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J u l y

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South Asia Times Vol.11 I No. 9 I APRIL 2014 I FREE s o u t hasiatim .au Editor: Neeraj Nanda


Ph: (03) 9095 6220 M: 0421 677 082


Add: PO Box 465, Brentford Square, Victoria 3131


6.30 pm, Thu., HOYTS, Melbourne Central Amitabh Bachchan to open the festival.


7.00 pm, Friday, Princess Theatre, 163 Spring Street, Melbourne. Amitabh Bachchan and other stars present.

MAY 4: Telestra Bollywood Dance Competition 3.00 pm, Sunday, Federation Square, Melbourne.

MAY 11: Closing Night

Big- B opens festival on May 1

Special screening of ‘Goynar Baksho’ (Bengali) & Q-A with Konkona Sen Sharma. 7.30 pm, Sunday, HOYTS Melbourne Central, Melbourne.

Vidya Balan Interview by NEERAJ NANDA Read on page 39

Read story on page 38

FREE MONEY TRANSFER TO INDIA ON LABOR DAY !! CALL PFG SMART CREDIT ON 1300 557 817 - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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REGIONAL VICTORIA IS ON SHOW! The Regional Victoria Living Expo is your chance to explore your move to regional or rural Victoria, right here in Melbourne. You’ll discover everything you need to know about job opportunities, small business prospects, real estate, schools, local services and much more. It’s a great day out for the whole family.


Regional Victoria Living Expo Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre April 11 – 13, from 10am daily Pre-register at:

Event Partners Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082


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Indian Film Festival of

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Image courtesy Ship of Theseus

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1–11 May 2014

Presented by

FeSTIval venueS: HOYTS Melbourne Central and HOYTS Chadstone - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082


from the editor

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South Asia Times

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Neeraj Nanda M: 0421 677 082

EDITOR (Hindi Pushp)

Dr. Dinesh Srivastava

SAT NEWS BUREAU/Australia (Melbourne) Neeraj Nanda


SAT ADVERTISING (Melbourne) M: 0421 677 082 & E: PHOTO SECTION (Melbourne) AP Guruswamy M: 0431 482 258

Kulbir Photographer M: 0430 306 255

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P O Box 465, Brentford Square, Vic. 3131 Phone: (03) 9095 6220; Mobile: 0421 677 082 Email:





Skype: neeraj.nanda


South Asia Times (SAT) is a monthly newspaper published in English (2 pages in Hindi) from Melbourne, Australia. Contributors supply material to SAT at their own risk and any errors will be corrected as quickly as possible. SAT does not accept responsibility for the authenticity of any advertisement, text content or a picture in the publication. No material, including text or advertisements designed by the SAT or pictures may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the editor/publisher. Opinions/ stories/reports or any text content are those of the writers/contributors and not necessarily endorsed by the SAT.


South Asia Times

Indian election echoes in Melbourne M By Neeraj Nanda

elbourne: Go to an Indian party or event and the India elections 2014 are on the table. The desi fellows are as much polarised as the voters are in India. The communications and technological revolutions have brought the Indian elections on Desktops, Laptops and TV screens. People behave as if they are in India and not Australia. The reason is simple as many people only see Indian TV channels and do not access Australian free to air TV channels. They are pro Modi, pro Kejriwal or pro Congress. A few go for regional or other outfits. There is strong support for Kejriwal and Modi. These vocal supporters basically have little or lack of idea about Indian issues but are not blank. Past social, caste and family political roots remain strong. Political debates on TV channels and live coverage of rallies by political leaders seem to interest many. Interestingly, knowledge of Australian political issues is quite weak. These people also frequently visit India and hence the connect remains strong. These people are on the social media but political posts are few. SBS Indian language programs on radio also contribute to Indian politics dominating their feelings. The mainstream Australian media has little on Indian elections which leaves little choice but to use the Indian sites and TV channels for news from home. In fact, I met a family who never see Australian programs. There must be many more. So much is the Indian effect that a friend thought of starting a Common Man Party in Australia inspired from Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party. I heard already there are support groups for the BJP and AAP. People from other countries who have migrated to Australia must also be interested in events in their home countries. But no one can beat the Indians.

Then there is division on regional lines about the interest. It depends from which part of India you have migrated. Punjabis (from Punjab) seem to be more interested who will score how much in Punjab. While those from Tamilnadu are more concerned whether Amma (AIADMK) has any chance of becoming India’s next Prime Minister if a situation arises. Those from West Bengal are eager as to how much grip Didi (Mamta Banerjee) still maintains. People of Bihar discuss how many seats Nitish Kumar gets after his break with the BJP. Then there are fellows who spend many hours surfing the net for the latest election gossip. Most rallies by top campaign leaders are streamed live on the net or can be later seen on You Tube. New communication technology along with social media has become handy for Indian poll buffs. The most popular programs on TV channels are the one which have political debates or have multiple political representatives discussing a poll related topic. Though individual interviews or rallies of top leaders seem to attract viewers. If you go to social media (Facebook & Twitter)

Australian Indians discuss a lot of Indian election politics. But a friend felt there was too much information and he just absorbed it. He was not ready to comment on topics. Lots of emotional euphoria is present for individual leaders. Mixed up with this are friends and relatives who share their comments on posts. But there is a clear political division for this or that party. The AAP and BJP visibly are very active on social media. AAP more on Facebook and the BJP more on Twitter. On You Tube one can access so much that the Indian election looks a local affair. So, what are fellows here discussing on social media. The most debated issue is how many seats the BJP will get or whether it will be able to muster a majority if it falls short of the magic number. The numbers emerging are confusing but some figures are always there. Generally it is believed the BJP may get around 200 seats, Congress 100 and the rest split up into the Left and regional parties. How much the AAP gets remains a riddle. But here people give numbers favouring their choice party. According to the 2011 Indian Census, the first- - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

time voter number is a staggering 149.36 million. That’s well over 20 per cent of the 725 million voters the Election Commission (EC) reckons will be eligible to vote in 2014.The total number first-time voters is likely to swell by May 2014 to around 160 million (the census was held in 2011). The voting for the general elections will be held in nine phases from 7 April 2014, and the results will be announced on 16 May 2014. According to the Election Commission of India, the electoral strength in 2014 is 81.45 crores, the largest in the world. Voting will occur at 930,000 polling stations across India from April 7 to May 12. There are 543 parliamentary constituencies for the Lok Sabha to elect Members of Parliament. The result will be declared on 16 May, before the 15th Lok Sabha completes its constitutional mandate on 31 May 2014. Till the result is out the debates will continue but the people of India will finally decide who rules them. An Indian person living overseas having a keen interest in the outcome is natural. One can safely say media, good communications and the web have made this election a local election.

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AIII Holi: Splash of colour, live music, food, shopping & multiculturalism

By our community reporter


elbourne: Red, yellow, blue, green are the colours that make a good combination. It was this combination laced with music that made the AIII Holi at the Sandown Racecourse an unforgettable event. The joy of colour, music and dance was visible throughout the celebration. The presence of artists from Bollywood in the second half of the event added the much needed fun, music and comedy. All age groups were throwing dry colour at each other and applying it on faces. The sight of colourful faces blended well with the excitement of the day. There was loads of music and entertainment by Oorja DJs and Richi Madan (Rhythm & Spice). The event kicked off with the ceremonial lighting of the ‘Holika’ symbolising the triumph of good over evil. Amidst chanting of Hindu religious hyms, ‘Holika’ fire was lighted with people standing around it in a big circle. In the crowd were the committee members of the AIII, who made great efforts to make the event a success. The Bollywood stars Abhinanda Sarkar (singer), Yashraj Kapil (Singer), Irfan and Ali hasan (Pakistani comedy ‘jodi’) and the voice of Amitabh Bachchan Sikandar Khan entertained the

audience with all their force. People danced, enjoyed and threw colour over each other. The artists were clapped and appreciated by the massive crowds. Thousands crossed the entry gate on the day. A large number of international students from India and other countries also joined the Holi revellers. Students from China, Japan, Sri Lanka enjoyed

Holi among the foreign students. A few VIPs from both sides of politics also joined the Holi celebrations. Leader of Opposition Daniel Andrews played Holi with the community and went round the stalls and talked to stall holders and people moving about. There were stalls selling Indian food, snacks, readymade garments and so on. Children’s rides and - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

Bollywood dancing were added attractions of the celebration. With all the elements of a big multicultural Holi, the celebration organised by the AIII was a success. Ample parking, security, free entry for children and the event being alcohol free added to the reasons of the success. The AIII Committee did a good job.



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AIII Holi: Splash of colour...

Daniel Andrews for small focussed delegations to India

SAPAC Statement in Opposition of the Proposed “Exposure Draft” of the Anti-Racial Discrimination Act By Donald Betts


By Neeraj Nanda


elbourne, 20 March: The Leader of Opposition, Mr. Daniel Andrews today said he preferred smaller specialist delegations to India for enhancing trade, education, art and culture between India and Australia instead of large trade delegations. Mr. Andrews came out with this suggestion during talks today with Indian Consul General in Melbourne, Marika Jain at his city of-

fice, Spring Street. Marika Jain and Daniel Andrews discussed many social and other issues related to the Indian community in Victoria. Marika Jain raised the issue of lack of support for victims of domestic violence among Indian international students, and felt the Victorian government should help such victims. She also raised the issue of lack of proper guidance for newly arrived students. Daniel Andrews assured to fully address issues relating to international stu-

dents if Labour wins office in the coming elections. He also felt the need to improve facilities for teaching Indian languages in Victorian schools. The Leader of Opposition also raised the importance of scientific and IT relations between the two countries. Marika Jain invited Mr. Daniel Andrews to visit India and he agreed to it. Mr. Jasvinder Singh, Advisor to Daniel Andrews was present during the talks between the two. —SAT News Service

write this letter on behalf of the Australian Citizens from all eight South Asian ancestral countries. The South Asian Public Affairs Council vehemently opposes any proposed changes to the Anti-Racial Discrimination Act that does not seek to strengthen the provisions of the law. The proposed “Exposure Draft” diminishes the very fabric of what this great Nation stands for. Many of the migrants chose to live in Australia because this great country has a standard of respectability for all people, and to repeal any part of the “Anti- Racial Discrimination Act” opens the door to hatred, retaliation, unrest, and disharmony. We believe that Australia has led by example as it relates to the current Section(s) 18(c) and 18(d) of the Anti-Racial Discrimination Act. The Act in its current form has served the people of Australia well by helping to define our way of life through tolerance and civility. We believe that all people have a right to live their lives in - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

peace. People of different racial backgrounds in particular, should not have to live in fear of being insulted, intimidated, humiliated, or offended because of the colour of their skin, race, religion, or any other attribute that may be used to incite abuse. If we are serious about finding solutions to the psychological damages that bullying can cause amongst the children in our society, we as adults, policymakers, and community leaders must take a serious stand against the very actions that will say its “ok”. The South Asian Public Affairs Council WILL NOT support these bullying tactics, and backward proposed legislative changes. SAPAC believes in freedom of speech, but we wholeheartedly believe that those freedoms, should never supersede the inalienable rights of personal freedom, and that no person, or group of persons should be the subject of ridicule, hurt, and oppression by those who have the means and power to inflict it. We ask that you actively oppose the advancement of the proposed “Exposure Draft” to the Anti-Racial Discrimination Act.

