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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Friday, August 20 2010 | Vol. 29, No. 34

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this week Inside

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Scary Seductress Debutant Indian Bollywood actress Sheena Nayyar promotes her upcoming Hindi Horror film ‘Mallika’ at a press conference in Mumbai

August 28th: Black & White

Indo-American Association presents a walk down memory lane of the golden era of Hindi Cinema 1948-1965, 8pm at Wortham Center

crowds Flock to Invigorated I-day celebration

Story on Pg 4

In a Day of Solidarity, Hindus Vow Not to Forget

Story on Pg 9

Didi Maa Mesmerizes Audience at India House Graduation Ceremony at Chinmaya Story on Pg 18 Mission How the West Was Won: Among First Immigrants to America Story on Pg 34

Jasmeeta Singh (center) in a dance sequence she cho- Surender Talwar (left) co-organized the entertainment and sang in reographed. Photos: Bijay Dixit the qawalii along with ICC President Swapan Dhairayawan (right). HOUSTON: This year the ICC observed its annual India Fest 2010 celebrating India’s 64th Independence Day on Sunday, August 15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. An unusually large turnout of over 7,500 at the India Fest 2010 can be attributed to the free entry and also it being a Sunday, a day when general parking in the downtown area is free. A grand cultural extravaganza scheduled for the late afternoon was a blast for entertainment: Passage to Bollywood – A Passage from the Golden Era of 50s to Modern Cinema, was featured through dance, music and fashion

show. Jasmeeta Singh, Event CoChair and Chief coordinator of the evening cultural segment did a phenomenal job capturing the essence of Bollywood. Equally exceptional was the morning segment entitled Heritage India – A Tribute to Tagore on his 150th Birth Anniversary, that enthralled the audience with a life sketch, his works in art, music, education, literature, poetry and prose. The ‘Spirit of Tagore Award’ in his honor was awarded to individuals excelling in poetry, painting education, writing and music. Atul Vir, heading the Awards Committee, announced the winners.

The morning segment was put together by Nimmi Vale, ICC Secretary, in collaboration with Tagore Society of Houston President Raja Banga who also organized painting, drawing and essay writing competitions on the occasion. Rajiv Bhavsar, Event Chair, appreciated the continued support of the Office of Indian Consulate, all the Indo-American organizations and the local dance schools for the magnificent show. “ICC has been managing the financial resources very diligently and without dipping into our past reserves,” said Swapan Dhairyawan, ICC President in his message.

IAccgH thinks India, thinks Houston

Story on Pg 38

Aarti Sequeira Wins “ The Next Food Network Star”

Story on Pg 40

Government Plans to Reintroduce Cheetah in National Parks

By Pramod KulKarni K Karni HOUSTON: The Indo-American Chamber of Greater Houston (IACCGH) celebrated its 11th Annual Gala with the theme “Think India, Think Houston”. The soldout banquet featured India’s Consul General Sanjiv Arora as the chief guest and included a presentation of the chamber’s annual awards. The event took place Saturday night at the Westin Galleria Hotel. The award winners were Sanjaya Sood, VP of Geothermal Services at Schlumberger as the Outstanding Businessperson of hte Year. Juuhi Ahuja was the recipeint of the Outstanding Businesswoman continued on page

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CG Sanjiv Arora (left), IACCGH President Madhukar Prasad and Congressman Al Green with proclamation from the US Congress.

Chief Guest, Consul General of India, Sanjiv Arora in his message commended ICC’s dedication, “India Fest 2010 so aptly entitled ‘Heritage India’ is a befitting tribute by the ICC and the Indian community to the great country of their origin.” Among the distinguished dignitaries present were Members of Congress Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee; Harris County Judge Ravi Sandill, Sugar Land Mayor for awards information, and more pictures, see page

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continued on page

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Houston celebrates India’s 63rd Independence day

Consul General Sanjiv Arora unfurls the Indian flag at his residence last Sunday. Photo: Bijay Dixit

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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IAccgH Fetes outstanding 2010 Businessperson, young Businessperson, Businesswoman Continued from page 1

of the Year. Ahuja is the President and CEO of Wise Men Consultants, an IT and executive search firm. Outstanding Young Businessperson of the Year was Sanjay Ramabhadran, Vice President of CP&Y, a Texas based infrastructure and environmental consulting firm. The awards In his keynote speech, CG Arora lauded the achievements of the IACCGH in encouraging trade and alliances between US and India. He also urged IACCGH and other community organizations to make themselves heard against the high service fees instituted recently for H1B and L1 visa applicants, a rule that affects Indian IT companies doing business in the US. The emcee for the gala was Sonal Bhuchar, President of the Fort Bend ISD and the banquet was catered by Madras Pavilion and Daawat, its catering company. The special guests at the gala included Congressman Al Green, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and UH President and Chancellor Renu Khator. The IACCGH received congratulatory messages from US Senator John Cornyn, Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar, Houston City Mayor Annise Parker. IACCGH officials who made welcoming remarks and took part in the presentations included President Madhukar Prasad, PresidentElect Mona Parikh, and Chair of the Awards Committee Somesh Singh, and Executive Director Jagdeep Ahluwalia. For additional information about the chamber and its upcoming events, including the golf tournament, visit www.iaccgh.com

CG Arora presented IACCGH 2010 awards to Sanjaya Sood (left), Sanjay Ramabhadran and Juuhi Ahuja. Photos by Bijay Dixit

A special award was presented to Dallas Chamber of Commerce President Ashok Mago.

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Shell employees attending the gala gather around the Special Recognition Award the IACCGH presented to Shell for its continuing support for the Distinguished Lecture Series and other events.

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In a Day of Solidarity with Events of Partition ...

