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Friday, January 31 2014 | Vol. 33, No. 05


Indo American erican News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Lifeline for Healthcare


Sareen Clinic ribbon cutting, Photo: Bijay Dixit

Republic Day P6

in the U.S.A


Movie Review




January 31, 2014



Republic Day Flag Hoisting at the Residence of Consul General of India

Republic Day Celebrations at India House

HOUSTON: Flag Hoisting Ceremony to celebrate India’s read out the President of India’s Address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day. At 10.25 am the Students of Swaralayam Arts Forum performed. By 10.35 am the students of Anjali Center for Performing Arts portrayed a Kuchipudi dance based on the song “Vinayaka Kavuthvam” composed by Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna and Choreographed by Dr. Rathna Kumar’s Guru, Dr.Vempati Chinna Satyam. At 10 .50 am Consul General Harish presented the gifts to the performers as a token of appreciation. At 10.55 am Guru’s Dr. Rathna Kumar and Vidushi Rajarajeswary Bhat were felicitated. At 11 am Consul General Harish thanked all the participants and the attendees. Photos: Bijay Dixit



64th Republic Day was held in India House on Sunday, January

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26. The event was attended by a large number of people including heads of the local Indian Community Organizations and some of the elected officials or their representatives. National Anthem of USA and India was sung by a group of children. Dr. Virendra Mathur read the message of the President of India followed by Jay Guerrero, Regional Director, office of the Senator John Cornyn, who read Senator’s congratulatory message to the crowd on the occasion of India’s 64th Republic Day. The refreshment after the event were provided by Udipi restaurant of Houston.


HOUSTON: India’s 65th Republic day was celebrated on Sunday, 26 January, at Consul General’s Residence at 5634 Briar Drive, Houston TX, with immense enthusiasm and joy. Around 250 people were gathered including Indian nationals, members of the community and friends of India. This year, large numbers of children and students from University of Houston and Rice University also attended the celebrations. At 10 am the Consul General hoisted the Indian Flag and all those assembled sang the Indian National Anthem. At 10.10 am, addressing those present, the Consul General of India, and his wife Nandita Parvathaneni, extended a warm welcome to all to celebrate India’s 65th Republic Day. At 10.15 am Consul General


January 31, 2014

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January 31, 2014

India House Gala “Our Mission. Our Journey. Our Health.” Saturday, February 15, 2014 6:30pm to 11:00pm Hilton Post Oak Galleria Gala Chairpersons Mr. & Mrs. Vik (Chrisha) Agrawal Keynote Speaker Honorable Nikki Hailey, Governor of South Carolina Contact India House to sponsor the Gala Event: Fax: 713-772-9015 Phone: 713-929-1905 email: For up to date information visit our website at :

Sponsor India House Today Platinum: $50,000—2 VIP center tables Palladium: $25,000— 1 VIP center table Benefactor: $10,000— 1 VIP center table Grand Patron: $5,000—1 VIP Table Patron: $2,500— 1 Table Sponsor: $1,000—VIP Seating for Two Attendees: Couples: $500—Seating for Two Individual: $275—Seating for One INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


January 31, 2014


India House Fulfills its Dream to Serve the Medical Needs of Houstonians

Bal and Rita Sareen (middle) with their family (from left) son Rakesh, wife Amy and their son Neel and daughter Laila; and daughter Sangeeta with her husband Dinesh. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Almost to the day five years ago on February 9, 2009 when Gov. Rick Perry presided over the grand opening of India House, the center of a myriad of the community’s activities has entered into an public-private partnership agreement with Harris Health Systems (formerly the Harris County Hospital District) to offer more services to the community at large. The agreement was publically formalized with its own grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, January 24 attended by local politicians and prominently by the chief architects behind the new Sareen Clinic, Harris County Commissioner’s Court Judge Ed Emmett, India House Trustees Dr. Virendra K. Mathur and Dr. Durga Das Agrawal who stood besides the benefactors of the Clinic, Bal and Rita Sareen. Agrawal spoke of his immense pleasure at making India House a reality and gave a brief rundown on the history of India House and its two million dollar donors O.P. Jhindal (for whom the center is named) and Chowdary Yalamanchili. A short video followed showing the steps taken in starting

the medical services clinic. It has been a fervent hope and desire of the India House Board to expand the programs that the contemporarily designed facility can offer to entice the Indo-American community to use it more regularly and often and then move into the phase two part of its master plan. On most days, there are several classes going on in many of its rooms and most weekends find one community event or the other happening in its main multi-purpose room. Besides this, several organizations have their offices in the building and free or low-cost legal counseling services are available, in addition to Bollywood dance classes, yoga classes and cricket games on the large field behind the building. Spearheading the drive to provide low cost medical services to the community has been the renowned and well-respected cardiologist, Dr. Mathur who has spent much of his spare time to attend to the patients that come in on the weekends. He has also arranged medical seminars to impart knowledge on health issues, such as on metabolic syndrome in February 2013 and the University of Houston’s mobile eye clinic which

Houston philanthropist Carolyn Farb (left) with Harris County District Attorney candidate Kim Ogg

had its first run in the India House parking lot in July 2012. Mathur understands that free and competent healthcare is hard to find in the city and has tapped into the reservoir of Indian physicians who are willing to volunteer their time on the weekends to serve the minor needs of those who walk in for treatment. That medical service has been formalized in the past few weeks after an agreement was struck with Harris Health Systems after Mathur originally approached them with an idea two years ago for a County Same Day Clinic offering treatment of aches, pains and illnesses; minor injuries and labs, tests and vaccines. “With the help of Judge Emmett, who is an unwavering friend of the Indian community, the concept gained favor with Harris Health”, explained Mathur at the reception held last Friday. “And then our generous benefactor, Bal Sareen stepped forward with a $250,000 donation that held to outfit the space dedicated to the clinic”. HHS agreed to provide the equipment that would be used and some staff while volunteer doctors would provide consultations and treatment. This is a bold step forward in making India House a much more used facility and was lauded by Emmett as he addressed the over 300 people who attended the reception, including US Congress Representatives Al Green and Sheila Jackson

Lee (with her husband Elwin); Jay Guerrera from Sen. John Cronyn’s office; Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish; Houston philanthropist Carolyn Farb and Harris County District Attorney hopeful candidate Kim Ogg. Many from the staff of HHS were at hand for the reception and ribbon cutting that was followed by tour of the clinic’s facilities and a buffet dinner catered by Bombay Brasserie. “This new clinic is the combination of two great organizations coming together due to its benefactors”, remarked Emmett. “This is humanity at its best. In years to come, this clinic will bear more dividends than all we have done today can imagine”. Consul General Harish echoed these sentiments, applauding the outsized impact of the Indian community, still small – about 10% compared to the overall population. “Micro care clinics are the best way to give back and harkens back to our Indian traditions”, he said. “These will be replicated elsewhere in the community too”. The usually boisterous Al Green was full of praise for the venture. “India House is my house. It is your house. It is our house”, he said acknowledged the politicians in the room and became the catalyst to gather them together in several groups for pictures with the India House Trustees and the Sareens.

“Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King”, he said, “we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we will perish together as fools”, adding “we cannot allow healthcare to become wealthcare in the richest country in the world”. Agrawal then gave a brief background on Bal and Rita Sareen who live in Lake Charles, Louisiana but have maintained contact with many friends and acquaintances in Houston for the past 25 years. Originally from New Delhi, Bal Sareen came to the US as a mechanical engineer in 1974. After working for many years, he bought Brask Inc. in 1999 and turned the fortunes of the petrochemical industry heat exchanger manufacturing company around, opening a Pearland branch in 2011. A short, mustachioed man with an easy smile and typical Punjabi gusto, Sareen spoke about his association with the Houston community mostly through his friendship with the late Dr. Paul Mehta who introduced him to many people and inducted him into the board of the India House and the Punjabi Culture Club. “We would call it the pakora chai club”, quipped Sareen as he spoke at the podium. “I couldn’t turn Paul down, he was like my older brother, but he made me look deeper into the mission of India House of giving back to the community. I did none of the work, the Board worked tirelessly and I get to get all the credit”. As the program ended, Kusum Sharma, Director of the Natraj School of Dance performed a solo dance to invoke Ganesh, followed by a dance to a Bollywood hit by several of her younger students, both of which were well received by the mixed audience. As Carolyn Farb, a lover of Indian arts, fashion and culture posed in her radiant headdress and deep blue embroidered kurta next to one of the students, she couldn’t help by be impressed by the dancers and the objectives of the clinic. “This is what giving back to the community is all about”, she beamed.

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: Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036




January 31, 2014

Grand Opening Celebrated on Republic Day SUGAR LAND: Republic Day Celebration and the grand opening of one of the biggest Indian grocery stores in Houston took place on January 26, from 1-5 P.M. at the Sugar Land Keemat Grocers, located at Hwy 6 South and William Trace. Sunil T with his crazy Masala Crew brought the festivities to everyone through a riveting live broadcast Anyone traveling along HWY 6 could see the festive tricolor in penants, balloons, tents, ethnic wind dancers and a parade of quaint Indian vehicles. The Indian vehicle display outside Keemat brought back memories of every one as they posed and took pictures with the Masala Hummer, Mumbai Taxi from Mumbai, Ahmedabad Rickshaw, Bajaj Scooter and the new Sholay Bullet attracted kids and families to feel the Republic Day spirit in the air. There was a steady and long line for mouthwatering free Pani Pani, Pakoras and Masala Chai, and it was hard to refuse hooked patrons a second plate. As bright and welcoming as the exterior, shoppers still gasped at the tri-color vibrancy and party going on inside! Sunil T delighted the audience, young to old, with random dance contests as he led “Hun Dabang Dabang Dabang’ while a group of belted men strained to win Keemat Gift Cards. Name your price, he shouted in his Police Inspector uniform, as shoppers held up the most expensive grocery item they could carry and walked away

Job Posting:

with it re priced for a few dollars. A few oil dabbas (regularly $27.99) went for as low as $10 to those strong enough to carry it! It was addicting…it was feverish…it was a day in the life for Masala. Shoppers enjoyed shopping for amazingly fresh produce – at even amazingling low prices – to the rocking beats of DJ Nish and Dholi Keval Gada. Though Keemat Sugarland had soft


KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O located in Houston, TX is accepting applications for an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER TRAINEE. This is a one-year training position. The AP Trainee will gain valuable experience in writing, graphic development and other aspects of producing a television newscast. Candidates must be willing to work overnights and weekends. College degree preferred. Preference will be given to those with previous television news experience and those with a strong desire to pursue a career as a television newscast producer. Being a journalist is not just a job, it is a way of life. Only serious candidates should apply. This is a one year training position. There is no guarantee that the trainee will be promoted to a full time staff position at the end of the training program. For consideration all interested applicants must apply on-line at: www. Applicants must upload cover letter, resume and references. In addition, please send writing samples to: Robin Freese, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 163431BR on ALL materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties. KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.

opened a month prior, owner Kawal Oberoi wanted everything to be tested and perfect before the Masala Grand Opening. Thus the store ceremonially opened with a ribbon cutting at 2PM in the present of community leaders such as Gujarati Samaj of Houston President Amee Patel and VP Bharat Parikh, and the Sugar Land City Council Members Harish Jajoo, Amy Mitchell and Himesh

Job Posting:

Gandhi. More than 2000 people buzzed in from as far away as Galveston and Cypress. 6 ladies, promoting healthy living by eating fresh Keemat vegetables, put their skills to test at the Salad Competition, judged by City Council members and Oberoi. After deliberating through a seemingly impossible decision – judges announced the winning “JAI HIND” SALAD by Joshana Kanabar and Meena Contractor and awarded a $100 Gift Certificate. Following immediately afterwards, Naach Houston’s Mahesh Mahbubani led guests in a session of Bombay Jam – aerobics bursting with popular Bollywood songs. An overwhelming 80% of the customers were wearing orange and received one of 2000 bags of Zafrani rice. The buy one get one free at Keemat Khana Bazaar kept the staff busy…nearly exhausted. There were product samplings – including Aloo Tikki and Raas Malai – throughout the store, as patron several hours experiencing the huge product line and excellent customer service at Keemat Grocers Sugarland. Patrons were happy to learn that a part of all sales would be donated to the worthy Ek Disha, a USA based non-profit organization impacting humanitarian projects all over India. General Managers Rakhee and Anil thanked customers personally for their patronage and look forward to a long-term relationship in Houston.

Broadcast Systems Specialist

KTRK-TV ABC13 located in Houston, TX is seeking an experienced Broadcast Systems Specialist. This is a great opportunity for someone with advanced knowledge of computerized television broadcast equipment and systems including, but not limited to, master control automation, graphics systems, newsroom automation systems, and Non-Linear Editing Systems such as Avid, Edius, and Final Cut Studio. Strong computer networking skills are required. The ideal candidate will have experience providing technical support in a broadcast environment and requires someone with a proven track record managing projects. We are looking for someone that is motivated to excel and possess strong interpersonal skills. Candidates must be willing to work a schedule that will include nights and weekends throughout the year. To be considered for this position you must apply on-line at www. by uploading a resume file and cover letter. Job Req # 163432BR No phone calls please.

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.


January 31, 2014

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January 31, 2014

Be Prepared for the 2015 H-1B Quota

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SOPHIA ASARE & RAHUL REDDY, ATTORNEYS AT LAW. HOUSTON: The H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Cap season will begin on April 1, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for FY 2014 within the first week of the filing period, and we expect FY 2015 to be no different. With less than three months before the start of the new H-1B season, we strongly recommend that employers get an early start on new H-1B filings. THE ANNUAL CAP The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000, with an additional 20,000 visas are allotted for the advanced degree exemption limit. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap do not count toward the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. The following H-1B petitions do not fall under the cap: Petitions to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States. Petitions to change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers. Petitions to allow current H-1B workers to change employers. Petitions to allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B posi-

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tion. Further, petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the beneficiaries will work at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations. WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW If you intend to file cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2014, the earlier you get started the better. Plan accordingly for Department of Labor (DOL) Labor Condition Application (LCA) (Form ETA 9035) processing times as you begin preparing your H-1B petitions. A certified LCA must be submitted at the time of filing the H-1B petition. A copy of the LCA is acceptable. In addition, you must submit evidence of the beneficiary’s education credentials at the time of filing the H-1B petition. If you are indicating that the beneficiary is qualified based on a combination of education and experience, substantiating evidence, such as an education evaluation, must be submitted at time of filing. Plan accordingly for the time it will take to gather education documents and any required substantiating evidence of the Beneficiary’s qualifications. We recommend that you consult with an attorney if you intend on filing new H-1B petitions on April 1, 2014.

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January 31, 2014


Dr. Ramesh “Cherry” Cherivirala Announces Bid for Fort Bend ISD Trustee Position 1

SUGAR LAND: Dr. Ramesh “Cherry” Cherivirala, a Sugar Land Resident, announced his intention to run for Fort Bend Independent School District Board of Trustee, Position 1 in the May 10, 2014 election. “Growth of any city can be directly attributed to the quality of the schools in its neighborhoods. Economic growth in the Fort Bend ISD is clearly evident by the quality of the schools in the district. I believe it is our moral responsibility to provide the resources to nurture and challenge our future leaders. By providing the opportunities for all students to learn where they might best contribute to the society helps our community thrive, said Cherivirala. Dr. Cherivirala is a partner at New York Life Insurance Company in its Sugar Land office. As a partner his responsibilities include hiring, developing and supervising insurance agents and financial professionals. Dr. Cherivirala is an 11 year resident of Sugar Land. He is married with two children in Fort Bend schools. Cherivirala has been married for 20 years to his wife Anuradha. Dr. Cherivirala’s father is a retired teacher and his wife taught at HISD and FBISD as substitute teacher. Ramesh Cherivirala served in PTO organizations at Rita Drabek Elementary and Quail Valley Middle Schools as Treasurer and parliamentarian. He is the founding President of Dulles High School Math and Science Academy Booster Club and served the organization for two years. He has also helped other high schools to start their booster clubs. He has served several IndoAmerican and Asian community non-profit organizations such as South Asian Chamber of Commerce, India Culture Center, Telugu Cultural Association, India House, Indo-American Political Action Committee, 80-20 PAC, Indo-American Charity Foundation (IACF) and Shirdi Sai Jalaram

For further information or to sign up as a volunteer, contribute, or make comments, visit

Ramesh Cherivirala’s website

Dr. Ramesh “Cherry” Cherivirala

Mandir under various capacities. Dr. Cherivirala is currently serving IACF as its President. As part of the IACF education initiative, he has helped coordinating the efforts of educating the elementary school children through providing the tutors to teach Math and Science Curriculum. His notable achievements/contributions as a President of ICC (an umbrella organization for all of Indians in Houston) include an installation of the Mahatma Gandhi (an apostle of truth and nonviolence) Statue at Hermann Park. As President of ICC he led the efforts to raise funds for Tsunami Victims in 2004 and represented the Indo-American Community at Bush/Clinton Fund. He is one of the three founding members of India House Council which made a community Center possible for Houstonians at West Belfort and Gessner to serve community at large. “My decision to seek election as a Trustee is my passion for education. I believe my experience in financial industry, leadership and management skills will be an asset to the Board of Trustees. I believe in excellence in Education and fiscal responsibility,” said Cherivi-

rala. “I will work with the Board of Trustees and the community to make sensible decisions for our teachers, parents, students, and taxpayers of Fort Bend ISD. A Campaign Kick Off is scheduled for February 12, at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.


10 January 31, 2014


American Society of Indian Engineers Held 2014 Inauguration Event

From left: Harshad Patel, Raghu Dass, Showri Nandgiri - VP, Sekhar Amadapuri President, Raj Basavaraju - Treasurer, Rajesh Tolikonda - Secretary, Mahendra Korivi, and Sai Gowthami.

BY DINESH SHAH SUGAR LAND: American Society Of Indian Engineers (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians organized, a first time ever “2014 Inauguration Event” on January 23 at Sankalp. Despite of a worst weather of the season, more than 60 technical professionals participated to welcome the 2014 new ASIE Board and Board of Advisors and also to express their thanks to the 2013 Board and Board of Advisors. After the registration and social networking, the dinner was served and the meeting was called to order. Each member made a brief self-introduction. Vishal Merchant, the outgoing ASIE President warmly welcomed all attendees and he introduced his board members, Karthik Balasubhramanium,

Amal Dutta, Sekhar Amadapuri, Showri Nandagiri, Madhu Kilambi, Rajesh Tolikonda, Raj Basavaraju, and Chetan Vyas. He sincerely thanked them for their incredible service by giving a plaque as a token of gratitude. He honestly appreciated them for volunteering their time and effort to insure the tremendous success he had in the past year. Under his leadership, ASIE hosted guests such as Mayor Annise D. Parker, Houston, The Consul General of India, P Harish and the Director of Public Works and Engineering, Daniel W. Krueger. He accomplished one of the best outreach efforts of mailing out informational membership flyers to over 1800 engineering professionals in the Houston area, increasing awareness of the organization. ASIE was also instrumental in spearheading more than $12,000 in scholarships to students pursuing under-

graduate and graduate degrees in engineering programs from public universities in the Greater Houston Area; also organizing our first ever Awards Ceremony to honor senior engineers and architects for their accomplishments. “The vision of ASIE is to expand and provide benefits of the experienced and well established present generation to the new, young and dynamic generation of the future by supporting initiatives in engineering and architecture, including Science Fair, Mathcounts, and E-Week programs. Thus a solid foundation has been laid for the future, and now ASIE and all the incoming Presidents have to decide to take the organization to the next level and focusing on Building the Future together with the younger generation” said Merchant. Later, he introduced the Board of Advisors, included Dinesh Shah, Hasmukh Doshi, Mahesh Wadhwa, Virendra Bansal, and Srinivas Chintalapati. He offered a plaque to each one for his appreciation for their valuable guidance. As a surprise item, he had chosen two members and presented a Special President’s Award to Dinesh Shah, a Board of Advisor and a 2014 Chairman, who helped organizing sponsored events for members. The second award was given to Raj Basavaraju, a board member for helping in increasing the ASIE membership. As a part of PDH credit requirements, a 30 minutes seminar on “Leadership” was presented by H.H. Doshi. Afterwards, the outgoing President Vishal Merchant introduced the incoming President, Sekhar Amadapuri and performed an oath ceremony. Sekhar in his remark said, “I am honored to be elected the President for 2014. We have had an excellent year un-

At right Dinesh Shah receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from 2013 Outgoing President Vishal Merchant.

der the leadership of Vishal. My board and I will try our level best to keep up the momentum.” The President-elect Amadapuri congratulated 2014 elected Board Members included Showri Nandgiri - VP, Raj Basavaraju - Treasurer, Rajesh Tolikonda - Secretary, Harshad Patel, Naresh Kolli, Mahendra Korivi, Sai Gowthami, and Raghu Dass. He also introduced Board of Advisors - Dinesh Shah, Chairman, Vishal Merchant past President, Ram Gupta, Mahesh Wadhwa, and Joseph Abraham. Further, in his brief remarks, Sekhar mentioned that 2014 will be important year for him and ASIE, as ASIE will be celebrating 20th anniversary and they are planning for a Giant Gala. The event was complimentary for all members and their guests as it was generously sponsored by HDR Engineering, Shah Companies, ARKK Engineers, and Geotest Engineering.

