E newspaper 04142017

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Friday, April 14, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 15


Indo American erican News

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April 14, 2017



April 14, 2017


Luxury Bridal Expo Launched in Houston


Dulhania Bazaar (DB) Luxury Bridal Expos launched their Houston Expo this past Sunday, April 9, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston Downtown. The event was one of a kind that Houston had seen, featuring 50+ wedding and events related vendors showcasing 80+ vendor booths. Exhibits ranged from Mandaps/ decor, photography, videography, venues, DJs, performers, clothing, jewelry, caterers doing food sampling, photobooths capturing fun pictures, complimentary henna/ mehndi applications to attendees, bakeries doing cake tasting, etc. DB Bridal Expos are the largest bridal shows in Southwest, Midwest, West and Southeast regions in the U.S; DB Expos have organized shows all over the US since 2009 specifically in Chicago, Phoenix and DC markets. After 19 shows nationwide, Houston was in for a treat going into this show and that is exactly what was presented to the attendees. DB show had a good mix of

local and national vendors from various states/cities like Chicago, California, Indiana, New York, Arizona, etc. The bridal show also showcased two designer fashion shows, one with the local, Houstonian designer SJ Collections by Samreen Jaffri. The second fashion show was by Nadia Mistry from Pakistan, who specially flew in just for the DB show.

The attendees also enjoyed dance performances by Infused Performing Arts during both the fashion shows. The Show was graced by the presence of numerous prominent Houstonians, many brides and grooms and their families; which made all the vendors extremely happy. They can’t wait for next year for the DB team to bring this back to Houston!


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April 14, 2017



April 14, 2017


Vedic Fair 6 Brings Together Cultural & Traditional Diversity of India


KATY: Last Saturday, April 8,

was unusual, novel and divergent. The Cinco Ranch High School in Katy was resonating and rumbling, for it was the 6th chapter of the Vedic Fair. Ashirwad- a Blessing, spearheaded by Geetha Ravula, has been conducting Vedic Fair’s since 2011. Every year, people really look forward to the new chapters of this Vedic Fair. These events serve as an ideal opportunity for Indians living far away from their hometown, helping them ingrain the deeply rooted Indian culture and traditions in their kids. All the previous Vedic Fair’s have been quite a holistic experience with a mix of spiritual and cultural activities, traditional rituals, dance and theatre and some Indian delicacies. The Vedic Fair 6 started at 3:30 pm and went on till about 9 pm. Ashirwad Young Wingz High School volunteers greeted visitors warmly with a Namaste, a respectful form which means, ‘I bow down to the Divine in you’. The passion with which they served was definitely worth acknowledging and praising. An astonishing observation was that the volunteers also included non-Indian High School kids, who seemed

to be quite interested in learning about the Indian culture. When the theme of such a mega event is mammoth by itself, one can expect a lot of wonderstruck and startled reactions. And that’s precisely what surfaced. As the visitors walked in they were welcomed by a grand Diorama structure depicting the theme of Samudra Manthan- Churning of the Ocean. The concept that mesmerized everyone was the perfect arrangement of a gigantic lotus flower surrounded by 108 artistically decorated lotus petals and lily pads in an ocean, a 11 feet tall Mount Mandara used as a churning stick, installed on the back-shell of a Turtle, the avatar of Lord Vishnu, and snake Vasuki as a rope. Goddess Lakshmi was invoked into a smaller sitting idol, inside another lotus, depicting her birth as a result of the Samudra Manthan. It was delightful to hear

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kids explaining this entire episode to visitors. The bright students of Ashirwad Indian Lifestyle Class of Katy had inscribed a thousand names of Lord Vishnu on these lotus petals. That was a diligent and meticulous task indeed. The hall was charged with positive vibrations when Ashirwad Indian LifeStyle Class teachers and students recited the Lakshmi Astotharam with utmost zeal and energy. It was so hypnotic and enthralling that one could feel the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. It was then time for the most awaited segment of the evening- the Celebrate India Exhibits contest. Children aged 9 and above showcased their brilliance in form of various exhibits on Vedic heritage. Beaming parents looked on as youngsters dressed up in attractive Indian outfits presented their part about Indian heritage, with poise and confidence. While each one of them was a winner in their own way, Sai Parthu Aki was announced as the Champion of Vedic Fair 6, for his unusual representation on yoga and meditation, wherein he portrayed his creativity by building Surya Namaskar poses with legos. Along with such inventiveness

Photos: Ravi Sethuraman (Stage Show) & Vinod Conikee (Exhibits)

and originality on display, Vedic Fair 6 revealed an astounding line up of Celebrate India exhibits comprising of well researched presentations on India’s who is who, Bhakthi Yoga, Bhagwad Gita- The Divine Song Vishwaroopam and Cosmic Form of Lord Krishna, Indus Valley Civilization, Chandragupta Maurya, 9 Famous Temples of Goddess Shakthi, Rama -The Lord of 16 Super Qualities, Ramayana, Samudra Manthan - Churning of the Ocean, Goddess Lakshmi, Dances of India, Mahatma Gandhi, Dwarka, 27 Nakshatras and their influence, Kumbh Mela, 4 Vedas, ISRO Indian Space Research Organization, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism and Sikhism. It almost felt like

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the whole of India was on display through these 20 plus exhibits. A captivating and adorable segment of the event was watching little kids dressed up as the Devis and Devtas of Indian heritage. A remarkable Shloka-thon contest was held in which participants chanted Shlokas from Sri Vishnu Sahasra Namam and Bhagwad Gita. As a contest rule, the contestants had to recite Shlokas by any number, in increments and in the reverse order. The participants impressed everyone in the extraordinary and intense contest. Srinidhi Srikalyani, lifted the ‘Enchanted CONTINUED ON PAGE

For photo collage, see pages 14-15


6 April 14, 2017 COMMUNITY Sri Karunamayi Amma Visits Houston for the 22nd Year BY MIKA RAO KALAPATAPU

HOUSTON: For the 22nd year, world-

renowned spiritual leader Sri Karunamayi graced the Houston area with her presence. Sri Karunamayi is called “Amma” (the word for mother in many South Indian regions) and visits the United States every year to share her message of divine love and selfless service. While in the United States, Amma visits 17 other cities from coast to coast, including San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. A major highlight of her visit is a 10-day ceremony for peace to be held from May 4-14 in Atlanta, GA. To learn more, please visit www.karunamayi.org On Thursday, April 6, Amma commenced her Houston visit by offering an evening discourse at the Unity Church near Hillcroft. Upon Amma’s arrival, she was welcomed ceremoniously by a priest and seven children. Amma’s discourse touched on the principles of spirituality and encouraged the nearly 200 audience members towards spiritual growth as a means for expansion. “Just as the waves of the ocean will not stop, neither will your problems cease – so you cannot wait for this in order to begin a path of spirituality,” she urged. She encouraged all those present to remain faithful, even during challenging trials. “Who would go to school without exams?” she asked. “Similarly, our path to spirituality will have tests. These exams are every second of our lives. We must succeed on these exams to have peace. Face these exams with courage, strength and truth.” On Friday, Unity Church’s pyramid hall

was home to Individual Blessings where Amma met one on one with devotees. With hundreds of people from all backgrounds arriving all day to meet with Amma, the program went on through the evening. The next day, over 30 people arrived to participate in a silent meditation retreat. Attendees learned the ancient practice of yoga and meditation along with techniques to help steady their mind and improve their focus. Amma led this meditation retreat, offering all those in attendance a unique opportunity to be in her presence and learn from her insights. On the culminating day of Amma’s Houston program, over 200 gathered at Shirdi Sai

Jalaram Mandir where Amma presided over a sacred fire ceremony, or homa. Homas, or Vedic fire ceremonies, are performed annually during Amma’s visit for the material and spiritual well-being of al those who attend, as well as the entire world. It is considered a blessing to perform or sponsor this noble activity. After the peaceful ceremonies concluded, attendees received blessings from Amma and enjoyed lunch in the temple. Throughout Amma’s visit, attendees learned of her selfless service and philanthropic projects. Healthcare, and women and childrens’ issues are topics of great importance to Amma who champions and runs a number of charitable projects to uplift underserved populations through the SMVA

