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Friday, June 06 2014 | Vol. 33, No. 23

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Indo American erican News

Baba’s Crusade Succeeds

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

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YOUNG GUNS!

Leadership Grads!!

The Youth Leadership Development Program Board of Directors after the 2014 Class graduation on Saturday, May 31 at India House. President Sushma Bhan is at extreme left, first row and Chairman Nat Krishnamurthy is on extreme left, second row.

P14 & 15

Spelling Bee Champs! The finalists posed for pictures with the judges, emcee and sponsors on Saturday, May 31 at India House.

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June 06, 2014

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COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

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Just One Letter Made the Difference in Exciting Spelling Bee

Malla Mekala, whose company Infodat was a sponsor of the Spelling Bee, encouraged the kids to do well.

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: “Usually I am very

this case I was really happy to see them carrying on.” He was refer-

Dr. Virendra K. Mathur, a Trustee of India House, was the resolution arbitrator in case of disputes.

the ages of 7 to 14 took part in the contest. “They were so good,” he

early morning, each responding to the words that were thrown out at them by the two judges, Ruby Kenneth and Joseph Elkhadem in the upstairs rooms as another event concerning older, high school; kids took place in the main hall downstairs (see YLDP story

on page 15). Dr. V.K. Mathur, a Trustee of India House served as the monitor and arbitrator in case of disputes over the judging. The kids were broken down into two categories by age brackets; under 10 and 10 to 14 and from the 30, it was narrowed down to four kids in each grouping for the finals. Kumar is the General Manager of India House and is usually omnipresent managing the facility and making sure it runs smoothly during events, but this time he was actually the emcee for this first initiative by India House to reach out to the younger demographic. He explained the rules of engagement to the kids and the just over 50 people who attended, mostly parents and friends. Mathur added that the Bee was an inspiration to him as he was delighted to see how well so many young kids had prepared and competed. Before the finals started, five young girls from the Natraj School of Dance came onstage for a short dance performance to a Bollywood song, while Kusum Sharma,

The two judges, Ruby Kenneth (middle) and Joseph Elkhadem (right) (with Dr. Mathur) clearly called out each word and gave its definition and usage in a sentence.

concerned when events run over and get late,” said Vipin Kumar at the mic just before the start of the Spelling Bee finals , “but in

ring to the qualifying rounds of the first ever India House Spelling Bee held at the facility this past Saturday, May 31 in which 30 kids from

added, “that they exhausted the list of 60 words that the judges had prepared!” The kids had been at it since

India House General Manager Vipin Kumar was the emcee for the Spelling Bee. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

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Punjab Times Vol 15, Issue 23, June 7, 2014

June 06, 2014

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sfl 15, aMk 23, 7 jUn, 2014 (32)

Organizers: Gurminder Singh Padda, Hitpaul Singh Sandhar, Gurbir Singh Boparai, Satbir Singh Rana Raghbir Singh PANCAL (RB), Manohar Singh Mann, Bhupinder Singh, Aman Singh Sidhu, Harbhajan Singh

Contact Info.: Manohar Mann 281-220-9353, Bhupinder Singh 832-607-1168 Aman Sidhu 832-863-4756, Gurbir Singh Boparai 832-797-8515 GRAND SPONSORS: PAUL MOORE, SUKHWINDER SINGH (SHAH Ji ), SUMER SINGH PINGLIA, TARA ENERGY PLATINUM SPONSORS: CHARANJEEV S Roy, DR HARDAM SINGH AZAD, SHAVINDER MADAN, HIRA SINGH CHAMDAL, AROON SINGH PATEL DIAMOND SPONSORS: BOB SIDHU, HARJIT SINGH GALHOTRA, NARINDER SINGH NAGRA, SUNNY GREWAL, PRITAM SINGH TOOR, PATRICK MANN, DR.GURNAIB SIDHU, DR. H S NARANG, MANJEET SINGH GHUMAN, GURCHARAN SINGH DHALIWAL, CHEEMA BROTHERS, SHAMSHER SINGH, DALJIT SINGH (Fuffar ) GOLD SPONSORS: BAWA JEWELERS, B&G WHOLESALE, POTENTIA ENERGY, SALEEM LAKHANI, GAGAN MANN, ANKUL DASS, BACHCHA TIWARI, ANOOP SINGH, SAMPURAN SINGH, TIRATH SINGH KHERA, HARGOPAL SINGH SIDHU, GURDEEP SINGH JAMMU, MOHAN SINGH GREWAL, JASVINDER SINGH, MANJEET SINGH DHINDSA, JASVINDER SINGH KHANGURA, HARDEEP SINGH GREWAL, PARWINDER SINGH GILL, BHUPINDER SINGH BRARA, NAJJAR SINGH, BHAI AMAR SINGH, BHUPINDER SINGH DAYAL, GURMIT PADDA, DJ GEORGE, GAJJAN SINGH, KAMALJEET S RAI, DEEPAK S RAI, SATNAM PADDA, BALDEV PADDA, SUKHWINDER SINGH LALLY, JOGA S SANDHU, SIMERPAL S GREWAL, HARDIP S MANN, MANBIR S MANN, Taranjit S Pinglia, Sohan S Kalkat, Dawinder S Khera, Dawinder S Chatha, Kewal S Sohal, Harwinder S Chatha, Sardool S Mann, Jagmit S Mann, Dr. Satbir S Chhina, Balkar S Heyre, Tarlochan S Sandhu, Baldev S Mann, Jarnail S Shah, Parminder & Mohinder S (Baytown), Raghbir Singh, Sukhwinder Singh ( Kala ), Gurminder S Aujla, Malak Singh (Sethi), Gurdev Singh, Nanak Singh, Harnek Singh, Yadwinder Singh, Malkit Singh, Gurmej Singh, Pritpal S Ghuman, Avtar S Mann, Happy Watta, Hardit S Sekhon, Satwant S Bassi, Pal S Shemar, Kewal S Shemar, Jasbir S Soodan SILVER SPONSORS: MOON JEWELERS, GURDEV SINGH SIDHU, HARMANDEEP SINGH DHILLON, PREET INDER SINGH (JUDGE), KARAMJEET SINGH VIRDI, PARWINDER SINGH GHOTRA, HARDEV SINGH MAND, MOHINDER SINGH SANDHU, DAULAT SINGH, GURMEET SINGH SAINI, GURKANWAL SINGH DHINDSA, SARABJEET SINGH MAND, HARJINDER SINGH MANN, BALWINDER SINGH, JASPAL SINGH, PRITPAL SINGH (PP), INDERPAL SINGH JOHAR, BALWINDER SINGH SIDHU, RAJ SINGH GILL, KAMAL OTAL, NAVDEEP SINGH SAINI, JAGTAR SINGH KANDOLA, UJJAGAR SINGH JASSAR, SATWINDER SINGH OTAL, AMRIK SINGH , TERLOCHAN SINGH, JOSE CARRILO, GURWINDER SINGH (G MONEY), HARWINDER SINGH HARRY, IKRAM SINGH, BHUPINDER S GILL, HARDEV SINGH DHILLON, HARDEV SINGH HAYER, RAMANDEEP DHILLON (RAMI), JAGTAR SINGH KANDOLA, LUCKY SINGH BAJWA, MANDEEP SINGH CHEEMA, CHARAN JEET SINGH SANDHU, BALBIR S PADDA, PYARA S DHALIWAL.

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COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

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Swami Ramdev Hailed as the Architect of the 2014 Election

From left: Shekhar Agrawal, Durga Agrawal, S. M. Gavai, Braham Aggarwal and Bhishma K. Agnihotri with Swami Ramdev in Delhi.

BY MANU SHAH He has been called “the voice of yoga”, the “fearless sanyasi” and “soldier saint.” Baba Ramdev has revived the ancient practice of yoga and Ayurveda and has millions of faithful followers globally. However for the past five years he did something as revolutionary – he “awakened the masses.” Swami Ramdev embarked on a crusade that unified India and infused a sense of patriotism among Indians. He started the Bharat Swabhiman Trust in 2009 and launched a mass movement campaign urging Indians to remove a Government which was turning a blind eye to the rampant corruption and scams in every sector and department.

Everywhere he went he spoke forcefully about the issues that were bringing India down – the black money, rising crime rates and the fall of the rupee and repeatedly hammered home the point that Indians are poor because we have been looted by the Mughals, the British East India Company and the Congress government. The announcement to make Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate was made by Swami Ramdev in Uttarkhand and he reiterated it at the inauguration of Acharyakulam in Haridwar on April 26, 2013 in the presence of Modi who was the Chief Guest in front of 50,000 people in Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar. On September 8, 2013 he prophesized that

the BJP would win more than 300 seats and in a few days his call to nominate Modi as the future Prime Minister of India was approved by the BJP. Swami Ramdev crisscrossed the country urging Indians everywhere to vote for the BJP and Modi who he described as a “blessing from God” and a “ray of hope.” He addressed 120 million people directly through more than 1,000 public meetings and debated energetically with every media channel and newspaper to reach the masses! An interesting fact that emerged during the BJP’s victory celebrations was that like Chanakya, he also undertook a vow or pratigya nine months ago that he would not enter Haridwar until the Congress

government was defeated! On January 5, 2014, Modi joined Swami Ramdev in celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust and offered the following praise:“Yog Ke Is Mahapavitra Abhiyan ko Pranam Karta Hoon.” (I offer my respects to this great selfless yogi’s campaign) Swami Ramdev’s outspokenness against the Congress party cost him dearly. There were regular crackdowns on Patanjali Yo-

gpeeth by Income Tax officials, he had hundreds of cases slapped on him, a peaceful protest by his supporters at the Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi was lathi charged by the police and he was not spared even on his international visits. Despite this, Swami Ramdev remained unflappable and laser focused on his goal to liberate India from the Congress. Swami Ramdev visited Houston in September 2013 and encouraged people to help him achieve his goal. He was given a standing ovation and his message was taken to heart. Volunteers called family, friends and even total strangers urging them to vote for Modi! As voting time neared, Swami Ramdev launched a support campaign “Dharmayuddha 2014” on March 23, where his volunteers went door to door to work for a 100% voter turnout. On May 13, 2013, the management of Patanjali Yogpeeth, USA and Bharat Swabhiman Overseas met Swami Ramdev in Delhi to discuss the work being done by the USA Trust. He inspired the members to move forward with greater speed to build the Patanjali Yoga and Research Center in Houston and to begin research collaborations with top US Universities and Medical Colleges on yoga and Ayurveda and is expected to visit the US this year.. There is little doubt that Swami Ramdev had a significant impact on the outcome of the elections. Modi, along with several high ranking BJP leaders, like Arun Jaitley and BJP President Rajnath Singh have publicly acknowledged his contribution in making the elections a national movement.

