E newspaper 06302017

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Friday, June 30, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 26


Indo American erican News

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

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5th Annual Greater Houston Rath Yatra

P20 International Yoga Day Celebrations


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June 30, 2017



June 30, 2017


His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj of BAPS Arrives in North America

HOUSTON: The spiritual leg-

acy of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj continues with the arrival of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj in North America on June 22, 2017. Over the next three months, he will visit mandirs and inspire thousands of devotees in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, New Jersey (Edison and Robbinsville), and Toronto, Canada. His visit will be filled with traditional celebrations, spiritual discourses, various seminars, and special events open to the community. Since the earthly departure of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Mahant Swami Maharaj now continues the lifework and legacy of Pramukh Swami Maharaj as the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was born in 1933 in Madhya Pradesh, India. In 1961, at the age of 28, he was ordained as a swami and given the name of Sadhu Keshavjivandas by His Holiness Yogiji Maharaj, then guru and spiritual leader of BAPS. Yogiji Maharaj recognized his leadership abilities and bestowed upon him numerous responsibilities including appointing him as the mahant, or chief priest, of the BAPS mandir in Mumbai, India. Thus, the name ‘Mahant Swami Maharaj.’ After Yogiji Maharaj’s earthly departure, Mahant Swami Maharaj dedicated himself totally to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth Guru of BAPS. Under his guidance, Mahant Swami Maharaj relentlessly traveled to remote areas in India and abroad to inspire moral values and enlighten countless devotees. He was also called upon to be in the forefront during major celebrations and as a trusted advisor regarding critical decisions related to the organization. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was thoroughly pleased with Mahant Swami Maharaj’s virtues and devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his gurus as well as

Mahant Swami Maharaj with Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj

and strengthen communities small and large. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision continues to be his driving force behind guiding spiritual activities and organizational efforts as well as pursuing development projects to advance youth programs. Mahant Swami receiving a garland from In the past year, Pramukh Swami Maharaj he has continued his vicharan, or his affection to the devotees and spiritual travels, throughout the care for their well-being. On July world, and has thus far visited al20, 2012, in Ahmedabad, India in most every major BAPS mandir in the presence of senior swamis of India and Africa. During his visit BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj to the United States and Canada, officially appointed Mahant Swa- he will attend numerous special celebrations including the ten-year mi Maharaj as his successor. As the current Guru of the anniversaries of the BAPS Shri BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Mandirs in Atlanta, Mahant Swami Maharaj has led Toronto, and San Jose as well as a by exemplifying devotion, humil- Murti Pratishta, a ritual to sancity, and selflessness. He visits tify the murtis, for abhishekh in with devotees around the world Robbinsville, NJ. After his threeto nurture faith in all individuals, month journey, he will continue promote family values and unity, onwards to the United Kingdom

and the Far East regions. For more details regarding His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s North America visit, please visit www.baps.org/msm17na or follow #MahantSwami on social media. About BAPS The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through various spiritual and humanitarian activities, BAPS endeavors to develop better citizens of tomorrow with high esteem for their roots and culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is free of addictions as well as morally, ethically and spiritually pure. For more details, please visit www.baps.org. About Mahant Swami Maharaj His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas. As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mum-


bai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016. About Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Under his leadership, BAPS grew into an international spiritual and humanitarian organization with over 3,300 centers worldwide. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others, traveling throughout the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God, and service to humanity. With genuine care and compassion, he reached out to all members of society irrespective of class, color, or age. Recognized and respected as one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, he lived by and promoted the principle: “In the joy of others, lies our own.” CONTACT: media@na.baps.org


June 30, 2017




Alliance to Promote Yoga in the City on IDY


HOUSTON: About 400 Housto-

nians moved in harmony, stretching and breathing mindfully in a guided yoga session at Levy Park. The event was organized to mark the Third International Day of Yoga on June 21st by the Indian Consulate in Houston with the support of over 15 community organizations. Event coordinator and Swayamsevak Sharad Amin thanked the participants and observed that thunderstorm warnings and an overcast sky did not deter the yoga practitioners from attending the group practice. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett made a brief appearance to show his support for the day and noted that “yoga is not just about stretching but a key component in selfrealization.” Deputy Consul General of India in Houston, Surendra Aadhana highlighted the fact that “yoga is connecting the world with India.” He also announced an initiative by Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray for the formation of an alliance with yoga institutes and teachers to “bring their synergies and best practices together” with a view to promote yoga in a more organized and concerted manner. HSS volunteers with Anant Samdani kick started the efforts during the event. After an opening prayer by Madhukar Adi, well known yoga teachers Vishwarupa Nanjundappa and Lindsay Law guided the group through several standing and sitting postures respectively. Robert Boustany, Houston’s leading yoga teacher and initiator of Pralay Yoga led the group through a guided meditation by encouraging them “to open themselves up to the moment, send out as much love as they could, let gratitude flow through them, and pour out a love for all beings because if we do this, we could change the world.” The meditation session unfortunately was cut short by about 10

June 30, 2017

Community leaders and volunteers with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett (in center) and Deputy Consul General of Houston Surendra Aadhana (in center).

Houston Yoga teachers

minutes due to a sudden downpour but it didn’t discourage the participants from indulging in a lively exchange of powdered colors. Speaking to a cross section of people at the gathering about how yoga helped them, views ranged from it being a “de-stresser and a centering experience” to helping them “make better decisions, focus and keep calm.” Swati Thakkar, a cancer survivor, explained how she was an occasional yoga practitioner but after being diagnosed with cancer became regular which helped her both mentally and physically. Anwar Raza follows Baba Ramdev and underscored the fact that yoga “changed” his life. He added that unfortunately people are ascribing a communal slant to yoga but “yoga has no relation to religion.” President of IMAGH Munir Ibrahim had this to say: “the practice of Yoga helps in the ground-


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ing and shifting of the focus of understanding one’s self to live your life without judgement and to love others with peace and harmony. Mark Ram, a veteran yoga teacher with the Brahma Kumaris explained how “Yoga enables an individual gain governing power over one’s own mind and physical senses” while Zachary Biegun a Yoga practitioner observed that

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Yoga participants at Levy Park

Photos: Bijay Dixit

“the most intimate relationship we have is between the mind and body and this relationship is the filter through which we experience everything. Yoga is the practice of undertaking to improve that relationship-thereby improving our whole selves and our whole lives.” Suresh Patel, the first Indo

American yoga teacher in Houston recounted how he taught yoga in 1975 to a class of 85 students while Gitesh Desai, a familiar face in Houston’s Indo American community and a certified yoga teacher concluded by explaining how it can help to “harmonize one’s energy within” and bring peace to a violence afflicted world.

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036




June 30, 2017

Festival of India – Greater Houston Rath Yatra 2017

the original ancient Rath Yatra in Puri, India. As they approached the chariots in the procession, magically Kabita was able to climb one of the chariots – by herself – and felt the feeling return to her right side. Almost immediately her paralysis was cured and she was able to walk and function normally again! “We wanted to recreate the festival here in Houston and offer everyone a chance to experience the Lord of the Universe’s divine blessing,” said Kabita. “Later this year, in November 2017, the Temple will officially open for devotees to make a more convenient, shortened pilgrimage to the Char Dham Temples – the four sacred worship sites originally found at the four corners of India – Badrinath in the north,


HE WOODLANDS: The rain clouds disappeared into thin layers of heavenly covering while the gorgeous thick forest trees surrounded the site for the 5th Annual Greater Houston Rath Yatra on Saturday, June 24. The Char Dham Hindu Temple and Star Plus presented this year’s Festival of India at a new location: the Char Dham Hindu Temple site in The Woodlands, inviting a new crowd dynamic nearly a thousand strong. “It was my dream to hold this Rath Yatra on the Char Dham Temple grounds and though construction was only 85% complete, the entire team made it happen!” beamed key organizer and Char Dham / SKAI Foundation founder, Dr. Surya Sahoo. One resident of The Woodlands and ardent devotee said, “I just walked to the event from my home to enjoy this annual tradition commemorating Lord Jagannath’ s summer vacation with elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the main Jagannath Temple in Puri, In-

dia, to the Gundicha Mandir, all replicated here in my neighborhood!” Those devotees who arrived early were honored with double strands of jasmine garlands specially flown in from India that morning. “What a divine delight to be immersed in singing The Lord’s name with