Trust, a non-profit organization. These include a free hospital (established in 2002) located in Andhra Pradesh, two schools (established in 1994) that provide education to hundreds of children; a water sanitation program that, to date, has opened 32 water treatment plants providing thousands of people access to clean drinking water. In addition, under Amma’s direction, the SMVA Trust has sponsored efforts such as mobility aids to allow disabled individuals a chance at independence and projects like building safe, enclosed housing and bathrooms for women and girls. To learn more, or to make a donation, visit www.smvatrust.org For more information about Amma and her future visits, please contact houston@karunamayi.org


April 14, 2017





April 14, 2017

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9 From Non-Universal Religion to the Universal Dharma


April 14, 2017

A Celebration of 26 Successful Years of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston


HOUSTON: Arya Samaj Great-

er Houston (ASGH) celebrated its 26th Anniversary Sunday, 9th April

2017. It began with hoisting of the saffron flag symbolizing OM - the supreme lighthouse of knowledge and peace for the entire humanity. Durga Agrawal, leading industri-

alist, philanthropist and educationist was at the flag mast with Dr Devbala Ramanathan, MD, FACONTINUED ON PAGE



10 April 14, 2017


Classical Arts Society Stages Inspiring Biographical Musical “Sri Thyagarajar” BY NALINI SADAGOPAN

Asa tira dura desamulanu Prakasimpa jesina rasika siromani (dasarathi) “Rama - O’ Jewel of the connoisseurs of music who, to the fulfillment of my desire, You have made my fame shine even in distant lands?

HOUSTON: Thus said the 18th Century

Carnatic Music Saint composer and visionary Sri Tyagaraja of Tiruvaiyyaru, Tamil Nadu over two hundred years ago in his composition (krithi) titled “Dasarathi”; The sway of Sri Tyagaraja continues to sweep through the world as ardent connoisseurs and performing artists of Carnatic music continue to present Sri Thyagaraja’s compositions in the multitude of Carnatic music concerts through India and, by the vast Indian diaspora throughout the world. The admiration and reverence for Tyagaraja remains undiminished. 2017 marks the 250th birth anniversary of Sri Tyagaraja. And the world of Indian classical music is celebrating this. Houston joins the rest in this celebration through the events being organized by Houston’s own Classical Arts Society that is dedicating this whole year to honor and celebrate Sri Tyagaraja. Following its presentation of the 40th annual Tyagaraja Aradhana in January this year, Classical Arts presented “Sri Thyagarajar” an excellent musical play by the Chennai based theater troupe led by the renowned Tamil drama and TV personality Sri TV Varadarajen at the Bayou theater, U of H , Clear Lake on Saturday , April 1,2017 to

Scene from the play

TV Varadarajen with the Classical Arts Board

a full house. The divinely inspired krithis of the saint presented in the play contextualized to specific incidents in the bard’s life it enabled the rasikas to enjoy the composition for not only its music, but also to connect deeply with the composers mood and emotions.

Such was the power of this stellar play “Tyagaraja” a full length Tamil drama staged by Sri. T.V. Varadarajen, TVV as he is known who is now embedded in many of us as Sri Tyagaraja himself. As TVV stated this is his troupe’s first play that deviated from their usual story line of social themes

and must say it was perhaps a divine message that motivated this amazing portrayal. The cast including some 11 members from India and and 9 from local Houston drama groups were of top caliber. Special mention to the artists who played Tyagaraja’s wife, brother, sister-in-law and sishya characters; they transformed into their roles and hooked the audience with their dramatics. Houston has no dearth for talent and many of our theater legends and friends including Dr. Saranathan, Ganesh Ragu, Chandramouli, Srimathi, Sriram, Tupil Narasimhan, Kruthi Bhat and others played key and pivotal roles superbly. Houston theater legend Sri Anantha Iyer was among those who welcomed the troupe. Music by Smt. Bombay Jayashri literally transported us to the ethereal world and created countless goosebump moments. All the singers and their embellished renderings of the krithis were soul touching. The portrayal of the saint’s pilgrimage through the krithis “O Ranga sayee”, “Theratheeyagaradha”, “Lalithe”, the utsavasampradaya krithis with “Aragimpave”, his final years through “Mokshamu Galadha” and so on, in all 40 specially chosen compositions. Music was not just the backbone of the play but its life just like that of the Saint. Kudos to Sri TV Varadarajen and troupe pouring such immense energy, heart and soul into bringing “Sri Thyagarajar” to life and for staging it globally. It is a matter of pride that Houston’s Classical Arts Society and its Board had the honor of sponsoring the diamond jubilee (75th) staging of the play here in Houston. “Endharo Mahanubhavulu Andariki Vandanamulu”

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April 14, 2017

PM Narendra Modi and Australia PM Malcolm Turnbull Visit Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi

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PM Narendra Modi and PM Turnbull at Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi.

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Have you planned for your future? People don’t plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan Offering abhishek of Nilkanth Varni for prayers for world peace at Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi.


DELHI: On Monday, April 10, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi took the visiting Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull to the Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, a grand mandir showcasing and celebrating Indian art, culture, traditions, and values; through its breathtaking stone carvings and exhibitions. Swamis from BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha welcomed the dignitaries with a garland on behalf of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS, the creator of the mandir. Both dignitaries first visited the Akshardham Mandir and paid respects to Bhagwan Swaminarayan by offering flowers. They then marveled at the Gajendra Pithika surrounding the main mandir.

They also offered ‘abhishek’ to the murti of Nilkanth Varni (the teenage form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan), offering prayers for world peace. Pujya Brahmavihari Swami explained how Swaminarayan Akshardham is a modern-day wonder created by the synergy of tradition, technology, science, and spirituality. They also learned how the late His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the former spiritual leader of BAPS, inspired thousands of volunteers and artisans to create the mandir to share the message of love, peace, tolerance, nonviolence, co-existence and global harmony. Both Prime Ministers also visited the 14-minute boat ride exhibition called Sanskruti Vihar, which showcases 10,000 years of India’s glorious culture. Mr. Turnbull was

a very special insight into India’s history, but above all its future. Thank you so much, PM Modi.” He also tweeted, “Having a quiet chat with @ narendramodi on the steps of the amazing Akshardham Temple today.” Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “Visited the magnificent Akshardham Temple with PM @TurnbullMalcolm.”

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12 April 14, 2017


CGI Reception in Honor of Vedanta Society Swamis


HOUSTON: In honor of Sw.

Sarvadevanandaji, the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California and Sw. Vedaswarupanandaji, resident monk of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH), a reception was held at the residence of CGI, Dr. Anupam Ray on Friday, March 31. It was attended by some eminent personalities of the Houston community, including prominent cardiologist, Dr. Virendra Mathur, classical music maestro, Pandit Suman Ghosh, HSS leaders Mr. Arun Sharma and Madhukar Adi. Dr. Anupam Ray welcomed the

Photo: Sanchali Basu

guests and talked about his close association with the monks of the Ramakrishna Order of India, since he did his neurosurgery residency at Shishu Mangal, a Ramakrishna Seva Pratisthan hospital in Kolkata. He reveres all swamis of this order and bows down to them for their selfless dedication towards spreading the message of tolerance and acceptance, and helping communities in times of distress. Swami Sarvadevanandaji, emphasized the same message when he talked about the principles on which the Ramakrishna order operates. It spreads the Vedantic philosophy of the practiced principle by Sri Ramakrishna that, “All religious

paths lead to the same goal - that is realization of God.” He repeatedly quoted Swami Vivekananda in how he was instrumental in stressing the importance of, and spreading this message worldwide. The event was also attended by some of the board members of VSGH. The resident monk Sw. Vedaswarupanandaji arrived in Houston in December, last year and the center activities have picked up pace since then. Weekly Sunday lectures and classes on scriptures are being held along with daily worship, Arati and bhajan singing. Please visit www.houstonvedanta.org for further information and upcoming events.

