E-newspaper 01262018

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Friday, January 26, 2018 • Vol. 37, No. 4

Indo American News READ US ONLINE at www.indoamerican-news.com | Published weekly from Houston, Texas. USA 7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 • PH: 713 789 6397 • Fax: 713 789 6399 • indoamericannews@yahoo.com

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Pongal @ Sri Meenakshi Temple

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January 26, 2018



January 26, 2018


Sundari Mundari’ing Away to Glory at the Annual Lohri Celebrations By Punjabi Culture Club tively in PCC activities. We all recognize that active participation of young adults is a must to pass on our culture and traditions to our future generation”. He then urged the young adults to come forward and help organize the next baisakhi event. Finally, it was time for the traditional bonfire to be lit. This was a part, which everyone was so looking forward to. People gathered around the rising flames, singing peppy Punjabi folk songs. The environment was electrified with the popular ‘Sundari Mundri Ho’ (popular Punjabi song sung during



Bonfire celebrations, gur rewri, puffed rice, peanuts, popcorns, and some bhangra & gidda - all of these are significant components associated with one of India’s favorite festivalsLohri. This popular festival marks the end of winter and serves as a traditional welcome of longer days, the beginning of summer, with the sun’s journey towards the northern hemisphere. Lohri is also a way to spread the joy of seeing the sparkling pearls of rabi crops. The unique regional celebration of lohri is quite diverse according to the geographical regions of India. The Punjabi Culture Club of Houston (PCC) held its annual lohri event on Saturday, January 20, at Nirvana Restaurant. To ensure that the crowd of the second generation Indians is high, the event was kept free for anyone below the age of 45 years. The Punjabi Culture Club of Houston has been very dynamic and full of vim and vigor when it comes to organizing these events. Members of the PCC executive committee are: Bal SareenPresident, Krishan Bansal- Vice President, Ravi Goel- Treasurer, Neelu Sharma- Secretary, Balwant Khurana- Past President. The lohri event started at 6.30 pm, as planned. As the guests walked in, dressed in their impressive attire, they were greeted with some mouth-watering appetizers, and some traditional Punjabi folk songs played by DJ Rishabh. Their greetings of Happy Lohri coupled with their chitchatting glory, were soon distracted to the dhol beats, having the guests nudge their shoulders and move their feet. The Funjabi heat was on and people seemed to be getting into

Neelu Sharma (left), who has successfully emceed many PCC events over the last three decades, along with her daughter and co-emcee, Dr. Namrata Sharma Goel.

PCC’s executive committee. From left: Balwant Khurana- Past President, Krishan Bansal- Vice President, Ravi Goel- Treasurer, Neelu Sharma- Secretary.

Everyone gathered outside for the bonfire.

high spirits. The crowd which was enthusiastic and pepped up by now was welcomed by Neelu Sharma, a long time Houstonian and the owner of Ashneel Travel N’ Tours. Neelu, who has successfully emceed many PCC events over the last three decades, shared with everyone the importance of lohri and makar sankranti, which would follow the next day. After this warm welcome, her daughter and coemcee, Dr. Namrata Sharma

Goel, who holds a double board certification in Nephrology & Internal Medicine, introduced the Executive committee. Dr.Namrata enjoys emceeing as much as her mother, and she has been supportive in organizing various events and making them successful. Her quick introduction was followed by Krishan Bansal addressing the guests. He mentioned, “One of the major goals of the executive committee this year is to put in our best efforts to attract young adults, so that they participate ac-

lohri), as people orbited around the flames offering popcorn and gajak. The chant didn’t just fade in there, as people continued rejoicing by singing Punjabi lok sangeet until dinner was served. The muchanticipated traditional meal course truly lit up everyone’s spirits even further. The scrumptious spread catered by Nirvana also consisted of the traditional makki di roti and sarson da saag. The delectable meal further infused energy into the event and got people dancing

till the wee hours, to some peppy numbers played by the DJ. The lohri event was celebrated with much pomp and fervor, and helped people take a break from their busy lives and reunite with their friends and family.


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January 26, 2018



HOUSTON: The lingering ef-

fects of the ice storm, cold and rainy weather and people down with the raging flu virus were some of the reasons that affected the low turnout for the 69th Indian Republic Day celebrations that the India Culture Center held last Saturday afternoon, January 20 at the usual venue, the Stafford Civic Centre on Cash Road. All told, throughout the six hour event, about 1,800 people are estimated to have visited the setup of booths and a stage show. The thin crowds were disheartening to both the organizers who had worked hard to organize the event, and the vendors who set up their wares and services. Many have been pleased with the attendance at ICC’s other signature event on the previous Independence Day and expected more of the same. But this one echoed back to the same event held in 2014 at the Bayou City Event Center near the Astrodome that also brought in dismal crowds, though the arrangements were well done. Then the reason was the event’s move to an unfamiliar and distant location. Since then, the event was revved up with a huge digital screen backdrop onstage and contests for the children along with some better known performers to close out the evening, but this has normally been for the Independence Day program in August. The Republic Day program has always been less attended. Whatever the

January 26, 2018


ICC Republic Day Program Falls Short on Attendance

reasons, the Directors of the ICC were murmuring about what they could do to revive this celebration which, in New Delhi, is a massive parade of floats depicting all parts of the country, marchers, weaponry, fly overs and acts like motorcycle balancing riders. Perhaps a parade and a fair atmosphere is what are needed. All the same, the organizers, led by new ICC President Nisha Mirani (who was the Event Chair along with Rafi Ansar) did an excellent job of bringing in kids and their parents for their parts of the stage shows.

The theme for the event was “Hum sub ek hai” (we all are one). Togetherness was the focus as the program began with the popular Ismaili matki band rousing the hall and was followed by speeches by Deputy Indian Consul General Surendra Adhana who talked about modern India and how NRIs have been instrumental in the process. He later said he felt he was immersed in the community after having been here just a year. Nira Patel emceed the show, alternating with former ICC Trustee Swapan Dhairyawan and Mirani. Young Esha Dhairyawan sang the Indian

National Anthem and Shreya sang the American one. Candidates running for political office, like former Harris County Sherriff Adrian Garcia, FBISD Trustee K.P. George, Toni Wallace and Juli Mathew had a chance to speak and meet with the community. The Ismaili band also performed a patriotic performance onstage, with members dressed like Indian Independence heroes like Mahatma Gandhi. There were a total of 22 different dance groups performing but unfortunately, kids from two schools could not attend due to the flu virus which is three

Photos: Raghu Thakkar

times more rampant this year than last. The musical portion (organized by Hemang Thakkar) featured two young singers, Akila and Sareen, who sang patriotic songs. Towards the evening time, the crowd had grown a bit and the Antakshari (organized by Ajit Patel and Rafi Ansar) drew in a spirited participation. There were three teams onstage and the audience was the fourth. For an hour, it was a fun exchange between all the teams singing songs from different eras of Indian music. Each participant got a small gift bag from ICC Trustee Praful Gandhi.

