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Friday, August 19, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 34

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August 19, 2016

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COMMUNITY

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August 19, 2016

An Incredible Monsoon Stage for Incredible India’s Birthday

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON:

Neither the fury of the wind nor the fierce downpour of monsoon rains could deter the show and Executive Director cheerfully told nervous inquiring callers in performing parlance that the show must go on. About a thousand people heeded her call and braved the elements to see the program “Incredible India” (using Indian Tourism’s motto, with exclamation marks for the first I’s) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, even as lightning bolts crackled and zigzagged to earth behind the seats, beyond the hill that surrounds the performance bowl. It was India’s Independence Day, for goodness sakes, and the first ever collaboration between the 22 year-old Indian Performing Arts Samskriti (meaning cultural tradition) and the 21 year-old Consulate General of India in Houston. The new Consul General, Anupam Ray, who has been in his assignment only since May, has shown his flair for the unconventional and his fondness for Indian arts and literature when reaching out to the Indian community in the Bayou City. Since his arrival, he has enlisted the community in the International Day of Yoga, made a much heralded speech to the Indian Chamber of Commerce and at this event, shown his understanding of Indian song and dance in the immense pool of talent here which he intends to showcase wherever he can. He attended with his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg, his daughter and their son who fell asleep on his mother’s shoulder as the evening wore on. Ray opened up the 2-hour program with a welcoming address in which he expressed his happiness at India’s 70th Independence Day being celebrated with “such enthusiasm so far from its shores” adding “it is a day in which we remember the sacrifices of those who fought to bring liberty and democracy to our people.” Early next morning, on August 15 itself, the Consulate celebrated with a flaghoisting at the office on Scotland Street – another departure from the program that has traditionally been held at the Consul General’s house – followed up with another

Photos: Amitava Sarkar

flag hoisting at India House (see related stories). Samskriti Executive Director, the renowned dancer Rathna Kumar, gave brief appropriate introductions backstage for each performance. “India is a land that is at once bewitching, diverse, mysterious, charming, colorful, enticing, inviting!”, she remarked, “… with a rich tapestry of dances and songs that make the fabric of Indian cul-

ture so extraordinary and unique.” The evening’s eight performances started with bhajans and patriotic songs by students of the Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston under the guidance of Executive Director Pandit Suman Ghosh. This was followed up by the dance “Elements”, a contemporary interpretation of the five elements Water, Fire, Earth, Wind and Space seen as manifestations

of the Creator and Destroyer, Shiva and performed by students of the Anjali Center for Performing Arts. On the heels of this was the dance Tarangam, from Andhra Pradesh, with dancers balancing on rims of brass plates while singing a paean to the blue god, Krishna and choreographed by Vempati Chinna Satyam. This was followed by the graceful and stat-

uesque style of Odissi dance by students of the Kalangan School of Odissi under Director Suradipta Datta and choreographed by Kelucharan Mahapatra. The classical dances were closed off with a Tillana in Bharatnatyam form again from the Anjali Center for Performing Arts, choreographed by Rathna Kumar. Then came on two folk dances, a Bengali vibrant dance by Piyal Sengupta and Ensemble and a lively and colorful Gujarati raas by Roarin’ Raas under captain Atish Patel. The piece de resistance of the evening was the Durga Project by the Battery Dance Company of New York under Artistic Director and Choreographer Jonathan Hollander, a Fulbright Scholar to India and a great lover of Indian dance and music, who was on hand for the evening. The performance showed how malleable Indian music is – the heavy tempo, tabla and drum score was from Rajan and Sajan Mishra’s Tarana Raga Durga and Garuda’s Dream, produced by Sangita Sounds with

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For photo collage, see page 16


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August 19, 2016

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COMMUNITY BY VANSHIKA VIPIN

HOUSTON: Last Friday, August

12, Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif, Parineeti Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapur, Varun Dhawan along with film director and producer Karan Johar and rapper Badshah created frenzy in Houston by reflecting the magic of Indian Cinema live on stage. They were here to rock with their very first and only show in Texas, one of the most-awaited concerts of the year, the ‘Dream Team’. Dream Team, which has been highly spoken about since a while, started with a bang at the Toyota Centre. A day prior, these Bollywood stars gripped masses at a friendly press conference. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, attended the press conference and honored the stars with a Senate Proclamation for their dedication towards Indian Entertainment. The stars gladly answered the queries bombarded by their media fans. Alia Bhatt was sporting enough to sing “Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki”, on a special request. Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds managed the sound arrangement at this press conference. The honor was also given to Rajender Singh, for keeping Indian culture vibrant in USA through Bollywood Shows. Rajender Singh, a legendary show promoter from Star Promotions has successfully brought over 95 local major events and International shows in the past two decaded, to cities across North America. To name a few, Shah Rukh Khan’s SLAM and Amitabh Bachchan’s Unforgettable, Anupam Kher’s hit “Mera Who Matlab Nahi Tha”, Vishal-Shekhar concert earlier this year, and the historic “Chanakya”, are events that have left Houston mesmerized. Rajender has garnered an esteemed reputation within the entertainment industry and won the respect of friends, fans, business associates and industry legends. Dream Team, one of the greatest entertainment events of 2016 is a two week tour, of Bollywood’s new generation of shining celebs.

August 19, 2016

Dreaming the Night Away

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Tickets had been selling hot for the Dream Team as fans were excited to see their favorite stars up close and personal. Excitement started filling the air outside the Toyota Centre much before the concert kick-started at 9pm, the action outside the hall was just a beginning to the enthralling and mesmerizing experience that each member of the audience would

depart with. The show started with a bang and each star performed individually on their hit numbers. Their meticulous and superlative performance indicated that a lot of sweat has been shed to achieve this. Each star thrilled the audiences in their own unique way. Aditya Roy Kapur wooed the audiences by playing a guitar while Varun Dhawan had a masculine entry by being suspended in the air. The ultra-chic and charismatic Katrina Kaif created a sensation when she walked amongst the audience. The astonishing visual symmetry and rhythm of the backdrop dancers was a solid proof of the stagerring and incredible choreography. Karan Johar made his mark by interacting with the audience and charming them with his wit. A funny portion of the show was the display of a pre-recorded video where the stars were seen

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answering some slapstick Google questions. The audiences were astounded with stunning pyrotechnic effects and a breathtaking extravaganza of light and sound, as lasers and beams of light illuminated the hall, complimented by a spectacular fireworks display. The grand finale was such a visual delight with arresting and remarkable performances from each star. Katrina and Siddharth swayed to their latest number “Kala Chasma” while Aditya whirled on “Batameez Dil”. Varun and Alia shaked their leg to the romantic track “Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki” and Parineeti dazzled the audiences by dancing to her sister Priyanka’s “Desi Girl”. Badshah, in his peculiar substantial style performed to “DJ Wale Babu”. And what a magnificient way it was to conclude the perfomances with the ever green “Say Shawa Shawa”, and that complimented with a burst of confetti and balloons floating in the air. A fitting conclusion to an outstanding performance was the large standing ovation from the audience. The concert truly weaved magic and fan frenzy, enthralling thousands of fans past midnight. Karan Johar thanked the sponsors and also called upon the organizers Rajender Singh and Prria Haider on stage. A visibly ecstatic Rajender thanked the Houstonians for their support. In a conversation with this writer after the show, he mentioned that this was undoubtedly one of the top five shows of his life, with eight stars being a part of this historic event. He stated, “The stars were very co-operative and easy to work with, and their professionalism and hard work has reflected in their performances. Audience reactions cannot be faked and I have been getting only positive feedbacks so far. With such a tremendous support I can only think of getting more of such magnificient shows to Houston”. At the end of his speech he thanked Houston once again for its support. Dream Team fever has soared sky-high and will be one of the most cherished memories sure to make Houstonians nostalgic soonish. For Feedback and details on upcoming shows contact Rajender Singh @ 281-222- 4500 or visit www.StarPromotionInc.com

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COMMUNITY

August 19, 2016

Flag Hoisting Ceremony at Consulate General of India, Houston

HOUSTON: On Monday, August 15, Con-

sul General Anupam Ray and his wife Dr.

