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Friday, May 17 2013 | Vol. 32, No. 20

Indo American erican News

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A Tapestry of Faiths

P5 Save A Mother Fundraiser

Dr. Shiban Ganju

P14 & 15

Delighted Seniors

Seniors enjoy Mother’s Day celebrations




May 17, 2013



May 17, 2013

IAPAC Holds an Easy Dialogue with A Congressman Who Knows India Well


BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA Agreement passed allowHOUSTON: Despite being a ing India to proceed with Mother’s Day weekend and a using enriched Uranium for pleasant Saturday afternoon ideal energy purposes. for outdoor activities, about 30 “We need to increase fopeople made it to the Mayuri rescus to put India on the map taurant on Westheimer to listen of greater trade and investto the two speakers that the Indo ment,” said Royce. He also American Political Action Comworried that Pakistan’s failmittee had invited to meet with the ure to suppress terrorist atcommunity on May 11. tacks would destabilize the One of the invited Congressregion. Also on his mind men, Ted Poe, a Republican from was the revisions to the Texas District 2, was a no-show immigration bill that are but the other two held an informal working their way through dialogue, mostly over the state of Congress, a subject of the affairs between India and the US, question and answer period but by extension, the role that that that followed, with past the local Indian population in the IAPAC president Sanjay US can play as well as the impact Rao reading from written of their numbers and economic questions submitted by the prowess. audience. Royce responded Congressman Pete Olson, a Rethat he wasn’t aware that publican from Texas District 22 there was a bias against which encompasses Sugar Land, H1B visa applicants from Missouri City and Pearland, and India, with the number of no stranger to events that the visa allowed much less that IAPAC and the Indian community those from other countries, have organized, was ecstatic about as well as the much lengththe recent study by Rice Univerier processing times which sity that reported that Sugar Land can run into several years. is the most diverse city in the US. California Congressman Ed Royce and his wife Marie received a plaque from IAPAC President Sujeeth Royce did, however, In his usual light-hearted manner, Draksharam at Mayuri restaurant during a brief stopover in Houston this past Saturday, May 11 as members make it clear that he felt with knees slightly bent as if to of the IAPAC Board and Texas Congressman Pete Olson look on. that Indians were better bring his tall frame down to eye Photo: Jawahar Malhotra equipped to adapt and intelevel, he hammered that point in grate into American life and conwhenever he could to an apprecia- of the IAPAC President Sujeeth personally and joked that his wife, exorably intertwined, taking into tribute to the economic well being tive crowd. But he also took credit Draksharam who had made the Marie, had even more experience account the purposeful economic of the country. He is a proponent for working with Indian Consul request when he and other IAPAC when she was a VP at Choice Ho- reforms towards a capitalistic of allowing foreign students who General Parvathaneni Harish to members visited Washington, tels and the Marriott where she structure that India undertook two graduate from American universiseal the deal to allow LNG to be DC late last year. “This visit is to regularly came into contact with decades ago. ties to receive their Green Cards exported to India from the still-to- thank them for their support,” said the large percent of hotel/motel Royce impressed the audience upon graduating, thus allowing be-retrofitted terminal at Sabine Royce. owners who are Gujarati. with his command of the subject them to continue on with their caPass (see page 6 for related story). Much shorter, in comparison to “Jai Hind,” started out Royce, as well as his involvement in re- reers here and becoming part of the But the show stopper for the the over six-foot tall Olson, Royce as he took off his coat and rolled covery efforts in the aftermath of force that can create new jobs in afternoon was Congressman Ed is a towering figure in the Congres- up his shirtsleeves to grab the mic. the Gujarat earthquake in 2001 and the US. Both he and Olson stressed Royce, a Republican from Califor- sional hierarchy in his position as He then went on to describe how the Mumbai 9/11 attacks in 2008. that it was important to change the nia District 39 which encompasses Chair of the Foreign Affairs Com- India-US relations have evolved Having once stayed at the Taj Homisconceptions associated with Orange County, just southwest mittee, from which he can steer US past the Cold War era when India tel in Mumbai, he was familiar Indo-Americans and to fight in the of downtown Los Angeles, who policy as it relates to India. He has was in the Soviet Union’s orbit to with the area where the attack took political process for their presence made a stopover in Houston along had a lot of exposure to India, not the present day when ties between place. He also was instrumental in in their adopted country. with his wife Marie, at the urging just by virtue of his work, but also India and the US have become in- having the US-India Civil Nuclear



May 17, 2013



May 17, 2013


A Tapestry of Faiths Binds Houston’s Diverse Communities with a Common Goal

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: The mood at this year’s annual Tapestry Gala by the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston was restrained but decidedly jubilant as the 44 year-old non-profit celebrated the biggest achievements of its long existence looking forward to its expanded facilities that will serve upto 10,000 hot meals a day for the needy and often lonely elderly in the metropolitan area. The organization will soon move into a renovated bank building at 3300 Main St. which will serve as its administrative offices, with the familiar Meals on Wheels program moving into a new distribution center across the street. The entire project will cost $12 million and with the architectural elements that are planned for it, will become “an iconic symbol of the Houston’s diversity,” as past Board Chair Bill King exclaimed at the halfway mark of the gala. The fifth annual gala also was filled with crisp and colorful details, from the décor for the banquet hall of the Hilton Americas which featured small, gold fabric settees built around a column topped by an immense vase filled with a bouquet of flowers, to the centerpieces that had a row of bright red and orange roses with blue hydrangeas down the middle. The staged entertainment featured performances much different from last years in that there was a cross between Indian Bollywood fusion dances by Naach Houston and the West Indian folk dances by Urban Souls Dance Company, interspersed by The Treble Choir, the Gary Norton Trio and opera by Kenneth Gayle and Julia Laskowski. While the gala took place on a weekday evening – it was held on Thursday, May 9 – it was elegant, to the point but just long enough to end by 10:30 pm.

Murthy Divakaruni, Fatima Mawji, Anu Bala, Shazma Matin, Arshad Matin, Paula Sutton, Bill Gross, David Raj

The evening opened up with Dr. Fatima Mawji describing the four pillars of IM’s work: meals for the elderly, refugee program, disaster preparedness and interfaith dialogue. She marveled at how she, a Shia Muslim native of Mumbai, was able to work with a team led by a Jewish President (Elliot Gershenson) and work with Christian volunteers for the better of society in Houston. “Some day it will all end and lists will not matter,” she said philosophically, “How will the value of your days be remembered – your integrity, character, sacrifice. A life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.” The emcee for the evening, one time television sportscaster and now head of her own production company, Lisa Malosky moved the gala along throughout the night. A video presentation touched on all the areas that IM works in and featured a short clip on a Bhutanese refugee Dhan Tamaj and the Interfaith Dialogue held at Bobby and IM Director Jasmeeta Singh’s house. Another video showed how the

iLead program taught young people from different faiths to respect each other’s cultural and religious differences. After the video, the youngsters featured in the video came onstage, with their spokesman concluding that “no one can say why some fields are green under the August sun and some others are not.” The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2013 Tapestry Award to long time Houstonians Marie and Vijay Goradia who have been great benefactors of many charities and community events in the Bayou City. In presenting the award, Aziz Jamaluddin said they were a “gracious and very generous couple” and quipped that “Vijay was often considered the Godfather of the Indian community. But while Vijay focuses on his business supplying industrial, automotive facilities, Marie is his intellectual and social compass.” After dinner, Marie and Vijay came onstage to speak of their love for the community that they have settled in after leaving their

Ash and Leena Shah

Fred Zeidman, Bobby Singh

native India. Ever mindful of how Life has blessed them, Marie said she realized that their contribution was but a drop in the ocean of need. She explained how she went on a Meals on Wheels tour last year and met with some elderly citizens whose only contact with others in the whole day was the driver. She talked about her multi faith household – she’s Catholic and Vijay is Hindu – and how that fits in with IM’s philosophy of coexistence. Marie went on to add that she never dreamt that she would be given this chance to give back to her community and “leave a positive footprint in the sands of Time” and “make a difference in what happens when Life throws you a curve ball.” Vijay Goradia spoke his feelings through an incident that happened to him as he sat on the pier in Boston harbor and was eating a sandwich. “An old man with a scraggly beard, unkempt hair and a limp came and sat next to me,” he recalled of that incident which made him change his outlook on

life. The two got around to talking and Vijay learnt that the man was a Vietnam Veteran with several injuries which never fully recovered, had been in rehab, his wife had left him and then died and had a grown daughter who didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Vijay was taken aback by the quiet dignity of the man who wasn’t asking for anything. Still, as the two broke away, Vijay took all the money in his pocket and gave it to the man who thanked Vijay and said that he had an angel looking over him. Touched, Vijay said that the experience taught him that you can be an angel to those who need your help. As the evening drew to a close, Vijay and Marie Goradia were joined onstage by the President of the Indo American Charity Foundation Murthy Divakaruni to thank them for their support for the IACF and presented the IM with an outsized check for $61,000, as previous IACF Presidents Anu Bala and David Raj looked on.