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Brisbane Kabbadi Club wins Brimbank Kabaddi The annual festival brings together the Punjabi community from across Melbourne and interstate from Sydney and Brisbane to play the traditional Indian sport of Kabbadi and celebrate north Indian culture. By News Desk


elbourne, 16 March: It was a day for the underdogs as Brisbane Kabbadi Club triumphed over Singh Sabha Sports Club by half a point in a thriller at the third annual Brimbank Kabbadi and Indian Cultural Festival at the Errington Reserve, St. Albans. The annual festival brings together the Punjabi community from across Melbourne and interstate from Sydney and Brisbane to play the traditional Indian sport of Kabbadi and celebrate north Indian culture. The teams competing were Melbourne clubs Singh Sabha Sports Club, Yuwa Kranti, Azad & Youn Kabbadi Clubs, Brisbane was represented by Brisbane Kabbadi Club and Brisbane Sports Club and Sydney was represented by Dashmesh Sports Club. The 4,500 strong crowd witnessed some intense Kabbadi with host and favourites Singh Sabha Sports Club looking to defend its title but lost 40.5 to 40 in the final to a determined Brisbane team led by captain Lad Johal who said "What an amazing final and I can't believe we won this tournament over the always strong Singh Sabha Club. Thanks to the organisers and sponsors for making us feel so

welcome." The tournament Most Valuable Player was Sony Kaunke from Singh Sabha Sports Club who said "I congratulate Brisbane on their victory in such a tight game in a great atmosphere. We look forward to next year." The Kabbadi event was MC'd by Charnamat Singh and Ranjit Khaira who kept the crowd in good humour whilst providing expert commentary on the Kabbadi action. The festival crowd was entertained by joyous bhangra, traditional music and poetry from Babal Rai, Jassi Gil & Dadhi Jatha, food was provided by volunteers from the Craigieburn Sikh temple whilst community children

were immersed in activities including facepainting, trackless train, jumping castle and sports clinics run by Melbourne Victory and Essendon Football Club. The event was also popular with the Punjabi movie industry with stars

in attendance including Raj Kakra. President of Craigieburn Gurudwara, Kulwant Singh was present at the event which was officially opened by Federal MP for Calwell, Maria Mamvakiniou and closed by the Commissioner of - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Mr Chin Tan. Dignitaries attended from a number of organisations including the Indian Consulate of Melbourne, the State government of Victoria, Brimbank Council, Victoria Police, and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Singh Sabha Sports Club Secretary General Ajit Singh said "What a thrilling finale to another great event and congratulations to Brisbane Kabbadi Club who showed great heart to win. A special thank you to our volunteers, Brimbank Council, all of our sponsors and we were thrilled to launch Singh Sabha Sports Club's new partnership with Moneygram at the event." Moneygram marketing manager Melanie Allan said "This was our first Kabbadi event and what a way to launch our new partnership with a big crowd on a beautiful day. The Punjabi community are among our biggest customers and this partnership is our way of saying thanks." Established in 1994, Singh Sabha Sports Club (SSSC) is one of the oldest and proudest Indian sporting clubs in Australia. SSSC has contributed enormously towards helping the Punjabi community to better integrate into Australian sport and culture while still maintaining traditional and cultural values. —Supplied, SAT News Service


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‘Indian Aussies’ selected for St. Kilda Film Festival 2014 By our reporter


elbourne: Producer, director, writer Anupam Sharma’s short documentary ‘Indian Aussies’ will be screened at the St Kilda Film Festival 2014 (May 2231). The documentary commissioned by the Australian National Maritime Museum, is a tongue in cheek look at Indian Australians across the spectrum. It was commissioned for the May 2013 exhibition East of India – The Forgotten Trade with Australia. From identity to racism, from maintaining their roots to assimilation, and of course Cricket. This short documentary deals with everything, and like a Bollywood film there is a twist and music at the end. The project is a mosaic that incorporates the faces and voices of Indian

Aussies across Australia and generations’ .The short documentary film explores the width and breath of culture, education, and

identity amongst Indian Aussies. The ‘Indian Aussies’ has been selected for the Festival as one of the top

100 Aussie short films. The St. Kilda Festival has screened films that went on to be Oscar winners and nominees, and Palme

D’or winners at Cannes. A short roll call of filmmakers whose earliest works found a home at St Kilda includes Adam Elliot (Harvey Krumpet), Matt Saville (Noise), Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), Cate Shortland (Somersault), Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star) and Richard Lowenstein (Dogs In Space). You could be next. Australia’s Top 100 prize pool totals over $40,000 in cash and in-kind craft awards, including a $10,000 prize for Best Short Film. Other prizes include Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Indigenous Film Making, Best Comedy and Best Achievement in Sound Post. For screening times check - www. —SAT News Service

Big Holi celebration at Bundoora By our community reporter


elbourne: Producer, director, writer Anupam Sharma’s short documentary ‘Indian Aussies’ will be screened at the St Kilda Film Festival 2014 (May 2231). The documentary commissioned by the Australian National Maritime Museum, is a tongue in cheek look at Indian Australians across the spectrum. It was commissioned for the May 2013 exhibition East of India – The Forgotten Trade with Australia. Melbourne: The Festival of Colours 2014 was held for the 3rd consecutive year in Bundoora Park on Sunday 16th March this year. A massive crowd enjoyed and threw colours at each other. The event organised by the Fusion Entertainment led by Gaurav Verma was supported by the Bank of Melbourne. It was a fun day with beautiful cultural program splashed with

dry Holi colours. On behalf of Fusion Entertainments, I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all our sponsors, supporters, associates and everyone who visited us today and make this event a HUGE SUCCESS... Yes, we've done it again!!! Gaurav verma has sent his special thanks to the festival sponsor Bank of Melbourne; Exclusive Media Partner The Indian Sun & HelloBollywood Aus; Official Caterer Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine Preston; Official Print Media Partner The Print & Copy Hub! - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

A big shout out to Chai Junction, Icy Spicy Melbourne, Relief Hair Dressing & Beauty Salon, Australian Association for Indian Culture & Education (AAICE), Darebin City Council, Barry Plant Bundoora and Australian College Of Trade for their support! Amazing performances by Anita Rai, Shiraz Shah, Dharma Bhatt, NatyaBollywood DanceCompany and David Dekdrum Kirsner! Host Kritika Srivastava- did a great effort.Rocking performances by Dj Manj Australia, Anmol Singh Anand. Gagan Singh-Dj Gagan and Sierra Jane!

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Mathew Guy is the new Vic. Multicultural Minister

By our community reporter


elbourne, 13 March: Mr. Mathew Guy, Planning Minister in Victoria is now the Multicultural Minister after the recent Cabinet reshuffle. The reshuffle announced by the Victorian Premier Denis Nepthine is being seen as a step to refurnish the image of the government for the coming state elections this year end. The Nepthine government has been trailing behind the ALP in opinion polls after massive job losses in manufacturing. A media release says, the Ministerial and Parliamentary Secretary changes are as follows: The new Ministers are Tim Bull as Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; Damian Drum as Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs; Russell Northe as Minister for

Energy and Resources and Minister for Small Business; and Nick Wakeling as Minister for Higher Education and Skills. Minister Guy will have the added responsibilities of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.Minister

Asher will now have portfolio responsibility for Innovation,Tourism, Major Events, Employment and Trade in addition to being Leader of Government Business and Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. To assist Minister Asher,

I have asked Tim McCurdy to becomeParliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Trade. Minister Dixon will assume responsibility for the teaching profession within his education portfolio. To assist Ministers Dixon and Wakeling, I have asked Clem Newton-Brown to take on the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Education. Inga Peulich will become Cabinet Secretary. Inga, with my Parliamentary Secretary Craig Ondarchie, will support Minister Guy in his role as Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. In addition, Peter Crisp will become Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development supporting the Deputy Premier with his portfolio areas. The swearing in ceremony of the new Cabinettook place on 17 March 2014, the media release says. —SAT News Service

Minister Guy will have the added responsibilities of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship. Minister Asher will now have portfolio responsibility for Innovation, Tourism,Major Events, Employment and trade.

Daniel Andrews for small focussed delegations to India

By our community reporter


elbourne, 20 March: The Leader of Opposition, Mr. Daniel Andrews today said he preferred smaller specialist delegations to India for enhancing trade, education, art and culture between India and Australia instead of large trade delegations. Mr. Andrews came out with this suggestion during talks today with Indian Consul General in Melbourne, Marika Jain at his city office, Spring Street. Marika Jain and Daniel Andrews discussed many social and other issues related to the Indian community in Victoria. Marika Jain raised the issue of lack of support for victims of domestic violence among Indian international students, and felt the Victorian government should help such victims. She also raised the issue of lack of proper guidance for newly arrived students. Daniel Andrews assured to fully address issues

relating to international students if Labour wins office in the coming elections. He also felt the need to improve facilities for teaching Indian languages in Victorian schools. The Leader of Opposition also raised the importance of scientific and IT relations

between the two countries. Marika Jain invited Mr. Daniel Andrews to visit India and he agreed to it. Mr. Jasvinder Singh, Advisor to Daniel Andrews was present during the talks between the two.

—SAT News Service

The Leader of Opposition also raised the importance of scientific and IT relations between the two countries. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082


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Geetanjali Indian Program celebrates Radio ZZZ Silver Jubilee By our community reporter


elbourne: Community Radio ZZZ of which the program ‘Geetanjali Indian Program’ is a part recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The program titled “GEETANJALI LIVE 2014”, was a free community event held at the Clayton Hall and was attended by a gathering of about 250 people apart of performers and organisers. The program received excellent support and involvement by community organisations displaying galaxy of dances from different organisations and

dance schools and several live songs to enthral the audience. The program opened with “Ho Shubharambh” song sung by Shubhangi Pandey and Prachi Gaindhar followed by Bharat Natyam dance performance . A live band of Parth Pandey and friends entertained the audience with a unique array of conventional and ethnic instruments including Matka. Lavni dance by Marathi group received a massive applause from the audience. The audience was wonderfully entertained by a wonderful mix of Melbourne singers. Universally popular

Gurmeet Sahni stole the hearts with “Pukarta Chala Hun Mein” and the Ghazal king of Melbourne, Shoaib Safi, entertained the audience with “Tere Mast Mast Do Nain”. Eshan Gaindhar enlivened the audience with a sufi number “Allah Ke Bande” and Rajshree Rathor came up with very lively numbers including “Ambarsariya” . The program was hosted by Mr Vivek Jumar and Mrs Renu Tiwary who also entertained the audience with some audio clippings from yesteryears. The occasion also marked felicitation of Mr Rajiv Arora, who singlehandedly ran the Geetanjali

program in Nineties and early 2000. Mr Arora thanked the organisers for the honour and expressed confidence and hope for the program to serve the Indian community under the new team. The program convener, Mr Sunil Khare, thanked the organising team, participants, sponsors and audience for their support. Tru Spice was the major sponsor of the program and the audience enjoyed several door prizes and Sumit Mixie. The program ran to precise time from start to finish which was a welcome feature for an Indian program. —SAT News Service

The program received excellent support and involvement by community organisations displaying galaxy of dances from different organisations.

Indian company ‘Infotech’ creates 150 new Victorian jobs By News Desk


elbourne, 18 March: Indian technology giant ‘Infotech Enterprises’ is expanding its delivery centre here which will create 150 new jobs by 2016. Announcement in this regard was today made by Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips. “The company is expanding its Australian workforce to meet growth in service demand. The majority of the new jobs will be engineering roles focused on ICT, telecommunications and rail/signalling,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. Founded in India in 1991, Infotech employs more than 10,000 people around the world and pro-

vides leading-edge engineering solutions for the manufacturing, resources, utilities and communications sectors. The company established its Australian headquarters in Melbourne in 2005. Speaking at the Infotech Industry Partner Summit organised by Infotech Enterprises and Engineers Australia in Melbourne at the Crown Towers, Mr Rich-Phillips said Infotech had become a much-valued partner for local companies over the past nine years. “Infotech Enterprises will also work closely with local universities in creating new pathways to employment for engineering graduates as part of its expansion plans in Victoria,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. —SAT News Service - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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community roundup

Participants of the SACLG internatinoal Women's Day event on 16th March 2014

At the AIII Holi media conf.

At the gulab gang scr eening

At the wadali brothers concert at thornbury theatre

At the gulab gang scr eening

At the AIII Holi media conf.