Amit Goldberg Ray were joined by Honorable MP Suresh Gopi, Chancellor Dr. Renu

Khator and Dr. Suresh Khator from University of Houston, Congressman Pete Olson, Jay Guerrero from Sen. John Cornyn’s office and Sam Merchant from Congressman Al Green’s office along with numerous representatives from the Indo-American community for the Flag Hoisting ceremony.

Incredible India CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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table solos by Samir Chatterjee - and how it can lend itself seamlessly to Modern Dance in a harmonious coming together of the East and the West. The Battery Dancers Robin, Mira, Sean were joined by visiting guest artist Unnath Jain from India as they performed the highly sensual dance of a lovers triangle, redemption and forgiveness. They had performed a day earlier in Dallas and were to perform in New York the following weekend and both Hollander and Jain mingled with the crowd after the show. Incredible India was made possible by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, and the Consulate General of India in Houston.

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EDUCATION

August 19, 2016

Five Tips to Ensure a Smooth Back to School Transition for the Whole Family

HOUSTON: Summer break is officially

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winding down— over the next few weeks, kids will be saying goodbye to their camps and vacations in order to return to the classroom for another year of school. For a lot of students, that transition between summer break and the school year can create a lot of stress. But going back to school doesn’t need to be a struggle. Best in Class Education Center, which helps K-12 students move toward the top of their class through customized educational programs, rounded up five key tips that make going back to school simple for both kids and parents: • Get Back into a Routine It’s important for kids to get used to running on “school time” again. That means getting back on track with a scheduled bed time, established healthy eating habits, and a designated time for homework or tutoring. Getting back into a routine before the school year officially begins makes it easier for students and parents to adjust once classes are in full swing. • Cut Down on Screen Time When kids are on summer break, they often spend their nights winding down in front of a TV, smartphone, or tablet. As the new school year approaches, it’s helpful to phase these electronics out of kids’ daily routines, especially at night. Instead, encourage kids to get ready for bed by reading a physical book. • Brush Up on the Basics After enjoying a few months off, it can be hard for students to go back to doing homework every day. That’s why parents should help keep children’s minds active

throughout the summer. Activities like cooking in the kitchen and writing in a journal are great ways for kids to brush up on their basic math and writing skills. • Sign Up for After-School Activities Going back to school doesn’t just mean going back to the classroom—the academic year also involves after school sports, clubs, and activities. Parents can talk to their kids about the after-school programs they want to be a part of this year, and then get the ball rolling on the enrollment process. • Set Goals and Look Ahead Students shouldn’t start the year without an idea of what they’ll be learning about in the upcoming months. By going over courses and setting academic goals, kids can feel better prepared for the year of learning ahead. To help your student exceed his or her academics goals, a local resource, Best in Class Education Center, offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year. Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2016. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit www. bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1.888.683. 8108.

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COMMUNITY

August 19, 2016

70th Indian Independence Day Celebrations at India House

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sion, the atmosphere was charged with festivity and vibrancy as Indo-Americans celebrated India’s 70th Independence Day on August 15, at India House. The people waved the tricolor as Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray started the ceremony by hoisting the Indian National Flag while the spectators sang the Indian National Anthem led by the amazing 13year old Chloe Choudhury. Dr. Durga Agrawal and Jugal Malani, hoisted the

American Flag with Chloe leading the crowds through the American National Anthem. Next came the Texas Flag which was hoisted by Dr. Virendra Mathur, Dr. Manish Rungta and Jiten Agarwal. The Slogans “Jai Hind and Bharat Mata Ki

Photos: Bijay Dixit

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12 August 19, 2016 BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

STAFFORD: The news that the

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) of Swaminarayan sect had passed away in Saurashtra in Gujarat’s Botad district on Saturday evening, August 13, at 6pm Indian time spread like wildfire among the congregation here which was just waking up. For the last two years, Pramukh Swami had become increasingly frail and seldom traveled from the BAPS mandir in Sarangpur. The 95 year-old guru was a heart patient and was fighting a lung infection when he breathed his last. The funeral for the beloved leader was set for Wednesday, August 17 at 3:00 pm Indian time at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Sarangpur. Swamiji’s garlanded body was perched in a sitting position on an oversized gilded settee inside a glass enclosure as thousands thronged by to see him one last time. At the familiar local mandir in Stafford, darshan ceremonies were already being held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as thousands of devotees arrived to express their sorrow, watch videos from India of the events unfold for those who came to pay their respects there. Born Shantilal Patel on December 7, 1921, he was initiated as a swami in 1940 and took over as the fifth spiritual successor of Lord Swaminarayan of the BAPS

COMMUNITY

A Guiding Light Passes, and there is Sorrow, and Also No Sorrow

While the congregation was seated on the floor, a group of bhaktis sang bhajans onstage in front of monitors showing videos of Pramukh Swami.

followers in 1971. During his lifetime, he created and consecrated 1,100 temples and giant cultural complexes like Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar. In his first overseas tour after becoming guru, he consecrated the first BAPS mandir in New York in 1974. This past weekend, in the main prayer hall of the local mandir on Brand Lane which he envisioned in 1982, videos were shown of the funeral preparations on three screens from the BAPS television network and devotees listened as a choir of men played instruments and sang bhajans chanting “Swami Narayan” over and over again in lilting rhythm onstage below the monitors. Several prominent members of the congregation shared their feelings on Swamiji’s

At the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Stafford in front of a picture of the departed Pramukh Swami, from left: Vasudev Patel, Ashit Patel, Ketan Imandar, Jayanti Patel, Kalpesh Patel and Ramesh Dave.

passing afterwards. Jayanti Patel, a Houstonian for 47 years who migrated from Uganda remembered when Swamiji came to Houston in 1977 and stayed in his house. “He started the

sabha in January 1978 and then in 1982 announced making a mandir in Houston,” Patel recalled, saying everyone was flabbergasted CONTINUED ON PAGE

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After the darshan service on Sunday, August 14, Khayati ben Patel (left) and Kinnari ben Amin shared their feelings.