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January 31, 2014


Maghotsab Celebrated with Immense Dedication and Passion




        BY SANCHALI BASU HOUSTON: Maghotsab marks the anniversary of the founding of the Brahmo Samaj. The Brahmo Samaj literally denotes communities of men who worship Brahman. Brahmos celebrate MAGHOTSAB every year on 11th Magh (25 January), that is the day Keshab Chandra Sen started Upasana in “Sadharan Brahmo Samaj� following the same rituals that Maharshi Debendranath Thakur, Rabindranath Tagore’s father had established for the fellow Brahmo disciples of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. In practice, a Brahmo Samaj is an assembly of all sorts and descriptions of people without distinction, meeting publicly for the sober, orderly, religious and devout adoration of “the (nameless) unsearchable Eternal, Immutable Being who is the Author and Preserver of the Universe.� To name some of the noteworthy members of the Brahmo Samaj, one must mention Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Jagadish Chandra Bose and Meghnad Saha. In marking the celebration of this occasion, some members of the Brahmo Samaj congregated at the residence of Ruma Acharya

and Asoke Dey Sarkar, on Sunday, January 25. Ruma Acharya started the proceedings with the invocation prayer and from thereon all the mantras were chanted by Partha Chatterjee, and the English translations read by T. K. Das. The invocatory Brahma Sangeet was sung by Mahua Dasgupta, Shyama Mishra and Amit De. Accompaniment on the violin was provided by Biplab Samadder. Kamalpriya Roy then sung the Rabindrasangeet, “Tomar shur shunaye�. Amit De’s melodious rendition of the devotional Rabindrasangeet “Dhay jeno mor shokol bhalobasha� created a very spiritual atmosphere. In this song the devotee requests that all his/her love be directed to the Lord. Kamalpriya and Shyama then did a duet without any accompaniment and it sounded ethereal. A two minute silence period was observed and a few more mantras (meditation and service) were chanted. A chorus of “Aamar praaner manush aachhe praane� by Mahua, Amit and Shyama was very enjoyable. Members of the congregation who knew the song sang along. Mahua’s “Aamar je shob dite hobe� brought everyone closer to the true hard realities of life that everything in this life is

impermanent and we have to give it all up at the end. The evening concluded with a Brahmasangeet composed by Tagore and was sung by all “Padaprante rakho sebake� (keep me at your feet O Lord and shower me with knowledge, love and affection and may all be filled with pure joy and happiness). Ruma chanted the final Upasamhar Mantra. In keeping with the traditional style of Maghotsab, as celebrated in Shantiniketan in Bolpur, West Bengal, the meal at the end of the festivities consisted of Khichuri, Begun bhaja, labda, chutney and the Bengal delicacy patishapta. One and all enjoyed the kind hospitality of the Asoke and Ruma and thanked them for arranging the Magh Utsav celebration so meticulously.

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12 January 31, 2014


ICC ‘s 2014 Executive Committee

HOUSTON: India Culture Center (ICC) Houston held elections for its 2014 Executive Committee on January 26 at India House. The elections were monitored by the Election Committee comprising of Ashok Dhingra, Satish Jhingran and Ramesh Anand. The new Executive Committee which takes office on February 1, is lead by Chandrakant (Charlie) Patel as President, Harshad Patel as Vice President, Falguni Gandhi as Treasurer and Manisha Mehta as pro tem Secretary. Prakash Patel will be continuing as Past President in the Executive Committee for 2014. All the positions

were filled in unanimously. Charlie Patel has been a young, pleasant temperamental, energetic Director since 2010 who has been volunteering with ICC. He had been a silent and dedicated Director and has put lots of hours at various ICC events in the planning, background and logistics. He has always been stage and limelight shy. Originally a resident of Bhiwandi, Maharashtra; he has been in Houston for the last 14 years and runs a chain of successful Gift & card stores in Downtown Houston. He brings with him financial, business experience and is totally passionate about

From left: Falguni Gandhi, Treasurer; Harshad Patel, Vice President; Chandrakant (Charlie) Patel, President; PV Patel, Past President and Manisha Mehta, Pro Tem Secretary.

Letter to the Editor

India House Sareen Clinic Venture with Harris Health Raises Questions Recently I have read many articles in community news about India House and Harris Health System suggesting it is a charity clinic and the bubble of euphoria seen in the voices of India house leaders need to be pierced before it is too late. I consider it my duty as a Houstonian for 43 years and involved with the Indian community to lay the facts. This is completely misleading. The facts are that it is not a charity clinic by any definition and one will have to pay at least $68 to use it if you have no insurance. It is a regular Harris Health System clinic, being supported by all the tax payers. A charity clinic, as I understand it, is a free clinic or charges only a few dollars and is run by volunteers. The articles also suggest that it will be a India House Clinic, but the fact is, it will be 100 percent administered, owned and governed by Harris Health System and run by their salaried doctors. India house will have no say in running the clinic. India house has simply leased the space to Harris Health System. The sign outside the building says Sareen Clinic and Harris Health System: no where does it mentions India House. This raises more questions as part of the building space being is donated by a trustee who has already donated the same part to India House. How can he donate the donated segment? If anything at all, the donation has to be made by India House and the plaque does not say it. Transparency is the second question. The Board of Directors who have donated thousands of dollars were not consulted. The decision was made by the Board of

Trustees and hopefully by the Executive Committee. Such an important decision should have the consent of all Board of Directors and the India House council. Since they did not have a general body, why was it hushed up? India house has no money to manage the property and they are maintaining the building with the money donated by the Board and Trustees. By getting the rent from Harris Health System, it will ease the money problem. And by finding a willing donor in Bal Sareen, it was constructed to the exact specification of the Harris Health system. Who is the winner? Clearly the Harris Health System.They got building to their specification in the best location in that area without spending a penny and with few dollars of rent. All this talk of partnership and collaboration is just nonsense and is just a sweetner for swallowing a bitter pill. It looks like India House is for sale or rent. I am thinking if I start my own club, they will surely find a donor and build the place according to my specification so they get regular rent to run the place. Ladies and gentlemen, do not visit India House from Monday to Saturday as you will not find a place for parking and the building will be occupied by lots of ill and weird people as there is not a separate entrance for the clinic By Dr. Satish Jhingran Past President ICC, Indian Doctors Association, founder Indo American charity Foundation, Board of Director India Doctors Charity Clinic

non-profit organizations. He has volunteered with other organizations in past like Gujarati Samaj of Houston and Hindus of Greater Houston and IHA. While accepting the premier position of ICC, he promised to work closely with the ICC Board, Trustees and the Partnering organizations. He spoke about enhancing ICC level and adding 2 more events during 2014 in addition to the ICC Signature events.

The present ICC Board of Directors at Large are Charlie Patel, Harshad Patel, Falguni Gandhi, Manisha Mehta, P V Patel, Col Raj Bhalla, Rajiv Bhavsar, Prasad Kalva, Sridhar Dadi, Nirmala Patel, Mahesh Wadhwa, Jasmeeta Singh, Hemant Patel, Nisha Mirani, Ajit Patel and Girish Naik. For further information visit

IFest at Stafford Center on February 1

HOUSTON: India Culture Center of Houston, in association with other Indian American organizations, presents IFest 2014 on Saturday, February 1 at Stafford Center, 10505 Cash Road in Stafford from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. The event, marking the 65th Republic Day of India, is free and plenty of free parking is available. Honoring the flags, a colorful parade and a guard of honor will form the formal part of the program, while a vibrant cultural program will be staged throughout the day. The cultural program will include patriotic and colorful items, including dance numbers by children and music by talented singers. Magic show, moonwalk for kids, varieties of food stalls and a veritable Indian bazaar for goods will keep the visitors engaged. Educational and community programs will be showcased as well. The magic show is tentatively scheduled at 12 noon, while the parade is expected around 12:45 p.m.

P.V. Patel, president of ICC, said “ICC is proud to host the celebrations commemorating the Republic Day of India. I invite everyone to participate in this traditional event. I extend a special welcome to the youth and children.” “I urge all parents from the Indian community to bring their children so that they can get exposure to our great Indian heritage and culture. A young child can learn a lot even by observing this kind of events. It is a free event and parking is free as well. All that is needed is your enthusiastic participation in the IFest. Please come and show your solidarity with the ICC and the Indian American community in the greater Houston area, Patel said. For further information call Prasad Kalva, event chair at 979-240-9533, or P.V. Patel at 832-754-7596, Mahesh Wadhwa (Vice President) at 832 868 6561 or Charlie Patel(Booths and Sponsorships) at 832 423 7979 or visit WWW.ICCHOUSTON.ORG.

