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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

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Friday, June 25 2010 | Vol. 29, No. 26

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Indo-American Makes Political History

Nikki Haley celebrates her runoff victory with her husband and children

COLUMBIA: In a clear sign of the South’s racial progress, Republicans overwhelmingly chose Nikki Haley, an Indian-American woman, to run for governor in South Carolina and easily nominated Tim Scott, in line to become the former Confederate state’s first black GOP congressman in more than a century. Tuesday’s runoffs and primaries played out across four states, the latest cluster of contests to determine matchups for the midterm congressional elections about four months away. With her victory, Haley moved one step closer to becoming the first female governor in the conservative leaning state.

Infrastructure Collapses During Stage Construction Forces A.R. Rahman to reschedule rest of Jai Ho concert performances in North America HOUSTON: “We have been forced to cancel the show in Detroit due to an infrastructure collapse at The Pontiac Silverdome,” wrote the Oscar-winning composer on his Facebook page. Several workers were treated for minor injuries after structural complications caused some of the rigging to collapse and damage part of the set of Rahman’s Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour during stage construction on the afternoon of June 19. The Pontiac Fire Department was called to the scene to assist in the clean-up and begin an investigation of what went wrong. The concert was quickly called off, and patrons learned of the news via the venue’s web site and Twitter or were greeted at the parking lot by security guards who told them the news. Organizers also pulled Rahman’s Sunday, June 20 stop scheduled for Toronto’s Air Canada Centre as well as those to have taken place on the West coast and Texas during the coming fortnight. Rahman himself tweeted about the cancellation, promising that the shows “will be rescheduled” and adding that, “I regret any inconvenience this causes my fans

Due to an infrastructure collapse, we have decided to postpone the remaining dates of the North American leg of this tour and will reschedule them at a later date. That is the best option we have, considering the circumstances - Deepak Ghattani

and am deeply grateful no one from my team or the local Detroit stage crew was seriously injured.” He subsequently tweeted after visiting the injured workers, noting that, “It’s a miracle that my

team escaped with minor injuries. Thanks to the almighty that everyone’s safe.” “We have decided to postpone the remaining dates of the North American leg of this tour and will

reschedule them at a later date. We will go ahead with the concerts scheduled in Europe and UK. That is the best option we have, considering the circumstances,” explained concert producer Deepak Ghattani of Rapport Productions. “The incident was very unfortunate and least expected,” remarked a disappointed Moid Khan of BollywoodShows4U, promoter of the Houston concert. “But, the extra time (between now and the rescheduled date) gives us the opportunity to come up with a better show in every way,” he cheered. “I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused our friends in the U.S. and Canada. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, as we will have the opportunity to perform for you with even more energy and perfection,” offered Rahman, echoing Khan’s sentiments. Unconfirmed reports state that the rescheduled concert will take place sometime in September in Houston. Whatever the date be, Khan promises that tickets already purchased “will be good for the new date - same venue, same row, and same allotted seat.” For further enquiries, contact Moid Khan at 281.235.4711 or at bollywoodshows4u.com

Pandit Jasraj: Ultimate in Classical Performance

Indian Professor to Save the Day Finally, a glimmer of hope for the Gulf Oil Spill: A unique material created by an Indian professor at Texas Tech University is proving that it can successfully trap crude oil and absorb the toxic vapors that the oil gives off. The material, called Fibertect, was developed by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, an associate professor of nonwoven technologies at the university’s Institute of Environment and Human Health.

Complete Story on Page 41

By Jyoti Kulkarni HOUSTON: Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj created “naad brahma”, the ultimate in music, at his vocal rendition of Hindustani classical music concert at the new Stafford Civic Center on Sunday June 20th.

I have heard many of Panditji’s concerts, which always create unmatched spiritual energy, but there was ethereal ecstacy in this particular performance that was hosted by the India Music Society (IMS) and the Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston (CICMH).

Panditji started by singing Vilambit khayal in raag Madhuvanti followed by Din Ka Puriya (Puriya is otherwise considered a night raaga). He ended the first half by rendering Haveli sangeet.

From Left: Samir Chatterjee, Miss Apurva Swami-Ghosh, Shri Hemant Bhavsar, Sangeet Martand Padmavibhushan Pt. Jasraj-ji, Pt. Suman Ghosh and Pandita Tripti Mukherjee. Photo: Navin Medivala

Complete Story on Page 3

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Indo American News • Friday, JUNE 25 , 2010 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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Pandit Jasraj: Ultimate in Classical Performance at the Age of 80

Continued from Page 1

Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India, was the chief guest for the concert in celebration of the 80th birth anniversary of Pandit Jasraj. CG Arora said that Panditji’s music is a “soul stirring, spiritually uplifting musical experience”, before he read out a proclamation in Panditji’s honor. In the second half, Panditji sang a shloka of Adi Shankaracharya “Bhaje Vrajeh Kanandanam Samasta Paap Khandanam” in raag Darbari Kaanada. With a sense of humor, Panditji said that the rendition might put the listeners to sleep, but at the end of the recital, the entire near-capacity audience was on its feet, applauding at the heart and soul stirring rendition. Jasrajji then concluded his recital with “Karar Vinden “in raag Nat Bhairav”. With all the accompanying artistes singing recurring lines of “Govind Damodar Madhaveti”, the maestro, whose voice even today travels in all three octaves effortlessly, took the audience into a transcendental trance, creating heaven on earth. It is admirable to see the Sangeet Martand, who has achieved so much in the Indian classical music world to give thanks to God by saying, “ Woh jo chahta hai, wohi gawata hai aur wohi suna deta hai”. I believe it is this bhakti and humility that makes Pandit Jasraji’s music divine. Pandit Jasraj was accompanied by his ardent and able followers who are well known exponents of the present generation of Mewati gharana: Pandit Suman Ghosh of Houston, and Pandita Tripti

Pandit Jasraj-ji receiving flowers offered by the Consul General of India, Mr. Sanjeev Arora Photo: Navin Medivala

Mukherjee of New York. Superb percussion accompaniment was provided by Pandit Samir Chatterjee on the tabla. Chatterjee is on the faculty of Yale University. Local artiste Hemant Bhavsar accompanied the vocal artistes on the manjira along with young inductees to the Mewati gharana, Amaya and Apoorva Swami Ghosh on the taanpura and they even joined the vocalists during the chanting of “Govind Damodar”. Panditji is currently on a con-

cert tour throughout the US to celebrate his 80th birth anniversary. Both Pandit Suman Ghosh and Pandita Tripti Banarjee have been instrumental in arranging this concert tour. The emceess for the evening were Sonal Bhuchar and Anil Sheth. After the concert, Panditji was felicitated with an arati by Archna Tripathi on behalf of the CICMH and by Suresh Shenoy and Rucha Sheth of IMS with the presentation of shawls.

Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

Cricket-Mad Indian Touted as Next Deutsche Bank CEO BERLIN: Anshu Jain already captains Deutsche Bank’s cricket team, and a boardroom reshuffle last week means that the Indian big-hitter is now seen as a prime candidate to be chief executive too. Jain, 47, has just been appointed sole head of the German lender’s most powerful division, its corporate and investment banking division, which accounts for the lion’s share of group revenues and profits. Previously Jain, who until recently owned a stake in the Mumbai Indians, the all-star Indian Premier League cricket team owned by the super-rich Mukesh Ambani, ran the division in tandem with Michael Cohrs, who is retiring. He will run all Deutsche’s sales and trading operations, including government and corporate bonds, commodities, emerging markets, equities, foreign exchange, money markets, interest rate and credit derivatives. Armed with a degree from Delhi University and an MBA in finance from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Jain first cut his teeth at Merrill Lynch in New York before moving to his present employer in London in 1995. And despite running a division that earned its crust using the kind of opaque investment bets that brought the global financial system close to collapse in 2008, Jain is generally seen as having had a “good” crisis. He is credited with having managed rapidly to re-organise his division post-crisis and get it back to making money. In the first quarter of 2010, it generated 2.7 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in pre-tax profits. Since 2002 he has been

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Jaipur-born Jain, 47, was named sole head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank, the Frankfurt institution.

on the bank’s executive committee and since April 2009 a member of the management board, earning an estimated 9.7 million euros last year, 200,000 euros more than the man he might succeed, Josef Ackermann. “Of all the internal candidates, Jain has the best chances,” Konrad Becker, analyst at private German bank Merck Finck, said. But Deutsche Bank is no ordinary bank, and being selected to fill the Swiss Ackermann’s shoes will not be easy. And a strong candidate from outside the bank, which employs 77,000 people worldwide, may yet emerge.-TOI Indo-American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly on every Friday (for a subscription price of $30 per year) by Indo-American News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036, Tel: 713-789-6397, Fax: 713-789-6399, Email: indoamericannews@ yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo-American News, 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036.

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IACCGH to Host Eleventh Annual Gala Seeks Sponsors and Award Submissions

HOUSTON: The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) will hold its 11th annual gala and awards banquet on Saturday, August 14, at the Westin Galleria Hotel. The theme for this year’s event is Think India, Think Houston to capture the spirit of business interchange and opportunity that exists between the nation’s fourth largest city and one of the fastest growing economic powerhouses in the world. Special guests include Indian Consul General and Mrs. Sanjiv Arora and Houston Mayor Annise Parker -- both of whom will address the gala audience. The event will begin with registration and a reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Dinner and the awards ceremony start at 7 p.m. in the hotel’s Plaza Ballroom. During the ceremony, recipients of the annual IACCGH awards will be recognized for their efforts to enhance business and trade relationships between the U.S. and India.To submit an entry for an award in the category of Outstanding Business Person of the Year, Outstanding Young Business Person of the Year (age 40 or under) or Outstanding Business Woman of the Year download the nomination form (from www. iaccgh.com). Nominations must be completed and returned to the Chamber office

by June 30, 2010. Event sponsorship opportunities that include publicity components still exist at varying levels, ranging from $25,000 to $1,000.

