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Friday, December 22, 2017 | Vol. 36, No. 50

Indo Indo American Am erican News

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December 22, 2017

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COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

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Generating True Alpha, Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management

BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA

HOUSTON:

Houston’s highflying real estate market has been in the news, from being ranked at the top of a prominent national list of cities to watch, to passing through clouds post Hurricane Harvey, and then bouncing back in the months ahead to some semblance of normalcy. Amongst the ocean of real estate investment companies is one firm that strives to “redefine” multifamily real estate with its unique approach to all aspects of the business. Striving to achieve the goal of generating true alpha, Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management, based in Houston, Texas, focuses on the acquisition and management of opportunistic and value-add multifamily properties. The dynamic team at Nitya brings decades of real estate and multi-sector investment experience coupled with an institutional approach and an active hands-on management approach. Nitya has a targeted investment thesis and a proven track record of realized returns and strong performance as evidenced by significant revenue and NOI growth across their portfolio. The firm’s leadership has decades of experience in global real estate investing and multi-sector investing through business cycles including recessionary environments. All of their assets are managed by a fully owned, in-house property management company- Karya Property Management. Very recently, Nitya Capital was in the news as Swapnil Agarwal, Founder & CEO of Nitya Capital and Karya property Management was announced by EY, as the Entrepreneur of the Year 2017. The awards program, which celebrated its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and com-

Swapnil & Deepika Agarwal with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee at the inauguration event on October 26.

building in Houston. On this occasion, an exclusive star-studded event was organized, and the specially invited dignitaries of town attended it. The chief guest also included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Swapnil and his wife Deepika, who is also the Head of Marketing for Karya Property Management, welcomed everyone to the lavish and ritzy office. While the cocktail was freely flowing through, the creatively presented hors d’oeuvre had a scrumptious mix of savories and desserts, catered by the best Chinese restaurant in town, Alings. Guests enjoyed the warm and the gracious hospitality extended by the humble Agarwals.

In spite of their busy schedule, the Agrawals spend as much valuable time as they can, with their 4-year-old son Aryan. In addition, they organize monthly get togethers and outreach events to benefit their tenants in all their properties. Swapnil & Deepika are a perfect combination of being successful, rich and humble. Thus, creating success stories and win-wins.

Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management team at the recently held Christmas Gala.

munities. Since its inception in 2013, Nitya has acquired over 10,000 units throughout Texas and currently has $1 billion of assets under management. To be selected from among the most successful entrepreneurs in the Houston and Gulf Coast Region, is an achievement and a testament to the skill & dedication of the team at Nitya Capital. Swapnil, who is responsible for the strategic planning, investment decisions, and overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations, financing activities, and investor relations, was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. In Sep-

tember this year, Swapnil received The Young Entrepreneur of the year award at the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Gala. Swapnil, who is now a role model for entrepreneurs, shared his story on how he ventured into his dream with modest beginnings, with the support extended by family and friends. With his investment in an apartment complex on Tidwell and I45, and with the blessings of his supporters, he launched Nitya Capital. And there was no looking back from that point on for Swapnil and his college buddies, and now partners, Vivek Shah and Manish Patel. On October 26, Nitya Capital & Karya Property Management inaugurated their new swanky office

Swapnil & Deepika Agarwal with Houston Astro George Springer who recently joing the Karya team as the Brand Ambassador for 2018.

Swapnil and Deepika are involved in several charitable organizations such as Magic Bus and Pratham, and they also support two schools in India. During Harvey devastation, the Agarwals opened their facilities for the people needing shelter, and relocated their affected tenants to safer properties. Their core belief is that family comes first, and they also encourage everyone in their company to give importance to family.

Recently Nitya Capital purchased the 11-story Norfolk Tower and will renovate and rebrand the building. The 207,562-squarefoot building is 82 percent leased, and Agarwal aims to push it to 92 percent within two years through renewals and new leases. Karya Property Management affiliate will manage the building. To know more about Nitya Capital visit www.nityacapital.com.

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December 22, 2017

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COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

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Indians Celebrate 10th Hamara Desi Christmas

STAFFORD: Houston’s one and

only Indian Christmas celebration was hosted last Saturday, December 16, at the Stafford Civic Center. This year it was a sold-out event and as always the auditorium was packed and the audiences were treated to an awe inspiring program by the Houston Indian Fellowship team. The Houston Indian Fellowship (HIF), a group of Indians from across the metropolitan Houston area, conduct an annual Christmas Celebration to share with joy and cheer, the true meaning of Christmas to Houstonians from different walks of faith, religion, and social status. This year during the Christmas event HIF conducted spelling bee competition in addition to the usual painting competition. The admission for the event was free, and it was followed by complimentary dinner for all the attendees. The dinner was catered by Amma’s Kitchen. HIF, by hosting events like these, strives to bring Christmas cheer to people from different faiths and regions of India. The MCs Sharon Samuel and John Jeevarajan hosted this year’s event with elegance. They were engaging, entertaining, and kept the audience feeling at home. Dr. Robello Samuel, President of HIF kicked off this year’s event with a welcome speech and spoke briefly about the history of Hamara Desi Christmas. This year’s celebration included a variety of dances from different parts of India, all presented professionally to an awestruck audience. This year HIF also introduced their very own production ‘The Birth of A Savior’ A screen and staged play retelling the life of Jesus, from His birth to resurrection. The stage was overflowing with vibrant colors as costumes from different parts of India were used for the variety of dances enriching and bringing to life our very own culture several thousand miles away.

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The audience was speechless, and they were glued to their seats as HIF performed these programs. Deepak Israel, Secretary of Houston Indian Fellowship awarded the winners of the painting competition. Dr. Sushma of Spring Medical awarded the winners of Spelling bee competition. Tablets were

given to the first prize winners in each category and the second prize winners were given a gift card. Finally, the HIF children performed a Christmas Carol medley of Angels we have heard on high, Away in a manger, O come all ye faithful and Feliz Navi dad, as others in the audience joined Santa and the HIF team in wishing everyone a merry Christmas. The audience was raving about the event. “Wow! This is the best organized Desi event I have been to in the Houston area! Well organized and well catered event. The programs were crisp, clear and very professional.” Sheena Reuben, one of the coordinators of the event said “Christmas is the season of love, peace and Joy. Nothing gives us more joy than preparing for this Christmas event for the South Asian community in Houston. She further added that when we see that the audience thoroughly enjoy the show it gives us the reason to do better and more shows in the coming years.” Deepak Israel, of HIF proudly stated, “This event brings an opportunity to bring our own south Asian culture to be enjoyed thou-

sands of miles away here in Houston. With the help of the many volunteers we plan on bringing more competitions and dances to the event. More importantly it is a free event accessible for everyone, so we can all share the Christmas spirit with joy!” Dr. Robello Samuel, of HIF, said “Seeing the spirit of Christmas freely shared with free food, dances, plays and competitions gives me great satisfaction as that is the whole idea behind the celebration!” The University of Houston students along with several other families and friends helped behind the scenes activities– all of which helped make this celebration a memorable one. Houston Indian Fellowship would also like to invite anyone interested in performing or helping at the 11th annual Hamara Desi Christmas event scheduled for the 22nd of December 2018 to please contact Dr. Robello Samuel at 832-275-8810 or Deepak Israel at 832-419-0967 or via email to info@hamaradesichristmas.org. You may also visit them at www. hamaradesichristmas.org

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COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

Overseas BJP Friends: Excited, Jubilant and Somewhat Relieved

HOUSTON:

Overseas Friends of Bharatiya Janata Party (OFBJP) karyakartas (volunteers) gathered for a spontaneous celebration of the BJP victories over lunch at a local Indian restaurant on a rainy Monday afternoon. Most of these dedicated members were awake till the wee hours as counting of votes in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh unfolded. The fact that they could make it to the celebrations on a busy office day speaks volumes about their commitment to BJP. Many senior members of the community addressed the assembly. In his opening remarks, Houston chapter coordinator Achalesh Amar provided a brief glimpse of the efforts put forth by the Houston community in this election. He applauded contributions of two wellknow senior community members, Ramesh Shah and Sharad Amin, who are in Gujarat ,campaigning on the ground. Noting that in Gujarat the vote percentage difference was close to 9% over the closest rival, yet the number of extra seats BJP won was just marginally higher, Amar urged the gathering to be extra vigilant about future poll strategies. In Himachal Pradesh, even though the vote difference was close to 7% over the nearest rivals, BJP won more than twice the

number of seats from the incumbent party.

