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FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014


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The election results are quite significant not merely because we have a single party majority in 30 years but because India and Indians have moved away from a feudalistic mindset



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US to work closely with Modi Washington stands ready to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security: Kerry ARUN KUMAR, WASHINGTON


eclaring that the US was “deeply invested” in its strategic relationship with India, Secretary of State John Kerry on May 20 said that Washington was ready to work closely with India’s Prime Ministerdesignate Narendra Modi. “The friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy is absolutely vital,” he said in a statement congratulating the Bharatiya Janata Party and Modi, whom it had shunned for over a decade. Noting that “the voice of the Indian electorate is clear and unequivocal”, the US Secretary of State said: “The United States stands ready to work closely with Prime Minister Modi and the new government to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security.” The US, Kerry said, is “deeply invested in our strategic relationship” and looked “forward to strengthening our partnership based on common values, shared democratic traditions, and the binding ties between our peoples”. Washington has been behind its European partners in reaching out to Modi, whose US visa was revoked in 2005 for his alleged role

during the 2002 Gujarat riots. But a direct invitation from President Barack Obama in a congratulatory call to “candidate Modi” last Friday after BJP’s “resounding victory” finally ended Washington’s boycott of the BJP leader. Kerry said he looked forward to visiting India again soon and “echo” Obama’s invitation to “Prime Minister Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity”. KERRY’S STATEMENT: “I offer my congratulations to the Bharatiya Janata Party on their resounding victory in India’s historic national election, and to Narendra Modi on his election as Prime Minister of India. I also extend warm congratulations to all the newly-elected parliamentarians. When the people of India hold the biggest democratic election in human history, all the world tunes in to watch. And what we saw has been nothing short of remarkable: more voters cast their ballots freely and fairly than any other in world history, with over 530 million Indians going to the polls. The voice of the Indian electorate is clear and unequivocal in its call for economic opportunity and effective governance for all.

Narendra Modi showing President Pranab Mukherjee’s letter appointing him the prime minister, in New Delhi on May 20.

The United States stands ready to work closely with Prime Minister Modi and the new government to promote shared prosperity and strengthen our security. The friendship between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy is absolutely vital, and the United

US media hail Modi’s historic win in India ARUN KUMAR, WASHINGTON


he American media and foreign policy experts greeted the Narendra Modi-led BJP’s historic election victory as “India’s moment” and an opportunity to revitalize the economy and “shape the way India engages with the world”. BJP’s “landslide victory reflects a changing country more willing to extend governance to those outside the established elite”, the influential New York Times said in an editorial advising the Gandhi family to “hand over the leadership to others”. “That is the only chance for India to have a credible opposition,” it said The Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory gives Modi, the Times said, “the chance to revitalize the economy and shape the way India engages with the world”. “How he moves forward will matter to Indians clamoring for jobs and development, but also to others, including the US, which sees India as a vital economic and security partner in Asia,” it said. “The two countries will have to

States is deeply invested in our strategic relationship. We look forward to strengthening our partnership based on common values, shared democratic traditions, and the binding ties between our peoples. Every time I visit India, I’m struck by the vibrancy of your cul-

American lawmakers greet Narendra Modi Asia-Pacific region”. “A partnership between the wo more US lawmakers, world’s two largest and greatest including the only Hindu- democracies is necessary for us to American House member, successfully address the many global have congratulated Narendra Modi challenges we face, including ecoand his BJP for its sweeping election nomic growth, bilateral trade, the win, calling it “an extraordinary environment, terrorism and security,” Gabbard said. achievement” for Indian voters. Mark R. Warner, Democratic co“I recently spoke with Modi by phone and congratulated him and chair of the bipartisan US Senate India Caucus, congratulated the BJP and Modi said A partnership between the he looked “forward to working with the new world’s two largest and Indian government to greatest democracies is move the US-India relanecessary for us tionship forward. “Once the new government is the BJP for winning a majority vote formed, both the US and India in India’s Lok Sabha,” said Tulsi should commit to accomplish some specific actions in the first 100 days Gabbard, who represents Hawaii. Calling the election “an extraordi- to demonstrate that we can work nary achievement” for Indian voters, together to get things done.” she said she looked “forward to He believed “opportunities exist working with Modi and other mem- in the areas of defense trade, energy, bers of the Indian government and foreign direct investment, as toward our mutual goals of peace, well as efforts to advance the bilaterstability and economic growth in the al investment treaty”. IANS, WASHINGTON

T work hard to overcome the strain built up between them in recent years,” the Times said, suggesting “Modi needs to deliver on his vow to make progress, and he and Washington must confront differences on global trade issues”. The Washington Post wondered whether the “Narendra Modi era (would) be marked by an economic boom or derailed by nationalism. “A frequent visitor to China, he (Modi) clearly aspires to show that India can match Chinese dynamism,” it said in an editorial. “What remains to be seen is whether Modi will be the Deng Xiaopeng of India or its Vladimir

Putin, a leader whose economic ambitions are derailed by nationalism and authoritarian temptations.” The US, which a decade ago was rapidly growing closer to India, may have difficulty influencing Modi’s course, the Post said, noting both the Obama and Bush administration shunned him “because of his behavior” during the 2002 Gujarat riots. “Indians already perceived the Obama administration as neglectful of their country; President Obama will have to play catch-up if there is to be a significant USIndian partnership in the coming Modi era,” it said.

ture, the energy of your youth, and the strength of your democratic institutions. I look forward to returning to India soon and echo President Obama’s invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the United States at the earliest opportunity.”



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india news



SC acquits Akshardham terror strike convicts

Kejriwal sent to judicial custody

The apex court bench expresses anguish over the shoddy investigation done by Gujarat police IANS, NEW DELHI


he Supreme Court on May 16 slammed the Gujarat Police for the incompetence with which it investigated the 2002 Akshardham terror attack case as it acquitted all the six accused including three who were sentenced to death by a lower court. Acquitting all the six convicts, a bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice V. Gopala Gowda in their judgment said: “We intend to express our anguish about the incompetence with which the investigating agencies conducted the investigation of the case of such a Akshardham Temple at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. grievous nature, involving the integrity and security of the nation.” and the same being upheld by the “Instead of booking the real cul‘Instead of booking high court. prits responsible for taking so many Adambhai Sulemanbhai Ajmeri, the real culprits, precious lives, police caught innoAbdul Qaiyum Muftisaab Mohmed police caught cent people and got imposed the Bhai and Chand Khan were sengrievous charges against them which tenced to death in July 2006 by a innocent people’ resulted in their conviction and subspecial court. sequent sentencing,” Justice Gowda ples while admitting the statement While Mohammed Salim Shaikh said speaking for the bench. of witnesses while weighing the case was sentenced to life imprisonment, Pulling up the Gujarat Police, the against the accused persons” as it set Abdulmiyan Qadri was given a 10court said that “the courts below aside the conviction and sentencing year term and Altaf Hussain was had ignored these basic legal princi- of six accused by the special court awarded five year imprisonment.


Deposit `100 bn, SC tells Sahara Group NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on May 19 asked Sahara Group companies SIRECL and SHICL to deposit `100 billion of investors’ money to secure the release of Sahara chief Subrata Roy and two other directors in judicial custody since March 4. “You come with a specific proposal and not cast your net so wide, stalemate will not help anybody, including investors. Come with a specific, logical and acceptable proposal,” the bench told the Sahara Group after a two-hour hearing.

Asaram to stay in jail NEW DELHI: Spiritual guru Asaram Bapu will stay in jail for alleged rape of a minor girl as the Supreme Court Monday posted for July 3 his plea seeking bail and contending that he could not be tried under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act as the victim was not a minor. A bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice A.K. Sikri, while not issuing notice, permitted Asaram to serve a copy of his petition to the Rajasthan government.

Arvind Kejriwal IANS, NEW DELHI


ormer Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on May 21 sent to twoday judicial custody by a court after he refused to furnish a personal bail bond in a defamation case filed by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha fixed May 23 as the next date of hearing. Manocha had asked him to furnish a bail bond of `10,000 but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader refused. Kejriwal was summoned by the court for describing former Bharatiya Janata Party president as a “corrupt” person. Earlier, Kejriwal told the court he would not furnish a bail bond as the case was a political one.

Instead, he promised to give an undertaking to appear before the court at every hearing. “I am fighting against corruption. I will not seek bail as I have not done anything wrong,” he said. His counsel told the court that in earlier defamation cases against him, Kejriwal was granted bail on the undertaking that he would appear before the court at every hearing. The counsel added that Kejriwal would not flee from justice. “I completely agree but what is the problem with furnishing a bail bond?” asked the judge. “You are representing the Aam Aadmi Party. I request you to behave as aam aadmi (common man),” the court said. Gadkari’s lawyer opposed Kejriwal’s plea. Gadkari’s complaint said that Jan 31, when he was Delhi’s chief minister, Kejriwal released a list of “India’s most corrupt” people and it included his name.

Restrictions, shutdown affect Formalities delay Tejpal’s

NORMAL LIFE IN SRINAGAR arrival at mother’s funeral sensitive areas to maintain law and order. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, ormal life in Jammu and chairman of the moderate HurriyKashmir’s summer capital at group, called the march to comwas affected on May 21 memorate the death of his father by official restrictions and a sepa- Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and ratist shutdown call. another senior separatist leader Authorities imposed restrictions Abdul Gani Lone. in seven police station areas of While the elder Mirwaiz was Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, killed by unidentified gunmen in M.R. Gunj, Kralkhud, Zadibal his uptown Nigeen residence on and Safakadal to thwart a separatist May 21, 1990, Lone was killed in the Eidgah grounds on May 21, 2002 when he was addressing a rally. Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been placed under house arrest to prevent him from leading the march. Shops, public transport, educational institutions Police patrol a street in Srinagar. and other businesses march to the Martyrs’ graveyard in remained closed in Srinagar while the old city Eidgah ground. government offices, banks, and Police and Central Reserve other public sector undertakings Police Force (CRPF) personnel in functioned normally. Tourist full riot gear have been deployed in movement remained normal. IANS, SRINAGAR




ed tape and prison formalities prevented rape accused and former Tehelka editorin-chief Tarun Tejpal from performing the last rites of his mother at a crematorium here on May 19. Tejpal was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court earlier in the day, and arrived at the crematorium after his younger brother Minty Kumar had already lit the pyre in the presence of family members and friends. Family sources said despite the bail order by the apex court, prison formalities delayed his arrival at the crematorium on the outskirts of the state capital in time to perform the last rites.