At the gulab gang screening

At the wadali brothers concert at thornbury theatre - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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Anger rises over racism in India N By Bijoyeta Das

EW DELHI, Mar 25 2014 (IPS) - L. Khino, 27, vividly remembers Christmas Eve at the Indian capital’s famed Connaught Place shopping hub four years ago: the blinking lights, the buzzing crowd, the winter chill – and the salty taste of her tears. Khino had just arrived in New Delhi from her home in India’s northeastern state of Manipur. “I was so excited. But suddenly a group of men surrounded me. ‘How much do you charge for a night?’ they asked. I yelled, ‘Get away,’ but they pinched my cheek and touched my back,” she tells IPS. Others giggled, some laughed aloud. A few snapped photos with their cell phones. “Chinki, chinki,” they kept teasing as she fled into a metro station. ‘Chinki’ is an offensive reference to the East Asian features of many people from India’s northeast. Khino is one of thousands of youngsters who migrate each year from the eight northeastern states to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and other cities in their quest for “higher education and better opportunities.” She works at a business process outsourcing centre in the capital’s satellite city Gurgaon. “Enough is enough. They call us ‘chinki’ everyday, assault and harass us. What is this? Just discrimination or racism?” she asks. According to activists and student groups, people from the northeast have harrowing experiences across India. They are regularly subjected to verbal taunts, slurs, jokes, physical and sexual assaults as well as cheating by landlords and employers. For years, complaints have been piling up and the fury has been simmering. Matters came to a head this January when Nido Taniam, the 19-yearold son of a legislator from the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, was killed. A student in Punjab state, Taniam was visiting Delhi. He had stopped at a store to ask for directions when shopkeepers made fun of his dyed blonde hair. This led to a brawl, and he was seriously assaulted. The next day he succumbed to his injuries. Taniam’s death led to widespread protests across India. Many from the

northeastern community are now campaigning for an anti-racism law to deal with apparent hate crimes. The North East India Forum against Racism (NEIFAR) was formed in February. Phurpa Tsering, spokesperson for NEIFAR, tells IPS that their short-term demand for fast-tracking all pending cases of hate crime has been accepted. “In the long run we want a comprehensive anti-racism law because most Indians, including the government, deny that racism exists,” says Tsering, who is from Arunachal Pradesh and is a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A spate of recent attacks on people from India’s northeast has stirred disconcerting questions. Protesters point out that the identity of mainland India often excludes the northeast, a region often described as far-flung, remote and conflict-ridden. They say northeasterners are frequently stereotyped as morally loose women in skimpy skirts who are sexually available, or good-for-nothing men who are drug addicts or insurgents. About 86 percent of people from northeast living in Delhi have faced discrimination, according to research by the North East Helpline and Support Centre based in New Delhi. Alana Golmei, the

founder, says they receive 2030 calls a month, and most complain about non-payment of salaries and assaults. “We have become immune to people calling us chinki, momo, Bahadur, Nepali, chow-chow, king-kong [terms alluding to their physical appearance],” she says. When she calls to negotiate with employers and landlords, she is told she is an outsider. “A strict antiracism law will give us more negotiating power.” But can a piece of legislation battle racism? In 2012, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a directive to punish anyone who calls a northeasterner ‘chinki’ with up to five years in prison under the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The SCs and STs comprise some of India’s most socially marginalised people. calls this an “emotional, stray reaction” with little effect – there have been no convictions so far. Many in the northeast are not categorised as SC or ST. Sanjoy Hazarika, director of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, wants an amendment and expansion of this Act. “New laws are difficult to make and difficult to push through,” he tells IPS. Support for anti-racism law

depends on a crucial question: if a man from northern or eastern India is beaten up in western India, it is called regionalism; so is it racism when someone from the northeast is attacked? Hazarika, who is from Assam in the northeast, tells IPS, “We want it to include everybody in the country and all cases of discrimination on the basis of appearance, language, gender, food and attire. Only face is not enough.” But opinion is divided. Senti Longchar, assistant professor of psychology at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, points out that people from states like Bihar or Assam look the same as anyone from northern India. “Discrimination against them is regionalism but name-calling and attacks on those with a Mongoloid face is racism.” India signed the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1967. But Longchar cites a Washington Post infographic that uses World Values Survey data to show India and Jordan are the most racially intolerant countries. Racist hate crimes are only one end of the spectrum of discrimination that people from the northeast encounter, says Kadambari Gladding, spokesperson for Amnesty International, India. She says they are also denied goods and - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

We want a comprehensive anti-racism law because most Indians, including the government, deny that racism exists. services. “Non-discrimination is not a concession, but a right,” she adds. Instead of a pan-India law, NEIFAR is advocating legislation specific to the northeast that will deter racist attacks on those with East Asian features, and include positive aspects such as preferential treatment, awareness campaigns, sensitisation of police and inclusion of the northeast’s history in textbooks. NEIFAR is researching antiracism laws in other countries, particularly Bolivia, to push for a model that suits India, says Id Gil, a Manipur native who studies in Delhi and works for the forum. He tells IPS, “Every racial remark has the potential to kill somebody, as we have seen in Nido’s case.”


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southSouth asia times 15 Asia Times - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

south asia 16 South Asia Timestimes



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A police car attacked by militants near Peshawar. PHOTO: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS.

Fighting a ‘Losing’ war with the Taliban P By Ashfaq Yusufzai

ESHAWAR, Pakistan, Mar 26 2014 (IPS) - Pakistan is in the midst of a heated debate on continuing military operations against the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), especially after the brutal killing of 23 army soldiers last month. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan claims that the government acknowledges that the army’s chances of success are very low. Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) party, has been pressing for talks with the Taliban. “Militancy has increased in spite of the army’s presence. Around 50,000 people, including 5,000 soldiers, have been killed by the terrorists,” Khan tells IPS. His party is in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that adjoins FATA in the north of Pakistan. “We have been urging peace talks because the military’s intervention is no solution to terrorism. The Taliban are killing our soldiers and civilians in a war started at the behest of the U.S.,” Khan tells IPS.

The government and the Taliban have formed their respective committees to hold peace talks. But the efforts came under strain after the brutal killing of 23 Frontier Corps soldiers by the Taliban in Mohmand Agency in FATA on Feb.16. The army men had been in captivity since 2010. Khan says, “Our soldiers are fighting their own people. Militancy will never decrease through military action.” In a TV interview last month, Khan claimed that the army chief had told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that military operations couldn’t root out militancy. There was much hue and cry over his claim. “Khan’s statement aims to demoralise the army,” said Khursheed Shah, opposition leader in the National Assembly. Shah accused Khan of stabbing the army in the back. Information Minister Pervez Rasheed said the army was capable of fully eliminating the Taliban. “The beheading of 23 soldiers is condemnable. Even India, our archrival, treated our captured soldiers in accordance with the Geneva Convention and didn’t behead

anyone,” he tells IPS. Senator Muhammad Adeel of the Awami National Party alleged that Imran Khan was trying to underestimate the army. However, many say Khan is not wrong. “Khan’s statement that there are only 40 percent chances of military operations succeeding against the Taliban has stirred a heated debate in Pakistan, and he is not entirely wrong,” political analyst Muhammad Shoaib, who teaches at the University of Peshawar, tells IPS. According to the army, the Taliban have killed 460 people since Sep 9. last year when an all-party conference decided to hold talks with the militants. Shoaib said the killing of the 23 soldiers indicated that the militants were still going strong. “They were kept hostage for four years, killed and even a video of the killings released,” he pointed out. Analysts say the situation in FATA is far more complex today than it was before the deployment of the army. Jalal Akbar, political science teacher at Gomal University in Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa, said there were instances earlier of militants releasing their captives. “In 2007, pro-Taliban militants had kidnapped 250 soldiers in FATA’s South Waziristan Agency, but released them when their own men were freed by the government,” says Akbar. Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants have been targeting Pakistani and Afghan forces from FATA. They took refuge there after the Taliban government in Kabul was toppled by U.S.-led forces in 2001. Many believe the army is at a disadvantage in FATA as the militants carry out guerrilla warfare. Muhammad Rafiq, a retired army officer, tells IPS, “The majority of our soldiers are not used to fighting in the mountains and forests. The army is unable to fight the Taliban there because of the geographical terrain.” Some Pakistanis believe military operations only provoke more brutal acts by the militants. In Swat, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the Taliban held sway from 2007 to 2009, people still remember the gruesome acts of violence. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

“Our soldiers are fighting their own people. Militancy will never decrease through military action.”

“Every morning we would see the beheaded bodies of soldiers hanging from electric power poles,” says Nasirullah Khan, a former police inspector in Swat. The Taliban’s writ still runs large in FATA. Dr Jawad Shah, a polio officer, says the Taliban don’t allow polio vaccinations in Waziristan, and the army is unable to stop them. “Of the targeted 300,000 children, we have not been able to vaccinate even a single child because the Taliban are in full control there.”


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southSouth asia times 25 Asia Times

UN to investigate war-time atrocities in Sri Lanka

By Gustavo Capdevila


GENEVA, Mar 28 2014 (IPS) - The bloody events that marked the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war between government and Tamil separatist forces will be the focus of an independent international investigation, according to a United Nations Human Rights Council decision. The serious human rights violations denounced by U.N. agencies are blamed on both sides. The inquiry will cover the abuses committed during the final period of the 1983-2009 war and after the government’s victory. Juliette de Rivero, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, told IPS that nearly five years on, the victims are still awaiting justice and for those responsible to be held to account. “There are still no answers for the up to 40,000 civilian deaths for the last months of the fighting in Sri Lanka, nor for the 6,000 forcibly disappeared,” she said. The Sri Lankan government rejected the Human Rights Council resolution adopted Thursday Mar. 27 on the argument that it erodes the sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka and the core values of the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the basic principles of law that postulate equality among all people The resolution was approved with a 23 to 12 vote, with 12 abstentions. Tamil leaders following the debate in Geneva, where the

Council is based, were not completely pleased with the resolution either. One of the leaders, Visvalingam Manivannan, told IPS that “Our most pressing concern is that the High Commissioner’s (Navi Pillay) report or the resolution say nothing to halt the ongoing genocide against the Tamil nation. “We are of the opinion that this can only be achieved through the establishment of a U.N.-sponsored transitional administration (in Sri Lanka) established through the aegis of the U.N. Security Council,” said Manivannan, who represents Vigneshvssu Vssu Vssu, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council. The case of Sri Lanka has been unusual in terms of the alignments it triggered among the Human Rights Council’s 47 member countries. The resolution was sponsored by the United States and co-sponsored by the United Kingdom, Macedonia, Mauritius and Montenegro, with strong support from the European Union countries in the debates. Alongside Sri Lanka, Pakistan took the lead in protesting the resolution, with outspoken support from China and Russia. This time, Colombo lost the backing of three key Asian nations: India, Indonesia and Japan, which abstained from voting. The North-South divide that persists in the Council, as in other multilateral bodies, was blurred in this case. Of the 13 African nations, three voted in favour of Sri Lanka, four

voted for the U.S.-sponsored resolution and the remaining six abstained, including South Africa. Among the Latin American members, there was no middle ground. Cuba and Venezuela voted against the resolution and defended the arguments set forth by the Sri Lankan ambassador. Meanwhile, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru aligned with Washington. “We did it to end the impunity,” a diplomat from one of these countries told IPS. Sri Lanka ambassador Ravinatha Arayasinha reached a different conclusion. “A majority of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council -12 countries opposing and 12 other countries abstaining – has made it clear that they do not support the action taken by the United States, the UK and the cosponsors of this resolution to impose an international inquiry mechanism concerning Sri Lanka.” The resolution noted that in her report, the high commissioner had concluded that Sri Lanka’s national justice system and human rights mechanisms had systematically failed in their duty to discover the truth and deliver justice. The Council thus accepted Pillay’s recommendation that an international inquiry be launched to carry out an indepth investigation. A leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), Gajendrakumar Ponnampalan, told IPS that “The remedy for violations at the level of gravity that occurred ultimately cannot

be anything short of a credible international investigation and a judicial process through the ICC (International Criminal Court) or an Ad Hoc special tribunal.” A group of experts appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concluded that Sri Lankan government troops were involved in widespread abuses, including indiscriminate bombing of civilians, summary executions and rapes. From 80,000 to 100,000 lives were claimed by the civil war between the Sri Lankan army and separatists demanding a Tamil state in the north of the island. The conflict came to an end when the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, died in the fighting. The U.N. experts accused the Tamil separatists of using civilians as human shields, recruiting child soldiers, and killing families trying to flee the fighting. The U.N. Council resolution called on the Sri Lankan government to carry out a credible independent investigation of the allegations and to put an end to human rights abuses in the South Asian country. Ponnampalan said “There is an ongoing genocide carried out by the Sri Lankan state, whose goal is the de-Tamilisation of Sri Lanka. “Any reconciliation project has to include the Tamil nation – smaller in number on the island – and the Sinhala nation – a majority within the current configuration of the Sri Lankan state,” the TNPF leader said. But “The Sinhala nation has

