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Friday, July 05, 2019 | Vol. 38, No. 22

Indo American News Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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Hindu Charity (HC4A) Launches in Houston Metro

Life in Jail for Murder

Wesley Mathews, the Indian-American foster father accused of killing his 3-year-old daughter Sherin, is sentenced to prison for life in Dallas.

P5 Pratham’s Readathon

The HC4A (Hindu Charities for America, a non-religious 501c charity) “Serve Where You Live” Houston-area kick-off event was held recently at the Sugar Creek Montessori School in Stafford.

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July 05, 2019

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COMMUNITY

Hindu Charity—HC4A— Launches in the Houston Metro

Houston: The HC4A (Hindu Charities for America, a nonreligious 501c charity) “Serve Where You Live” Houston area kick-off event was held at the end of April 2019 at the Sugar Creek Montessori School in Stafford (southwest Houston) and it was a grand success! Apart from Austinbased founder Mr. Harish Kotecha and stalwart member Mr. Dinesh Vakharia, Honorable Judges K.P. George and Julie Matthews shared their experiences working with underprivileged students and communities in Fort Bend County. In addition, Neeta Sane, Houston Community College Board Trustee shared her knowledge on the HCC system and how HC4A may effectively work in the area of workforce/vocational scholarship support. Their insights, along with the guidance provided by several key attendees/donors proved extremely valuable for the work of HC4A whose goal is to bridge income disparity through education by a) providing vocational scholarships to economically underprivileged students and b) raise funds for school supplies/school backpacks for the large number of children from underprivileged backgrounds. As Harish Kotecha, the Founder of HC4A put it, “education is important to us and is a passion for us all, and we will continue to support students in our local communities.” Since its launch in Austin

Mrs. Lalita Trehan, the founder of Sugar Creek Montessori School and Mrs. Ruchika Singh Dias of Bollywood Shake. The HC4A-Houston team is proud to announce that they have raised over $10,000 towards vocational scholarships since the launch event, as well as additional funding for the back-to-school backpacks program. HC4A will be meeting with organizers for both activities on July 1s, and shall be finalizing the logistics. A video highlighting HC4A’s activities is available online at https://youtu. be/hvBbRpASwDA and further information is available on their website at www.hinducharitiesforamerica.org You can also reach out to Sashi Konidena, HC4A Houston coordinator at sashi@ hc4a.org if you have any further questions about donations for workforce scholarships or backto-school backpacks program, or need any further information about the charity.

OF O R from left) and Fort Bend County HC4A directors with Fort Bend County Court Judge Juli Mathew (second P D Judge KP George (third from right). A back in 2010, Harish Kotecha has of Hindu Americans IAN as a charinow successfully expanded HC4A table group, thereby promoting Executive Personal Driver Needed activities to the Houston and Los steps towards tolerance and accepAngeles areas. This charity is “for America.” It is a unique concept; Indians in the United States have long been sending justifiable aid to India, whether it be through donations for specific projects or remittances. HC4A does not seek to replace or supplant such efforts. Rather, the HC4A seeks to increase awareness

tance across society. By benefiting local American communities and encouraging concerted efforts by all members of the community through charitable action, HC4A has struck a unique chord in Indo-American society. As a result, over the past few weeks, two more Foundation Board members have joined HC4A-Houston, namely,

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COMMUNITY

Indian-American Adoptive Father of Sherin Mathews Sentenced to Life by Dallas Court Dallas: Wesley Mathews, the Indian-American foster father accused of killing his 3-year-old daughter Sherin Mathews and dumping her body in a culvert in 2017, was sentenced to life by a Texas court judge on Wednesday, in a sensational case that attracted global attention. Mathews, 39, pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge of injury to a child in Sherin’s death. He was originally charged with capital murder by authorities in Texas after they discovered Sherin’s highly decomposed body after a massive search that lasted 15 days. Mathews, dressed in a light grey suit, stared ahead and did not look at jurors as Judge Amber GivensDavis sentenced him to life in prison. The 12-member jury deliberated Wednesday afternoon for about three hours before coming to a unanimous decision to give Mathews a sentence of life in the death of Sherin. He will be eligible for parole after 30 years’ imprisonment, US media reports said. “Mr Matthews is obviously saddened by the verdict,” said his defense attorney Rafael De La Garza. “Anybody would be, but he knows the jury he respects the jury’s decision and he’s going to weigh out his options.” Prosecutors argued that Mathews, hailing from Kerala, killed Sherin in October 2017. She was adopted by Mathews and his wife Sini Mathews from an orphanage in Bihar’s Nalanda district in 2016. Mathews claimed that Sherin accidentally choked to death on milk. He initially told police that Sherin went missing on October 7, 2017, after he put her outside their home at 3 am in Richardson, Texas because she would not drink her milk. When he checked in on her 15 minutes later, Mathews said Sherin was missing. He later admitted she died when he “physically assisted” her in drinking the milk and got chocked. Sherin’s badly decomposed body was found 15 days later in a culvert by a cadaver dog. Reacting to the sentencing, Richardson Police tweeted that, “We feel justice has been served with today’s verdict of life in prison given to Wesley Mathews by a jury of his peers. “We would like to thank the law enforcement agencies and civilian partners for the resources and time spent on

