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Friday, July 06, 2018 | Vol. 37, No. 26

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Indo American erican News

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Eid Milind Binds Strong Ties

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July 06, 2018

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COMMUNITY BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: It was with curious

admiration, mingled with amusement at his light-hearted humor, that the roomful of desis listened to the fast-talking man at the podium with slides streaming out of his laptop onto the giant LED screen behind him. The chief guest of the evening, he had researched the history of Hindustan from the first contacts with Arab traders and Jews who came and settled in Cochin in the south of the country. “The second part of my talk is on historical perspective,” said Dr. Gary Branfman, “which beckons the question ‘Why can’t we just get along?’” As he spoke, he flashed pictures of Gandhi and Ghaffar Khan, a painting of Jews landing in 970 BC, the first mosque built in 629 AD in India (renovated in the 11th century) and mentioned the Bollywood actress Florence Nadira who was Jewish. This led Branfman to the third part of his journey through life in which, as rabbi of the only synagogue in Victoria, Texas, he opened its doors so that the Muslim congregation whose mosque was burned down by vandals could have a place to pray. That was on February 2, 2017, and Branfman still marveled at how much national and international press that deed brought him since and how he was often invited to speak, notably in Canada about overcoming racism. Branfman is a plastic surgeon who elected to settle in a small town in Texas in 1991 and in a shimmering 20 minutes, spoke about his evolu-

July 06, 2018

An Indian Eid Milind that Showed the Warmth of Ties that Bind

Chief guest Dr. Gary Branfman was honored by (from left) IMAGH President Munir Ibrahim, Board Chair Dr. Maqbool Haq and Advisory Council Chair Abeezer Tyebji. Photos: Quaid Tinwala, SMB Films & Images

tion as a surgeon, human being and celebrity. “For my first act, I went to medical school as other avenues – acting, singing, making movies – closed up on me,” he jested. A busload of people – Jews and Muslims – from Victoria came to attend the event too. Branfman’s story was the essence of the 9th annual Eid Milind that the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston held last Satur-

Masooma Batool was one of three students who received scholarships from Rahat Kale (left) and Neeta Sane (center).

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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day, June 30 once again at the Marriott Hotel in Westchase. After last year’s display of religious tolerance exemplified by a skit of spiritual leaders, this year, the IMAGH showed that it had found deeper bearings in highlighting how Muslims in India have contributed to and thrived in their country. This year’s dinner was catered by Tempura restaurant. With a nod to the new generation of Muslims born and raised in the US, Aman Ali, a brassy voiced comedian from the small town of Reynoldsburg, Ohio related his experiences growing up as a “the only brown kid in my school” and where most people were insulated from the outside world. “I went out on a date with this girl and I told her I was Muslim,” he said of one such moment, “and she thought for awhile and said ‘Gee, I’m a Sagittarius’!” The Guest of Honor, Indian Consul General Anupam Ray could not attend, so the Deputy Consul general Surendra Adahana stood in for him. He said that today’s celebration was not just about Eid but also helped focus on the contributions of the Indo-American community here, praising the Dawoodi Bohra community which had banded together to serve and rescue many CONTINUED ON PAGE 10


4 July 06, 2018 COMMUNITY IACAN’s Painting Party to Celebrate Cancer Survivors SUGAR LAND: National Cancer Survi-

vors Day is commemorated annually on the first Sunday in June and this year, the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) celebrated cancer survivors on Saturday, June 3 with a painting party. The event was held at Painting with a Twist in Sugar Land. One of the main goals of IACAN is to improve the physical and emotional needs of cancer survivors and their caregivers. IACAN has sponsored several therapeutic activities such as yoga, gardening, painting, and music therapies, so the survivors and their caregivers can build support networks, improve quality of life, and optimize their health. By conducting these therapeutic activities, IACAN aims to educate, entertain, and ease the pain and exchange relevant information among survivors and caregivers. This “Buddy System” gives an emotional boost and a sense of wellbeing to the participants. Painting with a Twist is a fun activity. Everything needed for the painting is provided to each painter. Some of the participants had never painted before and some were familiar with the art of painting. A well-trained coach guided each step of the painting process. The instructions were so thorough, the participants felt confident, proud and happy with the end product, a picture of the Impressionist Bridge. It was evident that during the painting session the participants were relieved of their worries and were totally immersed in the painting. They were able to share their expertise of painting, giving instructions to others and having a great time. Laughter and joy filled the room. Of course participants shared their experiences of their cancer journey and there were a lot of exchange of ideas and sharing of relevant information as well. This therapeutic activity was followed by a healthy lunch. While Cancer Survivor Day is celebrated once a year but we should acknowledge and honor cancer survivors every day for their resilience. It will be a great pleasure to serve more survivors and their caregivers. If you feel IACAN can help you, please contact IACAN at 713-370-3489 or visit www.iacannetwork.org.

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@ yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

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Blockbuster Grand Opening for Bombay Bazaar!

SUGAR

LAND: On the very last day of the first half of the year, Bombay Bazaar opened as the largest all vegetarian IndoAmerican Grocery Store in Houston with a bang! The theme of the blockbuster Grand Opening event was everything Bombay. Patrons were delighted to receive “Ghoda Gadi” or Horse Carriage rides reminiscent of their youths spent along Bombay’s Marine Drive and enjoyed refreshing complimentary Pani Puri’s - the most famous Bombay street food - all day long, in addition to Masala Chai, water and cooling popsicles. A Bombay train ticket taker checked for giveaway “tickets” and kept the crowds from exceeding capacity, while a Chaiwallah drew patrons to try Brooke Bond’s love tea tasting of the everyday favorite “Red Label” and the premium “Taj Mahal” teas. “The sale was like Diwali in July!” said shopper Smita Chawla. Many people in Bombay and other parts of India still eat in steel plates, bowls, and glasses, so Bombay Bazaar featured a big section of steel utensils at below cost prices, like steel “vatis” for 50 cents. “The Tawa that was on sale 10AM - 2PM for only $1.99, I could not get this quality and price even in India in rupees!” said Bindiya Patel. Owners Abhishek Chaudhari and his father Narayan, who have built their reputation for quality groceries and exceptional customer service from their KT Bombay Bazaar for 10 years, were at the door awarding the first 150 customers with gifts such as a complete Thali Sets, Kadai and chai pots, and gift bags filled with Deep products. The line to get inside the store was long and wrapped around the entire building and the Bombay Chowpatty restaurant. The center has a huge Parking lot and it was packed before the store even opened. Masala Radio had hyped the grand opening day for six weeks and lines formed at the 3 open checkout lines as patron gathered carts full of sales like Suraj Sona Mas-

July 06, 2018

sori Rice for $8.99 with free Bru coffee. Vegetables were as low as $.39 a pound, 10-cilantro bunches for $1, and 20 limes for a $1. Masala Radio had promoted and organized the Grand Opening Dhamaal with DJ Nishad spinning Bollywood music, wind dancers, tents, hundreds of balloons, and the popular non stop Ghoda Gadi rides. Sandhya Thakkar organized the salad making contest where 8 participants raced around the store gathering all ingredients in 2 minutes and getting another 7 minutes to chop, dress, and present their salad Creations. Some had pre-planned and brought their own chopped ingredients while most of the people joined on the spot. Bombay Bazaar’s Abhishek Chaudhari awarded First prize 5L

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Prestige pressure cooker to Bhavan, Nima won the 2nd prize of 3L cooker, and the third place was awarded to Jyotsana. All participants were delighted to get to keep their gathered ingredients. Shortly after this contest, guests were invited to a tasting of the freshly made rotis. Even those waiting in long checkout lines that wrapped around the store smiled as they let the fresh fully puffed rotis melt into their mouths. All customers on grand opening

day received a complimentary pack of fresh rotis. Dipali Patel was surprised to

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COMMUNITY

July 06, 2018

Exciting and Enlightening 2018 JCHYK Camp at Chinmaya Mission Houston BY SATCHITANANDA

HOUSTON: One of the greatest enduring

legacies of Gurudev Pujya Swami Chinmayananda is to establish an amazing system to continuously infuse practical Vedic and Vedantic wisdom in the society. Amongst the various activities of the Chinmaya Mission world over, perhaps the one that touches the youth the most is the Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHY) camps. Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH) played host to a power packed, enlightening summer camp for five days from June 11 through 15, which helped the youth (ages 14-17) to build their skills to introspect within. Acharya Vivekji transformed the minds of the participants with a themed message – The Efficient, the effective, the enlightened – an exploration of the Bhagavad Gita along with Br. Shweta Chaitanyaji, a living proof of CMH’s immense contributions. Every participant felt Acharya Vivekji’s message was simple, easy to remember and practicable. Both the Acharyas kept the theme around Sthitha Pragña Lakshana. Ten values distilled as characteristics of a wise person from Bhagavad Gita were emphasized. They include – being content, balanced, independent, fearless, accepting all situations, disciplined, devoted, awareness, knowledge and humility. The camp engaged the body, mind and intellect through a myriad of activities. Though the camp was laced with numerous discourses about each value, it was the workshops, fun activities, assignments to learn about oneself through introspection, which kept the excitement of the camp. Both the Acharyas, due to their Chinmaya Mission legacy, were able to

reach deep into the psyche of the youth and transfer their wisdom in a fun way, as they related to the kids at every level. The intense, yet fun camp, through powerful reiteration brought the kids to face their own mind and challenge themselves to ascend along the path of these ten values. Acharya Vivekji had a 24-hour challenge, Reflection Adventure Day (RAD) to transform the imparted wisdom as their new habits. Shwetaji’s game centered approach to impart a value was a big hit among the participants. Introducing the young minds to Mouna and having them introspect and analyze their own mind was a wonderful experience the kids had. Though it appeared challenging to the novice, by the end of the camp, they were able to master it, to work as their strengths.