A U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. PHOTO: Jean-Marc Ferré/U.N. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

The serious human rights violations denounced by U.N. agencies are blamed on both sides. The inquiry will cover the abuses committed during the final period of the 1983-2009 war and after the government’s victory. no intention of ‘reconciling’ with the Tamil nation and wants it to assimilate into its vision of a Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka,” he maintained. “Indeed, the only ‘remedy’ for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka is fleeing or assimilation,” he argued.

south asia 26 South Asia Timestimes


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southSouth asia times 27 Asia Times

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Udaipur’s World Living Heritage Festival excels From Prem Babu Sharma in Udaipur


daipur: The World Living Heritage Festival 2014 (WLHF 2014) which concluded recently at The City Palace, Udaipur on March 16, 2014 brought together experts from all over the world that spoke, discussed and shared their views about the concept of ‘Living Heritage’. Some of the eminent speakers included Ms. Moe Chiba, Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO New Delhi, Ms. Minja Yang, President & Professor at Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, KU/ Leuven (Belgium) and Dr. Ravina Aggarwal, Ford Foundation. The conference deliberated the question of living heritage from multiple angle –urban heritage space; people and their traditional practice; and how to orchestrate these heritage assets to contribute to the city’s overall development. The recommendations by the experts suggest that the promotion of living heritage is no other than envisioning a more human process of development that caters to people’s aspiration and wellbeing. Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th custodian of the Mewar dynasty in Udaipur, who has been the driving force behind this festival, was lauded for his efforts in bringing together this event. Shriji was also called as the ‘Father of Living Heritage Movement’ in the country during the event. He said, “Living Heritage is an integral part of our

lives. WLHF II began with the vision of converting the abstract into real practices in-tune with the present world realities. The second edition of the World Living Heritage Festival was hugely successful and even more participative, something that we take note of with great pride. This is but a small step towards conserving our living heritage and I’m optimistic that the Festival has provided all of us with the right platforms to move forth in our mission.” “The House of Mewar prides itself on being the torchbearer of the Living Heritage movement in India and strongly believes and advocates the participation of the local community in gathering momentum for this cause. The City Palace is a testimony to this

belief, as both the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage are present here, “he said. The speakers at the WLHF 2014 concluded that living heritage is not an optional extra; it is a part of our persona. The value of cultural motifs, folk tunes and themes for message dissemination purposes is being progressively realized. The experts believed that what is needed is a massive campaign to explain to urbanites the need of living heritage for urban survival. They also echoed the fact that Udaipur has every chance to become a model city to this end, if its natural and cultural heritage assets are adequately taken account in the urban planning with the participation of local communities.

The event came to a colourful end with the traditional Holika Dahan celebrations in Udaipur, to mark the traditional Indian festival celebrating spring – Holi. The House of Mewar, acknowledged as the world's oldest-serving dynasty, has faced challenges, which have tested the maintenance of the Custodianship form of governance and the Custodian's commitment to carry on serving as The Diwan of Shree Eklingnath ji. In 1947 with India's Independence and again in 1971, with the abolition of Princely Privileges, the office of the Custodian necessitated reinventions. In 1984 the mantle of 76th Custodian devolved upon Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur. The original - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

status of Custodian, as provided in the Constitution of India, ceased to exist. The challenge, therefore, for Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur was to bring the different identities of inheritance under one umbrella. Eternal Mewar is conceptualized to provide the vision for the 21st century, it expresses, embodies and encompasses the core values, principles and the legacy of the House of Mewar. Eternal Mewar covers all the activities of the House of Mewar. Eternal Mewar has also emerged as a unique heritage brand exemplifying hospitality, cultural preservation, philanthropy, education, sports & spirituality for global audiences. —SAT News Service

South Asia Times south asia 28 South Asia Timestimes



Victorian clean technologies come to India m By News Desk

elbourne, 7 March: Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Technology Gordon RichPhillips has announced a new agreement to distribute world-leading Victorian-developed clean technologies in India. The agreement will see Tesscorn India Bangalore provide complete sales and servicing in India of environmental aerosol monitoring instruments services manufactured by Victoria's Ecotech Australia. “Under this agreement, Tesscorn, a leading Indian distributor of advanced

technology products and services, will supply Ecotech's world-class aerosol-monitoring equipment to Indian research bodies,” Mr RichPhillips said. “Tesscorn has already sold Ectotech's Polar Nephelometers, used to study climate change, to the Bose Institute in Kolkatta and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Trivandrum, and will now offer a wide range of Ecotech research products in India.” “This is an exciting new opportunity to boost high value-added Victorian exports to India

that will also contribute to improving the Subcontinent's quality of life.” Mr Rich-Phillips made the announcement at an information and communication technology (ICT), health and aged care networking event in Bangalore, capital of the India State of Karnataka, during the Victorian Coalition Government’s latest Super Trade Mission to India. More than 100 organisations are participating in the mission, representing Victoria’s strengths in education, information technology, tourism, sustainable urban

design, clean technology and water management. “Victoria has a particularly strong relationship with Karnataka. The first Victorian Government Business Office in India opened here in Bangalore in 2005 and the Victorian Commissioner to India, Wayne Lewis, is based in Bangalore,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. To date, more than 600 Victorian organisations have taken part in ten Victorian Government trade missions to India since December 2010 that have helped create more than $630 million in new partnerships with Indian businesses. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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The agreement will see Tesscorn India Bangalore provide complete sales and servicing in India of environmental aerosol monitoring instruments services manufactured by Victoria's Ecotech Australia.


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southSouth asia times 29 Asia Times

Social media in Indian elections By Manipadma Jena


HUBANESWAR, India, Apr 6 2014 (IPS) - As India votes in its 16th general election Apr. 7-May 12, the youth, comprising nearly half the country’s 814 million voters, could prove decisive. And the internet is being used increasingly to target youth in the world’s largest democratic exercise. India has 383 million voters in the 18-35 age group. Underscoring their importance, pollsters have named this huge segment ‘Youngistan’, or the nation of the youth. Not only have election promises been tailored to woo this segment, but for the first time campaign engagement with voters is taking the internet route, especially over social media platforms. “There’s more participation and what’s more, politicians are listening as well as responding to young voters through social media,” Sunil Abraham of the Bangalorebased non-profit Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) told IPS. Mobile phone texting, which was used to reach out to voters in the last election in 2009, has made way for a tech-basket of mobile phones, e-mail campaigns, know-yourleader and political party websites, messages via smart phones, interactive Facebook and Twitter accounts, Google hangouts and YouTube videos. Social media practitioners say at least 10 percent of the 664 million dollars projected to be spent on advertisements and publicity by political parties is likely to go to social media companies. India’s internet user base has been estimated at 205 million, Facebook users number 65 million, Google+ 36 million, and Twitter 16 million. In a document titled ‘Social Media and Law Enforcement’, India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) projects user strength galloping to 243 million by June 2014, of which 192 million would be active users, 56 million of them rural. Active users are categorised as those who use the internet at least once a month. Fifty to sixty percent of current internet users

are in the 18-35 age group, according to Abraham. Politicians are tapping into this huge and growing youth voter base not only to boost their reach but also to monitor engagement and run more effective campaigns. “Politicians contract us to find out what ‘influencers’ on Twitter are saying about them, and we segregate the positive and negative tweets for a sentiment analysis,” Jwalant Patel, 30-year-old co-founder of social media analytics startup Meruki Analytics and Reporting Services told IPS. ‘Influencers’ are those with at least 10,000 Twitter followers, Patel said. Of the 70,000 ‘influencers’ that the tech company has identified for its 11 clients within weeks of starting operations, 90 percent are in the 18-40 age group. Patel claims that 160 of the 543 constituencies that go to the polls will be ‘social media constituencies’ where results will be impacted by politicians’ internet engagement. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, 63, has a Twitter following of 3.66 million, while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, 45, whose anticorruption plank is widely believed to have got Indian youth interested in politics, has 1.58 million. The Congress party’s Rahul Gandhi, 43, does not have an official Twitter account.

Sustained youth participation in protests in the Delhi rape case of December 2012 and in favour of the anticorruption Lokpal Bill are other major catalysts in the politically proactive approach of youth in these elections, say analysts. The dynamics of electioneering has changed in India, with its 1.2 billion people. Abraham agrees that the internet in general and social media in particular have had a democratising effect on the voter-voted relationship, but he warns that once the competition gets tougher, political leaders may resort to ‘astroturf’ battles where they manipulate e-campaigns, as opposed to the more transparent, physical ‘grass turf’ campaigns. “How can you bet that all the Facebook ‘likes’ are from genuine supporters?” said Abraham. Many of the youth seem clear on issues of concern to them. “Most leading parties are promising jobs for graduates, but when a party that has been in power for several years says ‘we will give jobs’, we ask what were you doing all these years? If a new party makes the same promise, give them a chance, we say,” 20-year-old student Siddhant Sadangi told IPS in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha state in eastern India. According to India’s National Sample Survey, one in four graduates is

unemployed. The figures are worse for women. More and more village men are preferring higher education to agricultural work, and this means there will be more demand for higher quality jobs in the near future. Manipur Talks, a vibrant internet forum that connects the widespread diaspora of northeast India’s Manipur state, lampoons pre-election promises. The site calls the election ‘Magic Wand Expo 2014 – the biggest expo for wiz-crafts in the world’ – a spoof on Harry Potter. Northeastern communities have been protesting discrimination against them in the rest of India. “Politicians have lost credibility here and what’s more, nothing is done to help the Manipur youth diaspora vote,” Manipurbased social activist Chitra Ahanthem told IPS. Campaigns by India’s Election Commission to enlist young voters through online registration have succeeded in a nationally high 70 percent turnout expectation, according to Election Commissioner Harishankar Brahma. But many of the 30 percent who will not exercise their franchise will be the young from troubled states. “The youth of Jammu and Kashmir are isolated, alienated, angry,” Bashir Ahmad Dabla, heading the University of Kashmir’s sociology and social work department told IPS from - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

"Politicians are listening as well as responding to young voters through social media." Srinagar. “Here, unlike elsewhere, the need for political stability takes precedence over economic issues,” said Dabla. “Jobs, education, water, electricity, roads are important but not the priority in Kashmir.” The last elections in Kashmir saw only 31 percent voting. Around 50 percent of voters in Kashmir are in the 18-35 age group. Saba Firdous, a 25-yearold graduate in the state, is not voting this time, and it’s not because of a poll boycott campaign by Kashmiri separatists. “The major issues for youth here are repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir valley, stopping civilian harassment and killings, resolving the unending conflict,” Firdous told IPS. “Mainstream political parties who go to Parliament will do nothing about these issues, we know.”


