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Friday, July 26 2013 | Vol. 32, No. 30

Indo American erican News

$1 Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Return of the Gods Partnered & Syndicated with Times of India,, Google, Yahoo & Bing

Bahuda yatra celebrations at the Houston Durga Bari Sunday July 21

Barnali : A Musical Night


The Poetry of Mathematics For details see p3 & 23



Movie Review P25


July 26, 2013

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July 26, 2013


yourDIL Celebrates Ramadan by Giving, Promoting Education in South Asia attendance. Presentations given expounded upon the work that DIL does, a video introducing viewers to a woman in Pakistan trained by the charity as a nurse, who, feeling empowered, gained a newfound confidence in her abilities. Nomani points out DIL’s work in

female education, since about 70% of their students are girls. “We focus on improving conditions within existing schools and on sustained teacher training,” as Nomani distinguished DIL from other charities that underemphasize operational efficiency.

Organizers of the event line up, from left: Madiha Haque, Aysho Soomro, Janey-Ali Rizvi, Ammar Nomani, and Azam Zariff. Photos: Parth Dwivedi

BY PARTH DWIVEDI HOUSTON: Iftaar on Thursday, July 18, held in the hall of Mezban Restaurant was marked by celebration of more than the usual practices of salat, prayer, and sawm, fasting. Zakat, alms-giving, was aptly celebrated by yourDIL, the youth outreach arm of the secular, L.A.-based 501(c)(3) charity, Developments in Literacy, or DIL for short. Raising more than $21000 on Thursday, yourDIL comfortably exceeded their goal for the evening. With the education of a single child in Pakistan for one year costing around $100, yourDIL estimates that it will educate more than 210 children in the next year, from the proceeds from Thursday evening alone. Syed Zafar, and attendee, explained his reason for donating, “Helping with education grants someone the freedom of choice to live their life how they want.” Janey-Ali Rizvi, Treasurer for the Houston chapter of yourDIL was especially pleased with the dinner, “We got a lot of positive

feedback from attendees who were encouraged and want to participate more. This says a lot about the young professionals of Houston.” And it should, as one of the organization’s stated goals is to nurture charity in coming generations by serving as a social platform for like-minded young people. The packed room could be expected from the sold-out attendance, “We had to turn down people at the door. I felt bad, but we are just going to have to increase the scale for our next fundraiser,” said Ammar Nomani, the sincere young man serving as President. Nomani cited literacy as being close to his heart, owing to his brother’s and mother’s vocations as teachers, and beamed with happiness as he spoke of the work yourDIL does overseas. Azhan opened the night, which was followed with a performance by slam poet Imad Khan, who referenced spirituality, humanity and identity in his rhymes, his passionate stage-presence captivating those in





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July 26, 2013


Bahuda Yatra (Return Ratha Yatra) Celebrated at Durga Bari

HOUSTON: Bahuda yatra or return ratha yatra is the return journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra from their Aunt’s house (Gundicha Temple) to the main temple. It is significant in the sense that it completes the ratha yatra. Like last year, Char Dham Hindu Temple along with Houston Durga Bari Society and ISKCON celebrated Bahuda yatra at Durga Bari on Sunday July 21. Volunteers had reached the temple well ahead of the 11am start time to re-decorate the ratha for the Bahuda yatra. The ratha was turned around as well to imply that the deities are now coming back to their own temple. Puja started around 11am and it went on for little over an hour. Then followed the Pahandi Bije, in which the deities were brought from the temple on to the ratha. This was completed with the help of several eager devotees who were delighted having the chance to hold the deities. After all the deities including Nrushingha and Lord Ganesh were situated properly on the ratha, Pandit Dr. Bishnupada Goswami climbed onto the ratha. A ceremonial King Indradyumna, Dr. Raghu Dass performed the Chhera Panhara (brooming) ceremony to cleanse the path of progress for the ratha. Chants of Maha Mantra, Jai Jagannath and beautiful Kirtan by ISKCON filled the air as devotees started pulling the ratha. With great enthusiasm, the devotees pulled the ratha three times within the temple premises to signify the home coming journey for the Lord. Once the ratha pulling was complete, devotees made a bee line to climb onto the ratha to see their beloved Lord and have a chance to touch them and do pradakshina around the singhasana of the dei-

Bahuda Ratha Yatra celebrations at the Houston Durga Bari on Sunday, July 21. Highlights of the event included, Pahandi Bije and Chhera Panhara.

ties. After that it was time for the devotees to get to Kala Bhavan to get Prasadam, which was prepared so lovingly by Durga Bari volun-

teers along with Rasgulla (cheesebased, syrupy sweet dish), which was offered to the Lord. As per the rituals in Puri, Rasgulla is offered by Lord Jagannath to Goddess Laxmi to enter into the temple and this is the only day in the year when Rasgulla is offered to the Lord. Char Dham Hindu temple, Houston Durga Bari Society

and ISKCON are truly grateful to all the devotees and volunteers for participating in the Bahuda yatra. May Lord Jagannath bless us all on the occasion of this Bahuda yatra!

For further information about the organizations, visit, www.greaterhoustonrathyatra. org, and

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036



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Charity-goers enjoy a chance to network, as per yourDIL’s mission.

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It is also revealed that yourDIL holds a four-star rating from Charity Navigator (its maximum score) and is also ranked in the top six percept of American charities. According to Charity Navigator, this ranking is given on the basis of transparency (releasing crucial data); accountability (explaining that data); financial health (89% of yourDIL’s donations go directly to their cause); and results (DIL students beat the national average in Pakistan by several fold in Math, English, and Urdu proficiency). Nomani added that



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DIL programs have a dropout rate of merely 0.6%. Malala Yousafzai openly endorses DIL, as a video of her speaking to DIL students in Pakistan was shown. Yousafzai spoke vicariously to the attendees of the import of working with honesty, imandari, and the right of people to learn, haq. Rizvi echoed these themes as he spoke of DIL’s central organizational concerns being accountability and integrity.

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July 26, 2013


TSH Annual Program Barnali Dazzles with Scintillating Performances

BY SANCHALI BASU HOUSTON: The Tagore Society of Houston (TSH) held its annual cultural program Barnali with great fervor and gaiety at the Houston Durgabari Sur auditorium on July 21. The evening was power packed with one good program after the other. It started off with a modern day Tagore symphony by the TSH Youth Orchestra, based on a creative east-west fusion medley of Tagore songs and western music composed by John Liner. The middle school and high school community kids were flawless in their execution of a few Rabindrasangeet influenced by Scottish highland music/classical scores of western music. The youngsters in the orchestra played with immense passion and love for the music. It was very well rehearsed and was carried out almost singlehandedly by them without the guidance of a grown-up. This was followed by an opening Rabindra Sangeet, “Anandalokey Mangalalokey” sung by a group led by Kamalpriya Roy. Mahua Dasgupta’s troupe consisting of Deepayan Bhattacharya, Srijita Chakrabarty, Sharmishtha Kolay and herself, then led the audience on a journey down memory lane to give a flavor of the golden era of Bengali music of the sixties and seventies. All the singers were very impressive and managed to captivate the audience with their melodious voices. Cute little young girls in the age group of 5-8 in their bright yellow saris danced the first dance of the evening to Poush Toder. The dance choreographed by Soma Dasgupta got the audience going and there was not a single person in the audience who could not help but fall in love with these adorable kids. The highlight of the evening, a bedazzling multimedia presentation Moner Manush (Seeking the Inner Man of Tagore) ensued. It was wonderfully conceptualized and scripted by the President of TSH, Ruma Acharya. It highlighted the influence of different genres of music on Tagore’s songs including Hindustani classical, Carnatic, folk (Baul), Kirtan, Vaishnavite

Padavali and even Western music which resulted in enriching his music and endowing a unique quality to it. The Bauls (the traveling minstrels) who try to realize God in themselves, created a deep impact on the poet’s life as was reflected in his songs like “Aamar praner manush aachhe prane” which says that the Almighty or the soul of souls is all pervading and dwells in every human heart. Tagore was impressed and deeply moved by the simplistic and lyrical music of Gagan Harkara, a postman and devotee of Lalan Fakir. Moner Manush opened with a scene from rural Birbhum where Gagan Harkara meets a Baul and is informed of the arrival of Tagore and the two then embark on a journey through the various styles of Rabindra Sangeet compositions, some sung by Gagan himself and some by other artists. The audio visual presentation included excellent narration, visuals and dance performances choreographed and presented by the local Houston talented artists and their students. The audio visual was put together by Sailaja Bandyopadhyay and

the dances were choreographed by Piyal Sengupta, Soma Dasgupta, Supradipta Datta and Arpita Mukhopadhyay. Narration was done by Sanchali Basu, Saurabh Sengupta and Shayak Sen. Gagan Harkara

was very capably enacted by Shamik Bose and Baul by Subrata Dasgupta. Santanu Mukhopadhyay was responsible for stage lighting and Chandana Guha and Partha Sen helped back stage.


