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Friday, September 15, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 36

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Indo American erican News

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COMMUNITY

September 15, 2017

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BAPS Charities Relief and Recovery Efforts throughout the Houston and Beaumont Areas STAFFORD: As water started rising in Tushar Patel’s home on August 31, 2017 in Katy, Texas, all he could do was to grab a few essentials and get his family to higher grounds. He and his family were forced to evacuate their home and leave behind all of their personal and lifelong belongings. This was the story of thousands around the Houston area as the city experienced the worst catastrophic floods brought by Hurricane Harvey. The greater Houston area experienced over 50 inches of rain when Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017. The slow-moving hurricane caused record flooding, forcing many to leave their homes under mandatory evacuations, while others were not as lucky and had to evacuate in a rush as the water rose swiftly from the relentless rains. As Tushar watched the news while waiting for the rain to come to an end, he could only imagine what was happening at his home. He knew that once he was able to get back to his home, the recovery would be challenging. BAPS Charities recognized this challenge and understood that the essential needs of medical equipment, shelter, water, food, and emergency healthcare were critical for the relief and recovery efforts. BAPS Charities volunteers responded to this call to action in Houston and surrounding areas and their volunteers worked alongside local state officials and first responders to provide assistance. On August 28, over 50 volunteers served 225 hot meals to Kempner and Marshall High Schools which were acting as local shelters. In addition, 150 hot meals were served to University of Houston students. Over 100 pizzas were distributed to responding local law enforcement officials in the Missouri City and Sugar Land, TX areas. Lt. Ruben Valencia of Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department appreciated the efforts, “Thank you so much for offering this. This kind gesture means a lot to all of the law enforcement officers.” In addition, medical volunteers provided urgent care needs at the shelters in the Clear Lake, Texas area. Volunteers shuttled evacuees from Riverstone, and Sienna neighborhoods in Sugar Land, Texas to area shelters. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and local volunteers from Stafford, TX

continue to shelter 75 families in their homes who are still unable to

return to their flooded homes. The George R. Brown Convention

center in downtown Houston was inundated with evacuees. BAPS Charities distributed essential toiletries to over 100 individuals and a total of 100 pillows and blankets were given for the evacuees to use. Over the first several days following the floods, BAPS Charities served over 4000 hot meals, dispersed over 5 pallets water and orange juice in both the greater Houston and Beaumont, TX areas. Perhaps the largest need for help throughout the city was seen as the flood waters slowly began to recede in the various neighborhoods. As Tushar entered his home on September 1, the sight brought tears to his eyes. His entire house, from the floors to so much of his cherished belongings, were now soaked as he had gotten over 4 feet of water in his home. As Tushar began to shift through his belongings, thinking of what to do next, a group of volunteers from BAPS Charities arrived with the needed tools and prepared to help get the home cleaned out so that Tushar could think about next steps. Volunteers of BAPS Charities set aside their personal time from work and family to help others recover from the catastrophic flood damages. The volunteers collected boots, dehumidifiers, generators, cutting tools, etc to start the recovery efforts. The recovery efforts started at 7 am with 75 volunteers

beginning to make hot meals and ended after a long day of cleaning out floors and sheetrock from flooded and water damaged homes. Tushar commented, “As heartbreaking as this process is, having these volunteers to help has brought a smile to our faces.”. He added that, “Removing water damaged items is important so that the house can be dried out and free of mold, having the help to do it quickly has been essential.” Volunteers over the 5 days assisted with 25 homes in pulling soaked carpets, moving furniture, cutting drywall and debris out of the homes. The debris removal process was the most difficult for thousands of homeowners as many hired workers were overbooked. Tushar Patel hopes that this does not happen to anyone but he said, “BAPS Charities gave me and my neighbors support with a personal touch, they provided care as their own family.” Over the last ten years, BAPS Charities has been actively supporting relief efforts worldwide, specifically providing relief support after hurricanes Sandy and Katrina as well as the Fort McMurray wildfire. To find out more about the effort or to see how you can get involved, please visit: http://www. bapscharities.org/usa/harveyrelief/ For additional information on BAPS Charities and its international and local philanthropic activities, please visit www.bapscharities.org. Contact: Kalpesh Patel Phone: 817-939-5419 Email: kkpatel3081@gmail. com BAPS North American Headquarters, Phone: 732-777-1414 ex 140 Email: media@na.baps.org

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September 15, 2017

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COMMUNITY

September 15, 2017

Tragic Times Restores Faith in Humanity!

BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

HOUSTON:

The devastating hurricane Harvey deluged the Texas area with days of torrential rain during the last week of August 2017. The resulting floods inundated thousands of homes, and displaced many. Throughout Texas more than 300,000 people were left without electricity and billions of dollars of property damage was reported. The state and local governments immediately jumped into action and were doing their best by carrying out rescue operations and providing aid. Amid the devastation, the people of Texas came together to help each other. Various Indian-Americans and different Indian organizations played a key role in rescue, relief and reconstruction work, as Houston crawls back to normalcy after the terrible destruction. Few of the organizations are Sewa International, Hindus of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, the Indo American Charity Foundation, Indo American Political Action Committee, VT Seva (Ashtalakshmi Temple), ISKCON Houston, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, Sage Productions, Telugu Radio Hungama, Masala Radio, Ashirwad A Blessing, Graduate Indian Students Organization, Andhra Pradesh Non Resident Telugu, iEducate, NATA Houston Chapter, TANA, Telugu cultural association, ITServ, IACCGH, Sikh National Centre Gurdwara, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Dawoodi Bohra community, and India House. The Consul General of India set up communication lines for people seeking details about the Indian Community in Houston, and Indian American business owners and companies in the region carried out a consolidated fund-raising initiative, to contribute to the Mayor’s Fund and the Governor’s Rebuild Texas Fund. Several Indian businesses and places of worship opened their doors to shelter for people who

Volunteers at Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir

Abiya Malhotra & the Sage Productions team

Ashirwad A Blessing team

were displaced. Various Indian restaurants and families have been providing packets of fresh Indian meals. Some of the restaurants quickly rushed into their heart-

felt acts of generosity by arranging for hot meals. Some of these philanthropic restaurants that were pro-active in supporting were, BNG - Biryani and Grill, Biryani Pot, Biryani Factory, Bawarchi, Hyderabad House, ISKCON’s Govinda’s, Vishala, Mayuri, Universal Bakery, Amaravati, Cafe India-Sugar Land, Nirmanz Food Boutique, Tandoori Night Dhaba, Madras Pavilion and many more. Close to 20,000 hot meals were provided by the Indian Community. Thinking of those days, I still get goose bumps remembering the boom of thunder, crackle of lightning, continuous tornado watches, and the non-stop rains. Messages from people who wanted to be rescued started pouring in almost on all communication channels, mainly the WhatsApp groups, Facebook, Twitter and many more. The instant reaction of most of the people who were in ‘safe zones’ was to rescue others. And it really

did not matter if those people were complete strangers. Various Indian community members reached out to volunteers for support and almost every organization that I know of, and every individual that I have met in the last couple of weeks, has heart-wrenching stories to share. These are stories that recount their experiences; how they safeguarded themselves and their families and how they helped stranded people find shelter and food. Several of these volunteers and individuals were actively monitoring social media to see if anyone needed help. One such WhatsApp group, Houston Desi Friends that has over 5000 members across 24 WhatsApp groups, shared all the necessary information round the clock. Houston Harvey, a WhatsApp group was created instantly, and people started joining it to help in whatever way they could. From the 171 members that the group has, few of the active members are Kishore Ramaraju, Umang & Daxina Mehta, Amir Dodhiya, Abiya Malhotra, DJ Sage, Raman Jain, Dinesh Purohit,

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Volunteers from the Faulkner and other families in Austin

Masala Radio Team in Katy Picture below: Achalesh Amar (center in yellow shirt) with volunteers

Katy Wellness Center and Family Physicians at the Canyon Gate community in Cinco Ranch, coordinating efforts with the food truck Halal 5

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September 15, 2017

Tragic Times Restores Faith in Humanity! Sridhar Dadi, Achalesh Amar, Madukar Adi, Shankar Tangirala, Gaurav Tripathi, Velma, Geetha Ravula, Raj Anandeshi, Bangar Alloori, Nisha Mirani, Yogina Patel, Ratna Prasad Gummadi, Rahul Vijaywargiya, Ajit Patel, Charlie Patel and Rajiv Bhavsar. This group initiated around 300 rescues, by boats and trucks, for families that were stranded in Katy, Sugar Land and Cypress. Sharing her experience Abiya Malhotra said, “It was an awe inspiring episode that in times of this devastation, each one of us stood united and worked together, without caring about caste, color or religion. Those of us having the resources and intent combined our forces to work diligently towards coordinating and hosting as many rescues as we could. None of these people did their acts of humanity for gaining any fame or to promote their organizations. The team of Sage Productions housed students at their homes

