E-newspaper 07132018

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Friday, July 13, 2018 | Vol. 37, No. 27


Indo American erican News

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Love Songs

Infinite Bliss at

Sant Nirankari Conference



Shaan se... P5

Shaan with Rajender Singh

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July 13, 2018



July 13, 2018


TCC Taped Ball Premier Tournament Spring 2018 Cougars Winners, STYX Runners up


Cougars Cricket Club celebrated their 10th year of TCC TB legacy by winning their 6th and most memorable TCC championship trophy by defeating STYX by 49 runs to be crowned as Champions of TCC Taped Ball Premier Tournament Spring 2018 played amongst top 14 division 1 teams. Cougars team has been having a memorable run in TCC as this was their 3rd Final in last 4 tournaments and 10th Final overall. Cougars’ bowlers were in hot form during the knockouts as they got the teams all out for less than 87 in quarters, semis and finals. STYX had a great tournament ending up as Runners up in their first final appearance in TCC taped ball tournament. On a beautiful Saturday morning on 30 June 2017, Cougars won the toss and elected to bat first. Their openers Rahil Shah and Ashwin Tandon gave a good start as they reached 25-0 at the end of 5 overs. Raj Nair stuck couple of key blows with wickets of Ashwin and Chaitanya as Cougars reached 66-2 at the end of 10 overs. Styx bowlers kept on taking regular wickets in the next half to keep Cougars scoring in check. Rahil held one end with a brilliant 45 and Arun chipped in with a crucial knock of 20. Subbu and Rajesh made useful contributions of 10 runs each in the lower order. Cougars scored a competi-

tive total of 136 in their 20 overs with Rahil (45), Arun (20), Ashwin (15) and Chaitanya (15) being the main scorers. Mudit, Raj Singh and Raj Nair were pick of the bowlers for Styx with 2 wickets each. With 137 to chase, STYX tried to start aggressively against a bowling line up in top form but lost both their openers within first 4 overs including wicket of their inform batsman Adi which put Styx on back foot. Even though two of Cougars’ main bowlers Sarava and Rahil got injured while batting and were unable to bowl, their backup bowlers Arun and Prashant supported their main bowlers (Subbu, Krishna and Rajesh) very well as Styx batsmen found scoring very hard and once Raj Singh and Raj Nair were out by 11th over, Styx chase lost its steam and were bundled out for 87 in 19th over as Cougars became the champions amid joyous celebrations lifting the cup for the 6th time. Kalesh was the top scorer for Styx with score of 17 supported by Raj (10) and Vamsi (12). For Cougars, Subbu, Rajesh, Arun and Krishna were the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets each. The game was followed by a well-organized prize distribution ceremony arranged by TCC. TCC and teams were honored to have Mr. Cameron Best as the chief guest. He is a regular in officiating all types of cricket matches and

Winners, Cougars with Chief Guest Cameron Best

Runners up, STYX with Chief Guest Cameron Best

is HCL treasurer from the last 15 years He was felicitated by TCC

with a plaque for his contribution to cricket in Houston. He spoke


about the need to play the game in the spirit of cricket and the importance of respecting the umpires. Jagadish Biradar, the organizer for TCC Taped Ball tournament coordinated the presentation ceremony. Ashwin Tandon, the captain of Cougars Cricket Club was presented with the championship trophy and Kalesh, the captain of Styx was presented with the runners up trophy. The players of the Winners and Runners up teams up received individual trophies. Man of the match for the final was Rahil Shah from Cougars for his brilliant knock of 45. Rajdeep Das from R2CC won the best batsman trophy for scoring 287 runs. Best Bowler trophy was shared by Anil Gorsipati and Manikanth Seethamraju, both from CJCC, taking 14 wickets each. Rajdeep Das from R2CC won the Best all-rounder trophy scoring 280 runs and 10 wickets. Vinodh Vemireddy from CJCC won the best wicket keeper trophy for 21 catches.


July 13, 2018


5 Shaan Spreads a Musical Message of Love in Houston


STAFFORD: An awareness rais-

ing campaign couldn’t have gotten better than having fans groove to the memorable love songs presented by one of India’s most versatile singers. One of the most popular voices and fondly known as ‘Magician of Melody’, Shaan embarked on his USA Tour to raise opioid epidemic awareness with his first show ‘Shaan Love in Concert’ in Houston on Saturday, July 7 at the Stafford Centre. The concert – to resound Love was presented by Rajender Singh of Star Promotion in association with Karya Property Management & Amir Dodhiya. Shaan was seen mingling with his fans through a special meet and greet organized at Parivar grocers a night prior to the concert. A memorable night before the doozy show, had fans in awe of the megastar and were undoubtedly awaiting to be a part of the concert the next day. The event concluded

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July 13, 2018

with delectable dinner hosted by Nirmaz Food Boutique. The D-day finally arrived and the Concert kicked off with melodious songs sung by playback singer Arpita Mukherjee, a popular contestant from Fame Gurukul. She charmed the audience with famous songs like Lag ja gale, Ghoomar and Pyaar karne waale. While the audiences were rejoicing the show, the star of the evening, and one of the most multi talented singers of India, Shaan hit the stage. A multi lingual Indian playback singer, Shaan is most popularly known for his voices for romantic and melodious songs. He came to fame with his hit albums Loveology, Tanha Dil, Aksar and Tishnagi and then there was no looking back for him. He emerged in his dashing avatar, dancing to the tunes of his famous song Don from the movie Don, while he sang and kept the audience in high spirits. Not forgetting to greet the overwhelmed audience and acquainting them with the musicians in his humble style, he opened up to a medley of songs and cheered the audiences. He sang some of the most prominent songs like Char kadam from PK, Kuch na kaho from 1942 - A Love Story and Tumko paya hai from Om Shanti Om. Through their songs, he also paid a musical tribute to some of the notable singers of yesteryears, Mukesh, Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Da. He also made the audiences groove to the hit songs by Sonu Nigam. His enthralling performance went on for almost four hours and the nostalgia could be felt through his songs Woh pehli baar, Jab se tere naina and Chand sifarish. He kept the audience engaged by interacting with them and having them perform with him. He drew the audiences in with All of me, a song originally by


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Arpita Mukherjee with Shaan

Ishaan Tangirala with Shaan

John Legend. The timeless motif of Love and Relationships was kept alive through songs like Mein kabhi batlata nahi, Phoolon ka taron ka, Yaaro dosti, Dil chahta hai, Tanha dil. It was truly an emotional moment when he paid tribute to his father, the late music director Manas Mukherjee, whom he lost at the age of 14. He recalled by singing Khushboo hu mein from the film Shayad, composed by his

Photos: Meedu fotografy

father and sung by Late Mohammad Rafi. While expressing love through relationships, how could he forget his love for his Motherland India. He received an ovation from the audience as soon as he took to his patriotic side by singing songs like Vandemataram, Bharat desh hai mera, E mere watan ke logo, and Suno gaur se duniya walo. The audiences were in for a

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cute little surprise as soon as Voice Kids India contestant from New Jersey, Ishaan Tangirala hit the stage. The 8 year old was lauded for melodiously singing Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya, Bum bum bole and Do you want a partner in duet with Shaan. The overjoyed audience put in special requests of their favorite songs and humbly giving in to their requests, Shaan – Arpita duo sang few songs like Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam, Gerua, Dekha ek khwab. In the last leg of the show, Shaan depicted various stages of love by singing Woh ladki hai kahan, Kuch to hua hai, Ladki kyu na jane kyu, Bhoolja. Sharing a thoughtful message with the audience, he said “Stay happy & positive and out of depression, don’t let any bad memories come in your way”. Throughout, the performances were graced by local dancers. Their energetic dance and props took the show to a different level altogether. Excellent Live Sounds, LED wall & backline instruments were provided by Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Productions. Rajender singh appreciatively said, “I am thankful to the Houston audience and look forward to entertaining them more and more. Thanks to Karya Property Management, Amir Dodhiya, Laxmi, Gopal Savjani and Harish Kathrani, and a special thanks to Deputy Consul General Surendra Adhana and Sri Preston Kulkarni for coming and supporting the event.” Upcoming show includes Indian Comedian, Atul Khatri on August 17 at Stafford Civic Centre. To buy your tickets and for further information call Rajender Singh at 281-222-4500 or visit starpromotioninc.com



July 13, 2018

CHYK Camp - Fun & Insightful Reflections at Chinmaya Mission Houston BY SATCHITANANDA


