E newspaper 03172017

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Friday, March 17, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 11


Indo American erican News

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

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Candle Light Vigil for

Spiritual Japa Retreat


India House to honor the true American hero, Memorial for Srinivas Kuchibhotla at India House; selfie taken Ian Grillot, at its 14th annual India House gala by Srinivas with wife Sunayana Dumala (right). on Saturday, March 25.

Movie Review


Srinivas Kuchibhotla


Historical Play on Saint Ramanuja

Shankar Hariharan of Global Organization for Divinity India, honoring Dr. Kas Saranathan

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March 17, 2017

A Blend of Business Acumen with a Heart of Gold



When IACCGH member Bal Sareen set out to be an entrepreneur in 1999, his business plan impressed every banker. The hitch: no one would approve the loan. Eventually he acquired IEE, Inc., an engineering plant with an SBA guaranteed loan but it was really in 2002 when ConocoPhillips purchased this plant for its prime land that the Company received a lifeline and found its stride. Bal plowed this money into building a brand new 100,000 sq. feet manufacturing facility in Sulphur, Louisiana and duplicated it in Pearland, Texas in 2011. Today, the company is one of the leading Shell and Heat Exchange manufacturers in Texas. Bal Sareen, 72, is a native of Delhi. A third division in his Higher Secondary exam nearly derailed his plans of becoming a mechanical engineer – a decision, he recalls, he took at the age of 10. However, he aced the joint entrance exam for RIT, Jamshedpur and graduated in second place out of 900 students. This academic success, Bal reflects, made him “believe in himself” and led him to IIT, Delhi for his Masters. While studying, he was offered the position of a Lecturer – an offer he took up as

soon as he completed his Masters. Why teaching? Not only is it his passion, but growing up, Bal explains, he saw so many teachers who couldn’t or wouldn’t engage their students. He loves teaching so much that to this day he delivers lectures on Heat Exchangers in refineries across the US and goes out of his way to explain any query from his employees. In 1974, Bal wound up at McMaster University, Canada thanks to a Commonwealth scholarship where he completed his second Masters. Two years later, he immigrated to the US and worked with several companies like Lepel Corp., Fuller Co. and Ohmstede, Inc. before striking out on his own. Brask, Inc., named after the initials of his family members, (Bal, Rita, Amy, Sangeeta and Kevin) is a provider of “cradle to grave” services for Shell and Heat Exchangers for the downstream and petrochemical industry. Fair business practices, a competent team and a willingness to go that extra step to ensure customer satisfaction helped the Company record a 20% growth for 15 straight years and clock revenues in excess of $60 million. Apart from his entrepreneurial success, Bal is also known to rarely turn down a request for sponsorship of community events.


Masi Magam Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY KAMALA RAGHAVAN

PEARLAND: Masi Magam, a

Bal Sareen Photo: Bijay Dixit

This spirit of service, Bal says, is imbibed from his father who was an authority on the Ramayana and lived according to its precepts all his life. The Bal and Rita Sareen clinic at India House bears this out where Bal singlehandedly underwrote the cost to set up a healthcare center providing low cost medical facilities. As IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia puts it – Bal Sareen is a blend of business acumen with “a heart of gold.” Bal currently serves as the President of the Hindu Worship Society temple where he devotes his time and energy to revive it to its former prestige.

special event for Lord Murugan was celebrated by Sri Meenakshi Temple on Saturday March 11. This auspicious day usually falls on the Magam nakshathra of the Tamil month Masa (Generally Feb 15 – March 15). Sri Meenakshi Temple closely follows the traditions and customs of Madurai and this festival replicated the grand celebration at the ancient Thirupparankundram Murugan temple. The scriptures say that Goddess Parvathy, in the form of Shakti (Supreme Power) blessed and gave the divine “vel” weapon to Lord Muruga to ensure victory in his battle with the demon Surapadman. The abhishekam is performed on the Vel or spear of Lord Muruga. More than 100 ardent devotees participated in the beautiful puja. The priest performed Abhishekam to the accompaniment of chanting of the sacred Rudra veda mantram. This was followed by the singing of the melodious and popular Tamil hymn Kanda Shashti Kavacham that was composed by the 19th century poet Devaraya Swamigal. The devotees sang several songs on Muruga while waiting patiently for the thirai (curtain) to open after alankaram. When the curtain


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opened, there was a spontaneous cry of “Muruganukku Haro Hara, Vel Muruganukku Haro Hara” from all the devotees upon seeing the spectacularly adorned deities of Lord Karthikeya and his consorts Valli and Devayanai. The final archana was performed, followed by Deeparadhana. This was truly a very divine and fulfilling experience for the devotees, aptly described by a devotee’s parents visiting from India as “We never miss Madurai or Mylapore when we are in Meenakshi Temple, Houston, where all the pujas and festivals are done just like in India”. Several of the volunteers had prepared prasadams that were distributed by the coordinators. The event was very well conducted by the priests and temple staff, and coordinated by Dr. T.A. Dorairajan and Srikanth Venugopalan along with the Temple board members.


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March 17, 2017


Candle Light Vigil Held at India House for Shooting Victim Srinivas Kuchibhotla BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON: One day, you’re tak-

ing a selfie with your wife at a happy occasion. Not much later, you get shot while having a drink with your colleague. That’s the tragic turn of events which took the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Olathe, Kansas on Feb. 22. A recent series of hate crimes against South Asians brought together more than 70 Houstonians of Indian origin to attend a candle light vigil last Sunday, March 11 morning at India House, to mourn the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Kuchibhotla, 32, was shot dead at a bar last week in an apparent hate crime. One of his colleagues at work, Alok Madasani, also an Indian and an American citizen, and bystander Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the shooter, were injured in the incident. The alleged shooter, Adam Purinton, claimed later that he had shot dead two people from Iran. A native of Hyderabad in India, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was a computer engineer, who graduated from

Houstonians lined up to pay their respects to Kuchibhotla, including Congressman Pete Olson (left), by lighting a candle.

the University of Texas at El Paso with a masters degree in 2007, and most recently, was working Gramin, a GPS manufacturing company in Kansas City, alongside Alok Madasani. The vigil for Kuchibhotla was organized by Mahesh Subramanya, with the support of the Telugu Cultural Association and several other community organizations, including India House.

India House Executive Director Col. Vipin Kumar opened the vigil by reading a condolence message from the American Society of Indian Engineers (ASIE). “Mr. Kuchibhotla will be remembered and missed by the entire engineering industry in the USA and also in India,” wrote ASIE President Dinesh Shah. “We all condemn this tragic incident. I appeal for all to stand together and stay united.”

US Congressman Pete Olson, representing the 22nd district which extends from Katy to Webster, attended the vigil, wearing a traditional kurta. “This is a bad day for all of us, but we have to be here to condemn the actions of a crazed person,” said Rep. Olson. He then asked the attendees to repeat: “If hate is in sight, we must fight.” India House Trustee Durga Agrawal brought the community’s

concerns to the forefront. “Srinivas could have been my son. It could have been me or one of you.,” said Agrawal. India House has established a fund for Ian Grillot, who was heroically injured in the incident. India House will match community donations up to the full target amount of $150,000. The fund will be handed to Grillot at the India House Gala on March 25.

India House to Honor American Hero Ian Grillot at its Annual Gala

HOUSTON: India House is

privileged to honor the true American hero, Ian Grillot, 24

at its 14th annual India House gala on March 25, at J W Marriott in Houston.


