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Friday, June 29 2012 | Vol. 31, No. 26

Indo American erican News

www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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ter coordinated amongst one another. The Ratha made its way around the parking lot despite some small hitches, and many were so enthusiastic that a second circumambulation around the lot was completed despite the blistering heat of the midday Sun. A finely catered lunch was a muchwelcome follow-up to the Ratha-pulling, and the day was concluded with a cultural program consisting of Festivities during the Rath Yatra, chariot festival. performances by wellYatra this year. There is, however, known area singers. An estimated strong potential for continued in- 800-1,000 people showed up for teraction between the two temples throughout the day for the first for future celebrations of Ratha such very well coordinated event Yatra and other events (see www. for the Durga Bari. skaifoundation.org) Partha Mohanty, coordinator The day started with a pooja, or for the event, explained that since prayer, at 9 am followed by Aarti the Jagannath Temple is traditionat noon and then the long-awaited ally only accessible to upper-caste Pohandi. Another small pooja was Hindus, the Ratha Yatra carries performed along with a brief expla- significance beyond the belief nation of Jagannath and the Ratha that seeing Lord Jagannath beYatra. The actual pulling of the stows good luck and auspices Ratha began soon became smooth- upon the viewer. The festival also er as the participants became bet- represents a chance for interfaith

TE EN

Circulation Verified by

Durga Bari Holds its First Ratha Yatra Despite the Heat

BY PARTH DWIVEDI Houston: The Ratha Yatra, or Chariot Festival, was celebrated at Durga Bari in Houston on Saturday, June 23 to bring the festivities of the original Ratha Yatra, held every year in Puri, Orissa, closer to home. Traditionally the festival is celebrated on the second day of the waxing cycle of the moon in the third lunar month, Ashad Maas, which fell on June 21, a weekday, this year. In Puri, the festival is a momentous event celebrated with great fervor. It commemorates a journey undertaken by Lord Jagannath to this maternal aunt’s house, the Gundicha Temple, on his birthday. “Along with him Subhadra and Balabhadra join, each getting their own Ratha, or chariot,” explained Raghu Dass, an organizer for the recent event. Dass noted that the trip from the temple into the Ratha is called the Pohandi, and is considered an important part of the Ratha Yatra, as even the Sudarshana Chakra is taken out of the Jagannath Temple to go with the deities. In Puri, the return trip would also carry much significance, as a seven-day stop to the Mausi Ma Temple is made along with way. During this stop, Poda Pithas are made and shared, as they are said to be Lord Jagannath’s favorite food. The Houston event was sponsored by the SKAI Foundation to promote unity, love and togetherness amongst Hindus. The organization is responsible for building the Chaar Dhaam Temple in The Woodlands, but not being entirely complete yet, the Durga Bari was chosen as the venue for the Ratha

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dialogue and tolerance, since Lord Jagannath is readily accessible by those of any faith, caste, or creed when he leaves his temple. More than just seeing him, it is the only time of year where devotees and the open-minded alike can actually touch the murti, or statue, of Lord Jagannath, thus making the opportunity interactive worship a very personal event for many who partake. This air of tolerance and outreach was visible at Durga Bari this Saturday in the number of nonIndian faces dotting the crowd. The Ratha was created in Orissa and assembled here, in an effort to keep the entire event as authentic as possible. Next year, it will only get more authentic as the other two Rathas will be added. The Rathas will eventually be made larger as well, as the Rathas used in Puri are about twice the size of the Rathas used on Saturday.

Char Dham Hindu Temple and Houston Durga Bari Society would like to thank you all for the grand success of Rathyatra and are plased to announce that “BAHUDA YATRA” or “RETURN RATH YATRA” which will be celebrated at Durga Bari this Saturday, June 30th from 3pm to 7pm. Dinner will be served after the chariot pulling. Please come and join us for the “BAHUDA YATRA” which makes the Rath Yatra complete. For further details see ad on Page 4.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Devotees Enthralled by Houston Area Artists HOUSTON: The organizers of HISTORIC RATH YATRA at Durgabari are truly grateful to members of the participating organizations, devotees and volunteers for making this blissful and symbolic street festival a GRAND SUCCESS. A rolling crowd of approximately 900 participated in the festivities from 9 AM to 4 PM jointly organized by Char Dham Hindu Temple and Houston Durgabari Society. It was truly a spiritual journey with Nrushingha/Rath Havan, Nabajauban/Netrotsav and Chariot Pulling of Lord Jagannath Parivar in a divine setting. Pandit Dr. Bishnupada Goswami conducted the worship ceremonies with great clarity and sincerity thereby bringing the crowd into rapt attention of his chanting of Vedic hymns and Sanskrit Slokas appropriate for Rath Yatra. Devotees were served sumptuous breakfast and lunch Prasad after the chariot pulling of the three deities to spend their time comfortably to enjoy the cultural programs consisting of performances by well renowned artists in the Greater Houston area and compered adroitly by Ms. Sanchali Basu. The cultural program was started by Ms. Shrabana Nath, with two beautiful pieces of Odissi dance, an Abhinay named “Neelanidhi” and “Aravi Pallavi”. She is a gold medalist in Odissi dance and a disciple of the Legendary Odissi Maestro – Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Mesmerizing Odissi Dance by Guru Supradipta Datta followed, CONTINUED ON PAGE

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June 29, 2012

Char Dham Hindu Temple and Houston Durga Bari Society celebrate

BAHUDA YATRA (RETURN RATH YATRA)

www.durgabari.org

skaifoundation.org

Saturday, June 30th, 2012 3 PM to 7 PM at

Houston Durga Bari Society

13944 Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082 (Dinner will be served after chariot pulling)

For Information Contact: Dr. Bishnupada Goswami, Chief Priest (832)367-6646 Partha Mohanty (832)326-4274 INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

June 29, 2012

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IACF Idol Auditions Brings Out Hidden Youth Talent

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: There she stood on stage, all of 3 feet tall, holding a microphone slighting larger than her face, but belting out a song in Telegu with all my heart and hitting all the high notes. Tiny Lasya Dhulipala kept one eye on her mom coaxing her with hand motions way off stage and the other on the judges sitting fifteen feet away. She had no stage fright and she went through the fats tempo song to the music from the CD. “She just watches Telegu the movies with us and loves to sing the songs,” her mom said later, “We didn’t have to push her. She’s going to sing at the TANA convention too next weekend.” Almost all the participants who came for the auditions held this past Saturday at the JVB Preksha Center on the west side sang in Hindi, with a couple in Tamil or Telegu, even though most of them were youngsters who were born in the US. Many of them took music lessons from a guru here, but it was heartening to know that they preferred Indian music and that an Indian language was spoken in the home, though many understood it but didn’t speak it regularly. It is a testimony to the pervasiveness of Bollywood and Tollywood movies that many young Next Geners are attracted to the songs and memorize the words, writing them down phonetically in English. The majority of the songs that were sung were from the movies, though a few were complicated in harmony and range, yet all the Idol hopefuls pulled them off well, despite some not having accompanying music scores. After the judging, 22 of them moved on to the second round of competition slated for July 7, again at the JVB Preksha Center at 14102 Schiller Road, Houston, Texas 77082, located just before the Durga Bari Temple. The auditions and Idol competition is

Lasya Dhulipala, the youngest participant.

Judges listening to an audition.

part of the Sing for Charity Competition fundraiser organized by the Indo American

Writers are requested to limit their words to 500. The deadline for advertising and articles is 4 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, Call 713-789-NEWS (6397) or email us at: indoamericannews@yahoo.com

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Participants after the auditions.

Charity Foundation of Houston on July 21. All proceeds from the competition will sup-

port the charitable work done by the IACF. The competition is open to all people in Texas and singers from 6 to 18 years; 1830 years and 30 and above. The winners of each category will compete for the title. The total amount of prize money to be awarded is $2,000. The final competition will be held on Saturday, July 21 at the Shriners’ Hall, 10510 Harwin Dr, Houston, Texas 77036 where the famous Sa Re Ga Ma winner Mauli Dave will be one of the judges and will sing the final one hour of that evening. The first two hours of the finals will be the live competition between the semi finalists. Tickets for the final are $25, $50, $75 and $100 and are available from at tickets2events.com, sulekha.com, Maharani Video, Madras Pavilion, Patel Brothers or through the IACF website: indoamericancharityfoundation. org

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COMMUNITY

June 29, 2012

India House Decked up for Houston Rath Yatra on June 30 HOUSTON: Houston Rath Yatra, the prominent summer festival under the city’s blue sky, is all set to welcome spiritually inclined audience, art & culture enthusiast, food lovers as well as kids’ on equal footing. For the last five years, since its inception, with lots of efforts from Orissa Culture Center supported by Houston Oriya community and other community organizations in Greater Houston area, this celebration has grown as a popular, must-attend, talk of the town kind of event. Chariot Pulling The primary attraction being the 22-feet Chariot with three deities, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannatha , all decorated by beautiful finery and flowers, sitting comfortably on a pedestal ready to go on a journey, a vacation, by none other than by their favorite devotees, thousands of Houstonians, adults and children together. Before the Chariot pulling happens, devotees get a chance to carry their dearest Lords from their pedestal to the Chariot in a forward swinging action, known as ‘Pahandi’. Once the deities comfortably settle on the Chariot, the anointed king of the day (which stays a surprise till the right moment comes) performs the ceremonial sweeping of the ground before the Chariot rolls. Houston’s street comes to a halt as the devotees of all ages, communities and religions enthusiastically dance, chant and pull the divine Chariot out of the India House premises and bring them back. Following the Chariot pulling, with the Sun God saluting on the west, moon shining with soft rays on the other side of the sky, The Lords

Guru Ratikant Mohapatra

enjoy the nice breeze of Houston evening while blessing the devotees as they line up near the Chariot for darshan. As the kids enjoy jumping on moon walk, painting their faces with festive colors, the balloon artist brings tons of smiles to their faces while parents eagerly await the cultural program to begin. Cultural Program Like every other year, Orissa Culture Center has found the best of the best artistes to perform on this year’s stage. This year’s repertoire consists of three excellent dance Gurus (masters), a traditional music program both in Oriya and Hindi as well. Also,

Aparupa Chatterjee

students from two Houston based dance academies will add flavors to the palette. Jatayu Mokshya: One of a kind Odissi dance drama based on a story from Tulsidas’s Ramcharita Manas, will be performed by Guru Ratikant Mohapatra and his disciple, Texas based Odissi exponent and teacher Aparupa Chatterjee. Jatayu Mokshya, is a poignant story, a leaf taken from the Hindu Epic Ramayana, where Jatayu with his clipped wings, narrates his helplessness for not being able to save Devi Sita. Appreciating Jatayu’s valiant and selfless efforts, Lord Rama blesses him to go directly to Vaikuntha dham (heaven) where Lord Vishnu abodes!

