Op Ed 20
Spiritual Awareness 30
NEW YORK EDITION Vol.4 No.19 August 27-September 2, 2011 60 Cents 4 Indians among MIT's top 35 innovators
Lokpal bill alone will not end corruption: Rahul Gandhi Anna’s Lokpal Battle, Page 12
TheSouthAsianTimes.info Arundhati Roy blasts Anna Hazare’s populism Anna's Lokpal Battle, Page 19
Anna to end fast if Parliament passes resolution
Apple founder Steve Jobs to step down as CEO Business, Page 24
Support for Anna at I Day Parade NYC
Anna’s conditions: Lokayuktas in states, Citizen’s Charters for all govt departments, and lower bureaucracy in ambit. Amid stalemate, Parliament to meet on Lokpal issue today
Even after 11 days of fasting on water only, Gandhian Anna Hazare was unbending on his anti-corruption crusade.
New Delhi: On his 11th day of hundger strike, Gandhian Anna Hazare has written yet another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, promising to end his fast if the Parliament passed a resolution on three issues highlighted by him that would help lessen the sufferings of the common man against corruption. The three issues are appointment of Lokayuktas in states, preparation of citizens' charter by each government department and inclusion of lower bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal. However, he made it clear that his agitation against corruption will continue till all the demands of the Jan Lokpal Bill were met. Meanwhile, Parliament was convened for a special sitting Saturday in a bid to end the dragging fast by Anna Hazare even as Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said that a Lokpal bill could not alone end corruption, prompting Team Anna to hit back. The 74-year-old Hazare looked far weaker Friday on the 11th day of his hunger strike that has galvanized tens of thousands across the country and sparked a war in parliament between the Congress and the opposition. Calling his suggestion “a game-changer”, Gandhi said: “Witnessing the events of the last few days it would appear that the enactment of a single bill will usher in a corruption free society. I have serious doubts about this belief. “An effective Lokpal law is only one element in the legal framework to combat corruption. The Lokpal institution alone cannot be a substiContinued on page 4...
Prepare for Hurricane in LI Hurricane Irene is expected to make a landfall between New Jersey and Cape Cod in Massachusettes as Category 1 storm. New York City and, in particular Long Island, are in its path. The authorities have issued warnings to prepare well in advance for eventualities like flooding and electric outages. Subway and public transport in NYC and NJ will be shut starting around noon Saturday. See page 3 and 4 stories for more.
Support for the Anna Hazare led Anti-Corruption movement in India has gripped NRIs all over the world. At the India Day Parade held on August 21 in Manhattan, a group of Indian Americans also marched to express their solidarity for the movement back home. (Photo: Ashok Vyas & Sheila Vyas)
XUSOM celebrates 21st White Coat Ceremony New York: On August 15, Xavier University School of M e d i c i n e (XUSOM) Aruba celebrated its 21th White Coat Ceremony at St Francis Hospital’s DeMetteis Center for Cardiac Research and Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) Education, in Aruba President Ravishankar Bhooplapur with his Greenvale, NY. medical school students at the White Coat ceremony In the annals of medical education, the White sciences and patient interaction. Coat, the attire physicians have Each student was called to the worn for hundreds of years, sym- stage and was formally “cloaked” bolizes a rite of passage from the in a White Coat by former practicpre-clinical sciences portion of a ing physicians, Dr. Benjamin Continued on page 4.... student’s education to the clinical
Tristate Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
Hurricane alert: Mayor tells New Yorkers to plan ahead New York : Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging New York City residents living in low-lying areas to line up a place to stay on high ground ahead of possible evacuations this weekend due to Hurricane Irene. Bloomberg said Thursday that he expected to make a decision by late Friday whether residents in the city's so-called "Zone-A" would need to evacuate ahead of the storm that's now expected to hit the city Sunday. That zone includes neighborhoods along the coast, including Battery Park City in Manhattan, Coney Island in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway in Queens. Crews are working to clean out catch basins to help with street drainage. The city has also moved police boats to station houses in low-lying areas, hired emergency forest contractors and topped off emergency generators with fuel. Hurricane Bill was the last hurricane to strike the tri-state area back in 2009 and reported damages were minor. However, New Yorkers have seen their fair share of flash flood warnings and record
Model of the paths of Hurricane Irene setting rain this summer which caused sewer overflows, outages, and traffic nightmares. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano also warned residents to be prepared: “This is a good time to get prepared again in your
Paryushan – Jains’ week of tapas starts aryushan is one of the two most important festivals for the Jains, the other being Diwali. Normally Svetambara Jains refer to it as Paryushan, while Digambaras call it Dasa Laksana. Paryushan means, literally, "abiding" or "coming together". It is also a time when the laity take on vows of study and fasting with a spiritual intensity similar to temporary monasticism. The duration of Paryushan is 8 days. It concludes with a time of confession and forgiveness for the transgressions of the previous year. The ritual of asking forgiveness is widened in scope to Jain scriptures say that Lord Mahavir include family, friends and all himself used to observe Paryushan. living beings. The culmination of confession is receiving forserve Paryushan. giveness from all living beings and At the Jain Center of America in also granting forgiveness to all be- Elmhurst, Queens, hundreds of ings. Jains are attending religious cereIn the scriptures it is described monies every day in the morning that Lord Mahavir also used to ob- and evening.
homes. There’s items that you should stock up on, those that need to move or possibly be evacuated, perhaps seniors should think about having their medications refilled and having enough on hand.”
US sticks to stand on disclosure of foreign accounts Washington: Sticking to its stand of not extending the Aug 31 deadline for disclosure of foreign accounts, US tax authorities said those who believe they have not violated the laws can opt out of the voluntary disclosure. But they would still have to make full disclosure before the amnesty program under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) ends Aug 31, a delegation of Indian community representative under the aegis of the National Indian American Coordinating Council was told Friday. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) told the delegation that that would expose them to scrutiny but if their case was genuine, they may escape penalty or pay a much smaller percentage of penalty. In the simpler cases of non-disclosure, tax payers can represent themselves to the agent after filing all amended statements during the optout procedure, they said. The delegation headed by Thomas Abraham, founder president and chairman emeritus of the Global Or-
ganization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), met the IRS officials to convey the community's concerns regarding OVDI. It stressed that their collective survey of the Indiana American community revealed a very high level of distress verging on panic as most have only recently found out that they are in violation of the law. The delegation pointed out that the penalty of 25 percent on the highest balance over the eight years span between 2003 and 2010, was totally out of proportion to the presumed wilful violation. "Such a level of penalty itself violates the principle of proportionality on which the US law rests," it said. Also IRS agents who deal with the tax payees are not empowered to separate wilful non-compliance from innocent non-compliance. The delegation also shared the community's fear of being singled out as targets of IRS inquiry and suggested that as a first and immediate step, the IRS can empower the agents with discretionary judgment.
Relief for CG Prabhu Dayal in maid case New York: A former domestic help who accused Indian Consul General in New York Prabhu Dayal of making sexual advances, has now dropped the "sexual harassment" charges in an 'amended complaint' filed in a US court here. Santosh Bhardwaj, 45, had filed a forced labor-suit against Dayal on June 20 this year accusing him of treating her as a slave and making sexual advances. However, now a "First Amended Complaint" has been filed on behalf of Bhardwaj by her lawyers on August 12 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. In this amended complaint, the entire 'Sexual Harassment
and Escape' section has been removed. The complaint also drops the charges that Bhardwaj had to sleep in a small storage room in the Dayal residence in the city. Another line in the initial complaint that Bhardwaj was "forced to work even when she did not feel well" and that the Dayals "did not allow Bhardwaj to call her family in India from their house telephone" has also been removed in the amended complaint. Further, the line that read Bhardwaj "suffered severe emotional distress as a result of defendants' coercion and exploitation and defendant Prabhu Dayal's sexual advance" now reads "Bhardwaj suffered severe emotional distress as a result of defendants'
conduct" in the August 12 complaint. Apart from Legal Aid Society, another law firm Outten and Golden is now representing Bhardwaj. In the amended complaint, Bhardwaj has filed new charges of "retaliation," alleging that the Dayals "retaliated" against her for filing the suit. It said the Dayals tried to "intimidate" her from proceeding with the litigation by "calling for her deportation and contacting the relevant authorities to effectuate this." Dayal had earlier rubbished the charges leveled against him saying they were "complete nonsense. These are mischievous and malicious lies."
August 27-September 2, 2011
Prepare for Hurricane urricane Irene is predicted to hit the Tristate area on Sunday. Here is how to protect your family by being well-prepared against electric outages and other emergencies :
Have a portable disaster supply kit Water bottles, food, blankets and pillows, first-aid kit and any medicine you need, toiletries, flashlight and extra batteries, radio or NOAA weather radio, cash (ATMs may not be available for several days). Have a plan Know if your home is vulnera-
ble to storm surges, flooding and wind; have a safe room/area. The safest area may not be in your home, but may be a shelter in your community.Know the route away from danger. Some communities have hurricane evacuation zones. Secure your home. Forget about taping your windows (This will not stop any objects hurled through the air by 90 mph winds). Have plywood custom-cut to fit your The Bharatanatyam arangetram of windows and pre-drill holes in Sooriya Sundaram was held at the Palace the plywood for screws. Theater, Waterbury, CT on August 6, Custom shutters can also be 2011. The 16-year-old is a student of the made ahead of time. Also, Velliyambalam School of Dance and has remove all dead or loose limbs trained with Guru Kaliamamani Narthaki from trees and shrubs on your Nataraj for 9 years. She is a junior at property. Cheshire High School.
XUSOM celebrates 21th White Coat Ceremony Story Continued from page 1 Stalnaker, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Manuel Flores, Dean of Clinical Sciences at XUSOM. In attendance were Dr. J.G. Bhatt, XUSOM Chancellor, G.S. Narula, esteemed member of the Board of Directors, and Ravishankar Bhooplapur, President of XUSOM, as well as proud friends and families of the recipi-
XUSOM President Ravishankar Bhooplapur (left) and Chancellor J.G Bhat with the valedictorian Michelle Lim
ents. Dr. Ronald Brenner, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, graciously addressed the eager, young students on hard work and dedication towards their education. Special recognition was given to valedictorian Michelle Lim for her outstanding performance in her pre-clinical work. The honored recipients were: Mark Abdelmalak Naila Karim Priya Anand Sameer Kermali Husnain Bukhari Omar Khan Sandeep Khurana Tony Koshy Satish Punnyamurthi Michelle Lim Kimberly Roskam Sandeep Lotay Heshan Wijegunaratne Roshen Monichan Shola Aruleba Karen Nguyen Afreen Aleem Maulik Patel Chelsea Briggs Sapna Patel David Brual Vipin Philip Jared Chowdhury Leocardy Pierre Izuchukwu Efobi Monique Saran Priscilla Espinoza Mihir Shah David Ibrahim Alexander Trussler The White Coat Ceremony is celebrated following each 5th semester by Xavier University School of Medicine. The staff,
Warren Buffett to invest $5 billion in Bank of America New York/Charlotte : Warren Buffett will invest $5 billion in Bank of America, stepping in to shore up the company in the same way he helped prop up Goldman Sachs and General Electric during the financial crisis. Bank of America shares rose 15 percent to $8.03 in early trading, erasing a large part of the stock's August losses. The jump also makes the warrants for Bank of America shares that Buffett gets in the deal instantly profitable. Buffett and Bank of America said he made an unsolicited call to the bank on Wednesday morning, offering to make an investment. Even though the bank has said it did not need to raise capital, investors widely believed Bank of America needed
faculty and administration are very proud of this particular class of students and have very high hopes for all of them.University School of Medicine. The staff, faculty and administration are very proud of this particular class of students and have very high hopes for all of them. Anna Story Continued from page 1 tute for a comprehensive anti-corruption code.” Gandhi, 41, also suggested that the Lokpal be given constitutional status equivalent to the Election Commission. Gandhi’s speech caused an uproar. But even as he hailed the soldier-turnedactivist for articulating the feelings of disillusionment over widespread corruption in India, Hazare’s aides insisted that their Jan Lokpal bill should be passed first. Saying he too favored constitutional status for the ombudsman, Hazare aide Shanti Bhushan said: “First, let us at least have a legal (statutory) authority as demanded by Anna
more money and to show it could raise funds easily. The deal proved again that Buffett has become something of a lender of last resort to the financial system, as he did with Goldman and also GE. Buffett's role in aiding the economy and the financial system has become symbolically important given the lack of policy options left for the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve to stimulate demand. "This proves to the market that if the bank needs additional capital, which we don't believe they do, but if they needed to calm the market by raising capital, they could do it within 30 minutes with a quick call to Uncle Warren," said Sean Egan, managing principal of Egan-Jones Ratings.
Hazare.” Added Hazare confidante Kiran Bedi: “Show the intent behind these lofty ideas by taking the first step with the Jan Lokpal bill.” After another day of disturbances in the Lok Sabha, the government announced that parliament will function Saturday, indicating that varying versions of the Lokpal bill will finally be discussed. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a discussion in parliament on the various versions of the Lokpal bill under rules that entail voting. Concern continued to mount over the failing health of Hazare, who looked pale as he spent Friday mostly lying down. Occasionally he sat up and waved feebly to the thousands at the Ramlila ground. In New Delhi, a young man wearing an ‘I Am Anna’ T-shirt entered the parliament complex and On Wednesday and Thursday, small groups demonstrated outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence, prompting the authorities to shut down four Delhi Metro stations for a few hours.
Tristate Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
4 Indians among MIT's top 35 innovators Washington, DC: Two Indians and two persons of Indian origin figure among Top 35 Innovators under 35 in the latest list of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Technology Review, the world's oldest Technology Magazine established in 1899. Ajit Narayanan, Invention Labs, Chennai and Aishwarya Ratan, Yale University, who were part of TR35 India Winners announced in March 2011, have made it to the annual list of people who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology. The honorees are blazing new paths in a wide range of fields, including medicine, energy, communications, IT, consumer technology, entertainment, and robotics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, based institution announced Wednesday. Chennai-based Ajit Narayanan,
Designed by Aishwarya Ratan to help rural microcredit lenders keep better records, this slate digitizes entries as they are handwritten in a ledger, then displays and speaks the recorded amounts.
Piya Sorcar for Teachaids software that can be localised to teach taboo topics
Ajit Narayanan with his affordable speech synthesizers
Bhaskar Krishnamachari for smarter wireless networks
30, was selected for his work on affordable speech synthesizers He is currently working with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to improve the quality of the speech synthesis. He also plans to use mobile app stores to distribute a version of his
software with about 90 percent of the full Avaz system's functionality. Aishwarya Ratan, 30, was working with Microsoft Research in Bangalore when she won the prestigious honor for her work on converting paper records to digital in real time. Ratan has since moved to
Yale University but the NGO that she was partnering with continues to test the slate in villages. Two winners of Indian origin include Bhaskar Krishnamachari, 33, University of Southern California who has been selected for his work on smarter wireless net-
works and Piya Sorcar, 33, for Teachaids software that can be localized to teach taboo topics. The TR35 will present their work and be honoured at an awards ceremony during the 2011 EmTech MIT conference, taking place Oct 18-19 at MIT's Media Lab, USA.
Pakistani man, Indian girlfriend charged for killing wife New York: A Pakistani man and Jersey when she was shot at severhis Indian- origin girlfriend have al times. While Parvaiz was also been charged with plotting to injured in the attack, their son was murder the man's 27-year-old unharmed. The couple also has a wife in New Jersey. Kashif 5-year-old son. According to Parvaiz and Antoinette Stephen, authorities, Parvaiz hired Stephen both 26, have been accused by to kill his wife. He had told her to the police of plotting the murder shoot him as well in the shoulder of Nazish Noorani and conspirand leg so that the police would ing to make it look like a hate not suspect him. Parvaiz had inicrime.Stephen, a Massachusetts tially told the police that he and resident, is being held on a $ 5 his wife were attacked by a white million bail, Morris County man, a black man and a third man Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said. whose race he did not know. Parvaiz, who has been charged According to the authorities, with murder, endangering the during his marriage Kashif had welfare of a child, conspiracy been unfaithful; he also had a and other crimes, is being held record of violent behavior Co-accused on a million dollar bail.The two towards his wife and other Antoinette Stephen are yet to be arraigned. Stephen women. The couple’s marital was transferred from a jail in Framingham, problems were known to the family. Noorani’s Massachusetts to the Morris County sister had stated that the signs of abuse were Correctional Facility in Morristown. present but no one expected that it would Stephen waived her right to an extradition escalate this far. hearing in Lowell District Court in In a text message to her brother Kaleem, Massachusetts on Friday, when she was Noorani had said, “I can’t talk to him cause he charged with plotting the August 16 murder of abuses me…...he does not want to live with Noorani. me and kids get scared of him sometimes. I Noorani was walking with Parvaiz and their am so tired of it ……I don’t know what to do three-year-old son near the Boonton, New about it…. someday you will find me dead
NJ's Emily Shah named first runner-up in Teen World Pageant Houston, TX: Emily Anila Shah, representing India, was named first runner-up out of nearly 30 contestants vying for the crown of Miss Teen World 2012 during the pageant Aug. 5 at the Hilton Post Oak Grand Ballroom here. Gabriele Marinho was crowned the winner of the title. After a week of rehearsals, the young women competed in swimsuit and evening gown competitions as well as a panel-style interview with the judges. Shah, a 16-year-old Indian American junior at Edison High School in New Jersey, has been involved in dancing and photography as well as other pageants. Last year, she held the title of Miss Teen New Jersey-World and later went on to becoming Miss Teen India-World.
