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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

Friday, October 22 , 2010


IndoAmerican News


Savings Group Insurance and Travel - Niche Markets in Today’s Business World By Jacob David HOUSTON: One good thing that is emerging from a recession recovering economy is that people are realizing the value of expertise in today’s market. Expertise in any field comes at a price years of experience gained in the same industry through repeated exposure to similar and different events. It eventually pays off like it did for Javed Razak, pioneer in the insurance and travel industry. He’s been in the insurance industry for 7 years and in the travel business for 35 years. Before coming to USA, Javed Razak worked in senior manage-

ment for a travel group in Dubai doing a $100 million annual turnover in business. Feeling well equipped with knowledge and experience, he started the Savings Group which offers savings in both Insurance and Travel. Savings Group has been serving its clients in the same location for over 15 years. “Both insurance and travel are service oriented industries. That’s why I love doing this.” Javed Razak says. Insurance is a more hotter commodity providing security for our daily living, an indispensable product for families and businesses. People today need cov-

Photo: Jacob David Javed Razak, Founder, Savings Group, believes expertise in his industry makes all the difference in providing top service to clients

erage for their homes, cars and businesses. Javed Razak provides insurance not as a mere product but offers his years of expertise as value added service to all his clients. For those of you living at the speed of life, you are aware of how life can be smooth sailing one second and turbulent the next. Insurance for a home, car or business provides peace of mind and a definite sense of security. But should you get your insurance from a knowledgeable agent or just anyone? There are thousands of agents out there making a liv-


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Indo American News • Friday, October 22, 2010

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B U S I N E S S in d ia

Cinema Experience Changes in UAE, but not Love for Indian Movies

ABU DHABI: Time was when a Remembering the old times, he movies. We buy about two to five garage would be turned into a movie said: “In the 1960s, they opened two prints of Malayalam movies.” hall and people would sit on sand to cinema halls. In Doha, there used to Golchin says the Rajnikanth watch on. But the movie experience be a garage and they used to turn it and Aishwarya Rai sci-fi thriller has seen a sea change in the United into a theatre at night. People used “Endhiran” has been the biggest Arab Emirates (UAE) Tamil release here. - today some cinema “We bought 10 prints companies operate for the Tamil version more than 300 screens and 10 for the Hindi equipped with worldversion of the film.” class technology and Golchin’s company release hundreds of Phars Film distributes Indian films every Hindi Bollywood year. films in the region Phars Film, a with partner company, pioneering film Al Nisr. industry firm in the About the ongoing Middle East, which Abu Dhabi Film distributes Asian Festival, Golchin Bollywood, Tamil, feels it provides Telugu, Malayalam an opportunity to - and American watch class movies. independent titles, “The films shown usually releases 250 Priyanka Chopra, one of the top paid heroines for Hindi movies here are not always Indian movies as well has reason to smile. UAE has become the hub for Indian commercial films. movies, a favorite among Arabs, about 250 films out of the as popular English 1000 movies made in India are released here every year. Festivals are good titles. for class movies,” he “There are more than 300 cinema to sit on the sand and those who said. screens and more are coming up all could shell out some extra money, Bilal Sabouni, the newly appointed the time. We are releasing movies they used to get to sit on Pepsi Cola Phars Film Group general manager, simultaneously here. Not only boxes and watch the movies. In old said the company is gearing up to Indian movies, we even release times there was no TV. People used make a mark on the world map by English movies - sometimes even to enjoy going to movies.” building the world’s single largest a day before the world premier English movies entered the Gulf cinema complex. opening,” Ahmad Golchin, founder region in the 1970s. He said the number of screens is and CEO of Phars Film, said. “But at that time we used to have significantly larger “Arabs love Indian movies,” he late releases. In the 1990s, we than any other said. “India makes about 1,000 films started releasing English movies complex anywhere a year and among them we release simultaneously and Arabs loved it. in the world. about 250 movies. For them English movies became “We are looking to “We release them every Thursday number one. But Asians still like take our established and give it a week to pick up. If watching Indian movies.” industry strength the film is good we run it for five The UAE has the second highest and branch out into weeks and sometimes 10 weeks as Indian diaspora in the Gulf region other entertainmentwell. ‘Dabangg’ ran for six weeks after Saudi Arabia. related industries and it is still running in theatres,” “There is a demand for Malayalam, such as gaming, he added. Tamil and Telugu movies. We buy production and even Golchin, also founder and the distribution rights for three to events management managing partner of Gulf Film seven years. For Indian movies to name a few,” which distributes Hollywood and we get minimum five prints and Sabouni said. Arab films, says he has been in the maximum 45 prints. Usually we business for 46 years. take five prints for non-commercial

Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


SEWA Transforming Women’s Lives in Rural India: Clinton WASHINGTON (ET): Terming NGO ‘SEWA’ as one of the most effective women’s organizations in the world, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it has transformed the lives of many poor women in India. “Last year in Mumbai, I visited a shop owned and operated by women selling crafts and textiles, most of whom come from the very lowest socioeconomic stratum, all of whom are organized through one of the most effective women’s organizations in the world, Self-Employed Women’s Association known as SEWA,” Clinton said. “I’ve worked with SEWA for many years. I have literally seen the transformation in lives that banding together has catalyzed in individual women’s lives,” Clinton said in her remarks at the 12th Annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington. “I also, last summer, went back to Cape Town, and for the third time, I visited a group of women who, on their own, transformed their position as squatters into homeowners and then community leaders. I’d already been to one of the housing developments that these women through their own sweat equity had created, and this time I went to the second housing development that they are starting,”

she said. “The women that I have come to know don’t have much education, but they are among the most powerful and effective women I have ever met. And they have created now two thriving communities where before there was apathy if not despair,” Clinton said. “I’ve been all over the world talking to women who have overcome odds that even I find daunting, thinking about coming from oppression and repression, coming to stand against family members who want to keep you down, government officials, and other threats,” she said. “When I was in the Democratic Republic of Congo last summer, I met some of the most extraordinary women I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world, women who themselves had been brutally attacked and assaulted, left for dead, but who refused to die, and who are now part of a healing community,” she said. “I also have talked with a number of women who are making their own entrepreneurial mark on the world, from Jerusalem to Islamabad, meeting women who are taking the tool of micro enterprise and turning it into better lives for themselves and creating supportive communities,” Clinton said.

