Page 1

The new FIA office-bearers taking oath in the presence of the Guest of Honor and VIP Guests


page 4



US red carpet for India’s new leader







I will defeat ‘Will put up Modi: best fight Kejriwal against Rahul’


‘Most Indians rooting for ‘Most Indians rooting T change, Modi’ for change, Modi’ x

IndIa electIons 2014

Seventy percent Indians are dissatisfied and want a chan 78 percent people favor Narendra Modi, says a survey by P


Seventy percent Indians are dissatisfied and want a change in political leadership, 78 percent people favor Narendra Modi, says a survey by Pew Research Center Narendra Modi urges people to elect over 300 NDA MPs to form a strong BJP government

Give me 300 MPs The Pew survey said 63 percent of the people favored the BJP in comparison to 19 percent for the Congress, while 78 percent viewed Modi favorably compared to 50 percent who supported Gandhi.


Is Modi rattled by AK-49? Narendra Modi’s disadvantages will be enhanced if he cannot achieve a runaway victory in hi INDiA weekly newspaper distribute free copies for readers, community for benefit of our readers as well as advertiser. hi INDiA reserves it’s right to distribute copies limited to 1 free copy per reader which is available in the stores near to your area, However if you need more copies, reader can call us and we will will send doubt you the copiesthat via mail or deliver to you @ $2.00 per copy. We distribute our Varanasi. Few he copies only at major Indo-Pak stores, where we have obtained the permission from the owner of the location. We reserve the right to protect our copies from illegal activities like, picking up more than one copy for other than reading purposes. We watch our inventory at the stores constantly and we will notify authorities of any and all illegal activities as well as will file law-suite for the punitive damages. will win. But much depends on the margin of victory. In this respect,

he “sou the fied change in po prominent group has sa elections in ab The study percent of its BJP’s prime m Narendra Mo the 50 percen ive of Cong Rahul Gandh The Pew R that most In optimistic abo my. On fore major section felt that Pakist and most als able” view of most Indians view of the U According director, Glo tudes at the P (US), most p more favorab than China. “Indians ha Obama (P Obama), arou than the U.S., that Indians the U.S. adm campaign” in militants. The Pew su



Published weekly PUBLISHER Hemant Brahmbhaatt Tel.: 773.552.6083 GROUP EDITOR Ashok Easwaran SPECIAL CORRESPODENT EAST COAST EDITION R. MITRA


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Obamacare draws 7 mn signatures ARUN KUMAR,WASHINGTON


resident Barack Obama claimed a major victory as over seven million people signed up for medical insurance under his signature healthcare law at the end of the six-month open enrolment period. After a floundering start marked by computer glitches galore at its October launch, government-run health market place saw a major surge as people lacking insurance rushed to beat the March 31 midnight deadline. More than 4.8 million visits were made to on March 31 alone, officials said. Taking a victory lap at a White

The bill was passed by Congress in 2010

House ceremony on April 1, Obama said that 7.1 million people had signed up on federal or state exchanges for coverage under the health care law, nicknamed Obamacare, that was passed by the Congress in 2010 without Republican support. The number of enrolled was 100,000 more than the original tar-

get of seven million and over a million more than the revised goal of six million after what Obama called “several lost weeks” due to the glitch-ridden start of the healthcare website. Calling the healthcare law “a force for good” Obama said it wasn’t perfect, but the overall goal of starting to narrow the gap between those with health coverage and

‘The law is good for the country, regardless of politics, and the numbers show Americans want it’ those without it has begun, and millions of Americans are embracing it. “That’s what the (law) is all about, making sure all of us and all our fellow citizens can count on the security of health care when we get sick,” he said, noting that the “law is doing what it’s

supposed to do. It’s working.” “The law is good for the country, regardless of politics, and that the numbers show Americans want it and that it’s “here to stay,” he said. “I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of people having health insurance?” Obama asked. The law, whose primary goal is to reduce the ranks of the 45 million uninsured, also includes expanded Medicaid insurance for the poor in many states, but those participants are not part of the sign-up total. But Republicans, who have waged a nonstop campaign to repeal or roll back the Affordable Care Act, remained unimpressed. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement that the law “continues to harm the American people” despite Obama’s “victory lap.” He said costs are not going down, as Obama contends, and people are losing insurance plans they preferred and small businesses are chafing under the law’s requirements.

Yellen reaffirms support for US economy Physicians’ body raises WASHINGTON: United States Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said that there is considerable slack in the labour market and hence the central bank is committed to providing support to the economy. “Since late 2008, the Fed has taken extraordinary steps to revive the economy. Recent steps to reduce the rate of new securities purchases are not a lessening of this commitment, only a judgement that recent progress in the Labor market means our aid for the recovery need not grow as quickly,” Xinhua quoted Yellen as saying on March 31. Yellen was speaking at the 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago,

Janet Yellen Illinois. “I think this extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policymak-

ers at the Fed,” she said. Yellen’s remarks aim to quell fears of recovery being disrupted by the earlier-than-expected rates increase, after she signalled on March 19 that the first interest rates hike may happen as early as next spring. Noting that the economy and the job market are far from normal, Yellen added that the recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans, and it also looks that way in some economic statistics. — IANS

issues with US lawmakers IANS, WASHINGTON


n influential body of IndianAmerican physicians is pressing U.S. lawmakers on several issues including how to continue to provide healthcare to patients while

CII, USIBC highlight US-India business successes WASHINGTON: The economic successes of three United States corporations in India and three Indian companies in the U.S. were highlighted at an event attended by several U.S. lawmakers, business executives and friends of

India.The event, ‘Success Stories in the U.S.-India Partnership’ was organized on Capitol Hill, the seat of U.S. Congress, by The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

The event “was welcomed as a reminder of the many positive benefits of the Indo-US partnership at a time when relations have been strained,” CII said. Democrat Joseph Crowley, House India Caucus Co-chair, congratulated the people of India on the upcoming elections saying “815 million people partaking in this great democratic experiment is a marvel to behold.” Lawmakers felt that there are challenges, but affirmed that with any relationship, there are ups and downs and communication is key to working out differences, the CII release said. —IANS

being rewarded in a just and sustainable way. Other issues raised by members of the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at its legislative day reception Wednesday on the Capitol Hill, seat of U.S. Congress, included immigration reform, implementation of Affordable Care Act and growing U.S.-India relations. Attended by nearly two dozen lawmakers, the annual event brought together over 120 delegates from across the U.S. from the largest ethnic organization of physicians, rep-

resenting over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, according to a media release. In his keynote address, India’s ambassador to the U.S., S. Jaishankar, praised the Indian American community, and in particular the physicians of Indian origin, for their role in transforming IndoU.S. relations. He emphasized the key role AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summits have made in transforming the delivery of healthcare system in India. “If India has changed, the credit goes to you the physicians of Indian origin,” he was quoted as saying. “You have made a change in the perception of India in the U.S. by your hard work, commitment and great achievements,” Jaishankar said. Jim McDermott, Democratic cochair of India Caucus in the House, acknowledged the “need to fix to the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula”. “AAPI has been seeking to collectively shape the best health care for the U.S. people, with the physician at the helm, caring for the medically underserved as we have done for several decades,” said AAPI president Jayesh Shah.


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india news

Rajiv killers get SC reprieve The apex court also commutes Bhullar’s death sentence to life term, extends stay on death sentence of two convicts in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case IANS, NEW DELHI


he Supreme Court on April 1 dismissed a central government plea seeking recall of the verdict by which it had commuted to life the death sentence of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. After considering the Centre’s plea seeking recall of its verdict, the bench, in a brief order said: “We have carefully gone through the review petition and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petition and the same is The court held that unreasonable delay in accordingly dismissed.” deciding the mercy petition was a ground for The bench on February 18 had commutation of death to life imprisonment commuted the death sentence of three conspirators in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case to life for commutation of death to life extended till April 7 the stay on the imprisonment, citing its January 21 imprisonment. Rajiv Gandhi was execution of the death sentence of judgment. killed by an LTTE suicide bomber Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, two of The three convicts are V. Sriharan at an election rally in Sriperum- the four convicts in the December alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan budur on May 21, 1991. 16, 2012 gang rape, as it sought a alias Arivu and T. Suthendraraja In 1998, all the 26 accused in the copy of the trial court judgment. alias Santhan, currently lodged in case were sentenced to death by a The death sentence of the four Tamil Nadu’s Vellore prison. special trial court. In 1999, the convicts was upheld by the Delhi They had sought commutation of Supreme Court confirmed the High Court on March 13. A special their death sentences due to the long death sentences of four — Muru- sitting of the apex court bench of delay in deciding their mercy peti- gan, Santhan, Perarivalan and Nali- Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and tions. The apex court in its January ni — while the capital punishment Justice Shiva Kirti Singh had stayed 21 judgment held that inordinate, to the others was reduced to varying the execution of the death sentence till March 31. unexplained and unreasonable delay terms of imprisonment. In another judgment, the in deciding the mercy petition of Both accused have contended the death row convicts was a ground Supreme Court on March 31 that they were denied a fair trial.

BRIEFS Six pc growth this fiscal possible: CII NEW DELHI: India can achieve a growth rate over 6 percent in the 2014-15 financial year, provided systemic reforms are carried out quickly by the new government, Confederation of Indian Industry president Ajay S Shriram said here on April 1. He said the growth rate could be taken back to the 8 percent level in the next three years. “A marketfriendly environment is required that would proactively promote investments, business and entrepreneurship,” Shriram, said at a press meet.

Kejriwal questions Modi wave, attacks Sonia NEW DELHI: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on April 1 hit back at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying if there was indeed a ‘Modi wave’ in India, then why was the Gujarat chief minister fighting the Lok Sabha polls from two places. The former Delhi chief minister was equally harsh on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Accompanied by hundreds of Aam Aadmi Party workers, Kejriwal elicited enthusiastic response from Delhi residents as his campaign entourage wound through the crowded areas of Chandni Chowk and North West Delhi constituencies. Asked why Modi branded him “a Pakistani agent” and an “AK-49”,

Kejriwal shot back: “Why doesn’t Modi talk about issues I have raised, instead of calling me a Pakistani agent?” “And if there is indeed a Modi wave, why is he contesting the election from two places?”

EC nod to RBI for new bank licences NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on April 1 allowed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue new

bank licences before the completion of general elections next month. “The commission is of the view that Reserve Bank of India may take necessary action as deemed appro-

priate by the Bank,” the EC said on its website. The RBI has sought the Election Commission’s nod over the issue of grant of new bank licences as a matter of caution on not violating the poll code of conduct, which came into force with the March 5 announcement of general elections. Earlier, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said the granting of new bank licences has no link with politics and the process is purely economic and regulatory. “This is not in any way a political process...,” Rajan said.

Jindal suit: HC directs Zee India’s to own satellite to follow NBA guidelines navigation system soon IANS, NEW DELHI


he Delhi High Court on April 1 directed the Zee group to follow the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) guidelines while telecasting pro-

Life term for Katara killers upheld by HC NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on April 2 upheld the life imprisonment awarded to three convicts in Nitish Katara murder case while terming it a “honor killing”. A division bench dismissed the appeals of the three convicts against a trial court verdict of May 2008 which awarded them life imprisonment for abducting and killing Nitish Katara in 2002.