Grand Celebrations of Andal Kalyanam and Pongal Festival at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY BHARGAVI GOLLA


Andal Kalyanam: Sri Meenakshi Temple Society celebrated the sacred wedding of Andal/Goda with Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Lord Ranganatha on Saturday, January 13. Andal, after observing the Paavai Nombu (vows) during the Dhanur month (December 15th to January 15th), merged with Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam. This union is Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 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, TX 77036


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celebrated as Andal kalyanam. Aandal is an 8th century Tamil saint and one of the twelve Alwars (saints) and the only woman Alwar of Vaishnavism. These twelve alwars were installed at Sri Meenakshi Temple recently as part of CTRP project. She composed the

Thiruppavai (30 songs in praise of Lord Narayana) which are steeped in devotion and contain the esoteric truths revealed in the Vedas. Priests decorated Utsava Murthis of Lord Ranganatha and Andal

beautifully and placed in the center of the main temple. Devotees gathered at the main temple and were enthralled to witness the holy occasion of Andal Kalyanam and

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January 26, 2018

Grand Celebrations of Andal Kalyanam and Pongal Festival at Sri Meenakshi Temple CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

to receive the celestial blessings. It started with Chairman Dr. Padmini welcoming the devotees and a board member Dr. Saranathan explaining the story of Sri Andal. Priests Pavan Kumar Sri Bhashyam, Sriman Narayana and Sridharan Raghavan performed the authentic divine wedding ceremony after the initial rituals including Sankalpam, Vishwaksena Aradhana (Obstacle removal) and Punyahavachanam (purification). Priests along with devotees recited Sri Andal’s Thiruppavai and Thiruppaan Alwar’s ten Pasurams. Later Priest Sridhar Raghavan explained the meaning Thiruppaan Alwar’s Pasurams the principal purport in them is: “Perumal is the principal supreme entity and our aims and aspirations should be to attain Him through total surrender to him signified by our placing all of ourselves at his lotus feet.” As part of kalyanam, the priests performed homam while devotees chanted Varanamayiram, Andal’s narration of her dream and experiences with her friends on the way to getting married to Lord. Then it concluded with exchange of coconuts, and final chanting by priest Manickasundara Bhattar with a praise of goddess Meenakshi. Sheila Sriram from RAC Committee thanked the event coordinators (Bhargavi Golla and Preetha

Sreenivasan), many volunteer devotees who brought prasadams, staff, silpis and priests at Sri MTS.

Pongal Celebration: Despite cold weather, it was a full house with enthusiastic devotees participating in outdoor Pongal celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple on January 14. Pongal is a popular harvest festival of south India that marks the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere. It’s celebrated to reaffirm and appreciate the many significant sacrifices of our ancestors, quite like Thanksgiving in America. Pongal is the only festival of Hindus that follows a solar calendar. More than 90 families, some from out of town, came to prepare pongal in the Raja veedhi, in front of the main temple. Pongal celebrations were in the Raja Veedhi for the first time this year after it was constructed as part of CTRP project. Though the day started out cold with temperature in the for-

ties, Surya Bhagavan (Sun God) graced us with his bright presence. The temperature soon warmed up to the cozy heat from all the wood burning stoves & so did the tempo with traditional pongal music & folk dances by energetic devotees. Pongal was cooked by each family in beautifully decorated brass pots on stove made with clay and wood used as fuel. Rice and milk are boiled in a pot till the pot starts overflowing. The overflowing pot symbolizes fulfillment. When milk started to boil over, everyone shouted out “pongalo pongal”. The ambience was very similar to what you would see in the villages of South India as per feedback from several devotees. Kannappan read the proclamation received from Mayor of Pearland, Tom Reid proclaiming Jan 14 as Thai Pongal Day. “In Pearland as the Indian American community celebrate Pongal and celebrate the festival days with colorful

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan

decorations, cooking, and with elders treating younger members of the family with gifts to show their love for the next generation” Priests offered the delicious Pongal prasadam to all four deities inside the main Temple: Siva, Meenakshi, Venkateswara and Padmavathi with a special aarathi. Padmini Nathan, Kamala Raghavan and Ram Reddy were the coordinators of the Pongal celebration. Chairman Dr. Padmini thanked Silpis Ramanathan, Arumugam and Viswanathan for the hard work in setting up the stoves and beautiful decorations, which was a visual treat. She also thanked Sheila for all the prep work and Malathi for audio and Rani and her team for feeding big crowd with a smile. Thanks to our priests, staff, board members & volunteers without whose help this would have not been possible.


January 26, 2018





January 26, 2018

Solve Word Search & the Names of the Winners will be published in Our Next Issue

Find 15 words on Indian Republic Day: • • • • • • • • • •

Ambedkar Bravery British History Indian January National Parade Republic Twenty Six

R���� �� W��: • Like us on Facebook, Indo-American News • Solve the Word Search puzzle • Email us the screenshot of our liked Facebook Page, and the solved puzzle at indoamericannews@yahoo.com • Email by Wednesday, January 31, 2018 • For first 3 entrees only, 1 submission per month, 1 per Household

Last Week Word Search Winners

1) Krinna Patel 2) Madiaah Faruqi 3) Urvashi Doshi


January 26, 2018



10 January 26, 2018


Houston Maharashtra Mandal Celebrates Makar Sankranti 2018 with Overwhelming Response BY VARSHA HALABE

HOUSTON: As the shortest day

passes us by, the days start getting longer and before you know it, it is Makar Sankrant/Pongal/Udagi that marks the passing of the Sun into the Makar Rashi (Capricorn). This festival is celebrated on January 14th of each year and Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) celebrated it on the Eve of in the gym and cafeteria of West Memorial Elementary School in Katy. The School was on an unassuming, quiet residential street and children and adults were flying kites on the playing fields of the School as the shadows lengthened. The entrance was decorated with garlands of flowers on the door frame and Rangoli on the floor and traditional Shehnai music was playing in the background as one entered. Young and old were in traditional black sarees or churidars and the HMM Committee, as always, welcomed everyone warmly with a traditional Namaskar followed by “Tilgul ghya aani goad goad bola” in Marathi, meaning help yourselves to the sweet made out of sesame(til) and brown sugar (gul) and talk sweetly to everyone through the year. All the ladies’ foreheads were adorned with red kumkum and yellow haldi (turmeric) and all attendees with fragrant

essence put on their hands and hailed with a shower of rosewater. This was the auspicious start to HMM first event of the year. The set up was in two halls. The first hall had the stage which was decorated with a colorful back-

drop and was the spot for small babies under the age of one to have their “Bornahan” (“Bor” meaning a type of edible berry found in India and “nahan” meaning shower) and this ceremony involves pouring sweets, berries, sugarcane and

money on the babies’ heads since this is their first season of harvest and it symbolically means that they should grow and flourish in life. The stage was also the spot for babies and toddlers to have their photos taken with jewelry made up of sesame seeds. This is yet another Sankrant tradition since sesame is typically eaten in the winter to provide enough heat for the body. There were musical chairs with upbeat Bollywood music and games for kids arranged in the first hall that kept the kids busy and smiling. Swarali Panse, a talented teenager, hosted a Quilling workshop that was attended by more than twenty-five kids. The first hall had stalls with jewelry hand-made by Koumudi Ketkar, a stall hosted by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangha, Aloha Mind Math, Himalayan Blooms selling attractive woolens, Sheetal’s Skincare Studio, Geetham Silks selling beautiful sarees, and the Citizens Climate Lobby that enabled those who wished to express their opinion on Climate change to their local Congressman. The adjacent hall had food stalls selling all kinds of traditional and street food that included vada-pav, corn bhel, modak, gul polis, green peas kachori, sev batata puri, samosa chaat, malpoa, brownies, cakes, mastani, falooda, solkadhi