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.

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June 06, 2014

TRANSCENDENT D E I T I E S of I N D I

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THE EVERYDAY OCCURRENCE of THE DIVINE

ON VIEW THRU SEPTEMBER 14 Vishnu-Garud Wahan, Ravi Varma Press, Karla-Lonavla, Paper, ink, fabric, metallic thread, Courtesy of Ramchander Nath Foundation, New Delhi

at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Boulevard, 77004 UPCOMING PROGRAMS WITH EXHIBITION ARTISTS

Manjari Sharma Saturday, July 19, 2014 3:00 pm Abhishek Singh Sunday, September 14, 2014 2:00 pm More information at asiasociety.org/texas or 713.496.9901 THE EXHIBITION IS FUNDED IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE CITY OF HOUSTON THROUGH HOUSTON ARTS ALLIANCE.

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COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

GTYRM a Sizzler and a Clear Winner

Scene from the play

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HOUSTON: Yes, GO TO YOUR ROOM MOTHER - an En Acte’ production presented by SAMSKRITI, indeed won the hearts of all those who saw it on May 25. Sold out house, Laugh a minute and repeated applause are a proof enough to declare the play as a clear winner. Parents are old fashioned. Something none of us contemplate in youth. The stubborn mix of bitterness, frustration, unfounded nostalgia that seem to blossom when one is past clearly middle age because of the fear of the future, and the fear of loneliness, this seems to be the theme for a comedy that playright Sanjiv Desai has captured superbly in GTYRM, cleverly directed by Vinita Sud Belani, enacted by a few theatre enthusiasts from California. Set in Delhi, one might think the play would sink under the weight of all those cultural references. Surprisingly, good acting and good direction made it very appealing even to the mix of diverse audience. The beauty of any comedy – are the punch lines. They were admirably delivered with

Photo: Navin Mediwala

right timing, pauses and amazing clarity. Of course, good script, good voice projection and great direction helped all these come together to elicit laugh a minute. Kudos to Basab Pradhan and Sindu Singh in the lead, Seema Karnik and Rashmi Rustogi as the central characters, Satish Ullal, Ravi Bhatnagar and Ravi Chopra in the cameo roles. It would have been a lot more crisper and shorter but for the lighting glitches, too many transition related delays between scenes. Interestingly, people did not seem to mind this at all. As I was walking out of the theatre, the audience were still mulling over the great comic elements of the play, one also said “I can imagine my life with my kids when I Visit them”…..and on …… overall, nothing but appreciation and joy everywhere. Finally, as the play narrative mentions it sure was a rib-tickling and rip- roaring contemporary comedy about life after kids. Great production En Acte’ players. Great presentation, very innovatie choice for the 2014 season indeed SAMSKRITI.

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June 06, 2014

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Rekindling the Glories of Yesterday

BY ARITI JANKIE HOUSTON: A group of men and women who share a common heritage walked barefooted on Sunday May 25, to honor the memory of their ancestors. The walk started promptly at 7.30 a.m. on the grounds of Players Street Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Houston, and ended beneath the tree where they sat in a circle to tell their individual stories. Ram Sharma who was born in Fiji said that his father was 18, when he was fooled by the arkatis (recruiters) and taken to Fiji to work on the sugarcane plantations. “My father told us that he had gone to buy groceries when someone asked him if he wanted a job where he can make some easy money. My father said ‘yes’ and was persuaded to leave immediately with the atkari who insisted that there was no time to waste. Six months after he left his home, his family received a letter written by him in Hindi telling them what had happened and informing them that he was safe in Fiji,” he said. President of the organizing committee; Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Branch 377 of Texas, Dharam Vishal Chattoor said that his grandfather had built a mandir in Exchange Village, Couva, Trinidad and the family continued age old traditions of India that has been passed on. He said, “Life was hard but it was simple and filled with love, faith and happiness.” Nirmala Mohan wept with remembrance of her maternal grandmother who stretched her pennies to afford shoes that she may not walk barefooted and made her a princess of the heart during her

childhood. A mother of three and a grandmother, she said, “The old days made me who I am today and I wish my grandmother could see me now.” A brother and sister; Larry and Prena talked about their grandmother making ghee and early childhood days when simple things gave them the utmost pleasure. Tulsi Mahabir recounted a home rooted deep in Hindu philosophy and religion. He said, “My life was shaped by the example of my grandfather who had come to Trinidad from India.” The group ate a simple breakfast consisting of damadool (tomato) chokha and sada roti with cups of hot tea; a common fare of their laboring ancestors. The festival known as “Indian Arrival Day 2014” began in Trinidad in 1980s. A formal program started with pooja at 10.00 a.m in which an audience of approximately 200 comprised first, second, third and four generation of Indentured laborers from India to Guyana, Trinidad and Fiji. A cultural program included dances by Amrita Chatterpal and Simi Raman, Bhojpuri folk songs by Sharma, Chattoor and Jasodra Sharma, Birha singing and dances by Larry Sawh and other folk cultural items with traditional bhojpuri musical instruments. Tassa in the old Nagara beat was also played by a band of boys under the leadership of Bobby Teelucksingh. Several pundits, civic leaders and senior citizens were recognized and honored with garlands and plaques which included prominent pundits like Sais Narain from Guyana, Pundit Rajender Sharma

Pundit Sais Narain of Guyana

from Fiji Islands, Jankie Somar, Banwattee Sanicharra and Sundardaye Goberdhan of Guyana, Ramkisoon Goonie, Rajkumar Soodeen and Tulsi and Chandra Mahabir of Trinidad. Hosting the packed cultural program was radio personality Sharda Jaishree who was born in Trinidad, educated in India and a resident of Houston. A vegetarian feast followed. Spokesman for the organizers, Sharma said that the response to this first observation of Arrival

Day was overwhelming and plans are to expand the celebrations throughout the month of May in the coming years. He said, “Next year this cel-

ebration also known as “Girmit Festival” will be held with greater pomp and ceremony.” (Ariti Jankie is an Author/ Journalist based in Houston, Texas).

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COMMUNITY

Just One Letter Made the Difference in Exciting Spelling Bee CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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Young girls from the Natraj School of Dance performed before the finals took place

Three teenage girls performed an English pop song

the Executive Director looked on. “It was quickly put together,” she explained, “as we were just recently asked to participate.” Later, a group of three teenage girls sang an English pop song between the two elimination rounds. After the event, snacks by Udipi Café were served in the lobby. In the first round, each contestant would be given two words to spell; in the final round between two contestants, each would be given one word to spell, if the answer was incorrect, the other contestant would have to spell it correctly and another followup word too in order to win. All the finalists were given medals and the winners won $500, the runners up $250 and the four remaining finalists $100 each. The event was co-sponsored by India House and Malla Mekala, the President of the IT firm Infodat, who was on hand to show his appreciation for the competition and the contestants. In the elimination round of the first category, Kareena Kamal, 8, a Quail Valley Elementary Spelling Bee Winner in January 2014; Neil Nimmagadda, 9, of Sienna Crossing Elementary; Neal Maddali, 9, of River Oaks Elementary and Shweta Nanaware, 9, of Kilpatrick Elementary competed and after the first round Kareena and

Neil moved to the finals. In the second category, Rajyk Bhala, 10, of the Colony Meadows School; Nandika Mansingka, 13, of the Harmony Science Academy West Houston; Tanya Roysam, 11, of Friendswood Junior High and Kalyanee Nanaware, 13, of Woodcreek Junior High competed, with Rajyk and Nandika moving forward after the second round. In the finals, it seemed that Neil was about to be eliminated with his incorrect spelling of “retribution”, but Kareena came back with an incorrect spelling of “reluctant”, which set the stage for Neil to get it correct and then follow up with correctly getting “ambivalence”. In the second category which most expected to take longer, Rajyk lost out on “derogatory” which Nandika spelt correctly, followed up with “impious”. While Rajyk immediately air-wrote the word quickly on his upturned forearm and hand and then hastened to spell it out, in each attempt, Nandika always asked for the definition, pronunciation and how it was used in a sentence and repeated the word, asking “Am I saying it correctly?” Undoubtedly, her experience and strategy in handling the words helped her win her competition.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

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Durrani’s: The Unity of Food and Music

BY MALAY VYAS HOUSTON: Driving down Highway 6 on a Monday mundane lunch hour, a familiar hunger pang brought us to a stop at Durrani’s Tandoor N Grill at the West Bellfort intersection. South Asian stomachs are tuned to send out a particular frequency of hunger waves when in need for a nice Desi buffet. Durrani’s was a good answer to Monday blues. Stepping into the restaurant and getting past the great aroma of a freshly cooked buffet spread, one couldn’t help but admire the invit-

Pakoras to Chicken Tikka with a secret ingredient were tempting. Amongst the curries, Saag Paneer and Butter Chicken had fresh flavor with distinct taste and savory gravy but the Chicken Kofta with Egg Curry took the cake. This is a rare dish – not usually found in usual buffet spread around Houston. Arif explained that they do not micromanage their Chefs – they let them be creative. As with the partners, the Chefs are India and Pakistan as well. Masala Rice adorned the final course while we couldn’t help but take a third help-

into the banquet hall connected to the restaurant. This is no ordinary hall, it is built with passion for music. 8 Channel speakers with a stage and an HD project system with 12 feet wide screen, Durrani’s is ready for some great entertainment for the discerning music lovers. Weekends at Durrani’s are already filled with private music concerts on this stage. Private parties, Graduations, Birthdays or Ghazal Evenings, Durrani’s has the menu and the venue to make it right for you. So whenever hunger calls at

ing dĂŠcor. Well lit and very artistically furnished, the apt word that describes this restaurant is ‘Family Friendly’ and yet chic. There is a big bar in the middle, you can’t help but notice but that’s not the focal point. The focal point of the place is the signature Durrani’s lighted curving lines that run across the walls of the restaurant and the music hall connected to it. Yes, here’s a place where food and music meet. We were lucky to run into Arif Memon, the partner of Durrani’s. He explained how he and Jamil Durrani of JDM Industry joined hands to follow a common passion about good food and great music. Bigger than life size posters of music greats from India and Pakistan look down upon from the glass walls as you expectantly approach the buffet spread. From fresh crispy

ing of the Kheer, arguably the best on a buffet spread – rich and yet not very sweet with adequate mix of rise and badam on your spoonful. Strawberry Lassi is definitely out and so is the Durrani’s platter. The weekend buffet is a bigger spread with more than 16 main dishes. Naan’s are served fresh at your table. For bigger parties, ask for dishes off the menu. The Chefs at Durrani’s have more than twenty years of experience and eclectic fusion food is not far from imagination. The Unity of India and Pakistan rolls over

lunch or feel like unwinding after a busy week amidst some good music and great food, stop by Durrani’s at 10581 S Highway 6, Ste 101 or call them at 281 313 0774. Their website should be up and running shortly.