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Ian was at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas on 22 February when suspected gunman allegedly yelled “get out of my country” and opened fire at two Indian engineers, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani. Kuchibhotla died, while Madasani was injured. Nobody was ever more American than was Ian Grillot when he leapt from under the table and started towards the gunman. As Ian tried to stop the gunman, he was hit by a bullet in the hand and chest. Ian is now known across the world as the hero who chased the gunman out of the bar and was wounded trying to stop him. “Without all the prayers and positive support from everybody, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am right now. It’s been a blessing to be alive. I am looking forward to attend India House Gala event on March 25, in Houston, TX. You guys are wonderful and I thank you all for such a support”, Ian said. “We are privileged to honor Ian Grillot at our biggest event of the year. We invite all Hous-

tonians to come, celebrate Ian’s true American spirit and support India House’s annual fundraising event,” said Jiten Agarwal, Board Member and 2017 Gala Chair of India House. “I don’t know if I could’ve lived with myself if I wouldn’t have stopped or attempted to stop the shooter because that would’ve been completely devastating. I do now have a very powerful message and if I can help empower people and spread hope and love, then why not? I love to be associated with India House that serves so many economically challenged families from all communities in Houston area. It is truly a temple,” Ian said. The annual Gala is the main

fundraising event of the India House, with all proceeds going to the day to day community programs and expansion of India House. Guests of honor this year include many dignitaries including India’s Ambassador to USA; Navtej Sarna, Former US Ambassador to India; David Mulford, Former US Assistant Secretary of State; Nisha Biswal, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, and Master Chef Vikas Khanna. For further details, please visit www.indiahouseinc.org/ gala2017 See ad on Page 4

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March 17, 2017


Historical Play and Community Service Events Commemorate Prayer House Anniversary PEARLAND: Global Organiza-

tion for Divinity USA celebrated Namadwaar Prayer House’s seventh anniversary with a number of events in the Pearland area over the weekend of March 4 and 5, that were attended by hundreds of people from around Houston and also visitors from other parts of the country. On Mar 4, evening, popular Houston drama troupe, Meenakshi Theaters, in support of Global Organization for Divinity, presented a historical play on the life of Saint Ramanuja, a famous 11th century Indian philosopher and leader whose 1000th birth anniversary is being commemorated this year, the world over. The play was performed to a full house and was very well received by the Houston community. Special guest Shankar Hariharan of G.O.D. India, Thara Narasimhan, community leader and connoisseur, as well as numerous members of the audience had high praises for the dedication and performance of the director Dr. Kas Saranathan and his team of actors, production and music personnel. This production was supCONTINUED TO PAGE



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On the weekend of March 3-5, 150 devotees from Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Oklahoma City and New Orleans had a joyful and spiritual Japa Retreat (Chanting of Holy Names) with His Holiness Romapada Swami and His Grace Bada Hari Prabhu at Greater Houston area, ISKCON Houston. This Japa Retreat is an annual event and for this year the theme of the Japa Retreat was “Taking Shelter of Holy Name – Saranagati!” Romapada Swami gave very informative lectures with scriptural evidences and realizations from his decades of scriptural studies and dedication to the chanting of the Holy Name, Maha mantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare). This retreat was a perfect opportunity to enhance the relationship with the Holy Name! The attendees were also drowned by ecstatic kirtan by world renowned devotee musician HG Bada Hari Prabhu and his students from Chicago. It is also a common practice in all religions like Hinduism, Christianity and Islam to worship God by chanting the holy names. Similarly, devotees of the Lord Krishna chant the holy names in the form CONTINUED ON PAGE

March 17, 2017


Japa Retreat 2017 at ISKCON Houston



Photos: Thejas Rajaram

10 March 17, 2017




March 17, 2017

Overwhelming Community Support for North South Foundation

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NSF Founder, Dr. Ratnam Chitturi (left) with Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray.


The Houston Chapter of the North South Foundation (NSF) held its fundraising gala at India House on March 10. The objective was to raise funds to support NSF’s India Scholarship program and the 2017 National Finals Competition at the University of Houston in August. Over 100 supporters including businesses and individuals from the Greater Houston area attended this event. Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, who attended the event emphasized the importance of instilling core values of discipline, perseverance, and humility in children and how these goals are closely aligned with the philosophy of NSF. Dr. Ray also appreciated NSF’s academic efforts in USA and in India. Dr. Ratnam Chitturi, Founder of NSF gave the attendees a summary of NSF’s achievements over the past 28 years and shared his vision of NSF’s future mission in USA and in India. Dr. Chitturi also emphasized that NSF operates on a 100% volunteer-run model with no payroll employees, and complimented the commitment of the Indo-American community in ensuring its sustainability and success. Sai Rachakonda, long-time NSF-Houston coordinator and convener of the 2017 NSF Nationals Finals, highlighted the

Chapter’s success in helping many Houston area children get to the National stage, including Scripps Spelling Bee, Math Counts, Geography Bee and others. He thanked the attendees for their long time encouragement and support. This was followed by three NSF alumni sharing their personal experience with NSF and how this association has helped them look forward to a bright future built on NSF’s core values. The event concluded with dinner and a captivating evening presented by Gary’s Z-band musical group. North South Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit, volunteer run organization established in 1989 by Dr. Ratnam Chitturi. The goal is to promote excellence in human endeavor by providing resources to help deserving and economically disadvantaged students establish successful careers. To realize these goals, NSF has instituted a Scholarship program in India through its 25 centers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The students can pursue educational careers in engineering, medical or polytechnic schools. Academic competitions conducted by the Foundation support the India Scholarship program. It is encouraging to note that for the past 10 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee Champions are NSF Children. Similarly, children trained by NSF have excelled in

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other national competitions including, National Geography Bee, Math Olympiad, Math Counts, Science Bowl and History Bee and others. NSF-US operates 92 Regional Chapters in the United States. The Foundation’s Houston Chapter has been conducting the workshops and contests for the past 24 years. NSF-Houston is supported by a team of more than 50 volunteers. The chapter provides volunteering opportunities for high school children too. This year, the regional contests will be conducted on 08/09-Apr. Last date for registrations is 27-Mar. The year marks an important milestone for NSFHouston which plans to host the 2017 National Finals at the University of Houston on August 12 and 13. The year also coincides with the 25th Anniversary for the Academic Bee contests. About 1,500 children selected from the centers all over the country are expected to participate. The finals event can be watched live on NSF Channel on YUPPTV while previous years events can be watched on demand. Needless to say, an undertaking of such proportions cannot be successful without volunteer and financial support from our local Indian community.

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12 March 17, 2017


ASIE: Year 2017 Started With Full Slate of Events due to National Engineers Week Celebration

MathCounts Volunteers: From left: ASIE President Dinesh Shah, Mahesh Wadhwa, Naresh Kolli, Ravi Arora, Dinesh Parikh, Vijay Sanghani and Rohit Desai

HOUSTON: American Society

of Indian Engineers and Architects known as ASIE started year 2017 with by participating in several technical and educational events under the leadership of current President, Dinesh Shah. The first 30 days of ASIE was a very busy period for ASIE, as board members and members volunteered many hours of their time by attending four major events as a part of National Engineers Week, also known as E Week Celebration. One of the goals of ASIE is to participate for promoting the future of students, particularly last several years ASIE had given scholarship to many students. ASIE volunteers participated as Proctors and Graders at 2017 Regional MATHCOUNTS competition sponsored by Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TBPE), which was held at Flour Corp in Sugar Land. MATHCOUNTS is a national math enrichment, coaching & competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement in every U.S. state & territory. Schools select students to compete individually or as part of a team in one of the more than 500 written and oral competitions held nationwide. Top students advance to the state, and ultimately, national level. MATHCOUNTS challenges students’

Shankar Roy and Ravi Arora.

math skills, develops their selfconfidence & rewards them for their achievements. The second event was UH EAA Student Awards Banquet. ASIE presented the award “Indian Engineering Students - Engineering the Future” to Indian origin Ms. Sharon John on Feb 21st at the University of Houston, Engineering Alumni Association E Week Reception. Sharon is currently pursuing Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering (Junior) at UH, expected to graduate in 2018. She is working as Undergraduate Research Assistant in Robertson Research Group at University of Houston - Chemical and Biomolecular engineering Department. ASIE has been a sponsor for UHEAA Scholarship Program for the past several years encouraging engineering students of Indian Origin at UH. ASIE’s $ 500 award was one among 18 other awards presented that evening. ASIE representative Ravi Arora and Shankar Roy attended another important and meaningful annual event for ASIE, the 58th Science & Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH), was held on February 2425, at the University of Houston. This is a regional fair for all public and private junior, ninth grade and senior high school students in Harris and 16 other neighboring counties. With over 1,500 student entries from about 150 schools, the Houston Science and Engineering Fair is one of the largest of its kind. Approximately 28,000 projects are entered in the preliminary school/district fair competitions. SEFH has more students who ac-

tually participate in the judging process than any other science fair in the world. ASIE has been an active participant at the Houston Science & Engineering Fair for since 1998 as a “Special Award Judging Agency.” Winners in each category will be recognized at the ASIE Diwali event in October 2017. Texas Society of Professional Engineer Houston Chapter celebrates National Engineers Week with Young Engineers of the Year featuring numerous Houston engineers from various professional societies. The Young Engineer Award is intended to promote the efforts of young professionals as part of their professional development, who has made outstanding contributions to the Engineering Profession in the varying engineering disciplines ranging from civil, chemical, mechanical, petroleum and electrical for their contributions to the economy, the community and to the public’s understanding of engineering during the early years of one’s career, below 35 years. This year Poolkeshi Patel was honored as ASIE 2017 Young Engineer/Architect of the Year. Poolkeshi has earned a Master’s degree in year 2011 in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from University of Texas at Austin. She is currently working as an Engineer at KIT Professionals. She has experience in drinking water and wastewater planning and design and has worked on several high-profile projects with municipal and industrial clients. She is the ASIE Treasurer this year.



