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Friday, September 29, 2017 • Vol. 36, No. 38

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September 29, 2017


Friday, September 29, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 38


Indo American erican News

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

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Thunderous Laughter’s for Houstonians!

Cultural Celebrations P5

Happy Dussehra


P3 Amit Tandon at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, September 22

Ramleela 2017 was held at VPSS Haveli, on Sunday, September 24. From left: Dharminder Dargan as Hanuman, Ratnakar Modekrutti as Laxman, Vipin Sharma as Lord Ram, and Kusum Sharma as Sita.

BAPS Charities Health Fair

Happy Gandhi Jayanti


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BAPS Charities Health Fair participants offered multitude of health screenings

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September 29, 2017



Houston Mayor Thanks Indo-Americans for Their Hurricane Harvey Relief

Amit and Arpita Bhandari present a check of $250,000 from BioUrja to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (center) toward the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief. In total, the Indo-American community has made a contribution of $1.5 million toward Hurricane Harvey relief. Photo: Bijay Dixit



More than 150 members of the Indo-American community took a brief pause from their continual relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to remember those fellow Houstonians that were lost, and honor the courageous acts of ordinary people helping others, at a reception at the home of Amit and Arpita Bhandari in West Houston. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who joined the event, remarked that “The contributions of the IndoAmerican community did not just start with Hurricane Harvey. IndoAmericans have been contributing to this city for a long, long time. The Indo-American community is vital to the city and helps make Houston the great city that it is.” The BioUrja Group, a global energy and agricultural commodities trading company owned by the Bhandaris, contributed $250,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief at the event. In total, the Indo-American community has contributed over $1.5 million toward Hurricane Harvey relief.

Upon receiving the check, Mayor Turner stated: “I want to thank Indo-Americans for what you have done prior to Hurricane Harvey. I want to thank you for what you are doing now, and I want to thank you for what you will be doing to help rebuild this great city. We will rebuild, we will be stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for next time around.” Before the check presentation, Bhandari screened a video, which described the devastation in Houston as Hurricane Harvey hovered over the city and dumped more than 56 inches of water in the city and its suburbs. The video also graphically described how IndoAmerican organizations assisted first responders in evacuations and helped victims with food, shelter and medical care. “The hurricane took the lives of 80 Houstonians and left thousands homeless,” recalled Bhandari. “Harvey may have put our lives in disarray, but Houstonians are strong. We were not able to control Harvey’s winds, but we can control the direction of our sails. Houston First is our mantra and Houston

September 29, 2017 Strong is our way.” “Indo-American volunteers helped rescue 700 Houstonians by boats, trucks, or by foot,” said Bhandari. “Indo-Americans have also contributed $1.5 million to various charitable organizations associated with Hurricane Harvey relief. More than 35,000 hot meals have been distributed to the hungry. More than ten temporary medical care facilities have been set up to provide urgent care. Additionally, more than 2,000 volunteers contributed 45,000 hours of service. Two emergency call centers were set up, 300 families sheltered, and 450 flooded homes were cleared out.” Specific Indo-American organizations Bhandari recognized included, “Sewa International, BAPS Swami Narayan Temple, Bohra community, several others Hindu temples, all the Sikh gurudwaras and mosques. Numerous businesses and restaurants helped in providing free meals.” India’s Consul General to Houston Dr. Anupam Ray echoed Mayor Turner’s sentiments in thanking the Indo-American community. “Your generosity makes India proud,” said Dr. Ray. “A community is great if it rises above its suffering. Through your contributions toward Hurricane Harvey relief, you’ve demonstrated that as a community, you’ve risen above your sufferings.” Another presentation made to Mayor Turner was a newly developed mobile app titled DisasterConnect to help victims and donors make direct contacts with each other to streamline relief efforts. The app was created by ChaiOne, a Houston-based developer of mobile apps, under the direction of its CEO, Gaurav Khandelwal. In closing, Bhandari urged the Indo-American community to make additional donations to Hurricane Harvey relief and to add the designation “Diaspora” to ease tracking the total community donations.


Amit Tandon Amuses Houstonians in a Live Comedy Show!

The super cherished show received continuous applause and a stand up ovation. Photos: Biyani Photography



Houstonians looking to escape the gloom of the hurricane Harvey gathered at the Old Stafford Civic Center on Friday, September 22. It was the first USA tour of the award-winning Indian stand up comedian Amit Tandon, and also the first show for Har-preet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions. The past few years have seen a rigorous expansion of comedy programming and Tandon is one of the talent’s who is a package of wit coupled with a fiery stage presence. Tandon, a gifted and renowned standup come-dian in India, has performed and hosted over 700 comedy shows across the globe. His USP is that he does not veer into comedy that’s too blue for the audience, and is known for his clean comedy image in the corporate field. It wasn’t a surprise that the buzz for this show had begun weeks before the event and everyone was discussing Tandon’s comedy stratosphere. Tickets to this show were getting sold out so quickly that the organizers had to start assigning the Bal-

Amit Tandon with Harpreet Chawla-Suji of Paani Poori Productions.

cony section and yet, it was declared a SOLD OUT, a day before the show. Like a thorough professional, Amit Tandon arrived at the venue an hour before the show timing, helping to kick-start the event at the scheduled time of 7:30 pm. The much anticipated show unfolded with the Houston based writer and a fair weather stand up comedian Malay Vyas, who shared his take on the life in America,




September 29, 2017



September 29, 2017


Intangible Cultural Heritage Passed on to Houstonians by Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela! BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

HOUSTON: The dramatic folk

re-enactment of the life of Rama, the glorious Ramleela, is a cultural celebration that is rejoiced all over the globe. And when a spectacular mega-event like this is customized as per the local flavor, it becomes a widely accepted phenomenon. Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela, an epic signature event of Kalakriti Performing Arts (501c non-profit), is one such picturesque and dramatic show that involves enlightenment on religious and ethical values that are not usually a part of school curriculums. This year’s Ramleela was held at VPSS Haveli, on Sunday, September 24, and it was as magnificent and spectacular as the previous ones. This performance arts-related festivity signifying the conquest of good over evil is showcased with great enthusiasm, gaiety and spiritual fervor. It’s essence of staying strong through tough times, and not giving up on our rights is portrayed in a creative and a delightful composition across various episodes of Lord Rama’s life. Before the much-anticipated event began, a lamp lighting ceremony was held by the sponsors and dignitaries, following which a proclamation was read which was presented to the organizers by the City of Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner. Being strict with its schedule, as always, the event started sharp at 3pm with a Ganesh vandana. Emcee for this event was the charismatic Abha Dwivedi, who shepherded the evening’s events smoothly. Over the centuries, Ramleela has evolved into a highly venerated art form and has traveled to the deepest corners of the globe as fresh expressions of a persistent faith. And, it has been such a pleasure to watch Kusum Sharma’s version of Ramleela evolve over these years with her successful experiments. Year after year, there have been additions to the set-up to make it

Photos: Chaya Photo Studio

more mesmerizing and captivating to watch. Two years ago multiple stages along with dazzling UV Lights were added, coupled with a Shiv Tandava, where as last year big LCD screens and live aerial acrobatic performances were added to enliven the show. Continuing this trend of improvisation, this year too there were several new additions in the concept and scenes. Some of the pleasant additions to this year’s show were the illumination of Shiv Trishul during the UV light and the marriage scene of Lord Ram’s and his brothers. The narration of the event was done by an actor dressed as Saint Tulsidas and it went very well

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with the theme. Ramcharitmanas is an epic poem in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi composed by the 16th-century Indian poet Tulsidas. Ramcharitmanas literally means “Lake of the deeds of Rama” and is considered as one of the greatest works of Hindi literature. Just the way Tulsidas wanted Ramcharitmanas to reach out to the masses and hence he translated it from Sanskrit to Awadhi, Kusum Sharma revised the dialogues to English to make it accessible. While last year only a minor portion of the dialogues were in English, this year it was a deliberate attempt at maximizing the reach with a complete English version. And this was strategically a right move as the younger generation and nonIndians were more receptive, and it also sparked a flood of interest from new volunteers for future participation. The dohe, chopai and bhajans were still in Awadhi, to retain the flavor and yet be enjoyable for the older generation. Each of the scenes was directed such that it seemed we were wit-

nessing history, being present in that era. Especially the dramatic and emotional incident portraying King Dashrat’s death, the Shabri scene and Hanuman’s first meeting with Lord Ram. A scene which received the maximum applause was the one where Hanuman carries Ram and Lakshman on his shoulders. The 2.5 hour show was a spectacular event filled with outstanding performances, breathtaking dance sequences, spiced with the masala of dramatic scenes and magnificent special effects and fascinating choreography of classical dance moves complimented with vibrant and colorful costumes. It was truly inspiring for the audience to figure the missing pieces of values in their life and retrospect. This was implied in the scene where Kumbhakaran asks Ravan to step back, before he was to leave for a war with Lord Ram. When Ravan resisted, Kumbhakaran told him that he would still support him in spite of being aware of his fate. This one scene left the audience with a question whether one must support family or the truth. Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela has positioned itself more like a community event in its last 13 years of existence. The cast includes several accomplished members like Vipin Sharma as Lord Ram (male protagonist), Kusum Sharma as Sita (female protagonist), Hari Sriram as Raavan (antagonist), Ratnakar Modekrutti as Laxman, Girish

Naik as Raja Dashrath, Achalesh Amar as Angad, Dharminder Dargan as Hanuman and Ram Sharma as Raja Janak. This remarkable and memorable event is sponsored and attended by several distinguished personalities, who proudly support Indian culture and heritage, and this brand of Ramleela. Kalakriti Performing Arts graciously thanked their sponsors for their continuous support and guidance. It wouldn’t have been possible to have this magnificent show without its superbly talented 170+ performers and volunteers who invested their precious time to make this event glorious one. Kalakriti Performing Arts also send their heartfelt thanks to Alings Hakka Chinese, Mandap Creations, Divine Decor, Deep Foods, VPSS and Shiv Shakti temple, apart from the media partners Indo-American News, Masala Radio, Hum TumDesi.com and TV Asia for their coverage and intent to promote this event. It was indeed a notable point that in spite of several emergencies at a personal front and Hurricane Harvey, Kusum Sharma and team stood firm and staged an impressive and a majestic show. Kalakriti Performing Arts is ready with it’s next production, “Kusum Sharma as & in Durga Mahishasur Mardini”, which will be staged on September 30 in Houston, while the next Ramleela 2017 will be held in Austin on October 14. For more details visit www.kalakritiusa.org