this case. We will always remember Sherin Mathews,” the police said. Prosecutor Sherre Thomas argued that Mathews’ testimony was just another lie. She said testimony and medical records show that it was “medically impossible for a child who is 3 years old to stand up and choke to death” as Mathews Adoptive father Wesley Mathews sentenced to claimed. “It means he’s still life in prison. a liar. It means he On the witness stand during the killed that little girl. And when he sentencing trial, Mathews said he killed her, he panicked,” Thomas panicked after his daughter’s acciargued, WFAA TV reported. dental death. He said he wrapped She said Mathews also took her body in a blue trash bag and the time to clean up himself and dumped her in a culvert so she turned off the location tracker on would be near the home. his phone to try to hide what he Thomas argued that Sherin sufhad done. fered abuse the entire time she “There’s nothing left of her, her lived in the US. Medical records teeth had fallen out,” Thomas said. show that she had five broken “He covered his crime. He got bones that were at various stages away with that.” of healing. Speaking directly to Mathews, Police charged Sherin’s foster prosecutor Jason Fine said, “You mother Sini, a registered nurse, told investigators Sherin’s death with child abandonment in Nowas a mistake but by your own vember 2017, after her husband words, you caused the death of told officials the couple left the your daughter and put her lifeless toddler alone the night of her death body in a a mistake, I call it mur- while they went to dinner with der.” their biological daughter. “Sherin’s little body was so Sini’s case was dismissed in badly decomposed, due to the ac- March this year after prosecutors tions of this defendant, the medi- said they could not prove it becal examiner could not determine yond a reasonable doubt. Sini sat an official cause of death which in the courtroom during closing could have dramatically changed arguments on Wednesday. the way we were able to prosecute After the judge read the senthis case,” Fine told jurors. tence, she quickly left the courtWhile prosecutors asked the jury room without giving a comment to to hand down a life sentence, de- waiting reporters. She and Wesley fence attorney De La Garza argued Mathews were both arrested afthat Mathews was a good father ter Sherin’s body was found. The who panicked when his daughter couple later lost custody of their choked and did not call for help. biological daughter. He argued that prosecutors could Sherin’s death attracted the attennot prove that Mathews killed his tion of the Indian government and child and said he was only guilty the then external affairs minister of not calling 911, the emergency Sushma Swaraj took keen interhelpline. est in the case and also instructed During closing arguments, De the Indian mission in Houston to La Garza walked over to Mathews make sure that the Indian toddler and placed his hands on his shoul- received justice. ders. India revoked the Overseas Citi“This is something he will live zenship of India (OCI) immigrawith for the rest of his life,” the at- tion status of Wesley and Sini after torney told the jurors. Sherin’s death. The government After the verdict was read, De further tightened the adoption proLa Garza called the sentence “cru- cess after Sherin’s tragic death. -el and unusual punishment.” Times of India

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6 Pratham Houston Launches Summer Readathon for Children Houston: Worry. Despair. Hopelessness. These are the emotions running through millions of people in India, as they battle poverty every single day. Today, 75% of the Indian population earn no more than $78 per month. With little to no opportunities in sight, the future generations have no choice but to give in to the endless cycle of poverty and hunger. However, there is a way to break out of the cycle and win this fight: education. But 35% of the population is unable to read and write. This is where Pratham steps in. Pratham is a non-profit organization that works to educate children in India. It began with a small preschool located in the depths of Mumbai and through their efforts, has now expanded to have schools and learning centers in 20 Indian states, touching the hearts of thousands of kids across the country. One part of this organization that makes a significant contribution to this goal is the Pratham Readathon program. In this program, everybody, from little kids to adults, can do their part in raising money to educate children in India. This program is national, meaning that there are chapters all over America, including Houston. In this program, local kids will try to read as many books as they can, and in return, their family and friends will donate money based on the

