Indo-American News: January 7, 2022

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Friday, January 7, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 01

January 7, 2022


Indo American News


Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) •

‘Kashmir Files’: A Powerful Revelation

To kick-start the worldwide release of the movie, a US-wide promotional screenings — #‘Right to Justice Tour — was organized by GKPD in collaboration with its various partners in the US.

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New Akshay Patra CEO

The Board of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA’s Chairman, Siva Sivaram is pleased to announce the appointment of Navin Goel as the new Chief Executive Officer of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA effective December 6th, 2021.



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Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 7, 2022 •



January 7, 2021

Capacity Audience for Private Screening of the Movie ‘Kashmir Files’

Houston audience attending a private screening of the movie. To kick-start the worldwide release of the movie, a US wide promotional tour — ‘The Right to Justice Tour’ — was organised by GKPD in collaboration with its various partners in the US.

By Apoorva Ghosh


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Houston: Watching The Kashmir Files left me speechless. The magnitude of the violence was something I was completely unaware of until watching this film. I’m still in shock, unable to process what I saw. Before seeing the Kashmir Files, I knew a little bit about the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, but just ten minutes in, I was made acutely aware of how little I knew. Scene after scene, I felt horrified, heartbroken, and after a while, I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed that this was the first time I was hearing of these stories, the first time I was faced with the horrifying truth of what happened thirty years ago. How is it possible that this genocide is largely unheard of? It’s truly shameful that the story of the brutality against Kashmiri Pandits has been muffled for so long, and it is high time that it be told. But this is a story that needs to be told in the right way, which I feel The Kashmir Files accomplished. This film, founded on the true stories of over 700 Kashmiris from all over the world, brought to light facts with exceptional storytelling. Director Vivek Agnihotri crafted an informational yet emotionally invigorating film, which is guaranteed to strike a chord with every viewer. Portraying a young person struggling with vastly different information is a situation I am all too familiar with as a next generation Indian American. The Radhika Menon’s are my friends Growing up here, the narrative about Kashmir is that the Kashmiri Pandits were pushed out, which made Krishna Pandit an ideal character for those of us who have never heard this story. As someone who did not know much before the film, I journeyed along with Krishna as he discovered the truth behind why Kashmiri Pandits left Kashmir. Following along Krishna’s journey through an information war to the truth was a relatable and highly effective way to not only tell but show the truth. Including his grandfather and his friends, showing how even those in positions of power could do nothing, gave the film incredible emotional depth, allowing the viewer to feel the anger, despair, and fear. The Kashmir Files is a must-watch film for my generation. My entire family and I had the opportunity to view the film a few days ago at a sold-out prescreening event in Houston, Texas, which is no small feat during COVID times. This film is important not only for Indians, but for everyone to witness the horrific reality that has taken far too long to come to light. Kashmiri Pandits deserve for the world to know their story, especially in a world that has been shown a false reality for far too longPlease take the time to view the Kashmir Files, which is releasing on January 26, 2022.

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Willy, Nanayakkara and Associates remains in full operation during this global health event. Attorneys, legal assistants and support staff will be available via phone and / or video conferencing between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM CST. Thursday free consultations can also be scheduled by phone and video. Please contact us at (281)265-2522 or visit our website at www.grwpc. com for more information.

Indo-American News • Friday, january 7, 2022 •


January 7, 2022

A Tale of Brutal Killings, Ethnic Cleansing By Jawahar Malhotra Houston: Despite the mid-week, mid-afternoon screening, the hall at the AMC Theatre on Sam Houston Tollway East was packed with 400 people on Thursday, January 29, and you prayed that everyone was doublevaccinated. At least most wore masks, though social distancing was impossible. Many Indians clumped together in groups outside the hall, eagerly discussing the movie “The Kashmir Files”, and many others wore black and red tees proclaiming the movie’s promotional graphic. Though I was prepared for a documentary-style onslaught of statistics and voiceover, the movie is nothing like that. It depicts the events in the lives of a Kashmiri Pandit family from January 19, 1990 to 2021 and how the surviving member tries to piece together - while he is a university student - how his parents and brother died two decades earlier. It is precipitated by the death of his Dadaji, whose ashes he takes back to Srinagar to scatter at the longabandoned family temple. The movie is set in dark tones of black, grey and dull pastels, with the red and orange flashing out as blood, mayhem and fires explode in the otherwise prosaic town blanketed by snowfall. Much of the movie is shot in the snow, and along with the chilly tale, it leaves you feeling frozen. The Director, Vivek Agnihotri constantly moves from the past to the present so that the connection to events is not lost, but some transitions are difficult. The Kashmir Files is hard to watch, as it depicts so much random killing, brutality, mob violence and close-range shooting that your stomach churns. It is gut wrenching in the way it tells the story of the mass exodus

