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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Friday, July 23 , 2010


Business IndoAmerican News


India’s Rupee Gets a Unique Scripted Symbol of Its Own NEW DELHI: The dollar is $. The Euro is €. The pound is £. But the rupee was stranded without a symbol. The Indian Press Information Bureau, for the first time, released images of the newly selected symbol. According to the Associated Press, ministers made the executive decision at a cabinet meeting after considering five finalist symbol options, all of which it was said, drew inspiration from “the letter R”” in the Roman alphabet and “Ra” from the ancient

Devanagari script used in Hindi. Formerly, the Rupee was indicated by abbreviations, hardly official enough for the currency of one of the world’s fastestgrowing economic forces. It prompted more than 3,000 design submissions to aid this cultural and historical event. Udaya Kumar’s design was ultimately the symbol chosen. Kumar, a post graduate student at the Indian Institute of Technology, now not only gets accolades for contributing to India’s culture, but also will receive a cash prize of 250,000 rupees (now with symbol attached).

“I Hit Upon Representative Devanagari”, Says Graphic Designer Udaya Kumar The horizontal lines, the band between also represent the flag

CHENNAI (Hindu): When D. Udaya Kumar decided to participate in the competition to create a symbol for the rupee, he looked at a number of Indian scripts to come up with a design. “I saw many regional language scripts but I thought many represented only one region of India. But the Devanagari script is the most extensively used in the country, so I decided to go with that.” Speaking to The Hindu on the phone after winning the design competition, Mr. Kumar said the horizontal line on top used in the Devanagari script was unique to India. “The two horizontal lines and the band between also represent the Indian flag.” A native of Kallakurichi in Tamil Nadu, Kumar completed most of his

at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay starting 2001, before enrolling for a PhD there in 2005 after a two-year stint in the computer magazine Chip. Set to join IIT-Guwahati as assistant professor, he says the recognition may delay his plans. “I have been receiving calls from the morning D. Udaya Kumar, a research scholar from the and I don’t know if I Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), displays the new symbol he designed for the rupee. can leave for Guwahati on Friday as I had planned,” he says, while expressing his happiness and thankschooling in Chennai. After studying at the School of ing his parents and professors for the Architecture and Planning at Anna help they have given him through University here, he did his Masters’ the years.



Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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How the World Cup Has Resurrected ‘India's Enron’

The Italian national team sit behind a Mahindra Satyam advertisement billboard during a training session for the World Cup at Southdowns College in Irene, June 21, 2010.

By Elliot Hannon NEW DELHI (Time): Being a part of the World Cup is a soccer player’s dream. On the pitch, reputations can rise or fall in a matter of moments as the world’s best compete. This year in South Africa, however, one key player at the World Cup is fighting for redemption without ever stepping on the pitch. For the Indian IT company Satyam (now called Mahindra Satyam), just being a part of this international spectacle is a milestone in a comeback story that seemed all but impossible just 18-months ago. During the World Cup tournament, the company has been the technological glue, setting up complex networks to sell over three million tickets, coordinate the over 130,000 volunteers, the logistics of travel and accreditation, security and the broadcast of the games around the world. Coordinating such a complex event is a monumental task, and a successful finale will mark a startling turnaround for the company, which just last year was dubbed “India’s Enron.” In January 2009, Satyam’s Chairman, Ramalinga Raju, announced that he had cooked the books of the Hyderabad company. The billion dollar accounting fraud was India’s largest and the fallout was severe. Shares of Satyam, then India’s fourth largest IT provider, plummeted as the scandal unfolded and the one-time rising star of India’s most recognizable industry was in crisis. Uncertain about the extent the fraud and worried that the damage might take down more than just Satyam, the Indian government stepped in. “The key thing was trying to shore up ‘Brand IT India,’” says Partha Iyengar, head of research for Gartner India, a technology research and advisory company. “If the credibility and the blue chip nature of ‘Brand IT India’ was in doubt, then the industry as a whole would suffer long term and become less relevant.” To protect its showpiece industry, the Indian government took over the operations of the company. It dismissed Satyam’s top management and appointed a new board. Rivals swarmed, looking to pick off lucrative contracts from the embattled company. The new interim management set out to reassure Satyam’s clients that the damage was isolated and that the Government would ensure that the company could still deliver. The message resonated and helped soften the fall, says Iyengar. “It was a surprise to everyone that Satyam didn’t lose as many clients as people thought.” In April 2009, Tech Mahindra, an IT telecomm service provider and part of the $7 billion Mahindra Group conglomerate, bought a majority stake in Satyam and installed CP Gurnani, head of Tech Mahindra’s international operations, as CEO. But Satyam was still in dire straights. “The Government did a great job, but the company was still in the Intensive Care Unit,” says Gurnani. “At the top management

level, everybody had gone to prison, so there was a vacuum in leadership.” To get the company back on track, Gurnani assembled a new management team and cut Satyam’s workforce, laying off 10,000 employees. Instead of jettisoning the tarnished Satyam name, the company decided to stick with the Satyam brand. Opting to reform the company, rather than starting over, has its risks, says Sudhakar Balachandran, an accounting professor at Columbia Business School. “But if you have recognition and contracts already signed, sometimes its better to move forward.” The newly formed Mahindra Satyam began by reaching out to clients around the world like General Electric and Citibank to reassure them that the company was still up to the task. One of those calls went to FIFA, soccer’s governing body that puts on the World Cup. In 2007, Satyam had won the contract to provide all of the IT services for the South African World Cup, but with the company in disarray just a year before the event, FIFA was anxious, says Hari Thalapalli, Chief Marketing Officer at Mahindra Satyam. The Indian government had tried to assure all of Satyan’s customers that the company would be able to perform in the immediate aftermath of the fraud, even under new management; but FIFA remained wary. “FIFA had to be assured not only that we were sincere, but that we would still have the capabilities to deliver,” says Gurnani. It took two months to get a definitive answer on the World Cup deal, but the Mahindra Satyam’s pitch was convincing and FIFA stuck with the company. Holding on to the World Cup job boosted Satyam’s employee morale, and also created an instant, high-pressure timeline for the company’s rehabilitation. Toward that end, the company chose not be an unseen behind-the-scenes operator at the World Cup, but instead went on a PR offensive, buying up pricey pitchside ad space along with other global giants like Budweiser and McDonalds. The company has also brandished the slogan “FIFA Trusts Mahindra Satyam. Discover Why” on its website. The publicity has been nearly as important as Satyam’s IT performance at the World Cup. “It was a coming out party for us,” says Thalapalli. Mahindra Satyam hopes that with a successful World Cup under its belt, the party will continue and newfound momentum will open up markets in Latin America and Africa. But some significant challenges remain. The company has yet to file its corrected financial statements, something it must do to put to rest lingering doubts about its financial health and transparency. Lingering uncertainties have hindered Mahindra Satyam from landing new customers. Still, the resurrection has been remarkable so far. Says Thalapalli. “We will all be very proud one day that we were able to turn it around.”


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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010


An Entrepreneur Who Took a Chance on Herself By Prerna Gupta NEW YORK (NYT): Six years ago, fresh out of Stanford with a degree in economics, I had what many would consider the perfect job. I was a management consultant at a prestigious firm, with an office overlooking the San Francisco Bay and a shiny new ThinkPad to boot. My co-workers were intelligent, ambitious and fun, and I interacted with high-level executives at Fortune 500 companies. My perks included free concert tickets, ski trips and fancy dinners. I was on track to be earning six figures within three years. It was the good life I had been chasing along with my peers at Stanford. So why wasn’t I happy? After six months of living this supposed dream, my day-to-day life was far from satisfying. I was working 14-hour days, and most of my time seemed to be spent nudging boxes around in PowerPoint slides and agonizing over the wording of bulletpointed items. It felt wrong to be dreading work at such a young age. I wanted to wake up each morning excited about what was ahead. I wanted to create something of my own. I had joined consulting with the goal of starting my own company one day, perhaps after getting my M.B.A. At the time, I believed that management consulting would best prepare me to run my own business, but I soon realized that consulting was

Prerna Gupta runs a start-up company that makes LaDiDa, a “reverse karaoke” application for the iPhone.

mostly just teaching me how to be a better consultant. Venture capital, I thought, would be a more direct path to entrepreneurship. So I quit my job as a consultant after six months and joined a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. I lasted just six weeks this time. Although I had indeed moved closer to the world of entrepreneurship, I found myself no closer to actually becoming an entrepreneur. To make matters worse, the work I was doing was even more painful than before, and the hours were longer. My day now consisted of mining lists and industry reports for highgrowth companies, then cold-calling

Why I’ve chosen the entrepreneurial life over a stable desk job with perks their chief executives. The more C.E.O.’s I spoke to, the more “points” I got. Soon I would be judged by how many meetings I was able to schedule for my partners. And if a meeting turned into a deal, I made money. In short, I was a saleswoman. Sales is an essential aspect of entrepreneurship, which is what initially attracted me to this job. A few weeks

of selling something for which I had no passion, however, were enough for me to realize that my venturecapital gig wasn’t the good life I had imagined. Switching jobs had not solved my problems. The truth was that I hated working in a conventional structure. I hated having a boss, working on someone else’s creation and sitting in an office all day. My time was not my own, and I was miserable. I could not bear it for even one day longer. So I quit and decided to become an entrepreneur. Along with my boyfriend (now my husband), Parag Chordia, I raised money through family and friends and started my own technology company, a social networking site that grew to two million users. And I have never looked back — even though that company has not been profitable. Last year, Parag and I started Khush Inc., which makes an iPhone music application called LaDiDa. It’s a kind of reverse karaoke — it creates background music when people sing lyrics into a microphone, and it is one of the top 20 paid music applications in iTunes. As chief executive of my own startup, I now spend my days building consumer products from the ground up, creating grass-roots marketing campaigns, pitching my ideas to investors and dreaming about the next big thing. How many people bought my product? Who saw my video?