March 17, 2017


Free Speed Dating Services for Hindus at India House on March 18 tion, Keemat Grocers, Deep Food, Apsara Salon and TV Houston from Houston. Since it is a free service being run on sponsorships by volunteers, the community is being encouraged to come together to help and support the event to make it run smoothly. Prospective candidates are hereby being urged to register online at www.usvivah.com for the upcoming event on March 18 at 1 PM at India House. Please


HOUSTON: Come one, come

all (eligible bachelors and bachelorettes) to this wonderful speed dating service that is being provided by www.usvivah.com. This involves online registration on the website to meet eligible Hindus of the opposite sex at a convenient location, India House on Saturday, March 18 at 1 Pm. US Vivah is a volunteer based organization initiated by the joint efforts of Hindu community leaders of the greater Dallas and Houston areas. The goal is to expand to all other states in the US and reach out to as many Hindu families in America as possible. In order to keep the Hindu heritage alive, this was the brainchild of certain Hindu Texans. They did not want to do away with the customs, rituals, rich cultural celebrations and the spiritual ideologies of the Hindu faith. With small baby steps, the first event took place in Dallas. It was well attended by locals and some from nearby towns to find suitable prospective partners. There were more foreign born candidates at this event. The second event was held in our very own Houston at India House, the same venue during the Christmas break, allowing prospects to meet candidates while

contact national coordinators Sangeeta Dua (media partner) or Rajiv Verma for further information and for hosting such events in other cities. Please also visit the facebook page for more pictures and information. Large numbers are expected to attend the event according to registration data collected so far. All volunteers are being thanked for their unconditional support, and time and effort spent on making the events successful.

Pictures from the previous event.

visiting family. There were more US born candidates at the second event. More awareness is needed within our community for better attendance for this completely free of charge event. According to Hindu parents, children are primarily focused on their career and education that they do not find the time to date. This provides the best platform for eligible candidates to meet people with marriage on their mind. The bio-data of prospective candidates are not shared with parents since the whole idea is for

the candidates to meet face to face. It is important to feel the chemistry and share the contact information in person if the mutual parties are interested in moving forward. The vibes that are felt with personal contact cannot be equaled by dating long distance. There will be two groups of candidates, one in the age group of 21 to 35 and one group over 35. Light refreshments will be served at the event. The sponsors who have provided continued support include Shashi Kejiwal, Dr. Jay from Dalls, ShreeSitaram Founda-

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14 March 17, 2017


HMM Holi 2017, Colorful Celebration at Vastu



OSENBERG: Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) celebrated Holi on Saturday, March 4, at its own Vastu in Rosenberg. This was the first grand celebration at the Vastu. HMM has purchased 11.5 Acre property near Rosenberg, Texas and plans to build Shri Siddhivinayak Temple and Community Center at this Vastu. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival that signifies the victory of good (Vishnu) over evil (Holika) and is well known for splashing colors on each other. It also marks the start of spring. It is

celebrated all over India and now around the world. Playing colors are the most joyous part of the Holi celebrations. They add life and vitality to the festival. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika – a bonfire. People gather around the Holi, perform religious rituals, and pray with an intention to destroy all the internal evil. The next morning is celebrated as Rang Panchami - a free-forall carnival of colors, where participants play, chase, and color each other using a safe and dry color powder. Some carry water guns and others colored water-filled balloons for their water fight.

HMM President, Anjou Sathe Keller, with her enthusiastic committee members organized the event very well. From getting the warmth around the Holika bonfire, to playing colors and visiting with friends and family, Holi is a wonderful celebration to bring the community together and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Entire event footage was captured by Aditya Patil‘s drone which was a big surprise to all. All the attendees were given Pichkaris (water guns) and Holi colors to celebrate in a colorful way. As we were collecting our colors we saw our friends coming

from nowhere to smear colors all over us. Kids, adults, and even seniors had a lot of fun. The sacred Holi bon fire was lit up and crowd gathered and shouted “Holi re holi and Har Har Mahadev”. Waterslides were arranged for all ages, kids no doubt had a blast. There was a DJ organized by cultural committee – Chaitrali Gokhale and Abhishek Bhat. Everyone danced at the classic Bollywood tunes. We were served scrumptious Maharashtrian special lunch prepared by ex HMM President Megha Ozarker along with Puran Poli that was ordered from India by Abhishek Bhatt. Our special thanks to

both. Puran Poli is a popular sweet dish typically eaten in Maharashtra. It is a sweet flatbread with a buttery taste and a stuffing of lentils and jaggery. It is served with warm ghee. It was a dream come true for entire HMM to celebrate the first event at the Vastu. The entire HMM community congratulates the committee members for a yet another fantastic successful event. Huge thanks to HMM committee and Vastu team who made it possible. The next event by HMM is live concert with Radha Mangeshkar (disciple & daughter of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar and niece of two greatest living legends, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle) and Hrishikesh Ranade (playback singer of Bollywood and Marathi film industry, recently toured with Shreya Ghoshal to celebrate 100 years of Bollywood) on March 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm at Berry Center. They will sing classic Hindi as well as Marathi songs. For details and tickets please visit www.hmmhouston.org


March 17, 2017



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COMMUNITY Historical Play and Community Service Events Commemorate Prayer House Anniversary CONTINUED FROM PAGE


ported by the City of Pearland cultural arts grant through the Pearland Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. The drama truly brought the life of the great saint to life and presented it beautifully, doing justice to his exalted life and accomplishments. Dr. Saranathan’s portrayal of Sri Ramanuja was outstanding and a lifetime achievement for him. The event was attended by the Honorable Mayor Tom Reid of Pearland who also had words of praise for Global Organization for Divinity and its sister organization, Love to Share Foundation America, and particularly their community service and support of cultural arts. During this program, as part of Love to Share Foundation America’s annual giving drive, donations of baby food, clothes and toys were collected and given to

Variety Children Sierra Leone, a UNICEF-funded organization that works with children and women in Africa. Namadwaar Prayer House’s anniversary celebrations continued on Sunday, March 5, morning with an inspiring special address from India by the organization’s guiding force and preceptor, His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. This was followed by group sankirtan, and then a musical discourse on the life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by Smt. Uma Ranganathan. That afternoon a special, inaugural “Walk with a Doc” event had been scheduled, but due to inclement weather, has now been postponed to Saturday March 25 at 8 AM. Sponsored by the Texas Medical Association and organized in Pearland/Manvel by Love to Share Foundation’s “Body, Mind & Soul” initiative, this is a free monthly 3K walk/run focused

on encouraging physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle. The first 50 finishers in the inaugural walk will receive free t-shirts and pedometers. Registration is still open at www.tinyurl.com/ bms-wwd. Namadwaar prayer house is located at 3642 Bailey Ave, Manvel TX in the Pearland area. The Sri Ramanuja play proceeds supported a project to remodel the prayer house, with the aim to reinforce and increase the capacity of the current building structure. To be a part of this project, please call 281-402-6585. For more information about G.O.D. USA and Namadwaar visit www.godivinity.org, and for more information about Love to Share Foundation, visit www.lovetosharefoundation.org.

Japa Retreat 2017 at ISKCON Houston CONTINUED FROM PAGE


of the Hare Krishna Maha mantra, which is a call to the Lord to help us in self-realization and reestablishing our eternal relationship with Him. The natural desire for wanting to understand and having a relationship God is in all of us but we generally have no time nor the opportunity to pursue it. This Japa Retreat gave the perfect opportunity to overcome the material obstacles to enter into a spiritual relationship with God (Krishna). It was so amazing to see that so many people were more than willing to reconnect to the holy name of Krishna and gained tremendous spiritual benefit. The second day was full of lectures and ecstatic kirtans on the theme “Saranagati” or total surrender to Lord Krishna. Romapada Swami said in the beginning of the lectures that when many devotees come together and chant the holy names, they will help each other focus deeply and achieve deeper shelter of holy name of Krishna. This is called congregational chanting. He also quoted Srila Rupa Goswami, the foremost of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, that when the word ‘Krishna’ is uttered in a Mantra, the very moment the first syllable – ‘Krish’ is vibrated, it immediately attracts the attention of Lord Krishna Himself! The Swami also gave great detailed explanation on six ways of surrender: (1) Humility (2) Dedication of the self (3) Acceptance of the Lord as