Shah enjoys contributing to various charities and mentors several teens at hospitals and children’s organizations. Currently, she is a Emily Shah spokesperson for the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation.Shah speaks English, Gujarati and Hindi, and has been attending film and acting school since the age of 8 in New York City, Mumbai and Los Angeles. She teaches dance to little children. Shah hopes to study film making as well as continuing participating in pageants.
cuz of Kashi …… He wants to kill me.” The Domestic Harmony Foundation in a press statement said, “We urge our community to step up and speak out about domestic violence, and support and endorse organizations that are working towards ending this epidemic. What is even more heartbreaking for our
community is that this cold blooded murder happened in the holy month of Ramadan.” According to FBI statistics, each day an average of three women are murdered by an intimate partner.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam celebrates silver jubilee By Nupur Joshi New York: The Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (AVG) located in Saylorsburg, PA has become a home away from home for hundreds of members of the Hindu community from across the country. On Friday, August 19, 2011, the Gurukulam initiated its 3-day celebration for the silver jubilee of its existence. The institution of Vedanta and Sanskrit was established in 1986 by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati in order to provide people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to study Hindu religious texts in English. The celebration included various dance and vocal performances. The first of the series was a Carnatic vocal performance by Sri Maharajapuram Ramachandran. Ramachandran exhibited an exemplary flexibility in his voice. Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati remained in awe throughout the entire performance and Ramachandran ended the night by performing some of Swamiji’s own
Pandit Jasraj and Tripti Mukkerji with Pujya Dayanand Saraswati ji compositions including “Bho Shambho”. The following day saw a number of events including a talk by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a Dakshinamurthy Mula Mantra Japam, a performance by the AVG Youth Group, a Carnatic vocal concert by Sharada Shashidhar, and a Hindustani vocal concert by none other than renowned vocalist Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj. All the performances were
outstanding. Swamiji’s satsangs were enlightening as they are very well known to be and the Japam was very well executed with the help of many volunteers. The AVG Youth Group worked under the guidance of Smt. Savithri Mani to put on a patriotic spectacular that touched the hearts of many members of the audience. Sharada Shashidhar also impressed many with her sweet voice and exceptional grasp over
American Telugu Association celebrates I-Day in NY New York: American Telugu Association celebrated Indian Independence day on 20 August 2011 in New York. The theme was to explain India's independence, achievements, bring awareness on Indian Culture and tradition to the next generation Indians. The program that was held at Akbar Restaurant started with a welcome address by Madhu Sudan Reddy followed
by American and Indian National Anthems sung by children. The telugu poet Vaddepally Krishna spoke about India and Indian Independence in his poetic speech. Patriotic dance and songs were presented by young children. A slide show was presented to highlight how Independence was achieved and India's progress. Dr Rajender Jinna, President of ATA
in his speech highlighted the importance of promoting Indian culture and tradition to the children by Indian Organizations. During the occasion Dr.Jinna honored Telugu poet Vaddepally Krishna and the AAPI President Dr.Sunita Kanumuri who expressed willingness to partner with ATA to promote health awareness and health education for the community.
Akanksha Foundation conferred ‘NGO Of The Year’ award New York, : The Akanksha Foundation has been recognized as ‘NGO of the Year’ for 2010 in the large award category for The India NGO Awards, a unique national competition that celebrates and rewards the best non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by showcasing examples of best practice and successful resource mobilization. The Awards, co sponsored by The Resource Alliance and The Rockefeller Foundation focus on professional management, innovation in local resource mobilization, and the effectiveness of the organization’s activities in improving the lives of the people they serve. More than 210 organizations applied for the India NGO Awards. All entries received were put through
a stringent, three-level selection process and one organization in each budget category was awarded “NGO of the Year.” “This is a huge achievement for The Akanksha Foundation, and it gives us a great sense of pride to be recognized on a national level for our efforts to educate children from low-income communities for the past 20 years,” says Vandana Goyal, CEO of the Foundation. “In addition to the award, our organization has been invited to participate in the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York this September, and we’re hoping to build relationships and create partnerships that highlight our work on a global platform.”
Audience enjoying the performance (Photos: Xitij Photography) swaras at the tender age of twelve. The day ended with an amazing performance by Pandit Jasraj that left many speechless. Though a large number of people in the audience had heard Jasraj perform before, all agreed that he sounded even better than usual during this performance. Pujya Swamiji, also impressed with Jasraj’s performance, spoke a few words to thank the maestro for making the event special. The final day began with dance
performances by the nimble Rukmini Vijayakumar. Her expressions were breathtaking and she succeeded in involving the audience in her dances to the fullest. Her performances were followed by the annual book release and Q&A sessions with Swami Viditatmananda ji. Present in the audience were distinguished members of society including Secretary General of the Would Council of Religious Leaders, Mr. Bawa Jain.
South Asians star in play on post-9/11 paranoia Washington, DC: "Who is Abulkasem?" Is he a character in a fairy tale, or an international super-spy? Is she a renowned auteur director? Does he or she pose a clear and present danger? And is there really more than one? These are the questions one is left wondering about after watching "Invasion!", billed as a subversive comedy about identity and stereotypes, centering on "Abulkasem", a name mysteriously belonging to a wide assortment of characters in the play featuring South Asian origin actors Nick Choksi and Andrew Guilarte. Swedish novelist and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri's Obie Awardwinning play " anatomizing lazy paranoia about the Middle East", as The Village Voice put it, will have a return engagement Off-Broadway this fall coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Scheduled through Oct 1, previews start Sep 6 prior to an official press opening Sep 13 at The Flea Theatre in Manhattan, where Play Company, an Off-Broadway theatre "producing a global programme of adventurous new plays by US and international playwrights" will be based for the 2011-12
season. The group recently produced the US premiere of leading Indian playwright Vijay Tendulkar's Marathi play "Sakharam Binder". Indian-American actor Choksi plays, among other roles, a guy named Arvind, "a troublemaker in his youth, a girl-shy adult, and a nerd through and through, no matter how much he pretends he isn't". "It's no surprise I'm playing this part, I've been practicing being bad at picking up women my whole life," says Choksi. Fellow South Asian actor Guilarte said all the four actors in the play "take on up to five different roles and that is the challenging thing about this play...and fun thing. The play is fast and furious. It starts with a bang and just unfolds from there with the actors transforming and hopping in and out of scenes at breakneck speed and even changing in front of the audience." Guilarte, who plays a range of characters, from funny to serious, Middle Eastern to American, considers his role as a Middle Eastern Apple Picker who doesn't speak much English as one of the more challenging roles.
National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
US rejects community's plea on disclosing offshore accounts Washington, DC: The US Treasury Department has turned down the IndianAmerican community's plea to extend the deadline for disclosing offshore accounts from Aug 31 to Dec 31 and reduction in penalties for non-disclosure. "At this time, we do not contemplate granting an across-the-board deadline extension for all taxpayers," the department said in response to a letter to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner by Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in June. Turning down GOPIO's plea for the reduction in penalties, it said the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) "provides a way for taxpayers with undeclared assets offshore to resolve their tax problems." Referring to GOPIO's complaint that the OVDI has not been publicised in ethnic newspapers and other community media in
multiple languages, the Department said it had promoted OVDI awareness by posting information about the OVDI in eight foreign languages, including Hindi, on IRS.GOV. "We have also released information through traditional media, both national and local, as well as social media websites such as Twitter. We will continue this extensive outreach effort as the August 31, 2011, deadline nears," it said. The Indian community groups, however, have decided to keep up their efforts for reconsideration by the Treasury and relief as requested in a July 19 letter submitted to President Barack Obama, GOPIO said. Four organizations spearheading the move are GOPIO, National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).
Indian American politicians rake in cash for the 2012 US elections Washington, DC: Indian American candidates are emerging as a fundraising force for the 2012 US elections, raking in cash from a well-heeled and tight-knit community seeking to expand its political influence, according to a media report. While Indian Americans have established themselves in a wide range of professional fields over the last half-century, matching that success in politics has proved elusive, Politico, an influential Washington newspaper, reported. The current crop of prolific IndianAmerican cash-raisers include congressional hopefuls like Ami Bera, a California physician, Raja Krishnamoorthi, a former Illinois deputy state treasurer, and 24-yearold Ricky Gill, a University of California at Berkeley law student, Politico said. Bera has raised over $545,000 this year and is one of the top-grossing Democratic candidates in the country, Gill hauled in $446,000 during the second quarter and Krishnamoorthi raised $400,000 plus during the same period.
Ami Bera is one of the top-grossing Democratic candidates in the country In establishing their campaigns, the candidates are benefiting from a built-in base of donors who are invested in their political fortunes, Politico said. It's a donor network that allows Indian American contenders to rack up impressive fundraising hauls early in their efforts, it said, citing those involved with the campaigns.
US firms' CEOs push for Indian reforms with Rao New Delhi: India's new Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao today met CEOs of top American companies here and said the two countries have to "reflect more deeply" on common concerns with a spirit of understanding and accommodation. As CEOs of Boeing, WalMart, Cognizant Technologies, GE India and Coca-Cola pushed for further reforms in India, Rao said India and the US have to address common concerns and look for greater economic potential.
"We have to reflect more deeply on our common concerns, enormous business opportunities and ability to take businesses beyond frontiers, with a spirit of understanding and accommodation." The meeting was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM). While the issue of further reforms and investment in telecom, retail and infrastructure came up for discussion, Rao said the government's economic agenda has to be guided by the needs of the poor.
"Indian reform process cannot afford to forget the underprivileged people and policy framework would focus on bringing them to the mainstream," she said. In his remarks, Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said India would need to acquire aircraft worth USD 150 billion in the next 20 years, requiring big investment in airports and traffic management. He expressed the hope that under Rao's ambassadorship to the US, "the content and tenor" of dialogue in the aviation sector would improve.
Deven Sharma to step down as Standard & Poor's president New York: Deven Sharma, president, Standard and Poorâ€™s - the ratings agency which downgraded the United States' long-term debt rating, will step down and leave the company by the end of the year. The decision by Sharma to resign comes as the ratings agency is under pressure from several fronts, including an inquiry by the Justice Department into its ratings of subprime mortgage securities and a push by activist investors to break up its parent company, McGrawHill. Sharma will be replaced by Douglas Peterson, a top executive at Citigroup, the company said. The management change had been in the works for months and was unrelated to either the Justice
Deven Sharma Department's inquiry or to the emergence of the activist investors, Jana Partners and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, according to people briefed on the matter said The New York Times. His replacement, Peterson, 53, is currently the chief operating officer of Citibank, the banking unit of Citigroup.
People briefed on the matter said Sharma had been considering stepping down well before the latest firestorm of attacks on the company. They say that Sharma first began pondering his options after McGraw-Hill announced in November that Standard & Poor's would be split into its two component businesses.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Lokpal Bill: Indian Americans to stage more rallies Washington, DC: Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption has caught the imagination of Indian Americans and the US media alike though official Washington was apparently caught on the wrong foot initially. Starting with traditional India Day parades before India’s Independence Day, Indian Americans too slowly but surely started coming out in support of Hazare with gatherings in at least seven cities organized by India Against Corruption and People for Loksatta. They followed it up with hundreds of e-mails to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and rallies in front of Indian missions. Indian Students at Maryland University began a week-long vigil in front of the Indian Embassy here besides mounting a massive social networking campaign to spread Hazare’s message. More rallies are planned in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Los Angles and other cities across the US Sunday. “If you haven’t heard about Anna
NRIs at a rally in support of Anna Hazare in Los Angeles Hazare or the whole movement in of people’s right of peaceful India then please call your family protest around the world and that it at India and check the mood of the could count on a vibrant democratnation,” wrote Atul Kumar of New ic India to exercise appropriate Jersey in his blog bit.ly/indiaerupts restraint. (India Erupts Again) exhorting When Indians took umbrage as a Indian-Americans to join a planned section of the media turned “count protest in Manhattan Sunday. on” into somewhat condescending To be fair, the State Department “hopes” and “expects”, the official spokesperson in response to a modified it to US was “confident” question merely stated about India’s response to the Washington’s position in support protests.
Ranjit Gill bids for US House seat
Ranjit ‘Ricky’ Gill Washington, DC: A young Indian-American, Ranjit Gill, 24, is challenging established norms in a bid to win a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. His war chest, $446,484 as of June 30, is the third-highest gross nationwide for a Republican challenger. Known by his nickname Ricky, he is a law student at University of California in Berkeley. He was 17 when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose him to serve as the student member of the State Board of Education. He attended Princeton University, graduating in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in public
policy. He is now aiming for the Ninth Congressional District in California, which is currently held by Democrat Jerry McNerney, 60, an engineer from Pleasanton now serving his third term. A second-generation IndianAmerican who speaks Spanish, Gill says he is uniquely suited to represent the growing nonwhite population, which makes up more than half the district. Gill has staked out positions on major issues for the agricultural industry, including his support for diverting water to the San Joaquin Valley and the creation of a guest worker program.
And when that too failed to mollify the Indians, the spokesperson blamed the Indian reaction on “extremely inaccurate reporting” and returned to well worn diplomatic phrase that it was India’s internal affair. But the US media has been reporting it prominently with the Washington Post hailing it on the front page as the “awakening of the new middle class” in India and how the “anti-corruption effort could signify change in national psyche.” “Unlike the Arab Spring, it is not an impassioned call for democracy or a new government,” it said. “But it is an awakening of sorts, which could change the face of India’s democracy.” The influential New York Times agreed noting, “The popular outpouring he (Hazare) has set off has inevitably drawn comparisons with the democratic uprisings of the Arab Spring.” “Most analysts agree, though, that India’s moment is a different one. But in its own way it may prove to be no less important,” it said seeing in the protests an
“Unlikely Echo of Gandhi” inspiring Indians to act. Writing in the Huffington Post, Sarika Bansal said “Anna Hazare and his supporters should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished.” But suggested they should now “allow a much wider ring of experts to develop methods that will, in due course, systemically weed out corruption.” The Wall Street Journal too in a commentary analyzed “Why Anna Hazare Is Not India’s Arab Spring.” But “the movements do genuinely share one thing in common: Their tenacity has caught officialdom off-guard, and no one can say for sure where it will all end.” Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank, saw in the movement implications for US relations with India. “As Singh’s government weakens, it could also weaken USIndian bilateral relations, as members of the prime minister’s party who are not as enthusiastic about ties with Washington gain clout,” she said.
Nine Indian-American students named 2011 Davidson Fellows Washington, DC: Nine Indian-American students are among the 18 bright young people named as 2011 Davidson Fellows who exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by the US students who are given opportunities to excel. The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program has provided nearly $4.5 million in scholarship funds to 184 Fellows since its inception. Earlier this year, the program was named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. The following four received $25000 scholarships. 16 year old Arjun Aggarwal from Columbia, South Carolina created GNut-III, an Anthropometric Interactive Robot with vision, intelligence and speech. He found the lack of an economically efficient and functional human robot has prohibited researchers from continuing to expand the field of robotics. To counter this, the GNut-III is economically efficient and functional for testing robotic algorithms. In addition to the GNut-III, Arjun has outlined a scattered open source community to work on a standardized platform that could transform robotics in the same way it has transformed computing. Siddhartha Jena,17 from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan demonstrated that the immediate effect of elevated cholesterol is dysfunction of active water, oxygen and carbon dioxide transport by the red blood cells. Using a spectrofluorometer and Zeta Sizer, he showed that exposure of red blood cells to two compounds: ONO-RS-082 and glyburide, results in an amelioration of cholesterol’s detrimental effects. Results from his work broaden the understanding of one of the most significant health risks facing our society, and the possible mechanism for its future treatment and management. Caleb Kumar, 15 from Blaine, Minnesota developed an algorithm that automates the diagnosis of bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer is on the rise with more than 71,000 new cases in 2009. By first identifying indicative bladder cancer cellular characteristics, Caleb programed morphometric algorithms to quantitatively examine the bladder cell images and then engineered a Java neural network that differentiates cancerous cells from normal cells based on shape, color and curvature. Caleb’s software is accurate, quick and inexpensive compared to current methods, and has the potential to provide faster, cheaper and more precise diagnoses of cytological diseases. Sunil Pai, 17 from Houston, Texas constructed an inexpensive, nanotechnology-based system to determine quantum energies of superoxide. By examining oxygen in the liquid phase instead of the gas phase, his potentiostat system can determine the quantum structure for the electron attachment reaction of oxygen to superoxide. The determination of oxygen’s physical properties is essential to fully understanding the role oxygen and many free radicals have in cell processes. This experimentation method may establish other molecular properties that will offer new insights into biological and environmental processes. The following five received $10,000 scholarships: Cheenar Banerjee,16, Rochester, Minn. For Artificial Emotion: A Novel Way of Emotion Recognition for Affective Computing; Jayanth Krishnan,17, Mahopac, N.Y for Regulatory Signatures of Cancer Cell Lines Inferred from Expression Data; Anirudh Prabhu,16, West Lafayette, Ind. for Lower Bounds for Odd Perfect Numbers; Shalini Ramanan, 17, Richland, Wash. for Inhibition of Vascular Cell Migration by Bisdemethoxycurcumin: A Bioinformatics Based Approach to Identify Target Genes; Raja Selvakumar, 15, Alpharetta, Ga. for The Implementation of a GastroMicrobial Fuel Cell in Capsular Nanorobotics.
Anita Mahajan gets 4 year probation in fraud case Chicago: A 60-year-old contractor with ties to ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to four years of probation for bilking the state by submitting bogus bills for drug screenings. Anita Mahajan of Indian-origin pleaded guilty to felony theft in Cook County court Monday for pilfering nearly $100,000 in taxpayer money through her nowdefunct company, K.K. Bio-Science. Mahajan also agreed to pay $200,000 and perform 1,500
hours of community service. Mahajan's husband, Amrish, was a fundraiser for Blagojevich in the Indian-American community. She was involved in real-estate transactions in 2006 that netted Blagojevich's wife, Patti, large commissions. There's no indication of any link to her case and those commissions. And Mahajan's company secured the state contract before Blagojevich took office.