Galveston Historical Foundation, Texas, brings you Dickens on the Strand, Dec 4 & 5: Dickens on The Strand will take you and your family on an enchanted journey through history as a bustling 19th Century cityscape comes to life. For an entire weekend, hundreds of costumed vendors and performers will provide a look at the pomp and pageantry of the British Empire, at a time when commercial and cultural ties provided a strong connection between London and Texas’ largest and richest city. QUALIFY for FREE Tickets for your family. A great education experience for your kids. We would like to know how many of our readers would like to travel back in time to a Dickensian Era. Email us:



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Indo American News • Friday, October 22, 2010

online edition:

Savings Group Insurance and Travel Niche Markets in Today’s Business World continued from page

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ing. Yet only a few top the industry because of their dedication to service. Javed Razak says, “For me it is all about educating the client, not selling a family or a business owner an insurance policy and placing a monthly premium, without my client understanding the full benefits they are receiving in return.” Insurance products are many, there are levels of multiple coverage. Adequate insurance is a must for every insurance policy taken. Javed Razak makes sure the insurance coverage is a fit, be it for any need. “There are instances where I have seen insurance agents offer an insurance product for the minimum monthly premium to their clients. But in reality, when disaster happens, the client discovers to their horror and dismay that the coverage does not pay for even half their loss. The client then realizes that their insurance agent had not explained to them their benefits in full, nor explained the restrictions in the policy. This leaves a bad taste in the client’s mouth. By then it is too late and the damage is already done. Life can be seriously disrupted if you are suddenly faced with a big loss involving hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in damages. To this end, Javed Razak takes his business as a devoted exercise, tailoring each policy, understanding fully well the customer’s fullest requirements. He studies in detail the clients’ exposure to risk and other variables. The end result is a policy that provides true sense of security and adequate replacement of losses when and if trouble strikes. Savings Group Insurance provides coverage for property and casualty, home, auto, commercial policies for Doctor’s offices, day care centers, businesses, limo services, hotels, restaurants, commercial fleet of vehicles and umbrella

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policies for high worth individuals. Be it burglary, fire, flood, auto accidents, the policies available are numerous. “We represent major insurance companies. We will take out the hassle of finding you the right policy for your needs.” Cutting corners while selecting a policy just to save a few dollars in your monthly premium is always not a wise idea, he cautions. The same principle applies when it comes to booking for travel.

8989 Westheimer, Houston Savings Group is at the forefront in providing travel services for major corporations and families. They are a member of IATAN (International Airlines Travel Agent Network), ARC (Airline Reporting Corporation), and West Houston Chamber of Commerce. “I’d like to stress on service, not selling tickets, renting a car, or booking a hotel. Any agent can do that. People can also book tickets online. We are in the business of providing our expertise gained in this field. We aim at focusing more on the delivery of service. If you are looking for a fun filled or relaxed travel experience, call us. We are there to take care of your travel needs.” Javed Razak says confidently. To prove their experience they have amassed large corporate business travel accounts from law firms, oil, shipping and other industries. True, certain companies engage their secretaries to arrange travel. “The corporate secretaries call us for our expertise. We understand that it is not the secretary’s line of work to be a travel agent. Leave that to us.” Javed Razak explains. Gold $1,343.80 per oz.



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Leaving it to a professional team like Savings Group helps minimize the risk of error that could result in the executives getting stranded during travel with wrong tickets and the itinerary messed up. “We even provide a 24 hour emergency travel service number that the CEO’s can call us just in case things go wrong. We go beyond the normal duties of a travel agent.” Savings Group also issues boarding passes to the hotel rooms for corporate accounts / high end customers in distant countries, thereby cutting down on their boarding time. In today’s world everything is about speed and accuracy. Savings Group realizes the importance of delivering both and making clients happy by top service. For travel, Savings Group provides medical and accident coverage as part of their travel insurance. They also provide incidental insurance - for loss of baggage, valuable items, unexpected damages or delays. Savings Group also provides leisure travel packages dealing in cruises, Euro rail passes for families and corporate accounts. An ongoing deal for a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico is $399 and Las Vegas from $395 and up. Special vacation packages for groups, family reunions, can also be arranged at a moment’s notice. They have a team of well trained, multi lingual professionals to take care of all travel arrangements. Javed Razak is a proud father and successful role model to his four children who are “highly individualistic, ambitious, and seeking to become professionals.” Savings Group is open 9 am - 6 pm weekdays, 10 am - 2 pm on Saturdays and available 24 hours online. Located 8989 Westheimer, Ste: 101, Houston, TX 77063 Ph: 713-977-9071 EM: sales@ |

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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

Ideal Time to Export Surplus Food Stocks, Say Economists

By Devika BanerJ anerJi Ji NEW DELHI (Business-Standard): Blame stubborn procurement policy as the root of all evil. With the government sitting on heaps of food grain and with an acute shortage of quality storage facilities, analysts suggest exporting food grain and reviewing procurement policy. The suggestion is gaining ground among advisors and experts, given the current global situation, where wheat prices are on the rise on fears of subdued production in drought-hit countries like Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. “The situation is perfect for India to export some of its food grain stock because it cannot store it. The international market is highly favorable and around five million tons of wheat can easily be exported,”

said Ashok Gulati, director (Asia), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Within the government, Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu is also of the view that exporting surplus food grain, especially wheat, is a solution to the problem of lack of storage capacity. Basu also believes inflation rate in food items have been on the rise, in spite of a surplus. Russia, the fourth-largest exporter of wheat in the world, is reeling under reduced supplies, as production has dropped due to drought. To protect its domestic supplies, Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has banned grain exports till December. This has boosted the international prices of wheat by around 50 per cent, making it an optimally profitable situation for India to facilitate export of the surplus.

At present, the international wheat price is hovering at around $357.93 a tonne, much above the domestic prices of $241.84 a tonne. The government procurement price of wheat for the current season is $2.39 a tonne. The suggestion is gaining ground in the wake of the inability of the

under more stress. However, there is political resistance, with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar denying any intention to export the grain. “We may give to neighboring countries, if we are asked to, for diplomatic reasons, but we are not likely to re look at our policy,” Pawar had recently said.

Chennai port is the third oldest port among 12 in the nation, now operational for 128 years is also known as the ‘Detroit of India’ a major hub for exports - coal, ore, fertilizer, grains, steel, cars and oil.

The pertinent question is always raised as to why is India exporting grains when millions are starving, which has never been fully answered, except that poverty cannot command purchasing power

government to clear the existing stock through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and lukewarm off take under the open market scheme. There has already been wastage of around 50,000 tons of wheat this year while much more is rotting in open plinths, while the procurement from this season, likely to see a 10.4 per cent growth in harvest, is yet to begin. Though the kharif crop will mainly consist of paddy, the Rabi crop, which will see wheat procurement in February-March next year, will put the government

The government has banned the export of wheat and non-basmati rice since 2003. Both Basu and Gulati point out that the root of the problem is not the lack of storage capacity of government agencies, but the excessive procurement by the government. According to the minimum buffer stock norm, the government has to store 21.2 million tons of food grain, while government agencies the like Food Corporation of India (FCI), Central Warehousing Corporation


(CWC) and State Warehousing Corporation (SWC) have storage capacity of 52.6 million tons. Of this, agencies own storage capacity of 33.7 million tons, while there hired facilities that can store 18.9 million tons. However, the government is currently sitting on 60 million tons of food grain (as of June 30), around 183 per cent above the minimum buffer stock norm. “The big question is why they are keeping such huge stock. The private sector has stock limits. However, due to its procurement policies, the government has become the biggest hoarder of food grain. This is dictating market prices,” Gulati adds. “The issues illustrate a pervasive weakness that runs through India’s food grain policy. In the name of helping the farmer and the consumer… we have ended up creating a policy framework that has not got high marks on either account,” Basu had said in his research note. Gulati’s solution to the entire imbalance in procurement, distribution and storage policy is to export the current surplus and earmark the money generated for creating new storage capacities in the country. Basu espouses the idea that India can go into swap deals with countries and sell grains in exchange for return sale after two-three years. “The idea is, because you cannot store it here, you store it somewhere else,” Basu said.