JCHYK Summer Camp 2018 participants

Group activities that translated wisdom to practical application

Acharya Vivekji addressing the excited participants

The kids recounted their gained knowledge with the quote, they learnt at the camp - “Nothing to gain, so nothing to lose; nothing to lose, so nothing to fear; nothing to fear, so everything is love”. Camps like these leave lifelong impressions of Vedanta on the young minds and help one lead a life rooted in the ancient wisdom. CMH is proudly dedicated to transplanting the young minds in the fertile soil of practical vedantic wisdom one at a time, constantly watered by the love and dedication of the Acharyas, under the constant radiance of the Sun of Gurudev’s vision to revive a dharmic

society. Tradition steeped in wisdom, diffused with fun is the norm at Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498. For more information, visit www.chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059. This article is sourced from JCHYK camp participant feedback of Aditi Ram, Aishwarya Kosgi, Aditi Kosigi, Mihir Gundamaraju, Ankitha Gantasala and Shivani Sinha. Photos & JCHYK Camp organized by Jayakrishna Gundamaraju

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July 06, 2018

Deva Snana Puja of the Lords at the Char Dham Temple T

Deva Snana Puja

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HE WOODLANDS: As part of the 7th Annual “Greater Houston Rath Yatra” celebrations, “Deva Snana Puja”, bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra was celebrated at the Char Dham Temple in the Woodlands on Wednesday, June 27 with much pomp and ceremony. Deva Snana is the first occasion in the year when the deities are brought out from the sanctum sanctorum at Puri and taken in a procession to Snana Mandap (bathing altar), where they are ceremonially bathed with 108 pitchers of water from a well inside the Jagannath Temple. After the bathing rituals, the deities are decorated in Gaja Vesha or elephant headgear. In keeping with this tradition, the deities, were bathed with 108 pitchers of water in a ceremony led by the head priest of Char Dham temple, Sri Srikiran Narayam. Devotees present in the temple participated in the bathing ceremony by pouring water on their beloved God. After the bathing ceremony, the deities were dressed in Gaja Vesha. All the while, soulful bhajans were being performed by Char Dham devotees. This was followed by Maha Arati and Prasadam.

After the ceremony, the deities were placed in Anabasara, where the devotees can’t see them until Rath Yatra, which will be celebrated on July 14, at the Char Dham Temple from 5pm to 10pm. This event is being organized jointly by Char Dham Hindu Temple, SKAI Foundation, and ISKCON Houston and is being supported by various other organizations. The organizers are anticipating a big

crowd packing the temple premises and surrounding streets to see and seek blessings from Lord Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. Festivities will include procession of 3 chariots in Jagannath Puri style, Cultural entertainment, Indian bazaar, Food booths and Maha Arati. Admission is completely free. For more information, visit http://chardhamhindutemple.org or call 832-299-5172.

This is what devotees will see when they visit Jagannath temple till Rath Yatra.

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people after Hurricane Harvey. He also touched on Islam’s influence on India, concluding that “everything comes together to make India.” During an awards ceremony, the IMAGH recognized an individual and organization for their community service: Farida Ajmani, a co-founder of Shining Nightingale Healthcare and a tireless volunteer wherever she is needed and Daya, a group that helps women, children and families suffering from domestic violence, the award received by its president Sheila Rao. The Council for AmericanIslamic Relations bestowed their award on IMAGH for its exemplary outreach. Shazia Khan, the evening’s emcee, and Moid Khan, both of Radio Dabang were given special recognition for their support. And finally, the Milind made good on a goal the IMAGH had set out earlier this

year by handing out scholarships to three deserving students: Masooma Batool, Syed A. Shahabuddin and Syed Bahrez Nadeem. Paru McGuire, the enduring President of IMAGH’s sister organization for seniors, Club 65 gave a quick rundown of its monthly activities and Mohammed Khan, President of SAYA geared to young people spoke about that group’s work. The evening’s program ended with a fashion show with a historical twist displaying the richly made garments from several epoch’s in India’s past with models – one even dressed in a chainlink vest as a strong medieval soldier, another as a British soldier – walking through their paces on an abbreviated catwalk and stage. The show narrated by Tasnim Vadva, who was also the Chair of the Organizing Committee, and pulled it together with her volunteers.

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July 06, 2018

MAHA RUDRAM: A Sea of Orange, A Sea of Bhakti!

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Rudram conducted at Sri Meenakshi Temple from June 22 to 24, was a phenomenal experience for all who participated, whether as ritwiks or as devotees. It is two years in a row that it attained the status of Maha Rudram, when the count of Rudram chants exceeds the magic number 1331. About 60 ritwiks, all clad in orange vastrams blessed by the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, under the

leadership of the temple priests, took part in the event spread over 3 days. It was literally a vedic marathon that took a lot of unparalleled dedication and effort by the participants. This is the 10th consecutive year that MTS has conducted the Sri Rudra Japam. The whole temple was flooded with the well synchronized chantings, even days later one can feel the reverberations. Sri Rudram occurs in Krishna Yajur Veda. There are seven chapters in this Veda and Sri

Rudram occurs in the fourth or middle chapter. So, if Krishna Yajur Veda is like a garland, Sri Rudram is like a pendant in the middle. And the most sacred Panchakshara mantra is enshrined like a diamond in the center. Rudram means Dukhameliminator, paapam-eliminator. The word ‘Rudram’ is derived from two words - ‘Rud’ and ‘Ra’. ‘Rud’ means dukham (sorrow) or paapam (sin, demerit). ‘Rud’ also means the cause of dukham or paapam. What is the cause of sorrow or sin? It is agnyanam (ignorance). ‘Ra’ means eliminator. Lord Siva gets the name Rudra because he removes sorrow and sin and also the cause of them, which is ignorance. The event started on Friday, June 22 at 6 PM. The Rudram chanters known as ritwiks as well as ardent devotees from far and wide assembled in the Main temple for the initial Sankalpam. The preliminary pujas started with Vigneshwara puja, Punyahavachanam and Kalasa stapanam. Then the all powerful Mahanyasam chanting was led by the priests to invoke Lord Rudra in every part of their body and mind. This is how Lord Shiva displays Himself through everyone who prays Him. The 60+ ritwiks assembled at 9 AM on Saturday and for the next 3 hours went on the intense chanting of Sri Rudram, eleven times, each time followed by an CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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12 July 06, 2018

HOUSTON: Genx won their 2nd

championship title in TCC Tapped Ball Tournament in professional division on June 23 by defeating CFCC by 25 runs in a low scoring yet an enthralling final. For CFCC, this was their maiden final and they put on a tough fight to get close to their maiden title. CFCC won the toss and asked Genx to bat first on a ground with slow outfield and marginally overcast conditions. The opening duo of Rahul and Saketh started steadily but did not provide best of the starts and very soon it was 18/1 in 3 overs. The outfield was very slow and to score boundaries became very difficult and it was 29/1 in 5 overs. From one end Saketh (19) played a steady innings but the other end kept loosing wickets in quick succession and Genx were 52/4 after 10 overs. Soon after the drinks break Kalyan came up with the blitz but it too didn’t last long and CFCC started to tighten their hold on the game with the score at 86/8 in 16 overs. Rajesh(12) and Naresh(9) had a mini cameo partnership of 21 runs in 2 overs to pull the team to a defendable total of 112 in 20 overs. CFCC bowled exceedingly well taking the best advantage of the game day conditions. Abhishek and Sankirth took two wickets each whereas the rest of the bowlers took a wicket a piece. Believing 113 as a defendable target and with a positive outlook

COMMUNITY

TCC Taped Ball Professional Tournament Spring 2018, Genx Winner, CFCC Runner up Naresh and Naveen opened the bowling attack for Genx. CFCC started off cautiously too but wicket fall seemed inevitable. CFCC lost both their openers Sasi (6) and Karthik in quick succession. Naveen and Naresh both held their line of attack, crisp and precise and with excellent support from Vivek, the next two batsmen had to follow the openers. CFCC was in deep trouble with 18/4 in 5 overs. Mujahed (12) and Raj (10) seemed to take control of things by easily rotating the strike in between. Ramsai put up a beautiful delivery to get a nick from Mujahed to the wicket keeper. CFCC were 45/5 in 10 overs before the drinks break and needed 68 runs in 60 balls with 5 wickets in hand. The target seemed tough at this point with required rate steadily climbing up. CFCC’s depth in the batting lineup did not help and they only managed to add 29 runs in next 6 overs to get to 74/8 in 16 overs. From there, chances to win for CFCC faded away and Genx was within striking distance of a win. Sankirth ( 17*) holding up one end did not help and CFCC collapsed to a total of 87/10. A perfect bowling attack and flawless fielding lead Genx to clinch its second championship title in professional Divn. Navin took 4 wickets and Vivek took 3

wickets. The game had excellent umpiring by Kushal and Tony. The game was followed by a well-organized prize distribution ceremony arranged by TCC. Tony Best, one of the umpires gave away the awards. Jagadish Biradar, the organizer for TCC Taped Ball tournament coordinated the presentation ceremony. Pavan Soodireddy, Captain of Genx was presented with the championship trophy and Prabhakar Thota, captain of CFCC was presented with the runner up trophy. The players of the winning team received individual trophies and runner up team received medals. Man of the match for the final was awarded to Naveen Ramalingam from Genx for his excellent bowling performance to pick 4 wickets. Nandu Jalumuri from BBCC won the best batsman trophy for scoring 204 runs. Salman Farouqi from Kings XI won the best bowler for picking 16 wickets, Chaitanya Kalapala from BCC Legends won the best all-rounder for scoring 167 runs and picking 12 wickets, Navin Negi from LSCC won the best wicket keeper for 19 dismissals and special award was given to Sankirth Bathula from CFCC for scoring a century.

