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Indo American News • Friday, October 08 , 2010

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Friday, October 08 2010 | Vol. 29, No. 41

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Bollywood Goes Gaga over Rajnikanth Rajnikanth has proved his magic yet again. His blockbuster film Robot surpassed hits like Dabangg and 3 Idiots far behind. The movie raked in a sum of $2 million in the U.S. alone, a record for Tamil film. Rajnikanth is also India’s highest paid actor, earning around $7 million per film. An actor known for his notorious and sometimes absurd dialogues in movies such as “There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because I (Rajnikant ) lives in Chennai.”

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opening ceremony for the Ballroom dancing, rock music, Auctions cwG 2010 was dazzling liven IAcF Gala, raise $275K for charity

NEW DELHI: India on Sunday put behind a nightmarish build-up of scandals, filth and dirt and missed deadlines to come up with a dazzling and vibrant opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games--the country’s biggest sporting spectacle--watched live by a global audience of around three billion. Against the backdrop of an early October sunset, the spanking new Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium turned into a golden hue as the $9.6 million (Rs 44 crore) aerostat lifted into the skies and a bevy of puppets danced and over 800 drummers heralded the event.

Rhythm India, led by Arzan Gonda, danced during dinner.

Top row: Left: Krystal Joseph dancing with a Fred Astaire dancer; right: IACF Director David Raj performed two rock pieces. Left: Reiji Joseph dancing with a Fred Astaire dancer. Photos: Krishna Giri

1000 lights for Peace: A Great success By Dr. Manish Wani HOUSTON: 1000 Lights for Peace, a city-wide event, happens ever year on the Sunday following Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday at Miller Outdoor Theater and is organized by the Mahatma Gandhi Library of Houston. It is a culmination of Mahatma Gandhi Week where month long activities are taken place to promote the simple values of peace, truth, non-violence and love. Children from around the greater Houston metropolitan area took part in

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continued on page

Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference to be Held in Houston Story on Pg 4

Asia Society Hosts Illuminating Talk by Dr. Pranab Bardhan Story on Pg 5

Chinmaya Mission Children Present “ Gopi Gitam” Story on Pg 10

STAFFORD: Seldom has the desi community seen a Gala like the one the Indo-American Charity Foundation held this past Friday, October 1 at the New Stafford Civic Centre. There was an air of opulence, with the over 600 guests socializing at the foyer to the main ballroom, having a couple’s picture taken at a studio setting set aside for the occasion (framed pictures were available for pickup right af after the Gala) and partaking of the

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Playing Against Rock Hard Politics- The Nature of the Game Story on Pg 19

continued on page 6

Two Stalwarts of Engineering Hope for Cross Technology Pollination Story on Pg 14

Radhanath Swami Discovers India’s Hidden Treasures Story on Pg 20

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Ballroom dancing, rock music, Auctions liven IAcF 2010 Gala continued from page 1

appetizers even as they registered for their tables. The ballroom was decorated elegantly and off to one side, an array of 32 silent auction items were laid out for people to peruse and bid on. The winners were announced at the end of the nearly 3-hour program, with one couple actually winning four of the items they had bid on. According to Shahnaz Vadgama, who chaired the silent auction committee, almost $6,000 was raised. Not to be outdone, nearly ten more expensive pieces, donated by local merchants and professionals for the event, raised another $27,000 at the live auction, which was conducted by William Yeaman, a Texan if there ever was one, in his black suit, black Stetson and with the unlikely nickname of “Shorty” despite being over sixfeet tall. “My brother is six foot nine,” he quipped, explaining his the moniker. Shorty’s spotters had their trained eyes out to locate the high rollers bidding for the items. At the tail end of the event, Simrit Singh, daughter of the IACF President Bobby Singh, sang a song entitled Take a Little Time especially composed for the evening by Raja Kar, as an appeal for those who wanted to take part in a raffle for a new Apple iPad. She had flown in especially from her college in California to participate. People put in their bids into little

jars on the tables and then the winning name was called out at the end of the night. The mini-auction raised another $2,700. Apart from the fundraising, the Gala was high on entertainment value of a different sort. The evening was ably emceed by IACF Director Jawahar Malhotra and Mika Rao, who played off each other’s banter. The evening started off with a Rocking Night performance by IACF Board Director David Raj, who is a versatile guitar player, complete with a Spanish Flamenco hat and flowing long hair. His group - Moses Zapata on the drums; Carlos Soreno on bass guitar and Dhruva Krishna on keyboards - included a guest guitar appearance by the man with gliding fingers, Danny Vargas, turned the notes fluid that streamed across the ballroom in megadecibels. If that opening wasn’t enough of a jolt for those expecting more staid Indian fare, the next dance numbers also knocked them flat. The Fred Astaire Dance Company performed two sets: the first composed of three numbers around South American music and dancestyles like the samba, salsa and tango. The next set of five dances was a homage to Michael Jackson and featured a young 10-year-old boy. The freshness and vitality of performers was captivating, including the number featuring Krystal Joseph, daughter of IACF Board

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Top: From left, Priti Singh, Houston Mayor Annise Parker; IACF Director Manisha Mehta, President Bobby SIngh and IACF Director Surender Talwar who led the production of the Gala souvenir booklet. Left: Incoming IACF President Anu Bala with current President Bobby Singh.

member Reiji Joseph, who also danced solo as well with the group. One audience member was a bit mystified, expecting purely the usual Indian fare. And not to be missed was the vibrant group dance of Rhythm India choreographed by Arzan Gonda. Dressed in black with silver-sequined stripes, they did two numbers set to Bollywood music and captured the attention of the audience, who by then had turned to their dinner. The Gala obviously took much effort to pull it off, with many Di-

rectors volunteering and performing their roles. In the end, all the pieces fell into place, but overall the program went over the length of the patience of many who attended, with many revolting by heading for the buffet lines before they were open. And a video presentation on the IACF had to be scrapped as it rolled due to technical problems. Still, most people were happy not to have to hear tedious speeches and a tired old formula. Bobby Singh’s speech was simple and sweet, and as if on cue, the chief

guest, Houston Mayor Annise Parker was also brief and to the point. Other politicos who attended Congressman Al Green and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett - also spoke briefly of the need to support charities. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also attended but left early, and representatives from Sen. John Cronyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s offices also attended. Also sitting as a guest was Farokh Engineer, the cricketing legend of yesteryear, who was visiting the city and had spoken at a TiE event the night before. The function pleased the IACF as it met their expectations, with several Board members plowing in a lot of their own resources. “We managed to raise over $275,000,” said Singh after the totals were tabulated several days later. “We want the community to know that we appreciate and honor their continued support,” a sentiment echoed by incoming President Anu Bala, who concluded the evening with closing remarks. Indo-American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly on every Friday (for a subscription price of $30 per year) by Indo-American News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036, Tel: 713-789-6397, Fax: 713-789-6399, Email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo-American News, 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036.

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Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference to be Held in Houston HMEC grand gala evening is a historic first in the conference calendar

By Kalyani Giri HOUSTON: Representatives from 130 temples in the U.S., Canada and other countries are expected to attend the Fifth Annual Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) to be held in this city at the Sheraton Hotel near Inter-continental Airport from October 22 – 24, 2010. Facilitated by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of North America, the event will be hosted by five major temples in this city – the Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) of Pearland, Barsana Dham of Austin, Hindu Temple of The Woodlands, Shirdi Sai Jalaram Mandir, and the Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj. The mandir conferences have been organized annually in different parts of the country to chart out a roadmap to discuss, define and develop plans to implement in practice the related projects and tasks. The program at the Houston conference will include inspiring talks and discussions involving both young adults and those who have been involved in temple management for many years. “The HMEC is not just a conference of executive leadership of mandirs and various Hindu organizations but a movement to unite Hindus across North America and Caribbean as a strong vibrant group that would help sustain Hindu Santana Dharma for decades to come,” said Dr. Sharma Tadepalli, Secretary of the Board of Directors at MTS and a HMEC Executive Committee Member. “Our objectives include nurturing Hindu pride and the Hindu way of life, better interaction, connectivity and networking among various Hindu organizations. We also hope to develop a strong bond between

generations of Hindus and mandirs through knowledge and education of Hinduism and by integrating them early into mandir executive leadership,” added Dr. Tadepalli. Beth Kulkarni, an Executive Board Member of the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands and a member of the host committee of HMEC, was elated that Texas was hosting the event here this year. “This is the first time HMEC will meet in Texas and the local temples have planned a “Texas-size” treat for all the delegates. The networking opportunities will greatly benefit, on a continuing basis, all the temples that are sending delegates,” said Kulkarni. “Many volunteers from the Houston area as well as from the Dallas-FortWorth and Aus-

tin areas and nation-wide have worked very hard toward making this conference a grand success. We look forward to community support in this endeavor.” Prabhakari Devi of Barsana Dham, A u s t i n , and Manju Shrivatsava of Dallas-Fort Worth Hindu Temple are also members of the host committee. A primary goal of the HMEC is to get the youth - those born and raised in America - conscious about their spiritual and religious heritage, the vast scriptures, philosophy, pristine Hindu values and conventions. “Our youth need to visit India to feel the spark of Hinduism first-hand. While there is concern to help the young to be better educated and involved, there is also great optimism in being able to meet this challenge. It is a testament to the work of the mandirs that everyone looks to them to help achieve this goal,” Prabhakari Devi said. Through such cohesion-fostering conferences, a new chapter in the practice of Hinduism in North America is unfolding, or-

ganizers believe. During these challenging times when people seem to be floundering spiritually, the nurturing environment of a rock-solid cultural heritage will perhaps offer answers. The first conference was held in 2006 in Atlanta, GA where over 55 temples participated. In 2007, in Edison, NJ, the HMEC attracted over 99 temples. The third conference was held in Detroit, Michigan where participation increased to 116 temples. In 2009, the conference in Baltimore-Washington DC area had 115 temples participating. This year, a record crowd is anticipated in this city. A special feature of this year’s conference is the HMEC Grand Gala organized and hosted by Hindus of Greater Houston and open to the entire Hindu community on October 23, Saturday evening. This is a historic first for HMEC, and slated to offer a quality evening of luminary speakers, Indian classical dances by the Anjali Center for Indian Performing Arts, a few entertainment surprises that organizers will reveal as the evening unfolds, and a delicious dinner prepared by a local team. Mention must be made of the prolific role that Hindus of Greater Houston play in this city; the organization undertakes large-scale projects such as the annual Janmashtami event at the George R. Brown Convention Center and several humanitarian endeavors through the year. Various temples, business, and families are sponsoring tables of 10 at HMEC. Individual tickets are also available. For Gala sponsorship or tickets, contact Vijay Pallod at (281) 565 0001.

