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Friday, May 05, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 18


Indo American erican News

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

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P5, 14 & 15

Punjabi Culture Club of Houston (PCC) organized a mega Baisakhi night function on Saturday, April 22, at India House, Houston.

Celebration of the Diversity P9 @ HCC

Movie Review

From left: Sheila Briones; Sarah Abraham; Dr. Muddassir Siddiqui, President, HCC Central Campus; Linda Toyota, HCC AVC for Communications; Ajanta Barua; Nat and Leela Krishnamurthy; HCC Chancellor Dr. Maldonado; HCC Trustee Neeta Sane; HCC Trustee Carolyn Evans-Shabazz; Dr, Ritu Raju and HCC Trustee Adriana Tamez.

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May 05, 2017



May 05, 2017



An Engaging Discussion of Hate Crimes, Immigration and Fake News

The Town Hall featured a panel discussion by Brenda Kirk (left) with the National Immigration Forum; Stephanie Reyes and Anny Vasquez with the Houston Police Department; Manpreet Kaur with the Sikh Coalittion; and Jai Aiyer, immigration attorney and professor of political science and public policy at Texas Southern University; Duane Bradley, recently retired General Manager of KPFT 90.1 Pacifica Radio; Jew Don Boney Jr., Associate Director of the Mickey Leland Center on World Hunger and Peace at Texas Southern University; and Anti-Defamation League Southwest Regional Board Chair George Gibson.



OUSTON: The political landscape in the United States has undergone an unprecedented transformation since the 2016 presidential election. The new administration has signed numerous executive orders restricting immigration and called into question the authenticity of the mainstream media. Concurrently, there has been a rise in hate crimes against South Asians and other minorities. Share Our Secrets (SOS), a 10-year-old educational organization focusing on life-long learning, partnered with India House to present a Town Hall on hate crimes, the immigration crisis and fake news on Sunday, April 30 afternoon. The Town Hall brrought together a panel of immigration and law enforcement professionals, academics, community activists and media professionals, to discuss, share, and provide guidance on how to deal with such current affairs. SOS graduate Preity Bhagiya welcomed the audience of about 100 people and introduced India House Executive Director Col (retd.) Vipin Kumar, who presented an informative video of activities underway at India House. Then, SOS Founder and Chairman Emeritus Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra took the stage to provide background about SOS and the reason for the Town Hall. “This afternoon is about unity.” said Mohindra. “Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, but everybody here should go home with the feeling that if anything happens that shouldn’t happen, at least we are a united front. The Town Hall is not against anybody; it is not a political forum; but educational,

and it is about unity amongst diversity.” The panel discussion got underway with another SOS graduate and immigration attorney, Denise McGettrick, serving as the moderator. Addressing the question of hate crimes, HPD officers drew a distinction between hate crimes and hate incidents. “For a hate crime to occur, there has to be an offense,” explained Officer Vasquez. “If you are assaulted with bias motivation because of your gender, gender identity, or ethnicity, then it is a hate crime. A hate incident relates to an expression of views that are different in terms of politics, religion or culture, but no crime or offense took place.” “You should still report such incidents to the HPD by either calling the non-emergency 911 or the Hate Crimes Hotline (713 308-8737) and let the police make the determination,” Vasquez continued. “Hate crimes and incidents are vastly under reported. Retired KPFT General Manager Duane Bradley described a bombing took place at the radio station about 18 years, and more recently, a shot fired from an AK 47 assault rifle. “There was a lot of fear among the volunteers. However, we stood together as a community against hate organizations.” “A thousand hate crime incidents took place in the first month after the presidential elections,” said Manpreet Kaur, with the Sikh Coalition, which was formed after 9/11 to disseminate information about the Sikh community. “We have to energize our base., talk to our elected officials. They care about our votes. The South Asian population has grown 900% since the 1980s. Funds are allocated city and statewide on the basis of reported incidents, so it is important to report.”

Community activist and former Houston City Councilman Jew Don Boney framed the hate crimes conversation in terms of five great ethical revolutions of the 20th century, “The first revolution was for moral and ethical reform epitomized by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal when social security was established along with other economic rights. Second was the race revolution in terms of the dismantlement of racial segregation through civil rights legislation and the Fair Housing Act. The third revolution was about gender, the rights of women. The fourth was the green revolution for ecology or the environment,” asserted Boney. “We’re now in the midst of a fifth revolution, a counter revolution to undo the first four revolutions.” “Putting the current issues of hate crimes, immigration and fake news in this framework allows us to understand what we’re up against. We need to use the modern technology tools, such as social media, to fight it,” urged Boney. ADL Board Chair George Gibson cited the Holocaust and how it came to be in Germany. “It happens slowly, and happens legally by taking away certain rights of a targeted community. It is easy to dismiss it as a little thing. When you indoctrinate the police, the lower-level officials and judges, the society can get to that state of industrilized mass murder.” “Do I think we’re at the same stage as Nazi Germany?” Gibson asked. “Of course not, but we have to stay vigilant. For example, theere are now laws that restrict the people’s right to vote.” On the subject of immigration, Natoinal Immigration Forum’s Brenda Kirk said she was working with large employers to get their immigratn employees to transition

from Green Card to citizenship. It helps to have a US passport to avoid travel restrictions.” TSU Professor Jay Aiyer had a different take on restrictive immigration policies. “A lot less has happened than what people have realized. We haven’t had comprehensive immigration reform, but a series of executive orders that have been either nullified or put on hold. What we have seen is increased enforcement against people who do not have legal status, and also a chilling effect on how immigrants are treated. “We talk about the increase in hate crimes, but not about why it is occurring,” Aiyer continued. “I don’t believe that a third of Americans are racist. What we do know is that there is greater apprehension about the cultural changes that are taking place in the United States. The country looks a lot different to many people. There is more discomfort in communities that are less diverse. For example, many people are completely unaware of what it is to be Muslim. Their awareness is based on stereotypes. This creates an environment of hostility. I would suggest that it is important for our community to do a better job of introducing ourselves to our neighbors. It is important for us to not remain in silos. Over time, such interactions through things such as potluck dinners can change attitudes and a culture.” “Once people form individual relationships, it is much easier to have a dialog, I think increasing our knowledgebase about other cultures helps reduce tensions,” said Kirk. “Racism does exist in our communities. For example, there is systematic manipulation of voting rights laws in the City of Pasadena to maintain the existing power


structure. We can’t be complacent,” said Gibson. “Black people understand the nature of victimization,” said Boney, arguing for speaking out against discrimination. “Martin Luther King said there comes a time when silence is betrayal. By our silence, we become co-conspirators with evil. I suggest that we all speak up against injustice.” “We all need to stand together and work together with other minority communities,” agreed Manpreet Kaur. “My testifying on behalf of the LGBT community was a big teaching moment for myself about the LGBT and for them to learn about Sikhism.” Duane Bradley provided a fitting conclusion to the panel discussion. “I think there is an intrinsic fear about the unknown and of others. I grew up in an insular commnuity in New Jersey. In my personal experience, my uncle took me to coal mining towns of Kentucky. I didn’t know people lived like that. I learned how to embrace other communities and become a better citizen.” Speaking of fake news, Bradley said the system of news dissimination has become so fragmented that now we’re being fed news algorithmically that reinforces our existing beliefs. The challenge is to broke down such walls and explore other news and other cultures. The choice is between faith and fear. If we choose faith, we have an opporunitiy to grow as a society and enhance each other.” The Town Hall organized by SOS graduates Rishi Goswami and Denise McGettrick under the mentorship of Mani Subramanian and Vish Murrali. Snacks and beverages were catered by Madras Pavilion. For more information about SOS, visit www.shareoursecrets.org


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May 05, 2017

Baisakhi Night- A Funjabi Evening by Punjabi Culture Club of Houston



HOUSTON: What do you get

to see at a Baisakhi festival function, somewhere in India? Women and men adorned in their colorful best, bone crushing hugs- jhappians te pappians, vivid event full of zest and unmatched enthusiasm, bhangra and gidda performances, high decibal vocals and gallons of alcohol and food, enough to feed a small country. And what do you get to see at a Baisakhi festival event in Houston? Something similar. Read on to know more… Punjabi Culture Club of Houston (PCC) organized a mega Baisakhi night function on Saturday, April 22, at India House, Houston. PCC had organized a grand Diwali celebration in 2012, and after a stint of 5 years came back with a bang this year to celebrate one of the most popular festivals of India. Baisakhi that falls on April 13 every year, marks the time for harvest, for the states of Punjab and Haryana. It is celebrated all over India with different names; Vishu in Kerala, Bohag Bihu in Assam, Naba Varsha or Pohela Boishakh in Bengal, Assam and Tripura, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. The social hour at the grand Baisakhi Night started at 6.30 pm. Guests were welcomed to a beautifully decorated India House foyer and to some delicious Hors d’oeuvre and drinks. Soon the hall was filled with over 200 excited guests, dressed in vibrant attires, each of them looking stunning in their own way. After all, they had gathered for the Punjabi festival much associated with fanfare and exuberance. Around 7.30 pm, the pitch of the

Bal Sareen

Dr. Anupam Ray

Jasmeeta Singh

Neelu Sharma

dhol, played by Agam Singh, got everyone curious and had them moving to the main hall for the program. Ravi Goel welcomed everyone on behalf of PCC and gave a great boost to a wonderful evening. He coordinated the event along with Ramesh Garg and Rajinder Soni. Thereafter, Vijay Bhagi, Vice- President PCC, shared his insights about Punjabi Culture Club of Houston and urged people to join and support the organization. Ramesh Garg, then spoke about the baisakhi festival and its importance in India.

Photos: Bijay Dixit

PCC President Balwant Khurana presents the First Door Prize to Dr. Namrata Sharma Goel.