Jet Airways Enhances Air Leadership Position with Strong Lead in June 2010

(Travel Daily) Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has capitalised on the improvement in global business and leisure travel, posting strong passenger load factors for June 2010, which also mark the ninth straight month of increase in passenger traffic for the airline. The airline has recorded an impressive growth in seat factors which stood at a high of 82.2%, with Jet Airways carrying 3.65 lakh revenue passengers internationally registering a buoyant 31% increase as compared to the same period last year. Jet Airways, domestic passenger traffic also grew by a robust 37.4% with the airline carrying 8.40 lakh domestic revenue passengers in June 2010. The seat factor for Jet Airways’ domestic operations also stood at an impressive 80.5%, a marked improvement over the same period last year. JetLite, the wholly owned subsidiary of Jet Airways India Ltd, has also posted a remarkable 41% increase in revenue passengers, carrying over 3.69 lakh in June 2010. JetLite also clocked an impressive seat factor of 83.7% for June 2010, aided by improved services and enhanced reliability, which have enabled the airline to improve its penetration of the travel market in India. Equally impressive for the Jet Airways Group, was the On Time Performance posted by both Jet Airways and JetLite. As per figures released by the Director General of Civil Aviation, Jet Airways and JetLite both ranked amongst the top performing scheduled domestic airline on the critical service parameter of On Time Performance in June 2010 posting 86.8% and 86.3% respectively. Jet Airways and JetLite also continue to be the largest passenger airline group with a leading market share of 26.5% for the month of June 2010. According to Mr. Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways, “Nine consecutive months of robust growth, underline the fact that Jet Airways, as a customer centric organization has been able to comprehend and capitalize on the resurgent trend in domestic and global air traffic. This growth has been achieved through the integration of operational efficiencies, effective network planning, strategic code shares, distinctive marketing initiatives and improved reliability on the important customer service parameter of On Time Performance, all of which has helped the airline stay a step ahead of the growth curve. More importantly, it has been the unwavering dedication and commitment of our team that has played a decisive role in helping enhance our leadership in the India aviation sector.” INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, july 23 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

What can I do to reach more people tomorrow? These are the questions I ask myself each day. There is a certain thrill to seeing one’s own creation in the hands and minds of thousands, sometimes even millions, of people around the world. Entrepreneurship is intoxicating. Exciting as it may be, however, the entrepreneurial life is far from easy. Stress is a regular part of the day. Money is tight. There are frequent emotional highs and lows, and the desire to succeed can become allconsuming. Underlying all of this is the knowledge that failure is the most likely outcome. Yet, no matter how tough things get, I wake up every morning with renewed hope and excitement for what lies ahead. The fact that I am working on my passion gives meaning to even the most mundane tasks. My future is perhaps more uncertain than it ever has been. I may end up wealthy, or I may earn barely enough to support myself. But the realization that I face a high likelihood of failure is not enough to send me back to the corporate cubicle.Maybe I value my time more than my net worth. Maybe my fear of boredom outweighs my fear of failure. Or, maybe I have an irrational belief that I will succeed against all odds. Whatever it is, I find the risk of entrepreneurship to be not only worthwhile but also necessary for fulfillment. Work is no longer work. It is life, and a good one.


Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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In India, Caste, Honor and Killings Intertwine By Jim Yardley KODERMA (NYT): When Nirupama Pathak left this remote mining region for graduate school in New Delhi, she seemed to be leaving the old India for the new. Her parents paid her tuition and did not resist when she wanted to choose her own career. But choosing a husband was another matter. Her family was Brahmin, the highest Hindu caste, and when Pathak, 22, announced she was secretly engaged to a young man from a caste lower than hers, her family began pressing her to change her mind. They warned of social ostracism and accused her of defiling their religion.

A candlelight vigil in New Delhi in May, where supporters of Nirupama Pathak, a 22-year-old Hindu woman from eastern India, called for her death to be prosecuted as an honor killing.

verberates throughout society, Pathak’s death comes amid an apparent resurgence of socalled honor killings against couples who breach Hindu marriage traditions. This week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ordered a cabinet-level commission to consider tougher penalties in honor killings. In June, India’s Supreme Court sent notices to seven Indian states, as well as to the national government, seeking responses about what was being done to address the problem. The phenomenon of honor Honor killings are most common in killings is most prevalent in parts of northern India. some northern states, espeDays after Pathak returned home cially Haryana, where village caste in late April, she was found dead councils, or khap panchayats, often in her bedroom. The police have operate as an extralegal morals police arrested her mother, Sudha Pathak, force, issuing edicts against couples on suspicion of murder, while the who marry outside their caste or who family contends that the death was marry within the same village cona suicide. sidered a religious violation since vilThe postmortem report revealed lages are often regarded as extended another unexpected element to the families. case: Pathak was pregnant. Even as the court system has sought “One thing is absolutely clear,” said to curb these councils, politicians Prashant Bhushan, a social activist have hesitated, since the councils and lawyer now advising Pathak’s often control significant vote blocs fiancé. “Her family was trying their in local elections. level best to prevent her from marryNew cases of killings or harassment ing that boy. The pressure was such appear in the Indian news media that either she was driven to suicide almost every week. Last month, the or she was killed.” police arrested three men for the In India, where the tension between honor killings of a couple in New traditional and modern mores re- Delhi who had married outside their

castes, as well as the murder of a woman who eloped with a man from another caste. Two of the suspects are accused of murdering their sisters, and an uncle of the slain couple spoke of their murders as justifiable. “What is wrong in it?” the uncle, Dharmaveer Nagar, told the Indian news media. “Murder is wrong, but this is socially the best thing that has been done.” Intercaste marriages are protected under Indian law, yet social attitudes remain largely resistant. In a 2006 survey cited in a United Nations report, 76 percent of respondents deemed the practice unacceptable. An overwhelming majority of Hindu couples continue to marry within their castes, and newspapers are filled with marital advertisements in which parents, seeking to arrange a marriage for a son or daughter, specify caste among lists of desired attributes like profession and educational achievement. “This is part and parcel of our culture, that you marry into your own caste,” said Dharmendra Pathak, the father of Pathak, during an interview in his home. “Every society has its own culture. Every society has its own traditions.” Yet Indian society is also rapidly changing, with a new generation more likely to mix with people from different backgrounds as young people commingle on college campuses or in the workplace. Pathak had studied journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Com-