Readathon participants with Thank You cards made by Pratham kids in India, Pratham National Board member and CFO, Pratham USA, Mr Swatantra Jain and Houston Coordinator of the Pratham Readathon, Manjit Soni.

number of books read. Through this program, not only kids in India are benefitting, but local kids are also enhancing their imagination and overall view of the world by immersing themselves in the written word and becoming a part of a community that loves reading just as much as they do. In fact, in the 2018 Readathon program, kids in Houston were able to raise $10,000. Given that it only takes $25 to educate one kid, the Hous-

ton chapter alone has touched the lives of hundreds. Recently, on June 23, Manjit Soni, the Houston coordinator of the Pratham Readathon, launched the 2019 Summer Readathon with a dazzling event to welcome all of the children participating. The readers had a wonderful time, where they had a chance to know each other through word games, such as anagrams, that all booklovers could appreciate. Also, at

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this event, these ambitious readers had the opportunity to discuss and share their favorite books with one another, encouraging each other to continue to read and contribute to the Pratham cause. Mani Surkari, volunteer coordinator of Pratham USA, particularly recommended an interesting book, titled Beeline, by Shalini Shankar, which explains why kids from an Indian background excel in spelling bees. One of the most touching mo-

ments of this event was the distribution of thank you cards by Pratham National Board Member and CFO of Pratham USA, Swatantra Jain. These cards were made by the children in India who have benefitted from this readathon. As the participants of the readathon received the thank you cards, which were filled with pictures of the kids in India smiling and happily clutching their books to their chests, these participants had the opportunity to see their impact on the lives of others. As Malcolm X once said: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” The Pratham organization encourages all kids and adults to join this fight for education, as they work to create opportunities for the future generation in India. Vaani Gupta is a senior high school student at the prestigious Village School and has volunteered for the Pratham Readathon since the last five years. So, please join the Houston Readathon Team or start your own team in your area and brighten the lives of underprivileged kids in India. For more information, please contact: houstonreadathon2019@ prathamusa.org or msurkari@ prathamusa.org or visit www. prathamusa.org

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SOUTH ASIANS

Hinduja Family Tops Asian Rich List London: Leadan estimated value of 300 ing London-based million pounds. NRI industrial tyLeading NRI entreprecoons, the Hinduneur Lord Swraj Paul ja family top the and family are 17th in Asian Rich List the list with a net worth 2019 for the sixth 900 million pounds - an successive year increase of 100 million with an estimated pounds over the previous net worth of 25.2 year. billion pounds, an Shailesh Solanki, exincrease of over ecutive editor of Asian 3 billion pounds Marketing Group (AMG) over the previous publisher of the Rich List year. said, “The Asian Rich According to the List is carefully compiled Asian Rich List by a team of experts and 2019 released at it is the definitive guide the Asian Busito Asian wealth in Britness Awards in Hinduja family patriarch Gopichand Hinduja. ain.” London on Friday Gopi Chand Hinduja, night, Steel magCo-Chairman of the Hinnates Lakshmi Mittal and his son Aditya Mitduja Group said “our existing portfolio of tal remained in second place, with 11.2 billion companies is all in the sunrise sectors. Our pounds- down 2.8 billion pounds. focus is on banking and financial services, India’s High Commissioner to the UK Ruchi healthcare and of course, philanthropy.” Ghanashyam released the list which is a comIn London, the Hindujas are continuing pilation of the 101 wealthiest Asians in Britwith the conversion of the Old War Office, ain, highlighting exceptional entrepreneurial on which they have a 250-year lease, into achievement over the last 12 months. a luxury residential and 125-room Raffles SP Lohia (Petrochemicals) took the third Hotel complex. place with 5.8 billion pounds. He said in India, there has been investThe entries of the Asian Rich List 2019 have ment worth Rupees 1,000 crore (108 mila combined wealth of more than 85.2 billion lion pounds) in car and bus manufacturers pounds. Ashok Leyland, where Gopi Chand HinThe figure is increasing year on year and this duja’s younger son, Dheeraj Hinduja, is year’s overall wealth increases by over 5 bilchairman. lion pounds. It recently inaugurated a cutting edge The list features seven new entries, including electric vehicle facility in its Ennore plant Hotelier Joginder Sanger and his son Girish at Chennai. Ashok Leyland is introducing Sanger who enter at number 40 on the list with battery-operated technology in its buses.

