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Friday, November 30 2012 | Vol. 31, No. 48


Celebrating 1st Anniversary!

Indo American erican News Petition Drive To Support Discriminated Victoria Doctors Catering Chaats Gujarati North Indian Sweets

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November 30, 2012


Repeated Pattern of Bigotry, Bias Confront Doctors at Victoria County Hospital BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: On its website and other promotional material, Citizens Medical Center (CMC) proudly labels itself as The Heart Hospital. But for at least the past five years, CMC has shown very little heart towards people of color, according to a lawsuit that has been filed by three cardiologists of Indian origin who have been denied the right to continue working there. Just a little over 125 miles away from the world famous Texas Medical Center, renowned for its research and clinical faculties – as well as the patients who seek medical care - who hail from all around the globe; and 100 miles from the cosmopolitan metropolis that has made the Bayou City a hub-bub of diversity and a symbol of the melting pot that is America, the small town of

Victoria has been receiving a black eye by the bigotry and bias that has reportedly been rampant in its county hospital, CMC. Tensions reached a boiling point in February 2010 when CMC’s Board passed a resolution to allow only cardiologists with

contracts at the hospital to exercise privileges in the cardiology department or to take part in the hospital’s heart program, effectively denying the three cardiologists – Drs. Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla and Dakshesh Parikh who are partners in private practice –from treating patients there. In a lawsuit against the hospital, CEO David P. Brown and others, Chandna, Gaalla and Parikh counter that CMC’s actions have damaged them professionally and financially. They believe that they were unfairly barred not due to their merit or expertise and the move was racially moti-

vated. The lawsuit states that the cardiologists were subjected to a steady pattern of racial slurs that created a hostile environment and discrimination to deliberately kept them out of leadership roles on commit-

tees and Cathlab posts and diminish their professional standing in the hospital and the small town of Victoria where the three have practiced for over 15 years. As their lawsuit against the hospital

inappropriate procedures and poor patient outcomes. At first, a district judge granted an injunction, forcing the hospital to allow the three doctors to practice there, but this was overturned

More than 500 Indo Americans signed a petition calling for the censure of the discriminatory actions.

has worked its way through, some of their patients have openly expressed their support for the doctors and disgust at the actions of the CMC Board. According to court testimony, CMC administrators describe a frosty relationship and angry confrontations with the doctors over on-call schedules, compensation and leadership roles. They allege that the three started a smear campaign against CMC’s staff heart surgeon, Dr. Yusuke Yahagi, a Japanese-American who complained of harassment. Drs. Chandna, Gaalla and Parikh counter that they were raising concerns about Yahagi’s skills as a surgeon,


by an appellate court. In February 2012, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that CMC had violated the equal protection rights of the doctors and so far the case has been on hold till it will proceed to trial in January 2013. In the meanwhile, there is mounting evidence that the some hospital employees and in particular its CEO David Brown, have routinely used derogatory slurs, jokes, ridicule and epithets in dealing not just with these cardiologists and other Indian physicians but also other minorities, a fact

that is common knowledge among the medical community in Victoria. One derogatory joke dealing with a Hindu married woman was attributed to the High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, which issued a stern rebuttal and rebuke to inclusion of its name. The testimony of many people attached to CMC has spoken volumes about the antagonism towards minorities and in particular Indians. Dr. Ana Delgado, a Cuban-American who is an internist at CMC stated that Brown’s racial hostility towards minority physicians is well known in Victoria. Dr. Devinder Bhatia, a Houston cardiovascular surgeon believes he was denied privileges at CMC five years ago due to his Indian ancestry. Dr. Gullpalli Krishna Rao, an allergist in Victoria believes that Brown actively sought the removal of minority physicians from CMC for many years and did not want Indians in leadership roles. Other physicians like Dr. Love D. Paul, Dharmendra Verma and Gulshan Minocha have all related similar stories of Brown’s outright hostility towards Indian physicians. And Brown’s racial bias is not just limited to physicians. The security coordinator Virginia Escojido recalled an incident when CONTINUED ON PAGE


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November 30, 2012

Record Breaking Attendance at the 38th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival

TODD MISSION, TX: The Texas Renaissance Festival, the nation’s largest and most acclaimed festival of its kind, has wrapped up the final weekend of its 38th annual season with many highlights, including record breaking attendance for both the Festival and 8th Annual School Days. The final attendance count of 606,694 was up 24% from 2011 attendance, which welcomed over 490,000 patrons. The Celtic Christmas three-day closing weekend, held November 23, 24 and 25, set a new closing weekend attendance record of 127,247, up 56% from the previous year’s attendance count. The Texas Renaissance Festival also broke three other weekend attendance records including All Hallows Eve, Barbarian Invasion and Highland Fling. With ideal weather conditions, patrons were able to enjoy the Festival to its fullest each weekend, and endured one rainy day during opening weekend, which still brought in over 12,000 dedicated guests. The 8th Annual School Days, presented by the CW39, held on November 6 and 7, also set attendance records with more than 40,000 students and educators from across Texas and Louisiana. The unique educational event, which increased attendance from 2011 by 19%, allows public, private and home school kids from grades K through 12, and their teachers, the opportunity to experience the art, science, theater, history, music and culture of the 16th century. . “Last year’s record breaking attendance was a great milestone that set a precedent for years to come. I am thrilled to say that we not only met this year’s goals, but surpassed them by setting new attendance records,” said Terre Albert, general manager. “I am extremely proud of our management staff for rising to the occasion and making this season the best one yet.” The Texas Renaissance Festival reported that its online presence has increased substantially as well. Following the 2011 season, the Festival had just over 48,000 Facebook followers, which has since increased to more than 111,000. The Festival plans to continue rolling out ticket offers, additional cast appearances and more throughout the year via social media. Each weekend, the Texas Renaissance Festival welcomes patrons to enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and beauty of the 16th Century, which would not be possible without the generous financial and in-kind support of its many sponsors. Cory Brock, director of promotions and sponsorship, and the management staff would like to thank their sponsors for helping make the 2012 season the biggest and best in the Festival’s history. Sponsors include: the City of Magnolia, Bud Light, Coca-Cola, Northside Fiat, Spring Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Aerodrome,


Photos: Amitha Devikrupa

Amerigas, Houston Aeros, KIAH, CW39, Lone Star College Montgomery Theatre Department, Mike Eubanks Construction, Denny’s, Theater Under the Stars, Top Dog Halloween Madness, Farm Pac Kitchens, Glazier Foods, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Prestigious Event Rentals, Randall’s, Republic Services, Walgreens, Woodchuck Cider, and Woodforest National Bank. “In the past 38 years, the Texas Renaissance Festival has become a Texas tradition that many look forward to each fall,” said Brock. “We are thankful for the support from our sponsors as it allows the Festival to flourish, grow and provide top notch entertainment year after year.” Other highlights of the 38th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival include the 100-acre expansion of the Fields of New Market Campground, the renovation of The Globe Theater, the addition of the Hacienda San Jorge, a sitdown Latin cuisine restaurant, and

a new mobile app for iPhone and Android devices. The 39th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival will take place Saturdays, Sundays & Thanksgiving Friday, from October 12 through December 1, 2013. About Texas Renaissance Festival: The Texas Renaissance Festival is the Nation’s largest and most acclaimed Renaissance theme park where the sights, sounds, tastes and beauty of the 16th Century come alive for eight magically-themed weekends. The Texas Renaissance Festival welcomes nearly half a million guests annually and features nearly 500 costumed performers on 17 stages; 400 shoppes including international food purveyors, unique artisans, merchants and craft vendors; human-powered rides; an abundance of strolling performers and the Royal Finale at dusk. The Festival received the 2010 and 2011 Merchant Circle “Circle of Excellence” award and was rec-


ognized by H Texas Magazine as the “Best Alternative Wedding Location” in the 2012 Best of H Texas issue. The Festival is held Saturdays, Sundays and Thanksgiving Friday. The Texas Renaissance Festival is located 50 miles northwest of Houston on more than 55 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on FM 1774, between Magnolia and Plantersville, TX. Parking is free. For more information about the Texas Renaissance Festival, visit www.texrenfest. com.


November 30, 2012


HMM Celebrates Diwali with Exceptional Performance by Local Artists

BY RAJESH THATTE Diwali celebrations of HMM (Houston Maharashtra Mandal) on Saturday November 17, was a great finale for the year long activities. The perfect entertainment package on the crisp evening was successfully coordinated by talented writer- director Nishad Kanhere and his team of around 35 artists and back-stage artists. The extremely talented team presented 2 hours of program named as “Desi Dhamaka”. Diwali has always been occasion of having fun with friends and family and Nishad brought the family full of friends on the stage in front of audience of around more than 400. The program was initiated with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony. Lamps arranged in the decorative form were lighted by one member of each family gathered in the hall starting from the first president of HMM Praful Ajgaonkar followed by Ms.Hardikar. The stage performance started with Ganesh Vandana coordinated by Megha Ozarker. Choreographed neatly by Prachi Kushte and performed with accuracy by Prachi Kushte, Megha Ozarker, Sonali Kand, Pradnya Mahajan and Sonali Vardhaman, set up pleasant mood of the evening. Emcees of the evening, Nishad and Sunil Pangarkar had the knack of keeping the audience engaged throughout the program. The duo gave few reality checks to all the Punekars (residents of Pune) during the show by asking questions to the audience related to the special lingo of local youths. The correct answers were rewarded with Laddoos and applauses. This little spice of reality show made the evening very lively. As usual the “Puneri Patya ” , famous local banners of the town, made everyone in audience cheerful. The act depicting typical shop owners of Pune, performed by Anukool Damle and Prachi Kushte was hilarious. This act written and directed by Nishad has been seen and heard on “FU BAI FU”, a well known series on Zee Marathi. Technology use in the program was added feature which must be mentioned. The list of all artists and their characters were on presented on projectors clearly giving the idea of the act. Amol Ganpatye and Sangeeta Panse were mesmerizing on Sitar-Jugalbandi. Shreyas Bedekar’s vocal and music performance along with assist on Tabala by Jayendra

Prabhukhot proved the versatility of this show. It was certainly delightful. He was supported with chorus by Roopali Kothi and Varsha Pangarkar. In the skit of school student and teacher Achala Bapat acted as a tenth grade student so well – her teacher already having the neck support felt really poor chap trapped in hardest possible task to teach such student. It was a great performance by Achala and HMM’s own president Ramachandra Watwe as teacher. Dipti Kanhere being the stage artist gave the fantastic picture of American daughter- in- law with energetic Sharmila Moharir in mother-in law’s role. Climax of the program was colored with 14 ladies with heart-throbbing “Lavni” dance performances. Very difficult form of long traditional Maharashtrian dance was precisely choreographed and nicely coordinated by Dipti Kanhere and Kalpana Sarode respectively. The dancers were Dipti Kanhere, Kalpana Sarode, Smita Chulki, Achala Bapat, Anjou Keller, Geetanjali Khandekar, Roopali Kothi, Sonali Kand, Pouravi S, Monika Patkar, Veena Watwe, Archana Pendse, Sheetal Aklujkar, Sharmila Moharir. On normal day each of them run on the clock behind kids or on work, not only enjoyed the dance themselves but surprised everyone with their skills on stage through one of the oldest form of ever green style of dancing. Having full time jobs, taking care of kids and their unending classes and projects, actors from this show did their practices on phone at times!! It was truly an all out performance by everyone involved.

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Without the tremendous man-help by back-stage artists it was not possible to achieve the success. Back-stage team include : Ravi Ozarker(Video/Lights), Nisarga Upadhye, Siddhi Kushte (Stage Decoration), Vikram Singan(AV Slides), Samir Patil, Anil Gokhale(Sound). The program ended with President Ram

Watwe’s update of the HMM’S year in action. This year HMM enjoyed record number of membership along with highest number of participation from the community. The president elect Sharmila Moharir introduced the new committee for 2013. Last but not the least, Maharashtrian’s near and dear food was served with delicacies like “Rava and Besan Ladoo, Karanji ”. Kids were given the appropriate freedom in the lobby with baby sitters so the parents could enjoy the program at ease. After the formal conclusion of the program, open stage saw one young artists Akash Ozarker who sang Shivaji Maharaja’s Powada (a traditional energetic poetry depicting historic events) with full energy. It proved these programs are worth the efforts to discover hidden talents in everyone. The bloopers in the end show, “Making of the Program” were equally entertaining. For more information about Houston Maharashtra Mandal and its work, visit http://

Kavita ki ShaamAn Evening with a Difference HOUSTON: Since 2008 International Hindi Association (IHA) and India Culture Center (ICC) have been working together in bringing poets from India for the popular Annual Kavi-sammelan for the delight of Hindi speaking population of Houston area. Since last year the joint venture of ICC and IHA have also added the celebration of “Hindi Divas” to its agenda. The actual Hindi Divas falls on September 14 but since in Greater Houston area it is the month of many galas/events; hence strategically it is moved to early December. Hindi Divas is celebrated to promote and spread the National language in Houston. More than 140 audience who attended it last year had a great time and the local talent got a chance and encouragement to recite their own work or the work of their favorite authors in Hindi. There is a variety of poetry which would be recited by the local talent in the different Ras—Bhakti (devotional) ras, Vyang (sarcasm) ras, Veer (patriotic) ras, Hasya (humorous) ras and Shringaar (romantic) ras. This is one of the ways for

promoting Hindi. This year the program is on December 7 at the Great W’ Kana Café. Poets have already signed up for the poetry slots; but if anyone is keen on joining and were unaware about it, contact Swapan Dhairyawan at 281-3820348 or Sangeeta Pasrija at 281-788-9750 no later than November 30. Also poetry lovers are requested to book their tickets with Swapan or Sangeeta or Rajiv Bhavsar in advance (only $15 includes sumptuous dinner) which will be served between 7 to 8 pm. The seating is limited, book your seats in advance. The IHA- ICC committee works very hard in ensuring quality of events and this Hindi Divas event would have more information in hand about the plans for 2013 when the National Hindi Convention (a 3 day affair) is being anticipated to be held in our own Bayou City. For more information, talk to any of the volunteers at the “Kavita ki Shaam” event or log on to For more details, see ad on page 14.