Hindu religious beliefs dated back thousands of years. At one point, Pathak’s mother called, crying, asking if they had wronged her in a past life. The death of Pathak remains under investigation. Her body was discovered in her upstairs bedroom on the morning of April 29, while her mother was Officers escorted her mother, Sudha, on the the only person at home. left, inside a local police station. She was arrested on suspicion of murder. The family Initially, neighbors and family members said says that Nirupama Pathak’s death was a she had died from elecsuicide. trocution, but then later changed their story to munications in New Delhi before taking a job at a financial newspaper. say she had hanged herself. The At school, she had met Priyabhanshu police arrested the mother after the Ranjan, a top student whose family postmortem report concluded that was from a middle-upper caste, the Pathak had been suffocated. But Pathak’s father and her two Kayastha. “The day I proposed, she said, ‘My brothers have argued that the postfamily will not accept this. My fam- mortem was flawed and claimed that ily is very conservative,’ ” Ranjan her death had been a suicide. The recalled. “I used to try to convince family produced a suicide note and her that once we got married, they persuaded a local magistrate to order would accept it.” Pathak deliberated an investigation into Ranjan, the over the proposal for months before boyfriend which his supporters have accepting in early 2009. Convinced described as politically motivated. Pathak’s pregnancy has also comher family would disapprove, she kept her engagement a secret for more plicated the case. Ranjan said that he than a year, until she learned that her had been unaware of her condition, father was interviewing prospective and her family told the police that Brahmin grooms in New Delhi to ar- they, too, had been unaware. But in range a marriage for her. Her parents an interview, the father and brothwere also renovating the family home ers changed their story, saying that Pathak confessed her pregnancy to for a wedding celebration. Pathak called her oldest brother, her mother on the morning of her Samarendra, who spent the next week death. For now, the case has polarized trying to change her mind. “What I told her was that the deci- opinion. In Koderma, supporters of sion you have taken — there is noth- the Pathak family have rallied for ing wrong with it,” he said. “But the the release of the mother from jail. society we live in will not accept it. In New Delhi, former classmates You can’t transform society in a day. of Pathak and other supporters have held candlelight vigils, calling for It takes time.” When her father learned of the the case to be prosecuted as an honor engagement, he wrote his daughter killing. “This kind of the thing is increasa letter and paid a surprise visit to ing everywhere,” said Girija Vyas, New Delhi. In the letter, the father acknowl- a member of Parliament and the edged that such marriages were al- president of the National Commislowed under India’s Constitution, sion of Women. “There should not be but argued that the Constitution these things in the 21st century. These had existed for only decades while things must be stopped.”


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A New American Label’s Mission: Bollywood Music on Global Scene

By Joseph Plambeck NEW YORK (NYT): Could there be more global hits like “Jai Ho” in the future? Universal Music thinks so. “Jai Ho,” the Academy Award-winning song written by the Indian composer A. R. Rahman for “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), raced up pop charts worldwide as its catchy dance beat shimmied across borders with ease. And Universal, the largest of the four major record companies, believes that Western audiences might have an appetite for more music with an Indian flavor. Universal says it has agreed to team with Desi Hits!, a company that promotes South Asian entertainment on, to create a label for musicians from India or with South Asian roots. The goal is to reach a global audience. “There’s a huge amount of amount of opportunity, given that it’s relatively untapped,” said David Joseph, chief executive of Universal Music U.K., referring to South Asian pop music. “It’s far from a vanity project for us.” Anjula Acharia-Bath, chief executive of Desi Hits!, which is based in New York, said the new label, called Desi Hits! Universal, is going “to give this genre a home.” Since Acharia-Bath started Desi Hits! in 2007 with Arun Sandhu and her husband, Ranj Bath, it has gained the support of some of the biggest names in the music business. Jimmy Iovine, who runs Interscope, a Universal label, sits on the board, as does Charlie Walk, a former president of Epic Records. Desi Hits! had good timing, starting just a year before the release of “Slumdog Millionaire,” which grossed more than $140 million at the domestic box office and set off a miniboom of interest in Indian culture in the United States. The “Slumdog” soundtrack sold nearly 400,000 copies, and “Jai Ho” won a Grammy in addition to an Oscar. “There’s never been an infrastructure for this music,” Acharia-Bath said. After “Slumdog,” she said, “ev-

Anjula Acharia-Bath is the chief executive of Desi Hits!, which is pairing with Universal.

eryone saw that with some resources some of these songs really popped.” By starting a label now, AchariaBath said, she hopes to “leap ahead of the competitors” and to have a first crack at signing artists. The two companies declined to disclose financial details about the partnership. “As India keeps building itself, there’s enormous potential,” said Mr. Iovine, whose Interscope label released the “Slumdog” soundtrack. “There’s great cultural potential that’s only started to be tapped by the West.” Mr. Iovine said Indian-infused pop music could have a similar trajectory to Latin music, and like Latin music the artists would need to be able to sing in English. (The original version of “Jai Ho” was in Hindi, and a remix version was released in English and performed by the Pussycat Dolls.) Vin Bhat, chief executive of Saavn, a company that distributes entertainment from South Asia, pointed to Shakira and Ricky Martin as singing stars who were able to make the language leap. “That is something that really needs to be nurtured among the younger singers,” Bhat said. For South Asian musicians “to go really big it needs to be delivered in an accessible way.”

But Joseph cautioned that making any such comparisons could be premature. “We want to identify the right artists and go from there,” he said. “I want to be careful and not get ahead of ourselves.” Some of the South Asian potential has already been tapped by hip-hop artists, including Maya Arulpragasam, or M.I.A., who was born in London and grew up in Sri Lanka, and Rihanna, who released a remix of “Rude Boy” with Indian beats. Ajay Nair, an associate vice provost for student affairs at the University of Pennsylvania and an editor of “Desi Rap: Hip-Hop in South Asian America” (Rowman & Littlefield), said that as hip-hop has become a global art, it was natural for Indian music to become integrated into it. “It should come as no surprise that Indian music and hip-hop can have a symbiotic relationship,” he said. Interaction between Western acts and Indian music will be encouraged, Ms. Acharia-Bath said, but the goal for the label is to sign Indian artists and expose them to European and American audiences. In the end, said Walk, the former Epic executive, “this particular partnership will hopefully produce big artists with big hits. It’s like lowhanging fruit ready to be picked.”

Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

‘Khaps Have To Reform’


What explains the phenomenon of rising violence against couples flouting rules of arranged marriages? By Sheela Reddy enough suitable boys to go around. MUMBA (Outlook): Prem ChowSo what do you do? dhry, who extensively studied the You ignore the usual restrictions phenomenon of rising violence and find someone compatible with against couples flouting rules of ar- your status. Although we say that ranged marriages for her book Con- boys and girls are eloping and gettentious Marriages, Eloping Couples, ting married, the truth is that a lot of explains why it’s happening and some families are actually opting to ignore of the reasons why male guardians these restrictions. and khap panchayats unleash exThese are very much arranged martreme violence on couples. Excerpts riages. The tendency now is to pick of an interview: up a suitable boy: there are not many What is it about society that has available as there’s a flux of girls at changed so drastically that it has the top and a deficit at the bottom. now become a life-and-death issue Which means the lower class boys to choose one’s own mate? are generally remaining unmarried. Many things have changed—polit- In Rohtak district, where I did my reical democracy, for instance, which search, as many as 44 per cent males has thrown up new social groups in the reproductive age of 15 to 44 competing with the high-caste groups were bachelors. that were in power earlier. One can The violence is because of the see a greater mobility, which means shrinking matrimonial pool? many more opportunities for youngYes, it’s a very tight situation and sters to meet. It’s been a problem I think the khap panchayats should through the post-Independence era, behave themselves. Instead of openalthough cases have risen sharply ing out the marriage market, they are in the last decade for a variety of tightening it further. Historically, the reasons. Two (legislative) acts have khap panchayats, from time to time, actually prompted them—the Hindu even in the British period, opened Marriage Act and the Hindu Succes- out the marriage market by declaring sion Act because it gave the right to that people of such and such gotra not property to women. Therefore, the allowed to marry earlier, may now restrictions on who a woman can marry. It happened in 1946, 1947, marry. even as late as 1995. Why can’t they But we had love marriages before do it now? and without this violent backlash? What changes do you propose? I think it is insecurity. It’s clear that You can’t do away with them bethis is a way of khap panchayats as- cause they are old institutions, but I serting themselves because they are would suggest they take the reformist marginalised. This is a highly emo- agenda. Surely, the government can tive issue involving caste, customs, put pressure on them to take up isdehati culture on which mobilisation sues like female foeticide, infanticide, does take place. dowry, ostentatious weddings, even Does it have anything to do with inter- and intra-caste marriages. the fact that women have outWhy are they focusing solely stripped men—whether in earning on the issue of marriages within power or in taking on new roles? gotras? Take the example of Haryana. The Because it’s an emotive issue on marriage market is fairly restricted which they can mobilise. It’s not as if there for a variety of reasons—there there isn’t any dissent there’s the defiare fewer girls, men are not getting ance of young couples but they are not jobs, there’s a very high level of allowing this dissent to surface. The bachelorhood and so on. The earlier functioning of the panchayats is very caste restrictions are just not feasible authoritarian: women are not allowed in a situation where populations have to attend even if they are a party in grown, small villages have become the conflict, youngsters are not alvery big ones, where there used to be lowed to speak, and all the decisions two or three gotras in a village, now are taken as unanimous ones which there are 25-30. So the degrees of they are not. It’s neither a democratic prohibition which you have to avoid body nor a grassroots one, as it’s made are just too many. There are just not out to be.



Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Indo American News


South Asia News of the Diaspora

Secretary Hillary Clinton Announces $7.5B Aid Project for Pakistan ISLAMABAD (Gulf News): US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton opened high-level talks with Pakistan on Monday by announcing several new aid projects aimed at improving the country’s water, energy and health sectors. The projects are part of a $7.5 billion (Dh27.54 billion) aid effort to convince Pakistanis that Washington is not only focused on backing the country’s fight against the Taliban and Al Qaida militants, but is also dedicated to improving the lives of average citizens. The goal is to reduce the high level of anti-American sentiment in the country, providing Pakistan with more room to cooperate with Washington’s effort to turn around the war in neighbouring Afghanistan. “We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America’s commitment to them begins and ends with security,” said Clinton. “But security is just one piece of this vital partnership. We share with Pakistan a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives, contribute to their communities and make the most of their own God-

tives mark the by the Afghan parliament and the second phase Pakistani cabinet. US officials believe it will signifiof projects begun under cantly enhance ties between the two a new and en- countries, boost development and hanced stra- incomes on both sides of the border, tegic partner- as well as contributing to the fight against extremists. ship. Despite these initiatives, Clinton The announcement faces challenges in appealing for of the new greater Pakistani cooperation in projects came cracking down on militants who use a day after their sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch the US urged cross-border attacks against NATO Pakistan and troops in Afghanistan. Many analysts believe Pakistan is US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Afghanistan to Quraishi speak during a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. sealalandmark reluctant to target Afghan Taliban Washington has announced a multi-million dollar aid effort to help win over trade deal after militants in the country with which it Pakistanis suspicious about US goals. Image Credit: AFP years of nego- has historical ties, because they could be useful allies in Afghanistan after tiation. given potential.” will focus on promoting economic The pact, international forces withdraw. Clinton said the US will com- growth and will cost some $500 mil- which eases restrictions on crossplete two hydroelectric dam projects lion (Dh1, 836 million). border transportation, must be ratified to supply electricity to more than They will be 300,000 people in areas near the funded by legislaAfghan border. tion approved by It will also renovate or build three Congress to triple SAINTHIA, West Bengal (TOI): At least rammed into 3404 down Bhagalpur-Ranchi medical facilities in central and south- non-military aid 63 persons are feared dead and several oth- Vananchal Express after overshooting the ern Pakistan and it will embark on a to $1.5 billion ers injured when Sealdah-bound Uttarbanga signal. new initiative to improve access to (Dh5.50 million) Express from New Coochbehar rammed Vananchal was several hours behind the clean drinking water in the country. a-year, over five into the rear of the Bhagalpur-Ranchi Vanan- scheduled time of 20.54 pm and was leavThese projects and several others years. The initiachal Express at Sainthia station in Birbhum ing platform no 4 at the time of accident.

63 Feared Dead as Trains Collide in West Bengal

district early Monday. 90 people were injured. 38 bodies have been recovered while a senior official said, on the condition of anonymity, that 63 people have died. Heavy casualty was feared as three coaches, two unreserved and a luggage (SLR) van, of Ranchi-bound Vananchal Express turned into a mangled heap of steel due to the impact. Sources in Suri hospital said that 15 bodies were brought to the hospital. Some injured were also taken to Sainthia hospital, but the number of dead brought there was not yet known. Injured passengers were being taken to hospitals in Sainthia, and Suri, the district headquarter town. The diesel engine of Uttarbanga Express was badly smashed. Eastern Railway sources in Kolkata have confirmed that the driver of the Uttarbanga Express, M C Dey, had died but there were no reports about the fate of assistant driver N K Mandal. The guard of the Vananchal Express, A Mukherjee, had also died in the accident. The severity of the impact could be gauged with the fact that the roof of one of the coaches of the ill-fated train mounted the footover bridge across the platform. According to sources, the accident occurred at 1.54 am when 3148 down New Coochbehar-Sealdah Uttarbanga Express

The scheduled arrival and departure of Uttarbanga Express at Sainthia was 1.38 am and 1.39 am. It was not clear why the train, which was to halt at the station, arrived on a high speed. The sources said the up line was clear

and no train on that route has yet been cancelled. Eastern Railways has opened control rooms following the accident. The stations and their phone numbers are Sealdah (03323503535, 033-23503537), Malda (06436222061), Bhagalpur (06412-4222433), Jamalpur (063444-3101) Railway minister Mamata Banerjee, chairman of Railway Board Vivek Sahay, Railway Board member (electrical) Sudesh Kumar and director general of railway health service B K Ramteke, Eastern Railway general manager V N Tripathy and other senior officials have left for Sainthia. Relief trains from Rampurhat, Asansol and Burdwan have left for the accident spot, about 191 km from Kolkata.



Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Peshawar’s Connection to Bollywood Actors Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Shah Rukh By Behroz Khan

PESHAWAR (Outlook): Whenever Pakistani actress Feryal Ali Gauhar gazes upon the old city of Peshawar, she’s transported to a time she has heard of only in folklore or read in passing in a textbook. The walls of the old city, their plaster peeling off, narrate to Feryal, in whispers, the stories of those who lived and died here, who nurtured their dreams in these confines and went on to conquer the world, and who, having reached the tallest heights of fame, came back to the city to express their gratitude. Perhaps these walls also beseech her to save them from the sickness of rampant commercialisaton, false notions of modernity and tragic forgetfulness. So much of the past has already been destroyed or defaced in the old city of Peshawar. It is to save this past, this history in brick and mortar, that Feryal, a member of the National Conservatory Board, and her friends have launched a campaign to conserve the ancestral homes of Bollywood’s legendary and famous actors—Prithviraj Kapoor, his son Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Shahrukh Khan and Anil Kapoor. Nuggets of their prehistory spring from unexpected nooks and crannies of the city, from its bustling alleys, symbolising the common civilisational links between Peshawar and Bombay before the cartographer placed the two cities in two separate countries. It was from Peshawar that the Kapoors migrated to India, settling down in Bombay to storm the Hindi film industry and rule it for decades. The house Raj Kapoor was born in has defied time’s merciless bulldozer, and Feryal is keen that it is declared a national heritage building. Dilip Kumar’s house in the city has survived likewise. A branch of Shahrukh’s family is still in Peshawar, taking immense pride in his worldwide stardom. Anil Kapoor’s father, Surinder, had migrated to India at the time of Partition, and though his house has been pulled down, Anil’s maternal hearth has survived. Occasionally, these stars or their children have succumbed to their innate desire to return to their roots, and come to Peshawar perhaps to fathom the many inexplicable ways in which it shaped their lives. For Feryal, though, their visit, however fleeting, has a different meaning. As she asks, “Why would I want

down to build spiffy to ask the Kapoors plazas. Lal Mohammed and Shahrukh Khan refused Outlook entry and Dilip Kumar to into Dilip Kumar’s visit the homes of ancestral house, which their ancestors in he has converted into the city of my ana godown for storing cestors? Because hosiery. But old-timers essentially we are say the decor inside the same people, we bespeaks a quaint elowe it to each other egance you wouldn’t to look after what find these days. we left behind. It’s a There are still peoquestion of honourple in Peshawar who ing the past in order were part of Dilip Kuto respect our future, mar’s childhood days our joined futures.” and recall them for A thoughtful pause you as though it were later, she wonders yesterday. Abdul Rauf aloud, “Could it be Simab, 86, who owns a that the multiculturpottery shop, has vivid alism of another era memories of the actor seems to me to have participating in school been a much richer dramas and theatre and way to live?” Her playing with swords on musings are a tellthe streets of Mohalla ing echo when the Khudad. “He was noTaliban has made it ticed by an Indian film their project to efdirector for his good face from Pakistan’s looks and talent and culture traces and inwas chosen for a role,” fluences of its nonSimab says. Islamic past. The Bollywood legTracing these end studied at the priBollywood links in mary school in Mohalla Peshawar, we find ourselves at Prithvi- Dilip Kumar’s house in Doma Gali Around here, he played Khudad, and revisited his alma mater on the raj Kapoor’s house. with swords on the streets. two trips he made in the Located atop the ’80s. School watchman mound of Dakhi Nalbandi, the city’s highest geo- important ritual in Bombay. Shashi Ghulam Habib says Dilip Kumar graphical point, it is a testament to Kapoor was here in 1998, only to tried to talk with the children in brothe prestige the Kapoors commanded find hundreds of people eager to ken Pashto, and donated money for in this colony famous for goldsmiths. welcome him in Dakhi Nalbandi. the purchase of uniforms and books A five-storey structure constructed in “He was so happy,” recalls Qadir. for the poor. “A huge crowd turned 1890, the top floor collapsed years “That fat man climbed up the nar- up to catch a glimpse of him,” Habib ago but 60 rooms of different dimen- row stairs with much difficulty to recounts. “He was showered with sions survive. The roof provides a see the entire house. I invited him rose petals and people in the mohalla panoramic view of the city. This was and other Kapoors to be my guests wanted to invite him for lunch or in Peshawar. Their visits can remove dinner but it wasn’t possible because where awara Raj Kapoor was born. After the Kapoors finally left it all the iron curtains drawn between the of the crowds.” Peshawar continues in 1947, their house was declared people of India and Pakistan.” Qadir to have an irresistible pull for the evacuee property and auctioned in says he is willing to give his consent thespian—two years ago, he wrote 1963. Though the owner, Haji Ali to have the Kapoors’ ancestral house a letter to schoolmaster Shamshad Qadir, shifted out from here in 1984, converted into a museum—the only Khan expressing his desire to visit the he turned down lucrative offers from way perhaps to save it from crum- city once again. Our next port of call is the locality property sharks to buy out the his- bling and collapsing. A few miles away from Dakhi Nal- of Shah Wali Qataal, where Shahrukh toric house. “We are mindful of the fact that the Kapoors are the sons of bandi is the Doma Gali, where another Khan’s father, Mir Taj Mohammed, Peshawar,” says Qadir. “This house Bollywood legend left behind a house lived till 1946. Apparently the British enables them to continue to nurture and pieces of history. Locals say one pressured Mir to leave Peshawar for Haji Lal Mohammed Khan illegally what is India now. The reason was detheir link with the city.” Indeed, if Qadir is to be believed, occupied Dilip Kumar’s house, the cidedly political. Mir’s elder brother, the Kapoors have soil shipped from reason perhaps why it survived the Ghulam Muhammad Gamma, was a Peshawar every time a member of the rapacity of developers; most of the staunch supporter of a united India, family builds a house or performs an old buildings here have been torn participated actively in the Quit In-


