Indo-American News: April 12, 2024

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024• Indo American News 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News Published weekly from Houston, TX W E D D I N G S , S P E C I A L E V E N T S , T E N T E D E V E N T S , O U T D O O R C O U R T Y A R D 3 3 3 0 F M 1 4 6 3 | K a t y , T X 7 7 4 9 4 | 8 3 2 . 8 5 5 . 5 5 2 0 | p a l m r o y a l v i l l a c o m Friday, April 12, 2024 | Vol. 43, No. 15 $1 Holi Celebrations at CMH, Gaushala Akshay Bhatia Wins Valero Open Legal Battle vs. High & Mighty Patna Shuklla -- You can watch simply because you want to see good women win. PAGE 11 Winter 2023 TCC Taped Ball Tournment: JCC Winners, Gladiators Runners Up. PAGE 8 Coverage of Holi celebrations continues with events at Chinmaya Mission Houston and Texas Gaushala PAGE 6, 7. BAPS Charities Walk on Sunday April 7 at the Sugar Land Town Center. PAGE 2 BAPS Charities Hosts Annual “In the Joy of Others: Walk-Run”

BAPS Charities Hosts Annual “In the Joy of Others: Walk-Run”

Houston: On April 7, 2024, BAPS Charities hosted its annual “In the Joy of Others: WalkRun” in Houston, TX to support The Walk brought together local community members to take steps together and engage in a form of selfless service to raise awareness for our local school districts, our public servants, and our fallen heroes.

The annual BAPS Charities Walk-Run, occurring in 72 cities across North America champions a diverse range of causes including education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, humanitarian relief, and support for local police and fire departments. the transformative power of community engagement in fostering healthier societies, symbolizing unity and a commitment to impactful change beyond physical participation.

This year, nearly 2300 community members, including Texas state representative Dr. Suleman Lalani, joined the effort to support Stafford Municipal School District, Behind the Badges and Stafford Police Department. The event showcased a broad spectrum of participation, from youth to seniors, united for a common cause.

Lt. Luciano Lopez of Stafford Police Department reflected on the event’s significance, saying, that on his first attendance of the walk that he was amazed to see so many people on a Sunday morning.

Event lead, Tej Pandya provided insights into the event’s success, and expressed gratitude towards participants and fundraisers, saying, “it’s great to see so many from our community to come together for such a great cause and this impact will not only be locally but throughout the nation.”

Beyond the annual Walk-Run, BAPS Charities is dedicated to five fundamental areas: Health Awareness, Educational Services, Humanitarian Relief, Environmental Protection & Preservation, and Community Empowerment. With active operations across nine countries and five continents, the organization is deeply involved in providing humanitarian aid both locally and internationally. Specifically, in North America, BAPS Charities has organized more than 1,000 walks and 500 health fairs, offering free health services to over 130,000 individuals. Additionally, it has conducted 500 blood donation drives, which have collected enough blood to potentially save 56,000 lives and delivered over 5,000 health awareness lectures. On a global scale, BAPS Charities has made significant environmental contributions by planting over 2 million trees, constructing 55 schools in regions hit by disasters, and offering humanitarian assistance to over 1,000 refugees from the Ukraine conflict in 2022.

For more information on the local activities of BAPS Charities, please visit www.bapscharities. org. BAPS Charities is a global charity active in nine countries across five continents

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news April 12, 2024 2 COMMUNITY
2300 walkers joined to support the community for the annual BAPS Charities Walk. BAPS Charities Walk at the Sugar Land Town Center.
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024• April 12, 2024 3

Local Hindu Temple Sued over Alleged Branding of 11-Year-Old Boy

A lawsuit filed in Fort Bend County against Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land and its parent organization seeks more than $1 million in damages. An attorney representing the boy’s family says he was one of about 100 people who were branded with hot iron rods during a religious ceremony last summer.

A Houston-area Hindu temple has been sued by a man who claims his 11-year-old son was branded with a hot iron rod during a 2023 religious ceremony that included about 100 people.