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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


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South Asia News of the Diaspora

Pakistan Intelligence Services ‘Aided Mumbai Terror Attacks’

By Jason Burke LONDON (Guardian): Pakistan’s powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by the Guardian. A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings. Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkare-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks. He claims a key motivation for the ISI in aiding the attacks was to bolster militant organisations with strong links to the Pakistani state and security establishment who were being marginalised by more extreme radical groups. Headley, who undertook surveillance of the targets in Mumbai for the operation, claims that at least two of

his missions were partly paid for by the ISI and that he regularly reported to the spy agency. However, the documents suggest that supervision of the militants by the ISI was often chaotic and that the most senior officers of the agency may have been unaware at least of the scale and ambition of the operation before it was launched. More than 160 people were killed by militants from LeT who arrived by sea to attack luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a café, a hospital and the main railway station in Mumbai, the Indian commercial capital. Casualties included citizens from 25 countries, including four Americans killed and seven Britons injured. The attacks dominated media for days and badly damaged already poor Indian-Pakistan relations. European and American security services now fear that LeT, which has thousands of militants, runs dozens of training camps and has extensive logistic networks overseas, is moving from what has been a largely regional agenda – focused on the disputed Himalayan former princely state of Kashmir – to a global agenda involving strikes against the west

or western interests. The documents suggest the fierce internal argument within the organisation over its strategic direction is being won by

groups in Afghanistan influenced many committed fighters to leave [LeT],” Headley said. “I understand this compelled the LeT to consider a

Latest findings show careful planning by Pakistan’s tiers of intelligence services who were involved in the planning of the Mumbai attacks

hardliners. Headley, interviewed over 34 hours by Indian investigators in America in June, described how “a debate had begun among the terrorist outfits” and “a clash of ideology” leading to “splits”. “The aggression and commitment to jihad shown by several splinter

spectacular terrorist strike in India.” Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani, told the investigators that the ISI hoped the Mumbai attack would slow or stop growing “integration” between groups active in Kashmir, with whom the agency had maintained a long relationship, and “Taliban-based outfits” in

Pakistan and Afghanistan which were a threat to the Pakistani state. “The ISI … had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India,” Headley is reported to have said. The aim of the agency was “controlling further split in the Kashmir-based outfits, providing them a sense of achievement and shifting … the theatre of violence from the domestic soil of Pakistan to India.” Headley describes meeting once with a “Colonel Kamran” from the military intelligence service and having a series of meetings with a “Major Iqbal” and a “Major Sameer Ali”. A fellow conspirator was handled by a Colonel Shah, he claims. Headley also alleges that he was given $25,000 by his ISI handler to finance one of eight surveillance missions in India. However, Headley describes the ISI director general, Lt General Shuja Pasha, visiting a key senior militant from LeT in prison after the attacks in a bid “to understand” the operation, implying that, as many western security agencies suspect, the top ranks of the agency were


continued on page



Indo American News • Friday, October 22, 2010


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Surrender of Indian Passport for PIOs made Mandatory


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Toronto: Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) will now have to formally renounce their citizenship and surrender their Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship, according to new rules circulated by the Indian high commission here. Canadian PIOs will have to pay a fee of $168 to get their Indian passport cancelled by the country’s mission here. “New rules require that Indian citizens acquiring foreign citizenship on or after June 1, 2010, must formally renounce Indian citizenship,’’ the mission statement said. But those who have acquired foreign citizenship before June 1,

2010, will be exempted from paying the so-called renunciation fee of $168. On surrender of their Indian passport, PIOs will be issued a ‘surrender certificate’ which they will have to produce when seeking Indian visa or PIO card or OCI (overseas citizenship of India) card, according to the new rules. The statement said, “It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act 1967, to apply for an Indian passport, continue to hold an Indian passport, get an Indian passport re-issued or travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship.’’

There are stringent penalties for foreign nationals to keep Indian passports. “This is also applicable to those Indian citizens who acquired foreign citizenship,’’ the statement said. The new rules also stipulate heavy penalty for retaining and travelling on Indian passports after getting foreign citizenship. Penalty for traveling on Indian Passport after acquiring Canadian citizenship is $240 for each time, subject to a maximum of $1,200. Those who get Indian passport renewed or reissued after acquiring Canadian citizenship will have to pay $600 for each such case.

Ambar Paul Acquires Christopher’s Restaurant LONDON: Ambar Paul, son of NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, has acquired Christopher’s, a highprofile restaurant at the Convent Garden here and plans to revamp it to attract younger clientele. This is Ambar Paul’s first foray into restaurants, although he owns or runs four hotels under the umbrella of his father’s Caparo Group. 52-year old Ambar said today that he planned to revamp the business and use it as the starting point for a chain. He said he wanted to attract a younger clientele and is ready to spend between 400,000 pounds and 1 million pounds on changing the restaurant’s approach - although he will leave things as they are until next year. Christopher’s was founded in

1991 by Christopher Gilmour, son of the late Conservative Party minister Lord Gilmour. He took his inspiration from the Palm Restaurant in Chicago, which specialises in steaks and lobster. The grade II-listed building, set over three floors, was built as a papier-mache factory in the first half of the 19th century and the ornate facade was added in 1870, when the site became London’s first licensed casino. The vendor, in a deal negotiated by Coffer Corporate Leisure, is Andrew Hoffmann, of the Roche pharmaceuticals family. He bought the restaurant from its founder four years ago, although Gilmour remained as chairman until about 18 months ago.

Ambar said that while he would retain the American bar and grill concept, he believed it needed updating and he was considering three or four options. “When I’ve been there recently, most customers seem to be in the 40 to 60 age range. I want to broaden its appeal to the 30s to 40s,” he said. He said the concept was capable of a wider roll-out, both in London and overseas, although he has yet to decide whether to use the Christopher’s name. “Christopher’s is unique, so we’ll have to see what name we use for the roll-out.” Ambar is a Caparo director and is looking for a London property to develop a flagship hotel for the fledgeling chain. He has bought Christopher’s in a personal capacity.



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Indian Pilot Dies Mid-Flight Doha - Manila DUBAI : An Indian pilot with Qatar Airways died mid-flight due to a massive heart attack when the plane carrying 260 passengers was on its way to Doha from Manila, forcing the co-pilot to make emergency landing at the Kuala Lumpur airport. Ajay Kukreja, 43, who had been working with the airline for five years, was flying QR645 passenger plane when the tragedy struck last Wednesday. When Kukreja complained of chest pain, the co-pilot requested permission from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) authorities to land and asked that a medical team be on hand, ‘The Peninsula’ reported. The passengers on board were not told about the pilot’s condition, the report said,

adding that he was declared dead after the flight landed at KLIA. The entire crew of the plane was then changed and it continued on its journey leaving Kuala Lumpur at 1.15 pm and landing in Doha at 3.37pm, more than four-and-a-half hours behind schedule. Kukreja’s body was taken to Serdang Hospital in Kuala Lumpur for a post-mortem. Reports said he died of a massive cardiac arrest. Sources close to his family in Doha told the newspaper he had no past history of heart problems. However, he was asthmatic and always carried an inhaler. His body will be flown to Mumbai directly from Kuala Lumpur and Qatar Airways is also making arrangements to bring his family over. Kukreja’s parents lived

in Mumbai, though he was from Delhi. He had married a woman from Goa and the couple had two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl. He had been living in Doha and working with Qatar Airways for five years. A Qatar Airways official reportedly visited his wife to break the tragic news of her husband’s sudden death.