A limited number of individual seats are available at $250 each. Members of IACCGH can contact the chamber for special members-only rates. The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston would like to acknowledge their major event underwrit-

ers, Wells Fargo Bank and Continental Airlines, as well as their media underwriter, the Houston Business Journal (at time of print). The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston is the voice of the Indo-American business community. IACCGH is committed to facilitating commerce between the U.S. and India. The chamber strives to use its good will to enable Indo-American businesses to succeed while facilitating access to the Indo-American market for its members. IACCGH actively supports its members by offering a mentoring program for small businesses, networking events, lecture series, and presenting visibility at events with partners including Government Procurement Connections, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance Expo, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council Expo and Diversity Summit. For the benefit of member businesses, valuable alliances have been created with complementary organizations such as the Greater Houston Partnership and the

Houston Minority Business Council. “Our organization has grown from a few charter members in 1999 to several hundred members today,” said IACCGH President Madhukar Prasad. “Our members include a large number of small businesses, professionals and consultants, who are the backbone of our economy, as well as large corporations. It’s all about the impact we can make as a powerful and united front.” “Since its inception more than 11 years ago, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston has served the needs of our members as well as our community. We hope to stimulate economic and industry growth and promote Indian business success in the U.S. while providing our business partners with access to opportunities in India. In our 11 years of existence, we’ve proven our worth to our members, offering them opportunities to engage in bilateral trade, participation in our community outreach programs, our diversity and educational initiatives, and networking and visibility opportunities,” said Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia. For underwriting and sponsorship opportunities, to get information about the gala or for general membership information email almamach@aol.com, call 713-624-7131 or visit www.iaccgh.com

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SOCIETY

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HCC And iPad, The Future of the Classroom? HOUSTON: A pilot program offered through Houston Community College Southwest is allowing students to revolutionize their

classroom experience and save money by using Apple’s newest innovation, the iPad. The program allows a select group of students

the use of an iPad for the semester to download a copy of their textbook and lectures– completely for free.

“Our student population is constantly on the go, juggling work, family life and attending classes,” says HCC Life Sciences Professor Dr. Paul Garcia. “Having a mobile device that is big enough to actually see text and lectures is an excellent resource both educationally and financially for our students.” During these tough economic times, HCC students are feeling the pinch and typically pay up to $200 per textbook. With an average 12-hour course load, a student will end up paying approximately $800 a semester for textbooks, in addition to tuition and fees.

as an extension of the classroom. Students have access to Connect, a classroom management system, where they can view recorded lectures, study guides, practice quizzes, video clips, and have the ability to contact classmates and their instructor through a webmail system. With the iPad weighing in at 1.5 pounds, students can carry it anywhere they go without feeling inconvenienced. This also allows them to take a quick glance at their course materials whenever they have a few moments to spare. The integration of the iPad in the classroom is not only enhanc-

HCC Anatomy and Physiology students Darlington Finebone, Razia Fathima, and Maritza Hernandez use the iPad to help them dissect the anatomy of the heart during a lesson on the cardiovascular system.

HCC’s innovation grant pilot program allows students to learn and save money at the same time. “It’s hard having to come up with the money to buy books every semester,” says Mari Hernandez, an Anatomy and Physiology student. “With the iPad, I was able to download it for free and start studying right away, instead of waiting until I could afford to buy the book.” Like Hernandez, 24 other students in Dr. Garcia’s Anatomy and Physiology II course are also taking part in the pilot program. The goal is to measure the effectiveness of using the iPad as a learning tool. “The iPad is typically thought of as more of a consumer product”, says Dr. Garcia “but with the right fine-tuning we were able to modify some applications to make the lectures easy to view for the students.” The iPad will also help serve

ing the way students learn but also changing the way instructors teach. Students now expect stimulation and immediacy; everyone wants everything faster and easier than before. “Our students are already so visual as far as learning styles that it’s becoming the new wave,” says Dr. Garcia. “We, as instructors, are going to have to adjust our teaching methodology in order to keep them engaged and in using the iPad, we can show the students movies and animations and give them a wide array of multimedia resources that they can tap into.” HCC Southwest has previously incorporated the use of the Amazon Kindle in several courses, due to its success in an earlier pilot. At the end of this pilot program, HCC will evaluate Dr. Garcia’s integration of the iPad and decide whether or not to expand the program to other courses.

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Dr. Jayaprakash Urges NRIs to Work for a Better India

By Ravi R Ponangi ATLANTA, GA: During the month long “Rejuvenate India” tour of different cities across America, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta urged NRIs to join hands with people back home to work towards a better India. He asked the best and brightest to take politics as a calling and not as a business. While quoting Margaret he said: “A small group of thoughtful and committed individuals can change the world.” While describing the role of NRIs in “Rejuvenating India,” Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan explained how since pre-Independence days till recent tech revolution they played an active role. Today NRIs, who had seen various societies of the world, could promote good things back in India. He mentioned how NRIs could build a bridge between India and the rest of the world. He said that India had seen a galaxy of leaders, who fought for its Independence, many of whom studied abroad. They were the brightest of the brightest and privileged of privileged. Many of them came back for fighting for the Independence of India. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, a former member of the Administrative Reforms Commission, a sitting MLA in Andhra Pradesh, and the president of Lok Satta Party, toured different cities across America for a month on an invitation from “People for Lok Satta,” a non-profit political organization. He kicked off “Rejuvenate India” tour on May 4 in Boston and concluded it on June 2 in St.Louis. He addressed more than 50 gatherings all over the US. He visited Boston, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle,

Narayan included words of wisdom, inspirational messages sprinkled with humor and goading every one to work in guiding the country in the right direction. He spoke about the achievements of the NRIs, the problems with the Indian political system and how one could go about changing the system. His speeches were always followed by question-and-answer sessions. He answered questions from the audience on a wideranging topics like, solutions to corruption, how NRIs Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan –Dr Jayaprakash could contribute, five Narayan is a physician by training, a public things that would servant by choice, and a democrat by bring about change, conviction. secularism, forLos Angeles, Bay Area, Atlanta, eign policy towards Pakistan and Dallas, Houston and St.Louis . China, women in politics, the TeHe also interacted with hundreds langana issue, and establishing a of individuals and many diverse national think-tank and a national groups in different cities across judicial commission along with a America. host of other things. He was overwhelmed by the In all the gatherings in various interest among Indians in the US in shaping up India as one of the world’s super powers. “They told me that it is for the first time that a politician from India has carried on a sustained campaign on rebuilding India and ensuring justice to one and all,” he added. People gathered in large number in all cities to hear Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and enjoyed a chance to interact with a leader and a visionary. . Speeches of Dr. Jayaprakash

cities, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan stated that the energy, enthusiasm, and passion shown by the people of Indian origin had deeply inspired him to work hard. Calling upon the educated middle class people to indulge more in the democratic process, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan emphasized: “We need to overcome the narcissism of small differences in the interest of the bigger cause of national reformation.” He praised the NRIs for their achievements and the laurels that they had earned for themselves and for their

country. He urged the NRIs not to lose heart if the expected progress was not visible in India. “It takes time as it is still a nation in progress. With the technology and resources we now have, we can hope for a change in the country sooner or later,” he added. He said: “I ask you all to give a bit of your energy, your time, your organizational ability, your technological capability and your resources, most of all, your passion, your love to fellow human beings and your country of origin.”-IT

Indian Gets Appointed to Key U.N. Post NEW DELHI: Kishore Singh, an international law expert from India has been appointed as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education. Presented by the government and by two judges of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Singh’s candidature was supported by the Geneva-based Platform of NGOs on the right to education. Being the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Singh will be responsible for safeguarding and promoting the right to education worldwide. Apart from this, an annual global report will also have to be presented by him to the Human Rights Council. The report will consist of interactive dialogue, suggestions and recommendations for advancing the right to education. As India is deeming the right to education as a universal right, Singh’s appointment to the challenging position in the U.N. is very well-timed.

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Story of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Gains in Stature as Honest Lawyer

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It was late in the evening when the train pulled into Pretoria. Gandhi stayed at a hotel that night and moved into a lodge the next day. There he began to study the Abdulla lawsuit. Even while he was working on it, he found time to call a meeting of the Indians in Pretoria. This he did with the help of Tyeb Haji Khan Muhammad, an influential Indian merchant. Only a handful of Indians attended. It was the first time Gandhi had addressed a meeting. “There is too much division among us,” he said. “Why should we be kept apart by differences in birth, family, caste, and religion? Let us form a league, representing every group, and keep the Government informed of our difficulties and our needs.” The audience listened to him with great interest. It was decided to hold regular meetings of all the Indians in Pretoria. Meanwhile, Gandhi was entrusted with the task of translating into English all the correspondence between Dada, Abdulla & Co. and the rival party. After studying all the facts, he was convinced that his client’s claim was just. He knew, however, that if the case was taken to court it would drag on for a long time, so he called together representatives of both parties. “Why don’t you choose a good man, whom you both trust, to arbitrate between you?” he said. The parties listened to him with great attention. They were astonished at this new idea. This young man was not the kind of lawyer they were familiar with; they appreciated his stand and agreed to his suggestion. An arbitrator was appointed, and he gave his award in favor of Gandhi’s clients. Although they had won, Gandhi persuaded his clients to be lenient with their opponent. They agreed not to demand the money due all at once, but in easy installments spread over a long period. Both parties were happy over the settlement. Gandhi’s first success as a lawyer was not a crushing victory over an opponent, but the triumph of good sense and humanity. In the Orange Free State, Indians had been deprived of all their rights by a law enacted in 1888. They could stay there only if they did menial work. Traders were sent away with nominal compensation. Under a law passed in 1886, Indians who wanted to live in the Transvaal were forced to pay an annual poll-tax of £ 3 per head. There they were not allowed to own land except in certain locations. They had no freedom to move about. If they wanted to go out of their houses after 9 p.m., they had to carry a permit with them. They were not allowed to use certain highways at all. Gandhi felt humiliated at the way Indians were treated there.