dia movement, and was arrested on several occasions for his links with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s Khudai Khidmatgars. Says Simab, “Gamma used to deliver speeches against Partition and once we threw him in a pool of water after he spoke against the Muslim League leadership.... Only Shahrukh’s family was attached to the Congress in the whole locality.” Shahrukh’s ancestral house is inhabited by Gamma’s daughter, Noor Jahan aka Munni. The top floor of the building was demolished because repeated bomb blasts here had weakened the structure. Munni and her husband, Asif Shahab, are effusive as they greet us, deriving warmth from their nostalgia of the past. srk accompanied his father as a gawking 14-year-old on a trip to Peshawar in 1978; he was back again a year later with his sister Shahnaz. When Munni and Asif returned the visit in Bombay in 1997, they were met by the actor’s driver at the airport. Could it be that the star had become haughty, forgotten his cousins from Peshawar? “But he came home only at 1.15 am, from the shooting of Duplicate,” recalls Munni. “I saw tears of joy in his eyes as we hugged. He had a very busy schedule those days but he would take time out one way or another to be with us.” srk said he would love to wear Peshawari chappals. Munni sent those as soon as she got back to Peshawar. Those were the chappals, she claims, he wore in Kal Ho Na Ho. Adds Asif, “We also sent the Peshawari shalwar-qameez suit, locally known as China Boski, to him. He looks so smart in that attire in his film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.” As we wind down our journey through the old city, we realise the importance of Feryal’s endeavour to preserve and celebrate Bollywood’s bond with Peshawar. For instance, there are no traces left of Bollywood producer Surinder Kapoor’s ancestral house. That of his wife, mother of Anil Kapoor, though, remains intact in the city’s Quisakhwani area. Again, there are no traces of Bollywood beauty Madhubala’s family. Her father was a Pashtoon and worked in Peshawar before shifting to Delhi. Feryal’s campaign could help Peshawar draw inspiration from its reclaimed past— and its forgotten story of plurality. It’s a natural antidote to the poison of the times.

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010


22-Year-Old Becomes Youngest IIT Teacher

MUMBAI (TOI): IITians often liken the generation gap between themselves and their teachers to that between MS-DOS and Windows. This semester, however, the students on the Powai campus can look forward to someone much closer to their age: a physics teaher who has just entered his 20s. At 22, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, who has never studied in a classroom, plans to ask his students how they would want to be taught. “I have never taught in a class. But I believe I can come down to the level of a student and help them understand the subject,” he said. Having completed high school when he was nine, his graduation in science at 10, an MSc in Physics at 12,

and his PhD in Quantum Computing from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, at 21, Tulsi says he is going to write to the Limca Book of Records to include him as the youngest faculty member in the country.

Having achieved a lot pretty early in life, Tulsi may seem like a young man in hurry, but he has set a huge task for himself—to come up with an important scientific discovery, which will probably lead him to his

ultimate dream: to own that shining piece of gold with Alfred Nobel on the obverse. The “wonder boy”, who suffered humiliation in August 2001 when a delegation of scientists taken by the department of science & technology to Lindau in Germany for an interaction with Nobel laureates, suggested that he was not a thinker, but a “fake prodigy” who had “mugged up” theories. Putting that behind, the Patna boy will stay on the Powai campus in the faculty quarters and work towards achieving that dream. That “not-so-distant” goal is probably why Tulsi chose teaching over a vocation. “I want to pursue my research and at IIT-B, I will have the leisure to continue my research and one day set up a lab focused on quantum computation in our country.” Going to foreign shores is currently not on Tulsi’s plans. He chose the Powai college over Waterloo University, Canada, and the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Bhopal, both of which had also offered him teaching jobs.

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India’s Growth Momentum to Stay Strong in 2010/11 Double-Digit Inflation: By Anurag Joshi The poll shows that price pressures MUMBAI (Guardian): -India’s economic growth is expected to ac- would remain strong this year, but celerate in fiscal 2010/11, supported moderate next year as the central by a double-digit rise in industrial bank’s expected rate increases begin output and robust domestic demand, to take effect and good monsoon a Reuters survey shows. The survey of 21 economists showed Asia’s third-biggest economy would grow 8.4 percent from a year earlier in the 12 months to the end of March 2011 and 8.5 percent in 2011/12. The economy had expanded 7.4 percent in 2009/10. The growth momentum should keep inflation pressures strong and lead to a tighter monetary policy in the coming months. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its short- A typical day in India, crowded streets at a market place term lending rate by a total of 75 rains improve the prospects for farm basis points in 2010 to 5.5 percent. “The RBI is raising rates because output. The wholesale price inflation it is seeing demand pressures in the is forecast at a median 8.6 percent for economy due to higher growth,” said 2010/11 and moderate to 5.5 percent Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist at in the following year, the poll showed. This compares with 7 percent and 6 credit rating agency CRISIL. “There will be a gradual increase in percent respectively in the previous interest rates. That’s the stance of the poll. Annual inflation in June was at RBI and they will continue with it.” A similar poll in April had forecast 10.55 percent, slower than analysts’ growth of 8.4 percent in 2010/11 and expectations, driven by high food and fuel prices, data showed on Wednes8.6 percent in 2011/12.

day. The figure compared with market expectations for a 10.8 percent rise and was higher than May’s annual rise of 10.16 percent The poll also showed that the RBI would raise the repo rate, at which it lends to banks, by another 50 basis points to 6 percent by the end of December and possibly peak at 6.5 percent by next June. In early July, the RBI raised the repo and reverse repo rate, at which it absorbs excess cash, by 25 basis points each and a survey after the rate increases showed the bank is likely to raise rates again at its review on July 27. The rupee is forecast to appreciate about 3 percent between now and the end of December. It is marginally weaker so far in 2010 after having climbed 4.7 percent in 2009. * Growth seen at 8.4 pct in 2010/11, 8.5 pct in 2011/12 * Inflationary pressures will moderate by next fiscal year * seen raising rates by 50 bps by end of the year * Rupee expected to appreciate about 3 pct by end of 2010 (Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan & Jan Dahinten)

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ISI Paid LeT Rs. 25 Lakh to Buy Boat for 26/11: Headley NEW DELHI: In revelations that clearly show ISI role in the 26/11 attacks, Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley has told his interrogators that the Pakistani intelligence agency had paid Rs 25 lakh to LeT to purchase a boat which terrorists used to travel from Karachi. Headley also identified through voice sample test two ISI officers who handled the 10 terrorists who carried out 60-hour attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Giving these bits of information on the basis of interrogation of Headley carried out by an NIA team recently,

official sources here said the ISI role in the attack was very clear from the revelations made by the LeT operative who is in the custody of FBI. The ISI had paid Rs 25 lakh to Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) terror outfit for purchase of a boat which was used by the 26/11 attackers to travel from Karachi to the Pakistani maritime boundary, where they hijacked an Indian fishing boat ‘Kuber’ to reach Mumbai. Sources said Indian investigators also have information that chief of ISI Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha had met one of the handlers of

the Mumbai attack, Sajjid Mir, who is currently in a Pakistani jail. “All these information have been shared by India with Pakistan through the multiple dossiers given to it,” a source said. Home Secretary G K Pillai had earlier stated that ISI was “literally controlling and coordinating the (Mumbai) attack from beginning to end”. Headley, who is currently in US custody, had done the recce of several terror targets in Mumbai during his multiple visits to India for the LeT which carried out the 26/11 attack.



Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Delhi All Set for Glittering Couture Week NEW DELHI (IE): With a crystalstudded venue and grand collections by designers like JJ Valaya and Manish Malhotra on show, the first Couture week in the capital is all set to dabble in high fashion and offer a visual treat. The six-day long Pearl Delhi Couture week beginning from Tuesday will be a never-seen-before spectacle in terms of grandeur and creativity, promise organizers and designers. “Delhi needs to see the higher stable of dress-making. As opposed to pret (ready-to-wear) fashion weeks, where there are so many shows in a single day, the designers get more time to prepare for couture (highfashion clothing) shows. So creativity is at its highest level”, said Sunil Sethi, President of Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). The Couture week has some of the biggest designers from Delhi as well as other cities. The opening show will be held by Kolkata-based Sabyasachi Mukherjee, followed by Mumbai’s Manish Malhotra, who is a major name in Bollywood as well. “This event brings together the best we have in couture. It is an interesting mix of Sabyasachi from Kolkata with Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla from Mumbai and Delhi greats like JJ Valaya and Gaurav Gupta,” Sethi said. The venue has been designed to add to the feel of grandeur with installations like a cascading chandelier made with Swarovski Elements by Sumant Jayakrishnan and handcrafted fabrics on display by designer duo

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla

Manish Malhotra with Urmila

Sabyasachi Mukherjee


Mona-Pali. Designer JJ Valaya believes that Indian couture is very grand in itself since the designers get the full liberty to represent the rich heritage of our culture. “Our indigenous couture is very grand and should not be confused with the kind of couture seen in the west.” said Valaya, who is known for the touch of royalty he gives to all his creations. “It is not meant for the masses. Couture is all about elitist fashion which is much more individualized. And the event is also taking place at the time when buyers start looking for the latest trends just before the festival season starts,” Valaya added. The collections on show at the Couture week dabble in the magical and the fantastic. While Valaya seeks to narrate the love story of a courtesan through his collection, designer Varun Gupta deals with fairy tales and Suneet Verma’s collection is inspired by the story of Scheherazade from the Arabian Nights. Gupta, who has been doing bridal couture for a while now but will hold his first show, said, “Couture collections are meant for the elites. They are very detailed and made-to-order. The garments are more intense.” India is the third country after US and France to host a couture week. The schedule has only 13 designers, which Sethi says is quite a feat as there are just 22 listed couturiers in all over the world.

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

Why Do We Fight, Honey? By Neha Sharma NEW DELHI (HT): You might think of a hundred reasons about why you fight with your spouse, but ultimately, there might just be two. A new study published in the June edition of the journal Psychological Assessment reveals that there are two main reasons behind every fight

Sanford and his researchers created and used a questionnaire during the study to measure the couples’ issues and assess the usefulness of the questionnaire. The team concluded that during every fight, one person in the couple feels as though they are being neglected (the partner is not as commit-

between spouses and partners. Keith Sanford, PhD, an associate professor in the Psychology and Neuroscience department of Baylor University, Texas, and a Couple Conflict Consultant, conducted two studies with 3,539 married people. The studies ranged from analysing word choice in recounting a specific fight as well as self-reporting feeling and behaviour during a fight.

ted, invested as the other would like) or threatened (blamed for something or controlled). The former is the case with Deepali Sharma, 26, and her spouse. She says, “My partner and I are both in professions that require late working hours, and we both feel neglected by each other. In fact, I keep telling him how he is married to his work and I am just a fling.” Software engineer Nikhil Kotwani

says his wife can get very controlling. “At times, I feel like my wife of three years owns me. She is always issuing warnings and telling me how if I do this, we are through. It can be annoying.” Psychiatrist Dr Deepak Raheja says, “This usually happens in marriages that are preceded by long courtships. People don’t work on the relationship and expect it to be the same. There is a lack of sensitivity and lot of intolerance.” Experts say that communication about your feelings with your partner is important if you’re feeling neglected. Being honest about your needs could help you create a more meaningful relationship.




Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010


Is “Chalta Hai” Your Defining Motto?

Most young people have similar goals. They want to be loved, healthy, happy, and successful. And rich! And here’s the problem By Prakash Iyer WANT to go somewhere but don’t know the way? Simple. Just punch in your destination on one of those websites that offer maps and – bingo – you will get directions on how to get there. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with your goals in life. Those websites don’t offer roadmaps to get to your goals! Most young people have similar goals. They want to be loved, healthy, happy, and successful. And rich! And here’s the problem. As we set off on the journey towards our goals, two paths emerge ahead of us. One looks like a fast and easy road – full of short cuts. It’s the path of least resistance. And the other is a long hard road, often strewn with obstacles. And - no prizes for guessing – most of us take the easy way out! And that becomes a habit. We look for short cuts all the time. We compromise. We don’t push ourselves to succeed; we merely set ourselves the objective of not failing. We don’t play to win. We just want to avoid losing. And so we love tips like “If you study these three sections, you can get 35 marks”. Or ‘if you attend classes

twice a week, you won’t be in the black list.” Unfortunately, this attitude pervades our life and becomes a habit. We stop striving for the greatness that we are all capable of. “Chalta Hai” becomes our defining motto. And as someone rightly said, ‘Good is the enemy of Great’. There once lived a sculptor in a small town. He was working on a huge idol of a Goddess that he was making for the local temple, when a young man walked into his workshop. As the young man marveled at the idol, he suddenly noticed another idol, almost identical, lying on the ground. “Do you need two of these?” he asked. “No,” came the reply. “We only need one. But the first one got damaged in the finishing stages. Hence I am doing it again.” The young man looked closely at the idol on the ground. It looked perfect. He could not see any signs of damage. “Where is the flaw?” he asked. “Look carefully,” said the sculptor, “and you will notice a scratch under the left eye.” “Wait a minute!” said the young man. “Where will this idol be installed?”

Prakash Iyer is MD, Kimberly-Clark and Executive Coach


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The sculptor explained that it would be on a platform fifteen feet high inside the temple. And the young man quickly retorted, “At that distance, who will know there is a scratch beneath the eye?” The sculptor smiled and said, “I will.” Now that’s a good reminder of what excellence is all about. It comes from inside, not from outside. And it’s an attitude. One we would all do well to inculcate.

Commit to doing your best at all times. Don’t compromise, ever. Whatever you do, give off hundred percent. Aim to be the best at whatever you do. And do that not because someone else tells you to do it – but because YOU want to. And make sure you always, always do the right thing. Don’t tell yourself it’s okay, no one will notice. Remember, someone is watching all the time. And that someone is you. Your character is defined not by how you behave when you know others are watching – but by what you do when no one is looking. If you create an idol with a scratch and think no one will notice, you will soon find another scratch appearing in your work and then another. And you will spend a lot of time and effort hiding those scratches, covering up, hoping no one notices. And instead of becoming a master sculptor, you become a patch-up artist. And your life – instead of becoming a masterpiece – becomes just another flawed piece of work. And in either case, what makes the difference is not the skill. It’s always your attitude. Get the sculptor’s attitude. Commit to excellence. And make your life a masterpiece.

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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The Dosa Fidayeen: Masala Dosa Catching on in Pakistan

By Mariana Baabar

KARACHI (Outlook): Chutney Please. Dosas, idlis, vegetarian thalis a rage in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, where a string of veggie restaurants have mushroomed. Other older restaurants have added veggie dishes to their menu Dosas and chaat are now served at wedding receptions Ponderosa, Karachi’s first veg restaurant, opened 17 years ago. Five years ago, a story was doing the rounds of the Quetta cantonment, where the rich and powerful live. The cantonment was abuzz with rumours about the financial woes of one of its residents, Kamal Ahmad. They said his business had crashed and the news couldn’t be wrong for it came from the family retainer himself. Worried friends immediately enquired from Ahmad’s wife, who confronted the retainer as he sat eating his vegetables and dal—dishes that had lately become a staple of the Ahmads as well. Glancing at the plate and dejectedly looking up, he asked, “Why else would you have become vegetarian overnight?” Ahmad’s wife burst out laughing and replied, “Because Sahib had to stop eating meat for medical reasons.” Indeed, vegetables in Pakistan have been synonymous with the poor and the ill. The tale is just one of many which Pakistanis used to illustrate their disdain for anything green. Now, though, a silent culinary revolution seems to be transforming the perception and palate of the ordinary Pakistani. Veggies are no longer infra dig, languishing on the margins or remembered from a trip to India. Vegetarian has become trendy, a cuisine of choice for those dining out. It’s like the “new Chinese in town”—dramatically different from what mamas can cook at home. And delicious as well. Vegetarian restaurants are mushrooming in Karachi, Pakistan’s melting pot. Mirchi opened three weeks ago, exclusively catering to those wishing to partake of the veg experience. Such has been the response to its chana chaat, golgappas and dahi bhalle that owner Rehan Musa plans to soon introduce masala dosa, which is both the craze as well as the defining element of Indian cuisine here. Patio in Karachi is a creation of Sunita Acharia and Wafah Hassan, who have together carved a niche for themselves. There’s also Dum Pukht, Chatkharay...the list is expanding everyday. It’s even resolved a peculiar problem News line editor Rehana Hakim would encounter each time she had an Indian friend to entertain—vegetarian restaurants in upscale localities. A few years ago, she had just one or two places to take her guests; today she is spoilt for choice. Incidentally, Gazebo, also in Karachi, is her favourite. As Rehana says, “Gazebo’s is the nearest to the Indian cuisine that I have had in Delhi. Previously, it was only at the Indian consulate where we could eat dosas.” Dosa is king in Pakistan, the demand for it prompting many multi-cuisine eateries to add it to the menu. Equally

