Issuu on Google+

NEW YORK EDITION Vol.4 No.40 January 28-February 3, 2012 60 Cents

Follow us on

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

SPECIAL ISSUE ON INDIA'S 63RD REPUBLIC DAY


TristateUS Community Affairs 9 32

Business Op Ed 38 19

Bollywood Lifestyle41 27

$#&  Spiritual Awareness 44 Spiritual Awareness 30

 $# ""

&

  South    & Times # ! The Asian The South Asian Times



Excellence ExcellenceInInJournalism Journalism !#" $% !"&

NEW YORK EDITION NEW YORK EDITION

NEW YORK EDITION (%

)!-/.$

4"),%%

5)2)3).' $)'.)3!1)%2 /& 

/,,%'%/&%#(./,/'8!.$)32

Vol. 4 |4No. 40 | Jan 28-Feb 3, 2012 | 60 Cents Vol. | No.12 | July 9-15, 2011 | 60 Cents Vol.4 No.40 January 28-February 3, 2012 60 Cents Follow us on !.!'%-%.31!.'!26!-8 '1/63().3/!..)5%12)38!##1%$) %,%"1!3)/.2 /& 

TheSouthAsianTimes.info TheSouthAsianTimes.info TheSouthAsianTimes.info

/,,%'% /& %#(./,/'8 !.!').' 1423%%  1  3!3)/.6()#(6),,"%(/./1%$40/. Young chooses America indis- over Giants, Patriots Deadlock Parsi community JAINA’s 16th.%73 8%!1 3 %-0(!2)9%$ 3(% /)-"!3/1%Indian-American .$)! 6!2 (%,$Indians !3 6!-).!3(!.  3(%India ()%&  on state of the to Convention wield its pensable in world to meetmodern in Super broadcaster ďŹ les).age separate Telangana, created in Houston )-0/13!.#% /&  %#( /1042 (43.%8 !18 1%23!41!.3 7%#43)5%14$1!-//13(8: Republic affairs:protests Obamahot up BowlAmitav XLVI Ghosh discrimination suit 1).#)0!,  soft 1– apower  4.$6()#(6),,(%,0).%$4#!3)/. /.-/43( 4.#3)/. %6 %12%8 India: huge success /. !341$!8 !8   (% !$(!+1)2(.!.  )1%#3/1 /&  $%2%15).' 234$%.32 %5%18 R Day Sports, R Day Special, US Affairs, India Newswire, Features, National Community, '!3(%1).' 6!2 !33%.$%$ "8Special,

   1  !.$!'/0!, : Convention, 8%!1(%1423!,1%!$8(%,02 JAINA Page 12 Page2640 Page 20 Page 36 Page 12 Page Page 7  234$%.32 %!#( 8%!1 &/1 3(%)1 !,4-.)&1/-5!1)/42&)%,$2/& )1%#3/1  1Pages  16-18 /,,%'%/&%#(./,/'8(%!,4-.) !.'!.!3(!.  1%2)$%.3 ,4-.) %$4#!3)/. /-% /& 3(% !,4-.) (/./1%$ "8 #!-% &1/- /23/. )1').)! 22/#)!3)/. 1  !$!1!*!. to Pakistan that confronting %..28,5!.)! %6 /1+ !.$ %6 %!$!3(2  /-043%1 1 !.'!26!-8 6%1%  1 !#+ terrorism in all forms is in Islam%12%8 .#,4$%$ 6%1% 3(% /,$%23 00,)#!3)/.2  1  //,! &/1 ()2 $/.!3)/.2 3/  abad’s interest. Indian External '1!$4!3% 1 (!.-4'!- !.$!26!-8 %!$)/-%$)#!, %#( 1 !-0!3(4-!1 1 Affairs Minister S M Krishna &1/re.').%%1).' !13(4#(!,!//13(81%,5!

"!3#(!.$3(%8/4.'%23'1!$ spon  $#&$%#$(*!#$%!"& 4!3%&1/- "!3#( (% 2,)$% 2(/6 01%2%.3!3)/. !.$ 1 )*!8 &/1 0,!..).' 3(% %   %# %  $ % %   (% -%%3).' 6!2 01%2)$%$ "8 ()'(,)'(3%$5!1)/42$%0!13-%.32). -%%3).').%6%12%8

SPECIAL ISSUE ON INDIA'S 63RD REPUBLIC DAY

Pakistan turns Resurgent India another 2G scam claims ‘new front line’ displays itsMaran powerquits and minister: of war on terror heritage on 63rd R-Day

ded by saying that terror sanctuaries in Pakistan need to be eliminated for regional peace and stability. And Krishna welcomed Washington’s decision to suspend the $800-million aid to Islamabad,� it said.

Promises were made and sacrifices acknowledged in state capitals and in New Delhi, the centerpiece of the festivities where history, tradition and modernity marry perfectly in a 90-minute ceremonial parade down Rajpath.

As Thailand’s first woman Prime Minister Yinluck Shinawatra, the guest of honor, watched along with the president, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other dignitaries, the spectacle began with the uniformed men and women of armed and paramilitary forces marching down the famous boulevard.

As the sun shone brightly and crowds squinted to look up at the blue skies, the flypast began with intricate aerial maneuvers. The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) latest acquisition, the US Lockheed Martin C-130J transporter, made its debut. The culminating act was the vertical Charlie manoeuvre by a lone Sukhoi.

The beginnings are traditionally somber and so it was Thursday with There were camels and horses, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh New Delhi: It was a celebraThere were boycott calls by in- laying down a floral wreath at the the showcasing of India’s ad- R Day celebration story tion of India in all its diversity, surgents in parts of the country, Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tribute to vanced arsenal, including India’s continued on page 6 complexities and color. The 63rd including restive Chhattisgarh and an unknown soldier. Soon after, a latest nuclear-capable strategic Republic Day unfolded Thursday Orissa, where Maoists hold control grateful nation acknowledged one missile Agni-IV displayed for the with a grand pageant here show- over large swathes of territory, and of its heroes when President Prat- first time, elaborate tableaux from states and ministries and schoolconferred casing a resurgent India’s military in volatile northeast and Jammu ibha Patil posthumously Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran is second DMK minister to exit children dancing downinthe power and culture kaleidoscope and Kashmir, but the day passed the Ashok Chakra, India’s high-Manmohan government theroad. spectrum scam. percent of terror worldwide 2004 involved and53also millions of plots tricolors off since peacefully. And evenjihadists, in these est peacetime gallantry award, Tehrik-e-Taliban cadres,times, trained in Pakistan. commando Union Lt. hoisted like across the country inand cer-LeTcynical when fatigue with to young While the government and the showed complicity in the scam. New army Delhi/Chennai: Singh, who died battling emonies big and small. the government, corruption and Navdeep Thursday’s turn of events is Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Ma- Congress party did not comment on #&$%#$(*!#$%!"&% #(% )&%'(% ##$ in Kashmir. pricestodominates daily!% &# dis- terrorists resistance the country’s governToronto: Pakistan is now the rising ran resigned Thursday following the big political development, an likely to impact both the shape of #+# $%#!&(%$%&%$ came out in large of allegations of involvement in the emboldened ment, people the %'% draconian imposition new front in the war on terror as it course, opposition described impending cabinet shufe and delinumbers to celebrate the day. has become a new safe haven for al- Sharia law and the waging of war 2G spectrum scam, becoming the it as “too little too lateâ€? and sought cately poised relations between the Qaeda, says the Canadian media a against NATO forces in Afghanistan. second DMK minister after A. resignation of Home Minister P. Congress and the DMK. Because of these militant outďŹ ts Raja to exit the cabinet. day after the country blacklisted the Chidambaram, who they alleged 2G scam continued on page 4 Pakistani Taliban and started with- Pakistan has become “the main staging area for terrorist plots drawal from Afghanistan Tuesday. “The war on terror has shifted, around the world and - despite the and Pakistan is its new front line,â€? United States’ assassination of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad - a new said the daily National Post. “These two events (blacklisting safe-haven for al-Qaeda.â€? Quoting a study by the New of the Pakistani Taliban and the start of withdrawal from Afghani- America Foundation, the paper stan) encapsulate a shift, not only said 53 percent of terror plots New Delhi: The billion), believes former chief secfor Canada, but for all other na- worldwide since 2004 involved valuables found in retary of Kerala CP Nair. of Overseas Affairs tions on the front lines of the war jihadists trained in Pakistan, com- the secret cellars of Minister As per a report, Indian Thursday, the Vayalar Ravi (left) Republicclaims Day celebration on terror. For a number of years, pared to six percent in Yemen and Kerala’s famous Sree attended formerthe bureaucrat that the at Indian Consulin New York, seen here veteran diplomat Lalit those lines have been shifting three percent in Iraq. Pakistani ji- Padmanabhaswamy ateestimated market value ofwith the treaand host Consul General Amb. Prabhu Dayal. southeast, from Afghanistan to hadi groups have directed 44 per- Temple in Thiru- Mansingh sures unearthed from the temple cent of the terror plots since then, v a n a n t h a p u r a m makes it the richest temple in the Only ďŹ ve of the six secret cellars of PadmanabPakistan,â€? the paper said. haswamy Temple have been opened, yielding to the paper. #&#&#%*#!$!#&$% It #&$%#$(*!#$%!"&% said the Tehrik-e-Taliban is according world. couldfor bethe worth India’s nuclear-capable strategic missile Agni-IV displayed first Rs time at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 26, 2012.and other valuables. Gold idols, ornaments &%%'% War* on terror continued on page 4 5'#$ $%!%&# very dangerous as '$%# its “stated goalâ€? is# Kerala treasure continued on page 4 lakh crore ($100