Gandhi was not just preoccupied with his law practice but also gave time to social issues, especially those relating to the way Indians were treated in South Africa. His first success as a lawyer was not a crushing victory over an opponent, but the triumph of good sense and humanity. He thought it was his duty to defend their rights and remove their grievances. He often went out for an evening walk with an English friend, Mr. Coates, and he rarely reached home before 10 p.m. He had obtained a letter from the State Attorney allowing him to be out of doors at any time without police interference. One evening Gandhi was alone, walking at his usual brisk pace, when he was suddenly attacked and knocked down. He was injured. He struggled to his feet to face a police constable. “That will teach you to obey the law,” shouted the policeman. “No Indian has the right to walk past the President’s house. Didn’t you know that?” The policeman kicked him. “Gandhi, are you hurt?” asked a familiar, friendly voice. It was Mr. Coates. He happened to be passing that way when he saw Gandhi being attacked. Mr. Coates warned the policeman. “This man is my friend and a distinguished lawyer,” he said. “If he brings a complaint against you, I shall be his witness.” Then he turned to his friend and said, “I am very sorry, Gandhi, that you have been so rudely assaulted.” “You need not be sorry,” said Gandhi. “How is the poor man to know? All colored people are the same to him. I have made it a rule not to go to court in respect of any personal grievance.” “Just like you,” said Coates, who was still very angry at the

Indo American News • Friday, JUNE 25 , 2010 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

policeman’s behavior. Coates turned again to the policeman and said, “You should tell an Indian politely what the regulations are not knock him down.” “Never mind,” said Gandhi. “I have already forgiven him.” Now that the Abdulla case had been settled, Gandhi thought there was no need for him to stay on in South Africa. Towards the end of 1893 he went back to Durban to book his passage to India. Abdulla arranged a farewell party in his honor. While going through the newspapers that day, Gandhi was surprised to read that a bill was pending before the Natal Legislative Assembly which would deprive Indians of their right to elect members to the Assembly. He brought this to the notice of the people gathered there for the party. “What do we understand about such matters?” Abdulla Seth said. “We only understand things that affect our trade.” “This bill, if it passes into law, will make our lot extremely difficult,” Gandhi said gravely. “It is the first nail in our coffin. It strikes at the very root of our selfrespect.” The Indians now realized what was at stake; but they were unable to decide what to do. They requested Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting in Abdulla Seth’s house under the presidency of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill with all their strength. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting them to postpone further discussion on the bill. The Speaker promptly replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. This was followed up by another petition to Lord Ripon, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. This was signed by more than ten thousand Indians. Copies of the petition were circulated in South Africa, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did do some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that now awakened the Indians in South Africa. — To be Continued


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This Couple’s Parents Really Got This One Just Right By Linda Gilchriest Prem Marwaha caught only a glimpse of her future husband as he was ushered into a room of her relatives to discuss his assets and qualities. The two didn’t formally meet until their wedding day three months later. They married on Feb. 10, 1955. That’s also the day, Prem says, that she fell in love. In a time when arranged marriage raises more than an eyebrow, Prem and Manmohan Marwaha can boast a 55-year record of success that includes raising three children and overcoming obstacles while growing ever closer as a couple. Both were citizens of Pakistan and raised in neighboring districts, and both their families fled to India from Pakistan during the civil uprising of 1947. Prem, the youngest daughter of a rice and shallot farmer, remembers the nightmare of witnessing the slaying of an older brother and two sisters during the Muslim-Hindu conflict. She was 19 when the family relocated to about 50 miles outside of New Delhi. Manmohan, then 26, was a banker inside the city. “I lived alone in New Delhi. My father’s sister’s cousin was the one who knew a man with a young daughter,” Manmohan says softly, in a clipped tone. “I lived alone in New Delhi. My father’s sister’s cousin was the one who knew a man with a young daughter,” Manmohan says softly, in a clipped tone. Adds Prem, “My father’s cousin’s husband was a big boss in the (bank) branch, so my father came (to New Delhi) and asked, ‘Do you know someone? I am looking for a boy for my daughter.’ ” Here, Manmohan interrupts to correct that he was the big boss at the bank at that time. He adds that at 26, he was about average age to

apartment complex for seniors in Kingwood in 2007. “We wanted to move to a scenic community,” Manmohan says. The Marwaha children all had arranged marriages, but Prem and Manmohan don’t expect their grandchildren to follow the tradition. They have been Americanized, Prem says. The couple has faced tragedy together. While living in ChanPrem and Mohan Marwaha were married in digarh, India, Prem India 55 years ago. was struck by a car and broke her arm. The compound fracture became be looking for a wife. “Generally, people try to settle infected while in the cast, and she their daughters more quickly than ended up losing her left arm above the elbow. She disguises the misstheir sons,” he explains. The couple’s culture meant there ing limb with flowing scarves in would be no honeymoon, Prem exotic colors. A few years ago, Manmohan was says, though it also assured newly married women a pretty easy go diagnosed with a form of muscular at first. Prem was not allowed to dystrophy, so he says the couple enter the kitchen for 21 days; her has traveled home to India for the mother-in-law and sisters-in-law last time. At home today, they finish each were responsible for all the houseother’s sentences and flash the hold chores during that time. The Marwahas raised three grins that say each knows what the children in India and had a com- other is about to say. There have fortable, middle-class life. Their been disagreements, too, but nothchildren all wound up in the U.S., ing that they were not able to get and in 1991 Prem and Manmohan through. “There is a lot of give and take,” moved here as well. They settled first in Baytown, Manmohan says. “There is nothwhere Manmohan worked with ing that cannot be patched. I think U.S. Steel, then moved to De- that in the back of my mind I know troit to be close to their daughter. this is the way it has always been In Detroit, Prem got her first job, in our culture. Divorces are almost working in a day-care center. She nil in our society. “We are supposed to set an exsays it was her first time to have a paycheck, but she felt more com- ample for our children,” he says. fortable turning the money over to “Marriage is a very long-term relationship, we should always Manmohan. “My culture is different,” she remember, and we have to try to understand each other and try to says. The Marwahas eventually re- adjust to one another. There’ll be turned to Texas, moving to an ups and downs.”-Chronicle

Two Indian Americans Among White House Fellows WASHINGTON: Two Indian Americans, Pat Basu of Naperville, Illinois, and Sunny Ramchandani of Rowland Heights, California, are among the 13 new White House Fellows. All the 13 White House Fellows “come from diverse backgrounds, varied professions” and all of them “have shown a strong commitment to public service and leadership,” the White House announced on Tuesday. The White House Fellows Programme was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” Pat Basu is a radiologist at Stanford University and the Palo Alto, Virginia. At Stanford, he is Course Director of Health Policy, Finance and Economics, and lectures nationally and internationally on

these areas of expertise. Basu was named the Consultant Physician of the Year at Stanford in 2009, where he served as Chief Resident Physician in 2008. He received the AMA’s National Excellence in Medicine Award for Leadership in 2007. He co-founded ExtendMD, a web portal designed to enhance outpatient care. He serves as a business consultant to medical centers, Fortune 500 companies and venture capital firms. Basu is also the founder of STARS Luncheon, a non-profit designed to support lower socioeconomic children for future college and career success. Ramchandani is a Lieutenant Commander and physician in the United States Navy. He is currently the Integrated Chief of General Internal Medicine at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where he co-founded an innovative primary care delivery model that has enhanced quality,

reduced overall costs, and been adopted by the entire US Military Health System. In 2009, Ramchandani deployed to Afghanistan as the Senior Medical Mentor for the Afghan National Security Forces, guided the execution of a new healthcare reconstruction strategy, and received the Bronze Star Medal. As an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University and prior Chair of the American Medical Association’s Resident/ Fellow Section, Ramchandani teaches and mentors young physicians on how to address today’s healthcare challenges. He earned his MPH. from the Harvard School of Public Health and his MD from the Yale School of Medicine, where he received the Norman Herzig Award for his dedication to humanitarian service in India. He earned his BS from the US Naval Academy, where he was a Truman Scholar and graduated first in his class academically.-TOI

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Hindu Temple Opens in Toronto

TORONTO (IANS): After five years of wait, Shree Sharadamba Hindu Temple complex, built at a whopping cost of 11 million dollars to stand as “a testament to Canada and India’s proud traditions of pluralism”, was finally opened for the public here. The complex which consists Sringeri

tribution. I am certain that this new temple and museum will foster fellowship among Hindu Canadians in the Greater Toronto areas for generations to come.” The Prime Minister’s views were equivocally supported by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “I applaud members of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation for making this worthwhile project a reality. Thanks to your collective vision and hard work, the temple will serve as a proud symbol of unity and will be instrumental in preserving and promoting Hindu culture and Scale model of the Shree Sharadamba Hindu temple complex traditions in Ontario,” McGuinty said. that was inaugurated in Toronto reccently. He commended the Sharadamba Temple and the Adi Shankara contributions made by the Indo-Canadian Museum, was consecrated yesterday in a community in social, economic and cultural ritual known as “Kumbhabhishekam”. fabric of the province. The complex is the first in Canada that is Over 10,000 devotees joined in the consededicated to Adi Shankaracharya, a saint cration in which priests scaled the Sringeri who lived in India 1,300 years ago and Temple’s new tower, typical of South Indian played a great role in uplifting Hinduism. architecture. Four of the priests poured over On the occasion the Canadian Prime Min- its carved facade sacred water from the Ganister Stephen Harper said, “The complex ges and Yamuna and other rivers of India. stands as a testament to Canada and India’s Ravi Subramanian, Sringeri Vidya Bharati proud traditions of pluralism. This place of Foundation Trustee Board Chairman, said “I worship is an important landmark and a fit- think this temple will stand out as something ting tribute to Hindu community’s place in unique that can be seen from some distance. Canada’s cultural landscape.” I would hope that anybody who comes to the Harper felt that Canada is “fortunate” to temple would find it a place where they will have a large and dynamic Indian commu- feel relaxed. It’s like a sanctuary of peace nity. “The fabric of Canadian life continues among the bustling heart of Toronto.” to be immeasurably enriched by Indian con-

