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Friday, May 25 2012 | Vol. 31, No. 21

Indo American erican News


KKR in Final ... Finally! Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Only 30 Days? Should Dharun Ravi have been sentenced to at least six months in jail for spying on his college roommate with a webcam? The victim subsequently committed suicide. Or do you think the young man has suffered enough?

Visit indoamerican-news com to submit your views.

P11 The Udipi Café Legal Battle


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Iam NEWS Since 1982

Partnered & Syndicated with Times of India,, Google, Yahoo & Bing

The Udipi Café Legal Battle

BY SOWMYA NANDAKUMAR SUGAR LAND: In the ongoing Udipi Café case, (involving Sathish Rao, owner of Udipi Café, and Meena Agrawal, President of ShriHari Enterprise, Inc., DBA Udipi Cafe Sugar Land), it has been stated to Indo American News (IamNEWS) by Sathish Rao that the court (judge) directed Meena Agrawal to hand over ownership of the premises of Udipi Café Sugar Land to Sathish Rao by May 18, 2012. On Tuesday, May 22, Sathish Rao claimed that this had not been done. Sathish Rao’s attorney, Tarush Anand, further reiterated that the jury delivered a unanimous verdict in favor of Sathish Rao following which the judge delivered the final judgment on the case. Rao said, (and Anand confirmed) that Agrawal has filed an appeal in court - with this new development, the judge’s ruling on the case is yet to be conformed with. According to Anand, although an appeal has been filed and is pending in court, the final judgment in the case still had to be followed. Anand said, “The Final Judgment required Meena Agrawal’s company, ShriHari Enterprise, Inc., to return the restaurant to Satish Rao’s company by May 18, 2012. They have not returned the restaurant. Instead, they have decided to appeal the case and, in the meantime, are trying to avoid having to return the restaurant.” When IamNEWS called the Sugar Land restaurant premises over the phone to speak to Meena Agrawal, her husband, Suresh Agrawal spoke to our correspon-

dent. Suresh Agrawal clearly stated that without consulting the Agrawals’ lawyer, he would not make any comments about Rao’s statements to the newspaper. He also advised the newspaper not to get involved in legal matters and cautioned that this would lead him to take legal action against the newspaper. He forewarned the newspaper of such legal repercussions. During this conversation our correspondent did not get a chance to speak to Meena Agrawal. Later, Meena Agrawal called the paper back. In response to Rao’s statements to the paper, she said, that they had filed an appeal in court and the business will be run status quo until the court decides further on the appeal. When asked if she could reveal the nature of the appeal, she said that this was a legal matter and that the newspaper would have to speak to her lawyer for more details on that. She mentioned that speaking to her lawyer about this might need for the newspaper to pay consultation fees to her lawyer. (Anand later mentioned in an email to the newspaper that the final judgement and the affidavit filed by Agrawal are public documents that are part of the court’s records and are freely accessible to the general public.) Agrawal also told the newspaper that it was the newspaper’s duty to corroborate both sides of a story before putting it out there for the public to read. In addition she said that when the case was still pending in court, Rao had chosen to make it public just in order to defame her. If the newspaper published this matter when the case

was still ongoing, she said that she might have to take legal action against Sathish Rao and IamNEWS as well. In an email addressed to the Managing Partner of the Indo American News, Krishna Giri, later that afternoon, Meena Agrawal, (repeating her spoken words during the telephonic conversation) wrote, “As per our today’s conversation with your correspondent, Ms. Sowmya Nandakumar, we have consulted with our lawyer (Mr. Sanford Dow, cc’d here) and are advising you not to publish any stories or editorials in your publication about Udipi Cafe Sugar Land (Owned and Operated by Meena Agrawal), or any parties involved due to ongoing legal matters. A copy of the appeal papers has been attached to this email for your reference.” She added, “We respect your newspaper and hope you do not lower your standards to become another run of the mill tabloid as it will severely damage your reputation. Please refrain from publishing any half-truth stories so that we do not have to pursue legal options for defamation.” In response, Krishna Giri said, “IamNews is a commnity newspaper, which the community has relied on for information, over the last 30 years. To us there is no good or bad news, it is all just news. Many a time what is good news to one may be bad to the other. We have always been fair and even in this case, we gave both parties an opportunity to express themselves.”

MayUN25, ITY 2012 ESS






Circulation Verified by

Severe Racial Bullying in School Appalls Indian Parents HOUSTON: An Indian parent has reported a recent case of extreme racial bullying of his 11 year old twin boys. Born in the United States, to parents born in India, the boys are American Citizens. They have borne enormous amounts of bullying and race-based ragging by the school children at the Creekwood Middle School in Kingwood. This case has been covered by the KHOU - http://www.khou. com/home/Kingwood-Bullying-151792805.html Reportedly, the boys complained that one of them had been called a terrorist. He had been told that he looked like Osama Bin Laden and was called the underwear bomber. One of boys was punched in his eyes, and the bullies shaved off his eyebrows. While the bullying existed all through the school year, it escalated in April. All this is happening in a middle school with kids who are barely even in their teens – it probably dreads one to think of what these children, who perpetrate such bullying will become as they grow older! Allegedly, the district has not taken any concrete action, and the boys’ parents have documented their history of complaints to the district. Since the district had failed to protect the children, the parents were forced to take them out of school and home school them. The district recently sent a letter to the parents threatening to fine them up to $500 per day if the children did not return to school. But the spokesperson for the Humble Independent School District, Kar-


en Collier apparently told KHOU that the letter was a regular absenteeism warning required to be sent by state law. She said that the parents had supposedly not withdrawn their children from school via formal procedure. If they do so they need not pay any fines. Collier also seems to have emphasized to KHOU that the district undertakes thorough investigations of all bullying reports and takes suitable action against people who defy school policy. But for the parents, the question is when exactly will this action be taken? The fundamental questions here are, what is the school district going to do and how soon, and more importantly how are they going to ensure that such acts of racial bullying are not repeated? After all, every parent trusts the institution of “school” to make their children good citizens. While part of this responsibility inarguably lies with parents, (which many parents are perhaps neglecting which is why 11 year olds have resorted to such intimidating acts in the first place), a part of this responsibility also lies with the school. Children spend a large part of their day in school and it is important that schools ensure their safety and security. It remains to be seen what the school district is going to do, in order to regain the trust of not only the young victims’ parents, but the victims themselves who have admitted to being terrified at even the prospect of having to go back to school. Hopefully, the school district will address this pressing matter promptly.


May 25, 2012



May 25, 2012


Kalpavriksha - The Power to Create

BY SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV Everything we as human beings have created on this planet was essentially first created in our minds. All that you see which is human work on this planet first found expression in the mind, then it got manifested in the outside world. The wonderful things that we have done on this planet and the horrible things that we have done on this planet, both have come from the human mind. A well established mind, a mind which is in a state of samyukthi is referred to as a Kalpavriksha or the wishing tree. If you organize your mind to a certain level it in turn organizes the whole system. Your body, your emotion, your energies, everything gets organized in that direction. If you do this you are a Kalpavriksha yourself. Anything that you wish will happen. Once we are empowered with a potential like this, it is very important that our physical action, emotional action, mental action and energy actions are controlled and properly directed. If it is not so, we become destructive, self-destructive. Right now, that is our problem. The technology which is supposed to make our life beautiful and easy has become the source of all the problems that we are destroying the very basis of our life, which is the planet. So, what should have been a boon, we are making a curse out of it. If life has to happen the way you think it should happen, first of all how you think and with how much focus you think, how much stability is there in your thought and how much reverberance is there in the thought process will determine whether your thought will become a reality or it is just an empty thought. “Is something possible or not possible” is destroying humanity. What is possible and not possible is not your business, it is nature’s business. Your business is just to strive for what you want. Nature will decide that. Today, modern science is proving that the whole existence is just a reverberation of energy. It is a vibration. Similarly, your thought is also a vibration. If you generate a powerful thought and let it out, it will always manifest itself. To create what you really care for, the first and foremost thing is that what you want must be well manifested in your mind. Once you can maintain a steady stream of thought without changing direction, definitely this is going to happen in your life. It will definitely manifest as a reality in your life. So,

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev either you make this human form into a Kalpavriksha or you make it into one big mess, which is happening all over the world. The first and foremost thing is, you must be clear as to what is it that you really want. If you do not know what you want, the question of creating it doesn’t arise. If you look at what you really want, what every human being wants is to live joyfully, he wants to live peacefully, in terms of its relationship he wants to be loving and affectionate. Or in other words, all that any human being is seeking for is pleasantness within himself, pleasantness around him. Once your mind gets organized your emotion will get organized because the way you think is the way you feel. Once your thought and emotion is organized, your energies will get organized in the

same direction. Once your thought, emotion and energies are organized, your very body will get organized. Once all these four are organized in one direction, your ability to create and manifest what you want is phenomenal. You have the power to create; you are the Creator, in so many ways. So, shifting from being just a piece of flesh and blood to becoming a Creator, there is a whole science and technology for this. The whole technology of Isha Yoga is just about this - transforming yourself from being just a piece of creation to the Creator himself. This is not in search of God, this is in search of becoming a God. This is not in search of Divine, this is in search of becoming Divine. It is my wish and my blessing that every human being in this world should have this access to the source of creation within himself

so that he can function here as a Creator, not just as a piece of creation. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a yogi, profound mystic of our times, and visionary humanitarian. His presence creates an extraordinary opportunity to break through limitations into one’s natural state of freedom, love and joy. Named one of “India’s 50 Most Powerful People” by India Today magazine, Sadhguru has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide, contributing to his vision of raising human consciousness. Learn Isha Kriya, a simple and powerful guided meditation designed by Sadhguru. To watch Sadhguru’s videos or access the free meditation, visit

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May 25, 2012

BAPS Charities Host Community Walk in Support of American Diabetes Association and Stafford MSD Education Fund

BAPS Charities Walkathon 2012 Opening

STAFFORD: History of diabetes runs in Kalpesh Patel’s family so about six months ago he started spreading the word about the BAPS Charities annual walkathon benefiting American Diabetes Association and Stafford MSD Education Fund. In keeping with its theme, “Building a Better Community, One Step at a Time,” the BAPS Charities 13th annual walkathon was held on Sunday, May 5, 2012 in Sugarland, Texas. Along with Mr. Patel, over 700 members of the community participated in this year’s walkathon for a singular purpose; participants of all ages joined hands and raised funds to support this year’s local beneficiary. “Organizing this event was a great honor,” said Nilkanth Patel, president of BAPS BAPS Charities Walkathon Charities. “It’s such a great feeling to be able to serve the community. BAPS Charities make it possible to continue to give out our Annual Walkathons bring together people scholarships and we hope to continue to of all ages for a noble cause and the energy work with you.” At the end of the walk Kalpesh Patel felt it and excitement in each walker makes this was amazing to have everyone come togethevent successful and enjoyable.” As part of raising awareness of this 5k er to support a cause that is close to him and walk, Kalpesh Patel and volunteers of millions of others in the world. The BAPS BAPS Charities brought sponsors like Pip- Charities, ADA and Stafford MSD contribing Tech & Products, Forge USA, Clinical ute to the community by raising awareness Pathology Labs, Wedge Energy Services, through its annual walkathon. With many centers participating in similar SBD, 4th Dimension, Akshar/Shriji Properwalks across North America, ties, Bay Star Ambulance this is just one of many ini, Club 24 and many others tiatives that BAPS Charities to contribute to this year’s takes to support local comwalkathon. munities. Throughout the Eric Strickland of Bay year, BAPS Charities hosts Star Ambulance Service medical fairs, education and said, “The BAPS Charicareer development semities walkathon is tremennars, blood drives and much dous and it’s great to see more. BAPS Charities sinlot of the comradery, and cerely serves the commuto see the community nity, by improving the qualcome together for such a ity of life of individuals and great cause.” families. For information, The annual walk inplease visit www.bapscharispired people to not only take the extra step in About BAPS Charities: improving their commuBAPS Charities is a nity, but also advocate a Himesh Gandhi kicks off the 501(c)(3) registered nonhealthier lifestyle. At this BAPS Charities Walkathon. profit international charity year’s BAPS Charities organization committed to Walkathon, individuals such as Himesh Gandhi, Sonal Bhuchar, sincerely serving the world by caring for Linda Hennes, and John Ferro, as well as individuals, families, and communities. It many organizations showed their apprecia- is affiliated with BAPS as an independent charity and social services arm. The 55,000 tion for the efforts of the participants. The president of Stafford MSD Education BAPS volunteers networked in over 3,300 Fund, Linda Hennes commented, “Your centers around the world provide over 12 passion and dedication and commitment to million volunteer-hours of service annually. Among social service charities, BAPS make an impact in our community are what

Sonal Buchar encourages the walkers at the BAPS Charities Walkathon.

Charities is a well-respected and trusted name. It has amassed over 50 years of firsthand experience in initiating, managing, and sustaining 160 humanitarian operations throughout the world in such diverse fields as: medical services, environmental services, community services, tribal services, and disaster relief services. For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www. About the American Diabetes Association: The American Diabetes Association is the only non-profit organization support-

ing all 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes – including type 1and type 2 diabetes; children and adults. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. About the Stafford MSD Education Foundation: The Stafford MSD Education Foundation was founded in 2004 to create a partnership of educators, businesses, community members, parents, and civic leaders to assist in meeting the ever-increasing demands of providing a high quality education. The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization established to secure financial support and other resources for SMSD academic programs. Foundation funds support needs within the district that fall outside the scope of the normal operating budget. Students and teachers benefit from grants and scholarships either funded or orchestrated by the Foundation. Stafford MSD Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. For further information, please contact: Viral Desai 832-498-4725

Walkers of all ages join the BAPS Charities walkathon. INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



May 25, 2012

Dr. Zafar Taqvi Awarded IEEE Regional Outstanding Member Award

Dr Zafar Taqvi (right) receiving the award from James Jefferies, current IEEE Region 5 Director from Colorado.