Naveen Jindal

grammes. It was hearing a defamation suit filed by lawmaker Naveen Jindal contending that the group aired “highly defamatory and malicious” programs against him. Lok Sabha member Jindal moved the high court seeking a restraining order for Zee News channel from

telecasting programmes based on him on the basis of “false, fabricated, manipulated and misleading documents and information”. Justice V.K. Shali asked the Zee group to follow the NBA guidelines while telecasting programmes. Jindal’s plea said that airing highly defamatory and malicious programs against him and Jindal Steel and Power Limited would cause irreparable loss and injury to their reputation and goodwill. The plea said the channel had shown offensive material about Jindal, saying he “offended the sentiments of a particular community and caste, made false promises to people with an intention not to fulfil them, is a liar, is a proven corrupt person, is engaged in illegal and unethical trade and business and doesn’t deserve to be given ticket to contest election”. Stating that the channel violated the NBA regulations, the plea sought permanent injunction from publishing or telecasting any vindictive, defamatory news against him.



ndia is expected to have its own satellite navigation system with the launch of three more satellites before the end of this year, said the Indian space agency’s chief on March 31. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K.Radhakrishnan told IANS that Indian communication satellite INSAT3E has been decommissioned couple of days ago and the users are being migrated to other satellites. “We will be receiving the signals from our navigation satellite system by the end of this year. We will be launching three more navigational satellites before the end of this year,” Radhakrishnan said over phone from Bangalore. The ISRO will be launching the second navigational satellite badged Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1B (IRNSS1B) April 4 evening at 5.14 p.m.

The 1,432 kg satellite will be carried by Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). According to Radhakrishnan, though the IRNSS is a seven satellite system, it could be made operational with four satellites. The two more navigation satellites will be launched during the second half of 2014.

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india feature



SCIENTIST CONTESTS BIG BANG ‘EVIDENCES’ Indian astrophysicist Abhas Mitra demolishes the latest of ‘direct evidence of cosmic inflation’, one of the key pillars of Big Bang model KS JAYARAMAN GANGULI, NEW DELHI


ndian astrophysicist Abhas Mitra, at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, who had once challenged the Black Hole theory of Britain’s famed Stephen Hawking is in the limelight again. Mitra’s earlier research had claimed that the so-called ‘Black Holes’ must be grey-holes and not exact black holes, and the so-called ‘Dark Energy’— a topic of Physics Nobel in 2011 — must be an artifact rather than a real entity. He demolishes the latest of “direct evidence of cosmic inflation” — one of the key pillars of Big Bang model (BBM). Inflation, or exponential expansion, is what cosmologists say hap-

Inflation, or exponential expansion, is what cosmologists say happened to the nascent universe almost immediately after it was created out of nothing in a powerful explosion some 13.8 billion years ago.

pened to the nascent universe Background (CMB) — the thermal verse was born in a Big Bang. Many almost immediately after it was cre- relic of Big Bang. have already hailed the discovery as ated out of nothing in a powerful On March 17, a team of worthy of a Nobel Prize. explosion some 13.8 billion years astronomers made the startling But Mitra says the so-called ago. As the theory goes, “inflation- announcement that they have smoking gun “is only a smoke ary” phase that lasted for a tiny frac- indeed detected such a signature in screen”. Mitra points out the pretion of a second dramatically the form of “B-mode polarization” sent version of the Big Bang model increased the volume of the uni- of CMB. This was claimed to be believes that the universe is accelerverse by an unimaginable factor often raised to power of 78. Cosmologists believe that the Cosmologists believe that the short but short but rapid expansion would rapid expansion would have generated have generated gravitational waves, gravitational waves, and that their and that their detection would be detection would be an evidence of inflation an evidence of inflation and hence Big Bang. But the primitive gravitaand hence Big Bang tional waves are themselves too weak to be detected by groundbased instrument. the first “direct evidence” of pri- ating due to a mysterious ‘Dark Hence astronomers have been mordial gravitational waves — and Energy’. searching for a distinctive mark left therefore inflation — and was proBut research published by him behind by the gravitational waves claimed as the long-sought ‘smok- over the last decade has shown that in the so-called Cosmic Microwave ing gun’ for the theory that the uni- ‘Dark Energy’ is an artifact to

explain a complex physical universe in the framework of the simplistic Big Bang model. “Actual universe is likely to be fundamentally different from what is assumed by either Big Bang or most of the other competing models which presume the cosmic matter as a smooth perfect fluid,” Mitra told IANS. He also points out that a study of cosmic Gamma Ray Bursts published last year by Stanford University physicists in the Astrophysical Journal showed no evidence of an “expanding universe” assumed by the Big Bang model. Thus the detection of B-mode polarization signal announced recently by astronomers “cannot be hailed as evidence of either inflation or primordial gravitational waves or the Big Bang model itself”, he said.

Impact of flattening yield CURVE OF US BONDS since 2009. The gap between the two-year and 10-year yields has also narrowed but not quite as sharply. As of now, we should expect this trend to continue unless the nonfarm payrolls data and housing data disappoint in the coming weeks. If that is the case, the “doves” led by Yellen would want to put a brake on tapering while the hawks would not. VATSAL SRIVASTAVA, NEW DELHI


n her last press conference after the minutes of the United States Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released, the Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen said interest rates would start rising six months after the quantitative easing (QE) program completely winds down. Bond market traders have had to

adjust their positions accordingly as the rate hike is now being priced much earlier than it was previously expected. Market expectations are for the first rate hike to occur somewhere around May-June 2015. In the last week, the U.S. yield curve has drastically flattened with the short-term rates rising and long term rates falling. The spread between the five-year notes and the 30-year bonds is at its lowest level

low inflation over the long run which is implied by rates falling on the back end of the yield curve. On the currency front, the U.S. dollar normally rises against the Japanese yen when U.S. 10-year yields rise. A stronger correlation is displayed between the two-year and 10-year yield spreads and the Japanese Yen.

On the currency front, the US dollar normally rises against the Japanese yen when US 10year yields rise These differences between FOMC voting members might cause volatile moves in the dollar and bond yields. For the time being, it is important to note that the market is still expecting slow growth and

As long as the spread keeps narrowing, we should expect a weaker dollar against the yen. This will likely change after the first consumption tax hike takes place in Japan after a gap of 17 years in April.

On the stock market front, the S&P 500 has held up pretty well with the news of the Fed taper. However, there is one note of caution. US stock market margin debt is at record high levels. Any sell trigger catalyst can lead to a capitulation phase as leveraged long positions will be forced to liquidate their positions, if a sell off does indeed take place. According to Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA), an independent brokerage and investment group, the margin debt balance of New York Stock Exchange rose 24 percent year-on-year to a record high of $451 billion in January. This is equivalent to 2.8 percent of the S&P 500 market capitalization as compared to the 2.9 percent, which was the peak seen in 2008.




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‘Will put up best fight against Rahul’ Smriti Irani, BJP candidate from Amethi, alleges the district has been deprived of development; vows to set things right IANS, NEW DELHI


ctor-turned-politician Smriti Irani said on April 1 she will put up the best fight against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and is confident of winning the Lok Sabha election in Amethi. It was decided on March 31 night that Irani will be the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate against Gandhi from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking to Times Now, she said that irrespective of Amethi being a Gandhi bastion for years, “people have not received the benefits of development in the constituency, which is a national shame”. Irani said now the people of Amethi are wondering about the chances of change and development as BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will come to power and the Congress will sit in the opposition. Reacting to the comments of the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from the constituency Kumar Vishwas, Irani said it will be a fight only between the Congress and the BJP. “Vishwas has a history of being disrespectful towards women. I do not expect an iota of respect from him,” she said. Vishwas earlier said the people of Amethi have decided and it did not matter whether a Pakistani, or an Italian or an Irani contests the election.

BRIEFS ‘Gujarat model will burst after election’ RANCHI: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the Gujarat model of d eve l o p m e n t would burst after the Lok Sabha election — as the BJP’s India Shining had burst after 2004 and 2009 polls. “In 2004, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was banking on the India Shining but it burst after the elections,” Gandhi said while addressing an election rally in Jharkhand’s Godda district on April 1.

Kejriwal writes to LG, wants early elections NEW DELHI: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on March 31 asked Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to recommend to the Centre holding of early election in the city which is now under President’s rule. In a letter to Jung, the former Delhi chief minister said: “There is no reason why the people of Delhi should be denied an elected government which can be formed after a fresh election.” Jung had recommended President’s rule after the AAP government quit over the defeat of the introduction of the anti-graft bill.

(Left) Smriti Irani is confident of defeating Rahul; (right) AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas accuses BJP and Congress of being hand-in-glove and fooling people.

Not bothered by Smriti Irani: Kumar Vishwas AMETHI: AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas said on April 1 he was confident of defeating Congress leader Rahul Gandhi despite the BJP’s move to field actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani in Amethi. “I welcome her to the competition in Amethi but her candidature won’t change anything,” a confident Kumar Vishwas told IANS over the telephone. Kumar Vishwas said as far as he was concerned, “she’s just another candidate” in Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha. The AAP candidate pointed out that he has had a headstart in Amethi, a sprawling and largely rural constituency in Uttar Pradesh widely known as a Gandhi family bastion. “I have been going to 30-40 villages every day. I am in a village this moment as well, and I have been here for months. “If she can come here in 45 degrees heat and talk to people, if she

BJP to thrash Nitish in Bihar: Poll IANS, NEW DELHI


he BJP-led alliance would be ahead of its rivals in Bihar while the ruling TMC in West Bengal could win up to 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, an opinion poll said on March 31. The CNN-IBN-The Week election tracker said the BJP-Lok Janshakti Party may get 21-29 of 40 seats in Bihar. It said the Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Nationalist Congress Party alliance may get 7-13 seats in Bihar, while the ruling Janata DalUnited may get between two and five seats in the state if elections were held today. The opinion poll said Trinamool could win 23-29 of 42 seats in West

Crowds at a BJP rally in Patna. BJP has been fast gaining ground in Bihar.

Bengal, while the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would lead the race in Odisha with 10-16 seats while the BJP could win 3-7 seats and Congress could get up to four seats. The poll said the BJP was projected to get 44 percent votes in Jhark-

hand compared to 30 percent by the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-RJD alliance. In Assam, the ruling Congress was projected to get 44 percent votes while the BJP 19 percent, if elections were held today.

can stay here like I have been staying and discuss the issues of the people, I welcome her candidature. “But the fact is that Amethi has already decided what it has to do. There is an Aam Aadmi Party wave... Jhadu ki lehar hai Amethi mein.” Kumar Vishwas reiterated the AAP charge that the BJP and Congress “give each other a walkover so that ... their leaders win” in elections. “Why did they not field a strong candidate in Rae Bareli as well?” Kumar Vishwas said that if the BJP really wanted to put up a strong candidate in Amethi, they should have gone for BJP president Rajnath Singh or Narendra Modi. “I had even challenged him (Modi) that if you are so disappointed with the prince (Rahul Gandhi), then why don’t you fight the election from Amethi yourself or pit one of your party stalwarts?” “Rahul was already an actor, and we have another actor who has come to contest,” he said.

No SP candidates against Sonia, Rahul LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party said on April1 it will not field candidates against Congress president Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and her son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi (Amethi). Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav made the announcement, saying this was the final decision of the party. Informed sources said the announcement followed a Congress decision not to put up candidates against party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri and Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav in Kannauj. The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Supreme Court lawyer Ajay Agarwal against Sonia Gandhi.