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August 19, 2016

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14 August 19, 2016

COMMUNITY

Jhulan Festival at Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Math

HOUSTON:

Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha celebrated four day Jhulan (swing) festival starting from Sunday, August 14 and concluding with Sri Baladeva Purnima on August 17. The Jhulan or the Swing festival commemorates the transcendental swinging pastimes of Sri Radha Krishna in Vrindavan. After the hot summers, as the monsoons bring rains the nature seems to come back to life with lush green grass, blooming flowers and cool breeze. Thick fragrance of flowers, such as, Juhi, Chameli, and Champa fills the air

of Vrindavan. Cukoo birds sing in sweet voice while the peacocks dance in ecstasy to please Sri Radha Krishna. The trees, loaded with fruits and flowers, bend down as if they are wanting to touch the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. During this time, the gopis put swings on branches of large trees. Srimati Radhika comes back from Javat to Her father’s home in Barsana and engages in amorous swinging pastimes with Sri Krishna. Even today all over Vrindavan, this pastime is celebrated with great joy and devotion. The devotees at Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha also celebrated this special festival by erecting a large kunja (grove) with thousands of colorful flowers. A beautiful swing was made inside this kunja. The festivities started on August 14 with bhajans and kirtans. At 6:30 PM, the vijay-vigraha of Sri Radha Govindaji were brought from the altar accompanied with blowing of conch shells and fanning of chamara and peacock fan. The Deities were placed on the swing and offered bhog after which aarti was performed. After

that, the devotees started to swing Sri Radha Govindaji along with sweet, ecstatic chanting of ‘Radhe Jhulan Padharo Jhuke Aaye Badara’ as well as several other jhulan songs. Hundreds of devotees patiently stood in line for their turns to swing the Transcendental Couple. The devotees spontaneously started dancing and tears flowed from their eyes beholding this beautiful pastime. Many commented that they had never seen such a beautiful swing ever before! Every day for the next three days, the Deities were similarly swung along with the singing of bhajans and chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. On August 14 and 15, the devotees also observed the ‘Disappearance Day of Sri Rupa Goswami’, who was the most prominent disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu personally instructed Sri Rupa Goswami for ten days in Prayag. He then asked him to go to Vrindavan and unearth all the places of Krishna’s pastimes as well as write transcendental literature explaining the essence of His teachings. Sri Rupa Goswami wrote several books in which he exquisitely and precisely described the tenets of bhakti or loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord Krishna. These books, such as, Upadeshamrita, Bhakti-Rasamrita Sindhu, Ujjvala Nilamani, are the most valuable jewels of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and even today define the spiritual practices followed by Gaudiya Vaishnavas all over the world.

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COMMUNITY CONTINUED FROM PAGE

August 19, 2016

A Guiding Light Passes

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as they didn’t think it would be possible. “But he was a true spiritual person connected to God as he could see the future.” Kinnari ben Amin said Swamiji always gave guidance to the women to follow his agyana and pass it along to the kids. “Our kids are better than those in India and many have become Sants in the mandir in India.”Ramesh Dave, a Houstonian remembered when Swamiji, in 1965 in India, told him to teach kids English. “When we met again in 1980 in Houston, he remembered me and asked me to teach the kids here Gujarati because language, not only spirituality, is important.”

Vasu Patel, Jayanti’s younger brother, remembered how Swamiji helped him get over the shock of losing his father in 1976. “He gave me fatherly love as I stayed near him for 7 days, He always remembered me by name and both my sons are successful due to being brought up in the satsang.” Kalpesh Patel is one of those who was born in Houston and brought up in the satsang. “I felt everything joyous through him, he was there for every pivotal point in my life,” Ketan said, “he calmed me down and never left us unhappy.” “He’s always been with me emotionally,” said Khayati ben Patel. “His teachings will always

be with us and we have received a beautiful gift in the mandir from Swamiji.” Ketan Imandar recalled another aspect of Pramukh Swami. “He was practical and faithful to where you are. Sewa (service) was a big aspect of his philosophy. Even though women never met with him, they still felt captivated by him.” “His focus was on unity, delivered in a loving fashion,” summed up Jayanti Patel. “That’s the power of a guru. He never took credit and he was a hundred percent ego free. His heart is all over us and we will have him with us so we will not miss him. We have sorrow, but also no sorrow.”

Independence Day Celebrations at India House CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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Jai” echoed around. All the rain and stormy weather could not keep the 200 plus crowd away. The young campers lined the corridors holding up colorful peace signs and banners as the guests made their way to the BrijSunita Agrawal Banquet Hall for the short program. Col. Vipin Kumar welcomed the guests. Soon after, Senator John Cornyn’s Regional Director Jay Guerrero read out his speech and handed over the proclamation on his behalf to India House President, Dr. Manish Rungta. This was followed by

a few heartwarming speeches by Dr. Manish Rungta, Consul General Ray, Dr. Virendra Mathur and Dr. Durga Agrawal. Dr. Agrawal recalled the old days when only a handful of people came to the flag hoisting functions and was extremely happy that today there were more than 200 people present. Sam Merchant handed over the proclamation to India House Trustees on behalf of Congressman Al Green. Emotional and patriotic songs sung by Maha Lakshmi were outstanding. The audience was moved to tears when she sang `Aey Mere Watan Ke Logon’. The mood was lightened by the India House sum-

mer camp kids who stole the viewers’ hearts with their amazing performance of an Indian folk dance and a Rap which the kids themselves had composed, called “India O-Aey O-Aey”. Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray handed out the backpack filled with school supplies to the happy campers. Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds managed the sound arrangement for the event. The program ended on a happy note with people mingling and enjoying yummy refreshments, which were graciously sponsored, by Kurrywala Restaurant, Madras Pavilion and Vishala Grocers.

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These books are available at the temple gift shop as well as online at www.bhaktistore.com. On August 17, the final day of Jhulan was celebrated along with Sri Baladeva Purnima, the appearance day of Lord Balarama, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Lord Baladeva is non-different from Lord Krishna and is the eternal spiritual master (‘akhanda-gurutattva’). He expands in unlimited ways and forms to render unlimited service to Lord Krishna. He is the source of spiritual strength (‘bala’) for the devotees as unflinching faith in the spiritual master is the backbone of spiritual life. These four days of blissful festivities, chanting, kirtan and delicious prasadam surcharged all the

devotees who attended the temple at various times. The devotees are now eagerly looking forward to Sri Krishna Janmashtami that will be celebrated on August 25 from 6:00 PM to 12 midnight. The special highlight this year is the “Kirtaniyas” band. This group of young kirtan singers from California is sure to immerse everyone in transcendental ecstasy for hours. Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha invites all Houstonians to come and join the devotees in celebrating Sri Krishna Janmashtami and chanting of the Holy Names. Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha temple is located at 16628 Kieth Harrow Blvd, Houston, TX 77084. Every Sunday bhajans and kirtan start 5 PM; Vedic lecture (English) at 6 PM; aarati

at 7 PM followed by delicious healthy prasadam. Gurukula for children in grades K-12 is at 5:45 PM. Hindi classes (levels 1 and 2) are at 5 PM. The registration for the new session starting on September 4th is currently underway. For more information, please visit our website: www.sggm.org or call (832) 464-4686.