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SUGAR LAND: The IIT 2013 Global Conference, held in December at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas, was organized by The IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH). This was the first IIT conference held in Houston and was a phenomenal success. Previous conferences have been held in San Jose, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. The conference was held over 3 days, attended by over 1600 people, had close to 100 speakers and moderators (including former President of Mexico Vicente Fox and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen), and included entertainment by Usha Uthup and Houston’s own Fab 5. Over 80 volunteers, both IITians and nonIITians worked tirelessly for over 18 months to make the conference a huge success. As a token of gratitude for all the hard work, IITAGH hosted a volunteer appreciation dinner on Sunday, January 26 at Madras Pavilion. The event was well attended by the volunteers and their spouses/significant others. After some appetizers and networking, the group really bonded together once again as they worked to keep up with Mahesh Mahbhubani, the founder and artistic director or Naach Houston Inc. Mahesh walked the group through some of the latest Bollywood moves, carefully leading the new comers through the process, and then setting the pace for the group to follow. It was great to see many folks get on the dance floor and have fun, not to mention getting a good workout before a big dinner. The occasion also marked the handover of the role of the President of IITAGH from Witty Bindra to Pratish Kanani. Witty was also the Chair of the IIT 2013 conference while Pratish was the Vice Chair. “Over the

January 31, 2014

IITAGH Dances to a New Beat

last two years, Witty has set a new bar for the IIT Alumni of Greater Houston. We have strong recognition and involvement within the Houston community. I am looking forward to working with the IITAGH organization and building on this momentum,” said Pratish Kanani, the President of IITAGH. During the light-hearted banter that followed, there was recognition of the IIT Kharagpur alumni that were heavily involved with the conference operational logistics, followed by other IIT campuses trying to one-up each other. The evening was a great success and gave everyone the opportunity to relax and catch up with friends. IITAGH looks forward to getting everyone together for other events this year.

Maha Shivratri Celebration at Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston The First Jyotir Lingam, a Replica of GOD Somnath & Maa Shri Ambaji, in Houston.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Please Come with your family and Friends and pray at Our New Temple. Mahapuja at 5:00 PM. Arati 7:00 pm. Four-Praharpooja will continue till 6:00 a.m. on Feb 28 List your name for Pooja with the Priest. Mrutyunjaya Japa Yajna will continue for the whole day. For Mahapooja, a donation of $201.00 is appreciated; For Abhishek during daytime a donation of $21.00 is appreciated, and Milk for Abhishek & Prasad is welcome. New Temple is located at: 6640 Harwin Drive • Houston, TX 77036 For more information or to participate as Yajman, call Pandit Virat Mehta 713-784-5500 or Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 Temple Tel: 713-278-9099

Maha Pooja – 5:00 pm To 7:00 pm First Prahar pooja – 9:00 To 12:00 am Second Prahar pooja – 12:00 To 2:00 am Third Prahar pooja – 2:30 To 4:00 am Fourth Prahar Maha Arati - 4:30 to 6:30 am



14 January 31, 2014


Official Announcement for IIFA 2014 BY RACHANA SRIVASTAVA LOS ANGELES: The International (North) Indian Film Academy Awards, also known as the IIFA Awards, are a set of awards presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry. The ceremony is held in different countries around the world every year. This award ceremony has been organized by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd – one of India’s premier event management and entertainment agencies – since its inception. In 2014, IIFA would visit Tampa Bay, USA and become the first Indian Award Show to do so. For the very first time the most awaited event IIFA is taking place in Tampa Bay Florida from April 24 to April 26 .Tampa will have

the opportunity to catch stars descend on the American soil. To officially announce its commencement, a press conference was organized in SLS Hotel Los Angeles which saw Leading actors of Bollyood Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, IIFA host Dr Kiran Patel, Country Commissioner Al Higginbotham, President and Chief Executive, Santiago Corrada, Director of Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd Viraf Sarkari, Andre Timmins, directors were also present. Announcing the commencement of the IIFA officially Viraf said that this year IIFA would see a big Bollywood party, name of Actors who are participating in IIFA will be announced gradually. President and Chief Executive, Santiago Corrada said it gives him immense pleasure to be associated with IIFA . Tampa Bay, Florida and IIFA stage is all set to welcome


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all. He further added that he likes the IIFA slogan “ONE PEOPLE ONE WORLD “ a lot. Al Higginbotham said that he is very excited about the event taking place in Florida. He expressed that now since IIFA is taking place in Florida , Americans who do not know about Bollywood will also get to know it. Dr Kiran Patel ,one of the main organizer for IIFA in Florida said that organizing IIFA in Florida does not have the lone motive of bringing the stars here but also eyes to bring the Indian culture here. There have been many big events organized in Tampa and so we also plan to make it big. Long time friend and a strong supporter of IIFA, the international actor Anil Kapoor expressed his feelings by saying that IIFA is not an event for him, its an emotion for him which has given him many many important relations in his life which hold the same importance till date. He expressed how delightful and proud he is on being associated with IIFA. There are many award shows but IIFA stands tall amongst them because its impartial and fair added the slum dog millionaire actor. Most popular Bollywood actress and singer Priyanka Chopra said IIFA is a big big party in which we get a chance to meet people and since its in Florida this year its even more exciting. America welcomes people from diverse culture and ethnicity and IIFA taking place in florida proves it. I am always excited to participate in IIFA every year and this year I have bigger plans to perform in IIFA. Welcoming everyone to come to IIFA, Priyanka said it would be a star filled magical night so do come to feel the magic. Here we will celebrate the festival of cinema so come and be a part of the celebration. IIFA announced that the hosts of this year’s show are heartthrob actor-dancer Shahid Kapoor, who has been the host for the past two years, and director, screenwriter, actor and singer Farhan Akhtar. The awards will take place from the 24 – 26 of April, ticket to this three day extravaganza are available on Ticket prices range from $93 to $3,295 through Ticketmaster, and IIFA is selling three-day premium packages for up to $25,000 through This year IIFA officials expect people from across the globe to witness this mega event. Specially from countries like India, Canada, Pakistan, Singapore, UK, Shri Lanka, South Africa and UAE. IIFA schedule April 23: “IIFA Stomp” Bollywood dance music festival at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Free and open to the public.

April 24: “IIFA Rocks” live music and fashion event showcasing the work of three Indian designers at the University of South Florida Sun Dome. April 24 and 25: “IIFA Global Business Forum” with 120 CEOs of Indian companies at the Tampa

Convention Center. April 25: “Magic of the Movies & Technical Awards” show at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds. April 26: 6:30 p.m. awards show at Raymond James Stadium

YLDP Students Visit CHR Solutions

BY SAIRAHUL ADHARAPURAPU HOUSTON: On January 11, YLDP gave a group of students the opportunity to meet two great entrepreneurs, James Taylor, CEO of CHR Solutions, Inc. and Dr. Arun Pasrija, COO and President of CHR Solutions, Inc. At this amazing event the two Entrepreneurs talked to us about their personal life story, tips for success, what CHR Solutions does, and they gave us a tour. The most interesting part for me was their life story and tips for success. James Taylor’s personal story was extremely interesting because it showed how hard work and determination could eventually pay off and result in success. A very intelligent man from a young age Taylor excelled in all his classes and went to college. Taylor then dropped out of college and pursued his goal of being an entrepreneur. Persevering in the face of adversity is an important characteristic and Taylor exemplifies that, he had three or four failed business ventures

before he got his first one up and running. In order to create this business he partnered with Dr. Arun Pasrija, a man who arrived in America with a loan that needed to be paid and maybe one or two contacts. By coincidence they met and created that YLDP had the pleasure to visit, CHR Solutions Inc. They also gave us a small description of what CHR Solutions Inc. does; it is a leading provider of telecommunications consulting, technology systems and business solutions to telecom companies around the world. The company was started as Global 1 Source Group in 2003 which then merged with CHR Solutions Inc. Over time CHR Solutions Inc. has acquired various other companies and the leaders of the Company Taylor and Dr. Pasrija has worked on numerous other business ventures and projects, both independently and separately. This YLDP session was amazing because the people who it was centered around had a lot of interesting information to give.



January 31, 2014


Foundation for India Studies Participates at MLK Jr. Grande Parade greeting “Namaste”. Several parade watchers stopped by to take a picture with him. Indo American adults and children joyfully participated in the cool weather. Like every year, numerous school bands and cheerleading teams participated in the parade. These bands and dances impressed the large holiday crowds on mild winter weather. Commentators covering the event live, which was later shown in the evening broadcasts, talked about how MLK Jr. adopted Gandhi’s principles of peace and nonviolence. Parul Fernandes, President of FIS, shared with TV media the vision and goals of the FIS and the importance of the sharing the values and contributions of Indians. Several children who participated in the MLK Jr Grande Parade and walked under the FIS banner were surprised with the attention that “Gandhi Ji” received. “It was great to see that people recognize Mahatma Gandhi,” Aakarsha Saridey (Age 10) commented. Apoorv Nednur (Age 9) and PraHOUSTON: The Foundation for India Studies (FIS) is the only Indo- American Non-profit organization that participates every year in the Martin Luther King,Jr.’s Grande Parade in Downtown, Houston to promote the parade’s vision of achieving equality through education. Dr. King drew his inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of peace and non-violence to carry out in America the fight for equality in the non-violent civil rights movement. On January 20, the FIS Board and its members walked In the MLK Jr Grande parade under the FIS banner. The FIS banner depicts both Mahatma Gandhi and MLK Jr.,

the apostles of peace and non-violence who shared the same vision and same path to serve their nations. The event chairs for this year’s parade were Dr. Rajender Aparasu and Raghavender Nednur. The crowds cheered and offered “namaste” as the FIS team walked. “ Namaste” is the humble greeting of Peace and Non-violence which Indians use as a sign of welcome to everyone. “Gandhi Ji” caught the attention of thousands of spectators who thronged all along the parade route. Suresh Shah, a teacher and resident of Kingwood, dressed as Mahatma Gandhi walked with the stickT:10” with folded hands offering the peaceful

nav Konduri (12) felt proud to represent the Indian community and be recognized. Saureesh Aparasu (Age 10) said “It is exciting to be part of the parade and distribute flyers about Mahatma Gandhi and MLK Jr. “ Parul Fernandes, President of FIS said: “We are Indo-Americans and, we are definitely connected with America because our leaders Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King believed in the same ideologies and imbibed in us the values of peace and non-violence. In addition, while living here in America we support such activities because we are no different from those born here. United we are stronger and we want everyone present to know that. It is FIS’s vision to let the world know about India and its contribution to the world though education. Mahatma Gandhi said, “ an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind so non-violence makes the world see the truth”.