Opinion engineering: The war of slogans SAROJ MOHANTY, IANS


he BJP’s attempt to plagiarize the Shaivite chant of “Har Har Mahadev” to coin the “Har Har Modi” slogan as part of the election campaign has drawn flak from the very people the party wants to consolidate as its vote base. And understandably, this has led to a set of questions about slogan as a political device and its use during elections.

Some slogans we know have produced results in the past. Others have failed miserably. But there is no denying the importance of slogans as a popular genre of political communication. Then, why do some slogans succeed and under what conditions? So, where do the two key slogans of the two major contenders in the 2014 elections stand? Essentially, both are vertical political propaganda to influence the crowd below, at

a time of lower economic growth and growing income inequality. The BJP slogan of “Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkar” is part of the quasipresidential campaign launched by the party and implies a decisive and effective leadership. It poses that Modi can “deliver”. In comparison, the Congress slogan of “Har Haath Shakti, Har Haath Tarakki” acknowledges the economic disparity in society and promises to help lift those left out

after two decades of economic reforms. Interestingly, it is coming from a party that has been at the head of the government for the last ten years.




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EAST COAST EDITION IndIa electIons 2014


The March 18 memo from Congressional Research Service (CRS) entitles a head of government to a United States visa, including Narendra Modi

US red carpet for India’s new leader ARUN KUMAR, WASHINGTON


he U.S. is getting the welcome mat out for whoever may be India’s new prime minister, including the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Narendra Modi, as the law automatically entitles a head of government to a U.S. visa. “We will work with whoever the people of India decide should lead their country,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters this week as a Congressional Research Service memo advised law makers regarding visa policy for Modi. The memo covering queries from lawmakers suggests that Modi, who was denied a U.S. visa in 2005 over his alleged complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots, will be entitled to a diplomatic visa with full immunity if he becomes prime minister. “We believe it’s a critical partnership, and we’re moving forward with it,” she said when asked about the recent memo from the bipartisan CRS, which analyses issues of the day for the lawmakers. Asked if that included Modi, the spokesperson who claimed she had

not seen the CRS memo, said: “Well, I think it remains to be seen what the outcome of the election will be, so let’s not try and do too much predicting in here.” “The people of India get to decide who leads their country. We’ll work with whoever they decide,” she said. The March 18 memo from Ruth Ellen Wasem, specialist in immigration policy at CRS said if Modi “were to become prime minister of India, he would automatically be eligible for an A-1 (diplomatic) visa as head of state, regardless of the purpose of his visit”. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) “further provides that the grounds for inadmissibility” excepting specified terrorist grounds and documentary requirements establishing identity “do not apply to those on A-1 visas”, the memo noted. “This provision, often referred to as diplomatic immunity, allows the President of the United States to proscribe other exceptions to immunity as necessary through rules and regulations.” The President, however, does have broad authority under the law “to prohibit the entry of any foreign

A Congressional Research Service memo advised law makers regarding visa policy for Narendra Modi. (Photo: IANS)

The President, however, does have broad authority under the law ‘to prohibit the entry of any foreign national...’

national whom the president deems would be detrimental to the interests of the U.S.”, the memo noted. Meanwhile, Harf also denied that the sudden resignation of U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell was related to any tension.

Powell resignation not political: US Modi has given a ‘face’ to opposition: Uddhav



he U.S. has denied that the sudden resignation of U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell was in any way “related to any tension, any recent situations” between India and U.S. “There’s no big behind-thescenes story here,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Monday. She also said Powell’s resignation does not indicate any realignment in India-US ties. Harf said Powell “has submitted her resignation to President (Barack) Obama, as has been planned for some time, and she will retire to her home in Delaware before the end of May”. “This is the end of a distinguished 37-year career — I think after 37 years, she deserves to retire,” Harf said. “But I want to dispel any rumors out there that this is related in any, to anything besides her long-planned retirement.” “It’s not at all related to anything happening in the relationship, it doesn’t indicate any realignment of the relationship,” she said. Harf described India-U.S. rela-

Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

tionship as “an incredibly key partnership that will continue under our team there and under whoever is named the next ambassador”. “Obviously, the relationship between the U.S. and India isn’t about one person, while incredibly important,” she said. “It’s about the whole host of officials that engage, from Secretary (of State John) Kerry and others at the White House and here on down,” Harf said. The U.S.-India ties have seen

some strain lately over the handcuffing and strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York last year. The episode led to a bitter diplomatic standoff between both countries, which ended with Khobragade being sent back to India and New Delhi in turn getting a US diplomat of the same rank sent back. Powell announced her resignation at a U.S. Mission Town Hall meeting in New Delhi on March 31 night. She took over in April 2012 and had still a year to go.

MUMBAI: After many years, the opposition in India has got a face in Narendra Modi and this has created a storm in national politics, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said here. “Until now, barring (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Indian opposition parties lacked an acceptable ‘face’ before fighting elections. This time, people have a choice, a strong party and a good face in the form of Modi. The National Democratic Alliance has no cause for worry,” Thackeray said in an interview to party mouthpiece Saamana. Thackeray’s comments may be a signal that after the recent strain, all is now well between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party. On the other hand, the ruling Congress is in a shambles, he said. “Earlier, right from Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress had a ‘face’. This time, they are not willing to bring forward Rahul Gandhi, or Priyanka GandhiVadra. “They don’t have a face, but the opposition parties are united under Modi and confidently marching ahead,” the Shiv Sena chief said. Uddav Thackeray’s comments “India will shine in show that after the recent a real sense under strain, all is now well Modi.” between Shiv Sena and BJP.



IndIa EAST electIons 2014 COAST EDITION FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014


Seventy percent Indians are dissatisfied and want a change in political leadership, 78 percent people favor Narendra Modi, says a survey by Pew Research Center

‘Most Indians rooting

for change, Modi’

The Pew survey said 63 percent of the people favored the BJP in comparison to 19 percent for the Congress, while 78 percent viewed Modi favorably compared to 50 percent who supported Gandhi.



he Indian mood is “sour” as 70 percent of the people are dissatisfied and are rooting for a change in political leadership, a prominent US-based research group has said as India goes to elections in about a week’s time. The study also found that 78 percent of its respondents favored BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as compared to the 50 percent who were supportive of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. The Pew Research Center said that most Indians surveyed are optimistic about the Indian economy. On foreign policy issues, a major section of those surveyed felt that Pakistan is a “great threat”, and most also had an “unfavorable” view of China in contrast to most Indians holding a favorable view of the US. According to Bruce. E. Stokes, director, Global Economic Attitudes at the Pew Research Center (US), most people surveyed were more favorable towards the US than China. “Indians have less confidence in Obama (President Barack Obama), around 10 percent less than the U.S.,” said Stokes, adding that Indians are also opposed to the U.S. administration’s “drone campaign” in Af-Pak to flush out militants. The Pew survey said 63 percent

of the people favored the BJP in comparison to 19 percent for the Congress, while 78 percent viewed Modi favorably compared to 50 percent who supported Gandhi. However, the Pew survey was done based on 2,464 respondents and during the period Dec 7, 2013 to Jan 12, 2014. The survey result, titled On Election Eve: Indians Reflect on the State of the Nation and the World, was presented by Stokes at an event hosted by Ananta Centre at the WWF auditorium here. The survey does not mention the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which ousted the Congress from Delhi after 15 continuous years at the helm and is contesting over 400 Lok Sabha seats across the country, or the main regional parties like the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK or the Bahujan Samaj Party, which are likely to be major players in government formation post election. Asked why the regional parties or AAP were not mentioned, Stokes said the survey was held “before the Delhi elections”. On the small sample size of the survey, Stokes said that Pew is “confident” of the representative nature of the sample design and that most other surveys have come up with similar results. Stokes said most people view the BJP as “better equipped to deal with problems” while the youth feel the party can deliver in terms of jobs and realizing aspirations.

Is Modi rattled by AK-49? Narendra Modi’s disadvantages will be enhanced if he cannot achieve a runaway victory in Varanasi. Few will doubt that he will win. But much depends on the margin of victory. In this respect, Kejriwal can be a spoiler AMULYA GANGULI, IANS


arendra Modi’s rather unusually harsh criticism of Arvind Kejriwal can raise the question whether the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate has been unnerved by the challenge posed by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader in the contest for the Varanasi seat.

Compared to the Gujarat chief minister, who won three successive terms in the state and is now the numero uno in the BJP, Kejriwal is an untested novice. Moreover, his curious way of functioning during his 49-day stint as Delhi’s chief minister, including staging a dharna, induced Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to call him an ‘yeda’, an expressive Marathi term for an eccentric.

Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (centre) has been given the sobriquet of AK-49 by Narendra Modi.

For someone like Modi, who is playing a prominent role on the national stage, the best way to treat a maverick like Kejriwal is with amused superciliousness. But to launch a vicious attack by calling him a ‘Pakistani agent’ and a ‘dushman’ (enemy) of the nation is to overshoot the mark. The funny

aspect of his description of Kejriwal as AK-49, recalling his brief 49day spell as chief minister, was lost in the subsequent tirade. However, the reason why Modi flew off the handle is not far to seek. The BJP leader has been under considerable pressure in recent weeks. Not only is he

engaged in a strenuous campaign, he is also having to fight a battle against detractors in his own party. Modi’s disadvantages will be enhanced if he cannot achieve a runaway victory in Varanasi. No one knows what effect the internal opposition to him will have on the final result, to be out on May 16.


x 14


EAST COAST EDITION IndIa electIons 2014


Narendra Modi urges people to elect over 300 NDA MPs to form a strong BJP government

Give me 300 MPs Finance Minister P. Chidambaram

Deep flaws in Modi’s character: Chidambaram IANS, NEW DELHI


inance Minister P. Chidambaram launched a strong attack on Narendra Modi saying that the BJP prime ministerial candidate had “deep flaws” in his character and his remarks reflected “a dangerous trend” for the country’s democracy.

Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh on April 1. (Photo: IANS) IANS, BAREILLY/REWA/BEOHARI/JABALPUR


tepping up his offensive against the Congress, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said that it faced “certain defeat” in the Lok Sabha poll and urged people to elect over 300 MPs of NDA to form a strong government. He also urged the Election Commission to probe the “delay” in clearance for his helicopters to take off. Addressing election rallies in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Modi attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government over unending farmer suicides in the country. He also accused the Congress of

feeling sad. You had to wait for so long in heat. You are doing this tapasya (sacrifice) in this scorching heat. I assure you that I will not let this go in vain,” he said. In a veiled dig at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is an MP from Rae Bareli, Modi said: “Rae Bareli has elected such strong leaders but see development there.” Seeking to woo Muslims, the BJP leader said that most people working in kite industry in his native Gujarat belonged to the Muslim community. Modi also took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav over the state government’s development record. The state’s ruling Samajwadi Party has decided not to put up candidates against

gress-led government for not hitting back after Pakistani troops killed and beheaded Indian soldiers on the Kashmir border.” Lal Bahadur Shastri coined the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ but the Congress slogan now is ‘Mar Jawan, Mar Kisan’”. Modi referred to Congress manifesto as “dhokha patra (a document of deceit)” and said India needed a stable government after the elections. “Please send over 300 MPs of NDA (National Democratic Alliance). Elect BJP MPs from UP. We will give you a government you want,” he said. In his rallies at Rewa and Beohari in Madhya Pradesh, Modi again referred to the delay caused in his travel plans. “I am 3.5 hours late.