Guru Ratikanta Mohapatra, an accomplished master of the Odissi dance form, carries forward the dance tradition that his legendary father, Padma Bibhusan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra took to great heights. Ramate Yamuna: Sipra Mehrotra, Houston based Odissi exponent and Director, Avantica School of Dance is an excellent dancer of current generation. Ramate Yamuna is an astapadi from Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam, the ancient love poem between Radha and Krishna. Samuhik Maharati and Words of Wisdom: Many religious heads of Greater Houston area will collectively pray to the Lord during maharati for the greater well being. Two excellent speakers, His Holiness Bhakti Purushottam Swami and Educationist Debdas Chhotray will grace the occasion to share words of wisdom with the assembled devotees. While the cultural program will continue late into the evening, the Houstonians will enjoy the outdoor stage performances while having a sumptuous dinner together with friends and family, in a true Ananda Bhavan style of Jagannatha temple at Puri. Houston Rath Yatra is organized jointly by Orissa Culture Center and ISKCON for fifth year in a row. For more information, please visit www.houstonrathyatra.org or follow the happening on https://www.facebook.com/HoustonRathYatra or call 832-225-2376

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COMMUNITY

June 29, 2012

Hope Endowment Holds First Fundraising Golf Tournament

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BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA RICHMOND: Despite the blistering heat this past Monday, June 25, organizers, volunteers, sponsors and donors came out in full force to support the Hope Endowment on its 1st Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament held at the Houstonian Golf and Country Club in Richmond. After the tournament, a short presentation was made on HE followed by lunch and trophy presentations. Organizers are already planning next year’s tournament. HE is a Sugar Land, Texas based organization which was started after initial work in 2004 setting up support for the ongoing Shepherd’s Children’s Home, a small cottage which housed three young boys and their caretakers in Kerala, India. This outreach began with Dr. Niraj Patel and Molly Phillip, an ER nurse. By 2005, HE serviced 50 children and 100 by 2010. Hope Endowment’s mission is to empower children in India to transcend poverty by providing a safe, caring, compassionate

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COMMUNITY

June 29, 2012

Stage Set for NATA First Convention

HOUSTON: The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others, said a great man once. North American Telugu Association (NATA) is working with the same motto. NATA is an association working tirelessly for the well being of Telugu community in America and Canada. Under the stewardship of President AVN Reddy, NATA is undertaking many community service programs. NATA’s first convention NATA 2012 is being held at George R. Brown convention center in Houston, Texas. An estimated 7000 delegates from all over USA, Canada , India and other countries are expected to attend the three day convention from June 29th to July 1st. Here is what North American Telugu Association (NATA) dazzling First Mega Convention is bringing to Houston on June 30 and July 1, 2012. NATA team is bent upon creating a mini Andhra Pradesh in GRB center over the weekend showcasing various land marks from Andhra Pradesh, recreating festivals from various regions of Andhra Pradesh. NATA’s first convention is going to present the best in each category – Under Cultural committee, Hilarious entertainment and fun filled programs with

unique musical, cultural and literary extravaganza is being planned. Three famous and accomplished Tollywood music directors will be performing with their talented star artists. Very native, unique and authentic story telling items like mind blowing Harikatha, vibrant Burrakatha and jaw dropping Avadhanam with bounty of humor and wit. In addition, your favorite cine stars are going to add glamor to the convention. Famous stars Bala Krishna, Venu, Ali, Parvati Melton, Vimala Raman and many more will participate in our convention activities and will perform at the convention. Young Youth committee members have planned a full fledge two day activities just geared towards our young generation. They have on-site and off-site activities and are guaranteed to be engaged completely. NRI committee has organized informative presentations under NRI Seminars at the NATA Mega Inaugural 2012. The topics chosen cover a wide variety - US Taxes, Investments, Life Insurance & Retirement Planning, Safety and Indian Consular Services. The NRI Seminars are centered around take home knowledge for improvement of Indian Americans, Non Resident Indians and other attendees. The presenters are well respected

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professionals in their areas. The proceedings are to be held from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm on June 30, 2012 at George R. Brown Convention Center, Room No. 371 (A & B). Under Medical and CME program, Lot of seminars are being organized with distinguished doctors. An interesting and never done seminar on “Reverse Ageing” will be delivered at the NATA convention. It willbe about learning and practicing the tips to look younger always. In keeping close to our culture, NATA will be arranging for authentic and a tasty Telugu meals for our convention guests and delegates. All the six meals (from Breakfast to Dinner) will be arranged over 30 stations. Staff of over 200 will be serving hot meals to our convention attendees. Come to this cruise like lavish festivities, enjoy six delicious meals, 36 hours of variety entertainment, seminars, sporting events, visiting 120 commercial booths, meeting your friends whom you have not seen in decades and avail an opportunity to see over 5000 fellow Telugus under one roof! Be a part of this historical NATA convention and visit www.NATA2012.org for more detail.

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Devotees Enthralled by Houston Area Artists CONTINUED FROM PAGE

3

which included an Abhinay “To Lagi Gopa Dando”, based on Raag – Khambaj and set to Taal – Rupak, Jhoola, a cycle of 6 beats and a second Abhinay “Srita Kamala” based on Raag - Mishra Bilabal and set to Adhyataal. Both of the Abhinay were choreographed by Padma Vibhushan Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Supradipta is one of the senior most students of Nritya Shiromani Guru Smt. Aloka Kanungo and a well recognized dancer, choreographer and teacher. Two beautifully renditioned Oriya Bhajans glorifying Lord Jagannath, “Dhali Dhali Ka Dekha Asanti Jagannatha” and “Biswa

Concert by Pandit Suman Ghosh. He was accompanied on the tabla by Pandit Shantilal Shah with accompaniment on the harmonium by Dr. Mahendra Gohil and on the tanpura by Jyotsna Ved and Archana Tripathi

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Sonali Mohanty

Jagannatha Brahma Jagannatha” were done by Ms. Sonali Mohanty, a vocalist of Hindustani classical music and a student of Guru Pandit Suman Ghosh-Ji . The Grand Finale was Hindustani Devotional Classical Vocal Concert by, Pandit Suman GhoshJi, a senior disciple of Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj-Ji and one of the stalwarts of the youngest & present generation of the Mewati

Shrabana Nath

Gharana of Hindustani Classical music. He was accompanied on the Tabla by well known TablaMaestro, Pandit Shantilal Shah with accompaniment on the Harmonium by Dr. Mahendra Gohil and on the Tanpura by Smt. Jyotsna Ved and Smt. Archana Tripathi. The performance was truly the crown jewel of the whole show. Such was the impact that the audience demanded for more after his

Supradipta Datta

performance, which Pandit Suman Ghosh-Ji duly obliged. Char Dham Hindu temple and Durga Bari are truly grateful to all the artists, who enthralled the audience with masterful display of their art. For more information about the organizations, please check out the websites, http:// skaifoundation.org and http:// www.durgabari.org

Dr. Amruta Samarth Ashtekar Receives Top Honor: Oliver R. Smith, MD Award for Outstanding Resident HOUSTON: In a grand Residency Graduation Ceremony of Baylor College of Medicine/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Alliance on June 8, 2012 Dr. Amruta Samarth Ashtekar was honored with The Oliver R. Smith, M.D. Award for Outstanding Resident. This award is given to a resident physician who demonstrates excellence in academic, research, administrative and clinical skills during his/her residency. Originally, from Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, Dr. Amruta is the first international medical graduate from India to be given this award. She graduated

Dr. Amruta Ashtekar with the award

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

from N.K.P Salve Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagpur followed by Internship at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey. A firm believer in hard work, dedication and sincerity, she holds great passion to improve the quality of life of people with various disabilities and treat patients with brain injury, spinal cord injury, musculoskeletal disorders, polytrauma, amputations and patients with prolonged and complicated hospital course. She is the daughter of Smt. Smrutirekha Samarth and Late. Shri. Prakash Samarth. She is the wife of Rahul Ashtekar.


LETTER

June 29, 2012

A Call to Abandon the Word ‘Desi’

BY ARJUNE RAMA Merriam-Webster defines desi as, “a person of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi birth or descent who lives abroad.” Common uses include calling someone a desi or describing something like Indian cuisine by calling it “desi food.” Etymologically, this word has had a long journey. It began in centuries-old Sanskrit, traveled into Hindi and recently percolated into Indian-American English slang. Overall, I have heard desi used in a positive way to imply ethnic kinship. At worst I have heard it used to poke fun at some benign Indian stereotypes such as frugality with gratuity at restaurants, et cetera. However, despite the generally positive usages of this word, I reject it entirely. Considering the largely benign use of the term, perhaps it is surprising I wish it to be struck from the Indian-American lexicon. I take umbrage with the word primarily due to its generalizing effect. Given the increasingly expanding Indian Diaspora, I feel that we will better retain our par-

Indo American erican News

ticularly Indian cultural roots by using more specific descriptors for each other rather than broad South Asian grouping-words like desi. In order to appreciate the potential negative effects such generalizing words can have, let’s consider examples from world history. Notably, peoples hailing from the multiple countries and ethnic enclaves of the entire African continent have long been reduced to the word black in the eyes of the non-African world. I fear similar blind clustering of Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis without respect or regard for the important distinctions in culture of these vastly different countries. Even more problematically, unlike the antiquated words oriental or chinaman bestowed upon East Asians from without to culturally aggregate them, desi traveled via our own languages and places of origin to culturally aggregate us from within. In a sense we created and embraced a term that serves to blur the lines of our cultural uniqueness. I am concerned that the rest of the English-speaking world will

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see our creation and usage of the term as an endorsement of cultural homogeny within South Asia. My request is this: let us use descriptive language as our cultural sword. Let’s defend the nuances of our heritage with this blade rather than slice Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cultures into homogenized bits via basic broad words like desi. While I have not yet heard desi used to indiscriminately group descendants of these countries, I believe we need to avoid the possibility by dismissing the term even from our own usage. By our consistent use of this simplistic generalizing term, the rest of the world could see us as a single blurry brown collage indistinct from the other South Asian countries. Instead, let us bring our identities into sharp focus. Let us let our spoken word respect and reflect our specifically Indian roots as we carry out our lives in the United States. Let us not call each other desis, let us call each other what we truly are: IndianAmericans.

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14 June 29, 2012

COMMUNITY

DISH and Roku Ink Strategic Partnership for South Asian Programming DISH launches DISHWorld service on Roku streaming platform

SARATOGA: DISH Network L.L.C. and Roku, Inc. announced a deal that launches the DISHWorld service on the Roku streaming platform in the U.S. The service currently features leading Hindi, Urdu and Bangla channels with Tamil and Telugu channels launching soon. DISHWorld enables DISH to expand its distribution of ethnic channels into urban and multi-dwelling unit markets difficult to reach by satellite. Additionally, Roku selected DISH to manage the launch

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and expansion of future foreign language channels and content on the Roku platform. “DISH offers the largest selection of international programming among major pay-TV providers and its DISHWorld service brings a tremendous amount of foreign language entertainment to our platform,” said Jim Funk, vice president of business development at Roku. “We view this partnership as the perfect marriage of content and technology for streaming customers.”

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days per year of live cricket; •Seven of Pakistan’s most popular television channels including GEO TV, ARY Digital and Hum TV; •Four popular channels from Bangladesh including ATN Bangla, Channel I, ETV Bangla and NTV Bangla; In addition to a deep selection of content, the DISHWorld service will feature “48-hour Rewind” that allows customers to watch any show aired in the last 48 hours on any of the channels featured in their subscription package. Through an application developed by Move Networks, a DISH affiliate, the DISHWorld service uses adaptive bitrate streaming to detect user bandwidth in real time and adjust video stream quality to deliver a consistently clear picture. The DISHWorld service is available to purchase in the Roku Channel Store on Roku 2, Roku LT players and Roku HD players (model 2500R). No social security number, credit check, minimum term or DISH satellite subscription is required. To subscribe, please visit www.dishworldiptv.com. DISH has long been a leader in delivering international programming, offering more than 240 international channels in 29 languages to satellite-TV subscribers in the U.S. For more information about DISHWorld, call 1-877-811-4788 or visit www.dishworldiptv.com. Foreign language content providers interested in launching on the Roku platform should contact DISH at ottpartner@ dish.com.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


June 29, 2012

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16 June 29, 2012

COMMUNITY

The 2012 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee Reaches Texas Dallas & Houston Winners Announced

HOUSTON: The 2012 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee (www. southasianspellingbee.com) continued its 11 city tour this past weekend with two events in the Dallas & Houston areas. With a huge turnout this year as well, the bee attracted some top talent as well as young and new spellers that competed for the coveted prizes and titles. “It is very heartening to see that each year we get fresh faces and new talent which is a continuing testimony to our community’s

strength in this craft,” said Rahul Walia, Founder - South Asian Spelling Bee. In Dallas, Chetan Reddy from Plano, TX was the regional champ and Nandika Mansingka from Katy, TX was the first runner up while Lokesh Nagineni from Flower Mound, TX was second runner up. In Houston, Syamantak Payra from Friendswood, TX was the regional champ and Shourav Dasari from Pearland, TX was first runner up while Shobha Dasari, from Dallas Bee Coordinator Sandhya Sarma (left) alongside Second Runner Up Lokesh Nagineni of Flower Mound, TX; Regional Champ Chetan Reddy of Plano, TX and First Runner Up Nandika Mansingka of Katy, TX; 2011 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee National Champion Narahari Bharadwaj with Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee.