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Author of book: Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay

Asia Society Hosts Illuminating Talk by Dr. Pranab Bardhan By Pradeep Anand HOUSTON: Speaking before a distinguished audience at the BP Speaker Series hosted by Asia Society Texas Center at the Junior League of Houston, Dr. Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, debunked myths about China and India’s burgeoning growth, and told attendees that the current economic statistics were misleading. Dr. Bardhan is author of the book Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India, which delineates and supports his argument with facts and figures. At his recent presentation, he announced that as he had very little time to go into broad detail, he would focus on qualifying conventional wisdom and myths on China and India. He did add a few caveats, that he would not speak about politics, and maintained that he would not provide short-run forecasts, and would not discuss impact of China and India on the rest of the world. “China is the world leader in manufacturing. The reality is: If you look at the value added to raw materials/costs, China’s value add-on in manufacturing is 15% of global manufacturing, the USA is the leader at 24%; Europe’s value-add share is 20%,” said Dr. Bardhan.

dia’s private sector is entrepreneurial, is transparent and more nimble than it’s Chinese counterparts. China’s GDP being export oriented is misleading-net exports “value add” in 2007 contributed 15 % of country’s GDP; 85% of value add was for local consumption. Though India is poorer, the private sector provided 38% of domestic investment. Using World Bank of numbers of people earning less than one dollar per day, Dr. Bardhan told the audience that in 1981 75.5% of China’s population Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Economics at was below that poverty threshold, the University of California, Berkeley. and in 2005, that number was 8.1%. The corresponding percentages for Another myth to be dispelled, he added, India are 42.1% and 24.3%. was that India’s growth is fueled by service During this period, China brought 720 sector. The reality is that information tech- million of the population above poverty nology accounts for about 0.5 % of India’s line, and India, 30 million people. workforce. Even if one assumes that four By the time globalization came along people per IT job is supported by this sector China had already moved more than half it still accounts for about 2% of the Indian its population above this poverty threshworkforce. The informal sector-tiny house- old though reform in the agriculture sector, hold-based business is a whopping 94% of moving from commune-driven farming to India’s workforce. It is unorganized. household-driven farming; land was redisFollowing these two myths, he shed light tributed. on a few significant differences between “India’s demographic dividend will suffer China and India. The private corporate sec- because of three inequalities of opportunity tor of China’s growth is state-propelled; In- in land (50% of farmers are landless), edu-

cation (highest inequality in the word), and social structure. Gender inequality in China is worse than in India; only two Indian states Haryana and Punjab, are comparable to China’s predominantly male ratio,” added Dr. Bardhan. While decision-making in China is quick and swift, India is seen as “lumbering elephant” said Dr. Bardhan. “However, India’s political regime is better. Democratic pluralism drives India. China is driven by growth rate and national pride. Consequently, the Chinese government is riding a tiger. If China does not show 8% growth, its leadership can collapse and there could be chaos in global markets,” he added. A renowned developmental economist Dr. Bardhan has the unique vision of the through the eyes and lenses of a traditional macro-economist. The next speaker on Asia Society’s calendar is Harry Harding, Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He will speak on Partners, Rivals, or Frenemies? The Prospects for U.S.-China Relations. The talk will be at The Houston Club on Thursday, October 7, 2010, 11:30 am. For information, please contact Fritz Lanham, director of programs at FritzL@asiasociety.org or call (713) 439 0051, Ext. 17.

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s sewa International Plans to Host Annual Fundraiser at India house HOUSTON: The evening of Friday, October 15th 2010, Sewa International will host its Annual Diwali Dinner and fundraiser at India House. Sewa International Houston is a local service-based nonprofit organization that has actively engaged hundreds of volunteers in helping low income families and refugee populations in Houston in past years. A children’s art exhibition and photography exhibition featuring the lives of Bur-

crime rate area of Houston and are regularly exposed to things that we would not want our children to get into. But our sense of urgency stems from the fact that most parents don’t speak English and have no idea about what is going on in their child’s life. We want to create a counseling program to support these kids and help them progress in school.” In past year, Sewa supported international disaster relief projects in Haiti, Andhra

Sewa volunteer team during orientation session for new volunteers

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mese, African and Bhutanese refugees in Houston will be a special attraction of the event. Several cultural items will be performed by children who are being helped by Sewa International in Houston. This year’s featured program for fundraising is “Sewa Youth Mentorship Program”, an after school academic help and counseling program for children of the Bhutanese Community in Houston. More than 250 Bhutanese families have been resettled in Houston as refugees. Manju Gupta, president of Sewa International Houston says that, “When we came to America as immigrants, we progressed and prospered in life. The only difference between our story and theirs (Bhutanese children’s) story is that we had an education and they don’t have it. These children deserve an equal opportunity and we can make that happen by systematically bridging the gap between their education back in Nepal and the American education system”. Suryansh Purwar, the Houston Chapter Coordinator of Sewa International, stressed the need for community coming together for children. Suryansh says, “These children are at risk. They live in a low income and high

Pradesh, Karnataka and Leh-Laddak. Sewa volunteers clocked in more than ten thousand hours of community service providing much needed services for less privileged in Houston. Sewa’s programs range from vocational training, employment help, microfinance, access to employment by driver’s training, adult literacy by ESL, after school programs for children, women empowerment self-help groups, and help with access to health care. Sewa International is a unique organization in Houston, led by young Indian professionals and providing direct help to poor and needy in Houston. The Annual Diwali Dinner on Friday, 15th October is going to be a warm and close experience of life struggle of poor families and determination and perseverance of volunteers to get them out of poverty. If you want to get involved and help people and communities in need within the greater Houston area, you can visit the Sewa International website at www.houston.sewausa. org . If you plan to attend the fundraiser, please rsvp to Houston@sewausa.org or call 512554-6498

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SACC Announces Annual Community Awards HOUSTON: Have you heard the excitement surrounding The South Asian Chamber of Commerce’s 17th Anniversary GalaCelebrating Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life? The Keynote Speaker is Swami Parthasarathy, Master of Vedanta and World Renowned Philosopher. The purpose of the gala is to bring communities together to celebrate its success and recognize the South Asian success in the areas of Business, Professionalism, and Community Service. Galas are also annual fundraisers which helps the organization to plan for future events to benefit the community. Every year SACC presents three awards at our annual Gala with this year being no exception. Receiving our Outstanding South Asian Entrepreneur is Ahmad Mian, Founder, President and CEO of FileControl Partners, Ltd. We look for an exemplary South Asian business leader who is visionary, has achieved excellence in business, and maintains high ethical standards while still keeping the community in mind. In Mr. Mian, we have found all those qualities through his business acumen and community service in education. Receiving SACC’s Outstanding South Asian Professional is Dr. Kota Reddy. For this award, our selection committee looks for an exemplary South Asian professional leader in their field, who is a visionary, has achieved excellence in their professional career, and has been recognized for work achievements locally, nationally, or internationally, while maintaining high ethical

standards while still keeping the community in mind. Dr. Reddy is not only known as an outstanding board certified cardiologist, but is well known in the South Asian community for his passion for the prevention and reversal of heart disease. We feel the community agrees he is well deserving of this award. The SACC Outstanding South Asian Community Organization this year is the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association or more well known in the community as APAHA. The criteria for selection in this category was an exemplary South Asian Community Organization that maintains high ethical standards while still attaining a high level of achievement in our local community and or recognition and achievement beyond our local Houston area. Since its formation in 1992, APAHA has achieved it original objective of promoting awareness and increase understanding of the Asian Pacific American culture and diversity. APAHA has made great strides in enhancing racial harmony in our city by promoting cross cultural awareness, education and bringing appreciation between Asian Pacific American and other ethnic groups. SACC 17th Annual Gala will honor these outstanding South Asian individuals and our community organization. For table sponsorships and tickets, please contact Jeff Wallace at jeff@sacchouston.com or 832-660-2952 or visit www.sacchouston.com. SACC 17th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, October 9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Reliant at 6.30pm

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stoRy of MahatMa Gandhi India’s dour mood makes British nervous n

