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Friday, March 10, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 10


Indo American erican News

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

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Tiger Ball 2017: 270 Performers Bring Funk Back

Just Dance 2017

Sushila & Dr. Durga Agrawal Honored



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March 10, 2017


Asia Society Texas Center Salutes Magnificent India at Sellout Black Tie Gala

From left: Bonna Kol (Asia Society Texas Center President), Jugal and Raj Malani, Dr. Durga and Sushila Agrawal, Dr. Renu and Suresh Khator.

HOUSTON: Bollywood visited

Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray & Dr. Amit Ray.

Houston Friday night as Asia Society Texas Center held its annual Tiger Ball in celebration of India. This year, the black-tie and national dress gala was a sellout and the 650 patrons and guests celebrated the culture of the subcontinent. Attendees were greeted upon arrival by a life-sized elephant replica. The evening provided a series of exciting events designed to highlight the Indian arts. Dhol drummers strolled through the massive reception tent, leading guests, while women in different types of traditional Indian dress lined the two-story Fayez Sarofim Grand

Angela and Chowdary Yalamanchili

Hall to greet attendees. After an award presentation in the Edward Rudge Allen III Education Center, guests feasted on Seared Sea Bass with Saffron Beurre Blanc and Grilled Lamb Chop Masala, catered by City Kitchen. Bollywood dancers from Infused Performing Arts, performed in the reception tent after dinner and taught the crowd a few dance moves. The evening concluded with dessert and dancing. This year’s Tiger Ball honored Sushila & Dr. Durga Agrawal for their dedication to the community and longtime support of Asia Society Texas Center. Serving as

co-chairs: Gina & Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Dr. Marie & Vijay Goradia, and & Chowdary Yalamanchili. Drs. Renu & Suresh Khator, Raj & Jugal Malani, Nalini & Dr. Virendra Mathur, and Nidhika & Pershant Mehta served as honorary co-chairs. Also among the supporters in attendance: Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn & Eddie Allen, Joni Baird, Muffet Blake, Mina Chang & Jake Harriman, Donna Cole, Lily & Charles C. Foster, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Gordon Quan, Dr. Amit Ray & Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray, Y. Ping Sun, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Bill


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King. Once again, Chevron served as Tiger Ball’s Presenting Sponsor. The more than $1M dollars raised will benefit exhibitions and programs at Asia Society, which promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and the East and strengthens partnerships of all of Houston’s diverse communities. Tiger Ball 2018: Celebrating the Diversity of Asia will honor Sylvia and Gordon Quan. For further details contacy Rose Rougeau, Vice President, Communication, Asia Society Texas Center, P: 713.208.1045, E: RRougeau@AsiaSociety.org


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March 10, 2017


Just Dance 2017 Thrills Houstonians and Embraces Exhilarated Audience Response BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA


On Saturday, March 4, the Old Stafford Civic Center of Houston was brought alive with the ‘Just Dance 2017’ show. This event was Rhythm India Dance Company’s sixth annual program. As a part of this year’s theme- ‘Millennium Mayhem’, a troupe of 270 dancers brought funk back at the awe-inspiring event, performing to the songs released after the year 2000. The Rhythm India Dance Company was founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Arzan Gonda. Since then the Rhythm India Dance Company has enthralled audiences all over the state with their performances. Each year, the goal of Just Dance is to give an opportunity to Rhythm India dancers to illuminate their individuality after having strived all year long. They were the first ever Bollywood dance company to perform at Half Time, and last year they performed at the Houston Rockets NBA game, with a troupe of 104 dancers, during Kobe Bryant’s last game at the Toyota Center. Rhythm India was also the opening act for the Jai Ho - A.R Rahman Concert, in 2010. Amongst a few of their achievements was being featured on the popular TV show The Little Couple on TLC as well as on CNN for Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, and the very successful workshop with the legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan. Just Dance provides a platform of professional level on-stage performance, fulfilled with stunning costumes, dazzling lighting and sound. It is more than just a recital for all students. This year there were 2 shows, the first one being at 4:00 pm and the second at 8:00 pm, 90 minutes duration each. 270 performers, starting from the age group of four years were present at what was anticipated to be a memorable evening charged with

Photos: Murali Santhana

magnificent performances. I attended the 8 pm show, which started precisely on time, not a second late. The hall was full with enthusiastic and excited crowd. As it is an Indian tradition to unfold an event with the name of Lord Ganesha, this show too started with a tribute to Him, with a mesmerizing song. This opening act was breathtaking with a superlative and energetic performance of 40 dancers constantly dancing with different props and Ganesha masks. Selecting Sadda dil vi tu from the movie ABCD seemed to be the right choice as it contributed to warming up the ambience and lifting spirits, while perfectly blending as a prayer and a procession of Lord Ganesha. Funny bone emcees Namrata Sirur Singh and Pavi Siva DinaCONTINUED ON PAGE


For photo collage, see pages 14-15

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March 10, 2017


Demonetization Demystified through Historical Context and Future Steps BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


India’s demonetization of its currency is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The demonetization mystery was unwrapped at a free seminar on Tuesday, March 7 at India House. The seminar was sponsored by India House, which provided an excellent venue for the seminar. The other two sponsors were SOS and NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory. All three organizations have a common thread: Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra. A resident of Houston for more than 40 years, Mohindra has helped foster many Indo-American community organizations, including India House, Share Our Secrets (SOS) and NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory. Mohindra is the founder and principal of SOS, which teaches Millenials the intricacies of climbing the corporate ladder, personal growth and enrichment and contributing to both mainstream and Indo-American communities. “SOS teaches important life lessons you don’t learn in schools and colleges,” explained SOS mentor Mani Subrmanian. He also explained the SOS Mentorship Program, which is recruiting additional mentors. Many members of the SOS family worked behind the scenes, including Vishnu Muralidharan, Sapna Vishnu, Nilima Be-

mbalkar, Kalpita Shah, Amit Patil, Rishi Goswami, Kristi Rangel and Densise McGetrick. SOS President Qusai Mahesri served as the emcee for the seminar, which opened with a welcome from IH Executive Director Vipin Kumar. Mohindra then made a 15-min. presentation about demonetization. The first slide showed the known reasons for demonetization, including: bringing hidden black money into circulation, broadening the tax base, controlling counterfeiting, covering up the failure of public sector companies, and as a political strategy. “It is all these reasons and none of these reasons,” explained Mohindra. “Demonetization is one of the intermediate steps that are being taken to bring India to the forefront as a world-class economy with transparent transactions and rule of the law.” “The first step was economic reforms that began with Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. Under Modi, effort is making the economy transparent through bank accounts for the masses, cashless payments. Strict enforcement is the next step.” NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory will hold another demonetization luncheon seminar on March 16 at Madras Pavilion in Sugar Land and SOS will hold a seminar on immigration and hate crimes on April 9 (venue to be announced).

Seminar presenter was Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra (left) with five panelists: financial planner Randhir Sahni, CPA Swapan Dhairyawan, banker and SOS Chairman Vivek Mehta, journalist Pramod Kulkarni and Juuhi Ahuja, businesswoman with offices both in Houston and India. During the Q&A session, all panelists expressed their support for demonetization.

Despite the weather forecast of inclement weather, 145 people attended the seminar. The audience was dominated by first-generation Indo-Americans and recent greencard holders, who still have financial assets in India. Many of the attendees had cash holdings of demonetized Indian currency. Current rules no longer allow foreign citizens to convert old notes, but greencard holders and Indian citizens can still convert their cash. Therein lies the solution. Madras Pavilion supplied snacks for the India House seminar and will be the venue for a seminar in Sugar Land.