Second Runner Up Shobha Dasari (left) of Pearland, TX; Regional Champ Syamantak Payra from Friendswood, TX and First Runner Up Shourav Dasari of Pearland, TX with Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee.

Pearland, TX was second runner up. “As the title sponsor of the Spelling Bee for the fourth consecutive year, MetLife congratulates all of the families who participated in this year’s event. It was great to have such talented children participate and to share information with the parents about how they can prepare for the rising cost of college,” said Laurel Daring, assistant vice president, MetLife Diverse Markets.

The winners received cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively. Children up to 14 years of age are eligible to participate and the contest saw spellers of even 6 years of age compete and make it past a few rounds. There are 9 more cities on the anvil and for more information and to register your child, please visit www. SouthAsianSpellingBee.com. The top two winners plus one parent each from every city will

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

be given an all expenses paid trip to NJ on August 17 for the FINALS. The contest will be telecast globally on Sony Entertainment Television-ASIA. Find us on Facebook at South Asian Spelling Bee and you can follow us on our Twitter handle at Spell South Asian. To reserve your FREE passes to the Finals, please log on to www. SouthAsianSpellingBee.com and fill in your details.


COMMUNITY

June 29, 2012

Indian Principal gets a Top Position in a Utah Global School

BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT When Dev Lahiri retired a year ago as the Principal of India’s famed Welham Boys School in Dehra Dun, everyone, including Lahiri himself, thought that he had reached the pinnacle of his eventful teaching career that had spanned over 30 years. He and wife Indrani had planned to lead a retired life in the quaint little house they had built in a village. At best, they hoped to find a worthy cause and devote their time in promoting it. And in Purukul Youth Development Society in at the foothills of the Himalayas, they found an admirable opportunity to render their services to the community. The fate, however, had willed otherwise. Lahiri received a tempting offer from an unexpected source, thousands and thousands of miles away in the wilderness of Utah in the American West. Mr. Joseph Loftin, President of Wasatch Academy that was founded as a preparatory school way back in 1875 at Mount Pleasant, asked him to join his school as Director, International Curriculum Development – a new position that he had created principally to make use of Lahiri’s multi-faceted talents. The job is essentially to look at global issues from the perspective of an international school in the mountainous Utah. Wasatch Academy – its beginning The region was initially dominated by the followers of Marmon sect. But a Presbyterian Minister Duncan McMillan – a devout educationist – was to change the entire outlook of those local folks in Utah’s Sanpete County. It is said that when McMillan arrived in Mt. Pleasant more than 135 years ago, a large number of local residents asked him if he had ever taught in a school. The eager group then beseeched him to start a school for its children. It was an auspicious beginning, with those dedicated men offering him a building to house the school. The name Wasatch Academy too came out of nowhere. When the residents asked him what name would he give to the school, “Let it endure like the Wasatch Mountains, call it Wasatch Academy.” For most of its first 100 years as a Presbyterian School, Wasatch Academy served students across the western United States whose parents sought a formidable academic foundation for their children. Many of the students then came from mountainous and rural areas with virtually non-existent schools; others came from ranches, farms, reservations, and small rural communities. The school thus became in those early years a melting pot of inter-cultural communities. The Wasatch Academy lost the financial backing of Presbyterian Church when it changed its mission in 1970s. Wasatch Academy then opened as an independent school in 1974-75. Even though it continued to serve rural and local students, it started attracting larger number of students from metropolitan areas in the United States, and within a few years, many more students came from countries across the world giving the school its present global demeanor. Lahiri has thus become the first Indian principal to have been appointed to such a prestigious academic position in an American school of international standing. The Academy, in fact, is already a global school. It has now over 300 students from 22 states and 38 countries spread across all the continents with diverse and varying cultures such as Palestine, Korea, China, Japan, Mali, Iran, and even Afghanistan. The annual fees are $ 50,000; however, the school doesn’t charge any fees from deserving students. Already two students from India’s Welham Boys School are currently enrolled there at Lahiri’s recommen-

Dev Lahiri with wife Indrani

dation on a full scholarship. The school has entered into tie-ups with China, Ecuador, Abu Dhabi and possibly Bangladesh and plan to spread its innovative culture and footprints to other countries. How did Joseph Loftin know of Dev Lahiri? About three years ago, Loftin had visited Welham Boys School in Dehra Dun. It so happened that Lahiri at that time was giving a speech at the school assembly. Loftin quietly listened and found the speech very inspiring and wondered what kind of person would deliver a speech, so different and unusual from the normal run of sermons and addresses normally given on such occasions. I will let Lahiri continue with the story. “Wasatch Academy and Welham Boys then exchanged students on a regular basis and that gave Loftin many opportunities to know me better. Then one fine day, an invitation came from Loftin inviting me to deliver the Baccalaureate Address on the occasion of school’s graduation ceremony. Frankly, I was quite pleased and duly accepted the invitation and went to Utah,” says Lahiri. In a way, it was this Baccalaureate address that changed forever the dimensions of Lahiri’s retirement plans. Later, in a letter to the Chairman of the board of governors of Welham Boys School, Loftin had lauded Lahiri’s speech saying, “this year’s graduation was my 22nd as President of Wasatch Academy. In the course of that time our school has had senators, astronauts, highly awarded authors, world-renowned scientists, international dignitaries and leading educators address the graduating classes of Wasatch Academy students. Never, though, I have seen a speaker impact an audience at this event as powerfully.” And the icing on the cake is that Lahiri’s wife Indrani too has been given a job there as a senior teacher in social sciences. Indrani, incidentally, was head of social sciences department at the Welham Boys School and a popular teacher there. She has a rich academic background; with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College and the master’s degree in international relations from Jadavpur University. Mount Pleasant nestles in the midst of orangehued mountains, flowering meadows, the as-

pens and evergreens of Manti Lal Sal National Forest. This small town of 3000 people, will soon become Lahiris’ new home once they move there by end September. Of course, the Lahiris have already been to Mount Pleasant at the invitation of the school management as part of an orientation program and found that little town exotic. “It is essentially a ‘cowboy’ territory, many residents dress like cowboys, ride horses and even ‘act’like ones,” says Indrani. She is looking forward to staying in this small town and says ‘it’s very exciting and mind blowing’. I will be taking all my Indian clothes and plan to wear salwarkameez or sarees there,” she adds with a chuckle. Lahiri says about this new assignment, “I am expected to develop a new curriculum capable of providing 21st century skills with emphasis on Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Initiative and Enterprise and Lateral Thinking. A student must be able to develop an inquiring mind and also the ability to ask questions.” The study culture at the Academy is already based on the Attuned learning program which enables its teachers to offer much more than just teaching; it has developed a research based approach that ‘refocuses’ the emphasis from the subject being taught to the student in the act of learning. A teacher there “closely observes how a child learns, and then adjusts her lessons and methods accordingly”; in other words the teachers there are specially trained to teach the pupil to his individual strengths. It is indeed an innovative concept. The teachers are expertly

17

trained and each one holds a certification in the “Schools Attuned program” which has been developed by “All Kinds of Minds”, a US-based organization. Lahiri’s own career has been outstanding in many ways. An alumnus of St Xavier’s Jaipur, Lahiri joined Delhi’s St. Stephen College from where he secured his master’s degree in history, after having graduated with a second position in the university. As a Rhodes Scholar, Lahiri studied at St. Catherine’s College in the University of Oxford where he was a contemporary of the late Benazir Bhutto. The then Vice Chancellor of the University Rt. Hon. Lord Bullock had rated him highly and said of him, “He has high standards of behavior, would be at home in any company and has always impressed me by his integrity of character.” He further wrote, “I should be glad to have him in any enterprise which called for strength of character and the stamina of a long distance runner, a sport in which he has excelled…” As a student, Lahiri was a marathon runner and had represented Delhi University, Delhi State and even Oxford University in this event.As a teacher in the Doon School, he once ran from Agra to Delhi – a distance of 160 miles. When later in 1991, he was stopped from the marathon on medical grounds, he took to horse riding and even won a bronze medal in a National Equestrian Championship, and that too with a pacemaker-perhaps a first event of its kind! One of the unusual assignments that came Lahiri’s way when he was a student at Oxford, was being assistant to the Game Keeper at Glenfiddich, a huge estate in Scotland making the world famous single malt whisky; Lahiri is the proud owner of the original Glenfiddich jacket, a rather unusual distinction, like many others which seem to adorn his checkered life.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


18 June 29, 2012

Unexpected Intelligence

The arrest of Zabiuddin Sayed Zakiuddin Ansari, or Abu Jundal, at New Delhi’s IGI Airport is a significant step towards closure in the Mumbai attack case of 2008. Ansari is alleged to have coordinated the strike from a “control room” in Karachi and is wanted by the police in India in a number of cases, including the May 2006 Aurangabad arms haul and the February 2010 German Bakery blast in Pune. Ansari had moved to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan, where he had fled in 2006. Behind his arrest lies a story of cooperation between Saudi and Indian authorities. Of course, netting Ansari required some persuasion and a DNA test from India. But the fact that he has been handed over is a mark of how much has changed in the India-Saudi Arabia relationship that was, for long, one of the least explored and exploited. That began changing with King Abdullah’s visit to India in 2006 and the signing of the Delhi Declaration, followed by the Riyadh Declaration during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s return visit in 2010. The Riyadh Declaration, along with several agreements and the extradition treaty, built on the opportunities created by the Delhi Declaration to strengthen Indo-Saudi ties on issues ranging from security and defence to energy. India’s long-term strategic understanding with Saudi Arabia started deepening, not least because of the latter’s geopolitical significance and the close link between the Gulf and the subcontinent on security issues. Even as Riyadh engages in pro-active diplomacy, keeping in mind a potentially nuclear Iran and its own need to maintain a stable global oil regime, India must maintain its engagement with a pragmatic international player that has grasped the emerging world order and seeks to broaden its foreign and security engagements as envisioned in King Abdullah’s “Look East” policy. With al Qaeda targeting the royal family, the Saudi intelligence stepped up their surveillance and presence in other countries. This added urgency to the conversation started in 2005 by the then National Security Advisor MK Narayanan with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. In the present circumstances, little can be expected of Pakistan, where the civilian government has never had significant control over the terror apparatus. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been close since the 1970s, and Riyadh will continue to be influential in Islamabad, playing a key role in shaping the Af-Pak future, which has a direct bearing on India. That Saudi Arabia is India’s biggest oil supplier and India is a top-ranking Saudi oil importer may be the foundation of bilateral ties but Ansari’s arrest hints at the relationship’s larger potential. Among the other influencing factors has been the U.S., which has leaned on Saudi Arabia to be more responsive to India given the larger security situation in Middle-East and the “growing threat” from Iran. Official sources, however, cautioned that none of these factors have dramatically changed the Saudi approach to Pakistan in the context of Indian interests. “At best, there is a more calibrated version of a so-called equidistant policy,” said an official. -- Hindustan Times, Times of India