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this divine fragrance while dancing!” said ISKCON’s Guru Bhakti Ma. She led the devotional aspects of the event along with Saranga Thakur Das. The ISKCON President for the last 25 years, Shyam Sundar Das, was bestowed the honor of “The King” who sweeps the path with a special broom in front of the auspicious Raths (chariots) during the procession. ISKCON’s Krishna Kripa Das took a few moments to explain the significance of the festival and his son, Gaura Karuna Das, gave the finale performance of devotional kirtans mixed with hip hop beats and rap. Three enormous decorated chariots were pulled around the accessible temple grounds with throngs of humble devotees singing kirtans and dancing in slow majestic rhythm. Priests doled out Prasad (blessed whole fruits and specially made sweets of Khaja and Laddoos) to devotees. Throngs of believers seeking Lord Jagannath’s blessings, vied for the divine opportunity to pull the ropes of the chariots along in procession. Lines were at times a bit long for Char Dham’s generous Dinner “Prasad” but the tasty combination of Chole, Poori, Tamarind Rice, Bisibele Bath, Curd Rice and Sweets was “…worth the wait…” reported Aparna, one of the devotees. Sahoo had a vision to bring this festival to Houston five years ago when he and his wife, Kabita, experienced a miracle. Kabita suffered from paralysis on her right side after a stroke, but was determined to visit

Dwarkanath in the west, Rameshwaram in the south and Jagannath in the east. The event was also sponsored by New York Life Agent, Amirali Dodhiya, and My Tax Filer’s Gangaraj. Hindus of Greater Houston and India Culture Center also supported the cultural aspects of the event. SKAI’s Partha Mohanty and the head priest Sri Kiran Narayanam worked tirelessly to guide the Masala Radio and Entertainment Crews in executing a flawless event. Masala Radio’s lead radio jockey, Sunil Thakkar, emceed the lively entertainment and kept spirits high with frequent chants of “Jai Jagannath” “Hari Bol,” and “Hare Krishna.” The cultural program included devotional songs by devotees from ISKCON, choreographed dances by US Desi Gals, H-Town Divas, Odissi Academy, Shingari School of Rhythm, Avantica Odissi School, Vinanti Mistry, Bollywood Dancing Stars and devotional songs sung by Gaura Karuna. The dance performances culminated in a grand “Four Corners of India” Fashion show by Jaz Creationz. The cooling breezes, Indian food, music, dancing, deities and raths all contributed to a spiritual experience especially in the setting of The Woodlands. Photos by Jesus Kargue Creative Tecknik Photo, Arion Videographer and Thejas Rajaram. For more event photos and videos visit GreaterHoustonRathYatra.org or HoustonIndiaFestival.com



June 30, 2017


An Early Morning Surya Namaskar, Rain Showers Not Withstanding!

The entrance to Towne Green Park in The Woodlands was the site of the International Yoga Day event this past Saturday, June 24


Some of the volunteers from the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands who helped to put the event together


HE WOODLANDS: Three days after the Summer Solstice – Wednesday, June 21 - and the day declared in 2015 by the United Nations as the International Day of Yoga – the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands, in partnership with the Houston Consulate General of India, observed the event with yoga asanas (poses) for the early-morning risers of the Greater Houston area. This was the second IDY event this year, the first being on Wednesday itself in Levy Park in Houston (see page 05), which was cut short due to rain showers. Most of the estimated 450 peo-

The yoga instructors gave direction on the asanas to the 450 people who came to the event More volunteers and HTW members at the IDY booth

ple who arrived at 7 in the morning on a cool Saturday, June 24 braved

the clouds and the brief but heavy rainfall just before the event start-

ed. They came with their rubber yoga rolls and spread them out in rows on the slight incline of Town Greene Park, in the shadow of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion,


not letting the damp grass get in the way of their mental and physical exercises. By 8 am, the yoga CONTINUED ON PAGE 13



June 30, 2017

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June 30, 2017


Dilip Desai Wins Silver in National Seniors TT Doubles

SUGAR LAND: Dilip Desai

Photo on left: Dilip Desai (right) with partner Don Weems after winning the silver medal for National Seniors table tennis doubles tournament.

of Sugar Land won the silver medal in Table Tennis Men’s Doubles representing state of Texas in the 2017 National Senior Games, also known as Senior Olympics, held in Birmingham, Alabama. Dilip and his partner Don Weems faced tough competition from other teams from USA and other countries, including Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad/Tobago, and US Vir-


Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston (IMAGH), is a non-profit, nonreligious, and non-political organization serving the South Asian community. The organization will be celebrating its 8th Annual Eid Milan on July 1 at Marriott Westchase Hotel. Eid Milan is an annual event where friends, neighbors, and colleagues, from the larger Houston Community come to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr all under one roof. Eid-ul-Fitr is a religious holiday celebrated worldwide by Muslims, marking the end of Ramadan, a fasting month. This year’s theme, “Many Faces of Indian Muslims” is to recognize the diversity within this community and honor those who have con-

gin Islands. Only the top three players from each state are allowed participate in the tournament. Table Tennis has been a passion of Dilip since his school days. After

graduating from college, his table tennis practice was put on hold while he pursued his career and family. He returned to the table tennis arena in 2012 to relive his passion. In Houston, Dilip is a member of CCC (Chinese Cultural Club) and IPRC (Imperial Park Recreation Center). He gets coaching at CCC and also practices with a robot at home. Dilip hopes that more and more people from India participate in these games and enhance their

8th Annual Eid Milan by IMAGH tributed to society with their talents and great work ethics. IMAGH is proud to welcome India’s Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray as the Guest of Honor and the Vedanta Society of Greater Houston as the Guest Organization. This year’s Event Chair is a successful entrepreneur, Arshad Matin, President and CEO of Paradigm Inc. He has an outstanding record of managing multi-million dollar companies and community involvement. To motivate the youth and to bring a new perspective in the community, Aziz Akbari will be the guest speaker this year. He is a bright young individual who ran

Arshad Matin

for Mayor at the age of 18! He is a fine example of what youth can accomplish when they follow their dreams.

Under the leadership of Munir Ibrahim, the new President of IMAGH, the organization has substantial new ideas and suggestions being incorporated in this grand event. Along with the Chair, Dr. Yunus Langha of the Organizing Committee, both have brought a new prospect of what the organization will continue to do. The purpose of Eid Milan is to promote the message of peace, unity, tolerance, and continues to break the boundaries between communities, cultures, and religions. IMAGH is a non-profit organization and an umbrella for two other organizations, Club 65 and South Asian


physical and mental health and wellness. All kinds of the games are available to participate, e.g. archery, badminton, tennis, cycling, golf, track and field, etc. Dilip is looking forward to participating in the next National Senior games to be played in Albuquerque New Mexico in 2019. For a complete list of the games and schedules, visit NSGA.com.

Youth Alliance (SAYA). Club 65’s purpose is to provide activities for seniors and keep them educated, entertained, and active in the community. SAYA is a platform for the youth to explore their heritage, promoting South Asian identity, networking, and developing leadership. A part of IMAGH’s vision is to celebrate Muslim festivities with other organizations and the community. Please join this year’s Eid Milan to celebrate this gathering of the diverse Houston community! For more information about the event, call its President, Munir Ibrahim, at (832) 267-5123 or Latafath Hussain at 713-2696171 or email at info@imagh. org.