Captain Nikolaos Antypas, adviser and general secretary of the Middle East Safety Roadmap, said it was a tragedy that could happen any day and major airlines like Qatar Airways were always prepared to respond to such emergencies. “Copilots are trained to take charge in such situations,” Antypas said.

Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

Pakistan Intelligence Services ‘Aided Mumbai Terror Attacks’ continued from page


unaware of at least the scale of the planned strike. The Pakistani government has repeatedly denied any involvement of any security official in the Mumbai attacks. Last night, an ISI spokesman told the Guardian the accusations of the agency’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks were “baseless”. LeT was banned in Pakistan in 2002. Jamat-ud Dawa, the social welfare wing of LeT, has been blacklisted

in the wake of the Mumbai attacks although it continues to function. The revelations could prove embarrassing to the US government as well as to the Pakistanis. Reports in American newspapers over the weekend claimed that Headley’s wife had tried to alert American authorities to her husband’s activities but had been ignored.

Indian American Convicted for Infecting Fannie Mae Computers WASHINGTON: An Indian American computer programmer in Maryland has been convicted by a federal jury for transmitting a malicious script to Fannie Mae’s computer servers to destroy the US mortgage giant’s data. Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, 36, of Montgomery County, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. US District Judge J. Frederick Motz Tuesday scheduled sentencing for Dec 8 in Baltimore, Maryland. Makwana, a contractor working at Fannie Mae’s Urbana, Maryland facility from 2006 to Oct 24, 2008, was a UNIX engineer who worked on Fannie Mae’s network of almost


5,000 computer servers. According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Makwana was fired Oct 24, 2008 and told to turn in all of his Fannie Mae equipment, including his laptop. On Oct 29, 2008, a Fannie Mae senior engineer discovered a malicious script embedded in a routine program. A subsequent analysis of the script, computer logs, Makwana’s laptop and other evidence, revealed that Makwana had transmitted the malicious code Oct 24, 2008 which was intended to execute Jan 31, 2009. The malicious code was designed to propagate throughout the Fannie Mae network of computers and destroy all data, including financial, securities and mortgage information.


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Indo American News • Friday, October 22, 2010



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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010




Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


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Aangan Indian Cuisine - Flavors Combine to Balance Six Elements of Taste By Bev Davis

BECKLEY, WV (Herald): To lock Indian cuisine into one category would be impossible. Because of the diversity of the culture and religion of this vast country, its food holds many common elements. Different regions of the country offers flavors of many of the traditional dishes. Although managers at Aangan, an Indian restaurant that recently opened in Beckley, are from Nepal, they missed the spices, textures and flavors unique to Indian cuisine. “There wasn’t an Indian restaurant here in the Beckley area and we had to travel a good distance to find authentic Indian food,” general manager Santos Shrestha said. “We didn’t know how it would go over with the public, but we’ve had a great response. We have more than 150 regular diners now.” His sister, Greeta Joshi, said everything is made from scratch and the spices don’t come out of bottles from the grocery store shelves.

Nepalese food has more tomato etarian dishes are available “We grind our spices here because that gives the food a whole different sauces; Indian food features more at Aangan. Vegetables and rice cooked together with flavor,” she said. “With Indian food, creamy sauces similar to gravy. “There a lot of real cream used in jagriti spices make up a the ingredients, the spices, the timing of the cooking all have to be exact Indian food,” Joshi said. “The yogurt, menu item called vegetaor the food will not have the proper the sauces and the base for many of ble biryani. Baby eggplant the recipes starts with cream. That’s bagahra combines the main taste.” ingredient with mint Shrestha said Aangan and cilantro in a onion is the fourth Indian restomato sauce. taurant he has managed, Bhindi methi is fresh and he’s pleased with okra cooked with fenthe success of his efforts ugreek spice in onion here. tomato sauce. South“Youneverknowhow ern chickpeas masala things will go, but we’re is a dish made with very happy about how chickpeas cooked in well the whole Beckley coconut masala. area has received our However, to please the westfood. We have people ern cultures’ love of meat, there traveling from long disare plenty of dishes featuring tances to come here” fish, shrimp, chicken and lamb. he said. “Two of my cousins Bhindi methi, fresh ladies fingers (Okra) cooked with Nellore machli begins with and I have been think- fenugreek, green chilies in onion tomato sauce and chucks of salmon marinated in aromatic herbs and spiced, ing about offering In- garnished with cilantro leaves then broiled in a tandoor oven. dian cuisine here for a couple of years. I knew Robert C. what gives the food such a rich, sat- Made of clay and fueled by charcoal, this oven infuses the meet with a rich Byrd Drive or Harper Road would isfying flavor.” Gurung said some people are re- distinct flavor. be the best locations. When Quiznos The philosophy behind Indian food closed, we looked into getting this luctant to try certain Indian dishes space and it came open, and here we because they fear the food will be is that everything people eat affects too spicy. “Before they try the food, their body and mind, and should be are,” Shrestha said. Among the most popular menu they think it will be really hot. It isn’t. pure, from nature and balanced. The items are those with chicken, salmon, All the food on the lunch bar is mild core balance consists of balancing to moderate. When you order off the the six tastes — sweet, sour, salty, lobster or lamb. “People especially love the lamb menu, you can request it be more pungent, bitter and astringent. Turmeric, garlic and cumin are the chops,” assistant manager Prajwar spicy. The food is all made fresh and Gurung said. “People are curious each meal is made to order, so you most commonly used ingredients, but about the food and they ask us lots of can get the food the way you like it. this base is blended with a variety of questions. We’re happy to talk with Because of some of the religions of other spices that make one chicken them and share what we know about Indian, the cuisine often leans more dish, for example, taste totally difto a vegetarian palate. Several veg- ferent than another. “This food is Indian cuisine.”

Nellore Machli, oven roasted salmon pieces in a tandoor with aromatic spices and herbs gives out exquisite flavors to the fish that is mouth watering

cooked according to specific recipes and instructions,” Joshi said. Focusing on the name of the business, staff members say their goal is to introduce diners in the area to the unique flavors of Indian food and to encourage them to come in and relax and take time to socialize. “Aangan means porch or courtyard. It’s a place to gather together and join in a meal. We want people to enjoy our food and not to feel hurried or rushed,” Shrestha said. “We’ve created a quiet, relaxing attitude where people can enjoy a good meal being together.” Aangan Indian Cuisine is on Facebook for people planning to visit West Virginia real soon. They have their entire menu on the social media site.