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The 2016 presidential election has resulted in the dawn of a new age of populism. Rise of the Trump administration has broken the conventional thinking on politics, immigration, racism and media’s trustworthiness. Historically, this is the first time that the South Asian community is facing such unprecedented changes in the way that they are being perceived by the majority. Many

social issues like hate crimes, fake news and, rapid yet confusing changes to immigration policies are on the rise and, the South Asian community is at crossroads and, finding it difficult to cope with these changes. The number of the incidents related to hate crimes; especially in the South-Asian community is rising at an alarming rate undermining even the American-born


South-Asians. The rise of social media dependency for information has paved a way for anyone to create unverifiable news anytime from anywhere. At Share Our Secrets (SOS), we call this “The New Normal.” India House and SOS are partnering to bring together a team of immigration and law enforcement professionals, business owners, and other community movers to discuss, share and provide guidance on how to deal with issues such as hate crimes, the identification of “fake news” and immigration policy changes in a town hall style meeting. This vital discussion and thoughts exchange will take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017, from 4PM-6PM at India House. For more information, visit http:// www.shareoursecrets.org/SOStownhall. You may also contact Mani S (kohur@aol.com), Pramod K (pramodhk2000@gmail. com) or Vishnu M (askvishnu@ gmail.com).


April 14, 2017


YLDP: What Makes an Effective Executive?


HOUSTON: On April 1, stu-

dents in the YLDP group of Houston had gathered at India House to hear from a leader in Houston’s oil and gas industry. As Vice President and CIO at Shell Oil, Ms. Amy Suhl works with Shell’s technology department, which develops innovative technology solutions that aim to change the face of the industry. The students were able to get a glimpse of the future of oil and gas technology in an animation Ms. Suhl provided which showed a futuristic oil tanker. The future hasn’t been nearer for Ms. Suhl, but for her to get to this stage, she’s moved between departments,



Empress’ trophy after being declared as the Shloka-thon 2017 champion, at this very unique contest. Saanika Halapeti, the champion of 2016, was announced the 1st runner up and Aishani Sakalabaktulais the 2nd runner up. It was about time for the prime time play, ‘Goddess Lakshmi- The Divine 8’. Play showcased, the manifestation of Goddess Laxmi from the ocean and Maha Lakshmi choosing Maha Vishnu as her Bride Groom. The play finale ‘Divine Surprise 6’ mannequin challenge depicted Goddess Lakshmi in her pure love form and her eternal union with The Supreme. Elaborate and meticulous props, contemporary soothing music, remarkable and dazzling costumes with the well coordinated back screen videos made the play phenomenal and incredible. The grand Vedic Fair 6 ended with Geetha Ravula thanking Ashirwad teachers, parents, students and team members for their continued commitment and dedication towards Indian Heritage. She deeply appreciated the backbones of this event- Priya and Ravi Sethuraman, Priya Muralidharan, Deepika Maharaj, Sri Ravula, Sailesh and Radhika Kaparaju, Ashutosh and Sonali Sapru, Anish Kumar, Vikas Ahuja, Uma Chidambaram, Mahima Bhat,

business functions and geographical locations. Her varied career is testament to leadership skills she has developed through her years working in Shell. Ms. Suhl shared with the students which skills she believes has helped her truly pave her way at Shell: 1. Don’t be afraid to ask! Ms. Suhl encouraged the students to ask questions about anything they may have a disagreement with, whether it be on opinion or ethics. She stated that without conflicting views, there is never progress. 2. Communicate clearly, and even if there is conflict, keep working. Ms. Suhl noted that information should be shared with everyone who it is relevant to, and progress should be continuous.

Even if mistakes occur, the team shouldn’t stop trying to make the best of the situation. 3. Maintain your integrity. The true character of a leader can be seen in whether or not they maintain transparency and integrity, especially in corporate America. Ms. Suhl related that it is essential to maintain integrity to maintain trust and respect between leader and peer. Through various anecdotes from her wide career at Shell, Ms. Suhl was able to convey to the students how important these values are to being a successful executive in corporate America. Ms. Suhl proved that not only must you know the content to be effective, but you must also stay strong in character.

Manisha and Mahesh Halapeti, Sachin Joshi, Suresh Napa, Vinod Conikee, Om Patel, Gagan Gopal, Alex Sov, Maryam Baldawi, and Ashirwad Young Wingz comprising 35 plus high school volunteers who served whole heartedly. She also thanked Sam Merchant from Congressman Al Greens office, Sarojini and Subhash Gupta, and the other supporting organizations- Interfaith Ministries, ISKCON, Sanatan Hindu Center, Abhinaya School of Performing Arts, Universal Door Meditation Center, Islamic Society of Greater Houston, JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Sikhs of Greater Houston and Vedic Bazaar Vendors, for their support. Geetha Ravula also mentioned, “We organize Vedic Fair to showcase Indian culture and this is vast and deep rooted knowledge that benefits one and all. These values when reflected and perceived without distortion can evolve a human being into higher consciousness. This is a start of their beautiful journey and I have seen kids who have been attending Indian Lifestyle class at Ashirwad evolving to a more achieving and yet balanced individuals. This is the best gift any parent can give their children, a tool for them to handle their challenges in life. If parents become part of such activities it is even more empowering to children and that’s one reason we bring Prime Time Play at Vedic Fair involving Ashirwad families every year. Academics and career

is a survival game at a physical level but Vedic knowledge helps one balance mind, intellect and energies. As a teacher, it’s a great satisfying moment to see participant’s present well-researched topics from the heritage with excitement and confidence This year close to 40 high school volunteers served passionately from 8:30 AM till 10:30 PM and in future also we will continue to involve more youth in our programs. I am humbled to share what my Guru has bestowed upon me and serve the community”. Saanika Halapeti, the 2016 Shloka-thon champion mentioned, “I have been in Ashirwad for about 8 years now and earlier on I learned that I loved to chant shlokas. When I was younger, I had pretty good memory but after pursuing shlokas, my memory has been enhanced so much that I can digest knowledge rapidly. At debate competitions, we have to memorize points, plans, and citations in thirty minutes to give a 7-minute speech and I can memorize them in no time at all. I can truly and genuinely say that shlokas have proved beneficial to me as well as my extra-curricular activities. Thank you Ashirwad!” The cultural and traditional diversity of India comes under one roof at the Vedic Fair’s. The seventh chapter of Vedic Fair will be happening in February 2018. For more updates stay connected on www.facebook.com/ VedicFair.

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14 April 14, 2017


April 14, 2017



16 April 14, 2017


Earth Day Activities & Learning Opportunities

HOUSTON: Every year on April 22, we

celebrate Earth Day and educate ourselves on the ways we can help protect the environment we live in. While reminding ourselves of ways to contribute to planet Earth, it is a great time to also teach your children about their daily impact on the world – and there are several fun ways to do this! Best in Class Education Center, which helps K-12 students prepare for academic success through customized educational programs, is always thinking of ways for students and parents to find new learning opportunities. Here are six ways to incorporate both learning and fun into your Earth Day celebrations this year: Plant a Tree or a Garden Trees benefit our environment in multiple ways by producing oxygen and filtering pollutants from the air. Go the extra mile and have your child start their own garden – inside or outside – to grow food, plants, and herbs. Gardening can be a fun activity to do with the whole family as everyone watches the garden grow. Coordinate a Community Donation Have your child organize a class donation at school or have birthday party guests bring donation items for a shelter in your community. Everyone has items that can be reused instead of thrown away; spring cleaning doesn’t have to be just once a year! Organize a Cleanup Day Walk around the neighborhood, your local park, or community with friends and family and clean up trash and debris that may have built up from the winter. Not only is

family can collect that rainwater by placing a pail outside of your home. Once it fills up, teach your child how the water collected can be reused for things like washing the car, watering plants, or cleaning other outdoor items. Spend Time Outside It’s simple but effective. Being outside can give your children an appreciation for the nature and environment we live in. Try going on a walk, camping, or hiking with your children to encourage them to do so. Allow for more outdoor playtime on a regular basis even after Earth Day is over. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, a local resource, Best in Class Education Center, offers a variety of cus-

this good for your local environment, but it teaches children to respect the world we live in and how much one piece of trash from each person in the community can amount to. Visit the Library The library is a great resource that many kids and families may not take advantage of in the world of on demand and online services. Borrowing books, CDs, and DVDs from the library is a great way to reduce waste by reusing copies instead of buying new ones. Collect Rainwater “April showers bring May flowers!” Your

tomized, 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 1-888-683-8108.

