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Friday, May 27 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 22


Indo American erican News

Movie Review


www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Saroj Khan in Houston

The P5 Messenger


Arzan Gonda, the Artistic Director of Rhythm India with Saroj Khan.

Too Soon

Chamber Embraces Ray P15


Anupam Ray, India’s Consul General to Houston, delivered the IACCGH-Shell Distinguished Lecture at the Skyline Ballroom, Hilton Americas on May 16. Shell VP Fred Whipple presented a token of appreciation on behalf of the Chamber to the Consul General. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett welcomed the Consul General on behalf of the Chamber.

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May 27, 2016



May 27, 2016


Rhythm India’s Heart Beats with the Moves of Saroj Khan



The iconic superstar of Bollywood film choreography Saroj Khan, has an enduring aura that leaves one mesmerized, especially if you are equally passionate about dancing. And this is precisely what happened at the Rhythm India Bollywood Dance Company, last Friday, on May 20. Saroj Khan, the choreographer par excellence, was invited for a Master Class, by Rhythm India in association with BAPC. Sarojji (as she is fondly called) graced the occasion with her presence. It was a much awaited workshop after the recent success of the two day workshop, held in April, with the DID Winner, Dance Plus Judge and Celebrity Dancer Shakti Mohan. The enigmatic woman that Saroj Khan is, has enthralled audiences with extravagant dance picturisations. She has won top laurels for her outstanding contribution to choreography, and a few of her award winning songs are the memorable, ‘Ek Do Teen’ from Tezaab, ‘Dola Re Dola’ and ‘Maar Daala’ from Devdas, and ‘Dhak Dhak’ from Beta. After a long 30-hour flight, one is expected to be jet-lagged and fatigued. But Sarojji, who arrived with her assistant Manish, epitomised energy and joy along with being philosophical and downhearted. She immediately started responding to selfie and autograph requests, and instantly won hearts with her humility and graciousness. The workshops were conducted in two batches, for people aged 11 and above. The first batch students packed themselves up with impressive booty-shaking moves to the tunes of ‘Pinga’ from Bajirao Mastani, while the second batch did shake their legs to ‘Get on the dance floor’ from Chennai Express. Sarojji enthralled the performers with a whirlwind of her creativity, innovation and individuality. For the perfectionist and a taskmaster that Saroj Khan is, she did ensure that everyone gives their best shot. As expected, the spots got instantly sold out and the workshops were a huge success. The visibly emotional and teary eyed Arzan Gonda, the Artistic Director of Rhythm India, said, “I felt blessed and grateful for witnessing Sarojji’s pure artistry. It’s

Photos: Navin Mediwala

not everyday one gets to witness her understanding, musicality, experience and talent. It truly was an awesome day and a dream come

true to see her artistry and craft at its best.” She then went on to thank the legend Saroj Khan and Manish for sharing their passion and craft with Rhythm India. Saroj Khan stated that at a time when many Indians in India are being lured towards the glamour that Western Dance has to offer, she was very impressed to notice that the Indian culture is very much alive in the West, inspite India being so far away. She said “Khushi hoti hai ye dekhke ki yahan culture zinda hai” ( I feel happy to see the culture alive here). In an exclusive conversation, the humble and captivating Sarojji shared a lot of interesting stories about the film industry and her long association with it. On being asked about the formula to her innovative dance moves, Sarojji gladly mentioned that she keeps her dance moves so simple that kids can pick them up easily. Kids can easily grasp her choreographed signature steps, because complex steps create learning roadblocks for non-dancers and hence not many would remember them. About Rhythm India: Rhythm India provides the very best in Bollywood dance training and performances in the greater Houston - Sugar Land - Katy and Dallas area. The dance workshops are held for its students and the public throughout the year. Their goal is to expose their students to the best-in-class choreographers and help mould their students to mature as strong dancers . For more info about upcoming workshops and classes this summer, visit www.rhythm-india.com or call 281 968 9479

Before We Visit The Goddess BY DR. VENUGOPAL K. MENON

HOUSTON: ‘Before We Visit

The Goddess’, is Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s new novel, the #1 Bestseller in India since it was published. It is the fascinating chronicle of three generations of women, from the grandmother beginning her childhood in the bustling city of Kolkata, the daughter coming over to America, and the granddaughter establishing a new beginning in CONTINUED ON PAGE




May 27, 2016



May 27, 2016


Immense Sorrow as The Messenger Departs Unexpectedly



The community of Sant Nirankaris around the world were stunned when they heard the unexpected news about their spiritual leader Baba Hardev Singh in Montreal. They were expecting to hear about spiritual meetings held during his visit to Canada and the preparations being made for the second Nirankari International Samagam focusing on humanities and scheduled to be held in June at Toronto. Instead, they learnt of his death in a single-car accident on Thursday evening, May 12, 2016, around 7:30pm. He was thrown out of the rear seat of the van he was in, along with his sonin-law Avneet Setya, and died on the spot. Setya succumbed to his injuries in a hospital a few hours later. They likely weren’t wearing seatbelts. Singh’s other son-in-law, Sunny, was driving the van from New York to Montreal and preliminary evidence suggests the van veered suddenly, lost control and the flipped over a few times. Sunny and the other front

seat passenger were not seriously hurt. The accident occurred on Highway 30 near Beauharnois on Montreal’s South Shore while enroute to the San Nirankari mission’s center in PointeClaire where Baba was to deliver a talk. Singh, 62, was the head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, also known as the Universal Brotherhood, which has millions of followers and more than 2,000 centers around the world. Born in New Delhi on February 23, 1954 to Gurbachan Singh and Kulwant Kaur, Singh ascended to become the satguru (spiritual leader) of the San Nirankari Mission in 1980 after the assassination of his father. In 2005, he established the Nirankari Museum in the Sant Nirankari Sarovar complex in New Delhi. The Sant Nirankari Mission was established in 1929 by Baba Buta Singh who previously belonged to the Nirankari sect, and was succeed by

Baba Avtar Singh. The mission flourished after it shifted its base to Delhi from West Punjab, after the partition of India in 1947. Baba Hardev Singh’s remains were flown to Delhi in a charted plane and a funeral was held on Wednesday, May 18 at the Nigambodh Ghat Crematorium, attended by, according to estimates, a massive crowd of 800,000. His wife Sawinder Kaur was chosen a day earlier as the fifth chief leader of the mission. Singh’s death has been widely publicized in India and was acknowledged in a tweet by Indian Prime Minister Naren-

dra Modi. “Baba Hardev Singh’s demise is tragic and a great loss to the spiritual world. My thoughts are with his countless followers in this sad time,” Modi tweeted. The local Sant Niranakari community in Houston held special prayers and condolences in India House during their regular congregation on Sunday, May 15 where they paid tribute to their Master.

They took solace in the teachings of the scriptures which say that “the Guru neither departs nor arrives in the temporal world,” according to a brochure printed immediately after Baba Hardev’s death. “He appears for the welfare of the entire Mankind and only changes body as is prescribed in the Holy Bhagwat Gita,” the brochure continued.

BAPS Charities Walk Green 2016 Supports the Nature Conservancy

900 walkers participated in the BAPS Charities walk

SUGAR LAND: Growing up most

of us had one thing that we loved to do over and over. For 13 year old Anjlika Patel, it’s climbing up on her tree house. She enjoys being above the world and feeling the fresh cool breeze. On Sunday, May 15, Anjlika participated in the annual BAPS Charities walkathon at the Sugarland Town Center. This walk was important to her because it was going to preserve one her favorite things to do; her tree house. For the last 3 – 4 months, Anjlika has been raising funds and

awareness to save the environment. Recognizing the need to promote environment awareness, this year BAPS Charities Walk Green is supporting The Nature Conservancy and its Plant a Billion Trees campaign to restore 1.6 million acres of land by 2025. The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. With over 1 million members, the organization protects more than 119 million

acres of land, thousands of miles of rivers, and operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally since 1951. In support of this initiative, BAPS Charities walks across North America will contribute to the rejuvenation of dying forests by helping plant over 70,000 trees in the United States. This year’s walk brought together close to 900 participants between the ages of 3 and 72. The walk launched with motivational words from Congressman

Dilip Bhargav, Dave Rosenthal, Charles Dupre, Monzur Hourani, and Congresman Pete Olson kickoff the BAPS Charities walkathon.

Pete Olson, Monzur Horani of Medistar, and superintendent of Fort Bend ISD Charles Dupre. Congresman Olson said, “Volunteer is the most powerful word in our language. Texans volunteer to help fellow Texans and ya’ll are doing that right here this morning by coming here and walking for these great charities.” In addition to supporting the Nature Conservancy, the Walk

Green 2016 in Sugarland, also supported Behind the Badges, Fort Bend education foundation and Stafford MSD education foundation as local beneficiaries. Along with Anjlika, many volunteers of BAPS Charities brought sponsors like Piping Technology & Products, SDB group, BioUrja group, Quest Diagnostics, Trison International, Red Scope Studios, Akshar/Shriji Properties, Pershant and Nidhika Mehta and many others to contribute to this year’s walkathon. At the end of the walk, Anjlika felt good about securing her future by knowing that there will be trees and scholarships. Anjlika Patel said, “I will make certain that we plant trees and continue to take part in BAPS Charities activities.” BAPS Charities undertakes many such charitable events throughout the year to support the community. In addition to annual walkathons across over fifty cities in North America, BAPS Charities hosts a variety of programs to support healthy living, environmental awareness and education initiatives. For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www.bapscharities.org.