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mani were up on the stage cracking ribticklers in form of a spoof on Koffee with Karan, the crazy act being called Paapsi with Pavi or Nimboo Paani with Namu. They both have a YouTube channel called The 9to5 MisFits. They were hilarious and kept everyone fascinated and engrossed. These chuckle some emcees then went on to interview Dilshad Patel, Rhythm India’s Jhoom Fitness instructor, asking about her adult fitness program to which she shared information about the benefits associated with this program. As the show progressed, the performances continued to charm the audiences. One of the hot favorites was the Bharat Natyam and Kathak Jugalbandi, which was performed to the popular song Mere Dholna. It was indeed inspiring to watch a non-Indian Bharata Natyam dancer perform with perfect expressions and moves. She definitely proved that music knows no boundaries. The last act of this mega event, performed by Rhythm India’s senior company showcased how social media can lead to our lack of attention. This act beautifully portrayed through a love story the ups and downs in today’s relationships. It was performed to a medley of five songs that included the hit Saiyya ji se beak up from the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. This year was very special for Rhythm India because it was the first time that some of its Plano students traveled to Houston for this show. Arthi Gunaseelan, the Manager and instructor in Plano, along with her talented students traveled all the way to Houston to perform a medley of songs, each one being a different dance form. This act really showcased their versatility. They did save the best for the last, mesmerizing and captivating everyone with striking props, rollicking to the tunes of the medley Jia. Audience was thrilled and impressed with these two shows, charged with electronic energy and exceptional performers who did not fail to outshine. There was an ooze of high flowing energy throughout the fast-paced, well-choreographed display, and this kept the crowd tapping their toes or snapping their fingers. The finale took the crowds to a new high and they suddenly rose up to their feet. It seemed like a beautiful outburst of excitement waiting to happen, after being kept under control all this while. Audiences twisted and twirled, while up on stage the entire cast and crew

of the show joined in to groove to the popular Where’s the Party Tonight. The 90-minute non-stop line-up of dance scenes pulsed with color and passion and was so captivating that it kept the audience glued onto their seats throughout. The event flowed smoothly without any hiccups and the credit of these also goes to the back stage manager and the backbone of the entire production Rashna Oak. Arzan’s shows can be expected to be phenomenon, vibrant, colorful and full of life. And this show lived up to the benchmark she has set for herself. The costumes were extremely striking and it was noticed that there was so much attention to detailing that even the hair ribbons were matching with the costumes. While thanking the audience and appreciating their support, Arzan mentioned that Rhythm India will be performing at Bollywood Blast 2017, one of the biggest Bollywood Dance Event’s in Houston, at the Miller Outdoor Theatre on Sunday, September 3 (Labor Day Weekend). Open auditions for the show will be held on April 23 and 30, at the Rhythm India Studio. After the remarkable smash hit show Arzan stated, “As a teacher it is wonderful and fulfilling to see how all our dancers have grown over the years, and some over the last few months. I would like to thank all our dancers, their parents and families for their cooperation, understanding and commitment. I would like to thank our entire Rhythm India Staff and Team”. Upcoming Worshop details: Rhythm India is excited to announce that they will be hosting an exclusive two-day intensive dance workshop with Shampa Gopikrishna on April 15 & 16 (Saturday & Sunday), at the Rhythm India Dance studio. This workshop is open to anyone above the age of 5 years. Shampa is the daughter of the famous Bollywood actor, dancer, choreographer Gopikrishna. She has won several accolades in her career and one of them is being a winner of the Indian dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. Her choreography has been showcased in classic Bollywood blockbusters like Pinga in Baajirao Mastani, Malang in Dhoom 3 and Neerja. Rhythm India conducts classes in Stafford, Katy, Sugar Land & Plano To join the workshop or get further information visit www.rhythm-india.com or email on sandra@rhythm-india.com or call 281 968 9479.

For photo collage, see pages 14-15

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March 10, 2017


Petroleum Minister Pradhan Urges Community to Contribute its Talents BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON: Despite the passage

of time and long distance from our motherland, members of the Indian commnuity in Houston exhibit a passionate interest in political and economic activities underway in India. It was this attachment that led many to contribute their resources to electoral success of the BJP party led by Prime Minister Modi. Despite the rainy weather last Sunday, March 5, and a short meeting notice, nearly 100 members of the community came together to meet and listen to the visiting Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, With much of India’s oil and gas industry organized within the government or government-directed public sector companies, Minister Pradhan has day-to-day responsibilities of the industry from upstream exploration to production, and then, downstream petroleulm refining and petrochemical processing, down to the retail gasoline pump and distribution of cooking propane gas to households. Born in 1969, Mr. Pradhan is the son of is the son of former BJP MP Dr. Debendra Pradhan. He received an MA in anthropology from University of Bhubaneswar. He got his start in politics as a student leader.

Pradhan served as an MP from Deogarh district from 2012-14. When the BJP came to power in 2016, Pradhan was appointed to the Rajya Sabha so he could join the cabinet as the petroleum minister. Some political analysts see Pradhan as one of the upcoming BJP leaders and a protege of PM Narendra Modi. At the Houston community meeting, Pradhan acknowledged the importance of Houston to the oil and gas industry. “The circle of the energy industry is not complete without Houston.” Despite not having an oil industry background, Pradhan has quickly assumed a grasp of India’s energy challenges, namely the necessity of reducing the import burden because up to 80% of oil has to be imported and 50% of natural gas has to be imported to satisfy India’s growing energy demand. At the outset of the community meeting, Minister Pradhan expressed his sympathy for the recent victims of racial hate crimes of Indian origin. “I’m glad Consular officials were able to reach the victims and their families o provide timely support. Minister Pradhan stressed the need for people of Indian origin that have oil industry experience to help India increase domestic production.

Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, addressed the community gathering in Hindi. He spoke eloquently, despite being a native of Orissa. Photos: Bjiay Dixit.

After the meeting, the gathering of community wellwishers came together tp pose with the Minister Pradhan (center) for a group photo.


10 March 10, 2017


Ekal’s New President Announcement: Pankaj Desai BY MANU SHAH


Ekal Vidyalaya’s Houston Chapter has a new President and he’s charged about his role to bring education to India’s remote and rural areas. Pankaj Desai has been prepping for this role as a volunteer for the last 10 years and served as Vice President in 2016. This year he takes over the mantle from Naren Chavda. Ekal’s new President knows what it’s like to struggle for educational opportunities. Pankaj recalls studying in the park as the family lived in a one room house in Mumbai but says his mother’s “can-do attitude” probably rubbed off on him. This, coupled with a quick mind helped him secure several scholarships and graduate with an engineering degree from IIT, Mumbai. Two other factors, Pankaj elaborates, shaped his thinking about the value of education. Reading biographies of great men brought him to the conclusion that “education is a must to bring about a difference in society.” The image of his father struggling to deliver heavy loads of merchandise to customers made this resolve only stronger. Pankaj acquired a Masters from NC State University and worked with several multinational corporations stacking up over 30 years of consulting experience. He is presently with BP and is described by colleagues and superiors as “thorough,” “detail oriented” with “the ability to bring different personalities together.” They also highlight his excellent project management abilities – skills bound to come in handy in his new role. Pankaj was introduced to Ekal’s cause by his neighbor, Prakash Shah. Initially wife, Urmi started volunteering with the organization but it wasn’t long before Pankaj was also drawn to the organization’s commitment and drive to educate India at the grass roots level. More importantly, he explains, joining Ekal was also an opportunity to give back to the community. The husband wife duo served in multiple capacities from organizing events, spreading awareness, selling tickets to fundraising - even “cold calling” on occasion to get Houstonians to donate for this good cause. Every accomplishment, small or big, Pankaj reflects, made him realize he could make a difference and spurred him to work harder.