My chopper was deliberately delayed: Modi BAREILLY: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi alleged that his chopper was deliberately delayed by the Delhi air traffic control (ATC) when he was about to leave for an election rally in

Bareilly. In Bareilly, the Gujarat chief minister began his speech by apologizing to the crowd for the delay in arriving. He said the ATC did not permit his helicopter to take off for over two hours on

one pretext or the other. Modi said he was at Delhi airport since 9.30 a.m. but did not get permission to take off. He told the people that nothing could prevent him from being with his own people.

wanting to create instability and said it was prepared to join hands with the Left and third front parties to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party out of power. After landing in Bareilly for his first election rally of the day, Modi said he was at Delhi airport since 9.30 a.m. but did not get permission to take off. “I try my best to ensure that there is no delay due to me. Today, I am

Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. “UP chief minister asked for lions from Gujarat. We gave the lions, hoping he will gain some courage but we were mistaken. Lions had to be caged. I invite Netaji (Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav) and his family to visit Gir. Our lions are not caged and they roam around freely,” Modi said. He also found fault with the Con-

This delay is not due to me. I was waiting for hours at Delhi. Even in Bareilly, I waited for an hour. I urge the Election Commission to investigate why my programs are delayed like this. Who’s done this... delayed my helicopter by hours,” Modi said at Rewa. “Let me tell the Centre... your defeat is certain. If you are scared of Modi, say it openly...”. He urged the people to vote for BJP.

Chidambaram said with the kind of image-building being done, Modi was no longer only a prime ministerial candidate of BJP but the party was being supplanted by an individual “who is saying I will do it”. “This is a dangerous trend. I am sure people of India will reflect,” he said.

His attack on Modi came close on the heels of Modi targeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the Italian marines issue Talking to reporters at the Congress party office here, he also hit out at former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, saying many of the 18 questions put to him Sunday by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader were “puerile.”

His attack on Modi came close on the heels of Modi targeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi at an election rally over the 2012 killing of two Indian fishermen by Italian marines who were then allowed to leave India.

Sonia-Modi in war of words NUH/ITANAGAR/GUWAHATI: The Congress-BJP war of words escalated this week with Congress president Sonia Gandhi charging the BJP with indulging in “politics of hate” and BJP star Narendra Modi accusing the Congress of making “false promises”. Without taking Modi’s name, Gandhi told an election rally in Nuh in Mewat district of Haryana that the BJP was misleading the people to grab power. “They (BJP) indulge in politics of hate and its leaders have their eyes set on the post of the prime minister,” she said. “Do not get influenced by BJP leaders who make false promises and

shed crocodile tears... Choose wisely and vote for the Congress,” the Congress president added. Modi, addressing rallies in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, accused the Congress of making false promises. “They (Congress) say ‘we do what we say’. The Congress in 2009 promised to bring down price rise, but did it go down?” asked Modi in Itanagar. His question was received with a roaring “no”. He then asked if inflation had risen. The crowd responded with a thunderous “yes”. Modi also launched an indirect attack against Gandhi over the 2012 killing of two Indian fishermen.

Narendra Modi during a rally in Imphal west in the North-East.


COAST EDITION FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014 IndIa EAST electIons 2014


If my aim was to reach Parliament, then I would have fought the Lok Sabha election from a safe seat, says AAP senior leader, refuting rumors that he may join BJP

I will defeat Modi: Kejriwal IANS, NEW DELHI


AP leader Arvind Kejriwal has vowed to defeat BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi and denied speculation that he might join the BJP. Addressing impromptu meetings in east Delhi in support of AAP candidate Rajmohan Gandhi, Kejriwal launched a vicious attack on both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. “If my aim was to reach parliament, then I would have fought the Lok Sabha election from a safe seat,” Kejriwal said. “I want to defeat Modi. That is why I am fighting election from Varanasi. It is also important to defeat (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi. That is why (AAP’s) Kumar Vishwas is contesting in Amethi. “Both Modi and Rahul (Gandhi)

need to be defeated... They lead two parties that believe in corruption,” he said. Kejriwal pointed out that while the BJP had fielded the tainted former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in Karnataka, the AAP had put up Rajmohan Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, in east Delhi. “This is the difference between the BJP and AAP,” he said. It was the second straight day of campaigning in Delhi by Kejriwal for the Aam Aadmi Party, whose minority government collapsed Feb 14 after just 49 days. He denied reports in a section of the media that he might end up joining the BJP. “I have never said that, and I will never join any of these parties,” Kejriwal asserted, as the AAP cavalcade wound its way through some of the more thickly populated areas of east Delhi.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal is fighting against Narendra Modi in Varanasi

Advani joins Bharti’s ‘Modi-as-non-orator’ club IANS, NEW DELHI


he Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Uma Bharti, who has been forced to offer multiple clarifications after saying Narendra Modi is not a good orator, now says she had made the same observation about party patriarch L.K. Advani. “I had earlier also said that Advaniji is not a good orator. It should not be taken in a negative way. It was an assessment. My comment on Modi has been distorted by the media,” she said in Jhansi, the constituency in Uttar Pradesh from where she is contesting the general election. What she meant as a correction could bring more trouble for the firebrand leader, who has spent two days defending these comments she made on March 31: “Vajpayeeji was a good orator. People say that there has been no orator like him in Indian politics. If you have paid attention

She issued a statement saying she had not criticized the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate; she had been quoted out of context as part of a “conspiracy to portray that BJP leaders have differences”. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is renowned for his oratory, both in Parliament and outside. Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Uma Bharti have said that In 2011, Advani had Narendra Modi is not a good orator. said that he suffered from an inferiority then you would know that Modi is not a complex due to the oratorical skills of good orator. People go to his rallies not to Vajpayee. “I had told Atal Bihari Vajpayee listen to his speech but to tell him that they in early 1970s that I have developed an want him to change this country and that inferiority complex due to your speeches,” they stand by him.” he admitted.

Nepal will be ‘Hindu state’ if Modi takes power: VHP KATHMANDU: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal has said that Nepal will turn into a Hindu state if Narendra Modi becomes India’s prime minister. “He (Modi) is set to come (to) power in India,” Singhal told a gathering of Hindus in the eastern Nepali city of Biratnagar. Once Modi assumes office, it will not take much time to see Nepal as a Hindu state, he said. Nepal was the world’s only Hindu state until 2008 but was declared secular once the Maoists ousted the monarchy. Since then, a section of Hindu leaders in Nepal and India have campaigned to reinstate Nepal’s identity as a Hindu state. “The day Modi comes in power in India, I declare that Nepal will turn into a Hindu state,” said Singhal. “Under pressure from China, the U.S., Europe and some Muslim countries, the Hindu identity was finished here,” he said. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader was given a rousing welcome in Biratnagar with thousands of Hindu activists gathering to listen to him.


(From left) BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Itanagar on March 31; Modi with LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and others in Gaya; and Modi with yoga guru Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. (Photos: IANS)


x FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014


cinema news



‘Ugly’ to open NY Indian film fest Celebrating its 14th year, the prestigious Indian film festival to run May 5 to 10 at a variety of NYC venues

Aamir, Ajay, Sonakshi get Golden Kela Awards IANS, NEW DELHI


ctors Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha were announced the worst actors of 2013 at the Golden Kela Awards held here on March 29. Even Aamir Khan won an award for his performance in Dhoom3. Now in its sixth year, the Golden Kela Awards honored the worst in Bollywood at an event held at the India Habitat Center here. Ajay won the worst actor award for Himmatwala, which was also named the worst film and Sonakshi was cited for R...RajkuIANS, MUMBAI


he New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) will open with Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly, a sensational tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence that begins with the disappearance of an aspiring actor’s 10-year-old daughter. Celebrating its 14th year, NYIFF, widely recognized as the oldest, most prestigious Indian film festival in the U.S. showcasing some of the greatest talents working in the diaspora, will run May 5 to 10 at a variety of prestigious New York City venues. These include the Skirball Center for Performing Arts, where the opening and closing films are set be screened, NYIFF announced. Director Anurag Kashyap returns to NYIFF after closing the 2012 festival with his highly received film, Gangs Of Wasseypur, a two-part five-hour-long drama centered around the coal mafia of Dhanbad, Jharkhand. “We are thrilled to be opening this year’s New York

Katrina clueless about ‘Raees’ MUMBAI: Katrina Kaif says she has had no discussion about joining in Rahul Dholakia’s Raees, starring superstar Shah Rukh Khan. “I don’t know where this news has come from. There is no discussion as such,” Katrina said here. Last seen on the big screen in Dhoom 3, Katrina’s forthcoming movie projects include the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Jagga Jasoos.


‘We are thrilled to be opening this year’s New York Indian Film Festival with Anurag Kashyap’s new film ‘Ugly’’, organizers said Indian Film Festival with Anurag Kashyap’s new film Ugly,” said festival director Aseem Chhabra. “Anurag has been in the forefront of India’s growing indie films movement, always pushing the boundaries and inspiring the new generation of filmmakers. Personally I am a big fan of his films.” Kashyap will participate in a post-screening conversation, to be followed by the opening night gala event, with celebrated IAAC supporters and other filmmakers in attendance. NYIFF also announced this year’s centerpiece and closing films. Renowned actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen will close the festival with her latest work, Goynar Baksho.

ou have to hand it to this film for making an effort to be ‘headline-ish’ without toppling over with the temperament of topicality. This is a genre never really cracked in Hindi cinema. A political drama about a young foreign-educated NRI who is forced to take over his country’s reigns after his father’s sudden death. Unlike Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, Youngistaan doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is no attempt here to mythicize or demonize the politicians. Youngistaan is a smartly-written political parable about a young smart foreign-bred Indian who has the audacity to sing Japan Love In Tokyo on a drunken night in Tokyo, and who is thrust the thankless job of India’s prime ministership. Wisely, the narrative never takes itself so seriously as to careen over under the weight of its conscientiousness.

Salman is hot: Sonam Kapoor MUMBAI: Actress Sonam Kapoor, who had teamed up with Salman Khan in her debut movie Saawariya, will work with him once again in Sooraj Barjatya’s next directorial. She praised the superstar as “hot” and said the film will be “double dhamaal”. Sonam told IANS: “He is hot. It’s double ‘dhamaal’ with Salman since he is in double role. I am super excited to work with him. I am not allowed to talk about it. You will see. He is looking good in the film.” The film will be directed by Sooraj Barjatya. Meanwhile, the actress is trying something different with her next film Dolly Ki Doli as well. She said: “It’s interesting...I hope people can digest it as we are trying to do something different.”

