New Director of
U PI in India have been interested in returning to India for some time now. I wasn't sure what my newest 'incarnation' would be," says Adam Grotsky, the new executive director of the U.S. Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), who arrived in early May for his third stay here. "I am very excited to be working with students and scholars from the flagship exchange program of the United States," says Grotsky, who has been engaged in international education since 1992, mostly in undergraduate study abroad programs. "What excites me about this position is that it. .. also allows me to branch out into other areas of international education and to work with top scholars from India and the U.S. on a variety of programs and in a wide range of disciplines. "I hope to work with the USEFI Board of Directors to determine ways that we can continue to increase the diversity of Fulbright program participants," says Grotsky. "I want to ...reach underserved and non-elite populations, as well as students and
scholars from under-represented regions of India." Grotsky's connection to South Asia goes back to when he was two years old. His father was helping the American Foundation for the Blind train teachers and set up schools in Dacca, East Pakistan. The family evacuated in 1971, but photos and stories spurred his decision to spend a year in Sri Lanka as a high school student in 1985. Later, he was able to live in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, as part of the University of Wisconsin's College Year in India Program "I truly immersed myself in the culture, becoming proficient in Hindi while studying Indian classical music and conducting field-based research on the system of higher education in India," says Grotsky "That experience was one of the most important of my life, and to this day fuels my dedication to making such opportunities as widely available as possible." After obtaining his Master's degree in South Asian Studies, Grotsky spent three years in India coordinating the same exchange program that had benefited him. -L.K.L.
Front cover: Portrait of a woman with her cat, by Meg Takamura © Creative/Getty Images
Left: Sivan Sharma, 10, an Indian American born in New Delhi, holds his favorite Chihuahua dogs at his pet-filled home, shared with a brother, sister, four dogs, a cat, a bird, a hamster, rabbits and guinea pigs. His parents, Sudhir and Sherry Sharma, met at a pet store in Washington, D.C. and now run the Pettand shop in Defence Colony, New Delhi.
Publisher: Larry Schwartz Editor-in-Chief : Lisa A. Swenarski de Herrera Editor: Laurinda Keys Long Associate Editor: Deepanjaii Kakati Urdu Editor: Anjum Naim Hindi Editor: Giriraj Agarwal Copy Editors : Richa Varma Shah Md. Tahsin Usmani Hemant Bhatnagar Deputy A~rt~:~~~~~~ : Khurshid Anwar Abbasi Qasim Raza Editorial Assistant: Yugesh Mathur Production/Circulation Manager : Rakesh Agrawal Printing Assistant: Alok Kaushik Business Assistant : Shaji T Kommery Research Services : Bureau of International Information Programs, The American Library
40 . Beyond Tikka Masala By Sebastian John
.Elections: Limited Voting Rights in the U.S. Capital By Jane Varner Malhotra
26 . Before Clinton and Obama
By Laurinda Keys Long
6 . A Boy and His Cat
By Richa Varma By Anjum Naim
7 . When Cats Go Veg 10 Puppies Behind Bars
By Ranjita Biswas
Third Parties and Independents in U.S. Elections
By Laurinda Keys Long and Deepanjali Kakati
By Andrea Neal
13 14 17
Pets are Good for Your Health Why People Love Dogs
By Jon Katz
When Your Heirs are Hairy By Judy Richter
• Achievers: Nitya Vidyasagar By Giriraj Agarwal
Sports: Bring on the World By Mark Beech
Mammoth Cave: When Nature Crawls By Helen Fields
Letters to the Editor
• Indian Americans: Designed to Succeed By Deepanjali Kakati • Education: Hot Topics in the U.S. By Demian Smith
http://span .state. gov Contactus
.Cinco de Mayo By Lauren Monsen
Correction: In the March/April 2008 issue, SPAN incorrectly stated in '~alaluddin Rumi: On a Journey from Persia fo Hollywood" that F. Scott Fitzgerald had translated the Rubaiyal of Omar Khayyam The translator was Edward Fitzgerald. Published by the Public AltairsSection,AmericanCenter,24 KasturbaGandhi Marg,NewDelhi 110001 (phone: 23472000), on behaltof theAmerican Embassy,NewDelhi. Printed al ThomsonPressIndiaLimited, 18/35, Delhi MathuraRoad,Faridabad,Haryana121007. Opinions expressedinthis 68-
pagemagazinedo notnecessarilyreflecttheviewsor policiesof theU.S. Government.
* Articleswitha starmaybe reprintedwith permission. ContactProgramAssistantMadhuflSehgalat 011-23472289 or editorspan@stategov
A LETTER FROM
PUBLISHER ohandas K. Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals." This noble sentiment reflects the strong bond between human beings and animals throughout history. Beyond our dependence on animals for labor or food or clothing, people across the globe have domesticated animals for millennia. Our ancient engagement with animals may be one of the reasons why so many people feel so strongly about their pets. Americans and Indians continue to take animals into our homes, giving them special places in our family lives. People adopt animals, raise them, name them, love them, and have founded organizations to care for lost, wounded or unwanted animals, as Laurinda Keys Long writes in our cover story, "Humans' Best Friends." Most pet owners feel that the care and love we shower on our animals is repaid, many-fold. (We have all heard stories about people leaving bequests from their estates for their surviving animals. Judy Richter tells more of these tales in "When Your Heirs are Hairy.") Yet, many also contend that caring for pets is good for our souls, and our bodies. In her article "Puppies Behind Bars," Andrea Neal describes American programs that allow prisoners to bond with and train dogs to help others-the blind, elderly, sick or disabled. Although not all animals can be trained to do such important tasks, "Pets are Good for Your Health" explains that just having a pet around has significant and long-term health benefits. SPAN staffers are fond of their pets and have pressed me to share my dog story in the hope you will write to us with special stories about yours. When my young children began to plead for a family dog some years ago, I could not resist. So on a cold winter day my son and I went to an animal shelter and picked up a mixed-breed puppy. We named her Nikki and she won our hearts. With the kids now grown and living elsewhere, Nikki today presides over our New Delhi garden, sleeps by my side and welcomes our Indian and American guests enthusiastically in everhopeful anticipation of attention or a treat. We hope you will enjoy reading about pets, as well as pieces on other pleasures that Indians and Americans share, such as food and music. In "Beyond Tikka Masala," Sebastian John reveals the innovations U.S.-based chefs are making in Indian cuisine, while Ruma Dasgupta explores eastern India's fascination with Bob Dylan, who recently became the first rock music artist to win the Pulitzer Prize, a prestigious American award for written and photographic work. A, In friendship, ~0N1 f't'A'...n..-...5
"A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes. " -Gene
Hill, American author
"Chipper is a very good listener," Colleen Lowry says of her pet cockatiel. Far left: Dogs rescued by Friendicoes in New Delhi affectionately greet the shelter founder, Geeta Seshamani.
hen Colleen Lowry drives up to her Culver City, California, home after work each day, she is greeted by an excited whistle from her pet cockatiel, Chipper, responding to the sound of her car. "This is just as welcoming to me as the wagging of a dog's tail," she says. Chipper sits on the arm of her chair, watching TV with her, mimicking birds he sees on the screen. "If I read the newspaper, he helps out by playfully tearing the edges," she says. "Sometimes he'll spontaneously burst into song, delighting me with his serenade." But Chipper's most endearing quality, says his best friend, is that he is a very good listener. "He stares attentively at my face
for as long as I wish to talk without losing concentration and with seemingly endless interest until I am finished speaking," says Lowry. And Chipper can communicate, too. "Most notably, he cries 'treat, treat, treat' when I go to the kitchen cabinet for his seed treats. Or, when I ask if he is sleepy, he responds 'sleep, sleep, sleep.' A few friends who have witnessed Chipper's amazing speech say his 'words' sound coincidentally like 'tweet, tweet, tweet,' but they're wrong," says Lowry, only half joking. Chipper came into her life at just the right time, when she needed a fellow warm-blooded creature to care for, and to listen. "After my divorce, with my children grown, I had been sad and a bit lonely living alone, until the day my daughter showed up with a small vented box from a local pet store. I opened the lid
~ ~ ~
Top: Carol Fox with Slocum, who went on a six-month adventure with her husband.
Above: Animal friend Maneka Gandhi with one of the 15 rescued dogs in her New Delhi garden.
and there inside was this little frightened bird face peering up at me. It was love at first sight." Love. It's a word that people with pets use naturally. But it makes those who have never bonded with an animal feel a little queasy. Many pet owners talk about and treat the animals in their lives like children. They "adopt" them, name them, hand-feed them, "potty-train" them, carry them, hold them on their laps, and make sure they don't go out in the street alone. Humans risk their lives to save their own or other people's pets, even in the midst of disaster. One example is former First Lady Dolley Madison, who gathered up presidential papers, a historic painting, and her pet parrot when she fled the White House just ahead of British troops who burned the building in 1814. And there have been many cases of cats, dogs and birds saving their owners from harm. When either the pet or the human dies, the surviving friend mourns. "I think the truth is that our cats serve as surrogate children for us," says Steve Fox, a writer and media consultant in Ventura, California. "Our cats-this is our third set, always two or three at a time so they will have their own buddies-are a primary consideration in most things we do. For example, we wouldn't take a vacation of longer than a couple of weeks, because they would be too lonely." Fox and his wife, Carol, a teacher and artist, have two carpetcovered climbing structures in their living room, "dozens of cat toys, an electric-heated bed for them to sleep in, cardboard scratching devices, blankets they like. They sleep with us in our bed at night and get up when we do," says Fox. Then he is interrupted by one of the cats, Capone, who stands up and touches Fox with a paw. "He's signaling that he thinks it's time for me to quit working and come watch some TV while he settles in my lap," says Fox. "They like their routines." Fox broke the routine for two of his Siamese cats when he took them on a six-month sailing trip to Mexico several years ago. "Once when I was in a storm and feeling scared, I went below to get a coil of rope and when I tried to pull it out from a locker, it pulled back. I couldn't figure out what was happening and I jerked on the coil and out it came, with Scupper holding on," says Fox. "He wanted to play! He didn't care if there was a storm. It made me laugh and eased the anxiety I was feeling." "Scupper and his brother, Slocum, are buried in our backyard and Slocum has a little faux marble headstone," says Fox, expressing concern that SPAN readers "by now will think we are really crazy. We recently lost a tabby cat that Carol had had for 20 years and we had her cremated and got her ashes back in a little wooden box." Says Mrs. Fox: "When you look into a cat's eyes, you see what heaven is like. A cat's love has no conditions and your love for your cat has no 'ifs.'" This human-animal bond goes back into the mist of time. The very first humans named and talked to animals, according to the Bible's account of Adam and Eve. Anthropologists and zoologists trace the dog's presence at man's ancient campfire sites. Yet, throughout the ages, this bond has often been broken, usually by man, through cruelty, neglect or indifference. While many Americans and Indians love animals and share the joy of companionship with pets, there are others who will sooner stone
a dog as look at it, run over a cat the shelters, they will suffer more on the streets, and can without bothering to slow the car down, work a donkey to death or become a danger to humans. The catch-treat-release approach of torture an animal for "fun." many Indian animal shelters, Geeta Seshamani, co-founder whereby strays are vaccinated, of the Friendicoes shelter and hospital in New Delhi, says more sterilized and put back outside people are gaining an understandwhere they were found, is being ing of animals, through the work used in a limited way in America now, particularly in the case of of organizations like hers and TV feral cats, but it is controversial. channels such as Animal Planet and Discovery. "Some people This is the major difference believe animals are dirty or between the U.S. and Indian approach, says animal rights impure; they don't understand activist and Member of why the dog is barking or sitting at their gate, so they attack it. We Parliament Maneka Gandhi. "We Copyright ÂŠ The New Yorker Collection 2006. don't kill them. We look after also have to educate people J.B. Handelsman from cartoonbank.col11. All rights reserved. them the best we can. Why against the superstitions they shouldn't the cities belong to all, have about cats. These intelligent, loving animals come in with gouged-out eyes, burns and broken so that we can see birds, stray animals, cows and monkeys. It backs." makes our lives richer." She has 15 dogs at her New Delhi home, Laws are also changing. After the Hurricane Katrina flooding, all of them someone's pet, thrown into the street when they when many Americans refused to evacuate without their pets became too sick, too big or too old. In America, pets are regarded as property and owners are and other animals were left to suffer, government officials and lawmakers agree that future disaster planning must include betrequired by state, county or city laws to vaccinate, care for them ter care for animals, as well as humans. and ensure they do not harm others. It is a crime, punished by There are differences over what to do about the millions of fines or jail time, to mistreat an animal, even one's own. In New Delhi, it is a crime, punishable by jail, to harm or kill one, says cats and dogs that are abandpned each year, or born to strays. Laws in the United States require that strays be picked up and Gandhi. held for a certain amount of time to see if their owners claim The majority of dogs in U.S. shelters were once pets, bought them or they can be adopted. If not, they are euthanized. Only 10 as puppies, then tossed aside. It's the same in India, says Seshamani at Friendicoes, where almost every morning, a pet percent of pet dogs, and 18 percent of pet cats in America come from shelters, says the Humane Society of the United States. dog suffering from malnutrition or disease or injury has been left outside the shelter's doors during the night. "People get pets, Although there is no central data reporting agency, the society then decide they can't afford the time or money to keep them," estimates that six to eight million dogs and cats go to shelters each year and half are euthanized. Why? The prevailing U.S. she says, cuddling an affectionate dog who was dumped, in a view is that there is not enough room to give them a good life in sack, at nine months old. Others are brought in by goodhearted people who find them after they have ~ been hit by a car, poisoned or beaten. ~ Kallu, an intelligent, black dog that appears to be part border collie, is one ~ of these. When he was a month-old ~ pup, Manju Sachdeva, a dog-lover who :i feeds strays in her neighborhood, found him injured in the street. She nursed, fed and raised him in her home for six months, had him sterilized and then let him back out. She had three other dogs
Far left: Jonathan Harvey carries his dog, Cuddles, through floodwaters in Gulfport, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Left: Vanaja, 14, carries her pet cat to a tent dwelling near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, after fleeing her coastal home in fear of another tsunami in March 2005.
will not leave him," she says. For all those pet lovers accused of treating their animals like children, Art and Ruth Max may have taken this to the ultimate level. While living in New Delhi from 1990 to 2000, they arranged a "mail order bride" for their Jack Russell terrier, Titch, and, of course, she came from his "native place." Titch was born in Ireland, and imported to Sweden, where the Maxes adopted him from a friend, shortly after their marriage. "Titch went everywhere with us, swimming, sailing, skiing, fishing. Dinner invitations were addressed to Art, myself and Titch," says Mrs. Max. When they moved to New Delhi, where Max was chief of South Asia services for The Associated Press, Titch joined the couple for their first month's stay in a five-star hotel. "Every morning I would receive a call from housekeeping to ask, 'And Ruth Max with Titch and his "mail-order bride," Chinju, on a what would Titch like for his meals today?' Shortly after, there Netherlands beach. would be a knock on our door and his meals would be carried in and no more room. But Kallu stayed outside her house, and by a room service waiter on a silver platter!" says Mrs. Max, a brought his friends. They followed her when she moved to Kolkata-born freelance writer and entrepreneur now living in the Netherlands. another home. One night, neighbors told her a mob had attacked Kallu with sticks and a butcher's cleaver, injuring him badly. "I One day, a friend visited them in India, with Titch's mailwent out in a three-wheeler searching for him until 4 a.m.," she order puppy-bride, Chinju, in an airplane carry-on bag. Titch says. She left word with a neighbor he for more information: was enamored at first sight. But the dogs' liked to visit, and sure enough, Kallu loyalties became divided "as they spent Friendicoes showed up. "I brought him on my lap in more time with Dorji, our Tibetan housethe three-wheeler to Friendicoes and they www.friendicoesseca. org keeper," says Mrs. Max. "They would sit saved him," says Sachdeva. It's too dan- People for Animals for hours on mudahs in the kitchen, stargerous for Kallu to ~ome back to her www.peopleforanimalsindia.org ing doggedly as Dorji prepared our meals, neighborhood, so she visits him at the of which they took an ample share. Dorji The Humane Society of the United States shelter. He places his head in her lap and had joined us soon after we arrived in cries when she leaves. "I am looking for http://www,hsus,org 1990. She quickly became convinced that another home with more room and by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals she and Titch had been linked in a previGod's grace I will take him with me and I www.spca.com ous life." ~
A Boy and
sghar, my youngest son, is the most precious stone in the treasure trove of my memories. He was quite handsome, wellbehaved and studious, One day, when he was in the fifth standard, he brought home a feeble, black kitten with two white stripes on her neck. Though I reserved my opinion, the whole household gave a red-carpet welcome to Asghar's cat. My wife named her Muezza, after Prophet Muhammad's beloved cat. She used to narrate a story about how the Prophet's cat once went to sleep on part of his robe. It was time to go for prayer But he did not want to disturb the sleeping cat. So he cut off his sleeve, took the rest of the robe and went out without waking her, To Asghar, Muezza was his sweetheart, and neither could bear each other's absence. She watched for Asghar to return from school and rolled around purring at his feet when he arrived.
