpose of his book and iPhone app is ``to have your goals for dealing with diabetes at your fingertips,'' he says. -AP
November 12, 2010
Health Science Post www.indiapost.com
Fast food products leading to increase in diabetes Contâ€™d from page 34
Project HOPE (Health Oriented Programs and Education) with Prof (Dr) G Choudhuri as its founder member - has been concentrating on lifestyle as one of its thrust areas and targeting diabetes prevention as one of its goals. Its mission is to promote health awareness in schools throughout the city of Lucknow. It recognizes that healthy children learn better and that school based programs can help to influence the health of students. More such initiatives are needed to encourage our children/adolescents to eat a nutritious diet and increase physical activity. Schools can be targeted to become harbingers of this change by increasing sports activities in their premises and by monitoring the food/snacks preferences of the students. Some schools have indeed changed the school canteen menu to a tasty health menu and have stopped the sale of cola drinks on the campus. It is worth mentioning here that a single serving of soda or other sweetened soft drink contains between 120 and 200 calories of sugar, equivalent to a man's recommended intake for a full day and exceeding the recommended daily intake for a woman. According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, the booming popularity of sugary soft drinks has led to 6,000 more deaths, 14,000 more
cases of heart disease and 130,000 new cases of diabetes in the past 10 years. "We can demonstrate an association between daily consumption of sugared beverages and diabetes risk," researcher Litsa Lambrakos said. "We can then translate this information into estimates of the current diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to the rise in consumption of these drinks."
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, the booming popularity of sugary soft drinks has led to 6,000 more deaths, 14,000 more cases of heart disease and 130,000 new cases of diabetes in the past 10 years What better way to celebrate India's Children's Day this year on 14th November (which coincides with the World Diabetes Day, 14th November), than us parents, teachers, school authorities and youngsters to join hands in this noble endeavor of going from fat to fit, by saying no to colas/ junk food and yes to healthy snacks, and hop/skip /jump/ swim/ cycle/ dance to a diabetes free world. -CNS
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Anjaana Anjaani Ki Kahaani: Anjaana Anjaani 2 Tere Mast Mast Do Nain: Dabangg 3
Pee Loon: Once Upon A Time in Mumbai
November 12, 2010
Hairat: Anjaana Anjaani
5 Mera Jeena Hai Kya: Aashayein 6 Tujhe Bhula Diya: Anjaana Anjaani 7 Chori Kiya Re Jiya: Dabangg 8 Man Lafanga: Lafangey Parindey 9 Naav: Udaan (New) 10 Desh Mera: Peepli Live
areena Kapoor is one Bollywood beauty, who is a favorite of all the big Bollywood Khans. Recently, in an interview she called Aamir the 'God of Acting'. Good friend Shahrukh Khan capitalised on this quote and started teasing her, all in good humour, of course. Ever since Bebo has become more careful and politically correct. "Shah Rukh is a king himself, in fact, both Aamir and SRK are Kings in their own right. It's difficult to choose one of them. I am the luckiest actress as I've worked with all the four Khans, and all of them have their own distinct personalities. So it will be bad on my part to compare and chose one of them," said Kareena. Well, we do know that Aamir, Shahrukh and Salman are the Bollywood Kings in their own right. But when on earth did Saif Ali Khan join the league? Guess she was talking about the king of her life.
fter sizzling on Bollywood screen for almost a decade, dusky beauty Bipasha Basu has signed her first international project -- English-French director Roland Joffe's 'Singularity'. The 31-year-old is extremely excited and admits she does have butterflies in her stomach. 'I am very excited...but have to admit that I am also a little nervous. Everything happened really fast,' Bipasha said. Bipasha met Joffe in a chance encounter at the Taj Land's End Hotel in Mumbai in September. The $33 million movie, written by Ajey Jhankar, is a riveting tale of an impossible love set across two time periods and continents. It is set in the backdrop of the First Anglo-Maratha War of the 18th century and revolves around four characters - a British officer in colonial India and the Indian woman he falls in love with, an American marine biologist and his researcher lover - who gets trapped in a wrecked British merchant ship. The film will be shot in Australia and India. Bipasha, who missed Diwali for the rehearsals for the film, says she would have loved to get some more time to prepare for her role. 'I am not getting much of preparation time right now.
ollywood barbie doll Katrina Kaif will soon be seen in a beaitiful avatar of Radha in a film on Lord Krishna. Titled Main Krishna Hoon, the film will have Katrina in a cameo. Revolving around the life of Lord Krishna, starting from his childhood 'leelas' up to adulthood, the film will be directed by Rajiv S Ruia. Ruia is known for directing 'My Friend Ganesha'. Katrina's hairstylist Promila Hunter is set to produce the film. Confirming the news, Katrina says, "Let it be a secret. But yes, I am doing this film on the life of Lord Krishna because my hairstylist Promila Hunter is producing the film. When she asked me if I would make an appearance I didn't even ask her what my role was. Only later did I get to know that it is a film on the life of Lord Krishna." The actress will have a small role to play but Kat is taking it seriously as she wants to get into the skin of the character. For this, she has started reading relevant books to understand Lord Krishna's story and his relation with Radha. Apparently, Katrina will do this cameo for free.
November 12, 2010
sin is one lucky female, who got to spend her birthday with her friends and family members. Three of Asin's closest friends flew down from different parts of the world to be with her on her birthday on October 26. Says the actress, "Can you believe it? Tanya from Liverpool, Rose from Australia and Priya from New York co-ordinated among themselves to be in Mumbai for my birthday. We go back a long way. We were in school together. It was my biggest surprise to see them here for my birthday." For two full days Asin and her three pals whooped it up. "My friends decorated my entire apartment.Together with my parents they made my birthday so special. It's very important to have your family and friends from outside the industry. This place can get lonely." Asin is back in Mumbai and on the verge of signing some big Hindi films. "It's ironical that my parents moved to Mumbai so I could pursue a career here. But now I've been out of Mumbai in recent months and they are alone in the city. Now I'm back. For good. During my birthday I make sure that I'm with my parents every year."
reida Pinto is out to prove she's no one-film wonder with her performance in 'Miral', based on Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal's semi-autobiographical novel. The actress believes in speaking through her work and says she won't mind working in an Indian film - provided she falls in love with the script. "If Indian films came my way and I loved the script, I would say yes. Quite contrary to what people believe, I haven't said yes to every international script that has come my way. I have said no to quite a few. Similarly, unless and until I fall in love with the Indian script, I will not do it," Freida said in an interview. Screened in the Narrative competition section at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, "Miral" that opens in Jerusalem in 1948 is the true story of Hind Husseini, who turns her family home into the Dar Al-Tifl Al-Arabi Institute, providing hope and education to orphans, especially girls. Freida's character too grows up in the same orphanage. The film is directed by American artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel and Freida says he cast her after seeing her in "Slumdog Millionaire". The actress says she doesn't have to prove anything to anybody back home and hopes Indians watch "Miral" since it talks about peace.
ctress Raima Sen admits she is getting choosier and wiser about her films, but says it has nothing to do with beating competition in the film industry. "I am not in any sort of rat race in Bollywood. I don't think I have to do only big banner films and so many films in a year. I have always been choosy...but now I am getting choosier about my work," Raima said in an interview. The 30-year-old daughter of yesteryears' actress Moon Moon Sen says she doesn't aspire to be in the league of leading ladies in the glamour industry. "I am not competitive, I am quite lazy and laid back, and so I just do the best of what I get. I am only bothered about my work, nothing else," she said. As for her upcoming projects, she says, "I have this film called 'Mirch', then 'Memories in March', followed by 'Naukadubi' with my sister Riya and also 'Just Another Love Story'. I have also recently signed one Hindi and one Bengali film. But it's too early to talk about them," said the actress, seen in films like "Parineeta", "Chokher Bali" and "The Japanese Wife". Raima said though she has worked in movies on a variety of subjects, she has no favorites.