National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
NFIA to host Congressional luncheon, White House briefing, seminar on women’s empowerment Washington DC: The National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), the largest umbrella organization comprised of over 200 groups in the United States is slated to sponsor two days of activities filled program on September 15 and 16, 2011. NFIA will host its annual Congressional Luncheon at 11:00 a.m. on September 15 to which more than two dozens of lawmakers are expected to attend and address the previously submitted hot issues by
the NFIA. This event will offer a good opportunity for all those attending to interact with these legislators. The umbrella organization has been sponsoring this event for the last two decades. This event will take place in Rayburn House Office Building Rooms B-338 and B-339. The NFIA delegates and friends are urged to contact their Congressmen and Senators and invite them to attend this luncheon. “These lawmakers are more responsive to their constituents than
Haley rules out running for vice-presidency
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Washington, DC: IndianAmerican Nikki Haley, who is considered as the rising star of the Republican party today ruled out running for vice-presidency in the 2012 polls, saying there are better candidates than her for the post."No, I would not," Haley, born to Sikh immigrants, told the CNN in an interview when asked if she would accept if named as a possible vice presidential running mate for the Republican candidate. Haley, 39, who created history early this year by becoming the first non-white and woman governor of South Carolina, said, "I love being governor of South Carolina. And let's be clear. I have a lot of things I wanted to do that I promised to the people of South Carolina. I have been in the job eight months." If we are going to look at vice president, let's look at
somebody that can bring a lot of experience to the table.Let's look on somebody that can do more. I think we have a lot of great candidates for that, Haley said."What I will tell you is we have a President who now has a 71 per cent disapproval rating on the economy. We have a country that's lost their credit rating. We have jobs that being lost overseas. And we are now seeing that this country is in a pretty bad shape," she said. What I do see is we have great candidates that are going to lift us out of it and I thing we will have great candidates for vice presidential as well, but I am not going to be one of them, she said in response to a question.Haley said as of now, she has not decided who she would support as Republican party presidential candidate.
getting an invitation from the organization,” explained Motwani. “Try to bring as many legislators as you are able to contact.” Soon after the Congressional Luncheon, the attendees will move to the Executive Office Building where White House briefing will start at 3:30 p.m. Several high officials of the Obama administration, including many cabinet Secretaries and political appointees of Indian descent are expected to address the audience on hot topics. Due to high
level of security observed by the White House, people have to be screened before coming to attend this event. Following the White House briefing, the attendees will be invited to the Embassy of India, where the newly arrived Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao will host a reception for the NFIA delegates. This event is not open to public and is by invitation only. Next day, Friday September 16, there will be an NFIA Board meeting to conduct the business of the
organization and on the same evening; a special program is being planned. For the first time, the NFIA will conduct a social get together and a seminar on “Empowering Women” at 4:00 p.m. at the newly opened posh Diya Restaurant, 2070 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA 22182. Organized by Angela Anand this program promises to offer a photo opportunity with dignitaries, entertain, network, and intellectually stimulate the audience.
Govind Kannan named FVSU agriculture dean Georgia: Fort Valley State University President Larry E. Rivers has named the new dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology. IndianAmerican Dr. Govind Kannan will lead the division. “Dr. Kannan was recommended highly to me by a search committee of his peers as having demonstrated top-quality leadership skills in addition to possessing excellent credentials as a scholar and researcher. His service as interim dean has convinced me that he is the person to lead the college,” Rivers said. Accepting the position, Kannan expressed his belief in the future for the unit and the university. “Our faculty and staff are primed to move ahead quickly in a variety of initiatives that will produce positive contributions to Georgia, the nation,
and the world. In the meantime, our college will expand its academic offerings aimed at filling vital needs in our region and state.” Vice President for academic affairs Dr. Julius Scipio endorsed the selection. “Dean Kannan is a team builder, as well as an excellent administrator with a solid vision. I have no doubt that he possesses the skills necessary to bring his plans to fruition.” Kannan earned bachelor and master’s degrees in veterinary science from India’s Tamilnadu Agricultural University before receiving a doctorate in poultry science from the University of Maryland. He joined the FVSU faculty in 1997 and subsequently served as director of the Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center, interim assistant dean for research, and interim
Govind Kannan dean of the college. The appointment takes effect immediately. “He’ll hit the ground running and our constituents will soon hear about more great work produced by the FVSU College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.” In addition to being a comprehensive university within the University System of Georgia, Fort Valley State is Georgia’s only 1890 land-grant institution.
Now you have a website to help share feelings Indo American trio launch ipintoo.com New York: Three young Indian Americans launched a website iPintoo.com on August 9, 2011 at the Harvard University Science Center. The website allows users to share their true feelings for someone without any fear of rejection. The identity of the person sending the request is not revealed until the receiver also confirms that he or she has the same feelings for the sender. This prevents any awkwardness that might arise between the two people if only one of them has feelings for the other. The request has one correct profile and five other incorrect user profiles and the receiver is free to choose from them. If the receiver chooses the correct profile, then iPintoo exchanges the identities and contact information of the two people. If the receiver chooses the wrong profile, then another set of request mail is sent to the chosen profile and the chain con-
tinues until two profiles get matched or one of the receivers in the chain deletes the request without choosing a profile. The ipintoo team includes Ash Shrivastav, Founder and CEO who comes from an investment banking background. Before founding iPintoo, he worked for JPMorgan and two other boutique investment banks where he was responsible for covering Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Raising deals for the HIT and Software Industry. Co-founder Gautam Bhattacharya holds an MBA from Clemson University and has worked as a research analyst with leading start-ups in the South Carolina region. He currently works with a leading Healthcare IT firm based in Boston as a Technology training Specialist. Riti Patel, Co-Founder and CFO is a management consultant and helps companies enter into emerging economies. Previously, Riti has worked as a Budget & Finance Intern for Houston Police Department.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Fewer youths to be Biden assures China that its deported in new policy US assets are 'safe' Chengdu (China): United States Vice-President Joe Biden wrapped up a visit to China last weekend that offered him extensive time with the country's expected future leader, Vice-President Xi Jinping, and delivered a strong message of US mutual interdependence with the world's second-largest economy. Biden, who held formal talks with Mr Xi and President Hu Jintao during his five-day visit, also made the case for continued US economic vitality despite current budget woes and sought to reassure China's leaders and ordinary citizens about the safety of their assets in the US following the downgrading of America's credit rating. "You're safe," Mr Biden told students in a question-and-answer session following a speech at Sichuan University in the southwestern city of Chengdu. "We could not afford not to make good" on US commitments, Mr Biden said, noting that the interest rate on Treasuries fell following
Vice-President Joe Biden called on Xi Jinping, China’s future leader the downgrade, making them more sought-after than ever. "If the world thought, my God, they've been downgraded and they're not going to make good on their debt, it would not have been viewed as the safest haven in all the world to invest. We are still the single-best bet in the world in terms of where to invest," he said. Since Americans own 85 per
Strauss-Kahn free to return to France New York: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Tuesday expressed his relief at seeing the end of the 'nightmare' in his first remarks to the press since he was arrested in New York May 14 and accused of sexual assault. The 62-year-old French politician is free to leave the US after New York state Judge Michael Obus accepted the Manhattan district attorney's motion to drop the charges and an appeals court turned down the complainant's request for the appointment of a special prosecutor. 'We look forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life,' Strauss-Kahn said in a written statement. DSK, as he is known, said he was 'most deeply grateful to my wife', journalist Anne Sinclair, and to 'all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence'. Strauss-Kahn was arrested May 14 at New York's JFK Airport as he was leaving for Paris, after hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo accused him of sexually assaulting her inside his suite at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square. He quickly stepped down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund and the accusation appeared to destroy his hopes of winning
Question mark on the credibility of the Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo sunk the case France's 2012 presidential election. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said his office decided to drop the charges because of questions about the credibility of the 32-year-old Guinean immigrant. Diallo's attorneys had asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor because they felt that Vance had handled the case badly and that his office actively undermined the credibility of their client.
cent of the national debt, any politician that defaults would have to disappoint them, and "no politician wants to do that", he said. Mr Biden and Mr Xi, who is expected to begin taking over the top leadership next year, later visited a high school that was rebuilt after the devastating 2008 earthquake, partly with the help of US government and private assistance.
Washington: The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would suspend deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety. The new policy is expected to help thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as young children, graduated from high school and want to go on to college or serve in the armed forces. White House and immigration officials said they would exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to focus enforcement efforts on cases involving criminals and people who have flagrantly violated immigration laws. Under the new policy, the secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, can provide relief, on a case-by-case basis, to young people who are in the country illegally but pose no threat to national security or to the public safety. The decision would, through administrative action, help many intended beneficiaries of legislation that has been stalled in Congress for a decade. The sponsor of the legislation, Senator Richard J. Durbin of
Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, has argued that “these young people should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes.” The action would also bolster President Obama’s reputation with Latino voters as he heads into the 2012 election. Just a week ago the leaders of major Hispanic organizations criticized his record, saying in a report that Mr. Obama and Congress had “overpromised and underdelivered” on immigration and other issues of concern to Latino voters, a major force in some swing states. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, denounced the new policy. “The Obama administration has again made clear its plan to grant backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants,” Mr. Smith said. White House officials emphasized that they were not granting relief to a whole class of people, but would review cases one by one, using new standards meant to distinguish lowand high-priority cases.
Quake jolts US East Coast, n-plant shut down Washington: A strong earthquake - similar to one that struck 67 years ago - on the US East Coast shut down a nuclear power plant and prompted evacuation of offices and precautionary closing of monuments in the capital. No major injuries or extensive damage were reported after the magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck Tuesday. Three aftershocks were also reported. Witnesses said many buildings were evacuated as far away as New York, where a 5.8 earthquake had struck in 1944, CNN reported. The quake, which was recorded at 1.51 p.m. Tuesday, was shallow - around six km deep - and located 140 km southwest of Washington near the town of Mineral, Virginia. Aftershocks of magnitude 2.8 and 2.2 were recorded, followed by one of 4.2 just after 8 p.m., officials said. The US Capitol was cleared for employees to come back to get their belongings, but inspectors asked people to limit their time inside the building while engineers continued to work around the complex. The quake led to the loss of electricity and triggered the automatic shutdown of a nuclear power plant around 30 km from the epicenter. The quake signaled unusual events at 12 other nuclear facilities across the east coast, authorities said.
Evacuated from buildings, people were a picture of disbelief soon after the rare earthquake on east coast A statement said both reactors at the North Anna plant shut down after the first tremors. The plant gave out steam, but there was no release of radioactive material. There was also no damage to the spent fuel pool. Officials were restoring full power to the site, which was operating on diesel generators. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was monitoring the plant. A helicopter inspected the Washington Monument, and it was found to be structurally sound. But a secondary inspection revealed cracks in the stones at the top of the monument. Engineers will now determine the best way to repair the monument before it is reopened. CNN said people on the east coast were unaccustomed to earthquakes, and many thought the rumbling could have been caused by a truck, helicopter or an explosion. ‘People’ reportedly paid $1.5 million for exclusive rights to photos of the reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian’s dream wedding August 20 to New Jersey Nets basketball star Kris Humphries. But the magazine cropped out the groom from the cover shot. Their excuse: he is too tall (a good one foot and 7 inches taller than her) and the two are difficult to fit in the same frame. This is a pre-wedding picture the couple posed for OK magazine.
India Newswire TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
Cash-for-votes: Amar summoned New Delhi: A day after a charge sheet was filed in the cash-for-votes scandal that rocked parliament during a trust vote in 2008, a district court has summoned four people, including Rajya Sabha member and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, to appear before it September 6. Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued the summons against Amar Singh, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora and Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former associate of BJP leader L.K. Advani. "All the four accused are summoned to face trial on Sep 6 at 10 a.m.," the judge said, accepting a Delhi Police plea. Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and middleman Suhail Hindustani are already in judicial custody. Warrants were issued to ensure they also attend the proceedings Sept 6. "Suhail and Saxena are already in judicial custody. They will face trial as per the charges levelled against them in the charge sheet," the judge said.
Amar Singh. The court would hear Saxena's bail plea Sept 6. Defense counsel Santosh Pandey earli-
Stay on Hasan Ali's bail extended New Delhi: The Supreme Court extended till September 2 its stay on the Bombay High Court order granting bail to alleged money launderer and country's top tax evader Hasan Ali Khan. The apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice S.S. Nijjar extended the stay after being told that the curbs imposed on Hasan Ali's bail were till Aug 26. The judges passed the order at the end of the second day's hearing of the central government's application seeking the recall of
the court's July 4 order. In that order the court set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe money laundering. The court is hearing arguments on the maintainability of the government's application seeking the recall of the order. The court's July 4 verdict came on the petition by Jethmalani seeking direction to take steps for bringing back ill-gotten money stashed in tax havens by Indian citizens and the disclosure of the names of such account holders.
er sought time to go through the charge sheet and said: "Delhi Police are about to file a sta-
tus report before the Supreme Court by Sep 2. I request the court to fix a date after that." When the court asked police why the other four accused were not arrested, Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said: "We do not have direct evidence against the four accused. Therefore, they have not been arrested." The charge sheet alleged that during investigation "sufficient evidence" came on record that on morning of July 22, 2008, Amar Singh "hatched a criminal conspiracy with his secretary Sanjeev Saxena to deliver cash of Rs.1 crore as illegal gratification". On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government. Police secured permission from Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari before chargesheeting Amar Singh, while a letter has been sent to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar seeking approval to charge sitting BJP MP Ashok Argal.
SC rejects Jagan's plea against probe New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed a petition of YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case and probe his assets. A bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma, while keeping the question of law open, declined to interfere with the high court order. Appearing for Jagan as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly called, counsel Mukul Rohtagi said the high court ordered the registration of first information report (FIR) and consequent investigation without giving his client the CBI report on its preliminary investigation. The high court, by its order of Aug 10, 2011, directed the
YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy CBI to register a case and investigate the assets of Jaganmohan Reddy, which had allegedly swelled manifold from 2004 onward when his father, the late Y.S Rajshekhar Reddy, was the chief minister of the state. The high court order was passed in the wake of a petition by Andhra
Pradesh Textile Minister P. Shankar Rao and Telugu Desam Party leader K. Yerran Naidu. Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who also appeared for Jaganmohan Reddy, told the apex court that his client was being targeted due to political vendetta. Referring to an earlier judgment of the apex court, Jethmalani said the PIL could not be resorted to by the politicians to agitate their matter before the court. "The PIL should not be allowed to be used and abused by the politicians," he told the court. Assailing the high court order, Rohtagi said the court opened, perused and re-sealed the CBI report on its preliminary inquiry but did not give a copy of it same to Jaganmohan Reddy.
Fly into Taj city from global destinations soon Agra: Global tourists may finally be able to fly directly into Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal that attracts millions every year. While the civil aviation ministry has moved to identify land for an international airport, the existing airport at Kheria is also being upgraded to cater to global visitors - with an eye on the tourism season from September, say officials. Divisional commissioner Amrit Abhijat says the civil aviation ministry has asked him to identify land for the airport and start land acquisition proceedings. But since this project could take a little time, given the recent protests by farmers against land acquisition, efforts are on to upgrade facilities at the existing Kheria airport, currently under the Indian Air Force. "The existing Kheria airport will be upgraded and developed," Abhijat said, briefing senior offi-
Agra attracted more than 8 million visitors last year. cials and civil society leaders. The Uttar Pradesh tourism department will shortly send a formal proposal to the union civil aviation ministry to grant international status to Kheria airport, officials said, adding efforts are on to speed up the process so that flights can bring in visitors this
tourist season beginning in September. Tourism Guild president Rajeev Narain told IANS: "Visitors are wasting precious time landing in New Delhi and then driving down to Agra. We need better air connectivity." Agra Citizens Council secretary
Sanjay Chaturvedi said, "The international airport notification No. 61/94 of Central Customs is already there; it recognises the Kheria airport of Agra as an international airport. They have all the facilities but they don't have the will power." Foreign tourists are often astonished that Agra doesn't have airport facilities. Tourism industry leaders blame the "hotel and road transport lobbies in Delhi and Jaipur for stalling and scuttling plans for upgradation of the Agra airport and resumption of air connectivity." Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association president Rakesh Chauhan admits, "Agra's development is held up by these lobbies. "If Agra had direct flights, who would stay in Delhi hotels and how will travel agencies run? How will the Expressway become economically viable? Fact is the
Taj Mahal is the top priority of every foreign tourist. He would be so happy and relieved if he could directly land in Agra instead of wasting time in Delhi," says hotelier Sandip Arora. They don't realise how much time is wasted due to traffic jams on the Agra-Delhi highway. A distance of just 200 km takes up to six hours and by the time they reach Agra they decide to touch and go back, Arora adds. The latest attempts are a fallout of a recent conclave of senior officials and civil society activists, which agreed on an approach paper for Agra's development. The encouraging upturn in the number of tourist arrivals this year has injected a sense of urgency, say tourism industry leaders. Agra attracted more than eight million visitors last year, with tourists thronging the 17th century monument to love, the Taj.
Annaâ€™s Lokpal Battle
August 27-September 2, 2011
TheSouthAsianTimes.info Government sources last night said that a motion will be brought to facilitate a combined discussion on the Lokpal Bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill brought out by Hazare as also the drafts prepared by activist Aruna Roy and Jai Prakash Narain. He said there are rules under which the issue can be discussed. "Every rule in Parliament can be waived by a motion. If they want to discuss, they can do," he said. Addressing protesters at Ramlila Maidan where Hazare is sitting on a fast, another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi echoed Bhushan's views and said Hazare will end the fast once Parliament passes a resolution which includes three sticky issues -- all civil servants should be brought under Lokpal, a Citizen Charter should be displayed at all government offices and all states should have Lokayukta.
Logjam on, Anna refuses to end fast Include three sticky issues in resolution, Anna Hazare writes to PM Manmohan Singh as his fast enters 11th day
Anna seems healthy: doctors Anna Hazare fasting at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. New Delhi: Team Anna has made it clear that a mere discussion in Parliament will not serve any purpose and the Gandhian will not call off his fast till Parliament passes a resolution that the cleared Lokpal Bill will include three contentious points raised by them. "Mere discussion will not be enough," lawyer Prashant Bhushan, a Team Anna member, told reporters here after a meeting
with CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat here. He said Hazare had made it clear that he will break his fast only if Parliament passes a resolution "adopting or indicating clearly" that the Lokpal, which will be passed, includes the three issues. "Therefore, we need to see what Parliament does on this. There is no point in just discussing it. We had discussed it for
Anna regrets 'hurting' PM New Delhi: Anna Hazare told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he regretted hurting him or any other person and said it was unintentional because his movement was not against any individual or political party but a corrupt system. In a two-page letter to the prime minister, the 74-year-old leader reiterated that he would call off his 11-day fast if parliament passed a resolution on three key issues. "Out agitation is against the corrupt system and if by chance any words uttered by me or any other members have hurt you or any other person then I regretâ€Ś as it was unintentional," he said. In a strongly-worded letter to Prime Minister on Aug 13, Hazare had written: "Your government is
Anna Hazare trying to crush those who raise their voice against corruption. This is happening more often in your government." "You are 79-years-old and are holding the nation's top position. You have got everything from life. What else do you want from life? Show courage and take some concrete steps."
the past 42 years and eight times it was introduced in Parliament," Bhushan said. Bhushan's remarks came as the government earlier said that discussion on Jan Lokpal Bill as demanded by Hazare may not be possible in Lok Sabha during the day. There were reports that some MPs had given notice for discussion on Lokpal issue under a section which does not entail voting.
