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Fox Channel offends with Ganges remark Details on page 10

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Excessive drinking led to student’s death

VOL 15, No. 798

December 25, 2009

50¢

Periodical Postage

DOUBTS OVER U.S. HELP ON HEADLEY

NEW DELHI: Seeking to corner the government, Opposition parties in Indian Parliament asked it to spell out the kind of cooperation that the US had extended in probe against David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana as they noted that Indian investigators had not even been allowed access to them. BJP, Samajwadi Party and Left parties questioned in the Rajya Sabha whether the US had passed on all information related to Headley and Rana, Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives held in Chicago in October and charged with conspiracy in Mumbai attacks. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitely said the case was becoming more and more curious by the day with reports suggesting that Headley, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative of Pakistani-origin, was a double agent for the CIA.

FESTIVE GLOW: The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit for the festive season ó a tradition that began 77 years ago in New York. Pic Mohammed JafferSnapsIndia

FIA election held amid fraud charges Details on page 9

AAPI welcomes increase in residency slots Details on page 18

Sikh musicians compensated by US Airways Details on page 36

India seeks partnership from US aviation firms

Details on page 5 Details on page 8

Details on page 11

Secretary Mineta endorses Kamala Harris Details on page 13

NYU students launch India learning plan Details on page 12

Indian American gets 12 years for fraud Details on page 7

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Do you believe Headle double agent?

y was

Last week’s result

Pak move on Kashmir attempt at distraction? YES 73%

NO 27%

Buddhi sentenced to 57 months for hate messages SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Former IT student and a PhD student of Purdue University Vikram Buddhi was on Dec 12 sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for posting hate messages in 2006 against the then President George W Bush, vice President Dick Cheney and their respective wives. Buddhi, who was arrested in 2006, was sentenced by senior Judge James T Moody after being convicted of making threats to Bush, the then Vice President Dick Cheney and their wives, and calling for bombings of US infrastructure. Thirty eight-year-old Buddhi can appeal the sentence in a Chicago court within 10 days of the judgment. Since he has already been in prison since April 2006, the months are likely to be deducted from his sentence term. Buddhi, who represented himself during the sentence hearing after firing his lawyer Arlington Foley, said earlier that he was given the short end of the stick, and claimed the trial had been unfair. Details on page 6 Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Delhi from Jan 7-9 Details on page 5

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 24-25 Classifieds --------------------- 44-47 Community Post --------------- 9-17 Date Book -------------------------- 41 Edit Page --------------------------- 49 HealthScience Post --------- 18-20 Horoscope ------------------------- 42 Immigration Post ------------- 36-39 Life Style ----------------------- 26-27 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate ------------------------ 21 Sports Post ------------------------ 40 TechBiz Post ------------------- 22-23 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 30-33


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December 25, 2009

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his whole agitation and the subsequent buckling of the Indian government for the creation of a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh has opened up a Pandora's Box of similar demands across the country from J&K in the north to Kerala in the south and from Gujarat in the west to Assam in the east. Activists in almost every state in India have either started fresh or revived their demands for the carving out of parts of the states as they exist to form separate states. Check this out: Besides Telangana, there's a demand in Andhra itself for the formation of a Greater Rayalseema; then there is the demand for Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan out of Maharashtra; Gorkhaland and Kamtapur (West Bengal); Bodoland, Dimaraji and Karbi (Assam); Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal and Mithilanchal (Uttar Pradesh); Ladakh (J&K); Vindhya Pradesh (Mandhya Pradesh); Saurashtra (Gujarat); Koshal (Orissa); Bhojpur (Bihar); Kongu Nadu (Tamil Nadu); Coorg and North Karnataka (Karnataka); Karaikal as a Union Territory separate from Puducherry; Gondwana from parts of AP, MP, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra; Greater Cooche Behar from parts of WB and Assam; and a Tulu land from parts of Karnataka and Kerala. Whatever the interests (vested or genuine) of these demanding groups, experts do believe that it might make better sense for India to have smaller states -- perhaps 50 or more - in terms of management, better distribution of funds and maybe greater accountability. Ask me and I'd say that if it does not give rise to some identity crisis issues among the population (for losing their place of birth!), I can only think of the manifold rise in taxpayer expenditure to run the administrations of so many more local governments, and the rise in corruption with so many more bureaucratic set ups all over the place. Given the potential for economic growth in the country, I just wish Indians in general and the politicians in particular would go for better priorities. Like tackling corruption at all levels to begin with. That alone would make the whole country a level playing field of equal opportunity for all.

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Bollywood Making up Ranbir describes his break with Deepika as just a rough patch even as he reveals he would like to get back with her.

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Cover Story: Headley probe Indian Opposition parties suspect the US is not cooperating in the probe against David Headley and Tahawwur Rana.

Community: FIA poll ‘fraud’ Sunny Gabhawala, a motelier and FIA activist was elected FIA President amid charges of fraud.

Immigration: Sikhs compensated Three Sikh religious musicians have been compensated by US Airways for being removed from flight a year back.

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Doubts over US co-operation in Headley case NEW DELHI: Seeking to corner the government, Opposition parties in Indian Parliament asked it to spell out the kind of cooperation that the US had extended in probe against David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana as they noted that Indian investigators had not even been allowed access to them. BJP, Samajwadi Party and Left parties questioned in the Rajya Sabha whether the US had passed on all information related to Headley and Rana, Lashkar-eTaiba operatives held in Chicago in October and charged with conspiracy in Mumbai attacks. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitely said the case was becoming more and more curious by the day with reports suggesting that Headley, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative of Pakistani-origin, was a double agent for the CIA.

Jaitley also referred to reports about "disappearance and reappearance" of the documents Headley furnished to obtain visa to travel to India.

BJP, Samajwadi Party and Left parties questioned in the Rajya Sabha whether the US had passed on all information related to Headley and Rana Even though the FBI had records of Headley prior to 26/11, his name cropped up as one of the masterminds of the Mumbai terror attack only a year later, he said.

"We want to know the extent of cooperation extended by FBI ....It is reported that FBI had recordings prior to 26/11. Was that information made available to us? What the US agency (FBI) is doing to us is doubtful," he said, asking the government to inform the House about the extent of cooperation extended by FBI. Jaitley wanted to know on whose behalf Headley had been acting and sought a statement from the government. The BJP leader also asked the government to spell out what progress the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had made in the Headley case and why his name did not figure in the list of suspects till FBI caught him recently. Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh wanted to know why the US did not share information on Headley previously and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Concern over terror groups recruiting Americans

to make a statement as to whether the US was "cooperating or misleading." In this regard, he noted that the US had not even allowed Indian

He noted that the US had not even allowed Indian investigators to question Headley. ‘Our people have not been able to meet Headley,’ he said investigators to question Headley. "Our people have not been able to meet Headley," he said. Singh also referred to reports that Consul General in Chicago

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi from Jan 7-9 India Post News service

WASHINGTON: In the light of the case of LeT operative David Coleman Headley, several US lawmakers have voiced concern over "home-grown terrorism" and the ease with which Pakistan-based terror groups are recruiting Americans to carry out attacks in the United States and abroad. "Terrorist organizations not only successfully recruited Americans, but then provided the requisite training to enable those Americans to carry out attacks," said Democratic Jane Harman during a Congressional hearing. "We don't have too many chances more -- too many more chances to get this right. There is a growing list of people suspected of being recruited and ready to carry out terror attacks in our country and abroad," she said. Noting that Headley "has now been indicted for his alleged roles in the Mumbai attacks last year as well as for plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper", Harman said "this case is doubly important to examine because he was an American recruited to attack abroad." She listed out other recent cases also, including that of five Virginia youths landing up in Pakistan with the mission to join one of the terrorist organizations. "Recent cases highlight the fact the United States is not immune to home-grown terrorism and the murders at Fort Hood

(military base), just north of my district, by Nidal Hasan last month remind us not only about

David Coleman Headley

‘There is a growing list of people suspected of being recruited and ready to carry out terror attacks in our country and abroad,’ she said domestic radicalization but how vulnerable we really are to an attack," said Republican Congressman Michael T McCaul. "Daniel Patrick Boyd, a US citizen and six others were arrested in July, charged with conspiracy

to provide material support to terrorists. According to the FBI, Boyd trained in terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan," McCaul said. "And then Mr (Najibullah) Zazi, probably one of the biggest threats that we discovered recently in terms of a cell in the United States working on behalf of al-Qaeda, born in Afghanistan, US legal permanent resident living in Colorado, charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction," the lawmaker said. Headley, a US citizen who attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan, was living in Chicago and planned attacks abroad, he noted. "We've learnt that he was not only planning future attacks but has now been charged with helping to plan the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, India." "In just over the past few days we're learning about five young men in Virginia, just outside of where we sit here today, who traveled to Pakistan reportedly to link up with members of al-Qaeda," he said. "It appears these young men were radicalized just miles from where we sit here and the danger is that we're seeing more and more of these cases, more and more individuals who self radicalize over the Internet ... individuals who are turning radical, extremist and then turning to terrorism," McCaul said. -PTI

used his discretion to grant visa to Headley. Brinda Karat (CPI-M) said FBI had full knowledge of the antecedents of Headley and wanted to know the extent of cooperation by the US agency. She made the demand particularly in light of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's contention that the US agency was extending full cooperation and the Home Ministry expressing some concern. "Is there any difference of perception within the Government between the External Affairs Ministry and the Home Ministry," she asked, demanding that the Prime Minister take the House into confidence on the issue. The Prime Minister was present in the House at that time but did not respond. Chairman Hamid Ansari said the Government would respond at an appropriate time. -PTI

sions on Returning to 9% Growth: Diaspora Connect; Thousands of Fireflies: Diaspora Philanthropy; Gender Issues; State Sessions; Valedictory Session with the President of India; Conferment of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards by the President and Cultural Programs & Dinner Other Attractions include: Pravasi Golf Tournament; Seminars on Nano Technology and Property-related issues of NRIs. The Government of India, as a

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organizing the 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention (PBD 2010) from 7th - 9th January 2010 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) which aims to connect The PBD 2010 program will more than 25 million Indians with India's eco- include inaugural session with nomic and social devel- the Prime Minister of India. In opment. The event will the Plenary Sessions there will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan be interaction with Union Singh, and President Ministers, PIO Ministers and Pratibha Patil will address the concluding State Chief Ministers session of the three-day gathering of PIOs and NRIs from all regions of the glo- result of wider consultations held at past PBD events, have estabbal Indian Diaspora. PBD-2010 will also witness the lished Overseas Indian Facilitalaunch of an annual Lecture se- tion Centre, conceptualized PIO ries under the theme of 'India and University, formed Prime its Diaspora: Everlasting Bonds of Minister's Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin, set Togetherness'. The PBD 2010 program will in- up the India Development Founclude inaugural session with the dation, enabled professionals Prime Minister of India. In the Ple- holding Overseas Citizens of Innary Sessions there will be inter- dia cards to practice in India, action with Union Ministers, PIO launched the Global Indian NetMinisters and State Chief Minis- work of Knowledge (Global-INK) and the issued smart cards for Inters. There will be Concurrent Ses- dian workers working abroad.


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December 25, 2009

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Buddhi sentenced to 57 months for hate messages SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Former IT student and a PhD student of Purdue University Vikram Buddhi was on Dec 12 sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for posting hate messages in 2006 against the then President George W Bush, vice President Dick Cheney and their respective wives. Buddhi, who was arrested in 2006, was sentenced by senior Judge James T Moody after being convicted of making threats to Bush, the then Vice President Dick Cheney and their wives, and calling for bombings of US infrastructure. Thirty eight-year-old Buddhi can appeal the sentence in a Chicago court within 10 days of the judgment. Since he has already been in prison since April 2006, the months are likely to be deducted from his sentence term. Buddhi, who represented himself during the sentence hearing after firing his lawyer Arlington Foley, said earlier that he was given the short end of the stick, and claimed the trial had been unfair. Before the sentencing Buddhi submitted to the judge that he had got "ineffective assistance" of the counsel who did not discuss the case properly, and said it was the "gravest error of justice." He further said that he would "invol-

untarily represent himself" at the hearing. Vikram Subbarao Buddhi came to the US to pursue a Ph.D in mathematics at Purdue University in 1996 on a F1 Visa but subsequently began working on a master's in industrial engineering. Over the past several months, Buddhi received considerable support from the alumni and staff of the IITs, who joined hands with his father and lobbied for his release with India's External Affairs

Rumsfeld the old geezer crook…Rape and kill the Anglosaxon Republicans… • In another message (on 12/ 21/2005) Buddhi allegedly wrote under the title "Assassination of GW Bush Soon": It is now legal under international law to bomb key sites in the USA. Iraqis! Give Anglosaxons the tit reaction for the tat action of Bush and Republicans…Kill the White Anglosaxons American British bastards…Fully justified in

Before the sentencing Buddhi submitted to the judge that he had got ‘ineffective assistance’ of the counsel who did not discuss the case properly, and said it was the ‘gravest error of justice’ B K Subbarao holds a picture of son Vikram Buddhi

Minister S.M. Krishna and former US President Bill Clinton. Vikram Buddhi's alleged crimes On June 28, 2007, Vikram Buddhi was found guilty on 11 counts of the following offenses: • Making a threat against the President and Vice President of the United States • Making a threat against the wife of the President and Vice

Three more arrested in B'lore serial blasts case BANGALORE: Three more persons have been arrested in connection with the serial blasts that rocked the city in July last year on the basis of interrogation of two Lashkar-e-Taiba suspects, a top police official said. LeT suspects, Nazir and Shafaz Shamsuddin, handed over to India by Bangladesh Rifles recently and subsequently brought here, provided the information leading to the arrests, Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari said. Four vehicles used for transporting explosive materials and planting of bombs were seized from the arrested persons -Tajuddin from Vadimara, Surfuddin from Kannur (both in Kerala) and Abdul Khadar from Virajpet (Karnataka). The Bangalore serial blasts were carried out with financial assistance and guidance by LeT. Besides, Nazir and Shafaz were fi-

President of the U.S. • Making a threat against the U.S. Defense Secretary • Using an instrument of Interstate Commerce to threaten to unlawfully damage and destroy buildings and real property by means of fire and explosives The incriminating messages: According to US Secret Service documents, the following are some of the hateful and threatening messages Vikram Buddhi posted online.

nancially assisted by the Pakistan-based militant outfit during their stay in Bangladesh, Bidari said. Nazir also revealed his involvement in various other terror activi-

Nazir also revealed his involvement in various other terror activities including the Kalamassery bus burning and twin blasts at Kozhikode ties including the Kalamassery bus burning, twin blasts at Kozhikode, attempt to murder former Kerala Chief Minister E K Nayanar and the Coimbatore Press Club bomb blasts, he said. Police have registered nine cases in connection with the Bangalore serial blasts.-PTI

• In a message with the subject "Call for Assassination of G.W. Bush", Buddhi allegedly wrote on 12/13/2005 on a Yahoo Finance message board: …Go Iraqis!…Rape and kill the Anglosaxons…No mercy…Kill GW Bush…Rape and kill Laura Bush…Kill Dick Cheney the White fat pig…Rape and kill Lynne Cheney…kill Donald

Chidambaram condemns killing of Shopian girl NEW DELHI: Condemning the killing of a young girl by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district, Home Minister P Chidambaram has said when an incident like this takes place, separatists find no place to hide their faces. "They (separatists) are obviously embarrassed. They do not know where to hide their faces when incidents like this takes place. That is why they don't speak," Chidambaram said when asked about the reaction of separatists to the killing of Sheeraza Akhtar. Recalling past incidents when militants killed young girls, infant and villagers, he said they were innocent children pursuing their studies. "The militants go to their houses, ask for them and shoot at point blank range. This shows that the militants have no ethics. I condemn this incident," he said, adding it was strange that no organization has claimed responsibility yet.-PTI

light of these White evil doers actions. • In another message (1/17/ 2006), Buddhi allegedly wrote in a message with the title "Call for Assassination of GW Bush": Enough of shit from Anglosaxons. seek them out where ever they are on this Earth, Rape their women, kill their men, cutout their vaginas, cut out their

penises, chop off their head, shove their chopped vagina and penises down their beaheadedneck-stump-holes. This is the only and legal way to deal with Anglosaxons…. Bomb all facilities setup by Anglosaxons, bomb all trade and commerce setup by Anglosaxons in Asia, and build your own facilities that exludes the Anglosaxons. This is the only way to deal with Anglosaxons. Bomb and destroy Anglosaxon powerplants, roads, bridges, nuclear plants, water supply, commerce buildings, oil lines 'owned' by Anglosaxon Republicans, deny them their looting way of life. This is the only just and legal way to deal with Anglosaxons. Bomb key facilities in the USA, Britain…fully justified in the light of the looting and killing way of life of the Anglosaxons. Killing Anglosaxons and bombing their way of life is legal and justified… Buddhi's father It must just be a fateful coincidence that Vikram's father Captain Buddhi Kota Subbarao, a former senior defense scientist with the Indian Navy was framed for allegedly leaking naval secrets in 1988. After a protracted legal battle, where Subbarao too had to fire his lawyers for incompetence, and represent himself in court, won his case when in 1993 the Mumbai High Court found all charges against him baseless and acquitted him.

GOPIO conference 2010 in Delhi on Jan 6 India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) will hold its Conference 2010 in New Delhi on January 6, 2010. The venue is Habitat Centre, Lodi Estate. The conference is being held in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2010. A GOPIO General Council Meeting will be held chaired by Chairman Inder Singh and GOPIO Country Reports will be presented as part of the proceedings. Among the subjects selected for discussion are: India's Emerging Economy and the Diaspora; Family Issues in the Global Indian Diaspora; Enhancing Intra-Connectivity and Liaison with the Global Indian Diaspora. The Conference will

end with Reception, Entertainment and Awards Banquet during which GOPIO Community Service Awards will be presented. Among the leading personalities taking part in the conference are Lord Diljit Rana, President, GOPIO International (UK); Raj Loomba, Regional Vice President, GOPIO Intl (UK); Lord Meghnad Desai (House of Lords, UK), Dr George Abraham (USA), Judge Ajit Swaran Singh (New Zealand), Lady Shruti Rana, Women's Council (UK); Dr. Mani Bhaumik (USA) - Connectivity through Education; Drs. Parmatma and Rupam Saran (USA); Prof. Ram Roy, California, USA; Lord Bhikhu Parekh (House of Lords, UK); The Guest of Honor will be Dr Lenny Saith, Minister in Office of Prime Minister, Trinidad & Tobago.


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December 25, 2009

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Indian American sentenced to 12 years for healthcare fraud India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Rakesh Jyoti Saran, 47, of Arlington, Texas, has been sentenced by US District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 144 months (12 years) in federal prison and ordered to pay $68 million in restitution for his involvement in an elaborate rogue internet pharmacy scheme, announced US Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Saran, who is the last defendant to be sentenced in this case, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and other federal offenses; two counts of mail fraud; and one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. He has been in federal custody since May 2009. Saran was arrested on September 21, 2005 on charges outlined in a 201-count federal indictment alleging that from November 1999 through September 20, 2005 he and co-defendants conspired with each other and others to commit health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering and to engage in the illegal distribu-

tion of controlled substances in a drug diversion scheme. According to plea papers filed in court, Saran operated 23 Texasincorporated pharmacies through two companies that he owned, Carrington Healthcare Systems, Inc. and Infinity Services Group, Inc., and purchased expensive pharmaceuticals at significant discounts from pharmaceutical

Saran, who is the last defendant to be sentenced in this case, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and other federal offenses wholesale suppliers. Saran's pharmacies purchased controlled substances such as hydrocodone (an addictive painkiller), phentermine hydrochloride (an appetite suppressant), alprazolam (used to treat anxiety,

depression, panic disorder and premenstrual syndrome), and promethazine cough syrup (containing codeine) and obtained significant price discounts by obtaining fraudulent memberships in Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). To qualify for the significantly discounted "contract pricing" available to GPOs, Saran fraudulently represented to wholesale suppliers that his purchases were for "institutional distribution" and signed contracts containing "own use" or "closed door pharmacy" provisions restricting his distribution of the pharmaceuticals to institutions such as prisons, long-term care facilities and rehabilitation hospitals. However, Saran sold the significantly-discounted pharmaceuticals outside the scope of the provisions, making substantial profits from the diverted transactions. Saran did not disclose to the wholesalers that the pharmacies were alter ego businesses he had created and that he had obtained individual DEA registration numbers for each one to camouflage his identity as the actual pur-

chaser. Saran also used his pharmacies to operate a "store front" website designed to facilitate the distribution of controlled substances to internet customers. Using the website, drug users illegally acquired controlled substances and dangerous drugs without valid prescriptions and without doctor intervention, paying up to four

All other defendants charged in the case, including managers and employees of Saran's various pharmacies, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and have been sentenced times the cost if the substances had been acquired legally. Saran also used his pharmacies to fill pharmaceutical orders from other Internet Facilitation Centers (IFC) involved in the illegal distribution of dangerous drugs and con-

trolled substances. Additionally, Saran also played an integral role in providing promethazine cough syrup with codeine, hydrocodone, and alprazolam to individuals who illegally sold these drugs "on the street," acquiring approximately $20 million in proceeds for doing so. Guilty pleas were also entered on behalf of twenty corporations Saran controlled and used in the criminal conspiracy. As part of his plea agreement, Saran forfeited assets earned from his illegal activities, including more than $1,000,000 in cash seized at his residence; more than $375,000 found in bank accounts; approximately $390,000 in cashier's checks and money orders; several vehicles; and a custom home under construction in Arlington, which was sold by the US Marshals Service (USMS) for $1,200,000 through an Internet auction, in May 2008. All other defendants charged in the case, including managers and employees of Saran's various pharmacies, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and have been sentenced.

PM seeks constructive Ramesh fears a secret political approach to combat climate climate draft is underway COPENHAGEN: With officials holding out little hopes for a comprehensive climate deal, India has said a handful of developed countries led by British Premier Gordon Brown were working out a surprise political text. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said these leaders were reluctant to reveal anything and that was "most baffling" and "mischievous". He said no developing country was involved in the drafting of the text and there is great concern that it will be sprung up as a surprise at the heads of state level talks where it is difficult to counter and oppose the contents. He said if thrown up as a surprise text, there will be very little time to go through it and it can also be the cause of great embarrassment. "We don't know the context of the text. The continued reluctance of the Danes to reveal the political outcome is most baffling," Ramesh said. However, most of the officials are pinning their hopes of a last minute breakthrough on heads of state and government who started pouring into the Danish capital. "All along the objective was to delay delay and delay.