Fort Bend County resident Vijay Cheruvu is seeking more than $1 million in damages in the lawsuit filed this week against the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land and its parent organization, Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET) USA, Inc. Cheruvu’s attorney, Brant Stogner, said the boy was branded in both shoulders, resulting in extreme pain and permanent disfigurement, and subsequently developed an infection as a result

of the branding.

The boy attended the ceremony with his mother and was branded against his will and without the knowledge or consent of his father, according to Stogner, who said branding, tattooing or scarring a child is illegal in Texas even with parental consent.

Pictured is the right arm of an 11-year-old boy who allegedly was branded with a hot iron rod at a religious ceremony in August 2023 at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land, according to a lawsuit filed April 1, 2024, in Fort Bend County.

“This is happening basically in our backyard over here, so that’s the reason we filed the lawsuit,” Stogner said. “We want to make sure our community is aware of this and want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else, anybody else’s child or any child at all.”

A man who answered the phone Thursday at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, located at 10098 Synott Rd. in Sugar Land, said, “We don’t have much information on

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this,” before abruptly ending the call. The temple did not immediately respond to a subsequent email seeking comment, and JET USA did not immediately respond to a voicemail or email seeking comment. Attorneys for the organizations were not listed Thursday in the online court record for the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Fort Bend County. -- Houston Public Media

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news April 12, 2024 4 ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. 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 212, Houston, Texas 77036.Tel:713-789-6397, email:, website:
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Pictured is the right arm of an 11-year-old boy who allegedly was branded with a hot iron rod at a religious ceremony in August 2023 at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Sugar Land, according to a lawsuit
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The Hues of Holiness: Holi Celebration at Chinmaya Mission, Houston COMMUNITY

Houston: Chinmaya Mission

Houston’s Holi celebration in 2024 was a festive fusion of tradition and joy. Over 1000 attendees, gathered for the event, which featured the symbolic Holika Dahan, engaging games, and lively Bollywood music. The ceremony began with the Saumyakasi Sivalaya priest, Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana and Acarya Pujya Gaurang Uncle lighting the Dahan Kund, marking the victory of good over evil. The ritual included offerings like rice, kumkum, and fruits, accompanied by mantras honoring deities Vishnu and Brahaspati. The collective Parikrama and the rising flames created a powerful spiritual atmosphere, further enhanced by triangular banners, adorning the courtyard, representing the 3 elements Wood, Fire and Air. Their presence infused the celebration with spiritual significance, connecting the earthly festivities to the divine forces of Agni, Vayu and Bhumi.

The culinary experience was equally vibrant, with queues efficiently moving around Shivalaya to savor dishes like pav bhaji, chhole bhature, and tricolor sweets, paan and thandai symbolizing India’s diversity. The presence of international guests highlighted the festival’s universal appeal, with many expressing their joy in experiencing Indian culture. The communal spirit continued with people engaging in discussions over tea and enjoying the music. A group of teenage girls moved along the path, gyrating to Bollywood songs, am-

ply complemented by the emcee wearing a traditional red scarf. Post-feast, the games began. Mothers and children faced off in Laathimaar, with mothers using foam noodles to playfully tag their children, showcasing the nurturing yet firm role they play. Fathers joined in for a game of Rope-pull-

ing, adding to the familial fun. The event concluded with messages of goodwill and unity, emphasizing Holi’s spiritual significance and its power to bring people together as one family.