10 June 30, 2017




June 30, 2017

Maha Rudram: History Made at Sri Meenakshi Temple

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ated at Sri Meenakshi Temple. The great Maha Rudram conducted here this past weekend, took the temple and the city of Houston to new heights, as one of the very few temples and cities in the US to have organized this most important event for Lord Shiva. The status of Maha Rudram is achieved when the count of

Rudram chants exceeds the magic number 1331. About 50 ritwiks, under the leadership of the temple priests, took part in the event spread over 2 days. It was a seemingly very difficult goal to achieve, and it took 8 years to get here, but this time with even more energy, total devotion, dedication and team work they climbed this great mountain and attained the Maha status. Many kudos to all. The event started on Saturday, June 24th at 9 AM. Undaunted by the thunderstorms deluging the Houston area in the early morning hours, the Rudram chanters known as ritwiks as well as ardent devotees from far and wide assembled in the Main temple for the initial Sankalpam. The rains appeared to be an auspicious Punyahavachanam (purification) from the heavens. The preliminary pujas started with Vigneshwara puja, Punyahavachanam and Kalasa stapanam. Then the all powerful Mahanyasam chanting was led by the priests to invoke Lord Rudra in every part of their body and mind. The 50+ ritwiks for the

next 3 hours went on the intense chanting of Sri Rudram, eleven times, each time followed by an anuvakam of Chamakam. Hundreds of devotees were held in a trance while the vedic mantra was chanted in unison. The whole atmosphere was filled with the strength and power of Sri Rudram. The morning session concluded with Rudra Trishati archana and upacharam. The second session started at 5 PM, with the continuation of the Rudram chanting. The priests and ritwiks performed this divine prayer with utter concentration and devotion, and the temple resonated with this vedic mantra. The eveCONTINUED ON PAGE


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12 June 30, 2017


2017 Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Award HOUSTON:

Southwestern National Bank (SNB) proudly sponsors its 12th annual scholarship awards to assist in facilitating the education of deserving high school graduates in our community. We hope that this scholarship will help young talented students to achieve their educational goals. SNB received more than 30 applications for the five (5) $1,000 scholarships that are awarded each year. The Directors, Officers and Employees

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Maha Rudram: History made at Sri Meenakshi Temple



ning session concluded with a spectacular arathi and upacharam. The devotees and ritwiks gathered again on Sunday, June 25th morning to continue with the chanting of Sri Rudram, the greatest Vedic offering to Lord Shiva. Goddess Meenakshi being the Veda Matha was surely smiling with happiness when she heard all the Veda ghosham in the temple from ritwiks, some of whom came from as far away as Dallas. The great Rudra Homam was then performed with such meticulous detail with the priests making the offerings to the Fire with the chanting of Sri Rudram. The final part of the Homam was the Vasodhara which was performed to the chant of the Chamakam. This was followed by Purnahuthi. The priests then led a procession with the holy kalasams on their heads, around the deities in the Main temple. An elaborate Abhishekam was performed for Lord Sundarewara that was witnessed by over 400 devotees. The curtains were drawn briefly for Alankaram, and when they opened up again, Lord Sundareswara in His most majestic form gave darshan to the devotees. The devotees were engulfed by the power of the Lord, and this was the greatest reward that the devotees could ever imagine they would receive. The final Arathi and Upacharam were very remarkable. As soon as the final arathi was complete, it was a miracle to see and feel rain drops falling from a sunny sky. Lord Sundareswara’s divine presence and blessings were felt. It was amazing to see the wide variety of prasadams that were so lovingly prepared by the devotees in their homes and brought for the neivedyam by the grace of the Lord. More than 400 people had a sumptuous lunch. All in all, this was a most divine and blissful event that was well organized and conducted by the Temple under the leadership of the Chairman of the Board Sri Narayanan, the Religious Activity Committee led by Vice Chairman Dr Padmini Nathan, Priests Manicka Bhattar, Kalyana Sundaram, Balaji and Parameshwaran ably supported by the silpis and staff of the temple. The event co-cordinator Sri Muthukumar and other volunteers put in countless hours of work and co-ordination. Special mention is to be made that the Shankaracharya of Kanchi personally blessed this event and blessed each of the ritwiks and priests with specially ordered vastrams (dhothies). A most devoted family who wish to remain anonymous presented each of the participant with a special gift from India. Last but not the least were the ritwiks themselves who performed this historical feat with the blessings of Lord Sundareswara, to make this a very divine and fulfilling event. Many devotees and ritwiks could not help thinking if they were actually in the US, or was this all happening in India. The prayer “Nama Parvathy Pathe, Hara Hara Mahadeva” still reverberates in their hearts.



June 30, 2017


An Early Morning Surya Namaskar, Rain Showers Not Withstanding! CONTINUED FROM PAGE


mats covered half of the grassy lawn as the leotard and t-shirt clad yoga practitioners followed the calming, sonorous voice from the stage urging them to find the quiet space in their minds and focus on their asanas. Encouraged by the response to this event over the past two years, the HTW went all out to bring the IDY 2017 event to The Woodlands community to share yoga’s promise of health and wellness and coordinated with yoga studios across Greater Houston. There were several booths from area businesses lining both sides of the park, which had a short, elevated stage at the colonnaded and bricked entrance. The program opened with prayers and meditation by the Brahmakumaris, a worldwide spiritual movement, and The Art of Living Foundation of The Woodlands. Short yoga demonstrations followed - sun salutations, relaxation and pranayama - taught by several area yoga instructors, including some from HTW. Participants, ranging from small children to octogenarians, followed guided meditation and asnayas with rapt attention, and were transported into tranquility in the serene setting of Town Greene Park. “Something about this venue and doing the yoga in unison re-

ally stirred us, and we would love to come back to this event again,” said Rainer and Aymara Lilienthal, of Spring, who enjoyed every aspect of the event, but most of all, were impressed with how it brought people together to learn about the body and mind wellness. Lauren Thompson, a purchasing agent from downtown Houston, drove in early that morning along with friends. “I am really a very casual learner of yoga, but I attended the IDY event at Levy Park in Houston, earlier this week and loved it! When I heard about the event in The Woodlands, I knew I wanted to experience the joy of this form and sense of community again, and made it a point to come today,” she said. Though sandwiched between the rains just a few minutes before and heavy downpour right afterwards, the event was actually a festival and wholesome family outing with live music, chanting, yoga studio booths and sale of yoga books as well as stalls of local vendors of organic groceries, health foods and hand-made jewelry. Several medical and charity organizations from the area held free medical checkups and information sessions. A free Indian breakfast of biryani and vegetables was provided by the Hyderabad Biryani Place of The Woodlands. The local H-E-

B, across the street from the park, generously donated water and bananas to everyone. The event was coordinated by Dr. Neeta Shukla and brought together by the tireless efforts of countless adult and youth volunteers of the HTW, some of whom were at the venue at 4 am to set-up and the rains did not dampen their spirit. They meticulously planned the safety, security, parking, audio, photography and overall logistics over several weeks. The HTW youth club even set up drones to project a live video feed of the event. Encouraged by the response, the HTW intends to bring more programs of this nature to The Woodlands and make the IDY an annual event. The Education, Youth and Services (EYS) wing of the HTW offers free yoga classes several times a week at the Temple located on 7601 South Forest Gate Drive, Spring, Texas 77382. These are conducted by volunteer instructors certified by VYASA Houston (a satellite of the original VYASA Yoga Center in Bangalore, India). Many EYS yoga teachers are involved in community outreach programs for wellness and diabetes prevention throughout Houston, as well as in research projects with MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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June 30, 2017



16 June 30, 2017

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Northeast Winners Set in 2017 South Asian Spelling Bee

From left: Rahul Walia Founder of South Asian Spelling Bee; Agranya Ketha (second runner up), Sujata Choudhury (regional champion) and Abhilash Patel (first runner up).