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16 January 31, 2014



January 31, 2014


Mitticool: Son of the Soil Keeps Things Cool with his ‘Desi Gadget’

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Mansukhbhai Prajapati with his refrigerator and other down-to-earth innovations. (HT Photo)

BY VIVEK SINHA NEW DELHI: The devastating earthquake of 2001 destroyed thousands of homes in Gujarat, but the destruction sparked an idea in the mind of Mansukhbhai Prajapati. Prajapati had been making earthen water filters but a benign news caption about his broken water filter wrought a change in perspective. In February 2001, a Gujarati newspaper carried a photo feature on the earthquake. Among the photographs was one of a broken water filter produced by him, with the caption: ‘the broken fridge of poor’. “This got me thinking and I actually started working on a refrigerator that would keep food cool without needing electricity,” said Prajapati about the pradigm shift in his thinking. After a painstaking three years during which he tested all sorts of soil, clay and refrigerator designs, Prajapati finally came out with his unique “Mitticool” fridge in 2005. Mitticool is made of a specific type of terracotta clay with numerous pores on its walls. Its function is simple: keep things cool, for which it uses the basic principles of physics. About 10 litres of water travel through it, circulating through the pores and eventually evaporating. The evaporation lowers the temperature of the clay, and keeps things stored in the ‘frig’ fresh. “Mitticool can keep the food fresh for five days,” Prajapati explained. The Rs. 3,400 ‘desi gadget’ is affordable for the masses, and a hit in the region. Impressed by Prajapati’s efforts, Anil Gupta, a professor at IIM Ahmedabad introduced Mitticool to National Innovation Foundation in 2005. He also helped Prajapati with the much needed cash to expand his busi-

ness further. “I received Rs. 1.8 lakh due to professor Gupta’s efforts that gavemefinancialsecurityandboosted my confidence,” the innovator says. Today Prajapati makes several clay products that include a tawa, pressure cooker, non-stick tawa, water filter, pot and dinner set, among other items. His company, christened (what else?) Mitticool recorded annual sales of Rs. 45 lakh during the fiscal 2012-13. “We have been growing at 15-20% every year,” he said, adding that 230 Mitticool refrigerators are sold every month. But the journey to this success was paved with thorns. Between 2001 and 2004, during which he was researching on the clay and other modalities, Prajapati had to sell off his ancestral home to repay loans. “I had taken a loan of Rs. 7 lakh which after accumulated interests had ballooned to Rs. 19 lakh. The situation got so bad that I had to sell off my ancestral home to pay off the bank’s interests,” Prajapati said. After Mitticool became a reality in

2005, a civil engineer saw the fridge and looking at its applications gave him an order for 100 units, and an advance payment of Rs. 2 lakh. “This set the ball rolling for me,” said Prajapati. During his participation in a traditional food festival in 2008 where he sold his other products along with Mitticool several visitors asked him to improve upon the black handi as well. “This gave me the idea of developing a clay cooker,” he reminisced. Similarly,ideastodevelopanearthen thermosflaskcamein,andhemadetwo models of 1 litre and 2 litres capacity. Prajapati is keen to improve upon his products and is working to improve the Mitticool by fitting an RO (Reverse Osmosis) unit to it so that one can also get purified water. He is also researching on making small ‘Minute Mitticools’ such as a 5-minute Mitticool or a 2-minute Mitticool, essentially meaning that the device would cool water in the time specified. -Hindustan times



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18 January 31, 2014 A City Divided In a city bitterly divided over the move to carve out a new state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh and make it the joint capital, the tension is spilling over from political speeches and street protests to simpler things in life such as menu cards and restaurant names. Traditionally, the ‘meals ready’ sign outside restaurants in and around Hyderabad meant mouth-watering, spicy ‘Andhra’ food cooked in the coastal Andhra style. Not anymore. ‘Andhra’ is now a sensitive word and people in Hyderabad are treading gingerly on the emotive issue. As the state teeters on the brink of being split, the famous ‘Andhra meal’ is running into competition from the ‘Telangana thali’, introduced in deference to pro-Telangana sentiments. What used to be an ‘Andhra mess’ is now just a ‘mess’ or ‘students mess’. Some locals say it is better to check the menu these days before asking for ‘Andhra meals’ because you might be in a ‘Telangana’ restaurant and invite angry glares. Earlier, diners could walk into a local restaurant and just order ‘Nellore fish curry’ or ‘Gongura chicken’ or ‘Andhra chilli chicken’. Now, restaurants owned or run by people from Telangana have rewritten their menus and call dishes ‘Telangana thali’, ‘Telangana chicken’, and Pulihora pulusu, a tamarind rice dish earlier referred to as Andhra pulihora. The mood also prompted G Suraj Chaudhry, who worked in ‘Andhra’ restaurants for more than a decade, to open Telangana Ruchulu (Taste of Telangana) opposite Secunderabad Railway Station. “Besides people from Telangana, we have lots of guests who walk in out of curiosity. Popular Telangana dishes include ‘Boti’ and Gongura curry’,” he said. “Hyderabad has all kinds of cuisine including Hyderabadi, Irani, Andhra and Rayalaseema but Telangana was missing. It is a matter of great pride for me to launch ‘Telangana Ruchulu’.’’ Some restaurants have even changed the style of cooking dishes to Telangana from Andhra. For instance, ‘Potlakaya pulusu’, or snakegourd stew, is now ‘Telangana Potlakaya pulusu’. “People from Andhra, Telangana, north India, all kinds of people come to my restaurant. I cannot object if someone asks for Andhra chicken because it is famous and belongs to the undivided state’s cuisine. But it is a matter of pride for me to introduce Telangana dishes in the menu,’’ said K Suman, owner of Salsa Restaurant. Many restaurants have retained Andhra dishes but have simply done away with the ‘Andhra’ pre-fix in their names. “We are in Telangana not Andhra, so we should have our own Telangana meals, right?’’ asks Dayakar Rao, who runs an eatery for students. Janyala Srinivas in Indian Express


2014: The Branding Battle BY SEEMA CHISTI It’s 2014 and with about a hundred days to go for polling, campaign season is upon us. However, we are still some distance from clarity on what either of the two largest parties has to offer. Perhaps it is because both sides are trying to cater to a homogenised, media-savvy “voter-consumer” that the contest so far sounds too much like an ad war. There are “war rooms”, banal, flashcard references to the “young vote” and a bitter battle of words that is supposed to stand in for a clear articulation of policy. The face of the Congress, which has been in power for a decade, and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, who has ruled his state for 13 years, are both trying to project themselves as outsiders. Both claims sound hollow, to be polite about it. The Congress is struggling to recover from the loss of its aam aadmi slogan, which had helped it so far in putting forward its Manmohanomics-meets-welfareeconomics positions. The “aam aadmi”, a term loose enough and yet specific enough for a wide range of persons to identify with it, had come to signify a utilitarian test for whatever works. With the AAP now part of the discourse, the Congress clearly has an aam aadmi problem. The BJP, ever since 1980, has resisted calls to turn itself over to the regular Western idea of a rightwing party — free-market, nationalist, Thatcherite. Now, it finds itself very much under RSS control and freighted with the latter’s ideological baggage. So it is difficult for the BJP to model itself on Western rightwing parties like the Tories or the Christian Democrats. It has chosen, instead, to invest in the “khaas aadmi”. One might say it has a khaas aadmi problem. The Congress, which had ini-

Narendra Modi so that he does not lose his core base and yet succeeds in winning over a sizeable section of the Hindu vote that doesn’t yet respond to his image or attempts at a makeover. In short, how does someone like Modi appear true to his Hindutva allegiance while also appearing committed to just building bridges, drains or toilets? The BJP had said recently that it would articulate its “solutions”. But it turned The election will take place out to be a laundry list, in five phases as shown in throwing no light on what the party’s position is on this color-coded map. some very obvious contemporary policy questions. Modi’s silence on the AAP, tially had the garib aadmi at the economic policy and even the Suheart of discussions, moved on preme Court order to immediately to the well-branded aam aadmi. disqualify sitting MPs and MLAs With “aam aadmi”, a thought-out who have been convicted cannot departure from “garib aadmi”, the go on for ever. Though Modi is Congress set its sights on a broad- still loath to making himself availer demographic. And with citizens able to the press or for questions, anxious to come out of the garib never mind the Muslim question, classification, this new term found the BJP will eventually have to a wider response and helped the spell out what its idea of India is. Congress regain ground. MeanPerhaps it is the “benaam aadwhile, the BJP, especially in its mi”, a term coined by Delhi-based NDA avatar, reworked the antyo- commentator Samir Saran recently, daya idea, which meant reaching that should get more attention now out to those at the end of the line. from the aam aadmi-free Congress This also served it well, especially as well as the khaas aadmi-ridden in the states. BJP. Saran’s contention is that, in Damaged deeply by the AAP in the race to sort out the nightmares its showpiece state, the Congress of the middle class, whether it is is looking for a new phrase to ar- gas, water or electricity bills, sevticulate whom it wants to draw eral basic questions concerning the in and focus on for its campaign. truly dispossessed, or the benaam Rahul Gandhi, in his speech at the aadmi, have been ignored. AICC, hinted at a version of the It will be important to observe if not-quite or the neo-aam aadmi — the two very similar ad campaigns the “70 crore” who are not part of eventually give way to honest and the middle class and not poor — cogent ideas. So we are still waitas the new target. But that phrase ing to see what the BJP commits is yet to find a proper home in the itself to and what it has to offer Congress’s campaign lexicon. beyond its khaas aadmi. And the Unlike the Congress, the BJP Congress will have to communiis not beset by the problem of cate that it stands for cohesion, in someone walking off with its best a way that is different from imposcampaign pitch. But how does it ing a oneness on it. It would have provide more wind in the sails of to convey that personal well bethe khaas aadmi it has appointed ing is dependent on the welfare of as leader? It will now be watched all — the benaam and the aam. A closely for how skillfully it uses pitch for “hum sab”, anybody? IE