HOUSTON: The Hindu Mahasabaha of America, Houston chapter held an all day conference in observance of “Memorial Day”, a day to ensure and pledge that Hindus do not forget the past lest it may only come to haunt us again. It was also a day of tribute to those who sacrificed their lives on this day in 1947 The conference opened with homage paid to those heroes of the Indian Partition who fled but failed to survive while crossing the newly formed border that cut off a limb of Bharatvarsh to accommodate the Muslim state of Pakistan. Some of the speakers at this event shared their experiences with the audience and related their precarious and perilous journey to freedom leaving behind their home, business, land and often some family members in the hope that they would meet again (see page 13). Many never did. These eye witnesses could not stand the horror of violence perpetrated against Hindus in Punjab, Sindh and East Bengal. One speaker said that he and the male members

of his family had chosen to shoot their female members first to save their honor and dignity at the hands of attackers before fighting began. As fires raged and people were killed by the dozens it was not hard to choose to leave behind their centuries old home and culture and travel to a new land in the expectation of a peaceful life, but only to meet extremely poor conditions of life in refugee camps. Conferees agreed that the two nation theory was a blunder of the highest order as Muslims were given freedom to stay back and live in India while the Hindus and Sikhs were either systematically forced to leave the country, were converted or were forced into marriage or even killed. They noted that the violence of the Partition is still continuing in Kashmir and elsewhere. One of the speakers Tapan Ghosh also gave a touching testimony of actual experiences today in West Bengal and Assam. He included the systematic kidnappings of young Hindu school age girls and young women, rapes and even gang-rapes. This

The organizers and panelists of the Hindu Memorial Day observed last Saturday, August 14 at India House. From left, From left, Rudranath Talukdar, Dharmendra Dargan, Dilip Mehta, Bramh Mishra, Jay Shah, Sugoto Chakravarty Subrato Gangopadhya and Pradip Parekh at the Hindu Memorial Day event at India House last Saturday. Not in Picture : Rajiv Varma, Sanjeev Jaiswal, Aneeta Chakravarty, Thayalan Reddy and Sunil Fotedar

was a fitting message for Hindus living outside India to realize the realities on the ground in the Motherland on the eve of observing the 63rd Independence of India. The organizers noted that the today the Survivors of the Indian Partition spoke of their personal ordeals during that time. Two stories of the Punjab were by Shakuntla Malhotra (far left) who hailed from Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) and became a refugee in New Delhi and T.K.Rana and wife (left) who ran from their home in Lahore to come to New Delhi.

objective to protect the rights of the majority community and democracy in India is very uncertain, while a concern to also maintain the rights and privileges of the minority has to be borne in mind. The minority is quickly expanding while the majority is slowly shrinking. A direct result of blind and faulty state government policy based on hunger for power at any expense. Demographics for West Bengal show what has happened over the years since Indepen-

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

... Hindus in Houston Vow Not to Forget

continued from page

Partition Survivors Share Their Stories

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dence and also calls for an immediate and urgent realization by the community in America. The census reveal that between 1981 and 1891 the number of Hindus rose by 21.5% while the number of Muslims rose by 36.67% a difference of over 15%, and between 1991 and 2001 the number of Hindus rose by 18.36% while the number of Muslims rose by 25.9% a difference of over 6%. For the organizers, this data suggests that such an alarming rate of growth is not sustainable and can only lead to a civil war scenario in the next 20 years. For more information on the Hindu Mahasabha of America, Houston Chapter, contact Brahm Mishra at 832-868-5656

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More survivors of the Indian Partition with personal stories to share. Clockwise from top left: Mr. Duha from Calcutta saw violence at his college, St. Xaviers; a recent refugee from Bhutan, now a transplanted to the US; Bhagwan Dev Hingorani from Quetta, Baluchistan left by ship from Karachi; Tirat Kushaldasani from Sindh left by train to settle in Ajmer. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra HOUSTON: The oral history of the events that immediately preceded the Partition of India in August, 1947 and the tumultuous changes that occurred in the lives of the people who were uprooted was recalled by several people at the Hindu Memorial Day conference this past Saturday. Most of them are now in their late 70s and early 80s, but they spoke, sometimes with great emotion, with memories of the upheaval that were still very vivid. The oldest among them, Shakuntla Malhotra, 82, mother of this reporter, recalled how she had left her ancestral home in Lyallpur (now called Faisalabad) as an 18 year-old newlywed. “When we got to Lahore railway station, it was so crowded that my uncle Mohan threw me through a window into a compartment.” The Ranas, a couple who lives here with their children, recalled how she felt when she was able to visit her family’s home in Lahore 63 years later. “The whole mahala (neighborhood) came to see us, offered us tea and when we went in,” said Mrs. Rana, “we discovered that nothing had been moved, it was just the way we had left it.” Most stories of the Partition deal with

the situation in the Punjab, which saw the bloodiest of the conflict. However, among the speakers were three from Sindh and Baluchistan, now part of Pakistan, who related their stories. One, Mr. Arjun, had left Karachi 20 years after the Partition, and said that Baluchistan actually wants to separate from Pakistan and that the locals felt more affiliated with Hindus than the majority Muslims there. Mr. Duha, on the other hand, spoke about the violence he saw as a student at St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. Bhagwan Dev Hingorani spoke of the day when he was 13 years old and had to flee with his family from Quetta, Baluchistan to Sindh and then Karachi where they boarded a ship bound for India. Tirat Kushaldasani remembered how his neighborhood in Sindh, “about ten times the size of India House” was attacked by a gang, but only one person was killed. The last speaker was a young man who recently immigrated to the US from his native Bhutan, after being denied entry to India and being attacked by people in Assam. He said in flowing and flawless Hindi, that the Bhutanese were forcing Hindus to convert to Buddhism and the Indian government would not allow them safe passage and stay in India.

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Hindu Heritage c camp 2010 ... By rohit moharir Upon my return home after five days that took a lifetime to pass, I leaned back on my soft leather sofa. Reclining further into it than I thought possible, I scan the damage those five days had done to my system. Extreme irritation of the throat and vocal chords, dangerously lowered standards of hygiene upkeep, major declivity of brain and motor functions. Overall, that’s a small price to pay for the fun-filled time I had the

we also focused on protecting the integrity of Hinduism for our generation today. To quote from the education summary of Rani Ramchandani and Rosch Wadera, two fellow first year counselors, “In this vastly diversifying world, many young Hindus are barraged with questions about their faith that they are largely unprepared for...Overall, this lesson strives to enlighten youth so that they may serve as better representatives of Hinduism by having a more profound

