Indo-American News: February 11, 2022

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Friday, February 11, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 06


February 11, 2022

Indo American News


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Statue of Equality

Sri Swamiji with Sri Narendra Modi and dignitaries at the Statue of Equality Inauguration



3 3 3 0 F M 1 4 6 3 | K a t y, T X 7 7 4 9 4 | 8 3 2 . 8 5 5 . 5 5 2 0 | p a l m r o y a l v i l l a . c o m

Indo-American News • Friday, february 11, 2022 •



February 11, 2022

Explained: The Lata Phenomenon What made Lata Mangeshkar, who died on Sunday, the soundtrack for generations in the subcontinent? Exploring the musician through her songs, her commitment to perfection, and the women she gave voice to. By Suanshu Khurana Mumbai When a newly-independent India, still coming to terms with the bloodbath of the Partition, heard Lata Mangeshkar sing Yun hi muskuraye ja, aansu piye ja… uthaye ja unke sitam from the Nargis Dutt-Raj Kapoor-Dilip Kumarstarrer Andaz (1949), it seemed like a salve for broken hearts. When the song reached the other side of the border, the Naushad composition had the same effect — after all, the separation pangs were the same on either side. The song turned a 20year-old Mangeshkar, a newcomer from Kolhapur, into a superstar and the gold standard of genius. “Kambakhat, galti se bhi besuri nahi hoti,” Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali had once said of her. Indeed, so pervasive was Mangeshkar’s influence that generations have grown up listening to her, singing her songs, and, in the case of women musicians, aspiring to be like her. If Hindi films have been the life of India’s masses, the soundtrack to their lives has been its music. The audience formed an emotional connection with the singers: you were either a Rafi believer or a Kishore Kumar acolyte. But when it came to Mangeshkar, she was the undisputed queen, who could sing everything from bhajans such as Allah tero naam (Hum Dono, 1961, composed by Jaidev and penned by Sahir Ludhianvi) to love songs such as Ye zindagi usi ki hai (Anarkali, 1953) or nostalgic numbers such as Mere saaya saath hoga (Mera Saaya, 1966). Through several decades, Lata Mangeshkar sang for the righteous and chaste Indian woman on-screen, while her sister Asha Bhosle sang numbers that called for sensuality. Mangeshkar had such charisma that filmmakers and composers realised very early on that having her in a project signalled credibility and impeccable standards. Much before a film was shot, the composer, lyricist and singers were signed on for the project. This meant that several films that did badly at the box office had outstanding music helmed by Mangeshkar, that reached listeners through radio, a ubiquitous mode of entertainment in those early days after Independence. In fact, it was radio that took her voice to different parts of the country and made her synonymous with Hindi playback singing. Mangeshkar never took talent for granted. She would spend time on her rehearsals, practise her diction and ensure immaculate renditions. Once, when superstar Dilip Kumar told her to improve her diction, she asked a family friend, an imam, to come and teach her to read and write Urdu. She sang in a range of Indian languages — from Bengali to Marathi — her mother tongue

— to Punjabi. If those in Punjab sang alongside her rendition of Baba Bulleh Shah’s Heer, those in Maharashtra swayed to the tune of her Saanwre rang rachi and her Na jeyo na was a staple at every Durga Puja function in West Bengal. She was a unifying factor, who brought the nation together as a repository of its culture, entertainment and, of course, music. As films moved to less formulaic tropes, Bollywood, too, underwent changes. Directors moved towards authenticity in representation, and, here Mangeshkar was a huge success, setting standards in playback singing. She sang the way her heroines spoke, moving away from the thick, nasal gayaki popularised by Noor Jehan or Shamshad Begum, that had, till then been the standard. She could sing for an entire range of characters — from a poetry-loving village girl in a prison (Mora gora ang layi le, Bandini, 1963), to a witty and defiant courtesan in Akbar’s Sheesh Mahal (Pyaar kiya toh darna kya, Mughal-eAzam, 1960), to a woman savouring the rains as she shares an umbrella with the man she loves (Pyaar huya iqrar huya, Shri 420, 1955) to an emotional mother trying to fend for her children by ploughing the field (Duniya mein hum aaye hain toh, Mother India, 1957), to a young woman who has just broken away from the shackles of a claustrophobic relationship (Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, Guide, 1965) to a young singer who’s lost her unborn child (Tere mere milan ki, Abhimaan, 1973). And who can forget Kavi Pradeep’s seminal Aye mere watan ke logo, in the wake

of the Sino-Indian war of 1962, that reduced then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears and has been a fixture at every patriotic function for nearly five decades?