During the intermission the names of the annual essay contest winners were announced. A service recognition award ceremony honored Chandana Guha, Partha Sen, Sujit/Mila Sengupta for their contribution towards TSH. A mini fund raising was carried out to bring the Tagore Grove project to culmination in September, when the fifth statue of Tagore will be installed outside of India in Houston’s Ray Miller Park located at the intersection of Eldridge and Briar Forest (Energy Corridor). Finally it was the turn of the much awaited invited artist from Kolkata Raghab Chatterjee to take the stage and end the show and oh what a way to end the show! As expected, he just drifted skillfully from one genre of music to the other with effortless ease. This stems from his years of training in classical music. The crowd got to hear the favorites including “Chand keno”, “Alla ke bande”, a fusion of a bandish in raga Bhairavi and also the ICC World Cup theme song, “Jiyo khiladi”. The TSH musical night was well conducted by emcee Srabani Roy Akilla. The food and sari/jewelry stalls did brisk business through the course of the evening.


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Age Discrimination Against Older Job Applicants BY AJAY CHOUDHARY HOUSTON: A number of studies have demonstrated that older job applicants often are not hired because of their age. For example, a recent study by the United States Government Accountability Office concluded that employers are reluctant to hire older job applicants. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects job applicants who are 40 or older and makes it unlawful to not hire applicants because of their age. The ADEA applies to employers who have at least 20 employees. A similar Texas law applies to employers who have at least 15 employees. Courts have ruled that if an older applicant for a position is clearly more qualified than a substantially younger applicant who was hired for the position, that is evidence of age discrimination. When a job applicant is not hired for a position, the job applicant might not know who was hired for the position. However, if an older applicant for a position files a charge of discrimination, the employer usually will need to disclose who was hired for the position, why that person was hired, and what that person’s qualifications are. If

the older applicant then submits evidence showing that he or she is clearly more qualified than a substantially younger person who was hired for the position, there will be increased pressure on the employer to settle the case. When a substantially younger job applicant is hired for a position instead of an older applicant, the older applicant often has more relevant experience than the substantially younger applicant. Courts have ruled that if an employer’s alleged reason for not hiring an older applicant is false, that is evidence of age discrimination.

In light of the ways age discrimination can be demonstrated, older job applicants interested in pursuing an age discrimination claim should talk with an attorney. Ajay Choudhary gives free consultations regarding any employment matter. He is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His phone number is (281) 888-7074. He is an attorney at Khemka & Choudhary, 8702 Westpark Drive, Houston, Texas 77063; For further information see ad on page 17.

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July 26, 2013

Gita Camp 2013 Held at ISKCON, Hare Krishna Dham

Teachers and students at the fun-filled Gita Camp held the week of July 8 at the Hare Krishna Dham (ISKCON) temple.

At the end of the camp every student happily received a camp t-shirt with eye-catching color pictures on both sides. The next day many of the children joined thousands of others in the Ratha Yatra - Festival of Chariots organized at the sunny Discovery Green park in downtown by ISKCON Houston. This was the third year of the Gita Camp and all agreed it was again a great success. The experienced director, working along with Hare Krishna Dham Sunday School teachers and parents, organized the camp, led the classes and kept the children focused with humor and energy. The camp is modeled on a template inspired by His Holiness Romapada Swami,

a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada and a senior administrator and preacher and adopted successfully by ISKCON temples in many other cities. This past Sunday, the children from the Gita Camp led an ecstatic aarati kirtan for the main Sunday worship at the temple and made a presentation of the topics they learned to a congregation of over 300 devotees. This included recitation and translation of slokas along with the purports detailing the application of this timeless knowledge in our daily lives. They were also presented with recognition awards and certificates by the visiting HH Bhakti Nilamani Rad-



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ha Raman Swami - a travelling preacher and one of the principal organizers in India of the Vrndavan & Navadvipa parikramas. The students enjoyed the Gita Camp and look forward to starting Sunday School with their close camp friends in just over a month. There will be another week-long, full-day Gita Camp next summer at the Hare Krishna Dham which is within a reasonable driving distance of downtown, the Medical Center, Sugar Land, Katy and the uptown (Galleria) district. For further information visit ISKCON Hare Krishna Dham, 1320 W 34th Street, Houston TX – 77018 or visit or Call 713-686-GITA (4482)

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Sumptuous vegetarian lunches were served along with healthy snacks. There was open play time as well as time for learning mrdanga drumming, crochet and other crafts such as painting. Particularly popular was mehendi or Henna.


HOUSTON: A fun-filled Gita Camp was held the week of July 8 at the Hare Krishna Dham (ISKCON) temple. There were over 55 children, ages three to thirteen, from all across the greater Houston area in attendance for each of the five full-days. The camp combined activities with traditional Vedic learning and values. There were over a dozen adult volunteers on hand to help with the various activities, lessons and cooking. The camp was conducted on the temple grounds including the temple itself as well as at its large fellowship hall. Each day the children led a morning guru puja aarati as well as Noon aarati kirtan accompanied by mridanga drums and kartals. There were daily japa and yoga sessions as well as bharatanatyam dance for the girls. Vedic learning occurred through lectures, learning of slokas and learning of vaishnava songs. Great emphasis was placed on the students truly grasping the meaning of the slokas and application of this timeless knowledge in their daily lives rather than just their mere memorization. The week’s teaching centered on Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita, a chapter which deals with the yoga of the Supreme Person (Purusottama). In it Krishna describes the process of freeing oneself from the material world’s grip.

July 26, 2013





July 26, 2013

G.O.D. Conducts Four Different Cultural Summer Camps Across Houston


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MANVEL: This summer, the Houston chapter of Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) USA conducted four different “Gopa Kuteeram” summer camps for various age groups, three of them at Houston Namadwaar Prayer House in the Pearland/Manvel area, and a fourth one in Cypress. A number of kids and youth took part in these camps that aimed to foster an appreciation of Indian culture, spirituality, and its scientific nature, combined with an effort to inspire the participants to think higher in life and open up to new, interesting concepts. The Li’l Gopas Camps at Pearland and Cypress were tailored for children aged 5 to 10 years and included many interesting activities including music and dance, stories, poetry writing, photography, jewelry-making, art & crafts, yoga, slokas, culinary arts and a field trip to the Asia Society Texas Center gallery. The middle and junior high school youth camp at Namadwaar was themed around the concept of the Five Elements. Participants delved into the nature of the ele-

ments, their creation, their relationship to us and more. Another interesting session was one on “Who Has Seen God?” The children were enthusiastic and curious, as they raised some very relevant and interesting questions during both these sessions. At the end of the camp, a telecon Q & A session for the participants was arranged with Sri Ramanujam ji, disciple of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, from India. Apart from these sessions, the participants of this camp also had fun during many themed workshops such as digital storytelling where they created a video about each of the five elements, canvas painting, culinary arts, a song and skit performance, yoga and a field trip to Brazos Bend State Park and George Observatory. The final camp conducted at Namadwaar was a unique one. It was a family summer program called “Samskruti” for families with children in middle and high school. Spread over four Sundays, this program aimed at helping participants learn valuable concepts and life skills from the Ramayana,

which also opened their eyes to the depth and glory of the epic. The sessions were sprinkled with many fun activities geared towards reinforcing the learning from the presentations. The Sanskrit term ‘Gopa Kuteeram’ refers to the play-house of the Lord and His playmates from ancient Indian epics. G.O.D. conducts Gopa Kuteeram camps as well as year-round children’s programs in several cities in the USA including Atlanta, Boston, Bay area California, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Michigan, Milwaukee, New York, Richmond and Seattle; and also in many countries around the world including Australia, India, Middle-East, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and others. In Houston, apart from creative spring and summer camps, weekly Gopa Kuteeram sessions are held at Houston Namadwaar from September through April, every Saturday morning. For further information about Gopa Kuteeram camps and programs in Houston, call 832-5151251 or email