CWG Roundup


NEW DELHI: Commonwealth Games have finally come to its end after all the controversies surrounded the Games before its commencement. In these 11 days of thrilling sporting events, we have witnessed some of the closest encounters and many of the records were broken. In the final medal tally, Australia once again are on first position with 74 gold medals, India have bagged second with 38 gold and England are on third position this time with 38 gold medals. So after two weeks of intense sporting action, it’s now time to bring the curtains down on the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi. We have witnessed some great sporting events which made athletes, officials, and spectators from 71 nations to come together. India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal won Gold in the Women’s Single Badmintoon. Final event. Saina won to Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia by 9-21, 23-21, 21-13. Saina Nehwal provided India with a gold medal to pilot the country to a historic second-place finish. In the mens hockey final, India lost to Australia badly with the score of 0-8. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was present in the Major Dhyanchand stadium to witness the clash between India and Australia.

Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


Games Over, Ed to Grill Kalmadi, top OC Officials NEW DELHI (TOI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will send fresh summons to key officials of the Commonwealth Games ( CWG) Organising Committee (OC) for their personal appearance sometime next week, ahead of OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi’s questioning. ED had postponed its investigations into payments made by the OC for various hirings for the Queen’s Baton Relay in London last year until the the Games were over, sources said. Earlier, ED had summoned suspended officials M Jeychandren, T S Darbari and Sanjay Mohindroo in connection with pay-

ments made to AM Films and its sister concern. Documents show that the selection of AM Films and other firms in London was primarily processed and pushed by Darbari and Mohindroo. Kalmadi had approved all the payments and had issued written instructions in this regard. Sources said the agency has obtained details of banking transactions relating to all payments made by OC to foreign consultants and other individuals relating to the conduct of the Games. After statements of all senior officials are recorded, ED will summon OC chairman Kalmadi, which is likely to be around mid-November.




Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


• Cutting stalks at noontime. Perspiration drips to the earth. Know you that your bowl of rice each grain from hardship comes? ~Chang Chan-Pao • Condensed milk is wonderful. I don’t see how they can get a cow to sit down on those little cans. ~Fred Allen • Kissing don’t last; cookery do! ~George Meredith


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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

Absconding from Thar to Iceland

Prime offender Lalit Modi plays fugitive as action against IPL’s excesses draws first blood

By Rohit Mahajan LONDON (Outlook): When Lalit Modi rose to speak at the magnificent celebration of his parents’ 50th marriage anniversary in Bangkok in the last week of August, he didn’t indulge in the grandiloquence of his days of glory and infamy as IPL commissioner. He was among family and friends, people who know him really well. He spoke briefly, from the heart. Modi, according to a guest, said he’d been always in some sort of trouble all his life, right from his childhood. He thanked his parents for supporting him and extricating him from trouble through his life. But it’s unlikely that even his father, K.K. Modi of Modi Enterprises, can save his son from the clutches of law, if and when he does return to India. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is closing in on him, seeking his presence to answer questions over FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) violations and even the possibility that he had been laundering money into two IPL teams, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. The BCCI has suspended its contract with the two teams. It’s also lodged a police complaint against Modi “for criminal misappropriation of BCCI funds totalling Rs 470 crore”. The annulment of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab has sent the cricket world into turmoil and Modi into a rage—but only on Twitter. There are no signs of Modi returning to India to wage battle defending his innocence and establishing the guilt of his enemies who, as he said before leaving, were hell-bent upon

destroying the IPL. There are enough indications that Modi, actually, wants to make a home in another country. A source familiar with Modi’s movements over the past several months says, “He’s been trying to get some sort of residency in Panama or Iceland. But it’s likely to be Iceland.” There’s a good reason for that, he says. The first lady of Iceland is Dorrit Moussaieff, a Jerusalem-born UK citizen from a family of famous jewellers. Growing up, she and Minal, Modi’s wife, lived in the same apartment building at Grosvenor Square in London. “They’re childhood friends, and Modi’s trying to use that connection to get residency rights in Iceland,” he says. Modi, it’s learnt, is keeping a low profile in London, but he has been making vigorous efforts to get in among the upper crust of British society, and Mark Shand—the brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is a favourite of his in this enterprise. Says another source, “He’s been trying to get thick with businessmen of Indian origin.” Modi lives in a rented apartment at Cadogan Square and has brought his home staff from Mumbai with him. He’s frequently seen at two well-known restaurants: Zuma, a Japanese restaurant owned by an Indian

family of Sindhi background wellknown to Modi’s wife; and China Tang, a Chinese speciality restaurant. There’s a family connection here too. The K.K. Modi Group has acquired the India franchise for a luxury brand, Shanghai Tang, launched by China Tang owner David Tang. Modi’s son Ruchir,who’sopted out of the exclusive Le Rosey school in Switzerland, has joined the American School at St John’s Wood with help from Shand. Sources say Ruchir isn’t proving to be a very popular scholar. “He went to school wearing an extremely expensive watch and was reprimanded by the principal for it,” says a source. Modi has been travelling around Europe his private plane is usually parked in London to ensure he does not qualify as a resident of the UK, and therefore liable to be taxed. And though he’s been citing a live security threat against him as the reason why he has evaded questioning in India, this hasn’t prevented him from taking pleasure trips. He was spotted in the south of France recently, and at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza last month.At Monza, those who met him did detect an air of embarrassment around him, now that the government authorities—and not the BCCI—are

keen to have a word with him. Modi is a frequent guest of his friend Vijay Mallya, owner of Bangalore Royal Challengers, who has been critical of the BCCI’s recent move. “What else would Mallya do?” asks a senior board official. “He’s a friend of Modi’s, and if Modi had been around as commissioner, it would have only helped Mallya.” Clearly, the BCCI wasn’t looking to resolve the issue of FEMA violations through conciliatory measures, acting decisively as it did against the two teams thought to be guilty. The ED believes Modi was laundering money into IPL through his nri relatives who invested heavily in the Punjab and Jaipur teams via off-shore firms. In case of a dispute, there’s provision in the agreement between the BCCI and the IPL teams for resolution through arbitration. An official with another franchisee says that apart from Mallya, there’s no anxiety among the others about the IPL. “It’s clear the agreement with the BCCI was violated in a serious manner,” he adds. BCCI president Shashank Manohar did indicate in May that things would come to such a pass; and as Modi’s ship listed dangerously, the rats fattening in its depths started abandoning it. The most adroit turnaround was made by Sundar Raman, IPL’s CEO. In May, asked what he thought about Ra-

man physically pushing around Delhi Daredevils official and former cricketer Sunil Walson, Manohar had said that he was “behaving like his boss (Modi)”. Raman got the message, is giving evidence against Modi, and, no wonder, retains his job. The belated action against Modi and the two teams hasn’t absolved the BCCI of its share of blame why did it not detect the illegal activity earlier? “All our decisions were communicated to the IPL and the BCCI,” says a Rajasthan Royals source. “These very people who’re in the BCCI were on the IPL governing council then. How’s it that they find problems now?” Adds lawyer-activist Rahul Mehra, “You can’t take such a decision without giving the other party a chance to be heard. They have no option but to go to court over this.” But Modi seems to be getting a taste of his own medicine. When he was part of the BCCI, he didn’t see any problem in India Cements in which secretary N. Srinivasan is a majority stakeholder owning an IPL team. Now, in trying times, Modi is crying his heart out over this obvious conflict of interest. But it’s obvious wars aren’t won in absentia, certainly not by flailing about on Twitter. Modi needs to join battle at home a remote possibility for a self-exile who wants to set up home in an icy, foreign land.