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September 29, 2017





September 29, 2017

Amit Tandon Amuses Houstonians CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 and his learning’s and adaptations to the culture here. Malay has catapulted as a stand up artist and has unfolded sev-eral fundraiser events for veterans like Paul Varghese and Raj Sharma. He is an emcee who comes with a strong background of unconventional humor. He believes that life is nothing but an Improv on steroids. Malay was truly marvelous in his opening act and had the audience in splits. Amit Tandon, known as ‘The Married Guy’ in the stand up comedy circuit, simply rocked the show with his amusing observational and hugely relatable anecdotes, from marriage to politics to road traffic and even women in general. Switching effortlessly be-tween Hindi and English, Tandon’s humor was outstanding and he could so very well connect with all segments of audiences; the middle class, middle aged, young-at-heart and the young college going crowds. Such was the impact of his insane performance that people from the audience were complaining of their jaws hurting from laughter. Though Tandon is popular for some of his interesting and witty Indian middle class rou-tines, he had composed fresh scripts for his US trips, based on his observations of life around Indians in the US. Most of the audience chuckled and nodded in agreement on his views on visit to malls and whole foods market. His content was fresh and never heard of and led to contagious laughter’s spread across the hall. His take on the habits of Punjabis and Gujaratis was so apt that it literally had the audience up in splits. His rib-tickling ca-maraderie has now become a point of conversation, especially his jokes like, “Yoga for white people is like wine for brown people - don’t understand it much, but we still love to do it” or his comparisons between life in India and life in USA, or his take on the pollu-tion levels in India being so bad that his lungs could not believe the air can be so pure in the USA. He did evoke laughter when he picked on a member of the audience, before moving on to speak about today’s generation. Quoting his own kids, he joked that Fathers days is more of an obligation than being an enjoyment, as kids buy expensive gift for their father with his money, and then they even ask for a return gift. Amit Tandon had 3 super hit back to back shows during the last weekend, the first one being in Houston on September 22, which was one of his longest performances with well over 1 hour and 40 minutes, the second in Dallas on September 23, and the last one being in Austin on September 24. Paani Poori Productions organized the Houston and the Dal-las shows and also helped in managing the Austin show. Their name was quite

an eye-brow raiser and there is a little story behind it. Mumbai born Harpreet Chawla-Suji created this company to introduce a new genre for entertainment, besides the regular concerts. In Mumbai, other than vada-pav the mouth watering paani poori’s are a favorite hit and we can safely assume that your mouth is watering as you read this. Though the poori always remains constant, the usually chilled paani comes in multiple palatable flavors. Similarly, Paani Poori Production’s objective is to provide entertainment of various flavors, and undoubtedly this name will justify the khatta-meetha desi entertainment provided to Houston and its surrounding areas. The show was a hit and was loved by the audience that ranged right from 15 to 75 years of age. An elated Harpreet mentioned, “The show would not have been possible without the faith shown by the sponsors, supporters, family, and friends who helped with the show. Thank you Houston, with your support I hope to bring more khatta -meetha desi entertainment in the near future”. The backbone of the show, the sponsors and supporters included Sanjiv Khanna & Viral Patel of Bombay Pizza Express, Dr. Gagandeep Khallon of Smile Profile Family Dentistry, Sameeta & Roshan of Sameeta’s Beauty Lounge, Amirali Dodhiya of New York Life, Devesh Pathak of Devesh Pathak CPA, Vyomesh Patel of Vishala Grocery, Umang Mehta of Deep Foods, Vanshika Vipin of Indo-American News, Arzan Gonda of Rhythm India, Kaushlesh Biyani of Biyani Pho-tography, SEWA International volunteers, Jabali Patel and Yaksha. Backstage, during a brief meeting with Amit Tandon, he seemed to be an extremely unas-suming, witty and a down to earth personality, with absolutely no hang-ups around him. His transformation from a corporate career to a fulltime comedian is an interesting story by itself and it goes by this. Out of sheer boredom one night, Tandon took on the mic at stage for just five minutes. Twoand-a-half years of open mic nights later, he decided to become a full time comedian. His Hinglish shows are about his middle-class upbringing and perceptions and aspirations towards luxury, and they simply makes one enjoy with his beaming positive energy. The super cherished Houston show received a continuous applause and stand up ovation. He mentioned that he truly enjoyed performing here and that he was touched by the overwhelming response received from Houstonians who are still coping with the aftermaths of Harvey. To support Harvey victims, Harpreet ChawlaSuji donated 10% of the ticket earnings from September 1-22 to Sewa Houston for Har-vey relief.

For further information about Paani Poori Productions and about future shows, like them on Facebook at facebook.com/paanipooriproductions. -Malay Vyas contributed to this article

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September 29, 2017



10 September 29, 2017



September 29, 2017

BAPS Charities Health Fair in Houston Connects Health Professionals with the Community


Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

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Over 25 years experience Doctors and other Healthcare profressionals volunteer their time at the BAPS Charities Health Fair.

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Email: siddhivinayakhouston@gmail.com Website: www.siddhivinayakhouston.org

Keynote Speaker Dr. Carlos Cardenas MD TMA president kicks off the BAPS Charities Health Fair.

President Elect of HCMS addresses the doctors at the BAPS Charities Health Fair.

Educational booths were open to all the participants.


BAPS Charities hosted close to 600 participants at its 17th annual Health Fair on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 in Houston, TX. This year’s Health Fair aimed to expand on practical, preventative care and affordable treatment options for community members of all ages. Individual appointments and workshops provided personalized care to attending participants. Over 150 health care professionals volunteered for the event, including dentists, nurses, physicians, and specialists in the fields of cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, urology, ENT, dermatology and pediatrics. Collectively, these professionals provided a variety of services and screenings including: physical examinations, blood panels, EKG, audiograms, eye exams, glaucoma screening and dental screenings. Participants were also able to attend relevant lectures on various health topics such as: The Most of My Plate for Better Health, Art of Preserving Structure Spells Pleasure in Living, Managing Disabling Arthritis and Joint Replacement, Living Bright by Improving Memory, Role of Physical Fitness to Live Younger, Colorectal Cancer/Can-

cer Q & A, Urgent Care Issues and Improving Health by Detox Diets. Participants also received individual consultations on health diseases and issues including diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol. One of the organizers, Dr. Jay Chavda, Md, said, “this health fair gives the community an opportunity to come together to serve others.” He added, “it’s (health fair) been an event that not only educates people about health but allows them to get vision, dental, physical screenings and more to prevent potential major health issues.” This year’s health fair keynote speaker, Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, President, Texas Medical Association, and Dr. George Santos, MD, President-Elect Harris County Medical Society kicked off the health fair by commending the doctors for volunteer their times on a Saturday to perform the multitude of tests. Many sponsors Monzer Hourani of Medistar, Bay Area Regional Medical Center, GI Specialist of Houston and many others held booths to educate the participants. BAPS Charities annual Health Fairs are held at over 40 locations across North America and aim to

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Doctors perform health physicals at the health fair.

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14 September 29, 2017


IHA Convention in Dallas Proclaims Unity of Hindi Speakers

Some members of the Houston delegation to the IHA National Convention with a few poets.

Some of the poets who presented at the Convention with IHA National President Swapan Dhairyawan (third from left).


The International Hindi Association held its 18th Biennial Convention & Virat Kavi Sammelan in Dallas over the weekend of September 8 & 9 at the Hotel Carrollton Convention Center at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel. The two-day convention, themed as ‘Hindi – Definition of Indian Unity’, was attended by over 900 guests from all over the US, Canada, Nigeria and India. A Virat Kavi Sammelan was presented by five prominent poets from India and one from California. Under the guidance of the IHA Dallas Chapter President Anita Singhal, her team worked tirelessly for 4 months to raise substantial funds to deliver an outstanding convention and create an event which would be fondly remembered by “hindi lovers’. On Friday, September 8, the program started at 6 pm after dinner with a lighting of devotional lamps and prayer. This was followed by a variety of dance performances of folk classical dance forms like Kathak, Bharat Natyam, Garba, Bhangra and Bengali folk by local and national performers. Swasti Pande performed songs in different dialects like Bhojpuri, Maithili and enthralled the audience for more than two hours. The last session was lit by poetry presented by Hindi poets from all over the country who kept the audience spellbound by their witty creations. The following day, September 9, featured many breakout sessions. In the Hindi language, literature & religion session, three learned speakers expressed their views on the relationship between language, literature and religion. Dr. K. D. Upadhyaya of Houston was the moderator and also presented a

short play on friendship of ‘Krishna-Sudama’ with support from former Houstonians Mahesh and Sangeeta Derashri (who have recently relocated to Dallas). The play was so impressive that it brought tears to the eyes of spectators. Another session moderated by Dr. Dhiren Shah dealt with the influence of Hindi language on other regional languages. There were six participants in this session, who represented Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati and Bengali languages and discussed interesting correlations with Hindi. Rashmi Bhatia moderated the session on Female (mahila) Empowerment during featuring four female speakers. Sunita VarmaKurvari moderated the next session on Lifelong Companionship of Hindi - “How to keep youth connected to Hindi for their whole life?’, a problem faced by many teachers of the Hindi language. Veena Sharma moderated the session on ‘How to make Hindi interesting?’ with four panelists. The session “Journey of progress of Hindi in international Universities” was moderated by Nutan Lal and five experienced professors discussed and shared their experiences in Hindi teaching at various universities of world. The magician of words, Dr. Madhusudan Zaveri was the speaker of the next session “Construction of words by word”. He explained the evolution of different words of different regional languages from Sanskrit. The session was thoroughly enjoyed by all the spectators. The evening session began with dinner for more than 500 guests and chanting of the Sarasvati Vandana by local kids to kick off the

IHA National President Swapan Dhairyawan (of Houston) on the right helped to light the ceremonial lamps to start the convention.

