Indo-American News April 12, 2019

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Friday, April 12, 2019 | Vol. 38, No. 10

Indo American News Published weekly from Houston, TX


Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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Once Again, with Fervor Sri Kulkarni, who came within 5% points of winning the 2018 Congressional race of Congressional District 22, announced his decision to campaign once again for the 2020 race for the same seat.


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April 12, 2019

Open Forum 2019 Gala: To Raise Funds, Talk Openly, and Have Fun with Two Hundred Friends By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: A large part of the

charm of these three unlikely radio talk-show hosts is that they like to mix it up on the air, even letting some local supporters sit in as the lead anchor when one of them is away. The word ‘Open’ fits their approach nicely to the free-ranging, purposely loose-knit program as they allow a free flow of ideas on the air every Saturday afternoon for two-hours. If Jagat Kamdar is the Thinker, and Subodh Bhuchar the Jester, then Dinkar Chheda is the Doer (I’ll name them collectively as “the KBC consortium “) in the most unlikely collaboration of personalities, an onair Odd Trio. They are widely popular in the desi radio market for bringing up topics without quite drawing their own conclusions, and listeners can call to pipe in on. And so it is a mark of their popularity that for the past decade, the KBC consortium has been able to hold ‘fun raisers’ to gather funds to support the program, which runs mostly with very minimal regular marketing in an already tight desi radio show market. It’s a little like NPR with a gala mixed into it. The Open Forum Fun Raiser held this past Friday night, April 5 at the Zoroastrian Association of Houston center on West Airport Boulevard fit the personality of the KBC and the show as the setup had been stirred up from those held at the ZAH for the past four years. Guests still showed their support by writing checks and getting a load of raffle tickets (several winners were announced later in the program) and then munching on appetizers from Dawat Catering (which also served the buffet dinner, Mahesh Shah supervised it himself). This year, as guests mingled, Ratio2, a band rocked the lobby with

Richard (from Wales) and Rog (an Indian) on guitars and Ana (another Indian) doing vocals – all wearing shades – pumping up the room with songs from their CD “Without You” which they had on hand for sale. On the far side of the hall, in contrast, two teenage Indian girls – Ananya Somani, 13, and Khushi Shah, 16 – concentrated to listen to their inner force as they painted canvases (a Ganesh and a skyscape) blindfolded, a unique memorizationhand technique they had learnt from Ananya’s mother Deepa. Their final works were impressively precise and sold at the auction later in the program. To start off the KBC Consortium came onstage for brief introductions and appreciation of their major sponsors and quickly turned the mic over to Bhuchar who asked for a 10-second collective silent

Bhuchar’s mind. The one thing that has been close to KBC’s heart is keeping the party humorous and once again this year they brought in a local stand-up comedian Zahid Dewji, who also is Bhuchar’s patient (“I’ve seen him in and out of his clothes – for physical checkups,” laughed Bhuchar, an internal medicine physician) and he did a 45-minute set full of shimmering anecdotes and observations. Following dinner, the raffle draw

prayer for all those who suffer from chronic diseases. His wife Sonal, who last year actively organized the event, was absent this year and her declining health was no doubt on

and auction kept everyone’s attention. “The paintings were actioned for $500 for both and the raffle sales netted $800 which we will donate to the Keep Us Fed charity in Montgomery

Jagat Kamdar, Subodh Bhuchar and Dinkar Chheda of Open Forum radio talk show with Zahid Dewji (in hat) a local stand up comedian. Ratio2, a band rocked the lobby with Richard, Ana and of Ratio2 performed in the lobby; Ananya Somani, and Khushi Shah, painted canvases blindfolded, at the dinner with their moms

County,” said Chheda. “We met our goal of raising over $50,000,” which is an amount that allows the show to coast through the year. At the tail end of the program,

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Hardik Jani and his group lit up the hall with hot Bollywood tunes that soon had the guests who remained dancing till midnight


April 12, 2019


Close in 2018, Sri Kulkarni to Campaign for 22nd District 2020 Race

Sri Kulkarni captures a selfie with his approximately 300 supporters, who gathered at Safari Texas to witness the announcement of his candidacy for the 22nd Congressional District. Sri receives a maternal hug from Margaret Kulkarni, who traces her roots to the Texas hero Sam Houston. Among the speakers at the gathering was Ramesh Bhutada, who expressed his support for Kulkarni’s inclusive campaign based on diversity.

By Pramod Kulkarni Sugar Land – In 1964, George Bush Sr. ran for the US Congress in Texas District 7. Bush Sr. lost that race, but came back as the winner two years later. This historical nugget may be instructive for Sri Kulkarni, former Democratic nominee and United States Foreign Service Officer, who announced his campaign to represent Texas’ 22nd Congressional District at a rally on Saturday, April 6 at the Safari, Texas ballroom. Texas’ 22nd District is located just south of the City of Houston, and covers parts of Ford Bend, Harris, and Brazoria counties. As a political neophyte in 2018, Sri Kulkarni came within 5% points of unseating incumbent Republican Congressman Pete Olson. Kulkarni’s campaign received national attention through his unique attempt to drive minorities to the voting booths. One of the lessons learned from the 2018 campaign was evident

at Saturday’s rally with the campaign changing from Sri Preston Kulkarni to just Sri for Congress as a way of making it short and snappy for voters to remember. This time around, Kulkarni also appears to have more support from the Democratic national party, who may be targeting the 22nd district with a legitimate chance of winning for a Democratic candidate. In the 2018 mid-term elections, the Democrats were able to wrest majority control from the Republicans. However, gerrymandering over the years has made it difficult for Democrats to convert the Red districts into Blue. At the campaign rally, the formal portion of the program began with the introduction of contesting various Democratic candidates, who are contesting for Houston city council seats as well as independent school district seats throughout the 22nd Congressional Districts. Several elected officials also took to the podium to voice their support for Sri Kulkarni’s candi-


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dacy, including recently elected Judges Julie Matthew and KP George. The audience heard from two individuals who have a strong emotional bond with Sri -- Ramesh Bhutada, Chairman and CEO of Star Pipe Products and an iconic Indo-American community leader, and his mother, Margaret Kulkarni. In expressing his support for Sri, Bhutada spoke of inclusivity and diversity that is the hallmark of the Sri for Congress campaign. “We have 450 employees working in our company. We have people from all nationalities such as India, Pakistan, and Thailand; people who are born in Houston, Texas and all other states; we have people of all faiths, including Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Jews,” explained Bhutada, “With this diversity, we have built a superior organization. The diversity in our company is representative of the diversity that exists in Distrct 22 and Fort Bend County, which is the most diverse county in the