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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010



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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

Indian Railways gets First Double-Decker AC Train

India is investing in the future of travel for its citizens. With this upgrade, Indian Railways is now reaching International standards

By Swat Khan

KAPURTHALA PUNJAB (AV) : Indian Railways rolled out it’s first air-conditioned double-decker train in Kapurthala district of Jalandhar on Saturday, Oct 16. The new train of eight coaches was made by Rail Coach Factory (RCF) and will run between Howrah and Dhanbad. The train is made up of stainless steel. Each coach can accommodate 128 passengers. Electricity in these coaches will be supplied through power cars attached at both sides of the train. It is designed with all kinds of safety features and will reduce impact on the passengers in case of an accident. Pradeep Kumar, General Manager of Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, told the train will be introduced on stretches not more than 500 km long as there are no sleeper facilities yet. India’s first air conditioned double decker train was rolled out by the Rail Coach Factory (RCF). It will ply between Howrah

and Dhanbad in the Eastern section of Railways. The double decker rake comprises of ten coaches, including two power cars, according to RCF General Manager Pardeep Kumar. Talking to mediapersons here, the GM claimed that these futuristic high speed stainless steel coaches were comparable with the best international trains. He said these double decker coaches had been introduced to cater to the heavy rush of commuters in the high density corridors offering AC travel at a lower cost. The GM said the Railway Board would decide about the AC fare of the double decker train. He said the first double decker train would start running on Howrah-Dhanbad section of eastern railways after clearance from the Commissioner, Railway Safety. He said new design coaches were capable of running at a speed of 160 kmph and had been tested at a speed of 180 kmph. (112 mph).




Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


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No Respite for Australia

By Sreeram Veera

Kohli, Yuvraj and Raina punish Aussie bowling to continue India’s winning spree

on. Post that shot, even his limp pect with such a high asking run- McKay got the ball to straighten towards square-leg seemed to ac- rate, the Indian pair did play a few while the taller Hastings focused quire a swagger. It was indeed a big shots to ease the pressure. Koh- on hitting the deck. The debutant special night for Kohli Starc, who had who has now moved a nice fluent ahead of Rohit Sharma high-arm acin the pecking order. tion and bowled Though India lost Kohli, from close to who holed out to longthe stumps, was on, and MS Dhoni, Raina given short twoguided India home. over spells and India chose to conserve James Hopes, wickets and reserved as ever, bowled their assault for the secquite a few ond half of the chase. slower ones. The They reached 117 for the spinners- Hauloss of the openers and ritz and Steven required another 173 runs Smithfound from 25 overs. turn on this track When Clint Mckay reand didn’t leak moved the openers with too many runs in a double strike - Shikhar the initial overs Dhawan was bowled for as India cona second-ball duck when tinued with the he pushed outside the line consolidation of a delivery that straightmode. ened and M Vijay edged The Australian one to the keeper - India innings had three were wobbling at 35 for 2 distinct phases. from 8.2 overs. It wasn’t They crawled to entirely dissimilar to Aus16 for 2 in eight tralia’s position at the corovers; they then responding stage, and Inconsolidated, dia’s no 3 and no 4 - Virat courtesy a fine Kohli and Yuvraj Singh 144-run partner- revived the innings with Virat Kohli kept India’s chase on track in the second ODI ship between Mia consolidation job. between India vs. Australia, 2nd ODI in Visakhapatnam chael Clarke and They chose to play it Michael Hussey, calmly with singles and li pulled Mitchell Starc for a four to 205 for 3 from 45 overs, before two’s. However, as you would ex- before flicking and square-driving exploding in the death overs. AusJohn Hastings tralia looted 84 runs in the final Need help with an Immigration Matter ? for successive five overs and Cameron White boundaries. Yu- whacked 70 runs in his last 24 devraj whiplashed liveries. It was as brutal as it gets. • Green Cards • US Citizenship • Appeals Hastings over White swung Praveen Kumar for • H-1B, L-1 Visas • Deportation Defense midwicket, lift- two sixes to the straight boundary ed Starc to the in the 48th over before he bossed FREE Consultation* straight bound- Vinay Kumar in some style. There *(Restrictions Apply) ary and swept were four massive sixes against We offer compassionate representation Nathan Hau- the hapless bowler spread over and our fees are very reasonable. ritz for another two overs. He cleared the front four. foot and walloped a full-pitched Australia tried delivery to the straight boundary to keep it as for the first six. The second fell (Attorney at Law) tight, with the into the second tier over long-on seamers hit- and the third was swiped over the ting the back of midwicket boundary. The fourth, 4151 SW Freeway, Ste:600, Houston, TX 77027 length and bowl- off the final ball of the innings, *Licensed by the Supreme Court of New York and admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals. ing as straight showcased his skill: It was yet anNot certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as possible. other full toss and he swat-flicked

VISAKHAPATNAM (Cricinfo): The target of 290 appeared to be stiff, especially when India were wobbling at 35 for 2 in the ninth over, but Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh maintained their sang-froid to get India close before the adventurous Suresh Raina sealed the win in style. Kohli, in particular, impressed. He not only lost Yuvraj in the 34th over with India still 118 runs adrift of the target but also, by then, was suffering from severe cramps and was forced to bat with a runner. If those hurdles fazed him, he didn’t show it and went on to clinch the game in the company of the Raina. Kohli’s nerves, if any, must have eased after Raina collected 17 runs from 38th over of the innings, bowled by James Hopes. Raina struck three fours -a glanced boundary preceded two mowed hits to wide midwicket boundary to reduce the target to 81 from 12 overs and when he picked up two more fours in the 40th over, India required 66 runs from the final ten. Kohli’s personal big moment came in the 42nd over when he brought up his ton with a crisp square-drive and screamed in glee. And the game was all but over in the 43rd over when Kohli swung Clint Mckay for two fours and a massive heaved-six over long-

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it over the wide midwicket boundary. It would be tempting to solely focus on the surge in the last five overs but it was all set up by a superb stand between Hussey and Clarke. The field settings reflected the slowness of the track and the difficulty in run-making. Short midwicket and short cover were retained throughout, and mid-off and mid-on were far straighter than normal. Even MS Dhoni stood up to the stumps to the seamers for a couple of overs. For the spinners, Dhoni had a very straight mid-off and a long-off. The pitch required a batsman to either adopt an unconventional hitting technique to break free from the shackles or use his wrists to work the angles. It was Hussey who increased the run-flow with three crisp shots: In the ninth over he square-drove Praveen to the point boundary and unfurled a cover drive and an ondrive to collect two more fours in the next bowled by Vinay. An inspired Clarke soon produced the shot of the afternoon: A classy onthe-up punchy drive past Praveen that defied the slow pitch. Soon, Clarke was in his element: He often took couple of steps down the track and tried to wrist seam and spin into gaps. One other shot stood out in the first half: Clarke sashayed down the track to lift Yuvraj Singh inside-out to the extra cover boundary. It was a mature show from Clarke in the second half of the game. There might have been a temptation to take risks and worry about the ideal target to set, but he seemed very clear in his head about the way ahead. He continued to deal in singles and worked the angles well. Now and then, he would play a big shot to collect a boundary. You felt all along the afternoon that Clarke was waiting for the Powerplays and he capitalised in style. He crashed Vinay to the cover boundary before nearly decapitating the umpire Billy Bowden with a powerful straight drive. It was around this time that he passed the baton to White.