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It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. Now read on: Hundreds of men, women, and children were butchered, though the official figures given were only 379 killed and 2000 wounded. Leaving the wounded and dying on the ground, the troops marched away. The name Jallianwala Bagh became synonymous with massacre. There were other even more shameful deeds done all over the Punjab. Indians were ordered to crawl on their hands and knees. General Dyer also ordered that in certain areas all Indians were to alight from vehicles and salute whenever they passed a British of officer. At certain places men were stripped naked and flogged. Students and children were ordered to walk miles for roll call, to attend parades, and salute the British flag. Then there was the stripping and flogging of marriage parties, the censorship of communications, and cutting of water and electricity supplies to Indian families. The administration of General Dyer’s martial law created a reign of terror in the Punjab. C. F. Andrews, who had already reached the Punjab, wrote to Gandhi and begged him to come at once. Gandhi wanted to go, but his repeated requests for permission to visit the place were turned down by the Government. Finally, in October that year, the Viceroy permitted him to visit the Punjab, and Gandhi went. On his arrival at Lahore railway station, Gandhi found that almost the entire population of the city was there waiting for him. The Congress had appointed a committee to enquire into the atrocities committed in the Punjab. On his arrival in Lahore he was requested to join the committee. He started a slow but most methodical investigation of the incidents in the Punjab. Gandhi thus had the opportunity to know the Punjab and its people. The people flocked to him. They loved him and respected him. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also there in the Punjab, realized that Gandhi was the leader of the masses. People were drawn to

him because of his thoughts and deeds. Nehru saw the scientific accuracy with which Gandhi was conducting the enquiry. Gandhi’s report of the atrocities showed that the Government was trying to shield certain persons. He was never interested in taking revenge on anybody but he was shocked at the way the government sat silent when its own report was published. He was greatly moved by the suf sufferings of the people in the Punjab. He knew the extent of the atrocities which had been committed on the defenseless people. Gandhi now advised the people to not cooperate with the Government in every possible way. He advised them not to accept any of the honors offered by Britain, and requested those who had already received honors to return them. He wanted people to start a movement to boycott the law courts. He advised people not to buy any foreign goods. He wanted every effort to be made to persuade Indians not to serve the Government in any capacity. He called out students from the educational institutions. Gandhi’s influence on the Indian people was steadily growing. The old leaders, many of them with liberal policies, were vanishing from Indian politics. By the end of 1920 Gandhi was the undisputed leader and head of the Indian National Congress. The Congress was fighting for immediate Home Rule. Its method of fighting was nonviolent noncooperation with the government, and defying carefully selected laws at suitable times. Gandhi was very interested in Jawaharlal Nehru and his socialistic views. He was most impressed with the account given by Jawaharlal of his contacts with the peasants. Jawaharlal explained the difficulties the peasants were experiencing, particularly the high taxes they had to pay. The political situation in India

grew worse. The Government became nervous. There was tension everywhere and amidst the suppressed people there was the danger of violence. In spite of the hard attitude of the Government, Gandhi believed that England would soon right the wrong before it was too late. Jawaharlal was of the opinion that England would not change her policy unless she was forced to do so. Jawaharlal was right. Soon the Government started arresting the leaders and imprisoning them. The British were afraid to loosen their grip on India. On August 1, 1920, in a letter to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy. Gandhi gave the signal for a noncooperation campaign. Along with it he returned the Kaiser-iHind gold medal which had been awarded to him in 1915. In the columns of Young India Gandhi wrote in detail in defence of nonviolent noncooperation. With other leaders he travelled extensively addressing huge meetings and preaching the essentials of satyagraha. Everywhere the crowds welcomed him with great love and enthusiasm. Again and again he warned the people against violence. He abhorred mass fury. “If India has to get her freedom by violence,” he said, “let it be by the disciplined violence named war.” At the end of August the Gujarat Political Conference passed a noncooperation resolution and a special session of the Congress was held in Calcutta on September 4 to 9. The draft of the noncooperation resolution had been prepared by Gandhi. Gandhi was not sure how much support he would get at the Congress session. When he moved the resolution he said that he knew the resolution envisaged a policy which was different from the policy hitherto followed. “But,” he declared, “knowing this, I stand before you in fear of God and with a sense of duty to put this before you for your acceptance.” The special Congress session adopted the noncooperation plan as a means of attaining Swaraj. During the latter part of 1920 Gandhi advocated a triple boycott. He wanted an absolute boycott of the Government and all government institutions, including schools, colleges, and courts. If the people were free of these they could easily have their own schools, colleges, and courts, and the power of the British would collapse at once. There was much laughter and ridicule from the moderates and the supporters of British rule. But Gandhi paid no attention. — To be continued

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Indo-American c charged for Inciting suicide s NEW YORK: A freshman at prosecutors said. Under New Rutgers University killed himself Jersey law, it is a fourth-degree after his roommate allegedly postcrime to collect or view images ed on the Internet secretly taped of someone nude or engaged footage of him having a sexual in sexual contact without their encounter in his dorm room, auconsent, prosecutors said. It is a thorities and the victim’s family third-degree crime to distribute said Wednesday. those images, prosecutors said. Two college students at RutOn Sept. 22, a wallet containgers University were charged af afing Mr. Clementi’s driver’s liter filming a peer having sex and cense and Rutgers University putting the videos online -- an act identification card was found on that is believed to have led to the the George Washington Bridge young man’s suicide. Video courafter two witnesses reporting tesy of Fox News. seeing a young man jump from Through an attorney, the family the span at about 9 p.m., a lawof Tyler Clementi issued a stateenforcement official with knowlment confirming that the 18-year- Rutgers student Dharun Ravi faces edge of the case said. No body old had ended his life last week charges of invasion of privacy over has yet been recovered, the of ofby jumping off the George Wash- the suicide of a fellow student. ficial said. ington Bridge and said it is “coOfficials with the Middlesex operating fully with the ongoing County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan County prosecutor’s office desaid in a statement. criminal investigations.” clined to comment on Mr. CleLawyers for Mr. Ravi and Ms. menti’s death because he hasn’t Dharun Ravi, Mr. Clementi’s roommate at Rutgers, and another Wei did not return phone calls been publicly identified as the vicstudent, Molly Wei, both 18 years seeking comment and the two tim of the illegal taping at Rutgers old, are charged with invasion students did not respond to email University. of privacy for using a webcam messages sent on Wednesday. Ms. In its statement, Mr. Clementi’s to transmit the secretly recorded Wei was released on her own re- family described the graduate of footage on Sept. 19, Middlesex cognizance after she turned herself Ridgewood High School in Ridgeinto Rutgers Police on Monday. wood, N.J., as “a fine young man County officials said. Mr. Ravi was charged with two Mr. Ravi was released on $25,000 and a distinguished musician.” additional counts of invasion of bail on Tuesday after surrendering The statement, released by attorprivacy for attempting to use the to police. ney Paul Mainardi, said the family Both are charged with crimes “is heartbroken beyond words.” camera to view and transmit another encounter involving the same that carry prison sentences of up Mr. Clementi played the violin, student two days later, Middlesex to five years if they are convicted, the Associated Press reported.

n nishi m munshi w masala radio’s wins r m music m muqabla HOUSTON: Internationally renowned musician and composer A.R. Rahman rocked Houston during his long awaited Jai Ho Journey Home World Tour Concert at Toyota Center on Friday, September 17. More than 11,000 people attended the creative production which included over 150 cast members. Sunil Thakkar of Masala Radio opened the show by rousing the audience to give A.R. Rahman a warm, energetic Texas-style welcome. The show was a spectacular preseMasala Radio along with Tara Energy and Bollywood Shows 4 U had organized a Music Contest “Jai Ho Music Muqabla” which included 14 new singers seeking an opportunity to win the contest and meet with AR Rehman. The 14 finalists -chosen from over 50

entries- were judged by 6 judges and the Masala Radio audience. The first round was online voting on MasalaRadio.net from which Top 6 were chosen. The week of the concert, the Top 6 were paired

live daily on Masala Radio and were asked to sing live requests from the judges and radio audience. All singers were asked to sing without any music tracks or any sound effects. “When AR Rehman auditions singers, he likes to hear their natural voices so we used the same formula for the singing contest. We were amazed at the talent that this contest generated.” The winner of the contest was Nishi Munshi from Los Angeles and runner up was Elizabeth Swim from Houston. Nishi is a classically trained singer, dancer & has been working in Hollywood for several years. Both winners were announced on stage Emcee by Sunil Thakkar who enthusiastically opened the show with his “Halo re Halo”.

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chinmaya mission children Present musical Program “Gopi Gitam” By UMa aGGarW arWal arW Wal HOUSTON: Gopi Gitam the famous episode from “Bhagavatam” depicting Gopis’ pure love for Krisna was narrated by Bala Vihar children and Young adults of Chinmaya Mission on Sunday Sept 27th at Chinmaya Smruti. This program was fully organized and executed by youth with minimal help from adults. Besides spiritually uplifting, it was a feast for all the senses. It was a beautiful combination of art - music dance, power point presentation and narration that kept the audience fully engaged for hour and a half. This was no ordinary concert, because the purpose behind this multimedia effort by children was not just showing their tremendous talent, but the main purpose was to raise money for adding Balvihar class rooms. Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty had earlier announced that Chinmaya Mission Houston needed to raise funds to build additional classrooms, due to increasing children enrollment for about 50 Vedanta, Music, Chanting and Language classes. This year record 850 children are enrolled and most of the classes, especially the classes for younger grades are full to the brim. To create more room rather than turning away interested families, the children and CHYK (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra) who are college bound and working young adults of Chinmaya Mission, decided to help the fund raising team, in their own way. The musical talent soaked in spirituality, presented at the concert brought tears of joy to some Balvihar teachers, who had taught the performers since Kindergarten, and had seen them grow into such talented musi-

Photos: Nilesh Shah

cians, not to mention feeling proud at their spiritual blossoming. Avanthika Gopal sang 10 soulful Bhajanas while Aditya Srivatsan accompanied on tabala, Vikram Murali on violin, Tara Rao on flute and Vishal Gulati on keyboard. There

were group of beautiful gopis who danced with little Krsna played by Shanaya. The “jugalbandi” performance by Aditya on Tabala and Vikram on violin, burst into many applauses. Also the solo performance by Aditya on Tabala was outstanding.

Avanthika’s melodious voice put everyone in a trance. Gaurav Nayak and Sandhya Thiyagarajan did a superb job of explaining the deep meaning of all the aspects of Gopis’ Love for Sri Krsna, and told how we can also develop that same pure love for God and have Krsna manifest in our lives just like the Gopis had achieved. The finale of the program was the best when little Krsna finally appeared and started dancing with Gopis. The “dandia rasa fever” was spread to the audience and many joined the dancing Gopis. The next generation in Chinmaya Mission has shown that, whatever they have learned about spirituality and values, they will carry the torch for future generations to come. Acharyas Sri Gaurang and Smt. Darshana Nanavaty, together with all the Bala Vihar teachers are pleased that the vision of Swami Chinmayanandaji is unfolding beautifully. The Gopi Gitam on Sunday was a sold out performance and by popular demand another show was presented on Oct 3rd at 5:30pm and was equally successful. For more information on Chinmaya Mission and its activities, visit www.chinmayahouston.org

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Dr. Rahul Nath Accused of Misdeeds HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle): Texas Medical Board has accused Dr. Rahul Nath of misdeeds ranging from performing unjustified surgery on babies after taking MRIs and diagnosing shoulder injuries that “cannot possibly be seen,” to charging excessive fees. In addition, District Judge Steven E. Kirkland has ordered Nath to pay $726,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital for the hospital’s legal fees racked up in a suit filed by Nath more than four years ago. Kirkland found that the lawsuit, which he tossed out last June, was “groundless” and “brought in bad faith.” The lawsuit accused Texas Children’s and the Baylor School of Medicine of in-

tentional infliction of emotional distress, among other things. Baylor had fired Nath, and he said officials at Texas Children’s slandered him and interfered in his business. The judge concluded a brief hearing Sept. 17 by saying, “At some point we have to tell bullies to stop fighting. That’s what has gone on here. I’m telling this bully to stop fighting. “I grant the sanctions.” It was a stunning rebuke to Nath and to Daniel Shea, Nath’s flamboyant lawyer.