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January 31, 2014

“A Well Deserved Honor”, Says Fellow Authors

Ruskin Bond Gets a Padma Bhushan



BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT Mussoorie-based author Ruskin Bond was just about to go to bed on the night of 25th January when he got an unexpected phone call from Ganesh Saili, his long time comrade-in-arms and a fellow author. “Hey Ruskin, you have just been awarded the Padma Bhushan and you are all over the TV news channels.” Ruskin rubbed his eyes and asked “what have I done to deserve it?” However, as the news sank in, Ruskin recovered his wits and said, “I feel really honoured and humbled on being given this prestigious award. It is, in a way, recognition of my work spanning over 60 years – a veritable lifetime.” It was not his first award. He had won way back in 1999 Padma Shri, and a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992 for “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra”. GANESH, himself is a noted author and accomplished photographer, was the first visitor to have arrived the following morning at Ruskin’s home. Soon his modest Ivy Cottage in Landour had become a beehive of media and TV journalists equipped with their camcorders and recorders. There was not much space in his small living-cum-working room; most of the journalists stood outside on the road waiting for their turn. It was after two hours that the last of them left. Ruskin’s fellow authors living in Mussoorie and Dehra Dun have heartily greeted the award of Padma Bhushan to him. “It will be at least a 100 years before another author of Ruskin’s durability and stamina will emerge. Ruskin has done for Mussoorie what Kipling did for Shimla”, says Ganesh Saili. Irwin Allan Sealy in his message from London where he is visiting his old father said that Ruskin Bond “richly deserved the award”. In many ways, the year 2013 has been a special year for this unostentatious writer from Mussoorie. A couple of lifetime achievements awards including ones from the Delhi government and The Times of India and several book release and promotion events in India and UAE came his way. His literary output has indeed been prodigious with 10 of his new titles coming out during the year, adorning shelves in the bookstores all across the country. His latest best seller is “Tales of Fosterganj” published by Aleph Book Company; it is a fascinating tale set in the 1960s in a quaint little hamlet near Mussoorie. The story includes many ‘lovable’ rogue characters with their own respective tales to tell. Ruskin will turn 80 on May 19 next, and it has been a very long

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and somewhat arduous journey for this an inveterate storyteller. For nearly six and a half decades, Ruskin has now been writing virtually continuously without interruption. For him, it is like an unfinished marathon. His literary yield has been enormous; imagine a writer with more than 50 children’s books, nearly a score of novellas and over 150 books including numerous anthologies, collection of short stories and even books in non-fiction genre – all with numerous repeat prints. Today his fan following transcends three generations. His passion for writing is remarkable and somewhat unusual today for a writer considering that the computers and the internet are anathemas to him. He writes by hand. He doesn’t watch television and even doesn’t use cell phones. He could not even ride a bicycle when he was a teenager and always did pillion riding. Call these quirks or eccentricities or whatever, these are very unusual traits for one of the most popular modern living authors. Despite all this acclamation and adoration, Ruskin is essentially simple and shy by nature. Once as a chief guest at a function, Ruskin was introduced as a man of ‘few words’ and asked to say something. He stood up and said ‘thank you very much for your kindness and courtesy’ and promptly sat down. However, he is very vocal and at ease while interacting with groups of school children. Ruskin

has a good sense of humour and often laughs at his own jokes. As a general rule, Ruskin stays away from literary festivals; “there are so many of them all over India that a writer would spend two to three months a year attending them. If he does that then when would a writer write,” he asks. However, he hastens to appreciate the fact that more and more literary festivals were healthy and would encourage book reading habit. Ruskin doesn’t have any unfulfilled ambitions. A few months back he had told me, “Raj, you were there when the “Room on the Roof” won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. You have also seen me in those struggling years. It has been indeed an uphill journey, both figuratively and literally. From those hand-to-mouth days, I have now reached both financial stability and professional fame. What else does a man like me in my twilight years wish to achieve? I have seen and done it all. I will continue writing and will happily go with a pen in my hand when my time comes.” What more will the year 2014 bring for Ruskin? Some of his stories have already been made into movies. Film maker Vishal Bhardwaj, who has made two movies based on Ruskin’s stories is virtually now his neighbour, having bought a house two years ago in Landour. Bhardwaj visits Mussoorie to relax and think of new themes. Bhardwaj already has in mind a couple of Ruskin’s stories. May be, he could possibly make yet another movie on one of Ruskin’s stories. It is, however, being rumoured that the producer actor Amir Khan is also looking at Ruskin Bond’s “At School with Uncle Ken” for a movie project.

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Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dun-based author and freelance journalist.


20 January 31, 2014



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Badam Wala Dudh (Hot Almond Milk Tonic) This recipe can’t really be called a dish as it is more of a remedy that can cure flu and cold symptoms, but it was a drink that my children, nieces and nephews liked so much that they would ask for it during the cold months like a sweetened milkshake. It is considered a tonic for those who have to study hard or do work requiring mental concentration. But the truth is that this was the hot milk that we would drink during the frigidly cold months of winter in the western Punjab plains while sitting around the warmth of the chulla (clay hearth) and exchanging gossip about the day’s happenings with the extended family. We grew up by the banks of the River Jhelum in the small town of Jhung, close to our lands which was farmed by leaseholders. In the winters our storage rooms would be full of the produce of grains and nuts from the harvests. This drink had its origins in the farm west Punjab but was influenced by the far Northwest Frontier provinces where the winters are longer. The whole area was – and still is - known for its trade in dried fruits and our nani (maternal grandmother) would make this hot milk drink with cracked whole almonds roasted in gheyo (clarified butter). Nani would tell us the hot almond milk would melt the frozen portions of our sinus passages, unclog our heads, free up our lungs by giving us a boost of energy. She would quote a Punjabi folk saying: Dudhpeetheyanbudhvadde(drinking milk increases the brain), Teh ghee khaade khopadri (and eating ghee the head); Maas khaade maas vadde (eating meat increases the flesh), Teh unn khadde ohjadri (and eating flour increases the stomach).

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ENTERTAINMENT Movie Review: Jai Ho

BY MADHUREETA MUKHERJEE Story: A braveheart commoner standsupagainstinjusticeandspreads a life-changing mantra of the circle of goodness, giving and generosity. Review: There is nothing ordinary about this aam aadmi. He rips, roars and ravages the raavans with a single blow - like a Stallone on steroids. Jai (Salman) is an ex-Army officer, who runs a garage part-time and plays incredibly good (looking) Samaritan fulltime, beating up baddies to bloody pulp with anything from hockey sticks, chains, scaffolding and even a mighty pen. During one ‘good-deed’ demo,

he’s hit by a brainwave - a thought that can change the world! His funda seems profound but is simple. Goodness is redeemable. If someone shows you a random act of kindness, you pay it forward to three people. And they’ll pass on the ‘act of kindness’ to three more each. A multiplier effect on millions - snowballing into a mass junta movement of goodness. The film has the heart and the haath (read: fist) in the right place. But there’s more than just ‘dogooder’ drama in this potboiler with purpose. J a i gets em-

broiled with a nefarious neta, Dashrath Singh (Danny) and his heavy-weight hooligans, who’re a ‘pain in the rear’ of the aam aadmi. It sparks a raging war between the udaas aam aadmi and khaas politicians. ‘Jai Ho’- A remake of Telugu film ‘Stalin’ (inspired by Hollywood film ‘Pay It Forward’) resonates with the current mood of the country. Sparking an optimistic hope of a Utopian world. Sohail presents our ‘Hero of the Masses’ fabulously - with all Salmanisms perfectly in place. The premise pompously alerts us of cliches and trappings of a commercial masala fare. The screenplay is not as inspiring as the noble message, the story cuts into too many episodes and the underlying idea is repetitive. Tabu and Danny leave a decent impact. Debutante Daisy grooves well and shows impressive confidence. The bone-crunching, blood-splitting scenes are a delight for action addicts. The story is laced with light-hearted humour and massy music. Like most Salman Khan films, this one too rests solelyonhisundeniablesuperstardom. There is one explosive moment of revelation in the film - when Salman tears off his shirt to show off his greased, stabbed, scarred and sensational sinews. Nothing else matters for ‘bhai’ fanatics. It’s ‘the’ paise wasool moment. Rest assured, they will ‘pay up’ and ‘take it forward’. -Times of India

January 31, 2014

Filmfare Awards 2014: List of Winners The following is the list of winners at the Filmfare Awards 2014: Best Actor: Farhan Akhtar - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Actress: Deepika Padukone RamLeela Best Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Film: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Best Debut (Director): Ritesh Batra - The Lunchbox Best Debut (Male): Dhanush Raanjhanaa Best Debut (Female): Vaani Kapoor - Shuddh Desi Romance Best Film (Critics): Ritesh Batra The Lunchbox Best Actor (Critics): Rajkummar Rao - Shahid Best Actress (Critics): Shilpa Shukla- BA Pass Sony Trendsetter of theYearAward: Chennai Express Best Screenplay: Chetan Bhagat, Abhishek Kapoor, Supratik Sen and Pubali Chaudhari (Kai Po Che) Best Story: Subhash Kapoor - Jolly LLB Best Actor in a Supporting Role:NawazuddinSid-

diqui - The Lunchbox Best Actress in a Suporting Role: Supriya Pathak - Ram-Leela Lifetime Achievement Award: Tanuja Best Music Award: Jeet Ganguly, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari - Aashiqui Best Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi - Zinda (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) Best Playback Singer (Male) - Arijit Singh, Tum hi ho (Aashiqui 2) Best Playback Singer (Female) - Monali Thakur, Sawaar Loon (Lootera) RD Burman Award: Sidharth Mahadevan Best Choreogrpahy: Samir and Arsh Tanna - Lahu Muh Lag Gaya (Ram-leela) Best VFX: Tata Elxis (Dhoom:3) Best Background Score: Hitesh Sonik - Kai Po Che Best Action: Thomas Struthers and Guru Bachchan - D Day Best Cinematography: Kamaljit Negi - Madras Cafe Best Editing: Aarif Sheikh - DDay Best Production Design - AcropolisDesign(BhaagMilkha Bhaag) Best Sound Design Bishwadeep Chatterjee and Nihar Ranjan Samar (Madras Cafe) Best Costume - Dolly Ahluwalia (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) .