Asghar would take her to his room and tell her about his day We would hear either Asghar's laugh or Muezza's mewing. 1999 was the most horrible year of my life, Asghar started experiencing pain in his knees in July, which worsened quickly before doctors could diagnose the disease. By August, he had lost his voice and ability to swallow food, However, he kept trying to smile, so that we did not lose hope Muezza remained with him day in and day out as he cried and sobbed in his bed. Her presence, in fact, helped him bear the agony. After a long and painful round of medical tests, doctors declared he had Wilson Disease, storage of too much copper in the body tissues, which is curable only at the initial stage We were shattered. Our son was inching toward his end, My wife, Shahnaz, nursed him
the whole day and it was my turn at night. We had fixed duty hours. Muezza, however, never left Asghar except for a few minutes at a time during the heart-rending four months. She would sit silently, gazing at Asghar's face, She understood, perhaps, that her presence consoled him. In the month of holy Ramadan, on December 17,1999, when we were about to break our fast, Asghar left for the heavenly abode, During the funeral rites, Muezza remained beside his body Whenever we looked at each other, she mewed once or twice. Her voice seemed to be full of melancholy, I saw her moving with the funeral procession up to a distance. The night pf the buria~was the most horrible for me, It was similar to all the nights during the previous monthsexcept that, though Shahnaz, I and Muezza were there as usual, Muezza's friend was no longer in his bed, ~
Pet Care at the Doorstep etXpress of the Compassionate Crusaders Trust is an ambulance that brings pet care to the homes of people who are pressed for time or unable to take their animals to the veterinarian. The van has a fully equipped air-conditioned treatment chamber and operation theater. People can sit with their pets to reassure them during treatment or surgery, The service is available 24 hours a day for emergencies. PetXpress was donated by The William and Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Rex Moser, then director of the American Center in Kolkata, inaugurated the van in 2002 on the eve of International Homeless Animals' Day, to highlight the plight of abandoned or unwanted pets.
Some of the animals at Karuna Kunj have been abandoned or injured. Others are boarders, whose owners pay a fee to have them cared for while they are traveling. Still others are long-term boarders. They may be street cats, placed in the shelter by a departing diplomat or a local resident who sends donations for their care. Or perhaps the owner marries someone who doesn't like the pet, or a child develops an allergy to it, or the family moves into a flat where the landlord doesn't allow pets. The shelter cum boarding kennel is an unusual combination. "Maybe the concept is new or has not been attempted elsewhere, so it may seem strange," says Chakrabarti. Also unusual is the vegetarian diet fed to the cats at the shelter. "The veg food we give them has all the proteins they need and they are quite healthy, as you can see," says Chakrabarti. What prompted the idea, he says, is that "Some members of the trust that runs the shelter are vegetarians. They wondered if the cats in the shelter could be served vegetarian food without cutting down on their nourishment." After a lot of searching, the trust members found an Italian company manufacturing such a product with all the ingredients necessary to maintain good health for the felines, especially taurine, the amino acid they need. When the pellets were spread out in the feeding pan at lunchtime, the cats ate eagerly. The pellets expand and apparently, are quite filling. Food is given twice a day. "Before introducing the pellets, we weighed the cats and monitored their health," says Chakrabarti. "At fIrst we chose 10 of them and segregated them to see if they accepted the new food. We also mixed
the pellets with milk to ensure acceptance." According to the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom (http://www.vegsoc.org/info/catfood.html), cats are natu-
ral carnivores and are unlikely to willingly forego meat from their diet. So they are likely to hunt for birds or mice even if they are otherwise being fed well. While cats may enjoy certain plant foods, vegetarian diets high in fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids may be detrimental to their health. If a cat is put on a veg diet, it should be given supplements, the society advises. According to the International Vege-
tarian Union (http://www.ivu.org/faq/animals.html) special diets must be provided for vegetarian cats, as they require taurine, which is found in meat. Synthetic taurine has been developed, and is used in commercial (non vegetarian) cat foods. Chakrabarti was training to be a physician in the 1970s when he stopped halfway through to take a course on animal psychology. "From my childhood, I saw my mother sheltering stray animals or giving them food. So I had a natural empathy for them," he says. He started by rehabilitating biter dogs rejected by the owners. Douglas G. Kelly, the American Center director in Kolkata, visited Kamna Kunj recently, saying he was impressed by the way the cats roamed freely and didn't hiss at strangers. "I have seen so many stray
cats and dogs, I wondered if any non-governmental organization was doing anything about it. When I heard about Kamna Kunj, and the American Center's past involvement with Compassionate Crusaders Trust (see box), I wanted to see how
For more information: Compassionate Crusaders Trust http://www.animalcrusaders.org/door.htm
the place was run and also express support for the effort," Kelly says. He also came across cats eating vegetarian food during his stint in Zaire (now Congo). "People who couldn't afford meat or fish, and largely depended on yams for nutrition, cooked rice and yam leaves together to feed their pets," he says. "Animals can adjust to food habits, just like humans can switch from non-vegetarian to vegetarian food." In Bengali, karuna means kindness and kunj means garden, and it seems to be an appropriate name for the shelter. It has a capacity to accommodate 300 cats, although that many have never stayed there. Presently, there are 39 dogs and 52 cats, and even a blind monkey. Twelve of the cats are handicapped. One is blind;
Above left: Douglas G. Kelly, director of the American Center in Kolkata, visits Karuna Kunj. Above: Cats being weighed during a health check-up at Karuna Kunj.
another has a nerve problem and cannot climb. Homemaker Majeda Islam is a regular donor to Kamna Kunj. Some of her cats are permanent boarders, while she leaves her
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." -Abraham
16th President of the United States
favorite pets at the shelter only while traveling. "When I am out of town, or can't manage to hire help to look after my cats in my absence, I leave them at Kamna Kunj. They are looked after very well and I can be at peace when they are there." She admits that when the cats are home, she gives them the usual rice and fish and they adjust well. "There is a huge need for animal welfare services in Kolkata, just as there is a need
for human welfare services," says Kim Bartlett, president and publisher of the Clinton, Washington-based newspaper ANIMAL PEOPLE, which donates to Kamna Kunj (http://www.animalpeoplenews.orgl). "We have visited the Compassionate Crusader Trust facilities ... and find them very innovative," says Bartlett. "And we like it that Debasis is such a positive thinker." Besides a small cat clinic, Karuna Kunj also has a burial ground where city residents can bury their pets for a nominal amount and leave messages of their love. The center also provides free services to surrounding villages, including treating goats, cows, and holding awareness campaigns on how to take care of animals. A three-wheeler ambulance, which can navigate narrow roads, picks up animals in emergencies and rushes them back to the hospital for treatment. The Compassionate Crusaders Trust also runs a multifaceted animal hospital, Ashari (Animal Shelter Hospital cum Research Institute), spread over approximately 1.7 hectares of land. It opened in 2001 and has since treated about 70,000 animals, Chakrabarti says. There are about 25 cats, and some dogs roaming around the open area after being spayed or neutered. They are not on the vegetarian diet. Handicapped ones are usually sent to Kamna Kunj. There is also an effort to encourage adoption. For Chakrabarti, however, a great satisfaction is to see people wanting to take their pets back home, even those who may have earlier applied for permanent boarding and paid accordingly. "In fact, if you see fewer cats today (at one time there were 120) it's perhaps a good sign," he says, "because it shows that owners are today bonding more with their pets and willing to take care of them. We counsel them on how the pets are missing them, that they need the love and care of the owner." ~ Ranjita Biswas is a Kolkata-based freelance journalist who also translates literature and writes fiction.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." -Mark Twain, writer The Prison Pet Partnership Program, which works with inmates at the Washington State Corrections Center for Women to train service, seizure and therapy dogs for children and disabled adults. All of the animals are taken from rescue organizations, which otherwise might euthanize them because of overpopulation. Founded by Dominican Sister Pauline Quinn, the partnership has served as a model for a half-dozen other prison programs. Since its inception, it has placed over 700 dogs as service dogs or pets. The National Education for Assistance Dog Services based in Princeton, Massachusetts, which contracts with nine prisons
Dan Johnson shows fellow prisoners tricks he taught his dog at the Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas. About 100 inmates train abused, anxious or aggressive dogs to be adopted as pets as part of the Safe Harbor Prison Dog Program. in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to prepare dogs for service with deaf and physically disabled Americans. Canine Companions for Independence, which sponsors a program at the Hocking Correctional Facility in Nelsonville, Ohio, where male offenders train carefully bred puppies in 28 basic commands using gentle leader collars. After a year of training, the dogs are returned to Canine Companions for advanced instruction prior to placement with the disabled. In most of these institutions, few or no tax dollars are used. The programs are funded by private donations and staffed largely by volunteers. The return on the investment, however, is enormous.
According to Assistance Dogs International, the cost of raising and training a specialized service or seizure response dog is about $10,000 a year. The average cost to house an inmate in the Massachusetts prison system is $43,025 annually. By using inmates to train service puppies, society essentially recovers one-fourth of an inmate's expenses. Better yet: The prison programs have played a huge role in bringing the supply of service dogs closer to demand. The current production of service dogs is approximately 500 to 600 per year, the organization says. The average waiting list is two years, and as high as five years in some parts of the United States. If just a few more prisons got involved in service dog train~ ing, the waiting lists would be cut even further. ~ Perhaps the least documented benefit of these ÂŠ g programs is their rehabilitative effect on inmates. ~ In New York-based Puppies Behind Bars, 15 dogs ~ are typically placed in a prison where they live in is'" the same cell or housing units with handlers. Each dog is assigned two inmates: a primary caregiver who performs the bulk of basic training and housebreaking duties and a backup handler. Once a week, they all attend classes taught by a Puppies Behind Bars professional. The program gives prisoners "an increased sense of self-esteem, an increased sense of responsibility, teamwork and more compassion," says Gloria Gilbert Stoga, president and founder of Puppies Behind Bars. The recipients also experience multiple benefits. As one blind man explained, the dog made him feel whole again; the knowledge that his dog was raised in prison made him feel good inside. Stoga was so convinced of the merits of the concept that she left her position with the Youth Empowerment Services Commission in New York City in 1997 so she could devote herself full time to founding the no.t-for-profit organization. The Prison Pet Partnership Program, based in Gig Harbor in Washington state, sees itself not just as a community service but an employment program. Inmate trainers work toward Pet Care Technician Certification, a credential that will help them find work at veterinary clinics or kennels outside prison. "All of the inmates who have graduated from our program have found employment upon release," the program boasts on its Web site (http://www.prisonpetpartnership.orgl). "Additionally, over the past five years, the recidivism [relapse into crime] rate among the graduates has remained at zero." . That prison wardens have accepted these programs with open arms is a testament to their efficacy. "I see the inmates being very attentive to the dogs' progress, very proud," says Lynn Bissonnette, superintendent of a mediumsecurity prison in Framingham, Massachusetts, the oldest female
PETS a~e lor YOUR ot all dogs have the temperament to become service animals. In even the most successful training programs, less than a third of "students" qualify for careers helping the blind, deaf or disabled. The rest become companion animals in ordinary households where their service may be less visible but no less valuable. Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They can force you to exercise more, get outside and laugh longer. They can help you recover from a heart attack, and they may cut your risk of having one. They can cheer up the mentally ill and reduce the need for medications. In nursing homes, the presence of pets "is associated with the tendency of older persons to smile and talk more, reach out toward people and objects, exhibit more alertness and attention, and experience more symptoms of wellbeing and less depression," according ·to the Maryland-based National Institutes of Health "Pet programs have proven superior in producing psychosocial benefits in comparison to some other alternative therapies (e.g. arts and crafts programs, friendly visitor programs and conventional psychotherapy)." As far back as 1796, animals were used to help treat mental patients at the Retreat Hospital in York, England, "as part of an enlightened approach attempting to reduce the use of harsh drugs
Reprinted from The Saturday Evening Post magazine © 2005 Saturday Evening Post Society.