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on producing graduates that value critical thinking and have an incessant thirst for continual growth. The pre-medical curriculum is for students who are graduates of U.S. and Canadian high schools, or graduates from secondary educational systems in the U.K., the European Union, and other qualified nations. The pre-medical phase of training consists of 90 credit hours of pre-medical coursework. Students who successfully complete this phase of training will advance into the Basic Sciences program. The minimum requirement for admission to the Medical School is 90 semester hours of college level course work. However, a baccalaureate degree is preferred. College studies should include: one year of English, one year of General Chemistry with Laboratory, one year of Organic Chemistry with Laboratory, one year of Biology with Laboratory, one year of College Level Mathematics, and one year of College Level Physics with Laboratory. The Admissions Committee evaluates an applicant’s capacity to do academic work within the Medical Program. Evaluation is also carried out on Grade Point Averages (GPA) from individual colleges and universities, MCAT (if taken) and letters of recommendation. However, academic background is not the only criterion for selection. Admission is


also based on factors such as motivation, perseverance, scholastic record, letters of recommendation and personal statements. Applications are accepted in January, May and September of every year. Applications are accepted online or by printing and completing an application, which then requires the submission of all supporting documentation by US Mail to Atlantic Admissions P O Box 456 Island Park NY 11558. Completed application packets should include: a signed application, 2 recent passport-sized photos, current Curriculum Vitae, personal statement, official transcripts from all schools attended two letters of recommendation, letter of good conduct from your local police department, and a copy of your passport. Please refer to our online application or downloadable application to begin the application process. For further information visit

July 26, 2013




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July 26, 2013

Not Quite the Midas Touch The importance of gold in domestic macro-economic management is best captured by the flurry of moves to curb Indians’ virtually insatiable desire to buy and stock up the yellow metal. India’s gold imports — about 970 tonnes for some $60 billion (around Rs. 3.6 lakh-crore) in 2012 — is next only to crude oil. The two commodities were responsible for pushing India’s current account deficit (CAD) — the difference between dollar inflows and outflows — to a historic high of 4.8% of GDP in 2012-13. The widening CAD and its non-disruptive financing have emerged as major challenges from the perspective of macroeconomic stability. ‘Non-disruptive’ financing broadly implies the extent to which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can help finance the CAD without dipping into the pool of foreign exchange reserves, which currently stands at $285 billion, just enough to cover seven months of imports. Gold has long been a tested hedge against inflation and any period of steep climb in its buying volumes generally coincides with a phase of high overall prices. Unlike equities or bank deposits, gold is a physical asset and has been a traditional favourite for parking surplus income as it has long been considered a safe haven asset. India is the world’s largest market for gold jewellery, accounting for most of the nearly 1,000 tonnes of gold imports in 2012. Gold is integral to all Indian wedding ceremonies: purchases relating to Indian weddings typically account for 50% of annual jewellery demand. With 50% of the Indian population under 25 and approximately 150 million weddings anticipated over the next decade, the World Gold Council estimates that weddingrelated purchases will drive approximately 500 tonnes a year. A further 500 tonnes of existing gold will be gifted by one family to another. Unlike developed economies, jewellery purchase in India is not driven by the desire for pure embellishment, implying ornaments are purchased as much for investment as for adornment. The RBI’s latest move making it mandatory to export a fifth of all imported gold in the form of ornaments is aimed at reducing jewellery demand. The end-objective is to contain the copious outflow of dollars by reducing India’s gold import bill. Stemming foreign capital outflows has become critical for India, as the rupee has lost almost 15% since May plunging to a record 61.21 earlier this month. A weaker rupee can fan inflation by making imported goods such as crude oil costlier, resulting in higher fuel prices. Curbing gold consumption, besides helping prop up the rupee, also has an important secondary benefit. India is in dire need of resources to fund its infrastructure needs to build highways, ports, airports and railways. Instead of locking up funds in gold, thrifty Indians can help bridge the cash deficit by opting to park their surplus money in productive instruments that are well-regulated, give healthy returns and, importantly, widens financial inclusion. Hindustan Times

Time to Revise the Menu BY CHARAN SINGH

The mid-day meal scheme (MMS) was started in India in the 1920s but became popular after K Kamaraj and MG Ramachandran, both chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, blessed it. Its growing popularity caught the attention of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, who saw the potential to attaining higher attendance in schools. Similar schemes have been used successfully in the world, including in the US, Britain, Sweden and Malaysia. In Bihar, 14 million children avail the scheme in more than 70,000 schools. In India, more than 11 crore children in 12 lakh schools benefit from the scheme that has nearly six lakh kitchen/stores, and 12 lakh cooks and helpers. The MMS costs the central exchequer about Rs. 13,000 crore, annually. The costs are shared between the Centre and states, in a ratio of 75:25 and 90:10 for different states and provisions under the scheme. The average total cost per child per school day, fixed in July 2012 is Rs. 3.11 for primary and Rs. 4.65 for upper primary students. The scheme has a provision of monitoring but available reports of such monitoring are scant. A number of suggestions have been made by political and social pundits to improve the scheme over the years and especially after every dismal instance, the number of which, unfortunately have been many over the years. The criticisms range from procurement and quality of foodgrain and oil, pilferage, bad curry, to unhygienic conditions of cooking and water used. Given the size of the country and the scale of the operation of the scheme, constant monitoring and accountability is essential. To be practical, to fix respon-

In Bihar, 14 million children avail the scheme in more than 70,000 schools. In India, more than 11 crore children in 12 lakh schools benefit from the scheme that has nearly six lakh kitchen/ stores, and 12 lakh cooks. and helpers. sibility on an official in the national or state capital would not yield the desired results. This responsibility of monitoring and accountability should be imposed on the officials of local bodies, who are closest to the school, be it the village panchayat or municipal corporation under the jurisdiction of which the school operates. Such local village-level officials would be more sensitive to the needs of local institutions. The 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution that empowers the local bodies should be appropriately used. Most importantly, there is a need for the constant evaluation of public sector schemes like this, which involve voiceless populations, especially the children of the poor. The evaluation needs to focus on the implementation of the proposed schemes as well as its utilisation by beneficiaries.

The evaluation needs to be undertaken, not only within the government, but also by independent entities. It seems, given that the government incurs substantial expenditure on such schemes, the time for an Independent Evaluation Office, accountable to the highest constitutional authority in India, above party politics, has come. There is also a need to examine the reset on costs of such important schemes. If the published data is to be believed, despite high inflation, the last cost revision, on the basis of which allocations were made, was undertaken more than a year ago. The exercise of the revision of costs for such priority sector schemes needs to be examined more frequently. It is economical to undertake precautionary measures rather than incur costs after the episode in ex-gratia payments, medicines and riots. Finally, there is a need to revisit the basics of the scheme. Given the geographical spread, it may be useful to consider a public-private partnership. Children are the future of a country. We need to protect and nurture them so that such tragedies are avoided. Food security should not become ‘food insecurity’ and such instances should not lead to lower attendance in schools. The intention of the government, despite its fiscal costs, could be good but sad episodes like this have an adverse impact on the country’s poor. Therefore, both the governments, central and state, need to take quick and visible steps to curb depressing incidents like the Bihar midday mean tragedy. Charan Singh is Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Bihar Govt to Paint Food Safety Rules on School Walls PATNA: Facing the ire of people over the midday meal tragedy, the Bihargovt plans to provide printed instructions to school principals about food quality and safety besides painting the norms on the schools walls. “We are readying detailed instructions about maintaining quality and safety of food served under midday meal scheme in schools,” Director midday meal scheme, R Lakshmanan said. The instructions being prepared with the help of food experts will include giving knowledge to prin-

cipals about first aid measures in cases like that of Dharmasati Gandaman primary school in Saran district. In the wake of the tragedy, many medical experts voiced that ORS should have been provided to the ill for immediate relief. These things should be known to school principals to face challenges of such nature immediately, Lakshmanan said, explaining the need for first aid protocol being issued to the principals. The Bihar midday meal director said that besides providing printed instruc-


HOUSTON: HAIDER KAZIM, 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 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email:, website:


tions about safety and quality of food to be served under the programme, the details would be painted on the walls of schools for everyone to see and follow. A forensic report had yesterday confirmed the presence of poisonous pesticide in the midday meal served to the students of the school in Chhapra where 23 children died after taking the contaminated food. The midday meal scheme, a flagship programme of the Union government, is given in 70,200 schools of Bihar covering more than 1.30 crore children.