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November 30, 2012

2012 Telfair Diwali Extravaganza

SUGAR LAND: It was bright and sunny fall morning, perfect setting for the 5th Telfair Diwali to heat up the day and bring cheer to more than 1000 guests who gathered for the celebration at the Cornerstone Elementary School in Sugar Land on Saturday, November 17. Diwali (commonly known as “Festival of Lights” in India) was organized by Telfair Indian American Cultural Association (TELICA). A large number of Indian American community turned up to participate in the fun filled festival. The event was sponsored by TelfairLife. com, MetLife,, Infinity Water Softener, Tara Energy and Telfair Montessori. The doors opened at 10am with traditional contests like Diya Cutout, Puja Thali (plates), Rangoli and Clay Diya and activities like Henna and Nail Polish. Several youth volunteers helped lead coordinators to manage these activities. Each guest was welcomed with “Tilak” on their forehead and a piece of traditional sweets. The afternoon programs started at around noon by Ganesh Vandana sung by Urvashi Shah. The TELICA president Ravi Ranjan kicked off the afternoon festivities by welcoming the guests. The TELICA president spoke about the relevance of TELICA and how it’s working to bring community together and in the process making Telfair a better place to live and raise family. He invited distinguished guests Sugar Land Asst Police Chief Eric Robins, Sugar Land City council member Harish Jajoo and Corner Stone Elementary School principal Chris Winans. The distinguished guests inaugurated the festival by lighting lamp along with TELICA organizers. Several Indian American community leaders and elders graced the occasion. The guests spoke about the significance of Diwali transcending regional, religion, cultural and continental barriers in uniting the community. What followed next was a well choreographed cultural show. The audience was captivated for almost three hours by a potpourri of vocal, instrumental and dance performances that ranged from classical, to fusion to contemporary Bollywood styles. The common thread for everyone on stage was high wattage and remarkable effort put in by the participants and parents towards the presentation.

2012 TELICA Diwali organizing team

From left: Co-Lead Coordinator Raju Muppala, Activity Lead Roopali Mittal, Activity Lead Shilpa Pore, Secretary Satya Narendrula, Treasurer Prakash Shah, TELICA President Ravi Ranjan, Cultural Lead Meera Kapur, Volunteer Shreya Sundar, CSE Principal Chris Winans, Sugar Land Asst Police Chief Eric Robins and Sugar Land councilman Harish Jajoo.

dazzling show. Shipla Pore and Roopali Mittal coordinated and worked relentlessly with key TELICA volunteers to present very entertaining non-cultural activities. Some of the very proud TELICA volunteers are Ravi Ranjan, Prakash Shah, Satya Narendrula, Raju Muppala, Sundar Moorthy, Shankar Vaidyanathan, Siva Juturi, Vijay Pallod, Ambuj Bajpai, Sarma Peri, Kishan Koniki, Amit Mittal, Sanjay Agarwal, Rakesh Kumar, Bhagwan Bhutada, Sangita Bhutada, Praveen Bhavani, Urvashi Shah, Rani Narendrula, Sushma Pallod, Shilpa Pore, Roopali Mittal, Savitha Kanth, Saroj Kumar, Leena Dhand, Sapna Kanwar, Ranjana Agarwal, Ekta Agarwal, Meera Kapur, Vanita Ranjan, Sumathy Muppala, Ekta Popat, Bipin Pandya, Chad Patel, Sridhar Makkapati, Srini Nakirekanti, Somesh Janjirala. The youth volunteers who contributed their valuable hours to make this event a grand success are Suhas Narendrula, Rahul Sirigiri, Bindu Yarlagadda, Sneha Peri, Yallu Siva, Avanthika Mahendrababu, Pooja Reddy, Sanika Kelkar, Karthik Vaidyanathan, Namrata Gupta, Natasha Muppala, Kushal Jain, Jaskeerat Gulati, Nimisha Gattu, Kajal Patel, Anisha Varati, Himani Patel, Dona Uthirakulathu, Shravya Arra, Sabrina Dhand, Saideep Narendrula, Arya Ranjan, Pranav Juturi and Nikhil Agarwal. For festival pictures or to get more details about the event and organization, visit www.

The iPad as Raffle prizes provided by the platinum sponsor MetLife was an added attraction. The festival concluded on a very high note with some scintillating numbers. The highlight of this years’ event was active participation by large number of youth volunteers. They took lead in managing several activities throughout the day. Raju Muppala was co-lead coordinator along with Ravi Ranjan. They left no stone unturned to ensure the success of this event. Meera Kapur was the lead coordinator for the cultural show. With the aim of promoting talent in the community, she coordinated more than 150 performers to put together a

One of many scintillating performances

Exciting Activities entertained kids and adults INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

November 30, 2012

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Ayurveda and Positive Living

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BY VAIDYA PRAPHULLA MUNDADA The ancient science of Ayurveda reveals the secret to positive health through harmonious lifestyle. If we follow the guidelines with sincerity, it will award us with a long, healthy and fruitful life. The balanced daily routine, known as “Dincharya” recommends good hygiene, moderate exercise, healthy diet, efficient elimination of wastes and a positive mental outlook, whereas changes in the observance of diet and regimen according to the seasonal changes is known as “Ritucharya”. Ayurveda emphasizes on the importance of Dincharya (daily routine) and Ritucharya (seasonal routine). Both are instrumental in the prevention of disease and promotion of ideal health. Ayurveda emphasizes on preventive hygiene over curative medicine. Everyone should take proper care of his body to maintain good health. The daily routine as described by different classics of Ayurveda is given below. Bramha Muhurta - Rising Early in morning: Vagbhatta advises that one should rise at “Brahma Muhurta, a very early period in the morning – that is between 4- 5am. It is said “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Evacuation - The second important daily routine is to evacuate the bowels and bladder. Natural evacuation of the bowels without any laxative or any other intake is always desirable. Evacuation once or twice a day is natural. Many people have a bad habit of going to the toilet only after tea or breakfast. Evacuation first thing in the

morning – empty stomach is the requirement of Dincharya. Cleaning of the Teeth and Tongue Ayurveda recommends fresh herbal brushes (made of Neem, Babool etc.) for cleaning the teeth. These are bitter, pungent, and astringent in taste. After every meal cleaning of the teeth and tongue is a must. The herbal cleansers remove particles from the teeth and gums and eliminate foul smell or tastelessness from the mouth. They also strengthen the teeth and gums. After cleaning the teeth, the next routine is tongue scraping of the tongue. Scrapping cleans the tongue and removes a coating that is produced by Aama. Collyrium (Anjanam) - Collyrium (Anjanam or Ras Anjanam) is applied in the eyes. This collyrium application removes burning, itching, dirty secretions, and pain from the eyes. The father of Ayurveda, Charaka says the vision of humans can become bright and clean if collyrium is used daily. Nasya: Navanam means nasal administration of herbal oil. Gandusha means oil gargle, and tamboola means chewing of betal leaves. Ayurvedic Smoking - Dhoomra Panam or Ayurvedic smoking cigarettes are prepared with Ayurvedic herbs. They do not contain tobacco or any addicting drugs. Oil massage - Abhyanga means oil massage on the body. This process is very important in the daily routine. The massage produces strength in the body and improved performance in muscular activities. It delays the aging process, relieves fatigue, relieves Vata, improves vision, produces corpulence,






November 30, 2012

Ayurveda and Positive Living

HOUSTON: On Saturday, January 12, 2013 Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH) will be celebrating Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary in a big way at its new location on 14809 Lindita Drive, Houston, TX 77083. The all-day event will include a morning seminar session from 10:30am to 12:30pm on the “Many Facets of Swami Vivekananda”. Talks will be delivered by eminent Houstonians. The afternoon session will consist of a youth convention from 2:30-5 .30pm. The topics to be covered are Vivekananda’s Message to the West, Science and Technology in the Light of Vedanta, Vivekananda’s Teachings Inspiring Today’s Youth, How this generation can fulfill the ideals of Vedanta, Harmony of Religions, and Vivekananda’s idea of Service. VSGH is seeking participation from the age group 18 and above to lead discussions on the above mentioned top-

ics or to engage in group discussions. Each topic is to be discussed in a group of 8-10 people. After a 45 minute discussion, the leaders of each group will summarize the key points in a 10 minute talk/presentationat the end. Both sessions will be facilitated by Pravrajika Sitaprana from Vedanta Society of California at Santa Barbara. For participating in the Youth Convention, register online at http:/// youth_convention_2013

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ing the morning routine described above it is time for study for students or work for adults. Study or work should be performed after half an hour of lunch. Early to Bed - It is desirable to go bed early in the evening and sleep soundly until early morning. The latest you should retire is by10pm, so that you can complete about six and half hours sleep before rising at Brahma Muhurta, between 4-5am. Vaidya Praphulla Mundada is a leading Panchkarma Ayurvedacharya in India. He is a graduate of Marthwada University, Nanded. In 1994 he set up a Clinic and Nursing home in Nanded (Maharashtra) called Mundada Ayurved Panchkarma and Research Center. The clinic and the nursing home consist of an operation theater and special Panchkarma therapy rooms. The clinic also runs an OPD, both in the morning and the evening and caters to almost 30 patients daily. He has been doing Ayurvedic consultation in Japan for the past 8 years. Vaidya Praphulla Mundada & Vaidya Harsha Mundada will be conducting a workshop on December 1, 2012 at Keshav Smruthi from 3-5pm.

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sweat, drowsiness, thirst, burning etc. Avoid using hot water on your head, instead cold water is beneficial. Bath should not be taken after meals. Meditation and Religious Act - In Vagbhata’s chapter on Dincharya, after describing the bath, he says that every creature wants to achieve happiness in their life, and that happiness cannot be achieved without following natural laws (dharma). Meals - Ayurveda has recommended only two meals lunch and dinner. But those who are habituated to breakfast may take a light one after meditation. Study or work - After complet-

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10 November 30, 2012


MAMA’S Punjabi Recipes

Cardiologists Accuse Hospital of Discrimination CONTINUED FROM PAGE


she was asked by Brown to run out a Black man who dropped by the hospital by bus and ordered breakfast, as Brown did not want a homeless man at the hospital. In March 2012, CMC became the laughing stock of the new media, none less than the conservative Fox News channel, over one of Brown’s edicts which became a national embarrassment, when he forbade the hiring of obese employees, a policy which was subsequently rescinded due to the hue and cry. Brown’s history of racial bias goes back to a memo he wrote in 2007 that “he felt a sense of disgust” that more “MiddleEastern-born physicians were demanding leadership roles at the hospital. It will change the entire complexion of the hospital and create a level of fear among our employees.” So tense has been the atmosphere at the hospital that Judge Janis Graham Jack of Federal District Court wrote In a December 2010 opinion that there was “egregious evidence” to support the racial discrimination claim. When the hospital’s chief executive “displays such overt racial animus toward plaintiffs,” she wrote, “this racial animus necessarily permeates throughout the rest of the hospital, and is strong evidence of discrimination.” The discrimination faced by three of its members has galvanized Indo-Americans nationwide and in particular those in the huge Metroplex of Houston to the east in the Houston Metroplex where the community numbers over 150,000, with many in the health professions. Mahesh Shah, the President of the Houston Chapter of the Global Organization of People

of Indian Origin has denounced the derogatory remarks made by the hospital, saying that the community leaders will fight this discrimination. Sanjay Rao, President of the Indo American Political Action Committee has expressed similar sentiments and wrote a letter to the editor of the Victoria Advocate. Some members of India House, the India Culture Center and Latafath Hussain, President of the Indian Muslims Association have all deplored the atmosphere of bias and discrimination that Brown has engendered at CMC and his antipathy against the three cardiologists. The Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin all support the three cardiologists in their lawsuit. So much so that the entire Indo American community has gotten together to show their disapproval of the hospital’s action, with over 500 so far signing a petition calling for the censure of the discriminatory actions. The petition will be circulated around town for those interested in signing it. These signatures and a letter demanding redress by the removal of the involved officials at CMC has been submitted to the Victoria County Judge Donald R. Pozzi and the four other members of the Victoria County Commissioners Court as well as to the Governor, two Senators and other politicos. They are no doubt very familiar with the lawsuit which has been widely reported by the local media, the New York Times and even overseas by the Times of India. To make matters worse for Pozzi, for months he has had to fend off persistent rumors that CMC T:6”may be sold.


Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipies.

Punjabi Paratha Masala Parantha masala ingredients: dhaniya (coriander); salt; amchoor (mango powder); black pepper; jira (cumin seeds), anardana (pomegranate seeds); moti illachi (large cardoman) seeds; methi; saunth (ginger powder) Combine the ingredients and crush them into a powder.