Dr. Jayaram Guntapali spoke about the handicap BJP faced be-

cause of the 22 years of anti-incumbency sentiments and the efforts

put in my ground level workers to overcome this and other issues to put in a spirited campaign. Raghuveer Reddy drew the attention of BJP leadership towards Telangana and the opportunity there for BJP to emerge as a credible alternative. Sangeeta Dua, the women and youth coordinator of Houston OFBJP chapter, stressed he need of attracting more youth and women to such celebrations so that they would get involved in political activities. Dr Bimal Talati spoke about the need of BJP to work on the Ram Mandir and Article 370 issues immediately to retain its voter base. There was a general consensus that the members would need to work extra hard for 2019 elections. The speeches were followed by a sumptuous lunch.

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December 22, 2017

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December 22, 2017

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COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

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Indian Consulate Hosts Hanukkah Celebration with Diverse Houstonians BY PRAMOD KULKARNI

HOUSTON: Hanukkah is a Jew-

ish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during167-160 BCE. The festival is observed for eight nights and days. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. A diverse group of Houstonians, including Indo-Americans, had the opportunity last Monday to observe Hanukkah at the home of Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray and his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray. Among the guests included representatives of the American Jewish Congress in Houston and the Israeli Consulate. Chief Guest was Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. The highlight of the evening was the lighting of the Menorah (candelabra) by seven young children as well as Judge Emmett, Vijay and Marie Goradia. A representative of the American Jewish Congress in Houston explained, how according to Jewish tradition, the Menorah at the Jerusalem temple in 165 BCE burned miraculously for eight days, even though there was sufficient oil for

A highlight of the Hanukkah celebration at Consul General of India’s home included lighting of the Menorah (candelabra seen at the center) by CG’s children and other young guests in the foreground. Seen in the background are Marie Goradia (left), Aparna Ray, Asst. Consul General Surendra Adhana, CG Dr. Anupam Ray, CG’s wife Dr. Amit Goldberg Ray, representatives of the American Jewish Congress, Israeli Consulate, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

only one day. It then became a tradition for Jewish homes throughout the world to light a candle in the Menorah for each of the eight days of Hanukkah. “Two of the oldest faiths in world are the Jewish faith and Hinduism,” CG Ray explained. “I try to go to Jerusalem once every year. What I feel there at the Wailing Wall is the same spiritual feeling I get at Varanasi in India or at Sarthan, where Buddha first gave his sermon. Jews and Hindus share the importance of education and family values, and since we’re in a Republican state here in Texas, free enterprise.” CG Ray also touched on Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Israel and the excellent state of relations between the two countries. Judge Emmett explained how he grew up in East Texas. “We had a Baptist Church and a Methodist Church. I had no exposure to diversity until my family moved to Houston and I went to Bellaire High School, which was 40% Jewish. That was all good.” The evening concluded with a dinner of both Indian and Jewish delicacies prepared by the Consulate staff.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

Ansari, Nanjiani Host SNL and Change the Face of PrimeTime

Pradeep Sulhan, P.C.

Certified Public Accountant 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 www.sulhancpa.com | pradeep@sulhancpa.com

BY SANJAY STEFAN MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: 2017 has been an

exceptional year for comedy and not just the heaps of comedy material the Trump administration bestow upon us on a daily basis. Something quite remarkable has happened in the universe of American comedy that many South Asians may have overlooked. For the first time in the 43 seasons history of Saturday Night Live, going back to 1975, the show was hosted by Indian-American Aziz Ansari in January and then by a PakistaniAmerican, Kumail Nanjiani, in October. As most people know, Saturday Night Live (or more, colloquially “SNL”) is a sketch comedy show broadcast on NBC, that showcases a variety of comedic talent and contemporary musical acts. Regardless of your personal comedic preferences, two South Asians hosting one of the most popular sketch comedy shows around is memorable for two reasons. First, SNL has had a noticeable dearth in non-white cast members as well as hosts. Prior to Ansari and Nanjiani, only two Asians have had the distinction of hosting SNL since the show’s inception: Jackie Chan and Lucy Lui. Both actors hosted back in 2000, when some of the current cast members were still in grade school. No self-identified Asian has ever been a cast member. Predictably, the show has been criticized for its lack of diversity and SNL even acknowledged this fact in a few of its own skits. But what’s more vital than what’s lacking, is the show’s cultural significance. SNL’s lifeblood is its ability to stay relevant in a world with infinite outlets for satire, competing for every potential viewer. Every Saturday night, the show reaches millions across America, keeping the country in the loop of pop culture and exposing viewers to new talent. Ansari and Nanjiani hosting is a nod to America’s changing demographics, albeit a forced one, as well as an acknowledgement of its cultural impact. Ansari and Nanjiani’s comedy styles reflect their unique experiences as South Asians attaining fame in a world traditionally spurned by most South Asian fam-

11

Over 25 years experience

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Aziz Ansari

ilies. Ansari was born in South Carolina where he attended high school, while Nanjiani was born in Karachi and immigrated to Iowa at 18. Their distinctive upbringings play a major role in the stand up and character roles they play. Ansari rarely, if ever, uses race as a part of his comedy. He doesn’t focus on how he’s different, actually quite the opposite. When Ansari appeared on the online sketch comedy show “Human Giant” in 2007, one was struck at how he didn’t use his ethnicity as a center point in his humor. He has continued to show that he doesn’t need race to be funny. Most South Asian comedians until that point, such as Russell Peters, exclusively used race for laughs. By making that distinction, Ansari draws fans with a wider pallet for comedy. Ansari went on to play the tragically hip Tom Haverford in NBC’s “Parks & Recreation” and then the overly contemplative Dev Shah in Netflix’s critically acclaimed “Master of None”. Nanjiani takes an entirely different approach, often playing the relatable odd man out. He embraces his South Asian origins, especially as Dinesh Chugtai on HBO’s wildly popular “Silicon Valley”. Prior to his break out on cable television, Nanjiani acted on the online sketch comedy website “College Humor”, where he played a wide cast of characters. Unlike Ansari, Nanjiani grew up in his native Pakistan and proudly incorporates that into his comedy, principally to provide context to the punch line. He recognizes that he is ethnically different, and presents it in a manner that’s relatable to anyone that’s ever felt

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Kumail Nanjiani in “The Big Sick”

marginalized or put in an awkward situation. This is on full display in his latest movie “The Big Sick”, a story about how trying to meet the expectations of all the people you love inevitably results in personal suffering. Nanjiani’s comedy transcends his ethnicity and bridges the divide. That these two South Asian comedians made comedy history in 2017 is a feat that deserves recognition. As a people obsessed with firsts, this should be appreciated by even those South Asians who dismiss comedy as trivial. This sort of thing doesn’t happen every day for South Asians, which is what makes it all the more extraordinary. Ansari and Nanjiani are part of an evergrowing group of South Asian comedians who deserve recognition for their talents. And in a time where overt racism and political divisiveness dominates, their achievements represent the community’s significant and rising presence in the mainstream.

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12 December 22, 2017

COMMUNITY

Did their Mt. Kailash, Mansarovar Yatra Bring Himalayan Snow to Texas?