and restraints," the Institute says In the United States, one of the earliest programs using animal therapy occurred in 1919 at Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where dogs served as companions for psychiatric patients The Delta Society, a not-forprofit organization created in Oregon in 1977 to promote the role of animals in human health, has compiled a long list of scientific studies documenting the benefits of pets. (See www.deltasociety.org for details.) Among the more significant findings: • People with borderline hypertension had lower blood pressure on days they took their dogs to work. (Allen, K. 2001) • Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less often than those who do not. In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly
stressed dog owners in the study had 21 percent fewer physician contacts than non-dog owners. (Siegel, 1990) • Pet owners have lower blood pressure. (Friedmann, 1983; Anderson, 1992) • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners. (Anderson, 1992) • Petowners have higher on-year sur-
vival rates following coronary heart disease. (Friedman, 1980, 1995) • Medication costs dropped from an average of $3.80 per patient per day to just $1.18 per patient per day in new nursing home facilities in New York, Missouri and Texas that had animals and plants as an integral part of the environment. (Montague, 1995) • Children exposed to pets during the first year of life have a lower frequency of allergic rhinitis and asthma. (Hesselmar, 1999) • Perhaps it's stating the obvious, but people who own dogs often have better physical health than non-owners for no other reason than they have to walk the dogs to keep them healthy and happy. So think of your pet as a body-fat check. As the old saying goes, "If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise." ~
for lOore inforlOaUon: pt(&=> "I bought Harvey a cat because having a pet will be good/or his blood pressure." Reprinted from The Saturday Evening Post magazine © 2005 Saturday Evening Post Society
Katheryn Kauffman, an inmate at a women's prison in Vandalia, Missouri, gives her dog, Amber, a treat as part of training it to help the disabled. correctional institution in the United States. Charity Payne, the 26-year-old [former] Indiana inmate, says she sees her life changing now that Faith has become a part of it. "I was young when I came to prison, and I've never had any responsibility but myself." Payne, who was serving time for a triple murder in Lakeville, Indiana, was released from custody after her sentence and conviction were overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2007. Payne wasn't present at the crime scene, but directed the co-defendants to the location, so they could commit robbery. Had she minimized her role, she probably wouldn't have been trusted with a puppy, says Sally J. Irvin, executive director of Indiana Canine Assistant & Adolescent Network, who screens offenders who apply to the program. "I don't care what you did. I care how much responsibility you take for it," Irvin says. "Charity ...made some bad choices and takes total responsibility for her choices."... ~ Andrea Neal is a teacher in Indianapolis and an adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review. www.inpolicy.org
For more information: Puppies Behind Bars http://www.puppiesbehindbars.com/ Pets are good for us http://www.spca.com/petcare/item/57
y friend and fellow dog lover Edie, an occupational therapist in Massachusetts, has been looking for a mate for nearly 10 years She finally thought she'd found one in Jeff, a nice guy, generous and funny, who teaches high school. They dated for several months, and just as there was talk about a future, it occurred to Edie that Jeff hadn't really bonded with her yellow labrador, Sophie. In fact, as she thought more about it, she wasn't sure Jeff was a dog guy at all. She confronted him about this at dinner one night, and he confessed, in some anguish, that he didn't love Sophie, didn't love dogs in general, never had. They broke up the next week. More accurately, she dumped him. "What can I say?" Edie told me, somewhat defensively "Sophie has been there for me, day in and day out, for years. I can't say the same of men. She's my girl, my baby Sooner or later, it would have ended." Having spent two months on a book tour talking to dog lovers across the United States, I can testify that this story isn't unusual. The lesson Edie gleaned, she says, was that she should have asked about Sophie first, not last. In America, we love our dogs. A lot. So much that we rarely wonder why anymore. This, perhaps, is why God created academics. John Archer, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire in England, has been puzzling for
some time over why people love their pets, In evolutionary terms, love for dogs and other pets "poses a problem," he writes, Being attached to animals is not, strictly speaking, necessary for human health and welfare, True, studies show that people with pets live a bit longer and have better blood pressure than benighted nonowners, but in the literal sense, we don't really need all those dogs and cats to survive, Archer's alternative Darwinian theory Pets manipulate the same instincts and responses that have evolved to facilitate human relationships, "primarily (but not exclusively) those
between parent and child," No wonder Edie ditched Jeff, She was about to marry the evil stepfather, somebody who wasn't crazy about her true child, Or, to look at it from the opposite direction, Archer suggests, "consider the possibility that pets are, in evolutionary terms, manipulating human responses, that they are the equivalent of social parasites," Social parasites inject themselves into the social systems of other species and thrive there, Dogs are masters at that. They show a range of emotions-love, anxiety, curiosity-and thus trick us into thinking they Above: Becca McLester cuddles her Neapolitan Mastiff puppy, Miracle, outside her home in Rockford, Illinois. Left: A woman and her dog on their way to board a bus in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
possess the full range of human feelings, They dance with joy when we come home, put their heads on our knees and stare longingly into our eyes. Ah, we think, at last, the love and loyalty we so richly deserve and so rarely receive. Over thousands of years of living with humans, dogs have become wily and transfixing sidekicks with the particularly appealing characteristic of being unable to speak. We are therefore free to fi II in the blanks with what we need to hear, (What the dog may really be telling us, much of the time, is, "Feed me.") As Archer dryly puts it, "Continuing features of the interaction with the pet prove satisfying for the owner." It's a good deal for the pets, too, since we respond by spending lavishly on organic treats and high-quality health care. Formerly with Harvard University in Massachusetts, anthropologist Brian Hare has also studied the human-animal bond and reports that dogs are astonishingly skilled at reading humans' patterns of social behavior, especially behaviors related to food and care, They figure out our moods (lJld what makes us happy, what moves us. Then they act accordingly, and we tell ourselves that they're crazy about us. "It appears that dogs have evolved specialized skills for reading human social and
Dogs have figured out how to insinuate themselves into human society in ways that benefit us both. communicative behavior," Hare concludes, which is why dogs live so much better than moles. These are interesting theories, Raccoons and squirrels don't show recognizable human emotions, nor do they trigger our nurturing ("She's my baby") impulses. So, they don't (usually) move into our houses, get their photos taken with Santa, or even get names, Thousands of rescue workers aren't standing by to move them lovingly from one home to another. If the dog's love is just an evolutionary trick, does that diminish it? I don't think so. Dogs have
For more information:
http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/02.19/ 05-dog. htm IsWatch2008. htm I
figured out how to insinuate themselves into human society in ways that benefit us both. We get affection and attention. They get the same, plus food, shelter and protection, To grasp this exchange doesn'ttrivialize our love, it explains it. I'm enveloped by dog love, myself. Izzy, a border collie who spent the first four years of his life running along a small square of fencing on a nearby farm, is lying under my desk at the moment, his head resting on my boot. Rose, my working dog, is curled into a tight ball in the crate to my left. Emma, the newcomer who spent six years inside the same fence as Izzy, prefers the newly re-upholstered antique chair. Plagued with health problems, she likes to be near the wood stove in the winter. When I stir to make tea, answer the door or stretch my legs, all three dogs move with me, I
Above left: Will Farkas, a cancer patient, was among 12 children given a puppy to care for and play with during a weeklong camp sponsored by the Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village and The Gathering Place in South Russell, Ohio. Above: Ali Kravig, 8, reads to Bowie, during a read to the dogs program at Racine Public Library in Wisconsin. Studies have shown that children find reading to an animal less intimidating than reading to adults or peers.
see them peering out from behind the kitchen table or pantry door, awaiting instructions, as border collies do, If I return to the computer, they resume their previous positions, with stealth and agility. If I analyzed it coldly, I would admit that they're probably alert to see if an outdoor romp is in the offing, or some sheepherding, or [a food treat]. But I'd rather think they can't bear to let me out of their sight. ~ Jon Katz is the author of Dog Days: Dispatches From Bedlam Farm.
When Your Heirs are What happens to pets when their owners die?
merican hotel heiress Leona He.lmsley, "the queen of mean," left a $12 million trust fund for her dog, Trouble, when she died in August 2007. She wanted to make sure that the white Maltese would be properly cared for after her death. (She omitted two of her four grandchildren from her will.)
Most pet owners don't have the means to match Helmsley's largesse, but they do worry about what will happen to their pets after their death. That's why they include their pets in their estate plans. Evie Gerber of Foster City in California is one such owner. She has had her nine-year-old black miniature
poodle, J.1., since she was a puppy. Gerber, who was the administrator of a law office before she retired and who gives her age as "senior citizen," has arranged for J.1.'s care in case she dies before the dog. Working with her attorney and with Lisa Van Buskirk of the Californiabased Peninsula Humane Society &
SPCA, Gerber developed an estate plan specifying that her brother in Seattle, in Washington state, who gave her the dog, will become J.J.'s new owner. If he can't, then J.1. would go to Bay Area Poodle Rescue, a nonprofit that finds homes for poodles. Gerber has worked with the Berkeley, California, group. As a third alternative, J.1. would go to the humane society's continuing care program, which would put her up for adoption. "1 know she would be taken care of with this program," Gerber says. Her estate plan also provides funds for J.J.'s ~ continued care. ~ Ellen Maurer, 86, of San Mateo, ~ California, also has made plans for herÂ§ seven-year-old Maine Coon cat, Shasta. ~ Maurer adopted the deaf and declawed S cat from the Peninsula Humane Society 3 o in January 2007. ffi Maurer lives with her daughter, Heidi Maurer, 51, who would take care of the cat, but the elder Maurer worried about what would happen if they died at the same time. "1 want to make sure that (Shasta) is taken care of the way she's used to," Ellen Maurer says. That's why she has arranged for the humane society to put Shasta into a foster home until she is adopted permanently. She's leaving money to pay for what it does. Shasta's food and medical needs in foster Anne Scanlan-Rohrer, 50, and her huscare, and she's leaving a bequest to the band, Scot Rohrer, 51, of Burlingame, humane society because she believes in California, had similar worries. The couple have had their 12-year-old charcoal gray cats, Dorian and Earl, since adopting the brothers from the humane society when they were 10 weeks old. The couple's estate plan specifies that the cats will go into the humane society's continuing care program for foster care and adoption. It provides funds to the humane society and the new owner for their care. "We're kind of picky about what their living arrangements are," Scanlan-Rohrer says, noting that Dorian and Earl are strictly indoor cats. The couple also want the cats adopted together. Using a program like the Peninsula "Sorry, but we discontinued doggy-bags. Humane Society'S continuing care proPets were suing us." gram is endorsed by Colleen McAvoy, a Copyright ÂŠ Tribune Media Services, Inc. San Mateo attorney who specializes in All rights reserved. estate planning.
Even though pets may be important and beloved members of the family, California law regards them as property. They're part of the estate's assets, so they can't inherit anything. McAvoy outlined the basic concepts of estate planning for pets during a talk at the San Mateo County Law Library in Redwood City, California, and in a subsequent interview. Even though pets may be important and beloved members of the family, California law regards them as property. They're part of the estate's assets, so they can't inherit anything. However, they still need care, which requires time and money, perhaps thousands of dollars a year for food, medical care and other needs. One option is to leave the pet to a designated beneficiary and to list alternates to that person. Money for the pet's care could also be left to the beneficiary, but there's no guarantee that it would be used for the pet, which would become the beneficiary's property. . Another option is to name someone to inherit the pet and to name a trustee to administer money held in a pet trust, as authorized by California probate law.
Far left: Heidi Maurer (left) and her mother, Ellen Maurer, have arranged foster care, if needed, for their Maine Coon cat, Shasta. Left: Evie Gerber, with her miniature poodle, II, worked with an attorney and the humane society to develop an estate plan for II's care. going into a care home or assisted-living facility that accepts pets, as many do.
However, there's no way for the new pet owner to enforce this honorary trust if the trustee doesn't adhere to its terms, McAvoy says. A stronger, enforceable trust names the pet's new owner as the beneficiary and requires the trustee to give the owner money from the trust as long as the owner cares for the pet. The outline states: "This type of trust is enforceable because it has a human beneficiary. Important decisions include caretaker and successor caretaker(s), trustee and successor trustee(s), and remainder beneficiaries. " A fowth option is to leave the pet to an animal care group like a local humane society or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Pet owners can also specify their wishes if they should become incapacitated by establishing a health care power of attorney as well as a revocable living trust, McAvoy says. These wishes can include
An estate plan would apply only to the planner's living animals, not the animals' offspring. One's wishes must be expressed in the proper form and language, and family and friends should be told what provisions are being made. "Do the planning and then communicate," says McAvoy. Planning for a pet gives the owner peace of mind. In addition, "good planning is appreciated by those who have to pick up the pieces," she says, and it eases the transition for the pet. Finally, it could save the pet's life. A Los Gatos, California group, 2nd Chance 4 Pets, says that an estimated two or three percent of the eight million to 12 million companion animals that go into animal shelters each year are there because their owners have died or can no longer care for them. Although there's no legal requirement to do so, McAvoy suggests that the pet's trustee and beneficiary become acquainted with the pet while its owner is still alive.
For more information: Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA http://www.peninsulahumanesociety.
2nd Chance 4 Pets http://www. 2ndchance4pets.org/ Wealthy folks are turning pets into hairy heirs http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20516185/
What if the owner has a medical emergency and is taken to the hospital? The group 2nd Chance 4 Pets provides emergency contact information cards to carry in the wallet and to post in the home. The all-volunteer nonprofit also provides information about ensuring lifetime care for a pet after its owner's death or incapacity. The wallet card gives the owner's address, lists pets at home and names an emergency caretaker. The home card also names an emergency caretaker as well as the veterinarian and other information about the pet or pets. "I encourage people (who live alone) to have a friend or neighbor" check on them periodically and maybe leave them a key to the house, says the Peninsula Humane Society's Van Buskirk. Van Buskirk, vice president of development and planned giving, oversees the humane society's continuing care program. When pet owners contact her, she first advises them to try to find someone to take the pet. She'll even arrange to send the animal to an out-of-town beneficiary if necessary. If the humane society is to take the animal and it's adoptable, "we'd find it a home," Van Buskirk says. Even older animals are OK. In planning for the humane society to take the animal, Van Buskirk goes to the owner's home with a detailed questionnaire about the animal: its food, habits, favorite toys, medicines and personality. The questionnaire includes contact information such as the estate planning attorney, executor and veterinarian. The humane society doesn't charge anything for the program, but it asks clients to become members. There's no set amount for the annual dues. However, most clients also leave a bequest to the humane society in their will or trust, Van Buskirk says. People tell her they feel better after they sign up for the program. Providing for a pet's care after one's death "is a loving and thoughtful thing to do for the pet," McAvoy says. AlL, -----~ Judy Richter, a recently retired copy editor for the San Francisco Chronicle in California, is now a freelance writer.
Members of the aance group Danza TeocaIt pei/orm during the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Los Angeles, California.