And then, it was time for the exciting entertainment to unfold. The very talented mother-daughter

duo, Neelu Sharma and Dr. Namrata Sharma Goel were the emcees for the evening. Neelu Sharma, a

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long time Houston resident and the owner of Ashneel Travel N’ Tours, shares a keen interest of music and Indian culture along with her daughter Dr. Namrata. Neelu has successfully emceed many PCC events in the past. Dr. Namrata, a double board certified in Nephrology & Internal Medicine enjoys emceeing at various events as it ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

For photo collage, see pages 14-15


May 05, 2017


May 05, 2017 7 COMMUNITY C24+ Donors Meet their Charities at a Villa by the Lake BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

SUGAR LAND: It has gotten to

the point that the most suspenseful moment for Club 24 Plus events has not been so much the program that will follow but the anticipation of the venue where it will be held. In the past few years, each of the social club’s signature philanthropy and Diwali events has been held, through a long rotation, at the homes of its members and each has been more superlative than the other, as if trying to outdo one another. This past weekend, the venue was truly exceptional as C24+ held its annual Philanthropy event on Saturday, April 29, where members hand out donation checks to their favorite charities. The setting was at the enormous villa of Vimal and Hansa Kothari who threw open their newly completed house by the banks of Eldridge Lake for the event. The social hour, dinner and check donation were held in the massive outdoor yard under huge trees, by the curving balustrade and afterwards entertainment was inside the large, tastefully decorated foyer and open kitchen. Just as last year, the skies portended rain, but didn’t erupt as the event took through its paces. Eight charities which have traditionally received the support of the C24+

members once again came to accept their checks from the donor members. Ash Shah, President of Pratham USA received a donation from Asha and Pankaj Dhume and Anu and Mani Subramaniam; OvarCome’s founder Runsi Sen received a check from Aruna Kamat and Juuhi Ahuja and Dean Reynolds of the Conrad Hilton School of Restaurant Management received a check from an alumnus, Rick Oberoi and his wife Asra. Moving along, Daya’s President Sesh Bala received a check from Annu and Sagar Naik and Anu and Mani Subramaniam; Maria McGee of Interfaith Ministries

accepted a check from Anu and Mani Subramaniam; Sangeeta Pasrija and Veena Mathur accepted a check on behalf of Save A Mother from Veena and Kuldip Kaul; Pankaj Desai of Ekal Vidyalaya was overwhelmed by a check from Jugal and Raj Malani and Pradeep and Kiran Gupta and finally, Ed Wilson of the Rotary Club Memorial-Spring Branch accepted a check from Ashok Garg, ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

For Photo Collage, see page 6


Photos: Bijay Dixit



May 05, 2017

Baisakhi Night- A Funjabi Evening by Punjabi Culture Club of Houston CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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helps embellish her music skills and suits her outgoing personality. They rocked the stage, somewhere talking in Punjabi, cracking jokes and having the audience up in splits. It is known that the fun-loving Punjabis, or Funjabi’s as we term them, are the best hosts. And Neelu and Dr. Namrata left no stone unturned, infact they got the crowd electrified and all super charged up for the evening. They called upon Jasmeeta Singh of Jaz Creationz, who was the creative cultural director for the evening, and responsible for organizing the amazing Punjabi folk music and dances. Jasmeeta has been associated with PCC for around eight years. She then introduced the entertainment section with some lovely shayaris, which instilled feelings in several hearts, before inviting over Amardeep Kaur. Amardeep sang a Bollywood song Heer Heer from the movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan and this was quickly followed by a Bhangra Dance performance by Rice University Students, and a Giddha dance by the Preet Kaur group. The staging was electrifying, full of enthusiasm and gusto, nothing less than what one would experience in Punjab. After this stupendous performance, Bal Sareen, a prominent Houstonian and the benefactor for the event, came on stage and introduced the chief guest, Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray to the audience and welcomed him to speak a few words. Dr. Ray, spoke about his close association with the Punjabi culture as being a graduate of the Punjabi University of Chandigarh. He spoke about the contributions that Punjab has given to the world, and also stated a phrase, “Sadde naal rahoge to aish karoge” (If you stay with me you will enjoy), which he believes describes the true Punjabi spirit. He mentioned that stemming from the fact that an Interna-

tional day of Yoga is celebrated on June 21, considering the Punjabi spirit there must be an international day of bhangra too. Later, the evening continued with some more entertainment, a Fashion Show, organized by Jasmeeta Singh. Stunning costumes were well complimented by ethnic jewelry and marvelous choreography. Some soulful songs were sung by the talented Simran Kaur and Inderjeet. After this, the vote of thanks was presented by Ram Gupta, PCC Secretary. No Punjabi event is complete with the chickan-shikan and Patiala pegs. Scrumptious dinner catered by Bombay Brasserie was enjoyed thoroughly by each and everyone and they all danced till the wee hours. Of course, Punjabiyaan di battery charged rehndi hai. This also makes us wonder if the phrase, “burn the dance floor” was invented by Punjabis. The credit of the music goes to DJ Nayak of Nayak Productions. The Door prizes and lucky draws were sponsored by Sehgal Diamonds and Trudy’s Hallmark. Benefactors of the evening included Rita & Bal Sareen, Dr. Sippy & Ajay Khurana, and Sushila & Dr. Durga Agarwal. Prestigious sponsors included Kirti & Devki Agarwal, Meera & Suresh Chopra, Vijay & Suresh Sachdev, Neena & Ben Bansal, Dr. Namrata & Ankur Goel, Diana & Narin Sehgal, and Poonam & Raj Sehgal. Punjabi Culture Clubs Officers included Balwant Khurana (President), Vijay Bhagi (Vice-President), Aruna Goel (Treasurer), Ram Gupta (Secretary), and Ashok Sharma (Immediate Past President). It was indeed a distinguished evening, one that will be cherished for a very long time. Let us hope to get our invite for the next party-sharty from PCC soon!

For photo collage, see pages 14-15

C24+ Donors Meet their Charities at a Villa by the Lake CONTINUED FROM PAGE


Jagdip Ahluwalia, Venu Rao, Mansukh Vaghela, Dr. K.T. Shah and Dr. Rudy Ramos. The C24+ members matched a portion of each donation. Each recipient gave a short speech about their charity and its work. C24+ President Pradeep Gupta, ailing from an emergency health procedure, nevertheless stood to deliver his greetings and welcome surprise special guests, former Mayor of Houston Annise Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard and gave thanks to the emcee and Board member Alpa Shah and her organizing committee of Dr. Aparna Kamat, Dr. Asra Oberoi and Laxmi Murthy. He also recognized his other Board members and committee chairs Ashok Garg, Savita Rao, Manisha

Gandhi and Prakash Roopan. After the fusion Tex-Mex and Indian snacks and dinner by Dawat Catering (whose co-owner Mahesh Shah did double duty as a member); a musical interlude of Oldies and recent Bollywood numbers was sung by Imtiaz Munshi, Uma Mantravadi and Kamal. About the only question that lingered on was if the next C24+ event was going to be held in the palatial home, owned by a prominent Indian businessman, but still under construction which you passed by before entering the lakes area. Time will tell!

For Photo Collage, see page 6

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May 05, 2017


A Texas Size Welcome for New Management Additions to HCC BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: It was truly a cel-

ebration of the diversity within its ranks from the top down which is the hallmark of how the Houston Community College System operates. Founded in 1971, the HCC operates over the 630 square miles of the Metroplex with nearly 4,000 academic and administrative staff over eight colleges and 23 commuter campuses serving 114,000 students who reflect the ethnic mix of the city. In addressing the guests at the Junior League this past Thursday, April 27, HCC Trustee Neeta Sane was proud of the student and staff composition at the institution. The occasion was a reception to introduce Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi, the new President of the renovated and remodeled HCC Central Campus in Midtown and Linda Toyota, the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications & Marketing. The evening reception was cohosted by the Asian Scholarship Program Inspiring Results and Excellence (ASPIRE) and was attended by a large cross-section of community leaders. Sane noted that HCC was “number 1 in the nation for international students due to the efforts of ASPIRE. HCC is number one in student degrees and today reflects

From left, Mustafa Tameez of Outreach Strategists; HCC Trustee Eva Laredo; Deepak Sane; Linda Toyota, HCC AVC for Communications; HCC Trustee Neeta Sane; Dr. Muddassir Siddiqui, President, HCC Central Campus; Eunjin Hwang, Gordon Quan, attorney & former City Councilman and Jason Yoo.

what the rest of the community looks like.” HCC Chancellor Dr. Cesar Maldonado, who has an open and friendly demeanor with his Trustees and staff, as was evident from the banter between them onstage, described the nationwide process through which Dr. Mudassir Siddiqi had been selected. Not content with the initial results, Maldonado went to Morton College, a community college in Cicero, Illinois where Siddiqi was the interim President and had worked since 2009, and spoke with the staff and students. “He was the perfect fit for us, his background as an engineer notwithstanding!” quipped Maldonado. “And he also

has a background in workforce programs.” Maldonado also introduced Toyota as a person who was a natural fit for the position, “and will focus on student success.” Toyota has served as the President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Houston since October 2011. Previous to that she was senior vice president of development for the Houston Technology Center and as development officer for the Holocaust Museum Houston. Dr. Mudassir Siddiqi spoke of his initial fears of leaving the Chicago area where he had lived for many years and where his family still lives while his youngest son finishes high school. “I have

been here 2 months and my fears are gone as everyone has been so friendly,” he said, adding that it may take another year for the family to fully transition. A native of India, he was raised across the world since his father was in the Indian Foreign Service, and also has an industrial engineering degree. Linda Toyota spoke about her Japanese ancestry and recalled how her parents were interned in camps during World War II and how she had also attended a community college while growing up. “I understand the importance of HCC,” she said, “and will work to maintain and build the connections across the city.”


In concluding the reception, Sane introduced Nat and Leela Krishnamurthy as the Honorary Chairs for the HCC-ASPIRE Gala to be held on September 30 at which time HCC’s Dr. Ritu Raju, the Division Chair, Speech, Communication, and Sign Language, will be honored for her selection as a Fellow of the American Council on Education. The Krishnamurthys are long-time community workers and philanthropists and Nat said he wants the program to be a sold out event. “We’ve been married a long time,” Leela quipped in her characteristic understated way. “He does a lot of talking and I do a lot of listening!”