TULSA: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at their Region 5 conference in Tulsa Oklahoma earlier last week awarded the coveted Outstanding Member of the Year Award to Dr Zafar Taqvi, a long-time local resident. IEEE Region 5 encompasses 9 states from Louisiana to South Dakota and has a professional membership of over 25,000. Dr Taqvi has worked at Johnson Space Center for 41 years, taught concurrently at the University of Houston System for 34 years and has held various local , national and international volunteer positions with IEEE, American Institute of Aeronautics and Aeronautics(AIAA), International Society of Automation (ISA), and Clear Lake Council of Technical Societies (CLCTS). Among other educational activities, he has been organizing Regional Future City Competition for 6th, 7th and

8th graders for the last 15 years. His leadership role in pursuing and enhancing the professional objectives of the institute, as the Chairman of the IEEE Galveston Bay Section for the last two years, not only earned him the outstanding award but also to his section as the Outstanding Section for two years in a row. Dr. Taqvi has been honored before with Distinguished Member award by AIAA, ISA and CLCTS. He was awarded IEEE Centennial Medal and award in 2001. He is a Fellow of ISA, an Associate Fellow of AIAA, a Life Senior member of IEEE, and has the unique distinction of being a member of five honor societies- Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Sigma Xi. He is also a Distinguished Toastmaster, and a past District Lt Governor of Toastmasters International District 56.


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May 25, 2012

Hindu Youth Awards 2012

Front row, from left: Disha Roy, Raveena Bhalara, Khyati Vaidya, Shivani Agrawal and Charu Thammaram; Back row, from left: Akash Gupta, Gaura Klein, Abhishek Balakrishnan, Anish Patel Kaishal Shah

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HOUSTON: Hindus of greater Houston will celebrate “Hindu Youth Awards and Fundraiser” to be held on 23rd June 2012 at India House, 8888 W. Bellfort, Houston, Texas, 77031. We are indeed very proud of the achievements of our Hindu youth and their contribution to the Hindu community. We celebrate them as torch bearers of tradition in upholding our Dharma and being proud of their heritage. They are the future leaders of the many Hindu organizations and Temples that we have built in our community. It is pertinent we encourage them and recognize their contribution. We dedicate the evening to their celebration. Last year we celebrated the occasion with tremendous response from several organizations and it was very rewarding to see and hear from the youth in the community,

who are committed to serve the cause for our community and showcase the excellent work they were involved in. This year we will recognize six youth and one Voluntary Organization that has provided outstanding contribution in education and development of youth. The highlights of the evening will include Hindu Youth Achievers inspiring stories, Music, Recognition of Donors, Sponsors and Benefactors of Hindus of Greater Houston. With the help of generous patrons in the community, the Hindus of Greater Houston hosts and supports variety of events in our community. We hope you will join us in celebrating the excellent achievements of our youth. Hindus of Greater Houston appreciates your generous donation and continued support.


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Meet Natasha Verma: UT Graduate at 17

May 25, 2012


Founding Members of Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH) Back Row: Moyeen Haque, Fakhruddin Sabir, Dr. S. Jafri, Anwar Khusro, Karim Maknojia, Anil Matta (Consul) Front Row: Uma Mantravadi, CG Sanjiv Arora, Dr. Maqbool Haq, Latafath Hussain, Ammar Abuwala, Naseer Alam

(Alcalde): Talk about precocious. Natasha Verma, 17, Life Member, graduated Friday with degrees in broadcast journalism and biology. The Victoria native took her first college class at age 11 and hasn’t looked back since. On the Forty Acres, Verma founded her own talk show and breezed through double-major requirements in three years. She’ll soon move to New York City to start a master’s in broadcast journalism at Columbia. We asked Verma about the secret to her success. Q: Why did you decide to start college so early? A: I’m the type of person who’s always looking for a challenge, and high school wasn’t it. So I just did college and high school at the same time. When I earned my high school diploma, I also got an associate’s degree in science from Victoria College. I encourage anyone who wants a challenge to think outside the box and go for it. It just takes hard work and initiative. Q: Why University of Texas (UT)? A: I’ve always had a passion for broadcast journalism, and UT is the place to go to study that! I started UT’s morning talk show, Good Morn-

ing Texas, on Texas Student Television. Producing that show has been an amazing experience. At SXSW, I’ve interviewed Will Ferrell, Blake Mycoskie (the guy who founded TOMS shoes), and Jon Landau (the producer of Avatar). Q: What did you talk about with Will Ferrell? A: His new movie, Casa de Mi Padre. He was goofy. Q: Did you feel you fit in at UT, being so young? A: Oh, absolutely. I have really supportive friends and family who believe in me. And I look older than my age, so that helps. Q: How did friends react when you told them your age? A: They say things like, ‘Oh my god, seriously?’ People are speechless when they find out. But I’m mature, I prove myself, and I work hard, so it’s not really a big deal. President Powers did send me a personal letter saying congratulations, though. That was a great example of why I love UT. Q: What’s your ultimate goal? A: I’d love to start my own show on television or online, or work as a media producer. I want to travel the world and tell people’s stories.

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Dance performers with Ms.Madhu and Ms. Sangeeta

HOUSTON: May 20th, 2012 was a memorable day for the little graduates of DAV Montessori School (DAVMS) as they walked across the stage in their sky blue graduation caps and gowns to receive their graduation certificates from Chief Guests – Mrs. & Mr. Durga Agrawal. The program that followed was something that no one would want to miss – the “Dances of the World” which these kids presented had the whole Arya Samaj Greater Houston complex was teeming with students, parents and grandparents to celebrate the momentous event. The stars of event were the young graduates and their fellow students who put a stupendous cultural program that followed. The scintillating “Dances of the World” program had the whole audience gyrating and tapping their feet – wishing they were on the stage as well. The 30-minute flawless -stop presentation showcased music, dances and colorful costumes not only from India, but also from Texas, Mexico, South America and Europe. The poise and confidence exhibited by the students was a sight to behold. DAVMS children have a multitude of opportunities to perform on stage in

front of audiences throughout the year, and this gives them an edge by building their self-confidence and a foundation for future success. The whole performance was enacted as a labor of love, the music, the choreography, the colorful costumes, and the makeup were simply breathtaking. To top it all, Mrs. Arti Khanna, in her annual school report, informed us the top-rate academic performance of DAVMS students in the Iowa tests that measures nationwide performance. DAVMS students scored in the top 1 percent of national average, and most of them were performing 2-3 grades ahead of their cohort. Not only did these students excel academically, they have also been very active in extracurricular activities and community outreach – raising funds for Houston Food Bank and to support St. Jude, a pediatric cancer and research hospital. We take our hats off to Mrs. Arti Khanna and her dedicated team of teachers and parent volunteers – for all they do to give these children such a grounded education. DAVMS, while constantly striving to balance high academic standards with extracurricular activities, also places a special emphasis


on making its students aware of India’s Vedic heritage and culture. The children are taught Hindi, yoga, naitik shiksha (moral education), and shlokas in addition to celebrating both Indian and American holidays. DAVMS has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years through, and has had to create a wait-list to enroll new students due to its current capacity limits. That will change in the 2012-13 School year, when the new expansion wing, currently under construction, will open with new pre-school classes (ages 3-5). The expansion project is well under way and the building shell is pretty much complete. Mrs. Arti Khanna thanked the management committee members, Acharya Surya Nanda ji and Acharya Praveen Gulati ji, the parents, and reminded everyone that, though only a few were mentioned by name, she has an army of teachers, volunteers and others who make it possible for DAVMS to be successful in its mission. The day concluded traditionally with a beautiful rendition Aarti and Shanti Path by the DAVMS children. For additional information, please visit or call (281) 759-3286.


May 25, 2012

Ex-Rutgers Student Gets 30 Days for Bullying Gay Roommate

NEW JERSEY(CNN): A New Jersey judge on Monday sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, who then killed himself by jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge in September 2010. Ravi will serve three years of probation and must complete community service aimed at assisting victims of bias crimes, according to Superior Judge Glenn Berman. He also must pay more than $11,000 in restitution. Berman stayed the jail sentence for 10 days in case of an appeal. If no appeal is filed, Ravi must report to the jail on May 31. However, both prosecutors and defense said they would appeal. The September 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, and Ravi’s trial this year, thrust the issue of cyberbullying and prejudices against homosexuals into the national spotlight. Clementi, an 18-yearold freshman, plunged to his death in the Hudson River after learning that Ravi had secretly spied via a webcam as Clementi kissed another man. Berman said he took factors including Ravi’s youth and his lack of a criminal record into consideration. Ravi could have faced 10 years in prison and deportation to his native India. In his remarks, the judge told Ravi the only reason he did not recommend deportation was because the man involved in the videotaped encounter, identified in court only as “M.B.,” said in his victim impact statement he did not believe Ravi should be deported -- and would be willing to write a letter to that effect. In the months that followed Clementi’s death, President Barack Obama released a videotaped message condemning bullying, while New Jersey legislators enacted stricter laws to protect against it in schools. Ravi’s sentencing hearing stretched to nearly four hours Monday and was punctuated by emotional victim impact statements offered by Clementi’s parents and brother. Family members blasted Ravi for showing no remorse. “I have often found myself wondering if Dharun Ravi is even capable of empathizing with another person,” James Clementi said. Jane Clementi said that when her son died, “My world came crumbling apart.” Ravi’s parents also addressed the court, although he chose not to


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Dharun Ravi, with his father, Ravi Pazhani

speak. “Not a single day goes by we don’t think about Tyler,” said his father, Ravi Pazhani. But he said his son had been demonized and “dragged through the mud.” “How can a person who never acted as a bully ... go from a passive child to hardcore bully overnight?” he asked. His mother, Sabitha Ravi, cried as she related the stress and pain her son has experienced since Clementi’s death. “He has been living in hell for the past 20 months,” she said. Listening to her statement, Ravi grew tearful for the first time during the hearing. After his mother finished speaking, the two embraced as she sobbed. Before the statements were offered, Berman denied defense motions for acquittal and requesting a new trial. Though Ravi and Molly Wei -a fellow student who admitted to joining Ravi to watch the surreptitious encounter that others were alerted to via social media -- were charged in the wake of Clementi’s suicide, they were not charged directly with his death. Facing two counts of invasion of privacy, Wei reached a plea deal that required her to testify against her friend and former high school classmate as well as to complete a three-year program on cyberbullying and do 300 hours of community service. Prior to sentencing Ravi, Berman said he was planning to terminate Wei’s program early, noting that she testified candidly against Ravi although “it was clear she didn’t want to be here.” He said she had completed 250 hours of commu-

nity service before her testimony. Ravi, who was studying on a visa at the New Jersey university at the time of the incident, turned down a plea deal offered by Middlesex County prosecutors. Under the terms of that offer, he would have avoided jail time in exchange for undergoing counseling, doing 600 hours of community service and disposing of any information that could identify the man who appeared in the Web video with Clementi. Prosecutors also offered to help Ravi avoid deportation, though they said they could not guarantee it. That set the stage for the trial, during which prosecutors argued that Ravi tried to embarrass Clementi because he was gay and that his actions were motivated by a desire to intimidate the Ridgewood, New Jersey, native expressly because of his sexual orientation. Ravi’s attorneys countered by saying that their client acted thoughtlessly, portraying him as an immature college student who made a mistake, and that his actions were not based on homophobia. After more than three weeks in court, a jury on March 16 convicted Ravi of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence. Days after his conviction, Ravi told ABC television’s “20/20” that he thought Clementi understood he “wasn’t trying to intimidate him and scare him because he was gay.” He also criticized how the story of what happened was portrayed.

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12 May 25, 2012

Meditative Moments – a Unique First Ever Concert Debuts in Houston BY SUNIL PANGARKAR HOUSTON: As a child growing up in India, I had often heard and recited by rote that, India is a land where there is Unity in Diversity. It took a greater part of my life to appreciate the depth of that concept via argumentation and observation. For most part I could see the diversity more than the unity. The power of music can however shorten the process of the realization of unity, by making one feel it. Clearly the first demonstration of this was through the 1988 national Integration message in India through the now famous song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. For me, the second realization of Unity in Diversity in the musical context, was during the Houston concerts in March 2010 called Shanti- A journey of Peace, composed by eminent musicologist and composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran and performed by Houston’s United Nations Association International Choir together with singers from the local Indian diaspora. The third and somewhat deeper and more subtle realization was on the Buddha Purnima day on 5th May 2012 in Stafford center during the concert Meditative Moments. The chosen day of Buddha Purnima was perhaps apt – deeper realizations in life come at special times. The chosen form of musical expression was classical - a form that has emotionally connected people and has stood the test of time. Hence the music was Dhrupad the oldest form of Indian classical music mainly practiced and appreciated in the Northern part of India. The compositions were those of Muthuswamy Dikshitar the South Indian poet, composer and one of the musical trinities of Carnatic music from late 18th century. The concert Meditative Moments was brought to Houston by Art of Living Foundation founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This is one

Gundecha brothers with Kanniks Kannikeswaran (center)

of the largest NGO in the world promoting the unifying message of peace via stress free mind and violence free society. All works of substance - be it in art or industry, need moments of inspiration, decision and perspiration. Kanniks Kannikeswaran as a composer, musicologist and Carnatic musician thrives on uncovering the facets of rich musical traditions. In 2002 when he was listening to Shivastutis by the Gundecha Brothers (Ramakant and Umakant Gundecha who are the Dhrupad stalwarts of India today), he was blown away by the similarity of those renderings with some of Dikshitar’s compositions. He had studied the theory and structure of Dhrupad, the kritis of Dikshitar and the context behind both genres of music. But he now imagined bringing it together in a recording or concert at some point. It was to happen much later, after an initial meeting in Boston with Akhilesh Gundecha (who accompanies his elder brothers on Pakhawaj) followed by Kannik’s visit to Gundecha brother’s Dhrupad gu-

rukul in Bhopal in 2011. Kanniks proposed his idea and Gundecha’s brothers were extremely receptive. Then came the opportunity of Gundecha Brother’s 2012 US tour. As only a fast acting, can-do Texan can do, Shankar Jayaraman of Art of Living Foundation, offered to host the first ever unique concert. Then it was all about hard work and organization by Art of Living members led by Shankar, and numerous other individuals and organizations that supported this cause to make Meditative Moments happen. The concert began with very important formalities and messages by the organizers. Art of Living Foundation made a presentation that connected with the local audience. It was great to see volunteers in Houston help local school kids in teaching how to deal with stress and thereby get the best out of them. Art of Living Foundation also felicitated some of the music and dance gurus in Houston area teaching Hindustani and Carnatic genres of music and classical

dance. Prominent among them were Dr. Rathna Kumar, Pt. Suman Ghosh, Pt Shantilal Shah and Vidushi Raja Rajeshwari Bhatt. The foundation of classical tradition is the Guru-Shishya tradition and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s spiritual message to all was that GuruShishya relationship becomes effective when both the Guru and the Shishya explore knowledge together thereby transforming teaching to learning. Prior to the concert Kanniks gave the audience a presentation – like a canvas on which Gundecha brothers were about to paint on. The concert began with a long Alaap in Kumudkriya which is an infrequently heard Carnatic Raaga but uniquely seen in Dikshitar’s tradition. Ardhanarisvaram a composition that was sung in the same Raaga in 12 beat Chautaal , in some ways relates to the ShivaShakti unity/dependence – a very apt first composition. A short Alaap in Hindustani Raaga Hamir and a composition parimala ranganatham in 12 beat Chautaal followed. Musically I

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felt like the mood of the Raaga somehow fitted very well in the sequence. The next two compositions were Gundecha Brother specials. They are liked by audiences all over the world. Jayati Jayati in Raaga Malkauns or Hindolam (same Raaga with different names in North and South respectively) has a structure and lyrics very similar to Dikshitar’s compositions and showcases the Unity aspect of the two genres. The commentary by Kanniks in between each composition was extremely useful for both the Hindustani and Carnatic connoisseurs to understand the context of each composition. The final composition set to 10 beat Sultaal was Shiva Shiva Shiva in Raaga Adana. The mood of Raaga Adana and particularly this composition has both the seriousness and the energy that leaves the audience spell bound. It is said in Dhrupad circles that the best applause after a concert is complete meditative silence. This was indeed the effect. The characteristics of Dhrupad music is that key instruments like harmonium are not used since they cannot produce the shrutis or sub-tones that are needed to create the specific mood of a Raaga. In my opinion this back to basics purity perhaps makes the confluence of the two genres stand out. Also in my opinion, not only the concert was musically unique and satisfying at the same time but the whole idea of Unity, repeatedly came to fore every step of the way. Finally, let me tell you one uncomfortable truth - for all these years I have not really ventured into the Carnatic music world and I know there were many in the audience who had not ventured into the Hindustani world! This concert allowed me to explore something new and different. Only in Texas!


