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Friday, April 04 2014 | Vol. 33, No. 14


JHOOM with Rhythm India

Indo American erican News Holi ke Rang Sab ke Sang Published weekly from Houston, TX

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April 04, 2014



April 04, 2014


Three Pointers All the Way for Rhythm India

BY VANSHIKA VIPIN HOUSTON: For the twenty thousand people who attended the Houston Rockets versus the Los Angeles Clippers game at the Toyota Center on March 29, it was probably difficult to judge what was more exciting – the game or the breathtaking performance by Rhythm India at half time when the Rockets trailed by just 3. In the end Rockets lost by a few but the audience got yet another great performance by Rhythm India. Rhythm India was the first ever Bollywood dance company to perform during the half time under the massive dome of the Toyota Center during a Rockets game in 2011. Since then, Arzan Gonda and her team have been performing at this venue every year for the Rockets. This performance was slightly different from the typical Bollywood fare, as about 95 dancers from Rhythm India launched their Bollyfood fitness work out routine called “Jhoom”. James Hardin scored 32 points in the game but Rhythm India’s routines were perfect three-pointers during the half time. With a relatively simple choreography, since this was a fitness workout, the dancers covered the court effectively and effortlessly. Distancing themselves from detailed attires that are associated with Bollywood dances, Rhythm India performers were dressed in simple black work out attires, only adorning earings, hand accessories and the brand Rhythm India bindi (forehead sticker). The 3.5 minute long performance included popular Bollywood songs like “Dilliwali Girlfriend”, “Chingam Chabake” and “Lungi Dance”. The age group of the dancers varied from pre-teens to late fifties. Kanishka Deepak,

the youngest of the group, all of ten years old said that she was “nervouscited” – a combination of nervous and excited as it was her first performance. The oldest of the group, Madhvee Patel was excited as well. She’s been dancing with Rhythm India for four years now and this was her first Rockets performance. “We’ve been practicing for this for two months”, said Madhvee. Indo-American News caught up with Arzan Gonda after the performance. A proud Arzan said “this was one of the most memorable performances at the half time for me because we had close to a hundred dancers on the floor and every single person out there was so excited and thrilled to be performing on that court. For most of the participants, this was there first time at Toyota Center and we could feel each other’s energy down on that court. The post performance blues have already kicked in.” Soon after the show, Arzan received an email she shared with Indo-American News. It was from a non-Indian member of the audience posted via Rhythm India’s website “I saw you tonight at the Rockets game and the performance was wonderful. Could you possibly share the list of music that was used? I would love to add them to my running playlist!” Apparently even in NBA, Bollywood does have its effects. Rhythm India’s next big project is Bollywood Blast 2014 – held at the Miller Outdoor theatre on August 31 (Labor Day Sunday). Open auditions for this show for dancers and actors are being held on Sunday, April 6 and April 13 in Sugarland. For further information, log on to www.rhythm-india. com or call 281-968-9479.

Above: Rhythm India’s 95 performers, during the Rockets vs. Clippers, half time show at the the Toyota Center last Saturday, March 29. Below: Arzan Gonda (front) with a group of participants before their performance. Photos: Navin Mediwala SEE PHOTO COLLAGE ON PG 2



April 04, 2014


COMMUNITY BY IAN CORRESPONDENT HOUSTON: “Itna mazaa kyun aa raha hai,” Houstonians reveled in sheer ecstasy at Masala Radio’s sun-kissed Holi on Sunday March 30, despite the inclement weather postponement from the original March 23 date. 10 days prior, Facebook and Twitter followers were a flurry with “WHAT? WHY DID YOU MOVE HOLI? BUT WE MADE PLANS!!” The perfect day packed Seabourne Creek Park to the rim at the 7th annual Aapka Colors Houston Holi 2014, also presented by MTV India and Tara Energy. Crowds danced at three different Live DJs and Dholi’s and rocked as Mercedes Benz of Sugarland presented pop star Raghav crooning his Storyteller hits “Angel Eyes”, ‘Teri Baaton Mein” and recent Bollywood hit “Ishq Shava” to a frenzy of fans both teen and not-so-teenbut-screaming-like-they-wereteens. Youths witnessed for the first time in their lives a real matkiphod sponsored by New York Life. Matkiphod, a traditional event in India where a clay pot containing maakhand (yogurt) is suspended high in the air, and dedicated teams build a human pyramid to break the matki (as Lord Krishna did in his childhood to reach the forbidden maakhand). The audience held their breath when the threetier Masala Crew team – after two huge falls – finally broke the clay pot containing color powder. Besides mouthwatering food lineup, everything was free. Free parking, Free entry, Free brand new Keemat Kids Rides, Free bags and spices from Aapka Colors, Free iced Deep juices and bottle water from Tara Energy, Free Chat Pat snacks and balloons from House of Spices, Sonu Nigam ticket giveaways, 200 Free perfumes thrown by W Perfumes, and hundreds of Free T-shirts from Masala Radio, the movie JINN, and Fiesta, and Free mesmerizing Bollywood Entertainment hosted by Sunil Thakkar with his “DOSTI KE RANG”

April 04, 2014

Record Breaking Crowd at the Masala Radio Holi

Masala Radio crew with pop star Raghav (front, center) at the Holi Mela at Seabourne Creek Park on Sunday, March 30.

themed Bullet Motorcycle entry. The “FREES” were made possible by the generous major sponsorships of Alings Hakka, The Dosa Factory, Amit and Arpita Bhandari, Gopal and Urvishi Savjani, Jugal and Raj Malani, Keemat Grocers, Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land, New York Life, Skai Foundation and Chat Pats. Rosenberg Police could not define the sheer number of people, summarizing the count as “way more than the 17,000 we estimated last year.” “Tune hava mein bhaang milaya,” Indeed, the God-given air-conditioning breezes were intoxicatingly distracting from the Equinox Sun beaming from a clear sky as thousands reveled in Holi-

madness. And while the ancient official drink of Holi, bhaang was clearly missing, crowds feasted on exotic Dosas like the bean, cheese and salsa dosa of The Dosa Factory, Golas, Kulfis, and Faloodas from Baloch, cookies and brownies from Great American Cookies, heavenly chaat from Mirch Masala and Kurry Walah, Potato Stix and Indo Chinese from Sagar Indian Cuisine, South Indian fare from Madras Pavillion, and Nizam-style cuisine from Hyderabad House and North Indian cuisine from the new Signature India Restaurant. The Chatpat Jhatpat eating contest had the audience rolling in laughter as Sunil T had six random contestants race to eat the most Chatpats in one minute.

“Balam pichkari jo tune mujhe maari” ICC’s sold-out pichkaris, and the Aling’s Rain Dance crew’s eight new 6’ high sprinklers added a new level of water play to Holi. Of course the natural side effect was a fresh mud pit which hundreds fell victim to. Amee Patel, president of the Gujarati Samaj of Houston ordered double the Holi colored powder than last year in six vibrant colors, and as promised kept the Holi revelers supplied to the end. Holi Pragtya, the official lighting of the HOLI bonfire started with a stage pooja by Priest Parimal Joshi with all major Holi Sponsors, followed with a Jaganath Chariot procession and finished with prayers and coconut offerings to the growing fire. The


Chariot held Lord Jaganath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who in the story of Holi comes to rescue Prahlad from burning to death while in the lap of his evil aunt Hollika. Young ISKCON devotees from ISKCON chanted “Hare Krishna, Hare Rama” throughout the festival, and invited all to the grand opening of their incredible new ISKCON temple on May 17. “Haa Jeans pahen ke jo tune maara thumka,” Masala Radio’s Sunil Thakkar introduced mesmerizing Bollywood dances by Houston’s leading dance schools. 3-5 year olds stole the audience’s hearts. The mesmerizing performances were by Nuppor Dance School, Bollywood Shake, and UH’s Jannat. The change of date prevented two Holi stalwarts Dancing Starz of Katy and Shivangai Dance Schools for performing. But Rhythm India wowed the audience with over 65 performers some in stunning neon costumes and precision moves. The finale act by Naach Houston blew everyone away with over 100 performers in non-stop blast of Bollywood hits with surprise Pichkaris, vibrant costumes, unbelievable energy, and of course synchronized “thumkas!”. The crowds jumped from their seats to finally get to dance themselves as MTV India presented the Battle of the DJs. Bollywood (DJ NISH) vs Bhangra (DJ GEO). MTV India declared it as a tie as the audience were equally screaming during both sets. “Toh lattoo padosan ki bhabhi ho gayi,” Even the most serious and the seedha saadha caught Holi Fever. Houston Holi was a joint community event organized by Sunil and Sandhya Thakkar of Masala Radio, presented by Aapka Colors, MTV India, and Tara Energy, with partnering organiza-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 SEE PHOTO COLLAGE ON PG 14-15 Photos: Meedu Photography, Carlos Pena, and Winston Hsu.