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From left: John Gurgarty, pronouncer; Anmol Dash (first runner up), Sravanth Malla (regional champion), Richa Juvekar (second runner up) and Garrett Hall, judge.

BOSTON: Continuing its quest

for the best speller in the community, the 2017 South Asian Spelling Bee traveled to Massachusetts and New Jersey this past weekend with stops in Boston and New Brunswick.

In the Boston Regional, Sravanth Malla, 13, of Haverstraw, New York was the regional champ. Anmol Dash, 12, of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, was the first runner up, and Richa Juvekar, 13, of Westford, Massachusetts, was second runner up. In New Jersey, Sujata Choudhury, 10, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey was named regional champ. Abhilash Patel, 9, from Harriman, New York was first runner up, and Agranya Ketha, 13, of Montville, New Jersey, was the second runner-up. Organized by Touchdown Media Inc., the South Asian Spelling Bee is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and with regionals being held in eight locations across the United States. Apart from Boston and New Jersey, regional centers include Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C. Metro, Charlotte, the Bay Area, and Dallas. All events will be free to attend and open to the public. An international regional in Accra, Ghana was conducted earlier this year, from where spellers of South Asian descent will qualify for the finals. “For the past nine years, the


Bee has consistently provided a firm platform for the community to come together and hone their craft. It’s become a family activity that contributes towards the overall development of the child. We are proud to enter our Tenth consecutive year and look forward to engaging some of these wonderful spellers,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of Touchdown Media Inc. The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals to be held in New Jersey in August. Champion’s grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to the winner at the finals. For a complete schedule, registration and other information, please visit SouthAsianSpellingBee.com.


June 30, 2017


A Dance and Poignant Remembrance by the Love of Friends BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

FRIENDSWOOD: It was a mark of remem-

brance for two of their own dear friends, who were also founders of the 16 year-old non-profit Friends Helping Friends, which brought the Board of Directors of the Clear Lake based charity once again to the Hope Village in Friendswood. After all, Shoba and Alan Wenger had spent many days caring for and nurturing the residents of the assisted living facility and held a dance every June for them. Once again this year, on Friday, June 23, FHF organized a dance event at the Hope Village on July 8 in memory of Shobha, Alan and their daughter Suji Chaudhary who also passed away just a little earlier than her mom. Almost 200 residents enjoyed the food and dance with the help of Lisa Davis, the Day Program Manager and Recreational Director at the Hope Village. Hope Village was started in 1967 by Bill and Lucille Williams when they sought care for their daughter Sally, who was diagnosed with mental retardation. The first home opened in 1970 with six residents. Since then, it has grown substantially to handle kids from 6 years-old to adulthood living in five homes on the Village campus on 18 acres of land donated by Louis and Hildegard Strey. Shobha Wenger passed away in February 2016, seven years after her husband of 30 years, Alan died. Last July, the Board of FHF, many of whom knew the Wengers well, remembered the tremendous generosity of the couple by keeping the tradition of the annual dance alive. The Wenger’s son Doug and Shobha’s sister Asha Kapadia came to the event which drew

Residents and friends of the Hope Village assisted living facility in Friendswood came out for the annual dance organized by the Friends Helping Friends. Photo on left: FHF volunteer Bill Massone helped out with the party arrangements.

some 200 people. This year, once again, the FHF Board – Dr. Meera Bhutani, Panna Bhatia, Dr. Manik Hussein and Darin and Sandy Ard – organized the dance with the help of volunteers Dhiren Bhutani, Mustaq Hussein, Toni and Bill Massone and Mohini Ahluwalia and the residents turned out for the dance. A poignant way to remember a couple who would have smiled at the occasion.

FHF Board member Dr. Neera Bhutani helped organize the event along with the rest of the FHF Board.

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18 June 30, 2017 z


A Trumpian Tango


Dalit vs. Dalit



ew had set a high bar for the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump this week — and the two leaders obliged by doing just enough to avoid giving the impression that India-United States relations are headed downhill. India walked away from the summit with a trophy, in the form of the designation of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Mohammad Yusuf Shah, who uses the pseudonym Syed Salahuddin, as an international terrorist. The designation is of little practical use, though; similarly proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, his Jaish-e-Mohammad counterpart Masood Azhar Alvi and ganglord Dawood Ibrahim have evaded justice for years. There have been some tangible takeaways, like the US’ willingness to sell India naval drones, but these are the outcome of processes begun under the stewardship of former president, Barack Obama. As such, they reflect bureaucratic stewardship of the defence relationship, not the breaking of new ground. Perhaps significantly, the specific references to the South China Sea dispute and China in last year’s joint statement were replaced with a call on “all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law”. This could suggest that the strategic outlook that underpinned the India-US relationship is changing, as President Trump turns away from seeking to contain Chinese power in Asia. There are disturbing signals, moreover, on the economic relationship. President Trump hectored the prime minister in public remarks after their one-on-one meeting, demanding that “barriers be removed to the export of US goods into your markets, and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country”. The discussions now underway for US-produced natural gas could go some way in offsetting that deficit, but President Trump’s language suggests bruising spats over intellectual property rights and trade regulations could again occupy centrestage in relations between the two countries. India may just be the latest in a long line of countries to learn that in Donald Trump’s version of the dance, it takes just one to tango. -- Indian Express

he word “Dalit” refers to castes stigmatised in the socio-economic, political and cultural discourse of Indian society. The “untouchables”, until the Constitution abolished untouchability. Gandhi glorified them as “Harijans”, the term Ambedkar vehemently denounced. It was the British government that categorised them as the “Scheduled Castes.” The same was done in the case of the Scheduled Tribes. When the BJP declared Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA’s presidential candidate and since he belongs to a Dalit caste, it was as if “being Dalit” suddenly became a virtue in Indian politics. What was disturbing was that, rather than discussing his personal attributes and capabilities, the entire focus of public discussion was on his caste background — Amit Shah, BJP president, while declaring Kovind’s candidature, mentioned his caste about 15 times. Would this have happened had the presidential nominee been a non-Dalit? Now, not only constituents of the BJP-led NDA such as the TDP, but the BJD, TRS, YSR-Congress, AIADMK etc have declared their support to the BJP candidate. The JD(U) was the first to endorse his nomination, notwithstanding the fact that it was Nitish Kumar, Bihar Chief Minister and the supreme leader of the JD(U), who first suggested putting up of a common candidate by the non-BJP (read “secular”) parties. In this background, the Congress and its co-travellers had no option but to offer a Dalit candidate. This made Meira Kumar their final choice. That these parties, even in view of the BJP and its supporters having majority in the electoral college, could have contested the presidential election more effectively, is a different story. Evidently, no political party could risk being seen as “anti-Dalit”. The Dalits constitute about 20 per cent of the country’s population. What is their share in economic, political, administrative, educational and judicial power? Are they free from caste-based discrimination, hatred, prejudice and bias that, many times, cripples their confidence and creates

NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind (left) vs. Congress candidate Meira Kumar -- a Dalit vs. Dalit contest for India’s presidency.

a feeling in their minds that they are reduced to “second grade” citizens? And, what about the caste-based atrocities? According to the Union Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau, between 2009 and 2015, about 2,27,000 cases of crime against Dalits (including cases of atrocities) have been recorded. During 20092013, there were 3,194 incidents of Dalit murders, 7,849 Dalit women were raped. During this period, the seven states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh accounted for 80 per cent of the total crimes and atrocities, with UP alone accounting for about 25 per cent. Third, caste-based discrimination against Dalits is still rampant, be it disguised or open. Notably, institutions of higher education are the citadels of such caste-based discrimination. There have been instances of Dalit students committing suicide due to their inability to withstand such discrimination. The suicide of Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad Central University last year shook the country. Five Dalit youths were flogged and beaten almost to death by the lumpen and self-appointed “gau rakshaks” in Gujarat for skinning a dead cow Fourth, following the Central government, not a single state government is allocating funds from its annual budget in proportion to the population of the SCs and STs in the state as proposed in the Scheduled Castes and Tribal Sub-Plans, the two special schemes introduced by Indira