Record sales for Godrej's Gurgaon project
odrej Properties Ltd (GPL), the real estate development arm of the Godrej Group, announced that it has sold over 200 apartments in Godrej Frontier. The company had launched the project on 23rd October. The company will develop approximately 1.05 million square feet on 9 acres of land. Located in Sector 80 of Gurgaon, this is the company's first residential project in north India, according to a company press release. Milind Korde, managing director, Godrej Properties, said, "Godrej Frontier is our first residential project in the NCR region and we are happy that its launch has been highly successful.
PBEL to develop township in Chennai
BEL Property Development (India) Ltd has outlined plans to develop an integrated housingcum-commercial township project in Chennai along Old Mahabalipuram Road. PBEL is a venture between Property and Building Corporation Ltd (PBC), a subsidiary of Israeli conglomerate IBD group, Electra Real Estate Ltd, a subsidiary of Elco Holdings Israel, and Hyderabad-based Incor, with the first two firms holding 45 per cent equity apiece and Incor (10 per cent). The executive director of PBEL Property, Anand Reddy, said that the project will come up on 42-acre that the company has acquired. Of this, about 30 acres would be earmarked for residential and the rest of the 12 acres will be for commercial use, which would include large office and retail area too.added.
Hoysala's commercial-cumresidential project
angalore-based Hoysala Projects has launched a commercial-cum-residential project, Hoysala Corpus, in the upcoming hub of Devanahalli. Hoysala Corpus is located on the six lane highway at the junction of Devanahalli bypass and Nandi Hills road and is minutes away from all city landmarks. Built on eight floors with residential units featuring from the third floor, Hoysala Corpus offers two bedroom flats with size starting from 1,250 sq ft. There will be 40 flats in the residential part of the project. Price per unit will begin at Rs 40 lakh.
38 India Post
Tata in Chennai affordable housing segment
ata Housing - the well known real estate developers for all target segments has now ventured in to Chennai's residential real estate market. The investment is in the tune of Rs.2,000 crores and the group will be developing about three to four million square feet land in few years. The company is in talks with various state government bodies to promote affordable housing projects with Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
November 12, 2010
Office space rentals firming up
entals for office space in top Indian cities are firming up due to increased demand, as per an industry study that suggests revival in one of the few real estate segments yet to come out of a slowdown. There has been moderate quarterly rise in office rentals across Grade A projects in the central business districts of Delhi (4%), Mumbai (3%), Bangalore (3%) and Pune (4%) with Kolkata clocking the highest increase (10%), according to a report by commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis India. The study for the three months ended September that covered top
office space rentals across Delhi NCR , Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata found rentals in Chennai and Hyderabad remained static compared with the quarter ended
‘A large number of companies are reviving their expansion plans, while demand is also increasing for SEZ office space. This is indicative enough of a revival of demand’ June. "A large number of companies are reviving their expansion plans, while demand is also increasing for SEZ office space. This is indica-
Keonics plans hotel in Bangalore
he Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (Keonics) is planning to construct a hotel or a shopping mall and service apartments at Electronics City in Bangalore. A shopping mall or a threestar hotel is slated to come up on the one acre adjacent to the National Highway at Electronic City phase one. The service apartment is being planned on 1.17 acres inside the Electronics City. The Electronics City project of Keonics is a landmark that was developed on 332 acres on Hosur road. It houses over 100 information technology and electronics companies including Wipro, Infosys, HP, Siemens, 3M, Indian Telephone Industries and Motorola. The combined strength of the companies is around 30,000 people. Currently, malls and other such facilities are lacking in the area. Employees working in and around Electronics City have to travel long distances on Hosur road to find such facilities. Keonics wants to provide these amenities in the region. It is planning to take up the construction work through a public-private partnership. The corporation plans to lease the land to a private partner for 30 years. The project partner is expected to bring the finance for the project, develop a design, build market for the facilities created and operate. At the end of the lease period,
tive enough of a revival of demand and substantial improvement in the market activity across the country," stated the report. There has been considerable increase in the transaction volume
the property will be transferred back to the corporation. According to a senior Keonics official, the lease amount fixed for the commercial complex project is around Rs 3 lakh a year. For service apartment project, it is Rs 2 lakh a year. The corporation recently has called for bids from project management consultants such as real estate firms, property developers,
The Electronics City project of Keonics is a landmark that was developed on 332 acres on Hosur road. It houses over 100 information technology and electronics companies including Wipro, Infosys, HP hotel operators and IT companies. "As the projects are being taken up via public-private partnership through a bidding process, the minimum upfront nonrefundable/non-adjustable price for the prospective bidders is Rs 4 crore per acre. Bidders have to bid the upfront price for the project over and above the minimum price fixed," the official said.
in almost most metros, including Pune and Kolkata. Hyderabad is expected to witness higher rentals because of increased demand for commercial office space by
year end, added the report. Anshuman Magazine, managing director at CB Richards Ellis said, "Rental increase will remain in check in the medium term due to the ongoing supply." In the top cities, occupiers and companies look to shift to secondary markets and alternate locations for several reasons such as location advantage, metro connectivity, quality construction and infrastructure, more efficient buildings and competitive rentals. "It is imperative for developers to take a cautious approach towards rental expectations during this rising yet fragile market," the report added.
Tatas to develop townships in India, abroad
ata Housing Development Company, a subsidiary of Tata & Sons, is keen to adopt public private partnership (PPP) route to develop integrated residential township projects across the country. While an MoU has already been signed with the Assam government for affordable homes through the PPP route, the company is in talks with a few other state governments. Tata Housing is also planning to adopt this concept for its overseas foray. "We are very close to signing an agreement, through a third party, with another country. However, we can't disclose the name of that country at this point," Brotin Banerjee, managing director and CEO, Tata Housing told reporters. While speculations are that the project might come up in Sri Lanka, company officials re-
main tightlipped. "We are in talks with a few state governments in the country. While the governments will be able to bring in the land and ensure associated resources required for the township, we will use our expertise to plan and implement an integrated project with all basic amenities and facilities," said Banerjee. According to Banerjee, private developers usually run into issues such as acquisition, conversion and approval leading to project delays. Government comes into the project, it cannot only ensure availability of land with clear title, but also open the opportunity to develop affordable homes for the needy. The state housing boards that were formed for such initiatives have off-late lost their focus, he added.