10 May 05, 2017 BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: Two investors and

one engineering professional offered some serious career advice to a roomful of students and young professionals at the NexGen by IACCGH Young Minds Panel. The event, held on April 18 at the University of Houston’s Cullen building, was organized and moderated by IACCGH’s Board member and Chair of the NexGen initiative - Narayan Bhargava. Assisting him were NexGen Committee members Neha Srivastava, Anish Nagar, Girija Patel, Priya Bedi and Dilbag Singh who facilitated and encouraged networking among the attendees over snacks and refreshments. Welcoming the gathering, Narayan Bhargava offered a crisp overview of the Chamber’s efforts in promoting economic growth in the Greater Houston region. He also outlined NexGen’s initiative in increasing involvement and connectivity among undergrads, graduate students and young professionals through networking events, mentorship programs and career discussion panels. Saheb Sabharwal, Krishna Danda and Bruce Schroeder were the three young panelists who dwelt on the detours, bumps and successes in their professional journeys and they had plenty of sage wisdom to share. Saheb Sabharwal, 28, traded his architectural drawings for a career in finance when he


realized he enjoyed the business of identifying the right investment opportunities. Having earned an MBA from Stanford, he catapulted to Vice President at CLS Capital Management in a short time. His advice: assess what you want to do, have a mission and “don’t ever handicap yourself.” Meaningful networking, he added, is important as is finding those “one or two things you’re passionate about” and involving yourself in them. Don’t like your job? Find the courage to call it quits and try something new! Stand out from the crowded marketplace, was Krishna Danda’s

advice. An engineer and ChicagoBooth MBA graduate, Danda, who is in his mid-30’s, jumped companies to find his fit – an experience he describes as “a humbling one” before landing at GE Ventures. He also emphasized the importance of specializing in one or two industries and applying for jobs in those sectors rather than a “spray and pray” approach. Highlighting the importance of talking to as many people as possible, he noted that it’s equally important to “stay in touch” with the people you meet. Bruce Schroeder, in his mid20’s and a mechanical engineer at consulting company Sparx Engi-

neering, also made a strong case for “not limiting yourself to one avenue but continue to learn and try different things.” He further added that it’s important to learn from your mistakes, “do a postmortem” and be honest rather than try to cover up things. He also emphasized the importance of internships and extracurricular activities with prospective employers and downplayed the weight of a perfect GPA score. In response to what they looked for in a startup or an entrepreneur, Sabharwal and Danda believed that deep expertise, eloquence, background and understanding the market were


Photo: Bijay Dixit

some key factors in backing people or ideas. The event capped off with a discussion on the importance of mentors for which Saheb Sabharwal had one piece of advice, “find your mentors early and they will push you in the right direction.” This was the second Young Minds Panel (YMP) hosted by the Chamber. The next YMP will be in the fall of 2017 but NexGen by IACCGH will be hosting several networking events, workshops and activities throughout the year. (For more information about how to join the Chamber’s NexGen events, please contact info@ iaccgh.com)



May 05, 2017

Alok Utsav 2017 a Beautiful Display of Odissi Splendor

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HOUSTON: April 15 marked

the seventh year of completion of the Kalaangan school of Odissi dance and was celebrated as the Alok Utsav at the Sugar Land auditorium with utmost sincerity. An inviting array of delectable snacks welcomed the attendees at the front lobby. Founder, director Supradipta Datta commenced the proceedings by paying homage to all Gurus and a special tribute to her guru Smt. Aloka Kanungo after whom the festival is named. Aloka won the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award this year in India. Supradipta went on to introduce the chief guest, resident monk of the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston, Swami Vedaswarupananda. He performed the ceremonial lamp lighting and chanted a mantra. In his speech, he encouraged and commended the young Odissi students for pursuing this ancient classical dance form and asked them to take pride in it since dance is another form of worshipping God and personifying the divinity within oneself. Emcee Sanchali Basu was introduced and the Odissi galore ensued. As is the ritual, the evening’s first dance was Jaya Jagannath, since Lord Jagannath is the presiding God of Orissa, the birthplace of Odissi. This was performed by very young students who were performing for the first

time and was well received by the audience. The evening continued with a Mangalacharan, which marks the entrance of the dancers on stage, and includes Mancha Pravesh, Bhoomi Pranam, Istadev Stuti, Sabhaa Pranam and Trikhandi Pranam, the latter being a three-part salutation to the Gods, the Guru and the audience. Bottu, a vigorous Tandava based pure dance item followed describing one of the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva, highlighting a series of sculpturesque poses adopted from the engravings of Orissa temple walls. The next item was also an ode to the Lord Shiva, Shiva Panchaksharastuti the 5 letters or aksharas being Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya, well performed by senior students. Mukhari Pallavi, a non-interpretive, pure dance composition ensued with intense, rhythmic, intricate footwork, beautiful mudras, Chouka, and the Tribhangi. Dasavatar, the next dance in the repertoire, describing the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu was very well executed. NamoGanesha, a tribute to Lord Ganesh was performed by enthusiastic beginners and Mahadeva, a hymn in praise of Lord Shiva ensued. The latter described his power and beauty with stunning poses. The breathtaking sculpture of the Konarak temple inspired the next dance Konarak Kanti, which showcased the graceful and lyrical movements of the dancers’ eyes, neck, torso and feet. It brought temple sculptures to life by three

Rangapravesh graduates of the academy. Durga, an abhinaya piece, performed by senior students beautifully depicted Goddess Durga as the embodiment of strength, benevolence, energy, destruction, illusion, Nature and peace. Last, but not the least was Mokshya Mangalam, the ritualistic finale to any Odissi repertoire where the dancers combine Nritta and Abhinaya to signify that despite the busy lives we lead, the attainment of salvation is the ultimate goal of life. Supradipta delivered her vote of thanks. The entire program was carried out seamlessly without any glitches and all the dancers performed to their best capabilities. Since there were almost fifty students of all age groups and skill levels who performed at the festival, it was delightful to see how students progress in refinement of technique and understanding of the form over the years of training. The evening’s entire program was conducted competently by emcee Ms. Sanchali Basu, with clear introductions to each composition. Kalaangan has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and continues to go from strength to strength.


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12 May 05, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day


HCC’s Dr. Ritu Raju Named American Council on Education Fellow

Make your Mother feel Special this Mother’s Day Send us a photo of you and your mother, with a message and we will print it in our Mother’s Day special Issue next week. • Email us your photo and message at indoamericannews@yahoo.com • Email by May 09, 2017 • Message should not exceed more than 100 words

HOUSTON: The American Council on

Education named Dr. Ritu Raju, Division Chair, Speech, Communication, and Sign Language at Houston Community College an ACE Fellow for the 2017-18 academic year. The ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. Forty-six Fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process. Nearly 1,900 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program since 1965, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities. The 2017-2018 class will kick off its work this fall as ACE prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018. In addition to her faculty role at HCC, Raju is the treasurer of the Faculty Senate. She holds a Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in English from Sam Houston State University. Raju has over 15 years of experience in teaching, developing and implementing academic programs and has served on a number of committees and councils at HCC. Raju was a board member at-large for the Council for Programs in Scientific and Technical Communication from 2012-2014. Raju is a graduate of Leadership Houston, serves on the Board of Asian Scholarship Program Inspiring Results and Excellence (ASPIRE) and will be honored at the organization’s annual gala in September and has served on the boards of the Indo-American Charity Forum and Youth Leadership Development Program. The ACE Fellows Program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities and visits to numerous campuses. Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement. At the conclusion of the fellowship year, participants return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad. Houston Community College (HCC) is composed of 15 Centers of Excellence and numerous satellite centers that serve the diverse communities in the Greater Houston area by preparing individuals to live and work in an increasingly international and technological society. HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, openadmission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training, and lifelong learning opportunities. To learn more, visit www.hccs.edu.



May 05, 2017


Ibn Sina Breaks Ground on New Rupani Dental Clinic BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA


Harris County Commissioners Court Judge Ed Emmett along with State Rep. Alma Allen, the Consul General of Pakistan Aisha Farooqui and other honored officials and guests officially broke ground on Saturday, April 29 for the Ibn Sina Foundation’s 7th community clinic, the Ramzan Ali & Sher Banu Rupani Dental Clinic, in Southwest Houston. The new clinic will be located in the vacant ground behind the Children’s Clinic at the 11226 Wilcrest location at the city’s southwest side. The Ibn Sina Wilcrest Community clinic already provides low cost dental care services to low income, uninsured and indigent patients in the back portion of the facility. Keeping in view the high demand for low cost dental services, the need was seen to expand by building a separate stand alone facility. The officials were given a tour of the existing Wilcrest Medical and recently opened Children’s Clinic facilities. The guests were seated under a white tent erected for the occasion in the parking lot and treated to a small program emceed by Zeenat Mitah. A Tilawat was presented by Salima Ali, followed by an Urdu poem “Lab pe atti he du’a” performed by the young Saif Satani, who also sang the National An-

The Rupani family was joined by the special guests at the groundbreaking ceremony.

From right, State Rep. Dist. 131 Alma Allen; President of the PAGH, M.J. Khan; Chairman of the ISF, Nasruddin Rupani; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett; Consul General of Pakistan Aisha Farooqui; Murad Ajmani, President of the Ismaili Council for Southwestern US; Vice Chairman of the ISF, Ramzan Farishta.

them after it was first played out on the saxophone by another young African-American performer. The guests were treated to tea-coffee and snacks prior to the event and a boxed lunch from Hot Breads after the event concluded around 2pm. Though it was a gusty day, the weather held inspite of predictions of rain. As he welcomed the audience,

the Chairman of the Ibn Sina Foundation, Nasruddin Rupani, whose family has donated the entire cost of the approximately 6,000 sf, single-story building, dedicated the clinic to the memory of his parents for whom it is named. “It is a gift from the Rupani family to the ISF and the entire community,” he said. Rupani appreciated the support

From right, Abdul Aziz Rupani, Judge Ed Emmett, Sher Banu Rupani and Nasruddin Rupani and his wife.

of state, city, county, donor agencies, individual philanthropist and business and medical professionals towards the establishment of Ibn Sina Foundation’s six community clinics. Rupani continued that the ISF clinics across the city were a unique example of publicprivate partnerships to take care of the over 1 million of uninsured in the greater Houston area. He noted that the ISF clinics have seen 80,000 patient visits a year and this is projected to go up to 100,000 by 2020. According to Rupani, the Foundation has provided medical and dental care to more than 650,000 patients through its six standalone clinics in the Greater Houston Area. He also noted that all the people need quality medical care regardless of their ability to pay and Ibn Sina Foundation’s mission is to provide quality care to all who come to the facility without any discrimination. He stressed that the city needed more clinics like these to provide healthcare rather

The site of the new dental clinic

than to have the poor and uninsured go to the emergency rooms of hospitals, which would cost the county much more to care for, noting that it would save the County millions of dollars. In response, Emmett praised the mission and work of the foundation through medical and dental clinics. He congratulated the Rupani family for their contributions to the ISF clinics and realized that the new dental clinic would free up space in the medical clinic and allow it to see more patients. “Sixteen years ago, the ISF made this clinic to help their fellow man

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May 05, 2017



16 May 05, 2017


Hindi Class of 2017 Graduating Ceremony at India House, Houston

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lenging, though most desirable, aspects of moving to a foreign country is motivating our kids to learn India’s national language, and remain connected with India roots. While inspiring students to learn Hindi can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it given India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Keeping long term vision in mind, India House started Hindi Language and Culture of India Classes in October 2015 at its premises. The class is taught by Arun Prakash, who started and taught Hindi at Bellaire High School, Rice University and University of Houston. Graduation ceremony of class of 2017 took place on Sunday, April 30. All fourteen enrolled students were awarded certificates of achievement after clearing the final examination of Hindi Advanced level II. “Hindi is a language of freedom and integration. India never enforces Hindi on anyone, people learn it by choice. You guys are pioneers, as you have put in extra efforts to learn Hindi on Sunday mornings for last two years at India House. Now you know both English and Hindi well. You will be playing an instrumental role in building US India relations and shaping modern India, An India

where no one is poor and everyone has similar opportunities” said Dr. Anupam Ray while presenting certificates at India House. “Many Peruvian kids are also learning Hindi to enjoy Bollywood movies”, said Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s Ambassador to Peru. “India is one of the fastest growing economies and knowing Hindi will be a big bonus in few years because of India’s growing economic power”, said Jiten Agarwal, Board Member of India House. All students were moved by

the inspiring speech by Dr. Anupam Ray and felt proud of their achievements of Hindi learning. Dr. Anupam Ray commended Jiten Agarwal and India House for leading such a wonderful initiative in Houston. Present on the occasion were Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston, Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia, Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray, Jugal Malani, Jiten Agarwal, Shalu Agarwal, Arun Prakash and several parents of graduating students.