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5th Annual Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated as 1000 Lights for Peace continued from page

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various contests (speech, essay, poster, i-tribute, and debate). On Sunday, September 26th, Heroes for Peace Day was celebrated at the Children’s museum and also, PBS will be airing the documentary “A Force More Powerful.” The culmination of these activities is the 1000 Lights for Peace program. Wonderful weather graced the event held on Sunday, October 3, 2010. Gandhi Jayanti celebrations started at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Rose Garden (Hermann Park) with our 5thAnnual Walk for Peace, organized by Mr. Sesh Bala. There was a beautiful opening ceremony with garlanding of the statue to the tunes of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite bhajans and a vignette remembering the Salt March of 1940. Two couples were dressed as Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba. They along with the Grand Marshall, Mayor Pro-Tem of Sugar Land , Mr. Tom Abraham led the many walkers through beautiful Hermann Park. The 5K walk culminated on the beautiful, large stage of the Miller Outdoor Theatre where the 1000 Lights for Peace program followed. Kids of all ages enjoyed the balloons, face painting, origami art, and henna tattoos under the tents on the outskirts of the Miller Outdoor Theatre. There was a constant

nav Thatte (age 10 and below) and Neha Shrivastava (age 11 and up) mesmerized the audience as they presented their winning speeches from the speech contest held at the Arya Samaj on the previous day. Pandit Suman Ghosh and his disciples presented a soothing vocal performance to a visual powerpoint presentation depicting international peace. Lamar High School Orchestra captivated the audience with their soothing

crowd earnestly viewing the photographic exhibition entitled Gandhi Darshan and also browsing the books and materials from the Mahatma Gandhi Library. Scattered throughout the park, an exhibition of stamps from around the world featuring Mahatma Gandhi decorated the grounds of the theatre. Our Chief Guest, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and his wife, awarded the trophies to all of our contest winners. Jim “Mattress Mac” MacIngvale served as our Keynote Speaker and enchanted the audience with an entertaining speech about Gandhian principles and their relevance in today’s society. The Honorable Consul General spoke of Mahatma Gandhi and his influence throughout the world. Our dazzling emcee for the

evening, Ms. Meena Datt, kept the audience entertained and managed a well-organized show. Mahatma Gandhi Library presented its very first Mahatma Gandhi Ahimsa Award to Ms. Rima Patel, a 15 y/o Sophomore at Glenda Dawson School in Pearland ISD. She applied Gandhiji’s principles into practical applications by starting her project T.A.P. standing for Teams Advocating Peace. The goal is to promote peace in the community and encourage teenagers to help younger kids learn about peace. She was awarded a beautiful plaque and her project was displayed at the Mahatma Gandhi library booth. International dancers brought the stage alive with dances from Spain , China , Ireland , and India . Pra-

music during the candle-lighting ceremony where each and every adult in the audience lit a candle as their personal pledge to peace and children waved their glowsticks. It was indeed a remarkable and enjoyable evening honoring Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. For more information about Mahatma Gandhi Library or 1000 Lights for Peace, please log onto www.gandhilibrary.org

The Gandhi peace march was led by a volunteer dressed up as the Mahatma.

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Rice, IIT Madras Sign MOU to Achieve Cross Technology Pollination

By Jawahar Malhotra HOUSTON: It was a long time coming, you gather on hearing Mallik Putcha explain the focus of his passion, for two mighty giants in engineering education to come together with an understanding of what could be done if they joined forces for the betterment of research and teaching future technocrats. As he watched on Tuesday morning, September 28, the fruits of his labor and of many other alumni from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) system came together in the form of a Memo of Understanding for academic and research collaboration between the IIT Madras and Rice University. And to sign the document were Dr. M. S. Ananth, Director of IIT Madras and David Leebron, President of Rice University at the campus on Main Street. Dr. Ananth was accompanied by two other professors from IITM: Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the Dean for Planning and Alumni Affairs and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Dr. Ram Nagarajan, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Principal Coordinator for L-RAMP (Lemelson Recognition and Mentoring Program), an innovation-incubation initiative. The three are on a five-city tour, visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay area, Houston, Boston , and Toronto on this trip. The culmination of the MOU was celebrated during a dinner and panel discussion on “Challenges of Globalization of Higher Education” held later that evening at the Westin Galleria Hotel and attended by about 80 people. Panelists for the evening were Dr. Ananth, Leebron and Dr. Renu Khator, Chancellor and President of the University of Houston system with Indian Consul General Sanjiv Arora as a guest of honor. The proceedings were emceed by TiE Houston President Ashok Rao in his characteristic witty style. For Putcha, a Systems Engineer with NASA, who has been in the US since 1972, the MOU was a culmination of his dream of linking his alma mater, IIT-M with Rice. He was among the first batch of students of the IIT-M, newly formed in 1959 through German

At the reception held last Tuesday, Spetember 28 at the Westin Galleria Hotel, from left, David Leebron, President of Rice University; Indian Consul General Sanjiv Arora; Dr. Renu Khator, Chancellor and President of the University of Houston system; Dr. M. S. Ananth, Director of IIT Madras; Mallik Putcha, the event organizer and alumni of IIT Madras; and emcee Ashok Rao, President, TiE Houston. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

collaboration, taught by German professors speaking English. Through the sheer determination of its first Director, Dr. B. Sengupto and Deputy Director Dr. S. Sampath, the vision of an India’s first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru for an institute devoted to higher education of engineering and technology took shape. Indeed, as we know it now, the IIT system has become one of India’s crowning jewels and rivals many counterparts in other countries. Putcha was also the founder of the IIT Madras Alumni Association of North America, a group established in 1980 and devoted to serve its alma mater and alumni and a Director of the IIT Alumni

of Greater Houston, established in 2004. The conference room was full of IIT alumni and students from Rice, who heard the panelists speak after dinner and participated in a brief question and answer session that followed. In starting off the presentation, Arora likened the IITs to temples of modern India, among the best institutes in the world and its students as the crème de la crème of graduates. He appreciated that “Mallik Putcha’s heart still beats for India” and presence of a large number of Indian students in the US only made the MOU a natural acknowledgement of the strong ties between the two countries. Dr. Ananth, who has studied in

from Gainesville, NC stated that the internet had opened up more venues for knowledge for students and then went on to enumerate what he considered to be grand challenges for a global economy: energy, water, food cultivation, healthcare, sustainability, environment and climate change. “These will be problems for a long time,” he stated, “and there are no simple solutions.” He suggested that there were many ‘drivers’ – science, industry, society, contextual factors and knowledge bases - that could bring out solutions. Ananth believed that restructuring issues and “bringing unlike minds together” through global cooperation between teaching institutions would

foster the grounds for solutions to these issues. In her remarks, Dr. Khator showed her command of the intricacies involved in the funding of public education in Texas and made a persuasive argument for expanding the role to include expansion overseas and not just through collaborations. She said that the University of Houston already has MOUs with IIT Delhi and IIT Rourkee. “Why should U.S. universities be in the global market?” she asked. “The answer is ‘because we have no choice.’” She then expanded on the moral, philosophical, social and political reasons why it made sense and predicted that within the short term, public universities would overcome obstacles to enter that marketplace, either through catering to students stateside, a hybrid degree plan (with 3 years overseas, the last 2 years in the U.S.) or research partnerships. Speaking from the vantage point of a private university with a smaller student population than UH, Leebron said that international experience enriched the mind of students and that there is stiff competition for students on the global level. “In the past two years, the international students have made up 12% of the population,” he said. Comparing the imminent opening of New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi, mostly funded by the Emirate, Leebron understood that economics represented a challenge, but this will all depend of the mix of students and languages. At present, he noted, the US has 22% of the foreign student market. Although the international marketplace for higher education has many obstacles, the consensus seemed to be that it was one that many institutions would be willing to try to enter, given that the payoffs in research and increased student contact were conducive to cooperation and advancement.

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Houston Maharashtra Mandal Celebrates Ganeshotsav 2010 Photo: Milind Nimkar

The winners of the HMM ‘Sa Ni Dha Pa Tirkit Dha

By Madhu Nimkar HOUSTON: Houston Maharashtra Mandal recently celebrated Ganeshotsav 2010 with a unique musical event ‘Sa Ni Dha Pa Tirkit Dha’ by kids (age 6 to 16 years) on September 25, 2010 and the winners were declared as a ‘HMM Idol 2010’. Initial audition was held on 28th August 2010 within age groups, 6-8 years, 9-12 years and 13-16 years, and 12 participants were selected for the final event. The event started with ‘Ganesh Pooja’. The public event started at 4:30 pm with the welcome speech by HMM president Gauri Kulkarni. Selected finalists sang one Hindi

and =one Marathi song in finals and the crowd thoroughly enjoyed the talented singing of young Maharashtrians. One winner and one runner-up were chosen from each age group. Trophies and certificates were presented by Indian Music Society (IMS) President Govind Shetty. People also enjoyed tabla by Amit Bhagwat and rendering of ‘Ganesh Aarti’ and ‘Atharv Shirsha’ by Sucheta Karandikar, Anjali Pandit, Neha Pendse and Sayali Deshpande. Delicious Maharashtrian Dinner and Prasad was served. Entire HMM committee and Volunteer efforts made this event a grand success.