Pankaj Desai

He credits his wife for getting him involved and admits that “she keeps him on his toes to ensure Ekal’s work is done.” Relating his interaction with the Ekal children in India, Pankaj says he was deeply moved at their aspirations for the future. Some wanted to be soldiers or doctors when they grow up while others wanted to become teachers and teach in the village. He was both amused and amazed to see the children familiar with India’s Prime Minister’s full name – Narendra Modi. The classes under the village tree were clearly working! Ekal runs 54,000 schools in India touching 1.5 million children of which 17,000 schools are supported by US donations. Pankaj does acknowledge that the work of teaching India’s primarily rural population is a “slow process” tied to several socio economic factors but he is optimistic that rapid advances in technology are expediting the process. As President, he would like to create more awareness about Ekal and work towards greater engagement between diverse groups in Houston. He has several ideas he is working on to get Houston’s young generation involved in the cause. This year, Ekal hit on a novel idea to raise funds. Tribal artists from India are on a 4 month road trip to showcase their talent across the US. The shows have been spectacularly successful everywhere and will regale Houstonians on 7th May at Cullen Performance Hall.



IACF Healthcare Networking Dinner, Book Donation for Literacy

At the healthcare networking mixer, IACF President Dr. Vanitha Pothuri (standing right) with President-elect Mahesh Wadhwa, and board directors Shobana Muratee (seated left) and Dr. Purvi Parikh.

Brian Dean, Sr. VP and CEO of Memorial Hermann Hospital Texas Medical Center with a guest at the healthcare mixer on Thursday, March 2 at Seasons 52 in City Centre.

The IACF donated over 200 books to Literacy Advance on Sunday, February 26


HOUSTON: In support of one

of the four pillars of its mission, the Indo American Charity Foundation held a networking session for healthcare initiatives this past Thursday, March 2 at the Seasons 52 restaurant in City Centre on the westside. Most of the IACF Board of Directors attended the session to mingle with many in-

vited guests and supporters who are in the healthcare industry across the Metroplex and sit down for a social-hour and a four-course dinner. Bard director Dr. Ajay Jain, a pulmonologist, opened up the evening by welcoming everyone and focusing on one of the IACF mottos, “we live here, we give here” to drive home the point of all the work done by the nearly 30


March 10, 2017

year-old organization. He touched on the healthcare initiatives that the IACF has undertaken and the groups it has supported in the past like the Turning Point Center, the Indian Doctors Charity Clinic, the India House Charity Clinic and as a key seed donor for the Indian American Cancer Awareness Network. He was followed up by Brian Dean, Sr. VP and CEO of Memorial Hermann Hospital Texas Medical Center and a key sponsor of the IACF Gala last year. Dean spoke of the MH outreach through multiple locations and its high ranking among care facilities. Other speakers at the event were K.C. Mehta, Dr. K.T. Shah and Dr. Ravi Chundru from IDCC who explained what that clinic does and the new eye care service it has started to offer over the past four months. Dr. Manish Gandhi, President of the Indian Doctor’s Association spoke about its collaboration with the IACF at the Walkathon (slated this year on Saturday, April 22) to raise funds for the IDCC operations. The program ended with thanks by Dr. Purvi Parikh and concluding remarks by Dr. Vanitha Pothuri who invited everyone to the IACF grants distribution night in May, the scholarship night in June, the gala kick-off mixer in September at Momentum Porsche and the annual gala on Saturday, October 7 at the Stafford Civic Centre. The dinner came on the heels of a literacy event, another of the IACF’s pillars, on Sunday, February 26 in which over 200 books were donated to Literary Advance, a group founded in 1964 to assist adults to achieve personal goals and self-sufficiency through improved literacy. Trained volunteer tutors help deliver a variety of free programs at multiple locations across the Houston area. Kushboo Bansal, Outreach Program Manager, representing Literacy Advance, spoke about the adult literacy programs as well as the family literacy nights.

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COMMUNITY IACCGH Hosts Free Tax Seminar

March 10, 2017

F r o m l e f t : R a j i v B h a v s a r, J a g d i p A h l u w a l i a , S w a p a n D h a i r y a w a n M a r k Wa r r e n , Allen Richards, Ajit Thakur, Mahesh Desai, Mike Jain, Kershaw Khumbatta, Atul Kothari Photo: Bijay Dixit



IACCGH’s Outreach Program – a tax seminar designed to educate the community on various tax issues attracted over 130 members of the Indo American community on Sunday, February 19, at India House. Held for the sixth year in a row, IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia described the event as part of the Chamber’s efforts “to empower the community with the right knowledge.” President Allen Richards thanked the distinguished panel of 6 CPAs’ and IRS Assistant Special Agent Mark Warren for volunteering their time on a Sunday afternoon and emphasized the Chamber’s commitment of bringing “value to the community” through such events. Moderator and IACCGH Past President, CPA Ajit Thakur highlighted the fact that henceforth spouses must be careful about signing tax returns as IRS is sending separate notices to spouses. He also cautioned the gathering about the growing menace of identity theft. Panelist IRS Special Agent Mark Warren noted that the IRS was cracking down on international

tax fraud with the help of international tax treaties. Countries were bound by these treaties to provide information about assets owned by American citizens. He allayed fears about “mistakes” in tax returns versus “fraud” and stated that “intention is what makes the difference.” He encouraged the gathering to file tax returns even if they don’t have the money to pay the taxes – IRS can be lenient on that score and may offer an installment option. CPA Mike Jain anticipated bold tax laws both at the Corporate and Individual level to come into effect under the Trump administration and proposed deferring taxes into future years to take advantage of these tax cuts. CPA Kershaw Khumbatta presented different Retirement plans such as Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Simple IRA and the Solo (One person) 401(k) plans. However, the IRA fund cannot be used as security for a loan or to buy property for personal use. The Supreme Court has also ruled that creditors may not seize IRA assets in bankruptcy proceedings. CPA Mahesh Desai highlighted Forms 114 and 8938 that must be filed by taxpayers holding more than $10,000 in an overseas ac-

count. The OVPD and the SDOP are two other IRS schemes to voluntarily disclose foreign accounts. He also added that rents and stock market returns in India must be reported. Chairperson and CPA Swapan Dhairyawan shed light on the different scams affecting taxpayers such as inflated refund claims, fake charities and identity theft. The phone scam plaguing taxpayers was busted in October 2016. The FAST Act, he stated, could result in denial of a passport for certain tax delinquencies. He emphasized the importance of informing the IRS about address changes and suggested calling the friendly Tax Advocate Service at 877-777-4778 for tax advocacy. An entity is any way, shape or form to limit liability for businesses – a topic covered by CPA Atul Kothari. There are two different types of entities – the No Liabilities Protection and Liabilities Protection. Options to save tax will be based on the entity you own. LLC, he observed, is the most suitable entity for small businesses as it has one level of taxation and offers both liability protection. The seminar concluded with a Q & A session. Disclaimer: The IACCGH tax seminar is for advisory purposes only



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March 10, 2017



16 March 10, 2017


Indic Book Club and Friends of India Society Launch “Inside Chanakya’s Mind”