Winners Genx with umpires of the game, Tony and Kushal.

Runners up CFCC with umpires of the game, Tony and Kushal.

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July 06, 2018 13 COMMUNITY Latha Ramchand Leaves UH to Become Provost at Missouri-Columbia BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

Dr. Latha Ramchand, dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston’s Main Campus has been named provost and executive vice-chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus. She will start in her new role on August 15. Ramchand will replace Dr. Garnett Stokes, who left the UM-C in January after 32 months at the number 2 spot earning $459,000 annually, to become the first woman president of the University of New Mexico under a five-year contract. The university began a six-month search last November for Stokes replacement. Ramchand will take over after a tumultuous period of protests at UM-C for minority and graduate student rights in 2015, deep cuts to state higher education funding and a steep drop in enrollment that led to a $60 million budget in 2017 and the layoff of hundreds of employees. In addition, UM-C will cut 12 graduate programs and overhaul of its academic programs. Ramchand, 57, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and

a master’s degree in economics from the University of Bombay, later earning a doctorate in finance from Northwestern University. Prior to joining academia, she worked in the banking industry. She is a CFA and member of the Houston Society of Financial Analysts. She has been a fixture of the Indian community in Houston and has chaired many financial issues discussions at various meetings. She has been at the University of Houston for 25 years, where she started as a finance professor. She served as associate dean of graduate programs and associate dean of programs and administration before being named in 2011 as dean of the College of Business, a position that paid $323,229. Ramchand introduced new programs and initiatives, like Red Labs, an accelerator that helps launch student-led technology startups. She also helped launch Sustaining Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship, a program that connects

students and community entrepreneurs with the goal of reducing poverty. As dean, Ramchand worked to promote inclusion and diversity across campus. Three out of four businesses launched by the SURE program are owned by women and more than 67 percent are minority-owned. The Working Families Agenda she developed provides resources and support for women in business school, along with research that organizations can use to implement policies that create a diverse workplace. “Dr. Ramchand is a strong leader with a demonstrated track record in higher education, and I’m thrilled to have her join the University of Missouri,” said Alexander Cartwright, chancellor of the university. “She has the expertise to lead programs of excellence, student success initiatives, research, economic development and engagement. She also understands the importance of supporting and recognizing faculty who drive our scholarly activities in creative works and research, which benefit our broader community and the world.”

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14 July 06, 2018 Alka and Ajay Gupta Foundation,

ing underserved children of Houston by offering and promoting

achieve their educational goals. Additionally, the Foundation focuses on engaging our Houston community in health and wellness education. In alignment with that commitment, the foundation has organized and funded several health fair projects and wellness events. On many occasions, the Foundation has collaborated with Texas Children’s Mobile Clinic Program to provide free healthcare services to medically underserved children in Houston who may not have access to appropriate medical care. The foundations mission is to help and inspire children in our communities to not only access basic educational and healthcare opportunities, but also to pursue their dreams and strive to realize their full potential.

the Fire with the chanting of Sri Rudram. The final part of the Homam was the Vasordhara which was performed to the chant of the Chamakam. This was followed by Purnahuthi. An elaborate Abhishekam was performed for Lord Sundarewara that was witnessed by over 400 devotees. The curtains were drawn briefly for Alankaram, and when they opened up again, Lord Sundareswara in His most majestic form gave darshan to the devotees. The devotees were engulfed by the power of the Lord, and this was the greatest reward that the devotees could ever imagine they would receive. The

final Arathi and Upacharam were very remarkable and Lord Sundareswara’s divine presence and blessings were felt. It was amazing to see the wide variety of prasadams that were so lovingly prepared by the devotees in their homes and brought for the neivedyam by the grace of the Lord. More than 400 people had a sumptuous lunch. All in all, this was a most divine and blissful event that was well organized and conducted by the Temple under the leadership of the Chairman of the Board Mrs Padmini Nathan, the Religious Activity Committee led by Mrs Sheila Sriram, Priests led

by Sri Manicka Bhattar, ably supported by the silpis and staff of the temple. The event co-coordinators Sri Sriram, Sri Muthukumar and other volunteers put in countless hours of work and co-ordination. Last but not the least were the ritwiks themselves who performed this historical feat with the blessings of Lord Sundareswara, to make this a very divine and fulfilling event. Many devotees and ritwiks could not help thinking if they were actually in the US, or was this all happening in India. The Rudra mantram “Om Namo Bhagavathe Rudraya ……” still reverberates in their hearts.

Promoting Healthy Communities & Happy Lifestyle

HOUSTON:

Alka and Ajay Gupta Foundation is a non-profit

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 anuvakam of Chamakam. Hundreds of devotees were held in a trance while the vedic mantra was chanted in unison. The whole atmosphere was filled with the strength and power of Sri Rudram. The morning session concluded with Rudra Trishati archana and upacharam. The afternoon session started at 5 PM, with the continuation of the Sri Rudram chanting. The priests and ritwiks performed this divine prayer with utter concentration and devotion, and the temple resonated with this vedic mantra. The

organization founded in Houston, Texas, that is dedicated to support-

MAHA RUDRAM evening session concluded with a spectacular arathi and upacharam. The devotees and ritwiks gathered again on Sunday, June 24 morning to continue with the chanting of Sri Rudram, the greatest Vedic offering to Lord Shiva. Goddess Meenakshi being the Veda Matha was surely smiling with happiness when she heard all the Veda ghosham in the temple from ritwiks, some of whom came from as far away as Dallas. The great Rudra Homam was then performed with such meticulous detail with the priests making the offerings to

COMMUNITY

education and healthcare opportunities. To celebrate education, the Foundation host’s annual backto-school events in eight different Houston locations to help economically disadvantaged elementary school students and their families as they prepare to return to school. The first event started on June 30, where children received backpacks, grade-appropriate school supplies, books, and water bottles, and were treated to a day full of entertainment at Westward Square Apartments. The Foundation collaborated with YMCA, Houston Food Bank, and Evangelical Lutheran Church to make it a very successful event. Houston families who have benefitted from our donations have made us realize the significance of basic school supplies and adequate support necessary for our youth to

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


July 06, 2018

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

15


16 July 06, 2018

COMMUNITY Benefits of Joining the Global Entry Program

Officer C. Salazar addressing IACCGH members.

H

BY MANU SHAH

OUSTON: As part of its Outreach efforts, IACCGH invited Officer C. Salazar from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to speak to its members about the benefits of joining the Global Entry Program.

The event was held on June 20, at Double Tree Hilton. As a regular user of the program, Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia stated that “this is an effort by the Chamber to educate and empower the community on relevant matters” while President Swapan Dhairyawan encouraged frequent travelers to explore the program as it helps “skip the long queues at airports and head home as fast as possible.” Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program, allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. On arrival in the US, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, scan their passport or U.S. permanent resident card, get a fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration after which they can proceed to baggage claim.

Travelers are required to undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment. (https://www.cbp.gov/ travel/trusted-traveler-programs/ global-entry/how-apply) Officer Salazar clarified that the program is not just for US citizens and Permanent residents but has recently been opened for Indian citizens. In July 2017, the U.S. formalized India’s inclusion to the Global Entry program. Indian travelers can apply for Global Entry through the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) website. Indian Ambassador to Washington Navtej Sarna was the first Indian national to be enrolled in the program. Explaining the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, she stated that TSA PreCheck program allows approved passengers expedited screening on domestic flights. TSA PreCheck passengers are not required to remove their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets. A PreCheck is cheaper ($85 for five years), and Global Entry is $100 for five years. However, that

Photo: Bijay Dixit

Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, and the extra $15 seems well worth it. You can apply online for Global Entry and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. Some premium credit card companies do offer rebates or even a refund on the application fee. CBP Officers explained the Global Entry program to a large gathering of over 2200 attendees at the India Culture Center Republic Day celebrations on January 20th. The Chamber donated the booth to Customs and Border Protection and they will be setting up booth again on August 19th during the Independence Day celebrations. IACCGH has arranged for US Customs and Border Protection representatives to speak during the IACCGH Business Hour on Open Forum Radio as well as a focus meeting of CBP Officers to discuss the program with the leadership of the Fort Bend, Asian, Korean, Taiwanese Columbian and the Netherlands American Chambers of Commerce.