  

   

      



       

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COMMUNITY

Kinkini 2014: Annual Recital of Sunanda’s Performing Arts

BY RITA WINTER SHIRER HOUSTON: On Sunday May 25, Kinkinni 2014 unveiled the talent of 250 students of Kalashree Sunanda Nair. The annual recital of Sunanda’s Performing Arts Centre brought the rich tradition of Indian Classical and Folk Dances to the jam-packed audience at Cullen Hall. From the gentle sways of Mohini Attam, to the crisp jathis of Bharata Natyam, to the explosive merriment of Folk Dance, the touch of Sunanda Nair showed in every glance and step. The emcees introduced each dance with a poetic description, and each dance fulfilled its promise. Ancient stories of Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva and Shakti came alive onstage through dynamically choreographed and beautifully performed dances. The costumes were also exquisite, diverse and colorful. The first dance dedicated to Ganesha, Maha Ganapatim, was presented by some of the youngest students with infectious joy. Other dances dedicated to Ganesha included

Ananda Narthana Ganapatim - a lively and athletic presentation of statuesque poses and crisp synchronization. A ladies group performed Ananda Ganapati in the Mohini Attam style with flowing elegance. This is a devotional piece showcasing Ganesha’s attributes of power and grace, inherited from Shiva and Parvati. The Ganesha Kauthuvam also spotlighted Ganesha in all His munificence. The young students’ joyous portrayals of Krishna as a child brimmed with playfulness as they described Krishna’s divine beauty in Keshadi Padam. Their smiles were irresistible; their elocution a tribute to months of hard work and dedication. In Kuzhaludi Manam Ellam, the gopis’ devotion to and longing for Krishna was performed by a ladies group with tenderness and beauty. The healing powers of Krishna’s compassion were expressed with dignity and refinement in Kubja. The Kaliya Mardhanam presentation was captivating – from the sweeping portrayal of Krishna playing with friends,

to His victory dance over the sea serpent. In Muralidhara Kauthuvam and Aadinaya Kanna, the dancers took us to the banks of the river Yamuna to join in the fun, dancing to the irresistible sound of Krishna’s flute. Shakthi, the divine feminine power, was given its due when the dancers took over the stage in Pancha Shakthi. Such athleticism, agility and beauty are honed only after years of dedication. The Goddess Devi showed her radiant face and majestic walk in Udurajamukhi. The dancers manifested the grace and power of Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Parvathi, Durga and Kali. The Goddess

Lakshmi was invoked in Bhagyada Laksmi Baramma, through the tender expression and jathis of these young dancers. Adikondar Antha Vedikai, the young children’s dance to Nataraj, showcased their athletic prowess as they danced with integrity and precision beyond their years. In Muruga Kauthuvam, the swift footwork, powerful leaps and abhinaya depicted Murugan in his benevolence and beauty. The senior students paid homage to the Lord of Dance in the Shiva Stuti with finesse and power. A Thillana radiated the stage through intricate, swift jathis and regal poses. Dheem Tana followed, portraying some of the school’s youngest dancers in all their youthful energy and joy. Shining like jewels, the young dancers also told the story of Yashodha and her motherly love for Krishna. The finale was an explosion of colour, sound and merriment. To have such precise and intricate choreography executed so brilliantly and energetically by so many dancers – shows the mark of a Guru, and the dedication of students who respect the rich heritage to which they pay homage.

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All Performances are in English Purchase tickets online at tagoreplay.com, sulekha.com, or call 312.588.7286. 



  1415 Constitution Avenue Stafford, Texas 77477 281.499.5763

  at 7:30 PM

Rabindranath Tagore was a Renaissance man. He was a writer, playwright, songwriter, poet, philosopher and educator. Tagore left us more than his ideas, word and images …he opened our eyes to a new world vision. His life and his work challenge us to break the norms that restrict us. A Humble Offering takes you on a fascinating sensory journey that celebrates Tagore's life and vision through footage, narration, light, sound, music, and dance.

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- by tnvitation only  – $100.00  – $50.00

With special thanks and appreciation to Air India, our National Platinum Sponsor.

 – $25.00  – $15.00

Tickets can be purchased online at tagoreplay.com, sulekha.com, by phone at 312.588.7286, or from the following local contacts.

is the winner of many national and international awards, Introduced to cinema by Satyajit Ray, Ms. Tagore is one of the greatest actors India has ever produced. 

is a multi-faceted, creative talent. Engineer, business owner, filmmaker, storyteller, and musician, he has practiced his craft and applied his talents through many projects for more than thirty years. 

is an internationally renowned choreographer and dancer, whose unique dance style combines the discipline of Indian Classical dance forms with the fluidity of Western dance movements. 

 an internationally renowned danseuse, teacher and choreographer, and the Founder-Director of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts, Houston. She is an outstanding teacher, brilliant choreographer and exceptional dancer, always keeping pace with the times but with a deep respect for tradition and classicism.

 • • • • • • • • • • •

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 - 713.320.2305 - 832.641.2673 - 713.373.9124 - 713.829.5449 - 281.701.6242 - 281.814.8321 ���- 281.802.8871 - 832.275.9656 - 832.814.6666 - 713.816.3618 - 713.446.8990

  is an award-winning

author, poet, activist and teacher. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, and her work has appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies. Divakaruni teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston.  is a Pratham ambassador whose own path from a poverty-ridden childhood in an Indian village to his U.S. education in chemical engineering has driven him to help India’s four hundred million people who can still only sign their names with a thumbprint. “The most powerful tool in a country’s development is education” Patel asserts.

A Humble Offering is a unique multi-media performance consisting of live dance, lighting effects, projected images and video, and recorded narration and music.

Samskriti, meaning ‘cultural tradition’ in Sanskrit, was established in 1994 with the vision of uniting cultural traditions between the East and the West. By bringing the best of Indian fine arts from around the world to Houston audiences and by promoting cross-cultural programs involving Indian and American artists from different ethnic backgrounds in meaningful collaborations, Samskriti has more than amply fulfilled its mission in its twenty years of operation so far.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


14 June 06, 2014

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

15

Graduating Class Shows That it has Learnt Wisely at YLDP

The 2014 YLDP Graduates at the ceremony held in India House, with the Youth Leadership Development Program Board of Directors (seated), the Shell Oil guests and speakers with the Indian Consul General Partvathaneni Harish and his wife Nandita (center, second row). Photo: Sarvesh Bhavaraju

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: Just how much they had learnt from each other over the past eight months became apparent the moment the first team of panelists sat down on the stage and started to present their topic. The team of four girls and one boy – all desi teenagers about to graduate from high school and move along into college – was poised, knew their cues and recited their portions of the topic with practiced ease. This was in marked contrast to earlier years when the kids were far less composed and not all were equally articulate. On the other side of the equation were the organizers of the event, the members of the Youth Leadership Development Program, for whom this fifth graduation showed how much they had learnt in presenting to the public the fruits of their mentoring of fresh young eager minds in a focused, tightly packaged event that kept everyone engaged. For the YLDP Board, many of whom have served for the entire six years of its existence, the experience of seeing their young charges mature before their eyes is satisfaction enough. As in past years, the graduation ceremony of the 40 students who made up the Class of 2014 of the YLDP was held once again at India House with just over 100 people in attendance, this past Saturday, May 31 in the morning and ended just after a tasty lunch catered by Annam Indian Cuisine. The main hall was booked later for the India House

Spelling Bee (see story on page 3) so soon after lunch was served the organizers quickly cleaned up and made way for that event. The students were divided into six panels who presented for the first time on the final topics that were given to them. Team A dealt with the Indian elections and did an admirable job looking at the subject from all sides, even touching on the Gujarat riots of 2002 which had become a hot issue in Narender Modi’s run for PM. Team B discussed the pros and cons of fracking for oil and gas in the US, even fielding a few questions from this reporter on the benefits to India and the Indian farmer. Team C took on the issue of polio eradication, weighing what the difference is between philanthropy and charity and using Bill Gates commitment as an example. The panel presentations took a break so that the guests of honor, Indian Consul General Parvathaneni Harish and his wife Nandita could join in and allow Harish to speak to the graduates before he had to leave for another event. Known for his thoughtful delivery on many topics related to the events he attends, Harish homed in on the evolution of the second generation of Indo Americans and how their parents have passed along their religion, culture and values. “The most important battle of your life is the one with yourself, mind and body, not with spirituality or religion. ”Sheer practicality will determine who you become.” Harish expanded on the dual concepts of

delayed gratification and denied gratification, embedded in the Indian value system and culture. “Your parents came from this generation,” he said “ and practiced doing without now so that they would have a better future.” It is easy to get addicted to consume, he explained, but denied gratification which is an aspect of Indian life, implies that it is okay to say no. The panel presentations carried on with Team F talking about the role that ethics played in leadership and what it takes to become an effective leader, a particularly difficult topic for which team members seemed to draw from personal growth experiences. They were followed by Team D which discussed the rise of social media and its implications for the quality of life now that it has become an integral part of worldwide communication. Wrapping it up was Team E which delved into the thorny issue of repatriation of art seized during turbulent times and wars. While not a contest, the panel presentations allowed all the teens to get a chance to articulate their thoughts in a limited public speaking venue of the type they may experience in their working careers later. As Event Chair Poonam Taneja, a Shell Oil Project Manager, called them out, all the students were given their graduation certificates awards and a gift bag while sixteen among them were given $50 Shell gas gift cards for exceptional performance and perfect attendance. Rohan Deo was singled out for per-

fect attendance, best articles, service efforts and most proactive team leader. Shell Oil has been a major supporter of the YLDP for years, giving it $10,000 for the past two years. It was recognized, along with the Indo American Charity Foundation and the Goradia Foundation, for financial support. A number of Shell Oil corporate leaders, including Dr. Snehal Patel, Gen. Manager of IT Downstream; Debra Stewart, Manager of Diversity and Mubarak Chowdary, Shell Asian Network Leader attended the event and handed out the awards. Earlier in the morning, Patel spoke to the students about science and technology and innovation and the expanding roles of India and China in the global economy. YLDP President Sushma Bhan, also a Shell Oil executive, best summed up the progress that the youngsters had made by reminding them of the qualities of a leader. “A leader must never forget whom they serve,” she said. “Stay centered and humble, continuously learn and avoid ethical pitfalls.” Board Chairman Nat Krishnamurthy echoed that sentiment and expressed his admiration for the way the students matured and grew intellectually as they went through the eight month course.