United States. It is about time that Fort Bend County sends someone to Washington DC, who truly embodies the spirit of diversity, who understands how to work with different ethnicities. Sri is well placed for this job as a foreign service officer, who has worked for 14 years in Washington DC and in different countries.” Sri’s mother Margaret thanked the volunteers at the campaign rally. “This group of people is amazing. They are the ones changing Fort Bend County and together, we are going to change the entire country.” “My father came to the United States as a proud immigrant in 1969,” Sri explained as he announced his candidacy, “But you may not know that the first generation of our family actually came to America in the 1600s. One of our ancestors, was John Houston, who came to America from Ireland before the Revolution. His grandson was Sam Houston, the hero of Texas independence. So the commitment to public service in our

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family runs deep. All of you here have the same commitment” “We need a commitment to public service right now,” Kulkarni said. “If you turn on the TV, there is so much nastiness. We’re better than this. That’s what this campaign is all about.” “Problem-solving continues to take the back seat to divisive politics in Washington, and it’s failing the people of Houston,” said Kulkarni. “I’ve dedicated my career to bringing people to the table, listening to their problems, and finding solutions that move communities forward. I’m running for Congress because it’s time Washington does the same. Progress for the people of our district – not partisan politics – is what we need.” In this context, Kulkarni brought up the charge of his opponent, Pete Olson, that he was a carpet bagger. In response to a question from a student, Olson had said “It wasn’t racism, it was just politics.” In response, Kulkarni said,” This is the type of cynical politics that we don’t need in our country.



April 12, 2019

Rachana Desai Martin Appointed DNC Chief Operating Officer Washington DC: Veteran Indian American political activist Rachana Desai Martin was named April 10 as the Democratic National Committee’s Chief Operating Officer. “I’m so excited to share that I’ll be taking on a new role as Chief Operating Officer at the DNC,” said Martin in a public post on her Facebook page. “I’m really glad to be part of the strong, diverse team working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot across the country.” “Note: this means I will be doubling my efforts to get you all to register and vote,” she said. Martin has been serving as the DNC’s COO on an interim basis. As COO, she will oversee the DNC’s operational and administrative infrastructure, according to a statement released by the DNC. Previously, she served as the director of Voter Protection and Civic Engagement, where she oversaw the party’s national voter protection efforts. Reyna Walters-Morgan was named April 10 to take up that role, while Waikinya Clanton was named as senior advisor to DNC Chair Tom Perez. “(Rachana) brings a wealth of experience from both government

service and a variety of campaigns, including multiple roles inside the Obama administration, and led the voter protection efforts in Nevada for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign,” noted the DNC in a press statement. “As we head into one of the most

important elections of our lifetime, we are building a world class team in order to beat Donald Trump and elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” said Perez. “Waikinya, Rachana, and Reyna bring a wealth of knowledge to the party and we are lucky to have them on our





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New Delhi: India has retained its position as the top remittances receiving country with its diaspora sending about USD 69 billion back home in 2017, the World Bank said on Monday. Remittances to India picked up sharply by 9.9 percent to USD 69 billion in 2017, reversing the previous year’s dip, but were still short of USD 70.4 billion received in 2014. Payments from immigrants back to their home countries rebounded to reach a new record in 2017 but the costs of transferring funds also increased, the World Bank said in a report. The stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances -- payments that are key to supporting the economies of many poor countries - was driven by growth in Europe, Russia, and the United States, it said. The rebound in remittances, when valued in US dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble. World Bank said remittance inflows improved in all regions and the top remittance recipients were India with USD 69 billion, followed by China (USD 64 billion), the Philippines (USD 33 billion), Mexico (USD 31 billion), Nigeria (USD 22 billion), and Egypt (USD 20 billion).


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team. Their work will be felt far outside the building as we continue to strengthen our party and build on the victories from the last two years.” “Our diversity of background. experience is what has made DNC a political force in electing Democrats up and down the ticket in every corner of the country,” said the DNC’s Indian American CEO Seema Nanda. “These three phenomenal women embody our core ideals and will bring new energy to our leadership team as we continue to lay the groundwork to take back the Senate and the White House in 2020,” she said. According to her LinkedIn profile, Martin formerly served as the senior federal policy council at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She also served as the Voter Protection Director for the Nevada State Democratic Party during the 2016 election cycle. Martin served in the Treasury Department of President Barack Obama’s administration, and also at the Department of Veteran Affairs. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of South Carolina and attended Vanderbilt University Law School.

India’s Diaspora Remittances Highest in the World at $69 B




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April 12, 2019


Indian Government Introduces Bill to Prevent Marriage Fraud with NRIs New Delhi: Titled the Registration of Marriage or Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019, the bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj—prompted by increasing numbers of reports of Indian women being trapped in fraudulent marriages with NRIs. According to lawyers and law enforcement officials, a large number of victims are from Punjab, Gujarat and Kerala. Within Punjab, a large number of cases have surfaced in the Doaba region—famous for its links with Canada, the US and the UK. Many people from this region had migrated in the 1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s. Nursing dreams of migrating overseas or marrying off their daughters and sons to families settled abroad come naturally to the families here—one of the main reasons giving rise to the phenomenon of “holiday brides” or “honeymoon brides”—as law enforcement authorities like to describe it. “People here have big dreams of sending their children abroad or marrying their daughters into wellto-do families from the US, UK, Canada or Europe. A son-in-law settled abroad is a status symbol,” said social worker Jagtar Kaur. “Matches are set up by relatives living in Punjab or matchmakers. In either case, no one really does any background checks. The girl is married off and then it comes to

Working pro bono and living in paying guest accommodation and on modest budgets, these volunteers in Amritsar are committed to helping out other victims like themselves.

light that the boy is already married and has no intention of taking his Indian bride to the country he lives in.” The findings of Kaur, a resident of Banga town in Jalandhar, is similar to that of Sudhiksha Bhatia, 29, a research scholar at Panjab University’s Centre for Women Studies and Development. “The bride and her family wait in hope that she will be taken away by the groom but in most cases it does not happen. Once the groom leaves, there is no communication

from him, no response to phone calls or emails,” said Bhatia. “I know of cases where affected families do not want to talk about the marriages gone wrong because they see it as a loss of face in society. In many cases, the bride wants to register a complaint or talk about the problem, but the family does not let her, not wanting to jeopardize chances of a rapprochement.” The ministry of external affairs told Parliament that 4,307 complaints of Indian women being de-

serted by their NRI husbands were received and addressed between 2016 and 2018. In the “statement of objects and reason” of the bill, that only has four sections, Swaraj says that given the increasing number of cases of fraudulent marriages getting reported, “it is necessary that the marriage solemnized or otherwise in India or outside India shall be registered within a period of 30 days from the date of marriage”. According to a government official: “Registration of the marriage