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ap[wl² 2014


अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सहयोग

हाल ही में मलेशियन एयरलाइं स के एक वायुयान के यात्रियों तथा कर्मचारियों सहित अचानक लुप्त हो जाने से न केवल उनके परिवार चिंताग्रस्त हैं बल्कि पूरे संसार में यह घटना चर्चा का विषय बनी हुई है | परं तु इसकी खोज में २६ राष्ट्रों ने मिल कर अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सहयोग का एक अच्छा उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया है | हम आशा करते हैं कि खोज-दल को लुप्त विमान के बारे में पता लगाने में शीघ्र सफलता मिलेगी| इस महीने कई महापुरुषों की जयंती मनायी जायेगी| इनमें, मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम रामचंद्र जी तथा उनके परम भक्त व सेवक हनुमान जी और जैन धर्म के अंतिम तीर्थंकर, महावीर जी सर्वप्रमुख हैं | इसके अतिरिक्त, स्वतंत्र भारत के संविधान के निर्माताओं में प्रमुख, डॉ. भीमराव रामजी अम्बेदकर तथा सिक्खों के दस ू रे गुरु, अंगद-दे व की भी जयंती है | इन लोगों की जयंती हमें न केवल उन्हें श्रद्धांजलि दे ने का अवसर प्रदान करती है बल्कि यह सोचने पर भी मज़बूर करती है कि सैकड़ों, हजारों वर्षों पश्चात भी आज तक लोग इन्हें क्यों याद करते हैं और हम इन महापुरुषों के जीवन से क्या सीख सकते हैं | इस महीने, बैसाखी तथा ईस्टर के प्रमुख त्योहार भी हैं | सभी पाठकों को इन त्योहारों की बधाई और शुभकामनाएँ| इस अंक के k;Vyकंु ज स्तम्भ में ‘मूर्ख-दिवस’ तथा अन्य विषयों पर रोचक कविताएँ हैं | साथ में, वर्ष २०१३ में, वी.सी.ई. हिन्दी में द्वितीय स्थान प्राप्त करने वाले विद्यार्थी का लेख है और ‘एक थी माया’ कहानी का आठवाँ तथा अंतिम भाग है | ‘पुस्तकपरिचय’, ‘संक्षिप्त समाचार’, ‘अब हँ सने की बारी है ’, ‘मह्त्त्वपूर्ण तिथियाँ’ व ‘सूचनाएँ’ स्तम्भ भी हैं | लिखियेगा कि आपको यह अंक कैसा लगा| -दिनेश श्रीवास्तव

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ज्योति मन की बुझने न पाये

—श्रीमती इं दम ु ती पाण्डेय, मेल्बर्न

करो स्वच्छ मन को, जलाओ हृदय दीप, काटो सुदृढ़ बंध, हो मुक्त स्वछन्द, आनंद का श्रोत, मन में समाये, अमर दीप की ज्योति, बुझने न पाये| ज्योति,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|| अमृत की सरिता प्रवाहित चहुँ ओर, फिर भी खड़ा तू, तृषित है , दखि ु त घोर, सौरभ सुमन में, पवन ज्यों गगन में, ‘वह’ सर्वत्र है , भाव डिगने न पाये| ज्योति,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|| वसुधा, विमल शस्य, श्यामल, सुखद रूप, नभ के सजल श्याम, घनश्याम प्रतिरूप, रवि में किरण संग, जल में तृषा संग, सुरभित मलय संग, हिय में समाये| ज्योति,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|| जग है , कलुष कंटकों से घिरा जान, हैं ज्ञान के नेत्र, निज रूप पहचान, बसा ले हृदय में, हरिनाम सुखधाम, जगत बंधनों के, भरम टू ट जाये| ज्योति,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|| ‘वह’ है चिरं तन, जगत रूप, अभिराम, जीवन-मरण, पंथ, गतिमान अविराम, नर तन है , साधन, भजन का सुखद धाम, ऐसा जनम, फिर तू पाये न पाये| ज्योति,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,||

सांझ का सूरज

—सुशील कु मार ‘आज़ाद’

सांझ का सूरज लेकर मैं ! डू ब जाना चाहता हूँ। घर के आंगन में खेलग ँू ा तो बढ़ जायेगा बच्चों का दर्द ‘एक अनार सौ बीमार’ उनकी अभिलाषाएँ जग जायेंगी, एक उछलती गेंद को पकड़ने की लगी है होड़। बच्चे नहीं जानते होड़ अथवा दौड़ने का अर्थ मगर स्वप्न की तरह भंग होती उनकी इच्छा को तार-तार नहीं होने दे गा कोई बच्चा। हर बार की पराजय से चिंतन ओर दृढ़ होने की बजाय उनमें जन्म लेती है हीन भावना, जिससे उनके प्रतिद्वंद्वी आतंकी बन सकते हैं । आजकल, इसलिए सूरज का डू बना किसी एक का नहीं सबका दर्द बन सकता है । और सभी भटकने लगते हैं , अंधकार की गुफ़ाओं में। जहां अंधरे ा स्वयं पुकारता है मूक आवाज में आँखें दे ख नहीं पातीं , केवल अनुभव करती हैं काली परतों को और हाँ ! तब, एक हाथ से दस ू रे हाथ को पहचानने का अभिनय करते हैं लोग इसलिए, सांझ का सूरज लेकर मैं, डू ब जाना चाहता हूँ --- सदा के लिए।


-सुमन वर्,मा मेल्बर्न

अहम ् गर्व को त्याग दे, मन को कर ले साफ़ राम नाम जप ले मना, हो जाये नैया पार

बेल को बढ़ता देख के, मन में हआ ु विचार हम भी ऊँचा उठ सकें, अगर करें उपकार

ईर्ष्,या द्वेष को छोड़ के, कर मोह माया का त्याग एक दिन ऊपर जायेगा, बिल्कु ल खाली हाथ

निंदा, चुगली छोड़ के, कर लो परस्पर प्यार राम की शरण में जा कर, कर लो बेड़ा पार

तोरे द्वार पर पहच ुँ गये, हम तो खाली हाथ झोली भर के जा रहे, ले के तेरा प्यार

ग्लानि मन से त्याग कर, सबको कर दे माफ़ सात्विक भोजन खा कर , मन को कर ले साफ़ ।।

यह दनि ु या तो सिर्फ़ मोहब्बत

-श्यामल सुमन, जमशेदपुर, भारत

आने वाले कल का स्वागत, बीते कल से सीख लिया नहीं किसी से कोई अदावत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

यह कोशिश प्रायः सबकी है , हों मेरे घर सुख सारे क्या सबको मिल सकती जन्नत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

भेद यहाँ पर ऊँच नीच का, हैं आपस में झगड़े भी ये दनि ु या तो सिर्फ मुहब्बत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

गर्माहट टू टे रिश्तों में, कोशिश हो, फिर से आए क्या मुमकिन है सदा बगावत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

हं गामे होते, होने दो, इन्सान तो सच बोलेंगे सच कहना है नहीं इनायत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

खोज रहा मुस्कान हमेशा, गम से पार उतरने को इस दनि ु या से नहीं शिकायत, बीते कल से सीख लिया

आज मूर्ख दिवस है

-डॉ कौशल किशोर श्रीवास्तव, मेल्बर्न

अप्रैल की पहली तारीख को मैं चित्तमग्न था टे लीविज़न के सामने, दे खा राशि फल पर एक संवाद "शनि और मंगल शीघ्र आयेंगे राहु के सामने, उदय होगा मिथुन राशि वालों का भाग्य, अगले तीन घंटे का समय अति शुभ है , निवेश और अप्रत्याशित धनलाभ का मुहूर्त है ।"

आज ही मूर्ख दिवस है , ऐसे सम्बोधनों का रहस्य विचारणीय है । बगल में पत्नी बोल उठी "किसका फो़न था? क्यों उद्वेलित लगते हो? मुझे भी बताओ, क्या बात है ?"

मैं चौंक उठा, यही तो मेरी राशि है , इस अनोखे संयोग का लाभ उठाना सर्वथा उचित है , पूर्ण लाभप्रद है ।

मैं कैसे बतलाता और सुन पाता अपनी विद्वता का उपहास, मैंने कहा "आज मौसम खुशमि ़ जाज है , बाजा़र जा कर मन बहलाओ मेरे क्रेडिट कार्ड से ही काम चलाओ।"

चाय का प्याला फेंकते हुए, दो रं गों की चप्पलें पहने हुए, मैं भागा बाजार की ओर, लॉट्री का टिकट ख़रीदा तीन घंटे की निर्रधा ित घड़ी के बीच। मुस्कु राता हुआ घर लौटा, विजय की भावना के बीच । थोड़ी दे र बाद टे लीफो़न की घंटी बजी, किसी ने कहा "हे अज्ञानी विद्वान, मूर्ख पंडित, मूर्ख सम्राट! यदि लॉट्री जीती तो यह होगी मूर्ख दिवस की सौगात, अन्यथा भस्म होगी आज अन्धविश्वास की रात।" अचानक स्मरण आया - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

मैंने सोचा, 'मूर्खता' को 'मूर्खता' से ही पराजित करें , पुरानी कहावत अपनायें, 'इज़्ज़त बची तो लाखों पाये।' दस ू रे दिन चेतना वापस आयी, फिर मैंने एकान्त में सोचा, इस मूर्खता का उन्माद क्यों? ज्ञान और तर्क का अचानक लोप क्यों? शायद 'मूर्ख दिवस' में भी एक शिक्षा है , विद्वता और मूर्खता जीवन के दो पहलू हैं , एक के बिना दस ू रा अधूरा है ।


southSouth asia times 31 Asia Times

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पुस्तक का नाम: कवितांजलि; लेखिका: सुमन वर्मा; प्रकाशक: अमेज़ॉन.काम(यू.के.); पृष्ठ संख्या: १३०

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“कितना प्यार था कल में वह आज में नहीं है उस कल को लौटा कर जरा फिर से लौ जला दो।“ उपरोक्त पंक्तियाँ विदष ु ी लेखिका सुश्री सुमन वर्मा की हाल ही में प्रकाशित दस ू री पुस्तक 'कवितांजलि' से ली गयी हैं । सुन्दर भावनाओं से सराबोर, इसमें ३० कविताएं , ४ कथाएँ, २ संस्मरणों का संकलन है | यह पुस्तक स्वयं लेखिका द्वारा बनाये चित्रों से सुसज्जित है | लेखिका ने अपने अनुभवों की कोमल संवेदनाओं को अपनी रचनाओं के माध्यम से समेटने की सफल कोशिश की है । ' कवितांजलि ' में परिवार के हर आयु वर्ग- बड़े और बच्चों सभी के लिये रोचक उद्दे श्यपूर्ण पठनीय सामग्री है । भाषा सरल और सरस है इसलिये सहजग्राह्य है । कुल मिलाकर सभी रचनाओं के निचोड़ में आत्मीयता, परोपकार, कृ तज्ञता, दे शप्रेम, पर्यावरण प्रेम, संस्कृ ति के प्रति प्रेम आदि, पाठक के मन में सकारात्मक स्वस्थ विचारों को जगाने में सफल हो जाते हैं । पुस्तक पढ़ कर ऐसा लगता है मानो लेखिका ने ' वसुधव ै कुटु ं बकम ' तथा 'जियो और जीने दो ' के सिद्धांत पर अपना लेखन सृजित किया है । सन्देश दिया है कि इस दनि ु या में सभी मुसाफिर हैं , बिना एक-दस ू रे की मदद के मंजिल तक पहुँचना आसान नहीं है । लेखिका ने अपनी रचनाओं द्वारा मानवीयता का जयगान किया है ! इस पुस्तक की एक रोमांचक कथा ' आधी रात के बाद ' रहस्यमय घटनाक्रमों को लेकर चलती है और पाठक के मन में कुतूहलमय दिलचस्पी पैदा करने में कामयाब होती है । अंत में कहा जा सकता है कि श्रीमती सुमन वर्मा ने ' कवितांजलि ' में पाठकों को स्तरीय-पठनीय सामग्री परोसी है . -पूर्णिमा पाटिल, मेल्बर्न

mhTvpU,R itiqy;\

१ अप्रैल (मूर्ख दिवस), ७ अप्रैल (दर ु ्गाष्टमी), ८ अप्रैल (रामनवमी), १३ अप्रैल (महावीर जयंती), १४ अप्रैल (बैसाखी, डॉ. अम्बेदकर जयंती), १५ अप्रैल (हनुमान जयंती, गुरु अंगद दे व जयंती), १८ अप्रैल (गुड फ्राईडे ), २० अप्रैल (ईस्टर), २५ अप्रैल (ऐन्ज़ाक दिवस-ऑस्ट्रेलिया), ९ मई (रवीन्द्रनाथ टै गोर जयंती), १३ मई (हज़रत अली का जन्म-दिवस), 14 mई (विशाखा पूजा, बुद्ध पूर्णिमा) |