What has happened in this COP is unprecedented in global negotiations and it really is most disappointing for India and other countries. It is wrong, it is mischievous... We want to be constructive," he added. . The discussion on the two negotiated texts resumed last evening after a 12-hour delay and

He said if thrown up as a surprise text, there will be very little time to go through it and it can also be the cause of great embarrassment the minister urged that serious negotiations take place through the day. "I am still hopeful that during the course of the day we might be able to salvage something," he said, but also expressed concern that the developed countries would try to block and slow down the process as much as possible. The Minister reiterated that the

industrialized nations were focused on killing the Kyoto Protocol and that it remained in the "intensive care unit" but the developing countries planned to get negotiations started on the two texts that have "legitimacy" in the next two-three months. The Minister noted that India's priority should be on its national programs to combat climate change. "I have been stating for months we need a domestic agenda to combat climate change... This is one lesson we can learn from China but takes strong domestic mitigation also," he said. The Minister pointed out that a positive outcome was that "solidarity between BASIC countries had become a reality" but the "blame game would soon be underway". "We are aware that the Western countries propaganda to hold developing countries responsible. We have gone out of our way to bring negotiations back on track," Ramesh said. "The way the negotiations are gone the entire process is flawed and the trust deficit has accumulated. No sincere effort has been made by Denmark to reduce the deficit," he added. -PTI

NEW DELHI: Seeking a con- said. structive approach to move forSingh's remarks come as negoward in the global efforts to com- tiations in Copenhagen have hit bat climate change, Prime Minis- a roadblock with no headway beter Manmohan Singh has said In- ing made on agreement on emisdia is willing to do more provided sion cuts, mitigation targets and there are "credible" arrangements financing. . from rich nations on financial supAsserting that every citizen of port and technology transfers. the globe has equal entitlement "Climate change cannot be ad- of the global atmospheric space, dressed by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries," â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Climate change cannot be Singh said in a stateaddressed by perpetuating ment before his departure for climate change the poverty of the developing summit in Copenhagen. countries,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Singh said in a He said India, as a responsible member of statement before his departure the international com- for climate change summit munity, has announced that it will reduce the in Copenhagen emissions intensity by 20-25 per cent in 2020 as compared the Prime Minister said in keepto 2005. ing with this principle he had anSingh noted that India has also nounced that India will maintain launched a comprehensive Action its per capita emissions at a level Plan on Climate Change and the lower than the average per capita eight National Missions have emissions of developed counbeen set up. tries. "We are willing to do more pro"It is India's view that global vided there are credible arrange- warming is taking place and takments to provide both additional ing place here and now and its financial support as well as tech- adverse consequences will impact nological transfers from devel- most heavily on developing counoped to developing countries," he tries like India.-PTI


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December 25, 2009

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India calls for greater partnership from US aviation companies India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Indian aviation sector has the potential to absorb up to US$ 120 billion of investment by 2020, according to Madhavan Nambiar, Secretary for Civil Aviation, Government of India. Highlighting the future potential of the Asia Pacific region to emerge as a hub of the global economy and, consequently, of the global aviation industry, Nambiar made these comments in his keynote address at the second India-US Aviation Partnership Summit held in Washington DC Dec 7-9. In his address, Secretary Nambiar gave an overview of the Indian civil aviation sector and shared his thoughts on the strength of India in this sector. He recalled that the partnership summit follows the successful visit of the Prime Minister of India to the US in November 2009 which reaffirmed the global strategic partnership between India and the US. He provided an insight into the significant developments taking place in the aerospace industry in India and highlighted the opportunities for cooperation in the field of civil aviation infrastructure, air traffic control system, general aviation, aerospace and MROs (Maintenance Repair Overhaul). Secretary Nambiar also emphasized India's commitment to the establishment of strong institutions necessary for regulation of the civil aviation sector and the adoption of best international practices. He underlined that the aim was to provide an enabling environment for sustaining growth and placing India in the ranks of the global leaders. He invited the US Industry to participate in the India Aviation 2010 scheduled to be held in Hyderabad, India from 3-7 March 2010, which would be the second international exhibition and conference on civil aviation sector that his Ministry would be organizing jointly with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Secretary Nambiar was accompanied by a high level delegation from the public and private sector including the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Dr. Nasim Zaidi and Chairman Airports Authority of India V.P. Agrawal. Over 200 representatives from 80 companies participated in the Summit in addition to the Government delegation. The Summit included sessions on different aspects of the civil aviation sector and highlighted the opportunities and the challenges it faces. It brought together key panelists from all the

stakeholders including regulators, service providers, industry and government. US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Ambassador of India to the US Meera Shankar addressed the official summit dinner later that day at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Aviation Safety Agreement would hasten the process whereby Indian products certified by our Directorate General of Civil Aviation could be sold in the United States and in other parts of the world." Stating that India today is the 9th largest aviation market in the world, Amb. Shankar said the United States was a preferred part-

Shankar pointed out. The aerospace industry in India, which is in its early stages, is seeing steady progress, she said, adding that just last month the country's first special economic zone (SEZ) dedicated to the aerospace industry was inaugurated in Belgaum in Karnataka with an initial investment of US$ 32.5 mil-

According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, domestic traffic in India will increase by 25 per cent to 30 per cent, and international traffic growth by 15 per cent, taking the total market to more than 100 million passengers by 2010 Madhavan Nambiar

Highlighting the mutual benefits of an US-India partnership in this sector, Amb. Shankar said, "Every aircraft that we (India) import from here creates ten thousand jobs across 50 states of this country. The joint ventures between US and Indian companies in this area, for example, the recent partnership between the Tata Advanced Systems and USbased Sikorsky Aircraft a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation to make aerospace components in India serve to strengthen the global supply chain of the US company, enhancing its competitiveness. The early signing of a Bilateral

ner for India in its expansion and modernization of its civil and military aviation capabilities. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, domestic traffic in India will increase by 25 per cent to 30 per cent, and international traffic growth by 15 per cent, taking the total market to more than 100 million passengers by 2010. By 2020, Domestic traffic could reach 160-180 million with international traffic in excess of 50 million. The Indian government plans to invest US$ 9 billion to modernize existing airports by 2010 and another $20 billion would be required as the program progresses,

lion. An AeroPark is proposed in Tamil Nadu for the global aerospace and aeronautics industry in the areas of design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft. A Special Economic Zone is being developed in Andhra Pradesh for Aerospace and Precision Engineering. Besides being the source of hitech aviation equipment, technology and related services, US companies can be partners in modernization of India's airports, she said. "By August 2010, we expect Delhi airport to increase capacity to 100 million passengers and Mumbai airport to 40 million, in time for the Commonwealth Games. We are

moving rapidly on the development of 35 non-metro airports as well as Brownfield development of Chennai and Kolkata. I want to invite US airport developers to play a more meaningful role in this process." American companies can also assist us in the establishment of an aviation support industry to spur activities in maintenance and research centers as well as human resource development and training, she added. Other speakers at the opening session of the Summit included Administrator at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Randolph J Babbit, Acting Director, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Leocadia Zak, and US Deputy Secretary for Commerce Mr. Dennis Hightower. On the airport sector, sessions included ongoing and future projects of Airports Authority of India pertaining to airspace safety and efficiency and future air navigation systems development and modernization. The Summit also covered issues pertaining to Airport Infrastructure Development and Financing, with presentations from Airports Authority of India, the FAA, and major private sector players. The DGCA shared the developments in oversight role of aircraft maintenance/ certification capabilities in India. Aviation Security, Aviation Environmental Best Practices, Aviation Training in India were some of the other important sessions of the summit drawing a large number of speakers from the Regulators and Industry.

NAB asks Pak to bar NRO beneficiaries from foreign travel ISLAMABAD: Within hours of Pakistan Supreme Court scrapping an ordinance granting amnesty in graft cases to over 8,000 people, an anti-corruption body asked authorities to bar beneficiaries of the controversial law from traveling abroad, but it was not clear whether President Asif Ali Zardari would be affected. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked Interior Ministry to place the names of all beneficiaries of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), declared void by the Supreme Court, on the 'Exit Control List'. A person whose name figures in the ECL is barred from traveling out of Pakistan. The NAB issued arrest warrants for persons who had been declared "proclaimed offenders" by anti-corruption courts before cases against them were quashed under the NRO, 'Dawn News' channel quoted its sources as

saying. The NAB also issued orders to freeze the bank accounts of NRO

the channel reported. A brief statement issued by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza

It was also not immediately clear whether the NAB's move would affect Zardari and several of his close aides who are among over 8,000 beneficiaries of the NRO beneficiaries whose cases are pending and whose accounts were the subject of investigations,

Gilani's office said: "The government respects the judgment of the Supreme Court and is awaiting the

detailed judgment. However, the government has already started consulting legal experts for its implementation." It did not give details. It was also not immediately clear whether the NAB's move would affect Zardari and several of his close aides who are among over 8,000 beneficiaries of the NRO, which was issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in October 2007. -PTI

Pak parties, media hail SC verdict on NRO ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Supreme Court's landmark decision to annul an amnesty granted to President Asif Ali Zardari and thousands of others facing corruption charges was hailed by political parties and the media as a verdict that corrected "a shameful historic wrong".

A 17-judge bench of the apex court headed by feisty Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ruled that the National Reconciliation Ordinance, passed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to scrap graft cases against over 8,000 people, was "void ab initio" -- to be treated as invalid from the outset.

The court in a late night verdict directed authorities to reopen all graft cases quashed under the law passed by Musharraf in October 2007. The headline on the front page of The News daily read "SC corrects historic wrong" while the Daily Times put it more succinctly: "Justice is served".-PTI


Desi News Fox channel offends with 'Ganges' remark

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Fox Channel's extreme right wing presenter Glenn Beck, who rates little credibility among many Americans, has now gone and shot off his run away mouth to offend scores of Hindus across the nation. In a December 9 segment titled "This is the best America has to offer?" on his opinion show "The One Thing" on Fox News channel, Glenn Beck. Details on page 10

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Ahmadiyya Muslims to hold Annual Convention

December 25, 2009

Details on page 15

FIA elects Gabhawala as president after fraud allegations MOHAMMAD GHOUSE India Post News Service

Excessive drinking led to Vasanvala death India Post News Service

ST LOUIS: Was it excessive drinking that led to the death of 19-year-old St. Louis University student Nirmam Vasanwala two months ago, in September, at St. Louis University Campus? Nirmam, a bright and friendly student hailing from Chicagoland had fallen from the 12th floor balcony of the University campus Apt. on September 10. The St. Louis medical examiner's office has reportedly come to the conclusion after detailed investigation that Nirmam was drinking before his fall from the balcony. Details on page 11

Americans now believe in reincarnation

CHICAGO: The elections of the new executive team of the federation of Indian Associations (FIA) held in Chicago last week were not expected to be a tame affair. Even before the elections two prominent community activists were seeking the position of FIA president with endorsements and approval from different segments of the community. Sunil Shah, the former secretary was in the fray from the beginning with lot of support from community at large. Sunny Gabhawala, a motelier and FIA activist, joined the race with support from a group of his admirers including Sher Rajput, FIA vice president. Sunil Shah was supported by community leaders like Mafat Patel, Naren Patel, Tushar Chotalia and others. The elections were hotly contested and many felt that the results were a forgone conclusion with alleged maneuvering and wire

Sunil Shah, FIA Secretry, protesting to the Election Committee chair Anil Pillay about irregularities

pulling. Before the lections, a leading community activist, Balwinder Singh tried hard to forge unity and pushed the name of Mafat Patel, the head of Patel Brothers empire, as a compromise candidate. But his

move did not go far as Mafat Patel sensing the bickering decided to opt out. Sunil Patel, the former secretary, cited lot of irregularities in the election process. In an e- mail to

HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: Roughly 24 percent American adults believe in reincarnation and a similar number believe in yoga as a spiritual practice, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. This poll also found out that roughly one-quarter of adults express belief in tenets of certain Eastern religions and 25% profess belief in astrology (that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives). Details on page 11

Sunil Shah, the former secretary was in the fray from the beginning with lot of support from community at large. Sunny Gabhawala, a motelier and FIA activist, joined the race with support from a group of his admirers including Sher Rajput, FIA vice president media, he alleged that "the election was just a show, as everything from voting to eligibility of candidates was false, preplanned, and totally biased, one-sided favoritism of the whole election committee

FIA members gathered at the FIA Election meet in Chicago

Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d on page 10


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Community Across America

India Post

December 25, 2009

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Complaint filed against Fox Channel for 'Ganges' remark India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Fox Channel's extreme right wing presenter Glenn Beck, who rates little credibility among many Americans, has now gone and shot off his run away mouth to offend scores of Hindus across the nation. In a December 9 segment titled "This is the best America has to offer?" on his opinion show "The One Thing" on Fox News channel, Glenn Beck, began by making disparaging remarks about the healthcare system in India and most unnecessarily mentioned the river Ganges saying: "One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on, it does. I mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges." After playing the clip of an American woman who talked about getting a cheaper hip replacement surgery done in India, Beck compared getting medical care in India to buying fake Gucci handbags on the streets of New York. "If you have a choice between getting a hip replacement surgery at the

Mumbai Clinic at Punjab or the Mayo Clinic, I'm gonna go for the Mayo Clinic," he said. Further about India, he said, "I'm sure it's beautiful and everything… especially this time of the year… especially by that one big river they have there that sounds like a disease."

these remarks had denigrated Hinduism and ridiculed the Hindu community, urging action against Fox News and its parent, News Corporation. Acknowledging receipt of the complaint, FCC wrote back to Shinde: "The Commission will review what you have submitted

After playing the clip of an American woman who talked about getting a cheaper hip replacement surgery done in India, Beck compared getting medical care in India to buying fake Gucci handbags on the streets of New York Following the telecast of the show, the Forum for Hindu Awakening has filed a formal complaint with United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the remarks regarding the Ganges River, considered holy by Hindus. Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in this complaint, reportedly said that

carefully to determine whether it contains sufficient information to suggest that there has been a violation of the obscenity, indecency or profanity laws. If it appears that a violation may have occurred, the Enforcement Bureau will start an investigation, which may include a letter of inquiry to the broadcast sta-

tion… thank you for contacting us about this important issue." Meanwhile, Nevada-based Hindu priest Rajan Zed, in a statement, urged FCC to speed up the process as the community was very upset with the remarks. Ganges was holy to one billion Hindus world over, including about 2.3 million in USA, and they revere it, and such remarks were very painful to the devotees, he said. FCC is an independent United States government agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. Headquartered in Washington DC, Julius Genachowski is its chairman. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in film, television, cable, satellite broadcast, integrated marketing, newspapers and information services, book publishing, etc., and assets of about $55 billion. Fox News is reportedly available to about 102 million households.

FIA elects Gabhawala as president AAI announces India after fraud allegations operations India Post News Service

NEW YORK, New York - Airline Ambassador International (AAI), popular International NGO supported and recognized

business persons, Celebrities, where in the 13-year-old Jamia Nash, star of the movie "August Rush" and youngest person to have ever performed at the Academy Awards, performed live singing and enthralled the gath-

Members of the election committee L to R Sitaram Patel, Ranjit Ganguly, Anil Pillay, (election committee head briefing about elections process) Kanti Patel and Sohan Joshi Cont’d from page 9

• Subhash Bhatt, a candidate from Federation of Indian Music and Literature formed the Association on 12/08/09, when nomination was closed on 12/02/09. And proposed the name of four associations - Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Heritage Foundation, and two others - who were not members of FIA and as per bylaws not authorized to vote. Brahmbhatt Samaj was not member of FIA, and voted. Kadva Patidar Samaj, Gujarati Pragati Mandal, also not members, voted. • Maharashtra Mitra Mandal not member. Some unknown persons voted on its behalf. "The secretary, joint secretary and vice president protested the wrongful and biased manner the

election was conducted, but the election committee turned a deaf ear to us." Further, he alleged that "Hina

The candidates who were not eligible voted and those eligible were not allowed to vote. It was dictatorship in democratic country we are living from the people whose origins are from democratic country Trivedi, the candidate for vice president was not allowed to vote. The candidates who were not eli-

gible voted and those eligible were not allowed to vote. It was dictatorship in democratic country we are living from the people whose origins are from democratic country. This is shame." Meanwhile, an FIA news release had results of the elections as under Election winners 2010 President: Sunil Gabhawala, Executive Vice President: Subhash Bhatt, Vice President: Iftekhar Shareef, Vice President: Anupama Dharkar, Vice President: Sher Mohammed Rajput, Secretary: Shahid Razvi, (Urdu Academy of America), Joint Secretary: Devendra Patel, Treasure: Ajai Agnihotri (Delhi State Association), Joint Treasure: Arvind Joshi (Association of Jodhpur in America)

Sridhar Chillara, President of AAI, Daniel Sheth, Director, and Ambassador Francis Lorenzo for UN

by United Nations, UN Congress, UN Military, US Aid etc met at United Nations Delegates Dining Room, New York at 6:30 p.m Thursday, December 3, 2009 and announced its launching AAI-India and also appoint ment of Mr Sridhar Chillara. A New Jersey based Telugu person and an IT Business owner as the President for AAI-India. As a part of its several Fund Raising activities, AAI organized the evening Meet and invited several leading Indian, American

ering of Invitees Nancy Rivard, President of Airline Ambassadors International announced its prestigious launch of Airline Ambassadors India and Chillara as its President who will head the Indian organization and the activities. Subsequently the President f AAI, Sridhar Chillara announced his prestigious directors, who are highly acclaimed in industry. Cont’d on page 13


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December 25, 2009

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Excessive drinking led to Vasanvala death India Post News Service

ST LOUIS: Was it excessive drinking that led to the death of 19-year-old St. Louis University student Nirmam Vasanwala two months ago, in September, at St. Louis University Campus? Nirmam, a bright and friendly student hailing from Chicagoland had fallen from the 12th floor balcony of the University campus Apt. on September 10. The St. Louis medical examiner's office has reportedly come to the conclusion after detailed investigation that Nirmam was drinking before his fall from the balcony. The death certificate for Nirmam Vasanwala lists "acute ethanol intoxication" - or alcohol consumption - as one of the causes of death, along with blunt trauma to the chest and pelvis, the medical examiner's office said. St. Louis police had earlier classified his death as accidental and it continues to classify to be classified as "accidental" after the medical report. Vasanwala was a sophomore biology major from a Chicago suburb. He was in SLU's medical scholars program, in which highachieving students can be granted early admission to the university's medical school. SLU officials said that students

who were with him that night said he had been drinking off campus. And a resident advisor, who knocked as his door at about 3 a.m. because of a noise disturbance, found alcohol in his room. It is still not clear how

Nirmam Vasanvala

Vasanwala fell, but it is thought that he may have been trying to climb from his balcony to the adjoining balcony of the next room. But SLU has said it is not aware of that being a common practice and said it is has not had other injuries or falls related to its balconies. Nirmam Vasanwala died at 3:30

a.m. after falling from the balcony of his apartment on September 10. He was on 12th floor. Both the university and the St. Louis police said that no foul play was involved in his death but investigations are not stopped.

SLU officials said that students who were with him that night said he had been drinking off campus. And a resident advisor, who knocked as his door at about 3 a.m. because of a noise disturbance, found alcohol in his room SLU's vice president for student development Kent Porterfield is stated to have maintained that there was no indication or evidence of foul play. In the email, Porterfield wrote:" Our entire University community mourns the loss of Nirmam, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

Many Americans have started believing in reincarnation HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: Roughly 24 percent American adults believe in reincarnation and a similar number believe in yoga as a spiritual practice, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. This poll also found out that roughly one-quarter of adults express belief in tenets of certain Eastern religions and 25% profess belief in astrology (that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives). The poll finds that large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, mixing elements of diverse traditions. Prestigious newsmagazine "Newsweek" headlined an article recently as "We Are All Hindus Now", saying "U.S. Views on God and Life Are Turning Hindu". Written by its religion editor Lisa Miller, it said, "â&#x20AC;Śrecent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the

ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity." Welcoming the Forum findings, Sohan joshi, a community activist here said that it was heartening that the Hindu beliefs have been getting a greater recognition in this part of the world and that this should help remove some of the prejudices against this age old religion which

The poll also found that roughly onequarter of adults express belief in tenets of certain Eastern religions is rightly dubbed Sanatan. Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism in Nevada, says that religion is a complex component of human life and a deeper, more inclusive and broader understanding of religion is needed Yoga is one of the six systems of

orthodox Hindu philosophy. Reincarnation is a central tenet of Hinduism. Astrology has played a great role in Hinduism since ancient times. Directed by Luis Lugo, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, based in Washington DC and launched in 2001, seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. The Forum is a project of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Center in turn is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts whose President is Rebecca W. Rimel. Newsweek, published in four English language and 12 global editions, has a worldwide circulation of over four million. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents, including about 2.3 million in the USA. Moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

India Post

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Nationalist Congress Party formed in US India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has announced that it has appointed Raj Sharma as the Honorary President of the North America Unit of the Party and authorized him to take steps to establish the Unit of the Party. Sharma thanked NCP President Sharad Pawar and P.A. Sangma, MP and General Secretary of the party for their support. He immediately formed a committee of dedicated office bearers to mobilize North American Indians in supporting the core founding principles of NCP. "North American Indians are proud of their motherland and the dynamism and prestige India commands in the world today places special responsibilities and obligations on Indians in United States and Canada to contribute their skills and knowledge for growth in arts, sciences, technology and infrastructure development in India" said Sharma. "NCP USA through their Party affiliates in India is committed to provide assistance with Govern-

ment of India at the Central and State levels to all Indians looking to participate in the development of India in any capacity and project" Sharma stated. Following Committee members have been appointed: Raj Sharma (President), Ashu K Vaid (VP), Lal T Dadlaney (General Secretary), Arun Vadhan (Secretary), Arun Vora (VP), Bharat Shah (VP), Jessi

He formed a committee of dedicated office bearers to mobilize North American Indians in supporting the core founding principles of NCP Dhillon (General Secretary), Narendra Patel (General Secretary and Media Incharge), Biplab Basu (Joint Secretary), Mukul Shukla (Treasurer), Nitin Vyas (Joint Secretary), Mohit Sharma (Sec.), Satti Chahal (Sec.), Ashok Jindal (Joint Sec.), Deepak Bhagat (President Georgia) Balbir Singh (President New Jersey, Pa), Paramjit Singh Summan (President Ca).


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Community Across America

December 25, 2009

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Women's Athletic Club celebrates India Night India Post News Service

CHICAGO: The prestigious Women's Athletic Club (WAC) of Chicago celebrated the "Incredible India" night on December 10 at their landmark building on the Michigan Avenue, to which they moved in 1929. The Club was founded in 1898 and was the first Athletic club for women in America.

Women's Athletic Club (WAC) inaugurated the finale of the year long celebrations on the December 10. The distinguished guests and members of the WAC were introduced to a performance of Bharat Natyam by local artistes of Chicago. The others who graced the occasion and whose contribution for the success of the event and acknowledged were Mrs. Usha Kiran Attri, Kitty Friedhiem

India Night was the high point of year-long celebrations as WAC has honored the year 2009 as the India Year. India theme was selected with the active participation of Mrs. Usha Kiran Attri, who is a member of the WAC India Night was the high point of a year-long celebrations as WAC has honored the year 2009 as the India Year. India theme was selected with the active participation of Mrs. Usha Kiran Attri, who is a member of the WAC. During the year, several programs were organized for members of WAC, where the members were exposed to the rich cultural heritage of India and visits to places in and around Chicago for a first hand knowledge of Indian food, art, artifacts and religion. Marie Ann Lillie, President

Gala Chair, Barbara Knuckles head of the WAC Liaison Consular Corps. President of WAC later invited the Chief Guest of the evening Ashok Kumar Attri, Consul General of India and Mrs Usha Kiran Attri to commence the program by the traditional lighting of lamp ceremony and to address the gathering. Ashok Kumar Attri, in his brief address thanked profusely the WAC for having honored India by dedicating 2009 as the India Year. He also spoke about the growing Indo-US rela-

NYU students launch unique program for learning in India India Post News service

NEW YORK: Direct Involvement, a venture pioneered by two NYU Stern Business School students -Sanjay Rupani and Vinay Ganti -- is revolutionizing experiential learning by bridging standout students at premier universities with top-tier social entrepreneurs in India. Direct Involvement is developing a new experiential learning program to help aspiring social entrepreneurs and students interested in social entrepreneurship better understand the field and also how they can best individually make an impact. The cornerstone of the program is a two-week trip to India to meet 12-15 best-in-breed social entrepreneurship organizations. Direct Involvement has already established partnerships with nearly 20 pilot partners, including Acumen Fund, Deshpande Foundation and Tasty Bite. Unlike most experiential learning trips, Direct Involvement caps every trip at 10 people and selects each individual through a rigorous process.