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of 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits who were threatened by militant Muslim mobs with the choice of “Conversion, Leave or Die” but the depictions and story line is developed around the true events related by over 700 people who experienced the horrors. It brings back echoes of Nazi Youth marauding in the streets of Warsaw; of Bosnia massacres, genocide in Cambodia, mass-hackings in Burundi, a mass-murderer in Uganda and brutality to Yazdis by ISIS in Iraq. The Kashmir Files has been screened privately in over 40 locations in the US enroute to its global release on January 26. It is directed by Vivek Agnihotri, who has directed the critically acclaimed movie “The Tashkent Files” and co-produced by his wife, Pallavi Joshi (who acts in the film), Abhishek Agarwal and Tej Narayan Agarwal. The original concept for the movie came from Dr. Surinder Kaul, a physician at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and an activist of The Indian Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora.

Responsibilities • Using insights to drive editorial and strategic decision making • Assist in developing content across current and future platforms with storytelling that is optimized for each screen and reflective of the diversity of our audience • Working with newsroom leaders to create synergy across all platforms on station content • Managing social and multi-platform content for station accounts • Owning breaking news and the big stories with speed and accuracy and growing new opportunities in our multi-media environment • Collaborate with content makers to maximize the sharing of our content in a multi-platform way • Using SEO (search engine optimization) to increase page views and unique visitors through Google, etc. Basic Qualifications • Minimum of 3 years of experience in audience development/news • Must have a deep understanding of social strategy and SEO with the desire to keep up with emerging platforms • Must be able to meet deadlines and work under pressure • Nonlinear editing experience • Strong video production skills (such as Adobe Premiere) • Proficient with AP style • Must be flexible with working hours (late nights, overnights. Weekends and holidays) and adaptable to change. Required Education • Bachelor’s Degree (related degree preferred in Journalist, TV/Production, etc.) To be considered for this position apply via Req # 906116BR Equal Opportunity Employer Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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January 7, 2021

US Waives In-person Interviews for Some Visas

Washington DC: The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has authorized consular officers through the end of 2022 to waive the inperson interview requirement for certain temporary employment nonimmigrant visa applicants who have a petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This new authorization applies to temporary workers applying for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas who meet certain conditions, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence. Under this authority, consular officers have discretion to waive the visa interview requirement for individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility; or firsttime individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility and have previously traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) . In addition, the Secretary extended previously approved policies to waive the visa interview for certain students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or special-

ists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants) through the end of 2022. One change to the previous policy is that applicants eligible for the waiver authority because they are citizens or nationals of a VWP participating country must have previously


traveled to the United States using an authorization obtained via ESTA to qualify. Applicants must apply for a visa in their country of nationality or residence. Consular officers have discretion to waive interviews for F, M, and academic J visa applicants. who

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

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January 7, 2022

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January 7, 2021

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January 7, 2022

Surangan Music School Annual Day


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Please complete an online application at Houston: Surangan Music School celebrated its annual program ‘Surangan Day-2021’ with students and well-wishers. As we know, we are not yet completely free from the Covid pandemic. This has made our daily lives extremely difficult and yet every program is forced to do so through virtual formats. It is true that virtual performances are not as perfect as performing in front of a live audience. Considering the overall situation, this year Rupa Ghosh, in collaboration with her student, well-wisher, and her ever-accommodating husband Dr. Pradip Ghosh, celebrated the virtual ‘Surangan Day2021’ with a huge group of 86 participants. Surangan has aired four episodes through Facebook and YouTube. Each episode and each participant performed brilliantly. All the episodes were arranged through songs, recitations, dances. It was a wonderful presentation.

Each episode was enjoyed by a huge number of viewers. Rupa Ghosh, the founder of Surangan, is a well-known name in the city of Houston. Rupa had a small dream eleven years ago. Today, her relentless efforts to carry forward the tradition of musicloving Bengalis have turned from a child tree into a mahiruha, under whose umbrella Rupa has succeeded in inculcating innumerable students in the mantra of Rabindra Sangeet. There have been many ups and downs along the way. The pursuit of music has given him the motivation to move forward. Today Surangan is an established and well-known music school in Houston. Ustad Salauddin Ahmed, Sounak Chattopadhyay, Kaderi Kibria, Riddhi Bandopadhyay, Aniruddha Sengupta, Mahadev Ghosh, Alok Dasgupta, Priyanka Barua, Priyam Nandi and many more made each episode interesting. Their songs,

dances, recitations of poems were impeccable. Every audience enjoyed the show from start to finish. The presentation of each episode was excellent. Their performances and the songs and poems of the artists blended together. Finally, the Surangan family deserves high praise for presenting another wonderful show that showcases true Bengali culture and creativity. Thanks to the enterprising, melodious, talented teacher and founder Rupa Ghosh for completing the difficult task of training young talents, most of whom were born and raised in the United States. At the end, Rupa Ghosh thanked all the participants and spectators. Hopefully next year Surangan will be able to program their annual program live in the presence of the audience. For detailed information please visit: -- Anik Sarkar, Houston, Texas