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18 August 19, 2016 P

Fighting Words

rime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech is likely to be remembered for its end-notes. The strategic portents of his comments on Pakistan are certain to be debated for days to come. Two elements are key: The deceptively toss-away reference to Balochistan, the first ever in an Indian Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, and another to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit. Prime Minister Modi’s language may well portend a consequential new turn in his thinking, which has traversed the distance from hawkish polemic as he took office in 2014, to gestural flourish when he visited Lahore in December 2015. Ever since the nuclear-weapons tests of 1998, India’s grand strategy has primarily sought regional stability. India avoided crossing the Line of Control during the Kargil war in 1999 to make just that point, and chose not to escalate hostilities beyond a point in 2001-2002 to avoid the risk of setting off events that could not be controlled. The same factors weighed on decision-makers in New Delhi after 26/11. India has avoided backing small wars and insurgencies in Pakistan for the same reason. The fact is, nuclear weapons are different from all other weapons because the costs they inflict are so high as to render traditional ideas of victory meaningless. Now, however, Prime Minister Modi seems like he might be willing to take his chances. He seems willing to give up a crucial part of the diplomatic room for manoeuvre that India’s Pakistan policy has sought to maintain and to protect so far — even in the worst of times. The idea that the vulnerabilities of Pakistan, or more specifically the ethnic-nationalist insurgency that has periodically flared in Balochistan, might be used in a tit-for-tat campaign against Pakistan’s proxy war in Kashmir has been around for a while. The PM’s remarks in his I-Day address may just have given it an official imprimatur. The consequences of the policy shift that this signals will unfold in days to come — the idea of a payback in Balochistan may not be quite as neat a deal as foreign policy hawks in India imagine. There are, of course, other possibilities. The PM’s remarks might only be aimed at a domestic audience, meant to recapture voters disillusioned by the twists and turns in his Pakistan policy. Or, he may not yet have fully thought it through. If the latter is true, it may well make the fit with much of the rest of his I-Day speech. From the number of LED bulbs in use to the LPG connections distributed, the PM offered rich detail, but no framework of priorities. He spoke of “unity in diversity”, but gave no broad sense of the direction his government intended to take to address the ugly communal strains erupting across the country. He spoke of “social justice” but offered no glimpse into what the government means to do to punish perpetrators of the increasing violence against Dalits. -indianexpress.com

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY It Took Only 70 Years

BY RAM MADHAV

Seven decades ago, when India

secured independence, many were sceptical. Winston Churchill was one of them. Churchill had vociferously opposed granting independence to India. His argument was that Indians were not equipped to handle it. “If independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre…They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India,” he is said to have famously commented. We do find several of those things in our country; but they happen as much in the UK or any other democracy. We are not “rascals, rogues, freebooters”; neither are the people of UK. We opted for the Westminster system of democracy after independence. Democracy by its very nature is prone to noisy politics. Even Mahatma Gandhi felt that the democracy we were inheriting had the danger of becoming a mobocracy. He used to warn that without a few prerequisites — education, discipline, equal respect of law by all and priority to social will over the individual will — democracy won’t succeed. Mobs “have no mind, no premeditation. They act in frenzy,” Gandhiji used to warn. In the past seven decades, we have experienced most of these things. We left our people poor, ill-educated and backward and ran an aristocracy in the name of democracy. Even a quintessential democrat like the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, used to call democracy the “second best available system”. The best? “Yet to be invented,” he would say. “Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse. So we are forced to accept democracy. It has good points and also bad. But merely saying that democracy will solve all problems is utterly wrong. Problems are solved by intelligence and hard work,” Nehru

wrote. Contrary to Gandhiji, who wanted society to be equipped with values, Nehru believed the intelligence of a few people would make democracy work. In seven decades, Indian society has matured. It took seven decades for us, no doubt, to understand and set the basics right in many aspects. The first thing that was set right was Aristotelian. Aristotle said, “democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers”. Indigent, in this context, should be understood as someone who has seen and lived the humble life of an ordinary Indian. It took 70 years for India to have a leadership that was not born with a silver spoon. The leadership of today thinks differently. Reform is not its agenda, its vision pertains to transformation. Reform is tinkering with the existing system. Transformation is about matters at the grassroots. Reform is government’s job. But transformation requires people’s participation. Hitherto, people were told that their role was limited to voting every five years. But the new leadership believes in people-led development. One thing that went against our country, despite being one of the best places in the world, was lack of hygiene. Today, thanks to the transformative agenda of the government, Swachh Bharat has become a people’s movement. For 70 years, we struggled to curb ill treatment of women. The PM, in his first speech from the Red Fort, exhorted people to respect and accord freedom to women. Building toilets was not about hygiene alone. It was about providing women self-respect, protecting them from violence, allowing them to rise educationally and empowering them. The high rates of school dropouts among girls are attributed, partly, to lack of toilet facilities in schools. It took 70 years for us to bring the last man on the street into the economic net through the Jan Dhan Yojana. Today the citizen of the country, who lives in a slum, on a railway platform or under a

flyover is secure; he has an insurance cover. After seven decades of politics over SC/ST identities, we now realise that the real urge is not about reservations alone, but about respect; it is not just about a few extra jobs but about participation in decision-making. Today we are talking about “youth-led development”. We no longer think only about employment for our youth. Many have been encouraged to become employers themselves by the government’s new schemes. But even after seven decades of independence, certain issues remain unresolved. The intolerance debate, the secular-communal debate and the nationalism debate are some such issues. They are causing irreparable damage to our national cohesion and impacting our national potential. In most cases, the discourse on both sides is deeply flawed. Those who complain about intolerance betray their own intolerance by resigning from institutions because their views were not accommodated. While we have largely eliminated the evil practice of untouchability at the level of society, we find a new and unwelcome practice of ideological untouchability. We have become fond of tags like communal, antinational etc. The measure of a mature society is in admitting that different opinions exist. The tradition, since the distant past in this country, has been to not only tolerate but also celebrate diversity of thoughts and practices. At the recently concluded young thinkers meet I said: “Remain open-minded; co-opt rather than confront; be confident about your own thoughts but allow space for other thoughts too; confront intellectually rather than condemn every other thought as communal or anti-national and most importantly remember that diversity of thoughts and ideas is the reality and beauty of life”. And, remember what Gandhiji had said: “Democracy cannot be worked by 20 men sitting at the centre”. The writer is national general secretary, BJP, and director, India Foundation

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COMMUNITY

August 19, 2016

19

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 12

The Story thus far…A separate institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor. In spite of the diehard opposition from nationalists, the Rowlatt bill became law. At this time, Gandhi got an invitation from activists in Madras to visit the city. He went there, though still weak, along with Mahadev Desai. That was Gandhi’s first meeting with another stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, C. Rajagopalachari, a man of towering intellect and firm convictions. A small conference of leaders was held and Gandhi explained to them the implications of the Rowalatt act. While these talks were being held news was received that the Rowlatt Bill had been published as an act. It was also in Madras that Gandhi first conceived the idea of an all-India hartaal (strike) as the beginning of the satyagraha movement. The leaders at once took up the suggestion and gave much publicity to the forthcoming action. The date was first fixed for March 30, 1919, but was later changed to April 6. The masses had received only short notice for the hartaal, but it turned out to be most successful. That was the first great awakening of India in her struggle towards independence. Gandhi left Madras and went to Bombay to join in the hartaal there on April 6. Meanwhile in Delhi, Lahore, and Amritsar, the hartaal had been observed on March 30. In Delhi the police did not allow free movement to the demonstrators and firing by police caused a number of casualties. Gandhi was requested to go to Delhi and he replied that he would do so after the hartaal in Bombay on April 6. In Bombay the hartaal was a great success. All over India the hartaal was observed. Gandhi had asked the people again and again to be peaceful and not to be provoked to violence by the Government’s actions. In spite of this, violence broke out in many places. There were disturbances in Ahmedabad and also in the Punjab and he decided to go to these places to propagate nonviolence. On the way to the Punjab he was arrested at a wayside station called Palwal and sent back to Bombay. The news of his arrest inflamed the entire population of Bombay. There was an enormous crowd awaiting his arrival there. When he reached Bombay he was set free. The crowd was getting impatient. “Only you can control the crowds,” said a friend to Gandhi. “Come, I shall take you to the spot.” The crowd greeted Gandhi with frenzied joy. A huge procession start-