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global, multi city, horizontal network of Academics, Authors, Artists & Activists made its American debut with its first event in Houston on Sunday, February 19 and buoyed by its success, did the International book launch of “Inside Chanakya’s Mind” the following Thursday, February 23. The first event was a talk by Dr. Pankaj Jain on “Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities” and was attended by over 30 folks. Dr. Jain began his talk with the history of the Bishnoi Community in South Asia and the genesis of the “Swadhyaya Movement”. Dr. Jain engaged the audience with a distinct sense of humor, peppered his talk with many North Indian colloquial terms related to Nature Worship and mentioned the history of socio-cultural movements such as Chipko. He also talked about Krutibhakti and how it is deeply embedded in Indic traditions. He beautifully explained “We need to move from Upbhog (consumption) to Upasana (worship) for the long term sustenance of ecology, as demonstrated by Swadhyaya movement”. The second event was the Book Launch of Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai’s “Inside Chanakya’s Mind” and was attended by over 80 Houstonians from all walks of life. Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, Dr. Sanjay Deshmukh delivered the keynote speech and later Deputy Consul General of India, Surendra Adhana invited Dr. Deshmukh and Dr. Pollai to launch the book. Prof Sarath Menon from UFH introduced Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai as the Deputy Director at University of Mumbai’s “Chanakya International Institute of Leadership studies (CII LS)”. It was mentioned that Dr. Pillai’s had done extensive research on “Kautilya�s Arthashastra”, from Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) under the guidance of Dr. Gangadharan Nair, the dean of Adi Shankara Sanskrit University. In his riveting address, Dr. Pillai talked about the convergence of apparently distinct areas like warfare and Ayurveda. Both the talks were moderated by Sunanda Vashisht, Co-Founder of “MyIndMakers” (www.myind. net). The talks began with an introduction to FISI by its USA National Coordinator Achalesh Amar, who spoke about the need for Intellectual Renaissance rooted in Indic traditions. Achalesh exhorted the audience “Let us all re-ignite our passion in defense of the motherland as its glory is even higher than the Heavens - Janani Janmbhumisch Swargaatapi Gariyasi”. This was followed by a brief introduction of Indic Book Club by Pramod Kumar Buravalli, Founder of MyIndMakers and

Global Coordinator for IBC. About Friends of India Society International (FISI) The Friends of India Society of International (FISI) brings together friends of India worldwide to safeguard the interests of India and people of Indian origin. FISI was founded in 1975 to safeguard Indian democratic institutions and ideals in the aftermath of “emergency rule.” The FISI is now an international association of the friends of India – drawn from among the Indian diaspora and the public in which the Indian diaspora resides. FISI under the leadership of Rajiv Varma as International Coordinator, seeks to help India to meet all challenges by advancing an accurate picture of India and the Indian diaspora, their achievements and contributions to world civilization and the global family.

About Indic Book Club (IBC) Indic Book Club is a global, multi city, horizontal network of Academics, Authors, Artists & Activists nurtured by Indic Academy. Indic Academy, a Not for Profit Trust established in 2016 in Hyderabad, India is partnering with Friends of India Society (FISI) to launch Indic Book Clubs across cities in the Americas. More details about Dr. Pillai’s concluded talk, Dr. Jain’s talk and other upcoming talks in Houston and other cities can be found at (https://www.facebook.com/Indicbookclub/). For further details on IBC and FISI Talks, please feel free to contact Achalesh Amar @ 713 357 8216 and Pramod Kumar Buravalli @ 832 795 9495.


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18 March 10, 2017

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Unusual Times, Usual Methods

Going Backwards T

he snarl of ‘Go Back To Your Country’ is unacceptable to anyone who is right-thinking with a lower-case ‘r’. It is also absurd. If it were to be applied across Trumperica, only Indians of the other kind would remain. Poetic justice, but not quite what The Don had in mind when whittling down those H1B/2B visas. Be that as it may, xenophobic White Americans don’t hold the patent on ethnic bigotry, claiming it to be their non-intellectual property right. As with plastic surgery, space travel and the zero-sum game, we Indians have beaten everyone else to the post. Three decades after Quit India rallied the country, ‘Go Back, Go Back’ reverberated across Calcutta. It was the call of leftist trade unions to the left-behind Brits still heading sterling companies. Well, the goras went, but the ‘G B, G B’ cry remained, now giving the heebie-jeebies to all-brown bosses. At the hoary Statesman Ltd, striking press workers shouted ‘Go Back, Go Back’ to its managing director, CR Irani, prompting an equally hoary assistant editor to ask in bewilderment and correct syntax, ‘But to where should he go back? Iran?’ Bombay flourished with the capital which had fled there from a hostile Cal. But not long after, Belligerent Balasaheb shouted ‘Go Back, Go Back’ to ‘Madrasis’, Gujaratis and ‘bhaiyas’. Self-goal again because without their enterprise enriching the city, his ‘Marathi manoos’ would only be ‘sons of the soiled’. The working classes seized Calcutta (and sent it into a seizure), but ‘intaallectual’ Bengalis always held manual work in disdain: ‘My family hasn’t lifted anything heavier than a pen for five generations.’ They have a deeper aversion to the mercantile Marwaris who, in fact, have saved the city from rigor mortis. For decades, the lofty bhadralok didn’t sully their ‘kaalchaared’ tongues with the ‘M’ word, spitting it out instead as ‘the business community’. Another ‘M’ has become a dirtier word across India. With increasing virulence, our dyed-in-tiranga sons-of-thezameen are being told to ‘Go Back’ to a country that was never theirs. The same scarily absurd bigotry which can consign cities, and nations, to a kabrastan. -times of india



he latest official data on GDP growth has shown that the economy grew at 7% in the quarter ending December 2016. It belies the argument that the economy was hit hard by demonetisation. But this data is not surprising given that the budget for 20172018 assumed that the economy will grow at 11.75% The government has also not changed the assumption of an 11% for the current year (2016-17) in the budget. So, the budget assumed that demonetization had no impact on the economy. The budget figures were provided by the CSO. It was unlikely that the organisation would provide drastically different figures for the GDP estimate. A GDP figure of less than 7% would have implied that the budget figures for both 2016-17 and 2017-18 are wrong. That would have meant that all the budgetary calculations are incorrect and created turmoil in the economy. Admitting lower growth would have adversely impacted the stock markets, the international sentiment about India and the business environment in general. The data just released shows that investment has taken a hit of about 3%. More bad news would have made the postdemonetisztion recovery even more difficult. The growth projected by the OECD is almost the same as the official figure. The IMF had earlier said that demonetization will have a marginal impact and suggested that the recovery would be fast. But it needs to be remembered that neither the IMF, nor the OECD collect independent data; they rely on figures provided by the Government of India. Predicting GDP growth is no mean task. Data has to be generated from a number of sectors and sub-sectors. Each sub-sector has its own method for collecting data and calculating the growth rate. The methodology is time-tested and, therefore, not questioned by analysts. Moreover, the actual data comes after a time lag which means that only estimates can be made and these are periodically revised. But is it right to apply the methodology that is used in normal

times when the economy has experienced a big shock? Surveys by manufacturers, business associations and others indicate that over the last four months, employment, production and investment have been hit hard in several sectors. The Indian economy is heterogeneous; that makes estimating growth difficult. The unorganized sector produces 45% of the output and employs 94% of the work force. Agriculture is its largest component in terms of employment. Data from the non-agriculture unorganized sector is not available for making predictions. This component was the hardest hit. How then were estimates drawn for this sector? When the economy is severely affected, can the benchmark indicators be the same as earlier years and how can the projection from the previous year be valid? Can even projection from before November 2016 be valid post-demonetization? It is well-known that the unorganized sector works largely on cash and was severely dented by demonetisation. The organized sector was less impacted. Thus, the proportion of the activity in the organised and unorganised sectors changed dramatically due to demonetisation. The government’s press note announcing the growth figures says, “GVA from quasi corporate and unorganised segment has been estimated using IIP (Index of Industrial Production) of manufacturing”. The IIP reflects the growth of the organised sector. Can it help estimate the unorganised sector production in the changed circumstances? It is stated that this index is the key indicator for calculating unorganised manufacturing sector activity. A sim-