delicious. Providing a stamp of legitimacy to the Indian cooking style here is the story of those who own Indian restaurants. Patio’s Sunita Acharia has parents who had migrated to India after Partition; 30 years later she was back in Karachi, now married to a Pakistani. “You can say the soil of Pakistan brought me back,” she says. Sunita began a takeaway, Bawarcheykhana, where she personally did the cooking. And when she met her business partner, Wafah, they began Patio. “Wafah had some old Lucknow recipes,” she says. Similarly, Mirchi’s Rehan Musa hails from Bombay, as do his in-laws. About Mirchi, he says, “We finally brought out the food that we’d cities other than Karachi in its sweep. Chatkharay restaurant in Karachi serves Masala dosa and veggie dishes been eating all along.” Still, it’s The rage in Islamabad’s Kitchen Cuisine is decidedly bagharay baigan, a Hyderabadi the Pakistani can adopt the authentic Indian true that at times dishes have to be rejigged export. Veg thalis are becoming ubiquitous; style of cooking veggies. Leading food critic to suit the Pakistani palate. The south Indian it’s considered a speciality of Table Talk, a Irfan Hussain is emphatic, “We Muslims rasam could be a starting point. As Sunita restaurant in Islamabad’s spiffy Kohsar Mar- are better at cooking meat than vegetables. says, “Pakistanis just can’t acquire a taste for ket. Amna Khan, a frequent visitor, says, We tend to overcook veggies, making them it. It’s too watery for them.” There are others “We come here often for the pure vegetar- limp and devoid of colour, flavour and tex- who have taken to filling chicken and keema ian thalis. For dosas, we even have to order ture.” Wafah, the joint owner of Patio, says, in dosas. Call it a civilisational thing, some “Compared to the way they (Indians) cook links are common, some a commingling that ahead of time, but they are fabulous here.” It’s a little known detail but this “breath- vegetables in India, we fry ours for a longer chefs on either side of the border conjure taking culinary revolution” had its origins period.” The taste may be a little different up with such ease. It’s a pity the politicians 17 years ago, when Ponderosa opened. This from the typical Indian dish—but it’s still can’t break a dosa over the same. is where the cosmopolitan Pakistani or the nostalgic migrant, in whom the memory of the ‘taste of India’ still lingered, flocked to eat dosas. Among Ponderosa’s employees was one who old-timers remember as Fazelat Auntie. Believing the dosa had greater potential than any cbms in enthusing Pakistanis, she went around Karachi in a mobile van called ‘Amma ka Dosa’, reaping profits that she ploughed into a catering service. She died two years ago, living long enough to see the Pakistani acquire a more eclectic taste in food. Ironically, Ponderosa is no longer around, closed down by owner Farhan Sheikh for personal reasons a year ago. But the man isn’t sitting quiet, persuaded again to open a new Indian dining outlet within a year as “the trend is growing amazingly”. Sheikh links the popularity of vegetarian food to the growth of satellite TV: “Every house in Karachi gets Star TV and its programmes on cooking have popularised vegetarian food.” The taste-for-India revolution was in reality sparked off by the expat Pakistani who befriended Indians abroad, relished the cuisine, and wished to revitalise his taste buds in Pakistan as well, says Shenaz Ramzi, who’s soon to publish a book on Pakistani cuisine. She adds a caveat, though: “Indian food has become popular in Pakistan because it as much a part of our heritage as it is of Indians.” Ramzi says what’s exotically passed off as Indian has been an inextricable part of the cuisine of many communities—Bohras, Memons, Lucknawis, Delhiwalas, Gujaratis, Khojas and Hyderabadis—who came from India to Pakistan following the Partition. Explains Ramzi, “In a way, these dishes have been a part of Pakistan’s cuisine as well. The difference now is that while for a good many decades communities tended to live in ghettos, today, the larger cities in Pakistan have popular are the savoury chaats. Nowadays, it isn’t considered outlandish to serve these two dishes at wedding dinners, particularly on the day of mehndi ceremonies, says Gazebo’s owner, Nasreen Wahab. The carnivorous Pakistani is undergoing a metamorphosis. As Sunita puts it, “If 10 people walk in, five will opt for vegetarian.” The gastronomic change is also bringing

become cultural melting pots. With greater interaction, it was only a matter of time that dishes once consumed by specific communities became popular with others too.” This social transformation also coincided with the emergence of niche restaurants which broke away from the tradition of serving a salmagundi of dishes from different cuisines under one roof. Critics also differ on whether or not


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Abingdon Pupils Enjoy a Taste of India OXFORDSHIRE: (Oxford Times) Children from Abingdon got a taste of India as they visited their local curry house as part of a school project. The Year Three children at Carswell Primary School dressed up in Indian clothes and visited the Dil Raj in Ock Street on Thursday. The 24 children, aged seven and eight, have been studying the country and its culture this term. Teacher Debbie Emsen said: “They have been comparing Abingdon to a village in India – they have learnt about jobs, schools and housing in India. “The visit really brought the whole thing to life for them. The class tried poppadoms, onion bhajis, chutnies, chicken tikka, chicken korma and naan bread. Mrs Emsen said: “We had one little girl who said she did not like Indian food, but she tried it and said she did like it. “But they all have really enjoyed the project. “We have two little girls who are Indian, and they have been acting as experts. They have loved sharing their culture with the other children.” She added: “The Dil Raj were fantastic and the food was great.”

Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010


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Pictured outside is teacher Debbie Emsen, with, clockwise from front, Ruth Weston, seven, Emma Fawcett, eight, Coley Brennan, eight, Aparna Nallathambi, eight, George Gilmore, eight, and Katie Singh, seven.

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Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Waste Pickers: Invisible Environmentalists in the City

They forage the city, collecting and sorting often hazardous waste when the city sleeps and by day they are gone. Most of them are women and there is no long-term policy in place that looks after their welfare or health By Kalpana Sharma (IT) Oil and water do not mix, as the Americans are being forced to accept with the tragic oil spill from a British Petroleum oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. For almost two months now, the struggle to cap the oil well and protect large sections of the country’s coastline from being devastated has been the top story in the news and the major concern of the US administration. It is an environmental crisis of gigantic proportions, and purely manmade. Whether in the long-term this will compel Americans to think again about their dependence on fossil fuels and seriously embark on the path of scaling it down and encouraging alternatives remains to be seen. At present, one finds little expression of this in the discussions around the oil spill. On a much smaller scale, and not so dramatic, was the ‘accidental’ exposure to radiation that affected workers and waste collectors in Delhi a few months ago when they handled radioactive material. At the time when this unfortunate incident took place, the issue of waste disposal, particularly hazardous waste, made the headlines. Follow-up articles were written. The lives of those who live off collecting and sorting waste came into our line of vision. But then the issue disappeared. Horror stories Every now and then we keep reading similar horror stories linked to waste disposal such as the one about the garbage mountain in Jawaharnagar near Hyderabad, where three waste collectors were buried under heaps of garbage. The body of one of them, a 15-year-old boy, was retrieved. But the body of a woman also buried was never traced. Long term policies that ensure that the safety and health of those who do such an essential job - “a community of silent environmentalists” someone called them - are not such a high priority any more. One reason is that the people affected are virtually invisible. Waste collectors around India work silently, often late into the night, sorting out mountains of waste, foraging

for anything that can be sold. If you walk down some streets of central Mumbai after 11 at night, you will see an army of waste collectors. Men, women, children are all hard at work. They work through the night and finally manage to get some sleep on the doorsteps of the shops on those streets. By daylight they become invisible, having stowed their belong-

cause of drought in their villages. The age group ranges from 7 to 70 years and 98 per cent of them are illiterate. A survey by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation of 60,000 waste collectors found a similar proportion: 60 per cent women, 20 per cent men and 20 per cent children. Studies have revealed that 90 per cent of the women waste pickers are

will spot the bent old women who have been performing this function for decades. All their wealth In the slum-city of Mumbai, waste collectors experience the most acute degree of homelessness. While poor people in other kinds of jobs somehow manage to find some shelter in a slum, irrespective of whether it is legal or illegal, waste collectors sleep next to the garbage they have sorted. This is their “wealth”, something they have to protect after they have collected and sorted it until they can monetise it. Hence, near many garbage dumps, even in the better off localities of cities like Mumbai, you see families of waste pickers asleep in the morning. And most often you see only women and children.