and much more! It was a complete treat for food-lovers and mouthwatering snacks kept people moving from stall to stall until their stomachs could handle no more. There was a prize for the best decorated stall and the most popular stall decided by voting. There was a raffle prize too! Cold weather made tea and coffee inevitable and it was served incessantly through the evening by HMM. The food stalls were run by culinary enthusiasts who are members of the HMM. The stalls were arranged according to the food served such that there was a good mix of sweets and savory. Each stall was numbered in order to aid the voting for the best stall. The flavored modak stall was voted the best stall and the corn bhel stall was voted as most popular. Over 450 people attended this event, making it a huge success. By, a little past eight o’clock, the food stalls were sold out and started wrapping up for the evening. Attendees looked content and went home with a copy of the upcoming HMM events for the year and an annual calendar printed in Marathi, Kalnirnay (literally meaning the decisions made by Time) listing month by month festivities and birth and death anniversaries of all famous saints, kings, national leaders and freedom-fighters of India.



January 26, 2018

Announcing Daya’s 2018 Board of Directors


Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

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Over 25 years experience


For Any Ceremony Contact Pradip Pandya 832 466 9868

HOUSTON: Since 1996, Daya

has empowered South Asian survivors who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya provides culturally specific services including counseling, case management, and legal advocacy for survivors of abuse. On January 13, 2018, the Daya Board unanimously approved the new 2018-2019 Board of Directors. New members, Mary John, Aparna Asthana, Shazma Matin, and Dua Quraishi were inducted. The 2018-2019 Board of Directors now includes Sheela Rao- President, Fatima Mohiuddin- President Elect, Anasuya Kabad- Treasurer, Mary John- Secretary, Sesh BalaMember, Audit & Personnel Committees, Aparna Asthana- Member, Audit & Outreach Committees, Dr. Vatsala Bhaskaran- Member, Client Services Committee, Jyoti Kulkarni- Member, Personnel Committee, Shazma Matin- Member, Outreach Committee, Lakshmy Parameswaran- Founding Member, Client Services Committee, Dua Quraishi- Member, Outreach Committee, Viji RamanFounding Member, Personnel Committee, and Annu Rao NaikMember, Outreach Committee. The 2018-2019 Advisory Board includes Sarah Abraham, Dr. Chitra Divakaruni, Indrani Goradia, Bimla Jain, Anita Manoharan, Dr. Shaila Patel, Dr. Dinesh Pejaver, Devika Ramchandani, Stuti Tre-

han Patel, and Charu Verma. In 2017, under the leadership of Board President, Sesh Bala and Executive Director, Rachna Khare, Daya served a record breaking 394 clients. This increase is due to Daya’s ongoing community partnerships, social media presence and strong collaboration with Houston’s mainstream and ethnic agencies as well as South Asian women’s organizations nationwide. Daya strengthened its wrap around services to survivors of domestic violence through a variety of ways. Senior Director of Legal Services and Education, Dr. Nusrat Ameen provided 218 legal referrals and Daya provided 48 months of supportive housing to survivors fleeing domestic violence. Daya Director of Outreach, Irfana Hussain increased community outreach through 217 events reaching over 4,000 people with materials and awareness. Daya believes that awareness will allow the community to end the stigma around violence and ultimately prevent these horrendous acts from occurring. Toward this goal, Daya also launched the Start the Conversation series, Daya’s lecture and event series where audiences consider, analyze and confront the issues, challenges and complexities that affect the community. Daya held 5 such events ranging in topics from mental health stigma to


HOUSTON: The members of

the Telugu Cultural Organization (TCA) are hereby calling for a General Body Meeting in accordance with the by-laws of the organization (which requires a 10% majority) on this Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 2:00 PM at Sri Krishna Vrindavan located at 10223 Synott Rd, Sugar Land, TX 77498. The stated meeting has been called to rectify the discrepancy between the results announced by the election committee on the night of January 13, 2018 during Sankranti celebrations and the subsequent email communication by the trustees of the organization on January 21st 2018. This controversial email fueled the general body to file an

online petition to call for a general body meeting signed by over 25% of the members of the organization. The meeting has been initiated by the family of one of the candidate, who was declared elected by the election committee and annulled by the trustees due to membership issue. The agenda for the general body meeting is to revoke the annulment of the candidate and initiate no-confidence motion on

the prevalence of sexual assault in the community. Many of the local service agencies and professionals partner with Daya as an integral resource when it comes to culturally competent services to South Asian and other similar immigrant groups. This is not surprising considering the Board, Advisory Board and Staff, together, represent the diversity of South Asia in terms of region, religion and language; the group also represents both the older and younger generation in its makeup. Daya looks forward to a productive 2018! ABOUT DAYA Now in its twenty first year, Daya empowers south Asian survivors who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya empowers these survivors by offering counseling and advocacy, promoting community awareness and by advocating at the policy level. Daya’s approach fosters individual freedom and respect leading to healthy families.

members undermining the democratic values of its constitution. The general body requests all of its members to attend this historical general body meeting with their valid identification card and the membership card, if possible to preserve the core values and principles of the organization.

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14 January 26, 2018




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January 26, 2018


Foundation for India Studies Participates in 24th Annual MLK Grand Parade for Seventh Year in a Row

From left: Ravi Brahmbhatt, Pradip Brahmbhatt, Sudhakar Chinasumala, Raghavender Nednur, Neelaveni Oruganti, Krishna Vavilala, Lalith Chinasumala, Pranav Konduri, Rohan Perumaalla, Adarsh Nednur, Saureesh Aparasu, Praveen Kasthala, Aakarsha Saridey, Krishna Marepalli, Hamsini Perumaalla, Keerthana Chinasumala, Rajender Aparasu, Kaumudi Saridey, Shraavya Aparasu, Satish Saridey.


HOUSTON: On an unexpectedly

clear weather day of fifteenth of January 2018 thousands of Houstonians came together in Midtown Houston to celebrate a momentous occasion, Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. FIS joined the parade to honor a great man who adopted Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence in his struggle for racial equality and Civil Rights in America akin to Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle for independence in India against the British using non-violent means such as passive resistance.

