In~epe~n"~.ence Day A Civic and Social Event he United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4, a day of patriotic celebration and family events throughout the country. In the words of Founding Father John Adams, the holiday is "the great anniversaryfestival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance...lt ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." The holiday is a major civic occasion,
On July 4, 1852, the black journalist and abolitionist Frederick Douglass decried the evils of slavery, still prevalent in the American South at that time, but identified forces "drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions in operation" that "must inevitably work the downfall of slavery." Ninety years later, in the darkest moments of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reminded the nation Above: Founding Father James Wilson. The Washington Monument (jar left), Erie Canal (left> and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (below) all broke ground on Independence Day. Left below: Seth Eason is surrounde'i1 by flags at the July Fourth parade at Southport, North Carolina.
with roots deep in the Anglo-American tradition of political freedom. Construction of important public works sometimes begins on July 4. The Erie Canal, Washington Monument and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (the nation's first) all broke ground on Independence Day. The date reflects a desire symbolically to stamp these projects as true civic improvements. The Fourth of July also is a time when elected officials and other public figures give speeches extolling American traditions and values. On July 4, 1788, Founding FatherJames Wilson addressed a gathering in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,that was, at that time, possibly the largestJuly 4 celebration in the young nation's history. He exhorted his fellow citizens to ratify the proposed Constitution. "What is the object exhibited to our contemplation?" he asked. "A whole people exercising its first and greatest power-performing an act of sovereignty, original and unlimited..."
that July 4 symbolized "the democratic freedom which our citizens claim as their precious birthright." On July 4, 2001, President George W. Bush spoke outside Independence Hall, Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. That document, he said, continues to represent "the standard to which we hold others, and the standard by which we measure ourselves. Our greatest achievements have come when we have lived up to these ideals. Our greatest tragedies have come when we have failed to uphold them." ~ Michael Jay Friedman staff writer.
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PUBLISHER n this July/August issue of SPAN, we mark the 231 st anniversary of American independence on July 4 and the 60th anniversary of India's independence on August 15, U,S,-India diplomatic relations date from the 18th century, when George Washington, America's first President, sent an envoy to India, but contemporary Americans are proud that the United States was the first country to initiate diplomatic relations with India in August 1947, SPAN is pleased to present articles written especially for our readers by veteran Indian diplomat K, Shankar Bajpai and American historian Stanley Wolpert that explain, reminisce, and comment on relations between our countries over the past six decades, These, and other articles in our special segment on U,S.-India relations, review the natural affinity of two peoples who fought to win their independence from the same colonial power, and who built successful democracies, yet nevertheless experienced difficulties during the past 60 years over differing world views, The articles contributed by these distinguished writers reflect sentiments that public opinion polls in India and America clearly show-there is a deep and broad consensus that our two great democracies have embarked upon a new era of cooperation based on shared values and interests. We see evidence of this not only in the similar language in our nations' founding documents and our governments' foreign policies, but also in the broadening commercial and people-to-people relations between our countries. An article by SPAN Editor Laurinda Keys Long on exciting possibilities for growth and cooperation in aviation and an essay by Manuka Khanna on the challenges ahead in finding common ground on the issue of intellectual property rights provide examples of contemporary engagements between India and the United States. In his review of the interesting new history on political activism by Indian Americans, Francis C. Assisi underscores the extraordinary contributions of individual Indians and Americans-unique personalities from a flamboyant businessman to a principled President-who made important contributions to our cultural, social and diplomatic relations. In the last segment of his series on traveling by bus across the United States, the Indian writer-photographer and intrepid traveler Sebastian John contemplates our two nations and makes the case that individual, personal connections between Indians and Americans will continue to grow. Happy Independence Day!
or over two decades now, India and the United States have been building up a constructive cooperation over an everwidening range of issues and areas--economic, political, strategic and, perhaps most importantly of all, in that complex realm of cultural and human interactions which, by underpinning relations with greater mutual understanding, consolidate all other aspects on firmer foundations. This happy and promising evolution, so steadily, if often frustratingly, sought by well-wishers on both sides, is now seen by the two countries as the realization of what should have been the nature of their ties all along, and also by the international community as a whole as one of the major features of the new century. But it has taken a long time coming, and all of us who want the current trends to lead to still more fruitful relations in the future would do well to bear in mind what history tells us. The 60th anniversary of India's independence is also commonly seen as marking the 60th anniversary of Indo-American diplomatic relations, but these are actually some six years older. It was in November of 1941, even before Pearl Harbor and World War II brought them together as allies, that a certain Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai, till then a member of the Viceroy of India's Executive Council, or Cabinet, presented his letter of introduction to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the first diplomatic representative of the Government of India to the United States, with Washington simultaneously appointing its first diplomatic envoy in New Delhi. India was not independent then, but almost anticipating that the USA would find itself embroiled in conflicts that would involve India, our British rulers permitted the opening of direct diplomatic relations, while applying their traditional skills of ambiguity to keep their status undefined. On the one hand, the Agent General of
K. Shankar Bajpai is a former secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, and Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pakistan, China and the United States (1984-86) India, as he was designated, was listed under the British Embassy, on the other, almost his fIrst act, on January 1, 1942, was to sign separately for India the Declaration of the United Nations, making us one of the original founders of the subsequent organization. This vague anomalousness that attended the beginning of the relationship in many ways marked its early evolution. Each side wanted to be friends without quite knowing what to make of each other. There was strong feeling among thoughtful Americans, not least on the From left: Indira part of the President himself, that India Gandhi, First Lady ought to be free, but it was limited not Elizabeth Truman, only in extent but in effectiveness by Vijayalakshmi Pandit, what were seen as the over-riding comPresident Harry S pulsions of Anglo-American unity in Truman and Prime fighting the war. On our side, politicalMinister Jawaharlal ly conscious Indians-and the struggle Nehru at a reception at for independence made that group the Indian Embassy in almost identical with the people of Washington, D.C. India-looked to the USA as being the bulwark of democracy and the harbinger of freedom, but with hardly any Indian ever having visited the USA, the expectations were overtaken by reality. The relationship was in fact shaped, initially, and for many decades, by the influence of two coincidences. The first was that, when the United States was gaining its independence, in the late
The United States was the first Country to Exchange Ambassadors with Modern India (Excerpts from remarks by K. Asaf AIi, Ambassador of India, on presentation of his credentials to U.S. President Harry S Truman in February 1947) It is my unique privilege as the first Ambassador of the far-famed and ancient land of India and of her 400 million people to have the honour of presenting to You, Sir, as the Head of the Great Republic of the United States of America, the Letter of Credence to which His Majesty King George the Sixth of the United Kingdom, as advised by the Honourable Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Vice President and Foreign Minister of the Interim Government of India, has set His hand and seal, and charged me with the honourable task of delivering it to Your Excellency in person. I may, on this historic occasion, crave Your indulgence, Sir, to assure You and through You the great and powerful people of the United States that my countrymen have watched with deep and extremely friendly interest the inspiring spectacle of the free and freedom-loving people of the United States marching from peak to peak of prosperity, and ever higher achievements, which have made the progressive pattern of Western civilization worthy of sincere admiration. This is the first time after centuries, that India, at the dawn of her renewed freedom, has entered into direct diplomatic relationship at the highest level with a Power and people of the Western hemisphere who occupy a unique place in history in every sense of the term. Permit me, Sir, to assure You that my Government and people very greatly appreciated Your Government's decision to be the first in the world to exchange Ambassadors with India. We are peculiarly sensitive to friendship on equal and honourable terms, and loyalty to friends, once we know they are friends, is our national characteristic ...
Henry F. Grady
18th century, India was losing hers. This meant that for the better part of nearly 200 years, we two had practically nothing to do with each other; we knew little of each other and, worse still, what little consciousness there was of each other was not exactly favorable. Oddly enough, the same other party was involved in losing to America and conquering India, but despite this basically antagonistic relationship with that third party we took on many of its prejudices about each other. India to Americans was mainly the India of Kipling, of Gunga Din and the Jungle books, of poverty, the rope trick and bizarre religious
New DelhI. Rec'd
practices-or, at the same time of mysticism and otherworldliness practiced to the point of incomprehensibility. And, with almost no personal experience of the USA, educated Indians absorbed British views of their "trans-Atlantic country cousins" as crude, brash and assertive. Moreover-and this is something Americans never allowed for, nobody with a head or a heart could have grown up under colonial rule without becoming in some measure socialist: the crisis of capitalism marked by the Great Crash, and the rise of Fascism, both made socialism appealing as the better answer to both, but for the subjugated peoples of colonialism, there was the added attraction that such friends for their freedom as they could find were among the socialist parties of the imperial powers. And in the intellectual climate created by all these preconceptions, India seemed too difficult to most Americans to deal with, and to many Indians, America was supporting, if not originating, capitalist imperialism to the great detriment of the colonized peoples. There were many people of high intellect and high good will, in both countries, who transcended these unfortunate superficialities, and who felt India and America were fundamentally on the same side of human values and standards, and who ought to have a better relationship. In a publication of the American Embassy, it is particularly appropriate to pay tribute to those who worked for such ends, often against Washington's preferences, not only such Ambassadors who always come to mind because they were also major pub-
Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt tries her hand at a spinning wheel during her visit to New Delhi.
October 27, 1946 5:50 p.m.
The Secretary Of State Washl.ngton
9262. I have the honour to I.nform Your Excellency that pendl.ng the appol.ntment of an Ambassador to represent Hl.s Majesty Tpe Kl.ng I.nrespect of Indl.a I.n the USA, Hl.s Majesty ~~ approved the appol.ntment of Sl.r Gl.rja Shankar BaJpal. as Hl.s Majesty's Charge d'Affal. for Indl.a. I have the honour to request that Sl.r G.S. Bajpal. be recel.ved by Your Excellency's Government I.n that capacl.ty. Sl.gned Jawaharlal Nehru, member I.ncharge External Affal.rs Department, Government of Indl.a.
lic figures back home, Chester Bowles, John Sherman Cooper, Ellsworth Bunker and John Kenneth Galbraith, to mention only the most famous, but-perhaps even more importantly-the succession of officials whose names do not get listed. Their labors were all the more admirable because, if the first coincidence shadowed relations through ignorance and misconception, if not downright prejudice, a second coincidence soon made matters worse. This was that when India regained its independence and emerged on the world stage as a player in its own right, the USA finally assumed its role as the leading actor-manager. Given the great differences between the two, of geography and history, of resources and capabilities, there were bound to be differences of perspectives and priorities. In summary, the USA focused on what was then called the containment of international communism, whereas India, like every other victim of the old imperialism, considered the ending of colonialism both essential in itself
and the best answer to the threats perceived by the West. And such broad divergences of outlook and priority were soon compounded by a real clash of national interests, with the United States' decision in 1954 to enter into a military pact with a Pakistan already engaged in hostilities with India. Have the effects of the old coincidences entirely disappeared? While celebrating our new relationship, we should remember the past, not as prologue, not to attempt postmortems, or to dwell on historical controversies, but simply to understand how things went wrong so as to ensure better cooperation in the future. With both the substance and the tone of relations very different now, both sides are concentrating on the positive dynamics of mutual interests and mutual cooperation. But, as we are strikingly reminded by the strong pressures within both India and America against the historic nuclear project which the far-seeing leaders of the two countries have originated, what kept us apart in the past has a lingering legacy. This requires both sides to show what is hard between any states, hardest between democracies as robust as our two: a patient allowance for each other's ways and constraints. We must not only cease to be prisoners of the past, we must just not allow ourselves to be prisoners of any kind-to broader compulsions or to petty prejudices. It is easy to say we are doing what you don't want or not doing what you do want because of the totality of global interests. What I want to bring out here is that each of us is constantly having to balance that totality. In the past, that balancing worked out against the kind of cooperation we now are building up; it should now work out as a positive spur. Consider the major challenges to the world today. Look at the region where Indo-U.S. interests are most commensurate: the security of the Gulf, the stability of central Asia, the changing power equations of East Asia and concomitantly of South East Asia, the whole security framework of the Indian Ocean, not least the freedom of the seas. Look at the wider transnational issues of our times: terrorism, narcotics, HIV/AIDS, energy security, a whole host of environmental issues. On all of these,
Truman Telegram On this memorable occasion, I extend to you, to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and to the people of the Dominion of India the sincere best wishes of the Government and the people of the United States of America. We welcome India's new and enhanced status in the world community of sovereign independent nations, assure the new Dominion of our continued friendship and good will, and reaffirm our confidence that India, dedicated to the cause of peace and to the advancement of all people, will take its place at the forefront of the nations of the world in the struggle to fashion a world society founded in mutual trust and respect. India faces many grave problems, but its resources are vast, and I am confident that its people and leadership are equal to the tasks President Harry S Truman ahead. In the years to come the peo- and Prime Minister ple of this great new nation will find Jawaharlal Nehru in 1949. the United States a constant friend. I earnestly hope that our friendship wi II in the future, as in the past, continue to be expressed in close and fruitful cooperation in international undertakings and in cordiality in our relations one with the other. Telegram from President Harry S Truman to Lord Louis Mountbatten, August 14, 1947
Helen Keller with a guest during her visit to Kolkata.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and wife Caretta Scott King lay a wreath at Raj Ghat during a visit to India.
India and America have such vital interests in common, it is to the advantage of both to work together. Of course, commonality of interests and objectives does not preclude differences over ways and means of serving them, and Delhi and Washington are bound to have some different views, as each does with just about every other country in the world. But unlike in the past, there is now a foundation in substance to Indo-American relations which obliges both sides to keep looking for greater cooperation. All relationships ultimately depend on relevance. As the world's greatest power, capable of influencing the course of events wherever it chose, if not always in intended ways, America has of course always been relevant to other states, but for decades India lay beyond its strategic or economic horizons. Both now and for the foreseeable future, share major strategic and economic interests, underpinned at last by a healthy consciousness of each other. When I was a schoolboy in Washington, "present at the creation" to use Dean Acheson's phrase, even the word Indian denoted something very different-at the Indian Agency General, as our Mission was called, it was quite common, to begin with, to find a group of what are now called Native Americans, in full tribal regalia, expecting it to be a branch of the federal U.S. government. Thanks to the rise of the people of Indian origin, not least also to such imponderables as the fame ofIndia's brain power, its writers, filmmakers, scientists and entrepreneurs, no less than to the efforts of the two governments, India is seen very differently now in America. And though some of the early misconceptions are still at work in India, as in America, it does not need opinion polls to show how favorably our people look at and to the USA. We have certainly come a long way in these six decades-and, surely, this is just the beginning. ~
By STANLEY WOLPERT'
Jawaharlal Nehru with Sir Stafford Cripps at Birla House in New Delhi in March 1942.
he United States of America and India share many values and ideals, among which are commitment to democratic civil government, freedom of speech, press and judiciary, and to universal human rights. Both great democracies, born after arduous struggles for freedom from the tyranny of British
Imperial rule, remain intimately related by memories of battles against the arrogance of royal taxation without representation. We proudly remember our Boston Tea Party, just as Indians remember Mohandas K. Gandhi's Salt March. Thus, on this 60th anniversary of India's Independence Day, we should recall how one of our greatest presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, tried his best to help India's National Congress win its just demands for freedom long before World War ITended.
President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the White House garden. Prime Minister Nehru had also visited the United States in 1956.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives for the state banquet held in his honor by President Rajendra Prasad at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was the first U.S. President to visit India.
Stanley Wolpert is an author whose 59-year association with the Indian subcontinent has produced more than 20 books. Winston Churchill's War Cabinet sent Sir Stafford Cripps out to India in 1942, after the swift fall of Singapore shocked Churchill into fearing that India might be attacked by Japanese troops. India's National Congress refused to assist the Allied war effort after Viceroy Lord Linlithgow arrogantly announced that India was "at war"
against Germany and Japan without so much as bothering to give any prior notice to or consult with Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, or Abul Kalam Azad. The radical Cripps was the British Cabinet's best friend of Nehru and Gandhi, and hoped to reassure them of Britain's willingness to grant India the freedom
Congress had long demanded, but only after the war ended. Churchill insisted that his Cabinet's offer, which Cripps carried to India, must include an "opt out" clause for any British Indian province that preferred not to join the Indian National Congress' post war Dominion. Gandhi and Nehru accurately read that clause as wily
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (right) and her sister Princess Lee Radziwill ride an elephant at the Amber Palace near Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Churchill's "green card" concession to Jinnah's Muslim League, which, at its Lahore meeting in 1940, demanded an independent Muslim Dominion of Pakistan. As soon as Gandhi saw Cripps' offer he dismissed it as "a post dated cheque on a Bank that is failing," asking Sir Stafford, "Why have you come so far if this is all you have to offer?" President Roosevelt wondered much the same thing, and tried his best to convince Churchill that by winning the support of India's National Congress, the Allied Powers would be popular enough throughout India to crush any potential Japanese invasion. Churchill considered Roosevelt totally "naive" about India, however, and was himself so irrationally prejudiced against its
President S. Radhakrishnan (second from right) with Walt Disney (right) at Disneyland, California, during his visit to the United States.
Sir Stafford Cripps and Mohandas K. Gandhi.
"Hindu priesthood" that he never dreamed of extending to Indians the democratic Atlantic Charter, demanding liberty, justice and freedom for "all peoples" that he and Roosevelt articulated as their primary reason to wage war against Nazi barbarism. Roosevelt sent Colonel Louis Johnson to India as ~s personal envoy early in 1942. The
I I I
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Lyndon B. Johnson leave the President's Office at the White House. He had visited India as Vice President in 1961.
President hoped that avuncular Johnson would befriend Nehru and bolster Cripps' efforts to bring Congress into the Allied fold, ignoring Lord Linlithgow's arrogance, while working out a radical formula for the most effecti ve way to bring the majority of India's vast population solidly behind the AngloU.S. struggle for liberty and justice against Fascist tyranny. Nehru was ready and eager to hitch "India's wagon to America's star and not Britain's," as his British spies informed Linlithgow, who was outraged when he learned of those "secret meetings" in Delhi. Johnson, Nehru and Cripps agreed to a "formula" they believed could save Cripps' offer from rejection by
While we fully realize that the struggle for Indian freedom will have to be carried on and won in India itself, we value very greatly the good opinion and sympathy of the people of America. In the world today they represent the most powerful democracy, and they will no doubt play a dominating part in the reshaping of world affairs. As we are ourselves devoted and committed to the ideal of a democratic free state in India we naturally look to America in many ways. Letter by Jawaharlal Nehru to an American friend in January 1940
President Richard M. Nixon plants a sapling at Raj Ghat in New Delhi. He had visited India as Vice President in 1953.
the Congress. Their idea was to ask Linlithgow to invite Nehru to join the Viceroy's Executive Council, putting him "in charge" of the War Department, while allowing Commander in Chief Lord Archibald Wavell to continue, in actual fact, to direct British India's huge military machine as he saw fit. Nehru's presence at Delhi's center of power would suffice to reassure his Congress comrades and "tone up" the "flagging spirit" of national support for the war effort. "Owing to very efficient and wholehearted help of Col. Johnson, I have hopes scheme may now succeed," Cripps wired Churchill, soon after it had seemed to him that he'd "failed." Sir Stafford was so excited about their for-
Filmmaker Satyajit Ray visited Washington to launch a retrospective of his films. The series, sponsored by the American Film Institute, gave American audiences the opportunity to see 17 of Ray's classics. He was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1992.