Celebration of Mexican heritage is widely observed in the United States. hen the Cinco de Mayo ("fifth of May") holiday is focus on Mexican food and music, and traditional costumes in red, white observed in the United States, the annual festivity honors and green, the colors of the Mexican the Mexican heritage of a growing number of US. citizens, with a focus on Mexico's distinctive cuisine, folk flag Typical Mexican fare-salsa, guacamole, empanadas, enchiladas, dances, colorful costumes and Mariachi music. tamales, burritos, fajitas-tops the What many celebrants might not realize is that the holiday menu at these festivities. has evolved significantly over the years, often bearing little trace of its origins. Cinco de Mayo is not, as some To many celebrants, Cinco de believe, Mexico's Independence Day, which is Mayo is also a warm expression of September 16. The fifth of May holiday comfriendship between the neighboring memorates the victory of outnumbered and countries of Mexico and the United States. In Los Angeles, for instance, largely indigenous Mexican forces over the French army at the Battle of Puebla Mexican dignitaries are invariably guests of honor, and the mayor of Los in 1862, following a tumultuous period in Mexico's history Angeles addresses the crowd in According to historians, Cinco de Spanish. As Mexican influence continues to Mayo not only recalls an underdog be felt throughout U.S, society, Cinco victory for Mexico, but also reprede Mayo celebrations are likely to sents the triumph of indigenous people over foreign conquistadors spread even further, just as the holidays of other immigrant groups have As such, the date might have more been adopted by Americans: for examcomplex significance for Mexicans than ple, St. Patrick's Day, long honored in for their Mexican American counterparts, whose absorption into their new homeland has become part of the immigrant narrative of Ireland, is now observed almost every- Lupita Robles cooks fajitas during where in the United States. the United States. But if the meaning of Cinco de Mayo has evolved the Cinco de Mayo celebration in for Mexican Americans, it is no less an expression of pride in the traAccording to the U.S Census Lufkin, Texas. Bureau, there were an estimated 28,3 ditions of their Mexican forebears. million U.S, residents of Mexican origin in 2006, and that number is expectAs U.S. demographic shifts begin to reflect a growing Latino presence-with greater political and economic clout than ed to grow People of Mexican origin now make up nearly one-third of the residents of California and Texas, and U,S. trade with Mexico was valued at ever before-Americans have become increasingly familiar with many Latin cultural imports, particularly Latin music and $347 billion in 2007. Mexico is second only to Canada in trade with the United States, food. These imports have been embraced by the US. mainWith prominent Mexican Americans having served in Presidential stream to such a degree that some remarkably successful hybrids-such as Tex-Mex cuisine-have emerged. The popularity of Cabinets and in other positions of authority, this fast-growing demographLatin traditions in general, and Mexican ones in particular, have helped ic group will continue making significant contributions to the United States-in policy circles, in the professions and in popular culture, to transform Cinco de Mayo festivities in the United States into a celeIn the United States, the success of Cinco de bration of all things Mexican. For more information: Mayo is another manifestation of the vitality of a Today, communities across the United Cinco de Mayo large and restless country that was built by the States observe Cinco de Mayo, from small border towns in Texas and Arizona to metrohard work, talent and imagination of its immihttp://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9389223/ politan hubs like New York, Los Angeles, grants, from the time of its founding in 1776 to Cinco-de-Mayo Cleveland and Atlanta. The holiday, now virtuy The history of Cinco de Mayo t_he_pr_es_e_nt_d_a -------~ _, ally ignored in Mexico, has become a vibrant http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm annual event in many U,S, cities, with a strong
Limited Voting Rights in the U.S. Capital Residents say they want full democracy, like New Delhi.
fter our family moved from Kansas City in Missouri to Washington, D.C. in 2002, my five-year-old daughter asked me what the slogan printed on all the local automobile license plates meant: "Taxation without representation." "Well, now we live in the capital of the whole country," I explained. "But we're not in a state anymore. And that means we don't have senators or a voting representative in Congress." "So?" "So we don't really get to help make our laws. But we still pay tax." "Is that fair?" she asked. Nothing like a child to get to the heart of an issue so quickly. We'd moved closer than ever to the center of our government and somewhere in the process lost our place in it. "Well, let's find out more and see what we think," I told her. "What better place to learn about democracy than our nation's capital?"
dreaded, beloved, powerful, unpredictable. Friends gather for election night parties to watch the results together and find out who will be the new neighbor in the White House. Washingtonians who flock to their neighborhood polling places until late in the evening to cast their votes for President do not take the privilege lightly. They were given this right only in 1961.
~ ~ ~ ~
No other place anticipates presidential z contests like Washington, D.C. The elec- ~ 9 CD tion season is Washington's monsoonrÂŁ.
When the rest of America heads to the polls in November, they'll get to help elect a Congressional Representative serving a two-year term, and in many states, one of their two U.S. senators serving a six-year term. However, since the District of Columbia was created in 1800 as a Federal territory, and not part of any state, according to the prevailing interpre-
More than a million of Washington, D.C's Taxation Without Representation car license plates have been issued by the D.C Department of Motor Vehicles since their introduction in November 2000.
tation of the U.S. Constitution, its residents have not been entitled to representation in Congress-no senators in the upper house of the national legislature, and merely a non-voting delegate to the lower House of Representatives. However, the privilege of voting for the U.S. President was granted to Washingtonians through the 23rd Amend-
ment to the Constitution, as a result of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and
'60s. Unlike other unrepresented Americans, such as residents of the U.S. island territories of Guam in the Pacific Ocean and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea, Americans in Washington, D.C. pay federal income tax. In addition, with all of
the city's local legislation and its budget subject to final approval by the U.S. Congress, D.C. residents lack true home rule. "Taxation without representation!" is not just part of an elementary school history lesson about one of the American colonists' complaints against British rule 232 years ago. The slogan remains surprisingly relevant for residents of the U.S. capital today. Citizens in the capital unrepresented in the national legislature. Sound familiar? Until 1991, New Delhi and Washington, D.C. shared this problem, as have capital territories in other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. Each of these nations created federal districts similar to that of the United States, with limited rights for residents of Far left: Washington, D.C residents burn copies of their federal income tax return forms during a "Taxes Paid - Representation Denied" protest. Left: Sarah Cox (left), Molly Sloss and Norah Sloss, students from the School Without Walls, cheer during a rally supporting D.C voting rights near the Capitol building in Washington.
the capital. However, over the past several decades, each has expanded voting rights and self-government for their capitals (such as India in 1991 with the 69th Amendment to the Constitution). The American capital, however, is left without a voice in the national legislature. How did this problem come about? Why does it remain? How can it be resolved? These were the questions we asked when we moved there. Living in the state of Missouri, I had always taken my access to a Congress member and two senators as a simple democratic right, and never imagined that I would lose it. Even when we spent a year living in Germany, we retained our right to vote by absentee ballot as Missouri residents. Since I turned 18, about once a
What's Next for Indo-U.S. Relations?
here will be little impact on U.S.-India relations, regardless of who wins the U.S. presidential election, according to Paul Carrese, an American Fulbright scholar who recently taught political theory for six months at the University of Delhi. "We can expect continuity no matter which party is in office," Carrese told Indian political science students in New Delhi. "We'll see a continued strengthening of the U.S.-Indian partnership." The next U.S. President will continue to differentiate between Pakistan and India in U.S. foreign policy, predicted Carrese. "There will be a continued strengthening with India and continued worry about the policy toward Pakistan," he said. Lastly, Carrese warned that sometimes a change in U.S. administration leads to isolationism, where the government gets less involved in the world's problems, pulling back in the military and diplomatic arenas, However, he could not predict whether this would happen, given the range of views among the front runners in the presidential race and its wide-open, uncertain nature this far away from the election. Carrese is director and co-founder of the Scholars Program at the U,S, Air Force Academy and a professor of political science. -L.S.H.
Washington, D.C. was once a square, carved out of parts of Virginia and Maryland. To regain their voice in national affairs, Virginia residents got their portion returned to the state.
a Wl1ile House l\
OThe Capitol ~
Washington Pentagon Monument
year I would dash off a letter to my representatives stating my opinion on an issue, even though the response was typically a form letter. These days most correspondence with Congressional offices takes place electronically, requiring a zip code within the legislator's jurisdiction in order to submit an e-mail. D.C. residents can write to their nonvoting delegate in the House, currently Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat. But reaching a senator if you don't live in their state? According to former Senate staffer Jennifer Smulson, "You could send a letter through the regular mail, and it may arrive at the desk of a Senate staff person. And maybe it would be opened and read. Would it be recorded? Would the person get a response? Unlikely. From my experience, constituents are always the priority." With no Congress member to write to, I turned to the League of Women Voters. Established in 1920 to help newly enfranchised women learn about the candidates and issues they could now vote on, the non-partisan League is a grassroots, nonprofit organization working to educate and advocate on behalf of the voter. Since 1938 the League has supported self-government for D.C. residents. "Everyone is in favor of representation in general," explains Lloyd Leonard, the League's senior director of advocacy. "But many are not in favor of particular ways to achieve representation." One of the issues is that the status of the capital district is mentioned in the
state legislatures. Many of those who have opposed bills that attempted to expand the voting rights of Washington, D.C. residents may not have objected to the hoped-for result, but to the attempts to make the changes outside the procedure for a constitutional amendment. The local League of Women Voters publishes Know the District of Columbia, which thoroughly explores the complicated past and unique current status of Washington, D.C. According to the guide, during a meeting of Congress in Philadelphia in 1783, as the Constitution was being written, a group of angry Revolutionary War veterans allegedly threatened the delegates in an effort to obtain back pay. The incident may have influenced the desire to establish a neutral and protected capital city, located outside of any state. Thus Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gave Congress the power "to exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever," over the district they planned to create as "the seat of the government of the United States." The capital site, chosen by George Washington, the first President, was ceded in 1791 by two states, Maryland and Virginia. The square of land, 16 kilometers per side, became the capital on December 1, 1800. Two cities within the capital territory, Georgetown and Alexandria, maintained their elected mayors and city councils. However, by a hotly debated act of Congress in 1801, the federal tenjtory was
U.S. Consti.tuti.on, and the writers of that
di'Yided into two counties, Washington
document deliberately made it difficult to make changes. It can only be done by adding an amendment. That takes years and ratification by three-fourths of the
Alexandria-the first example of Congress exercising its Constitutional power to exclusive legislation over the District. In the process, District residents lost their
claim to vote as Maryland or Virginia residents in the election of U.S. Senators, Representatives, or the President. By 1847, after years of frustration at their lack of voice in the national legislature and limited local control, Alexandria returned to the state of Virginia, leaving only the original Maryland portion to remain the capital as it stands today. Over the years, Congress has sometimes granted D.C. residents limited home rule-and revoked it later with a change
in political climate. From 1871 to 1874, D.C. had a popularly elected lower chamber and a nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, but after the new municipal government overspent in an effort to beautify the city, Congress ended the experiment in self-government for the next 100 years. Despite the constitutional amendment in 1961 that gave D.C. residents the right to vote for President, it took until 1970 before Congress granted them another Above: President George W Bush delivers his last State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 28, 2008, as the Constitution requires. Washington, D.C. residents can vote for the President, but not the legislators. Left: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C. 's nonvoting delegate, during a visit to India in March 2008.
non-voting delegate to the House. In 1973, the D.C. Home Rule Act was approved, allowing residents to elect a mayor and a council, but providing that Congress would continue to have final authority over the District and its local laws. As explained in Know the District, "The opponents of home rule based their arguments on interpretations of the intentions of the framers of the Constitution, on questions as to the legality of the delegation of powers, and on the federal interest in the capital city." During Congressional debate about the bill that became the 23rd Amendment, which originally provided for representation in the House and Senate along with the vote for President, many expressed concern that the neutrality of the seat of government would be compromised. Some suggested that the District would become too much like a state, that urban issues would gain too much weight, that other metropolitan areas or other U.S. territories might try to gain Senate seats as well. In 1978, the League of Women Voters helped lead an effort to amend the Constitution to allow D.C. residents to
For more information: League of Women Voters http://www.lwv.org/ Voter Guide for the 2008 elections http://www .dnet. org/ Washington, D.C. home rule organization http://www .devote. org/ vote as if they were residents of a state. The Voting Rights Amendment passed both the House and Senate, but only 16 of the necessary 38 state legislatures had approved the amendment by 1985, when the ratification period expired. While many Congress members support a vote in the House for Washington residents, statehood is less popular because it would mean adding two senators from one city in an upper chamber that has only 100 members for the entire nation. And although the population of D.C. is greater than the state of Wyoming, the District lacks characteristics normally associated with states such as diverse geography with both urban and rural areas. Yet, these definitions of what constitutes a state are not written in the Constitution. "For 200 years, the majority of those who know about the situation simply accept it as an uncomfortable contradiction," D.C. historian Mark David Richards explains. "On principle there is agreement that one person equals one vote, but the debate in Congress has been over the solution. Something leaders are willing to go out on a limb to support? That's another story."
The D.C. Voting Rights Act, supported by the League of Women Voters as another incremental solution, would give a full vote to D.C.'s Democratic delegate to the House, while adding another House seat for a Republican-leaning Utah. The bill passed the House in 2007 but failed by a narrow margin in the Senate. Opponents of the measure, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, argue that it is constitutionally unsound. "If we want to give the residents representation, then we should begin the amendment process," he says. Of the presidential candidates, Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton voted in favor of the bill, while Senator John McCain, a Republican, voted against it. Kevin Kiger, communications director for DCVote, an education and advocacy organization dedicated to securing full voting rights for the District, says, "In an ideal world, the most secure solution that is also likely to gain support is an amendment much like the one that provided D.C. with the vote for President. An Equal Constitutional Rights Amendment would require that D.C. residents be treatedas equal to those who live in states. And frankly, examining how other nations handled this kind of inconsistency between principles sets a good precedent for the U.S. to follow." Maybe India's solution will provide a model. A." -----~ Jane Varner Malhotra writes from Washington, where she and her Indian American husband have lived off and on for two decades.
The league 01 Women Voters stablished in 1920 by suffragists to help inform newly enfranchised women, the League is a national grassroots organization that has become a cornerstone of the American democratic system. A non-partisan organization open to women and men, the League helps to clarify public policy issues and encourages citizens to be informed and involved in government at all levels. While the League does not support or oppose candidates for public office, it is wholeheartedly political, working to influence local and national policies through information and advocacy. The months leading up to the presidential elections command thousands of volunteer hours from League members around the country as they conduct candidate debates, create voter guides and help register new voters.
Victoria C. Woodhull, the first woman to run for U.S. President. even before women had the right to vote.
lection year 2008 brings the first real chance of electing a woman or an African American to the Oval Office-a prospect of change in the uninterrupted pattern of white male U.S. presidents since George Washington took the oath of office more than two centuries ago. But while the battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination between New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama offers voters a novel choice, there were others before them. Nearly five decades before American women even got the right to vote in 1920, stockbroker and publisher Victoria C. Woodhull became the first woman candidate for President, running on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. The only other woman to run for President in the 19th century was Belva Ann Lockwood of the National Equal Rights Party in 1884. Incidentally, she was also the first woman
Women and African Americans who ran for America's top job.
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Charlene Mitchell, first African American woman to run for President, on a Communist Party ticket.
Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman to seek a major party's nomination for President.
admitted to practice law before the u.s. Supreme Court. After more than seven decades with no prominent women candidates, Maine Republican Margaret Chase Smith became the fIrst woman to seek a major party's presidential nomination, in 1964. Smith, who was elected to the Senate in 1948 and served 32 years in Congress, finished a far second to the eventual nominee, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, in the balloting at the 1964 Republican National Convention. On the lOOth anniversary of Woodhull's historic bid, Shirley Chisholm's run for the 1972 Democratic nomination marked another first in U.S. politics. The seventern1 New York Congresswoman captured five percent of the total 3,016 delegate votes at the party convention, breaking all records for a woman candidate of any party. Clinton has now come further than any woman candidate in history, winning more than 1,400 delegates so far. Her main oppo-
Geraldine Ferraro, first woman to be nominated for Vice President by a major party.
Elizabeth Dole ran for the Republican Party nomination.
nent, Obama, has won more than 1,500 delegates, outdoing any previous African American candidate. A candidate has to win at least 2,025 delegates to become the Democratic presidential nominee. The woman who has come closest to the U.S. presidency is one who has never been a candidate for the post: Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives since 2007. Although she was elected only by the residents of her congressional district in California, she is second in line to the presidency after Vice President Dick Cheney. The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 specifies who would take control of the government if the President and Vice President were unable to perform their offices. However, the law has never been used. Only men elected President or their Vice Presidents have ever occupied the Oval OffIce. Two African Americans-Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice-have been fourth in line for the presidency because of their posi-
Carol Moseley Braun, first African American Senator, ran for the Democratic Party nomination.
Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, seeking the Democratic Party nomination.
tions as Secretary of State for President George W. Bush. Several women have sought, or won, their party's nomination to become Vice President ofthe United States. In 1972, former Texas state legislator Frances (Sissy) Farentho1d fInished second in balloting for Vice President during the Democratic National Convention. A "Black power" activist and professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, Angela Davis, ran for Vice President on the Communist Party ticket in 1980 and 1984. Another first was achieved by third-term Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro, who became the first woman to run for Vice President on a major party's ticket when she was chosen by Democratic nominee Walter F. Monda1e as his runni'ng mate in 1984, They were defeated by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.w. Bush. Among the most notable African
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American candidates who have run for U.S. President is civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. He campaigned for the Democratic nomination twice, in 1984 and 1988. While Jackson gained 21 percent of the popular vote during the party primaries and caucuses, he won only eight percent of the delegates in his first run. In the second campaign, however, he more than doubled his previous tally and made a surprising second-place finish to Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis at the party convention. Having served as an assistant secretary of state in Reagan's administration, Alan Keyes, an African American, campaigned for the Republican Party nomination in 1996, 2000 and again in this election. He dropped out early this year after winning no delegates in several primaries. Another civil rights activist, Al Sharpton, ran a colorful but unsuccessful campaign seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2004. Now, Obama's campaign has made history. He has won a majority of delegates in more than 30 state primaries and caucuses, and by May had more delegates than any other candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination. His landslide victories in many states show that white as well as black Americans voted for him in large numbers. As the son of a white American woman from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, he has brought a unique perspective to this election. No matter whether Clinton or Obama wins the Democratic Patty nomination, and no matter whether either wins the presidency in the upcoming election against Republican Party nominee John McCain, their candidacies have already broken barriers and changed perceptions about what is possible in American politics.
Obama's cross-racial appeal http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ content! article/2008/ 01/11/AR20080111 01414_pf.html Campaign to elect a woman President http://www .ameri canwomenpresidents. the_ campaign.htm II:
Elections 2008 http://www.cnn.com/ELECTI
Ir â€˘ arles and
By LAURINDA KEYS LONG and DEEPANJALI KAKATI
as a Communist ever run for the U.S. presidency? How about an independent, with no party affiliation? The answer to both questions is: yes, during many elections over the past century But few have been heard of and fewer are remembered. None had an actual chance to win, given the costs and time needed to run a national campaign, the difficulties of getting on the ballot and the way the U.S electoral system has developed over the years to favor candidates from one of the major parties: Republican or Democratic. For more than 150 years, every U.S. President has belonged to one of these two parties, though it was not always so. America's first two Presidents, and four other early ones, belonged to parties that no longer exist. And the Democrats and Republicans were once a single party. Now there are more than 30 other political parties, known as third parties. Though their candidates have very little chance of making it to the White House, they are sometimes called "spoilers" because they can divert key votes from the major parties' candidates during elections. J. David Gillespie, retired professor of political science at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, and author of Politics at the Periphery: Third Parties in Two-Party America, notes that third parties play several important roles-from educating voters on specific issues to affecting real change in government policy. Third parties actually strengthen the government,
Gillespie says, by providing a legitimate outlet for those unhappy with the status quo, They give "dissidents a chance to air their grievances within the confines of the electoral process," he explains, "And that, then, probably reduces the prospect of more violent or more aggressive kinds of approaches to political action in this country" So why do third parties spend time and money on a presidential candidate they know will lose? They aren't launching candidates as much as they are launching issues, They want to get the attention of voters on topics such as climate change, nuclear prol iferation and poverty, They also may hope to change the views of one of the leading presidential candidates, In the 2008 presidential election, Americans will see candidates from a number of parties on the ballot. These include the Constitution Party, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, most of which will select their candidates this summer, A notable independent in the race this year is Ralph Nader, a consumer advocate whose most remarkable run for the presidency was in 2000 when, as the Green Party candidate, he received 2.7 percent of the extremely close national vote in the race that also included George W Bush and then Vice President AI Gore, Many Democrats believe that Nader's bid cost Gore the election, Just 537 votes separated Bush and Gore in Florida, Nader received 97,488 votes in that state, and exit polls indicated that his voters would have favored Gore over Bush had Nader
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not been in the race, Part of the American psyche is a penchant for bucking the trend or favoring the outsider or underdog, so public interest in third party and independent candidates persists, It' s a Iso exci't'Ing t 0 cons 'd I er th at 'In a c Iose. 'd 'I 'd k presl entia contest, OUtSI ers can ta, e away enough votes from a major-party candidate so that he or she loses the presidency This has happened several times in U.S, history In 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt's third-party candidacy (he ran representing the Bull Moose Party) took more than 27 percent and split the Republican vote, allowing a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, to win the presidency George Wallace in 1968 and Ross Perot in 1992 took significant percentages of voters from both major parties, Each state sets its own rules for how independents can get their names on the November presidential ballots. To meet the filing deadlines for aliSO states, most independents interested in entering the race declare their candidacy by midMarch, In the 2000 and 2004 elections, candidates of 12 third parties appeared on some or all state bal-
~ ~ â€˘ I ~I ;::; :'5 to, ~t/~ 1, Top: Former President Theodore Roosevelt, shown in 1904, campaigned as a third party candIdate In the 1912 electwns, Above: Reform Party presidential ... candidate Ross Perot during his . 1996 campaign, .. Above rzght: Independent preSIdentIal candIdate Ralph Nader (rzght) announces hIS selectwn of Matt Gonzalez, a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (left), as his running mate at a news conference in Washington, D.C. in February 2008, ----------------------------lots, Some, like the prohibition parties (primarily like an outsider best, they will vote for their secagainst the sale of alcohol) and various socialist ond choice from a major party, groups, garnered only enough voter support sigIn addition, third parties rarely have the large natures to qualify for the ballot in a few states. statewide organizations of the major parties; they Others, however, were on the ballot in more have less expertise in running campaigns; they than half of the 50 states in 2004: the Green are less likely to be invited to televised debates, Party, an environmentally concerned group (28 and they get less media coverage Since they are states); the Constitution Party, a Christian fundanot in power and are less well known, they find it mentalist group (38); the Libertarian Party, a fis- harder to raise money and, because extraordinarcally conservative and socially liberal group ily large sums are needed to compete in US (49); and the Reform Party, a liberal reform group nationwide races, they end up having to spend (at least 37). more time fundraising than campaigning, The most significant obstacle these candidates ~ face is the fear among voters about "wasting" Based on material from the Bureau of their vote if they cast ballots for these long-shots, International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Studies have shown that even when Americans
N~d ~'G~"erl Oh~ 08 ~
he ceiling was inches from my hard-hatted head; the reporter's notebook in my back pocket kept catching on protruding rocks, and off to my left was a two-meter drop that could certainly break a limb or two. My glasses were fogging up, I was wriggling on my belly, and I was pleased as could be. It was about an hour into the three-and-a-half hour "Introduction to Caving" tour at Mammoth Cave National Park in southern Kentucky Guided tours range from a lantern-lit amble ($11) to the six-hour "Wild Cave Tour" ($46) with "hand and knee crawls over jagged rocks and dirt." I chose the introductory level ($23) because you have to crawl only over "rough" rocks, not" jagged" ones. One of seven 20-somethings on the tour (not to worry-older people do it, too), I donned a park-issued hard hat and kneepads in the bottom of a sinkhole-a small, round valley typical of landscapes with a lot of caves-and headed through a metal door. The trail begins with a 280stair descent through deep pits, carved by millions of years of water seeping through from the sinkhole.
Below: An open space on an otherwise difficult route where crawling is the only way to get around in many parts.
Right: A National Park ranger guides tourists through the kaleidoscopic whirl of formations.
"This next part is a good test for whether you're going to enjoy the rest of what we're gonna do," ranger Bruce Hatcher told us. On hands and knees, he led the way through a passage, then squeezed through a vertical crack about one meter up Striking off through unlit caverns, we walked along wide Gypsum Avenue, with flower-shaped gypsum crystals on the walls and ceiling Fossils appeared every now and then, a remnant of the region's past at the bottom of the ocean. Crawling through low, wide passages over rough rocks and fine, soft, river sand, I greatly appreciated my hard hat and my kneepads On a rest stop, we turned off our headlamps and sat in silence for a few moments in the absolute darkness of underground. Mammoth has the longest known cave system in the world-58? kilometers and counting, all tangled under an 11-square-kilometer patch of land. Sinkholes and caves spot the area. When ocean covered low-lying parts of the continent hundreds of millions of years ago, sea creature skeletons settled to the bottom to make a thick
For more information: Mammoth Cave http://www .nps. gov/maca/
Far right: Mammoth Cave's signature landmark is its entrance, a gateway to the grand, gloomy and peculiar world beLow.
layer of limestone. The cave formed in this layer as water dribbled from above, then rushed along in rivers and streams, creating a path through the stone. A later river delta deposited sand that turned into a cap of sandstone, which protects old caves as the water table falls lower and lower, dissolving through lower levels of limestone. Our tour stuck to high, dry parts. Well, mostly dry. After another hour and a half of wandering, crawling and occasional slithering, we got to the Keyhole, which our guides had warned us about. After a recent rain, the floor was muddier than usual. I jammed my head sideways through the ludicrously tiny hole and clawed over puddle-pocked rock to emerge triumphant, muddy, and-oddly-with not a hint of claustrophobia. We joined the tourist paths near Frozen Niagara-where glossy swoops of stalactites and flowstone swing down the walls like icing on a wedding cake. As other visitors gawked at our muddy clothes, we headed for a revolving glass door into the scent of honeysuckle. ~ Helen Fields is a reporter with U.S. News & World Report.
d to SutteedBYDEEPANJALIKAKAT, He loves music. She loves art and fashion. Together, they have emerged as a power couple with distinctive style. For MTV executive Nusrat Durrani and fashion designer Afshan Durrani, seeking new challenges and chasing their passions have been a constant in their search for professional fulfillment that has taken them from India to New York, via Dubai. Mr. Durrani was part of the team that launched MTVcom, now a leading entertainment destination. He has played a key role in leading MTV into the digital realm and launched e-commerce across all MTV music sites since joining MTV Networks in 1996. As senior vice president and general manager of MTV World, he was also the guiding force behind the 2005 launch of MTV
Desi, the channel customized to cater to the South Asian community in the United States. The channel "represented the coming of age of the young desi community in America," he says. "We gave young South Asians a place to express themselves, celebrate their culture and be a part of the Asian revolution in the U.S. We have shone the light on hundreds of artists of Indian origin that had previously been ignored by mainstream media." MTV Desi was followed by two more niche channels for Asian audiences in the United States-MTV Chi and MTV Kin December 2005 and June 2006. The MTV World channels were taken off the air in February 2007, but will be relaunched in a different format. In fact, the MTV World experiment led to Mr. Durrani's current and perhaps most ambitious project. He is leading a team that will utilize MTV's vast international presence to launch its first global pop culture network. "The audience for the new project is bicultural. .. such as young people of Indian origin who live in the U.K., U.S., and other countries," he says. An online beta-
an unfinished version released for customers to test before the job with MTV as they thought he did not know "anything about final version is released-is set to launch at the end of this year. American pop culture." In 2007, Mr. Durrani received the Pinnacle Achievement While Mr. Durrani was scripting his success story, Ms. Award, which recognizes an individual who has reached the top Durrani was weaving her own tale of achievement, one imbued of his professional field, from the New York-based Asian with the royal hues of the Mughal era. Her company Lost City American Business Development Center. Last year, he was also was launched in 2002 and creates fabrics using techniques that given the Trailblazer of the Year award by the South Asians in are hundreds of years old. However, Lost City's overall design Media and Marketing Association. aesthetic is modem and edgy. The other half of this power couple is Afshan Durrani, owner "The Mughal age was a renaissance period and the richest in and creative director of Lost City terms of art history, We have not Products, a company that proeven touched a fraction of what it duces couture fabrics for furnishhas to offer," says Ms. Durrani. ings and upholstery. Inspired by "We are not interested in regurgiMughal art, architectural motifs, tating what India is already literature, poetry, Sarasatic prints famous for." Lost City products, from Japan and early 20th century she says, are aimed at the globalAustrian artists and designers, minded individual. Lost City's products are sold The fabrics are created by a through showrooms in New York, group of about 100 aJ.tisans in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas. Lucknow. First, the yarn is hand Mr. Durrani grew up in ~ dyed and the designs are sketched Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, while on tracing paper, which can take Ms. DUITaniis from Kashmir. As up to a week depending on the second cousins, they met during intricacy of the pattern. The artvacations and their parents often work is needle-pricked by hand .•• and the perforated design is plintjoked they would get them married when they grew up. Now "it's ed on to fabric stretched on a ~ .~ not a joke anymore. It's real," K wooden frame. The aJ.tisans then says Ms. Durrani, who graduated Afshan Durrani draws on a range of inspirations to design Lost sit around the frame and embroiCitl/s hand-embroidered fabrics. from the University of Lucknow. der the design. Their seven-year-old daugh"The typical reaction in ter, Laila, considers herself a global citizen and speaks Hindi, America is, 'This is too beautiful to be hand-embroidered.' But besides English. Having spent all her summers in India, she can when an artisan pours his heart and soul and skill into somealso read and write Urdu. thing, the result has to be beautiful," says Ms. Durrani. "She has two goldfish in New York-Cat and Mouse. So is it difficult to get clients to look beyond the exotic aspect Unfortunately Mouse died [recently]. Laila also has many rabof Indian designs? "No .... There's much more to India than bits, birds and fish in her home in Lucknow. Her favorite music dancing elephants and burning incense. It's Indians themselves these days is Rilo Kiley," says Mr. DUITani. [who] have to take the lead in upgrading the image of our counAn MBA from the University of Lucknow, Mr. Durrani starttry and its reality," she says. ed his career in New Delhi with Uptron (U.P. Electronics With products that seek to revive the vanishing alt of embroiCorporation Limited). He moved to Dubai with his family in dery, Ms. Durrani says Lost City is also an homage to all that is 1990, where he was marketing manager for Honda Motor Cars. being lost to commercialization and modernization. In fact, the "After five years in Dubai, both Afshan and I were restless recently launched Lost City Web site (http://lostcityproducts.com) and wanted to pursue our passions-art, music and fashion on a embodies the company's philosophy. At the heart of the site, large scale," says Mr. Durrani. So they resisted the urge to conwhich features obscure video clips, is the sumptuous fabric collectinue their "comfortable, predictable" lives and moved to New tion and the stories that inspired each design, including Rabeha York in 1995, where they both went back to school. Balkhi, an ancient Afghan princess who wrote poetry, and punk While Mr. Durrani got an M.A. in communications from the rocker Nick Cave. New York Institute of Technology, Ms. Durrani emolled at the What helps the Durranis, and so many other people of Indian Fashion Institute of Technology. He and Laila are American citi- origin, make a mark in the United States? "South Asians have a zens while Ms. Dun'ani has retained her Indian citizenship. solid work ethic, dreams, ambitions and a heIitage that is thouMr. Durrani's move to MTV was a seemingly natural step for sands of years old. How can they not do well?" says Mr. Dun-ani. a person who grew up with varied musical influences-Indian "America," says Ms. DlIJTani,"liberates you in more ways than classical, pop, rock, Bollywood-and who says that music is as one. Its freedoms extend beyond speech and dreams. Like India, it's important to him as food or water. "I watched MTV for the first a great country that lets you explore your full potential." time in Dubai and was blown away by the creativity of the brand and what it represented," he says. It was tough for him to get a
Hot Topics in .
ducation is one of the most significant political issues in the minds of many Americans. Few issues are as personal and controversial to citizens as deciding how their children should be taught. During elections, from local to federal, education is consistently one of the most hotly debated and influential topics in determining for whom an American decides to vote. The United States provides high-quality public education to all citizens as a right, rather than a privilege. Most children attend public (government funded) schools from kindergarten through high
school, also known as K-12 education. In short, the U.S. education system presupposes that education gives anyone the ability to succeed. The United States does not have a nationalized education system or a national curricula, so not only parents, but all voters have a say over how children are educated. Americans can vote for or against local taxes to fund schools, teachers and equipment. They also elect local school boards and state, city and county officials who decide how to spend the money and set policies on curricula and even dress and behavior. Also, most schools have organi-
zations made up of parents, teachers and sometimes students that work together to improve their school.