BY MALIK PUTCHA & NUTAN IYER

HOUSTON: Ever since July 20,

1969 when Neil Armstrong, the first man to land on the Moon, uttered his famous words, “Houston, the Eagle has landed”, this city had been associated with “daring and can- do attitude spirited” individuals. And a daring group of eleven Houstonian Indo-Americans, inculcated and imbibed with that dauntless spirit, undertook a fifteen-day pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and a Mansarovar Yatra this past September 4 to18. All of them are retired or semi-retired and dreamt of this expedition for a long time. The group consisted of Nutan Iyer, a Systems Engineer and her husband R. K. Iyer, an Industrial Engineer; Asha Jain, a retired software engineer; Raju Nandagiri, a histotechnologist, with MD Anderson Cancer Center and her husband Showri Nandagiri, the retired Deputy Director, and Civil Engineer for the City of Houston; Lakshmi Narayana, a retired research assistant at MDACC and her husband Dr. Narayana Ponnada, Chair, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas Health Science Center; Mallik Putcha, a retired software and project management specialist, NASA contractor community; Kumari Susarla, a retired medical technologist and Arun Tewari, a sports and fitness freak and his wife Usha Tewari, a retired marine engineer. They were inspired by a September 2016 Facebook posting of the same yatra completed by a fellow Houstonian, Dr. Jayanta Bandyopadhyay, a Chemical Engineering in the Energy Capital of the World. Hopefully, this article will inspire Houstonians to travel and visit nature all across the world to get energized and refreshed. The preliminaries for this excursion started on September 4 with a flight over Mount Everest, Gowishankar and other mountains in

the range; visits to Guhyeshware (Shakthi), Jala Vishnu, Pashupatinath, Doleshwarmahadev, and the reclining Vishnu at Budhanilkantha temples. The adventurous yatra began on September 6 with a flight to Lhasa (see the map), continued on a sightseeing trip to the Patola Palace; drive to Shigatse, following the holy Brahmaputra River to reach Saga. Then, we drove to Lake Mansarovar, and made the first darshan of the holy Mt. Kailash and took a ritual holy dip in Mansarovar Lake. The exhilaration and exuberance of one’s spirit and mind after viewing Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar with no one between you and Lord Shiva can only be experienced and note decribed. That was a moment of Life to be savored!! The next day, we performed a havan and puja on the banks of Lake Mansarovar and then drove to Tirthapuri and onward to Darchen. This was the starting point of the Parikrama (circumambulation) of Mount Kailash: Hindus circumambulate Mount Kailash clockwise and Buddhists perform their Kora anticlockwise. We continued our drive to Tharboche; and then trekked to Diraphuk to get an amazing darshan and close-up view of the North face of Mt. Kailash. At this stage, we encountered a little setback in the yatra and had to initiate emergency medical evacuation since Putcha suffered acute mountain sickness (due to low levels of oxygen at an altitude of 15,000ft) and Lakshmi fell off the horse (which had twisted its foot on the mountainous terrain) and injured and fractured her right shoulder. After receiving first aid, Hira Dhamala, the Managing Director of Karnali Excursions, quickly arranged for ground transportation for these two people, plus Narayana and Bhisnu Dhamala, our yatra medical person, for treatment at the hospital at

Mount Kailash (Credit: Ramesh Chaudary, Karnali Excursions)

Darchen. From there, the injured duo with Narayana and Bhisnu were taken by helicopter to Kathmandu, Nepal for treatment at the International Hospital. Mallik was released after 48-hours of observation and Lakshmi had to undergo shoulder surgery and recovery for a week at the hospital. Fortunately, both have since recovered quickly. After staying overnight at Diraphuk, the remaining nine “undaunted” started the hardest part of the Parikrama, the trek to the Dolma La Pass; darshan of Gauri Kunda; trek down to Zuthulphuk Gompa; trek to Tangsar and drive to Darchen to complete the Parikrama. The real “Dauntless” heroines are Asha, Raju, and Usha who completed the Parikrama and deserve kudos from the group as well as the “can-do” Houstonians. The return journey took us on a drive to Drongba/Saga via Mansarovar Lake; then on to Lhasa; and ended with a flight to Kathmandu where the yatra concluded with a ceremony and an evening aarti at the Pashupatinath Temple. Putcha along with few others from the group of thirty-three continued to Mukinath, Lumbini, and Gajendra Dham from September 19 to 25. The impressive food arrangements, logistics and travel arrangements for the Eleven Houstonians were made by Karnali Excursions whose Managing Director Hira Dhamala, staff Sarla Dave, Yoga and Dhyan Lead, guide Ramesh Chaudary and others in their group of thirteen made this yatra pleasant and memorable. As we say farewell to 2017, let us hope and pray that Lord Shiva, who is worshipped by the chanting of Rudrams in multiples of Eleven, will inspire 2018 or beyond batch(es) of Kailashvasis – may be 112 (or 121), 113 (or 1331) and 114 (or 14,641) Houstonians, Texans, or Americans - to get motivated and energized to by visiting Mount Kailash and sanctify themselves with a dip in Mansarovar Lake. Aum Namah Shivaya !!!

The Daring and Dauntless at the start of their journey at the Radisson, Kathmandu on September 6. From left, rear Arun Tewari, R. K. Iyer, Narayana Ponnada, Showri Nandagiri and Asha Jain. Front from left, Usha Tewari, Nutan Iyer, Lakshmi Narayana, Raju Nandagiri, Kumari Susarla, Mallik Putcha

The Most Sanctified KMY-Eleven at Manasarovar on September 10. From left, Lakshmi, Narayana, RK, Mallik, Raju, Showri, Nutan, Kumari, Usha, Arun (Asha is missing, gone for Ice-cream)

The three ladies (from left) Usha Tewari, Asha Jain, Raju Nandagiri at Dronga after completing Parikrama of Mount Kailash (height 18,750ft) on September 16.

Snow in Houston December 7. The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra KMY Eleven back to the pavilion, November 7; from left, Narayana Eleven take Credit from bringing Ponnada, Lakshmi Narayana, Asha Jain, Mallik Putcha, Nutan Iyer, snow from the Himalayas to R. K. Iyer, Usha Tewari, Arun Tewari, Kumari Susarla, Raju Nandagiri, Showri Nandagiri. Houston INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

December 22, 2017

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Southwestern National Bank’s 20th Annual Christmas Party

HOUSTON: Southwestern Na-

tional Bank held its 20th annual Christmas party at the JW Marriott Hotel on December 9. President/CEO Gary Owens, gave a warm welcome and thanked the shareholders and special guests that were able to join in celebrating the holidays. Owens expressed his sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors for their continued support and thanked the employees for their dedication and hard work. He stated, “Tonight is a perfect opportunity to come together, enjoy good company and celebrate another successful year.” (Member FDIC)

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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December 22, 2017

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16 December 22, 2017

COMMUNITY

Joyalukkas: The World’s Favorite Jeweler Now Lauches in South Extension, New Delhi

NEW

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DELHI: Joyalukkas, the world’s favorite jeweler, has launched its new showroom in the bustling metropolis of South Extension, Delhi. The new showroom was inaugurated by Sri. Vijay Prakash Jain (Secretary General, Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal) on December 9, 2017 at 11 am which was an exciting affair attended by local dignitaries, VIPs and chief executives of the Joyalukkas Group. Set at the heart of the exciting neighborhood of South Extension, Delhi Joyalukkas will be a sparkling new jewelry-shopping destination to captivate the residents’ hearts. Joyalukkas South Extension features the brand’s signature jewelry collections, spacious interiors, ample parking space and a professional service team offering customers the very best of the

world’s favorite jeweler. “We are delighted to open our doors in South Extension,” said Joy Alukkas, Chairman and MD of Joyalukkas Group. “This exciting neighborhood is set to be amongst the country’s premiere shopping and lifestyle districts, and we are looking forward to offering its residents the signature jewelry and award-winning service the world has come to expect from Joyalukkas.” Joyalukkas South Extension will feature over a million jewelry designs showcasing a mix of traditional, ethno contemporary and international influences. It will carry an exclusive line of Joyalukkas brands, such as Veda Temple jewelry, Pride Diamonds, Eleganza Polki Diamonds, Masaaki Pearls, Zenina Turkish Jewelry, Li’l Joy Kids Jewelry, the Apurva

Antique collection and Ratna Precious Stone jewelry, along with renowned names in gold, diamond, precious stones, platinum and pearl jewelry. About Joyalukkas Group: Joyalukkas Group is a multibillion dollar global conglomerate, with varied business interests. The group operates its various business operations across UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, UK and India. The group business includes Jewelry, Money Exchange, Fashion & Silks, Luxury Air Charters, Malls and Realty. Joyalukkas employs over 8000 professional across the world, and is one of the most awarded and recognized jewelry retail chains in the world.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


SOMETHING INTERESTING

December 22, 2017

17

Architect Designs Incredible House Out Of Shipping Containers And You’ll Regret Your House