Ibn Sina Breaks Ground on New Rupani Dental Clinic CONTINUED FROM PAGE


and treat all of them,” he said, adding that he was impressed by what he saw on the tour. Emmett noted that Harris County had only 8 healthcare clinics, whereas Cook County in the Chicago area had 81, and saw a need to expand through public partnerships (one example is the Harris Health Clinic in India House on W. Bellfort). He said he will call Harris Health to see how they can help the ISF clinics. “These clinics will allow people to get help and become more productive. Generations will benefit and make the country greater,” Emmett said. “Don’t listen to those who label Pakistani-Americans as another minority,” he added. “This clinic shows how the PakistaniAmerican community is great.” Other speakers included State Rep Allen of Dist. 131 who has been re-elected four times and said

the clinic was critically needed. CG Farooqui said she was pleased that the Pakistani-American community was so entrenched here and served the rest of the community. “I congratulate the Rupani family, but most importantly your mother for instilling these values in you,” she said. Murad Ajani President of Ismaili Council Southwestern US said that Muslims believe we must help those who are infirm and cannot help themselves. He quoted the Aga Khan that healthcare was a basic human need. Others who spoke were Mustafa Tameez, founder of Outreach Strategists public relations and political consultants and a frequent commentator on Channel 26 TV. He commended Judge Emmett for “pitching a tent, like this for these high winds, for all of us to shelter under. He never lets us down.” The last speaker was the Presi-


dent of the Pakistan Association of Greater Houston, M.J. Khan, and a former Houston Councilman who was immediately interrupted by a heckler (soon escorted out) in the audience. He remembered when he was instrumental, as a councilman, in getting the City of Houston to financially support the building of the first ISF clinic 11 years ago “and so far 700,000 have gone through the doors.” He continued that now that healthcare funding nationally is in jeopardy, it is vital that people like the Rupani family’s generosity be appreciated. Proclamations were presented by Jay Guerrero of Sen. John Cornyn’s office; Sam Merchant from US Congressman Al Green’s office and Soren Valverde of Councilman Dr. Steve Lee’s office. The event ended with thanks from Ramzan Farishta, Vice Chairman of the ISF.


May 05, 2017

BAPS Charities Holds Walk Green 2017 in Sugar Land

Representative Ron Reynolds, TX district 27 presents a proclamation to BAPS Charities’s president Nilkanth Patel. Walk Ribbon cut by Rep Ron Reynolds, TX District 27 with sponsors of the BAPS Charities walkathon.

1200 Walkers participated in the BAPS Charties WalkGreen.

SUGAR LAND: Most of Sugar land residents

woke up to cool breezy Sunday morning, but

one 6 six-year-old had been planning for this day for the last 1 month. She had decided to

raise funds for the BAPS Charities annual walk. For her birthday, this year she had told her family and friends that she did not want any gifts instead wanted them to donate to the walk. In total, she had raised $351 and was excited to participate in her first walkathon. Sanvi Desai is just one of 1200 community members who supported the annual BAPS Charities’Walk Green 2017 walkathon in Sugar land, on April 30. Building off an existing relationship with The Nature Conservancy, this year’s walkathon had participants of all ages come out and support the Nature Conservancy and its Plant a Billion Trees campaign. The Nature Conservancy’s efforts focus on protecting habitats and preserving biodiversity across the world. Its current campaign aims to plant one billion trees by 2025 to which BAPS Charities contributed $100,000 to plant 70,000 trees in 2016. In addition to targeted conservation efforts, The Nature Conservancy also invests


in research related to conservation and climate change to drive international efforts. Additionally, with a firm belief to think globally, act locally, this year’s BAPS Charities Walkathon also supported Fort Bend Education Foundation, Stafford MSD Education Foundation and Behind the Badge Charities. All the local beneficiaries aim to ensure a brighter future for our students and residents of Fort Bend. Through the efforts of BAPS Charities’ volunteer base, who come together to participate in service projects throughout the year, Sanvi’s hard work not only inspires her friends but encourages participants of all ages to get involved in BAPS Charities initiatives. Many sponsors like Piping Technology & Products, SDB group, BioUrja group, CH Curve Hospitality, Red Scope Studios, Swami Shriji Properties, Lespreance Construction, Dr. Harish and Manju Chandna, Pershant and Nidhika Mehta and many others to contribute to this year’s walkathon. Representative Ron Reynolds, Texas House of Representative, District 27, energized the walkers during the opening by saying, “Your planting trees will help keep our environment green. That’s why I am so excited to be here today.And to welcome you, to congratulate you, and to commend you on your commitment for the environment and your commitment for education. And for the charitable giving that you are doing today.” He also presented a proclamation to BAPS Charities. BAPS Charities uses these opportunities to instill a spirit of service and commitment to preservation and environmental responsibility in community members. Through participation in events and fundraising activities like the walkathon, participants are actively engaged in conversations and actions around sustainability and conservation, becoming owners rather than bystanders.


18 May 05, 2017 Barbarism On the Border The beheading of two Indian soldiers by a Pakistani army

border action team (BAT) at least 250 metres south of the Line of Control (LoC) has further escalated cross-border hostilities and deepened the chill in India-Pakistan relations. This raid took place under cover of heavy shelling by Pakistani troops and came within 24 hours of Pakistani army chief General Qamar Bajwa visiting LoC. Bajwa’s elevation had raised hopes of a crackdown on anti-India terror and thaw in India-Pakistan ties. Those hopes are receding in the face of the latest hostilities from Pakistan. Pakistani military is still the director of Pakistan’s India policy. This means that any effort at talks with the Pakistani civilian leadership on India’s part is meaningless unless the Pakistani army too is on board. In any case formal talks at this point are highly improbable given the level of bilateral acrimony. Plus the Pakistani military and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government are currently locked in a row over last year’s leaked media report about a meeting in which civilian leaders had confronted the military over the latter’s reluctance to halt Islamist groups. Hence it is unlikely that Islamabad and Rawalpindi GHQ will have a common position on talks with India today. Against this backdrop India must devise an appropriate multi-pronged strategy. First and foremost the army must continue to be given a free hand in responding to the latest Pakistani hostility. Calibrated punitive measures to deter Pakistani BAT operations and cross-border terror attacks on Indian army units in Jammu & Kashmir are the need of the hour. In fact Indian army’s escalated retaliatory firing has already targeted Pakistani army bunkers. Focus must also be on beefing up security at all military installations along the border. On the other hand, building some ground for future bilateral talks can’t be abandoned altogether. In this regard New Delhi would do well to pursue Track II diplomacy and informal back-channel communications with the Pakistani side. Such efforts should also try to establish a strong line of communication with the Pakistani military with a view towards getting it to accept formal dialogue. That said, in order to deal with the escalated challenges that Pakistan poses, India needs a full-time defence minister. Arun Jaitley already has a lot on his plate with the finance portfolio. National security needs 24×7 leadership. - Times of India

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Agitations over the distribution of

water in the Cauvery river are not new or surprising given the extreme dependence on agricultural and economic activity in the river basin. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are fighting over water in a drying river, paying little attention to framing long-term solutions. South India has always been highly dependent on the monsoon, which is uncertain and risky. Over the past few decades, the southwest monsoon has become unpredictable and has reduced in intensity. What does this mean for the Cauvery? The amount of water the river receives during the summer rains is becoming increasingly unreliable. In good years, when the river receives enough rainfall, there is no discord between the two States. In bad years, like the one we are facing now, it turns into a gargantuan political crisis. Unfortunately, the number of bad years is only going to worsen. The Cauvery river’s fertile basin has encouraged the growth of forests, agriculture and industry, all of which coexist in an uneasy manner and are now threatened. We need to pay attention to land use at the regional level. Dense forest cover once helped reduce the likelihood of flash flooding, retaining water on hill slopes to enable slow percolation and recharge of the tributaries. Deforestation across the basin has contributed to reduction in rainfall, soil erosion, and flooding, with hundreds of thousands of trees being decimated to make way for plantations, urban construction, and agriculture. In the place of forests, plantations of water-hungry trees such as eucalyptus and acacia are further reducing the water table. In Coorg, local groups have agitated against the felling of lakhs of trees for the construction of a new railway line from Mysuru, and a high-tension power line. They have received little support from the local and national administration despite warning of the effect on the river. These are not isolated incidents; deforestation is widespread along the length and breadth of the river. Tree clearing

is now threatening even previously protected sites on mountain heights and steep slopes, sensitive zones where soil erosion further impacts river recharge. Rapid urbanization has converted fertile agriculture, forests and wetlands into concreted areas that are unable to retain rainwater or channel them into tributary streams that feed the Cauvery. Urbanization demands concrete; concrete requires sand. In the districts surrounding the Cauvery, rampant sand mining has altered the natural topography of the river, eroding its banks, widening the river, and altering water flow patterns. Despite warnings from environmentalist groups and farmer coalitions, and interventions by the court, this practice continues unchecked. It is no surprise that the wells that replenish farms across the basin are running dry — or that desperate farmers are reduced to abandoning agriculture and renting their farms to sand contractors for sand storage, thus becoming complicit in their own destruction. The large number of dams across the river contribute to a significant decrease in the river’s capacity for water storage. Siltation in dams and connecting river channels has reached alarming proportions. Industries along the Cauvery and its tributaries send large volumes of polluted water that, far from being of use to farmers, destroy their land beyond redemption. There is no farming activity for kilometres on the side of tributaries such as the Noyyal, polluted by Tiruppur’s textile industry. The toxic sludge from industrial effluents builds up on the river bed, further reducing its capacity for storage. Despite abundant discussion, government funding for de-siltation of the river’s channels remains conspicuous by its absence. Widespread changes in farming