one’s only maintainer (4) Faith on Krishna that He will surely protect one (5) Execution of only those acts favorable to pure devotion and (6) Renunciation of conduct adverse to pure devotion. In the poem Sri Namastaka written by Raghunatha das Goswami, another of the six Goswamis, the shelter of holy name is so beautifully and poetically explained. “O Hari-nama! The tips of the toes of Your lotus feet are constantly being worshiped by the glowing radiance emanating from the string of gems known as the Upanishads, the crown jewels of the Vedas. You are eternally adored by liberated souls such as Narada and Sukadeva. O Hari-nama! I take complete shelter of You.” HG Syamasundara Prabhu then discussed the meaning of what taking the shelter of the Holy Name meant. And later HG Radha Krishna Prabhu discussed how the participants can also serve the Holy Name in various ways. Both these discussions helped the participants to practice the chanting the Holy Name with greater care and understanding and in forming a better relationship with the Lord as well. In between the lectures and discussions, HG Bada Hari Prabhu and his students sang “Saranagati” songs written by Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura melodiously which were overwhelmingly enjoyed by all the retreat attendees as they

stood up and danced and chanted in unison. On Sunday, the final day, the highlight of the retreat was the 64 rounds of the Holy Names where 64 rounds are the equivalent of chanting the Holy Names for 6,912 times. It usually takes the chanter about 8 to 9 hours. To avoid distractions and to not waste valuable time, the attendees all took a vow of silence or ‘mouna vrata’. The day ended with many attendees sharing their realizations which were appreciated by all. One devotee shared her realization that “I am very happy to attend Japa Retreat and my daughter chanted 59 Rounds for the first time in one day and I was able to have good realization about where I am at in my spiritual life”. Young devotee children also shared their realization that “I did 32 rounds and quality of chanting was better when I did in front of Deities” and “I felt very blissful when I chanted so many rounds” Unlike other retreats that one might attend, this spiritual retreat provides one of the rarest gifts and unveils to you the treasure of spirituality, love of God, in its purest form. We wish to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the ISKCON Houston at 1320 W 34th St, Houston TX 77018 (713 686 4482). For further details please visit http://www.iskconhouston. org



March 17, 2017


Stop Diabetes Movement (SDM) Yoga Camps Motivates Participants for Healthy Lifestyle



OUSTON: Sewa International and VYASA organized ten-day yoga camps from February 24 to March 5. The camps were held simultaneously at three locations in the Houston area (Sugar Land, West Houston & Katy) and 65 people participated. The camp is specially designed for diabetic and pre-diabetic people to help them manage and control high blood sugar levels with yoga routine and holistic approach. SDM camps are being conducted all across the country, so far 14 Camps have been conducted in Houston area and 10+ camps in other cities in the country. More than 300+ people have participated in these camps, from all walks of life, since the time these camps started.

The ten-day camp included daily yoga routine, educative sessions from medical doctors and specialist on diabetes, stress management, food habits and diet. At the closing ceremony held at Keshav Smruti on Sunday, participants shared about the transformation the camp brought in their lifestyle and in managing diabetes. One of the participants, Gaurav from Sugarland, says “I started eating right and doing personal training and yoga. After the SDM camp, my blood sugar levels have come down significantly and now I am a living example of how Yoga and nutrition works”. Jyoti from Katy mentions “I was diagnosed with pre breast cancer and could not move my left hand due to chemo, but by doing the “Asanas” at the camp, I am able to take my hand all the way up”. Another participant,

Rahul, who attended the camp in Arya Samaj, says “I have attended a lot of Yoga sessions before, however the Yoga Therapists in this camp paid great attention to details; doctor presentations were pretty good.” Jay from VYASA presented data on the results of this camp. The drop in participant’s fasting blood glucose level and post prandial sugar levels was noticeable with just 10 days of practice (based on the readings provided by participants before start & at the end of these camp). The program concluded with Nikhil Jain offering vote of thanks to all the participants, doctors (Dr. Sudha Rajan, Dr. Ulupi Choksi, Dr. Sejal Desai, Dr. Kavita Patel, Dr. Shilpan Shah and Dr. Namrata Rathod); camp yoga therapists (Meena Kankani, Satya Pappu, Vijay Jilledimudi & Jayachandran Chan-

drasekaran); SDM core volunteer team (Anuja Deshpande, Sripriya Joysula, Vibhuti Shah, Arvind Thekdi, Naina Patel and Noopur Saptnekar); VYASA Houston Directors Vishwarup Nanjundappa & Smitha Mallaiah and their team; Unique

Industrial Product Company, Arya Samaj of Greater Houston, Keshav Smruti and Swath Yoga Studio for providing their facility and partnering to conduct these SDM camps. A delicious and nutritious potluck meal was served to end the program on a high note. These yoga camp were extremely successful and the participants are now looking forward to keeping up with the practice and come back for a follow up session in 4 weeks. Sewa will conduct the next set of camps in various parts of Houston, from Sep 9 to 17. These camps are free of charge and have refundable deposit after participants complete all the sessions. For those who want to know more about SDM Diabetes Yoga camp or want to volunteer, please email at info-sdm@sewausa.org or text (713) 834-4909 / (281) 546-8202.

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18 March 17, 2017


Reeling Under Hate

The Indian-origin community in the US is seriously wor-

ried about its safety following ‘the hate crime shooting’ of a 32-year old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas last month. More recently, Indian-origin Harnish Patel was shot dead while Deep Rai, a Sikh resident of Washington was shot at by a gunman yelling “go back to your own country”. And Ekta Desai was heckled by an African-American on a commuter train in New York. All of which indicates that the news regarding the current status of Indians from India in the US is going from bad to worse. President Donald Trump has condemned the incidents and stated that hate and evil are unAmerican ethics. A look back into the history of immigration norms and policy in the US might be interesting. The change in the Asian situation in the US was the result through dramatic changes in the immigration policy. A century ago, the few hundred Asians who penetrated America were concentrated on the west coast, forming a continuation of the Canadian Sikh migration. California was known for its cults and sects as well a multiplicity of swamis or custodians of esoteric tidings. However, American immigration policy forbade the entry of all who were ineligible to become citizens, and Asians were in this category. When no less an Indian than Rabindranath Tagore entered the US from Canada in 1929, he was subjected to humiliation which made him cancel his tour and depart at once. After World War II, there was an easing of the ban, and India and Pakistan were allotted an entry quota. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson reorganized the whole system. Instead of the old norms and policies favoring entries from the UK and NorthWest Europe, new policies meant an annual entry of 120,000 Western immigrants and 170,000 from countries beyond the West. The new rules gained effect from 1968. While 5,205 Indian nationals entered the US in 1969, 15,589 arrived in 1972. Most of the Indians were skilled professionals. the birth of immigrants, the number of immigrants from each country living in the US and the projected growth in immigration by 2010. The greatest increase in immigrants or 23.7% was predicted to be from Mexico while India ranked fourth as far as country of origin was concerned with 1,000,000 immigrants living in the US in 2000 which was predicted to increase to 1,600,000 by 2010 or 4%, according to Rayna Bailey writing in 2010. A poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty asks, “Bring me your huddled masses.” What a shame if a great country born out of immigrant blood, sweat and toil should hate Indian ethnic groups due to their color and other elements and resentment of the wealth they have lost being accrued by a wealthy immigrant brown community. -- Hindustan Times Aditi Chatterji is Honorary Associate, Centre for Urban Economic Studies, University of Calcutta


So much of the instant analysis of

the Uttar Pradesh assembly election results echoes the bewildered commentary that followed Narendra Modi’s historic victory in the Lok Sabha elections of May 2014. Familiar arguments, such as the communal polarization of the electorate, getting caste combinations right, the resort to “populism”, even the “stupidity” of the Congress party’s inept leadership, are being trotted out as explanations for the persistence of a trend. None of these was an unknown factor in the run-up to the elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always unabashedly appealed to the “Hindu” vote, at least partly in the hope of neutralising the “caste” factor, regional parties have always been about caste and ethnic loyalties, every successful politician has been a “populist” at the hustings, even if a “reformer” in office, and the Congress has had a crisis of leadership for at least five years. Serious analysts must come forward with a better explanation for what is clearly a new trend in Indian politics — the secular decline of the Indian National Congress as a national party of government, and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party as a mainstream political party, with a vote base across the country. But for any such serious analysis, political science requires new data and new tools. As in economics, so in political science, we see the persistence of old theories seeking to explain new realities. The discipline of economics at least got used to the idea of a paradigm shift from time to time: When facts changed, as John Maynard Keynes famously put it, theory caught up. The Keynesian revolution was one such paradigm shift. Then, after the implosion of the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party’s embrace of market economics, even if with Chinese characteristics, the statist paradigm in economics went out of fashion. More recently, following China’s rise, the trans-Atlantic financial crisis and the slowing down of Europe, the so-called Washington Consensus and

the “neo-liberal” economics it was built on have met their comeuppance. Yet, the ideologically conditioned economists of the left and right persist with their old ideas, while the more pragmatic ones, with their ear to the ground, have been able to walk a new path. Economics, as a discipline, has been in disrepute over the past decade — this has challenged practical economists to come up with new ideas. However, we do not as yet see signs of a similar soul-searching among political scientists studying India. Most of them remain prisoners either of an ideology or of statistical surveys. While ideological blinkers blind one to change that one does not wish to see, statistics and opinion surveys too have their limitations in a complex polity like India. If ideology ends up convincing someone that a tree is a pillar, statistics can end up making one miss the woods for the trees. Not surprisingly, therefore, contemporary political analysis continues to use theoretical tools from inter-war Europe or statistical tools from post-war American political science to explain the rise of the BJP and the popularity of Narendra Modi. The time has come to seriously understand the roots of the decline of the Congress and the rise of the BJP. Neither is a cyclical or transient phenomenon. A senior Congress spokesperson said on TV that what goes up must come down and in politics, what goes down can come up; so, why worry. It is a comforting thought for those in the Congress who sit in the Rajya Sabha and live in Lutyens Delhi: It is, however, not what the average Congress worker in Siddipet or Silchar, Sholapur or Sonepat thinks.