May 25, 2012


Houstonian Sanjay Ram Honored with Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award from the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) HOUSTON: The National United States Junior Chamber has named Houstonian Sanjay Ram (Ramabhadran) as one of the 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA). The TOYA award is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in the country and is given to people who exemplify immense accomplishment and/or leadership in the community. The award was initiated in 1938 and has been awarded annually since 1940. Recipients join the ranks of such honorees as Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton; Vice Presidents Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Gale Sayers, Michele Tafoya, and Elvis Presley. “I am incredibly humbled by this recognition and honor,” says Sanjay Ram, who serves the greater Houston community through many community organizations and is a fine example of how an immigrant can contribute to society through active civic engagement. “It is humbling to even be considered for such a distinguished award as the TOYA and to win this has had a profound impact. I believe this is recognition of the good work of many community organizations I am involved with and speaks to the critical need for civic engagement and community involvement.” A dedicated leader, Sanjay Ram has been a role model for many. His civic involvement has included serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of LEADERSHIP HOUSTON; Past-President of the HESS Club; Chairperson of the

Greater Houston Partnership’s Public Safety Task Force; Kinder Institute at Rice University’s Connecting Communities Initiative; Board of Directors of the Indo-American Charity Foundation, and Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston. He is routinely counted on to selflessly deliver results and tackle issues for the greater good of the community. Be it Houston’s Adopt a Village Program following an earthquake in India, post Ike/Tsunami relief efforts or kindling the philanthropic spirit of the community to benefit those in need right here in Houston, he has demonstrated that community involvement, civic engagement and service to humanity are essential ingredients in his life. Sanjay Ram (Ramabhadran) He has been recognized Houston Mayor’s International Trade & as one of Five OutstandDevelopment Council (South Asia); City ing Young Texans for the year 2011 and as of Houston – Building & Standards Com- one of Five Outstanding Young Houstomission; host of a public policy radio talk nians for the year 2010 by the Texas and show – “Insights”; Past President of the In- Houston Jaycees respectively. Selected as do-American Political Action Committee; an ASIA 21 Young Leader to represent the

United States at the 2010 Global Asia 21 Leadership Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia; he was one among more than 100 emerging leaders selected from some 30 countries and economies including the US and AsiaPacific region. He serves as Vice President at CP&Y, a Texas based infrastructure and environmental consulting company. He directs the Operations of a Corporate Division that focuses on water, infrastructure and energy efficiency with offices in Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia and projects implemented in the US, Puerto Rico, India and China. Previously, he was Principal-In-Charge at a $1 billion global consulting firm, where he managed a Business Practice for Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He has been an invited speaker to the US-India Infrastructure Summit in New Delhi. Other honorees of the 2012 TOYA award include: Jessica Black, Miss USA 2010; Brian Calley, Lieutenant Governor, Michigan; Tulsi Gabbard, Council Member, Honolulu; Fred Hoiberg, Men’s Head Basketball Coach, Iowa State University; Christopher Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority; Kyle Pagerly, Deputy Sheriff, Berks County Sheriff’s Department; Michael Pruitt, Owner, The Vine Martini and Wine Bar; William Vatavuk, Attorney, Vatavuk Law Firm; and Dr. David Washington, President/CEO, Washington and Company. The 74th annual TOYA black-tie awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 30th in Des Moines, Iowa.


14 May 25, 2012


A Tale of Three Cities: Mumbai, Stockholm and New York

Author Dan Mayur reads passages from his books during a recent book reading. Dan has frequently contributed columns on financial planning and current events to Indo-American News.

BY PRAMOD KULKARNI HOUSTON: A resident of Houston for several decades, Dan Mayur has had a long and successful career in chemical engineering. He remains engaged in financial planning, writing a blog on social and political topics, and taking care of his immaculate garden. A book on his life in Houston is still forthcoming, but Dan’s latest triumph is a book titled Mumbai, Stockholm and New York, based on “people, places and and politics: reflections of a globetrotter.” After graduating from IIT Bombay in 1967 in Chemical Engineering, Dan attended Rice University to earn his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1971. He had a 20-year career with Bechtel, the leading engineering and construction company. Dan’s globetrotting began through his petrochemical and energy projects

Now available at xlibris. com,,, or at your local bookstore. Proceeds from book sales are being donated to charity.

around the world in places such as Thailand, India and Saudi Arabia. For the last 12 years, Dan is the owner of Living Dreams, a financial services consulting company.

Based on Dan’s extended stays in Mumbai, Stockholm and New York, the book compares and contrasts the political, social and cultural life in the three highly diverse urban centers. Writing about India, Dan suggests that ten Cs define modern India: “Communication, computers, construction, consumerism, culture, cricket, cinema, conspicuous consumption, corruption and contrasting disparity.” After explaining each of these characteristics, Dan concludes: “It is clear that India is a land of ultimate contrasts. One can say anything about India; odds are that it will be true, and so will its exact opposite.” Dan’s hope for the India of tomorrow rests with the next generation. “India tomorrow will be run by honest, fair, intelligent

professional technocrats.” Part II of Dan’s book consists of refections of the life in America. “Americans love all things personal as in a personal computer at home, personal trainer in a health club, and a personal coach at the school,” Dan explains. “American individualism, as wonderful as it is in many ways, seems to have gone way beyond its optimum ... Continued and insatiable demand for energy is not just a cost issue, but it is also a major environmental and a national security issue.” Dan is optimistic about the future of America as well. “Almost all of these problems are temporary and fixable. America the beautiful, is still close to being the proverbial Garden of Eden, a majestic land of beauty and bounty with more natural resources than any other country with a human spirit and cando attitude unparalleled anywhere in the history of mankind.” In Part III, Dan reveals his viewpoint that the Scandanavia has “discovered a miraculous middle path that has allowed it to combine the best elements of socialism and capitalism to create a wealthy and socially responsible society. In this, achievement, the government, business, industry and the unions have acted in tandem.” In his epilogue, Dan calls for understanding and learning from these seemingly disparate socieities. “Successful nations use a judicious combination, taking the best elements of both systems (capitalism and socialism). India, the U.S. and even small countries like Sweden have remarkable strengths of their own. With an open mind and a cooperative approach, they can learn from each other for the benefit of their respective populations.” You may not agree with Dan’s sense of optimism, but his incisive reflections on man’s global existence are a must reading.


Em and Big Hoom

BY SHABNAM MINIWALA Eighties Bombay roars back to life as a skilful narrator reimagines his tortured family with humour and affection “If there was one thing I feared as I was growing up... No, that’s stupid. I feared hundreds of things: the dark, the death of my father, the possibility that I might rejoice at the death of my mother, sums involving vernier callipers, groups of schoolboys with nothing much to do, death by drowning. But of all these, I feared most the possibility that I might go mad too...” So says the narrator of Em and The Big Hoom—a boy growing up in a one BHK in the nosy, noisy Mumbai of the ’80s. His is a world that we can step into effortlessly; memories we recognise immediately. When he looks out his window, he sees a familiar jumble of grimy roofs; when he has a free afternoon, he spends it laughing with Amitabh in Coolie; when his parents mention their courtship they talk, as Bombayites of that vintage must, about Coke Float at Bombellis. For Imelda Mendes—the narrator’s mother in this beautiful, strongly autobiographical novel by Jerry Pinto—suffers from a mental illness. The doctors say she is manic-depressive; she describes herself as mad; and in the common parlance of her city she is “mental”. Em and the Big Hoom is the story of a love-battered family; of long spells in Ward 33 (Psychiatric), Sir J.J. Hospital; of bathrooms garish with blood from a slit wrist. More than that, however, it’s a quest on the part of a boy who wants to know his mother when she was whole. Em and the Big Hoom is a marvellously evocative book about Mumbai—and a searing tale about the havoc that mental illness wreaks on a family. To borrow a Pintoism, it is an easy-butter-jellyjam book to recommend.


SET to Launch New Life-Style & Bollywood Show SNAPSHOT

NEW YORK: SONY Entertainment Network’s (SEN) is to launch a new entertainment show, SNAPSHOT on SET ASIA. Conceptually, SNAPSHOT will bring the latest in fashion, music, television, celebrity interviews and much more. SNAPSHOT brings together three dazzling and talented presenters whose versatile personalities will complement each other to form a dynamic team. Bobby, Alka and Yuvna will be the new faces of SNAPSHOT! Watch SNAPSHOT every Friday at 7:00pm, only on SET Asia. Bursting with freshness, SNAPSHOT will consist of six individual and electrifying segments. A unique feature which will be included is ‘Your Call’. There is no louder voice than that of our greatest critic – our viewers. Your Call will feature the presenter personally calling select SONY TV Asia viewers, and providing a closer link between the viewers and shows. The second segment, ‘Celeb Shots’, will bring you interviews with Asian artists, actors and Bollywood stars. This weekly segment will be packed with juicy gossip straight from the celebrities themselves! ‘SNAPSHOTS Hit for 6’ will countdown the top 6 latest tracks from the Bollywood, bhangra and pop music scenes, guaranteeing to keep viewers glued to their screens. If the viewers have missed or need an update on the latest shows on the SEN, ‘Soap Box’ will showcase all the latest in the world of SONY TV. ‘Trends’ will explore

the glamorous life of fashion and take viewers through the hottest fashion trends along with useful and easy beauty tips. In addition, Trends will include interviews with fashion houses and upcoming designers. Viewers will also be able to get a feel for the clothes through first hand experiences from people who actually wear/buy the clothes. If you need to catch up on the latest Bollywood Filmi masala and gossip then ‘Buzz’ is one segment that can’t be missed. About Sony Entertainment Television Asia: Since its launch on the Indian subcontinent in 1995, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) has enjoyed rapid success, leading to the establishment of European, North American and African feeds known as SET Asia. SET and SET Asia are now available in over 150 countries. The channels offer their viewers a distinctive blend of entertainment programs twenty four hours a day, including, soap operas, dramas, sitcoms, concerts, movies, and game shows. Besides SET Asia, SET also has three other leading channels: MAX, India’s #1 premier movies and special events channel, SAB, the only dedicated comedy channel and Aath, the only dedicated Bengali Movie channel. For further information log on to

May 25, 2012


Creative Workshops to Highlight Innovative Heritage Summer Camp MANVEL: Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) Houston will conduct two innovative annual summer camps—one for ages 9-15 and the other for ages 4-8, focused on Indian culture and spirituality, at Houston Namadwaar located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel, TX 77578 (Pearland area). The youth camp, designed for youngsters aged 9 to 15 years, will be held once-a-week from June 13 to July 25, every Wednesday from 2 pm to 8 pm (except on Wednesday July 4th which will be a holiday). This camp will present a unique blend of activities that will enable the participants to get a taste of India’s rich, ancient culture and all-inclusive spirituality, while at the same time engaging their creativity through special workshops such as “Capturing Divine Moments” Photography, “Ayurvedic Chef” Cooking, “Hastha Kala” Ethnic Indian Art and “In the Gully” traditional outdoor Indian games like cricket, etc., all conducted by professionals and experts in the fields. The highlight of the camp will be a Folk Puppet-Theater Production workshop where the participants will produce a complete theatrical string-puppet presentation, including writing the scripts, creating the backdrops, creating voiceover audio and puppeteering. Other activities in the camp include an interactive audio-visual inspirational series

titled “Bharata Pradakshina”, a field trip, yoga, meditation, stimulating games, group discussions and much more. Participants can sign up for the whole 6 weeks or shorter 3-week segments. The cost of participating in the camp is $160 for the entire 6-week camp or $100 for each 3-week segment. Siblings get up to a $20 discount. Healthy snacks and vegetarian dinners are included. All proceeds go to a non-profit cause and are tax deductible. Registration can be done online at http://2012gksummer-youth.eventbrite. com/. The camp for younger kids, aged 4 to 8 years, will be held for 2 days on June 23rd and 24th (Saturday-Sunday). This camp will also focus on Indian culture and spirituality with exciting activities such as music & dance, art & crafts, stories, yoga, about India, and more. The cost for this camp is $60 with $10 discount for siblings. Lunch and snacks will be provided on both days. Again, all proceeds go to a non-profit cause and are tax deductible. The registration for this camp can also be done online at For more information about both camps, call 832-515-1251 or 281-303-5828, or email


Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, Call 713-789- NEWS (6397) or email us at:

IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY THE MODI LAW FIRM About The Modi Law Firm Attorney Susham M. Modi practices immigration law. In addition to his private practice, he is currently a Clinical Supervising Attorney at the University of Houston Law Center where he teaches upper level law students the skills necessary to practice immigration law. Immediately prior to working in Houston, Susham was an Attorney/ Advocate at Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic.