Youth attending morning shakha at the Hindu Heritage Camp 2010

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privilege of spending at Hindu Heritage camp this year. The 26th annual Hindu Heritage Camp, hosted by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, was held from July 27th through August 1st with 167 attendees from ages 7 to 18 at the JCC Gordon Campsite. This has been my 8th year to attend camp and the first time I endured it from the side of the 33 full and part time counselors. I’m not aware of the exact moment when my pre-camp jitters vanished, but the shift in my nervous mindset probably occurred some time between watching the hall being filled with excited kids, to hearing the building flood with laughter from over a hundred new and returning campers ready for a great week. Director Kavita Pallod took a leap of faith and decided to make a change to what felt like a long standing tradition of camp: changing the camp song to Har Har Bam Bam. Although the transition was sketchy at first, after a short time, the campers were singing and bouncing along to the new anthem on a nightly basis. Also, a fourth education was added to our evolving schedule so we counselors could come up with more aspects of Hinduism we wanted to teach. There was a wide range of educational topics this year with some focusing on the more traditional storytelling teaching like following the accounts of popular figures in the Hindu stories. However, this year,

understanding of the religion as a whole.” To make sure that all campers could instill a sense of pride in their religion by being able to defend their faith, we even sent home to all the campers the article which inspired this education. The entire group was lucky to have been visited by a few, unique guest speakers including Arjun Mathur, a young man who raised over a hundred thousand dollars for Ekal Vidyala, Swami Nikhilanand, a returning speaker from Barsana Dham who informed the kids about Hinduism, and Sita Mutyala, a renowned author of children’s books. After their educations, campers made use of the entire campsite during free recreation for two hours. I particularly enjoyed this time because campers of all grades, ages, and hometowns interacted while swimming at the pool, paddle boating on the lake, relaxing with healthy snacks on picnic tables, or while playing on the football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball courts. Camp had a few evening activities like talent show, skit night, and garba, which was made a success thanks to our very own counselor/DJ, Nalin Verma. Every year it seems, camp has been faced with a problem. What should we do for our Wednesday night activity? Without the help of Arpan Amin, who took it upon himself to coordinate the logistics of an Elementary/Middle

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School Dodgeball tournament, we would not have had what in my opinion was the best Wednesday night activity ever. Further increasing the camaraderie between ages and grade levels, teams consisting of thirteen kids from 2nd to 8th grade were formed and each launched their campaigns to become the championship dodgeball team (which incidentally was coached by yours truly). Campers are already forming the initial bonds that will soon become long-lasting friendships, as they have countless times in the past. Kids who have just met have made their connections with one another online and are even beginning to make plans for next year’s camp. High school sophomore, Rohan Shah states, “As camp ends, there is a definite sense of what you are about to lose when you leave camp. The great learning experiences, close friends, and obviously the food. Those are the sole reasons why every camper makes it a point to return to camp the following year.” On the surface, we simply are a large group of young people who come together every year to have a healthy dose of summer fun. Looking deeper, we are all individuals who share a common desire to strengthen Hinduism and our culture by keeping the roots in our youth strong and by attending the camp we help protect the vision of a proud Hindu society for the future. To take from our newly beloved camp song, “Hindu bankure hai hum” (We are brave Hindu youth), and our

Camp co-director Kavita Pallod addressing closing ceremony identity shall remain secure. The camp was sponsored by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, Houston Chapter, in cooperation with other local Hindu organizations. For more information or to register for camp, go to www.hinducamp.com. Rohit Moharir graduated from Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas and is heading up to Boston to be a Freshman and study Business at Northeastern University. In this, his first year of being a counselor, Rohit was responsible for a group of 8th graders, leading bhajans and Aarti, and creating the counselor skit.

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stoRy of MahatMa Gandhi

In c champaran, “Face-to-Face with god, Ahimsa, trut truth”

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The annual meeting of the Congress was held in December 1916 in Lucknow. The Congress was divided. There were the moderates and there were the extremists, but at Lucknow the Congress met without tension between the two wings. The President, Ambika Charan Mazumdar, spoke in terms of Swaraj, which previous leaders had demanded. A resolution was passed appealing to His Majesty’s Government and demanding that a definite step should be taken towards Indian self-government by granting the reforms contained in the scheme prepared by the AllIndia Congress Committee and adopted by the All-India Muslim League. In Lucknow the Congress and the Muslim League came to an agreement. This was later known as the Lucknow Pact. For the sake of the unity of India the Congress conceded many points demanded by the Muslims. For two years Gandhi had travelled extensively in India and had talked at different places. He now wanted to start some work connected with labor. His interest first centered on the problem of indentured labor, the system under which poor, ignorant laborers were enticed away from India to work in the British colonies. He had fought this system in South Africa and he wanted to see it abolished. The Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, announced that His Majesty’s Government had agreed to abolish the system’ in due course. Gandhi, however, wanted a definite date before which the system would go. So now Gandhi started a great agitation on this issue. He went to Bombay and consulted all the Indian leaders there. They fixed May 31, 1917 as the last date for the abolition of indentured labor. He then went around the country to get support for this view. Meetings were held in all important places. Everywhere there was a great response. Even Gandhi said that he had not expected so much public support. As a result of the agitation, the Government announced that the system of indentured labor would be stopped before July 31,1917. Gandhi had heard about an obnoxious system of agricultural labor prevailing in Bihar. In the Champaran district of Bihar, the cultivators were forced by Europeans to grow indigo, a blue dye, and this imposed on them untold sufferings. They could not grow the food they needed, nor did they receive adequate payment for the indigo. Gandhi was unaware of this until an agriculturist from Bihar, Rajkumar Shukla, met him and told

him of the woes of the people of Champaran. He requested Gandhi to go to the place and see for himself the state of affairs there. Gandhi was then attending the Congress meeting at Lucknow and he did not have time to go there. Rajkumar Shukla followed him about, begging him to come and help the suffering villagers in Champaran. Gandhi at last promised to visit the place after he had visited Calcutta. When Gandhi was in Calcutta, Rajkumar was there too, to take him to Bihar. Gandhi went to Champaran with Rajkumar early in 1917. On his arrival the District Magistrate served him with a notice saying that he was not to remain in the district of Champaran but must leave the place by the first available train. Gandhi disobeyed this order. He was summoned to appear before the court. The magistrate said, “If you leave the district now and promise not to return, the case against you will be withdrawn: “This cannot be,” said Gandhi. “I came here to render humanitarian and national service. I shall make Champaran my home and work for the suffering people.’ A large crowd of peasants was outside the court shouting slogans. The magistrate and the police looked nervous. Then Gandhi said, “I shall help you and calm these people if you let me speak to them.” Gandhi appeared before the crowd and said, “You must show your faith in me and in my work by remaining quiet. The magistrate had the right to arrest me, because I disobeyed his order. If I am sent to jail, you must accept that as just. We must work peacefully. Any violent act will harm our cause.” The crowd dispersed peacefully. The police stared at Gandhi in admiration as he went inside the court. “That day in Champaran was an unforgettable event in my life ..... It is no exaggeration, but the literal truth, to say that in this meet-