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

and we still continue to assist them with finding new apartments and re-starting their lives all over again”. Mona Faulkner, who recently moved to Austin, helped people who arrived in shelters. She, along with her friend Ekta Popat from Sugar Land, sought guidance from friends to help victims across shelters and food banks. While they reached out to different stores to collect items like snacks, water, personal needs, toiletries, her children, Sehva Kaur Faulkner, Kavan, Eesha and Milan were busy making welcome packages with nice encouraging notes, and handing them out to the shelters. While the Faulkner family got busy with their noble deeds, Nirmanz Food Boutique started preparations for a couple of hundred meal boxes, which were later delivered around the city. Manushi Shah from Nirmanz said, “We posted about the availability of food on the WhatsApp group, and

COMMUNITY people came in to collect these food boxes. Later that evening, we got a call from another lady who enquired about the food boxes, and by then all the boxes were already given out. But we gladly prepared 40 more boxes for the lady”. Masala Radio was flooded with random calls from people asking for help. Some stranded people were in need of SUVs and trucks to be able to rescue people. On the other hand some good Samaritans were also reaching out to the radio station, directly to the CEO, Sunil Thakkar, to offer help. Sunil was also coordinating rescue and volunteer information with the help of the WhatsApp group. Sunil said, “It was one crazy day, that I will never forget. One of our volunteers, Akil Kurji got stuck trying to rescue Sameer Khan’s family. So I took my kids, Simran & Sahil, to help me push his car out of the mud and water. When we went to the subdivision, there was a lot of water and we could not even drive our Hummer

in that depth. We parked our vehicle outside the neighborhood and walked in and helped them pack before getting them all out and dropped to a safe location. He named a few of the people who randomly helped him as Sukhi Koli, Anel Meghani, Akil Kurji, Yogesh Patil, Dilip Kanabar, Harshin Kanabar, Dharmik, Vinod, Piyush Patel and few others. Ashirwad A Blessing team too attended to the immediate needs of the affected people along with various organizations and with the help of the WhatsApp group at different levels. Geetha Ravula said, “Ashirwad volunteers coordinated for the availability of rescue boats, and about 1400 homemade meals which were delivered door to door in the Katy Kelliwood subdivision and various shelters in Katy, Missouri City, Houston, Pasadena. Ashirwad A Blessing is still continuing our relief efforts in Katy area. Our volunteers are helping to clean up houses, distribute hot meals, provide household supplies and even just be around for families to share their support. Some of the active members are Vidya Satish, Manisha Halapeti, Prasad Kella, Sri Ravula, Ashutosh Sapru, Vikas Ahuja, Sailesh kaparaju, Sachin Joshi, Sumathi, Jyothi Rao, Bhakti Bhavre, Deepika Maharaj, Mahima Bhat”. Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir opened its doors for restaurants and volunteers to drop and pick supplies. Hardik Raval and the entire managing committee of Shiv Shakti Temple used the temple and its parking lot diligently as a distribution center, and this made it very easy for all volunteers to deliver the necessities to shelters all over. Dinesh Purohit of Cafe India provided countless meals, Amir Dodhiya and Umang Mehta of Deep foods along with others from the WhatsApp group played key roles at the temple. One of the heroic stories that has been doing the rounds is that of a brave lady, Velma, who drove her 18 wheeler, in 3 feet of water to transport food and supplies from the temple to the Beaumont victims. The aftermath of Harvey was such that many people had their homes completely flooded and they were forced to move in with their friends on the higher floors. It is just not easy to see your house being ripped apart, and with a heavy heart most of the people had to get rid of everything that was wet. And, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Harvey’s storm surge, lots of garbage, sheetrock clusters, furniture still cover sidewalks as volunteers work to clear the mess caused. Katy Wellness Center and Family Physicians arranged lunch for all residents at the Canyon Gate community in Cinco Ranch, by coordinating efforts with the food truck Halal 5. Volunteers from the Isha Foundation also joined them in providing food to the residents over the weekend. Few Indian women, served 600 home cooked meals to the residents in Katy. Even today, similar efforts keep pouring in on a daily basis. Despite the tragic incident, which has left several spirits dampened, these heartwarming instances restore our hope in the human spirit. Heroes or Philanthropists? How do we address the rescue workers and volunteers who jumped into action amidst the catastrophe of the storm? What really matters is that their selfless act has restored faith in humanity. Indo-American News would like to thank all the local organizations, volunteers and business that came together to help the victims of Harvey. We strongly feel that this tragic and iconic chapter in the history of the United States has brought our community closer than ever and proven that we are resilient.

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September 15, 2017

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10 September 15, 2017 HOUSTON: As Hurricane Har-

vey ripped through Houston and created unprecedented damage, it was the floodwaters that took many residents by surprise and led to the deluging of many homes and offices. In the aftermath, the city came together as one to begin the process of rebuilding and getting lives back together. Communities and perfect strangers worked with each other to get what needs be done. More than 8,000 Sikhs live in the suburbs of Houston and were saddened to see their beloved city damaged by the hurricane. The Sikhs in the Houston community rolled up their sleeves and got to work to get all the help possible to the community. In addition to providing cleaning supplies, toiletries, drinking water, shelf food and pet food, the Sikh community put in long hours in preparing hot meals to be distributed to the displaced families. The groceries required to make these meals using fresh vegetables and fruit, which was in short supply in Houston, came from San Antonio and Dallas. The Sikhs living across America are also hosting their local fundraisers for hurricane Harvey’s victims. Seven trucks full of supplies have already been received which were generously donated by Sikhs living in California. Hot meals were prepared at the Sikh National Center Kitchen to serve 700 flood victims who were

COMMUNITY

Sikh National Center’s Relief Efforts

Children at SNC helping in inventory and packaging

Sikh National Center Sangat serving Langar

sheltered at the local church, the MET Church. The community partnered with the Copperfield

Church to provide 1,000 meals each day to the displaced families. 600 meals were distributed to dis-

placed families with the help of Free Indeed International Church located in Homestead TX and the MET Church. Meals will continue to be provided as and when needed. About 30 middle school and high school going children have taken the lead in unloading, organizing and preparing an inventory of all the supplies that are reaching the Sikh National Center. Sikh National Center Gurudwara is the current staging area and serves as the logistics center for all the relief efforts. Supplies are packaged

based on the community need and then loaded on to the box truck and pickup trucks by the young volunteers. So far, delivery of supplies have been made not only in Houston but also Rockport, Beaumont, Baytown, Liberty and Rosenberg. A detailed log of what is being received and dispatched is managed by the voluntary coordinators. The coordinators are Gursharan Singh (8328636500), Mandeep Singh (7134945467), Navdeep Singh (5042349143) and Amrit Singh (2813842771)

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COMMUNITY

September 15, 2017

Songs to Wipe Away a Grandparent’s Anxieties After Hurricane Harvey

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The mastermind behind the Grandparents Day show for seniors, Surender Talwar, croons a number

Govind Shetty on tabla, Jamal Rashmi on harmonium and Tej Ganju (not pictured) on electronic keyboard provided backup music

Winners of local talent events, singers Sri Sanvitha (left) and Akhila Mamandur rounded out the musical team Photos: Nik Nikam

he – as well as three other members of his usual group of musicians – is a grandparent himself, but the Mohammed Rafi styled crooner with a silky baritone voice and a penchant for breaking into lyrics if given a microphone or near a stage, Surender Talwar, never forgets to spread joy on Grandparents Day. This past Sunday, September 10 (the official National GP Day), he once again – as he has done for several years now – serenaded Indian seniors along with his backup group of players, who should aptly be named the GP (for Grand Performing) Players. And the Indian Seniors Citizen Association welcomed the GPP with open arms, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey when the anxieties of the older generation have been running amok. The program that Talwar arranged ran for over two-hours at India House CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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COMMUNITY

Kirtan Fest and Inter-faith Prayers at ISKCON of Houston for Harvey Victims

HOUSTON:

Despite all odds caused by hurricane Harvey and related rain and flooding, Kirtan Fest Houston was attended by over 150 guests at ISKCON of Houston over the Labor Day Weekend. The schedule was modified to 2 days instead of 3-day weekend due to city-wide flooding and transportation challenges. The special guests of the festival included: HH Bhakti Sundar Goswam; HG Nityananda Dasa, GBC Member – Texas; HG Gaura Mani Devi & HG Param Das from Vrindavan; HG Amala Kirtan Dasa; HG Advaitacharya Dasa from San Antonio, TX; and HG Gopi Gita Devi and HG Hari Das from Dallas. Due to flight cancellations other special guests were not able to attend the festival. In his speech HG Nityananda Dasa, GBC member for Texas, appreciated and encouraged the organizers to make it an annual festival where devotees from different parts of the country can come and relish the taste of holy name in the association of like-minded devotees. Texas Governor Greg Abbott proclaimed Sunday, Sept. 3rd as a Day of Prayers in Texas—which happened to coincide with the appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, who envisioned people from all nations coming together harmoniously through the blissful chanting of the holy names of God. An interfaith prayer segment in the spirit of Thakur Bhaktivinoda was added to Kirtan Fest and was attended by representatives of different faiths. The Vaisnava prayer was sung by HG Gaura Mani Devi. The prayers concluded with the offering of pusphpanjali by the 200 people in attendance, followed by an aarti to Srila Bhak-

tivinoda Thakur. HG Guru Bhakti Dasi, Kirtan Fest Chair, says “HH Tamal Krishna Goswami, on his last visit to Houston in 2001, encouraged us to organize an event focused on kirtan & Krsna katha where devotees could come together like they do in Hungary for Janmastami. It took the younger devotees, namely Madhava Charan Dasa, with his organizational skills to get the ball rolling & Ramdas, with his love of kirtan to add tweak the schedule to ensure a smooth flow. We had an excellent team of dedicated devotees who were creative, responsible

and fully service oriented which was very refreshing and enlivening to work with. They brought Goswami Maharaja’s desire to fruition and as Goswami Maharaja had predicted, it brought all the devotees blissfully together.” Conscious Houston, the temple’s youth coordinated a donation drive collecting articles for donation to shelters in Houston and surrounding area. For videos, pictures and updates on dates for Kirtan Fest 2018 – please like and follow www.facebook.com/kirtanfesthouston