Daniel P. Moynihan
"We Americans may have some disagreement among ourselves as to what we are fighting for, but one thing we are sure what we are not fighting for is to hold the British Empire together. We don't want you to have illusions. If you cling to the Empire at the expense of a United Nations' victory, you will lose the war. Because you will lose us." An open letter to the people of Britain published in Ufe magazine in 1942
mula and its prospects for success that he actually ended his cable to Churchill by advising, "I should like you to thank the President for Col. Johnson's help on behalf of H.M.G. [Her Majesty's Government], and
also personally on my own behalf." (Shameful Flight, p.31) Linlithgow informed Wavell of what he learned about the "treacherous trio's conspiracy" and they both wired Churchill to advise that Johnson and Cripps be sent home-at least out of India-as swiftly as possible. Churchill called in Harry Hopkins, the U.S. President's personal envoy, to ask whether Roosevelt had given Colonel Johnson any "authority" to be "drawn" into India's constitutional issues. Hopkins "thought not," so Churchill wired Linlithgow to ignore the radical troika's recommendations, and then sent Cripps a stiff reminder that his offer was final and unalterable, limited to language approved by the entire War Cabinet. The last thing
Prime Minister Morarji Desai and President Jimmy Carter at the White House.
Ambassador to the United States
Nani A. Palkhivala
President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter at Daulatpur village in Haryana. The village was later renamed Carterpuri.
Indian Declaration 01 Independence Draws on American Declaration "We hold these truths to be self-evident," states the American Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration continues: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." It was to these words of the American Declaration of Independence that the framers of the Indian Declaration turned to for inspiration on January 26, 1930. The document prepared by the Indian National Congress was read at meetings throughout India. It says: "We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people as of any other people to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have necessities of life so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them, the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it..." Both the U.S. and Indian declarations are in the form of a general preamble and a list of abuses by the British government of the time. Since the United States and India were under colonial rule when these documents were written, their grievances are in many ways similar: unfair taxation, arbitrary exile, interference with trade, imposition of an expensive colonial administration and the presence of an army of occupation.
Churchill wanted was to start dealing with "Red" Nehru as India's "War Member," preferring to lock him up with "half naked Fakir" Gandhi and the rest of Congress' troublesome Working Committee for the duration of the war. "I regret to say," Roosevelt wired Churchill, when he learned of the "failure" of Cripps' mission, "that in the United States ...the feeling is held almost universally that the deadlock has been due to the British Government's unwillingness to concede the right of self government to the Indians notwithstanding the willingness of the Indians to entrust to the competent British authorities technical military and naval
defence control. It is impossible for American public opinion to understand why, if there is willingness on the part of the British Government to permit the component parts of India to secede after the war from the British Empire, it is unwilling to permit them to enjoy during the war what is tantamount to self government." (Shameful Flight, p.36) "Anything like a serious difference between you and me would break my heart," Churchill wired back, "and would surely injure both our countries." Though Roosevelt firmly believed that Indians deserved full freedom and access to justice as much as every other people on earth did,
and that giving Indians immediate assurance of achieving those goals would prove of great advantage to the Allied war effort in its struggle against the Axis powers-Germany, Italy and Japan-he would not risk weakening his partnership with Churchill by insisting upon it. Winning the war clearly remained Roosevelt's highest priority, as Churchill well understood each time he dug in his heels when the anachronism of British India's "prison Raj" was alluded to in any discussion between them. Similarly, as soon as Linlithgow learned that any American, even Republican presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie, or the YMCA's Dr.
Sherwood Eddy, was interested in visiting India during the war, he wired Churchill, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, or Lord Halifax, the British Ambassador in Washington, urging them to block such American interference in "our business," since all "sentimental Americans" invariably wanted to meet Mohandas K. Gandhi, their world famous prisoner. And when frail Gandhi decided to fast as a prisoner during the war, the risk of his dying in detention raised so universal an outcry that Linlithgow, faced with his own council's unanimous opinion, felt obliged to release him, staggering Churchill, who berated his Viceroy in "this our hour of triumph everywhere in the
Stanley Wolpert's books are available at the American Library in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Vice President George Bush and wife Barbara Bush visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. Prime Minister Gandhi had also visited the United States in 1971.
President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan, Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Washington.
New Delhi The first diplomatic organization of the U.S. government to be set up in New Delhi was the office of the Personal Representative of the President in Cochin House in 1941. The office moved into Bahawalpur House (left) in 1943. After India won independence in 1947, afull-fledged American Embassy was established at Bahawalpur House. The Embassy moved to Chanakyapuri in 1959.
Kolkata The Metropolitan Building in Kolkata which housed the United States Information Service office till 1991. The story of official representation of the U.S. Government in India begins in this city in November 1792, when America's first President, George Washington, nominated Benjamin Joy, of Massachusetts, to be Consul. In the 1860s, the Consulate General had under its jurisdiction seven Consular Agencies: Aden, Akyab, Bassein, Chittagong, Cocanada, Moulmein and Rangoon.
Mumbai A 1937 photograph ofWankaner House. It was later renamed Lincoln House and now houses the offices of the U.S. Consulate General. In 1843, President Martin Van Buren issued a commission dated October 5,1838, to Philemon S. Parker, of New York, as Consul. At times during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a Consular Agency at Karachi was under its jurisdiction. Effective July 1, 1945, it was raised to a Consulate General, with Consul General Howard Donovan as the principal officer.
Chennai The Chennai Consulate building which opened in 1969. A Consular Agency was established on May 24, 1867, with the appointment of Joseph L. Thompson, of Massachusetts, as Consular Agent. The post continued as a Consular Agency under the Consulate General at Calcutta until 1908. In June that year, the post was raised to the rank of a Consulate. It continued as a Consulate until August 15, 1947, when it was elevated to the rank of.a Consulate General.
1992-1996 S.S. Ray
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Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao and President Bill Clinton address a press conference in Washington.
world ...to cringe before a miserable little old man who had always been our enemy." (Shameful Flight, p.54). Compassionate Roosevelt, however, conveyed his "deep concern" over the "danger of Gandhi's death" to Linlithgow, through his second personal envoy to India, Ambassador William Phillips. Linlithgow was livid at such "insidious advice," believing, as Lord Halifax informed him, that Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of the Chinese leader, were the powerful "duo," who, between them, had got to the U.S. President, pressing him to lobby for Gandhi's freedom. Roosevelt also told his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, that "Our biggest desire is not to see [Gandhi] die in prison." Churchill, suffering from a bad bout of flu during the war, believed baseless reports that Gandhi's Indian doctors were
"adding glucose" to his daily dose of water. "I imagine he has been eating better meals than I have for the last week," Churchill bitterly informed Linlithgow. On July 1, 1942, Gandhi wrote to Roosevelt: "I venture to think that the Allied declaration [Atlantic Charter] that the Allies are fighting to make the world safe for freedom of the individual and for democracy sounds hollow, so long as India and, for that matter, Africa are exploited by Great Britain....1f India becomes free, the rest must follow....So far as India is concerned, she must become free." (Nehru: A Tryst With Destiny, p.314.) Half a decade later, freedom would finally be granted to weary India by Britain's postwar Labour Government, though only in conjunction with a premature, tragically hasty Partition, inflicted upon South Asia primarily by Churchill's poor "choice" (confirmed by
Deputy Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1945) for India's Viceroy, impatient young Lord Louis Mountbatten. Gandhi's dream, nonetheless, never died, ardently shared as it was by Roosevelt and by Nehru, who, as Congress president in 1930, first drafted India's Purna Swaraj ("Complete Independence") pledge that began by echoing America's Constitutional mantra: "We believe that it is the unalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth." India's first decades of freedom were fraught with refugee sufferings, violent conflicts and bitter economic weakness, but happily, for the past decade and a half at least, India's democracy has transformed itself into the world's third most vigorous global economy.
Our own most cherished freedom loving values, added to our Constitution by its Founding Fathers as our "Bill of Rights," were for the most part adopted by India's Founding Fathers in their Republic's Constitution as "Fundamental Rights," continuing to remind us of how closely allied we of the United States of America and India remain, having both struggled for our freedom, firmly holding fast to the same values and democratic _id_e_a_Is_.
The quotes in this article are mostly from Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India, published last October by Oxford University Press. One quote is from an earlier book, Nehru: A Tryst With by Destiny, also published Oxford University Press, in 1996.
Please share your views on this article. Write to editorspan@ state.gov
III First Lady Hillary Clinton meets Mother Teresa at the opening of the Mother Teresa Home for Infant Children in Washington in June. The First Lady visited India in March 1995 with daughter Chelsea.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Bill Clinton at the welcome ceremony on the White House lawns in September. President Clinton had visited India a few months earlier, in March.
elations between the two great democracies-India and the United States-date to the time when India had not yet gained independence. Over the passage of time, these relations have been conditioned by various factors, which resulted in cooperation as well as conflict. Occasionally, some rifts were bridged and paved the way for stronger ties, whereas some perpetual irritants continued to mar relations. In current times too, the relations are influenced by several interrelated factors, of which one of significance is the Indian patent policy. It was a major irritant in
Indo-U.S. relations in the 1980s, but has now become one of the major resources for strengthening relations. Indian patent laws date to 1856 and have been modified over time. After independence, the suggestions of the Patent Inquiry Committee (194850) and the Ayyangar Committee (1957-59) were incorporated in the Indian Patent Act (1970), to encourage innovation by protecting proprietary research and development. This philosophy was unable to meet the Indian requirement of encouraging access to foreign technologies, which was
difficult due to high costs. In order to reconcile this, patents were issued for methods of producing products, but not for the products themselves. This permitted the commercialization of a drug that was a proprietary product of another as long as it was produced in a different method. This approach varied greatly from the policy of the developed countries, especially the United States. The Indian government did not accept the idea of "product patent protection" because of pressure from companies duplicating Western-
President George W Bush with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his arrival in New Delhi. Prime Minister Singh had visited Washington in July 2005.
manufactured drugs. The Indian policy also met with U.S criticism with regard to the patent term, which was far shorter than the 20 years mandated by the World Trade Organization. The term for an Indian patent for chemicals, food, medicines and drugs was seven years from the date of filing the application or five years from the date of sealing, whichever was shorter, In the case of other products, the patent term was 14 years from the date of filing the complete specification, The Patent Act also made provision for the use of patented inventions by the government to ensure that there is no scarcity of patented articles and their prices do not go up This law did not allow the patenting of atomic energy and living organisms. Thus, the Indian law came into conflict with the American law, which allowed wider patenting, The 1980s witnessed enhanced Indo-U.S. cooperation in science and technology. A significant step was the Science and Technology Initiative in 1982 and its renewal in 1985 for another three years There were successful joint ventures in the fields of health, agriculture, biomass, solid-state sciences, electronics, computers, precision instrumentation and software development This cooperation, however, was threatened by the U.S. insistence on changes in Indian patent laws, The United States specifically wanted India to introduce product patents in all categories and extend their duration. India, however, opposed these alterations as they would come in the way of new research findings and perpetuate monopolies. Though the Science and Technology Initiative was renewed after India accepted the inclusion of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in the 1986-94 Uruguay Round of world trade talks, the patent issue remained unresolved, In 1989, the United States named India among the eight countries that were on a "priority watch-list" for violation of American intellectual property rights, At the Uruguay talks, India emphasized the need for more favorable treatment for developing nations in the area of patents and trademarks. It also proposed that they should be given the freedom to adapt their domestic legislation to their economic development and the needs of their people The Indian government attempted to bring certain changes through the Patent Amendment Act of 199495, It failed due to the opposition of the domestic industry and no alterations were made until 1998. There were several changes in the 1990s, in the post Cold War scenario, when national
interests were associated with greater economic participation at the international level. The government was supported in its efforts to promote change by industrial bodies like the Confederation of Indian Industry, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. In May 2002, India fulfilled part of its commitment to the international community by extending the pharmaceutical patent protection from seven to 20 years and enacted the TRIPS-compliant Trademarks Act, Copyright Act and Designs Registration Act The main roadblock in the path of better relations with the United States was removed with the ratification of the Patent (Amendment) Act, 2005, by the Indian Parliament in April 2005. The Act was significant due to the introduction of the product patent regime. It changed several aspects of intellectual property with special impact on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, It granted a 20year term from the filing date of applications including for "mailbox applications" (which had been filed since 1995). The positive effect of the Act was witnessed during the visit of President George W. Bush to India in March 2006. India is now seen as a lucrative market and investment center, The two countries began cooperation in the field of space, health and defense, Hopes were raised for enhanced strategic cooperation and expansion in commerce. The Act has brought several welcome changes. Yet its Section 3(d) has raised a controversy because it does not recognize that new uses of known substances can be patented, on the grounds that they do not fulfill the "inventive step" requirement The patenting of traditional knowledge is also an issue of contention and often misunderstandings between developed and developing countries. The recent hubbub over false reports that yoga practices had been patented in the United States is one such example. Some other issues like the creation and management of legal and other infrastructure, labor law reforms and slow decision-making processes still cast a shadow on the relations. The two nations have traveled a long way since the 1980s and there are hopes that this upward trend will continue. ~ Manuka Khanna is a reader in the Department of Political Science, Lucknow University. She has also written the book,
Indo-U.s. Relations During Presidency of Ronald Reagan.
How South Asians
an India LobbJ in Washington arold Gould's illuminating and engaging study of Indo-U.S. relations is newsworthy in several respects. For the first time, we are given a blow-by-blow account of how the "India Lobby" succeeded in its endeavors in Washington, D.C during the 1940s, Secondly, the book goes on to identify a Department of State official, a scholar Gould calls a friend, who helped that lobbying effort by bringing their cause to the attention of the American press and public. Finally, Gould's book places in perspective the pro-India lobbying efforts of present-day groups such as the U.S. India Political Action Committee, the India Caucus in the U.S. Congress, the Friends of India group in the Senate, and organizations such as the Indian American Forum for Political Education. Despite their meager numbers-fewer than 5,000 in North America by 191 O-South Asians had begun the process of political mobilization in America. Their goal: to secure freedom from British rule back home in India and be assured of their civil rights in America. In her own book, historian Joan Jensen has tallied the plight of South Asians in America during that period: "Excluded from immigration, prosecuted for their political activities, threatened with deportation, excluded from citizenship, denaturalized, excluded from land ownership, and regulated even in the choice
The Hope and the Reality: U.S.-Indian Relations from Roosevelt to Reagan by Harold A. Gould is available at the American Library in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai.
SIKHS, SWAMIS, STUDENTS, AND SPIES
of a mate in the states where most of them lived, Indians now formed a small band of people set apart from Americans by what truly must have seemed a great white waiL" Who were the key activists behind the political awakening that followed? What were the institutions they created? How did they go about mobilizing and organizing a nascent community to fight for their civil rights? And how did it lead to President Harry S Truman's signature on the LuceCeller Bill on July 2, 1946, which ended four decades of what President Franklin D. Roosevelt had called "statutory discrimination against the Indians"? The big change the bill made for Indian immigrants in America was that it gave them the right to become U.S. citizens. Gould, a distinguished scholar of South Asian Studies at the University of Virginia reveals how the lobbying efforts of a handful of politically savvy South Asians in America would lead to the ultimate political breakthrough persuading significant sections of the American public, a majority of the U.S. Congress, and indeed the President himself, to decisively support independence for India.