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


and agricultural patterns exacerbate the problem. Once an area of millet cultivation, the Cauvery basin has transformed into a location for the cultivation of high-yield paddy and sugar cane, both water-intensive crops. There needs to be a redesign of the farming system, keeping in mind in particular the water requirements of the crops planted after the onset of the south-west monsoon. What are Karnataka and Tamil Nadu planning to do in terms of developing more water-smart agricultural strategies? There is little discussion on this. Though a politically charged topic, it is one that must be addressed through conversations with farmers who seem well aware of these issues. They need better alternatives and greater state assistance in facilitating explorations of alternative cropping strategies, including an examination of a possible return to millet farming (which is more nutritious as well as water-efficient), or to multi-cropping of vegetables, or even to the development of more water-efficient varieties of paddy. While Karnataka and Tamil Nadu struggle to find workable solutions to the distribution of water in the river during years of drought, the writing on the wall is clear. As climate change makes its impact visible, we are going to face many more seasons of drought and points of conflict. It is important that we think long term and in a coordinated fashion across the basin. We need to find ways to recharge the river, increase inflow of water, clean up hotspots of pollution, and increase the efficiency of water use. For this, we must take up afforestation along the river on a war footing, move to water-efficient cropping, limit industrial pollution of rivers, ban excessive sand mining, and limit the growing consumption of water for cities and towns along the river. This requires conversation and cooperation across the basin, not reactive conflict. Given the politically charged minefield that the Cauvery water-sharing issue has become, can we hope for reasoned, concerted action? - The Hindu Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University.


May 05, 2017



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The Tulasi Garland

HOUSTON: Abhinaya School

of Performing Arts conducted its Annual Dance event Rasaanubhava’17 on April 15, at Berry Center in Cypress.

sides choreographies for contemporary classical music. Students presented their dance numbers confidently in colorfully coordinated costumes.

The first part of the show showcased performances by beginner, junior, intermediate student. Beginner students showed glimpses of their basic training while the junior, senior, intermediate and senior students performed Pushpanjali, Ganesha Kavitvam, Alaripu, Jathiswaram and Shabdam. be-

The second part of the performance had students of fourth year onwards performing dances like Mallari, thillanas, padams and keerthanams. Specially choreographed s dances Madhurashtakam, Shiva Tandavam, Malhar,Bharathambe, Omkaram were very well received. The highlight of the evening was

Photos: Amitava Sarkar the dance drama “The Tulasi Garland” where more than thirty talented students took part. The central characters Neha Bhat as Godha and Nethra as Ranganathar did justice to their roles with exemplary acting and dancing skills. The parent volunteers did a spectacular job of ensuring the program was professional and smooth flowing. Gitanjali a parent of a twelfth grader wrote, “Spectacular Show! The way you pull off a seamless event every year is always amazing! The dance drama this year was just splendid- especially, the special effects, choreography and facial expressions of the main characters”. The dance event was choreographed by artistic director Indrani Parthasarathy who is well versed in Pandanallur & Kalakshetra styles of dancing, Kuchipudi and classical music. Anupama Nagasimha a senior student of Indrani also teaches classes at the Abhinaya school. For more details on classes and performances please visit www. abhinayaschool.org


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20 May 05, 2017 COMMUNITY Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam at Sri Meenakshi temple


PEARLAND: It was a beautiful

Sri Meenakshi Pattabhishekam celebration at Sri Meenakshi Temple part of the ten day Chithirai Mahotsavam festival. Majestic Meenakshi looked divine and elegant on her Pattabhishekam day. The Main

Temple was packed with audience. The procession with Poo Pallakku (Flower Palanquin) was a beautiful sight to watch. The weather cleared just for the Pattabhishekam from a thunderstorm setting to a nice enjoyable climate. The Pattabhiskeham is the coronation of goddess Sri Meenakshi. The legend begins with

King Malayathuvaja and his Queen Kachana malai, rulers of the Pandian Kingdom. For many years the couple sought a child, performing poojas and giving offerings. One day during a homam, a little girl came out of the fire and sat on the King’s lap. Her name was Meenakshi. She grew up and became a fierce ruler, conquering wherever she stepped foot. She was crowned Queen Meenakshi of the Pandya Kingdom during the ceremony we know today as the Pattabhishekam. After her ascendance to queen, she meets Lord Sundareswarar on the battlefield and falls in love with him, realizing that she is an avatar of Sakthi. In Madurai, Sri Meenakshi is crowned for six months from Chithirai to Avani, and Sri Sundareswarar is crowned for the other six months. After the Pattabhishekam, Chairman Narayanan was presented the symbolic scepter for the procession around the Main Temple to commemorate Meenakshi’s crowning. Meenakshi was then carried by devotees in the stunning Poo Pallakku, decorated with traditional jasmine and kanakambaram (crossandra) flowers. The weather was perfect, and it was a sight to behold. The celebration was done in a blissful and jovial setting with devotees singing and dancing. Smiles could be seen on everyone’s faces across the temple. With the tra-

Photos: Srini Sundarrajan & Lakshminarayan Setty

ditional live Nadaswaram, it felt as if you were in the southern bank of the Vaigai river at Madurai Meenakshi temple. After the procession, Chairman thanked the staff and all the volunteers whose hard work helped


bring the day together. Devotees are ready to witness the finale of Chithirai Mahotsavam Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Thirukalyanam on Sunday May 7.


May 05, 2017


Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Festival Presents Ancient Epic Art form, Kathakali BY BIJU PILLAI

HOUSTON: Anniversary Festival of Sri Gu-

ruvayurappan Temple, is from May 4 through May 13, at 11620 Ormandy St, Houston. Temple observed Prathishta Anniversary day on Sunday, April 30 in presence of several hundreds of devotees. Numerous auspicious rituals were performed under the direction of Thantri Brahmasri Kariannur Divakaran Nambuthiri. The kodiettu (hoisting flag ceremony) is scheduled for late evening (7:30 pm), Thursday, May 4th in presence of large number of devotees and dignitaries from Greater Houston area. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple at Houston has gained the reputation both as a prominent place of Sri Krishna worship and as a center where several ancient temple art forms are presented. One would find that the annual utsavam (festival) incorporates several key elements of the traditions established at the ancient famous Guruvayoor

Temple of Kerala, India. KATHAKALI: A major attraction and specialfeatureofthis year’s celebrations is the presentation of Kathakali (Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm), the highly developed art form that was born and nurtured by the temples of Kerala. Naturally, themes of Kathakali are primarily extracted from Hindu m y t h o l o g y. Kathakali is globally acclaimed

Ramakant Nagar, Journalist and Community Sevak NEW YORK: For years, at most commu-

nity functions in the Houston area, he was always available with his favorite camera in his hand and a big welcoming smile. He would also have copies of his periodical and later directory, the AsiaAmericaDigest, which listed almost all the desi businesses he could track and was the precursor of web based databases. In later years, Ramakant Nagar moved to New York in 2012 to be close to his beloved son Himanshu and his family, and it was there that he died on April 9 at the age of 71. He is survived by his wife, Indrabala, son and his wife Priya Noori and two granddaughters, Prana and Abhinaya. Nagar was originally from Banswara, Rajasthan and received a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri and saw photography not only as work, but as a life calling. He lived in Houston for almost 3 decades and had a photo/video wedding business as well as printing his newspaper and directory. In the eulogy to his father, Himanshu spoke of RK Nagar’s humble roots and unassuming personality through the things, initial struggle, uncertainty, then ultimate triumph and celebration. His happiest years were after he moved to New York to be close to his son and grand kids, “never looking back” to the life he left behind in Houston. Himanshu spoke of the important life lessons he learnt from his dad: “always open your home to others. The Nagar house was home away from home for the Nagar community throughout America. “Capture every memory and chronicle every moment. Every moment is a photo opportunity. He was truly gifted and remained active in chronicling both the everyday and important milestones of life. “Never stop learning and improving yourself. He was an avid consumer of self-im-

as one of the best art forms and it takes years of training to perform on stage. In the famous Guruvayoor temple, Kerala India, Kathakali offering and performance in Utsavam time is well praised. This year Sri Guruvayurappan, temple Houston will witness the performance of a great epic art, Prahlada Charitham Kathakali. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple ground is literally experiencing a festive atmosphere with busy preparation for Utsavam events, auspicious rituals and ardent Sri Krishna devotion. Annadhanam (an offering of food) sponsorship and preparation is very popular and sacred tradition during Utsavam. Please call temple for annadhanam sponsorship. Special rituals

include Kalashabhishekom, Sreebhoothabali, Udayasthamana pooja and Utsava Bali. Udayasthamana Pooja is one of the most popular offerings at the famous Guruvayoor Temple in India (sponsorship requires early booking). For more information please contact temple (713-729-8994). Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, 11620 Ormandy St, Houston 77035 Visit: www.guruvayurappanhouston.org

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Jan. 31, 1946 – April 9, 2017 provement books, had a zest for knowledge, new hobbies, and the public library. Getting older did not prevent him from seeking personal growth and knowledge. “Kill them with kindness. Even the toughest nut will crack open. He always took the time to understand and connect with everyone around him. He knew the name of every teacher at the school, every staff member in our building, and was constructing a vast network on Facebook of people from all phases of his life.” “He will be sorely missed at Patel Brothers in all corners of America, from Hillcroft in Houston to Jackson Heights, Queens,” concluded Himanshu. “He lived an incredible life full of love for everyone. He would only want us to be happy and cherish each other. He leaves a legacy of warmth and kindness to all.” Funeral services and viewing for Ramakant Nagar were held on Tuesday, April 11, from 7 - 9 pm at Metropolitan Funeral Service, 2283 Grand Avenue, Baldwin, NY 11510.



Vanshika Vipin 713-789-6397

22 May 05, 2017


Tagore Talks Week Starts with a Memorable Evening with a Traveler BY RAJA BANGA & JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: The Tagore Society of

Houston kicked off its annual Tagore Talks Week with an informal gala dinner at India House this past Saturday, April 29 for the enthusiasts and followers of the poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The event featured the winner of the Tagore Essay contest, its judges, a panel discussion on Tagore’s philosophy of Universal Humanism and a presentation by the traveler writer Eric Weiner who had flown in for the occasion. The program began with a short introduction by emcee Abiya Malhotra followed by Debleena Banerji who spoke about Universal Humanism and how to implement it in every aspect of a person’s life. “It is the merging of the right and left sides of the brain and accepting things as they are,” she said. “It is a journey.” Banerji noted that the TSH was formed in 1974, a year after the oldest community organization; the India Culture Center started (a table full of Board members of the ICC nodded in agreement). At her side were Mila Sengupta, the TSH Vice President and Secretary and Shibir Chowdhury, TSH Treasurer, who read a proclamation from the City of Houston on the occasion. Amrit Bahl, the Vice Consul of India, was on hand to present tokens of appreciation – a

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framed photo of Tagore with a quote of his and a red rose – to the judges of the essay contest. Malhotra introduced Eric Weiner, the New York Times best-selling

author and former National Public Radio correspondent who has wanderlust just like Rabindranath Tagore had and is a huge fan of Tagore’s philosophy of Universal Humanism.