July 26, 2013


FIA : Changing Gear for Better

BY NAND KAPOOR CHICAGO: Good, bad and indifferent things keep on happening in India and many times we are just silent spectators. In very recent days, three developments have been rather disturbing and caught up the eyes of all Indians in this part of the world. One is the Uttrakhand tragedy, the second one is the suicide by one of the bright and upcoming young engineering student haling from relatively backward class and the third is the tainted food supply to schoolchildren The Federation of Indian Associations which is brandished as one concentrating on Parades and banquets, has decided to take up two of the causes. It has joined efforts with other like minded organizations to help Uttarakhand victims. The FIA Board has also decided to look into the details of the case of young engineering student Nitin Padlakar, 19, who was driven to commit suicide because of harassment from some of the seniors who apparently were pressuring him to help them in exams. Padalkar was a First class student at Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology and the family spared no efforts to get him best possible education. His father is a coolie while the mother a vegetable vendor. His suicide has devastated the family.

Hina Trivedi President FIA

FIA has taken up the matter with the Principal of the Institute as well as with the new Mumbai Police Department to get the first hand feel about the status of investigation- if the culprits who are named in the suicide note are booked and if the Principal has initiated any disciplinary action against them or the case has gone to cold storage. FIA also intends to help the family in all possible ways- mainly with providing best legal help to get those (however highly connected they may be,) involved to pay

the price for their action. FIA may also consider to help the family get best possible education to Nitin’s sister who is now determined to be an engineer and help her parents realize the dream of her brother. “We appreciate that the general public and media in particular appreciates our new stance, and help FIA efforts in bringing justice to the bereaved Padalkar family,” said Hina Trivedi, FIA President. . For further information contact Hina Trivedi, FIA President at 630-951-0012.

For advertising Call: Vanshika Vipin at 713.789.6397




July 26, 2013


Ganesh Anand Catering Services Pure Vegetarian South & North Indian Dishes. Chaat & Snacks Contact Babulbhai: 832-891-1421 13180 West Park Dr. @ Synott Houston, TX 77082

ASIE Presents Technical PDH Seminar BY DINESH SHAH HOUSTON: American Society of Indian Engineers (ASIE), a Houston based organization for engineers, architects, designers, and engineering technicians, presented a technical seminar on July 18 at Sankalp Restaurant conference/banquet hall in Sugar Land. The presenter Danny Hale, regional Sales manager of ADS Inc., introduced Polypropylene Pipe (PP), new innovations in Sanitary Sewer & Storm Drainage Pipe Materials. More than 60 technical professionals participated in this complimentary dinner seminar with a hour PDH credit. After half an hour of registration and social networking, each and every one made a brief introduction. The current ASIE President Vishal Merchant warmly welcomed all attendees and particularly appreciated the presence of new members. In his opening remarks, he briefly mentioned about the upcoming Event. ASIE will be teaming up with Asian American Engineers and Architects for the very first time, to host the Honorable Mayor of City of Houston, Mayor Annise Parker for a luncheon at the Wynden Hotel,

located on Post Oak on August 15. This year ASIE has pledged $10,000 scholarship program for local students of Indian Origin. Merchant added that “through our activities, we are building the future for our next generation by supporting and encouraging students and fresh new engineers. I request senior engineers of entire Houston and all disciplines, to support ASIE by becoming member with nominal fees. After the delicious dinner served by Sankalp, Karthik Balasubramanian, the current executive member, introduced the speaker. Danny Hale made the

video presentation for ADS piping material. He emphasized the innovative idea about PP pipe and compared with quality, exceptional performance and a significant economic benefit compared to traditional pipes used. After the Q and A session, Dinesh Shah and Ben Bansal presented a certificate of appreciation to the presenter and ADS representative respectively. With vote of thanks by Raj Basavaraju and lots of appreciation from the attendees, the two hours seminar was adjourned on time. For further information about ASIE, visit

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HOUSTON: This day was marked as the first official day of Diwan at the up-and-coming Sikh National Center site. The program took place in the temporary Diwan Hall building in honor of Sangrand, at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, July 16. Upon short notice, approximately 150 people attended the program led by Bhai Makhan Singh Ji. Langar Sewa was provided by S. Balwant Singh Sandhar and family. During this Diwan, approximately $37,000 was raised by devoted Sewadaars to aide in the construction of the Sikh National Center. The temporary building was completed by the selfless Seva by S. Gurminder Singh Padda and his team of dedicated Sewadaars. This building will pose as a Diwan Hall until the main building has been constructed. With Guru’s grace, the construction of the main building is underway, with the assistance of Turner Construction. The steel fabrication has been completed and the assembly of the steel is tentatively scheduled for 1st week of August 2013. This monumental day is just the beginning of many monumental days to come at the Sikh National Center. From this day forward, Diwan programs will be held in the Diwan Hall every Saturday. The Langar Sewa for these programs will be held on a voluntary basis by Sewadaars. All efforts will be

made to ensure that all Sikhs attend programs weekly. Starting in August 2013, Sewa for Akand Paath Sahibs will be available at the Sikh National Center Inc. The dedicated Sewadaars of this flourishing foundation will contribute their time and efforts to take part in Akand Paath Sahibs every weekend. As the community works together as a whole, the Sikh

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National Center’s main Gurdwara building will be completed soon. Many Sewadaars have worked tireless hours to ensure that the dream of Sikh National Center is fulfilled. This dream is no longer just a dream, and has taken a form of reality now. This is just the beginning of restoring faith, doing self-less Sewa and establishing Sikh unity.

Call: 713.789.6397


July 26, 2013


Gujarati Samaj Of Houston


* Historic Day for the entire Indian community finally arrived June 21, 2013 when the BOD chairman, the Chief Trustee and President of Gujarati Samaj closed on the land acquisition with the land donors. * The Bhumi Puja was performed on the site in presence more than 200 plus Samaj members along with the donors. * Two successful Fund Raising events were held-in Clear Lake and in Houston. * A Conceptual Drawing developed by the Architectural and Engineering committee unveiled during series of community events. * Town Hall meeting held to answer questions and solicit feedback from members. * The foundation has been laid for the dream of a Community Center to become a reality for the Entire Indian Community!

To our Young Generation:

DREAM. GET INVOLVED. This is your time to shine! This is your opportunity to take the lead! We invite our young leaders, budding entrepreneurs and bright young minds to join Gujarati Samaj of Houston to help shape our Community Center and Sport Complex for future generations to come. It is time to pass the torch to you and it is time for you to accept this leadership. This will serve all members of Indian Community for years to come.

We had a dream and it will be reality. This legacy for the combined Indian community will become a Reality! > We have to raise additional funds to start constructions before June 30, 2014 to supplement the fund we have from the sale of Gandhi center. > We will do construction in two phases-First phase will community center and second phase will be Sport Complex. > Your support and Gujarati’s entrepreneurs will make this dream project shining example of community coming together.

The time is now! Step forward and donate. Our volunteers are going to approach each family. Join us! Together we will fulfill our dream!

Under the guidance and direction of Dr. Kirit Desai and Dr. H. D. Patel along with the Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees, and the Executive Committee of Samaj this major mile stone has been achieved. We are proud of their leadership and want to thank them for their dedication to this project.