formal program. The IHA Dallas chapter felicitated their guests, sponsors, supporters, by acknowledging their contribution to the event. Various office bearers of IHA gave brief speeches and a convention souvenir published by R D Joshi Consul was distributed. The Virat Kavi Sammelan began soon after the formal program and kept spectators spellbound till 2 am. The star poets who performed were Padmashree Dr. Surendra Dubey, Dr. Sarita Sharma, Padmashree Dr. Sunil Jogi, Gajendra Solanki, Dr. Madhup Pandey and Archana Panda (from California) presenting poems on various ‘ras’ (emotions). IHA National President Swapan Dhairyawan (of Houston) welcomed the guests and spoke of the13 key reasons responsible for the success of his 2016-2017 term. These included starting of new chapters in New Delhi and Nagpur, India; registration of and patenting the IHA logo; successful kavi sammellans in 41 cities all over North America; the timely publication of Vishwa magazine and financial transparency, all of which helped raise the bar of the organization. He stressed the need of involving non-Hindi speaking people and thinking out-of-thebox that would result in the wider spread of Hindi. “Our Raj Bhasha Hindi needs to get status at the UN,” he exclaimed, “and the IHA will strive to make that happen.” For more information visit www.hindi.org


September 29, 2017



16 September 29, 2017


9th Indian Film Festival to Present Dramatic Feature Films, Shorts and Documentaries HOUSTON: In its ninth edition, the an-

nual Indian Film Festival will present feature films, documentaries and short films that will appeal to both South Asian and mainstream audiences. The festival will take place October 6-7 at the Asia Society Texas Center. “The films submitted this year reflect the historic changes in the world today and illustrate courage, art and a defense of human rights and expression through unique and

personal perspectives that touch the heart and soul,” explained Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Festival Director. Descriptions on the films screened on Friday, October 6 are available in Indo-American edition published on September 22. On Saturday, October 7, presentations will include a short film at 4 pm, followed by a feature film at 4:35 pm. A documentary and a Q&A session follow at 7:30 pm. Azaad. A 31-min. short film by director Rahul Chittela will be screened Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 4 pm. Produced in Hindi with English subtitles, “Azaad” is set against the socio-political backdrop of present day India. The short film unfurls the story of a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son, within 48 hours of the father going missing. “Azaad” is Rahul V. Chittella’s debut short film. He is an independent producer and director based in Mumbai, India, who has worked with prolific filmmaker, Mira Nair, as her creative associate and producing partner. Chittela is the director and executive producer for the “Global Lives Project, India” and has worked with the United Nations Documentary Program. He was awarded the Media Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar in India for his contribution to projects that have used media for social change. Kshitij: A Horizon. A 100-min. feature film, will be screened Saturday, October 7, 2017, 4:35 pm. Directed by Manouj Kadaamh, the film was produced in Marathi with English subtitles. “Kshitij” is a story of 12 year-old girl’s struggle to continue her education in the face of severe adversity. Poverty forces her family to leave their village and go to a neighboring town to do back breaking labor in sugarcane fields. The girl, Vacchi, continues to quietly find time to study amidst days filled with hard toil, much to the irritation of her father a simple farmer who has very little sympathy of understanding for her aspiration. The Argumentative Indian. The 60-min. documentary film will be screened on Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7:30 pm, followed by a Q&A session. Directed by Suman Ghosh, the film was produced in Bengali with English subtitles. This documentary traces the life and work of India’s Renaissance man and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. Widely regarded as one of the greatest living intellectuals of the world, the film explores his formative years and their influence on his views of the world—both past and present. Director Suman Ghosh is a National Award winning filmmaker, who got his film training at Cornell University in New York. He also has a PhD in Economics from Cornell. Ghosh has made six feature films and one documentary film, all of which have been highly acclaimed. His first feature film “Footsteps” won two National Awards. In “The Argumentative Indian”, Ghosh presents Amartya Sen as a person whose vast intellectual vistas range from Sanskrit to modern political movements and whose greatness consists of the amalgam of such disparate topics and fields. Tickets for Houston’s 9th Indian Film Festival are available at www.iffhinc.org.



September 29, 2017


India House Hosts Birth Centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


OUSTON: Stalwarts of the Bharatiya Janata Party, affiliated organizations, and guests gathered Monday, September 25 at India House to celebrate the birth centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who served as the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s second president during 1967-68. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was the forerunner of today’s ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The celebration in Houston took place in parallel with the centenary celebration the same day in Kozhkode, Karala at the BJP’s Rashtriya Parishad (national conference). Convener for the centenary celebration in Houston was Gitesh Desai, president of Sewa International. A 10-minute video on the life and times of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was screened to recall the major events in Panditji’s life Deendayalji was born on Sept. 25, 1916 in the village Chandrabhan, now called Deendayal Dham, near Farah town in Mathura District, 26 km away from Mathura. His father, Bhagwati Prasad, was a well known astrologer and his mother was Shrimati Rampyari. Both his parents died when he was eight years old and he was brought up by his maternal uncle and aunt. Deendayal excelled academically and stood first in the board exam,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the featured speaker at the birth centenary celebrations of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Kozhikode, Kerala. The PM said that Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was appointed as the President of Jana Sangh in Kozhikode and the BJP itself evolved from the Jana Sangh.

Speakers at the centenary celebrations at India House included India’s Consul General to Houston Dr. Anupam Ray (left), political commentator Sunanda Vashisht (center) and TV Houston hostess Sangeeta Dua.

obtaining a Gold Medal from Ma- Dharma College, Kanpur in 1939 haraja Kalyan Singh of Sikar. He and graduated in the first division. earned his BA degree at the Sanatan Subsequentyly, he earned B.Ed and

M.Ed degrees at Prayag and entered public service. While he was a student at Sana-

tan Dharma College in 1937, Deendayalji came into contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He met RSS founder, K. B. Hedgewar, who engaged with him in an intellectual discussion at one of the shakhas (training schools). In 1951, when Syama Prasad Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Deendayal was seconded to the party by the RSS, tasked with moulding it into a genuine member of the Sangh Parivar. He was appointed as General Secretary of its Uttar Pradesh branch, and later the all-India General Secretary. After Mookerjee’s death in 1953, Deen Dayal took up the entire burden of building up Bharatiya Jan Sangh as a nationwide movement. For 15 years, he remained the party’s general secretary. Subsequently, Deendayalji served as the Jana Sangh president from 1967 until his death in 1968. During his years with the RSS and Jana Sangh, Deendayalji served as a journalist to promote the Hindutva movement. He started a monthly periodical titled Rashtra Dharma from Lucknow in the 1940s. Later, he started the weekly Panchjanya and a daily Swadesh. Deendayalji died on February 11, 1968 at Mughalsarai in UP, under mysterious circumstances while



18 September 29, 2017 Naughty on Navratri



Mulayam Singh Yadav’s dilemma

Nobody is celebrating Navratri harder than the marketing

department of a condom company. Their ads asking Gujaratis to have safe sex may have been pulled but their point has been made – if it’s Navratri ’tis the season to be naughty. Young people who want to have fun have my blessings and young people who have enough sense to buy a condom and actually use it have that and my respect. That these kids are trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs is a positive sign, it is in fact a good marker for acche din. If anything the great state of Gujarat should be proud of their youth and not angry with the company. Being a hardcore reporter, I have done my Twitter research and found that there are two groups of people upset by these ads. First are the ones who claim they are disrespectful to religious sentiments. The tagline ‘This Navratri, play, but with love’ has offended the pious. The company people should have known this would happen. We Indians do not want our holy days tied to the sexual shenanigans of our children, thanks. Here are some other tag lines I doubt would fly: “Get loved up this Lent” or “Have a Red Hot Ramadan” or “Enjoy a Lustful Lohri”. The second group of objectors, and the one I have zero empathy for, are the prudes – the people who think sex out of wedlock is the worst thing anyone can do. These guys really have their hypocritical knickers in a twist. Look people – there is information out there that proves contraception sales spike during the Garba season and this should not be surprising to anyone. From what I have seen the whole of Navratri is to young Gujaratis what prom is to their suburban American counterparts. It is the first time they have been left with the opposite gender after dark, there are no annoying adults breathing down their necks, and they have normally functioning hormones. The fact is that no matter where in the world you go kids are the same and there is nothing we can do about it because it’s biology. Their bodies are telling them one thing while their parents and preachers are telling them another. And I do believe history has shown us that no matter how conservative and controlling one’s parents and priests may be the body always wins. -- Radhika Vaz in Times of India

over parting ways with his son Akhilesh Yadav reveals what politics does to some of its most famed practitioners when age catches up. In their prime they may have snatched political openings where none existed, energetically travelled the length and breadth of rural India to build party organisations, and fashioned political movements in the spaces ceded by the dominant Congress party. But for one cardinal mistake: not knowing when to call it quits. The roll call of such patriarchs leaves us with many big names, and Mulayam is no exception. He has illustrious company in LK Advani, VS Achuthanandan, M Karunanidhi and SM Krishna. Since 2014, some of today’s leading politicians have done the unthinkable: they have cut to size their mentors, never mind that these men dominated Indian and regional politics for a quarter century since 1989. Age catches up with the best and politics, unlike sports, may have no retirement age and so the moment of reckoning is often unceremonious. This defenestration of iconic politicians has found its own theorising: Powell’s law, which states that “all political careers end in failure”. Almost all of them failed to recognise that the time to retire had come. And so they had to be unceremoniously dethroned or euphemistically empanelled. Take the most famous example — LK Advani – a man who once struck terror in the minds of minorities as his rath journeyed through Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra, MP, Rajasthan, and UP before being stopped in its tracks in Bihar. AB Vajpayee’s emergence as consensual PM choice and a mediocre stint as home minister culminating in the mindless exoneration of Jinnah in 2005 sealed Advani’s prospects for good. Yet Advani soldiered on in the hope that he would once again become BJP’ leading light. But the denouement became clear after the failed attempt to prevent Narendra Modi’s ascent to the BJP’s national leadership. Modi was prompt to pack Advani off to the Margdarshak Mandal, which has since gained the dubious reputation