Tarun Tejpal

18 night at Tejpal’s Goa home. Tejpal was allowed by a Tejpal was granted local court to visit his ailing interim bail by Supreme mother in the past, but he was Court earlier in the day denied bail in April by the Panaji bench of the Bombay Tejpal is at present lodged at the High Court. Sada sub-jail in South Goa, located Tejpal then approached the 40 km from Panaji. Supreme Court for bail, the hearing His mother Shakuntala, who was is expected to come up later this unwell for a long time, died on May month.



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india feature

How BJP’s online team hit the chord The social media team successfully connected millions of youngsters with Narendra Modi and his message

BJP’s social media campaigns head Vikas Pandey with Narendra Modi at Gujarat Bhavan, New Delhi. (Photo: IANS) SANDEEP DATTA, NEW DELHI


ith the BJP registering a thumping victory in the general election, significant credit goes to the party’s online campaign to tap the general psyche by connecting with millions of youngsters. Vikas Pandey, a 30-year-old software architect, headed the social media campaigns like “I Support Namo” on Facebook and Twitter, as a volunteer for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. He said the credit for such success should be shared by countless volunteers, mainly students and retired people. Son of Gorakhpur mayor and BJP leader Dr. Satya Pandey, he said he involved himself with the political campaigning after meeting Modi in 2010. During this first meeting Modi asked him to make better use of the social media for the party’s political success. Since then he started devoting his professional expertise as a ‘swayamsewak’ (RSS volunteer), without any fees for person or his fellow volunteers’ services. Pandey said the social media played a vital role in the current election in not only getting the BJP’s desired message across but also influencing the public imagination at large to vote.

“Though Facebook was our main focus, we also got many volunteers from Twitter and Google+,” Pandey told IANS. Asked whose baby the online campaign was, Pandey said he felt inspired by the Aam Aadmi Party’s success in the 2013 Delhi assembly elections to turn the tables by getting non- partisan, self-motivated volunteers from the social media. The rest was the team’s dedication and determination for success. “Our target was the middle and the upper middle class,” Pandey said. Due to these people, he said,

Since Facebook has an estimated 90 million members in India and Twitter has 30 million from India, they played a huge role in the polls. “our team of volunteers could bypass non-favorable or negative views expressed in the mainstream media against the BJP or Modiji to reach out to voters directly”. “On Facebook, we have pages like ‘I Support Namo’, ‘SanghParivar.Org’, ‘RSS’, among others with over 4.5 million likes. On Youtube, we started Narendra Modi’s official Youtube channel, now India’s most popular online



political channel. And the ‘I Support Namo’ channel, which is now India’s second most popular. “On Twitter, I run many IDs such as @sanghparivarorg and @isupportnamo with more than 150,000 followers,” he told IANS. Asked about the secret of such an effective campaign in the polls, Pandey said it was all about “smart planning and team work, and indepth knowledge of technology”. Since Facebook has an estimated 90 million members in India and Twitter has 30 million from India, he said they played a huge role in the polls. The “I Support NaMo” page on Facebook now has over 2.35 million likes and its posts are read by over 20 million people per week at times, “which is more than most of the newspaper readers”, Pandey noted. Pandey also worked during the Delhi assembly polls. He said he has worked with various cells of the BJP in several state elections in the past. “I created various ideology-related groups on Orkut with over 500,000 members in 2008,” Pandey said. Asked about the number of people involved in the NaMo campaign, he said: “We provided thousands of volunteers to the ‘Vote for India Mission 272+’ through social media networking in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon and reached out to around 150,000 voters.

From provincial to prime ministerial SAROJ MOHANTY, NEW DELHI


believe God has chosen me,” Narendra Modi had once said in the course of the election campaign that has catapulted the Gujarat chief minister to the very pinnacle of power as the next prime minister of India. His words sounded prophetic as the Bharatiya Janata Party won an absolute majority on its own, securing a record number of 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, and in the process reducing the Congress to its lowest number in the house. It has been an extraordinary journey for the man, an outlier, who does not belong to any of the country’s enduring political dynasties or to the socio-cultural elite. Pilloried as a ‘Hindutva hardliner’, a ‘divisive’, ‘polarizing figure’, especially because of the 2002 riots under his own rule in his home state, Modi has in a way taken a sweet revenge as he savors the phenomenal poll results, his own glory and the finest-ever performance of the BJP in more than three decades of its existence. At the height of a gruelling campaign, Modi had said in an interview that he sensed a very strong antiincumbency wave against the 10-year Congress rule, marked by massive corruption and seemingly dysfunctional government. As he traveled across this country of sub-continental size and bewildering diversity, he saw "an equally strong wave for the BJP and its NDA partners", a yearning for change, for a "stable", performing government in New Delhi. To a large extent, his own carefully crafted image of a "strong and decisive" leader found resonance across the country and has no doubt played a role that is reflected in the poll results. In the 13 years he has been at the helm of affairs in Gujarat, Modi has built an image of a leader who delivers, someone who is interested in results. In the last few years, when the Manmohan Singh government was ridiculed for being caught in a "policy paralysis" Modi seized the opportunity and conveyed a vision of decisive government and development. And this he made the main plank of his electoral campaign that touched a chord, an instant connect, especially with the young, first- time voters and the country's burgeoning middle class. As one of his biographers, Nirendra Dev, says, the

middle class perceives Modi more as someone who "functions like a modern day CEO laying emphasis on the outcome and often allegedly putting the rules and normal norms in the backburner". This was facilitated by an aggressive use of technology and media, and well supported by the Sangh Parivar whose members pressed its cadres to canvass for the BJP. In contrast, the campaign of the Congress led by its undeclared prime ministerial nominee, vice president Rahul Gandhi, was uninspiring. Opposition leaders and independent observers, however, say that though Modi talked about development, the party indulged in some social engineering in states like Uttar Pradesh, played the backward caste and communal cards. But there are specific and deep social changes that seem to have helped the so-called Modi wave. Increased urbanization, inter-regional migration and spread of communication have bridged the rural-urban divide in voting behavior. The country's travel from a state-run economy to one run more by private capital has led to a situation where aspirations are rising a lot faster than improvements on the ground and a lot of angst, among the young.





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FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014




World leaders congratulate Modi Leaders of several nations speak to Narendra Modi after a decisive win

From left, US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, UK PM David Cameron and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.

Benjamin Netanyahu who have congratulated the Bharatiya Janata S President Barack Party leader on the overwhelming Obama on May 16 win in the general elections. British Prime Minister called up called up Indian prime m i n i s t e r - d e s i g n a t e Modi and conveyed his greetings Narendra Modi and congratulated to Narendra Modi. “The prime him on his “emphatic election victo- minister called Narendra Modi this ry”, officials said. Obama said that morning to congratulate him on the largest democracy in the world his victory in the Indian elections has given a “decisive mandate” and and the record turnout, making that he wished that under Modi’s this the biggest democratic elecleadership, India will contribute at tion in history,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. the global stage. “Modi said he would be delightObama joined a number of world leaders including British ed to accept the Prime Minister’s Prime Minister David Cameron, invitation to visit the UK. Both Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz leaders agreed on the importance Sharif, Afghan President Hamid of the UK-India relationship and Karzai, Bangladesh Prime Minister agreed to work together to Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan Presi- strengthen it in the months dent Mahinda Rajapaksa, Aus- ahead.” Cameron also used his Twitter tralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Israeli Prime Minister handle to convey his greetings. IANS, NEW DELHI


A phone call to reset India-US ties NEW DELHI: In the end it just took a phone call from President Barack Obama to Narendra Modi with an invitation to visit Washington to reset a US policy that had shunned India’s next PM for over a decade. Obama’s invitation to Modi “to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to further strengthen our bilateral relationship” went in a congratulatory call on the “Bharatiya Janata Party’s success in India’s historic election.” “The President noted he looks forward to working closely with Mr. Modi to fulfill the extraordinary promise of the US-India strategic partnership, and they agreed to continue expanding and deepening the wide-ranging cooperation between our two democracies,” a release said.

“Congratulations @narendramodi on victory in India’s elections. Keen to work together to get the most from UK-India relationship,” Cameron tweeted in his official 10, Downing Street, account. British Foreign Minister William Hague said Britain congratulates Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on their success in the elections. “I congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on their success and look forward to forging an even closer partnership with India in the months ahead,” Hague said in a statement. “UK has strong ties with India and the British government looks forward to working with the new Indian government to build on this relationship and deliver security, growth and prosperity for both our nations.” Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

too congratulated Modi for winning the Indian general election. Sharif telephoned Modi and expressed his best wishes, Radio Pakistan reported. Stating that he had followed the general elections closely, he also invited Modi to visit Pakistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai also congratulated Modi for leading the BJP to victory. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated BJP president Rajnath Singh and Modi for the party’s landslide victory in the elections. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued an invitation to Modi to visit Sri Lanka after the BJP’s victory. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott too called up Narendra Modi to congratulate him for leading the BJP to victory.

A ‘Nixon’, Modi can resolve border row: Chinese daily IANS, BEIJING


aying he could become India’s ‘Nixon’, a Chinese strategic thinker on May 20 said India’s prime minister-designate, Narendra Modi, can help resolve their dragging border dispute. An opinion piece in the influential Global Times also referred to Modi’s chief ministership of Gujarat since 2001 and said his “governance style and philosophy are very close to Chinese practices”. Describing the Sino-Indian border dispute as “the biggest obstacle in bilateral relationship”, the commentary by Liu Zongyi said: “The Sino-Indian border issue was generated under the leadership of then Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru. Modi and the BJP have no historical burden over this, which may help solve the thorny issue.”

Narendra Modi with BJP President Rajnath Singh. (Photo: IANS)

The opinion piece in the influential Global Times gave wholesome credit to the BJP veteran for the party’s stunning victory in the Lok Sabha battle.

Liu, a research fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, added: “As a right winger in Indian politics, Modi is more likely to become India’s ‘Nixon’ who will further propel the China-India relationship.” The opinion piece gave wholesome credit to the BJP veteran for the party’s stunning victory in the Lok Sabha battle. “This is Modi’s victory,” Liu said, attributing some of the reasons for this as “his resolute governance style, clean image, outstanding record as well as his ‘low caste’ background which sharply contrast with his counterparts from the Congress”. Referring to criticism that Modi doesn’t care for others’ views, the opinion piece said the BJP’s lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha would not let him become an “autocrat”.