What education-related issues are debated? Curricula: • President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act has been the subject of much attention, particularly during the current election campaign. The Act seeks to make local school districts accountable for their students' performance as well as allowing more flexibility for parents to choose which school district their child attends. • The United States continues to be a nation of immigrants. The foreign-born now comprise 12 percent ofthe country's population and many do not speak English (mostly Spanish but also Mandarin, Tagalog, French, Vietnamese and many other languages). Some advocacy groups are pushing for bilingual education, but a majority of school districts use the English as a Second Language program to teach non English-speaking students. • Sex education is another issue of Above: Fourth graders at the non-public Allen Christian School in New York celebrate after winning a quiz. Left: Huy Nguyen, 5, learning to read English at a California school. State voters passed a proposition in 1998 to eliminate bilingual education because of its extra costs. But parents in some areas cast a vote of their own, exercising their right to request waivers and put their children back into bilingual classrooms. SPAN MAY/JUNE 2008
School Grades in the U.S. The first year of compulsory schooling begins for children at the age of five or six. They are then placed in year groups known as grades, beginning with first grade and culminating in 12th grade. When asked what grade they are in, typical American children are more likely to say "first grade" rather than "Grade One." Typical ages and grade groupings in public and private schools may be found through the U.S. Department of Education. Variations exist across the country.
Various optional, yet recommended programs such as Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Kindergarten
Ages vary Usually four years, referred to as Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. Vocational schools Post -G rad uate Night school for working adults
considerable debate. In most districts, it is covered in some fashion in the school curricula, but there is a constant debate between those who say students need it for health reasons, and those who contend it should be taught at home. â€˘ Another controversial topic is teaching how mankind began. While evolution is the standard theory taught in science classes, some religious groups argue that students should also be exposed to creationism, the view that God created the Earth and its occupants. This issue rose to national attention in 1999 when the School Board of the State of Kansas decided to eliminate evolution questions from state tests, and therefore the subject was not covered by many teachers. â€˘ Another debate concems religion in the classroom and what is allowed in a country where church and state are separate. Courts have been asked to rule on whether the Constitution allows the posting of the Ten Commandments, formal prayers in school and for religious or faith-based student groups to meet on school property. Funding: In addition to the No Child Left Behind Act's ability to affect federal funding to state and local school districts, there are debates on the question of who has to pay for public schools. Some taxpayers whose children attend private school claim it is unfair for them to fund an educational system they are not using. They argue that if their child attends a private school, they should be able to take the funds which the public school no longer needs and apply that money towards private school tuition in the fOlm of vouchers. However, tax proponents point out that every person pays property taxes for public education, not just parents of school-age children. Indeed, without it, public schools would not have enough money to remain open and the country would not be able to provide free
education to all. They argue that a public school system has many benefits such as producing a more educated and informed electorate, a more skilled workforce, and a better standard of life for all when most citizens are trained to reason and understand important issues . How did the U.S. education system develop? U.S. public schools have traditionally focused on assimilation into American culture-an important and necessary aspect for a nation comprised of immigrants from around the world. The country has come a long way since the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1870, only two percent of American schoolchildren graduated from high school. By 1900,31 states had passed laws requiring children to attend school until age 14. Teaching methods have also changed. In the past, lessons consisted of students reading aloud from their texts and emphasis was placed on rote memorization. Corporal punishment, such as hitting students for inconect answers, was common once but is now illegal and not tolerated. Higher education in the United States began in the 1600s. Many of the early colleges and universities were founded to train church clergy and many still operate today, offering liberal arts education to all. Between 1880 and 1885, more than 150 new colleges and universities were opened in America. One interesting federal government program to promote higher education was the land-grant initiative in the late 1800s. In this program, the federal govemment offered to give 12,140 hectares to each state, on the condition that they used the land (or proceeds from its sale) to Jessica Berry (left), president of the ParentTeacher Association of Booker T. Washington Academy in Lexington, Kentucky, visits the school to spend time with her five-year-old daughter, Alyssa Jones.
Formore information: No Child Left Behind http://www .ed.gov/nclb/landing. jhtml?src = pb Public education in the United States http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761571494A public_educationIn Jhe _united_states.html Display of religious symbols http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/issinfo/ clssrelsym.htm Ten Commandments Defense Act of 2003 http://thomas.loc.gov/ cgi-bin/query/z?c108: H.R.2045: establish universities. The University of California, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M are examples of higher education systems which were formed as part of this program.
Who makes decisions about how students are educated? While there is a federal Department of Education, it plays a relatively minor role in education policy in comparison to school boards and state governments. In fact, the Department of Education is the smallest Cabinet-level department, with only about 4,200 personnel. Local school boards are a common entry point for those seeking a career in public office due to their visibility and control over such an important issue. The effects of the decentralized approach to education were apparent from the country's founding. Different regions had different approaches, based on the needs and desires of the citizens. For example, regions such as Boston, New York and the rest of New.England had more need for their children to have formal education to meet the local demands of an industrialized workforce, and therefore wrote this into their state constitutions. Southern and western states, which were more rural and agricultural, needed this less, and many did
not address formal education in their constitutions until later. Today, however, all regions place high importance on excellent education for all students.
What is the most typical education route for American children? Many children begin their formal education at preschool, but it is neither mandatory nor widely funded. One large federal program known as Head Start funds and offers preschool to economically disadvantaged students in an effort to assist with educational development at early ages. Public school is usually compulsory from first through eighth grade (or age 14). These schools are tax supported and therefore students pay nothing to attend. Books are also free. If parents prefer and can meet some basic requirements, they can educate their child at home. This is referred to as "home schooling." Most students aim to receive their high school diploma (graduating from high school, or finishing 12th grade). After school, students can choose to enter the work force, or pursue further education such as college or vocational courses. Colleges are either private or state funded. Only a few are federally funded and the most well known of these are the service
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush with fourth and fifth graders from New York Public School 76 in September 2007, promoting the No Child Left Behind program. academies, which educate officers for the branches of the military. Community colleges are local education systems which provide a college degree at a much lower cost than other schools and often have flexible classes which allow students to attend at night-a key element for those who wish to work a full-time job or raise a family. Each state has a public university system, which is always nonprofit. College education in the United States is expensive-a typical year's tuition at a public university costs up to $13,000. Attending a private university or one outside the student's home state can cost double or triple that amount, and graduate education is usually even more expensive. Many schools offer financial aid or scholarships to attract students to their campuses, and many students work part-time to help with college costs.
Demian Smith, former special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in New Delhi, is a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.
U.S._l!re_SidentialCandidates' Views on Education Hillary Clinton
Clinton has criticized President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind program for alleged lack of funding, She says she will increase teacher recruitment and decrease the rate at which minorities drop out of high school. To make higher education more affordable, Clinton proposes providing a $3,500 tax credit for college students and increasing scholarships for those who commit to volunteering in the AmeriCorps program for a year after graduation.
McCain says that "schools can and should compete" for the best teachers, and reward teachers whose students do well. He believes that students shou Id have the option of switching public schools in order to receive the best education and that "all federal financial support must be predicated on providing parents the ability to move their children, and the dollars associated with them, from failing schools."
Barack Obama Obama says he would improve funding for the No Child Left Behind program. He also says he would "make math and science education a national priority" and increase recruitment of teachers in these subjects. In order to do that, Obama proposes four-year scholarships for those in college who promise to teach for at least four years after graduation. He pledges to implement a $4,000 tax credit for college students,
"Let's try Indian food for dinner!" ou'll hear these words more often now from average Americans. Even small towns like Eureka in California (population 42,000) have Indian restaurants-two, in fact. These bastions of spice are considered exotic and different, except for the fact that most of them are the same. Every restaurant has naan, chicken tikka masala and saag paneer on the menu, and those are what the customers usually order. Most of the other dishes are a mishmash of North Indian and Pakistani cuisine, with little representation of anything south of New Delhi. While tasty for sure, the offerings need an update. Indian food in America is now at an interesting evolutionary stage. Having gained wider acceptance, it is still seen as mostly buffet food, says Vikas Khanna, executive chef at Purnima restaurant in New York. This is because cunies are generally meant to be shared, not presented with fancy garnishes on individual plates, which is the image Americans seek from a nice restaurant. By using new kinds of ingredients, like asparagus, to take a south Indian dish like uttapam into the spotlight of Washington, D.C.'s theater district, or fusing the two countries' cuisines to please traditional diners in tony neighborhoods of Manhattan, Indian American chefs and hosts are working to expand the concept of Indian food. Culinary visionaries are doing amazing work across the country.
From top: Watermelon at Tabla restaurant; seared day boat cod at Tabla; aloo tikki chhole at The Bombay Club; tandoori platter at Purnima restaurant; shrimp curry at Purnima; and apple jalebis at Rasika.
From busboy to owner When 55-year-old Avtar Walia began his career 30 years ago as a busboy, he wondered why Indian food was not rated in the same category as French, Italian and Japanese as an ethnic cuisine. He soon found out: nearly every dish was created from exactly the same blend of spice-curry powder. "I have asked, 'Do you know exactly what curry means?' " says Walia. Most people think it is some kind of spice, and know nothing else about it, he says. Walia wanted to open a restaurant where the food was authentic but trendy. So he opened Tamarind in one of Manhattan's richest neighborhoods, where he made sure that the dishes were made with fresh ingredients, and, most importantly, presented well. "Good plating makes food look appealing, and it makes people want to eat," says Walia. When Tamarind started, he roped in Raji Jallepalli-Reiss as
Above: Rasika restaurant in Washington, D.C. Right: Tamarind's Avtar Walia has risen from a busboy to restaurateur during his 3D-year career. Far right: The dining area of Tamarind restaurant in New York.
his executive chef, to design the menu. She had run her own restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, and has been credited with originating the fusion of Indian and French cuisines before her death from cancer in 2002. Walia did not stop at the menu. He got Wid Chapman, a senior faculty member of the Parsons School of Design in New York City, to design Tamarind's interior as simple but elegant. He brought in custom-made, silver-plated platters from Rajasthan to use as dishes, and created intimate private booths for celebrity clientele. For him, a well-trained chef who can deliver consistent dishes is the most important element. Indian food, though behind other regional cuisines, "is catching on like wildfire," he says, noting that many American customers know the exact differences between roganjosh andjalfrezzi, and expect their food to be just as spicy as they have tasted in India.
Conquering the capital Ashok Bajaj's American restaurant, The Oval Room, is one of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's favorite restaurants in Washington, D.C. Conveniently located just a short walk from the White House, The Oval Room is across the street from Bajaj's flagship business, The Bombay Club. Open for 20 years, it was one of the first fine-dining Indian restaurants in the United States. Opening The Bombay Club was not easy, Bajaj says. Though he had run successful Indian restaurants in London prior to coming to America in 1988, he had to convince his first landlord that an Indian restaurant wouldn't ruin the building with bad smells. They thought, "It's going to stink," he says. Finally, Bajaj took the extreme step of flying the landlord to London so he could experience the potential of high-end Indian food. Only then did he get the space. Now he owns six Washington eateries, including a caviar bar and the more modem Indian restaurant, Rasika. "You've got to get away from the perception of ghee, heavy cream and oils," Bajaj warns. His philosophy of spices is that though 'O>tt 't ~<lt they should not be elim"Our portions are inated, they should also smaller-we're trying TO consolidate." not overpower the food. He noticed when he first arrived that everyone
would talk about how tasty the Indian sauces were, and not the food itself. "I want them to taste the main ingredient," he says. Though Bajaj likes to stick with local, fresh ingredients, there is one thing he gets from India: Kashrniri chillies. Nothing can match their color, sweetness and spiciness, so he has them specially flown in. His main chefs are Indian, too, and he tries to maintain authenticity in the food despite using novel ingredients Above: Ashok Bajaj owns six Washington eateries, including Rilsika. Above right: ChefVikas Khanna at Purnima in New York. Below: Bajaj's Bombay Club in Washington, D.C.
including the Leela Group in Mumbai, Maharashtra. In New York, he worked as a dishwasher before climbing up the ladder to be an executive chef. The main obstacle for the average Indian restaurant, he says, is fear. "All my life I'll be categorizing myself as Indian," but that doesn't mean he can't get out of a comfort zone and try new dishes and new ways of thinking about the food.
Even though he now runs Tabla, arguably the most famous Indian fusion restaurant in America, Floyd Cardoz never thought he would come to the United States. A Goan who grew up in Mumbai and trained in Switzerland, he dreamed of going to Australia. "I came purely by chance," he says, after filling out a form inconoectly in his bid to emigrate to Australia. As he waited for the confusion to be rectified, the U.S. visa his brother had sponsored for him came through, and he found himself in New York in 1988 for his sibling's wedding. He gave himself a few months and a hard deadline: If he had no job by that date, he would go back to India. Cardoz ended up being hired the day before he would have flown home. After first working in some traditional Indian restaurants, he took a demotion and entered a French-Asian fusion restaurant as a salad chef to learn new
like asparagus. And the love of Indian cuisine spills over to his other establishments: The Oval Room featured a lobster vindaloo this Valentine's Day.
techniques and how to blend Below: Chef Floyd Cardoz at Tabla. cuisines. "I always wanted Bottom: Tabla's dining room. to do this," he says, remembering how he once created a curry for his father with rosemary and Riesling wine added to it. Now as executive chef and co-owner of Tabla, ~ which he opened in 1998 with restaurateur Danny ~ Meyer, he marries east ~ and west, like traditional ~ American crab cakes lacedยง with Indian spices and ~ served with pappadams. Or ~
Catering lor celebrities Vikas Khanna, a rising star in the swirling world of New York restaurants, is also an object of desire. He talks, rather embarrassed, about a photo shoot he recently did with his shirt off for a "sexiest man" feature in People magazine. The 36-year-old chef has been featured on a popular American TV show, Kitchen Nightmares, where he swooped in with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to save an ailing Indian restaurant in Manhattan. Now he works there as an executive chef, and spends his spare time managing special banquets for celebrities like Salman Rushdie, setting up charity fundraisers and writing cookbooks. Khanna has some off-the-wall ideas. He makes tandoori peaches, chocolate idli souffle and paan flavored kulfi. But don't call his food fusion: "Indian food itself is so fusion," he says, having so many influences over the centuries. Trained in classical French cooking, he tries to create "a little surprise element" by keeping the ingredients traditional but using different methods to prepare the dishes. He's not shy about boasting of the time he floored magazine food critics by using a French method of stuffing the skin of chicken (while leaving the whole thing intact) with masala and mushrooms, then cooking it in a tandoor. Khanna's fingers, spotted with knife scars, are tribute to his perseverance. Due to a childhood accident, his left eye has a clot that hinders his eyesight, so he's constantly cutting his fingers as he cooks. A foundation he started, Sakiv (South Asian Kid's Infinite Vision) creates awareness about vision disorders in children and sponsors Braille libraries across the world. Before he came to the United States in 2001, Khanna ran a successful family catering business in Amritsar, Punjab, for many years, and also worked at some of India's best hotels
~ ~ .~ I ~I
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Maya Kaimal with her line of cuny bases and chutneys that are sold in supermarkets across the United States. steamed red snapper with a lime-jaggery glaze. Traditional Indian breads are served at the beginning of the meal, just as in traditional American eating, and his staff is well-educated to explain every dish to newcomers-a key to acceptance and success, he says. "If you have good service, you can make the food taste better," says Cardoz, 47. "Translating is important." He says the toughest skill to teach trainee American chefs is how to cook the spices and "coax the flavors out," something not so common in Western cooking.