CONTACTS: Jayanti Patel –Secretary BOD (281-530-7139) Suresh Patel –Treasurer BOD (832-628-7706) E-mail: INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



July 26, 2013

VSNA Blessed by Poojyashree Allamaprabhu Swamiji’s Visit

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HOUSTON: Members of Veerashaiva Samaja of North America (VSNA)- Houston Chapter which recently celebrated the first ever Basaveshwara Jayanti were blessed by the visit of Poojyashree Allamaprabhu Swamiji from Basava Yoga Trust, Bangalore, India and Basava Divine Center, Austin. Swamiji visited the chapter during the July Mahamane. The Mahamane was hosted by Amruthesh, Jayanthi and Pragna Shivachar. The program started with Pooja and Prarthana of Guru Basavanna and was followed by Pravachan by Swamiji. In what was a very interactive and enlightening Pravachan, Swamiji gave discourse on variety of points related to personal development. He talked about the need to spend time for self for spiritual development. He mentioned about purifying ourselves in our daily activities by positive actions and thoughts by adopting the principles of Vachanas. The real benefit of Vachanas will be realized when they are adopted in our daily life activities instead of understanding only the literary meaning. He stressed the importance of everyone practicing meditation on a daily basis and having children also practice it as it would clear the mind of the happenings of the day and allow fo-

cusing on the daily activities. The Pravachan had a lot examples on daily activities which the members could relate to easily and also had humor which kept the environment light and helped them in understanding important points related to personality development thru following and adopting Vachanas and following Guru Basavanna’ s path. He was felicitated by chapter president Jyoti Biradar. Poojya Swamiji invited interested members to attend a workshop conducted under his guidance in Austin from 8/31 to 9/1. The workshop will cover Pooja and its significance, Guidance of Vachanas, Meditation and Pranayama and other important topics. More information can be obtained from or 5126978700. Poojyashree Allamaprabhu Swamiji is a scholar in Basava Philosophy, is an accomplished practitioner and researcher of Basava Yoga, the tradition taught by Guru Basavanna and his contemporary Sharanas. He is well versed in various systems of Indian philosophy and mystic traditions. Known for his simple lifestyle and calm personality, he has embodied the percept of samate (mental equanimity), a key concept of Sharanas that ensues serenity into life.

He is dedicated to the cause of researching and propagating the percepts and practices depicted in Sharanas’ Vachanas. He has undertaken extensive research on Vachanas and intense Sadhana in the tradition of Basavanna. In Sharana tradition, he performs his kayaka of delivering pravachanas and guiding spiritual aspirants. He has authored several books on Vachanas and Sharanas of which Enriching Life is very popular in the USA. He is also the editor of Basava Kirana, a monthly magazine. He is a great orator and has extensively lectured in India and USA spreading the eternal message of Vachanas. His elucidating lectures target all classes of the society and have won the acclaim of people from a diverse background. VSNA Houston Chapter which was formed in Jan 2012 conducts monthly meetings for the members known as Mahamane meetings which are hosted by one of the members. The meetings consist of Pooja and Prarthana of Guru Basavanna followed by recital of Vachanas by children, discussion on Vachana Sahitya by the group and Prasada. For information on VSNA Houston Chapter email at or call 8325451185(Jyoti Biradar).

HCC accepting applications for Bond Oversight Committee Houston Community College is currently accepting applications for “At-Large” membership positions on its 2013 Bond Program Oversight Committee. The HCC Bond Program Oversight Committee will play a critical, strategic role in monitoring all applicable Bond funded construction projects and helping interested Houstonians stay informed about new construction and renovation projects at the Houston Community College System. Applications are available online at or in person:

13100 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478


Houston Community College Board Services Office 3100 Main St. 12th floor Houston, TX 77002

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, August 9th at 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Houston Community College 2013 Bond Program, please visit



FIS Interviews Petroleum Geoscientist, Dr. Venkataratnam Kolla

Dr. Venkataratnam Kolla was interviewed at HCC studio on June 28 by Sita Mutyala, MBA, an author, artist, a social worker and a community activist.

His message: “Experience and Explore new frontiers of knowledge. Be prepared for changes.” HOUSTON: Who said Houston’s Indian community consists of only Doctors and Engineers? Little known fact in that there are outstanding Geoscientists (Geologists and Geophysicists) of Indian origin living in Houston quietly doing their research and publishing scientific papers, not seeking any publicity of any sort. Their employers, usually multi-national Oil and Gas companies derive enormous profits from their predictions of potential oil and gas wells buried beneath the earth. Among them is one Dr.Venkataratnam Kolla, 76, a Petroleum Geologist who has been doing consultancy after retiring from a French multinational oil company. Dr. Kolla whose mother tongue is Telugu, earned his Ph.D. in Marine Geology under Prof. Mahadevan from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam. He came to America in 1967 at the age of 31 on deputation from Govt. of India under a UNESCO plan to carry out post-doctoral research. His wife, Ramani and two kids joined him in Seattle after one year of his arrival in the US. In 1970 he moved with his family to New York to work at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory labs located 18 miles away across the Hudson River in Palisades. Here he carried out extensive and pioneering marine geological research investigations of the Indian Ocean. Being the oil and Gas capital of the world, Dr. Kolla had visited Houston and attended many conferences here. He liked its hot and humid weather which is akin to the coastal Andhra Pradesh, particularly Visakhapatnam located on the Bay of Bengal. He decided to make Houston as his family’s permanent home. He recalls, in 1982, when he relocated to Houston, the West side of Houston where he still lives, did not develop much. He feels quite at home in Houston. He became a naturalized US Citizen in 1981 and has no desire to go back to India on a permanent basis, other than for consulting and advising in petroleum exploration (oil companies)and marine geological research investigations( National Institute of Oceanography and Universities), visiting relatives and seeing places. Dr. Kolla lived for six years in Southern France working for a French Multinational Oil Company and toured U.K., Africa (Nigeria, Angola , Cameron) and Netherlands

frequently, and for two years in Angola, West Africa. He was instrumental for significant hydrocarbon discoveries in the deep off shores of West Africa and North Sea. He organized several Technical Conferences in his field of Petroleum Geology and also published scientific papers for which he received several awards and citations. However, Dr. Kolla derives immense satisfaction from the fact that as a Consultant to the Reliance Industries Ltd., India, the frontend research studies that he had done had helped significant discoveries of oil and gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin. He feels that it is a sort of giving back to his mother country besides supporting some charities in India. Dr. Kolla has one son, Srinivas and one daughter, Vijaya Laksmi, both of whom are married and well settled with children of their own. Asked whether he experienced any color bar or discrimination throughout his 46 years in this country, Dr. Kolla said even though he sensed sometimes subtle discrimination, by and large, he did not face any direct discrimination. He however, narrated a minor incident that happened, when he heard someone refer to him as “colored man”. This happened in the year 1967 in the state of Massachusetts, on the Campus of the Harvard University. Himself, having evolved from the old culture of India, he accepts inter-racial marriages as inevitable. As a scientist, his message to the new immigrants is: “Experience and explore new frontiers of knowledge. Be prepared for changes.” The Indo-American Oral History Project is an undertaking of the Foundation for India Studies done in collaboration with Houston Public Library (HPL) and Houston Community College (HCC). The IndoAmerican Oral History Project is a repository for the stories, accounts, and memories of those who have chosen to share their life experiences. All interviews will be recorded on video and permanently stored along with the transcriptions in HPL’S digital archives and will be made available over the Internet for the benefit of historians, researchers, students and future generations of Indo-Americans. Interviews of Indo-Americans already uploaded into HPL archives can be viewed by logging on to: For participation in the project, contact Krishna Vavilala, Chairman of Foundation for India Studies by email:

July 26, 2013


The Poetry of Mathematics: Shunya Theatre Presents Ira Hauptman’s “Partition” H O U S TO N : What is the art of the sciences and can the arts be approached scientifically? Can the precise language of mathematics be inspired by supernatural visitation? Can one human believe that another’s work was so inspired - inviting him halfway across the world for collaboration and enlightenment? Analytics are revealed through leaps of faith in “Partition” in which two mathematicians break down their own with the ghost of another - and one winsome goddess. G. H. Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan’s collaboration as mathematicians is widely documented, as is Ramanujan’s inspiration in the form of the goddess Namagiri. Shunya Theatre presents Ira Hauptman’s theatrical interpretation of the relationship. Ira Hauptman’s script centers on Ramanujan’s working years with Hardy at Cambridge. Hauptman, a graduate of the Yale


School of Drama and currently a professor of playwriting at Queens College, has interwoven real events and magical fantasy into a rich cultural tapestry where a South Indian goddess and an egotistical French ghost can play right alongside hard-nosed Cambridge professors. Director Sara Kumar says, “Ultimately, the play is about partition or separation - the separation of faith and reason, of two iconic figures in mathematical history, of East and West. However, within this tension of separation, there is also a gravity-like force that draws seemingly distinct people and ideas together. Like any artistic endeavor, the birth of mathematical poetry is as creative as it is destructive.” Partition runs August 2 - 18, 2013. Information and tickets are available at See ad on Page 3.