ing with the peasants, I was face to face with God, ahimsa and truth,” Gandhi wrote later. The Government withdrew the case against Gandhi and allowed him to remain in the district. Gandhi stayed there to study the grievances of the peasants. He visited many villages. He cross-examined about 8,000 cultivators and recorded their statements. In this way he arrived at an exact understanding of their plight and the causes. He came to the conclusion that the ignorance of the cultivators was one of the main reasons why the European planters could exploit them. Gandhi set up voluntary organizations to improve the economic and educational conditions of the people. They opened schools and taught the people how to improve sanitation. The Government realized Gandhi’s strength and devotion to his causes. They themselves then set up a committee to enquire into the grievances of the cultivators. They invited Gandhi to serve on that committee, and he agreed. The result was that within a few months the Champaran Agrarian Bill was passed. It gave great relief to the cultivators and land tenants. Gandhi could not stay longer in Bihar. There were calls from other places. Labor unrest was brewing in Ahmedabad and Gandhi was requested to help settle the dispute. Gandhi hurried back to Ahmedabad. Before taking up the labor dispute Gandhi wanted to move his ashram. The Satyagraha Ashram was in a village near Ahmedabad, but the surroundings were not clean and plague had broken out. It had spread there from Ahmedabad. A rich merchant of Ahmedabad, who was closely associated with the ashram, volunteered to procure a suitable piece of land. Gandhi went about with him looking for land and at last they chose a place on the bank of the Sabarmati river, near the Sabarmati Central Jail. The land was purchased and there the famous Sabarmati Ashram was started. In Ahmedabad there were many textile mills. Prices had gone up and the mill workers were demanding higher wages. The mill owners would not agree. Gandhi sympathized with the workers and took up their cause. He launched a struggle and resorted to peaceful resistance. The workers proudly followed Gandhi and pledged their full support to him. They paraded the streets with large banners, and said they would not go back to work until a settlement had been reached. — To be Continued

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didi maa m mesmerizes Audience at India House jealousy, unnecessary and selfish By yatindra Bhatnagar HOUSTON: She made India competition with others, and vanHouse reverberate with vociferous ity but, instead, to join together Jais for Bharat Mata and Vrinda- for the greater good of the entire van Bihari Shri Krishna and the people. She reminded that India’s audience replied with Didi Maa Ki cultural heritage is for joining the jai as Sadhvi Ritambhara started hearts, and not dividing the people on her 45 minute speech that mes- on the basis of language, place or merized her listeners, in Houston, way of life. She said that Hindus are basicalAugust 12. Her emphasis was on shunning ly united with the undercurrent of all negativity from our lives and the deeper philosophy of spiritual, positive thinking that was echoed cultural and traditional oneness. through those slogans of Jais, of They only have to positively idenvictory and not defeat, of courage tify and show that oneness. Giving examples from daily and not cowardice. Speaking mainly on Hindu Uni- lives, Sadhviji said that people ty, Sadhvi Ritambhara, popularly keep money and valuable in safes known as Didi Maa, reminded the which are cheaper than the value audience about the rich heritage of of their money, and use a lock that Hindus, India, and the lofty ide- is still cheaper than the safe; but als of the Vedic Sanatan religion a still cheaper key opens the safe that has always believed in the Sadhvi Ritambhara world as one speaking on Hindu family, declarUnity at ing the mantra, India House Vasudhaiv Kuon August 12. tumbakam. The meeting was organized by Hindus of Greater Houston in cooperation with Param Shakti Peeth of America and various Hindu organizations. Didi Maa was as eloquent as ever, as persuasive as before and as emotionally inspiring as always. Her address was interspersed with many Sanskrit shloks, popular sayings and couplets to forcefully bring home the easily. A hammer can break the essentials of unity, cooperation and lock but only the key can open it. the much- needed Hindu awaken- The moral of the story is to be like ing. She said Hindus, irrespective a key that can open the hearts of of their ways of living, places of people, not break them, she said. Making a vital difference beworship and chosen gods and goddesses, should uphold the ideals of tween Uniformity and Oneness strong Hindu community, the glo- (Ekroopta and Ekatmata) Didi ry of Hindi language and the love Maa said in ancient India also the for the Motherland (Hindu, Hindi, emphasis was not on uniformity, but oneness, reaching out and Hindustan.) Stressing the importance of touching the hearts of others. That collectivism, Didi Maa said the lofty ideal was not confined to huVedic teachings are for coopera- mans, but extended to the animal tive endeavor and working for the life and even stones which were mission together to achieve maxi- carved and put up as idols to be mum results. In that context she worshipped and beautiful carvings applauded the efforts of Hindus of to be appreciated. Making a strong pitch for Hindu Greater Houston who have set up the tradition of celebrating Hindu unity she said Hindus should realfestivals collectively. She espe- ize their glorious heritage and work cially mentioned the upcoming unitedly to restore old glory and Janmashtami festival at George R. collectively achieve greatness and Brown Center, in Houston, where progress. She stressed on sharing all Hindu organizations under the and enjoying together all the fruits banner of Hindus of Greater Hous- of nature, hard work and cooperaton would celebrate the grand tion to make the community, state, event from morning till midnight nation and the whole humanity a with various religious and cultural better place to live happily. Did Maa also shared her expeactivities. Didi Maa said the essential ele- rience of the Vatsalya Gram, the ment of humanity and positive unique ‘Family Home’ that she progress is the realization to avoid has founded to not only shelter

the ‘unwanted, abandoned and needy’ children and women but to give them family, training, work and make them useful and better citizens. She said we are making groups of Yashoda Maa in modern times to raise numerous Krishnas. Pradip Raol explained that the first Vatsalya Gram Center is fully functioning in Vrindavan; five others are in Delhi, Solan (in Himachal Pradesh) two in Madhya Pradesh (Omkareshwar and Chhatarpur.) These are the centers of divine love and affection. Ultimately Did Ma wants such Vatsalya Grams with the help of he community, in at least 22 states. On the occasion a slide show was presented depicting various facets of the pioneer Vatsalya Gram, its inhabitants and various activities. There is a fully equipped hospital, school, vocational training center, playground, and hostel on the sprawling 50 acre Vatsalya Gram campus that has its own cowherd for milk and other dairy products for the people living in the Gram. In the beginning Partha Krishnaswamy made a presentation about last year’s Janmashtami celebration by Hindus of Greater Houston at the George R. Brown Center. This year it’s again at the same place on August 28 with more activities, décor and a new Band. Girish Naik the President of Hindus of Greater Houston welcomed the distinguished speaker and the audience. Didi Maa, prominent community leader and philanthropist Ramesh Bhutada, Bhagwan Bhutada, and Pradip Raol helped the lighting of the ceremonial lamp. The program started with Sanskrit prayer by Smitha Prahlad, and melodious bhajans by Vijaya Verma and Krishna Shant Juneja, (who travel with Did Maa.) They were accompanied on tabla by the noted local musician Hemant Bhavsar. Bhajans (such as Mere Ram dena mujhko sahara, kaheen chhoot na jaye daman tumhara) were very much appreciated. Many among the audience were vocal in admiring the impact Did Maa made on the listeners. Kirit and Indira Modi said Didi Maa is very impressive and whatever she spoke touched the hearts. She is extremely convincing in her address, they said. Many said the goddess of learning and knowledge (Saraswati) resides on the tongue of Didi Maa, a sentiment echoed by both the Modis and Jagdish Suman, who never misses an opportunity to attend Sadhviji’s meetings; Molina Gidwani too admitted that.