for becoming the BJP’s retirement home. M Karunanidhi had the option of handing over the baton to presumptive heir MK Stalin many times after the crushing defeat in the 2011 assembly elections. But as late as May 10,2016, a few days before polling for the assembly polls, Kalaignar put his foot down and said Stalin, a ripe 63 then, would have to wait for his turn. In any case, DMK lost the polls and Stalin took over as DMK working president, without the five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu in attendance at the generational shift in power. VS Achuthanandan was the CPM’s numero uno strongman through much of the 1990s until the desire to taste the spoils of public office got the better of him. He turned the party over to Pinarayi Vijayan, a willing collaborator in a VS-led intra-party struggle to eliminate trade unionists from leadership positions, and then watched helplessly as Pinarayi strengthened his grip on the party and began marginalizing every VS loyalist of some standing. But a never-saydie spirit pitchforked VS into the chief minister’s chair in 2006 at the hoary age of 82 after much bickering within the CPM and an unprecedented show of public support by party cadre. Cut to 2016 VS was awarded a ticket to contest again and the sprightly 92-year-old led the electoral campaign from the front even as Pinarayi held the reins of the party. The CPM won the elections handsomely but this time there were no takers for VS. The nonagenarian was exposed meekly bargaining for a cabinet-rank position as head of an Administrative Reforms Commission and the revolutionary credentials of CPM’s most popular leader lay in tatters. Not far behind is SM Krishna who cuts a lonely figure in the BJP. Credited for a clear understanding of Ban-

galore’s infrastructural needs against which no subsequent chief minister has measured up to, Krishna also earned a place in Manmohan Singh’s governments. With the Congress losing power at the Centre in 2014 and the state Congress leadership in younger hands Krishna’s options were limited. In fact, his only option seemed to be a graceful withdrawal from politics. So his tantrums about the Congress ignoring him came as a surprise to most political watchers. Krishna’s erstwhile loyalists like DK Shivakumar, who some day hopes to lead the state Congress, refused to cross over and Krishna, who the BJP expected would help it cut into Vokkaliga votes, is finding the going tough. The raids conducted on his son-in-law under the auspices of the party he joined is also a reflection of Krishna’s clout. Tomorrow, the clarion call will also sound for today’s leading politicians. Narendra Modi appears to have set 75 as the cut-off age for those with ministerial ambitions in the BJP. But he is yet to clarify whether it will apply to him. Sonia Gandhi, uncharacteristic of Indian politicians, wishes to hand over the reins, not so uncharacteristically, to her son and withdraw from active politics. Lalu Prasad, currently engaged in propping up son Tejashwi, has been warned that Mulayam’s fate could befall him. Virbhadra Singh is fighting a stiff battle against younger Congress leaders in Himachal Pradesh. He will take comfort at Amarinder Singh in Punjab and Oommen Chandy in Kerala trumping younger leaders. The Congress is in the grip of an ageing coterie who Rahul Gandhi cannot shake off. After 10 years of enjoying political power at the Centre, the Congress’s younger leaders are just finding their feet in organizational politics. Perhaps, Congress is the party that those turning 60 must head to for longevity to their political careers if not popular appeal. No wonder it is India’s Grand Old Party! -- Times of India Jiby was working as an engineer in California when the blogging wave swept him to journalism and Delhi where he was drawn towards politics, developmental issues, and courts of law.


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


September 29, 2017



20 September 29, 2017


With Her EP Release Launch Party, Shreya, a New R&B Star is Born BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: An hour before the

doors opened, she was practicing her song routines, going through dance steps with her backup dancers, rehearsing with the band and getting the sound down right. It was a sneak preview for the two dozen people in the Bronze Peacock Room of The House of Blues who were getting ready for the launch party an hour later of Shreya’s EP tracks which were released on many digital platforms on September 1. They were making adjustments so Shreya’s strong voice would fill the second floor hall. That was also the day that Hurricane Harvey was battering the Bayou City, so the formal launch and Shreya’s debut performance had been postponed to this past Friday, September 23. Her voice coach Tom McKinney was pacing the floor listening to her sing and the producer Eddie Fergusson and his aides from Walk One Productions stood there watching her moves and performance. With long, wavy light brown hair, a pink sequined top, bare midriff and a gold belt over a deep-blue Amritsari salwar, Shreya punctuated the hall with notes and poses that showed the spark in her style. And her proud parents, Dr. Surinder Kaul, an internal medicine physician at Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Sunita Kaul, a dentist as well as

Shreya Kaul (center) at the EP Release party at The House of Blues with her parents Sunita and Surinder Kaul and her little brother Krish. Shreya launched her new EP on September 1 on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.

her kid brother Krish, 7, were in the audience admiring her talent and a little overcome with all the commotion and the attention that Shreya was getting. Though born in India, Shreya came to the US when she was 6 years-old and graduated from Seven Lakes High School in Katy. “She used to be a shy kid who really blossomed when she joined the choir and then the Show Choir which allowed here to act out also,” recalled Sunita as she looked at her daughter who was definitely not self-conscious now. Shreya went on to become a biology major at Texas A&M University, but one day, when taking an exam, she realized that she was humming a song and took that as a sign of her future path. She asked her parents if

Well-known local voice teacher Tom McKinney spoke of his work with Shreya

she could take a year off to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. “At first, it was a difficult decision for us, especially since she was on the Dean’s List,” recalled Sunita. But they saw the passion in their daughter

bring something exciting to every song.” McKinney has worked with internationally acclaimed artists such as Beyoncé, Solange, Demi Lovato, Ray J, and Mario. Jake McKim, founder & CEO of Birch Street Music and Project Coordinator, Alton Hawthorne guided the production of the EP. “She has a beautiA local band from Spring, the duo Aaron ful voice and personality (left) and Ashe (on guitar) was the opening that brings out love and act joy,” said Hawthorne. “McKim has worked with some most and relented. During that year, Shreya took esteemed artists from Maddie & Tae coaching lessons from McKinney to Beyoncé (working closely with and with guidance from Fergusson her record label, Parkwood Entertaincame up with 30 original songs based ment),” said Surinder after the perforon the Rhythm and Blues genre that mance, “and has been a huge asset she grew to like. They added some In- to Shreya’s musical journey by condians instrumental touches, practiced necting her with the industry’s leading them and finally whittled them down record and publishing labels.” The opening act was Aaron (on from 30 songs to six - Sweet 16, Pretty vocals) and Ashe (on guitar), a duo Girl, Katy, Energy, Skin, Silk Sheets – which form the EP (extended play) from Spring who sang 5 original list that she has just released. And songs, including one that was remishe performed each one of them at niscent of Michael Franks music with a little help from another musician the launch party on Friday. “”Shreya has grown up a lot in the on drums. With her band off on one side past year,” said McKinney as she spoke briefly before the show began. and her backup singers, Shreya cane “Her parents weren’t exactly sure onstage and took it over with all her this was the correct path for their energy. She has performed a couple daughter and we talked for a few of her songs at local Indian functions hours over dinner. But I am sure she before (as an opening act for Rajiv will become a star and will always CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


September 29, 2017



22 September 29, 2017


Houston Desi Whatsapp Group Thanks Hurricane Harvey Volunteers


OUSTON: The Houston Desi Friends group, a unique Whatsapp group with over 5,000 members, celebrated its third anniversary at India House on Sunday, September 24. This group supports sharing information of events, business deals, job opportunities, immigration related information, travel companions etc., using Whatsapp as a communications tool . This group organized a volunteer appreciation event to honor various organizations, restaurants, and individual volunteers who supported the Houston community during Harvey disaster. As part of the appreciation event, Admins of the group (Kishore Ramaraju, Umang Mehta, Ravi Gunishetti, Indira Nimmagadda, Praveen Ponugoti, Srikanth Jakka, Bhavesh Ranka, Jiju Kulangara, Ratnakar Moderkuti, Subhasree Gokul, Devi Sirigiri, Rajesh Desai, Sri Raja Sekhar Yedupati and Sreedhar Aaloori) honored various nonprofit organizations and restaurant owners.

Representatives from various nonprofit organizations such as Sewa USA, VT Seva, Ashtalakshmi temple, JET, Shiv Shakti Mandir, Shirdi Sai Jalaram Mandir, American Telangana Association, Andhra Pradesh Non Resident Telugu Association, American Progressive Telugu Association, Telugu Cultural Organization, Telangana Association of Greater Houston, Ashirwad, IT Serve, Telugu Association of North America, Sikh Community, Sneha Hastam, NATS, India House, and Indo-American News participated and received honors. Gitesh Desai from Sewa and Bangar Reddy from VT Seva appreciated Desi Friends team for organizing the volunteer appreciation event. Gitesh Desai, Bangar Reddy, and Col. Vipin Kumar presented honors to various organizations. Velma, who drove 200 miles in dangerous conditions to deliver food to Harvey victims, was the highlight of the event. Houston Desi Friends also honored restaurant owners who served thou-

sands of free meals to the community such as Hyderabad House, Bawarchi, Biryani & Grill, Biryani Factory, Biryani Pot, Bombay Sweets, Café India, Bollywood Chowpaty Chat, Mayuri, Nirmanz, Tandoori Night, The Curry House, Universal Bakery,

Vishala Resturant, etc. Desi Friends also recognized around 75 individual volunteers. Abby kept all the attendees engaged with her humorous anchoring.Akhila and Suman Mangu entertained the audience with their songs.

Sponsors of the appreciation event included Freedom Automative & Collision, CWC Internationals, Pepon Digital, Deep Foods, The Curry House, Biryani Pot, Biryani Factory and Universal Bakery.