Carrying the tradition of imparting Vedantic wisdom to the youth, which was very close to the heart of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH) conducted a power-packed intense summer camp for CHYK. From June 15 to 17, 35 youngsters aged 17-28 had a reflective weekend guided by the dynamic Acarya Vivek Gupta of CM Niagara Falls and inspiring Brni. Shweta Chaitanya of CMH. Themed aptly as “Evolution Within – From Prosperity to Peace,” the camp introduced the participants to their own minds. The Acaryas, through interesting exercises, interactive sessions, insightful workshops and enlightening discourses, empowered the participants to observe their own minds. At the end of the camp, all were able to make a paradigm shift in making the normally distracted or even negative mind to be trained as focused, creative and constructive. Vivekji elaborated on the six sacred verses of the Siva Sankalpa Suktam, the Vedic hymn that highlighted the way toward an auspicious mind. The participants unraveled the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of their thinking faculty. As the Acaryas distilled the Truth of the text into simple, practicable and easy-to-remember messages, they also guided the attentive youth into deep introspection. The participants played exciting games like “Ego Erasers” which helped them to see their similarities with others whilst respecting the differences. Every day, each participant completed the “Reflective Activity of the Day” (RAD) which made them examine

Insightful lecture by Acarya Vivekji and Brni. Shweta Chaitanya

their own minds deeply. Complementing the talks that raised questions like “What is willpower?,” and “How can you develop willpower?,”the reflective excursions into the mind gave an opportunity to not only apply the wisdom but also internalize it. More reflective time was interspersed between discourse sessions through mounam (silence) and meditation. While the focus was intense, fun did not take a back seat during the camp. From watching Incredibles 2 movie to building towers of cards,

Participants at CHYK 2018 Summer camp

the enjoyment was palpable. Open Mic Night gave the youth a perfect platform to showcase their talents like standup comedy, singing/dancing to bhajans and social commentary. The powerful message of the camp got assimilated into the young minds as they resolved to slow down, step back, see more, and smile more as they take firm steps in their spiritual evolution. Both the Acaryas helped the youth translate rich ancient philosophy into practice by giving them a variety of tools to transform mindlessness to mindfulness, apathy to empathy, and prosperity to peace. As the attendees left with a firm resolve to work on their self development goals, their subtle minds were naturally filled with gratitude for the

countless volunteers behind the scenes and the amazing legacy of Acaryas Gaurang and Darshana Nanavaty. Jayakrishna Gundamaraju’s extraordinary coordination made the camp a real success. This article was sourced with reports from excited camp attendees, Suriya Sharma and Saaketh Rao. Tradition steeped in wisdom, diffused with fun is the norm at Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498. For more information, visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059. Photos and CHYK Camp organized by Jayakrishna Gundamaraju

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July 13, 2018




COMMUNITY BAPS Youth Convention

July 13, 2018

Attended by Over 10,000 Youths

ATLANTA: Adults play many roles and

make countless decisions throughout the day; they go to work and maintain their health while dealing with ever-changing circumstances and uncertainties. They pay their bills and taxes all while honoring social commitments and serving in their communities. Adulthood is complex and rarely perfect, as most know firsthand; and in reflection, it poses an interesting question: What does it take to shape generations of young people into thriving members of society, both now and in the future? Over the last five years, the youth of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha surveyed children for personal perspectives to better understand difficulties in decision-making. Guided by this data, the theme of the 2018 North American Youth Convention was developed as “Moksha”, which translates into ‘ultimate liberation.’ The concept of Moksha can seem irrelevant to youths, given the notion of invin-

cibility associated with being young. However, the idea was presented throughout the convention in a practical and contemporary manner wherein programming focused on the importance of purpose, sincere effort, perseverance, prayer and introspection as core components of character. The convention was a journey spanning several days, leading youth on a path of knowledge that illuminated the relevance of spirituality in everyday life and the role of spirituality in defining a higher purpose. Over 10,000 children and youth between the ages of 8 to 22 were split into three groups and participated in three-day programs from July 1 to 10 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The 10-day event, unprecedented in the history of Hindus in North America was built around Moksha as life’s greatest pursuit that generates unwavering happiness to be experienced here and now. This broad theme led to a social conversation around “Moksha

Now”, a theme that carried throughout the convention. The delegates learned that the means to achieve Moksha could also allow them to enjoy the world, especially when every task and activity undertaken focuses on keeping God and the Guru in mind. The comprehensive concept of Moksha was taught by explaining the efforts and context of Dharma (roles and responsibilities), Artha (worldly pursuits), and Kaam (desires). Speeches and presentations by senior swamis from India, Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami and Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami, as well as many others from across North America, simplified how to make Moksha-centered decisions in everyday living. They explained that living life with the goal to attain moksha leads to an elevated experience of daily interactions and an unfailingly optimistic perspective of life and the world around us. Delegates experienced a grand multifaceted stage program where the life and challenges of several characters were portrayed creatively and practically as they navigated everyday scenarios that brought out dilemmas of desires versus values. Instead of looking for instant gratification, the young adults were asked to contemplate various perspectives that could lead to a higher way of life. The convention taught children and youth that making good choices lies in a balance between confidence and humility. Attendees took home a message of how to

be less concerned about what others think of them, and more concerned about what they think of themselves. Sejal Maisuria, a volunteer from Scarborough, Canada, commented, “Coming to conventions like this, it broadens your horizons; you see so many people having dealt with so many issues such as peer pressure, that it gives our delegates the tools and the know-how to deal with the same situations when they go home.” The convention helped nurture the virtues and positive character building traits that help youth build a healthy identity anchored in deep roots. North American Youth Conventions continue to be a pillar for BAPS North America’s youth activities as they address the critical and relevant challenges faced by Hindu-Americans on a daily basis. Remarking on his experience at the convention, Vivek Sharma, CEO and Founder of Generation Live said, “It’s a lived experience that we’ve all shared together, and the sheer effort, the teamwork, and the good will; you can’t help but just get wrapped up into that. To be part of that, I really am honored and proud.” The experiences the delegates had will inspire them to lead a life aligned with the values and teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and guru Mahant Swami Maharaj. The convention was organized by BAPS specifically for youths in North America and inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. To learn more about the convention, visit www.baps.org/nc18 or use the hashtags: #NC18BAPS, #MokshaNow.


9 July 13, 2018 COMMUNITY Houston Based Entrepreneur, Amit Bhandari Donates $50,000 to Ekal’s Digital Literacy Program BY MANU SHAH


Houston based entrepreneur Amit Bhandari and his wife Arpita shaped their own American dream but along the way they also nurtured the aspirations of thousands of children, whether in the remote village of Rampura or the slums of Mumbai. Ekal was one of the first charities the Bhandaris supported and they have consistently raised this support. They recently topped it by donating $50,000 dollars to outfit a bus with 10 laptops for the Ekal-on-Wheels Mobile Computer Labs program. The Ekal movement, which started in 1989 to transform India, one village at a time, today, has a school in 70,000 villages offering free schooling, vocational training, digital competence and agricultural education. It has impacted 4 million children and 10 million families to date. The Mobile Computer Labs initiative is working to enhance digital literacy and has helped over 50,000 children become computer literate. The solar powered bus has pre-installed self-learning software developed by IIT, Mumbai and accommodates two students per computer. One dedicated trainer,

Amit attributes this empathy to his modest upbringing. He is a native of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. His parents were professors but the family was always stretched financially. Despite this, his parents supported a handicapped school and were always ready to provide a helpAmit and Arpita Bhandari behind Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan at the ing hand. inauguration of the bus. Amit’s enassisted by the local Ekal teacher checkbook. They support the Jain trepreneurial leanings kicked in provides two and a half hours of Society of Houston, donated six as early as middle school when he acres of land for the Gujarati Sam- and a friend made paper bags and training in one village. The bus, which will serve the aj center in Houston, wrote a quar- sold them to local vendors. At 17, Khargone district of Madhya ter million dollar check to Houston he was accepted in the Rotary StuPradesh near Indore, was inau- Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Fund dent Exchange Program and atgurated by Amit and Lok Sabha for Hurricane Harvey relief work, tended High School in Hicksville, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Amit paid off the loans of a temple in Ohio. America turned out to be “a was impressed by how “coachable Phoenix and raised $3 million for tremendous experience” so much and open to learning the children Magic Bus, an NGO that is deeply so that he got his aunt to sponsor personal to them and aims to bring his green card. He headed to Drexwere.” However, this isn’t the first time children out of poverty through a el University in Philadelphia for the Bhandaris have opened their unique sports based curriculum.