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Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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AAPI Conference Underway in Atlanta

AAPI regional directors gather for a group photo.

Atlanta: Over 2,000 delegates from across the nation are expected to attend the 37th annual convention organized by The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) from July 3rd to July 7th, 2019 at the fabulous and world famous Omni Atlanta at CNN Center and Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Naresh Parikh, President of AAPI, says, “The 37th Annual AAPI Convention & Scientific Assembly will offer an intimate setting that will facilitate our ability to convoy cutting-edge research and CME, promote personal, professional and business relationships, and display ethnic items. It’s a well-known fact that physicians of Indian origin excel in their respective areas of work and continue to play key roles in patient care, administration, aca-

demics and medical research. In order to cater to its diversity of medical specialties, AAPI continues to use a multi-disciplinary conference format. Sadhguru, recognized around the world for his pioneering efforts to nurture global harmony, will lead an Isha Foundation Spiritual Forum during the Convention. some of the major themes as part of the CME sessions include: Pursuit of Happiness In Medicine; Burnout Prevention and Wellness in Physicians; Easy Life of a Hospitalist: An Illusion; and, Meditation and Mindfulness. Shankar Mahadevan, the popular award winning Bollywood playback singer is all set to take the delegates by storm during the Convention. Shankar Mahadevan and his troupe will perform live at the much anticipated AAPI’s annual convention enthralling over 2,000 delegates from across the nation, who are expected to attend the Convention.

Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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LEGAL

Injured on the Job and Wondering How to Recover All Damages? By Mala Sharma

If you or someone you know has been injured while working, it is important to act immediately in order to properly recover all damages, including economic expenses, mental anguish, physical pain, loss of income, and more. Having the proper information and support from a qualified attorney will help you fight stubborn insurance companies and defendants who try everything in their will to avoid paying you a just compensation owed. The first question is to find out, from the Texas Department of Insurance, if the employer company has worker’s compensation which provides payment to injured employees from accidents on the job even if they are the reason for the accident. If so, the injured employee may file a workers compensation claim. However, Texas does not require all companies to have worker’s compensation and some companies may choose private insurance coverage or may have a self-funded insurance plan. In these situations, the injured employee would have to file a claim through the employer’s relevant policy. On the other hand, some

companies do not even carry any insurance coverage. As such, claims would need to be directly against the employer. Often, finding the correct defendant name and service address is not easy and more research would need to be done to pursue a civil judgment against the proper defendant, for all economic and non-economic damages incurred. When a company does not have worker’s compensation, an employee need only prove 1% negligence against the employer to recover all damages, including any and all ambulance expense, hospital bill, emergency physi-

cian’s fee, therapy, MRI’s, orthopedic bills, neurology bills, counseling, prescription, lost wages, mental anguish, and physical pain. Mental anguish and physical pain, also known as ‘pain and suffering’, is difficult to prove. Mental anguish and physical pain claims from a work injury accident include difficulty with daily activities, continuous treatment, anxiety, depression, permanent disability or disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life. There is no formula specified how to compute mental anguish and physical pain and insurance companies are not required to offer mental anguish and physical pain payments without a jury but most often multiply economic damages to quantify the amount. Although mental anguish claims are not adequately calculated by the insurance, a qualified attorney will fight to have all damages valued for full and just compensation deserved by forcing the insurance company to pay the full value now or be exposed to poten-

tially much higher award at trial! It is important to have an attorney by your side with insight and experience needed to confidently move your case forward, help you understand all your rights available when hurt on the job, and to collect your fair compensation. About the Author: Mala Sharma has been practicing family law and personal injury with her family at the Law Offices of Sharma & Associates, founded in 1997. Mala is chair of the American Bar Association GP Solo and GP Solo YLD division, Board member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, President Emeritus of the Houston Northwest Bar Association, and prior board member of the South Asian Bar Association.