ed but the police barred its progress. A company of mounted police was ordered to charge the crowds. Piercing screams and cries from women and children filled the air as the horsemen plunged forward with lowered lances. People ran to escape the fury of the police. Gandhi was shocked by the police brutality. He went and met the Commissioner. The official was boiling with rage. “We, the police, know better than you the effect of your preaching on the people. If we had not taken drastic measures the situation would have gone out of our hands. I have no doubt about your intentions, but the people do not understand them. They only follow their natural instincts.” “The people are not violent by nature; they are peaceful,” countered Gandhi. “You wanted to go to the Punjab,” said the Commissioner. “Do you know what is happening in Ahmedabad, the Punjab, and Delhi? You are responsible for all these disturbances.” Gandhi was pained to hear of the disturbances and said that he would certainly take the responsibility upon himself if he was convinced that it was his. Gandhi went to Ahmedabad. On the way he learned in detail about the happenings there. Ahmedabad was under martial law. Apolice officer was waiting for him at the railway station to escort him to the Commissioner. This commissioner too was in a rage. Gandhi expressed his regret for the disturbances and promised complete cooperation in restoring peace. Gandhi then asked for permission to hold a public meet-

ing on the grounds of the Sabarmati Ashram. The officer liked the idea. At the meeting Gandhi announced with great sorrow the suspension of civil disobedience. He said he would fast for three days as a penance and he appealed to all the people to fast for one day. He asked those who were guilty of violence to confess their guilt. He expressed his regret at having started civil disobedience too early without giving sufficient training to the people. “I have made a Himalayan miscalculation,” he said. Many people jeered at Gandhi for saying that. Many of his friends and followers were furious at his stopping satyagraha. Gandhi then started teaching people the true meaning of satyagraha and how it should be conducted. Through writing and speeches he wanted to drive home to the people the essence of his new creed. In the Punjab the situation was very critical. It was true that there were disturbances on the part of the people, but the measures adopted by the Government to check the disturbances were too severe. The leaders were trying to keep the people peaceful, but the measures of repression taken by the authorities had few parallels in history. In Amritsar the people were not allowed to move about freely. A proclamation was issued forbidding all gatherings and meetings. Only a few had the chance to know about the proclamation, however, because it was not announced widely, and it was made only in English. It was announced that a meeting was to be held in a garden called Jallianwala Bagh, to protest against the Government’s actions. General Dyer took no measures to prevent the meeting. He reached the place soon after the meeting began and he took with him armored cars and troops. Without giving any warning he ordered, “Fire till the bullets are finished.” The garden was surrounded by walls and buildings and had only one exit. At the first shot the exit was jammed and there was no hope of escape for the crowd. There were between eight and ten thousand people attending the meeting. The soldiers fired 1600 rounds into that unarmed mass of people. Once a park, Jallianwala Bagh was now a scene of the most brutal massacre of hundreds. — To be continued next week

Mahatma Gandhi Library, Inc. Coloring

CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

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The contest are open to all children in the greater Houston Area. The winners of these contests will be recognized at the 1000 Lights for Peace, a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday, on Sunday, October 2, 2016. For more information and registration visit www.gandhilibrary.org

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COMMUNITY

Amritaa Sreeram’s Arangetram Resonated with the Audience BY SANCHALI BASU

HOUSTON: Amritaa,

an immensely dedicated dancer, passionate about her dancing, did her guru Smt. Padmini Chari proud at her Arangetram onAugust 6 at the Jewish Community Center. After she asked for the blessings of God, her family and the guru, her parents Subhas and Shonali Sreeram welcomed the audience. Emcee Dr. Surabi Veeraraghavan was introduced. The program commenced with a prayer by the musicians. Vocalist Smt. Pusthakam Ramaa immediately struck a chord with the audience with her very first notes in her divine voice and she kept them enthralled throughout. Flautist Sri K. S. Jayaram was equally adept and his accompaniment made the music even more mellifluous. Sri Bharghava Halambi, kicked the music up a notch and was able to create sounds on the rhythm pad, that were unique and outstanding. The mridangam, played by Sri P. Janardhana Rao and the nattuvangam by Guru Padmini Chari made the orchestra complete and a well rounded unit. Amritaa made her entrance with the Natarajanjali, an invocation to the Lord of dance Nataraja and Ganapathi Vandana, as is the custom with any auspicious occasion, a tribute to the remover of all obstacles, Lord Ganesha. The second piece in any Bharatnatyam Arangetram is the

Jatiswaram and Amritaa wove different types of rhythmic patterns with the help of basic Adavus (steps) in this dance. Varnam, which is usually the central piece of any Bharatnatyam performance, highlights the strength of the dancer since it is a very comprehensive and strenuous dance and brings

out every aspect of the dance form including abhinaya (facial expressions) and intricate footwork (Jathis). Amritaa with the able guidance of emcee Surabi, conveyed the essence of the dance with a very short demonstration of the different aspects of this long 30 minute dance depicting the heroine’s love and deep devotion

for Lord Nataraja. Pahimam, a dance glorifying Goddess Devi was very well executed by Amritaa, and her very caring and compassionate nature reflected so beautifully throughout the dance, it almost seemed like the dance was choreographed just for her. The way she switched between the characters of the fierce goddess and the frightened demon was truly flawless. Another dance glorifying Lord Shiva, Bho Shambho brought out the best in Amritaa and her difficult poses reminded one of South Indian temple sculptures. This piece was one to be remembered by all. Amritaa’s friends and family members all touched upon her tremendous shy nature when she first started to dance at the tender age of 8 and how she had blossomed into this beautiful confident dancer and how much stronger dance had made her. Besides dancing, her passion for the arts extends to singing, as was expressed by chief guests Chandrakantha and David Courtney. She also loves to do Bollywood dance and played the violin in her school orchestra. The next dance item that followed was Chinna Chinna Padam where mother Yashoda pleads with child Krishna to come to her and Krishna plays pranks on her. Amritaa’s abhinaya of the playful interaction between mother and child and in the second part the fiery aggression of Krishna when he subjugated the evil snake Kaliya and danced on its hood

Photos: Navin Mediwala

were impeccable. Thillana, the penultimate dance of the recital was very fast paced and vibrant and showcased Amritaa’s joy and exuberance when she dances. The jugalbandi during the dance attested to her ability to grasp the beats played on the mridangam and was

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Amritaa Sreeram

CONTINUED FROM PAGE

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appreciated by resounding applause from the crowd. The performance ended with the Mangalam, a final salutation to God, Guru and the audience. She then came out to thank her guru, the musicians, her parents, the audience and everyone who helped. Guru Smt. Padmini Chari was all praise about her deserving pupil and presented her with her diploma certificate. Shonali, Amritaa’s mother was very emotional with her vote of thanks and thanked photographer

Navin Mediwala, Lee Snyder with the lights and videographer Jim Stamos. A sumptuous dinner by caterer Annam, awaited the audience at the end of the wonderful performance. Kudos to the entire team of dedicated volunteers, well wishers and above all the musicians, guru and the sincere hard working student for such a beautiful, well-organized Arangetram. We wish Amritaa well as she makes her transition to university life and know she will forever be a performer.