November 12, 2010
India Post 39
Tech News Home, auto interest rates not to go up now MUMBAI: Cost of home, auto and corporate loans may not go up immediately, even though the Reserve Bank has raised shortterm key policy rates by 25 basis points to check high inflation, bankers said. "The transmission mechanism between RBI and rest of the financial system does not work very fast. It always works with a time lag," said SBI Chairman O P Bhatt. "So, whether it (hike by RBI) will raise pressure on the system. Eventually, it will. Whether there would be immediate reaction. Not likely," he said. "There would be some banks who would be thinking of raising rates, it would be kicker for them. For other banks it may not be so. So there would be mixed reaction," he added. RBI hiked its key short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points (0.25 per cent) each with immediate effect, in view of high inflation. Accordingly, the short term lending (repo) rate stands at 6.25 per cent, and the borrowing (reverse repo) rate at 5.25 per cent. -PTI
Indonesia offers to set up JV in agriculture CHANDIGARH: A high powered delegation led by Indonesian Ambassador Andi M Galib called on Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal here and evinced keen interest in setting up joint ventures in agro-processing, agriculture besides power from non-conventional sources of energy. Taking part in the deliberations, Badal said that Punjab had a diversified agricultural economy, as it was the major producer of food grains contributing more than 60 per cent in the national food pool besides producing quality vegetables, fruits and flowers. He hoped that Indian economy could be immensely benefited through Indonesian rich experience and expertise in the field of agroprocessing and hi-tech farming. The Chief Minister looked forward to forging an alliance with the major Indonesian industrial units to make value addition to agriculture produce and ensure better returns to farmers, an official spokesperson said here. Badal assured the visiting Indonesian ambassador of full support and cooperation for setting up joint ventures in the state, as Punjab is fast emerging as an investment destination and the state's industrial policy have a special dispensation for mega and super mega projects.-PTI
TechBiz 40 India Post
November 12, 2010
Shanghai Expo ends with praise from PM BEIJING: 'Shanghai Expo', the six-month-long cultural and technological extravaganza showcasing concepts and skills from almost all countries, including India, came to an end last week after drawing a record 72 million visitors, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao describing it as an "unforgettable" event. Like its inaugural ceremony on May 1 during which top leaders of different countries were present, several heads of government, including Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended the valedictory ceremony, where the Expo, whose theme was 'Better City, Better Life', was formally declared closed by Premier Wen. -PTI
Crisis feared as Chinese local govt debt touches $1.2 trillion BEIJING: A senior Chinese official has cautioned the government of a European-style financial crisis as the debt of provincial governments reached a whopping 8 trillion yuan (about USD 1.2 trillion), equivalent to 20 per cent of the country's GDP. Director Jia Kang of the Institute of Fiscal Science Research under the Ministry of Finance said China should be aware of the risk posed by local government debt to prevent a European-style financial crisis. He told a forum on fiscal and financial policies that China's combined public debt, including treasury bonds, policy loans and latent local government debt, could be as high as 50 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the official Xinhua news
China rolled out a USD 586 billion economic stimulus package in late 2008, after which local governments also stepped up investment to power the national economy through the global financial crisis Jia Kang
agency reported. Jia's estimate was higher than the figure disclosed by the China Banking Regulatory Commission in August. According to data provided by the country's banking regulator, China's local government
debt was 7.66 trillion yuan (USD 1.14 trillion) as of June. China rolled out a USD 586 billion economic stimulus package in late 2008, after which local governments also stepped up investment to power the national
economy through the global financial crisis. China's economy showed signs of slowing down in the third quarter, with its gross domestic product (GDP) growing by 9.6 per cent, in comparison to 10.3 per cent expansion in the second quarter, which was attributed to the rollback of the stimulus package. Jia said despite the heavy debt, the overall risk was controllable, as China's foreign debt was smaller than that of other major economies, although it jumped 53 per cent year-on -year to hit USD 513 billion at the end of June. He said the government should step up regulation and transparency of local government debt and better coordinate fiscal and financial policies to mitigate risks. -PTI
Book chronicle the Nano success story NEW DELHI: Finding suitable design solutions, getting engineering package right and managing everything within stringiest cost parameters were some of the challenges the Nano team faced while coming up with the Rs 1 lakh car but Ratan Tata did not want the vehicle to be built like stitching a shirt around a button, says a new book. In "Small Wonder: The Making of Nano", writers Christabelle Noronha, Philip Chacko and Sujata Agarwal, chronicle the making of the small car saying it has been a struggle and a vindication, a long, arduous and expensive endeavor to cope with a wide range of problems. "Ratan Tata was clear that the small-car team should not build the car around whatever engine it opted for; that would be, he said, like stitching a shirt around a button," the book says. "It started by my spending a lot of time doodling at boring board meetings. Most of us are
victims of the environment in which we are and...We lose sight of the fact that we have a greater
to improve the quality of life of people we work with," the book quotes Ratan Tata as saying.
â€˜Ratan Tata was clear that the small-car team should not build the car around whatever engine it opted for; that would be, he said, like stitching a shirt around a button,â€™ the book says responsibility - a responsibility to serve the communities we live in
"This was not a commissioned book. We first thought of bring-
ing it out as an in-house book," says Noronha. "But then we felt there was a need to chronicle the Nano success story for the people and so we decided to bring out the book which is about conceptualization and creation of the car," Noronha told PTI. It took the authors a year to write the book as "each of us had other things" to do. "We had to do an inside story. And for this we had to do a lot of research and conduct interviews. We met several people including engineers and dealers of Tata Motors as well as Nano owners," she says. According to Noronha, there were challenges too. "Getting inside the hearts and minds of engineers to cull out information was the biggest challenge." She says the relevance of the book, published by Westland Ltd, is the global relevance of the car. The book also has a chapter on the shifting of the Nano plant from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat. -PTI
November 12, 2010
FAC advises Environment Ministry to reject forest nod to Posco NEW DELHI: In a setback to South Korean giant Posco's Rs 54,000 crore integrated steel plant in Orissa, a forestry panel has advised the Union Environment Ministry to reject the forest nod given to it. If Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) recommendations are accepted by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in toto, the project at Jagatsinghpur, which is billed as the largest single dose of FDI in the country, will meet the similar fate as that of Vedanta's bauxite mining proposal in Niyamgiri in Orissa. Vedanta had to shelve its plans
of mining bauxite after its initial clearance was withdrawn by the Environment Ministry citing violation of green norms. At present, no construction work and land acquisition is being carried out by Orissa government for the Posco project as ordered by the Environment Ministry which acted on the recommendations by NC Saxena panel that accused it of forest rights violation. On November 9 and 10, the Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) on Infrastructure and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) of the Environment Ministry will appraise alleged violation of green and
coastal regulation norms as pointed out by the Saxena Committee. Sources said the recommendation to cancel the forest clearance came after some of the members of FAC in a recent meeting expressed their resentment at the violations of Forest Rights Act at the site where Posco proposes to set up an integrated steel plant cum captive port. Some of the members had also suggested FRA violation were something that could be corrected by the state government. However, the majority decision ruled which sought rejection of forest clearance. -PTI
Reforms needed in energy sector for double-digit growth: FM NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said structural reform of the energy sector is needed to attract investment and put the country's economy on a double- digit growth trajectory. "If we can put into effect some important structural policy measures, there is no reason why India cannot achieve double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth. However, the contribution of the energy sector is vital for achieving this economic growth," Mukherjee said in his valedictory address at the Petrotech-2010 oil and gas conference here. He further said, "... While the government is adopting a number of fiscal incentives to attract investment, including in the vital
energy sector, there are structural reforms required in the energy industry to utilize these incentives." In his speech, Mukherjee noted that India was able to come out of the global economic slowdown faster than many experts predicted. "While the world economy is yet to come out of the clutches of the global recession, it is credible that India has come out of the slowdown faster than many experts predicted in April, 2009...," he said. "... An analysis of various statistical trends in the economy suggests that the nation's medium and long-term prognosis is excellent," the Finance Minister added. India's economy is expected to record a growth rate of 8.5 per cent in the current fiscal,
up from 7.4 per cent in 2009-10. The government has been trying to reform the energy sector by linking the prices of petroleum products to global market movements. The government had deregulated petrol prices in June, but kept diesel, kerosene and cooking gas under its control. On the forthcoming visit of US President Barack Obama, Mukherjee said, "It is an important visit and particularly in the context of the depth of our relationship..." "The visit of any US President is significant. Large number of areas we are expecting to have cooperation which is already in the field... The relation between India and US, the largest functional democracy in the world and oldest one itself, is significant," he added.
'Positively inclined to defense offsets' NEW DELHI: India has said it was "positively inclined" towards allowing offsets for defense procurements in related sectors such as civil aviation and internal security. "I think we are more positively inclined towards expanding the scope of offsets to include related sectors like civil aviation and internal security and that itself will provide easier framework for companies to do business," India's Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said here. Under the defense offsets policy, foreign companies winning defense contracts worth over Rs 300 crore are required to invest a minimum 30 per cent of the deal's worth in the India defense sector. In the recent past, foreign defense manufacturers including US companies have asked the Indian
government to allow offsets in related sectors such as aerospace and aviation. On the issue of increasing FDI
â€˜From a situation when there was no defense trade, in the last few years we have bought equipment worth USD four billion from the USâ€™ cap in defense sector from the present 26 per cent, she said foreign investment in the sector was allowed recently and it was "too early" for making adjustments in it.