Chemical engineering and footed his tuition by waiting on tables. The job was a formative lesson in “time management, juggling priorities and dealing with people.” The engineering degree landed him a job at ExxonMobil but Amit’s afterhours were spent scouting for a good business idea. He plunked his savings into a daycare, rental properties and a convenience store and in 2006, started his own company BioUrja (Urja in Hindi means energy.) The company trades in ethanol, petroleum products, crude oil, grains, metal tubing for the oil production sector and now renewable energy. It is ranked as one of the most successful companies in Texas. There’s parental pride in his voice when he talks of his daughter and son who spent weeks as Magic Bus Youth Leaders in slums and villages engaging with the children. The experience moved Aanya, 16, to present a paper at the United Nations outlining ways of providing nutritious food and educating farmers on employing better agricultural methods. Ansh, 14, on his part, is looking forward to spending more of his summers supporting Magic Bus programs worldwide.

10 July 13, 2018 Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust Booth at Telagana Convention BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: The Indo American commu-

nity closed out the month of June with two large eye-catching functions that brought together thousands of people from across the country and Canada. The Sant Nirankari Mission held its Youth Summit and Spiritual Conference for an estimated 1,500 people in the Humble Civic Center (see cover story) and 40 miles to the south, in downtown Houston, the World Telegana Convention 2018 brought together over 8,000 people over a three-day weekend at the George Brown Convention Center. Prominently present at the WTC was the booth from the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust, a national non-profit in the US, established in 1988 to support the highly regarded charitable, not-for-profit Sankara Nethralaya, Ophthalmic Hospital, in Chennai, India. The booth was handled by volunteers for the entire three days, led by SNOMT Board

President Leela Krishnamurthy and Trustee Jawahar Malhotra. Together, they were able to highlight the work of the Hospital in Chennai and raise several thousand dollars to support its pioneering free cataract eye surgery for the poor and rural people. “We are beholden to the organizers of the WTC for their help, especially Bangar and Devi Reddy, and all our volunteers for their time,” smiled Krishnamurthy as she spent both Saturday and Sunday at the booth. Assisting her as fellow SNOMT Board Trustees were this reporter and Ashok Vasan (accompanied by his wife Nimmi), and volunteers Sai Chailakapati, Roopa and Abhishek Bala, Prabha and Sesh Bala, Priya Chandru and daughter Nethra, Rosemin Premji, Padma Srinivasan and Vivek and Nimmi Menon. The Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust, USA is a 501 (c) (3) U.S. registered non-profit organization, for further information contact Houston trustees, Leela Krishnamurthy at 832-654-9444, Kris Vasan at 281-265-7745 or Jawahar Malhotra at 713-962-5555.


At the Sankara Nethralaya booth at the recent North American Telegana Convention in Houston, from left SNOM Trust Board Trustee Jawahar Malhotra; Tulsi of Maharani Music; SNOM Trust President Leela Krishnamurthy; and volunteers Padma Srinivasan (seated) and Rosmein Premji.

The 2018 South Asian Spelling Bee Announces Dallas and New Jersey Winners

NEW JERSEY: Continuing its quest for

the best speller in the community, the 2018 South Asian Spelling Bee (www.SouthAsianSpellingBee.com) traveled to Texas and New Jersey with stops in Dallas and New Brunswick. With a huge turnout this year, the Bee attracted some top talent as well as young and new spellers that competed for the coveted prizes and titles. At the Dallas Regional, current Scripps

National Champion and South Asian Spelling Bee alumnus Karthik Nemmani was at hand to interact with spellers and parents. Having attended the South Asian Spelling Bee for 5 years, Nemmani had specific insights about his experience at the event and its contribution to his success. “The South Asian Spelling Bee gave me exposure and a competitive edge that other bees lacked,” he told a standing room only crowd at the

Vandana Walia (New Jersey Regional Judge), Sujata Choudhury (First Runner Up), Nitya Kathiravan (Regional Champion) and Louise Silverman (New Jersey Regional Judge).

Karthik Nemmani (2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion), Sohum Sukhatankar (Regional Champion), Winston Fuller (Dallas Regional Judge), Rohan Raja (First Runner Up), and Cynthia Walters (Dallas Regional Pronouncer).

regional. Sohum Sukhatankar (12) of Dallas, Texas was the regional champ and Rohan Raja (12) of Irving, Texas, was the first runner up at the Dallas Regional. In New Jersey, Nitya Kathiravan (9) of Edison, New Jersey was the regional champ and Sujata Choudhury (11) of Cherry Hill, New Jersey,

was the first runner up. The event is open to children of South Asian decent up to 14 years of age. It will give South Asian children a chance to test




July 13, 2018

Swami Mukundananda Talk, Yoga & Meditation on ‘7 Divine Laws for Happiness and Fulfillment’ & Ram Katha Rahasya


Swami Mukundanandaji, a world-renowned teacher of Spirituality, Yoga & Meditation, will conduct two different programs from August 4 – August 17 in Houston. The first week-long program is a Life transformation program (LPT) for the holistic well-being of body, mind and soul. It is a combined approach of yoga and intellectual discourses by Swami Mukundananda. Swamiji will delve into the topic of 7 Divine Laws for Happiness and Fulfillment at India House, from August 4 to August 10. In the Second program, Swamiji brings the pastimes of Shree Ram alive and explains its invaluable significance to our modern lives in Ram Katha Rahasya at Hindu Worship Society from August 11 to August 17. Swami Mukundananda received his degrees in Engineering and Management from two world famous institutes in India- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) respectively. However, the call of God was so strong that a short while after landing a top corporate job, he renounced his professional career to take Sanyas at age 23 in quest for God-realization. Swamiji is a senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and the founder of JKYog - a non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of Humankind. During the first week-long Pro-

gram from Aug. 4-10, Swamiji will be presenting 7 Divine Laws for Happiness & Fulfillment. The first part of each day’s session focuses on Yoga & Meditation and the second part comprises of spiritual discourse & Devotional chanting. During the second week-long program on Ram Katha Rahasya from Aug 11-17, Swamiji reveals the secrets to true eternal happiness hidden in the divine pastimes of Lord Ram. Swamiji’s narration evokes love and laughter in the diverse audience with ages ranging from children to elderly, other leelas moves audience to tears, yet bringing a sense of tranquility. “So many confusions and stresses clouded my mind. Mukundanandji took this ancient knowledge what was otherwise too complex and made it simple to understand in the context of my life. Absolutely life transforming!” says Sheela. Admission to program is Free and Prasadam will be served after discourses. Registration is requested. Swami Mukundananda’s enlightening discourses clarify the deepest concepts of the Vedic scriptures with wit and perfect logic. Over the last two decades, Swamiji has been travelling all over the world, awakening thousands of seekers through true Yoga and Spirituality. Swamiji has been invited to

Touchdown Media Inc. Within the past year the South Asian Spelling Bee has been exhaustively featured in “Breaking the Bee” and an exclusive story on VICE News that followed the journey of South Asian Spelling Bee spellers and the importance of the South Asian Spelling Bee platform being a vital step in their spelling journey. The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals to be held in New Jersey in August. Champion’s grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to the winner at the finals. This year, the Bee is proudly powered by Kawan- the world’s most popular Roti paratha brand returns as the powered by sponsor and as always, Sony Pictures Networks is the exclusive broadcast partner for the South Asian Spelling Bee and will be airing the series across 120 countries. “Kawan is proud to return as a sponsor and we have tremendous faith in contributing towards crucial family time for the community. We look forward to getting to know the spellers and their families through this wonderful journey,” said Tim Tan, Managing Director Kawan Food.

Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

Certified Public Accountant 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 www.sulhancpa.com | pradeep@sulhancpa.com

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speak at various Fortune 500 companies like Google, Oracle, Yahoo, and for the youth, Swamiji has conducted programs at prestigious universities like Princeton, Stanford, Kellogg, MIT, and Duke. Details: 7 Divine Laws for Happiness & Fulfillment at India House at 8888 W Bellfort Ave, Houston, TX 77031 from August 4 (Sat) –10 (Fri). Aug 4 – Aug 5 (Sat-Sun) 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM; Aug 6 – Aug 9 (Mon-Thu) 6 PM – 9 PM, Aug 10 (Fri) 7PM-9PM. Ram Katha Rahasya at Hindu Worship Society, 2223 Wirtcrest Ln, Houston, TX 77055 from August 11(Sat) to August 17 (Fri). Aug11-Aug12 (Sat-Sun): Discourse from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. Aug13-Aug17 (Mon-Fri): Discourse from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. Contact 281-630-5982, 832377-6070, Email: houstonjkyog@ gmail.com, Free Registration at www.jkyog.org/ events/

The 2018 South Asian Spelling Bee

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 their spelling skills in their core peer group. Interested spellers need their parent or guardian to register them online at www. southasianspellingbee.com. Organized by Touchdown Media Inc., the South Asian Spelling Bee is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year and with regionals being held in 6 locations across the United States. Regional centers for this season include Washington, D.C. Metro, Charlotte, the Bay Area, Chicago, New Jersey, and Dallas. All events will be free to attend and open to the public. An international regional in Accra, Ghana was conducted earlier this year, from where spellers of South Asian decent will qualify for the finals. “For the past ten years, the Bee has consistently provided a firm platform for the community to come together and hone their craft. It’s become a family activity that contributes towards the overall development of the child. We are proud to enter our eleventh consecutive year and look forward to engaging some of these wonderful spellers,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of


“Year over year, the South Asian Spelling Bee has made for great programming that gels with our ethos of compete family entertainment. We are all about family values and encourage platforms such as these that highlight the talent of our community,” said Jaideep Janakiram, Head of Americas, Sony Pictures Networks. For a complete schedule, registration and any other information, please visit: www.SouthAsianSpellingBee.com. Find us on Facebook at South Asian Spelling Bee and you can follow us on our Twitter handle at Spell South Asian.

Email: pradippandya2000@yahoo.com

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July 13, 2018



14 July 13, 2018



HUMBLE, TX: The Sant Niran-

kari Mission recently organized an international event – Nirankari Spiritual Summit and Youth Conference of North America - with the theme of “Lighthouse 2018” focused on children and youth from ages seven to thirty. Devotees from across the US, Canada, UK, India and many other countries attended the 2-day event held at the Humble Civic Center on June 30 and July 1. The Mission reached out to the world community and promoted the same through its global network that runs in the millions. With the divine guidance and blessings of Satguru Mata Savinder Hardev ji, a dedicated team of devotees led by Dr. Shalu Keswani

July 13, 2018

Hundreds Attempt a Guinness Record at Sant Nirankari Spiritual Summit

Holy Sister Mohini Ahuja Ji presided over the Sant Nirankari Spiritual Summit held June 30 and July 1.

welcomes youth and encourages them to live a good life. On Sunday July 1, the main Congregation was held in HCC with blessings for the youth from Holy Sister Mohini. She addressed the importance of the True Master (Satguru) in our lives who teaches us the way of life and how to live it. “Distractions are all around us

Saints seeking blessings from Holy sister Mohini Ahuja ji

organized the event, with support from the City and the Mayor’s Office. The event focused on empowering kids and youth, the future of society, by conducting activities like yoga, meditation, sports and seminars which promoted guidance and betterment to produce better humans. The event started with a welcome of Holy Sister Mohini Ahuja who had arrived from India on Friday, June 29, by kids in Texan attire. This was followed in the evening by a Sufi Night program by dedicated artists with enlightened inner minds who travelled in from different places, as they expressed their love and passion for the Lord. Their Qawwalis expressed thankfulness for moments of spirituality, and were arranged in a manner to promote spiritual development. On June 30 morning, SNM members assembled at the HCC parking lot to attempt a new Guinness Book of World Records entry by creating the largest human image of the Infinity symbol to demonstrate the infinite power of God, and spread the universal message

of infinite Love and Oneness. Following very specific guidelines from the Guinness organization, the Infinity symbol was created in purple and yellow colors. Participants wore registered and numbered wristbands, t-shirts and caps and officials with clickers maintained an accurate headcount as they entered the formation area. Assigned witnesses, unrelated to the SNM, monitored the entire process and acted as timekeepers. The volunteers were able to align themselves in the Infinity logo, which was checked for accuracy from an aerial crane to match the infinity image approved by the Guinness organization and the official witnesses documented their observation. The SNM is now waiting for the official recognition and approval from Guinness. Holy Sister Rev. Mohini ji blessed the formation and commended the youth for its commitment to the Mission and its principles and explained Satguru Mata Savinder Hardev Ji’s vision to strengthen the Mission’s youth activities and involvement. Sam Merchant, Director of South Asian

Community Affairs with Congressman Al Green’s office addressed the participants and delivered a Congressional certificate. In the afternoon, youths in two different age tracks (7-13 years and 14-30-year-olds), attended presentations on Competition vs Participation, Philosophy of Nirankari Mission with Scientific Perspective, Light to Lighthouse and Holistic Health. The important aspect was to develop skills imbibing humility and patience to become role models, as well as to develop critical awareness to effectively collaborate for the betterment of organizations and communities In the evening the youth participated in a Cultural Program showcasing diverse cultures. Children presented songs, speeches and dances which they had developed for several months. The common message was that teens love to do cultural items when they feel they are making a difference in someone’s life. This makes them feel important, and aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow and we must make create an environment which

Dr. Satish Jhingran Remembered by Indian Doctor’s Clinic Dear Editor, I want to mention the role and the help that Dr. Satish Jhingran provided the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic. He was a member of the governing board of IDCC for many years. He provided very

valuable advice to the IDCC and also very valuable help with patients and to me in operating the clinic. I cannot say enough words for his help that he provided the IDCC. I, and all the members of the governing board of IDCC will miss him very much. May his gen-

tle soul rest in peace. Dr. K. T. Shah, MD 10710 Memorial Cove, Houston, TX 77024 281-772-4139



and focusing is a problem. Unhappiness or frustration occurs because we have so many options/ choices which can be overwhelming at times. Spirituality helps kids to change their mindset as they understand the purpose of lives. May we support and help our youngster by becoming a lighthouse of positive actions and become torchbearers. We need to be grateful and positive to Almighty for giving us life in the form of human birth.” This summit provided a platform for youth development and employing energy in people for use in their own lives and their communities. It also connected people to empower society and create positivity and serve as a stepping stone for spiritual empowerment of youth and children. inspired by Her Holiness Satguru Mata Savinder Hardev ji, the SNM is actively involved in community services (blood donation, food drives, honorary chiropractic services and health camps) at the international level. Visit www.nirankari.org for information.

For Photo Collage, see page 14

16 July 13, 2018



Registrations Close for World Hindu Congress 2018 Due to Tremendous Response BY MANU SHAH

HICAGO: A digital billboard placed on a main highway in Chicago flashes a message about the World Hindu Congress (WHC) every 40 seconds and has been seen, at last count, by 1.5 million drivers. The windy city will play host to the WHC and welcome icons, thought influencers, prominent leaders and members of the Hindu community from September 7 - 9, 2018. They will gather to connect, discuss, energize and push awareness about critical issues facing Hindus worldwide and figure ways on how the community can be globally significant and impactful. The event is being hosted at Hotel Westin in Lombard, Illinois. Registration coordinator Amitabh Mittal stated that registration has been closed two months prior to the event due to the tremendous response. A few spots for co-sponsors are all that’s left and some spots have been reserved, on a case-by-case basis, for delegates from countries outside or North America. Over 2000 Hindus from across the globe and 250 thought leaders are expected to fly in to attend the gathering. They include heads of countries with a sizable Hindu population, top tier corporate heads from both India and the US, dynamic Hindu leaders and media personalities. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat is one of the key speakers. Tibetan leader HH Dalai Lama, Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Chinmaya Mission Head, Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Brahmavihari Das Head of International Relations from BAPS, Swami Purnatmananda from Bharat Sevashram Sangh and Pranav Pandya from Gayatri Parivar will also be present at the event that has been dubbed as “the biggest Hindu gathering of leaders to date.” The conference is being organized by the World Hindu Foundation headed by IIT, Kharagpur

graduate Swami Vigyananand. It will commemorate 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago address on September 11, 1893. This is the second such conference, the first was held in New Delhi in 2014. The theme of WHC 2018 is “Sumantrite Suvikrante” — think collectively, achieve valiantly. With over 3.23 million Hindus in the US and a little over one billion worldwide, making Hindus count globally is a key issue. Senior leaders of the organization elaborated on the significance of the conference. According to WHC founder Swami Vigyananand, wealth creation, quality education, a robust Hindu presence in mass media, Hindu leadership, unique strengths of Hindu women and Hindu organizations must be encouraged to “graduate to collective success.” This, he said, is the only way to increase our sphere of influence and have a positive societal impact. Convener Dr. Abhaya Asthana highlighted the importance of

“boosting the profile of Hindus” on the world stage. Hindus, he emphasized, need to come together collectively and establish their presence, and only then can they wield their clout to make a positive difference. The goal of WHC, Chair S.P. Kothari said, is to “make the world understand the Hindu way and view of life not just at the spiritual and social level but also at the economic and educational level” while WHC Vice Chair Raju Reddy reflected that “Hindus are viewed as great doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs, as positive role models but they need to become change makers. This requires them to be organized.” Leaders of the organization are confident that this will be “historic and a not to be missed gathering of Hindus from all over the world.” To learn about or participate in the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit http:// whc.2018worldhinducongress. org