Even when technology brought in changes, demanding less and less finesse on part of playback singers, fixing flaws in pitch and sur on the console instead,

Indo-American News • Friday, february 11, 2022 •

Mangeshkar remained steadfast in her commitment to perfection. Until the 1990s, when Mangeshkar sang more regularly, performances resembled live-stage performances, preceded by extensive rehearsals. They were communal affairs, with 100-piece orchestras divided into string, wind and rhythm sections, coming together in mammoth studios to record one song. If one didn’t nail it the first time, the process had to be repeated all over again. But the arrival of auto-tuners changed the game and that used to rankle with her. If she taught the musicians how to approach music with clarity and focus, for listeners, she was an institution in herself. In her death, India has lost one of her most revered musicians, but she has left behind an immaculate oeuvre that will continue to give listeners joy, comfort and courage for times to come. -- Indian Express


February 11, 2022

Annu Naik is Pratham-Houston President

Houston: Pratham USA is pleased to announce the appointment of Annu Rao Naik as president of the Houston chapter. Annu will be taking the reins from Dhiren Shethia who has led the chapter to great success despite the pandemic. Under Dhiren’s leadership, the Houston Chapter exceeded its fundraising goals and planned successful events that raised funds for programs in India. In the process of doing so, he engaged a whole new professional team for the Houston chapter. The foundations for corporate giving were laid under his leadership and the chapter engaged the Houston business community like never before, which led to launching The Corporate Advocates Program. Dhiren will continue

to serve on the Pratham USA national board and Pratham Houston board. Annu has lived in the Houston area for the past twenty-five years and has worked with countless families as a real estate agent for sixteen of those years. Prior to transitioning into real estate, Annu

worked at Compaq and HP. She and her husband, Sagar, became involved with Pratham about fifteen years ago after attending a few of the organization’s events and learning about how the organization’s mission aligns with their own. As a family, they are passionate about helping people through education and providing second chances to women and girls. Together, she and Sagar are engaged with various organizations throughout the greater Houston area. Annu, herself, is also on the board of Daya, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence. The Naiks have two children, Anita and Rohan, both of whom have volunteered with Pratham in the past.


Indo American News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Correspondent: Sanchali Basu

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Caste Discrimination on US Campuses? By Sukrita Baruah On several American campuses, a new battlefront is emerging: caste is making its way into antidiscrimination frameworks, and drawing Hindu rightwing backlash. After California State University (CSU) announced last month that it had added caste as a protected category against discrimination, a section of the faculty protested, fearing it could be used to target teachers of Indian and South Asian descent. CSU wasn’t the first American university to act against caste but its decision carries significant implications, given that it is the largest four-year public university system in the US, with 23 campuses, almost 5 lakh students, and 29,000 teachers. Over the last two years, at least three other institutions — Colby College in Maine, Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and the Ivy League Harvard University — have adopted safeguards against caste discrimination. An American Hindu Right advocacy has led the pushback against CSU. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) wrote to CSU’s board of trustees last month opposing the decision. HAF has said it was approached by “concerned faculty members” at CSU, and is helping teachers to mount a legal challenge against the university. “We are helping concerned faculty explore all legal avenues to ensure their constitutionally guaranteed rights to equal protection and due process are protected,” a spokesperson for the foundation told The Indian Express. The HAF says it is not affiliated to any religious or political organisation, but its co-founder Mihir Meghani has been actively involved with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America. HAF had opposed the State of California’s law-

suit against Cisco Systems Inc., which was a watershed moment in caste conversation in the US. In 2020, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing had sued Cisco and two of its employees for alleged discrimination against a Dalit engineer. HAF filed a motion to intervene in the case, arguing that the State of California’s assertion that caste is “a strict Hindu social and religious hierarchy” is an “inaccurate and unconstitutional definition” that would “perversely lead to increased targeting of and discrimination against Indian-origin, and particularly Hindu workers”. Two Indian-origin faculty members, Praveen Sinha and Sunil Kumar, have publicly criticised CSU’s decision as “misguided overreach”, since American laws already protect against different forms of discrimination. “We cannot but oppose the unique risk that CSU’s move puts on us as they add a category that is only associated with people of Indian descent, such as myself and thousands of other faculty and students in the CSU system. It is going to create divisions where they simply do not exist,” Sinha, a professor of accountancy at CSU Long Beach, said in a statement released by HAF. According to Kumar, who teaches engineering at San Diego State University, the policy was changed without referring to any scientifically reliable evidence or data. “Rather than redressing discrimination, it will actually cause discrimination by unconstitutionally singling out and targeting Hindu faculty of Indian and South Asian descent as members of a suspect class because of deeply entrenched, false stereotypes about Indians, Hindus and caste,” he said in a statement that was put out by the HAF. Neither Kumar nor Sinha responded to questions emailed by The Indian Express.