FIS was a past recipient of the Grand Marshal Award in 2015 under the Chairman ship of Raghavender Nednur, a unique honor bestowed by the MLK Grande Parade Committee. In some years, Krishna Vavilala and Suresh Shah walked in the parade dressed as Gandhi to send out a message that people in both the countries, America and India are committed to a common desire and walk the same path to achieve Peace and Prosperity. .The parade atmosphere was festive with several school bands and floats playing music and dancing. People lined up on the streets cheering the parade participants, MLK Jr’s Birthday being a declared Government holi-

day, thousands of people were able to participate in the celebration. The 24th Annual 2018 MLK Grand Parade this year gives a special meaning to all Indo- Americans because of the parade’s theme “The Color of Unity” that resonates well with India’s Constitutional Unity in Diversity. Event Chair, Raghavender Nednur and CoChair, Aakarsha Saridey appreciate the enthusiasm of the participants and recognize the increased participation of youngsters this year. To know more about FIS, visit WWW.Foundationforindiastudies. org or call Krishna Vavilala at 713795-5169


CALL KHAN 281-818-8616


18 January 26, 2018 Modi Makes Global Local


I love Aziz Ansari. As a fledgling

The expectation that 1.3-billion-strong India will be one of the

key drivers of global economic growth and prosperity, and its leader will play a key role in shaping global options in politics and economics, is what made Prime Minister Narendra Modi a big draw at the plenary session of the Davos summit this year. Modi did not disappoint his audience, expounding views that took in the global big picture, connected them to India’s priorities, and left the audience with the conviction that India, at least, is moving in the right direction. This is a welcome result for the first speech by a prime minister of India at the World Economic Forum in two decades. Modi spoke of climate change, protectionism and terror as the three big challenges to humanity’s interconnected existence. India’s concern on climate change is music to the ears of the developed world, especially after US President Trump’s retrograde moves on the subject. Similar is the effect when the threat to an open, rules-based world economy that the Trumpian approach of America First poses finds resistance in India’s stand against protectionism, after Chinese President Xi Jinping made support for globalisation his main theme at Davos last year. Again, terror is both a global as well as a local problem that the world today appreciates as a serious challenge. By linking it to the continuum of intelligent policy that promotes vigorous economic activity of the sort that would combat climate change as well as boost coordinated global growth, Modi presented convergence of India’s priorities with those of the world’s enlightened elites. While this is most welcome, India would also be under greater pressure to live up to the expectations aroused by the grand vision outlined at Davos. The steady rise in import tariffs that India has been effecting of late, on things ranging from steel and mobile phones to solar panels, sporadic outbursts of vigilante violence that feeds alienation of the kind terror feeds on, and state governments reneging on power purchase agreements with renewable energy producers are out of sync with such a vision. -economictimes.com

stand-up comic from the subcontinent myself, Aziz symbolised everything a young, male Indian comic could hope to achieve. He was on one of the best TV shows of all time — The Office. He followed that up with Master of None — a truly insightful take on what it meant to be a late twenty-something hetero-normative cisgender male who understood that his kind wasn’t the centre of the universe. He is one of the most successful stand-up comedians today, with four specials including one at Madison Square Garden — the ultimate dream for anyone in the field. He was super successful, and he did it not by being your typical alpha-male, but by being a feminist; by speaking up for gay rights, by being a brown, Muslim man who went far beyond the stereotype. He was a “certified woke bae”. Then the Babe article happened. A 23-year-old photographer from Brooklyn, named “Grace” in the article, accused Aziz of taking her on the worst possible date ever. What was meant to be a memorable night became an unforgettable one for all the wrong reasons. In stark contrast to his brand of comedy and public image, Aziz came across as aggressive, entitled and a complete boor. One might even say he was channelling his The Office character Tom Haverford’s early arc. One point people are raising against Grace is that if she wasn’t enjoying what was going on, she should have left. She should have said an unequivocal “no”. It’s important to remember that she was meeting Aziz Ansari, her screen idol. The power dynamic is very obviously skewered in his favour. Maybe she didn’t want to disappoint him. Maybe, in the moment, she didn’t realise that what was happening to her was not right, and was overwhelmed. Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. People are also saying Grace’s account diminishes everything rape survivors and sexual assault victims are fighting for. The magnitude of what happened to

Aziz Ansari

Grace definitely pales in comparison to some of the shockers we read in the papers every day. Grace was, after all, a consenting adult who had gone on a date with a celebrity and had a horrible experience. However, the horrible date and the behaviour she faced while on it is a slippery slope to actual assault. If we can nip such behaviour in the bud by starting a conversation about it, that is a good thing. Is Aziz guilty of sexual assault? No. Is Aziz guilty of being aggressive, entitled and hypermasculine? Yes. Is it fair to blame Aziz alone? No. The problem here is much larger than Aziz and his apparent behaviour that night. It is that most men do not see anything wrong with such behaviour. She had gone to his apartment. They engaged in oral sex. “If she didn’t want it, then why did she go up in the first place?” The fact that consent is not a permanent fixture, and that people can change their minds midway through the act, is a concept that is lost on many people. Sexual coercion is also considered an acceptable way of getting into someone’s pants. A lot of this has to do with societal conditioning: Men are expected to take the lead in the bedroom, women are expected to be coy. So, you have to pressure the other person into doing things they might not want to do. This behaviour is what needs to change. For a vast majority of India, stalking someone is considered an acceptable

way of professing your love for them. However, that doesn’t make it right, does it? Jameela Jamil, who appears on the TV show The Good Place, makes a very valid point when she writes, “With regard to consent… it’s important to everyone involved, but especially, in my opinion, if that person is the one to be penetrated. You want to enter them. You best ensure you are a welcome guest, not someone who just begged, pressured, guilt-tripped or harassed their way inside.” She goes on to talk about how “our society, the internet, and even our most mainstream media, constantly perpetuate the idea that men do not need to worry about what our needs and boundaries are. They just need technical consent, however that consent is acquired”. This is key to our behaviour in the bedroom; it should be your duty to make sure your partner is completely there and willing, and not feel pressured into doing something he or she doesn’t want to do. I understand dating and sex is a minefield, but it’s always more enjoyable when everyone involved is fully on board. When Grace messaged Aziz about how she felt about the night before, Aziz said he was deeply saddened, apologised for his behaviour and said he will take her words to heart. In his statement that came out post the Babe article, Aziz maintains that he felt the encounter was completely consensual. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whetherAziz meant what he said about taking her words to heart, or if he was just paying lip service to a cause he publicly identifies with. I can only hope Aziz is as “woke”as the media dubs him to be and introspects about what he did. As far as I’m concerned, he should never have been within earshot of something like this. Because I expected better from him. Because, like I said at the start of this article, I love Aziz. Saju, 31, is a filmmaker, writer and stand-up comic based in Mumbai. -indianexpress.com


CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: ASEEM KULKARNI ®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 4 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: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www.indoamerican-news.com



January 26, 2018


Benny J Tillman Becomes the Executive President of VFA


OUSTON: Benny J Tillman (Balabhadra Bhattacarya Dasa) has become the Executive President of Vedic Friends Association beginning January 1 this year. Previously director of VFA Atlanta, Tillman is the first African American President of the organization. The Vedic Friends Association (VFA) is an international body of people who have embraced the Vedic culture or deeply respect the Vedic vision and way of life, including its systems of yoga, meditation, pranayama, languages and literature, Ayurveda, astrology, vegetarianism, forms of worship and spiritual knowledge. The VFA is committed to the promotion and preservation of Vedic heritage, civilization and culture. It was formed in 2002 in Detroit, MI. He is an avid reader and preacher of Bhagavath Gita, he specializes in engaging the youth in Dharmic activities, and he is very eager to network with likeminded people and organization for serving their socio-

spiritual needs. He is a direct disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). Prior to joining the Hare Krishna Movement, he was a successful entertainer in the Atlanta music scene during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Tillman is one of the most respected leaders in theAtlanta Hindu community. He frequently gives lectures at major Hindu events as well as lectures at local universities such as Morehouse, Emory, Georgia Tech and Clark Atlanta universities. In his own words “I am looking forward to creating a signature VFA program in Atlanta in August 2018, which will showcase the true spirit and dimensions of Vedic Hindu Dharma. We also plan to take this up in other parts of USA as we gather strength. I am thankful to our past president Stephen Knapp (Srinandanandana Dasa) for forming the organization in 2002 and bringing to us. I am looking forward to the guidance of VFA board of directors, comprising of Chairman David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), Co-Chairman Stephen Knapp (Srinandanandana Dasa) and Co-Chairman Jeffrey Armstrong (Kavindra Rishsi)”. Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley), Chairman of VFA, said, “VFA is the first western Vedic association that brings together all serious minded students and teachers in the Vedic field. It addresses Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Jyotish and all aspects of

Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma. Over the last two decades VFA has created a firm foundation for future growth with a dynamic and experienced team of instructors and guides. Now VFA is launching several important new initiatives to take the organization to a new and transformative level of expansion and development”. VFA has established a network of Vedic practitioners from a diverse assortment of Vedic traditions who could work together to help show the ways that these traditions have to offer for humanity to reach their higher potential. Conferences that are organized by the VFA, discuss various points on how to spread an honest understanding of the Vedic traditions and have turned out to be successful. Many VFA writers/lecturers have been invited and gone on lecture tours in India to help show the influence of India’s ancient Vedic culture in the West, which was also very inspiring to the Indians that attended. For further details visit http:// vedicfriendsassociation.org

Indian Americans Continue to Make Their Mark in the US BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA “IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA”

HOUSTON: In the past decade or

so, Indians have been showing up in key positions all across this country and not only in business but especially in entertainment, politics and the arts. Taking center stage like a bombshell, it was just four years ago that Satya Narayana Nadella, 50, became the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. A little more than a year later, Sundar Pichai, now 46, became the CEO of Google in October 2015. It is not uncommon to find Indians in key positions in the engineering and technology fields, especially in information technology and many have made their fortunes in it. Among those are Vinod Khosla, 63, the cofounder of Sun Microsystems; Gururaj Deshpande the co-founder of the now defunct internet equipment manufacturer Sycamore Networks; G ‎ irish Rishi, CEO of JDA Software which offers supply-chain solutions and Sanjiv Sidhu who founded another supply chain management and once mighty firm, i2 Technologies. But it is heartening to see an increasing number who are making their marks nationally in other fields. The standouts among them are mostly in politics where even a decade ago, few ventured or had a chance among the mainstream crowd, enter-

Stay tuned every Sunday,


to from 2.30pm to 3.30pm



Ajit Jain

tainment and business. While some entertainers have steadily been rising on the little and big screens, like Kal Penn, Asiz Ansari and, Manish Dayal or on the comedy circuit like Russell Peters, Hari Kondabolu, Alingon Mitra, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Rajiv Satyal, Asif Ali, Lilly Singh, Aparna Nancherla and Hasan Minhaj, a really big sensation is still on the distant horizon. Some of the names that have been in the news lately feature mostly in the world of lower levels of politics, but their numbers are steadily increasing in a prominent way. Take for example Raj Shah, 33, the White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary who assumed office in September 2017. He has been in the news lately to defend President Trump’s callous attitude towards immigration

Rajiv Shah

after “the shithole countries” incident and then how “Democrats blinked” during the recent government shutdown crisis. He was the first IndoAmerican to gaggle with the press on Air Force One. Shah’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mumbai in late the 1970s, living first in Chicago and then in Connecticut, where Shah was born and raised. He studied government at Cornell University, and received his bachelor’s degree in 2006. He is not to be confused with Rajiv Shah, 44, who was appointed as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director and Research Director. He is a physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of CONTINUED ON PAGE 20



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20 January 26, 2018


HOUSTON: On January 13, high

school students of the Youth Development Leadership Program had the honor of meeting Dr. Arun Pasrija at CHR Solutions. Dr. Pasrija is the President and CEO of CHR Solutions, a leading, full service provider of technology services and software solutions to communication service providers across the U.S. In addition to his entrepreneurial achievements, he is an ardent proponent of developing and encouraging younger generations as president of TiE, the world’s largest entrepreneurship-fostering non-profit.Dr. Pasrija’s presentation


Meaningful Productivity

Dr. Arun Pasrija

included vital messages on business and entrepreneurship. He discussed statistics regarding the funding cycle

and technology adoption rate, both of which play an essential role in the business planning process, as well as current entrepreneur demographics. Interestingly, immigrants were found to be “twice as likely to start a business than a native-born American,” an encouraging dynamic for an audience of young Indian Americans. Additionally, Dr. Pasrija emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship in a society continuously seeking advancement both technologically and economically. In his words, entrepreneurship “improves productivity, spurs innovation, and creates jobs.”

This discussion was followed by a tour of CHR Solution’s elaborate facility, including a walk through their powerful data center and multi-screen display that allows them to monitor servers and relevant data. Throughout the presentation, what truly resonated with us was Dr. Pasrija’s disclosure of what it takes to be an effective entrepreneur. In addition to hard skills, such as education and experience, and soft skills, including leadership, social skills, and public speaking, every entrepreneur must harbor self-awareness and passion. Starting a business goes beyond mon-

Indian Americans Continue to Make Their Mark in the US

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2010-2015. After leaving USAID, Shah founded Latitude Capital a private equity firm that works on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia. Shah was named as president of the Rockerfeller Foundation in January 2017, replacing Judith Rodin, who has held the role since 2005. And then there is Ajit Pai, 45, who has gained notoriety in his role as the first Indian-American to become the Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in dissolving the net-neutrality rules which made sure that there was equal access to the speed of data transmission over the internet. He previously worked as a lawyer for Verizon Communica-

Ajit V Pai

tions. His parents, both physicians, are Konkani immigrants from India who came to the US in 1971. Pai was born in Buffalo, New York, attended Harvard University in 1994 with a BA in social studies. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. And in the field of business, in

Raj Shah

Sunil Mehta

a league of his own, is Ajit Jain, 66, who was only last week named as the vice chairman for insurance operations by Berkshire Hathaway’s founder and chairman, the legendary Warren Buffet. He will share the helm of the giant holding company with Gregory Abel, 55, who was named the vice chairman for non-

insurance business operations. He was born and raised as a Jain in Orissa and is a strict vegetarian. He graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 1972 with a BTech degree in Mechanical Engineering. On a smaller scale, but significant nonetheless, especially to Houstonians, is the purchase announced

Picture Above: YLDP Houston students with Dr. Arun Pasrija, President and CEO of CHR Solutions

etary success; it’s about the people. It’s about doing meaningful work to solve someone’s problem or to improve someone’s situation. As high schoolers, it is often drilled into our heads that we need to get good grades, have a good rank, and go to a topnotch college; not that we need to have, yes a practical life, but also one with meaning and passion. Through our life’s journey, Dr. Pasrija’s didactic words will help us find the perfect balance between pragmatism and purpose. this past week of the bankrupt West Oaks Mall, the virtually shuttered shopping center on 18 acres on the westside of Houston at Highway 6 and Westheimer, by Sunil Mehta of the family-owned Mehta Investments. The company also bought the Macy’s store at the same location in a separate transaction and hopes to transform the center into The Outlet Mall at West Oaks. Mehta is a lowkey entrepreneur who is a former merchant marine captain, who came to the US in 1980 with his wife Rita. They own Formal Gallery and Lady Monica boutiques selling fashions and accessories for women and also own the label Sean Collection which sells beaded silk dresses. The family investment firm has owned and operated many real estate holdings. Very private individuals, the Mehtas also support a few Hindu and Jain organizations.