New Delhi: As Anna Hazare's fast entered the 11th day on Friday, the Gandhian lost seven kg of weight but doctors said he appeared to be healthy. "He has lost seven kg till now. His blood pressure and heart beat are okay. He seems to be healthy. He is holding up," Dr Ravi R Kesliwal, who examined Hazare, told reporters here. He said doctors were constantly monitoring his health. Doctors last night said the Gandhian's condition was "stable" but there is reason to worry.
Make Lokpal a constitutional body: Rahul New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi finally broke his silence on the Anna Hazare fast and thanked the fasting Gandhian for highlighting the issue of corruption through his campaign. Speaking during the Zero Hour, amid strong protests from the Opposition benches, Rahul Gandhi said Hazare's campaign had helped people to articulate disillusionment. However, while highlighting the role of Anna Hazare, Rahul indirectly disapproved of his fast. He said, "individual dictates, no matter how well-intentioned, must not weaken the democratic process as it would set a dangerous precedent." But the highlight of Rahul's speech was his idea to elevate the level of debate on corruption. He said the need of the hour was not just a strong Lokpal but to go a step beyond and make Lokpal a constitutional body like the Election Commission. Rahul said he did not agree with the view that one Lokpal Bill will end corruption. Rahul said that corruption is all-pervasive and operates at every level and so a set of effective laws along with creation of an statutory institution will be required to fight the menace. He said we cannot wish away corruption by the mere
Rahul Gandhi speaking during Zero Hour in Parliament. desire to see it removed from our lives. Rahul called for a comprehensive framework of action and a concerted political programme supported by all levels. He stressed the need for a firm political will to fight corruption. Later talking to mediapersons, Rahul GAndhi claimed that his idea on making Lokpal a constitutional body was a game-changer.
Anna’s Lokpal Battle TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27- September 2, 2011
Monitoring Hazare situation: US Washington: The U.S. has said it is monitoring the events related with Anna Hazare, and is confident that India would be able to address the challenge within democratic means. State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi was monitoring the situation there. “Our Embassy has been monitoring the situation, and I think they have been saying the same thing in Delhi that we’ve been saying here with regard to our confidence and expectation that India is going to be able to address its internal matters, political disputes, through its own democratic system,” Mr. Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference. She added that the U.S. has always supported the right to protest peacefully.
US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. “We support the right of peaceful protest, including and especially in the United States,” she said, when asked about the protests by supporters of 74—year— old Hazare in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington.
Team Anna to drag Tewari to court New Delhi: Even as Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari expressed regret over his remarks against Anna Hazare, the Gandhian's lawyer said a case of defamation would be filed against the Lok Sabha MP in a court here next week. "We will file a case against Manish Tewari under IPC Section 500 for the defamatory remarks made by him against Hazare on August 14, describing him as a corrupt person at a public forum," advocate Milind Pawar told PTI.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
Pawar said Hazare's secretary had given him a go ahead for filing of the criminal complaint against the Congress MP from Punjab. Tewari's comments just before Hazare began his fast on August 16 evoked strong reactions from the supporters of the anti-corruption crusader. The Congress spokesman, who accused Hazare of being "steeped in corruption from head to toe", has not been briefing the media since his personal attack on the 73-year-old Gandhian.
Farmers join Anna movement New Delhi: Ever since Anna Hazare has announced his intention to take up the issue of farmers whose land are being acquired and contested how the SEZ Bill was passed within a couple of hours without sending it to a standing committee, Team Anna Delhi Police said several of those detained in front of PM's residence were farmers. has been receiving huge support from the farmer communi- Biotechnology Regulatory Bill of ty. This was evident with thousands India came under fire. "The Bill of farmers marching into Ramlila will dictate to the farmer what he Maidan. This was also the day can produce and what it cannot. We when the Rastriya Lok Dal pledged are here trying to discuss the releits full support to the Jan Lokpal vance of democracy. Hence, it is Bill. Anna has received support not possible to talk of the indefrom a large section of farmers pendence of farmers. This Bill will from UP and Haryana, said Team only increase corruption," said Tikait. Anna member Manish Sisodia. Sources in Delhi Police said sevThe biggest support came from the All India Farmers Union. Their eral of those detained in front of leaders said over 15,000 of their PM's residence were farmers. supporters had been moved after "They are coming in buses and we Team Anna member Arvind have stopped a few who were creKejriwal called on supporters on ating a ruckus," said an officer. "The farmers face corruption the Wednesday night for Delhi Chalo. most. They need to pay bribes for a Suddenly from the topic of corruption of the aam aadmi, the neg- loan; they have to pay bribes when lected farmer took the centre stage. they try to go to a hospital. I appeal Among the various farmer leaders, to Annaji to look into our probincluding Rakesh Tikait who lems, too, as we are a threatened addressed the supporters at Ramlila lot now," said Naresh Tikait, who Maidan, the proposed came from Bhatta Parsaul.
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Anna’s Lokpal Battle
August 27-September 2, 2011
Is Anna Hazare another Gandhi? New Delhi: He may dress, talk and fast like his hero Mahatma Gandhi, but critics say anti-graft activist Anna Hazare has only managed to co-opt the style, not the substance, of India's independence icon. The figure of Gandhi looms large - and literally - over Hazare's anti-corruption campaign, with a giant photograph of the apostle of non-violence providing the backdrop to the 74-year-old's public hunger strike. Hazare's speeches are peppered with Gandhian references to a "second freedom struggle" and his own diminutive, bespectacled appearance, and preference for simple white clothing, all serve to reinforce the link in the public mind. If the effort to embrace Gandhi's legacy is sincere, it is also conscious and calculated, and observers say it has paid dividends
Anna Hazare has clearly appropriated symbols connected with Gandhi. by tapping into a national yearning ence' which most Indians associate with Gandhi," said Yamini Aiyar, for an inspirational leader. "Hazare has clearly appropriated senior fellow at New Delhi's symbols connected with Gandhi, Centre for Policy Research thinkfrom sitting on a stage with tank. Gandhi's picture behind him to "It's helped him capture the pubusing terms like 'civil disobedi- lic's attention, since Gandhi still
Ups and downs in Anna business
A protestor wearing Anna cap. Guwahati: The Anna Hazare movement against corruption has brought a windfall to the Khadi Gramodyog Bhawans in the city with Gandhi topis selling like hot cakes. The Central Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan at Chandmari sold around 300 Gandhi topis today. “People have started asking for the Gandhi topi since Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption started. Today we sold around 300 caps,” said Nokul Chandra Deka, manager of the outlet. Priced at Rs 30, Rs 40 and Rs 45, people are buying topis in bulk. “We have customers who buy only one or two pieces but with the fight against corruption gaining momentum we also have customers who are buying Gandhi topis in bulk,” said Deka. “This morning, three customers bought 50 pieces each,” he added. The demand rose to such an extent that Deka had to get fresh stocks from the Khadi Gramodyog’s Panbazar outlet. “We never expected the demand for Gandhi topi to rise so high. We had to get the item from the
Panbazar branch,” he said. People of all ages were seen thronging the khadi outlets to buy the Gandhi topi. “We were surprised to see customers of all ages. From college-going students to elderly people, everyone came here to buy the cap,” said Deka. Besides, the Tricolor is also disappearing fast from the shelves. “We have been selling around 40 Gandhi topis on an average everyday since Anna Hazare’s supporters started their demonstration in the city this month. Even the Tricolour is disappearing fast from the racks,” said Ashwini Kumar Saikia, the manager of the Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan at Panbazar. “Generally, Gandhi topis and the Tricolor are sold during Independence Day, Republic Day and school functions,” Saikia said. Those who could not get the prized topi from the khadi outlets, preferred to get them stitched. “I got 10 Gandhi topis stitched for my friends as we planned to take part in the anti-corruption demonstration in the city today,” Nur Mohammad of Ganeshguri said.
commands the popular imagination in this country," she said. Suhel Seth, a Mumbai-based brand management expert with Counselage India, said Gandhi provides a comfortable, nostalgic reference point for many Indians at a time of swift and sometimes difficult change associated with rapid economic growth. And that includes young Indians - the bulk of the population - who know the Mahatma ("Great Soul") through images rather than his political philosophy. "They understand the visual symbols associated with Gandhi, not necessarily his ideas. So it makes sense that they are buying into this phenomenon... they trust Anna," Seth said. "In an environment where so much seems hopeless as far as corruption is concerned, people clutch at straws, and here the straw is a 74-year-old man, which
is rather ironic for such a young democracy," he added. But where Gandhi's hunger strikes against British colonial rule are still seen as models of principled self-sacrifice, Hazare's fast for stronger anti-corruption laws strikes some as belligerent to the point of arrogance. Rajiv Vora, chairman of the Delhi-based Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj (self-rule) said that Hazare's inflexible approach to negotiations with the government was "not Gandhian at all." He also took strong exception to the activist's widely publicised calls for officials convicted of serious fraud to be hanged. "Gandhi would never have spoken like that, he would never have used threats," Vora said. And Gandhi's great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, denounced what he saw as "a very Machiavellian
Corruption campaign, Bollywood style New Delhi: When an anticorruption movement has built up in India, can Bollywood films be far behind? Leading young Indian director Dibakar Banerjee says his new movie focuses on the revenge of the common man. Banerjee's film "Shanghai" is an adaptation of a Greek novelist's work, but the 40year-old director known for acclaimed films like "Khosla Ka Ghosla" and "Love, Sex Aur Dhoka" says it applies completely to India. "With 'Shanghai', viewers should look forward to taking some revenge...revenge of the common Indian man against the people who have money and are sucking us dry with their vested interests," Banerjee said. "It's a sad state. The rich ones are getting more powerful and they are shamelessly sucking more out of the middle-class man, who goes through so much every day. People claim to invest thousands of crores in working on the country's infrastructure...but still a trip from office to home takes two hours...It is this agony about the average Indian that I have portrayed in 'Shanghai'," he added. The political thriller, set for a Jan 26, 2012, release, has been inspired by a mid1960s book, "Z", by Greek
Dibakar Banerjee. writer and diplomat Vassilis Vassilikos. The book was first translated on the big screen through an eponymous French film released in 1969. But Banerjee, who has doled out only original stories and scripts so far, says he decided to make the film as it was relevant and gripping. He also says he has Indianized it completely. "I had seen the movie version of the book when I was 14 and I grew up with a memory of it. A writer gave me the book much later, and I felt a lot of what the book talked about was more common in India. So we got the rights of the book, and twisted it to the contemporary Indian setting to suit our times," he said. "Adapting a book into a movie is not easier as many
think. Whether adapted or original, a filmmaker faces the same problems and the same amount of blood and sweat goes into it," added the talented filmmaker. He says the focus of the entire movie is "corruption" - a cause against which social activist Anna Hazare has united the whole nation for what he calls the country's "second freedom struggle". "My whole film is about corruption. There is a whole wave of corruption in the country because of some corrupt politicians who only work to serve their interests. According to me, it is .001 percent of India's population that is corrupt...but they have caused a mess," said Banerjee, who feels Hazare's movement is "just" as long as it is "not driven by personal motive".
Anna’s Lokpal Battle TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
Now, download Jan Lokpal Bill app New Delhi: The Lokpal Bill draft may have been finalized but the India Against Corruption group (IAC) wants to ensure that the momentum around the movement against corruption doesn’t fade anytime soon. The group has tied up with start-up mobile solutions company, Juvenis Tech, to launch Android and Symbian mobile apps and help spread awareness about the movement and the Jan Lokpal Bill. The app launched on August 6, 2011, allows people to connect with the group, get queries related to the Lokpal Bill answered, and even volunteer for upcoming events. It has seen 1,670 downloads till date. “In April, 2011, we created an app on Anna. This time we approached Arvind Kejriwal of the IAC, who told us to go ahead with an app that concentrates on the movement rather than a single person,” says Deepansh Jain, director, Juvenis Tech, who created the app with Nishant Kumar Dean. As part of the app, people get to know about events taking place around the
The app allows people to connect with the group and get queries related to the Lokpal Bill answered.
Meet two Annas in Himachal
Shimla: Away from media glare, two men have been fasting in Himachal Pradesh for eight to nine days in support of Anna Hazare and a strong anti-corruption legislation. The two are Desh Raj Sharma, 41, a former engineer of the state Public Works Department, and Lakshmi Chand Thakur, 67, a former state government employee. Sharma has been on hunger strike for nine days in Mandi town. He wants the prime minister, the higher judiciary and the conduct of MPs in parliament to be covered by any law aimed at combating corruption. "Anna Hazare is a true Gandhian. We will support him till the government Laxmi Chand Thakur, 67, (centre) has been fasting for eight days under the accepts the Jan Lok pal bill in statue of Mahatma Gandhi on historic totality," Sharma said. Ridge in Shimla. Sharma was admitted to a hospital Aug 22 but he refused Thakur had also fasted during Baba to accept food. He has been admin- Ramdev's protest in New Delhi istered glucose since then. against black money in June. Thakur, 67, hails from a village "At that time I fasted for 10 days near Kasauli town. He has been fast- in my village," said Thakur. "Anna ing for eight days at the historic needs support across the country. I Ridge of Shimla, seated under the started alone. Now you see many statue of Mahatma Gandhi. people are coming daily to express "I will be on fast as long as Anna solidarity," Thakur said. is on fast," Thakur said. Thakur Health Minister Rajeev Bindal draws nearly a hundred visitors and his wife met Thakur Wednesday daily. Most stop out of curiosity or evening to enquire about his health. to join his peaceful protest. Chief Minister Prem Kumar The heavy rains have failed to Dhumal also met him Aug 20. deter the former state government Motivated by Thakur's commitemployee. He has survived on ments, four people have formed a water, with a few drops of honey. "Team Anna Shimla" and have Doctors examine him twice a day. launched an indefinite fast.
country, which are related to the movement. They can also read about the developments around the bill, see videos and register with IAC to volunteer. “There is also a ‘write to us’ option, where people can text their queries related to the bill. Those questions are forwarded to the IAC members, who answer them,” adds Jain. An elaborate FAQ section allows people to know more about the Jan Lokpal Bill and there is even a link provided for those interested in knowing the difference between the bill tabled by the government and Anna’s bill. IAC app runs on all Android devices running OS version of 1.6 or up and is free for download. There is also a missed call option available, where people can call and register to show support. Till August 15, 1.3 crore people have used this option. Next up are plans to make the app available for the iPhone. Also, from today, registered users can catch all the action ‘live’, with the live streaming option incorporated in the app.
On a rain-soaked night at Ramlila Maidan
New Delhi: When Delhi sleeps, the Ramlila Maidan remains awake. The sloganeering does not end, except sporadically, although the fasting 74-year-old Anna Hazare is sleeping only around 100 meters away. The tricolor is being waved endlessly. The mood of defiance never fades. Incessant rains have turned the vast Ramlila ground into a virtual swamp. The thick ground mats are drenched and lie in heaps, here and there. Even the tented enclosure looks no better than the open space - slushy and muddy. A part of the tent has tilted. It is well past midnight, and there are some 1,000 people at the ground. Almost all the young in the crowd are wide awake. There are about a dozen women. A policeman calls this a "small crowd" and blames it on the unceasing rain. He says the ground never had less than 5,000 people on any previous night. The daytime crowd, of course, has never been less than tens of thousands. Under the night sky, a small but boisterous batch of young men is raising full-throated slogans in Hindi hailing 74year-old Hazare. A larger batch watches approvingly. Many sport the trademark 'I Am Anna' white caps. Many also have the tricolour painted on their cheeks. A smaller group of youths is walking in seemingly aimless circles, holding aloft the tri-
People protesting at Ramlila Maidan. colour and shouting slogans of "Vande Mataram" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". Armed with a harmonium and table, a group of four from Uttar Pradesh has attracted a small crowd as they belt out devotional songs and poetry dedicated to Hazare. A few policemen are engaged in an animated discussion with farmers from Uttar Pradesh - on corruption and more. Hazare is after all fighting for a strong anti-graft Lokpal bill. A few hundred people have spread themselves out where they can find space to sit or squat without getting drenched. There is no escape from rains, however, as the tent leaks at dozens of spots. Most in demand are the tented enclosures meant for TV channels and India Against
Corruption (IAC), the network behind the Anna show. Here people talk about Hazare's health and the anti-corruption campaign that has attracted tens of thousands all across India. Water sachets are on the house. No tea at night. Remarkably, despite the noise and discomfort, over 100 men are managing to sleep under the main tent and in the smaller enclosures, on the ground or on wooden benches. The sloganeering abates by 3 a.m. By then, a small group of young men are busy cleaning the ground, painstakingly picking up hundreds of polythene bags, sachets and paper cups, partly buried under mud and water. As they work, the slogans follow: "Anna Hazare Zindabad!" and "Ek, do, teen, char, khatam karo yeh brashtachar!"
Anna’s Lokpal Battle
August 27-September 2, 2011
Anna’s Lokpal Battle TheSouthAsianTimes.info TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
Anna wave sweeps across India As the deadlock continues over Anna Hazare's fast and his non-violent crusade against corruption via Jan Lokpal Bill, nation takes onto the streets in his support.
Protesters posing with cut-outs of Anna's face in New Delhi. Team Anna: Anna Hazare’s close associates in this Lokpal campaign are Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Manish Sisodia. Supporters of Anna Hazare participate in a candlelight vigil in Hyderabad.
Standing tall is the new hero of India, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, forced to fast for passing the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Young supporters at Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi.
Supporters of Anna Hazare march on a flyover in New Delhi Aug. 21, 2011.