EDITORIAL

We Are What We Eat BY AAMIR KHAN I am not someone who usually goes shopping for vegetables or even other food stuff. My present professional requirements don’t allow me this luxury and nor do my professional hazards. But I remember when I was a kid I have often accompanied my mom or my aunt when they would go out shopping for vegetables, fruits and other food stuff. I remember being thoroughly bored during these trips. They would spend hours selecting vegetables, examining each fruit or vegetable with great interest, pointing out flaws and insisting on the best quality and the most fresh food, constantly comparing the quality offered by different sellers. All this, while my friends were waiting for me to join them in the game of cricket! Today when I pass by Khar market, or the road that leads to Khar Telephone Exchange on Linking Rd, which is lined by vegetable and fruit sellers, I look at all the women doing exactly what my mother and aunt used to do and I am taken down memory lane to those afternoon or evenings when I was made to carry heavy bags and follow them around. How much time our Homemakers spend in selecting fresh food for us…and little do we realize that no matter how fresh the vegetable or fruit maybe, it may still contain a high degree of poison in it. We can test the freshness of a fruit by holding it, smelling it, giving it a soft squeeze, checking for bumps and spots and bruises, but how do we check the level of pesticides contained in it? Why do we eat food? Obviously, because our body needs the nutrition in order to survive. Nutritious food contributes to our physical and mental growth, our well-being, our ability to fight diseases etc. But if we consume large amounts of pesticide along with our food, then along with nutrition we are also consuming poison, and that defeats the very purpose of eating the food in the first place. In the 60’s India experiencewhat

Today when I pass by Khar market, which is lined by vegetable and fruit sellers, I look at all the women doing exactly what my mother and aunt used to do and I am taken down memory lane to those afternoon or evenings when I was made to carry heavy bags and follow them around. was called The Green Revolution in agriculture. Policy makers at that time felt that in order to feed the growing population in India, we need to start chemical farming. Chemical Farming would increase the productivity and per acre yield. And so interventions to the traditional natural organic farming were brought in. Interventions like chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Pests or insects damage our agricultural produce by feeding on it themselves. So to destroy or kill these pests we use what are called pesticides. Nature has its own way of keeping a balance and therefore each of these pests which destroy our crops, also have predators. So broadly speaking there are two kinds of pests… vegetarian pests or those that feed on our crops, and non-vegetarian pests or those that feed on pests that feed on our crops. Pesticides don’t distinguish between veg and non-veg pests.

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COMMUNITY EDITOR: MANASI GOKHALE ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN GRAPHIC DESIGN: SAQIB RANA COMMUNITY CORRESPONDENT: SOWMYA NANDAKUMAR CORRESPONDENTS CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, NEW DELHI: RAJ KANWAR ®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 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com

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It’s a poison, which kills both alike. So having killed our friend insects we are then left with those pests who have survived the onslaught of the pesticide. This survival makes them develop resistance to these pesticides, and then to kill the same insects you have to spray more pesticides. It’s a vicious circle. If pesticides in our food affects us, how does it affect our farmers? Well the people spraying pesticides are in the immediate vicinity of the pesticide and therefore are much more exposed to it than us the consumers. An experiment with non-pesticide farming done in Andhra Pradesh which began with a few villages on two hundred and twenty five acres has been so successful that it has now spread across 35 lakh acres! And this has been possible because of the effort of a Women’s Collective across villages with the support of the Andhra Pradesh government. Sikkim is the first state in India to go fully organic with more states seriously looking to make the shift. The arguments for and against pesticides are many and have been dealt with in great detail on our show. For me the choice is simple, I personally feel we have no option but to move gradually towards organic farming. And, until such time that we are fully organic, we need a government regulatory authority which does monthly checks on the food coming into ALL the various wholesale markets all across the country in all the different cities, and monitors the amount of pesticide in our food. In the meantime live with this report arrived at by CSE, Centre for Science and Environment: assuming that the pesticide content in each and every food product we consume does not exceed the MRL (Maximum Residue Limit) of pesticide in our food, and are at the permissible level, even then, as per an average diet of daily intake of various foods, we will be exceeding the ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) of pesticides by approximately 400%! HT


COMMUNITY

MTA Allows New York Muslims, Sikh Transit Workers to Wear Religious Head Coverings

BY VERENA DOBNIK NEW YORK (Huffingtonpost): New Yorks Sikh and Muslim transit workers will be allowed to wear religious head coverings without a government agency logo after years of bitter legal battles that started after the 9/11 terror attacks. A settlement between workers and New York City Transit run by the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority was announced. “This was the back-of-the-bus solution,” said Amardeep Singh, a SikhAmerican community spokesman who compared the agencys dealings with the employees to the pre-civil rights practice of seating black Americans at the back of public buses. The agency issued a policy before 9/11 forcing employees wearing the traditional Sikh turbans and Muslim khimars, or headscarves, to work out of public view. Some were reassigned from bus routes to nonpublic jobs in depots. The agency later changed the policy so that workers were allowed to wear the head coverings in public – but only with the MTA logo attached. Singh’s nonprofit Sikh Coalition represents five subway station agents and a train operator who joined four Muslim bus drivers to fight what was dubbed the “brand or segregate” policy.

Shayana Kadidal, an attorney at Manhattan’s Center for Constitutional Rights, said it was “a calculated attempt” to hide certain workers “on the grounds that they ‘look Muslim’ and might alarm the public for that reason.” Among them was a subway train operator who became a 9/11 hero, for evacuating more than 800 people from the subway near the World Trade Center by maneuvering his train to safety after power was knocked out. Above, the towers were collapsing and dust filled the station. “The MTA honored me for driving my train in reverse away from the towers on 9/11 and leading passengers to safety,” said motorman Kevin Harrington. “I didn’t have a corporate logo on my turban on 9/11.” The U.S. Justice Department brought its case under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, saying New York’s transit officials had discriminated against workers. The city agency faced separate lawsuits filed in federal court. Harrington, who was brought up Catholic and converted to the Sikh religion, said the policy “was driven by fear. I am relieved that the policy of branding or segregating Sikh or Muslim workers is coming to an end.” T:6” In a statement released Wednesday, the MTA New York City Transit said

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the settlement “contains no finding of fault or liability.” The transit agency said it agrees “to modify the headwear portion of the NYCT uniform policy to permit employees in those titles to wear turbans, headscarves, and certain other forms of headwear that do not contain the standard NYCT-issued logo.” But any head coverings must be blue – the color of standard transit employee uniforms. Under this weeks settlement, transit authorities are to pay the six Sikhs a total of $87,500. Attorney Lonnie Hart Jr., who represents three of the four Muslim workers, said they also received an undisclosed amount of money. The problem started when his client, Malikah Alkebulan, a Muslim bus driver, was hired several months after Sept. 11, 2001. While in training, he said, “she was told she would have to take ‘that thing’ off her head.” At first, she refused but then relented because she was still on probation for her job, according to Hart. He said transit officials then sought out other Muslim drivers wearing head coverings and they were taken off buses. “Were gratified the case has finally been settled,” he said. “Its been a long, hard struggle.”

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Vikram Seth – A Multi-Faceted Writer, Polyglot and Perhaps Even a Musician? BY SOWMYA NANDAKUMAR Vikram Seth, son of Leila and Prem Seth was born on June 20, 1952 in Kolkata. He is of Punjabi origin. His father Prem Seth was an executive of a shoe company – so one of the places Vikram has lived in is Batanagar, the town of the Bata shoe company, near Patna. His mother Leila Seth served as a judge. Vikram is the oldest of three siblings; he has a younger brother and a sister. His brother, Shantum conducts Buddhist mediational tours, and his sister,Aradhana, married to an Austrian diplomat is a film maker and has worked on Deepa Mehta’s films, Fire (1996), and Earth (1998). Vikram Seth went to the Doon School in Dehradun for his primary and part of his secondary education, after which he went to the Tonbridge School in England. After his schooling Seth studied politics and economics at the Corpus Christi School, Oxford. During this time he learned Chinese as he started to take an interest in classical Chinese poetry. After Oxford, Seth moved to the USA to pursue a graduate degree in Economics at Stanford University, California. In one of his many interviews, he even states that he really began his career as an economist and demographer. He spent many years studying economics and pursuing a career in that field. It was only later that he started writing and gradually he was distracted from a career in Economics to one in writing. Following his degree in Economics, he studied creative writing at Stanford, and then classical Chinese poetry at Nanjing University in China. Vikram Seth, the writer, has explored different kinds of writing. His in depth study of classical Chinese poetry obviously drew him towards being a poet. He is also a children’s writer, a travel writer, and a novelist. He is a musician in his own right although, in an interview he has said that he definitely does not have the professional competence or expertise in music. He has learned Indian classical music, and plays the flute and the cello. His love for music and poetry led him to be another unique kind of writer – a librettist. A multi-faceted writer, and a huge music enthusiast, Seth is also extremely versatile with languages. He has studied an array of languages, including Welsh, German, Mandarin, English, Hindi and Urdu –a total of six languages! He said in one of his interviews that his instrument of expression and writing is English. Seth started off writing poetry. In 1980, he published, the first of his

Vikram Seth, recipient of the Padma Shri in Literature and Education, 2007

five volumes of poetry, Mappings. It was privately published and hardly made it big. Seth sent this volume of poetry for comment to Philip Larkin, a famous English poet and novelist who mocked it but encouraged Seth to write. The second was The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985), winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia). In 1983, Seth’s first piece of travel writing, From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet, an account of a journey through Tibet, China and Nepal won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Perhaps inspired by his stay in California while he was studying at Stanford, Seth wrote The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986), which describes the lives of a group of friends living in California. In 1990 came a third volume of poems, All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems. In 1992, he wrote a children’s book, Beastly Tales from Here and There, which consists of ten stories about animals told in verse. One of his most widely known and acclaimed books, A Suitable Boy (1993), won the WH Smith Literary Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book). This book was an international best seller, and one of the longest single volume novels published in the world of English literature, running to 1349 pages. Seth reportedly said in an interview, that he had always been interested in music and trained in the Indian classical form. But when he was writing A Suitable Boy, he started to get increasingly interested in Western classical singing, and began to sing Schubert songs. This book, set in India in the early 1950s, is the story of a young girl, Lata, and her search for a husband. In 1994 Seth wrote a libretto, Arion and the Dolphin: A Li-

bretto. With music by Alec Roth, the libretto was performed at the English National Opera in June 1994. An Equal Music (1999) is the book that reveals that Seth cannot have just researched all the music knowledge that a book of this nature might have needed. With its musical background running right through the story, it definitely needed an author with enormous musical inclination to be able to write it so effectively. It is a poignant story of a violinist who plays in a string quartet for a living. The protagonist is haunted by the memory of a former lover, with whom he had an unpleasant separation. He manages to find her again but she is growing deaf, is married and has a child. She is also a musician and all through the book one is left wondering what will happen to her career, marriage, and life. This book discloses Vikram Seth, the musician. He even said in an interview that he loves music but did not have the early training one needed to become a professional, classical musician. In 2001, An Equal Music won EMMA (Ethnic and Multicultural Media Award) for Best Book/ Novel. In 2005, he wrote Two Lives (2005), a memoir his great uncle’s and aunt’s marriage. The same year Seth won the Pravasai Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Award), awarded by the President of India, to honor the exemplary accomplishments in a chosen field, by a person of Indian origin. Seth allegedly is open about his sexual orientations and identifies himself as a bisexual. Reportedly, in 2006, he led the campaign against India’s Section 377, a law against homosexuality abroad. In 2007, Seth was the recipient of the Padma Shri in Literature and Education. His latest book, The Rivered Earth, came in 2011.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