Sikhs, Swamis, Students, and Spies The India Lobby in the United States, 1900-1946 by Harold A. Gould. Hardcover, 460 pages. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, 2006
Furthermore, he explains how they took the critical step in institution building by reaching out to sympathetic groups and individuals in the United States. But apparently it was Rawalpindiborn Sardar Jagjit Singh, known as J.J., who emerged as the "maestro of the final phase of the India Lobby's trek through American history." It was he who mastered the art of fitting into the social and political mainstream. One observer has commented that J.J. "never made a nuisance of himself" yet he "covered miles in Congressional hallways." Gould says that J.J.'s immersion in the economic life and cosmopolitan lifestyle of New York, transformed him into a suave, highly Westernized Indian, an "unshorn Sikh," who mastered the art of fitting into the American social and political mainstream. Basically, according to Gould, J.J. became a "one-man lobby" gaining control of the India League of
America and making it, along with the to be modest in the extreme. But in Indian Chamber of Commerce which the context of their time, and given he founded, the focal point of a lob- the limited manpower and material bying machine which took the lead in resources available to them, their projecting the South Asian message effort was remarkable; their accomin Washington, New York and plishments impressive." throughout the country. Indeed, it was This was also a time when the with great foresight that J.J. proposed India Lobby developed what Gould that the League pay less attention to calls a "mole" in the State Departculture and philosophy and more to ment. One of the newsworthy highpolitics and propaganda. He also lights of Gould's book is that he has proposed that the League abandon its publicly identified this man-an acapolicy of restricting its membership demic colleague to whom the book is to Indians and that it should go about dedicated: Robert Crane. corralling some prominent American According to Gould, a confidential members. memo, prepared by William Phillips, J.J.'s lobbying style in Washing- the U.S. special envoy to pre-indeton was colorfully described to the pendence India, addressed to author by Robert Crane, a former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and State Department official and scholar highly critical of British policy who knew J.J. well: "He ... used to towards Indian freedom, fell into the come down to D.C. two or three times hands of Drew Pearson, a syndicated a week, where he would rent a suite in columnist of The Washington Post. one of the best hotels in town, put out Phillips believed that the war effort in a very nice bar, and then hold a press Asia had been placed in jeopardy by conference which was announced in what he viewed as British arrogance advance. He would manage to get on and intransigence. Phi lIips insisted the press wires and ticker tapes. He that the British should, as a gesture was so shrewd. He always brought a to the nationalists, unequivocally Congressman or a Senator with him, declare their intention to grant indewhich naturally drew a crowd ... He pendence to India once the war had a genius for PR." ended. Pearson's disclosure of the J.J. believed that the American ambassador's comments in the Post business community might be caused a sensation in Washington, brought on board if one could con- and proved to be a public relations nect the immigration question and windfall for the India Lobby. Gould says that Pearson was fed political freedom for India to the post-war potential for expanded the information through Crane, who American trade with India. J.J. died in 1997. Crane, who later stressed this potentiality in a state- became a noted historian of South ment he gave before Congress in Asia, was, during this period, an early 1945. "The 400 million East obscure junior officer on the India Indians represent a great untapped Desk in the Division of Cultural trade reservoir," he declared. "There Relations in the State Department. As exists over there a great demand for the child of missionary parents, he had spent his early years in Bengal. American goods." According to Gould, the India This is a vastly important book for Lobby gelled and reached its climax all South Asian Americans as well as during World War II. By then Indians Americans interested in the historical had learned how to work the system, linkages with the subcontinent. It is had become media savvy and con- their story. ~ structed political networks. Gould reminds us: "By today's Francis C. Assisi is a columnist standards, of course, their efforts and for the California-based portal their accomplishments would appear indolink.com
Sharing, Learning and Teaching
he first program of the American Literature Study Circle on August 28, 1997, was a digital video conference on "Asian American Writers," held in the Lincoln Room in the American Center in Kolkata. Twenty-five founding members attended, all of them die-hard aficionados of American literature. Today, the Circle has grown much wider, boasting a vibrant membership of more than 300 academics, researchers and students in eastern and northeastern India. As the group prepares to host its 10th international conference on American Literature, in September, it continues a busy schedule of monthly and bimonthly lectures, discussions, poetry and play readings, translation sessions and film discussion programs. Speakers include senior college and university faculty members, research scholars, writers, poets and graduate students from
India, the United States and other countries. After her participation in a U.S. State Department sponsored Summer Institute Program on "American Literature in the 19th & 20th Centuries" at the University of Califomia, San Diego, in 1993, Dr. Krishna Sen of Calcutta University returned enriched with the vast range and scope of American literature. She was enthusiastic about promoting American literature in colleges and universities in West Bengal, where the curriculum was mainly focused on British literature. Largely due to the efforts of Dr. Sen and Professor Amitava Roy of Rabindra Bharati University, my own interest and support from then Kolkata Public Affairs Officer Janey Cole, the American Literature Study Circle was established and started functioning. That frrst Circle gathering involved the members listening to and questioning two panelists sitting in Washington, D.C.: Gish Jen, author of Typical America, and Belle Yang,
author of Baba: A Return to China Upon My Father's Shoulders. Their Indian interlocutors were Dr. Sen and Jayabroto ChatteIjee, novelist, filmmaker and corporate communicator. The inaugural program caught the imagination and aroused interest among academics and students who attended. They publicized it among their colleagues. Younger academics from major West Bengal universities came forward to establish a working committee. Gradually, American literature courses were popularized in universities, and scholars worked on Ph.D. programs on American literature themes. Some scholars expressed their view that American literature is vast, varied and unexplored and they asked: Why not expand knowledge to new research areas? The formation of the Study Circle thus fulfilled a long-felt need, not just to interact on matters of mutual interest in American literature, but also to be able to
Working Comminee The American Literature Study Circle working committee displays the Circle's publication, "Studies in American Literature" (1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005). (From left) Dr. Aninda Basu Roy, Dr. Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Shobha Chattopadhyay, Dr. Krishna Sen, Professor Amitava Roy and Ashok Sengupta. The founding working committee included Aparajita Nanda of Jadavpur University. After Nanda went to teach in Berkeley, California, in 2004, Dr. Chattopadhyay was invited to represent Jadavpur University. interact on an inter-university basis, for which there were not too many opportunities at that time. The exuberant membership still holds panel discussions like the first one, but also puts on major seminars and workshops on various interdisciplinary areas relating to American studies, with help from the American Center in Kolkata on logistics and formulating and coordinating program plans. These include annual summer courses for undergraduate college teachers teaching American texts at eastern India universities; outreach and support activities at regional universities and undergraduate college campuses, an annual international seminar on African American literature and culture as part of the Black History Month observance in February, as well as the annual international conference on American studies to mark the anniversary of the Study Circle's foundation. One such special event was the commemoration of the birthday of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., in January 2006. The keynote address on "Protest Literature" was delivered by Gopalkrishna Gandhi,
governor of West Bengal and grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi. This year's annual conference will focus on "Reconfiguring Identity: Bridging Faiths and Cultures." The meetings and discussions will attempt to bridge divisions between cultural orientations by encouraging critical perspectives that unite the global and the local, the distant and the familiar. The Study Circle will also release the fifth volume of its journal, "Studies in American Literature." The objective of the American Literature Study Circle was to provide an active academic platform for those engaged in diverse research fields relating to American studies. Though it began with a focus on mainstream American literature, it has gradually branched out into diverse critical fields, such as popular culture, environment and ecology, globalization, multiculturalism, African American studies, Asian American studies, gender studies, terrorism and peace studies, nationalism and transnationalism, American literary criticism and socio-cultural theory. Apart from these purely academic pursuits, there have been several programs on American films and music, as well as translation workshops to render American poetry into Bengali, creating lively interactive environments for members of all age groups. The active dissemination of American studies by the Study Circle has provided its members with a locus for deepening their knowledge, and the outcome has been a broadening and strengthening of American studies in eastern Indian universities and has lead to the introduction of American literature at the undergraduate level in several colleges and universities where it had not been taught. Continued requests from undergraduate college teachers for familiarization programs on teaching American literature texts resulted in the Study Circle arranging summer courses over the past four years. They have been held at different venues like the American Center,
Previous Anniversarv Seminars American Literature and South Asian Visions (1998) American Critical Theories in the 20th Century (1999) Pop Goes Culture (2000) Environment and Culture: American Literature and Literary Discourses (2001) Crossing Borders: American, Asian and Postcolonial Literatures (2002) Literature, Peaceand Globalization (2003) American Literature and Civil Society (2004) Internationalizing American Studies (2005) Writing America: Intercultural Dialogs (2006)
~ 1:: r
i ~ Bharatiya Vidya Parishad, Vidyasagar University and North Bengal University. Also, Burdwan University and North Bengal University have collaborated with the Study Circle to arrange departmental seminars and conferences at their campuses for students and faculty members. ~ Smita Basu is a program American Center, Kolkata, American Literature Study senior academics teaching universities. She continues force of the Circle.
manager at the who founded the Circle along with in West Bengal to be the guiding
Prom Dreams ComeTrue U.S. charities donate gowns, accessories. or generations of American teenagers, the crowning social event of their adolescence has been the "prom" dance at the end of their junior and senior years in secondary school: a rite of passage into young adulthood marked by formal evening attire, flowers and a flurry of excitement. Yet for many teenage girls, the expense of a stylish gown with coordinating shoes, handbag and jewelry puts the prom experience out of reach. The word "prom" is derived from the 19th-century practice of a "promenade ball," which was combined with the tradition of holding a graduation ball at the end of the academic year for upper-level secondary school students. Boys typically appear in tuxedos, while girls usually wear floor-length dresses. The prom is a milestone in the lives of U.S. teenagers, says Ellen Chang, president of the Fairy Godmother Project (www.fairygodmotherproject.com). which collects and donates prom outfits to students in Houston, Texas. "Prom season usually runs from March to May," Chang says. "Kids talk about it constantly, and there's peer pressure to fit in. Often, the prom is a bigger event than their [secondary school] graduation ceremony. For a lot of these kids, it's the first time they've worn formal attire."
All across the United States, charitable organizations with such evocative names as the Glass Slipper Project, serving the Chicago area, in the state of Illinois, (www.glassslipperproject.org) and Cinderella's Closet, serving the states of Kentucky and Indiana, (www.cinderellasclosetnky.org) are collecting new and used formal gowns and accessories to distribute, free of charge, to secondary school students who cannot afford to buy them. The Glass Slipper Project is regarded widely as the nongovernmental organization (NGO) that started the nationwide trend. The NGO sets up "boutiques" of donated clothing and accessories in local public schools; to date, the project has helped more than 10,000 girls find their perfect prom dresses. For three consecutive Saturdays during prom season, Chicagoarea secondary school students have been able to select the gowns and accessories of their choice, aided by Glass Slipper Project volunteers who serve as the girls' personal assistants. Although eligibility requirements vary among different organizations and from region to region, the Glass Slipper Project does not require proof of financial need. Junior and senior girls from any Chicago metropolitan or suburban high school-public or private-can participate, as long as they present a valid secondary school identification card. Because of limited supplies, only ~ Far left: Taylor Pringle ~ chooses her prom dress ~ from the 1,187 outfits ~ distributed free of charge u ~ by the New Orleans ~ Hornets Legacy initiative tIi at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Left: Amanda Sullivan, a senior at Santaluces High School in Palm Beach County, Florida, tries on shoes outside Becca's Closet, which provides dresses and accessories to girls who can't afford to purchase them for their prom.
An excited Nicole Gilcrease, 17, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, picks a blue sequined prom dress from a range of outfits collected for high school students affected by Hurricane Katrina.
the first 600 girls in line are guaranteed admission on each designated "shopping day." The Glass Slipper Project serves "girls from homeless shelters as well as disabled girls, who receive top priority," says volunteer Carolyn Johnson. "One year, we had an exchange student from Paris who received a gown from us, designed by Vera Wang [a New York-based fashion designer]. She needed it to wear to a formal school function back home in France. She couldn't believe we were giving it to her for free; she was in tears." Chang says that the Fairy Godmother Project in Houston outfits immigrant teens (many from the Caribbean, Central America and Nigeria) and teens in foster care or homeless shelters, but the majority simply come from families suffering financial hardship. Chang's organization solicits donations of clothing by staging "dress drives" throughout the community, often with the help of local partners. The project recently began partnering with a chain of hair salons called Visible Changes. "Dresses are dropped off at their
~ ~ a
Education USA events in India: July-August
a a ~ ~
:» ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
July 10,17,24 August 7,14,21 "United States: Explore the possibilities of Higher Education," basic orientation program at 2.30 p.m. at USEFI, New Delhi.
July 12,19,26 August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 "United States: Explore the possibilities of Higher Education," basic orientation program at 2.30 p.m. at the American Center, New Delhi.
• ~ a
a a a ~
SPAN JULY/AUGUST 2007
various branches and then taken to their corporate headquarters, where we pick them up." Roughly 35 volunteers assist the girls who come to the Fairy Godmother Project to assemble their prom outfits by providing gowns, shoes, purses, shawls, jewelry and unopened makeup items that have been donated throughout the year. Boys are provided with free tuxedo rentals. ''The volunteers have a good time and enjoy seeing the transformation when the girls put on their gowns," Chang says. "Some of our volunteers are makeup artists and hair stylists who help the girls get ready, which is a great bonus for teens who can't afford professional services." Cinderella's Closet, run by the Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside Park, Kentucky, offers disadvantaged girls a selection of donated gowns and accessories on scheduled "shopping days," and each girl is paired with her own personal "fairy godmother" to shepherd her through the process. To participate, "girls need to be referred through their pastors, school guidance counselors or social workers," says Susan Eaton, youth minister at Immanuel United. "The church's youth ministry put this together, with over 50 volunteers," says Eaton. "This year was a big success, so we're expecting next year to be huge. We arranged dress drives with the local schools, and we got over 1,200 dresses." Leftover dresses will be "banked" for the 2008 prom season, along with subsequent donations, she says. "We've gotten a lot of thank-you notes" from grateful girls and their families, says Eaton. "Some of the girls e-mailed us photos and stories from their proms. It's very gratifying." The prom is important "as a coming-of-age ritual," she adds. "When you're young, that's what you look forward to. We didn't want any young girl to miss out on the opportunity to participate, to feel special and beautiful, simply because she couldn't afford it." ~ Lauren Monsen is a USINFO staff writer.
Eastern Region August 3-4 Information seminars on "Higher Education in the U.S." at schools and colleges in and around Kohima, Nagaland.
July 12 Pre-departure orientation for Fall 2007 students in Chennai.
Western Region July 10 Pre-departure orientation for Fall 2007 students from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the World Trade Center in Mumbai. Pre-registration required.
July 31 An information session with a representative from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, on "Higher education in the U.S.: Prospects for international students" at 2.30 p.m. at USEFI, New Delhi
August 27-31 Information seminars on "Higher Education in the U.S." at schools and colleges in and around Gangtok, Sikkim.
July 12, August 2, 17 Q and A session on U.S. admission procedures for USEFI members at 11 a.m. at the American Center in Mumbai.
August 3 Pre-departure orientation program for students admitted to U.S. universities for the Fall 2007 session.
July 11, 18, 25 August 1, 8, 22, 29 "Exploring New Worlds," a basic orientation on higher education in the United States at USEFI, Chennai.
July 12, August 8,17,29 Basic orientation on U.S higher education at 11 a.m. at the American Center in Mumbai.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Copyright ÂŠ The New Yorker Collection 2005 Leo Cullum from cartoonbank.com. All rights reserved.
"There's good and bad news-the light at the end of the tunnel has allowed us to see another tunnel. "
"Your Honor, the facts I'm stating are obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but no guarantees are made as to their accuracy. "
"No, there's nothing wrong with thefood. I just needed a little attention. " Copyright ÂŠ The New Yorker CoUection 2002 Christopher Weyant from cartoonbank.com. All rights reserved.
As the appetite for Indian news and culture grows, the Indian American media has grown in response, from community newspapers filled with news agency articles to diverse formats such as target-audience glossy magazines. lthough American newspapers are rethinking their budgets, firing reporters and editors and contemplating their very existence in the future online information age, the number of publications that cater to Indian American and other ethnic populations is actually increasing. As ethnic communities burgeon, advertisers are considering alternative strategies to capture the buying power of America's fastest growing populations. The market is highly volatile, however, with constant new competition from online offerings, and many of the new publications have a short lifespan. The past two decades have seen the birth of a plethora of news weeklies and glossy magazines aimed at Indian American readers. At least 33 such online and print publications in North America are listed on www.garamchai.com. a Web site that provides information for non-resident Indians and others of Asian origin in America. "Each month there are more and more Indian newspapers and magazines that announce their launch," says Diana Rohini LaVigne, online editor of Indian Life & Style magazine, an India-West Publications venture started in 2004. "But I see even more of them go out of business or change their business model to reflect the downturn of the market for media outlets."
LaVigne, 33, is an American born in Boston, Massachusetts, who says she discovered her "Indian self' more than a decade ago, when she dove head-first into Indian culture, and later married a North Indian. She has since contributed to a slew of South Asian publications. A 2005 study by New California Media, now New America Media, a collaboration of ethnic media organizations in America, showed that ethnic media may be the best way to reach ethnic consumers. Based on polling results, the study concluded that 45 percent of ethnic adults in the United States, or 13 percent of the population, prefer ethnic media over mainstream counterparts. More specifically, 25 percent of Asian Americans prefer ethnic media over mainstream media, according to the study. And, more than half of the adults in the group-including Asian Indians, Filipinos and Japanese-read an ethnic newspaper at least a few times per month. "All ethnic media, including Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Pakistani and others, have been doing better than the mainstream media," says Koshy Thomas, publisher of Voice of Asia, an English-language news weekly he founded in 1987 in Houston, Texas. He claims a circulation of about 23,000 in Texas and 1,200 more subscribers in other states. "The circulation of mainstream papers has declined or at least
Recent issues of Indian Life & Style, one of the many U.S. publications catering to the growing interest in Indian news and culture. stagnated in the past few years," Thomas says. "It is mainly due to the rise of the Intemet and the broadcast media. On the other hand, ethnic papers have grown in general and are not affected by the online news availability. And I expect them to grow further if they keep innovating." Immigration and ethnic population statistics tell the story of why Indian
Americans' reading habits matter more than ever. Ever since the 2000 U.S. Census, Indian Americans have been widely known as "the wealthiest ethnic group in America." According to the Census, Asian Indians in the United States earn an average 51.6 percent more per household than the total population. But recent interest in Indian news and culture has grown not just because of the gaining profile of the Indian population in America but because of India itself. India is a hot topic, from the recent Bollywood
dance class craze to outsourcing. America's interest in India has matured from fringe fascination and hippie skirts to a mainstream corporate economic interdependence. "Consumers in the Indian and U.S. markets seem very hungry for new news on India," LaVigne says. "In just the past decade, India has really shown the world it can compete on a global scale. Big industry players like Microsoft are setting up operations in hopes of tapping into the technology sector." Between 2001 and 2006, U.S.-India
bilateral trade nearly doubled to more than $26 billion, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In April, India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry reported record-high levels offoreign direct investment into India, which nearly tripled in the fiscal year ended March 31 to about $16 billion, up from $5.5 billion a year ago. And then there is the well-documented outsourcing boom that also helped put India at center stage. These developments have strengthened India's economic and business ties with
the United States and fueled debate over its status as a potential world power, in turn intensifying the interest in India's culture, politics and economic trends. "The whole world is closely watching and following India's technology lead and surge of related real estate and industrial development," says Hemani Khanna, a regular reader of Indian Life & Style, who is an Indian-born U.S. resident. Her job at an American company is to forge strategic partnerships with Indian companies. The "magazine provides me talking points with the partners as well as my customers. Socially, it gives me an edge, and professionally, I am at par with the latest information on India, given the interest generated by the outsourcing industry," Khanna says. Middle-class Indians' collective wealth and buying power is drawing attention not only in America but in India, also driving the need to understand the culture behind the wealth. "Multinational companies are making a home in India, generating employment, which is resulting in increased per capita income for Indians," Khanna says. The Associated Press, a U.S.-based news agency, reported that its recent survey of India's top five outsourcing software companies showed that the companies, whose net profits rose 47 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, expect to add 100,000 jobs this fiscal year. "India has a very large consumer base and as the incomes of its citizens rise, so will its demands for new products and services," LaVigne says. "Things like cellular phones and its service providers have taken off in
Voice of Asia distributors loading their trucks on a Thursday morning for fast delivery to the news stands and retail outlets all over Houston, Texas. a way that doesn't seem possible in a U.S. market. The sheer number of consumers is a tremendous opportunity for companies trying to market their products." Immigrant Indians' interests as readers have gone well beyond keeping ties with the motherland. And Indian American publications have begun to respond. "Indian readers want to know more about India. But the focus is mainly on culture and films, especially Bollywood, and business and trade. Indians who have migrated years ago, and the new generations, are hardly interested in the day-today politics of India," says Thomas of Voice of Asia. "They would, however, like to know the events which show a trend or indicate a continuation or change in policy. There is a lot of interest in economic development and business opportunities as Indo-Americans always think of India as their first base of foreign operations. They are also interested in further growth of ties between India and the United States at political and economic levels so that the people in both countries can engage in mutually beneficial relationships." Thomas, nearly 73, was born in Kerala, but emigrated to the United States in 1971 and became an American citizen two years later. "All my ventures are focused on Asia, not only India. Finally, it is all going to be Asia," Thomas says. It is this vision of Asia's prominent future and the need for
a strong media presence that have driven Thomas' publishing business. "Now my dream is to have a newspaper similar to the Houston Chronicle. Becoming a broadsheet paper is the first step," he adds. Sure, stories from the news agencies and community news and advertisements still dominate some Indian American newspapers. But Indian readers as well as nonIndian readers wanting to stay abreast of Indian news now have more options. "If you compare [Indian American newspapers] with papers some 10 or 15 years ago, they have undergone a big change as far as the contents go," Thomas says. 'They are not just concentrating on the community events only, as they did earlier, but are also offering a diverse package of community news, India news, entertainment, medical, business and leisure, and the mainstream news which affects the community in general." Along with more sophisticated content, readers are also getting more original content and unique and more balanced perspectives that are no longer limited to only positive stories about Indian immigrants. "It's about staying in touch with other Indian Americans and what they are doing, but it's also about learning new things about Indian Americans on the traditional side as well as on the modem side," ILS editor LaVigne says. Then she rattled off a list of upcoming stories: one on Bollywood's recent surge in sequels; a profile of Kartar Singh Sarabha, a freedom fighter with San Francisco immigrant roots; a day-in-the-life of three venture capitalists; a profIle of Sabita Singh, a cancer survivor who recently became a judge in Massachusetts; the Rajasthan travel journal of an inter-racial American couple; and a story on creating a Vastu-safe home. Melindah Sharma, a 30-year-old Indian American who was born in the United States, reads ILS because it "has an interesting perspective that I haven't found in other South Asian American periodicals." She says, "I do like to know politically, culturally what's occurring ... not just at home, but on a global front." While Voice of Asias readership is still mostly within the Indian American and Indian community, according to Thomas, he is also beginning to see a shift toward a broader, cross-cultural interest as well. "Our readership is mostly limited to the community which provides our advertising
base. But I have noticed a growing interest from other communities who want to know about Asian and Indian success stories and want to do business with them." Advertising also has evolved as mainstream, corporate America has become aware of ethnic consumers and their spending power. "That is where the corporate clients come in as they wish to attract these ethnic groups ....But ethnic media are a powerful tool for advertisers looking to spend a little less and hit a specific market head on," LaVigne says. The Indian American population explosion in the last 20 years has brought more Indians into positions of power, created established Indian-owned businesses with the means to expand their advertising budgets and more mainstream companies looking to capitalize on their spending power. "Initially, Indian newspapers had to survive on the ads from community members only. The revenues were barely enough to keep us afloat," says Thomas. "But things started changing slowly as the small businesses set up by the community members did better. In the past five years or so, we are getting the attention of mainstream companies. The Indo-American community is one of the richest ethnic groups in the United States and has more spending power than other comparable groups. The mainstream companies have noticed this and are adapting their marketing strategy to reach out to different ethnic groups individually."