He has traveled to Shantiniketan, the university town where Tagore created his dream-project Vishva Bharati by spending all the money he received his Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Weiner has written several books on his travels, the latest being The Geography of Genius. Eric’s spoke about was around how Tagore can be called the Renaissance man of India, not only for the volumes of literary material par excellence that he created, and not because he has the unique distinction of creating two National Anthems (for India and later his song Amar Sonar Bangla was adopted by Bangladesh), but also because of the fact that he experimented with creativity to the hilt. Tagore started painting when he was in his sixties, and his painting exhibitions were all over Europe very soon after! His deep philosophical thoughts touched his contemporaries Einstein and Gandhi and the actors Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Sean Penn decades later. Houston is proud to note that the mission statement of Methodist Hospital is a famous quote by none other than Tagore! Eric’s talk this evening was like an exquisite wine that you would share and be enamored over a memorable dinner with your friend. He did not seem to be giving a public speech to an intellectual audience, but rather entertaining the audience with an enlightening, thought- provoking experiment that brought out Tagore’s relevance in the post-globalized world that is still so “fragmented by narrow domestic walls”. After an introduction of the panelists, Andrew Farias, the winner of the Tagore High School Essay Contest 2017, Dr. Indranil Basu Ray of the Texas Medical Center and Amir Mansouri of Royal Dutch Shell, Aurko Dutta, the moderator guided the discussion by asking the panel to weigh in on the key universalism topics. The topics included the relationship between peace within the individual and peaceful societies ... how a Tagorean belief in the transcendental can shape cultures of peace; the relationship between peace and truth ... Tagore believed in speaking the truth always - even in circumstances where doing so could be confrontational, as he felt that real peace could exist without truth and justice; education as the pathway to peace and whether America is still the place (as Tagore, in his lifetime strongly believed) from which the solutions to global strife and conflict can emanate. The Q&A session from the audience was equally engaging and brought out the very question of what we understand as peace in our life; is it the lack of violence both internally and externally or is it rising above being judgmental and hateful? The conclusion was: irrespective, by following Tagore’s example, it is our moral duty to nurture and promote peace in a cosmopolitan society of the space-age.


May 05, 2017


Grace Entertainment Presents Irshad, A New-Age Style of Marathi Poetry BY AMITA DABIR

HOUSTON: Houstonians had an

exhilarating experience of appreciating a new-age style of Marathi poetry on Sunday, April 16 from two young and widely popular Marathi poets, Sandeep Khare and Vaibhav Joshi. Representing Generation Next of the Marathi poetry world, the two poets are on a US tour with their unique program titled “Irshaad”. The tour has been receiving high acclaim and is now captivating the hearts and minds of Marathi audiences across the country. Poets tend to have a certain aura around them- one that stems from their outlandish looks, excessive usage of heavy vocabulary, and a persistence on having their freshly minted verses heard. This aura has created a vacuum between the social-media savvy, modern youth and the everevolving realm of Marathi poetry. ‘Irshaad’ is on a mission to eliminate this vacuum by building a bond of friendship with young minds through poems that address relevant issues and showcase a fresh new approach to the world. ‘Irshaad’ has no fixed format, no defined set of poems or sequence. Rather, it is a natural flow of thoughts and feelings from one poet to another while tapping the mood of the audience which makes the experience a brand-new one each time. Sandeep and Vaibhav took the au-

Irshad New-Age poets are Sandeep Khare (left) and Vaibhav Joshi.

dience through a different journey – sometimes widening and sometimes deepening their experiences. Only a few poems into the program and the perceived notion of poets began to falter and “cool” bonding began. It was a free flow of ideas and conversation as if the poets could read our minds and effortlessly tap on that hidden “self” within each of us to provide a truly heart-warming experience. There was that poetic

romance with rain, the personification of it as ‘Paoos rao’ (Mr. Rain), the magic of love, and a commentary on this reality called life. The reality factor led to all-encompassing realm of Whatsapp, Facebook, DP, slangs, and resonated many chords within the audience. The modern age and media madness led to the dreamy and struggling youth and even to that unspoken topic of homosexuality. Shades of friend-

ship, shades of memories, shades of relationship with parents – the experiences kept growing more insightful. Both poets have an affable style of connecting with audience of all ages by using words of simple spoken Marathi interspersed with common English words that make light of every experience life has to offer. Manasi Joshi-Bedekar, a local Houston artist and an old friend of Sandeep Khare, shared the stage


with the poets during first half of the program and asked them a few insightful off-the-cuff questions about their poetry. True to the casual format of the program, Sandeep and Vaibhav invited local Marathi poets to present their poems in Irshaad. It was heartening to listen to from Houstonian Marathi poets viz. Samir Karandikar, Varsha Halbe, Arun Athavale, Vasant Phansalkar and Amita Dabir. Shreyas Bedekar and Shruti Joglekar presented two of Sandeep’s famous compositions during the event and won everyone’s heart with their melodious voice. The response Irshaad has been receiving deepens our belief in the power of poetry, the magic of Marathi literature, and most importantly, the fact that Marathi poems can continue to make an impact even within the global Marathi community. Kudos to the duo and lots of wishes to the success of Irshaad. The event in Houston was organized by Grace Entertainment, a group of enthusiastic young artists that strives to present the best of contemporary Indian cultural glimpses to Houston. Along with promoting local Indian artists, Grace Entertainment has been inviting leading artists from India and helping to cultivate love of Indian music, literature and other art forms in Houston. The event would not have been possible without special support from Sucheta and Samir Karandikar.

24 May 05, 2017



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May 05, 2017


HARI: Instilling Spiritual, Cultural and Moral Values in Young Minds

SUGAR LAND: A Sugarland

based non profit, HARI is currently working on a big project - providing spiritual, cultural and moral value based enrichment program for kids. One of the main issue that parents worry about a lot is raising kids with the same cultural and moral values that were imparted to them. With heavy influence of television and social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to impart these values to kids. HARI management came up with the solution - educate the younger generation by providing them the much needed cultural, moral and

spiritual connection that will help

Patel Added to FBI’s Most Wanted List

HANOVER, MD: The FBI is add-

ing a man wanted in his wife’s stabbing death at the Dunkin’ Donuts shop where they worked to its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list, According to reports from the Associated Press. This past Tuesday, the FBI added 26-year-old Bhadreshkumar Patel to the list with a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest. Patel is charged with murder in the 2015 slaying of his wife 21-year-old Palak Patel, in a back room of the shop in Hanover, Maryland. He was last seen in New Jersey, taking a hotel shuttle to Newark Penn Station.

them to become well rounded human

Investigators think that Palak Patel wanted to return to India, but her husband didn’t. They believe he could be with relatives in the United States or that he fled to Canada or India.

one’s personality” says Mona who has both her kids attending these classes. I want them to learn the basics, the difference between food and prasadam, the ancient literature - Ramayana, Bhagwad Gita and its applicability in our lives. Greater emphasis is on character building, leadership skills and using modern day technologies to aid in the learning process. HARI KIDS will also be offering language classes in Hindi, Gujrati, Sanskrit and dance classes in coming months. If you need additional information, please call them at 832-9473134 or visit them at www.harikids. org

Chaudhari Found Guilty of Running Call Center Scam


Bhadreshkumar Patel

beings. H.K Patel along with his team of dedicated volunteers brought this concept of HARI KIDS to life this year. “There is too much information out there now a days to distract young minds and most of it is not at all useful for them. We are providing easy to understand and practical way of living life as described in our Vedic culture. The goal is to raise well rounded individuals who are empathetic, caring, compassionate and can contribute meaningfully towards better society” he said. “One of the main reason for joining these classes was that I want to supplement their academic performance with cultural values that shape up

hari, 28, who resided in Austin, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. His sentencing is set for July 21. Chaudhari pleaded guilty this past Wednesday, April 26, to defrauding victims as part of an elaborate call center scam, according to acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas. As part of his guilty plea, Chaudhari admitted that since April 2014,

he and his co-conspirators from call centers in India impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. At the direction of the call centers, they would target U.S. victims in Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, and Texas and threaten them with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay money reportedly owed to the government. Chaudhari admitted to driving around the country to purchase


re-loadable cards identifying information of U.S. citizens. After these were loaded with the victims proceeds, he then liquidated the proceeds, transferred the funds into money orders, deposited these into banks and kept a percentage of the funds for himself. Previously, another Indian national, Bharat Kumar Patel, 43, pleaded guilty for his role in a similar call center scam fraud and money laundering scheme.

26 May 05, 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 May 10, 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).

PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Badam di Burfi (Almond Milk Squares)

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be sure to find a confectionary- or a halwai as they used to be called before they built fancy shops – where you will find many of the most popular and common sweets that Indians love. Among them, there will be a variety of burfi (milk squares), in one flavor or the other, all of which are particular favorites of young kids. These days, you can even get burfi with a dark brown chocolate layer on top; and certainly those made with pista (pistachio), badam (almond) or kajju (cashew). They can be presented plain or with a traditional coating of warak (a very fine film of real silver or gold, though this is now only for special occasions) which astounds people – even second generation young Indians overseas – since they can’t believe one can eat a metal film! The other item that is a universal favorite in India are badam (almonds) and these are eaten in many forms and especially as ingredients in making sweets. Almonds are native to the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, but the majority of them are grown in California, which is the world’s top producer, while India is not even in the top 10 list. In addition, badam are used in ceremonial havans (religious rites) since time immemorial and their oil is used for medicinal purposes as well as in cosmetics. Almonds are high in energy as they are high in carbohydrates, fat and protein as well as in many minerals, especially magnesium and phosphorus. In the old-fashioned, traditional way, burfi is made by using whole milk, heavy with cream, and letting it boil on a stove till it has evaporated down to a thickened layer called khoya. It’s a time consuming process that requires patience, the ability to stand over a hot stove for long hours

and continually stir the milk so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. This recipe uses coarsely ground badam and is a fast way to make a tasty burfi that can match the store made ones. It is quick and easy to make - in about 30 minutes – and those who eat it will never know the difference! Ingredients: • • •

1 cup non-fat milk powder 1 cup badam powder (almond powder) 1/2 can condensed milk

Directions: 1.Pour the badam powder and milk powder in a bowl, then slowly add the sweet condensed milk and mix thoroughly. 2.Coat your hands with some veg-

etable oil so that the mixture will not stick. Then, knead the mixture with your hands and form into a ball. 3.Coat a large, clean dinner plate with a thin film of vegetable oil so that the mixture will not stick. 4.Take the ball out the bowl and place on the dinner plate. 5.Coat a velna (rolling pin) with some oil so that it won’t stick. Then use it to spread the ball on the plate into a ½ thick flat pancake. 6.Cover with some wax paper and place the plate in the fridge for 30 minutes. 7.Remove from fridge and then cut the pancake into 1.5 inch square or diamond shapes and serve at room temperature. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.


cook their rotis (flatb reads) fresh at home them up on a tava or at least heat (flatplate) or a frying pan. This is the be real flavor out of the st way to get the wheat and roti, altho ugh many people wi roti in paper and he ll just cover the at them in a microwa ve. I have noticed difference between that there is a big the two ways of heati ng roti: when done they come out sligh in the microwave, tly soggy but the tav a makes them crisp But after the rotis are ier. heated and the stove from the tava to wa turned off, use the heat coming rm up other items, like water or a bowl else. In this way, yo of dal or anything u are recycling the heat for other use!

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May 05, 2017



Baahubali 2 : The Conclusion

m a r e n d r a Baahubali(Prabhas) and Bhalla Deva(Rana Daggubati) are cousins raised by the same mother, Sivagami(Ramya Krishnan) who is also the reigning Queen of Mahishmati. Amarendra is orphaned in his childhood and despite the fact that Bhalla is her own son, the Queen wants to crown Amarendra the King of Mahishmati because she feels that he has the true makings of a ruler and benefactor. Bhalla is peeved. His father and he conspire to overthrow Baahubali. And they use Kattappa(Sathyaraj) and the Sivagami as pawns in their game. Baahubali 2 Review : This part is more prequel than sequel be-

cause initially the story traces the origins of Baahubali’s father, who was originally meant to be the King of Mahishmati. It also delves on the love-story between Amarendra and Devasena(Anushka Shetty), who is mother of Mahendra Baahubali(Prabhas in a dual role.) Recounted in the folklore-meetsAesop’s fable-style, the plot is simple and carries the good triumphs over evil thought forward just like the first part did. Albeit with some childish conspiracy theories added in. Of course, the end comes together in a long-drawn climax that could have been 10-minutes shorter. But don’t judge Baahubali. Just savour it. It is a visual extravaganza that India must feast on. Part 2-The C o n clusion onerously

carries the equity of the first part on its shoulder and ups the scale on many counts—especially in heroism. Baahubali has been sketched out as such a symbol of strength and power that he makes you root for him throughout. Prabhas is terrific as father and son. What’s more, this part provides an answer to a question uppermost in everyone’s mind for the last two years—it tells you why Katappa, the old faithful, killed Baahubali Senior. Indian cinephiles must salute Rajamouli for his vision and ambition. He once again gives us our Benhur and Ten Commandments experience rolled into one. Of course it is CGI and VFX that grab you in your seat, but Baahubali also takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The romance between Devasena and Amarendra has the Titanic fervour.While the performances of the lead cast are all believable, it is Peter Hein’s action—with Baahubali doing the Van Damme split and some sweeps that set your spirits soaring. -timesofindia.com

Prabhas becomes first South Indian star to make his debut at Madame Tussauds

With a great movie, comes greater stardom and this holds true for the south Indian actor Prabhas. After his film Baahubali: The Conclusion has roared at the global box-office, the actor has taken his seat on the echelon of fame. Prabhas has become the first South Indian actor to make his debut at the prestigious Madame Tussauds wax statue. Beating the likes of superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, the Baahubali star has got a wax statue at the Bangkok Madame Tussauds. Prabhas has been given the look



from his blockbuster film Baahubali. If we talk about India, the feat has only been attained by Bollywood’s A-listers who have had t h e opportunity to become immortal through their statues at the several Madam Tussauds’ museums across the world. Trade analyst Ramesh Bala broke the news on his Twitter account where he posted an exclusive pic of the star from the wax museum and tweeted, “Wax statue of #Prabhas as #Baahubali at #MadameTussauds Bangkok.1st South Indian Actor to have his statue at museum.” Prabhas has given five years to the franchise, and it seems it is all worth it. -yahoo.com

Rabindranath Tagore May 7, 1861

28 May 05, 2017 IPL 2017: Daredevils Upset Sunrisers to End Losing Streak

Yasir Shah’s 6 for 90 Helps Pakistan’s Fightback vs WI




(ESPN Cricinfo): Delhi Daredevils 189 for 4 (Anderson 41*, Siraj 2-41) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 185 for 3 (Yuvraj 70*, Shami 2-36) by six wickets Delhi Daredevils bounced back from falling to their lowest IPL total in their previous game by dominating the chase in a six-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Daredevils’stand-in captain, Karun Nair, had put Sunrisers in hoping the pitch would stay true through the game. The visitors responded by scoring 66 in the Powerplay. Daredevils fought back in the middle overs, removing Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson in quick succession after strangling them with spin, but lapses in the field allowed Sunrisers a way back in. Yuvraj Singh made use of a dropped catch and dominated an unbroken 93-run stand for the fourth wicket with Moises Henriques that lifted Sunrisers to 185 for 3. Daredevils began briskly in the chase, with Sanju Samson’s 19-ball 24 and Nair’s 20-ball 39 setting the pace. The momentum was picked up by the rest of the top order before allrounders Corey Anderson and Chris Morris put on 41 off 19 balls to take Daredevils past the target with five balls to spare. Against a top four that had three left-hand batsmen, Daredevils picked the offspinner Jayant Yadav. In fact, his only game this season was the away fixture against Sunrisers on April 19, when he had opened the bowling. Jayant did it in Delhi as well and seemed to have David Warner lbw first ball. Warner, who had struck a thunderous 126 against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, went for the sweep against an overpitched delivery drifting into him. HawkEye showed his survival was marginal. That was the only sign of the offspin punt working against the openers. Warner and Shikhar Dhawan played Jayant out respectfully - apart from a Warner switch-hit over the backward point boundary. Against Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris, they were more fluid, hitting five fours and a six before Warner


Karun Nair punishes a short and wide delivery to the boundary, Delhi Daredevils v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2017, Delhi, May 2, 2017.

welcomed Mohammed Shami with a boundary to start of the sixth over. That whip over midwicket brought up the fifth opening stand of fifty or more for Sunrisers this season. It ended next ball, however, with Shami sliding a steaming yorker under Warner’s drive to take his off stump. Sunrisers were 66 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay. Kane Williamson played four dot ball in the next over against Morris, two of which were slower deliveries. It was a precursor to the home team’s plan for the middle overs. Jayant and Amit Mishra bowled four overs in tandem, which set the tone for Daredevils’most fruitful phase in the field. Mishra depended heavily on his new-found offbreak against the lefthanders, but it was his googly that met the top edge of Dhawan’s attempted sweep. Jayant had cramped Williamson to the extent that the Sunrisers No. 3, aside from a six off a quicker delivery, had only managed three singles off seven deliveries. When Shami came back in the 12th over, his dot-ball ratio had climbed to 50%. That induced a skied hook straight to deep square leg. The six overs after the Powerplay fetched Sunrisers only 27 runs for the

loss of two wickets. Daredevils gave away extra runs on at least four occasions. The most painful one was when Samson dropped Yuvraj, who had 24 runs in his last four innings, at deep square leg. Samson, who had been involved in that infamous mix-up with Mishra against KKR last week, wasn’t under any such pressure this time - the nearest fielder was yards to his left. However different the two missed chances were, the outcomes were similar. Robin Uthappa had piled on the misery that day and Yuvraj, on 29 off 26 at that point, made 41 off his next 15. His unbeaten 70 took Sunrisers to 185 for 3. Another man who had not found runs was Karun Nair. He opened the chase and utilised the Powerplay to hit himself into form. Like Yuvraj, Nair was helped by ordinary fielding. On 20, he toe-ended a scoop to short fine leg, where Bhuvneshwar Kumar was late in getting his hands up to take the catch. Nair made 15 off his next four balls, primarily through shots on the up or ramps behind the wicket while the ball still came on. His knock took Daredevils to 62 in the Powerplay. Shortly after, Nair offered another catch to Bhuvneshwar,

who caught the full-blooded drive at long-off. The momentum had been conceded though. Daredevils had two spinners to tie Sunrisers down on a slow track; Sunrisers had dropped their second spinner, Bipul Sharma, for Deepak Hooda who didn’t end up batting. This proved to be the difference as Daredevils’ young top order scored 36 off Moises Henriques’ 2.1 overs. The promotion of Rishabh Pant to No. 3 also played a part. Warner was reluctant to expose his only other spinner, Yuvraj, against Pant but Yuvraj went for 16 in his only over, bowled after Pant had been dismissed. It allowed Daredevils the luxury of playing legspinner Rashid Khan out at a run a ball without losing a wicket to him. It was only Rashid’s second wicketless game - the previous one also against Daredevils. One might have expected to see Angelo Mathews at No. 5, or even No. 6, as Daredevils lost wickets close to the target. In the end, Anderson and Morris filled up those slots, a signal that Daredevils didn’t just want to win, but wanted to do it comprehensively. Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


RIDGETOWN: West Indies 312 and 264 for 9 (Hope 90, Brathwaite 43, Yasir 6-90) lead Pakistan 393 (Azhar 105, Misbah 99, Gabriel 4-81, Holder 3-42, Bishoo 3-16) by 183 runs It was a memorable day of Test cricket at the Kensington Oval, but for West Indies, it was a cruel finish.After all, West Indies - led by a resolute 90 from Shai Hope that lasted over five hours - made Pakistan’s bowlers graft and toil for the majority of the day, but the defining period will be five minutes of chaos that saw his side lose three wickets in eight balls for one run. It might yet lose them a game they have grated their way back into on more than one occasion, but with the lead already 183 with one wicket in hand, the Test is still alive. Yasir Shah claimed another six-wicket haul to lead Pakistan’s fightback in the final hour. With West Indies leading by 154 runs with six wickets still in hand, thoughts may already have been turning to an early declaration on the final day. But all of a sudden, Hope sought to cover drive a flighted Yasir delivery through the air, perfectly picking out Azhar Ali at cover. The next ball saw Vishaul Singh, the other set batsman, drag an inswinging delivery from Mohammad Abbas onto his stumps. Six deliveries on, Jason Holder poked at one from Yasir, and even as the light eroded, Younis Khan was never going to drop that. There was still enough time for West Indies’ last recognised batsman - Shane Dowrich - to edge one that ballooned up for an easy catch to second slip. Yasir dismissed Alzarri Joseph soon after to take his innings tally to six, and West Indies’ hard work crumbled.