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 INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



May 17, 2013

Indian FICCI Delegation to OTC Makes Strong Case for Offshore Drilling Collaboration BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: This year’s Offshore Technology Conference was once again the focus of the delegation of Indian companies who came to attend the four day event last week from May 6 through 9 at Reliant Park. In past years, Indian companies have sent many of their employees to visit and network at the OTC. In the past ten years, the Indian Ministry of Oil and Gas has often sent a delegation, accompanied by the Minister himself, on a road show to several cities in North America to interest US firms to bid for rights to drill in offshore tracts in. This year the emphasis was on collaboration of a different sort as a delegation from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry visited the OTC to explore alliances with local counterparts. The delegation consisted of 25 professionals from many segments of Indian industry, including private and state-owned companies like Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd.; Cairn India Ltd.; Directorate General of Hydrocarbons; GAIL (India) Ltd.; IBM; Indian Oil Corp. Ltd; Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and SBI Capital Markets Ltd. to name just a few. Their focus was on developing US-India Strategic Hydrocarbons Partnerships and towards this end, after a box lunch, they held an afternoon long workshop which was attended by about 60 people. The workshop included a panel discussion on oil and gas opportunities in India led off by Ken Hyatt, the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the International Trade Agency of the US Dept. of Commerce and also Nolty Theriot of the US International Business Council. Hyatt acknowledged that the growth in India which was fueled by a rising middle class put pressure on the country to ensure a dependable supply of energy. He hinted that he may be visiting later in December to expand economic ties. Theriot announced a new initiative for US and Indian universities to collaborate on training. Indian Consul General Par-

The panelists at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry workshop held at the Offshore Technology Conference on Tuesday, May 7 at Reliant Arena. From left: Vivek Pandit, the Senior Director and Head for Energy at FICCI; Ken Hyatt, the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the International Trade Agency of the US Dept. of Commerce; Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish; S. K. Srivastava, Chief Managing Director, Oil India Ltd. and Shashi Shankar, Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Photo: Jawahar Malhotra

vathaneni Harish spoke of his personal satisfaction in putting the workshop together for one of the largest delegations from India at the OTC. He emphasized that energy security was paramount to India to help lift the population out of poverty and to maintain 7 to 8% GDP growth rates, which would require a commensurate 5% growth in energy supply as the per capita energy consumption would only grow. To do so, he added, would require improving Indian infrastructure and producing more hydrocarbons locally as 50% is currently imported. Harish noted that the new shale gas growth in the US has changed

the global energy equation as the country becomes a global natural gas supplier. He has been active since he first assumed office in October last year to help cement a contract with Cheniere Energy to export LNG from the Sabine Pass Liquefaction plant in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The first contract was signed with GAIL for 3.5 million tonnes a year and the second agreement is for 2.3 million tonnes per year; both subject to Dept. of Energy approvals, which are pending in the next two to three years. “It is a big moment for India-US energy partnership,” Harish noted in conclusion. Following him, Vivek Pandit,

the Senior Director and Head for Energy at FICCI spoke about the thriving Indian $2 trillion economy which has grown by from 5 to 8% a year, outstripping the economies of the west which have grown at about 2% per year. “India is vibrant but has a chaotic media,” he said. “But democracy has its own speed.” He added that investors could not ignore India for long. Following a brief video presentation on Petrotech 2014 to be held outside of New Delhi in January and the Asia Gas Partnership Summit 2013., the other panelists and visiting delegates made presentations about various aspects of doing business in the oil and gas


sector in India. Among these were Sanjay Arya of the US Embassy in New Delhi; Manav Kanwar, Managing Director of SK Oilfield Equipment Co.; Sunil Bharati, Head Corporate Affairs and Communications of Cairn India Ltd.; Gajendra Singh, Executive Director, GAIL (India); Arundhati Bhattacharya, MD and CEO, SBI Capital Markets; Shashi Shankar, Director, ONGC and S. K. Srivastava, Chief Managing Director, Oil India Ltd. The workshop concluded with a question and answer session followed by networking and consultations between the delegates and attendees.

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Desi Oilfield Exhibitors; Many Indians Rush to OTC 2013




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pur, Malaysia in March 2014 and the OTC Brasil in Rio de Janeiro in October 2013 – plus an Arctic Technology Conference in Houston next February. Among the 2,700 exhibitors three with deep Indian roots were present once again. Tata Steel, headquartered in the UK but with a local office in Sugar Land, once again had its large exhibit highlighting its pipeline solutions. American Block Manufacturing, CONTINUED ON PAGE


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BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: This year’s Offshore Technology Conference drew in thousands of exhibitors and visitors from all across the globe, with thousands thronging the Reliant Center, Reliant Arena and the outdoor exhibits in between for the four day event. The OTC is world renowned for bringing together products, services and professionals who are involved in the rush to bring oil and gas to the surface from the deeps of the blue waters off the coastlines. The 45 year-old conference is a huge boost to the local Houston economy, drawing in a record 80,000 people this year and other spin off events, like the Crawfish Boil at the University of Houston and the numerous other barbeque cook-off’s and private banquets make the OTC as unique to the Bayou City’s fortunes as the Livestock Show and Rodeo that is held in the same venue every February.


May 17, 2013

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American Block pavillion Darshana and Rajini Shah (on right) with staff.


10 May 17, 2013 AIM for Seva Celebrates Mothers Day

HOUSTON: On Saturday, May 11, AIM for Seva celebrated Mothers day to honor young and “not-so-young” mothers – from all walks of life. The evening was marked with fun and laughter. The highlight of the evening was a fashion walk by mother/ daughter and mother/son teams. The young mothers were dressed fashionably and the young girls were very cute showing off their talents.

Another unique theme of the evening was to encourage the men in the audience to dot the foreheads of celebrity actresses while blind folded, and also for them to guess the prices of every day items. Several men walked away with gifts they can use right away. A couple of them even won glitzy sarees for the women in their lives. The most important part of the evening


Congressman Ted Poe Meets with Consul General P. Harish

was honoring our senior mothers – the oldest was 94 years and the youngest was 68 years young. AIM honored their contributions to their families and their communities. It was heartening to see several generations represented on the same venue. AIM for Seva is organizing their annual fund raising event on October 4 and will be publishing more details soon.

HOUSTON: Consul General P. Harish met the Honorable Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX, 2nd District) at the Consulate on 13 May, 2013. During the meeting, Consul General Harish and Hon. Congressman Ted Poe had a very cordial and useful exchange of views on the latest developments in India-US relations. They discussed bilateral trade and investment, and the exciting prospects for US and Indian companies to cooperate in the energy sector, especially in LNG. They expressed appreciation for the valuable contributions of the Indian American community in bringing the two countries and peoples closer.


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May 17, 2013


Desi Oilfield Exhibitors; Many Indians Rush to OTC 2013



Indian Consul General at the Tata Steel exhibit.

a homegrown 34 year-old firm on Breen Road that designs and manufactures oilfield and marine equipment, owned by Rajini and Darshana Shah brought in many visitors to its large red and black pavilion, manned by the Shah’s, their son and other staff. And, American Completion Tools of Burleson, Texas, 20minutes south of Fort Worth had a booth near the front, manned by veteran oilfield professional VicePresident T.J. Sinha, Dev Sinha and others. The firm manufactures oilfield parts and has a flow-line products division on Solon Road in Houston. Among the visitors to the OTC were a number of Indian professionals, many local and a large contingent from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry which held a daylong workshop in the Reliant Arena on Tuesday, May 7 (see page 6 for related story). The Indian Consul General P. Harish visited each of the Indian exhibits before the workshop. (Right) :T J Sinha with the Indian Consul General when he visited the American Completion Tools booth.

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BBB Hands Galson’s Auto Distinction, Sutherland Mortgage Services Pinnacle Awards BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: For Harjit Galhotra and his family – wife Seema, sons Ravi and Balraj – making the trip to the Better Business Bureau’s Awards for Excellence luncheon every year has become almost a routine affair for the past seven years in a row. But for Galhotra, the thrill of making the trek - as he did again this past Wednesday, May 8 – is anything but routine. He looks forward to coming to the packed luncheon, which was held this year at the Westin Galleria on West Alabama to another record turnout of 900 people at the BBB’s coveted 21st Annual Awards for Excellence to area businesses which are members of the organization. Over 250 firms were finalists in this year’s competition for the four to ten best businesses among each of 30 categories. The winner of each category received the Pinnacle Award, the BBB’s highest honor while the others received a Distinction Award. This year the Galhotras waited with bated breath for the finalists in the Automotive Services category and were pleased that the family business Galson Auto & Body once again won the Distinction Award. The business has won the Pinnacle Award in 2005 and 2007. Galhotra, a former consulting engineer who segued into auto repair after losing his job in 1993, has won accolades for the way he runs his shop on 12900 Cypress N. Houston and managed to grow it into a well-respected business spread over three acres, with two ASE Master Automotive Technicians on staff. This year, another company with two South Asians in key positions won the Pinnacle Award in the Real Estate and Mortgage category, and coincidentally shared the luncheon table with the Galson team. Sutherland Mortgage Services President Krishnan Swaminathan accepted the prestigious award while his colleagues Paramjeet Singh Bhamra, Nettie Bird and John Lotterhos shared his joy. “This award says a great deal about the trust people place in us,” said a delighted Swaminathan. Sutherland Mortgage Services is a premier nationwide provider of home mortgages and is currently licensed in almost all states. Its founder’s vision was to be the cutting-edge leader in residential mortgage lending in the United

Harjit Galhotra (right) and his son Balraj Galhotra(left) with channel 2 news anchor Dominique Sesche, who was the emcee for the awards program.

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From Left: Sutherland Mortgage Services President Krishnan Swaminathan, Nettie Bird, Paramjeet Singh Bhamra, and John Lotterhos.

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May 17, 2013



14 May 17, 2013



May 17, 2013


Save A Mother Gala Raises Awareness and Much Needed Funds

BY MANU SHAH “Mera paas bangla hai, gadi hai, daulat hai…..tumhare paas kya hai” “Mera paas maa hai” HOUSTON: For a country whose movies are replete with dialogues like these, a chilling fact is that a mother-to-be dies every 10 minutes in rural India. And the reason is even more disturbing – a sorry lack of basic health awareness and literacy. It is precisely to address and remedy this that Save a Mother, a non-profit organization was conceived by Dr. Shiban Ganju, a gastroenterologist based in Chicago and the local chapter of which is headed by Veena Kaul. Kaul isn’t new to community service having been actively engaged in various charitable organizations like the Indo American Charity Foundation, Pratham and Friends Helping Friends. Her interaction with several like minded people encouraged her to take on the charitable cause that her brother Shiban founded. Having been through two miscarriages, pregnancy complications and two C sections, Veena could instantly empathize with the pain and grief that sometimes comes with childbirth. She strongly believes that many of the things we tend to take for granted don’t even exist for several underprivileged people and with SAM, she could help them and be a part of something that is meaningful. SAM has been holding a fundraising gala every year for the past 4 years to raise much needed funds and this year was no exception with friends, relatives and total strangers gathering at Le Virage on the Westside on May 10, for its 5th fundraising gala. The day was not without its fair share of snags. The afternoon saw the mother of all downpours but someone up there must have heard Kaul’s prayers and the deluge stopped for a few hours just enough for the evening to go smoothly as if the Gods were anxious to help with a good cause!