But like the mainstream ~ loring a package of informedia, Indian American ~ mation which its readers ~ want to know. The individmedia have had to fight to ~ ual components of the stay relevant in the Internet 8 package may be available Age. According to Thomas, on the Net but it may take a the value for readers is in tailot of time to search and loring stories. The publications take on find and get the right perthe job of sifting through spectives ...." Despite the growth, news agency articles and however, ethnic media still mainstream press stories to find items about Indians and struggle, LaVigne and Indian Americans and news Koshy Thomas, publisher of Thomas agree. Readers as well as advertisers are from the subcontinent itself Voice of Asia. flocking to the Internet, to cater to their readers' creating a financial crisis for print publiinterests. "No newspaper can offer anything cations. And, like the rest of the news industry, Indian American media have which is not there on the Net in some form gone through the same consolidation as or the other, except for exclusive intermainstream media. views or analytical reports or columns," "There has not been a big change in the says Thomas. "The success of a newspaper lies in tai- number of Indian newspapers recently. Of course, new papers come on the market and then go away," Thomas says. "It is a tough market. The readership is limited, the advertising rates are low and the cost of production keeps rising. The only reason we have grown is that we have been able to innovate. Since we are small, we have the flexibility to adapt quickly to a new situation. But I do see a vast scope for future expansion which will be driven by both readers and advertisers .... The Diana Rohini LaVigne, online editor of need today is to try new ideas." Indian Life & Style magazine, works on And for Thomas, that means tapping the magazine Web site in her San Leandro, California, office. into a cross-cultural readership with cross-cultural coverage. ÂŁ- About a year ago, Thomas started Asian '" Business Journal, a glossy monthly maga.l!' ~ zine focused on Asian, including Indian, ~ business success stories. He plans on mak~ ing it a cross-cultural platform for business ::> co news across Asian communities in Texas. ~ ~ "It is in the nature of an immigrant to try ~ to keep the links with their countries of ori~ gin," Thomas says. "But with every successive generation, the link keeps getting weaker and weaker. What may keep it strong is culture and business. As long as these links are strong and are growing, there will always be a need to know more about a country you are doing business with." ~
Along with more sophisticated content, readers are getting more original content and more balanced perspectives about Indian Americans.
Sheetal Nasta is a writer based in Houston, Texas. Please share your views on this article. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
How a Peace Corps volunteer helped a 2DD-chicken farm develop into a multimillion dollar business. bout four hours northeast of Mumbai, Maharashtra, is the city of Nasik, also the home of the D'Souza family and the setting for their story with a happy ending ...a very, very happy ending for Marshall D'Souza, a local ice house worker. It turned out that way because the D'Souzas met some Peace Corps volunteers and their world changed. Three years before the arrival of the Peace Corps volunteers, Americans who work for subsistence pay in developing countries, prudent Christine D'Souza, Marshall's wife, received permission from the owner to keep a few chickens behind the ice factory where Marshall worked. She wanted to help pay their childrens' school fees, and her sons, Richard and Elias, fittingly, were to help out with the chores. Marshall was fully employed at the ice house but, true to his agrarian roots, had acquired three hectares of land on the outskirts of Nasik. They moved the chickens to the family's farmland and added a piggery, rows of vegetables and some field crops. It was a small farm, adaptable in the hands of two young D'Souzas who would take a modest and resourceful family to the upper strata of international business. At the suggestion of their parish priest in 1964, the D'Souzas ordered 200 dayold chicks of the respected Arbor Acres brand. The chicks arrived in July, but this newest wrinkle in proper, innovative farming wasn't smooth sailing; a month later, half of the brood had died. At church one Sunday, young Elias heard about the "new experts in town" and set off to find the house of the Peace
problem was solved. Marshall quit the ice business in 1965 and joined the family in the poultry enterprise, which is today a multi-million dollar family-run business named after Christine and Marshall: C&M. The D'Souzas built a business raising chickens: They now sell their day-old chicks, hatching eggs or parent stock in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and Kenya. The company has also developed a pure-line breeding program that they say is one of the best in the world, and their virology laboratory is among the finest in South Asia. They employ more than 50 veterinarians who perform diagnostic procedures to ensure the purity of their products. They believe they're well-prepared to avoid the specter of bird flu and are even confident their company can playa role in the Middle East, Japan and Europe where others may be less fortunate. C&M could offer an alternative source of competitively priced supply. c The considerable depth and strength of o ~ India's production of both eggs and broilS ers is directly attributable to what the 1i' ~ thousands of Peace Corps volunteers ;;- accomplished during their IS-year pres2=E ence in India. The success in India is a Jl' ~ result of a vast number of individuals !g working independently. What happened ÂŁ in Nasik is even more impressive. When I first arrived in Gwalior, as part of a rural community action program dealing with poultry in 1965, the Peace Corps was in its fourth year and poultry was firmly established as the field of choice. It
Corps volunteers. When he found the house, he discovered their door was locked. Everyone was at the Collector's Independence Day function. When Ivan Brotzman, one of the volunteers, returned home from the collector's event, he found Elias waiting on his stoop. Elias was amazed that he looked as old as Elias' father because most Peace Corps workers were young, just out of college. Ivan only had to listen to a few words before setting off to find out why the D'Souzas' chicks were dying. He didn't even take the time to unlock his front door. That was one of the first lessons Elias learned from Ivan; a no-nonsense approach to responsibility and getting the job done right. The rest of what he and his family would learn over the years from the Brotzmans is canonized under what today Elias calls "the dignity of labor." Ivan's solution was simple: construct the famous Peace Corps coop using a deep litter system and the D'Souzas'
E Far left: Broiler .r:::; stock at C&M ~ Farms. 'ยง o u
Center: Ivan Brotzman (left) and an unidentified Peace Corps volunteer building a bamboo chicken coop.
Above left: The D'Souzas'modern chicken breeding facility at Nasik.
Left: One of the firs t chicken coops built by the D'Souza family in Nasik, with advice from the Brotzmans.
was the ideal entry-level position for the average young person with a general Bachelor of Arts degree in America. The last person to send to India to assist in raising chickens was what in the West would be considered an "expert," someone with a degree in poultry science. Such an expert would be looking for 100,000-bird flocks. But the average Peace Corps volunteer in India in the 1960s would find only 100-bird flocks, at best. Yet Ivan and Edith Brotzman were not average Peace Corps volunteers of the 1960s. Ivan was a World War II veteran. They were both over 50 and had just sold their Wisconsin dairy farm because their two sons had chosen other work. For the Brotzmans, the Peace Corps was the beginning of a second career, rather than prelude to a first. The city of Nasik now surrounds the D'Souza property and farming in this neighborhood is no longer possible. A gatekeeper called the house and I introduced myself to Elias' wife, Terry. I paid the driver and walked up the long circular driveway where several old, nondescript cars were parked. The house was not new, and a design style I can only call
restrained, modern, large. Terry and her daughter, Michelle, graciously served me tea in a baronial reception room where two rows of eight elegant carved chairs faced each other beneath a six-meter ceiling. There were, however, no servants or chauffeurs. Michelle drove me to meet her father, and we ate a lunch the brothers brought from home, and Elias drove me to the railway station the next evening. The D'Souzas enjoy work. Such an approach highlights the dignity of labor, a key factor to their success. Their corporate offices occupy a pair of art deco two-story bungalows that mirror each other. Plans are for this homely touch to be replaced with a seven-story corporate office that will tower over the booming real estate market of Nasik. Elias sat behind an uncluttered desk in an uncluttered office where the only decoration was a large photograph of what I immediately recognized as a Peace Corps-designed chicken coop. The thatched roof and wire mesh window sealed with a door was a basic design concept that was replicated thousands of times in India. This photograph graces the
office walls of both brothers and appears in their corporate promotional materials. Elias gave me a brief introduction to the operations. The corporate structure is lean and family-based: Elias is the chairman, Richard the managing director, their sister Helen's husband, Rudolph, looks after administrative affairs and Elias' 30-yearold son, Melvin, handles the marketing. Melvin earned a poultry science degree from the University of Georgia in the southern United States and is the expert most Peace Corps volunteers were not. Richard, who has been in a wheelchair for more than 35 years, joined us for the discussion and lunch. What unfolded was a story of tragedy, hard work, major setbacks and success. On the day in 1968 when the Brotzmans left India, Richard was unable to join his brother in driving them to the airport in Mumbai because he was scheduled for minor surgery. The procedure was bungled. Richard was in a coma for six months and hospital-bound for two years before he could return to help in the family business, marry and raise his own family. During my visit, Richard drove me around in his specially equipped automobile, showing me the extent of their vast 2,000-employee enterprise. That afternoon was the first time I rode in such a vehicle in which all the controls were hand-managed. I marveled at how adept he was at maneuvering the byways and highways. The brothers invited me to their customary daily lunch in Richard's adjoining office, all part of their business plan to keep things simple and direct. This day, they talked about Ivan. "Ivan was a beautiful, straight, handson guy who believed in the dignity of labor," Elias told me. Ivan and Edith worked with this family for the duration of their time in India, which included Ivan's work as an associate director of the Peace Corps India program. This connection continued for many years after the Brotzmans returned home. The Brotzmans worked with other Nasik area farmers, but they spent much of the time during their four years in India-two as volunteers and another two while Ivan was a Peace Corps staff member-helping the D'Souzas. With Ivan's advice, the family farm was put on a proper economic footing:
Above: The Brotzmans being greeted at Girnare village, 15 kilometers from Nasik.
Elias D'Souza (left), his son Melvin, and brother Richard (seated) at the C&M office in Nasik.
The D'Souzas closed the piggery, and concentrated on chickens. Ivan told them that the key to business success is access to credit and to use it wisely. So the family began using financing to expand their operation. In 1967, they received a Government of India development loan of Rs. 5,000-approximately $1,000 in those days-and quickly repaid it. The D'Souzas were on their way. Elias is steadfast in the belief that the
spirit ofIvan is responsible for all that the D'Souzas have accomplished. Ivan not only got things going, Elias says, but Ivan and Edith remained life-long friends of the D'Souza family. Over their 40-year friendship, their ties and communications were so constant and deep that Elias and Richard spoke on the phone with Ivan the day before he died in a Florida nursing home in 2004. Edith died in 2002. When Elias made his first trip to the
An Experience in India UZZ Burza first arrived in India as an American Peace Corps volunteer in 1965 and was stationed in Gwalior for two years, He continued making return visits to the country and in 1993 met his wife, Vidhu Ganjoor, through a Times of India matrimonial ad. Their four-year-old NGO, the Samvedana Culture and Heritage Trust, (wwwsamvedanatrusl.com), involves bringing to public awareness the cultural heritage of Kashmir, especially through producing CDROMs and photo exhibitions that present the evolution and design of Kashmiri shawls.
~ ~ ~ ~
United States in 1972, two noteworthy things happened: He met once again with Ivan, who would remain prominent in the family's itinerary for more than three decades, and he bought a layer cage to bring back to India as a sample. This was India's first application of a factory approach to chicken rearing that permits more intensive use of space with highervolume production. The family ordered 30,000 more cages, then doubled that order, and their first major expansion was underway. The egg and meat business methodically and steadily grew to meet the growing appetite for chickens in the Greater Nasik market. The company was originally a partnership organized as CHEMNR Farms, an acronym containing the names of the mother and father, their two sons and two daughters. In 1979, the family bought 32 hectares of land to start a broiler farm and incorporated it as C&M Farms. This main corporate vehicle remains today, with two other companies handling their parent stock and breeding activities. By 1980, their market expanded to Mumbai, where five-star hotels and airlines sought out their eggs and chickens. Seven years later, they stopped producing eggs and meat and began producing day-old chicks and eggs for hatching and developing parent stock. This remains their field of operation and one in which the D'Souzas playa major role in the Asian market. In 1994, C&M made an ill-fated tie-up with an international supplier of breeding stock. For the D'Souzas, the deal proved disastrous because the stock they received was fatally infected with a vertically transmittable disease called Avian Leucosis. They reached a settlement with the supplier but Elias calculates that they lost about $20 million. It took a decade of financial scrambling by the family, but the brothers say they overcame these setbacks because Ivan Brotzman taught them to work hard and to believe in the worth of that effort. "It was only because of faith in ourselves that came from Ivan's encouragement that we were able to persevere," Richard says. ~ Please share your views on this article. Write to email@example.com
An Indian's Bus Journey
cross merlca Across the plains I had heard Americans talk about the "flat boring Midwest with nothing to see but com, more com and more com." To me, however, the land wasn't flat at all. Soft hills, sliced with thick geological layers, rolled past my bus window, seemingly on a looped tape, altered by the occasional shrub, small tree or dirt track meandering out of sight. By evening, the big sky country turned into an IMAX theater experience of blue and orange. Though the Greyhound buses
that my wife and I chose to travel aboard for our journey across America were generally homey and communal, they also have a deserved reputation for trouble. On the bus from St. Louis, Missouri, a group of young rowdies yelled obscenities and made fun of fellow passengers. One young man in particular was very nasty. However, justice was swift. At a gas station in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, he was kicked off the bus and left to fend for himself. Why? He drew all over the back of the seat in front of him
with a black pen, and someone sitting behind him reported it to the driver. As we drove away, the driver made an announcement, "If anyone else feels artistic, I won't just kick you off, I'll call the cops." The bus was much more peaceful then, and soon people were swapping stories of other rowdies, other bus trips and how we'd all love a chance to stretch our legs.
The Rockv Mountains The air in Denver, Colorado is crisp and clean, and so is the city. Perhaps all the cold mountain wind sweeps the streets clean at night, or maybe it's just civic pride. Exactly at an elevation of one mile above sea level (hence the nickname Mile High City), Denver offers an excellent view of the Rocky Mountains. Despite the distinction of having America's biggest city park system, the largest amount of beer brewed and the largest airport, Denver still Above: The Grand Canyon, Arizona. Left: Houses in Denver, Colorado.
Left: The writer's journey on a Greyhound bus. Below: Route 66 in Williams, Arizona. Right: The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, where most of the major hotels and casinos are located. Right below: Visitors enjoy a gondola ride inside the Venetian casino in Las Vegas. The "sky" is a lofty, painted ceiling. bus I could hear the roar of the crowd as we passed the stadium.