Plain Punjabi Paratha

Ingredients: 35gm parantha masala; 500gm wheat flour; oil Method: • Combine the ingredients and

knead the dough. Add a teaspoon of oil according to need. • Make dough into small paade (balls) and then roll out into a 6 to 8 inch circle. Note: Punjabi parantha’s are usually 8 to 10 inches round. • Put a small dab of oil on a hot tava (hotplate or skillet) and place the flattened dough on. When it puffs a bit and turn color, turn the pancake over. Put another dab of oil on the tava and then turn it over again till it is fully cooked. A well made parantha will actually puff up!

Stuffed Punjabi Parantha

Ingredients: 35gm parantha masala; 500gm wheat flour; oil

Method: • Combine the ingredients and knead the dough. Add a teaspoon

Choose which vegetable – cauliflower, potatoes, paneer, or carrots you wish to stuff the parantha with and grate them. Carrots should be shredded and potatoes should be boiled and finely diced. Mix the masala with the prepared veggies. Note: this same preparation when mixed with potatoes can be used for making samosas, breadrolls or pakoras.

of oil according to need. • Make dough into small paade (balls) and then roll out into a 6 to

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8 inch circle. Note: Punjabi parantha’s are usually 8 to 10 inches round. • Spread the dough into a 4 inch circle and place three tablespoons of the veggie mixture into it. Close the dough with a pinch and then roll into a ball again. • Carefully roll out the ball into a circle trying not to allow the mixture to come out in a tear. • Put a small dab of oil on a hot tava (hotplate or skillet) and place the flattened dough on. When it puffs a bit and turn color, turn the pancake over. Put another dab of oil on the tava and then turn it over again till it is fully cooked. • These paranthas are best served with butter, yogurt or lassi (buttermilk). Enjoy!!!

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November 30, 2012


IIT 2013 Global Conference Kicked Off

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profitable. The early bird registration was also announced and a number of people signed up right away. Details will be forthcoming on registration. Finally Sponsorship updates were communicated by Chair Surajit Dasgupta as he informed securing $25,000 sponsorship from his employer KBR 7215 Harwin Dr. Houston, TX 77036 on the very day Houston won the N bid, while challenging everyone E-mail: Harwin Dr. in the room to be the evangelists for the conference and get commitment from their respective employers. 7215 There was a lot of engagement and input provided by the participants throughout the 4-hour long meeting. The feedback was well-received •Quality Advocacy •Creating Working Relationships •Honesty and Objectivity by the conference steering The law firm of Donnelly-Ashby & Nguyen, PLLC is committee and dedicated to providing quality immigration advice and is being conlegal counsel to domestic and international sidered to make companies and individuals. continual improvements to The attorneys at Donnelly-Ashby & Nguyen PLLC combine the conference. have over fifteen years of immigration experience. Anne T. Nguyen In a nutshell, the conference through the self-petitioning processes to •Temporary Nonimmigrant Classifications committee has obtain permanent resident status. The law firm of Donnelly-Ashby & Nguyen, built a strong PLLC provides immigration assistance and •Employment Compliance foundation till legal counsel to corporations wishing to Equally important, the law firm provides date and with bring foreign national workers to work in the corporate clients with comprehensive and the help from United States on a temporary basis, such as proactive legal guidance to establish and volunteers, it the E-1, E-2, E-3, B-1 in lieu of H-1B, L-1, maintain Form I-9 compliance policies and is set to leave a TN nonimmigrant classifications, to name a practices. In addition, Donnelly-Ashby & mark by inspirfew. Nguyen, PLLC offers legal guidance on the ing innovations ever changing complex E-Verify system and •Immigrant Classifications for tomorrow. performs onsite Form I-9 and LCA Public Donnelly-Ashby & Nguyen, PLLC also It was also provides legal advice to corporations wishing Access File audits. proposed to to sponsor foreign nationals to become per•Citizenship and Naturalization share the premanent residents as multinational managers The law firm of Donnelly-Ashby & Nguyen sentation used or executive or through the Labor CertificaPLLC also assist clients with citizenship and in the meeting tion process. Further, the attorneys dedicate naturalization filings. considerable time to assisting individuals in and to keep the family based cases and those who proceed discussion going via a colFree 30 min consultation every Wednesday. laboration site. Regency Sq

lars, and symbolizes energy and inspiration. Second in the agenda was the Operations update from Chair TK Das. While promising “to raise the bar” and “deliver a conference that will set new standards for others for the years to come,” Das communicated ongoing negotiations with the Hilton Americas, a fantastic state-of-the-art facility in downtown Houston and what this venue is capable of hosting. He also emphasized the need of volunteers to undertake and successfully deliver a task of this magnitude. Program Content followed with Chair Murthy Divakaruni and Co-Chair Shantanu Agarwal presenting an ambitious mix of technical sessions in Energy, Finance, Space, Technology, and Healthcare, etc., together with numerous panel discussions and keynote speeches throughout the conference. The conference which will weave the theme through the sessions, will also feature career advancement opportunities, business competition, exhibition and entertainment. The program chairs provided details on how volunteers would be able to assist in developing what will be the heart of the conference. Networking and Outreach updates were presented by Pratish Kanani on behalf of Chair Hemant Jha. As a part of getting registrations for the conference, Jha intends to make use of local as well as PanIIT member database in addition to promoting the event via social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The conference will be open to all and will require an outreach to nearby cities including Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. The Finance committee headed by Co-Chairs Abhijit Gadgil and Prabhu Murugan is currently working on financial models using historical data from the past conferences to work out the registration fees and sponsorship packages that will maximize the participation while making the conference


BY HUZEFA SHAKIR HOUSTON: The Indian Institutes of Technology Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) officially kicked off the IIT 2013 Global Conference planning on Saturday, November 17. This global event with the theme “Inspiring Innovation for Tomorrow” is scheduled for Dec 6-8, 2013 at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston. Another session with the PanIIT USA board and Houston volunteers is scheduled in Feb/ Mar 2013 and is expected to have a larger turnout. The event was well attended by over 60 people, many of whom came to Houston especially for this event. Arjun Sen, VP/Secretary of PanIIT USA came all the way from Denver, some drove in from Austin, and a few web conferenced from Austin and Atlanta. The event was graciously hosted by the University of Houston. The kickoff meeting started with a meet-and-greet in an informal setting followed by lunch as the participants enjoyed a breezy fall afternoon outside the Engineering Hall at University of Houston. Conference Chairman Witty Bindra and Vice Chairman Pratish Kanani then formally welcomed all the attendees to the kickoff meeting. First update in the meeting came from the Marketing, Strategy and PR Chair Partha Chatterjee who reiterated “the need of giving back to the alma mater that has given us the foundations of our professional and personal lives.” As a part of work accomplished to date, he invited Conference Advisor Sundy Srinivasan to launch the conference website, who also happened to be the winner of the conference theme contest. The website is expected to go live shortly. Partha unveiled the theme logo that had cleverly utilized the acronym IIT for both – Indian Institute of Technology and the three theme pillars of the conference “Inspire”, “Innovate” and “Transform”. The rising sun in the logo is a representative of all three of these pil-

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The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Backs Resolution on War Recruiting

The story thus far…For two years Gandhi traveled extensively in India and had talked at different places. His interest first centered on the problem of indentured labor where poor, ignorant laborers were enticed away from India to work in the British colonies. He disapproved of this system in South Africa, fought it there, and he wanted to see it abolished. Gandhi started a great agitation on this issue. As a result, the Government announced that the system of indentured labor would be stopped before July 31,1917. In Ahmedabad at textile mills, prices had gone up and the mill workers were demanding higher wages. The mill owners would not agree. Gandhi sympathized with the workers and launched a struggle and resorted to peaceful resistance. The workers proudly followed Gandhi and paraded the streets saying they would not go back to work until a settlement had been reached. Days passed. The mill owners wouldn’t budge. The strikers were getting impatient for they were faced with starvation. Their discipline became weak. Gandhi feared that some workers would break their pledge and go back to work. That would be a great moral defeat. One morning he called the workers and told them that unless the mill workers held to their pledge, and reached a settlement, he would not eat. The workers were shocked. “Not you, but we shall fast,” they said. “Please forgive us for our lapse; we shall remain faithful to our pledge.” Gandhi did not want anybody else to fast. His fast was not against the mill owners, but against the lack of coordination and unity among the workers. The fast lasted only three days. It was powerful enough to influence the mill owners that they came to an agreement with the workers. Hardly was the mill workers’ strike over, when Gandhi had to plunge into the Kheda satyagraha struggle. The Kheda district of Gujarat was on the verge of a severe famine. Crop yield had been so low that the cultivators, especially the poor farmers, were unable to pay the revenue. But the government insisted that the yield had not been so bad and that the cultivators should pay the tax. Gandhi saw the injustice advised the farmers to offer satyagraha by not paying their taxes. Leaders, like Vallabhbhai Patel, Shankarlal Banker, Mahadev Desai and others took an active part in this struggle. There had been signs that the campaign might fizzle out, but after four months of struggle there was an honorable settlement. The government asked rich farmers to pay and granted relief to poor farmers. The Kheda satyagraha marked the beginning of an awakening among the peasants of Gujarat, the beginning of their true political educa-

tion. It gave to the educated public workers the chance to establish contact with the actual life of the peasants. During this time the war had entered a critical phase. Britain and France were in a difficult position. In the spring of 1917 Germany had inflicted crushing defeats on both the British and French troops in France. Russia’s war effort had broken down and the Revolution was threatening its Government. Though America had entered the war, no American troops had yet reached the battlefront. The Viceroy of India, Lord Chelmsford, invited various Indian leaders to attend a War Conference. Gandhi was also invited. He accepted the invitation and went to Delhi. Gandhi was not happy that leaders like Tilak or the Ali brothers had not been invited to the conference, so he was un- willing to attend. After meeting the Viceroy, however, he went to the conference. The Viceroy was keen to get Gandhi’s support on military recruiting. Gandhi spoke only one sentence. “With a full sense of my responsibility I beg to support the resolution.” Gandhi had supported going to war! Many of his friends were taken aback. Some said, “You are a votary of ahimsa, how can you ask us to take up arms?” Others said, “What good has the government done to India to deserve The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi is brought to you courtesy Mahatma Gandhi Library. our cooperation?” Even some of his best friends could not understand how he could reconcile his war effort with his campaign for ahimsa. But Gandhi stuck to the belief he held at that time that “absolutely unconditional and wholehearted cooperation with the government by the educated Indians will bring India within sight of our goal of Swaraj as nothing else will.” Gandhi had made his decision and he now set out to implement it. The response to recruit went was not in any way encouraging, but Gandhi was determined to carry out his mission. He held meetings. He issued leaflets asking people to enlist in the forces. His steady work began to bear fruit. Many men were recruited and he hoped to get a bigger response as soon as the first batch had been sent. Gandhi nearly ruined his health during the recruiting campaign. He worked very hard. He could not take his food at regular times, nor could he take enough nourishment to keep up his energy. He had an attack of dysentery. He refused to take medicine and his condition worsened. Friends tried

their best to advise him but he was beyond all advice. He passed restless days and nights and he himself felt at times that he was near death’s door. It took him a long time to regain his health, but before then news came that World War I was over. Germany had been completely defeated. Friends and doctors advised him to go away for a change and recover his health. He went to Matheran, but the place did not suit him. He went to Poona, where a doctor was consulted. He advised him to take milk to rebuild his body, and prescribed some medicine. Gandhi took the medicine but he would not agree to take milk, for he had given up cow’s milk and buffalo’s milk. He was finally convinced to take goat’s milk. Gandhi returned to Ahmedabad. He was recouping his health there when he read in the papers the Rowlatt Committee’s report had just been published. The committee recommended that for the maintenance of peace, the government could arrest any person without a warrant and detain him for any length of time without any trial or right to appeal. Thus, the law was a direct attack on the ordinary civil liberties of the people and a clear indication of the autocratic and barbarous tendencies of the British rule in India. These recommendations startled Gandhi. He described them as “unjust, subversive of the principles of liberty and justice, and destructive of the elementary rights of individuals.” Friends approached him for guidance. “Something must be done,” he said to them. “If the proposed measures are passed into law, we ought to offer satyagraha.” Gandhi lamented the fact that he was in poor health. From his sick-bed he wrote articles for the Indian papers explaining that the proposed bill was an act of tyranny which no self-respecting people could submit to it. The only possible step against the government’s proposal, Gandhi thought, would be to launch a satyagraha movement in right earnest. A meeting of some of the leaders was called at the ashram and a satyagraha pledge was drafted. It was unanimously signed by everybody present. Gandhi did not believe that the existing institutions could handle such a noble weapon, so a separate institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. — To be Continued



November 30, 2012


AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summit 2013 to be Held in Cochin