SAM Board members on stage after the program with president Veena Kaul (third from left) Photo: Roberto Morales

The evening began with a warm welcome by emcees Seema Khachru and Sangeeta Pasrija. A brief overview of the work done by the organization was outlined and this was taken up in depth by Dr. Rupa Iyer and Dr. Ganju. The concept, as explained, is to provide a simple and sustainable health module to mothers in rural India to ensure a healthy motherhood. Health activists are trained and sent to different villages where they educate a mother on different aspects of pregnancy and childcare through the medium of flip charts and songs as well as provide for free antenatal checkups. SAM has so far covered 1,000 villages with plans to initiate a much needed TB control program.

In a heartwarming statement that evoked cheers, Dr. Ganju mentioned that in the last three years, there has been a significant reduction in maternal mortality rates. The program proved to be so successful that it was picked up by UNICEF and the Gates Foundation. A surprising fact that emerged was that it cost a mere $100 per village per year to run this program! The highlight of the evening – the fundraising, was kicked off by Girija Patel and

Priti Singh. They asked the gathering to take a long sip of water. While most assumed this was a way to coax them out of vast sums of money, it turned out to be a clever ploy to highlight the reason for this year’s fundraiser – it would help pay for three water treatment plants which would provide clean drinking water for a fraction of the cost to pregnant mothers. Donations flew in from all corners of the hall and within a matter of 15 minutes, the tally rose to $18,000. This includes Dr. Ganju’s donation of $5,000. The final amount from contributions to the event was $65,000. Two group dances by the students of the Shingari School of Rhythm and a fashion show showcasing the sartorial designs of Seema Khan provided the entertainment for the evening. An event can only be possible and successful with team effort and community support and this point was stressed by Veena Kaul in her vote of thanks. A huge helping hand was given by Surender Talwar, founder of Event Group, in organizing this event. Dinner catered by Le Virage was followed by dancing where the DJ worked up the gathering to shake a leg with him on the dance floor to popular Bollywood chartbusters. Few could resist this end to a highly successful evening. For more information or to make a donation, please visit SAM’s website www. See Photo Collage on page 14

Consul General Harish Meets Congressman Ed Royce and Congressman Pete Olson

From left: Congressman Ed Royce, Consul General P. Harish and Congressman Pete Olson.

HOUSTON: Consul General P. Harish hosted a breakfast in honor of The Honorable Congressman Ed Royce (R), Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and The Honorable Congressman Pete Olson, Representative (R-TX 22nd District) on 12 May, 2013 at his residence. During the meeting, Consul General Harish and Hon. Chairman Ed Royce discussed issues of mutual concern in the international

arena, prospects for bilateral cooperation on energy especially LNG, bilateral trade and investment, and expressed appreciation for the contributions of the Indian American community in promoting India-US relations. Consul General thanked Hon. Chairman Ed Royce and Hon. Congressman Pete Olson for their support for stronger bilateral economic engagement.


16 May 17, 2013


ISCA Celebrates Mother’s Day with Entertainment and Presents for All BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: What makes the proceedings of the India Senior Citizens Association so much fun to watch is the way that its President Lalit Chinoy runs them. An affable man with a moustache, argyle sleeveless sweater and a swaying gait, Lalitbhai does not hold to ceremony and conducts meetings, stage shows and introductions (along with all the interruptions) alike with homegrown ease and domestic familiarity. He is equally unassuming in all cases and his style never changes: those who know him well know of his penchant for making jest and telling jokes, which probably gives him his shimmering sense of humor. Lalitbhai was his usual self when the ISCA held its Mother’s Day program this past Saturday afternoon, May 11 at the India House on West Bellfort. The event was attended by a house full of seniors, many with their children in tow, as they sat through a two hour long program of bhajans, prayer and entertainment, followed by a buffet lunch donated by Bhojan restaurant. The program began with Indian Consul Anil Matta speaking of “the inspiration and guidance that seniors gave society and the country.” Sagar Sanghvani, a challenged strapping young man, strode to the stage with his mother and donated $101 that he had earned on his own. A dear older lady who everyone knows as “Maasi” but whose real name is Vilas Praful, sat onstage as it was being transformed into a prayer area, and sang two popular Gujarati folk songs. And tiny six year-old Eesha Dhairyawan, daughter of former ICC President Swapan Dhairyawan, recited a beautiful long poem in Hindi, much to the delight of the audi-

Clockwise from top left: The ICC Board with ISCA President Lalit Chinoy (second from right); the Banke Bihari family singing bhajans onstage; “Maasi” Vilas Praful sings Gujarati folk songs; ICC Trustee Meera Kapur; six year-old Eesha Dhairyawan sings a Hindi poem; Surender Talwar sings a bhajan.

ence. The Banke Bihari family, led by Manohar and Meera Gidwani came onstage and entertained the audience with bhajans and ended with an aarti for which all rose. As they went over their allotted time, the entertainment that was supplied by the India Culture Center was abbreviated so as to make room for lunch and not delay it too much.

The ICC President C.V. Patel came onstage to wish everyone a very happy Mother’s Day, and in particular Shakuntla Malhotra, one of the elders of the community. ICC Board members performed on stage: Manisha Gandhi two songs from yesteryear, Faulguni Gandhi another song, Sangeeta Pasrija a comedy routine about a Haryana youth who has a run of bad luck, Fateh Alai

Chatur who recited a joke and then Surender Talwar – whose voice is often compared to that of the late Bollywood playback singer Mohammed Rafi - who sang a song and bhajan. The program ended with a raffle of several prizes and each mother in the hall was given a goodie bag with several presents.



May 17, 2013


Brothers Learn the Schlotzky’s Business Model, Then Hope to Flourish in Texas

Avi (left) and Vibhore Jain at their brand new Schlotzky’s restaurant on Bunker Hill and I-10. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Avi Jain looks like just any other teen who visits most fast food places. He darts away with boundless energy to serve another client; catch up at the register or direct an employee. He has an easy smile and is quick to reassure the clients who kept pouring into his new restaurant with a warm “Hi, welcome to Schlotzky’s” and with a natural courtesy that is uncommon in the industry. But the deceptively young looking Avi, who is 23, is all serious when it comes to running the brand new Schlotzky’s at Bunker Hill and I-10, that he and his brother Vibhore, six years his senior, just opened up this past Thursday, May 9. A steady stream of people came through the doors of the store on the corner for the food and to spin the Schlotzky’s ) Wheel for a free prize. Vibhore’s ) wife Anvi helped out, making sure things were running smoothly. Avi had a hankering to) get into the franchise business ever since his sophomore year ) Univer) at the sity of Southern ) California) in Los

Angeles where he was studying fi- porate center last July before nance, strategic management and signing up for the new tribrand cinematic arts.Avi’s enthusiasm got concept that Schlotzky’s is now Vibhore interested in the franchise promoting in all its new locations business so the two brothers decid- and converting the older ones to. ed to test the waters out by having The triband concept brings toAvi work in a franchise for a year gether the Schlotzky’s sandwich before Avi got his degree last May. with Cinnabons cinnamon rolls and “We really wanted to see if he Carvel ice creams in a totally redeknew what he was getting into,” signed, colorful, well-lit café style said Vibhore as he sat at a table dining experience with a round in the new Schlotzky’s. Both seating area and complimenting brothers had been raised in the round furr-down mimicking the text book distributing company round cinnamon rolls. After placing started in Delhi by their grand- their order at the compact counter, father and run by their parents diners can take a seat at a table and Bela and Anand Jain since they their food is brought to them by a moved to Houston in 1985. Vib- server who calls out their name. hore still works in the business The restaurant is open from 8 that distributes research periodi- am to 10 pm and has 35 employcals and books in the US and the ees who work two shifts, which The new Sclotzky’s features redesigned, bright, colorful interiors UK and intends to let his younger makes Avi’s role as a manager and cafe style seating. brother handle the new franchise. even more challenging and imAfter Avi had worked at Sub- portant to the restaurant’s success. want to be part of the community.” eas in each city and are working ways and Murphy’s Deli he re- They believe that their location so While they have just opened with realtors to buy or lease sites alized that he was ready to buy close to the Hermann Memorial their first location, the broth- and start working with architects his own franchise. After doing Hospital, Memorial City Shop- ers have signed on to open a to- and contractors to site adapt the "#$%&'$%(&) careful research, he settled on a ping Center #,&#$-.'/#(&)0#()'$$)1'2#() and the shopping cen- tal of eleven Schlotzky’s – three restaurant designs. The next lo"#$%&'$%(&) Schlotzky’s franchise and both ter will#,&#$-.'/#(&)0#()'$$)1'2#() be great for their business. in Louisiana and eight in Texas cation will be in another part of brothers went for four weeks of “We’re excited about being in this over the next seven years. They the Bayou City they call home. '-($-,%& training) at the Schlotzky’s cor- neighborhood,” said Avi, “and we have already identified trade ar-