Sarita Mehta’s Art Classes Remarkable for All Dear Editor, We have the pleasure to endorse and compliment one of the hidden jewels of the Indian community, Dr. Sarita Mehta. We have known Sarita Ji for a few years but only came to know her strengths more closely during our association as art teacher at India house. Art is one of her passions, besides which she is a Project Manager, Linguist / University level Hindi Teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual healer and an excellent communicator. Sarita ji conducted Art Class Camp at India House during the summer recess for young adults below 50 and Seniors over 60. Our children and grandchildren attended the Art Camp for two weeks whiIe I and my wife attended two of her art classes for seniors. Sarita ji equipped every student with professional grade art supplies and tutored each student depending on their level of comprehension and interest. Our experience as parents and students was very satisfying and superb in all respects. To be honest, we, as parents, were apprehensive whether the children would learn anything in the two week camp. Surprisingly, our apprehen-


sions were put to rest on the first day seeing how she made the children comfortable with her simple, practical approach and methods. She made it fun and the children grasped her approach and explanation quickly. She was able to teach and kindle the inner strengths of the small children who looked forward to going to Art Class every day. They tried all categories of art from sketching with pencil to painting with water colors and acrylic paint on canvas. Articles to paint also included clay pot vases, fabric and wooden assembles. On the final day, the parents were invited to a feast of hundreds of paintings and artwork by the young artists – our children. We enjoyed their work and appreciated Sarita ji’s resilience, tenacity, patience and professionalism. Our community is fortunate to have such a dedicated person and we need to encourage, endorse and feel proud of such individuals. We wish her the very best in every walk of professional and personal life. Virinder, Neena and Meena Bansal Parents & Grandparents 713-271-3200



July 13, 2018

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 5


Story of Mahatma Gandhi

he story thus far…In South Africa, Gandhi saw how the Indians were treated as inferiors, only allowed to work the soil but not permitted to own land. Under the law enacted in the Orange Free State in 1888, Indians had been deprived of their rights. In Transvaal, they had to pay a poll tax of 3 pounds if they wanted to stay in that state. Gandhi gathered the community together and drew their awareness to the deficiencies in their statuses and advised them unite for justice. The Indians, as advised by Gandhi, now realized what was at stake but they were at a loss at to what to do. They requested Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting at Abdulla Seth’s house under the stewardship of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill with all their might. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting them to postpone further discussion on the bill. The Speaker promptly replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. They followed up with another petition to Lord Ripon, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. More than ten thousand Indians signed the bill. Copies of the petition were circulated in South Africa, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that was now awakened with the Indians in South Africa. The Natal Indians pressed Gandhi to remain and guide them for a little longer. Gandhi told them that he was prepared to stay on if the Indian community would provide him with sufficient legal work. They gladly agreed to do this. Twenty merchants turned over all their legal business to him. When Gandhi applied for enrolment as an attorney to argue his caseload in court, the entire bar, composed of white lawyers, strongly opposed him. The Supreme Court of Natal overruled the objection, and he was allowed to practice. Soon Gandhi became one of the busiest lawyers in Durban; but to him law was a subordinate occupation. His main interest was his public work. He felt that merely sending in petitions and protests would not help the Indians much. He felt the need to organize a sustained agitation. So he proposed the formation of a permanent orga-

nization to safeguard the interests of Indians. A meeting was called to discuss this matter. The spacious hall in Dada Abdulla’s house was packed. It was there, on that occasion that the Natal Indian Congress was formed. In 1894 the Natal Government sought to impose an annual poll tax on the indentured Indians. These were laborers who had been recruited from India on a five-year contract, but on a pittance. Under the contract they could not leave their employer. They were treated practically as slaves. These men had been taken to South Africa to help the white colonizers in agricultural work. The Indians did more than had been expected of them. They worked hard, purchased land, and started cultivating their own fields. Their enterprise did not end there. They soon built houses and raised themselves far above the status of laborers. The white people did not like this. They wanted the Indian workers to return to India at the end of the contract period. To make things much harder for them, the Government now imposed an annual poll-tax of £25. The Natal Indian Congress started a strong agitation against this. Later, at the intervention of Lord Elgin, the then Viceroy of India, the tax was reduced to £3. Still Gandhi considered it an atrocious tax, unknown anywhere else in the world. The Natal Indian Congress continued its agitation, but it was 20 years before the poll-tax was finally withdrawn. In three years in South Africa, Gandhi had become a well-known figure. And his practice was well established. He realized that he was in for a long stay. He knew that the people there wanted him with them, so in 1896 he asked their permission to go home and bring his wife and children to South Africa. Besides, a visit to India would be useful in gaining more support for the Indians in South Africa. He had arranged his work so well that he could look forward to six months’ leave. In the middle of 1896 Gandhi sailed for India, and after 24 days landed at Calcutta. From there he went to Rajkot. It was a happy family reunion when Kasturbai welcomed him with

their two sons. But the plight of the Indians in South Africa was so much on his mind that he could not be content to enjoy domestic bliss in peace. He therefore launched a campaign to acquaint the people of India with the real condition of the Indians in South Africa. He met the editors of influential newspapers and important Indian leaders, including Lokamanya B. G. Tilak, the hero of Maharashtra, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale who, like Gandhi, was already famous at the age of 27. Wherever Gandhi went, he tried to make the people aware of the lot of their compatriots in South Africa. Many newspapers published his views and strongly condemned the South African government. Summaries of these newspaper reports and comments reached South Africa long before Gandhi returned there. Meanwhile, plague broke out in Bombay and threatened to spread to neighboring areas. In Rajkot Gandhi volunteered to join a group who tried to educate the people about the need for sanitation and other measures to prevent the spread of the disease. At the end of November, however, Gandhi received an urgent message from Natal asking him to return immediately. There were some developments which required his presence there. So Gandhi set sail for South Africa once more, this time taking with him Kasturbai and their two sons and the only son of his widowed sister. However, a message reached Gandhi advising him not to land with the others but to wait until evening, as there was an angry mob of whites at the dock. Kasturbai and the children were sent to the house of Gandhi’s Parsee friend, Rustomji. Later, accompanied by Jason Laughton, the legal adviser of Dada, Abdulla & Co., Gandhi went ashore. The scene looked peaceful, but some youths recognized him and shouted, “Look, there goes Gandhi.” Soon there was a rush and much shouting. As Gandhi and his friends proceeded, the crowd began to swell until it was impossible to go any further. Suddenly Laughton was pushed aside and the mob set upon Gandhi. They pelted him with stones, sticks, bricks, and rotten eggs. Someone snatched away his turban, others kicked him until the frail figure collapsed. He clung to the railing of a house. The fury of the white mob was unabated and they continued to beat him and kick him. “Stop, you cowards,” cried a feminine voice. “Stop attacking the poor man.” It was the wife of the Superintendent of police. She came up and opened her parasol and held it between Gandhi and the crowd. This checked the mob. Soon the police arrived and dispersed the crowd. - To be continued next week


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18 July 13, 2018 No One Wins a Tariff War



The trade wars have finally begun. After exchanging several threats over the last few months, both the United States and China implemented a tariff of 25% on imports worth $34 billion last Friday. This marks the official beginning of what China dubs as “the biggest trade war in economic history”. While this trade war is far from the biggest the world has seen, it has the potential to cause some significant damage to the world economy. U.S. President Donald Trump, who began the year by imposing tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, has vowed to possibly tax all Chinese imports into the U.S., which last year added up to a little over $500 billion. Mr. Trump’s tariffs against China will likely resonate with voters who believe in his “America First” campaign and perceive the trade deficit with China as a loss to the U.S. economy. China, not surprisingly, has responded by targeting American exports like soybean and automobiles, a move that could cause job losses in American states that accommodate Mr. Trump’s voter base. Other major U.S. trading partners such as the European Union, Mexico, and Canada have also slapped retaliatory tariffs on various U.S. goods. In a globalised world, no country can hope to impose tariffs without affecting its own economic interests. Apart from disadvantaging its consumers, who will have to pay higher prices for certain goods, tariffs will also disrupt the supply chain of producers who rely on foreign imports. So both the U.S. and China, which have blamed each other for the ongoing trade war, are doing no good to their own economic fortunes by engaging in this tit-for-tat tariff battle. The minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve June policy meeting show that economic uncertainty due to the trade war is already affecting private investment in the U.S., with many investors deciding to scale back or delay their investment plans. China, which is fighting an economic slowdown, will be equally affected. The ongoing trade war also threatens the rules-based global trade order which has managed to amicably handle trade disputes between countries for decades. It could also isolate the U.S., which has refused to settle differences through serious negotiations, as other global economies strike trade deals on their own. In March, for instance, 11 Asia-Pacific countries went ahead to sign a trans-Pacific trade deal while leaving out the U.S., which had pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017. If global trade tensions continue to simmer, however, it may not be too long before countries resort to other destructive measures such as devaluing their currencies to support domestic exporters. The world economy can do without such unnecessary shocks. -- The Hindu