If Modi needs to make India “strong” in the next decade as he has stated, then he “needs a peaceful and stable neighborhood to facilitate domestic economic development”. It said a section of the Western media was trying to foment discord between China and India. “They portrayed Modi as ‘India’s (Shinzo) Abe’ who will take a tough stance against China. “Modi acted indeed aggressively on the Sino-India border issue during his election campaign. He also vowed to establish a ‘web of allies’ by strengthening strategic cooperation with countries on China’s periphery such as Japan, Vietnam and Russia. “But Modi is unlike to act as vehemently as Abe as it would be of no benefit to India’s economy at all,” the daily further said.



FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2013




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FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Verdict 2014



The election results are quite significant not merely because we have a single party majority in 30 years but because India and Indians have moved away from a feudalistic mindset

Rise of new India

Top BJP leaders are likely to get key berths in Modi cabinet.

Smaller cabinet,


K Children take bath wearing masks of Narendra Modi in the Ganga at Varanasi on May 20. (Photo: IANS) AMIT KAPOOR, IANS


he Lok Sabha election results have been surprising and stunning, to say the least. No one expected such a thumping win for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the way it decimated the Congress. The election results are quite significant, not merely because we have a single party majority in 30 years, the welcome end of coalition politics, or the emergence of a new leader in whom the youth believes, etc. The most significant shift is India and Indians have moved away from a feudalistic mindset. We see the first indications that India and Indians are getting over sycophancy, of being in love with the certain set of leaders as they belong to a certain lineage. I have nothing against any individual though I had exceedingly high degree of moral dilemma as to

how can I accept someone as a leader just on the basis of his/her birth or lineage. We are a democracy and have a right to elect, though the Congress and especially the coterie had been propagating the cause of the family. Independent India is a democracy

The opinion and conviction against feudalistic mindset has developed over a period of time though it peaked when we saw the destruction of our institutions in the past ten years. The most painful was that the Prime Minister’s Office was relegated to being an information

The makers of the Constitution trusted Indian citizens to vote for right candidate who would, in turn, elect the appropriate prime minister where the people choose a government by the people, for the people and of the people. The makers of the constitution trusted the Indian citizens to vote for the right candidate who would, in turn, elect the appropriate prime minister. However, soon the political parties turned the public domain into a private battle with families vying for votes as market shares.

center with limited ability to act or contribute. As The Economist has said in one famous article, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was a Gandhi family retainer. People wouldn’t have liked it because it was probably an abject reflection of the reality. To say the least, the family took away in many ways one’s pride of being an Indian.

nown for his “iron-fist” governance style, Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi is likely to have a smaller cabinet, which he could then monitor closely, say those aware of his working style. As hectic parleys go on over portfolio distributions, a BJP leader close to the Gujarat chief minister pointed out that it has been clear since campaign days that Modi’s cabinet will be small-

ting up systems and taking complete responsibility. “It is always pleasant working with such a dynamic leader. He believes in taking complete responsibility,” Patel told IANS over phone from Gandhinagar. “He forms a system, makes transparent policies and ensures that everything is within a framework. It is this discipline that is his speciality,” said the Gujarat minister who holds a number of portfolios including energy, finance, industries, petrochemicals, miner-

‘He forms a system, makes transparent policies and ensures that everything is within a framework... it’s his speciality’ er. “He has always said ‘minimum government, maximum governance’, that is the clearest indicator that his cabinet will not be big,” the senior BJP leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS. A thumping majority with 282 seats for BJP also means there will be no ally pressure for ministerial berths, points out another party leader. Saurabh Patel, a minister in Modi-led Gujarat government, who is known to be close to Modi, said the BJP leader’s style is of set-

als and civil aviation. Modi “trusts the people he works with”, and has the capability of “getting the best out of people”, noted Patel. “He is not known to give any special favors,” he added. Another BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said Modi would keep a close watch on the key ministries. “A smaller cabinet, and more control, is what is expected... It is Modi’s governance model. He would have his eye on all ministries,” said the party leader.

Real test begins for Modi now ASHOK TANDON, IANS


arendra Modi has proved in letter and spirit what Napoleon Bonaparte said: “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools... Victory belongs to the most persevering.” The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate has made history. Securing a resounding victory in the latest Indian parliamentary elections, he has proved wrong all the prophets of doom. The absolute majority for his party on its own is a first in 30 years. The larger National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in fact, has crossed the 300-seat mark.

Modi termed this historic win as a victory of people of India and the Indian democracy with an assurance to the 125 million people: “Achche Din Aane Wale Hain” – or good times are ahead. Most political pundits in the country, since 1996, had ruled out the possibility of a single-party majority in any future election, saying the era of coalition governments is going to stay forever. But the people were determined to give a decisive mandate to a leader who could usher in a new regime of a stable government at the Centre – a pre-requisite for allround growth and development for an emerging economy like India

where one-third of the population is still below the poverty line. The results are before us. Modi has emerged as a symbol of hope for the youth of this country. People have posed unwavering confidence in his leadership. He will now have to meet their expectations by taking some radical measures to ensure political stability, economic growth and transparency in governance — the three promises he made to the people during his whirlwind campaign. The moot question is: What has Modi achieved, and how has he accomplished this near-impossible task? The people of Gujarat have given a unique gift to their son of

the soil by putting all the 26 seats in his kitty — a feat achieved for the first time by any political party since Independence. Modi himself won by a record margin of over 500,000 votes from

Vadodara. There is no doubt that Narendra Modi has written a new chapter in the 65-year history of Indian parliamentary democracy. Now it’s time for him to emerge as a global leader.





x 14

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Verdict 2014



The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had 21 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, even failed to open its account; Mayawati dissolves zonal committees

BSP wiped out, Maya seeks blood RANJANA NARAYAN, NEW DELHI


he Narendra Modi-led BJP wave has left many political parties reeling, but perhaps the most surprising has been the demolition of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Party chief Mayawati has blamed the wipeout on support to the UPA government; but has the feisty former chief minister lost touch with her vote bank? The BSP, which had 21 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha, and was expected to do well this time by political pundits, even failed to open its account. In most of the Lok Sabha con-

stituencies in Uttar Pradesh, the BSP has done well — coming second to the BJP and has garnered 4.1 percent of the votes, third highest after the BJP and the Congress. However, its margin of defeat to the Bharatiya Janata Party has been high in almost every seat — by over a 150.000. Mayawati, addressing a press conference a day after the results were out, said her party suffered in the election for supporting the UPA government as the people were angry at “the policies and failures” of the Congress-led coalition. She also claimed “communal polarization” in Uttar Pradesh made most of the Muslims side

Mayawati said BSP suffered for supporting the UPA govt as the people were angry at “the policies and failures” of the coalition.

Will NC overcome poll debacle? ley, the NC led in just seven. SRINAGAR: Seeking the peoples In layman terms, the NC lost all but reaction through e-mails, convening brain-storming sessions with party col- seven assembly segments to its arch rival, the Peoples Democratic Party leagues and promising not to buckle under defeat are some of the steps (PDP). being taken by the battered National Conference (NC) in its bid to bounce back. NC president and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said the defeat of the ruling Congress-NC alliance in all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir has shocked him. More worrisome than The Congress-NC alliance lost in all six Lok the NC-Congress comSabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. bine candidates losing in the Lok Sabha election is the fact The NC has a marginal lead in that out of the 46 assembly segments Amira Kadal, Habba Kadal, Khanyar, that constitute the voting segments for Gurez, Handwara, Pulwama and Uri the three Lok Sabha seats of the Valassembly segments.

BJP sun rises in Bengal ANURAG DEY, KOLKATA


iding on the charisma of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the BJP not only scripted the most resounding electoral victory India has seen in 30 years, but also emerged as a potential force in West Bengal where it is traditionally considered weak. Besides winning two Lok Sabha seats, the party came up with its best showing in the state in terms of the vote share, and returned surprisingly inspiring performances in a num-

ber of prestigious constituencies. The BJP retained Darjeeling, where party veteran S.S. Ahluwalia won emphatically. Bollywood singer and party candidate Babul Supriyo snatched Asansol from the Communist Party of India-Marxist, which had been holding on to the seat for

BJP has emerged as a potential force in Bengal where it is considered weak.

Mayawati blamed “communal polarization” in UP for her party’s defeat.

with the Samajwadi Party and most of the upper castes and OBCs with the BJP. Senior journalist Ajoy Bose, who has written Behenji: A Political Biography of Mayawati, says the party did garner 20 percent of the votes in UP. But the votes were not concentrated in any single constituency to translate to a win, like in the case of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and vice president Rahul Gandhi or Mulayam Singh Yadav and his immediate family. According to Bose, the Dalit and Muslim vote bank, which the BSP was relying on, “did not happen”. A BSP spokesman, who did not wish to be identified “in the current circumstances”, acknowledged that the election results “were a big blow” to the party. He said that the Dalit vote bank had gone to the BJP this time.

Congress despairs over Delhi loss GAURAV SHARMA, NEW DELHI


ongress leaders are in despair over the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha election in Delhi and warned that a recovery won’t be easy. The election outcome — the BJP won all seven seats with the AAP coming second — appeared to indicate that Delhi was slowly becoming a BJP-vs-AAP battleground. Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls finished a poor third in all seven seats, with four of them forfeiting their security deposit. “The AAP has filled the void created by the Congress decline. I don’t see the Congress bouncing back at least for a long time,” a senior Congress functionary told IANS, not wishing to be identified. Another senior leader said the Congress had performed so badly in

the assembly election by winning just eight of the 70 seats “that we were not expecting any miracles”. “But this Lok Sabha election has proved to be worse than the assem-

a quarter of a century. Contesting all the 42 constituencies in the state, the BJP’s vote share leapfrogged to 16.8 percent, as against around six percent it won in the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2009, and the measly four percent it received in the assembly polls two years later. The 2014 figure surpassed its previous best of 11.66 percent in 1991, when the party unsuccessfully contested 34 seats. Up against the Trinamool’s electoral dominance, the CPI-M led Left Front emerged as the biggest sufferer as the BJP made inroads in its vote share.

Besides winning two Lok Sabha seats, the party came up with its best showing in the state in terms of the vote share.

The BJP won each of the seven Lok Sabha seats by more than 100,000 votes.

bly election,” he added. The capital has traditionally seen contests between the Congress and the BJP including its predecessor Jana Sangh.