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in India allows the affected person to seek justice under Indian laws.” The legislation calls for amending the Passports Act of 1967 to allow the cancellation of the citizenship and travel document of the NRI married to an Indian citizen or another NRI, if the marriage is not registered within 30 days. This could affect the residency status of the NRI husband, if he has applied for one. If the NRI husband is abroad on a travel document, it would affect his stay, two other government officials said, requesting anonymity. The statement said: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this code or any other law in force—where a person summoned by a court under this code and the court is satisfied that the summons issued could not be served—the court may issue summons along with the substance of the information by uploading on the specially designated website of the ministry of external affairs. “If the person, who has been summoned, fails to appear before the court, an arrest warrant can be issued and posted on the website. If the NRI still doesn’t show up at the designated time and venue, the next step would be to upload the notice pronouncing him as a proclaimed offender,” it added. Under the new bill, the court can attach any property of the “proclaimed offender”.


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April 12, 2019


Advisory about Fake Universities in US

Washington DC: The Indian Embassy in Washington DC has issued the following advisory about fake universities in the US: In recent years, instances of “fake” Universities set up by the US law enforcement agencies have come to light. According to the US law enforcement, these Universities are run by undercover law enforcement agents of the US, who pose as owners and employees of the University. The sole objective of such operations is to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud in the US. The most recent examples of such Universities are the University of Northern New Jersey set up in 2013 and of Farmington University established in 2015 by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the Department of Homeland Security of the United States. In both cases, a number of Indian students enrolled into these Universities, paid the requisite tuition fee and were granted F1 visa as well as Curricular Practical Training (CPT) permission. These Indian students, many of whom claimed later that they were caught unawares, were subsequently detained by US law enforcement agencies and subjected to deportation proceedings. They were accused of having violated the US immigration laws and of knowingly remaining enrolled in a “fake” University for the sole purpose of continuing their stay in the United States without the intention of pursuing any academic activity. In order to ensure that Indian students do not fall into such “traps”, it is advised that

due diligence be exercised while seeking admission in US Universities. The fact that a University is duly accredited by relevant US authorities such as its inclusion in the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVIS), is not an assurance in itself about the bonafides of a University. Before seeking admission in a University, students are advised to take into account several other factors, some of which are outlined below: Does the University function from a campus or merely maintains a website and has administrative premises only? If not, such Universities are not to be regarded as a bonafide educational institutions and admission into such Universities should be avoided. Does the University have a faculty and regular instructors/educators? If not, admissions to such Universities should be avoided. It may be noted that such Universities typically employ only administrative staff and their websites have no information in respect of faculty. Does the University have a proper curriculum, hold regular classes and actively implement academic or educational activity? If not, admissions to such Universities may be avoided. Students admitted to such Universities, even if in possession of regular student visa may be tried for violation of visa norms and subjected to detention and subsequent deportation from the US. This advisory is not exhaustive and intended only to provide general guide to the students in taking the right decision while seeking admission in US Universities.

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April 12, 2019


Play an Active Role in Your Own Career Path


By Siddhartha Sen

OUSTON: Siddhartha Sen came to Houston in 2007 to pursue a MBA at the Jones School of Business at Rice University and currently works in the oil and gas industry. His recent work has focused on valuation of upstream oil and gas assets in the Americas region and to lead the development of new products for his company, IHS Markit. He shares his views on making a career path in corporate America and believes that every individual should play an active role in developing their own careers. College Students College is an invaluable period as it provides a platform to meet people from diverse backgrounds and education, learn and listen to their views, express and test one’s own understanding of different subjects, identify personal strengths and weaknesses and realize the potential career paths where an individual might be most successful. Try to identify and understand your strengths and weakness and understand realized early on that clear communication of ideas both inward and outward can be a great asset and skill that should be developed. Communication is Key to Career Planning Inward communication is important because it helps an individual think through preferences and plan for the kind of career and

job roles she or he wants. Once this is clear, the individual can then focus on externally communicating the same to people who she or he thinks can help him, either by providing advice, introductions to other people or providing the opportunity themselves. Communicating clearly and at the right moments can help to develop into a good team leader as well as an effective team contributor. Communicating difficult messages is very important and critical, and is appreciated more than not having communicated at all, thus never achieving the goals set up at the start. New Hires or Middle Management Get a mentor who could be an individual with the experience and

A mentor can introduce the new hire or a middle manager to other business leaders – extremely important as one tries to move forward and grow professionally. One should also try to seek out work or responsibilities beyond the defined roles in a firm so as to gain more knowledge and create awareness of oneself within the organization.

knowledge to guide you through your challenges and situations and provide you with insights into their own careers. A mentor can introduce the new hire or a middle manager to other business leaders – extremely important as one tries to move forward and grow professionally. One should also try to seek out work or responsibilities beyond the defined roles in a firm so as to gain more knowledge and create awareness of oneself within the organization. Personally,gettingamentorwasone of the most rewarding relationships I have had. The introduction and the support that I have got have been invaluable. Taking on additional responsibilities has always helped me improve my own understanding of the work as well as the company.

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Networking Networking is important and while sometimes uncomfortable, you should engage with others and build your own network that could end up helping when you are looking for the next role. Network building exercises should be both within the company as well as external. You might become aware of opportunities which are not published or advertised and also helps to look at an industry or a line of work with a different viewpoint. While networking you can meet some amazing people with interesting backgrounds and skills and learn how you might be able to progress professionally as well. Networking skills get better with practice, so go out and meet people when the opportunity comes up.