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Feedback On Our Anniversary Issue Happy Anniversary to all of you. It was very interesting to read about every one of you in the latest issue and put faces to all your names. Congratulations and best wishes for many many more years of uninterrupted ticking. - Nisha Giri My heartiest congratulations on your publication Indo-American News completing yet another glorious year. Your combined dedication and commitment to presenting accurate news for nearly three decades is historic not only for the Asian American media but the community at large. Along the way you have each touched thousands of individuals in some very special ways. Today, the Indo-American News is a household name among the South Asian families and I’m proud to have been a minuscule, yet most cherished part of this whole endeavor. Wishing you success on all your future ventures as well. -Shobana Muratee I enjoyed reading about the 29 years of newspaper publishing at Indo-American News and all community coverage over the years. The layout was pleasing and it was very easy to read as compared to some other publications. - Lachman Das

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Crowds Flock to Invigorated I-Day Celebration Thanks to everyone for putting together such a wonderful event for everyone to enjoy

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Crowds Flock to Invigorated I-Day Celebration

continued from page

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Congratulations to the entire community for an excellent event !

Ramesh Cherivirala Ph.D, LUTCF, CLTC

Partner, Houston General Office

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Did you know? Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all - people younger than us, of our own age, those older than friends, even strangers and us. There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste. Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However there is much more to it than meets the eye. In Sanskrit namah + te = namaste. It means - I bow to you - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. Namaha can also be literally interpreted as

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Why Do We Do Namaste?

“na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another. The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet another, we do so with namaste, which means, “may our minds meet,” indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the

Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like “Ram Ram,” “Jai Shri Krishna”, “Namo Narayana”, “Jai Siya Ram”, “Om Shanti” etc - indicating the recognition of this divinity. When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.

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World’s Toughest Sum Cracked LONDON: An Indian-origin computer scientist based in the US claims to have solved one of the world’s most complex mathematical riddles. Vinay Deolalikar, who works with the US multinational information

calculations involve checking a large number of possible solutions and that could be beyond the current capability of any computer. P vs NP looks at the possibility of whether there is a way of arriving at

technology corporation HewlettPackard in California, believes he has solved the problem of “P versus NP”, Daily Telegraph reported. The Massachusetts-based Clay Mathematical Institute has categorised the “P vs NP” as one of the seven millennium problems. It is considered the “most difficult” one to be solved. If his claim is proved correct, Deolalikar stands to earn a $1million prize. Many maths

the answers to the calculations faster in the first place. Deolalikar’s paper that was posted online claims that P, which refers to problems whose solutions are easy to find and verify, is not the same as NP, which refers to problems whose solutions are almost impossible to find but easy to verify, the report said. Mathematicians Stephen Cook and Leonid Levin formalised the problem in 1971.

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More is More

Indo-American News congratulates the Indo-American Chameber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) for its successful gala last Saturday night. The sold-out event is the result of the dedicated leadership, including President Madhukar Prasad and Executive Director Jagdeep Ahluwalia, Office Administrator Mondira Tyagi and corp of additional staff and volunteers. Initiated by the Indian Consulate to provide a forum for visiting trade delegations, the IACCGH has taken form of its own with its Distinguished Lecture Series, Small Business Programs, Career Programs, golf tournament and annual awards. The awards program was enlarged this year to include business professionals, according to Somesh Singh, Chair, Annual Awards Committee. This is certainly praiseworthy. There are, however, two issues associated with the awards program. First is that the awards are based on nominations. As such, the pool of potential award winners is limited. Instead, the IACCGH should conduct its own search of deserving candidates of its own members. There could be special awards to recognize those outside its membership, if needed. Secondly, there should be separate categories for entrepreneurs and professionals. It requires a different skillset to create a business enterprise than to manage a division of an existing corporation. It is a disservice to place both types of achievers into one pool. It seems the whole group of nominated individuals were highly deserving. The IACCGH should present more awards. After all, spreading the wealth is good for everyone.

Festival for All

India Fest 2010 last Sunday was also a praiseworthy effort. There were lots of booths, plenty of people and Bollywood music and fun for all. It helped that the India Culture Center did not charge admission. A few years ago, the ICC had become a little listless. Now the organization has lots of vigor and enthusiasm. Congratulations to ICC President Swapan Dhairyavan, Event Chair Rajeev Bhavsar and Co-Chair Jasmeeta Singh. The ICC also presented its Tagore Awards for achievement in various creative arts disciplines. Pramod Kulkarni

Quotable Quotes My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that ‘achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.’ Helen Hayes

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Growth: Create It, Don’t Condemn It By Gautam Chikermane In the intellectually-heavy week preceding Independence Day, I met four of India’s top economists who are simultaneously driving and observing a changing India. My question to all of them came in the context of how economic growth has been turned into some form of evil by a pseudoliterati that is rightly concerned about growth not trickling down but lacks the rigour to explore the phenomenon accurately. If growth doesn’t reach the poor, what’s the point of having it, goes the argument that’s turning popular, pandering to rabble rousers and broadly reducing growth as an idea worth pursuing in our 64th year of Independence and further. I’m not sure where this argument is leading us and I pray that it is not towards this: if high economic growth cannot be equally distributed, let’s not have it at all. It would be criminal if this argument gained popular political support. The 9 per cent growth we have been experiencing, and the 10 per cent growth aspiration we harbour, has brought prosperity to the rich, the middle classes and a large chunk of those living in metros, no doubt. That it has not trickled down in the same proportion to the villages in general and to agriculture in particular is also true. But certainly, rejecting the growth momentum the Indian economy has gained after decades of economic somnolence is not the way out. What do the worthies pushing for distribution over growth push — poverty? Besides, the contention that growth has not trickled down at all is incorrect. I have heard complaints from three different rural constituencies about the way in which NREGA is changing the economic landscape there. An extremely rich farmer told me that he doesn’t get labour to work his farm.Awealthy entrepreneur who has turned his fort into a tourist resort told me that he doesn’t get hands to work his business — all of them are busy “destroying the environment through unplanned NREGA work”. Poor farm labourers in the Nainital hills I regularly visit told me that