Colombia, India, China, and more featured in Film Festival Saturday and Sunday, July 27 – 28 Films in Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and more. All with English subtitles. 8SWRÀOPVVFUHHQHGSHUSURJUDP Show times are 11:30 AM and 2 PM. (7/27 and 7/28)

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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 July 31, 2013. Email us at 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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July 26, 2013

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Atte Ki Pinni (Sweet Wheat Flour Balls) Pinnis are a uniquely traditional Punjabi sweet dish that are sometimes mistakenly called laddus by non-Punjabis. The main difference is that laddus are usually made of fried dough and are then formed into balls, whereas pinnis are made with flour (or crushed moong dal) that is browned in a kadai or wok. There are other differences too: pinnis are not drenched in syrup and most also contain mewa (dry fruits), ajwain or a bitter til which a uniquely Punjabi taste. And their taste is completely different from the traditional laddus. Pinnis are usually made and served in the cold winter months in the Punjab as they give lots of warmth and energy. Because of the way they are prepared, they can be kept in a tightly closed container for weeks and even months and not go bad. There many styles of pinnis, and the ones of Amritsar are considered exceptional, in fact many people ask visiting relatives to pick up cases of pinnis from the city. Do not use chasani (sugar syrup) because the granulated sugar you get here is very fine. If you make pinnis with sugar syrup, they do not keep for very long. Pinnis made with dry sugar do not go bad for a very long time and do not need to be refrigerated. In the old days, before refrigerators, we used to keep the pinnis in pipas (tall tin cans) without any problems. Pinnis aren’t hard to make, and the preparations leading upto making the round balls are not time consuming as many ingredients are available in most Indian households. Our family used to make them at home for our large extended family when we had our ancestral lands and home in Lyallpur (which became part of Pakistan after the Partition). My grandmothers and mother brought the recipes with them and would make pinnis every winter in Delhi.

Ingredients: • 1 kg atta (wheat flour) • 500 gm chinni (white granu lated sugar) • 500 gm ghee (clarified but ter) or olive oil • 250 gm khoya (congealed sweet cream) • Mewa (to taste): badam (almonds), piste (pistachios), kishmish (raisins) Directions: 1. Heat the ghee or olive oil in a kadai or wok over low heat. 2. Throw in the flour and brown it, stirring often as you don’t want to have the flour get too brown as it may give a burnt smell. 3. After the flour is slightly brown, thrown in whatever dry fruit you desire and mix well. 4. For added flavor, khoya in the pinnis. If you throw in the khoya, but brown it over low heat

5. Turn off the heat and throw in the sugar and mix well.

7. Place the balls on a tray or plate to cool down and congeal further. Eat when the balls are cool. Some people actually like to eat these warm as they say the pinnis taste better. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.

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6. After the mixture has cooled down and can be touched, take a small amount of the mixture and form into a 1.5 inch ball in the cup of your hand.

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July 26, 2013


Movie Review : D-Day

Cast: Arjun Rampal, Irrfan Khan, Shruti Haasan, Huma Qureshi, Rishi Kapoor

A mission impossible forms the crux of Nikhil Advani’s D-Day. But the film’s treatment of the story of derring-do, desperate measures and doom remains firmly within the realms of the possible. The director deserves full marks on that score. D-Day is as far removed in terms of spirit and substance from Advani’s debut feature and biggest success, Kal Ho Naa Ho, as any film could ever be. At any rate, it represents a marked improvement on Salaam-e-Ishq, Chandni Chowk to China and Patiala House. Filmed predominantly in smoky, dimly lit spaces in what is supposed to be the Pakistani port city of Karachi, D-Day is cast in the mould of a realistic action thriller. It is also, however, a tale of thwarted love and shattered lives, the pathos of which is sought to be underlined by a slew of magnificent songs composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. As a crime drama, it works perfectly well, helped along by some high quality acting by the likes of Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan and Huma Qureshi.However, the love story between an Indian spy and Pakistani prostitute is rather halfbaked and pushes the film into an avoidable vendetta sub-plot. To be fair, there is indeed much

going for D-Day. The film is completely fictional, but it stays rooted in the geopolitical reality of the subcontinent, allowing itself only the occasional shot at dramatic license in order to buoy up the narrative. Moreover, the undercover RAW operatives at the heart of the story aren’t run-of-the-mill Hindi movie heroes given to displays of false machismo in the face of adversity. The world of espionage here is marked by grit and grime, and the scalded characters neither live in fancy settings nor carry flashy guns and gizmos. D-Day is a well-researched, purposefully executed film. Much of the action takes places in ‘actual’ Karachi locations - the red light district of Napier Road, the busy thoroughfare of Empress Market and the environs

of Qasim Port, among others. The villain of the film is a fugitive from Indian law and has the active support of the intelligence establishment across the border, but the Pakistani figures in the plot aren’t tarred with the same brush. They aren’t all black. Nor are the people on the Indian side sought to be passed off as completely free of blame in this long, costly battle of attrition between the two neighbours. As part of a covert operation, the Indian spies play cat-andmouse games not only with their foes, but also with each other. They are committed to “honour, duty and country” above all else, but one of the men - the most hot-headed among them - refers to these virtues as three of their biggest weaknesses.

When they are in danger of being captured in Pakistan after a botched operation, their bosses in Delhi are all too willing to bail out and disown them. The sly jabs at the powers-thatbe are extended to the portrayal of a Prime Minister who is constantly either summoned or given instructions to on the phone by somebody referred to merely as “Madam”. To return to the narrative, a quartet of Indian secret agents is in Karachi to nab ‘India’s Most Wanted’, a character who is obviously modelled on Dawood Ibrahim and goes by the unlikely name of Goldman (Rishi Kapoor). But D-Day is not Gadar - Ek Prem Katha, and the four agents -- three men and a woman - who have been placed in the thick of the action by an unflappable RAW chief, Ashwini Rao (Nasser), do not strut around spouting vacuously patriotic lines. The lynchpin of Operation Goldman is Wali Khan (Irrfan), who infiltrated Pakistan nine years ago and now lives in a nondescript Karachi neighbourhood with a wife and a son. He is joined by a laconic and mysterious suspended army man Rudra Pratap Singh (Arjun Rampal), explosives expert Zoya Rehman (Huma Qureshi), who has flown in from London, and Aslam (Aakash Dahiya), a petty criminal


picked off the streets of Mumbai. Apart from the dynamics of the plan to bring the all-powerful Goldman to book, the film focuses on inter-departmental RAW politics as well as the contradictions that exist within the power structure of Pakistan’s ISI. The back stories and the emotional compulsions of the secret agents form a significant component of the storyline. Unfortunately, these strands are not always emotionally engaging, as a result of which they drag the film down a bit. Wali loves his son to distraction and is constantly under pressure to choose between line of duty and his commitment to his family. Rudra develops a strong bond with Suraiya (Shruti Haasan), a sex worker with a scarred face. Matters get worse as Goldman’s nephew (Chandan Roy Sanyal) decides to settle scores. Zoya, on her part, has sacrificed her marriage to join this operation. The audience does not see her husband, only hears him (voice: Raj Kumar Yadav) as he struggles to reconnect with her but in vain. D-Day is replete with such unusual touches. It is another matter that all of them do not eventually come together to make a cohesive whole. Yet, for all its flaws, this is a film good enough to merit a trip to the multiplex.