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What is ‘Made in India’? Here is a question that was posed to a panel of marketers recently; If “Made in Japan” – stands for quality, and, “Made in China” – stands for price then what does “Made in India” – stand for? In the last few years, the world has watched in amazement and fascination as Indian companies strode on the world stage making a number of foreign acquisitions. Our track record in M&A has not been great but that is in keeping with the global norm. We are as good or as bad as international companies; just three to four companies out of every 10 are successful in delivering shareholder value. Some of our big acquisitions in the last five years include Tata Steel buying Corus, Tata Motors buying Jaguar and Land Rover, Tata Tea buying Tetley, Taj Hotels buying international properties, Hindalco acquiring Novelis and Bharti Airtel buying Zain. Has ‘Made in India’ tag too has come of age? Brand India first caught global attention with the IT companies, Infosys, TCS and WIPRO gaining momentum with their work related to Y2K. Since then the IT brand is well established, but in the “low-value added” end of the market. This is the key challenge for Brand India; it is seen as good at “affordable products” but not with any leading technology. Even in the case of Jaguar, Tata Motors bought both the brand and innovation pipeline. They did not export the innovation from India. Mahindras were able to develop an affordable SUV - the Scorpio - as they designed it in India at one fourth the design cost. They are now able to export this to other emerging markets but do not seek to compete in the premium global SUV market. Take the TAJ hotels abroad; in India they are the epitome of luxury and service. Internationally, however, the TAJ acquired properties are nowhere near the top end, they are in the middle league. Another export from India is “Good management talent”. IIT graduates are well known in every corner of the world especially in Silicon Valley. And there are several Indian managers who have made their mark in international board rooms. Multinationals like Unilever and Citigroup were amongst the first to spot and leverage Indian talent globally, and today this is being done by many companies. Over the last decade, India has come to stand for affordable products, and quality global managers. So can India make successful global brands in the future? Some Indian brands are finding markets in other countries; a few companies have been successful in leveraging their scale in India to be low cost operators in other markets a la Mahindras with the Scorpio. Or through tackling niche markets globally that other MNcs are not focused on, for example Marico and Godrej. They have taken their brands and products to foreign markets and focused on niche segments that are too small for the big multinational companies to serve. While these brands are successful they remain niche brands serving small consumer segments. Indian companies will find it very difficult to truly build a global brand till they invest in technology like Samsung and LG. Kamini Banga in The Economic Times

Great Expectations BY RAFIA ZAKARIA One of the central characters in Charles Dickens novel “Great Expectations” is a woman frozen in time. Miss Havisham, we learn through the novel’s narrator is not old, but she is betrayed. Defrauded and abandoned by the one man she loved on the eve she was to be married, she has chosen to be eternally wed to her loss. She wears still her white wedding gown, now frayed and yellow. On her foot is one shoe, she got the news just as she was about to put on the other one. Her wedding cake, mouldy and decaying sits still on a table laid long ago for a wedding feast. Her half packed trunks lie about the room, never taken on the honeymoon that was meant to be, but that never was. Pakistan, on election eve appears much like Miss Havisham, steeped just as much in denial, and haunted just as much by the memories of betrayals past. On television, and for most Pakistanis, the election is solely located inside the screen, anchors exhort, crowds chant and musical montages sing about patriotism and change and taking responsibility. The symbolism is prosaic and mediocre; a group of precocious children meant glibly to represent the “future” a tear sodden woman casting a ballot and a verve filled crowd braving its way to the polling station. The pictures are superficial and the emotions hollow, but all of them happily swallowed by a country so deeply steeped in denial, that to point out the lack of specifics in political promises, or the obstacles of structural impediments is not simply unpopular, it is idiotic. No one will listen, so heady is the fever of this force fed collectivism. Like old Miss Havisham who sat at her dressing table, refusing to let time enter, refusing to change out of her wedding dress and refusing to see the horror of her situation; Pakistanis weep for an injured cricketer and a dead white tiger and forget the ordinary tragedies that surround them. This is the unity everyone yells about on Facebook and Twitter and over dinner conversations; the country is on the brink of change they agree. In the meantime, not one or two but six bombs go off in one, another and then another part of the country. A woman

The pictures are superficial and the emotions hollow, but all of them happily swallowed by a country so deeply steeped in denial, that to point out the lack of specifics in political promises, or the obstacles of structural impediments is not simply unpopular, it is idiotic. No one will listen, so heady is the fever of this force fed collectivism. is raped in an alley and a child thrown into a drain, but no one has time for that, as they are busy being unified. A bedside speech is converted into a political advertisement, a misfortune catapults into the lead, and everyone continues to wear the old wedding gown, refuses to put on the other shoe. Like Miss Havisham ever the bride but never wed, Pakistanis have learned to speak the language of change, and of responsibility and even of revolution without ever learning the meaning of the words. Change is a slogan, Revolution a Facebook status and responsibility a tweet, or maybe two. In my Karachi neighborhood there is a mosque. It is a simple place that has been there for years, watching stolidly as the people get older and younger and more numerous or less so. It has also watched its way through several elections and awaited the arrival of many iconic transformations that were vehemently promised but



HOUSTON: HAIDER KAZIM, MANU SHAH, CHETNA SAMAL 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 5 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:


never came. At first, when the area was an outlying one, the alley around the mosque was clean, a few odd pieces of trash flying in the dusty air only now and then. With more people came more trash and the scant shred of refuse became small piles, lying in bits and corners outside the mosque. With even more people, and the pressures of commercialisation, the rapid comings and goings of the pious but hurried, the crowd in the mosque now reaches its very edges and overflows on Fridays. The trash heap outside the mosque has also grown, large and formidable, its stench and reek and reality invading undoubtedly the margins of a sacred space. Yet no one, in the mosque or outside the mosque or around the mosque recognises its presence, or makes the mistake of taking the responsibility for it. In collective denial, there is collective absolution. If none of us can see, if all of us are blind and insistently so, then indeed, we are united. So unified by the power of our delusions, tomorrow some will vote and others will not. Those who will vote will imagine themselves better, even heroic for their troubles, Those who do not will be too poor, too hot, too worried, too female and also too silent. In the song singing, change chanting moment, there is no room to talk about the pile of trash outside the mosque, the outstanding IMF loans, the wedding dress worn for two decades, the groom that never came, the frauds of elections past and the tragedies of dead leaders. In Dickens’s novel, Miss Havisham never really changes. Frayed and yellowed, her nuptial garment catches fire and she and it are burned to death, frozen still in their denials and beyond rescue by any hero. But Dickens’s Great Expectations was fiction and Pakistan is a reality and tomorrow there is an election, and after that everything will change. DAWN. Rafia Zakaria is a writer and PhD candidate in Political Philosophy whose work and views have been featured in the New York Times, on Al Jazeera English, the BBC, and National Public Radio. She is the author of Silence in Karachi, forthcoming from Beacon Press.


May 17, 2013


Narasimha Chaturdashi Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadev

BY SESHADRI VEERARAGHAVAN HOUSTON: The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, in one of the most memorable verses in the Bhagavad Gita (4.7), assures Arjuna that: Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself. In one such manifestation, He appeared as Lord Sri Nrisimha – the Man-Lion incarnation that tore the world asunder in the ferocity of the event. In this case, it was to protect his beloved devotee Prahlada from the demoniac Hiranyakashipu. The evil Hiranyakashipu, the son of Sage Kashyapa and Diti, desirous of achieving immortality and thirsting for revenge for his brother Hiranyaksha’s demise (who was killed by Varaha-deva), had obtained a boon from Lord Brahma that he should not be killed by man or beast; in the day or at night; by any kind of weapon; neither on Earth nor in the sky; and neither inside nor outside the house. After obtaining the boon, he was unstoppable and became the ruler of the worlds. He was extremely cruel and especially hostile to the devotees of the Supreme Lord Hari. Little Prahlada was a saintly child who worshiped the Supreme Lord Hari and considered him to be the Supreme rather than his father; he also taught this to his fellow classmates. Hearing this, a highly disturbed Hirankyakashipu started plotting the death of his own son. He ordered his ministers to kill Prahlada, such as poisoning, throwing off a cliff, placing poisonous serpents, burning in a pyre. However, each time Prahlada emerged unscathed. Hiranyakashipu tried once again to reason with Prahlada but to no avail. Finally, in a state of great fury, asked Prahlada, “Where is your Vishnu to whom you pray so much,” to which Prahlada calmly replied, “He is everywhere; within and without; in every single atom of the universe.” Angrier Hiranyakashipu pointed large pillar and asked Prahlada whether Vishnu was inside the pillar, to which affirmative reply. This enraged him and struck the pillar, at which moment there was a great noise as if the entire world was torn

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apart. Amazed at this event, everyone watched the terrifying Man-Lion form of the Lord appear from the pillar. This was Lord Nrsimha, an incarnation of the Supreme descended to protect his dear devotees from miscreants. Lord Nrisimha attacked Hiranyakashipu and dragged the demon-king to the courtyard, placed him upon his lap, and using his lightning-like nails, tore him apart. It was twilight, and every single aspect of the boon that had been promised to Hiranyakashipu by Lord Brahma had been honored in its entirety. At that time, the rage of the Lord Nrisimha could not be pacified by anybody. The demigods, extremely fearful of the rage, finally requested Prahlada to step forward and pacify the Lord. Lord Nrisimha, seeing him, immediately calmed down and smiled, then hearing the profound prayers of Prahlada, offered him benedictions, but he just wanted his father to be pardoned, to which the

Lord said: My dear Prahlāda, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified. The Narasimha Chaturdashi festival is observed with great enthusiasm every year at the ISKCON, Hare Krishna Dham in Houston. This year the festival falls on Thursday, 23 May. Please mark your calendars so you do not miss the joyful festival with delicious prasadam feast. We look forward to having your association in jointly celebrating the most auspicious and glorious advent of the Lord Himself. Hare Krishna Dham located on 1320 W 34th Street, Houston TX – 77018. For more information please visit or Call 713-686-GITA (4482)

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May 17, 2013

Hindu Students Association Celebrates Holi

Holi Festival at University of Texas at Austin with over 6000 students and faculty in attendance.