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16 May 25, 2012 COMMUNITY TNF Idol Leads the March to TNF Convention PEARLAND: The TNF IDOL 2012 Grand Finale was conducted successfully on May 12th, at the Sri Meenakshi Temple, Pearland. Finalists from all major cities in Texas competed for the crown in the four catergories- Junior and Adult Female and Junior and Adult Male. The journey of the first ever Tamil IDOL in USA started as the brainchild of Mr. Rajan Radhakrishnan (Cultural Committee Chair) in July 2011. Mr. Janarthanan and Mrs. Karthika Mahadev masterminded the concept and the show by putting in countless hours over the past eight months along with Mr. Raj Thiagarajan (Cultural Committee Coordinator) coming with rules and regulations, templates for the scoring matrix, and also standardizing the format for successfully conducting the show across the four Texas cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin. After the initial auditions and semi-finals in each city, the cream of the crop from each city headed to Houston for a literal sing-off. Playback singer Roshini was the distinguished judge for the finals and she was ably supported by local judges,Mr. Rajan Radhakrishnan from Houston and Mr. Gopinath Shanmugam, from Dallas. The show started with Introductory speech by Mr. Raj Thiagarajan fol-

TNF Idol Adult Finalists

lowed by invocation song by Mrs. Roshini. Two genres: semi classical and western tested the versatility of the singers and pushed them to perform at the highest levels. Srisanvitha Sridhar (Houston) and Adarsh Suresh (Houston) won the junior categories for Female and Male Idols. The Winners were announced by Mr. Narayanan and Mrs. Nach Vaduganathan. The Adult IDOL had much more drama with two contestants in both male and female categories ending with a tie. Sharmila Gurumurthy (Austin) was the winner for the tie off song edging out Vaishnavi Narasimhan (Houston). In the male category tie off between Ar-

jun Adapalli (Austin) and Ashok Krishnan (Dallas), the judges were evenly divided to where a second tie off was prevented by

sharing the IDOL title with both singers. The winners were announced by Mr. Appan and Mrs. Padmini Ranganathan (Convener)

TNF Idol Junior finalists


The event was lively with the audience cheering on their respective cities and the results were very well received. The show was a grand success with IDOL being the first step from the Cultural committee in shaping the convention. Mr. Janarthanan,Mrs. Karthika Mahadev (TNF IDOl Coordinators), Mr. Raj Thiagarajan (Cultural Committee Coordinator) and Mr. Rajan Radhakrishnan (Cultural committee Chair) were recognized by the TNF committee members at the end of the show and very well appreciated by the audience for presenting a memorable and interactive show over the past several months to the wider Tamil community. Registrations and food were handled by Mrs. Vijaya Rajan. Mr. Janarthanan and Mr. Raj took care of the audio visuals. The TNF IDOL Grand Finale event was sponsored by Mrs. Padmini Ranganathan and in part sponsored by TNF IDOL committee. The winners of the Idol will be crowned and recognized at the TNF Convention to be held in Houston over the Memorial Day weekend. Please visit for more information.


May 25, 2012

Rice Radio’s Cultural Peek at the Indian Drama Festival – Natyotsav 2012

HOUSTON: KTRU’s Specialty show Navrang’s director Varsha Vakil often goes far and beyond to seek local South Asian talent. Be it in music or theater, Houston based South Asian talent is more likely to be acknowledged by her and proudly presented to Houstonians through Rice radio via, 90.1FM HD2 and through free mobile apps available on the website. KTRU listeners other than the South Asian audience encompass varied American listeners with an eclectic taste. This time Varsha’s talent search embarked on artists staging the Eleventh Annual Natyotsav 2012 to be held on May 25, 26 and 27th at the Houston Durga Bari Society. Varsha via KTRU welcomes the rich Indian culture to be portrayed on stage and applauds the positive shift from cheesy Indian movie obsession to elite live stage performances. The Houston Durga Bari Society’s, Dipika Dasguta Memorial Natyotsav - Drama Festival 2012 will include drama’s which represent different regions of India as well as the various social issues that surround those regions. In an exclusive interview hosted on the Navrang Show, Saturday May 19, 2012, drama director Souvik Ghosh, artist Pushpa Das, actor, editor and music composer Kousik Bhattarcharya shared a wealth of Indian literature that the group plans

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Left to right : Souvik Ghosh, Puspa Das and Kousik Bhattacharya

to present via live stage performances during the Natyotsav 2012. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s work discussed during the interview enlightened not only Houston’s diverse crowd but also reminded Indians about the rich cultural heritage they hold. To personify this rich tradition this year Houston’s Durga Bari Society has welcomed other regional drama groups to the Natyotsav 2012. Drama Director Souvik Ghosh shared the joy on KTRU of sharing the platform with other talented artists from Shunya Theater Group, Natooke, BANA Natya Mandil, Re-Act, BRISHCHIK, Naatua, Rango Berango

and the Tagore Society of Houston. More information about Natyotsav 2012 is available on navrangktru. KTRU is proud to introduce to the community hidden talent that surrounds us here in Houston. KTRU offers local artists the much needed platform to showcase their talent. By introducing gifted artists Varsha the director of the Navrang show encourages other local talent to contact Rice radio via email to ktru@ Music CD’s by artists can be sent by mail to Attention KTRU at KTRU-FM, MS 506, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892.

From Bharatanatyam to Bollywood

From passion to compassion We cover them all

Indo American News Texas’s only all-color South Asian publication 7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Fax: 713.789.6399 •





Samir Date & Dipalee Somaiya Bollywood Milestones 1961-2011

Samir Date Group Leader & Lead Male Singer

A Musical Extravaganza With Live Orchestra Samit Poddar on Keyboard & Sanjeet Birba on Pad

$50, $30, $20 & $15 (Seniors & Students) Date: SUNDAY, JUNE 3RD 2012 Venue: CULLEN PERFORMANCE HALL


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Reaching One Million Children ****

Dipalee Somaiya Lead Female Singer

Samir & Dipalee visiting Ekal School - 2011

Uplifting India, one village at a time

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18 May 25, 2012

The Sanctity of Price

The first time I went to New York. I starved myself and stayed in a cheap hotel to buy a telephoto zoom lens. Then I walked down to where the camera shops were. I stepped into the first and asked for the lens. They quoted $150 and I quickly translated it into rupees in my head and was about to say yes when wisdom prevailed. I said I would come back. At the next shop it was $146. Three shops down, it was being retailed at $125. This whetted my Indian appetite for a deal. To cut a long story short, I finally got the lens for $55 and bargained it down to $42 and it served me long and well. What it taught me was a crucial lesson: Price has no sanctity. Indians have learnt this lesson well. Wherever they go in the world, they bargain, and bargain hard. People criticize them (less in these difficult days when buyers are not easy to find) but grudgingly respect them because while they may be bargain hunters, they are also huge spenders. A recent report said we are the biggest spenders when travelling overseas. But I recall my outrage when I tried to buy that telephoto lens and couldn’t discover its actual price. There was no internet then. All the shops claimed to be official retailers. I thought they were trying to con me. So I took out every Indian’s smartest weapon: the skill to bargain. Half a kilometre and twenty shops down the road, I won. The victory was sweeter because I got it for a steal. I lived in Calcutta in those days where prices seldom varied beyond 5 or 10%. I now live in South Mumbai where we buy mangoes at Rs 1200 per dozen from the neighborhood store. If I walk down the road and buy them from Breach Candy, I can get them for Rs 800. If I send my driver to Crawford Market (ignoring the waste of fuel) they will cost Rs 550. If I send him instead to Grant Road, it will be Rs 400. But nothing quite prepared me for the price I got them for in Navi Mumbai on my way back from Pune. A farmer was selling them for Rs 36 per dozen and you will have to believe me when I say they were the season’s best. The point is: The sanctity of price has vanished. A 5 star hotel room in Goa which costs Rs 4,000 throughout the year suddenly becomes Rs 45,000 between Christmas and New Year and you have to beg for it. An airline ticket that costs Rs 13,000 becomes Rs 46,000 when you fly at the last minute. I tried to buy a flat the other day. The builder quoted Rs 7 crore. I went back three days later to sign the deal and was told it was now Rs 9 crore. I asked why? The answer was pat. Someone had bought an identical flat for 9. Barring FMCG and pharma products with MRP stickers, everything else is determined by demand and supply. Since the demand comes from a tiny section of our population who can afford anything (Ferraris, yachts, private jets, Ducati bikes) the prices are set for them. What happens to the rest of us? We can do without the Ferraris, yachts, private jets and Ducatis but can we do without fruits, vegetables, seats in schools and colleges? Pritish Nandy in Times of India


Shining India, Swaggering India

BY SIDHARTH BHATIA of any kind. How often Rage is the dominant do we see this sense of emotion in India toentitlement being played day. Not the rage of the out at airports, where the underpri-vileged, of the great and the good breeze indigent, of Les Mispast security? erables who see no hope The bizarre part is that in this glittering nation we, as citizens of a dembut that of the privileged ocratic country, freely and the powerful. Poliaccept and even justify tician rage, film actor such feudal inequality. rage, celebrity rage, each After Shah Rukh Khan, one expressing an impawho finds it difficult to tience with rules, laws, India has not handled its success well. Instead of the keep his temper in check greater responsibility that should come with greater in India, was held up for conventions. Road rage, a quotid- power and wealth, we have chosen to swagger. questioning at an Ameriian occurrence on our can airport, many Indians streets, does not come were outraged because a sexual harassment case involving from the auto-rickshaw driver but one of his franchise’s players. A celebrity was treated in this manfrom the SUV owner who cannot party girl daring to blame a crick- ner. It did not occur to them that fathom why a pedestrian would eter for making passes? Let us for an American customs official, want to cross at a green light. At rubbish her on Twitter, in the most there are no exceptions, only the the other end, a high-flying indus- demeaning way possible. Where rules that must be followed. trialist is angry that the govern- at one time there would have been The rising rage is directly related ment, the media and perhaps even bland assurances of “looking into to our increasing lack of civilpassengers have somehow let him the matter”, now there is a direct ity. Sorry seems to be a word that and his airline down. That his attack on the girl’s reputation and has disappeared from our lexicon. business model could be flawed on the media for bringing it up. When common courtesies, such as does not occur to him and the The girl has dared raise her voice holding the door open for somequestion of apologising toshare- against a cricketer and by implica- one behind you, vanish, a society holders and customers is farthest tion the powerful people who own is well on the road to boorishness from his mind. and eventually rage. Good manhim, so she must be squashed. The Indian Premier League, that Time was when politicians ners are the bedrock of civilised fiery cocktail of big money and showed humility, even if fake social transactions. low sleaze has offered up many and contrived, to the public, fulIndia has not handled its sucexamples of such fury. Cricketers, ly conscious of the optics of the cess well. Instead of the greater mindful of the high expectations folded hands. Today, a chief min- responsibility that should come engendered by their high salaries, ister walks off in a huff when her with greater power and wealth, we have kicked stumps, threatened constituents ask questions that have chosen to swagger. We take rivals and wagged their fingers she finds inconvenient. And then grave offence at the most innocuat umpires. The glamorous and sends cops to check out the ante- ous of comments. We cannot stand influential franchise owners, ful- cedents of the questioners, who anyone making fun of our foibles ly aware that they have paid top are college students. Her message or our accent. We are ready to use dollar for the teams and therefore is unambiguous: I am powerful our diplomatic resources if some subject to no rules or conventions, and, therefore, can do whatever i advertisement in a far away counstrut about the stadium, leaving want to you serfs. try spoofs our ways. The world is no doubt who is the boss. Why Such messages, coming from laughing at our pompousness and should they listen to a small-time those who are in public life and this makes us more furious. security guard when they don’t should be role models of civility, The sorriest part of this is that care two hoots about the manda- filter down rapidly. The signal is our rage is turned against those rins who run the game? The wrath unambiguous: power allows you who cannot defend themselves. then is directed at the petty em- to strut and squash anyone who is And those at the bottom of the soployee; there is nary an admission, beneath you. More money, better cial pyramid, who suffer the most let alone an apology that perhaps job, bigger car are all markers of inequity and therefore have some the matter went too far and could influence and muscle, which must justification to be angry, are exhave been handled with dignity. be deployed to show the lower pected to meekly surrender. What Another celebrity, famous only orders their place. To these supe- will happen if one day they start for being his father’s son and the rior beings, the ordinary laws do showing their rage? -ToI escort of an actress, gets het up not apply. VIPs of all hues, for The writer is a journalist and a when the media asks him about a example, do not believe in queues commentator on current affairs.

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May 25, 2012 income tax

Now, Yoga, Sports Part of MBBS

CHENNAI (TOI): When MBBS students go to medical college this year they’ll have to carry yoga mats, bats and rackets along with their white coats and stethoscopes. The Medical Council of India, the statutory body regulating medical education, has made yoga and sports a part of the undergraduate medical education curriculum. The Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 2012 released by the MCI allot nearly 4% of the total teaching hours in the first two years of MBBS to sports and extracurricular activities including yoga. “Our medicos will no longer be dull boys. They will be able to unwind on the playground. We will teach students how they can stay healthy and fit by practising yoga and participating in sports,” said a senior member of MCI. At the MCI’s national summit in September 2011, vicechancellors from medical universities from across the country were informed

that certain alterations would be made to the MBBS course with a focus on students. The MCI made it mandatory for students to undergo a two-month foundation course, which will include yoga and sports, at the beginning of the academic year. Though most medical colleges have cultural programmes and sports, the MCI has now made sports part of the academic curriculum. Under the new regulations, 78 of the total of 1,880 academic hours in the first two years will be allotted to sports, extracurricular activities and yoga. Medicos usually have few activities outside academics, said Madras Medical College dean Dr V Kanakasabai. “Physical education was neither a priority nor was it mandatory for medical students,” he said. Sports experts say they expect medical colleges to take physical education more serious than schools. “Most medi-

cal colleges have huge playgrounds that conform to national standards. If professionals are appointed as trainers, they can help students stay fit,” said Dr Madhu Thottappillil, consultant to BCCI. The modifications in the curriculum have been welcomed by academicians. “It’s a good thing that students will not have only lessons once they enter medical college,” said Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University vice-chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan. Medicos will be taught about national health priorities and policies, universal vaccinations, ethics, patient safety including cost of treatment, healthcare financing, language and interpersonal skills and use of information technology in healthcare services. “India was the only country where ethics was not part of the medical curriculum. Our doctors should be on par with the best in the world,” said a senior MCI official.