President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra, at the 63rd Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.

Kerala temple treasure could be worth Minister $100 billion Ravi at NY

Consulate R-Day event

See Republic Day Special pages 5-27.


5

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Republic Day celebration in India

Namaste India, says Thai PM at India’s R-Day It was a celebration of India in all its diversity, complexities and color. The 63rd Republic Day unfolded with a grand pageant here showcasing a resurgent India's military power and culture kaleidoscope and also millions of tricolors hoisted across the country in ceremonies big and small. New Delhi: Namaste India. Elegantly attired in a cream skirt and jacket, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, accompanied by President Pratibha Patil, moved around the sun-dappled lawns of Rashtrapati Bhavan, hands folded, greeting hundreds of invited guests on India's 63rd Republic Day. It was also a special day for the 77-year-old Patil as she hosted what could well be her last At Home reception for around 1,000 carefully chosen guests at the elegantly manicured Mughal Gardens. After the national anthem was played, Patil moved around with Shinawatra, chief guest at India's Republic Day reception, exchanging greetings with her

BSF Jawans riding camels during the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

Chief Guest and Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. guests. The contrast in their profiles was too obvious not to notice: the 44-year-old Shinawatra is more than three decades junior to Patil, who became India's first woman president in 2007. Incidentally, Shinawatra, known for here elegant sense of style and couture, is the first woman head of government to be invited as guest of honour at India's Republic Day parade in the last five decades. Queen

Elizabeth II came to India in 1961 as the chief guest. The bright sunny weather ensured an unusually large turnout of guests that included diplomats, senior officials, artists, businesspersons and journalists. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Vice President Hamid Ansari were among those who were seated under a makeshift

Rajpath came alive with the daredevil stunts of motorbike riders of Border Security Force. marquee erected on the lawns with the president. The guests milled around the sprawling ground, many nibbling on the samosas, idlis, patties and fish fingers, what has come to be known as the staple At Home menu. Unlike earlier At Home receptions, there were only a handful of cabinet ministers present. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Agriculture

Minister Sharad Pawar were among the senior ministers present at the function. Patil's five-year presidential term ends July 24, 2012. Though there is no established rule barring a second term, the only president to have got one is Rajendra Prasad who was in the post from Jan 26, 1950, to May 13, 1962. The guessing game on who would succeed Patil was the pet topic of conversation at this sunlit At Home reception.

In a first, IAF woman officer leads contingent New Delhi: The latest nuclear capable Agni-IV missile, its C130J special operations plane, and a woman officer leading the IAF unit on Rajpath were among the firsts at the 63rd Republic Day parade. Agni-IV, successfully tested in November 2011, was on display as part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tableau. A potent and technologically advanced arsenal, Agni-IV, which can hit targets 3,500 km away, adds a new dimension to the country's capabilities in

strategic deterrence. The DRDO also showcased the new tactical battlefield support high-speed missile Prahaar and the medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle Rustom-I. Indian Air Force's (IAF) latest acquisition, the US Lockheed Martin C-130J transport plane, made its debut at the parade. Three C-130Js were part of the IAF's 29 aircraft fly past, including three Su-30MKIs and MiG29s. India bought six C-130Js from the US for over $1 billion. Ft. Lt.

Sneha Shekhawat made history when she led the IAF contingent down Rajpath, becoming the first woman officer to do so. Shekhawat, from Sikar in Rajasthan, flies non-combat transport planes like the Avro. She was joined by three other women officers to march ahead of the 144-men contingent. The other women are Flying Officer Anupam Chaudhary, who flies Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, Flying Officer Pooja Negi and Flying Officer Hena Pore, both from IAF accounts branch.

Mr. Kamlesh Mehta, Publisher & Chairman of The South Asian Times, receiving the Jewel of Rajasthan felicitation from Mr. Chandmal Kumawat, CEO & President of Maneesh Media, publisher of Jewels of Rajasthan coffee table book featuring 64 eminent Rajasthanis across the world, launched on Jan 8, 2012 during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012 in Jaipur. Seen in the photo: Mr. Kamlesh Mehta receiving Lifetime Achievement Trophy from Mr. Chandmal Kumawat & Mr. Abhishek Kumawat in Jaipur.

Poll panel showcases ballot power in parade New Delhi: Amid a grand display of India's military might, the Election Commission for the first time in the history of Republic Day parade Thursday put on show the power of ballot too, and sought to woo the electorate, particularly youngsters, to come out to vote. The panel marked its first presence at the Republic Day parade and rolled its tableau down Rajpath depicting a mammoth model of electronic voting machine and banners

asking young Indians to vote. With elections barely a week away in some states, the poll panel used its participation in the parade as a platform to get more people to vote, an Election Commission official said. The tableau depicted the entire election process with a replica of Parliament House in the backdrop. Human replicas lining up to cast their vote with their voter ID cards sur-

rounded the float. A human bust was shown beating a nagada, a big kettledrum played with sticks, as if asking more and more people to come to polling booths and vote. The poll panel float was among the 23 tableaux from 23 states and union ministries and departments exhibiting diverse historical, architectural and cultural heritage of India and its progress in various fields.

The Election Commission tableau also highlighted the National Voter's Day, observed for the second time Jan 25, which is also the panel's foundation day. It observes the day with the objective to maximize enrolment of voters and thereby enhance the quality of Indian democracy. The panel was set up Jan 25, 1950, as a constitutional body to conduct free and fair elections.