BY MRINALINI VIJALAPURAM AND VAKULA TUMMALA HOUSTON: Holi, also known as “The Festival of Colors”, is a Hindu festival that has also become popular with people of other backgrounds and communities, with thousands of people celebrating it each year. Holi is a joyous occasion that commemorates the story of Prahlad, an ardent devo-

tee of Vishnu, prevailing over the demon Holika. Furthermore, Holi ushers in the new spring season, and celebrates good harvests. It is observed worldwide, with participants organizing Holika Dahan, a bonfire symbolizing the defeat of Holika, and throwing colored powder at each other. As college students involved with the Hindu Students Association at our re-

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spective universities, we strive to bring together Hindus and individuals of other backgrounds as we celebrate Holi on our campuses. At the University of Houston the theme for this year’s Holi, “Connecting cultures through color” was truly brought to life with the diversity of the students of all cultures who came to celebrate. It is a holiday to unite all cultures and

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races together. It is a day where no social classes exist; everyone is equal regardless of race, religion or status. If you looked out into the crowd of people from the stage, you noticed that everyone looked the same and any differences they had were washed away with color. A student from Arkansas University, said that “[Holi] was a blast and made me realize the


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strength of our college community. As a freshmen, I am very grateful for this. I took along nonIndian friends and it was great to show them how we show our love in the festival of colors.” Holi at Texas A&M University had a huge turnout of over 1500 students, professors and families who, seemingly strangers to one another, danced together covered in color. Veena Pawate, HSA’s president at A&M, rightly said, “Holi has turned into a celebration of spring. It is a time to forget about everybody’s background and beliefs”. Holi this year at Texas A&M brought together people from various walks of life with the ultimate purpose of having fun. Holika is a Hindu program that happens every year at Bellaire High School. The event consists of different organizations who organize a dance team competition for all local schools. The purpose of Holika is to provide a fun and informational event which showcases the diversity of Indian culture. The event has become very well known in the city of Houston and an estimate of 500 students attended the event this year. Chuck Davis reflected on this experience at Holika and said that “to understand the culture, study the dance. To understand the dance, study the people.” The 3rd annual Holi at The University at Texas at Dallas had over 500 students of different backgrounds attend the event. Janani Ramachandran, a sophomore at UTD said that “she, could not wait to throw the Holi powder but she patiently waited as Raja, president of HSA, said a sloka near the shrine set up by the officers.” The HSA branch at The University of Texas at Austin hosted their 10th annual Holi this year. Pounds of Holi color were distributed to the 6000 plus students and faculty that attended this event. Swati Verma noted that “In India, this is a big deal, it is the beginning of the farming season. I hope this event at UT connects students with another culture and symbolically celebrates differences in color—we’re all the same, we’re all people,” Verma said. Holi is an occasion that brings together people of all cultures, big and small, old and young. This festival of colors is a symbol of love and togetherness. Though celebration of the Holi festival has religious significance, this festival brings people together and helps them forget the bitterness in relationships and improve the bonds. Through the celebration of Holi on different campuses around the country, we strive to break apart barriers and spread acceptance as we all come together to celebrate the coming of spring and new colors.


May 17, 2013

Tagore Society of Houston Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Geetanjali and Tagore Jayanti

BY JAYA GHOSH HOUSTON: Tagore society of Houston (TSH) presented a wonderful musical evening to commemorate Rabindranath Tagore’s 152nd Birthday and 100th year of ‘Gitanjali’, the song offering on Saturday, May 4 at Sugarland auditorium in Sugarland Texas. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the poet, musician, prolific play write, philosopher, painter, educator and social reformer of undivided India was truly the Renaissance man of India. No wonder Mahatma Gandhi called him “Gurudev”, while Tagore called him “Mahatma”. Tagore was the first nonEuropean and the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for his collection of verses “Gitanjali” in 1913. The Nobel committee was mesmerized by Tagore’s creation, “… because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verses, by which, with consummate skill, he had made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.” TSH has planned different cultural activities including lectures, musical shows, essay contest, drama and also building a ‘Tagore grove’ at Ray Miller park in Houston with a life size bronze statue of Tagore surrounded by a nice garden to commemorate 100th anniversary of Gitanjali in Houston. This year the celebrations actually started on April 20 with a fund raising dinner event where eminent Tagore scholar, Prof. Kathleen O’Connell of University of Toronto was invited as the guest speaker. Tagore Jayanti celebration of 2013 comprised a variety of programs by local and overseas artists featuring recitations, songs, and dance performances organized by the TSH cultural committee. The program began with lighting the lamp ceremony by honorable chief guest, Consul General of India, Mr. P. Harish and TSH president Dr. Ruma Dey Sarkar along with presidents of a number of local organizations of India, Bangladesh and Srilankan diaspora, followed by National anthem of USA, India, Bangladesh and Srilanka by about 40 kids. As was pointed out by the past TSH president Dr. Raja Banga, Tagore has the unique distinction of being the composer of two National Anthems (India and Bangladesh), and might have influenced the composition of the Sri Lankan national anthem, composed by his student Ananda Samarakoon. It is on this occasion that the Harris county CEO judge Ed Emmett and the City of Houston mayor Anise Parker through proclamations declared May 8 as Tagore day in Houston, as the proclamation read out loud to the audience by Biren das Biswas and Dr. Raja Banga. Honorable CGI Mr. P. Harish gave a wonderful speech about Tagore’s philosophy and universal vision. He quoted the Original acceptance speech of Rabindranath Tagore, read by Clive, British Chargé d’ Affaires, at the Nobel Banquet at Grand Hôtel, Stockholm, and December 10, 1913. “I beg to convey to the Swedish Academy my grateful appreciation of the breadth of understanding which has brought the distant near, and has made a stranger a brother”. Tagore, unable to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony that was held in December 1913,

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a month after announcement of the winners, had sent a Telegram as his acceptance note. “If you see yourself in everybody and everybody in yourself, then you don’t hate anybody.” This speech of his that is a mantra from the Upanishad is preserved at Stockholm by Swedish Nobel Prize Academy,” The West considered Tagore’s work as a message from the East, spreading the message of ‘unity of mankind’. His poetry was dedicated to Lord, without any identification or demarcation of caste and creed that exists today. “He was known as the messenger from the East, bringing spirituality to the West.” The cultural segment of the evening started with a beautiful solo presentation by renowned choreographer and artist Dr. Ratna Kumar with verses of Gitanjali narrated by Debleena Banerji with Biplab Samadder on violin. These two soul touching poems portrayed Tagore’s spiritual understanding of the relationship between the finite and the infinite. After a short break TSH presented a narrative musical rendition ‘Life and Legacy of Tagore: In retrospect’, an awesome of an assortment of Tagore songs with narration, sung by about 40 odd performers belonging to the Indian and Bangladeshi community led by Kamalpriya Roy and Rupa Ghosh and beautiful narration by Biplab Samadder. This was designed by Raja Banga and Debleena Banerji. Later noted dancers Supradipta Datta and Upali Nanda graciously presented a fabulous dance composition based on odissi steps and abhinaya with a Tagore poem ‘Banshiwala, recited by Dr. Ruma Dey Sarkar. The most noticeable, mind blowing performance was Manipuri dance recital, ‘Basanta baul” by Krishnakali and Debanjali took the crowd. These two beautiful dancers were a delight to watch with their smooth graceful movements and subtle expressions with a medley of Kaviguru’s song renditions narrated by Harsha Neotia and eminent singers like Hariharan and Kabita Krishnamurti. Audience gave them a standing ovation at the end. The program ended with ‘Aakash bhora surya Tara’. Rabindranath Tagore, the poets of all poets, following his great vision of universal humanism and borderless mind, remembering this great life in this part of the world with everyone is a sincere and genuine effort by TSH.

Call: 713.789.6397





May 17, 2013

Kumbh Mela as Experienced by a French-Canadian Indophile BY MANU SHAH HOUSTON: Ancient seers would have said that Mathieu Boisvert, a Canadian, has a karmic connection to India. He not only speaks Hindi and Sanskrit but also has a diploma in Pali and has been to the Magha Mela five times and twice to the Kumbh Mela. Touted as the largest human congregation on the Earth, the Kumbh Mela draws people from all over the world with the tantalizing promise of freedom from the earthly cycle of birth and death. An entire city, the size of Athens is constructed and deconstructed in weeks to accommodate a population that swells to that of Texas. Lasting 55 days, the Kumbh Mela of 2013 drew a record breaking million people who came either as the curious onlooker, the researcher or the faithful pilgrim. According to the Vedas, during a waging war between the demigods and demons for the elixir of eternal life, a few drops fell on four places that are today known as Prayag (the site of modern day Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. It is believed that these drops gave mystical powers to these places and it is to make oneself gain these powers that the Kumbh Mela has been celebrated in each of the four places for as long as one can remember. The normal Kumbh Mela is held every 3 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is held every six years at Haridwar and Prayag while the Purna (complete). Kumbh mela takes place every twelve years at four places Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik, based on planetary movements. The Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated at Prayag after

Mathieu Boisvert (Right) with his son Zacharie.

144 years (after 12 Purna Kumbh Melas). Mathieu’s journey to the ghats of Allahabad began when he received a grant from the Shastri Indo Canadian Institute in 1999 to conduct research on Hindu ascetics. As Professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal with a Doctorate in Religious Studies, Mathieu’s focus was Hinduism, Buddhism as well as the phenomenon of pilgrimage and transmission of traditional knowledge. Little did Mathieu realize how this journey and the stunning display of faith by pilgrims towards the Ganga would forever change his life. Mathieu was fortunate to stay with one of the chief Purohits of the Kumbh Mela – Pan-

dit Sharma with whom he developed a deep abiding friendship. With this ringside view he witnessed the reversal of roles between the pilgrims (kalpavasis) and the ascetics (sadhus) during the period of the mela. The kalpavasi or pilgrims who pledge to come for twelve consecutive years to the Magha Mela for an entire month, to drink, cook and bathe only with Gangajal, religiously reciting the Ramcharitamanas are householders (grhastha) temporarily living

the life of an ascetic. On the other hand, the sadhus live as householders with the gurubhai, with their “family”, enjoying good food and communal life during the period of the mela. He did however notice that the pilgrims tended to keep their distance from the sadhus fearing their siddis or magical powers. Mathieu did get to mingle and talk to several ash smeared, matted haired sadhus boasting supernatural powers during the melas but they left him unimpressed. What moved him was the dedication, devotion and the heart felt faith of the pilgrims towards the life giving force of the waters of Ma Ganga. Did he brave a dip in the Ganga? The answer is several times, in fact every time he goes to Allahabad. However Mathieu draws the line at drinking gangajal despite pilgrims telling him that it’s just that his faith isn’t strong enough! Visiting the melas as many times as he has, he could not help but absorb some of the deep reverence the pilgrims foster towards Ma Ganga. Since 1999, Mathieu returned to Prayaga several times as a scholar, a researcher as well as with his older brother and two sons in order to introduce them to Ma Ganga. Mathieu also takes groups of graduate students to Gangotri and Gomukh every two years so that western students can study and witness the devotion that so many hold towards that river they deem sacred. Presently, Mathieu is on his way to Gangotri with a group of 14 students from Quebec for the sixth time.