"I think people want to see how this present cap of 26 per cent FDI operates and then as we gain confidence we would look at what adjustments are necessary but at this stage it is too early, you just opened up, let's see how it goes," Shankar said. Commenting on the expanding Indo-US defense ties, she said, "from a situation when there was no defense trade, in the last few years we have bought equipment worth USD four billion from the US and we have in the pipeline orders for another USD five billion." India is set to acquire USD five billion worth defense equipment including C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport aircraft and over 150 ultra-light howitzers from the US through the Foreign Military Sales route. -PTI
India plans two rocket launches next month BANGALORE: India is planning two rocket launches next month that would carry on board home-made communication and remote sensing satellites, along with a Russian payload and a Singaporean micro spacecraft. The first to go up would be a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), carrying GSAT-5 Prime to augment communication services vis-a-vis TV, broadcasting and telecommunications. The GSAT-5P is equipped with 24 normal C-band transponders and 12 extended C-band transponders. Sources in the Bangaloreheadquartered Indian Space Research Organization said that GSAT-5P, with a mission life of 12 years, is slated to be launched in the second week of December. As of now, the space agency is looking at December 10 as the likely launch date. Top ISRO officials are meeting on November 10 in the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, from where the twin launches would take place, to review the upcoming GSLV mission and firm up the date. Preparations are also in full swing for the launch of the PSLVC16 which would carry on board India's advanced remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2 and auxiliary spacecraft of Youthsat and Xsat, expected towards the end of December. Resourcesat-2 is intended to replace Resourcesat-1, launched in October 2003, which has outlived its designed mission life of five years but continues to work satisfactorily, ISRO sources said. "Resourcesat-2 is a follow on mission to Resourcesat-1 to provide data continuity. Suitable
changes including miniaturisation in payload electronics have been incorporated in Resourcesat-2", an ISRO official told PTI. Resourcesat's images are being used for advanced applications such as vegetation dynamics, crop yield estimates and disaster management support. Youthsat, a micro satellite, is a participatory scientific mission with one payload from Russia and two from India, carrying scientific payloads with participation from
Top ISRO officials are meeting on November 10 in the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, from where the twin launches would take place, to review the upcoming GSLV mission and firm up the date universities at graduate, postgraduate and research scholar level. The universities would participate from testing of the payloads in laboratory to the utilization of the data. Participation of young scientists is intended to inculcate interest in space-related activities and provide opportunities for realization of future scientific payloads at the university level. X-sat is the first locally made satellite in Singapore. It is designed and built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in the city-state. -PTI
In Brief Hispanics fear backlash over immigration MIAMI: With illegal immigration and border security playing major roles in election campaigns nationwide, Hispanics are worried about a backlash against them. A report released by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that more than 60 percent of Latinos say discrimination against Hispanics is a ``major problem.'' That's up from the 54 percent who held that opinion in 2007. A poll by the center also found that most Latinos support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Yet they are divided roughly equally between believing that illegal immigration has had a positive, negative or no influence on the country. -AP
Pearce's bid to join lawsuit is denied PHOENIX: A federal judge has denied a request by the chief sponsor of Arizona's new immigration law to be a party in the federal government's legal challenge to the law. US District Judge Susan Bolton also denied requests by Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever and former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack to intervene in the US Justice Department's lawsuit. State Sen. Russell Pearce, Dever and Mack wanted their lawyers to defend the law. Bolton explains in a ruling issued that Gov. Jan Brewer's lawyers are already mounting a defense of the law. -AP
Napolitano: Ariz. immigration law wrong DENVER: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says Arizona's law to get tough on immigration is the wrong way to get local police involved in enforcement. Napolitano says she agrees with a district court ruling that blocked some of the most controversial parts of the law in July and that ``we cannot have 50 different immigration enforcement teams across the country.'' Arizona is appealing the judge's ruling. Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, said in a Denver speech that there are better ways to involve local law enforcement in fighting illegal immigration, including the federal Secure Communities program that has been implemented in several hundred jurisdictions nationwide. -AP
November 12, 2010
Coast Guard rescues 17 stranded off San Diego SAN DIEGO: Coast Guard officials say they rescued 17 people aboard a suspected immigrant smuggling boat after it became stranded off the coast near San Clemente Island. -AP
Fraudulent use of H2B visas to bring Indian workers to US India Post News Service
NEW YORK: A recent review of closed civil and criminal cases of H-2B visa violations by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed instances of fraud and abuse against workers, several of them of Indian origin. GAO reviewed 10 closed cases over the last 5 years that involved H-2B employers and recruiters that violated various labor laws or settled allegations of violations outside of court. These 10 cases involved diverse employers in different industries with employees in 29 states with violations in areas such as employers failing to pay promised wages, overtime, or both; employers charging H-2B workers exorbitant fees; and em-
ployers and recruiters submitting fraudulent documentation to government officials. The H-2B visa program assists U.S. employers anticipating a shortage of domestic nonagricultural workers by permitting them to hire
the Department of State. Significantly, one of those reviewed cases involved that of 87 Indian nationals who were brought to the US by Louisianabased a construction company and foreign contract labor firm.
It was found that representatives of the firm traveled to India to assist the Indian nationals with the application process and corresponded with the US Consulate on behalf of the workers nonimmigrant foreign workers temporarily. The program is overseen by several agencies, including the Department of Labor (Labor), the Department of Homeland Security's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and
The company apparently obtained $1.8 million from a fraudulent H-2B visa conspiracy to bring 87 Indian nationals into the United States illegally. The company submitted fraudulent H-2B documentation to federal agencies allegedly
seeking workers from India, charging at least $20,000 for the visas from each of the workers, but never really employing them. It was found that representatives of the firm traveled to India to assist the Indian nationals with the application process and corresponded with the US Consulate on behalf of the workers. These conspirators were indicted on federal criminal charges in 2008. In 2009, the construction company owner pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced 3 years probation and 6 months home confinement; and other conspirators were found guilty of 1 count of conspiracy, 14 counts of encouraging and inducing illegal immigration, and 1 count of money laundering and sentenced to 41 months imprisonment.
State Department discusses Attorney disputes USCIS visa projections denial of H-1B transfer CYRUS D. MEHTA
n September 22, 2010, Charles Oppenheim of the Department of State's (DOS) Visa Office met with the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) DC Chapter, where he discussed the Visa Bulletin, family and employment based priority dates, and other issues. Among other things, AILA reported Mr. Oppenheim as noting that many EB3 beneficiaries from India and China are now eligible for and applying under the EB2 category. He said that he does not expect priority dates in the EB3 category for Indian and Chinese nationals to advance at a pace greater than that experienced during fiscal year (FY) 2010. According to AILA, Mr. Oppenheim made the following short-term predictions about the employment-based priority dates: • EB2 and EB3, China. These two categories are expected to move slowly over the next few months, by one or two weeks at a time. • EB2, India. This category is expected to remain unchanged or
India Post News Service
to move very slowly forward, by a week or so. This is mainly a result of EB3 Indian applicants (approximately 60,000 cases pending) "porting" their priority dates into the EB2 category and thus using visa numbers, he said. • EB3, India. Similarly, this category is expected to move very slowly over the next few months, perhaps by one or two weeks at a time. • EB3, Rest of World (ROW). This category is expected to move slightly forward or to remain unchanged in the November 2010 Visa Bulletin due to the high number of applications waiting for a visa number in this category. • E4, Special Immigrant Religious Workers, may have cut-off dates by the end of this year. • EW has such a small number of visas (5,000 per year) that it will advance very slowly. As with those in the EB3 category, many of these cases are at the District Offices, so Mr. Oppenheim does not know the numbers until after moving the cut-ff date forward. Cont’d on page 44
NEW YORK: Thomas Williams, an attorney in the Washington DC area, alleges that the US Immigration Service has misconstrued the law governing the employment of professionally qualified foreign H-1B workers, which has resulted in large-scale denial of thousands of petitions filed by American companies on behalf of their critically needed employees. According to attorney Williams, the Immigration Service has erroneously taken the position that any break or discontinuity in the continued employment of the H1B worker results in worker's loss of status and, therefore, renders any subsequent petition on his/ her behalf for extension or transfer unapprovable. Williams, with over 20 years of practice in immigration matters, contends that the ruling is "legally untenable and contrary to Federal Regulations". According to him, the Federal Regulations list only three specific circumstances under which
a person's H-1B status is automatically terminated or revoked: 1) When the employer goes out of business; 2) When the employer files a written withdrawal of the petition; 3) Or when the underlying Labor Condition Application (LCA) is revoked. Will-
Williams, with over 20 years of practice in immigration matters, contends that the ruling is ‘legally untenable and contrary to Federal Regulations’ iams explains that in the absence of the above conditions, in order for a worker to lose lawful status, the Immigration Service must send out a termination Notice which grants a 30-day period for response before the termination can take effect. Cont’d on page 43
November 12, 2010
Sentencing postponed in immigration raid JACKSON, Miss.: The sentencing hearing for the only company executive convicted following the nation's largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants was postponed again after federal prosecutors in Mississippi filed sealed motions in the case. Jose Humberto Gonzalez, the former personnel director of Howard Industries, was the only executive charged in relation to a massive federal raid in August 2008 that ended with the detention of nearly 600 illegal immigrants. Gonzalez pleaded guilty Dec. 9, 2009, to conspiracy, admitting that he knowingly hired illegal immigrants at Howard Industries' transformer plant in Laurel. He faces five years in prison. His sentencing was scheduled last week but U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett postponed it until January 6. The judge did not offer an explanation for the delay. Gonzales was to be sentenced Aug. 30, but that, too, was postponed after prosecutors filed sealed motions in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gaines H. Cleveland filed two sealed mo-
tions Oct. 8, and had also filed two sealed motions before Starrett postponed the August sentencing date. Two of Gonzalez's attorneys did not respond to questions this week about whether he is cooperating with authorities in their investigation, or about who is paying for his defense.