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NEW DELHI (TOI): Registration of marriages will soon become mandatory in Delhi and couples who fail to do so within 60 days of tying the knot will have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. The provision has been made in the draft Delhi Registration of Marriages Bill 2012 which was cleared by a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet presided by chief minister Sheila Dikshit. The Bill, which will be introduced in the budget session of Delhi Assembly beginning next week, is being brought with

an aim to prevent child marriage, check bigamy or polygamy, enable widows to claim right on property and to ensure that deserted women get their rights like financial help and custody of children from their estranged husbands. Officials said all the marriages solemnised in Delhi or marriages solemnised out of Delhi involving a person who normally resides in Delhi will come under purview of the proposed legislation. The Bill also seeks to make registration of marriages a simple and hassle-free

process as presence of either the husband or wife at the designated offices will be enough for it. In special circumstances, a couple may even authorise their parents for registration of their marriages, provided documentation of the paper work is in order. “Any marriage will have to be registered within a period of 60 days from the date of marriage and violation of the provision will invite a fine of Rs 10,000,” said Revenue Minister A K Walia.

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Another Great Accolade for Meena Nair

BY SOWMYA NANDAKUMAR Meera Nair, an Indian- American film maker, lives in New York City and heads her film production company, Mirabai Films. She teaches in the film division of the Columbia School of Arts as an adjunct professor. Mira Nair is Malayali and Punjabi, born in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa on Oct 15, 1957. Her father was a civil servant and her mother, a social worker. Born in a middle class family, Nair is the youngest of three children. She went to boarding school in Shimla, to Loreto Convent Tara Hall. She studied at Miranda House in Delhi, specializing in Sociology. At this time she got involved with an Mira Nair: An Indian film maker, receipient of the Padma Bhushan. amateur drama company, and per- The Audience Choice Award. When 11 (2002), tells the real story of the formed political street theater with Nair was in Uganda shooting for this Hamdani family in Queens. Their them for three years. When she was film, she met her present husband, eldest son, who was missing after 19, in 1976, she left India and moved Mahmood Mamdani, who is also a September 11, was accused by the to the US, with a scholarship in Har- professor at Columbia University. media of being a terrorist. vard University, where she continued Nair’s films were now a brand in In 2004: Nair collaborated with to study Sociology. At Harvard, she themselves. The films that followed writer Julian Fellowes; she made met two important people: her first were The Perez Family (1999), Ka- Vanity Fair, (an adaptation of Wilhusband, Mitch Epstein, a photog- masutra: A Tale of Love (1996), a liam Makepeace Thackeray’s book), rapher and her screenwriter, Sooni period film set in 16th century India starring Reese Witherspoon. She Taraporevala, with whom she would has a complicated and twisted plot established a film lab, Maisha, in collaborate often, in the years to with manipulative characters. It was Kampala, Uganda, to help East Africome. nominated for The Golden Seashell cans and South Asians learn to make Nair started off her film career Award at the 1996 San Sebastián films. Third, she actually rejected an making documentaries. Her first, International Film Festival. Based on offer to direct Harry Potter and the submitted for a student thesis at Har- Dr. Abraham Verghese's best-seller, a Order of the Phoenix because she saw vard, Jama Masjid Street Journal book about a young immigrant doc- herself as a director of human beings, (1979), tells the story of a journey tor, dealing with the AIDS epidemic, their emotions and their realities and through the streets of a traditional Nair made My Own Country in 1998, did not want to concern herself with Muslim community in Old Delhi. starring Naveen Andrews. It won the fantasy and its special effects! Later broadcast on public television NAACP Award for the Best Fiction Namesake, based on Jhumpa Lain USA and India, the film won many Feature. In August 1999 she made a hiri’s book, starring Irfan Khan, Taawards. So Far From India (1983) documentary, The Laughing Club of bassum Hashmi (Tabu) and Kal Penn explored the clash of the American India, which won The Special Jury was released in 2007 but premiered in immigrant and Indian cultural value Prize in the Festival International de 2006 at Dartmouth College, where systems. India Cabaret (1985), about Programmes Audiovisuals 2000. Nair received the Dartmouth Colthe lives of cabaret dancers in a sleazy In 2001, came the acclaimed Mon- lege Award. That year she won India Bombay night club, won the Blue soon Wedding, starring Naseerud- Abroad Person of the Year Award, Ribbon Award at the American Film din Shah, Lillete Dubey, Vasundhara and again won the same award in Festival. Children of a Desired Sex Das, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and 2007, at which time it was presented (1987) explored in depth, the patriar- others. Sabrina Dhawan, the screen- to her by Indra Nooyi, Chairperson chal system of female feticide, aided play writer, wrote the first draft in and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc. She was by Amniocentesis, a sex determina- a week while she was at Columbia also honored with the Pride of India tion medical process performed on University's MFA film program, and Award (2007), in the 9th Bollywood pregnant women. Being a Sociology Nair took 30 days to direct the film Movie Awards for her contributions student seems to have made Nair a over the summer of 2010! But the film to the film industry. socio-centric film maker with social earned just above $30 million at the In 2009, she directed a short film issues being the focus of her early box office. Set entirely in New Delhi, New York, I Love You, and a 12-minfilms. the film was an international co-pro- ute movie on AIDS awareness, MiNair’s first feature film Salaam duction between companies in India, gration, funded by the Bill Gates Bombay (1988) with screenplay by the United States, Italy, France, and Foundation. The same year she made Sooni Taraporevala, explores the Germany. The film won the Golden a biographical film, Amelia, which plight of Mumbai’s street children Lion Award and was nominated for a reportedly did not do well at all. She is through protagonist, Krishna’s life. Golden Globe. Apparently, Nair lost supposedly filming Words With Gods Salaam Bombay was nominated for hours of footage of this film when this year and another film, The Relucan Academy Award for the Best For- the negative was shipped to New tant Fundamentalist, is scheduled for eign Language Film. York and x-rayed. Also, Nair was to release in 2013. In 1988 it won the Camera D'Or have directed a musical based on the An ardent Yoga practitioner, Nair, (for best first feature) and the Prix du film, with music composed by Vishal reportedly takes her cast and crew Publique (for most popular entry) at Bharadwaj, which was scheduled to through a morning Yoga session bethe Cannes Film Festival and 25 other release in Broadway in 2011. But that fore shoot. Meera Nair served as a international awards. is yet to happen. Member of the Jury at the Cannes Next in line was Mississippi Masala An HBO original film, Nair's next Film Festival in 1990, and Head of (1991), starring Denzel Washington, feature Hysterical Blindness, set in Jury at the Berlin International Film Sarita Choudhary and Roshan Seth working class New Jersey in 1987, Festival in 2002. In 2012, President – a second generation Indian family, stars Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Pratibha Patil conferred on her, Indisplaced from Uganda, migrate to Gena Rowlands. The film amassed dia’s third highest civilian award, the Mississippi where the daughter of an audience of 15 million. Padma Bhushan. With her string of the house falls in love with a Black After September 11, 2001, Nair be- accolades, and international recogman; the film explores the consequent came one of an acclaimed group of 11 nition, Nair is definitely a director race and culture clash drama. It won filmmakers, who were commissioned whose works and accomplishments, three awards at the Venice Film Fes- to direct a film 11 minutes, 9 seconds Indians the world over can be proud tival including Best Screenplay and and one frame long. Nair's September of.



Believe. It can Change your Life!

May 25, 2012


Ever heard of Hasil Adkins? A multi-talented musician, his story can inspire us all. BY PRAKASH IYER HASILAdkins was an entertainer – a musician who played rock and roll and country and Blues. He never won a Grammy award, but in his own way, he was a hero and an inspiration. Hasil was born in West Virginia in the US, the youngest of 10 children in a family of rather modest means. He spent his early childhood chasing the dream of becoming a musician – often missing school to spend time banging drums and strumming the guitar. With not enough money to spend, he taught himself to repair cars and washing machines, so he could pay for his passion for music. True winners are like that. They learn to rise above their circumstances. They don’t allow adversity to dampen their dreams of making it big. What made Hasil an exceptional performer was the fact that he was a one man band. He would sing. And he’d play the guitar. And with his feet he’d play the drums. That’s not all. He’d also played the harp and the piano. And the harmonica, which he would hang around his neck. In fact, Hasil would keep an array of instruments around him when he performed, and what’s more, he played every instrument in every composition he sang! Quite amazing, isn’t it? How did he do it? Most of us would struggle to play even one instru-

about what we can do – and more importantly, what we cannot do. We grow up believing in our limitations, our weaknesses. Our beliefs about what we cannot do often limit our achievements. Now imagine what might have been if we believed we could do anything we wanted! Some of us believe we are not good at math – and the sight of numbers and equations sends a shiver down our spine. If you want to change that, the answer may not lie in math tuition or more practice hours: change would have to start with a change in our thinking, our beliefs. We want to run the marathon, but we believe our legs can’t take it – and so we don’t even try running. Before you start practicing for the run, you need to start believing that

There’s always a multi-talented Hasil inside each of us, waiting to play an array of instruments ment. We’d probably tell ourselves “I can’t… I am not good enough.” Or we’d probably rationalize “Nobody can play all instruments.” So how did Hasil Adkins do it? The story of how Hasil came to play every instrument in all his songs is interesting. It seems as a little kid he was listening to the radio one afternoon. And after a song ended, he heard the radio jockey say “… and that was Hank Williams.” The young lad listening to the ra-

dio assumed it meant that Williams played every instrument in that song! And he began to believe that if he wanted to become a music star, he needed to be able to play all the instruments too! That was it. That belief – that mistaken belief – changed his life! Hasil’s beliefs drove his actions. He started playing every instrument he could lay his hands on. And his beliefs transformed his reality. That’s always the case. We all have beliefs

you can run. If you want to change the outcomes in your life, you need to start by changing your beliefs. And then, the magic begins. There is a multi-talented Hasil Adkins inside each of us, waiting to play an array of instruments. Waiting to do the impossible. The problem is, we don’t believe in ourselves, our abilities. Good idea then to ask yourself: What one thing would you dare to do in life if you knew you could not fail? What dream would you dare to live if success was guaranteed? Whatever the answer, get to work on it right away. Tell yourself you can do it, that success is guaranteed – 100%. And then watch the magic begin. If Adkins could do it, you can too! -

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Sonam’s a Delhi-Belle

(TOI): This gal believes in swimming against the tide, literally. So while Katrina, Deepika and Sonakshi are busy choosing between plum offers down south, this Kapoor gal is moving up north. Recently, zoOm caught up with Sonam at a fashion event, and she revealed, “I think I’ve some sort of a connection with Delhi. First, it was Delhi 6 and now, both my upcoming films, Raanjhnaa and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag are going to be shot in the city. I’m even considering living at the JN University; I’m figuring out the logistics. It’s going to be a different and cool experience for me.” It’s a good idea, Sonam. But we’re telling you, there’s much more ‘capital’ down south!

SRK, Anushka Sharma in Farah’s Next Film

Mallika Sherawat Goes Backless at Cannes (TOI): Mallika Sherawat always manages to make news at Cannes - especially for her ensembles. In fact, many people were disappointed when the sassy actor opted for a subdued look sporting a Victoria Beckham outfit at a recent event there, but not much later she did a Mallika Sherawat as always. At the Cannes premiere of Madagascar 3, the actor went a step further with her red carpet style - she wore a nude plunging backless dress that was held together by a thin blingy belt at the waist. As for her makeup and hair, she went 70s, choosing winged eyeliner and a bouffant a la Saira Banu. While the look was simple, Mallika’s outfit was definitely a better and more daring choice than some of dresses she wore the previous two years at Cannes. But whether her regular red carpet appearances here will fetch her more roles in Hollywood is the big question. So those who thought that Mallika had gone understated this year at Cannes now stand corrected. The lady always makes sure that at least her outfits, if not her roles, make an oomphy statement!

Job Posting:

(TOI): Barely days after Shah Rukh Khan and her husband Shirish Kunder hugged and made up after their infamous brawl at Sanjay Dutt’s party at a Juhu nightclub, Farah Khan managed a casting coup of sorts by roping in SRK as the leading man in her next. Wasting no further time, we hear the choreographer-turned-director has now zeroed in on her leading lady as well. And Mirror can tell you Farah has gone no further than SRK’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi co-star Anushka Sharma for the prized role. Anushka is very excited with the offer, and has agreed in principle. And the modalities are being worked out. It would also be safe to say that like other biggies in B-town, SRK too, may have had a say in Anushka’s selection. A source told us, “Farah obviously wants someone big in the film; someone who is hot and happening. Kareena Kapoor and Katrina Kaif were the obvious choices but Anushka has won the race.” The source added, “Farah too is quite fond of Anushka. She was

quite impressed by her dancing abilities in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.” Meanwhile, Anushka, who will soon also start shooting with Aamir Khan for Rajkumar Hirani’s next Peekay, is busy working out her dates for Farah’s film. The source pointed out that Anushka and SRK have always shared an excellent professional equation. “They gelled very well during the making of Rab Ne

Former Miss Universe, actress Lara Dutta and tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi welcomed a baby girl on January 20, 2012. Just months after delivering her first baby, Lara is all set to get back to work. Now let’s see whether Lara’s daughter chooses Bollywood or sports as her career.

Bana Di Jodi, where they were romantically paired. They share screen space in Yash Chopra’s next but there, Katrina Kaif plays the lead opposite Shah Rukh,” the source explained. With Farah’s film expected to hit theatres in 2013, it would be refreshing to see SRK and Anushka together again after five years. Both Farah and Anushka remained unavailable for comment.

Shilpa Shetty’s Baby Boy Joins Bollywood’s GenNext (IBN): Shilpa Shetty is the latest name in the list of new Bollywood moms. Shilpa gave birth to a baby boy at a Mumbai hospital on May 21, 2012. From Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Aamir Khan, lately a lot of Bollywood stars welcomed new members in their family. So move over the Bachchans, Roshans and Kapoors rivalry. In another couple of decades, we may see a lot of star kids making their debut in the glamour world. The most popular star kid at the moment is definitely six-month-old Aaradhya Bachchan, better known as Beti B. Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan welcomed their first child on November 16, 2011. Now, all Bachchan fans are eagerly waiting for Aaradhya’s first pictures. Meanwhile, many fake pictures of Aishwarya with the baby girl have been doing the rounds on the internet.