She is also a member of the Houston Bar Association. Mala has also been selected as 10 Best Attorneys by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, and also selected Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This material is available for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at office number 281-893-8644 or by email at mala@sharmalaws.net to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Indo American News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Advertising Administrator: Sarita Mehta Correspondent: Sanchali Basu ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 212, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel & fax: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www. indoamerican-news.com

Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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ENTERTAINMENT

Article 15: A Relevant Film that Will Spark Conversation

By Sreeparna Sengupta

STORY: A young IPS officer’s new posting in rural India has him confronting caste disparities and uncomfortable truths in the face of a gruesome crime. When three girls go missing in the fictional village of Lalgaon, two of them are found dead and there is no trace of the third one. Where is she and who is responsible for this heinous act? REVIEW: When Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurana), a city bred IPS officer is given charge of the Lalgaon Police Station in the heartland of India, he realises soon enough that he will have to tackle far more than meets the eye. At one point early in the film, he exasperatedly tells his wife Aditi (Isha Talwar) on the phone, “It’s like the wild wild West.” Having studied in Delhi’s St. Stephens and lived in Europe prior to this, Ayan is clearly at odds with the mindsets that accost him right from the word go at Lalgaon. Even as he is grappling with the strong presence of caste discrimination and societal inequalities looming over, he stumbles upon the news of three girls employed in a local factory who have gone missing

film’s storyline, interspersed with powerful and poignant moments leaves you with goose-bumps. The narrative definitely keeps you on the edge, but there are times when it feels a tad overstuffed as the layers, political intricacies and a multitude of characters seep in. And at times the pace dips. But certainly, the performances by an ace set of actors is one of the high points of the film. Ayushmann Khurana has you hooked instantly,

for the last two days. His colleagues, Bhramdutt and Jatav (Manoj Pahwa and Kumud Mishra) tell him in all probability the girls will turn up. But the next morning, when two of them are found hanging from a tree, it confirms that something has gone horribly wrong. However, there is relentless pressure to close the case as quickly as possible. “Aap logon ka transfer ho jata hai, humein maar diya jata hain,” says Pahwa’s character as he tries to convince Ayan to sign off on the case file. As the police officer in command, Ayan is committed to getting to the bottom of this, refusing to buckle down despite obstacles and threats lurking in almost every corner. Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Article 15’ is

designed like a crime thriller. And what works for the film is that it’s thought provoking, hard-hitting while unflinchingly bringing to light burning social issues. The film is heavy on atmospherics, with the top notch cinematography (Ewan Mulligan) and background score adding to the mood. The feel is grim, gritty and grey often bringing a chill to the bone with palpable tension in the air. The images – some provocative and uncomfortable stand out, like the one where a man goes deep into a drain to unclog it and emerges soaked in the filth or the top shot of a group of policemen conducting a search in a swamp with their torchlights. The dialogues leave an impact. And the director brings out subtle nuances through his characters and setting which add to the essence of the narrative. The

belting out a riveting performance as the sincere, determined police officer. It’s an intense, gripping act as he gets under the skin of his character. Other noteworthy scene stealers include actors Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, in a short but impactful role as Nishad. ‘Article 15’ is not a light watch, but it is definitely relevant, compelling and a film that will spark conversation. -- Times of India

Consulate General of India, Houston Invites Candidates for Vacancy of Clerks Nature of Job: Clerical job involving issue of Consular documents and related works. Required Qualifications: Graduate, proficient in computer applications, excellent written and oral communication skills in English with good mental and physical health Age: Prefereably 20-35 years Pay: Minimum pay is $2,886 per month on the pay scale of $2886-87-4191-126-5451-164-7091 Interested candidates may send their resume by Post with copies of educational qualifications, work eperience and valid residence visa and work permit by 19th July, 2019 to: The Head of Chancery, Consulate General of India, 4300 Scotland St., Houston, TX 77007 email: enquiriescgi@swbell.net Admn.houston@mea.gov

Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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COMMUNITY

VPSS Celebrates Acquisition of 7.12 Acres Adjoining the Current Premises Houston: Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS), a temple of Lord Krishna (Shree Nathji) held a cecelebration on acquiring additional 7.12 acres of land, adjoining to existing facility. Now VPSS has about 15 acres of land for additional developments.