From Non-Universal Religion to the Universal Dharma CONTINUED FROM PAGE


COG, the chief guest speaker from New York, and our own Dev Mahajan. After a brief havan, Dr. Devabala reminded the audience to see the larger world outside and treat it as the Karma-Bhumi, taking inspiration from the slogan of Arya Samaj - Krinvanto VishvamAryam - Make the Entire World Noble, as implored in RigVeda. As she thundered like a lioness, it remarkably reminded of the event exactly 150 years ago, when Maharshi Dayanand roared like a lion in the Haridwar Kumbh fair to enlighten the masses with the true message of the Vedas to remove the prevailing darkness of religious rituals that selfish hypocrites had invented to exploit the gullible masses. A brief presentation on the accomplishments of ASGH was given by Dr. Bhushan Verma in which he showed the fascinating journey of this institution from a humble beginning in 1991 to the present. Major milestones were the addition of DAV Sanskriti & Montessori schools, a DAV library & a Yagyashala. Besides the weekly Satsang, ASGH offers classes for

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Yoga, meditation, Sanskrit & Vedic scriptures, as well as an impressive outreach program. Numerous charitable projects have been undertaken by ASGH to help the underprivileged in India & the US. After that, the children of the DAV Montessori and Sanskriti Schools took the onerous task of delivering the spiritual message via Vedic recitations, songs and dance. It took everyone by surprise how little children of DAVMS learn Hindi and so many other skills beyond their regular curriculum. Not to be left behind, there was a great sense of awe about the children of the DAVSS, the Sunday School – how they pick up so much in mere two hours a week. The grand finale was a befitting tribute to Maharshi Dayanand and his mission of Arya Samaj, the chorus song – Suraj ban jisne door kiya ghor andhera, vah Dev Dayanand hai mera! As children sang in unison, the adults in audience fought to stop their tears, truly mesmerized. The event ended with Rishi Langar consisting of delicacies from different parts of India.

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17 Innovative Bone Healing Technology Wins Over $700,000 from TiE at the Rice Business Plan Competition


April 14, 2017

HOUSTON: A student team from

Aachen (Germany), Medical Magnesium, are set to revolutionize orthopaedic surgery with their innovative implant technology, which could prevent millions of unnecessary operations, speed up healing, and create better patient outcomes. Founded by graduate students from RWTH Aachen University, Medical Magnesium stunned judges at the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC), held at Rice University on April 6-8, 2017, with their research and commercialisation prospects, winning over $700,000 from TiE in investment prize money including $200,000 from the TiE Houston Angels Network and $500,000 from Elevate Capital (A leading early stage institutional VC based in the Portland Oregon, led by Managing Director, Nitin Rai, with roots in TiE Oregon Angels). Speaking of their experience, Florian Coppers (CEO, Medical Magnesium) said, “We are overwhelmed by the positive response throughout the entire competition. Winning this investment prize is a big step towards transforming our technology into business. ” Arun Pasrija, President of TiE Houston said, “TiE has been running feeder competitions in Asia and Europe for RBPC for over 6 years,

this is the first time a TiE team has made it into the finals. The entrepreneurs in our Houston chapter provide the essential mentoring, support and guidance these entrepreneurs. It’s a hugely successful initiative for us, and something we’re very proud of.” Every years, during the first half of the week leading to RBBC, TiE Houston conducts a mentoring boot camp to help prepare teams from Asia and Europe to participate in RBBC. This was a special year for RBPC with 2014 winners Adhesys announcing the largest ever exit in the

competitions’ history. Ashok Rao, serial entrepreneur, principal investor and Chairman of Adhesys, and past Chairman of TiE Global said, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with some of the smartest yet most coachable young founders I’ve ever interacted with. I see the same potential in Medical Magnesium that I saw in Adhesys when they competed three years ago.” Nitin Rai, Vice Chair TiE Global, President of TiE Oregon Angels and founder of Elevate Capital stunned the audience by announcing a $500,000 of investment from Elevate

to Medical Magnesium in a surprise announcement. Speaking about the company he said, “Elevate invests in passionate entrepreneurs who are solving real world problems with disruptive products. Medical Magnesium’s ground-breaking implant technology and high calibre team was a compelling reason to support it with the investment.” Michael Raspino, Chair of TiE Houston Angels who put together over a $200,000 investment prize said, “Medical Magnesium delivered an impressive presentation and pitched an investment opportunity


with great growth potential, in a space where our investors have a demonstrated ability to add value beyond the money. TiE Houston is pleased to collaborate with investors from across the global network from Oregon, London and Boston to commit over $700,000 to this TiE sponsored start-up. ” The TiE Effect After winning the TiE European Finals in London, Medical Magnesium attended a three day intensive boot camp with TiE mentors from around the world helping to shape and prepare their business for RBPC. Kilian Reuss (CTO, Medical Magensium) said, “The boot camp with the great TiE Society has been the key factor to this success at RPBC 2017. In fact, it has taken our venture on a next level.…” Professor Vikas Shah, a serial-entrepreneur from the United Kingdom who worked closely with the team during their boot camp and the competition said, “Every year we mentor entrepreneurs so they not only stand a great chance of winning at the competition, but also- most importantly- which stand a serious chance of succeeding commercially. Medical Magnesium are an exceptional team, with huge real-world business potential, it was an honor working with them.”

18 April 14, 2017 Portions: Government Job?



How would you like to remember

In a country where thousands go to bed hungry, wastage

of food is morally unacceptable. But what is also morally unacceptable is when a government takes upon itself the onerous responsibility of fixing portion sizes of dishes in high end hotels and restaurants. A fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern about wastage of food in his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio programme, minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan told HT that his ministry is drafting a questionnaire for hotels and restaurants to explain what dish sizes they should serve to a customer. “If a person can eat only two prawns, why should he or she be served six? If a person eats two idlis, why serve four! It’s wastage of food and also money people pay for something that they don’t eat,” he explained. When Mr Modi took over in 2014, he had promised ‘minimum government, maximum governance’. Since then, however, there have been several interferences in lives of the citizenry that could have been left untouched. Take for example, food. The central government and some of the BJP states have been overtly keen to ban beef even though it is a dietary-cultural practice in many communities and also a revenue earner. If one sees the ‘competitive federalism’ that has begun over banning cow slaughter, it may seem that are no other issues that need the attention of these governments. We would actually want such competition to happen among states on eradicating poverty or reducing maternal mortality. The government should also look within before cracking the whip on restaurants. How much food grains does its Food Corporation of India waste every year? Between 2013-16, the Food Corporation of India allowed 46,658 tonnes of foodgrains to rot in its 1,889 warehouses across the country, while another 143.74 tonnes were reported stolen. Together, this could have fed nearly eight lakh people from priority families under the National Food Security Act for a year. Who will answer for this criminal wastage when India tops the world’s hunger list with 194 million people? -Hindustan Times

the battle of Champaran? As a special milestone in India’s war for Independence that gave a meaningful turn to this struggle that has its origins in human suffering? A passage of time that brought Mohandas on the warpath that took him from being an ordinary man to a Mahatma? Or, will you call it the heralding of a revolution that inspired people of repute in society to stand shoulder to shoulder with the exploited and the oppressed? To answer these questions, let me take you back a hundred years. At the onset of the 20th century, the despicable practice of slavery was prevalent in Champaran, Bihar. Farmers were coerced into growing indigo and forced to pay sundry taxes to feudal land owners. These taxes filled the coffers of their masters but the farmers ended up going to bed hungry. What may come as shock to you is the fact that at that time, around 1910, the farmers were forced to pay 46 kinds of taxes. The nature of history is such that whenever exploitation crosses all its limits, a few of those exploited begin to raise their voice. Raj Kumar Shukla was part of this endangered species. He had jumped into battle but it was beyond his capabilities to take it past the finishing line. Around the same time at the Lucknow session of the Congress he met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He convinced Mohandas that he had to visit Champaran at least once to witness the farmers’ oppression first-hand. The barrister accepted his invitation. On April 10, 1917, when Gandhi alighted at the Motihari railway station, he was unaware that his destiny was about to transform. Hundreds of people had converged on the station to meet him. After Natal in South Africa this was the second occasion when the oppressed were seeing a glimpse of their messiah in this diminutive man. The English collector of Champaran heard about this and predictably got a whiff of a popular uprising. He was arrested on the suspicion of disturbing public order. This just fanned the passions further. To