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RECIPES Paneer Tikka Kathi Roll INGREDIENTS: Paneer Tikka Filling Paneer (cottage cheese) 1/2 inch cubes- 1 cup Tomatoes, seeded and chopped- 1 medium Oil-1 Tbsp G r e e n P e p p e r, s e e d e d a n d chopped- 1 medium Onion- Chopped Thin and Long1 small

May 25, 2012

Eggless Strawberry Mint Ice Cream

We went strawberry picking and had awesome time picnicking and picking strawberries off the’s so much fun to pick your own fruits. I made a lot of Strawberry-Cinnamon Jam, ate a lot of them and used the rest of the strawberries to make this delicious Strawberry Mint Ice-Cream. This creamy delicious ice-cream is eggless, super quick, easy to make and soooooooo delicious.

Marinade Yogurt, whisked-1/2 cup Water- 2 Tbsp Red Chilli powder- 1 tsp Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp Ginger paste- 1/2 tsp Gram flour (besan)- 1 tbsp Chaat masala- 1 teaspoon Dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon Salt- To taste Chapatis Whole wheat flour (atta)-1 cup Water-1/4 cup Salt-To taste METHOD: 1. Mix together all the ingredients of the marinade in a deep bowl. 2. Add Paneer and tomatoes and toss lightly. Set aside to marinate for 30-40 minutes. 3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add Onions and Green Pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes on medium high flame.


PS: If you plan to use store bought sweetened strawberry pulp, you may not need to add any sugar. Method: 1. Chill the bowl and beater of your electric mixer in the freezer for 5-7 minutes. Also keep heavy whipping cream chilled until ready to use. 2. Beat the cream in the chilled bowl until it doubles in volume and forms soft peaks. 3. Add the condensed milk and sugar and beat for 30 more seconds. 4. Stop the mixer now; add mashed and chopped strawberries, chopped mint and mix well with the help of spatula. 5. Pour into a airtight container and freeze. Rich, Creamy and absolutely delicious Strawberry Mint ice-cream is ready! -Both Recipes by Vaishali Sharma

4. Add the paneer mixture and sauté over high heat for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook till dry and set aside. 5. For chapatis -Combine all the ingredients and knead into soft dough. Divide the dough into six equal portions. Roll out each portion into a thin chapatti. 6. Heat a tawa (flat bottom grill) and cook each chapati on both sides with some oil on both sides. Set aside.

7. Divide the Paneer tikka filling into six equal portions. Place one portion of the filling in the center of each chapatti and roll up tightly. SERVE HOT!! PS: If you like more spicy and tangy; apply a thin layer of any chutney (hot sauce) or pickle masala in center of chapatti before putting Paneer mixture. Yummmmm!!!

Ingredients: 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk 2 cups powdered sugar 2 cups pureed strawberries (just wash, hull and mash the strawberries in a mixer) 1 cup chopped strawberries (optional; we like to have chunks of strawberries in the ice-cream) 14-15 leaves of fresh mint (you can chop them finely or mash in the mixer with the strawberries)

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24 May 25, 2012

India Fast Becoming an Intolerant Society Uproar in Indian Parliament over a 63-year old cartoon

BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT Two days before the Indian Parliament celebrated its 60th birthday in a spirit of bonhomie and reverence, there was an unprecedented ruckus that had thrown the Lok Sabha into altogether a different kind of turmoil. It all occurred when one of the members discovered that a cartoon published 63 years ago in then famous Shankar’s Weekly showed Ambedkar with Nehru and felt that it amounted to showing disrespect to their icon, Ambedkar. The cartoon that was drawn by the celebrated cartoonist Keshav Shankar Pillai himself, seemed to be depicting Nehru with a whip in his hand and chasing Ambedkar, seated on a snail, urging him to speed up work on the Constitution. The cartoon was reproduced in a civics text book published by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Even if the feverish interpretation of those who had raised this issue is to be believed, there was still nothing wrong or disrespectful about the cartoon. Way back in 1949 when Shankar’s Weekly first published this cartoon, both Nehru and Ambedkar must have had a hearty chuckle. The book was published and widely prescribed in all the senior schools throughout the country about six years ago and no one had even noticed anything amiss about it. In Washington Irving’s famous story published in 1817 the protagonist Rip Van Winkle had slept only for 20 years; here the modern day Rip Van Winkles had slept for 63 years to discover the ‘offending’ cartoon. The ruckus was unprecedented in the sense that the parties across the political spectrum voiced their approval in unison. Even the HRD minister Kapil Sibal stood up on his own initiative to apologize for, what he called, an ‘objectionable’ cartoon and said that the orders had been issued for stopping the distribution of these books. He also indicated that the government would examine if any criminal offence was made out against those who “drew or included the cartoon in the book”. Not just content with proffering this assurance, he even went a step further and volunteered that a committee of experts would be constituted to look into all such cases of objectionable cartoons. The fallout of the parliamentary ruckus was that Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar, two of the distinguished members of the NCERT advisory committee on text books, resigned in protest. The offices of Palshikar in Pune too became the target of vandalism. It is indeed a

pity that an innocuous political cartoon should have caused such a tumultuous uproar in the Indian Parliament which underscored in sharp relief the lack of sense of humor among our parliamentarians. Also it brought into focus that our honorable MPs have misplaced priorities; as a result they are unable to determine the importance or otherwise of an issue. The country today faces multiple crisis situations with governance at the Center and even in most of the states in a state of inertia. Instead of raising and discussing more serious issues, the parliamentarians unfortunately seem content with discussing and making an issue of non-serious and frivolous matters. What is of greater concern is the lack of respect that is generally shown to those holding and voicing contrary views? It is sad to admit that India has today become an intolerant society despite the Fundamental Rights of freedom of expression and speech enshrined in the Constitution. The cartoon genre per se is intended to be a political caricature essentially to ridicule and

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lampoon the subject or make fun of a political event. PUNCH was the first magazine to introduce cartoons way back in 1843. Since then the cartoon has become an inalienable feature of print media of today and is greatly relished and enjoyed by most readers. Even such leaders who are ridiculed or caricatured as such take all this lampooning in the same spirit in which it is drawn without showing any ill-feeling or malice towards the cartoonist or the publication. The US President Barrack Obama has been a popular target of cartoonists of all hues as also of Radio Jockeys, and it goes to his credit that he has never even once taken umbrage to the way his image is generally exaggerated and presented in cartoons and caricatures. Even the Indian leaders of the yore like Gandhi, Nehru and many of their contemporaries did not mind being caricatured. Of the current leaders, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and even Atal Bihari Vajpayee are the favorite targets of cartoonists and they take sportingly all this satirizing.

In fact, the freedom of expression, which also includes the right to dissent, is now being widely questioned and is fast coming under attack. The Indian society, particularly the Hindus, by and large had been very catholic and tolerant and willingly embraced ideas and thoughts from other societies and religions. Even there are also fringe elements amongst Hindus who too are intolerant and zealously protect what, they believe, are their inherited traditions and rituals. Of course, some communities in India also have closed minds and are very wary of interpretations that are different from their accepted and traditional customs. Mahatma Gandhi despite being religious was a great votary of tolerance and acceptance of other religions and his prayer meetings used to have recitations from all religions. His favorite bhajan, “Ishwar Allah Tero Naam” symbolized his catholic approach. He too had a great sense of humor in spite of his otherwise serious demeanor. Once he had said, “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” Alas, the present day ‘politicians’ are small men with small minds and are blissfully ignorant of what humor or wit means. No wonder, they were most vociferous in their denunciation of the controversial cartoon. In particular, these small men and women zealously guard the reputation of their ‘icons’ as if those tall men need any protection from their so-called followers. An Ambedkar or Gandhi or even for that matter other stalwarts have too high a stature to need any protection; their reputation is etched in the pages of history and cannot be compromised by anyone making disparaging comments on their conduct. There have been several other instances in the recent past in which politicians and others of the fringe groups had taken up cudgels against comments made by many authors against their respective icons. Some time ago, some groups started an agitation against Pulitzer-prize winner author Joseph Lelyveld for his comments on Gandhi that they perceived to be a bad reflection on his otherwise upright character. This led to the banning of his book “Great Soul; Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India” in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Likewise, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in Gujarat banned a book by its own leader Jaswant Singh that had questioned the role of Sardar Patel in the partition of the country. Even some parties took exception to the martyr Bhagat Singh being described as “born in a Jat Sikh family” in one of the his profiles calling it as a ‘castist remark’.

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20: The main theme of this week is change. There will be many transformations on several fronts. Since your foundations are solid and stable, the transformations will not shake your fundamental equanimity. You will feel the need to communicate your feelings in a more articulate way, but only to people who really matter to you. You might want to try new things, as life’s monotony is boring to you. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21: You continue with the technical upgrading of your business operations, and in the process may make several new tech-savvy contacts, which will stand you in good stead in the long-run too. Your own personal workload may have been mounting. Things may have piled up to a great extent, making you realise that you may have to work overtime to get all of it done. While you make more money, it is important to cope well with the pressure and find time to enjoy. GEMINI May 22 - Jun 21: As your extremely favourable phase continues, success will inspire you to greater success. The best part is this success does not go to your head. You will still remain a cool and composed person. Note that it is not just adversity, which is difficult to digest, but success too. Because you remain level-headed in success, it will lead to great wisdom and understanding. CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23: While on the professional front there may be obstructions and frustrations, things shall be happier on the personal front. Work-wise, you may desperately want to make faster progress, but things may just not happen as per your plans. Your actions may lead to undesirable results. Always think before making any move and try to maintain a cordial rapport with your peers. On the personal front, there is a possibility of romance, engagement, or even marriage. LEO July 24 - Aug 23: This is an important phase in your life wherein you shall become very conscious of not making any mistakes. You will want to do everything in the right and profitable way. Your ambitions shall grow, as you get to further explore your potential. Even your bosses will be amazed with your performance and efficiency. Romance is in the air, and it will likely culminate into a marriage. There is a likelihood of a new addition to your family, which may increase in your responsibilities. Overall, it is a propitious phase. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23: After the recent storm, expect a calm to prevail now. This looks set to be an extremely favourable period you will excel at whatever you do. Chances are that you will be feeling very balanced now, and your actions will win the appreciation of all around you. Your own consistent efforts are behind all the goodwill and success you garner now. Even for speculation on the stock market, this appears to be a good time, so you can take calculated risks.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23: You are in full form now, and you have enough reserves of energy for handling the demands of both your personal and professional life. Though you work really hard, you will be inclined to give more priority to your family. You will also catch up with long forgotten friends and spend some nostalgic time with them. The stars are in your favour now, you can go ahead and undertake projects that would otherwise seem risky to you. SCORPIO Oct 24 - Nov 22: Your progress towards your goals, slow and steady so far, will take a distinct upturn now. Since you are meticulous and organized in your work, there is no scope for confusion, and you will be quick in taking decisions. On the personal front, your positive attitude will please all your loved ones. You are lucky to have an understanding family, and though they too need your quality time, they will not compel you to compromise on work. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22: You are likely to strike up new alliances, and may find it rather difficult to sustain the existing ones. Try your best to preserve them, but if your efforts don’t work, it would be best if you let go and move on. This applies equally to your personal as well as professional alliances. Holding on to relationships that are of no use any more will only hinder your progress. Besides, the new alliances will have significant influences in your life. You will gain a lot in wisdom during this phase. CAPRICORN Dec 23 - Jan 20: A heap of good things are in store for you this week. Your friends, colleagues and acquaintances shall all be very cooperative, even affectionate, and to top it all, there is a distinct possibility of a new romance blossoming. You will perform creditably in whatever task comes your way, be it a meeting with the boss, an interview, or an exam. Professionally, there will be a plethora of possibilities to be explored, whether you are employed or seeking employment. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19: These are testing times for your temperament, for you will be prone to losing your temper over trivial things.Keep it in check, as it can have a negative impact on you and may lead to resentment among the people around you. You are moving at a fast pace, travelling for personal and official purposes. It could be the longish phase of inertia that had goaded you into action, but you seem to be in a rush to get things accomplished as fast as possible. There is likely to be an excessive outflow of funds. PISCES Feb 20-Mar 20: You now realise the danger of over-working, as the stress caused by the hectic pace of the past few weeks begins to tell on you both mentally and physically. You can read the signals your body is sending you to slow down. If you feel you need to take a break to relax and unwind, do it now. You will seriously think of taking up spiritual practices, meditation or yoga to de-stress. As you apply the brakes, you shall see much-needed stability returning to your life.



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26 May 25, 2012

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under his original management due to a delay in the handing back of the restaurant by Meena Agrawal & her company ShriHari Enterprise Inc any inconvenience to our loyal clientele is regretted For further information, call 281-914-2716 INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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Rupee Descends to 54.72 vs. U.S. Dollar MUMBAI (TOI): The rupee today dropped by 30 paise to 54.72 against the US dollar in late morning trade, due to on fresh demand for the American currency from banks and importers despite a weak global trend. The local unit resumed lower at 54.45 a dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market as against the last weekend’s level of 54.42, and dropped further to 54.72 per dollar at 1100 hours. Forex dealers said fresh dollar demand from banks and importers in view of capital outflows from foreign funds despite weakness of dollar in the overseas market mainly affected the rupee’s value. Buffetted by a sliding Indian rupee and surging dollar demand for imports, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday eased some curbs to attract dollars from NRIs and scrapped the interest rate ceiling on exporters’ foreign currency credit. But the measures, aimed at taking the steam off the currency, may only provide temporary relief, analysts say. The central bank raised the cap on interest rates offered by banks on non-resident Indians’ deposits to make it attractive for those who earn less than 2% in most parts of the Western world. Aiming to attract long-term money, the cap on three- to five-year deposits has been raised to 3 percentage points above international benchmark rates from 1.25 percentage points. For less than three years, it will be 2 percentage points, raised from 1.25 percentage points. These are for the so-called FCNR (B) deposits, where the bank bears the currency risk since it will repay the depositors in US dollars. With the benchmark London InterBank Offered Rates, or Libor, at 1.05% for 12 months, NRIs could earn 3.05% in US dollars on their deposits up to three years. For longer

maturities, it could go up to 4.05%. Libor is the rate at which banks in London intend to lend to each other, and is used to price bonds and loans worth trillions of dollars. But these higher returns may still not lure NRIs in droves since transaction costs, convenience and tax rates play a role. “It will help improve the sentiment at least in the near term,” said Parthasarthy Mukherjee, president, treasury and international business operations, Axis Bank. “And banks will be able to lend more freely now.” The Reserve Bank of India has been intervening to arrest the fall of the rupee, which has been the worst performer among top countries in Asia, losing 6.14% after the Union Budget on March 16 upset foreign institutional investors. The avalanche of demand for dollars from international investors, who are pulling out due to tax issues and importers’needs, has limited the impact of the central bank’s intervention.