After the games concluded, the devotees moved outside the courtyard to engage in the vibrant tradi-

tion of playing with colors. In perfect harmony, they pondered their choice of hues, while students and volunteers prepared a colorful array of red, green, purple, yellow, blue, orange, pink, and fluorescent shades for distribution. The festivities commenced with one group dispensing colors, as others began

their playful color-spraying. The wind, personified as Vayudevta, joined in, weaving through the air and enhancing the vivid display. The once colorless atmosphere transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors. Clad in white, the devotees were soon unrecognizable, as women, children, and teenagers joyously smeared colors on one another, embodying the spirit of “Happy Holi Hai.” The celebration was a sight to behold, with some faces just lightly dusted with color, while others were drenched from head to toe. The initial evasion of colors gave way to a wholehearted embrace, and soon, the water deity, Jaldevta, made its presence known with a cascade of bubbles, adding to the rainbow milieu. Everyone, including teachers, volunteers, and Bal Vihar students, was immersed in the vibrant celebration, united by the festival’s exuberant hues.

The celebration was a living tableau of unity and joy, embodying the festival’s essence of dissolving differences and embracing a divine connection. In conclusion, should anyone step forward, they would no longer be recognizable, for we are all made in the image of God. This is the true essence of the festival: to live, act, behave, and sacrifice as God would, ultimately merging into the higher power.”

For more information, please visit, or call temple 281 568 1690 or Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233.

Photos by Bharath Rao and Ashutosh Kak

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024• April 12, 2024 5

Holi Mela 2024 by Khushboo Groups & Good Karma with Texas Gaushala

Houston: Holi Mela 2024 was a huge event held on 24th March 2024 at Texas Gaushala, organised by Khushboo Groups & Good Karma Foundation with Texas Gaushala and hosted by Khushboo Dance Group.

Huge shout out to all our Sponsors - Tara Capital, Strategic Financial Group, Cypress Towne Dental,Deep Foods,Vishala Groceries, Eggholic, L&L Bounce & party rentals, Bisha Herbals. Vibha non-profit organizations & Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America collaborated with us for Holi event.

Food vendors - Mirch Masala, Desi Delights & Tandoori Hut.

Big thanks to all vendors, participants, dance groups, audience, volunteers, promoters and friends who joined our event.

Texas Gaushala - Cow feeding & Cuddling added a limelight to our event & made crowd happy around.

Special thanks to Pankaj Jaiswal & Akanksha Singh - without you both,this event was impossible for us.

Anjana Pandey -- Big thanks to you for bring up a wonderful fashion show. We really enjoyed watching it live. Also want to thank our emcees --Sunaina Panchal & Shravs Shravs -- You guys added a

special effects to our show & engaged the audience.

Drone shoot & amazing Photography/Videography: Leela Hari Kanikaram. @kkpix M:+1 240 319 3642

DJ by - DJ Andy. His sound effects made crowd to groove on music.

Decorations by Sumedhha R Chand. Amazing decorations & stage preparations.

This was a perfect family event at a perfect location, with full of colors & happy faces .

Holi mela created a colorful vibe & celebration of Holi festival with our community & expanded vision of celebrating together by spreading love & happiness.

Huge crowd responded back & enjoyed this fun filled event.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news April 12, 2024 6 COMMUNITY


Akshay Bhatia Wins Valero Texas Open Despite Dislocated Shoulder

San antonio: As the saying goes, nothing truly succeeds without pain – as Akshay Bhatia discovered on Sunday.

Bhatia was six shots clear when he made the turn at the Valero Texas Open on Sunday. Nine holes later, he headed into a sudden-death playoff nursing a shoulder that had just popped out of its socket.

The 22-year-old American had led from the first round and looked to be cruising wire-to-wire to his second PGA Tour title in San Antonio before compatriot Denny McCarthy staged a truly remarkable late surge.

One-under through his first nine holes, 31-yearold McCarthy powered home with seven consecutive birdies to card a joint tournament best nine-under 63 and leave Bhatia needing a closing birdie of his own just to make a playoff at 20-under overall –nine shots clear of Rory McIlroy in third. A nerveless putt from almost 12 feet saw an impassioned Bhatia force McCarthy back to the 18th tee, but his celebration came at a cost. Pumping his left fist as the ball dropped in, the California-

native dislocated his shoulder.

“When I made that putt and I kind of raised my arm, it kind of came out of [the] socket and went back in,” Bhatia told reporters.