Annaâ€™s Lokpal Battle
August 27-September 2, 2011
Building up a Brand Anna
No wonder Brand Anna has been able to attract a wide range of supporters - right from school students to senior citizens. This time, at Ramlila Maidan New Delhi: A tale of two fasts: the anti-corruption movement is then and now. As the anti-cor- best avoided," Prashant a conscious effort has been ruption campaign gathers more Bhushan was quoted as saying. made by the campaigners to However, a comparison of ensure that only Hazare occusteam, it is Brand Anna that appears to have become the gal- Anna's fast at Jantar Mantar in pies the podium and gets maxivanising force behind the huge April this year, demanding the mum focus of the TV crews. movement, backed by India's Lokpal Bill, and the current one Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan increasingly assertive middle against the government's Lokpal and Bedi come on stage to address a press conference once class. And the branding appears Bill shows the difference. In the April 6-9 fast, support- in a while, but at a level lower to be carefully crafted. Though Anna Hazare's close ers like Swami Agnivesh, Baba than where Hazare is sitting on associate Prashant Bhushan said Ramdev and other Anna Team fast. As images of a fasting cam"personification of the move- members Shanti Bhushan, ment is best avoided", building Prashant Bhushan, Arvind paigner are beamed across the Brand Anna is apparently work- Kejrival and Kiran Bedi were world to millions of homes, ing well for the anti-corruption seen sharing the dais at Jantar Brand Anna is catching on. Another significant difference protesters. "Personification of Mantar along with Hazare.
between the two fasts is that while earlier a poster of Bharat Mata (Mother India) formed the backdrop of the stage, inviting criticism from the Leftists that the protest had "rightist" leanings, this time Team Anna has put a giant portrait of Mahatma Gandhi as the background, to give a more "secular" face to the campaign and perhaps give credence to Hazare's image as a "modern day Gandhi". In fact, so conscious were the planners of building Brand Anna that they did not allow Baba Ramdev to join the protest this time. According to senior journalist Bhaskar Roy, the organizers behind Hazare's protest understand the market dynamics and the role of media today. "Hence the need to build Brand Anna," Roy said. Agreeing that they did not expect this kind of support, Bhushan said, "People feel Anna is the legitimate torchbearer of the movement." No wonder Brand Anna has been able to attract over the past week a wide range of supporters - right from school students to senior citizens, all waving flags and banners carrying Anna's pictures and even sporting
Gandhi caps proclaiming - "I am Anna". Caps and T-shirts and even umbrellas with the slogan "I am Anna" printed on them have already become popular merchandise being sold at the protest venue. Another notable difference between the two fasts is that while the government caved in just a few days after his fast in April and agreed to set up a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill with Team Anna, this time the government has allowed Hazare's fast to go on as it holds back channel negotiations with the 74-year-old activist to break the Lokpal logjam. This time, the involvement of youth, who have joined Hazare's protest in large numbers, has given a boost to Hazare's protest. Hazare's declaration that he draws his strength from youth has attracted more young people to the movement. The youth element was not so pronounced during the April fast. Apart from brand building, Hazare's supporters were prepared this time for a prolonged protest and have even roped in poets and music composers to entertain the crowds.
Annaâ€™s fast a feast for homeless
New Delhi: They're homeless and consider themselves lucky if they get one square meal a day. Now, thanks to Anna Hazare's fast against corruption, they have found a temporary home at the Ramlila Maidan and are assured of at least three meals a day if not snacks and juices in between. Most of them are there for the free food, but there are some who do believe in Hazare's cause. Take the case of Raghu Kumar, 24, who usually sits on a mat near a traffic signal in north Delhi and sells cigarettes and chewing tobacco from a bag and curls up at night in any corner he can find. "I pay Rs.300 every week to the police. Besides, they even take cigarettes and other stuff for free, saying it is because of them that I could sell these things. With Anna, now even I can raise my voice against corruption." Raghu is not the only homeless individual with a grouse. Madan Lal, who usually spends the night at a shelter near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in south Delhi, had a sad story about how corruption can affect one's life. "I worked as a peon at a government school in Burari but after my retirement, I
never got my pension. The officials at the pension department asked for Rs.25,000 to clear my files. My children disowned me terming me as a burden and I had no other choice but to sell toys at red lights at the age of 76, just to live. "Because of the corrupt officials, I am all alone today and so I have come here," Madan Lal said. These, however, were the exceptions. The majority of homeless have gathered in Ramlila Maidan to enjoy the free food being served, free mats to sleep on and a clean environment, contrary to the deteriorating conditions of the night shelters in the city. "We don't know what is Lokpal bill; neither am I concerned but I am here because I get good food to eat and a nice place to sit. That's enough a reason for me to be here," said Raju, one in a group of four homeless people who are otherwise seen near the Hanuman temple at Connaught Place. "Many homeless have found a temporary home here in Ramlila Maidan as they don't have to beg or work for a livelihood. It is the best place for them," said social activist Ashok Pandey. Physically challenged Nagesh Nath, who
A team of doctors inspecting the health of Anna Hazare. begs near the Kalkaji temple in south Delhi, said: "Beggars like me have never been helped by any politician or government, but because of this man (Hazare), many of us can have free food. We are raising slogans, wearing caps and singing songs, it's enjoyable. The cause does not affect me. I am happy that I am enjoying myself here." For Amit, who usually sleeps on the pavements near Sarai Kale Khan station, Ramlila Maidan was a picnic spot. "Sleeping here is much better than sleeping on the pavements. Moreover you get everything at your hand whether it is water
or food. What best can be done?" he said. Ever since Hazare resumed his fast at Ramlila Maidan Friday, an army of volunteers has been ferrying items like bread pakoras, kachoris, samosas, aloo puris, paranthas, rasogollas, tea, biscuits and half a dozen varieties of namkeens to feed the teeming masses at the venue. For the health conscious, there are bananas and mango juice. The capital is a home to over 150,000 homeless, according to NGO's like Bachpan Bachao Andolan and many more. However, the official record is around 70,000 are homeless.
Anna’s Lokpal Battle TheSouthAsianTimes.info
August 27-September 2, 2011
I’d rather not be Anna While his means maybe Gandhian, his demands are certainly not,” writes Booker prize winning author and anti-establishment activist in this much quoted critique first published in The Hindu. By Arundhati Roy f what we're watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you're likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind. For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State. One working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other, from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people. In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare's first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously. Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,' Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honored guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India's most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna's fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us. While his means may be Gandhian,
Anna Hazare's demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralization of power, the Jan Lokpal Bill is a draconian, anti-corruption law, in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won't have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one. Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to? Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the aggressive nationalism and flag waving of Anna's Revolution are all borrowed, from the anti-reservation protests, the world-cup victory parade, and the celebration of the nuclear tests. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.' The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting. ‘The Fast' of course doesn't mean Irom Sharmila's fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she's being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People' does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila's fast…. ‘The People' only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People' are the tens of
thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we're told. “India is Anna.” Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighborhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India. He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.) Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna's old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna's village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna's attitude to ‘Harijans': “It was Mahatma Gandhi's vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic? Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams,
Arundhati Roy including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people's anti-corruption agitation. Or was it? At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely. Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatization, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee. Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war? This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We're watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Anna vs JP: a differential calculus
By Ramachandra Guha
ome commentators have compared the struggle led by Anna Hazare with the movement against corruption led by Jayaprakash Narayan in the 1970s. A man of integrity and courage, a social worker who has eschewed the loaves and ﬁshes of ofﬁce, a septuagenarian who has emerged out of semi-retirement to take on an unfeeling government — thus JP then, and thus Anna now. Superﬁcially, the comparison of Anna to JP is ﬂattering — to Hazare at any rate. But let us look more closely at how Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement unfolded. JP’s papers are housed in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. These papers are worth revisiting in light of the struggle of which Anna has become the symbol and the mascot. Once a hero of the Quit India Movement, then a founder of the Socialist Party, Jayaprakash Narayan abandoned politics for social work in the 1950s. Two decades later, he returned to politics at the invitation of students disenchanted with corruption in Bihar. At ﬁrst, JP focused attention on his own state; then, much as Hazare has now done, his struggle moved outwards to embrace the whole of India. In the late summer of 1974, as his movement was gathering ground, JP went to Vellore for a surgical operation. While he was recovering, his associate Acharya Ramamurti kept him up-to-date with the struggle. Ramamurti’s communications, note, with some alarm, the entry of a political party into a professedly “apolitical” movement. While JP was away, wrote his colleague, “the leadership of the movement at least at local levels, is passing into the hands of the Jana Sangh”. Ramamurti also worried that “the common man has yet to be educated into the ways and values of our movement, whose appeal to
him continues to be more negative than constructive”. After some weeks in hospital JP returned to Bihar. In September 1974, he invited his friend RK Patil to come observe the situation at ﬁrst-hand. Patil was in his own way a considerable ﬁgure, who had quit the Indian Civil Service to join the freedom struggle, and later worked in rural development in Maharashtra. He now traveled through Bihar, speaking to a cross-section of JP’s supporters and critics, and to many bystanders as well. On his return to Nagpur, Patil wrote JP a long letter with his impressions. He appreciated “the tremendous popular enthusiasm generated by the movement”. However, he deplored its disparaging of political parties in particular and constitutional democracy in general. As a man of intelligence and principle, Patil was “well aware of the patent drawbacks of the Government presided over by Indira Gandhi”. But he did not think it “wise to substitute for the law of ‘Government by Discussion’, the law of ‘Government by Public Street Opinion’”. Patil reminded JP that “there is no other way of ascertaining the general opinion of the people in a NationState, except through free and fair elections”. The materials of history thus suggest that the parallels between JP and Anna are less comforting than we might suppose. Front organizations of the Jana Sangh’s successor, the BJP, are now playing an increasingly active role in ‘India against corruption’. While Anna cannot be blamed for the inﬁltration of his movement by partisan interests, he certainly stands guilty, as did JP, of suggesting that the street — or the maidan — should have a greater say in political decision-making than a freely elected Parliament. Such are the parallels in the realm of civil society. What then, of the other side? The main difference here is that while the prime
Anna Hazare with spiritual guru Sir Sri Ravi Shankar at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. minister of JP’s day, Indira Gandhi, was ex- political class. However, the task now is not cessively arrogant, the present prime minis- to further polarize State and society, but to ter is excessively timid. Despite his personal ﬁnd democratic and transparent ways of honesty, Manmohan Singh is complicit in the making politicians more efﬁcient and colossal corruption promoted by the minis- less venal. ters in his government. Further, he is guilty The scholar and public servant Gopalkrishof a lack of faith in the procedures of consti- na Gandhi recently observed that the arteries tutional democracy. His decision not to stand of constitutional democracy have become for a Lok Sabha seat does not violate the clogged, contaminated by years of abuse and Constitution in law, but does so in spirit. Be- disuse. One needs, he said, a bypass surgery cause of his unwillingness to face the elec- to restore the heart to its proper functioning. torate, his claim to defend the primacy of The image is striking, and apposite. The curParliament lacks conviction. rent movement against corruption may come To restore faith in the constitutional to constitute such a bypass, so long as it does process some heads must roll in government. not claim to be the heart itself.. But serious introspection must take place within what passes for ‘civil society’ as well. (Ramachandra Guha is the author of India The movement led by Anna Hazare has fo- After Gandhi: The History of the World’s cused sharp attention on the corruption of our Largest Democracy )
Behold India's democratic revolution By Sudip Mazumdar unique revolution is unfolding across India. No matter what is the immediate outcome of this popular upsurge, triggered by the inspiring determination of a 74-year-old man's refusal to eat food till the ﬁrst step towards containing the hydra-headed monster of state-encouraged corruption is taken, Anna Hazare's fast has already become an event of great historic proportions. Take a few recent developments in the so-called developed democracies of the West. In the United Kingdom marauding mobs robbed innocent people, burned down neighborhood shops and houses and attacked police with guns and petrol bombs. In otherwise placid Norway, extreme hate-ﬁlled anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant mindset led to the mass carnage of innocent students and bombing of buildings in Oslo. In the preacher of democracy,
We must celebrate the swelling popular participation in the uprising that has forced the elected representatives to be accountable in an unprecedented way. the United States, a prolonged recession, mounting unemployment and venal partisan politics have led to hardening of anti-immigrant prejudices, instead of a pan-American protest movement. A similar narrow-minded response is on dis-
play across crisis-ridden Europe. Now contrast that with India's sweeping mass movement. It is peaceful, non-violent and all-inclusive, propagating a "middle path" shunning the extremism of Maoists on the one hand and rightwing big-
otry on the other. We must remember that ordinary Indians have been brutalized for far too long by tyrannical state functionaries ranging from a ruthless policeman to a shameless minister looting public money to a pitiless judge allowing the innocent to rot in prison. And yet, Indians have not swung either to the extreme left or to the extreme right. They have steadfastly remained on the middle path. In a dazzling display of noble human emotions, Indians are helping each other in this mass uprising in a spirit of service and fellow feeling. Look at that family of 40 from Ludhiana distributing food and water at Ramlila grounds and the traders from Shahdara who are running community kitchens to feed people and the grandmother from Kurukshetra who cooks food and brings it to Delhi and shares it with anyone sitting next to her at Ramlila grounds. Such stories abound across the country.
The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.
Cynics and skeptics, unwittingly propping up the indefensible case of an insensitive and insular ruling establishment, have variously tried to run down the uprising by picking up a stray slogan here or an out-of-context comment there or by plainly circulating lies and misinformation. That is why they are as disconnected from the ground reality and popular aspirations as the government and its corrupt minions are. We must celebrate the swelling popular participation in the uprising that has forced the elected representatives to be accountable in an unprecedented way. If the legislators were truly representing the people, they would be milling among the peaceful crowds, and not hide in fear in their well-guarded, fenced and usurped prime real estate. (Sudip Mazumdar is long-time foreign correspondent based in New Delhi and a keen political observer.)
August 27-September 2, 2011
Independence Day Celebrated in Kuwait Kuwait City: Thousands of Indian nationals celebrated the 65th Independence Day here Monday. Indian ambassador Satish Chand Mehta unfurled the national flag at the embassy premises. The entire gathering then sang the national anthem, said a statement from the embassy. Mehta read out the address by President Pratibha Patil. Members of the community later sang patriotic songs. The ambassador added that Kuwait and India had always shared historical, cultural as well as economic ties. There are about 290,000 people of Indian origin in Kuwait, according to an Indian government report.
Ambassador to Kuwait Satish Chand Mehta reading out the message from President Pratibha Patil.
Children dancing to patriotic songs during the program
Indo-Canadian CEO Karna Lokpal Bill: Indians in UAE asked to avoid public reactions Gupta to head top IT body Toronto: Karna Gupta, a advocacy for widely respected senior exechomegrown utive with over 30 years expeCanadian comparience in the Canadian and nies and he will international information and be a major communications technology resource and industry, will be the next counsel for President and Chief Executive SME’s and the Officer of Information whole ITAC Technology Association of community.” Canada (ITAC), effective Prior to joining August 25, 2011. Certicom, Gupta Currently serving as an was President for independent director of a the Real-Time Karan Gupta number of technology firms, Billing Division Gupta’s last CEO role was with of New Jersey-based Comverse Certicom Corporation, a Mississauga- Technologies. Under his leadership, based encryption technology compa- Comverse became the de-facto leader ny. Gupta led Certicom through a sig- in telecom billing in emerging nificant turnaround and also defended economies. He was also President of the company against a hostile Sitraka Mobility, leading that compatakeover bid. He led the ultimately ny from start-up to a successful mergsuccessful transaction which resulted er in 2001. He also held a number of in a friendly acquisition of the compa- executive positions with Bell Canada ny by RIM. including Vice-President, Product “ITAC is delighted that we have Development and Management. been able to recruit a senior ICT exec“The future of our industry in utive with such distinguished creden- Canada lies with the business leaders tials,” said David MacDonald, Chair who, in spite of a global recession, of ITAC’s Board of Governors and fierce competition and constantly President and CEO of Softchoice changing technology, are working Corporation. “Karna’s experience hard to build the next great global hiincludes significant contributions to tech companies,” Gupta said. “In large Canadian corporations like Bell Canada, we need to do a better job of Canada and global firms like improving their chances for success. Comverse. As a leader of a number of ITAC is a respected and influential Canadian start-ups, he’s lived through voice in public policy and is also a virtually every significant hurdle and dynamic and strong business forum. I challenge to growth that emerging am excited to be working with our companies face. His experience will members to build a strong ICT indusstrengthen the authenticity of our try in Canada.”
Dubai: Indians in the United Arab Emirates have been advised to respect local laws while reacting to developments such as social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in India. The appeal from Indian Consul-General in Dubai Sanjay Verma has come following arrest of three Indians for violating local laws after a group organized a march in Dubai on August 20 in support of the Jan Lokpal bill. In a statement issued in the Facebook page of the Indian Consulate General in Dubai, Verma said: “I take this opportu-
nity to advise my Indian brothers and sisters to once again be cautious and avoid public reactions to issues in India. But, if you feel you need to than do so acknowledging local laws and other requirements.” He further added that “the reaction to some developments in India makes many of us forget that we are in a foreign land. Some of you may have heard that a group of our nationals organized a march in a public area on 20 August in Dubai in support of the “Jan” Lokpal Bill. Three of our countrymen have been detained since by the local
authorities for violating local laws.” The Consulate is following the case closely and has been in touch with the three individuals and their families who are undergoing avoidable stress because of this indiscretion. He however added that “the local law and legal process will determine the fate of those arrested.” Appreciating the behavior of the Indians in Dubai, he said that they “are known for their responsible and law abiding nature.” He added that a simpler way of conveying concerns is by joint petitions.