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



April 04, 2014


April 04, 2014





April 04, 2014

Record Breaking Crowd at the Masala Radio Holi CONTINUED FROM PAGE


tions such as Gujarati Samaj of Houston, India Cutlure Center, and Hindus of Greater Houston. Masala Radio thanks the immeasurable contributions of over 120 sponsors, 12 restaurants, 55 booths, 20 vendors, and over 115 volunteers from surrounding schools including UH ISA, Austin High School, and Hightower. 36 Masala Crew members led by Event Directors Munira Vejlani, Ruchir Patel, and Rinku Gosh included: Shah, Charliebhai, Ninad, Chiragbhai, Malav, Sunny, Amir, Sameep, Devan, Devangi, Shivani, Shreya, and Sara. Stage Masala Crew managed by Preanka Desai and Dilip Kanabar included: Rajoo, Pankti, Sandeep, Natasha, Priti, Krupa, Ina, Mayur, and Keval. MasaMADRAS N PAVILIO T & DAAWA CATERING

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la Radio Jockeys promoting the event for 2 months were: Preanka, Rajoo, Dilip, Alka, Bijuria, Kashmira, Priya, Naina, Ajay, Sushil, Priti, and Ina. Indeed, there was a record turnout of nonIndians, from mounting publicity and interviews. Channel 39 News covered the event, and featured it on their Sunday evening prime time news. For photos by Meedu Photography, Carlos Pena and Winston Hsu visit www.,, or facebook .com/HoustonHoli. Edited Video compilation coming soon on YouTube under HOUSTON HOLI 2014. SEE PHOTO COLLAGE ON PG 14-15 r 28 2011 Octobe Friday,

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April 04, 2014


Newlyweds Sonia Tripathi and Matthew Sidorick

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: In almost all Indian weddings, the sangeet features some performances by amateurs who are family friends or artists hired just for the occasion. But for Sonia Tripathi’s sangeet, held at the Hilton Post Oak, there couldn’t have had any better performers than the bride’s sister and friends, all of whom are talented musician, and many came from the music school where she works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The owners of the school where she works – Victoria and Alisha McGinnis – even performed a dance set to Purple Rain by Prince. It was heartening to see the little girl who used to live around the corner from us finally tie the knot with her Prince Charming. As a young girl, going to school on the westside and then later to the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Sonia would often babysit other children (including mine) in the neighborhood. Last Saturday, March 29, 2014, surrounded by family and many of her friends, including many of those whom she had grown up

with and have since gotten married themselves, Sonia took the vows of marriage to Matthew Sidorick at a Hindu ceremony held at the Omni Hotel on Woodway and officiated by Pandit Padmakar Gangathirkar from Austin, who added a great deal for the initiated guests through his narration and appropriately timed bits of pleasant humor. Sonia, 33, is the daughter of longtime Houston residents Bhupinder and Archna Tripathi and works in the Piano Faculty at the Center for Young Musicians in Pittsburgh, where she moved to five years ago. Her younger sister, Simi, also is a Piano teacher at the same school. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Piano from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and subsequently finished her PhD in Piano Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Matthew, 34, is the son of Susan and the late Frederick Sidorick and was born and brought up in Pennsylvania. He received his Masters in Public Policy from CarnegieMellon University and works in

The newlyweds Sonia Tripathi and Matthew Sidorick with the bride’s parents Bhupinder and Archna Tripathi and her sister Simi after the wedding ceremony at the Omni Hotel on Woodway this past Saturday, March 29, 2014.

his own IT and software business in Pittsburgh. Many of his family attended, including his sister Julie (his other sister Adria could not attend due to an illness); octogenarian Uncle Dr. Ray Francis who has been a father figure to Matt since his father passed away; and Matt’s father’s brother Andrew Sidorick

who came despite a recent stroke and bad fall which left him with stitches on his face. After the wedding, the newlyweds went on a mini-honeymoon

to Jamaica, saving the longer, month-long honeymoon to Florence in August when Sonia would have her summer break.

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April 04, 2014


Modi’s Overseas Wave Hits Indian Shores cused Calling. The 12 people honored at India House are Sharad Amin, Gitesh Desai, Vijay Pallod, Kusum Mehta, Dr. Bimal Talati, Dr. Babu Suseelam, Meena Shah, Madhukar Adi, Pradeep Parikh , Lavan Reddy, Shekhar Agarwal and Bhagwan Bhutada. In addition to these, more people are getting ready to join the volunteer in India. They will visit different states and constituencies where they are likely to be more effective in voter mobilization. They were described as Karmayodha and were honored with Back Row: from left:Pradeep Parekh, Gitesh Desai, Dr. Babu Suseelan, “arti� and “tilak�. Sharad Amin, Lavan Reddy, and Dr. Bimal Talati. Among those who have Front Row: from left: Vijay Pallod, Kusum Mehta, Meena Shah, Bhagwan already reached India are Bhutada, and Madhukar Adi. Photos: Manoj Rathi Ramesh Shah, Raghuvir Singhal, Dr Venugopal BY HAIDER KAZIM polls. BJP needs a total of 272 Menon Indira Singhal, Devendra HOUSTON: The Global Indians seats in the 543-member Lok Sabfor Bharat Vikas (GIBV), a volun- ha to declare Modi as next Prime Patel and P.V. Patel. The Houston team will be augteer organization, has honored 12 Minister. mented by volunteers from other people leaving for India to take In order to build momentum for U.S. cities which are also witnesspart in campaign to get Narendra its “Elect NaMo� mission, GIBV Modi elected as the next Prime has started a Reference Calling ing the growing tide of support for Minister of India. A total of 30 campaign to tap into India’s tele- Modi among Non-Resident Indipeople from Houston will go to com revolution that has put mobile ans (NRIs) and Indian-Americans. At India House, organizers and India to campaign for Modi. phones into the hands of millions volunteers related their experiA large group of GIBV volun- of voters even in remote villages. teers met at India House on SatGIBV activists have already ences relating to the campaign urday to coordinate their activities made 11,000 calls to India reach- and the need for electing Modi and step up their campaign and ing out to over 30,000 voters urg- as the next Prime fine-tune their strategy. Their en- ing them to vote for BJP candi- Minister. Among thusiasm, patriotic songs, video dates in the area so that the party those who adpresentations and passionate garners a majority of seats in Lok dressed the meetspeeches symbolized a growing Sabha for Modi to become Prime ing were Gitesh wave of support for Gujarat Chief Minister. GIBV volunteers Ritesh Desai, Achalesh Amar, Ritesh Seal, Anand Bhattad, Dilip Mehta, Meena Shah, Saroj Gupta, Sharad Amin and Ramesh Bhutada “Rajni Sarin, Convener of OFBJP Global from India, attended the event and explained the ideas behind BJP’s election platform as seven colors of rainbow. “Our common cause is a strong India. This is the moment to pay our debt to our Rita Gulati gives Shekher Agarwal, a traditional Hindu send off. motherland,� said Minister Narendra Modi in India’s Seal and Dharminder Dargan gave Bhutada who innational elections. a demonstration of reference call- spired and encourGeneral elections are scheduled ing to educate volunteers on how aged the Houston in nine phases from April 7 to May the calls should be handled. Anand team to embark 12 for the lower house of parlia- Bhattad also placed a live call to a on the “NaMo for ment, or Lok Sabha. The coming contact in India to let the audience PM� campaign. elections are the largest exercise in hear the conversation. He said the outdemocracy that the world has ever Over 1,200 Reference Calling come of this elecseen with 814 million eligible vot- volunteers in the United States, tion will decide ers. Votes will be counted on May including 650 in Houston are ac- India’s path for 16. tively working to help mobilize the next few deModi, the prime ministerial can- voters for Modi. Sharad Amin and cades. didate of Bhartiya Janata Party Gitesh Desai are the national co(BJP), is the front runner in early ordinators for Reference and Fo-






12 April 04, 2014


Kalabhavan Completes Another Successful Year BY SANCHALI BASU HOUSTON: Houston Durga Bari Society’s cultural partner Kalabhavan celebrated its annual day on Saturday, March 29 at its Sur Auditorium. The evening consisted of programs highlighting the various disciplines taught at the center. The graciously poised Sutanuka Sinha and Roshni Ray began the evening’s proceedings by commending Kalabhavan’s efforts in

upholding the Indian heritage and disseminating its traditions and values in the next generation and community at large. Kalabhavan’s teachers in the fields of Bharatnatyam (Arpita Mukhopadhyay), Odissi (Supradipta Datta), classical/semi-classical North Indian music (Rajneeta Bandopadhyay), Rabindra Sangeet (Kamalpriya Roy), Tabla/percussions (Raja Banga) and painting (Indranil Sen) were recognized for their tremen-

dous contributions in encouraging and teaching students of all age groups the intricacies of each art form. A Pushpanjali in the Bharatnatyam style was followed by a dance on Shiva, both well executed by very young dancers. The 5 Odissi performances that followed were a treat to watch and very well appreciated by the audience. The bright costumes, jewelry, graceful dancing and exquisite chaukas, tribhangis and abhinaya brought out the grandeur of this dance style in a big way. Raja Banga, a well-known

The vocal section of the program started with a Dhrupad in Raga Malkauns, followed by a Khayal Bandish and Taan, and then a Tarana, also in Raga Malkauns, all very melodiously rendered by the bright, young upcoming students. This segment ended with a fine medley of Bengali songs representing our cultural trends. The evening Photo: Nirmalya Roy ended aptly with 5 sublime devoHoustonian in the Tabla arena, presented an excellent tabla lehra tional Rabindrasangeet numbers with students at different levels of by capable young ladies, 3 solo learning. Next, in his inimitable and 2 group songs accompanied style he put together a world per- by Aloke Roy on the mandira. The brilliant display of artwork cussion ensemble, “Confluence”, which included instruments rang- by Indranil and his students was a ing from Ektara, Khanjani, Da- huge crowd puller. Awards were presented to all fli, Djembe, Kahon, Pakhawaj, Srikhol, Naal, Dhak, Kanjira, participants in conclusion by Mila Violin, Vocals and Guitar. Biplab Sengupta and Madhumita Sen. Samaddar on the violin and Chris Snacks and dinner flew off the taWocjick on the guitar, both very bles and was gone in no time. All accomplished global musicians in in all, it was a successful annual their own right added extra flavor day event that Kalabhavan can be to the music which was a treat to proud of. the ears.