6

Turn Page TheSouthAsianTimes.info

January 28-February 3, 2012 R Day celebration story continued from page 3 Petals were showered on the people below as the parade drew to a close. Amongst those at the ceremony, the annual gooseflesh moment for hosts of Indians who are glued to television year after year, were a group of 20 children from

strife-torn Afghanistan who were special invitees of the Indian government. The states saw their own, smaller versions of the event with chief ministers and governors presiding over the functions. Saffron, white and green were the colors of the day. Patriotism the underlying essence. And this is the one day of the year when even the most cynical doffed their hat to that spirit.

Mangano honors Woodbury business for medical supplies to typhoon hit in Philippines

Praise for India’s upsurge at R-Day event in NY By Ashok Ojha/SATimes New York: The 63rd anniversary of India’s Republic Day was celebrated with great fanfare at India’s Consulate General here in the presence of Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi where the Ball Room was packed with diplomats, exservicemen, community leaders and elected representatives of the Tri-state area. Minister Ravi, in his speech, listed the accomplishments of India as a nation where the parliamentary democratic system has thrived for more than six decades. “We stand as an economic powerhouse, unaffected by the world-wide recession”, he proudly announced adding that the reason behind India’s success story was its ‘Regulated Economic System’. “We have nationalized banking system and a central Reserve Bank that ensured oversight over the monetary process”, he said referring to the policies of India’s late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who had provoked uproar among the financial sector with her decision to nationalize the country’s banking system in the 1970s. Ravi said that another reason of India’s upsurge was its multi-party system in which coalitions of political parties govern at the center as well as in states. He pointed out that India proved that Democracy not only survived in India but flourished after independence. “We proved the predictions of Western experts wrong, who had cast doubt about India’s future as the country suffered from widespread poverty and illiteracy.” Consul General Prabhu Dayal, who hosted the event, in his welcome address, lauded the Indian American community for giving the push in strengthening the strategic bilateral

relationship between India and the US. Lalit Mansingh, former Ambassador of India to USA, underscored India’s role in various world bodies. He said that India was playing major role in strengthening various economic and political groups of nations, such as, BRIC, ASEAN and others and hoped that ‘we will soon gain the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council’. “India’s absence from the Security Council as a permanent member was a great loss for the United Nations, not ours”, he commented. While admitting that 80% people in India are still mired in poverty, Mansingh said that a visible sign of India’s prosperity was vast increase of cars seen on India’s roads. “Some people complain about increase in pollution in cities like Delhi due to too many cars on the city roads, which in fact proved that Indian’s purchasing power was getting stronger and many could afford their own cars.” Vijay Nambiar, the newly appointed special UN ambassador on Myanmar, commented that India’s sign of prosperity may not be seen by increase in number of cars and pollution, but by its commitment to curbing pollution and making its contributions in world affairs. Prasad Srinivasan, the only Indian-origin lawmaker in Connecticut legislature, opined that the Indian community here should now give back to the country of their origin. Prominent guests who graced the event included Consuls General of Trinidad and Tobago Ms. Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam and Australia’s Phillip H. Scanlan AM. A number of retired Indian army officers, who are settled in USA, proudly displayed the medals they received for valor. The audience was moved by Indian patriotic songs that were sung. The program ended with a dinner.

Woodbury, NY: Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano (center) was joined by Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines in New York Mario de Leon, Jr. (front 1st left) and Nassau County Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Craft (front 3rd right) as he honored Service by Air Global Logistics of Woodbury and the Catholic Medical Mission Board for helping those in critical need in the Philippines after Typhoon Washi that struck December 16th-18th, devastating the cities of Cagayan de Oro and lligan and killing over 1,200 people with many still missing. The Catholic Mission Board donated $2.2 million worth of medical supplies

and Service by Air, headquartered in Woodbury, not only provided the technical assistance needed to export this shipment promptly, but also incurred all expenses associated with logistics, labor, and shipping in excess of $2 million worth of medical supplies. The County’s Office of Emergency Management packaged 116 cases of MRE’s for the relief. The special boxes and shipping for the meals was paid for by the American Asian community. “It is inspiring to see these acts of generosity in the wake of a natural disaster,” said County Executive Mangano. “Average citizens reaching out to help complete strangers is what being a true humanitarian is all about.”


8

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Republic Day Celebration in India

Kerala CM takes R-Day parade salute

West Bengal celebrates Republic Day Kolkata: West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan unfurled the tricolor as the state celebrated the 63rd Republic Day along with the rest of India.The governor took the salute at a parade by the combined forces of the army, navy and air force on the Indira Gandhi Sarani, popularly known as Red Road. An air force helicopter showered flower petals on the flag just after Narayanan unfurled it. Kolkata Traffic Police, Eastern Railway and NCC cadets also took part in the colourful ceremony.

Five girls from Purulia district, who battled pressure from their families and called off their marriage in order to continue studies, also joined the parade on Red Road.Colorful tableaux of the Election Commission, the industry department and West Bengal Power Development Corp were showcased at the two-hour ceremony, which drew huge crowds. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, several of her ministers and senior officials were present on the occasion.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy got the rare opportunity to take the Republic Day parade salute, as Governor M.O.H. Farook was on medical leave. H.R. Bhardwaj who is holding charge in the absence of Farook could not come down here as he is the governor of Karnataka. Chandy hoisted the national flag at the Central Stadium here. "The total plan outlay for the Twelfth Five Year Plan period is more than Rs.1.50 lakh crore and this will certainly propel our state into newer realms of development. Our aim is to see that this takes place in a timebound manner and also in a transparent way by taking into confidence all," said Chandy. "Even as we talk of the proposed Smart City Kochi, IT project which will provide one lakh new jobs, we are equally serious on our efforts to uplift the beleaguered fishing com-

Karnataka governor calls for probity on R-Day Bangalore: Karnataka Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj urged people of the state to restore probity in public life by eliminating corruption in society. "There is an urgent need to restore probity in public life due to lack of which there is a strong discontent in society. There is a growing demand for an environment free from corruption," Bhardwaj said in a brief address at the 63rd Republic Day celebrations after hoisting the tricolor at the Field Marshall Manekshaw ground in the heart of this tech hub. Assuring the people that he would not allow dilution or weakening of the ombudsman (Lokayukta) in the state, the governor said the anti-graft institution would be given independence and powers to carry its investigation into various high-profile cases, including the multi-billion rupee mining and land scams that led to the fall of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) first government in south India in July 2011. "There will be no dilution or weakening of the Lokayukta and independence of its investigating teams will be maintained to prosecute the guilty and bring justice to the affected people," the governor told about 10,000 people who gathered to witness the colorful event, which included ceremonial parade by the three services and security agencies.

The tableau of Karnataka passes through the Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day Parade-2012 in New Delhi.

Cautioning the authorities against any attempt to weaken the administrative structures and institutions, the former central law minister said that efforts should be made to build strong institutions and administrative structures for rendering high standards in serving the people.Lauding the state's rich cultural heritage and the spirit of co-existence, Bhardwaj said nothing should be done to disturb the fine balance of the pluralistic traditions.

Punjab celebrates R-Day under EC watch Chandigarh: Republic Day was celebrated in Punjab under the watchful eye of the Election Commission (EC) officials as the state goes to assembly polls on Jan 30. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal unfurled the national flag in Ferozepur town while deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal did it in Mohali town, adjoining Chandigarh. The EC, while allowing the chief minister and ministers

to hoist the national flag at official functions, had directed that no political element or listing of achievements of the government would be done in the speeches of the leaders. The EC had also directed that all political functionaries, who are contesting elections will not be allowed to attend Republic Day functions in the district from where they are contesting the polls.