Children gather around Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Bihar. Detention in Champaran paved the way for Gandhi to turn into the Mahatma. (Arvind Yadav/ HT Photo).

ensure that the anger of his supporters doesn’t cross all limits, the district administration gave him a bail proposal. But Gandhi refused to comply and carry out the documentation needed for the bail application. This made him an overnight hero and during his hearing thousands of people began gathering outside the court room. A stunned district administration had no option but to release him. Those few hours of his detention paved the way for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to turn into the Mahatma. Gandhi fought this war not with outrage but with tact. He got a survey conducted of 8,000 indigo farmers in 2,841 villages of Champaran. These days television personalities begin holding forth on the mood of a country of 121 crore people by speaking to just 500-1,000 people. Just imagine the credibility of such a comprehensive survey conducted 100 years ago. Still, it may be unfair to perceive the Champaran rebellion as a part of the struggle for Independence. The farmers of Champaran dreamt of freedom from exploitation in 1917. Has their dream been realised? The bitter truth is that the administrators of independent India haven’t treated them any better. Even today their farm earnings are not enough to fill their stomach. The indigo tyrants may have gone away, but their place has been taken by moneylenders who are free to suck the blood out of farmers. Let us return to Bihar. The initiative of land reforms has not yet borne fruit here. The directives of the judiciary


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in this regard haven’t proved useful either. Till a few months back, Bihar had a law under which even the Supreme Court’s rulings could be sent for review to the revenue minister. Capitalising on this, the politicians in the state were sitting over the reforms. This was the condition when parties with a socialist philosophy had been in power in the state for more than 25 years. Like Champaran, farmers in other parts of the country are also in a sorry state. Several thousand of farmers commit suicide in India every year. Villages are being deserted owing to lack of employment opportunities. And because of these migrants the infrastructure in the cities is crumbling. But there was some relief on this front recently. The UP government waived the loans of upto one lakh rupees for close to 87 lakh farmers. The Madras High Court has directed the government in Tamil Nadu to waive farm loans. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed a similar desire. A few other states may soon follow suit. It will be encouraging if, after this populist decision, politicians make some arrangements that ensure that the sons of soil need not get trapped into the quagmire of farm loans again. This is required because earlier there was just one Champaran and today there are hundreds of Champarans in India. This is independent India’s tragic gift to independent India. Shashi Shekhar is editor-in-chief, Hindustan Times.


April 14, 2017


Zee Salutes ‘Army Behind the Army’ at Cine Awards

MUMBAI:We are protected by the

strength of the Indian army. But, have we ever pondered over the source of their strength? Their strength is an army behind them in the form of mothers, wives, sisters, daughters who silently toil day and night making up for their sons, husbands and fathers who are busy protecting the nation. Zee salutes this real Army behind the Army. It is not with medals and trumpets but with respect and recognition, Zee acknowledges their huge contribution and sacrifice. Zee Entertainment Enterprises is a global content company which has always focused on Women Empowerment, either through its content offerings or social initiatives. In this journey of empowering women, Zee has launched a special initiative called ArmybehindtheArmy, which aims at recognizing the selfless women behind our brave soldiers and who are the true source of their inspiration. #ArmyBehindTheArmy has been created and conceptualized by Zee’s creative agency FCB Ulka Advertis-

ing. Going beyond a mere advertising idea, this initiative is rooted in real life and aims to give army wives and mothers the honor they truly deserve for their role in nurturing families, building strong communities and a healthy nation. It also brings to light the epic work which this real army behind the brave soldiers does, to support its families. For the past 25 years, Zee has supported and given Indian women a voice onscreen through its content as well as sought betterment for them through on ground social initiatives. #ArmyBehindTheArmy is another major step taken by Zee in this direction. Zee MD & CEO Punit Goenka said, “I’m extremely thrilled to launch this initiative which salutes the real army behind our brave soldiers. In our journey of 25 years, Zee has always stood for Women, and we’ll continue to do so forever.” FCB Ulka Advertising chief creative officer Swati Bhattacharya says, “When we think of the word ‘soldier’ we always think of a man. When we

Indian-origin Educationist Wins Asian Businesswoman of Year Award

LONDON: An Indian-origin ed-

ucationist in the UK, who moved to Britain with no English language skills, has been named the ‘Asian Businesswoman of the Year’ in an award ceremony in Birmingham. 65-year-old Dame Asha Khemka, Principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College, was honoured for her efforts in the field of education and skills at the Asian Business Awards ceremony on Friday. The event, which took place at the famous Edgbaston cricket ground in the city, also marked the launch of the ‘Asian Rich List’ for the Midlands to highlight the high net worth Asians in the region. Born in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, Dame Khemka left school

Asha Khemka

after passing her exams at the age of 13 and had close to no English language skills when she moved to the UK with her husband and kids at the age of 25. She taught herself English by watching children’s TV shows and talking to other young mothers. She went on to acquire a business degree

hear the word ‘patriotism’ we think of loud slogans, louder gunshots and again men. For me this idea is about two important words, ‘respect’and ‘recognition’. For me the mothers, wives and daughters of the army are the stronger army. They are our Paramvirs and our Mahavirs. Let’s celebrate their strength and their nationalism. Let’s salute the #ArmyBehindTheArmy. I’m grateful to Zee for their support in launching this initiative.” A 2minute salutation anthem video capturing the idea was presented by Anushka Sharma who herself hails from an army family. Zee Live & Zee Talent head – corporate brand & communications and CEO Sunil Buch said, “While our brave soldiers Respect & Recognize, the women behind their bravery, it is time that every citizen of our nation salutes them and applauds their contribution.” The salutation anthem film shot by director Ken Rolston from Story Tellers, a leading film production house brings alive the grit and inner struggle of these women through a powerful and emotive narrative – Hum Hain. The film is a montage of portraits of real wives, widows and mothers of the forces. We see them in the fields, in their homes, with their children, with the wedding album, going through life… alone. The strong visual cue – a unique visual identity designed by FCB Ulka for the initiative – is inspired by army fatigues, with a camouflage design that is derived from women in various acts of nurturing and caring. This lends a strong visual and emotive character to the communication. A multimedia campaign was launched that included social media, mass media, and across the leading channels of Zee backed with on ground activities. from Cardiff University before becoming a lecturer and eventually taking over as principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College. In 2013, she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one of Britain’s highest civilian awards. The mother-of-three was the first Indian-origin Dame since Maharani Lakshmi Devi Bai Sahiba of Dhar State in 1931. Other winners at the event included Morningside Pharmaceuticals which received the Asian Business of the Year Award; Kailash Suri, Managing Director of Reel Cinemas, who won Entrepreneur of the Year; and Nishti Ismail, founder of Nishti’s Choice, awarded for being a Community Champion. -timesofindia.com


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20 April 14, 2017


April 14, 2017 Faith is not believing that GOD can,21 COMMUNITY

but that GOD will...

What’s So Good about Good Friday?


hat is Good Friday and why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus? For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history

What is Easter?