April 04, 2014

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  

 

         

 

    

  

 



 

   

  

 

    

Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston Inc. 6640 Harwin Dr, Houston, TX 77036

A Hearty Invitation to all Hindu Devotees on the occasion of the celebration of

Chaitri Navaratri Mataji’s Pooja & Havan

Chaitri Navaratri Ashtami Pooja & Havan of Mataji Shree Durga & Bahucharaji

Monday, April 7, 2014 Pooja Starts at 1.00 PM. Havan Starts at 4.00 PM, Purnahuti at 5.30 PM (Nariyel Oěering) Arti at 7.00 PM ** Garba from 8 to 10 p.m. Mahaprasad will be served after Aarti Devotees willing to sit in Havan & Pooja may give their names to our Priest Shri Hardik Raval Tel: 361-243-6539 or 713-278-9099

Sanatan Shiv Shakthi Mandir is located at 6640 Harwin Dr. Please Note we do not have any other Temple at 5645 Hillcroft Ste: 701


COMMUNITY BY MAHESH K. IYER PEARLAND: Vishaka Hari’s Kathakalakshepam rendition on Meenakshi Kalyanam was simply a moving experience that the almost 500 audience would soulfully remember for a long time to come. Bharathi Kalai Manram (BKM) President Partha Krishnaswamy and his board had planned, worked hard and organized this excellent event, and as summed up appropriately in the vote of thanks, “it was the most appropriate person rendering the most appropriate theme of Kathakalakshepam, at the most appropriate venue, jointly organized by the most appropriate institutions in Houston”. BKM organized the 3 hour long program which rendered a perfect balance between theology and classical music, while interweaving the underlying Bhakti Marga. The audience was spell bound and offered great encouragement to the young artist, who most definitely exuded erudition over multiple domains. Meenakshi Kalyanam, that has been steeped in mythological tradition, was thus grippingly presented by an artist who was certainly younger than most of the audience, using Carnatic genre of songs, composed by relatively modern composers such as Lalgudi Jayaraman, Papanasam

April 04, 2014

Bharathi Kalai Manram Presents Srimathi Vishaka Hari at Sri Meenakshi Temple

Vishaka Hari (center) with accompanying artists. violinist Ananthakrishnan and mridangist, Arjun Ganesh, with the backdrop of Sri Meenakshi Kalyanam on stage at MTS. Photos: Dr. Gopal and Dr. Vaduganathan

Sivan and Ambujam Krishnan in addition to the more traditional composers such as Syama Shastri and Muttuswami Deekshitar. Vishaka Hari started the program with “Mamava Meenakshi” in Varali, composed by Muttuswami Deekshitar, where Goddess Meenakshi is addressed as “Shyame, Shankari, Digvijaye”. As fit-

ting sequels to the opening song, she rendered “Gowri Manohara, Siva Sankara” in ragam Gowrimanohari and “Azhaka Azhaka” in ragam Suddha Danyasi, respectively composed by Papanasam Sivan and Ambujam Krishnan. Of course no treatise on Madurai Meenakshi would be complete without the magnum opus compo-

Tuesday, 8th

sition of Muttuswami Deekshitar, “Meenakshi Memudam” where Goddess Meenakshi is described as “Madura Puri Nilaye”… The main piece chosen for the event was “Meena lochana brova” by Syama Shastri in Danyasi. Goddess Meenakshi is described as “Gaana vinodini” (enjoyer of music), “Chandrakala dhari” (adorning the moon crescent) and “Neerada veni” (cascading tresses). The romantic mood of the chosen theme on Meenakshi Kalyanam, was well generated by Hindolam which came in the form of “Saama Gaana Lolane” a composition of Papanasam Sivan. Being a direct disciple of preeminent violinist and composer Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, Vishaka Hari elaborately rendered the Lalgudi Nava Raga, Nava Rasa, Tamil Pada Varnam, “Angayarkkani Aanandam Kondale”. The composition is a master piece of Lalgudi Jayaraman that exemplifies various aspects of Goddess Meenakshi with appropriate melody and rhythm. This particular song was a true example of the composer’s musical genius as well as the disciple’s grasp of the composer’s vi-




sion, while perhaps being the most appropriate song that covers multiple aspects of Goddess Meenakshi. The song was a perfect fit given Tamil lyrics, befitting BKM’s sponsorship, and the overall theme being Goddess Meenakshi. The violinist Ananthakrishnan wowed the audience with a fantastic thanam in Sudda Danyasi. His mellifluous accompaniment that provided superb completions to the vocalist’s ideas was greatly applauded. So did the mridangist, Arjun Ganesh, whose accompaniment depicted every emotion Vishaka Hari was bringing out in each song, and also his thaniavarthanam in Viloma Chappu thalam was truly a fine exposition of his maturity and prowess. Congratulations to BKM for bringing such a wonderful program to Houston. Special thanks to all the Sponsors and Patrons without whom this program would have been impossible. Dr. S.G. Appan a major sponsor said “Vishaka Hari was simply amazing, what a gift of God! BKM’s selection of this show as the curtain raiser for the 40th anniversary was perfect. A sold out show, pin drop silence in the auditorium, proof that everyone was spellbound. A day when all of us in BKM felt very proud of being a part of BKM.”

18 April 04, 2014 Democracy Taking Root The indictment of former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf by a special court has come when civilian rule in the country seems to be striking root and one term of the country’s National Assembly, its equivalent of Parliament, has been completed successfully, to be followed by another. The charges against General Musharraf are subverting the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country and detaining judges. This is the first time that a Pakistan army chief, serving or retired, has been indicted by a court. It is not clear at this stage whether General Musharraf will be convicted. While this looks like an act of retribution by the judiciary for the arm-twisting it received at the hands of Mr Musharraf when he was in power, this can disturb the power equilibrium when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appointed a new army chief without a hitch. It was not so long ago that there was talk of a military coup in Pakistan when the relations between then Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were rocky. It was upon the intervention of the US and then secretary of state Hillary Clinton that the possibility of a coup was averted and the army chief got a second term. Under General Musharraf, judges in 2000 were compelled to take an oath of allegiance to his regime. However, the judiciary as an institution hit back in 2007 and refused to knuckle under even in the face of the threats from the army and intelligence agencies. Until a decade ago it was said that the army had always been an autonomous institution in Pakistan even under a civilian government. No civilian government had taken on the army except for an occasional removal of a senior soldier from his position. But when Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as Pakistan’s chief justice led the lawyers’ movement against his suspension, the stir took the colour of a popular revolt. At this stage what needs to be observed is whether the army uses this as a handle to hit back at the judiciary and the executive. If it stays quiet, then it may be concluded that democracy has taken a step forward in Pakistan. Hindustan Times.

Is this Treason? Musharraf, who has been absent from most of the tribunal’s hearings owing to security threats and ill health, then turned to address the court. “I honor this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in law I don’t have ego problems, and I have appeared in court 16 times in this year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old, who ruled from 1999 to 2008, said. “I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?” Dawn.


India-US: Souring of a Relationship BY PRANAB SAMANTA Nancy Powell’s scripted exit from Roosevelt House would end a rather uneventful tenure, which saw no real movement in the strategic relationship. Instead, her term coincided with a downturn in the partnership, punctuated by lows like the Devyani Khobragade affair that has definitely become the best advertisement of the relationship’s plummeting stock. But convenient as it may be, pinning all the blame on Powell would not just be grossly unfair, but also wrong. She is after all a career diplomat, posted to India during a difficult time and one who eventually acted on Washington’s cue. The problem actually lay in the milieu —both in Washington and New Delhi—she worked in and gradually became a part of, just like any other bureaucrat. In fact, for the last few years, the Indo-US relationship has become the playfield of and for bureaucrats. It’s about throwing the rulebook at each other, talking about inspections, drawing up negative reports for each other’s political leadership, finding faults in procedures, turning them into legal encumbrances, fighting over it, convincing the political boss and again fighting over it. It all probably started with the unravelling of the historic nuclear deal after India passed the civil nuclear liability act. This adversely affected US business opportunities in this sector, an outcome that went against all arguments the US administration had made internally while canvassing support for the deal. The US wanted exemptions, which the UPA government was unable to give. As a result, lawyers were brought into the picture to assess the nature of liabilities on the US supplier. This led to installing more safeguards, which meant escalating the per unit price of nuclear power and that, in turn, translated into more threadbare negotiations. Eventually, the whole affair slipped out of the domain of the lawmaker and into a web of techno-legal details from which it has yet to resurface.