The Congress faces three very different, but inter-related challenges. First, it has no national leadership of any standing left: Sonia Gandhi’s appeal has faded and Rahul Gandhi has been demonetized. Second, the party’s regional leaders and cadre in many states are a dispirited lot. Third, the Congress has not been able to craft a new political platform. In short, it is not the “timidity and stupidity” of the Congress leadership, as some analysts seem to believe, that is responsible for the party’s decline — the decline has been a long time in the coming and will continue till the party is able to re-invent itself under a completely new leadership. Finally, the BJP’s rise too is not just because Modi is Indira Gandhi Mark II, implementing the UPA’s manifesto and successfully communalising a large majority of Hindus. The BJP has come this far based on the strength of its cadre, its regional leaders and its appeal to a “new India”. On top of this, Modi has been able to project himself as both a strong nationalist and a pro-poor political leader. It is also clear that the BJP has a long-term policy perspective on all fronts, including economic, foreign and social policy that it hopes will give it the same political longevity the Congress enjoyed after Independence. Taken together, these very different trajectories of the two national parties constitute a paradigm shift in India’s political economy and a power shift in politics. Given India’s diversity, there will always be space for other political parties in one part of the Subcontinent or another. Even the Congress had to yield space to other parties after the first general elections. The Communist Party of India defeated Nehru’s Congress in Kerala in 1957. By 1962, other parties unseated the Congress and a large number of powerful regional political leaders emerged. Yet, the Congress remained the dominant player. Much the same could happen over the next decade, with several parties retaining regional relevance, even as the BJP emerges as the dominant national player.-- 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



March 17, 2017



The Grand Palaces of Nizam’s Hyderabad BY PRAMOD KULKARNI


N THE ROAD: This is the fifth episode describing my wife Jyoti and I’s visit to India during Dec.-Jan. 2016. After about two weeks in Gujarat and Pune, we flew to Hyderabad for four-day visit. I grew up in Hyderabad from essentially my birth to the age of 16 in 1967 with a two-year gap (1961-63) when we lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. The topmost tourist attractions in Hyderabad are the Golkonda fort outside the city and Charminar, a Located in old Hyderabad Char Minar, the Chowmahalla Palace consists monument and mosque, in the old of several mahals and courtyards. Its construction was started by portion of Hyderabad. Salabat Jung in 1750 and completed by Asaf Jah V between 1857 and As a youngster, I made numerous 1869. school field trips and family treks to both of these sites, that were built by the Qutub Shahi kingdom, which ruled the region from 1512 until 1638, when Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered the fort. As the Mughal empire withered, TAX & ACCOUNTING Viceroy Mir Qamar-ud-Din Siddiqi declared independence in 1713 to Individual, LLC, S corp & C corp returns form the Asaf Jah dynasty, which Trusts, Estates & Gifts tax returns came to be known as Nizamshahi. Seven Nizams ruled Hyderabad, until Bookkeeping and Financial Statements the police action of 1947 to bring Business entity selection and formation Nizam’s dominions into indepenFBAR Report & Medicare Cost Reports dent India. The last Nizam, Barkat Ali Khan Mukarram Jah, lives in Australia. This time, we decided to visit two of 810 Murphy Rd Ste G, Stafford, TX 77477 Nizam’s palaces, which have been re- Falaknum Palace was built atop a hill by Nizam’s prime minister Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra from 1894-1890. Nizam was invited for cently restored and opened to the pub- a short stay, but never left. At 93,971 square feet on a Shoba & Hiren Joshi’s lic: Chowmahalla and Falaknuma. 32-acre site, it is the largest palace in the world. Geetanjali Radio Chowmahalla (Four Mahals) was the official residence of the Nizams. The palace includes a darbar, with innumerable chandeliers and TakhtFriday, April 7 2017, 7 pm e-Nishan, a high marble throne. All of Sterling Banquet Hall, the accession ceremonies took place 5475 W Sam Houston Pkwy N, Houston TX 77041 there. These days, the palace is available for weddings and business receptions. The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation was presented to Princess Esra Jah, wife of the eighth Nizam, at Chowmahalla Palace in 2010. As a youngster, I used to see the Falaknuma Palace on top of a rocky hill at a distance from the flat rooftop Party with us, with Delicious Food, Wine, Music … & more of our house in the suburbs. Princess Esra also restored Falaknuma after it The interior of what is now Taj Falaknuma Palace. The Musical Evening with Live Songs went into disrepair in 1950s. It was palace was built of white Italian marble and there are by Versatile Singers Bansi Chabria & Sarada Akunuri given to the Taj Group of Hotels, for majestic portraits of the various Nizams. a 100-year lease, to reopen as a luxury Grand Sponsors: hotel in 2010. Mr & Mrs Raj and Jugal Malani The third palace we visited was the Mr & Mrs Neelofer and Altaf (Kohinoor diamonds) British residency, built by the first Delicious food catered by MADRAS PAVILION resident, James Achilles Kirkpatrick from 1798-1805, adjacent to Musa River. Kirkpatrick was married to Special Thanks: young Khair un Nissa. Their romatic Event photographers: Mr. Asit Patel and Mr. Sachin Patel story is recounted by William DalSound: Mr. Darshak Thacker rymple in his novel, White Mughals. Event Planners: Mr. & Mrs. Hema Sajj (DB Events) The residency was given to Women’s College of Hyderabad. The palace, and its magnificent straircase, are To Reserve the Tickets: now being restored by the State De-The opulent British Residency for Nizam’s dominions 832-878-4338 partment of Archaeology with thewas built William Kirkpatrick, the first resident between support of the World Monuments1798-1805. It is being restored with assistance of the shobajoshi999@gmail.com Fund. World Monuments Fund.


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The next episode of this travelogue will describe the journey to the historical city of Kolhapur and the coastal Konkan, Maharashtra.

Thank You, Shoba, Rakesh & Hiren Joshi


20 March 17, 2017


Sur Olakhiche: Old Marathi Melodies with New Sounds of Music BY VIVEK CHITALE

HOUSTON: Houston Maharash-

tra Mandal presented Sur Olakhiche concert on February 12, at Berry Center, Cypress, TX. The chief guest for the concert was Avadhoot Gupte a Mumbai based music composer, singer, movie director and a TV Show host. This program was performed in order to raise funds for Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) Vastu. HMM has purchased 11.5 Acre property near Rosenberg, Texas and plans to build Shri Siddhivinayak Temple and Community Center. Avadhoot Gupte drew a loud applause from the audience for the two songs “Wrong Number” and “Say you love me” from the latest Marathi movie “Fugay”. Avadhoot entertained the crowd by answering questions from Rashmi Joshi (Radio DJ) and Samir Karandikar. HMM Vastu Division executive committee members Rahul Deshmukh, Prasanna Rao and Swati Joshi conducted the program. Friends, the Sur Olakhiche program was pure joy and a sheer delight. As promised, as delivered! Yes, the hype was true. Names and faces of majority of the very talented artists were unfamiliar to most in the audience. But it did not matter. On Sunday the 12th February 2017 our ownno longer a child prodigy- “Nitish Kulkarni” and his team indeed gave

us an unforgettable musical treat. Nitish conceptualized and directed this program, which featured a team of “rather new to Houston” artists such as the singers Shreyas Bedekar, Amit Parchure, and Deepali Kulkarni as well as the instrumentalists Varad Gaikwad (Flute), Sangeeta Panse (Sitar), and Anand Desai (Guitar). Also the sweet, charming and fully confident little princess “Surabhi Phatak”! Sur Olakhiche included some of the greatest Marathi melodies composed by stalwarts such as Sudhir Phadke, Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Ashok Patki, Jitendra Abhisheki, and Shridhar Phadke. All singers and accompanying artists performed at professional level. Program novelty was the contemporary accompanying music composed by Nitish who accompanied on keyboards, tabla, piano and his favorite keytar, while maintaining the sweetness of the golden melodies. A uniquely noteworthy piano interlude was played by Nitish for the song “Hi Vaat Dura Jaate” sung by Deepali. The Nivedan written and narrated by Manasi Bedekar was deeply meaningful and appealed to the audience to help preserve and enrich the Marathi Culture. She poured her heart out making this program more beautiful. The audience liked and appreciated the music group as well as the production support team that worked hard to deliver