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


Gandhi in the 1980s, to ensure their speedy economic development and bridge the gap between them and the rest of society. Fifth, Dalits constitute about 40 per cent of the total agricultural labourers in the country. Another 40 per cent are marginal and small farmers and, like agricultural labourers, they too depend upon agricultural wages as their main source of livelihood. The Agricultural Wages Act of 1948 has prescribed the revision of these wages every five years. But not a single state government is following this provision. When Dalit agricultural labourers ask for higher wages, their demand is put down with a heavy hand by the rich peasants, sometimes with the brutal force of the separate “senas” maintained for this purpose, particularly in the northern states. Lastly, only a few of the Dalit political representatives elected on the reserved seats, who constitute about 15 cent of all members of Parliament and state legislatures, raise issues concerning Dalits. If political parties are really serious about the empowerment of Dalits, and tribals, they must go beyond mere symbolism. Taking the name of Dalits and symbolically “branding” Ambedkar may bring them political dividends, but will not help Dalits to break the shackles of social stigma, economic misery, nor lead to genuine political empowerment. The writer is a former member of the Rajya Sabha and Planning Commission



June 30, 2017

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 5


Story of Mahatma Gandhi

he story thus far…In South Africa, Gandhi saw how the Indians were treated as inferiors, only allowed to work the soil but not permitted to own land. Under the law enacted in the Orange Free State in 1888, Indians had been deprived of their rights. In Transvaal, they had to pay a poll tax of 3 pounds if they wanted to stay in that state. Gandhi gathered the community together and drew their awareness to the deficiencies in their statuses and advised them unite for justice. The Indians, as advised by Gandhi, now realized what was at stake but they were at a loss at to what to do. They requested Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting at Abdulla Seth’s house under the stewardship of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill with all their might. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting them to postpone further discussion on the bill. The Speaker promptly replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. They followed up with another petition to Lord Ripon, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. More than ten thousand Indians signed the bill. Copies of the petition were circulated in South Africa, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that was now awakened with the Indians in South Africa. The Natal Indians pressed Gandhi to remain and guide them for a little longer. Gandhi told them that he was prepared to stay on if the Indian community would provide him with sufficient legal work. They gladly agreed to do this. Twenty merchants turned over all their legal business to him. When Gandhi applied for enrolment as an attorney to argue his caseload in court, the entire bar, composed of white lawyers, strongly opposed him. The Supreme Court of Natal overruled the objection, and he was allowed to practice. Soon Gandhi became one of the busiest lawyers in Durban; but to him law was a subordinate occupation. His main interest was his public work. He felt that merely sending in petitions and protests would not help the Indians much. He felt the need to organize a sustained agitation. So he proposed the formation of a permanent orga-

nization to safeguard the interests of Indians. A meeting was called to discuss this matter. The spacious hall in Dada Abdulla’s house was packed. It was there, on that occasion that the Natal Indian Congress was formed. In 1894 the Natal Government sought to impose an annual poll tax on the indentured Indians. These were laborers who had been recruited from India on a five-year contract, but on a pittance. Under the contract they could not leave their employer. They were treated practically as slaves. These men had been taken to South Africa to help the white colonizers in agricultural work. The Indians did more than had been expected of them. They worked hard, purchased land, and started cultivating their own fields. Their enterprise did not end there. They soon built houses and raised themselves far above the status of laborers. The white people did not like this. They wanted the Indian workers to return to India at the end of the contract period. To make things much harder for them, the Government now imposed an annual poll-tax of £25. The Natal Indian Congress started a strong agitation against this. Later, at the intervention of Lord Elgin, the then Viceroy of India, the tax was reduced to £3. Still Gandhi considered it an atrocious tax, unknown anywhere else in the world. The Natal Indian Congress continued its agitation, but it was 20 years before the poll-tax was finally withdrawn. In three years in South Africa, Gandhi had become a well-known figure. And his practice was well established. He realized that he was in for a long stay. He knew that the people there wanted him with them, so in 1896 he asked their permission to go home and bring his wife and children to South Africa. Besides, a visit to India would be useful in gaining more support for the Indians in South Africa. He had arranged his work so well that he could look forward to six months’ leave. In the middle of 1896 Gandhi sailed for India, and after 24 days landed at Calcutta. From there he went to Rajkot. It was a happy family reunion when Kasturbai welcomed him with

their two sons. But the plight of the Indians in South Africa was so much on his mind that he could not be content to enjoy domestic bliss in peace. He therefore launched a campaign to acquaint the people of India with the real condition of the Indians in South Africa. He met the editors of influential newspapers and important Indian leaders, including Lokamanya B. G. Tilak, the hero of Maharashtra, and Gopal Krishna Gokhale who, like Gandhi, was already famous at the age of 27. Wherever Gandhi went, he tried to make the people aware of the lot of their compatriots in South Africa. Many newspapers published his views and strongly condemned the South African government. Summaries of these newspaper reports and comments reached South Africa long before Gandhi returned there. Meanwhile, plague broke out in Bombay and threatened to spread to neighboring areas. In Rajkot Gandhi volunteered to join a group who tried to educate the people about the need for sanitation and other measures to prevent the spread of the disease. At the end of November, however, Gandhi received an urgent message from Natal asking him to return immediately. There were some developments which required his presence there. So Gandhi set sail for South Africa once more, this time taking with him Kasturbai and their two sons and the only son of his widowed sister. However, a message reached Gandhi advising him not to land with the others but to wait until evening, as there was an angry mob of whites at the dock. Kasturbai and the children were sent to the house of Gandhi’s Parsee friend, Rustomji. Later, accompanied by Jason Laughton, the legal adviser of Dada, Abdulla & Co., Gandhi went ashore. The scene looked peaceful, but some youths recognized him and shouted, “Look, there goes Gandhi.” Soon there was a rush and much shouting. As Gandhi and his friends proceeded, the crowd began to swell until it was impossible to go any further. Suddenly Laughton was pushed aside and the mob set upon Gandhi. They pelted him with stones, sticks, bricks, and rotten eggs. Someone snatched away his turban, others kicked him until the frail figure collapsed. He clung to the railing of a house. The fury of the white mob was unabated and they continued to beat him and kick him. “Stop, you cowards,” cried a feminine voice. “Stop attacking the poor man.” It was the wife of the Superintendent of police. She came up and opened her parasol and held it between Gandhi and the crowd. This checked the mob. Soon the police arrived and dispersed the crowd. - To be continued next week

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20 June 30, 2017


July 4th Events Around Town

Events for Fourth of July, in Houston

• Freedom Over Texas featuring Hunter Hayes: At Eleanor Tinsley Park July 4. 4pm-10pm • ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: Star-Spangled Salute: At Miller Outdoor Theatre July 4. 8:30pm • 4th of July Weekend at City Centre: At CityCentre July 1-4 FREE Saturday, July 1 from 7 - 10 PM: Pete Simple Band (Pop & Rock) Sunday, July 2 from 7 - 10 PM: Janell McDonald & Grace Point (Inspirational) Monday, July 3 from 7 - 10 PM: Max Flinn Band (Country) Tuesday, July 4 from 7 - 11 PM: People’s Choice Band (Country & Rock) & 15 minute fireworks

spectacular at 9:30 PM • Houston Symphony’s Star Spangled Salute: At Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 3. 8pm • Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza: At Town Green Park and Waterway Square, Woodlands, TX July 4. 6pm - 10pm • 4th Fest in Pasadena:At Pasadena Convention Center July 4 4pm - 10pm • The Katy Freedom Celebration: At Katy Mills Mall July 4. 9:30pm • July 4th Parade and Festival: At Bellaire, TX July 4.9:30am - Parade; 10am-1pm - Festival • Snow & Ice Celebration at Memorial City: At The Square at Memorial City (303 Memorial City, Houston, TX)