The Indo-US relationship has become the playfield of and for bureaucrats. At present, India and the US are in the middle of an escalating fight on trade issues. Complex as these issues are, US concerns boil down to four broad points: One, India’s tax bureaucracy is harassing US companies with scores of complaints on invisible duties and raising charges that outstrip profitability in trying times Two, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is threatening established patent regimes and was fast emerging as a hub for challenging patents. Three, India insists on domestic content in telecom, power and, now, the solar energy industry that makes investment difficult and unviable. Same arguments were made against the fine print in the FDI in retail policy that were sought to be addressed later. Last, of course, the tardy progress on investment in civil nuclear energy and the fallout of the difficult liability clauses. While India did try to redress some of these concerns, the process took time and, of course, involved considerable lobbying. So, whenever an issue was ironed out, it was seen as too little, too late. Matters have come to such a pass that even a preliminary document of understanding on Westinghouse reactors appeared like a milestone. On the US side, impatience created a mood to punish, and with almost no political direction to act on, the rule-keeper had a field day. As doing business with India grew difficult, out came the stick — the investigation under Section 332 of India’s trade practices, moving the


HOUSTON: MALAY VYAS, MANU SHAH CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, INDIA: RAJ KANWAR ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email:, website:


WTO on patent issues, and even considering designating India a priority watch country in the Special 301 list. With an overall lowgrowth economic scenario, US officials probably thought this was not a bad time to get aggressive without much negative impact. On defence, many sales went through, like the C-130J Hercules, but there were no large strategic gains. There was movement on transfer of technology and co-production issues during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s US visit but again, marked by slow progress. And as for joint exercises, India did not want to do any trilateral or quadrilateral involving the US off the Indian coast, an issue that always irked the Pentagon. Broadly, progress has been below par on all key initiatives, and on trade, the story has headed south with no ideas in place to arrest this negative trend. Here is where the political leadership was required to step in, but leaders simply went by bureaucratic advice on both sides. Not that all such advice is negative, but the fact is that a bureaucrat responds to a political leader’s willingness to take bold calls. Unfortunately for India-US relations, this was missing in both Washington and Delhi. Still, much of this remained under the radar with the public impression continuing to be positive due to the successful conclusion of the nuclear deal and the joint effort that nailed and shamed Pakistan’s intelligence agencies for carrying out the 26/11 attacks. No wonder that when a bunch of unsuspecting Congressmen found their scheduled appointments with Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi cancelled at the eleventh hour, they asked why. The answer they got was “Devyani Khobragade”, and that made no sense at all, and still does not. With fresh hands on deck, the time has come to refresh and restart — and clearly, that has to be among the first order of things for the next government in Delhi. Meanwhile, Washington has made its first bid. Indian Express

Singers of the musical night; from left: Ravi Mukkamala and Raja Rajeswari Kalaga.

THE WOODLANDS: A musical program was held on the occasion of Jaya Nama Samvatsara, Ugadhi celebrations in the Woodlands Hindu Temple on 23 March in the temple cultural Hall. Raja Rajeswari Kalaga, who is known as the Nightingale of Texas, and the founder of Navaragamalika Cultural Association (NCA), and Ravi Mukkamala a versatile singer, were invited to present the concert. The event was addressed by Temple Board Director and ATA Board Director, Pinnapureddy Srinivasa Reddy who initiated the need of having this kind of cultural programs periodically in the temple and called for the support by all means to the successful administration of the temple. Temple Board Member Sujata Nandula expressed her views about

the positivity in the relationship of classical music and the cine music in her speech. She quoted that music has no language barriers and no cultural barriers as well, and good music heels the pain of the soul and relieves from any kind of frustration. Raja Rajeswari Kalaga instigated social cause behind the NCA foundation, which helps the poor and visually impaired kids in India which includes conducting eye medical camps, eye testing, operations, and hospital expenses to the school going kids below the poverty line. The musical program lasted for three uninterrupted hours and the artists were felicitated with Vedapravachanam and Seshavastram of Lord Venkateswara Swamy. Delicious Pakodi and tea were served by Biryani Pot, Houston.


Southwestern National Bank Scholarship 2014, $1,000 in Awards HOUSTON: Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Program is funded by Southwestern National Bank to recognize and assist outstanding high school graduates to reduce financial burdens for college. Southwestern National Bank Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Each year a total of $5,000 is awarded to five selected scholars. Each scholar will be awarded a total

of $1,000.Application Process and Award Announcement 1. Send your application package to Southwestern National Bank, Attention Scholarship Program-Jennifer Zhou, 6901 Corporate Drive, Houston, Texas 77036 2. Applications and all supporting documents must be received by the end of May, 2014 for application to be considered 3. Interview may be part of the application process for all semi-fi-

CALL: 713-789-6397

Ugadhi Celebrations at The Woodlands Hindu Temple: Musical Night

April 04, 2014




nalists 4. Scholar for the 2014Scholarship program will be announced by mail before end of June, 2014. For scholarship application and information, contact scholarship coordinator by E-mail at Jennifer.zhou@swnbk. com or call: 713-272-5004. Contact person: Jing Zuo or Jennifer Zhou

20 April 04, 2014


Chitram – A Portrait of India to be Presented by EYS

HOUSTON: ‘Chitram – A Portrait of India’ – a grand multimedia musical theater production will be performed at the Cullen Performance Hall, The University of Houston on Saturday, April 26, at 6:30PM. Chitram promises to be a spectacular performance. The Indian American community of Greater Houston is engaged in bringing this production to life under the leadership of the award-winning visionary composer and artistic director Kanniks Kannikeswaran of Cincinnati, Ohio. Chitram premiered in 2005. This will be the 10th performance of Chitram in the United States. What is Chitram? “It is an eightyminute theater production that tells the story of India’s cultural history using choral music, dances and powerful visuals”, says the composer Kanniks Kannikeswaran who has several other such productions and recordings to his credit. Chitram will be performed by a cast of over 90 singers and dancers all from the Greater Houston area. Chitram has touched and moved large audiences in various venues in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, Toronto and Minnesota and has been hailed as a ‘must see’ for those who want to learn more

about India. A thirty-member Indian community choir is at the core of this production. They will be performing an original music score that cuts across cultural traditions. The entire music is choreographed to multimedia and multi-genre dances from various parts of India. This choir is accompanied by an ensemble of Indian and Western instruments. Dance forms and choreographers will include Bharatnatyam (Dr. Ratna Kumar, Padmini Chari), Odissi (Supradipta Datta), Kathak (Uma Nagarseth), Folk (Pallabita Bhuyan) and Yoga (Dr. Shiram Sarvottam). Kanniks Kannikeswaran (www. is a rare visionary composer who has successfully built bridges across diverse cultures through his path-breaking creations. Producing a performance on this scale from a distance, is nothing new to Kanniks, who had his magnum opus ‘Shanti – A Journey of Peace’ performed by the Lehigh Valley community first in 2006 and 2008 and then by the Houston community in 2010. Kanniks has also worked thrice with the National University of Singapore in remotely producing such major creations. His new

work ‘Sharad’ was performed at The Hague in 2013. Kanniks is hailed as a pioneer of the Indian American choral movement; he has founded many Indian diaspora community choirs throughout the United States. His choir won two silver medals in the just concluded World Choir Games – the Olymics of Choir Music. Kanniks also teaches Indian Music Theory and History at the University of Cincinnati as an Adjunct Faculty Member. He is the recipient of several awards such as the Ohio Heritage Fellowship and the McKnight Fellowship. 2014 marks the 20th year since his first choral production and the 10th year since the premiere of his magnum opus ‘Shanti – A Journey of Peace’. Proceeds from Chitram will benefit EYS (Education, Youth, Service), an initiative of the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands. EYS’s mission is to educate children in Indian teachings; instill Indian culture, heritage and values in youth; and provide service to the community including senior care. For further information and tickets contact Prabhakar Centala at 281-450-9227 or Kiran Emmi at 281-844-3420. See ad on page 23

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BY SAI KHISTY HOUSTON: I write this as a reflection of my summer in the beautiful city of Bengaluru (in the state of Karnataka, India), working for an NGO called Youth for Seva (YFS). This experience had many flavors weaving in and out of each other, creating a rich and vibrant combination. I chose to do this internship with a team called “Doctors for Seva”, the health initiative of Youth for Seva in Bengaluru. The program is focused primarily on raising awareness and accessibility to public health services for marginalized slum populations and students of government schools. For my first taste of Doctors for Seva in action, I accompanied a team of volunteers to a small village near the

city of Tumkur (about a 3 hour drive away from Bengaluru). The schedule for the day included a corporatesponsored school kit distribution carried out by corporate volunteers from Dell. In addition, the DFS initiative for the day was a female menstrual hygiene awareness workshop. I was fortunate to have been connected with Indian and Swiss interns from whom I was exposed to the status of health care policy and delivery in a spectrum of global environments. I also represented the US in two scholarly panels conducted in medical colleges. And for those of you reading, I urge you to travel. Measure your


knowledge in the amount of places you’ve visited, the people you’ve met, and the experiences you’ve been immersed in. Travel is a beautiful catalyst for personal growth and ultimately aids us in making optimum contributions to our global society. Log on to http://www.sewausa. org/yuva-sewa-appeal for more information. Interested candidates, can apply online @ http://www., the applications are accepted on rolling basis, final deadline being April 15, 2014. Sooner you apply sooner you get the decision. To read further visit:


April 04, 2014

Ugadhi Celebrations at MTS

Devotees at Meenakshi temple listening intently to the panchangam reading at Meenakshi temple Ughadi puja.