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good sound engineering, attractive stage set up and costumes, purposeful lighting effects and the high esthetic appeal. Little more about our little Master: Nitish and his parents – our dear friends Shirish and Medha Kulkarni came to Houston in 2003. Nitish became known to Houston’s music lovers ever since he participated in HMM’s special musical programs Krishna Sakha (2004) and the Ganapati Gauri Pandhari (first version 2005). Since his childhood Nitish showed natural instincts to diversify as well as to go deeper into music. He opted for music major in college because he chose to make music his career and life! After graduating in Music (2015) from Indiana, Nitish won admission into the prestigious Berklee College of Music at Valencia, Spain where he completed MA in Music Production, Technology and Innovation! Thus, Nitish is already recognized as a young musical maestro in his own right. Nitish has always demonstrated the qualities of a honey bee when it comes to music. He participates in musical activities with open mind and enjoys

and appreciates every sweet sound of music regardless of where and from whom it comes to him. Thus, he connects easily with performing artists and listeners independent of the genre of music irrespective of an artist’s age, gender, race, nationality, and level of expertise! Often I have watched him use music effectively as a language of communication world over. Music exists in our minds as an ornamentation of silence created by the

Photos: Bhagyashree Dixit

swaras (Swami Chinmayananda). It makes our minds peaceful and joyful. Nitish has succeeded in designing and producing Sur Olakhiche such that it is melodious (shravaniya) as well as pleasing to the eyes (darshaniya). Let me conclude by congratulating the entire team of Sur Olakhiche for presenting a very enjoyable and novel musical program. They maintained high professional standards as well as entertained and pleased us all.



March 17, 2017


How to Make Spring Cleaning a Learning Opportunity for Your Student

It’s that time of year again; the time

to get rid of unnecessary or unwanted items and deep clean all those nooks and crannies of your home that usually go unaddressed. You’ve taken on spring cleaning year after year, but what you may not realize is the learning opportunities it presents for your student. Teaching your children that chores don’t have to be a dreaded obligation, but can be (gasp) fun, will engrain a responsibility that could very well seep into how they approach schoolwork too. As chance would have it, there are plenty of ways to make spring cleaning an opportunity for your student to learn something new. Best in Class Education, which helps K-12 students prepare for academic success through customized educational programs, rounded up the following activities to gain a new skill or brush up on academic lessons while making your home spick and span. Host a garage sale Take this as an opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need or want, and make some money while you’re at it. Help your student go through their room and closet, choosing items they no longer use to donate, sell, or throw away – think clothes with stains or toys they’ve outgrown. Set up a garage sale for the items you’d like to sell and help your student manage the money. This will give them hands-on practice with counting correct change and creat-

ing a better understanding of what it means to manage finances. You can also have your student write the message for promotional fliers, emails, or Facebook posts, which will expose them to basic marketing and give them a chance to work on writing, spelling, and typing. Organize the spice drawer This is one of those tasks that makes your life so much easier throughout the year, but always tends to fall on the back burner. Place all your spice containers on a counter or the kitchen table and implore your student to help you alphabetize them to create some order.


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understand dates and even make a little timeline! To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, Best in Class Education Center offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2017. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www.bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1-888683-8108.

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Encourage your student to smell (and even taste) the different spices and talk about which spices you typically use for their favorite recipes. Your student will be able to both practice their English skills and learn about fun. Hunt for loose change Make gathering all the loose change scattered around your home fun by seeing who can find the most. Once you’ve checked between all the cushions and in all your pockets and bags, sit down with your student and count out how many of each coin you found. Then, have your student add those amounts together to see how

much change you found total. Who knows, there may even be enough for a scoop of ice cream! Sift through collections Children are natural collectors, acquiring special items that show their uniqueness and interests. If your student collects rocks, for example, clean and polish their collection, discussing the different types of rocks and where they can be found. With such a variety of things your student may collect, there are countless new and fun facts for them to learn. Become expiration-date detectives It’s so easy to forget about that old ketchup bottle in the fridge, or the cooking sauce in the pantry. Help your student decipher which items in your kitchen are perishable, and have them check the expiration date on the containers to see if they’re still usable or if they need to be tossed. This is a great opportunity for your student to


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PUZZLES / RECIPES Recipe of the Week

Sukhi Urad ki dal (Dry Gram Split dal) Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

This column will not appear this week as Mama is visiting family in the Old Country. It will start again upon her return in early April.

Solution Next Week


Punjabi food is wholesome and

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full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors prevails in rural pockets even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai, paneer and dahi. The dals are a speciality of this type of cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram. They are cooked on slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. The most unique thing about cooking in a tandoor is the smoky flavour that the food gets making it tastier. Moreover it is a healthy way of cooking since minimum fat is required and the food generally gets cooked in its own juices thus retaining its natural flavours. Besides it is

not only easy to digest, it is also very hygienic. In conclusion one can safely say that it is through tandoori cooking that Indian cuisine first got globally acknowledged. Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

Black gram split (urad dal dhuli) soaked 1 cup Salt to taste Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon Onions finely sliced 4 medium Oil 4 tablespoons Tomato chopped 1 large Ginger 1 1/2 inch piece Green chillies 3 Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon

1. Cook urad with salt, turmeric powder and 3 cups water till just done. Roughly chop onions in a chopper. 2. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Chop tomato roughly. Add onions to the pan and saute. Cut ginger into thin strips and finely chop green chillies. 3. When onions are lightly coloured, add ginger and continue to saute. Add green chilllies and saute.Add tomato, red chilli powder and salt and mix well and saute on high heat. 4. Drain urad and add and mix well.Add garam masala power and mix. Serve hot. -sanjeevkapoor.com

Kids Friendly Recipe Peppermint Avalanch Cakes

Ingredients: Recipe makes 8 Servings • • • • •

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8 Food Cakes 1 1/2 cup(s) white chocolate chips 1 cup(s) heavy whipping cream 1/4 Tsp kosher salt 1/2 cup(s) peppermint candies, crushed

Directions: 1. Remove all cakes from their wrappers and spread them out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. 2. Place white chocolate chips into a heavy glass bowl. In a heavy

sauce pan, bring heavy cream and salt to a simmer then remove from heat. 3. Add about half the heated cream to chocolate chips and stir with spatula to melt chocolate. The white chocolate should look smooth and not too thick. Add more cream to chips if needed until sauce is velvety smooth. 4. Allow white chocolate sauce to cool slightly, then using a spoon or ladle pour about a tablespoon of sauce on top of each cake. Use enough so sauce starts to drip down the side of the individual cakes, creating an avalanche effect. 5. Once all cakes have sauce, sprinkle each top with crushed

peppermint candy pieces. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving. -heb.com

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March 17, 2017



Social Media Emerges as New Marketing Tool for Multiplex Films such as ‘Phillauri’

New Delhi: To kick start mar-

keting for its late March release Phillauri, co-producer Fox Star Studios has decided to take to social media.

Stalking is so common in Hindi

cinema that our filmmakers have developed a tacit grammar of good stalking versus bad. The former usually takes place in the film’s first hour, is performed with non-threatening charm by the male lead, and is borne by the female lead with exasperated good humour. The latter occurs after the interval, and is usually a prelude to the male lead discovering the error of his ways. Badrinath Ki Dulhania has good and bad stalking, and both are presented as part of the mating ritual.