January 26, 2018

Houston Community College Request of Proposals (RFP) Human Patient Simulator RFP No.: 18-13

Happy 69th Republic day

Many people throughout India cel-

ebrate the nation’s Republic Day, which is a gazetted holiday on January 26 each year. It is a day to remember when India’s constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, completing the country’s transition toward becoming an independent republic. What Do People Do? Much effort is put towards organizing events and celebrations that occur on Republic Day in India. Large military parades are held in New Delhi and the state capitals. Representatives of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and traditional dance troupes take part in the parades. A grand parade is held in New Delhi and the event starts with India’s prime minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, to remember soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. India’s president takes the military salute during the parade in New Delhi while state governors take the military salutes in state capitals. A foreign head of state is the president’s chief guest on Republic Day. Awards and medals of bravery are given to the people from the armed forces and also to civilians. Helicop-

ters from the armed forces then fly past the parade area showering rose petals on the audience. School children also participate in the parade by dancing and singing patriotic songs. Armed Forces personnel also showcase motorcycle rides. The parade concludes with a “fly past” by the Indian Air Force, which involves fighter planes of flying past the dais, symbolically saluting the president. These leave trails of smoke in the colors of the Indian flag. There are many national and local cultural programs focusing on the history and culture of India.


Children have a special place in these programs. Many children receive gifts of sweets or small toys. A prime minister’s rally also takes place around this time of the year, as well as the Lok Tarang – National Folk Dance Festival, which occurs annually from January 24-29. Public Life Republic Day is a gazetted holiday in India on January 26 each year. National, state and local government offices, post offices and banks are closed on this date. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. Public transport is usually unaffected as many locals travel for celebrations. Republic Day parades cause significant disruption to traffic and there may be increased security on this date, particularly in areas such as New Delhi and state capitals. -timeanddate.com

Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs.edu/procurement.


22 January 26, 2018


Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before January 31, 2018. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Bread de Pakore (Fried Bread Fritters)

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y popular demand, here is a reprint of Mama’s Bread De Pakore recipe, which is just the kind of tasty, hot fritter that you need for the winter months to take your mind off the bitter cold and rain outside. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. To most people, pakoras (or pakore) are an inexpensive fried snack that combines the flavor of a vegetable, fish or chicken with a spicy batter and is eaten with some chutney, and served mostly as an appetizer. In many Indian cities, it is eaten as a snack, often from a hawker stand on the street corner or from the neighborhood halwai (pastry cook), coming hot, straight from the boiling cauldron. It is the satisfying, carbohydrate-rich garbanzo (or chickpea) flour or besan used in the batter that makes pakore so irresistible. Besan also has higher protein content than other flours and is used in a variety of other food and snack preparations. In North India, where the staple food is wheat flour and many types of rotis (breads), paranthas (stuffed flatbread) and naans are made, it is only natural for this to be combined in some way with besan. There is even a type of special bread called missi roti that is made with a mixture of atta (wheat flour) and besan. Add in another favorite carbohydrate of Indians – double roti or bread. Until the Portugese, French, Dutch and English came to the Subcontinent, people were not familiar with the European style of bread. From the Portugese word “pao” (for bread) came the term Pav Bhaji, a Marathi dish that was invented in the 1850’s for the textile workers coming off their midnight shift. And the from the two pieces of bread stuffed with vegetables or meat to make a sandwich came the term “double roti”, a

term universally used in the Indian Subcontinent to refer to any loaf of bread. So for those who prefer the crispiness of a pakora, but the fluffiness of a slice of double roti, what better way than to fry the bread coated in besan? This is especially a hit with young kids who eat it like salted pancakes for breakfast, or even for dinner, dipping it in some tomato ketchup! Hmmm! Delicious!! Ingredients: • 1.5 cups besan (chickpea flour) • Water – enough to make running paste • 4 slices bread – preferably white, sandwich bread • 2 cup vegetable oil for deep frying • Spices to taste: namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) Directions: 1. Mix in namak and mirch into 1.5 cups of besan and water till it

becomes a soft, running paste. 2. Take a slice of sandwich bread and cut it in half diagonally. Some people even prefer to use a whole slice of bread. 3. Heat the oil in a karahi (wok). Throw in a small dab of batter to make sure the oil is very hot. Take a piece of bread, dip it into the batter then release it into the hot oil. Repeat with the other pieces of bread, a few at a time depending on the size of the karahi. 4. When one side is slightly brown, turn it over using a sieved spatula and turn over a few times to make sure both sides are cooked. Be careful that they do not become dark brown. Take them out and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. 5. Bread pakoras are best when served hot with some tomato ketchup. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.



itional Indian cook ing requires a lo flame or hot stove , especially when m t of time in front of an open aking fried foods or hot rotis and parant thos ha our family’s ancestr s. In the way that I learnt as a girl grow e nice, al towns of Jhung and Lyallpur, we alw ing up in touch hot foods, po ts, tavas (hotplates) ays had to or sometimes even pu t our forearms insid chullas (earthen stoves) and e tandoors (earthen We learnt quickly oven th cloth folded severa at a pohnna – basically just a short pi s). l time - was our be st guardian against ece of soft We used it to fluff getting burnt. up rotis, move hot po against the tandoo r walls. These days ts and paste atta (flour) cakes , cooks use spatulas and flip rotis, but in to sti th more control when e best of Punjabi traditions, a pohnna r foods making rotis and us gives you ing multiple stoves time, without burn ing your fingers. at the same

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January 26, 2018


Filmfare Awards 2018 winners list: Irrfan Khan, Vidya Balan, Rajkummar Rao Win Big

It was a celebration night for Bollywood biggies of the best works from the year 2017. The much awaited 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018 took place on January 20 at the NSCI Dome in Worli, Mumbai. The starry night was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan while his friend and ace director Karan Johar provided him some company on the stage. While there were multiple pictures and videos from the event all over social media, we are here to serve you with the list of winners from this award night. At Filmfare Awards 2018, Hindi Medium bagged the Best Film while the Best actor awards were won by Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium) and Vidya Balan (Tumhari Sulu). Here is the complete list of

winners at the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018: Best Film- Hindi Medium Best Film (Critics)- Newton Best Director- Ashwini Iyer Tiwari for Bareilly Ki Barfi Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male)- Irrfan Khan for Hindi Medium Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female)- Vidya Balan for Tumhari Sulu Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male)- Rajkummar Rao for Bareilly ki Barfi Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)- Meher Vij for Secret Superstar Best Actor Critics (Male)Rajkummar Rao for Trapped

Best Actor Critics (Female)Zaira Wasim for Secret Superstar Best Debut DirectorKonkona Sen Sharma for A Death In The Gunj Best Music Album- Jagga Jasoos Best Lyrics- Amitabh Bhattacharya for Ullu Ka Patha (Jagga Jasoos) Best Playback Singer (Male)- Arijit Singh for Roke Na Ruke Naina( Badrinath Ki Dulhania) Best Playback Singer (female)- Meghna Mishra for Nachdi Phira (Secret Superstar) Lifetime Achievement Award- Mala Sinha & Bappi Lahiri Best Original Story-