For the first 23 years after independence in 1947, Pakistanis were denied the right to vote. Since 1970, they have been allowed to vote intermittently but they are still denied the right to vote freely. The upcoming July 25 election in Pakistan has been marred by a series of attacks, some by the judiciary and others by the country’s ubiquitous military-intelligence machinery, aimed at politically decapitating former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N). Sharif was disqualified a few months ago by the Supreme Court for not fulfilling the constitutional criteria for honesty and sagacity. Few, if any, prominent Pakistani politicians fulfill that vague requirement. It was inserted into the constitution by Sharif’s original mentor, General Zia ul Haq, precisely because its vagueness enabled unelected branches of government to choose who could or could not run for elected office. Ironically, Sharif refused to support other political parties in deleting the articles of the constitution that were used to disqualify him just a few years ago. His trial, and conviction last week for possessing assets beyond his means, seems like poetic justice to those who hate the fact that he started his career as a military protege, amassed considerable wealth while in office, and went on to build an independent political base in the Punjab province with the help of that wealth. But those who can rise above their pique at Sharif or other individual politicians realise that no politician in Pakistan is ever punished for corruption and Sharif is no exception. Sharif’s career affirms the unwritten law of Pakistani politics: A politician can be corrupt or he/she can oppose the military-led Pakistani establishment but he cannot be corrupt and anti-military at the same time. In the 1990s, when Sharif and the PML-N were backed by the military, the institutions of state (including the judiciary) found nothing wrong with their acquisition of wealth. The focus then was on the alleged corruption of Benazir Bhutto’s husband Asif Zardari. Sharif supported selective

accountability against Bhutto and Zardari and the latter spent 11 years in prison without being convicted. But General Musharraf’s 1999 coup transformed Sharif. He was now anti-establishment and critical of the military and that is what seems to have cooked his goose. Since his return from exile after Musharraf’s downfall, Sharif made no effort to partner with the Pakistan Peoples Party of Bhutto and Zardari to undo the legal regime that allows the judiciary to intervene in political matters. Sharif himself took petitions to the Supreme Court against the Zardari government, including the so-called Memogate case that affected me personally. I was accused of writing a memo inviting US support against an impending coup. There was no coup in the works at the time and I wrote no memo of the sort that was alleged. But I was supposed to rebut the story woven by a Pakistani-origin businessman living in Monaco to “clear” my name. Sharif himself became a victim of this perverted system of justice when, after the appearance of his name in the Panama Papers, the Court insisted that he prove the provenance of his properties in London. The former PM was disqualified before he was tried. Even at trial, the judge concluded that the ownership of the London properties in question could not be ascertained. He still went on to convict Sharif for failing to prove where he got the money to buy these properties. One need not be convinced of Sharif’s innocence to observe that he was a victim of less than transparent legal proceedings. His downfall started when the military got upset with an article in Dawn suggesting


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


that the civilian government wanted to act against the jihadis but the military did not. Corruption is a painful reality of Pakistani politics but so is the fact that it is Pakistan’s military that decides who remains in politics and who is ousted through court judgments. For the last three years, Sharif has been the target of a relentless propaganda war and the shenanigans of Pakistan’s invisible government. Just as Sharif was the beneficiary of similar manoeuvres against Bhutto in the 1988 and 1990 elections, cricketerturned-politician Imran Khan is the intended beneficiary of the campaign against Sharif. A civilian leader must deliver a measure of prosperity and economic development to maintain political support. Contrary to the military’s narrative, the major reason for Pakistan’s economic difficulties is not just corruption; it is lack of investment and expansion of productivity resulting from the country being seen as a jihadi safe haven. Even in this election, several groups of jihadis and assorted extremists have been allowed to participate. One of them — Khadim Husain Rizvi of Tehrik Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah — told an election rally recently that he would nuke the Netherlands if someone there ever published a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad. Tolerance for and mainstreaming of such dangerous individuals is unlikely to bolster Pakistan’s image. Civil-military tension is built in into Pakistan’s current structure of state. If civilians defer to the military leadership without any questions, they lose popular support and have to face all the blame that comes with supporting the military’s monochromatic policies. If, however, they dare to disagree like Nawaz Sharif did, they would lose the institution’s backing just as Sharif lost it over the years. Then we would see them becoming targets of similar viciousness. Unfortunately, the election on July 25 will not rid Pakistan of that tension. -- IE The writer is director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. and was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US between 2008-11.

July 13, 2018



Review: The Criminal Life in Mumbai in ‘Sacred Games’

Sartaj Singh, the hero of the new

Netflix series “Sacred Games,” is a familiar figure in the landscape of hard-boiled fiction: the hapless honest cop whose integrity has cost him promotions, the respect of his crooked colleagues and the

devotion of his wife. Because he works in Mumbai, his stalled career also means there’s no running water in his apartment. “Sacred Games,” adapted from Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel, opens the latest front in Netf l i x ’s international campaign: India, offering both a vast pool of potential subscribers and an entertainment industry with global appeal. An array of future Indian projects has been publicized, but for starters Netflix has chosen a production from the same genre as a previous success, the American-Colombian “Narcos.” A gangster saga with a history lesson is apparently the best algorithm for cross-cultural success.

“Sacred Games” doesn’t feel generic, though. Energetic and entertaining, if not entirely satisfying (four of eight episodes were available for review), it toggles between stylized melodrama and looselimbed satire — hewing, perhaps a little too closely, to the structure of Mr. Chandra’s sprawling novel. The series begins with a bang, as Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is contacted by an anonymous caller who sits, Wizard-of-Oz-like, before a bank of computer monitors, distorting his voice and masking his location. The caller turns out to be Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a notorious Mumbai criminal who’s been missing for years and thought dead. He teases Singh with the information that he knew his father, another honest cop (or so the son thinks), and warns him of a dire but unspecified event that will strike Mumbai in 25 days. That sets the clock ticking on the story’s mystery plot, but it’s really a hook to get Singh — and us — to listen

to Gaitonde’s story, an epic that combines his own rise as a gangster with a social and political history of India, and a critique of the country’s religious, caste and economic divides. The novel alternates chapters between Singh’s present-day struggle to decipher Gaitonde’s message and Gaitonde’s narration of his criminal career, and the series does a similar dance, moving with reasonable fluidity between its two modes. The flashbacks play out in a mock-heroic style with tinges of magic realism — a leopard emerging from the forest at an opportune moment, a gang boss punishing his enemies in a particularly crushing manner. The contemporary scenes, meanwhile, go for low comedy and topical satire, as Singh (the rare Sikh cop on the Mumbai force) dodges his uniformly corrupt superiors. He has the help of an ambitious agent from the intelligence services (Radhika Apte, like Mr. Khan and Mr. Siddiqui

an established Indian film star) and his own, much less ambitious sergeant Jitendra Joshi, whose abilities are far outpaced by his appetites. A subplot involving a theatrical agent who doubles as a pimp for victimized Bollywood actresses echoes several real-life Indian prostitution scandals. Originally developed for television with a pilot by the Hollywoodbased Northern Irish writer Kerry Williamson (who’s credited as a co-executive producer), “Sacred Games” comes to the screen as an Indian production, directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane and written by Varun Grover, Vasant Nath and Smita Singh. (It can be watched in its original Hindi, with or without subtitles, or with English, Spanish or Portuguese dubbing.) ~NYtimes.com

Sonali Bendre, Battling Cancer ‘Thank you for being there’ Actress Sonali Bendre, Says She’s ‘Not Alone’ Sanjay Dutt Tells Paresh Ghelani who is currently being treated for cancer in New York, just updated her Instagram with a new post for fans and followers, in which she wrote about “challenges” and “victories.” The actress said she is overwhelmed with the love and blessings she’s received after revealing she’s been diagnosed with cancer and highlighted how the many inspiring stories of cancer survivors has helped her remain strong and maintain positivity during such a difficult time. “Your stories have given me an extra dosage of strength and courage, and more importantly, the knowledge that I’m not alone,” reads a part of her post. Sonali Bendre also revealed that she now sports shorter hair, photos of which accompany her heart-felt post. “In the words of my favourite author Isabel Allende, ‘We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for