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



May 27, 2016

Houstonians Come Together to Support Cancer Hospitals in Pakistan

HOUSTON: Saturday night at Omni ho-

tel in the galleria area, the banquet hall was humming with guests, enjoying tasty Pakistani appetizers, socializing with friends from all across greater Houston, and everyone was simply thrilled to be doing it all for a good cause. Elegant Pakistani dresses mixed seamlessly with modern South Asian chic, and elegant suits, with cameras clicking, Islamic art on display – the lobby was the postcard of what Houston is all about, global, diverse, dynamic, caring and above all giving. The event was the fundraising gala for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospitals (SKMH) of Pakistan. Over two decades in the making SKMH is a world class cancer hospital organization based in Pakistan. The main hospital and research center is located in Lahore, a second hospital in Peshawar and a clinic in Karachi. The project was championed by the legendary Cricket player and now a leading politician of Pakistan, Imran Khan. The hospital is named in the memory of his mother who succumbed to cancer. The hospital treats cancer patients from all walks of life without any distinction, providing free care to those who are unable to afford. The multimillion dollar budget is mostly met with generous donations from Pakistan and the rest from all over the world. Houston has been in the forefront of this effort from the very beginning. 2016 was no different – at a short notice the host committee came into action, planned an elegant fundraising gala dinner with entertainment provided by performers from Pakistan and delivered for Houstonians a sold out successful event. The Host committee was led by its Houston founder, Sajjad Burki and included, Dr.

Fayaz Faiz, city activist and attorney Zafar “Zaf” Tahir, Businessmen Fuad Cochinwala, Atif Khan, Khalid Hasib, Publisher Sheikh Najam, fashion designer Sabeen Sultan, and many more. Over 500 guests paid $125 per person and further donated in excess of $450,000 to bring the total of funds raised to over half a million dollars! The program emceed by Zafar Tahir, started with recitation of Quran, and included presentation by the management of the hospital in Pakistan, a keynote speech by Fauzia Kasuri who is head of international fundraising, a vote of thanks by Sajjad Burki on behalf of the Houston host committee. However, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the inspirational speech delivered by Actor / Activist from Pakistan, Humza Abbasi. Humza brought the entire hall to their feet when he took a selfie with his phone of the entire crowd at the event. The 15-minute fundraising session which included auction of pieces of Islamic art and a cricket bat signed by Imran Khan brought in over $450,000 in donations. The program was followed by sumptuous dinner catered by Tempura restaurant. Throughout the din-

ner and even afterwards, the selfie session with Humza Abbasi continued to the utter delight of the guests, who all appreciated his humble approach and availability.

After-dinner entertainment was presented by famous visiting Pakistani female singer Fariha Pervez who kept audience glued to the stage past one in the morning.


May 27, 2016





May 27, 2016

Stress Management Tips for Final Exams


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he end of the school year is an exciting time for students as summer is right around the corner. It also marks the time for final exams and students may start to stress. Worrying about these tests can cause anxiety and could result in poor test grades. Best in Class Education Center has provided some stress management tips to help students stay healthy and calm for final exams. Prepare a Study Schedule Many students may feel that the best way to study is to perform late night cram sessions. However, working into the wee hours of the night could result in a lack of sleep and could even add to the anxiety. Schedule pockets of time during the week for your child to devote to studying. This can be an hour or two after school, a few minutes during lunch, or during Saturday morning after a good night’s sleep. Making an actual schedule with designated times for each subject can help ensure that students are not overworking or procrastinating, both of which, are an underlying cause of stress. Take a Quick Walk During study sessions, students will need stimulation in other ways as well. Sitting for hours looking at a textbook or a computer screen could cause more harm than good. To liven up the study session, encourage your child to go on a quick walk around the neighborhood or to perform a quick exercise. Some physical stimulation will wake the body up, leaving the brain feeling refreshed for more studying. Listen to Music Try popping in your child’s favorite music or classical tunes to ease the mood. Making a playlist of songs that gets them pumped up can be a fun activity as well.

Treat Yourself with a Snack Kids may need some brain food during their study sessions. A quick reprieve and a snack of fresh fruits, nuts, or vegetables will help provide energy to continue studying. You can even make it into a fun study game. Pick their favorite sweet treat and set a goal and a timer for your kids to accomplish a studying feat. Reward them with their favorite treat if they accomplish it. Unplug From Technology After a long day of studying, a student may want to just unwind with some TV or play a game on their computer, but consuming more technology may undo all the studying that occurred. At the end of each studying session, have your children unplug from technology. Shut off the TV, social media, and even cell phones. Doing so will help them find other activities to stimulate their minds, such as reading a book or playing a game with the family. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, a local resource, Best in Class Education Center, offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2016. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www. bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1.888.683.8108.

Before We Visit The Goddess CONTINUED FROM PAGE


the new land of opportunity. The book is essentially a study in contrast of the three personalities facing their nemeses with the available emotional equipments they gained through their varied environments of upbringing. The author, deftly ascertains that the saga of Sabitri, Bela and Tara mirrors the feminine intricacies of Panchaali of Mahabharata, the epic five millennia in the past. The narration is unique, challenging the reader as the story transcends generations, continents and chronological sequences. The author has intriguingly incorporated the grandmother’s future letters to the not-

born-yet granddaughter whom she will never see, as she contemplates on her own life. Chitra’s distinct little depictions, slight annotations and her imaginative, tiny intuitions are exclusively inimitable, making her one of the best writers of today. ‘Before humans came and pushed them to the edges; darkness fell upon her blotting out all eloquence; the dark swayed around her like seaweed, choking’! The award-winning writer, one of our own Houstonians emphatically establishes why she is one of the 20 most influential global Indian women chosen by the Economic Times. http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/


May 27, 2016

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10 May 27, 2016




May 27, 2016

Hindi Classes Award Ceremony at India House


For Any Ceremony Contact Pradip Pandya 832 466 9868 Email: pradippandya2000@yahoo.com

Shri Lakshmi Puja Hindu Wedding Markand Puja Engagement Shri Ganpati Puja Simant Laghu Rudra Vastu Shanti Mundan Sanskar Navchandi Puja Shanti Havan Shri Gayatri Havan Shri Satyanarayan Puja

HOUSTON: One of the dif-

ficult, though most desirable, aspects of moving to a foreign country is motivating our kids to learn our native language and remain connected with our culture. While inspiring students to learn Hindi can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it. To meet the growing demand of students and to promote the language, India House started Hindi Language and Culture of India Classes in October 2015 at their premises. The class is taught by the most experienced Hindi and Culture of India instructor Arun Prakash who started and taught Hindi at Bellaire High School, Rice University and University of Houston. All 16 enrolled students were awarded certificates after clearing the final examination. A simple award ceremony was held at India House on May 15, to celebrate the achievement of these kids. Dr. Manish Rungta, Presi-

dent, India House and Jiten Agarwal, Vice President Finance, India House gave away the certificates. Views of some of the parents and students are the testimony of the success of the program. “Both our sons absolutely enjoyed the Hindi class taught at India House. I had almost given up on them on learning Hindi, after trying various weekend classes for them in Houston for almost last 4 years. This is the first class where they felt engaged, & motivated to learn reading, writing & speaking Hindi & they did. We are very pleased with it”– Rachna Agarwal “Hindi classes by Arun Prakash Sir have been so engaging & fun. I am looking forward to the advanced classes now” – Varun, 7th Grader “Finally, I am not scared of Hindi language anymore. I picked up Hindi before by listening to our elders in India during my visits, but I was always goofing up. Thanks to our Hindi teacher Mr. Arun Prakash.” – Rahul, 9th Grader “I personally sat through many of

Arun Ji’s classes and my daughter and I loved his unique teaching style. He combines teaching Hindi with discussions of many key life lessons and stories. This keeps the kids engaged and they have fun. Connecting with teenagers to teach them not only about our language but also our culture is an art which he performs masterfully.”- Hardeep Singh father of Jasmine Singh, 10th Grader Due to popular demand and interest shown towards learning Hindi and culture of India, India House is starting adults’ classes along with kids’ new batch per following details: Adults Batch: Starts on May 29 to July 31 2016 every Sunday from 10:00 11:30 am Children’s Beginner Classes and Advanced Classes: Starts from August 14th 2016 to May 2017

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12 May 27, 2016


Saadhana Samvid: A Celebration of Musical Tradition BY SASI RAGHAVAN


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HOUSTON: The awareness and love for Hindustani Classical Music and its deep- rooted tradition has become widespread across the Greater Houston Area, thanks to the selfless efforts of the celebrated Maestro of Mewati Gharana, Pandit Suman Ghosh. Saadhana Samvid is one such effort conceptualized and conducted by himGuruji Pandit Ghosh in which over 80 disciples of his Gurukul Pandit Ghosh and Smt. Shashikala Ghosh took the stage with solo performances. This event is unique to the Saadhana Pariwar, a Gurukul steeped in the age-old tradition of Hindustani Music, in that no other Music Gurukul is known to have almost all of its disciple perform solo on a grand stage. This marathon musical event that spanned 9 sessions on consecutive Saturdays from April 9 to April 30 in various locations in Greater Houston Area – Sugar Land, West University and The Woodlands - was organized and presented impeccably by the Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston (CICMH), an organization founded by Pandit Suman Ghosh himself. There was laughter and then there were tears. There was pin-drop si-

lence and then there was applause. There was anticipation and then there was surprise. There was expression and then there was experience. This is just a glimpse of the gamut of emotions that were felt at Saadhana Samvid 2016. The musical immersion throughout these 9 sessions was fantastic. It was a journey of musical meditation in search of the ultimate for the disciples of Pandit Ghosh and Smt. Shashikala Ghosh. It was an enthralling experience for the audience. The ambience was perfect; the décor was a reflection of the Gurukul’s tradition. Simply put, one was left with a feeling that the Samvid sessions should keep on going, every week, every month through the rest of the year. There were disciples aged between 5 and 70, presenting a wide variety of raags with various degrees of complexity as well as uplifting bhajans and shlokas. Their hard work and the rigorous taalim that they received from Pandit Ghosh their Gurus was evident. Even the younger disciples, who have just begun their journey and were presented in a group, were a bundle of joy, full of energy and enthusiasm. It was obvious that they were on their way to bigger


and better achievements. To anyone who has been following this Saadhana Samvid series year after year, each and every one of the disciples’ progress in this journey was apparent. The countless hours that Pandit Ghosh has invested in training these disciples and in planning the month long series spoke for itself in the very high level of performances. Pandit Ghosh himself fondly introduced each and every one of his disciples and conducted their presentations from the stage itself - something unheard of in the musical world, especially from someone of his stature. Houston is blessed to have Guruji Pandit Suman Ghosh and Guruma Shashikala Ghosh who selflessly devote themselves toith selfless effort in promoting and cultivating this beautiful art and the age old tradition. We eagerly await CICMH’s upcomingnext flagship event Saadhana Unmesh on October 15. The website for Pandit Ghosh/CICMH www.panditsumanghosh.com, which will be launched in June, carries more information on the holistic effort by Pandit Ghosh and CICMH which culminates inis events such as this. and other unique events organized by Pandit Ghosh and CICMH.