Jaipur: More than 5,000 people packed into the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Stadium to watch Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil hoist the tricolor to mark the 63rd Republic Day celebrations. Patil took salute and inspected the guard of honor from the marching contingents amidst cheers and thunderous applause from the spectators. Personnel from the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC), Rajasthan Police, government railway police (GRP), home guards, NCC cadets and defense forces besides school children participated in the parade. After the parade, school children and more than 200 artists performed folk dances, and some set to patriotic songs. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot,

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inspects the Republic Day parade at Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

munity. Both these programs would get equal importance," said Chandy. Chandy pointed out that despite keeping the secular flag flying high, it was most unfortunate that there had been efforts in some quarters "to dilute the secular principles of our state". "It is best that those who did this correct themselves and if that does

not happen, then the people of our state will take up that effort," said Chandy. On the Mullaperiyar Dam issue that has caused heartburn in relations between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Chandy emphasised that his government's stand remains the same - which is safety for Kerala and water for Tamil Nadu.

R-Day parade passes off peacefully in Srinagar Srinagar: It was a peaceful Republic Day in Jammu and Kashmir with the main parade in summer capital Srinagar passing off uneventfully. There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley where separatists had called a shutdown. Finance Minister Abdur Rahim Rather unfurled the tricolor and took salute at the Bakshi Stadium where smartly turned out contingents of police, paramilitary, Home Guards and school children march passed the podium. Rather said the situation had

remarkably improved in the Kashmir Valley and time had come to focus on moral education of the youth. "Democracy should be respected by everybody and all people associated with the democratic dispensation must exercise their powers and functions to bring relief into the lives of the ordinary people. "While we talk of rights, we must also realise and respect our duties," he said.Senior civil, paramilitary officials and many prominent citizens attended the function that passed off peacefully.

Cheers as Rajasthan celebrates R-Day

The tableau of Rajasthan.

some of his cabinet colleagues and senior officials were present on the occasion. On the occasion, the governor honored 43 officers, employees, police personnel and players for

distinguished and meritorious services. In his address to the people, Gehlot called upon citizens to respect the constitution and participate in the development of the nation.


"Heartiest Congratulations on 62nd Anniversary of Republic Day of India"


January 28 - February 3, 2012

10

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

President Patil message

R-Day: President urges nation to trust its institutions

President Pratibha Patil addressing the nation on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day in New Delhi. New Delhi: Cautioning against losing sight of long-term goals while dealing with shortterm pressures, President Pratibha Patil said the most effective law was the conscience of citizens and hoped that solutions will be found to matters of national importance in the spirit of national interest. In her address to the nation on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day, the president said all countries were facing the impact of global economic instability and there were questions about how growth and resources will be shared in an equitable manner. In an apparent reference to the contentious debate on the Lokpal bill between the government, Team Anna and the opposition parties, the president said the tree should not be brought down while shaking it to remove the bad fruit, and process of dialogue in a democracy should flow in a manner that "we are willing to listen to each other." Patil, who is the country's first woman president, said people should build a strong, prosperous nation based on firm system of values".

In an address replete with references to country's civilizational values, Patil said youth should be involved in nation building beyond self-advancement. "As we remove poverty, let us enrich our thoughts. As we remove disease, let us all remove ill-will towards others," she said. Patil began her fifth address as president by greeting the citizens in all parts of the world and conveying her best wishes to the armed forces and security personnel. She said forces of globalization had created an interlinked and interdependent world and no country exists in isolation. "All nations, developed and developing, are facing the impact of global economic instability, as well as problems of unemployment and inflation in varying degrees," she said . "There is also a growing quest for materialism. There are worries about the direction in which the human community is heading in this age of globalization, knowledge and technology," Patil said. Patil stressed the need for scientific and technological outlook among people and said India will continue to bring moral force on the global stage. "How should we proceed to build our nation and its people? I believe that the answer lies in our age-old values, the ideals of our freedom movement, the principles of our Constitution, as also in our unity, a positive attitude and our aspiration to grow." "We look at building our country, as one whose economy demonstrates a robustness to grow, so that we can become a developed nation." Underlining India's growing global stature, Patil pitched for the reform of global institutions to reflect contemporary realities. She said the country's institutions may not be flawless but they have coped with many challenges. "While bringing about reforms and improving institutions, we have to be cautious that while shaking the tree to remove the bad fruit, we do not bring down the tree itself. There will be short term pressures but in the process we must not lose sight of the long term goals and must work together on our core national agenda," the president said, apparently referring to the contentious issues including the Lokpal bill. Patil said there can be no place for violence in democracy and all differences should be resolved through dialogue. "Negativity and rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country that is moving to seek its destiny. Our work, our values and our approach must be based on the vast capacity that India and its people have." Patil said solutions to matters of national importance in the spirit of national interest will strengthen "roots of democracy and the foundation of our nation".

Miranda, Hazarika in Padma honors' list New Delhi: India's highest civilian awards, the Padma awards, would be conferred on 110 eminent people, including the late Bhupen Hazarika and cartoonist Mario Miranda, showbiz star Dharmendra and cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty, it was announced. This year too, nobody has been listed for the Bharat Ratna honor. In the list are those who have contributed in an entire gamut of fields, from cinema and civil service to science and social work. While five people have been listed for Padma Vibhushan, 27 will get the Padma Bhushan and 77 the Padma Shri. Among the awardees are 19 women such as actor Shabana Azmi, director Mira Nair and activist Uma Tuli. President Pratibha Patil gave the nod for five people to get the Padma Vibhushan for "exceptional and distinguished service". Mario Miranda and Bhupen Hazarika found posthumous mention. The others are sculptor K.G. Subramanyan, orthopaedist Kantilal Hastimal Sancheti and civil servant T.V. Rajeswar. Prominent showbiz names like Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi and

Gundecha and Uma Kant Gundecha, who sing dhrupad have been acknowledged as well. No sportsperson got the Padma Vibhushan or the Padma Bhushan. Eight people will be awarded the Padma Shri. Amongst them are hockey legend Zafar Iqbal, former archer Limba Ram and adventure sportsperson Ajit Bajaj. The world of science was represented in the Padma Shri list by V. Legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika (right) and cartoonist Mario Miranda were awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Mira Nair as well as artist Jatin Das minister, will get the Padma will get the Padma Bhushan for Bhushan too. Another Singaporean, Gopinath "distinguished service of high order". Former ambassador to the Pillai, is slated to get the Padma Shri US Ronen Sen and Devi Prasad in the trade and industry category. Shoji Shiba from Japan (trade and Shetty also figure in the list. Amongst the eminent NRIs get- industry) and US-based professor ting the Padma Bhushan are sculptor Jagadish Shukla (science and engiAnish Kapoor (Britain) and judge neering) are also in the list. The 77 Padma Shris for "distinP.C. Rao (Germany). The list also includes four people in the literature guished service in any field" include and education category -- Vidya 22 people from the field of art. Dehejia, Arvind Panagariya and Vocalist Fariduddin Dagar, theatre Jose Pereira from the US and Homi veteran Joy Michael as well as composer Vanraj Bhatia, bhajan singer K. Bhabha from Britain. George Yong-Boon Yeo, Anup Jalota and the famous Singapore's former foreign affairs Gundecha brothers, Ramakant

Adimurthy, Krishna Lal Chadha and Rameshwar Nath Koul Bamezai. The social work category recognizes the work of people from all over the country, some known and others working in relative anonymity. The names include P.K. Gopal from Tamil Nadu and Phoolbasan Bai Yadav from Chhattisgarh. The last person to have got a Bharat Ratna was Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.