Sanjay Dutt on Sunday took to Twit-

survival and renewal is awesome’,” is how she began her Instagram note. “The outpouring of love I’ve received in the last few days has been so overwhelming... and I’m especially grateful to those of you who shared stories of your experiences in dealing with cancer, whether it was your own or of loved ones,” she added. Sonali Bendre also revealed that she wants to share details of her journey with her fans to make a point - be hopeful. “Sharing my journey is also part of this process... I can only hope it reminds you that all is not lost and that someone, somewhere understands what you’re going through,” read an excerpt from her post. ~NDTV.com

ter to thank his friend Paresh Ghelani for being his pillar of strength and constant companion. Sanjay wrote on Twitter, “@ pareshghelani you are the pillar of my strength. Thank you for being there, then and now. Welcome to the world of social media buddy! Love you lots.” Paresh Ghelani had recently shared a heartwarming letter on Twitter after watching the Sanjay Dutt biopic Sanju. In the letter, which sheds light on the friendship of Sanjay and Paresh, the latter wrote, “After watching the film Sanju I was numb, numb with limitless emotions. I wanted to just hug him, hold on to him and cry. Cry endlessly to the years we had lost, to the years we stood by and witnessed this roller coaster called life and the irrevocable loss of loved ones. To the mistakes we cannot undo, to the strength we cannot find elsewhere but, in each other.

Now, the entire world shares our story, and the story of the man who’s made me a part of his and he has thought me how to get up after every fall. It’s hard to convey how many different emotions I’m feeling at this time. How many of us can truly say that we’ve got friends who not only stand by you through thick and thin, but are as much a brother, a mentor, and your live conscience? Sanju, you have been all that and more. There were moments I’ve relived from my own life – things I’ve forgotten, and things I’ll never ever forget – on screen. Sanju is an ode to falling, rising, making mistakes and learning, flaws, imperfection – everything that defines the core of friendship. It is more importantly a relentless pursuit of life with all its shades. I know I share this sentiment with all friends and family close to him. ~IndianExpress.com


Katrina Kaif July 16, 1983

Ravi Kishan July 17, 1969

Priyanka Chopra July 18, 1982

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

This is a simple Punjabi recipe that combines the much loved potato with the tenderness of an eggplant in a sautéed dish that cooks fast and goes well with hot roti. It is quite tasty and can be eaten with some yogurt or pickles to enhance the flavor. So, by popular demand, below is a reprint of Mama’s Aloo Baingan recipe, with some additional comments and directions.


Aloo Baingan (Potatoes and Eggplant)

ggplant are very popular in India and especially so in the North where they are generally cooked in only a few variants, with the most popular being bhartha (rough pureed eggplant) or the dish that is presented here, aloo baingan (sautéed potatoes and eggplant). The plant that bears the eggplant is native to the Indian Subcontinent but it is now widely grown all over the world and the fruit is cooked in many ways. India is the world’s second largest producer of eggplants after China and Egypt is a distant third. They are also called aubergine or brinjal, depending on which part of the world you are in. There are many varieties of the plant that produce different sizes, shapes and color, though typically purple. The small variety, sold in grocery stores here as “Indian eggplant” are the ones used for this recipe as they provide the best taste and consistency, although this dish can be made with the large, round eggplants cut into pieces. You may try it that way and will notice the difference in overall presentation and flavor. On a healthy note, eggplants have all the B vitamins, and are high in B9 (folate) as well as in calcium (1%), phosphorus (3%) and potassium (5%). They are relatively low in carbohydrates, sugar and fiber, which makes them an excellent complement for the starchy potato! Eggplants are capable of absorbing lots of fats and sauces, which makes for some rich dishes, though salting makes them absorb less oil. As some of the raw fruit may have a slightly bitter taste, salting, rinsing and draining the sliced eggplant improves the taste, softens it and reduces the amount of fat it will absorb, though most commonly available eggplants do not need this treatment. Ingredients: • 1 lb small desi baingan (small Indian eggplant) • 1 lb aloo (potatoes) (small round are preferable) • 1 large pyaaz (onion) • 2 medium tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best • 1 medium clump of adrak (ginger root) • 1 medium kernel of lasan (garlic)

2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric) and sukha dhania powder (dried coriander seed powder), garam masala2 cups of pani (water) • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric), dhania (coriander), garam masala Directions: 1. Cut the eggplants and potatoes lengthwise and let them soak in water so that they don’t turn dark. 2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet, wok or kadai. Cut the onion, ginger and garlic into small pieces and brown them in the oil. Now add the diced tomatoes. Add the turmeric, pepper and coriander powder and stir for a while till the mixture has a nice consistency and aroma. 3. Drain the eggplant and potatoes, add to the skillet and stir well to coat them with the masala and add salt, to your taste. Do not add extra water, the vegetables will cook in their own steam. Cover the skillet well and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. 4. Check to see that they are tender and stir gently to make sure they

are sticking to the bottom. Turn the heat to very low and then let cook covered in their own steam for 10 more minutes. 5. Uncover the skillet and sprinkle with garam masala and let it sit covered for a while to let the taste and aroma of the garama masala seep through. This dish is best eaten with hot roti or naan. 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 recipes for future generations.




g cooks ers while they prep leave their cut vegetables aside in op en co are especially with eggp the curries or other ingredients. In so ntainm lants, cauliflower, mushrooms and po e cases, are often disappoint tatoes, they ed to see that thes e have turned brow period of time. n in a short When cooking with eg gp lan t, on ce it is cut and lef will start to oxidize t open, the flesh an reason that I sugges d turn brown and eventually black. It is for this t placing the cut ve getable in a bowl that the flesh remain of water so s clean and fresh. Ju decide to cook them st drain the water be . fore you

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July 13, 2018

PM Modi Inaugurates World’s Largest Mobile Phone Factory NOIDA: Samsung plans to double the capacity of its mobile phone factory in Noida making it the largest phone manufacturing unit in the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon JaeIn together inaugurated the plant which will produce up to 120 million smartphones every year. That is one crore phones every month out of the 35-acre facility. The new plant will provide 1,000 more jobs directly. PM Modi speaking at the inaugural ceremony said that the new unit will be a matter of pride for not just India, but Uttar Pradesh and Noida. He said this was an important milestone in the path to make India a manufacturing hub. “Samsung’s global R&D hub is in India. Now, this manufacturing unit is also coming here,” he said, adding that there is hardly a middleclass family in India without a Korean product. “India’s growing middle class is a huge opportunity,” Modi reminded

the world, adding how India is now the second largest mobile manufacturing hub in the world. “India today has 120 mobile factories, which was just 2 in 2014. Out of the 120 factories 50 of them are in Noida alone,” he said. About 30 per cent of all phones made in the new unit will be exported, the PM said, adding how this high-

lighted the blend of Korean technology and Indian manufacturing. President Moon Jae-in underlined the importance of the old link between the two countries and said the new plant will create a new IT civilisation forged in the sweat of Indian and Korean workers. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi

Adityanath said it was an important occasion for everyone. He too touched upon how Korea and Uttar Pradesh had a historic relationship when the princess of Ayodhya was married to a Korean prince. He said the factory would give over 35,000 jobs directly and indirectly and hence the UP Government ensured that the unit got the infrastructure and policy help it needed. Sources said Samsung had pumped in Rs 4,915 crore for expanding the unit, from where it plans to not only cater to the Indian market but also export phones to Europe, West Asia and Africa. “The new unit has come up on an additional 35 acres adjacent to the current facility. It will double the production capacity of both mobile phones and refrigerators,” a company official said. At the Noida facility, company officials said, Samsung will assemble parts sourced from its other agencies. -- Indian Express