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his cruxifixion. Easter is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day. (Isaiah 53). Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin. When did Easter start? The early Christians began remembering the Resurrection every Sunday following its occurrence. In A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea set aside a special day just to celebrate the Resurrection. The problem with an official day was deciding whether the Resurrection should be celebrated on a weekday or always on a Sunday. Many felt that the date should continue to be based on the timing of the Resurrection during Passover. Once Jewish leaders determined the date of Passover each year, Christian

of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory

over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5). Still, why call the day of Jesus’ death “Good Friday” instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar? Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins. In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we first have to understand the bad news of our condition as sinful people under condemnation. The good news of

deliverance only makes sense once we see how we are enslaved. Another way of saying this is that it is important to understand and distinguish between law and gospel in Scripture. We need the law first to show us how hopeless our condition is; then the gospel of Jesus’ grace comes and brings us relief and salvation. In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shed blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually

the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage. The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace. Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good. -christianity.com

What is Easter? - Understanding the History and Symbols leaders could set the date for Easter by figuring three days after Passover. Following this schedule would have meant that Easter would be a different day of the week each year, only falling on a Sunday once in awhile. Others believed since the Lord rose on a Sunday and this day had been set aside as the Lord’s Day, this was the only possible day to celebrate His resurrection. As Christianity drew away from Judaism, some were reluctant to base the Christian celebration on the Jewish calendar. Finally the Council decided Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Since the date of the vernal equinox changed from year to year, calculating the proper date can be difficult. This is still the method used to determine Easter today, which is why some years we have Easter earlier than other years.

Since Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection, you would think there wouldn’t be room for paganism. However Easter is one of the holidays most intertwined with pagan symbolism and ritual. What does Easter mean? The origin of the word easter isn’t certain. The Vernerable Bede, an eighth-century monk and scholar, suggested that the word may have come from the Anglo-Saxon Eeostre or Eastre – a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Recent scholars haven’t been able to find any reference to the goddess Bede mentioned and consider the theory discredited. Another possibility is the Norse eostur, eastur, or ostara, which meant “the season of the growing sun” or “the season of new birth.” The word east comes from the same roots. In this case, easter would be linked to the changing of the season.

A more recent and complex explanation comes from the Christian

A Prayer for Easter Sunday Lord God, You loved this world so much, That you gave your one and only Son, That we might be called your children too. Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace of Easter Sunday, everyday. Let us have hearts of thankfulness, For your sacrifice. Let us have eyes that look upon, Your grace and rejoice in our salvation. Help us to walk in that mighty grace And tell your good news to the world. All for your glory do we pray, Lord, Amen ~ Rachel Marie Stone


background of Easter rather than the pagan. The early Latin name for the week of Easter was hebdomada alba or “white week,” while the Sunday after Easter day was called dominica in albis from the white robes of those who had been newly baptized. The word alba is Latin both for white and dawn. People speaking Old High German made a mistake in their translation and used a plural word for dawn, ostarun, instead of a plural for white. From ostarun we get the German Ostern and the English Easter. -crosswalk.com

22 April 14, 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 April 19, 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).

Mango Iced Tea

Fusion cuisine is one that com-

bines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in a number of innovations. Fusion food is a general term for the combination of various forms of cookery and comes in several forms.

Solution Next Week

Ingredients: • Mango peeled, chopped and frozen 1 large • Tea powder 2 teaspoons • Sugar 2 tablespoons • Concentrated mango powder ½ cup • Lemon ½ • Ice cubes as required • Lemon sliced thinly 1

Directions: 1. Heat 2 cups water in a non-stick pan. Add sugar and let it dissolve. Add tea powder, mix and let it brew. 2. Strain into a bowl. Add mango powder and lemon juice, mix well and refrigerate to chill. 3. Place some chopped mango into individual glasses. Add some ice cubes and 2-3 lemon slices. Pour the prepared mango-tea mixture and serve chilled. -sanjeevkapoor.com

KidS Friendly Recipe Pepperoni Lover’s Pizza L��� W���’� SUDOKU S�������

Ingredients: Recipe makes 8 Servings • 1 pb pizza crust all ready, refrigerated

• • •

1 cup(s) marinara sauce 3 Oz pepperoni 8 Oz shredded pizza blend cheese

Directions: Use Oven in presence of Elders 1. Heat oven to 425°F. 2. Unroll the dough on a baking sheet or round pizza pan and press it out to desired size and crust thickness. 3. Bake crust for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven. 4. Evenly spread sauce on top of crust. 5. Layer half of pepperoni on top of sauce. 6. Add cheese and top with remaining pepperoni. 7. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. -heb.com

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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 April.

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April 14, 2017



Mukti Bhawan Review: A Film to Live and Die by

o shuffle off mortal coils, to be free of all earthly ties, to be one with the almighty: the ancient Hindu concept of ‘moksha’ is sublime in its beauty and simplicity, as both philosophy and practice, to live and die by. When Dayanand Kumar (Lalit Behl) declares that this time has come, and that he wishes to check into Mukti Bhawan in Varanasi in order to prepare himself for his last journey, it leaves his family unprepared. Son Rajeev (Adil Hussain), displaying a mix of filial duty and resignation, is the accompanist; Rajeev’s wife Lata (Geetanjali Kulkarni) and daughter Sunita (Palomi Ghosh) are left to deal with the absence of the two men, one temporary, the other permanent. Bhutiani’s debut feature is a manylayered revelation: of the interplay between life and death, the see-sawing connectedness and distance between family members; and how, in a very profound, absurdist sense, all of life is a journey towards death. The film handles its heavy thematic strands with lightness. Mukti Bhawan (the film, with its English title ‘Salvation Hotel’ has been showing in international film festivals), a fleapit establishment on the banks of the Ganga, infested by cockroaches and other long-lasting creatures, houses those who are counting down to their last hours. A few minor faultlines are evident: sometimes the pauses

become too deliberate; some lines are included for effect. And though the film’s Kashi is much more livedin, and not as exoticised as it can be, stray glimpses of the picture-postcard Ganga arti, and the burning pyres, do find a place. But these do not take away from the core of the film, which shows us how it is entirely possible to die, irradiated by life. One of the most beautiful strands involves a woman (Navnindra Behl, superb) who has been waiting for death for years, and whose gracious presence imparts a sense of peace to both father and son, wrestling with their own unrest, looking for different kinds of salvation. The performances are a delight. Lalit Behl, who played the creepy father in Titli, comes off sometimes as too lugubrious, but gets the right amount of truculence as he talks to his son, entreating and demanding at the same time. The relationship between the two, fractured yet strong, and the manner in which the two discover fresh moorings, is a highlight of the film. Kulkarni, so good in Court as

the pugnacious public prosecutor, is terrific as the wife, daughter-in-law and mother, playing it with striking economy. So is Ghosh, the leading lady in Konkani film Nachom-iaKompasar, shines in a well-written role. And Rastogi, the phlegmatic paan-chewing ‘manager’ of Mukti Bhawan, brings wry humour in his unrolling of the rules and regulations, which includes an innovative flouting of the 15-day-stay-only-tilldeath-do-them-part rule. There’s much to like about Mutki Bhawan. It brings to us themes which are either ignored or dealt with in our cinema with mawkishness and heavy sentimentality. Bhutiani removes the cloyingness and replaces it with a moving matterof-fact acceptance of the final destination: this is a director to watch out for. Everyone makes us watch, particularly Adil Hussain, who is pitch-perfect. He is unshowy yet fully visible, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. -indianexpress.com


Vinod Khanna is Stable and Getting Better, Says Hospital after Picture of Actor Goes Viral

Vinod Khanna, the dashing star

who gave competition to Amitabh Bachchan at one time, is reportedly suffering from cancer and his image from the hospital with his family has left the fans shocked. In February that he had been absent during Punjab elections and earlier as he was undergoing treatment for cancer. He had also said that he was in recovery and doing better. The actor-MP had said he was revealing about cancer only because he is in public life. On Thursday night, the hospital issued a statement saying Vinod Khanna was admitted in the hospital with severe dehydration. “The actor was admitted to Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital on Friday with severe dehydration. He is under the care of our doctors and has responded positively to the treatment and is now stable. His family thanks his well-wishers for the good wishes and requests to respect their privacy,” was the hospital’s official statement about the health of the 70-year-old actor. It didn’t comment about cancer. The comment came in the light of a picture that went viral on Thursday, showing a pale-looking Vinod with his family. The transformation in the actor was drastic and people started taking to social media to send their wishes to him. Earlier, his son Rahul Khanna had said that the actor is suffering from severe dehydration. “Dad was hospitalised on Friday for severe dehydration. The situation was


quickly brought under control, he’s doing much better and the doctors are looking to discharge him soon. Our family is most grateful for the extraordinary care he’s been receiving at the hospital and we are touched by all the good wishes pouring in,” Rahul said. We wish Vinod Khanna well and hope he gets better soon. -indianexpress.com