The rupee has declined 1.7% this week to 53.4750 per dollar, Bloomberg data shows. It touched 53.9225 on Friday, the lowest level since December 15, when the currency plunged to a record low of 54.305, prompting the RBI to impose strong curbs on speculation. Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday expressed concern over the sharp fall in rupee and said it was linked to the Eurozone uncertainty. Mukherjee stressed the Centre was keeping a close watch on the situation. He was speaking to reporters after attending a programme at the Indian Statistical Institute. “RBI and the finance ministry are keeping vigil. I know there are areas of concern, including the rupee. The way it is depreciating vis-a-vis the dollar is a matter of concern. We are watching the situation, but it is closely linked with the uncertainty in the Eurozone. The Centre is not sitting idle. We are trying to resolve the issue,” he said.

India’s Loss is SE Asia’s Gain

HONG KONG(Reuters): Southeast Asian nations are swallowing an outflow of money from India, as foreign investors lose patience with its policy paralysis and slowing growth and aim instead for more promising emerging markets such as Indonesia. Corruption scandals and high inflation have added to India’s woes, which have seen growth slow to a three-year low while the fiscal deficit widened to 5.9 percent of GDP in the last financial year. “India was sold on the promise of high growth which simply hasn’t panned out over the past four years,” said Gautam Prakash, founder of U.S. based hedge fund Monsoon Capital. Foreign portfolio flows into Indian stocks have dropped 99 percent to just 5.17 billion rupees ($96.5 million) since a March budget that largely disappointed investors.Among the most significant developments from the shift has been the direction in which money is headed - with a big chunk flowing to Jakarta and other Southeast Asian capitals. Two provisions put forward in the budget to tax indirect investments and combat tax evasion were the last straw for some global mutual funds, prompting an acceleration of money leaving India. While the provisions were later put on ice, the prospect that such a tax could be proposed in India was enough for some investors to send their Asia-allocated money further east. “You’re seeing a situation where the ‘I’ in BRIC is being replaced by Indonesia,” said Tim Condon, head of research and strategy for Asia at ING.An emerging market brochure distributed by Franklin



Templeton last month had data on India missing from a world map. From a global leader in emerging market investing, led by omnipresent guru Mark Mobius, that omission was telling. India exposure in Asia’s biggest equity fund, the $18 billion Templeton Asian Growth fund, dropped to 16 percent of its assets at the end of March from nearly 20 percent a year ago, while exposure to Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries rose to 35 percent from 31 percent during the period. An ASEAN-focused equity fund launched by Daiwa Asset Management started with about $366 million in February and has since grown to manage about $430 million, while Fidelity Funds-ASEAN has seen a net inflow of nearly $250 million in the last year. The bigger ASEAN markets do not necessarily offer a compelling case on valuation grounds. “Generally we are more negative on India than we are positive on the alternatives, such as Indonesia and the Philippines where we feel the markets have perhaps run ahead of themselves,” said David Baran, co-founder of Tokyo-based hedge fund Symphony Financial Partners. “ H o w e v e r, t h e A S E A N alternatives do have more positives and less negatives than India and we think that foreign investment outflows from India into the ASEAN alternatives are highly likely to increase if anything.” Indian shares trade at price to book value of 1.9 times, higher than 1.4 times for Asia Pacific shares as a whole but less than 3.1 times for Indonesia, 2.2 times for Thailand and 2.5 times for Philippines, according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine.


INDIA May 25, 2012

Six Indian Scientists Elected Fellows of the Royal Society for 2012 him one of the forefor maximally most organic chemrobust controlists of his generalers has had a tion and one who is profound imwidely recognized pact on linear internationally. control theory. BalasubramaniHe developed an, a Herchel Smith the feedback Professor of melinearization apdicinal chemistry proach to nonat the University of linear control, Cambridge, and Seand provided a nior Group Leader, general separaCancer Research tion principle UK, Cambridge for nonlinear Research Institute, control. is an internationally His notion recognized leader in of inverse dythe field of nucleic namics feedacids who is distinback converted guished for his piohighly nonlinDr. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar, head of the Department of Bioengineering ear equations at The University of Texas at Dallas, an internationally known expert neering contribudescribing robot in control and system theory, has been elected a Fellow of The Royal tions to chemistry motion into de- Society, the oldest continuously operating scientific society in the and its application to the biological and coupled linear world. medical sciences. equations, and He is a principal he extended the lence in Indian biology. Growing theory of rigid robots to flexible under his inclusive leadership, the inventor of the leading next genrobots. He has combined probability National Centre for Biological Sci- eration sequencing methodology, theory, combinatorics, and artificial ences is recognized internationally as Solexa sequencing, that has made routine, accurate, low-cost sequencintelligence to produce a beautiful a world-class institution. unified theory of statistical learning, Aggarwal, a professor of synthetic ing of human genomes a reality and and used it to solve NP-hard design chemistry at the University of Bristol, has revolutionized biology. Virdee, a professor of physics at problems. is distinguished for his outstanding Vijayraghavan, director of the Na- contributions to the field of asym- Imperial College London, is pritional Center for Biological Sciences, metric synthesis, particularly applica- marily distinguished for the design, Tata Institute of Fundamental Re- tions of ylide chemistry, where he is construction and exploitation of the huge CMS experiment at the CERN search, Bangalore, is an inspirational the world leader. leader successfully promoting excelHis productivity and breadth make Large Hadron Collider. He originated


LONDON (IW): Six Indian scientists, including two Indian Americans, with exceptional expertise in their respective fields, were recently announced as newly elected Fellows of the prestigious Royal Society for 2012. The new Indian American Fellows are professors Chandrashekhar Khare and Mathukumalli Vidyasagar; along with Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan of India; and Varinder Aggarwal, Shankar Balasubramanian, and Tejinder Singh Virdee of the U.K. Khare, a professor of mathematics, Department of Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles, is an original mathematician studying the relationship between Galois representations and modular forms. His forte is finding ingenious but relatively simple new ideas. He and his colleague Jean-Pierre Wintenberger proved Serre’s conjecture on the modularity of mod p Galois representations, a conjecture that was widely considered completely out of reach even after previous work on Fermat’s Last Theorem. This conjecture in particular implies the modularity of all odd rank two motives over the rationals, according to a press release. Vidyasagar, Cecil H. & Ida Green Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas, has made outstanding contributions to control and systems theory and statistical learning. His solution

the concept of CMS with four colleagues around 1990 and there are now over 3,000 participants from 38 countries. A native of India, Vidyasagar attended the University of Wisconsin and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering by age 17. At 21, he completed his doctorate and by age 35, he was given an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellowship for “contributions to the stability analysis of linear and nonlinear distributed systems.” Vidyasagar spent his early career as a professor at Concordia University in Montreal and the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada. Then he directed the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics within the Indian government’s Ministry of Defense. He then became an executive vice president of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software company and one of the 10 largest in the world. He managed a team of 80 engineers and scientists working on advanced encryption methods, opensource software, quantitative finance and bioinformatics. Under his leadership, the company helped ensure the authenticity of electronic signatures through digital certificates, educational transcripts through an RFID chip embedded into the document and identity through electronic processing of passport applications.

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May 25, 2012

Aamir: “I’m Not a 24X7 Social Activist” JAIPUR (Outlook): Aamir Khan’s 13-episode Satyameva Jayate which fuses together the mass appeal of celebrity with the mass reach of the TV medium to raise awareness on social issues, is already the toast of drawing rooms. But it has also sparked questions: do hi-glitz shows such as this have a lasting impact? Or could this, like other shows, end up being just another platform to peddle products? Aamir spoke to Namrata Joshi in Jaipur. Excerpts: Did you expect the programme would strike such a chord? I was hoping it would be this huge. It has been a dream “What I am doing here is empowering the viewers with 360 degree information on an issue. The information is emotional, social, legal, response. Is the response due to the economic about the possible solutions and the way forward.” issue, the cause or the sheer power of your stardom? more about underlining things However, here I am asking people No, it’s not about my stardom. with emotions. Like I did with the to do what I am doing myself which Perhaps in a broad way people issue of childcare and education is to look within and ask what am would come to the show thinking in a film like Taare Zameen Par. I doing about it. It’s not about let’s see what he is saying. But it’s The information people get from physical action but an internal, a combination of the research work a newspaper and magazine article personal journey. The biggest of my team and the strength of TV doesn’t change their heart. Very few change we can bring about is in which can, potentially, take change people cry on reading newspapers. I ourselves. I am not asking people to every home. I am the via media try to affect them emotionally. to come on the roads and take in getting people to watch the show, The show has been criticised by out a dharna. Three crore female to see the extraordinary stories of some for being too manipulative... foetuses have been aborted in the ordinary people. I am using honest emotions to last 30-40 years. Female foeticide Female foeticide (the topic of say something good. Look at the is a crime planned in our bedrooms the first episode) has been much manner in which I open the show. I and we can’t have cops in the covered in the media. But Aamir talk about mothers and motherhood. bedrooms to monitor us. But if we Khan has got everyone talking Then go on to pick one mother to get even a hint that something like about it now. Is the star turning into show how we treat our mothers. this is being planned in our family a citizen journalist here? I don’t say the word foeticide or by our friends we can create a I am happy to be called a journalist. immediately at the start of the ruckus. I won’t tell you to decide. The first phase of our job, when we show but after two cases have been I won’t judge you if you don’t do were dealing with research work I discussed. I gradually take you to anything. The choice has to be was a journalist. What I am doing the issue. I am a communicator. yours, I can’t force it on you. I hope here is empowering the viewers I scare you with its eventualities people do find courage and desire with 360 degree information on an when I talk of women being bought to change. So if a doctor who has issue. The information is emotional, and sold. I am not limited by the been involved in foeticides decides social, legal, economic about the format of an article. I am on a after seeing the show that he or she possible solutions and the way general entertainment channel. I am won’t do it anymore bas mera kaam forward. Of course it is limited to a person who makes feature films. ho gaya. Even if one girl child is my understanding of it. How my These are my skillsets and I am saved then the show is a success. team and I, to the best of our ability, using them to deal with the issues. I will be on TV. I will also be on have understood various issues Am good at engaging with people Vividh Bharati, AIR, Radio Mirchi, after two years of research. emotionally. That’s what I have a Star News. I will write a column in But I get creative when it comes passion for and am good at and I HT. With every issue I want to go to taking that material to people. I am using that ability. wide on many platforms. It’s a deep am interested in reaching people on Do such shows bring about and concentrated approach to reach a human level. It’s about what is the change? Or do people engage and out in as many different ways as most effective way to touch your move on? possible. I hope it will make people hearts. I am using entertainment Often the stance on any problem understand an issue for a life. to reach out. Which is not to say is why doesn’t the police, the I am using fun and games. It’s government do something about it. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

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Senate Cuts Pak Aid Over Supply Standoff WASHINGTON (HT): A US Senate panel voted cuts in aid to Pakistan on Tuesday and threatened to withhold even more cash if Islamabad does not reopen its supply routes for NATO soldiers in Afghanistan, reflecting American frustration over a months-long standoff. The action by the Senate appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid followed a weekend NATO summit in Chicago at which Washington had hoped to reach a deal with Islamabad to end the supply line dispute. Pakistan closed the supply routes through its territory to Afghanistan in protest when US aircraft killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border last November. NATO has been seeking to compensate via expanded shipments of war supplies via Afghanistan’s other neighbors. The Senate panel voted to cut aid to Pakistan by 58% in fiscal 2013 from the request by the administration of President Barack Obama, said the panel’s chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy, who like Obama is a Democrat. The senators voted $1 billion for Pakistan, including $800 million in foreign aid. However,

funding for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund was limited to just $50 million, and that money was tied to the supply lines’ reopening, said Senator Lindsey Graham, the panel’s top Republican. “We’re not going to be giving money to an ally that won’t be an ally,” Graham told reporters. The counterinsurgency fund was established several years ago to help train and equip Pakistan’s military. The panel’s spending blueprint must still be approved by the full Senate and the House of Representatives before it can become law. But criticism of Pakistan in Congress and demands for a complete aid cutoff have been growing, especially after Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan. Pakistan has been one of the leading recipients of US foreign aid and in recent years. US lawmakers have approved more than $20 billion in aid and reimbursements since 2001. The administration suspended $800 million in aid for Pakistan’s military last year but the aid could be restored if Pakistan would display more commitment to counter-terrorism operations.

Pakistan closed the supply routes through its territory to Afghanistan in protest when US aircraft killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border last November.

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May 25, 2012

Aamir: “I’m Not a 24X7 Social Activist”


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you asked I am getting Rs 3.5 crore per episode. Firstly what I get is none of anyone’s business. Main apni mehnat ki kama aur khaa raha hoon. [I am earning and enjoying the benefits of my hard-work]. I am not doing anything wrong. Main izzat se, achchaa kaam karke roti kama raha hoon aur mujhe fakr hai is baat ka [I am honourably, by doing good work, earning my bread, and I am proud of it]. Secondly to clear the misconception this amount includes the cost of the episode also. The bulk of the money goes into the cost and some of the episodes may have overshot the amount. Thirdly, I have endorsements deals of about Rs 100-125 crore per year. I have stopped them for a year while the

show is on. There’s no logic in the decision, it’s purely emotional. But tell me who has ever said no to Rs 100 crore for a cause? So what issues do we see next? We started off with 20 topics of which we fleshed out 16 and eventually locked in 13. These are topics which affect every Indian. But the topic of next week will not be revealed in advance. Even when I start the episode you wouldn’t know immediately. It’s not just the topic that’s important but also on how I present it and get you engaged and involved with it. Will you discuss contentious political topics like Gujarat, Kashmir, North East? The issues will be social more than political. At this point I want to concentrate only on social issues. But it’s impossible to cut away political aspects from any issue. Also if we bring about change in the people and their perceptions our political processes will also change over time. You’ll see all kinds of India: the India I have seen. There are heartbreaking and traumatic stories, inspiring stories of great courage and high values and ideals. Do we see you taking to politics like stars abroad? I have always been categorical about my no to politics. Political alignments, party affiliations I am not interested in.