BUSINESS INDIA

21

June 29, 2012

Ruchir Sharma: The Art of Travel

BY RAVI KRISHNAN MUMBAI (Mint): Fund managers, as a species, are usually ebullient and project a picture of optimism, however dire the macroeconomic circumstances. Ruchir Sharma, Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s managing director and head of emerging markets, however, doesn’t believe in this approach. “I have been a writer as long as I have been an investor. My entire point is that…I have always spoken my mind. I’ve always found that it is better to say what is the truth rather than positioning yourself in terms of a marketing strategy,” he says. New York-based Sharma is promoting his book Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles when we meet at the San-Qi restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai. He is in a pink shirt with a tie and says he finds it surprising that Indians wear heavy woollen business suits in the Mumbai summer. He is shy and not forthcoming when talking about himself, but gets animated about his ideas, the markets and his book. In fact, just like the Big Mac Index which TheEconomist uses to compare the purchasing power parity of nations, Sharma has devised a Four Seasons Index. He uses that metric, along with other esoteric things such as the price of a Bellini, to measure how expensive each emerging market is. According to Sharma, a country’s ranking on the index says a lot about its competitiveness in world markets, and the higher it is, the more its future growth is at risk. India ranks somewhere in the middle, while Brazil and Russia are the most expensive. The book, which has had its share of bouquets and brickbats, particularly from the wonks and pundits of nations Sharma projects as “losers”, mirrors Sharma’s approach to managing his $25 billion (around Rs.1.38 trillion) fund. “There are many approaches to what I do, mine is more of a ground report,” says 38-yearold Sharma. “I like to spend time in emerging markets talking to different people, even when I am in India. I don’t like being in the office too much. You never know when you’ll get new insights.” In fact, as he writes in the book, it was a chance meeting with the son of a multimillionaire at a Delhi pub—whose casual “where else will the money go?” response when he learnt that Sharma was a fund manager—that helped him 100% form his idea for a book. The basic premise of VEGETARIAN his book is that the extended economic boom we saw between 2003 and 2007 was part of a synchronized global boom, one that isn’t likely to be repeated any time soon. Each emerging market now faces different problems and there is no rising tide of liquidity that will boost all markets.

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After college, Sharma continued writing the column though he secured a day job as an Morgan Stanley’s MD and economist for investment banking and corporate advisory business Prime Securities Ltd, and head of emerging markets it helped him hit the jackpot. on writing economic “I was keen to do a PhD abroad,” recalls travelogues and India Sharma. “Then some people from Morgan Stanbecoming a breakout ley liked what I used to write. They were quite fascinated by the fact that someone sitting in nation India was writing about all this and hired me.” Sharma dropped the idea of a PhD, joined the firm in Mumbai as an analyst in 1996 and was “I wanted to write an economic travelogue but quickly covering Asia for them. It was a “bapI needed a big idea. Those couple of meetings tism by fire”, because soon after he joined, the (the Delhi pub and a presentation to Russian region was in the grip of the 1997-98 currency President Vladimir Putin and his cabinet, where devaluation crisis. they displayed a sense of complacency) helped “At that early stage in your career, that was me crystallize what the big idea was going to quite something. Also, the fact that so many be,” says Sharma. people and firms I knew in Asia were wiped While it is not unknown for fund managers out and the whole asset class was questioned.” to be writers, what makes Breakout Nations People started asking whether it made any sense different is Sharma’s width of reportage, from to invest in emerging makers at all. It was an visiting Bihar during the elections to partying existential crisis, he recollects. at Istanbul’s nightclubs by the Bosphorus. The “It just toughens you up when you start that interest in individual emerging markets, as early and go through hell like that. Somehow, opposed to viewing them as one single entity, when the 2008 crisis happened, it didn’t bother finds its way into Sharma’s other interests as me as much,” he adds. well. He says he watches two foreign films a The biggest learning from the Asian crisis, week as he finds it’s “like learning something. according to Sharma, was that trends are ephemI love to understand the social fabric of a eral in nature. country, I like seeing different sets of different “They last for a while and pass, whereas the parts of the world.” Recently, he watched The biggest mistake we all tend to make is that we Intouchables, a French film. He counts the extrapolate from the past,” Sharma says, a point German movie The Lives of Others among his which he reinforces repeatedly in his book. favourites. By 2003, Sharma had moved to New York, He says he carries a notebook, a habit for the and became the co-head of Morgan Stanley’s last 16 years, when he travels—at least 10 days emerging market fund by the end of that year. a month. He tries to visit a couple of so-called Russia was one of their early emerging market frontier markets (economies which are under- picks, he reminisces. developed even relative to emerging markets, But now that his sentiment on Russia has but have potential) through the year and often “completely turned around” as the political writes in aeroplanes “when his thoughts are leadership loses its way, where will the money fresh”. go? “Philippines is one country we discovered Sharma has been a writer since his college in the last two-three years. You want to invest days. While doing BCom honours from the in markets which are beginning to feel the pain well-regarded Shri Ram College of Commerce and want to do something to turn things around,” in Delhi in 1991, he started writing on global he says. markets for the daily Business And Political Sharma is not too optimistic about India, Observer and later The Economic Times, where giving it a 50-50 chance of being a breakout he is still a regular columnist. Back then the nation, or one “which will beat expectations Indian economy had just started liberalizing and grow faster”. and the opening up of the local capital markets “Whether that is a controversial view and GRAND was still a couple of years away. something which is being gradually dubbed as JAIN OPENING OF “I have had a fascination for global econom- too pessimistic, I don’t know,” he adds. “Today, FRIENDLY SAGAR ITEMS ics from my school days, so the idea was how it the more time I spend in Delhi and Mumbai, the INDIAN could translate into something of practical use,” more bearish I get. The more time I spend travelCUISINE! he says. “To be writing is a natural extension of ling in other states, the more bullish I get. my job. I am obsessed with this game—what is GRAND Apart from writing, Ruchir Sharma’s other “What I find fascinating when I travel during MUMBAI JAIN going to happen in the global economy. When big passion is running; he even represented OPENING OF INDO 100% elections is that India’s growth model should be STYLE FRIENDLY CHINESE India at the world masters Athletics last year you write about it, you end up researching and VEGETARIAN SAGAR LOCAL evaluated state by state,” says Sharma. ITEMS in Sacramento in 4x00m relay. FOOD crystallizing your thoughts so much better.” INDIAN CUISINE! GUJARATI THALI

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22 June 29, 2012

PAKISTAN

Briton There at Pakistan’s Birth Stays Till 94: A Living Textbook CHITRAL, Pakistan (NYT): During a grand gathering of tribal elders in this rugged and remote mountain district recently, one guest of honor stood out: an elderly Englishman in a suit and polished shoes, his snowy hair carefully combed, the morning newspaper folded on his lap. Geoffrey Langlands, 94, is leaving the school he founded. That man, Geoffrey D. Langlands, has had a front-row seat on Pakistan’s many dramas since he arrived, at the country’s chaotic birth, 65 years ago. He has taken tea with princesses, dined with dictators, been kidnapped by tribesmen and scraped through several wars. Now, at 94, Langlands, a former British colonial officer who retired with the rank of major, and a lifelong educator, is striking out on a fresh adventure: retirement. For the past quarter-century, his home and work have been in Chitral, a sweeping district of snow-dusted peaks at the northern tip of Pakistan. The institution he founded and ran here, the Langlands School and College, has become a watchword for excellence; each year, the best of the school’s 1,000-plus students, one-third of them girls, go on to universities in bigger cities, the United States or the United Kingdom. That success is all the more startling for its setting in a region awash with violence and intrigue: to the east of Chitral is the Swat Valley, where Pakistan’s army fought Taliban insurgents in 2009; to the west lies the Afghan province of Nuristan, where American troops have seen some of their toughest combat. Some years ago mysterious Americans turned up in town asking questions about Osama bin Laden; locals said they worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Geoffrey Langlands, 94, taught for over a quarter-century at Aitchison College, Pakistan’s most prestigious boarding school. Photo: Max Bacherer

But for “the major,” as he is known, this has been a cherished chapter in a life that has mixed adventure and arithmetic in his adopted homeland. He is turning to the next one with a discernible touch of reluctance. “Time to take life a little easier, I suppose,” he said, sitting on a terrace overlooking a broad valley dotted with modest, tin-roof houses. Then he sat up. “But there’s still so much to do.” Doing nothing has never been an option for him. Langlands fought in a commando unit during World War II, assaulting German defenses on the French coast. In August 1947, he was stationed in British India, where he witnessed the bloody partition of the subcontinent at close quarters. Stuck at station on a train filled with

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Hindu refugees, he came under fire from Muslim gunmen; farther down the line, he saw Sikhs attack a mosque. “It was terrible,” he recalled. “Nobody knew what to do.” After the other British left, Langlands stayed on, taking a teaching job at Aitchison College in Lahore, Pakistan’s most prestigious boarding school. Over a quarter-century there, he imparted algebra to the offspring of the Pakistani elite, some of whom went on to lead in politics, sports and the military. Former charges include Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was prime minister between 2002 and 2004, and Imran Khan, the cricket hero turned politician. “He stood out,” Khan said. “He had this mixture of being firm yet compassionate.” In 1979, he moved to North Waziristan, in the tribal belt, to run a school in a district that is today better known for American drone strikes — Al Qaeda’s deputy leader was reported killed there on Monday. Langlands, however, remembers the tribesmen as rascals more than villains. At one point, he said, tribesmen held him hostage for six days in a bid to overturn an unfavorable election result. It did not work, but his captors treated him decently, even insisting he join them for some rifle practice. “It wasn’t so bad,” he said with a soft chuckle. “They were very polite once they found out I was 71. And before I left, they insisted on having their photo taken with me.” In Chitral, life is quieter. In the northern corner of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province, it has escaped the Taliban firestorm thanks to its geographic and cultural isolation. The spiked peaks of the Hindu Kush are a formidable palisade, although an insurgent attack on the Afghan border last year jangled nerves. Unlike most of the surrounding region’s people, the Chitralis are not ethnic Pashtuns, and their passions lie with playing a rambunctious version of polo (imagine rugby on horseback), educating their children and cutting loose. During the recent gathering to install a he-

reditary tribal prince, things became typically raucous: tipsy young men danced wildly in celebration as they took gulps from a bottle of moonshine, watched quietly by police officers. Langlands is in some respects the quintessential Englishman of old, a living relic of the Raj. He lives in a ramshackle little cottage in the town center, where he rises every morning at 5:40. Exactly 40 minutes later, a servant appears with breakfast: oatmeal, a poached egg and two cups of tea, always. Langlands flicks through the latest newspaper, which, given the valley’s erratic plane service, may be several days old. Then an assistant, who answers his phone and juggles his e-mail, turns up to take him to work. Famous visitors watch from dust-smeared photographs on the wall: Diana, Princess of Wales, who visited Chitral in 1991; and Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, the Islamist dictator, whom Langlands knew well. “Once,” he says in a stentorian voice, “General Zia kept Henry Kissinger waiting so he could see me.” Behind his chirpy laugh lies a cool intelligence and a diplomatic reserve. It is an old-fashioned, low-key style at odds with the multimilliondollar budgets and media-driven philanthropy of modern development aid. He pays himself a $270 monthly salary — paltry even by local standards — and travels on public buses. He knows Urdu but declines to use it: “I’ve always felt my job is to improve the level of English,” he said. Not much of his family remains: he was orphaned at 12, he never married, and his twin brother, who lives back in England, has visited Chitral just twice. “I just take life as it comes,” he said when asked about his philosophy. Chitralis consider him one of them. “The major is invaluable,” said Multan Mehmood, a local development worker. “We cannot replace him.” But replace him they must. A minor stroke a few years ago left his hands trembling; doctors worry about the effects of another freezing winter in Chitral. A current of worry courses through local conversations: when the major goes, will his proud school survive him? The answer, they hope, is another English principal — but this time a female one. From September, the Langlands school will be run by Carey Schofield, a writer who has published books on French gangsters, Mick Jagger and, mostly recently, the Pakistani Army. Ms. Schofield, 58, admits to no teaching experience, but says Chitralis were insistent on another “Britisher.” “They have so much respect for Major Langlands that I think they wanted to clone him,” she said by phone from London. Urgent work awaits.As Langlands has slowed in recent years, problems have piled up: unpaid school fees, lagging teacher wages, a lack of computers, organization and money. Already, Ms. Schofield has raised $55,000 to improve the bumpy track that curls up a steep slope to the senior school: last year a school bus with 14 students on board tumbled over the side; miraculously, no one was badly hurt. Langlands, meanwhile, will move to Lahore, where his former students have arranged a small apartment for him on the magnificent grounds of his old school, Aitchison College. He has also, quietly, chosen his spot in one of the city’s Christian cemeteries: near the gate, he says, so friends can visit. But first, he says, there is more work to be done: a memoir to write, a 95th birthday to share with his brother and more fund-raising. His dream, now, is to build a proper dormitory in Chitral, creating an ever better academy. “I refuse,” he announces firmly, a gimlet sparkle in his blue-gray eyes, “to sit back and do nothing.”