Maya Kaimal's father is an Indian physicist with a passion for cooking. "He approached cooking like he approached physics," she says, and would consider a dish a failure unless he could replicate perfectly from a recipe. Little did Kaimal, a former photo editor now based in Woodstock in New York state, know that she would eventually turn her father's favorite pastime into her own successful business. After being laid off from a food magazine in 2002, Kaimal, 42, started her own line of fresh, refrigerated curry PLEA~EALl.tJW bases and chutneys that are sold in 111REÂŁ Tn Sf X supermarkets across the United States. wc:el<S FO~ Just add meat and vegetables to her
tamarind curry, and you can have fresh, home-style South Indian tastes half a world away from Kerala. But it wasn't easy. When she set out to make Indian food that reflected her own experience, she had to learn about manufacturing, packing and rulming a business from a knowledge base of zero. First, she perfected her recipes at home. As she gathered knowledge at food conventions, she slowly started scaling them up to three liters, 37 liters, and beyond. Then she hit a proverbial wall: onions. "Onions were a real chalienge .... Westem equipment is not made for Indian food," Kaimal says, laughing as her twin daughters played outside her living room. Browning onions, a key step in Indian cooking, no matter the region, was a big problem when done on a large scale. Most American equipment in food processing plants consists of large kettles, and onions need a flat surface with lots of contact with heat. Luckily, she ended up meeting a plant manager who was ready to take on the challenge. After much experimentation and some equipment modification, the plant now browns onions for about nine hours on a large stove surface when making Kaimal's products. It's labor intensive, but worth it to get that authentic taste, Kaimal says. Her line includes both North Indian curries such as karma, and South Indian flavors she remembers from her childhood. Her bestsellers reflect that range: coconut and tikka curry flavors are the most popular. As she has found, "There is a huge appetite for Indian food among Americans. They'll eat what you give them, they'll eat so much more." Sebastian John is an Indian writer and photographer based in Washington, D. C.
Uttam Kumar Basak
Intimacy, Etching, 38 x 20 cm
ontemporary Indian printmaking is on display for the first time at Otterbein College's Frank Museum of Art in Westerville, Ohio, in an exhibition titled "Current Impressions." Selected by New York-based printmaker and curator Vijay Kumar, the 35 prints are in different media including etchings, serigraphs, woodcuts, engravings, aquatints and lithographs. There were three criteria when Kumar asked the 29 artists to submit their work. First, the prints had to be made by traditional, hands-on methods. "I did not want to include digital (computer-generated) images or scanned-image reproductions," he says. Second, the prints had to be on paper no larger than 56 by 76 centimeters, to make them easy to ship to the United States. Third, the prints had to be recent, done since 2004.
Walter D'Souza Tricycle Woodcut, 43.18 cm x 55.88 cm
Bhawani Shankar Sharma Color Symphony Woodcut, 64 x 52 cm
"I am especially pleased that several artists produced a new print series in response to the invitation to submit work for this exhibition," says Kumar, whose first memory of printing dates back to his childhood in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, where he saw woodblock printing on fabric. The works depict a variety of themes and sensibilities. While Walter D'Souza says "Tricycle," which is part of his series "Ticket to Ride," is a comment about "the present scenario we are journeying through in the subcontinent," Hemavathy I Guha's "The Clown" lends itself to multiple inter- ~ f5 pretations with its use of the traditional clown z mask to show moods ranging from glee to pathos. "ยง~ ''1' ve tried to transform the subtle tones and rhythms of various musical compositions into visual forms," says Bhawani Shankar Sharma of his "Color Symphony." "The imagery in a few prints can identify their country of origin, but this is not true of most," says Kumar, who planned the show to be diverse in both style and theme. "Some work is humorous, some narrative, some mostly concerned with issues of composition and color. Images by several artists involve galaxies and outer space, many include figures, but all are quite persona!." So, from the rich hues of Uttam Kumar Basak's "Intimacy," the folk motifs in Shahid Parvez's "Friends" to the multidimensional perspectives in Yashpal Chandrakar's "Ten Windows," the exhibition provides a glimpse of the varied palette contemporary Indian printmaking has to offer. "I attempt to create humor in my work, which comes from the perception and depiction of the incongruities of existence which are always present in the folk and tribal art forms from which I draw my inspiration," says Parvez. "I look at the scene with a child's curious mind, full of richness as well as complexity. The overall treatment is a subtle blend of an adult's experience and a childlike fantasy." Other artists participating in the exhibition include Dattatraya Apte, Rajan Fulari, Hanuman Kambli, Vijay Kumar, Avijit Roy and K.R. Subbanna. The museum is located in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, in the house of Lillian Frank, who taught art, theology and philosophy at Otterbein College for 29 years. With the help of her husband, Paul, she converted the former Salem
Yashpal Chandrakar Ten Windows Etching, 58.42 x 43.18 cm SPAN MAY/JUNE 2008
Shahid Parvez Friends Serigraph, 35.56 x 45.72 em
Dattatraya Apte Star Gazing Intaglio, 30 x 50 em
Hemavathy Guha The Clown Woodcut, 55 x 45 em
Frank Museum of Art http://jsp.otterbein.edu/depVart/frank/museum .htm I Vijay Kumar http://www.iaac.us/erasi ngJ5oroers20081 curator.fitm
K.R. Subbanna Remains in Moonlight Etching, 19 x 27.5 cm
Evangelical Church, built in 1877, into a residence in 1956. The structure was given to the college after she died in 1999, for the purpose of creating a museum for the college's collection. It opened in 2004. According to museum director Nicholas Hill, small private colleges in Ohio agreed to focus their art collections in particular areas many years ago in order to maximize their resources. "The Frank Museum of Art has a mission of exhibiting global art exclusively. We have had several. .. of African and Japanese works but nothing from India," says Hill. "Another reason for the selection of an Indian exhibition was that there is a large Indian American population in the Columbus, Ohio, area." The exhibition, which is open from April 2 to June 6, came about because of Hill's contact with Kumar at the
Manhattan Graphic Center in New York City. Kumar had coordinated a major U.S.-Indian print exhibition in 2004-06 that traveled to India, and Hill's work was included in the show. Later, when Hill was planning upcoming events he invited Kumar to curate the Indian print exhibition. Kumar has planned several Indian art shows in the United States, particularly in the New York City region. 'There are now more than 10 galleries in Manhattan that show primarily contemporary art from India. Many of their clients are of Indian heritage," he says. Recently, long-established galleries like Marlborough in New York City have also begun exhibiting work by Indian artists. "Whether or not Indian contemporary art will come to the mainstream of American art only time will tell," he says. ~
& three albums are classics." What is interesting is that they are at
~ the same time outraged by Dylan allowing his music to be used ~ in a lingerie advertisement. The post-modernization of Dylan does not go down well! 8 Lal follows the literary evolution of Dylan closely and feels that today his compositions are far more Spartan as opposed to "the catalogue-like string of images that abounded in Dylan's lyrics earlier." The crafting of the words, especially the minimalism, reminds Lal of Irish-born playwright Samuel Beckett. Others in this part of the world find a connection between Dylan and Bengali poet Jibananda Das, the antithesis of Rabindranath Tagore. "Dylan was everything the Beatles were not. ... He never had a mellifluous voice ... ," says Gaurab Pandey, a filmmaker from Kolkata now working in Mumbai. It's this absence of a pleasant and soothing tone that prompts Pandey to compare Dylan with the iconoclastic Das. "But he let us down by switching from being a wandering minstrel to a recording artiste," laments Pandey, not responding quite the same way as Lal to Dylan's latest works. Pandey echoes the prevalent sentiments of Dylan's left-inclined intellectual Bengali fans who have felt let down by him at various turning points in his musical career. Unlike the students who write test papers on Dylan at Jadavpur, E
Lou Majaw began Shillong's musical tradition of celebrating Bob Dylan's birthday in 1972.
f Lou Majaw brought Bob Dylan to the hills of Shillong, then Anjan Dutt took him to the heart of West Bengal. Dutt reinvented Dylan's lyrics in Bengali and celebrated the anger and the angst of the rebel poet by taking it closer to the grassroots of his home state. "The middle class Bengali is my target audience," says Dutt, 55, who has traversed from being a journalist to an advertising copywriter to a theater director to a filmmaker and actor, and he has carried his best-loved music along with him, "Every Bengali is strongly grounded in literature and alive to words," Dutt comments on the reason why his Dylan adaptations have found a niche. Initially, it was more Dylan's raspy voice that drew Dutt, who had been bred on Elvis Presley and a bit of the Beatles in a Darjeeling school. "At 16, Dylan redefined music for me," says Dutt. "The author-singer was a new concept to those of us born into a tradition of Rabindra Sangeet and film hits of the '50s." Apart from the sheer strength of the lyrics and the unconventional voice, Dutt was lured by the intellectual equity that Dylan had brought to rock music. In the '80s, when Dutt entertained friends and family with a rudimentary acoustic guitar and growled out It Ain't Me, Babe at informal parties, little did the
young man know that he was going to make it big as an "alternative" singer. He was a long way from the released recently Ami Aar Godot, which is his Bengali adaptation of Dylan numbers sung along with his son, Neel. In fact, Dutt's first formal concert was held in an open space that belonged to a theater group. It was a kind of test-marketing of his love for contemporary western music, which had previously found expression only in his theater projects. Dutt, wearing dark glasses at midnight, belts out original Dylan numbers regularly in one of Kolkata's most popular pub and rock hubs, Someplace Else. Dutt has also taken his version of Dylan to Bengalis living in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New Jersey and Boston. His trans-creation of Knockin' on Heaven's Door was a favorite with these audiences in the United States. Today, what Dutt values most in Dylan is his courage to negate himself again and again, to question his beliefs and dare to reinvent himself. Dutt has a soft spot for Dylan's love songs, which "are not temporal and celebrate partings" ~ o This year, once again, Dutt and his son will zgj find time from their tight filmmaking schedule ~ to celebrate Dylan's birthday. -R.D. ~
the political activists waving placards and looking for answers blowing on the Gangetic plains are mostly unaware of the other works of the poet who penned the unforgettable Blowin' in the Wind lyrics and became America's celebrated "rebel" singer. That perhaps is a testimony to Dylan's greatest success; a single song written and sung by him taking on a life of its own in another corner of the world, independent of the charismatic, media-created image of the star. Dylan perfOln1S more live shows now than he did 40 years ago and fans wait in long queues for up to 12 hours to get tickets to his sell-out concerts. Lou Majaw, India's surrogate Dylan, is rocking as well. He is the live wire who in 1972 transpo11ed Dylan to Shillong and began the Meghalaya capital's musical tradition of celebrating Dylan's birthday, May 24, in an unpretentious concert hall. Today, the musical event draws audiences from across the coun-
ing the process of deifying Dylan in Shillong when he put on stage the first Dylan birthday show to honor the musician who had influenced him profoundly. "Majaw is a rock artiste in his own right and a fine one at that," says documentary maker Ranjan Palit. A Dylan buff himself, Palit wields an acoustic guitar with the same passion as a camera and regales his cast and crew with impromptu servings of Dylan's music at the close of a day's shoot. Although Pal it's film is in the can and the yearly trips to Shillong are no longer imperative, he feels that he has to be back again this year for the Dylan concert because, "It's like a pilgrimage." Majaw apart, Shillong pulsates with Dylan music. Out-oftowners like Anjan Dutt, a Bengali rock singer and filmmaker, and his son N eel, have sung the usual hits like A Hard Rain 50 AGonna Fall and Mr. Tambourine Man. Liz Cotton from New Delhi got the house rocking on a May 24 two years ago with 1
Guitarists perform Dylan's Knockin' on Heaven's Door in Shillong, Meghalaya, during an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the largest guitar ensemble on October 26, 2007.
try. Year after year, Majaw, along with musicians like Nandan Bagchi, Lou Hilt, Amit Dutta and Arjun Sen from Kolkata and Delhi, get together as the band Ace of Spades to put on a resounding show. As drummer Bagchi recalls, most Dylan fans of the '70s and '80s in this part of the world could not buy Dylan's music in Kolkata, so they copied cassettes of friends visiting from abroad. At that time India and Bengal were in the throes of antiestablishment movements and Dylan struck a chord in their hearts. Today, music stores in the city sell Dylan, if not every day, definitely every other day. "His songs lit up my life and gave it a lot of meaning," says Majaw, the grand old man with flowing white hair who calls his son "Little Dylan." Little did he know that he was start-
Shall Be Released and Mozambique. On October 26,2007, Shillong hosted an ensemble of 1,730 guitarists, trying to break the Guinness record held by 1,721 musicians from Kansas City, Missouri, who had gathered in that Midwest American city to play Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water the year before. Last fall, the Indian mountain air resonated with Knoclcin' on Heaven 50 Door, beating to the rhythm of every Meghalayan heart that's filled with love for Dylan. In Kolkata, this year we are waiting for the bilihday celebrations to begin. It's that time of year when we get to keep guessing what's coming our way, blowing in the wind. ----~ Ruma Dasgupta is a Kolkata-based communications consultant and freelance journalist.
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on Sesame Street
all, yellow Big Bird, roommates Bert and Ernie, monsters Telly and Zoe, Cookie Monster, Elmo and other Muppets of Sesame Street, the popular American television show for children, will have a new neighbor soon-a young Indian American who runs a self service laundry, called a laundromat. This new character, Leela, being played by Indian American actress Nitya Vidyasagar, will make her debut in August on America's Public Broadcasting Service television network.