Lara Dutta

April 16, 1978

Poonam Dhillon April 18, 1962

Arshad Warsi

April 19, 1968

24 April 14, 2017 IPL 2017: Samson’s Maiden Ton Razes Rising Pune BY KARTHICK KRISHNASWAMY


UNE: (ESPN Cricinfo): Delhi Daredevils 205 for 4 (Samson 102, Morris 38) beat Rising Pune Supergiant 108 (Mishra 3-11, Zaheer 3-20) by 97 runs A maiden T20 hundred from Sanju Samson and a blistering unbeaten 38, off just nine balls, from Chris Morris, led Delhi Daredevils to their first 200-plus total since April 2012. It was more than enough to give them their first win of the season, as Rising Pune Supergiants - who were without Steven Smith, their regular captain and best batsman - crumbled in the face of a steadily mounting asking rate, folding for 108 in 16.1 overs. The efforts of Samson and Morris - helped by some not particularly clever death bowling from Ashok Dinda, Adam Zampa and Ben Stokes - brought Daredevils 76 runs off their last four overs. It was the third-best last-four tally in the IPL, behind two Royal Challengers Bangalore blitzes, and it undid the control Rising Pune’s bowlers - Imran Tahir in particular had exerted through the middle overs, and ensured they would be chasing 206 rather than, say, 184. Samson walked in after Daredevils lost Aditya Tare in the second over and began with a flurry of boundaries against Rising Pune’s quicks, piercing the field with a series of drives and punches through point and cover. Capitalising on the width given by Deepak Chahar and Dinda, Samson scored 31 off his first 14 balls, hitting six fours in that time. With Sam Billings similarly positive at the other end, Daredevils scored 62 for 1 in the Powerplay - their best effort since scoring 64 against Deccan Chargers


Sanju Samson hits one of five sixes, Rising Pune Supergiant v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Pune, April 11, 2017.

in May 2012. The spreading of the field and the introduction of slower bowlers - Tahir, Zampa and Rajat Bhatia - slowed Samson down. He didn’t manage a single boundary as he went from 31 off 14 to 54 off 45, with Rishabh Pant - who smacked 31 off 22 - assuming the dominant role in a third-wicket partnership worth 53. Then came the third phase of Samson’s innings, which began with a straight six off Zampa. From that ball on, Samson made 48 off 17 - the bulk of them in a 19-run 18th over from Dinda - and reached his century with another six off Zampa before being bowled by his quicker ball in the 19th over. Samson’s 63-ball 102

was the 43rd IPL hundred, and the sixth slowest. Daredevils were 166 for 4, with ten balls left in their innings, when Morris entered the picture. Of those ten balls, CoreyAnderson would only face one, wisely taking a single off it - wisely, because Morris was in utterly unreal form, dispatching seven of the nine balls he faced to or over the boundary, all off the middle of his bat. Zampa went for 22 in the 19th over, and Stokes for 23 in the 20th. There were three massive sixes in Morris’ innings, but his best shot went for four - an off-stump yorker from Stokes, squeezed past backward point with a cleverly manipulated

bat-face. Rising Pune’s bowlers had sent down a number of freebies to get Daredevils’ innings going. Daredevils’ bowlers did not return the favour. There were only four boundaries in Rising Pune’s Powerplay overs, and three wickets. Two fell to Zaheer Khan’s slower ball, and one - the debutant Rahul Tripathi - to a fast and accurate bouncer from Morris. With the required rate nearing 12 an over, Faf du Plessis and Stokes fell in the next two overs, trying to manufacture shots. From 54 for 5, there would be no way back for Rising Pune. Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

IPL 2017: Kings XI Overcome de Villiers’ One-man Show

NDORE (ESPN Cricinfo): Kings XI Punjab 150 for 2 (Amla 58*, Maxwell 43*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 148 (De Villiers 89*, Aaron 2-21) by eight wickets. AB de Villiers, returning from a back injury and replacing Chris Gayle, made a jaw-dropping 89 off 46 balls, but the rest of Royal Challengers Bangalore was so woeful that Kings XI Punjab won with 33 balls

to spare. De Villiers arrived in the second over but by the end of the 15th, he had faced only 28 balls and scored 31 runs. Mandeep Singh and Stuart Binny had taken most of the strike and scored at less than a run a ball. In the last five overs, though, de Villiers faced 18 deliveries and scored 58 off them. He helped RCB double their 15-over score of 71 and was the sole

reason they got 148. A measure of how poor the rest of the RCB batsmen were, though, was how easily a collective effort from Kings XI overhauled the target. Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla and Glenn Maxwell timed the ball sublimely under lights and took the RCB seamers for more than ten runs an over. Kings XI’s eight-wicket win was their second in two games, while

RCB suffered their second defeat in three. In their previous match against Rising Pune Supergiant at the same venue on Saturday, Kings XI bowled 14 dots in the Powerplay. Against RCB, Sandeep Sharma alone bowled 14. In all Kings XI sent down 22 dots, limiting RCB to 23 for 3; only four times in the past had RCB made a lower Powerplay score.



Malik’s Hundred Carries Pakistan to Series Victory


ROVIDENCE: Pakistan 236 for 4 (Malik 101*, Hafeez 81) beat West Indies 233 for 9 (Hope 71, Mohammed 59) by six wickets A commanding performance to secure a vice-like grip on eighth place doesn’t sound like an especially formidable achievement, but it was a much-needed boost off the back of a troubling few months for Pakistan cricket. A 113-run partnership between veterans Shoaib Malik - who reached his ninth ODI century with the six to seal victory - and Mohammad Hafeez enabled Pakistan to canter to a six-wicket win and clinch the three-match series 2-1. Pakistan’s chase of 234 got off to an eventful start, with a first-ball wicket, a nasty collision between Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam, a dropped catch at mid-on and a brilliant grab by wicketkeeper Shai Hope all crammed into a lively first six overs. Babar edged Shannon Gabriel into his stumps less than three overs later, and the upshot from a frenetic opening Powerplay was Pakistan had lost three wickets for 45 and, for the umpteenth time, were looking wobbly. The one positive Pakistan could glean from the situation was that Hafeez and Malik were at the crease together, and with 430 ODIs between them, they represented vast experience, if nothing else. It showed, too, with the pair ensuring they made survival their main priority for the next hour or so amid some testing spin bowling by Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse, and they slowly began to turn the game in Pakistan’s favor. By the time Hafeez holed out to deep square leg, the visitors needed less than 100 to win.

Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez put on a century stand to set up victory.

April 14, 2017

Passenger Vehicle Sales in India Cross 3 Million Mark in FY 2016-17 N D :Passenger vehicle sales were at 7,61,997 units as against EW


in India crossed the three million milestone for the first time in 201617. For the fiscal ended March 2017, domestic passenger vehicles (PV) sales were at 30,46,727 units as against 27,89,208 in the previous year, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). On the sales performance, SIAM deputy director Sugato Sen said the year witnessed the highest sales of passenger vehicles, utility vehicles, motorcycles and scooters. “In terms of passenger vehicles, we crossed the three million mark for the first time,” Sen told reporters here. “The growth in PV sales is driven largely by demand for utility vehicles ahead of sedans and hatchbacks,” he added. During the year, utility vehicle sales


5,86,576 units in the previous fiscal, a growth of 29.91%. “This is the highest growth rate achieved by the UV segment after 2013-14 when it grew by 52 per cent,” Sen said. SIAM director general Vishnu Mathur said there is a readjustment happening in the Indian passenger vehicle market with demand for utility vehicles rising at a much faster rate ahead of conventional cars. Domestic car sales during the year grew 3.85% to 21,02,996 units as against 20,25,097 units in the previous year. This was the lowest growth since 2014-15, when car sales rose by 5.09%. Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza, Hyundai’s Creta, Renault Duster, Mahindra Scorpio and Ford Ecosport are among the popular SUV models in India at present.

taxing the worldwide profits of both US residents and citizens who are residents elsewhere. India on the other hand, taxes the worldwide income of only its residents, while non-residents are taxed only on the income sourced from India. Information sourced from India is crucial for the US to tax the worldwide earnings of a US citizen. FATCA laid the framework for it. A statement from the finance ministry said that financial institutions were to complete the due diligence of accounts opened between 1 July 2014 and 31 August 2015 by 31 August 2016. However, extra time was granted in view of the difficulties encountered. A tax expert, who asked not to be named, said that poor compliance in the initial year of implementation was the reason for extending the deadline. “Financial institutions are advised that all efforts should be made to ob-

Trump Effect on H1B Hits India’s IT Tech Billionaires

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd and India’s fifth-richest man, has seen his shares slide.


