Indo-American News: July 29, 2022

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Friday, July 29, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 30



July 29, 2022

Indo American News

Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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Mahatma Symphony with Dr. L & Kavita in Houston

Swami Mukundananda

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Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence, the Houston Symphony is partnering with the Indo-American Association of Houston to present a special concert featuring Indian violin icon Dr. L. Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurty. SEE PAGE 2.



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July 29, 2022

World Premiere of Mahatma Symphony with Dr. L and Kavita in Houston Houston: Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence, the Houston Symphony is partnering with the Indo-American Association of Houston to present a special concert featuring Indian violin icon Dr. L. Subramaniam, August 6 at 7:30 p.m in the Hobby Center’s Sarofim Hall. Joined by both the Houston Symphony and an Indian ensemble under the direction of conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl, Dr. Subramaniam shares Indian classical music, performs as soloist in his own Violin Concerto, and unveils the world premiere of his Mahatma Symphony, which was written specially for this historic celebration, and features well known Indian vocalist Kavita Krishnamurti. In addition to the impressive line-up of musical performances, attendees can also anticipate pre- and postshow activities and experiences in the Hobby Center lobby that celebrate Indian heritage, diversity and independence. Violinist, composer, and conductor Dr. L. Subramaniam was declared by the Dubai Sunday Times as “the greatest classical Indian violinist of our time.” Mastering the South Indian Carnatic, Western classical, jazz, world fusion and world music traditions, the Madrasborn and prodigiously recorded Subramaniam combines elements of Carnatic and Western classical music in his compositions to create something original. He has collaborated with the likes of Yehudi Menuhin, Stéphane Grapelli, Herbie Hancock, Jean-Pierre Rampal, George Harrison, and many others. For the occasion of this concert, Subramaniam has composed a new symphonic work, Mahatma, devoted to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the twentieth century’s greatest political and spiritual leaders. Also on the program are Dr. Subramaniam’s Spring Rhapsody for Chamber Orchestra, as well as his Shanti Priya for Violin and Orchestra with the composer performing as soloist. For tickets and more information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit All programs and artists are subject to change. About the Houston Symphony During the 2021–2022 Season, the Houston Symphony celebrated its final season under Andrés Orozco-Estrada after eight years as Music Director and continued its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring, and recording activities. One of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, the Symphony held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an operating budget of $28.8 million (FY22), the full-time ensemble of professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s two Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching more than 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually, prior to COVID-19. About the Indo-American Association The Indo-American Association (IAA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 to promote cultural arts of the Indian subcontinent. Historically, each year IAA has presented a thoughtfully curated season of 8-10 live shows. Each season’s line-up has included a blend of art disciplines of India - music, dance, and theatre. At the same time, cross-cultural collaborations between artists from India, US and other countries have been showcased over the years. The events are targeted at multi-cultural audiences which have grown with each passing year. IAA today is regarded as a leading cultural arts organization presenting world-class talent in Houston and other North American cities. Over the past three decades, IAA has hosted legends and the “who’s who” of Indian music, dance and theatre to entertain and enthrall captive Houston audiences including Grammy winners Pt. Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Indo-American News • Friday, July 29, 2022 •