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IITAGH Plans Big Independence Day Celebration this Year HOUSTON: The IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) will celebrate the Fourth of July next Sunday. The event will be held at the residence of prominent Houstonian Ashok Rao. The event will feature several prominent guests that include the Mayor Pro Tem of Sugar Land, Thomas Abraham and the Consul General of India in Houston, Sanjiv Arora. Sheela and Ashok Rao have graciously agreed to host the celebration this year at their Memorial Area residence. This is the third time they are hosting the Independence Day event. The celebrations on the previous two occasions were notable for their large turnouts. The organizers have planned activities

for both Children and Adults. Several large tents and portacoolers will ensure the comfort of guests even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. The event will also feature an Indian Cuisine buffet with several items prepared on site. Several vendors and supporting organizations will also have informational booths at the registration desk. The event kicks off at 11 am and will go on until 3 pm. To register, visit www.iitagh.org. IITAGH is a non-profit organization dedicated to the professional development of its membership and giving back to the local community. This is done through networking, mentoring, educational and community outreach activities.

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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010 12 BOLLYWOOD BITES

Indian Jews Protest Bollywood Hitler Film Members of the Indian Jewish community have slammed plans to make a Bollywood film about Hitler’s final days. Filming is set to start in two months time but Anupam Kher, the actor due to play the Nazi leader, has now dropped out after facing criticism.At the beginning of June Indian producers announced they were making a film about the end of the Third Reich. They have said Dear Friend Hitler would show audiences the Nazi leader’s "insecurities, his charisma, his paranoia and his sheer genius” as well as his apparent “love for India”. The film will also focus on the relationship between Hitler and Eva Braun. But Jonathan Solomon, the chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, said the film had caused outrage among Indian Jews, who number about 5000. He said: "Whoever is making this film is doing so with ignorant, if not more sinister motives. “They are hurting the feelings of a community that has suffered a great deal.” Protests also erupted across the web, with fans slamming Mr Kher for agreeing to the role. Despite having said he was looking forward to playing such an “interesting” character, the actor said he had decided to pull out of the role. Mr Kher, a Bollywood legend who has appeared in 400 films and also played Mahatma Gandhi, tweeted: “Sometimes human emotions are more important than cinema.”

“Sometimes human emotions are more important than cinema.”

Manisha Koirala, Bollywood Actress Marries Businessman

Manisha Koirala, the Bollywood actress has had well wishes from Hollywood for her latest walk in life. The actress was married in the midst of a 3 day traditional wedding in Katmandu, Nepal with friends and family. This announcement has thousands of fans excited on behalf of the actress as she is very popular in the Bollywood scene. The wedding, considered low key compared to how popular the actress is, was Brahmin style, and was held at the Gokarna Forest Resort. Familiar faces of Bollywood were in attendance today including Bollywood actors Jackie Shroff, Gulshan,Grover, Vivek Mushran, Suman Ranganathan and Dipti Nawal.

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Censor Okays, Wife Objects to Actor’s Nude Scene

The censor board has passed all the nude scenes between Aruna Shields and Prashant Narayanan in the upcoming flick Mr Singh Mrs Mehta with an ‘A’ certificate. But director Parvesh Bharadwaj’s wife, Shruti Nagar, is miffed. Nagar who works with Rajshri Productions, feels her husband has overdosed on the sex and nudity. Narayanan admitted to this. “There is a sequence of Aruna undressing, her clothes come off one by one. Shruti thought I should tone it down,” he informs, saying her reaction did make him rethink on his approach to the subject.He adds that his wife didn’t approve of a script that focused primarily on nudity and agrees that he may have gone over the top. He hopes the abundance of bare flesh is not misconstrued as titillation. He applauds the Censor Board for its maturity in passing the film. “We did have more than one revising committee screening and lots of anxious moments. But no scene has been snipped and I’m relieved," he recalls.

Miss Chopraer

Banned from Twitt

Bollywood Movie Mr and Mrs Mehta

Celebrities like Abhishek Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra,etc and various business corporals use the social networking site Twitter to reach out to their fans and express their opinion. Item girl and the so-called actress Sherlyn Chopra has been banned for posing an objectionable picture on the micro-blogging website Twitter. Sherlyn Chopra’s idea behind posting a naked picture on Twitter was to see the response of the viewers. She has been approached to shoot for men’s magazine ‘Playboy’ and by posing in bare, she wanted to see how it works. Sherlyn’s picture has received both positive and negative responses. Talking about the positive and negative comments left by fans on her picture, Sherlyn said, “The feedback on my picture has been great. Some do find it distasteful. To them I would like to say – to each it’s own”.

Abhishek Bachchan’s Disastrous Date with Aishwarya Mumbai: Abhishek Bachchan has vowed against going on a candlelit dinner with his delectable wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for a reason. No, it’s not because romance has fizzled out of their marriage or anything of that sorts but due to Abhi’s bad personal experience. Recounting the woeful candle-lit date with Ash, Abhishek said to a news daily, “Aishwarya once asked me to take her for a candlelit dinner by the sea. It was the most disastrous date I have ever had.” “It looks very romantic when you see it in the movies. But in reality, the candle gets blown off by the sea breeze…there’s sand in your food. Aishwarya and I once ordered a sumptuous dinner only to realise that the sand beneath us had given away and there was sand everywhere – on our clothes, in our food. I told Ash never to ask me to take her for a candlelit dinner by the sea again.” Abhishek said. “I don’t know how people can call the concept romantic. It is one of the worst ideas for a dinner date. Believe me, your girlfriend will not enjoy it,” Abhishek added.

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Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Celebrates National Cancer Survivors Day

SUGAR LAND (June 17, 2010): This June, Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Cancer Center hosted a celebration of life in honor of cancer survivors. We joined America’s 11 million cancer survivors around the world in observing the 23rd annual National Cancer Survivors Day. Hundreds of communities throughout North America hosted events this week to celebrate life and demonstrate that there is hope. Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Cancer Center invited all local cancer survivors, caregivers, community leaders, Methodist Sugar Land Hospital physicians and employees and anyone compassionate about the cause for the National Cancer Survivors Day celebration. During the event, community members joined together in honoring the survivors living with a history of cancer in America today. The contributions of their

families, friends and healthcare providers who support cancer survivors were also recognized. During the celebration Cindy Dworaczyk, breast cancer survivor, bravely shared her story and provided hope for those attending the event. “From one survivor to another—a true warrior never ever turns his or her back to the battle field—keep up the good fight,” said Dworaczyk. “Congratulations to Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for an excellent and uplifting celebration of cancer survivorship. Your commitment to the well-being of your patients and the concern for the whole person is very evident, and the spirit of hope lives in you all,” said Tommy Thompson, Executive Vice President of CanCare. “Thanks to the strides being taken in cancer research, people like me are able to say,

Cancer Survivors attending the luncheon and celebration at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital on June 17.

I have been cancer free for almost 30 years. My family and I thank the fine doctors who have dedicated their lives to this specialty at the sacrifice of time away from their own families, and I am thrilled that Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has brought such a high-quality cancer facility at the door-

step of Fort Bend residents,” says Debbie Markesino, cancer survivor. For more information on Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit www.MethodistSugarLand.com or call 281-274-7500 for a physician referral.

New Dining Concept, introducing flavors of the spice coast at This unique Indian cuisine offers the best of

Seafood • Manglorian • Konkan • Bunts • Chettinad Northern Indian Cuisine

Weekend Lunch Special Buffet • Weekday Unlimited Thali

3 items of fresh seafood

3559 Hwy 6 South, Sugar Land, TX 77478 • Phone: 281-240-0377

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India House Collaborates with IACCGH to Better Serve the Community

H O U S TO N : Jugal Malani, President India House and Madhukar Prasad, President IndoAmerican Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston met on June 15th 2010. They renewed the commitment to collaborate and develop a united approach to address the needs of the Indo-American business community. Speaking on the occasion Madhukar Prasad said that both on behalf of the board of directors of IACCGH and in his personal capacity he would IACCGH President Madhukar Prasad with India do everything House President Jugal Malani possible to help assure the success of India House - which is an important land mark of the Indian community in Greater Houston Area. Jugal Malani stated he and his team were committed to build upon existing relationships with various Indo-American organizations. They agreed to cooperate on the following broad goals: • Work towards a common goal to make both organizations successful • Partner on common issues • Continue to use India House facility to host selected Indo-American Chamber events.