The program was graced with the presence and blessing of Shri Priti Raja Beteji, who came from India, and congratulated all for doing religious, social and community services. The program was organized outside in open grounds near the new

land purchased. Niranjan Patel, Chairman of VPSS, thanked all donors and members, who provided funds or loans to acquire the land. He Patel said that the additional land will be used for community services. Rasesh Dalal, trustee and

spokesperson, introduced, all the leaders from other organizations, who were invited as special guests and all were facilitated by VPSS. The program was very interesting on the open grounds with ice cream, nachos,and pizza for kids and full dinner for elders.

The celebration program was followed by a beautiful darshan of Shree Nathji. More than 600 people enjoyed the celebration and darshan.Houston is privileged to have such an extraordinary 15-acre temple and land for new facilities.

The program was graced with the presence and blessing of Shri Priti Raja Beteji, who came from India, and congratulated all for doing religious, social and community services.

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Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


HEALTH

The Body, Mind & Soul Relationship

By Swami Mukundananda Question: The popularity of Yoga has skyrocketed around the world. What is the science behind the effectiveness of the Yogasans? Swami Mukundananda: The art of healthy living must incorporate all aspects of the personality: the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. While the central theme of Yog remains the highest goal of the spiritual path, physical yogic practices enshrined in it give direct and tangible benefits to everyone regardless of their spiritual aims. Yogasans harmonize the body, mind and emotions. For example, at the physical level, organs, muscles and nerves may not be functioning properly. Asans bring the different bodily functions into perfect coordination so that they work for the good of the whole body. At the mental level, people harbor poisonous thoughts and emotions within. Muscular knots can occur anywhere in the body – in the neck as cervical spondylitis, in the face as neuralgia, etc. Every mental knot has a corresponding physical, muscular knot and vice versa. For example, emotional tensions can affect the smooth functioning of the lungs, and breathing process, contributing to a very debilitating disease, which is asthma. The aim of asans is to release these knots. For full benefit, these asans should be performed along

with the meditation. Meditational exercises cleanse the mind, to bring a feeling of peace and contentment within. Proper asans, Pranayam, subtle body relaxation, meditation, tackle these knots both at the physical and mental levels. As a result of the release of dormant energy, the body becomes full of vitality and strength, the mind becomes light and creative, joyful and balanced. Yogasans have succeeded as an alternative therapy in diseases such as asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, digestive disorders and many ailments of a chronic and constitutional nature, where modern medical science has failed. Q: What is consciousness? How is it different from the soul? SM: “Consciousness” is the symptom of life that is manifested by the soul. It is not the soul itself; rather, it is a quality of the soul. This is just as heat and light are manifestations of the fire, but by themselves, they are not the fire. Everything that exists is verily the energy of God. However, it is not all consciousness. Matter is “insentient” or devoid of consciousness, while the soul is “sentient” or possessing consciousness. This is an important distinction between the soul and matter. Apart from having consciousness itself, the soul also has the

ability to impart consciousness to matter, when it associates with it. Just as “a flower carries aroma itself, and the garden where it grows also becomes aromatic by its presence.” Likewise, the soul is sentient, and by its presence, it makes the dead matter of the body sentient as well. As long as the soul resides in the body, the senses, organs and limbs, all display signs of life. Upon death, when the soul departs, the body is dead matter once again. Q: How does the soul communicate with the elements in our body? Where is the connection between the body and the soul? SM: The soul communicates with the body by energizing it

with the force of life, or consciousness. Its presence makes the intellect, mind and body work. As already mentioned the soul is sentient, and by its presence, it makes the dead matter of the body sentient as well. Now the reverse communication – how does the body communicate with the soul? The link between the material body and the spiritual soul is established by the ego. In the materially conditioned state, the first covering on the soul is of the ego. The word for ego in Sanskrit is asmita, which means “that which is not.” This ego creates a false identity for the soul. Due to it, the soul is under the illusion that it is the body, mind and intellect. In this illusion that it is the body, the soul identifies with the pleasures and pains of the body. When the senses come in contact with the sense objects, they experience fleeting pleasure. Under the illusion that it is the body, the soul too experiences this pleasure. However, the experience does not satisfy the soul, which can only be satisfied by Divine Bliss. So the search for pleasure continues. This is how the two-way communication between the soul and the body-mind-intellect works. Swami Mukundananda is a world-renowned teacher of

Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

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spirituality, Yoga and Meditation. He is the founder of the unique Yogic system JKYog, also known as Yoga for the Body, Mind and Soul. He received His degrees in Engineering and Management from IIT (Delhi) and IIM (Kolkata). Swamiji is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. For the last 3 decades, He has inspired people all over the world, on the path of Spirituality, holistic health, yoga, meditation, service to society and God-realization. He has been invited to speak at various Fortune 500 companies like Google, Oracle etc. For the youth, Swamiji has conducted programs at prestigious universities such as Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Kellogg and Duke University. Swami Mukundananda will have two Free Week long programs in Houston. The first program is on 7 Secrets for Awakening your Best Self at India House at 8888 W Bellfort Ave, Houston, TX 77031 from August 3rd(Sat) – 9th(Fri). The Second Program is on Shrimad Bhagavat Mahapuran at Houston Durga Bari Society Auditorium, 13944 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082 from August 10th (Sat) -16th (Fri). Admission is Free & Prasadam is served on all days after program. Visit http://www.jkyog.org/events to register or call 281-630-5982/ 832-377-6070/ 281-782-7345 or email: houstonjkyog@gmail.com


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COMMUNITY May 17, 2019

Naunihal Singh Brar

Raghbir Singh

Gurbir Singh Boparai

Artist Tarsem S. Jassar

KP Singh

Jaswinder Singh Sandhu

Gurmeet Dhoat

Rajender Singh

3

Bachcha Tiwari

Dr. Gurdip Singh Buttar and Family

k.p. singh proudly presents .... Tarsem, Harman, Jass LIVE IN HOUsTON CONCERT

Jass Bajwa

Harman Chahal

Saturday, June 22, 2019 Old Stafford Civic Center

photos: Jaswant singh

Gurminder S. Padda Harpreet Singh, Sukhjeet S. Brar, Lakhwinder S. Mundi, Lakhvir S. Johal Mohan Singh Grewal

Jasmeet S. Buttar & Inderbir S. Mann(Grand Sponsors)

Aman S. Sidhu

Indo-AmerIcAnNews news••Friday, FrIdAy,JUly JULy05, 5, 2019 Indo-American 2019••onLIne OnlineedItIon: Edition:www.IndoAmerIcAn-news.com www.indoamerican-news.com


STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI

The Extraordinary Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi - Part 4

The story thus far… Gandhi arrives

in South Africa and is rudely made aware of the rampant racism in that country when has to visit Pretoria on work. He is unceremoniously thrown off a 1st class compartment on a train to Johannesburg. He manages to board another train where his white fellow traveler is quite willing to share the compartment. They travel harmoniously on to Pretoria. It was late in the evening when the train pulled into Pretoria. Gandhi, relieved to reach his destination stayed at a hotel that night and moved into a lodge the next day. There he began to study the Abdulla lawsuit. While he was working on it, he made the time to call a meeting of the Indians in Pretoria. This he did with the help of Tyeb Haji Khan Muhammad, an influential Indian merchant. Only a handful of Indians attended. It was the first time Gandhi had addressed a meeting. “There is too much division among us,” he said. “Why should we be kept apart by differences in birth, family, caste, and religion? Let us form a league, representing every group, and keep the Government informed of our difficulties and our needs.” The audience listened to him with great interest. It was decided to hold regular meetings of all the Indians in Pretoria. Involved in his work, Gandhi was entrusted with the task of translating into English all the correspondence between Dada,Abdulla & Co. and the rival party. After studying all the facts, he was convinced that his client’s claim was just and true. He knew, however, that if the case were taken to court it would drag on for a long time, so he called together representatives of both parties. “Why don’t you choose a good man, whom you both trust, to arbitrate between you?” he said. Both parties were astonished at this new idea. This young man was not the kind of lawyer they were familiar with; they appreciated his stand and agreed to his suggestion.An arbitrator was appointed, and he gave his award in favor of Gandhi’s clients. Although they had won, Gandhi persuaded his clients to be lenient with their opponent. They agreed not to demand the money due all at once, but in

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Gandhi’s Impact on South Africa

M.K. Gandhi with disenfranchised Indians in South Africa (above) and with his legal staff (below).