ilar methodology was adopted in other sub-sectors of the economy. But in the post-demonetisation regime when the growth of the organised and unorganised sectors diverged dramatically, the method is not useful in calculating the unorganised sector’s contribution to the GDP. A sub-sector that is clearly declining is taken to be growing at the same rate as the organised sector. The press note adds, “IIP from manufacturing sector registered a growth rate of (-) 0.5 per cent during April-December 2016-17”. Intriguingly, in spite of this, it is said that the manufacturing sector grew at 7.7 per cent. Once the organised sector’s growth is overstated and an incorrect indicator is used for estimating the unorganised sector growth, the economy can be shown to be growing at 7 per cent. But, is it? Some argue that the undeclared output in the organised sector, used to generate black incomes, has now been declared. If this is correct, the methodology for estimating the unorganised sector’s contribution becomes even more flawed. Some argue that there was extra consumption with old notes in November. But the reports in that month described lack of footfalls in shops and malls and decline in wholesale trade and truck movements. There is an urgent need for the government to explain the use of the unchanged methodology in the drastically changed circumstances post-November 2016. Yes, the CSO cannot change the method on its own, but in unusual times should unusual steps not be taken? Should a rider not be put on the data? The head of the statistical department has been arguing that the impact of demonetisation on the economy will have to be studied over time and a lot more data is needed. However, should the government put out figures which they feel cannot be calculated at present and, therefore, are premature? The point is the economy (and the budget) is not governed by official data but by what is happening on the ground. -- indian express The writer is a retired professor of economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University,


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


COMMUNITY Masala Radio’s Houston Holi: Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai HOUSTON: Masala Radio, Tara

Energy, and Star Plus presents the Tenth annual HOUSTON HOLI featuring JAY SEAN - with hits like Mein Tho There Naal Nachana and US TOP 40 chart topper - Baby Are You Down, sponsored by Xfinity on Saturday March 25, 12 – 5PM (Raindate Sunday March 26). For arguably the largest Holi festival US, Houston Farm and Ranch will host thousands of revelers of every race and religion in one kaleidoscopic Festival of Colors. Named by Houston Chronicle as one of Houston’s 40 Most Fascinating People, Masala Radio’s Sunil T will lead the entertainment packed stage. Local cultural organizations Gujarati Samaj of Houston (GSH) – selling reasonably priced packets of 6 different colors, India Culture Center selling pichkaris (water guns), and Hindus of Greater Houston join hands for this huge undertaking. Square credit charge services and ATM machines will be available at the Entrance, by the Colors booth, and at the Food booths, but it is advisable to bring cash for quicker access. Phone cellular and data services have been known to go down

between 2-4PM, as peek crowds over capacitate the area’s limited cell towers. Snap Chat early, with the official Houston Holi filters. Brittania will be giving away its newest cookies, Tara Energy - free bottles of water, and Toyota - custom printed Tshirts. 15-Minutes Stage Giveaways from Gold Sponsors Imperial Market, Johnson Development, Ramji & Associates, Karya

March 10, 2017

Properties and Cosmo 8. Stage Entertainment will be packed with leading Indian dance schools, Miss IndiaTexas Alings Hakka Foam Party Kickoff, Mercedes Benz Color Rave, and Battle of the DJs. Local business will have promotional giveaways at over 50 booths, and revelers will be treated to the best freshly prepared Indian Street Foods from Bollywood Chaat, Café India and ten other food booths. Tickets for Masala Radio’s Houston Holi are available while supplies last at all locations of Keemat Grocers, Vishala Grocers, Patel Brothers, Parivar Grocers, India Spice and Snacks, Subhlaxmi, and Bombay Bazaar, as well as online at www. HoustonHoli.com. Free Parking at Houston Farm & Ranch Opens at 10AM, and Entrance gates open at 11AM. Masala Radio warns that traffic will be heavy between 12:30 PM and 4:30 PM on HWY 6, taking up to an hour in line just to enter the park. Come Early and FREE SHUTTLE from Metro’s Addicks Park & Ride. Dress code for Holi is white. Bura Na Mano, Holi Hai – Don’t Be Upset, It’s Holi!

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Thank You, Shoba, Rakesh & Hiren Joshi


20 March 10, 2017 Tamil Chair at Harvard University



HOUSTON: Harvard University has accept-

ed a proposal to set up a “Sangam Tamil Chair” in the Department of South Asian Studies with the focus being on Tamil Sangam Literature and all Tamil literature influenced by it. Tamil language has ancient literature dating back to around 300 B.C. Tamil is one of the classical languages of the world, with Greek, Sanskrit, Latin, Hebrew, Persian, and Chinese being the others. Apart from Tamil, for other classical languages, there is research and progressive work done at various international academic centers. Tamil is the 20th most commonly-spoken language (by 80 million people) in the world. Tamil literature is a vast field and there are many areas which need to be researched. Why Harvard? Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and is considered as one of the celebrated citadels of Higher Education in the world producing many noble prize winners, celebrated scholars and above all many presidents of this country. Representing many different countries, languages, and research interests, Harvard functions as a premier academic hub, promoting great diversity and intellectual vitality. Harvard has many of the best scholars in the world in its teaching faculty. Being a teaching and research university, Harvard provides great opportunities for Tamil students, scholars and researchers. The total commitment to Harvard for setting up the Tamil Chair is six million U.S dollars. Dr. S.T. Sambandam and Dr.V. Janakiraman are the two seed donors who have made $500,000 each are spearheading this effort. In Houston, a team led by Sam Kannappan is organizing a fund raising event on March 25, at Meenakshi Temple’s Kalyana Mandapam. Three local organizations, Meenakshi Temple Society,Tamil Nadu Foundation and Bharathi Kalai Mandram have joined together to raise fund for this noble cause! The function is scheduled to start at 4:30 pm with a light snacks followed by dinner after the function.

Your donation to Tamil Chair, Inc. is eligible for tax deduction in the U.S. Encourage your friends and family to join us in setting up this chair. By being part of this great effort, you will become a part of the Tamil history. The checks can be made payable to ‘Tamil Chair Inc’ and mailed to V.K. Dorai, 111 Addison place, Sugar Land, TX 77479. Donations given to Tamil Chair, Inc. are tax deductible. For details contact: athiruvengadam@yahoo.com INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


March 10, 2017


MahaShivaratri Celebrations at The Hindu Temple of the Woodlands

Alankaram of fresh fruits and vegetables Photos: Bhargava Sarma



WOODLANDS: The Hindu Temple of the Woodlands (HTW) held a magnificent celebration of MahaShivaratri, the night of Shiva, on February 24, continuing until Saturday morning at 8 am. The celebration began at 8:30 a.m. on Friday with Rudra Abhishekam. The Abhishekam, or

bathing, of Lord Shiva was done with the traditional substances by the presiding priest. Following this was the alankaram (adorning) of Shiva Lingam. Meanwhile, devotees, in addition to observing the Abhishekam as performed by the priest, were able to pour milk and then water, doing their own personal Abhishekam on a smaller murthi of Lord Shiva located temporarily on a platform between Lord Ganesha and Maha Shiva. This

opportunity was again available beginning from 6:00 p.m. and continuing throughout the night. Following the first Abhishekam of the day and the distribution of tirtham (liquid prasadam or offerings) as well as fruit prasadam to the devotees, the temple was closed until evening. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Ekadasa Dravya (or eleven materials, in this case being eleven types of fruit juice) was the next type of Abhishekam. Also the Tamil traditional purée with bananas, dried fruit and other items was