In order to maximize value for both the participants and the partners, Direct Involvement has developed a rigorous pre-trip training and education program. This program includes a speaker series, skills workshops, and individual

Direct Involvement is developing a new experiential learning program to help aspiring social entrepreneurs and students interested in social entrepreneurship better understand the field mentors for each participant. In addition to that, Direct Involvement is committed to developing an ongoing network of Direct Involvement Scholars, or alumni, so that students on different trips will be able to collaborate with other participants and future partners.

Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri and Mrs. Attri along with the winners of Air India Ticket at the Raffel and with performers

tions and placed the same in a historical perspective. Calling India the original land of immigrants, he went on to quote Ibn Batuta, the Moroccon traveler who visited India in 13th century. He mentioned that today's night event was an effort to introduce the warm Indian summer to a very cold Chicago evening. The 220 guests including several important dignitaries and Consuls General were treated to

a sumptuous delicious Indian dinner to the accompaniment of light Indian music in the banquet hall which recreated an atmosphere of Indian ambience with excellent flower arrangements and a background of draped colorful sarees. The evening ended with a draw of lucky raffle and the first prize of two Air India tickets was won by Marcia Ekdahl which was handed over to the winner by Consul Gen-

eral of India, Ashok Kumar Attri and Jude Crasto, Regional Manager, Air India, Chicago. The second prize was a Gift hamper of India items donated by Mrs Usha Kiran Attri, who also ensured that no guests returned empty handed, as every one who came, received a gift of either a glossy Indian vegetarian cook book or set of DVDs of Incredible India and a Pashmina shawl and incense sticks.

Santosh Kumar of MAFS honored HARISH RAO

CHICAGO: Ms Santosh Kumar, head of metropolitan Asian Community Services (MAFS) has added one more feather to her cap of achievements. Last month she bagged a distinct honor from LightPoint Hospitality Solutions, a full-service hospitality consulting firm of Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois that commended her for rendering distinct services to the Asian seniors. The recognition to her was part of a well attended banquet held at the Waterford Banquets in Elmhurst on November 14. She was presented with the award by Noor Tejany, the Executive Director of Light Point and Dinesh Gandhi of National Republic Bank, Chicago. Besides the award, a thousand dollar check recognizing community services by Ms Santosh Kumar by Turkish Airlines was also handed over to her. The evening was designed to acknowledge organizations that

L to R. Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director of Metropolitan Asian Community Services, Dinesh Gandhi of National Republic Bank, and a Community leader, Noor Tejani, organizer of "Black" and Managing Director of Link Hospitality Group

provide exemplary community service and support their initiatives in their various fields of specialty. The musical group "Black" was appreciated for its Blind Artists performance in which they sang new and old Indian Hindi movie songs and played a

full band in harmony. Special thanks were given by Dinesh Gandhi to Turkish Airlines, Marriot Hotels, Double Tree, and the National Republic Bank of Chicago, Holiday Inn of Skokie, Dr. Firdaus Jafri and Hina Trivedi for making this program possible.


December 25, 2009

Community Across America

India Post 13

www.indiapost.com

AAI announces India operations

Secretary Mineta endorses Kamala Harris India Post News Service

Ms Nancy Rivard, President AAI and Mr Sridhar Chillara, President AAI-India Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from page 10

In addition, AAI honored the following humanitarians: Joaquin Antuna, President of Pazy Coorporacion, in partnership with AAI, coordinates a global writing contest for students K-12 for which since its begining over one million children have participated in the competition on the subject of achieving world peace. Dr. Darlene and Dr. James McCord have been funding research on finding the cause of Buruli ulcer, a flesh destroying disease primarily affecting children in 31 countries. ( In support of the battle against the ulcer, later this month, Airline Ambassadors will deliver Buruli medications to hos-

Dr. Darlene and Dr. James McCord have been funding research on finding the cause of Buruli ulcer, a flesh destroying disease primarily affecting children in 31 countries pital personnel in Ghana, where the disease is especially virulent.) Speaking on this occasion, Sridhar Chillara said that they are in the process of announcing couple of missions to help the poor and orphanage children in India very soon which will be starting from January 2010 onwards. He also said that they are in the process of creating an apex body in India and also looking for people/parties/Business houses/ Corporates having experience, interest, time to conceive and execute the charity projects effectively .and also invited public to contact him at sridhar@ncsus.net

in this regard. AAI is the only independent, non-profit organization of the airline industry, which has been well recognized by United Nations, US Congress, US Military, US Aid etc. It was founded in 1996 by airline personnel who use their flight privileges and other resources to help the disadvantaged. AAI has since expanded to include volunteers of all ages and professions who travel to make a difference. As the only charity encompassing the overall airline industry, AAI has hand delivered more than $50 million worth of humanitarian aid and directly impacted over 1,000,000 children.

NEW YORK: Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, who represented San Jose in Congress for over twenty years and served in the Cabinets of both Democratic and Republican presidents, announced Dec 16 that he is supporting San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris for California Attorney General. "The need for political leadership that is at once visionary and practical, courageous and steady, innovative and experienced is crucial," said Secretary Mineta in his statement of support. "I urge that voters of all philosophies, of various ideological stripes, partisan affiliation, and ethnic backgrounds pay careful attention to Kamala Harris' record of accomplishment and her dedication to the pursuit of both order and justice. For those reasons, and others, I am happy and honored to lend my support to Kamala Harris in her campaign to become the state's next Attorney General." "I am grateful to have earned the support of Secretary Mineta, an accomplished leader in our state and nation who has committed his life to public service," said Harris. "I look forward to having Secretary Mineta by my side in this campaign." Norman Mineta served in Congress for over twenty years and in

Norman Y. Mineta

Kamala Harris

the Cabinets of President Bill Clinton as Secretary of Commerce and President George W. Bush as Secretary of Transportation. For almost thirty years, Mineta represented San Jose, California, first

ence to focus intensively on fighting violent crime. She increased felony conviction rates, expanded services to victims of crime and their families, created new prosecution divisions focused on child assault, public integrity and environmental crimes, and launched innovative initiatives to prevent re-offending. This work is paying off -the San Francisco District Attorney's Office has more than doubled its trial conviction rate for gun felonies to 90 percent. Under her leadership, the office has sent 70 percent more serious and violent offenders to State Prison. According to the State of California Department of Justice, the office's overall felony conviction rate is at its highest point in nearly 15 years. Due to the success of her innovative crime-fighting initiatives, Harris recently participated in the White House Conference on Gang Violence Prevention and Crime Control.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I urge that voters of all philosophies, of various ideological stripes, partisan affiliation, and ethnic backgrounds pay careful attention to Kamala Harris' record of accomplishmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress. As San Francisco's District Attorney, Harris has used her nearly 20 years of prosecutorial experi-


14

India Post

Community Across America

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Obama praises Raja's work in West Africa

C GHIMRE

CHICAGO: National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Chicago in partnership with The Center for Asian Arts and Media (CAAM) at Columbia College Chicago, organized a drive to collect toys for children on Sat-

India Post News service

NEW YORK: When President Barrack Obama went on a state visit to Accra, Ghana in West Africa a few months ago, he was given a ceremonial welcome and a grand breakfast with select prominent members of the cabinet and local leaders. There President Obama was surprised to see an Indian sitting prominently among the VIPs and President of Ghana John Atta Mills specially introduced him to Obama as a miracle man of Ghana who transformed the economy and trade. That miracle man happens to be Dr KPR Raja of Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu who has business interests in 85 countries of the world including 30 in Africa. Dr. Raja who was in New York recently recalled the incident and said President Obama told him: "I least expected an Indian in the President's reception in Ghana and this only proves the entrepreneurial skills of Indians who are now a global power. I am happy to learn from President John that you are not only helping in business in Ghana but also serving the poor. We need more people like you." Dr. Raja has taken lease of 33 gold mines in Ghana and exports locally made gold bars to Dubai earning export dollars to the poverty-ridden country. Considered close to President Mills, he advises him on trade and commerce, joint ventures and business ventures. Dr. Raja was in the US to finalize crude oil export from Ghana and other West African nations to the US. The reason Obama chose Ghana as his first African nation

Toy Drive for Christmas gifts to children sters at Asian Youth Services (AYS), Korean American Women in Need (KAN-WIN), and the Pui Tak Center. This year, the goal is to raise 300 toys. According to sources close to NAAAP, the goal is nearly reached and the gift

President Obama with Dr Raja in Accra, Ghana

to visit bypassing his homeland of Kenya may have something to do with the recent discovery of oil in

Dr. Raja who was in New York recently recalled the incident and said President Obama told him: "I least expected an Indian in the President's reception in Ghana and this only proves the entrepreneurial skills of Indians who are now a global power” Ghana. A quarter of US oil imports are expected to come from West Africa by 2015, according to esti-

mates by the National Intelligence Council. Ghana is located near the African west coast. "West Africa is expected to be one of the fastest-growing sources of oil and gas for the American market," Dr. Raja said. Hailing from a very poor family and unable to continue his education due to poverty in his hometown, Dr. Raja's story is literally one of rags to riches. He now operates from 60 countries including the US, the UK, China, Canada, India and all the African nations dealing in mining, oil, trading, Information Technology and the list is endless. His headquarters is in Kuwait and his company's turnover for 2010 is expected to touch $500 million. He is close to all the heads of states in Western Africa and shuttles between the nations in his private jet plane. Cont’d on page 16

Toy Drive by NAAP for 2009 Christmas organized on December 12

These local non-profit groups provide care and assistance in literacy, employment, health, immigration, and family-oriented services to thousands of low-income and immigrant families from various parts of Asia urday, December 12. This happened to the 7th Annual Holiday Toy Drive - Gift a Toy event. NAAAP Chicago members and supporters decided to give back to the community in a small, but meaningful, way by writing warm comforting messages on holiday cards and wrapping donated toys to be given to underprivileged children this holiday season. Last year, NAAAP Chicago raised nearly $1,500 and donated 226 gifts and toys to local young-

would be appropriately distributed among children here at the Asian Human Services, Indo-American Center, and the Vietnamese Association of Illinois. These local non-profit groups provide care and assistance in literacy, employment, health, immigration, and family-oriented services to thousands of low-income and immigrant families from various parts of Asia. Cont’d on page 16

Shanti Hiranand charms Chicagoans MOHAMMAD GHOUSE India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Shanti Hiranand, renowned Hindustani classical vocalist from India, gave a sterling performance of talent at a class performance held recently at Indian House Restaurant in Shuiamubrg. Shanti was in Chicago from December 8 to 10 as part of her three-week long tour to USA and Canada. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi had sponsored the visit of Shanti Hiranand and her troupe of talented musicians. Her performance was supported by the Consulate General of India, Chicago. It was a well attended and memorable

evening for Indian classical music lovers. Her rendering of immortal classical music on the special requests of the guests added warmth to an otherwise cold win-

With her soul stirring performances she has kept alive the style of her guru Begum Akhtar in Ghazals, Thumri and Dadra try evening. Another program organized by SAPNA, a non-profit Cultural organization on the December 8 at the Chinmaya Mission had to be canceled due to bad

weather conditions. She was accompanied by Manoj Nagar on Tabla, Vinay Mishra on Harmonium, Prakash Kumar Thakur on Tanpura and Ghanshyam Sisodia playing Sarangi. Shanti Hiranand was literally born to music, in the culturally vibrant city of Lucknow, India. She reached a turning point in her life when in the year 1952, she met her guru, guide and mentor the legendary Begum Akhtar, who took her under her wing. With her soul stirring performances she has kept alive the style of her guru Begum Akhtar in Ghazals, Thumri and Dadra. Dance of the Winds, an internationally acclaimed film, has a Thumri and Dadra sung by her

Shanti Hiranand (left) accompanied by musicians performs at India House in Chicagoland.

in her inimitable style. Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri, in his welcome address at the December 9 function, highlighted the life of Shanti Hiranand and shared with the audience the

various accolades she has earned. She was crowned with the award of Padma Shri by the President of India in 2007. Ravi Rawat of India House welcomed the guests.


Community/California

December 25, 2009

India Post 15

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Ahmadiyya Muslims to hold Annual Convention JS BEDI India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been holding its Annual Conventions, known as 'Jalsa Salana', in different parts of the world for over 100 years. This year marks the 24th Jalsa Salana West Coast, USA. Members from 11 chapters spanning from as far north as Seattle, Washington down through Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona will make the Journey to the Inland Empire, where for the first time in many years, the convention returns to the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino. The event is set to begin on Friday, December 25 2009 and go on until Sunday, December 27, 2009. Attendance is estimated to top 1000 this year, as members of the community from as far as Washington DC, Cleveland, Chicago, and even Canada are expected to attend. Many of the community's national office holders will be in attendance including the National Vice Presidents of the Community, and the newly appointed Missionary In-charge USA, Mr. Naseem Mahdi. Mr. Mahdi will address the audience on Sunday speaking about the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his service to Humankind. The purpose of the three day convention as laid out by the founder of the community, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, is to enable every sincere individual to personally experience religious benefits and so that they may enhance their knowledge. Topics this year range on a vast number of issues including, Calling people to God and how to best convey the Message of Islam. Women will also have their own session, in which dealing with today's recession will be addressed. The national president of the community's women's auxiliary, Dr. Shenaz Butt is also expected to address the gathering. About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, spans over 190 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1921, is the first American-Muslim organization. The community is an embodiment of the benevolent message of Islam in its pristine purity. Wherever the Community is established, it endeavors to exert a constructive influence of Islam through social projects, educational institutes, health services,

Imam Shamshad of the Chino Masjid

Islamic publications and construction of mosques. Despite being bitterly persecuted in some countries Ahmadi Muslims have earned the distinction of being a law abiding, peaceful, steadfast and benevolent community. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the longawaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad's advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Islam of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam's true and essential teachings. The convention is open to all irrespective of religion, nationality and ethnicity. As expected there is a lot of excitement in the community and Imam Shamshad of the Chino Mosque cannot stop smiling. There will be important dis-

courses on issues related to world peace, respect of other religions, equality of human beings, enviorenment, role of women in society and a host of other important matters. Talking to India Post, Imam Shamshad welcomed the timing of this conventionâ&#x20AC;Ś.." It is an auspicious time of the year. We have so many festivals going on. Hannukah for the Jewish people,

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, declared that he was the "Promised One" of all religions, fulfilling the eschatological prophecies found in world religions Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and then there is Christmas. It is a time of celebration for all mankind" he said. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger community of the two arising from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908). The original movement split into two fac-

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claims that it is established in over 190 countries of the world in all six continents and is the only community of Islam to have translated the Qur'an into over 118 languages tions soon after the death of the founder. (The second branch is Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam.) The community is led by the

Khalifatul Masih ("successor of the Messiah"), currently Khalifatul Masih V, who is the spiritual leader of the community and the successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, declared that he was the "Promised One" of all religions, fulfilling the eschatological prophecies found in world religions. He stated that his claims to being several prophets (religious personages) converging into one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfillment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions. The motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is "Love for All Hatred for Ahmadis believe in the six articles of faith believed in also by most Muslims, with a major difference of opinion regarding Khatam-e-nabuwat (finality of prophethood). 1. Unity of God (TawhĂŽd) 2.Angels (Mala'ikah) 3. Books 4. Prophets 5. The Day of Judgment 6. Divine Decree An accurate representation of the population of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is usually hard to discern. Most Ahmadiyya sources usually estimate the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community population to be in "the tens of millions".[ Yet often Ahmadiyya sources

Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908)

claim to have "hundreds of millions" or "200 million" worldwide. According to some estimates, the country with the largest percentage of Ahmadis is the African republic of Ghana. The

country with the most Ahmadis is Pakistan, where there are about 4 million Ahmadis. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has 2.011 million adherents in the African Republic of Benin, 1 million adherents in India 200,000 in Indonesia, 18,000 in Britain, 30,000 in Germany and 30,000 in Canada. According to non-Ahmadi estimates, there are 50,000 Ahmadi converts from Orthodox Islam in Mali, 24,000 of the same in the Ivory Coast, 100,000 of the same as Bosnian refugees and 45,000 Albanians of the same. Most Ahmadis are from Asia, mainly the Indo-Pak subcontinent, Bangladesh and Indonesia and a considerably large number of Ahmadis, in the tens or hundreds of millions are from the continent of Africa. In the year 1957, there were 100,000 Ahmadis from the African Republic of Ghana As of 1994, there were 150,000 converts to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from French-Speaking countries. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claims that it is established in over 190 countries of the world in all six continents and is the only community of Islam to have translated the Qur'an into over 118 languages. These include translations in German, Spanish, Swahili, French, Russian, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, Gurmukhi, Persian, Pashto, Japanese, Tamil and Chinese. The most famous translations of the Qur'an done by an Ahmadi author are the Tafseer-e-Sagheer and Tafseer-e-Kabeer which are Urdu translations of the Qur'an with commentary done by the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Bashirud-Din Mahmood Ahmad. Tafseer-e-Sagheer is the smaller commentary while Tafseer-e-Kabeer is the larger ten volume commentary, an English rendering of the Tafseer-eKabeer consists of five-volumes. The first Muslim author of an English translation of the Qur'an was an Ahmadi (though not a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and belonging to the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement), Maulana Muhammad Ali. In the year 1980, the Ahmadiyya Community living in the city of Calgary, in Canada, distributed copies of the Qur'an to Inuit communities in the Arctic Circle near the North Pole.


16

India Post

Community Across America A page from Sikh history! Obama praises Raja's work in West Africa

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

JESSI KAUR

T

he Sikh Community of California is getting ready to celebrate Guru Gobind Singh ji's 343rd birthday December 25th at Darbar-e-Khalsa, at the Diamond Bar High School, in Diamond Bar, Los Angeles. The event is being organized by the International Institute of Gurmat Studies, Inc. Here is a historical anecdote from Guru ji's life that has been adapted from my new book, "The Royal Falcon." It was sometime in 1705. The place was Ananadpur Sahib, a township in Punjab. A fierce combat was going on between the Sikhs and the Mughal army. Sikhs who were standing up against he tyrannical regime of Aurangzeb, the Emperor of India who was forcefully converting mainstream Hindus to Islam. Two tall burly Sikh soldiers holding long spears stood guard at the doors of the Khalsa fortress. Inside, in a large open court yard hundreds of men and women were congregated in a religious gathering. The sun was setting in Anandpur Sahib and, the entire quad bathed in a soft, golden light. At the top of the courtyard, seated on a magnificent throne was Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He was dressed in saffron silk robe embellished with tiny pearls woven into it with a gold thread. . A white plume with precious stones adorned the top of his immaculately tied turban. Rich maroon swags hung on both sides of the elevated throne. A red carpet that ran in the center of the courtyard led to the throne. A man dressed in simple garments was kneeling in front of Guru Ji. Another man who looked like a soldier was towering over him, pointing an accusing finger at him. The man kneeling in front of Guru Ji, carried a mashik, a brown leather sack on his shoulder. It

looked a little wet. months and I have listened to your The soldier looked angry and teachings. You have instilled in me sought reprimand for the man he a desire to serve. I bring water to had brought in. "He is the water- the battlefield to revive the bearer that was reviving the wounded soldiers." wounded soldiers of Kanhaiya the enemy. Here we paused and are fighting a vicious looked at Guru Ji army, and, he is gowith an unspoing around giving ken plea for untheir wounded lifederstanding. saving water." Guru Ji smiled There was a at him in encourstunned silence in agement and the congregation. said, "Go on, we Giving water to the are listening." wounded of the "You have Mughal? On whose taught me to side was this man have no enmity Guru Gobind Singh who looked like a towards anyone. Sikh? Yes, I am guilty Guru Ji looked at the man with of serving water to the Mughal a smile and said, "You are a good soldiers, but I see no difference man, Kanhaiya. I have seen you between them and our soldiers." serve water in the battle field. He paused to clear his throat. Could you please tell us why you Cleary, he was very nervous. were serving water to the wounded "My job is to serve water and I of the enemy? Your fellow soldier am serving it to everyone alike. Please is very upset with you." forgive me if I have made a mistake," Kanhaiya looked up at Guru Ji. he paused again and looked at Guru Ji with tears in his eyes. Guru Ji leaned forward to embrace Kanhaiya as people gasped in disbelief. They had expected Guru Ji to reprimand him. "My dear man," Guru Ji spoke, "You have truly understood the message of seeing all mankind as one. We have no enemies. For us, beri meet hoye smaan. Friends and foes are alike. We are fighting the Mughals only to defend the honor and dignity of our people who are being attacked and forcibly converted. We do not hate anyone." Bhai Khaniya Guru Ji's voice was powerful but very kind. It was as if he was His hands were folded and there calming every ones' anger with his was a slight quiver in his voice. gentle words. He was now hand"I am a water-bearer, my Lord, a ing something to Kanhaiya. poor water-bearer. I have been Cont’d from page 17 coming to your darbar for many

Cont’d from page 14

However, it was his social service that came in for praise from President Obama. Taking his share of profits from the business, Dr. Raja spends rest of the profits on welfare schemes in the poor African nations. He builds schools, roads, dialysis centers, hospitals, food banks and infrastructure in these nations. When Ghana had a shortage of rice that led to many starvation deaths, Dr. Raja arranged for shipment of rice from Thailand to feed the poor and the hungry. "I feel it's my duty to give back to the country that helps me grow. It's the first lesson in corporate social responsibility," he says with all humility. His actions came in for praise from the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana Ruchi Ghanashyam who said more people like Dr. Raja are needed to alleviate the poverty and hunger in these nations. Non-Resident Indians doing good for their home town is common. But what Raja does is not quite common. He not only works for grass root level empowerment in his home town of Rajapalayam, but also runs philanthropic projects wherever his business operates internationally. Ever since Raja set his foot in the Gulf 15 years ago, he made it a point to do social work in his native place through "Raja Foundation." But when he visited Rajapalayam in 2007, he formed Kuwait Raja Social Movement, an organization that brought all his charity work under one umbrella. More than 10,000 self-help groups (SHGs) with 800,000 poor women members spanning Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi

districts of Tamil Nadu are united under his movement. They make a decent living to maintain the family and generate employment. As the women empowerment efforts are expanding, he wants to uplift rural youth too. "It is to help the educated rural youth improve upon their 'soft skills' he is now in the process of forming Youth SHGs in Tamil Nadu. This will not only help them sharpen their soft skills but also assist in finding employment abroad. In countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Toga and

When Ghana had a shortage of rice that led to many starvation deaths, Dr. Raja arranged for shipment of rice from Thailand to feed the poor and the hungry. ‘I feel it's my duty to give back to the country that helps me grow’ Nigeria, where he has several businesses running, Raja had helped build schools in villages and donated computers too. He also sponsored street lights to villages in these African countries. Seeing the success of the SHGs in India, he is now busy starting SHGs in the four African nations. Part of the project is to provide education and training to nearly 4,000 youths and employ them in his burgeoning mining and lumber industries. "I suffered in poverty as a boy. Perhaps this prompts me to help youngsters in whichever country I operate," says Raja.