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July 29, 2022

Financial Education: A Primer


By Ash Malhotra PART 1: In this first article, I want to set out a foundation for Financial Education. I am very passionate about educating people – adults & kids – about personal finance and filling in the “gaps” in their financial education. While I would never claim to know everything in this field, I have a lot to share as a “financial educator”. Treat what follows as my experience and opinion, but always – always do your own research on all matters related to investing your money. I highly recommend that your kids (especially teens) read through this material as well to be better informed about the time value of money. You will have questions, I’m sure. I will give you my info at the end of the article, and you should reach out to specific professionals like CPAs for relevant advice. Let’s get rolling. As we proceed through life, there are a set of tools available to us that, used wisely, create a sure pathway to financial success. These tools are education, regulations, IRS codes, and a myriad of products devised by the Financial Industry to offer a balance of risk and reward. The purpose of financial education is to reduce risk and improve our odds of success or rewards. No one is or should be expected to know everything about Finance. That is why we rely on our network of professionals in the various areas of Finance – Banking, Investing, Insurance, Retirement, Health, Estate Planning, Education Planning, etc. Let’s work through some of these areas of Finance starting with the most pertinent question – what is the secret of wealth and how would the Middle Class evolve to the ranks of the Wealthy? There have been many books explaining the secrets, and I will offer a summary. That said, tools, or financial vehicles have been available to all of us for a long time. It is that the financial education is missing that helps people (families) avail of these vehicles to get to the higher level of monetary achievement. There are financial vehicles to fill in the gaps. Let’s roll with the concept of “putting all eggs in one basket”. The Traditional approach: Many people I know measure their financial success by their ability to succeed in the Trading Market with Stocks, EFTs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Commodities, Options, Forex, and other investment vehicles. The trading market is inherently volatile depending upon factors outside our control. There are seriously a lot of opportunities in the trading market to make good money that are somewhat counteracted by the higher risk and volatility. But this method of making money has tax ramifications and it lacks complementing methods to balance the risk. So, what’s the workaround? Diversification: I’m sure you might have heard the term “Diversification.” That’s the workaround to having all the eggs in one basket. It’s a method of using your money in a way that you are spreading your risk across vehicles of investments and planning. Depending upon your outlook of money management, you may ignore diversification, you may embrace it and use it entirely, or be somewhere in the spectrum. The point of spreading risk is that in times when one type of Financial Vehicle is not doing well (case in point the current stock market), others will pick up the slack and keep generating the income. What is the best kind of Diversification? That’s something you must define because it’s your money Continued to Page 6

All discourses will be in English. Swami Mukundananda is founder of unique Yogic system JKYog, also known as Yoga for the Body, Mind and Soul. He received His degrees in Engineering & Management from IIT (Delhi) and IIM (Kolkata). For last 3 decades, He has inspired people on path of Spirituality, holistic health, yoga, meditation, service to society & God-realization. He has been invited to speak at various Fortune 500 companies like Google, Oracle etc. For youth, has conducted programs at prestigious universities such as Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Kellogg School of Management and Duke University. Free Registration recommended at

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July 29, 2022

Financial Education: A Primer Continued from Page 4

but do the exercise with some knowledge of all vehicles providing the diversification. Depending upon your need for alternate income (like Real Estate Investments or owning a business, Estate Planning or financial longevity), financial vehicles abound! Have I piqued your interest sufficiently? Watch for the 2nd part of this article. In the meantime, remember that my team and I are

here to educate you on topics pertaining to personal finance, show you how to avail of some of these financial vehicles, We’ll help you with them or direct you to the professionals that handle certain vehicles that are outside of our professional purview. We are Families Educating Families About Financial (FEFAF) success! Send in your questions to me at amfinins@ or text 832.723.9555.


RBI Intervening to Protect the Rupee New Delhi: According to a senior source familiar with the central bank’s thinking, India’s central bank is willing to sell a sixth of its foreign exchange reserves to protect the rupee from a sharp decline after it hit historic lows in recent weeks. On Tuesday, the rupee plummeted past the crucial mark of 80 against the dollar, losing more than 7% of its value in 2022, but the source claimed that the collapse would have been much higher if the Reserve Bank of India (R.B.I.) had not intervened to stop the slide. Since reaching a peak of $642.450 billion in early September, the R.B.I.’s foreign exchange reserves have decreased by more than $60 billion, primarily being a result of dollar selling intervention but being a result of value changes. The R.B.I.’s $580 billion in reserves, which rank fifth in the world despite the decline, give the central bank confidence that it can stop any sudden, abrupt devaluation of the rupee. “They’ve demonstrated that they’ll spend reserves like needed to stop rupee volatility. They have the resources and have shown a

willingness to use them, “said the insider. The insider continued, “The R.B.I. can afford to spend even $100 billion more if necessary to safeguard the rupee.” According to the source, the R.B.I. will take action to prevent any excessive currency depreciation rather than trying to safeguard the rupee or keep it at a specific level. A request for comment from the R.B.I. was not immediately met with a response. The Federal Reserve’s relentless monetary tightening and the ensuing race by investors to sell riskier assets in favor of dollars are driving the broad and persistent U.S. dollar surge that is causing the rupee to fall in line with what is happening globally. Given the rise in commodity prices, particularly oil, which accounts for a sizable portion of India’s import bill as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, both India’s trade and current account deficits seem destined to get worse.