April 12, 2019

India Elections Begin: No Party Will Win a Majority Outright, According to Analysts Neither the Bharatiya Janata Party nor Congress will win the Lok Sabha elections outright, predicted analysts as India’s elections were set to begin April 11. The world’s largest election will be held in seven phases, concluding May 19. Votes are scheduled to be counted by May 23. Several thousand Indian American volunteers are expected to travel to India to support their parties during the election. Milan Vaishnav, director and senior fellow of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, has created an election tracker — — which aims to put out thoughtful insight about the election, and will highlight special issues until the national government is formed. Exit polls are prohibited during the multi-phase elections; results will only become available after May 23. Support for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is weaker than in 2014, Vaishnav told IndiaWest, adding, however, “There is no match for Modi in the opposition. Rahul Gandhi — who helms the Congress party — does not exude leadership.” “Many people have grievances

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against the government, but at the end of the day, they like Modi; they feel he is incorruptible.” The surge of nationalism that has overtaken India post the Feb. 14 Pulwama terrorist attack, which killed 43 soldiers in Kashmir, and India’s response with airstrikes has galvanized tremendous support for the BJP, said Vaishnav. “There is no question that the BJP has used this to benefit their party. It plays to Modi’s strength of leadership and they will maximize it for the purpose of the elections,” he told India-West. “Anything the opposition says can be painted as unpatriotic.” The Congress party must play up the jobs crisis, agrarian distress, and slow GDP growth, said Vaishnav, noting that the administration’s economic track record has not been as robust. The Congress party’s manifesto, released last week, “had some interesting ideas, but it was too little, too late,” he said. Richard Rossow, who holds the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told India-West: “The winds are blowing in Modi’s favor.” However, he predicted: “Neither party is going to get the win out-

right. It will depend on coalitions and who’s sidling up to who.” Modi has a coalition to fall back upon, said Rossow, noting the significant alliance between the BJP and Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK. Rossow said he did not view the Balakot airstrikes as a political ploy to get a few votes, and downplayed the impact of a Hindu nationalist agenda in the vote tallies. “People are looking at government services: bank accounts for the poor, modern toilets and the electrification of villages,” he told India-West, adding that social issues will take a backstage to rural and economic development. The entrance of Priyanka Gandhi into the Congress party’s leadership has been a good move, said Rossow. “She has a good ability to connect with the masses,” he said, doubting, however, that she would wrest the reins of leadership of the party away from her brother. Thomas Blom Hansen, the Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies at Stanford University, also believes that the BJP will not win the same kind of majority as it did before. “Some form of coalition government will be formed. But it is hard to see anyone but Modi being the lead.”. -- India West

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British PM Says Jalian Wala Bagh Shameful, but Falls Short of Issuing a Proper Apology

April 12, 2019


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London: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday expressed deep regret for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, calling it “a shameful scar on British Indian history”. But like her predecessors she fell short of issuing an apology despite growing calls for one from cross-party MPs and British Sikhs. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, May said: “The tragedy of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 is a shameful scar on British Indian history. As Her Majesty the Queen said before visiting Jallianwala Bagh in 1997, ‘It is a distressing example of our past history with India. We deeply regret what happened and the suffering caused.’” On Tuesday during a debate on the Amritsar massacre in Westminster Hall, junior foreign minister Mark Field too had expressed “deep regret” at what occurred, but also failed to apologise. Field instead had chosen to focus on the “strong bonds” that India and the UK are building for the future. He even spoke about visas, claiming the UK issues more skilled work visas to India than any other country and then reciting by what percentage the number of visas given to Indians in 2018 had gone up. In her statement May said: “I am pleased that today the UK-India relationship is one of collaboration, partnership, prosperity and security. Indian diaspora make an enormous contribution to British society, and I am sure the whole House wishes to see the UK’s relationship with India continue to flourish.” The lack of an apology left British Indian MPs and leader of the opposition Jer-

Jalian Wala Bagh memorial in Amritsar.

emy Corbyn disappointed. “I think that the people, in memory of those who lost their lives and the brutality of what happened, deserve a full, clear and unequivocal apology for what took place on that occasion,” Corbyn said. Mandhali-born Virendra Sharma, a Punjabi-origin British Labour MP who represents Southall, said: “This is not the full and frank apology that the communities need. The wounds of the massacre still haunt millions and should be laid to rest.” Britain’s first female Sikh MP, Preet Gill, also Labour, who has family roots in Jalandhar, said: “This was a timely opportunity on the anniversary for Theresa May to apologise to Sikhs and to India and I think they will all be disappointed. … I had thought she would. Jeremy Corbyn is going to put out a letter before 13 April pressing the government to apologise. He has said that were Labour in government they would make a full and equivocal apology.” The Vadodara-born life peer Lord Desai, who is on the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Commemoration Committee, said: “I never expected a full-scale apology. I asked for it but I never expected it.” He said the reason he and other UK Sikhs were calling for an apology from the “original perpetrator” of the massacre was to get “closure on a section of history”. But he said the British government was clearly worried that an apology would open the floodgates. “The compensation would be enormous,” he said. “Once you apologise for this, there are so many other massacres to apologise for in other countries.” He pointed out that the UK-India relationship has changed. “India is a much stronger partner now and, especially after Brexit, India is going to matter to the UK. The UK should be much more apologetic about this because the UK will need India. India is about to overtake Britain as the fifth-largest economy,” he said.

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April 12, 2019

India Stops Release of Biopic on PM Modi Ahead of Polls

NEW DELHI — Indian election authorities have stopped the release of a Bollywood biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with national elections scheduled to begin April 11. The Election Commission accepted arguments from the Congress party and other opposition parties that the release of the film, “PM Narendra Modi,” would give an unfair advantage to Modi’s Hindu nationalist party as it seeks re-election. Film producer Sandip Ssingh had scheduled the release of the movie in Indian theaters for April 11. The commission ruled April 10 that any biopic material that has the potential to create an uneven playing field during the multi-phase election should not be displayed in

India Overtakes US in YouTube Usage New Delhi: India has overtaken the US as the largest and fastestgrowing market for YouTube globally with dirt-cheap data tariffs and growing population of affordable smartphones pushing video consumption to record highs. The usage has been led by content in local languages on subjects as diverse as learning and education, music, health and cooking. Part of American tech giant Google, YouTube now has 26.5 crore subscribers in the country, and nearly 95% of this consumption is in local vernacular languages happening in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, a company official told TOI. The usage has been led by content in local languages on subjects as diverse as learning and education, music, health and cooking YouTube said that consumption through mobile increased to 85%, with 60% of the watch time coming from outside of the six largest metros Data tariffs in India are the lowest in the world and have been

coming down progressively since the launch of mobile services by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio in September 2016. Against over Rs 100 charged per GB for data just 2-3 years back, the same amount today costs less than onetenth of that figure (one GB priced under Rs10). “India has now overtaken the US… With less than 20% of local population conversant in English, online video content in native Indian languages is becoming a primary driver for internet usage,” the official said. “Today, 95% of all online video consumption is in Indian languages with tier 2 and 3 cities driving robust growth, and

electronic media. Voting will conclude May 19, and vote counting will begin May 23. The commission also is examining opposition complaints that the launch of a television channel named after the prime minister violated a law barring political parties from starting such channels after the announcement of the election schedule. The Congress party and the Aam Admi Party said the channel, funded by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, started broadcasting Modi’s election campaign and a compilation of speeches three weeks after the voting schedule was announced by the commission on March 10.