Alankaram of holy ash

used at this time. The alankaram (adorning of the Lord) consisted of wreaths of many different types of fruits and vegetables, draped around Lord Shiva. During the evening, some devotees chanted Vedic mantras and groups from children to seniors led Bhajans for Lord Shiva. Bhasma (holy ash) Abhishekam followed at 10 p.m., with Chandana (sandalwood) Abhishekam held on early Saturday morning. After each, the priests did a beautiful and colorful alankaram, using bhasma and dried fruit for the respectively. The final Abhishekam

was of cooked rice which was served as prasadam for devotees on Saturday morning. The final alankaram for the celebration was of many different types of beautiful flowers. The celebration for all was one of great beauty, devotion, and religious fervor, to be long remembered. The next major HTW festival is Holi - Festival of Colors on Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the temple’s premises. It will include playing with colored powders, music, dance and moderately-priced, freshly made Indian snacks and sweets. There will be a short Fun Run at 11:30 a.m. with the $10/ adult fee (children are free) going to the Montgomery County Food Bank. All are invited to attend. Bring your friends and neighbors! The Hindu Temple of The Woodlands is located at 7601 S Forestgate Dr, just off Woodlands Parkway, in The Woodlands (Spring), TX 77382. It serves the religious, cultural, educational, and social needs of the surrounding community. For further information visit www.woodlandshindutemple. org


22 March 10, 2017


Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before March 15, 2017. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).


Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Besan di Pinniyan (Gram Flour Sweet Balls)

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y popular demand from many readers, below is a reprint of Mama’s Besan di Pinniyan recipe, which is a tasty sweet to make especially during days of cool weather. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. Pinniya are extremely popular in the Punjab during the cold weather months. It is very common to see people having one or two with their hot tea on a cold morning, or again with late afternoon tea. The ingredients in the pinniyans – sugar, oil, flour and nuts - provide a quick boost of energy in the cold weather. Pinniya are also known as laddus in other parts of India, but the main difference is that pinnis are made of coarse flour, are harder and are much bigger in size than besan laddus which are usually soft to touch since they often have condensed milk added to them. Laddus are often sold outside temples as an offering to the Gods. Pinnis are considered as a snack and a quick desert. When I was growing up in prePartitioned Pakistan, in the town of Lyallpur, it was quite common for the womenfolk to get together and make whole pipas (tall, square tin boxes) full of pinniyas to last through the whole winter. It is still a custom in many rural areas and among the middle class in the cities, but more and more are buying ready-made pinnis from the sweet confectioners. Some, like the Amritsari pinnis, are famous all across northwest India. Pinnis usually have some dried fruit in them – almonds, pistachios or cantaloupe seeds – all after being roasted so as to keep their crunchiness. The almonds can be whole or in pieces; blanched or with the skin on, depending on the desired taste. It is much better to use powdered sugar than granular type so that it does not

grate on the teeth while chewing. Avoid using any water while making the pinniyans as it will make them spoil quickly while in storage. For long life, store the pinnis in a dry place but not the fridge as they lose some of their original taste.

tinuously for about 10 minutes so that it does not start to burn. 3. Add the almonds and pistachios, mix well and continue to stir over low heat to roast the mixture. When it is turns slightly brown, turn the heat off. 4. When the mixture has cooled down for 10 minutes, then add the powdered sugar and mix well. If possible, knead the sugar in with your hands so that the powder does not form little balls. 5. Take a small handful of the mixture and roll on the palms into a ball about the 2 inches round. Place on a wax sheet in a large can and let it cool down. 6. The pinnis can be stored for a long time in the can. If placed in a fridge, they lose some of their original taste.

Ingredients: • • • •

4 cups besan (coarse gram (chickpea) flour) 2 cup peessi hui chinni (powdered sugar) 1 cup tael (vegetable or olive oil) Ghee (clarified butter) may also be used ½ cup badam (almond) and piste (pistachios) whole or pieces. If desired, use blanched almonds.

Directions: 1. Pour the oil in a wok or kadai and warm for a few minutes over low heat. 2. Pour the besan in and stir con-

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



Many people swea r that their daal tastes best with a tadka of lassan (garlic) and piyaaz (onions), adrak (ginger) and refuse to eat it oth these ingredients ma erwise. Agreed tha ke the daal come t alive, but it is not tadka at the end to necessary to make do so. a Tadka or tempering is a technique simila r to flambe in Fren open flame is used ch cuisine but no , just hot oil. If you want to cut down the the flavor, just cook effort, but still get the daal with the piy aaz, lassan and adra before serving it ho k in it and then, just t, pour a dab of olive oil on top. The pres and the taste is just entation is wonderf as good. ul

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March 10, 2017



Akshay Kumar Launched the New Version of ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’

Akshay Kumar and Raveena

Tandon’s ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’, which became one of biggest chartbusters of the 1990s, has been recreated for Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Machine’, that marks the debut of Abbas Burmawala’s son, Mustafa opposite Kiara Advani. During the 1990s, Akshay scored his first big hit with Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Khiladi’. He also starred in ‘Ajnabee’ and ‘Aitraaz’ which were directed by them. Extending the association,

Akshay launched the song recreated for ‘Machine’. Confirming the news, Abbas-Mustan said, “Once we got the rights to remake the song, we called Akshay, who was shooting in Bhopal. We told him that we’re using his super hit song in our film. He was not only very happy to hear that, but he also said that he would do everything to promote it. In fact, he also promised, that whenever the song is ready, he would launch it.” -timesofindia.com

Mahira Khan and Sheheryar Munawar will star together in ‘Saat Din Mohabbat In’


heir second joint film (after the 2015 hit Ho Mann Jahaan) is Saat Din Mohabbat In, a quirky rom-com directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi of Zinda Bhaag fame. SDMI will be the debut production of The Dawn Media Group’s film wing, DawnFilms. The film, scripted by Fasih Bari Khan, follows a young man on a quest to find his true love in a crowded Karachi neighbourhood. Like all good love stories, he will encounter

obstacles, both spiritual and physical, that he must overcome in order to achieve his goals. “Fast-paced and dynamic, this moving film promises to be both a visual and musical treat for moviegoers, as well as an authentic representation of life in Karachi’s teeming neighbourhoods,” said a spokesperson for DawnFilms. “The choice of the two stars, Mahira Khan and Sheheryar Munawar, in offbeat roles, along with supporting roles played by theatre and film actors, promises the kind of film that audiences have seldom seen in Pakistan,” continued the spokesperson. DawnFilms will act as executive producers of this forthcoming venture with Mateela Films (Zinda Bhaag) as the producers. -dawn.com

Atif Aslam

March 12, 1983

Shreya Ghoshal

March 12, 1984

Rani Mukherjee is Ready for her Comeback with ‘Hichki’ The actor will be returning to the silver screen after a three-year hiatus. Her last film was 2014’s thriller Mardaani. “I was looking for a script that would challenge and excite me, and Hichki came my way,” said Rani. “Each of us has a weakness that pulls us back. It could be a disability or any condition but if we just look at it as simply a hiccup, we can emerge as a winner. It won’t come in the way of achieving our dreams. Hichki is built on this positive premise and I decided to take it up.” Along with Rani, Hichki also sees the return of director Siddharth P. Malhotra after make of We Are Family. Seems like the two working together makes Hichki worth waiting for! Malhotra says, “I am

very excited about teaming up with her. I am a huge Rani fan and cannot wait to direct her. Rani is the best fit for the movie. People can expect a positive film. It feels like I am directing my first movie. It will take time to sink in. So, I am just keeping quiet and letting it sink in.” -dawn. com