The Grand Canvon
didn't impress me as much as the other cities we had visited. However, the pedestrian-only 16th Street Mall, with its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and movie halls, was deservedly the attraction of the town. But I will remember Denver for two things. The blink-andyou-miss-it Black American West Museum on California Street, and the vociferous Denver Broncos football team fans. In India, cowboys are more or less restricted to John Wayne movies, and unfortunately I realized that is what most Americans see, too. Going through the halls of grimy leather jackets, cook pots and boots at the tiny cowboy museum gave me a perspective about how much African American culture has given to the country. It turns out that African Americans invented many rodeo techniques and were just as tough as Billy, the Kid. The fact that
so few know about African American cowboys shows how important it is to remember and honor them. Apart from the Super Bowl championship on television, I have never seen a live American football game. So I was thrilled when I heard that the Denver Broncos were playing a home game. The demeanor of the city
seemed to change on the day of the match. Fans, dressed in Broncos colors of orange, navy blue and white, spilled into the streelli, sc~g, shouting, and filling up every bar stool in the city. Unfortunately, my wish to see a live game remains unfulfilled. Tickets were sold out months before. As we left the city, through the windows of the
I was not prepared for the 446-kilometer long canyon carved out by the Colorado River, with depths of more than 2 kilometers, giving true meaning to the word "grand." Standing on the South Rim along with tourists from half a dozen nations, I realized that all of us did only two things. First the jaw dropped in amazement, and then came the clicking camera shutters. We walked along the southern rim of the canyon, from
Mather Point to Hermit's Trailhead, a distance of nearly five kilometers. At every unexpected lookout point or turn the canyon exposed its many interesting faces, and with the sun setting, the canyon began displaying its kaleidoscopic colors. Truly, it is something to see before you die. The two-street town of Williams, Arizona, where we stayed the night, is the nearest gateway to the Grand Canyon. The fabled Route 66 highway passes through and, like other small towns along this highway, it cultivates nostalgia. Here, I had my first taste of true American food, slow cooked and done like it should be. The barbequed chicken, Caesar salad and mashed potatoes were well seasoned, nongreasy and fresh. I wanted to order another plate, but my wife stopped me. Faith in American food (after eating at one too many McDonald's) was revived.
lasVeuas Leaving Williams and traveling on Highway 93, I noticed a strange yellowish orange glow in the sky. A few kilometers down the road, I saw a distinct white beam pierce the night. I realized the white light was the beam from the top of the Luxor casino, and the million wattage lights of Las Vegas were illuminating the night sky. And we were still 120 kilometers away from what many call Sin City. The lights of the casinos on the 6.7-kilometer Las Vegas Strip were in all possible colors and contours the human mind could think of. I wondered how the city, built smack in the middle of the Nevada desert, was able to pay such astronomical electric bills. The answer is that Las Vegas never sleeps. Tourists, from hourly wage workers to limoriding glitterati, spend millions of dollars gambling on everything from penny slots to high
Cowboy Buckles The Buyable Past
he American cowboy, a bristly breed, had his image carefully groomed by early Hollywood film studios, and one costumer's touch, the ornately engraved silver belt buckle, became a staple of Western wardrobes. Though they earned their fame on the American movie screen, cowboy buckles are in fact part of a real-world tradition of ornamental metalworking. They began to appear around 1900, when buckles tended to resemble those used by the U.S. military Many Western buckles are essentially metal plates, often ovals or rectangles, and they can be large indeed. Others, probably based on those worn by Texas Rangers, members of the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America, come in sets: the buckle itself, one or two "keepers" (loops to prevent the belt's tip from hanging down), and a cover for the tip. One eminent Western silversmith was coaxed into the buckle business by a film cowboy. In the early 1920s, Tom Mix, Hollywood's first Western
stakes poker. For every sinking heart, Vegas somehow manages to keep up the illusion of luck and glamor. When I was brooding over the $5 that I lost in the penny slots, I heard a scream, and then saw a middle-aged woman run around the casino hugging the staff. She had just won a convertible BMW gambling at the slot machines. Instantly, the jingling of the machines across the casino became louder, including mine.
losAngeles A month after starting our trip from the Atlantic coast, it was fitting that we ended up in the city of the American dream
on the Pacific. We were staying with an old friend, who among other odd jobs is, of course, a struggling actor. In Hollywood, one of the districts of the city of Los Angeles, the line between reality and altered reality is very thin. As our friend put it, everyone is obsessed with looking perfect. You never know, some agent might pick you out on the street and shepherd you into stardom. I had my share of attention when I took out my camera to shoot the Hollywood sign, on a hilltop overlooking Hollywood Boulevard. Two ladies with perfect bodies, dress and makeup
A boy sports a rodeo belt buckle during the North Carolina High School Rodeo in Ramseur, North Carolina. megastar, admired the saddles of Edward H. Bohlin and urged him to fabricate silver and leather items in Hollywood. Bohlin's shop thrived for decades, and his clients included cowboy film actor and director William S Hart, actor and trick roper Will Rogers, actors Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and even former US President Ronald Reagan. Collectors covet work by Bohlin and such artisans as John McCabe, Bob Schaezlein and Mike Srour. Richard Beal, a cowboy-buckle specialist. says that pre-1950 examples are the most desirable and that prices for good silver pieces start at about $300 or $400. Midrange items tend to fall in the four-figure bracket. and anything worth five figures is decidedly high-end. Along with age, gold detailing enhances value, as do superior craftsmanship and a connection to a famous person, often a rodeo star who took the piece home as a trophy. Expert engraving is mandatory, so look for gracefully curving cuts with uniformity of width and depth. For more information see Richard Beal's Web site (www.bealscowboybuckles.com) or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, see www.buckles.com.asite maintained by Robert Brandes. a leading collector, and a Los Angeles house specializing in Western Americana (www.highnoon.com).
slowed down, arched their necks and pirouetted to face my camera. Sadly, I was just a tourist; they would have to wait another day for their big break. Our friend suggested we see the real movie business by getting free TV show tickets. Most sitcoms (situation comedies) and all talk shows need live audiences, and tickets are free: All you have to do is make a reservation. If you're lucky, you may even be paid to sit in an audience, though you may have to sit through three successive tapings in bitter cold. The reason? Producers think that cold audiences are livelier. Unless you are really lucky,
the best way to be seen with a star is by heading toward Hollywood Boulevard. For a dollar I got my photo snapped posing with Spiderman! Performers dressed as famous stars patrol the Boulevard, which has the obligatory Walk of Fame, with stars of the famous and handprints of actors like Marilyn Monroe. Our biggest splurge on the trip was the Universal Studios theme park, $65 per head. But it was also one place where an adult could be a child without feeling stupid. The park has Right: The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California.
Iravelli.DS Denver, Colorado Move: Denver's light rail system is centered mostly in downtown and won't get you too far. Fortunately, buses are frequent and easy to figure out. Go to the station at the end of 16th Street for information and buses to all destinations. Fare $1.15- $2.50. Free to see: 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, Larimer Square, Colorado State Capitol. $ but worth it: Black American West Museum, Denver Art Museum, Ski Train to skiing, Denver Broncos game (reserve in advance). Eat: If you're staying in the budgetfriendly Cherry Creek area of town, eat saag paneer at Bombay's Clay Oven just across the street from Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Taste the famous, spicy Denver Omelet at The Delectable Egg, near the Capitol off 16th Street. Grand Canyon Move: The Greyhound does go to Williams, Arizona, but it's far off the beaten
track and takes some twisted scheduling to get there. For the most convenience, rent a car from Las Vegas and drive to Williams, then onto the canyon. Otherwise, take the adorable glass-top tourist train that runs daily to the South Rim (tickets from $58). Free to see: Williams downtown. $ but worth it: Grand Canyon Park Pass, helicopter rides into the canyon. Eat: Sorry, no Indian here. Stick to the diners. The Cruisers Cafe 66 has the best authentic American food I've ever tasted. Get the barbeque chicken. Las Vegas, Nevada Move: Wear comfortable shoes, as the sheer scale of each casino requires at least a kilometer walk. Stroll the South Strip, and when you want to see the cheaper, calmer climes of downtown, take the Deuce bus, which runs 24 hours a day up and down Las Vegas Boulevard. Fare is $2. Free to see: Treasure Island's Sirens, the Mirage's volcano, Circus Circus Midway, Bellagio fountains, downtown's Neon Museum, Fremont Street Experience. $ but worth it: Manhattan Expressrollercoaster, Cirque du Soleil, Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at the Bellagio. Eat: Make your way around the world, all in one meal. For Indian food (plus Chinese, Mexican, Japanese and Italian) head to the casinos' gigantic international buffets, the best of which is at the Rio. The best deal in town: the Paradise Buffet at the Fremont Casino. The all-you-can-eat breakfast is just $5.29. Los Angeles, California Move: It's tough to see this city without a car, though the buses and train system serve a limited number of destinations ($3 daily pass). If you want to spend more than two days here, rent a vehicle and get a good map. Free to see: Venice Beach, Hollywood Boulevard, UCLA, Grauman's Chinese Theater sidewalk of famous handprints, Getty Center. $ but worth it: Universal Studios, Disneyland, Kodak Theater. Eat: Too many choices to list. A favorite: Cowboy Sushi in Santa Monica near UCLA, where you get authentic Japanese food from waiters in cowboy hats and a loud, crazy crowd. Feeling homesick at the end of the trip? Drive south of Los Angeles to the city of Artesia and wear a salwaar in the Little -S.J. India district.
Tourists pose with a model dressed as Marilyn Monroe on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
some of the best thematic amusement rides, and is home to the original sets of many of Hollywood's famous movies like Jaws, Jurassic Park and Backdraft. But when the clamor and fake dinosaurs of the city got to me, I found peace high up in the hills at the world famous Getty Center. Its architecture is a bit odd, but the white marble walls certainly complemented an outstanding array of ancient and modem art. The exhibits rotate regularly, and the view from the avant-garde gardens is worth at least as much time as the art. Best of all, it's free. In 30 days, after traveling more than 5,600 kilometers across 12 states, I felt I had made only a scratch in my attempt to know the country. I savored the pulsating life of the cities, and enjoyed the relative isolation and quietness of the great Midwest. I had been blown away by both natural and man-made wonders. As a foodie, I had enjoyed all the vast gastronomical delights the land had to offer. But above all, I leamed that one need not spend lots of money to see America. A little bit of research and some friendly banter with the locals lands you in the cheapest and best places. For $2,750, I thought our trip was a life achievement. ~ Sebastian John is an Indian writer/photographer who recently emigrated to the United States and lives in Washington, D.C. Please share your views on this article. Write to email@example.com
Yellowstone: fuER!!?-e Beginning In the 1870s, intrepid adventurers explored the magnificent wilderness that would become America's first national park. he most prized diversion in Yellowstone National Park these days is climbing a steep staircase up to the highest gable of Old Faithful Inn, the cathedral-like timber lodge in the Upper Geyser Basin that has been a landmark architectural treasure since it opened a century ago. Each dawn and dusk, two members of the public, weather permitting, are allowed to make the trip in the company of a staff member who raises and lowers the rooftop flags-a privilege some participants take very seriously. When I risked life and limb to engage in the ritual one evening, my companion was a historical reenactor from Pennsylvania, who was dressed for the occasion as a frontier scout, in full-length canvas coat, neck bandanna, leather boots and felt hat. He also happened to be carrying an antique bugle, and he now intended to sound a military salute. "It's a cult thing," confided the duty officer, Drew Williams, 47, as he unlocked the door to the stairway that led to the roof; the stairs have been off-limits to the public since 1959, when an earthquake caused structural damage to the inn. "We get three million visitors a year to the park, and only four people a day get to come up here. It's kind of exclusive." Exclusive, and for those not afraid of heights. The stairs are more a series of rickety rungs suspended in midair; the treads sway underfoot like trapeze ropes. I peered cautiously down: the lobby of America's most revered park hotel, completed in 1904, seemed as busy as an airport terminal. Throngs of new arrivals were staring up at the 23-meter-high atrium-a thatchwork of gnarled tree branches evoking a primeval forest.
Steamboat, the world's largest geyser, at Yellowstone National Park. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.
Above: Interior of Old Faithful Inn, the cathedral-like timber lodge at Yellowstone National Park. Above right: Outside view of the inn.
The inn's architect, Robert Reamer, wanted the lodge to look as if it had taken root and grown on the spot. ("I built it in keeping with the place where it stands," he said several years after the inn was completed. "To try to improve upon it would be an impertinence.") The rustic design indeed contrasted with the style of the only other massive hotel in the park at that time, a sprawling Queen Anne-style confection. We paused to step into the "Craw's
Nest"-a precarious treehouse for grown-ups, where, in the early 1900s, a music ensemble would serenade guests attired in formal dress dancing below. In the chill twilight air, I took in a bird's-eye view of the Upper Geyser Basin, where some 150 geysers are concentrated within a single square mile along the Firehole River. Steam hissed from fissures and vents in the pale earth below; mud eruptions burped; pools of pale water gleamed like glass beads. To the east, hundreds of visitors, small as ants, were seated on benches ranged in an arc around Old Faithful, the most famous geyser in the world. As Williams lowered and folded the four flags--one for each of
It's a dizzying pageant: all that communal nature worship can for something a bit more ... solitary. My plan was to attempt to recapture the experience of visiting Yellowstone in the 1870s, when the number of annual tourists was closer to 300 than three million. The quest was not as hopeless as it sounds, since much of Yellowstone remains wild and empty. Of the park's 800,000 hectares, only 2 percent is developed, and of the hordes who make the pilgrimage here, some 99 percent never step off the main trails. To wander here, as solitary as the campers of the Gilded Age-before the advent of roads or hotels-one has only to venture into the backcountry. In fact, given the wolves and a thriving bear population, the more remote comers of the park may exist in a state closer to their original grandeur than they have in decades. I had planned a four-day camping trip with the help of Jim Williams, 36, then the program manager of the Yellowstone Association Institute, the nonprofit organization that, since 1933, has supported the National Park Service's educational mission. Only two days after gazing down at the crowds from the gables of the Old Faithful Inn, I stood at a trailhead near Soda Butte Creek in the northeast section of the park, intending to trek nearly 65 kilometers across a grassy plain to the forest-covered Absaroka Mountains in the distance. "Yellowstone in the 1870s?" mused Lee Whittlesey, the park's historian, who was among the seven experts and outdoor enthusiasts who would accompany me. "Imagine an intense geography with no white settlement." We heaved packs onto our backs and stepped onto the trail. Less than 15 minutes later, as I was changing my socks after crossing an icy stream, a bull bison the size of an SUV [sports utility vehicle] loomed just yards above us. Thick, matted fur streamed down his flanks; an unkempt goatee curled at his chin. Snorting loudly, the old bachelor stomped his way down the hillside, took a drink of water, then sauntered across the creek. The buffalo had been so close I could have patted him on the back. Yellowstone, in 1872, was still a remote, mysterious region largely unmapped, although scarcely uninhabited: a Native American group (known as the Sheepeaters because they hunted
J leave one yearning
Yellowstone's three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, plus the Stars and Stripes-the reenactor solemnly took up his bugle and played taps. As if on cue, the geyser began to spurt. In 1870, the Washburn Expedition-dignitaries led by the surveyor-general of the Montana Territory, General Henry Washburn-first beheld the dramatic geysers. Cornelius Hedges, a member of the group, reported "our great astonishment on entering this basin, to see at no great distance before us an immense body of sparkling water, projected suddenly and with terrific force into the air to the height of over 100 feet. We had found a real geyser." As legend has it, Hedges later proposed to fellow expedition members sitting around a campfire that this remote volcanic plateau should be set aside as the world's first national park. The reality is less romantic, involving a tale of lobbying by railway interests and political wrangling, but on March 1, 1872, the U.S. Congress did pass a bill declaring some 800,000 Rocky Mountain hectares to be "set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." From my aerie atop Old Faithful Inn, I contemplated the spectacle of Mother Nature up against a massive influx of tourists. It's safe to say that the way we use this "pleasuring-ground" at the beginning of the 21st century would astound the men who protected it 135 years ago. Modern-day Yellowstone constitutes a virtual city-state, with its own weekly newspaper, a year-round staff of 380, a $27 million annual budget, army-size campgrounds and sprawling visitor complexes. Many of the park's attractions, surrounded by boardwalks and interpretive trails, are linked by a figure-eight-shaped highway, the Grand Loop. Summer traffic proceeds slowly around the loop, since any buffalo, bear or moose on the road provokes a kilometer-long jam. In the past decade, the reintroduction of some 30 wolves in the Lamar Valley, in the park's northeast, has created a new sightseeing ritual: at sunrise every day, hundreds of tourists gather with high-powered binoculars along the roads there, often directed by a ranger known as Rick the Wolf Man, who brandishes a radar tracking antenna.
Allthat communal nature worship can leave one
yearning for something a bit more ...solitarv. the local bighorn) had survived its bitter winters for centuries and were still resident. As late as 1869, Eastern magazines refused to print stories about Yellowstone, for fear that travelers' claims of natural geysers, hot springs and steam vents amounted to little more than wild exaggerations. The hardy explorers of the Washburn Expedition, and the subsequent Hayden Survey of 1871, began to catalog some 250 active geysers and an estimated 10,000 hot springs, mud pots (a bubbling mixture of sulfuric acid, clay and water), hot pools and steam vents. At first, the federal government's decision to protect this isolated wilderness had little effect on Yellowstone itself. There was
"very pnrmtlve, conslstlng, in lieu of a bedstead, of 12 square feet of floor-room ... the fare is simple, and remarkable for quantity rather than for quality or variety." For his part, the Earl of Dunraven called it the "last outpost of civilization," a distinction apparently earned in his eyes by the sale of whiskey. But the hardships of the journey were soon forgotten. "Our first sight of the geysers, with columns of steam rising from innumerable vents and the smell of Inferno in the air from the numerous sulfur springs, made us simply wild with the eagerness of seeing all things at once ... " wrote 28-year-old Emma Cowan, a resident of Radersburg in the Montana Territory, in 1877. Visitors wandered among such wonders as the Castle and Giantess geysers and Minerva Terrace, a massive travertine formation. They poured soap into the mouths of geysers, to hasten eruptions (the detergent added a viscous film that decreased the surface tension of the water). They washed clothes in the hot pools, marveling as soiled shirts were sucked into the earth by down-draft currents, only to be spat up clean an hour later. Little thought was given to environmental damage: many visitors gleefully carved their names on rock walls, tossed rubbish into prismatic springs and chipped off delicate geological formations for souvenirs. Those of a more scientific bent timed geyser eruptions and recorded the temperatures of hot pools, then compared the findings with statistics on geysers in Iceland and New Zealand. "Here the traveler passes from one unique scene to another, and his vision never wearies and is never sated," Hayden wrote in an 1876 essay describing his journey. Adventurers descended Yellowstone Canyon's rock walls with ropes to gape at the thundering Upper and Lower falls. They scaled mountains: 3,122-meter Mount Washburn afforded the most expansive views, while
The first superintendent received no salarv, had no budget or stan, and visited Yellowstone onlv twice in his five-vear tenure. no precedent for managing such an enormous "park." The first superintendent, Nathaniel Langford, received no salary, had no budget or staff, and visited Yellowstone only twice in his fiveyear tenure. The pioneering sightseers who did make their way here were an intriguing group--wealthy Easterners like conservationist George Bird Grinnell; socially prominent citizens of Montana; Arn1y officers on hunting junkets; and nature-loving aristocrats from Europe-who often endured severe privations just to reach Yellowstone. From the East, the easiest approach was via the new transcontinental railroad, passing through Omaha, Nebraska, to the sleepy settlement of Corinne, Utah. From there, a stagecoach ran to the gold-rush town of Virginia City, Montana. That dusty, boneshaking 690-kilometer journey lasted four grueling days and nights. "There was nothing to break the dull monotony," reported a 35-year-old Irish aristocrat, the Earl of Dunraven, in 1876. "Clouds of the salt dust. .. covered our clothes, and filled our eyes, ears, noses and mouths." (Several years earlier, a stagecoach carrying a 17-year-old English adventurer, Sidford Harnp, had been held up by two ruffians, who passed around a bottle of whiskey after robbing the passengers: "I took some (whiskey) just for the joke of it & because I was cold with standing out with my hands up," Harnp wrote his mother back home. "Fancy such a thing as highway robbers in England.") Arriving in Virginia City, weary travelers hired guides (frontiersmen with names like Texas Jack or Beaver Dick) and outfitted their expeditions in the style of African safaris, with cooks, attendants and mounds of equipment. Most entered the park from the north, traveling via Bozeman and Gardiner, Montana; a few took a more rugged route along the Madison River (a road now dominated by the motels and fast-food restaurants of West Yellowstone). At the time, the only byways within the park itself were bridle paths and animal trails. In 1877, Thomas Sherman, son of the famous Civil War general, William T. Sherman, wrote from the northern edge of the park: "Here vehicles must be left behind, for there is no highway into Wonderland, and the visitor who dares to trespass on Dame Nature's secret fastnesses, must bear the fatigues of rough riding and trust his baggage to the mercy of the pack animal." Most travelers, crossing over a nearly impassable stretch of fallen pine trees, headed straight to Upper Geyser Basin. Some overnighted at the only accommodation available, McCartney's Hotel, built in 1871 at Mammoth Hot Springs, near the park's northern entrance. Although the lodgings were promoted in local newspapers as an elegant spa, government surveyor Ferdinand Hayden found McCartney's
~ By 1905, new roads allowed travelers to tour the park by stage~ coach-a conveyance that turned even a short journey into a bone~ jolting experience. iO'
"'------------------------::J ~ dispatched from the vicinity of Helena, in Montana. ~ The most shameful chapter in Yellowstone's early history ~ occurred in the summer of 1877, after the federal government had ordered the Nez Perce tribe to leave their ancestral home~ lands in Oregon, Washington and Idaho for a small reservation ~ along the Clearwater River in Idaho. Initially, the Nez Perce o IE reluctantly agreed, but after a renegade band of their warriors ~ massacred a group of white settlers, the tribe feared reprisal. Some 600 to 800 men, women and children set off on what would turn into a 16-week flight of 1,700 kilometers across the Wyoming and Montana territories, with the U.S. cavalry in hot pursuit. For two weeks in late August and early September, the Native American "hostiles" raced through Yellowstone, one step ahead of Army scouts. At dawn on the 24th of August, Yellowstone visitor Emma Cowan awoke to discover more than 20 Nez Perce warriors surrounding her campsite, about nine kilometers north of Old Faithful. After handing over their horses and supplies to the fugitives, Emma, her husband George, and seven others thought they Electric Peak offered the most bizarre scientific experience: would be set free. Then a splinter group of Nez Perce renegades " ... every hair of your head will stand up and hum like an enthusi- attacked the party. Several of the campers escaped into the underastic congregation," conservationist John Muir wrote after visiting brush, but George Cowan was shot. "A red stream trickled down his face from beneath his hat," Emma later recalled. "The warm the park in 1885. Sportsmen hunted deer, elk, moose, bear, buffalo and antelope. sunshine, the smell of blood, the horror of it all. .. my sister's Mountain lions and wolves howled throughout the night, reported screams, a sick faint feeling, and all was blank." Emma and her Calvin Clawson, a member of the first tourist party to visit the park brother and sister were taken on horseback to the main body of the in 1871. It was, he said, "a most heartrending war song." Some vis- Nez Perce group, where leaders ordered them to be released itors became positively trigger happy. "Andy's rifle was always unharmed. For four days, George Cowan, who had been left for ready, and he blazed away at everything," reported an anonymous dead, dragged himself across brutal terrain until he was found by participant in hunter Archibald Geikie's party in 1879. Even self-pro- an Army patrol. In later years, fully recovered after a surgeon fessed nature-lovers were not above shooting a nesting eagle to adorn their hats with feathers. At night, travelers gathered around campfires, singing, swapping stories, even staging theatrical shows beneath the stars. Yet many travelers described Yellowstone's landscape as nothing less than "infernal." As well it could be. In 1870, Truman Everts, a 54-year-old Montana Territory official, origi- removed the bullet, he wore it as a watch fob. As for Chief Joseph, nally from Vermont, found himself separated from the main he and his followers surrendered to U.S. Army forces within 64 Washburn Expedition near Yellowstone Lake. Lost for 37 days, kilometers of the Canadian border on October 5. He would die in he was stalked by a mountain lion, trapped in snowstorms, awak- 1904 on a reservation in Washington state. ened by forest fires and scalded by hot springs. "I lost all sense of "In the popular imagination, human history has not been associtime," he wrote after the ordeal. "Days and nights came and went, ated with Yellowstone," Rosemary Sucec, one of my hiking comand were numbered only by the growing consciousness that I was panions, said on our second day of trekking. "The park has always gradually starving." He survived by gnawing on the roots of this- been perceived as 'Nature's shrine.'" We were deep in a serene pine tles, making fires with the sun and lenses of the opera glasses he forest. Sucec, the first cultural anthropologist appointed to the park by the National Park Service, paused to pick up a flake of obsidian likely used as binoculars and, he claimed, following instructions from an apparition he called "a ghostly counselor." He was res- from the trail-a shard of sharp black glass that might have once cued-emaciated, frostbitten and delirious-by a search party been part of an Indian arrowhead-and pulled out her GPS [Global
liDle thOUght was given to environmental damage: manv visitors carved their names on rock walls, tossed rubbish into prismatic springs and chipped on delicate geological formations for souvenirs.