HOUSTON: Under the auspicious

presence and guidance of Samani Vikas Pragyaji and Samani Maryada Pragyaji, JVB Center celebrated three major events, Mahavir Jayanti, Akshay Tritiya and Tribute to Gurus on Sunday, May 15, with a magnificent musical play. 125+ community members were present to witness a resplendent ceremony of art, music & drama put together by the dedicated members of JVB, Current EC Team & JVB Gyanshala kids & parents. No effort was spared & result spoke for itself. Everyone recited the Namaskar Mahamantra with Samanijis in the beginning. JVB Board of Director, Pramodji Bengani was the master of ceremony. After a brief introduction of the program, he invited Amit Sacheti to deliver a welcome speech for the assembled guests. The program started with JVB Gyanshala Cultural Team Coordinator, Anusha Jain narrating and kids recreating the scene of Samavasaran where Bhagwan Rishabh preaches the message of Ahimsa among a group of devotees. The youngest group of JVB Gyanshala, Arham & Gyan group sang the shlokas from the holy book, known as of Baktambar Stotra and recited their detailed meaning all along. Pretty costumes and props enthused the audience and they appreciated their performance which was crafted by Samani Maryada Pragyaji along

May 27, 2016


Celebrations at JVB Preksha Center

with Gyanshala Cultural Team of Mukta & Anusha Jain. Then followed an hour long magnificent display of a musical play called “The Ahimsa Puran” which was directed by Samani Vikas Pragyaji and presented by JVB Gyanshala parents where they glorified Bhagwan Rishabhdev & Bhagwan Mahavir’s teachings by bringing them to life through six different chapters and commemorated the lives and untiring efforts of Acharya Sri Tulsi & Acharya Shri Mahapragyaji, founders of Preksha Meditation Technique and taking their mission & vision forward by the current Acharya, Shri Mahashramanji. It was a spectacular story of an ancient culture told through striking audio & video slides, soulful music and meaningful lyrics. The entire audience was spellbound by the beautiful performances strung together by the cast & crew of dedicated parents. Next, Samani Vikas Pragyaji gave a short discourse and emphasized the need of celebrating this special program to preserve our cultural and historical heritage of Non-Violence in

today’s unstable world. She also described how the behavioral & spiritual non-violence is the answer to this modern world. She greatly appreciated the support and enthusiasm of all the participants & the volunteers alike. JVB Vice-President, Gaurav Jhaveri did the Vote of Thanks to a wonderful team of members who were behind the success of this mega event. He also recognized the unconditional support of Danveer members of JVB, Hasmukhji & Chandrikaji Doshi. In Closing, Pramodji Bengani recited a beautiful poem to pay his tribute to all the Gurus. The ceremony ended with a Mangal Paath. The JVB Preksha Meditation Center envisions a blissful and peaceful society through

Yoga, Preksha Meditation and Education of Non-violence. It conducts weekly Meditation, Yoga and Swadhyay sessions under the auspicious guidance of Samanijis and runs special events and programs like I Choose, Meditation Camps and Gyanshala program for ages 4-

14 yrs. It is open to all and every session or event is free of charge to its attendees. For more information, & upcoming events, please visitwww. jvbhouston.org. Call them at 281596-9642. For further enquiries, Please call Seema Jain @ 281-5750575.


14 May 27, 2016 Youth Leadership Development Program of Houston Graduation Event 2016, May 15 @ India House

First row: from left: Poonam Taneja - Secretary, Sangeeta Pasrija - Communications Director, Pinakin Jaradi - President, Dr. Anupam Ray – Consul General of India, Nat Murthy - Chairman, Jayasree Bondu - volunteer, Sarvesh Bhavaraju – Selection Director. Second row: from left: Rama Rao Adharapurapu - Web Director, Kush Tandon - Volunteer, Srimathi Kumar - Treasurer, Sharda Prasad - Director, Veena Ponnaganti - Service Director.

Team: Addiction Sharanya Chander (team lead), Kavya Penmetsa, Ambikha Maharaj, Preethi Srinivasan, Pranav Juturi, Kishan Solanki, Sakshi Ahuja Team: Environment Viswajith Kumar (team lead), Chetan Raguthu, Paras Gupta, Tanuj Girish, Rushil Dandamudi, Arjun Rao, Asha Raghu Team: Terrorism Shalini Lakshmi, Ashish Sonde, Madhumitha Periyasamy (lead, domestic), Nikita Dhar, Vignesh Subbiah (lead, international), Sharat Kalaga Team: Economics Sriram Hariharan (team lead), Siddarth Sankaran, Sara Venkataraman, Poonum Mehta Meghana Gogineni, Samarth Khandelwal, Anuj Kankani, Team: Privacy Spandana Akkaraju (team lead), Aneesha Krothapalli, Pooja Patel, Radha Chenna, Avanthika Mahendrababu, Kishan Dayananda


Photos: Sarvesh Bhavaraju


May 27, 2016


IACCGH Shell Distinguished Lecture by Anupam Ray, Consul General of India: May 16, Skyline Ballroom, Hilton Americas

HOUSTON: The Honorable Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston delivered the IACCGH Shell Distinguished Lecture at the Hilton Skyline Ballroom to a sold out audience. IACCGH Founding Secretary and Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia talked about the long term relationship the Chamber has had with the Indian Consulate and invited Harris County Judge Ed Emmett to welcome the Consul General to Houston. IACCGH President Joya Shukla introduced the Consul

of this partnership. The full text of the speech is published in this week’s newspaper and on the chamber website. Fred Whipple, VP, Shell joined Harris County Judge Emmett in presenting Consul General Harish with a token of appreciation on behalf of the Chamber. IACCGH invites you to the Seventeenth Annual Gala on September 9 2016 at the Hilton Americas. Shell USA President Bruce Culpepper will deliver the Gala Keynote. Contact info@iaccgh.com for sponsorship details.

General who has accepted the Chamber’s request to serve as an Advisor to IACCGH. A student of History Consul General Ray delivered a brilliant speech and reminded us that the bipartisan acceptance in the United States that its partnership with India will be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. The Indian community here, the companies that are represented on this Chamber and the ever expanding network of ties – business, cultural, political, educational; the flow of ideas and experiences will be the building blocks

Speech by Anupam Ray, Consul General of India Judge Emmett, Distinguished guests. Thank you Jagdeep and Joya for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank the Chamber. And to thank all of you for being here. Delando Carthagea est – Destroy Carthage. This is a quote from classical Latin. It was invariably prefixed to speeches in the Roman Republic in the second century B.C. Rome was then the world’s superpower. Carthage was Rome’s mortal enemy. Its opponent - when it came to Rome’s effort for world domination. Roman orators repeatedly affirmed their ardent desire to destroy Carthage, elevating this prefix to the status of an article of faith. The wars between Rome and Carthage dominated world politics in that period of time. Epic battles were fought and legendary historical figures rose on each side – Hannibal, Scipio Africanus and more. I began by referring to a historical tradition because I am a student of history. Rome ultimately prevailed in the Punic Wars and destroyed Carthage. For me the rise of India is a similar article of faith. It will happen. And it has an epic quality about it. My talk to you is about the long term prospects of India. I talk to you not as a businessman. I do come from a family which has some businessmen – but that is not the basis of my talk today. I will not talk about doing business in India. You as members of this Chamber are all businessmen with an interest in India. You have skin in the game. Most of you know more than me about what it is like to do business in India. That is why this is probably the most important talk that I will give during my stay in Houston. People like you, who generate wealth, who oil the wheels of commerce, who transform knowledge into wealth, are the ones who are helping write the India story. I am speaking as a part of the policy making establishment of the Government of India. I will not talk about why India is a great investment destination. We all know that. We have all heard the good news. GDP growth rates are amongst the fastest in the world. We are on track to be one of the 3 largest economies in the world in the next 15 years

and one of the 2 largest in the next 30 years. Per capita income, whether adjusted for purchasing power or not, is rising at historically unprecedented rates. An average Indian, and there are a billion of us, like me, has seen buying power grow between 5 to 10 times in our lifetimes. This increase means that we are buying more airplanes, more cars, more defense equipment, more solar panels, more windmills than ever before. If we don’t figure in the list of top buyers of any commodity and product, we are definitely in the list of the fastest growing buyers of that item. Inbound FDI numbers are rising constantly. Our stock markets are at levels which would have been in the realm of fantasy a decade ago. Indian outbound FDI is creating jobs and contributing to communities in multiple countries. Air traffic is rising. Our ports are busier than ever. We are building more roads, more buildings, more of everything. We are slowly, but steadily rising through indices that measure parameters as diverse as Human Development and the ease of doing business. We have a Fiscal Responsibility law; direct transfer of benefits has begun; livelihood security, pensions and medical insurance are beginning to go mainstream; a law for a real estate regulator has been adopted; a bankruptcy law has been passed. We all know the bad news too and the downsides. The fact that India houses some of the largest numbers of the poor in the world. That appalling things sometimes happen to the poor and the weak and the different. The legendary “red tape”. The arcane rules and regulations. The difficulty of doing business. The maddening complexities of daily life. Let us talk, instead about a few broad trends in the India story. Let us talk about the country that is asking you to Make in India, that aspires to be a Digital India and Clean India and aspires to Skill India. What kind of a country is India? More importantly, where is it headed? The only way we can hazard a prediction about the future is by analyzing the past. We have to heed the lessons of history. And the lessons of history, particularly contemporary history are quite striking when it comes to India. Seen over a 50 year perspective, we are looking at one of the most dra-