For photo collage, see page 14

Welcome

N EW

C HAN C E LLOR

DR. CESAR MALDONADO DR. CESAR MALDONADO N EW

C HAN C E LLOR

We’re proud to introduce Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E., PMP, as the new Chancellor of We’re proud to introduce Maldonado,brings Ph.D.,30P.E., PMP, the new Chancelloraof Houston Community College.Cesar Dr. Maldonado years of as business experience, Houston Community College. Dr. Maldonado bringsto30 years of business experience, a strong academic pedigree, and the leadership skills take us where our community needs the leadership skills takeday us at where usstrong to be, academic both todaypedigree, and into and the future. Welcome to atonew HCC.our community needs us to be, both today and into the future. Welcome to a new day at HCC.

HCCS.EDU HCCS.EDU INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM Welcome Print Ad Half Page.indd 1 Welcome Print Ad Half Page.indd 1

5/12/14 4:11 PM 5/12/14 4:11 PM


16 June 06, 2014

COMMUNITY

Houston Maharashtra Mandal Celebrates Vruksha Ropan and World Environment Day on May 31, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. HMM Members dug fourteen 2’ deep holes to plant big 7’ trees. This event is called Vruksha Ropan in Maharashtra, India or tree plantation. People in Maharashtra organize this type of event but with smaller trees. The task of digging holes at some spots was difficult but the enthusiasm, cold drinks, and Bollywood/Marathi music made the tough task a bit easy. Everyone who attended the event also realized the magnificent effort our Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D) is investing to keep our parks clean and green. HMM is proud of the dedication of its members and H.P.A.R.D to help our community. Special thanks to Shrikant Sane,

Praful and Manisha Joshi and their two daughters, Sandeep and Vaishali Bhalerao with their infant son, Prakash and Nirmala Dusane, and Ravi and Megha Ozarker with their son. It was a pleasure to see Sandeep’s infant son plant the massive tree. Praful’s daughters and Ravi’s son also helped their parents consistently and will receive volunteer hours certificate from HMM. HMM members said that they will frequently come back to Eagle Sky Park to check on the progress of the planted trees. June 5th is World Environment Day and on this day everyone should make an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and save our forests.

WRITERS ....... TAKE NOTICE BY RAVI OZARKER HOUSTON: Industrial pollution is currently at record levels in Houston these days and home construction is also at its peak. All this boils down to a polluted environment which result to deadly diseases. This is the same natural environment where our kids play and breathe. We as a community

have to realize that every single one of us is responsible for this and should take some steps to reduce our carbon foot print. Trees as everyone knows are extremely useful in purifying our natural environment. We as active community members can help the city plant trees at locations in Houston and surrounding areas.

Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) President, Megha Ozarker says that we as residents of Houston cannot change the city landscape in a day or month but we together can take small baby steps to make a difference in the long run. HMM Members successfully planted 14 trees in Eagle Sky Park

Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, Call 713-789- NEWS (6397) or email us at: indoamericannews@yahoo.com

|| Har Har Gange || Shree Gangaji Avataran

Our Hearty Invitation to all Devotees on the Special Occasion of Shri Gangaji’s Avataran on Earth We Celebrate This Occasion on

Sunday, June 8, 2014

** Shri Ganga Poojan will start at 2 PM followed by Gangaji’s Avataran Darshan from 4 PM to 6:30 PM - Aarti at 7 PM Priti Bhojan and Prasad after Aarti

Shri Ganga Poojan is a great opportunity in your life which can wash out all sins. ***SPONSORS WELCOME FOR PRASAD & PRITI BHOJAN To be Yajman in Shri Gangaji’s Poojan contact : Pandit Virat K. Mehta 713-784-5500 or Priest Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 or Temple 713-278-9099

Shree Gangaji Dashera (Dashhara) The Great Tapascharya of the King of the Raghukul Dynasty, Maharshi Shri Bhagirath brought Shri Gangaji down to the Earth to liberate 60,000 sons of King Sagar.

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

(Please Enter the Office Buildings entrance at the sign Beads Source on Harwin Dr.)

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

17

Don’t Let Your Child’s Hard Work From the School Year Fall Victim to a Summertime Slump

Best In Class Education Center Offers Tips For Parents to Keep Their Students’ Mind Sharp During Summer Vacation Best in Class is targeting the addition of 20 additional units in 2014. 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.

Become a fan! Keywords: Indo American News

Follow us on facebook! With summer vacation upon us, the kids are excited for bike rides, ice cream, and summer fun. However, parents are likely thinking about how to keep their kids’ minds sharp and active over the summer so that the transition into the next school year is a smooth one. While Best in Class offers a variety of summer programs, there are also several ways parents can engage their children to make teaching and learning fun for the whole family. Here are some recommended activities, most of which can be adjusted to apply to children of any age: •Set aside 15 to 30 minutes of reading time every day for kids to read something of their choice. For even more fun, read out loud to make it a family occasion. •Encourage children to ask stories from older relatives about what life was like when they were younger. This simple story time is entertaining and is a great teaching moment for children. •Take children shopping and practice their math skills as you walk up and down the aisles. For younger children, counting the number of apples is a great way to get them engaged, and have older children work on figuring out discounts and sales tax of items. •Warm spring and summer nights are a great time to get outdoors and star gaze with your children to start talking about the solar system and the rotation of the earth. Go outside and look where the stars are, then return to the same spot an hour later and see how much they have moved. •Nature walks are full of endless lessons about the world around us. Buy a plant book or a bird book and take your child on a nature walk to learn and start identifying the plants and animals around them. •Bring your kids into the kitchen to work on fractions and decimals. Baking is a great way for children to start grasping the concept of fractions and measurements. •Have your children start a journal during their time off of school. Have them write down things they have learned and questions they have at the end of every night. It will be a great way for them to reflect on their learning in a fun way and help them with their writing skills. Best in Class offers a variety of summer programs as well to help students not only maintain their knowledge, but also build their knowledge over the break. For further information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchisingopportunities,visitwww.bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1.888.683.8108.

Presents:

Cancer of the Cervix:

A Common Disease in South Asian Women.

Sunday, June, 15th, 2014 3:00 PM at India House,

8888 West Belfort Ave., Houston TX 77031 FREE EVENT – ALL ARE WELCOME

Join us as our panel of experts walks you through from screening, early detection, diagnosis and treatment options for cervical cancer. We welcome your questions!

Our Medical Panel: Introductions: Dr. Sewa S. Legha

Medical Oncologist, Vice President of IACAN

Cancer Cervix: Epidemiology: Dr. Sanjay Sethi

Medical Oncologist, Texas Oncology Screening & Preventive vaccines: Dr. Rachna Bhala

Gynecologist, Private Practice, sugar Land

Diagnosis & Treatment: Dr. Terry Pustilnik

Gynecologic-Oncologist, Texas Oncology WW

Indian American Cancer Network E- Mail: iacannetwork@gmail.com Web: WWW.iacannetwork.org , Ph: 713-370-3489

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


18 June 06, 2014 Abominable Crime

The gang rape and murder by hanging of two minor girls in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh are shocking even by the abysmal standards of law and order obtaining under Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The crime, horrific in itself, is magnified by the social context in which it happened. The teenagers paid the price on several counts, including for being female in an environment predisposed to gender violence and discrimination and for their economically dire status. The girls had to go out into the fields at night because of the absence of toilets, an elementary human requirement, in their own homes. That policemen, appointed as custodians of law and order, possibly aided and abetted the crime, is another grisly reality in a country celebrated as the world’s largest democracy and in a state whose regime proclaims its commitment to social justice. From all accounts, the frightful incident was easily preventable by timely police action. A relative witnessed one of the girls being dragged by her hair and reported it to her family, which rushed to the nearby police chowki to lodge a complaint. The police, as has happened in countless cases, not merely refused to register the complaint but threatened the family with further violence. By morning it was too late to save the teenagers, who were found to have been raped, strangulated and strung up from a tree. The endemic nature of crimes against the socially vulnerable ought to have sensitised the Akhilesh Yadav government to the need to ensure more equitable appointments in the police and administrative structures. Instead, the State government appears to have been partisan in making the appointments, which arguably added muscle and power to existing social malpractices. The incident has been followed by the wearisome routine of political parties crowding into the village ostensibly to commiserate with the victim-families but in actual fact to exploit the tragedy for their own political interests. The State government has since agreed to seek a CBI probe, which is at best a part solution to a long-festering grassroots-level problem. In 2012, the young Chief Minister brought with him a lot of hope, especially with regard to reversing his party’s image as a facilitator of lawlessness. That hope has been belied. Last year, the State government stood mute as a communal riot ravaged Muzaffarnagar, rendering over 40,000 Muslims refugees in their own country. More recently, Mulayam Singh Yadav brought further disrepute to the regime with his atrocious “boys will be boys” justification for rape. The Narendra Modi government, which has promised a hundred smart cities, might also want to look at the countryside where the crying need is for a robust mechanism to address the severe and persisting social and economic inequities. Hindu

EDITORIAL

Reality Hurts Hard

BY TAVLEEN SINGH No government more deserved to be dumped in history’s dustbin than the one just thrown out by India’s voters. But the only people who seem not to know this are that government’s former ministers. I have in the past week run into these newly jobless politicians in this city’s fine restaurants and celebrated drawing rooms and, to a man, they exhibited bitterness and incomprehension. The election results have taken them so totally by surprise that they find it hard to conceal their hatred of Narendra Modi or their anger about having to move out of the rarefied environs of Lutyens Delhi. So conversations usually go something like this. ‘You think this lot can do better than we did? Well, you have no idea what you’re talking about. We did a really good job and if we couldn’t win, it’s not our fault.’ More often than not, the ex-minister who says this sort of thing has not even managed to win his own seat, so the bitterness runs deep. I try in my usual gentle way to explain what went wrong, but this is interpreted as an attempt to provoke so I end up being accused of ‘hating’ Sonia Gandhi and ‘promoting’ Narendra Modi. And a political discussion becomes impossible. But it is one that the Congress needs to have, if not publicly, then at least with its ‘high command’, so as a political pundit who correctly predicted what has come to be, I feel emboldened to give some free advice. India needs a strong, vigilant opposition party as much as it needs an effective government, so the Congress needs to make a serious effort to rise from the ashes of its worst-ever defeat. This will not happen if men and women who till yesterday were holders of high office continue behaving like petulant schoolchildren. They must scrutinise their record of the past decade with integrity and without prejudice, and if they do this, they will realise that the record is a dismal one. Sonia Gandhi placed at the highest levels of government people