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regional language content growing rapidly.” YouTube said that consumption through mobile increased to 85%, with 60% of the watch time coming from outside of metros. Internet consumption in India is at an all-time high and against a few hundred MB of data being consumed till 2016, an average mobile user consumes as much as 10 GB of internet every month. “Diversity of Indian content on YouTube has never been this good. With low-cost data, we have seen a rise in consumption of content across verticals including music, beauty, health, fitness, dance and food,” the YouTube official said.

April 12, 2019

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April 12, 2019

Un-biased Analysis of India’s 2019 General Elections by Dr. Milan Vaishnav

FIS board members gathered for a group photo with Dr. Milan Vaishnav (second from left). FIS board member Raj Bhalla (center) presents a momento to Dr. Vaishnav with FIS Director Nischay Bhan and FIS founder and chairman, Krishna Vavilala.

Houston: On March 30, 2019, members of Houston’s Indian community gathered at India House for a lecture on Indian politics and the upcoming general elections, organized by Foundation for India Studies. The lecture, presented by Dr. Milan Vaishnav, head of South Asian Studies at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, Washington,D.C, and a former Houstonian, was titled “India’s 2019 General Elections: Money, Muscle, and Democracy’s Future.” The event, which started and ended on time was emceed by FIS Director Nischay Bhan. It began with a welcome address by Krish-

na Vavilala, FIS’s founder and chairman. Mr. Vavilala provided a brief history of FIS and its numerous achievements during the past 13 years. He said, FIS presents a neutral platform to discuss all issues concerning India without taking sides. He cited the recent Distinguished Lectures provided to the community including those by Gilad Katz and Anupam Ray the CGs of Israel and India, Santosh Hegde, Justice of the Indian Supreme Court, and various Professors and dignitaries. Dr. Vaishnav is the newest among FIS’s distinguished lecturers. After Mr. Vavilala’s presentation, Mr. Bhan introduced Dr. Vaishnav

who proceeded to give a spirited, intelligent, thought provoking and occasionally light-hearted lecture on the state of India’s democracy. Dr. Vaishnav’s lecture primarily focused on issues of entrenched power, money and corruption in Indian politics. He aimed to analyze the “hawah” around the general elections, and to approximate scenarios for the general election based on several important criteria. One of the issues Dr. Vaishnav discussed in detail was the Congress Party’s recent success in the “Hindi-belt” and their successes in states historically dominated by BJP. He sought to explain wheth-

er the results of that success would translate to the general election. He also analyzed the successes and failures of both BJP and Congress’s attempts to navigate alliances and coalitions. He looked into the impact of money power in current Indian politics and noted that wealthy Indians make up the vast majority of the Lok Sabha. He also provided an incisive look into the recent foreign policy issues at India’s border with Pakistan, PM Modi’s military action, and the impact of having a strong centralized leader on the future of Indian democracy. Ultimately, Dr. Vaishnav concluded, based on his analysis of

the factors he had examined, that PM Modi was likely to remain in power, but with less seats for BJP than in prior years. This was consistent with his analysis of both parties relative strengths and weaknesses, and the positions they had taken on many issues. A lively interactive Q & A session followed Dr. Vaishnav’s lecture which was ably moderated by Nish Bhan who also the emcee for the program. Dr. Vaishnav was asked several difficult questions about Indian politics. These included questions regarding India and Kashmir, the efficacy of a two-party system in India, and his vision for India in fifty years.

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Graduating class of 2018 with Hon. Consul Gen. Dr Anupam Ray

Students from Class of 2019 with the CEO of Houston Food Bank, Brian Greene

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It is an interesting facet of a changing India: there are ever greater numbers of crorepatis in the Lok Sabha, as well as among those who aspire to become MPs. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 430 out of the 521 sitting MPs in the Lok Sabha have assets worth more than ₹1 crore. In other words, 83% of our lawmakers are crorepatis. That makes them a rich people’s club governing a largely poor country. There was a time when members of most legacy business and industrial houses of the country stuck to their business of doing business and left politics to politicians. During the License Raj, politicians were content accepting donations from businessmen or seeking jobs for their kin. But business and politics never intersected with each other. However, there were exploratory undercurrents across the dividing line. Come 1991, that changed. Liberalisation altered India’s economic present and future. There was a permanent severance from the country’s socialist economic past. The nouveau riche saw politics and political power as a means to first secure and then expand their business interests. It is a truism that business and politics share a symbiotic relationship. Today, they have almost become one, necessitating a new definition of businessman-politician or politician-businessman. The hyphenation is not semantic or syntactical, but reflects the emergence of a new class. Some examples Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, an engineer-turned-businessman-turned-politician and former Telagana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP, is now the Congress candidate from Chevella, near Hyderabad. His declared family assets are over Rs. 895 crore (the major share of which belongs to his wife). Nama Nageswar Rao, the TRS candidate from Khammam Lok Sabha seat who is a former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP, is the founder of Madhucon Projects. He was among the richest Lok Sabha candidates in the 2014 elections with declared assets worth Rs. 338 crore. In Andhra Pradesh, Jaydev Galla of the TDP is the managing director of Amara Raja Batteries and has declared assets worth over 600 crore. These are just a few crossover examples. There are of course plenty of examples from other States too. As Walter Annenberg, American businessman and diplomat, posited, “The greatest power is not money power but political power.” It suffices to say that the heady mix of economic and political power is even more intoxicating than either of its stand-alone constituents. -- The Hindu.

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April 12, 2019


Vote Like the Aussies By Gaurang Dalmia Last year’s Pew Research poll showed that 79% of Indians were satisfied with democracy as a system. This is remarkable, especially if you compare it to 52% satisfaction levels in the UK, 46% in the US and a meagre 25% in Spain. India’s election process – Input Democracy – is a strong contributor to such high satisfaction levels. However, something happens as we convert elections into governance. Be it inertia, partisan pulls, or corruption, decision making suffers. Compound this with uncertainty, chance events and limits to human rationality, and we get what Harvard scholar Stephen Walt calls “Confusionism”. As a result, governance that touches our lives – Output Democracy – does not have the same appeal. Indeed, World Economic Forum’s research shows that in terms of trust in politicians India ranks 33rd, much below even Rwanda. In light of this choosing the best inputs – people who govern the country – becomes even more important. This election, an estimated $7 billion consumer marketing exercise, will be the most expensive in history. The US election in 2016 cost $6.5 billion. On a purchasing power parity basis, India’s elections will cost 3.2 times more. India has 875 million eligible voters, of which two-thirds are expected to show up. About 81 million – roughly the population of Germany – will be first-time voters. Equal representation will be only partially true: because of uneven population growth and unchanged constituency boundaries, typical constituencies in states such as Uttar Pradesh will have 1.4 times the number of voters compared to Tamil Nadu. On average, each constituency will see 15 aspirants. They will be from more than 450 political parties. The election will need a million polling stations and 10 million personnel. After all this, in the majority of seats, the empirical winning margin is likely to be 10% or less – keeping the contestants on their toes. This is what India’s Input Democracy looks like.