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


OPINION RECIPES

June 29, 2012

Zucchini with Zest of Kasturi Methi

Ingredients: 4-5 Medium Sized Zucchinis ( Peeled, Washed and Chopped) 2 Tbsp Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 2 Medium Tomatoes (Chopped) 2 Green Chillies (Chopped) 1/2 Tsp Chopped Ginger 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds 1/4 Tsp Garam Masala 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder 1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder Salt- To Taste Red Chilli Powder- To Taste

2 Tsp- Lemon Juice 3 Tbsp Yogurt Method: 1. In a bowl, add Chopped Zucchini and add Red Chilli Powder (per your taste) and Lemon Juice. Mix well and keep aside for 1520 minutes. 2. Heat Oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. Once they start to sizzle and change color, add ginger and green chillies. Stir for 15-20 seconds. 3. Add Tomatoes and stir for till they are a little tender. Not mushy.

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Medium Goat

1 lb

Method: 1. Cut the bread in heart shape using a small sharp knife. ( Try to use the maximum bread and have minimum wastage) 2. Beat the eggs well. 3. Add the chopped green chillies, onions and coriander leaves to the beaten eggs. 4. Add in all the masala/spices to the egg mixture. 5. Heat a pan on medium flame and add the oil to it evenly. 6. Dip bread one by one into egg mixture and put it on the pan. ( Make sure bread soaks the egg mixture nicely) 7. Toast it from both sides. Make sure the egg and bread is cooked well. Serve Hot with Tomato Ketchup and Enjoy with a Cup of Hot Tea of Coffee. Both Recipes by Vaishali Sharma Visit www.zestyflavors. com or visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zestyflavors-Adding-Zest-to-yourCooking/145518712165348 Also “Like” Zestyflavors on Facebook

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Shakti Bhog Whole Wheat Atta

C 20 lb

All Desi Chef Dal

1 lb

Ingredients: 1. 2 large eggs 2. 4 slices of bread 3. 1/2 onion finely chopped 4. 2 Green chillies finely chopped 5. 1 Tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves 6. 1 Tsp- Red Chilli Powder 7. 1/2 tsp- Garam Masala 8. Salt- To taste 9. 1 Tbsp Oil

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Zafarani Basmati Rice Golden Temple Atta

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4. Add in the Zucchini that we kept aside. Add in Salt and all the dry spices and mix well. 5. Let the Zucchini cook on medium heat while stirring in between until its starts to get tender. 6. Then add the Yogurt, mix well and let it cook more until the Zucchini is well done. Not mushy again. 7. Add the Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves) in the end, mix nicely and cook for 2 more minutes. 8. Garnish with either Coriander or a Mint Leave. Serve hot with parathas or chapattis.

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Baby Goat

1 lb

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


24 June 29, 2012

ENTERTAINMENT

Would you be interested in taking part in a diabetes research study? Do you have Type 2 Diabetes? • Do you have any of the following cardiovascular risk factors? history of myocardial infarction history of stroke unstable angina coronary artery disease peripheral artery disease • If your answer is yes - you may be eligible to take part in the research study which will test a new type of investigational tablet for Type 2 Diabetes • If you are interested in getting more information, please contact: Michelle Zaniewski M.D., P.A. Tel # (281) 580-7401

Teri Meri Kahaani: Movie Review

BY ANUPAMA CHOPRA Direction: Kunal Kohli Actors: Priyanka Chopra, Shahid Kapoor MUMBAI (HT): As Time Goes By, the famous song from one of cinema’s greatest romances, Casablanca, tells us that, at least where love is concerned, the more things change, the more they remain the same: ‘You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the fundamental things apply, as time goes by.’ In Teri Meri Kahaani, 102 years pass. The love story recurs three times — in 1910, 1960 and 2012. The boy and girl, played each time by Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, meet and part. But whether it’s pre-Partition Lahore or present-day UK, men, women and emotions remain the same. Director and cowriter Kunal Kohli attempts here to create an epic romance, a meeting of the souls that transcends time. The concept is similar to Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s 2005 film Three Times, but the sensibilities are poles apart. Three Times is a deliberately slow and exquisitely aching ode to love. Teri Meri Kahaani is a banal romance that wants to cover all bases — so in the colonial

Indian love story we get a lot of sher-shayari and in contemporary times, Facebook, Twitter and text messages play a key role. But if we are to stay interested in watching the same two people fall in love for two hours, the writing and performances really have to sparkle. Sadly here, neither does. Shahid stays in ‘Dreamboat’ mode and pulls off the flamboyant shayari-spouting Javed well. But Priyanka relies solely on externals — costumes, hairstyle and a set of increasingly artificial mannerisms. There is one flat-out gorgeous song — Mukhtasar — but the rest of the soundtrack is too limp to enliven the increasingly convoluted narrative (inthe1910 story, the freedom movement features and Javed even gets a raucous, romantic song-andd a n c e number in theSargodha jail). What I enjoyed most was the recreation of Mumbai in 1960 — empty streets, an Art Deco movie theatre, women in breathlessly tight blouses and bouffant hairdos. But the film’s main ingredient — love — is too synthetic to soar.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


INDIA

June 29, 2012

25

India’s Child Sexual Abuse Bill is Criticized for Harmful Provisions

BY NIKHILA GILL (NYT) The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Bill was hailed as a landmark legislation, one that will strengthen the fight against child abuse in India, when it was passed by the upper house of Parliament in May. President Pratibha Patil is expected to sign it in coming weeks. In a country where over 50 percent of children report having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse, such legislation seems necessary. But an apparent rush to get the bill made into a law has resulted in several crucial points being overlooked, say some activists and human rights lawyers, who also contend that the bill contains a number of confusing and potentially harmful provisions. While a draft of the bill has been debated for years (it was first written in 2005), it was fast-tracked in Parliament, taking less than two months to pass through both houses of Parliament, and it became a matter for widespread public discussion after Aamir Khan, an actor and producer in the Hindi film industry, featured the topic on his new talk show, “Satyamev Jayate,” last month. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, which was instrumental in drafting the bill, notes that the law was passed on May 10, three days before Khan’s show aired. The bill, which was written by bureaucrats with civil society participation, provides severe punishment that varies from three years to life imprisonment for a broad range of acts, which are spelled out in explicit detail, including penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault, child pornography and sexual harassment. The legislation also includes measures to protect the identity of the child and help him or her overcome abuse. It applies to all states except Jammu and Kashmir. But it also defines “child” as anyone under the age of 18. An earlier version of the bill set aside a special set of circumstances for 16- to 18-year-olds. If “penetrative sexual assault is committed against a child between 16 to 18 years of age, it shall be considered whether the consent for such act has been obtained,” the old law said. This clause was removed from the final version of the bill on the request of the final committee that vetted it. Vrinda Grover, a lawyer and human rights activist in New Delhi, is one of many who say that making the age of consent 18, rather than 16, is unrealistic. In India, 18 percent of women are married before the age of 15 and nearly one in every two are married before the age of 18. “To criminalize all sexual activity until the age of 18 is stupid,” she said in a telephone interview. “People try to occupy a conservative moral high ground, but the reality is very different,” she said.“We like to pretend like we’re an asexual people with the second-highest population in the

Mamta, 7, right, with her husband, Santosh, 11, at a mass marriage at Chachoda village in Madhya Pradesh in May 2010 Photo: Prakash Hatvalne/Associated Press

world.” Neela Gangadharan, secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, explains the reason for removing the consent clause. Eighteen years is an “internationally accepted” age, she said, at which “a human being is physically, financially, emotionally and sexually more able and capable to handle the process of adulthood which involves not only rights but also responsibilities.” Distinguishing between children “on the basis of their age may result in depriving them from the very protection for which the law has been conceived in the first place,” she wrote via e-mail. The wording of the bill appears to make it illegal for anyone to engage in “any other act with sexual intent which involves physical contact” with anyone under the age of 18. It does not include any provision for two people under the age of 18 to have any consensual sexual contact. The minimum sentence for non-penetrative sexual assault is three years, although if the offender is under 18, he or she will go to a juvenile facility. Meenakshi Ganguly, the SouthAsia director of Human Rights Watch, said

that although the bill is a huge step forward in protecting children, there needs to be a more nuanced approach. “There is a blanket assumptions relating to all sexual behavior. This needs more thinking,” she said. Further on the subject of sexual acts between minors, Chapter 8, Point 34(1) of the bill states: “Where any offense under this act is committed by a child, such child shall be dealt with under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.” Gangadharan said the bill was meant to protect, not punish, children. “The bill is for protecting children from adult abusers and not to regulate the sexual activity of children,” she said. “The bill does not criminalize sexual activity between children below 18 years as no child is liable for punishment for any of the offenses under the proposed law.” If a complaint of sexual abuse is made against a child, the child will be “dealt with under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, which provides for admonishment, advice and counseling of the child and in no case is the child sent to prison or police custody,” she said.