September 29, 2017


Rosharon Calling

HOUSTON: Imagine a communi-

ty of 200 broken and flooded houses with poor access roads, piles of rotten debris, surviving on backed-up sewage, still filled with undrained flood and rain water at many places and smelling strong mold and mildew every day. This is Rosharon, a small agrarian Cambodian community in Brazoria County of greater Houston – completely isolated, neglected and severely impacted by Harvey. All of these residents (majority of them being elders) are facing severe health risks. Dr. Harshida Chaudhari, one of the Sewa doctors serving through regular Sewa Medical camps at Rosharon has raised this as a serious concern, “People of Rosharon are living in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. People have lot of health issues and they are stressed out. There is a high chance of acquiring infectious diseases. This community needs an immediate attention.” With extreme challenges in transport access, medical risks and other related issues, lot of volunteering organizations had to back out from Rosharon. As mentioned by Red Cross officials, they were “trying to get supplies and food to a community in Brazoria County” and were “encountering some access challenges”. Since Sewa volunteers had already reached out to this under-served community, Red Cross team sought help from Sewa International for the delivery of their supplies. Erin Stephens, Regional Mass Care and Logistics Manager, American Red Cross, said, “We so appreciate the services Sewa team has been providing to this community and want to ensure that we can keep supporting your efforts. Information you may have about the ongoing/new needs of the community would be useful.” Sewa volunteers visit Rosharon every day and continue to frontend all relief operations at Rosharon while working closely with other organizations. Sewa volunteers have been actively involved in serving this community and providing food, water, temporary shelter and medical assistance to residents of Rosharon. A lot still needs to be done for this community and more Houstonians need to come forward for their cause. Sewa Houston team has contributed more than 45,000 volunteer hours till date (after Harvey aftermath) and continues to raise Harvey relief fund. Many organizations and people have joined Sewa for this noble cause.

Photos: Navin Mediwala

Arya Samaj has been a leading supporter to Sewa Houston though their multiple initiatives and programs. This week, Sewa also gathered support and contribution from Katy India Cultural Show, Meenakshi Temple, Amit Tandon Comedy Show and Gaudia Math. One of the most touching contributions this week for Sewa was from Seven Jain teenagers who observed Atthai. Atthai is an 8-day fast during auspicious week of Paryushan when one gives up all types of food and survives only on water. Purpose of these austerities is to test one’s selfrestraint, mind control & devotion and help develop strong will, focus and concentration. This year seven young Jain students Diksha Kurwa, Jessica Shah, Jiya Jhonsa, Manushi Shah, Pranav Mehta, Riya Mehta, and Riya Solanki observed Atthai at the end of which their families hosted an appreciation ceremony called Saangi. These teenagers had collected over $16,750 in gifts during this occasion and all seven kids decided to donate all the proceeds to Sewa International. In the words of Jiya Jhonsa : “We decided to donate our gift collections to SEWA, who has been extremely active in helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston area since the disaster struck Houston. It was an easy decision to donate to SEWA as me and my family have person-

ally volunteered for SEWA and have seen all of their efforts first-hand (like demolishing/clean-up of damaged properties, providing hot meals, providing basic necessities like clothes and medicines, etc.). We are confident that SEWA is going to put this donation from us to a very good use and we are proud to be a small part of this noble initiative undertaken by SEWA”. Sewa team is truly honored and humbled by this noble gesture. Amit Tandon, a popular stand-up comedian and a Sewa supporter himself, has shared a personal invitation on social media (facebook, twitter etc.) to appeal everyone to support Sewa. As he puts it “I have seen remarkable job Sewa Houston has done. Pls do volunteer for Sewa or donate money. Be a part of this great initiative and be a part of Sewa”. You can join your neighborhood volunteer group by registering as a volunteer at https://sewausa.org/ chapter/houston/houston-overview Or email us at Houston@sewausa. org For further details contact Gitesh Desai (281) 300-7346 or Achalesh Amar (713) 357-8216 Email: houston@sewausa.org Web: http://www.sewahouston. org Phone: 281.909.SEWA


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September 29, 2017


How to Push India’s Growth Move Over 4G, India Sets Eyes on 5G Mobile Network Launch by 2020 from Current Decline to 5.7% N D -- The government behind when the world shifts to 5G. N D : India’s decline to a onhas set up a panel to lay down India’s adoption of 4G was delayed EW



a roadmap for the rollout of 5G mobile networks in India by 2020, in a move that not only promises to make wireless connections blazingly fast but will also make room for the proliferation of Internet-connected smart devices. 5G networks, promise more speed, less latency, can serve a higher density of broadband users, and are optimised for Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to everyday objects becoming intelligent with the ability to send and receive data. “We have created a high-level 5G committee that will work on the vision, mission and goals of 5G,” telecom minister Manoj Sinha told news agency Press Trust of India. The government’s push to move to 5G is driven by the logic that India, one of the world’s largest markets for telecom services, should not be left

earlier this decade. “When the world will roll out 5G in 2020, I believe India will be at par with them,” Sinha said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) released a consultation paper on framing regulations and standards for the roll out of 5G networks and IoT in August. The paper sought the views of telecom operators on spectrum caps and rollout obligations for 5G spectrum besides the pricing of 4G airwaves in the coveted 700 MHz band that went unsold in the last auction, Mint reported on 29 August. The sector regulator also sought the industry’s views on the valuation methodology of spectrum in the 3,300-3,400 MHz and 3,400-3,600 MHz bands used for 5G services. A spectrum auction will potentially generate more revenue for the gov-

ernment but it will also require the telecom firms to invest more. According to Mahesh Uppal, director at telecom consulting firm ComFirst, it does not seem feasible to roll out such technologies in the foreseeable future. “Telcos would certainly want to offer 5G services, when they are ready

for deployment. “However, they cannot bid for spectrum in the current financial state of the sector. As a government, you need to ensure that the public policy objective of network growth does not become a hostage to revenue generation,” Uppal said. -- Live Mint

Aerospace Industry is Tackling QC to Tap Potential Opportunities M : Every fortnight, when buses (more cushion) you have a UMBAI

Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) completes assembling the airframe for Pilatus Aircraft Ltd’s PC-12 aircraft at its Hyderabad factory, it undertakes an even tougher task—transporting the airframe safely through bumpy and crowded roads to the nearest port from where it can be shipped to its Swiss manufacturer. A tiny bump on the road can damage the airframe, which leaves the facility to be turned into a $3 million aircraft, delay the plane’s assembly and compromise customer commitments made by Pilatus. The solution Tata Advanced Systems has hit upon is to buy special air suspension trucks and retrofit them with equipment to provide a better cushion against jerks. “We are buying the trucks and retrofitting them with special systems. It’s like the system in Volvo

similar system here. There are very few of those trucks in the country,” said a Tata engineer as he showed a noisy hangar-like facility full of green Pilatus airframes being tooled together. The engineer did not want to be named. Tata Advanced Systems, which plans to increase its Hyderabad output to three Pilatus airframes a month from the current two, can’t take chances with the strict quality requirements demanded by customers. Even the smallest component is fully documented and can be traced back to the raw material stage in case of any problems later on. This level of quality control may sound daunting, but for India’s emerging defence and aerospace industry the opportunity over the coming years is so big it is actively looking for solutions to the problems and pushing for more business. Companies such as Larsen and

F-16 fighter jet, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Tata Advanced Systems has a tie-up with the US firm and is pitching for Indian Air Force’s multibillion-dollar fighter jet deal.

Toubro Ltd (L&T), Tata group, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), besides recent entrants like the Reliance and Adani groups, are hoping that the appointment of a full-time defence minister in Nirmala Sitharaman will help propel their defence manufacturing mission. The private sector in India has less

than 5% (which is about Rs5,000 crore annually) share of direct orders from the defence ministry for manufacturing and is gradually moving towards 10% in tandem with the Make In India initiative The expectation is that the share will rise to 20-25% in the next three- to four years. -- Live Mint


5.7% growth rate in April-June 2017 (Q1) has evoked much consternation and debate. The decline has been attributed to internal “black swan” events like demonetization, as also to global macro factors such as slower growth in advanced economies. These factors, while explaining the recent developments in Indian gross domestic product (GDP), can be considered transient factors in addressing the growth challenges. These challenge need to be viewed from a radically different perspective— that of facilitating the development of regional powerhouses within the economy. To put this in context, India, with its $2.3 trillion nominal GDP in the year ended December 2016, is the sixth largest economy in the world. Yet, the US’ richest state—California, with a GDP of $2.5 trillion in 2015 and with only 3% of India’s population—was significantly ahead of India’s GDP of $2.09 trillion even in that year. In fact, if ranked as an “economy”, it would have ranked sixth in the world, ahead of even France. Similarly, if they had been separate countries, three US states—California, Texas and New York—would rank in the world’s 11 largest economies. China presents a similar story, with three of its provinces—Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong—accounting for GDPs of more than $1 trillion each. If considered as stand-alone entities, much like the three largest US states, these three provinces would also rank among the world’s biggest emerging market economies. The stories of the US and China have one common thread running through them—a large part of economic growth is fuelled by provincial/regional powerhouses. Maharashtra, with a GDP of $0.25 trillion, is the richest state in India, followed by Tamil Nadu ($0.17 trillion) and Uttar Pradesh ($0.16 trillion). However, Maharashtra’s GDP equals that of Connecticut ($0.26 trillion)—a state ranked 23rd in the US by GDP.


26 September 29, 2017


Sri Meenakshi Temple Society Celebrated Suvasini Puja BY KAMALA RAGHAVAN

PEARLAND: Suvasini Puja is tra-

ditionally conducted at MTS on the first Friday of Navaratri festival every year, and this year it was celebrated on September 22, 2017 in a grand manner. More than 400 families participated in lighting the lamp and reciting the slokas which was a feast to the eyes. It is believed that the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Sarawati shower their blessings on those who worship them on this day, and help one to achieve what one needs. Suvasini puja, also referred as Suhasini Pooja is celebrated during Sharad Navaratri, along with the colorful display of deities in the traditional “Kolu” (attached picture). The puja involves worshipping a married woman, “Sumangali”, considering her as a manifestation of Goddess Durga. Suvasini Pooja is a powerful ritual done to eliminate all sorts of relationship problems. All Fridays during Navaratri are considered very auspicious for the three goddesses- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. The priests invoked the Goddesses and offered prayers for bhakti, peace, knowledge and prosperity to engulf us and destroy the darkness of ignorance and weakness. Ladies wearing colorful saris BY KAMALA RAGHAVAN

PEARLAND: AS part of the Har-

vey relief efforts to our surrounding Community in Pearland, Sri Meenakshi Temple organized an effort to distribute backpacks to school children in the neighborhood. More than 150 families came and got the backpacks, and it was a very fulfilling and heartwarming experience for the board members who came on a weekday. Chairman Narayanan was joined by Sam Kannappan, Sasidharan Pillai, G.N. Prasad, Kamala Raghavan, and the MTS sraff in distributing the backpacks to the children. The temple is also collecting funds to be donated to SEWA International,

Suvasini puja

Navarathri kolu

Donation to SEWA

were seated in neatly laid out rows in the main Temple and observed the puja with great devotion. The puja

was performed by the priests on the devotees’ behalf, and the Sri Chakra in its three dimensional form known

as ‘Sri Maha Meru’ is energized. The worship of Maha Meru is considered to be the highest form of Goddess worship. A ritual reading (Japa) of the Devi Mahatmyam is part of the Navaratri celebrations in honor of the Goddess. The Devi Mahatmyam consists of chapters 81-93 of the Markandeya Purana with 700 verses. The celebration was appropriately concluded with each of the women being offered saris and kumkum at the end. The large gathering of devotees were mesmerized by the priests’ recitation of melodious verses in both

Photos: Soc Narayanan

Sanskit and Tamil, and thrilled by the devotion filled event. Overall, it was a very well organized event and it was performed very traditionally by all the priests. The attendance of the large number of devotees is a testament to the abundant devotion in the MTS community. MTS is continuing its drive to collect funds for the Hurricane relief fund, and gave $3000 to Sewa International as the first installment of helping the victims of the disaster, as shown in the attached picture.