Songs to Wipe Away a Grandparent’s Anxieties After Hurricane Harvey CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 and included performances by two young singers who have won awards at local talent shows, Sri Sanvitha and Akhila Mamandur as well as Sonali Mohanty and Prema. Govind Shetty on tabla, Jamal Rashmi on harmonium, Tej Ganju on harmonium and tabla and young Ashwin on electronic keyboard provided backup music. Rashmi sang two ghazals and a young boy, Krushal Phada sang a song from the movie Dangal. Talwar joined up with Akhila for a duet and a lady from the audience got so excited she danced in front of the stage! Chief guests were Dr. Raj Bhalla, Bobby Singh and

Vanitha Pothuri, President of the Indo American Charity Foundation which regularly supports ISCA, and they handed out tokens of appreciation to all the artists. And, as usual, the dependable Darshak Thakkar of Krishna Sounds provided the sound system. “It was a joyful event for us seniors,” said ISCA President Praful Gandhi after the show, “and much needed after all the stressful news from Hurricane Harvey.” Over 270 people came, some with their grandkids, for the regular ISCA meeting and the program. Each grandparent was given a coffee mug that was personalized with “Best Grandparent” emblazoned across the front in white of black

permanent marker by young 9 to 14 year-old kids sitting in the lobby outside the hall. And Bhojan restaurant provided the buffet meal after the program. “We’ve always enjoyed doing this show the most,” said Talwar of himself and the GP Players, “as we can brighten the day for these seniors as well as take them down memory lane with oldies they can sing along too. And they are always highly appreciative of it!” Talwar sang some of his trademark songs and the other singers captured the rhythms and high notes to resounding applause.

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COMMUNITY

September 15, 2017

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Seva Clinic Doctors Help the Cambodian Community Affected by Hurricane Harvey at Rosharon

BY DR. P. VADUGANATHAN

R

OSHARON, TX: The Cambodian community arrived in 1980s to the area in Rosharon, TX south of Alvin and is a tight knit community and derives their livelihood by growing plants like water spinach and other greens. This community of about 300 families has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey and most of their homes had 4 ft of water inside and lost most of their home and belongings. The community is now trying to recover. Francis Marion of American Freedom Keepers started some relief work and created a command center inside the Buddhist temple Hall. Bill and Donna Lutz of Red Cross Team 4 Hot shot and volun-

teers from Sewa International led by Achalesh Amar went in the last few days to provide overall help. They soon realized there is a need for a medical team since many who are still inside their damp homes are having respiratory symptoms. Seva Clinc of Pearland came forward to organize the Medical camp in a short notice. Dr. Radha Rao took the lead on this effort. The Medical directors Dr. Subhadra Bandhakavi, Dr, Deepa Iyengar and Dr. P. Vaduganathan approved to pay for the cost of the medications from Seva Clinic. The physicians who volunteered are: Radha Rao, Bindhu Akanti, Sara Waters, Hema Salvady, Suma Manjunath, Visalakshi Batchu, Keyuri Popat, Subhadra Bandhakavi, Deepa Iyengar and P.

Vaduganathan. Pharmacy techs Keiva Rosales and Kimberly Brew from Affinity pharmacy were also in the camp to help fill the prescriptions at a low cost. About 30 patients were seen over a 6 hour period ( 9 am to 3 pm) and most of the patients had respiratory problems from mould and dampness. There were also patients with stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and skin rash. Seva clinic physicians are planning to return next Saturday September 16th from 9 am to 2 pm. Seva Clinic Chairman Dr. Vaduganathan thanked Dr. Radha Rao the lead, all the other physicians,

Sewa International, Redcross Team 4 Hot shot and Francis Mar-

ion for making this medical camp possible.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


16 September 15, 2017

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September 15, 2017

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

17


18 September 15, 2017 Abe & Modi in Ahmedabad

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Embrace the Rohingya

BY DEEPAK K. SINGH

The recent statement by Minister

T

he symbolism of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holding parleys with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad from today cannot be missed. The last Asian leader who was similarly hosted in Ahmedabad was Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014. Back then Modi had gone out of his way to fete Xi, but considerable water has flown down the Yangtze Kiang since then. India-China ties haven’t proceeded along the expected trajectory, as exemplified by the recent Doklam standoff. Japanese exports to India rose from Rs 22,900 crore in 2005 to Rs 57,800 crore in 2015, and as of today about 1,305 Japanese companies have branches in India. Japanese investments – both made and proposed – in projects such as the Delhi Metro and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor have been or can be transformational. Abe along with Modi will lay the foundation stone for the marquee Rs 1.1 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which Japan is financing. Understandably, an Indian bullet train has raised eyebrows given the shabby state and unsatisfactory safety record of Indian railways in general. However, it needs to be noted that the bullet train project will have a separate financing stream. Plus the project can be used as a model to upgrade technology, standards and protocols across the railways. Additionally, India and Japan will sign 10 MoUs – including those for Japanese industrial parks – during Abe’s trip. But what is really grabbing eyeballs is the expected launch of the Asia Africa Growth Corridor. The corridor is meant to build capacity and boost human resource development in Africa, create quality infrastructure, and facilitate people-to-people partnerships. Juxtaposed to China’s top-down investments comprising its ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, India-Japan’s outreach to the continent seeks to connect different growth poles through local ownership of projects, skill development and transfer of technology. The strategic dimension of the corridor is clear. With China using its huge foreign exchange reserve to acquire economic depth overseas while trying to muscle aside other Asian powers, India and Japan can work together to buttress a multipolar Asia, as well as to provide an alternative model of development for Asia and Africa that respects sovereignty and democratic principles. -- Times of India

of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju that the Indian government will detect and deport the Rohingya back to Myanmar marks a low in India’s otherwise long-recognised impeccable track record in hosting asylumseekers. His subsequent clarification that he merely wanted them “pushed back” — not thrown into the ocean or shot — further belies India’s image as a benevolent host. While such assurances from the minister might have come as a huge relief to the 40,000odd beleaguered Rohingya currently in India, it does not portend well for an aspiring “major power”. Rijiju’s wrath against all “illegal immigrants” — including 14,000 Rohingya who have been issued valid registration certificates by the UNHCR, New Delhi — is sought to be justified on the grounds that they are “susceptible” to recruitment by “terror” groups, and that they “not only infringe on the rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges”. Also, the junior minister forcefully argued that the Rohingya must be deported “to ensure the demographic pattern of India is not disturbed”. The minister’s avowed threat to do so notwithstanding, any proposal to deport them would not only be legally untenable and morally indefensible but also politically inexpedient. The choice of the expression — “illegal immigrants” over “refugees” — by Rijiju appears deliberate and also in sync with the BJP’s long-held ideological stance on immigrants: They are illegal immigrants if Muslims and refugees when Hindus. For example, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, whereby all groups of persecuted non-Muslim minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from neighbouring countries would be more than welcome to their “natural home”, clearly illustrates this bias towards Muslims. What makes the purported deportation of the Rohingya from India legally untenable is that the Indian government, like any other in the world, is bound by customary international law to respect the principle

of non-refoulement. No government, as per this law, can forcibly push back asylum-seekers to the country they have fled to escape violence, as it might endanger their very survival. Not being a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol is no excuse to abdicate India’s responsibility to provide much-needed succour to people under duress and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. India has for too long abstained from being a party to the 1951 international convention, despite the fact that the context has dramatically changed in the aftermath of the recent refugee crisis in Europe. Whether or not India chooses to ratify the 1951 convention, there are several Supreme Court verdicts which disallow the Indian government from arbitrarily and summarily deporting refugees from its territory. The courts in India have traditionally upheld the rights of refugees facing deportation or forced eviction in different contexts by taking recourse to what is called the “canon of construction” or a “shadow of refugee law”. For example, the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has been so interpreted by the SC that it can be extended to anyone living in India irrespective of her nationality. The apex court is scheduled to hear a petition on the Rohingya issue on September 18. It is unlikely to deviate from its own precedent. On a moral plane, the Indian government can hardly hope to defend its stand given the fact that the Rohingya face an imminent threat to their lives in the wake of the ongoing “ethniccleansing” drives in the Rakhine State, Myanmar. The flight of nearly 3,00,000 Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh is a testimony to