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Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010


Starving for England, Churchill’s Secret War The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II

Madhusree Mukerjee’s contribution lies in establishing the link between Churchill’s decisions on this score and his worldview. Firdaus Ahmed reviews Churchill’s Secret War.

By Firdaus Ahmed

India’s most widely read historian, Ramchandra Guha rightly praises Madhusree Mukerjee’s book, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II as “a major contribution to Indian history and to history of the Second World War.” The author has convincingly laid the blame for the Bengal famine and the resulting three million deaths at Churchill’s door. Her thesis is that ‘Churchill and his advisers chose to use the resources of India to wage war against Germany and Japan, causing scarcity and inflation in the colony’ that led to 1.5 million deaths by the official account. The ‘deprivation and anarchy of the

Fearing the war coming to India’s doorstep on losing Burma, a ‘scorched earth’ policy was embarked on. Provisions such as rice, transport facilities were removed from coastal Bengal, lest they be acquired by the Japanese who were expected to arrive by sea.

fractious era had torn the fabric of its society’, enabling the ‘divide and rule’ policy that eventuated over time in the mutually antagonistic nations, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The author begins the work with the establishment of the British in Bengal, with Robert Clive’s takeover in 1757. The first famine among a series that reduced India’s prosperity to dependence on British rule was in 1770. Clive, who was once a clerk, returned to become the richest man in Britain. Though a member of the House of Commons, he was tried for corruption but absolved of charges of retaining gifts that were the property of the company. His life befittingly ended in suicide. Fearing the war coming to India’s doorstep on losing Burma, a ‘scorched earth’ policy was embarked on. Provisions such as rice, transport facilities were removed from coastal Bengal, lest they be acquired by the Japanese who were expected to arrive by sea. Over forty rebellions rocked India over the next hundred years till the anniversary of the hundredth battle of Plassey when central and northern India erupted. The Bengal Army being at the center of the ‘Sepoy Mutiny, policies were put in place by the Crown that took over India to keep the Bengali ‘babus’ in check. Later the province was divided along linguistic and religious lines and the capital shifted out of Calcutta to Delhi. The Viceroy’s taking of the colony into World War II without consulting the Congress governments in power set the stage for the famine. Fearing the war coming to India’s doorstep on losing Burma, a ‘scorched earth’ policy was embarked on. Provisions such as rice, transport facilities were removed from coastal Bengal, lest they be acquired by the Japanese who were expected to arrive by sea. The Quit India movement, diversion of resources to the Indian Army fight-

ing in far away theatres around the Mediterranean Sea, printing of money to pay for the purchases and an untimely cyclone conspired to bring on the famine. With the Subhash Bose-led Indian National Army at the gates, insurgents in Bengal preparing to welcome him,

Winston Churchill

and patriots responding to Gandhi’s call of ‘Quit India’, Churchill was called upon to ‘make a choice that would tilt the balance between life and death for millions: whether or not to expend valuable wheat and shipping space on providing famine relief to Bengalis.’ The book’s contribution lies in establishing the link between Churchill’s decisions on this score and his worldview. The author shows that Leopold Amery, Secretary of State for India, and the Viceroy, Wavell, attempted to respond to the famine, but were stymied by a combination of Churchill and his adviser, Lindemann, who achieved peerage as Lord Cherwell. Mukerjee writes, ‘If the United Kingdom had an Achilles’ heel, it was the stomach.’ Having experienced temporary shortages due to German U Boat action in the First World War, the British created stocks to last three months. Churchill appointed Lindemann

to watch over the feeding of Britons. Lindemann, as head of S (Statistics) branch, also prioritised the logistical machinery of warfare. Thus, he was to advise on the utilisation of shipping resources available and lent by the United States, between the equally compelling civil and military demands. Mukerjee makes that case that the ideas of eugenics that Lord Cherwell propounded and the racism these spelt influenced his judgment. While shipping resources were available, these were not diverted to save Bengalis by being deployed to import rice from Australia and elsewhere. This was in consonance with Churchill’s own perverse thinking, expressed in typical Churchillian prose as recorded by Amery in his diaries. An example of Churchill’s thinking on colonies and their inhabitants, is recorded by Amery thus, ‘(Churchill) came very near to suggesting that we really could not let Indian starvation or multiplying too fast interfere with operations.’ The author competently goes into tonnages of shipping, the alternative demands such as the supposed need for creating stockpiles in case the Balkans were liberated, and the rice and wheat that could have been brought in to mitigate the food crisis of 1943 to demolish the view that the famine was yet another work of nature. It was es-

sentially man made, brought on by decisions taken by figures imbued with a racist mentality. Interestingly, Churchill was in the midst of a fight with Hitler, an extremist on this score. The author’s description of the famine is blood curdling. It is a heartening that the democracy has ensured that such a predicament has not recurred in India, even if malnutrition persists as reminder of India’s underdevelopment despite its aspiration for double digit growth rate figures. The author taps the experiences of survivors of the famine, now in the twilight of their lives. Their stories of rural strife and urban horrors of the period make a riveting reading in the two chapters In the village and On the street respectively. The author weaves into the narrative the fallout of the Quit India movement at the local level in the form of a micro nationalist revolt under the local leader Dhara in Tamluk. She leaves the question unanswered as to why the people did not rebel, did not fight for taking over horded stocks. In his review of the book in Outlook, to these Swapan Dasgupta adds another: why the famine never became a pan-Indian issue. His suggestive parting line is that “Mukerjee’s nationalist narrative dosen’t provide the answers but they suggest awkward possibilities.”



Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

ArT & enTerTAInmenT


Devika Bhagat: New Bollywood Writer

The young writer on her screenplay for the forthcoming film Aisha INTERVIEW: How was Aisha conceptualized? I was approached by Rajshree (director) to adapt Jane Austen’s novel Emma to a contemporary Indian setting and I loved the idea. A Georgian-era novel in present India? The period when Austen wrote Emma was characterized by rigid class structures. We set it in Delhi because we Indians are obsessed with marriages and social position. Austen seems to be a Bollywood favorite. More than Austen, it’s her Pride and Prejudice. There was a South Indian film on it and a Doordarshan serial back in the ’80s called Trishna. Austen’s characters transcend time. Was casting a difficult task? In fact, casting for Emma was the easiest as Sonam, our first choice, is an Austen fan. It was finding the producers that was the hard bit.

Why was that so? Women-centric films don’t work in India. The producers liked the story and the script but wanted it all to revolve around a guy! But it turned out to be an allwoman team.

Devika Bhagat a happy young writer that Bollywood has hired her services to write a screenplay for Aisha modeling after Jane Austen’s novel Emma

It was great with an entire female crew including the producer, director, scriptwriter.... How is it being a woman writer in Bollywood? It’s a little difficult because it is a male-dominated industry. I started off writing in 2005 but today it has become easier. You were an assistant director. Yes, the work of an assistant director was very logistic and I was feeling creatively stagnated and needed to write my own script. You have been experimental in your work. I prefer character-oriented screenplays. It is the story which decides whether it’ll be a small project like Manorama Six Feet Under or a mainstream film like Bachna Ae Haseeno. Is creativity sacrificed for commercial considerations? Not for me. When I write, I ensure I’m on the same page as the person I’m writing for.