Harvey Relief Efforts at Sri Meenakshi Temple

and the Consul General’s fund to be distributed to the Governor’s Fund and Mayor’s fund. The temple board members want to encourage all com-

munity members to let us know about any possible ways in which we can assist in the recovery process.



September 29, 2017


Concert by Classical Singer Yesudas in Support of SN Chennai

Indian classical and devotional musician and film playback singer K.J. Yesudas performed at a fundraiser for the Chennai-based Sankara Nethralaya hospital on Sunday, September 17, at Lassiter High School, in Marietta, Georgia. The volunteers and Board members of the Sankara Nathralaya OM Trust joined Yesudas on stage after the event. Photos: Venkat Kuttua Photography



the Maryland-based fund-raising arm of Sankara Nethralaya hospital in Chennai, India, organized a fundraiser on Sunday, September 17, at Lassiter High School, in Marietta, Georgia. The event included a classical music concert by the renowned musician, Padma Vibushan K. J. Yesudas and the 1,000-seat capacity auditorium filled up hours before the start of the program. After a welcome speech by Bala Indurti, S. V. Acharya, President of OM Trust, USA spoke about the objectives of the OM Trust and how it had been instrumental in supporting the charitable work of Sankara Nethralaya. He was followed by the event that the audience was eagerly waiting for, the concert by Yesudas

and an introduction of the artists. Yesudas, who is 77, began the concert with a Navaragamalika varnam. After requests from the audience, Yesudas sang many of the kritis that he has popularized over the years. Before singing the very well-known Vathapi Ganapathim in Hamsadwani, invoking Lord Ganesha, Yesudas jokingly remarked that Vathapi is not the only song on Ganesha that he knows and that he would be happy to sing another composition on Lord Ganesha. The audience, however, insisted that he sing Vathapi and he obliged. Yesudas was accompanied by Srikanth on the violin, T. S. Nandakumar on the Mridangam, Santosh Chandru on the Ghatam, and Varshney on the Thampura. After the concert, Dr. Ram Sriram, President of the Carnatic Music Association, said that it “was a scintil-

lating two and a half hours of music.” Sriram related how each composition that Yesudas sang during the concert inspired an emotional and spiritual feeling in the minds of the listeners. He remarked that “only when an artist feels the emotions in his own heart, can he, in turn, inspire such feelings in the hearts of the audience.” Sriram said that Yesudas was travelling in the “Sapthaswara Chari” – the universe of melody that seven notes create and that he was taking the audience with him in that journey. After the concert concluded, the artists were honored with presents. Following this, Antony Thaliath and Subash Razdan, trustees of the Gandhi Foundation of Atlanta presented the Gandhi Foundation Peace Award to Yesudas for his contribution to world peace and harmony.

The audience was overwhelmed by emotions when Dr. Ravi Sarma spoke about his mother and how, during her later years of her life, she suffered significant loss of eyesight. He announced that a major donation to OM Trust for a sum of $160,000 would be made by his family foundation named in honor of his mother, Pudipeddi Ramalakshmi. On behalf of Dr. Ravi Sarma’s family, Yesudas handed the check to S.V. Acharya, President of OM Trust. The credit for putting together this event goes significantly to Dr. Seshu Sarma whose dedication and leadership brought together prominent community leaders and organizations and a group of dedicated volunteers to help make the event a great success. Sarma, Moorthy Rekapalli, Bala Indurti, Krishnadas Pisharodi, Uma Narayan, Srikripa Eashwaran, Rajeev Menon, Antony Thaliath, Ashok Kumar, Raj Rengarajan and Raghava Thadavarthi worked tirelessly for

months to make this event a reality. The event raised $150,000 which that will be used to restore vision for thousands of indigent patients served by the Sankara Nethralaya Hospital. Sankara Nethralaya is a charitable non-profit hospital in Chennai, India started in 1978 by the renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. S.S. Badrinath to offer high-quality eye care to the rich and the poor. In rural areas there is both lack of awareness of preventive eye care and availability of qualitied doctors. SN has a program to take eye care to where the poor patients live through thousands of eye-camps in villages around Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The poor are not charged any fees for the pre-operative or post-operative care. To defray the costs of these treatments SN depends on donations from philanthropic individuals and organizations and SN OM Trust helps to raise funds in the US.

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28 September 29, 2017 Shreya, a New R&B Star is Born CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 Satyal’s comedy routine last week and for the Save-A-Mother Gala in April) but this time she had her whole act together. Her songs dwelt on love, heartbreak and passion with “Skin” a coming of age song. Her style is sometimes reminiscent of Beyonce, especially when she starts to dance and shows rage in song, Ariana Grande, Anita Baker and a touch of Taylor Dayne. In “Energy” she sings “I like it, I like it” while doing a solo dance and in

“Silk Sheets” she makes powerful exclamations, slapping her chest and asks “Remember me?” After the performance, her dad Surinder came onstage to thanks those who made his daughter’s launch and release a success. “It’s a milestone day for us and one the Shreya has yearned for a long time. She is an entertainer at heart, a prodigy and has a passion for this. Though it was tough to support her decision to go into music, it was impossible to refuse her.”


Getting Back to Basics: Why a Financial Game Plan is so Important

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tions over time—perhaps 1% with each raise—or, if you are age 50 or older, look into some of the ‘catchup’ provisions that may allow you to contribute even more. While the economy is starting to grow, it still makes sense to stay focused on the things that really matter. A sound financial game plan can help us accomplish many things— but perhaps the most important is making sure we never lose sight of them again. This educational, third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Amir Dodhiya, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Amir Dodhiya at 832877-0177. *Issued by New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation. SMRU 1718885 (exp. 12/09/17)



September 29, 2017


Indian-origin Bizman Drives Petrochemical, Fertiliser Projects in Nigeria

ACCRA: After making his name in India,

Manish Mundra, the founder of Drishyam Films, is in the news in Nigeria for contributing to its economic growth in several ways: From petrochemicals to fertilisers. Indorama Corporation, the conglomerate Mundra heads in Nigeria, aims to boost the agriculture sector in the West African nation with the opening of a $1.5 billion project to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of urea fertiliser per annum so as to make the country self-sufficient in the product. Mundra, who has worked with the Aditya Birla Group, Indian Rayon, Indo-Gulf and finally aluminium maker Hindalco, is an MBA with over 20 years of international management and mergers and acquisitions experience. Mundra joined Indorama Group in 2002 in the corporate strategy department. Given his resourcefulness, he was transferred to Indorama Nigeria as a project manager. There, he supervised the acquisition of the state-owned Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd for $225 million.

Manish Mundra

Mundra was appointed Deputy Managing Director of the company in 2007 and Managing Director in 2009. He ran the Nigeria and Senegal operations, especially the expansion projects which are now concluded -- Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Ltd (IEFCL), and ICS Senegal. “I figured that Africa would see a growth in business and demand. Nigeria, the most populated and with the most hydrocarbon resources, was the perfect choice,” Mundra said. Those in the oil industry said he must have his eyes on expanding Eleme as he took a personal interest long before he became the Managing Director. “After the acquisition of Eleme Petrochemicals, the thought of establishing a fertiliser plant became a dream,” Mundra said. “We saw that Nigeria needed a breakthrough in food production. It needs to stop its huge food

imports which gulp about $5 billion annually,” Mundra said, adding that “Nigeria has abundant land resources; so there is no justification for this high import cost.” He said about 75 per cent of Nigeria’s land can support agriculture, but only 49 per cent is in use. “It is for this reason that the company thought of building the fertiliser plant to facilitate abundant food production,” Mundra said. Mundra said that in the coming decade, Indorama plans to make an impact on the Nigerian economy by creating jobs and consolidating its leadership in petrochemicals. “In the next 10 years we would complete our Natural Gas Liquid plant, methanol plant and the second phase of our fertiliser plant,” he said., “Our vision remains to build the largest petrochemicals and fertiliser hub in West Africa by 2020 with a total investment of $4.2 billion,” Mundra added. -timesofindia.com

India House Hosts Birth Centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 travelling in a train.There are many conspiracy theories about Upadhyaya’s death. Balraj Madhok, another of Jana Sangh’s founding members, has said categorically on many occasions that Upadhyaya’s death was a murder, not an accident. In his brief remarks, CG Dr. Ray said the Consulate’s participation in Panditji’s birth centenary was in keeping with the Consulate’s earlier participation in the commemoration of the birthdays of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Dr. Ray recounted how his family had to flee unified Bengal after independence, and recalled how Jana Sangh’s Mookerji and Upadhyay were about the only political leaders o who spoke in support of the plight of the Hindu refugees. The next speaker, Sunanda Vashisht, was introduced as a political commentator, who is active in the social media. Vashisht credited Pandit Upadhyay for laying the intellectual foundation for the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Vashisht said Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy of Integral Humanism, as a third way of national development in contrast with the mainstream Nehruvian philosophy, which borrowed from the Western concepts of democracy and socialism, and Radical Humanism espoused by Communist Party spokesman M.N. Roy. The philosophy of Integral Humanism is rooted in Vedic cultures and advocates the simultaneous and integrated development of the body, mind and intellect and the soul of each human being. Deendayalji visualized for India a decentralized polity with the village as the base. Vashisht identified this as as “Rashtriyata” or national development. The third speaker was Sangeeta Dua, host of TV Houston, a You Tube news channel based in Houston. Speaking in Hindi, Dua described Deendayalji, as an “askhand madalakar”, a swayamsevak, who worked for the benefit of himself, his community, and the world. Dua spoke glowingly of Deendayalji as a journalist as well as the author of biographies of Chandragupta Maurya and Sankaracharya. The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Ekal Vidyalaya’s Ramesh Shah. INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