Toy Drive for Christmas gifts to children Cont’d from page 14

Columbia College's Center for Asian Arts and Media (CAAM) Program Coordinator Ramona Gupta was excited to co-host NAAAP Chicago's 7th Annual Holiday Toy Drive at the new Quincy Wong Center for Artistic Expression. "As part of its mission to present arts and media programs by and about Asians and Asian Americans, CAAM has long supported and partnered with community-based organizations like this year's gift recipients," Gupta said. Andrew Samaniego, NAAAP Chicago's Director of Community Service, said NAAAP Chicago's

Annual Toy Drive connects businesses, educational institutions, and individuals to the local PanAsian community through these small acts of kindness-whether it comes in the form of donations or volunteer service-that benefit children who are less fortunate NAAAP Chicago is a not-forprofit 501(c) (3), all-volunteer leadership organization serving the metro and suburban Chicago area. Membership includes a diverse group of leaders and working professionals from an age range of 16 to 65 with various levels of education and professional backgrounds including corporate, small business, not-for-profit, academic


Community Across America

December 25, 2009

India Post 17

www.indiapost.com

Indo-American Cultural Association of So Cal formed DILIP BUTANI

LOS ANGELES: Catering to the need of an exclusive cultural organization, Indo-American leaders from various major organizations met at the Rasraj Restaurant, Artesia and formed Indo-American Cultural Association of Southern California. Surinder Bhogal was elected as the Chairman and Atul Gandhi as the President. The Association will have Ravinder Verma and Balwinder Garcha as the Executive Vice Presidents, Harjit Bhogal and Nitai Pathak as the Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Avadhesh Agarwal will be chairman of the Board of trustees while Dilip Butani will be chairman of the advisory board. Following is the Executive Board. Surinder Bhogal (Chairman), Atul Gandhi (President), Ravinder Verma (Executive Vice President), Balwinder Garcha (Executive Vice President), Harjeet Bhogal (Secretary), Nitai Pathak (Treasurer), Ramesh Ramnani (VP Planning), Amrick Singh (VP Information Technology), Vandana Ranjan (VP Cultural), Ajay Khetani (VP Cultural), Senjal Patel (VP Public Relations) Paul Gotra (VP Public Relations), Raj Chellani (VP Special Events), Ketan Pandya (VP Special Events), T J Singh (VP Special Events), P.K. Nayak (VP Commu-

Atul Gandhi

nity), Venkat Alla (VP Community), Ritu Chopra (VP Youth), Board of Trustees: Avadhesh Agrawal (Chairman), Moti Kapur (Member), Dr. Vishal Luthra (Member), Dr. Jitendra Goel (Member), Advisory Board: Dilip Butani (Chairman), Amrit Bandari (Member), Ravji Bhai Patel (Member). Festivals in India are characterized by color, gaiety and enthusiasm. The word festival means feast day or festive celebration. The Organization aims to celebrate different Indian Festivals with the same richness as seen in India. The first celebration would be held on January 23, 2010, when three festivals viz. Uttarayan, Pongal and Lohri will be celebrated with gaiety and colors along with

IACA group

the Indian Republic Day. The kite flying will start at 3 PM and will go on for about 2-3 hours. There will be rangolis and traditional revris

The first celebration would be held on January 23, 2010, when three festivals viz. Uttarayan, Pongal and Lohri will be celebrated with gaiety and colors along with the Indian Republic Day for Lohri. This will be followed by a wonderful cultural program with colorful dances covering different

Sandhu hosts fundraiser for Luis Marquez

Nikki Kaur Sandhu, Luis Marquez and Jimmy Sandhu

Nikky Kaur Sandhu and Sharmaine Dias of the Census Deptt

JS BEDI India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: On December 12, Jimmy Sandhu hosted a fundraiser for Luis Marquez for California State Assembly. The fundraiser was held at Bombay Gardens in Artesia, CA. The afternoon fundraiser had a great turnout, despite the heavy rain. The fundraiser attracted prominent small business owners who want their voice heard at the state level. Luis Marquez is the current councilman of Downey and he is running for office for the 50th district. Luis Marquez understands that small businesses are a key factor in overcoming the current

states of India. Thus, for the first time in Southern California, Kite Flying (Uttrayan), Pongal, Lohri, and Republic day will be celebrated together. Uttarayan, also known as Makar Sakranti in other parts of India, is the day when the sun starts to travel northwards marking the decline of winter. The days become longer, the skies clearer and the breeze cooler. A feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation grips all who celebrate the occasion of thanksgiving and merry-making. In Gujarat, Uttarayan is a holiday when every family can be met outdoors. People of all ages fly kites from dawn to dusk. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other in kite flying skills and delicious traditional Gujarati feast are the hallmarks of the day. Lohri marks the culmination of winter, and is celebrated a day before Makar Sankranti. For Punjabis, this is more than just a festival; it is in fact an example of a way of life. Lohri celebrates fertility and the spark of life. People gather round the bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular songs and exchange greetings. Lohri is more of a community festival as people gather around the bonfires and offer sweets, crisp rice and popcorn to the flames. The focus of Lohri is on the bonfire. The traditional dinner with makki di roti and sarson da saag is quintessential. The prasad comprises of five main things: til, gazak, gur, moongphali,

Surinder Bhogal

phuliya and popcorn. There is puja, involving parikrama around the fire and distribution of prasad. This symbolizes a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundant crops and prosperity. Pongal is another important festival in India, and we pray to the Sun God to help in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. This festival is very important for farmers and so it is celebrated in a grand manner in villages. The house is cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this festival. During the fourday festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning. Republic Day, celebrated on January 26th is one of India's most important national events. It was on January 26th, 1950 that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. On this day -India finally enjoyed the freedom of spirit, rule of law and fundamental principle of governance. The patriotic fervor of the Indian people on this day brings the whole country together even in her embedded diversity. Republic Day is a people's day in a variety of ways: It's when regional identity takes a backseat and what matters most is the universal appeal of unity and brotherhood projected by all Indians. This organization aims to be away from politics and concentrate on culture and festival celebrations.

A page from Sikh history! Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from page 16

.Harbhajan Singh Samra with Mrs and Mr Marquez

economic slump. Marquez wants to retain and attract businesses with tax incentives. His goal is to increase quality jobs in the 50th district, which includes Bell

Flower, Downey, Lynwood, South Gate, City of Bell, Bellgardens, Cudhay, commerce and parts of unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

"Here is an ointment that heals. When you serve water, please apply this to the wounded. I am very pleased with you. You will always be remembered as Bhai Kanhaiya, someone who was a brother to everyone. You have truly understood our message of compassion under all circumstances. One is always guided to do the right thing, when the light of love burns strong in the heart," Guru ji added. Bhai Kanhaiya was now standing tall and beaming with joy as he

held the ointment in his hand. Everyone was now rushing to embrace Bhai Kanhaiya who had been especially blessed by Guru Ji. The entire congregation burst into jaikaras, of "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal." (Those that declare that God is the ultimate truth shall be blessed!) *Jessi Kaur is the author of The Royal Falcon and Dear Takuya..Letters of a Sikh Boy! To know more about The Royal Falcon or Dear Takuya, please go to www.jessikaur.com


„ Health

Line

Assistive tech allows for new lease on life

OKLAHOMA CITY: Without assistive technology, Sherri Kelly would be trapped within herself, her mind working, but her body unable to express her needs, hopes and emotions. But with a ``head mouse,'' a sensor that communicates with the computer hooked to the front of her power wheelchair, she's able to move her head to type messages, then beam a big smile when the person she's talking to hears what she wrote. Technologies like Kelly's and advocacy for the people who need it the most were the focus of the recent Oklahoma Assistive Technology Equipment Exposition at the Moore Norman Technology Center's Oklahoma City campus. Speech therapists, physical therapists and teachers mingled with assistive technology vendors and people with disabilities to talk about how to connect more people with the devices that can make their lives fuller. -AP

„

Cuts to mental health funding being felt

OKLAHOMA CITY: More spending reductions have been ordered for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, which could mean the loss of funding for 120 beds for people who need treatment. The agency has cut $16 million from its budget since July. Another 5 percent cut has been ordered for the balance of the fiscal year. The initial cut closed 28 mental-health beds at Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman. Agency officials say another 120 state-funded beds may have to close, including 40 for children with severe mental disorders. Another 18 beds at a men's treatment center in Tahlequah are among those targeted. -AP

„

Lieberman resists Medicare buy-in plan

WASHINGTON: Risking the wrath of Democrats, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., has threatened to join Republicans in opposing health care legislation if it permits uninsured individuals as young to 55 to purchase Medicare coverage. Lieberman, whose vote is critical to the bill's prospects, expressed his opposition twice during the day: first in an interview with CBS, and more strongly later, according to Democratic officials, in a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. -AP

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India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Senate sends $1.1 trillion spending bill to Obama WASHINGTON: The Senate has passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill with increased budgets for vast areas of the federal government including health, education, law enforcement and veterans' programs. -AP

AAPI welcomes Senators' move to increase residency slots India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has endorsed the move by US Senators to support an amendment introduced to add 15,000 more residency slots to the health care reform bill. "On behalf of AAPI, we applaud the US Senators for supporting this vital amendment, which will add 15,000 residency slots over the next 10 years producing 40,000 new physicians," said AAPI President Dr. Vinod K. Shah. "This important amendment will enable Indian American physicians and qualified physicians of Indian origin the opportunity to receive world-class medical training and provide quality health care to millions of patients in the years ahead. We urge AAPI members and the Indian American community to support this important endeavor," Dr. Shah said. Due to provisions passed in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, no additional residency slots were created in more than 12 years, resulting in a physician shortage, which is being exacerbated by the retirement of "baby boomers" and

Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA); Herb Kohl (D-WI) ; Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (DMA); Richard Durbin (D-IL); Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Jack Reed (D-RI). Besides AAPI, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) have signed the coalition letter in support of the amendment. The coali-

Dr Vinod K Shah

an unchanging physician population. As Medicare funds Graduate Medical Education (GME) positions, only Congress could change the total amount of residency slots, which currently stands at approximately 25,000. Senate Amendment 2909 was filed on Dec 4 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL); Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY); Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA); Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); and Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT). The following U.S. Senators are cosponsors of Senate Amendment 2909: Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY);

'Presently, more than one-third of all practicing physicians are over the age of 55 meaning that they are likely to retire in the next two decades' tion letter states that as a result of provisions included in the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997, the nation's physician training capacity has been static since 1997. The BBA established limitations on the number of residency training positions, with little opportunity for increasing capacity. There is now mounting evidence that the US faces a significant shortage of

physicians in primary care, general surgery, as well as many specialties. "Our population is both increasing and aging. The US Census Bureau projects that the population will exceed 350 million people by 2025 and the number of Medicare beneficiaries will almost double during this same time period. Additionally, the nation's physician workforce resembles the broader society. "Presently, more than one-third of all practicing physicians are over the age of 55 meaning that they are likely to retire in the next two decades. These events will exacerbate the acknowledged physician shortage we have today," the letter said. "The Senate is striving to approve legislation that would expand health care coverage to millions of individuals presently uninsured and improve the quality of coverage for millions more. Unfortunately coverage does not equal access. We must educate and train a cadre of physicians, in all specialties and subspecialties, capable of meeting the health care needs of our growing and aging population," the letter further said.

Balanced diet can reverse ageing India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The art of reversing the age lies in not starving but eating right, says Dr. Kousalya V. Nathan, life style and age management consultant in Chennai who was invited to give special lecture at the 17th Annual Conference on Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine & Biomedical technologies in Las Vegas Dec 9 to 12. Dr. Nathan won the acclaim of hundreds of age management experts gathered from across the globe when she delivered her speech on "Nutrigenomics"- Nutrients & Gene expression, that was a part of CME training. She received the highest CME rating of 7.5 with maximum attendance for her lecture. Does your diet contain seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables? Have you factored in supplementation for oxidative damage caused by the sun, the effects of other

pollutants or even exercise? Do you know if you are getting enough iron, calcium or Vitamin D required for optimal health at your age? The answer is probably no, says the world renowned anti-aging and nutrigenomic expert from India. "When we analyzed diets around the world we found there are very few people who eat the way they should. People are getting more calories. They gain weight, but don't get the nutrients they need. Our body requires a wide range of macro nutrients needed for cell regeneration and energy and micro nutrients, besides proteins, carbohydrates and fats," she said. Emphasizing on personalized nutrition in reversing functional age, she said foods provide nutrients that are used for fuel in energy metabolism, growth and development of structural components of the body. Dr Kousalya V Nathan

Cont’d on page 20


December 25, 2009

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ALS slowly drains Racine lawyer's world CALEDONIA, Wis.: The house is the same house. The street is the same street. It is Cynthia Murphy's world that is different, shrunken from what it was just a few months ago to what it is now: a few rooms on a single floor of her Caledonia home. It began a couple of years ago when Murphy had trouble speaking, a difficult problem for most people but crucial for a family lawyer who was in court for divorce trials, modifying judgments and other legal work. A couple of other local family lawyers had also retired, increasing Cynthia's work load, said Sally Nietzel, Cynthia's sister. Cynthia also had trouble eating and started losing weight. Cynthia visited doctors, but none had an instant answer. It took about a year to get one, and when it came it was one of the worst that could be expected. She had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. It's a progressive ailment in which motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscles, gradually degenerate, robbing patients of the ability to move, swallow and even breathe.

``I can't lift my head on my own,'' Cynthia wrote on a pad while lying on the hospital bed that now dominates her living room. She writes because she cannot speak. The tube that disappears through a hole in her throat prevents that, and her life now depends on several feet of plastic tubing and the hum and sigh of a ventilator. Her particular type of ALS is called progressive bulbar palsy. It first affects the muscles for speech and swallowing. Her other plastic tube is for feeding herself. She can move around somewhat, but what she can do is a fraction of what this active person could do a few months ago when she would regularly exercise at one of the local gyms, Sally said. ``I do some stairs now, short flights,'' Cynthia wrote. ``I can't do a lot because of the machine.'' Formulate a question about ALS, and the answer is likely to be, ``We don't know.'' It's not a common disease. Each year there are about two cases for every 100,000 people, and 98 percent of those are ``sporadic,'' meaning there is no clear cause. The other 2 percent are heredi-

tary. It is a mysterious disease. Since it was first clearly described in 1874, medical science hasn't made much progress. ``And indeed I think it's naive to sit down and think that ALS is one disease,'' said Dr. Paul Barkhaus, professor of neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and director of the ALS pro-

It's a progressive ailment in which motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscles, gradually degenerate, robbing patients of the ability to move, swallow and even breathe grams at Froedtert Hospital and the Veterans Administration in Milwaukee. It may have more than one cause, he said. Only one drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ALS. It's Rilutek, and what it does is interfere with the release of glutamate. That's a naturally occurring chemical which carries

a signal from one nerve to another, and it's an excitatory signal. Too much excitation may produce toxins that damage the nerve cell and bring on ALS, Barkhaus said. ``Or at least that's what is thought to be part of the pathway.'' Managing a patient largely consists of making the most of what the patient has and anticipating problems, Barkhaus said. Medical teams try to fulfill patients' spiritual needs and also make sure they understand the reality they're facing. Ventilators help, he said, and barring pneumonia, an infection or a blood clot, they allow longer survival. Until May, Cynthia's life was moving more or less normally. She had a feeding tube but was still able to go to her office. Then she had a case of pneumonia. A friend who is also a nurse spent a weekend night at Cynthia's house. On that Sunday morning she couldn't wake Cynthia. ``I had no pulse,'' Cynthia wrote on her pad, underlining the last two words. After talking to the physician in the emergency room, Sally said, ``We basically thought she was dead.''

But she revived, was hooked up to a ventilator, dropped into a coma for a couple of days, and then spent weeks at Kindred Hospital in Greenfield, Sally said. Doctors at the hospital, which specializes in complex medical cases, were unable to help Cynthia breathe on her own. The ALS had affected the diaphragm, the large muscle at the bottom of the rib cage which produces breathing. She has been on the ventilator since, and that has ended the remains of her legal career. Her son, Matthew, who graduated from law school in 2007, has taken over the practice. As she adjusted to the disease, Cynthia connected with the ALS Association, an organization formed to advocate for medical research and to help families and patients deal with the disease. At the end of March a group of people toured the Wasiman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and met with Gov. Jim Doyle to ask for more state funding for research. Cynthia didn't go; it's too difficult, she wrote to the governor, to see other people in other stages of the disease the stages where she may go. -AP


20 India Post

Health Science Post

December 25, 2009

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Back from combat, women struggle for acceptance WASHINGTON: Nobody wants to buy them a beer. Even near military bases, female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't often offered a drink on the house as a welcome home. More than 230,000 American women have fought in those recent wars and at least 120 have died doing so, yet the public still doesn't completely understand their contributions on the modern battlefield. For some, it's a lonely transition as they struggle to find their place. Aimee Sherrod, an Air Force veteran who did three war tours, said years went by when she didn't tell people she was a veteran. After facing sexual harassment during two tours and mortar attacks in Iraq, the 29-year-old mother of two from Bells, Tenn., was medically discharged in 2005 with posttraumatic stress disorder. She's haunted by nightmares and wakes up some nights thinking she's under attack. She's moody as a result of PTSD and can't function enough to work or attend college. Like some other veterans, she felt she improperly received a low disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs that left her with a token monthly payment. She was frustrated that her paperwork mentioned she was pregnant, a factor she thought was irrelevant. ``I just gave up on it and I didn't tell anyone about ever being in the military because I was so ashamed over everything,'' Sherrod said. Then Jo Eason, a Nashville, Tenn., lawyer working pro bono through the Lawyers Serving Warriors program, stepped in a few years later and Sherrod began taking home a heftier monthly disability payment. ``I've never regretted my military service, I'm glad I did it,'' Sherrod said. ``I'm not ashamed of my service. I'm ashamed to try and tell people about it because it's like, well, why'd you get out? All the questions that come with it.'' The Defense Department bars women from serving in assignments where the primary mission

is to engage in direct ground combat. But the nature of the recent conflicts, with no clear front lines, puts women in the middle of the action, in roles such as military police officers, pilots, drivers and gunners on convoys. In addition to the 120-plus deaths, more than 650 women have been wounded. Back home, women face many of the same issues as the men, but the personal stakes may be greater. Female service members have much higher rates of divorce and are more likely to be a single parent. When they do seek help at VA medical centers, they are screening positive at a higher rate for military sexual trauma, meaning they indicated experiencing sexual harassment, assault or rape. Some studies have shown that female veterans are at greater risk for homelessness. Former Army Sgt. Kayla Williams, an Iraq veteran who has written about her experience, said she was surprised by the response she and other women from the 101st Airborne Division received from people in Clarksville, Tenn., near Fort Campbell, Ky. She said residents just assumed they were girlfriends or wives of military men. ``People didn't come up to us and thank us for our service in the same way. They didn't give us free beers in bars in the same way when we first got back,'' said Williams, 34, of Ashburn, Va. ``Even if you're vaguely aware it, it still colors how you see yourself in some ways.'' Genevieve Chase, 32, of Alexandria, Va., a staff sergeant in the Army Reserves, said the same guys who were her buddies in Afghanistan didn't invite her for drinks later on because their wives or girlfriends wouldn't approve. ``One of the hardest things that I had to deal with was, being a woman, was losing my best friends or my comrades to their families,'' Chase said. It was that sense of loss, she said, that led her to get together with some other female veterans for brunch in New York last year.

The group has evolved into the American Women Veterans, which now has about 2,000 online supporters, some of whom go on camping trips and advocate for veterans' issues. About a dozen marched in this year's Veteran's Day parade in New York.

'One of the hardest things that I had to deal with was, being a woman, was losing my best friends or my comrades to their families,' Chase said ``We just want to know that when we come home, America has our back,'' Chase said. ``That's the biggest thing. Women are over there. You want to feel like you're coming home to open arms, rather than to a public that doesn't acknowledge you for what you've just done and what you just sacrificed.''

Rachel McNeill, a gunner during hostile convoys in Iraq, said she was so affected by the way people treated her when they learned she fought overseas that she even started to question whether she was a veteran. She described the attitudes as ``Oh, you didn't do anything or you were just on base,'' said McNeill, who suffers from postconcussive headaches, ringing in her ears, and other health problems related to roadside bomb blasts. The 25-year-old from Hollandale, Wis., was a sergeant in the Army Reserves. She said she seemingly even got that response when she told the VA staff in Madison, Wis., of her work. She said she was frustrated to see in her VA paperwork how what she told them had been interpreted. ``It would say like, 'the patient rode along on convoys,' like I was just a passenger in the back seat,'' McNeill said. Other women have had similar complaints. The VA leadership has said it recognizes it needs to do more to improve care for these veterans, and as part of changes

in the works, female coordinators are in place at each medical center to give women an advocate. The agency is also reviewing comments on a proposal to make it easier for those who served in noninfantry roles - including women - to qualify for disability benefits for PTSD. Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee, recently asked VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to ensure that service members' combat experience is included on their military discharge papers, so later they can get benefits they are entitled to. Research has shown that a lack of validation of a soldier's service can make their homecoming more difficult. ``What worries me is that women themselves still don't see themselves as veterans, so they don't get the care they need for post-traumatic stress syndrome or traumatic brain injury or even sexual assault, which obviously is more unique to women, so we still have a long ways to go,'' said Murray, D-Wash. -AP

Balanced diet can reverse ageing Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from page 18

According to Dr. Kousalya, "Nutritional supplements are not necessary till the age of 20. Children who are breastfed up to one year and then put on a balanced diet till they are 20 do not need supplementation. After 20 when they enter adulthood they may need a short term course of antioxidants (Vitamins C and E, and B complex) under medical supervision." She has conducted several programs on health preservation, stress management, yoga and meditation and Spiritual Medicine. She also has several publications to her credit. Dr. Nathan did her medical degree in Natural Medicine & Yoga from Asia's First College. She has been practicing Personalized Lifestyle Medicine for nearly 13 years in Apollo Hospitals and Malar Hospitals in India. She had her practice and training in Age Management Medicine & Reproductive Endocrinology at Harley Street, London. Currently she is doing her PhD in Nutrigenomics at Chettinad Medical University & Research Institute, South India and her clientele include Bollywood celebrities, CEOs of multinational companies and socialites. Dr. Nathan who specializes in reversing functional age of a person and non-surgical medical weight loss and life style management in Chennai also treats pa-

tients with life style disorder diseases like obesity, cardio vascular diseases, sleep apnea, cardio vascular diseases, diabetes and migraine. She is the director of INAARA Anti-aging clinic, Nandanam in Chennai. Her recipe for reversing the age is simple and effective: three proper meal and two snacks a day; only two eat-outs a month; two liters of water a day; six to

She has conducted several programs on health preservation, stress management, yoga and meditation and Spiritual Medicine eight hours of sleep; work, life balanced family harmony; 30 minute of brisk walking every day and 20 minute of meditation. This is her recipe for "looking younginside out". Statistics emerging out of their clinic survey conducted on IT and IT-enabled services sector employees in Chennai showed that about 40 per cent of them can't sleep, an equal number are obese, 50 percent suffer from gastritis, and 12 percent are infertile. People who work overnight tend to take in diet rich in carbohydrates to keep the energy levels up. In turn, they compromise

on essential nutrients in their food. Excess calories lead to premature aging. "They sit in front of computers for most of the day and then overeat, mainly carbohydrates, so they don't get a balanced meal. They are awake at night, burning their midnight fuel and show their emotions on food (comfort eating). "The result is the statistical data on poor quality of life. Companies like HCL are making provisions to provide quality health food in their canteens and also provide full-time facilities like an in-house gym. But firstly what the companies need to do is spread awareness among its employees about the far-reaching effects of this problem. With India being globally recognized for its back-office support in software, it makes sense to take care of the people who're doing the work. And even the central government is taking note of it. "Our 24/7 work culture doesn't allow time with family to share anxieties. Emotionally buffeted, we find comfort in food, end up with more calories than we need," she says. There's no serious self-introspection, no depth in our thinking or communication. We allow "experts" and advertisers to make decisions about what we eat, how we live, what we really want to do. Our level of maturity doesn't catch up with our older looks." "Love yourself and treat yourself as the VIP of your life" is her mantra.