"It feels wonderful to be part of the show. It is such a cultural icon for young children in America. I have always loved kids and I really believe in the transformative social and educational power of the arts in general and this show is an amazing example of it," says Vidyasagar, who lived in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore as a kid. Her parents emigrated to the United States when she was 12. The new character, Leela, is a product of two cultures, just like Vidyasagar, and the name is also
Above: Nitya Vidyasagar, who will make her debut on Sesame Street this August, with Muppet Abby. Below: Vidyasagar with Muppets SnUffij (left) and Big Bird. not an arbitrary choice; it was the name of Vidyasagar's grandmother Sesame Workshop, the producers of the show, describe Leela as young, vibrant, connected to her Indian heritage' and also a modern American woman with varied interests. She enjoys singing, dancing and generally helping out when called upon by her new friends on Sesame Street. How does she do the cultural balancing act? "I think finding the cultural balance in Leela is entirely informed by trying to find it in my own life. Leela's cultural identity is definitely a product of my own journey to bridge the gap between two cultures," says Vidyasagar, who lives in New York City. "As Leela develops, she seems to me to be an affectionate and fun-loving dreamer. Her friends and family are important to her She is quirky and kind, definitely a people person and she shares my passion for the arts." How did she win the role? "They
were holding auditions for a new, young character and I went for it. They were not specific about ethnicity but there were probably characteristi cs they had an eye out for in terms of the energy they wanted to add to the show," she says. Multiculturalism has been an integral part of Sesame Street and the inclusion of Leela is further proof of that. "I hope Leela serves as a role model and kids learn along with her as she learns from her neighbors. While she may not be furry or feathered, she adds to the diversity on the street," the actress says. She feels it's an absolute joy to work with the famous Muppet characters of the show. "They have been incredibly gracious and welcoming. I think the way we work and support each other is probably very similar to the way any group of actors work together" India has already seen its own Hindi version of Sesame Street in Galli Galli Sim Sim, launched in 2006 with funds from the United States Agency for International Development. "I have not seen it yet but I can't wait to," says Vidyasagar "I would love to stop by the next time I am in the countryl" ~
The son of immigrants, 21-year-old Henry Cejudo has overcome hardship to become the youngest U.S. wrestling champion in decades. Now he wants to be the best on the planet. he long, low-slung wrestling room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is not a welcoming space. There are no windows or air conditioning. Sweat streaks not only the mats but also the padding on the walls. During a typical two-hour practice session for the men's freestyle team, when the activity of roughly 30 wrestlers pushes the temperature well over [26 degrees Celsius], the atmosphere gets downright ripe. The only sounds, besides the commands of coaches, are the grunts of combatants, the thuds of falling bodies and the occasional yelps of pain. It is a room in which the weak don't stand a chance. In a far corner, Henry Cejudo is hard at work. [A two-time U.S. national champion, Cejudo won his third straight Pan American Championship title in March, but lost to Matt Azevedo in the U.S. National Wrestling Championship in April. He is now set for the Olympic trials in June.] At 55 kilograms, and a resident athlete at the Olympic Training Center since the fall of 2004, he has thrived in
Left: Henry Cejudo, the youngest U.S. wrestling champion in decades, is preparing for the Olympic trials in June. Right: Cejudo, (right, standing) wrestles Colombia's Fredy Serrano in the 55-kilogram class at the 2007 Pan American Wrestling Championship in San Salvador, EI Salvador. Cejudo won the gold.
Copyright ÂŠ 2007 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Sports lIIustrated magazine with permission of Time Warner Company.
an environment that has broken wrestlers with sparkling resumes from some of the best college programs in the United States. He punctuates every grueling practice by lifting weights or running a quick [five to six kilometers] around nearby Memorial Park afterward. Cejudo-who was born in Los Angeles, California, to then illegal immigrants from Mexico City who met in the United States-is the toughest wrestler in the room. He's also, by his sport's standards, just a boy-a few months past his 21 st birthday-and the youngest member of the U.S. national team. Cejudo (pronounced say-HOO-doh) is a prodigy of the sort rarely found in the U.S. freestyle program, which typically doesn't get its hands on wrestlers until they've completed their college careers. He burst onto the international scene in November 2005 while still a senior in high school, winning the New York Athletic Club Holiday International after defeating 2004 NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] champion Jason Powell of Nebraska in the quarterfinals and dominating junior world champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia in the semis. Five months later, Cejudo became the first high schooler to win a senior national championship since USA Wrestling became the sport's governing body in 1983. "He is the future of wrestling," says U.S. freestyle head coach Kevin Jackson. "He's going to win a lot of world and Olympic titles for us and for himself. We expect him to wrestle until 2012 or 2016 and dominate the world." At 5 feet 4 inches, Cejudo is a compact mass of muscle and focused aggression. Since he began wrestling in junior high, he Cejudo, top, takes control of Nathan Childers on the way to victory in a semifinal match in the state wrestling tournament in Denver, Colorado, in 2006.
has thought of little else but winning world and OLympic championships. Indeed, he is obsessed with those goals, driven by a desire to prove himself to the world, as well as to a father he never really knew. Jorge Cejudo-who also used the aliases Favian Roca, and Emiliano and Javier Zaragosa-was no stranger to trouble. Throughout the 1990s, he moved in and out of the California penal system for a variety of offenses. His crimes cost him more than his freedom; they also cost him his family. In May 1991, on the eve of his release from jail, Nelly Rico, the woman with whom he shared a home in south central Los Angeles, moved with her six kids to Las Cruces, New Mexico. The four youngest of those children (one girl and three boys) were Jorge's, including the baby, four-year-old Henry. "My mom didn't want to be around my dad because of the way he was," Henry says. The splintered family spent two and a half years in New Mexico before Nelly, now 48, moved them again, to Phoenix, Arizona. Often holding down two jobs, and mostly doing factory work, she struggled to make ends meet. She and her children maintained no permanent residence, sometimes staying in a house or apartment for only two months and sleeping four or more to a bed while sharing living space with other families and friends. "We were never finished packing," says Henry's older sister Gloria. "We'd move from upstairs to downstairs in the same apartment complex." In such close quarters (another sister, Christy, arrived in 1995) tempers were often on edge, and Henry fought frequently with his brother Angel, who was older by just 16 months. It was Angel who found his way to wrestling first, and Henry soon followed, thrilled, he says, with the idea that he could "get trophies for fighting." By the time he reached Phoenix's Maryvale High [School], he and Angel were dominating local competition. "Every time they left to go to a tournament, Mom ingrained in them that the way we lived should be a motivation to them," says Gloria. "She said that how [little] we had had nothing to do with who they were. They took that onto the mat with them. They still do." Angel was the star back then, graduating from Maryvale in 2004 with four state championships and a career record of 150O. He had scholarship offers from several college programs but no desire to continue going to school. When Dave Bennett, the national freestyle developmental coach for USA Wrestling, offered him a chance to join the resident freestyle program in Colorado Springs, he jumped at the opportunity. Bennett says that while he was arranging for Angel's arrival, somebody from Phoenix-he doesn't remember who-asked if Henry, then 17, could come along too. "And I thought, I like that idea," says Bennett. Henry, who'd just won his second straight Arizona state championship, was already on the radar in Colorado Springs. He had spent several weeks early in the summer of 2004 training at the [Olympic Training Center] with Patricia Miranda, who was a couple months away from winning Olympic bronze at [48 kilograms] in Athens in women's freestyle. She had first met Cejudo on a trip to Phoenix, during a training session at a local high school. "He kept taking me down," says Miranda. "He moved so well from position to position. Once we found out
inku Bhramdeen Singh, winner of a contest to find India's fastest baseball pitcher, has earned a $100,000 contract to train in Los Angeles, California, for one of America's leading sports leagues Joining him is runner-up Dinesh Kumar Patel. Singh and Patel will train under the sponsorship of JB. Bernstein, a talent scout for Major League Baseball. They will also get a chance to try out for a professional team for the 2009 season. The hunt was launched in India in December 2007 as part of the American sport's global search for talented athletes. The competition began with a tour of 20 cities, followed by qualifying rounds in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh, and the final in Mumbai. The contest offered up to $1 million for the winner if he could pitch three strikes above 151 kilometers per hour. However, Singh failed to make any strike in this bonus round. Congratulating Singh and Patel, U.S. Ambassador David C Mulford said, "This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for these young
From left: Rinku Bhramdeen Singh, winner of a contest to find India's fastest pitchers, looks on as runner-up Dinesh Kumar Patel is congratulated by U.S. Ambassador David C. Mulford in New Delhi. Standing with them is coach and interpreter Deepesh Solanki. men, but it's also a fantastic opportunity for Major League Baseball. In Major League Baseball there is a wide variety of participants from other nations,
how well he challenged me, we wanted to include him in my everyday training." When the Cejudo boys began their residency at the center at the start of the school year, they were assigned to separate dorm rooms and slept in their own beds for the first time in their lives. But wrestling remained at the center of their worlds. Henry couldn't get enough of the program, rising before 6 a.m. for individual workouts with resident freestyle coach Terry Brands, then running or biking to classes [eight kilometers] away at Coronado High School. After school he would return for freestyle practice. He also found time to wrestle for Coronado, winning two Colorado state championships to go along with his pair from Arizona. Angel, despite some initial success, has not fared as well. He has struggled with his weight (he wrestles in the [60 kilogram] class), as well as with the demands of raising a three-year-old daughter with his girlfriend, Angela. "He's trying to balance where he's at in life," says Bennett. Like his brother, Henry decided to forgo college in favor of training with the Olympic Training Center freestyle program. "It was never my goal to be an NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] champion," he says. His talent is perfectly suited to freestyle, which rewards aggressiveness. Cejudo's ability to create scoring opportunities from almost any position-he'll often I
For more infOrmation: Henry Cejudo http://www.themat.com/index.php?page=
Cejudo assures the United States an Olympic wrestling spot Iittp :l!www.ilit. comTamCieslap!2008/03/02/sports! WRE -Pan-Am-Championsh ips. php
but there has been no representation at this point of any magnitude from the great nation of India." http://www.themilliondollararm.com/index.php
drop to his knees before attacking-is unmatched on the U.S. team. "His hip [flexibility] is unbelievable," says Brands, a twotime world champion and the bronze medalist at [58 kilograms] at the 2000 Olympics. "He can do things that most guys can't or won't because they're so difficult." It is no coincidence that Cejudo began trying to reunite with his father at precisely the time he'd started making his family name one of the most prominent in American wrestling. How do you like me now, Dad? Nelly had always refused to say anything negative about Jorge, telling his four children that their father loved them very much. But her kids had spent nearly 20 years blaming him for all of the miseries they had endured. [In 2006], when Henry expressed an interest in going to Mexico City to see his father-with whom he had spoken on the phone only once in 15 years-his siblings talked him out of it. "We had called my father's family, and his sister said he was still messed up on drugs," says Gloria. "1 wasn't going to let Henry go and see him like that." He will never have another opportunity. Jorge Cejudo died of heart failure at his mother's home on May 9,  at age 44, the result, his family says, of years of drug and alcohol abuse. Any hope Henry held out for closure, for meeting the man who never saw him wrestle, is lost. "I should have done more," he says of his plans to visit his dad. "I just obeyed." Cejudo is still drawing motivation from his father, insisting his death will not be a distraction [to his Olympic goals]. ''I'm sure if he was at the tournament, he'd want me to win." There is enough anguish behind that statement to choke up the toughest man in any wrestling room. But Henry Cejudo-the toughest man on the U.S. team-does not cry. He simply says, "I've just got to win." ~ Mark Beech is a staff writer with Sports Illustrated.
Though no clear-cut scenario is predicted in "An Uncertain Truth," one truth seems evident. Because of the foul emissions from an unprecedented rise in the number of vehicles industries, factories and house~ hold appliances, the atmosphere is likely to be violated to the extent of making living miserable. The unhealthy climate changes are the result of the ignorance of humans who unashamedly consider themselves educated and wealthy. Of course, designs of the creator are enigmatic and he alone knows what to do, when, how and why.
Selvi Ignatia Baxter Chennai "It's Time to Make Peace with the Planet" is scary and alarming. There are a number of articles and books on global warming, but this gives the glaring truth that we have brought the Earth to the Intensive Care Unit.
i~~== , ----
N. Natarajan Vickramasingapuram, Tamil Nadu I'm happy to know the percentage of eligible women who actually voted surpassed the percentage of qualified men casting ballots. ThiS IS also like in India.
Nicky Cajetan Cardozo Mumbai The cover of the March/Ap ·1 . of SPAN· n Issue has fired my imagination and myself to cool down the Earth.
"America and the Muslim World," was launched at the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The Fulbright program is, undoubtedly, a useful program which brings a sea change in scholars like it did in me.
= Us Pol'
Editor's Note: Kidwai's book,
US Policy TowardsSouth Asia: Focus on Sixty Years, was released in April in New Delhi
1\ • Sia
The Urgency of
Vaskar Das Naida, Uttar Pradesh The cover of the March/April issue of SPAN does not reflect any idea of climate change; it appears more like a laundry churner
M. Saleem Kidwai New Delhi As a Fulbrighter, I read with interest Jane E. Schukoske's article "Cultural Ambassadors: The Impact of Fulbright in India" This program has been instrumental in forging intimate and durable relationships between people of different countries. Fulbright links provided me with opportunities to participate in academic programs in many countfles. Moreover, on the sad demise ot my mother, the Fulbflght community expressed their condolences and shared my grief and sorrow,. They also lauded my academic works. Second, alter my participatIOn In Fulbright's Visiting Specialist program on Islam, a new course,
Mohan Singh Amritsar, Punjab The color orange on the cover of SPAN suggests a seething oven reducing every achievement of man to ashes and points to global warming.
Z. Munshi Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir
The Impact 01fulbright
"Cultural Ambassadors: The Impact of Fulbright in India" by Jane E. Schukoske is a good presentation. It was fascinating to read something informative on cultural ambassadors from the U.S. Who among the educationists or people associated with education is not aware of the great philanthropist and humanist-Fulbright. Most of our top universities and technical institutions owe their excellence to these cultural ambassadors from the U.S who have been working in them from time to
time. As teachers, we Indians could get a lot of exposure to the latest US technology and innovative methods of learning and teaching both scientific and non-scientific topics.
Visitors at the Landmarks of New York exhibition at the American Center in Kolkata. The 81 black and white photos provide a glimpse of New York from the 1640s to the present and commemorate the 40th anniversary of a law that required preservation of icons such as the Chrysler and Flatiron Buildings, the New York Public Library and the Ellis Island Immigration Center. The exhibit also traveled to Jamshedpur and will go to Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and New Delhi.
Photographing the Digital Realm, an exhibition of works by contemporary American artist Dennis Landi, is on display at the American Center in New Delhi until June 16. Landi, a New Delhi-based software engineer, uses technology in innovative ways to create a new breed of photographic canvases and ceramic tiles. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
American basketball coach J.D. Walsh-with
Michael Owen, U.S. Consul General for Mumbai-at a training session at the YMCA in Mumbai in April. Besides teaching kids the technical aspects of the game, Walsh gave pointers to coaches and interacted with basketball players in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata. Based in New York, Walsh uses sports to teach teamwork, communication and healthy lifestyle choices.
A bust of Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, was unveiled at the American Center in New Delhi by former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral in May The bust was donated by Anup Singh, Saund's nephew. Also present was Steven J. White, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. From 1957 to 1963, Saund represented his California congressional district.
Anis Siddiqi, an India-born American lawyer and alumni of Aligarh Muslim University, visited the university in April after more than 50 years. He met the vice chancellor and faculty, visited his old dorm and signed autographs for the university's students enrolled in the U.S. State Department-funded Access English program. His son, Adnan, is the U.S. Embassy counselor for cultural affairs.