After a return to the par-five 18th hole for the first playoff hole, Bhatia struck two shots before receiving treatment from physio Aki

Tajima, who taped up the shoulder at the edge of the fairway. His subsequent sand wedge to within six feet of the flag was enough to clinch victory, McCarthy’s fightback suffering a watery end when his third shot plopped into the creek guarding the green. Bhatia rolled in for birdie once

more to clinch his first PGA Tour title since the Barracuda Championship last year and $1.6 million in prize money.

The triumph also rocketed him 53 places to a career-best world No. 34 ranking, but the sweetest winning perk of all was the lastminute ticket stamped to The Mas-

ters on Thursday.“It’s a dream come true,” said Bhatia, who made his first and only career major appearance at the US Open last year.

“I played Augusta in 2020 maybe, I had a member take me out. I remember how amazing that place is. But to realize that I’m playing in the Masters next week, it’s absolutely crazy.

“It was on my mind all week, but I tried to stick to my game plan.”

Bhatia was born in Northridge, California, and lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Bhatia turned professional in September 2019 after competing in the 2019 Walker Cup, and made his professional debut at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Akshay’s parents, Renu and Sonny Bhatia, are originally from Delhi. After living in Los Angeles, Bhatia’s family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2011, where the young golfer got better opportunities to learn the game.

-- CNN, Wikipedia

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024• April 12, 2024 7

Asia Society’s New President

new yorK: Dr. Kyung-wha Kang has officially assumed her role as President and CEO of Asia Society. In an introductory video message, Dr. Kang said she’s “excited and honored” to begin, adding that Asia Society’s mission is more important today than ever.

“The world is pivoting to Asia politically, culturally, economically, and Asia Society’s role is to make sense of it all – how the world is changing, what that means, and how to address the challenges and opportunities together. I’m honored to carry that mission forward through everything Asia Society does.”

Dr. Kyung-wha Kang begins her

role leading Asia Society after a career as a diplomat, former UN official, and Korea’s first female Foreign Minister. Read Dr. Kang’s biography and the announcement of her appointment here.

Dr. Kang will participate in her first Asia Society event on April 23, at 6 pm ET, in New York City: The Future of Asia’s Infrastructure: A Conversation with AIIB President Jin Liqun.

Members of the press interested in attending the April 23 event or requesting an interview with Dr. Kyung-wha Kang should email You can also follow Kyung-wha Kang on X/ Twitter.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, AprIl 12, 2024 • www.IndoAmerIcAn-news April 12, 2024 8 COMMUNITY
Asia Society President Dr. Kyung-wha Kang

CRY Gala to Thank Supporters for Shaping Children’s Destinies COMMUNITY

H ouston :

2024 marks CRY, Child Rights and You America’s 20th year of ensuring children’s rights to a happy, healthy & educated life. Join us for an evening of reflection & celebration as we express our gratitude to our community of supporters from Houston, share our achievements & unveil our future goals at our CRY Gala on Sunday, April 21 at the Marriott Sugar Land.

The event will be attended by Celebrity Arjun Rampal, Project Partner Dr Rolee Singh and will honor our long-term supporters Juuhi and Prakash Ahuja. The evening will include a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, entertainment by violinist Esther Anaya & Karmagraphy, live auction, dinner, donor appreciation and pledge session, Bollywood music and dancing. A live auction will showcase autographed guitar by the Rolling Stones, Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Jersey, Start Wars Cast Movie Poster etc.

Your unwavering support has been the driving force behind our mission of creating happier childhoods. Proceeds from the CRY Gala’s will be directed towards ensuring thousands of underprivileged children are ensured their basic rights to live, learn, grow and play. Together let’s make this 20-year milestone a testament to our shared commitment of shaping children’s destinies with YOU!

About CRY America: CRY, Child Rights and You America Inc (CRY America) is a 501c3 non-profit driven by its vision of a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential and realize their dreams.