India needs a strong, vigilant opposition party as much as it needs an effective government, so the Congress needs to make a serious effort to rise from the ashes of its worst-ever defeat. she chose on grounds of loyalty and not merit, so vital ministries like Defence and Home were in the hands of family retainers. External Affairs was in the hands of a minister so oblivious of external affairs that he once read a speech in the UN General Assembly that was written for Portugal’s foreign minister. While we delve for a moment into history, let us remember the sickening helplessness exhibited by every senior Congress leader after the worst terrorist act committed on Indian soil. Of 26/11 let us also remember that Digvijaya Singh released a book that described it as an RSS conspiracy and that Rahul Gandhi told an American ambassador that he was more worried about Hindu terrorists than jihadis. Now let us come to internal affairs. In such important areas as Education and Health, there was a lot of bluster about a new education policy and a rural health

Indo American News FOUNDER: DR. K.L. SINDWANI PUBLISHER: JAWAHAR MALHOTRA EDITOR: PRAMOD KULKARNI BUSINESS & PRODUCTION MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN GRAPHIC DESIGN: AMITHA DEVIKRUPA CORRESPONDENTS

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

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mission but on the ground nothing changed. In the past decade, more and more Indians, even those living in desperate poverty, have been forced to send their children to private schools and rely on private health services. Of course some of this is the fault of inefficient state governments, but if there had been better policies in Delhi, it would have made all the difference. Let us not forget that the National Advisory Council forced many very expensive welfare schemes down the throat of all our state governments. Had these horrendously expensive schemes created jobs, reduced poverty and malnutrition and improved the lives of the poor, there may have been a Congress prime minister once more. They did not and nor did the ‘rights-based governance’ that Rahul Gandhi boasted of during the election campaign. The reason why these so-called rights made so little impact is because people believe correctly that it is the fundamental duty of any government to provide decent public services anyway. These things should be obvious to anyone who wants to govern a country the size of a continent, but if they are not, it is because of the reduction of the Government of India to a caboodle of sycophants. This is what happened in the past decade, because if you can make the prime minister into a family retainer, everything eventually starts to fall apart. Everything did, but the consequences of an unaccountable de facto prime minister being the person in charge only began to be felt in the past three years. This is when this country’s official prime minister chose to abdicate his responsibilities towards the people of India and become instead a regent for the anointed prince. It did not take long for the people of this ancient, broken-down land to realise that what was needed was not democratic feudalism but real democracy. Indian Express Follow Tavleen Singh on Twitter @ tavleen_singh


COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

19

American Society of Indian Engineers Hosts Director Krueger

HOUSTON:American Society of Indian Engineers (ASIE) had their May luncheon meeting at HESS with the Director of Public Works, City of Houston, Dan Krueger as the featured speaker. A large gathering of almost 160 engineers from all walks of fields was in attendance to hear Krueger and his message to the engineers in Houston. ASIE, a body consisting of Engineers of Indian origin, organized the event where 33 consulting engineering companies sponsored the event, the proceeds of which were dedicated to be spent on scholarships to deserving students pursuing engineering education. American Society of Indian Engineers (ASIE) is a Houston based non-profit organization established in 1994 with specific objectives for engineers, architects, and engineering technicians of Indian origin. ASIE played a key role in assisting its members by providing opportunities for networking, career advancement through continuing technical seminars, project management workshops for the past twenty years. ASIE sponsored thousands of dollars in Scholarships over the past 20 years for much needed support and motivation of young students in the Greater Houston area with engineering and architectural aspirations. Sekhar Ambadapudi, the current president of ASIE welcomed the gathering. He reiterated the efforts of ASIE in providing networking among various engineers and thanked the Director for consenting to be the featured speaker. Ambadapudi said that “This year, ASIE will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and we will be hosting a gala to celebrate the occasion” and went on to say that the scholarship program has been working well for ASIE. Last year, ASIE awarded several scholarships to students in an amount of $10,000. He said all this was possible due to active participation of engineering consultants, contractors and suppliers in sponsoring the events. Raj Basavaraju, the current Treasurer, then recognized all the sponsors. He was then followed by Showri Nandagiri, Vice President who introduced Dan Krueger to the audience. He said Krueger, being the director of public works for City of Houston since July 2010 is a very familiar public official among the engineering community of Houston. He said that Krueger directs the operations of one of the larger departments under Mayor Parker, and that he is responsible for overseeing the Department’s services to Houston citizens through the planning, operations, maintenance, construction management and technical engineering of the City’s public infrastructure. His Department of Public Works and Engineering is staffed with a trained work force of approximately 3,900 employees and operates with an annual budget of approximately $1.2 billion. Director Krueger in his remarks commended the efforts of ASIE in organizing the events which help the students with financial assistance. He reminded the fact that this week was National Public Works Week recognizing the

contribution of engineers to the community. He said engineering was a blend of Math and Science, and engineers apply these two branches in a most appropriate manner to assist the community in a variety of ways. He went on to

advise the audience that they should always be responsible, innovative and honest in whatever they do. In conclusion he told the engineers that they should continue to provide the good service

they are providing to the City of Houston. Sekhar Ambadapudi then presented a plaque to the Director. Rajesh Tolikonda, Secretary, proposed a vote of thanks.

Holistic Inner Science and Integral Living Seminar

UNIQUE TOOLS FOR PURPOSEFUL, HAPPY, HARMONIOUS & RICH INNER LIVINg sunday, June 15 th, 2014 • T.E. Harman CEnTEr 226 Maltage Way, Sugar Land, TX 77479 • 9:00 am- 5:00 pm Seminar/Workshop On Holistic Inner Science and Integral Living This session would introduce Holistic Inner Science and provide unique tools for happy, harmonious, positive and meaningful inner living. This session will cover the following topics. • What is Holistic Science? •‘New Vision – New World’ – How holistic science visions can change our inner world leading to a rich experience within and without. • Five key aspects that lead to Happiness: Harmony in relationships at home and at work; Meaningful living by finding the true purpose of life; ‘Self’ and ‘Self-interest’; Positivity in all situations.; Forgiveness and love.

Discovering The World Within For Rich Inner Living

This session will cover the following topics. • How does the inner self function? • A novel scientific approach for inner transformation. • Knowing ‘Pure self’ • How can we conduct our life with full awareness (mindfully)? • What are circumstances and objects in relation to ‘self’? • What is ultimate happiness?

HAPPINESS--A CHOICE, LIFESTYLE OR OUR DESTINY? In the modern world, people work very hard; they struggle to survive. Somehow, they want to exist. However, they are not happy. Is happiness something we choose, or does our destiny determine that state ? Is the state of happiness related to our eating patterns and lifestyle ? This session will attempt to answer some of these thought-provoking questions which have been addressed by many wise thinkers and scientists.

Practical Session/Workshop On Application Of Holistic Science Tools • Meditation. • Clearing mental baggage or inner hurdles. • Forgiveness – Forgiving oneself and other resulting in love. • How a Holistic scientist lives from within in challenging situations.• Holistic view of Yoga and other measures.• Integration between various modalities, inner faiths or beliefs.

Speakers

The seminar will feature presentations and interactive sessions with: • Dr. Shailesh Mehta, MD, Eye Surgeon, Experienced Holistic Inner Science practitioner • Deepakanandji Mistry, Electrical Engineer, Experienced Holistic Inner Science practitioner • Saroj M. Bahl, Ph.D., R.D., L.D. an Associate Professor at the University of Texas,

Advance Registration Required: holisticinnerscience.org HSCRF is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to HSCRF are tax-deductible.

No registration fee for the seminar • Lunch and tea will be served • Sign in begins @ 8:30 am at the venue • Content will be delivered in English and is appropriate for ages 12 and older For further information contact: Dr. Geeta Desai (281) 507-4655 • Dr. Saroj Bahl (281) 265-3459 • Jayshree Vakharia (832) 527-7837 • Prakash Desai (281) 507-9065 • Suresh Desai (281) 859-6154 • Bharat Desai (832) 577-2776 • Kirit Mehta (281) 579-8942 • Ambica Vidwans (713) 314-0087 • Harshada Morar(713) 455-2670 • Harshad Patel (405) 747-6031

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


20 June 06, 2014

COMMUNITY

Inaugural Pooja for the Lakshmi Sanctum with Vimanam

Resplendent in alankara with Golden bricks Mahalskmi seated majestically in front of Ganesha sannadhi.