Ranked Choice Voting – where voters rank all candidates – has been used by countries such as Australia So, what’s the best way to hold elections in India? Performance is rewarded, but not always. Policies have a lag. Often, it’s difficult to show results in an election cycle. Additionally, benefits of specific governance initiatives do not reach many constituents. This is one reason anti-incumbency in India is very high, though it has reduced over the past two decades. Two-thirds of governments are not re-elected. Even in states with 8% growth for a five year period, the re-election rate is only 50%. These are low-end outliers by international standards. If track record is not a reliable vote earner politicians pitch trust, which works along caste, community and religious lines. This has been the main source of political polarisation. Elections are less a debate about development, they focus more on matters of identity and political patronage. This leads to rhetoric, which degenerates into conflict. Is there a structural way to stem such polarisation? Yes. Ranked Choice Voting – where voters rank all candidates – has been used by countries such as Australia at the federal level, and by the US, Canada and Hong Kong at the provincial and municipal levels, and in countries like the Czech Republic and New Zealand for party-level voting or specific votes. Ranked Choice Voting eliminates many of the distortions of the first-past-thepost system. Here is how it works: voters rank candidates in order of preference. If a candidate has more than half the votes based on first choices, that candidate wins, just like in normal elections. If this does not happen, as is typical in India, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Ballots in

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favour of the eliminated candidate are recounted. Their second choice votes are added to the remaining candidates. This continues until a candidate has more than half of the votes. This changes political conduct. Candidates have to broaden their appeal and vie for a second or third preference even amongst voters who may not pick them as the first choice. This tempers their polarising tendencies, rewards centrist behaviour, acts as an antidote to negative campaigning, reduces the impact of vote splitting for candidates appealing to a like-minded voter pool, and incentivises incumbent governments to move from patronage-based politics to broad-based policies. Australia started experimenting with Ranked Choice Voting in 1893, and started using it in nationwide elections by 1918, as a means of allowing healthy competition between the smaller parties. This electoral innovation became a pillar of good governance. Here are some facts: Australia has not had a recession since 1991 in spite of being a commodity driven economy. Australia’s sovereign credit rating is AAA from the three major rating agencies, higher than the US. Australia maintains its multicultural heritage without undue stress; more than 26% of the population was born overseas and a further 20% had a parent born overseas. It’s not that Australia is immune to challenges of development. It’s just that its government is better geared to tackle the challenges. And its government is a by-product of its unconventional electoral process. Indian democracy is often reduced to “emocracy”, where politicians exploit the psychology of crowds. A country with India’s economic, geographic and ethnic diversity will do well to pull candidates towards the ideological centre. Dwight Eisenhower famously said: “Politics ought to be the parttime profession of every citizen.” It’s time again for every Indian citizen to become a politician! The writer is a director of the Dalmia Group.


April 12, 2019

Arya Samaj of Greater Houston Celebrates its 18th Sthapana Divas

DAV Montessori & Sanskirti School Cultural Song Performance on April 7.

April 6th, 7 AM Peace Walk & Health fair kickoff from ASGH DAV campus.

By Mahi Tomar Houston: Over the weekend of April 6-7, Arya Samaj of Greater Houston celebrated its 28th Sthapana Divas. Arya Samaj was found by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati on April 10, 1875, in Mumbai. Arya Samaj Greater Houston was founded in by Shri Ram Chand Mahajan to establish a center where families could meet to perform Yajna and pass on their beliefs and practices to their American-born children. Along with celebrating Sthapana Divas, the 3rd annual communitywide Public Health Fair was held on Saturday. The fair began early

in the morning, with a choice between a 3K and a 5K walk. Then, there was a yoga class to teach attendees how yoga can help their health and strength. At the same time, various tests were being conducted on those that signed up to assess their overall health and well-being. This was done through blood-testing and an electrocardiogram (EKG). The blood test assessed the person’s complete blood count (CBC), comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), lipid panel, and the hemoglobin A1C. The EKG came with a cardiologist consultation to look over the patient’s results. People could also register as a bone

Health fair lectures on Science of Mediation, Nutrition & Diabetes, April 6.

marrow donor or an organ donor. There were also public health awareness lectures from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Dr. Randeep Suneja discussed the Science of Meditation, Dr. Ramesh Patel spoke about Diabetes and Nutrition, and Dr. Manish Wani gave a lecture on Allergy and Sleep Apnea. On Sunday, Arya Samaj celebrated its Sthapana Divas. At 9:45 AM, there was the OM flag hoisting to begin the day’s celebrations. The children of DAVM and DAVSS presented cultural performances to celebrate Arya Samaj and Swami Dayanand. The children of DAVM, who were in preschool, performed a

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few Hindi poems led by their Hindi teacher. A child speaker gave a speech on the history and beliefs of Arya Samaj, as well as his positive experience there. The music teacher, Smriti Srivastava, prepared several pieces with both the DAVM students and the DAVSS students with students of all ages, from children to adults. The DAVSS students in kindergarten sang “Dadi Amma” as part of their performance, while the 5th grade students sang “Rang de Basanti”. The children in 7th and 8th grade performed a humorous skit about Good and Bad Karma, how it works, and what impact it has on our everyday lives, while the

1st grade children performed a speech and song about the founder of Arya Samaj, Swami Dayanand. However, none of this would have been possible without adult volunteers and AYM volunteers, who worked in the weeks leading up to and during Sthapana Divas and the Public Health Fair to ensure everything ran smoothly. Arya Samaj of Greater Houston would like to thank all of the teachers, parents, students, and other volunteers for organizing and attending this celebration of a 28-year journey to follow the principles of Arya Samaj found Maharishi Dayanand and “Make the Whole Universe Noble”.

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April 12, 2019

International Yoga Day Planned for June 21-22 by Consulate General with Local Organizations



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Representatives of numerous community organizations gathered at the Consulate General of India office with Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray (center) for the second planning session for the International Yoga Day celebrations in the greater Houston area. A list of those attending is provided in the text below.