India's First National Park fforts to develop India's first national park began as early as 1879 after forest areas of the Himalayan foothills were declared "reserved" under the Forests Act
of 1878. It was on the advice of British hunter Jim Corbett, who later became a well-known conservationist, that the British government named the reserved forests of the United Province (now Uttar Pradesh) Hailey National Park in 1936. The park was named after the then Uttar Pradesh governor, Sir Malcolm Hailey. In 1952, the park was renamed Ramganga National Park, after the Ramganga River that flows through most of it. Five years later, it was renamed once again, as Jim Corbett National Park, and is today one of India's most successful tiger reserves. Spread over 520 square kilometers in the foothills of the Himalayas, the park now lies in Uttarakhand state. Essentially
following the first all-India tiger census in 1972. Thatsurveyrevealedthat the number of tigers had dwindled to a shocking 1,827 from an estimated40,000 at the tum of the century. A national ban on tiger hunting was imposed and Corbett was chosen as the venue for the inauguration of the project. India has also, time and again, sought help from other countries, including the United States, in wildlife conservation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://www.fws.gov/) funded two significant management-oriented research projects at Corbett in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The first was a research project on relationships among large herbivores, habitat and humans in Corbett and Rajaji National Park, also in Uttarakhand. The 1995-2000 project tracked the vegetation, migration patterns, biotic pressures, man-animal conflict and poaching in the connecting forest corridors between Rajaji and Corbett.
There are 96 national parks in India. Nine each are in Madhva Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. famous as "tiger territory," Corbett also boasts an impressive list of animals and birds including wild elephants, varieties of deer, sloth bear, gharial, leopards, wagtails, storks and great white herons. The year 1973 was a landmark,not just for the park but also for tiger conservationin India. Project Tiger-an ambitious program aimed at conserving the species-was launched
The outcome of the study has helped in the management of the tiger and elephant population, finding altemate rehabilitation for the dependent human population in the vicinity and setting in place benchmark ecologically important information for future research studies. The second U.S.-India collaboration was the setting up of an interpretation center in Corbett and in Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh. The 2000-2005 project invested in
development of signs, displays, interpretive aids and upgrading of the interpretive skilis of the park management staff. It also supported streamlining visitor management and sensitizing the local community on conservation issues. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported and facilitated exchange programs between scientists of the two countries and funded the research and infrastructural components of the two projects to the tune of $275,000 through Public Law 480 (PL. 480). Also known as the Food for Peace Program, PL. 480 used abundant U.S. agricuIture resources to strengthen food security in developing countries. Later,Indian rupees owed to the United States for grain sales were used to fund a variety of wildlife, scientific, technological and educational projects. Another project that the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service supported from its Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund was a grant of $17,594 to the Wildlife Society of India for a study on the tigerhuman conflict in the buffer zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve. The last Tiger Census in 2001-2002 said India had 3,642 tigers. According to preliminary results from the latest census conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India over the last two years, the Indian government revealed in May this year that despite plunging figures in several reserves, trends from Corbett have offered comfort. Initial reports have pegged the tiger population at Corbett at a healthy 112 and conservationists say the reserve, along with Kanha in Madhya Pradesh, are the only two major viable "tiger countries" in India. As for Corbett, it's still very much in the tourist spotlight, with a burdensome 70,000 plus visitors trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive big cat every year.
~ to the future of the park. "On the surface, Yellowstone is doing ~ very well-perhaps better than it was 10 years ago," said Hudson. li! He mentioned the wolves and bears. "But beneath the surface, ~ there's a lot of danger. There's a realization that our parks can't exist in isolation." For example: one grizzly bear dietary staple, ~ whitebark pine nuts, is at risk from blister rust, a plant disease ~ spreading into the region. In addition, an introduced species of ~ trout is crowding out indigenous species; bears, bison and wolves ~ are wandering beyond the protection of park boundaries. What's if. more, the land surrounding Yellowstone is being subdivided into housing developments; the process disrupts the migration routes of pronghorns and affects the spring habitat of grizzlies. Although the most high-profile debate involves the phasing out of snowmobiles, ecologists are trying to make the public aware that Yellowstone must be viewed as part of a larger environment. "In a sense, some people romanticize the park," said Jim Williams, former program President Calvin Coolidge (center, in dark suit) with Park manager at the Yellowstone Superintendent Albright at Yellowstone in the 1920s. Association Institute. "It's Right: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe, forced to abandon ancestral sacred turf, with the homelands, led his people across the park in 1877 in a doomed attempt Roosevelt Arch as the holy to reach Canada. gates. Looking at the ecology Positioning System] receiver to record its location. Then she as a whole, there is no practireplaced the obsidian and continued on the trail. "In fact, the park cal distinction between park was actually one of the great rendezvous points for Native and non-park. Yellowstone is being very well managedAmericans," she went on. In addition to the Sheepeaters, Yellowstone was a hunting ground for numerous tribes, including nothing bad is going to hapCrows from the east, Bannocks from the west, Blackfeet from the pen within the park. It's what north and Shoshone from the south; their presence was largely will happen outside the park expunged from guidebooks in the 1880s. "Now that we're finding that will damage it." out more about the park's history," Sucec added, "it could become On our third day out, the more of a shrine." forest gave way to alpine Tim Hudson, 51, our wiry mountain guide (and a poet with a meadows-soft grass, master's degree in American studies), nodded. "Native mountain streams and wildAmericans were forcibly removed to create our idea of 'wilder- flowers. The trail wound through the Hoodoo Basin, a ness' ," he said. The image of the park as an uninhabited American Eden was taken up enthusiastically throughout the 19th valley filled with windcentury. In the late 1800s, somebody started spreading the idea hewn pillars of stone. that Native Americans actually avoided the park because they Finally, we stood at the were afraid of its geysers and steaming vents. park's eastern edge, marked by lonely cairns piled on icy ridges. Historians still heatedly debate the route through eastern In every direction, savage mountains receded to the horizon. Yellowstone that Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce, along with eld- Ahead lay the hardest stretch, a trail that would find us sliding erly family members, children and 2,000 horses, took to elude their down scree and clambering up cliffs, picking our way across seas Army pursuers. Almost none of the park backcountry has ever been of deadwood as we crossed the same river 24 times, an experience investigated by archaeologists; it is too wild and funding is in too made all the more vivid by my conviction that we were irretrievshort supply. "It was a feat few white people could have accom- ably lost. When I finally hobbled back to the Old Faithful Inn two plished without axe or implements of some sort to cut the way," days later, I could guess why an exasperated U.S. Army scout in Emma Cowan wrote. When overloaded pack horses became 1877 had designated Yellowstone "the most outdoors country on wedged between trees, "an old squaw would pound them on the earth." head until they backed out." Perhaps the Yellowstone I had traversed was not exactly as it have been too many changes. But that As we camped beneath the stars, our conversation often turned was in the 1870s-there night back at the inn, soaking my aching limbs in a claw-foot tub, I had to admit-gratefully, now that the ordeal was overthat the park remained seriously wild. ~
"It's what will happen outside the park that will damage it."
specializes in travel writing and lives in New York City.
orning, the New York-based manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, has pioneered some of the sexiest technology of the past 100 years. The incandescent light bulb. The picture tube for color TVs. Windows for every NASA spacecraft. The glass screens for laptop computers and flat-panel TVs. And, yes, optical fiber. They invented it. Then there's the tailpipe business. In the world of glamorous technology, it never hurts to have a dependable trade in something like cleaning up the exhaust of cars, trucks and buses. More than 30 years ago, Corning developed the honeycombed materials that have become the guts of catalytic converters, dramatically reducing pollution. "Environmental technology," as Corning calls it, has been a steady business for the company ever since. Then, six years ago, even as Corning's fiberoptics business was unraveling, the company's leadership decided to place a daring bet on
cleaning up diesel exhaust. That bet-which is just now beginning to play out-commits Corning to spending upward of a half-billion dollars and harnessing the talent of hundreds of researchers to develop, manufacture, and sell a line of devices to dramatically reduce pollution from diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel engines produce slightly different pollutants, including soot, than gas-powered engines, and typical car technology is ineffective against them. "This is not a wild leap off a cliff," says Joseph Miller, Corning's chief technology officer. At the same time, Miller says, it was "a very, very gutsy decision." The collapse of the tech bubble was as vivid, and as traumatic, at Corning as anywhere. Indeed, it must have appeared to blow a hole in Corning's financial performance. The company's total quarterly revenue peaked in the fourth quarter of 2000, at $2.1 billion. Just eight quarters later, in the fourth quarter of 2002, Corning's quarterly revenue was down to $736 million.
In the midst of layoffs and factory closingsonly one of the five fiber-optics factories that Corning operated in 2000 remains open-the company shut down research labs in New Jersey, England, Japan and Russia. Research and development (R&D) spending was cut by $5 million per week-nearly 50 percent from 2001 to 2003affecting even Corning's storied Sullivan Park research complex. Meanwhile, diesel technology's share of the budget grew "fourfold," says Miller. In fact, Corning didn't place just one bet on diesel antipollution devices-the market for which should grow quickly as stiff antipollution laws come into force around the world. Thomas Hinman, head of diesel technologies at Corning; chief technology officer Miller; and the Corning board made a pair of bets. The first was to build a factory to supply a market that didn't exist. The cost: $370 million. Total sales of Corning's diesel mitigation business the year the factory was approved: $12 million. The second bet was even more daring.
Corning abandoned the industry-standard filtration technology for diesel cars. As competitors scooped up business, and as construction proceeded on the new factory, Corning ordered up not just a new product from its research labs but a whole new materials-science breakthrough on which to base that product "We made a lonely choice," says Hinman. The existing ceramic material for diesel filters worked fine but was difficult and expensive to manufacture. Hinman's team thought it could come up with a new material that was as effective against pollution, more durable, and half as
expensive for carmakers. The company bet not just on the marketwhich it expects to be $1 billion a year in 2008, and to grow from there-but on its own heritage of inventiveness. In 2004, 90 percent of Corning's sales came from products less than four years old. Corning scientists have often come up with technology solutions under time and market pressure; in fact, they developed the material for catalytic converters under goading from automakers faced with the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970. The diesel R&D group ended up taking two years to zero in on the right material
for diesel-engine filters-aluminum titanatebut it checked in with senior management every six weeks, and more often when necessary. "It was tough sledding," says Hinman. "You see the competition moving on .... lt required tremendous confidence. " Corning is now making heavy-duty diesel engine filters at its new Erwin, New York, plant. Car filters-using the new aluminum titanate ceramic-have been available since November 2005. Miller came to Corning in July 2001 as chief technology officer, and he says that cutting R&D also instructive. spending was very painful-but "There is nothing," says Miller, "like that kind of experience to temper what you're hearing, to be sure you don't just look at these things with rosecolored glasses." Even in a science-driven company, he says, "there is no algorithm to guide you on these decisions." ~ Charles Fishman is senior writer at Fast Company magazine (wunv,fastcompany.com), and author of The Wal-Mart Effect.
Detecting Suicide Bombers creening people for bombs doesn't do much good if a suicide bomber simply pulls the trigger at the checkpoint A new technology could detect bombs by directing a low-power radar beam at people from a safe distance-as far as 100 meters away. Signal-processing software reveals concealed objects without producing an under-the-clothes image that could violate privacy, like the controversial Backscatter X-ray machine. The technology, developed by SET Corporation of Arlington County, Virginia, is assisted by video analysis software designed by Rama Chellappa, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland. Chellappa's software tracks the movements of the person being screened, which helps keep the radar on target. The software could one day augment the technology even further by discerning subtle differences in the way people walk when they're concealing heavy objects. Tom Burns, CEO of SET Corporation, says the device, dubbed CounterBomber, could be
1.______ _____~ r_e_ad_Y_fo_r_sa_le_by_t_hi_S _fa_I
Analysis of video and radar data from the CounterBomber could reveal bombs under clothing.
The Love Machine nline matchmaking services, such as Match.com and eHarmony, today attract millions of users willing to fill out questionnaires-and hand over cash-in the hope of finding love. Can computers really play Cupid? A lot of people seem to think so; eHarmony claims that its service has led to some 10,000 weddings since 2000 when it was set up. But the concept of using computers to smooth the path of romance is far from new. It was hatched by two undergraduates during a bull session [an informal discussion] at Harvard University in 1965. "I had the idea that there might be a way to look at the characteristics of males and females to find out what couples might be compatible with each other," says Vaughan Morrill. He talked to his classmate Jeff Tarr. "We were alone on a Saturday night, and we were drinking, and we came up with the idea of a computer dating system," Tarr says. The two were unlikely visionaries-just kids looking for something fun to do, and to maybe make a few bucks doing it. "I don't think either one of us was doing this as a career," says Morrill, but inspiration took hold. They quickly came up with a questionnaire to use for matching people up. Eventually it ran several pages, asking everything from vital statistics (height, weight, age) to what a person's reactions would be to hypothetical, and awkward, situations. Here's one question: "Your roommate gets you a blind date for the big dance. Good-looking, your roommate says. When you meet your date, you are sure it's your roommate who is blind-your date is friendly, but embarrassingly unattractive. You: (1) suggest going to a movie instead (2) monopolize your roommate's date, leaving your roommate with only one noble alternative ... (3) dance with your date, smiling weakly, but end the evening as early as possible. (4) act very friendly the whole time and run the risk of getting trapped into a second date. Tarr found a computer science student in a Harvard math class and paid him $100 to write the programming code to help match up questionnaires that had complementary answers. The two students formed a company, Compatibility
A pair of Harvard students conjured up the earliest form of computer matchmaking some 40 years ago.
you?''' says Crump. "And ugly people would say they were good-looking, and good-looking people would say they were ugly." But the innovators knew they had something. "I think we ended up with about 7,800 respondents, and the first time we went out as far as Vassar and Smith and [Mount] Holyoke [womens colleges]," says Tarr. Soon the questionnaires were pouring a: into the company's Cambridge post-office box, ~ every one with a $3 matchmaking fee enclosed. z . ~ Operation Match soon extended to several more ; areas, mostly near college campuses, nationwide. .~ "The trip to the mailbox every morning was an I exciting event," says Crump. Morrill left the company, but Tarr forged ahead. "Because it was my senior year, I didn't go to any classes, because I was an honor student at Harvard and you could get away with it." He appeared on several national television programs, including "The Tonight Show" and "Today." In its original incarnation, Operation Match proved no more lasting a phenomenon than Nehru jackets [a band-collared, hip length coat favored by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru] or Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs [a 1960s rock 'n' roll band]. By the third year its popularity had waned considerably. "I think a lot of people thought it was fun to try once," says Tarr. So the company was sold. Morrill went on to a 30-year career as a science teacher in St. Louis, Missouri. Crump is now a law professor at the University of Houston, and David L. Crump, another Harvard undergraduTarr became the chairman of a New York risk-arbiate, who became vice president of the company, trage firm. But it wasn't a mere fad. The core innovation, says that the image of computers worked both ways. "There was this notion that a computer was using technology to match up strangers via quesnot romantic, and it takes all the romance ou!," he tionnaires, was far ahead of its time. With the popsays "I think of that as kind of a silly reason, ularization of the personal computer in the early because it didn't purport to be anything other than 1980s, people began to see computers less as a tool." And the tool seemed to work. "The science inscrutable automatons and more as everyday of attraction is boringly simple and not very pleas- tools. It's no surprise that the Internet gave rise to ant to contemplate," says Crump. "We like people a new wave of computer-dating services mimickwho are familiar, who are physically attractive, who ing the Operation Match model, which today are far more advanced, if not much more successful, have attitudinal similarity, and who like us back." A., The human element, though, added a chaotic than those of 40 years ago. -----~ factor that no amount of technology could overcome. "The questionnaires evolved, but we always David Rapp writes on history for American had questions about 'How good-looking are Heritage and Technology Review.