Lord Venkateshwara in all his splendor at Meenakshi temple on Ughadi day.

BY M.K. SRIRAM PEARLAND: Ughadi, the New Year day for Telugus, Kannadigas and Maharashtrians was celebrated with great festivity and joy at the Sri Meenakshi Temple on Monday, March 31. The name of the festival ‘Ugadhi’ is derived from two words ‘Yuga’ and ‘Aadi’. ‘Yuga Aadi’ means ‘beginning of a new age’. It is believed that Lord Brahma, the creator started his work of creation on this auspicious day. This day coincides with the onset of spring and symbolically marks the beginning of new life. This current year called “Jaya”, meaning victory, gives hope to all. The religious ceremony started with special abhishekam to Lord Venkateshwara with the accompaniment of Vedic chanting by the priests. It is most auspicious to witness and worship the Lord on this day, so many devotees had gathered seeking His blessings. A very important feature of this event is the ‘panchanga shravanam’ or listening to the yearly calendar. The devotees listened in rapt attention as the temple priest read out the predictions for each of the twelve “rasis” as is done traditionally at temples in India. The belief is that hearing this reading of the Panchangam in the presence of Lord Vishnu annuls any ill effects of the planets and brings peace, happiness and prosperity. Lord Venkateswara looked resplendent in all his glory with special adornments and abharanams as the priests did the archana and final arathi. This was followed by prasadam distribution and a simple but sumptuous dinner. For more than 200 devotees who attended, this was the most unforgettable event and an auspicious beginning of the Lunar New Year.

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22 April 04, 2014


April 04, 2014


Fourth Annual Hindu Youth Awards Gala Saturday, May 10 @ 6 p.m.

at Arya Samaj of Greater Houston

14375 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082

Highlights of the evening include the inspiring stories of the Hindu Youth Award winners, recognition of the donors and organizations who have made this event possible, and speeches from past awardees that will tell the gathering what they have made of themselves after winning the prestigious honor.

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Social Hour 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Awards

program followed by dinner

2013 Hindu Youth Award honorees with U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (4th from left)

For More Information, call Richa Dixit 832-451-7206 • Kavita Pallod 713-562-4524 Sanjay Jajoo 713-614-9286 • Sanjay Jain 281-989-0532


24 April 04, 2014


Houston Summit on Women’s Success HOUSTON: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted an economic agenda for women and families at the Young Women College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA) to address issues such as pay equality, work and life balance, wellness and childcare policies. The Houston summit entitled “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” focused on an economic agenda that will enable women to achieve greater economic security, raise wages for women and their families, and allow working parents to support and care for their families. It also addressed the need to ensure women get equal pay for equal work, and help ensure work and family balance by allowing working parents to support their families and care for their children. It recognized that expanding educational opportunities, increasing job training and investing in women entrepreneurs, as being essential for women’s success in our economy. The press conference was attended by Congressman Al

From left: Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rahman Moton,

and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Green, Congresswomen Sheila J. Lee, Mayor Anise Parker, along with over 1000 people. In addition, Rahman Moton, President (MACC) and various organization and Chamber of Com-

merce members attended the event. Moton questioned the panel about Health Care and Immigration Reform, which were all answered by Nancy Pelosi.

Read us online at



April 04, 2014


BAPS Women’s Conference – Lead from Within

STAFFORD: What is leadership? Society ascribes leadership in politics, religion, communities and sports, based on actions, achievement, and at times, popularity. Typically, we limit our view of “leaders” to people in position of power: CEOs, politicians, athletes, and perhaps community leaders. But are those the only leaders? Everyone has the potential to be a leader in his or her own right. What about people who give their best everyday to care for their communities and homes? Are they not leaders as well? In fact, do we recognize ourselves as leaders? To recognize everyday leaders and to focus on tapping into one’s inner potential to be a stronger leader, BAPS hosted the 7th Annual Women’s Conference, themed “Lead from Within” at 10 centers across North America. On March 22, over 1000 women gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Stafford, to participate in this annual event. The conference is inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, in an effort to highlight the empowering role of women in today’s society as leaders in their family, careers and communities. Arpita Bhandari, Co-founder of BioUrja Trading, set the tone for the conference as the chief guest. She attended the event with four generations of her family and credited the foundation of her success to her mother and grandmother, who were central leaders in her life. Bhandari manages her accomplished career all the while keeping her family, culture and values at the forefront. Through her personal experiences, she inspired the audience to acknowledge the power that women hold and how to use their abilities to balance their lives and inspire change. In the opening dialogue, Dimple Thaker, led an energetic and interactive exchange to identify the definition of a leader. With her unique, dynamic style, she went on to discuss that the definition of a leader encompasses all women in their various roles. Encouraging the audience to challenge the norm. Thaker invited everyone to accept their role as a leader with passion and confidence. The conference proceeded to discuss the leadership essentials to make a stronger leader. Riddhi Bhatt, emphasized that while there are many avenues to build leadership, using spirituality as an anchor elevates the potential to be a powerful leader. Using relatable anecdotes and personal stories, she helped show how one can enhance their leadership through spirituality through its many benefits. In delivering the closing talk of the conference, Sejal Patel, shared fundamental qualities exemplified by her ultimate role model, her guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj. With her distinctive use of symbolism she conveyed touching instances from his life demonstrating compassion, humility, and his ability to inspire change in others. In closing, she emphasized how his example provides courage, stability and guidance in everyday interactions and choices. The theme of this year’s conference of “Lead from Within” struck a note with many in the audience. Sharing her thoughts on the conference, Punam Chhipwadia stated, “When we hear these women talk, we realize that anything is possible. We can find our own voice by hearing these women speak at events such as this. It is very important that we continue to grow in our faith so we can reach our potential.” Gaining great inspiration from the 3 distinct speeches, Dr. Heena Thakkar shared her thoughts in saying, “The one thing I took away today is the motivation that I got from the inspiring young women and speakers to be the best

Keynote speaker Arpita Bhandari with BAPS volunteer.

leaders in our community.” After attending the annual conference for the first time, attendee and first year pharmacy student Asha Bhatt stated, “Women have the ability to lead already within themselves. They just have to bring it out and spread it. This women’s conference was spectacular. I’m sure it instilled courage and confidence in every woman present, and it revolutionized the meaning of leadership.” After the conference, attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to network and share their perspective on the talks of the day. Many also felt enriched and inspired by the conference and conveyed their motivation to share the message with their family and friends. Given the opportunity to focus on leadership as it relates to women, the conference provided not only a platform for great insight and discussion, but allowed for inspiration for younger generations. About BAPS The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Con-

sultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have pride in their roots and their rich Hindu culture. Its 9,000 international centers, including more than 5,000 youth centers, support these activities of character building. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions. For further details, visit Contact: BAPS North American Headquarters Phone: 732-777-1414 Email: SOURCE: BAPS

India Culture Center (ICC), Houston

ANNUAL HASYA KAVI SAMMELAN Shri Pradeep ChoubeyANNUAL of Gwalior is the younger brother of famous Hasya Kavi (late) Shail HASYA KAVI SAMMELAN Chaturvedi. He is a gifted poet and an exceptional performer, Pradeep Choubey is a maestro ShriofPradeep of Gwalior is the younger brother famous Hasya Kavihe (late) humorChoubey who is known for his unique style. As aofpoet of distinction hasShail beenChaturvedi. felicitated He by is a gifted poet and an exceptional performer, Pradeep Choubey is a maestro of humor who is known for his unique President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma. style. As a poet of distinction he has been felicitated by President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma. Shri Aalok Srivastav of Vidisha is one of the leading poets (gazalkar) in India. His poetry has touched Shrithe Aalok Srivastav of Vidisha is one of theand leading poets in India. awards, His poetry has touched hearts of millions of his fans in India abroad. He(gazalkar) has won numerous including M.P. the hearts of millions of his fans in India and abroad. He has won numerous awards, including M.P. Sahitya Sahitya Academy’s ‘Dushyant Kumar Award’ and Russia’s ‘International Pushkin Award’. Academy’s ‘Dushyant Kumar Award’ and Russia’s International Pushkin Award’. Shri Sarvesh Asthana of Lucknow is a famous satirist who has been participating in national and Shri Sarvesh Asthana of Lucknow is a famous satirist who has been participating in national and international international Kavi Sammelans and Mushairas since 1989. He is a highly celebrated Hindi Poet Kavi Sammelans and Mushairas since 1989. He is a highly celebrated Hindi Poet of ‘Hasya Vyang’. A of ‘Hasya Vyang’. A receipient of numerous awards, he is also associated with many charitable receipient of numerous awards, he is also associated with many charitable organisations in India. He has organisations in India. He has published many books and is a regular on radio and TV. published many books and is a regular on radio and TV.