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Three-handed Justice We talk of even-handed justice, but the UP High Court justices did one better with their three-handed justice that is so well illustrated by Arun Muzumdar of IIT Bombay and came to us via Pradeep Anand. The justices chose to trifurcate the property between the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the party for ‘Ram Lalla’. The par parties involved in the court case are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the basic parameters of the settlement appears to have been set. The central and state governments made full preparations to prevent rioting and had even lobbed intitial blame vollies in case there was trouble, but all the parties involved and the public in general have taken the decision in stride. Is it too soon to declare that we have entered a new, mature phase of politics in India?

Sports Fan’s Nirvana This is the time of the year in Houston that the weather turns mellow and it is pleasant for those who enjoy the outdoors to leave their airconditioned environs and appreciate the mild sun, low humidity and cool breeze. Golf, tennis and cricket can now be played with full gusto. College football is in full swing, although the fortunes of UT, UH and Rice have crumbled. Astros have finished their season with an end-season burst of mediocrity. The Texans have given us much to cheer about with their wins against the Colts, Redskins and the Raiders, but the loss against the hated Cowboys will continue to rankle until next season. Cricket fans of India’s team can go about with a smirk on their faces after VVS Laxman’s heroics in putting the arrogant Aussies in their place. Even the Bangladesh cricket team is more than holding its own against the visiting Kiwis. Unfortunately, there’s a lot for Pakistan’s cricket authorities to fix in the aftermath of the spot fixing scandal. There was a lot of criticism about the facilities for the Commonwealth games currently underway in New Delhi. The superlative opening ceremony has put fans in a positive mood. In the medal tally, India is in second place behind Australia and ahead of other Western commonwealth nations. As the ABC Wide World of Sports tagline used to say, there’s always the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in sports. It is what keeps us going from season to season. Pramod Kulkarni

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Creditable Verdict, Creditable Response By Vir SaNghVi Now that the Ayodhya verdict is in — though, of course, there will be an appeal and another judgement in the months to come — three things are worth noting. The first has to do with India’s politicians. Let’s admit that, for once, they behaved in a manner that did credit to our country. The record of politicians in the Ayodhya dispute has been shameful and scandalous on previous occasions. The conflict was continually stoked by all major par parties and became a divisive national issue only because the BJP used it to resurrect its fortunes. Nor have politicians cared about collateral damage or injury to innocent citizens. LK Advani’s Rath Yatras raised communal tensions and contributed to riots. And, of course, the demolition that took place on his watch tore India apart. Mulayam Singh Yadav used Ayodhya to unsettle Muslims and revive their insecurities.And the Congress government of Narasimha Rao behaved disgracefully from 1991 to 1996. Rao failed to protect the mosque, adopted a laid-back (or sinister, depending on your perspective) attitude towards the kar sevaks and then lay paralysed while India burnt in the aftermath of the demolition. His government’s inability to protect lives or restore order was reminiscent of Rao’s failure as home minister in 1984 when riots broke out following Mrs Gandhi’s assassination. On that occasion, Rao pinned the blame elsewhere but in 1992/93, his callousness and ineptitude were cruelly exposed. Contrast the behavior of our politicians two decades ago with the way in which they responded this time. The prime minister and the home minister did an admirable job of guaranteeing security to those who felt under potential threat in the aftermath of the judgement and the government launched a massive campaign — co-opting mass media and drafting movie stars — to cool passions in the run-up to the verdict. This time around, the BJP also reacted with moderation and caution. Senior leaders continually urged their supporters to respect the verdict of the

One consequence of India’s success is that we have begun to believe in our coun country once again. We may still criticise the system but we recognise that we are all children of a new India, not Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. or Punjabis, Tamilians, Gujaratis, Bengalis, etc. The tribal and religious loyalties have receded. And so has the fervour that fuelled the Ayodhya movement. court and many BJP heavyweights went on TV to issue appeals for peace. The second thing to be noted is that the India of today is a very dif different place from the India of the 1980s when the dispute first took centrestage. I blogged last Sunday that India had moved on and that no matter what the verdict was, the Ayodhya issue had lost its resonance with most Indians. Even as I wrote that piece, I wondered if I was being unduly optimistic. Had both communities really moved on that much? In the end, I decided to put my optimism on record. My view was — and is — that Ayodhya was a response to the mood of failure that haunted India in the late 1980s. It had been a tough decade for our country — with insurgencies, riots and assassinations — and all of us were angry and defeated. When a system is seen to be failing, people return to the tribal and religious loyalties that preceded the emergence of that system. For the first time since 1947, Hindus began to think of themselves as a political, rather than merely religious, group. Their frustrations with the failures of India were expressed as anger against Indian secularism. Wasn’t it just a way of treating Hindus as second-class citizens in their own country? Didn’t the Congress always defer to the more fanatical elements

within the Muslim community because these elements could deliver a Muslim bloc vote? And so on. Till the mid-80s, the vast majority of Hindus had never heard of the Babri Masjid or of the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. But by the end of the decade, it became a symbol of the injustice done to Hindus. A mosque stood at the birthplace of Lord Ram! The Muslims were unwilling to return this most sacred site to Hindus! And the government was backing them! In 1991, India was officially bankrupt, forced to pledge its gold reserves to the Bank of England and dependent on the generosity of foreigners. It was against that background of national collapse and despondency that the Ayodhya movement reached its peak and the Masjid was demolished. These days, with 8.5 per cent growth and a mood of all-round optimism, it’s hard to remember the despair of that era. But one consequence of India’s success is that we have begun to believe in our country once again. We may still criticise the system but we recognise that we are all children of a new India, not Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. or Punjabis, Tamilians, Gujaratis, Bengalis, etc. The tribal and religious loyalties have receded. And so has the fervour that fuelled the Ayodhya movement. A nation that is pessimistic about its future finds solace in hatred. A nation that is poised on the verge of greatness, on the other hand, never risks disruption, disorder and mayhem. It knows that it has too much to lose. That’s why the verdict has meant so little to most Indians. And finally, the third thing. In the early days of theAyodhya movement, some elements in the BJP — including, on occasion, L.K. Advani — suggested a way out. There was no special significance to the Babri Masjid as far as Muslims were concerned, they said. It was just another mosque, one where namaz had not been offered for decades. On the other hand, rightly or wrongly, Hindus regarded the site as the birthplace of Lord Ram, a spot of great religious significance. Why didn’t the Muslims agree to a compromise whereby the Masjid was continued on page 17

IndoAmerican News Founder: dr. K.L. Sindwani editor: Pramod KuLKarni LK BuSineSS manager: Jawahar maLhotra marKeting manager: KriShna giri Community rePorter: KaLyani L giri Community editor: manaSi goKhaLe adminiStrative manager: vanShiKa K viPin Ka 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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Broken Images: IAA Presents A Psychological Thriller in English

By J.B. Day Padma Bhushan Girish Karnad: she plays a lesbian. HOUSTON: Indo American As- An unassuming overachiever and a Padma Shri Alyque Padamsee: sociation brings this avant garde pro- Rhodes scholar, he is one of the six A brand builder, creative genius of duction to Houston, on October 16, or seven litterateurs in Kannada to the Bombay advertising world, (Liril Saturday, at 8pm at the Wortham have won the most prestigious prize and Lifebuoy soap ad campaigns are Center. given to one literary figure in India memorable decades later) he has been This play is a first in many ways: it each year, the Jnanpeeth Award. His an inspiration to the English language is the first time that these three stal- brilliant first play “Tughlak” (also theatre there for the last half century. warts of English language theater in directed by Padamsee) set his career His unabashed autobiography “a India have come together: playwright on the upswing. double life” is a candid look at his Girish Karnad, actor Shabana Azmi, Known for his liberal political life and philosophy: making no bones and director Alyque Padamsee. views, Karnad acted as the Brahmin about the fact that his advertising It is a technological career provided the first too, showing Shamoney for him to inbana Azmi in both her dulge his passion for roles on stage at the theater, it is full of same time. pithy one-liners like: ”Broken Images” “often the less you has appeared in Hindi say, the more the im(Bikhre’ Bimb) and pact” or “perspiration Kannada (“Odakalu without inspiration is Bimba”). In English, it a wet blanket!” ” and is Shabana Azmi’s latof course, the powerest foray into theatre as ful, “pity is a humilia faux novelist, and is ating experience; it winning rave reviews. destroys confidence. While the “dramatis He is responsible personae” would confor giving young sist of Shabana alone, unknown authors, the play talks of two Shabana Azmi is the star of the psychological thriller play playwrights and accharactersManjulaand in English presented by the Indo American Association at tors their first break, Malini, both played by the Wortham Center. Alyque has brought Shabana Azmi. forth the talents of Broken Images is many, too numerous India’s first post modernist play and priest in “Samskara” an award win- to name. Alyque has acted in and Karnad says, he wrote a play where ning Kannada film which, in 1969- directed numerous stage productions “Technology, and our reaction to it, is 70, caused quite a stir in the Bangalore that have won worldwide acclaim. He the subject of the play.” Brahmin community. has also been active on the Marathi The play has got positive reviews Padma Shri Shabana Azmi: stage and on television. with each show and word-of-mouth A bold and enthusiastic activist on An essential quality of his success publicity has ensured that the play ran many fronts, Shabana fights social is .. stubbornness which he seems to to packed houses in Mumbai. injustice and always stands for the inherit in ample measure from his You do not have to look far to common man. She was nominated to mother Kulsumbai Padamsee -- “a find reasons for the play becoming the Rajya Sabha right after 9/11 when double life” has lots of examples. so famous: a wonderful script by the mufti of the Jama Masjid in Delhi As Alyque puts it, “strong mothers Girish Karnad, without which the called for Indian muslims to join the produce strong sons; strong fathers play would not work; Padamsee’s war in Afghanistan, Shababna invited produce weaklings.” insightful direction including his own him to go there by himself. His accomplishments include his brilliant technical and creative touchDaughter of incomparable poet role as Mohammed Ali Jinnah in es, and of course, the star, Shabana, Kaifi Azmi and his wife, actress Richard Attenborough’s Oscar winwho plays both Manjula and Malini Shaukat Azmi, and the wife of poet ning “Gandhi” (1982) - and thereby superbly. Javed Akhtar, she is a popular and hangs a tale! A whole chapter in “a Producer Raell Padamsee, Aly- versatile star of the bollywood film double life” narrates que’s daughter, recounts a very dif- industry. she came to it via the Film Padamsee’s experience and opinficult scene: “Broken Images has a and Television Institute of India in ion about the movie and its direcone shot scene that stretches over 45 Puné. tor, including his being a stickler minutes. After cameras were set up Shabana has acted in at least 100 for punctuality, not one of Alyque’s and the stage was ready, Shabana just films including the famous Ankur strong suites. walked out of the makeup room and (1975), 15 Park Avenue, Salaam These three giants have produced delivered a perfect take.” Bombay, and for her role as the a play with a huge impact; Houston Here is a vignette of each of the madam in a brothel in Mandi she put will get to experience it first hand in three principals: on weight; In Fire by Deepa Mehta just a week from today.