In 2002, Mississippi lawmakers approved a $31.5 million, taxpayer-backed incentive plan for Howard Industries to expand its operations and hire more workers When Gonzalez pleaded guilty, defense attorney Frank Trapp told the AP outside of court that no other Howard executives knew the company employed illegal immigrants. Howard Industries has said it cooperated in the federal government's investigation, but has refused to discuss the case in
depth. The company said in a statement that it always had ``a strict policy to hire only U.S. citizens or those who have legal authorization to work in the United States'' and has since implemented even more safeguards, including a fingerprint identification system for its employees. In 2002, Mississippi lawmakers approved a $31.5 million, taxpayerbacked incentive plan for Howard Industries to expand its operations and hire more workers. The 12-count indictment in the case accused Gonzalez of instructing some workers to obtain fake documents and hiring one man who had previously worked at the plant under a different name. It also alleged he knowingly hired people after the Social Security Administration told him their identities were not valid. He pleaded guilty to one count. His attorneys and prosecutors have declined to discuss the plea deal. Most of the workers detained in the raid were deported in the following months. Several were charged with offenses related to identity theft. -AP
Ga. legislative committee on immigration meets ATLANTA: A committee created to discuss possible immigration legislation for Georgia heard from several speakers as it gathered information on the hot-button issue at its first meeting. Made up of 14 Republican lawmakers, the committee was formed last month and is chaired by Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City and Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming. The meeting was the first of three planned before the legislative session begins in January. Ramsey said at the meeting that the committee plans to study the issue of immigration and identify its impact on Georgia. ``This is an issue that certainly evokes a great deal of passion from people who have strong opinions on it,'' Ramsey said. ``We're here to learn.'' The committee aims to fill any gaps in Georgia's laws governing immigration and add enforcement tools to laws already on the books, Ramsey said. Several committee members mentioned a tough, controversial law passed that passed in Arizona this year as a potential model for Georgia. Committee members also said they will consider whether il-
legal immigrants should be barred from all of Georgia's state colleges and universities. The committee heard from several speakers, including lawmakers involved in crafting Georgia's existing immigration measures, representatives of sheriff's departments that have signed agreements with federal authorities to allow them to help enforce federal immigration law and a former federal prosecutor.
After the scheduled speakers there was time for only one public comment. Charles Shafer, a construction contractor from Gwinnett County told the committee members that something has to be done because he can't compete with illegal labor. ``It was a good first step,'' said D.A. King, founder of the Dustin Inman Society, which seeks stricter laws against illegal immigration. -AP
Attorney disputes USCIS denial of H-1B transfer Contâ€™d from page 42
"Unless the 30-day Notice is sent out, and until all administrative procedures are strictly followed by the Immigration Service," argues Williams, "the worker is considered to be in status and eligible for extension or transfer." He advises that "even in the previously denied cases, petitioners might consider filing a Motion to Reopen and Reconsider in an attempt to address the erroneous
'out-of-status' presumption by the Immigration Service and its compliance with its own procedures". Williams argues that the new Motion, even if denied, would give rise to basis for administrative Appeal which would in effect extend the worker's lawful status. "Furthermore, favorable outcome of Motion or Appeal could also affect favorably worker's right to Adjustment of Status within the US," he says.
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Republicans attack Barnes' immigration record ATLANTA: As he seeks a second shot at the governor's mansion, Roy Barnes has staked out a hard-line stance on illegal immigration - a very different position, Republicans say, from where he stood back when he was in office. The Democrat says he would back an Arizona-style immigration crackdown law, which would re-
quire police enforcing other laws to question people about their immigration status if the officer has reason to doubt it, as long as there were protections against racial profiling. And Barnes is running a campaign ad on jobs that promises ``to take care of our own.'' The GOP calls him a recent con-
vert on the issue. In a new ad, the Republican Governors Association says Barnes once backed drivers' licenses for illegal immigrants and likens the former governor's views to those of President Barack Obama. News accounts from September 2001 suggest Barnes was open to considering drivers' licenses for illegal immigrants and was awaiting results from a study from the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety. ``We've got to work this out,'' Barnes said at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention. In early 2002 amid a backlash from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Barnes backed away from the idea after talking to law enforcement and others, according to a news account. Barnes said he never supported licenses for illegal immigrants and was merely studying the issue. ``I wasn't ready to go that far, and we didn't go that far,'' he said. Barnes added that he continues to support recognizing international drivers' licenses for those in the country legally. Advocates of tougher laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration say Barnes has not been a friend. ``I would say without equivocation or hesitation that Roy Barnes has a terrible record from a
pro-enforcement point of view,'' said D.A. King, head of the Georgiabased Dustin Inman Society, a group named for a teen killed when his family's car was struck by one driven by an illegal immigrant. Barnes' Republican rival, Nathan Deal, made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his 18 years in Congress, although he had limited success in pushing through what he proposed.
Barnes' Republican rival, Nathan Deal, made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his 18 years in Congress, although he had limited success Deal was an early sponsor of legislation that would deny automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States. Seen for years as a fringe issue, it is an idea that's recently gained momentum. As part of the federal deficit reduction act in 2005, Deal led the charge to require those seeking Medicaid benefits to provide identification, a move designed to halt illegal immigrants from tapping the
taxpayer-funded benefits. Georgians who feel similarly about the issue have made headway in the past few years. In 2006, the state adopted an illegal immigration bill that at the time was considered among the toughest in the nation. In 2007, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was booed at a meeting of the state GOP when he voiced support for President George W. Bush's immigration bill, which critics said would lead to granting amnesty to people who came into the country illegally. Chambliss, who was running for re-election, quickly had a change of heart. Barnes has clearly tried to position himself on the issue in a way that will appeal to more conservative voters. ``If there's a nail driven, a wire connected or concrete poured by local or state government it'll be by a legal Georgia worker,'' he says in a television ad promoting his jobs plan. Beyond the driver's license flap, Republicans point to a trade mission Barnes took to Mexico in 2001, when he told then-Mexican President Vicente Fox that the presidents of Georgia's 35 colleges and universities were authorized to waive out-of-state tuition for up to 2 percent of the student population. -AP
State Department discusses financial year visa projections Contâ€™d from page 42
AILA reported that Mr. Oppenheim also said, among other things, that under AC21, EB1 China/India cases are not currently subject to the per-country limit, because of the crossover in that category of otherwise unused numbers from other countries. This has allowed 5,000-,000 visa numbers to be allocated to the India and China EB1 categories when approximately 2,800 would be the normal limit. The remaining unused EB1 numbers "fall down" into the EB2 categories, which has allowed approximately 20,000 EB2 numbers for India and nearly 6,500
for China. The availability of these numbers "fall across" strictly in priority date order, not by country, Mr. Oppenheim noted. Regarding family-based priority dates, there have been significant advances in the Family-2A preference. The November 2010 bulletin shows a cut-off date of
Mr Oppenheim further speculated that the decrease in demand may be due to the uncertainty about employment prospects in the US June 1, 2010 for all countries in the Family-2A, except Mexico which is at March 1, 2010. Mr. Oppenheim indicated that visa numbers in the Family-based categories have declined in the recent years and speculates that there could be several reasons for this decline and one of them could be the present economic climate in the US.