Â&#x201E;

Realty Tidbits

Emaar calls off proposed merger with Dubai Holding

DUBAI/NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of the debt crisis in the region, Gulf real estate firm Emaar Properties has called off its proposed merger with state-owned Dubai Holding, citing the deal is not "economically viable". The move comes in the midst of realty firm Emaar-MGF, the Dubai entity's joint venture with domestic company MGF Development, preparing an initial public offering for over Rs 3,800 crore. Emaar Properties has said the decision to cancel the proposed merger with Dubai Holding was taken after intensive feasibility studies that were undertaken by a group of international experts and economic analysts. In a statement, Emaar noted the results of "these studies proved that the proposed consolidation (with Dubai Holding entities) discussed earlier was not economically viable in the current economic climate". Last month, Dubai government shocked world markets after the governmentowned conglomerate Dubai World sought six more months to repay debts worth USD 59 billion.

Real Estate 21 India Post

www.indiapost.com

December 25, 2009

DLF set to merge DAL NEW DELHI: DLF Ltd, the largest real-estate developer in the country by market capitalization, is set to merge DLF Assets Ltd (DAL), a company held by promoters Kushal Pal Singh and Rajeev Singh, and make it a subsidiary to synergise the businesses, an official familiar with the process said. Currently, DAL is a separate legal entity. Stage Two of the plan is a listing of DAL on the Singapore real estate investment trust market next year. DLF is likely to convert Rs 2,800 crore of receivables from DAL into equity and, along with a shareswap agreement between another of its subsidiaries and DAL, take a controlling stake in the entity.

Mumbai, Delhi 2nd, 4th best realty investment spots: PwC MUMBAI: India will be among the top real estate investment markets in Asia in 2010 with Mumbai and Delhi raking second and fourth best locations respectively, according to an industry report. A report titled emerging trends in Asia-Pacific real estate market in 2010, which was released here by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, provides an outlook on the Asia-Pacific real estate investment and development trends. The report describes India and particularly Mumbai and Delhi as good realty

investment destinations. The report also noted that residential properties are more promising than other sectors in the country. "The relatively stronger fundamentals, and lack of dependence on foreign demand are seen

some Indian developers, which has helped ease the liquidity stresses" he added. According to the report, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing are the top three real estate investment prospects.

In addition to the residential property buying opportunities, the national capital is expected to prosper from increased tourism and shows signs of market recovery in the coming year, the report said as key advantages as India has managed to mitigate the severe recession that has hit most other Asian countries," PwC India's real estate practice leader Gautam Mehra said. "Recapitalization by players in equity markets across Asia has been successfully replicated by

Shanghai, Mumbai, and New Delhi are the first, second, and fourth locations respectively for real estate development opportunities, with Ho Chi Minh City at the third slot for development prospects, it said. Development has increased in all property sectors in Mumbai,

the report observed. Construction of affordable housing is particularly strong, as the government continues to lower mortgages and the middle-class is being offered "good-quality, honest accommodations." Investments within the hotel sector are a stable prospect, as India is projected to be the second-fastest growing tourism market in the world, the report said. Similar to Mumbai, New Delhi remains fairly stable in its movement from the 2009 emerging trends publication. In addition to the residential property buying opportunities, the national capital is expected to prosper from increased tourism and shows signs of market recovery in the coming year, the report said. Real estate investments and developments in Bangalore are not seen as capital-focused compared to last year, the report said. -PTI

Despite crisis, Credai to hold convention in Dubai NEW DELHI: Undeterred by the real estate crisis after Dubai World's request to creditors for a standstill on repayment of its $60 billion debt until May, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (Credai) has stuck to its original plan to hold its national convention during January 23-25 in Dubai. Around 850 delegates comprising India's who's who in the realty and retail sector would deliberate on the main theme, Affordable Housing, while analyzing the positives and negatives of the Dubai experience. Ranjit Naiknavare, executive committee member (national), "Dubai was over-priced and it was a bubble (set) to bust. However, what Dubai has done in realty, hotels and infrastructure is quite incredible and there are a lot of things to learn and implement in India. Even though Dubai is in the limelight for high-rise buildings and towers, its work in affordable housing is not so publicized. Dubai has developed affordable housing projects comprising 5,000-10,000 houses which can be replicated in our country. These

houses are priced at reasonable rates." Against this backdrop, Credai strongly believes the affordable housing theme is apt. The phenomenal demand for affordable housing, to the tune of 25 million housing units in Indian urban ar-

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dubai was over-priced and it was a bubble (set) to bust. However, what Dubai has done in realty, hotels and infrastructure is quite incredible and there are a lot of things to learn and implement in Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; eas alone, makes this an area to focus on. Whereas low income group (LIG) and economically weaker section (EWS) housing was considered the public sector's domain, a fresh approach to addressing the housing shortage has been displayed by the private sector over recent years.

According to Credai, private real estate developers are already beginning to play a significant role. The way ahead is still unclear, as significant hurdles strew the path, like availability and cost of land, over-regulation of real estate, and access to low-cost building technology and materials. Funding for affordable housing is also a serious barrier. The proposed meet would debate practical initiatives from developed countries. The participants would also look into aspects of research and development, collaborative mechanisms, innovative funding mechanisms and other solutions to affordable housing in urban India. Credai says developers would put their resources together to ask some hard questions and debate some real solutions to issues such as cost escalation, technology, financing to customers, systems of post-possession maintenances, building volumes without diluting quality, etc. The delegates would also discuss whether rental housing redevelopment and slum redevelopment can be undertaken by developers.


Tech News Tatas willing to return Singur land KOLKATA: The Tata group has agreed to hand over the land allotted for its abandoned Nano project at Singur "if there was meaningful negotiation", West Bengal Industry minister Nirupam Sen said here. He told reporters in his Assembly chamber that the Tatas have been informed about the Railways expressing interest in setting up a railway coach manufacturing factory of international standard at Singur. "The Tatas have no objection to return the land if there is meaningful negotiation," he said without elaborating. -PTI

TeliaSonera & Ericsson launch 4G/LTE network

TechBiz 22 India Post

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Infosys introduces Flypp Mobile App Platform

I

nfosys Technologies Ltd, a lead ing provider of information technology solutions has rolled out a newly developed mobile application platform, "Flypp". Flypp, as Infosys says, will empower mobile service providers to provide the digital consumers with a variety of ready-to-use experiential applications across the universe of devices. The device has been created keeping in mind the rapidly evolving and emerging mobile application markets globally. "Smart applications are now making it possible to deliver a personalized and interactive user experience.

M

etro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and BSkyB (Sky) have launched a new channel -"MGM HD" in United King dom. MGM HD is devoted exclusively to the delivery of movies in high-definition (HD) and is 50/50 joint venture between Sky and MGM. For MGM, the launch marks a milestone for the studio being its first branded channel in the UK. The channel showcases handpicked selections from the MGM library, with all titles broadcasting in true HD. In the UK, the channel features a full program schedule, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Reliance may sell its undersea fiber network

R

eliance Communications (RCOM), a leading provider of telecommunications services in India is mulling to sell its undersea fiber optic network and US businesses, FLAG

Around the Globe) network was acquired by RCOM in 2003 for around $207 million and is managed by Reliance Globalcom, overseas division of RCOM. FLAG undersea 65,000-km cables network connects 40 countries from

FLAG network plays a significant role in the global operations of the RCOM and provides capacity on the network along with telecoms services to other carriers and companies around the world. Furthermore to the develop-

FLAG undersea 65,000-km cables network connects 40 countries from the East coast of the United States to Japan. These cables facilitate in the process of carrying telecom traffic between countries

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ricsson and TeliaSonera launched world's first and largest commercial 4G service in Stockholm. Besides, TeliaSonera's mobile broadband commercial network in Stockholm is now the fastest and largest in the world. Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson is excited about this historical moment. "The new era of mobile broadband has just begun today. With LTE, so-called 4G, your mobile broadband experience is moving to unequalled levels. The LTE speed gives you an absolutely effortless feeling of broadband access," he exclaimed. LTE, the next generation mobile communication technology, is designed for transferring huge amounts of data in a most cost and energy efficient way, optimizing use of frequency band and realizing fiber-like access speed over the air.

December 25, 2009

MGM partners BSkyB; launch MGM HD in UK

network. A report says that the telco is expecting to raise around $3 billion in cash from the sale of FLAG network. FLAG (Fiber-optic Loop

the East coast of the United States to Japan. These cables facilitate in the process of carrying telecom traffic between countries. Today,

ment, RCOM is consulting Deutsche Bank as its advisor over the sale. The bids for the FLAG are due in late January according

So Cal Edison installs 'smart' meters India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: Southern California Edison (SCE) is installing smart electric meters throughout the San Gabriel Valley as part of the Edison SmartConnect program, which will help customers save energy and money. SCE customers in parts of Montebello, Alhambra, East Los Angeles, El Monte, Monterey Park, Industry, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Pico Rivera and Whittier will be receiving the new meters through the spring of 2010. Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that will replace traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Smart meters measure electricity usage up-to-the minute and, when the program is fully implemented in the second half of 2010, customers will be able to view their energy usage the next day from a computer, cell phone, or other device, helping them track how much they use, and how much it costs them. The first meter was installed in Downey, Calif., on Sept. 14 and installations will continue through 2012 for nearly five million SCE residential and small-business customers in the utility's 50,000-

square-mile service territory. "After careful planning and rigorous testing, we are introducing smart meters to SCE customers as a new tool that can help them save energy and money," said Ken Devore, director of SCE's Edison SmartConnect program. "By giving our customers new tools and services to help them better man-

Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that will replace traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid age their energy use, we can work together to build a smarter, cleaner energy future." Within the next year, SCE will roll out new pricing plans, programs and services that will empower customers to make informed decisions about their energy use. In 2010 and beyond, once the advanced features are fully activated, the meters will be enabled to communicate with the

next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices. SCE contracted with Corix Utilities, Inc. to perform most of the installations. Here is some important information for customers getting the new meters: • Customers will be notified by mail in advance when installations are scheduled in their neighborhood. • Customers do not need to be home, but they do need to provide clear access to their meter. • Corix installers will carry identification indicating they are approved SCE contractors. • Installation of SmartConnect meters will continue through 2012. Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE anticipates customers' use of the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. Sustained energy conservation resulting from customer response to their energy use information is also expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smogforming pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year the equivalent of removing 79,000 cars from the road.

to the report. The report cites unidentified persons from the Company as the source for the development, while, a person from RCOM "vehemently" denied the rumours and speculations. RCOM, part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), is currently a leading player in the CDMA market of the Indian telecom sphere. Earlier this year, the Company initiated services on GSM platform as well.

Japan, US strike 'open skies' deal WASHINGTON: Japan and the US have agreed to fully liberalize their civil aviation markets under a landmark "open skies" arrangement that sets the stage for stronger transpacific airline alliances, officials from the two countries said. This marks the first full aviation liberalization pact for Japan that covers both of Japan's two major airports -- Narita and Haneda -that serve Tokyo. The move is certain to add fuel to the fierce competition between US air carriers Delta Air Lines Inc and American Airlines Inc as they try to woo cash-strapped Japan Airlines Corp into their respective folds. "It is extremely meaningful that we reached an agreement between Japan and the United States, which is the biggest aviation market for our country," Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara said in a statement. A Japan-US open skies pact will give air carriers more freedom in opening routes and selecting the number of passenger and cargo flights between them. It could also lower antitrust hurdles for major airlines in Japan and the United States when they jointly determine prices and sell tickets. -PTI


TechBiz Post

December 25, 2009

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Sun Direct brings HD services to Indian TV screens

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ith High-definition services being delivered to the television screens in the sub-continent, Chennai based Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd foresee to redefine the TV viewing experience in the country. Sun Direct accounts to be a leading player in the DTH market of the country. The Company test launched the first ever HD service on DTH platform in India in April 2009. The test launch of HD services with Tamil and Telugu movie service received an overwhelming

response thus encouraging the DTH provider to go ahead with a full fledged launch of the services pan India. In the current launch, Sun Direct is offering a service of bouquet of 5 channels in the HD service package. These include Hindi GEC, Tamil GEC, English Movies, Kids, Educational and Tamil/ Telugu Movies in India. With the roll out of the new HD TV services, Sun Direct aims to garner over 45,000 subscribers by the March 2010 to the service.

In the ever evolving technological ecosystem HDTV is gaining popularity and is considered as one of the world's best digital broadcast platforms Speaking on the occasion Mr. Tony D'Silva, COO of Sun Direct said "We believe that in the con-

stantly changing viewer-ship dynamics, to keep the viewer continuously happy and engaged we need to offer them new and exciting options and HD is another first from the Sun Direct stable. We believe that HD is the future of television and as far as viewing is concerned it is a visual delight." In the ever evolving technological ecosystem HDTV is gaining popularity and is considered as one of the world's best digital broadcast platforms with a higher resolution than traditional television system. While, the images and pictures appear more clear and sharp and sound quality is also enhanced; HDTV also enahcnes the viewer experience by about 5 times over a regular television. In order to promote the HD content Sun Direct has partnered with Samsung India, the leading

LCD TV Manufacturer globally. The Company will be giving consumers an experience of Full HD content by showcasing Samsung Full HD LCD TVs with Sun Direct at the Samsung Brand Shops and select multi brand outlets. Furthermore, Samsung Telecommunications System Division will be manufacturing the HD Set Top Boxes (STBs) for Sun Direct. The Sun Direct STBs will be Dolby Digital ready and the company will be entering into a marketing collaboration with Sun Direct to drive awareness, adoption of 5.1 surround sound using Dolby technologies amongst consumers in India "Samsung is a great brand and they are globally the experts in the television technology venturing with Samsung as our support and manufacturing partners will pay rich dividends.


1 Mann Ka Radio - Radio

6 Shaam Ho Chali Hain - Radio

2 Zoobi Doobi - 3 Idiots

7 Pankhon Ko - Rocket Singh

3 Hichki Hichki - Paa

8 Aal Izz Well - 3 Idiots

4 Paisa - De Dana Dan

9 Tu Jaane Na - APKGK

5 Rasiya - Kurbaan

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arhan Akhtar keeps aside the Don 2 script he's been working on and gets talking about his hot co-star from Kartik Calling Kartik, Deepika Padukone. "There are no words to describe her beauty, she's extremely beautiful. Many will identify with me when I fall in love with her in the film. In the hot quotient, she ranks among the top three actresses in Bollywood... need I say more?" he asks. Farhan feels that the two share a wonderful chemistry, but he wanted to be doubly sure, so he held a focus screening where he invited people from different age groups to come and watch it. "I called my driver's children and their friends, college students, housewives... and they felt the same," he says. Once on the show that he was hosting, Deepika had turned up as his guest, standing tall, towering over him.

December 25, 2009

anbir describes his break with Deepika as just a rough patch even as he reveals he would like to get back with her Love stories rarely ever tread a smooth path and the Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone relationship is no exception. The couple, who have been together for nearly two years, are currently going through what Ranbir describes as a "rough patch". Everyone expected sparks to fly between Ranbir and his Anjana Anjani co-star Priyanka Chopra when they were shooting recently in Bangkok. "But," say sources, "Ranbir was too much into his own space to even notice his glamorous co-star. He spent most of his time, when not shooting, either at the gym or taking walks and visiting malls." Obviously his heart was somewhere else. Will they get back together? "I hope so," says Ranbir with a smile.

10 Sabse Peeche Hum Khade - AWK


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bearded Ranbir wasn't quite a hit with female fans. Just a few days ago, Ranbir was dining with friend Imran Khan at a suburban restaurant in Mumbai. A 16-year-old girl walked into the restaurant with an older friend and sat a few tables away. A few minutes later, the young girl saw Imran. An eyewitness said, "She left her food midway and ran to Imran and Ranbir's table and gave her mobile to Ranbir and said, "Click my pictures with Imran," before posing with Imran. A courteous Ranbir could do nothing but comply. Clearly, the girl hadn't recognized Ranbir because of his beard. Later, as she realized, she looked at Ranbir and said, "Are you Ranbir? I am very sorry." Imran confirmed the story. No wonder Ranbir's cleanshaven now!

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Star

winkle has a terrific sense of humor. Her superstar husband Akshay Kumar admits that he wouldn't be half as interesting as he is currently had it not been for his wife's razor sharp wit. Recently Twinkle accompanied her husband for a couple of high profile events. "And I thought I had walked into the events alone because every time I turned and looked my husband was in front of a television crew giving interviews. I had to finally request his bodyguards to drag him away," she jokes. "When it comes to choosing between the media and me, my husband may just choose them," she laughs. Akshay admits that at most times he follows Twinkle around like a little lamb, only once in a way he gets a chance to actually stray, in the direction of a mike.

Bruised body

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he gorgeous Sushmita Sen was bruised while shooting for Dulha Mil Gaya. For a song in the film Sush wore a stunning golden gown. The material however was such, that it poked the beautiful actress all over the body. Says a source from the production house, "The dress was undoubtedly gorgeous. But the problem with it was that it used to poke Sushmita all over her body. But she still wore the dress and went ahead with the shoot which took almost four days to finish completely." But the actress completed the song without complaining. By the end of the shoot Sush's body was all bruised. Well looks like Sush doesn't mind going through a little pain to look gorgeous on screen.

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hah Rukh Khan was in Delhi to release Arindam Chaudhuri's book on self-discovery, and he had everyone in splits with his witty one-liners Prof Arindam Chaudhuri made an impassioned speech about the people who'd influenced his life and motivated him - those like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, and Amitabh Bachchan. "My book, Discover The Diamond In You," is an attempt to share with everyone the powerful principles of success that I've grown to passionately believe in," he said. But trust Shah Rukh to do the unconventional. He took to the stage and said, "I was inspired by Rocky too. I wanted to be a porn star! (You see, Sylvester Stallone was one early on in his career). The witty-as-ever SRK went on, "I'm going to work very hard, positively, and with clarity, to be a porn star." He did later speak about hard work and honesty and things that motivate people to succeed. He asked everyone to read it, and said, "Main bhi padhoonga. Next time you hear about me, I'll be the world's biggest porn star." In the foreword to the book, Shah Rukh says, "Success, whether deserving or not, can be enjoyed, but not passed on. Success is never final, just like failure is never fatal!" This, coming from someone as successful as him, must be rich advice!

Porny ambition


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December 25, 2009

In addition to actively participating in many Knockout programs, Sarah mentors a little girl named Caylen through our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Make a Little Girl Smileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; program

MAGDA MARCELLA

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hat is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the work "knockout?" Chances are, you think of a gorgeous woman - a model perhaps, long wavy hair blowing in the wind, expressive eyes looking into the camera lens, and a mysterious smile playing on her lips. Now, what is the second thing that comes to mind? Perhaps a bloody vision of one opponent getting "knocked out" during a fight. You see teeth flying, blood pouring, sweat dripping from foreheads clenched with intensity, determination and toughness. It's interesting that these two polar opposites should be definitions of the same word, isn't it? After all, what do beautiful women and fights have in common? Apparently, quite a lot. Knockouts for Girls is a non-profit organization which uses the discipline of boxing to build confidence,

us are simply want to help. All of us are passionate. Sarah Valentino, director of the Dear Ko4G Advice Column, is an example of how tenacity, focus, and passion have huge pay-offs. In addition to actively participating in many Knockout programs, Sarah mentors a little girl named Caylen through our "Make a Little Girl Smile" program. Caylen is eight years old and is autistic. Luckily, Caylen's autism is not extreme, and with practice she is able to overcome it. When her mother contacted Knockouts for Girls, Sarah quickly picked up the opportunity and has been working with Caylen for a year now, helping her with reading and teaching comprehension. Sarah wanted to ensure that Caylen would get the professional guidance she needed so she called a nearby daycare, Step by Step. She learned that Step by Step actually specializes in providing education and care to children with autism. Since Sarah knew Caylen's family was

focus, and dedication in ourselves and others. Through charity female boxing events, free boxing and empowerment classes, and our programs (including scholarships and out mentorship program) we help underprivileged girls, women, and those in need. Somehow we have managed to marry the two definitions without sacrificing beauty or determination. Knockouts for Girls was started by models who trained in boxing. After coming together in their love for the sport, models Pattianna Harootian and Christie Abbott, Lydia Castro, and Wendy Augustine, and Tanjareen Martin decided to form an organization that would center around boxing and the benefits of the sport. Knockouts come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Some of us have experienced the same issues that the girls we help are dealing with. Some of

struggling financially and had no way to pay for such a program, she asked about any scholarship opportunities. The coordinator explained although they did have scholarship opportunities, the process was long due to paperwork, interviews, and a three to four month long wait. Sarah decided to go through with it. She filled out the application herself, and interviewed the family. She sent in all materials, making sure everything was in order and covered. It paid off, and four months later Caylen had a full two-year scholarship. After two years, Sarah will reapply to ensure another two years for Caylen. While Caylen is blossoming and growing each day, her older brother has a more extreme form of autism. Sarah is currently talking with Step by Step to create an event to raise money for autism. She hopes to forge a partnership between Knockouts For Girls and Step by Step. Magda Marcella is an actress in Los Angeles and the director of Press Relations at Knockouts for Girls.


December 25, 2009

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Ocean Film Festival moving to Monterey Peninsula India Post News Service

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he Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit will relocate its global ocean-focused event to the Monterey Peninsula beginning in 2010, festival officials announced at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The initial Monterey festival - with the aquarium as the presenting sponsor - is planned for August 25-29, 2010.