Mathur said the industry has been able to grow despite challenges of ban on big diesel SUVs and cars in the National Capital region and demonetisation. “As for demonetisation, the impact was for only two months on the PV segment and recovery was quick, but it was prolonged in the two-wheeler segment,” he said. In 2016-17, market leader Maruti

Suzuki India retained its top position in the domestic PV space selling 14,43,641 units at a growth of 10.59%. Rival Hyundai Motor India was a distant second with 5,09,705 units at a growth of 5.24% followed by homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra in the third spot with 2,36,130 units, down 0.07%. Tata Motors overtook Honda to occupy the fourth spot. -HT

Verify US Investors’ Details by 30 April, Says Tax Department

EW DELHI: The income tax (I-T) department has asked brokerage houses, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to complete the due diligence of accounts held with them by American investors by 30 April, failing which those accounts have to be suspended. The instruction is meant to enforce an anti-tax evasion and information sharing deal between India and the US signed in 2015. The deal signed under US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) enables both the countries to track down undisclosed wealth held in financial institutions in the other nation. As per the deal, financial institutions in India will share details of the investments by US taxpayers to the I-T department, which will, in turn, be shared with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The US follows a system of


tain the self-certification. The account holders may be informed that, in case self-certifications are not provided till 30 April 2017, the accounts would be blocked,” said the statement. The suspension of account may be revoked once the diligence is completed. Only investments in India by US assessees above a specified threshold need to be

reported to IRS. Globally, governments, which provided fiscal stimulus to businesses during the economic crisis years, are now cracking down on what they call aggressive tax avoidance and unaccounted wealth to shore up their finances. -HT


EGALURU: It’s hard to overstate the importance of the technology industry to India. Over the past three decades, the IT sector has helped drive the country’s economic growth, employed millions and made billionaires out of at least seven founders. Now the industry is at risk from US President Donald Trump’s policies. The administration is promising a clampdown on the work visas India’s tech services companies use to service American customers. In the days since the US government took first steps toward H1B visa reform, all of India’s high-profile technology tycoons have seen their net worth eroded. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd and India’s fifth-richest man, and Shiv Nadar, the sixth-richest person in the country and chairman of HCL Technologies, have seen their shares slide. Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and three other founders of Infosys Ltd, all among the top 100 of India’s richest billionaires, have taken a hit too. IT stocks have dropped about 3% over that stretch, while the benchmark index has climbed 0.6%. “Whether these changes are a precursor for more radical measures is what is worrying companies,” said DD Mishra, a Pune-based research director at Gartner. Infosys, which reports earnings 13 April, may have the most at stake. The Bengaluru-based company is most vulnerable to US visa reforms because it has the lowest percentage of local hires in the US, Goldman Sachs analysts Sumeet Jain and Saurabh Thadani said in a research note. -Live Mint

26 April 14, 2017 India Will Go Out of Its Way to Save Jadhav from Death Row: Swaraj

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma

Swaraj on Tuesday assured lawmakers that New Delhi would go “out of its way” to save sentenced spy Kulbhushan Jadhav from death row in Pakistan, according to Indian media reports. Calling Jadhav “a son of India”, Swaraj issued a warning to Pakistan saying, “I would caution the Pakistani government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.” “Our position is very clear, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.

“This is an act of premeditated murder,” she said, referring to the death sentence handed to the Indian spy by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) on Monday. Swaraj assured parliamentarians that the government would not stop at just ensuring Jadhav has the best of lawyers to fight his case in the Supreme Court, but would “go out of the way to save him”. When asked by a lawmaker if the government would fight Jadhav’s case in the Pakistani apex court, Swaraj said: “We will do more. We will take it up with the president [Mamnoon Hussain],” The Hindu reported.

The Indian minister of external affairs, Swaraj, alleged that Jadhav was awarded the death sentence on “concocted charges”. “Jadhav was doing a business in Iran and he was abducted and taken to Pakistan. We sought consular access, but were denied,” she claimed. “He is innocent. They [Pakistan] seek through him to cast aspersions in India to hide their own role in terror.” Explore: Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav? The lower house of the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha, was united in condemning Jadhav’s sentence. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the Lok Sabha, said: “I condemn it [Jadhav’s death sentence] as an illegal act against the norms of the rule of law and international convention.” “Whatever has to be done to do justice with Kulbhushan will be done by the government,” he added. Jadhav’s arrest and trial Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, through a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan’s Mashkel area for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan, the InterServices Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Monday. Although the accused had been provided with a defending officer as per legal provisions, according to ISPR, Pakistan had turned down India’s request seeking consular access to Jadhav last year due to his involvement in “subversive activities” in the country.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was charged with spying for the Research & Analysis Wing and allegedly being involved in subversive activities in the Gilgit-Balochistan region. Photo: Indian Express

Jadhav was tried by the FGCM under Section 59 of the PAA and Section 3 of the official Secret Act of 1923, the statement said. Jadhav confessed before a magistrate and court that he was tasked by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis wing to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities seeking to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan through impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and Karachi, the ISPR said. Following the announcement, India summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit on Monday and handed over a demarche saying, “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the government and people of India will regard it

as a case of premeditated murder.” Dawn reported that Jadhav now has 40 days to file an appeal against the FGCM in the army’s court of appeal, according to retired Col Inamur Rahim, a military law expert. In case the appeal court upholds the FGCM verdict, Jadhav would have the opportunity to seek mercy from the army chief and the president of Pakistan. Simultaneously, Col Inam said, the convict could approach a high court if he felt that due process was not observed during his trial and his fundamental rights as an accused were not fulfilled. Experts view the military’s announcement about Jadhav’s trial and prosecution as an unprecedented move, viewing it as a strong message to India as well as other foreign intelligence agencies. -dawn.com

Detained Indian Fishermen Rescue Pakistani Captors as Boat Sinks Off Gujarat Coast

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who were being taken to Karachi , saved two PMSA officers after one of the small fast Pakistani boats collided with an Indian fishing boat and capsized in Indian waters, sources said. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) retrieved the bodies of The Coast Guard search is still on for the body three of the four other of a Pakistani mariner, who drowned off the Pakistani personnel who drowned in the Gujarat coast. incident and returned HMEDABAD: Captured by them to PMSA, they said. Meanwhile, the PMSA released Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) personnel who illegally en- seven boats and around 60 fishermen tered Indian waters, Indian fishermen last night as a reciprocal gesture for did not dither in saving their tormen- saving the lives of Pakistani officers, tors after one of the Pakistani boats National Fishworkers Forum secrecapsized off the Gujarat coast in tary Manish Lodhari said. It was an attempt to capture InArabian Sea on Sunday. The captured Indian fishermen, dian fishermen that turned into a



tragedy for PMSA which entered the Indian waters up to 10 nautical miles, a source familiar with the incident said. “Around 10 boats were fishing in the area when PMSA rounded them up in the high seas. When they were taking them to Karachi, one of their small fast boats collided with one of the Indian fishing boats and capsized in Indian waters,” the source said. Two of the Pakistani officers were saved by Indian fishermen who were in captivity of PMSA at that time, the source said. The two rescued persons went back to the Pakistan side with their other officers and the captured boats, he said. However, four PMSA personnel in the capsized vessel went missing in waters, he said. An Indian fishing boat, identified as “Mehnoor”, too got damaged and suffered a breakdown, he said. -livemint.com

April 14, 2017




April 14, 2017