Mr. Oppenheim further speculated that the decrease in demand may be due to the uncertainty about employment prospects in the US and the petitioner's inability to pay visa fees or demonstrate compliance with the US income requirements in the affidavit of support. Another factor that may contribute to the decline in demand, according to Mr. Oppenheim, is that many beneficiaries are unlawfully present in the US and unwilling to travel abroad for consular processing due to the fact that a departure from the US would trigger the 3 & 10-year bars under INA Â§212(a)(9). Mr. Oppenheim projected that the priority date will continue to advance in the F-2A and F-2B categories, and that the F-2A category may become current or close to current by February 2011. The November 2010 Visa Bulletin is available at http:// travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/ bulletin_5172.html. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or email@example.com
November 12, 2010
Nov 12 - Nov 18
oney expected will get delayed for another time. You will be spending more time with children and try to resolve an important issue. Do your investigation and be ready to meet a wonderful person this week. Relations with opposite sex will improve. Soon you will be going on an important business trip.
ry to make good use of the opportunity. Financial problems will solve if you delay your plans for another day. You will have to deal with new opponents this week. Have patience with spouse for some time and do not completely ignore the ideas. Pressure at work will increase slightly.
oney will go on an upcoming trip. You will spend more time on phone or write important mail. It will be a very good week for people in sales. You will start to see the results of changed financial strategy now as the bank balance will start creeping up. Party will be very entertaining.
ou will put all worries aside and enjoy life with family and friends. People will notice the big change in your attitude. Money wise it looks another promising time. Speculation or stocks will bring extra cash in your pocket. You will spend money towards an upcoming trip for family members.
ou may have to travel to another state during the week. Boss will appreciate your efforts and make the necessary recommendations. Many other hurdles will get out of your way making room for big improvement in career. Any pending issues with a government agency will get resolved.
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t will be another comfortable week. You will enjoy company of new friends. Money wise it looks very good. Stocks will bring extra cash and you may get a big refund check in mail too. There will be some interesting changes in career and you may be next in line for a big promotion accompanied with a raise.
ll travels and business meetings will be beneficial. Advice from a learned person will help take the correct decision. A big property deal can also close. Make good use of extra time on hands and reach out people who were close in past. Spouse will buy few nice but expensive items for the house.
here will be some changes in career whether you like them or not. Some will try to cause damage but will not succeed. You may be traveling to coastal area to attend to some business you had been putting off for some time. Do not take chance with weather and carry proper protective clothings.
lanets in house of gains will bring an excellent opportunity to improve your revenues. have patience in relationship matters and give other person a chance to speak fully. Strong Venus in tenth will straighten things out at job and your children not doing well will make great improvement.
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November 12, 2010
Wed Nov 10 • Tenth Annual MIAAC Film Festival
Sat Nov 13
Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8)
• Diwali Dhamaka - 2010
• Gurukul Classes for Children
Venue: Paris Theatre, 4 W 58th St, NYC Contact: 212-594-3685.
Venue: Thomas Hart Middle School, 4433 Willow Road, Pleasanton, California Time: 6pm Contact: 925-699-6159
Venue: Sindhu Center, South California Time: 2pm to 4pm Contact: 818-541-1754 & 909-576-1114 Highlights: Children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children will be taught the Fundamentals of Hinduism, Prayers, Shlokas, Bhajans and Values of our culture.
Sat Nov 13 • Music & Dance Festival Dipawali 2010 Venue: Vedic Heritage, 111 Jerusalem ave, Hempstead, New York, 11550 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: Nayan Kisnadwala - 516 240 6506
Sat Nov 13 • Shree Jalaram Mandir Presents - Bhajan Sandhya By Sri Shailendra Bhartti Venue: Shree Jalaram Mandir, 425 Illinois Blvd, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 60169 Time: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Contact: Chirayu Parikh - 708-975-0076
Sat Nov 13 • PRATHAM LA USA
Sat Nov 13 • Musik Waves Presents Eid Mela 2010 Venue: Holiday Inn, 3050 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, New Jersey Time: 5pm to 1am Contact: 732-277-6687
Fri Nov 19 • Today's Special Venue: Fire N Ice, 583 Fords Avenue, Fords, New Jersey Time: 7pm Contact: (201)-320-9810
Sun Nov 14
Sat Nov 20
• Diwali Roshni 2010 Venue: The Hindu Temple Society of North America, 143-09 Holly Avenue, Flushing, Queens, New York Time: 2pm Contact: email@example.com
Tues Nov 16 • Alpha Generation: Leading Women in Hedge Funds Venue: TBA, New York Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm Contact: 917-318-4779
Wed Nov 17 • Vidur Kapur Live @ Carolines on Broadway Venue: Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway between 49th and 50th Streets, New York Time: 7pm to 9pm Contact: 212-757-4100
Fri Nov 19 • Today's Special: Movie & A Mixer Venue: AMC Times Square / Landmark Sunshine / Pranna, 234 W. 42nd / 143 Houston, St / 79 Madison Ave, New York Time: 8pm to 4am Contact: 609-468-3303
Sat Nov 20 • Mehfil-e-Ghazal with Habib Wali Mohammad Venue: Hotel Pennsylvania (Globe-Trotters Hall), 401 Seventh Ave, Across Madison Square Garden, New York Time: 8:30pm Contact: 732-277-6687
• South Asian Theater Festival 2010
Sun Nov 14 • Tropical Insipirations South Asian Wedding Expo 2010 Venue: Marriott Schamburg, 50 N Martingale Road, Schaumburg, Illinois, 60173 Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Contact: Dipak Patel - 630-277-9273
Sat Nov 20 • Bihar Cultural Association of North America (BCANA) Annual Function Venue: Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Av., (corner of Lake Street and Illinois Av.), Aurora, Illinois Time: 6pm to 11pm Contact: 312-513-3953
Venue: NJPAC, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, One Center Street, Newark, New Jersey Time: 7:30pm to 6pm Contact: 732-750-1546
Sun Nov 21 • Dhyan Dwara Vishwa Shanti Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St, Iselin, New Jersey Time: 10am to 11:30am
Upcoming Sat Nov 13 • HACSI presents DESI BEATS
Sat Nov 20
Venue: John F Kennedy High School, Silver Spring, Maryland Time: 4pm to 6:30pm Contact: 301-646-1232
• NetIP Annual Charity Gala Benefiting Cancer is Colorblind
Sat Nov 20
Venue: Galleria Marchetti, 825 West Erie Street, Chicago, Illinois Time: 6pm Contact: 314-398-5692
• IDEA Presents Dhol Baje 2010 Venue: Gunston Theater One, 2700 S. Lang St, Arlington, Virginia Time: 7pm Contact: 703-532-5479
Sun Nov 14 • Harry Potter Quiz Venue: India Gate Restaurant, 2875 Lakeside Dr, Santa Clara, California, 95054 Time: 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm Contact: Amit Saxena, Santosh Mishra - 408728-3512
Sat Nov 20 • Euphoria at Roobaroo 2010 Venue: Chabot College Theater, Hayward, California Time: 5pm to 8pm Contact: (415)320-8243
Sat Nov 20 • Encounters: New Moon on the Silk Road Venue: Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard & Buchanan Street, San Francisco, California, 94123 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: Afsaneh Art & Culture Society 415.488.0944
Tues Nov 30 • Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour Venue: Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St, San Francisco, California Time: 8pm to 10pm Contact: 415-676-1371
Venue: Long Beach Terrace Theater. 300 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802 Time: 7:30 Pm Contact: Dipak Sarkar 951-688-0221, Dhiren Mehta 714-357-8927 Highlights: Bollywood Superstar and National Award Winner Alka Yagnik accompanied by Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Sensation Raja Hassan.