Vamsee Juluri, a professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco, said he was “disappointed” with the attitude of the American Hindu groups. “There has been too much unnecessary polarisation in the Indian/ Hindu/ South Asian community as a result of mixing up partisan political interests from India with the realities of life, struggle, and privilege in America,” he said. Juluri said he did understand the concerns over the operationalisation of anti-caste policies, “especially given the tendency of some Silicon Valley diversity experts and other racists in America to refer to Indian immigrants as ‘parasites’ ”, and the existence of “a lot of anti-Indian and particularly anti-Hindu hatred and ignorance” in the US. While that should be “confronted and checked”, however, “the lasting solution… is not to deny the victims of caste, but to more directly confront the sources of white supremacy and corporate power in securing appropriate protections”, he said. “American society recognises anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and a range of historic and structural wrongs. If Hindu American groups have failed to persuade a large part of the Indian American community, let alone the broader American society, that they deserve similar protections too for Indophobia/ Hinduphobia from racial and religious supremacists in America, the fault is at least partly their own. They should be… open to the possibility that both Hinduphobia and casteism can be opposed,” Juluri said. At Colby College, the move to take on caste discrimination was led by teachers Sonja Thomas and David Strohl, who study caste in South Asian Muslim and Christian societies. The action at CSU by contrast, marked the culmination of a long process that was driven by students. -- Indian Express

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February 11, 2022

Gandhi Statue in New York Vandalized New York: Indian American community leaders on Monday condemned the vandalism of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in New York and said this is disrespect to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, two leaders who sought to eradicate hate. A life-sized bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalised in a New York City neighbourhood on Saturday, an act strongly condemned as ‘despicable’ by the Consulate General of India. The eight-foot-high statue, located in Manhattan’s Union Square, was defaced by some unknown persons, the consulate in New York had said. “As an African American practitioner of the Hindu dharma, I am deeply offended that anyone would disrespect Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired MLK (Martin Luther King) to take up the mission of non-violence, which inspired major changes in society that are still positively impacting our lives today,” said Balabhadra Bhattacarya Dasa (Benny Tillman), president of the Vedic Friends Association. Utsav Chakrabarti, executive director of the HinduPACT said that this is not the first time that a statue of Gandhi has been vandalised in the US. “In the past few years, statues of Mahatma Gandhi have been vandalised by groups aligned with radical Islamists and their sympathisers in South Asian communities,” he claimed. In January last year, unknown miscreants had vandalised, broken and ripped from the base a statue of Gandhi in a park in California, evoking a strong response from India which sought a thorough investigation and appropriate action against those responsible for the

“despicable act.” In December 2020, Khalistanisupporters had desecrated a Gandhi statue in Washington, DC in front of the Indian Embassy. Also in June 2020, some unknown miscreants vandalised the statue of Gandhi outside the Indian embassy in the US with graffiti and spray painting, prompting the mission to register a complaint with the local law enforcement agencies. In a statement, Ajay Shah, convenor of the American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD), said Gandhi and the freedom movement he spearheaded served as the inspiration for King and the American Civil Rights movement. The consulate had said that “the matter (the vandalism in New York) has also been taken up with the US State Department for immediate investigation. -- ToI


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February 11, 2022


Houston Prajna Center Students Participate in Statue of Equality Inaugural

Sri Swamiji with some members of Prajna Houston during the Bhagavad Gita Avadhanam