Eight people of Indian origin in Padma list en people of Indian origin and foreigners have been awarded India's prestigious Padma awards announced. While seven have got the Padma Bhushan, three are listed for the Padma Shri. Amongst the eminent NRIs getting the Padma Bhushan are sculptor Anish Kapoor (Britain) and judge P.C. Rao (Germany). The list also includes four people in the literature and education category - Vidya Dehejia, Arvind Panagariya and Jose Pereira from

T

the US and Homi K. Bhabha from Britain. Also in the Padma Bhushan is George Yong-Boon Yeo, Singapore's former foreign affairs minister. Another Singaporean, Gopinath Pillai, is slated to get the Padma Shri in the trade and industry category. Shoji Shiba from Japan (trade and industry) and US-based professor Jagadish Shukla (science and engineering) are also in the list.


The tableau of Assam passing through Rajpath


January 28 - February 3, 2012

12

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Indians React

Miles still to go... India As the nation celebrated its 63rd Republic Day, SATimes spoke to a cross-section of Indian youth to know their views about the relevance of this day to them, how far do they think has our democracy moved and their idea of a developed nation. Ankit Kharod from Vadodara, Gujarat currently working as an Electrical Engineer outside the city of Philadelphia The Republic Day is clearly one of the most significant days in Indian history, considering our constitution came into effect on that day. It's a day when I appreciate being born in a country with a constitution that pushes forward a democratic and free nation ideology. India has come a long way, when it comes to being a living and breathing Democracy, the gift our forefathers bestowed upon us. In light of the current Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement, one can say that surely, Indians are not afraid to take on to the streets in order to make a point. This is however, one part. A huge part of being a democratic nation, is to shine its bright light around the world while being successful in defending one's own democracy from the eyes and deeds of violent states/individuals. India hasn't been able to do a great job in defending its territory from frequently attemptDr.Siddharth Jain, Gastroenterologist, Indore

Surgical

Republic day for me carries a very special meaning. It instills in me a sense of pride and patriotism. The day confers and reiterates the power of the people of India. It tells us that we are the masters of our country, which we have conveniently forgotten over the last 50 years. But most of all on the Republic day the images which gets the adrenaline pumping and gives me goose bumps are of our army and the other wings marching past. The valor and dignity, the loyalty and bonds between the soldiers, the

ed assaults, coming from outside or inside the country; this results in an insecure nation, which can be harmful to our goal of furthering our cause of democracy. The fact that 40 per cent of our children are still malnourished, points to two main issues: a) A vibrant democracy needs a responsible and responsive government, which doesn't engage in corruption and helps in looking after the needy. This clearly isn't the case with our country. b) Another vital piece to a democracy is its citizenry. The fact that we as a nation can go to bed at night and swipe away our flashy credit cards mindlessly when 40 % of our nations' children are malnourished, is quite telling. We need to instill a sense of belonging as well as a fundamental quality of charity in our current and future generations so as to help avoid the danger of being called an inhumane democracy.

patriotism surges and also the hatred for the political class increases because you see them fighting for their betterment while the people who give away their lives for all of us are neglected and never taken care of. To enjoy power we have to be responsible and believe in ourselves. The centuries of slavery has weakened our genetic structure to such a great level that the mutation has become the norm. We always believe that somebody else will come to solve our problems, first there were

School

How can we forget the contribution of those who fought for our freedom? Republic Day is a great way to honor those who make us proud, because of whose sacrifices we are able to live without any fear. In day and age of Facebook it is

encouraging to see how the youth today feels and expresses their patriotism. Given our geographical diversity our development is uneven. Some areas have benefited a lot from the center’s policies, some have remained deprived. There’s this huge gap which needs to be bridged.

Shreya Dholakia, Post Graduate student of Microbiology Post Graduate student of Microbiology: Going by the current scenario, Republic day seems more of an occasion to show-off for political leaders. We ourselves have made a limitation in making the best of democracy. Apart from the election process we hardly get involved. In fact what per cent of the literate elec-

The day reminds me of the promises that our leaders made for a post independent India in 1947. Salute to our soldiers who protect us and I hope to see an India where we can say "saare jaha se aacha, Hindostan hamara." As far as my perception of how far our democracy has moved? Well, nowhere. It is development

the kings, then the Britishers, then came Gandhiji and other leaders, after that the politicians took over. We as a nation have never believed in our potentials and have always looked up to others to solve our problems, whether it is God or other mortals. Our democracy has become strong no doubt, otherwise we wouldn’t be

Jatin Chaudhary, entrepreneur & CEO, SweetlyDesigns, Ahmedabad

By Hiral Dholakia-Dave Kiran Singh, Teacher, New Delhi

Siddharth Shah, Pharma IT Functional Consultant, Pune:

The republic day reminds me of the greatest step of a country to become self sufficient and be directed by the wishes of its citizens and not by a dictatorial monarchy. I am very proud to be the citizen of the largest democracy in the world in spite of being hamstrung with all sorts of problems. Right To Information, Indian Judiciary, Election Commission are some of the great examples of the success of Indian democracy which gives power to common man to take on the powerful. Recently Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh termed malnutrition

torate cares to go and vote… while we as a nation of 35 per cent youth should be able to make a huge difference at the ballots. We have developed but we still need a direction. The growth is haphazard. The government has started programs like 'Madhyahn Bhojan' even rationing schemes for rural areas but due to corruption majority are still away from benefiting from those.

without vision. First we need the political will, then policies with practical governance and transparent feedback from citizens to know how good/bad the policies being implemented are.

having this discussion. But the progress and the democracy has been skewed, we have substituted our cowardice and spinelessness as our tolerance, which makes us more and more weak. Our development has also been skewed and for a select few with the leftovers passed to the common people who are satisfied with some basic facilities like cars and cell phones. Corruption is the most difficult problem facing our nation at present. We as a nation have to rise above our basic needs. We have to have the moral courage to stand up against wrong and injustice and learn to ask questions and displease those in power.

as a matter of national shame, so definitely we haven't developed enough where almost half of the Indians are still not able to get the basic necessities in life. To solve such problems we really need to focus on inclusive development and enable the grassroots people to earn sustainable livelihood. I believe if we can make our people in remotest areas resourceful enough to earn the livelihood it would be one of the greatest achievements as a country.

Vidya Sharma, home maker, Bangalore My mom used to make us watch the R-Day parade on television and I have continued with the tradition. I think the visuals of our fleets’ march past and the display of our military might are moments of pride for all Indians at heart. We sure haven’t had our share of visionary leaders steering the country on a steady path of

progress but considering from where we started 60 years back we sure haven’t done bad. All we need is a focused growth, able leadership and efficient system. But that’s asking for too much isn’t it? I am optimistic though. The way people came out in full support of Anna Hazare proved the extent to which people are frustrated with the system. If people in the Arab world can bring about massive change we are the largest democracy.