the wretchedness of their condition. Various reports — by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc — point to the Rohingya undergoing gross human rights violations at the hands of Myanmar’s armed forces in the name of counter-insurgency operations. These suggest a genocide. Such operations are being carried out under the rubric of “Lockdown Zones” and “Clearance Operations”. Penny Green, a professor of law at Queen Mary University, London, concluded after a 12-month long investigation in the Rakhine State that since October 9, 2016, “the Rohingya are facing a terrifying new phase in the genocide: Mass killings, rapes, village clearings and the razing of whole communities, committed with impunity by the Myanmar military and security forces”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to underplay the impending refugee crisis by choosing instead to express solidarity with Myanmar’s “extremist concerns” on his maiden visit there could only be described as politically naïve. This is further evidenced by India’s refusal to sign the subsequent “Bali Declaration” which unequivocally condemned the unfolding refugee crisis in the Rakhine State. The preference for a studied silence by Asia’s most experienced democracy in the wake of a fast deteriorating humanitarian crisis does not bode well for the future of human rights in the region. It might only embolden the Myanmarese security forces to further intensify the crackdown on the hapless Rohingya. Further, this was clearly not the moment for PM Modi to give priority to trade ties with Naypyidaw in order to counter the growing Chinese influence in Myanmar. It is time India rises to the occasion by transcending the politics of pragmatism and embraces the Rohingya refugees. -- IE The writer teaches at the department of political science, Panjab University, Chandigarh and is the author of ‘Stateless in South Asia: The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India’ (Sage Publications, 2010)

Indo American News FOUNDER: DR. K.L. SINDWANI PUBLISHER: JAWAHAR MALHOTRA EDITOR: PRAMOD KULKARNI BUSINESS & PRODUCTION MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA GRAPHIC DESIGN: BHUMI PARMAR OFFICE ASSISTANT: MANSI THAKKAR CORRESPONDENTS

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

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


THE STORY OF GANDHI

September 15, 2017

19

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 16

Visit, Programs of Prince of Wales are Boycotted

T

he story thus far…During the latter part of 1920 Gandhi advocated a triple boycott. He wanted an absolute boycott of the Government and all government institutions, including schools, colleges, and courts. If the people were free of these they could easily have their own schools, colleges, and courts, and the power of the British would collapse at once. There was much laughter and ridicule from the moderates and the supporters of British rule. But Gandhi paid no attention. Gandhi’s activities made the British government nervous and panicky. They issued a warning that anyone who overstepped the bounds of law would be arrested and imprisoned. Gandhi thought that this warning was a victory for the campaign. He issued instructions, which the people were to follow if he were arrested. On December 26, the Congress session was held in Nagpur. Though there were signs of opposition to Gandhi’s policies, his resolution was passed with an overwhelming majority. The adoption of the new program at Nagpur was the signal to start the mass movement. Gandhi felt that the complete boycott of all government organizations would give a chance to the Congress to set up a parallel organization, a State within a State which would lead India to Swaraj. The Duke of Connaught was sent to India in 1921 to try to pacify the Indians. He came to open the four legislatures in the country which had been introduced as a result of the reforms announced by the King. His coming and going passed off without any material change in the attitude of Indians towards Britain. Gandhi traveled far and wide, propagating the ideals of nonviolence and noncooperation. Day by day the Indians were getting more and more excited over carrying out Gandhi’s program. Many students left their institutions, many officers resigned their posts. The boycott movement gained momentum.As the people’s morale grew, the morale of the government went down. Repression started. Gandhi

advised the people to have patience, and he insisted on nonviolence. He saw the weaknesses of Indians and he urged them to improve. He wanted social reforms and constructive work to be intensively followed. It was announced that the Prince of Wales was to visit India. Functions were arranged at many places to enable him to meet his loyal subjects. Gandhi was indignant when he read the announcement in the newspapers. “Do the British think we are children?” he said. “Do they believe that parades for the Prince will make us forget atrocities in the Punjab or the perpetual delay in granting us Home Rule?” On Gandhi’s advice the Congress declared that all parades, receptions, and celebrations in honor of the Prince were to be strictly boycotted. “We have no grudge against His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,” said Gandhi, “but our ideas are against him as a symbol of oppression. We can show the world that such noncooperation is just the reverse of the European doctrine of the sword. Let us act in accordance with the holy prophets of old. Noncooperation without violence is the battle of the brave.” Fearing that there would be disorder when the Prince of Wales visited various places, the government began severe acts of suppression. Thousands of people were arrested. The Indian people were so agitated that in city after city bonfires burned and the bonfires were made with foreign cloth, especially British cloth. On November 17, 1921, the Prince of Wales landed in Bombay. Loyal stooges of Britain went to greet the royal visitor. Those who were observing nonviolent noncooperation did not stop them. However, religious and political hatreds fanned the flames. Riots started, many were killed, much property was destroyed. There was panic in the city. Gandhi was in Bombay, and he rushed to the scene of disorder to stop the rioting. Order was finally restored. “Every man has the right to his religion and his own political opinion. Satyagraha will never suc-

ceed until man understands that,” Gandhi announced bitterly. In other cities the boycott of the Prince’s visit was peaceful. As the unfortunate Prince of Wales visited city after city, he- was greeted with empty streets. Not a shop was open. The people remained behind closed doors and drawn curtains. This infuriated the British and they called upon the government of India to act. Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal, and other leaders were arrested and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. Yet the determined courage of the people did not abate. They were ready to suffer any penalty for the cause of Home Rule. Demands had been made to Gandhi that he should start a mass movement for the attainment of Swaraj. Gandhi decided to act. Preparations were made to start satyagraha in Bardoli. But Gandhi had to stop the campaign suddenly because of what had happened ill Bombay and other places. In Chauri Chaura, near Gorakhpur in U.P., some policemen fired on a crowd which was holding a demonstration against the government. This annoyed the demonstrators so much that they became very violent. They chased the police. The police took refuge in the city hall. The angry mob surrounded the hall and set it on fire. Some policemen were burned to death. Others, trying to escape, were killed by the furious mob outside. Gandhi was very upset. He thought that it was clear that the people were still not prepared for satyagraha. He stopped the intended satyagraha at Bardoli. His co-workers did not agree with him, but he was adamant. He wanted his followers to start constructive programs. Many Indians were sorry for Gandhi’s action. They thought that Swaraj was now within their reach and the movement should therefore continue. The Government was playing a waiting game. Instead of thanking Gandhi for stopping the mass movement, they arrested him on charges of inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch and sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment. He was removed to Yeravda Central Jail in Poona. In prison Gandhi settled down to a regime of spinning, writing, and meditation. The people were disappointed and the government tightened its hold. Almost all the leaders were put in jail. Then, in 1924, Gandhi fell ill. He was suffering from appendicitis and was in great pain. The government was alarmed. What would happen if Gandhi died in prison? An urgent operation was arranged, and Gandhi agreed. The operation was successful, but his recovery was very slow. The government thought it best to release him, so he was set free. He went to Juhu, near Bombay, to recover. — To be continued next week

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CITY-WIDE CONTESTS

Poster

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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 1, 2017. For more information and registration visit

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www.gandhilibrary.org


20 September 15, 2017

COMMUNITY

A Connoisseur Flies Over Victoria Falls and has a Video to Prove it! BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

MANVEL, TX: At first sight, you

wouldn’t think that mild-mannered, bespectacled Santosh Desai had an adventuresome streak in him for extreme tourism. After all, the 54 yearold physician and Administrative Consultant for the Dallas County and Harris County Hospital Systems had a fairly typical professional lifestyle, ensconced in a recent home in Manvel, 4 miles south of Pearland. He and his wife Vaishali - both immigrated to the US in 2003 from Baroda – also own the Beauty and Beyond Skin Spa in Houston’s Museum District. But Santosh and two of his buddies from Houston got the hankering to visit some out-of-the-way places, and this past July, they took off for Zambia (where Santosh has an old friend) and South Africa. It was their first trip to the Dark Continent during the region’s winter time and they were not sure what to expect. Santosh expanded on his two week trip at his home on Sunday evening, September 10, to the quarterly meeting of the Connoisseurs Club, a 5 year-old social group that ties each event with a chance to learn something new from a member’s experience, whatever it may be or a topic researched out, as in last quarter’s meeting. The other constant at the CC is that each member brings a bottle of their favorite – or unusual – bottle of Scotch whisky to sample, and a dish

The guests and members of the Connoisseurs Club at the social held at Santosh and Vaishali Desai’s house in Manvel, south of Pearland.

for snacks or dinner that follows. “Being in Zambia or South Africa is not for the lone tourist,” Desai said as he ran through a series of slides from his trip. “Both places are fairly dangerous and corrupt and you have to be on your guard.” He showed pictures from Cape Town, Johannesburg and a national park before returning to Zambia for the final leg of the journey, where he walked (with the trainer beside him) a domesticated cheetah on a leash and then two young lions on leashes through a wild terrain. His trip ended after a visit to the majestic and world-famous Victoria Falls where a statue of the 19th century Christian missionary and explorer David Livingstone who first found them greets visitors.