Happy Birthday

Amit Masurkar for Newton Best Dialogue- Hitesh Kewalya for Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Best Screenplay- Shubhashish Bhutiani for Mukti Bhawan Best Action- Tom Struthers for Tiger Zinda Hai Best Background Score- Pritam for Jagga Jasoos Best Production Design- Parul Sondh for Daddy Best Costume- Rohit chaturvedi for A Death In The Gunj Best Sound design- Anish John for Trapped Best editing- Nitin Baid for Trapped Best Choreography- Vijay Ganguly & Ruel Dausan Varindiani for Galti Se Mistake (Jagga Jasoos) Best Cinematography- Sirsha Ray for A Death In The Gunj -indianexpress.com

Padmaavat: Protest Turns Violent in Gujarat, Buses Set Ablaze in Mehsana, Gandhinagar Protests turned violent in Gujarat

on Sunday over the screening of the controversy-riddled Bollywood period drama Padmaavat. The film, which is slated to be released across the country on January 25, is witnessing backlash from fringe groups, including Shri Rajput Karni Sena, in various states. The situation turned grim in Gujarat where protesters burned buses and resorted to violence. Buses were burnt in Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad districts of the state by protesters demanding a ban over the film. Meanwhile, in view of the violence, the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner issued a notification stating that those protesting near multiplexes, malls will be booked under section 308 of IPC (attempt to commit culpable homicide). The BJP governed state was one among the four which banned the

film from releasing before the Supreme Court’s order. Gujarat Police DGP appealed for peace and said that to prevent untoward incident police are making preventive arrests, public buses in several routes had been stopped. “I appeal the protesters not to indulge in violence,” he added. The Gujarat State Road Transport

Corporation (GSRTC) suspended its bus services in northern part of the state, following violent protests by Rajput community members. The bus services were suspended in Mehsana, Patan, Gandhinagar, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha districts till the situation improve. The film, after much delay, is set to be released in a few days on January 25. However, some multiplex owners have already indicated they might not screen the film over continuous threats of vandalism by Karni Sena and other similar groups. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh government which too had banned the film in the state is all set to approach the Supreme Court. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during an event in Indore said, “We will again knock on the apex court’s doors.” In a bid to threaten multiplex own-


ers, Karni Sena members distributed a memorandum in all the theatres asking them not to screen the movie. When asked what they would do when the film is screened, they said, “Wait and watch what happens on 25th.” The Supreme Court had cleared Padmaavat for nationwide release by staying the notifications of Rajasthan and Gujarat governments, which had prohibited screening of the film following protests by the Rajput community. The court had also restrained other state governments from issuing similar orders. Similarly, the BJP government in Rajasthan has also decided to file a review petition in the apex court against its order allowing the release of the Deepika Padukone-starrer epic drama. -indianexpress.com


Bobby Deol

January 27, 1967

Shreyas Talpade January 27, 1976

Shruti Haasan

January 28, 1986

Preity Zinta

January 31, 1975

Amrita Arora

January 31, 1981

Jackie Shroff

Febuary 01, 1957

24 January 26, 2018 3rd Test: South Africa Ahead After 11-wicket Day


6 for 1 (Bhuvneshwar 1-3) trail India 187 (Kohli 54, Pujara 50, Rabada 3-39) by 181 runs Virat Kohli attacked, Cheteshwar Pujara defended and defended solidly and Bhuvneshwar Kumar applied himself in the end to score 134 runs between them. But the rest - extras included - added only 53 more as India went from 144 for 4 to 187 all out on the first day of the Wanderers Test. India were not out of it yet on the evidence of the tumultuous six overs South Africa faced before stumps, losing Aiden Markram to Bhuvneshwar. When India made the bold move of batting first on a green pitch with a lot of seam movement, despite all the pressure their batting has been under, they would have hoped for a lot of grit and a bit of luck to ride out these tough conditions. On what was not the prettiest day of Test cricket, Pujara and Kohli showed plenty of grit, some luck followed through dropped catches and a missed review, but India handed back the advantage with some ordinary batting from the

Morne Morkel is pleased with Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket, South Africa v India, 3rd Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, January 24, 2018.

lower middle order, which was missing R Ashwin as they decided to play an all-seam attack. If India were still in the contest, it was down to fielding lapses from South Africa. Kohli was dropped on 11 and 32, Pujara was on nought when the hosts appealed half-heartedly for an lbw and chose not to review a not-out call that would have been

overturned. There was more general sloppiness in the field, and comeback man Ajinkya Rahane was on 3 when he was caught behind off a Vernon Philander no-ball. Philander was in the thick of the action all day. He began the Test with a spell of 8-7-1-1, the most economical first eight overs for a South Africa bowler in all Tests since readmission.

His victim was KL Rahul, with a ball that seamed back in and took the inside edge to become one of Quinton de Kock’s five catches, but there was a moment when he could have supported his fellow fast bowler a bit better. Kagiso Rabada drew a Kohli top edge with a surprise bouncer, which would have been a sitter had Philander from mid-off or Markram from cover decided early enough to go for it. Neither of them did, and eventually it was too late for Philander to make up with a dive. While Philander could be accused of being a little too short through the day, his first spell, with the ball seaming both ways, was still a testing one. Pujara took 31 of those 48 balls, which means 31 of the 41 balls Philander bowled while he was at the wicket. There was nothing loose on offer even though South Africa didn’t do enough to make India play and edge balls. With so much seam movement available, you had to either wait for a rank delivery or take the risk of going after decent ones. -expncricinfo.com

Raj Confident of India’s Preparation Despite Six-month Hiatus

MUMBAI: Much of India’s suc-

cess at the World Cup in 2017 had revolved around the odd individual performance taking the team over the line. Until their virtual quarter-final win over New Zealand, India’s struggle to fire as a unit - with the exception of their tournament opener against England - was first and most debilitatingly evinced in their group-stage 115-run loss to South Africa. Pitted to face an opposition that almost immaculately played out their “always rising” motto to give eventual winners England an almighty scare in the semi-final, India ODI captain Mithali Raj acknowledged the test of character the forthcoming tour of South Africa will pose for the team and the each of the players individually. “It’s a very important tour. It’s not going to be easy because we’ve played South Africa before,” Raj said. “They are a very good side; you’ve seen in the World Cup, they almost made it to finals, so it’s going to be very competitive cricket and it will test each and every player and also as a

team. It’s important that the girls need to be confident that they’re prepared well for the series.” It was not only at the World Cup that South Africa had brought India’s winning streak at the tournament to an end. The last time India toured South Africa, for the Quadrangular series in May, the hosts had robbed India the opportunity to complete a record 17 consecutive ODI victories, even though the visitors won the title subsequently. Despite the formidable nature of the opponents and the nearseven month “break” during which India played no international cricket, Raj exuded confidence in the preparation the team has had going into the three-match ODI series - their first of the second cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship - that will pave way for five T20Is and a packed home season, featuring back-to-back series against Australia and England. “We had enough time to prepare for this series,” she said. “It’s again a beginning for us. We need to start afresh. The young girls have been