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iving in a transportation holder amidst the forsake won’t not seem like everyone’s concept of fun, but rather hold up until the point that you see this dazzling creation by Londonbased originator James Whitaker, house out of shipping containers. The 200-square meter house, which incorporates a kitchen, a front room, and three en-suite rooms, is produced using a few conjoined delivering compartments set at different diverse edges, making the deception of a blossom sprouting in the abandon or a structure more similar to a different universe totally. It was intended for an anonymous film maker who has an enthusiasm for sustaining innovative tasks, and as should be obvious, it doesn’t get considerably more imaginative this! “Prior this year my customer in LA had a few companions going to and, having a little time to save, they all went on a street outing to visit the customer’s plot of land in Joshua Tree,” said James. “One of the companions stated, “you comprehend what might look extraordinary here?”, before opening her tablet to demonstrate everybody a photo she’d seen on the web. The photo was of an office that I’d planned quite a while back however had never been assembled, so whenever the customer was in London he connected and made a request to get together.” The home, called The Joshua Tree Residence, will be based on the customer’s 90-section of land plot of

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land in California, and development is booked to start one year from now. Once completed, the habitation, which will be sun oriented controlled from boards on the carport rooftop, will offer shocking perspec-

tives over the encompassing scene from the numerous windows and the vast wooden deck. Still don’t think living in a transportation holder in the forsake sounds like fun? -upshox.com

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


18 December 22, 2017

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY BJP’s Urban/Rural Divide

Trump’s Strategy: Good, Bad & Ugly

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he Trump administration released its first national security strategy (NSS) on December 18. In principle, the congressionally-mandated document charts out Donald Trump’s strategic objectives and ways to meet them. Trump’s worldview is distinctly un-strategic, with a marked preference for tactical “deals”. As a White House official admitted, it is unclear whether Trump even read the document that bears his signature. However, the broad thrust of the document transcends Trump and, as has already been noted by other analysts, reflects a growing consensus in the American establishment that China is an adversary. As far as India is concerned, this is the good news. The bad news is that Russia – supplier of almost 70% of Indian weapons and fellow champion of a multipolar world – is also in the American cross hairs. The Trump NSS clubs Russia and China together in the same conceptual category of “revisionist” states. Long wary of hyphenation, New Delhi may now have to deal with the consequence of yet another one. NSS makes good on one of the persistent themes of Trump’s foreign-policy pronouncements in the run-up to 2016 elections: of Chinese as unalloyed hostiles out to “rape” American workers. It describes the People’s Republic as a mercantilist power with views “antithetical” to that held by Americans. It amplifies New Delhi’s concerns with Chineseled global infrastructure initiatives such as the Belt and Road system. Most crucially, it notes “China expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others.” This formulation frames Beijing as architect of zero-sum games, and is in sharp contrast to the “win-win cooperation” narrative preferred by Chinese mandarins. Coming as it does on the heels of the Doklam standoff, the Indian establishment could indeed welcome this recognition of Chinese intransigence. The bad news for New Delhi is the administration’s stance on Russia that NSS codifies. Since then, details of how Russia may have influenced the 2016 US election have come to light. As special counsel Robert Mueller probes the extent to which Trump’s campaign may have been in cahoots with Moscow, his administration may be cornered into taking a much tougher stance on Russia. As India seeks to play nice to two actors deeply antagonistic towards each other, the NSS stands to complicate Modi’s foreign policy in the run-up to the 2019 general election here at home. New Delhi has recently sought to reinvigorate a cooperative triangular relationship with both Russia and China, it has also acquiesced to the renewed quadrilateral dialogue with the US, Australia, and Japan, a development that has been welcomed by the Trump NSS. Taken together, New Delhi will soon find itself upholding the precepts of the US-led liberal order, and sup with US-described “revisionists” at the same time.. -- Abhijnan Rej in Times of India

BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT , GILLES VERNIERS

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he BJP has been saved by its strong performance in large cities and their peripheries. It won 15 seats out of 20 in Ahmedabad, nine out of 10 in Vadodara, and 15 out of 16 in the Surat area. So much for the backlash against demonetisation and GST. Urbanisation plays a major role in dividing caste groups in Gujarat. Like in 2012, the urban members of a caste group displayed a greater propensity to vote for the BJP. This undermined the unity of the Patels, among others. Beyond these trends, new developments have taken place. First, the Patels have shifted from the BJP to the Congress in unprecedented numbers since the 1990s. This is an offshoot of the Patel agitations that have shaken the state since 2015. The mobilisation of young Patels by Hardik Patel, a Kadwa Patel, deepened the existing class divide among the Patels — the urban affluent ones remaining behind the BJP and the Kadwa Patels shifting more towards the Congress than the Leuvas (to whom the Congress had given 17 tickets, against 12 to the Kadwa Patels). This is a significant change. Second — and correlatively, in part — the geography of the results has changed. The BJP lost ground in places which where the crucible of the Patel agitation — north Gujarat and Saurashatra. A third transformation lies within the Congress itself. For once, the party had a consistent well-organised (despite the last-minute candidate selection) campaign. It got rid of Shankersinh Vaghela, an old RSS hand who became Gujarat Congress president in the early 2000s. It succeeded in capitalising on the popularity of young activists like Hardik Patel, with whom it could strike a deal, Alpesh Thakor, the OBC leader who joined the party and Jignesh Mevani, who supported the Congress as an ally. Both Thakor and Mevani won with hefty margins. The campaign saw the emergence of Rahul Gandhi as an effective mobiliser. He held 30 rallies across the state and exposed the loopholes of the “Gujarat model”, especially in rural areas. But in order

Both BJP and Congress have reasons to be satisfied. The BJP has retained the PM’s home turf while the Congress has scored a moral victory which may help the party to reposition itself as a centrepiece of a future opposition coalition. to be competitive, the Congress had to compromise its secular identity. Not only did the party give very few tickets to Muslim candidates (six against seven in 2012), but Rahul Gandhi visited a record number of temples (12) during his 12-days Navsarjan yatra. The BJP was confronted by anger on the ground, especially in the rural areas, about the party’s arrogance, lack of jobs and unchecked inequalities. It was saved by the intervention of Narendra Modi during the last days of the campaign. Enormous resources and aggressive rhetoric were mobilised to secure the party’s base. Like in his previous election campaigns in Gujarat, the PM highlighted the development plank before turning to a Hindu nationalist rhetoric, that had already been widely articulated anonymously on social media platforms. This rhetoric culminated in references to the alleged anti-national collusions of the Congress leaders with Pakistan and to the invocation of the riots in the past, which were allegedly due to the Congress. This discourse overlooked the fact that Modi was CM in 2002, but it did strike a chord among the urban Hindu

middle class. As a son of the soil, Modi could also play the Gujarati asmita card to his advantage against an outsider, Rahul Gandhi. If the BJP’s official plank is development, the subtext of the Gujarat politics remains ethno-religious. The BJP has fallen short of the 150 seats promised by Amit Shah. More worryingly for the party, no regional leader has emerged. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani himself was not a crowd-puller. Other prominent ministers struggled to retain their seats. Both parties have reasons to be satisfied. The BJP has retained the PM’s home turf while the Congress has scored a moral victory which may help the party to reposition itself as a centrepiece of a future opposition coalition. The road to the 2019 general election, though, remains filled with obstacles and tough contests. -- Indian Express Jaffrelot is senior research fellow at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, Paris and professor of Indian Politics and sociology at King’s India Institute, London. Verniers is assistant professor of political science, Ashoka University.

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


YEAR IN REVIEW

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December 22, 2017

19

2017 in Review: Bollywood, Hollywood Hits & Misses

ox office numbers are a good indicator of how commercial a movie is, but there are other things to consider: fan reactions, critics’ takes and overall memorability. Gulf News tabloid! looks at which films made an impact this year, and which sunk to the bottom of the barrel. 5 HOLLYWOOD HITS Beauty and the Beast Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast hit the sweet spot by earning positive reviews while also striking box office gold. It’s the 10th highest-grossing film of all time. Get Out A searing social commentary on racism and slavery, Get Out, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, was an instant hit. The horror film generated award buzz, nabbing two Golden Globe nominations. Dunkirk Dunkirk has its flaws, but it was a striking cinematic exploration of a lesser known Second World War event, told by director Christopher Nolan. Hans Zimmer’s score was hauntingly resonant, too. Thor: Ragnarok Thor: Ragnarok arrived in Q4 of 2017, but it was well worth the wait. Director Taika Waititi revived Marvel’s Asgardian hero in this side-splitting, ambitious and action-packed third instalment. The Big Sick Kumail Nanjiani’s romantic comedy The Big Sick, based on his reallife courtship of wife Emily Gordon, was the unexpected hit of the year — touching, funny and gut-wrenching in all the right places. 5 HOLLYWOOD FLOPS Justice League Fans had high hopes for Justice League, DCU’s response to the MCU’s Avengers, but the general consensus was that it was patchy and built on a weak premise. Emoji Movie Who would have thought an animation about emoticons would elicit the year’s most savage reviews? The Emoji Movie, despite casting big names such as Patrick Stewart, was ripped to shreds. American Assassin American Assassin, a tone-deaf political action film, relied on xenophobic undertones to tell a formulaic

revenge story. A disappointing showing from Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien and Taylor Kitsch. Geostorm A lot went into Geostorm, but little came out of it. The disaster movie, starring Gerard Butler and Jim Sturgess, took a critical lashing and was described as a disaster itself. Ghost in the Shell Ghost in the Shell self-destructed after casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead and whitewashing the Japanese franchise. The film didn’t survive the backlash, barely turning a profit.