For the film starring Anushka Sharma, it launched a campaign called #ShashiWasThere, which involves a social listening exercise where activities of nearly 10,000 users on networks like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have been tracked and shortlisted over a period of six months. These include only posts related to weddings since the narrative of the film revolves around a chaotic Punjabi wedding. Social listening is an insight which a lot of brands and marketers use to gauge online conversation and chatter, understand what’s working and what’s not and then monitor and

tweak strategies, Fox emphasized. Further, close-up pictures of lead actor Anushka Sharma, who plays a ghost in the film, have been superimposed on these selected posts to build on the characteristic traits of a spirit— being invisible and omnipresent. The romantic comedy directed by Anshai Lal also has a special WhatsApp number registered for Sharma to interact with fans via the videocalling feature. To be sure, Phillauri is not the first film to try and encash on the huge opportunity that new media provides for penetration and deeper interactions with the customer as opposed

to simple reach that traditional media creates, said Saurabh Uboweja, Brand Guru, and chief executive officer, Brands of Desire. “The fact is that if there is enough social buzz and conversation around a film, and if these are largely positive, then a lot of people end up wanting to watch the film on the first weekend which in today’s day and age, fundamentally makes or breaks the movie. To my mind, any film worth its stake will have to do a digital and social campaign.” Typically, films spend the largest amount of marketing money in running promos,

Jhansi boy Badri (Varun Dhawan) blithely pursues the uninterested but amused Vaidehi (Alia Bhatt) through the streets of Kota. She says “no”, he hears “try harder” —a sequence of events that’s stubbornly lodged in the DNA of Hindi cinema. If the pass the film grants him is morally dodgy, the sequence that arrives a little after the interval is indefensible. Badri, along with a friend, abducts Vaidehi off the streets at night, throws her in the trunk of his car, and drives off. You’d think this would wreck their relationship forever—not to mention result in some sort of legal action—but no. Vaidehi’s mad for 20 seconds, and then the focus shifts to Badri’s hurt feelings. Vaidehi was conned by her fiancée, resulting in a loss of money and, perhaps more crucially, agency;

when Badri proposes marriage as part of a pretty package that’ll see her sister married as well, and her father saved of a dowry payment he can’t afford, she agrees, even though her mind is set on becoming an air hostess. The first half has the tang of real life; the second, the sterile good cheer of a film that’s literally on foreign ground. Frankfinn is promot-

ed throughout the film, though the ending is sponsored by Good Intentions. -livemint.

followed by outdoor, print and radio. Industry experts maintain that at the end of the day, at less than 20%, the money spent on social media may currently not be as high as that spent on television and these strategies still have to be used as part of a broader mix but the platforms do manage to create critical engagement and personalized relationships, especially for smaller brands and films. However, since Dangal or Sultan’s individual budgets would also be much higher, even at 8-10%, the absolute numbers for digital would be very high. -livemint.com


Rani Mukherjee March 21, 1978

Kangana Ranaut March 23, 1987

24 March 17, 2017 3rd Test: Back to Cricket After Controversy, Change BY BRYAN COVERDALE


UNE: (ESPN Cricinfo): Is a week a long time in cricket? Not really. Not unless the match is being played on Venus, where a day lasts for nearly eight Earth months and a week would thus drag on for almost five of our years. Probably explains why daynight cricket has never taken off there. Nevertheless, so much has happened since the Bengaluru Test that if it has not been an abnormally long week, it has certainly felt like one. First, there was the fallout from the DRS drama, where in a self-described “brain fade”, Steven Smith looked to Australia’s dressing room for advice on whether to ask for a review while batting. Virat Kohli claimed it was not the first time in the match the Australians had done so. Game on. Well, not literally, because by then the game was over. But you get the idea. If Smith’s actions and Kohli’s comments had fanned the flames of an international incident, the ICC tried its best to douse them the next day by declaring that it would lay no charges against either man. The ICC’s extinguisher was broken.Aday later, the BCCI made a complaint to the ICC about Smith’s actions. But within hours, that complaint had been withdrawn, and the BCCI and Cricket Australia had released a joint statement to the effect that all parties would move on. Case closed. Or was it? Yes, it was. Really? Yes, probably. For now, at least. Meanwhile,Australiasentallrounder Mitchell Marsh home. Not because his contributions of 4, 31, 0 and 13, and five overs of medium-pace had been of little consequence, though they had. Marsh was despatched back to Australia due to a shoulder injury that he had been carrying all summer and which affected his bowling. In the words of team physio David Beakley, Marsh “couldn’t function at the level required”. Physically, that is. Mitchell Starc was on a plane home shortly afterwards due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Australia had lost the man who scythed through Sri Lanka in a losing squad last year, and who had made key breakthroughs in both Pune and Bengaluru. It also makes this the first Test since Chesterle-Street on the 2013 Ashes tour

Wriddhiman Saha takes a catch to send back Matthew Wade, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bengaluru, 4th day, March 7, 2017 Steven Smith looked to Australia’s dressing room for advice on whether to ask for a review while batting. Virat Kohli claimed it was not the first time in the match the Australians had done so. Game on.

that Australia will enter without a single Mitchell - unless legspinner Mitch Swepson is called on to fill the quota. And so Australia’s squad gained Marcus Stoinis, an allrounder averaging 17 with the bat this Sheffield Shield season, and Pat Cummins, a fast bowler of immense talent who has just completed his first Sheffield Shield game for nearly six years. They are gut picks from Australia’s selectors, who are hoping for no indigestion. While all this was happening, India had cause to celebrate when Ravindra Jadeja moved up the Test bowling rankings to join his spinning teammate R Ashwin - the two men now share the title of No.1 bowler in the world. India have also lost a player from their squad, though it is the injured allrounder Hardik Pandya, who has not played in this series in any case. And they are likely to regain opener M Vijay, who missed the Bengaluru Test due to a shoulder injury. And all of this is without even mentioning the usual speculation over the pitch for the next Test. The Pune pitch was rated “poor” by the ICC, and Bengaluru was “below average”. There were claims that Kohli would be allowed to choose which Ranchi surface would be used, though the curator SB Singh later rubbished

those suggestions. Photographs of the pitch circulated on Twitter with various disparaging comments from Australian observers, and a report in the Sydney Morning Herald claimed that one Australian called it the most “ridiculous” looking pitch he had seen. Perhaps they thought they were on Venus after all, though they won’t expect this match to drag on. Whatever the case, the week of waiting is over, and the BorderGavaskar Trophy is potentially up for grabs in Ranchi. Should Australia win the Test, they retain the trophy; if India win, it will be decided in Dharamsala. So, finally, can we have some cricket please? Form guide India: WLWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first) Australia: LWWWW In the spotlight Virat Kohli has led his team with gusto in this series and their fightback in Bengaluru was admirable. But the one thing Kohli has failed to do so far is make a decent score himself. His batting contributions in this series read: 0, 13, 12 and 15. But this is, after all, a man who has scored four Test double-centuries in the past year alone, so the worrying thing for Australia is that this means there is only room for improvement - and a lot of it. More than five years after he de-

buted as a fresh-faced 18-year-old in Johannesburg and won Man-of-theMatch honours, Pat Cummins appears almost certain to add a second Test to his record. Cummins has still only played nine first-class matches in his entire injury-ravaged career, but has been rushed to India after getting through a Sheffield Shield match last week in which he took eight wickets. He is viewed as a potential match-winner and thus seems set to play ahead of Jackson Bird in what could be a trophy-deciding game. It is a gamble, but one whose pay-off could be significant. If the pitch looks likely to assist spin, India could bring in Jayant Yadav as a third spinner, at the expense of Karun Nair. India (possible) 1 KL Rahul, 2 M Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Karun Nair/Jayant Yadav, 7 Wriddiman Saha (wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ravindra Jadeja, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav. Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Matt Renshaw, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Peter Handscomb, 6 Glenn Maxwell/Marcus Stoinis/Usman Khawaja/Ashton Agar, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Steve O’Keefe, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood. Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.


Both Sindhu, Nehwal Fall Out of All England


ONDON: Indian challenge came to an end at the All England Open Badminton Championships with PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal losing their quarter-final matches to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Sung Ji Hyun of Korea respectively on Friday. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu failed to overcome World No 1 Ying and crashed out of the championship with a straight-game loss. However, Saina put up brave show before going down 20-22, 20-22 to World No 3 Hyun in a match that lasted 53 minutes. World No 6 Sindhu, who had beaten Tai Tzu en route to her Rio Games silver, was erratic and couldn’t break the defence of the Chinese Taipei shuttler, to go down 14-21, 10-21 in 34 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena. With this win, Tai Tzu entered her third successive semi-finals of the prestigious tournament. In the first game, Sindhu opened up a 10-7 lead but Tai Tzu fought back with her deceptive cross court returns to not only draw level but also take the lead with another acute angled stroke on Sindhu’s backhand. Sindhu tried to change the pace but Tai Tzu was always a step ahead and she eventually earned the bragging rights when the Indian lost a video referral. Later, world no 10 Saina blew 1712 and 9-6 leads in the two games to go down fighting against Sung in a 54-minute battle to drew curtains on India’s campaign. Saina had a 6-1 head-to-head record against the Korean going into the match but that didn’t matter as Sung held on to her nerves in crucial moments to emerge victorious in their eighth meeting at the international circuit. - Times of India

Saina (left) went down 20-22, 2022 to World No 3 Sung Ji Hyun. Sindhu suffered a straight games defeat 14-21, 10-21 vs No. 1Tai Tzu Ying.