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x 16

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Verdict 2014



‘Mahadalit’ Jitan Ram Manjhi replaces Nitish Kumar after a high-voltage drama post Janata Dal (U) drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections

Bihar wakes up to new CM IMRAN KHAN, PATNA


itan Ram Manjhi, a 68-yearold Mahadalit leader, has been sworn-in as the 23rd chief minister of Bihar on May 20. Manjhi along with 17 ministers took oath of office at a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan here. “Governor D.Y. Patil, who administered the oath to Manjhi and his ministers, directed the new government to seek a trust vote on the floor of the house May 23,” officials said. Soon after taking oath, the softspoken Manjhi told media persons that he will speed up development work initiated by outgoing chief minister Nitish Kumar. “I will take everyone’s help to speed up the development of Bihar. I will follow the development roadmap of Nitish Kumar,” he said. Manjhi was on May 19 named by outgoing chief minister Nitish Kumar after he was authorized by the Janata Dal-United legislature party to select a new leader. Nitish Kumar refused to withdraw his resignation after his party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. Manjhi, a graduate, began his life

Himachal Congress leaders gun for Virbhadra SHIMLA: The daggers are once again out against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for the Congress party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha election. A section of Congress leaders, including legislators, has demanded that the chief minister should accept responsibility for the defeat and resign. But Virbhadra Singh, who is chief minister for a record sixth-time, said it was simply a “Modi wave” that demolished the Congress. The Congress lost all four Lok Sabha seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The losers included the chief minister’s wife Pratibha Singh. Having been elected in 2009 from Mandi, Pratibha Singh was defeated by BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma by 39,796 votes. “It was no doubt a Modi wave. But the wave was strengthened by poor governance and lack of coordination between the government and the party,” a senior Congress minister told IANS. He said the BJP struggled hard to regain the ground lost in the 2012

as a shepherd to earn his livelihood. His father Ramjeet Ram Manjhi was a landless laborer. “It is a fact that Manjhi in his childhood worked as a shepherd for a farmer in his native village,” a close relative of Manjhi told IANS here. Manjhi along with Nitish Kumar and JD-U chief Sharad Yadav Monday met Governor D.Y. Patil and staked claim to form the government. Party leaders said Nitish Kumar chose the soft-spoken Manjhi as he is a non-controversial leader with a clean image. Manjhi — from the Mushahar community — was SC/ST welfare minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet. He is legislator from the Makhdoompur assembly constituency. “For the first time, a leader from the Mushahar community, poorest and at the bottom of the socio-economic category, has become chief minister,” JD-U spokesperson Nawal Kumar Sharma said. Manjhi also contested the Lok Sabha poll from Gaya constituency but lost. A native of Mahkar village in Gaya district, Manjhi is the third

Jitan Ram Manjhi (right) was named his successor by outgoing chief minister Nitish Kumar. (Photo: IANS)

The new government to seek a trust vote on the floor of the house on May 23

Dalit to become chief minister after Bhola Paswan Shastri and Ram Sundar Das. People in his village on May 20 celebrated by distributing sweets, playing with colors and dancing to drum beats.

The JD-U earlier said it has the majority to form the government with support of the Communist Party of India and Independent legislators. Besides, four Congress legislators have extended support to it from outside.

Jaitley lost in urban Amritsar JAIDEEP SARIN, AMRITSAR

Virbhadra Singh assembly election by opening the doors for party rebels. “On the other hand, the Congress kept dithering about its expelled leaders including five former legislators due to differences between Virbhadra Singh and state party president Sukhvinder Sukhu,” said the minister who didn’t wish to be identified. A day after the May 7 polling in the state, the chief minister admitted that the pick-and-choose policy adopted visa-vis the rebels could go against the party. Over the past two decades, voters in Himachal Pradesh have traditionally favored the ruling party during general elections. It is for the first time that the electorate has acted differently. The pro-BJP wave was so strong that the party led in 59 of the 68 assembly constituencies. Even in the chief minister’s Shimla (rural) constituency, the opposition got a lead of over 1,700 votes. Congress insiders believe it is high time the government and the party review their policies and programs.


enior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was largely seen as the party’s suave, urbane and televisionsavvy face, but when he came face to face with the urban voters in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, he was definitely given a thumbs down by them. Jaitley, who is now facing the humiliation of being the only one among the topmost party leaders to have faced defeat at a time when the Narendra Modi-wave gave the Bharatiya Janata Party big gains in the entire north belt, suffered at the hands of Amritsar city voters. What was worse for the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha was the fact that this was the first popular election he was contesting in his political career. Besides, he lost even when the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance is in power in Punjab. Jaitley was defeated comprehensively by former Punjab chief minister and Congress candidate Amarinder Singh by a margin of over 100,000 votes. In all the citybased assembly segments, Jaitley trailed comprehensively behind Amarinder. The margins in the five assembly segments — three of them held by Akali Dal-BJP legislators —

Arun Jaitley was defeated by former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

What was worse for Jaitley was the fact that this was the first popular election he was contesting in his political career. ranged from 18,726 to 36,957 votes. The BJP had unceremoniously replaced its sitting MP, cricketerturned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had won here in 2004,

2007 and 2009, this time and fielded Jaitley. The move was the outcome of Sidhu being at political loggerheads of the top Akali Dal-BJP leadership in the state.




Modi is India’s 14th PM

Oath on May 26 @ 6 pm

Narendra Modi pays respect to Parliament in New Delhi on May 20.


Anandiben Patel is new Gujarat CM

Modi with President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Photos: IANS)

Era of responsibility begins Modi gets emotional as he enters Parliament for first time, remembers Atal Bihari Vajpayee IANS, NEW DELHI


resident Pranab Mukherjee formally appointed Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of India after the latter met him on May 20, along with senior leaders of his party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and staked claim to forming a government. He will take his oath on May 26, as India’s 14th Prime Minister. The oath-taking ceremony will be telecast live to the nation. It would be the first time, as Modi himself pointed out, that someone from the post-Independence generation would lead the country. “The President will administer

the Oath of Office and Secrecy on May 26, 2014 at 6 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said. Earlier, in an emotional yet euphoric moment at the Central Hall of Parliament House, Modi was unanimously elected leader of the BJP parliamentary party where he talked of “era of responsibility

‘A government should be one that works for the poor and the new government is committed to the poor of the country’

and hope” and said he would not disappoint his party or the country. Addressing the party MPs and other leaders in the Central Hall, which he visited for the first time and on the steps of which he went down on his knees in reverence to the ‘temple of democracy’, Modi said the majority given to the BJP in the Lok Sabha was “a vote for hope and faith” and said his rise from humble origins was a tribute to the greatness of Indian democracy. “A government should be one that works for the poor and this is why the new government is committed to the poor of the country and dedicated to the youth of the country as well as our mothers and daughters,” said Modi.

Anandiben Patel: Gujarat’s first woman CM GANDHINAGAR: Some 25 years ago, without a second thought, a woman school teacher plunged into the Narmada river and rescued two young girl students who were drowning. The teacher was 47 years old then. Today, at age 73, Anandiben Patel is all set to become Gujarat's next and first woman chief minister, succeeding Narendra Modi. Senior minister Patel was unanimously elected the leader of the BJP Legislature Party on May 21, making her the chief minister designate to succeed Narendra Modi. She was scheduled to take oath on May 22.

Modi Cabinet: Who may get what and how? IANS, NEW DELHI


new government means a new set of cabinet ministers and allocation of portfolios. There are 282 BJP MPs to take care of when Narendra Modi forms his government. A long list of challenges awaits the PM-elect, especially the selection of his Council of Ministers. But primary of all challenges will be to allocate key roles to senior BJP leaders such as L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh himself. Going by the beeline of leaders and well-wishers who paid visit to Rajnath Singh this week, it means it will be Singh himself who will be the second in command, and will take oath possibly as Home Minister. Or, a position similar to one

LK Advani

Sushma Swaraj

L.K. Advani enjoyed in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet. Advani, who already has his eye on the post of the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha, was the Deputy Prime Minister. Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has reportedly said that she is keen on the foreign ministry. And if Rajnath Singh’s statements about the party making the best of

Rajnath Singh

Arun Jaitley’s expertise comes true, then the Rajya Sabha leader is all set to be India’s next finance minister. Then there are others who had cabinet berths in the Vajpayee government. Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia, Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha, Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna, Saran MP Rajiv

Amit Shah

Arun Jaitley

Pratap Rudy and Kanpur MP Murli Manohar Joshi fall into this category. It remains to be seen if, and how, they will be accommodated. Another name closely watched in that cabinet list will be BJP general secretary Amit Shah. Though, reports say that Modi will retain Varanasi seat and vacate Vadodara for his close aide.

New Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

PMO changes Twitter handle, BJP cries foul NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office changed its Twitter handle, five days before BJP leader Narendra Modi takes oath as the next prime minister, provoking the BJP to term it “disgraceful, unethical and illegal”. The Twitter handle, @PMOIndia, which was begun during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was changed to @PMOIndiaArchive. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Continuity in governance and all government assets is the hallmark of the Indian constitution”. “The Twitter account @PMOIndia is a national digital asset. It is disgraceful, unethical and illegal in the way the outgoing team handling the @PMOIndia Twitter account has conducted the transition of this national digital asset,” she said.


x 18

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

South Special



Lotus blooms, Cong wilts in K’taka Winning 17 of the 28 LS seats in the state, BJP records a hat-trick at the hustings; ruling Congress won nine seats as against six in 2009

tions, which snapped its first fiveyear rule in southern India under three chief ministers. Loss of power due to scams, scandals and sleaze notwithstanding, the party exploited the pentup anger and frustration of the electorate against the Congress-led UPA government for price rise,


BJP exploited pent- up anger of the electorate against the UPA govt

he Lok Sabha election has been a god-sent opportunity for a bruised BJP in Karnataka to bounce back a year after it was dumped, thanks to a “Modi wave” under which the Congress wilted during peak summer. Winning 17 of the 28 parliamentary seats in the state Friday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a hat-trick at the hustings

corruption and growth of the jobless and reaped dividends, riding on the popularity of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Wooing back its former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa into the party fold from the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), a regional outfit he floated in December 2011, the BJP benefited by the return of the Lingayat community to which he belongs and which accounts for


MK Stalin backtracks on resignation CHENNAI: M.K. Stalin, DMK treasurer and party chief M. Karunanidhi’s son, on May 18 offered to quit following the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, but rescinded his decision following pressure from the rank and file. His elder brother and expelled DMK leader M.K. Alagiri, however, dismissed the offer as a “farce”. A DMK leader told IANS that Stalin offered to resign from the post accepting moral responsibility for the defeat. However, hours later, DMK leader Duraimurugan told reporters that Stalin had decided not to press his resignation offer. According to Duraimurugan, Karunanidhi had advised Stalin that DMK would not fade away after this defeat and there was no need for him to quit. “Leaders and cadres requested Stalin not to resign. Heeding party president’s advice and agreeing to our request, Stalin decided not to press the resignation issue,” he said. Stalin’s supporters gathered outside his house and demanded that he must not quit, while another group assembled outside Karunanidhi’s residence and demanded that Stalin should not resign. Later, the veteran DMK chief clarified that Stalin did not submit his resignation letter.