Get back capital punishment: Indian-origin British MP London: Indian-origin British MP Priti Patel has said she supports a 'serious debate' in parliament for the return of capital punishment in Britain. An opinion poll in the country showed nearly twothirds of adults want murderers to be executed, says the Daily Express. The survey by Angus Reid, a public opinion and research company, found 65 percent of adults quizzed were in favour of capital punishment while only 28 percent were opposed to the idea. Around three-quarters of voters (78 percent) want parliament to debate the return of capital punishment. Priti Patel, Tory MP for Witham in Essex, said: 'I'm not surprised there is such overwhelming support for the return of capital punishment. We need a serious debate about this issue in Parliament, it is long overdue.'More than 17,000 people have also signed an e-petition on government website direct.gov.uk, calling for a review of Britain's membership of international treaties which outlaw the
Priti Patel death penalty. Under the rules of the e-petition system, the government will have to consider holding a debate if the total exceeds 100,000 people. The issue of capital punishment was last debated in the House of Commons in 1998, when MPs rejected the call for restoration of the death penalty. Prime Minister David Cameron is opposed to bringing back capital punishment. The last hangings in Britain were carried out in 1964.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Pak, China ties unique: Hina Islamabad: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who is on a visit to Beijing, has said Pakistan and China enjoy a unique relationship and dialogue was an ongoing process between the two countries. Talking to mediapersons on arrival in Beijing, Khar said the leadership of both countries had invested immensely for the enhancement of existing strong bonds of friendship. She said President Asif Ali Zardari was carrying forward the ties to new heights by frequently visiting China, reported Associated Press of Pakistan. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also paid several visits, she added. She pointed out that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan in December last year was historic as it helped in further enhancing the bilateral relations. The foreign minister said the visit of Premier Wen played an important role in further deepening the the strong relationship. Khar said: "The relationship
Pak Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. strongly exists among peoples and governments of two countries and now we want to commensurate these ties with trade, economic and investment cooperation." The foreign minister said China is one of the countries with which Pakistan has signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA). She said the existing strong bonds of friendship between Pakistan and China was multifaceted and covered all areas including defense, economic and trade ties. "We have strategic and robust relations with China," she said.
Indian, Pak push for easing visa regime New Delhi: Calling for an "uninterrupted" dialogue between India and Pakistan, parliamentarians of the two countries Friday pushed for liberalizing the visa regime to ease travel between their people and underlined the need for resolving all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism. The two-day parliamentarians' dialogue, co-chaired by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha and Pakistani Senator Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali, ended Friday by backing "uninterrupted and uninterruptible" dialogue that which was agreed to by the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan at their talks last month. The parliamentarians focused on expanding peopleto-people contacts through the easing of travel and trade restrictions and called for consolidating the outcome of the composite dialogue over the last 14 years. "Peace and friendship at the popular level is what we need between India and Pakistan," Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, who participated in the two-day dialogue, said. Aiyar said the constituency for peace was expanding in both India and Pakistan. "There is a huge constituency for peace in Pakistan from the rehriwalla (street vendor) on the streets of Karachi to (Pakistani Army chief) Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani," said Aiyar when asked what he thought about the support in Pakistan for the peace process. Most MPs said more Pakistanis are realising that terrorism is their biggest problem and it has become a
Frankenstein monster, he said. Besides Aiyar and Sinha, the Indian MPs who participated in the discussions included Shashi Tharoor, Naveen Jindal, Rashid Alvi and Shatrughan Sinha. The dialogue ended with a joint statement containing a slew of suggestions for taking forward the peace process between the two countries. The parliamentarians decided to brief their respective governments and the presiding officers of their parliaments about the recommendations of the conference. "While recognizing that some progress has been made in the formal processes of the dialogue, the parliamentarians recognize that peace, security and development require the resolution of outstanding issues," said the joint statement.
50 die in suicide attack in Pak Migration to Britain up Islamabad: More than 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber, said to be a teenaged boy, exploded himself inside a packed mosque during Friday prayers in northwest Pakistan, media reports said. The deafening afternoon blast devastated the shrine in Ghondi area of Jamrud district, leaving
more than 125 people also injured, many crippled for life. Hundreds were offering prayers in the mosque, located in a mountainous area in Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan when the suicide bomber struck. Some reports said there were about 400 people in the mosque, which partially collapsed fol-
lowing the explosion, apparently burying many under the debris. At least 53 people were killed, Xinhua quoted Pakistan's ARY TV as saying. Some 50 critically injured were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar city some 50 km from the blast site.
Indian MPs slam Sri Lanka for 'war crimes' New Delhi: The Indian opposition accused Sri Lanka of ill treating Tamils even after crushing the Tamil Tigers, while a Communist leader also flayed New Delhi for its silence on "war crimes". "There are increasing concerns and worries over the ill-treatment of Tamils Sri Lanka," Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav said in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on the situation in Sri Lanka. Saying the continuing "humiliation" of Tamils must end, Yadav said: "India can't rest in peace as long as the ill-treatment of Tamils continues." He asked the Sri Lankan government to show greater initiative to overcome the ethnic divide as the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended over two years ago. Prasanna Kumar Patasani of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) alleged that Tamils were butchered in Sri Lanka as the military crushed the LTTE and they continued to be persecuted in the island nation. Alluding to a UN report, M. Thambi Durai of the AIADMK pointed to the rights violations during the conflict and pressed India to impose an economic embargo against Sri Lanka till the Tamils were treated better. In the Rajya Sabha, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja was more scathing. He accused New Delhi of betraying the Sri Lankan Tamils at a crucial time by not raising their mass killings in interna-
due to Pak, Libya London: An increase in migration applications from Pakistan and Libya has led to net migration to Britain shooting up more than 20 percent from the previous year's figure. Net migration to the country in 2010 was 239,000, an increase from 198,000 in 2009, figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown. Studying in Britain was the most common reason for
migrants going there. Three out of four of the 228,000 who came to study were from outside the European Union, Sky News reported. The report, however, did not specify the number of Pakistani people applying for migration to Britain. The statistics also reveal the number of people coming for a definite job was at its lowest in over six years, at 110,000.
Ballot battle in Nepal for new PM
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Sharad Yadav. tional forums. "Government of India betrayed Sri Lankan Tamils at a crucial moment," Raja contended. "There is a demand for international impartial investigation. So far India has not raised this demand... "What happened in May 2009 was nothing but genocide," Raja said, referring to the period when the military used its awesome machine to crush the LTTE, disregarding appeals that this could cause harm Tamil civilians in the area. "We have not seen such genocide in any country in contemporary history," Raja said.
Kathmandu: After failing to choose a consensus prime minister within the 10 days' time given by President Ram Baran Yadav, Nepal's warring parties will now hold a ballot battle in parliament to elect a successor to caretaker premier Jhala Nath Khanal. "The election will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday," parliament spokesman Mukunda Sharma said. The 601-seat parliament will elect a new prime minister on the basis of simple majority. Since none of the two contenders - the Maoists and the
Nepali Congress - enjoys majority, frantic negotiations have begun to cobble possible coalitions. The race will open with a surprise. While the Maoists are fielding their deputy chief, former finance minister Baburam Bhatarrai, the Nepali Congress withdrew its earlier nominee, three-time former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, in a new development. Instead, now it is back in the fray with its veteran parliament party leader Ram Chandra Poudel.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Hunt for Gadhafi continues Gaddafi may have emptied gold reserves Cairo: Fallen Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi may have emptied the country's estimated gold reserves worth $ 10 billion and will use it to buy protection and wage a guerrilla war, the nation's former chief banker has said. "Libya had gold reserves worth $ 10 billion in Tripoli. Now that Gaddafi is on the run, he may have taken some of this gold", Al Jazeera quoted former Libyan Central Bank chief Farhat Bengdara as having told an Italian daily. Bengdara alleged that Gaddafi may use this bullion to corrupt tribes for his protection and saw chaos. The Libyan banker had deserted the Gaddafi regime few months ago.
Rebels on streets in Tripoli. The banker said that during his tenure the dictator had tried to sell gold consignments to hire mercenaries and to keep ready cash in dollars and euros with himself. Bengdara said that Libya
would need anywhere between $ five to seven billion to kickstart the economy and said there were no fears as the country's Sovereign Wealth Fund and gold reserves were a comfortable $ 168 billion.
‘Al Qaeda could seize Gaddafi weapons’ Cairo: The US, France and Britain have asked Libya's neighbors to beef up security on their borders to prevent the possible smuggling out of weapons, Algerian paper al-Habar said. The West is afraid that in the chaos of Gaddafi's downfall, the leftovers of his military capabilities could fall into the hands of Al Qaeda or other militant groups. No one can be sure who is now controlling the Libyan government's weapons stockpiles, a stew of deadly chemicals, raw nuclear material and some 30,000 shoulder-fired rockets, the paper said. The leaders of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt,
Chad and Niger received letters in which Western leaders requested that measures be taken to prevent such groups obtaining the weapons, the paper said. The West also warned the countries adjacent to Libya against giving refuge or transit passage to the members of the toppled regime, the paper also said. Rebels seized control of much of Tripoli this week, but Colonel Gaddafi's whereabouts remain unknown. According to a pro-Gaddafi television channel, the 69year-old promised "martyrdom or victory" in his fight against the rebels and NATO forces.
Tripoli: Libya's cashstrapped rebel leadership worked to consolidate power on Thursday, moving to secure money to govern while battling tenacious proGadhafi fighters in Tripoli. The biggest question for the opposition was the whereabouts of Moammar Gadhafi, who remains elusive despite a $1.4 million bounty that the opposition posted for his capture or death. "I have been out a bit in Tripoli discreetly, without being seen by people, and ... I did not feel that Tripoli was in danger," said Gadhafi, who took to the airwaves Wednesday. He taunted the rebels and called on loyalists to rise up in Tripoli. In an audio message aired by two Arabic-language networks, Gadhafi said he was no longer at his Tripoli compound, saying he had retreated in a "tactical move" after NATO airstrikes destroyed much of it. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the recording. The rebel control of Libya, while significant, is not complete. Fighters encountered pockets of resistance across Tripoli. Eyewitnesses told CNN that fighting between rebels and Gadhafi loyalists erupted Thursday at the embattled leader's compound -- the scene of a number of clashes in recent days. A giant plume of smoke rose from the compound in
In an audio message aired by two Arabic-language networks, Gadhafi said he was no longer at his Tripoli compound. Bab al-Aziziya, just two days after rebels stormed it and seized control in a fierce firefight, CNN's Sara Sidner reported. The compound has been the scene of a number of clashes in recent days. Special Forces from Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar -- on the ground in Libya -- stepped up operations in Tripoli and other cities. But a senior opposition official said a large portion of the southern half of the capital remained dangerous. Rebels controlled the hotly contested airport, but were struggling to control an area east of it. Two planes were set ablaze Wednesday night and exploded after a hit by Gadhafi forces shelling the airport. The anxiety over Gadhafi's whereabouts forced some Tripoli residents to set up checkpoints to protect their homes. "They are afraid of something that could happen
because of the simple fact that Gadhafi hasn't been caught," said Tariq Elmeri, 28. "To an extent, people don't really have the courage to go to different neighborhoods," he said. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan ambassador to Libya said his home in Tripoli was attacked by armed groups. "It is a violation of international law because the attacks were against a site of the Venezuelan territory," the ambassador told Venezuela's state-run AVN news agency. And Gadhafi's son, Saadi, also seemed open to negotiating a cease-fire. The United States was expected Thursday to call for a vote by the Security Council. South Africa opposes the move and says the situation on the ground in Libya has not been settled.
Beijing expanding military power: US Washington: China is pouring money into aircraft carriers, missiles, cyber warfare and "space dominance", a US Pentagon report has claimed. China will have a modern military capable of force-projection and sustained high-intensity combat as early as the end of this decade, an annual Pentagon report into the state of China's armed forces has claimed. New aircraft carriers, a stealth fighter program, carrier-killing ballistic missiles, improved cyberwarfare techniques and a doctrine of "space dominance" would all contribute to China's ambitious plans to modernize its 2.3million-strong People's Liberation Army. The annual report comes as the US, Japan and several of China's smaller neighbors in the South China Sea voice concerns both about China's investment in
China's is modernizing its 2.3million-strong People's Liberation Army. offensive weapons technologies and Beijing's belligerent and bullying attitude towards regional disputes. China rebuffed the 94page report, accusing the Pentagon of "overlooking the country's peaceful defense policy"
and "interfering" over Taiwan, the island that split from China in 1949 but that Beijing yearns to see re-united with mainland. China's embassy in Washington described the report as "a reflection of Cold War mentality" that
would needlessly be used to depict China as a threat and urged the US to "to work with China" to create healthy military ties between the two powers. Relations have improved this year with the chiefs of both armed forces paying reciprocal visits to each other after a bruising 20092010 that saw a virtual severing of formal, high-level defense contacts between the US and China. The report estimated that China spent US$160billion (£98billion) on its armed forces and other military-related projects in 2010. That is nearly double its officially declared defense budget - but still far short of the US$700billion spent by America on its forces over the same period. Examining the readiness of China's new weapons, the report said that China's carrier program would not be operational until 2015 at the earliest, while its
Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter would not be ready until 2018. Of more immediate impact to US forces in the Pacific is the Dong Feng, or "East Wind", DF21D carrier-killing ballistic missile which the report estimates is already in the early stages of being operational. Despite China's repeated assurances that it plans a "peaceful rise", the US and many regional powers are openly expressing concerns about China's military build-up and questioning why China feel it necessary to develop offensive weapons capabilities. "The pace and scope of China's sustained military investments have allowed China to pursue capabilities that we believe are potentially destabilizing to regional military balances," said Michael Schiffer, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, releasing the report in Washington.
August 27-September 2, 2011
India, China enjoy 68% of PE investment New Delhi: The lion's share of private equity funds targeted at emerging markets goes to faster growth countries like India and China, with the two Asian giants cornering 68 per cent of the total invested value, says a study by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. According to the EMPEA, which manages a global proprietary database of private equity activity across emerging markets, "China and India together captured 68 per cent of the total invested, with USD 5.8 billion going into China and USD 3.8 billion into India." Calculated on this basis, private equity investments in emerging market economies totaled a little over USD 14 billion in the first six months of this year.
India and China account for 54 per cent of the total number of completed private equity transactions in the January-June period this year. Moreover, India and China account for 54 per cent of the
total number of completed PE transactions in the January-June
Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO New York: Steve Jobs decision to step down as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s chief executive officer erased as much as $52 billion from the benchmark gauge for U.S. stocks, futures trading shows. The September contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slumped up to 0.6 percent after Jobs released his statement at 6:34 p.m. in New York yesterday. The measure’s total market value was $9.34 trillion at the close of regular trading at 4 p.m., data compiled by Bloomberg show. Apple fell 5.1 percent. Jobs, 56, who has battled cancer and had a liver transplant, presided over a 9,020 percent surge in the stock since July 29, 1997, the day before the San Francisco Chronicle broke the news that he would be named interim CEO. Over the same period, the shares grew in value to $348.7 billion from $2.08 billion. Apple briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp. this month as the world’s most valuable company. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook,
Steve Jobs, the brain behind the iPhone, iPad and other devices that turned Apple Inc. into one of the world’s most powerful companies. 50, succeeded Jobs. introduced devices that revo“The fortunes of Apple lutionized the computer, have been closely identified mobile phone and digital with Steve Jobs,” Matt music industries. His attenMcCormick, a money manag- tion to detail and emphasis on er at Cincinnati- based Bahl easy-to-use products helped & Gaynor Inc., which over- Apple repel competition from sees $4 billion, said in a tele- rivals as varied as Google phone interview. “When he is Inc. and International in, the stock outperforms. Business Machines Corp. The stock will languish until Apple shares fell 5.1 perCook can reassure investors cent to $357.10 at 7:59 p.m. and demonstrate his value. in New York, following the It’s not the end for Apple, but announcement. The drop the end of a chapter.” Under erased $17.7 billion from the Jobs, Apple’s equity value stock’s value, according to swelled after the company data compiled by Bloomberg.
period this year. China accounted for 136 completed transactions, compared to 142 in the case of India. Private equity funds targeting emerging markets raised a total of USD 22.6 billion in the first half of this year and the amount is all set to reach USD 40 billion by the end of the year, the EMPEA said. In the first six months of this year, 89 funds raised USD 22.6 billion, compared to USD 23.5 billion raised in the whole of 2010, putting emerging markets on track to potentially double 2010 fund-raising totals. "Fund-raising activity in the first six months of 2011 reached almost full-year 2010 levels and we estimate that fund-raising for the full year could reach USD 40 billion or more, which would
exceed the 2006 total," EMPEA President and CEO Sarah Alexander said. Funds dedicated to China, India and Brazil collectively accounted for 70 per cent of the capital raised between January and June, 2011, compared to 50 per cent in the whole of 2010. China-dedicated funds raised USD 10.3 billion in the first half of 2011 and Brazil is the target of multiple billion-dollar-plus funds this year, including two funds that together closed on USD 3 billion as of June. "Western institutions are continuing to seek greater exposure to the world's fastest growing markets and institutions in the emerging markets themselves are significantly ramping up their investment in the asset class," Alexander said.
UBS, Citi rule out recession Bangalore: UBS and Citigroup lowered their forecast for global growth, with sharp reductions to its euro zone view and more modest cuts for China, but ruled out the likelihood of a recession for now. The cuts are the latest in a series of downgrades to global growth forecasts by major securities firms. Last week, Morgan Stanley cut its global growth view and said the United States and the euro zone are "dangerously close to recession." UBS slashed its global gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2012 to 3.3 per cent, while Citigroup cut its global GDP growth view for 2011 to 3.1 per cent from 3.4 per cent, and for 2012, to 3.2 per cent from 3.7 per cent. Citigroup, however, said it does not currently expect recessions in the major economies
as this slowdown in economic growth is not enough to reverse global profits. For advanced economies, Citigroup cut its growth forecast to 1.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent for 2011, and to 1.7 per cent from 2.2 per cent for 2012. "We do expect advanced economy growth will remain sluggish to end-2012 at least, with rising unemployment," the brokerage said in a note to clients dated Aug. 24. Both UBS and Citigroup now expect China's economy to grow at 9 per cent this year, lower than their previous projections of 9.3 per cent and 9.2 per cent, respectively. "Economic activity (in China) so far this year was slightly stronger than we had anticipated, but the global slowdown may point to downside risks in H2," Citigroup said.
Committed to civil n-energy: Manmohan New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the Lok Sabha the government was "committed" to the development of civil nuclear energy and said there "would be no compromise on safety of power plants". Replying to Shiv Sena MP Anant Geete's query on the potential terrorist
threat to the west coast in general and to the upcoming nuclear power plant in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Manmohan Singh said: "We are committed to developing civil nuclear energy." Stating that "there would be no compromise on the safety of civil nuclear power plants", the prime minister added that
safety standards at Jaitapur would conform to the best parameters in the world. Referring to terrorist threats, he called for a "holistic approach" to countering them, adding: "We cannot put a stop to our economic progress and development due to (such) threat. All security precautions will be taken there."