CHICAGO, IL: Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment. India is making significant improvements in the healthcare infrastructure and is building modern medical facilities throughout India. Indian doctors have made tremendous progress in the medical field and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub. With a rise in population, there is an urgent need to create additional health infrastructure, which entails a higher level of investment in the Indian healthcare market in the coming years. The government of India is committed to the ever increasing need to invest in the health care system in India. It’s in this context, the groundbreaking AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2013 organized by the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin( GAPIO) and Indian Medical Association (IMA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs & Ministry of Health, with participation from some of the world’s most well known physicians, and industry leaders becomes very critical and significant. Described as the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions for India, the GHS 2013 is aimed at exploring possibilities for greater collaboration and cooperation between the physicians and health care providers in India with those of Indian origin and major healthcare providers abroad. This innovative Summit is aimed at advancing the accessibility, affordability and the quality of world-class healthcare to the people of India. Among other areas, the Summit will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and share ways to truly improve healthcare transcending global boundaries. “AAPI USA has been actively engaged in harnessing the power of Indian Medical Diaspora,” Dr. Narendra Kumar, President of AAPI, said. “In our efforts to realize these goals, we have successfully gained the support of several leading healthcare experts and professional physician associations, including GAPIO and IMA to collaborate on this ground breaking international healthcare summit, designed to bring the best, cost effective quality healthcare solutions to the people of India.” “Our ability to share knowledge and influence the medical world has never been greater. With the advancement of modern technology, the quality of care we provide and the values that we support can reverberate around the world as it never been before’, Said Dr. Kumar. This international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007 under the leadership of Dr. Hemant Patel and moderated by Anwar Feroz. “Providing a forum for innovative opportunities for learning, networking and giving back to our motherland that have now enabled us to plan ahead and prepare for an outstanding event that has already received confirmation and endorsement from over 300 very prominent and talented physicians and surgeons from abroad, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, mother India,” Dr. Kumar added. During the past five Indo-US Summits since the first innovative summit in 2007, AAPI has been instrumental in developing strategic alliances with various organizations. “It is this experience and the result-

The groundbreaking AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in Cochin from January 1-3, 2013 will discuss ways to bring the most innovative, efficient and cost effective healthcare solutions for India.

ing relationships that have enabled us to organize this outstanding event.” Dr. Jayesh Shah, President-Elect of AAPI, said. The Summit, which is a public-private initiative between the Government of India and AAPI, is all about dedication and commitment of Indian-American physicians to improving healthcare in India, he added. “This Convention will display how well the Indian doctors have shown themselves as an effective force in the medical world in USA,” Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, Vice President of AAPI, said. GHS 2013 will include a scientific program developed by leading experts with contributions by the Scientific Advisory Board and International Scientific Committee, which will includes high priority areas like Cardiology, Diabetes, Oncology, Surgery, Mental Health, Maternal and Child Health, Allergy-Immunology and Lung Health, Health Information Technology (HIT), and the impact of co-morbidities, Dr. Jahagirdar elaborated. Featuring plenary sessions, interactive roundtables, clinical practice workshops, and meet-the-expert sessions, the first ever scientific poster session will facilitate dissemination and exchange of best practices. More than 100 opinion leaders and expert speakers from across the globe will present cutting-edge scientific findings related to clinical practice, and the dozens of Chairs and speakers will represent major centers of excellence, institutions and professional associations. For the first time at GHS, a Healthcare CEO Forum representing CEOs from around the world and from major hospitals, teaching institutions and healthcare industry sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and technology, will join together to explore potential opportunities for collaboration, Dr. Kumar said. Omar Ishrak, Worldwide CEO of Medtronic, the foremost device company in the world has agreed to be the keynote speaker for this Forum. Several other senior Vice Presidents of pharma companies have already accepted our invitation. Among those representing the Government of India and addressing the Summit include: India’s Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri. Vayalar Ravi, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri. Oommen Chandy, Kerala Health Minister Shri. V.S. Sivakumar, Kerala Tourism Minister Shri. A.P. Anil Kumar, Shri. Ramesh Chennithala, Shri. Pinaray Vijayan, Smt. Sreemathy Teacher and Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Shri. T.K.A Nair. Expected to have over 1,000 participants from across the globe, GHS 2013 keynote speakers and expert panel will include Jer-

emy Lazarus, MD (President, American Medical Association, Chicago), Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, MD (President and CEO, ECFMG USA), Shri P.K. Pradhan, IAS (Principal Health Secretary), Dr. Jagdish Prasad (Director General of Health Services), Shri Rajeev Sadanandan, IAS (Kerala Health Secretary), Dr. Prathap C. Reddy (Chairman, Apollo Group of Hospitals), Devi Prasad Shetty, MD (Medical Director, Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital, Bangalore), Dr. Dilip Jeste (President of American Psychiatric Association), Dr. Kalpalatha Guntupalli (Past President of ACCP), Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori (Professor of Oncology, The New York Presbyterian Hospital), Dr. Mani Menon (Professor of Urology & Robotic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit), Dr. P. Mahalingam (Chairman, Santosh University, Delhi-NCR), Dr. K.K.

Talwar (Chairman, Medical Council of India), Dr. Shiv Kumr Sarin (Former Chairman, Medical Council of India), Dr. Ranjan Pai (CEO, Manipal University), Dr. G.N. Singh (Drug Controller General of India), Dr. Eshwar Reddy (Device Controller of India), Dr. M.S. Valiathan (Advisor, Manipal University), Dr. K.M. Cherian (Frontier Lifecare Hospital, Chennai), Dr. N.K. Ganguly (Former Director General, ICMR, Dr. Girdhar Gyani (Secretary General, Quality Council of India), Dr. Rajan Badwe (Director, Tata Memorial Hospital), Dr. K. Vijay Kumar (President, Indian Medical Association), Shri M. Ayyappan, CMD, Lifecare HLL, Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster Medicity & DM Healthcare etc. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States and represents the interests of more than 65,000 physicians and about 35,000 medical students/residents of Indian heritage. AAPI is an umbrella organization with nearly 130 specialty societies and alumni organizations. AAPI is a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American Physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. GHS 2013 will be held at the prestigious Le Méridien’s signature chic world-class Convention Center in Cochin. For more information, visit: http://www.



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of our society. Even though the community is small, the people have made a mark in business, politics, profession, education, and community service. Since the last year the southwest committee has started to recognize successes of the local maheshNarendra Zamwar (MMNA President), Arun Mundhada wari people. Last (New Vice President), Sharad Mantri (New President), year they awarded Sharda Bhutada (Secretary) Rakhee Ladha (Tresure). Harish Jajoo for getHOUSTON: Maheshwari Mahasabha ting elected as the first maheshwari council of North America (MMNA) Southwest man for the city of Sugar Land and Sejal Chapter celebrated Diwali festival on Fri- Lahoti for graduating as a valedictorian day, November 9. More than 100 members from Hightower High School. This year the gathered together at Ashtalakshmi temple committee recognized Rishi Bhutada for on this joyous occasion. The program start- his outstanding work in the community and ed with Laxmi Pooja followed by a cultural for helping to keep the hindu heritage alive program by the members and traditional as a youth. This year was the last term for Rajshthani dinner provided by the popular the current committee. New committee has Maharaja Bhog, the first Rajesthani res- been formed for the next year with Sharad taurant in the USA. Tare Zami Pe, perfor- Mantri as the President. Other committee mance by small kids, was one of the best at- members are Arun Mundhada, Nandkishor tractions in the cultural program where the Kela, Rakhee Laddha and Shardha Bhutakids were dressed up as different personali- da. Narendra Zamwar, President of South ties of Bollywood . President of Southwest chapter, Narendra Zamwar expressed teh west chpater expressed last two year expevote of thanks to the families for their par- rience for leading team a volunteer organization as learning and rewarding. In last ticipation. MMNA is a nonprofit organization rep- two years, committee has taken up many resenting the Maheshwari community in new initivities with value addition. He is North America. Southwest is one of the very happy with the selection of new team chapters consisting of Houston, Austin, Dal- with leadership of Shard Mantri. and many las and Okhalama. The MMNA community young members to participate in commitincludes numerous well-known individuals tee.



November 30, 2012


MoneyGram Launches ‘Bringing You Closer’ Global Holiday Campaign

DALLAS: MoneyGram (MGI), a leading global money transfer company, launched an integrated, multi-platform advertising and marketing campaign for the holiday season. MoneyGram’s “Bringing You Closer” campaign is designed to build consumer preference for the company’s money transfer services during the holiday period, which typically experiences seasonal increases as consumers around the world

send money to loved ones. “We are committed to bringing customers closer throughout the year, and the holidays are an especially important time when the gift of money takes on a cultural significance for our global audience,” said Juan Agualimpia, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of MoneyGram. “This campaign represents a comprehensive effort to generate consumer awareness and reinforce our brand positioning through a variety of marketing assets and channels that foster consumer preference during the season.” MoneyGram will deliver its global message to consumers through a combination of television, print, and radio spots, point-ofsale marketing, grassroots public relations, and interactive online components.

Traditional Advertising Efforts: Television, print, and radio ads will feature MoneyGram’s unique brand identity, with signature energy globe and free-flowing line drawings that evoke the spirit of Christmas by depicting families sending love across the globe and bringing them closer during the holidays. Ads will air on television, on radio, and in print in multiple countries across the globe. MoneyGram is also expanding outside

of traditional marketing activities into the online space through various interactive activities. Interactive Online Initiatives: A video contest on MoneyGram’s Facebook page will invite consumers in select countries to share their favorite holiday memory. Two winners will be selected to each receive a round-trip airfare voucher to bring them closer to friends and family. MoneyGram is sponsoring a similar contest in the Philippines, inviting overseas Filipino workers to submit a one-minute video to the MoneyGrado Facebook page describing what it would mean for them to spend the holidays with their family. One grand prize winner will receive a round-trip flight to the Philippines to celebrate the holidays

with family and friends. Check out MoneyGram’s Facebook page. for a Holiday Card promotion to enable Facebook users to send a fun and creative photo or video greeting card to friends and family. Grassroots Public Relations: Consumers will be invited to sing favorite holiday songs for a chance to appear in a video “mash-up” of recordings from events in the U.S, U.K. and Italy. The final version

the holidays, MoneyGram services continue to bring people closer together,” said Agualimpia. “MoneyGram is dedicated to serving the needs of consumers so families around the world can enjoy this cherished time of year.” For more information on MoneyGram’s “Bringing You Closer” Holiday campaign, visit MoneyGram’s Facebook page at moneygram?ref=ts&fref=ts

will be uploaded on YouTube, highlighting the cultural diversity of MoneyGram consumers during the holiday season. “As many of our customers look to connect with their friends and family around

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16 November 30, 2012


Padma Lakshmi Reveals Her Body ... and Her Mind in Playboy

LONDON (Daily Mail): As she reveals her svelte figure in lace underwear for a sultry spread in Playboy magazine, Padma Lakshmi shows exactly why she has attracted some of the world’s most powerful and successful men. And in an accompanying interview, the 42-yearold Top Chef star opens up about her three-yearmarriage to British author Salman Rushdie, who is 23-years her senior. ‘Now there is somebody who has great wit and is a great flirt,’ she tells the magazine. ‘I don’t regret a day I spent with Salman, but it was tiring. He has a big life, and it only got bigger when we were together. I’m happy to have stood next to him holding his hand, but we were in very different parts of our lives.’ Many commentators were baffled as to why the slim and beautiful Padma wed Rushdie, an award winning literary genius not known for his good looks. ‘Comments like that came out of ignorance,’ The Top Chef host discusses her cookery skills, her attraction to men and Padma says. ‘If you saw taking her clothes off for the cameras.

us together you would know exactly why we were together.’ The couple’s marriage lasted three years until 2007, with Padma going on to have a baby daughter Krishna, now two-years-old, by computer mogul Adam Dell. Mid way through their marriage, Padma begun hosting duties for food competition show Top Chef which won the Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Competition programme back in 2010. The tenth season of the show aired last week on U.S. network Bravo. ‘I can cook, but I’m not a chef and I don’t want to be,’ she admits to Playboy. ‘I never aspired to run a restaurant. ‘What I am is an excellent taster. I have an incredibly sensitive palate, which is why I can do what I do. ‘If I taste a dish, I can usually replicate the ingredients. And if I kissed you, I could probably tell what you had for lunch.’ Luckily, all that rich food doesn’t affect Padma’s svelte figure due to her ‘fast metabolism.’ She says: ‘I’m tall, and my digestive tract is ironclad and can really take a beating. Having been

a model for 15 years, I also know a thing or two about how to dress if I’ve put on a few pounds. ‘And I usually gain between 10 and 15 pounds over six weeks each season. Then I spend 12 weeks working it off. But it’s worth it.’ The TV star admits that her model good looks makes her something of a man magnet. ‘A lot of men get frustrated with me, actually, because I am like a guy,’ she says. Honestly, I’m like a truck driver trapped in this body. I don’t want to be your best friend. ‘Don’t get me wrong. That stuff’s nice, but I am a physical and sensual person. I love to be held. I love massages. I’m just not a Hallmark kind of gal.’ Padma, who hails from Chennai, India, also reveals what attracts her in a man. ‘I want someone who’s a challenging adversary, who can tease me and get away with it, who can flirt and make me think and laugh and blush,’ she says. ‘But there’s an art to that. You either have it or you don’t. ‘Sex is good when the attraction is good. It’s not a technical skill. If my mind is engaged, the body will follow.’