July 4. 5:00 - 8:00 pm • Celebration of Freedom: At Pearland High School Football Stadium (3775 South Main, Pearland, TX) July 4. 6-10 pm • Fourth of July Celebration: At Kemah Boardwalk July 4. All day with fireworks at 9:30 pm. • Missouri City’s 4th of July Celebration: At Buffalo Run Park July 4. 6pm-9pm • 177th City of Galveston Celebration Independence Day Parade and Fireworks: At Galveston Island July 4. 7:30pm - Parade (Along Seawall Boulevard from 28th Street to 53rd Street) • Fulshear Freedom Festival: At Downtown Fulshear July 4, 2016, 6 PM - 9:30PM -visithoustontexas.com

Recipe of the day All American Trifle

Ingredients: (15 servings) • 3 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced • 1/4 cup white sugar • 1 quart heavy cream • 1 (3.3 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix

• 1 (6 ounce) container lemon yogurt • 2 tablespoons coconut-flavored rum, or to taste, divided (optional) • 2 (16 ounce) prepared pound cakes, cubed • 2 pints fresh blueberries, or as needed Directions: 1. In a bowl, sprinkle the strawberries with sugar; stir to distribute the sugar, and set aside. Chill a large metal mixing bowl and beaters from an electric mixer. 2. Pour the cream into the chilled mixing bowl, and add white chocolate pudding mix, lemon yogurt, and about 1 tablespoon of coconut rum, if desired; beat until fluffy with an electric mixer set on Medium speed.


3. Spread a layer of pound cake cubes into the bottom of a glass 10x15-inch baking dish, and sprinkle the cubes with another tablespoon of coconut rum. 4. Cover the pound cake with a layer of strawberries; sprinkle blueberries over the strawberries. 5. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream over the berries. Repeat the layers several times, ending with a layer of strawberries sprinkled with blueberries and reserving about 1 cup of whipped cream; top the trifle with dollops of whipped cream to serve. 6. Refrigerate leftovers. -allrecipes.com

June 30, 2017

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22 June 30, 2017



Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Loon-Mirch Da Parantha (Salt-Pepper Wheat Pancrusted Flatbread)

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 July 5, 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).

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y popular demand from many readers – and especially some younger ones - this is a reprint of Mama’s Loon-Mirch da Parantha recipe, but with some additional information and directions. By now, every Indian probably knows what a parantha is and immediately associates it with Punjabi cuisine. Other cuisines have tried to copy them and make their own versions of paranthas though with varying results, but certainly not the stuffed ones, and are often thinner and greasier than the Punjabi originals. Pre-cooked paranthas are also sold under many brand names in the frozen food aisles of Indian grocery stores. So popular are they that lately even some brands of wheat flour makers have gotten into the business of making ready-to-eat frozen paranthas. You can find frozen paranthas that are plain, ajwain (carom seeds), methi (fenugreek), spinach, and others stuffed with aloo (potatoes), paneer (Indian cheese), piyaaz (onions), gobi (cauliflower) and a few more varieties. But, as one can expect, most of them are often stingy with their fillings! Paranthas can be a meal by themselves, sort of like a pizza. But when all else fails and there is no time to make any stuffing, you can always fall back on the simple paranthas with just the right amount of loon (salt) and lal mirch (red pepper) to make a meal with plain yogurt or even a clump of butter melting on top of the crispy, browned top skin. I remember that when my two sons were young and growing up in London, England, on cold wintery days, when it was difficult to get out to the stores, they would ask for a loon-mirch parantha with a little dab of butter sitting together at the kitchen table! This type of parantha goes particularly well with any plain daal (lentils) that hasn’t been fried and so

Ingredients: • 500gm kanak (gehon) ka atta (wheat flour) • 2 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil) • 1 1/2 cups pani (water) • 1/4 tsp namak (salt) per parantha • 1/4 tsp mirch (red pepper) per parantha • 1/4 tsp ajwain (carom seeds) per parantha - optional Directions: 1. Pour the atta into a wide-mouthed bowl (stainless steel is best). Form a small crater and slowly pour the water in while kneading the dough with your hand till it becomes a nice, tender but firm ball. Make sure that the dough is not hard or too soft, thin or stringy when pulled. It shouldn’t stick to the hands or the bowl. Add a teaspoon of oil and knead in some more. 2. Dab the surface of the ball with a little water to keep it moist, cover the bowl and set aside for an hour. You can then place it in the fridge for longer duration. If the dough is too hard, the parantha will also be hard. 3. Grease your hands with a dab of oil. Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll it in the palms of your hands into a 2-inch round paada (ball). 4. Coat the counter top with some dry atta, then roll the ball out with a pin into a 4 inch disc. 5. Throw in the salt, pepper and ajwain, then gather off the ends off

the dough in pleats with a pinch and then roll into a ball again. The ajwain is optional but helps with digestion and gives additional flavor. 6. Carefully roll out the ball into an 8 to 10 inch disc, ¼ inches thick, trying not to put a tear in the dough. 7. Put a small dab of oil on a hot tava (hotplate or skillet) and place the flattened disc on. When it puffs a bit and turn color, turn the pancake over. Turn the heat to medium low. Put another dab of oil on the tava and then turn it over again till it is fully cooked. Do NOT keep pressing dough on the pancake as this will only make the dough stick together. A well-made parantha will actually puff up! 8.These paranthas are best served hot with butter, plain yogurt, daal (lentils). 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 in 1947. 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 Punjabi recipes.


Most often after a meal in an Indian restaurant, you can saunf (fennel seeds) pick up some dried as you pass the cash ier’s counter. You ca you leave as they are n chew on them as considered a diges tive and also help to breath. clean up any food At home, you can go one step further by dry roasting the tava (flat plate) for fennel seeds on a a few minutes and then storing them in roasting will bring a sealed glass jar. Th out a nice aroma tha e t will cleanse the air inclined, take the ro of odors. If you are asted seeds and cru sh them in a mixie use this powder as into a powder. You flavoring when ma can king tea or in prep Indian dishes. aring sweets or oth er

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Tubelight: Salman Keeps the Faith Alive plays a child-man who doesn’t take off his shirt or flex his biceps. So the audience going in for this one should invest belief (or should that be disbelief?) in this age of innocence offering from Kabir Khan, whose past outings Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan were more commercially-wired.


axman Singh Bisht (Salman) is nicknamed tube light by his neighbours because he is feebleminded. Despite being special, Laxman lives by one life-lesson; keep the faith alive and you can do almost anything, even stop a war. At the outset, one must warn people that Tubelight is a departure from your regular Salman Khan mass entertainer. Here Bollywood’s darling-star


who slaps the hero around without provocation, making the slaps sting less and irritate more. Things brighten up a bit when the dropdead gorgeous Liling (Zhu Zhu) and her perky son Guo (Matin), who are Chinese immigrants, move to Jagatpur. But even this track seems like a ploy to play up the Hindi-Chini bhai bhai senti-

Tubelight inspired by the Hollywood film Little Boy directed by Alejandro Monteverde, is told with a fable-like simplicity. Set in Jagatpur, a pretty North-Indian town, during the Indo-China war, the locals are mostly hangers on, who have little to do except laugh at Laxman’s antics or berate him. Banne Chacha (Om Puri) mentors him, imparting Gandhian gyaan at every given opportunity. Narayan (Mohd Zeeshan) is the local bully

ment. The war sequences are poorly mounted because the filmmaker hasn’t invested in them either through evocative writing or mindnumbing montages. The film that propagates the values of family, faith and patriotism doesn’t manage to take a complete leap of faith because often the emotions barely scratch the surface. Everything is so cloyingly sweet that you start feeling you’ve strolled into a sermon rather than a Salman movie. Pritam’s Naach Meri Jaan and Sajan Radio are magical, as is Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo as magician, Go-Go Pasha. Aseem Mishra’s camera work is largely-breathtaking When it comes to performances-Salman laughs and cries unselfconsciously, showing his audience the less-seen side of his macho screen image. He cannot move mountains

with his performance but he tries hard to keep the faith alive. Sohail is sincere. Zhu Zhu shows spunk and young Matin entertains. And, Om Puri reminds you of the mettle unsung heroes are made of. -timesofindia.com