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July 29, 2022

Soni’s Paintings Span Bhuj Pastorals, Religious Traditions

Plano: For the past 15 days, Navin Soni has drawn on his imagination to create 10 unique paintings that will be exhibited in the hallways of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Plano on August 6 to commemorate the life of Bhramanand Swami who lived 200 years ago. These will also be later reproduced in a special edition book. It is a memorable experience for him as he has been a part of the Swaminarayan gurukul for over two decades. Born into a family of artists in Bhuj, Gujarat, Soni became interested in graphic art while in 6th grade where he would help with placing hand finishing touches on the old-time grand scale movie banners. “We did it in exchange for free tickets to see the movie”, he recalled. That interest soon developed into a love for drawing and painting that he fine tuned over the years. His household is a family of artists – his wife, son and daughter and their spouses all excel in some form of painting and sculpture. Bhuj is a city of 600,000 near the Gulf of Kutch, across from the industrial city of Jamnagar and 100 km from the Pakistani border. Here Soni and his family have opened their doors to a select 2 or 3, young 13 year-old kids from impoverished families to appren-

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Call Sid or Pradeep tice them in the skills of an artist. Soni’s family has now taught 70 such students who are now all well established in their own art. Houstonian Bhavisha Thakkar, a native of Bhuj, also recalled the wonderful painting depicting the epic figure Shakuntla that Soni made for her kanyadaan ceremony.

Since his work at the temple is completed, Soni will now visit New Jersey for a week and return in time for the celebration in Plano before heading back to India. His paintings speak of his devotion to the Swaminarayan way of life as well as appreciation of his pastoral roots in Bhuj.

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July 29, 2022

Lectures on Life Transformation, Science of Happiness Houston: Swami Mukundananda ji, a world-renowned teacher of Spirituality, Yoga & Meditation, will conduct two different programs from August 4 – August 17 in Houston. The first week-long program is a Life Transformation Program (LTP) for the holistic well-being of body, mind and soul. It is a combined approach of yoga and intellectual discourses by Swami Mukundananda. Swamiji will delve into the topic of The Science of Happiness at Houston Durgabari auditorium, from August 4 to August 11. In the second program, Swamiji discusses the tools and best practices to focus and progress on our spiritual journey in The Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana at India House from August 12 to August 17. Swami Mukundananda received his degrees in Engineering and Management from two world famous institutes in India- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) respectively. However, the call of God was so strong that after a short while on a successful corporate executive career path, he renounced his professional career to take Sanyas at age 23 in quest for God-realization. Swamiji is a senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and the founder of JKYog - a non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual, mental, and physical wellness of Humankind. During the first week-long Program from Aug. 4-11, Swamiji will be presenting The Science of

Happiness. We search for joy and contentment day in and day out. However, if we introspect, somewhere a hollow feeling remains despite attaining all the things of the world. Why is that? Is “true happiness” just a cliche term or does it exist? How to attain happiness in relationships, in the workplace, amidst stressful times, when faced with a tragedy – Swamiji discusses ways and means to find happiness in our everyday lives and events. During the second week-long program on Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana from Aug 11-17, Swamiji reveals the secrets to focus and progress in our own spiritual journey. “Show your mind your own defects. That is the way to selfimprovement.” How to focus on meditation and not let one’s mind wander, how to stay unaffected in negative circumstances, how to respond and not react…. Swamiji’s