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November 30, 2012

Done in by Our Own

In international cricket, home field advantage is significant. It is given that Indian batting will fail against the English pace bowlers on England’s hard pitches. On the other hand, English batsmen will fail against India’s spinners on our slow, crumbly pitches. So, the first test in the recent India vs. England series underway in India went according to form. The English batting lineup predictably failed against the spin attack of Pragyan Ojha and England lost by nine wickets in Ahmedabad. In the second test, however, the English selectors brought in Monty Panesar to lead their spin attack at the test match in Mumbai. The unexpected result was that Monty mowed through Indian batting and India lost by 10 wickets. Since the last century, Indian diaspora has extended throughout the world to England, South Africa and the West Indies. It was Rohan Kanhai who destroyed India on behalf of the West Indies in the 50s and 60s. Now it is Monty Panesar, who should’ve been a Punjab ka Puttar. If the Canadians and the Americans get their act together and compete effectively in international cricket, we will have a truly tough time figuring out whom to root for. Pramod Kulkarni

Fruit Ninja

The “mango people” have declared war on the “banana republic”, and the Congress is only complaining about copyright violation. Because the grand and fruity old party believes that it has always represented the aam aadmi — the common man. And it feels that Arvind Kejriwal’s new Aam Aadmi Party (Aap) has taken him hostage.As usual, no one has evinced the slightest interest in the aam aurat — the common woman, eternally unwanted, ignored and taken for granted. As the elections draw closer, can we expect the founding of a new, gender-focused party to take ownership of this vast, underserved segment of voters? It could be a game-changer, but for the pathetic sex ratio. But to return to the Congress, it never really owned the common man, who has been shamelessly responsive to other suitors. Every now and then, he has gone with whoever offered rice cheaper, while silently grudging the paternalism of the favour. He has lined up for the electoral handouts, which steadied into a trickle-down with liberalisation. Until he could not keep silent any more and, freshly elevated to the middle class, he jammed on his Anna cap and took to the streets against the Congress. Such an ingrate! The aam aadmi is no longer the party’s family jewel. In an ever-diversifying polity, he has multiple allegiances. And yet the party can’t let go. Should it not strike back, instead of bawling about copyright infringement? Kejriwal has been branding his movement with an ad-man’s instincts. The acronym for the Aam Aadmi Party is Aap — it’s all about you. Next, he may demand the mango for his election symbol, and that’s when the Congress can strike. Because the mango is the designated national fruit, and it cannot be hogged by one party. Indian Express

Quotas to Create Women Leaders BY ANNE STENHAMMER This year marks the 20th anniversary of decentralised governance in India, the aim of which was that women should hold at least one-third seats in panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) throughout the country. How have quotas contributed to women scaling the heights of leadership over the last two decades? Have PRIs become more effective in addressing the concerns of ordinary women in India? These are critical questions. Twenty years since these questions were raised, UN Women and the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) have set out to answer them. There is growing momentum around the world to foster women’s participation and leadership in the political arena, and specifically within local governance structures. India, with a long history of democratic experimentation and participation, addressed the first-generation issues of democratic participation. In 1993, with the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, India began its engagement with strengthening democracy and ensuring women’s political participation. As part of our study ‘Local Governance for Gender Equality’ we interviewed close to 3,000 men and women who serve on Gram Panchayats in three districts — Alwar (Rajasthan), Mysore (Karnataka) and Gajapati (Odisha). The findings from the ICRW study, which is a part of the UN Women’s programme ‘Promoting Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India and South Asia’, reveals that ensuring women’s political representation through affirmative action is an important step towards democratising and stimulating local governance. However, the research also shows that the quota system does not automatically translate into effective governance. Nor does it mean that issues concerning women in the community will automatically be addressed. That is why programmes like that of UN Women along with the Indian government and civil society partners focus on training 65,000 elected women representatives in 16 districts

The mere presence of women in these public spaces can transform patriarchal frameworks. Yet we find that the simple adage of ‘add women and stir’ is insufficient on its own. of five states to become more effective leaders. During the study, we found that elected female representatives who wish to run for another term are more likely to do so if they have a supportive family who share household duties. Among women who do not recontest, it was found that the primary reason behind their withdrawal from public life was the responsibility of household duties such as looking after the home and children. Although we observed strong opinions among women and men about the role that women can and should play in leadership, it was clear that PRIs are not considered to be spaces where gender issues, such as domestic violence, can be raised. Gender quotas are an important tool for moving towards effective leadership of women. The mere presence of women in these public spaces can transform patriarchal frameworks.

Yet we find that the simple adage of ‘add women and stir’ is insufficient on its own. Women make up one half of society, and if any real progress is to be made in addressing their needs, then deep-seated cultural norms that surround gender roles must also be addressed. Women alone cannot carry the burden of transforming the governing process. Additional action is needed — at policy and individual level — to alter these public spaces into truly democratic and gender-equitable realms. This evidence is exactly what is needed to formulate new strategies and policies, with the power to bring about a future where women will not need any reservation to achieve parity in their local, state and national governing bodies. The women’s reservation bill, therefore, once passed will bring in fresh positive changes. Fourteen states in India have now reserved 50% seats for women in panchayats. It is time for others to follow suit for it’s a future well within our reach. HT Anne Stenhammer is regional director, UN Women.

Hunger Project’s Role Panchayati raj refers to India’s local democracy, based on elected local councils known as panchayats. The 73rd amendment to India’s constitution, passed in 1993, mandates local elections every five years and reserves one-third of all seats for women. Beginning in 2000, The Hunger Project seized this historic opportunity. Their Panchayati Raj Campaign has, to date, empowered more than 78,600 elected women representatives to be effective change agents for the end of hunger in their villages. They do this by seeking helpful intervention. When women, who have traditionally been denied a voice in decisionmaking, come to power, they transform the development agenda toward the human component—focusing on health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and better family income. They tackle long-ignored problems such as domestic violence, alcoholism and corruption.

Indo American News FOUNDER: DR. K.L. SINDWANI PUBLISHER: JAWAHAR MALHOTRA EDITOR: PRAMOD KULKARNI MANAGING EDITOR: MANASI GOKHALE ADVERTISING & ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN CORRESPONDENTS HOUSTON: MANU SHAH, CHETNA SAMAL CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, INDIA: RAJ KANWAR ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email:, website:



November 30, 2012


Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday Celebration in Houston

Grand cultural program performed by the Sathya Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) children of Houston

HOUSTON: Around the nation, as Americans got together to give thanks for their many blessings, so did over 550 Houston area residents, in a spirit of gratitude, at the Durga Bari Temple Auditorium on Friday November 23, to celebrate the 87th birthday of Sathya Sai Baba, an internationally known spiritual leader. The annual celebration included a grand cultural program performed by the Sathya Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) children of Houston, a key note address by Geetha Ram, a long-time devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, and devotional singing by Hon. P. Harish, the Consul General of India in Houston, in conclusion commended the Houston Sai group for providing a forum for the local community to benefit from Sathya Sai Baba’s universal message and teachings. The evening’s festivities began with a heart-warming song and dance performance by the youngest of SSE children. Next was an inspiring but entertaining play, titled Peace and Happiness (PH) Balance, performed by the talented children of the SSE program. The play highlighted Sathya Sai Baba’s teaching that man derives all the joy and peace that he needs from within himself and not from sources outside. In the play’s setting, divine angels come down to Earth to grant humans whatever they think will give them peace and happiness. Each subsequent scene depicts groups of humans being called forth to meet with a set of angels. Each group asks for peace and happiness based upon their desires, which included large houses, fancy cars, top jobs, and the latest hand-held electronic devices. The play, with wit, humor, and a sprinkling of Sai Baba quotes, creatively progresses toward a series of climactic scenes. In the second Act, wherein the desirous human groups return to the angels after 108 days with complaints about the wonderful material gifts they had asked for earlier. To understand what went wrong with the groups desirous of extraordinary material objects, the third Act in the play, taken from the ancient Indian epic, Ramayana, portrays a touching scene of selflessness and love. The young SSE children, adorned in ornate and colorful costumes, enact the royal drama, communicating Sai Baba’s teaching that selfless love is the key for lasting peace and happiness (PH). In the final Act, the angels and hu-

mans reflect upon the lessons learnt by the PH balance experience. The angels point out that the scene in the Ramayana was the ultimate example of giving up desires and doing one’s duty. They further point out that the humans suffered as a result of their excessive wants and they should practice putting a ceiling on their desires. The humans reflect that they don’t really need an unaffordable fancy car or a large but superfluous house to make them happy. Likewise, they realized that they needed to switch from the internet to the innernet and turn their thoughts inward to the joy and happiness within. Following the play, the evening’s keynote speaker, Geetha Ram, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba for over five decades, spoke about her personal experiences with Sai Baba. Geetha recalled that as a young mother of twin sons, decades back, Sathya Sai Baba gave her advice on parenting. He instructed her to raise her boys as if they were her neighbor’s borrowed precious jewels. The moral of the instruction is that while we must take very good care of our belongings, we must not get attached to them. Just as in the case of borrowed jewelry, we must realize that that one day our children will grow up and leave. Similarly, we must not get attached to our prized possessions but accept them as divine gifts to be ultimately returned to the Lord. Echoing the theme of the children’s play, she presented a “road-map” for lasting peace and happiness that she had gleaned from Sathya Sai Baba’s inspiring comments to her through the decades. She revealed that for leading a peaceful and happy life, Sai Baba gave her the following roadmap. At age 20, we should begin to develop faith (shraddha) and devotion (bhak-

thi). At age 30, we should work on unity and purity of the triune of thought, word and deeds. At age 40, while we should earn wealth (artha), we should do it righteously (dharmically) and desire liberation (moksha). Given that our body is composed of the 5 elements which in turn are connected to the 5 senses, by age 50 we must begin to turn our senses inward toward our inherent divinity by placing a ceiling on desires. At age 60, we must work to reduce the 6 inner enemies such as anger, greed, jealousy, desire, pride, and hatred, by concentrating on God. At age 70, we must be like the seven sages focused on the Lord and serve the society. Next at age 80, just like the 8 celestial beings who guard the Lord’s creation from all directions, we too should be fully immersed in protecting and serving the Lord’s creation. And at age 90, just as the 9 planets revolve around the sun, we should be focused completely on the Lord. Finally, Geetha said this roadmap takes one to the end of the human life span, at age100, we should be one with the Lord just as the number 1 in 100 suggests. The evening concluded with melodious devotional group singing including songs in Sanskrit, Hindi, Spanish and English. The inspiring evening ended with a meal service (Mahaprasad) for all assembled. Houston area devotees meet at two locations in North and South parts of the town on Sundays from 3-5.30pm. They engage in weekly activities that include community service, Sai Spiritual Education classes for children, meditation, study circle, and devotional singing. For more information, visit www.


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November 30, 2012

India’s ‘Aakash Tablet,’ Now Made in China

BY PAMPOSH RAINA & MIA LI NEW DELHI/ BEIJING (NYT): The launch of India’s low-priced tablet computer, Aakash, was praised by the government as a “milestone in history,” to be “recognized by future generations,” in part because of its “Made in India” label. But some of the most updated versions of the tablet, Aakash-2, which was unveiled Nov.11 by President Pranab Mukherjee of India, have been designed and manufactured in China, according to officials at Chinese companies and documents reviewed by India Ink. DataWind, the Canada-based company that won a government contract to produce the first 100,000 Aakash tablets, which are bound for India’s colleges and universities, “does only sales,” said Li Junhao, the president of Trend Grace, a company based in Shenzhen that is one of several Chinese manufacturers making Aakash-2 tablets, according to invoices sent to DataWind that were reviewed by India Ink. “The tablets we sell to DataWind are ready to be sold. They are finished, ready-to-use products,” Li said in a telephone interview. He added: “All parts are made in China. We buy the touch screen from a Chinese manufacturer and make the rest of the parts ourselves. We then assemble the tablets into finished products.” Executives from two other Chinese companies who were interviewed also said they assembled Aakash-2 tablets in China. Suneet Singh Tuli, the chief executive of DataWind, said in an e-mailed response to questions that some of Aakash’s components were made in China, but that the assembly and product design were not handled there. “ T h e current Aakash-2 product is designed by us,” Tuli told India Ink in an e-mailed response to questions Saturday. He said the touch screen of the tablet was being manufactured by DataWind’s facility in Montreal, Canada, and that his company had designed the software, mechanical parts and motherboard. For a first shipment of 10,000 Aakash-2 tablets, sent to the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in recent weeks, “for expediency sake we had the motherboards and kits manufactured in our Chinese subcontractor’s facilities, and then the units have been ‘kitted’ in China at various manufacturers,” Tuli said. The assembly and programming of the units was done at DataWind’s facility in Amritsar and at a Delhi office, he said Monday. The Aakash project has been marred by delays, controversy and infighting for more than a year. Its original premise – that India could make a cheap (priced at less than $50), durable piece of technology for the country’s millions of students – has become something of a matter of national pride for residents and pro-India boosters around the world. The fact that the Aakash-2 is actually, at least for now, coming from China could be a blow to India’s attempts to position itself as a world leader in cheap innovation. Each tablet will cost the government 2,263 rupees, or $42, and students will get a version that is subsidized by 50 percent, the government

President Pranab Mukherjee, center, holding Aakash 2, the upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, at a function in New Delhi, in this Nov. 11, 2012.

has promised. India Ink has reviewed invoices from four different Chinese companies, drawn between Oct. 26 and Nov. 7, toward the purchase of “A13” tablet computers by DataWind Innovations in India. The total number of tablets ordered from the four companies is 11,000, with the price to DataWind ranging from $42 to $42.86 each. A reporter in Beijing contacted the four Chinese companies listed on the invoices addressed to DataWind. Three con- firmed that they manufactured tablets for DataWind. The fourth c o m p a n y, Shenzhen Shitong Z h a o l i Technology, operating in Guangd o n g Province, did not respond after repeated requests. An executive from Kalong Technology, which operates from Hong Kong, also said that his company had manufactured at least 500 A13 tablets for DataWind. A project manager with Kalong Technology, Liu, who spoke on the condition he not be identified by his full name (Liu is a very common surname in China), said: “All parts are manufactured in China. We assemble the tablets and load Android operating system on them.” He also said that DataWind provided the design for the tablet and added its own software onto the tablets. The third company, Dasen International Electronics, also based in Shenzhen, said that Datawind had purchased 4,500 tablets from them in three separate batches. The components of the tablets are made and assembled in China, but the two companies “work out the design together,” said a project manager with Dasen, who also spoke on the condition he not be identified by his full name. “Our tablets don’t have any software on them. Datawind takes care of the software,” the project manager said. I.I.T. Bombay, the university spearheading the project in India, told India Ink that DataWind had a contractual obligation to deliver the entire batch of 100,000 tablets by Dec. 31. The professor leading the project at the engineering school, Deepak B. Phatak, said that the

specs of the Aakash-2 tablet had been upgraded once again in August. Since Datawind’s original subcontractors in India could not deliver the tablets, a batch of 10,000 tablets had to be shipped from China in time for Mukherjee’s presentation this month, he said. The new specs include upgraded RAM of 512 MB, a 1-gigahertz processor and an operating system upgrade from Android 2.2 to 4.0. India Ink contacted all four subcontractors of DataWind in India. VMC Systems, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, which has been working with DataWind since late last year, confirmed that it was manufacturing tablets for the company but did not provide any further information.