Bombay Bazaar! CONTINUED FROM PAGE 05 see such a huge crowd and begged owner Abhishek to bypass the line and eyeball a total for his groceries, for which Abhishek graciously obliged - the total came to $50 and dipali generously paid $100 and wished Abhishek the best of luck. Abhishek said laughing “this is the first time I got a tip and it’s a good feeling.” We didn’t expect this crowd and it’s not just today. Ever since Masala Radio started promoting our new store, people have been pouring in”. Abhishek’s father Narayan who started the first KT Bombay bazaar 10 years ago said “I didn’t believe in marketing even though I have enjoyed the comedy and humor on Masala radio I never advertised. My son INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Abhishek insisted that for the new store, we gave Masala Radio the job to promote the store and grand opening. To my surprise I got 1000 times more result than I expected. Hats off to the entire team of Masala radio and special thanks to Sandhyaben”. The father and son theme thanked their family and friends who volunteered to help with the grand opening crowds, as well as the generous suppliers who arranged the specials. Due to heavy public demand, they have extended their grand opening sale for another 3 weeks. You can take advantage of these specials only at the Bombay Bazaar at the Gateway of Sugar Land at 11720 W. Airport @ Kirkwood.


TRAVEL COMMUNITY BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

T

HE WOODLANDS: Following up on the successful debut of the mass yoga event last year, the organizers from this township 45 minutes north of Houston once again held the International Day of Yoga, two days after the Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 23, just in time for the Sun to rise and allow everyone to start with the Surya Namaskar pose. Blessedly, the rains that dampened the event last year were replaced by clear blue skies and mild temperatures as an estimated 300 people took part in the yoga exercises, down from the almost 450 who attended last year. This was the second IDY event - the first being on Thursday in Midtown Park in Houston – arranged by the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands, in partnership with the Houston Consulate General of India, Most of the staff of the Consulate were on hand with their families to participate and enjoy the early morning rituals of yoga asanas (poses). The Woodlands community showed their interest in yoga’s promise of health and wellness and several booths from area businesses lined both sides of the venue. Participants to the free even came with their rubber yoga rolls and spread them out in rows on the slight incline of Town Greene Park, in the shadow of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. By 8 am, the yoga mats covered the grassy lawn as the leotard

July 06, 2018

17

A Bright Surya Namaskar at Int’l Yoga Day in The Woodlands

Over 300 people participated in the 2-hour yoga program.

The staff of the Indian Consulate and their families attended the event

and t-shirt clad yoga practitioners followed the calming, sonorous voice from the short, elevated stage at the

colonnaded and bricked entrance urging them to find the quiet space in their minds and focus on their asanas.

Volunteers from the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands organized the International Day of Yoga in Town Greene Park on Saturday, June 22.

The program opened with prayers and meditation by the Brahmakumaris, a worldwide spiritual movement, and The Art of Living Foundation of The Woodlands. Short yoga demonstrations followed – sun salutations, relaxation and pranayama – taught by several area yoga instructors, including some from HTW. Participants, ranging from small children to octogenarians, followed guided meditation and asnayas with rapt attention, and were transported into tranquility in the serene setting of Town Greene Park. The festive event was a wholesome family outing with live music, chanting, yoga studio booths and sale of yoga books as well as stalls of

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

local vendors of organic groceries, health foods and hand-made jewelry. An Indian breakfast of biryani and vegetables was provided by the Hyderabad House Biryani Place of The Woodlands. The local H-E-B, across the street from the park, generously donated water and bananas to everyone. The event was coordinated by Dr. Neeta Shukla and brought together by the tireless efforts of countless adult and youth volunteers of the HTW, some of whom were at the venue at 4 am to set-up and the rains did not dampen their spirit. They meticulously planned the safety, security, parking, audio, photography and overall logistics over several weeks.


18 July 06, 2018

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Notes from Sound Hell

The Sinking Rupee

The rupee’s troubles just do not seem to end. On Thursday, the currency weakened past 69 intraday against the U.S. dollar, an all-time low. The rupee, which has lost almost 8% in value since January 1, is the worst-performing currency in Asia this year. It is, however, not the only currency to be in the doldrums. Emerging market currencies as a group have witnessed a sharp correction in their value against the dollar this year. The MSCI Emerging Markets currency index, for instance, is down about 6% since the beginning of April. The rise in international crude oil prices is one of the reasons behind the rupee’s decline as importers have had to shell out more dollars to fund their purchases. India’s current account deficit, which jumped to 1.9% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 from just 0.6% a year earlier, is now expected to widen to 2.5% in FY 2019. This could spell even more trouble for the rupee as the demand for dollars could turn out to be overwhelming. The dollar index, which gauges the value of the dollar against a host of major global currencies, is up about 7.5% since February. The rise in global trade tensions amidst the ongoing trade war could be another factor behind the rout in emerging market currencies, but its impact on the rupee remains unclear as of now. But by far the most important reason behind the fall in the rupee and other emerging market currencies is the tightening of U.S. monetary policy. Investors attracted by higher yields in the United States have been pulling their capital out of India at an increasing pace over the last few months. Foreign portfolio investors, in fact, took out Rs. 29,714 crore in May, almost a doubling of outflow compared to Rs. 15,561 crore in April. Most of the foreign fund outflow this year has come out of the bond market, which explains the steep fall in Indian bond prices. None of this turbulence in emerging markets, however, is surprising. The tightening of monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve has traditionally caused the turning of the global credit cycle, which eventually leads to various crises around the world. It is hard to determine if the worst is over yet for emerging market currencies. But the fact that the American central bank expects to raise interest rates further this year suggests that more pain could be in store. Reserve Bank of India, which recently raised domestic interest rates, may need to think out of the box to avoid a crisis similar to the taper tantrum of 2013. -- The Hindu

BY RUCHIR JOSHI There is a history of independent India waiting to be written — a history examined through the evolution, if that’s the correct word, of the horns on motor vehicles. I was born a full 13 years after Independence, so I have no memory of what honking was like in the early days. For this, someone of my generation is forced to look at films, mostly commercial fiction films, from Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. People far more erudite than myself about the Indian bioscope will come up with many examples but I can only think of sequences of empty or slightly crowded roads and the meek mewing of the motor gaadis as the hero or the comedian drove the vehicle, often hitting the horn in tune and beat with a song. Whether in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi or Ajantrik, car audiology had a certain civility, a contained ‘peep-peep’ that sound-stamped the time almost as much as the voices of the mellifluous K.L. Saigal or Mukesh. The shouted tunes of Mohammed Rafi would come after this and the growl of foreign sports cars would match the funk base of R.D. Burman tunes even later. Growing up in the ’60s, car horns held a particular fascination for the brat sector in an Indian child’s brain. The Ambassador had a thin metal ring, only a little smaller than the large steering wheel, and the thing magically responded with a shrill noise no matter where you pressed it. The Fiat was different — the horn was a small plastic pie at the centre of the steering and the peeenp it produced was less shrill but no less insistent than the Amby horn, a bit like a high-voiced Bombay denizen whose complaint might get through to a policeman over

the Amby horn equivalent screaming of a Bengali or a Bihari. I don’t really remember the horn on the Standard Herald but I imagine it was snobbish and ineffective and wannabe sporty, a bit like the car itself. Truck and bus horns had a different sound but I’m hard put to place them in my memory. In smaller towns such as Ahmedabad, a kid could get a huge kick out of the rubber bulb trumpets perched on the side of the autorickshaw driver’s cockpit. These horns created a bhawnpoobhawnpoo sound which had a base element, both aurally and morally. Drivers could caress the rounded rubber ball and create meendhs, glissandos with different meanings, for instance when insulting someone they were overtaking or showing loutish, lecherous ‘appreciation’ for a pretty woman on the sidewalk. As kids, blissfully ignorant of these sound signifiers, we would love to squeeze the rubber bulbs to reproduce cacophonous postprandial wind passings of both varieties. At some point in our history, a horn rupture took place in our cities and villages. Like frogs frolicking in water with imperceptibly increasing temperature, we allowed ourselves to be boiled in an aural inferno. The number of vehicles grew, the tonality of the horns mutated, and suddenly we found ourselves in a seemingly irreversible sound hell. Someone allowed the trucks and buses to install these ghastly amplified klaxons, while motorcyclists started affixing car horns on bikes to scare the cars they were ambushing from behind. At some point, police cars, politicians’escort vehicles and ambulances adorned themselves with the sirens — different sounding contraptions in different towns — and the party began in earnest.