“Those were the most marvelous moments of my trip,” recalled Desai, still enthusiastic even two months later. “I would go back just to walk those beautiful animals again,” he added “and to take in the view of Victoria Falls from the sky.” The Falls brought out the thrillseeking, adventuresome side of Desai. Strapped to the back of a microlite motorbike with a Paraglider attached to the top, he was able to soar like a bird, 10,000 ft above the Falls and around the river basin and watch the steam rise up from waterfall, while a Go-Pro camera attached to one wing captured every moment of his flight. He showed the 30-minute video clip to the roughly 35 people who came for the meeting.

Connoisseurs Club co-founder Atul Vir introduces the topic – a tour of South Africa and Zambia - that Santosh Desai (left) was going to present.

It was scary to look at, but Desai was exuberant about his once-in-a-lifetime experience of extreme tourism. “They make you sign a consent form that they are not responsible for what

may happen,” he said, “and though you are up there without a parachute, you just forget about it as you take in the breathtaking scenery.”

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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An Expert on Geotechnical Science, Dr. Vasant N. Vijayvergiya, 81, Passes

OUSTON: He had an easy going manner and smile and an infectious way of engrossing people. When he started his own consulting firm in a small office just south of Bellaire near Hillcroft, he was cheerful about his prospects and happy that he had taken the leap from corporate life. The dint of his expertise in geotechnical sciences and his reputation for thoroughness led him to build up Geotest Engineering - his long enduring legacy – in a field that still had room to grow in the early boom years in Houston of the 70s and 80s. Dr. Vansat Narayan Vijayvergiya, 81 (most people just called him “Dr. Vijay”), passed away this past Friday morning, September 8 peacefully after a brief illness, surrounded by his family. He was born on March 24, 1936 in Guna, Madhya Pradesh, India and moved to Bombay to receive his higher education. He received his Bachelors (Honors) in Civil Engineering from the University of Bombay and then a Master of Technology in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He came to the US in 1966 to pursue a doctorate degree in geotechnical engineering and received a PhD. in Civil Engineering from the University

Dr. Vasant N. Vijayvergiya

of Texas at Austin in 1969. His wife Sudha followed him in 1967 and the two immigrated here to stay and start a new life together. Vijayvergiya moved to Houston in 1969 to accept a job with McClelland Engineers and during his five years there he wrote and published several technical papers on offshore platform foundations. His papers led to a benchmark design for pile foundations, the legs that support offshore platforms. In 1973, he was asked to launch the Houston branch of Fugro Gulf, which performed geotechnical offshore investigations, and grew that subsidiary to 100 employees in four years. McClelland Engineers and Fugro have since merged. Vijayvergiya spent his first 11 years in the United States building up the

courage to start his own company. In July 1979, he and his wife developed the entrepreneur nerve to finally open the doors to Geotest Engineering, an engineering consulting business which he owned and operated till 2008 when new owners took it over. He received the Minority Small Business Person of the Year award and described it “as an endorsement by the SBA of the quality of workmanship and integrity that Geotest stands for”. He also received two outstanding technical paper awards by the Texas Section of ASCE. Vijayvergiya was a loving husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend, and is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Sudha, and his two sons Vikram, 52, of Atlanta with his wife Binita and children Anya and Nikhil; and Chetan, 45 of New Jersey with his wife Debbie and children Maya and Gavin. Funeral services celebrating Dr. Vijay’s life were held at Sugarland Mortuary, located at 1818 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478, on Thursday, September 14, at 9:30 am, ending around noon, with a private cremation for family only. Memorial services are scheduled at the Arya Samaj of Houston on Schiller Road on Saturday, September 16 from 10am to 1pm.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

September 15, 2017

Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple on September 9 &10

May the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon you all! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your path and bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation! BY KAMALA RAGHAVAN

PEARLAND: Ganesha Chaturthi,

also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. It is observed during the month of Bhadra (mid-August to

mid-September) and the most elaborate of celebrations is in the western India state of Maharashtra, lasting for 10 days ending on the day of ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’. Sri Meenakshi Temple Society celebrated the Ganesh Chaturthi on Saturday September 9th with Sankalpam, Vigneswara pooja, Pu-

nyahavachanam, 108 Kalasa pooja, Homam, Purnahuthi, Abhishekam, Alankaram, Deeparadhana, and procession around the temple. The event provided comfort to the devotees from all the stress and devastation wrought by hurricane Harvey. On Sunday September 10th morning, the event continued with Sankalpam, Ganapati pooja, Punyahavachanam, Ganapati Avahanam, Pushpa pooja, Patra pooja, Ashtothra pooja and story, Aarthi and Mantrapushpam, and culminated in the procession for “Visarjan” or immersion of the clay idols in the temple pond. The “visarjan” symbolizes a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of all man.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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24 September 15, 2017

COMMUNITY

Comedian Amit Tandon is all set to Make Houston Laugh

HOUSTON: Panni Poori Produc-

tions of Houston is proud to present India’s award winning stand-up comedian Amit Tandon Live. Amit is on his maiden tour of the USA and makes his Texas debut in Houston on Friday September 22, 2017. Seven years ago, Delhi-based comedian Amit Tandon was running his own HR consultancy firm and had never considered comedy as a career or profession. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Punjab University and pursued MBA from IIT. It was out of sheer boredom that he went for an open mic night and be on the stage for just five minutes. Two-and-a-half years of open mic nights later, he decided to become a full time comedian. People loved what he was bringing to the stage. At start of his career, there was pressure to speak in English; everyone else was doing it. His sets are now a mix of English and Hindi. “It’s how I usually speak. Comedy works best when you are yourself on stage. It is not only about understanding the language but connecting with the jokes.” he says.

H

Amit Tandon

Born and brought up around Patiala, Chandigarh, Panchkula and settled in Delhi, some of Amit’s viral videos are about his middle-class upbringing and their perception and aspiration towards luxury. “The real masala lies in the lives of the middle class Desi. I come from a middle class family myself and the constant struggles in our homes are hilarious. We are not poor and we will never be rich, for we spend more time in managing the money we have than in earning more!” He’s inspired by Vir Das. “His commitment towards stand-up comedy

is commendable. Every year, he is raising the bar of comedy in India.” He admires Raju Srivastava —” the way he can describe a situation or a thing is great.” He is a fan ofAmerican stand-up artist Bill Burr. “His vocabulary and the way he uses analogies is unbeatable.” Amit Tandon is not only an impeccable comedian but also a wonderful family man. If you are good at something, you should definitely pursue it. He says, “You live when you are performing, and rest of the life is just waiting.” Harpreet Chawla of Paani Poori Productions says “I feel very proud and happy to present Amit Tandon in Houston. His comedy is clean and something each one of us can connect with. Even children older than 10 can attend his shows. Amit Tandon presents the Khatta-Meetha of everyday life just like a Paani Poori. - kuch khatta, kuch meetha but all definitely chatpata” (Watch Amit Tandon Live on September 22nd (7pm) at Stafford Civic Center. Tickets: tickethungama.com)

Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela is on September 24, at VPSS Haveli

OUSTON: UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of Ramleela a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Incidentally from the same year in 2005, this heritage is kept alive in Houston by Kusum Sharma, director and mind behind the 13th annual Ramleela in Houston, which will be presented on September 24th at VPSS Haveli. Kusum Sharma’s Ramleela has become a name in itself with Indians across Texas come over to see this magnificent show. Kalakriti Performing Arts Foundation along with Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School is all set to mesmerize

the audience like every year with its exclusive on stage set-ups enveloped with enthralling performances. Ramleela is presented in most parts of India with great splendor and ceremonial display. It is a popular enactment of the mythological epic, Ramayana. We all are aware of the central story of Ramayana, which revolves around Rama, Sita, Laxman, Ravan and Hanuman. There are various significances of characters, which remain unseen in most Ramleela performances. Every year, Kusum Sharma tries to highlight some of these characters and stories, which unfolds to new innovations and insights. The entire stage serves as a set in order to represent the various scenes for Swayamber, Ashok Vatika, Panchavati, Janakpuri, Lanka, Ravan darbar etc. Scenes of every part are spectacular and spellbinding with special effects, rigging, aerials, fire jugglers, props and digital displays. KusumSharma’sShriNatrajSchool along with Kalakriti Performing Arts Foundation invites everyone to join and experience this divine journey of

a colorful, musical, dramatic folk reenactment of the life of Rama. Come and connect yourself with the Indian history and traditions. Join us with your family at the grand celebration of victory of Good over evil. You will treat yourself not only with the spiritual feeling but also get a taste of the presence of the Deity with boundless blessings bestowed. As an additional attraction, Ramleela this year will be played in English. Kalakriti Performing Arts expresses their heartiest appreciation to all the supporters, volunteers, performers and sponsor who has supported the Ramleela event in past years. Ramleela is on September 24, from 3-6 pm at VPSS Haveli located at 11715 Bellfort Village Dr, Houston, TX 77031. Tickets start at very reasonable $10 and group discount is available for order of 10+ tickets. More details, video from previous years and tickets can be purchased at www.ramleelahouston.org Kalakriti is giving out 200 free Ramleela tickets to volunteers of organizations supporting Harvey relief effort.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