‘Youngistaan’ — topical tale of politics, youth Film: Youngistaan; Cast: Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, late Farooque Sheikh; Director: Syed Ahmed Afzal; Rating: ****

There is a sense of mischief underlining the very powerful message about the young shouldering the governance of the country without resorting to the

mar. “In Bollywood today, the box office figures have no correlation to the quality of the film. Our sincerest hope is that 10 years down the line, the figures will be forgotten, while the ‘Kelas’ they got are remembered,” Anant Singh, creative head, Golden Kela Awards, said in a statement. As part of the special awards, Deepika also won Dara Singh award for the worst accent for Chennai Express. The Kela for the worst director went to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Goliyon Ki Raas Leela...Ram Leela. The Baawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke award went to Aamir for Dhoom 3.

stereotypical morality and dress code of neta-giri in Hindustan. Jackky’s Abhimanyu Kaul is young, enterprising and modern in thought and ready to take on

the political humbug headlong. He is also a considerate, generous boyfriend trying to make his somewhat-overbearing sometimeannoying life-mate understand the complexities of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him. Youngistaan is as much a political drama as a romantic comedy about a young prime minister and his fun-loving outgoing girlfriend who suddenly finds herself under house curfew just because her lover has a rather important job to perform. While it gets its political fundas right, the plot also accommodates the central romantic conflict into its structure. Neha Sharma as his untameable girlfriend plays her character with intelligence and grace. But it is Farooque Sheikh as Bhagnani’s quietly efficient personal assistant who brings a twinkle-eyed wisdom to the table. – Subhash K. Jha




There’s no such thing: Katrina on marrying Ranbir Kapoor MUMBAI: Katrina Kaif is unfazed by rumors that she has plans to tie the knot with actor Ranbir Kapoor, and says she will continue keeping quiet about her private life. At an event here on March 27, the actress was asked to comment on the latest rumors. She said: “This has come in some newspaper, but there is no such thing. If there is something as such, I will let you know.” Katrina, who was earlier dating Salman, has been guarded about her personal life. “As far as I am concerned, I have always been the same...I don’t speak about my personal life. Now it (any rumor) doesn’t bother me. With time, you get used to it...such small things don’t affect,” she added. Meanwhile, Katrina us busy working with her rumored current beau Ranbir in Jagga Jasoos. Having co-starred with him in movies like Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” and Raajneeti, the actress said: “The films that we have done (together) have been extremely special films...not just successful. It’s exciting for me as he is a great actor.” “The most exciting thing for me (in Jagga Jasoos) is to work with Anurag Basu as it’s important for me to learn from him.”

Big B promoting superstitions? MUMBAI: A social activist from Pune has accused megastar Amitabh Bachchan of promoting superstitious beliefs, and filed a complaint before a court seeking action against the Bollywood actor. Hemant Patil has demanded a police complaint against Bachchan and others under the stringent new Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. The immediate provocation for the complaint was Bachchan’s portrayal of a ghost in a TV commercial for a children’s health drink. Mumbai magistrate Sita Kulkarni has placed the matter for hearing on April 18.



I am not anyone’s daughter on screen: Alia Bhatt MUMBAI: Actress Alia Bhatt, who has shot for some intimate scenes with Arjun Kapoor for her new movie 2 States, says she is an actor on screen and not anybody’s daughter. Asked how did her parents react to her intimate scenes, Alia said: “Have you seen my father’s film? I am an actor on screen and not anybody’s daughter.” “Anyway, I don’t think my dad has any problem with it,” Alia told reporters during a press conference. Alia, who plays a Tamil girl in the film, says her character is very mature. “Ananya is much more mature. She is very intelligent... after all, she is an MBA. I relate to the character. She can do anything for the people she loves.”

‘Actors an easy target for cyber crimes’ NEW DELHI: Technology can be a boon or bane! Popular TV actress Kritika Kamra, who has taken a break from fiction shows to host MTV Webbed 2, about the prevalence of cyber abuse, says actors are more susceptible to frauds in the digital space; therefore, it is not advisable to share “intimate photos and personal details”. Kritika is a narrator on the show and will take viewers through 13 episodes, informing about real life cases of cyber abuse and precautionary measures to be taken. The actress, an avid user of social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, has been a victim too. “Actors are an easy target for cyber crimes. Identity theft is common — accounts are hacked, fake accounts are made, and sometimes they are so identical to the original account that it’s hard to tell; our photographs are gets used to it, but we know we can’t put out too much personal information,” Kritika told IANS over phone from Mumbai. Popular for featuring in shows like Kitani Mohabbat Hai and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, the young actress is dependent on social media not just for staying connected to her friends and fans but also for keeping abreast on world news. “It’s the age of social media,” said the 25-yearold, adding that she would never reveal her contact details online.

‘What’s the big deal in locking lips?’

‘Not abs, health matters’

MUMBAI: Actor Varun Dhawan has five kissing scenes in his forthcoming film Main Tera Hero, directed by his father David Dhawan. The young actor finds nothing wrong in locking lips onscreen “in the 21st century”. In the promos of the film, the Student Of The Year fame actor can be seen locking lips with his co-star Ileana D’Cruz. “I was okay kissing in front of my father,” Varun told reporters here at the cover launch of Stardust magazine, featuring him with his second co-star in the film, Nargis Fakhri. “It’s an important part of the climax. There are five kisses in the film,” he added. The 26-year-old actor further said that “it’s high time” people stop creating hype over a kiss in a film. “I think in today’s age, in the 21st century, it’s fine. What’s the big deal in it,” he asked.

MUMBAI: Actor Arjun Kapoor was almost 140 kg before he forayed into acting, but leading a “balanced” lifestyle helped him lose excess weight. He laments how fitness has become more about the number of pack of abs that one has. “It’s unfortunate that now fitness has become about how many abs you have. But health is equally important,” the 28-year-old said here at Body Power Expo. “You don’t need to have abs to be healthy. You need to lead a very balanced life. You can’t be just saying ‘I have abs so I am healthy’. Your lifestyle has to be balanced and that is what leads to healthier, longer life,” he added. Arjun, son of producer Boney Kapoor, made his Bollywood debut with the 2011 film Ishaqzaade. He shed about 50 kg to perfect his shape and look for the film. The actor even sweated out for his looks and body in his last release Gunday and was applauded for his fit frame.

Ekta brings back ‘K’ factor with ‘Kumkum....’ MUMBAI: Ekta Kapoor’s new TV show Kumkum Bhagya marks the comeback of Ekta’s lucky letter ‘K’, but she says it hasn’t been done deliberately. “’K’ has come back into my life unknowingly. I am hoping that the success that came with ‘K’ before, comes back with this show,” the 38-year-old said here at the launch of the show. “I was waiting for a good story to put the letter back in but when we named Kumkum Bhagya, we didn’t realize that it starts with ‘K’. But when it happened, we later suddenly realized that ‘K’ is back,” she added. The title of most of Ekta’s previous hit TV shows started with ‘K’ such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kaahin Kissii Roz, Kasautii Zindagii Kay and Kasamh Se. Her current hit TV shows like Bade Acche Lagte Hain and Jodha Akbar are a part of few of her shows which broke the rule. Talking about Kumkum Bhagya, Ekta says it does not conform to typical rules of television and she is out of her comfort zone with it. “I am not even able to tell you if it’s a family drama or a love story. I am actually out of my comfort zone with this show”.






FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014




ONG ISLAND, NY - It was a riot of colors, sound and humour as India Association of Long Island (IALI) recently celebrated the festival of colors, Holi at ANTUN’s in Hicksville to a crowd of 350 boisterous revelers comprising dignitaries, community leaders, IALI members, IALI past presidents, volunteers, families and friends. The IALI is four decades old and going strong as one of the oldest and largest associations representing Indians on Long Island. As the doors to the event opened, IALI executive council members were at hand to provide all logistic support and to welcome all with warm greetings, wishes and ‘welcome colorful ‘gulal’ tikkas’ by children Prisha Dass and Eesha Butani in keeping with the family tradition and atmosphere. The carnival of colors was held at ANTUN’s by Minar. The banquet halls were colorfully decorated by House of Dipali. DJ Amrit was at hand to ramp up the sound several decibels higher. Guests robustly took to the dance floor in celebration. The Jashan Dance Company comprising of Garima Bhatia and M. Shreenivas and

Tripping the light fantastic for Holi

Stephanie Lalitha Cosme and her Troupe of dancers - Hallie Simone-Bolden, Mary Sarragoussi, Vaishali Saxena, Sonny J. and Edwina Saddington entertained with brisk, foot-stomping and energetic dance numbers, followed by Hansya Kavi Poet Vinod Jain.

Sangeet Sharma was Emcee for the evening. ASMA Creations and Gagan Jewelers created the shopping arcade . Bengali Sweets distributed the boxes of mithai. A souvenir program booklet printed by V.K. Sabapathy was released to mark the occasion. Photographer Raj Rao

Pediatrician in bribe case faces 5-yr jail



TATEN ISLAND (NY) -- A second Staten Island pediatrician has admitted to accepting bribes in exchange for referring patient blood specimens to a New Jersey company in a long-running scheme. Dr. Surender Gorukanti, 46, who has a practice on Victory Boulevard, Bulls Head, has pleaded guilty in Newark federal court, said Paul J. Fishman, U.S. attorney for New Jersey. Dr. Gorukanti, a Brooklyn resident who also has an office in that borough’s Bath Beach section, admitted to collecting $1,000 a month in kickbacks in the plot run by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services (BLS), of Parsippany. Last month, Dr. Demetrios Gabriel, 46, who was affiliated with his family’s practice in Bulls Head and in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge section, had pleaded guilty to accepting $200,0000 in bribes from BLS. He has since resigned from the practice.

The two doctors are among the 25 people, including 14 physicians, who have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme. Organizers have admitted that millions of dollars in bribes were passed out and that BLS raked in more than $100 million in payments from Medicare and private insurers, Fishman said. More than $7 million has been recovered to date through forfeiture. Under his plea agreement, Dr. Gorukanti

agreed to forfeit $14,000, representing the bribe money he obtained. He potentially faces up to five years behind bars and up to a $250,000 fine when sentenced on June 16 in Newark federal court, prosecutors said. Online state Health Department records show Dr. Gorukanti has been licensed in New York since July 2003. He has a clean disciplinary history. “Above all else, Dr. Gorukanti is an outstanding and compassionate physician who would never do anything to compromise the health and well-being of his patients,” said Thomas A. Tormey Jr., his lawyer. “Unfortunately, Dr. Gorukanti has admitted to receiving $14,000 from a lab for medically necessary tests that were performed correctly. He was wrong and has admitted to having committed the crime. He’s never done anything wrong in his life.”

NY seniors learn the Art of Living BY A STAFF WRITER


EW YORK -- New York seniors organized a seminar on ‘Art of Living/Way of Life’ by Shashikant Patel and Gopi Udeshi at Shri Saneeswara Temple at Bellerose Terrace Queens. Dr. Jatin Kapadia, a well-known pediatric doctor, has studied Vedanta and Upanishad for the past 20 years. As an outstanding speaker, he teaches Bhagawat Geeta on weekends at different venues in Tri-State area to all age groups. His “Vedic” words added wisdom and refreshed mind. Shashikant Patel thanked TV Asia, Shri Saneeswara Temple and Chotubhai for their support. Everyone has appreciated the seminar that ended with a dinner.