Mahalakshmi entering the main temple Rajagopuram with devotees carrying Golden bricks. Photos: Srini Sundararajan and Koushik Govindarajan

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BY RANJANA NARASIMAN PEARLAND: We call HER by many names Padmavathi, Devi, Thaayaar, Mahalakshmi and more, our Goddess Lakshmi in the form of Moolavar, the installed deity at Sri Meenakshi Temple’s main sannidhi and in the form of utsavar, the procession deity who sat majestically, on a decorated podium at the newly renovated Ganesh Temple. She presided over the gold wrapped bricks which are to be used to build her a new sanctum with vimanam at the main temple so that her devotees can worship her with more pomp and splendor befitting her majesty. This Lakshmi Puja was the inaugural puja for the Main Temple Renovation project (MTRP). Over 300 devotees sat in front of Sri Lakshmi who received all the fruits and flowers and homemade prasadams brought by them with utmost love for Her. It was a beautiful day when the sun’s rays seemed to be piped in through the skylight, illuminating Her and in turn She radiated that energy to her devotees who very devotedly recited the 1000 plus names of Her, some from rote memory and others by reading from the word document with her names

the spot where the new sanctum is being conceived. After a grand aarathi for all the presiding deities, the pradhana murthis, Meenakshi, Sundareshwarar and Venkateshwarar, the devotees were invited to lunch at the youth center. It was a very satisfying experience for all the board members, organizers, priests, staff, volunteers and devotees to be a part of this grand event. The fact that the golden bricks were a sold-out event

Devotees gathered in the new Ganesh Temple Hall listen intently to the chanting at Lakshmi Pooja. cleverly projected on the screen. The hall was charged with devotion as the priests (Sreedharan Raghavan and Manickasundaram Bhattar) ended the puja with an archana using golden Lotus flowers specially made for the Goddess who gives us the wealth to sustain ourselves on this earth. After the Maha Aarathi, sanctum sponsors carried one gold-wrapped brick each in a procession with the goddess from the Ganesh temple to the main temple and placed it at

is testament to our love for the Goddess and our longing for her to have a splendid abode and an auspicious start to the Main Temple Renovation Project (MTRP). MTS chairman Dr. Vaduganathan thanked the Fund raising committee for the successful start to the MTRP effort and the event coordinator and MTS secretary Srikanth Venugopalan thanked all the volunteers, devotees and board members for the team effort in making the event successful.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

June 06, 2014

21

Tamil Nadu Foundation Celebrates Mother’s Day

Photos: Dr. Thiruvengadam Arumugam

DR. RAM SIVARAMAN SUGARLAND: The Tamil Nadu Foundation (TNF) Houston Chapter Kickoff meeting with the Mother’s day celebration was held at the Madras Pavilion on May 11. TNF Houston Chapter Chairman Dr. Ram Sivaraman welcomed the members, life members and other guests and introduced special guests of honor Mohan and Meera Nagrajan of SUN TV’s Kalyanamalai at the opening with a brief introduction of TNF and its mission “No Kids Left Behind in Education”. Mohan and Meera Nagarajan mentioned in their speech that education helps a generation and in Chennai currently there is lots of money to go around for good cause like TNF’s goals. Both of them with media support offered help when we need them. Musical events by talented artists were planned by Rajan Radhakrishnan, a life member and a staunch supporter of TNF and Raj Thiagarajan of current TNF Houston Chapter Cultural Coordinator, followed by the speaker’s sessions. Bala Balachandran - Vice Chairman/Treasurer presented current 2014 team members (Dr. Leela Krishnamurthy, Raj Thiagarajan, Dr. Kamala Raghavan, and Govindan Somaskandan) to the participants of the

gala event and the goals for the next two years. Dr. G.N Prasad- Secretary delivered the vote of thanks at the end of the musical event. TNF Houston Chapter celebrated the Mother’s day with a special offering of long stem roses by each of their spouses to their loved ones along with a heartfelt pledge and donation on behalf of the loved ones to TNF. Mother’s day was celebrated with a special dinner at the Madras Pavilion, with few drawn out special prizes for the lucky ones. A generous pledge, donation and support of $17,802 was raised from the life members, members and other participants on that day. Govindan Somaskandan of current TNF Fund Raising coordinator played a key role in that and he thanked all the donors for their sincere support for this great cause. Abhinaya Govindan, a High School Senior, gave an eloquent speech about what she heard about TNF and its causes and subsequently volunteered to be TNF Houston Chapter Youth Coordinator. The kickoff generated an enthusiastic momentum of heartfelt support that will spread to Sugarland, Pearland, and Katy and to other Houston metro areas for the days to come. TNF Houston Chapter advisory committee members Dr. Appan,

Sam Kannappan, Dr. Padmini Ranganathan, Rajan Radhakrishnan, and Srikanth Venugopalan of Meenakshi Temple Society, and Partha Krishnaswamy of Bharathi Kalai Manram informed about the past activities and gave a brief history of TNF Houston chapter and its goals. Tamil Nadu Foundation (TNF), founded in 1974 in Baltimore, is the only overseas humanitarian organization solely focused in Tamil Nadu. It has been founded with a mission is to promote education with soft skills training and coaching for kids of slow learners in the very rural areas. The TNF Implements a wide range of projects with the funds it raises every year from its members, life members ,men women and children – Disaster relief to short and long term needs in education, Health and hygiene, rural development and Women’s empowerment. It has executed 600 individual donor-sponsored and board-sponsored projects (currently 83 active projects) so far and holds a bi-annual national convention and regional charity events all across the U.S. to create awareness, enroll new members, and generate funds for projects. TNF’s current focus is on rural school education. Our Memorandum

of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Tamil Nadu enables us to work with any government school in the state. TNF has developed the TNF-ABC Model (Achieving academic proficiency, Boosting their morale, and Championing for their aspirations) based on six years of experience which focuses on panchayat union school children. The TNF has 40 years of track record of successfully implementing projects. It has Tax exemption status in the U.S. [501 (c) 3], in India [80 G] and FCRA approval. 95% of the donations go directly to the donor’s project and the remaining 5% is also invested in humanitarian projects. Therefore 100% of your donation goes directly to the needy. Unique resources are available in Tamil Nadu to implement and audit projects – with dedicated staff and Regional Project Coordinators in the districts. TNF’s Tamil Nadu Chapter Board is served by veterans in public service (former IAS and IPS officials, leading humanitarians, lawyers, and industrialists). National Tamil Convention held for the first time in the history of Houston, and it was well attended & well received. Several highly talented celebrity artists from India came. Local talents from Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin participated. TNF Houston Chapter had raised awareness and funds and donated

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

$53,240 towards education projects for rural Tamil Nadu. The following schools were benefitted from the funding support: •Jegannathapuram school in Pon neri Taluk ,Thiruvallur District helped complete construction of the school building which was unfinished due to lack of funds. •Peranamallur Block Thiruvannamalai District: Water Tank project for four schools •Kattupakkam Coaching Center Vellore District •Jegannathapuram school Ponneri Taluk, Thiruvallur District TNF Houston Chapter’s current goals are to continue to raise funds for strengthening education: with special coaching and soft skills training for the slow learners (kids in rural area schools). Total project cost for 5 Schools (Govt High Schools at Mittapetai/ Elathur/ Kunnathur/ Anawarthiganpettai/ Kattupakkam) for this year : 6.1 Lakhs; Funds received: 1.6 Lakhs; Funds needed: 4.5 Lakhs. TNF also will support other ongoing TNF Projects: ANBALAYAM / ABC projects and other Individual Sponsored Projects. To become a life member, Log on to www.tnfusa.org. Complete the simple online application form. Life Membership fee ($300 family, $200 individual)


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India’s Iconic Travel-writer Bill Aitken is 80 India’s renowned travel-writer Bill McKay Aitken turned 80 on 31st May. In this biographical sketch, our India Correspondent delineates Aitken’s passionate love affair with India’s Mountains and her Rivers. Kanwar also tells of Bill’s 38-year long companionship with Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind that ended in 2010 with her death. -Editor BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT WHEN in August 1959, the 25year old Scot, Bill Aitken embarked on an overland hitch-hiking voyage of discovery to India, he had not imagined that it was going to be a journey of no return. He had then been greatly impressed by Upanishads and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi while studying Comparative Religion at Leeds University. His mission to India was to find in his own way “the meaning of life” and to have a first-hand ‘feel’ of the world’s living religions. Arriving in Calcutta in September 1959, Bill taught at a school, joined Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan Padayatra in Assam and lived in Sarala Devi’s Gandhian Ashram in Kausani overlooking the sacred mountains of Nanda Devi. Attending a village festival in honor of Nanda Devi, he contracted typhoid and fasted for 40 days. This experience opened his eyes to the real nature of the universe and he moved to the Mirtola Ashram of Sri Krishna Prem near Almora. Here he found both solace and a life-long companion in fellow-seeker Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind, who by a strange coincidence had become a widow the very day Bill had entered India. For him, it was love at first sight and with the Guru’s blessings, he moved to Mussoorie in 1972 as Maharani’s Companion.

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Bill Aitken How he took to writing is an interesting story in itself? He once told me that he had taken to writing “as a means to appear reasonably respectable and to convince Prithwi’s sophisticated friends and members of her family that he wasn’t as dumb as he looked.” I have since been unable to make out if he had said all that in jest or earnestness. Author of 14 acclaimed books Bill has since written over 14 books many of which delineate with sensitivity the contours of India’s Mountains and her Rivers. His first book was “Seven Sacred Rivers”; the next was the “The Nanda Devi Affair”, a subject that was to become an obsession of sorts with him. No other Indian writer perhaps has written so extensively, passionately and lovingly on India’s lofty mountains and her perennially-flowing rivers. Also probably no other writer has explored the Indian Railways so intently and expansively as Bill has done. “Exploring Indian Railways” was his first book in this genre; another was “Branch Line to Eternity”. In “Travels by a Lesser Line” he covered the four extremities of the meter gauge track capturing the nostalgic world of steam locomotion just before the system was dismantled. On another occasion, he had told me, “I wrote to share my pleasure in discovering India’s amazing and diverse beauties and to suggest there’s more to life than pining to become prime minister. I never recovered from my books the cost of my travels but received instead education of a priceless kind. At grammar school everyone had laughed at me for studying Divinity but when I look around me I feel I have had the last laugh.” When I recently asked Bill “if meeting Maharani Prithwi at Mirtola Ashram and his 38-year long relationship with her was the end of his quest or was it its beginning,” his answer was tinged with much sensitivity and compassion. Let me repeat here verbatim what he said. ….and then Bill found a home In a way, it was both the end and the beginning! The Mirtola teaching was “Love is the guide” and it was love that brought an end to my restlessness and wanderlust. I found a

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 06, 2014 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

home in Oakless, Maharani’s private residence in Mussoorie’s Bala Hissar neighborhood. In her fearless and outgoing nature, I discovered a good deal of synergy that matched mine. Our Guru Sri Krishna Prem had told me that Prithwi could teach me more than he could. In fact, Maharani was also a staunch devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and travelled four times a year to his ashram in South India. In 1982 Sai Baba spent two nights as Maharani’s guest in Oakless. So Maharani became my Guru. But in another way, it was the beginning of what turned out to be a journey of a literary kind and most of my 14 books were about travel involving religious enquiries. Same inner wavelength The most extraordinary thing about their long relationship was that they were both on the same inner wavelength. “I was able to take the Maharani to off-the-beaten-track places where royals were unaccustomed to tread. We trekked to all the holy sites of Uttarakhand – Badri, Kedar, Gaumukh and Yamunotri not once but twice each. And wonder of wonder, she walked the whole way, never using ponies or palanquins. We also trekked twice to Shri Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. The Maharani never approved of my writing and would refer to my literary products as “bromo paper”. However, when I initially turned down a request to write a life of Sai Baba, she insisted I must write it. When I argued I didn’t know Telugu, the native tongue of Sai Baba, she said “Don’t worry Sai Baba will take care of such minor problems” and sure enough the book seemed to write itself.” Maharani Prithwi’s passing away in 2010 had left Bill inconsolable but he has somehow managed to put together the scattered pieces of his life. Unfortunately, Bill has since lost the urge to write. That is sure going to be a loss for legions of his fans and admirers. Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dun-based author and freelance journalist.