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July 26, 2013


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July 26, 2013


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Bihar’s Growth Accelerates to a Record 14.48%

Numbers confirm Bihar’s structural shift away from agriculture, with sharp increase in share of services sector BY KIRTHI V. RAO NEW DELHI (Live Mint): Bihar has revised its economic growth for 2012-13 to 14.48%, five percentage points higher than what was initially forecast, according to two officials at the state’s directorate of statistics. The new numbers confirm the state’s structural shift away from agriculture, with a sharp increase in the share of the tertiary or services sector. The data is yet to be made public. The state has had the distinction of having recorded the highest average growth rate among all states in the 11th Plan period, which ended in 2011-12. It grew by 15.69% in 2006-07, although this came on the back of a 0.17% expansion in 2005-06. However, Bihar’s failure to reduce poverty levels in the state has taken away some of the sheen from this remarkable economic turnaround. Experts said the data released by the Bihar’s directorate of economics and statistics should be interpreted carefully. Vishnu Dayal Pandit, deputy director at the state’s statistics office, said the increase in comparable estimates was mainly due to construction and the tertiary sector. The revision may mean a further shift away from agriculture. Share of the primary sector or agriculture in Bihar’s predominantly rural economy diminished from 31% in 2006-07 to 23% in 2012-13, according to the advance estimates released in February. The revision comes even as some experts have questioned wheth-

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at a rally in New Delhi.

er Bihar’s remarkable growth has meant anything to its poor. “Bihar’s growth story reflects that if you have heavily distorted regional economies, even small policy changes have large growth effects,” said Chetan Ghate, associate professor at the Indian Statistical Institute’s planning unit. Releasing a new book on Bihar’s growth rebound on Sunday, experts including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, said that while the state’s growth performance was remarkable, it needed to do more to reduce poverty. The state had only managed to reduce the proportion of people below the poverty line from 54.4% in 2004-05 to 53.5% in 2009-10, according to the Planning Commission. Media reports on 22 July that cited unnamed officials in the Planning Commission said that the state had witnessed a steep decline in poverty to 33.7% in 2011-12,

although this is still more than ten percentage points above the national average poverty rate of 22%. The news report was based on Planning Commission estimates that haven’t yet been made public. Given that construction constituted about 10% of Bihar’s total product, the sharp revision could be a tentative indication that growth may be slightly more broadbased this year and driven by the services sector, Ghate said. Other experts also said conclusions must be drawn carefully as the data is as yet only provisional. “States bring out their growth numbers but we cross-validate them,” said Ashish Kumar, additional director general of the Central Statistical Office. “We have not yet examined these estimates and typically, they are examined a year after the fiscal year ending after data from more sources is available.”

RBI Further Tightens Gold Import Norms BY ANUP ROY MUMBAI (Live Mint): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tightened the rules on the import of gold to ease the pressure on the widening current account deficit and prevent speculation in the domestic market. Banks and entities that import gold will now have to ensure that at least one-fifth of the metal they bring in is used for exports. Further, gold imported in any form can only be made available for domestic use to make jewelry. Importers are required to retain 20% of the imported quantity in customs bonded warehouses and will be permitted to undertake fresh imports only after 75% of the metal stock is exported, RBI said. The new rules take immediate effect. This is the second time in less than three months that RBI is tightening its grip on gold imports to rein in the widening current account deficit, which touched a record 4.7% of gross domestic product in the third quarter of the year ended 31 March. According to the World Gold Council, India is the largest importer of the metal, with more than half of this being used to make wedding ornaments. In the 12 months ended December, total gold demand in India was 864.2 tonnes, down 12% from 986.3 tonnes a year earlier, according to the council. Gold imports in June are estimated to have fallen to around 31 tonnes, down from 162 tonnes in May and 141 tonnes in April, according to a 16 July report by the Press Trust of India. Imports stood at around 830 tonnes in 2012-13. In value terms, gold and silver imports are estimated to have declined substantially to $2.45 billion in June from $8.39 billion in May, the report said. India’s central bank took the first big step to curb gold imports



in May. It restricted banks to imports on a consignment basis only to meet the needs of exporters of gold jewelry, thus limiting the supply of the metal through this channel for domestic use. The central bank also restricted loans against gold coins to those weighing up to 50gm per customer. P.V. Jose, chief patron of the Kerala Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association, said RBI’s steps on gold imports have crippled the domestic jewelry market. “Government measures have totally spoilt the gold industry in the country. Our margin requirements have shot up, premiums have increased, and there is no easy availability of gold to do business,” Jose said. Kerala is one of the largest consumers of gold among Indian states. India’s policymakers have been trying to curb the import of gold, which is a major contributor to non-oil imports. Early this year, a central bank panel had recommended that RBI consider introducing gold accumulation plans, gold-linked accounts, modified gold deposits and gold pension products, among other measures. The panel, headed by K.U.B. Rao, an adviser to RBI’s department of economic and policy research, also proposed that banks expand their gold jewelry loan portfolio to monetize stocks of idle gold in the country, as well as avoiding any curbs on loans against gold jewelry and gold coins to individuals. RBI is currently examining these recommendations. To discourage gold imports, the government raised the import duty on gold in phases from 2% to 8%. Finance minister P. Chidambaram ruled out a complete ban on gold imports, but urged Indians to moderate their demand for the metal.


July 26, 2013

Ashes 2013: England Crushes Aussies in Four Days BY DAVID HOPPS England 361 (Bell 109, Bairstow 67, Harris 5-72) and 349 for 7 dec (Root 180, Bell 74, Siddle 3-65) beat Australia 128 (Swann 5-44) and 235 (Khawaja 54, Clarke 51, Swann 4-78) by 347 runs England secured a 2-0 lead in the Investec Ashes series as they completed an inevitable victory against Australia with relentless efficiency at the fag-end of the fourth day at Lord’s. Australia were four balls away from taking the match into a fifth day, with England forced to take a second new ball, the extra half-hour and finally resorting to silent prayer before completing a 347-run win in the final over. Before an impatient Lord’s crowd, eager to tick a box marked victory and head home, Australia’s last pair, James Pattinson and Ryan Harris, established Australia’s second highest stand of the innings 43 runs awash with defiance - before the offspin of Graeme Swann trapped Pattinson lbw. At Trent Bridge, Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes registered the highest last-wicket partnership in Test history, and Australia’s highest of the match. If only the batsmen could bat, they might make a fist of this series. But Australia have lost six Tests in a row. England are vastly superior. It all feels like a reverse of 20 years ago. England are now the side in a golden era, able to relish high-class players and sound planning; Australia are a basket case. Returning on Monday morning might have been a suitable minipunishment for England after they self-indulgently batted on for 18 minutes on the fourth morning in a failed attempt to present Joe Root with a double century. He fell attempting a ramp shot with nine men on the boundary, leaving Ryan Harris with praiseworthy match figures of 7 for 103. Aside from his wonderful innings, the manner of Root’s dismissal was unique for an Ashes Test and is perhaps worthy of an Honours Board on its own. England have four Ashes victories in a row, the strategy of dry pitches is working like a dream and Root’s 180 emphasised the gulf

Alastair Cook catches Michael Clarke at leg slip, England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord’s, 4th day.