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January 7, 2021

A Prayer Offered for New Year 2022


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forward” you can reflect on what you call “spirit” and realign with your STRENGTH by having faith and trust. Finally, you can pause for a few minutes and DISCOVER the PEACE that is always within you. Notice how you feel when you are aligned with your center. Learn to always help someone in need. You might be the only one that does. Always use “I am” statements, they are incredibly powerful. Enjoy!

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January 7, 2022

Akshay Patra Welcomes Navin Goel as CEO Los Angeles: The Board of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA’s Chairman, Siva Sivaram is pleased to announce the appointment of Navin Goel as the new Chief Executive Officer of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA effective December 6th, 2021. “We are eternally grateful for the magnificent leadership that Rajiv Jain has displayed in his short time here at Akshaya Patra USA as interim CEO. His steady hand and tireless work ethic have helped to make 2021 another successful year for our organization. We are thrilled to have Navin Goel join our team. His leadership experience and passion for philanthropy will no doubt prove instrumental to our future success as we look forward to continuing our mission to ensure that no child is deprived of education due to hunger.” Rajiv Jain served as Akshaya Patra’s Interim CEO for the past 6 months. “It has been my privilege to serve Akshaya Patra which is a beacon of light for millions of children in India and I will continue to work with the organization behind the scenes as I pass the torch to Navin.” Navin joins Akshaya Patra after an incredibly successful career as former CIO of Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology, and outsourcing services. Navin was also the Former Chairman and CEO of Sogeti USA, a subsidiary of Capgemini. “I am honored to serve and extremely humbled to join Akshaya Patra USA as the new CEO. I look forward to working with our individual and corporate supporters, alongside our chapters across the United States. Together we will continue to work towards a mission of sustainability and growth ensuring that no child is deprived of education due to hunger.”

Have you planned for your future?

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Navin was born and raised in Rourkela, Odisha. He and his family have resided in Dayton, Ohio for 33 years. Together they have two children who are both Physicians. Navin has a Bachelors in Computer Science from The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and graduated from Ohio State University with a Masters of Computer and Information Science. Navin is also a Trustee of the Hindu Temple and supports spiritual study and meditation. For fun, Navin enjoys golfing and playing Bridge.

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January 7, 2021

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SUDOKU/MOVIE REVIEW 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 January 11. 2022 Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.

Solution Next Week

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Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Hemant Vaidya, Sanchali Basu, Kousalya Gopal

January 7, 2022


‘Gehraiyaan’, ‘Human’: Streaming in Jan 2022

The streaming platforms are all set to make this New Year filled with romance, thrill and action with their slate of new films and web series. They have already started the year with a bang. While Amazon Prime Video has released the much-awaited Harry Potter reunion, Netflix is bringing the third season of its popular reality show, Too Hot To Handle. Disney Plus Hotstar has a medical thriller Human in its kitty, and ZEE5 has planned some laughs for you with Naseeruddin Shah starrer Kaun Banegi Shikharwati. These and some more, here’s a list of all the web shows and movies that will be streaming in January 2022. Ranjish Hi Sahi: Voot Streaming in: January 2nd week Set against the backdrop of the golden era of Bollywood, Ranjish Hi Sahi revolves around the lives of struggling film director Shankar (Tahir Raj Bhasin), diva Aamna (Amala Paul) and Shankar’s wife Anju (Amrita Puri). The filmmaker falls in love with the Bollywood diva, leaving his wife stunned and him torn between two worlds. Will Shankar be able to sort the entangled thread of emotions and turmoil? Created by Mahesh Bhatt, written and directed by Pushpdeep Bhardwaj, the web show will start streaming in the second week of January. Cubicles S2: SonyLIV, Streaming on: January 7 Cubicles is the story of Piyush Prajapati, fresh out of college and recruited by an IT company. It showcases all highs and lows of the life of the first time jobber, from the time he gets his first salary, works on weekends, to a spoilt work-life balance. A TVF creation, Cubicles season two features Abhishek Chauhan, Nidhi Bishit, and Arnav Bhasin in prominent roles. Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein Netflix, Streaming on: January 14 Starring Tahir Raj Bhasin and Shweta Tripathi in the lead roles, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein seems to be packed with the elements of romance, thriller, crime, mystery and identity crisis. The official synopsis of the film reads, “A romantic simpleton, Vikrant, becomes an object of desire for Purva, who will go to any lengths to get him. As Purva’s ruthless efforts to make him hers begin to destroy all that he holds dear, the mild-mannered Vikrant finds a new side to him emerging. In order to escape Purva’s clutches and reclaim his life with his true love, Shikha, he goes down a dark path only to regret it later in this pulpy thriller.” Too Hot to Handle Season 3 Netflix, Streaming on: Jan. 19 Netflix’s popular reality TV series, Too Hot to Handle returns for its third season on January 19. It has 10 singles locked on an island in an exotic home. The rule is every time someone gets physically intimate with a housemate, the final prize money of the show,