The first few hundred tablets that DataWind shipped to I.I.T. Bombay, earlier this year, were assembled at VMC’s facility in India, several people working on the project said. An executive from another subcontractor based in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi, confirmed that his company had been working with DataWind since August, but asked that the company not be identified, because he said he did not want publicity. The company has not yet started production, but they plan to ship a few thousand tablets to DataWind next month, he said, and then ramp up their production. This is the company’s first-ever contract for manufacturing tablets, he said. Digital Circuits, another vendor of Datawind’s in Bangalore, signed an agreement to produce tablets in August. The managing director of the company, Subhash Goyal, said that they had not produced any tablets for DataWind so far. He also told India Ink that his company had no experience manufacturing tablets in the past. A fourth company, Vinyas Innovative Technology, from Mysore, said that they were also producing tablets for DataWind. A marketing executive from the company said he did not have the authority to say if any tablets had been shipped to DataWind from their facility. Tuli said in an interview last week that the combined production capacity of the four subcontractors and DataWind’s assembly facility in Amritsar, Punjab, stood at 3,000 units a day. If DataWind is unable to supply the required 100,000 tablets to I.I.T. by the end of the year, it may face legal action for breach of contract. I.I.T. Bombay sent the company a warning letter to that effect last week.


d in


November 30, 2012

Survival Lessons from Porcupines!


They appear harmless - but when provoked – all those 30,000 quills are quickly out to get you! BY PRAKASH IYER Porcupines are fascinating creatures. Hard to believe, but porcupines have on an average about 30,000 quills. These are really like their hair – but when attacked, the porcupine responds by backing into the enemy and several of these quills just get stuck into the attacker’s body, causing serious injury. I often think we all know of people who take after the porcupine! They appear harmless - but when provoked – boy, all those quills are quickly out to get you! An interesting story from the world of porcupines holds a great lesson for all of us. The story goes that it was a particularly harrowing time in porcupine land. The winter was severe, and the porcupines were finding it difficult to survive, and freezing to death. That’s when the porcupines decided to meet and agree on a course of action. As they got together to discuss their survival strategy, they discovered that just by being close to each other they

“The ones closest to us might hurt us, but they will be around to help when needed!”

Photo: Shutterstock

were able to feel warmer and protect each other. Being closeted together meant that their bodies generated heat which helped keep everybody warm. So they found they could survive the cold by just staying together. But there was a problem. As they got closer to each other, they found their quills would poke and hurt. Feel-

ing the discomfort, some porcupines decided to avoid the pain and moved away. But as they went out, the cold got them and they died. Soon better sense prevailed, and the porcupines realised it was better to stay together and survive rather than go out on their own and die. Getting poked by the quills seemed like a

Eight Tips to Stay Healthy this Flu Season Flu season is upon us, bringing with it new strains of the virus. So now is the time to brush up on all the flufighting facts. Here are eight wellness tips to help keep you and your family in tip-top shape – from what behaviors to avoid, to how homeopathic treatment can help: • Know your risk: Seniors, children under age 5 and pregnant women are at high-risk for developing complications from flu, as well as those with asthma, heart disease and weakened immune systems. Seek professional advice on your risk factors. • Wash your hands: Flu viruses are spread by droplets from infected people when they sneeze, blow their nose, or wipe secretions from their nose or eyes. Keep your hands out of your mouth, avoid rubbing your eyes and thoroughly wash your hands several times daily. Avoid alcohol ) and chemical-based hand sanitizers, instead opting for ) soap and water or a natural, essential-oil based hand cleanser. ) comfort with... • Eat wisely: Foods containing ) vitamins C and E are believed to sup) ) port the immune system. So stock up )

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small price to pay for survival. If you think about the groups we live and work in – our friends and our families and our organisations – you will find that the porcupine story strikes a chord. Often we get hurt by the words and acts of people close to us. And we move away in anger, not realising that being away – and alone – could mean paying a bigger price. Notice how families split, brothers fight and friends break up because of small differences – the odd porcupine prick. We all seem to think that going away would mean the end of our troubles. No more quill pricks, we tell ourselves. But we seldom realise that going away often marks the beginning of new troubles, bigger challenges. It is significant that the porcupines feel the pain of the quills only from the porcupines that are closest to them. That’s true for humans too. The porcupine that’s far from us – doesn’t hurt us. And nor does it provide the warmth we so badly need in the winter of our life. Good to remember

then that in life, the little heartaches and the odd discomfort and pain may be caused by the ones closest to us – but they are the ones who give us warmth and help us survive! A parent or mentor might say something that hurts us. A dear friend’s actions might occasionally cause some pain. And in such cases, it is often tempting to severe ties, break free and escape into a world where we feel we won’t be subject to such pain. We don’t realise that their warmth could someday mean the difference between life and death. The ones closest to us might hurt us sometimes, but they will eventually be around to help when us we need them! We often believe that great teams are made up of perfectly compatible folks, and all the team mates gel well together. That is seldom the case. It is usually about learning to live with the other person’s imperfections – quills and all – and looking at the good they can do, and valuing the warmth they can provide. That’s what great teams – and good friends - are all about. Next time you get hurt by the quills of a porcupine that’s close to you, good idea to pause and think of the winter ahead. Getting away is easy. Surviving alone, tough. Careers360



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It’s a Techie Life: Fair Game Reigns in Tech Boardrooms

BY NITA SATHYENDRAN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (The Hindu) Across the world, more and more women are shaking up the ‘old boy’s network’, walking into boardrooms with panache and proving themselves in their respective fields. In the city’s IT/ ITES sector too this trend is in full swing and there is a small but significant number of women at the helm. In Technopark for example, according to data collected by the Park Centre, a total of 1.6 per cent of the women workforce are top-level executives and some 10 per cent are in senior management. “Perhaps we’re seeing more women in the boardrooms because the patriarchal mindset of society is fast changing. No longer does society expect us to sit at home,” says Gayatri S. Ajith, chief executive officer (CEO) of Schogini Systems, a 14-year-old company that creates gaming and educational applications for mobiles. Gayatri, a former student of St. Thomas Central School and a graduate of Manipal University, took over as CEO a year ago. Subhas Hariprasad, managing director of Aqlanza Infosystems at Technopark adds: “Nowadays women are being bought up in a different way from previous generations. We now have more freedom to think and act independently.” Subhas, who has a masters degree in computer application from Anna University, started the company in 2009, with her husband, Hariprasad, and friend, Anishad. Not surprisingly, most of the executives seem to be of an opinion that gender has ceased to matter while running an IT business. “Personally, I’ve never faced any bias or challenges because of my gender. In fact, I’ve always thought that my gender has been one of my strengths. Now that may be because in the IT field, traditionally, there has always been a significant presence of women,” says Gayatri. Adds Subhas: “I am the one in my company who often goes for meetings and I’ve always had a positive response. Of course, it depends on your attitude too.” Jeeja Deviprasad, CEO of Techvantage, an IT solutions firm at Technopark, which she started in 2010, after stints

Gayatri S. Ajith, CEO of Schogini Systems.

Jeeja Deviprasad, CEO of Techvantage.

Subhas Hariprasad, managing director of Aqlanza Infosystems

Rina V. Anand, managing director, Global BPO Partners.

Women executives in the IT field talk about being on top. at various multi-national companies, seconds their opinion. “It is actually a fair system. I don’t think that it is too different when a woman runs a firm from when a man runs one. We all face the same challenges and the same processes.” Rina V. Anand, managing director, Global BPO Partners, who also spearheads the local chapter of Chennai-based organisation eWit (‘Empowering Women in IT’) elaborates: “Each role brings with it, a set of challenges peculiar to that role. The climate in Technopark was and is conducive for women to succeed and excel in what they do. It is important to have the right attitude to effect change. The key to success is keeping intact those humanistic traits such as being approachable, honest and genuine. This approach works wonders in creating leaders who will

be able to convince their team that the customer is key to everything and our role is to ensure that we adhere to timely accurate delivery.” Nevertheless, all the women admit that there are certain challenges, the biggest being having to juggling home with professional responsibilities. “In my opinion that is the only challenge. I can’t even imagine going ahead with the support of my family,” says Gayatri. “Almost 50 per cent of my staff are women and time and again they prove that they are masters at balancing work with home life,” says Jeeja. Rina too feels it’s a balancing act. “I am blessed with a supportive husband and understanding family. My work demands long hours and my children work around their timings to ensure that I could spend at least a couple of hours with them during the weekdays. Any disposable time would be family time. My husband or children never made me feel that I was not spending time with them, though I suffered from guilt pangs. So, it was not a struggle but a balancing act on a tight rope!”

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‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’ is a Fun Watch

BY TARAN ADARSH In Mumbai, one of the popular eateries is known for serving yummilicious methi malai gosht. Its recipe is kept confidential. I am told, the recipe was known to the father, now the son knows it and I presume, it will be passed on to the next generation at the opportune time, so that the winning recipe remains restricted and confidential to the family only... Another prominent business family specializing in Indian sweetmeat and pickles keeps the flourishing formula to itself... One of India’s delectable cuisines is hugely popular in the West, a recipe that enchants the Westerners continuously... Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is also about this quest for discovering an ancient family secret: A dish called Chicken Khurana. For a country that’s fanatical about foodstuff, be it consuming or serving, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is the first ‘food movie’ with a ‘secret recipe’ as its core issue. Although Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is a masala film about masala, also integrated in the plotline is a love story and the myriad episodes that seem straight out of everyday life. The best thing about this film, which marks the directorial debut of Sameer Sharma, is that it doesn’t stick to the formula and that’s one of the reasons why this dish is worth savoring! Omi Khurana’s [Kunal Kapoor] London dream has just ended. On the run from a dangerous U.K. gangster [Munish Makhija], who he owes money to, Omi returns to his native village in Punjab, pretending to be a well-heeled London lawyer. Much has changed since Omi ran away from home a decade back after stealing money from his doting grandfather, Darji [Vinod Nagpal]. The old man has since become senile and most importantly, forgotten the secret recipe of ‘Chicken Khurana’, a dish that made the Khurana dhaba famous across Punjab.