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People are critical of the way you get involved with a cause and then get out. For instance, the Narmada protest, which you joined briefly. I find it a very faulty critique. It’s actually your desire of seeing me as a full time, 24X7 social activist. I am not that. It’s not what I claim to be. I can agree, support, endorse but I can’t leave my job which is films. Talaash is delayed right now. But I will go back to it. Am doing Dhoom 3 and P.K. next. But I will continue to support causes while doing my work. I can’t measure up to the 500% expectations that you have of me. I am consistent with what I am committing myself to. It’s like I have just said that I will come and have tea with you but it’s you who are assuming that I am going to come and live with you for life. If my involvement with an issue seems less to you then why don’t you do the good work? You can question me two months hence that you had done a show on this issue and why don’t you remain with it your entire life. According to me it’s for the state and administration to take forward the job. You, as an individual, also need to take a call, be responsible and decisive. There are whispers about your charging Rs 3 crore per episode for a show on serious social issues... I never discuss my fee. But since


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May 25, 2012


Zardari Breaks Stalemate in US-Pak Ties

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ISLAMABAD (PTI): President Asif Ali Zardari played a key behindthe-scenes role in negotiations that helped end a stalemate in PakistanUS ties over a deadly cross-border Nato attack and paved the way for Islamabad’s participation in a crucial summit on Afghanistan, official sources said on Saturday. Zardari took the initiative to break the logjam in bilateral ties after negotiations faltered when hawks and the security establishment insisted on a US apology for the Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. Pakistan had retaliated to the attack by closing supply lines for foreign forces in Afghanistan. Following meetings and contacts away from the glare of the media, the President indicated to the Obama administration that he would attend the Nato Summit to be held in Chicago during May 20-21 if the two sides could agree on some sort of a face-saving arrangement, the sources told PTI. In earlier meetings with top US officials like Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who visited Pakistan early last month, the Pakistani side had been noncommittal about attending the Nato Summit. An understanding on Zardari’s participation in the summit was in place by the first week of May, well before NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen formally extended an invitation to the President on May 15, the sources said. The President stepped in after protracted negotiations between Pakistan and the US over the past four months failed to produce any results. The security establishment, which found itself backed into a corner after adopting a hard line against the Americans, was left with no option but to let Zardari play a role to try and end the

stalemate, the sources said. Reports in the Pakistani and Western media have contended that Pakistani officials created confusion by saying that the US should apologise for the NATO attack after Islamabad concluded a Parliamentary review of relations with Washington. Pakistani has now apparently climbed down on the demand for an apology as foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar recently said the time had come to “move on” and repair ties with the US. The decision-making regarding ties with the US was also affected by frosty relations between Khar and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, who was given the status of a federal minister by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on April 11. At the same time, American officials have been “uncomfortable” dealing with Khar, diplomatic sources said. “It is not very easy negotiating with the Pakistani foreign minister, who doesn’t show much flexibility in discussions,” a source familiar with discussions between Pakistan and the US told PTI. During talks between an American delegation led by Special Envoy Marc Grossman and a Pakistani team headed by Khar in Islamabad on April 26, the US defence and security contingent led by Peter Lavoy, assistant secretary for Asia and Pacific Security Affairs, left a meeting due to remarks made by Khar, sources said. Following this development, officials in Ambassador Sherry Rehman’s camp leaked stories to the Pakistani media which contended that talks with the US were being affected by a “spoiler” in the Foreign Office. A report in The News even said that the handling of the talks by Khar was being

“censured by the participants.” Foreign Office insiders acknowledged that decisionmaking regarding ties with the US was being affected as both Khar and Rehman had the status of minister. It is believed that Rehman, a senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and a close confidante of slain Premier Benazir Bhutto, had sought the status of minister to dispel the impression that she was working under Khar, who joined the PPP shortly before the last general election in 2008 after walking out of the PML-Q, which was linked to then military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

March Against NATO MANSOORA: The Difai-Pakistan Council (DPC) announced on Saturday that it would hold a long march from Karachi to Islamabad in protest of the possible reopening of Nato supply routes by the government. A meeting of the council was held here today which was attended by Hafiz Saeed Ahmed of Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), Syed Munawwar Hasan of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), former ISI chief General Hamid Gul, and others. Maulana Sami ul-Haq, the chief of the council, warned the government against opening the supply routes. He announced holding a peaceful long march from Karachi to Islamabad. Haq said that Prime Minister Gilani and his cabinet were unconstitutional, and therefore had no right to decide on ‘reopening’ the supply lines. Moreover, he also urged people to take part in the long march.

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May 25, 2012

Police: Pomersback Confessed of Molesting American NEW DELHI: Investigators said Investigators on Sahil is a friend of Monday claimed that Royal Challengers Australian cricketer owner Siddhartha Luke Pomersbach, Mallya. Siddhartha arrested on charges of had allegedly invited molesting an American him to the post match woman, had told them party at the fivethat he inadvertently star hotel where the touched the victim incident took place. and was under the On the sequence influence of alcohol of events, the official when the incident said, when the alleged took place. Police incident took place, sources also said that five persons — the name of Royal Peerzada, Hamid, Challengers player KP Sahil’s friends Moiz Appanna has cropped Delhi policemen escort Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach (C) before a n d M i r a j , a n d up in the case after a court appearance in New Delhi. Pomersbach — were he was identified in present. a CCTV footage. He Pomersbach official said, “We have examined was allegedly seen accompanying the CCTV footages and identified returned to the victim’s room after Pomersbach to the room of the Appanna. We have spoken to him. he allegedly misbehaved with the victim. We are yet to formally question woman. Pomersbach was arrested on him.” “When Pomersbach came for the Friday after Zohal Hamid alleged Appanna, a leg spinner who plays second time, Appanna was with that he molested her and hit for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy, him,” the official said. her fiance Sahil Peerzada when could not be contacted for his Appanna had come to ask whether he objected to the cricketer’s comments. Siddhartha was there in the room, behaviour. Peerzada was punched He was allegedly seen with the official said, adding Hamid had in his ear following which he had Luke at the corridor of the hotel, also corroborated it. to undergo a surgery. Investigators said they have the official said, adding they were Sources claimed that the yet to ascertain whether he entered also recovered the statement of Australian cricketer, who is playing the room where the victim was Peerzada’s friend Moiz. for Royal Challengers in IPL, has staying. Asked about Hamid’s allegations confessed to the crime. Zohal had alleged that some team that Pomersbach’s teammates were Pomersbach or his lawyer could members of Luke had pressurised pressurising her to withdraw the not be contacted for comments. her to withdraw the case against complaint, the official said police On Appanna, a senior police Pomersbach. was not ruling out the possibility.

Bill to Protect Kids from Abuse NEW DELHI (Indian Express): The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011, which seeks to spell out sexual abuse of children separate from the relevant provisions under the Indian Penal Code that applies uniformly to children and adults, and provide for stringent punishment for the offences. “This Bill contains stringent provisions that will deter the offenders of child sexual abuse,” Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said.

She said every person below 18 years will be considered a child under the legislation and the burden of proof will be on the accused, which will act as a major deterrent against sexual abuse. “The Bill is gender neutral. It seeks to protect children from sexual offences... the burden of proof will be on the accused,” she said. The issue of putting the burden of proof on the accused came under criticism from RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, both of whom apprehended that this provision can be misused.


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May 25, 2012

KKR Ride into IPL Final ... Finally

Kolkata Knight Riders 162 for 4 (Yusuf 40*) beat Delhi Daredevils 144 for 8 (Jayawardene 40, Kallis 2-24, Narine 2-24) by 18 runs BY ABHISHEK PUROHIT PUNE (ESPNCricinfo): After four seasons of at times embarrassing underachievement, Kolkata Knight Riders will play for the IPL trophy on Sunday. For almost two-thirds of the qualifier against Delhi Daredevils, they nearly blew it, though the odds were stacked in their favour right from the start. On a pitch where the first ball of spin turned sharply, Knight Riders had three spinners waiting; Delhi Daredevils stuck to playing three specialist fast bowlers. Daredevils’ strategy did not seem to have backfired when Knight Riders lumbered to 106 for 4 in 16 overs. In the chase, despite losing Virender Sehwag and David Warner in the first 13 balls, Daredevils were right in the hunt at 83 for 2 after 10 overs. But like they had suddenly bolted away in the last four overs of their innings, Knight Riders choked Daredevils in the latter half of the chase. Daredevils did not help their cause, sending Pawan Negi ahead of Ross Taylor, who finally came in at No. 7 when the askingrate was more than 14 an over. The late boost that carried Knight Riders to a challenging Yusuf Pathan powers one away during a handy cameo, Delhi Daredevils total on the difficult pitch came v Kolkata Knight Riders. from the unlikeliest quarters. Yusuf Pathan, who had done alJust when it seemed Knight ended up parrying it for six. Yusuf most nothing the entire season, and Riders had wasted Gambhir’s ef- cover-drove and flicked the last Laxmi Shukla, playing in place forts upfront, Yusuf and Shukla two deliveries for fours. of an unfit Manoj Tiwary, carted launched into the quicks, who did The core of the attack that had the quicks for 56 off the final four not let up on the pace. Varun Aaron taken Daredevils to No. 1 position overs, and 36 off the final two, as and Umesh Yadav kept bowling in after the league stage had been Knight Riders surged to 162. the late 140s with Morne Morkel taken apart. Yadav and Morkel Gautam Gambhir had once again not far behind. But the faster they went for 37 each, Aaron for 48, ingiven Knight Riders a strong start, bowled, the ball only came on bet- cluding 21 in that final over. taking the fast bowlers for several ter on the slow pitch. The last thing Daredevils needed boundaries. He had sped to 32 Yusuf began the assault in the at that stage was a rough decision, off 16 deliveries before he failed 17th over, carting a Morkel length and pat it came in the second over to make his ground to a direct hit ball for a straight six. Shukla took of the chase. Warner, who had just from mid-off after having backed the lead in the 19th, making room smashed Shakib Al Hasan for six up too far. Not for the first time to loft Morkel over extra cover for over long-on, missed the next ball after Gambhir’s departure, Knight four and pulling him over deep as he pushed forward, but was Riders lost their way. Only 58 square leg for six. It was to get given out caught by umpire Billy runs came off the next ten overs as worse for Daredevils in the last Doctrove as the ball popped up to Negi, the left-arm spinner, and Ir- over. David Warner dropped Yusuf the wicketkeeper off the pad. Sehfan Pathan strangled the batsmen. as he ran across from long-on and wag departed next ball, edging an

attempted cut off the impressive L Balaji to the keeper. Just when it seemed Daredevils had done themselves in even before Sunil Narine came on, Naman Ojha and Mahela Jayawardene responded with the highest stand of the match. The duo took Shakib, who had a forgettable game, for 15 runs in the fourth over. Bowling too quick to get any bite from the surface, Shakib was lofted insideout and down the ground for two fours and a six. Though the general lack of pace in the Knight Riders attack started to make its presence felt, Ojha and Jayawardene kept the runs coming. The duo was in control when Ojha cut a long hop from Bhatia straight to Gambhir at backward point. A few tight overs and Venugopal Rao’s struggle further increased the pressure on Jayawardene. The threat of Narine, who gave just seven runs in his first two overs, forced him to attack the other bowlers, eventually leading to him being stumped off Abdulla in the 15th over. With 55 needed off 32, Sehwag sent in Negi ahead of Taylor, who hit his third ball from Narine for six over wide long-on. But it was too late by then. Daredevils have another chance to get it right in the second qualifier on Friday.

IPL Schedule

2nd Qualifying Match: Daredevils vs. Super Kings at Chennai May 25, 2012 (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT) Final: KKR vs. TBA at Chennai May 27, 2012 (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT)



Azlan Shah Hockey: Bouncy Turf at Ipoh

BANGALORE: A bouncy blue turf and hot, humid weather greeted the Indians on the first day of training ahead of the 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at Ipoh on Tuesday. The team, which reached the Malaysian city on Monday after a gruelling 22-hour journey from Pune, had its first training session on Tuesday and had to grapple with the bounce that characterises the blue turf. The team had struggled to come to terms with it during the Olympic test event earlier this month. “The turf is still new, and the ball bounces a fair bit if you don’t pass it properly,” chief coach Michael Nobbs said However, the team is in ‘good spirits’, according to Nobbs. “The boys are all in good spirits and good health. They have been told to drink enough water to make sure they keep there fluid levels up as this will be a problem with the weather so hot.” The Indian team will be led by goalkeeper Bharat Chetri. India will open their campaign against New Zealand on May 24 followed by matches against Korea (May 25), Great Britain (May 27), Malaysia (May 28), Argentina (May 30) and Pakistan (May 31). The tournament runs until June 3. India have won the title on five occasions earlier - in 1985, 1991, 1995, 2009 and 2010.


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Language groups available for this offer: Hindi l Urdu l Bangla l Bengali l Tamil l Telugu l Malayalam l Kannada l Marathi l Punjabi

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* MasterCard Prepaid Card Referral offer: Valid for activation and installation of new DISH service under Digital Home Advantage with a 24-month Agreement and subscription to the Bangla Mega Pack, Prabasi Bengali Pack, Hindi Mega Pack, Hindi Premium Pack, Hindi Super Pack, Kannada Mega Pack, Malayalam Mega Pack, Maha Pack, Punjabi Pack, Tamil Mosaic Pack, Tamil Mega Pack, Telugu Pack, PAK Mega Pack, GEO Pack or ARY Pack by 6/30/12. Requires online redemption after new installation; must redeem by 8/15/12. New customer must maintain eligible programming to receive Card, which will be mailed 4-6 weeks after redemption. Existing DISH account must be in good standing at time of referral; maximum of five referrals. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. DISH MasterCard Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank™ pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated. This card does not have cash access and can be used at any merchant where Debit MasterCard is accepted. Card valid through expiration date shown on front of card. 2012, DISH Network L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.


May 25 Pages 1-36  

May 25 Pages 1-36