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Creditable Verdict, Creditable Response 16 shifted brick by brick to a nearby location? In Muslim countries, mosques are shifted all the time when they come in the way of dams, roads, etc. Hindus would help shift the mosque and would guarantee its security. Once the Ram Janmabhoomi site had been vacated, a Ram temple could be built and the dispute would end forever. Muslims now say that no such serious offer was ever made. My recollection is slightly different and I recall Muslim objections to shifting the mosque: this would be a betrayal of their religion, a surrender to Hindu communalism, the start of a trend that would spread to Kashi, Mathura, etc. I disapproved of the Ayodhya movement. I understood Muslim concerns and fears. But I still felt that if the Babri Masjid Action Committee or some other Muslim body would show some flexibility and make a grand conciliatory gesture, it would strengthen Indian secularism and finish off the Ayodhya movement before it poisoned the atmosphere and damaged India. Now that the judgement is in and the court has forced a compromise on both sides, I can’t help wondering: could a better deal have been struck two decades ago when the Masjid was still standing? If only both sides had shown a little magnanimity and a degree of flexibility in the 1980s, lives would have been saved and India would have been spared a terrible and entirely unnecessary trauma. HT

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SOCIETY

Indo American News • Friday, October 08 , 2010

Playing Against Rock Hard Politics: The Nature of the Game

By Jacob David Kelayil P George is on the first of many runs for public office - Fort Bend County Treasurer. With early elections set for October 18 -29, 2010 and general elections on November 2, the race he says has been very challenging through out. His opponent is Jeff Council, 73, who has a firm stronghold on the seat because of his previous record in office. KP George believes he is the new face for the Treasurer’s office. He believes he is also qualified for the job and his set of qualifications include 16 years of experience in the financial industry. He is a Certified Financial Planner, an Accredited Asset Management Specialist, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, holds several industry and supervising licenses, Insurance licenses for Life, Health, Property and Casualty, a Real Estate Agent license, with a bachelor’s degree in Science. He currently owns an independent financial practice. With his opponent sitting pretty, KP George has been pedaling hard uphill trying to make each vote count. “I realize my responsibility involved in running for this public post. I am here to represent the average hardworking citizen. I am also proud to represent several minorities.” A successful family man, a loving father to three children - Rohit 15, Helen Marie 14, and Sneha 8, he finds strength

and support through them, and his loving wife Sheeba who works as a teacher in the Ft. Bend School District. “I am so thankful I live here in this day and age. Fort Bend is the most successful, yet one of the most diverse counties in America. We have 38% Americans, 24% Hispanic, 22% African Americans, and 16% Asians. I am sad to say that as immigrants and as a minority that we are the least involved in the political system here in America. The immigrants pay the majority of the taxes. The rich are only a few in number. We as a community are well educated, law-abiding, contributing to the economy, and are responsible citizens. We have done our best not to become a burden on society and succeeded in doing that. If given the opportunity, I would like to represent our collective strength.” KP George told me. The Fort Bend County Treasurer’s job entails quite a bit: It helps balance a $234 million budget annually. The Treasurer is the custodian, provides checks and balances, and is a part of the County’s Investment team. He/ She also earmarks the non essential funds to be invested into CDs and other money earning deposits. The County Treasurer is responsible for collecting non-tax revenues, efficiently coordinating money collections from vendors and clients, and helping coordinate with several departments

a Master’s degree. We are very involved in the economic contribution. I am happy about that. Now we need to enter the political arena to get adequately represented. Because that is where the major decisions are made to direct our economy. As qualified and educated individuals, I feel a lot more Indians should enter county and state offices to serve the public.” he states. Coming from a very poor village that’s barely a blip on India’s map, KP George was one among 9 kids. He lost one of his brothers to disease. 10,000 votes is a solid number, a number He grew up in a thatched that will get the county to notice us as a house which had no runsignificant strength, a definitive voice in the ning water or electricity. community. Kelayil George believes he is He studied by lamp light the new face for Fort Bend County Treasurer and was in fierce compecome this November election 2010 tition for the attention of his parents. He walked within the county. 3 miles to school barefoot and Coming from an Indian backcould not afford a decent pair of ground, KP George feels exshoes. Luckily for him he was tremely proud of the collective success the Indian community able to join the Catholicate Colhas achieved through hard work, lege of Pathnamthita, Kerala, education, and how they are con- finishing his senior high and got tributing to America’s everyday a degree in Zoology. He was acsuccess. “The average Indian in- tive as a school leader and was come is $20,000 above national associate secretary for the college average. We have nearly 60% during his formative years. He is Indians who have a bachelor’s now active with the National Sodegree and over 25% who have cial Services, India helping with

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charitable causes, building homes for the poor, promoting education and literacy projects. His life dream is to open a hospital specializing in treating burn victims, having lost his sister to a tragic electrocution in 1994. Getting recognized in the community takes a lot of work. Active involvement is the nature of the game. KP George schedules himself 5-6 meetings every week. He is in and out of churches, city halls and community halls meeting and shaking hands of people he knows and many he is meeting for the very first time. “10,000 votes is a solid number that will solidify our community stance in Fort Bend. With that many votes or more, the Asian voice will be distinctively heard. For starters, I feel that Fort Bend needs a good cricket stadium, just like they do for baseball, soccer and other games.” An avid believer in keeping fit, eating right and playing sports, KP George works out at the health club six days a week. He plays racquet ball 3 days and takes spinning classes (bike) for 3 days, vouches that physical activity is viral for the body, much like running for public office is viral for the health of our community. KP George’s statement rings true. Our children are our future. If we don’t represent their interests collectively in society today, we may end up losing our future tomorrow.

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Radhanath Swami Discovers India’s Hidden Treasures was a little emotional when he spoke of his mother’s demise and that the family wanted her to be cremated and her ashes taken to India for immersion in the Ganga, something that never happened in his family before. Later Swamiji signed copies of his autobiography for members of the audience; he did that laborious task with a smile and wrote the individual’s name also. Chirag Bhatt, the MC of the evening, introduced Swamiji and in his interesting and humorous style gave some glimpse of the monumental book, The Journey Home. Yatindra Bhatnagar with Swamiji Jugal Malani, President of India House, welcoming Swamiji said that do different functions but with the Swamiji has repaid that ‘debt’ with was a momentous occasion and his same aim to keep the body and mind his dedicated service to the people of autobiography is one of those books healthy, the various groups of peo- India, to a large number of children that change the lives of people. It’s ple pursued different functions. No who are fed daily, and also running a inspiring and full of spiritualism and mysticism. body-part is inferior, or non-essential; hospital in Mumbai. Girish Naik, President of Hindus of similarly all the Varnas (castes) were He praised India’s broad-mindimportant and did their duty in a edness and tolerance and cited the Greater Houston said this has been a harmonious way, helping the other Gita’s admonition that a wise person blockbuster year for HGH organizaand taking care of one another. No or pundit sees all beings with equal tion with several notable functions. The program was attended by one was considered inferior. It’s only vision. because of ego factor that things Swamiji narrated in some detail around 400 people and 96 copies of changed. his adventure from Chicago to India Swamiji’s Journey Home book were To him, the home (where your without money or support – facing sold. When Swamiji entered India journey ends) is the state of mind numerous hardships, including at- House, about 30 children welcomed where you experience love, comfort, tacks, theft, and hurdles to cross into him with flower petals. Swamiji reciprocated with the children by poscompassion, relief, peace, fulfillment India. and connection with divinity. He said In answer to a question Swamiji ing for a photograph with all the he found that in India and now he is said he listened and derived guidance children. The program was attended giving something back to India and and comfort from the divine waters of by around 400 people and 96 copies of the Journey sharing his experience with Home book were the world. sold. Radhanath Swami began his Executive Ditalk, “Discovering India’s Hidrector of Rice den Treasures,” by recalling University’s Bonhis recent meeting with the iuk Center for RePresident of India, Shrimati ligious Tolerance, Pratibha Patil in New Delhi’s Michale Pardee, magnificent Rashtrapati BhaRamesh Bhutawan where he was heartily da, President of welcomed. the Southwest He then contrasted this with Hindu Swayamhis struggle - forty years earlier sevak Sangh, - to enter India at the PakistanNasir Malik of India border, where an Indian the Ahmadiyya immigration official refused to Muslim Mosque, let him enter India because he Anish Pillai of didn’t have enough money. He ISKCON’s youth said God helped him and also kirtan group, Jiv the immigration officer who, Jago, and Syafinally, listened to his own masundar Das, heart and allowed him. Now Advaitachandra Das and Kalasudha with Swamiji President of ISKCON-Houston the holy river Ganga, though at that also spoke on the occasion. Prof. Pardee said we should protime he did not know any Indian language or customs. In his travels from mote tolerance, peace, and mutual reChicago through Europe, Turkey, spect and understanding throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan to India he the world, which I know from reading had experienced hardships but also His Holiness’s autobiography, is what saw people with large heart and love. his journey is about, and it’s what our He said unbelievable things, miracles journey is about too. Youth leader Pillai said Maharaj’s happen when we keep our ears and disciples have given us so much hearts open. His first meeting with the ISKCON inspiration, and so much guidance founder and spiritual master Swami throughout our spiritual lives. EvPrabhupad was a miracle. He was erytime we go on retreats, we hear so stunned when the Guru asked him many wonderful things about Radto come and sit beside him; he was hanath Swami; we had always wished standing at the back in a big meeting Swamiji would come to Houston. Das was emotional and said there of over 25,000 people and the Guru are no words to thank for the kindinvited him. He mentioned that his parents ac- ness you have showered upon the cepted him as a Krishna devotee and Houston community. Being so kind to a seeker of spiritual wisdom from the Houston community you shared India who was influenced by Indian your very valuable time to uplift our thought and philosophy. They visited consciousness, to join us together for him several times in India. Swamiji the Journey back Home We are very Photos: Abhay Joshi