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

For decades, Indians learning to drive had been taught to use the horn as a blunt instrument of defenceassault, as a sound cosh to remove obstacles in the way of whatever they were driving, whether the obstacle was soft, as in pedestrian, or a wheeled object from lower down the vehicular food chain, as in a bicycle. There was also the edict, quite sensible for a period, that you should hit the horn while approaching any crossing to warn and ward off any other vehicle that might hit you at a right angle. All this became nonsensical with the advent of air-conditioned cars equipped with sound systems. The windows went up, the music systems came on, as did the mobile phones later, and suddenly you couldn’t hear anyone else’s horn or even your own as you pumped it to blast sound out into the deaf and uncaring traffic. Only vehicles without air-conditioning and the poor pedestrians and people who lived by the side of the roads could hear the horns. The airconditioned vehicles’ honking now adds to the general enervation and traffic fury and achieves nothing useful whatsoever. When in a taxi I often ask the driver: “I’ve been driving for 40 years and not once has a car moved aside when I’ve honked from behind. Has your experience been different?” The answer, invariably, is: “No, you’re right, but what to do, it’s a habit now and I can’t stop. Everyone does it and so do I.” Horns are only one component of the horrendous sound pollution we have created around ourselves, but trying to cut them down would be a good place to start when attempting to dismantle the aural prison we’ve constructed for ourselves. -- The Hindu Ruchir Joshi is a writer, columnist and a filmmaker.


LIFE OF MAHATMA GANDHI

July 06, 2018

19

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 4

T

Gandhi’s Impact in South Africa

he story thus far… Gandhi arrives in South Africa and is rudely made aware of the rampant racism in that country when has to visit Pretoria on work. He is unceremoniously thrown off a 1st class compartment on a train to Johannesburg. He manages to board another train where his white fellow traveler is quite willing to share the compartment. They travel harmoniously on to Pretoria. It was late in the evening when the train pulled into Pretoria. Gandhi, relieved to reach his destination stayed at a hotel that night and moved into a lodge the next day. There he began to study the Abdulla lawsuit. While he was working on it, he made the time to call a meeting of the Indians in Pretoria. This he did with the help of Tyeb Haji Khan Muhammad, an influential Indian merchant. Only a handful of Indians attended. It was the first time Gandhi had addressed a meeting. “There is too much division among us,” he said. “Why should we be kept apart by differences in birth, family, caste, and religion? Let us form a league, representing every group, and keep the Government informed of our difficulties and our needs.” The audience listened to him with great interest. It was decided to hold regular meetings of all the Indians in Pretoria. Involved in his work, Gandhi was entrusted with the task of translating into English all the correspondence between Dada,Abdulla & Co. and the rival party. After studying all the facts, he was convinced that his client’s claim was just and true. He knew, however, that if the case were taken to court it would drag on for a long time, so he called together representatives of both parties. “Why don’t you choose a good man, whom you both trust, to arbitrate between you?” he said. Both parties were astonished at this new idea. This young man was not the kind of lawyer they were familiar with; they appreciated his stand and agreed to his suggestion.An arbitrator was appointed, and he gave his award in favor of Gandhi’s clients. Although they had won, Gandhi persuaded his clients to be lenient with their opponent. They agreed not to demand the money due all at once, but in easy installments spread over a long period. Both parties were happy over the settlement. Gandhi’s first success as a lawyer was not a crushing victory over an opponent, but the triumph of good sense and humanity. In the Orange Free State, Indians had been deprived of all their rights by a law enacted in 1888. They could stay there only if they did menial work. Traders were sent away with nominal compensation. Under a law passed in 1886, Indians who wanted to live in the Transvaal were forced to pay an annual poll-tax of £ 3 per head. There they were not allowed to own land except in certain locations. They had no freedom to move about. If they wanted to go out of their houses after

9 p.m., they had to carry a permit with them. They were not allowed to use certain highways at all. Gandhi felt personally humiliated at the way Indians were treated there. He thought it was his duty to defend their rights and remove their grievances. He often went out for an evening walk with an English friend, Mr. Coates, and he rarely reached home before 10 p.m. He had obtained a letter from the State Attorney allowing him to be out of doors at any time without police interference. Walking alone one evening, Gandhi was suddenly attacked and knocked down. He was injured. He struggled to his feet to face a police constable. “That will teach you to obey the law,” shouted the policeman. “No Indian has the right to walk past the President’s house. Didn’t you know that?” The policeman kicked him. “Gandhi, are you hurt?” asked a familiar, friendly voice. It was Mr. Coates. He happened to be passing that way when he saw Gandhi being attacked. Mr. Coates warned the policeman. “This man is my friend and a distinguished lawyer,” he said. “If he brings a complaint against you, I shall be his witness.” Then he turned to his friend and said, “I am very sorry, Gandhi, that you have been so rudely assaulted.” “You need not be sorry,” said Gandhi. “How is the poor man to know? All colored people are the same to him. I have made it a rule not to go to court in respect of any personal grievance.” Coates turned again to the policeman and said, “You should tell an Indian politely what the regulations are - not knock him down.” “Never mind,” said Gandhi. “I have already forgiven him.”

Now that the Abdulla case had been settled, Gandhi thought there was no need for him to stay on in South Africa. Towards the end of 1893 he went back to Durban to book his passage to India. Abdulla arranged a farewell party in his honor. While going through the newspapers that day, Gandhi was surprised to read that a bill was pending before the Natal Legislative Assembly that would deprive Indians of their right to elect members to the Assembly. He brought this to the notice of the people gathered there for the party. “What do we understand about such matters?” Abdulla Seth said. “We only understand things that affect our trade.” Gandhi responded that the bill, if it passed into law, would make it extremely difficult for Indians. “It is the first nail in our coffin. It strikes at the very root of our selfrespect,” said Gandhi. The Indians now realized what was at stake; but they were unable to decide what to do. They requested Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting in Abdulla Seth’s house under the presidency of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting postponement on further discussion of the bill. The Speaker promptly replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. This was followed up by another petition to Lord Ripon, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. More than 10,000 Indians signed the petition. Copies were circulated in South Africa, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did do some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that now awakened the Indians in South Africa. To be Continued Next week...

Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. Essay

CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

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The contest are open to all children in the greater Houston Area. The winners of these contests will be recognized at the 1000 Lights for Peace, a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, on Sunday, October 14, 2017. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


20 July 06, 2018

DIASPORA

“We Cannot Live Here”

Afghanistan's Sikhs Weigh Future After Suicide Bombing

KABUL: Many among Afghani-

stan’s dwindling Sikh minority are considering leaving for neighbouring India, after a suicide bombing in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Sunday killed at least 13 members of the community. The victims of the attack claimed by terrorist group Islamic State included Avtar Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate in parliamentary elections this October, and Rawail Singh, a prominent community activist. “I am clear that we cannot live here anymore,” said Tejvir Singh, 35, whose uncle was killed in the blast. “Our religious practices will not be tolerated by the Islamic terrorists. We are Afghans. The government recognises us, but terrorists target us because we are not Muslims,” added Singh, the secretary of a national panel of Hindus and Sikhs. The Sikh community now numbers fewer than 300 families + in Afghanistan, which has only two gurdwaras, or places of worship, one each in Jalalabad and Kabul, the capital, Singh added. Although almost entirely a Muslim country, Afghanistan was home to as many as 250,000 Sikhs and Hindus before a devastating civil war in the 1990s. Even a decade ago, the US State Department said in a report, about 3,000 Sikhs and Hindus still lived there. Despite official political representation and freedom of worship, many face prejudice and harassment as well as violence from terrorist Isla-

W

mist groups, prompting thousands to move to India, their spiritual homeland. Following the Jalalabad attack, some Sikhs have sought shelter at the city’s Indian consulate. “We are left with two choices: to leave for India or to convert to Islam,” said Baldev Singh, who owns a bookand textile shop in Jalalabad. India has issued long-term visas to members of Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities. “They can all live in India without any limitation,” said Vinay Kumar, India’s ambassador to Afghanistan. “The final call has to be taken by them. We are here to assist them.” Kumar, who was in the Indian capital, New Delhi, to discuss the security situation, said the government was helping organise the last rites of Sikhs killed in the blast. ‘We are not leaving’ But other Sikhs, with land or businesses and no ties to India, say they

do not plan to leave, as Afghanistan remains their country. India has offered to take the dead bodies, but at least nine were cremated according to Sikh rites in Jalalabad. We are not cowards,” said Sandeep Singh, a Sikh shopkeeper in Kabul. “Afghanistan is our country and we are not leaving anywhere.” The attack targeted “Afghanistan’s multicultural fabric”, + Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. He is expected to hold a meeting to discuss the security threats to Indian and religious minorities. India, a longstanding ally of Afghanistan, has invested in several large development projects, but heightened security risks have prompted its companies to cut back operations. The two countries’ officials have not been able to free seven Indian engineers kidnapped in May in the northern province of Baghlan. ~TimesofIndia.com

Pramila Jayapal Arrested for Protesting Against Trump's Border Policy

ASHINGTON:Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the first IndianAmerican woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives, has been arrested here during a protest against the Trump administration’s “inhumane” “zero-tolerance” border policy. The administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the US border resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, sparking a public outcry. Jayapal, 52, was arrested along with over 500 other women at Capitol Hill yesterday. “I just got arrested with a group of over 500 women who took over the center of the Hart Senate Building, protesting the inhumane and cruel zero-tolerance policy of Donald Trump and this administration, the separation of families, the caging of children, the imprisonment of asylum seekers,” Jayapal said. She was arrested on the floor of