By Aparna Tamirisa and Ranganath Kandala As we write, the inaugural ceremony of the Statue of Equality was taking place in Telangana, India. A magnificent symbol of inclusion, The Statue of Equality was entirely conceptualized by Acharya His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Chinnajeeyar Swamiji. The Statue is a reminder, at a time where divisiveness has become the norm, that we have a responsibility towards one another to create a fairer and more compassionate place for all. In 2014, His Holiness Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji brought forward the plan to establish the Statue of Equality on the occasion of the 1000th birth anniversary of Sri Ramanujacharya, generating immense energy and inspiring millions of people around the world. Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji, Acharya of the Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, Houston invoked the same inspiration in our local devotees who were fortunate to take part in the project. The Statue of Equality was unveiled by the Honorable Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi on February 5, 2022. The inaugural ceremonies started on February 2, 2022 and will culminate on February 14, 2022. Sitting at 216 feet high on a 45-acre area in Sriramanagar, a suburb of Hyderabad in Telangana, is the statue of Sri Ramanujacharya, iconic social reformer, philosopher and powerful influencer of the Bhakti movement. Sri Ramanujacharya lived more than 1000 years ago from 1017 AD to 1137 AD. Equality, bhakti, and active service to our society are the thoughts that come to mind when one expounds upon Sri Ramanajacharya’s philosophy. At a time when equality was a non-existent concept, Sri Ramanujacharya fought for it and preached it at the expense of being chastised himself. Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji is a Jeeyar (spiritual leader) in the lineage of Sri Ramanujacharya. His Acharya, His Holiness Pedda Jeeyar Swamiji strived for social

causes and was also a freedom fighter. Chinnajeeyar Swamji continued to pursue the path of social reform much along the lines of Sri Ramanujacharya. Swamiji preaches to promote harmony and peace by following two principles, “Serve all beings as service to God” and “Worship your own, Respect all”. Chinnajeeyar Swamiji has established a Vedic University and Vedic schools, conducted mass prayer programs for universal peace, organized free medical camps which have benefitted hundreds of thousands of people, has actively propagated animal and environmental welfare activities, and has established Schools and Colleges for the visually challenged and underprivileged children of remote areas, empowering them for success. Swamiji’s discourses are profound and he incorporates examples from all subjects and walks of life enabling the common man to relate to complex Vedic principles. Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji as founder of the Jeeyar Educational Trust (JET) and VT Seva organizations, has inspired many towards bhakti through JET and service to the community through VT Seva. Swamiji educates communities to live in harmony with the environment. He established ‘Prajna’, a comprehensive Vedic educational and development program for children, that is conducted in numerous centers across the USA. Through Prajna, Swamiji is preserving Vedic cultural value systems and promoting service. During the inaugural event of the Statue of Equality ceremonies are being conducted in a most magnificent and authentic fashion and in the presence of an august audience and devotees. One highlight of the event is that Sri Lakshmi Narayana Maha Yagna is being conducted with1035 kundas by 5000 ruthviks for good health and universal harmony. The celebratory event has featured visits by The Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi, Indian President Sri Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Sri Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Telangana

Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple Houston

Sri K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Jaganmohan Reddy, and many others. Saints and spiritual leaders from all over India are attending the event and have participated actively in meaningful discussions. Many internationally renowned artists have performed during the event as well. Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple in Houston is one of only two Jeeyar Educational Trust Temples in the United States, the other one being in New Jersey. Ashtalakshmi Temple was established with the guidance of Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji and follows the practices as detailed by Sri Ramanujacharya around 1000 years ago. Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple is a place for wor-

shiping Lord Lakshmi Narayana along with eight (Ashta) forms of Maha Lakshmi. It is also a center for Vedic learning. The vision of Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple is to promote the mission of H.H. Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji to revitalize our Vedic heritage and spread the Vedic knowledge to the present and future generations through learning and worship. Ashtalakshmi Temple Houston and Katy Prajna centers are among the largest centers in the United States and have been instrumental in producing responsible and high achieving individuals. Students of our local Prajna centers participated at the Statue of Equality Inaugural ceremony Vishnu Sahasranama and Bhaga-

Indo-American News • Friday, february 11, 2022 •

vad Gita avadhanams. Our local VT Seva (Volunteering Together for Service) chapters are active in promotion of volunteerism and philanthropy for the betterment of our local and global communities. At a time when equality has come to question worldwide, whether related to gender, color, race or economic status, the Statue of Equality makes an incredibly powerful statement and will continue to stand in the annals of time as a reminder to mankind. A wealth of information on the Statue of Equality can be found at www.statueofequality. org. Please visit for information about Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple, Houston.