August 27-September 2, 2011
ODIs: England set to upset India London: Having outplayed India 4-0 in the cricket Test series, England captain Andrew Strauss said they are confident of beating the world champions in the limited overs internationals. England and India will clash with five ODIs beginning September 3. "Confidence is high. Here's an opportunity to take on the World Cup winners. There's plenty to be excited about in that one-day series, and I'm sure we'll be very keen to finish the summer again being unbeaten," said Strauss. Strauss said they cannot take their foot off the pedal having become the top Test team. "The greatest pitfall is that feeling that you've done it all, therefore you're not willing to put in the hard work. I'd be very disappointed if we fell into that trap, It's not what we're about as a unit," Strauss was quoted as saying in Sky Sports.
Strauss, despite the fact that he will be taking a four-month break from England duty, is aware of the dangers of complacency. "We've got some very stern challenges ahead this winter in the sub-continent. That's an area of the world that we still need to improve in, and it's going to be a big challenge for us there." England will face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and away to Sri Lanka before returning for Tests in the New Year. "We've got some very stern challenges ahead this winter in the sub-continent," he continued. "That's an area of the world that we still need to improve in, and it's going to be a big challenge for us there. It's very different out there in the heat and humidity, so we need to keep adapting our skills. Winning away from home is always more difficult. Strauss said they have to be competitive at
Bhaichung: A fairytale journey Kolkata: From the sleepy Tinkitam village in mountainous Sikkim to playing professional football in England, striking genius Bhaichung Bhutia has traversed many unchartered territories in Indian soccer to emerge as a rare non-cricketing sports icon pampered alike by the masses and the corporates. As the 34-year-old forward, hailed "God's gift to Indian football" by another gifted striker I.M. Vijayan, called it quits from international football, he left behind a trail of outstanding goals - 42 in 107 appearances for Soccer player Bhaichung Bhutia has called it quit. the country spread over 16 years. What he lacked in height at 5'8", Kyrgyzstan in the 2009 Nehru Cup. Bhutia Bhutia made up with his sharp intelligence, scored in the match, in a repeat of his debut superb athleticism and reflexes, and an uncan- international opposite Uzbekistan in the same ny ability to find the goals, which endeared competition at Kolkata in 1995. Then 19, him to the football buffs turning out in their Bhutia's strike made him India's youngest thousands to enjoy the flair that characterized ever goalscorer. the Sikkimese sniper's game. Born Dec 15, 1976 in a family of farmers in The short stature only camouflaged his a remote terrain of South Sikkim, Bhutia was physical and mental toughness, and an iron mentored in his early years by his uncle will to go all out for the goals notwithstanding Karma Bhutia. He caught attention with his hard tackles, as many defenders were at their performance in the 1992 Subroto Cup interwit's end to combat Bhutia's sixth sense at schools football championship, and next year anticipation that helped him to position him- was roped in by Kolkata giants East Bengal self perfectly and at the right time to finish off for which Bhutia has played the maximum in style rather than with raw power. number of games in club soccer in four spells. A complete striker - arguably India's In the international arena, Bhutia was numero uno in the last two decades with named the most valuable player in the SAFF Vijayan as his only competitor - Bhutia was at Championship of 1999 and 2005, and the his dangerous best in the box, constantly dis- 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, and the player of turbing the rival guards with his off-the-ball the tournament in the 2009 Nehru Cup. running and sudden bursts of speed. In a country where the corporates run after A natural leader, Bhutia has captained the cricketers with lucrative commercial deals, country for 12 long years from 1999 to the Bhutia has promoted international sportswear AFC Asian Cup early this year and played brands like Nike and Adidas, besides receivstellar roles in helping the national side win ing a constant flow of endorsement offers the Nehru Cup (twice), LG Cup, South Asian from manufacturers of mattresses and watches Football Federation (SAFF) Championship to real estate, bakery and game-promotion (thrice) and the Asian Football Confederation companies. In 2008, Bhutia became the first (AFC) Challenge Cup. Indian sportsperson to refuse to participate in India's most capped player, Bhutia became the Beijing Olympics torch relay, expressing the first footballer to represent the country in his support for the Tibetan independence 100 matches when he took the field against movement.
Andrew Strauss said they cannot take their foot off the pedal having become the top Test team. home against anyone in the world. "Away from home is harder, so we're going to have
to challenge ourselves to improve away from home."
Bhajji hits back at Hair's remarks London: Harbhajan Singh hit back at former umpire Darrell Hair for claiming that the offspinner's action is suspect. The 58-year old Australian had earlier launched an attack on Bhajji and Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar, claiming that the two will always have suspect actions. Harbhajan believed that the comments were an attempt by Hair to gain some publicity after being out of favor for over two years. "I don't really care about what anybody is writing. I am not bothered by what they write as they usually do so to sell their books", said the off-spinner. This is not the first time that Hair has got into a confrontation with Asian players.
His first notable attack was on legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in the 1995 Boxing Day Test against Australia when he adjudged a delivery to be a no-ball for chucking. The ICC later released a jurisdiction barring him from all Sri Lanka matches after reported death threats. Hair was also involved in an incident when he fined the Pakistan side 5 runs against England for ball-tampering on the basis of the marks on the ball. The Pakistan side led by Inzamam ul Haq did not return to the ground in disapproval of the judgement. England were declared winners by forfeiture. What followed was a string of meetings to decide the eventual outcome of the entire incident.
I told Dravid not to retire: Ponting Melbourne: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said he encouraged Rahul Dravid to "not even think about retiring" during the cricket Test series in India last October. The former India skipper, who struck three centuries in the recent disastrous tour of England, was going through a lean patch last year, but Ponting told Dravid not to pay heed to the critics. His only century in 2010 up till then had been against Bangladesh and he managed just one half-century during the series against Australia. "I remember after our last series in India there was a lot of talk and speculation about Dravid being finished," Ponting was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo. "I actually went and found him at the end of the series and said 'don't you even think about retiring' because I just saw some stuff in a few of his innings that suggested he was still a very, very good player. "I just said 'don't let them wear you down, don't let them get you down'. I received a
Ricky Ponting. similar text message before and after the Ashes from him as well." After that home series against Australia, Dravid scored two centuries against New Zealand before a string of low scores in South Africa.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Big B to play Anna in Prakash Jha’s next rakash Jha is not the one to be bogged down by controversies. After Aarakshan, he has decided to make a film inspired by Anna Hazare's movement. And he's not exactly supporting him. Big B would play a Hazarestyle crusader in the film titled Satyagraha. The director confirmed, "I am at the moment working on the script of Satyagraha. It is about peaceful protest, though not on a
pan India level. The cast is yet to be finalised, but Bachchan saab will be in the film." The film, however, differs with Anna's ideology. Jha continues, "The upsurge of mass protest against corruption that Anna Hazare has generated is indeed unprecedented and remarkable. However, what bothers me is that only one opinion is prevailing in this movement towards eradicating
corruption, and that could damage the whole noble purpose of the protest. It is the Lok Pal bill the way Anna Hazare saab wills it to be, or not at all. There has to be a less hardline approach to a matter as deep-rooted as corruption. Also, the fight against corruption should be more focused and specific in its motivation. For instance, why not start by simply campaigning against anyone giving or taking a bribe?"
Gulshan Grover wins best actor at NY fest ctor Gulshan Grover has been honored with the best actor international award at the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF) for his performance in the Hollywood film "Desperate Endeavours". In the film, directed by French-Algerian director Sam Khassa, Gulshan plays spiritual leader Dada Bhagwan, the man who went to America in the 1970s and enlightened the lives of the Indians there as well as the Americans. "Gulshan Grover's performance as the Indian Gulshan Grover with the trophy at New York City International Film Festival. holy man is so compelling, sincere and has an aura that the said Roberto Rizzo, CEO and entire jury unanimously voted for founder of NYCIFF. Gulshan is also riding high on Gulshan Grover as the Best Actor International. We will be screen- the critical acclaim he has garing this film at Times Square for nered for his role as a dhaba all the tourists and the public," owner in "I Am Kalam".
Sallu to slow down professionally peculation about Salman Khan's health has been rife and now the actor's brother Sohail Khan has confirmed that a nerve has been troubling him for a couple of months now and that the superstar would take it easy professionally for a while. "It's just a nerve that has been troubling him for a couple of months now. He got some tests done to get it diagnosed. That's it. Nothing more. Now that the problem has been identified, he has been taking medical advice. We're in the process of finding out the best way to treat the problem. Insha Allah, all should be fine," Mid Day quotes Sohail. Salman Khan, meanwhile would work on only one film at a time. Sources suggest that Salman Khan was not comfortable shooting for Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger simultaneously. He would do Dabangg 2 and Sher Khan one by one. Also, Salman would start Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick only at the beginning of next year. For now, he would focus on Ek Tha Tiger. "My movie Sher Khan will now start early next year after Yashraj. Now he'll do one film at a time," Sohail adds. Considering the actor's dream run at BO, his fans wouldn't mind waiting a little longer for their demigod to light up the screen!
No more steamy scenes, mom tells Randeep Hooda fter explicit love-making sequences in "Rang Rasiya" and "Sahib Bibi Aur Gangster", Randeep Hooda has acquired quite a reputation for the steamy stuff on screen. But all efforts to carry his lover's image forward have been thwarted thanks to his mother, who has asked him to temper his roles. Randeep's mother is based in Rohtak in Haryana. "My mother is my biggest fan and critic. She loves the fact that I give all of myself to my roles. But she also feels it's time I held some things back from the camera. Maybe she's right. I can make love to the camera. I don't have to make love on camera," said Randeep. Apparently he has convinced his
Salman Khan has nerve trouble
Karishma to face camera after 5 years ormer star Karishma Kapoor is now all set to face the camera after a gap of five years as she has signed up for Virkram Bhatt’s 3D venture ‘Dangerous Ishq’. Karishma will be playing the character of a supermodel who sacrifices her career for the love of a man in the movie. She will be seen in a glamorous avatar opposite Rajneish Duggal. The actress was last seen in ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ in 2006. The 37-year-old mother of two had taken a break from the film industry after entering into wedlock with Delhi-based businessman Sanjay Kapoor in 2003. Before that she was briefly engaged to Abhishek
Randeep Hooda with Nandana Sen in Rang Rasiya mother he'd no more be seen doing the naughty stuff with his leading ladies. In the process of keeping a promise to his concerned mother,
Randeep had to request the producer of his new film "Kushar Prasad Ka Bhoot" to tone down the love-making sequences.
Karishma Kapoor will play a supermodel in ‘Dangerous Ishq’ Bachchan who eventually married Aishwarya Rai.
Anna storms Lakme Fashion Week nna Hazare caused quite a stir at Lakme Fashion Week... or at least his namesake ‘topis’ (caps) did. When the models and designers turned up for fashion week, little did they expect to receive a crash course in political activization from one of their own. Viren Shah, owner of popular ethnic wear stores Roopam and Roopmilan, brought in a bagful of Nehru caps that bore the words, ‘I am Anna Hazare’ written in Marathi. He proceeded to distribute them to anyone who’d ask. “The models were taking a break in between shows, when a guy turned up wearing an Anna cap and started passing out more. We saw photographers gather, so we went to take a look,” says Divyak D’souza, fashion stylist. “The models weren’t too happy because they only get a few minutes break, and the man was asking them to pose for photos.” The drama continued inside the main show area, where Shah began to pass out the topis to audience members, asking people to wear them during the show. An insider from IMG-R, the event management company, found out Shah was planning to jump on the ramp amidst a show, and plant a topi on a model’s head. But he didn’t create any scene.
August 27-September 2, 2011
Belly dancers at IIT freshers’ bash rientation ceremonies for freshmen are no more just about welcome speeches and small cultural shows. This month, in addition to their usual academic orientation, the students of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai hosted a grand cultural program that saw a performance by professional belly dancers. The dancers bared their midriffs, and gyrated and swung their hips in the college auditorium. A first for the IITs, the performance has raised many brows and sent tongues wagging among the student community. While some dismiss it as students enjoying a harmless dance form, most Delhi colleges say they won’t consider going that ‘bold’. “We won’t allow dances that endorse eroticism. I would allow Kathakali, Kathak, or the great traditional dances we have, because educational institutions are meant to promote these. Other forms of dances can be promoted in a club or discotheque, not in a college,” says Dr Vinay Kumar Srivastava, principal, Hindu College. The principal of Hansraj College, VK Kawatra, shares a similar view. “We can never allow
At LFW, Bollystar Vidya Balan sported the Gandhi cap bearing the words ‘I am Anna Hazare’ in Marathi. Ask Shah what his gimmick was about and he says, “We’ve been supporting Anna Hazare since day one. We even have a banner outside our Crawford Market store, overlooking the police commissioner’s office. I wanted to use Lakme Fashion Week as a platform.” Anjana Sharma, head of fashion, IMG-R, says, “We have no issues with anybody expressing themselves as long as it doesn’t offend sensibilities. We wouldn’t have allowed anything to disrupt a show, and Shah didn’t do that. I’m told that Vidya Balan and Sridevi, who were present for Sabyasachi’s show, also supported the cause.”
belly dancers to perform at any college function. These dances are definitely not meant for college atmosphere.” Dr IS Bakshi, principal, Dyal Singh College, says, “These things are understandable on an entertainment channel, but when it comes to colleges, one has to maintain decorum. The situation can get out of hand, as most students are teens.” While authorities at IIT Mumbai were not available to answer queries, a student, on condition of anonymity said, “Yes, we did have belly dance performances but it was not the college authorities that organised the event. It was the students.”
They have support in some. “I see no issue with getting belly dancers to perform in my college, as long as it is not inappropriate,” says Dr PC Jain, principal of Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). In 2010, IIT Delhi’s annual fest Rendezvous had a budget of over a crore. In the past, stars such as John Abraham and Anushka Sharma have a been a part of it. Shankar Ehsaan Loy performed at the annual fest of Shri Ram College of Commerce this year. It had a budget of Rs 50 lakh Other big shows at DU fests include those by Faridkot, Stereo Nation, Mohit Chauhan, Kailash Kher and Sonu Nigam.
Here’s more to tea than you think ou’ve definitely been there — desperate to complete a last-minute work assignment, but not without a chai break. Now before you reach for that pack of biscuits, consider the right tea and food pairings that gastronomy writer Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal is trying to promote. Having recently hosted a tea pairing workshop with gourmet provisions store Nature’s Basket, Rushina says, “We all love tea, but what we don’t know is that even within Mumbai, each community has their own version of chai. There is the Suleimani chai, the Gujarati masala chai, the Assamese dark tea, which is among the best in the world, and every community has already perfected the right snack to pair their tea with.”
Rushina also mentions different tea variants suit different times of the day. “Fruit and herbal teas have qualities that make them suitable to particular hours of the day. A light infusion fruit tea is perfect to have sip on, as you unwind and get ready for bed.” Here’s the expert advice on popular tea pairings: Masala chai With this Mumbai classic, Rushina recommends biting into something equally spicy: “With the Gujarati masala chai, which has been brewed for a long time and has quite a strong flavour of its own, I personally love a spicy thepla with mango chutney pickle. It’s masochistic, because the hot tea will add to the burning sensation, but it’s
Suleimani chai This clear tea flavoured with lemon, enjoyed by the Muslim community, is usually served with a slightly sweet bread to complement its flavour.
Masala Chai delicious.” Irani chai Enjoyed by the city’s Irani community and by anyone who’s stepped into Kyani or Koolar, the sweet, milky concoction is best paired with brun maska. “Nothing beats stopping by a bakery at 4 pm when the bread is hot out of the oven, generously slathered with butter, and paired with a cup of Irani chai,” says Ghildiyal.
Ukalo A Gujarati special served around the Opera House area, this is actually not a chai at all but milk which is boiled with all the masalas that go into chai. Kashmiri kahwa Rushina informs that this is not as readily available in Mumbai, but is a very pleasing digestive tea made by using very few green tea leaves, topped with saffron, crushed almonds and sugar. “It’s traditionally eaten with sweet breads, but I like
to eat it with a spiced Mascarpone dip paired with sweet rusk,” she says, adding, “It’s brewed using a special tea leaf called Bombay Chai, but I suppose you could substitute it with another kind of green tea since you’re only using very few leaves.” Assamese tea Recommended for mid-day, the flavour of this dark tea can easily be customised by adding lemon or spices like cloves and ginger, perfect for the Monsoon. Says Rushina, “The dark flavours of the tea along with infused spices, cut through oiliness of snacks like chilli cheese toast. Given that you’ll be drinking this between breakfast and lunch, when you’re feeling a little peckish, a cheese sandwich will really hit the spot.”
August 27-September 2, 2011
Humor with Melvin Durai
Think twice before naming your baby f you're having a baby and thinking of potential names, please don't be too creative. Your baby will have to live with that name for a very long time, at least until he or she is old enough to change the name officially. So please stay away from a name like "Pomegranate." If you want to name your baby daughter after a fruit, try something that's more acceptable like "Cantaloupe" or "Kumquat." If you want to name your son after a car, please stay away from names like "Mercedes" or "Kia." Those are girls' names. You're better off with something masculine such as "Cadillac" or "Land Rover." But don't complain if some kid in kindergarten climbs on your son and tries to drive him around. Whatever name you choose, please try not to be as creative as some celebrities. Singer Jermaine Jackson named his fourth son Jermajesty, magician Penn Jillette named his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter, actor Jason Lee named his son Pilot Inspektor and actress Shannyn Sossamon named
her son Audio Science. Compared to them, singer M.I.A. gave her son a rather normal name: Ikhyd. I'd rather be Ikhyd any day than Jermajesty. Otherwise I'll be dreading the day that someone introduces me to the King of Spain: "Your majesty, Jermajesty." Parents have a lot of freedom in choosing baby names, but we need to exercise that freedom carefully, or else it might be taken away from us. If you don't believe me, just look at what's happening in New Zealand. The country's Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has banned 102 names over the past two years, according to the Herald Sun. One of the rejected names is Lucifer, which three sets of parents tried to name their offspring. Who
in their right mind would name their baby Lucifer? Probably someone named Lou Natic. The agency also rejected names that sound like titles, such as Bishop, Duke, General, Judge, Justice and King, as well as the number 89 and the letters C, D, I and T. Oh no, there goes the dream of one of those computer guys from India -- to name his son I T King. New Zealand has not always been so strict about baby names. In 2008, a couple had twin boys and were permitted to name them Benson and Hedges -- after the popular cigarette brand. At least their middle names made a lot of sense: Sillimom and Stupidad. Another couple named their son Violence. That's worse than Benson and Hedges. They deserve to be locked up immediately. Not for giving their son a bad name, but for breaking the New Zealand law that forbids citizens from deliberately creating Violence. I hope that Violence grows up to be a great man. I can't wait to see the newspaper headlines: "Violence Wins Nobel Peace Prize,"
"Violence Makes First Visit to Middle East" and "Mob Attacks Parents Who Asked to See Violence Again." If Violence seems like a terrible name, just wait till you see what another couple named their son: Number 16 Bus Shelter. No kidding, they named him after a bus
shelter, probably because that's where he was conceived. They were waiting for a bus and the man looked at the woman and said, "How would you like to have another baby?" And the woman said, "Great idea! It would be wonderful to have a baby brother for Mercedes C-300 Backseat."