Congratulations on 63rd Republic Day of India Accepting Applications for MD Admissions Open House Schedule DATE

LOCATION

ADDRESS

TIME

Saturday January 28

MIAMI

Miami Airport Marriott 1201 Le Jeune Road, Building A, Miami, FL 33126

12:30 PM

Sunday January 29

TORONTO

Marriott Courtyard Toronto Airport 231 Carlingview Drive, Toronto, ON Canada M9W 5E8

11:00 AM

Sunday January 29

VANCOUVER

Vancouver Marriott Downtown 1128 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4R5

11:30 AM

Sunday February 5

SURREY

Ramada Langley Surrey 19225 Highway 10, Surrey, BC Canada V3S 8V9

11:00 AM

Sunday February 5

QUEENS

Marriott LaGuardia Airport 102-05 Ditmars Blvd., East Elmhurst, NY 11369

11:00 AM

Saturday February 11

FALLS CHURCH

Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax 2722 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA 22180

12:00 PM

Sunday February 12

BALTIMORE

Courtyard BWI Airport 1671 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090

11:30 AM

Sunday February 12

SEATTLE

Seattle Bellevue Redmond Courtyard 14615 NE 29th Place, Bellevue, WA 98007

2:00 PM

Saturday February 18

LONG ISLAND

82 North Broadway Hicksville, NY 11801

11:00 AM

Saturday February 18

HOUSTON

Courtyard Houston Downtown 916 Dallas Street, Houston, TX 77002

2:00 PM

Sunday February 19

DALLAS

Dallas Marriott Suites-Market Center 2493 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207

10:30 AM

Sunday February 19

EDISON

The Edison Hotel 3050 Woodbridge Ave., Edison, NJ 08337

11:00 AM

Saturday February 25

SYRACUSE

Courtyard Syracuse Carrier Circle 6415 Yorktown Circle, East Syracuse, NY 13057

12:00 PM

Sunday February 26

BINGHAMTON

Courtyard Binghamton 3801 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850

12:00 PM


14

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Cellular jail in Mumbai

A glimpse of historic ‘Kala Pani’ in Mumbai By Quaid Najmi oon a replica of the world-famous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, along with some original fittings and articles, will be seen in Mumbai at the country's first upcoming museum dedicated to revolutionaries of the Indian freedom struggle. The museum will come up on 10,000 sq ft at the existing 'Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak' at Dadar, which is a national monument to one such revolutionary, Veer Savarkar. According to his grand-nephew, Ranjit V. Savarkar, the museum will be an ultra-modern one with 3D effects to highlight the struggles and travails undergone by Savarkar in the dreaded 'Kala Pani' jail. "Veer Savarkar spent 14 years in an isolated cell in the Cellular Jail and another 13 years under house arrest in Ratnagiri, coastal Maharashtra," Ranjit V. Savarkar, who is also executive president of SSRS, said. He said many people in the country have little or no idea of the Cellular Jail situated on a remote group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, around 1,200 km from Kolkata and Chennai. "Many people want to go there and witness its historical past but are constrained by various factors. A replica with some of the original articles from that jail would enable the new generation, especially the school and college youth, to get a glimpse of its history," he added. SSRS president Arun S. Joshi said while

S

Aerial view of the historic Cellular jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and parts of the jail recreated at a Mumbai museum for Indian revolutionaries. some of Veer Savarkar's belongings have freedom movement," Ranjit V. Savarkar around the country," Joshi said. already been brought to Mumbai, a team will explained. The three-storied Cellular Jail, constructed leave for Andaman and Nicboar Feb 1 to "Besides Veer Savarkar, the museum will between 1896 and 1906, originally had bring back some other articles. also depict major events spanning 1857- seven wings in a circular design with a tall "So far we have brought a couple of the 1947 in which armed freedom fighters also watch tower and a bell at its centre. original doors of the iron cell where he was played a significant role." Two of the wings were destroyed after the lodged, some heavy iron chains and cuffs The SSRS plans to have a full-fledged Japanese invasion of the islands in 1942 and with which he was tied on the arms and legs, library of all available literature around the its reign there till 1945 - when the British rehis jail clothes and other small items," Joshi country at the proposed museum. So far, the captured it. said. SSRS has already uploaded for free downSince India's Independence in 1947, the Now, the SSRS team plans to request the load all the writings, including books, poems jail's 693 tiny cells remained vacant even as jail authorities to hand over other belongings and plays, penned by Veer Savarkar. two more wings were demolished. or items used by Veer Savarkar there. Both Joshi and Ranjit V. Savarkar said The remaining three wings were converted "This will include a huge crushing instru- while the contribution of the unarmed (non- into a 500-bed public hospital for the local ment to which the prisoners were chained violent) freedom fighters has been focused population in 1963, though Veer Savarkar's and forced to move around to crush and upon for the past six decades, the struggle of original cell has still been preserved. extract oil from dried coconuts, one of the armed revolutionaries has been relegated to Later, in 1969, the premises of the entire most dreaded forms of rigorous labor in the fringes of history. Cellular Jail and the watch tower at the centhose times," Joshi said. "One of the aims of the museum is to ter were declared as 'national monument'. "It is now more than 45 years since Veer enable people get a total picture of the Indian Incidentally, the Cellular Jail was made Savarkar died after giving up food and water freedom struggle with the valuable contribu- famous in a Bollywood movie in 1996, for several days. However, there is not a sin- tion of people like Netaji Subhas Chandra "Sazaa-e-Kala Pani," a multi-lingual classic gle museum in India dedicated to armed con- Bose, Veer Savarkar, the Bhagat Singh- directed by Priyadarshan, which won three tribution or revolutionaries in the country's Sukhdeo-Rajguru trio, and many others National awards and six Kerala state awards.

Jasdev Singh: Voice of the Republic Day Parade The doyen of India’s broadcasting and veteran sports commentator reminisces on how he happened to celebrate August 15, 1947 in Paris. By Prakash Bhandari he doyen of India’s broadcasting and veteran sports commentator had never dreamt in his youth that one day he would do the commentary of the Republic Day parade. Jasdev Singh still remembers how India’s Independence was celebrated by the young Indian scouts who had gone for the world Scouts jamboree in Paris. Jasdev Singh, who is now 80, has been a popular commentator who not only gave his voice to sports commentary, but did other nationally important commentaries on Independence Day and Republic Day. Jasdev Singh joined as an announcer at All India Radio Jaipur and retired as deputy director general of Doordarshan. He covered 9 Olympic Games, 8 hockey World Cups and was honored with the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee for his contribution to sports as a commentator.

T

Jasdev Singh on assignment in Seoul, South Korea, for the 1988 Olympic Games; (inset) doing running commentary as he regularly did of Indian National Days. On the eve of India’s 63rd Republic Day, Jasdev Singh spoke to SATimes. He divides his time between Delhi and Jaipur where he manages a school started by late freedom fighter Gita Bajaj. He reminisced how he and his Indian friends

celebrated India’s first Independence. “Jab hum England hote France ke liye world jamboree ke liye rawana hue, tab hum ghulam the, jab pani ke jahaj se wapas apne desh laut rahe the to azad the,” Jasdev says in his familiar baritone with a twinkle in his eyes. Four boys -- Jasdev Singh, who had earned 26 Boy Scout badges, Hariharnath Kaul, Manohar Lal Nigam and Prithipal Singh -- were sent to the world Scouts jamboree by the Maharaja of Jaipur. There were eight boys from Mayo College, Ajmer who had gone to the jamboree under the leadership of well known educationist late Dan Mal Mathur. “On July 29, 1947 we along with 6,000 scouts from all over the world were invited by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Buckingham Palace. Little did we know that we assembled there as representatives of India which would get its Independence after just 17 days. When on the night of August 14-15, Jawahar Lal Nehru was delivering his famous ‘Tryst with destiny”

speech from Red Fort, we were in France and were just thinking how back home Indians would be celebrating the first taste of Independence. “Next morning at the world jamboree assembly we lined up as three flags were to be hoisted at the rally – Indian Tricolor, World Scouts flag and the third one of Pakistan. The scouts from what is now Pakistan had come as part of the Indian contingent, but with the Partition, they were to hoist Pakistani flag. VK Krishna Menon, India’s high commissioner in London, immediately sent across the Indian flag. But there was no Pakistani flag. The leader of the contingent from what became Pakistan was one Qureshi Iqbal. Spotting me wearing a green turban, he asked me to spare an extra green turban so that a flag resembling Pakistan’s green flag could be stitched. This was done in great hurry. As a result, the Indian tricolour was bigger than the Pakistani green flag,” recalls Jasdev Singh, who was later decorated with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

“But during the flag hoisting ceremony, as a gesture Qureshi Iqbal raised the Indian flag and Dan Mal Mathur raised the Pakistani green flag. Both Indians and Pakistanis then sang Tagore’s Jan Gan Man and Saare Jahan Se accha Hindustan hamara as the flags of the two nations were raised. BBC and French radio had recorded this great and memorable ceremony. We sang the national anthem for the two radio services and it was for the first time that I saw a microphone used for radio program recording, knowing little that I would become a broadcaster one day”. The memory of that Paris episode is etched in Jasdev’s mind and often when he covered the Republic Day parade, he would recount how Indians celebrated India’s Independence in a foreign country. Later, on subsequent visits to Pakistan on commentating assignments, he renewed his association with Qureshi Iqbal and other members of the contingent and all of them fondly remembered the flaghoisting ceremony in Paris.