February 11, 2022

Komal Khatri is Mrs. Bharat Elite Winner Houston: Komal Khatri is the Mrs. Bharat Elite Winner and also earned the title “Gloriously Glam” during the Miss Bharat Texas Peagent. She was crowned by CEO & Founder of Miss Bharat Platform Rashmi Bedi and VP of Miss Bharat Texas – Dr. Nisha Sundaragopal in Houston. In nationals, she won the title “Beauty with Brain” and was honored by actress – Mannara Chopra. Komal loved her experience at State (Houston, Texas) & Nationals (Sterling, Virginia). It was an experience of a lifetime. “Not only I had lots of fun but also got a chance to make many new connections” says Komal. Komal works for a healthcare company and has a demanding role of managing an enterprise-wide program. “I love solving problems that come my way every day to help people live healthier lives”. She is an inventor, a mentor and a fearless leader. She leads an initiative in her company called Women Invent to help fill invention gender disparity gaps. Komal volunteers her time and serves on the board of directors for a non-profit org. She has helped fundraise thousands of dollars for several non-profit orgs, including Anasuya Foundation, Geeta Ashram, American Heart Association, etc. Komal wants to use her crown for a purpose and wants to help as many individuals as possible and organizations to help fundraise $s to support women and children in need. She is looking forward to help fundraise $s for Akshaya

Left: Nisha Sundaragopal, Center: Komal Khatri, Right: Rashmi Bedi

Patra foundation this year. I also want to inspire girls that lack confidence and be a role model to those wating a little push. Komal loves meeting with new people and enjoys modeling. She has showcased for many designers with the latest for Signature Collections USA where actor/model Aryan Ved was the showstopper. The Bharat Elite contest is organized by the Entertainment LLC Platform for individuals to fulfill their dreams. It has been founded to provide the best entertainment to our com-

munity. Various Peagents hosted by Mydream Entertainment empowers each contestant with further personality grooming, to enrich their confidence further and provide them with a platform to showcase their talent and potential. This is a beauty pageant indeed to convey the message that beauty is not just in the mere looks but in the complete balance of your inside out beauty & your confidence to inspire others. This pageant is open to women and men of all age as have multiple categories for enrollment/crowns and titles.

Oscars: “Writing with Fire New Delhi: Delhi-based filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s documentary Writing With Fire has made it to this year’s Oscar nominees list in the Best Documentary Feature category. The documentary film has been making headlines since it won the Special Jury (Impact for Change) and Audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival in January last year. And since then, it has bagged more than 20 international awards. The Washington Post had tagged Writing with Fire as “The most inspiring journalism movie – maybe ever”. Speaking to The Indian Express earlier, co-director Sushmit Ghosh had said, “As filmmakers, Rintu and I have always been interested in amplifying stories of resilience and hope. Writing With Fire has had a wonderful journey this year and it’s heartening to see a film from India being cherished by audiences across the globe.” Centered around one-of-a-kind rural newspaper called Khabar La-

hariya run by Dalit women since 2002, the duo’s debut feature documentary throws light on the journey of these women as they ask necessary questions about caste and patriarchy. In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful. Besides Writing with Fire, other nominees in the Best Documentary Feature category include Ascension, Attica, Flee and Summer of the Soul (Or When the Revolution Could not be Televised).

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February 11, 2022


Akshay Patra Houston’s Informative Dinner Gautam Adani: Asia’s Richest

Akshay Patra principals Sanjeev Yamdagni (left), Samrat Bera, Navin Goel, Ashok Shah (Houston Chair) and Ankita Narula.

Houston: Akshaya Patra Houston Chapter hosted an informative dinner on Friday February 4, 2022. Navin Goel Chief Executive Officer and Ankita Narula Vice President of Development of Akshaya Patra USA were present. Ankita Narula introduced Navin Goel as well as Houston Chair Ashok Shah, Samrat Bera and Sanjeev Yamdagni. Navin Goel and Ankita Narula gave lots of good information about Akshaya Patra and answered many questions. About 25-30 people attended the event at local Indian Restaurant. Akshaya Patra is a non- profit Organization who feeds millions of school children in India for more than 20 years. Many children from the poor families are deprived of education as the