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Reliance Life Sciences Enters Anti-cancer Market

Reliance Life Sciences is seeking to tap a market for oncology drugs that, globally, is estimated to grow from $80 billion in 2012 to about $110 billion in five years.

BY C.H. UNNIKRISHNAN MUMBAI: Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd has introduced six anti-cancer drug brands in India, including a generic version of Swiss drugmaker NovartisAG’s anti-blood cancer drug Glivec, as it seeks to tap the fastgrowing market for oncology drugs in the country. Oncology, or the branch of medicine dealing with cancer, is expected to emerge as one of the largest therapeutic segments in the domestic market in five years, Reliance Life Sciences’ president and chief executive K.V. Subramaniam said in an email. “Oncology is the leading therapeutic class in the global pharmaceutical market today,” said Subramaniam, adding that the company is target-

ing both the domestic and export markets. “For the domestic market, Reliance Life Sciences has set up a separate division for marketing oncology formulations. For international markets, it will pursue partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for commercialization of these products,” he added. Reliance Life Sciences is seeking to tap a market for oncology drugs that, globally, is estimated to grow from $80 billion (around Rs.4.9 trillion today) in 2012 to about $110 billion in five years. In India, the anti-cancer drug market touched about Rs.2,000 crore in fiscal 2013, and is forecast to grow to Rs.3,831 crore by fiscal 2017,

according to consultancy firm Frost and Sullivan. The six drugs Reliance Life Sciences has introduced are therapies for cancers that affect the brain, colon, lungs, white blood cells and the rectum that have been identified as the most prevalent globally as well as in India. The current market size for drugs treating these cancers is estimated to be in the range of $40$50 billion. Reliance Life Sciences, a privately held company, did not share details of its sales or profit targets. The Mukesh Ambani group company recently built commercial-scale plants for manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, and formulations for oncology medicines at its Rabale campus in Navi Mum-

bai. India had 2.8 million prevalent cases of all types of cancer in 2012, while at least 800,000 new cases come up every year, Frost and Sullivan said in an India oncology market study released in May. “Oncology will be a key area of growth in India’s healthcare sector. With increase in emphasis on health coverage both by central and state governments, spending on coverage of medicines for oncology will see substantial rise in three-five years,” Ajaykumar Sharma, Frost and Sullivan’s associate director (pharma, lifescience and healthcare practice), wrote in the report. Reliance Life Sciences can take advantage of its existing marketing network with hospitals, said industry experts. “Reliance Life has already established strong marketing network with leading hospitals across the country for its stem cell-based and tissue engineered therapeutic products. Since oncology is mainly a hospital-based business, the company can make better use of this sales network,” said a corporate consultant and adviser in the pharma and healthcare area with a global consultancy firm. He didn’t want to be identified because he isn’t supposed to comment on individual companies. “The biological research strength that it has built in-house for stem cell-based therapies, would also help extend its cancer drug portfolio, especially in the biosimilar space,” said this consultant. Biosimilars are generic versions of biopharmaceutical products. Reliance Life Sciences attempted to enter the generic pharmaceuticals market in India and abroad in 2010 but dropped the plan due to adverse market conditions. Competition is tough in India’s anti-cancer drug market, in which several foreign and local drugmakers



are offering a range of patented and generic drugs after the government reduced taxes and import duties to ensure the availability of affordable oncology drugs. India also issued its first compulsory licence in February 2012 to allow Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma Ltd to manufacture and sell a cheaper version of German drugmaker Bayer HealthCare AG’s patented lung cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib) locally. The health ministry has now proposed to issue a compulsory licence for another cancer drug, Sprycel (dasatinib), patented by US drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Swiss drugmaker F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, a multinational drugmaker that specializes in cancer therapies, had last year cut prices of three key cancer drugs in India following increased competition from generic drugmakers in the local market. Local drugmakers including Cipla Ltd had also cut prices of generic cancer drugs in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Roche, which relinquished its patent right for its breast cancer drug Herceptin in May, has already entered a local manufacturing partnership to reduce costs and expand the market reach for its cancer drugs. “We have already introduced a local pricing and branding structure, in partnership with the local company, for a number of our cancer drugs, including Herceptin, and are currently reviewing the impact of this programme,” a Roche spokesman said earlier. -

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Kele Da Masala Parantha (Banana Stuffed Parantha) There are many types of paranthas, and it seems that you can only be limited by your imagination and skill as a cook with what you can stuff them with. I have even made them with sugar and the grated Cheddar cheese, they come out delicious, especially after the cheese has melted inside. Although there are paranthas made all over India, the Punjabi style paranthas are well-known all over the world for their buttery whole wheat dough, generous tasty fillings and soft edges. This recipe for a kela (banana) parantha is a modern-day variation and is especially good since it can be kept unrefrigerated for several days and can be eaten on long journeys, like on a plane or bus trip or a long train ride, which many people still take in India. It is a good source of quick energy and nourishment. Bananas are an ideal fruit that many people enjoy for its ease of peeling and because it can fill you up quickly. But it is also a very good source of potassium, which is important to many people with high blood pressure. Bananas are also high in Vitamins B6 and C and are high in carbohydrates. In South India, people use the banana leaves as plates for eating meals. My masala banana parantha recipe uses methi in it to add some unique taste, though it is not essential. It is a little like making banana nut bread, except without the nuts and the sugar, and can be eaten by itself or with your favorite condiments. Ingredients: • 500gm kanak (gehon) ka atta (wheat flour) • 250gm besan (gram flour) • 2 bunches of fresh methi (fenugreek) • 1 large kela (banana) – soft and ripe, peeled and mashed • 3 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil) • ½ cup plain dahi (yogurt) • 1 1/2 cups pani (water) • Spices to taste: namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) Directions: 1. Wash the stems of methi and dry with a soft cloth. Remove

the tougher stalks and then finely chop the methi. If fresh methi is not available, use dried methi, but first soak it for 10 minutes to let the dirt and hard stems separate and settle then skim the methi from the top. Use at least one cup of methi for the entire flour. 2. Mix the atta and the besan together, adding the salt and mirch and the mashed banana. Add the methi, oil and yogurt and knead well. You do not need to add water to make the dough, which should be soft but not runny. 3. Leave the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. You should not cook the paranthas right after making the dough as they will come out hard. The oil and yogurt will help to make these paranthas soft. 4. Dab your hands with a little oil and then break off small pieces of the dough. Make these into small paade (balls) and then roll out into an 8 to 10 inch circle. 5. Put a small dab of oil on a hot tava (hotplate or skillet) and place the flattened dough on. When it turns color a little, turn the pancake

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.


Often, the bananas that we buy in the grocery store ripen quickly at home, especially as they are either placed in a basket or hung on a hook on the kitchen counter. People are warned not to keep them in the refrigerator as the skin of the bananas will turn brown and the inside meat will become a little harder. I have found that the way to keep bananas fresh longer is by keeping them in the fridge but covered in a closed plastic bag. This allows the air around the fruit to act an insulator and maintain a constant temperature which will not allow the bananas to turn brown, get spots, the outer skin to crack open or the fruit to dry up and harden.

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over. Put another dab of oil on the tava and then turn it over again till it is fully cooked. These paranthas will not puff up and when they have some dark brown spots on them, it means they are cooked. 6. Because of the methi and yogurt, these paranthas are quite soft and easy for older people to eat. Try these with butter or yogurt for best taste.