Fri Nov 19 to Sun Nov 21 • The Sikh Arts & Film Festival 2010 Venue: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, 283, North Cypress Street, Orange, California Time: 7pm, Red Carpet opening night Saturday, November 20, 2010 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM: Focus on Youth (Cluster 1), 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM: Focus on Creative Sikhs & Intro to Filmmaking (Cluster 2), 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Focus on Short Films (Cluster 3) * 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM: Focus on Feature Film (Cluster 4) Sunday, November, 21, 2010 10:30 AM - 12:45 PM: Focus on Sikhs Across The World (Cluster 5), 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM: Focus on Social Issues (Cluster 6) Contact: 714-759-4SAF, www.sikhlens.com
Sat Nov 20 ï Ayurveda Seminar on Heart Disease & High Blood Pressure for Free Venue: Laguna Hills Time: 3 pm to 6 pm Contact: Bharti Khatri (949)235-2960
Sat Nov 20 • Rhythm Mandir To Rock LA Venue: Duarte Performing Arts Center, 1401 Highland Ave, Duarte, California Contact: 949-751-7908
Fri Dec 3
Sun Nov 21
• Boney M. concert
• Ektaa Holiday Bazaar
Venue: Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California Street, San Francisco, California Time: 7pm to 10pm Contact: (415) 933-7172
Venue: Ektaa Center, 2691 Richter Avenue, Suite 104 & 105, Irvine, California Time: 10am to 4pm Contact: (949) 300-8912
Sat Nov 13 • Reiki
Venue: The Lodge, 8200 N. County Line, Burr Ridge, Illinois Time: 9am to 5pm Contact: 773-368-0134
Sat Nov 20 • Diwali Mela Venue: Canton Middle School, 1100 Sunset Circle, Streamwood, IL Time: 5pm to 10pm Contact: 630-553-3132
Restore US visa to Narendra Modi
or more than eight years, Narendra Modi has faced the wrath of the media and some motivated NGOs. Paradoxically, he has emerged stronger! More than eight years after the ghastly mass murder of innocent kar sevaks in Godhra and the frightening reaction to that incident, Mr Modi still remains a demonic figure for most of the media. Yet, Mr Modi remains the greatest Gujarati icon since Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and perhaps India's most dynamic Chief Minister with a development record that is the envy of his counterparts. Mr Modi's 2002 assertion that the media's deionization of him will work to his political advantage has turned out to be prophetic. Multiple attacks on Chief
Minister Narendra Modi by the Central Government and Congress Party efforts to tarnish his image have failed in the eyes of public. In the recent rural elections in Gujarat, Modi (BJP) won 22 seats
and Congress 2 seats. Modi is highly respected in Gujarat. His management has brought prosperity and peace in Gujarat. He has withstood threats, intimidation, humiliation. It is regrettable that the US government has denied visa to Modi. The Central government has failed to protest this action of the US Government. Nor has the Indian American leadership lodged any protest with the US government. President Obama is visiting India. Will the Indian American community leadership rise to the occasion and reach out to President Obama to cancel the visa denial and correct the mistake of the past administration? Dial V. Gidwani Wilmette, Ill
November 12, 2010
India Post 47
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welve year old Sveta-ketu went to the teacher's house and studied the Vedas, and similar subjects, for 12 years. In that time, of course, he had been able to master many things, so he had quite a good opinion of himself. He walked proudly and smiled very little. When, at the age of twenty-four, he had come back to his parents, they were very happy to have him home again. But his father noticed the proud attitude in the boy and decided that there was only one word for Sveta-ketu: conceited! One day he said, "Well, my boy, since you consider yourself a very serious person and well educated indeed, let me now test your knowledge. Did you ever ask your teacher for that instruction by which one hears the unhearable, perceives the unperceivable, and knows the unknowable?" "How, sir," the young man answered, very much surprised, "can there be any such instruction?" "Why, in this way, my boy: by knowing the nature of one lump of clay, we can know the nature of everything made of clay, can we not? The shapes of other things, such as a pot, a toy elephant, etc., are just names, given to help us talk about them. The reality in them is just the clay, is it not?" "By knowing the nature of a nugget of gold, the nature of all gold things is known; likewise,
by knowing the structure of a nailfile, we understand everything made of iron. The shapes and names we use for convenience. The reality is just the gold, or the iron." "Yes, Father," said Svetaketu. "Surely my revered teachers did not know this; why did they not tell me? So, you please tell me about that." His father agreed, and the instruction he gave his son, remembered by him and passed on
to generations of students, takes up a large part of Chhandogya Upanishad. "In the beginning, my boy," said the father, "there was just Being and nothing else. Some people said there was Nonbeing and nothing else, and that Being came out of that. But they were foolish! How could Being be produced by NonBeing?" "It was just the opposite, son: in the beginning, there was
to know that they all come from one source." You are That! Sveta-ketu's father continued: "Every night, when they go into a state of dreamless sleep, all creatures enter again into that Being from which they have come. Then, why do they not know it?" "When the bees make honey by collecting the nectar of dif-
that they have come back from that Being." "Suppose there is a hidden treasure of gold lying buried in a field. People who do not know about it will walk again and again over that treasure and will not find it. Just so, all of us go, day after day, into the embrace of that divine Being but do not realize it. The Self of this whole universe is the same as the Seed from which it came. And you, O Sveta-ketu, are That!"
ANANDA COOMARASWAMY & SISTER NIVEDITA
ephants are royal animals; they are fit for kings, not common people." "Even if you go to the land of Yama - Death - I shall take back my elephant," the hermit said. "Only sinners and unbelievers go to Yama's realm," answered the king. "But in Yama's land there is truth,
are full of divine musicians, I will come for my elephant." So it went, on and on. At every point the king would describe a higher plane of heavenly existence, a rarer world, where he would leave the hermit behind: the groves of Narada, the perfumed land of Soma, the heavens of Indra with his danc-
God was pleased with him and offered him a "boon," a free choice. Of course Gautama asked to have his beloved elephant returned. "It is so young," he said, "only ten years old, and I have brought it up as my own child. It has been my dear companion in these woods." Whereupon the elephant came to
he ancients say that God has a way of testing great persons he has taken note of. He can put on any shape he wishes, and you will see how this happens in this story from the Mahabharata, India's master-classic. In a forest hermitage there lived a gentle, self-controlled hermit named Gautama (not Gautama Buddha). One day he found a baby elephant whose mother had been killed. He was very sad. Gautama nursed it, however, until it grew into a large and mighty beast. Now the Lord took notice of this saintly hermit and his elephant, and decided to make an experiment - to put him to the test. He took the form of the country's king. The king's name was Dhritarashtra. The king went to the hermitage, seized the huge elephant and began to lead it away with him. "You are a mighty king, no doubt," said Gautama, "but this is my source of fuel and water. He guards me too, and is obedient. Do not take him away." The king replied, "The el-
just Being and nothing else. That Being felt lonely. It thought, 'Well, let me become many. Let me produce other things.' And so It produced the different elements of this universe, one after another." In this way, Sveta-ketu's father went on to explain to him the various stages of creation. "There is more to growing up than you may think. Facts, gathered from books and teachers are all very well, but wisdom is
ferent trees and reduce them all to one juice, these nectars cannot say, 'I am the nectar of an orange blossom,' 'I am the nectar of a mango blossom,' etc. In the same way, my boy, all these creatures, though they have entered that Being, they cannot say what they are. When they return again to the waking state, whatever they are in this world -- a man, a tiger, a wolf, a boar, a worm, a fly, or a mosquito -- that is what they become again. They do not know
Upanishadic education of Sveta-ketu Chandogya uponishad
â€˜There is more to growing up than you may think. Facts, gathered from books and teachers are all very well, but wisdom is to know that they all come from one sourceâ€™
Hermit whose elephant was seized by king Do not be satisfied with the beauties, delights and joys of the higher heavens - stop not till the Lord Himself is reached. And (as Gautama did) study everyone and everything in this world till you see it as Brahman in disguise and there the weak can overcome the strong," Gautama shot back. Said Dhritarashtra: "I will be going to a higher plane." "Even if you go to the heaven where the fairies and fair maidens dwell, I shall take back my elephant." "I will go even higher," said the king. "If you go to the summit of Mount Meru, where flowery woods
ers; even to the abode of the rishis, most ancient of sages. Lastly, Brahma-loka. "You will not reach me there," taunted the king. Said Gautama, "Even there I shall find you and take back my elephant. "But now I know who you are: you are God himself, who wanders the universe in disguise, in all these shapes. Pardon me, Lord, for having been so obstinate."
the hermit and bowed at his feet. Do you know the hidden meaning of this story? It is two-fold: Do not be satisfied with the beauties, delights and joys of the higher heavens - stop not till the Lord Himself is reached. And (as Gautama did) study everyone and everything in this world till you see it as Brahman in disguise: discover that, and all will be well with you!