Indian Drummer to Light up Sydney

NEW DELHI (Outlook): Known as the man who brought the mridangam - a traditional Indian percussion instrument - centrestage, Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani, teams up with Australian jazz band for the upcoming South Asian Arts festival next month in Sydney. With his ensemble Sruthilaya, the master percussionist is collaborating with the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), a band with whom he has been associated with for 15 years, to perform at the Parametta city fest in Sydney this November. “Music is common to all human beings. If the rhythm and melody are perfect, the music will touch audiences anywhere in the world,” the Guru said during his visit to New Delhi recently. Having performed in the past with noted international artists such as Eero Haemmeneimi of the Finland Naada group, Elio Marchesini La Scala percussionist and Livio Magnini of Italy, he says music has no boundaries and Indian music is increasing in popular-

ity, especially in the West. “The Sitar and Tabla are well known. I took up the challenge of Publishing the mridangam,” says Kaaraikkudi Mani whose album recording with vocalist Paul Simon,

Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani

of the famed Simon and Garfunkel duo, along with drummer Jamie

Haddad is set for release soon. The maestro has also set up schools in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kerala, Melbourne, London, Canada and Germany that are managed by his senior students. “We first started playing together some 15 years ago when Indian government invited AAO to perform here to mark the 50th anniversary of Independence,” says Kaaraikkudi Mani. The maestro is booked for concerts in the US in 2012. At the inaugural five-day “Parramasala” festival in Parametta city of Greater Sydney, from November 4, this year, Kaaraikkudi Mani would perform “The Chennai Tapes (Into the Fire) where carnatic music has been given a different interpretation by AAO. Kaaraaikudi together with flautist B V Balasai and Bharatanyatam dancer Rajeswari Sainath, Australian artists Adrian Sherriff, Alister Spence and Sandy Evans will play with indigenous artist Amon Roach at the festival.

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Rajnikanth Shatters Bollywood Records, Earns $45 million

e n t e r tai n m e n t

Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010

IAA's 2010 Series Climax Features Fusion Concert with Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar


Pak Prince Rescues Katrina Kaif

Ustad Zakir Hussain and Sitar Maestro Niladri come to perform in the grand finale of IAA’s successful 2010 series

Robot or Endhiran box office collection was of $45 million. The move is all set to crash all the records at the box-office. The film is a sci-fi flick with extra-ordinary special effects. The film is doing better that other films even after its third week after release. According to N.P. Yadav, a trade analyst, 3 Idiots was the last film that grossed $34 million while Robot has made nearly $45 million since its release on October 1, which is almost double of Dabangg. “It is Rajinikant’s charisma that works in his favour. Moreover it is an out-and-out masala film, with Aishwarya to add to the glamour quotient, the lavish locations and extravagant special effects,” Yadav said. In Tamil Nadu alone, the film collected a total of $34 million crore and almost $11 million from other Southern States. The film is directed by S.Shankar and produced by Kalanidhi Maran and Hansraj Saxena, featuring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya. Rajinikanth is in the double role of Science professor and a robot. The dubbed version in Hindi is Robot. The film has many notable actors including Aishwarya Rai, Danny Denzongpa, Santhanam, Karunas, Kalabhavan Mani, Devadarshini, and Cochin Haneefa. The background score and music is composed by A.R. Rehman.

Rani Caught in Celebrations!

HOUSTON: Indo American Association concludes its 2010 season with a fusion tabla-sitar concert featuring Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla and Niladri Kumar on the sitar on Sunday, October 31 at 6 pm in the Wortham Center. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Ustad Zakir Hussain's contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar in the early 1970s, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Giovanni Hidalgo, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Rennie Harris and the Kodo drummers of Japan. The recipient of countless honors, Zakir has received the titles of Padma Bhushan, in 2002, and Padma Shri, in 1988, becoming the youngest percussionist to be awarded these, given to civilians of merit, by the Indian government. In 1990, he was awarded the Indo-American Award in recognition for his outstanding cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India. In April, 1991, he was presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the President of India, making him one of the

youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India's governing cultural institute. In 2006, he was the recipient of the prestigious Kalidas Samman, an award for artists of exceptional achievement, from the government of Madhya Pradesh. In 2007, readers’ polls from both Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines named him Best World Music and Best Worldbeat Drummer respectively. Niladri Kumar, the son and disciple of Sitar Maestro Pandit Kartick Kumar, is a maverick musician. He started learning the sitar at the tender age of four and did his first public performance at the age of six. Hailed as one of the more serious young exponents of Indian Classical Music, Niladri's flashes of unparalleled brilliance is a result of years of learning and a lineage of five generation of sitar players. This has led to a profound understanding of the artistic aspects & nuances of diverse gharana styles and a mastery of technical skill. In March 2007, Niladri won the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi's “Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” for Instrumental Hindustani Music. “The Sanskriti Award”, “The Jadubhatta Puraskar” and “The MTV IMMIES for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental Album” for his album 'IF', are some of the other awards he has won besides having valued titles like “Shanmukha Shree” & “Surmani” to his credit.

The Prince of Pop, Ali Zafar has rescued Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif from a major accident at Nabha during shooting of romantic comedy Meray Brother Ki Dulhan. Sources said that Ali jumped to rescue the Katrina during the shooting of his upcoming romantic comedy Meray Brother Ki Dulhan of Yash Raj Banner.The incident occured on Tuesday. According to reports, Ali Zafar jumped in to save Katrina when her hair got stuck in a pedestal fan on the set. Ali’s heroic act prevented Katrina from losing her hair and the accident would have been more serious. Ali however got minor bruises on his arm while saving Kaif, said eyewitnesses. Spot boy Raju was also injured in this accident as his hand was also tuck in the fan, said reports. Eyewitness said that Kaif was frightened with it and expressed her gratitude to Ali by giving him a hug. Ali Zafar might not be enough lucky as Sunil Dutt when he dare courage to save Nargis in raging fire on the sets of Mother India and thereby won her love. 30 year old Pakistani actor, singer Ali Zafar, who made his cinematic debut two months ago with the reasonably-well comedy “Tere Bin Laden,” has begun shooting his first fullfledged Bollywood film MBKD. Ali Abbas Zafar is the director of this movie. Aditya Chopra is the producer and the film music is composed by Sohail Sen. ‘Mere Brother ki Dulhan’ is a romantic comedy film. Preity Zinta will also be seen a new glamorous role in this film. The Director, Ali Abbas Zafar, has been with the Yash Raj Banner for many years and has assisted on films such as Badmaash Company, New York, Tashan and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.

Mallika Promotes Her Movie Hiss

Bollywood Actress Rani Mukherj ee celebrates in Mumbai on the occ asion of the Hindu Festival of Dusseh ra.

Indian Bollywood actress Mallika ke during Sherawat poses with a toy sna ad. erab Hyd in nce a press confere eduled Sherawat’s new film Hisss is sch 22. r obe Oct on ase for global rele



Indo American News • Friday, October 22 , 2010




Indo American News, October 22, 2010 Section B