B.S. Yeddyurappa won from Shimoga with 363,305 votes.

albeit two less than the 19 of 2009 and one less than the 18 in 2004. The ruling Congress won nine seats as against six in 2009, while the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) bagged two as against three in

2009. Polling was held across the state April 17 in a single phase. It is a record of sorts for a sulking party to retain its stronghold in the southern state after suffering reverses in the 2013 assembly elec-

17 percent of the state’s 60-million population. Interestingly, though Modi could not campaign at Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore, Yeddyurappa won the seat with the highest margin (363,305 votes) in the state, and allowed the party to retain the seat held by his younger son and outgoing lawmaker B.Y. Raghavendra. In contrast, a defensive Congress smugly assumed that its social and welfare schemes like 1 kg rice at `1 (Anna Bhagya) to poor families, free glass of milk (Ksheera Baghya) to all children in state-run schools will fetch chunks of votes for its candidates, many of whom contested again from the same constituencies. The ruling party’s attempt to woo “digital voters” of Bangalore, including techies by fielding Infosys co-founder and technocrat Nandan Nilekani from the prestigious Bangalore South backfired, as his BJP rival Ananth Kumar won for a record sixth consecutive time.



he Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on May 16 made history by securing clear majorities to form governments in the newly-created states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively, crushing the Congress. They also bagged majority of the Lok Sabha seats in the two Telugu-speaking states. In the first election held after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the TRS won 63 seats in 119-member assembly. It will form the first government in Telangana, which is set to become India’s 29th state on June 2.

TRS leaders call on AP Governor HYDERABAD: A delegation of TRS leaders on May 18 met Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to convey to him the election of party chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao as the leader of the legislature party. The delegation led by TRS leader E. Rajender submitted to the governor the resolution passed by the TRS legislature party Saturday, unanimously electing Rao as its leader. KCR is likely to call on the governor later to stake claim for forming the government.

Whereas K. Chandrasekhara Rao-led (right) TRS is set to form the first government in Telangana, Chandrbabu Naidu (left) will be the new CM of Andhra Pradesh.

TRS legislators will meet in Hyderabad Saturday to elect K. Chandrasekhara Rao as their leader. Seemandhra, which will come into being as Andhra Pradesh the same day, will see the TDP government led by N. Chandrababu Naidu. He will have the distinction of serving as the chief minister of both undivided Andhra Pradesh and the residuary state. Riding on Telangana sentiment

and with the agenda of rebuilding the new state, the TRS stormed to power by getting a simple majority. The Congress, which failed to gain electorally despite carving out the separate state, finished a poor second with 20 seats and was ahead in one segment. The TDPBharatiya Janata Party alliance in Telangana secured 20 seats. The BJP won only five out of 48 seats it contested in the state.

Mixed bag for film stars in Andhra Pradesh MOHAMMED SHAFEEQ, HYDERABAD


ike many Congress heavyweights, the glamour faces of the party were defeated in Telangana. Popular actress Vijayashanti was defeated in Medak assembly constituency while another famous actress, Jayasudha, could not retain Secunderabad assembly seat. Popularly known as ‘Lady Amitabh’ for her action roles in many Telugu films, Vijayashanti


quit the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and joined the Congress on the eve of the elections. In 2009, the veteran actress was elected to the Lok Sabha from Medak. Last year, she was suspended from the TRS for anti-party activities. TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao wanted to contest from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency, but she asserted no power on earth could stop her from seeking re-election from the same seat. When the Congress decided to carve out separate

Telangana state, she joined the party in the presence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. As TRS chief opted to contest from Medak for the Lok Sabha, she preferred the assembly segment. However, TRS candidate Padma Devender Reddy defeated her by 40,000 votes. The 49-year-old actress had joined the BJP in 1997. She quit the party in 2005 to float a separate outfit Talli Telangana to fight for statehood for Telangana, but later merged the outfit with the TRS.




India women qualify for Uber Cup quarters Saina Nehwal beats reigning World Champion Ratchanok Intanon in Uber Cup Group C clash IANS, NEW DELHI


f Indian badminton reached a new high on May 19 by reaching the Uber Cup quarterfinals, Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu took the host nation a notch higher by quashing a tough challenge from Thailand 3-2 to top Group C at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on May 20. Saina and Sindhu both won their singles matches followed by Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa’s doubles win which took India to the peak of their group ahead of top seeds Thailand, Hong Kong and Canada. India, who won all three group ties, and Thailand had already qualified for the last eight on May 19. World No.8 Saina’s victory over World Champion Ratchanok Intanon in the first singles was the

India’s Saina Nehwal

story of the day. The Hyderabadi, whose performance graph was questioned by many of her critics, answered back

FIFA president Blatter greets Bengaluru FC addressed to All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful engaluru FC’s historic I- Patel, Blatter asked: “Please pass on League football title win may my warmest congratulations to have got its most special con- Bengaluru FC on winning the Igratulatory message yet when FIFA League championship on their president Joseph Blatter conveyed debut season.” The letter conveyed his regards to the JSW-owned club. Blatter’s wishes to all of the players, In a letter dated May 16, and manager, technical and medical staff as well as the team’s supporters as “each part of this organization have no doubt been instrumental in their club’s victory”. Bengaluru FC were crowned champions on debut when they beat Dempo 2-4 at the Nehru Stadium, in Goa, on April 21. FIFA president Joseph Blatter IANS, BANGALORE


by beating the World No.4 in straight games. The Olympic bronze medalist won her clash 2220, 21-14 in 42 minutes to give India the lead at the start. Ratchanok was deceptive like always but Saina matched the Thai with superb speed and agility. The Indian slowly seemed to take the lead (12-8) but Ratchanok clawed back to level it at 12-all. “I just can’t believe I won. I have been training hard for this tournament and I am glad I pulled it off. This win is a real confidence booster,” said Saina. Next, World Championship bronze medalist Sindhu also eased past 21-19, 21-14 over World No.9 Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the second singles to give India a 2-0 lead and better her head-tohead to 3-1.


Knight rides over Kings in a perfect homecoming ANURAG DEY, KOLKATA


ontinuing their dream run, Kolkata Knight Riders moved closer to the knockout round by galloping to a eightwicket win over Chennai Super Kings as their batsmen led by Robin Uthappa put up a sparkling show in an Indian Premier League match here on May 20. Playing their first match at the home ground Eden Gardens before a near capacity vociferous crowd, the Knights chased down CSK’s 154/4 with two overs remaining. For the Knights, Uthappa top scored with blistering 67 while allrounder Shakib Al Hassan played a cameo of 21 ball 46 to take the Knights home at 156/2. With their fifth win on the trot, KKR have nearly sealed their berth for the playoffs. They now have seven wins from 12 matches and are currently ranked fourth in the points table. KKR’s chances for the knockout round were earlier brightened following the Sunris-

KKR’s Shakib al Hasan scored 46

ers Hyderabad’s seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers in the afternoon game. The 64-run first wicket partnership was broken in the seventh over when skipper Gautam Gambhir 21 (20b 3x4) was castled by Ishwar Pandey.

Anirban leads Order of Merit table IANS, SINGAPORE


ndia’s star golfer Anirban Lahiri continues to lead the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit despite a disappointing end to his campaign in the Philippines where he finished tied22nd. Along with Lahiri, his compatriots, Rahil Gangjee, S.S.P. Chowrasia and Rashid Khan are also among the top-10 in the Order of Merit that was released on May 10. “I’m disappointed with how I played. I’ve been playing well but I don’t think I played that badly. I made a lot of mental errors and big numbers. You can’t make four double bogeys and three triple bogeys in a tournament. At least I tried to fight back and played well,” said Lahiri. The EurAsia Cup star, who contributed two vital points in the continent’s draw with Europe in the Ryder Cup style event, will switch his focus to his wedding with long-

time sweetheart, Ipsa Jamwal this month before getting back into action on the region’s premier Tour next month. “I’ll be getting married and it is the beginning of my new life. I think it is really an exciting time for me. My golf bags will go into the store room for at least two weeks,” said Lahiri. Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman will be on a mission to fix his putting woes before he resumes rivalry with the region’s best golfers again. He set himself up well for another grandstand finish by taking a share of the first round lead at the ICTSI Philippine Open last week.

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri

Djokovic rallies to beat Nadal in Italian Open final IANS, ROME

N Novak Djokovic

ovak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal for the fourth straight time to capture his third Italian Open title with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win here. In their 41st-career meeting, the most between two ATP players in the Open Era, Djokovic, the second seed, over-

It was their 41stcareer meeting, the most between two ATP players came a slow start to dominate the remaining two sets of the match here on May 18, reports Xinhua. The precision of his hitting

kept top-ranked Nadal on the defensive for much of the match, and he finished with 46 winners to just 15 for Nadal. “Winning against Rafa in the finals of a big tournament on clay, his preferred surface, is definitely a confidence booster,” Djokovic said. “It’s the ultimate challenge and I’m very happy with my game so far and hopefully I can carry

that into Roland Garros.” Nadal struggled to get enough depth on his shots to push Djokovic back and blamed a week of tough three-set matches for his lack of energy. “My legs didn’t answer after a tough week, not (good enough) to produce the power and to hit the ball longer so I let him play in positive positions,” Nadal said.


FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014



FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014





EW YORK -- A taxi driver convicted of raping a female passenger at knifepoint has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars. A Brooklyn judge brushed aside pleas from his lawyer to delay sentencing so the yellow cab driver could see a psychologist for his ‘sex addiction’ and prosecutors read an impassioned statement from his victim. Gurmeet Singh, 43, was convicted on May 2 of rape and kidnapping for attacking the young woman while driving her from Williamsburg to her East Village apartment in May, 2011. In a sidebar with prosecutors and the judge, defense attorney Colin Moore could be heard asking for sentencing to be pushed back so he could have time to hire a forensic psychologist to examine Singh for ‘sex addiction’ and saying, “We think this is one of the factors that your honor should consider.” But Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Miriam Cyrulnik rejected his request on the record, saying, “You’ve had two years to consider

Gurmeet Singh

retaining such an expert.” Prosecutors read aloud a moving

statement from Singh’s victim who moved to California after the attack but returned

Escape from the turmoil of life! Dada shows way



ll physical, mental and intellectual effort uses up energy. To make good this loss, we require repose. Even as night follows day, rest and relaxation must follow stress and effort. Of course, restful sleep at night is vital for our wellbeing. But apart from this, I recommend strongly, the practice of silence during the day. We live in a world where everyone talks far too much! We talk excessively in public and in private. As a wise man said, “Men seem to feel the need to cloak and excuse their imperfections and wrong deeds in a mass of prattle.” We need to devote a few minutes each day to the healing, soothing, purifying influence of silence. Silence is relaxation for the mind, even as rest is relaxation for the body. It should be our earnest effort, at least once a day, to escape from the stress, strain, tension and turmoil of life, and practice absolute silence. We can easily give up mindless activities like watching TV or gossiping with friends, to devote to the practice of silence. Silence helps us commune with the inner Self, silence enables us to discipline our petty, calculating intellect. Silence cakes us close to God. In silence, we can feel our prayers reach Him and in perfectly held silence we may even hear His answers to our prayer! I call my habitual hours of silence, my “daily appointment with God.” It is vital that we cultivate the healing habit of silence in this age of noise and ceaseless activity. In fact, the great need of modern man is silence. To help us to avoid stress and tension, the noted psychologist, Deborah Bright, recommends what she calls PQT — Personal Quiet Time – or

twenty minutes, twice a day. Even as particles of dust cling to our clothes, so too, particles of noise cling to our hearts. To clean our clothes, we wash them with soap and water. Even so, to cleanse our we need to take a dip in the waters of silence every day. Silence heals, silence soothes, silence comforts, silence purifies, and silence revitalizes us. In this world of allurements and entanglements, the sharp arrows of desire, craving, animal appetite, of passion and pride, of ignorance, hatred and greed, wound our souls again and again. Our souls bear the scars of many wounds. Silence is the great healer that can heal these wounds. We must remember that silence is two-fold. There is the outer silence; it is absence of noise, freedom from the shouts and tumults of daily life. And there is interior silence; it is freedom from the clamour of desires, the cessation of

mental acrobatics, the stilling of the play of conflicting forces. It is the peace that passeth, surpasseth understanding. Not until we have reached this peace, can we hope to experience unbroken joy and harmony for which our distracted hearts, minds and souls cr y out constantly. The powerful effect of the spirit on the body is generally recognized today. As I have stressed repeatedly, the body cannot be healthy if the soul is sick. Therefore, we may conclude that if we wish to be healthy, we also have to be ‘holy’. Do not be alarmed by that world ‘holy’. It does not really mean what you think - pious and devout to a fault. The word ‘holy’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon root “wholth” meaning the entire being. Spiritual harmony is absolutely vital to combat the physical disharmony that we call disease. Spiritual harmony is best cultivated by the practice of silence. When we shut out the harsh and grating noises of the world — the deafening sound of men, machines, automobiles, strife, arguments and clashes — our hearts and minds are quietened, and we listen to the divine harmony within us. It is of this divine harmony that Shakespeare writes: “Such harmony is in immortal souls; But while this muddy vesture of decay doth grossly, Close it in, We cannot hear it.” Beautiful and serene is the silence of the spirit! When we enter its realm, we experience peace, harmony and a sense of well-being. Our ego gives way to divine love. Our stress and tension melt away. In this condition, we can listen to our inner voice which can help us solve the most difficult problems of this life. (Dada’s Talk “ Discover Yourself ” on June 4 at 6.15 pm at Hunter College, NY)

Gas station pays price for putting water in car’s gas tank BY A STAFF WRITER


IDLAND PARK (NJ) — A borough gas station owner has reportedly agreed to pay for the repairs to a customer’s car that had its gas tank filled with mostly water at his station.

The owner of a Midland Park Citgo station said he would foot the $3,000 bill for repairs to a customer’s car damaged by contaminated gasoline. Adrienne Roetman filled her car’s nearly empty gas tank at the Citgo station only to have the one-year-old Mazda3 die shortly

afterward. Earlier this week, owner Mohit Chopra reportedly said he would only pay up to $500 for repairs, but he has since offered to pay the full bill. The station is also paying to repair all cars damaged by the contaminated fuel delivery.

to testify against him. “Waking up on the side of a highway with a man straddling me with a knife to my throat was terrifying. I can still hear Singh asking me if I wanted to live,” the woman said in the statement. “Singh, you may have bound and gagged me but I am the one who is free and speaking now. You may have had a knife, but because of my bravery you will be serving time.” The remorseless Singh who spent the entire court proceeding with his head down declined to make any statement or apology for his action. During his statement, defense attorney Moore made the questionable claim that Singh had always followed the law except for patronizing prostitutes. About a dozen of Singh’s friends and family members crowded the courtroom for the sentencing. Singh was busted by clever cops who collected his DNA from a water glass he used during a meeting with officers posing as taxi inspectors in May, 2012.

$1,000 reward for clues on Morris sheriff’s phony officer BY A STAFF WRITER


O R R I S TOW N S H I P — Want to earn a quick $1,000? You’ve just got to call a number or go online and give some information. . The Morris Township police are investigating a telephone scam in which an unknown male calls victims and fictitiously identifies himself as Lt. Ron Hardin of the Morris County Sheriff ’s Office, calling from the number 973-219-6081. Ac c o rd i n g t o Mo r r i s C o u n t y Crimestoppers. the caller says the victim is the subject of a bench warrant, for failure to appear for jury duty. And he tells the victim to buy GreenDot MoneyPak prepaid debit cards to use for bail. The scammer next asks the victim to provide the account information so he can get started on paperwork — but is really using the information to transfer funds from the cards to himself. He often tells victims the account information they have given is invalid, and gets them to purchase extra cards, it said. He directs them to the Morris County Administration and Records Building after hours, when the building is closed. CrimeStoppers is asking anyone with information to contact it at 973-COPCALL or Tips can also be submitted by texting 274637 using the keyword “MORRISTIP.” The informer’s name will not be asked . If a tipster’s information leads to the arrest or indictment of the responsible person or people, the tipster can get up to a $1,000 cash reward. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office recently held a roundtable for peers from across the state to address financial crimes and similar scams. The GreenDot cards and similar pre-paid cards are a common component of such scams; victims are convinced to purchase the cards to money can be transferred to the scammer.



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EW JERSEY -- More than 120 men, women and children walked for 5 kilometers on May 4--a Sunday--on the red hiking trail in the Cheesequake State Park in New Jersey. The red trail made a loop of 5 km from the starting point of the Spring Hill picnic area. They walked on the unpaved trail in the midst of the nature to raise awareness about the plight of children who do not go to school due to poverty and how easy it is for those living in America to give them a gift of education that lasts forever. Several walkers were members of three generations within a family. A couple of children were on strollers too. Their steps may be tiny, but were big surely for those who would be helped. The walk was organized by the EduCare Foundation, a non-profit organization engaged in helping those children who are already in school but are in danger of dropping out due to grinding poverty. The Cheesequake State Park in Matawan, NJ, well known for hiking, biking and jogging, has many other attractions

SCAI Nationl honor for Dr Mitul Kadakia

Dr Mitul Kadakia



HILADELPHIA -- The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Foundation (SCAI) has presented Dr. Mitul Kadakia of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, with the 2014 Gregory Braden Memorial Fellow of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding performance as an interventional cardiology fellow-in-training. The award is only given to one graduating interventional cardiology fellow in the nation. A graduate of Harvard College with a degree in medicine from Harvard Medical School, Kakadia completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston. He did his cardiology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His clinical and research interests include new devices and therapies for coronary and valvular heart disease, percutaneous structural cardiac interventions, advanced imaging for structural interventions, and bleeding reduction in acute coronary syndromes. Candidates for the Gregory Braden Memorial Fellow of the Year Award are evaluated based on their interventional skills in multiple modalities, personal contribution to cardiovascular research, authorship in cardiovascular research journals, promise for making contributions to cardiovascular research, and dedication to patient care and well-being.

EduCare’s eager-beaver walkers whose hearts bleed for poor children

including wild life, and picnicking. It has an environment-friendly Keep-the-Park-Clean system through a carry in/carry out program. Groups such as EduCare are provided with trash bags to carry out their own trash

that they bring in. The day that turned out to be cloudy, windy with stray shower could not dampen the spirits. Happy faces were all around during the registration process, walk as well as during lunch time.

EduCare currently supports 12 schools located in 9 states of India; and two preschools in New Jersey with more than 1000 students helped every year. It works with teachers in each school to provide the right educational support in the form of scholarships, books, uniforms, desks, durries, blackboards, qualified teachers as well as computers. EduCare has also constructed a school for deaf and mute children in India from restricted funds from a generous donor. It has recently added a girl’s school in Ajol village near Vijapur in Gujarat in its assistance program. EduCare also has a youth leadership program. It has planned a dance-a-thon cruise on Saturday, September 2; an essay competition for high school juniors & seniors in October; and a gala benefit dinner on December 6. The registration fee for this 5K Walk was only $20 per person. T–shirts and food items were sponsored by generous members. According to the EduCare president Naresh Jain, apart from increasing awareness, each walker will help keep a child in school for about 3 to 4 months in India depending on its location.