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Mighty at Eighty A gifted voice. Immense musical ability. Incredible stamina. A pleasant personality with a sense of humor. Pandit Jasraj is truly a divine gift to mankind.At his Houston concert celebrating his 80th birthday last Sunday at the new Stafford Civic Center, Panditji reached soul stirring heights in classical musical performance. I’ve heard Panditji several times over the last three decades, but his Houston concert was out of this world. I’m glad to have been there to witness a truly divine moment. Pramod Kulkarni

Glimmer of Hope Twenty-six years after the Bhopal gas tragedy there is finally a flicker of justice. That the Group of Ministers (GoM) tasked with re-evaluating the horrific industrial disaster has come out with fresh recommendations on compensation to the victims, decontamination of the gas plant site and legal measures to ensure that those guilty get their just desserts is welcome. Better late, as they say, than never. The recommendations are that the next of kin of those who perished on that dreadful night in December 1984 will be provided with a compensation amount of Rs 10 lakh, those with permanent disabilities can hope to receive Rs 5 lakh, while those with lesser injuries and patients of cancer and renal problems will get Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. These amounts, though significantly enhanced from paltry sums that were offered earlier, would still need to be disbursed properly. Plus, the government would do well to re-evaluate the classification of victims. According to its estimates 5,300 people died due to the poisonous gas leak, disregarding the thousands more who perished in the aftermath. Although the prescriptions of the GoM are on the whole positive, there is reason to be sceptical on certain fronts. For example, the government plans to force Dow Chemicals ^ the company that bought over Union Carbide -- to foot the bill. While it should vigorously pursue this course, establishing liability at this late stage is easier said than done. Similarly, even though it is commendable that the GoM has recommended that legal measures be looked at to reverse the 1996 Supreme Court ruling that diluted the charges against the operators of the gas plant, it is improbable that the US authorities will agree to extradite former Union Carbide boss, 91-year-old Warren Anderson, on filing of a fresh extradition request by the government. Given the parsimony in compensating victims over the last 26 years, the proposal to set up a Rs 100 crore memorial at the site of the toxic gas plant is extravagant and unnecessary. Instead, the government should focus on cleaning up and decontaminating the gas plant site and ensure that the systemic shortcomings that brought us to this pass are quickly mitigated. Significant deterrents need to be in place to avoid a repeat of a tragedy like Bhopal. Times of India

e d ito r i a l

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Should Anjelina Play Cleopatra? Angelina Jolie’s a serious contender to play big screen Cleopatra. Film producer Scott Rudin thinks she’d be “perfect” for the role, and with reason. From Shakespearean drama to the 1963 mega-movie starring feisty Elizabeth Taylor, cultural representations have mostly projected the Egyptian queen as a woman of beauty and indomitable spirit. A superstar, Jolie lacks neither attribute. Yet a race row’s erupted over her possible casting. Many ask why a “white woman” must play an African royal and not a “black actress”. The question is, should skin colour, nationality and other identity markers guide movie casting? If yes, where would the curbing of artistic freedom end? Absurdly, we’d have to object to a classic like Ten Commandments just because US stars Charlton Heston played Moses and Yul Brynner Rameses! Others may want nationality as a criterion. Then, we’d have to trash productions casting, say, Brad Pitt as Achilles (Troy) or Steve Martin as a French sleuth (Pink Panther). Recall the objections to Richard Attenborough’s choice of a British and not Indian actor to play Gandhi. Ben Kingsley went on to do a superb job that was universally feted. That’s because the essence of being a good actor is the ability to get out of one’s skin or culture. Today, even Bollywood has foreigners essay Indian characters: think of Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro playing a Sikh woman in Love Aaj Kal.

Is it fair for Angelina to be cast as Cleopatra? Art aside, movie-making is also a business and A-listers like Jolie draw crowds. Thanks to her humanitarian work, multicultural family one of her adopted children is Ethiopian and her oft-quoted belief in a borderless world, Jolie’s also something of a global brand. To say she should stick to playing white women in films is bad in form and ungenerous in spirit. Wrecking rather than erecting barriers, cinema can do without intolerance. Counterview: It’s Discriminatory Another biopic, another sacrifice of historical accuracy on the altar of box office logic. But this time, those at the helm of the planned Cleopatra film have gone a step further; they plan to change something as intrinsic to the character as her ethnicity. Why? Because Angelina Jolie, she

of the pouting lips, superstar husband and politically correct multi-ethnic brood, will look better on a magazine cover than some lesser known actress who might actually fit the role better. Arguments such as those made by the producer that she has the right ‘look’ for the role are laughable; being of the correct ethnicity should, one assumes, be a basic component of having that look. Artistic licence is well and good, but when it happens for the fourth time, it becomes a little difficult to swallow. In the previous three celluloid versions of the Egyptian queen’s life as well, she was portrayed by white actresses; Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh and, most famously, Elizabeth Taylor. Given the social and cultural imperatives of the time, it could at least have been argued that there were no suitable African American actresses for the role. To make a similar argument today would be insulting; an affront to the likes of Halle Berry and Thandie Newton. Often, a simple way to understand the true context of such issues is to flip the situation around. Not a single major Hollywood production springs to mind in which a historical figure who was a white woman has been portrayed by an African-American. In short, while it is apparently perfectly acceptable to have Angelina Jolie play Cleopatra, no producer is likely to consider having a black actress play, say, Amelia Earhart or Marie Antoinette. Times of India

“I Won’t Pay a Dime to Bhopal Gas Victims” By Shobhan Saxena If the recent Bhopal judgment was shameful, the GoM recommendations are outrageous. Now, the betrayal of Bhopal, and India, is complete. With the Central government planning to set aside Rs 1,500 crore for compensation to Bhopal victims – 25,000 dead and 500,000 crippled and two generations poisoned forever – it’s now clear that the government of this country is going to rob Peter to pay Paul. This money will be taken from our – the Indian taxpayers’ – pocket

and given to the Bhopal victims. The money for the clean up of toxic chemicals, which have been poisoning Bhopal’s air, soil, water and even the city’s soul, will also come from our pockets. In one stroke, home minister P Chidambaram-led GoM has given a clean chit to Union Carbide and its successor Dow Chemicals. Now, these corporations don’t have to worry about paying any money to the victims of the world’s worst ever industrial accident, which happened because the Union Carbide dumped

IndoAmerican News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Business Manager: Jawahar Malhotra Marketing Manager: Krishna Giri Community Reporter: Kalyani Giri Community Editor: Manasi Gokhale Administrative Manager: Vanshika Vipin Marketing & Food Reporter: Jacob David Production Manager: Hussain Mandviwala correspondents Chicago: Nand Kapoor ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com

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outdated technology in the heart of Bhopal, paid no attention to its maintenance, ignored warnings about gas leakage, cut funds and staff at the cost of safety and gave itself a clean chit even as bodies of poor Indians were piling up at the cremations grounds and graveyards of Bhopal in December 1984. So, when poor Indians die because of actions of a rich American corporation, it’s the poor Indians who bear the burden of destruction. And the government pretends that it cares for the people.


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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

India’s Reliance to Pay $1.35 Billion for Stake in Pioneer’s Texas Field-Source

HOUSTON - India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. (500325.BY) agreed to buy 45% of Pioneer Natural Resources Co.’s (PXD: 66.96, -4.03, -5.68%) acreage in the Eagle Ford natural-gas shale for $1.35 billion, a source familiar with the deal said Tuesday. Dallas-based Pioneer has about 310,000 acres in the south Texas gas field, where the company had successfully drilled five wells as of May. The move means that Reliance is doubling down on North America’s fast-growing shale-gas business. In April, the conglomerate agreed to buy a stake of Atlas Energy Inc.’s (ATLS: 30.8, -2.22, -6.72%) Marcellus Shale acreage

for $1.7 billion. The Marcellus Shale is a giant rock formation underlying Pennsylvania, New York and other states. In recent years North American independent gas producers have learned how to crack the tight rock formations known as shale using streams of water and chemicals. The development fueled an unprecedented boom in U.S. gas production, and lured international companies such as Reliance, Total S.A. (TOT: 48.4, -1.32, -2.65%) and Statoil ASA (STO: 20.76, -0.61, -2.85%). Investment from these companies helps independents like Pioneer keep drilling despite restricted cashflow from low natural-gas prices.

The Eagle Ford Shale is an oiland natural-gas-bearing rock formation that has recently been the site of frenzied development. The area is rich with gas, and has drawn the attention of some profit-seeking producers who aim to expand their output of oil and natural-gas liquids. Earlier this year, BP PLC (BP: 29.68, -0.62, -2.05%) said it had acquired a stake in the field from privately-held Lewis Energy. Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK: 23.66, -0.82, -3.35%) is looking for a partner to jointly develop its 500,000 acres in the Eagle Ford. Dow Jones Newswires

India Tops World Bank’s Loan List

The country has become the largest recipient of the World Bank loans with over $9 billion worth assistance this fiscal ending June 2010, up fourfold over the previous fiscal. India’s share among the various recipients of the Bank is 15 per cent in terms of loans, followed by Mexico with 11 per cent and South Africa with 7 per cent as of June 20, 2010. As of June 20, the Bank has lent $9.26 billion to India and is expected to provide another $0.04 billion in the remaining period of June. The Bank follows a fiscal

year from July to June. The bank’s total lending to India will touch $9.3 billion by the end of June and a similar amount is expected in the next financial year beginning July 2010. “We are working on a number of projects,” World Bank country director for India Roberto Zagha said after announcing the 2009-10 numbers in the Capital today. The support would be for transformative projects, including the Kosi flood recovery project and cleaning up the Ganges. Besides, the Bank also expects huge funding opportunity in the infrastruc-

ture sector, including the proposed dedicated freight corridor project. During this fiscal, the Bank has given aid of about $3 billion to the infrastructure sector, he added. The total expected lending this year includes $2.6 billion as interest-free credits from the International Development Association and $6.7 billion in the form of long-term, low interest loans from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, he further said. The bank also has earmarked $3 billion to support the country’s domestic response to the global financial crisis.

Bin Laden Hunter to be Released by Pakistan

DENVER: A relative of an American on a solo mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden says the Colorado man is being released by the Pakistani government without charges. Faulkner, of Greeley, was detained June 13 in the woods of northern Pakistan after being found with a pistol, a sword and night-vision equipment. The 50-year-old told officials he was out to kill the al-Qaeda leader. Faulkner was then moved to Islamabad, and a relative told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was being released to American authorities there and would return to the U.S. “very soon.”