children are pushed towards taking up menial jobs to try and support the family. The main mission of Akshaya Patra is to ensure that these kids come to school for the mid-day meal (sometimes the only meal the kids get to have in a day), attend school learn and become better citizens of tomorrow. The mid-day meal is the incentive for the parents to send their children to school and for the children to be able to focus on their studies. Currently 1.8 million children are being fed and are learning due to the mid-day meal program. Their goal is to feed at least 5 million school children everyday by 2025. Akshaya Patra operates in almost all States in India with their kitchens located strategically in various States. They served hot lunches to several school children from each

kitchen. Each kitchen and the supply chain around getting the fresh food cooked daily and getting it to the school is exemplary and the quality is top notch The Houston chapter kickoff 2022 year with ambitious plan to hold possibly 3 events to raise funds to feed school children in India. Several youths attended the event and they will involve more youngsters from the Houston metropolitan area. They would be reaching out to you all so that you can devote some time and efforts to support this noble cause and for a better future How far does your dollar go? An interesting fact: $20 feeds a child back in India for an entire school year. Akshaya Patra have served more than 200 million covid meals and still continuing.

New Delhi: Gautam Adani, the Indian billionaire who turned a small commodities trading business into a conglomerate spanning ports, mines and green energy, is now Asia’s richest person. The 59-year-old mogul’s net worth reached $88.5 billion on Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, eclipsing fellow countryman Mukesh Ambani’s $87.9 billion. With an almost $12 billion jump in his personal fortune, Adani is the world’s biggest wealth-gainer this year. The coal magnate -- whose controversial Australian mine project drew flak from climate activists including Greta Thunberg -- has increasingly looked beyond the fossil fuel for expansion. He’s moving into renewable energy, airports, data centers and defense contracting -- priorities Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also considers crucial to nationbuilding and meeting the country’s long-term economic goals.

“The Adani Group has spotted and entered all the happening sectors at the right time, which has appealed to a select band of foreign portfolio investors,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at Mumbai-based brokerage HDFC Securities Ltd. “The sectors are capital-intensive and the company has faced little difficulty in raising funds to expand.” Some of Adani Group’s listed stocks have soared more than 600% in the past two years on bets his push into green energy and infrastructure will pay off as Modi looks to revive the $2.9 trillion economy and meet the India’s carbon net-zero target by 2070. MSCI Inc.’s decision to include more Adani companies in its Indian benchmark index has also meant any fund tracking the gauge will have to buy the shares. While 2020 was Ambani’s year the pendulum has since swung toward Adani. -- Bloomberg

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February 11, 2022

Anand Mahindra Turns History Upside Down

London: The Mahindra Group chairman said the firm was “delighted to be part of turning history upside down” Business tycoon Anand Mahindra relished some moments online as technology expert Jaspreet Bindra recounted how Mahindra Group bought a stake in the East India Company (EIC). The Mahindra Group chairman said they were “delighted to be part of turning history upside down”. In eight tweets, Bindra encapsulated how EIC came to Indian hands as he mentioned his meeting with Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of the company. He tweeted, “Yesterday, I had one of my most interesting visits and meetings, with the owner of the #company that virtually created #capitalism !!” Tracing the beginnings of EIC,

Bindra tweeted, “@TheEastIndia Company (EIC) was an English, and later British, joint-stock company founded in 1600. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the East Indies (the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia), and later with Qing China.” “The company seized control of large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonized parts of Southeast

Asia and Hong Kong after the First Opium War, and maintained trading posts and colonies in the Persian Gulf. The rest, as they say, is history,” Bindra said in another tweet. “The EIC which colonized India was bought by Sanjiv Mehta ‘from 30 to 40 owners’ in 2000s. Cut to early 2000, when Indian business @SanjivMehta1600 actually bought out the East India Company ‘from 30 to 40 owners’, in a burst of patriotic fervor, and has built it up into a luxury business selling teas, coffees, chocolates, other fine foods and #gin!” tweeted Bindra. For example the word ‘cash’ came from the currency issued by the EIC, the currency was called ‘cash’ ! The EIC also owns the words ‘mohur’ and guinea, according to Bindra. -- Indian Express




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February 11, 2022

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SUDOKU/BOLLYWOOD 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 February 15. 2022. Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.