Omi’s childhood sweetheart, Harman [Huma Qureshi], is soon to be married to his cousin, Jeet [Rahul Bagga], though neither seems too happy about it. Adding to the quirkiness of the Khurana family is a free loader uncle, Titu [Rajesh Sharma], who once did a stint at a mental asylum. Will Omi be able to

cover his deceit and lies for long, even as he tries to recover the lost recipe of Chicken Khurana, the family’s only hope to reclaim their pride and wealth?

that it explores a story that’s a first for a Hindi film [just a quick clarification, it’s not remotely similar to the Malayalam film Ustad Hotel). India is defined, amongst many things, for food. We have food for birthdays, food for weddings, food for all kinds of celebrations, food for even bereavement... Sameer Sharma chooses a delicious dish as a metaphor and along with screenwriter Sumit Batheja serves a fare that has the right ingredients [read recipe] that make a rom-com work. The humor is super-perfect, the one-liners are witty and most importantly, it succeeds in its endeavor of making you laugh at the right points. Not many movies can claim to be thoroughly entertaining from start to end. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is one enjoyable ride from its first frame to the concluding one. Brownie points to Sameer Sharma for that! Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana shines purely on the basis of its writing, execution of the written material and performances. The film finds humor in the most ordinary places and situations and though the pacing gets sluggish at times, Sharma culminates the film with a heart-felt episode that makes you disregard the minor aberration. In fact, the final moments of the film are simply outstanding, with every character confessing what they had kept concealed from each other. Amit Trivedi’s tunes are offbeat, with ‘Kikli Kalerdi’ and ‘Luni Hasi’ being the pick of the lot. I’d like to make a special mention of the dialogue, which are soaked in humor and are thoroughly pleasant. Mitesh Mirchandani’s camera captures the lush green locales of Punjab with flourish. Each character is well etched here, with ev-

eryone putting their best foot forward. Kunal Kapoor is a complete revelation. The actor is charming all through, but shines luminously in the penultimate moments of the film. The emotional sequence proves he can carry off the tough moments with dexterity. Huma Qureshi is an absolute delight to watch. Spontaneous and natural to the core, she gets her role right and how. This is another opportunity, after GOW 2, she takes full advantage of. Rajesh Sharma’s performance can be described in just one word: Fantastic. What a supremely talented actor. He brings the house down every time he makes an appearance. Dolly Ahluwalia is too good. She sparkles in a succinct but significant role. Rajendra Sethi is first-rate, as always. Vinod Nagpal doesn’t get lines to deliver, but it’s a delight to watch him on the big screen after a hiatus. The film also works because the supporting cast is terrific and kudos to the casting director Mukesh Chhabra for getting it right yet again. In fact, Mukesh also pitches in a likeable performance. Another actor who stands out, during the final moments yet again, is Rahul Bagga. He’s super when he professes love to his soulmate Anangsha Biswas [who does a decent job]. Seema Kaushal, as Rajendra Sethi’s wife, is another talent that grabs your attention. Munish Makhija is commendable, enacting his part with perfection. Vipin Sharma is proficient. On the whole, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is a joyride from start to end. The film works because the written material, the execution of the subject and the performances complement each other wonderfully. This delectable dish ought to be savoured for certain! -

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana follows the trend of depicting slice of life stories in a North Indian milieu, popularized by movies like Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Do Dooni Chaar, Band Baaja Baaraat and Vicky Donor. What makes Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana stand tall, like those films, is the fact

Rajesh Khanna Sexually Assaulted Me - Anita Advani While superstar Rajesh Khanna’s demise has left fans and industrywallahs devastated, new stories have resurfaced about Khanna’s illicit past which included him assaulting partner Anita Advani when she was a teen. After a 33-year long affair, Advani has finally broken her silence over the many issues that supposedly existed in Aashirwad, Khanna’s house to which she is also demanding access. Earlier this month, she also filed a domestic violence report against Khanna’s family. The story is that Anita was pursued by Khanna from a young age. “Rajesh Khanna had suddenly grabbed and kissed the complainant (Anita). She was too young to understand as she was still a minor at 13 and in awe of Rajesh Khanna,” the complaint reads. Later, he sexually assaulted her. The complaint names Dimple Kapadia, Twinkle Rajiv Bhatia (Twinkle Khanna), Rinki Saran (Rinki Khanna), and Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia (Akshay Kumar) as respondents, as Advani claims that she was in a ‘domestic relationship’ with Khanna and seeks protection from his family. In continuation, she has accused Dimple Kapadia and Twinkle Khanna of falsely taking Khanna’s thumb impressions to put on legal papers while he was lying in the hospital. As proof, Advani claims to have pictures and videos of her and Khanna’s ‘private moments’ at Aashirwad. Furthermore, she is in possession of bills that suggest that she was in charge of the renovation of the house as well. With this proof in tow, she also seeks the court to prevent the respondents from selling any of Khanna’s properties without the court’s permission. Advani also wants to use Aashirwad as a ‘permanent residence’ and convert it into a museum, as told to Mid Day. Finally, she wants Rs 10 lac as maintenance from all of Khanna’s property. INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



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Kolhapur, A Pleasant Journey Surprisingly! BY RAJA RAM ATRE It was raining cats and dogs all over Maharashtra and the news of floods, dams full to the brim, railway tracks in Mumbai submerged and so on and so forth was consistently being broadcast on T.V. In such circumstances on 2 nd July night, with our light luggage we waded through shin deep dirty waters everywhere outside the station and entered the Pune station to board the Sahyadri express. Our destination was Kolhapur around which 110 villages were submerged! Come what may, we had decided to stick to our schedule and even the train, starting from rain pounded Mumbai was just 45 minutes late though the reports of most of the trains indefinitely delayed were broadcast! Next day morning we were in Kolhapur , the prosperous town of Chhatrapati Shivaji ‘s dynasty,on the banks of river PanchaGanga. Believe me, surprisingly the weather had improved a lot and there was some sunshine, bringing happiness on our faces. Our main purpose was to visit the famous Mahalaxmi temple, built around 700A.D. in the Chalukya period. The same morning we were in the beautifully sculptured and planned huge stone temple with a big yard all around and an elderly banyan tree in one corner. One of the six Shakti-Pithas in the country, here the Goddess is supposed to be present in all her glory and benevolence. Her beautiful 40kg gemstone idol (supposed to be 5000yrs. Old) in the sanctum sanctorum is eyes filling and graceful with a change of sari every now and then(sarees are offered by the pilgrims). From the Balaji of Tirumala, during the Navratri days, the first saree is gifted to the Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur!If you want to come here from Tirupati,remember Rayalseema express!Incidentally,we had the ‘darshan’ on a very special, auspicious Tuesday(Angaraka sankashta chaturthi) on which people here do not eat meat and even nonvegetarian hotels do not prepare nonveg. food! By 10 a.m. the same day we decided to go toPanhala by car.18km. north-west of Kolhapur , a soothing green hill-station3177ft. above the sea-level. Sprawling all over the hill is the Panhala fortress (more than 700yrs. Old) filled with the aroma of history of legendry Chhatrapati Shivaji and Maratha empire.One day earlier we could not have reached there as the road was submerged with flood waters Even today we were passing submerged sugarcane fields on both sides! All the time the rains were playing hide and seek with us. Panoramic views of the valleys from the different remnants of the majestic fort were lush and beautiful and gratifying to the eyes in the rainy season. Somehow, wrath of the torrential rains was over and we had great fun as we moved as we moved from one remnant to other in the largest of all Deccan forts with a loquacious guide. Don’t worry, you too will get one quite cheap and don’t expect me to

Mahalakshmi Temple

Panhala Fort

tell the historical details of the fort!We started back early in the evening enjoying the cool green fields getting a golden hue due to the setting sun.On the way back we visited the classical Royal Palace in Kolhapur,where the present descendent prince Shahu Maharaj resides. Next day morning we had a unique, hearty breakfast of Kolhapuri Missal(a thick, hot vegetarian soup of sprouted legumes with laving mirchi tang) and Pav(bread). Our driver told us that he had instructed the waiter not to make it rrreal hot;otherwise we would have tears in our eyes! Then we started for Sajjangadh,via the National highway to Pune,another 100 km. a very popular hill fortress, in the foothills of Sahyadris. Here Swamy Ramdas guru and guide of Shivaji, spent his life philosophizing noble thoughts in the form of verse for the common people of Maharashtra. Most of the hill we could climb by car and then the final phase of the serene fort, replete with steps, we climbed by foot. Having the ‘darshan’ of the ‘Samadhi’, we returned to our car seeing beautiful views of picturesque valleys all around. It drizzled most of the time and fragrance of freshness in the atmosphere was exceptionally rewarding for people like us from the big rut cities. Also known as Karveer area this rich town with one of the highest per capita incomes in Maharashtra was in the list of Merc-Benz Co. since preindependence days. Along with the Dutch,Greek and Ethiopian royalties, ChhatrapatiShahu was also an early owner of aMayBach car, and today the number of Mercedes cars here is second only to Mumbai! Kolhapuri

footwear is popular throughout the world and Kolhapuri chicken,you will get in good Hyderabad restaurants. The most interesting and pleasing points to note were,though narrow,the streets and roads were maintained clean and no one spat on the roads or peed on the road sides.We were told that garbage was cleaned twice a day. We also came across several mini waterfalls on our sides as we ran down the ghats;but the biggest bonus of our trip were the Thoseghar waterfalls, about which, some days back, I had read in a local news paper. We didn’t know that they were on our way back! Soon we were in the vicinity of the falls and saw the name and direction board on our left,a heartening surprise! The thunder was audible but the drizzle, suddenness and newness of the place bewildered me as I confusedly rushed, first in the wrong direction and then in the right direction. Then I started climbing down the well made steps towards the falls. After around 300 steps and some turns, finally I made to the view-point. And loin was nature and beauty personified in the valley with the falls, fortified by abundant rains. For about 20mts. It did not rain and again the rain started thrashing us. Yes, it was time for us to feast nature along with other revelers! It was a rare opportunity for us to be there at the decisive moment! Of course I am not Henry Cartier bresson(a great 20 th century photographer), but definitely my eyes photographed many details for my pleasant memories. -

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Walmart India Suspends Employees in Bribery Probe BY VIKAS BAJAJ MUMBAI (NYT): Wal-Mart’s Indian joint venture has suspended several senior executives and delayed the opening of some stores in the country as part of an internal bribery investigation, the company said this past Friday. It is the latest in a series of setbacks for the retail giant’s international operations and comes at a particularly sensitive time here because Indian policy makers recently allowed foreign retailers like Wal-Mart to open stores in the country. The investigation seems to have emboldened opposition lawmakers in New Delhi who are trying to overturn the government’s decision on foreign retailers. In a statement, Bharti Walmart, a 50-50 joint venture between the Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart, said it had suspended “a few associates” to ensure “a complete and thorough investigation.” The Economic Times, an English-language daily, reported that the suspended employees included its chief financial officer and its legal team, but the company would not confirm that. This month, Wal-Mart disclosed that it had expanded a bribery investigation that was initially focused on Mexico to India, China and Brazil. In April, The New York Times reported that executives at the company’s Arkansas headquarters had suppressed an internal investigation that found credible evidence that its Mexican subsidiary had paid bribes in an effort to open more stores in that country. Bharti Walmart operates 18 wholesale stores in India that are allowed to sell goods to other businesses like retailers, hotels and restaurants. Most of its stores are in northern India, but it had planned to expand in the coming months in the south and west. Those

Though it is unclear exactly what Wal-Mart’s investigators are examining, Indian analysts say it is common to encounter corruption in industries like retailing that are governed by numerous overlapping federal, state and local rules. In some Indian states, retail chains have to secure 50 to 60 regulatory approvals before they can open a store, a process that can take months and provides numerous opportunities for bribery, said Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak Advisors, a

consulting firm that specializes in the retail business. Often the regulatory requirements are holdovers from a distant era. Stores that want to sell thermometers, for instance, usually have to obtain approval from a department in charge of weights and measures, Singhal said. “To me, much beyond the WalMart example, I sincerely hope that there is a serious debate about why is it so difficult to do business in India,” he said. “All of these conditions have only made India a poorer country.”

Chitra Ramakrishna to Take Over as NSE Chief Opponents of the government’s decision to open India’s retail sector to foreign investment scaled police barricades on Wednesday in New Delhi. Photo: AP

plans have now been delayed, but the company said in a statement that “we remain excited about the opportunity to grow our business in one of the world’s most vibrant economies.” Wal-Mart’s Indian joint venture also supplies about 200 supermarkets that are wholly owned by its partner’s Bharti Retail, and which operate under the brand Easyday. In a separate inquiry, Indian authorities are looking into whether Wal-Mart violated foreign investment rules by giving Bharti Retail an interest-free loan of $100 million that would later convert into a controlling stake in that company. Both companies have maintained that they did not violate Indian investment regulations. In September, Indian policy makers said foreign companies like WalMart could directly enter the retail business with a local partner as long as they did not own more than 51 percent of the business. The longdelayed move came with significant political opposition — one important regional political party withdrew its

support from the governing coalition in New Delhi, which is led by the Indian National Congress Party, as a result. Days after that change, Wal-Mart officials said they would open retail stores in the country in as little as 18 months. On Thursday and Friday, opposition lawmakers disrupted the first days of the winter session of Parliament, demanding that the government allow a debate and vote on the change in its retail policy. The demand was turned down. The latest developments in WalMart’s internal investigation could strengthen the opposition’s hand because Indian policy makers are already struggling to recover from accusations of corruption involving industries like telecommunications, energy and mining. “It showcases that these are Wal-Mart’s practices worldwide,” Prakash Javadekar, a lawmaker for the country’s largest opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, said in a telephone interview. “This will sharpen the debate.”

MUMBAI (Business Standard): Chitra Ramkrishna (49) will take over the reins of the National Stock Exchange ( NSE) on April 1, 2013, from the current managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO), Ravi Narain. Ramkrishna is the joint MD of NSE and has been with India’s largest equity trading venue since its inception in 1992. Ravi NarainNarain (57) will remain with the NSE as vice-chairman of the board, a post created for the first time by the exchange to accommodate him. Narain was deputy MD of the NSE for the first six years since 1992 and the MD and CEO for over 12 years now. The NSE, currently among the top 20 global exchanges in terms of market capitalisation, was incorporated in 1992 and received recognition as a stock exchange in 1993. It is the country’s top bourse after equity derivative operations

were launched on its platform in 2000. The exchange has a market capitalisation of around $1 trillion and over 1,600 listed companies. NSE’s derivative segment, which has an average daily turnover of nearly Rs 1,50,000 crore and 80 per cent market share, was developed under Narain’s leadership. Also, the exchange’s distribution saw a significant growth as it currently reaches out to over 1,500 towns and cities in India via 2,00,000 trading terminals. Prior to joining the NSE, both Ramkrishna and Narain were with IDBI Bank, a promoter of the NSE. Ramkrishna holds a degree from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, and is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Apart from the NSE, she also holds senior positions in other companies promoted by the exchange. Ramakrishna was part of the committee on financial sector reforms headed by Raghuram Rajan in 2008. Narain has a degree in economics from Cambridge University, UK and a degree in business administration (finance) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, US.