matic transformations in history. You are seeing the journey of a country to being a poor, if proud, colony to being the most likely candidate for great power status. If there is one country in the world that is certain to attain the imprimatur of great power, i.e. membership of the United Nations Security Council, it is India. It is not “if”; it is “when.” There is, as far as I know, no other nation that has undertaken such a dizzying ascent. We are all practical men and women here. We know that things like this don’t happen by accident. After all, India when it was created, was not supposed to do well. What did we do right? Let us look at recent history with a slighter shorter perspective. The working life of a person is usually reckoned to be about 35 years. I have been in my job for about 22 years. When I started work as a young diplomat, the Indian Finance Minister was still attending meetings of something called the Aid India Consortium. It was a collection of aid agencies that met regularly to coordinate aid that was being channeled to India. Aid India meetings were sometimes held to coincide with board meetings of the IMF and World Bank. The Finance Minister of India today still attends board meetings of the IMF and World Bank. But his priorities are very different. He attends as a member of the G20. He attends as a representative of the country that is amongst the most important players in world trade negotiations. He attends as a country that is a major source of outbound FDI. He attends as the representative of a country that has now begun to offer development assistance on its own. He attends as a representative one the most dynamic BRICS economies and as a country that is one of the founder members of the BRICS Bank or the New Development Bank. The Aid India Consortium is something that is disappearing from our memories. It is good that it no longer exists. But it is sometimes necessary to jog our memories to remind ourselves of how far we have travelled. 2 days ago I met 10 Congressmen in the span of a few hours – thanks to our good friend Ashok Mago – at the Republican State Convention in Dallas. They all had the same message – they see India as a partner, and a reliable partner. Most of them were aware of what

the World Bank pointed out 2 years ago. That India, and China, have raised more people out of more poverty more rapidly than any other nation in human history. The Industrial Revolution improved the lives of millions. Indian and China have improved the lives of hundreds of millions, possibly billions. We helped ourselves. No amount of foreign aid, no amount of philanthropy could engineer this rise. If this is not an epic, I don’t know what is. The Congressmen all understand, and they were quite explicit in stating so, that our best years are ahead of us. They also appreciate that our rise threatens no one. This is the indisputable peaceful rise. I made this stage pay tribute to the contributions of the Americans of Indian origin who have worked tirelessly to inform Congressmen about the India story. I must also say that it is one of the great pleasures of my job to interact with a diaspora that is as successful and as prosperous as the Indian community in the United States. I have said this in the past and I will say it again. The United States relied on the Atlantic Alliance as its principal pillar of external support in the 20th century. There is however now a bipartisan acceptance in the United States that its partnership with India will be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. The Indian community here, the companies that are represented on this Chamber and the ever expanding network of ties – business, cultural, political, educational; the flow of ideas and experiences will be the building blocks of this partnership. What is the kind of country with which the United States expects to have a defining relationship? Let me look at something that was written about 10 years ago by 2 American academics: “Thirty years ago ….. it was a miracle if one was allotted a phone, and after that it took a further act of God and the benevolence of the P&T worker for the phone to work. Thirty years ago, there were only black-and-white TVs, and that too only in a few cities. Villagers did not have access to TV or the electricity to power it with. Soon thereafter…. the Indian economy became a veritable dynamo posting an average growth of nearly 6 per cent per year over the past 25 years. Despite the inevitable, unfavorable


Photos: Bijay Dixit comparisons with China, very few countries have grown so fast over such a prolonged period of time, or reduced poverty so sharply. We should indeed be proud of what India has achieved, and clearly, many Indians are. There is a buzz today in India, a sense of limitless optimism. But is it justified?” The authors go on to list what could limit India’s growth: an absence of skilled workers; the absence of a common market; the educations system. One of the two economists who wrote this for the IMF is now the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan. The other is the Chief Economic Advisor of the Government of India. I give this example to submit it to you that we are an open country. We are open to external influence. It is possible for an American academic to become India’s central banker and have to opportunity to convert his vision into action. This brings me to the obvious. We still don’t have an unified market. We still have a shortage of skilled workers. So what are we talking about. What we are talking about is how these issues now occupy political centre stage. A national debate on these issues is underway. Our system of making laws might appear to be painfully slow. But we are a Common Law system. For better or for worse we are democracy in which the Legislature has been empowered to make law and the judiciary to interpret it. The Indian process is inclusive. Everybody has been taken along and everybody must be taken along. We are a nation that aspires to have a rule of law. And a rule of law of nation does not appear overnight. We are trying to arrive at the destination without the lopping of heads associated with the English and French Revolutions. If the cost of that is slower growth and missed opportunities for a few years. Well then, so be it. This is the cost of democracy and we are willing to pay it. There will be some who will say that we are missing an opportunity. To them, I will say that the weight of historical evidence is that India always manages to overcome In the 50s, the fitful rate of GDP growth was described derisively as CONTINUED ON PAGE


16 May 27, 2016


Speech by Anupam Ray CONTINUED FROM PAGE


the Hindu rate of growth. Decade after decade our economic growth rates have inched up. In the sixties, we were not expected to survive as a nation. Some of our neighbours, unfortunately, still believe that. We are stronger today than we have ever been before. We have survived terrorism, insurgency and violence that would have broken lesser nations. And our economic growth rates continue to increase. In the seventies, nobody expected us to remove poverty on the scale that followed. In the eighties, we were derided as the nation that is permanently on the runway; a nation that will never really take off. Well, we have taken off. In the nineties we were described as an illiberal democracy. The functioning of our democracy, with all its uplifting successes, its glorious failures, and its gut-wrenching problems plays out every day on prime time television and on social media on a spectacular scale. Just look at the percentages of people voting in our elections. It now sometimes exceeds 80%. This is not a sign of an illiberal democracy. We were described by some in the last decade as a country where crony capitalism saps our entrepreneurial talents. That is until the internet and mobile telephony driven e-commerce boom came along. It is interesting to note that more and more of India’s best and bright-

est – the graduates from the elite IITs and IIMs are going the entrepreneurial route. Another interesting point:- The last 3 Prime Ministers in this land of Maharajahs, the hereditary caste system and hereditary political leadership do not have family members active in politics. This is a land where the idea of a meritocracy has taken hold. This is a country that has consistently proved doomsday prophets wrong. It has consistently confounded critics. This is a country that believes in the rule of law. This is a country that is open. These are exactly the words that you would describe the United States. That is why the partnership between our two countries is bound to be enduring one. When you do business with India, you are doing business with a nation that is trying to be very similar to this. We have looked at some of the characteristics of India’s economy and its polity. What about its diplomacy? Does what I have about the similarities of outlook hold up when it comes to US-India diplomacy. In diplomatic studies there is a theory of democratic peace. It has been established that democracies do not attack each other. The major contribution of the United States to international relations is the creation of a liberal world order. Pax Americana was established with the creation of the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, global trade talks. Pax Americana is about the ef-

fort to expand the zone of democratic peace. What does India feel about this? Let us look at how it views the the world order and the multilateral institutions that underpin this order. This is a country that has contributed more United Nations peacekeepers to more peacekeeping operations than any other nation. Poor as we are, we have not shirked our share of any burden. No other developing country contributes, voluntarily, more than India to the development operations of the United Nations. Or its humanitarian operations. No refugee has ever been turned from India. We have had differences on major issues of international law. But we have, in the spirit of the democracies that we both are, contributed to the process of creating international law and international regimes. We have worked together to create concepts like the public health exceptions and Dispute Settlement Mechanisms in world trade. In concluding, I would like to make a reference to the American exceptionalism that is central to the identity of Americans. I am begin to believe that we Indians have our brand of exceptionalism. The India story is sui generis. I believe however that American and Indian exceptionalism complement and supplement each other. I believe that what we are living through now is the beginning of an exceptional partnership. Thank you for your time.

Dr. Krishna Dronamraju Delivers the Darwin Lecture at Osmania University

HOUSTON: President of the Houston-based Genetics Foundation, Dr. Krishna Dronamraju, recently delivered the Darwin Lecture at Osmania University in Hyderabad. The topic of the lecture is the relationship between disease and evolution. Darwin himself proposed how natural selection acts as a selective agent for maintaining certain diseases and disabilities in human populations. Prof. J.B.S. Haldane pointed out long time ago that resistance to infectious diseases played an important role in human evolution. Certain genomes have survived this selection process. For instance, in several populations, resistance to malarial infection selects certain type of genetic constitutions and these are passed on to future generations. Unfortunately, some of those who don’t die from ma-


laria die from other diseases, such as thalassemia or the sickle cell disease. It has long been recognized that an important factor in human evolution is the struggle against infectious disease, and more recently, it has been revealed that complex genetic polymorphisms are the direct result of that struggle. As molecular biological techniques become more sophisticated, a number of breakthroughs in the area of host–pathogen evolution have led to an increased interest in this field. From the historical beginnings of J. B. S. Haldane’s original hypothesis to current research, this lecture evaluates infectious diseases from an evolutionary perspective. It provides a survey of the latest information regarding host–pathogen evolution related to major infectious diseases and parasitic infections, including malaria, influenza, and leishmaniasis. Dr. Krishna Dronamraju is President of the Foundation for Genetic Research in Houston and a Visiting Professor of the University of Paris, France. He has been an Advisor to the U.S. Government’s Department of Health & Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.