Research Inc., and they named their service Operation Match. The nascent business rented time on a room-size IBM computer on the Harvard campus This was expensive, but the giant computer also provided Operation Match with an air of credibility and a powerful marketing tool. After all, the very idea of using computers was considered cutting edge in 1965.
A Veteran Venture Capitalist's
For many years a partner at the blue-blooded venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Vinod Khosla has been called the best venture capitalist in the world by both Forbes and Red Herring magazines. Certainly, he has succeeded more grandly and more reliably, and has failed less spectacularly, than any of his peers. In 2004, he founded Khosla Ventures, which advises entrepreneurs and invests in his latest area of interest: the clean energy technologies that might replace the burning of coal and oil.
Whence this newfound preoccupation with clean energy generation? I enjoy looking at hard, important problems that are still manageable. Funding new energy technologies has been the work of governments and big businesses. Do you really think energy is a good investment for venture capitalists? Not every energy project can be funded by venture capitalists; some have very long time lines and big budgets. But there are plenty of opportunities that are amenable to a venture approach. Why are you skeptical about efforts to make coal-based energy generation cleaner and more efficient? How fast do you think existing energy vendors will move to these clean coal technologies? Alternatives to coal and oil can get here much faster. That said, clean coal is one option for future power generation. We need reliable, predictable power; many people believe that coal can provide that. But concentrating solar power is also a real option for largescale, high-capacity, dispatchable power. Thermal underground storage of heat can be used for uti Iitygrade power generation, too. If large-scale compressed-air energy storage works, then wind power will become scalable. So I think there will be a horse race between clean coal with carbon sequestration, wind with compressed-air energy storage,
and solar thermal power generation with storage. I think carbon capture and sequestration will be difficult, making clean coal more expensive than concentrating solar power. Today, I would put my money on concentrating solar power. What are the benefits of biofuels? Biodiesel is a good product, but it's nonscalable unless it can be made from biomass instead of seed product. Ethanol is a good start, and it will transition quickly to cellulosic-based production. But I believe new fuels like butanol will come along. I would not be surprised to see biogasoline either, initially made from corn and later from biomass. When will solar cells, or photovoltaics, be sufficiently efficient to contribute significantly to the globe's energy needs? Don't equate solar with photovoltaic. I think concentrating solar power, leveraging the large investment in traditional, steam-based power generation and using passive mirrors to concentrate heat, can get to 35 percent efficiency today at $500 per kilowatt. For photovoltaics to compete, we'll need multijunction thin-film solar cells produced with cheap mass-production technologies, and efficiencies above 30 percent. Does building wind turbines using coal power vitiate their value as an alternative energy?
Many technologies today have long payback periods before the energy invested in them is returned. If it takes so much coal power to produce the solar cell or wind turbine that we are not cleanenergy positive for four or five years, is that really a problem? But technology is not static, and all the newer technologies will improve, and the payback period will get faster and faster. These kinds of arguments are generally advanced by proponents of traditional energy and economists who are not used to rapid improvements in technology. Does nuclear energy have a place in a clean-energy future? After all, France generates 75 percent of its power through nuclear energy. Nuclear could have a future. That said, I suspect we are unlikely to go to mostly nuclear power in the U.S., because the political and regulatory risks are too high and the time line
to build plants is too long. What we really need is to build a big, highvoltage DC power grid, and let nuclear, wind, solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, electricity from biomass and waste, and anything else innovators can think of get on the grid. We need to kick-start the alternatives and let the competitive ones prosper. Do you believe in the hydrogen economy that President George W. Bush and others have promoted? Hydrogen makes no sense to me. There are forces that like any technology that is far enough away that they don't have to make any real changes. We will want to reevaluate hydrogen in 10 years, but it does not look like a winning option to me today. Apart from energy, you've also shown some interest in investing in new markets for micro loans. Why? Microloans are the most effective tool in addressing poverty. I am not a big believer in the aid and devel:G opment programs that big governments favor. But if entrepreneurs use ~ microloans to make biomass an ~ important feedstock, for instance, we will do more to address poverty (> than all the foreign aid from all the developed world. And biomass can be used to produce fuels, electricity, plastics and much more. ~
Jason Pontin is editor-in-chief and publisher of Technology Review.
John Pina Craven sees cold water technology as the answer to a variety of problems.
alfway through an important lunch meeting in Kona, Hawaii, with the lieutenant governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, John Pifia Craven is suddenly restless. The topic under discussion is Craven's plan to use cold water pumped up from the deep ocean to provide low-cost and environmentally sustainable power, water and food to a new residential and commercial development in the Marianas, a chain of islands some 4,800 kilometers to the west. But none of his colleagues expect Craven to schmooze anyway, so he ditches the group and
heads to the restaurant's parking lot. Craven, 82, moves at a brisk shuffle, his black sneakers taking two steps for every one of mine. Back and forth we pace, like inmates in a jail yard. Craven's mind is already way beyond the Marianas project. "I've decided to run a marathon to demonstrate my newest innovation," he says. "You see, I apply cold temperatures to different parts of my body in three bastings. The third is the most complicated~I ice the terminuses of my lymphatic system. My body heals itself. Look at these hands," he says, opening and closing his fists.
"I have no joint pain of any kind!" Craven may sound like a brilliant psychotic, but he's got plenty of credentials: a PhD in ocean engineering, a law degree, and a stint as chief scientist for the U.S. Navy's Special Projects Office. There he was instrumental in developing the Polaris Fleet Ballistic Missile System, the submarine-based backbone of America's nuclear deterrence and one of the most complex defense systems ever. In fact, most deep-ocean activities-saturation diving, exploring with submersibles, searching for tiny objects on the ocean floor-owe their origins to top secret, Cold War-era Navy projects in which Craven had a hand. A polymath, who is as comfortable talking about the Law of the Sea as he is the plumbing nightmares inherent when 200 men a day urinate in a submarine, Craven is hard to keep up with. His mind
And he's not doing it just out of the goodness of his heart. "I fully intend for CHC to be a multibillion-dollar corporation," Craven says. His grand plan could come across as a bar-stool fantasy, but it's already won $75 million from Alpha Pacific, a Memphis, Tennessee, venture capital firm and $1.5 million in federal funds since it was set up in 1991. Last year, bulldozers began clearing land on Saipan and engineers sank a pipe to pump icy water from the ocean depths to produce electricity and fresh water. In Kona, Craven expects to use coldwater agriculture to transform two hectares of otherwise barren lava fields into one of the world's most productive vineyards. "The economics are absurd," he boasts. "Once we prove the technology on Saipan, imagine what it could do for places like Haiti!" Craven's system exploits the dramatic
electricity. By the 1980s, the Natural Energy Lab's demonstration plant was generating net power, the world's first, through so-called ocean thermal energy conversion [OTEC]. "The potential of OTEC is great," says Joseph Huang, a senior scientist for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and an expert on the process. "The oceans are the biggest solar collector on Earth, and there's enough energy in them to supply a thousand times the world's needs. If you want to depend on nature, the oceans are the only energy source big enough to tap." Stephen Oney, vice president of Ocean Engineering and Energy Systems in Honolulu, agrees: "The technology is there, and the science is there. It just needs to be improved." Oney also envisions a day when floating OTEC platforms would produce enough hydrogen to
darts from why the U.S. Navy should make submarines out of glass to the sad end of his long telephone friendship with the late actor Marlon Brando to the remarkable prodigiousness of his small experimental Hawaiian vineyard. "One week the plants have no leaves," he says. "The next they just go zing, zing, zing and are full of fruit!" The grapes are a key part of his plan, through his Common Heritage Corporation [CHC], to build communities around the world sustained by deep-ocean water, starting on the Mariana island of Saipan.
temperature difference between ocean water below 900 meters-perpetually just above freezing-and the much warmer water and air above it. That temperature gap can be harnessed to create a nearly unlimited supply of energy. Although the scientific concepts behind cold-water energy have been around for decades, Craven made them real when he founded the state-funded Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii in 1974 on Keahole Point, near Kona. Under Craven, the lab developed the process of using cold, deep-ocean water and hot surface water to produce
meet all of the world's energy needs. Craven likes the way they think, but he believes there are simpler, cheaper and more immediate applications of coldwater technology. He favors building systems in ideal locations, such as islands adjacent to deep water with no continental shelf. Sink a big pipe, crank a pump andvoila!-you've entered a world powered by ocean water. Once primed, the pipe acts like a giant siphon, requiring relatively little energy to keep an inexhaustible supply of cold water at hand. Already, 3.9-degreeCelsius water courses through the Natural
Energy Lab's newest pipe-a 55-inchdiameter, 2,700-meter polyethylene behemoth-at the rate of 102,200 liters a minute, 24 hours a day. Running the frigid pipes through heat exchangers produces unlimited air conditioning that costs almost nothing. Draining their sweat yields an endless supply of fresh water for drinking and irrigation. The cold water also creates a temperature difference between root and fruit that Craven believes speeds growth. And by turning the flow on and off, Craven has found he can further accelerate the plants' growth cycle by forcing them in and out of dormancy. He can get three crops of grapes a year and pineapples in eight months instead of the usual 18. Feeding some of the water through a contraption that Craven calls a hurricane tower generates clean
ing and irrigation. As proud as he is, Craven knows his marketing and administrative abilities leave much to be desired. In 2000, he placed his company stock in a blind trust, became "chief scientist," and let others take Common Heritage Corporation forward as a for-profit business. Ke Kai Kealoha-Stephens, Common Heritage Corporation's project manager, is charged with the selling of his vision. Craven prefers to get things started, then have others manage the operation so he can wander on to something new. "I get put to death every seven years as great kings do, until I start a new kingship," he says, leading me away from the group to the grapes. Common Heritage Corporation's success depends on two projects that expand on Craven's ideas: a vineyard in Kona to
farmers of specialty crops. It would also sell fresh water to hotels that now rely on expensive reverse osmosis desalination. Caught under the glare of Craven's brain power, it all seems doable. "John Craven is a visionary," says Sylvia Earle, former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a Common Heritage Corporation board member. "He's effectively demonstrated his pilot approach on a small scale, and who knows where it will lead? Who could have guessed how Henry Ford's auto design would change the world? Craven is not always right, but he's always worth listening to." Craven has no doubts. On the grapes and fresh water alone, he says, "We'll make a fortune. We'll make fresh water for nothing, 13,000 to 15,000 pounds [5,800 to 6,800 kg] of grapes per hectare
electricity. "What the world doesn't understand," says Craven, still zigzagging through the parking lot, "is that what we don't have enough of is cold, not heat." A day later, the sun feels like a giant piece of red-hot charcoal overhead as Craven unlocks the gates to his small demonstration garden at the Natural Energy Lab. In tow are a handful of Common Heritage Corporation's technical partners and managers escorting the lieutenant governor around the garden. The black lava ground is hard and hot, but behind the chain-link fence, Craven has created a little oasis: a 3-meter by 6-meter rectangle of lush lawn, a closely cropped putting green, a 10-foot-square "soccer field," flower gardens, an orchid patch and rows of grapes. A wooden structure that Craven calls the "sky tower" holds what resembles a radiator of sweating PVC pipes dripping steadily into a tub, providing fresh water for drinking, wash-
grow table grapes for local restaurants, and a more complex, much larger-scale version of his oasis, on Saipan. A stable U.S. territory, the island is a booming destination for Japanese tourists. Tokyo is just two and a half hours away by air. And the Marianas offer generous tax deals to Japanese who retire there. But Saipan has a limited supply of fresh water and must import, at great expense, all of its food and oil. On the northern end of the island, Common Heritage Corporation plans to sink a 24-inch-diameter pipe and build a 40- hectare development featuring 100 townhouses, a golf course, soccer fields, and even an athletic complex where Japanese sports teams can train. Like a cross between an industrial park landlord and a public utility, Common Heritage Corporation would aim to supply electrical power (generated by a mix of ocean water, sun and biomass), fresh water and air conditioning, as well as its cold-water agriculture technology to tenants and
per year, three times what the best vineyard in California can do." As the official tour winds on, Craven drags a plastic chair to the middle of the lawn, plunks himself down, and resumes talking about his anti-aging experiments. Investigating the osmotic and thermodynamic properties of plants led him to wonder about the human body, and now he's hooked. "I've patented my coldwater therapy, and I want to open a coldwater health spa right there," he says, pointing to the rocky coast. "The doctors don't agree with me, but that's because innovation is the enemy of the status quo-it puts people out of business." Craven flexes his limber ankles and smiles. It won't be long before we know whether he's unleashed a new wave of octogenarian marathon runners or stepped off the deep end at last. ~ Carl Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org) a contributing editor with Wired.
ar on ru s hen Anne's grandmother was hospitalized four years ago with chest pains, she couldn't remember what medications she was on. So doctors sent Anne to the woman's home in eastern Washington state to look in her cabinets. What they found shocked both the family and the doctors. In the basement, the woman had several copies of the Physician s Desk Reference, scales for weighing pills, and a cupboard chockfull of both prescription and over-thecounter medications. All in all, doctors told the family later, she had 11 types of prescription medications, including at least 400 Valium pills. Her medications, doctors said, would probably fetch about $15,000 on the street. "When I went down there,"
says Anne, "I thought, 'Oh my God, it looks like a pharmacy in here. ' " To get pills, Anne's grandmother would go from doctor to doctor complaining of anxiety, asking each for a prescription so that, unbeknownst to the doctors, she racked up a huge stockpile of drugs. The practice is known as "doctor shopping," and it's one of the most common ways that prescription pills are obtained illegally. Figuring out how to stop the practice, along with other strategies people use to obtain prescription drugs illegally, is a major challenge facing law enforcement, the medical profession and government agencies. Though use of illicit drugs has held relatively stable, prescription-drug abuse
has risen dramatically in the past few years. Indeed, only the illegal use of marijuana is more prevalent today. Although abuse is rising among all age groups, officials are especially concerned about abuse among teenagers: One in 10 high school seniors has tried the painkiller Vicodin without a prescription, and one in 20 has taken the potent pill OxyContin. Local, state, and some federal agencies have been combating this problem for decades. But the issue started getting widespread attention in 2004, when the Bush administration released its first-ever plan targeting prescription-drug abuse. The White House set up new federal programs-including increased physician education and support for state prescrip-
tion monitoring efforts that can catch people with multiple prescriptions for the same drug. In addition, two members of Congress introduced the Prescription Drug Abuse Elimination Act, some provisions of which passed as part of another bil1. And outside the government, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America completed a study of adolescent attitudes on prescription drugs and released an ad campaign warning of the dangers of popping pills. Experts at all levels are realizing that fighting the war on prescription drugs may be unlike anything they've done before. "We are faced here with a different bnd of threat," says John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "With most illegal drugs, such as cocaine, production and distribution are illegal activities. In this case, this is a diversion from a legitimate source." In contrast to other types of illicit drugs, fighting this threat takes more fmesse than force. Education is one of the main components-people are still unaware that prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs. There's an idea that because doctors recommend prescription drugs for some uses, they must be safe. The perception even extends to law enforcement, says John Burke, president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. Federal agents and others refer to prescription pills as "kiddie dope" and don't regard rounding up those who sell it illegally as a top priority, he says. This drug war also has different players: medical professionals, patients and pharmaceutical companies, all of whom have legitimate uses for the drugs-and lobbyists in Washington to make sure their interests have a voice. The word balance is often used to describe the complex task of keeping these groups happy while preventing the drugs from falling into the hands of illicit users and criminals. The most delicate relationship right now is between law enforcement and doctors, who want to be able to prescribe medication as they see fit without evoking suspicion of drug trafficking. Haley Bruns knows firsthand how dangerous prescription drugs can be. She became addicted to the anxiety medications Xanax and Ativan but has been sober for about [seven] years now. When she had
knee surgery, however, and was prescribed the painlcillers Percocet and OxyContin, she was wary. Even though she's never been addicted to those drugs, she says: "I didn't want to tempt myself." She solved the problem by getting only a few pills at a time from the pharmacist, even though it meant going to the store every day. "The first time I did it, the pharmacist was like,
ith a $25,000 Economic Support Fund grant from the U.S. Embassy's Public Affairs Office, the Consumer Education and Research Centre in Ahmedabad, Gujarat has developed a page on its Web site (http://cercindia.org) explaining some of the causes of adverse reactions to certain medicinal drugs The Web page, titled Medicine Side Effects, has been operational since February 28, 2005. It encourages doctors and members of the public to report any adverse reactions to prescribed drugs so that data can be collected for establishing an India-based mechanism to track side effects and unknown or rare reactions to medications. The Web page contains forms to facilitate reporting. "Manufacturers do test all new drugs and medications for safety and efficacy; but only on a limited number of people, instead of all people," the Web page explains. "Rare side effects may not be observed in the small groups used for the tests. Also, because people vary greatly in terms of their individual responses to medications, pre-approval testing with a limited number of subjects does not reveal all possible adverse side effects of the medication being researched. Only when the new medication hits the market and millions of people use it, does adverse drug reaction become apparent."