narration evokes love and laughter in the diverse audience with ages ranging from children to elderly, while bringing a sense of tranquility and positive growth. “So many confusions and stresses clouded my mind. Mukundanandji took this ancient knowledge what was otherwise too complex and made it simple to understand in the context of my life. Absolutely life transforming!” says Sheela, a first time attendee. Admission to program is Free and Dinner Prasadam will be served after discourses. Free Registration is requested. Swami Mukundananda’s enlightening discourses clarify the deepest concepts of the Vedic scriptures with wit and perfect logic. Over the last four decades, Swamiji has been travelling all over the world, awakening thousands of seekers through true Yoga and Spirituality. Swamiji has been invited to speak at various Fortune 500 companies like Google, Oracle, Yahoo, Amazon and for the youth, Swamiji has conducted programs at prestigious universities like Princeton, Stanford, Kellogg, MIT, and Duke. Details of Program 1: Aug 4th -11th Science of Happiness, 7pm - 9pm Daily Aug 6th & 7th only - Yoga/Meditation 6 - 7 pm; Discourse from 7PM – 9 PM Venue – Durgabari Auditorium, 13944 Schiller Road, Houston, TX 77082


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July 29, 2022

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ZEE5 Rolls Out ‘Southern Express’ with Semma Swag As the geographic boundaries and language barriers blur in the age of digital entertainment, the watch preference of viewers is widening. ZEE5 Global’s rising popularity of regional titles across its international markets bears testimony to this emerging viewership trend. The platform in the past one year has notched up recordbreaking viewership globally on many of its recently launched titles across South Indian languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. It has also seen a whopping 50% of its overall viewership garnered from nonHindi titles. Catering to this demand, the platform has recently launched a South Express campaign, featuring an exclusive collection of movies across South languages. South Indian movies are renowned for their over-the-top action scenes, punchy dialogues, larger-than-life superstars and extreme swag. Enhancing this experience for all its viewers, ZEE5 Global has launched its South Express campaign, which is a special collection of a powerpacked lineup of movies across South languages - the perfect destination to binge more than 1000 movies and 100 originals in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam. Now streaming all the action, drama, music and dance from the South is just a click away! The campaign highlights these specific nuances using colloquial and popular lingo across South Indian languages, such as ‘Dhulu Action’ (translating to ‘next level of action’ in Telugu), ‘Semma Swag’ (‘awesome’ in Tamil), ‘Thopu Thalas’ (‘extraordinary superstars’ in Telugu+Tamil), and more. The use of these terms establishes our deep connection with South Indian content. The Biggest Blockbusters ZEE5 Global has been bridging the gap in global access to South language titles with blockbuster titles like Ajith Kumar starrer Valimai and S.S.Rajamouli’s magnum opus, Roudram Ranam Rudhiram (RRR). The titles amassed 500 and 1000 million streaming minutes respectively within a week of their release. Underlining the exponential growth in demand for South lingual titles, the platform’s expansive regional content collection is now being watched in around 190 countries. The promise of quality entertainment in South Indian language


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titles Upping the ante on South Indian language content, the platform is doubling down on its investments especially in Tamil and Telugu content in 2022. In April, the platform announced a compelling Tamil content line up for 2022, including Prakash Rajstarrer drama series Anantham. Many more exciting new titles await Tamil fans globally as part of this line-up including recent releases such as Veetla Vishesham and upcoming series Paper Rocket. Also lined up for 2022 is a compelling slate of Telugu titles including recently released Gaalivana, Recce and Maa Neella Tank. Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global, said, “The exponential demand for South Indian language content in the U.S.

is very heartening to see, and we are uniquely positioned to cater to this demand. With a rich library of blockbusters, originals and TV Shows across Tamil, Telugu Malayalam and Kannada, ZEE5 Global remains deeply committed to bringing engaging content across genres to meet the evergrowing entertainment appetite of its South Asian viewers. Our South Express campaign is a fun tribute to the real flavour of South India with all its swag and unique lingo, brought to life in this curation of the latest movies and shows on the platform.” Users can seamlessly download the ZEE5 app from Google Play Store / iOS App Store on Roku devices, Apple TVs, Android TVs, and Amazon Fire Stick. ZEE5 is also available on www.ZEE5. com.

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