5 BOLLYWOOD HITS Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Steeped in Indian mythology, this historical action-adventure set in medieval India smashed all records and collected over $120 million (Dh440.6 million) during its first week. Dubbed in Hindi, this visual spectacle had a steady stream of gallant heroes, enchanting princesses, bloody battle scenes and roaring elephants. Golmaal Again The reviews were scathing, but director Rohit Shetty’s supernatural comedy was a big box-office draw with a collection of over Rs2 billion (Dh114 million). Ajay Devgn romancing a younger woman, played by Parineeti Chopra, and the tomfoolery of his gang were the highlights. Judwaa 2 Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan’s bronzed torso was almost a character in this physical comedy about a pair of long-lost identical twins. A comedy of errors filled with mistaken identities, dazzling song-dance numbers and mindless gags were the takeaways. Raees Shah Rukh Khan played the swashbuckling bootlegger in director Rahul Dholakia’s thriller. He is a criminal, but with a heart of gold. What’s not

to like? Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Here’s a romance that sprung out of unlikely premise, but was lapped up eagerly by movie fans. The valiant efforts of a small-town husband, played by Akshay Kumar, to build a toilet for his bride, who refused to go and do her business in the open farmlands, was the central theme. 5 BOLLYWOOD FLOPS Ok Jaanu Even the remix of A R Rahman’s song Ek Ho Gaye Hum Aur Tum couldn’t salvage this Karan Johar film. While the Aashiqui couple, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, looked supremely good together, there was nothing else to keep this ship afloat. Jagga Jasoos Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif dedicated at least three years of their lives into this ambitious whacky comic caper, but their noble intentions weren’t enough to see this film through. It made for a long, tedious watch. Sarkar 3 Even the rich baritone of Amitabh Bachchan as a political patriarch couldn’t save this thriller, which reeked of lazy writing and an uninspiring plot. Milking the elements that worked in the first instalment of Sarkar with a third chapter wasn’t a smart idea. Rangoon This flawed romantic triangle between an actress, a director and a soldier, set against the backdrop of the Second World War, had little going for it. Made on a budget of more than Rs800 million, the much-anticipated epic only earned Rs200 million making it a colossal disaster of 2017. Raabta A love story set against the backdrop of re-incarnation is an idea as old as the hills, and Raabta starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, failed to thrill. While the chemistry between the lead pair was evident, the story faltered beyond repair. -gulfnews.com

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


20 December 22, 2017 Job Posting:

TEMPORARY NEWS REPORTER

KTRK-TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, TX, has an opening for a full time temporary News Reporter. Candidates should have experience in general assignment reporting, including live breaking news. Applicants must be able to develop contacts, enterprise good, hard news stories, and respond well to spot news. Candidates must have outstanding writing skills for both broadcast and digital platforms. Must be willing to work evenings and weekends. All interested applicants must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Interested applicants should also send video tape samples of your news related work to: Human Resources, KTRK-TV, 3310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Please Reference Job ID: 513065BR on all materials submitted. No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

NEWS PRODUCER

We are looking for an aggressive, passionate, cool-under-pressure News Producer who knows what it takes to put together a fast-paced, creative, highly-showcased newscast. KTRK-TV, the ABC Owned Television station in Houston, TX wants a vocal and confident producer who knows how to dig for informative, interesting content, knows how to meet the needs of the ‘new’ news audience, and knows when it’s time to abandon everything for breaking news, weather, or traffic. You must have excellent news judgement and the ability to come up with and pitch unique story ideas every day. You will be required to command the control room and manage an ever-evolving rundown during live newscasts. Candidates must also have complete understanding of how to promote and utilize digital content, including live streaming. Knowledge of ENPS and desktop editing a plus. Will need to show examples of newscasts, and submit tease and headline writing samples. Candidates must have at least three years line-producing experience in a medium or major market. To be considered all interested applicants must apply online at disneycareers.com, reference job # 513077BR. Please upload a cover letter, resume and list of references. No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Job Posting:

DIGITAL PRODUCER

Are you a digital content guru? Are you obsessed with major news and top trending stories of the day? Do you have a knack for producing creative digital content that generates high engagement? KTRK TV, the ABC owned station located in Houston, Texas is looking for a full-time digital producer to be part of the team leading the charge to take our digital efforts to the next level. Ideal candidate must have: • Gift for recognizing and creating impactful, innovative and distinctive digital content • Extensive newsroom digital background (supervisory skills a plus) • Unerring news judgement • Ability to shoot and edit video • Knack for writing powerful and accurate copy and headlines • Ability to manage multiple projects at one time • Proven social media expertise in both content creation and strategic optimization • Working knowledge of digital publishing tools and analytics • Ability to excel in fast-paced news station environment and willing to work under deadlines • Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills • Flexibility with work schedule depending on station needs and projects We are a 24/7 news operation, so digital producers must be willing to work any day or shift, as needed. To be considered, candidates must apply on-line at www.disneycareers.com by uploading a resume file, cover letter and list of references. Please Reference Job ID: 514053BR on all materials submitted. No Telephone Calls Please KTRK-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


December 22, 2017

21

Christmas Recipe Christmas

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. History of Christmas Tree Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter.Discover the history of the Christmas tree, from the earliest winter solstice celebrations, to Queen Victoria and all the way to the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree. How It All Started Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the

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‘ he Twelve Days of Christmas’ was written in England at the beginning of this time. Some people think that it was written to help children learn about their Catholic religion. But there’s NO evidence that this is true and it seems most likely just to be a folk song and that the special ‘Catholic’ meanings were added at a MUCH later date! The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the twelve day period that starts with Christmas day and ends on Epiphany (6th January). Day 1: A partridge in a pear tree The ‘partridge in a pear tree’ means God. Day 2: Two turtle doves The ‘two turtle doves’ are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Day 3: Three French hens The ‘three French hens’ are the Christian Trinity: God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy

winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return. The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death. Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of

Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs. In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree The Rockefeller Center tree is located at Rockefeller Center, west of Fifth Avenue from 47th through 51st Streets in New York City. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree dates back to the Depression Era days. The tallest tree displayed at Rockefeller Center came in 1948 and was a Norway Spruce that measured in at 100 feet tall and hailed from Killingworth, Connecticut. The first tree at Rockefeller Center was placed in 1931. It was a small unadorned tree placed by construction workers at the center of the construction site. Two years later, another tree was placed there, this time with lights. These days, the giant Rockefeller Center tree is laden with over 25,000 Christmas lights. -history.com

Spirit. (The hens could also mean faith, hope and love - the three gifts of the Holy Spirit. Day 4: Four calling birds The ‘four calling birds’ are the four Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible. (They could also mean the four major Old Testament prophets Day 5: Five golden rings The ‘five golden rings’ are the five senses. Day 6: Six geese a-laying The ‘six geese a-laying’ are the six days of creation. Day 7: Seven swans a swimming The ‘seven swan a swimming’ are the seven ‘liberal arts’ studied in medieval universities. Day 8: Eight maids a milking The ‘eight maids a milking’ are the eight beatitudes, Jesus’ teachings on

happiness. Day 9: Nine ladies dancing The ‘nine ladies dancing’ are the nine muses from Greek Mythology. (The ladies dancing could also mean fruits of the Holy Spirit. Day 10:Ten lords a-leaping The ‘ten lords a-leaping’ are the Ten Commandments in the Bible. Day 11: Eleven pipers piping The ‘eleven pipers piping’ represent eleven thousand [meaning a lot of people] who had been martyred (killed) for the Christian faith. Day 12: Twelve drummers drumming The ‘twelve drummers drumming’ were the twelve disciples of Jesus -whychristmas. com

May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wishing you lots of love, joy & happiness...