COMMUNITY

2016 BITSAA International Houston Chapter Celebrates Bitsian Day

Krishna Vavilala, Founder Chairman of FIS and his wife, Lakshmi joined a small group of BITSians, Jay, Sap, Supriya, Palak, Akanksha, Nirupam, Kaushik, Mouktik.

BY NIRUPAM ANAND

HOUSTON: A young and enthu-

siastic alumni group of Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani who call themselves “BITSians” gathered at the Yard House, CityCenter Plaza on Friday Aug.16 to celebrate their annual BITSian Day. The old and young alumni came together and reminisced and rejoiced their good old college days at Pilani. Krishna Vavilala, a senior BITSian of the 1960 class, and a nominee for 2016 BITSAA Distinguished Alumni Award and his wife, Lakshmi Vavilala mingled with the youngsters and exchanged about

their campus experiences. Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS) Pilani is an Indian university established more than 70 years ago under the Birla Education Trust, in partnership with MIT, Boston. The university is consistently ranked as the top private university in India and has a worldwide Alumni network. BITS graduates usually enroll in top graduate schools like Stanford and often settle in the US boosting the economy as highly qualified immigrants. A sprinkling of Bitsians also enrolls in the University of Houston. The Alumni network BITSAA International contributes significantly to the US economy with

several entrepreneurs and professionals ranging from Silicon Valley to Energy executives in Houston. The Houston chapter, initiated by Krishna Vavilala was formally inaugurated in 2013 by the Consul General of India, Parvathaneni Harish and his wife Nandita. The Chapter continues to play a role in bringing all members of the group together. The Chapter has plans to connect with similar professional groups in the Houston community. BITSAA International is a 501(c3) non-profit organization registered in USA that represents all BITSians irrespective of the campuses they come from. Besides providing a number of communication channels for Alumni members to stay connected with each other, it engages in charitable and educational activities by raising funds for setting up endowments, creating scholarships, rewarding teaching and research and promoting the development of resources at all of its four campuses at Pilani, Dubai, Goa and Hyderabad. For more information on how to get involved with BITSAA Int’l, please, visit www.bitsaa.org, or, Email: Nirupam Anand @ nirupam@bitsaa.org.

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SUDOKU

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 August 23, 2016. 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

Chivda Gobi Mutter (Flattened Rice Snack)

Solution Next Week

Finding the right things to snack on

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can be a frustrating thing – it’s either too sweet, like chocolate or too plain like tortilla chips and salsa; and Lord knows Punjabis like to snack! Finding the right combination that can not only be satisfying between meals but filling without putting on calories can be a tricky proposition. Fortunately, there are some options, like the Gujarati dish chivda which has become quite popular in North India too. There are many forms of chivda made across India - like makai (corn kernels), South Indian murmura, bhajlela (Marathi yellow chana bulk), corn flakes, oats, potato, sweet, mixed dry fruit and spicy chivda – and these mostly use the thick poha (flattened, dry rice) readily available in supermarkets. In the Punjab, chivda is both the dish and the dehusked rice, flattened into flat light dry flakes used to make it. But in other parts of India, the flakes are called poha. They come in the more expensive, thin, almost translucent type or the fatter, nearly four times the thickness of normal rice. When added to a liquid they swell up and are easily digestible. Poha is popular across India, Bangladesh and Nepal where it is used to prepare snacks and fast foods. Poha can also be eaten with plain water or milk, with salt or sugar to taste, or lightly fried in oil with nuts, raisins, coconut, cardamom and spices. This chivda recipe is for a quick snack that can eaten with chai (tea) and is made with mutter (peas) and phul gobi (cauliflower) - or simply

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gobi - a favorite vegetable among Punjabis. When mixed with dahin (yogurt) or acchar (pickles), it can even be eaten for lunch or a light dinner. And if mixed with tamater (tamotoes), chopped piyaaz (onions) and dhania (coriander) leaves, it can be eaten as a cold salad. It is made with very little oil and spices, and once you start, you won’t be able to stop eating it!

and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then run it through a strainer to drip. 2. Remove the outer stalks of the gobi and then cut off the florets. 3. Cut the florets into fine small pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into fine pieces. Place both in a strainer, wash and then let them drip dry. 4. Take the frozen peas out of the freezer and let them thaw out. 5. Heat the oil in a karai or wok over medium high. Throw in the mustard seed and let it roast for 30 seconds, then add in the haldi and stir. 6. Now add in the gobi, potatoes and peas. Mix well and cover over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. 7. Remove the cover and add the drained poha. Add the salt, pepper and amchoor to taste and mix. Let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 8. Serve in a plate by itself or with yogurt or pickles.

Ingredients: • • • • • •

2 cups poha (thicker type flattened rice) – serving is for 4 people 1 cup phul gobi (cauliflower) 1 cup mutter (peas) – frozen or fresh 1 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil) ¼ tsp sarson til (mustard seeds) Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper), haldi (turmeric), amchoor (ground green mango powder)

Directions:

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.

1. Put the poha in a bowl of water

MAMA’S TIP OF THE WE EK FOLD THE ATTA TO MAKE

SOFTER PARAN Who doesn’t like THAS those delectable Pu njabi paranthas? answer often depe The final nds on how the pa ranthas are made. taurants make para Some resnthas that have the right color and size one bite into them even, but and you realize the y are thin and tough make them just too . Others crisp and hard with lots of oil. Yet others them soft and rubb make ery. Even homemade pa ranthas can have the same problems, tho most common com ugh the plaint is that they are too limp and unev secret is not just in en. The making the dough; it is also in the way is rolled out. After the dough the first roll, you must fold over the twice to make a rec pancake tangle and then fo ld the rectangle in into a square. Now four fold roll in out again int o a pancake and thr the tava. You’ll se ow it on e the parantha will come out softer.

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August 19, 2016

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS Akshay Kumar’s movie Rustom Makes Rs 50 Crores in 3 Days

Akshay Kumar’s Rustom is reach-

ing new heights with each passing day at the box office. The movie, which is loosely based on the infamous case of KM Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra, struck the right chords with the audiences. Despite the box office clash with director Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde, Rustom managed to rake in the moolah at the box office. It minted over Rs 50 crore within three days of release. Trade analysts have been predicting Rs 100-crore business for this Akshay Kumar starrer since the movie will be benefitted by Monday also being a holiday due to Independence Day. Rustom has also been garnering praises for its intriguing storyline and Akshay Kumar’s new avatar seems to have worked wonders for the film. While Rustom is riding high on the strong word of mouth from the viewers, the movie’s collections is expected to rise and will put up a strong total at the box office.