If growth doesn’t reach the poor, what’s the point of having it, goes the argument that’s turning popular. It would be criminal if this argument gained popular political support.

they find it better to work as construction workers because NREGA has forced contractors to raise the rates they offer. Growth is trickling down, please don’t waste your precious tears on that movement. Instead, go to the rural areas and see for yourself the change it’s bringing — the “poor” have mobile phones, cable TV, and are rich enough for insurance agents to dump ULIP policies on them. Has this growth reached each and every poor citizen of India? Of course not. But I can see it marching ahead at a faster pace than ever before. Also, I am excluding the Maoist-controlled tracts, where leave alone economic development, even the presence of the state through a workable law and order is missing. “Don’t take growth for granted,” Raghuram G. Rajan, professor at Chicago’s Booth School of Business and EconomicAdvisor to Prime Min-

ister, told me last week. “Too many countries have grown strongly for decades, only to stagnate,” he writes in Fault Lines, a book that you must pick up right now and read. His warning: to assume that growth can come automatically is wrong, a lot of work still needs to be done. “It would be a mistake to take high growth for granted,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman said. “We have the ‘potential’ (his eyebrows stressed the word) to achieve high growth.” The growth challenges he identified were to make agriculture more productive and expand infrastructure. We need to solve these problems he said, but if we gave up growth, we are doomed to fail. “Growth in itself cannot reduce inequality,” C. Rangarajan, chairman of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council said in his bookfilled room at Vigyan Bhawan. “The trickle down effect will work as the economy grows. But for it to be effective, the economy has to grow at a strong rate.” High growth, he concluded, helps the government to launch distributive schemes. “Short of political turbulence, it is reasonable to expect that we will be on a sustained 8.5 per cent growth path,” said Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu over an extremely lively discussion in his North Block office. “Even if we do not have compassion and morals, a better income distribution is in our self-interest. Otherwise political instability will come home to roost.” I look forward to the next decade as one of high economic growth that simultaneously trickles down. I think the economic model India is following — racing towards free markets to deliver growth (something the markets are best at) and simultaneously inching forward on distributive justice through government intervention — will work well to balance the two. We need to push the government to deliver more efficiently, where projects like UID will help. But for India’s sake, let’s stop stalling economic growth simply because it’s not omnipresent today. Create it, don’t condemn it. HT

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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Financial advice

Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

India Not Taking American Jobs: US Chamber WASHINGTON (PTI) : Slamming the critics of H-1B, a US think-tank and corporate America have suggested removal of Congressional cap on this popular work visa programme and allow markets to determine number of skilled foreign workers eligible to work in the country. “The best policy for the United States is one that sides with freedom and innovation, not restriction. It is a policy where the H-1B cap is either eliminated or set high enough that we can let the market decide on the number of new skilled foreign nationals who work in America each year,” a report said. The 81-page report titled “Regaining America’s Competitive Advantage: Making our Immigration System Work” has been jointly prepared by US Chamber of Commerce, which is the top representative body of the American businesses, American Council on International Personnel, an eminent think-tank. US PresidentBarack Obama on Friday signed into law a new ‘Border Security Bill’ proposing a steep hike in some categories of H-1B and L-1 visa fees which is expected to badly hurt Indian IT firms which may have to shell out an additional USD 250 million annually for the next five years.

“The best policy would ease the way for employers to sponsor high skilled individuals for green cards by exempting from labour certification and current employment-based immigrant quotas many who now languish in 6 to 20 year queues,” the report said. “Allowing top talent who graduate from US universities to gain a green card directly will help US employers retain the world’s leading future innovators,” the report said. The report has come out with some very interesting finding about H-1B visa programme, according to which popular foreign work visa has been a key factor in US’competitiveness and its economic growth. Who is in a better position to determine which employees are most likely to make Apple, Amazon or other US companies successful? Is it critics of immigration, government bureaucrats, or the companies themselves?” the report said. Findings of this report show that leading US companies cite the role played by highly educated foreign nationals in the success of the organisation. Noting that the critics argue US has too much talent entry of high skilled foreign nationals should be blocked, the report says real immigrationrelated problem is that many talented

people have not been able to stay in US after graduation because of low quotas for H-1B visas and employment-based green cards. “H-1B visas are a large source of scholarship money for US students, with H-1B training and scholarship fees levied on each petition (and renewal) having funded more than 53,000 math and science college scholarships for US students through the National Science Foundation,” it said. “There is little evidence high skilled foreign nationals on H-1B visas are in general paid less than their American counterparts,” the report said. The report said critics who insist H-1B professionals are hired to “save money” fail to note that in addition to legal requirement to pay H-1B visa holders higher than prevailing or actual wage paid to US workers, employers must pay significant legal and government fees. The American Council on International Personnel estimates combined H-1B and green card sponsorship costs (government/legal fees) can exceed USD 35,000 for one person. “Critics also ignore that the labour market is global and if US employers were interested only in lower labour costs they would shift all their work overseas,” it said.

Spirit of Tagore Award Given to Indian Seniors By Raman Parekh HOUSTON: On the150th birthday of Rabindranath Tagore, The Tagore Society of Houston decided to confer awards to people who have made contribution to Poetry, Music, Education, Painting and Writing. At India Fest 2010 Independence Celebrations, Dhirajlal Shah was given The Poetry Award. He is ninety years old and began writing poetry only after the passing away of his dear wife in 1997. Though he started writing poetry at the of age seventy seven he has been successful in publishing one book in English and two in Gujarati. His poems have been published in Indo-American newspapers and in mainstream magazines. He

is a founding member of the Indian Senior Citizens Association Houston and is a silent worker, working behind the scenes and was a board member. He believes in simple living and high thinking. Dhirajlal Shah is an inspiration to the other seniors on what can be achieved if you set your mind to it even in your golden years. Another member of The Senior Citizens Association Houston, Navin Banker was awarded the ‘Spirit Of Tagore’ Writing Award. Navin Banker is a well-known Gujarati novelist and short story writer. He has published twenty novels and around two hundred and fifty short stories. One his collection of short stories ‘Paraai Daalnu Pankhi’ is well known. He

has been writing since 1962 and has written two hundred and fifty short stories published in mainstream Gujarati magazines and newspapers. He has also written thirteen novels in pocket book format and some of them were very popular. Many are not aware of his talents as an actor in amateur three act plays. He has taken diverse leading roles in so many plays and performed them well. He has participated in activities of The Indian Senior Citizens Association Houston regularly and his help in musical programs is recognized. Navin Banker deserves to be recognized for his various talents writing acting and musician and as a news correspondent.