Aamir Khan March 14, 1965

Abhay Deol March 15, 1976


Honey Singh March 15, 1983

Alia Bhatt March 15, 1993

24 March 10, 2017 2nd Test: Ashwin Bowls for Series-Levelling Win BY BRYAN COVERDALE


UNE: (ESPN Cricinfo): India 189 (Rahul 90, Lyon 8-50) and 274 (Pujara 92, Rahane 52, Rahul 51, Hazlewood 6-67) beat Australia 276 (S Marsh 66, Renshaw 60, Jadeja 6-63) and 112 (Ashwin 6-41) by 75 runs India have applied a defibrillator to this series, surging to a dramatic victory on the fourth day against Australia in Bengaluru. After the first day of this Test, it was hard to tell what was deader: India’s hopes of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, or any stray blades of grass that were left on the dry pitch. Nathan Lyon had just taken eight wickets, India had been rolled for 189, and Australia had gone to stumps on 40 for 0. But then came three days of Indian fightback. It all culminated in a thrilling fourth day, which began with a six-wicket haul from Josh Hazlewood as India were bowled out for 274. That gave Australia renewed hope: on a cracking surface with variable bounce, a target of 188 would be tough but, they hoped, not impossible. And with the score moving quickly, at 42 for 1 Australia were perhaps favourites. The pressure was inescapable: on the batsmen, on the umpires, and on the Indians to live up to their dominant reputation at home. And then the wickets began to tumble, the DRS played its inevitable role, and by the time R Ashwin had Lyon caught and bowled in the 36th over, India had triumphed by 75 runs. Ashwin finished with 6 for 41 and it marked the first time in history that four different bowlers - Lyon, Ashwin, Hazlewood and Ravindra Jadeja - had taken six-wicket hauls in the same Test. It was that sort of match: wickets fell in quick succession and momentum was hard to stop. In many ways, this result was simply the resumption of normal service. There was a glitch in proceedings in Pune, where Australia ended India’s sequence of 20 home Tests without a loss. The malfunction looked like continuing after day one in Bengaluru, but for the remainder of the match India scrapped, wrestled, and fought their way back into the contest. And every time Australia looked like regaining the advantage, India wrested

Wriddhiman Saha takes a catch to send back Matthew Wade, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bengaluru, 4th day, March 7, 2017

it back. Such was the situation on the fourth morning, when Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc delivered searing spells with the second new ball and India lost five wickets in 19 deliveries. But then India’s last pair, Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma, survived for nearly 10 overs to take the sting out of Australia’s charge. They put on only 16 runs but by slowing the speed of the match from breakneck to simply swift, they gave their team a chance to regroup. Australia knew that to succeed in their chase, they would have to score quickly. The loss of Matt Renshaw early, caught behind to a fine seamer from Ishant, did not stop them doing just that. David Warner launched one six on his way to 17 from 25 balls before he was adjudged lbw trying to sweep Ashwin. Warner asked for a review but by the barest of margins, HawkEye showed the impact in line with off stump and umpire’s call for clipping off, and Warner was gone. That moment had repercussions for Australia, for it left them with only one review and made Shaun Marsh hesitate when he was given out lbw shouldering arms to a delivery from Umesh Yadav around the wicket. An uncertain Marsh consulted with his partner, Steven Smith, who had been off the pitch to leg side and was in no position to make a definitive call. Unwilling to risk Australia’s final review, Marsh walked off: replays showed the ball was missing by a

long way. But such is the pressure in a situation like this: umpire Nigel Llong had made a poor decision, and Marsh had made an equally bad one not to ask for a review. That left Smith as a key man for Australia, and he struck three boundaries on his way to 28 before he too was lbw to Umesh. Smith was done by a grubber and seemed to signal to Australia’s dressing room for advice on a review; umpire Llong stepped in to prevent the communication, and Smith walked off. A review would have been futile: he couldn’t have been plumber if he’d been wearing a Super Mario costume. From there, India were clearly in the box seat, and the wickets of Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade shortly before tea only made it more so. Marsh tickled a catch to short leg off Ashwin, and Wade inside edged onto his pad and a catch lobbed up for the diving wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The match was slipping away from Australia. It took India less than eight overs after tea to wrap up the win. Starc was bowled by a straight ball from Ashwin, and Jadeja was then rewarded for his outstanding second-innings bowling by rattling the stumps of Steve O’Keefe. Peter Handscomb, the last recognised batsman, knew he had to score quickly, and on 24 was caught skying a slog off Ashwin, who then completed the win by having Lyon caught and bowled two balls later. The series was level at 1-1, and

very much alive. India’s margin might have been even bigger but for their own collapse early on the fourth day. Hazlewood’s 6 for 67 were the best figures by an Australia fast bowler in a Test innings in India for 37 years, since Geoff Dymock claimed 7 for 67 at Kanpur in October 1979. India started the morning at 213 for 4 and hoped to extend their lead past 200, but had to settle for an advantage of 187. They lost their last six wickets for 61 on the fourth morning. Starc started the carnage by swinging the new ball in to Ajinkya Rahane, who on 52 was rapped on the pad and given not out, but adjudged lbw on Australia’s review. Next ball, Karun Nair failed to handle Starc’s pace and swing and tickled an inside edge onto his stumps, and such was the ferocity of the delivery that the leg stump shattered on impact. Starc’s hat-trick delivery was negotiated by Saha, but in the next over Hazlewood had Cheteshwar Pujara caught fending a shortish ball to gully for 92. Three balls later, Ashwin was bowled by a Hazlewood delivery that stayed low. The Australians celebrated, but they must also have known that such a dismissal only highlighted how difficult their chase would be. And so it proved: all out for 112. Australia’s hopes in this match had expired, but the series was very much alive and kicking. Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.


Women’s Hockey Team Wins Series vs. Belarus


HOPAL: BHOPAL: Indian women’s hockey team dished out a disciplined performance to notch up a 3-1 win over a fighting Belarus and register the five-match Test series 5-0, on Wednesday. Vandana Katariya (6th min), Gurjit Kaur (15th) and Rani (55th) sounded the board for India, while Yuliya Mikheichyk (52nd) scored the solitary goal for Belarus. Captained by striker Rani, the Indian women were quick to get off the blocks as Vandana scored a stunning field goal in the 6th minute of the match. The first quarter went on to be an eventful one for the Indian team, as Gurjit Kaur successfully converted a PC in the 15th minute to take her side 2-0 up against Belarus. Though the two teams showcased good defensive structure in the following two quarters, the visitors found a breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Yuliya successfully converted a penalty corner. However, the Indian defence held strong thereafter, and even converted a PC through skipper Rani in the 55th minute to eventually seal the match in favour of India. In the fourth match, the Indian women were quick to start off the blocks with Renuka Yadav scoring a field goal in the 6th minute of the match. However, the Indian defence held strong thereafter, denying Belarus any opportunity to score in the two goal-less quarters after half time. The series is significant as it is a preparation for World Hockey League scheduled from April 1, 2017 in Canada. World Hockey League is the qualifying tournament for the World Cup, which is to be held next year in London.