(Standing L-R) Bhagubhai Patel, Bhart Patel, Induben Patel, Indubhai Patel, Shashikant Patel, Laxmanbhai Patel, Hemesh Dhruv, Jayant Patel, Jay Shah, Pravinbhai Patel. (Sitting L-R) Labhubhai Upadhyaya, PadmabenMehta,Gopi Udeshi,Dr Jatin Kapadia, Kantibhai Patel, Dr Kamlesh Shah.

provided detailed in-house coverage. IALI president Satnam Singh Parhar, in his welcome address, re-emphasised his plans for IALI for the year particularly the purchase of a site in view of setting up our own INDIA CENTER, as all members of IALI’s executive council - officers, members-at-large, standing committees, chairs and co-chairs took to the podium in turn. He also underscored IALI’s goal to open up our Indian culture to American friends through these festive events, which, he said, all Americans were encouraged to attend. Guest of Honor New York State Senator Hon. Jack Martins greeted one and all “Happy Holi!” Citations were presented on behalf of the Office of Nassau County Chief Executive Ed Mangano by Zahid Syed - Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Nassau County ; by representative to Judy Bosworth - Town Superviser, Town of North Hempstead ; and by Nasrin Ahmad, Town Clerk, Town of Hempstead. All Sponsors of the event were duly recognised with award of Plaques Diamond Sponsor - TURKISH Airlines ; Gold Sponsors - HAB Bank and Astoria Federal Bank ; Silver Sponsors - Maddipatla Foundation and T-Mobile. IALI secretary Rekha Valliappan proposed the vote of thanks.

Cabbie flees after hitting TLC official BY A STAFF WRITER


h e a r t l e s s h a c k m owe d down a Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) lieutenant during a Queens car stop on March 30 afternoon, dragging her body down the street before speeding away. The TLC official, working alongside a male inspector, had tried to question the cabbie near the corner of Sutphin Blvd. and Archer Ave., in Jamaica, at 1.20 pm. She and her co-worker were hunting for drivers illegally picking up passengers near the bustling Jamaica Station Long Island Railroad transit hub when they spotted the reckless cabbie trying to score a street hail. “They saw some suspicious activity,” said TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg. “The driver, with the passenger door open, put the car in reverse. He struck the female lieutenant and dragged her for some distance”. The bleeding woman was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. She was listed in non-serious condition suffering from head lacerations. Cops have classiifed the case as a hit-and-run. Only green and yellow cabs can pick up street hails throughout the five boroughs. Livery drivers are required to use a dispatch system to schedule rides with their passengers. The injured lieutenant was a recently-promoted employee who had been assigned to the agency’s training unit.



FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014






AST ORANGE -- Essex County has forged a new partnership with local churches in its latest push to reach unemployed and underemployed people. About 30 reverends, imams, ministers and other clergy heard from county social service workers last week on the myriad services available to help residents struggling to find work. “Most of the time, people don’t know what the county has to offer,” County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said. Essex County’s unemployment rate was 8.7 per cent as of January, according to figures from the state Department of Labor. DiVincenzo said the county unemployment rate, which is higher than the state’s average, is unacceptable. “We ask for your partnership, we ask for your assistance,” Samuel Okparaeke, executive director of the county Workforce Investment Board, told members of the clergy at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange during the March 30 presentation. “I think our mission here is very, very important”, he said. The session kicked off what will be a series of quarterly meetings to address joblessness. Church leaders from various towns like West Orange, Nutley, Newark and

Irvington participated. The majority of clergy who attended represented AfricanAmerican congregations. Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, an imam in Irvington, said he saw two major needs among the 400 families in his congregation. Residents need training to compete for jobs “in their backyards,” he said, citing Newark as a major transit hub that includes Newark airport and the port. Second, he noted, out-of-work residents often needed a support network to help them keep a job. “How do you sustain that employee?” Shareef asked. “There’s a culture they have to adapt to.” Statewide, jobs numbers have

3 honored at kavi sammelan

(L-R) Dr.Bindeshwari Agrawal, Dr.Vijay Gupta, Dr.Gopal Kishore, South Asian Community Leader Dilip Chauhan, Mr Ved Malhotra and Sushma Malhotra.



lushing (New York) -- The Akhil Vishwa Hindi Samiti Inc, multitalented Prof. (Dr) Bindeshwari Agrawal and renowned cardiologist Dr. Vijay Mehta were honored with New York Senate citations at a Grand Kavi Sammelan held at Hindu Center, Flushing on March 22. Acclaimed poets from Tri State area gathered on the occasion to present their poetic creations, incluidng humorous poetry in Hindi, Bhojpuri and Punjabi languages. The Akhil Vishwa Hindi Samiti Inc was honored for promoting Hindi Language and provide platform to organize Hindi language related events. Dr. Agrawal, a professor at NYU and the sub-editor of a Hindi magazine “Saurabh” published from New York, is also a winner of poetry competition in Mauritius, and has

written songs for films. She is also a stand-up comedian in Indian society and has received several awards in India and the US. Dr. Mehta, a well known cardiologist, is president of the Akhil Vishwa Hindi Samiti. He has written seven epics in the US and was honored in India and the US for his work. On the occasion of presenting the Senate Honor citations, Dr. Agrawal introduced Dilip Chauhan, an electrical engineer, as a prominent South Asian community leader as well as the first Indian American who received honor as a New York City Hall Political News Rising Star “40 under 40” in 2011. Chauhan stated in his speech that New York City was the right place to celebrate Hindi Kavi Sammelan because of a large number of the non-resident Indian American community.

improved over the last three years, said Harold Wirths, commissioner of the state Labor Department. The state lost 250,000 jobs between 2008 and February 2011 and the unemployment rate was at 10 per cent, Wirths said. Recent data shows an uptick with the creation of an additional 120,000 jobs and a statewide unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent. But he acknowledged there’s a long way to go. “People are getting back to work slower than we like,” Wirths said. “Nobody has more credibility in the community than the clergy.” Aminah Bey, workforce manager in the Department of Economic Development,

Training and Employment, urged Shareef to bring people to the county’s one-stop career center at 50 S. Clinton Street in East Orange for job mentoring and help with “soft skills” for up to a year after starting a new job. “Our goal is to move people into self-sufficiency,” she said. A few leaders, including the Rev. Pamela Bakal of Grace Episcopal Church in Nutley, noted the importance of helping former inmates get hired. Bakal, who is also president of the Diocese of Newark Prison Ministry, described it as one of the county’s most pressing needs. Angel Negron, an associate pastor at Centro Cristiano Calvario in Newark, was disappointed that onkly a few Hispanic pastors attended but said he was now on a mission to spread the word. He says he’s planning his own meeting to relay the message to other pastors. He’s also arranged for county social service workers to speak to the 2,000 members of his church. At times, ministering to jobless congregants can feel overwhelming, especially when they face other issues such as learning English or overcoming substance abuse, Negron, who described himself as a former addict, said. “At least now we know how to guide them to the right department,” he said.

Sanjana Malla leaves ‘em spell-bound BY A STAFF WRITER


EW YORK, NY-Orthology rules! And etymology? That’s the big weapon for expert student spellers at this year’s North Jersey and Rockland County Spelling Bee. Forty-two students competed in the finals as the 77th annual bee got under way on March 25 night at the Bergen Community College’s Moses Technology Center in Paramus. The winner, Sanjana Malla, 13, a student at Fieldstone Middle School in Thiells, Rockland County, will go to the national championship. She will be joined by the winner of another round of finals held on March 26 night featuring students from Bergen and Morris counties. This round featured students from Essex, Passaic and Rockland counties. Sanjana breezed through words like capitulation, flotilla, nemesis and finally fleeciness before nailing the first-place spot and trophy with collision. Joining her in the very last round of the night’s competition was her brother, Scavanth, 9, who succeeded at words like incorruptible, succotash, and serendipity before getting milksop wrong. Sanjana said she practiced four to five hours a day spelling words and being tested by her father. And her brother said he spent the same amount of time. “Sometimes we test each other,” Sanjana said. The competitors went for a total of seven rounds before Sanjana emerged victorious. “This is as much a competitive event as you’ll ever see in sports,” said one of the judges, Miguel de la Carrera, who in real life is a judge in New Jersey’s Superior Court.

Sanjana Malla

The spelling bee is sponsored by The Record and the Herald News. Some of the student spellers were stymied by words like saffron, kabuki, androcentric, nebbish, and gazpacho. The crowd of parents and friends gasped audibly when a third grader, Liam Robins of Gold Och Academy in West Orange, didn’t hesitate before confidently spelling juggernaut. Of the students who started, 19 were knocked out in the first round. Toward the end of the competition, the words became more difficult with challenges like langlauf (a type of crosscountry skiing), douane (derived from a French word for customs), and wedel (a skiing term). After the March 26 competition, the two winners will go to Washington in June.


x FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014





Calif Governor race: Kashkari on the job

Ro Khanna

The former treasury department official is running for the California governor as a Republican candidate IANS, WASHINGTON


ndian-American Neel Kashkari, Republican candidate for governor of California, has released a jobs plan focused on rebuilding the middle class by putting Californians back to work to take on incumbent Democratic governor Jerry Brown. Kashkari, 40, a former treasury department official who played a key role in bailing out the banks during the Bush administration, unveiled his plan at an event in San Diego, according to his website. “Governor Brown may be running on his decades of experience in government, but the fact is that his failed leadership has been devastating for millions of California families — especially the 17 percent of Californians who are struggling for work,” he said. “Jerry Brown’s legacy is the destruction of the middle class, and we won’t let him get away with it,” he added. Kashkari’s 10 reforms, according to his campaign website, “will unleash the private sector to put Californians back to work and rebuild the middle class”

Neel Kashkari

‘Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy is the destruction of the middle class, and we won’t let him get away with it’ Kashkari’s jobs plan provides a general outline of strategies and initiatives, but it provides few

Doctor wins prestigious US award WASHINGTON: An Indian-American cardiologist has won the American College of Cardiology’s prestigious Simon Dack Award for Outstanding Scholarship in recognition of his contributions to its peer-reviewed medical journals. Sumeet Chugh, associate director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a leading expert on heart rhythm disorders such as sudden cardiac arrest and arterial fibrillation, will receive the award at the 40,000-member medical society’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington. “Dr. Chugh is leading the quest to unlock the mysteries of how to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, which is 99 percent fatal,” said Shlomo Melmed, senior vicepresident of Academic Affairs and dean of the Cedars-Sinai medical faculty. “Chugh, the Pauline and Harold Price Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology, is an expert in the performance of radio frequency ablation procedures as well as the use of pacemakers, defibrillators and biventricular devices to correct heart rhythm problems,” according to the Los Angeles-based Heart Institute. Author of more than 250 articles and abstracts in professional journals, Chugh initiated and directs the ongoing Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, a large, comprehensive assessment of sudden cardiac arrest in a community of one million residents. Chugh leads the World Health Organization panel that is charged with performing a worldwide assessment of heart rhythm disorders for the Global Burden of Disease Study. After earning his medical degree from Government Medical College, Patiala, India, Chugh spent the first year of his internal medicine residency at Tufts Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston and the next two years at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. —IANS Sumeet Chugh

financial details, according to San Francisco Gate. In what the campaign said would be a national first, Kashkari’s goal of making California a “job magnet” includes a proposal for a 10-year moratorium on state corporate taxes for any business that moves to the state bringing at least 100 new jobs — or for existing manufacturers that expand here. Among the more controversial aspects of Kashkari’s plan may be his call for “safe development” of the oil-rich Monterey Formation, it said. Kashkari said the development should be in partnership with industry “to ensure that the interests of environmental protection and economic growth” will serve the state. Brown faced virulent protests at the California Democratic convention last month from crowds of demonstrators passionately opposed to fracking and extraction in the Monterey Formation, which lies mostly in one of the state’s richest agricultural areas in the San Joaquin Valley, according to San Francisco Gate.