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Delhi: Most Competitive City in India MUMBAI (SI): Delhi has been named the most competitive city in India for its demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists by a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report. The study, which has been commissioned by the Citigroup, ranked Delhi at number 68 in the list of 120 of the world’s major cities. The national Capital has edged out financial hub of Mumbai, which ranked 70th in the index, followed by Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, at 79th rank, Pune at 97, Chennai at 105 and Kolkata at 106. The report, entitled Hot Spots, ranks the most competitive cities in the world for their demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists. With a combined population of about 750 million, the 120 cities ranked in Hot Spots represent approximately 29 percent of the global economy and generated a combined GDP of $20.24 trillion in 2011. In terms of ‘economic strength’, the most highly weighted category, 15 of the top 20 cities are in Asia of which two are from India--Bangalore (16th) and Ahmedabad (19th). Overall, it was European and U.S. cities which are the most competitive globally, the report said. According to the report, the 10 most competitive cities in the world are: New York, London, Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong (jointly fourth), Tokyo, Zurich, Washington DC, Chicago and Boston.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


26 June 29, 2012

SPORTS

Backhanded Volleys & Broken Serves: End to Lea-Hesh? BY V. KRISHNASWAMY

NEW DELHI (Outlook): Just try to imagine Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni ganging up to keep Sachin Tendulkar out of the side. Or Sehwag and Sachin pushing Dhoni out! Imagine the scene if the scores of star footballers and basketballers, who hate the sight of each other, hold their coaches and management to ransom, saying “Me or Him”. Take it or leave it. Even billionaire F-1 drivers dare not do that. If threats became the buzzword and tantrums the way to select teams, you would never need selection committees of federations—not that that is such a bad idea! Negotiations of the kind that went on between the players and the All India Tennis Association (AITA), with the sports ministry as a mute line umpire, cannot be a process of selecting national teams. It matters not whether it’s the Olympics, the Davis Cup or a local tournament. It does not even matter whether you win medals or not. There has to be a sense of decorum. We may not like selection committees—most of them are not very pleasant, anyway—but we need some authorised bodies, and not individuals who have an axe to grind or wish to hold the sport to ransom. This saga of Paes vs Bhupathi, dad vs dad, coach vs coach, business vs business, Paes en Sport vs Globosport can’t be allowed to go on. Fifteen years ago, when LeaHesh burst onto the global scene and took it by storm, making all four Grand Slam finals in 1999—the first team anywhere in the world to do so since 1952—they were seen not just as saviours of Indian tennis, but possibly as saviours of the dying art of doubles tennis, leading singles stars crossed out doubles from their playing schedules. In one single year in 1999, they won three titles, including two Slams, and became the No. 1 tennis pair in the world. But, before you knew it, they had split up. Lack of trust, they said. That was 12 years ago. It would become a recurring theme. They kept becoming unstuck and coming together; winning titles, pouting and hugging, scowling

and screambe believed, there A Split Decision to ing. They won were even a few real The All India Tennis Asso- punches exchanged. Davis Cup matches, pro- ciation (AITA) tried to keep Then came salafessed “love”, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan cious rumours of “ r e s p e c t ” Bopanna happy by deciding to the kind that chase and “admira- send two doubles teams to the Hollywood and tion” for each Olympics as they demanded Bollywood dramas; other. And and gave an assurance to Le- stories of fights before you ander Paes that he would part- in hotel corridors could recov- ner Sania Mirza in the mixed over the affection er, they and doubles. of an actress/model. Paes, who is asked to partner Those stories were their camps were calling youngster Vishnu Vardhan in never confirmed each other the the men’s doubles, is far from nor denied, but spochoicest of pleased with AITA bowing to ken about only in names. Noses the “black-mailing tactics” of hushed whispers. were blood- Bhupathi and Bopanna and letBut beyond all ied, egos were ting them pair up. this, they also Paes’s father Vece Paes said it played some brilbruised, ears were ringing was not a justified decision and liant tennis. Briland hearts a source close to the family told liant enough to win crying. It IANS that the top-ranked Indian 26 titles together bewould happen in doubles has asked for a writ- tween 1997 to 2011. time and time ten assurance from the AITA They also won anagain (see that Mirza won’t back off at the other 24 each with box below). last moment for Bhupathi other partners—for AITA president Anil Khanna a colossal figure of It started in 2000. It oc- also admitted that the decision 50 men’s doubles curred (again) was unfair on Paes and action for both. If Bhupathi would be taken against Bhu- has a dozen Grand this week. They began pathi and Bopanna. Slam doubles titles, with chestPaes has 14. And in butting. Both Leander and Bhu- between their now hot, now cold pathi began by talking how they relationship, they won two Asian could read each other and how Games gold medals and 25 of the they could sense each other on 27 Davis Cup doubles matches the court. But soon the chest-butts they played together. They were, turned into left hooks and upper check that, still are good. Never cuts—through friends, through the mind their ages. Paes turned 39 on media and, if rumours mills were June 17 and Bhupathi turned 38 on

June 7. Hell, they even share the same Zodiac sign! Gemini. On a more serious note, an AITA official who has been keeping a close watch over the current controversy says, “They may choose (teammates or partners) if it is the atp Tour, where they represent themselves, but not if they are representing the country. When it comes to Davis Cups, Asian Games or Olympic Games, a selection committee must take an impartial view and put forward the best players.” Sports reporters should have given up on them long ago, allowing sleuths and private detectives to take over. Was Paes still with Bhupathi when he first spoke to Bopanna about London 2012? Did Bopanna breach the confidence of one or the other? Who backstabbed whom and did anyone backstab anyone else? Then, there is this small matter of who will pair up with the Indian tennis’s golden girl Sania Mirza. The reason for the conundrum is simple enough: a medal in mixed doubles is more doable than in men’s doubles. Ah, therein hangs a tale. And while the Lea-Hesh, and now Rohan Bopanna, controversy continues to play out on TV channels and newpapers, where does that leave India’s hopes of an Olympic medal in tennis? Even if things are sorted out and Leander-Mahesh do come out and say they have let bygones be bygones and will play for the country, can we believe them? It is said that a doubles tennis match calls for better understanding and thinking in unison between the partners than almost any other team event. Don Budge, the first man to win a Grand Slam in 1938, when asked what kind of a doubles partner he liked, said: “There’s nothing worse to me than a doubles partner that can’t talk it out. There are always times when things aren’t going well in almost any match, and if you can talk about these with your partner in an honest way, you can usually circumvent them.” But even if there is, however unlikely, a getting around this latest spat, can Leander and Mahesh ever again play as one?

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

SPORTS

No Contest in SL

Sri Lanka 472 (Sangakkara 199*, Dilshan 101, M Jayawardene 62, Ajmal 5-146) and 137 for 5 dec (Dilshan 56, Junaid 3-44) beat Pakistan 100 (Randiv 4-13, Herath 3-30) and 300 (Younis 87, Shafiq 80, Kulasekara 3-80, Randiv 3-86) by 209 runs

Nuwan Kulasekara rocked Pakistan’s top order again.

For a year and a half after Muttiah Muralitharan’s retirement, every match Sri Lanka played was accompanied by questions about their ability to be a top Test nation in the absence of the game’s greatest wicket-taker. Those questions will be less frequent after Sri Lanka completed their third Test victory in five matches, and their largest win over Pakistan on the fourth day in Galle. The result also snapped Pakistan’s winning streak, which included a 3-0 blanking of world No. 1 England, at five Tests. It wasn’t one-way traffic on Monday, as it had been on the three previous days as Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan defied Sri Lanka for nearly two sessions. Younis gave another demonstration of his fourthinnings mastery, while Shafiq once again showed his appetite for a scrap, as he had in his two previous Tests, against England. Their resistance stretched the game to the final minutes of the fourth day, but Sri Lanka were never in any serious danger, remaining firmly in control all through. 2nd Test: Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan at Colombo (SSC) Jun 30-Jul 4, 2012 3rd Test: Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan at Pallekele Jul 8-12, 2012


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June 29, 2012

27

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STOCKS • FINANCE • SOUTH ASIAN MARKETS • TECHNOLOGY

Gold Too Pricey, ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ in India BY RACHIT VATS MUMBAI (HT): With gold prices on a high, the Indian middle class is apparently finding the shine of the diamond more attractive. The yellow metal has risen about 30% in the last one-year, from Rs. 22,000 per 10 grams in June 2011 to Rs. 30,000 now. “The high gold price is not the only driving force for this gradual shift from gold to diamond,” said Bachhraj Bamalwa, chairman of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. “The young generation prefers diamond jewellery, which is not only lighter but also a fusion of Indian and western designs, vis-à-vis bulky gold jewellery.” A recent report by Bain & Co claims consumer appetite for diamonds is seeing a surge, driven by increased prosperity in China and India. Demand

is set to grow at an annual rate of 6.4% to nearly 250 million carats by volume and 6.6% in value terms by 2020. “India’s jewellery sector is predicted to grow by 30% by 2015,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). “Given that 90% of diamonds are cut and polished in India, taxes incurred on the purchase of diamonds is significantly lower, making it a more viable investment option. ”“Demand for diamond jewellery in India has increased over the past few years, and India is now the third largest consumer market in the world behind US and China,” said Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“Indian demand for diamonds is expected to grow more than the demand for gold in the next five years, at about 20%,” Bhatt said. At present, India’s consumer market representing about 8% of the worldwide demand for diamonds, roughly equal to Japan and just behind China, making it the third largest. Retailers such as Tanishq, Zoya, and others have been seeing surge in diamond sales even as the price of the precious stone increased by 30% this year. Pakistan and India have great potential to increase gems and jewellery trade between the two countries as users have similarities and choices are same, said Sanjay Kothari, vice-chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council. He held series of talks with their counterparts and meetings were quite fruitful, but main hurdle between the two countries in promoting trade is the issuance of visa. He added that both countries should issue multiple visas and businessmen of both sides should be allowed to travel on both sides of the borders.

India’s GDP growth rate slowed to 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 against 8.4 per cent in the previous two financial years. The government expects the economic growth in the current fiscal at around 7.6 per cent. Moody’s retaining India’s outlook comes against the backdrop of two other leading agencies - Standard and Poor’s and Fitch lowering the credit rating outlook to negative. On the rupee’s sharp depreciation in the recent months, Moody’s

said it does not raise the government’s own debt service burden significantly. The BSE 30-scrip index Sensex was trading higher by 130.54 points at 17,103.05 at 10.40am. To arrest the rupee slide, RBI on Monday increased FII limit in government bonds to USD 20 billion, while allowing up to USD 10 billion from overseas borrowings by India Inc for refinancing rupee loan. The decisions have been taken “in consultation with the government,” RBI said.

Moody’s Credit Rating at ‘Stable’, Despite GDP Slowdown

NEW DELHI (PTI): Global agency Moody’s today retained outlook on India’s rating at stable despite slowdown in GDP growth rate saying that it is unlikely to be even a medium-term feature. Moody’s Investors Service in a statement said, “It is maintaining its stable outlook on India’s rating as various credit challenges -such as weak fiscal performance, tendency towards inflation and an uncertain investment policy environment -- have characterised the Indian economy for decades, and

are already incorporated into the current Baa3 rating”. On the other hand, it said that certain recent negative trends -such as lower growth, slowing investment and poor business sentiment -- are “unlikely to become permanent or even medium-term features of the Indian economy”. Although, Moody’s expects that global and domestic factors, including potential shocks in agriculture, could keep India’s growth below trend for the next few quarters.

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Go to Harvard, MIT BOSTON: Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently teamed up to form edX, a not-for-profit online education initiative that aims to teach millions worldwide and reinvent campus-based learning. Anant Agarwal, edX president, told Outlok’s Washington correspondent Ashish Kumar Sen in an interview that he is confident this partnership will transform education.

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, a Harvard-MIT idea.

The idea is for edX to create an open source online learning platform on which we can offer courses to people around the world. The vision is to educate a billion people. We also want to reinvent education on our campuses. edX will be a creating a platform which will be open source, not for profit, and a portal for a website where universities will offer their courses. For example, mit courses will be offered as MITx and Harvard courses as HarvardX. Over time, other universities will also be joining us.


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INDIA

June 29, 2012

At a Time to Shine, Air India’s 787s Can’t Get Off the Ground

NEW DELHI (NYT): Like China, India has long been eager to showcase the best features of its fast-growing economy on the international stage. But whenever it gets a chance to shine, something almost invariably goes wrong. The latest example involves India’s plans to be only the second country to roll out Boeing’s newest jet, the superefficient 787 Dreamliner, on its international routes. Instead of being the guest of honor at a celebration at Indira Gandhi International Airport here, however, India’s Dreamliner has been sitting on a tarmac in Everett, Wash., waiting for a formal invitation. And even when the plane does arrive, which could be as early as next week, any celebration is likely to be muted because of a noisy dispute between pilots at the state-owned airline, Air India, that has led to a strike and a shutdown of some international flights. Indians are deeply status conscious — the country’s ancient caste system includes thousands of categories — so the battle within the pilot ranks at Air India is no small matter to them. But the failure to resolve these issues before the plane’s arrival reflects other vexing contradictions in India: a near-paralysis in government decision making, as well as a continued insistence that the government retain control over important national industries. This unfortunate combina-

Boeing 787 Dreamliners bought by Air India have remained in Everett, Wash., amid a dispute between the airline and Boeing.

tion of control and indecision has crippled its coal mining, power generation, oil and agriculture sectors. And now Air India. “There is more pretense than substance to our hankering for great power,” said Bharat Karnad, a professor of national security studies at the Center for Policy Research here. “Most of our problems come from self-inflicted wounds, and there is no easy remedy.” The last time India muffed a chance to star on the international stage in such a public way was in 2010, when its failure to provide adequate sporting and hospitality sites for the Commonwealth Games was deeply embarrassing, particularly because it came only two years after China had carried off its spectacular Olympic Games like clockwork. As with everything about India, the reasons for the latest public debacle are complicated.