With the support of over 20,885 donors and 2,000 volunteers, CRY America has impacted the lives of 450,832 children living across 2,642 villages and slums through support to 70 Projects in India and USA.

For more information: contact Dina Patel at 617-9812288; visit or write to support@

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‘Patna Shukkla’ Feisty Fight vs. High & Mighty

Small-town women taking on the high and mighty is a familiar theme, but one that can always do with a refresh, because what’s not to like about feisty ladies? Just last month, we had Bhumi Pednekar’s brave reporter revealing the true face of a gang that preyed upon helpless girls in a Muzaffarpur shelter. Now it’s Raveena Tandon, playing a Patna lawyer who goes after a powerful politician’s son, for his misdeeds.

It’s been six years, and Tanvi (Raveena Tandon) is still waiting for that case which will give her a chance to show her mettle. When college student Rinki Kumar (Anushka Kaushik) turns up at her makeshift ‘chamber’ and claims that she couldn’t have failed her exams, that there’s something fishy about her low marks, Tanvi gets that once-in-a-lifetime-chance to prove that she is not just a good wife and mother, but a smart legal brain too.

It’s the kind of film where we know the outcome, so predictability doesn’t come in the way of noting a few nice touches: Manav Vij playing the kind of supportive (in a few places, coming off a tad too supportive to be true) spouse that any woman would be lucky to have. When the bad guys target him, he doesn’t blame her; he is proud of her abilities and fully backs her activities. There’s also a segment which highlights the misuse of the bulldozer: if you go against the powers that be, your

home will be demolished — a sharp comment on current happenings.

It’s good to see the late Satish Kaushik, here playing an upright judge with a light-hearted touch, a role colonised by Saurabh Shuklla in the LLB films: he hates being ‘tokoed’ from behind, is happy to accompany chirpy wife (Mukherjee in a cameo) on sabzi-buying expeditions, and happier to make sure justice being served.

The mark-sheet switch, the crooks behind it, and the rampant corruption in educational institutions (Vihar University, in the film) keeps you engaged enough, even if the story-telling itself bobs

along evenly, without too many surprises. Chandan Roy Sanyal as the lawyer on the other side, and Jatin Goswami as the minister’s entitled scion do their jobs. As does the earnest Tandon, working at the accent and the look. A climactic rigmarole mars it, but Patna Shuklla is still one of those you can watch simply because you want to see good women win.

Cast: Raveena Tandon, Satish Kaushik, Anushka Kaushik, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Manav Vij, Jatin Goswami, Sushmita Mukherjee

Director: Vivek Budakoti

Rating: 2 stars

-- Indian Express

‘Defective Detective’: Sporadic Laughter

Story: Three friends who run a detective agency travel to Goa and accidentally meet Maria, who has just been swindled by her late father’s friend out of her ancestral property. Together, they help Maria reclaim her property and teach the swindler a lesson.

Review: From the outside, ‘The Defective Detectives’ seems primed to be a riotous comedy, promising laughter at every turn. However, upon closer examination, it fails to deliver the comedic punch it initially suggests, making it more of a missed opportunity. While some scenes do induce genuine laughter; others intended to hit the mark fall short by a significant margin. To use stock market terminology, the film exhibits both bullish and bearish traits. Never-

theless, the filmmakers deserve commendation for attempting a nearly obsolete genre and injecting it with a refreshing twist.

The film follows Shree (Siddharth Jadhav), Manav (Jayesh Thakkar), and Aadi (Paritosh Painter), who, facing financial struggles, launch a detective agency to clear their debts. The only catch is Shree is blind, Manav is mute, and Aadi is deaf. During a trip to Goa, they chance upon Maria Mantri (Shweta Gulati), recently duped by Ganesh D’Souza (Bharat Dabholkar), a close friend of her late father, who swindled her ancestral property. The trio joins forces with her. Together, they hatch an elaborate con involving a priceless ancestral necklace.

-- Times of India


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