Add peppermint flavor to some

Peppermint-OREO Cookie Balls

already-fantastic cookie balls with Peppermint-OREO Cookie Balls. These Peppermint-OREO Cookie Balls feature candy canes! Ingredients: • 1/3 cup finely chopped candy canes (about 6 small), divided • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened • 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed • 4 pkg. (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted Directions: • Reserve 1 Tbsp. chopped candy. Mix remaining candy with cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.

• Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. • Dip cookie balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy. • Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. -kraftsrecipes.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


22 December 22, 2017

PUZZLES / RECIPES

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 December 27, 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).

Solution Next Week

L��� W���’� SUDOKU S�������

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes W

Gulab Jamun (Rose Colored Fried Sweet Balls)

ith the advent of cold weather, it is the season for sweets, nuts and wonderful aromas like this recipe which can fill any dining table for the Holidays. Below is a reprint of Mama’s Gulab Jamun recipe, which is a tasty sweet popular in many Indian restaurants and is especially delightful during the merry winter holiday season. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. Invariably, every desi restaurant across the world offers at least these four choices of deserts: chawal ki kheer (rice pudding), ras malai (cheese patties in sweet cream), gajjar ka halwa (carrot pudding) and gulab jamun (rose colored fried sweet balls). You don’t even have to ask what the dessert menu is; these four will be there. Each of these deserts has a different level of difficulty in preparation; but in my opinion, making delicious gulab jamun is the most difficult. They have to be soft, but not mushy; firm, but not hard and they have to soak in the chaasni (syrup) which should be sweet and just the right consistency, but not thin. I remember an occasion when a friend was making gulab jamun for a party the next day. She used cold water to mix the dough, though I advised her not to, and then fried the round balls in hot oil. After frying them, she did not put them right away in the syrup; instead she waited till she had fried them all and kept them stacked in a tray, which made them hard as they cooled. Later she let them soak but the gulab jamun stayed hard as rocks! I even tried to steam them to soften them, but no avail. We finally had to throw them away!! Gulab jamun is made mainly from freshly curdled milk, also known as khoya, and garnished with dried nuts like almonds or pistachios in the middle. The khoya is kneaded into a dough, with a pinch of flour; but these days many people use powdered milk instead as it is easier and cheaper to use. After the balls are fried, they are soaked in a light chaasni (syrup) flavored with green illachi (cardamom); gulab pani (rose water); kewra or kesar (saffron).

Gulab jamun was first brought to India by the invading Persians, and the word “gulab” is derived from the Persian words gol (flower) and ab (water). Jamun is the Hindustani word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit that is purple and has a similar size and shape. It is a dessert eaten often at festivals and special occasions like weddings, Eid or Diwali. Gulab jamun are usually brownish red in color because of the sugar content in the milk powder or khoya. If the sugar is added to the batter, it will get caramelized, giving them an almost black color, and are called kala jam (black jamun). Ingredients: • 4 cups full-fat milk powder • 1 cup maida (self-rising flour) • 2 cups bariq chinni (fine sugar) • 1 cup makhan (butter) – you can also use vegetable oil • 1 cup pani (water) • 1 tspn chotti illachi (small cardamom) powder • Pinch of kesar (saffron) - to taste Directions: 1. In a bowl, combine the milk powder, self-rising flour then mix in the oil and milk. Knead till it becomes

a semi soft dough. Leave aside for at least 15 minutes. 2. To make the chaasni (syrup), in a saucepan, mix in the sugar into the water, then place it over medium heat to boil for 5 minutes and dissolve, then turn the heat off. If you want, throw in the cardamom and saffron for taste. 3. Pour the oil in a wide kadai (wok) and place over high heat then turn to medium heat after 5 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, pinch off a little bit of the dough and make into 3/4 inch round balls in the palms of your hands, placing them on a plate. Coat your hands with some vegetable oil so that the ball will not stick. 5. Gently slide the balls into the hot oil and stir till they are brown all the way around. Take them out and then gently drop them into the chaasni. 6. After all the jamun are made, leave in a bowl with the syrup and serve at room temperature or, for better flavor, serve warm. 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, India (since renamed Faisalabad) 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 her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.

MAMA’S TIP O F THE

W

EEK DON’T COOK W ITH INGREDIEN TS RIGHT OUT OF T H E F R IDGE! When cooking, it is be

st to take the ingr the night before or at least a few hours edients out of the fridge either in advance so that th to room temperatu ey can come re. If you use them from the fridge, lik cold water, to make e cold milk or dough for gulab jam un, for example, th will bind together e atta too In the same way, w closely and then the jamun will turn (flour) hen cooking thinni out hard. ng curries, cold water will reduce their tas down daals (lentils) or other te and consistency: warm the water up it is better to before.

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INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


‘PadMan’: Akshay Kumar Emerges as the New Indian Superhero T

he wait has finally come to an end! The makers of the Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte starrer ‘PadMan’ have released their first official trailer. Akshay Kumar took to Twitter to share the trailer with the caption, “Presenting the much awaited #PadManTrailer, this one’s for the mad ones, the ones who are crazy enough to change theworld@PadManTheFilm@ sonamakapoor @radhika_apte @mrsfunnybones @SonyPicsIndia @kriarj #RBalki” In the trailer, Akshay emerges as the Indian superhero, ‘PadMan’, the man who made sanitary napkins affordable for women, giving other superheroes like Superman and Batman a run for their money. The trailer starts off with a narration

from Amitabh Bachchan, declaring ‘PadMan’ as India’s answer to American superheroes. It goes on to see Akshay’s character working hard on his idea of creating a sani-

tary pad and trying it out himself and even checking for leaks. However, pitching the idea to his sister and wife is met with rejection and culminates with his wife

leaving him and the villagers shunning him. When all fails, Sonam’s character of a social worker comes in as a guiding light to help him scale new heights. The 2.25-minute clip has a tad of tongue and cheek humour but predominantly the film evokes thought and has an inspirational feel to it. Shot majorly in the backdrop of a village, the film will chronicle his journey to attaining international stardom. Based on the true story of Arunachalam Muruganantham -the man who invented low-cost sanitary napkins for women in rural areas, this film is directed by R. Balki. It is slated to release on January 26, 2018. -timesofindia.com

Happy Birthday

December 22, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

23

Anil Kapoor

December 24, 1956

Salman Khan December 27, 1965

Jackky Bhagnani December 24, 1984

Ajay Devgn Introduces the Lead Star of his TV Show Based on Swami Ramdev’s Life National Film award winner It was also a challenge for me to Naman Jain, who won hearts with his acting skills in popular Bollywood movies like Chillar Party, Jai Ho and Raanjhanaa, is all set for his television debut as Ramkishan (young Swami Ramdev) in Discovery Jeet’s launch show Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh. The show also marks Ajay Devgn’s foray into TV as a producer. The Golmaal Again actor took to Twitter and revealed Naman as the face of the series. He wrote, “Naman, immensely talented, playing young Swami Ramdev in our upcoming show Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh on Discovery Jeet.” Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh is a scripted biopic series tracing Swami Ramdev’s fascinating and inspirational journey from a life of anonymity to a renowned yoga guru, business mogul and national icon. Ajay Devgn said in a statement, “There are huge expectations from this biopic series and we

wanted to ensure that somebody who fits the bill perfectly gets to play the role of Ramkishan as the audience will, for the first time, get to know about the early days of Swami Ramdev. Naman Jain is hugely talented for his age and has delivered a captivating performance.” Speaking on his association with t h e

show, Naman said, “It is an honor to play Swami Ramdev’s childhood in his biopic. The task was not easy as Swami Ramdev faced multiple challenges as a child and it was important for me to understand the social tensions that prevailed in a small village.

adopt his style and portray the character.” The soon to be launched GEC channel Discovery Jeet will bring together Discovery’s unmatched story-telling and the best of real-life entertainment through larger than life stories aimed at inspiring millions. Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh is produced by A j a y Devgn Film Productions and Watergate Productions. -indianexpress. com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