A scene from ĂŤCall of the Killer WhaleĂ­

Blue's international film competition Call for Submissions will open in mid-January and film festival passes for the inaugural Monterey event will go on sale in late February. "With the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and the many research and conservation organizations based here, the Monterey Peninsula is truly an epicenter of all things ocean," said Debbie Kinder, executive director of the festival. "Given our mission 'to use the power of film and

visual media to help protect the oceans and the life within,' and our vision for the industry conference to empower and inspire ocean professionals to create great films and media that inspire better ocean stewardship, we found the Monterey Bay area to be an ideal place to base our international event and outreach efforts." Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard welcomed the decision to move the festival to Monterey. "Films play a key role in connecting people everywhere with the beauty and wonder of the oceans," Packard said. "Done well, they can compel people to care more, then do more to protect the oceans. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's expertise is in exhibiting living creatures, but some stories are best told through film. We're very pleased to support BLUE as the festival's presenting sponsor. It's an event we feel is both important and needed." Since its debut in June 2009, 'Blue' has been recognized for bringing together the world's greatest collection of ocean films, esteemed filmmakers and marine experts. It is also the first event of its kind to combine an international ocean film competition, a professional underwater filmmakers' and photographers' conference, and high-profile conservation presentations, along with community educational outreach and entertainment activities. "What a beautiful platform, and one

that takes us one step closer to nurturing our ocean planet back to health," said Fabien Cousteau, an ocean explorer, environmentalist and member of the festival advisory board. The move to the Monterey Peninsula comes after the successful launch of the inaugural Blue festival in Savannah, Georgia in June, and invitations to make a permanent home on the West Coast from Dan

Basta, director of the National Marine Sanctuary system, Bill Douros, West Coast Regional Director for the National Marine Sanctuaries and Pacific Grove-based filmmaker Bob Talbot, Kinder said. After several scouting trips and encouraging meetings with the aquarium and community leaders including Ted Balestreri of the Cannery Row Company, organizers decided to make the move, she said.


28 India Post

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December 25, 2009


December 25, 2009

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RISK MANAGER. “IN OUR CULTURE, YOU ALWAYS HEAR ABOUT HEART DISEASE IN MEN, BUT MY REPORT WAS AWFUL — WORSE THAN MY HUSBAND’S. BUT NOW I’M BETTER THAN EVER.” —Meenu Mehta

PEOPLE OF SOUTH ASIAN DESCENT HAVE 4X THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE.

Meenu Mehta knew her cholesterol was too high, but she had no idea she was at risk for coronary heart disease until her evaluation at the South Asian Heart Center. There, she underwent an in-depth assessment for risk factors common in people who trace their origins to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Center performs a comprehensive lab test that also includes emerging genetic markers not included in conventional screenings. Besides identifying the complete risk profile, the Center counsels participants on healthy lifestyle changes, with a special sensitivity to South Asian culture and diet. Participants receive a personalized, comprehensive heart health plan, with ongoing phone and e-mail coaching to help them stay on track. The changes Meenu made in her routine helped her lose 15 pounds and lower her cholesterol from 350 to 142. As Meenu says, “I feel like I have someone watching over me. I have to respond, and that helps me succeed.”

FREE Women’s Screening & Health Fair on January 23 at our Los Gatos campus. Space is limited. Call us or visit our Web site today to register! 650-940-7242

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30 India Post

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December 25, 2009

Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. Installed in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world at 36 metres (120 ft).

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journey to Sikkim necessarily means awakening the senses and discovering the pristine and mystic beauty of the land. What one will find most fascinating is the journey itself - a continuum of sights, sounds, and feelings. Sikkim is a dream that one can realize and enjoy, now that the area is open to all. It is a state cloaked in the mystery of remoteness, and far away from the din and bustle of the modern world. Located in the eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is bound by Tibet (China) in the north, West Bengal in the south, Tibet and Bhutan in the east and Nepal in the west. The state is spread below Mount Kanchanjunga (8,534 m), the third highest peak in the world. The locals worship the mountain as a protecting deity. The elevation of the state ranges between 300 m and over 8,500 m above sea level. A part of the lesser, central, and Tethys Himalaya; Sikkim is a mountainous state without any significant flat land. The larger part of the state is made up of Precambrian rock and is comparatively younger than the Northern, Eastern and Western portion of the state. The rise of the mountains is northward. The state is cut into steep escarpments in the north and except in the Lachung and Lachen valleys, is thinly populated. In contrast to Northern Sikkim is Southern

there is an immense variation in climate and vegetation in Sikkim. In the state, the climate is tropical up to 1,624 m, temperate between 1,624 m-4,222 m, alpine above 4,222 m, and snowbound at 5,248 m.

The best time to visit Sikkim is between mid-March and June but especially, April and May, when the rhododendrons and orchids are in full bloom. However, temperatures can be high, especially in the valleys. During monsoons, from the end of June till early September, rivers and roads become impassable, though plants damaged by the incessant rain spring back to life again and bloom towards the end of August Sikkim, which is lower, more open, and fairly well cultivated. The drainage of the rivers in the state is towards south. The Rangeet and the Teesta are the major river systems of state. These rivers cut through the valleys and in addition there are 180 perennial lakes at different altitudes. The state has many hot water springs like PhurCha, Ralang Sachu, Yumthang, and Momay. The snowline starts at around 5,248 m in Sikkim. Best time to visit: Due to its location and altitude,

The best time to visit Sikkim is between mid-March and June but especially, April and May, when the rhododendrons and orchids are in full bloom. However, temperatures can be high, especially in the valleys. During monsoons, from the end of June till early September, rivers and roads become impassable, though plants damaged by the incessant rain spring back to life again and bloom towards the end of August. October, when orchids bloom once again, and November tend to have the clearest weather of all. As December approaches, it gets bitterly cold in the high altitude areas, and remains that way until early March, though interspersed with spells of clear

weather. History: Buddhism, the major religion in the state, arrived from Tibet in the 13th century. It took its distinctive Sikkimese form four centuries later, when three Tibetan monks of the old Nyingamapa order, dissatisfied with the rise of the reformist Gelukpas, migrated to Yoksum in western Sikkim. Having consulted an oracle, they went to Gangtok looking for a certain Phuntsong Namgyal, whom they crowned as the first Chogyal or 'Righteous King' of Denzong in 1642. Being the secular and religious head, he was soon recognized by Tibet, and brought sweeping reforms. His kingdom was far larger than today's Sikkim and included Kalimpong and parts of western Bhutan. Over the centuries, the territory was lost to the Bhutanese, the Nepalese and the British. The British policy to diminish the strong Tibetan influence resulted in the import of workers from Nepal to work in the tea plantations of Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong and these soon outnumbered the indigenous population. After India's Independence, the eleventh Chogyal, Tashi Namgyal, strove hard to prevent the dissolution of his kingdom. Officially, Sikkim was a protectorate of India, and the role of India became increasingly crucial with the Chinese military build-up along the northern borders that culminated in an actual invasion early in the 1960s. Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d on page 31

Unfrozen Gurudongmar Lake in North Sikkim


Travel & Hospitality Post

December 25, 2009

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India low cost tickets now available in US India Post News Service

Aamir Khan promotes tourist friendly India

NEW YORK: Passengers looking to buy cheap domestic tickets for intra-Indian flights, Low Cost Carriers (LCC) are indeed the best option. These airlines operate on high density routes; basically servicing key metros yet manage to offer amazingly low prices due to minimal overheads and typically have a "No Frills - In Flight Policy." The only disadvantage for US based passengers was the fact that no travel agency or consolidator offered this product in the USA. Hence, unfortunately, by the time the client would reach India, he would find that seats were either unavailable or that local travel agents would not offer low cost tickets. Instead they prioritized and sold mainstream domestic airlines. Sky Bird Travel and Tours, one of the largest Consolidators in the United States now offers through your "Preferred Travel Agent" - in your own town, city or just down the block - Indigo Airlines, making it possible for the American travelers to avail of the lowest available domestic intra-Indian fares. Backed by their State of the Art Technology - Sky Bird Travel &

NEW DELHI: As part of its effort to make people more friendly towards foreign travelers as well as domestic tourists, the government has launched new commercials featuring actor Aamir Khan as part of a social awareness campaign. "These new commercials are meant to educate people as our aim is to make India a tourist friendly country, said Tourism Minister Kumari Selja here after launching the ad. There were three commercials featuring the Bollywood star, who is also the Brand Ambassador for 'Atithi Devo Bhava' campaign, shown in the media. While two commercials are 60 seconds each, the third one is about 40 seconds only. About the safety and security of tourists, she said states have been told to do the needful so that a visitor feels safe in the country. The Ministry had launched the 'Atithi Devo Bhava' Social Awareness Campaign in 2004-05 to sensitise stakeholders in the tourism industry as well as the public about their conduct and attitude towards tourists. -PTI

Tours, headquartered in Detroit, MI with an extensive network of nine professionally managed offices across the US and Canada support your Trusted Travel Agent in offering rock bottom do-

secure their domestic air tickets for intra-Indian flights. Sky Bird Travel facilitates US based Travel Agencies and in turn their clientele the sheer ease of buying these low cost tickets for

Effectively, a US based Travel Agent today can now seamlessly offer to confirm and issue air tickets for passengers who in the past would have to spend a lot of time and energy besides the stress and hassle to secure their domestic air tickets for intra-Indian flights mestic fares in India. Effectively, a US based Travel Agent today can now seamlessly offer to confirm and issue air tickets for passengers who in the past would have to spend a lot of time and energy besides the stress and hassle to

domestic travel here in the United States. It also ensures that these tickets are bought in conjunction with the clients International tickets at the most competitive prices. A couple of sample fares are detailed below :

Sikkim: Far from din & bustle of modern world Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from page 30

The next king Palden Thondup was a weak ruler and in 1975, succumbed to the demands of the Nepalese majority of becoming a part of India. Fairs & Festivals: The people of Sikkim celebrate the anniversaries relating to birth, enlightenment, and nirvana of the Buddha, besides the Buddhist New Year and the harvest festivals. Several festivals are celebrated in Gangtok and its adjoining areas. The Buddhist festival of Bumchu is held in the Tashiding Gompa in January. The festival of Chaam is held in the Enchey Gompa during January-February and is marked by dancing. This dance is a mask dance held every month at Gangtok, Pemayangtse and Phodong. Losar marks the Tibetan New Year and is celebrated during February-March at Pemayangtse and Rumtek. Tse Chu is a Buddhist dance held in May at Rumtek. Saga Dawa (held in Gangtok during May) and Drukpa Teshi (celebrated statewide during July) mark the anniversary of the Buddha's first teaching. Phang Lhabsol is a mask dance celebrated statewide during August. Dasain, celebrated during September-October, is marked by exchange of gifts and animal sacrifice. How to reach Air - The busiest route in and out of Sikkim is the road between Gangtok and Siliguri. The town of Bagdogra at a distance of 124 km from Gangtok has the nearest air-

port. Flights from Bagdogra can be booked at the Indian Airlines office on Tibet Road in Gangtok. There are regular flights to Guwahati, Calcutta, and Delhi from Bagdogra. Rail - The nearest railway stations from Gangtok are New Jalpaiguri (125 km) and Siliguri (144 km) connected to Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, and other important cities in India. Road - The Sikkim National Tourist Agency has daily bus services to Siliguri (5

The festival of Chaam is held in the Enchey Gompa during January-February and is marked by dancing. This dance is a mask dance held every month at Gangtok, Pemayangtse and Phodong hours), Darjeeling (7 hours), Kalimpong (3 hours) and Bagdogra (4½ hours). Share jeeps and taxis are a faster alternative to commute. Gangtok is connected by road to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Siliguri. Cars, luxury coaches and jeeps are available for hire in the town. There are also regular bus services run by the Sikkim Nationalized Transport. Best time to visit October to March.

BOM to DEL starting from $ 38; BOM to MAA starting from $ 42; BOM to HYD starting from $ 38; DEL to HYD starting from $ 41; DEL to MAA starting from $ 44; HYD to MAA starting from $ 30. Now that is true value addition, service delivered to one's doorstep! Sky Bird Travel and Tours have been in the consolidation business for over 30 years. A trusted, reliable partner for all major US Carriers and known to be leaders in technology for Travel Agents and Retailers across the United States. When asked to comment on this new announcement, Arvin Shah, President merely stated, this is Sky Bird's way to wish all our Travel Associates, Retailers and Travelers to India "Happy Holidays."


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Bishnupur Utsav on lines of Khajuraho festival

KOLKATA: The Bishnupur Utsav will be showcased on the lines of the Konark and Khajuraho festivals at Bishnupur town in West Bengal's Bankura district next month, state Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee said. If You are looking For the BEST & the MOST AUTHENTIC VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT IN TOWNCome to One and Only One Place

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Bishnupur, 132 km from Kolkata, known for it terracotta art and temples would host the Utsav to endorse its rich cultural and architectural heritage. "Bishnupur also upholds the most distinctive and enriched form

of classical music, known as the Bishnupur Gharana," Mukherjee said. Bishnupur was the capital of Malla dynasty of Mallabhum who built the terracotta temples during the 17th and 18th century. Rasmancha one of the oldest brick temples with an unusual elongated pyramidical tower, with hutshaped turrets, built in the late 16th century by King Beera Hambira would form the backdrop for a cultural program. "With dynamic illumination of the Rashmancha, a new dimension has been added to the monument and cultural programs will be organized with it as the backdrop,"

Rasmancha one of the oldest brick temples with an unusual elongated pyramidical tower, with hutshaped turrets Mukherjee said. A stage has been erected in the forefront where vocal artistes, including Asit Roy, Samaresh Chowdhury, Bamapada Chakraborty, Pt Manas Chakraborty and Santanu Bandyopadhyay are scheduled to perform. Other artistes who will feature in the event are sitar exponent Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt Tejendra Narayan Majumdar on sarod, Kathak exponent Shibpur Omkar and Sharmila Ganguly in ballet. There would be special stalls for handlooms and handicrafts and the tourism potential was also being showcased. The West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation is providing special package tours and accommodation at the renovated Bishnupur Tourist Lodge. -PTI

20 tourist villages coming up in J&K JAMMU: With an aim to exploit the tourism potential of Jammu and Kashmir, the government has decided to develop 20 villages as tourist hubs. Each tourist village will get a grant of Rs 70 lakh for basic infrastructure including awareness activities and provision of software facilities to the locals, Minister for Tourism and Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora said here. -PTI


Travel & Hospitality Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

6,000 rooms being constructed for CWG AMBALA: In view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, as many as 6,000 rooms are being constructed on war footing by various hotel owners in Haryana, which would be completed within the stipulated time, Union Tourism, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Selja said here. Taxi drivers would be imparted behavioral training, so that they behave decently with foreign tourists and the people coming to watch these games, she told reporters here. The road tax charged by various states would also be collected at one point, so that tourists might not face any hassles, while going from one state to another, she said

Taxi drivers would be imparted behavioral training, so that they behave decently with foreign tourists and the people coming to watch these games, she told reporters here adding the collected road tax would be distributed among the states later on.

She said that the Commonwealth Games were expected to lift the country's tourism industry in a big way. "It would be the biggest sports event to be held in the country ever," she said adding that the tourist places of country would certainly attract a large number of foreign tourists next year. Besides Delhi, tourists would be accommodated in NCR areas and it would benefit Haryana a lot. She said that special efforts were being made to promote tourism in Ambala. Holistic schemes would be prepared after exploring tourism potentials in Panchkula, Yamunnagar and Ambala, the union minister said. -PTI

Code of conduct for tourism service providers NEW DELHI: With an aim to ensure safety of women and children, the Government has launched an initiative for evolving a code of conduct for tourism service providers. The Tourism Ministry will work with the National Commission for Women to draw up an action plan so as to have the code of conduct in place within six months. As part of the initiative

launched at a meeting here chaired by Tourism Secretary and Chairman, PATA India Chapter Sujit Banerjee, sensitization programs and awareness campaigns would be immediately launched. Under the program "Safe and Honorable Tourism", the Ministry has also undertaken steps for protection of culture, values and heritage to ensure long term sustainable and responsible tourism in the country.

The project is being implemented in association with NGOs Save the Children India, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Equitable Tourism Option (EQUATIONS) and NEST India Foundation. During the meeting, the members agreed that it is important and essential to enhance the country's image and add more value to the Incredible India Campaign. -PTI

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In Brief Death penalty decision in motel killing delayed KNOXVILLE, Tenn.: Prosecutors have asked for more time to determine whether they will seek the death penalty for an illegal immigrant accused in the 2008 rape and murder of a young Alabama woman. Valentino Vasquez Miranda was working at a Knoxville Days Inn in Sept. 2008 when guest Jennifer Hampton disappeared. Police believe Miranda used a master key to enter the room. The 21-year-old native of Waterloo, Ala., was beaten, raped and strangled and her nude body was found in a lake several days later. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Assistant District Attorney General Kevin Allen had faced a deadline to file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty. A judge extended that deadline to Feb. 19. -AP

NH, federal officials sign illegal alien pact MANCHESTER, NH: An agreement between New Hampshire's corrections commissioner and federal immigration officials will allow incarcerated illegal aliens to choose deportation over completion of their full prison sentences in the state. Commissioner William Wrenn has been pushing to reduce the number of inmates in New Hampshire prisons. The Legislature this year passed a law that allows the Department of Corrections to released incarcerated aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation as long as they've served at least one-third of their minimum sentences. -AP

SF official pushes to implement sanctuary law SAN FRANCISCO: A San Francisco supervisor is asking the city attorney to weigh in on a controversial law that keeps police from immediately reporting illegal immigrant youths to authorities. Mayor Gavin Newsom has vowed to ignore the city ordinance, which he says violates federal law. The ordinance says undocumented immigrant minors can only be handed over to immigration authorities after they've been convicted of a felony. In a letter to the city attorney, Supervisor David Campos is questioning the legality of Newsom's refusal to implement a duly enacted law. -AP

Immigration 36

India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Colo. court: immigrants tax records are private DENVER: The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that authorities violated the constitutional and privacy rights of suspected illegal immigrants when they used tax returns to try and build hundreds of identity theft cases against them. Details on page 39

Sikh religious musicians compensated by US Airways India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Three internationally renowned Sikh religious musicians have reached a settlement with US Airways one year after they were removed from a flight at the Sacramento International Airport in an incident of racial profiling and discrimination. After the removal, the trio filed a formal complaint with the Department of Transportation. The musicians, Davinder Singh, Gulbag Singh and Iqbal Singh, are classical religious performers who perform in Sikh Gurdwaras (houses of worship) around the world. Despite federal law prohibiting airlines from targeting and removing passengers based on their religious or ethnic appearance, the trio was subjected to biased treatment from US Airways after passengers expressed baseless concerns about the musicians' appearance. "Airlines must do everything they can to ensure their passengers' rights to be free from discrimination. Flying with a turban is not a security threat," said Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney for United Sikhs, which represented the musicians. "When airlines remove passengers solely because of how they look, they contribute to a climate of biased misinformation." On November 15, 2008, the three Sikh musicians were preparing to travel from Sacramento to Salt Lake City, via Phoenix, for a

Sikh musicians

‘Passengers do not have veto power over flying with people whose ethnic or religious appearance makes them uncomfortable. Likewise, airlines do not have a license to discriminate’ performance. Shortly after passing through TSA screening without incident and peacefully boarding a US Airways flight, the men were ordered to leave the plane. They complied with the removal. However, airline employees did not provide any explanation as to why they were being removed, but they were told, through a Punjabi interpreter, that the pilot would not fly with them on board. After suffering humiliation in front of other passengers, the musicians were each handed a $5 meal voucher and forced to delay their travel until the next day. They experienced no

problems boarding the Delta flight on which they were rebooked. To date, the airline has failed to provide any legitimate security concerns justifying the removal. The removal was apparently sparked by passengers' and crew-members' fears of the musicians based on their ethnic and religious appearance. In fact, a letter from US Airways indicates that the flight's pilot had not made the decision to remove the musicians, but acquiesced after they had already been escorted off the plane, and without basing the decision on any actual security concerns.

"Religious freedom and the right to be free from racial profiling apply to everyone," said Andre Segura, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. "Passengers do not have veto power over flying with people whose ethnic or religious appearance makes them uncomfortable. Likewise, airlines do not have a license to discriminate." As terms of the settlement, the Chairman and CEO of US Airways issued an apology to the musicians. The musicians also received an undisclosed amount in compensation for the incident. Prior to the settlement and at the urging of United Sikhs, the airline updated its training materials and distributed a bulletin reminding its employees of the company's anti-discrimination policy. United Sikhs offered training specific to the needs of the Sikh community, which the airline declined. This settlement comes just after US Airways' recent settlement in a federal lawsuit in which six Muslim religious leaders alleged that they had been removed from a flight based on their religious and ethnic backgrounds. The Sacramento area houses the largest Sikh community in the United States. The musicians reside in India, but frequently travel to the United States and elsewhere around the globe for religious performances.

USCIS guidance on I-140 issues & labor certifications CYRUS D. MEHTA

U

S Citizenship and Immigration Services re cently provided guidance on (1) determinations of whether a particular employer falls within the definition of INA § 203(b)(1)(B), thus allowing USCIS to grant, if otherwise approvable, a first preference (EB-1) green card petition filed by that employer on behalf of an outstanding professor or researcher in connection with an offer of employment; (2) procedures for determining whether a labor certification

has been filed with a Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) during its validity period; and (3) various issues relating to labor certification ap-

ance clarifies that government agencies do not qualify as "private" employers for outstanding professors and researchers, and generally do not fit within the

The guidance clarifies that government agencies do not qualify as "private" employers for outstanding professors and researchers, and generally do not fit within the definition of § 203(b)(1)(B) plications approved by the Department of Labor and filed in support of I-140 petitions. Among other things, the guid-

definition of § 203(b)(1)(B) unless the government agency is shown to be a US university or institution of higher learning.

The guidance notes that government agencies that do not fit the definition under § 203(b) (1) (B) may have other available immigration avenues to offer permanent employment to professors or researchers. For example, the guidance notes, assuming all of the eligibility requirements for that visa preference category have been met, a government agency may request an "alien of extraordinary ability" green card classification under INA § 203(b)(1)(A). Cont’d on page 38


Immigration Post

December 25, 2009

India Post

37

www.indiapost.com

Napolitano: Immigration reform top Obama priority renew its focus on job creation and the continuing economic recovery. ``Different things can happen, and obviously things can come up, and they do, but the president has said he wants it done,'' Napolitano said. ``The key people who have control over the legislative process for a bill such as this have said they want to get it done.''