March 17, 2017

US FDA Lifts Import Alert Against Sun Pharma Plant

Modi’s UP Election Victory Spurs Market, Nifty Hits All-time High NEW DELHI: The Nifty closed first time since results of the five-state

at all time high of 9,087 and Sensex surged 1.7% as investors saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh as an endorsement of his economic reform agenda. After opening up, the broader Nifty hit an all-time high of 9,122.75 and the 30-share benchmark Sensex raced towards the 30,000 mark in intraday trade. The broader NSE Nifty rose as much as 2.1% to the record high in the first trading session since the election results were announced, surpassing its previous peak of 9,119.20 hit on March 4, 2015. But the index gave away early gains and closed at 9,087. The Sensex too soared to reach 29,561.93 in early morning trade as the Bombay Stock Exchange opened after a three-day holiday and for the

assembly polls were announced on Saturday. But it closed up 496 points or 1.7% at 29,442.63. The Sensex had touched an all-time high of 30,024.74 in March 2015. Modi’s win strengthened his claim to a second term in 2019, and investors are betting it will embolden the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to embark on more reforms including launching the countrywide goods and services tax passage of labour and land acquisition bills. ICICI Bank led the Sensex chart, gaining 6% after CLSA tagged the private lender as its top buys while HUL and Larsen & Toubro were up 4% each, HDFC 3.7% and Asian Paints 3.5%. The gains in India were in contrast to other Asian markets which were subdued in anticipation of possible US Federal Reserve rate hike. - Hindustan Times


After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh, Indian markets opened higher on Tuesday.

Apple’s Plans to Make in India Run into Govt Bureaucratic Issues to source its components loNEW DELHI: Apple’s plans to intend cally, it had asked for removal of all Make in India may get delayed with the Ministry of Electronics and IT stating that it “may not be feasible” to grant the US-based technology major exemptions from certain duties that it has sought. “Apple is seeking an exemption from Phased Manufacturing Programme, which means that chargers, batteries and headphones for manufacture of Apple phones be exempted from basic custom duty (BCD) and countervailing duty (CVD), which may not be feasible,” the Ministry has said in its response to the Apple wish list received for comments from the Prime Minister’s Office, a senior official told The Hindu. Presently, all inputs for manufacture of mobile handsets, except chargers, batteries and headphones, are exempted from BCD and CVD. Since Apple does not

forms of duties pre and post GST on completely knocked down and semiknocked down units of its iPhones that will be assembled in India. In a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Apple CEO Tim Cook in May 2016, there was an agreement to work together for manufacture for iPhones in India, the official said. “Apple is planning entry in two phases. They plan to start a manufacturing line in spring 2017 which would help them build a deeper understanding of manufacturing in India as well as operating environment in India. After, the successful completion of Phase 1, they would plan an expansion of their manufacturing capacity to potentially fulfil domestic demand and seek to expand to export market,” the official said. -- The Hindu


OHALI: India’s largest drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to lift an import alert on its manufacturing plant at Mohali in Punjab. The US FDA had imposed the import alert in 2013 for violation of good manufacturing practices. “This proposed action (by US FDA) will clear the path for Sun Pharma to supply approved products from the Mohali facility to the US market, subject to normal US FDA regulatory requirements. It illustrates Sun Pharma’s commitment to work closely with the US FDA and strive for 100% cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) compliance at its manufacturing facilities, “ the company said in a stock exchange filing. The Mohali plant came into the Sun Pharma fold when it acquired Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in 2015. Shares of Sun Pharma jumped at the announcement, closing 3.4% higher at Rs707 on the BSE, while benchmark Sensex index closed up 1.6% at 29421.82 points. The US drug regulator will also remove the facility from the status of Official Action Indicated (OAI), Sun Pharma said. According to details on US FDA’s website, an OAI status is given to a plant when regulatory or administrative sanctions are indicated for the objectionable conditions observed at the facility. If the violations do not justify further regulatory action, then a plant is given status of Voluntary Action Indicated (VAI). Ranbaxy’s units at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh and Toansa in Punjab are also under US FDA’s import alert. -- LiveMint


26 March 17, 2017 Election results: ‘Modi wave’ that Swept UP was Unprecedented in 40 years U

Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrate at its Uttar Pradesh (UP) headquarters in Lucknow. The BJP’s performance in UP is the best by any party after 1977, when the Janata Party won 352 seats of 425.

TTAR PRADESH: In an outcome unmatched over the last 40 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 312 out of 403 (77.4%) seats in India’s largest state assembly in its most-populous state, increasing its vote share by 25 percentage points from the 2012 assembly elections to 39.7% in 2017. The BJP almost repeated its performance from the 2014 parliamentary elections, when it won 42.7% votes and 73 (more than 90%) of 80 Lok Sabha seats. Despite the effects of demonetisation and the perception that voters behave differently in parliamentary and assembly elections, it would take a historic vote swing favouring the Samajwadi Party (SP)-

Congress alliance or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to keep the BJP from sweeping UP, as IndiaSpend had predicted in January 2017. This performance–vote share, and seats won as a percentage of total seats–is the best by any party after 1977, when, in the wake of the Emergency being lifted, the Janata Party won 352 seats of 425 (82.8%) seats and garnered 47.8% votes from the people of UP. The BJP almost exactly replicated the performance of the Congress in 1980, when the Congress won 309 seats with 39.6% of the votes, while the BJP won 11 seats with 10.8% votes. In 2017, the BJP has 312 seats with 39.7% votes, while the Congress

has seven seats with 6.2% of UP’s votes. The BJP in 2017 has registered its best performance ever, the Congress its worst ever since 1977, and the SP and BSP the worst ever since their inception. After being the single largest party and forming the government for one term (1997-2002) in the 1993-2002 period, the BJP remained out of power in UP for 15 years. The Congress never again achieved the 15% vote share it achieved in 1993. The BSP improved its vote share from the 19.8% in 2014 Lok Sabha election to 22.2% in the 2017; in 2012, it won 26% of the vote share, winning 80 seats; in 2017 it is down to 19. -hindustantimes.com

Modi’s Vision 2022: A ‘New, Inclusive India’ for Poor, Middle Class and Women First Ever

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

sought in his moment of triumph on Sunday to redefine India and Indians, and assured that his government will work for everyone regardless of who they voted for in the five-state assembly polls. The election results are a foundation for a “New India”, he said and exhorted people to take a pledge to build it by 2022 — three years beyond the NDA government’s current tenure. He asked people to take a pledge every year over the next five years and toil to fulfil them. “If we are successful, no one can stop India from become a world power,” he said. The Prime Minister explained his idea of a New India and Indians, saying it should be a country that offers opportunities to the poor. “A new India where the poor do not want anything by way of charity, but seek opportunity to chart out their own course … Indians today are not waiting for governmental sops. They only want opportunities to be created for them, so that they can work for their livelihood and prosperity.” Speaking to party workers at the BJP headquarters on Sunday evening, a day after his party secured resounding victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, he reached out to the middle class too. He appreciated their contribution to the country and assured that the “heavy economic burdens” of taxes and regulations on them would be lessened once the poor are empowered. This was Modi’s first address to the middle class in recent times. The middle class was the most vocal in its support to Modi in the run-up to the 2014 parliamentary elections. The government has made

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses supporters at the party headquarters after the BJP seized a resounding victory in the UP and Uttrakhand Assembly elections, in New Delhi on March 12, 2017.

a concerted attempt to put on a propoor, pro-farmer image, as opposition parties project the BJP-led NDA as pro-capitalist. “The strength of the poor and aspirations of the middle class can take India to new heights,” he said. Modi walked about 200 metres from Le Méridien hotel to the BJP headquarters in the heart of the national capital as hundreds of party supporters gathered to celebrate the success in the latest polls, which were viewed as a popularity test for the Prime Minister. Modi was gracious and humble in his address to them. He said he saw the victory as the “foundation” for a New India. People in power should bend, like a fruit-laden tree, he said to illustrate the point that his government is “of those who have voted for it and also those who have not … of those who have walked along, and also of those who have not”. Modi thanked the people and de-

clared that his legislators will work for their welfare. The Prime Minister had a message for the Opposition too. He said a majority can form a government, but it can run only through consensus. The remarks were significant since several reform measures are stuck in the Rajya Sabha because of an absence of consensus between opposition parties and the government. The NDA does not have the requisite numbers to push through bills in Parliament’s Upper House. Modi wants to give these delayed bills a fresh push after the emphatic election victory. Excited workers, shouting “ModiModi” slogans, frequently interrupted his speech at the party headquarters, where the entire BJP parliamentary board was present. Earlier in the day, he exhorted people to take the pledge and express their commitment towards building a “New India” on the Narendra Modi mobile app. -hindustantimes.com


March 17, 2017




March 17, 2017