Flipkart is Using AI to Resolve India’s Address Problem NEW DELHI: India’s complex address system has continued to be a big riddle for technology companies. Earlier this year, Google launched Plus Codes to make it easier for users to find and share their addresses. While Google is still working on that, the address problem is far more severe for ecommerce companies. These companies grapple with a wide variety of fraudulent activities where some users rig addresses to avail discounts or commit a fraud. This has been a major pain point for e-commerce companies which bank on the last-mile logistics and ultimately bleed revenues. But fraud is just one aspect of the complicated address challenge. For instance, in many developed countries, latitude and longitude information of each address is also available. In many developing countries such as India, such accuracy in information is not available

or is only partial. Flipkart, one of the biggest e-commerce companies in India, is turning to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to solve the complicated address puzzle. We spoke to senior Flipkart data scientist Ravindra Babu on how the company uses new age technologies

to build an ‘address intelligence’. One of the rudimentary problems Flipkart faces is the variation in spellings for a common place. “There are many problems that are native to India. Address is one of them. In a given household, say there six members in a family. Each of them will write their address in

different ways. There is no uniformity, although the house members are literate. Say Marathahalli in Bangalore can be written in two ways—Maratha Halli or Marathahalli. So there are these kinds of challenges,” he said. “So, if you want to involve a model when you expect a machine to understand these complications, that’s where the challenge lies. Any AI problem we come across, first thing we do is go through the data, get a feel about the data than really thinking of a model.” Flipkart is also working to get the addresses marked on the map. It has partnered with maps service providers like MapMyIndia for geo-tagging locations. But the challenge lies in building a solution where the data works according to the geo-location information while addressing the problem of wrong spellings. -- Live Mint



GSPC to Commission Mundra LNG terminal NEW DELHI: Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd will commission a 5 MTPA LNG import terminal at Mundra in the next 2-3 months, GSPC managing director Jagdip Narayan Singh said Sunday. Mundra will be third terminal is Gujarat to import supercooled natural gas, or liquified natural gas (LNG) in cryogenic ships. This LNG will then be converted into gaseous state and transported by pipelines to consumers. “We will commission Mundra terminal by August-end or mid-September. It will operate at 1.5 million tonnes per annum capacity for first 1.5 years before scaling up to full capacity,” said Singh, who is also chief secretary of Gujarat. GSPL LNG Ltd, a joint venture of GSPC and Adani Enterprises Ltd that is implementing the Mundra LNG project, will look at inducting a strategic partner, such as Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, once the terminal is fully operational, Singh said in Delhi. “We have been in talks with Indian Oil, but as the partnership was delayed, we have now decided to first commission the terminal and then see who can we get as a partner,” he said. Singh indicated that the company may run a new process to select a strategic partner. “Once the terminal is complete, we can start looking at who can come in.... Let’s see, it’s too early to say,” he said. Indian Oil had in August last year said it will acquire up to a 50% stake in Mundra LNG import terminal in Gujarat for an estimated Rs. 750 crore. Its board gave “in-principle approval” for acquiring up to 50% equity in GSPL LNG Ltd, the company had said in a statement. GSPL LNG would hold the remaining 50% stake in the Mundra LNG terminal. While the company had not given the acquisition cost, an official said roughly 30% of the Rs. 5,040 crore project cost is equity and Indian Oil would pay half of it.

22 July 13, 2018 Rohit’s Magnificent 100* Leads India to T20 Series Win BY SIDHARTH MONGA BRISTOL (ESPN Crickinfo): India 201 for 3 (Rohit 100*, Kohli 43) beat England 198 for 9 (Roy 67, Pandya 4-38) by seven wickets A long tour of England can bring contingencies, and India responded gloriously to the first of those to maintain their clean sheet in T20I bilateral series of three matches. Central to India’s win was a man who might yet have to play a big part in the rest of the summer: allrounder Hardik Pandya stepped up with India missing two of their first-choice quicks to injury and dropping Kuldeep Yadav, who had taken five wickets two matches ago, because of the small straight boundaries. Pandya bowled smartly, not giving England anything to drive and changing his pace often in his personal best analysis of 4 for 38, reducing a marauding England batting to 198 when they had looked good for 225. He was there with centurion Rohit Sharma when India needed to pull themselves out of a brief slowdown when the 15th and 16th over produced seven runs and the wicket of Virat Kohli. Pandya’s 33 off 14 took off any pressure that might have been on his Mumbai Indians’ team-mate as India chased the target down with more than an over to spare. There was consternation from certain quarters when Kuldeep was left out for debutant swing bowler Deepak Chahar. The pitch looked green, and the straight boundaries were short. India reasoned they wanted a team for the day and not based on history. A few experts said you pick your best bowlers no matter the conditions. To add to India’s woes, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a stiff back. Jasprit Bumrah was already ruled out of the limited-overs leg of the tour. This is an Indian side confident of taking a punt and going along with it. Their confidence was about to be tested. The pace of the three right-arm quicks posed Jos Buttler and Jason Roy no challenge. The Powerplay of 73 for 0 was the best in T20Is in England, and the home side’s secondbest effort anywhere. In a knock that didn’t even last half of England’s innings, Roy equalled the England record for most sixes: seven. Pandya

Rohit Sharma makes deft use of his wrists, England v India, 3rd T20I, Final, Bristol, July 8, 2018.

was among those taken apart, for 22 in his first over, his most expensive over in T20Is. Two wickets fell in the next seven overs but the runs kept coming. That Yuzvendra Chahal bowled four overs for just 30 when the going rate was higher than 10 might have raised doubts in the Indian minds. They were looking at seven overs of quick bowling with no swing available and small boundaries to defend with 132 already on the board. Pandya, who had come back with a two-run second over, showed he had learned from his mistake early on. He wasn’t bowling as short as he had done earlier but still didn’t give England the length to drive or to slog. He rolled his fingers on the ball to good effect, too. Eoin Morgan top-edged a slog, was dropped, but repeated it next ball for MS Dhoni to take one of his world-record five catches in the innings. Alex Hales looked to late-cut him and got the top edge. Pandya came back in the 18th over to thwart another surge from England, this time taking out Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. That England fell 25 short was down entirely to these wickets. Coming into this match, Rohit had averaged 26.08 at a strike rate of 104.1 in all T20 cricket since February 17 this year. Those were surprising numbers for a batsman of his ability in limited-overs cricket,

which is probably why not many questioned his place in a line-up overflowing with batting talent. Rohit showed why by dismantling the England bowling with 11 fours and five sixes. Most of the big hitting was done down the ground because of the boundaries but when England went short, he was equal to it with his pulls. For support he had KL Rahul during a 41-run second-wicket stand and Kohli in an 81-run association for the third wicket. How ineffective the bowling, how short England were of a par score, was

all evident in how all the three wickets fell to exceptional catches. the pick of the lot was the third one as Chris Jordan hung on a Kohli shot drilled back at him in his follow-through. That wicket and the consequent quiet, with Pandya promoted ahead of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, left India 44 to get in four overs. Just then, Pandya hit the first two balls of the 17th over for fours, and India were back on track. Rohit duly reached his hundred, and Pandya provided the exclamation mark with a six off the fourth ball of the 19th over.

Dipa Karmarkar Brings Home Gold BENGALURU: If you have followed Dipa Karmakar’s career, you will know that the fact that she is still a competing gymnast is a testament to her willpower and talent . The 24-year-old ace gymnast suffered an injury, one that almost ended her career. Hurting herself during a practise session, she suffered from Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), one of the most challenging procedures to recover from. After becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, and being the first Indian female gymnast to win a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Dipa has bagged a gold medal this time. India’s golden

girl claimed the World Challenge Cup title with an average score of 14.150. After this, she will next be seen as part of the Indian gymnastics squad at the upcoming Asian Games.



Kanak Jha Has R3peat for US Championship LAS VEGAS: Kanak Jha has already accumulated many career milestones for a young man of his age. It was a big opportunity then, as the youngster took to the court, to create two new milestones to add to his collection. If Jha were to be victorious, he would join Sean O’Neill as the only US males to have won 3 US National singles titles in a row. He would face stiff competition, with 2016 US Olympian Tom (Yijun) Feng stepping up to avenge himself for their last national encounter. In the early stages of the match it was Kanak who stayed in control and held the table, placing the ball well and playing with overwhelming pace. Feng had no time to get on the front foot and on many occasions ended up drifting away from the table and getting caught out by Jha’s rapid direction changes. Falling behind 0-2, Feng unleashed a barrage of confident and powerful loops across the table from both wings. Feng came flying back and the match moved into a deadlock. Tom Feng was in the zone and as the match tied up at 2-2, it looked like it could be anyone’s game. Points fell back and forth as both players pushed to lock in the allimportant 5th game. As tension and nerves rose around the hall, Jha struck and sealed out the game. The 3-2 lead was vital and Jha knew that he needed to close out the match, a seventh game with Feng would be far too dangerous for the young American. Deadly backhand flips throughout the game had served Jha well, he continued to push the initiative in the points and take the upper hand early in the exchanges. This, combined with his precise placement, was key in his victory. An energetic crowd erupted as Kanak Jha won the deciding point, -- Matt Hetherington in USA Table Tennis.

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