Mithali Raj takes a few throwdowns during Railways’ warm-up session ESPNcricinfo/Annesha Ghosh

in the match mould because they’ve been playing the domestic [tournaments]; and we had a week’s preparatory camp here [in Mumbai]. A couple of them [Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy] are coming from the WBBL, so pretty much everybody is into the mode of playing matches.” While the inclusion of three young,

uncapped players in the ODI squad has piqued much interest around the up-and-coming lot of Indian cricketers, Raj sounded a note of caution while weighing in on any likely tweaking of a well-tested combination the team management may opt for early on in the tour to accommodate the newbies. -espncricinfo.com


Bopanna-Babos Pair in Mixed Doubles Quarter-finals


ELBOURNE: India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Hungarian partner Timea Babos entered the quarterfinals of the Australian Open mixed doubles event with a straight-set win on Tuesday. The fifth-seeded pairing of Bopanna and Babos beat USA’s Vania King and Croatia’s Franko Skugor 6-4, 6-4 at the Melbourne Park. The match, which lasted a little over an hour, saw Bopanna and Babos break in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. In the fifth game of the second set, Bopanna and Babos broke Skugor’s and made it 3-2. The Indo-Hungarian pair sent down eight aces compared to their opponents’ five. Bopanna and Babos had dispatched the unseeded Australian pairing of Whittington and Perez 6-2 6-4 in the previous round. They will face the unseeded pair of Juan Sebastian Cabal from Colombia and Abigail Spears from the USA in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Bopanna now remains the only Indian in title contention at the Australian Open. Leander Paes, Purav Raja, Divij Sharan and Bopanna himself lost in the third round of the men’s doubles competition on Monday. Simona Halep is prepared for her second marathon of the tournament when she faces former champion Angelique Kerber for a place in the Australian Open final on Thursday. The Romanian world number one made light work of powerful Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday, dropping only five games in a contest that lasted little more than an hour. It was a far cry from her third round clash with American Lauren Davis when she saved three match points and battled through ankle pain to win 15-13 in the deciding set in a match lasting three hours and 44 minutes. That tussle put some more miles in Halep’s suspect ankle and she will need to feel 100 percent when she takes on Kerber with whom she shares a 4-4 career record. “For sure is going to be a second marathon this tournament,” the 26-year-old said. -timesofindia.com


January 26, 2018

IMF Sees India GDP Growth at 7.4% in 2018, China’s at 6.8%


is projected to grow at 7.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 as against China’s 6.8%, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Monday, making it the fastest growing economy among emerging economies following last year’s slowdown due to demonetisation and the implementation of goods and services tax (GST). In its latest World Economic Outlook update released on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the IMF projected India’s GDP growth rate at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019. China, during the same period, is expected to grow at 6.8% and 6.4% respectively, the IMF said. The aggregate growth forecast for emerging markets and developing economies for 2018 and 2019 remain unchanged, with marked differences in the outlook across regions. “Emerging and developing Asia will grow at around 6.5% over 201819, broadly the same pace as in

2017,” IMF said, adding that the region continues to account for over half of world growth. “Growth is expected to moderate gradually in China (though with a slight upward revision to the forecast for 2018 and 2019 relative to the fall forecasts, reflecting stronger external demand), pick up in India, and remain broadly stable in the ASEAN-5 region,” IMF added. In 2017, China’s GDP growth rate of 6.8% was ahead of India’s at 6.7%,

giving the former the tag of being the fastest growing emerging economy. The Indian economy, which grew at 7.1% in 2016, slowed in 2017 due to demonetisation in November 2016 and GST rollout on 1 July 2017. According to Maurice Obstfeld, IMF’s economic counsellor and director of research, India and Chin are predictably headed for slower growth. China will both cut back the fiscal stimulus of the last couple of years and, in line with the stated

intentions of its authorities, rein in credit growth to strengthen its overextended financial system. Consistent with these plans, the country’s ongoing and necessary rebalancing process implies lower future growth, Obstfeld said at a news conference in Davos. “As for the US, whatever output impact its tax cut will have on an economy so close to full employment will be paid back partially later in the form of lower growth, as temporary spending incentives (notably for investment) expire and as increasing federal debt takes a toll over time,” he added. Earlier in January, a top IMF official said that India is reclaiming its place as global growth leader. “China alone is providing one-third of global growth. Japan has been growing above potential for several quarters,” IMF’s first deputy managing director David Lipton had said at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong on 15 January. -livemint.com

Donald Trump’s Solar Module Tariff Barrier May Help India’s Green Economy

NEW DELHI: India’s solar pow-

er sector may benefit from the US President Donald Trump’s decision on Monday to levy tariff on imported solar panels. In what will impact Chinese module manufacturers, Trump whose presidential campaign and term has been built around growing American manufacturing, imposed a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and module in the first year, with the duties declining to 15% in the fourth year. However, Trump allowed tariff-free imports of 2.5 gigawatt (GW) of unassembled solar cells annually. Modules account for nearly 60% of a solar power project’s total cost. Interestingly, India is also conducting an anti-dumping investigation on solar equipment from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Additionally, India is exploring to levy a

70% provisional safeguard duty on imported solar panels and modules from China and Malaysia, as recommended by the directorate general of safeguards. A final government decision is awaited. “US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that President Trump has approved recommendations to impose safeguard tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules,” office of the US trade representative said in a statement. The USITC in a unanimous vote in September last year concluded that cheap imports are hurting US manufacturers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at Davos raised the issue of reducing sheen of globalization and said that as opposed to globalization, protectionism is gaining traction, resulting in new

tariff and non-tariff barriers. The US President’s decision to impose protectionist measures comes in the backdrop of US’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Monday’s decision may result in Chinese manufacturers further reducing their solar module prices to drive sales in India because they may not have a significant US market left

any longer. Indian developers are upbeat about the development. “I am looking at this as a positive development. With Chinese exports to US reducing, prices shall fall for the Indian markets,” said Sunil Jain, chief executive officer, Hero Future Energies Pvt. Ltd, a company promoted by the Munjal family. -livemint.com


AP Signs MoU with Covalent Fund to Create Blockchain Ecosystem


HENNAI: The Andhra Pradesh government has inked an MoU with Covalent to create a blockchain ecosystem in India. Covalent Fund is a family office fund managed by Ram Yalamanchili and this cooperation agreement will focus on creation of manpower, access to capital and creation of an India-focused Velugu Blockchain stack under Fintech Valley Vizag, the flagship initiative of the state. Ram Yalamanchili, entrepreneur and partner at Covalent Fund, said, “It is predicted that 10% of the global GDP would be tracked or otherwise regulated by blockchain by 2027. Blockchain offers a completely new paradigm for applications built on expressive protocols with nascent market penetration and a massive interest from early stage venture capital.” “Blockchain opportunities are naturally aligned with large democratic systems like India and it is an opportune time for Andhra Pradesh to become a leading destination. Covalent Fund will work in collaboration with Andhra Pradesh to set up a Blockchain University and also carve out a venture fund to invest up to $10 million as an initial pilot program. But we are most excited to build the largest, open and cryptographically secure ledger of information (Velugu Core) on a blockchain protocol designed in compliance with the Indian regulatory framework,” he said. IT minister Shri Nara Lokesh said, “The Government of Andhra Pradesh envisages to become blockchain enabled via its digital assets by 2019. -timesofindia.com


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