Manufacturing glitches led Boeing to put off the plane’s completion by three years, so most of the company’s customers cannot get the plane fast enough. But not India. “India’s airplane is ready,” said Dinesh Keskar, a senior vice president for sales at Boeing. “We are waiting to give it to them.” First, the country demanded that Boeing pay a $1 billion penalty for the manufacturing delays in India’s 27plane order. Boeing offered a small fraction of that. The two sides have since come to an agreement but have not disclosed the amount. A government cabinet meeting is scheduled for the end of this week to approve the deal. But until then, no plane. But even after that dispute is finally put to rest, Air India faces a fight with its pilots over who among them should be allowed to fly the 787. Air India’s pilot problem has festered since a merger was announced

in 2007 between the two state-owned airlines, Air India and Indian Airlines. Pilots from the original Air India argued that since the Dreamliners were bought before the merger, only pilots working for the carrier at the time should be allowed to fly them. But Air India, seeking a more flexible and efficient operation, sent 32 pilots from each of its predecessor companies to Singapore for training on the new plane. In response, hundreds of pilots have been calling in sick since May 7. The merger of the two airlines was intended to create a carrier strong enough to compete globally and burnish India’s reputation. Just the opposite has happened, as repeated strikes, poor service and safety fears have left Air India flailing even as the domestic and Asian air travel markets have grown rapidly. On Sunday, a nose wheel on an Air India jet with 52 people aboard fell off during takeoff from Silchar Airport, and the plane made an emergency landing in Guwahati, in northeastern India, with no major damage or injuries. “In hindsight, I can say that the merger didn’t work out,” said Ajit Singh, India’s minister of civil aviation. The government agreed this year to give the airline a $5.4 billion bailout as long as it met certain financial milestones. “That’s why the strike came at such

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 • WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

an inopportune time,” Singh said. “This is the public’s money.” Singh announced last week that he had fired 101 of the 400 striking pilots and that the airline was in the midst of training new ones. Air India has had to cancel all its flights to Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto. Singh urged the pilots to return to work without preconditions. K. Swaminathan, an Air India spokesman, estimated that normal operations would resume within three or four months, and he said the airline had enough trained pilots to fly all three Dreamliners expected to be delivered this month. But the loss of highly profitable international routes will cost the airline dearly. Air India’s turnaround plan depends heavily on the improved efficiency that the 787 will bring, so getting the airplane into the airline’s rotation is crucial. The 787 is the first major commercial plane made almost exclusively from composite materials. Its wings flex like a glider’s when flying, and its reduced weight saves fuel. “I’m very confident we will succeed,” Singh said. Others are less sanguine. Air India is unlikely to turn itself around, said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research in London, “until they sort out the strike and get pilots working again and streamline their top-heavy management team with one that knows how to run an airline.”


June 29, 2012

Pranab Quits FM, Begins Presidential Run MIRATI, West Bening,” Mukherjee said. gal: It was perhaps The FII and FDI inPranab Mukherjee’s flows have gone up, said most emotional homeMukherjee. While FII coming yet. Destined now stands at $8 billion, for Rashtrapati Bhavan, FDI has touched $48 bilthe veteran Congresslion. “We shall have to go man is preparing himfor strong measures. When self for the inevitable the going gets tough, the end to his political catough gets going,” said reer. But his last days Mukherjee. “There has as finance minister will been a rise in inflation, eshardly be a quiet windpecially food prices, which down. is a matter of concern. But “My 40-year political the GDP has been improvcareer is at an end. I will ing. Indian economy, I resign as finance minisbelieve, has the resilience ter and from all Conto endure difficult periods gress posts on June 26. like this,” the finance minMy career will now take ister assured. a new direction,” the Thousands of people 77-year-old Mukherjee lined both sides of the said on Saturday, adding road leading to Miriti and he will announce a slew tribal women danced to the of “tough measures” beat of drums to welcome on Monday to tackle Mukherjee. His convoy the problems with the Pranab Mukherjee has resigned his position as the had to stop several times economy. He will file finance minister and Congress party official to begin as supporters swarmed the his nomination for Pres- his presidential campaign. road. “I need your blessident on June 28. Prime ings, please bless me,” the CPM and the Forward Bloc, Minister Manmohan Mukherjee said tirelessly, Singh will take charge of the fi- have supported me. I am grateful over and over again. “I am overnance ministry after Mukherjee’s to all of them.” whelmed by the reception. I was The finance minister said he born here. I studied here. I am badeparture. It was not clear whether the mea- is not worried about the Indian sically a village boy,” Mukherjee sures would be announced by the economy but acknowledged tough said after taking the salute from a RBI or the government, but econ- steps need to be taken. “This is my police guard of honour. omists said the central bank may last interaction with the press as “Before beginning a new chapunveil some more steps to tame finance minister. I would like to ter in my life, I wanted to visit my dispel fears about the falling value village,” Mukherjee said, walkthe rupee’s slide. Speaking to the media at his of the rupee. Some measures will ing towards a Durga temple in the home in Mirati, Bolpur, Mukher- be announced. In the context of courtyard of his house as women jee said: “I will resign from all the world economy and the global blew conchshells. He bowed beposts and then campaign for the recession, we are not doing too fore the goddess under a shower presidential elections. I request all badly. The Indian economy will be of flower petals. He also drove to the parties to support me. Barring robust again. I am concerned but I Kirnahar village, 3km from Miriti, one, all UPA parties are behind am not depressed... when the go- to visit his elder sister Annapurna me. Even non-UPA members, like ing gets tough, the tough get go- Devi and seek her blessings.

Obama Attacks Romney on India, China Outsourcing BOSTON—President Barack Obama, campaigning in Mitt Romney’s backyard, criticized his Republican rival anew Monday for what his re-election campaign says is a record of shipping American jobs overseas. “Gov. Romney’s commitment to outsourcing is not just part of his record, it’s part of his overall economic vision that he and Republicans in Congress want to implement if they win this election,”

Obama said. The Obama campaign has seized on reports that the private equity firm Romney once ran made investments in companies that were described as “pioneers” in outsourcing jobs to China and India. The Romney campaign says the reports do not differentiate between “domestic outsourcing” and “offshoring” and don’t take into account work done overseas to support U.S. exports.

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During a campaign event in New Hampshire, Obama said that explanation would do little to satisfy workers who have had their jobs moved overseas. “You don’t need someone trying to explain to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring,” he said. “You need someone who’s going to wake up every single day and fight for American jobs and investments here in the United States.”

29

CAUGHT: 26/11 Handler, Abu Jundal BY HARINDER BAWEJA

NEW DELHI (HT): In one of their most complex and intriguing operations lately, Indian intelligence agencies tracked 26/11 accused Abu Jundal alias Zaibuddin Ansari to Saudi Arabia and brought him to Delhi on June 21. The operation took nearly Abu Jundal or Maharashtra native a year, and involved intense Zaibuddin Ansari negotiations with an otherwise indifferent Saudi Arabia. It ed at last. Jundal was handed also involved a DNA test, a se- over to an Indian intelligence nior intelligence official. team which brought him back to Pakistan apparently spent its Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Internalast ounce of diplomatic sweat, tional airport. trying to pressure Saudi authoriJundal—now remanded to ties into releasing Abu Jundal. police custody—will help the Believed to be one of the han- 26/11 investigation. While Pakidlers who directed the Mumbai stan has evaded providing voice carnage from a ‘control room’ in samples of the handlers who Karachi, Jundal is also suspected controlled the attack from Karaof having trained the 10 terror- chi, India will at least be able to ists including Ajmal Kasab. match the voice on the intercept Indian intelligence agencies with that of Jundal’s. had tracked Jundal to Saudi AraAnsari is also considered to be bia on a tip-off about a year ago. the brain behind the mobilisaBut early attempts to get his cus- tion of arms and explosives in tody failed because although he Maharashtra. He is suspected is from Beed in Maharashtra, he to be the link between the LeT had travelled to Saudi Arabia on and the banned Students Islamic a Pakistani passport. Movement of India (SIMI). For months, Pakistan’s ISI Ansari, now lodged at the Loexerted immense pressure on dhi Colony headquarters of the Saudi, a home ministry official Special Cell, has allegedly contold HT. It did not want Jundal fessed to his involvement in the to be handed over to India at any Mumbai terror attacks, said pocost. He was too prized a catch: lice. He said that he along with A Lashkar-e-Taiba insider who five others were inside a Karachi could expose the role of ‘state control room and were coordiactors’ in the Mumbai attack. nating the attack through a satSoon after 26/11, when Kas- ellite phone. He also told police ab’s capture and arrest had ex- that he accompanied the terrorposed Pakistan’s role, President ists till the Karachi port on their Asif Ali Zardari had famously way to Mumbai. said that “non-state actors” could During his stay in Pakistan, have been involved in the Mum- Ansari worked for Lashkar and bai terror attack. was also in touch with Pakistan’s In a diplomatic game that in- ISI. “He left Pakistan after the volved three countries, India, Mumbai attack and was staytoo, stepped up pressure and sent ing in Saudi Arabia. He has also several documents to the Saudi named a few persons suspected authorities to establish that Jun- to be from the ISI and were indal may be using a Pakistani volved in the Mumbai attack,” passport, but was actually an In- added the officer. dian citizen. In Saudi Arabia, Ansari acted The clincher was a DNA test. as a travel agent. He told police A sample — obtained from An- that he had been assigned the job sari’s family —was sent to the of recruiting Indian youth and Saudi authorities by India, the seeking funds. His police cusintelligence source said. tody ends on July 5 but the SpeOnce the test matched, the cial Cell is likely to approach the Pakistani game was up and the court and seek for more time to Saudi authorities were persuad- question him.

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(GTEC) along with the others (existing centres) in Bangalore maybe this year or the next (year). This Centre will focus on providing technical support to clients globally,” Liqun said. He added that GTEC will handle technical issues of customers globally but declined to comment on the number of people that would be hired.”We have GTECs in China, but this will be first outside china. It is under discussion. Indians have language advantage as well as technology, that is what we want to capitalise on through this centre,” Liqun said.

Of the company’s $1.5 billion Indian revenues, $1.2 billion was contributed by its network business driven by 3G deployment and network expansion by operators, while the remaining $300 million came from devices like handsets, dongles and set top boxes. “I think 2012 is a tough year for the whole telecom industry in India because the policy is not clear. Operators are waiting for licences. This period will see no major investment but after all this is solved, we are confident of the Indian market,” Liqun said. Asked about the targeted revenue for 201213, Liqun declined to comment but added, “we are in discussion with all players...this year, we are looking at more than 50 per cent of all LTE contracts coming to us”. The company has already deployed 4G LTE network for telecom major Bharti Airtel in Bangalore. Huawei, which has a low singledigit market share in the mobile phones segment in the country, is also looking at ramping up its presence in the category. “In three-five years, we want to become one of the top 3-4 players in the Android smartphone space,” Huawei vice president (corporate media affairs) Scott Sykes said.

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