Happy Birthday Neena Gupta

July 4, 1959

Ranveer Singh July 6, 1985

Bank Chor Movie Preview, Story, Synopsis, Trailer, Songs, Cast & Crew

ank Chor : Bank Chor is a Hindi comedy thriller directed by Bumpy and produced by Asish patil. The movie is distributed under Yash Raj Film banner. The film stars Riteish

Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi and Rhea Chakraborty. Vivek Oberoi has returned to Yash Raj Films after 12 years, his last film under their banner was Saathiya. The bumps in the script don’t

hold back the performers. Riteish’s middle-class Marathiness endears him to the viewer; Vivek’s the perfect good cop to all the thugs around him; Thapa and Arora as two Delhi goons are hilarious — there’s a spinoff waiting to happen with these two. Rhea Chakraborty has perfected the art of succeeding in small, supporting roles without shoulder-

ing too much responsibility, and Sahil Vaid’s performance singularly pulls up the movie. But otherwise, it is too reminiscent of bank-heist movies of the past; there are even clear shoutouts to the Dhoom franchise. A better plan of action and a few dry runs with the script would have ensured a product to bank on. Read full review of Bank Chor here. -timesofindia.com

Divyanka Tripathi, Vivek Dahiya on winning Nach Baliye 8: The show has promoted our relationship by three years T elevision’s they beat Sanaya Irani-Mohit Sehgal favourite couple, Divyanka Tripathi and Vivek Dahiya, has more than one reason to be happy about their Nach Baliye 8 win. Not only did their hard work of three months paid off as


and Abigail Pande-Sanam Johar in the show’s finale, but the time spent during the shoot brought the couple closer to each other more than ever before. In an interview to the indianexpress.com, the winning couple shared about their Nach Baliye journey, which had its own highs and lows, and why the show is more of a personal experience than a competition. -indianexpress.com

24 June 30, 2017 India vs WI ODI: Rahane, Kuldeep Star in 105-Run Win BYSIDHARTH MONGA


ORT OF SPAIN: (ESPN Cricinfo): India 310 for 5 (Rahane 103, Kohli 87, Dhawan 63) beat West Indies 205 for 6 (Hope 81, Kuldeep 3-50, Bhuvneshwar 2-9) by 105 runs Fifty overs. Forty-three overs. It doesn’t quite matter. India are a bot designed to score 300 and not too many more when batting first, which proved to be more than enough against the inexperienced West Indies batting. No team has scored as many 300s as India - 96 - and it was fitting that they took the lead by seamlessly recalibrating their approach in a raincurtailed ODI. Ajinkya Rahane got to his third ODI century - the period approaching his hundred was the only slow spell in India’s innings, Shikhar Dhawan’s run continued with yet another halfcentury, and Virat Kohli knocked off an effortless 87 off 66. Shai Hope delayed the inevitable West Indies defeat with a fine 81, but once they had lost two wickets before the first run had been scored off a bat, further rain was their only ally. It was not to be. Early morning rain had left the pitch

Ajinkya Rahane leans back to cut, West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Portof-Spain, June 25, 2017.

damp and the atmosphere heavy, ideal bowling conditions that prompted the hosts to invite India to bat. The conditions eventually didn’t turn out to be as treacherous as expected, but it didn’t help that West Indies’ new-ball bowlers never got their length right. They were either too short or too full, getting cut and pulled or driven with ease. There was also more intent from the India openers, who as a partnership have the best average among all pairs who have added at least 1500 runs together. Rahane got going with

an upper-cut for a six, and Dhawan loved the driving practice given to him, off-driving Jason Holder for successive boundaries before pulling him for one more in the eighth over. India’s 63 in the first 10 overs was about 14 more than what has been their average since the 2015 World Cup. The busy scoring continued, especially given that Devendra Bishoo, who bowled well in the first match, struggled with his length. In Bishoo’s third over, Rahane picked up two boundaries to get into the 40s. He lost

Dhawan immediately after, stumped off the offspin of Ashley Nurse for 63 off 59, but took over the dominant role as Kohli settled down. As in the first match, this was atypical of Rahane, who usually slows down after a quick start against the hard new ball. Here, as on Friday, he accelerated gradually after a sedate start. From 36 off 45, Rahane scored the next 50 runs in 40 balls, but slowed down near the hundred. The nerves were understandable. Here is a Test shoo-in who has struggled to cement a place in ODIs because he has failed to convert those quick starts on a regular basis. With KL Rahul nearing fitness, this chance, which has come through the rest given to Rohit Sharma, could be his last. If there were any doubts about India getting the 300, Holder put paid to them by bowling three beamers and a foot-fault no-ball in his last two overs. The extra deliveries and runs took India over, making it 99 runs in the last nine overs. The next 99 runs would take more than half the length of West Indies’ innings, and three wickets to boot. Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Kohli-Kumble Drama Should Have Been Handled Better: Ganguly M : (ESPN Cricinfo): Forplications of the five candidates that UMBAI

mer India captain Sourav Ganguly has said that the differences between former coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli had not been handled properly. Ganguly is a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that is tasked by the BCCI with identifying India’s new coach, and had zeroed in on Kumble last year. The CAC, it is understood, was also entrusted with the responsibility of breaking the impasse between Kohli and Kumble, but after discussions with Kohli, it reported to the board that the relationship was beyond repair. “The matter between Kumble and Kohli should have been handled a lot better, by whoever in charge. It was not handled properly,” Ganguly told reporters in Kolkata on Tuesday. On Sunday, during the state associations’ meeting with the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators, Gan-

“The matter between Kumble and Kohli should have been handled a lot better, by whoever in charge.” -- Sourav Ganguly.

guly disagreed that the CAC was undermined by the Kumble-Kohli episode. He had then pithily spelt out what kind of coach the committee was looking for: “[The one] who can win cricket matches.”

With the deadline for applications for the job of coach extended till July 9 following Kumble’s exit, Ganguly, along with his former team-mates Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, will now have to look into the ap-

have already submitted their resumes - Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Richard Pybus and Dodda Ganesh - as well as those of anyone else who applies for the post. The latest contender is former India team director Ravi Shastri, whom Kumble replaced last year. Shastri told ESPNcricinfo that “he will apply for sure”. Kumble’s resignation came four days before the limited-overs tour to the Caribbean began, with him deeming his partnership with Kohli to be “untenable”. The exit had come following media reports that Kohli had told the BCCI that some players weren’t comfortable with Kumble’s “intimidating” approach to managing players. Consequently, despite Kumble’s successful one-year tenure, the board invited fresh applications for the head coach’s position instead of extending his contract.



Mandhana Sets Standard as India Overwhelms England


ERBY: India’s impressive batting line-up made a collective statement of intent, not least their 20-year-old prodigy Smriti Mandhana, as England, the hosts, were overwhelmed by a display of power and finesse in the opening match of the Women’s World Cup at Derby. After winning the toss and bowling first under overcast skies, England’s captain Heather Knight had anticipated an opportunity for her side to lay down a marker of their own as they embark on their first home World Cup campaign since 1993, and the first ICC event on home soil since their victory in the world T20 in 2009. But they had reckoned with the silken skills of Mandhana, who capitalised on a nervy opening gambit from England’s bowlers, not least the veteran Katherine Brunt, to lead the charge with an innings of 90 from 72 balls. Despite the insistence from India’s captain, Mithali Raj, that women’s cricketers should not be judged against their male counterparts, it does Mandhana no disservice to say there were shades of Sourav Ganguly in her strokeplay, particularly her powerful driving on the up and through the covers. She also swung hard through the line for two big sixes over long-on, as she and Punam Raut left England with no place to hide. At 134 for 4, England seemed in peril, although Fran Wilson wasn’t done yet. Her hard-hitting 81 from 75 balls gave her side genuine hope going into the final eight overs. But a spate of run-outs - three in four overs, including Wilson herself and the dangerous Brunt - wrecked their fightback. Victory was duly sealed with 15 balls to spare.