Judges clear Khanna for Congressional race IANS, WASHINGTON


California judge has disqualified an IndianAmerican Republican candidate from a Congressional race to challenge Democratic Congressman Mike Honda, but cleared another Indian-American of any wrong doing. The Sacramento county Superior Court judge found irregularities in Republican Vinesh Singh Rathore’s nominating petition, but did not find that any responsibility lay with Democratic challenger Ro Khanna, as a lawsuit had claimed, according to San Jose Mercury News. Ro Khanna, a former Obama administration official who served as the deputy assistant

secretary in the commerce department, has mounted a campaign to unseat seven-term incumbent Honda to represent the 17th Congressional district — the first majority AsianAmerican district in the heart of Silicon Valley. “There was never evidence to support the ridiculous claim and it was dismissed by the judge who examined it,” Khanna’s campaign manager Leah Cowan was quoted as saying by Mercury News. “The well-funded Khanna has been campaigning for about a year, but the entry of Republican Vanila Singh at the start of this year and the entries of Rathore and Joel Vanlandingham this month threw the race’s electoral calculus into a tailspin,” the Mercury News said.

Nadella brings Office to Apple’s iPad IANS, WASHINGTON


n his first public appearance as the new Indian-American CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella made a break from the company’s long-standing Window-centric world view to unveil Office suite for rival Apple’s popular tablet iPad. “It’s a beautiful set of applications,” said Hyderabad-born Nadella, only the third CEO in the software giant’s 39-year history after founder Bill Gates and Steve Balmer, whom he replaced on February 4. For some, the move “represents a moment where the new Microsoft bids goodbye to the old Microsoft,” commented technology site CNet calling it “a calculated risk that Microsoft’s support of a major rival’s competing tablet will work to its advantage”. “The hope is that enough iPad users will forgo free alternatives such as Google Docs and Apple’s iWorks software, and so compensate for potentially lost sales of its own Windows-based Surface tablets,” CNet said. When Ballmer was in charge, Microsoft hewed

But a product from Microsoft would be expected to provide better compatibility with Office on PCs than any third party can provide, CNet said. “The real goal for us is to set up to provide the apps and services that empower every user across all of these devices and experiences,” Satya Nadella Nadella was quoted as saying. “That’s the job ‘One of the things we wanted perhaps number one that we was to do this with particular do: To empower people to be produccare and focus’ tive, he said” “It’s not a trivial closely to a Windows-centric view port,” Nadella told CNET after the of the world in which the fate of its announcement in San Francisco. operating system dominated the “One of the things we wanted was company’s decision-making to do this with particular care and process, CNet noted. Nadella is focus, ” he said. aware that Microsoft faces skepti“I still think it’s in the early days. cism as many iPad users already use I understand that anything can be inexpensive products that offer fea- done quickly but we wanted to tures similar to Office, it said. do it right,” Nadella said.








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x FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014





South ASiA

from ians newswire

Musharraf indicted on treason charges Ex-Pakistan president pleads not guilty to charges Pak offers to bring Musharraf’s mother

Pervez Musharraf has been charged with high treason for suspending the constitution when he declared emergency rule in 2007. IANS, ISLAMABAD


ormer Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf was indicted on March 31on charges of high treason. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Justice Faisal Arab, who heads the three-bench court, read out the indictment against the former army strongman with Musharraf pleading “not guilty” to all charges, Dawn online reported. “I honor this court and prosecution, I strongly believe in law, I don’t have ego problems and I have appeared in court 16 times in this

year in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” the 70-year-old, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, said. “I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is ‘treason’?” he asked. A non-bailable arrest warrant for Musharraf was issued in case he failed to appear before the court on March 31. For his appearance in the special court, three different routes were chalked out by the capital police before Musharraf’s departure from Armed Forces Institute of Car-

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has offered to bring back former president Pervez Musharraf’s mother, who is undergoing treatment in Sharjah, rather than let him travel to the Gulf country, a media report said on April 1. The development came a day after Musharraf was indicted of high treason by a special three-bench court, Dawn online reported. Musharraf’s counsel had asked the court to allow him to visit his ailing 95-year-old mother, Zarin Musharraf, in Sharjah but the court ruled that it was up to the government to decide on the issue. “We offer from the government to bring his mother to Pakistan,” Defense Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif said.

diology (AFIC). A police squad and commandos reached the AFIC early in the morning to escort Musharraf to the court. For the former army strongman’s security, 3,000 police and Rangers personnel were deployed on the routes.

‘Move peace process forward’ YANGON: Myanmar President U Thein Sein on March 29 urged all political parties of the country to cooperate in moving forward the country’s peace process to achieve the common goal of stability, peace and unity. In a meeting with representatives of 63 registered political parties in the Parliament building here, Thein Sein said a nationwide ceasefire agreement is the priority for boosting the peace process which is based on political dialogue between the government and ethnic armed groups, according to Xinhua.

He hoped the political dialogue would be held with the full participation of the government, ethnic armed groups, political parties and parliamentarians, among others. The political dialogue is open for discussing all crucial matters of the country, including constitutional reforms, except those that may harm the nation’s sovereignty and lead to secession of the country, he said. The government had earlier expected that the upcoming peace talks could be held in Hpa-an in Kayin state in April leading to a possible signing of the nationwide ceasefire accord.

23 Afghanistan militants killed KABUL: At least 23 militants were killed and nine others injured on April 1 in two separate incidents in Afghanistan . “Several Taliban leaders were instructing a group of militants about building suicide jackets and targeting security forces in a house in Gelan district of eastern Ghazni province. One suicide vest went off accidentally, killing 16 Taliban militants and injuring nine others,” a police official told Xinhua. Earlier on the same day, six Taliban

commanders and a would-be suicide bomber were killed when a suicide jacket went off prematurely in Shash Qala area of Charkh district of Logar province.

ReSt of the WoRld

NATO stops cooperation with Russia 5 killed in massive quake in Chile Ukraine Parliament

Workers dismantle the Ukrainian signs on Crimean Parliament building in Simferopol last month. (Photo: IANS) IANS, BRUSSELS


ATO foreign ministers have agreed to suspend “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia over its annexation of Crimea, as the Western military alliance saw “no sign” that Russia is pulling its forces back from the border with Ukraine. “We have decided to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia,” CNN quoted foreign ministers from the 28-member alliance as saying in a joint statement. Earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said there was no sign of Russia pulling its forces back from the border with Ukraine.

“Unfortunately I cannot confirm that Russia is withdrawing its troops,” Rasmussen was quoted as saying on April 1 at the opening of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. The foreign ministers condemned Russia’s “illegal” annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and praised the Ukrainian government’s “restraint”. Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Marc 31 that he’d ordered a “partial withdrawal” of troops from his country’s border area with Ukraine. Earlier, Ukraine condemned a visit to Crimea by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a delegation of government ministers.

SANTIAGO: Five people were killed in a massive earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale that hit off Chile’s northern coast and triggered tsunami waves, authorities said on April 2. According to the University of Chile Seismological Service, the powerful tremor hit off northern Chile’s coast at 8.46 p.m. (11.46 p.m. GMT) and the epicenter was located 99 km northwest of the mining port of Iquique, near the Peruvian border, Xinhua reported. The US Geological Survey initially reported the quake at 8.0 magnitude. The South American country is located in one of the seismically most active regions in the world. The nation is a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes mountain ranges to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Chile borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the north-

disarms agitators

east, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean authorities used television to order the evacuation of coastal areas, urging people to leave their homes and towns. The authorities said more than 10,000 people in coastal towns have been evacuated. Power went out and communication lines were affected in some areas where landslides blocked roads and highways to the region.

Lost jet: Probe on as search continues PERTH/KUALA LUMPUR: The search for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight resumed on April 2 in the Indian Ocean, while a top Malaysian police official said a criminal investigation is under way over the missing jet. “Up to 10 planes and nine ships will assist in today’s (Wednesday’s) search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,” Australia’s newly set up Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in its latest update.

“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has determined a search area of about 221,000 sq km,” it added. “The weather forecast for today’s search is for marginal conditions, with areas of broken cloud, sea fog and isolated thunderstorms, reducing visibility,” the JACC statement said. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that a criminal investigation was under way into the case.

KIEV: Ukraine’s Parliament on April 1 passed a resolution to disarm illegal armed groups that have sprang up across the country during its political crisis. According to the resolution’s explanatory note, military and security officials should carry out the immediate disarming of illegitimate armed formations due to the worsening criminal situation in Ukraine, Xinhua reported.The use of non-sanctioned arms had led to several deaths and injuries across the country, the document said. Provocateurs, who included citizens of other countries, often used illegal weapons to commit unlawful provocative acts in the capital and the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, it said. Three people were injured on March 31 in a shooting incident near a restaurant close to Independence Square in downtown Kiev, the center of a three-month protest against ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.






Sethusamudram project useless: Jayalalithaa Addressing an election rally, Jayalalithaa accuses the Centre of ignoring environmental and livelihood issues IANS, RAMANATHAPURAM (TAMIL NADU)

TDP promises farm loan waiver in Telangana, Seemandhra


amil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa on March 29 said the Sethusamudram ship channel project will not benefit the people or the state as well as affecting the fishermen’s livelihood and the environment. She said the government has called for tenders to prepare a detailed project report for a desalination water project in Ramanathapuram district and steps are being taken for setting up an industrial park for production of petro-chemicals and fertilizer units. Addressing an election rally here, around 510 km from Chennai, Jayalalithaa said: “Had detailed study been made it would have been clear the Sethusamudram project would have affected the environment and the livelihood of the fishermen.” She said the central government started the project in 2005 even without getting a no objection certificate from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). Jayalalithaa said an expert com-


T Sethusamudram project was started by the central government in 2005 without getting an NOC from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

She said the channel will have a depth of 12 meters only and big ships will not be able to sail in it because of low depth mittee set up by TNPCB had recommended carrying out a detailed environment impact study on the project. It also pointed out the deficiencies in the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute’s (NEERI) environmental impact assessment report on the project. According to Jayalalithaa,

the dredging work carried out in the Palk Straits had destroyed the habitat of breeding fishes and many rare marine species shifted to different areas. She said the channel will have a depth of 12 meters only and big ships will not be able to sail in it because of low depth.

War of words in Kerala politics

Time to give back to country what I got in life: Nilekani



ith just 10 days to go for Lok Sabha poll in Kerala, the war of words between the LDF and the UDF has heated up the election scene in the state. Leading the verbal charge is the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which appears to have targeted Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The Left parties have launched a massive attack against him. While ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against the alleged involvement of


Telugus usher in New Year, spirits dampened

Oommen Chandy

Batting for Chandy is his old friend, Defense Minister A.K. Antony, who said there was no need for the Kerala chief minister to resign Chandy’s former gun-man Salim Raj in a controversial land deal, the court reprimanded the chief minister for appointing shady characters to his office. But Chandy got a breather after a Kerala High Court division bench on April 1 stayed the controversial references by a single division bench against him last week. The earlier court observation had given top LDF leaders an opportunity to go hammer and tongs

he Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on March 31 released separate election manifestos for Telangana and Seemandhra, promising to waive off farm loans. Releasing the manifestos, party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu told reporters that if voted to power in both the states, the TDP would waive off all loans of the farmers to provide them relief. Naidu also vowed to continue his fight against corruption and promised an honest and transparent administration. The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister said the TDP would give top priority to agriculture and allied sectors. He also promised steps to conserve small water resources and to complete

all irrigation projects. Assuring full protection to women, the TDP said it would also provide free mobile phones to women belonging to below poverty line families with a helpline number. The manifesto for Seemandhra promised to developed West Godavari district into agricultural hub and Nellore district into industrial hub. It said all the ports in the region would be developed as industrial clusters. The TDP chief said if voted to power, the party would set up an industrial training institute in every mandal and take steps for the promotion of services sector. Simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh assembly and Lok Sabha are scheduled on April 30 in Telangana and on May 7 in Seemandhra.

against Chandy. Batting for Chandy is his friend of more than five decades, Defense Minister A.K. Antony, who has categorically said there is no need for the Kerala chief minister to resign. “The CPI-M is afraid to field their own candidates, therefore they have opted for independents. You just wait and see, we (UDF) will get at least one seat more than what we got in 2009,” said Antony, whose campaigns are drawing crowds.