Pictures from the kumbh mela of Allahabad.



May 17, 2013

Sri Sita Rama Kalyana Mahotsvam at Sri Meenakshi Temple

BY NALINI SADAGOPAN PEARLAND: “Seetha kalyana vaibhogame; Rama kalyana vaibhogmae” – with the auspicious rendering of these lines, devotees cheerfully assembled to celebrate the Sita Rama Kalyanam entered the wedding hall of Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland, carrying the seer varisai – an array of delicious sweets and savories, on May 11 around 9 AM. The stage was decorated so beautifully that it brought in the celestial ambience. The blissful wedding took place with every step of the way being carefully explained by the knowledgeable priests at the altar while those gathered to sponsor the event diligently followed the ritual. Right from the bedecked

bride and groom, to the décor, to the spread of sweets, to the rendition of songs apt for each segment of the wedding the spectators were blessed to be part of this holy matrimony. Ladies gathered up on the stage for the pidi sutral (offering of colored rice), followed by kanya dhanam (offering of the bride to the groom), mangalya dharanam (tying the knot) and maalai maatral (exchange of garlands); the entire ceremony took place colorfully and sequentially. With so many events in grandiose happening over the past weekends at MTS, the Houston devotees proved to be ardent supporters of the Sita Rama wedding and had flocked fervently to make it a huge success. Following the wedding,

the celestial couple was carried around the temple premises in the silver chariot in a procession while the devotees chanted Vishnu Sahasranamam. Other notable activities were - the melodious rendering of lilting krithis on Rama & Seetha by the well-known musician Bombay Mahalakshmi; rendition of Tulasi das’s Nama Ramayanam by the children of the Vedic Heritage School; attendees scribing the “Rama” nama on sheets of paper as is the tradition back home; and a sumptuous lunch. Kudos to the organizers and the MTS board for making Houston the cultural hotspot of US by tirelessly bringing such great events to help keep our rich Vedic and value-based traditions

Unique, Exciting Cultural Summer Camps for Youth and Kids

HOUSTON: Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) USA, a nonprofit organization, will conduct four innovative camps this summer in the Houston area - three in Pearland are for kids/ youth of different ages, and one in Cypress for elementary age kids. The Pearland area camps will be held at Namadwaar Prayer House located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel, TX 77578. While the Cypress camp will be held in the Coles Crossing subdivision. The uniqueness of these camps is that they blend creative themed workshops and value-based exercises with lots of games and fun trips and activities to present an exciting immersion in rich Indian culture.

The Pearland area camps include a Li’l Gopas elementary camp for kids entering or completing pre-K through 4th grade (June 28-30), a “Five Elements” camp for children entering or completing middle and junior high school (July 11-14), and a Samskruti High School Summer Club (Sunday mornings, June 23-July 21 with a break during July 4th week) . Highlights of the little kids camp include poetry-writing, jewelry-making, art and crafts, a music & dance theater, field trip and many more. The middle and junior high camp features many theme-oriented activities including workshops in digital storytelling, culinary arts, ethnic art, keeping earth beautiful, yoga, field

trip, and many more. The high school club will focus on important, modern, life-learnings from the timeless wisdom of the Ramayana presented in a fun way with interactive sessions and interesting activities. For more detailed information about the camps and to see the flyers, visit To register for any of the camps, email with the name of camp interested in, participant’s name, age and grade. Multi-camp and Sibling discounts are available across camps. Call 281-303-5828 for information. Space is limited and available on first-come-first-served basis.





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May 17, 2013

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Hyderabadi Baingan (HYDERABAD STYLE EGGPLANT) Here is another eggplant dish, but this time it is of a style from the South, although it is quite popular in the North too. The main difference is that in the Punjabi style, the spices are filled between the slices and garlic is not used. As I have said before, eggplants are very popular in India and the three dishes I have presented show the variety of styles they can be cooked in. The trick to cooking all these three dishes is to make sure that the eggplant is not overcooked as it loses its taste. If cooked with the skin on, overcooking will make it crispier, but it also makes the skin tougher. If cooked too long, whole eggplant becomes a puree and you cannot tell what you are eating. If bharta is overcooked, then it will give a mushy and maybe even burnt taste. For this recipe, choose elongated, small eggplants that are not heavy: a heavy one means that it has a lot of seeds. Choose the one that is tender but does not collapse when squeezed. Also, the green shoot (dandal) should not have any dark spots on it. This dish uses the masala recipe, which is also used in many Indian dishes. Ingredients: • 1 kg small elongated baingan (eggplant) • 2 medium pyaaz (onion) peeled and finely chopped • 2 medium tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best, chopped • 5 cloves of lasan (garlic) peeled and finely chopped • 1 tablespoon adrak (gin ger) – peeled and finely chopped • 6 tablespoons of veg

Directions: 1. Rinse and dry the eggplant then make two cuts in it, lengthwise, but do not split the eggplant. You can leave the green shoot on as it is full of many minerals, but if you prefer, remove only the shoot, leaving the eggplant still attached. 2. Heat the oil on a high flame in a skillet, wok or kadai. Throw in the eggplant and stir quickly, make sure not to break off the cut pieces. Cover for five minutes, then open and carefully turn the eggplant and leave for another 10 minutes to allow them to cook well. 3. Now prepare the masala in a medium frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then add the onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Stir well to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. When the mixture is slightly brown, add the spices and stir well.

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4. Pour the masala over the eggplants and coat them, stirring carefully. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and let the eggplants cook in their own steam for 10 minutes. 5. The dish is ready to eat, usually with roti, parantha or any variety of bread. You can eat the shoots as the edible part should peel off easily leaving only the thick stem behind.

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.

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May 17, 2013


Now Thrust on Well Being of Veterans

‘Hamare Haath Aaapke Saath’ is Central Command’s Golden Jubilee Mantra BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT The year-long golden jubilee celebrations of the Army’s Central Command that ended in a grand finale in Lucknow on May 1 were unique in more than one way. It is probably for the first time that a militarily historic milestone of such significance should have had the well-being, the wellness and welfare of the ex-soldiers as its major thrust. Equally, if not more important, was the homage paid to the scores of martyrs, gallantry award winners and their widows. The homage was not a mere lip service. Every effort was made to ensure that all the grievances of the veterans including the gallantry award winners and the widows of the martyrs called, “Veer Naris” (brave women) was promptly and fully redressed. All this, to use a military “term”, was done on “war footing”. Why the well-being of ex-servicemen has assumed such an importance in this golden jubilee year? Central Command’s General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait succinctly explains its rationale. “We must remember that there are more than six lakh veterans, nearly one lakh widows and 3500 Veer Naris (widows of battle-related casualties) in our jurisdiction. Central Command accounts for 29% of ex-servicemen of our country. Many of them live under conditions of deprivation and denial. They face problems with the greedy minions in government departments, unsympathetic bank officials and with not so helpful panchayats and gram sabhas. Having spent much of their life in somewhat sheltered and relatively secured military environment, they find it difficult to adjust to ‘what is in this for me’ syndrome that unfortunately permeates much of the civil society.There are also at least 7,50,000 serving personnel from this region additionally and who too face, more or less similar problems.” Being himself a native of one of the most backward districts in the backwaters of Uttar Pradesh, Gen. Chait can easily relate and empathize with the problems of the exsoldiers who live, by and large in secluded clusters in rural and semi-urban settlements. They perennially face problems of housing, healthcare and employment. “We decided to dedicate our golden jubilee celebrations both to the ex-soldiers and the serving ones who constitute the critical mass of our Army, for ensuring that they get their due.The four verticals of Entitlement, Health, Housing and Re-employment referred to as ‘Swasth Thatha Adhikar, Awas awam Rozgar launched under the flagship program with a tagline ‘Hamare Haath Aaapke Saath’ for the ex-servicemen got recognition in September Last year. Central Command under Desh Seva program this year has been able to reconnect with more than 3.75 lakh veterans and felicitate 1360 Veer Naris through mass contact programs, ESM rallies, Army Melas and Surya Kiran Torch Relay initiative and resolved over 26000 problems. Based on the experience gained, a dedicated Center with a Helpline has now been set up to register and redress the complaints of veterans and their families. Preparing a data base of the veterans and their widows in all these states was a Herculean task. Concentrated awareness campaigns were launched at Allahabad’s Kumbh Mela and at other places. Soon an elaborate data base became available. Today, Central Com-

lems have also been satisfactorily sorted out. Smt Suman, a Kargil widow, had invested her ex gratia and insurance amount in Term Deposits in 1999 which were renewed in 2006. In 2009, the bank did not renew her Term Deposits, as original Term Deposits were ‘fraudulent’ as per the bank and hence it turned her away. Desh Seva program pursued the matter with bank authorities, and she received Rs. 16 lakh. Many such cases could be enumerated. Housing – the main problem “The problem of housing is receiving our top priority. A project of 1000 plus houses in Mainpuri is almost ready to be launched. The U.P government, we are hopeful will be able to allot us the land. Today, when the land prices have sky rocketed, it is well nigh

It must be remembered that most of soldiers retire between the ages of 35 and 40 with very high skills and good ‘sanskars’. These skills need to be harnessed for productivity. By not usefully employing the veterans, our country is losing out on large base of qualified, honest and dedicated human resources,” pleads Gen. Chait. It is this Desh Seva program that has fostered a great sense of pride and dignity both among the veterans and serving personnel, as also a turnaround in the lives of many across the region. Concluding, Gen Chait said, ‘We now look back with pride and satisfaction that we could pay back the debt of the previous generation for all the joys that they gave us, and hopefully move ahead with confidence that we now