May 27, 2016


Sri Vasavi Jayanthi Celebrations 2016 at Sri Meenakshi Temple



EARLAND: As is well recognized Sri Meenakshi Temple has been a place of miracles. Sunday May 22 was another day of a miracle with a gloomy weather forecast of a daylong thunder showers turning out to be a bright cloudy day by the grace of Sr Vasavi Kanyaka Parameswari, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi in Kali Yuga. As aptly expressed by our coordinator, Sri Vinay Kumar, She blew the dark clouds away, so the devotees can be showered with Her blessings, rather than rain showers!! With Her blessings Her birthday was joyously celebrated with religious reverence by Her devotees as Sri Vasavi Jayanthi Celebrations. It is a Day, not only celebrating the birth day of Sri Vasavi but also celebrating Her life and Her teachings by refreshing our memories and seeking Her grace through worshipping Her for a virtuous and happy life. She was remembered for showing that violence can be prevented by nonviolence and self-sacrifice, and for safeguarding the dignity and honor of womanhood by offering herself to the God of Fire, Agni – Atmarpanam or Atma Balidaan, thus becoming an immortal. She preached three core values: Dharmam, Seelam and Ahimsa. She represented the impor-

tance of Education, Art and Music, Dance and in particular, free will for women. She emphasized religious/ spiritual living, that assures freedom from temptations as well as the protection from disruption of family traditions. The celebrations got started with Homam, Kalasa procession from Ganapathi temple to Her Sannidhi followed by Abhishekam, Pushpa Alankaram and Ashtothara Pooja with silver coins with Her image (sponsored by the devotees and given later to the devotee families) – an-

other new feature. Highlight of the Jayanthi celebrations is the Grand procession around the temple with all the devotees sharing their blissful joy with one another – a truly spectacular and spiritual sight to behold. Later devotees gathered at the Cafeteria for Mahaprasadam. As they were enjoying the delicious food the CTRP Fundraising team gave an excellent presentation about the Corner Temple Renovation project. It was very delightful to come to know the expansion of the Sannidhi giving more space for the devotees. In fact, the devotees could have a samoohika Pooja in future! An appeal to funding the project was very generously supported by the devotees. Committee thanks the priests, Sri Pavan Kumar and Sri Parameswaran, for giving us a blissful experience especially with the Grand Pushpa Alankaram. Decorations were expertly done by RAC committee under the leadership of Padmini Nathan. The cafeteria staff, under leadership Rani Chilukuri., were praised for their delicious food and expert service. MTS thanks all the coordinators for the event Dhani Kannan, Chandrakala Gupta, Vinay Kumar & Renuka, Ramesh Akarapu & Madhavi, ShankaraRao Pabba & Jyothi and Karunaka Chowdavarapu & Krishnaveni.



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18 May 27, 2016 Two Cheers for Two Years



Of course, I sign e-mail peti-


wo years is too short a time to take stock of a government that has unveiled a plethora of pronouncements. But the contrast between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh is already apparent in many ways. Singh was mocked for his silence, while Modi, who completes two years in office today, is being lampooned for talking too much – with one statistic establishing his speeches or public statements at one in every 45.6 hours. For a nation of 1.25 billion people, we may say that indicates a leadership zeal. Given that the BJP-led NDA falls well short of a majority in the Rajya Sabha, we can attribute the zeal also to a quest for legislative power through state elections that have kept the rulers on their toes. Amid this, the roll-out of schemes such as the Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities Mission, Digital India, Startup India and Make In India is well-intentioned. Just how much management muscle the government has to calculably implement these schemes is a big question. Speeches are measured eventually against performance. The jury is still out on this one. Modi needs to be commended for decisively ending the economic policy paralysis of the UPA 2 years. The spectrum scandal and the coal allocation scam have been put behind with clear-cut regimes. The passage of the Real Estate Regulation Bill will certainly be hailed as a milestone and a gain of 12 in global “Ease of Doing Business” rankings has upped the investment mood. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has earned respect for India in macroeconomic management, aided by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s hawkish inflation management and falling global oil prices. Modi’s first two years in office have also seen two consecutive droughts and yet India remains the world’s fastest growing major economy. The prime minister has shown astuteness in retaining and building on previous initiatives though his rhetoric may suggest otherwise. The continuation of the MNREGA jobs scheme, the passage of the Aadhar Bill, the Jan Dhan Yojana and a refurbished Niti Ayog are cases in point. Having visited 40 countries as the PM, Modi has placed himself well on the world map, successfully courted the US as an ally, displayed inspiration in befriending Japan with an “Act East” policy and built bridges with Iran. But tensions with Pakistan persist despite his pro-active flight to Lahore, Nepal is no longer a tame neighbor and relations with China remain edgy. At home, controversies involving party leaders in needless debates on beef-eating, moral policing and dress codes cast a shadow over the bipartisan image of the government. Overall, the balance sheet shows strengths in governance but liabilities in politics. As the government crosses its halfway mark, the time on hand may appear less than it seems now. Hindustan Times

tions if I strongly agree with the cause they are pushing. I have spent a lifetime protesting against injustices in ineffectual ways— walking miles on demonstrations, shouting myself hoarse outside the British Parliament and law courts, calling attention to objectionable social or political behaviour through pamphleteering and agitating. The thing about protest politics is that one never knows if it has hit the target or how effective it has been. These signatures and protests certainly signal the signatory’s virtue, but do they achieve results? I am not saying they don’t—I just don’t know—though I do know that terror achieves its aim of terrorizing and then mobilizing attention and resources that may be spent better elsewhere. These thoughts are occasioned by a letter e-mailed to me by a Mumbai friend condemning the London chapter of this year’s Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) and asking the invited writers to boycott it. The email says the JLF has accepted money from Vedanta, the global mining corporation. The signatories to the petition contend that Vedanta is an exploitative, wholly nasty and ruthless company that stands accused and convicted of criminal acts. The organizers of the JLF on London’s Southbank replied to this email through the press. They insist that they are a platform for free expression and that the sponsors who pay for their festival do not have any influence over who is invited or what is said in the session. The protestors disagree. Their contention is that “literature does not exist in a vacuum, and neither does ‘free and frank discussion’. Content cannot be separated from sponsorship; it will influence the orientation of

programming. In any case, the unaddressed fact remains, that in accepting Vedanta sponsorship the festival is promoting the company, and actively supporting its efforts to whitewash its crimes.” There is ample evidence that Vedanta stands accused in courts and in copious publications of the violation of human rights, of carelessness as to the safety of its workers, of not paying them, of illegal deforestation and crimes against the environment. Very many respectable organizations, including The Rowntree Trust and the Church of England, have withdrawn their investments from Vedanta. The accusations and proven crimes of Vedanta are attested to and the list is as lengthy as a Ram-Leela Ravan’s arm. I am also sure that the directors of the festival, Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple and Sanjoy Roy, the festival’s spokesman, accepted Vedanta’s sponsorship in full knowledge of these legal convictions and other alleged misdemeanors. I have, as a writer, appeared on several of the JLF’s platforms, reading my work, even talking about being a Parsi writer and interviewing VS Naipaul. Last year, I was invited to participate in the Southbank Jaipur Fest and did. I have no idea who sponsored that festival or the earlier ones to which I was invited but, since I didn’t meet with any demonstrations or receive any letters asking me to boycott the event, I conclude that the sponsors were wholesome capitalists or individuals. On each of the times I was invited there was never any attempt to editorially influence what I would say or how I would say it and I have never heard from any participants of any influence the sponsors could have had over the content of their presentations. (One of the organizers did say to one of the participants he ap-


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


proached “Dhondy? He is not an intellectual!” — a remark for which I was wholly grateful as only Frenchmen and Bengalis would describe themselves as “intellectuals”). The JLF in its original location is a high-profile event. The Southbank one less so. I genuinely wonder how many people participating in or attending these festivals pay any attention to the logos of sponsors printed on the programs. Now if a prominent, world-wide fried chicken franchise was handing out free samples of their product at the event, I would certainly have noticed and I may even have acquired a taste for the fatty, unhealthy product and patronized their branches subsequently. But how would I, or anyone for that matter, support Vedanta? Will the company advertise themselves as patrons of literature in order to attract and get capital investment? Is that the benefit they hope to get? On this occasion I won’t stand outside the Royal Festival Hall on the Thames Southbank carrying a placard or shouting slogans. Such a demonstration will certainly embarrass the organizers, the writers who attend and the controllers of the Southbank complex which houses the festival. I look forward to the row in the British press. I have, though, a suggestion for my friends, the organizers. Why not invite a severe environmental critic of Vedanta and of other despoilers of the planet onto one or more platforms in the interest of “free thought and expression”? It will prove the bona fides of the JLF platform, spread awareness about the bad practices of Vedanta to a much wider audience and possibly get a reaction from Vedanta, which would signal their motivations. Farrukh Dhondy is an author, screenplay writer and columnist based in London.


May 27, 2016

Sewa International & VYASA Conducts Stop Diabetes Movement (SDM) Yoga Camp


HOUSTON: Sewa International

and VYASA in collaboration with Jain Society of Houston, organized a 10-day yoga camp from May 13 to 22 at Jain Society of Houston. This was the 4th camp for the year and 9th such camp in last 2 years. The camp is specially designed for diabetic and pre diabetic people to help them manage and control diabetes with Yoga routine and holistic approach. SDM camps are being conducted all across the country. The 10 days of camp included Yoga Routine on daily basis, Lectures from Doctors and Specialist on Diabetes,

Stress, Food Habits and how to manage better. At the closing ceremony held at Keshav Smruti participants shared about the transformation the yoga camp brought in their lifestyle and in managing diabetes. One of the participants Nat said “Our experience has been very positive and I will definitely recommend it to friends. Overall I will give 99 out of 100 “. Vik mentioned “It (SDM Yoga) will definitely reduce the dosage of medicines I take. I believe in it and will definitely recommend it to anybody I know.” Dinesh Shah presented information on VYASA and Kavita Tewary (SEWA Houston’s Project Coordi-

Jain Society of Houston and to all the volunteers. A delicious and nutritious potluck meal was served to end the program on a high note. The yoga camp was extremely successful and the participants are now looking forward to the ten weeks follow up sessions. We will conduct the next set of camps, in various parts of Houston, from September 16 to 25.

nator) informed audience about the wonder community work which SEWAhas been doing locally, nationally and internationally. Arun Kankani highlighted about the need to step up and help others by volunteering. The program concluded with the camp lead coordinator, Nikhil Jain, offering vote of thanks to all the participants, doctors (Dr Satyanarayan Chilukuri, Dr Sejal Desai, Dr Ulupi Choksi), Camp yoga therapists Daksha Shah, SDM core organizing team (Vibhuti Shah, Arvind Thekdi, Anuja Deshpande, Naina Patel & Noopur Saptnekar), VYASA Houston Directors Vishwarup Nanjundappa & Smitha Mallaiah, Urvashi Jain of



All these camps are free of charge and have a small deposit which is refunded once participants complete all the sessions. Those who want to know more about SDM Diabetes Yoga camp or want to participate or volunteer, email us at info-sdm@sewausa.org or contact 713-834-4909/832-5175866.