November 30, 2012

Monty Dismounts India in Second Test

BY DAVID HOPPS tail by farming the strike, MUMBAI (ESPNwalked off shaking his Cricinfo): England 413 head that umpire Tony (Cook 122, Pietersen 186, Hill had missed an inside Ojha 5-143) and 58 for edge. 0 beat India 327 (Pujara It was the second um135, Panesar 5-129) and piring mistake of the 142 (Gambhir 65, Panesar morning, Aleem Dar also 6-81) by ten wickets having missed a catch at England pulled back to short leg. Such is the lot of 1-1 in a four-Test series cricketers when adminiswhen they breezed to a tentrators reject technology wicket victory on the fourth and the ball turns sharply morning of the Mumbai with fielders clustered Test. It was a victory which around the bat. will have roused England’s England were on the self-belief in Asia and brink of victory and yet which brought into questheir position felt far from tion India’s entire strategy unassailable, not with for the series of relying recent history in mind. on sharply-turning tracks, When Harbhajan struck leaving them with much to Panesar’s first ball back ponder ahead of the third over mid-off for four and Test in Kolkata next week. Gambhir added a more India’s slow bowlers had considered boundary bebeen outperformed by their hind square, India had England counterparts, with ten off the first over. Six MontyPanesarandGraeme more overs like that and Swann finishing with 19 their lead would be apwickets in the match in proaching 100 and that favourable conditions they was considerably more rarely experience. Pane- The English Turbanator: Monty Panesar took six than England managed sar’s match return was 11 wickets in the second innings to finish with 11 in when they lost to Pakistan for 210, Swann 8 for 113, the match in Abu Dhabi in January. but the Test had turned on It felt more secure for an attacking century from Kevin it was best chased positively. Cook England in the next over when HarbPietersen that will live long in the slashed his first boundary, against hajan, a dangerous smiter, fell to R Ashwin, through the slips; Nick Swann’s fourth ball, a leaping, turnmemory. England, ridiculed after their heavy Compton came down the pitch, a ing delivery which he leant back to loss in Ahmedabad, have now in- rare sight, to drive Pragyan Ojha chop, inviting Jonathan Trott to dive flicted two of India’s last four Test determinedly through the off side. It to his left at slip and take a catch at defeats at home. They also won at the all took only 9.4 overs. comfortable height. Zaheer Khan The mood had been set first ball was dismissed two overs later, a brief Wankhede Stadium six years ago and, after two India defeats against South when Dhoni allowed a low take show of patience followed by a heave Africa in Ahmedabad and Nagpur, against Ashwin to rumble through his against the spin and a sixth wicket England have now triumphed again. legs for four byes; the match was won for Panesar as the ball sailed straight England will anticipate a more tra- with another four byes down the leg upwards and Prior took the catch. ditional slow turner when they move side with India’s captain again failing England’s cause was not helped on to Kolkata with MS Dhoni, who to lay a glove on the ball. Dhoni is a when Dar erred yet again, missing has been outspoken about setting a redoubtable one-day cricketer, there a relatively straightforward bat-pad spin trap for beleaguered batsmen, are few better, but in this Test series to from Ojha, on 4, jubilantly held by sure to come under criticism. But date his keeping and batting has had Swann at backward square leg. Panefor all the impressive nature of their its shortcomings. sar delivered his Harry Potter Look India’s lead at the start of the fourth of Wonder as Dar turned down the victory, especially after losing the toss on the first morning, England day was 31 with three wickets left on appeal. Talk of mistakes balancing have not yet come to terms with spin a ferociously turning pitch. Gautam out - which over the two Tests they - Pietersen and Alastair Cook have. It Gambhir, who had batted through probably have - hardly began to the rubble on the previous evening, justify a stubborn faith in inferior, will be an intriguing week. England’s target was an eminently advanced his unbeaten 53 to 65 but old-fashioned ways. manageable one. They needed 57 he was last out when Swann had David Hopps is the UK editor of after India, 117 for 7 overnight, added him lbw. Gambhir, who had made ESPNcricinfo a further 25. Like all small targets, minimal attempt to protect India’s

WSH 2 Rescheduled for IHF MUMBAI: World Series Hockey (WSH) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) have decided to reschedule the second edition of World Series Hockey, India’s first multicity franchise-based hockey tournament. WSH 1 was a resounding success on-air, on-ground and online. With an average TV weekly reach of 8.9 million, the league was three times bigger than the nearest non-cricket competitor in the same period, English Premier League (2.75 million). The decision to reschedule the dates of hockey’s biggest annual event was taken after a request made by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to the organizers of event. The IHF has been in discussions with players, participating coaches and match officials, all of whom have reiterated their commitment to play in World Series Hockey. The tournament spread of 45 matches - one match a day on weekdays and two matches a day on weekends - ensures adequate rest for players and top-notch hockey from the start to finish. The first edition saw 59 matches played in 5 weeks. Seven teams will be competing this edition with Chandigarh Comets and Sher-e-Punjab clubbed into one Punjab team. Speaking about the changes, Nimbus Sport’s President Sunil Manocha, said: “The first season of World Series Hockey saw 32 million tuneins on television, had 350,000+ spectators walk in through the gates and

garnered over 10 million impressions across our digital properties.” “It was a resounding success on-air, on-ground and on-line and WSH 2 will only get better with its enhanced player, media and fan friendly format. One of the key improvements basis research evidence is the choice of the 8 pm start for a majority of matches in WSH 2. This is in sync with television ratings for season 1, which saw maximum eyeballs in the 8-9 pm slot,” he added. Meanwhile, Indian Hockey Federation’s president RK Shetty, added: “After the first season, we sat down in consultation with our key stakeholders and arrived at solutions for taking World Series Hockey to the next level. “To begin with, our top players revealed that minimal breaks between matches were affecting performance and so we decided to spread the schedule around with one match a day on weekdays as opposed to two. “We had also received feedback from the media and fans that earlier starts would be preferable, and this has been taken into account as well. Weekend games in WSH 2 will have 6 pm and 8 pm start times. The early starts means the media can file stories ahead of deadlines and allow for spectators to have better access to public transport in smaller cities. “As far as the Punjab teams are concerned, we realized Punjab was too patriotic a market to be split. One team will ensure a huge following,” he concluded.

Actor Saif Ali Khan unveils the Bridgestone World Series Hockey Trophy in Mumbai.



November 30, 2012


Cellphones Reshape Prostitution in India BY GARDINER HARRIS MUMBAI (NYT): Millions once bought sex in the narrow alleys of Kamathipura, a vast red-light district here. But prostitutes with inexpensive mobile phones are luring customers elsewhere, and that is endangering the astonishing progress India has made against AIDS. Indeed, the recent closings of hundreds of ancient brothels, while something of an economic victory for prostitutes, may one day cost them, and many others, their lives. “The place where sex happens turns out to be an important H.I.V. prevention point,” said Saggurti Niranjan, program associate of the Population Council. “And when we don’t know where that is, we can’t help stop the transmission.” Cellphones, those tiny gateways to modernity, have recently allowed prostitutes to shed the shackles of brothel madams and strike out on their own. But that independence has made prostitutes far harder for government and safe-sex counselors to trace.And without the advice and free condoms those counselors provide, prostitutes and their customers are returning to dangerous ways. Studies show that prostitutes who rely on cellphones are more susceptible to H.I.V. because they are far less likely than their brothel-based peers to require their clients to wear condoms. In interviews, prostitutes said they had surrendered some control in the bedroom in exchange for far more control over their incomes. “Now, I get the full cash in my hand before we start,” said Neelan, a prostitute with four children whose side business in sex work is unknown to her husband and neighbors. (Neelan is a professional name, not her real one.) “Earlier, if the customer got scared and didn’t go all the way, the madam might not charge the full amount,” she explained. “But if they back out now, I say that I have removed all my clothes and am going to keep the money.” India has been the world’s most surprising AIDS success story. Though infections did not appear in India until 1986, many predicted the nation would soon become the epidemic’s focal point. In 2002, the C.I.A.’s National Intelligence Council predicted that India would have as many as 25

Sex workers in Mumbai’s long-established red-light district, where brothels are dwindling. Photos: Kuni Takahashi

million AIDS cases by 2010. Instead, India now has about 1.5 million. An important reason the disease never took extensive hold in India is that most women here have fewer sexual partners than in many other developing countries. Just as important was an intensive effort underwritten by the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to target high-risk groups like prostitutes, gay men and intravenous drug users. But the Gates Foundation is now largely ending its oversight and support for AIDS prevention in India, just as efforts directed at prostitutes are becoming much more difficult. Experts say it is too early to identify how much H.I.V. infections might rise. “Nowadays, the mobility of sex workers is huge, and contacting them is very difficult,” said Ashok Alexander, the former director in India of the Gates Foundation. “It’s a totally different challenge, and the strategies will also have to change.” An example of the strategies that had been working can be found in Delhi’s red-light district on Garstin Bastion Road near the old Delhi railway station, where brothels have thrived since the 16th century. A walk through dark alleys, past blind beggars and up narrow, steep and deeply worn stone staircases brings customers into brightly lighted rooms teeming with scores of women brushing each other’s hair, trying on new dresses, eating snacks, performing the latest Bollywood dances, tending small children and disappearing into tiny bedrooms with nervous men who come out moments later buttoning their trousers. A 2009 government survey found

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2,000 prostitutes at Garstin Bastion (also known as G. B.) Road who served about 8,000 men a day. The government estimated that if it could deliver as many as 320,000 free condoms each month and train dozens of prostitutes to counsel safe-sex practices to their peers, AIDS infections could be significantly reduced. Instead of broadcasting safe-sex messages across the country — an expensive and inefficient strategy commonly employed in much of the world — it encircled Garstin Bastion with a firebreak of posters with messages like “Don’t take a risk, use a condom” and “When a condom is in, risk is out.” Surprising many international AIDS experts, these and related tactics worked. Studies showed that condom use among clients of prostitutes soared. “To the credit of the Indian strategists, their focus on these highrisk groups paid off,” said Dr. Peter Piot, the former executive director of U.N.AIDS and now director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A number of other countries, following India’s example, have achieved impressive results over the past decade as well, according to the latest United Nations report, which was released last week. But now that mobile phones are untethering prostitution from brothels, those targeted measures are threatened. At the same time, the advent of cellphones seems to be expanding the sex marketplace — luring more women into part-time sex work and persuading more men to pay for sex. Cellphone-based massage and escort

services are mushrooming across India. “There may now be clients who may not have otherwise availed themselves of the services but do so now because it is easier and more private,” said Suneeta Krishnan, a senior epidemiologist with Research Triangle Institute of North Carolina. The changes have led to a steep drop in business on Delhi’s Garstin Bastion Road and have nearly destroyed Mumbai’s Kamathipura district, where brothels had thrived since the 18th century. Champa, a wrinkled madam with silver toe rings, bangles on her wrists and henna-dyed hair, has for 50 years owned a brothel in a narrow lane here. But like many other industries where information technology has undermined the role of middlemen between buyers and sellers, Champa’s business is withering. “It’s the end of Kamathipura,” Champa said with a resigned wave as she squatted on the floor of her entryway. She once had as many as 20 prostitutes living in her nine-bedroom brothel; she now has three, she said. Worse, at least from her point of view, the women working for her collect their own fees and offer her just $2 a day to rent one of her tiny bedrooms. As recently as five years ago, Champa — she has just one name — collected $2 for every client served. As Champa spoke, several garishly dressed young women walked through the brothel’s tiny foyer to sweep and water the hard dirt floor just outside. The lane was teeming with laborers, uniformed schoolchildren, and veiled matrons. The prostitutes soon settled onto benches and

teased the men getting haircuts at a nearby outdoor barbershop. There were once 75 brothels on this lane; now there are eight. Kamathipura had as many as 50,000 prostitutes in the 1990s but now has fewer than 5,000, according to city officials and nongovernmental organizations. Kamathipura’s destruction is partly a tale of urban renewal. India’s rapid development has turned former slums into sought-after addresses, and rising land values led many brothel owners to sell out. But just as important has been the spread of cellphones into the hands of nearly three out of four Indians. Five years ago, cellphones were still a middle-class accouterment. Fierce competition led prices to plunge, and now even trash pickers and rickshaw drivers answer pocket phones. But not all has changed. Vicious madams still exist, human trafficking is still rampant, village girls are still duped into the trade, and some brothels still thrive. Most prostitutes are illiterate, come from lower castes and are poor. But cellphones have given them a measure of power they did not have before. I’m happy that mobile phones are so popular and that I have this opportunity,” said Kushi, a mother who got into secret, part-time prostitution after she left her abusive and alcoholic husband. (Kushi is her work name.) She has three to four clients a week and charges each about $20, she said, compared with a typical price of $4 in cheap brothels. “Cellphones allow the women to keep much more of their money,” Mr. Niranjan of the Population Council said. “But they make H.I.V. prevention programs more challenging.”

Champa, at right, a brothel owner in Mumbai, has seen her profits decline as cellphones have made prostitutes more independent.

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