The relative would not agree to be identified. Gary Faulker’s brother, Scott Faulkner, told AP he’d heard the news of the release plans but wasn’t ready to comment. Gary Faulkner is an out-of-work construction worker who sold his tools to finance six trips on what relatives have called a Rambotype mission to kill or capture bin Laden. Scott Faulkner told reporters last week that his brother wasn’t crazy, just determined to find the man America’s military has failed to capture nearly a decade after the 9/11 attacks in the United States. “Is it out the norm? Yes it is. But is it crazy? No,” Scott Faulkner

said. “If he wore a uniform and called himself special ops, would he be crazy?” Another relative told AP on Tuesday he wasn’t sure when Faulkner would return to Denver but that it would be in coming days. The relative said Faulkner, who has kidney problems and needs dialysis, has been treated well by Pakistani authorities and is in good spirits. State Department officials declined to comment, citing privacy concerns. Faulkner, two department officials said, refused to sign a waiver allowing the government to discuss his case publicly.

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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

Swami Ramdev is visiting the US from June 24th to July 5th 2010. During this time, he will conduct special yoga camps and workshops in Houston and Dallas, TX. The camp in Dallas is geared towards the general public, and will be held for 4 days at the Market Hall in Dallas Market Center during the holiday weekend of July 2nd to July 5th from 6.00 to 8.30 am. Approximately 2,500 participants are expected to learn yoga, pranayama and meditation as well as acupressure, naturopathy and mudras (healing hand gestures) directly from Swami Ramdev in Dallas. The Houston workshop is focused mainly on Pranayama and Meditation, and is being specially held for approx. 400 Patanjali Yogpeeth members on June 28th and June 29th 2010 at BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Stafford, TX. Additionally, Swami-ji will speak about “Comprehensive Approach to

society

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Swami Ramdev Brings Yoga toTexas

Holistic Care and Practice of Yoga” in his address to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI ) delegates in Washington DC on June 25th. He will also give a public talk on Saturday, June 26th at the Marriott Tyson Corner Hotel in DC on “Challenges Facing India and Shaping its Future.” The main purpose of Swami Ramdev’s visit to the US is to continue his crusade for good health and happiness through the practice of yoga and pranayama. Swami-ji is determined to encourage and inspire people of all hues and ages to incorporate yoga, pranayama and meditation into their daily schedule, so that they can enjoy the benefits of complete physical, physiological, emotional and spiritual well being. He will also meet in person with Patanjali Yogpeeth members and donors to guide and inspire them, and remind them again of the importance and urgency of

their cause. Born in a middle class family in Haryana, Swami Ramdev suffered from polio as a child, but cured himself through the regular practice of yoga and pranayama, and in the process, became an ardent messenger for this ancient science of healing, health and harmony. Leaving his home at an early age in order to fulfill his life’s purpose, Swami-ji became a student of Acharya (Spiritual Master) Pardumanji in his gurukul (ancient education system in India where students live and learn with teacher as if his own kin) in Rajasthan, followed by several years of shiksha (erudition) and tapasya (asceticism) under the tutelage of Acharya Baldev Shastri at his Kalwa gurukul in Haryana. In 1995 Swami Ramdev established the Divya Yog Mandir in Haridwar, India to propagate the benefits of yoga and pranayama to the Indian masses since he firmly

believes “good health is the birthright of all human beings.” Through the auspices of Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust (PYPT), Divya Yog Mandir conducts yog camps and seminars through which Swami Ramdev provides training in yog, pranayama, spirituality, health, personal and national character development. In these workshops/camps, in addition to thorough training in the practice and benefits of yog and pranayama, participants are also reminded of the importance of incorporating service activities such as blood donation, tree planting, cleanliness, patriotism and nationalism in one’s life. Swami Ramdev has himself conducted more than 400 such yog and pranayama camps between 1992 and 2009, thus furthering the cause of yog education. These camps have transformed the lives of many millions of people. Swami Ramdev has taught and/or healed at least 25 million people directly, and more than 1 billion people have received physical, mental and emotional benefits indirectly via TV shows and PYPT trained teachers. In India, at various locations and levels (central, state, district and village), more than 125,000 trained yog teachers are providing free instruction in yog and pranayama in various public places such as parks, shelters, prisons, schools, colleges, universities, factories, corporate offices as well as in temples, mosques and other religious establishments. Their efforts are strengthened by more than 3,000 yog teachers in UK, USA, Canada, Dubai, East and South Africa, as well as 5,000 yog teachers in Nepal. Further, under the auspices of Bharat Swabhimaan (Indian National Pride) campaign, PYPT office bearers and volunteers are engaged in a systematic and organized campaign to create a healthy,

clean, prosperous and cultured India, as well as to develop individual and national character through yog, in approximately 600 districts across the country. Divya Yog Mandir’s Ayurved Research wing under the leadership of Acharya Balkrishna has conducted clinical controlled trials on the qualities and benefits of various herbs and medicines. Based upon the results, several research papers have been published in well known national and international journals and publications, and most importantly, many millions of people have benefited from the easy availability of pure, simple and effective Ayurvedic remedies for both common and rare ailments, produced by Divya Pharmacy. The Divya and Patanjali brands’ health and herbal products are now available inAtlanta, Dallas and Houston area and soon will be available in major US cities. One can order these products from the US online store www.DivyaProducts.com. The PYPT Ayurved Hospital in Haridwar provides free medical treatment to at least 2,000 patients each day through the services of more than 50 fully trained Ayurvedic vaidyas (physicians) and also arranges free lodging for family members of the patients, if necessary. In addition, around the country, Divya Yog Mandir hires about 1,000 vaidyas and manages more than 1,000 clinics and health centers, through which over 50,000 patients receive free medical consultation on a daily basis. Swami Ramdev is a true embodiment of the five vows of Bharat Swabhimaan campaign, which are as follows: work for self redemption, and for the welfare of the world; be of service to the nation and all of mankind; never belittle oneself (since our soul represents the Universal Spirit and must be revered as such); always be an instrument of peace and maintain a continuous stream of noble thoughts and sentiments; remain a vigilant and virtuous representative of your Guru, God and Nation. All those who are fortunate enough to be able to participate in the yog camps at Houston or Dallas will derive lifelong benefits from this oncein-a-lifetime experience of learning yog and pranayama from a true guru and exemplary yog master. For more information about the Dallas and Houston yog camps with Swami Ramdev, please contact Shekhar Agrawal at (281) 242-5000 or Mr. Sanjeev Khanna at (972) 312-8001, or send email to pyptusa@gmail. com, or visit www.pyptusa.org .

Swamiji’s Texas Program

Public Reception: Sunday, June 27, 6-7:30am, Chinmaya Mission, Open to all Advance Yog & Meditation Session, MondayTuesday, June 28,29, 6-8:30am, BAPS, Members and invited guests only.

Working Together for a Stronger Society, Monday, June 28, 7-8:15pm, India House, By invitation only 4 Day Yog Camp, Friday - Monday, July 2-5, 972-607-6601, www.yogacampdallas.org INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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society

Fundraising Luncheon for Raj Goyle

DALLAS: Madan Goyle, a long time resident of Dallas, Dr. Sharad Lakhanpal, Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical School and Prasad Thotakura, TX State Coordinator of the Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) along with other local community leaders hosted a successful fundraising luncheon on June 12th at FunAsiA, Richardson to support Raj Goyle, State Representative from Kansas. Goyle is running for US Congress for the open congressional seat in Kansas’ 4th district. More than fifty people in attendance congratulate him for his good work on behalf of his district and contributed to his campaign, one of the strongest in the country. “My vision is one where we work together, where we use common sense to find common ground, where bipartisan solutions fuel the economic growth and prosperity we all deserve, where we seize this moment and make it our opportunity to better our nation. Economic growth and prosperity will not be achieved until we get a serious, bipartisan effort launched to cut wasteful government spending; lessen our tax burden; and eliminate our staggering deficit’ Raj

Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

Champa’s Creations

Men and Women’s Day Spa Salon since 1982

Need Massage Therapist, Mani / Pedicurist and Threading Specialist Call Champa Bhatia at 281-531-9571 From Left: Dr. Sharad Lakhanpal, Madan Goyle, Raj Goyle and Prasad Thotakura

Goyle said Goyle thanked Dallas community for their whole hearted support and blessings for his candidacy. Madan Goyle welcomed everyone and opened the meeting by sharing his family attachments and experiences with Raj Goyle family. Dr. Shard Lakhanpal while introducing Raj Goyle stated that Raj’s hard work and honesty will certainly take him to DC. His impressive record speaks for itself and all will be glad to see him in US Congress very soon. At present, we don’t have any Indian descent in US Congress after Bobby Jindal left the office to become the Governor of Louisiana.

Prasad Thotakura in his closing remarks urged the community to actively participate in the election process irrespective of party lines and be part of the main stream; there would be no recognition and survival to the Indian American community if they live in their own comfort zones and small pockets. We can make a change with united community and unified voice. He further stated that it is our moral responsibility to support candidates who strive for better Indo-US relations especially Indian descent candidates. Prasad thanked all who attended to support Raj Goyle and FunAsiAfor providing an elegant banquet hall for the occasion.