By Yatindra Bhatnagar HOUSTON: Radhanath Swami, a spiritual adventurer and Bhakti-Yogi of the Hare Krishna organization, mesmerized a large audience at India House, October 2, with his ardent prayers, kirtan and touching talk, and let listeners have a glimpse of his discovery of India’s hidden treasures. In over ninety minutes of simple charm, and warm conversation-style discourse and question-answer session, Swamiji took his audience on his multi-dimensional and adventurous Journey Home, also the title of an extraordinary autobiography. An inquisitive but confused JewishAmerican teenage, Richard Slavin, though unaffected by the 60s rebellion and experimentation of the American youth, went on a arduous journey half a world away that ended up in India with the discovery of hidden treasures of love, compassion, tolerance and connectivity of the soul with the Creator. Now a highly regarded Spiritual master, Radhanath Swami, shares his inspiring journey, a stunning story, and an incredible human and spiritual experience with the whole world. Swamiji explained that India’s treasures are Bhakti, connecting one’s soul with God, compassion, love, humanism, broadness of mind, tolerance and inclusiveness, among other things. In India the sages sought the essence of divinity, everyone, and everything to connect their hearts to the divine God, he said. In a touching and meaningful analogy he spoke about one of his friends, a staunch Hindu in India who had a Muslim as his best friend. When asked about this rather unusual situation, he explained that a dog would recognize his master dressed in any type of clothes, or even without them. And if we cannot recognize God in different people we would be someone even inferior and lower in intelligence than a dog. That’s what Indian philosophy has taught us – no sectarianism, no discrimination, only motivated, uninterrupted love and devotion, Swamiji emphasized. About criticism of India’s caste system he beautifully explained that just like various parts of the body

grateful to you. Community leader and philanthropist Ramesh Bhutada too was very much moved. He said “I really don’t have words to express myself. I felt like it was somewhere touching the heart, giving a call to our inner wisdom. He so lucidly in such a simply way, in such a simple language, told us the essence of life. Maybe I hope this will carry me somewhere.” Malik joined others in welcoming Swamiji and explained that his community was the first to advocate separation of mosque from the state, more than a century ago, and believes in human rights, dignity of women and loyalty to the country where we live. A healthy, vegetarian dinner was also served. The function was jointly organized by India House, ISKCON and Hindus of Greater Houston organization. Swamiji had a four-day fruitful stay in the greater Houston area. His first discourse, Sept. 30, was at the Yoga Rasa yoga studio in Clear Lake, which has recently been named the top yoga studio in Houston. Yoga students and teachers lined up reverently to give him a sweet reception by laying rose petals at his feet. 75 people attended the program and 55 copies of Journey Home book were sold. The next day, Oct. 1n Radhanath Swami spoke at Nia Moves dance and yoga studio in the Heights on “Transcendental Ecstatic Dance” from the perspective of Bhakti yoga and the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. Saturday Oct. 2, morning, Swamiji spoke on “Overcoming Obstacles in Yoga and Life” at the Heights School of Yoga. He described how he encountered dramatic obstacles during his sojourn through the Middle East and India. About 60 people attended and 50 copies of the book were sold. After Oct. 3 program at the India House, the next morning Swamiji spoke at the home of Rosalyn and Steve Earle to an audience which included members of Houston’s theosophical and yoga communities. Roz is the director of Yoga for Peace and serves Houston’s yoga community by sending email announcements of speakers and events. Swamiji praised her spirit of seva and told stories of his times in the Himalayas. Around 40 people attended and 22 copies of the Journey Home were sold. The grand finale was Sunday, Oct. 3, evening at Hare Krishna Temple, beginning with the dance-drama “Journey to Ecstatic Love,” depicting significant events in Radhanath Swami’s life. It was directed by Yamuna Srinidhi, founder of Nritya Shri School of Performing Arts in Sugarland. Honored with gifts from Swamiji were 12 yoga teachers from leading yoga centers, namely, Yoga Rasa, Yoga West and Ekam Yoga, Imam Muhammed Zaffarullah and two other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community as well as Girish Naik and Vijay Pallod of Hindus of Greater Houston, Mr & Mrs Ravula of Ashirwad and David Garvin of Vegan Outreach. After the talk he led a rousing kirtan and signed copies of his book.

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AIM for Seva Team Meets with Determination and Enthusiasm By Chittoor Ramachandran HOUSTON: Encouraged and motivated by the success of a grand multi-cultural production ‘SHANTI-A JOURNEY OF PEACE’ staged at Cullen Performance Hall a few months ago as a fundraiser for AIM for Seva, the jubilant Seva team organized an evening of appreciation last weekend (September 25). The Shanti production was an aesthetically integrated performance of western and Indian classical vocals and instruments accompanying thematic dances showcasing folk arts, a prayer to the Sun, and a beautiful depiction of sacred rivers. The team did not have a specific celebration event post-Shanti; the applause from Houstonians was celebration enough. Two weeks after Shanti, more than two hundred volunteers and participants were recognized for their work in bringing Shanti to fruition. Now, much water has flowed in the Ganges since the production, and fatigue among the volunteers has washed away, leaving them refreshed with joy and gratification. I was fortunate enough to attend this party where I noticed the presence of a number of enthusiastic youngsters. Some of them demonstrated how deeply they are involved in this project. At the end I came home with a heart full of wows. As the name of the gathering KRTAGNYATA aptly indicates, it was intended to appreciate the bountiful generosity hundreds of Houstonians showed to support this organization. The mega show Shanti – A Journey

of Peace generated a net of $150,000 to support the Chaatraalayaas (student homes) constructed by AIM for Seva. In addition, the joint effort by the multi-cultural communities involved in the production has made a significant impact on hundreds of youth growing up in Houston – a paradigm to inculcate the warmth of service in young minds. Several of the pre-teenage children assembled in KRTAGNYATA seemed to have experienced a wake-up call to care for others. AIM for Seva has taken up a mission to educate children in rural areas of India. With spiritual leader Swami Dayananda Saraswathi at the helm, the mission of AIM for Seva has now become a nationwide movement influencing and changing society. This organization has been building Chaatraalayaas in remote areas all over the nation where needy children

are given shelter and complementary education. They are nurtured to learn many desirable and healthy habits of good moral value. Poojya Swamiji envisions this as the beginning of a new generation of people who can make a notable difference in their communities. It is estimated that over 10 million are benefitted by this project. More than 18,000 students are already provided education and health care. I was one among the several seniors present in the crowd who grew up in India in its infancy as an independent country, the time when poverty and contagious diseases were as common as air. Watching the presentations of several scenes from the Chaatraalayaa students’ activities took me several decades down memory lane, recollecting images from my childhood. I remembered my own neighbors and peers who could have been influenced

positively had a Chaatraalayaa existed in those days. Dr. Jayakumar Srinivasan mentioned that charity is not the mission of AIM for Seva; rather, empowering youth by education is the goal of this project. It is imaginable that unfortunate children living in poverty-stricken areas, are more likely to live with frustration at their plight in life. While

such negativity can often lead young minds down the wrong path, AIM for Seva empowers these children with tools for addressing their problems. During the course of a conversation, an enthusiastic young boy said, “I do not volunteer time to raise money for this cause just as charity; it is my responsibility to help others as much as I can.” Some of the genuinely motivated leaders of AIM for Seva in Houston are considering various innovative methods to continue their mission to increase the awareness about this organization. In order to provide sustained annual support to maintain the existing Chaatraalayaas, work has to actively continue. With more workers and dedicated effort , they are hopeful to derive an annual steady income. AIM for Seva’s strength is in its volunteers - their will power and true belief in what they do. For more information on AIM for Seva, visit www.aimforseva.org.

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A Call for Judgment: Insightful Book on Financial Meltdown

By Pradeep Anand Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy By Amar Bhide Oxford University Press, 2010 Since October 2008, many have written about the financial meltdown that sparked the Great Recession. Most books and articles were about “what” happened; very few attempted to write about “why” it happened. These “what” and “why” attempts informed me but I learned little to draw lessons for corrective actions and for the future. These authors were like the proverbial blind men trying to describe the elephant by touching/ feeling its different parts. I needed a detailed, objective view to learn about why financial meltdown came about and how it could be avoided in the future. Amar Bhidé’s Call for Judgment went a long way in satiating that thirst. Amar Bhide is Schmidheiny Professor at Fletcher School, and has served as Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University. His book isexpansive in its scope. It has broad content, drawing from scholarship and research in Economics, Finance, Government Regulation, Quantitative Sciences, and Innovation. Bhidé uses his deep knowledge of theory and practice in these seemingly disconnected disciplines to support and tear apart deeply rooted contentions and practices. Additionally, it is expansive in its time horizons. Bhidé is a credible business researcher and historian.