A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action. -Jawaharlal Nehru Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own. -Mother Teresa Let love flow so that it cleanses the world. Then man can live in peace, instead of the state of turmoil he has created through his past ways of life, with all those material interests and earthly ambitions. -Sai Baba Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. -Paramahansa Yogananda A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad. -Bodhidharma All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives. -Dalai Lama
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November 12, 2010
Jihadi attacks on Sufism in Kashmir & now Pak RADHA VINOD RAJU
n 30 May, 1995, the notorious Pakistani terrorist, Mast Gul, set fire to the revered Sufi shrine of Sheikh Noorudin Rishi, popularly called Baba Rishi, in Charar-e- Sharif, 35 kms from Srinagar. For hundreds of years, thousands of Hindus and Muslims sought solace at this shrine. This writer has prayed at this shrine and seen the emotions on the faces of its simple village folk. Finding the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front that led the militancy against the government too secular and fighting for independence and not merger with Pakistan, this group was systematically marginalized by the Pakistanis and the Hizbul Mujahideen, the armed wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami. This happened in the early days of militancy. Not trusting the Kashmiris to take the struggle to its logical conclusion, which for them was merging Kashmir with Pakistan, the Pakistanis gradually pumped in Afghan jihad veterans in Kashmir to fulfill their objectives. One of the targets of the jihadists was an attack on the prevailing social and religious practices of Kashmiris, like visiting shrines of revered Sufi saints. This was also because in Kashmir, Hindus as much as Muslims worshipped at these shrines for centuries, and such common practices led to a composite culture popularly called Kashmiriyat. This common culture was now under attack. The Zia years in Pakistan witnessed the influence of the Saudi Arabian brand of Wahabism, an extreme interpretation of Islam according to which Sufis and their shrines are considered un-Islamic, and those who visit these places are idolaters. Saudi Arabia poured millions of dollars into Pakistani madrassas where this form of extreme Islam, intolerant of other interpretations, was taught to youngsters, mainly to check Shia Iran. These madrassas became jihadist factories. For instance, the al Qaeda and the Taliban are practitioners of Wahabism. In their attempt to cleanse prevailing practices in Kashmir, the jihadists tried to wreak havoc on the annual Urs celebrations at Batmol, which was
met with resistance from the people. Also, there were violent clashes at Aishmuqam in South Kashmir when the jihadists attempted, yet again, to disrupt the Urs festivities for Baba Zain-uddin Rishi. This was followed by the burning down of a part of the Sufi shrine at Baba Rishi near Tangmarg. The depredations caused by Mast Gul at Charar-e-Sharif have already been referred above. Later, there were failed attempts by the jihadists to burn down the 700 year old shrine of Baba Naqashband Sahib in Srinagar. The people of Kashmir stood firm against the many attempts by the jihadists to
Kotal tehsil, Gandhawa in the district of Jhal Magsi, and the shrine of Rahman Baba and Mian Umar Baba in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were attacked. The worst was the triple suicide attack on Data Darbar, a Sufi shrine in Lahore revered all over Pakistan, in which scores of innocent pilgrims were killed and injured, causing widespread condemnation. This was followed by a suicide attack at the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, the patron saint of Karachi, in which 10 people were killed and 70 injured. It is reported that the attack was planned to cause maximum damage, given that it was the busiest day of the
The shrine of Shah-Hamadan
change their way of life, despite all their trouble and suffering. Jihadists have now turned their attention on their benefactors in Pakistan. Analysts agree that Sufism, with its emphasis on tolerance and universal love, poses the strongest threat to the Taliban's creed. Sufi beliefs have been popular in Pakistan for centuries. In the past, this was a way
In their attempt to cleanse prevailing practices in Kashmir, the jihadists tried to wreak havoc on the annual Urs celebrations at Batmol, which was met with resistance from the people of life in the sub-continent. The Pakistani Taliban, or TTP, which has been indulging in violence against Shias and other minorities to create a sectarian divide has now turned its attention on Sufi shrines in Pakistan. Shrines in the Khyber Agency's Landi
week. Will the people of Pakistan stand united against the Taliban's onslaught on their practices and beliefs like the Kashmiris did? While the mainstream media and some leading intellectuals have condemned these attacks, the main source of the Taliban's inspiration, the thousands of madrassas where Wahabism is drilled in young minds, remain intact. Some half-hearted attempts were made to check this menace during General Musharraf's time under US pressure. This needs to be revisited with purpose and determination to cut the Taliban's main source of jihadist supply. Some of this indoctrination has spread to India, thanks to the machinations of the ISI. For instance, a leading Indian Mujahideen member, currently in custody, told his interrogators that Mullah Omar was his leader, and that he would do anything for him. Recently in Kerala, a professor's hand was cut off for allegedly insulting Islam's prophet, which is an indication that this strain of radicalism is gradually spreading into the Indian hinterland. The writer is former Director General, NIA. Courtesy IPCS
India Post Congress & corruption
fter the exposure of a number of corruption cases, like the Commonwealth Games and the latest housing scam in Mumbai, it is being said that India has become a corrupt country. This is not true. There has always been corruption in the country, especially at the top levels, and percolating down. The only difference is that there was no remedy against it earlier. There were no exposures in the media. Even after greasing palms, the job was not done and you could not complain. The slight difference today is that the youth are impatient and want things done, even if they have to pay a higher price, call it corruption. What is not acceptable is the absence of delivery. This is what is bugging the Congress party, the fountainhead of corruption. It is used to instituting cover-ups in the name of inquiries. But this time nobody believes them. In fact, talking about Congress party and corruption, one can't help a tongue-in-cheek response. The two have become synonymous. The corrupt are congressmen and those inquiring into this corruption are also congressmen. At the recent conclave of the All India Congress Party, the silence of the top leaders on corruption mostly involving Congress functionaries was eloquent. No heads have rolled after the Commonwealth Games, only the numbers of inquiries have gone up. The Congress believes, like everybody else, that some new issue will come up and the CWG mess will be forgotten. The chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan has been caught with his hand in the till. But he has won a reprieve because of the visit of US President Barack Obama to Mumbai. As expected, the inquiry committee of two top leaders on the Mumbai land scam have asked for more time. Which means they are searching for ways to save him. If the public tends to forget this scam after sometime, and gets engaged in some other issues being raised by the media, then probably no action will be taken against the chief minister, who is in any way non-functional on crucial matters. And this is the way in which the Congress party functions. Crown prince Rahul Gandhi keeps raising the issue of the poor in the country in one form or other. At the AICC conclave he said "There are two Hindustans -- one is growing very fast and the other is for the poor (which is in crisis).... We have to connect and unite the two." Congress, he said, was the only party which could do this. The obvious question is, the Congress has been in power most of time in India and it is still in power. What prevents it, and what has prevented it for so long, to put this resolve into practice? From the sycophancy apparent at the conclave, it becomes clear that the resolves will remain resolves. The Congress will continue with its habit of shutting its eyes to corruption in its ranks, and just meander along, unable to take vital decisions at this crucial juncture. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi had it coming when during electioneering in Bihar, he accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his administration of corruption. In typical Bihari manner the latter retorted, , "Sattar choohe kha kar billi chali haj karane (after eating 70 rats, the cat goes for haj), and for good measure added, "Congress is the mother of all corruption be it the Bofors deal, CWG irregularities, 2G Spectrum or the Adarsh Society scam in Mumbai." Nothing more need be said.
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November 12, 2010
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