Houston: The Consulate General of India in Houston with other organizations will host the International Yoga Day this year. There will be two events - on June 21, Friday at Mid Town Park, 2811 Travis Street, Houston, and on June 22, Saturday, at the Hindu Temple of Woodlands. Attending the planning meeting above are Jennifer Tummala, left,

Sharad Amin, Sanjay Jain, Rahat Sultana, Col. Vipin Kumar, Raju Veludandi, Manish Garg, Parthasarathy Krishnaswamy, Girish Ranade, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Deputy Consul General SurendraAdhana, Vivek Singh, Latha Kutuvanka, Amit Khanna, Madhukar Adi, Shekhar Agrawal, Mark Ram, Jayachandran, Vishwarupa Nanjundappa, and

Saumil Manek. Several hundred Houstonians from all walks of life have attended yoga sessions held under the auspices of International Yoga Day in Houston and The Woodlands. The IYD has received considerable organizational support from the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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April 12, 2019

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SUDOKU Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.

Send us the correct answer before April 22,2019. Email us at 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

In the cold and often rainy or snowy winter months, when you are in need of some warm comfort food, this dish is a perfect fit and is so easy to make. Below is a reprint of Mama’s Besan de Poode recipe, which is perfect with chutney and hot tea. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions.

Besan ka Pooda

(CHICKPEA FLOUR PANCAKES) Besan (chickpea or garbanzo) flour is used throughout India to make many dishes and is commonly used for batter to make pakoras or fritters in. Besan is a most versatile flour that is also used in making boondi, laddu, papad, dhokla and many of the popular spicy snacks that are sold in stores. In the Punjab, the two most popular dishes using Besan are kaddi and besan di sabzi or gutte and of course there are several sweets dishes made with besan.

Besan is high in carbohydrates and somewhat high in protein but has no gluten, which makes it not suitable for those trying to lose weight (especially when it is fried). Besan is rich in folate, iron, magnesium (47%), phosphorus (45%) and potassium (18%) as well as thiamin and vitamin B6. Besides these attributes, besan also makes an excellent scrub and mask for skin care and can also help in fighting seasonal allergies during the cold months. In home remedies, besan poode are given to people to help reduce their sugar levels. The spicy besan pooda is a comfort food often eaten with pickles and is most satisfying eaten during the rainy Monsoon season, along with some hot tea. Poode are also called “chilla” by people from Uttar Pradesh. You can even make sweet poode using wheat flour, but that is an entirely different recipe.

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Besan is also used to make this quick bread which resembles a flour pancake, except it is usually salty and spicy, though, when made thick and smaller in diameter, it is usually sweet and uses different types of aromatic herbs like saunf (fennel). You spread the batter in a circle over hot oil on a black tava (flatplate) and the sizzling sound and aroma immediately makes your mouth water in anticipation!

Last Week’s SUDOKU Solution

April 12, 2019

• Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper). If desired, add ajwain (bishop’s weed, caraway, carom seeds, or thymol seeds) for a slightly bitter taste. Directions: 1. Chop the onions and set aside. 2. Mix the chickpea flour, yogurt and water together; then add the onions and spices and beat the mixture till it becomes a paste: it should not be too thin else the pooda will not cook and will remain wet inside. 3. For each pooda, heat the oil on a high flame on a tava (hotplate) or in a frying pan. Pour a small amount of mixture and spread it to make a 6-inch circle. When tiny holes start to form on the surface, check to see in the bottom side is cooked. If so, use a spatula and flip the pooda over.

4. Cook the other side till the pooda is not moist, but do not let it cook too long or become brown. 5. Place the pooda on a plate and serve with mint chutney or ketchup. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned 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 early-nineties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi recipes for future generations.



od its ldi (turmeric) thou gh too much of it cadistinct yellow coloring is burnt and inedibal n cause the food to . For centuries, tu taste rural India for itsle rm er ic has also been used ayurvedic healing in scrapes, burns, infe qualities as a first ai ctions and insect bi d fo r m in or tes. Ingredients: In the winter month • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour) – s wh en you are more pr or some other sore one to getting a coug makes four 6-inch round poode h can do quick wondness or mild internal infection, drinki ng some haldi er s, • ½ cup dahin (plain yogurt) th ough the taste take Simply warm 1 teas s so m e ge tting used to. poon of haldi in wa • 1 medium pyaaz (onion) – peeled before sle rm milk and eping fo and chopped will go down immred4 days to a week. The infection or drink it down inflammation iately and you’ll fe • ½ cup pani (water) el better in the mor ning. • 1 teaspoon of vegetable or olive oil for each pooda

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April 12, 2019


Romeo Akbar Walter: John Abraham Starrer is a Drab Affair By Shubhra Gupta Cast: JohnAbraham, Jackie Shroff, Anil George, Sikander Kher, Rajesh Shrigarpure, Raghubir Yadav, Alka Amin, Suchitra Krishnamoorthy Director: Robbie Grewal Rating: 2 stars The title smartly abbreviates to RAW, which is short for Research and Analysis Wing, a sort of ‘desi’ MI-5 which nurtures and sends brave spies into the cold, to get back vital information from behind enemy lines, and to keep the country safe. Review: Robbie Grewal’s film is set during the 70s, when the conflict in East Pakistan was coming to a boil, when West Pakistan was going all

John Abraham dons several disguises as he plays the titular character, segueing between the parts of Romeo, Akbar and Walter,

out to overrun its ‘counterpart’, and in which India played a decisive part in containing it.

John Abraham dons several disguises as he plays the titular character, segueing between the parts of Romeo,

Akbar and Walter, as he goes about skating on very thin ice in dangerous territories, infiltrating army camps where plans are being hatched for a crucial air-strike, and keeping his collaborators safe. You can see the considerable effort that has gone into creating credible backgrounds. Anil George is well cast as an influential arms dealer. As is Raghubir Yadav, who plays a permanently-tipsy batman to Abraham’s frontiersman. I really enjoyed Kher’s campy aware act as a Pakistani soldier with a penchant for pulling nails out of his victims. Abraham, as the desi Bond-Bourne does well with being the give-nothing-away-spy, impassivity coming naturally to him.