Pramila Jayapal

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

the Hart Senate Office Building for a sit-in as part of their civil disobedience action. “These women understand, they’re from all over the country...they understand that this is far beyond politics, this is about right and wrong. We have to step up and put ourselves on the line,” said Jayapal who was elected to the House of Representatives from Washington State in 2016. “Not in our country. Not in our name. June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” she said. “I’m proud to have been arrested with them to put myself in the camp of people who believe that the United States of America is better,” Jayapal said in a video posted on Twitter. Jayapal, the only IndianAmerican woman so far elected to House of Representatives, is seeking a reelection in the mid-term elections later this year. ~TimesofIndia.com


July 06, 2018

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PUZZLES / RECIPES

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Murghi Turri Wali (CHICKEN CURRY)

Although

I am a vegetarian, this is the only non-vegetarian dish that I have ever made. Years ago, when my husband (who was also a vegetarian) and I were in the Indian Foreign Service, we would often have to entertain at our home and it was expected that there would be at least one non-vegetarian dish among all the others. Turri wali murgh (chicken curry) was a favorite of all, and especially of the kids, so, while we were posted in London, I learnt how to make it, though I would have someone else clean and cut it and have my children taste it while the curry was being prepared. Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world and is much easier to raise than cattle of hogs. As chicken is eaten worldwide in many different ways, it’s preparation has been adapted to regional tastes. Chicken is considered healthier than red meat as it has lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat which is concentrated in the skin. Chicken contains 12.5% fat and 24.7% protein and 13% daily values of pantothenic acid (B5), 6% vitamin A, 9% iron and 4% sodium. In India, chicken production has steadily gone up as household incomes have risen and people have added more meat to their diets. However, most meat is still sold in small butcher shops and chicken are kept fresh in cages till it is time to sell them, They are then slaughtered, the feathers plucked, and the meat cleaned and cut down into smaller pieces. The chickens are generally much smaller in India than those sold in the US. Chicken curry usually follows the same preparation method as other curries, like chole (chickpeas) or aloo te mutter turi wale (potatoes and pea curry). But you have to pay attention to the cooking times, making sure that the curry flavor slowly seeps into the meat and that it is not overcooked. Ingredients: • 1 whole murghi (chicken) peeled and cut into pieces • 1 large piyaaz (onion) • 1 medium clump of adrak (ginger root) • 1 medium kernel of lasan (garlic) • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil • Tomato paste to taste

• •

2 cups of pani (water) Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric), dhania (coriander), garam masala

Directions: 1. Take the chicken out overnight to defrost. When thawed, remove the skin, cut into pieces and wash under running water. Let it drain in a colander. 2. Chop the ginger, onions and garlic and brown them in the oil in a saucepan. Add ½ a cup of water and let the gravy thicken up a bit and bring to a rapid boil. 3. Chop the tomato in chunks and add to the mixture and stir till the masala is soft and thick. Add the spices to your taste – if you have others you wish to use, add them too. 4. Add the chicken and stir it so that it is coated with the masala. Let it simmer for a minute. 5. While stirring, add half a tablespoon of tomato paste, to enhance the taste, texture and color. 6. The chicken will naturally shed some water, so keep the heat on low setting so that it does not burn and keep stirring till all the water is dried up and the meat has been roasted.

7. Add a little water at a time while the chicken is being roasted to allow more of the masala to seep into the meat. Then continue to stir till there is a thick gravy and the chicken becomes tender and the water is dried up. 8. Now add half a cup of water, cover and let the chicken simmer in it under low heat for 5 minutes. 9. Turn off the heat, let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully transfer into a bowl and sprinkle with the garam masala before serving. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) 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 late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi recipes for future generations.

MAMA’S TIP O F THE

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To make chicken cu rry, it is the tendenc it over high heat whi y ch only makes the m of many people to overcook eat tougher. On the some don’t brown th othe e chicken enough, w from being raw in ith the end result that r hand, side. Cold chicken it is tough will not cook well much longer to brow and will take n. For the chicken cu rry inside of the meat to to be moist and flavorful, it is impo rtant for the be ily accept the infiltr at room temperature so that the mea t ation of spices. If you have doubts of will readtemperature before the chicken cooking, place it in the to ensure that the m eat is warm on the microwave for a few seconds inside.

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July 06, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

Sanju Movie Review: The Ranbir Kapoor Starrer is In Sanju, we get the story of one

of Bollywood’s eternal bad boys, Sanjay Dutt. Well, some of it, at any rate. From what we know of Dutt’s story, pieced together from lurid detail after lurid detail via gossip rags, news reports and biographies, it has been infinitely more surreal and bizarre than anything anyone could imagine. That, sooner or later, Dutt’s eye-poppingly oh-my-godthat-can’t-be-true, psychedelic life would be the subject of a film is a no-brainer, because who can resist the lure of bad boys, fast lanes, and the glamour of the film world, glittery and sordid, at the same time? The challenge was always going to be: how does a mere film encapsulate this mega-filmi, outsize life, which is still on-going? Rajkumar Hirani does the only thing he can. By making Sanjay Dutt, Sanju. By choosing to show us a child-man, full of insecurities and flaws. By making the film much more about an errant son and a loving, forgiving father, than a kingsize, get-outta-my-way superstar ‘jo har fikr ko dhuein mein udaata chaala gaya’. And yes, by giving that errant son a chance of redemption, because it wouldn’t be a Rajkumar Hirani film otherwise. Make no mistake, this film is about proving that bad boys are not intrinsically bad ; the poor things are are led down the path of evil by others. While Sanju doesn’t shy away from touching upon Sanjay Dutt’s involvement with the Bombay blasts,

a Tamer Version of the Real-life Hellraiser

first-reluctant-then-admiring biographer is one of the weakest links in the film. Still, what we get, and how we get it, in Sanju, is mostly engaging, and some of it good enough to make you laugh out loud in pleasure, especially when Hirani is killing it. But you wonder too what the film chose to leave out, and you wonder if this would have been more of a film if those things had been in here. ~Indianexpress.com and doesn’t draw back from showing him consorting with assorted dodgy characters with their links to the underworld, it does these things lightly, forgivingly, with a laugh and a wink. Sanju is a dialed-down version of real-life hellraiser Sanjay Dutt Basically, Sanju is a dialed-down, tamer version of the real-life hellraiser that used to be Sanjay Dutt, who at one point was so over-taken by drugs that he begged his father, the respected thespian and parliamentarian Sunil Dutt to save him. Sanju gives us a Sanjay mediated by the trademark sunniness of the director’s world-view in which even the most unlikely ‘munnabhais’ (there’s a Munnabhai MBBS reference in here too, which is meta piling upon meta: a star playing a star playing a much-loved character played by that star) overcome all odds and become heroes. This Sanju Baba feels like

an updated version of Munna Bhai, or was Munna Bhai an anticipatory version of Sanju? Both bad boys with great, supportive fathers and a ‘jaaduki-jhappi’ which pulled them out of the abyss’: sometimes it’s hard to know which is which. Once you’ve made your peace with the Sanjay we get, and there was no way of getting any other in a Hirani movie, you can sit down and enjoy the film. I had a blast all the way till the half-way mark. Ranbir Kapoor is wholly believable as Sanjay-Sanju, channeling not just his (Dutt’s) distinctive body language and ‘lehja’, but his internal confusion. Paresh Rawal, playing Sunil Dutt with exemplary restraint, matches Kapoor step for step, even striding ahead in places. Manisha Koirala, as Nargis, makes you wish there was more of her. Jim Sarbh, as the guy-with-thebad-influence, is very fine and dandy, and Vicky Kaushal as Sanju’s faithful

New York-based Gujju friend who teaches him life lessons, is absolutely terrific. And Hirani is in top form, getting all his reel characters to riff off the real characters, in the pursuit of a solid, entertaining tale. Post-interval, the film slides distinctly. It builds too many episodes in its zeal to prove the child-like aspect of its bad-boy hero, the pace slackens, and we get more time to notice its contrivances. The attempt to paint ‘The Media In Search OfARacy Headline’ as the real bad boy becomes tiresome after a point, going to the extent of suggesting that a ‘fake news report’ may have been responsible for his incarceration. Why are the romantic entanglements of a self-confessed Casanova executed with such coyness? Except for Sonam Kapoor’s spirited Ruby, an early Sanju love whom he seems to truly pine for, the female characters get short shrift; Anushka Sharma’s

Sushant Singh Rajput to Play a Visually Challenged Man in Aankhen 2?

Sushant Singh Rajput, who was

last seen in Raabta opposite Kriti Sanon, might be a part of Aankhen 2, a sequel of the hit Bollywood thriller Aankhen. Aankhen 2 was announced two years back in 2016 with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. Arjun Rampal, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi and south Indian actor Regina Cassandra were also said to be a part of the Anees Bazmee directorial. But, a legal battle between producer

Gaurang Doshi and RajTaru Studios delayed the project. Now, according to a DNA report, Sushant and Kartik Aaryan are in talks with the makers of the thriller to share screen space with Amitabh. “Talks with Sushant Singh Rajput and Kartik Aaryan are in the final stages. The rest of the names will be in place soon as well,” said a source close to the publication. Also, the report claims that Amitabh will be

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Ranveer Singh July 6, 1985

MS Dhoni July 7, 1981

Revathi

July 8, 1966

Neetu Singh July 8, 1958

playing the key role in the sequel.