Some Democrats are already on the defensive and fatigued by a protracted and bruising battle over health care reform, and the push may prove tricky Napolitano, whose department oversees immigration and border issues, said she was reluctant to speculate about details of a bill. But she did say she wants it to include ``better enforcement tools,'' particularly work-site enforcement. Some of the current penalties are not effective deter-

rents, she said. ``I think we need to be able to go after employers who are intentionally in the market for illegal labor,'' she said. The proposal would protect American jobs, Napolitano said, while including ``a process by which those illegally in the country before a certain date ... can get right with the law.'' Napolitano predicted the bill will have bipartisan support. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a champion of previous immigration-reform proposals, said he doesn't know what Democrats are planning to put in the bill. But he said he won't support any plan that doesn't include a temporaryworker program or continued efforts to secure the borders. Other lawmakers have signaled that they are unsure if 2010 will be the year immigration reform passes. ``I still believe that we ought to have comprehensive immigration reform, but I just don't know if that's going to happen,'' said Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz. -AP

Authorities dismantle Cuban smuggling ring in Fla. MIAMI: Federal authorities say they have dismantled a South Florida-based ring that smuggled Cubans into the US. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began investigating Miguel Bernal, the alleged leader of the organization, in March 2008. The 60-year-old Cooper City man and five other men were indicted in November. The indictment alleges the suspects Cuban natives living legally in the US conspired to smuggle 20 Cubans into the United States. Bernal and three other men charged in the indictment were arrested earlier this month. Bernal's attorney Miguel Del Aguila said his client was released on bail but would not comment on the case. ICE officials say the investiga-

tion was part of a multi-agency effort to crack down on maritime smuggling. In 2008, the US attorney's office in Miami charged 217 defendants in human smuggling cases, up from 61 defendants in 2006. This year, prosecutors have again seen fewer cases, charging only 80 defendants. Experts attribute the drop to stepped up enforcement, the economy and tighter security in Cuba. ``The increase in human smuggling pleas, stiffer prison sentences and the constant pressure on human smuggling organizations in the Florida Keys has alerted smugglers that the government means business when identifying, arresting and prosecuting them,'' said Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Miami. -AP

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PHOENIX: Overhauling the nation's immigration laws is still a top priority for President Barack Obama, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Congress is poised to act despite some lawmakers' concerns that a push could complicate Democratic re-election prospects, the former Arizona governor said at a meeting of The Arizona Republic's editorial board. Key Senate Democrats plan on moving ahead early next year, and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee, Sen. Charles Schumer, DNY, is working on the bill. “We're ready to go, and the president wants to get it done,'' Napolitano said. Some Democrats are already on the defensive and fatigued by a protracted and bruising battle over health care reform, and the push may prove tricky. Presidents historically see their party lose congressional seats in midterm elections, and lawmakers seeking re-election often try to avoid divisive issues such as immigration. Napolitano said Congress shouldn't worry about the possible political consequences. Like health care reform, immigration reform is one of ``the big items on the agenda that need to be done for the long-term future of the country,'' she said. Dealing with immigration, specifically with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country, has vexed Congress for years. President George W. Bush's most recent attempt to overhaul immigration policy failed in 2007 amid public outcry that the legislation offered ``amnesty'' to illegal immigrants. Obama promised while campaigning to make immigration reform an early focus of his administration, and he hosted a White House summit to start the discussion. Immigration advocates wanted Congress to act this session, but the health care debate pushed it and other Obama priorities to the sidelines. Next year, the Obama administration also is expected to


38

Immigration Post

India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

USCIS guidance on I-140 issues & labor certifications Contâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d from page 36

The guidance also discusses the 180-day validity period for approved labor certifications that have an ending validity date that falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. USCIS said that it will accept the filing of I-140 petitions on the next business day where the supporting labor certification validity period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. The guidance is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/ New%20Structure/ Laws%20and%20Regulations/ Memoranda/*2009%20Me mos%20By%20Month/ Sep%202009/AFM%20AD0726%20Signed.pdf. USCIS temporarily accepts incorrectly denied LCAs for certain H-1B cases In August and September 2009, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ombudsman received complaints about H-1B cases with incorrectly denied labor condition applications (LCA/

ETA-9035) filed with the US Department of Labor (DOL). The ombudsman said that LCA processing delays and errors at the DOL, when coupled with USCIS's current H-1B petition initial filing requirements, "are prejudicing employers and individuals who are unable to timely file original or extension H-1B visa petitions." Untimely H-1B petition filings lead to problems, the ombudsman noted, including: (1) the potential loss of employees' legal status; (2) business operation disruptions due to the loss of continuity in the employment of key employees; and (3) economic loss to employees in the form of lost wages and costs of travel overseas because of the loss of status. The ombudsman said that USCIS has the authority to mitigate these effects. The ombudsman recommended that USCIS: (1) reinstate its previous practice of temporarily accepting an H-1B petition (Form I-129) supported by proof of timely filing of an LCA application with the DOL, and is-

sue a Request for Evidence (RFE) whereby the H-1B petitioner later provides the certified LCA; and (2) establish a temporary policy under which USCIS would excuse late H-1B filings where the peti-

The ombudsman recommended that USCIS: (1) reinstate its previous practice of temporarily accepting an H-1B petition (Form I-129) tioner has documented an LCA submission to DOL that was improperly rejected. On November 5, 2009, USCIS announced that it would temporarily accept H-1B petitions filed without LCAs that have been certified by the DOL for a 120-day period, through March 4, 2010. USCIS noted, however, that it will only accept such H-1B petitions if

Ex-federal agent pleads guilty in smuggling case PHOENIX:Aretired US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent accused of taking part in a cocaine smuggling operation and leaking law enforcement information to smugglers pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a Florida courtroom. As part of the plea deal, federal prosecutors agreed to drop three charges against Richard Padilla Cramer of Green Valley, Ariz. Authorities said Cramer used confidential law enforcement databases to gather information for

a smuggling group to see whether one of its members was a government informant. He also was accused of giving $15,000 to $25,000 to smugglers as an investment in a scheme that brought 660 pounds (300 kilos) of cocaine from Panama to Spain, where it was seized in June 2007. Cramer, who retired about two years after having worked for the U.S. government in Mexico and Nogales, Ariz., said little at his 20minute plea hearing other than to

answer questions by US District Judge Paul Huck. The conviction carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, but under Cramer's plea deal he would likely get about two years. His sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 18. Cramer's attorney, Hector Flores, said that his client was not guilty of drug smuggling. ``He recognizes that he made a mistake in the handling of computer records, but he did not profit in any way,'' Flores said. -AP

they are filed at least seven calendar days after the LCAs were filed with the DOL and include evidence of these filings. The only acceptable evidence of filing is a copy of the DOL's e-mail giving notice of receipt of the LCA. Petitioners who seek to take advantage of this temporary flexibility in the normal filing procedures for H-1B petitions must wait until they receive a request for evidence (RFE) before they submit the DOL-certified LCA to USCIS in support of the H-1B petition, USCIS said. The agency will give petitioners 30 calendar days within which they must send in a DOL certified LCA in response to the RFE. USCIS will only approve H-1B petitions that include certified LCAs. See http:// w w w. u s c i s . g o v / U S C I S / New%20Structure/ Press%20Releases/ 2009%20Press%20Releases/ Nov%202009/Attachment% 2 0 t o % 2 0 Te m p o r a r y % 2 0Acceptance%20of%20H1B%20Petitions.pdf. The ombudsman's report, "Temporary Acceptance of Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for Certain H-1B Filings," was released on October 23, 2009, and is available at http://www.dhs.gov/ xlibrary/assets/cisomb_recomm endation_43_LCAs_October_2009.pdf. USCIS releases fact sheet on 'public charge' determinations US Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a fact sheet on public charge determinations. The agency noted that although an individual who is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible to the US and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident, receiving public benefits does not automatically make an

individual a public charge. The fact sheet outlines benefits that could make a noncitizen inadmissible as a public charge if other criteria are met, and also lists benefits that are for special purposes rather than income maintenance and therefore not subject to public charge consideration, such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, the Children's Health Insurance Program, foster care and adoption assistance, job training programs, and emergency disaster relief. The fact sheet is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/ New%20Structure/ Press%20Releases/ 2009%20Press%20Releases/ Oct%202009/public_char ge_fact_%20sheet_11_06_09.pdf. December visa bulletin notes reinstatement of certain religious workers and investor pilot program categories The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for December 2009 notes that legislation in October extended the employment fourth preference "Certain Religious Workers" and employment fifth preference "Investor Pilot Program" green card categories for three years, through September 30, 2012. Other employment-based categories generally have not budged since November's Bulletin, with the exception of the India third preference and "Other Workers" categories, which both advanced one month, to May 1, 2001. The December 2009 Visa Bulletin is available at http:// www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/ bulletin/bulletin_4587.html. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


Immigration Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Colo. court: immigrants tax records are private DENVER: The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that authorities violated the constitutional and privacy rights of suspected illegal immigrants when they used tax returns to try and build hundreds of identity theft cases against them. The 4-3 ruling affirmed a decision by a Weld County district judge who suppressed evidence against one of the defendants. In that case, investigators raided a tax business that catered to Latinos in Greeley, an agricultural city on the northern plains of Colorado with a heavily Hispanic population. The investigation, dubbed ``Operation Numbers Game,'' marked the first and only time in the U.S. that authorities used tax returns, which are confidential under federal law, to prosecute suspected illegal immigrants. A favorable ruling for Weld County could have given prosecutors a new tool to find and prosecute illegal immigrants, who

are required to pay taxes despite their legal status. Prosecutors in other states had expressed interest in the investigation, a prosecutor said. With this ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with a district court

A favorable ruling for Weld County could have given prosecutors a new tool to find and prosecute illegal immigrants, who are required to pay taxes despite their legal status judge who said authorities had gone on an ``exploratory search'' and had no probable cause to search the man's tax returns. The defendant was one of more than 70 people charged with criminal impersonation and identity

US high court to rule on deportation issue WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether immigrants convicted of repeat, minor drug possession crimes should be subject to deportation. The justices said they will hear an appeal from Jose Angel Carachuri-Rosendo, who was deported to his native Mexico after pleading no contest to possessing one tablet of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax without a prescription. A year earlier, Carachuri-Rosendo

pleaded guilty to possessing less than two ounces of marijuana. Both crimes are misdemeanors in Texas, where Carachuri-Rosendo lived. He was a legal U.S. resident who had been in the country more than 20 years, with a fiancee and four children who all are US citizens. The US government undertook deportation proceedings against Carachuri-Rosendo based on the second conviction, noting that it could have been treated as a serious crime under federal law. -AP

theft. Some defendants pleaded guilty and were deported before the district court ruling. Prosecutors had dismissed more than 60 pending cases while they waited for the Supreme Court to rule, and the district attorney's office said it reserved the right to file charges again with a favorable ruling. ``Obviously, I'm disappointed,'' said Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, a Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate. ``We have a serious identity theft problem in Weld County, we are trying to address it and this is a setback.'' Buck said he would not appeal to a federal court. Kevin Strobel, the head of the Greeley Public Defender's Office, said the ruling shows that despite the heated political debate about illegal immigration, ``there's still a constitutional framework for how authorities deal with that population and whether they've committed crimes or not.'' ``They gotta play by the rules,'' he said. Weld County authorities launched their investigation after a Texas man told them his identity was being used by a Greeley resident. The suspect in that case told sheriff's investigators that he was filing taxes with Amalias' Translation and Tax Services. Investigators obtained a search warrant and seized thousands of tax documents from the business and used them to arrest dozens of people. The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued on behalf of the business owner, saying the search of her property was illegal. An appeal in that case is pending with the Colorado Supreme Court. -AP

India Post

39


Sports Track Doping mars moderate success of Indian athletics NEW DELHI: Indian athletes achieved moderate success at the Asian Championships and three Grand Prix events but came a cropper at the World Championships. The country won a rich haul of 31 medals (five gold, 11 silver and 15 bronze) in the three legs of the Asian Grand Prix with Surendra Kumar winning three gold medals - two in 3000m and one in 5000m while promising shot putter Om Prakash also fetched a yellow medal and two silvers. India finished a creditable third in the Asian Championships in China in November with 12 medals, including a gold by shot Putter Om Prakash Singh, behind the hosts and Japan. Om Prakash, who had an impressive season this year, won a gold while Kavita Raut bagged a silver and bronze in women's 1000m and 5000m. -PTI

India, Pakistan in same pool in hockey World Cup NEW DELHI: Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have been clubbed in the same pool in the 2010 hockey World Cup scheduled to start in the capital from February 28. Apart from the 1975 champions India and four-time winner Pakistan, Pool B also has Australia, Spain, England and South Africa. Defending champion Germany is the top seed in Pool A and will meet Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina in the group phase of the event. Pool A: Germany, the Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina. Pool B: Australia, Spain, England, Pakistan, India and South Africa. -PTI

Sports 40 India Post

www.indiapost.com

Parl concern over delay in Games projects

December 25, 2009

NEW DELHI: Deeply concerned over the "tardy progress" of the projects related to 2010 Commonwealth Games, a Parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry for Information and Broadcasting to ensure speedy implementation of works related to it. "The Committee has expressed its deep concern about the tardy progress of the projects," the Standing Committee on Information Technology (for the Ministry) said in its report presented in the Lok Sabha. -PTI

CCA leads growth of cricket in USA India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: California Cricket Academy is the first cricket academy for children from 6 to 15 years in USA. It has been providing comprehensive cricket coaching in multiple cities in Northern California since July 2003. The Academy has state-ofthe-art equipment and facilities like world class bowling machine, Incrediballs, Kanga kits, batting cages with concrete pitch and two match grounds with center pitches. The coaches are professionally trained and impart high quality coaching to students. Recently CCA organized matches between the US Select and Ontario, Canada teams. In an e-mail interview with India Post, Ajay Athavale provided the following details about CCA activities: India Post: Does the CCA deal in only 20-20 matches? What kinds of format do they organize and coach? Ajay Athavale: CCA plays different forms of the game. Usually we play 25 over games for kids under 11 (U-11) as they are still gathering stamina. For U-13 we play 30 or 35 over games while for U-17 we do have 40 or 50 over games. This is mainly dictated by having to complete the game within one day. But to keep an open eye and develop mental strength, we just played the "first

CCA champions - U13

though we play a lot of limited over games we do have other formats as well, and in limited over games we have various lengths. IP: Is the membership open to all or to only Indian Americans?

AA: CCA is an official league registered with USACA (USA Cricket Association). USACA is member of ICC, and represents the United States of America. USACA is divided into various

This year in June we hosted U-15 selection tournament to select USA's U-15 team. CCA's six kids were chosen to be part of the USA U-15 team! These boys played with other nations, representing USA in New York this year AA: CCA membership is open to all communities and not just those from Indian origin. We have folks from South Asia, as well as others. Though this is mainly boys sport, but we did have a few girls who played for CCA over the last six years.

regions, and CCA is part of their Western region. IP: Does the CCA organize tournaments against other state teams? AA: CCA hosts National Tournament in the third or fourth week in June. At this time various

15 categories. Couple of years back a team from Toronto, Canada was the finalist in U-11 category, loosing to CCA team that year. We also visit other states/ countries as well. This Labor Day we took our U-15 team to Michigan. We also went to New York as well. Every year we take a team to India and last year we took a team to UK as well. IP: What is the place of California cricketers in the national team, if any? AA: This year in June we hosted U-15 selection tournament to select USA's U-15 team. CCA's six kids were chosen to be part of the USA U-15 team! These boys played with other nations, representing USA in New York this year. Also, in the Na-

CWG venues may not be ready: COCOM NEW DELHI: The CGF Coordination Commission, evaluating preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has expressed concern that timetable for stadium completion has been extended by three months and in some cases venues will not be ready until June next year. The Commission, which concluded its three-day inspection tour, said further delays would put the Organizing Committee in a difficult position and "compromise final preparations and Games readiness." -PTI

Team 2

test match" ever here. This was a three-day event with two innings for each team. The goal for CCA is to develop cricket. In short,

IP: Is it a recognized/representative body accredited to the national organization and the ICC?

The art of spin

leagues within the USA come to the Bay area to compete. This has been going on for the last four years. We host U-11, U-13 and U-

tional Tournament I just talked about above, CCA has been the National Champions in U-13 category for four years running.


Datebook

December 25, 2009

India Post 41

www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK Upcoming

ILLINOIS Upcoming

NEW JERSEY Upcoming

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming

Thurs Nov 26

Sun Dec 27

Fri Dec 25

Thurs Dec 24

• Chand Raat & Eid Mela 2009

• Indian Table Tennis Super Star in Chicago

• M4U Events Presents Jingle Ball Xmas Day

• Nice 'n' Naughty

Venue: Sheraton LaGuardia East, 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing, New York Time: 7pm to 11:30pm Contact: (718) 600-0954 Highlights: Chand Raat, Eid Mela & Concert 2009 featuring jewelry, clothes, DJ, Food, Entertainment. A complete family fun. 5 hours of Desi Shopping, Desi music, Desi Jewelery, Desi clothing, Desi Food, Desi Crowd and every thing that you expect from a Chand Raat, Eid Mela & Concert.

Venue: Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois Time: 10am to 7pm Contact: 508-951-0314

Venue: Fire N Ice, 85 Lafayette Road, Fords, New Jersey Time: 8pm Contact: 917-440-5110

Venue: Siberia Night Club, 314 11th St, San Francisco, California Time: 9pm Contact: 650-669-2840

Thurs Dec 31

Fri Dec 25

• New Year's Eve Party

• UK-USA-Canada Visa Seminar

Venue: Saffron Banquet Hall, 6022 S. Cass Avenue, Westmont, IL-60559 Time: 8pm Contact: 630-398-7412

Venue: Garden State Expo Center, 215 Davidson Ave, Somerset, New Jersey Time: 10am Contact: 609-308-6155

Wed Dec 30

Thurs Dec 31

Thurs Dec 31

• Hangama 2009

Kaleidoscope Mania presents Welcome10 Goodbye-09

• Dhoom Machale 2010

Venue: Pranna, 79 Medison Ave, Between 28th And 29th Street, New York Time: 10:30pm to 3:30am Contact: 212-696-5700

Thurs Dec 31 • New Years Eve 2010 Venue: Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 W 63rd Street, NY City Time: 7pm Contact: 212-802-8268

Thurs Dec 31 • Salaam Namaste 2010 Venue: P212, 30 West 24th Street, New York City Time: 10pm Contact: 212-713-5111

Fri Jan 22, 2010 • Yaatra Venue: Joyce SoHo, 155 Mercer Street, New York City Time: 8pm Contact: (301) 469-8529

Venue: National Conference Center, 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, Virginia Time: 8pm Contact: 703-598-5588

Sun Jan 3 • Hiking Meditation Venue: I.M.U., 1418 W Howard St, Chicago, Illinois Time: 6am Contact: 773-262-1468

WASHINGTON DC Upcoming

• Russell Peters: Green Card Tour Venue: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York Time: 8pm Contact: 212-930-5180

Sat Jan 16 • Miss International Pageant with Priyanka Chopra Venue: Colden Center, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY Time: 7pm Contact: 718-200-9311

Thurs Dec 31

• Ian Pont Winter Camps 2009

• New Year's Eve 2010 Venue: Chutney Manor, 3793 Route 1 South, South Brunswick, New Jersey Time: 8pm Contact: 917-440-5110

Thurs Dec 31

• New Year's Eve + 12 Hour Kirtan

Venue: RASOI-3, 620 Georges Road, Monmouth Jct, NJ Time: 7:30pm to 1am Contact: 732-429-8150 Highlights: Enjoy Premium OPEN Bar, Indo-Chinese, Italian & North Indian Cuisines, DJ Raaz., Live Singer Ritesh Rathod, balloon Show, Belly Dancers, Live Photo Session. Ample Parking and Tight Security.

• Sanskriti Saraswati Puja Venue: Quince Orchard High School, 15800 Quince Orchard Road, North Potomac, Maryland, WDC Time: 8:30pm to 10pm Contact: 301-983-0142

Fri Jan 29

Venue: Naz Beauty Salon 460 E Persian Dr#3, Sunnyvale, California Time: 7pm to 9pm Contact: 650-669-0281

Sat Dec 26

• RASOI New Years Eve

Fri Jan 23 Fri Jan 30, 2010

• Cristmas Party

Venue: Edison Jewish, Community Center, 91 Jefferson Blvd, Edison, New Jersey Time: 7:30pm Contact: 732-910-1962 Highlights: Live Countdown of Time Square Ball Drop, Family Party, DJ, Magician, Belly Dancer, Dance Lighting, Dress and Dance Competition, Open Bar Serving Premium Drinks.

Thurs Dec 31 Venue: Hare Krishna Temple, 10310 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, Maryland, WDC Time: 4pm to 4:30am Contact: 301-545-0044

Fri Dec 25

Sat Jan 9, 2010 • Kirtilals - Diamonds and Jewelry Venue: Embassy Suites, 121 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway, NJ Time: 11am to 6pm Contact: 732-980-0500

• Art of Living Course

Fri Jan 23, 2010

Venue: Art of Living Center, 9502 Claychin Court, Burke, Virginia, WDC Contact: 703-644-1615 Highlights: The Art of Living Course gives participants the practical knowledge and techniques to unlock their deepest potential and bring fullness to life.

Venue: Performing Arts Center, 108 Stirling Rd, Warren, NJ Time: 6pm Contact: 732-369-6626 Highlights: Dance Pe Chance Competition from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi, competition how it changes lives!

• Dance Pe Chance

• Aaja Nachiye Majajne Venue: Aahmes Event Center, 170 Lindbergh Avenue, Livemore, California Contact: 408-417-7190

Sun Dec 27 Venue: MVP Arena, 696 E Trimble Road, Suite 30, San Jose, California Contact: 510-996-3204

Thrus Dec 31 • New Years Eve with Sukshinder Shinda Venue: Diamond Palace, 4100 Peralta Blvd, Fremont, California Time: 7pm Contact: 650-444-7838 Highlights: Sukshinder Shinda Live with full band, First time in the Bay Area. New Years Eve with a Bash. Bollywood Singer Micky Narula, Meshi shara(Ambersariya).The BPR Crew and Bol Punjab De.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Every 4th Sat every Month • Durga Mata Ka Jagaran Venue: 2335 S. Diamond Bar Boulevard, DBC Center, Diamond Bar, CA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 909-519-1579, 626-810-2345

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

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

Thurs Dec 31 • Fantasy Ball - New Years Eve 2010 Venue: Olympic Center, 11301 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, California Time: 8pm Contact: 323-205-5594

Sat Jan 9, 2010 • Where's the Green? Cleantech and Money! Venue: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA Time: 8am Contact: 626-395-5759

Sun Jan 17,2010 • Celebrate National Service Day Venue: M.A. Center, 10200 Crow Canyon Rd, Castro Valley, CA Time: 2:30pm to 5pm Contact: http://dayofservice2010.eventbrite.com Highlights: hands-on ecological activities hosted by the Amrita Bala Kendra. Kids learn to plant and nurture trees with expert guidance with adult eco-volunteers. Bring your friends and family for a great way to start off the New Year 2010


42

Horoscope

India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19

The forecast for signs Aries to Virgo was carried last week LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22

WHAT THE STARS FORETELL

S

aturn will transit twelfth house and Jupiter will stay in fifth till May third. Rahu will transit third house in 2010. Changes in career are certain. There will be major diversification. Some of you will try your hands in total different fields and will be successful. You will largely gain from overseas and number of trips to distant lands will increase too. You will have absolutely no difficulty in raising money for your projects. You will be full of energy and will not hesitate to take any risks in career.

S

aturn will transit house of luck and Jupiter will stay in house of finances till May 3rd. Rahu will transit twelfth house in 2010. Things will start picking up and moving in positive directions but at a slow and steady speed. You will come out of fear and forget past bad experiences and move on with life. Health, self confidence will improve. Many new doors will open this year and offers you will come across will be better than expectations. You will see lots of money in your bank before the year ends. Victory in law suit will not only improve image but will be financially rewarding too.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22

S

aturn will transit house of gains with Jupiter in fourth till May 3rd before moving into trine for remainder of 2010. Rahu will transit house of family and finance. Your financial commitments are already on increase. Rahu will make a hole in your pockets and you may have to use your reserves till May 3rd. Once Jupiter moves into fifth, you will be on path of complete recovery. Investments made in early part of 2010 will start turning profitable and otherwise also many other doors to supplement income will open up. There will be expansions in career as well as family.