'You're nuts,''' she says. "I think it's a great way of doing it." Painlcillers like Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, derived from opiates, technically known as narcotic analgesics, are the biggest concern among policymakers and experts because they can be very addictive. Even patients who use them properly for pain can become addicted, though it happens rarely. Abuse of these drugs is increasing "quite dramatically," says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More than 31 million Americans say that they have illicitly used narcotic analgesics. People take the drugs because they produce a sense of euphoria, similar to the high from heroin. When taken improperly, these drugs can be fatal. But the heavy focus on abuse of painkillers, along with several high-profile court cases involving doctors, has had a chilling effect on pain medicine, doctors contend. Millions of patients, they say, are suffering because doctors are either underprescribing to avoid suspicion or are leaving the field altogether. One woman in New York started a patient advocacy organization, the Pain Relief Network, because of her husband's chronic joint pain. "These people deteriorate because it hurts to move," says Siobhan Reynolds. "I can't even begin to explain the severity of the repercussions on their lives." The Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control says it's not in the business of prosecuting doctors who operate legitimate medical practices. The problem is that there isn't an agreed-upon defmition of what prescription practices are legitimate. The war on prescription drugs depends on cooperation between the medical community and law enforcement. Ensuring such cooperation will require strategies new to drug enforcement. But at least one person is optimistic. "Unlike street drugs, people don't want to do the wrong thing here," says Walters. "The vast majority of the people we're dealing with are committed to people's health and welfare." ~ Elizabeth Querna wrote this article for News & World Report.
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That is Taking on
A year of U.S.-India aviation cooperation has produced many firsts.
he tremendous growth in Indian aviation and the importance of this traffic to South Asia and the United States has prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to send its first representative to New Delhi. A lot has happened since Randall S. Fiertz arrived in July 2006. "There are several very critical agreements that have been signed since I've been here that we've been negotiating for a long time, for many years," says Fiertz, celebrating his anniversary as senior FAA representative for South Asia by moving into a new office on the Embassy compound. "Whether it's just the fact that it was time for those agreements to be signed or whether it's the fact that we're here on the ground and that gives some comfort to the Indian government, I don't know." The U.S. government has shown a commitment by establishing this office, says Fiertz. "U.S. Ambassador David C. Mulford feels that aviation and our work together with our Indian counterparts is one of the stars in our bilateral relationship." Previously, India was covered by the FAA office in Singapore, but now Fiertz reports to the Asia-Pacific director
there. India is now one of only 15 countries that has an office of the FAA, which is mandated by the U.S. Congress to provide aviation safety worldwide. "Aviation safety means a whole variety of things," says Fiertz. "For instance it could mean assisting India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the part of the Ministry of Civil Aviation that's responsible for safety oversight. They make sure that the airplanes and the pilots meet certain safety standards, and not just commercial, but general aviation, helicopters, everybody. "We work with them," Fiertz explains, adding that the key is two-way cooperation. "One thing India and the U.S. share in aviation that's relatively unique is conductive weather-lightning and thunderstorms. Europe doesn't really have that. It's a big aviation issue. The Indians have some experience in that and we want to share experience because we can both learn." Another safety issue is air traffic control, which is directed by the Airports Authority of India, also an arm of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. A new Memorandum of Agreement between the ministry and the FAA broadens a decadesold agreement that limited the range of
aviation topics on which the two agencies could work together. Now, everything the FAA does can be done in cooperation with Indians. "Under this agreement we can help, for instance, with air traffic control methodologies, whether it's equipment or procedures," says Fiertz. "It's not that we would necessarily give them equipment, but we might show them technology that they could be interested in purchasing." American manufacturers always had the right to show the Indian authorities their products, but without this new Memorandum of Agreement, the FAA could not have provided its expertise on which type of devices or methods would be best in the local situation. "We are here to promote aviation safety; we're not here to promote any particular products. We are prohibited from doing that, actually," says Fiertz. Under another new agreement, however, the FAA is able to work with a team of American companies to present joint solutions for aviation safety problems. The result is more flexibility and more possibilities under what is called an Aviation Cooperation Program. A Memorandum of Understanding for this program was initialed in April during the
VISIt to India by Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey, bringing it into effect. The formal signing ceremony took place in Washington, D.C. on June 22 between Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Praful Patel and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Because of U.S. laws meant to block formation of cartels and monopolies, it is difficult for U.S. competitors in an industry to work together with a government agency in the way this program envisions, but the first Aviation Cooperation Program, set up three years ago in China, has been very successful, Fiertz says. "So when the U.S.India open-skies agreement was signed by then-Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta in 2005, he announced that we were going to set up this program here in India. All sorts of U.S. agencies and seed money have been kicked in for this, through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency," says Fiertz, who is the local co-chairman for the program, along with Vivek Lall, Boeing's senior commercial sales representative in India. "What this will allow us to do is offer training. It provides us with money that we could offer the Indians if necessary for them to travel to the U.S., or for Americans to come to India to share expertise, ~ for the Indians to see U.S. ~ technology already implanted and working and assess what various corporations might be able to offer to them." Another accomplishment in the past year was the first U.S.-India Aviation Partnership Summit, in April. "It was an opportunity for the U.S. government and U.S. industry and their Indian counterparts to learn from each other, learn what was happening here, learn about some of the experiences in the United States and elsewhere in the world and an opportunity to meet each other and make some connections," says Fiertz. "By any measure that I can think of, it was a tremendous success." At the opening ceremony there
were some 450 people, all the major players in Indian aviation, and from the United States, FAA Administrator Blakey, the deputy director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, representatives from the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Departments of Commerce, of State and of Defense. Fiertz said a principal accomplishment of the conference, at which half the speakers were Indian and half were American, is that "very senior people from the FAA were here and it gave them insight into Indian aviation. This will help the FAA determine where we can best work together with the Government of India, so when we go back to Washington and try to figure out how to allocate our resources, which are not unlimited, the senior leaders of the FAA have a sense of what we might be able to accomplish here." And what is it that needs to be accomplished?
Randall S. Fiertz, senior Federal Aviation Administration representative for South Asia. The aviation traffic in India has been growing by leaps and bounds. This is a boon to the country and also raises new challenges. "Minister Patel in his speech at this conference said he expects the overall passenger growth rate to grow by 25 percent per year in the next 10 years. That's huge," says Fiertz. "In the United States, we're at a couple of percentage points and we're trying to figure out how to address that. And here there's been very limited investment in the infrastructure that's needed in the airports and the
air traffic control over the last decade." Liberalization of civilian aviation has allowed this growth. "India has moved essentially from four airlines to approximately 15 in just the past couple of years," notes Fiertz. "And to give you an example of the number of aircraft-in 2005 Boeing sold more aircraft in India than in any other country in the world. It's astounding. These aircraft are going to be coming in over the next 10 years, that's true, but there are airlines that are receiving a new plane every month here." From 2005 to 2006, India's air passenger traffic grew from 22 million to 32 million, almost a 46 percent increase. "So the challenge that India is facing, that we can work with them on, is how we can accommodate this tremendous growth from an infrastructure perspective," says Fiertz. "To give you an example, aviation experts have suggested that in India they can land 30 flights an hour in an airport with essentially one runway. In the United States, we can run double that in a similar configuration." Whether or not the goal is 60 flights an hour at an Indian airport, the FAA can "look into their procedures and their technology and see if there are things that we could suggest, or training for air traffic controllers or other things we could do to help them increase capacity in a safe way," says Fiertz. "Safety is always the Number One. There is natural concern that when the size of the fleetthe number of aircraft and number of airlines-increases as fast as this one does, is the safety oversight capability able to keep up with this growth. And I don't for a second mean to say it's not. The FAA has no information to say it's not safe, absolutely none. We want to make ourselves available to let our Indian counterparts use our expertise if there is any way that they see where they could gain some benefit from working with us." ~ Please share your views on this article. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Highw ~ greater precision, more flexibility and irnproved
!access at major airports, including Dallas Fort-
, ~ Worth [Texas], Palrn Springs [California], ~ Washington, D.C. and the busiest of thern all, ~ Atlanta [Georgia]," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said during her visit to New Delhi in April. "The government of India has indicated to us that they were very interested in this technology," says Randall S. Fiertz, senior Federal Aviation Administration representativefor South Asia. Just after the first U.S.-India Aviation Partnership Summit in April, a team of FAA experts held two days of discussions with every major player in Indianaviation. "The idea was to show them our experience, how we went about developing a route map for this in the United States, what some of our problems ooking into the future of aviation in India and havebeen and how we resolvedthem, whatarethe across the globe, imagine highways in the pluses and minuses of doing this and then to iniskies, with airplanes traveling in straight tiate a discussion about whether this is something "lanes" from one point to the other, rather than they want to pursue," says Fiertz. "There was an veering off to follow the beacons that have guided overwhelmingly positive response from the Indian most of the world's civil aircraft for the past 40 stakeholders.We were surprised at how readythey years. Those trips could take less time and less were. This team from FAA had never seen such an fuel. Imagine that the pilots and air traffic con- enthusiastic response before. This has set the trollers could be sure, with much more precision, stage now for the Indian government to work with of an airplane's exact location. The distance their stakeholders in pursuing this. The next big between aircraft could then be reduced, no more thing is a workshop in September." The seminars and workshops have been held mile-or-more rule, and therefore more aircraft around the world at regional offices of the could fly these more direct routes. Imagine this more precise navigation system International Civil Aviation Organization, and the could mark out a route that allows the aircraft to fly nearestone is Bangkok,Thailand. "But we helped closer to obstacles and not consume time and convince them to come to New Delhi," says fuel to veer around. Imagine that during bad Fiertz. "So far, India is the only country they are weather, because the pilots know more precisely coming to that's not a regional office." This "highways in the sky" vision is still years where they are, planes may be able to fly, take off and land under conditions they may not be able to away. The technology is here, but airport traffic now. controllers and pilots must be trained, regulations Well, this is a vision that has much of the must be written, routes must be designated. But there is good reason why Indian stakeIndian aviation industry excited, more excited than any group to which the U.S. Federal Aviation holders were so enthusiastic about Performance Administration and the International Civil Aviation Based Navigation. Because India's growing air Organization have made their presentation on this fleet is so new, it is much easier to have this new new thing called Performance '" navigational system installed in Based Navigation. It's already â&#x20AC;˘ ~the airplanes before they are been implemented in some air~delivered. India is actually in a planes and airports in the United ~ better position than other counStates, where 100 new routes tries, including the United and procedures will be published ~ States, which must refit planes to accommodate it. -L.KL. this year. "They've resulted in
or all its eccentricities, bird-watching is a respectable hobby, practiced by psychiatrists, kings and 46 million Americans. But plane spotting-which also entails tramping around swamps to watch flying objectssomehow lacks the same cachet. Phil Derner, Jr., the president of the Web site NYCAviation.com, estimates that there are 50 active plane spotters in the New- York City area. At noon on March 19, nearly all of them were gathered, telephoto lenses in hand, in North Woodmere Park, which is situated at the head of Jamaica Bay and beneath the flight path to Runway 22 Left at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The occasion: the maiden arrival, from Frankfurt, of the double-decker Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in the world. (It
Dr. T. Kumar New Delhi .. I would like to compliment you and Mr. Assisi. for the extremely interesting article whi.ch traces South ASian roots to colonial America. This is a dimension that I was, frankly, unaware of! It must have indeed Involved painstaking and rigorous research to go so far back into the past and establ ish these connections. In this connection, I would like to inform you ~ . about the book Partition S§~.r and the South Asian . Diaspora: Extending the Subcontinent by Professor Papiya Ghosh, which details the lives of those impacted and who moved on from the new nations of Pakistanand Bangladesh to the U.S., Canada and U.K. More such studies should ~e encouraged to foster better understanding amongst our nations. i _'
Neil D'Gunha Mumbai, Maharashtra . I think it is true good food plays a very major role. As a student, I too faced this problem because of unhygienic food in the canteen. Because of la~k ~ of nutritious food, kids don't perfor~ well In . school. I feel if this matter is spread I~ mo~t of the schools, it will help many children In India.
Dr. 1.0. Singh Darjee/ing, West ~engal . . Public-private partnership is a move In the right direction for the betterment of Indian agriculture. However, the initial program for three years .is ina~equate. It should have been at least five years In the first ~ha.se, knowing the level of bureaucracy an~ its fu~ctlonlng in the ASian region. It also seems that the existing program is more South-centric, maybe due to the earlier initiatives in the 1960s, which were more North-centric. In my opinion, East and Northeast India is a goldmine for high value crops. The region is unexploited a~d agriculturally very backward. It should have been In , the list of priority initiatives.... Genetically modified crop varieties would req~lre wide testing in the country before commerc!aliz~tion. The Indian farmer will be greatly benefited If seeds and plants of recommended varieties are made available to him at his doorstep.
Pamela Pou/ose New Delhi '" The anniversary of your American Library brings a flashback. I had read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood in school. The story ~ever quite left me. In college, I Just had to read it again. I SCoured every bookshop in Central Delhi but in vain. Then it struck me, why not try the American Library. The book was not available! Yet the Library graciously arranged it for me by accessing it from the Chennai branch.
Francis G. Assisi Kochi, Kerala There is much more tantalizing evidence pertaining to South Asians and the peopling of the Americas than is apparent from "America's First Immigrants." Here are a few that I have been monitoring over the past seven years: • Craniofacial morphometric analysis by anthropologists Joseph Powell and Jerome Rose of the 9,500-year-old skull of "Kennewick Man" discovered in 1996 in Washington, places him closer to Southern Asians and n~arly equidistant to modern Native Americans and Polynesians. • Another piece of evidence comes from Professor Carl Johannessen of the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon. He says evidence of maize in archaeological sites in 13th century India suggests that this crop, thought to have originated in the Mexican region of the Americas, was diffused by humans before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World. • In 1985, Douglas Wallace, head of the Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine and Departments of Biochemistry and Anthropology, Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta Georgia, began publishing papers of stUdies his team had made on the ~itochon~ drial DNA of about 20 indigenous American tribes. They found that all stemmed from four founding types. The progenitors of three are found in Northeast Asia but one was found only in coastal South Asia, the Pacific Islands, and along the ~est coast of America.
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. hich she calls the Thiruvananthap~ram't' Ie on Jamestown, 10 w ener. \t is worth Monsen s ar IC " is an eye-op Lauren f US Democracy, place "Cradle 0 . : 'a's I . how VlrglOl = noting mbly evolved General A~se I legisla_ tram a un\camera t/ldll1i~' bicameral one. ~.~ ture to a attached to ,he stIgma . is ndemocratic regimes . U haps the greatest pOSIper development in the ~~~rnational political system today.
HIEVERS Asha Srinivasan
ndian American composer Asha Srinivasan is proving that you don't have to be European and dead for a couple of centuries to succeed as a classical music composer in the United States. Born in Logan, Utah, and raised in India till the age of nine, 27-yearold Srinivasan's recent trajectory has catapulted her to the ranks of the top young composers in America. Her composition "By the River near Savathi" for clarinet, violin, viola and cello premiered June 2 at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York City during the "Notable Women: A Celebration of Women Composers" music festival. The work was commissioned for the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble in New York City after Srinivasan won a competition among 74 other young composers. "We picked her because we thought she had a voice," says Joan Tower, 68, the ensemble's composer-in-residence and the festival's curator. "I heard something more individual," says Tower, a professor of music at Bard College in New York. Srinivasan says the struggle within herself, reflecting a flowering of multiple consciousnesses, is embedded in her music as much as it is part of her hybridity. The inspiration for "Savathi," she says, arose from the Carnatic raga
"Shubapantuvarali" as well as her own fascination with German author Herman Hesse's classic Siddhartha. "Every time I heard the scale, it evoked a sense of deep sorrow...lt reminded me of a deep world pain or world weariness in a philosophical manner. This immediately brought up the image of Siddhartha by the river-staring into it and wishing oblivion." Srinivasan says that Hesse's book always held a strong sway over her mind since she first read it in high school. "I seem to keep coming back to the book and rereading it at various points in my life and getting much meaning out of it every time." A fusion of diverse influences is evident in Srinivasan's earlier compositions, too. In "Kalpitha," she borrowed tones and concepts from Carnatic music and harnessed them into a simple yet compelling structure. Classical guitarist Michael Durek says that the piece can be viewed as a metaphor of both Srinivasan the person and Srinivasan the composer: childhood in India, adulthood in America; Carnatic vocal study as a child, Western classical music as an adult. On the other hand, her "Falling: Samsaaram," moves, in her own words, "between oppositions of attach-
From left: Joan Tower, Asha Srinivasan and Ralph Jackson, assistant vice president of BMI (Broadcast Music, Incorporated) Classical.
ment (samsaaram) and detachment (nirvaanam) to life's pain and pleasures through the juxtaposition of urgent volatile textures with calm ambient ones." Srinivasan explains that she is as American as she is Indian. Her musical training has been predominantly Western but her musical ideas have often been more Indian, because that was also ingrained in her from early childhood and from hearing Indian music at home. She spent her early years in India because her parents had to come back when their work visas expired. They returned to the United States when her father's former employer rehired him. How does she integrate Carnatic music into computer generated Western classical compositions? She says that it is in the acoustic parts of her music that the Carnatic influences are strong-especially where there is a flute. "Generally I compose by singing my melodic lines and I think this is a strong influence from my limited training in Carnatic music," she says. Srinivasan admits that there may be other influences as well
that are not as obvious. " ... 1listen to a lot of Hindi film songs, Tamil film songs and so on, so influences from those genres might also be there." During her undergraduate years at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, she was first introduced to a course in computer music. She liked the idea of being able to create sounds on her own, and immediately. "This is one difference between computer music and acoustic music composition. In computer music composition, the composer works with the actual sound. It feels more like sculpting where you use audio materials to create a certain sound object." Currently working toward her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland in College Park, Srinivasan participates in a program to teach basic music to inner-city school children in Baltimore, the state capital. Besides the "Introduction to Music Technology" course that she will teach this summer, her upcoming major project is an orchestra piece _fo_r _he_r_d_is_se_rt_at_io_n'
Francis C. Assisi is a columnist for the California-based portal indolink.com Please share your views on this article. Write to email@example.com
r. Frances Oneal of the University of Alabama has just completed her six-month visit to India as a Fulbright scholar, teaching graduate courses on American foreign policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. "Having done my homework about JNU before I arrived in January, I expected to find outspoken and politically aware students. I have not been disappointed," she says. In __ February, she spoke on 路.l~ "American foreign policy ~搂 in the 21st century: The 1'. ~ challenges ahead" as part U~ of the Vidvatva lecture ~8 series, hosted by the U.S. Educational Foundation in India, in New Delhi. http://www .ful brightindia.org/
s part of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary celebrations, the American Center, Kolkata, organized an evening of Tagore songs by New York-based fusion singer Isheeta Ganguly in June. The program, "Call of the Young," featured a mix of jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues and popular Rabindrasangeet (songs composed by Tagore) that focused on the themes of courage, rejuvenation and celebration.
rinivasan Padmanaban, senior energy advisor with the U.S. Agency for International Development received a World Clean Energy Award for his contributions to the Green Business Center in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, and the Water-Energy Nexus Activity, which helps address conservation issues that arise from water and energy's interdependence. The Green Business Center is built from eco-friendly materials and encourages energy efficiency, recycling and water management. Padmanaban traveled to Basel, Switzerland, in June to receive the award, administered by the Transatlantic21 Association to honor mainstream applications of clean technology.