Laughter is the Best Medicine
by Mahendra Shah Mahendra Shah is an architect by education, entrepreneur by profession, artist and humorist, cartoonist and writer by hobby. He has been recording the plight of the immigrant Indians for the past many years in his cartoons. Hailing from Gujarat, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
How internet helps Korean parents to monitor sons Seol: Oh Ju-ri, the mother of two sons doing their compulsory South Korean military service, naturally worries about their health and safety -- but especially now. Bullying, suspicious suicides and shooting incidents in the military have left many parents fretting over the fate of their conscripted sons, and they are now turning to a new Internet service to keep tabs on them. In July, telecoms company LG Uplus launched an internetbased free TV channel that lets recruits at army boot camps broadcast live, a service that the 50-yearold mother of two conscripts wants to use to check on her sons. Oh also meets other mothers online so they can share news, concerns and a snapshot at the boot camp on the Web - glimpses that
might answer a mother's questions: Is he eating OK? Is he losing weight? Does he look happy? "I can share everything from joy, sorrow to happiness on the web and all mothers and fathers who never met each other can be connected," Oh said. "More importantly, we, online, can find out if our sons are okay." South Korean law requires all young men to serve around two years of military duty as the Korean peninsula is technically still at war. Now more parents are becoming involved in hundreds of online groups that have been set up for them to find out more about their 20something sons in the country's 650,000-strong forces. Some supervisors even upload photos of recruits on the sites.
Soon, bulbs may broadcast broadband too! London: Imagine that by simply turning on the light bulb in your room, you can also switch on your wireless Internet connection at home. Well, it's a reality now, thanks to a leading British physicist of Edinburgh University who claims to have developed a technology which can send data through the same connection as a normal lamp. Prof Harald Hass says the invention, dubbed D-Light, can send data faster than 10 megabits per second, which is the speed of a typical broadband connection, by altering the frequency of the ambient light in the room. He says that other possibilities of the device -- which he has dubbed "Li-fi", or Light Fidelity -
- include sending wireless data from "white space" in your TV spectrum or unused satellite signals. By replacing old fashioned incandescent models with LED bulbs he has claimed he could
turn them all into Internet transmitters, the 'Daily Mail' reported. It has new applications in hospitals, airplanes, military, and even underwater. Aeroplane passengers could in theory be able to surf the Internet from signals beamed out of the lights on board, according to the physicist. "The way we transmit wireless data is inefficient electromagnetic waves, in particular radio waves which are limited, they are sparse, they are expensive and only have a certain range. "It is this limitation which does not cope with wireless data, and we are running out of efficiency. Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum... wouldn't it be great to use it for wireless communications?" Prof Hass said.
August 27-September 2, 2011
By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma
Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874; Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899; email@example.com; www.premastrologer.com
Stars Foretell: August 27-September 2, 2011 Aries: This week meeting an old associate would bring happiness and revive pleasant memories. This period is also good for activities that would secure your future and help you improve your lifestyle. Your sense of responsibility and ability to accept challenges would put you into the forefront. New romance will be exciting, so make the most of it. Look into projects that will help you earn some extra money in your spare time. Taurus: This week your beloved would be a major source of happiness and would help you in completing pending jobs. Participation in family functions and social activities would be fun and a good opportunity to revive old contacts. Funds for businessmen would easily generate through loans or some other sources. Matrimonial alliance for some, while others would find romance to keep them in the right spirit. You will achieve outstanding results in your career provided you focus towards your goals. Gemini:Emotionally things would not be good for you this week. Confrontations and arguments could arise, ruining your peace of mind. Your present situation is a good test of your power and endurance. Do not loose your patience and keep yourself busy with activities that will help you relax. Social activities will provide you with knowledge and amusement. Partnerships if any, should be avoided till the weekend. Cancer: Some delay in results would lead to frustration. Take some time to analyze what might have gone wrong and gather more information from experienced people. You should remember that knowledge is power and the more you have the better it would be for you in the times to come. Spend enjoyable time with youngsters. Attending seminars and exhibitions will bring you in contact with important people. Leo: Your people at home would be demanding which would lead to some mental pressure. Strong romantic feelings from a member of the opposite sex would bring about new excitement in your life. You would be in a commanding position at work, and lots would depend on your shoulders. Social activities would prove to be lively and exciting. Your personality will have a magnetic appeal that will bring you new opportunities. Exercise will be important to stay in shape. Virgo: This week you would benefit from your creativity. People would appreciate your efforts and would crowd you for advice. You need to take advantage of the new moneymaking opportunities that come your way. Support from friends and associates would be immense and you are likely to hit the jackpot by associating yourself with the right people. Your beloved would be caring but highly possessive. Libra: This week your personality and confidence would make you popular with your seniors. You would be asked to handle new responsibilities that would bring remarkable results to your career. Your financial condition would also improve, but you should not invest into any risky business ventures or schemes during this period. Family members will bring you happiness and look after you well. Do not be lav-
ish in your spending; try to save extra money for the not so good days. Scorpio: Some unexpected news might create unnecessary tensions. Things would not be as bad as they might appear, but still you need to move very cautiously. Take care of your dealings with influential people. Saying wrong things at the wrong time would bring criticism from people around you. Social activities would bring about a new romantic relationship. Travelling will be highly exciting. Good week for planning long-term investments. Sagittarius: This week you would be in a position to raise fresh funds and collect outstanding payments. Your technical knowledge and skills would bring you immediate gains, but irresponsible action during this period would ensure losses. Handle the jobs boldly and tactfully to get the rewards. Any contribution that you make towards social cause would enhance your public image and bring you mental peace. You will be very inclined towards religious activities. Pilgrimage to a distant place cannot be ruled out. Capricorn: This week people seek advice from you and give you responsibilities that you need to handle with care. Work pressure would increase but you need to be certain that added stress doesn’t upset your mind and disrupt your health. Changing position of stars would bring favorable results in your life eventually, till then you need to avoid letting stress prove disastrous for your health. Pilgrimage is on the cards for some of you. Aquarius: Lady luck definitely seems to be on your side as you receive financial benefits from unexpected sources. You'll find it easy to achieve your goals and live up to others expectations. Your tremendous enthusiasm would especially be very attractive and it would draw many people to your side. Work on your new projects with a long term prospective. Close friends and relatives will try to keep you happy. New alliances and contacts will develop through social activities. Pisces: This week some unexpected good news would sweep you off your feet. But you need to be extra careful when handling finances, as you are likely to incur losses due to bad investment or theft. Stress would be easier to handle if you act upon the advice of your elders or seniors. You would be in the mood to relax and spend extra time with friends. Take care of your health, take proper diet, and adopt an exercise regimen that will protect your vital energy. A spiritual person provides guidance.
Before you consult... i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, don’t feel shy. It’s his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.
Annual Predictions: For those born in this week Aug 27: Influenced by number 9 and the planet Mars, you are dynamic, courageous, energetic, warm hearted and a religious person. You are a great admirer of music and literature. You are research oriented and have a strong determination, but you need to check your tendency to behave jealous, lazy and erratic at times. This year you should plan things well in advance to reap benefits. Efforts that you put during this period will bring desired results in the long run. Favourable period for property investment. Romance will be on top of your list. There seem to be chances too of a new arrival as well. Your financial condition will improve as you pickup job involving higher responsibility and position. Some exhilarating news from distant relations will boost up the spirits of the entire family. Travel and journey will be pleasurable. The months of August, November and June will be significant for you. Aug 28: Governed by number 1, and the Sun, you are original, active, responsible, trustworthy and a very simple person. You are highly talented and fond of accepting challenges, but you need to control your tendency to dominate, overspend and behave destructive at times. This year long awaited promotions and monetary benefits will finally be yours. Financially you will face some problems initially, but things will become better later in the year. This is an excellent period to develop new contacts and revive old ones. Travelling will be undertaken for attending auspicious events. Avoid entering into any financial joint ventures and stay away from speculation. Wedding bells will ring for those eligible towards the end of the year. The months of October, December, February and June will be highly important. Aug 29: Ruled by number 2 and the moon, you are a simple, responsible, trustworthy, creative, intelligent and a talented person. You have a sharp mind, which is constantly searching for new ideas, but you need to control your tendency to behave restless and stubborn at times. You'll start few new venture, and your income would be from several sources. The people you would meet through your work would inspire you to do your best. Good flow of finances would improve your living comforts and savings. An infatuation with the opposite sex would come as a surprise, but would add spice to your life. The health of your parents will cause some concern, but there is nothing to be worried about. The months of October, December, February and March will be highly important. Aug 30: Dominated by number 3 and the Planet Jupiter, you are charming, ambitious, talented, helpful, dignified and a highly methodical person. You are efficient in your work and others have difficulties in keeping with your pace, but you need to curb your tendencies to behave extravagant, jealous and hypocrite at times. This year you would form many beneficial business partnerships and alliances. You would improve your financial gains through investments and new ventures. Your loved one will give you his or her time, services, and even financial support, if needed. Family responsibilities will escalate and people at home will be more demanding. Real-estate transaction towards the yearend should bring excellent monetary gains. The months of August, September, December and February will be result oriented.
Aug 31: Influenced by number 4 and the planet Uranus, you are trustworthy, energetic, systematic, reliable and noble person. You are physically very active, and enjoy participating in sports and social get-togethers, but you need to control your tendency to behave stubborn and jealous at times. This year you would travel excessively or do business with people who live far from your home. You are soon likely to enter a very positive period of financial and professional growth. It's also a good period to reassess your investments. Renovation of the house or construction related activities would also be high on your agenda. Chronic patients definitely need to be more careful about their health. Preventive medicines should not be avoided at any cost. The months of October, January, March and June will prove to be highly significant. Sep 01: Ruled by number 1 and the planet Sun. You are confident, intelligent, original, enthusiastic, and possess a very creative and artistic mind. You are a good host and love moving about in good society, but you need to control your tendencies towards extravagance and stubbornness at times. This year you will see a remarkable improvement in your ability to take quick and correct decisions. Your self-confidence and dedication would help you accomplish difficult tasks and assignments before the stipulated time. Monetary rewards and benefits for those employed. Favours from govt. officers and prominent persons likely later in the year. Your health would be perfect, but the health of your parents would bring some moments of stress and anxiety. New romance for some through social gathering and entertainment activities. Matrimonial alliances for those eligible. Renovation or new construction activities towards the year-end. The months of July, September, January and March would prove to be important and significant. Sep 02: Influenced by number 2 and the Moon. You are imaginative, emotional, trustworthy, simple and possess a sharp memory. Your command over your work can do wonders for you in your career and profession, but you need to check your tendency to behave fickle-minded and introvert at times. This coming year will require you to be highly cautious of your moves. During this period you are likely to face several ups and down in your career. Your financial position also seems to be moderate, therefore make new investments with extreme precautions. Only secure investments like banks fixed deposits and tax saving schemes should be encouraged. Domestic front however would bring enormous happiness. Your spouse and children would be supportive and helpful to your concerns. A sudden influence of an important and eminent spiritual person would provide you solace and mental comfort and bring a new twist into your life. Distant journeys probably for pilgrimage would be undertaken later in the year. The months of July, October, January and February would prove to be highly significant.
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August 27-September 2, 2011
Freedom from Strife This article has been selected and reprinted from Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s book, Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living (Radiance Publishers), an inspirational collection of stories from the world’s great wisdom traditions.
By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj ife and strife seem to go hand in hand. We have all experienced this. Any happiness that we receive is often shortlived, for at any moment we may suddenly find ourselves in states of sorrow. Disturbances occur at each and every stage of our life. Although existence in this world is turbulent, life should be more than a pendulum in which we swing
back and forth between moments of joy and moments of sorrow. The dictionary defines peace as “freedom from strife,” a state of serenity, calmness, and stillness. Despite the obstacles, we can attain true peace in this lifetime, but to do so, we need to undergo a shift in our way of thinking. Our angle of vision needs to change. We tend to look for peace in the outer world. We hope to find it in our possessions, positions, and relationships, but the loss of any of these causes us to become agitated and distraught. Our peace of mind is disturbed. Everything in this world is subject to change and eventual decay. So long as we look to the transitory world for happiness, we will be disappointed. We need to change the way we look at this problem. An anecdote from the life of the Moghul Emperor Akbar can help us in this regard. Akbar is considered to be one of the most enlightened emperors of India. He had a number of advisors to help run his kingdom. Among
these great minds was Birbal, the wisest of them all. He was quite clever and could figure out solutions to difficult problems by looking at them from a totally different perspective. One day Akbar wanted to test his advisors, so he presented them with a puzzle. He took a stick and drew a line in the sand. He asked the advisors to try to shorten the line without erasing any part of it. Each counselor took a turn, but all were stumped. They could not figure out how to make it shorter. Finally, Birbal came forward, took the stick, and carefully drew a line next to the one the emperor had drawn, but Birbal made his line longer. By drawing the second line longer, it made the original one look shorter. The solution to finding peace requires us to look at the problem from a new perspective. We cannot change the nature of the world or its problems, but we can add a new dimension to life that will give us peace. Lasting peace can be found within us. Enlightened luminaries
throughout history have had mystical experiences which verified for them the existence of an inner spiritual reality. The way to reach the spiritual realms is to invert through a process known as meditation. Through meditation we can separate our soul from the body and voyage into the regions within. We have within us an opening or door by which our attention can enter the higher regions. This entryway is located between and behind the two eyebrows. It is known as the seat of the soul in the body and has been referred to in many ways by various religions and philosophies. It has been called the single eye or third eye, the shiv netra, divya chakshu, daswan dwar, or tenth door. If we can withdraw our attention from the outer world and focus it at this point we will see the Light of the higher regions reflected therein. As our soul collects at this point, it rises into the beyond. We may spend our time seeking worldly enjoyments, but they last for only short periods of time. So
Through meditation we can separate our soul from the body and voyage into the regions within long as our attention is identified with the world outside, we are faced with the problems and miseries that are inherent in physical existence. By inverting our attention and rising above the physical body through a process of meditation on the inner Light, we will find regions within which give us lasting peace. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, an international spiritual leader and Master of meditation, affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions, emphasizing prayer and meditation as building blocks for achieving peace.www.jyotimeditation.org
Unity through Spirituality By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj e all know about Isaac Newton and that many scientific developments are based on his insight. Once, when someone talked to him about his knowledge which was helping many people all over the globe, he said that his knowledge was just like a pebble on the shore of an ocean. Whatever heights we might attain in the physical, mental, or emotional arena, we have no real knowledge of the truth, and unless we are enlightened spiritually, there will be no unity between humans in the true sense. What we first need to understand is that we, ourselves, are love. We are love because we are each a part of God, who is an ocean of all love. The second thing that we need is to accept that love in others. They might look different from us, belong to different faiths or speak different languages, but if we would learn the language of love then we would be able to communicate with others. If we love someone, we will care for them. We will never do anything to hurt them. So when we truly, truly love anyone, then we will take care of them, share in their problems and make sure that the quality of their life is better. As we help each other, unity will definitely be a part of our existence. As we look at our life, how do we really live? Most of us spend time during the day in pursuit of this materialistic world. We search for happiness, we search for truth, and we
Great saints and mystics have always talked about being able to focus our attention within ourselves because this is where the treasure house of divinity resides.
search to have unity, but the object of our search is on the outside. As long as the object of our search remains on the outside, we will never find eternal truth and unity, because everything of this world is perishable. The only thing that is permanent is the divine treasures, God the Creator, and what has been called the Holy Word, Naam, Shabd, Kalma, Jyoti and Sruti, Sonorous Light, Celestial Music, or Harmony of all harmonies. These are different names given in different languages to talk about the creative force that emanated from the Lord and created regions after regions of existence. When humans set foot on the moon and looked at the earth, it seemed like a small, insignificant speck in the universe. As science has developed, we know there are many, many other galaxies in the physical region. Likewise, the great saints and mystics tell us that there are many, many other
regions beyond the physical: regions that are more conscious and more spiritual than this physical region of ours. The great saints and mystics have always talked about being able to focus our attention within ourselves because this is where the treasure house of divinity resides. As we connect with the divine power, we will be transported to regions of love, peace, and bliss. Generally what happens is that as a human being, we feel that we are not capable of making a difference. Many of you might remember that it was Benjamin Franklin who put the first street lamppost in front of his house. When he did so, everyone said, “He is crazy. Why is he putting light in the area?” But he lit it up night after night. Soon everyone in the neighborhood started putting up street lamps and there was light for everyone to see where they were going.
Similarly, if we were to connect to the Light within ourselves, we might think that it won’t make a difference, but if we recognize the divine Light within ourselves, that Light is going to remove the darkness in our own surroundings, in our families, and in our work environments. Soon, those with whom we come in contact will also follow our examples. As the great mystic poet, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, has said: I started alone on the journey of love filled with faith and zeal. At every step, travelers joined me, and soon we were a caravan. As we become peaceful within ourselves, let that peace radiate from us to everyone with whom we come in contact so that we will be living in an age of peace, of love and of harmony as we spend our time on this earth. For more visit www.sos.org
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