Commanding-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait.

mand’s Control Room has demographic maps of all the seven states indicating major and minor concentrations of ex-soldiers everywhere. Nearly 2000 complaints mainly pertaining to problems related to pensions, civil administration, healthcare, employment and other sundry issues have been received at the helpline alone till 7 May. Interestingly, over 50 per cent of the pension related issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainants and remaining are in the process of resolution. Likewise, complaints relating to other issues too were solved or are being sorted out. “We are not doing all this as a favor or a matter of charity. The veterans have, after all, served the country selflessly without diffidence or demur and as such deserve to be saluted and not harassed. Here a quote by George Washington is apt “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve the Nation, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their Nation” the General adds. “Many of us in the civil society are callous and indifferent towards the problems both of the serving and retired soldiers; even we have been amiss, more often than not, in looking after the elderly members of our family. We need to send a clear message to the society at large that it must learn to respect and look after its elders. This was the thought that resulted in the conceptualization of the ‘Desh Seva program’ says Gen. Chait. The case of Abdul Hamid’s widow A case in point is that of Rasoolan Bibi, the octogenarian widow of Abdul Hamid, the brave soldier who had sacrificed his life in the Khem Karan sector during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 and had been posthumously given India’s highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra. One day, three months ago, the General happened to read about her plight in a newspaper. The callous bank officials did not bother to give her the enhanced pension and continued to pay her for years the old pension of Rs. 5,000. The Central Command took up her cause and within three months her pension has been raised six times from the paltry Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 30,000 a month. The General himself presented her two checks totaling rupees eleven lakhs towards the arrears of her unpaid pension. Negotiations are now going on with the bank to get her interest on the arrears. There were many more Rasoolan Bibis with similar cases and their grievances and prob-

Gen. Chait presenting check to Rasoolan Bibi.

impossible for an ex-soldier to purchase land individually. We shall be asking the state governments and local bodies to give land in order to enable us build cheap housing for the veterans through Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO),” says the General. During the Golden Jubilee Year, 29 medical camps and two mega medical camps were held benefiting more than 32,500 veterans and their dependents. Placement is another priority Finding suitable placement for the veteran has also become an important point. “We are asking state governments to provide reservation for ex-servicemen.

leave a secure future for Generation Next.’ Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dun based freelance journalist and writes columns on current affairs for local and national newspapers. He is also the author of the official history of ONGC, which is one of the top three companies in India in terms of market capitalization. Kanwar is also associated with World Oil as its Contributing Editor for South Asia.



May 17, 2013

Job Posting:

Programming Photographer/Editor - Temporary

Job Posting:

Temporary Programming Editor/Producer

KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned station located in Houston, TX has an immediate opening for a Temporary Programming Department Photographer who can do it all. (Shoot, edit, produce) Responsibilities will include working on a variety of innovative station programming projects both long and short form. Qualified candidates must be detail-oriented with the creative knack for compelling storytelling through sound and pictures. Must have a valid driver’s license and be flexible to working any shift assigned. All interested candidates should send a video sample of your best work to be considered.

KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned station located in Houston, TX has an immediate opening for a Temporary Programming Editor/Producer with strong broadcast televlsion editing skills. Responsibilities include working on a variety of innovative station projects. Qualified candidates must be detailed oriented with the creative knack for compelling storytelling and client messaging through sound and pictures. Must be able to work under deadline. Experience editing on Final Cut Pro a plus. All interested candidates should send a video sample of your best work to be considered.

Candidates must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file. Please Reference Job ID: 109295BR on all materials submitted. Send non-returnable DVD or VHS resume tape to the attention of Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet; Houston, TX 77005 and include the job reference ID. No phone calls please.

For consideration, all interested applicants must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please send work samples to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 109090BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties.

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

Job Posting:


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

Job Posting:


KTRK-TV, an ABC O&O located in Houston, TX, has an opening for a full time temporary News Reporter.

KTRK-TV, an ABC O&O located in Houston, TX, has an opening for a full time temporary News Reporter.

Candidates should have experience in general assignment reporting, including Live ENG and satellite work. Applicants must be able to develop contacts, enterprise good, hard news stories, and respond well to breaking and spot news. Candidates must have outstanding writing skills and the ability to make good use of graphics and production equipment. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends.

Candidates should have experience in general assignment reporting, including Live ENG and satellite work. Applicants must be able to develop contacts, enterprise good, hard news stories, and respond well to breaking and spot news. Candidates must have outstanding writing skills and the ability to make good use of graphics and production equipment. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends.

All interested applicants must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Interested applicants should also send video tape samples of your news related work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 108244BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties.

All interested applicants must apply on-line at by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Interested applicants should also send video tape samples of your news related work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 109030BR on all materials submitted. No phone calls please, and no third parties.

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

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

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May 17, 2013


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$500 Million US ‘Settlement’ by Ranbaxy

Ranbaxy settles alleged civil violations of the False Claims Act with all 50 states in the US and District of Columbia MUMBAI (Live Mint): India’s largest drug maker by sales Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd said on Tuesday that the US department of justice (DoJ) has concluded its investigation on data integrity and manufacturing processes at certain Ranbaxy facilities in India. The investigation was related to charges of non-complaince to drug manufacturing quality norms and related data falsification in filings to the US Food and Drug Administration which occurred at least six years ago. Following these charges, the US drug regulator had in 2008 banned products from two manufacturing facilities of Ranbaxy in India from being sold in that country. Under the terms of the final settlement agreement, Ranbaxy and its affiliates have agreed to settle alleged civil violations of the False

Ranbaxy says the conclusion of the DoJ investigation does not materially impact its current financial situation or performance.

Claims Act with all 50 states in the US and the District of Columbia. Separately, one of the company’s US subsidiaries, Ranbaxy USA Inc., has agreed to plead guilty to violations of the Food, Drug and

Cosmetic Act and other criminal statutes. Ranbaxy’s payments related to both the civil and criminal settlements total $500 million. On 20 December 2011, Ranbaxy announced that it had signed

a consent decree with the US Food and Drug Administration, under which it committed to further strengthen procedures and policies to ensure data integrity and to comply with current good manufacturing practice. In anticipation of the settlement with the DoJ announced on Tuesday, Ranbaxy had said at that time its intention was to make a financial provision of $500 million related to expected costs associated with resolving the DoJ investigation. The financial provision Ranbaxy established in December 2011 will be sufficient to cover all material financial obligations under the agreement, said a statement from Ranbaxy, which is currentlyowned by Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo Group. “Today’s announcement marks the resolution of this past issue,”

said Arun Sawhney, chief executive officer and managing director of Ranbaxy, in a Tuesday statement. “We are pleased to continue bringing safe, effective and quality medicines to market for the benefit of consumers in the US and other parts of the world. While we are disappointed by the conduct of the past that led to this investigation, we strongly believe that settling this matter now is in the best interest of all of Ranbaxy’s stakeholders,” he said. The company added that the conclusion of the DoJ investigation does not materially impact its current financial situation or performance. On Tuesday, Ranbaxy’s shares ended at Rs.455.50 apiece on BSE, up 3.63% from previous close, while India’s benchmark Sensex Index rose 0.16% to 19,722.29 points.

Stephen Pratt, Ashok Vemuri Highest Paid Infosys Executives

BAGALORE (Live Mint): Stephen R. Pratt is the highestpaid executive at Infosys Ltd, India’s second-largest software services provider, for the second year in a row, while the company’s head of Americas business Ashok Vemuri has overtaken Europe head B.G. Srinivas to become the second-highest paid. Pratt, who is managing partner for the company’s worldwide consulting and systems integration business, earned a total of about $2.13 million, including bonus, while Vemuri, who also heads global manufacturing and engineering services businesses, earned $904,378, including bonus and other compensation benefits. Srinivas, who earned about $1.19 million last year including bonus and other benefits, took home a total of

$869,035 for the 2012-13 fiscal. Founders S.D. Shibulal and S. Gopalakrishnan did not figure amongst the top earners at the company and had roughly the same package, inclusive of bonus and other annual compensation benefits, of about $120,000. However, both chief executive officer (CEO) Shibulal and executive co-chairman Gopalakrishnan, earned much more through dividends from their own stock holdings and those held by other members of their families. Gopalakrishnan and his family earned about $14.6 million through dividends from their stock holdings in Infosys, while Shibulal and his family made about $9.7 million through payouts, according to Bloomberg data. Gopalakrishnan and his family hold roughly 19.6 million shares, or a

3.4% stake in the company, while Shibulal and his family hold about 2.2% or 12.6 million equity shares. The bonuses earned by top executives such as Vemuri and Srinivas have, however, steadily declined over the last three years. While Vemuri and Srinivas earned $617,714 and $520,814, respectively, as bonus in fiscal 2010-2011, the duo received payouts of $190,978 and $170,674 for 2012-13. The base salaries of top executives at Indian IT companies, such as TCS, Cognizant, Infosys and Wipro Ltd are roughly similar, according to human resource experts and headhunters. However, companies that performed better paid higher bonuses to top executives, while firms that did not meet targets lowered payouts. “The pay package of executives

at Wipro, Infosys and TCS are all in same bracket. The difference is that TCS has been meeting their targets. On an average, the bonus at TCS is 10% higher than at Infosys. So at TCS, the total compensation is higher than Infosys because of the bonus part,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, founder and chairman of executive recruiting firm Head Hunters India Pvt. Ltd. Infosys also raised concerns about the proposed immigration law that is being pushed in the US by the “Gang of Eight” senators, which if passed would drive up cost of doing business in the US significantly for Infosys—one of the highest users of H-1B visa work permits among Indian information technology (IT) firms. “If those provisions are signed into law, our cost of doing busi-



ness in the United States would increase and that may discourage customers from seeking our services. This could have a material and adverse effect on our business, revenues and operating results,” the filing said. According to the legislation, all employers in the US would be required to pay higher wages to workers on H1B permits and employ a higher number of locals. Also the legislation would limit the number of H-1B and L-1 workers in a company’s US workforce as well as place a limit on a company’s ability to place H-1B and L-1B workers at client worksites. The legislation, if approved, could have significant repercussions for India’s $108-billion IT sector, disrupting their traditional business model.