Smriti Mandhana cracks another boundary over the leg-side.

June 30, 2017


DGH Opens Up Entire Unexplored Area for Hydrocarbon Firms

EW DELHI: Upstream oil and gas regulator the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) on Wednesday unveiled a national data repository of the entire unexplored area in the country for businesses to search for fossil fuels. The move is part of implementing the open acreage licensing policy approved in March, 2016. It allows hydrocarbon companies to express interest in an area of their choice which the government will offer in a global competitive bidding. This ensures industry involvement from the early stage of choosing the areas to be auctioned, which may increase investor interest. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who launched the data repository, said the government’s intention is to complete the first auction under the new policy by December, 2017. The process will start in July. The liberal Hydrocarbon Explora-

tion Licensing Policy (HELP) introduced last year offers pricing and marketing freedom to investors. This, Pradhan said, will boost investor interest. The 26 sedimentary basins on offer cover the entire unexplored area in the country. “Increasing the area under exploration is a step towards the goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reducing import dependence on oil and gas by 10 percentage points from 2015 levels by 2022. This calls for a substantial increase in production for which increasing the acreage is important,” said petroleum secretary K.D. Tripathi. Initially, bidding rounds will be organized twice a year, Tripathi said. Pradhan virtually dubbed the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), under which 256 blocks have been offered for exploration and production since 2000, as a fail-

ure, saying “the total production of oil and gas from NELP blocks is equivalent to only 3 days of India’s oil consumption”.

“With experience of several litigations, we decided not to go for incremental policy change but to have a new policy,” he said. -- Live Mint

GST Impact: Coca-Cola India to Raise Price of Aerated Soft Drinks M - Coca-Cola India will is to kick-in from July 1. UMBAI

marginally raise prices of its aerated beverages but will cut rates of packaged drinking water Kinley and hold those of juices and juice-based drinks to reflect tax incidence under the incoming GST regime. Announcing the impact of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on consumer rates, the company also said it will launch an affordable range of aerated beverages to cater to price sensitive consumers and another affordable ‘Value Water’ segment priced significantly lower than Kinley water. With a GST of 40 per cent as opposed to current incidence of taxation at 34-35 per cent, aerated beverages like Coke have been “the worst hit category of beverages” under GST, the company said in a statement today. It, however, did not give the exact change in price that will be warranted because of GST, which

“Company has no choice but to minimally increase the prices even after absorbing the significant portion of the tax increase,” Coca-Cola India said. On its move to reduce price of packaged drinking water, the company said it has advised its bottling partners to reduce price of its signature water brand ‘Kinley’ and will launch affordable ‘Value Water’ category priced significantly lower than the current portfolio of Kinley water. Coca-Cola India said its overall pricing strategy under the GST regime will provide better value for money and range of choices to its consumers. “The company has advised its bottling partners to absorb a significant part of the price hike on its product portfolio and pass on the benefits of price advantages to the consumer wherever possible,” it added.

India’s Union Cabinet OKs Disinvestment in Air India


Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who launched the data repository, said the government’s intention is to complete the first auction under the new policy by December, 2017.

Commenting on the development, Coca-Cola India & South West Asia Business Unit President T Krishnakumar said GST is a landmark reform for creating a unified taxation system in the country. “We will pass on the taxation benefits to the consumers and make all attempts to absorb the maximum impact of the escalation of tax in

some categories of our beverage portfolio,” he added. As GST is expected to propel the India’s growth story forward and benefit society at large, Krishnakumar said the company is “committed to provide our consumers with the right value for money with various refreshing options”. -- Indian Express



EW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a government disinvestment in Air India, finance minister Arun Jaitley said at a press briefing. Jaitley said the cabinet approved the proposal of Air India disinvestment and also decided to form a group under the finance minister to work out the modalities of the stake sale. This group will study the assets of Air India including hotels and issues like debt. Air India has the largest domestic and long-haul fleet of 140 planes in the country and flies to nearly 41 international and 72 domestic destinations. Apart from the planes, the airline also has vast land holdings, including nearly 32 acres in central Mumbai, besides its iconic headquarters on Marine Drive valued at more than Rs1,600 crore. It also has properties in New Delhi, London, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Japan and Mauritius. The airline has so far received Rs23,993 crore of the Rs30,231 crore equity infusion promised by the government under a financial restructuring plan introduced in 2012. It reported a loss of about Rs3,587 crore in 2015-16, compared with a loss of Rs5,859 crore in the previous year. Ministers must now decide how much of the company to sell off, and under what conditions. Previous Indian governments have been trying to privatise Air India for many years, but have been thwarted by domestic opposition and a lack of interest from private buyers. The carrier is afloat thanks to a Rs 30,231-crore nine-year bailout programme originally approved by the previous government in 2012.

26 June 30, 2017


Modi-Trump Meeting: No Discussion on H1B During Talks between Two Leaders


ASHINGTON: The H1B visa issue that was looming on the India-US relationship in the run up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden meeting with President Donald Trump did not figure in the talks between the two leaders. With the Trump administration undertaking a review of the H1B visa, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, the issue had taken centrestage ahead of Modi’s US visit with the issue expected to figure prominently in bilateral discussions.

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However, the H1B issue specifically did not figure in the talks with foreign secretary S. Jaishankar telling reporters that there was a lot of discussion with business leaders and the two leaders about the digital partnership when asked about whether H1B visa issue figured in the talks. “There is recognition that the Indian-American community has played an extraordinary role in building this relationship. When you value something it is obvious that you will take care of what you value,” Jaishankar said.


We are looking for an aggressive, passionate, cool-under-pressure News Producer who knows what it takes to put together a fast-paced, creative, highlyshowcased newscast. KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned Television station in Houston, TX wants a vocal and confident producer who knows how to dig for informative, interesting content, knows how to meet the needs of the ‘new’ news audience, and knows when it’s time to abandon everything for breaking news, weather, or traffic. You must have excellent news judgement and the ability to come up with and pitch unique story ideas every day. You will be required to command the control room and manage an ever-evolving rundown during live newscasts. Candidates must also have complete understanding of how to promote and utilize digital content, including live streaming. Knowledge of ENPS and desktop editing a plus. Will need to show examples of newscasts, and submit tease and headline writing samples. Candidates must have at least three years line-producing experience in a medium or major market. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers. com, reference job # 469793BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. No telephone calls please. KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

There was also no mention of the H1B visa issue in the Indo-US joint statement issued after the two leaders met. The White House, in a fact sheet, said Indian-Americans have embraced innovation and entrepreneurship, sitting at the forefront of Silicon Valley’s technology revolution, and founding an estimated 15% of Silicon Valley start-ups. “They have helped to develop the Pentium chip, fiber optics, and noise cancelling headphones, among numerous other innovations,” it said. Today, nearly four million IndianAmericans reside in the United States and over 700,000 US citizens live in India. Last year, the United States government isT:10” sued nearly one million visas to Indian citizens, and facilitated 1.7 million visits by Indian citi-

zens to the United States. Ahead of the meeting, a senior Trump administration official had said the Trump administration has signed some executive orders related to work and immigration, and President Trump’s executive order on H-1B visas directs the secretary of state, the attorney general, the secretary of labour and the secretary of Homeland Security to propose potential reforms to the H1B visa programme. -livemint.com

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