24 December 22, 2017 3rd ODI: India Secures 8th Successive ODI Series Win BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

V

ISHAKHAPATNAM (ESPN Cricinfo): Sri Lanka were spun around in Visakhapatnam so starkly that, if they were a cartoon character, they would have seen little Kuldeep Yadavs and Yuzvendra Chahals dancing in a circle over their heads. Then along came Shreyas Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan to knock them out cold. Chases of 216 are often onesided and when it was done, India emerged with their eighth straight series victory in ODIs - matching a world-beating Australian side in the 2000s and second only to the legendary West Indians in the 1980s. Poor Upul Tharanga watched it all happen - though the temptation to find a quiet corner to bang his head against the wall must have been strong - having made a virtually flawless 95 off 82 balls. As opener, he gave his team a rapid start, hitting five successive boundaries in the ninth over. As senior player, he did all he could to bat as long as possible. While he was in the middle, Sri Lanka had a good chance at scoring over 300 and securing their first series win in India. As soon as he fell - stumped by an absolute pearler from Kuldeep - a collapse ensued. There were eight wickets for only 55 runs. Now, there were no demons in the pitch. But the same could not be said of a certain 23-year old in only his first year of international cricket. India waited until the end of the Powerplay to deploy Kuldeep. And his control of line and length, through a 10-over spell that cost only 42 runs and reaped three wickets, was quite remarkable. The standout though was his bowling slow through the air, backing himself to beat batsmen with dip and drift. His faith wasn’t misplaced. Tharanga, getting into all the right positions until that point, was drawn into a cover drive. He had every reason to play the shot, with the ball wide outside off and nicely tossed up. But the thing dipped, then turned sharply enough to beat the bat of a man five short of a hundred. MS Dhoni did the rest. Then there was Chahal, who isn’t quite as big a turner of the ball, but is fast becoming India’s best weapon

Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan took India to an eight-wicket win, India v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Visakhapatnam, December 17, 2017.

against an attacking batsman. Earlier in the season, he made Glenn Maxwell spontaneously combust by bowling wide of his reach. The same ploy worked against Sadeera Samarawickrama, brought in for this game at the expense of Lahiru Thirimanne. The swap was, at first, working splendidly with Sri Lanka’s second wicket contributing 121 runs at 6.42 per over and Samarawickrama pros-

pering by coming down the track every second or third ball he faced from the spinner. As wedded as he was to that gameplan, his shot selection was very good; nothing rash, or against the turn. In fact, he was one of the few batsmen who picked the googly, once smashing Kuldeep to the longoff boundary and looking a million dollars doing it. But against Chahal, much like others before him, he went after a wide one, without reaching the

pitch of it, and was caught off a bit of an outside edge for 42. A series decider, and one played against a team which owns its backyard, Sri Lanka, were stuck with nine men who could not get past a score of 20. That made life quite easy for India’s batsmen. Even after they lost captain Rohit Sharma to a peach of a googly from Akila Dananjaya in the fourth over of the chase.

Aussies Regain Ashes with Hazlewood’s Five-for PERTH: Australia 9 for 662 dec Australians cared little by the end own regarding the state of the pitch on of the day, with the urn back in their (Smith 239, M Marsh 181, Khawaja 50, Anderson 4-116) beat England 403 (Malan 140, Bairstow 119, Stoneman 56, Starc 4-91, Hazlewood 3-92) and 218 (Vince 55, Malan 54, Hazlewood 5-48) by an innings and 41 runs If this is Australia’s last taste of international cricket at the WACA, it is a sweet one. Steven Smith’s men regained the Ashes on the final day of the third Test against England, despite a controversial three-hour delay to the start of play caused by rain seeping into the pitch through the covers. If that was an inauspicious beginning for the WACA’s last day as an Ashes venue - and possibly as an international ground full-stop - the

grasp. England needed to bat close to 70 overs to have any chance of clinging on to the Ashes. They managed to hold on for less than half of that. It was hardly surprising, for the cracks on the pitch made batting really challenging; one delivery from Josh Hazlewood actually flew from a leg-stump line straight to first slip. So, not only were England struggling to find answers, it wasn’t always clear what questions would be asked of them. Dawid Malan fought hard for 54 to add to his first-innings 140, but an Australian victory seemed only a matter of time. And if England leave the WACA with questions of their

which they had to bat, it will not undo the result: an Australian win by an innings and 41 runs, and an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. Hazlewood completed his first Ashes five-wicket haul, exploiting the conditions effectively, and England were dismissed for 218 before tea. All England can do now is prevent the kind of 5-0 clean sweep they suffered in 2013-14, and in 2006-07. Regardless of what happened on the final day, this match was won by the monstrous triple-century partnership between Smith and Mitchell Marsh on the third day. They propelled Australia to 9 for 662, their highest total in a Test innings since Cardiff in 2009.

SPORTS

India Seizes Bronze Medal Against Depleted Germany

BHUBANESHWAR: Remember

the time when Sachin Tendulkar got hit on the face but still kept playing against Pakistan even with blood oozing out of his nose. You might also remember how Anil Kumble, in 2002, bowled with a broken jaw against the West Indies in Antigua. Then there’s also Graeme Smith, who tried to save a Test against Australia by coming down to bat at No. 11 with a broken hand. On all three occasions, they did the unthinkable. When everybody counted them out, they made their presence felt and by doing so, inspired millions of others. On Sunday, people at the Kalinga Stadium got to witness something similar as India beat Germany 2-1 in the bronze medal match of the Hockey World League Final. There were only 11 German players who took the field against a fullstrength Indian team. Captain Martin Haner, Julius Meyer, Christopher Ruhr and Marco Miltaku were all down with fever from Friday night and didn’t feature in the semis against Australia or in the playoff against India. To add to their woes, Dieter Linnekogel and Ferdinand Weinke fell ill from Saturday night. With Timur Oruz also going back to his country before the semis with an injury, the 11 players played the entire 60 minutes having also played the semifinal against Australia less than 20 hours back. The only exception was Dan Nguyen, who received a green card in the third quarter. India, meanwhile, were disappointing to say the least. Unlike Germany, they played with a full team but still failed to match them in some of the areas. Sample this: Germany won seven penalty corners compared to India’s four. But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter much as India won it 2-1 thanks to goals from SV Sunil and Harmanpreet Singh.

A penalty corner conversion by in the 54th minute sealed the win and the third place for the Indians.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


December 22, 2017

25

I-T to Issue Notices to Local

Microsoft to Focus on Govt, Small Business to Grow India Revenue Individuals Trading Bitcoin NEW DELHI: American tech ma- country, apart from 9,000 partners NEW DELHI: Widening its probe jor Microsoft will be focusing more and also works with 5,000 startups. on the government and the small business segment to grow its India revenues, a top official has said. “The SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) segment and the segments around digital India (and) government would be clear areas of focus for us in addition to all the work around enterprise and consumer that we have been doing,” Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari told PTI. He pegged the overall information technology opportunity in the country at $107 billion, but declined to break down the contribution of the government and small businesses in it. Refusing to disclose the revenue contribution from the country, he said India is one of the top 14 priority regions for the company and a “faster growing market”. The company has two lakh enterprise customers in the

On the government side, it serves the centre as well as 29 states, he said. When asked about home-grown IT companies’ reservations about working with the government, especially with the way contracts are structured and also with regard to timely payments, Maheshwari conceded that there are “challenges” in every market. “In any exciting geography in the world, there are always challenges to do business and India is no different,” he explained. “The government has recognised that over the last couple of years with all the focus on ease of doing business, there are some improvements,” he said. When asked about the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) resulting in some tax notices to IT players, Maheshwari said Microsoft sees the indirect tax reform as a big opportunity.

Microsoft has two lakh enterprise customers in the country, apart from 9,000 partners and also works with 5,000 startups.