June 06, 2014

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24 June 06, 2014

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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 11, 2014. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your picture and we will publish it if you are a winner (for first three entrees only).

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PUZZLES/ RECIPE

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Dus Minit De Chole (Ten-Minute Chickpeas)

If you have the craving for some Punjabi-style chole, with the dark coloring and thick gravy but are put off by the time that it takes to make them, then this recipe is for you. It’s an easy way to make this chole recipe – also called Kabuli chole - in just tenminutes and still enjoy the taste. The Punjabi chole differ from those that you find in many restaurants in which the chickpeas are yellow with the haldi (turmeric) and are floating in a red curry. Instead, this recipe makes chole with a darker color, thicker curry and a satisfying garam masala after taste, and can be sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves and is delicious with plenty of garnishes like raw onions, achaar (pickles) and with long, spicy green Indian mirchen (chilli peppers). India is the world’s largest producer of chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans and there are two common varieties: desi, grown mostly in South Asia, Ethiopia, Mexico and Iran and kabuli grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Chile. Chickpeas are high in protein, polyunsaturated fat, zinc, folate, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Usually, making chole (also known as channe) requires advance preparation to soften the hard bean and improve the taste in either of two ways: you can place the chole in a pressure cooker and boil them or you can let the chola bean soak overnight in a bowl of water and then boil them in the pot. Either way is time consuming and requires cleaning several utensils. This recipe reduces that work altogether and is ready in ten-minutes so that you can quickly enjoy eating chole with your favorite breads. Ingredients: • 400 gm can of chole (chickpeas) • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil • 1 tablespoon amchoor (dry green mango powder) • ¼ teaspoon loung (powdered cloves) • ½ teaspoon garam masala • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) • Garnishes (to taste): pyaaz (onion) – peeled and finely chopped; tamater (tomato) – soft ones are best, chopped, dhania (coriander) – chopped leaves

Directions: 1. Open the can and run the chole through a strainer, saving the water in a cup. 2. Pour in a tablespoon of oil into a saucepan and heat up well. Throw in some lal mirch (red pepper) and stir. Do not add salt as it is already in the saved water that will be reused later. 3. Throw in the chole and then mix well with the pepper and oil over medium heat, making sure that the chole do not stick or burn. 4. Now pour in the saved water and bring the chole to a boil. Slightly mash some of the chole with a large spoon. 5. Add in the amchoor, clove powder and garam masala to bring in the authentic medium

6. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes. Eat with roti, naan, kulche or bathure. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

MAMA’S TIP OF THE WEEK REHEATING LEFTOVER RICE TO MAKE IT SOFT

Nothing can be more frustrating than having to reheat leftover rice in the microwave and having it pop and snapple and then come out hard, whether you are having Indian or Chinese food. There is an easy way to make the rice come out as soft as when you first made it. It works best when the leftover rice is still in the saucepan it was made in, but works quite well otherwise too. Place the rice in the saucepan, now sprinkle it with a small cup of water, cover the pan and let it cook over medium heat for five minutes. Now uncover the pan and stir the rice, which will be soft and fluffy again.

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ENTERTAINMENT

June 06, 2014

25

Movie Review: Citylights

BYNAMRATA JOSHI One of the perennial tales that my maid shares with me over our morning tea together is about the Rs 69,000 that she was duped of in a kitty. Still haunted by the loss of her hard-earned money, she often wakes up in cold sweat in the middle of the night. Citylights unsp ools similar misfortu nes, setbacks and des pair in the life of its hard-up protagonist Deepak (Rajkumar Rao). The film gives due credit to Metro Manila, Sean Ellis’s much celebrated British-Filipino crime drama, of which it is a remake. Hansal Mehta told me that he hasn’t seen the original. Yet, he has been able to craft a fine, affecting film from the adapted script handed over to him. The theme—of rural exodus and exploitation of the poor—fits the contemporary reality of a rapidly urbanising India quite well. Also, despite the 60 years separating them,

Deepak of Cityli ghts also feels like a thr ow back to the Shambhu Mahto of Do Bigha Zam een, immigrating from his village to the city, in sea rch of a livelihood and life. It’s about the ridicule, indignity and hum iliation he and his family face to try and get their share of happiness. It’s about being oppressed by city folks, who themselves are as embattled. But the film then goes on from being a sort of social documentation to bec oming an edge-of-the-seat thriller, yet doesn’t quite give up on its messages. In a nutshell, quite a see-saw of emotions. Mehta keeps things real, but not too raw and stark. He shoots with a sense of rhythm. There is a gentle flow to the story- telling and a nice moodiness lingers, be it the delirium of the dance bar or the military-like operations of the security agency where Deepak finds a job. The frames

that seemingly look most calm and quiet brim over with the disquietude within the characters. Like the scene when Deepak’s senior partner (Manav Kaul) looks at the tall buildings around him and rages about his own dump of a house. The climax involving a key left me with some niggling questions. The songs in the background detract from the narrative too. Given the pace and mood of the film, the use of Raju Singh’s background score alone would have been far more effective. But these minor issues are settled by strong performances, even in the minor roles. Rajkumar proves that when it comes to acting, less could well be more. He communicates as much with his subdued, diffident body language—the way he sits on his haunches—as he does with his face. You can’t help not feel for him. Manav, as his senior, has a more flamboyant, show-stealing character, the kind who makes evil look incredibly attractive. The two are in stark contrast—innocent and gullible as against street-smart and manipulative—yet in perfect sync with each other. It’s interesting to see that instead of any visible upmanship, the two actors complement each other and help bring out the other’s traits. So far, they make the best couple in Bollywood this year. -OutlookIndia.com

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IndoAmerican News

Business IndoAmerican News

STOCKS • FINANCE • SOUTH ASIAN MARKETS • TECHNOLOGY

The Last Ride: A Tribute to Good Old Ambassador

The Avigo model launched in 2003, which was aimed for foreign shores; the various models of Ambassador launched between 1958 and 1979 BY PREMANKUR BISWAS NEW DELHI: Of all the enduring icons that Kolkata so doggedly nurtures, the yellow Ambassador taxi is the most recognisable. With it come stories and associations that every Kolkatan can share. Stories involving genial Sikh taxi drivers, who ruled the roads till about a decade ago. Stories about stealing kisses in the back seat, while being driven around Victoria Memorial, perhaps like the lead characters in Aparna Sen’s 1981 film, 36 Chowringhee Lane. Like inany other

city, there are many markers of growing up in Kolkata, like walking into the celebrated Oly Pub and ordering a beer for yourself or visiting the cavernous Kolkata MCD office. But none compare to the feeling of hailing a yellow cab, sprawling in the back seat and then surveying the city like you own it. When it was launched in 1958, modelled on the British Morris Oxford III, Hindustan Motor Ltd’s Ambassador was the undisputed king of the road. Kolkata took to it like hilsa

to Ganga. “It was as if the car was meant for the city. Its classic design went well with the city’s colonial architecture. Moreover, it fitted well with the image of the genteel Bengali bhadralok,” says Anirban Ghosh, archivist, Eka cultural resources and research, New Delhi. Though taxi services started in Kolkata as early as 1907, the iconic Ambassador became a standard taxi model only in 1962. “The Kolkata Taxi Association was very happy with the model. Not only did it have enough space and looked

regal, it was also very sturdy,” says Tarak Nath Barik, who has been with the Kolkata Taxi Association for over five decades. TheAvigo model launched in 2003, which was aimed for foreign shores; the various models of Ambassador launched between 1958 and 1979 Understandably, the rest of India moved on. They didn’t share Kolkata’s visceral love for the car. The 1980s saw the launch of the people’s car, Maruti 800. It was boxy and compact and was perfect for the needs of new India. But Kolkata, like a faithful lover, remained enthralled by the curvaceous charms of the Ambassador. It zealously comes to its defence even now. “None of the Maruti products can match the Ambassador in terms of durability,” says Barik. In the late 1990s and the 2000s, a spate of foreign carmakers hit the India market. Ford and Volkswagon became household names. Eventually, Ambassador, which was the sarkari car for decades, lost even its last bastion. Slowly, but steadily, most politicians chose luxurious SUVs and sedans from the likes of Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW over the Ambassador. When Hindustan Motors announced that the production of Ambassador cars had been stopped in its Uttarpara plant last week, about 50 km from the city centre, at its factory, a grim reality struck the 2,600 workers. Less than a month ago, the factory was manufacturing 150 Ambassadors a day. But 150 is a measly number when it comes to a factory of that size. “To break even, we need to manufacture and sell at least 1,500 cars every month,” said Moloy Chowdhury of Hindustan Motors in a five-page notice that has been pasted all over the gate. There is a quiet demonstration outside the gate organised by the Indian National

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Trinamool Trade Union Congress. A shamiana has been erected, tarpaulin sheets have been spread on the floor and a cluster of workers look about wearily. “The union has not been informed about this shutdown. We have not been paid for six months,” says Uttam Chakraborty, general secretary, INTTUC, Hindustan Motors. For the workers, the idea itself is unthinkable. “They never said they will scrap the car, did they?” asks Bapi Kar, a technician who has worked in the factory for close to three decades. In the mid-1980s, when Kar joined Hindustan Motors, the factory produced 70 cars per day. “It was a monopoly then. Everyone wanted an Ambassador,” says Kar, who plans to take a bank loan to buy a car and rent it out. He insists the car is still in demand, when the reality is quite the opposite. The demand for the car has gone down in the past decade. In 2009, 8,500 Ambassadors were sold in India; the number came down to 2,500 in 2013-14. Kar, Chakraborty and thousands of Hindustan Motors employees have seen this coming for a long time now. “There are cars that offer a lot more in the same price. The downfall of Ambassador happened because we couldn’t keep up with the times,” says Gopal Das, a technician who has been with Hindustan Motors for the past 28 years. For the 32,000 taxi drivers in the city, too, life may become a little more difficult than what it already is. “I have driven an Ambassador taxi for more than two decades now. For me, this is the best vehicle for Kolkata roads. Moreover, it’s cheaper than most other cars of its size. I don’t know how we will afford other mid-sized cars,” says Bhushan Jha, a member of Bengal Taxi Association. -The Indian Express