20 May 27, 2016 Jeremy Malhotra Graduates from Columbia University BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

NEW YORK: The white tents on

the South Lawn stood out in the bright sunshine under incredibly blue skies as the new graduates from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs strode across the stage to shake the hand of the Dean, Merit E. Janow and be formally recognized for their achievement. The graduation address was given by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, who is a Senior Adviser at Lazard and Chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. She ended by revealing the harrowing experience she had as the first Finance Minister of Nigeria when her 80 year-old mother was kidnapped and held for ransom for a week unless Iweala resigned and stopped her investigation into fraud. She did not and her mother was rescued safely. She cited this example to illustrate the need to be practical in leadership positions. The day before, on May 18, under equally brilliant conditions, the entire

The new graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Jeremy Malhotra with his mom Dr. Claudine Giacchetti, dad Jawahar Malhotra and brother Sanjay Stefan Malhotra after the commencement ceremony on May 19, 2016

15,000 graduating students sitting in the temporary bleachers, were


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conferred their degrees in the North Lawn, by the Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and they heard a speech from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon in which he implored them to focus on the challenge of climate change by not voting for politicians who deny the problem, not buying the products that aren’t sustainable and “for heaven’s sake, turn off the lights!”. Among the graduates was Jeremy Gyan Giacchetti Malhotra who received his Masters degree from SIPA, with specialization in International Security Policy. He started his degree in September 2014 and prior to that was working with a NGO in Washington, DC. Previous to that, Malhotra worked in the US Peace Corps for two years in the western African country of Togo. He received his Bachelors from the College of Media and Communications at the University of Houston, Main Campus in 2009. He is the son of Indo American News Publisher Jawahar Malhotra.


Lure of the Mandolin Awakens Prodigal Talent in Giri Peters

Giri with the instrument – the mandolin - that has made him a phenomenon in Bluegrass music

Giri Peters and his younger sister Uma with their grand dad, Kul Bhushan Uppal


HOUSTON: Imagine the surprise

of the parents when their son wanted a violin at age 3, when other kids are barely learning basic motor skills. “He was adamant about it and by the age of 5, we started him in lessons,” recalled his mom, Dr. Sarika Peters, after the family had moved from Houston to Nashville, Tennessee where she took up a job with Vanderbilt University in 2009. IntheCountryMusicCapitalofthe World, Giri (short for Girish) Peters became enchanted with the sound of the mandolin after he saw the Great Rodeo Sessions with Chris Thile, a mandolinist, and Stuart Duncan, both well-known Bluegrass musicians. “He told me that he wanted a mandolin,” remembered Sarika in a phone call interview with Indo American News. Not far behind was Giri’s sister Uma, three years younger, who took up the fiddle and banjo and often accompanies her brother in performances. Giri started taking fiddle lessons with Deanie Richardson and mandolin lessons with Ashby Frank. Having grandkids who were so musically talented, and that too in Western Country music, and within that realm, in the specialized arena of Bluegrass, was hardly what Kul Bhushan Uppal and his wife Suman


expected, but they are delighted. “I still can’t believe it – he was born into this,” said the proud granddad. Uppal moved to the US from India in 1961 and later came down to the Houston area in 1979 to work as a chemical engineer with Amoco Chemicals (since acquired by BP) in Clear Lake. He has been a fixture in the Indian community, volunteering on several boards and for many events. Though he is now retired, Suman continues to work in administration of a doctor’s office. The Uppals have two daughters, Sarika, 45, who is married to Dr. Sean Peters (both are psychologists) and Pranika, 42, who is married to Samir Sinha and has two daughters, Revati, 8, and Anisha, 6, and lives in Houston. Though Sarika can play the piano and flute and read music, the genre that Giri latched on to, Bluegrass “is really learned by ear and has many improvisations, similar to Indian classical ragas,” explained Sarika. “Even the renowned table player Zakir Hussain has played with Bluegrass musicians.” She said that Giri has listened to Indian instrumental music, and he likes the Dobro guitar, which has a sound similar to a veena. CONTINUED ON PAGE



May 27, 2016


Cultural Summer Camps with Themed Creative Workshops

MANVEL: Global Organization

for Divinity (G.O.D.) USA will conduct two unique Indian culture camps in Pearland area this June. “Vibrant India” day camp for kids aged 5 to 8 years will be from June 6 to 10, and “Cosmic Connections” for children/youth aged 9 to 15 years will be from June 13 to 17. Both camps will be held at Namadwaar Prayer House located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel TX 77578 in the Pearland area, only a mile from SH 288. The Vibrant India camp will provide an experience of India’s colorful diversity for young children through several creative workshops and interactive sessions in photography, poetry writing, ethnic art, jewelry-making, cricket, gardening, music, yoga, dance, culinary arts, a field trip and more. The Cosmic Connections day camp will focus on India’s ancient wisdom and treasures, and their connections to modern science and contemporary life. There will be interesting themed sessions on creative writing, photography, story-telling/public speaking, music and emotions, ethnic art and sculpting, and Ayurvedic cooking, apart from an introduction to meditation, and many games and several fun activities. All the special workshops will be conducted by experts in the fields.

First Ever

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Telugu Radio in Houston Children attending either camp will have a truly unique, enriching and fun experience. Extended care is available at a nominal charge. The camp cost includes t-shirt, snacks and field trip. Participants have to bring their own vegetarian lunch. Register online at: Vibrant India Camp: http:// godivinity.org/eventregistration/?ee=29

Cosmic Connections Camp: http://godivinity.org/eventregistration/?ee=31 Please call 281-516-1596 or email houston.god@godivinity.org with any questions. Also check out the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook. com/events/206127199780151/ permalink/206774923048712/ for event updates.

Online at www.radiohungama.net & Every Sunday 12 PM to 3 PM CST On

KCHN AM 1050 Contact: Sridhar Dadi at




22 May 27, 2016



Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before June 01, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

Solution Next Week

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes P

Baingan De Pakore (Fried Eggplant Fritters)

akoras – as well as samosas - have become so popular worldwide that these Indian snacks have become universal world foods, like quiche, donuts, dumplings and sushi. Pakoras are inexpensive and quick to make, and they are hard to resist: if you eat one, you’ll probably not stop and will eat many more. And among the vegetable variety, baingan (eggplant) pakoras have a unique taste that people really enjoy. Because pakoras are essentially vegetables covered in batter and then fried (though some make paneer or meat ones too), people sometimes make a whole meal, rolling them up in a roti, and eating it with a little chutney. What makes all the difference in taste is the spicy chickpea flour batter or besan and then deep frying it. When making pakoras, not all vegetables turn out tasting the same, and the usual ones used are potatoes, onions, cauliflower, sometimes fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves, and of course, paneer. But, I have realized that one overlooked vegetable is baingan (eggplant), usually sliced length-wise and about an inch thick to give the best taste. And of course, pakoras need to eaten hot from the frying pan in order to be best appreciated. In some places, pakoras are made of singhara atta (water chestnut flour) but the taste is not as satisfying as using besan. Other forms of pakoras are the tempura batter in Japanese cuisine or the chicken nuggets that are so popular these days. Ingredients: 1.5 cups besan (chickpea flour) Water – enough to make a running paste 1 medium baingan (eggplant) – round or long 2 cups tael (vegetable oil) for deep frying ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds) Spices to taste: namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) Directions:

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1. Wash the eggplant and cut length wise, about 4 inches long, and about 1 inch thick slices. Eggplant cut in round slices doesn’t give the same taste. 2. Place the sliced eggplant in a bowl and sprinkle with namak and mirch and let them stay for 30 minutes to marinate the vegetable.

3. In a bowl, pour 1.5 cups of besan, mix in ajwain, namak and mirch and then while slowly pouring in water, knead the dough till it becomes a soft, running paste. 4. Heat the oil in a karahi (wok). Throw in a small dab of batter to make sure the oil is very hot. Take a slice of eggplant, dip it into the batter then release it into the hot oil. Keep doing this till the surface of the oil is covered with battered pieces. 5. When one side is slightly brown, turn it over using a sieved spatula and turn over a few times to make sure both sides are cooked. Be careful that they do not become dark brown. Take them out and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.

6. Serve hot with some tomato ketchup or mint or tamarind chutney. 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 (since renamed Faisalabad), 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.



people will enjo coffee and then just y their morning – or afternoon – tea or le waiting to clean th ave their cups or mugs on the counter, em later. If you do you’ll soon see a st this often enough , ain develop in the cup or mug and af awhile, the brown ter stain is hard to rem ove, as you have to scrub hard to get th em The best way to av off. oi it right away, just fi d the brown stain, if you can’t wash ll your cup or mug ha and let it sit till yo u can wash them, lf way with water The stains won’t be able to set into the ce white for a long tim ramic and your cup or mug will stay e.