January 28 - February 3, 2012

15

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Homai Vyarawalla (1913-2012)

Lone lenswoman's tryst with India, before and after 1947 India's first and oldest photojournalist won several accolades including the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor. Her tryst with Independence as India's lone lens-woman in the male-dominated media came on the night of August 14-15, 1947. The Parsi from Gujarat died a fortnight ago. Here are some of her best shots including the scandalous one of Nehru smoking..

Homai at work, shooting late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

(Photos courtesy: Homai Vyarawalla archive, Alkazi Collection of Photography)

Nehru at an exhibition with children.

Nehru spinning khadi on a modern charkha.

ill a year ago, Homai Vyarawalla, India's first and oldest photojournalist, was still as spirited as she was in the 1920s when she captured glimpses of Bombay (now Mumbai) life with her box camera and chronicled the Independence struggle. The story of Vyarawalla's life spans almost a century -- older than that of independent India. "I started clicking photographs at the age of 13 in Bombay with a box camera in 1926 and I shot my last photograph in 1970, 40 years ago. Since then, I have not touched the lens. But I am aware of the drifts in press photography down the decades," Vyarawalla had said. The daughter of an actor in an Urdu-Parsi theatre company, Homai Vyarawalla was born in Navsari in Gujarat in 1913. She grew up in Bombay and learnt photography from a friend. Her tryst with Independence as India's lone lens-woman in the male-dominated media was on the night of August 14-15. "The women decided to organize a 'havan' at night to felicitate the leaders who were going into parliament for the transfer of power. I was not allowed to photograph the leaders by the man in charge of the press section because he thought he was a greater patriot. However, I was supplied with pictures by a friend who had gone in," Vyarawalla recalled in the interview.

T

Homai Vyarawalla with her Speed Graphic Pacemaker Quarter Plate camera.

In the morning, Lord Mountbatten was sworn in as the governor general, she recalled. "The prime minister and the cabinet were sworn in at the Government House Aug 15 and the tricolor was unfurled at the Red Fort on Aug 16 and I wanted to photograph the guard of honor," Vyarawalla had said. "I climbed on to the ramparts to shoot the sea of faces and the unfurling of the flag. I had a Rolleiflex camera, but cameras did not have zoom, wide-angle or telephoto lens those days. I was fortunate because I managed to capture Lady Mountbatten with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in my frame. Pandit-ji (Nehru) was addressing the people... and we shot many photographs," Vyarawalla said For eight years, Vyarawalla used a 35mm camera and then a Rolleiflex Speed Graphic with which she could take pictures on the darkest of the dark nights. "I remember shooting Pandit-ji and Mountbatten talking under a tree at night. As I used the range finder mounted at the side, he thought a worm had crept up his coat and he tried to brush it off," Vyarawalla said. She also photographed the departure of Lord Mountbatten from India and the funerals of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan last January.

Homai's "favorite photo". Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Ambassador to Russia, received at the Delhi airport by brother Jawaharlal Nehru.

Prime Minister Nehru with Mrs. Simon, the wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner, on board the first BOAC flight in India.


16

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Development in India

India@63: The birth of a powerhouse

The 1990s sounded the bugle of the golden era for the Indian economy. Today, 100 percent FDI in retail sector has been allowed, the economy is looking around 8.5 percent growth in 2011-12 and the fiscal deficit is set to remain under the target of 4.6 percent of the GDP. Despite the slowdown, India remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As we celebrate the 63rd Republic Day, here is the great India story. By New Delhi Bureau/SAT ixty three years is a long time. From the perspective of a nation’s history, it is a brief moment in time. But much can happen in such brief moments. In 1947, India awoke to light and freedom, and chose to become a democracy based on universal suffrage. Have the last 60 years, seen equally dramatic change in the economy? This is the time to explore different dimensions of our economic trajectory since 1947. Between 1900 and 1950, the Indian economy stagnated—the growth rate was below 1% per year. From 1950 to about 1980, we grew at the so called 'Hindu Rate of Growth' of 3.5 percent. From 1980 to the early 1990s the annual growth rate accelerated to about 5%. In the late 1990s, the government was hoping to achieve an annual 8% growth rate in the Ninth Plan. From 2002 or so, growth seems to have averaged 8% or more. The trend seems to have changed to a higher level. Despite the World Bank sharply lowering its global economic growth rate forecast to 2.5 percent in 2012 from its previous estimate of 3.6 percent, amid risks triggered by the ongoing eurozone crisis, India's "growth story is intact." "The government would target more than eight percent growth in the next financial year on the back of easing inflation and rate cuts by the central bank that would stimulate private investment and demand," said Minister of

S

State for Finance Namo Narain Meena recently. Global observers are talking of the ‘India Growth Story." India's foreign exchange reserves are $317.50 billion at the moment. "India's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 7.7 percent in 2012 and 7.9 percent in the following year as compared to the estimated 7.6 percent in 2011, the United Nation's department of economic affairs said recently. Agriculture Agriculture in 1947 was traditional. Nearly 70% of the population contributed over 50% of national income. In these 60 years, it has changed fundamentally. Today, 20% of the national income is from agriculture, but it still supports 50% odd of the population. The Green Revolution of the late 1960s brought in the “new technology”—new seeds, fertilizers, credit, aimed at the progressive farmer. Parts of the country—Punjab, Haryana, western UP, coastal Andhra, etc saw dramatic increases in output. India became self sufficient in food by the end of 1970s. Cash crops like sugar became important in several states when irrigation became available. But there has been no such boom in other food crops. Millets like ragi and jowar, which the poor eat, await a green revolution. One of the important items on the agenda at Independence was land reform. Zamindari was abolished. This made a difference in states like Bihar. But it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that the process was taken further in states like West Bengal.

That this step in West Bengal was the right one is borne out by the dramatic increase in agricultural output later in the 1980s. But the process was not taken to its logical conclusion of land to the tiller in most states. India still has a very large number of landless laborers. There has been remarkable success in the ‘white revolution’—milk production, which is ancillary to agriculture. Based on the success of the co-operative movement in Anand in Gujarat, technology and organization together have led to India becoming one the largest producers of milk in the world, in a system based on small producers, but taking advantage of economies of scale innovatively. This is in part a success of marketing, with Amul becoming one of the best known of Indian brands. But it is also an organisational innovation. This experience holds lessons for other non-farm sectors too, and holds promise for the future. Industry Manufacturing has increased significantly since Independence. There was little by way of industry in 1947. There has been some sporadic industrial development in the war years, to support the British war effort. Two steel plants—both in the private sector—and one in our own state—a railway system, some textile plants in Bombay, tea in