~Indianexpress.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


24 July 06, 2018 Kuldeep Yadav, KL Rahul Give India a Winning Start BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY OLD TRAFFORD (ESPN Crickinfo): India 163 for 2 (Rahul 101*) beat England 159 for 8 (Buttler 69, Kuldeep 5-24) by eight wickets Tell them in the shires. India have arrived with as worthy challengers to the hosts in every format. In glorious sunshine at Old Trafford in a hot summer in England, Kuldeep Yadav shut down the hitherto marauding England limited-overs batting with tantalisingly slow spin and wrong’uns to register his first five-for in the format, following which KL Rahul broke the back of an easy chase with his second T20I hundred. In the process, both men presented a case for longer stays in England: Kuldeep in Tests, and Rahul in ODIs. England have been breaking records with the bat in the short formats, but India and their varied skills were going to be the real test in the limitedovers leg of the international summer. In front of loud Indian support, Kuldeep turned the game on its head with the wickets of Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in the 14th over; England had looked set for a total in excess of 180 until then. He bookended it with the scalps of the struggling Alex Hales and the excellent Jos Buttler, who scored his seventh fifty-plus score in his last eight innings. In the first five overs, England made a bold statement by going after two of India’s best bowlers in limited-overs formats. On a flat deck, Bhuvneshwar Kumar went for 19 in his first two, and Yuzvendra Chahal, introduced in the fourth over because he has dominated the match-up against Jason Roy, was taken for 16 in his first. At 44 for 0, one spinner taken for plenty, India seemed to be in a fight. Jasprit Bumrah’s injury was a big blow to India, but quietly over the Indian summer Umesh Yadav has emerged as a good limited-overs bowling option. In the fifth over he could have had Buttler on the top edge but removed Roy with a bottom edge next ball. Hales came in, and struggled to get going, which meant Buttler had to play the big shots. Still England looked threatening at 95 for 1 in 11 overs, but worryingly for them Hales had scored only 8 off 15 in a

Kuldeep Yadav is delighted upon claiming a five-for, England v India, 1st T20I, Manchester, July 3, 2018

45-run partnership. This was the moment, at least for Hales. He needed to break free. India sensed it. They went to their strike bowler’s second over. Kuldeep gave Hales nothing first two balls. With pressure extremely high. Kuldeep chose to tease Hales and tossed up a loopy straight delivery. In premeditated fashion, Hales gave up his stumps, swept, missed it completely, and was bowled. In his next over, Kuldeep delivered the coup de grace. It began with Morgan slog-sweeping against the turn but ended embarrassingly with England’s two Test batsmen getting stumped when playing the forwarddefensive. It wasn’t just that they had failed to pick the wrong’un - which has sort of become the norm in T20 cricket these days - they actually judged the length so badly that they had to drag their back foot in panic to reach the pitch of the ball. From 50 for 0 in the fifth over, England had fallen to 107 for 5 in the 14th. With so many wickets falling, and with runs easier to come off the quicks, Buttler could have chosen to play out Kuldeep’s last over, the 18th, but he tried to hit two sixes in the over. He was dropped the first time, but taken when he did an en-

core. Yet again he had failed to pick a wrong’un. England did make the ideal start to their defence with the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the first over but when Rahul, looking in ominous touch, sliced one to backward point, Roy couldn’t react in time and spilled the offering. India could have been reduced to 26 for 2 had Roy hung on. Instead Rahul went on a rampage. Liam Plunkett was clipped and cut for successive fours in the fourth

over. Moeen Ali was welcomed with a reverse-swept four and a six over long-on. Adil Rashid was dealt with using an open face, and Plunkett’s comeback ruined with a sequence of six, four, four, six. At that point, India’s required rate was little over four, and Rahul - 85 off 37 - was in line for a quick century. England managed to slow things down but could neither deny him a century nor India a comfortable win in front of loud Indian support.

Discord in Indian Women’s Team BENGALURU: India women’s recent string of poor results, culminating in the loss to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final, has brought alleged discord within the team to the fore with less than five months to go to the World T20. On Wednesday, head coach Tushar Arothe wasn’t invited to a meeting attended by limited-overs captains Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur, and Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai and member Diana Edulji. Also present were women’s selection committee chief Hemalata Kala and team manager Trupti Bhattacharya. One of the reasons for the alleged

discord seems to be training methods. For the major part of Arothe’s tenure, since his appointment in April 2017, two mandatory practice sessions of roughly two-and-a-half-hours each in the morning and late afternoon, and an optional afternoon session, have been part of the team’s training regimen with a view to enhancing the all-round skills of all players, especially the tail-enders. Iffy selection calls are understood to be another reason for the discord, foremost being the omission of 17year-old Jemimah Rodrigues from the starting XI for the entire tournament. This, even as every other member of the squad featured in at least one game.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

SPORTS

Sindhu, Srikanth into Malaysia Semifinals

BUKIT JALIL (Indonesia): Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu stormed into the semifinals of the Malaysia Open BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament in Bukit Jalil on Friday. While Srikanth had it easy against Brice Leverdez of France 21-19, 21-11, Sindhu survived anxious moments before prevailing over Carolina Marin of Spain 22-20, 21-19 in the quarterfinals. In the 53-minute see-saw battle against the Olympic champion, Sindhu played brilliantly towards the end of the two games to trump the Spaniard. In the first game both players targeted each other’s backhand consistently. At one stage Sindhu was cruising ahead at 18-15 before Marin came up with a five-point burst to move to 20-18. When nothing looked like going in her favour, Sindhu challenged a line call despite knowing that the shuttle was well outside. This little interval helped Sindhu to break Marin’s momentum. A lucky netchord helped Sindhu to save a game point. At 19-20, Sindhu produced a breathtaking drop to draw level with her rival. Rattled by these unexpected reversals, Marin made mistakes allowing Sindhu to win the first game. In the second game, Sindhu gained a big lead of 13-6 but Marin was in no mood to relent as she closed the gap to 14-15. Sindhu came up with a deft crosscourt drop and followed that with another touch on the net to move to 19-15. Marin once again closed the margin to 19-20 but Sindhu won the all important rally at this stage. The lanky shuttler will face the tricky world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the last four clash on Saturday. Tai enjoys a 8-3 career record against Sindhu. In the semifinals, Srikanth will face Kento Momota of Japan, who defeated sixth seed Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 21-11.

PV Sindhu beats nemesis Marin.


July 06, 2018

India Has ‘Plan D’ for Iran Oil as Trump Adds Sanction Pressure NEW DELHI: One of Iran’s biggest oil buyers said it has enough alternative sources of crude to replace any supplies cut off by US sanctions on the Persian Gulf state -- even if shipments stop completely. Indian Oil Corp. Chairman Sanjiv Singh says Saudi Arabia alone can cover most of the world’s supply shortfall in case Iran’s oil exports dry up. Also a narrowing spread between Brent crude and Dubai oil gives Indian Oil even more options, the head of the state-run refiner known as IOC, one of Iran’s largest customers, said in an interview. “We have a very wide crude basket. There’s nothing we can’t procure, there’s nothing we can’t process,” Singh said. “So, even if Iran supplies get disrupted, the supplies to the Indian market will still continue. That’s assured.” Some customers in Asia are already considering acquiescing to US President Donald Trump’s demand to end

trade with Iran by early November, when sanctions aimed at curbing the Islamic republic’s nuclear program come into effect. Several refiners in the largest oil market are looking at alternative supplies from Saudi Arabia to Iraq after the White House said it won’t offer extensions or waivers to US allies. IOC plans to buy 7 million tons of

crude from Iran in the year ending March 31 versus 4 million tons in the previous fiscal year, AK Sharma, director of finance at the refiner, said India imported 771,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Iran in May, a 35% increase from the previous month. “We buy high sulfur crude from Iran. Today if you look at the price

difference between Brent and Dubai, the difference is hardly anything,” he said. “So, the option is wide open and there’s no need that we replace high sulfur with high sulfur.” IOC added 16 new grades of crude during 2017-18 and has the ability to process 175 different varieties, boosting flexibility in oil sourcing. It also expanded the capabilities of its refineries to process cheaper and heavier grades, which make up close to 60 per cent of its crude diet. “We have Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. We are fully prepared,” IOC’s Singh said, without giving details. India has so far been sending mixed signals about its stance on Iranian imports. While the country said it plans to seek exemptions from the sanctions and is also looking at alternate payment mechanisms to enable it to continue purchases from the Persian Gulf state, the government has also asked refiners to brace for all eventualities, including zero imports. -- ToI