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hm;re p[em kI xu¨a;t a*r alg hon; de%; q;) ¬sne muZe a*r mw'ne ¬se phc;n ily; q;) ¬sne mere k''/e pr h;q r%;) mw' akel; hI q;² mw'ne m''idr ko de%; a*r ifr /Ire-/Ire mere k¹dm .gv;n ixv kI mUitR kI aor b!e¹ a*r mw'ne phlI b;r .gv;n ke h;q jo@e¹) merI a;\%o'' me' a;\sU qe a*r mw' .gv;n ko /Nyv;d de rh; q; ik vh jo .I krt; hw aCz; hI krt; hw² ¬s .gv;n ko² ijse mw' phle m;nt; .I nhI' q;) mw' .;gte huE m''idr ke b;hr a;y; a*r dUr a\/ere me' m;y; ko %ojne kI n;k;m koixx kI³³³pr vK¹t a*r m;y; dono'' hI ret kI trh h;q se inkl gE qe³³³³³³³³Ú mw' v;ps cl p@¹;) a;j .I ij¹NdgI me' jb ¬d;s a*r akel; s; mhsUs krt; hU\ to bs yhI soct; hU\ ik m;y; hw khI'³³³³³³³a*r mw' Ek a;h .rkr apne a;p se kht; hU\ Ek qI m;y; ³³³³³³³³³ÚÚÚ ásm;Ptâ

s'i=Pt sm;c;r

अंतर्राष्ट्रीय हिं दी कविता प्रतियोगिता के परिणाम

गत वर्ष, विश्व हिं दी सचिवालय द्वारा आयोजित अंतर्राष्ट्रीय हिं दी कविता प्रतियोगिता में, भौगोलिक क्षेत्रों के आधार पर प्रतियोगिता की पाँच श्रेणियाँ नियत की गई थीं। इनमें से तीसरे भागौलिक क्षेत्र (जिसमें भारत के अतिरिक्त अन्य एशियाई दे श तथा ऑस्ट्रेलिया सम्मिलित हैं â में निम्नलिखित कवि/ कवियत्रियों को विजेता घोषित किया गया है – (१) प्रथम पुरस्कार (३०० डॉलर) - सुश्री प्रेरणा मित्तल (सिंगापुर) (२) द्वितीय पुरस्कार (२०० डॉलर) - मेल्बर्न के डॉ कौशल किशोर श्रीवास्तव (मेल्बर्न, ऑस्ट्रेलिया) (३) तृतीय पुरस्कार (५० डॉलर) - डॉ भावना कँु अर (सिडनी. ऑस्ट्रेलिया) तथा तृतीय पुरस्कार (५० डॉलर) - सुश्री रिद्मा निवादिनी (श्रीलंका) उल्लेखनीय है कि पिछले वर्ष भी डॉ कौशल किशोर श्रीवास्तव को इस कविता प्रतियोगिता में पुरस्कार प्राप्त हो चुका है । उनकी कविताओं का संग्रह ‘कविता-दर्पण’ सन ् २०१२ में प्रकशित हुआ था और पिछले वर्ष ‘क्षितिज के पार’ नामक उनकी कहानियों का संग्रह प्रकाशित हुआ है | व्यवसाय से वह भौतिक शास्त्र के विशेषज्ञ हैं परन्तु उनकी हिन्दी भाषा व साहित्य में विशेष रुचि है | यूगांडा (अफ्री़का) में जन्मी, भारत में उच्च शिक्षा प्राप्त, सिडनी-निवासी, डॉ. भावना कँु अर, एम ्.ए (हिन्दी व संस्कृ त साहित्य) न केवल एक सफल हिन्दी अध्यापिका तथा अनुवादक बल्कि एक अच्छी साहित्यकार तथा पेंटर भी हैं | उन्हें ‘हाईकू’ तथा ‘चौके’ लिखने का भी शौक़ है | आजकल वे सिडनी विश्वविद्यालय के ‘सेन्टर ऑफ़ कंटीन्यूइं ग एजुकेशन’ में अध्यापन कार्य कर रही हैं | उनकी रचनाएँ, ‘हिं दी-पुष्प’ के अतिरिक्त, अनेक प्रमुख पत्र-पत्रिकाओं में प्रकशित हो चुकी हैं | उनकी लिखी दो पुस्तकें भी प्रकाशित हो चुकी हैं |

smy - r;t ke 8³00 bje se a;rM.) p[vex ai/k j;nk;rI ke ilye² @;Ž. sunIl; ÅIv;Stv in"xuLk hw) ko á0427â 274 462 pr f¹on kIijye ai/k j;nk;rI ke ilE nIrj áf¹on – 0439 y; émel Ã;r; inMn pte pr sMpkR kIijye 980 551â aqv; ini%l áf¹on-0430 922 851â se sMpkR kIijye aqv; inMn vebs;”$ dei%ye - 3³ s;ihTy-s'?y; - apne log² apnI b;te' áxinv;r² htm 2४ मईâ Sq;n - if¹ils hor åm² KyU áKew) l;”b[erI² 2³ s'k$ mocn simit Ã;r; a;yoijt r;m nvmI koqm áCothamâ ro@ tq; isivk áCivic) tq; hnum;n jy'tI mhoTsv áxinv;r² 12 ap[wlâ @^;”v ke nuKk@¹ pr² KyU áKew), ámeLve Sq;n - Glen vevlIR kMyuin$I seN$r² 700 vevlIR s‹d.R-45 @I-6â) ro@² Glen vevlIR smy - x;m ke 8 bje se r;t ke 10 bje tk) ávevlIR ro@ v iSp['gvel ro@ ke nuKk@¹ pr² meLve p[vex in"xuLk hw) s'd.R 71 bI-4â ai/k j;nk;rI ke ilE² inMn vebs;”$ dei%ye smy - subh 9³30 bje se x;m ke 6 bje tk aqv; ápUj;É 108 b;r hnum;n c;lIs; k; p;#É p[of¹esr niln x;rd; áé-mel" nalinsharda@ a;rtI v x;iNt-p;#âÉ x;m 6 se 7 bje tk ) ko á0402â 108 512 pr áp[s;d v mh;p[s;dâ f¹on kIijye) - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

विक्टोरियन स्कू ल ऑफ़ लैंग्वेजेज़

(हम हर वर्ष वी.सी.ई. हिन्दी परीक्षा में उच्च अंक प्राप्त करने वाले विद्यार्थियों के अनुभवों के बारे में लेख छापते हैं | इस लेख के लेखक ने वर्ष २०१३ की हिं दी परीक्षा में दस ू रा सर्वोच्च स्थान प्राप्त किया है | यह इस ê'%l; का दस ू रा लेख है – संपादक)

हिन्दी मेरी मातृभाषा है । अपनी भाषा में स्वयं को व्यक्त करना सरल लगता है । २००९ में जब मैं भारतवर्ष से ऑस्ट्रेलिया स्थानांतरित हुआ तो हिन्दी की पढ़ाई जारी रखने के लिये ग्लेन वेवर्ली के वी.सी.एल. केंद्र की कक्षा सात में प्रवेश लिया। यहाँ मैं प्रत्येक मंगलवार को पाठशाला के पश्चात हिं दी पढ़ने जाने लगा। दरू दर्शन पर धारावाहिक 'रामायण' दे खते-दे खते, मेरे मन में अपनी भारतीय संस्कृ ति और उसका इतिहास जानने की उत्सुकता जागृत होने लगी। मैं भारतीय संस्कृ ति को संजोकर रखना चाहता था। मैं भारत जाने पर अपने रिश्तेदारों-मित्रों सबसे सरलता से हिन्दी में वार्तालाप करना चाहता था और दरू दर्शन के सभी हिन्दी कार्यक्रमों को भी समझ पाने की मेरी इच्छा थी। इन सबके लिये मैंने हिन्दी में अपनी निपुणता बढ़ाने की कोशिश निरं तर जारी रखी। हिन्दी व्याकरण, शब्दावली, तथा मुहावरों का ज्ञान बढ़ाने का प्रयास किया। इन सभी प्रक्रियाओं से मेरी मौखिक और लिखित हिं दी में लगातार सुधार हुआ। मुझे ख़ुशी है कि हिन्दी सीखने के कारण मैं भारतीय इतिहास, संस्कृ ति और उनसे सम्बंधित ज्ञान प्राप्त कर सका। अब मैं दरू दर्शन पर हिं दी के सभी कार्यक्रम समझ लेता हूँ। ऑस्ट्रेलिया में बैठकर भारतवर्ष के बारे में काफी जानकारी रखता हूँ। भारत जाने पर सभी से सरलता से हिन्दी में बातचीत कर लेता हूँ। वहाँ मुझे हिन्दी के अख़बार पढ़ने में भी बड़ा मज़ा आता है । ' नंदन ' और ' पराग ' मेरी प्रिय हिं दी पत्रिकाएँ हैं । भारत का इतिहास पढ़ने के पश्चात मेरे व्यक्तित्व में बदलाव आया है । मेरे मानसिक-आत्मिक स्तर में सकारात्मक वृद्धि हुई है । मेरा आत्मविश्वास बढ़ा है । अब मैं सामाजिक गतिविधियों में भाग लेता हूँ। ऑस्ट्रेलिया में रहकर भी मैं अपनी संस्कृ ति से जुड़ा हुआ हूँ। विदे श में रहकर भी मैं भारतीय मुद्दों से अछूता नहीं हूँ। यह सब हासिल कर पाने में मेरी अध्यापिका श्रीमती मनजीत ठे ठी का बहुत बड़ा योगदान रहा है । उनके दिशा-निर्दे श तथा प्रत्येक विषय को अच्छी तरह से समझाने तथा मेरी हर समस्या का समाधान करने के कारण ही आज मैं इस मंज़िल तक पहुँच पाया हूँ। इसके अलावा मेरे माता-पिता की हर प्रकार से मदद और प्रोत्साहन के कारण मेरे लिये हिन्दी पढ़ना आसान हो गया। सहपाठियों से हिं दी में वार्तालाप करने से भी हिं दी बोलने का अच्छा अभ्यास हो गया। हिं दी भाषा संसार की बहुचर्चित भाषाओँ में से एक है । यह दनि ु या में चीनी और अँग्रेज़ी के बाद सबसे ज्यादा बोली जाने वाली भाषा है । इसके अलावा, वी.सी.ई. में हिं दी भाषा की परीक्षा में उत्तीर्ण होने से विश्वविद्यालय में प्रवेश के लिए बोनस अंक प्राप्त होते हैं और ‘ATAR’ अंक गणना में भी बढ़ोतरी होती है । इसलिये मैं अन्य विद्यार्थियों से अनुरोध करूँ गा कि वे हिं दी भाषा के महत्व को समझकर इसे अपने पाठ्यक्रम में शामिल करें ।

हिन्दी का प्रथम स्पेल चेकर, ‘माला शब्द संशोधक’

भोपाल के ‘माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी पत्रकारिता एवं संचार विश्वविद्यालय ने ‘माला शब्द संशोधक’ नामक हिं दी का सर्वप्रथम ‘स्पेलचेकर’ विकसित किया है | यह सॉफ्ट़वेयर, इस विश्वविद्यालय की बेबसाईट: www. पर ‘ओपेन सोर्स’ के अंतर्गत उपलब्ध है | विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपति, प्रो. वृजकिशोर कुठियाला के अनुसार, “हिन्दी प्रेमी इसमें आवश्यक सुधार करते हुए, इसके नए संस्करण तैयार कर, हिन्दी के विकास में अपना योगदान दे सकते हैं ”|

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SBS Radio's South Asian

SUNDAY Language Program Hindi..................................9 am to 10 am – 93.1 FM BANGLA Urdu................................10 am to 11 am – 93.1 FM Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 Tamil...............................11 am to 12 pm – 93.1 FM Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB Radio 2 Hindi.................................8 pm to 10 pm – 88.3 FM Monday & Saturday Singhalese.......................8 pm to 11 pm –97.7 FM 6-7 PM GUJARATI MONDA Y Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 Hindi....................................3 to 4 pm – 93.1 FM Melbourne 93.1 FM & SBSPm Radio Bengali...............................4 pm to 5 pm – 93.1 FM Wednesday & Friday 4-5 PM Hindi...................................6 pm to 8 pm – 88.3 FM Indian (Fiji)..................................6 pm to 8 pm 88.3 HINDI Punjabi........................1 1 am to 12 Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 noon 92.3 FM Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB Radio 2 Daily TUESDAY 5 PM