HYDERABAD: Telugu-speaking people of Telangana and Seemandhra on March 31 ushered in Telugu New Year ‘Ugadi’ in a traditional manner and with gaiety, but the election model code of conduct dampened the festive spirit. Telugus in both the regions decorated their houses and shops with mango leaves, tasted the traditional ‘Ugadi pacchadi’ and heard ‘panchangnam’ or the forecast of the coming year by ‘agma’ pundits. This is the first Telugu New Year after Parliament last month passed a legislation to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra) will formally come into being as separate states on June 2. As the state is under President’s rule, it was Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty who was the chief guest at the main official function held here.


ndian IT bellwether Infosys’ cofounder Nandan Nilekani, who has declared assets worth `7,770 crore ($1.3 billion), said that “it’s time to give back to people and the country” what he got in life as he contests the Lok Sabha election. “As I had a successful and fulfilling career in private and public sectors, there is not much left to achieve personally at this age (58). “And as I and my family are financially secure, it’s time to give back to people and country what I got in life though I was born and brought up in a middle class family,” Nilekani told IANS in an interview. Nearly five years after spearheading the world’s largest social project to give identity (Aadhaar) to about 600 million citizens across the country, the 58-year-old billionaire geek has recently joined the Congress to contest from the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency — where he lives — in the April 17 general elections. He


x FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014





Kangana’s oops moment on ramp

As a showstopper for designer Namrata Joshipura at WIFW grand finale, Kangana made her entry in a strapless floor sweeping black gown, but just after taking a few steps, one could notice her struggling with her gown “I feel her show was good and I feel bad because I let her down,” the 27-year-old told reporters here after the show. The designer missed the chance to walk down the ramp with Kangana and take a bow, but she continued to be happy. “Stuff happen. Kangana is larger than that. She walked for me and I am happy,” said Joshipura. Despite the mishap, Kangana was in some way delighted to be back on the fashion runway. “It is nice to be here. Many years after Fashion I am getting to walk on the ramp. I was a fashion disaster in Queen and a fashion victim in Revolver Rani...I love getting dressed and looking good for a change...I like doing shows,” said the actress, who will be soon seen in Revolver Rani. And if it’s as chic as Joshipura’s show at the WIFW, anyone would feel honored to be a part of it. The show had a disc jockey and a drummer playing in coordination and before the models’ entry, a few dancers in reflective suits, which matched the theme of the



he may have walked with elan in Madhur Bhandarkar’s 2008 release “Fashion”, but actress Kangana Ranaut was unable to move forward smoothly as the showstopper for designer Namrata Joshipura at the grand finale of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) autumn-winter 2014 here. The five-day fashion event concluded on March 30 and the Queen star was invited to sashay down the ramp as Joshipura’s showstopper. With her curly locks tied up, Kangana made her entry in a strapless floor sweeping black gown with metallic embellishment on the side. Just after taking a few steps, one could notice her struggling with her gown created by Joshipura. Nevertheless, Kangana gradually walked on the LED lit runway. After stumbling a few times, she slightly lifted her gown up with both hands to avoid herself from falling on the stage.

collection, gave an interesting performance. Joshipura then presented her new range titled electron, which was inspired by the future. New techniques were used. Texturing was used as embellishment, leather palettes were created and twisted fabrics were woven into surfaces. There were long and short dresses, bodysuits, shorts and jackets in mostly black. Other colors included green, blue and red. The knee length boots, gloves, gladiator headgear and metal piece on lips of the models, made the outfits more appealing. Actress Kangana Ranaut stumbles as she walks on the ramp during the grand finale Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week on March 30; (far right) A model showcasing designer Namrata Joshipura’s collection. (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

Shantanu-Nikhil’s ‘shadows within’ draws interest IANS, NEW DELHI


esigner duo Shantanu and Nikhil took the audience through an architectural nostalgia of preindependence era through their collection titled ‘The shadows within’ at the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week here. “It is more about story telling. It is about imaginative character called Vanessa, who lived in the 1930s and 1940s and in our mind she was a British,” Shantanu told reporters after their show on day one of the fash-

We tried to bring femininity in menswear so there was a lot of draped kurta. It brought softness to a man’s look ion week. The choice of colors — dusty rose, off-white, red and chocolate, added romance to the range, which consisted of straight gowns, lehengas with contemporary blouse and also saris made of mostly raw silk and chiffon. The menswear was a fresh take on kurtas. “We tried to bring femininity in menswear so there was a lot of draped kurta. It brought softness to a man’s look. It is about nawaz style,” said Nikhil.

Malini Ramani tries hand at Indian designs NEW DELHI: Fashion designer Malini Ramani, best known for creating resort wear, chose to go the Indian way for her autumn-winter collection, which she presented at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. With a stylish title ‘Glamourette’, her collection consisted of saris in abundance, though there were thigh-high slit, figure-hugging dresses too. What added to the Indian look was the use of big and bold bindis on forehead of all the models. The winged eye make-up further reminded the audience of yesteryear Bollywood actresses like Asha Parekh and Helen.

Her collection ‘Glamourette’ consisted of saris in abundance, though there were thigh-high slit, figure-hugging dresses too “The theme was glamourette. It’s the first time I have done Indian,” Malini told reporters after the show. True to the theme, she made use of gold on black outfits. While black remained the dominant color of the collection, she also played with pink. “All of us love black... I love using gold. My collection had a little bit of transparency too. I just wanted it to be sexy and Indian.” “I like stretch so, I used lycra. Other fabrics were chiffon and silk jersey,” she said.







Married people have less chances of having any kind of heart disease than single or divorced ones, says study IANS, NEW YORK


his no pundit would ever be able to tell you while scanning your horoscope for a suitable life partner. However, scientists have figured this out well. Married people, regardless of age, sex, or even cardiovascular risk factors, have significantly less chances of having any kind of cardiovascular disease than those who were single, divorced or widowed, a thrilling research reveals. “When it comes to cardiovascular disease, marital status does indeed matter,” said Jeffrey Berger from New York University’s Langone Medical Center. The researchers looked at the surveys of more than 3.5 million American men and women administered at

some 20,000 health centers across the country. They found that being married carried a five percent lower risk of having any cardiovascular disease than being single. Younger married people, those under age 50, had a 12 percent lower odds of disease than younger single people. Widowed and divorced people were three percent and five percent, respectively, more likely to suffer from any kind of cardiovascular disease — including peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and coronary artery disease. According to Berger,

clinicians need to pay attention to marital status when evaluating patients for heart problems. “If one of my patients is recently widowed or divorced, I am increasingly vigilant about examining that patient for signs of any type of cardiovascular disease and depression,” he noted. Older couples, between ages 51 and 60, had seven percent reduced risk, while those above 60 had approximately four percent lower odds of disease, the survey found. Married people can look after each other, making sure their spouse eats healthy, exercises regularly, and takes medication as pre-

Older couples, between ages 51 and 60, had seven percent reduced risk, while those above 60 had approximately four percent lower odds of disease, the survey found scribed. A spouse can also help keep doctors’ appointments and provide transportation, making for easier access to health care services, NYU Langone cardiology fellow Carlos L. Alviar added. The study was presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Washington, DC.

‘Lifestyle linked to erectile dysfunction’ SYDNEY: Reduce weight, improve nutrition, exercise more and have a better night’s sleep to bring sexual pleasure back in life without medication, a promising research shows. Men suffering from sexual dysfunction can be successful at reversing their problem by focusing on lifestyle factors and not just relying on medication, according to researchers at University of Adelaide. “From a clinical point of view, the inability of some men to per-

form sexually can also be linked to a range of other health problems many of which can be debilitating or potentially fatal,” explained professor Gary Wittert from University of Adelaide. The major risk factors for erectile dysfunction are typically physical conditions rather than psychological ones, such as being overweight or obese, a higher level of alcohol intake, having sleeping difficulties or obstructive sleep apnea, and age. — IANS

Body clock resembles an orchestra: Study NEW YORK: If you change your work shift and sleeping hours, you disturb the body clock and it rewards you with all the things you do not want — weight gain, diabetes, stress, heart disease and sometimes even cancer. As life runs on rhythms, scientists have now found that the biological clock resembles an orchestra with multiple conductors, not just one, as earlier thought. The clock

network consists of many independent clocks, each of which drives rhythms in activity, found the study. The researchers found that interactions among neurons that govern circadian rhythms are more complex than originally thought. A circadian rhythm is an approximately 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. The researchers looked at the circadian clock neuron network in fruit flies, which is functionally similar to that of mammals, but at only 150 clock neurons is simpler. —IANS

Your week ahead... Aries There is nothing that a little realistic research will not help with, especially where the money, house, business, flat or charity is concerned. This also applies to your precious possessions.

Taurus You could have wished for an easier and more richly rewarding week at the end of March, but there is something rather inevitable and unavoidable about the situation with your partner.

Gemini You are now entering a different phase of life with the continuing search for answers about your working life, your daily routine, your general lifestyle, your health and your body.

Cancer You have been brought fully and firmly back down to earth with your son, daughter, godchild or young relative. This also applies to a youth related project or a role involving younger people.

Leo You must be wondering when on earth this Saturn cycle in your zone of the home, will come to an end. Ever since this planet changed signs you have been stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of relatives and house.

Virgo You only seek to be given a holiday from reality with your partnerships. That is why you are still convinced that there is a way out, with your former, current or potential partner.

(April 3-9) Libra You set off with good intentions and a certain wide-eyed wonder last week, ready to see what might work – practically – in terms of the money, house, business, flat, possessions or charity.

Scorpio You are now over the halfway mark of the toughest cycle in 29 years due to several issues. There are also new options ahead for you, primarily because a door closed last week.

Sagittarius The basic reality of your dark secret or invisible role is now sinking in. You were not particularly clear about things before; now you have landed back to earth with a thump

Capricorn You are stuck with a Saturn cycle and what happened last week must have shaken you awake. What you must now do is work with what you’ve got or accept what you cannot change.

Aquarius You were probably feeling quietly pleased with your solution to career. What appeared to be an answer is the one you discovered last wee Unless things change dramatically, there is no short-cut.

Pisces You are now better equipped to make some smarter choices and that is a good place to start April from. It is important to remember that your options are squeezed for a short time only. —Jessica Adams






hi INDiA East Coast Edition 04.04.14  

South Asian Views On Global News