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Graduation Ceremony at Chinmaya Mission

By Uma Aggarwal

HOUSTON: Twenty-seven twelfth graders graduated from Chinmaya Mission Houston on June 14th 2010. This graduation had a special meaning for Students, parents, children and audience. This was a graduation from their Bala Vihar classes, where they learn from Pre K through 12th grade, how to raise their standard of Life, not just standard of living. They are taught Hindu scriptures and their true import, to make them better citizens of the world and give them tools to deal with ups and downs of life. How much they actually learned over the years was evident from their testimony which they presented in form of a video. Each student spoke with an attitude of gratitude towards their teachers and their Acharyas Sri Gaurang Nanavaty and Smt. Darshana Nanavaty. Graduates from the Chinmaya Mission Houston at the ceremony. Photo: Nilesh Shah The whole festivities started in the Sri Saumyakasi ivalaya with a special Puja by temple priest he gave which even the parents loved Indian Origin in Harris County Civil duced by Alumni, and each student Sri Ganesh. Thereafter the students was, not to turn off the cell phone, Courthouse. He gave a truly inspiring also lit a lamp of knowledge, and entered the Smrti Hall, dressed up and read the scriptures every day. He speech and talked about his personal received their plaque from Acharya in beautiful Indian outfits. Acharya also said the students these days are life, and the ups and downs he had to Gaurang Nanavaty. The sumptuous Sri Gaurang Nanavaty gave the tra- bombarded with texting, twittering face. His advice was that, there are dinner served to all the teachers by ditional message of “Tatttiriya Upa- and face booking, due to tremendous opportunities every day, and faith the students, and rest of the audience nisad” reminding the Graduates of material progress in the world. With ultimately is doing what is right, and was served ice cream to celebrate the their duties and offering practical the results, mind is cluttered with too their agenda in life should be, “you festivities. The program ended with lots of hugs and good byes. advice. He said that life is rarely black much information and they need to and your duty”. After the uplifting speech, a lamp Any child who would like to join learn to make their mind quiet, which and white, but it is all shades of grey. They will have to face many chal- is necessary for material as well as was lit on the stage by both the Acha- Bal Vihar can do so, and benefit from ryas signifying passing of spiritual this invaluable knowledge that is lenges, and now that they have the spiritual progress. knowledge from Guru to students. imparted there. For more information The chief guest was Judge R. K. freedom, they will be responsible for Thereafter each student was intro- visit www.chinmayahouston.org Sandill, who is an elected judge of all their actions. One more advice that

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Desi Sangeet Radio to Hold Radio-Thon to Raise Money for Pakistan Flood Relief HOUSTON: Houston’s desi hit music station, Sangeet Radio, a production of Rajput Media Services, is to host a fundraiser radio-thon Friday, August 20, 2010 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on KBRZ 1460AM to help raise money for the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund. The pledges will be made payable to the listener’s charity of choice. Listeners must write “Pakistan Flood Relief Fund” in the memo section of their checks. In the past, Sangeet Radio has partnered with charities, such as UNICEF, EDHI Foundation, The American Red Cross, Islamic Relief Fund and Helping Hand, for its fundraising and disaster relief efforts. “Sangeet Radio encourages the entire community to participate in this special fundraiser radiothon Friday, August 20th, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on 1460AM, as we come together to help the victims of this devastation,” says founder and CEO of Rajput Media Services and Sangeet Radio. Listeners can call the Sangeet Radio studio during the radiothon with their pledge amounts at (281) 983-9292 or toll-free at 1-800-786-0788


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Awards at Independence Day Festival continued on page

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Mayor pro-tem Thomas Abraham and Fort Bend Trustee Sonal Bhuchar. The 26 high school students who participated in the 2009 Youth Leadership Development Program, initiated by ICC two years ago, graduated

on the occasion, under the Director Directorship of Sushma Kaul Bhan. The day long program included a wide variety of stage performances and 78 booths and were looked after by Col. Raj Bhalla, Ramesh Cherivirala and Charlie Patel. Also available was the ICC sou-

venir Tarang wasproduced by ICC Trustee and Editor Shobana Muratee and Kesava Chakka. The Grand Sponsor for this event was New York Life Insurance. For a full report and pictures of the event visit www.icchouston.org. Left: The awardees for the Tagore Heritage Contest. From left: Atul Vir, ICC Event Chair; Dhirajlal Shah for poetry; Dr. Mohan Kuruvilla for Education; Piyali Dasgupta for painting; Pt. Suman Ghosh for Music; Indian Consul General Sanjiv Arora who gave out the awards; Navin Banker for writing; and Swapan Dhairayawan, the ICC President. Below: The 2009 graduating class of Youth Leadership Development Program along with the class Director, Sushma Bhan (sixth from right) received certicaftes onstage.

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Recipients of the Tagore Awards

• Dhirajlal Shah for Poetry. Shah is 90 years old and is an active poet living in Houston since 1982. He has published one book in English and four in Gujarati language. • Dr. Mohan Kuruvilla for Education. He is currently the Dean of the School of Business, Houston Baptist University and is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Man ManagementAccountant, and a Chartered Accountant. He is currently a Direc Director of the Texas Society of Certified

Public Accountants. • Navin Banker for Writing. Banker is a well-known Gujarati novelist and has published 20 fiction books and about 250 short stories. His most well known work is Paraai-Dal-NunPankhi. He is also a journalist/ freelance correspondent for Gujarat Samachar, Naya Padkar, Stree, Mumbai Samachar and Janmabhumi Pravasi. •Pandit Suman Ghosh for Music. Ghosh is an accomplished Hindustani classical vocalist/singer. He

has won many awards including the Presidents Award by All-India Radio, Sangeet Research Academy award, and the Dover Lane Music Conference Award (Calcutta). He teaches at his “Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston”. •Piyali Dasgupta for Painting. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Viswa-Bharati University and Shantiniketan. She has also exhibited at Bering & James Gallery, Winter Street Studio, Art Crawl and Museum of Fine Arts.