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22 January 31, 2014 INDIA/PAKISTAN Modi Attacks Congress Over Lack of War Memorial MUMBAI: Narendra Modi on Monday attacked the Congressled UPA government over lack of a war memorial as he targeted the massive constituency in the armed forces, minutes after felicitating melody queen Lata Mangeshkar on the 51st anniversary of her memorable song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’. In his politically loaded speech, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate

referred to the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistan, cyber attacks by China and alleged lack of funding for acquisition of weaponry, to mount a scalding assault on the Centre. “There is no country in the world where there is not a war memorial. India has fought several wars, thousands of our soldiers have been martyred but there is no memorial to honour their sacrifice.

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“Should we not remember them? Should not there be a war memorial? I feel some good things have been left for me to do,” he said, apparently referring to surveys predicting a good BJP showing in the Lok Sabha polls. As the crowd lustily cheered “Modi lao desh bachao (bring Modi, save the nation), the Gujarat Chief Minister said,”this is not the voice of Mumbai alone, this is the voice of the entire country, from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, and it is said people’s voice is a message from God.” The BJP’s prime ministerial contender touched upon the highly emotive issue of beheading of a soldier by the Pakistanis. “A small country beheads our jawan and we fail to do anything. Bring the head of our soldier back

to the Indian soil,” he said, adding more Indian soldiers had lost their lives in terrorist attacks than wars. “A soldier who wants to take the enemy’s bullet on his chest suffers the most when he dies in his own cantonmentinsteadofthebattlefield,”hesaid. Apparently referring to cyber attacks by China, he said, with the country having a big talent pool of Information communication technology perfessionals why could it not stop such intrusions. He also flayed the government for massive import of armaments to meet the requirements of defence forces. “Today we have to make huge imports of armaments to replenish our weaponry. How would the bullets made in alien barracks fire?” he asked. Calling for formulating effective

programmes and policies for indigenous production of weaponry for armed forces, he said there was no reason why the country could not become self-reliant in defence production and evenexportarms over thenextdecade. “Our ancestors exported swords when battles were fought with swords, why can’t we do so now? India cannot wait for it to be attacked to be self-reliant,” he said and underlined the need for introducing defence production research as part of curriculum at science institutes. He lauded the erstwhile NDA government of Atal Behari Vajpayee for the Pokhran II nuclear bomb test and for introducing the practice of bringing back the bodies of martyred soldiers to their homes. “There was a time when only the uniforms of soldiers used to reach their homes as sign of their martyrdom. Vajpayee introduced the practice of sending their bodies home. Today, in his death, the fallen soldier inspires patriotism as his community, village and the entire state assembles to pay him homage,” he said. Earlier, Modi felicitated Lata Mangeshkar, on the 51st anniversary of the moving song ‘Aye mere watan ke logon’. The song she first sang in 1963 after the Sino-India war, had moved Jawaharlal Nehru to tears. -India today

Bilawal Asks Political Parties to Unite Against Taliban Threat

KARACHI: Bilawal BhuttoZardari, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and son of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has called on the country’s political leadership to wake up to the threat posed by militant groups including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Speaking to the BBC’s Lyse Doucet in an interview, Bilawal said some of the country’s political leaders were afraid to take a clearly defined position on the issue of talks with the Taliban. The PPP chairman said “we are failing”asthecountry’sbravevoiceswere dying out one after the other, adding that if we acted in unison, the Taliban would not be able to challenge us. On the topic of negotiations with the Taliban, Bilawal said Pakistan should maintain a strong position

and for that the militants would have to first be defeated and subdued. Bilawal added that there was no consensus in the country on the issue of holding talks and whatever consensus had been developed earlier was wasted by the politicians who called Pakistan’s war America’s war. Moreover, Bilawal opined that such politicians had pushed the na-

tion into a mirage, adding that talks must be held on the condition of the Taliban laying down their weapons. The patron-in-chief of PPP also reflected that his life was threatened due to him being stridently against the actions of the Taliban. On the issue of elections, he said his objective was not to become the country’s prime minister but to unite the nation and bring peace and stability in the country. -


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RBI Hikes Policy Rate to 8% to Fight Inflation MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan has a knack for surprising the financial markets. Whenhehadbeenexpectedtocutthe repurchase rate in each of his first two monetary policy reviews, in September and October, Rajan did the opposite and raised RBI’s key lending rate. In December, when the markets expected him to raise the rate to douse a surge in inflation, he left it unchanged. And in his latest policy review, Rajan raised the repo rate again when 42 of 45 analysts in a Bloomberg poll had predicted status quo. For the third time in five months, he raised the rate by a quarter of a percentage point, taking it to 8%, in a move that would keep borrowing costs high for companies and consumers for a longer time than had been foreseen. With his latest move, the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist underlined his credentials as an inflation warrior even if the war he wages on rising prices is at the expense of a delay in revival of economic growth. Rajan recently described inflation as a “destructive disease” that needs to be fought. “It is only by bringing down inflation to a low and stable level that monetary policy can contribute to reviving consumption and investment in a sustainable way,” Rajan, who became RBI’s 23rd governor in September, said on Tuesday. “The so-called tradeoff between inflation and growth is a false trade-off in the long run.” RBI expects inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) to top 9% in the three months to 31 March, and range between 7.5% and 8.5% a year later. Consumer prices rose 9.87% in December, the fastest pace in a basket of 17 Asia-Pacific economies tracked by Bloomberg. The Confederation of Indian Industry(CII),alobbygroup,“issurprisedby the decision of the RBI to increase the

repo rate, when all indicators suggest that a status quo was in order”, said CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee. State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, will take a call on rates after assessing the cost of funds across different portfolios, said chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya. The asset-liability committees of various banks will decide on interest rates, said K.R. Kamath, chairman of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), the banking industry lobby group and chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank. The markets largely took the latest increase in the repo rate, at which RBI lends overnight funds to commercial banks, in their stride as investors bet that it would be the last in the current cycle of monetary policy tightening. The rupee rose 0.94% to 62.515 a dollar, the BSE Sensex fell 0.12% to 20,683.51 points and the yield on the 10-year government bond fell to 8.751% from 8.768%. In the past year, the rupee has depreciated about 14% against the dollar, making imports more expensive and fuelling inflation. “The gravest risk to the value of the rupee is from CPI inflation, which remains elevated at close to double digits despite the anticipated disinflation in vegetable and fruit prices,” said Rajan. “Moreover, inflation excluding food and fuel has also been

high, especially in respect of services, indicative of wage pressures and other second-round effects.” The latest monetary policy review followed the report of an RBI committee headed by deputy governor Urjit Patel that said inflation targeting should be made the main objective of the central bank and called for CPI, rather than the wholesale price index (WPI), to be made the anchor of monetary policy. RBI’s original mandate has been to ensure price stability while keeping an eye on growth. The Patel committee set a 4% target for CPI by 2016, within a plus or minus 2% band. For now, RBI should try and bring down inflation from the current level to 8% over a period not exceeding 12 months, and to 6% over a period not exceeding the next 24 months, it said. The government, anxious to revive growth, was less than enthused by the report, which the markets saw as a signal that interest rates would stay elevated for longer than foreseen, given that the CPI reading is far higher than the WPI’s. Finance minister P. Chidambaram said RBI must retain the objective of supporting growth while fighting inflation. The government and RBI have been in conflict in the past about the need to balance economic growth and curb inflation. “Growth is as much a challenge as inflation. If the government has to walk alone to face the challenge of growth, then we will walk alone,” Chidambaram said in October 2012 after RBI, under then governor D. Subbarao, failed to cut rates though he had spelled out a fiscal consolidation plan. “In fact, if inflation eases at a pace that is faster than we currently anticipate, and that reduction is expected to be sustained, the Reserve Bank will have room to become more accommodative,” he said. Rajan con-

ceded that the economic slowdown “is getting increasingly worrisome”. “Our current assessment is that growth is likely to lose momentum in Q3 of 2013-14, with industrial activity in contractionary mode, mainly on account of manufacturing,” he said. “Lead indicators of services also suggest a subdued outlook, barring some pickup in transport and communication activity.” To be sure, inflation has eased in recent months, with WPI slowing to 6.16% in December from 7.52% in the previous month and CPI decelerating to 9.87% from 11.16%, causing economists to predict status quo rather than a rate increase. “It was a surprise decision (to raise the repo rate) because inflation has started coming down. Probably, their (RBI’s) eyes are focused on bringing inflation down to 8% levels. Monetary policy always shows its results with a lag; hence, the central bank would have wanted to hike rates now to bring down inflation to that level,” said D.K. Joshi, chief economist at rating agency Crisil Ltd, a subsidiary of Standard and Poor’s. Still, core inflation, or non-food, non-oil manufacturing inflation, a key indicator of price movements, rose 2.81% in December from 2.66% in the previous month. And inflation is way above the comfort zone of the central bank. Economists say the risk of persistently high inflation still looms as India heads into the general election, due in April-May, and interest rates will likely stay high. “RBI is aptly concerned about the much too high and sticky core inflation reading. While it indicated that rates would be on hold near term, we do not believe that this is the end of the tightening cycle,” Leif Eskesen, chief economist for India and South-East Asia, and Prithviraj Srinivas, economics associate,

at HSBC Global Research, wrote in a report. “Further tightening is needed, in our view, to bring core inflation firmly under control.” Goldman Sachs analyst Tushar Poddar said: “Given upside risks to inflation from entrenched household expectations, we think there are risks that the RBI could hike rates further. Our current forecast is for the repo rate to peak at 8.5%.” RBI has made it clear that its target is inflation, not growth, said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings, a credit assessor. “Probably, India will have to live with high interest rates from now on,” he added. RBI said hardening prices of services and key intermediates, rising bank credit, an increase in order books, a rise in factory capacity utilization and a decline in inventory levels suggested that demand pressures were still “imparting an upside to overall inflation”. “It is critical to address these risks to the inflation outlook resolutely in order to stabilize and anchor inflation expectations, even while recognizing the economy is weak and substantial fiscaltighteningislikelyinQ4,”itsaid. The central bank listed some silver linings in the economy: a robust agricultural performance after plentiful rainfall and a significant narrowing of the trade deficit as exports rebound. The current account deficit is estimated at 2.5% of gross domestic product in the current year against 4.8% in the last. Foreign exchange reserves, at around $290 billion, have been rebuilt since September. But controlling inflation is RBI’s top priority, Rajan said, and the central bank cannot afford to let its guard down. “We are neither hawks nor doves. We are owls,” he said. His deputy Patel added: “Vigilant when others are resting.” JoelRebellocontributedtothisstory.