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April 04, 2014

Movie Review: Youngistan

BY MADHUREETA MUKHERJEE Review: Wake up to the new face of modern India. Governed by a 28-year Prime Minister, well-bred, free-thinking and fashionably goodlooking in denims and designer wear. And a live-in hottie girlfriend as the First Lady. Howzaat? Read on. Abhimanyu Kaul's (Jackky) funky life of gaming, wild partying and romancing lady-love, Anwita (Neha), while living-in with her in Tokyo, comes to a shocking halt. His father (Boman), the powerful PM of India

suddenly passes away, entrusting Abhi with the coveted seat to serve the nation. He can no longer live like an aam aadmi. Overnight, his life is stripped off all normalcy and privacy. Tailor-made sherwanis, kurtas make way into his wardrobe, and a pack of men-in-black (read commandos) make way into his bedroom. ‘Parties’ have a whole new meaning and night-life means nashta with nefarious netas. Dinner dates with his gal is definitely more than a twosome, and his new circle boasts of

political giants (so what if his buddies disappear from his hacked Facebook account! Sigh!). His only trust-worthy man is Akbar uncle (Shaikh), the PA to the PM. His politically inappropriate personal life comes under scanner of the junta and media, but the couple refuses to budge from their love-nest to appease the politicos. Abhi is a master in the game of love, but will this Romeo be able to win the game of rajneeti too? Afzal’s ‘Youngistaan’ at the core is an interesting idea, far-fetched, but refreshing. The love-story develops tenderly, but the political backdrop and ensuing drama is not crafted with clarity. The story suffers from uninspiring dialogues, with a stretched climax. It’s a well-intentioned drama which vibes with the current political scenario and upcoming elections (“mujhe vote dijeye ya na dijeye, lekin vote zaroor dijeya. Ek aapka haq hai.” Got it?). Jackky shows sincerity and confidence, with a steady act in a tough role. Neha plays the pretty, exuberant girl-friend with flair. And finally, the superlative - Farooq Shaikh, enacting the last screen role of his life. As always, using his warmth and acting prowess to deliver a great performance (in spite of a poorly sketched role). The young generation will truly miss this performer par excellence. With a heavy heart...adaab, Farooksaab! ‘Youngistaan’ isn’t the perfect concoction of love and politics, but worth one ‘shot’! -Times of India

Interview with ‘Jinn’ Writer/Director Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad Tell us about your background and how you came to know about the jinn? My parents were born in India. They moved to Pakistan during the Partition, then to England, and eventually to Michigan, where I was born. One of my mom’s nutritional tactics was to say, “If you don’t finish your veggies, the jinn will come out of the woods and get you.” In our house, jinn were somehow related to dietary threats, but that didn’t make them any less fearsome. Consider this: In just about every crevice of the world, there’s a grandmother scaring the crap out of her grandkids with jinn stories! What made you want to make a movie about this concept? As for jinn, I’ve known about them all my life. The concept was always very scary but cool at the same time, and I used to wonder why some of my friends knew about the jinn and others didn’t. We’d never seen a movie, comic book, television show or video game about them. Imagine growing up on ghost stories but having no cinematic portrayal of ghosts: no Ghostbusters, no Beetlejuice, no Poltergeist. Jinn are part of a mythology known to a massive populace – it seemed obvious that someone’s got to make a film about them. What are your goals as a filmmaker? As a filmmaker, I want to create new heroes. I want young people to be able to walk away from my films and say, “I want to be like that man” or “I want to be like that woman.” The

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movies I gravitate toward have all the classic elements of heroism and enchantment, which is what I’m trying to do today. I truly believe in the idea that we can shape the world, little by little, by putting positive images into the collective consciousness. What do you want audiences to take away from your new film JINN? With JINN, we’ve taken an old story and delivered it to a new audience, thereby making it a new story if you consider that even people familiar with the concept predominately know it in the tradition of oral storytelling. I wanted to spark the imaginations of people around the world using a folklore which for the most part has not been explored by Hollywood. Everyone in the industry is looking for the next great idea, the next great franchise, the next great phenomenon, the next great work of imagination. This is a concept with the potential to be a lucrative franchise, ripe enough to lure moviegoers hungry for new content and appeal to an enormous audience whose cultural mythology has yet to be explored onscreen. We want people to come on the journey with us. If someone watches our film and goes on to tell their own story about jinn, I believe we’ve done our job. See ad on Page 13

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INDIA Three Cheers to Khushwant Singh, Doyen of Indian Columnists He Died with Pen in his Hand and Single Malt Bottle at his Feet BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT

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My personal interaction with Khushwant Singh did not go beyond half a dozen or so meetings spread over long intervals; however, we continued correspondence over a much longer period. My first contact with him came about sometime in 1999; I had then started writing FRANKLY SPEAKING, a regular column for Dehra Dun’s Garhwal Post, a weekly publication at that time. I had ensured that its complimentary copy was regularly sent to Khushwant. Khushwant apparently liked my column and did not mince words in my praise. In a postcard dated 16 June 2001, he wrote, “I enjoyed reading your columns, all of them. You have indeed a wide range of interests and a facile pen. You should be more ambitious and make a niche for yourself in one of the national dailies”. Even though I had been a much talked about journalist in my time, yet such an unabashed praise from Khushwant Singh sent me soaring to seventh heaven. My response was modestly brief; “I would love to write for a national daily but I doubt if anyone would accept my contributions”. Khushwant Singh then suggested that I tried my luck with some regional newspapers. That was, however, easier said than done. I sent a query to The Asian Age with a sample column. Its venerable founder editor MJAkbar was gracious enough to send a hand written note in green ink thanking me and saying that “our newspaper is chockablock with columnists”. He was right too; those days all the retired celebrities, be they eminent editors, secretaries to the government of India, CBI directors, out-of-favour politicians and other busybodies wrote columns, to stay in limelight and to be able to vent their opinions which otherwise nobody would listen to. I was deliriously happy that an eminent journalist of Khushwant Singh’s stature became an avid reader of my column in Garhwal Post. To make sure that he doesn’t miss it, I would additionally, as a matter of precaution, send him by post a photo copy of the weekly column. Khushwant was so punctilious that he sent me a postcard on 31 January 2002 saying, “I do get Garhwal Post and make it a point to read your column. So please do not bother to send me its Photostat copies”. In fact, the Postcard then was Khushwant’s principal mode of informal correspondence with most of his friends, acquaintances and others. I must have received about 10 or more of his notes not exceeding a sentence

or two. Brevity, it would appear, was Khushwant Singh’s hallmark and the Postcard more like a signature tune. I only visited Khushwant twice at his Sujan Singh Park home in New Delhi; the first time it was in the afternoon and the second visit was later in the evening when I shared a whisky with him; I do not now recall if it was a Single Malt or Black Label. Though it was brief visit, I felt very much at ease there listening to his monotone tone. I desperately wanted to befriend him and listen about both his adventures and some misadventures that happened in his long life. But I was destined to remain just an acquaintance of his and I was grateful to the God Almighty for His small mercies. My most memorable meeting with him lasted over two hours when he was a guest of mine at a dinner that I had arranged in a suite at Hotel Madhuban. Among the guests were writer Nayantara Sahgal and some leading citizens. My late friend NN Goel was the life of the party, telling one story after another about celebrities. Khushwant Singh too was in a jovial mood and enormously enjoyed the party. Some other guests were Sham Sunder Goyal, Iqbal Ahmed Farooqi, Jitender Nath of VANGUARD, publisher and journalist SP Sabharwal, educationist Waryam Singh with wife Amarjeet. My wife Amber was there too. It was one of the most enjoyable evenings and I am sure that Khushwant would have loved to have had another evening like that. But such evenings are rare happenings and therein lies their intrinsic charm. “KHUSHWANT SINGH IS NO MORE” was the one liner that gave me the shocking news on Thursday

afternoon. I shed a few tears but those were not of sorrow or grief, for Khushwant Singh has lived a fulfilling life, replete with adventures, excitements, flirtations and everything else that a man would have desired or wished. He lived life on his own terms and conditions; he was scornful of unsolicited advice. My friend Arvindar Singh, a writer and entrepreneur, has an interesting anecdote about a conversation between Khushwant Singh and Morarji Desai. Khushwant Singh once interviewed Morarji Desai for the Illustrated Weekly of India. After the interview was over, Morarjibhai said to Khushwant, “Why don`t you give up drinking? It’s bad for your health.” Khushwant had a ready answer, “Morarjibhai if you can convince me about the rightness of giving up drinking, I promise to do so. If, on the other hand, I convince you about the virtues of having an evening tipple, will you promise to join me with one?” Morarji Desai thought for a moment and replied, “That is a fair proposition, if you can convince me, I also promise to join you for an evening drink.” Incidentally, Morarji Desai also like Khushwant Singh lived up to the age of 99 years. It is obvious that Khushwant must have won this bet because he continued his worship of Bacchus until the very last. Desai died earlier before he could join Khushwant for an evening drink. THREE CHEERS, my dear friend now and forever. Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dun-based author and freelance journalist.