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May 27, 2016




Story: Indian Sarbjit is wrongfully

imprisoned in a Pakistani jail - can his sister Dalbir have him freed? Review: Straight away, Sarbjit is Randeep Hooda’s triumph. In 1990, a simple Punjabi farmer Sarbjit (Randeep) drunkenly wanders across the India-Pakistan border - a milestone in a field - merrily singing ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’, suddenly captured and tossed into Pakistani prison. This is no ordinary prison Sarbjit is locked in a box, drowned in water and rats, tortured to say he’s Ranjit, an Indian accused of terrorism in Pakistan. As Sarbjit struggles to survive, his sister Dalbir (Aishwarya) struggles to make the authorities admit Sarbjit’s identity - and free him. With Dalbir running from haughty CM to indifferent PM, eating under dusty trees, holding dharnas in streets, Sarbjit’s home slowly collapses. His father dies, his wife Sukh (Richa) languishes, his daughters are torn between frustration and grief. Can Sarbjit ever come home? Randeep Hooda brings Sarbjit to life with utter sweetness - ever-smiling, no bitterness mars Sarbjit’s face. As in 12 Years A Slave, the hope to live and love keeps Sarbjit going, his nails and teeth growing black as he gets an annual bar of soap, cherishing a fragment of moonlight,

excitedly washing his rags before his family visits - after 18 years of his imprisonment. Whether he’s eating a sweet, stroking a cat or answering, “Ilzam?” with a bewildered “Pata nahin”, Randeep imbues Sarbjit with beautiful, powerful humanity. Aishwarya presents Dalbir, fraying, yet growing under strain. There are theatrical moments like Dalbir addressing a Red Fort rally or ticking off fatwa fans in Lahore. In trying to show her strain, Dalbir’s make-up grows too grey, the effort too palpable. But scenes like Dalbir being hit by gunmen of the Punjab CM who watches with elegant disinterest - move you. Richa plays Sukh with quiet intensity while Darshan plays Sarbjit’s lawyer Awais with a breezi-

ness that’s a tad over the top. Yet, the story deftly weaves in a larger backdrop, from Pokhran to Parliament, 26/11 to Kasab, the editing sharp, the visuals - bluegreen skies, grim dark cells, Sukh’s red ‘lapstick’, Sarbjit’s blackened ankles - memorable. The direction depicts a human being and a human truth - individuals often face prisons of politics where the innocent can be shackled in darkness. Sarbjit breaks your heart - but in contrast to India-Pak fantasies like ‘Gadar’, it bears no blame. It makes you cherish your loved ones - and appreciate others too. Sarbjit makes a point. Humans come and go. Humanity survives. indiatimes.com


Anushka Sharma is Good, Says ‘Sultan’ Star Salman Khan

ollywood superstar Salman Khan has praised his ‘Sultan’ co-star Anushka Sharma’s talent. “She (Anushka) is good. It’s good to work with people, especially with talented people,” Salman told reporters here when asked about his experience of working with the ‘PK’actress. This will be the first time Salman and Anushka will be seen sharing screen space together. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, ‘Sultan’ will see Salman Khan in the role of a wrestler, and he has also gained weight for his character. Even Anushka has undergone rigorous training for six weeks for her role as a wrestler in ‘Sultan’.Asked how’s the shoot going for ‘Sultan’, the “Wanted” actor said: “A lot of hard work involved...one of the most difficult till now.” The film, produced by Aditya Chopra under the Yash Raj Films

banner, is slated to release on July 8. Salman was here to perform at the second edition of the Times of India Film Awards at the Dubai International Stadium. The audience was left spellbound as the ‘Dabangg’ star shook a leg on numbers like ‘Aaj ki party’, ‘Love me’, ‘Jalwa’, ‘Ole Ole’, ‘Main khiladi tu anari’ and ‘Hero’. indiatimes.com

Paresh Rawal May 30, 1950


Sonakshi Sinha June 2, 1987

24 May 27, 2016 Royal Challengers in Final after de Villiers’ Rescue Act BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY Royal Challengers Bangalore 159 for 6 (de Villiers 79*, Abdulla 33*, Kulkarni 4-14, Jadeja 2-21) beat Gujarat Lions 158 (Smith 73, Watson 4-29, Abdulla 2-38) by four wickets BANGALORE (ESPNCricinfo): Tumbling wickets. A high but not out-of-reach asking rate. Only the lower order for company. An atypically dry and grippy pitch provided the conditions for such a situation - usually more common in 50-overs cricket than in T20 - to arise in the first Qualifier of IPL 2016. AB de Villiers was the specialist batsman, and when Iqbal Abdulla joined him in the 10th over of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chase of 159, they needed 91 to win off 62 balls with four wickets in hand. The Chinnaswamy surface—still good to bat on, but slower than usual—had torn up the script that the match had been expected to follow. There was no uncontrollable torrent of run scoring from either set of toporder batsmen. Gujarat Lions were 9 for 3 after being sent in. Then in the chase, Royal Challengers lost Virat Kohli for a duck and slipped to 29 for 5. Then, when Ravindra Jadeja had Stuart Binny lbw sweeping - though replays showed ball hitting pad marginally outside off stump - they were 68 for 6. It began drizzling soon after Abdulla’s entrance, with Royal Challengers needing 63 from 36 balls. De Villiers was at the non-striker’s end. Abdulla, on 8 off 14, slashed at a gentle, back-of-a-length ball from Dwayne Smith, and missed. Kohli - who had struggled to contain his temper right through the game - gestured angrily from the dugout, telling Abdulla to take a single and give de Villiers the strike. Abdulla steered the next ball to deep point. De Villiers, on 47, faced Smith now. He stepped down the pitch, Smith shortened his length, and a tennis-style flat-bat hit flew to the straight boundary. The next ball was fuller, and de Villiers miscued his lofted hit, skewing it high, with the outside half of his bat. It was a rare mis-hit in an innings of surfacedefying fluency. It may have been caught at long-off in a bigger ground, but it cleared the leaping Aaron

SPORTS Sania, Martina Enter Paris Second Round

Sania & Martina get through second round of the French Open


AB de Villiers creams a six down the ground, Gujarat Lions v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016, Qualifier 1, Bangalore.

Finch in Bangalore. It seemed like a sign. This would be de Villiers’ day. On strike to the first ball of the next over, he shuffled across to off stump even before Shadab Jakati released his left-arm dart. Having covered the line, he quickly sunk to one knee and swung the ball away over the square leg boundary. When Abdulla swatted a mis-hit six of his own later in the over, Royal Challengers had the final in their sights, needing only 35 off 25. They got home with 10 balls left to play, with de Villiers having just enough time to unfurl a couple more spectacular shots, the pick of them a reverse-sweep off a Praveen Kumar delivery pitching outside leg stump. The win took Royal Challengers into the final, while Gujarat Lions will have another crack at it when they take on the winner of Wednesday’s Eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. Abdulla played a key role with the ball too, dismissing Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch in the second over of Lions’ innings after Kohli had sent them in. Kohli may have used his left-arm spinner that early simply because two righthanders were opening for Lions, and two left-handers were waiting in the middle order, but he may also

have observed that the pitch was unusually dry. Whatever the case, he had extra cover on the rope and mid-off in the circle for McCullum, and the charging New Zealander failed to reach the pitch of the ball, and sharp turn forced him to slice wider than intended, into the hands of the fielder at long-off. Finch closed his bat-face too early three balls later, and the ball popped up to slip. When Shane Watson bounced Raina out in the fourth over, Lions were 9 for 3, sinking even before the contest had really begun. Dwayne Smith had swapped batting slots with Finch in Lions’ last game, against Mumbai Indians, and had looked in fluent touch while making a calm, unbeaten 37 to steer them home in a chase of 173. He struck the ball just as well here, in a more difficult situation, picking up a pair of boundaries off Abdulla early in his innings, sitting back and pouncing when he dropped marginally short, and following up with a hooked six off Chris Jordan. But the effect of a poor Powerplay —Gujarat only made 23 in that period—rippled through the rest of their innings. Lions’run rate remained under six an over even after Smith and Dinesh Karthik plundered 16 off the 10th, bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. It was still under seven when they

tonked Abdulla for 17 in the 13th over. Karthik fell in the 14th, middling an attempted fine-leg scoop onto his leg stump, Ravindra Jadeja followed in the 16th, and Smith having hit two more leg-side sixes in that time - holed out in the 18th. The runs still kept coming, Watson conceding 21 and picking up two wickets in an incident-packed 19th, and Lions scored 100 in their last 10 overs. A total of 158 still looked inadequate given Royal Challengers’ batting strength, but Dhawal Kulkarni had run a battering ram through their top order within four overs of the chase. First, Kohli played on, trying to cut without moving his feet. Then Gayle, pushed back with a series of short balls, swung across the line of a slower ball and missed. Then came an all-format jaffa that swerved away from just short of a good length and induced KL Rahul to edge to slip. Jadeja then got in the act, getting the ball to stop on Watson, who swatted across the line too soon. And when Sachin Baby slapped Kulkarni straight to short cover, Royal Challengers were gasping for air, the Powerplay not yet done. But they still had de Villiers.Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.


ARIS: Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were tested by Russian girls Daria Kasatkina and Alexandra Panova before getting through to second round of the women doubles event in French Open on Wednesday. Sania and Martina — the reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champions prevailed 7-6(4) 6-2 in the opening round of the clay court Major, which they need to win to complete their non-calendar Slam. Sania and Martina lost their serve thrice in the match as they battled 12 breakpoints in the contest. They next face the winners of the match between the pairs of Karin Knapp/ Mandy Minella and Nao Hibino/Eri Hozumi. After trading a few breaks, the two pairs were level 5-5 in the opening set. The top seeds had a set point in the 12th game but their fighting rivals stretched it to the tie breaker, which was again a tight affair but Sania and Martina prevailed. The world number one team broke Kasatkina and Panova in the very first game of the second set but only to be broken back in the next. However, they broke them one more time and held their own for a 4-2 lead. Another break set them up for serving out the match which they did with ease, at love. India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea outclassed Frenchmen Stephane Robert andAlexandre Sidorenko 6-2, 6-2 in a one-sided encounter in 56 minutes. The sixth seeded pair BopannaMergea started the first set on a good note, taking a comfortable 5-2 lead over the French pair. From there on it was an easy task for the Indo-Romanian duo to clinch the first set 6-2. The second set was a replay of the first one as Bopanna-Mergea took a 4-1 lead and then grabbed the second set 6-2.