24 January 31, 2014 Ross Taylor Helps Kiwis Seal 3-0 ODI Series Win vs. India BY SIDHARTH MONGA HAMILTON (ESPN Cricinfo): New Zealand 280 for 3 (Taylor 112* Williamson 60, B McCullum 49*) beat India 278 for 5 (Dhoni 79*, Rohit 79, Jadeja 62*) by seven wickets It took its time coming, it tested a few nerves, but New Zealand finally sealed their first series win at home in five years, not counting the ones against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. They should have won it three nights ago, they should probably have won it more comfortably tonight after having reduced India to 278 and then reached 54 for 0 in seven overs and 182 for 2 in 33. They will be thankful that they had their two most consistent batsmen - Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson - in the middle when Ravindra Jadeja started to turn the ball square after he himself gave India a fighting total with 62 off 54, a much more assured innings than the one that tied the previous match to keep India alive. Williamson now has four half-centuries in four matches in this series, and Taylor made up for missing out on one in Auckland by Ross the Boss: Taylor scored his ninth century. turning this into a big one once he crossed 50. Taylor’s innings was exceptional that has been getting them out. in its discipline: he didn’t try his Between them Southee and Mills favourite slog-sweep, in fact he bowled three maidens, took three scored just 10 runs in his mid- wickets, and conceded just 78. wicket arc. Most of his runs came India surprised everyone by not behind and in front of square on only getting rid of their stubbornthe off side. India couldn’t be ac- ness but going to the other end. Not cused of showing similar disci- only did they drop Suresh Raina, pline when they batted, but they which was long overdue, they also were also put under pressure by a left out Shikhar Dhawan for Amsuperbly disciplined start by Kyle bati Rayudu, and decided to bat Mills and Tim Southee, which first after having invited the opled to their repetition of the shot position 20 straight times outside

Asia. With no specialist opener in the side, India moved everyone up by one spot, which meant India’s best batsman was now opening. However, the opening spells that Mills and Southee bowled would have frustrated the best of openers. There was nothing to drive or cut, forget getting too straight, and India would have had to take a risk if they were going to score. The first risk was taken to the first short ball bowled, and all Kohli managed was a top edge off Southee. Soon Mills got a similar response from Ajinkya Rahane. In between the two dismissals, Rohit became desperate, somehow hit the first boundary of the innings, enjoyed a drop from Taylor, and India still reached only 28 in 10 overs. More good luck, and some classy Rohit shots, followed, and a 79-run partnership shored India up. However, the luck soon ran out. Rayudu top-edged Hamish Bennett, and in an ironical turn of events Rohit edged Kane Williamson for a catch down the leg side. Of all the bowlers, of all the manners. From 151 for 5, India came back remarkably with two batsmen who applied themselves before taking 100 off the last 10 overs. Say what you will about the strategy, Dhoni proved his batting worth with a third fifty in a row. Jadeja, at the other end, showed Auckland was no fluke, and played the cleanest knock of the three fifties in the Indian innings. It was a good comeback if you look at the way India began: two boundaries and 28 runs in 10 overs.

New Zealand hit two fours in the first over, reached 28 in the fourth, and were well on their way to hammer India when Jesse Ryder paid once again for his tendency to stay leg side of the ball in order to create room for his off-side hits. That played-on dismissal was followed by Martin Guptill’s lbw - the first such dismissal of the series - and India now had an opening. The opening began to look wider when Jadeja turned the first ball he bowled across Williamson. He beat the bat three times in the first over. R Ashwin provided good support from the other end. The second 10 overs of New Zealand’s innings were the most crucial period of the match. Both Williamson and Taylor played with utmost caution, scored just the 30 runs, saw the asking rate reach 6.13, but didn’t give the spinners a wicket. You would have expected Dhoni to take one of the spinners off and continue attacking with one, but he completely took the pressure off by removing both Jadeja and Ashwin. Suddenly all the pressure was eased, and Taylor and Williamson - 24 off 37 and 17 off 38 respectively - cashed in. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron and Rayudu onceded boundaries as 63 runs came in the nine overs before Ashwin was brought back. By that time, you would have thought, the game was over, but Jadeja turned it around with a run-out off his own bowling. Another nervous period followed as Brendon McCullum, searching for form, on a hat-trick of ducks, fumbled around a little and the asking rate went past six again. Taylor, though, stood firm at the other end, and guided his captain through hitting timely fours to keep the requirement within reach. The next call of duty was to play out the two remaining overs of Jadeja. That done, the two finished their highest-successful chase against India in style, turning what had looked nervous into a comfortable win with 11 balls to spare. Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.


Saina Wins Crown, But K. Srikanth Disappoints LUCKNOW: It turned out to be a Super Sunday for Saina Nehwal as the top-seed ended her titledrought by decimating PV Sindhu 21-14, 21-17 to claim the Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold badminton crown at the BBD Complex. But later, national champion K Srikanth disappointed a packed holiday crowd as he let go a golden opportunity as he went down to Xue Song of China. Leading by a game and up 19-12 in the second, he pressed the panic button to allow the Chinese claw back and win 1621, 21-19, 21-13. Leaving nothing to chance after a hard-fought win against Deng Xuan of China in the semifinal on Saturday, Saina let go a barrage of measured drops and cross-court smashes to race ahead 5-0 as her rival desperately tried to increase the pace of the game. The young Sindhu never looked settled committing unforced errors by pushing the shuttle long as her senior rival looked at ease. Though Sindhu looked like making amends in the second game by inching ahead 4-0. But she seemed a little overawed by the occasion as Saina never allowed her to dictate things. In the men’s final, Srikanth looked set for a comprehensive win till Song planned his escape route on the basis of some intelligent play. Trailing 12-19 he had everything to play for, and the Chinese changed the pace of the game by keeping the shuttle flat. He gave Srikanth no chance to come up with his trademark smashes that had bothered him earlier. And once he equalled the score by claiming nine straight points, he was back on the court like a wounded tiger in the decider.

Saina Nehwal: “I’m back at being my best.


January 31, 2014


Indian Republic Turns 65, Celebrates Unity in Diversity

NEW DELHI: Multi-hued images of India’s rich cultural heritage, its achievements in diverse fields and military prowess were on majestic display at the magnificent Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard, in New Delhi on Sunday as the nation celebrated its 65thRepublicDayamidtightsecurity. There were apprehensions that the uncertain weather might force the cancellation or curtailment of the flypast that concludes the event but the mist lifted almost at the last minute. Marching down from the seat of power at Raisina Hills to Red Fort, the parade showcased India’s ‘unity in diversity’ and defence capability as thousands of spectators along the 8-km-long route cheered the contingents and the mechanised columns. The well-turned out and synchronised military and police contingents led by General Officer Commanding (Delhi), Lt General Subroto Mitra, marched proudly to the lilting tunes of bands through Rajpath where President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

Pranab Mukherjee took the salute. The march past was watched by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the chief guest of the Republic Day celebration, vice-president Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the country’s top political and military brass, besides the diplomatic community. It was the coldest Republic Day in a decade at a minimum of 9.9 degrees Celsius, forcing spectators - commoners and dignitaries alike - to swathe themselves in layers of protective clothing. Braving the winter chill, a large number of enthusiastic people came to witness the parade that culminated at the historic Mughal monument of Red Fort. Minutes before the parade began, the Prime Minister, defence minister AK Antony and chiefs of army, navy and air force laid wreaths at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, the war memorial at the India Gate where an eternal flame burns in memory of

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those who laid down their lives defending the frontiers of the nation. A massive ground-to-air security apparatus was put in place in the national capital to ensure an incident-free Republic Day celebrations. Snipers of National Security Guard were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route. Around 25,000 security personnel were deployed across the city while the commandos of the IndoTibetan Border Police and Delhi Police kept vigil at important locations. The unfurling of the tricolour by the President and playing of the national anthem were followed by a customary 21-gun salute. Among others who witnessed the parade at Rajpath was Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. The parade began shortly after Mukherjee and Abe arrived at the saluting base at Rajpath escorted by the President’s bodyguards riding bedecked horses. Comic strip: What does the Indian voter want Before commencement of the pa-

rade, Sub Inspector K Prasad Babu of Andhra Pradesh’s counter-Maoist force was posthumously conferred the highest peacetime gallantry award AshokChakra.Babuwashonouredfor an anti-Naxal operation during which he led an assault unit of Greyhounds (anti-Naxal force of Andhra Pradesh) near Andhra-Chhattisgarh border. The main attractions of the parade were scintillating show of air power, fascinating tableaux depicting the diverse culture and dance by colourfully dressed schoolchildren. Ahighlight of this year’s parade was the display of India’s first indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. Tejas is a fourth generation, supersonic, multi-role combat aircraft designed and developed by DRDO. Main battle tank Arjun MKII, the first indigenously designed and developed tank, also referred to as ‘Desert Ferrari’ for its excellent mobility, was also on display. The recently inducted transport aircraft C-130J Super Hercules, which is optimised for undertaking special operations, and the gigantic C-17 Globemaster, a heavy lift, long-range aircraft, were major attractions of this year’s flypast. DRDO displayed the ‘Astra’ and ‘Helina’ missiles, models of an underwater vehicle, mini UAV-NETRA, tracked surveillance vehicle Muntra S and un-

manned aerial vehicle-’Nishant’. The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army included T-90 tank ‘Bheeshma’, multilauncher rocket system Smerch, Brahmos weapon system and transportable satellite terminals. A flypast by the Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’ of the Army Aviation Corps drew loud cheers from the spectators. The marching contingents of the army included horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, Punjab Regiment, Madras Regiment, Rajputana Rifles, Mahar Regiment, Jammu and KashmirLightInfantryRegiment,9Gorkha Rifles and 103 Infantry Battalion. The Indian Air Force tableau presented the story of its transformation over the past eight decades, highlighting its fighting prowess. In a first, national broadcaster Doordarshan broadcast high definition live streaming of the Republic Day parade on the internet. The crystal clear picture quality arrived on computers, laptops and mobile phones, barely a few seconds behind the actual proceedings. It was a welcome development for those unable to watch it on television screens. (With inputs from IANS) -Hindustan times

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