which is $100,000, gets lowered. The show aims to make teenagers build some deep connections in this day and age of hook-ups. Human: Disney Plus Hotstar Streaming on: January 14 The medical thriller with actors Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari playing the central roles looks like an intriguing addition to the list of Disney+ Hotstar’s originals. The show is centred around the human trial of a banned drug that costs a lot of lives and creates chaos in the lives of Dr Gauri Nath (Shah) and Dr Saira Sabarwal (Kulhari). It has been created and directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah along with Mozez Singh. Kaun Banegi Shikharwati: ZEE5, Streaming on: Jan 7 ZEE5’s upcoming web series is about a has-been king, played by Naseeruddin Shah who owes a huge amount to the government. His right-hand man, played by Raghubir Yadav, suggests he get his daughters involved so they can save the fort of Shikharwati. But all the four daughters (Lara Dutta, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Kamra and Anya Singh) share a dysfunctional relationship and are pitted against one another to inherit the throne of Shikharwati. The comedy series also features Cyrus Sahukar and Varun Thakur. It is directed by Gauravv Chawla and Ananya Banerjee. Sutliyaan: ZEE5, Streaming in: January Touted to be a slice-of-life family drama, laced with deep-seated emotional turmoil, lighthearted

humour and sibling camaraderie, Sutliyaan is directed by Toilet: Ek Prem Katha fame Shree Narayan Singh. Actors Ayesha Raza, Shiv Pandit, Vivaan Shah and Plabita Borthakur play prominent roles. The basic premise of the series revolves around a family where the children return to their family home in Bhopal, the city where they grew up, weeks before Diwali. During the visit, they undergo the challenging, yet necessary journey of emotional and spiritual cleansing. Gehraiyaan: Amazon Prime Streaming on: January 25 Helmed by Shakun Batra, the relationship drama has Deepika Padukone, Siddhanth Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Dhairya Karwa in the lead roles. It revolves around two couples, Deepika and Dhariya, Ananya and Siddhant, who share a complex relationship. Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapoor also have significant roles in this Karan Johar backed film. -Indian Express

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Indo-American News • Friday, JANUARY 7, 2022 •

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January 7, 2021

Jai Mata Di, May Maa Bless Us All & Keep Us Healthy

HINDU WORSHIP SOCIETY wishes to thank all our Patrons, Sponsors, Volunteers & Devotees

Happy New Year! The Hindu Worship Society Management apologies for not including the following sponsors who supported the Mata di Chowki Satish & Sarita Malhotra Dr. Arun & Vinnie Verma Mohini & Madhu Vashisht Varinder Bansal Ved & Usha Gupta Ashima & Dilip Patel Dr. Kaushal & Meena Gupta Anuj & Avni Goel

Thanks for making our Mata di Chowki so highly successful!

Hindu Worship Society pledges to work hard, produce more than we consume, stay healthy, help others & take care of the needy

Diety Shingar provided by Nisha & Jay Bhatia

Hindu Worship Society thanks all our dedicated workers! Prem Goel, Mohini & Madhu Vashisht, Reema Nanda, Madhu Sinha, Rama Jalan, total management team and their spouses

For General Information, contact: RAVI GOEL 281-235-5413 RANJAN LASHKARI 281-798-8064 ASHIMA PATEL 832-563-6689

2223 Wirtcrest Ln., Houston, TX 77055 • • Facebook: @hwstemple FOR PUJA INFORMATION, CALL PANDIT BHAWANI SHANKAR SHASTRI 832-278-0100 Indo-American News • Friday, january 7, 2022 •