Hindi.....................................6 am to 8 am – 97.7 FM Hindi.................................... 2 pm to 4 pm – 97.7 FM kannada Sydney SBS Radio 3 Melbourne SBS Radio 3 WEDNESDAY Tuesday 3-4 PM

Hindi.....................................6 am to 8 am – 97.7 FM Hindi......................................... 12 to 1 pm – 93.1 FM Nepali Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS1Radio 2 12 pm - 92.3 FM Punjabi............................ 1 am to Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB Radio Hindi................................... .8 pm to 29 pm – 97.7 FM Saturday & Sunday 4-5 PM

THURSDAY PUNJABI Hindi............................... 5.30 am to 7 am – 97.7 FM Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 9 pm – 92.3 FM Tamil.................................... 8 pm to Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB Radio 2 Sinhalese.......................... 1 1 pm to 3 am –92.3 FM Monday & Friday Punjabi............................. 9 pm to 10 pm – 93.1 FM 9-10 PM SINHALESE FRIDAY Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 Indian.................................. .8 Radio am to 29 am – 88.3 FM Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB Monday & Friday 11AM-12 PM SATURDAY

Sinhalese............................7 am to 8 am – 92.3 FM TAMIL TSydney amil..................................... 12-12.30 97.7 FM & SBS Radio 2 pm – 88.3 FM Indian.................................... am to26 am - 92.3 FM Melbourne 93.1 FM & SB5Radio Monday & Saturday Punjabi.......................................... 12-2 am – 92.3 FM 8-9 PM Indian................................ 9 pm to 10 pm – 92.3 FM Punjabi.................................................. 11 pm to 1 am urdu Sydney 97.7 FM & SBS Radio24/7 2 Radio stations Melbourne FM & SB Radio 2(Subscription) Indian Link93.1 Radio Wednesday & Sunday 18000 15 8 47 6-7 PM Radio Santa Banta (Internet) WORLD NEWS AUSTRALIA RADIO SydneyJhankar 1107AM88.6 & SBSFM; Radio 1 Thursday; 8 to Radio Every Melbourne 1224AM & SB Radio 1 10 pm; Contact: 94668900 or 0411247320 or Monday & Friday 9404 2111 6-7 am & 6-7 PM



PLACES OF WORSHIP HINDU Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple 57 Boundary Rd, Carrum Downs, Melbourne, Vic 3201, Ph: 03 9782 0878; Fax: 03 9782 0001 Website: Sri Vakratunda Vinayaka Temple 1292 - 1294, The Mountain Highway, The Basin, Vic 3154, Ph: 03 9792 1835 Melbourne Murugan Temple 17-19 Knight Ave., Sunshine VIC 3020 Ph: 03 9310 9026 Durga Temple (Durga Bhajan Mandali) Neales Road, Rockbank, Vic 3335 Ph: 03 9747 1628 or Mobile: 0401 333 738 Hare Krishna (ISKCON) Temple 197 Danks Street, Middle Park Vic 3206 Ph: (03) 9699 5122 Email: Hare Krishna New Nandagram Rural Community Oak Hill, Dean’s Marsh Rd., Bambra VIC 3241, Ph: (052) 887383 Fax: (052) 887309 Kundrathu Kumaran Temple 139 Gray Court, ROCKBANK Victoria 3335 Ph: 03-9747 1135 or M: 0450 979 023 SIKH BLACKBURN Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha 127 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn VICTORIA 3130, Ph: (03) 9894 1800 CRAIGIEBURN Sri Guru Singh Sabha 344 Hume Highway, Craigieburn VICTORIA 3164 (see map), Ph: (03) 9305 6511 KEYSBOROUGH Gurdwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib 198 -206 Perry Road, Keysborough VICTORIA 3073 (see map) LYNBROOK Nanaksar Taath, 430 Evans Road, Lynbrook VICTORIA 3975, (03) 9799 1081 HOPPERS CROSSING Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha 417 Sayers Road, Hoppers Crossing VICTORIA 3029, Ph: (03) 9749 2639 WERRIBEE Gurdwara Sahib Werribee 560 Davis Road, Tarneit VICTORIA 3029 PH: (03) 8015 4707 SHEPPARTON Gurdwara Sahib Shepparton 240 Doyles Road, Shepparton VICTORIA 3603 PH: (03) 5821 9309 JAIN Melbourne Shwetambar Jain Sangh Inc 3 Rice Street, Moorabbin, Vic - 3189, Australia. Phone: +61 3 9555 2439

A P R I L MUSLIM Melbourne West Mosque 66-68 Jeffcott Street, Melbourne Ph: 03 9328 2067 Broadmeadows Mosque 45-55 King Street, Broadmeadows Ph 03 9359 0054 Islamic Call Society 19 Michael Street, Brunswick Ph: 03 9387 7100 Islamic Centre of Australia 660 Sydney Road, Brunswick Ph 03 9385 8423 Australian Islamic Cultural Centre 46-48 Mason Street, Campbellfield Ph: 03 9309 7605 Coburg ISNA Mosque 995 Sydney Road, Coburg North Coburg Mosque (Fatih Mosque) 31 Nicholson Street, Coburg Ph 03 9386 5324 Deer Park Mosque 283 Station Road, Deer Park Ph 03 9310 8811 United Migrant Muslim Assn. 72 George Road, Doncaster Ph 03 9842 6491, Footscray West Mosque 294 Essex Street, Footscray Glenroy Musala 1st Floor, 92 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy Heidelberg Mosque Corner Lloyd & Elloits Streets, West Heidelberg Islamic College of Victoria (Mosque) 201 Sayers Road, Hoppers Crossing Ph 03 9369 6010 Huntingdale Mosque 320-324 Huntingdale Road, Huntingdale Ph 03 9543 8037 Al Nur Mosque 34-36 Studley Street, Maidstone Meadow Heights Mosque Hudson Circuit, Meadow Heights Springvale Mosque 68 Garnworthy Street, Springvale

EMERGENCY CONTACTS EMERGENCY CONTACTS Police, Fire & Abulance ........................ 000 Victoria State Emergency Service (SES)....................................... 132 500 Traffic hazards and freeway conditions.......................... 13 11 70 Gas escape........................................... 132 771 Poisons information........................ 13 11 26 Maternal and Child Line................ 13 22 29 Parentline........................................... 13 22 89 Kids Help Line......................... 1800 551 800 Lifeline (provides confidential telephone counselling)................. 13 11 14 Suicide Help Line.................... 1300 651 251 Animal Emergencies.................. 9224 2222 - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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HIGH COMMISSION FOR PAKISTAN,CANBERRA 4 Timbarra Crescent, O’Malley ACT 2606 (Australia), Tel: 61-2-62901676, 61-2-62901676, 62902769, 62901879 & 62901031, Fax: 61-262901073 Email: parepcanberra@internode., Postal Address: PO Box 684, Mawson ACT 2607 (Australia)

Sri Lanka Consulate 32A Brunswick Street ,Walkerville 5081 Melbourne , Phone: 9898-6760, 9248-1228 Email:

Bangladesh High Commission, Canberra 43, Culgoa Circuit, O’Malley, ACT-2606 Canberra, Australia, Ph: (61-2) 6290-0511, (612) 6290-0522, (61-2)6290-0533 (Auto hunting). Fax : (61-2) 6290-0544 E-Mail Consulate of Nepal, Melbourne Email: Level 7, 28-32 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Ph: (03) 9650 8338 Email: SBS1 – Daily NDTV News - 11 am - Monday to Saturday. (From New Delhi, India).

TV News/programs Hindi News Urdu news SBS1 - PTV News – 9.30 am - Every Sunday – (From Pakistan). Readymades Roshan’s Fashions 68-71 Foster Street, Dandenong, Vic 3175 Ph: (03) 9792 5688 Raj Rani Creations 83-A Foster Street, Dandenong, Vic 3175 Ph: (03) 9794 9398 Heritage India 54-56 Foster Street, Dandenong, Vic 3175, Ph: (03) 9791 9227 Site:

DVDs, Music CDs & Film Stuff Baba Home Entertainment 52C Foster St., Dandenong 3175, (03) 97067252 Essence of India 76 Foster St., Dandenong 3175 (03) 87744853; 0413707685 Accountants & Loans Deepak & Associates Suite 4 & 6, Bldg.6, Hamilton Place, Mont Waverley 3149, (03) 9807 5992; 0402459174; 0411733737

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quick community guide


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contd from previous page All Banking Needs Rakesh Raizada Commonwealth Bank (Indian Banking) Ground Floor, 378 Burwood Highway Burwood East 3151 Mobile: 0434470095 Email: Immigration iVisa Consulting Level 5, 45 William St. Melb. Mobile: 0409504094 1st Migration PL, Suite 110, Level 1, 672 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn Vic 3122 Travel Agents Gaura Travels 1300 FLY INDIA or 1300 359 463 Supa Cheap Travel 381 Burwood Road, Hawthorn 3122 Ph: (03) 98194656; Mobile: 0420201155 Mann Travel 329 Clayton Road, Clayton 3168 Travel House 284 Clayton Road, Clayton 3168 Ph: (03) 95435123, Mobile: 0425803071 Solicitors/Barristors Vernon Da Gama & Associates 28 Fromer St. Beltleigh 3204 Ph: (03) 95038046; Fax: (03) 95038047 Mobile: 0401407280/042193100 Email:


South Asia Times CONSULAR SERVICES (Passport, Visa, OCI, PIO & Miscellaneous) Please note that all these consular services are handled by VFS Global (Indian Passport and Visa Service Centre) The Consulate General of India in Melbourne will continue to provide to residents of Victoria and Tasmania the following consular services, for which applications would have to be lodged directly with the Consulate: Miscellaneous OCI Services • Miscellaneous Consular Services (such as attestation of documents, transfer of visas from old to new passport, affidavits, birth certificates, life certificates, certificate required to transport ashes or mortal remains to India etc) IMPORTANT: The Consulate does not accept credit cards, EFTPOS, personal cheques or company cheques. Please send only money orders or bank cheques with applications sent through the post. Cash payments are accepted only at the counter. WORKING HOURS General Working Hours 9.00 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday, Consular Working Hours 09.30 am to 12.30 pm Monday to Friday, (except on public holidays observed by the consulate) International Students International Student Care Service (ISCS) Ph: 1800 056 449 Emergency Services Police, Fire, Ambulance............................000 Crime Stoppers......................1800 333 000 Property st Property PL, Suite 110, Level 1,672 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn Vic 3122

INDIAN CONSULATE (MELBOURNE) Address : 344, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia , P.O. Box No: 33247 Domain LPO Vic 3004 General phone: +61-3- 96827836 Fax No: + 61-3- 96968251 Web site: PHONE NUMBERS Phone Number for General Consular Enquiries(operational only during Consular Working Hours i.e. 0930 hrs to 1230 hrs, Monday to Friday) For PCC and PCC and Driving License Verification enquiries 03- 96825800 02 8223 9908/ 1900 969 969 Email ID for General Consular Enquiries Visa enquiries: Passport/Police Clearance Certificate/ Driving License Enquiries passportinfo., OCI/PIO Enquiries

Join SAT @ South-Asia-Times-SAT - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

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Manoj Kumar elected delegate to ALP Vic. Conference