“There may be some challenges as the tax regime transitions, but broadly for me, I would think of GST as a massive opportunity for anybody who is trying to do digital transition,” he said The company employs over 8,000

people in the country who work out of nine offices in various cities. Apart from serving the local market, its staff, the largest in any country outside of the US, also serves the global needs, especially on delivery, research and innovation. -- Live Mint

Dr. Reddy’s to Pay $5 MM to US Govt in Child Packaging Case NEW DELHI: Dr. Reddy’s Lab- the products caused children harm as a result of the packaging,” the

oratories Ltd will pay $5 million to resolve U.S. claims that the Indian company sold prescription drugs in the United States in packaging that was not tested for child safety, according to court papers filed on Monday. The settlement was disclosed in documents filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, over a year after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to refer a case involving the drugmaker to the U.S. Justice Department. Dr. Reddy’s in a statement said that the safety of patients and consumers was of “paramount importance” to the company. It said it disagreed with the allegations but agreed to the settlement to avoid prolonged litigation. “Dr. Reddy’s is not aware of any reports that any child gained access to these products as a result of the packaging or that any of

company said. The Justice Department alleged that in 2011, Dr. Reddy’s engineers concluded the packaging for five types of drugs that the company manufactured and imported for sale would not pass tests required in the United States to prove child resistance The Justice Department in a lawsuit said that instead of notifying the CPSC or the public that its products put children at risk, the company quietly began altering its packaging while continuing to sell products in untested packaging. The lawsuit said Dr. Reddy’s violated the Consumer Product Safety Act by distributing drugs that did not comply with a law aimed at protecting children from accidentally ingesting medicines by requiring those drugs to be in special packaging. Dr. Reddy’s said products with

the packaging at issue have not been distributed since June 2012. In addition to the $5 million penalty, Dr. Reddy’s under the settlement must maintain a program aimed at ensuring compliance with consumer protection laws and must have a system to ensure information is reported

to the CPSC. Earlier, shares of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories surged over six per cent after the company said it had received the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the USFDA for its Hyderabad facility. -- Live Mint

into bitcoin investments and trade, the Indian Income Tax (I-T) department is set to issue notices to 4 to 5 lakh high networth individuals (HNI) across the country who were trading on the exchanges of this unregulated virtual currency. The taxman had conducted surveys at nine such exchanges last week to check instances of tax evasion. The department, official sources said, found that out of the estimated 20 lakh entities registered on these exchanges, about 4 to 5 lakh were “operational” and indulging in transactions and investments. Sources told PTI that the Bengaluru investigation wing of the tax department, which supervised last week’s operations, has now dispatched the information of the individuals and entities found on these databases to eight other such wings across the country for a detailed probe. “Those individuals and entities whose records were recovered by the department are now being probed under tax evasion charges. Notices are being issued and they will have to pay capital gains tax on the bitcoin investments and trade,” a senior official privy to the operation said. About 4-5 lakh HNIs and their businesses are being issued notices which will first seek their relevant financial details and subsequently establish the tax demand, if any, he said. As the bitcoins or the virtual currencies (VCs) are illegal and unregulated in the country as of now, the IT department has taken action as per the existing provisions, they said. The survey operations conducted last week, under section 133 A of the Income Tax Act, were undertaken for “gathering evidence for establishing the identity of investors and traders,

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


26 December 22, 2017 Gujarat Elections Result: BJP Deepens Urban Support, Congress Widens Rural Reach NEW DELHI: The BJPpolled over margins in urban areas as compared The Congress’s lead across 77 Asseven percentage points more than the Congress and its allies but lost 16 seats as against Congress’s gain of 18 (including allies). This apparent paradox is explained by a massive urban-rural divide in Gujarat votes. This time, the BJP polled 1.47 crore votes (49.1 per cent) while the Congress and its allies polled 1.26 crore (42.1 per cent) votes. In absolute terms, BJP’s lead over the Congress has shrunk to 20.64 lakh votes as against its over 24.45-lakh lead in the 2012 Assembly elections. The BJP’s lead across 99 assembly constituencies amounts to a total of 29.67 lakh votes over Congress. However, almost 72 per cent (21.26 lakh votes) of this lead is concentrated in 48 urban Assembly segments won by the BJP across the state. In the 51 rural seats it has won, the BJP’s lead, however, stands at just about 28 per cent (8.41 lakh votes). This is a further urban skew in favour of BJP as compared to 2012 when BJP’s urban margins (across 52 seats) constituted about 65 per cent of its cumulative victory margins across total 115 seats it had won. In fact, a scrutiny of BJP’s victory margins across 99 assembly segments reveals that BJP won with huge

to rural areas. While BJP’s margin on an average in the urban areas stood at 44,295 votes (up from 37805 in 2012) while in rural areas, its average winning margin was just 16,483 votes (marginally down from 16,688 in 2012.) On an average, BJP’s victory margin stood at 29,968 votes across 99 Assembly segments it won in 2017 elections. In 2012, the average BJP victory margin stood at 26,236 votes across 115 seats won by it. In contrast, the scrutiny of Congress’s victory margins doesn’t suggest such a massive urban skew. The Congress’s lead across 77 Assembly seats translates into a lead of 10.28 lakh votes over BJP. However, about 88 per cent (9,07,910 votes) of Congress leads come from rural areas while only about 12 per cent (1,20,043) of the winning margin came from winning urban seats across the state. On an average, BJP’s victory margin stood at 29,968 votes across 99 Assembly segments it won in 2017 elections. In 2012, the average BJP victory margin stood at 26,236 votes across 115 seats won by it. In contrast, the scrutiny of Congress’s victory margins doesn’t suggest such a massive urban skew.

sembly seats translates into a lead of 10.28 lakh votes over BJP. However, about 88 per cent (9,07,910 votes) of Congress leads come from rural areas while only about 12 per cent (1,20,043) of the winning margin came from winning urban seats across the state. Region-wise, the BJP seems to have witnessed an attrition in Assembly seats across every region – South (loss of 3 seats), North (3), Saurashtra (11 seats), and Kutch (1 seat) – except in Central Gujarat where the ruling party gained couple of seats winning 22 from the region comprising 40 seats. Apart from the loss of seats, the depth of BJP’s challenges in Saurashtra and Kutch region is additionally evident from its poor winning margins in these regions. As against an average winning margin of 29,968 votes (across 99 seats won), BJP’s victory margin is just 19,194 votes in Saurashtra and 13,663 in Kutch region. The Saurashtra region has been the epicentre of the Patidar agitation where depressed cotton and groundnut prices fueled anger in the farming community. -indianexpress.com

Delhi Metro Train Rams Into Wall During Trial Run

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crashed into a wall on Tuesday at Kalindi Kunj depot when it rolled back on a ramp while being taken for washing, six days before its commissioning with the scheduled launch of the magenta line by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There were no casualties, according to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) which blamed the incident on “human error and negligence” during maintenance and asserted it will have no bearing on the 25 December launch. A DMRC official said that the empty train, part of metro’s new generation ‘driverless’ fleet, broke through a portion of the boundary wall at the depot around 3.40pm as it rolled back. “A trial train was moved from the workshop without testing the brake system as a result of which, while the train was moving up the ramp for washing, it rolled back and hit the adjacent boundary wall,” the DMRC said in a statement. The end of the train which hit the wall suffered damage and a portion of the wall collapsed, suggesting that the collision was quite intense. A high-level inquiry by a committee of three officers of the rank of executive directors has been ordered, the DMRC said. “Prima facie, it appears to be a case of human error and negligence

The Delhi metro train mishap has happened six days before its commissioning with the scheduled launch of the magenta line by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

and appropriate action will be taken after the inquiry,” the DMRC statement said. The managing director of DMRC, Mangu Singh, said that “main line operations on this line are absolutely safe, with a high level of automation and has been thoroughly checked and cleared by the commissioner of metro rail safety for passenger operations.” The DMRC and the Delhi government are engaged in a running feud over the recent rise in commuting fares. The Arvind Kejriwal government continues to insist that the fare hike should be rolled back. The train was to be pressed into service on the 12.38km long Botanical GardenKalkaji Mandir section, which is part of the magenta line coming up as part of metro’s Phase III construction.

Only on Monday, the DMRC had announced that the section will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 December. The inauguration was very much on track, a metro official said, stressing the accident will “not have any bearing” on the services on the new corridor. As per DMRC’s laid down norms, when a train enters a workshop (depot), the brakes of the train are decommissioned so that the train and its systems including the brakes can be freely checked. Once the train is again re-commissioned, the brakes are tested by the maintenance staff in the depot before the train leaves the shed. The train movement inside the workshop area is done manually and not by the signalling system. -livemint.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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