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World T20: Yuvraj, Ashwin Lead Clean Sweep

West Indies Reach Semis After Pak Scores Only 82

India 159 for 7 (Yuvraj 60) beat Australia 86 (Ashwin 4-11, Mishra 2-13) by 73 runs. BY SIDHARTH MONGA MIRPUR (ESPN Cricinfo): We’ve been expecting you, Mr Singh. Many an India fan wanted Yuvraj Singh out because he had been plodding and prodding around this tournament even though he took most wickets and scored most runs for India between the two World Twenty20s. India, though, persisted with him, even giving him an extra chance at the expense of Shikhar Dhawan who made way for Ajinkya Rahane who simply had to be tried. Yuvraj struggled here again, reaching 13 off 21 before he exploded to end up with 60 off 43, showing just why MS Dhoni has shown so much faith in him. That innings provided a middling innings the acceleration it needed, after which R Ashwin’s wily spin triggered an almighty collapse from Australia. Pakistan’s win over Bangladesh earlier in the day had already knocked Australia out, but India still had a lot of interest in this R Ashwin’s 4 for 11 had the best figures by an Indian in T20s (left). Yuvraj Singh launches the ball over match. All their previous wins the top, Australia v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur. had come winning the toss and bowling first, so they wanted to bat first and also wanted to play a row. You couldn’t have got away up against a side that had nothing Big Consolation Win around with their combination a with that against the vintage Yu- to lose. It showed in how Aaron little. Rahane’s inclusion and Mo- vraj. You couldn’t get away with Finch threw his arms at the first SYLHET: India Women 121 for hit Sharma’s were the decisions that against this Yuvraj either. He ball of the chase, and got four for 1 (Mithali 55*, Raut 56) beat West made before the toss, and even sent them both sailing over mid- it. However, Australia were too Indies Women 117 for 7 (Dottin though Dhoni finally lost a toss- wicket for sixes. He had seen reckless and India too disciplined 57, Harmanpreet Kaur 2-12) by 9 India got their wish when George blood now. Some of his silken yet for this to become a blitz of any wickets Bailey inserted them in. Both India openers, Poonam brutal shots came out in the end, sort. The daredevilry of a side that India’s worst first 10 overs of most notable of which was his was on its way out was all there, Raut and Mithali Raj, hit half-centhe tournament followed as Ro- movement away from the stumps but the execution wasn’t. After In- turies, India v West Indies, Womhit Sharma fell early, and Rahane to get under a full ball outside leg dia had bowled a few tight overs en’s World T20, Group B, Sylhet, and Virat Kohli failed to convert and send it inside-out over long- at the top, keeping them down to April 1, 2014 starts. Suresh Raina didn’t look at off for six. Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut 19 for 1 in four overs, it was all home either, and at 66 for 4 in the put on 117 for the first wicket © All of a sudden, the bowlers six or out. 12th over, India were struggling were the ones fumbling, not sure Yes, there were five sixes, but ICC for the first time in the tourna- where to bowl because missing there were five dismissals doing Half-centuries from Mithali ment. Yuvraj had only just about the areas even by inches resulted that as Ashwin spun his way to the Raj and Poonam Raut gave India start timing the ball, and in the in sixes. Seventy runs came in five best figures by an Indian spinner in Women a consolation nine-wicket next over Brad Hodge provided overs starting with the 14th, and Twenty20 internationals, and Aus- win over West Indies Women in him a long hop to get away a bit. even though Yuvraj didn’t finish tralia crashed to their third-worst Sylhet. A win would have meant James Muirhead came on to bowl off in style he had given India what defeat. Now if the New Zealand- West Indies finished top of the the 14th. Australia’s spinners had looked a fighting total, especially Sri Lanka match is not washed out Group B table. Instead, they finsuffocated India by then, conced- given the form of India’s attack. in the other group, India will face ished behind England, and will ing just 40 in seven overs. therefore face Group A toppers The only problem with the to- South Africa in the semi-final. This time, though, the legspin- tal was you had to make allowSidharth Monga is an assistant Australia in the first semifinal on ner missed his length two balls in ance for the fact that India were editor at ESPNcricinfo Thursday.

CHITTAGONG: West Indies scored 84 runs in their first 15 overs. They nearly doubled their total after that, smashing 82 off the last 30 balls of the innings. No Full Member team had ever conceded so many in the last five overs of a Twenty20 game. It remained to be seen which part of West Indies’ innings, the first three-quarters or the final quarter, would make a bigger impact on the result as Pakistan began their chase, in a knockout game to determine who would take on Sri Lanka in the first semi-final on Thursday. In the end, West Indies could have declared after 15 overs and still won. The timing of the assault by Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy - they put on 71 in 32 balls, having come together at 81 for 5 in the 14th over - was a knockout blow to Pakistan. You could tell by the way Sammy pumped his fists after pounding Saeed Ajmal for a straight six in the 19th over. It wasn’t arrogance or bravado. It was adrenaline. It surged through the entire West Indies team, and some of it was still coursing through Krishmar Santokie’s blood when he pinged Ahmed Shehzad’s front toe plumb in front of middle stump with an inswinging yorker, first ball of the chase. Shehzad, an unbeaten centurion in his previous game, was out for a duck. Pakistan never recovered. They were yet to take a run off the bat when Kamran Akmal faced up to Samuel Badree for the start of the second over, and two more dot balls provoked a scoop straight into wide mid-off’s hands. The pressure, in Badree’s next two overs, got to Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik as well. Both were stumped, one foxed by a googly, one getting nowhere near the pitch of a legbreak. Pakistan were 13 for 4, and slipping to a painful defeat. It had started so well for Pakistan. Their bowlers were on target, their fielders were buzzing, and West Indies were barely switched on. sides, but an outlier as well. Eight of the teams had scored 40% or more of their runs by actually running them.


April 04, 2014


Satyamev Jayate 2: Is the Voter to Blame for Criminalisation of Politics, Asks Aamir BY SWETA KAUSHAL Aamir Khan discussed one of the gravest threats facing the Indian democracy in the final episode of Satyamev Jayate 2. He brought forth the issue of people facing criminal charges being elected as MPs and MLAs Interestingly, not only did the perfectionist talk about political parties giving tickets to such candidates, he also talked about the people where the onus ultimately lies - the voters electing such candidates. From use of power and money for buying votes to the grim fact of citizens casting votes for caste instead of the candidate’s credentials - the episode was a much-needed and well-timed discussion. Well-timed as the country goes to Lok Sabha polls in the next few weeks. In a detailed and informative discussion, Aamir Khan’s show talked about how ‘bahubalis’ once helped

leaders get booth captured and have now turned into leaders themselves. Highlighting the plight of genuine leaders who fell victim to these criminal MPs, the late Purnia (Bihar) MLA Ajir Sarkar’s life, work and murder were showcased on the episode on Sunday. Unlike the MPs and MLAs we know today, Sarkar was never fond of luxuries. He even lived in a rented house and never fell short of helping out the people of his constituency. Former Election Commissioner SY Quraishi came on the show to talk about the various raids that Election Commission conducts during and before elections, highlighting the sale of votes. “The EC had suggested that any candidate against whom the court has framed charges (indicating that the court finds the accused guilty, prima facie) should not be allowed to contest polls and all such cases should

Aamir Khan was delighted to meet young girls for his show Satyamev Jayate 2, which premiered on March 2.

have been filed at least six months before the elections. Unfortunately, the government rejected the suggestion, arguing that the law in out

country says that an accused person is innocent till proven guilty,” Quraishi said on the show. A grim fact highlighted in the epi-

sode was that all the major parties in India have a huge percentage of criminal MPs. While Shiv Sena tops the list with 80% MPs facing criminal charges, BJP ranks second with nearly 41%. JD(U) has a share of 36.84% MPs facing criminal charges while Congress, BSP and SP have 28.575, 27.27% and 23% such MPs respectively. What needs to be changed is not only laws and policies that do not allow people facing grave criminal charges to fight elections, but also the voters’ attitude. We should find out about the candidates of our constiuency and as a rule never vote for an criminal. TO ADVERTISE CALL 713.789.6397

AAP Thought Running Government a Child’s Play: Sonia Gandhi NEW DELHI: Launching a sharp attack on Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused it of shying away from Delhi as it thought that running a government was a “child’s play”. Targeting Kejriwal, whose party was mainly responsible for the rout of Congress in Delhi polls last December, she said, “Some people believed that running government was a child’s play. You have seen how they have run away from Delhi.” The Congress President was speaking in a rally at the Karol Bagh area in the national capital where she attacked BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and AAP’s Kejriwal in the same breath. The move to take on AAP was obvious as the party had eaten up into the majority of Congress vote bank in the last assembly elections in Delhi where the ruling party was left with just eight seats in the 70 member assembly with its Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit routed by more than 25,000 votes in the New Delhi seat.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused Arvind Kejriwal of shying away from Delhi.

Although Kejriwal went on to become Chief Minister with outside support from Congress, he resigned on February 14 after a 49-day stint at the helm. In all the seven seats in the national capital, there is a three-cornered contest between Congress, BJP and AAP where elections are slated to be held

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on April 10. AAP has fielded Jarnail Singh from West Delhi and Devindra Sehrawat from South Delhi where Congress candidates are sitting MPs Mahabal Mishra and Ramesh Kumar respectively. Union minister Kapil Sibal will also get a tough fight at Chandni Chowk constituency with BJP fielding its Delhi unit chief Harsh Vardhan and AAP nominating journalist-turnedpolitician Ashutosh. Ajay Maken will also have to get past not just BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi but AAP’s another journalist-turnedpolitician Ashish Khetan, founder of investigative website In East Delhi constituency, Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, will face challenge from AAP’s Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and BJP’s Mahesh Girri. Congress has fielded Tirath from Northwest constituency which she had won in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls. BJP has fielded Dalit leader Udit Raj from the constituency. AAP

has fielded Mangolpuri MLA Rakhi Birla from the seat. J P Agarwal, a four-time MP, who has been renominated from North East Delhi constituency is up against

BJP’s popular Bhojpuri singer-actor Manoj Tiwari from the seat while AAP has given ticket to Anand Kumar. -Indianexpress

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