Swami Vidyadhishananda Returns to Houston

HOUSTON: Himalayan monk, His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda returns to Houston on 21st August 2010 for a series of public lectures on Sanskrit philosophy and Vedic tradition encompassing the fields of education, wellness and health. In the spirit of promoting Vedic fine arts there will be a Classical Dance and Spiritual Banquet named as KalāRashmi at the Old Stafford Civic Center on August 27th. The banquet will include a message by His Holiness followed by fundraising for the Nonprofit’s projects. A Peace Mass will be held on September 11, 2010, named as SwastiKalpanam offered to the greater community for healing and harmony, which will include nearly ninety minutes of synchronized intonated Sanskrit chanting. The venue for this special event is India House located in the southwest part of Houston. His Holiness has been invited to speak at Rice University, University

of Houston, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston. He will begin the series of discourses on Sunday, August 22nd at the Hindu Worship Society Temple at noon followed by the India House

at 5 pm. He will also be speaking to the Bellaire High School students for the first time. Houston is one of a few privileged cities that are part of his nation-wide tour this year that began in April with lectures in Santa Barbara and ends in September with the healing Peace Mass after which he returns to his

home base in Santa Barbara, California, and prepares for his annual retreat to the Himalayan mountains scheduled for October 2010. His Holiness is a saint of the Kriya-yoga tradition, hailing from the lineage of Paramahansa Hariharananda and Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi. He teaches spiritual philosophy with exquisite clarity and guides sincere seekers in the practice of Himalayan meditation techniques. Houstonians have known His Holiness since the WAVES confer conference in 2006 which is also the year in which he was awarded one of the highest awards conferred through the university system in India, the degree of Mahamahopadhyay (Great Ordained Teacher), due to his meditative insights and ability to articulate Sanskrit philosophy. His Holiness is the head monk of the U.S. based Nonprofit, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship, dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge of ancient Sanskrit heritage.

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UT Butler School of Music’s Bel Cuore Saxophone Quartet to Play Free Concert in Houston AUSTIN: The Bel Cuore Quartet, Scott McAllister with the University G minor by J.S. Bach and a string quartet by W.A. Mozart to Short a graduate saxophone quartet of Texas Symphony Band. The saxophone quartet, based Stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning from The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, on the model of the string quartet, composer Jennifer Higdon. Music lovers will perform a free of all sorts will concert at Houston not want to miss Baptist University’s the Saxteto by Mabee Teaching Venezuelan-born Theater on Friday, composer Victor September 3 at 7:30 Marquez-Barrios. p.m. Presented by Performed in the Butler School of four movements, Music, The concert Saxteto takes is the first in a series listeners on a that will also take the journey around quartet to Austin and the Caribbean. Helsinki, Finland. The piece contains The Houston Cuban-style concert is free and ragtime (with a open to the public, wink and nod and no advanced to Scott Joplin), reservations are Alto saxophonist Sunil Gadgil (left), baritone saxo phonist required. Michael Hertel, tenor saxophonist Spencer Nielsen and soprano a Ve n e z u e l a n beach parade, The members of the saxophonist Rami El-Farrah (right) and an emotional quartet are soprano lullaby. The work saxophonist Rami El-Farrah, alto saxophonist Sunil is one of the most colorful and concludes with Dominican dance Gadgil, tenor saxophonist Spencer exciting chamber music groups. It bands taunting American soldiers Nielsen, and baritone saxophonist has exploded in popularity among with a too-fast merengue. The piece composers and audiences for its is a hit with audiences of all ages. Michael Hertel. Following the Houston The four doctoral students met at ability to perform an incredibly performance, The BCQ will The University of Texas at Austin wide range of music. The Bel Cuore Quartet (BCQ) play Austin in December, before Butler School of Music and have been playing together for over two repertoire includes jazz, pop, traveling to Helsinki, Finland years. The group was recently classical, and rock arrangements with Butler School of Music featured on the Naxos/Longhorn as well as exciting music from Professor of Saxophone Harvey Pittel in February as part of a Music recording Over the Rainbow contemporary composers. This concert has something for cultural exchange with the Helsinki and Bach Again, and they recorded Concerto X2 by Baylor composer everyone, from the Little Fugue in Conservatory.

India’s Carpet Industry Plagued by Child Labor

By Siddharth kara UTTAR PRADESH (CNN): The “Carpet Belt” of north India spreads west from the city of Allahabad, east through Bhadohi, over to Varanasi along the banks of the Ganga River. There are literally thousands of carpet looms concentrated in this region. Many are no more than small village huts with a single loom and a few workers inside. Others are large shacks that may posses up to twenty looms and thirty or more children. I have visited this region several times, and each time I find similar circumstances. The carpets are being woven in wretched conditions by bonded laborers (usually dalits or “untouchables”) or even some trafficked boys as young as six years old. Bonded laborers are individuals who have borrowed money or assets for a wedding, funeral, medicine, home repair, or other reason, and are forcibly held in servitude to work off this loan at paltry wages and exploitive interest rates. Most prized by the carpet producers are young boys. Their nimble fingers are perfectly suited to carpet weaving, and being children, they are more easily coerced to work sixteen to eighteen hours a day. Child labor in Bangladesh’s shrimp industry Young boys like the one I met at a shelter for rescued child trafficking victims near Allahabad, are locked

inside carpet shacks in cramped quar quarters, beaten regularly, given meager allotments of food, suffer respiratory ailments from the high level of thread dust, and are force-fed stimulants to keep them working. They suffer deformed spines, malnutrition, vision ailments, and severe cuts from the sharp claw tool that is used to pull the thread down the loom. The young boy said he was told wild dogs were in the forest outside the loom and would eat him if he tried to escape. He was also told that if anyone ever knocked on the door, he and the other boys should not say a word or the guards would kill them, and their families. India’s child labor problem Exploiting children in this way allows carpet producers to keep profits up and prices down. Carpets made in this region are routinely exported to the EU, U.S., and beyond.

A few brave souls work in this area and put their lives on the line to raid the carpet shacks and free the children. The shacks are almost always guarded by armed men. There is significant danger in this work, and I know more than one person who has been severely injured. In my most recent trip to the region, I also met my second child trafficker - “Sanjay.” Sanjay claims he is routinely approached by parents in search of a deal for their children. He says he takes the children from villages throughout the Carpet Belt to Varanasi, where an agent allocates the boys to carpet looms and the girls to brothels. He said he is paid between $90 and $100 for boys and $150 or more for girls. Of this sum, Sanjay pays about 20% back to the parents, along with the promise of remittances from future earnings. Send us your comments to IAN.

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