30 September 29, 2017


September 29, 2017



32 September 29, 2017



Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Amb Da Murabba (Mango Preserves)

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hile Indians are very concerned about the food they eat, including the condiments, pickles, curries, daals, breads, desserts and so on, very few think about the side of daily life that deals with plain and simple breakfast toast and jam! This recipe is one of the few that deals with the early morning meal, but truth be told, people even eat amb da murabba (mango preserves) as a savory achaar (pickle) with regular meals! If there’s one fruit that wins the heart of Indians, it has to be the mango which is grown all over. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and The Philippines and the national tree of Bangladesh. As any schoolkid in these countries can proudly tell you, it takes seven years before a mango tree can produce any fruit. The Alphonso variety is best for eating but the smaller ones can be sucked through the skin and you make tasty pickles and amchoor from the small, pungent, green ones. And the mango is even celebrated in the fashion and design world, being drawn in a shape commonly known as paisley but named ambhi in Punjabi. It is a symbol that sprang up millennia ago somewhere between present-day Iran and Kashmir. Murraba is an Arabic word meaning jam which is popular in many regions of the Caucasuses, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. It can be made with many types of fruits and even with adrak (ginger) which is considered to have medicinal qualities to treat indigestion, nausea and morning sickness. Make sure to choose mangoes which are not too green or too ripe as the murraba is usually both sweet and sour. Some recipes ask for adding cardamom or cloves or even saffron and cook the mango pulp over the

stove, but mine is a simple recipe that has been used for generations in the Punjab. It can be made with or without salt as the vinegar gives it the proper sour taste and fermentation.

1. Wash the mangoes and then peel them. 2. Take the pulp off (discarding the seed) and place it into a bowl. 3. Now chop the pulp into fine pieces but do not puree it. 4. Crush the gur into small pieces. Add it into the pulp and beat with a fork. 5. Now add the salt, red pepper, garam masala, methi dana powder and ajwain powder and mix well. If you want, you can omit adding salt. 6. Pour the contents into a large jar, add the vinegar, close the lid tightly and shake well. 7. Place the jar in a warm place for a day, shaking the contents occasionally. 8. Keep in the fridge for long preservation.

Ingredients: • 2 large aamb (mangoes) – any type, medium ripe ones • 1 tbsp gur (brown rock cane sugar, jaggery) • 1 tbsp sirka (white vinegar) • ½ tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds) powder • ½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds) powder • Spices (to taste): namak (salt) optional, mirch (red pepper), garam masala • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), hare dhania patta (shredded green coriander leaves)

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 (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.




, the small green illa along with the saun chi (cardamom) is f (g available as a mouth freshen reen fennel seeds) as you leave many er to take the smell Indian restaurants of food away. You usually the shell is can ch so dry Cardamom was first that you have to spit it out after a wh ew on it and ile. Tanzania and Gueta traded from Sri Lanka but is now also grown in Malaysia, mala which is the wo rld Cardamom are also used in cooking seve ’s largest exporter, followed by India. ral dishes to enhanc sweetdishes. There is even a large, black e version which is used the aroma and in in preparing rice pa lau. almost exclusively cardamom when co But the important thing to remember is to ok than to have to chew ing to get the full benefit of it. Nothing crack open the is on a closed cardam om when eating a dis more irritating h!

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September 29, 2017




Newton: This Rajkummar Rao Film is as Sharp and Subversive as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

very five years in India comes a day when the populace votes in a new polity, but the process is almost never straight-forward or simple: Newton could also, just as easily, have been called A Day In The Life Of The World’s Largest, Most Complex Democracy. Or, The Great Indian Electoral Circus. The film takes us down the tangled jungles of Chhattisgarh, over-run by Naxals and security details and other inimical forces, intersected on that fine day by an upright, uptight election officer Newton (Rao), and his companions — school teacher

Malko (Patil) and seasoned polling veteran Loknath (Yadav), who understands just how important a deck of playing cards is to the process. It’s rare that an Indian film uses dark comedy to make its points so effectively: in Newton we go from smiling to laughing outright even at its grimmest, because the film is light on its feet, and the tone is consistent right through. Who do the Dandakaranaya forests, with their vast mining reserves, now depleted by the rapacity of greedy corporates, in tandem with corrupt, lazy government officials and complicit security

forces, belong to? TheAdivasis who have lived there for centuries, or the state, who owns us all? And even more importantly, just what does being a citizen of a democracy mean, on paper, and the way it plays out in real life. These are questions —hard, jabbing, courageous— that our films do not ask enough. For years they have been the purview of bleeding heart academics, left-leaning persuaders, and hard-nosed news reporters. Newton is a film to celebrate because it shows without telling, laying out the layers without descending into shrillness or facile solutions, and leaving us with a

glimmer of hope. Director Amit V Masurkar and co-scriptwriter Mayank Tewari have crafted a strong black comedy. It is as sharp and subversive as the classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, and even though it is entirely sobering, it leaves us feeling just a little better about ourselves. The redeemer is Nutan Kumar aka Newton (Rao), stodgy, not necessarily the brightest card in the pack perhaps, but who will

Haseena Parkar: The Shraddha Kapoor Film is a Tiring Watch The persona of the female don

pops up every once in a while as a diversion, but full-fledged Bollywood films revolving around such characters are rare. In 1999, there was Shabana Azmi’s ‘Godmother’. And now comes ‘Haseena Parkar’, which has Shraddha Kapoor play the part of Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, a woman who started off as a wife and mother, and who grew into becoming a fearsome entity, flouting the law with impunity, deriving her power from her Bhai-inDubai. The film spends considerable time on Haseena’s backstory. Her

father was a police constable who is shown as someone who could not stop his sons go down the path of wrong-doing; Haseena herself is shown as someone who is pleased enough to own a smuggled watch, but who would have been quite content to spend her life the way it was shaping up post-marriage and motherhood. And who ended up where she did only because of circumstances. This could have been a deeply interesting sketch of a woman who is clearly capable of being much more than she started out with. But ‘Haseena Parkar’ offers no such in-

do what needs doing. Except for momentary descent into needless cliche (a foreign TV hack who has clearly helicoptered in on an ‘Indian election tourism’tour), and a couple of flat notes, Newton stays firmly on course. Join it. -indianexpress.com

Happy Birthday

sight. Shraddha Kapoor manages the young wife-and-mother part well enough, but her transition to the other side is never fully realized: she appears to be speaking her lines to order, and the cheek-pads to add flesh to her jowls, and the deliberately heavier voice, is all put on. Also, she never really looks old enough for the older woman’s part. That’s double the artifice. The rest is a long and winding and weary telling of a story which could have been something, but comes off merely as a tired re-tread of tired retreads. -indianexpress


Soha Ali Khan October 04, 1978

Meiyang Chang October 06, 1982

34 September 29, 2017 3rd ODI: Pandya Leads India to Series Win, No 1 Ranking BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

Pakistan Begins Test Era Without Younis, Misbah



NDORE: (ESPN Cricinfo): India 294 for 5 (Pandya 78, Rohit 71, Rahane 70, Cummins 2-54) beat Australia 293 for 6 (Finch 124, Smith 63, Bumrah 2-52, Kuldeep 2-75) by five wickets Between January 2013 and the start of this series, India-Australia ODIs had produced an average firstinnings score of 321. The first two ODIs bucked that high-scoring trend, with India defending 281 and then 252, but a belter of a pitch in Indore seemed set to catalyse a return to the old order. Coming back from a calf injury, Aaron Finch scored his eighth ODI hundred and put on 154 for the second wicket with Steven Smith to project visions of 350 into Australia’s minds. But thanks to their wristspinners, and then their two expert death bowlers, India kept them to 293 for 6, taking five wickets and only conceding 77 in the last 14 overs.Australia didn’t get a sniff thereafter, as seventies of varying moods and tempos from Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order and Hardik Pandya at No. 4 led India to a series-clinching victory by five wickets, with 13 balls remaining. It was their ninth ODI win in a row, equalling their best ever sequence. Rohit gave the chase its early fillip with an innings of gasp-inducing strokeplay. There were four sixes in his 62-ball 71, three of them off the quicks: a full one from Nathan Coulter-Nile lofted flat and straight, a bouncer from Pat Cummins hooked into the roof of the stands behind square leg, and a short ball from Kane Richardson - a reaction to seeing the batsman jump out of his crease - muscled in the same direction and out of the stadium. With his partner in such form, Rahane simply slotted into his slipstream, giving him as much of the strike as he could, and helping himself whenever the bowlers dropped short or angled down the leg side. The two added 139 in 130 balls. Both openers fell in the space of 12 balls, and it was Pandya, rather than the incumbent Manish Pandey, who walked in at No. 4. India needed 147 from 159 balls at that point, which called for stickability rather than the