The women don’t fare as well. Amin as the long-suffering mother who is always knitting sweaters for her brawny son, and Krishnamoorthy as a tough journalist who interviews ‘Madam’ (Mrs Indira Gandhi was PM then) don’t have much to do.And Roy as a diplomat burning scraps of ‘secret’ paper is miscast. The film suffers from its length, and the pall of dullness that hangs over the proceedings. A spy needs to be a patriot. That’s why he does what he does, knowing that he is ‘deniable’. And the film closes with a shot of the flag and a salute, perfect fit for these hyper-nationalist times. Too bad it’s more drab than nimble. -- Indian Express

Alia on Ruling the Box-office, Romance with Ranbir, Fighting Anxiety By Jitesh Pillai Zoya Akhtar jokingly calls her Paul the Octopus. Whatever film she says yes to is a bonafide hit. Whatever she says no to goes to the boondocks. Right at this moment, Alia Bhatt is everything right with Bollywood and a much-needed talent that our movies seriously lack. She will be working with S. S. Rajamouli’s next bilingual, RRR, opposite Ram Charan and Jr NTR, a dream she always nurtured. Showbiz corridors also hush-hush that the next Sanjay Leela Bhansali starrer will topline Alia. In addition to this there’s her father, Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak, Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra and of course Karan Johar’s magnum opus Takht. Looks like a packed two years ahead. In between all this she’s found love in the form of Ranbir Kapoor. No sooner did the couple make it public than rumours of trouble in paradise started doing the rounds. In the same breath, there’s talk of their upcoming marriage given Ranbir’s father, Rishi Kapoor’s health. Her current release Gully Boy has seen her in top form internalising the character of Safeena, a spitfire, who rails at convention and cocks a snook at moth-eaten mores. While Abhishek Varman’s Kalank will present her in an epic avatar. It all adds up as the right time to meet

my favourite sunshine girl… What’s the best compliment you’ve received for Gully Boy? Mr Amitabh Bachchan wrote me a lovely letter after Gully Boy. This is the third note I’ve received from him. One was for Highway and the other

for Udta Punjab. Both are framed and up on my wall. (Smiles) After Gully Boy, people believe I’m a little crack. They perhaps think, ‘tu thodi si pagal hai, humkomaar sakti hai’. I love the fact that the character of Safeena made such an impact. I didn’t expect

this kind of response. For me it was a good film that I got for free because of Ranveer Singh. You’re like Paul the Octopus, you can foresee the right scripts. Zoya (Akhtar) also calls me Paul the Octopus. But I’ve gone wrong once. I had loved that script too. Perhaps, the execution went wrong. I choose my films as an audience. I’m a restless person. I can barely hold a conversation with a semiboring person. So, imagine me playing a semi-boring character. Either it should scare me or be something in my space, but with a twist. Gully Boy was an alien space. How did you own it? We did workshops. Also, there’s a kind of ‘buntai’ Mumbai chick hidden within me. I began speaking like that. I felt Safeena was me. The space was alien to me. But not the emotion. People have felt those emotions but no one’s expressed that kind of rage or jealousy. Have you ever beaten up anyone? No. Never. That’s a lie I swear I’ve never had a cat fight. I don’t have that confrontational ability. I’m a chuha (mouse) type of person in real life. I have this need to please people. I don’t want people to not like me. But I do identify with that emotion, that feeling. Like Safeena says, “Ek

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019 • Online Edition:

life hai aur ek tu hai. Upar se woh ghus rahi hai beech main…” I love the dialogue that I have one life and one you. Why is she taking that away from me? That thought was so beautiful. Is your relationship with your parents (Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan) a bit like that in Gully Boy? No. My parents have never raised their hand on me. Were they conservative? Definitely not. But I understand that emotion in the film where they talk about me lying. I used to lie a lot to my parents though I didn’t want to. Also, the bathroom scene with Ranveer Singh was wonderful… When Ranveer was doing the scene, I was not shooting that day. But I went on the set at 7 am to give him cues so he could feel like he was talking to me. Similarly, he came to give me cues when I shot my scene two months later. Listening to his voice helped. Do intense roles, like the one in Gully Boy, take a toll on you? It took a toll for sure. Kalank also took a toll on me. Because I was shooting simultaneously for Brahmastra and Gully Boy. Balancing Kalank and Brahmastra was difficult too because I hardly slept. It was demanding physically and emotionally. -- Filmfare

April 12, 2019

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April 12, 2019

Indian Diaspora is Largest in the World New York: The Indian diaspora is the highest as compared to the countries all over the world. Over 15 million migrants from India are living abroad, as reported in a study conducted by the UN Population Division. International migration data shows Indians make up the biggest population living outside their country of birth. Mexicans, Russians and Chinese are the next big settlers of the lot after Indians. Pakistan remains among the top countries for Indian settlers because of the large postPartition influx. It is because of India’s largest number of migrants abroad that the country receives the largest amount of remittance, noted to be 68.91 billion dollars. The report further stated that the largest migration corridor from India is to the United Arab Emirates, where


United States was noted to be the top destination for migrants all over the world in 2015, with 46.6 million migrants moving to the US.

in 2015 nearly 3.5 million Indians were residing. The United States was noted to be the top destination for migrants all over the world in 2015, with

46.6 million migrants moving to the US in that year. It is disturbing that 51% of the total refugee population comprised of the people under the age of 18 years.

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019 • Online Edition:

April 12, 2019


SANATAN SHIV SHAKTI MANDIR OF HOUSTON 6640 Harwin dr , Houston ,TX, 77036

A Hearty Invitation to all Hindu Devotees on the occasion of the celebration of

Chaitri Navaratri Mataji’s Pooja & Havan

FRIDAY , April 12, 2019

चिचिरूपेण या कृत्स्नमेि द्व्याप्य स्थि​िा जगि् |नमस्तस्यै , नमस्तस्यै ,नमस्तस्यै नमोनमः||

Meaning: I bow again and again to the Goddess, who pervadesthis world and controls in the form of awareness.

Maha Pooja at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Havan Starts at 5:00 PM Purnahuti (Nariyel Offering) at 6:30 PM

MahaAarati at 7:00 PM Mahaprasad will be followed by Aarati. FOR SALE Elegant, Modern Exquisite Villa situated in serene surroundings in exclusive gated community in Raidurg, Toli Chowki close to Gachi Bowli/Hi Tech City. Vacated after long leased by the US Consulate. Double storied Villa. Four Bedrooms (Attached Baths). Study, Open Terrace. Approximately 4000 sqft built up area with stringent saftey and security as stipulated by the US Consulate Contact: US # 1954-4616632


DEVOTEES WHO DESIRE TO SIT IN POOJA MAY GIVE THEIR NAMES TO OUR TEMPLE PRIEST AT 713-278-9099 Indo-American News • Friday, APRIL 12, 2019 • Online Edition:


April 12, 2019

Indo-American News • FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019 • Online Edition:

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