EFA organizes classical dance show BY A STAFF WRITER


EW YORK -- The Eye Foundation of America (EFA) is organizing a Spectacular Dance Ballet (Goda Kalyanam) to be performed by prestigious show ‘India’s Got Talent’ (season -5) finalists and winners of the Golden Buzzer to raise funds for Goutami Eye Institute of Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh on May 24 in Woodbridge High School, 1 Samuel Lupo, Pl, Woodbridge, NJ 07095. It is a rare opportunity as this is the only performance in New Jersey and Philly area. Goda Kalyanam will be performed by the students of Guru Manjula Ramaswamy, Sri Rama Nataka Kala Niketan, Hyderabad, India. Manjula Ramaswamy, who had her arangetram at the age of 12 years, belongs to a family that has, for generations, dedicated itself to the Tanjavur style of dance. She received her initial training in Bharatanatyam under the Late “Padmashri” K. N. Dandayudhapani Pillai, and then under her father, the eminent Natyacharya, Guru Sri V.S.Ramamoorthy. Immediately after the Goda Kalyanam,the Kuchipudi Dance Performance will be performed by Sidhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy (SKAA), one of the leading Kuchipudi

Dance Schools in New Jersey founded by Guru Smt. Swathi Gundapuneedi in 2002. SKAA’s students have performed in several local and international celebrations, competitions and fund-raising events. The EFA is a non-profit organization established in 1979 by Dr. V K Raju, Morgantown, WV. It is dedicated to preserving vision and

The ‘Magnificent 7’ women who were honored with a shawl at the Mother’s Day celebrations by New York Seniors.

eliminating avoidable blindness among children, serving the poor and needy people around the world including India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Peru, Uganda, Mali, Malawi, Ethiopia, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Indonesia. The event is organized by Sekhar Vemparla and Dr. Janani Krishna with the help of many community leaders in NJ.

Several women who personified unconditional love, sacrifice and memories attended and spoke at the Mother’s Day program organized by Shashikant Patel/Gopi Udeshi at Shri Saneeswara Temple in Bellerose Terrace, NY on May 7. The speakers included Dr Vasundharaji, ,Prafulba Vaghela, Asha Dharawat, Sudha Kapadia, Purnima Desai, Jyotika Pandhya, and Sonal Shah



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STAR POLITICIANS WHO STRUCK GOLD A number of film personalities have won in the Lok Sabha elections with big margins IANS, NEW DELHI


he poll battle is over and many film celebrities like Hema Malini, Moon Moon Sen and Kirron Kher have emerged victorious to become members of parliament. “Dream Girl” Hema Malini, contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura, won easily, while actress Kirron Kher, also BJP, emerged victorious from Chandigarh, defeating not only former railway minister Pawan Kumar

(From left) Moon Moon Sen, Kirron Kher and Manoj Tiwari.

Bansal of the Congress as well as actress-turned-politician Gul Panag of the Aam Aadmi Party. The male BJP star politicians also made it. Vinod Khanna retained Punjab’s

Don’t judge us on the basis of your prejudices: Shatrughan from colleagues and friends from the industry. ctor-politician Shatrughan Q: What do you have to say to Sinha, fresh from the mas- those who were hoping to see you flounder this time? sive BJP victory in the A: I hold no grudges Lok Sabha election, says it against them. I forgive is time to forget the “polthem, as they know itics of caste and comnot what they do or munity” and focus on have been doing. I’ve “development, broken my own preprogress, prosperity vious record. I had and peace”. He adds promised the people that without “being of Patna and memprejudiced”, people bers of my own should watch political party that Bharatiya Janata not only would we Party’s (BJP) “perforwin, we would create a mance”. Excerpts from Shatrughan Sinha new record. an interview with ShaQ: No non-Congress party has trughan Sinha, who was elected from Bihar’s Patna Saheb Lok been given such a thumping majorSabha constituency: ity in decades? Q: In spite of the pre-result whis- A: That’s exactly what I want my pers to the contrary you have won opponents to know, and our by a massive margin? friends from the minority commuA: Ha ha! We’re getting ready for nities in particular to know. I had celebrations. Yes, I’ve been getting predicted we’d cross 300 seats durcongratulatory calls and messages ing this Lok Sabha elections. SUBHASH K. JHA, MUMBAI


Gurdaspur while Shatrughan Sinha was re-elected from Patna Sahib and Paresh Rawal tasted victory on his maiden electoral foray, winning from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad East.

‘If Modi does good, he should be praised’ THRISSUR: Popular Malayalam film comedian and character artiste Innocent said that if (BJP leader Narendra) Modi does good, then it should be appreciated. Independent candidate Innocent, 69, is the center of attraction after his giant killing feat in the Lok Sabha election with his victory over Con- Innocent gressman P.C. Chacko in Chalakudy constituency. “I am of the opinion that if prime ministerdesignate Narendra Modi does good, it should be appreciated. May be as a party, there might be difference of opinion, but for me if a person does a good job it deserves praise,” Innocent said. “The problem is if Modi does good and we oppose it, people will go with him,” added Innocent, whose poll victory has left many baffled.

Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, also a BJP candidate, won from Delhi North East constituency while Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo won from West Bengal’s Asanol but music director Bappi

I’m not a star whiling away my time: Hema Malini SUBHASH K. JHA, MUMBAI


ollywood’s Dreamgirl Hema Malini, who has won the Mathura parliamentary seat on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, is determined to prove all the cynics and smirkers wrong. She says she’s not in politics to “pose for pretty pictures in beautiful saris”, but to bring “changes needed in the way the constituency is run”. “They were making fun of me because they thought I was just here in Mathura to pose for pretty pictures in beautiful saris. “They forgot that I’ve spent six years in the Rajya Sabha before attempting to contest the Lok Sabha elections. So I am not only a glamorous star whiling away my time,” said the veteran actress.

NEW DELHI: Veteran actor Anupam Kher met the country’s next prime minister Narendra Modi here, and hailed his “dynamism and patriotism”. Anupam met Modi at Gujarat Bhavan on May 19, he shared via his Twitter page and even posted a photograph of their meeting. “Wonderful to meet our future Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji at Gujarat Bhavan. Jai Ho to his dynamism and patriotism,” tweeted the actor, whose wife Kirron Kher won a Lok Sabha seat as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Chandigarh.

Anupam Kher

Hema Malini

Maneka unveils ‘It’s Entertainment’ trailer IANS, MUMBAI

Anupam Kher meets Narendra Modi

Lahiri, contesting for the same party, was not as lucky in Sreerampore where he ended up third. Some celeb politicians contesting as candidates of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal also made to parliament. Moon Moon Sen was elected from Bankura, matinee idol Dev aka Deepak Adhikari from Ghatal, Satabdi Roy from Birbhum constituency, Sandhya Roy from Midnapore and Tapas Pal from Krishnanagar. Popular Malayalam actor Innocent, an independent candidate supported by the Left, contested from Chalakudy in Kerala and won. Another unlucky celebrity was southern star Ramya, who lost in Karnataka’s Mandya to the Janata Dal-Secular candidate, despite being the sitting MP having won the seat in a by-election last year.


haratiya Janata Party leader and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi on May 19 unveiled the trailer of Akshay Kumar starrer It’s Entertainment. She praised the film for being the first movie where animals were treated well. It’s Entertainment, directorial debut of successful writer duo Sajid-Farhad, also features Tamannaah Bhatia and Krushna Abhishek. “I think actors have much more power than politicians. They are role models of our country. This is the first movie where animals have been treated well and I am happy

Maneka Gandhi

to be associated with the film,” Maneka Gandhi told the reporters at the event. “It’s Entertainment” stars a dog

as a protagonist and the title is based on the name of the dog “Entertainment”. “When family keeps dogs, the scientific research says, the child in that house becomes 15 percent smarter at a young age. Next time I would prefer if you all use Indian dogs as they are much smarter,” she said. Farhad and his team strictly followed the guidelines before using animals in their film. “We have shot the film keeping the guidelines in mind. We have used VFX, and graphics for a few scenes. Thanks to the new technology, this would not have been possible 10 years back,” he said.


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Aishwarya sparkles at Cannes SHIMLA: Aishwarya Rai’s glittering gold attire teamed with bold red lips at the red carpet of the 67th Cannes International Film Festival not only impressed her fans but left her husband and actor Abhishek Bachchan’s “eyes wide open”. Dressed in a gold Roberto Cavalli off-shoulder gown, Aishwarya’s curves looked perfect as she walked the red carpet at the ongoing movie gala in the French Riviera on May 20. Her soft curls and red lips added to the glam look and Abhishek simply couldn’t take his eyes off her while sitting in Shimla. “Almost 52 hours without sleep! Eyes shutting…and the Mrs. shows up looking like this! Ok... eyes wide open now,” Abhishek posted on Twitter on May 21. Aishwarya, the L’Oreal Paris ambassador, walked the red carpet again on May 21 to showcase the brand’s L’Or Lumière collection at Cannes. Her look in the gold gown and the confidence she exudes in it, has been widely appreciated on social networking platforms.

Not here for only one election season: Gul Panag MUMBAI: Gul Panag’s defeat as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Chandigarh in the Lok Sabha election, hasn’t dampened her spirits. She says she will continue to work with Arvind Kejriwal’s team. Having lost to veteran actress and Bharatiya Janata Party nominee Kirron Kher, the spirited Gul said: “I am most certainly going to continue in politics. I wasn’t here for just one election season. I am in it for the long haul.” Gul has no quarrel with the way the mandate went in her constituency. “Chandigarh has exercised its franchise in a peaceful and decisive manner. It has given the Bharatiya Janata Party a clear mandate. I’m absolutely at peace with the mandate. I’d like to thank the people of Chandigarh for their love and support,” she said. The former beauty queen feels she and AAP did well for a first timer. “It was our first election in the Union Territory and having won one-fourth of the vote, I feel we are a voice that cannot be ignored.” Gul is very hopeful about the future. “I do hope the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is responsible with the mandate that the people of India have bestowed on it, and that they’re open to an inclusive and participative governance,” she said. As for her own role within her party and her party’s role in the process of nation building, Gul said: “We will continue to conscientiously serve the people of Chandigarh and remain committed to our fight against corruption in India.”


Sonam walks the red carpet MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor was at her best vintage glory in a big black Elie Saab Couture gown at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Sonam Kapoor, who is also representing international brand L’Oreal, walked the red carpet for the screening of The Homesman at the just-concluded Cannes film festival. Sonam Kapoor had done her hair in a faux bob. Chopard earrings and red lip color finished off her look and must say the Ranjhanaa actress looked simply stunning. The 28-year-old actress and daughter of Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor also walked the ramp on May 18. Sonam Kapoor made her debut at Cannes in 2011 and turned heads for her excellent fashion sense be it the white Jean Paul Gaultier couture she wore in 2011 the Alexander McQueen black lacy gown in 2012 or the statement ‘kundan nath’ she sported last year. Prior to Sonam, only Mallika and Freida have walked the ramp this year.