On Friday, the day of release, Rustom collected Rs. 14.11 crore at the ticket window. The movie found its place among the top five openers of 2016 and secured the fourth position in the list. On day two, Saturday, the movie witnessed a growth of 16.44% in its collections and earned Rs. 16.43 cr. at the box office. Among the top five openers of the year, two belong to Akshay himself. While his Housefull 3 earned Rs 15.21 crore on day 1, Airlift’s tally was 12.35 crore. Both went on to do over Rs 100-crore business. Rustom is directed by Tinu Suresh Desai and also stars Ileana D’Cruz, Arjan Bajwa and Esha Gupta. Akshay plays a naval commander in the film who is accused of killing his wife’s lover. It was released over 2,317 screens across cities in India and 550-plus overseas. -indianexpress.com

Happy Birthday

Malaika Arora Khan August 23, 1973

27

Mohenjo Daro: Hrithik Roshan, Ashutosh Gowariker Ditch Old for Seriously Antique

If you had to recreate an ancient

civilisation, what would you do? If you are Ashutosh Gowariker, and have had lots of experience in excavating the past (Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar), you would scale it up. Instead of a few hundred years, you would go back a couple of thousands, ditching the merely old for the seriously antique. Mohenjo Daro, set in Mohenjodaro of the Indus Valley civilisation, is bigger but certainly not better than these two Gowariker’s earlier outings. The sepia tone of the earth and the dwellings is balanced by an array of costumery: everyone looks like they have been handed out unstructured earth-toned garments, which follow the latest fashion du jour. And lest you thought they were not accessorised to the hilt in 2016 BC, perish it: the villainous chief wears a headgear of horns (the happily hamming Kabir Bedi, who carries it off with a raffish air) to an alarmingly tall crown of what looks like feathers, coins and shells sported by the leading lady (the debutant Pooja Hegde). In between is leading man Hrithik Roshan as poor indigo farmer Sarman, a resident of village Samri of the Sindh province, who has set his heart on going to neighbouring big town Mohenjo-daro. That is where, he is convinced, lie his fate and fortune, and an animal with one horn.

Hrithik Roshan’s rescue op fails to work for this Ashutosh Gowariker film. Despite its scale, it is a lost cause.

Right from the build-up, featuring what is meant to be a thrilling boat ride and a fight with a fake-looking crocodile, all the better to show off Hrithik’s rippling chest and ripping valour, Mohenjo Daro is a plod, and a heavily borrowed one to boot: the entry into a forbidden town (which strongly reminds us of Baahubali), the romance with a pretty stranger, the rivalry with a muscle-bound fellow, the unravelling of dark secrets, the saving of a town from a beastly ruler—we’ve seen so many versions of it before. It beats me how so much time and effort can be spent on creating something meant to be jaw-dropping, but which leaves you sighing at the sheer waste of it all. Just when you think

the plot is shifting just a fraction, out pops yet another item number, complete with whirling dervishes (remember Jodhaa Akbar?) and belly dancers: how can you have a Hrithik film without getting him on the floor, even if it is daubed in mud? And just in case we were missing something, Sarman does a Noah, launches a massive rescue op, and saves scores of humans and animals, to swelling background music. By then, we’re so exhausted that we let the waters of Sindhu Ma float over us, and wait for things to get over. This movie is a lost cause: can someone dig up a better come back for Hrithik? -indianexpress.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


28 August 19, 2016

Quicks Seal India’s Incredible Series Win vs. WI SPORTS

S

BY SIDHARTH MONGA

T. LUCIA (ESPN Cricinfo): India 353 (Ashwin 118, Saha 104, Cummins 3-54) and 217 for 7 decl. (Rahane 78*, Cummins 6-48) beat West Indies 225 (Brathwaite 64, Bhuvneshwar 5-33) and 108 (Bravo 59, Shami 3-15) by 237 runs On Thursday, the third day of the St Lucia Test, India saw rain wash a whole day’s play out, with runs having been scored at about 2.5 an over on the first two days. The bowlers’ last memory of having taken a wicket was 79.2 overs ago. By the end of the play on Saturday, the fifth day, India had taken 17 wickets in 63.5 overs to complete an incredible Test and series win, one that was borne as much out of belief and intent as out of West Indies’ lack of resistance after what hopefully wasn’t a false dawn in Jamaica. India began the final day believing they could still win; West Indies did nothing to make India doubt it. After Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swing masterclass left India 285 in lead at the end of the fourth day, India quickly ran away to 60 runs in nine overs to leave West Indies with no chance of winning and 87 overs to survive. That was a big difference between Jamaica and St Lucia: there, one counterattack put the hosts within sight of parity and gave them direction. Here they didn’t know where to go. Feet stopped moving, brains got muddled, plans went absent, and India stayed relentless. The victory, the first time India won two Tests in a series outside Asia since 2005 and the first time ever in the West Indies, arrived before tea. The gulf in the class and awareness between the teams was glaring on the fifth day. It began with awareness and intent. India knew the outfield was slow, they knew they were short on time, so they came out running runs as if in street cricket. Tip and run, runs to slip, second runs with the ball in the fielder’s hand, thirds because of panicked throws and poor backing-up, India almost literally stole these runs from under West In-

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is congratulated on his five-wicket haul, West Indies v India, 3rd Test, Gros Islet, 4th day, August 12, 2016

dies’ noses. A six-wicket haul for Miguel Cummins as the batsmen went after the bowling was the only silver lining on a dark day for West Indies cricket. Ajinkya Rahane, not surprisingly, top-scored with an unbeaten 78. Then came the question of class. West Indies still had only 87 overs to survive on a pretty reliable surface. Except that the batting was not reliable. Coming into this innings having lost their last seven first-innings wickets in 16.2 overs, West Indies needed a solid start. It wasn’t to be. On a new-ball pitch, the India quicks were soon going to be all over them. This was going to call for gumption, especially if West Indies lost a wicket early on. Which they duly did, with new opener Leon Johnson fending Mohammed Shami to short leg. Bhuvneshwar, who had cracked the game open with a quick fivefor on day four, then had Kraigg Brathwaite - not the only West Indies batsman who prefers to stay back - with a really full delivery. The inswinger held its line a little, Brathwaite played across its line and was caught dead plumb. With openers gone in the fifth over, there was extra responsibility on the most experienced West Indies batsmen, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo. Samuels couldn’t

have played a more irresponsible innings. Samuels went from fasting to sugar rush, betraying no sense of plan or direction to his batting. He faced the first 12 balls of his innings responsibly, avoiding the short-pitch barrage nicely. With no run to his name, and no intent to score any until then, out of nowhere he looked for a lofted off drive to the 13th ball he faced. Having survived that rush of blood, having scored his first run off the 21st ball he faced, Samuels got two half-volleys from R Ashwin, boundaries off which should have settled down nerves. Samuels, though, went on a hitting spree. He was lucky he mistimed his next big shot, an attempted loft with a long-on in place. This one fell short, but Samuels, having been dormant for the first half of the innings, struggled to calm himself down. The feet didn’t move, the bat went high, an inswinger from Ishant Sharma burst through the gate and sent the off stump on a cartwheel. Three wickets had been lost in 13.2 overs, but Roston Chase and Bravo batted more sensibly and saw West Indies through to lunch. Post lunch, Ishant produced the delivery of the innings to remove the centurion from Jamaica, Chase.