Hardik Pandya looks to ramp one to third man, India v Australia, 3rd ODI, Indore

ball-striking Pandya is known for. And so he proceeded to play an innings befitting the situation. He gave Ashton Agar early warning of the lengths he wasn’t supposed to bowl, hitting the first balls of successive overs from the left-arm spinner over the long-on boundary, but otherwise simply looked to turn the strike over and build a partnership with Virat Kohli. He showed plenty of poise against the seamers, showing a full face to anything threatening the stumps, and it was Kohli, eventually, who got out playing a big shot at the end of a third-wicket stand of 56. That wicket was immediately followed by that of Kedar Jadhav, who top-edged a slash off the fourth ball he faced. With India needing 88 off 88 at that point, Australia had the smallest of openings, but Pandya and Pandey closed the door with a fifth-wicket stand of 78 off 63 balls. In the end, 294 was simply not a challenging-enough target, and both captains suggested at the post-match presentation that this was a 330-340 pitch. Australia were looking at a score in that region when they were 206 for 1 after 36 overs. At that point, Kuldeep Yadav had seemed the unlikeliest bowler to turn the match around. Finch had just hit his third six off the left-arm wristspinner, a miscued loft that might have been caught at longoff on a bigger ground. Apart from that one shot, Finch had picked Kuldeep’s variations better than pretty much any Australian batsman in this

series, and looked utterly in control against him. Kuldeep’s figures at that point read 7-0-55-0. And yet - perhaps reckoning that his part-timers were unlikely to do any better on this surface - Kohli persisted with Kuldeep, and he struck in his next over, Finch picking out deep midwicket with a slog-sweep. India suddenly looked transformed. Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah kept Glenn Maxwell in check with their changes of pace, and then Yuzvendra Chahal, returning to the attack in the 41st over, dangled his legbreaks wide of off stump, inviting the batsmen to reach out and hit him against the turn. The 3.1 overs following Finch’s dismissal only produced 12 runs, and Smith, jumping out to the returning Kuldeep in the 42nd over, failed to reach the pitch of a wrong’un and holed out to long-off. Maxwell followed next ball, leaving his crease too early and giving Chahal the opportunity to slip another wide legbreak past his edge. Dhoni completed his 100th ODI stumping for India, and Chahal had dismissed Maxwell for the third time in three innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah took over thereafter, and Australia only scored 38 off their last six overs. Having won the toss for the first time in the series, Smith opted to bat, and his openers were steady rather than spectacular against some controlled new-ball bowling from Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah. They

recognised there was little margin for error, and strove hard not to give the batsmen width. Both bowled back of a length to Finch, denying him his favourite shot through the V. The openers saw out that period, and Warner was just beginning to look dangerous, having hit Chahal for a straight six, when Pandya bowled him with an offcutter than slid past his outside edge. Pandya did an important job through the middle overs with his cutters, cross-seam deliveries and quicker bouncers, and showed Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah the way to bowl when they eventually returned to close out the innings. The two wristspinners, however, were able to exert far less control on Finch and Smith. Having bided his time against the new ball, Finch now took full toll whenever the spinners landed in his arc. In all, he would hit five sixes, all of them down the ground. He also preyed on the spinners’ anxiety to not pitch it too full, and rocked back on a couple of occasions to muscle pulls off balls that were only slightly short. At the other end, Smith worked the ball cleverly into leg-side gaps, the pick of his shots a pick-up flick against the turn off Chahal, made possible by his dancing footwork down the track. Two-thirds of the way into Australia’s innings, the secondwicket pair looked unstoppable. It only took one little opening, however, for India to expose their batting frailties once more.

BU DHABI: Pakistan will step into a new Test era without retired batting greats Younis Khan and Misbah-ulHaq when they take on Sri Lanka in the first Test in Abu Dhabi from Thursday. Playing without Younis and Misbah is unaccustomed territory for Pakistan, who haven’t had a Test featuring neither of the talismanic, prolific pair in seven years. It comes as they prepare to welcome the return of full international cricket to their home country next month, when Sri Lanka visit for a Twenty20 game in Lahore. Together, Younis and Misbah have appeared in 193 Tests, accumulating 15,331 runs, 44 centuries and 15 century stands between them, briefly lifting the team to the top of the Test rankings in August last year. They have dominated the batting at Pakistan’s venues in United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they have been forced to play home games since a deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009. The pair made Pakistan so invincible that they have not lost any of the nine series they have played in UAE, with new captain Sarfraz Ahmed admitting it will be tough to replace them. “Obviously, it’s not easy to fill the void they left as they were the backbone of our batting,” said Ahmed. “Their contributions were immense but now we have to move on.” Younis is not only Pakistan’s highest Test runs scorer, with 10,099, but the slips fielding specialist also holds the national record of 139 catches in 118 Tests. Misbah’s calm influence as a batsman, as well as skipper, will also be tough to replace. Fast-rising batsman Babar Azam at four and Haris Sohail, who is yet to play a Test, will attempt to fill the void, while Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq will also be expected to play



September 29, 2017


The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 18

The story thus far…After the defeat

of Japan in August 1945, Britain agreed to a planned withdrawal from India. All through his life Gandhi had worked for unity between Hindus and Muslims, without much success. There was a large section of nationalist Muslim in the Congress but leaders of the Muslim League were drifting further and further away. Gandhi was not the man to give up hope, however, and he pursued his efforts to bring about a settlement. On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, was hostile to the idea of unity. The Viceroy invited all leaders to Simla and tried to find a solution and bring about Hindu-Muslim accord. Jinnah would not agree to anything except a separate Muslim state of Pakistan. Britain announced and held an election in India. The Congress won most of the non- Muslim seats and the Muslim League won most of the Muslim seats. The deadlock continued. “We can settle the Indian problem in ten minutes if Mr. Gandhi agrees to the creation of Pakistan,” said Jinnah. But Gandhi was distraught. “Cut me in half,” cried Gandhi, “but do not divide India in two.” His words fell on deaf ears. In February 1946, the British government sent a Cabinet Mission to India. It consisted of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and A.V. Alexander. The task of the Cabinet Mission was to study the situation and make recommendations. After careful consideration, the Cabinet Mission issued a statement proposing the withdrawal of British authority from India. They had the idea of a united India. On August 24, 1946, the Viceroy announced the formation of an Interim National Government to replace the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Vice-President of the Interim Government. The Muslim League declined to join on the ground that it had not been given the right to nominate all the Muslim members. After the installation of the Interim Government, Gandhi was anxious to return to Sevagram, his ashram near Wardha, but the Congress leaders prevailed on him to stay longer in Delhi because they wanted his advice. Then the Muslim League decided to join the Interim Government and an announcement was made to that effect on October 15, 1946. Gandhi once again felt free to return to Sevagram. He was about to leave Delhi when news came of disturbances in Bengal. There was widespread communal rioting in Calcutta and in the Muslim majority district of Noakhali in East Bengal, with murder, arson, looting, forced conversions, forced marriages, and abduction. Gandhi was confused and griefstricken. Instead of returning to Sevagram, he set out for Noakhali to try to bring peace there. The communal riots spread. There were similar riots

in Bihar and the Punjab. Several thousand were killed and injured. Gandhi was greatly distressed by these events. He tried to calm and reassure the people. He walked from village to village and from house to house carrying his message of peace. Wherever he was, there was peace, at least outwardly, but the general situation in India was worsening. Rioting spread from the towns to the villages. In Bihar the Muslims were suffering and Gandhi went there to instill courage into the Muslim minority. The situation in India was so dreadful that the Congress leaders realized that the best way open to them was to accept Jinnah’s demand for a division of the country. Nehru met Gandhi to inform him of this decision. Gandhi asked him, “Is there no way out? No hope of a united India?” Nehru was sad and grave. “Bapuji,” he replied, “unity is impossible... we have to accept it (division of India). Otherwise this deadly turmoil will never cease.” Gandhi bowed his head to hide his despair. On June 3, 1947, British Prime Minister Attlee announced the plan for partition. The Congress and the Muslim League accepted it. For Gandhi it was a spiritual tragedy. With infinite sadness he said, “All of India must accept Pakistan in loving resignation. We have no choice. Hindus must lead the way to a friendly settlement.” Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy, was anxious not to delay the ushering in of independent India and independent Pakistan. He shortened the time limit for the British to quit India. The date for the declaration of Indian independence was fixed for August 15, 1947. Thus on August 15, 1947, India’s long struggle and suffering for freedom was over. A new nation, although split in two, was born. Lord Mountbatten hailed Gandhi as “the architect of India’s freedom through non-violence.” Gandhi had never given his approval to partition, but when it was done he accepted it and did everything possible for the attainment of HinduMuslim friendship. Yet the tension between Hindus and Muslims continued to increase. As a result of partition over 700,000 Hindus, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims, fearing the Muslims, in Pakistan left their homes and set out towards security in India. From India about the same number of Muslims, fearing the Hindus, left

their homes for Pakistan. One and half million people on the move were exposed to starvation, disease, and death on the way. Gandhi was on his way to the Punjab when he stopped in Delhi, hoping to quell the riots that had broken out there. Gandhi’s gospel of forbearance and forgiveness towards Muslims marked him as a traitor in the eyes of many Hindu extremists. In the face of fanatical opposition, Gandhi redoubled his efforts and the major disturbances in Delhi subsided, but there were still disturbances here and there. Gandhi decided to do penance by fasting, which he thought would bring about a change in the attitude of the Hindu fanatics. The fast began on January 13, 1948. There was gloom all over India at the news of Gandhi’s fast. People thought that he would not be able to survive another fast. The whole world watched as Gandhi, 78 years old, fasted to save his country from destruction. On January 18 a peace committee, representing all communities, met and signed a pact pledging unity and the protection of life, property, and faith to the Muslim minority. Gandhi was informed of the pledge and he broke his fast. Gandhi was staying at Birla House. Every evening he held a prayer-meeting in the grounds. During his prayer-meeting on January 20, a bomb was thrown at him, but it missed its target. Gandhi continued his prayer meeting as if nothing had happened. “Bapuji, a bomb exploded near you,” said a voice. “Really?” Gandhi said. “Perhaps some poor fanatic threw it. But let no one look down on him.” On January 30, after a midday nap, Gandhi woke up at 3.30 p.m. The whole day he had had a stream of visitors. Sardar Patel went to see him at 4 p.m. Nehru and Azad were to come after the evening prayer. Gandhi left his room at 5 p.m. and went towards the prayer hall. He passed through a cordoned-off path, accompanied by Manu and Abha, his grand-daughters. As he was walking along a youth came forward as if to seek his blessings. But he stood in front of Gandhi and at point-blank range fired three shots in quick succession. All the bullets hit him. Gandhi fell, uttering the prayer, “Hay Ram.” Gandhi was dead. The assassination gave the world a tremendous shock. Nehru went on radio to tell the country of Gandhi’s death, his voice choked with emotion: “Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will not see him again as we have seen him for these many years. The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many, many years will il-

lumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later that light will still be seen in this country,

and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts.” — Concluded

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