May 17, 2013

Dhoni and Sharma Combine to Keep Chennai at the Top BY SIDDARTH RAVINDRAN CHENNAI (ESPN Cricinfo): Chennai Super Kings 168 for 4 (Dhoni 58*) beat Delhi Daredevils 135 for 9 (Warner 44, A Morkel 3-32) by 33 runs Even before the match began, Chennai Super Kings got the news that they had qualified for the playoffs. Their next target was a spot in the top two, especially after they found out last season how difficult it is to win the title after finishing No. 3 or 4. Qualifying either first or second allows them the luxury of an opening defeat in the playoffs, while ending on third or fourth will leave teams needing to win three successive matches against the best teams in the competition. With that as motivation, Super Kings set about dismantling the already demoralised and eliminated Delhi Daredevils on a muggy night in Chennai. As usual, Super Kings weren’t in a tearing hurry at the start of their innings, but a series of big hits - led by MS Dhoni’s power-packed half-century - took them to a competitive total. Michael Hussey has been trading the orange cap with Chris Gayle virtually every match over the past few weeks, and though he couldn’t wrest it back today, his run-a-ball 26* allowed Dhoni to take his time before exploding towards the end of the innings. Dhoni scored only 17 off his first 19 deliveries before unfurling his unique brand of muscular hitting. Ashish Nehra was clubbed over

midwicket for six and then dinked to third man for four. Siddarth Kaul’s slower ball was hammered onto the roof as Dhoni looted 41 off his final 16 deliveries to pilot Super Kings to 168. Daredevils, the best team in the league phase last season, have had a startling fall this season. Before every match, their fans have been placing their faith in the trio of match-winning batsmen - Mahela Jayawardene, Virender Sehwag and David Warner - to deliver results. There have been repeated failures from all three batsmen this season. Today, they were missing Jayawardene - since Sri Lankan players are prevented from playing in Chennai - and Sehwag fell for a duck in the first over of the chase, leaving Warner with the responsibility of making a match of it. He top scored with a restrained 44, shedding buckets of sweat over the course of his innings, but with several of his team-mates perishing after attempting big strokes, Daredevils never really threatened in the chase. The result left Super Kings on 22 points, two clear of their closest challengers, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. The easy victory was the perfect end to their campaign at home, which they marked with a celebratory lap around the Chidambaram stadium to salute their vocal and passionate fans. Mohit Sharma dismissed both of the Delhi Daredevils openers and ended up with 4 wickets at 5.5 runs per over.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Akash Chopra: Rahul Dravid and the Art of T20 Captaincy

BY AKASH CHOPRA About two months ago Rahul Dravid rang me to ask my opinion of a couple of domestic uncapped medium-pacers I had played with. If Rajasthan Royals had vacant spots, it was worth signing these lads, I remember suggesting. After all, every team is allowed to sign as many as 33 players for their IPL campaign and uncapped players hardly ever burn a hole in the franchisee’s pocket; they are always “good buys”. Rahul, though, was quite sure what he wanted to do, which was

sign only one of the two. Keeping the squad small (Royals have only 28 players) was their top priority. I thought that emphasis on keeping the squad small indicated his and the franchise’s inflexibility. I mistook his clarity of thought for rigidity, a quality I expected to see in his captaincy as well. Since they had small squad I assumed not too many changes would be made to or within the playing XI. I was in for a surprise and, I think, so were most of the other teams. Royals continued their dominance at home but no

two games followed the same pattern. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, they dished out a greentop and played five seam bowlers. The plan was to not only negate the Sunil Narine threat but also to not bowl to the Knight Riders’ batsmen’s strengths, which is playing spin. As much as captaincy is about playing to your strengths, it’s equally about knowing your opposition and denying them what they like most. While that means challenging yourself, it’s a risk worth taking against an opposition that’s

superior to you on paper. To succeed as a captain in T20, you need to swallow your pride and do what is right for the team. Putting the team ahead of himself comes naturally to Dravid However guarded you are about the surprises you have planned for the opposition, certain cards do get revealed at the toss. But once the game starts, it’s a captain’s prerogative to shuffle the pack as many times as he wishes to, and that’s what Dravid is doing so well with the Rajasthan Royals.



Teacher Scales Elbruse

Jogabyasa Bhoi after his Mt. Everest climb.

NEW DELHI: After scaling the Mount Everest, Jogabyasa Bhoi, a primary teacher from Kalahandi in Orissa, has successfully conquered the highest mountain peak in Europe -- Mount Elbruse --, spreading the message of women’s empowerment in the process. The 32-year-old Bhoi completed the expedition in Russia on May 7 along with nine others after one member of the 11-strong contingent beat a retreat due to illness. This was Bhoi’s third continental summit without oxygen support. While at the peak, Bhoi took the opportunity to spread the message of women’s empowerment by holding out a banner which read “Nourish, Protect and Respect all women for a glorious & proud Nation.” Besides, he also wished a belated Happy Birthday to Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who tuned 40 on April 24. Bhoi had scaled the Everest in May, 2011.

India OKs Olympics

LUSANNE: India is back into the Olympic fold after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) agreed to International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) demands of holding the fresh AGM and elections, according to TV reports. IOA also agreed to declare null and void the December 5 elections, which elected Lalit Bhanot. The India’s sports administrators held crucial meeting with the IOC in Lausanne on Wednesday. The meeting was also be attended by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.

PAKISTAN LAHORE (DAWN.COM): Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif and brother Shahbaz claimed victory in general elections of Pakistan, announcing that the elder Sharif would stake claim for prime ministership. His claim comes as PML-N is set to emerge as the biggest party but still short of a clear majority. Analysts say that PML-N will form the next government. Speaking to their supporters outside their model town residence Nawaz Sharif thanked the nation for reposing trust in him. The PML-N chief has so far won two National Assembly seats – NA-120 Lahore, NA-68 Sargodha. Nawaz Sharif has remained prime minister two times in 1990 and 1997 but both of his government wre prematurely dismissed, once by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan and then his second government was ousted in 1999 in a military coup by former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf. Thirty-four successful inde-

May 17, 2013


Nawaz Declares Victory

PML-N swept Punjab to secure a huge mandate, enjoying clear majority as opposed to other political parties.

pendent Punjab Assembly candidates from several cities of the

province have announced their decision to join Pakistan Muslim

League – Nawaz (PML-N) after the party won the historic May

11 polls, DawnNews reported. PML-N swept Punjab to secure a huge mandate, enjoying clear majority as opposed to other political parties, which will enable it to form a government in the province without needing any other party’s support. Moreover, in order to strengthen its position and enlist independent candidates, the PML-N has formed a committee consisting of Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman and Saad Rafique. Thirty-four independent candidates met Hassan in Raiwind and announced their decision of joining PML-N, strengthening the party’s position in Punjab even more. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehrik-iInsaaf, which is the second largest party in Punjab, has secured only 18 seats in the Punjab Assembly while other political parties have not even been able to reach the 10 digit. This indicates that the PML-N would not be facing a strong opposition in Punjab.

Imran’s Dilemma in Acquiring Opposition Leader’s Slot Khan will have to negotiate with PPP or MQM, if the two parties decide to sit on opposition benches, to gain their support to get the opposition leader’s office. ISLAMABAD (DAWN.COM): PTI chairman Imran Khan may climb down over his words of going solo in the National Assembly if he wants to become leader of opposition after shattering of his dream to become prime minister after Saturday’s polls. In other words, he will have to negotiate with the PPP or the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, that if the two parties also decide to sit on the opposition benches, to gain their support to get the opposition leader’s office. The PTI chairman, in his election campaign and interviews, has said in clear-cut words that he would not join hands with the PPP, the PML-N and the MQM – the parties which remained in power at the centre or in provinces during the past five years.

PTI chairman Imran Khan

He even once said that he would prefer to sit on the opposition benches if he had no option but to form the government with the support of any of these parties. Imran Khan is being presently tipped in TV talk shows as the future opposition leader, but the number of seats the parties have bagged so far, according to unofficial results, clearly shows that if the PTI chairman stands by his words and does not negotiate with the PPP or the MQM, then he cannot get that position, according to the assembly rules. In this case, the office can be attained by a joint

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nominee of the PPP and the MQM. The Rule 39(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007 says: “After the ascertainment of the leader of the house, the speaker shall inform the members about the date, time and place for submission of a name for the leader of the opposition under their signature. “The speaker shall declare a member as leader of the opposition having the greatest numerical strength after verification of the signatures of the members.” The rule was amended in 2007 when the speaker of the 2002 Na-

tional Ass e m b l y, Chaudhry Amir Hussain, did not appoint any member as the opposition leader for a whole year since there was no mention of a timeframe to do so. Acontroversy arose when Hussain declared Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the defunct Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) opposition leader despite having the support of lesser members than those of another opposition alliance – the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) – using his discretionary powers to appoint any member for the post who according to his own assessment enjoyed the support of the majority of opposition members. Now the speaker no more enjoys discretionary powers and is bound to seek nominations for the office in writing from the members sit-

ting on the opposition benches. When contacted, members from both the PPP and the MQM said it was too early to make any comment on the issue since the results of the elections were still incomplete. They said they could not make any comments without discussing the issue in their parliamentary party meetings. The PTI chairman in his speeches and interviews criticises almost all the leaders of other parties – be it the PML-N, the PPP, the JUI-F or the MQM. During his campaign, he not only accused the previous cabinet members in the PPP-led coalition government of committing huge corruption, but also declared that he would not take oath from President Asif Ali Zardari if elected as prime minister. He had also dubbed the MQM as a “terrorist” party in his several speeches and interviews. Political observers believe that it will be interesting to see whether Imran Khan will sacrifice the office of the leader of opposition for the sake of his commitment and credibility or will show flexibility and make a compromise to get the slot which is considered to be the second most coveted office in the National Assembly after the prime minister.

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