Janta Provides Microfinance Loans for India’s Kids By Sunita Sohrabji Sunny Mahant had been working as a product marketing manager for nine years at Cisco when he experienced an epiphany on a trip to India. On that trip, Mahant and his wife, photographer Geidre Nakutyte, witnessed firsthand the brutish conditions under which very young children work in India, and the extreme poverty suffered by their families. He came home determined to make a difference in the lives of young Indians. “If we’re going to solve the poverty issue in India, it has to come through education,” said Mahant. “You cannot have a high rate of illiteracy and prosperity at the same time,” he said, noting that three quarters of the country’s population still live in abject poverty, despite India’s double-digit economic growth rate, an inequity he believes is unsustainable over the long term. More than 35 percent of the world’s illiterate children live in India, according to the organization Pratham, which with a grant from Google facilitates the ASER program each year in 19 states in India, to measure the reading and arithmetic levels of seven million

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children ages 6 to 14. Approximately 65 percent of India’s children are illiterate, notes the organization. Mahant left Cisco in 2007, and joined the San Francisco, Calif.-based NamasteDirect, where he received hands-on education on microfinance through the organization, which provides small, low-interest loans to women in Guatemala and Mexico to scale up their businesses. Armed with that knowledge, Mahant went on to found the Janta Foundation, which allows small investors in the U.S. to fund loans to low-income Indian parents, to pay for their children’s education. The Jantaloans.org Web site, which has been in beta and pilot mode, will formally launch late this summer, after clearing financial hurdles in India. The loan program is offered to the parents of primary-school children and those attending vocational school. Mahant said he decided to focus on younger children, rather than college students, as the cost of funding their education is much less, and also provides a basic level of literacy for India’s millions of illiterate children. Give2Asia, which harnesses U.S. support for social enterprises in Asia, has partnered with Janta “to create

and ensure access to education for the poor,” said Klinke, adding that Janta has developed an innovative model to combat illiteracy. The Janta model is peer-to-peer: investors in the U.S. can directly pick out a student to fund in India or Nicaragua, and fund all or part of their education. The child stays on the site until he or she is completely funded. The loans are small: a primary school education in India or Nicaragua costs about $100 to $255 per year for tuition, books, school supplies and uniforms. The loan is paid back by the child’s parents over two to three years, at an interest rate of one-anda-half percent per month, which is determined by Janta’s field partners. Mahant said he is contemplating the idea of a loan deferral program, which would allow students to pay back the loans directly after completing their education, when they begin to work. Janta’s pilot and beta programs have already provided loans to the parents of 140 children in India and Nicaragua, and Mahant believes the program will scale up dramatically – into the thousands - after its formal launch this summer.-IW

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010• ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

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Hunger and the Market For the destitute and the disadvantaged, however old or infirm, the choice is between undignified, low-paying hard work or hunger. There are no safety nets provided by the State or communities… By Harsh Mander The engagement with markets of destitute, powerless, socially isolated and devalued individuals, who try to daily battle hunger, and feed their dependants is always highly unequal and unjust. One striking universal finding in our studies of hunger and destitution was that however infirm the destitute are, however sick, however challenged to feed small children alone or themselves, there is no prospect for food unless and until they work. If begging is also considered work — and it should be because it is arduous and both physically and psychologically stressful — then this is virtually a universal rule that applied to every highly disadvantaged person we met in the course of our field studies. Marti, an aged woman in Rajasthan, illegally cuts down trees from the scrub forests near her village, and burns these to make coal so that it is not too heavy to carry and sell in the market. She remarks fatalistically, ‘Let us see how long I will live. Once my body refuses to move, I will not be able to make coal and then I will starve. As it is, I am down to eating one meal a day’. Many old widows, who can barely walk, take on work of grazing cattle on hillsides. Antamma in Andhra Pradesh also goes to the forest to gather wood to sell and wild shrubs to eat, but twice in the past month she fainted while in the jungle. They persevere with enormous determination, but a time will come when their spirits start to ebb. Starvation and eventual death is inevitable. No succour Old people need to work regardless of whether they live separately or with their grown sons; they still need to contribute to the household in productive ways. In finding work, old people have to depend on the local economy, since migration as an option is ruled out physiologically and culturally. The migration of young people does create opportunities for work for aged people in villages, and also for single women and disabled persons, but since employers know they are desperate and powerless, they therefore pay them very low wages, often nothing more than

A difficult life on the margins... Photo: Sumit Dayal

food, country liquor and a new set of clothes every year. The work they are offered is low paid and physically difficult like cattle grazing on steep scrub hillsides with little foliage, weeding, sewing, cutting grass for fodder, cleaning cowsheds, husking and drying grain and gathering firewood and dung and similar activities that require work that is exacting and toilsome, and payment exploitative. Even this is always offered like charity to the unproductive and undeserving, rather than as a rightful claim to work. This is ultimately the story of every day of every destitute life: the stark merciless choice between back-breaking undignified work, or hunger. There was no third choice, of well earned retirement and rest, of secure care, of adequate social security organised by the State, or by local communities and families. Kamala in Rajasthan talks of her drift to the dangerous and stigmatised vocation of brewing illegal liquor. She remarks bitterly, “Who will give work to a widow? Everyone thinks she is searching for a man”. She lost

her husband to TB when she was very young, but she could not take off even one day to mourn, as she had to feed her three small children. She was driven away from her husband’s land by his brother, and cleaning cowsheds in the homes of the Patels brought her little more than stale food. She mortgaged her few belongings, but finally turned to brewing liquor. She collects mahuapods from the forest and ferments them for a week, adding many unsavoury ingredients. It is a dangerous vocation, on the dark side of the law. She has to regularly bribe the police, and the rowdy men who flock to her hut each night to get drunk are the same men who ostracise her by day. Although she is redoubtable and fierce, she is still a woman, and the drunks sometimes pay her less and even smash her earthen pots of liquor if she protests. We found that most disabled adults were engaged in hard work which ‘ able-bodied’ people were unwilling to do. We encounter Dhanu from Orissa and Kava from Rajasthan, both severely disabled, but fed and given a roof (but no walls) by their

brothers, in return for hard unpaid labour of grazing goats and cattle. When Dhanu runs after the goats, the sores on his legs start bleeding. He cannot even hold an umbrella upright during the rainy season due to his finger-less hands, and so he returns home drenched after days of rain. When we visit Dhanu, his goats are suffering from some contagious disease. He is tense and anxious not only because the goats are his only companions; but also in case the goats are to die, what then would become of him? His brother would not continue to give him food and he could not hope to get any other work. Kava is older than Dhanu, born with a congenital physical disability. Both his legs are joined, and he cannot walk, only crawl. Kava’s hands are full of sores because he takes his brothers’ sheep to graze in the stony hill terrain in return for food at his brothers’ home. The markets are found to discriminate grossly with these people from the margins not just in work and wages, but also in extending credit. Old people are mostly rudely turned

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

away when they seek food on credit from shopkeepers and trying to buy groceries on credit is always a humiliating experience. Shopkeepers say that there is no guarantee how long old people will live; they may slyly slip away to the other world without repaying their loans. Kampalli can never coax credit for food from the kirana shop as she is too old to be credit worthy, therefore she often just sprinkles salt on boiled rice and gulps it down with water, no dal, no vegetables. It is even harder for an elderly widow. Somi says, “When my husband was alive, we never had a problem finding credit, even though he was mentally slow. A man can get credit from anywhere, he can ask many people. But a woman is turned down more firmly.” They find that shopkeepers charge them more and give them less than their due because they are too weak to protest. Single women report that even formal banks turn them away, as do even many self help groups. If credit is extended by shopkeepers and landlords to those who have no assets to mortgage, they must pay for this dearly with labour in their farms or homes for low wages and long hours, especially for single women. This is indeed the resurgence of a new kind of short term bonded labour. Humiliating Many people with disability testify that even the thought of going to the kirana (grocery) shop stresses them greatly, but still there is no escape from it as the kirana shop not only provides them with many of their daily needs, but also at times is the only source of credit. So they weather visits to the shop in spite of routine dishonour and indignities. Indradeep is routinely refused credit from the shopkeeper, even though his son earns as a migrant labourer. The dealer tells him each time to come back the next day. When he returns the next day, he is told the same thing. He listens and goes home helpless and empty-handed. “Sometimes I wish that I was alone, then I would have managed somehow, but with a family it is very different. I can beg myself, but I would not let them beg for food for anything in the world.”- Hindu


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India Demands ‘Credible’ Action from Pak on 26/11 NEW DELHI: Ahead of a series of bilateral meetings, India on Tuesday demanded “credible” action by Pakistan in the 26/11 terror attack case, saying the core issue of addressing the country’s concerns on the issue will be part of these parleys. Asserting that India has been stressing for “credible” action by Pakistan on evidence provided by New Delhi on those involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said it has been conveyed to the other side. “We have underlined to Pakistan to take this evidence and additional evidence on board seriously and take substantive action in response to what we have conveyed”. “Obviously, this issue will form part of the discussions with Pakistani government during the forthcomings visits when I will meet Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Home Minister P Chidambaram meets his counterpart Rahman Malik. Obviously, our concerns on this core issue will be conveyed and discussed,” Rao said.

Rao is leaving on Wednesday for her parleys with Bashir on Thursday while Chidambaram will leave on Friday for SAARC Interior Ministers conference on Saturday. India recently gave the eleventh dossier to Pakistan containing additional information on those involved in the terror attacks in 2008, including Jamaat-Ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed. It also provided a copy of the court judgment sentencing Ajmal Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in the terror attacks, to death. To a question on increasing incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border, she termed them as “unfortunate” and “serious”. “Our concerns have been conveyed to Pakistan on the rising incidents of infiltrations and firing. These incidents of unprovoked firing do not contribute to a positive atmosphere,” she said. In the second ceasefire violation in as many days, Pakistani troops on Monday fired at a forward outpost along the International Border (IB) in Jammu where the BSF foiled an infiltration bid by militants. Hindu

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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

‘I Want Indian Students to Win a Nobel’