New Year for you in

2010 PANDIT PARASHAR

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18

S

aturn will transit eighth house, a negative place and Jupiter will transit first before moving into house of finances for remainder of 2010. Ashtam Shani is never considered good. Seems that good deeds performed in the past and blessings of a fatherly figure will come to your rescue and you will definitely survive couple of ugly situations in first half of 2010. Do not put all eggs in one basket and do not risk all you got. Professionally it will be a better year for people involved in research, development work. It will be a rewarding year for people working in emergency rooms or hospitals and Insurance industry. PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23-Dec 22

J

upiter will transit third till May 3rd and then fourth house for remainder of 2010. Rahu will be in first and mars will be strong after May 26th. Saturn will continue is transit in tenth. Money wise it will be a better year by all means. You will start year with a positive trend and will be able to save a lot by the year end. You will be going on many trips in connection with business or job. Chance of moving to a better and bigger place becomes strong after May 3rd. Many good things will happen in second half. Your talents will be recognized and you may receive some kind of award also this year. Developments will improve your image and self confidence.

NEWS at your doorstep www.indiapost.com

J

upiter will transit twelfth till May 3rd and first thereafter. Saturn will stay in seventh. Mars will stay in fifth till May 26th before moving into sixth. Things will keep working out in your favor in a mysterious way. There will be changes in career for sure. News will come sudden but you will keep escaping the worst. Those working part time or were without a job will start in a wonderful environment. You will take many long distance trips in connection with business or to sign an important contract. You will benefit from people living overseas 2010.


December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

India Post 43


44

Classifieds

India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

MATRIMONIALS BRIDEGROOM WANTED

Parents looking for a groom for their beautiful daughter, American Citizen, 31years, 5'3" tall, Caste No Bar. Please send your picture and biodata to P.O.Box # 342, India Post 29274 Union City Blvd.,

Union City, CA - 94587.

Well Settled in California,

PUNJABI FAMILY INVITES CORRESPODENCE FOR THEIR WORKING DAUGHTER 28 YRS OF AGE, 5'6". SEEKING US RAISED WORKING BOY. SEND RESPONSE TO RSOUGU@YAHOO.COM OR CALL AT 714-234-4921

PUNJABI SIKH PARENTS INVITE CORRESPONDENCE FROM WELL ESTABLISHED FAMILIES FOR DAUGHTER, 24 YRS, BEAUTIFUL, SLIM, 5’3", MASTERS-HUMAN GENETICS, LIVING IN INDIA. PROFESSIONALS PREFERRED. PLEASE SEND BIODATA WITH PICTURE. gundeepsingh8@gmail.com PH:562-201-1130

Punjabi Khatri parents looking for a suitable professional match for

HINDU SOOD KHATRI

their beautiful daughter,

PARENTS FROM LOS

slim, 29 years, 5’5” tall

ANGELES INVITE

and well educated. Kindly

ALLIANCE FOR THEIR

smoker, non-drinker,

respond with photo and

U.S.CITIZEN SON 28/6'

professional son 26 yr old,

HAVING B.S. DEGREE

5' 9'' and well educated

IN ACCOUNTING

family background.

biodata to P.O.Box # 340, India Post, 29274 Union City Blvd., Union City, CA - 94587, USA.

AND FINANCE. IF INTERESTED, PL CALL AT (818) 996-2825 AND/

Looking For A Suitable Match For "Hindu Punjabi" girl, 29, 5'5"

abowry25@yahoo.com

working. Boy Should Be Tall, Good Looking, Well Educated, Professional And Financially Stable. Please Email At vivah4ca@gmail.com

ALLIANCE INVITED FOR A 26 YRS, 5.3 SINDHI GIRL. BEAUTIFUL, INTELLIGENT AND SOPHISTICATED, BORN & RAISED IN THE U.S. LOOKING FOR SINDHI BOY BELOW 30 YRS OF AGE, HANDSOME AND SOPHISTICATED. WELL SETTLED IN U.S. OR EUROPE. PLEASE REPLY WITH PICTURE & BIODATA TO EMAIL:

MAXKAJ@GMAIL.COM

Hindu Punjabi parents seek a suitable match for their daughter, 32, 5' 8'', Lawyer in U.S.A. Boy should be at least 6' tall, professional, and brought up in North America. Email: RKGTA@HOTMAIL.COM

or Call 416-464-7471

match for Punjabi Khatri handsome son born Nov. 1978, 5'9" educated, selfemployed. Alliance invited from beautiful educated girl. Email biodata and photograph to Dreamsunlimited1@yahoo.com

or Call (626) 374-1942

Khatri Family seeking a suitable match for their handsome, tall, non-

Please contact

510-461-6891 or email bio data at rohitdhand2002@yahoo.com

OR EMAIL BIO DATA WITH PHOTO AT

Parents seeking

Experienced book keeper needed Full time In Fountain valley, email resume to susan@nevitz.com or fax to

714-557-1305 $10.00 / hr.

For Chanderika: Seeking alliance for 41 year old/5’5” Punjabi Khatri, well established professional teacher. Very brief marriage annulled. Seeking mature, responsible match from sincere professional/businessman, West Coast preferred. Email biodata/photo at matriad41@gmail.com.

Nai Sikh 5.1’ 25 Girl B.M.I.T.; P.G.D.C.A., from India. M.B.A (I.T) From USA. Has Student Visa and work permit Trying for H-1B Visa Brother Dentist in India. Father & Mother in USA Seeks Suitable Immigrant boy from USA or CANADA. Contact at Email: shoti53@yahoo.com with Bio data and Photo

Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NON-MANDATORY NETWORKING/BIDDERS CONFERENCE, North County RFP #900621 Records Management System, January 7, 2010, 10:00 A.M. ñ General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Room 1107, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA NON-MANDATORY NETWORKING/BIDDERS CONFERENCE, South County RFP #900621 Records Management System, January 8, 2010, 2:00 P.M. ñ Public Works Agency, Main Conference Room, 4825 Gleason Drive, Dublin, CA Responses Due by 2:00 pm on February 16, 2010 County Contact : Kelley Smith (510) 891-5670 or via email: kelley.smith@acgov.org Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Specifications and bid copies regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County GSA-Purchasing Department or the Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 12/25/09 CNS-1753391#

NEED HELP VENUS SALON NEED EXPERIENCED

Jat Sikh parents invite a matrimonial alliance for their beloved, beautiful daughter, age 26 years, 5 feet 5 inches tall, UC graduate and professionally employed in the bay area. Please contact:

hsnba@sbcglobal.net

THREADING LADY FULL TIME OR PART TIME IN UNION CITY. PLEASE CALL TIVIA @

(510) 441-8462 OR VISIT THE LOCATION AT 2625 DECOTO RD., UNION CITY.

42, youthful, handsome, PhD, professor in prestigious university, IIT undergrad, Brahmin, vegetarian, US citizen, divorcee never lived together, seeks partner below 36, Indian values, caring, PhD, MD, professionals, bio/photo details must. sunjupe@gmail.com

STORES FOR RENT at Linconwood, Devon and Cove Plaza, Schaumburg. For details Contact LRM Investments Phone : 773-416-3322 Email : lrm.investments@yahoo.com


Classifieds

December 25, 2009

India Post 45

www.indiapost.com

Executive Chef San Francisco based restaurant looking for a EXECUTIVE CHEF/culinary graduate. Must have 10 YEARS of experience.

(650) 271-2849

MOTEL FOR SALE BUSINESS FOR SALE Quiznos in a prime location in Inland Empire area for sale. Only interested parties, CONTACT

A 62 units economy Franchise motel on Interstate I 80 / 35 in Des Moine Iowa with two separate houses near to it is for sale. Good business. Owner relocating. Asking $2.2 million ONLY SERIOUS INQUIRY

Tel: (515) 265 7525 / Cell (515) 554 2131

INTERESTED IN PUPPIES? 1 MALE AND 1 FEMALE ENGLISH BULLDOG. If you are interested in the puppies. Contact email revjohn.colins99@yahoo.com

PAYROLL ACCOUNTANT WANTED Currently seeking payroll clerks and accountants. Job comes with great

Quiznossub1@hotmail.com or

benefits,

call (909)851-5395 5.30pm to 7.00pm only.

Applicants should kindly e-mail resumes or inquiries to Guiseppina Cavaliere. Guiseppinainc@aol.com

FOR SALE Hotel property in Manhattan NYChelsea .50,000 sq ft Build able .50x100 lot Up to 24 Stories high Price $13 Million J/V possible. Only serious buyersPlease. Email DennisD@citysitesny.com


46

Classifieds

India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Staybridge 98 Room Project For Sale in Spring/Houston TX ;Includes land , Plan and Permit . pls Contact Listing for further info Agent

AMIT MEHTA

#832 607 1579 COSMICA CONSULTING Business & Media Relations Creative Financing for Capital, Joint Ventures & High Tech Industry Promotions : tact ConSURI ULLAL: 2335 W Devon Ave. Suite 203, Chicago IL 60659 Tel:

773 973 7394 (773) 973-7396

FINANCING YOU NEED MONEY? CALL US! FAST CASH- SBA LOANS HOTELS MOTELS, BARS, FRANCHISES, GAS STATION & C STORES LEASING MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT PURCHASE & REFINANCE CONSTRUCTION LOANS. LOW INTEREST RATES BAD CREDIT OK CONTACT

GET FREE PRODUCTS EVERYDAY!

MAHESH JANI:

(845)735 -0183

HELP NEEDED Upscale Salon in Walnut Creek looking for experienced Threader. Please call

925-785-3694

There's a company that gives never-ending freebies to you. And you can make a monthly income too! Get FREE groceries, FREE jewelry, FREE electronics, FREE software, and more. In fact, just about anything you can think of, there is a category of freebies. To join, go to www.abm.nocashever.com Questions? getfreebiesnow@yahoo.com

for interview. DO YOU HAVE A DREAM OF BEING DEBT FREE ARE YOU TRYING 2 GET UR CREDIT CLEAN

Staybridge 98 Room Project For Sale in Spring/ Houston TX ; Includes land, Plan and Permit. pls Contact Listing for further info Agent

AMIT MEHTA #832 607 1579

“HOTEL HELP/ COUPLE WANTED” For FRONT DESK NIGHT AUDIT, House-keeping, Laundry, only. Energetic English/Hindi speaking/Punjabi speaking, Couple wanted In Franchise Hotel Florida / Georgia .Good Salary, Benefits Live Inn Accommodation, Immediate placement.

Please contact, Manish or Bobby at (904)891-5278,or (912)729-5454.

OWNER OPERATORS WANTED WITH OR WITHOUT

1888-632-9073

TRAILER, WEEKLY SETTLEMENT, DEDICATED OVER

NO ADVANCE FEES

THE ROAD. CALL

888-827-7525

BUSINESS FOR LESS THAN 7K Dry Cleaner Store for Sale For details Contact LRM Investments Phone : 773-416-3322 Email : lrm.investments@yahoo.com


December 25, 2009

Classifieds

India Post 47

www.indiapost.com

RESTAURANT HELP WANTED

Upscale Indian Cuisine (Inchinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bamboo Garden- Tadka) In Cleveland Ohio is looking for Professional servers Good compensation Call

(440) 734-0500

www.i n d i a p o s t . c o m

IN CLEVELAND

Now Hiring !! In South Orange County (Brea and Laguna Hills) Exciting Opportunity for a New Venture Excellent Salary + Commission and Sign-on Bonus too for Experienced candidates !! Full Time and Part Time Hrs. available immediately.

Call - 630-802-9302


Philosophy

48 India Post

December 25, 2009

www.indiapost.com

Page Sponsored by Sahanis Addictive thoughts Addictive thoughts are a little different compared to consuming thoughts. They are not there all the time. There may be an undercurrent but it is subtle and only appreciated when the first portion of exercise goes deep. They are not there all the time but when they come, watch out. They come so strong that you are not able to control them. You want to smoke a cigarette. It is a

(Cont'd from last week) ome thoughts appear to stay with us and almost consume most of our time in a day. Sometimes they last for weeks and months. They do not give a break. They keep going in circles. You go to work and your boss says something derogatory. How dare he? What does he think of himself? I have to do something about it. These thoughts can consume the whole individual existence. Sleep is disturbed. Nothing else matters. Does it sound familiar? Some one dear to you dies. The same thing happens. How do you deal with consuming thoughts? These are hard ones to deal with. The exercises below help you deal with these consuming thoughts effectively. The situation does not go away, but you can get a break and get a life while these consuming thoughts go in the background.

S

DR KRISHNA BHATTA

The situation does not go away, but you can get a break and get a life while these consuming thoughts go in the background

benign thought. You smoke one and it is over. You want to smoke another cigarette. Again you smoke and it is gone. You want to quit smoking. There is no problem. The thought of no smoking comes and you make a promise. It is all fine. Then the thought of smoking comes and your nosmoke-promise goes to sleep. It is interesting that conflicting thoughts can stay side by side in addictive thoughts. The same is true with alcohol

do you tune into some positive channels at certain times. You also have to pay attention to what kind of processing goes on when you watch these channels. Once the processing is done, what is the mode of output of your thoughts? Do you suffer from urgency of thoughts output. I am a urologist. I see many patients who have urinary urgency. This is common problem in women. When they have to go they have to go.

any party. All you ought to do is observe. Try to separate yourself for a little time from the discussions and just watch. Conversation is going on. Mr. A is saying something. Mr. B tries to respond. Mr. C can't wait. He has to make his point. He intervenes not even knowing or acknowledging that Mr. B had already started. Mr. C gets interrupted because Mr. B had urgency of thought output. He could not hold. To be continued

conceptual action, before we can comprehend action without illusion. For reality lies in actuality. Awareness is not the development of an introspective will, but it is the spontaneous unification of all the separative forces of desire. Questioner: Is awareness a matter of slow growth? Where there is intense interest, there is full awareness. As one is mentally lazy and emotionally crippled with fear, awareness be-

we carve theories of postponement-eventually but not now, enlightenment is a process of slow growth, of life after life, and so on. We proceed to rationalize this slothfulness and satisfactorily arrange our lives according to it. Questioner: This process seems inevitable. But how is one to awaken quickly? Is it a slow process for individuals to change from violence to peace? I think not. If one really per-

ambition, the putting away of all nationalistic, class distinctions, attachments, and so on. This fear is prompting us, warning us, and we consciously or unconsciously yield to it and thereby increase our safeguards, which only engenders further fear. So long as we do not comprehend this process, we shall ever be thinking in terms of postponement, of growth, of overcoming. Fear cannot be dissolved in the future; only in constant awareness can it cease to be. Questioner: I think we must come quickly to peace. If you hate because your intellectual and emotional wellbeing is threatened in many ways and if you merely resort to further violence, though you may successfully, for the moment at least, ward off fear, hate will continue. It is only by constantly being aware, that fear and hate can disappear. Do not think in terms of postponement. Begin to be aware, and if there is interest, that itself will bring about, spontaneously, a state of peace, of affection. Public talk Ommen, Holland, 9 August 1937

Why awareness appears to be a slow process

J KRISHNAMURTI

shaken or allow itself to suffer. This state many realize and consider as the highest achievement. Once you develop the will that merely overcomes all habit, conditioning, that very will itself becomes thoughtless and repetitive. We must understand both the habitual action and the ideal or

Crossing legs may help, but, not for long. Some may leak while trying to hold. It is also common in men with enlargement of prostate. It is hard to believe that this can be a problem with thoughts. I do this simple exercise to see how common this problem is. It is always difficult urgency of thought output for you. It happens without warning or recognition. So, it always helps to watch others. You can see in

How do you deal with consuming thoughts?

S

uffering is the indication of the process of thought and desire patterns. This suffering the mind seeks to overcome by putting itself to sleep again through the development of other patterns and other illusions. From this self-imposed limitation the mind is again shaken, and again it induces itself to thoughtlessness, until it so identifies itself with some thought-desire pattern or belief that it can no longer be

addition or pornographic addictions. You keep addictive thoughts and wish to get rid of the addiction side by side. These are the hardest thoughts to recognize and deal with. Yet, with practice it is possible to get there. Urgency of thought output You can find out what channels you tune into. This is possible by watching your thoughts. You can tell if you tune into negative channels majority of times or

We must understand both the habitual action and the ideal or conceptual action, before we can comprehend action without illusion comes a flatter of slow growth. Then it is not really awareness but a process of carefully building up walls of resistance. As most of us have built up these self-protecting walls, awareness appears to be a slow process, a growth, thus satisfying our slothfulness. Out of this laziness

ceives the whole significance of hate, affection spontaneously comes into being; what prevents this immediate and deep perception is our unconscious fear and intellectual commitments and patterns. For, such a perception might involve a drastic change in our daily life: the withering away of

What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul. -Jesus Christ I am not a Hindu, Nor a Muslim am I! I am this body, a play Of five elements; a drama Of the spirit dancing With joy and sorrow. -Kabir Nothing is really mine except Krishna. O my parents, I have searched the world And found nothing worthy of love. -Mirabai He who utters the Name of God while walking gets the merit of a sacrifice at every step His body becomes a place of pilgrimage. He who repeats God's Name while working always finds perfect peace. - Tukaram A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. -William Shakespeare Faith is when you are broke, when you've done everything wrong and you still feel sheltered. - Paloma Duarte Why become friends with those whom the Creator Lord Himself has misled? -Guru Gobind Singh

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December 25, 2009

India Post 49

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How India can reduce its carbon footprints OM PRAKASH

A

n individual carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of carbon dioxide induced by one's activities in a given time frame. Usually a carbon footprint is calculated for a period of one year. It is a powerful tool for understanding the impact of individual action on global warming. On an average, a child born in United States uses 400 times more energy compared to India, thus leaving behind a much larger carbon footprint. Although developed countries have larger carbon emissions, both the developed and developing countries have to shoulder the responsibility for the survival of life on the blue planet. India can employ various methods to address the problem. First, carbon labeling of a product can help consumers to monitor their own carbon footprint. Second, installing good insulation and double-paned windows can lower energy costs in a house. Third, compact fluorescent lamps, energy-efficient appliances and green power sources also help lower consumption. Fourth, use of public transport or car pool, use of bicycles to commute short distances; planting more trees can be very effective. Fifth, general public needs to be educated about eco friendly practices in everyday life. It is now mandatory for companies to submit corporate social responsibility reports annually as per Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines on the social, economic and environmental impact of a company. Six, consumers must be made aware of the green policies of a company before purchasing its products. Cremation in India is a big challenge for carbon emission. A cremation needs 400-500 kg of wood. According to an estimate by UNO, about 10 million people die in India every year and since 84 per cent of India's population is Hindu, the ritual produces half a million tonnes of ash and also releases eight million tonnes of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide. Efforts to promote electric crematoriums have not been sufficiently successful because most Hindus seem to reject the idea due to religious, sentimental, and social reasons. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has undertaken numerous initiatives for carbon reduction, such as energy audit, energy management, green building consultancy, water management, technology incubation and

renewable energy services towards building increased climate responsiveness among the Indian Industry. More than a thousand detailed energy audits across various industries have led to large quantum of reduction in GHG emissions. CII has also begun work with state governments by estimating carbon foot-print of states, reviewing existing statelevel industrial policies and regulatory framework from climate change standpoint and by proposing modifications in state policies to reduce GHG emissions. In June 2008 India announced the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), a compre-

2020. Its Solar Mission sets a goal of 20 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity by 2020 which will reduce India's emissions by 42 million tons per year. The Mission set a further goal of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2030 and 200 GW by 2050. However for achieving such goals a green consciousness plan needs to be devised to educate the masses. The National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) aims to curb emissions by nearly 100 million tons a year. India's Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is instituting tradable energy efficiency credits, which could save 183.5 billion KWh annually. The BEE also recently released a

Deadly carbon emissions

hensive framework of mitigation and adaptation policies and programs. India has already released details on three of the eight missions (solar, energy efficiency, and Himalayan ecosystems) that make up the NAPCC, and plans to release details on the other missions

About 10 million people die in India every year and since 84 per cent of India's population is Hindu, the ritual produces half a million tonnes of ash and also releases eight million tonnes of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide in 2010. Passing legislation by setting national carbon dioxide emissions targets and a national environmental regulatory agency to enforce emissions standards needs to be a priority. India plans to increase installed renewable energy capacity to 23,500 megawatts by 2012 and aims to get 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by

labeling program for household appliances, including televisions, ceiling lamps, and air-conditioners. These efforts are expected to result in savings of more than 10,000 million KWh annually over five years. India's plan to institute fuel-efficiency caps on all cars and trucks by 2011 cannot be a success unless more funds are earmarked for research and development. Merely investing heavily on urban public transit, such as metro, flyovers and bus-rapid-transit will not help unless vehicle fleets are converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) in all cities with a population greater than five lakhs. In 2009, although the Indian government doubled its forestry budget and has plans to revitalize six million hectares of degraded forest lands every year, commercial forestry and the forest fires are issues which have not been dealt with properly. The NACPP has also established a final goal of bringing one-third of the geographic area of India under forest cover. It's time every citizen of the country understood the nature of the impending crisis and worked to minimize his carbon footprint. The writer is Assistant Professor, National Law University, Jodhpur

India Post Small politics

I

ndia's home minister has opened a Pandora's Box by agreeing to grant separate statehood to Telengana region in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. He was blackmailed into conceding this by the Mahatma Gandhi-style fast unto death undertaken by Telengana leader K Chandrasekhar Rao. Rao of course is no Gandhi and has resorted to this gimmick for personal gains. After his ambition to become a cabinet minister in Andhra Pradesh was thwarted, he has been trying to come into prominence by allying with different political forces like the UPA and the NDA. For a while he was a central minister in the last UPA cabinet of Manmohan Singh but had to quit as his constituents were pressing him on the Telengana demand and the UPA was in no mood to oblige him. Nor is the present Manmohan Singh administration prepared to appease him. But when doctors said the fasting leader's life was in danger, Home Minister P Chidambaram had to make a gesture. Men like KCR do not realize the extent to which they can damage India's cause by pressing for their small cakes. As if on cue, demands for statehood have sprung up from areas like Bundelkhand, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, Koshal Ladakh, Saurashtra, Vidarbha and many more. Andhra Pradesh itself was riven by intensified agitations for and against Telengana. Over 130 MLAs from Andhra's other regions submitted their resignations in protest against conceding a Telengana state. The Congress party itself is divided over the issue. After conceding the demand it is now trying to appease the sections opposed to the bifurcation by saying the demand for Telengana state can be considered only if such a resolution is passed by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. In a divided house, such a resolution is unlikely and thus the Telengana issue could be consigned to the backburner. A case can be made out for smaller states for better governance and administrative convenience. Some of the states of India are too large to be governed properly. But the decision on carving out such states should not be based on linguistic or ethnic categorizations. The politics of demanding and conceding smaller states has come at a time when India is already confronted with bigger issues of terrorism and Maoist violence. Adding to this cauldron is most insensitive on the part of the agitationists. If the demand for a separate state can be pressed by a fast, what about some Congress leaders who have started fasting for the unity of Andhra Pradesh! The decision on Telengana was ad hoc and politically motivated. Since there are demands of separate states from many regions this was an opportune moment for instituting a second states reorganization commission. Indian governments are in the habit of appointing commissions at the drop of a hat. But where it is necessary to appoint a commission, it is hedging. The Central Congress leaders seem to be playing a game with Andhra. While conceding the demand for a separate state, they haven't discouraged the vociferous agitation of the dissidents. It is being encouraged just to get out of a tricky situation caused by K Chandrashekar Rao's fast. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, finds the debate for smaller states a little farcical. He says that more than a States Reorganization Commission, what India needs is a "State Capacity Commissioin that can assess, with some analytical bite, exactly what each state might need to perform the functions it is being asked to perform." Another suggestion is for the Finance Commission to assess the economic merits of individual statehood proposals on a case by case basis and make independent recommendations.


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December 25, 2009

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