between the sides. The youngest English player to make a Test hundred at Lord’s, unsurprisingly he took the man-of-the-match award. “I’ve loved every minute of it,” he said. They made skilful use of a wearing Lord’s surface, with Swann predictably to the fore, and with Root also making a cheery guest appearance to break the back of the Australia innings just before tea. Australia will be particularly disturbed that they have completed back-to-back wins without major contributions from the likes of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. Australia have only straws to clutch at - Usman Khawaja acquitted himself responsibly at No. 3 to make his second Test half-century and their bowlers are displaying commendable spirit with both bat and ball - but only one side in Ashes history has ever won a series 3-2 after losing the first two Tests. England can surely assume

the Ashes are as good as retained. Only one Test side, also, has ever survived for 173 overs or more in the fourth innings to draw a match. That was England against South Africa in Durban in 1939 when a Timeless Test was abandoned after nine days so England could catch a boat home. Australia’s task was to show they were not on a slow boat to nowhere, to transform a humiliation into a defeat respectable enough to keep body and soul together for the rest of the series. That task will be made more difficult while the air remains thick with corporate emails. As Australia’s players sought consolation in another defeat, Cricket Australia and their sacked coach, Micky Arthur, exchanged public statements and David Warner’s manager felt obliged to distance Warner from his own brother after he made venomous comments about Shane Watson. It cannot get much worse. Australia, bundled out for 128

first time around, were in disarray at 48 for 3 at lunch as they faced an entirely notional 583 to win. Swann led England’s victory push. Expectation of turn was enough to befuddle Rogers, who left a straight one, and Hughes, who reviewed his lbw decision, only to be reminded that, in these days of DRS, lbws are possible for offspinners operating around the wicket. Before then, Watson fell in accustomed manner, lbw, this time hunted down by James Anderson. It was not the embarrassing exit of the first innings, when he planted his front pad and whipped across one and then compounded the error by wasting a review when stone dead. This time he was more respectably beaten by a ball that nipped back and, aware that there was no chance of a reprieve, shook his head mournfully at his batting partner, Rogers, and walked off. David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo



Pak vs. WI: Final ODI ST. LUCIA: Tough, hard-fought cricket, along with the usual doses of excitement when you least expect them. Star player makes umpteenth comeback, walks in at 47 for 5, cracks 76 off 55 and then takes other-worldly figures of 9-3-12-7. Home side rebounds from the thrashing with a convincing win in the second game, then follow it up with a last-ball, last-wicket train robbery of a tie when they are all but derailed. West Indies and Pakistan, true to reputation, have given us what they were expected to. And the Caribbean has given us another ODI series with twists and turns, following the tri-series also involving India and Sri Lanka. The balance between bat and ball, the absence of which renders so many one-day contests into one-dimensional batting gluts, has set this series up for one, final tussle between the two sides. Due to the forced change in the West Indies home season, rain influenced the result of the fourth game. It arrived while the Pakistan chase was on, and imposed a revised target. West Indies found their three specialist bowlers had already bowled most of their quota; Pakistan had lost only their openers. Although the conditions and the situation were more in favour of the chasing side than the defending one, it must be said, Pakistan’s self-destructing tendency often proves to be their undoing.

Will Chris Gayle return to form?


July 26, 2013


Lessons from Uttarakhand Floods

How a Just Cause Turned Forgotten Soldiers into “Soldiers of God”! Lt. Gen. Chait was the GOC-inChief, Central Command until end June. He was, in fact, responsible for initiating, planning and leading from the front one of the biggest rescue and relief operations ever launched in the history of the nation. Not only, the people of Uttarakhand but also thousands of pilgrims from many parts of India, who were there in Kedarnath and other places, will owe their eternal gratitude to the armed forces for their rescue and evacuation. Gen. Chait took over on July 2 as Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC). In this piece, Lt. Gen. Chait underscores what motivates a soldier and what is his dharma. BY LT GEN ANIL CHAIT As a just war is required for a just peace, so a just cause is required for the sustained motivation of distributed leadership of the Army in an hour of crisis. During the recent crisis, soldiers’ duty during the Uttarakhand floods was to save lives, be it human or animals, notwithstanding the dance of death in front of them. Grief, emotion and risk to his own life, was not to deter him. He was expected to operate 24x7 with bare essentials and save every person alive. Not knowing when and where the last person alive will be found, he was to overcome heavy odds trudging every trail across an area spanning 40000 sq kms. That needed a deep sense of dedication to motivate the soldier to perform his duty, without any supervision or watch. As the cause was just, he did this successfully and soon the forgotten soldier became a soldier of god. Rescue operations in Uttarakhand were a war against the curse of Mother Nature inflicted on pilgrims and residents of the state. It was not about taking lives or of imposing their will as wars would require them to do. Here the battle was against the impact of a calamity caused by the forces of nature upon a multitude that was unprepared and incapable to face it. This war was to save lives and of rousing the hapless thousands, impacted and left stranded or marooned all over the state to be moved to evacuation hubs. It was about instilling a strong will in them, to move and brave the odds so as to ensure that the weak and infirm, children and women besides young and old duly assisted reach those safe areas, from where the ‘men-machine mix’,

Lt. Gen. Anil Chait in Harsil Sector11.

could evacuate them. The sufferers of the tragedy have had to be fed, psychologically nurtured, medically taken care of, persuaded to move and if not then bodily lifted or carried and ferried across the most dangerous terrain and weather conditions to the safe areas. Thus the soldiers of “God” not only did this successfully, but also accomplished this gigantic task in a period of about 14 days in what eventually has come to be known as one of the biggest rescue and relief operations ever launched in the history of the nation and possibly in the world that impacted and left more than one lakh people in extreme distress. Notknowinghowmanyvictims! The impediments in this task were : that there was no definitive count of how many victims they would be required to save; the state in which these victims were, having already been ravaged for several hours and more; the requirements of medical assistance that may be needed, in some cases urgently especially, if a life was close to death or danger and significantly to trudge every trail across a vast area by foot to locate such victims who in desperation simply had fled through any available route. An overwhelmingly large number of victims were people

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from the plains, who were unaccustomed to the physical stress of sustained walking or climbing in the mountains. The other daunting factor was the inclement weather itself that continued throughout the operations, in long or short spells, greatly disrupting the effort. The complexity and the enormity Such, had been the complexity and the enormity of this task. The soldier on ground had to quickly locate the victims in the harsh terrain; assess the state in which victims were, provide immediate basic sustenance and make several decisions such as improvising camps at places of safety; removing and crossing impediments on the recovery paths, physical assistance and support to those injured, old and infirm. Several of those rescued had lost some of their near and dear ones before their eyes and their morale and motivation required to be kept up. All this and more required a deep sense of commitment on part of the soldier. Successful military operations in the twenty-first century will be amongst people. These will require greater flexibility and a wider range of capabilities, than ever before. Nature of work will require men and women of character to be committed to this profession. Strength of the armed forces will

therefore continue to rest on the values, ethos, and dedication of our soldiers. Our soldiers and their leaders will need to remain true to the values, as they increasingly operate in complex environments where moral-ethical failures can have strategic implications. Success of our Armed Forces in dealing with the great Uttarakhand tragedy yet again underscores this belief. The armed forces are there to serve the people, which it has sworn to defend; protect the national interests, and support and defend the Constitution. The professional military ethics is essential to this primary mission. Adherence to and sustained practice of the professional military ethics over a period of time, internalizes their many virtues, such as sustained operating effort over prolonged periods, compassion towards those in distress and suffering, selflessness and an abiding belief that effort towards a just cause is a matter of pride both for the service and self, making it

a second habit. A vibrant ethical and moral character is therefore the foundation for this spirit to permeate the body and soul of the Armed Forces and can be regarded as quintessential for its effectiveness. Without such an ethos, no force can really be effective at what it does. Since this cannot be built purely by the organization, it needs support of the society too. Our citizenry and the leaders, therefore, have to support military profession in developing these values and ethos, and nurture these by giving due izzat and respect, as it seeks to establish a unique subculture that distinguishes its practitioners from the Society they serve, even while supporting and enhancing that society. Such a subculture has at its core, a set of cardinal moral principles, values and beliefs which enables setting up of standards of performance and code of ethics to maintain their effectiveness. The challenge for Military Leadership is how to infuse, permeate and consolidate the bedrock of these virtues notwithstanding the evolving nature of culture, values, beliefs and norms of the society. To achieve his goal, the leader needs to evoke a commitment from each soldier to the effect that: MAI BHARTIYA SAINIK HOON, MISSION KI SAFALTA MERA LAKSHYA HAI. HAAROONGA NAHI, HATUUNGA NAHI, MARTE DUM TAK DESHVASHIYON AAPKA SAATH CHHODUNGA NAHI. Troops of Central Command, which I have had the proud privilege to lead, believed and showed commitment of being – “An Army in Service of People”, an ethos which I had laid for the Heartland Army, about fifteen months back. It was the adherence to this noble core value on the part of each soldier, along with his dexterity and other skills which resulted in him saving the lives of thousands of our countrymen. For a Commander, there is nothing which gives more pride and satisfaction than the successful accomplishment of a mission of such extraordinary proportions.

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