By our community reporter


elbourne: Labor Activist Manoj Kumar has been elected as a Victorian Federal Electorate Area ( FEA) delegate by local ALP members in the federal electorate of Aston to represent them at the Victorian ALP State Conference. State FEA delegate is the key powerful representative of local members at State conference to convey their voice, ideas & concerns at highest decision making body i.e. at State conference. Manoj Kumar unsuccessfully contested last Australian federal election from the seat of Menzies (Melbourne outer suburb region) for Australian Labor Party and had secured 37% votes. Talking to South Asia Times, Manoj Kumar said, it is my honour and a privilege to represent our local ALP members of the federal electorate of Aston at the Victorian ALP State Conference. I am very appreciative to local ALP members for their support, and many others for their well wishes and encouragement. I always look forward to fight for the true labor values, i.e.,: 1. Equal access to free & quality education. 2. Better health and public transport. 3. Only Labor will support workers rights and create job opportunities for people. 4. Right to peacefully protest. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082


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If there is no ‘human’ essence in ‘spirituality’ then it is a false system: Pan Nalin

By Neeraj Nanda


ndian filmmaker Pan Nalin’s (Samsara and Valley of Flowers) FAITH CONNECTIONS, the superb new film, is screening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) this month as a special feature of its Autumn program. Pan Nalin travels to the Kumbh Mela, one of the world's most extraordinary religious events. There, he encounters remarkable men of mind and meditation, some facing an inextricable dilemma; to embrace the world or to renounce it. FAITH CONNECTIONS explores such diverse and deeply moving stories such as those of a young runaway kid, a Sadhu, a mother desperately looking for her lost son, a yogi who is raising an abandoned baby, and an ascetic who keeps his calm by smoking cannabis – all connected by one faith against the spectacular display of devotion. I talked to Pan Nalin (in Paris) via Skype from Melbourne and asked him questions about FAITH CONNECTIONS and upcoming films laced with queries on spirituality, materialism and clash of faiths. Nalin is deep rooted and simply philosophical. A rare quality in an otherwise confused world. Excerpts from the interview: Q: Do ‘Samsara’ and ‘Faith Connections’ reflect the contradiction between ‘spirituality’ and ‘materialism’? A: Yes, they do. In modern times spirituality and faith are separated from each other. People are spiritual but not religious. People working at the ground level like the French Medicines Sans Frontiers are very spiritual. Spirituality at the Kumbh Mela in the 21st century is interesting because millions driven by faith go there. All they want is a dip in the holy Ganges. And then they go back to the world into day to day routine life. Q: In ‘Faith Connections’ you seem to project the ‘human’ side of ‘spirituality’. Would you say ‘sprituality’ itself is ‘human’? A: ‘Spirituality’ is definitely the most human thing. If there is no ‘human’

essence in ‘spirituality’ then it is a false system of belief. People go to the Kumbh Mela to get spiritual guidance. The joint family has collapsed and couples are divorcing in large numbers. They go to the Kumbh Mela for relief and spirituality. Some are embracing Buddhism in the East and West. It’s not necessarily supernatural. It is reflected in many ways at the Kumbh Mela. Some said it is ‘blind faith’ but it looks ignorance becomes a bliss. A dip in the Ganges makes them happy conversing with the divine or nature. The rich have a career to make or send their daughter to Oxford or a business to expand. For the rich educated mind, money and capitalism are the biggest religion. But for the poor except ‘shrdha’ for ‘GangaMaiya’ there is nothing else. Q: The stories you have weaved in ‘Faith Connections’ also indicate life is more important than faith? A: It is the same thing. Every life is driven by faith. Life and faith are two sides of the same coin. Q: Don’t you think the story of a sadhu bringing up an abandoned child needs a separate movie? A: It does. This story came to us accidently. Whole night we were shooting and tired. Then we saw Hatyogi Baba doing Yoga and later he was preparing a milk bottle. Then we saw the baby and we started filming. We were touched by it. In fact, someone abandoned the child outside his home and he tried to search the parents but no one came forward. Cops were suspicious. But no one else cared for the baby. He is now attached to him and bringing him up with love. He does not want him to become a Sadhu and wants to give him a choice when he grows up. Q: Your topics are faith oriented. Are you just enticed by Hinduism and it’s off shoots or it could be any faith? A: It could be any faith. Every story has a spiritual part. Even Star Wars and Matrix had it. Even politics is driven by faith. Q: Your home state Gujarat has generated lots of controversy for the 2002 communal riots. Does this clash of faiths disturb you as a film maker?

A: Yes, it disturbs me. I grew up in a village near Junagadh and had many Muslim friends. I played in the mosque. They played with us. When I was born my mother wrapped me in a Green cloth and kept me in front of a saint’s structure. I had a friend Abdul. Then there were riots in Rajkot and an MLA came to our school to lecture putting poison in our minds. Then Abdul was shifted to a madarasa and he did not come to attend Garbha with me. Slowly, it became worse and worse. Q: What is the reason behind it? A: When we are young we are innocent and venerable. Stupid politicians exploit us. Some people are different and dig history. They want you to be right wing extremists. But interestingly in the Kumbh Mela 40 per cent volunteers and 50-60 % vehicle drivers were Muslims. Q: Tell us about your French connection and the box office success of your movies. A: I live in both Paris and Mumbai half year each. Most of my films are financed in Europe. Faith Connections is a France-India coproduction. Samsara made 130 crore and Valley of Flowers made 45 crore. Faith Connections will be released in 70/80 countries and in about 100 theatres in Europe. - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

‘Spirituality’ is definitely the most human thing. If there is no ‘human’ essence in ‘spirituality’ then it is a false system of belief. People go to the Kumbh Mela to get spiritual guidance. The joint family has collapsed and couples are divorcing in large numbers. Q: What do you say about Bollywood? A: We can’t say everything there is crap. Bollywood will not go. But there is space for other cinema also. But we cannot be watching mindless stupid movies. Q: Tell me about your upcoming Indo-NZ-OZ movie- Beyond the Known World? A: It’s my first English film where a divorced couple from New Zealand go to the Himalayas to search their lost daughter. It deals with the life of a modern couple. I call it a spiritual thriller. Q: And what about ‘Buddha’? A: Its’ a big English language movie. It’s under development and the script is ready. But no casting yet. FAITH CONNECTIONS: Wednesday 2 – Thursday 24 April; Australian Centre For The Moving Image (ACMI); Director Pan Nalin,115mins, India/France, 2013, Hindi with English subtitles. Courtesy: Madman Entertainment; Bookings/ info: —SAT News Service


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Amitabh Bachchan to open Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2014

By our reporter


elbourne, 28 March : Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bchchan will open the Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2014 on May 1 at the HOYTS, Melbourne Central at 6.30 pm. The 2014 festival program was launched by the Minister for Innovation, Tourism and Major Events,and Employment and Trade Louise Asher, and acclaimed Bollywood diva and Festival Ambassador, Ms Vidya Balan. CEO of the festival Mrs. Mitu Bhowmick was also present. Louise Asher also announced that Bollywood screen sensation Amitabh Bachchan will be open the eleven days long festival . Melbourne’s historic Princess Theatre is no stranger to firsts. Built in 1886, it boasted the world’s first retractable roof and featured state-of-the-art electrical stage lighting. Now this beautiful landmark will host the inaugural IFFM Awards on May2, recognising the best of Indian cinema live on stage. Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film and Best India Film awards are all up for grabs, while the one and only Amitabh Bachchan will receive the IFFM International Screen Icon Award for his magnificent contributions to world cinema. Amitabh Bachchan first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Bollywood, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.So total was his dominance of the movie scene in the 1970s and 1980s that

the French director François Truffaut called him a "one-man industry". Addressing media persons at the Investment Centre, Collins Street in the city Ms Asher said that the festival will be held from 1 to 11 May and feature over 40 films, with more than half being Australian premieres. “Films will be shown in 20 languages and we will have five free screenings at Federation Square,” Ms Asher said. “Victorians and all visitors to Melbourne are in for a treat of Indian films this year. “We have a stellar international guest list starring Bollywood screen legend Amitabh Bachchan who will open the festival on 1 May. “It will be an honour to have Mr Bachchan here, just a year after he opened the Cannes Film Festival with his Great Gatsby co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio,” Ms Asher said. Other industry guests include Konkona Sen Sharma (one of India’s leading stars of arthouse and independent cinema), Vijay Krishna Acharya (director of Dhoom 3), Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (director of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag),Shaan Shahid (star of Waar, Pakistan’s highest-grossing box office hit of all time), Hassan Waqas Rana (producer of Waar) and Suhasini Maniratnam (icon of South India cinema). Ms Asher said that this year’s festival would see the return of Festival favourites, such as the interactive master classes, Western Union Short Film competition and the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition, to be judged by the incredible actor /producer Malaika Arora Khan, a judge on TV show India’s Got Talent. “In response to community feedback, the festival has also added to the program

an exciting new section called New Voices, which will feature six films from first time filmmakers,” Ms Asher said. Ms Asher thanked Ms Balan for coming to Melbourne to help launch the festival program. “Ms Balan is a great friend of Victoria, and known for her roles portraying strong female protagonists. She launched the 2012 and 2013 Festivals and it is an honour and a pleasure to have Ms Balan back this year. “The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne brings prominent Indian filmmakers and screen professionals to Melbourne, helps promote Victoria as an international screen production destination, and provides opportunities todevelop Victorian and Indian screen partnerships,” Ms Asher said. Addressing the media Vidya Balan said she felt at home in Melbourne and would come back again with her husband soon. She thanked the Victorian government for supporting the IFFM 2014 and she considered the festival as a personal achievement. IFFM Festival director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange said the 2014 IFFM would be the most exciting and ambitious festival yet. “We could not have asked for a better chief guest than the patriarch of Indian cinema and one of the most iconic Indians of all times, Mr Amitabh Bachchan to open the festival on 1 May,” Ms Bhowmick Lange said. “The inaugural IFFM Awards takes the festival to a new level and we are all very excited to see who the winners will be. I hope you will all join in with your friends and family to celebrate the magic of cinema!” — SAT News Service - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082


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Interview with

Vidya Balan By Neeraj Nanda


idya Balan was in Melbourne as Brand Ambassador to launch the Indian Film Festival Melbourne 2014 and immediately after the media conference, I caught up with her and had a short but candid interview. This was my fourth interview of Vidya Balan. The year 2009 marked the beginning of the successful period in her career as she portrayed five consecutive roles to wide critical acclaim in the 2009 drama Paa, the 2010 black comedy Ishqiya, the 2011 semibiographical thriller No One Killed Jessica, the 2011 biopic The Dirty Picture, and the 2012 thriller Kahaani. Her latest release has been Shaadi Ke Side Effects. These roles established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Most of your movies have been women centric. But in ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ (SKSE) Farhan Akthar dominates. It becomes a husband centric movie. The viewers were expecting something else? A: Maybe people have the habit of seeing me in women centric movies. Thankfully they enjoyed such movies. Many people told me about my past women centric films. But as an actress it is important to do different kinds of movies. So, in SKSE I liked the director’s approach to a couple’s story. I am happy I did this movie. But I am coming back with ‘Bobby Jasoos’. Q: So, what’s ‘Bobby Jasoos’ all about? A: This is the story of a 30 year

old Hyderabad girl who moves around disguised as a spy. She is a typical ’mohalla’ girl and her family is pressurising her to get married. Her dream is to become a detective. It’s a human story as well. Q: Don’t you think while women centric movies do well, women in real life do not do so well. A: The situation of women is rapidly changing in India. Maybe not as rapidly but slowly happening. That you, in fact, see on the screen. Cinema reflects reality. There are problems but cinema also inspires. Lots of attitudes of women are also reflected in cinema. So, if you tell the story of a rich man it does not mean everyone is a rich man. Still we tell the story. Q: Coming back to SKSE. In some of the scenes you are very - (03) 9095 6220, 0421 677 082

relaxed. Is it just you or editing has contributed towards it? A: When we connect to the script it helps to believe in what you are doing right from costumes, dialogues etc. etc. After that comes the editing. I can’t take sole credit for everything but give full credit to Director Saket Chaudhry for SKSE. Q: Tell me when will dynasties in the film industry end. As many feel in a country of a billion people there is so much talent? A: One can get an initial break but to sustain you have to have talent. Q: Your message to Indian film lovers in Melbourne. A: There is lots of excitement. Please come and enjoy. Don’t miss the awards evening on May 2. —SAT News Service.

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SAT April 2014  
SAT April 2014