India had got their act together for Chase, bowling fuller than they did in Jamaica, giving him less time to recover should there be any misbehaviour off the pitch. This one misbehaved massively, seaming back in from a full length to take the off stump out. Jermaine Blackwood’s attacking ways were less likely to work here; India had anyway cut off his runs by not bowling in his zone. A frustrated big drive - trying to save a Test with parity nowhere in sight - brought an on-the-line stumping, and half the side was gone even before the ball became old and settled down. After about the 30th over, the pitch settled down a little. The edges began to die, as R Ashwin found out with Bravo who reached his first fifty in eight innings. The seam movement ceased. A main batsman would have found this period easier to negotiate, but Shane Dowrich fell to a disciplined spell from Shami, who followed on from a seven-over interrogation by Bhuvneshwar. Jason Holder ran himself out, and with the tail in the middle it was just a consolation that West Indies managed to cross 100 and didn’t succumb to their lowest total against India. Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

SPORTS

Pakistan Levels Series with Younis Score: 218

T

HE OVAL: Pakistan 542 (Younis 218, Shafiq 109) and 42 for 0 (Azhar 30*, Aslam 12*) beat England 328 (Moeen 108, Sohail 5-68) and 253 (Bairstow 81, Yasir 5-71) by ten wickets A typically erratic burst of brilliance from Wahab Riaz cracked England’s resistance on the fourth afternoon at the Kia Oval, as Pakistan finished their Test series in the same magnificent style with which they had begun it at Lord’s last month, by swarming to a famous series-levelling victory in the fourth and final Test against England. Set 40 for victory after overcoming some stiff but ultimately futile resistance from England’s lower-middle order, Pakistan had recouped 16 of those before tea, before romping to a ten-wicket victory in the space of 20 minutes after the resumption, thanks to the efforts of Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali, to whom the honour of the winning hit, high into the pavilion, eventually fell. England had resumed the contest with four wickets already squandered, and a stiff deficit of 126 runs still to be overcome, but they summoned the last vestiges of their intent and determination, largely thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s 81 from 127 balls, to stave off an innings defeat and extend the contest into the day’s final session. However, after Pakistan had chiselled out two vital wickets in a nervy morning’s work, the return of Wahab’s fierce pace in the first hour after lunch was the moment at which all hope for England was blown away.

Younis Khan celebrates his double-century, England v Pakistan, 4th Test, The Oval, 3rd day, August 13, 2016

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


August 19, 2016

I

PM Nawaz Inaugurates PIA Premier on Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day

SLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday inaugurated PIA Premier, the luxury air service of Pakistan International Airlines, giving a major facelift to the national flag carrier. The prime minister saw off passengers for the inaugural flight PK-785 to London at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport - an event which coincided with Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day. The Prime Minister took a round of the aircraft, met passengers and appreciated the quality of services on offer. The cabin crew onboard were attired in new designer burgundy-maroon coloured uniforms with green scarves for women and men were in navy blue suits with green ties. Earlier, the PIA CEO Bern Hildenbrand, in a briefing to the Prime Minister, said the project with new aircraft would be a “future gateway” for the PIA’s financial success. “With a hospitable crew, good food and excellent service, this is something we can compete with the world,” added Hildenbrand. He mentioned the cooperation of Sri Lankan Airlines and the collective team work of PIA’s management which helped in the launch of the quality air service in short time, under the directive of the premier. Later, Sri Lankan Minister Hashim Kabir told APP that the launch of PIA Premier was a “symbolic moment of friendship” for Pakistan and Sri Lanka to intensify their close relationship in terms of trade, economy and culture. He termed the project a mutually beneficial agreement between the two countries, and also recalled the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Colombo this January, which he said helped boost the economic relationship. Chairman Sri Lankan Air Lines Ajith Dias in an interaction with APP said PIA had acquired on wet-lease three A-330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines, with a fourth aircraft due to join the fleet in near future. “Sri Lankan Airlines was delighted to be part of this project and would be providing a three-month long training course to PIA Premier pilots and cabin crew,” said Dias. Dias said Sri Lankan Airlines would also closely work with PIA in future projects including code shared flights and sharing of engineering services. The aircraft, in brand new condition, are aimed at giving passengers a better experience, allowing PIA to start regaining its market share, he added. There will be six weekly Premier service flights to London, three each from Islamabad and Lahore. Later, with addition of more aircraft, the service would be expanded to other destinations. The aircraft is equipped with LCD screens and inflight entertainment with 250 channels on offer along with flat bed service for business-class passengers.Acomplimentary limousine service for PIAPremier business-class passengers will be given upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport. The service will be available within a radius of 25 km from Heathrow Airport. -dawn.com

India, Dubai to Expand Air Traffic Due to Higher Demand

NEW DELHI: India’s civil avia-

tion authorities will hold talks with their counterparts in Dubai to increase bilateral airline seat entitlements due to an increased demand, top civil aviation ministry officials said. The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has received a fresh request from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) to increase the entitlements as airlines of both the countries have exhausted the current flying capacity. The move will enable passengers with more options to fly to the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Countries sign air service agreement through bilateral negotiations to decide the number of flights airlines can fly into each other’s country. Airlines from Dubai and India are entitled to fly 65,200 seats from each side at present. The bilateral agreement had further given flexibility to the airlines to fly two per cent additional seats to match their seat configurations taking the total entitlement to 66,504 seats, a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation official said. As of July this year, while airlines from Dubai – Emirates and fly dubai and Dubai Aviation Corporation– offered 66,504 seats, Indian carriers – IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India – flew 65,272 seats. Seat demand There has been a sharp increase in seat entitlements to Dubai – from 10,400 seats in 2003-04 to 65,200 seats till date. The previous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to

enhance air services between India and Dubai was signed in February 2014. Dubai accounts for a huge chunk of international passengers that fly in and out of India from several airports such as Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Madurai and Trivandrum. In January-March this year, 27.58 lakh passengers flew between India and Dubai, out of the total 1.32 crore international passengers who travelled in and out of the country, DGCA data showed. In fact, Dubai is the only country where the Indian carriers have fully utilised their seat entitlements as of July this year. Earlier this year, Dubai had requested for an increase of 50,000 seats but the request was put down by the Indian authorities as the Indian carriers had not utilised their flying capacity by then. Falling short “Our carriers have now utilised the seat entitlements and we will soon hold bilateral agreement talks with Dubai,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official. In December last year, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which represents top private airlines IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir, had written to the government raising concerns over the availability of “commercially and operationally” feasible slots for them at the Dubai airport. Minister of State for Civil Aviation said the government had taken up the issue with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authorities. -thehindu.com

29

ONGC Unveils Start-up Fund

C

Dinesh K. Sarraf

HENNAI: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) unveiled a Rs.100 crore start-up fund to foster, nurture and incubate new ideas related to the oil and gas sector. The initiative, christened as ‘ONGC Start-up’, is in line with the Government of India’s initiative ‘Start-up India’. As part of this initiative, ONGC will provide the entire support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups. The aim of the initiative is to increase the contribution of implementable ideas in the oil and gas sector. ONGC is setting up a dedicated website to take this initiative forward, according to a company statement. After introducing this initiative on August 14, 2016, at Dehradun, ONGC CMD Dinesh K. Sarraf, said that this initiative would promote entrepreneurship among the younger Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups in the oil and gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas. Mr. Dinesh said the oil and gas sector was contributing enormously to the growth of economy. The sector faces various critical challenges and new ideas were required to mitigate them. -thehindu.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


30 August 19, 2016

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