As a result of advocacy and campaigns by civil society groups, many cities have now recognised the work of waste collectors and given them some legitimacy. This is an important step but it is clearly not enough. The issues of safety and health have also to be addressed even as their contribution to the city and the environment is recognised. Why bring up waste collectors at a time when the main environmental issues being debated are the larger issues of global warming, or environmental disasters such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Because you cannot speak of environment without considering the impact on the lives of people. We have hundreds of smallscale and continuing environmental disasters taking place all around us. But we overlook them so long as they do not impact our lives or our lifestyles. Millions of waste pickers in India, who play a crucial role in dealing with the perennial environmental crisis of waste, risk their lives and their health every single day. This is an on-going environmental issue that requires as much attention from ordinary people, the media and policy makers as the larger macro issues.

Millions of waste pickers risk their lives and their health every single day. This is an on-going environmental issue that requires as much attention from ordinary people, the media and policy makers as the larger macro issues. ings in boxes behind the signs of the shops on whose doorsteps they sleep. These are the people of the night, not noticed by those who inhabit the areas in the day. What is often not entirely appreciated is that a substantial percentage of waste collectors is women. According to a study by the Stree Mukti Sangathan, a group that has organised women waste collectors in Mumbai, 85 per cent of waste collectors in the city are women, five per cent are children and 10 per cent are men. The majority of them are Dalits and landless people who came to the city be-

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primary bread-winners, often widowed or deserted. It is interesting how the sexual division of labour plays out even in the business of waste. While women, and children, do the more hazardous job of sorting and separating the waste, the men deal with the dry garbage, which they transport to wholesalers and factories. As a result, it is the women who are exposed to hazardous waste - none of them wear any kind of protective gear and also face the physical problems of constantly bending and carrying headloads of the waste. Look at any group of waste collectors and you


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Sri Lanka in Command After Scoring 520 for 8 By Sriram Veera

It was a strange and fascinating day full of the unexpected: The ball talked in the morning, Ishant Sharma impressed, Lasith Malinga thrilled and Rangana Herath became an unlikely hero. Ishant had everyone spellbound in the morning with captivating seam bowling but Herath and Malinga - yes, you read right - stole his thunder with entertaining halfcenturies to ensure Sri Lanka retained control on the first Test. India lost Gautam Gambhir to the second ball of their innings, Rahul Dravid to an error in judging a run, and Sachin Tendulkar to faulty shot selection and it was left to Virender Sehwag to keep them afloat. He did his best but the day belonged to Sri Lanka and, especially, to an unlikely pair of lower-order batsmen. The 115-run partnership between Herath and Malinga was as delightful as it was unexpected. Herath impressed with several high-quality shots and Malinga alternated between defence and fury during a joyous effort. Within his first six deliveries, Herath had declared his intent with two boundaries. The outstanding shot of his stay was a thunderous six off Abhimanyu Mithun. As you would expect in such an innings, there was an edged boundary and a slashed four over slips but, for the main part, Herath was composed and confident. There were several on-the-up shots, a few well-judged leaves, and a few tight defensive strokes. What really stood out was how well he paced his innings. Herath counterattacked at the start as he pursued quick runs but, realising that India’s spirit had evaporated in the afternoon sun and that Malinga was not going to be blown away, he started to play second fiddle. Post Malinga’s fall, Herath once again became the attacker. Malinga took the opposite route. He started slowly, scoring 1 off 15 deliveries, before he decided to indulge himself. He pulled and dragged Ishant for on-side boundaries and flat-batted him straight. He then looted Ojha for three boundaries in an over. Malinga wasn’t done with Ojha, though, and he swaggered down the track to clear long-on twice in succession. The start to the day presented a stark contrast to the carefree hitting of the afternoon. The second day’s storm and overnight rain had left the pitch damp and the Indians exploited the seam movement on offer. With his second delivery, Ishant induced Tharanga Paranavitana to edge one that slanted away from off stump. Ishant returned later with the new ball to harass Jayawardene and set the tone in his first over: he got the third delivery, a legcutter, to leave Jayawardene late. The next one cut in and Jayawardene left it on the bounce. Or was he expecting it to go other way? The fifth darted in, cut the batsman in half and somehow missed off stump. Jayawar-

Rangana Herath’s knock took Sri Lanka out of trouble and put them in a commanding position.

dene lunged forward desperately to the final ball to take the lbw out of the equation and was hit on the inner thigh by another incutter. In his next over Ishant produced an edge with his only delivery at Jayawardene - a legcutter - but the ball ran past gully and to the boundary. In the third over of the spell, Ishant prompted an appeal from behind with another legcutter at Jayawardene. The contest ended immediately after when Ishant seamed the ball back in to catch Jayawardene in front of leg stump. Angelo Mathews then showcased his cricketing acumen. After Jayawardene’s departure, Mathews, who was focusing on survival until then, jumped to plan B. He pulled Mithun to the midwicket boundary, carved Ishant to the point boundary, lifted him over mid-off and slashed through covers. He fell, edging Ishant to slips, but the crowd had more entertainment from the Herath-Malinga show. After his fifty, Malinga gave the fans one more reason to smile at the end of the day. He mis-fielded at mid-off and distracted Dravid into thinking there was an extra run. To Dravid’s horror, he was not even in the frame when Malinga fired an accurate throw at the non-striker’s end. Malinga laughed, the crowd roared and more joy came their way when Tendulkar chose to sweep a full delivery from Muttiah Muralitharan and was trapped in front. Only Sehwag stood tall. He scored at almost a run a ball but never appeared to take any risks. Every bad ball - and those marginally off line or length - was put away. He played all his signature shots: The back-foot punchy drive through point, the crashing cover drive, the paddle sweep and the charge down the track. But with

the top-order batsmen combusting around him, India have their task cut out for them. Sehwag made a classy 85 but it seemed just a footnote on a strange day. Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010


Hockey Coach Kaushik Resigns NEW DELHI (Hindu) : Stung by allegations of sexual harassment, Indian women’s hockey coach M K Kaushik resigned from his post on Wednesday, as the hockey establishment launched a thorough probe into the scandal. A day after the scandal came to light, Kaushik stepped down as the head coach and vowed to clear his name, saying the allegations were baseless and he was a victim of “big-time conspiracy“. Hockey India also sacked videographer Basavraj. “Kaushik has submitted his resignation to Hockey India Interim President Vidya Stokes. The President will take a decision,” said Narinder Batra, HI Secretary General. Assistant coaches Vasu Thapliyal and Mohd. Khalid Modi will now be coach the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in South Korea from July 27. The Sports Ministry has also taken note of the incident and said it will look into the matter. Batra said the four-member panel, comprising Rajiv Mehta, Zafar Iqbal, Ajitpal Singh and Sudarshan Pathak, will submit its report to Hockey India (HI) on Friday. HI, in turn, will make its recommendations to Sports Authority of India. “The panel heard all the parties and they have sought time till Thursday to make their replies. The panel will submit to us their report on Friday and we will proceed from there,” he said. Batra, however, said Hockey India has no power to take action against the videographer or any other coaching staff in connection with the scandal which came out in the open after a writ-


Further action against hockey coach M.K. Kaushik will be taken by the Sports Authority of India

ten complaint by one of the players. “We will submit our report with recommendations to the SAI which can take action according to the government service rules. The coach or the videographer are not working under us. They are employees of SAI. “I have taken legal advice also. Nobody is guilty until proved. But, ultimately it is the decision of SAI to decide what action is to be taken against anybody who is found guilty,” Batra said. Asked how many players signed the letter to HI alleging harassment, Batra said, “Besides the player, 31 other players signed the letter supporting her.” Kaushik, on his part, maintained that he was innocent and was confident of coming out clean after the inquiry. “The allegations are all baseless. I am innocent. I am confident of coming out clean because I believe in truth and the truth will prevail,” said. Kaushik, who has been involved with the women team for close to 20 years.


Indo American News • Friday, July 23 , 2010

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Indo American News, July 23 2010, Section B