Captained by striker Rani, the Indian women were quick to get off the blocks.


March 10, 2017

India Unveils New Licensing Round to Attract Oil & Gas Investments BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


PM Inaugurates Dehej OPaL, Asia’s Largest Chemical Plant


OUSTON: India has become the world’s third largest energy consumer. While there is considerable oil and gas production underway. India must still import 75% to 80% of its oil consumption. With India’s GDP expected to rise to 8% in 2018, the energy demand is expected to grow even further. As one avenue for increasing domestic oil and gas production, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, unveiled a new licensing round, titled Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP), to open India’s entire sedimentary basins for domestic and international oil and gas companies. The HELP round was launched on Monday, March 6 night at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek, an annual meeting in Houston that has become the premier meeting place for high-level oil and gas executives and petroleum ministers. The Indian delegation attending CERAWeek included top-level officials from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil and Oil India. The HELPlicensing round includes several progressive reforms and follows the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) round implemented in 2016 The new policy aims to provide investors a ready access to huge amount of seismic data through the National Data Repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing process, and increased operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model that replaces the profit sharing model, which had led to litigation over gas pricing and micromanagement by the government. The Indian MoPNG was a foundational sponsor for CERAWeek, which raised India’s profile at the conference to a significant level. Minister Pradhan was one of the star attrac-


Indian officials join CERAWeek executive to launch the new HELP (Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy) round. Holding up the HELP brochures are Anupam Ray, Counsul General of India in Houston (left), Atanu Chakraborty, Director General of Hydrocarbons; Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas; and Atul Arya, Sr. Vice President, IHS. Photo: Bijay Dixit

tions at the Ministerial Plenary, which involved an interview conducted by CERAWeek Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, the oil industry authority, who wrote the classic book about the history of the oil industry, The Prize. The Minister also held discussions with local businessmen leaders Jiten Agarwal and Durga Agarwal. Minister Pradhan used CERAWeek as a platform to launch policy initiates and to meet numerous industry leaders, including BP CEO Bob Dudley, Lyondell Basell CEO Bhavesh “Bob” Patel, Saudi Arabia oil minister Khalid Al Falih, and James Carr, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources. The minister also had the opportunity to discuss growing economic relations with Texas Governor Greg Abbottand is also expected to meet Department Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Washington D.C. Last Sunday, the Indian delegation received a practical understanding of Houston’s petrochemical industry with a tour of LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery and the Channelview petrochemical complex.

OIL, UH Sign MOU for CO2 Capture & Injection

Indian government officials, including Minister Pradhan (center), UH scientists, and community leaders watch UH Chancellor Renu Khator and OIL CMD Utpal Bora sign the MOU. Photo: Bijay Dixit


OUSTON: Oil India Limited (OIL) has entered into a MoU with the University of Houston (UH). The MoU was signed on March 7 in the presence of Minister Pradhan and other senior officials. The MoU, amongst others, is focused to collaborate in the fields of carbon capture and sequestration, and utilizing the same for CO2 flooding for Enhanced Oil Recovery

(EOR) in OIL’s mature oil fields. OIL is also in talks with NRG, a leading power generating company, to assess CO2 availability from the nearby industry sources and support as well as advise viability of a Carbon Capture & Sequestration pilot project. It is envisaged that the collaboration will help OIL to further consolidate and upgrade processes to improve production.

AHEJ, GUJARAT: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ONGC’s OPal petrochemical plant in the industrial town of Dahej. The Rs 30,000 crore plant is reputed to be the largest in Asia and Dahej has become one of the top industrial regions of the world. The plant will manufacture highdensity polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). These intermediate petrochemicals are used to manufacture both industrial and consumer plastic components and plastic wrapping sheets for both food and non-food packaging. The OPal plant is integrated with ONGC production facilities in Hazira, Uran and Dahej that will supply the raw feedstock of natural gas and naptha to produce HDPE and and LLDPE. Naptha is a product of crude oil that is extracted at plants in Uran and Hazira. The natural gas comes from LNG that is imported by PetroNet from RasGas of Qatar. The plant also has a benzene extraction unit that will be used to manufacture chemical intermediates with end uses such as wire and cable insulation, agro-chemical products and parts for the production of the automobiles and trucks. The demand for polymers in India is huge and is expected to further rise with the growth in GDP. India will continue to be in deficit of polyethylene in the foreseeable future. OPaL will be marketing substantial part of its production in the international market.


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Holi Tyohar Hai Rang aur Bhaang ka, Hum Sab Yaaron ka T

Why We Celebrate Holi?

he colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’. Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends & stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People rub ‘gulal’ and ‘abeer’ o n each others’ faces and

cheer up saying, “bura na maano Holi hai”. Holi also gives a wonderful chance to send blessings and love to dear ones wrapped in a special Holi gifts. The Legend There was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana and refused to worship his father. Hiranyakashyap tried several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that Holika had a boon, whereby, she could enter the fire unscathed. Treacherously, Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her lap and she herself took her seat in a blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika had to pay the price of her sinister desire by her life. Holika was not aware that the boon worked only

when she entered the fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the name of Lord Naarayana all this while, came out unharmed, as the lord blessed him for his extreme devotion. Thus, Holi derives its name from Holika. And, is celebrated as a festival of victory of good over evil. Holi is also celebrated as the triumph of a devotee. As the legend depicts that anybody, howsoever strong, cannot harm a true devotee. And, those who dare torture a true devotee of god shall be reduced to ashes. Even today, people enact the scene of ‘Holika’s burning to ashes’ every year to mark the victory of good over evil. people take a little fire from the bonfire to their homes. It is believed that by following this custom their homes will be rendered pure and their bodies will be free from disease. At several places there is also a tradition of cleaning homes, removing all dirty articles from around the house and burning them. Diseasebreeding bacteria are thereby destroyed and the sanitary condition of the locality is improved. -holifestival.org

Holi Special Recipe Dahi Bhalle Recipe

Ingredients: (Serves 4) For the bhallas: 1 cup (200 g) lentils (dhuli urad dal) 600 ml water 1/2 tsp (2 g) salt 1 tsp (5 g) cumin seeds 2 tsp (10 g) ginger, chopped 5 g green chillies, chopped 250 ml oil For the curd mixture: 2 cups (400 ml) thick curd, beaten 1 tsp (5 g) sugar 1/2 tsp (2 g) salt 3/4 tsp (4 g) cumin powder 1/2 tsp (2 g) black rock salt 1/2 tsp (2 g) white pepper powder For the garnishing: 1 tsp (5 g) ginger, julienned 1 tsp (5 g) green chillies, julienned 5 g coriander leaves, chopped a pinch of chilli powder a pinch of cumin powder 4 sprigs mint leaves 2 2/3 tbs (40 ml) tamarind chutney


Clean the urad dal and soak in water for two hours. Drain and grind to a fine paste, adding a little water if required. Remove from the mixer. Add salt, cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies. Mix well. Shape into even sized balls. Heat oil in a kadai and add the prepared balls, a few at a time, using wet hands. Deep fry till golden brown. (Make a hole in the centre of the ball with the thumb just before frying). Remove and drain on paper towels. To prepare the curd mixture: Soak the prepared balls in sufficient lukewarm water till they are soft. Add sugar, salt, cumin powder, black rock salt and white pepper powder to the beaten curd. Mix well. Remove the bhallas from water, squeeze out excess water and add to the curd mixture. Keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve chilled, garnished with ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, chilli powder, cumin powder, mint leaves and tamarind chutney -holifestival.org


March 10, 2017




March 10, 2017


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