HEALTH & BEAUTY Why You Should Try Oil Pulling & How to Do It A natural way to freshen your breath BY COLLEEN GRANT

Google “oil pulling,” and you’ll

find countless testimonials by people who are hooked on this natural mouthwash. You’ve probably heard of oil pulling: an ancient Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing oil around your mouth, with the goal of drawing out toxins and improving oral health. Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr swears by it (and she has great teeth). But are the benefits legit, and how do you do it? The benefits Besides freshening your breath, oil pulling is believed to be a powerful tool for detoxifying the entire body. Fans of oil pulling also report that it helps to whiten teeth, treat gum diseases, ward off tooth decay, & soothe dry throat and cracked lips. Although scientific evidence is limited, one small study that compared oil pulling and mouthwash use found that both reduced plaque— and the oil probably tasted better. The bottom line? Whether or not you buy into the hype, oil pulling is a generally safe, natural technique, so there’s likely no harm in trying it. The how-to When: In the morning! Oil pulling is best done before eating or drink-

ing, when your tongue feels like a bacteria-covered carpet. What: First, you’ll need an oil. Coconut oil is popular thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits, and it can be used solid or melted. Otherwise, any edible oil—sesame, sunflower, olive— will do the trick. How: Gently swish 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) oil around your mouth, pulling the oil through your teeth. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes, ideally, or five minutes if the sensation of oil in your mouth is offputting. An important note: Don’t swallow the oil. The idea here is to draw toxins out of your body—not ingest them. To avoid clogged drains, consider spitting the oil into the trash. After, rinse your mouth with water, brush your teeth as normal, and smile all day to show off your polished pearly whites. -Alive.com

September 15, 2017

25

7 Reasons to (Finally) Make Time for Morning Exercise BY COLLEEN GRANT

A

“ n early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”―Henry David Thoreau Yes, really. Your mornings are probably cray—involving a lot of drinkable food, dry shampoo, and outfit changes. But your day will be so much better if you make time for a morning sweat session. Here’s why. 1. You’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise No surprise here: trudging to the gym after hours of work is a pain. You can spend your entire day dreading the deadlifts to come. Plus, excuses build up: a friend invites you over for drinks, you have to stay late at work, etc. Morning exercise ensures that life’s pesky distractions don’t interfere with your fitness goals. 2. You can use it as an excuse to drink more coffee. Studies show that caffeine consumption before exercise can up your workout speed and quality, and it can even help you power through a tough sweat session. Ergo, you deserve one or two cups of coffee before your morning exercise. 3. You can humblebrag all day long. Trust me—talking about your workouts will make your co-workers love you. You can say something like this, for example: “Sorry I’m late! Getting to work on time is a bit harder when I run my morning 10k.”

4. You might just shed a pound or two. One study suggested that you can burn up to 20 percent more fat by exercising first thing in the morning, before you’ve eaten breakfast. Surprisingly, researchers found that this didn’t increase participants’ appetites later in the day. 5. You’ll probably eat healthier for the rest of the day. I don’t know about you, but I always feel extra virtuous after working out. No way am I going to ruin that feeling by sneaking snacks from the office cookie jar. Research also confirms that morning exercise curbs your daily calorie intake more than afternoon exercise. 6. You’ll sleep like a baby. Working out increases your alert-

ness, warms up your body, and speeds up your metabolism.That’s fantastic in the morning. But in the evening, right before bed? Well, some people find that they toss and turn more after invigorating evening exercise. Most research, however, concludes that regular workouts in general will do wonders for your shuteye. 7. You’ll start the day in an awesome mood. The link between exercise and mood is hardly new. Even five minutes after your workout, you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the day. Plus, daily movement is one of the best things you can do for your stress levels. Research even shows that people who find time to exercise tend to feel that they have better work - life balance. -Alive.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


26 September 15, 2017

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 September 20, 2017. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES

Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Bhune Baingan da Omelet (Roasted Eggplant Omelette)

Solution Next Week

In Indian cuisine, you can easily

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combine different types of vegetables to produce a tasty dish, with spices that balance the flavor you are creating. But when it comes to ande (eggs), Indian cuisine is not as creative as European and other western cuisines which rely of the egg’s binding properties, as in quiches or casseroles and cakes. Though India is a predominantly vegetarian country, some vegetarians do eat eggs to supplement their protein intake. With newer chicken raising farms and techniques in India, more and larger eggs are available in stores and even at street vendors, though eggs are not refrigerated, so you do have to watch for freshness. Most people visiting the country say that eggs taste better in India. Ande are very popular all over India, but especially so in the north during winter time when you can get hot boiled eggs, peeled and sliced if you want, with spices, to warm you up. At home, ande are especially cooked for nashta (breakfast) an hour or two after morning chai (tea), as an omelet eaten with a crispy, hot parantha! Chicken eggs supply protein through essential amino acids, vitamins A, B2, B9, B5, B12, and choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Vitamins A, D and E are in the egg yolk, which also has two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300mg of cholesterol. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 calories; the egg white contains about 15. Eggplant (baingan) is a popular vegetable wherever you go and are very widely used in India. There are a variety of eggplants of different sizes, shapes and color, though typically purple. Eggplants have all the B vitamins, and are high in B9 (folate) as well as in calcium (1%), phosphorus (3%) and potassium (5%). This recipe mixes the flavor of baingan with that of ande and is a

refreshingly different type of fast food. It is a fusion of Indian spices and western tastes and the results are very satisfying for egg lovers. Ingredients: • 1 thin long baingan (eggplant) – Chinese or Japanese style • 2 large ande (eggs) • 1 medium pyaaz (onion) • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper) Directions: 1. Place a few drops of oil on the eggplant and smear it all over the skin. 2. Roast the eggplant over an open flame in the traditional way. This allows the eggplant to take on a smoked, roasted flavor; so for best results, cook over a gas flame. 3. If you do not have a gas stove but only have an electric stove, place the eggplant in the oven on a metal tray and set on bake at 450 deg till it is soft in the middle. For ease of clean up, wrap the eggplant in aluminum foil. The cooked eggplant will shed water, so use a deep tray. 4. Remove the eggplant from the fire

or oven and peel off the roasted skin. Be careful as it will be hot! You can place the roasted eggplant in a bowl of water in order to cool it down fast. Do not cut off the green stem. 5. Peel and cut the onion into fine pieces and place in a bowl. Break the eggs into the bowl and beat for several minutes. Add in the salt and red pepper and mix well. 6. Pour the eggs-onion mixture over the roasted eggplant and let it soak for one minute so that the eggplant is marinated with the spices. 7. Heat a skillet or frying pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon of oil. 8. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg, onion and eggplant mixture and turn the heat down to low. 9. Let it cook for 1 minute then flip the pancake over carefully so that it doesn’t break. Let it cook for another minute but make sure the pancake is not too dry. 10. Serve on a dinner plate. The green stem sticking out adds a nice touch of color. 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.

MAMA’S TIP O F THE

WEEK

STORE FRESH VE GETABLES LONG ER IN PROPER CO You may have expe NTAINERS rienced the disappo out a vegetable tha int ment and frustration t you bought some of throwing time ago simply be up in the refrigerator cause it rotted or dr . It is ied the trash and a wa a case of from the ste of store to The key to proper mo ney! storand breads in the age of fresh vege fridge tab of containers to us is to understand the les e. typ cauliflower, lettuc Artichokes (see ph es e, and oto), last longer and do oth er stemmed vegetab n’t wilt les bags which are left if stored in clear slightly open. If yo plastic u leave vegetables be sure to turn them in the occasionally as the bottom side will ten crisper section, faster. If you have a half-cut onion (o d to sag and ripen r other water-based side up in a plastic veggie), place it cu container with a lid tand not in a plastic water and rot. bag, else it will shed

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September 15, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

27

Poster Boys: Make some noise for the ‘Poster Boys’ Set in a North Indian village,

three distinct men - local goon Arjun (Shreyas), retired army officer Jagawar Chaudhry (Sunny) and school teacher Vinay (Bobby) are shocked to find themselves becoming the ‘poster boys’ of male sterilisation after their pictures randomly appear on a public service ad promoting vasectomy. They are soon subjected to public shaming. The three embark on a mission to fight the system that wrongly pronounced them ‘sterile’ without their consent or knowledge. The film is a Hindi remake of