India’s Seafood Exports Cross $7 B with Shrimp and Fish KOCHI: Striking a new high in export performance, India’s shipment of 13,77,244 MT of seafood earned US$ 7.08 billion during the financial year 2017-18, with frozen shrimp and frozen fish continuing to be the flagship export items, as compared to figures of 11,34,948 MT and 5.77 billion dollars, respectively in the preceding fiscal, registering a growth of 21.35%. In rupee terms, the exports of marine products were pegged at Rs 45,106.89 crore as against Rs 37,870.90 crore in FY 201617, notching a healthy growth of 19.11%. USA and South East Asia retained their positions as the major import markets of India’s seafood products, with a share of 32.76% and 31.59% in dollar terms, respectively, followed by EU (15.77%), Japan (6.29%), Middle East (4.10%) and China (3.21%). “In the face of continued uncer-

tainties in the global seafood trade, India has been able to cling on to its position as a leading supplier of frozen shrimp and frozen fish in international markets. With a string of initiatives and policy support, we intend to achieve an export target of USD 10 billion by 2022,” said MPEDA Chairman A. Jayathilak. Despite the daunting challenges of oversupply as reflected in double-

digit shrimp exports by Ecuador and Argentina in 2017, increased supply from Vietnam and Thailand, drop in global shrimp prices, and issues related to antibiotic residues, India’s seafood industry has been maintaining its growth streaks, he added. Frozen shrimp maintained its position as the key contributor to seafood export basket, accounting for 41.10% in quantity and 68.46% of the total

dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the year rose by 30.26% in quantity and 30.10% in dollar terms. The export of Vannamei shrimp grew from 3, 29,766 MT to 4,02,374 MT in 2017-18 — an uptick of 22.02% in quantity and 24.74% in dollar terms. USA accounted for around 53% of total Vannamei shrimp exports in USD value, registering an increase of 31.93% in quantity and 33.03% in dollar terms. Japan, the major market for Black Tiger shrimp, accounted for 43.18% in dollar value, followed by USA (20.07%) and South East Asia (17.38%). Frozen fish, the second largest export item, contributed 25.64% in quantity and 10.35% in earnings, registering a growth of 9.03% in dollar terms. However, the unit value realisation decreased to 2.08 USD/kg in 2017-18 from 2.27 USD/kg in 2016-17. -- ToI

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

25

TCS, Infosys at New High, Rupee Falls to 19-Year Low NEW DELHI: Shares of information technology companies, including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd, gained on Wednesday as the Indian rupee weakened to a 19-month low against the US dollar. NSE’s Nifty IT Index gained 1.11% at 10.57 am. The Nifty 50Index was down 0.20%. The rupee opened at 68.42 a dollar and touched a low of 68.50—a level last seen on 1 December 2016, as traders were worried that rising crude oil prices could accelerate fiscal deficit and inflation. Year to date, the rupee weakened nearly 7%. TCS shares of rose as much as 1.80% to a record high of � 1,886.20. The stock up 37.12% gains this year as of Tuesday’s close and is the biggest pct gainer among NSE Index shares. Infosys shares advanced as much as 1.25% to hit its an all time high of � 1,293.90. Tech Mahindra rose 2.78%, HCL Technologies rose 1.25% and Wipro gained 0.3%. Oil prices jumped on Tuesday as the US pressed its allies to end all imports of Iranian oil by a November deadline and said it didn’t want to offer any extensions. Moreover, the continued selling by foreign investors in local equity and debt market also dampened sentiment. Foreign investors have so far this year sold nearly a combined of $7 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively. Traders were cautious due to the escalating global trade tensions between US and other major economies, progress of monsoon and movement of crude oil prices.


26 July 06, 2018 PM Modi Says Mercedes and Milk Cannot Have Same Tax, Rules Out state borders. Not only are truck driv- lier governments had failed.” Single Slab Under GST The Prime Minister said earlier ers saving precious time but also the

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

ruled out a single tax rate under the GST, saying Mercedes car and milk cannot be taxed at the same rate and accepting Congress party’ demand for a uniform 18 per cent rate would lead to a spike in food and essential items’ taxation. Modi said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has within one year of its launch led to over 70 per cent jump in indirect taxpayer base, demolished check-posts and merged 17 taxes and 23 cesses into one single tax. The new tax regime, which subsumed central levies like excise duty and service tax and state taxes like VAT, is aimed at making indirect taxation “simple” while eliminating the Inspector Raj, he said, adding the GST is an evolving system which is calibrated based on feedback from

state governments, trades and other stakeholders. “It would have been very simple to have just one slab but it would have meant we could not have food items at zero per cent tax rate. Can we have milk and Mercedes at the same rate? “So, when our friends in Congress say that they will have just one GST rate, they are effectively saying they will tax food items and commodities, which are currently at zero or 5 per cent, at 18 per cent,” he said in an interview to ‘Swarajya’ magazine. Modi, according to a part-transcript of the 45-minute interview posted by Swarajya on its website, said against a total of 66 lakh indirect taxpayers registered since independence, 48 lakh new enterprises have registered since the launch of the GST on July 1, 2017.

Indian Prime minister, Mr. Modi

“Around 350 crore invoices were processed and 11 crore returns were filed. Would we be looking at such numbers, if GST were indeed very complex?” he asked. “Check-posts across the country have been abolished and there are no more queues at

the roads to campaign door-to-door asking for votes right before elections. However, one election candidate’s rather bizarre campaign in Karachi not only got everyone in the city talking but garnered the attention of people all around. Meet Ayaz Memom Motiwala, who has taken Pakistani Netizens by surprise by lying down on sewage water to ask for votes. Yes, you read right. An independent candidate, Motiwala hails from the constituency of NA-243 in Karachi. To convince people in his locality that he understands their sufferings of dealing with the unhygienic and faulty sewage system — he decided to launch a scathing attack on the

present government and opposition party by sitting on a dharna in the dirty water in the wee hours on Friday. Addressing his concerns for the people, he went live on his Facebook page and was seen even drinking the water! His whacky campaign did not end there as he further took a national flag and was seen lying on the road asking his supporters to take photos as he smiled flaunting a victory sign. Quickly, photos of the politician spread across social media and most weren’t very impressed. While some remarked he was “making a fool of himself”, others thought it was just a “publicity stunt” and he too would disappear once the election was over. ~Indianexpress.com

many taxes were hidden and under the GST, “what you see is what you pay.” “The government has reduced taxes on nearly 400 groups of items. Around 150 groups of items have zero per cent tax rate. If you look at the rates, for most of the day-to-day commodities, the rate has actually come down. Be it rice, wheat, sugar, spices, etc, total tax levied has been reduced in most cases. Large number of items of daily usage are either exempted or in 5 per cent slab. Some 95 per cent items fall in/below the 18 per cent slab,” he said. The GST, he said, has been designed to eliminate Inspector Raj with the help of information technology. From returns to refund, everything happens online, the PM said. ~ Indianexpress.com

Monsoon Gains Pace, Covers Country 17 Days in Advance

Karachi Politician Lies in a Puddle of Sewage to Ask for Votes; Photos Go Viral

It’s not unusual for politicians hitting

logistics sector is getting a boost and thereby increasing the productivity of our country. Would this be happening if GST was complex?” To a query on criticism of GST implementation, he said the new tax regime was a massive change, requiring a complete reset of one of the world’s largest economic systems. “The reform merged 17 taxes, 23 cesses into one single tax. When it was finally introduced, it was our endeavour to make it simple and ensure sensitivity of the system. There are often teething troubles seen when a reform of this magnitude is carried out, but these issues were not only identified but also addressed in real time,” he said. The GST, he said, has seen Indian cooperative federalism at its best. “We consolidated the states and developed proactively a consensus, where ear-

NEW DELHI: After remaining

Representing Aam Admi Pakistan, he is an independent candidate fighting in this year’s election.

weak for more than 10 days, the south-west monsoon has quickly gained momentum to cover the entire country 17 days in advance. “Normally, the monsoon covers most parts of the country by 1 July, except extreme west Rajasthan, where there is high-variability and monsoon takes around 10-15 days to cover it. But this season it has advanced fast and covered even west Rajasthan by 29 June,” said M. Mohapatra, head (services) at India Meteorological Department (IMD). Such early advance over the country last happened in 2013, according to IMD. However, a 10-day break in monsoon beginning 13 June has slowed

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down planting of rain-fed kharif crops. Sowing of kharif crops was completed in 16.5 million hectares till Friday, about 46% less than last year, data from the agriculture ministry showed. Normally, by this time of the year about 22.5 million hectares are planted. Planting, however, is likely to pick up pace now that the monsoon has covered the entire country. Close to 106 million hectares are planted under kharif crops every year, and farmers continue to sow crops till mid- July. So far, farmers have sown a significantly lower area under cotton (14% less than last year) and oilseeds (11.5% less), agriculture ministry data showed. The only crop where planting is above normal is sugarcane with 5 million hectares covered so far compared to the five-year average of 4.5 million hectares. Planting of soya bean is 7% lower year-on-year, while that of groundnut is 5% lower than last year. After arriving three days early on 29 May over the Kerala coast, the monsoon advanced over the south peninsula and brought heavy rainfall along the west coast. However, it began to weaken around 13 June and went into a lull phase for about 10 days, until it began to revive around 23 June. Its movement remained sluggish until 24 June when it again picked up pace. ~Livemint.com


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