easy installments spread over a long period. Both parties were happy over the settlement. Gandhi’s first success as a lawyer was not a crushing victory over an opponent, but the triumph of good sense and humanity. In the Orange Free State, Indians had been deprived of all their rights by a law enacted in 1888. They could stay there only if they did menial work. Traders were sent away with nominal compensation. Under a law passed in 1886, Indians who wanted to live in the Transvaal were forced to pay an annual poll-tax of £ 3 per head. There they were not allowed to own land except in certain locations. They had no freedom to move about. If they wanted to go out of their houses after 9 p.m., they had to carry a permit with them. They were not allowed to use certain highways at all. Gandhi felt personally humiliated at the way Indians were treated there. He thought it was his duty to defend their rights and remove their grievances. He often went out for an evening walk with an English friend, Mr. Coates, and he rarely reached home before 10 p.m. He had obtained a letter from the State Attorney allowing him to be out of doors at any time without police interference. Walking alone one evening, Gandhi was suddenly attacked and knocked down. He was injured. He struggled to his feet to face a police constable. “That will teach you to obey the

law,” shouted the policeman. “No Indian has the right to walk past the President’s house. Didn’t you know that?” The policeman kicked him. “Gandhi, are you hurt?” asked a familiar, friendly voice. It was Mr. Coates. He happened to be passing that way when he saw Gandhi being attacked. Mr. Coates warned the policeman. “This man is my friend and a distinguished lawyer,” he said. “If he brings a complaint against you, I shall be his witness.” Then he turned to his friend and said, “I am very sorry, Gandhi, that you have been so rudely assaulted.” “You need not be sorry,” said Gandhi. “How is the poor man to know?

All colored people are the same to him. I have made it a rule not to go to court in respect of any personal grievance.” Coates turned again to the policeman and said, “You should tell an Indian politely what the regulations are - not knock him down.” “Never mind,” said Gandhi. “I have already forgiven him.” Now that the Abdulla case had been settled, Gandhi thought there was no need for him to stay on in South Africa. Towards the end of 1893 he went back to Durban to book his passage to India. Abdulla arranged a farewell party in his honor. While going through the newspapers that day, Gandhi was surprised to read that a bill was pending before the Natal Legislative Assembly that would deprive Indians of their right to elect members to the Assembly. He brought this to the notice of the people gathered there for the party. “What do we understand about such matters?” Abdulla Seth said. “We only understand things that affect our trade.” Gandhi responded that the bill, if it passed into law, would make it extremely difficult for Indians. “It is the first nail in our coffin. It strikes at the very root of our selfrespect,” said Gandhi. The Indians now realized what was at stake; but they were unable to decide what to do. They requested

Gandhi to postpone his departure and help them. He agreed to stay on for another month and organize resistance to the new bill. Late that night the Indians held a meeting in Abdulla Seth’s house under the presidency of Seth Haji Muhammad, the most influential Indian merchant there. They resolved to oppose the Franchise Bill. Telegrams were sent to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Premier of Natal requesting postponement on further discussion of the bill. The Speaker replied that the discussion would be put off for two days. The Natal Indians then drew up a petition to the Legislative Assembly pleading against the bill. This was followed up by another petition to Lord Ripon, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. More than 10,000 Indians signed the petition. Copies were circulated in South Africa, England, and India. There was much sympathy for the Natal Indians’ plight, but the campaign had started too late to stop the bill becoming law. However, the campaign did do some good. For the first time, the people of India came to know of the conditions in Natal. An even more important result was the new spirit that now awakened the Indians in South Africa. To be Continued next week...

Walk for Peace Registration Houston: Fellow peace lovers, please come and vote for peace with your feet! Mahatma Gandhi Library is organizing a 5K walk through beautiful Hermann Park. It will be meandering through beautiful Hermann Park starting and ending at The Miller Outdoor Theatre. The walk will stop by the life size statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Hawkins sculpture in Hermann Park Conservancy. Come with your friends and family to spread the message of peace. Such actions will inspire our children and make a lasting impact on them. To register please visit http:// gandhilibrary.org/walk-for-peaceregistration/

Sponsored by the Houston Arts Alliance in honor of the Mahatma Gandhi Sesquicentennial Houston celebrations.

Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com


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Indo-American News • Friday, JUly 05, 2019 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

Profile for Indo American News

Indo-American News July 5, 2019  

Leading South Asian weekly based in Houston, Texas

Indo-American News July 5, 2019  

Leading South Asian weekly based in Houston, Texas

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