28 June 06, 2014 IPL 2014: Knight Riders Complete Perfect Turnaround BY DAVASHISH FULORIA depended on Yusuf to BANGALORE (ESPN take the team to safety. Cricinfo): However, he continued Where they finished to falter game after Winners, for the second game. Gambhir turned time in three years around his poor run, What went right but not Yusuf. In India, After what seemed a he had the advantage customary start, everyof strong starts, but thing. Match by match, still couldn’t fire, conbrick by brick, Kolkata tinuing to live up to the Knight Riders built thembilling of the promise selves into a formidable that never was. team with rock-solid Surprise package foundations, something For someone rated they needed to withstand as one of the best allthe rampaging Kings XI rounders in internaPunjab team in the final. tional game, Shakib To win nine games on the Al Hasan had played trot was no mean feat; smaller, defined roles to do so after losing five in the Knight Ridgames out of seven was ers set-up in the past. truly special. Bowling has been his Knight Riders’ bowling Kolkata Knight Riders celebrate their second IPL triumph, Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab, stronger suit, but this IPL 2014, final, June 1, 2014. prowess was never in disyear Shakib raised the pute. With Sunil Narine stakes as a batsman. to chase down five targets in five in the list of leading run-getters continuing to be the mystery he matches - all of them with ease. in the season, 203 behind Glenn His 227 runs gave the fragile midhas been in the two previous sea- Among those five, the six-wicket Maxwell. In the next 10 matches dle-order some girth and his ability sons, the team only gives their op- win against Mumbai Indians was though, Uthappa added 558 from to ramp up the pace of scoring lent position a maximum of 16 hittable the tightest one, showing the high 10 matches, driving past everyone much-needed intent. It all came overs. That is 10% of the game in note their batsmen had hit. Uthap- else in the race and assuming the together in the match against Royyour hand even before the start of pa piled on runs with unheard of lead position. It has been some al Challengers Bangalore when he the match. Add to that the potency consistency; the rest rallied around acceleration from Uthappa, who partnered Uthappa in a 119-run that Shakib Al Hasan’s left-arm him to soon make it eight wins in was thought to be a spent force stand for the fourth wicket that spin has brought to the team this a row as Knight Riders marched to in the IPL circuit. His remarkable took less than 12 overs and scored season and it’s easier to see why their second final in three years. run though not only brought re- 60 off just 38 balls. Shakib’s alleven a team like Kings XI Punjab In the final though, Uthappa wards on a personal level - he is round form kept Jacques Kallis, a have struggled against them. With failed, so did Gambhir after their back in the national team for the proven stalwart, out of the Knight an economy of 7.51, Knight Rid- bowling had already cracked un- tour to Bangladesh - but it also lent Riders’ XI. ers were the most difficult attack der Kings XI Punjab’s onslaught. Knight Riders concrete-like solidMemorable moment to score runs against. Chris Lynn’s acrobatic effort at Faced with the gargantuan task of ity. With a lowest score of 40 in 10 It was Knight Riders’ batting chasing down 200, Knight Rid- innings (before the final), Uthappa the boundary in the match against ability that was under some doubt ers eventually quelled the doubts became to batting what Narine Royal Challengers helped Knight and the results in the first seven about their big-hitting capability. was to Knight Riders’ bowling. Riders sneak out a two-run win matches only accentuated it. Un- Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan has to be the wow moment. It was Poor performer like most other teams, they didn’t powered 10 sixes between them For someone who smashed the a catch that one cannot rehearse have any explosive players. But during a 71-run stand between ball around to register the fastest during practice and is likely to unlike other teams, they didn’t them. Then just at the right time, IPL fifty, it would probably be a remain part of cricket’s freak moneed that too much because of Piyush Chawla hooked Mitchell bit harsh to say he was the weak ments show reel. As he moved to their strong bowling. What they Johnson for a six too, rounding off link in the team. But it is not actu- his left, Lynn slipped, then steadneeded was consistency, some a perfect campaign. ally. Take out that 72 and all Yusuf ied himself on his one knee, kept clarity on their batting orders. And Key stat Pathan has to show are 196 runs eyes on the ball, dived backwards it came when the team landed back Seven of Knight Riders’ nine from 11 innings. He threatened to and managed to keep the compoin India. Gautam Gambhir had wins came batting second. It was play an important role in the final, sure to stay inside the boundary. shaken off his misery at the start no wonder they chose to bat sec- but left the team in lurch after giv- The catch won Knight Riders an of the tournament and was scoring ond in the final and even though it ing them hope. In four season with important match during the early runs and Robin Uthappa’s promo- looked like the plan had backfired, Knight Riders, Yusuf has received stages when their batting was suftion to the top totally swung things they managed to pull it off. so much support from his team fering collapses in almost every around. Best player management but has only had a game. After two losses in their first two Devashish Fuloria is a sub-ediWhen the league had moved back spike or two to show for it. When games on the India leg, Knight to India, Robin Uthappa, with 97 Knight Riders were struggling to tor at ESPNcricinfo Riders rode along with Uthappa runs from five matches, was 23rd start well in the early stages, a lot

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SPORTS

Veer vs. Zara Batle at IPL 6

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan,co-owner of the winning team, celebrates KKR win with his daughter Suhana.

Preity Zinta, co-owner of the Kings XI Punjab team, displayed a gamut of emotions during the IPL series.

Preity Zinta, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, which finished the league stage of the tournament as the No 1 team, had tweeted after the match, praising the players. She said, “Not the perfect end to this season but I cannot deny, it’s been a fabulous season for Kings XI Punjab and I am very proud of how well the boys did in this IPL.”


June 06, 2014

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Up’s Horrific Rape Cases Point to Girls’ Vulnerability in Absence of Basic Amenities

In the wake of recent rape case in Badaun, an artist draws a painting raising issues of women safety, in Moradabad on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

KATRA SHAHADATGANJ: The nightly trek into the fields behind their homes under the cover of darkness leave the women of Katra Shahadatganj in northern India feeling scared and vulnerable at the best of times. But the abduction, gang rape and lynching of two teenage girls as they went to relieve themselves last Tuesday have added a terrifying new dimension to their daily ordeal. Maharani Devi, whose family earns a meagre living as farm labourers, said younger women were often harassed by men, and never went into the wheat and peppermint fields alone.

“Ever since this incident we are now even more scared than before,” said Devi, 40, whose three-room house, like most in the district, has no toilet. “It’s really not good, most women are reluctant even going with just one companion,” the mother of five told mediapersons on Sunday. “Some younger women who used to go out to the farms to give food or water to the men in the afternoon have (now) even stopped,” said 75-yearold Om Vati. The murder of the two teenagers, aged 12 and 14, has generated

headlines in India and beyond in an echo of the uproar over the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012. But the circumstances which left the girls vulnerable to the killers who pounced on them in the fields are not unusual in India. The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gone there at night because their families lacked a toilet and the village has no communal latrines. UNICEF estimates that almost 594 million — nearly 50 per cent of India’s population — defecates in the open, with the situation particularly acute in impoverished rural areas such as the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. Carolyne Wheeler of the non-governmental organization WaterAid, which has carried out research on the issue in Uttar Pradesh, said around a third of women have no other option but to relieve themselves after the sun sets — usually accompanied by a friend who keeps watch in case of trouble. “It is the time when a woman is most vulnerable, exposed and the idea that such number of women are taking this daily risk to relieve themselves is shocking to us,” Wheeler told AFP. The lack of private toilet facilities

is a problem recognized across the political spectrum. Ahead of his recent election victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated his party’s policy goals — such as the building of a controversial temple in Uttar Pradesh — would play second fiddle to sanitation. “Toilets first, temple later,” the right-winger Modi had said in a speech late last year. In an interview with AFP, one of the murdered girls’ female relatives said that she not only wanted the authorities to ensure the killers are brought to justice but also to build communal facilities. “I am not generally afraid of open fields, of forests, snakes or local wildlife but I am nervous when I go out to relieve myself in the fields,” she said. “I want the government to build us a community toilet in the village, at least.” But experts warn that the new government faces a daunting challenge if it wants to end the practice of defecating in the open — just one of many social development problems plaguing rural India. Katra Shahadatganj, like other villages in the district, has power only a few hours a day, while stagnant water and raw sewage flow through

its potholed dirt lanes. The lack of progress on the issues has fuelled a sense in some quarters that the needs and wishes of urban voters carry more weight than their rural counterparts. When a reporter asked Uttar Pradesh’s socialist chief minister Akhilesh Yadav about the incidence of rapes in the state, he responded: “You haven’t been harmed, have you? No, right? Great. Thank you.” But he later termed the attack “unfortunate” and called for fast-track courts for speedy justice. The two girls belonged to a low caste in country’s social hierarchy system, which is still deeply entrenched in rural areas. At least some of their attackers come from the Yadav caste, which is also of low standing but is powerful across the state. The girls’ families accused local police of initially failing to take action because they were prejudiced against their caste, with women considered less important than men. The head of Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, the chief minister’s father, sparked uproar during the recent election campaign when he said rapists should not receive the death penalty because “boys will be boys”. -Times Of India

Inviting Saarc Leaders Sent Out a Message to World: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (4th from R) poses with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) heads of states during his oath of office ceremony at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo)

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described the invitation to Saarc leaders for his swearing-in as a “right decision at the right time” and said his first major foreign policy initiative had sent out a message to the world about India’s strength. Speaking for the first time about his surprise initiative which got all-round praise, he said the world is still talking about it. Visiting the BJP headquarters for the first time after becoming the Prime Minister, Modi said the world should realize the strength of India’s

democracy so that the country gets its due respect and status. He noted that people have a lot of expectations from his government and it is the duty of his dispensation to keep pace with those aspirations. “We have never thought beyond the country’s frontiers. We are a big country, we are an old country, we are a big power. We should make the world realise it. Once we do it, the world will not shy away from giving us the due respect and status,” the Prime Minister told a gathering of party cadres. He referred to his initiative of in-

viting leaders of Saarc countries for the swearing-in of his council of ministers on May 26 and said it was a means to “give out a message to the world. They are still talking about it as to what happened, how it happened. This shows how much big results a right decision taken at the right time can bring.” -Times of India

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