May 27, 2016

Amazon, Flipkart or Snapdeal: Who will win India’s E-commerce Wars?

India Should Resist Being too Ambitious About Growth: Raghuram Rajan

MUMBAI: Reserve Bank of India



eather, access and traffic make India an ideal market for e-commerce. Growing Internet access, largely through smartphones, and the increasing emphasis on cashless transactions make it a potentially lucrative market for e-commerce. The country’s sheer size and its population make it a potentially big market for e-commerce. Not surprisingly, Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are battling it out for supremacy in this market, estimated to be worth $38 billion this year, according to industry lobby group Assocham. Still, success will be more a function of how these three deal with the regulatory and market conditions than how they do with each other. India’s policy regarding foreign investment in retail is fluid. On paper, the country allows foreign investment in supermarkets and department stores, although this policy was crafted by the earlier government and the current dispensation in New Delhi, while not keen to undo a reformist policy, has made it clear that it will not sign off on any applications. Its policy on e-commerce is just a little

more complex. India allows 100% foreign direct investment in marketplaces, which provide a technology, payment and delivery platform that connects buyers and sellers. And it places curbs on the extent any one seller can dominate the marketplace, and on discounts. The regulatory regime is likely transient. India should, sooner than later, allow foreign investment in supermarkets and also in e-commerce sites that are hybrid models allowing direct retail and serving as a marketplace (Amazon follows this model in many countries, including the US). But until then, the challenge for Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal is not to fall foul of it. The situation is exacerbated by traditional retailers who have taken both the legal and the lobbying route to prevent the march of the marketplaces. Some of this opposition comes from small so-called kirana or mom-and-pop stores. And some definitely comes from Indian Big Retail that would like some protection against deep-pocketed marketplaces. Indeed, a Nielsen report in 2015 showed that online retail in India is growing more at the expense of modern and organized retail than at the cost of kirana stores.

That’s the first challenge. The second is to build a brand and, through that, brand loyalty. Through 2014 and 2015, the marketplaces have been big advertisers on TV and in print, proof that the ability of the digital medium to build brands is still suspect. Despite that, none has managed to build brand loyalty. In part, the marketplaces themselves are to blame. They have used their capital, including venture capital, to fund discounts—to such an extent that many shoppers have been conditioned to expect significant discounts, sometimes in excess of 50%. To be sure, many have now gone slow on such sales, and will likely go slower, given the new government policy. The brand, and brand loyalty challenge remain. The third is to get the supply chain and customer service right—not the easiest thing to do when millions of products are being sold to millions of customers across a few hundred cities and towns. Of the three marketplaces, only Amazon seems to have really focused on this, and the results are there for all to see. Still, it’s far too early to pick a winner. livemint.com


(RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan has said India should restrain itself from being “too ambitious” at a time when the world is full of uncertainties and instead focus on sensible policies to ensure a sustainable economic growth. “Given the great uncertainty about outlook and policies of others in these times, a country like India should try to take sensible measures without getting too ambitious, as we have done so far,” Rajan said, delivering a speech at the Mahtab memorial lecture in Bhubaneswar on Saturday evening. “This will serve as a sound basis for a strong and sustainable Indian growth as the world economy picks up,” Rajan, whose remarks comparing the Indian economy with an one-eyed king in a blind world led to a controversy, added. The Indian government has been working hard to fasten the gross domestic product (GDP) growth and aspiring to take it to the double-digit mark from the current 7.5% in the medium term. It has, however, adhered to key targets like the fiscal deficit number and also made inflation-targeting a key objective for the central bank. Rajan said the world is growing “extremely slowly”, with the factors differing from one country to other


and termed notions of a de-coupling of growth between industrial countries and emerging markets as “illusory”. “Easy and unconventional monetary policy in industrial countries could increasingly be a part of the problem,” the academic-turnedcentral banker said and reiterated this creates problems around capital flows for emerging markets. He called central banks around the world to “start thinking more internationally” and stressed on the need to “start discussing new rules of the monetary policy game in the international setting.” As such a goal will take years, an emerging country like India should focus on macro-stabilisation, building buffers and reducing vulnerabilities, Rajan said. “Good policy is the first line of defence—including our focus on controlling fiscal deficits, reforms like the Bankruptcy Code and Aadhaar, and our steady fight against inflation,” he added. The country has also taken other additional measures like control inflows, intervening in the foreign exchange market as a macro prudential measure to reduce volatility, and maintaining sufficient foreign exchange reserves to be able to withstand a sudden stop in capital inflows, Rajan said. livemint.com

26 May 27, 2016 Lure of the Mandolin Awakens Prodigal Talent in Giri Peters CONTINUED FROM PAGE


Life with a musical prodigy can be challenging for a family, as Sarika says that both Giri, 11, and Uma, 8, practice in the evenings and weekends after the Montessori school they attend. Giri’s natural musical talent and ability has flourished in the musical scene of Nashville where he often plays at the Bluegrass jam sessions at Hickory Hollow. He has recently released a CD of 11 tracks called Just Whittlin’Around, in which he has two original tunes, one of which is Zoey’s Reel which has gotten airtime on Sirius XM satellite radio, and Spunky Creek. “The tune is named after our dog, Zoey who like to howl along to music she likes,” smiled Sarika. Giri has appeared on PBS WoodSongs, and has performed as a guest with Country and Bluegrass music artists Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Alan Bibey and Grasstowne, Sister

Job Posting:

Sadie, The Roland White Band, the Vickie Vaughn Band, and New Monday Night at the Station Inn. He has won numerous contests, was the Entertainer of the Year for best instrumental performance, and received the Bobo Driver Fiddle Award for Country Musician Beginners at the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree in 2015. So, if you’re a fan of Country or Bluegrass music, keep tuned in as the next big star that you could be listening to could well be Indian kids born right here in Houston! You can learn more about Giri on his website http://www.giripetersmusic.com. He is also featured on http://www.tomorrowsbluegrassstars.org/giri-peters/ and his CD Just Whittlin’ Around is available on cdbaby at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/giripeters.

News Photographer/Live Truck Operator - Temporary

KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O located in Houston, TX, has an opening for a temporary News Photographer/Live Truck Operator. Candidates should have a minimum three years experience in all facets of television news photography including lighting, audio and editing, and show exceptional knowledge and creativity in these areas. Applicants should have a good eye for news photography, be able to work in the field unsupervised or with various reporters and be able to work in deadline situations. The ideal candidate will have experience or be able to operate a microwave live truck and must be able to lift and carry 30 lbs. of equipment. All interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Reference Job ID: 366024BR on all materials submitted.

Job Posting:


IT Broadcast Systems Specialist

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX is seeking an experienced Broadcast and IT Systems Specialist who will be responsible for providing technical and IT troubleshooting for all systems. Additional responsibilities include installing, configuring and maintaining broadcast and IT equipment, interfacing with third party vendors and support technicians as well as test and update software. Will provide back-up Master Control support as needed as well as facility support and other duties as needed. The ideal candidate will meet the following criteria: Associate degree in a television or IT related field, or at least five years experience in the television or IT related industry. Advanced knowledge of computerized television broadcast equipment and systems including but not limited to master control and newsroom automation, asset management systems, non-linear editing systems, and networked storage systems. Strong administrative and troubleshooting skills for computer workstations, laptops, and servers. Knowledge of IT networks, switches, routers, and firewalls. Proven track record managing projects. Ability to work singly as well as with clients and colleagues. Ability to work a schedule that may include weekdays, nights, weekends, and holidays. Excellent organizational skills. Must be able to lift 50lbs. Must be selfmotivated and possess strong interpersonal skills All interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Reference Job ID: 371167BR on all materials submitted. No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

Part Time Associate Producer

If writing is your passion – here’s your chance to work for a station that has taken producing to a higher level. KTRK-TV, the ABC O&O station in Houston, TX is accepting applications for a part-time Associate Producer. The person hired for this position will write and edit stories for our broadcasts and produce news cut-ins. You will also produce content for our digital platforms and social media. If you can write in active voice, understand how detail can add color to a story, and have the ability to sift through information to find the most interesting lead – we want to hear from you. Strong writing, video editing and social media skills a must. Applicants must be willing to work overnights, weekends and holidays. To be considered applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, reference job #371168BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. In addition, please mail writing samples to: Robin Freese, Executive Producer, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005.

No Telephone Calls Please No Telephone Calls Please

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

Part Time Graphic Artist

ABC-13/KTRK-TV, the ABC/Disney owned station in Houston, TX, has a part-time position for an experienced Graphic Artist. The ideal candidate will have a degree in graphic design, web, marketing or related field; demonstrable expertise in graphic design, and 2-3 years professional experience using Adobe Creative Suite, to create content and graphics for broadcast TV, interactive or multimedia projects, and social media. Experience producing broadcast graphics and 3-d experience is a plus. We offer a collaborative and creative work environment. To be considered for the position you must apply online at disneycareers.com, ref job #372222BR

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting: Part Time Non-Linear News Editor KTRK-TV, and ABC owned station in Houston, TX has an opening for a part time NonLinear News Editor. Candidates should have experience in editing on non-linear systems as well as knowledge of the Digital Newsroom and understanding of the digital workflow for broadcast news, in a deadline intensive environment. Serious candidates should also have a working knowledge of a server based digital media workflow. Candidates should be able to edit in deadline situations, be creative, precise and be able to work fast. You must be able to take direction, and be a “Team Player” who is not afraid of an intense news environment. Hours will vary depending on the needs of the department, so flexibility to work a varied schedule is required. Candidates must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references.

Please upload a cover letter, resume, link to online portfolio, and list of references.

Interested applicants should also send video tape sample of your work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005.

No Telephone Calls Please

Please Reference Job ID: 369496BR on all materials submitted. No Telephone Calls Please

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


May 27, 2016




May 27, 2016