He goes as far back as is necessary, sometimes several centuries, to provide details that evolved and contributed to our current situation. Moreover, Bhidé is objective. He displays not only intellectual honesty but also intellectual bravery. He is not afraid to take on some of the sacred idols and expose their contributions to current debacle. Furthermore, he is not scared of the devil that resides in the details. Bhidé contends that there were several contributors to the debacle. At the top of his list is that Finance had become centralized, mechanistic and detached from its local customers and conditions. Flawed quant models catalyzed centralized decision-making, with microscopic contributions from local judgment. The centerpiece of this centralized financial decision-making had some fundamental faults in the way their “mathematical economics” foundation and pillars treated “risk” and Knightian “uncertainty”. Pursuit of mathematical elegance required some shortcuts that took economics into untestable territories, where hypotheses were unfalsifiable but implausible, with unimagined consequences Separately, banking deregulation, cheered on by prevailing economic theories and certifications from the SEC, allowed banks and investment firms to morph into publicly traded monoliths. These firms were led by inactive, arms-length stockholders management, who paid little atten-

tion to increasing risk at their firms. This led to a perverse “Heads we win, tails public stockholders lose” attitude to prevail in the industry. On the other side, threatened banks, whose market share had declined, were now forced to look for alternative sources of profits. They created highly profitable and risky products such as derivatives and Credit Default Swaps. Aided by these factors, the imprudence or chicanery of a few individuals unraveled several firms and

caused widespread damage to the global economy Bhidé has “A Modest Proposal” to pull us out of this morass. It can be summarized by former Citibank CEO John Reed’s comment, “I would compartmentalize the industry for the same reason we compartmentalize ships. If you have a leak, the leak doesn’t spread and sink the whole vessel.” He recommends that we reinstate Glass-Steagall’s wall between investment and commercial banking, to reduce collateral damage from future speculative bubbles. His fervor for local touch points between banks and borrowers is not lost. He recommends that we reinstate old-fashioned banking where bankers know their customers. Consequently, we would have to decentralize oversight of banking and finance so that conditions, relations and decision-making can be monitored locally. His proposal allows “casino bankers” (investment firms) to innovate and speculate but with an arm’s length from “utility banks” Bhidé does anticipate that the unwinding and fragmentation of megabanks will be difficult—97% of more than $200 Trillion in derivatives are held by five US banks: J.P Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman

Sachs, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Additionally, government-led solutions to the current crisis maytake a long time. The 2,300-page DoddFrank bill may appear to some as “refurbishing regulators’ deck chairs from the Titanic.” However, as historical examples from previous financial crises show, “a weak first bill doesn’t have to be the last word” and “reform delayed isn’t reform denied!” I could see why eminent people such as Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Nobel Laureate (Economics) Edmund Phelps and many others recommended the book.ACall for Judgment has great content and is a treat to read. The material, in lesser hands, could have been boring and tedious. Bhidé strikes a great balance between dryness of the subject and popular writing, with subtle, tonguein-cheek strokes that are rare in such scholarly tomes. Amar Bhidé’s book is a clarion call for us to be aware and beware of the current structure of the financial industry. Global governments and investors need to listen to Bhidé and heed his call to action because we are not out of the woods yet. The insightful book has probably been targeted at researchers, scholars and policy wonks but the rest of us can benefit from this brilliant work too. I know I did. Pradeep Anand is president of Seeta Resources (www.seeta.com) a Management Consulting firm. Phone: 281 265 9301.

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Celebrating India, Honoring Gandhi: The Texan Way at A&M COLLEGE STATION: “Namaste, Howdy!” was the welcome song that kicked off “India Days 2010” at Texas A&M University. These two words captured the essence of this first-ever celebration of Indian culture hosted by the Friends of India Network (FIN) and related campus organizations bringing together Indian and American communities like never before. From September 30th to October 2nd the campus pulsated with all things Indian – academic discussions relevant to India, classical Indian dance, sarode concert, yoga session, an exhibition cricket match and Indian cuisine. India Day also honored the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on October 2. There is a lot of genuine interest and curiosity about India amongst Texans. Augmenting awareness of India, the largest democracy in the world and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, will lead to a more globally conscious A&M community in the state of Texas, a task that FIN takes seriously. The idea for hosting an annual India Day was the creative spark of India’s Consul General at Houston, the Honorable Sanjiv Arora, who was also the Chief Guest at the Inaugural event. In his address, the Consul General recalled the long history of USIndia cooperation and engagement in Texas. He highlighted that India was the 4th largest economy in the world on purchasing power parity terms and emphasized that India Days at TAMU were an excellent initiative to present India in a holistic way, as India is as much about her cultural diversity as about her enormous achievements in economy, business, science & technology, research & development, and education, among others. The Consul General also stressed the need to further efforts and initiatives to encourage more students from the US to go to India for studies, internships and research. Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, Secretary General of SAARC, was the Guest of Honor at the inaugural function. Dr. Edwin Price, Director of the Norman Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture, another speaker at the inaugural function, spoke about the Father of the Green Revolution, Nobel Laureate and former Texas A&M Professor Dr.Norman Borlaug. Consul General Arora expanded on this

French-cuisine trained chef J.P and the Head of Dining Services, David Riddle, took this is up as a “Iron Chef” style cooking challenge. The tandoori chicken that combines the best of Texan barbeque with Indian curry, was a big hit amongst both Indian and American guests at the dinner. Added Dr. Ramasubramanian: “Dreaming up this grand, three-day Friends of India President, Dr. Vinod Srinivasan, celebration was easy. presenting a plaque to the Chief Guest, But implementing it Honorable Consul General Sanjiv Arora. was much harder. It has taken us almost one full theme and spoke about the strong year of dedicated hardwork to plan professional and personal associa- this event. We didn’t have even a tions between Dr. Borlaug and Dr. single penny when we started. But we did have sincere, committed Indian Swaminathan. Dr.ChristineStanley,VicePresident faculty, staff, and students who were and Associate Provost of Diversity at willing to volunteer their precious Texas A&M and a Jamaican-native time and energies to make this event recalled the positive impressions that possible. Many people told us we she had about India from her child- were over-ambitious but we didn’t hood through her exposure to cricket. give up our dream.” The academic symposium on Oct The idea of hosting an exhibition cricket match was in fact suggested 1st focused on topics such as India as by Dr. Stanley during the planning a business destination, Indian cinema, energy and sustainability in India, and stage for India Day. Emphasizing the importance of climate change in India. This was the the event, FIN Executive Committee first time that faculty doing research member Dr. Srividya Ramasubra- on India at Texas A&M across a wide manian pointed out that “We can- variety of topics had a formal forum not learn about another culture just to present their research. Faculty and through textbooks in the classroom. students from various disciplines atIndia Day would be an easy and tended these talks and were eager to fun way for Texas A&M students to soak in the latest statistics and cuttinglearn about the rich and diverse cul- edge scholarship about India. President of FIN, Dr. Vinod Srinitural heritage of India -- music, dance, food, cinema, yoga and so on -- by vasan noted: “We believe that celexperiencing it right here on Texas ebration of India Day will play an A&M campus. We hope these expe- important role in internationalizing riences will help Texan students gain our campus community, increasing a more informed perspective about and improving cross-cultural underIndia and to kindle a desire in them standing and awareness between the United States and Indian and Indiato explore more about India”. The Dining Services at TexasA&M related faculty, staff and students on was overwhelmed by the over 1500 our campus and in the larger BCS people who attended the Flavors of community”. On the whole, the India Days at India dinner. “We had imagined a big turnout but this was unprecedent- TAMU generated tremendous gooded” said FIN Executive Committee will amongst the Indian andAmerican member Dr. Kishore Gawande. Host- communities on campus at various ing the event in the student dining hall levels: administration, faculty, stumeant that American chefs had to dents, staff. And also between cambe trained by faculty and staff of In- pus organizations relating to India dian origin into the nuances of Indian and those living in the broader BCS cooking. Naan and paneer was made community. There was a lot of interfrom scratch for the first-time ever est and curiosity from non-Indians in in-house at the campus kitchen. The

Dances of India, classical dance performance at the inaugural function.

the campus community. They were excited about the opportunity to learn so much about India in such a short time period. India Days 2010 at TAMU was made possible due to the generous support of the Consulate General of

India in Houston, numerous TAMU administrators and organizations, Larsen & Toubro, Houston and President, India House. FIN would also like to thank all the student organizations and volunteers for making the event a grand success.

Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated Across US Several events were held to celebrate ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on 2 October, 2010 and its commemoration as the International Day of Non-violence, at various places in the areas serviced by the Consulate, such as Atlanta, Houston, Jacksonville and Dallas. The Consulate cooperated closely with Indian-American community fora in organizing these events. Consul General Sanjiv Arora visited Atlanta to participate in the celebrations at the King Historic Site, held by the Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA) and other community organizations in cooperation with the King Center and the National Park Service. The program comprised a ceremony to pay homage to Gandhiji at his statue, Peace March from the Statue to the Crypts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, paying homage at the Crypts, and a function at the Freedom Hall at the King Center. After opening remarks by Mr. Subash Razdan and Mr. Antony Thaliath, Chairman and Executive Director, respectively, of GFUSA, the gathering at the Freedom Hall was addressed by Hon. Martin Luther King III, CEO of King Center, Dr. A. Chakrapani, Chairman of the Legislative Council of the State of Andhra Pradesh in India and the Consul General.

The speakers paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King and the everlasting Gandhi-King legacy. The program also included many devotional songs dear to Gandhiji, and concluded with the participants holding hands and singing Dr. King’s Civil Rights Anthem “We Shall Overcome”. GIACC Gala: The 11th Annual Gala of the Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC) on 2 October was also utilized to pay homage to the Father of the Nation. GIACC works closely with the Consulate, corporate sector and other partners to actively promote business cooperation between India and Georgia. Jacksonville: Gandhi Memorial Society of Jacksonville headed by its President, Mr. Ashok Bazaz took the lead in commemorating the International Day of Non-violence at University of North Florida (UNF). The ceremony at Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue was followed by a function in the UNF auditorium, addressed by prominent persons from different walks of life, and a Volunteer Service Program to clean the UNF campus. Dallas: The India Association of North Texas (IANT), along with other community associations, held a Peace March and organized other activities to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 08 , 2010• ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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Indo American News • Friday, October 08 , 2010

online edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 08 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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Indo American News, October 8, 2010 Community Section

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