Solution Next Week

Last Week’s Solution

February 11, 2022 Streaming on SonyLIV


‘Rocket Boys’: Tribute to Scientific Luminaries By Archika Khurana ‘Rocket Boys’ tells the story of two legendary physicists, Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha—colloquially known as “Father of the Indian Nuclear Program”— who was a researcher in Cambridge before he decided to stay in India and join CV Raman’s Indian Institute of Science. He worked as a physics professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) before founding and leading the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai. And Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai— internationally regarded as the “Father of the Indian Space Program”— was an Indian physicist and astronomer who pioneered space research and contributed to developing nuclear power in India. He also has a key role in the establishment of the Physical Research Laboratory and Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and a number of scientific institutions in India. This biographical fictionalised drama, created by Nikhil Advani, Roy Kapur Films, and Emmay Entertainment, is captivating from the start, successfully recreating iconic moments from the past, particularly those that occurred in the pre and post Independence era. The concept by Abhay Koranne is both intense and inspiring for the viewers while narrating the real-life incidents of these scientists and their efforts to propel the

newly independent and struggling country forward in the technology path. Having previously worked as an assistant director on shows like ‘Mumbai Diaries’, ‘Yeh Meri Family,’ writerdirector Abhay Pannu’s eight-part series is an awe-inspiring tale that mirrors the real-life events of the duo who first became friends and envisioned working on India’s nuclear program. It chronicles the early lives and struggles faced by Vikram Sarabhai, who began experimenting on his college campus, and Homi Bhabha, a science professor who is impressed by Sarabhai’s ideas and ongoing experiments, and how they bond and begin their journey to make India a nuclear power. The later episodes also shed light on a budding scientist, none other than A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (essayed by Arjun Radhakrishnan) himself, who worked closely with Sarabhai on the first rocket launch into space. It also captures the role that former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (essayed by Rajit Kapoor) played in furthering India’s nuclear program. Additionally, the screenplay includes historical clippings that run alongside the narrative to substantiate the events that occurred between the early 1940s and the 1960s.

Two people deserve special mention here: the director of photography Harshvir Oberai, who recreated the pre and post Independence eras, and editor Maahir Zaveri, whose precise cuts aid in swiftly shifting the narrative between the timelines. Additionally, the vintage clothing outfits by Uma Biju and Biju Antony helped in recreating the era and adding a realisticlooking element to the story. Jim Sarbh perfectly fits the skin of an eccentric scientist Homi Bhabha, who is highly focused on building a nuclear reactor. Right from his ascent to his well-suited attire, he is convincing in every frame. Vikram Sarabhai, a scientist from an affluent Gujarati family, is convincingly portrayed by Ishwak Singh. Unlike Bhabha, Sarabhai always wears plain kurta-pajamas, which reflects his outlook on life. -- ToI

‘Unpaused, Naya Safar’: Anthology on Amazon Prime

By Shubhra Gupta

Last Week’s Winners

Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Sanchali Basu, Krishna R. Vuddagiri, Hemant Vaidya

Unpaused, Naya Safar is better than part one. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it hasn’t fully been able to get past Corona-induced fatigue evident in so many dealing-with-the-pandemic creative flourishes. It’s as much the filmmaker’s fault, as our own exhaustion with the world around us. How much newness can you infuse in being locked in an apartment, all masked up? Still, two of the five episodes stand out. That’s where you can see both plot and performance come together to give us lives and situations we may not have encountered before.

Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s ‘Vaikunth’, in which he plays the lead, is a stark reminder of how the marginalised are pushed out even more when an all-pervasive disaster engulfs us. He plays a man trying desperately to stay alive even as he is surrounded by death: his work at a cremation ground, ironically named ‘Vaikunth’ (Heaven), is back-breaking and spirit-breaking. We are reminded of the harshness of the second wave in 2021, when ambulances upon ambulances carrying the dead, all sewn up from head to toe, fetched up at cremation grounds, accompanied by mourners in PPE suits. The ritual of giving ‘agni’ to the body on the pyre is significant. It

Indo-American News • Friday, february 11, 2022 •

makes the ‘dust-to-dust’ journey real: for many, the reconciliation of the loss begins at that moment. But if you are happy to let someone else light the pyre because you are petrified of getting infected, where does that leave you? And how can a child survive the finality of a ‘shamshaan’ ghat? Manjule’s choice of actors — the faces look as if they have arisen from the soil — makes the whole thing authentic, and renders the segment poignant and moving. Some nice touches, but beset by looseness and familiarity, and stretched to the point where even the short film format feels extra. Maybe Unpaused part 3, if there is one, will address this? -- IE


February 11, 2022


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