Raised

in Mumbai’s Dagdi Chawl, which was home to the mill workers in the 70s, Arun Gulab Gawli(Arjun), a local went on to became a dreaded don and later a politician. Not to forget...Dawood Ibrahim’s chief adversary. Mumbaikars are well-versed with the rise of Gawli, an out-of-work mill worker’s son who resorted to extortion, gambling and murder to ultimately become the face of the underworld. For those who’ve tuned in late, this film serves as a refresher course on the life and times of the infamous gangs of Bombay. Arun, along with his two friends— Babu(Anand) and Rama(Rajesh), formed the BRA gang and reigned terror in Central Mumbai in the

Sameer Patil’s 2014 Marathi film Poshter Boyz. The best part about Shreyas Talpade’s unsuspecting debut film as a director is the fact that he doesn’t try too hard to make his characters look or sound funny. They are just common people stuck in an uncommon situation and must deal with it. Their ways to prove their innocence are as ineffective but that makes you identify with their trauma. What’s also refreshing is Shreyas’ decision to not follow the ‘Bollywood comedy’ template by making his sensitive subject seem frivolous. Of course there are 70s-80s. Gawli’s meteoric rise to the top also meant that he would eventually confront his c o n t e m p o r a r y, Dawood Ibrahim, referred to as Maqsood (Farhan) here. Ahluwalia deliberately adopts a flat narrative and takes the viewer through the dark, gritty world with minimum dramatization. As a result, there are fewer earpiercing

enough silly metaphors that refer to the male reproductive tract but those can be overlooked, given the significance and sensitivity he lends to the topic otherwise. Credit also goes to the writers for localising the Hindi adaptation and comic punches well. But what pleasantly surprises you the most is the hilarious Deol brothers jugalbandi in a never-seen-before comic avatar. Shreyas extracts the best out of them and it is their comic timing and odd tributes to each other’s previous hit films that amuse you the most. Ashwini Kalsekar and Talpade’s

Daddy

emotional outbursts, but also fewer moments of dread. Once your eyes get adjusted to the drab chawls and dimly-lit gullies, where the gangs operate like ghosts, chased by just one greedy, over-ambitious cop, Vijaykar Nitin(Nishikant), you become complacent watching the crime patrol episode. The sepia-tone/ minimum-colour

sidekicks t o o deserve a special mention for cracking some quirky one liners. Thisdramedy that revolves around men who unknowingly promote ‘Bina taka nasbandi operation’ is a light-hearted and clever frames stay muted and never leap at you. As a result, you don’t feel the tension, even when some brutal killings play out. The first half touches on Gawli’s growth as a don and the second half attempts to stay with his life as a family man and politician. Married to a Muslim girl, Zubeida (Aishwarya), his secular streak is subtely touched. Though he converts his wife to Asha, he is large-hearted enough to play a benefactor to both communities during the Mumbai riots. In fact, the maximum drama here is depicted through the protagonist Arjun’s own performance graph. If you like crime drama, Daddy is bound to fuel your imagination. -timesofindia.com

take on the population problem that plagues our nation. -timesofindia.com

Happy Birthday

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Shabana Azmi September 18, 1950

Kareena Kapoor Khan September 21, 1980


28 September 15, 2017 India to Host Aussies and Kiwis from Sept. 17 to Nov. 7 BY ALAGAPPAN MUTHU

M

UMBAI: (ESPN Cricinfo): A confirmation of India’s home season fixtures has arrived with the BCCI releasing the schedule for eight ODIs and six T20Is to be played against Australia and New Zealand starting September 17.

India v Australia Sept 12 - warm-up game, Chennai Sept 17 1st ODI, Chennai Sept 21 - 2nd ODI, Kolkata Sept 24 - 3rd ODI, Indore Sept 28 - 4th ODI, Bengaluru Oct 1 - 5th ODI, Nagpur Oct 7 - 1st T20I, Ranchi Oct 10 - 2nd T20I, Guwahati Oct 13 - 3rd T20I, Hyderabad As reported earlier, India will take on Australia in the season opener in another ten days in Chennai before moving on to Kolkata (September 21), Indore (September 24), Bengaluru (September 28) and Nagpur (October 1) for the remainder of the ODIs. Ranchi (October 7), Guwahati (October 10) and Hyderabad (October 13) have been lined up to host the T20I series. The visitors will have a warm-up game ahead of the series on September 12. New Zealand too will have the chance to acclimatise themselves with Indian conditions with two practice matches at the CCI stadium in Mumbai before the first ODI in the same city on October 22. The second ODI is scheduled in Pune on October 25 and the third and final 50-over game will be held in Kanpur on October 29. Then both teams will shift their focus to the shortest format with three T20Is to be played in Delhi (November 1), Rajkot (November 4) and Thiruvananthapuram (November 7). India v New Zealand Oct 17 - Warm-up game, Mumbai Oct 19 - 2nd warm-up, Mumbai Oct 22 - 1st ODI, Mumbai Oct 25 - 2nd ODI, Pune Oct 29 - 3rd ODI, Kanpur Nov 1 - 1st T20I, Delhi Nov 4 - 2nd T20I, Rajkot Nov 7 - 3rd T20I, Thiruvananthapuram Both teams had visited India during

the 2016-17 season as well, Australia for Tests, which they lost 2-1 and New Zealand for Tests and ODIs, although they too were beaten in each series. India had introduced three new Test venues last season - Rajkot, Indore and Visakhapatnam. This time they have got clearance to host international matches at Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram. It is understood there were delays in securing these clearances, which perhaps played a part in the BCCI announcing the official schedule less than two weeks before the opening match of the season. Fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have returned to India’s ODI squad. They last played limited-overs cricket in July but were part of the 16 men picked for the first three matches against Australia. The series begins on September 17 and runs through to October 13. India have also chosen to be without RAshwin and Ravindra Jadeja for a second series in a row. However, the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad clarified that both players have only been rotated out of the squad. This meant another opportunity for Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel to lead the team’s spin attack. They had been impressive during the 5-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka last week, collecting 14 wickets at a combined economy rate of 4.18.

“The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested,” Prasad said. “The team’s performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours.” It would appear likely that Ashwin, currently playing for Worcestershire, might stay for the entire county season. He spoke to ESPNcricinfo about wanting to get used to to English conditions ahead of India’s five-Test tour in 2018 and took a five-for on debut two weeks ago. Jadeja has not played top-flight cricket since the Tests against Sri Lanka ended in the first week of August, and he has not been part of India’s limited-overs squads since July. Hardik Pandya retained the allrounder’s spot. He was not in the XI for the final two matches of the Sri Lanka tour but will lend fast-bowling support to Umesh, Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, who is fresh from a climb to No. 4 on the ICC ODI bowlers rankings. With four seamers available, Shardul Thakur has been left out.

Babar’s 86 Helps Pak XI Beat World XI in Lahore

L

AHORE: Pakistan 197 for 5 (Babar 86, Shehzad 39, Malik 38) beat World XI 177 for 7 (Sammy 29, du Plessis 29) by 20 runs Babar Azam showed why he is considered the future of Pakistan batting, as his 52-ball 86 carried Pakistan to a comfortable 20-run win over the World XI in the first T20I. After Fakhar Zaman was dismissed in the first over, Babar put on a 122-run partnership with Ahmed Shahzad to set Pakistan up for a big finish. Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim then helped Pakistan score 48 runs in the last three overs to finish with 197, their fourthhighest T20 total. World XI’s weak bowling attack was laid surgically bare, with only their specialist bowlers - Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir - providing a semblance of control. However, the opening pair of Hashim Amla and Tamim Iqbal would be the envy of most sides. Hashim Amla was at his best, providing grace and a brisk strike rate At least one of them needed to bat through, but both fell in the 5th over, and the target began to fade into the distance. akistan lead the three-match series 1-0, with two games to go.

SPORTS

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Beats Dutch Youth

A

NTWERP: The Indian women’s hockey team held on to a 2-2 draw against the Belgium junior men’s team in a closely fought match here. India, led by captain Rani, started the match on a positive note by earning a penalty corner within 40 seconds of the start but could not convert it. Two minutes later, another penalty corner was saved by the Belgian goalkeeper. However, it was the young Belgium team that got three PCs in a span of six minutes, but goalkeeper Savita did well to keep the home side from taking an early lead. Forward Vandana Katariya created a beautiful chance for India inside the striking circle but could not score as the first quarter ended goalless. The second quarter saw both sides taking a more direct approach as Belgium enjoyed more possession which paid off for them as they took the lead through Stan Branicki in the 19th minute. India soon earned a penalty corner but their effort was saved by the Junior World Cup finalists’ goalkeeper which meant Belgium led by a goal at the end of second quarter. The third quarter started on a bright note for India as Nikki Pradhan levelled the score in 36th minute. India dominated the third quarter as midfielder Neha Goyal came close to scoring but was denied by another brilliant save by Belgium’s goalkeeper. However, the home team took the lead again in the 43rd minute as they rallied for a wonderful field goal scored by Matthieu de Laet. India will play Ladies Den Bosch in their third match of the Europe Tour on September 14.