Yasir Shah claimed five wickets in the final session to turn the second Test in Pakistan’s favor.

May 05, 2017

Infosys to Hire 10,000 US Workers After Trump Targets H1B Visas BENGALURU: Infosys Ltd said it US, as well as secure new ones. The

plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, following criticism from the Donald Trump administration that the company and other outsourcing firms are unfairly taking jobs away from US workers. Infosys, which employs about 200,000 people around the world, will expand its local hiring in the US while adding four hubs to research technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The first location will open in Indiana in August 2017 and is expected to create 2,000 jobs for American workers by 2021, the company said. India’s outsourcing firms have come under attack for allegedly displacing American workers with employees from overseas. Last month, Trump signed an executive order aimed at overhauling the work visa programmes that Infosys and other firms use to bring overseas workers

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka

into the US. “In the fast-changing world of today, we need the ability to be local. We need to be trusted by our customers as being local,” said chief executive officer Vishal Sikka in an interview from Indiana. “To work with a mix of global and local talent is

absolutely the right thing to do.” The US administration has taken several steps to reform the work visa programmes that outsourcers have used to bring in workers from overseas. Last month, the justice department warned employers applying for the visas not to discriminate against US workers, while the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency issued a memo laying out new measures to combat what it called “fraud and abuse”. In signing the executive order, Trump said there had been “widespread abuse” and directed federal agencies to find ways to reorient the programme. In that context, Infosys’s hiring may be a useful move politically, even if it increases labour costs in the US. “This is positive in one aspect and negative in another: Increasing local hiring is important for Indian IT firms to retain ongoing projects in the

downside is that the costs will rise,” said Urmil Shah, analyst at IDBI Capital Market Services. Indian outsourcing firms have said that they need to hire foreign workers in part because the US has a shortage of qualified employees. Yet Sikka says that is something Infosys can overcome. “We are not only hiring computer science specialists but also engineers with software development aptitude and potential who we will train and prepare,” he said in the interview. Infosys clarified that its plan to increase hiring locals in US will not be at the expense of its hiring plans in India. “Our hiring plans continue to be in line with our business requirements, and is similar to previous years,” said a spokeswoman for Infosys. - Live Mint

India to Slash Oil Imports from Iran by 25% Over Gas Field Row MUMBAI: India plans to order China, and last year imported about about a quarter less Iranian crude oil than it bought last year, people familiar with the matter said, as state refiners cut term purchase deals over a row between New Delhi and Tehran on development of a natural gas field. The drop in volumes follows India’s threat to order state refiners—Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd and Indian Oil Corp—to reduce purchases from Iran if an Indian consortium is not awarded the rights to develop Iran’s huge Farzad B natural gas field. The volume cuts would put India’s imports of Iranian crude for this fiscal year at 370,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to the sources with knowledge of the planned deals. India is Iran’s top oil client after

510,000 bpd of crude from the country, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon. The reduced 2017-2018 imports include 199,000 bpd by state refiners, a decline of about a third from last year, the sources said. Private refiners Essar and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) have renewed last year’s term contracts to buy 120,000 bpd and 20,000 bpd, respectively, they said. Most of the state refiners did not respond to queries on the matter, while Essar Oil, MRPL and HMEL declined to comment. India’s oil ministry also said it had no immediate comment. Analysts said that apart from the gas-field row, India is also taking advantage of a narrow price spread between European oil benchmark Brent and Middle East price-setter Dubai crude, which makes it attrac-

India is Iran’s top oil client after China, and last year imported about 510,000 bpd of crude from the country.

tive to bring more oil from Europe into Asia. “Brent-related crudes are cheaper and sweeter than medium to heavy grades from Middle East,” said Ehsan ul Haq of KBC Energy Economics.

Also, Russia’s Rosneft may start bringing more non-Iranian crude, likely from Venezuela, to India after buying Essar Oil’s Vadinar refinery. - Live Mint



India’s Manufacturing Sector Grows for 4th Month in Row

MUMBAI: India’s manufactur-

ing activity expanded for a fourth consecutive month in April, aided by stronger growth in new orders while the rise in output and employment slowed, a monthly survey said. The Nikkei/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, held steady at March’s 52.5 last month, its fourth month above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Input costs rose for the 19th straight month for manufacturers, amid indications that persisting inflationary pressure may force the Reserve Bank to continue with its ‘neutral’ monetary policy stance, to which the central bank recently shifted from an earlier ‘accommodative’ mode. “Consumers were the key drivers of growth,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit. “Buoyant domestic demand coupled with sustained growth of new orders from abroad boosted the upturn in total new business.” A new orders sub-index rose to a six-month high of 53.8 last month from March’s 53.6. Foreign demand also rose, although at a slower pace. The increase in demand only provided a more modest lift to overall output and employment as higher prices of raw materials ate into firms’ profits. “Scratching beneath the surface we can see that consumers were the key drivers of growth as consumer goods producers registered by far the steepest expansions in both production and new orders,” Lima said. Lima further noted that Indian manufacturer believe output is expected to remain on an upward trajectory amid reports of planned capacity expansions, new product launches, and aggressive marketing campaigns.

30 May 05, 2017 26/11 Mastermind Hafiz Saeed to Remain Under House Arrest for 90 More Days LAHORE: Mumbai attack master- ister Chaudhry Nisar in which a Saeed, along with his four aides,

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mind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed will remain under house arrest+ here for 90 days more after the expiry of his three-month detention period tonight. Pakistan’s Punjab government on Sunday decided to extend the duration of the house arrest of Saeed and his four aides under the country’s anti-terrorism act and the notification for it will be issued soon, an official of the Punjab government’s home department told PTI. “The government has decided in principle to extend the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed, Prof Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid, Qazi Kashif Hussain and Abdullah Ubaid for another 90 days” under preventive detention, he said. The official said a consultative meeting on Saeed’s detention has already been held under interior min-

decision to extend the house arrest has been taken. The government on January 30 had put Saeed and the four leaders under house arrest in Lahore for their alleged involvement in activities prejudicial to peace and security. The house arrest was made for a period of 90 days ending tonight. According to media reports, the Nawaz Sharif government had detained Saeed after the Trump administration, which had just taken over, had told Pakistan that it may face sanctions if it did not act against the JuD and its chief. The Jamaat-ud Dawah (JuD), the front group of the banned Lashkare-Taiba, and its sister organisation Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), had also been put under terror watch on the basis of a report sent by the ministry of foreign affairs.

have filed a petition in the Lahore High Court challenging his detention through senior advocate A K Dogar. During the previous hearing on the petition earlier this month, the Punjab government had told the Lahore high court that no violation of law had been made in their detention as it had reasons to believe that JuD and FIF are engaged in activities which can be prejudicial to peace and security. Saeed and his aides allege in their petition that the government detained them without any legal justification. Saeed was also put under house arrest after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, but he was freed by a court in 2009. He has a bounty of $10 million on his head for his role in terror activities. -timesofindia.com

Beyond Brothels: How Real Estate and Online Sites are Changing Red Light Areas

INDIA: Thirty-four-year-old San-

geeta is mildly irritated at having been woken up and summoned to 50 GB Road to talk to a journalist. A client had kept her up late the previous night, she complains. “And it is too hot to sleep during the day. Bauji doesn’t get coolers installed in the rooms. Just those old fans,” she says, referring to the landlord who rents out rooms to her and a few other sex workers. Upgrading facilities is understandably not a priority for the landlord who wants to sell off the existing property and move out of GB Road, Delhi’s infamous red light area. “He has been talking of selling off for the past four years. Many of the old girls who used to be in my room before have left. He doesn’t want to get any new ones. He says once we also leave he will sell the house,” she says. Vidya Balan’s April release, the Srijit Mukherjee-directed Begum Jaan, is the latest of many Bollywood films that have been set in red light areas or brothels – the Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil starrer Mandi, for example, and Mahesh Bhatt’s 1991 film Sadak starring Pooja Bhatt and Sanjay Dutt. Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! also featured the red light area of Falkland Road in Mumbai, captured in detail by photographer Marie Ellen Mark in the 1970s. But in an age of websites offering solutions for people looking for paid (as well as unpaid) sex, sophisticated escort services providing sex in the comfort of hotel rooms or rented apartments, mushrooming massage parlours that offer sex on the side,

not to mention the ease of reaching out to sex workers over the phone, mail and WhatsApp, are ‘physical’ red light areas slowly fading away? At GB Road, an NGO worker who has lived and worked among the sex workers here for 40 years but doesn’t want to be named, points to the locked doors of rooms that had once housed brothels. Many of the sex workers have left to look for greener pastures. In Mumbai’s Kamathipura, once among Asia’s biggest red light areas, real estate expansion has pushed the brothels into only two of the 14 lanes across which they were once spread. In Kolkata, Sonagachi continues to thrive, but even here business is not restricted to the brothels. Once upon a time, it is said Delhi had five red light areas . Most people living in GB Road believe that the plan to move all the brothels to GB Road was made under the British, though the actual shift happened only after independence. The area was planned in a way that the buildings would have shops on the ground floor and


brothels above. That format continues and during the day GB Road is like any other busy shopping area, albeit seedy looking. The roads are choc-a-bloc with four and two-wheelers and pedestrians and it is difficult to find parking. It takes a little acclimatising to the surroundings before one can spot the women, some in bright clothes and heavy make-up, sitting by the doors or peeping down from the high windows. It takes an even greater level of familiarity with the area to pick out the pimps. According to the estimates of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson, Swati Maliwal, there are approximately 90 brothels and 5,000 sex workers currently operating in GB Road. The number, says the NGO worker, is only 25 per cent of what used to be there before 2001. “There was trouble in 2001. The authorities had started taking serious action against trafficking.There were raids. There was talk of rehabilitation, but that initiative never succeeded,” he says. A spokesperson for Shakti Vahini, an NGO that works against human trafficking, says, “In the last five years Shakti Vahini has conducted more than 100 search operations in GB Road in collaboration with the police and Crime Branch. We have been able to rescue 68 victims of trafficking.” -Hindustan Times

May 05, 2017




May 05, 2017


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