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The founder of Super 30 Anand ORS machine, as their impression multimedia projector. I make two Kumar spells out a few solutions is faint. IITs should publish the an- characters. One is Rikki, who is to make the IIT-JEE more acces- swers and their detailed solutions from a rich family, wears a tie, a sible to students across rural India on the very evening the examina- jacket and nice shoes. The other He spells an innovative educa- tion is held. Complete details of character is Bholu. He wears a tional program aimed at picking total marks obtained, with subject- simple shirt and broken chappals. 30 potential IIT students from wise marks, should be given. Both are serious students of IITeconomically backward JEE. Rikki eats pizzas and classes, tells Aditi Phburgers, Bholu eats bhutta. adnis that IIT-JEE is Rikki rides a motorbike, Bhonot error-free and hopes lu rides a broken cycle. that Indian students win When I give the children a the Nobel. question to solve, Rikki solves You met Human Reit using traditional methods sources Development but Bholu uses as many as Minister Kapil Sibal five solutions. He generalizes recently and suggested problems and proposes simisome changes in the lar problems. By doing this, IIT Joint Entrance Ex- Anand Kumar founder of Super 30 teaches the children learn in-depth. They amination (JEE). What poorest of students in India for free for IIT exams also learn in a few months that changes do you want even a poor child can make implemented? You have founded Super 30, history. As you know, IIT-JEE is among which is a coaching centre for stuThey get a lot of confidence. They the most competitive examina- dents from economically deprived are tested regularly. They study 14 tions in this field in the world. Yet, families... hours a day. During this one-year it is not error-free. The minister Yes, over the last eight years, tapasya, they live like sadhus. But sought my suggestions on hold- Super 30 has sent 212 boys from the result is happiness. It is not just ing a seamless exam. I also think poor families to IITs. Our model is personal happiness and glory, but that rural students should get three to select 30 talented students from something that changes the entire chances to crack the exam. desperately poor families and give generation’s outlook. Many questions asked in IIT-JEE them free coaching and free acAnd when they go to IIT. . . are of the Olympiad level. Rural commodation for about 11 months There are two sets of children. students, even if they have sound to help them crack the exam. Some get lost in the glamour and knowledge of the plus-two level, The boys stay with me, my moth- modernity of IITs, the lure of the have difficulty in solving these er cooks for them and we do noth- corporate reward. But most chilproblems. Questions in English ing but study for 11 months. I se- dren return during the holidays. and Hindi should be printed on lect the boys personally through a They ask me: Tell us what we can alternate pages in a single booklet rigorous process that gives weight do to make your program better. to prevent printing errors, as hap- to their family background. I acA good teacher teaches not just pened in the Hindi question paper cept no funds from the govern- how to add but also how to give ba in 2010. Many ORS, when marked ment or private entities. ck... -Rediff with HB pencil, are rejected by the When I teach children, I use a

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010• ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

SOCIETY

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Record Number of Indo-Americans Running for Office WASHINGTON D.C.: Meet Reshma, Surya, Manan, Raj, Ami, Ravi, Nimrata and Kamala — a new wave of Indian-American politicians. At least eight children of Indian immigrants are running for Congress or statewide office, the most ever. The star of this trend is Nikki Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, who is favored to win the election for governor of South Carolina. Indian heritage is where Haley’s similarity with the other candidates seems to end. She is the only Republican, the only one who has been widely mistaken for a white woman, the only one who has been accused of abandoning her heritage for converting from the Sikh faith to Christianity. Yet when Haley’s motives are questioned and some suggest Indians must become less “foreign” to get elected, many of these new candidates are quick to ask: Who are we to judge the mashup of American ambition with an ancient culture? Manan Trivedi, a doctor and Iraq war veteran who recently won a Democratic primary for Congress in eastern Pennsylvania, said he did not view his ethnicity as a handicap: “The American electorate is smarter than that.” He called criticism of Haley’s name and religion unfounded. “Nikki Haley and (Republican Louisiana Gov.) Bobby Jindal are on the wrong side, but they worked their butts off, they had the bonafides to get the votes, and I think it had so much more to do with their work ethic than the fact that they may have changed their names and adopted a different religion.” Jindal was elected the nation’s first Indian governor in 2007, at age 36. Named Piyush at birth, he told his Hindu parents when he was 4 that he wanted to be called Bobby, like the “Brady Bunch” boy. He converted to Catholicism as a teenager. As Jindal’s star rose, the meaning of his assimilation drew much scrutiny. Many people outside South Carolina only learned Haley is Indian after a fellow South Carolina lawmaker used a racial epithet to describe her. Now her choice of names, marriage to a white man and Methodist conversion is raising similar questions. Christianity is a more critical issue for white Republicans than other

Indo-American candidates include Nikki Haley from South Carolina, Manan Trivedi from Pennsylvania and Kamala Harris from California.

groups — could a Hindu who worships multiple gods, or a turbaned Sikh who doesn’t cut his hair, survive a statewide Republican primary in the Bible Belt? Vidya Pradhan, editor of India Currents magazine, thinks not. Haley and Jindal “were really ambitious about their politics, and they could not do it being Hindu or their old religion,” Pradhan said. “I do think it was a political move. They felt that not being a Christian would hurt them.” Haley and Jindal declined to be interviewed for this story. But J.Ashwin Madia, a Minnesota Democrat who lost a congressional election in 2008 and is a follower of the Jain religion, says their faith is irrelevant. “They can choose to be called what they want to be called, they can worship what they want to worship,” said Madia, a board member of the Indian American Leadership Initiative, which supports Democratic candidates. “I don’t think being Indian-American is this thing they need to strive for or meet some sort of purity test. They are finding the right balance for themselves.” Madia stopped using his first name, Jigar, when he joined the Marines about age 22. “I’m not running from something or ashamed of it. I’m proud of my name and where I come from. But I was constantly explaining

it or hearing it mangled.” Barack Hussein Obama, known as Barry in his younger days, proved that an unusual name was not an insurmountable political barrier. Some Indian politicians seem to be following his blueprint as they embrace their Indian names while describing their faith in voters’ lack of bias. “This campaign is all about vision and values and policies,” said Raj Goyle, who is battling for the Democratic congressional nomination in his hometown of Wichita, Kan. “I don’t spend time thinking about differences, I think about ways that Kansans can come together.” Goyle worships at an Indian temple. His first name is Rajeev, but he has gone by Raj since childhood. In 2006, he became the first Indian-American elected to the Kansas Legislature and the first Democrat to hold his statehouse district. He said he doesn’t worry about appearing more American or more Indian. “I am who I am, I’m proud of my background and what I’ve accomplished and my family. Kansas voters absolutely will choose the best candidate based on the merits.” Indians began immigrating to the United States in large numbers about 50 years ago, but just two have been elected to Congress: Dalip Singh Saund in 1956 and Jindal, who entered Congress in 2004 and became

governor midway through his second term. In 2008, Madia says he was the only major Indian-American candidate for Congress. Today there are six, including Goyle and Trivedi. Ami Bera in California, Ravi Sangisetty in Louisiana and Reshma Saujani in New York face upcoming primaries, and Surya Yalamanchili won a primary in Ohio. In California, Kamala Harris, the child of an Indian mother and black father, won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general and is favored to win the election this fall. Harris was raised in a black neighborhood, attended black churches and graduated from historically black Howard University. She also worshipped in her mother’s Hindu temple and has made many visits to her family in India. “Running for office, you have to simplify or condense or put into preexisting boxes who you are,” Harris said, “so people will have a sense of you based on what they easily and quickly identify.” “I grew up in a family where I had a strong sense of my culture and who I am, and I never felt insecure about that at all,” she said. “Slowly, perhaps, with each of us taking on more prominent positions, people will start to understand the diversity of the people.”

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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india

Indo American News • Friday, June 25 , 2010

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In Marriage-Centric India, Shortening the Path to Divorce By Emily Wax CHENNAI, INDIA -- Even in India’s most traditional cities, a powerful new profession has arrived: the divorce lawyer. Divorce rates are rising in India as the fast-growing economy unleashes unprecedented financial freedoms and mobility, especially among women and young city dwellers. But divorce cases often drag on for years, clogging already backlogged courts and causing painful and even violent family disputes. This month, the Indian government proposed a law that would make it easier for couples to get divorced based on the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage or “incompatibility.” In most cases, courts currently grant divorces only when there is mutual consent or proof of abuse or adultery. Proving those allegations is often so fraught with drama that tabloid newspapers regularly feature the fights in print. The latest amendments to what is known as the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and Special Marriage Act 1954 will need Parliament’s approval before they become law. A similar move was abandoned in 1981 after significant resistance to the change. This time, however, many are hailing the amendments as a way of catching up to social realities. About 75 percent of India’s population is younger than 35. And more middle- and working-class women are carving out new identities as

“wedlock turns into deadlock” as divorce cases drag on. “I think the new law is a very healthy thing if a marriage is broken down,” said Manjula Shanmugasundaram, a divorce lawyer in Chennai. “But Indians will continue to be unhappy with the word ‘divorce.’ “ V.K. Bajaj, chief executive of Today’s Chanakya,

they become economically independent. Some divorce experts say urban women are driving the divorce law change. Divorce has long been stigmatized here, while marriage is a cornerstone of culture, linking families and businesses, and is seen by older generations as an essential duty. Until recently, couples were reluctant to divorce, even if they were miserable. They worried about letting down their families, which often meddle in their decisions and traditionally live with them. Some couples live apart for decades and take on new partners but never officially divorce. “But aspirations are growing, and women are not as tolerant of cheating

or feeling unhappy in an arranged or ‘love’ marriage that maybe they were unsure of,” said Bharanidharan Viswanathan, co-founder of the matchmaking Web site SecondShaadi.com, which targets divorcees and widows. “Shaadi” is the Hindi word for marriage. The trend is evident in new matrimonial columns in newspapers that help divorced people find partners, something unheard of 20 years ago. Experts say that roughly 11 Indian marriages in 1,000 end in divorce. The rate in the United States is about 400 in 1,000. K.T.S. Tulsi, a prominent lawyer who is in favor of changing the law, recently told the Indian media that

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010• ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

which conducts surveys on social and political issues, said a recent poll in cities across the country showed that Indians were conflicted about changes in divorce policy. “India is a country of various cultures, but the most common thing is that marriage is at the center of our lives,” Bajaj said. “Some people don’t want to abandon the traditions and love of family that we are famous for around the world. A simple divorce may be too simple.” Washington Post


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online edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 25 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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