Indian Women’s Hockey team held on to a 2-2 draw against the Belgium Junior Men’s Team in a closely fought match.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


September 15, 2017

Jet Airways Q1 Profit Doubles on Rising Fares, Despite Costlier Fuel N D -- Rising fares are bal- the Quarter were also supported by EW

ELHI

ancing the increase in fuel cost for Indian airlines. Jet Airways Tuesday reported a profit of Rs 53.5 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, more than double the profit of Rs 25.9 crore in same period last fiscal. Jet Airways Group (including JetLite) reported a profit of Rs 58 crore in Q1. While Jet’s passenger revenue rose 11.8% to Rs 5,136 crore in Q1, the expense on jet fuel rose to Rs 1,524.2 crore in the three months ended June 30, 2017, up 32% Rs 1,156.5 crore in same period last year due to rising oil prices. “Despite being adversely impacted by an increase in the Brent fuel price during the quarter that led to an increase in total cost..., the airline continued its focus to ensure operational efficiencies across its entire business, leading to a further reduction in the Cost per Available Seat Kilometre (CASK) excluding fuel. Results for

a slight increase in domestic average fares, which grew by 3.4% during Q1 FY’18, reversing an otherwise declining trend witnessed in the last few quarters,” the airline said. Jet Airways’ chairman Naresh Goyal said the airline “took several focused measures to revitalize its business and realise greater efficiencies in spite of weakening international demand, especially from the Gulf. Low fares, together with addition of capacity in the domestic market, continues to put pressure on yields. We have taken definite steps to strengthen our key performance indicators, including increasing our domestic footprint by enhancing connectivity and choice for guests not just between our hubs and metros, but also between emerging cities.” “On the international side, the Gulf situation notwithstanding, our syner-

gies with our strategic and equity partner - Etihad Airways, continue to grow on a healthy trajectory. Our partnership continues to deliver incremental value to both partners not only from strategic and operational perspectives, but also in commercial

terms,” Goyal added. The airline will launch three new international flights from October 29, 2017, to Amsterdam, Paris and London, from Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai respectively, and several connecting domestic flights. -- ToI

Inflation Rises to 3.36% in August, IIP Growth Mild at 1.2% in July N D - I New Delhi:India’s from 2.36% a month ago as food EW

ELHI

industrial production recovered to grow only mildly as growth in manufacturing output remained flat with introduction of goods and services tax (GST) which continued to disrupt production networks while retail inflation quickened in August ruling out any rate cut by the central bank in the near future. Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew at 1.2% in July from a contraction of 0.2% a month ago. Mining and electricity sectors however grew at robust 4.8% and 6.5% respectively in July. In terms of industries, eight out of the twenty three industry groups (as per 2-digit NIC-2008) in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of July 2017 Consumer price index based inflation continued to rise for the second consecutive month, by 3.36%

inflation turned positive after three months of contraction. India’s economic growth unexpectedly slowed to 5.7% in the June quarter, the slowest pace in three years, underlining the disruption caused by the uncertainty related to the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) even as the Indian economy is struggling to recover from a shock demonetisation. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which cut its repo rate by 0.25 percentage points last month, retained its neutral policy stance, citing uncertainty on the future trajectory of inflation because of several uncertainties. “If states choose to implement salary and allowance increases similar to the centre in the current financial year, headline inflation could rise by an additional estimated 100 basis points above the baseline over 18-24 months. Also, high frequency indicators suggest that price pressures

Consumer price index based inflation continued to rise for the second consecutive month, by 3.36% from 2.36% a month ago as food inflation turned positive after three months of contraction. Photo: Mint

are building up in vegetables and animal proteins in the near months,” it added. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. The second volume of the Economic Survey 2016-17 presented on Friday in Parliament took a contrarian view and maintained that India is undergoing a structural shift toward low

inflation, mostly due to changing dynamics in the oil market, which has capped upside risks. “More recently such shifts seem to have been missed, for example, in the last 14 quarters, inflation has been overestimated by more than 100 bps (basis points) in six quarters with an average error of 180 bps,” it said. -- LiveMint

29

Infosys to Set Up Innovation Hub in US, Hire 2K Workers

N

EW DELHI: India’s second largest software services firm Infosys said it will set up a technology and innovation hub in Raleigh in North Carolina, where it is expected to hire 2,000 American workers by 2021. In July, Infosys had announced it will set up a centre in North Carolina as part of its plan to hire a total of 10,000 locals for its US operations in the next two years. The move was also seen as a bid to woo the Trump administration that has been critical of outsourcing firms for “unfairly” taking jobs away from the US workers. The first of the four centres — located in Indiana — was announced in May this year. Infosys, in a statement today, said the new hub in Raleigh will open in early 2018 and occupy 60,000 sq ft. The company plans to hire the first 500 workers in Raleigh innovation hub within two years, with the remainder to be hired in the state by 2021, it added. Towards its plan of hiring 10,000 people over two years, the company has already hired close to 1,200 American workers, Infosys said. “The North Carolina Technology and Innovation Hub... will focus on delivering cutting-edge solutions in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data and advanced analytics, cloud and big data,” Infosys president and deputy COO Ravi Kumar said. He added that the centre will help to serve clients in IT, life sciences, clean technology and advanced manufacturing sectors in a better manner. Infosys, which employs about 2 lakh people globally, will expand its local hiring in the US as it battles visarelated challenges that often make sending engineers to the US costly.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


30 September 15, 2017 Can’t Litter Our Country and Say Vande Mataram: Narendra Modi N

Narendra Modi paying tributes to Swami Vivekananda during a function on the occasion of 125th anniversary of Vivekananda’s Chicago address and birth centenary of Deendayal Upadhyay in New Delhi on Monday.

ew Delhi: India isn’t the kind of place where people should be told what to eat and what not to, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. Modi was channelling Swami Vivekananda, who once spoke of “religion getting into the kitchen”, only apt since he was addressing a students’ convention on the occasion of Deendayal Upadhyay centenary celebrations, and the 125th anniversary of Vivekananda’s famous Chicago address. But analysts also saw his speech as another attempt by the prime minister to speak out against intolerance. Indeed, he was all for Rose Day, Modi said to an audience composed primarily of young people. His reference was to Valentine’s Day, which has attracted the ire of several rightwing groups affiliated to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Modi used his speech to also speak on other issues such as respect for women and cleanliness. “Do we have the right to say ‘Vande Mataram’if we cannot keep our nation

clean?,” he asked. “We chew paan and then spit on Mother India and then, can we say ‘Vande Mataram’? Throw all waste on Mother India and then say ‘Vande Mataram’?.” Sanitation workers have the first right to say “Vande Mataram”, the PM added. The Swachh Bharat programme is one of the Modi government’s flagship initiatives. The Prime Minister also batted for a rules-based regime. “Follow the rules and India will rule,” he said in a subtle message to young people. He also spoke about respect for women, and while there was no explicit mention of the brutal murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru last week, some analysts say this may have been his way of responding to it. “The prime minister waited for the earliest and the right moment to speak on the issue rather than step on fire in a defensive mood. His statement was very balanced as he spoke about the larger issue of women safety and did not speak about the war of ideologies at play in the nation,” said Jai Mrug, a

Mumbai-based political analyst. “The current atmosphere of the country is not conducive to women and the prime minister’s statement today comes as a positive step. The acknowledgement of a tragedy as grave as Gauri Lankesh’s murder is undoubtedly required,” said Manisha Priyam, another political analyst based in New Delhi. If that is the case, this will not be the first time Prime Minister Modi has used a public platform to respond to a polarizing issue. He has previously used such platforms to argue against self-styled cow vigilantes (or gau rakshaks) and his anguish at the suicide of Dalit student Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad (in early 2016). The Congress’ spokesperson seemed to suggest the party wasn’t convinced. “We will be the first to laud and applaud the Prime Minister (for his comments), but unfortunately the actions of this government are just the opposite,” Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters. Anuja contributed to this story. -livemint.com

First Pair of Sperm Whales Spotted in Pakistani Waters

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PAKISTAN: Fishermen on Tues-

day spotted a pair of sperm whales near Jiwani ─ the first such sighting in Pakistani waters, a press release issued by the World Wide FundPakistan said. The fishermen, who saw the whales while navigating about 22 kilometers south of Gunz, followed them out of curiosity for nearly 1.5 hours after which the whales disappeared into

the sea. In December 2005, the skeleton of a sperm whale was reported to be found on Sonara Beach near Karachi, whereas a few bones of another specimen were collected from Daran Beach near Jiwani. Sperm whales, scientifically known as Physeter Macrocephalus can be easily recognised by their massive heads and prominent rounded fore-

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heads. It is a cosmopolitan species, which is globally found in all major oceans. These whales are considered the largest predators on earth and feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates. Sperm whales, it is believed, can dive as deep as 3,280 feet and can hold their breath for up to 90 minutes on such dives. -dawn.com

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September 15, 2017

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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September 15, 2017

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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