I compete with myself, not with the Khans: Rajkummar Rao MUMBAI: Rajkummar Rao’s work has helped him find a foothold in filmdom and the actor, who even won the prestigious National Award, says his competition is with himself, and not with the reigning Khans of Bollywood. It’s seen that Khans — Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir — are seen as the benchmark of success, but Rajkummar looks up to them as his seniors and not as his competitors. “I don’t compare myself with the Khans,” he said and added: “They are my seniors, I appreciate their work and I am their fan. My competition is with myself and not with the Khans.” After his widely acclaimed performances in films like Ragini MMS and Kai Po Che! as well as Shahid, for which he won the National Award, he is gearing up for the release of Citylights.

Sunny to shed glam avatar for Telugu debut CHENNAI: Actress Sunny Leone, set to make her foray into Telugu filmdom with upcoming entertainer Current Theega, will shed her oomph factor and be seen in a traditional avatar, says the film’s director G. Nageshwara Reddy. “We didn’t cast Sunny to cash in on her popularity. Although she plays a cameo, she will be seen in a traditional avatar in her role. We are not going make her dance to some sleazy item number,” Nageshwara Reddy told IANS. “She will be seen in a very important character crucial from the story’s perspective. I can’t reveal more details about her role,” Nageshwara added. Sunny, an Indo-Canadian porn star who made inroads into the Indian showbiz via TV, will be paired up with Manchu Manoj in the film, which is being produced by Manchu Vishnu.

‘Filmy career was not my choice’ MUMBAI: Bollywood’s eternally inimitable diva Rekha, who has impressed with her performances in films like Mr. Natwarlal, Umrao Jaan and Silsila, says she never wanted to become an actress. But now when she looks back, she is glad she took this career path. “Coming to this industry was not my choice but I am glad it happened...I think it was well worth it,” the 59-year-old said. “It was during Khoon Bhari Maang that I realized that I can only become an actor and nothing else,” she added.


x 30

science & technology EAST COAST EDITION

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014

Ultrasound detector to help spot weapons The new detector’s response speed is a fraction of a millionth of a second that can enable real-time imaging


How smart phones are ruining your sleep WASHINGTON: Your smartphone could be robbing you of some quality sleep, new research warns. The blue light your smart phone emits during the night gives you false signal that it is actually morning — forcing you to open eyes and look outside the window. “One of the best biological cues we have to what time of day it is light. And it turns out that blue light in particular is very effective at basically predicting when morning is,” Brian Zoltowski from the American Chemical Society was quoted as saying in media reports. In the evenings, there is more red

light than blue light that signals your body to get ready for bed. The red light does this by interacting with the protein called melanopsin in cells deep inside your eyes. “When the light hits this protein, these cells send a signal to the ‘master clock’ of the brain that dictates when we wake and when we get sleepy,” Zoltowski explained. After witnessing blue light, these cells sends a ‘wake up’ signal at night, messing up with sleep. Switch off smart phones or tabs or keep them away from your vision for a good night’s sleep, the researchers noted.

The so-called T-rays could help airport security guards find chemical and other weapons. IANS, NEW YORK


irport security may soon get a boost as scientists have now developed a unique terahertz detector and imaging system that could convert light to sound. “We convert the T-ray (terahertz radiation) light into sound,” said Jay Guo, a professor at University of Michigan. “Our detector is sensitive, compact and works at room temperature, and we have made it using an unconventional approach,” Guo added. The so-called T-rays, which are light waves too long for human eyes to see, could

help airport security guards find quencies,” the study noted. chemical and other weapons. Here is how it works. They might let doctors image When the terahertz light hits the body tissues with less damage to transducer, the nanotubes absorb it, healthy areas. They could also give turning it into heat. They pass that astronomers new tools to study heat on to a mixture of a spongy planets in other solar systems. plastic called polydimethylsiloxane, Because terahertz frequencies fall or PDMS. between the capabilities of the speThe heated PDMS expands, crecialized tools presently used to ating an outgoing pressure wave. detect light, engineers have yet to That is the ultrasound wave. It is efficiently harness them. more than 1,000 times too high for The new detector could bridge human ears to pick up. The this terahertz gap. “The terahertz response speed of the new detector gap is a sliver between the is a fraction of a millionth of a secmicrowave and infrared bands of ond, which Guo says can enable the electromagnetic spectrum-the real-time terahertz imaging in many range of light’s wavelengths and fre- areas, researchers concluded.

‘Huge quakes may rock San Francisco’ IANS, WASHINGTON


big quake or a cluster of large earthquakes may shake up the San Francisco bay region of California in the coming decades, an alarming study has indicated. Seismic activity in the San Francisco bay region of California appears to follow a cyclical pattern, the scientists, who studied historical earthquake records from

1776 to 2012, noted. The researchers also studied palaeoseismic data, which come from radiocarbon dating and evidence of movement in the layers of rock at fault sites, dating back to 1600. Tremors in the region follow a cyclical pattern, pointing to a cluster of earthquakes between 1690 and 1776 followed by a period of low seismicity that persisted until the big quake in 1906, the findings showed.

“The idea is that stress builds up, is released and builds up again,” David Schwartz, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in California, was quoted as saying. When the 1906 earthquake occurred, stress was released and the frequency of quakes in the region dropped dramatically, leaving the region relatively unscathed for more than a century, he added. The stress is said to be building up again. “We have accumulated enough stress in the Bay Area’s crust that we should start to see the occurrence of larger earthquakes, and that could be at any time,” Schwartz warned. The findings appeared in the journal Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.





for stronger muscles Natural compound from green tomatoes stimulates muscle growth, improves muscle strength, reveals research IANS, NEW YORK

injuries, to name a few. It makes people weak and ll of us love to eat red fatigued, impairs physical tomatoes but as unlikely as activity and quality of life, it sounds, green tomatoes and predisposes people to may hold the answer to falls and fractures. Adams bigger, stronger muscles. Natural discovered that tomatidine compound from green tomatoes generates changes in gene stimulates muscle growth, improves expression that are essentialmuscle strength and endurance and ly opposite to the changes protects against muscle wasting, that occur in muscle cells research reveals. when people are affected by A team of University of Iowa sci- muscle atrophy. entists has now discovered that They first discovered that tomatidine, a compound from green tomatidine stimulates growth of tomatoes, is even more cultured muscle cells from potent for building humans. Their next step muscle and protectwas to add tomatiing against muscle dine to the diet of atrophy. mice.



Kitchens may have multidrug resistant bacteria NEW YORK: Prefer spicy restaurant food over home-made delicacies? Get alarmed as hands of food preparers and chopping boards remain a source of transmission for multi-drug resistant bacteria such as E coli, a study warns. “The spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria has been associated with the hospital setting, but new findings suggest that transmission of drug-resistant E coli occurs both in hospitals and kitchens,” explained Andreas Widmer from University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland. The findings emphasize the importance of hand hygiene, not only after handling raw poultry, but also after contact with cutting boards used in poultry preparation, he added. To reach this conclusion, researchers collected and examined 298 cutting boards (154 from University Hospital and

144 from private households) after preparation of various meats — poultry, beef/veal, pork, lamb, game and fish — and before being cleaned. These samples were tested for the presence of bacteria that includes Salmonella, E coli and Klebsiella. In testing the cutting boards, researchers found that boards used in households had E coli on 3.5 percent of these surfaces.

Aerobics may prevent dementia

“Muscle atrophy causes many problems for people, their families, and the health care system in general. Exercise certainly helps, but it is not enough and not very possible for many people who are ill or injured,” said Christopher Adams, an associate professor of internal medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics. Muscle atrophy, or wasting, is caused by aging and a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, heart failure, and orthopaedic

LONDON: Take up regular aerobic exercise to slow down the advance of dementia and other signs of cognitive decline, a study suggests. Such exercise seems to boost the size of the area of the brain (hippocampus) involved in verbal memory and learning among women. For the study, the researchers tested the impact of different types of exercise on the hippocampal volume of 86 women who said they had mild memory problems, known as mild cognitive impairment

— and a common risk factor for dementia. Roughly equal numbers of them were assigned to either twice weekly hour long sessions of aerobic training or resistance training, such as squats, and weights; or balance and muscle toning exercises, for a period of six months. The size of their hippocampus was assessed at the start and the end of the six month period by means of an MRI scan, and their verbal memory and learning capacity was assessed before and afterward using a validated test (RAVLT).

Your week ahead... Aries A change is as good as a rest. Don't go looking for change. You will be a bit of a spendthrift this week. Don't make financial contributions in order to impress others. Joint ventures might prove to be unfavorable.

Taurus Don't overspend on luxury items. Romantic opportunities will flourish through travel or communication. Look into ways that you can make extra cash. Don't let your emotions take over. Your lucky day this week will be Tuesday.

Gemini Relatives may not be telling you the whole truth about a family situation. Accept the inevitable. You will accomplish the most through or. Romantic encounters will develop through group activity.

Cancer Anger may cause you grief; control your temper and try to sit back and calm down. Plan some family outings. You will be full of energy and you need to find something constructive to do. Don't point your finger unjustly at others.

Leo Family talks may get a little combative. You will enjoy lavish forms of entertainment. Don't evade issues or twist the truth around. An older member of your family may have left you with a pressing situation.

Virgo Your talent will be recognized. Involvement in fitness clubs will be conducive to engaging roman tic connections. Talk to someone you trust if you need advice about broaching the subject.

(May 25-31) Libra You've been a little down and you need a lift. Losses are likely if you get involved with uncertain individuals. You should expect to have changes in your home. You will be able to talk to your lover about future goals.

Scorpio Romance will come through involvement with fundraising organizations. The information that you gain can be used in every aspect of your life. You will easily capture the interest of those you talk to.

Sagittarius Reciprocate by offering helpful hints. Money problems will be difficult to deal with if you have a partner. You need an outlet. Generosity will put you in the poorhouse. our lucky day this week will be Friday.

Capricorn You will also encounter individuals who can help you further your goals. Tempers will mount if you're too pushy at work or at home. Your ability to visualize will help you convince others of the possibilities.

Aquarius Don't be afraid of opposition; your suggestions are valid. Upgrading at this point is not a bad plan. Take time to listen to the problems of family members. Don't overspend on luxury items.

Pisces Try to visit a country that excites you. Try to stay calm, and whatever you do, don't nag. Unrealistic promises will only get you in trouble. You're in the mood to party. — Michael Thiessen



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hi INDiA East Coast Edition 05.23.14  

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