Kolkata and small enclaves of industry in Baroda and Mysore, were what the country started with in 1947. The Second Five Year Plan, around which there was general agreement, began a thrust for public investment in industry, and in a short span of years, capacity was built up in machine tools, heavy electricals, power equipment, electronics, chemicals and fertilizers, telephones and many more areas. As an aside, perhaps I can note the fact that Bangalore can truly be described as the Mahalanobis city, as HMT, ITI, HAL, BEL etc were all located here. With the Third plan, for a host of reasons, industrial growth slowed down. Not least was the bureaucratic grid lock through the licensing system which led to a new term being introduced in economics—'rent seeking behavior'. Economists were worried then about 'inflationary recession'. After the late 1960s, public sector growth based on new investments slowed down. Such growth as took place was on the basis of nationalizations—coal, banking etc. The public sector grew, but by transfer from the private sector. Not all of it was viable; coal and textiles were in a disastrous condition when taken over. The base for public sector inefficiency and losses was set. The next phase across India was a growth of what then was called small scale industry, often as ancillaries to big units. Who has not heard of Aligarh locks, Agra shoes, or Tirupur hosiery? This took place in many parts of the country, but the overall level of investments, for a large country, was not enough to push growth. This was the time when a new term entered the economist's lexicon: industrial sickness. Large amounts of bank funds were locked up in sick units. The next major thrust for industry came from the software boom, in which 'namma Bengaluru' played—and continues to play—a major role. The software firms that were happy with simple “Y2K” work reinvented themselves as pioneers in Business Processes Re-engineering, and bid for work successfully in the global market. Bengaluru, with its Indian Institute of Science, engineering and medical colleges built over the past century, and public sector Continued on page 17


17

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Development in India

Continued from page 16 R&D institutions, had the resources which provided the foundation for this industry. Call Centres offering simple services have boomed and provided the youth with jobs. One aspect of glottalization has been the shift of work and jobs from the West—mainly the US—to Bangalore led to a new word being added to the English vocabulary—Bangalored. This outsourcing process is now happily spreading to other parts of the country. Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram are all now important IT locales. Indian industry, especially the private sector, had become soft after the 1970s. The protected environment of the license raj gave it no incentive to modernize. This circumstance changed after 1991, when the current round of reforms, especially liberalization, began. Many of us were worried that Indian industry could not face competition and would disappear over time. After an initial period of discomfort in the mid 1990s, Indian industry has responded magnificently to the challenge of global competition. In a range of sectors— automobile components, pharmaceuticals, steel, aluminium, garments, mobile telephony, earth moving equipment, cement, space— Indian firms have established themselves and taken advantage of the opportunities provided by globalization. If the stock market is booming today, it is in

part due to the competitiveness of our industry. Economic services have increased their share in the national income, now accounting for more than half. This sector is a mixed bag, including all that cannot be classified under the other two. It includes a bewildering variety of activities and technologies—from rag picking to software consultancy. In part this increase in the sectoral share reflects the growth of information-based services that our large companies provide across the world. But it also reflects the cost/price advantage of education/knowledge intensive services that India can provide. There has been considerable investment in higher education in India. Apart from the IITs and IIMs, today has more than 250 universities. The institutional investors are optimistic and are taking a long-term view of the economy and its performance rather than being disturbed by the short-term statistics. The next generation financial sector reforms have already been initiated. These include, among other steps, the widening and deepening of the Indian securities markets, liberalizing the policy on foreign capital flows, strengthening the regulatory and other institutional architecture and reducing transaction cost in the securities markets. Despite the slowdown, India remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world. High savings rates and strong domestic demand will drive our growth in the future.


January 28 - February 3, 2012

18

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Opinion

India’s paradox: HungaMa amid growth and hope By Subhash Chopra ndia has a long way to go to meet the basic needs of her people and nobody could be more candid in acknowledging it than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who, despite his empathy for IMF solutions to problems, called the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition, especially among the country’s children, a “national shame.” This double deficit in human welfare has rightly acquired the acronym of ‘HungaMa,’ a gigantic issue by any yardstick. The Prime Minister had no hesitation in admitting that malnutrition among 42 per cent of the nation’s children is “unacceptably high,” but he also reminded that the scourge had declined from a high of 53 per cent over the last seven years. All that “Impressive growth in our GDP,” was not enough, he said while quoting malnutrition figures from a private foundation’s survey. The media and opposition parties had a field day bashing the government as if they had no part in this shameful phenomenon. Home grown criticism, though always healthy, can sometimes lose sight of the picture in the wider context. Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, for instance, thinks that by recognizing the Right to Food Security as a basic human right, legislation for which is currently on the anvil, India is “leading the way for the rest of the world and is on the verge of a historic implementation of the world’s largest social program against hunger.” He was referring not just to the right to food but to a slew of similar programs like the National Rural

I

Employment Guarantee Scheme (Nregs), later named after Mahatma Gandhi. Putting it in a comparative context while speaking at the Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, Manmohan Singh pointed out that while one in seven Americans today are on food stamps, an equal number still face food insecurity. “While India debates whether there should be basic human rights like the right to food, such debates are still not part of the discourse in America.” Attacking the global GDP “fetish,” he said the success or failure of any programs should be judged not on the GDP growth but on the welfare of the people. Fellow American and billionaire George Soros, also on a tour of India, said he was “positive over the long term about India and less optimistic about the US where we are in a political and financial crisis.” The crash of 2008, he said, was the result of a “super-bubble” that began in 1980 when Ronald Reagan became the US president and Margaret Thatcher was the British prime minister. The misconception was the belief that “markets correct their own excesses.” The bubble effect was more in evidence in the US and the UK than in the developing economies like India. “When developed countries are facing one of the worst crises, developed countries, India in particular, show an aspiring phenomenon of (handling) market and democracy.” Like Stiglitz, Soros blames the flawed economic theory of market equilibrium as part of the problem in creating booms and busts. “The assumption that markets left on their own will allocate resources efficiently leading to market equilibrium does not work in the real world, as people act on imperfect knowledge and human

Hunger and malnutrition (HungaMa), especially among the country’s children, are still prevalent. Yet, as Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz said, by recognizing the Right to Food Security as a basic human right, India is leading the way for the rest of the world in implementing the world’s largest social program against hunger. thinking is indeterminate.” Speaking in Bangalore at the Azim Premji University lecture series, Soros underlined that in a globalizing world, capital will flow to regions where regulations are less stringent, thus increasing the chances of bubbles and all the consequent perils of instability. Asked about the mass deprivation and corruption in India, British Labour party leader and former foreign secretary David Miliband said anyone visiting India sees a vibrant economy and also a vibrant political system. “That is one of the great things about this country that it has a vibrant political system. It’s a standing testimony to the value that’s placed on different opinions expressed often with great force and passion. Every democracy is trying to figure out how to make its democracy work better.” There are dysfunctions in all democracies. We have to address them. “In the Indian system, you have got your own debate how best to do that; you don’t want people

coming from Britain to tell you how to do it!” Miliband said. Another vote of confidence in India has just come from the WHO on the country’s landmark achievement of eradication of polio in the year just gone by when not a single case of wild polio was recorded wile as many as 741 cases were recorded only two years earlier. WHO director general Margaret Chan said, “India’s success is arguably its greatest public health achievement and has provided a global opportunity to push for the end of polio (in other countries).” India’s health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed, justly, “This giant leap towards polio containment in a short span of two years is an endorsement of India’s tireless and persistent efforts.” Next target: Elimination of hunger and malnutrition, even as India quite realistically hopes for 6-7 % GDP growth while downturn stalks the developed economies of the world.

2012 as year of 'Proud to be a Skilled Indian' By Vijay Thadani ever before in the history of any country has human capital development been such a key focus area as 2011 was for India, marking the beginning of exciting times. Determined to leverage the demographic dividend and reach the goal of imparting skills to 500 million, India created many ripples in 2011. Four themes dominated the year in this context: 1. Private industry participation Skills development in India got a fillip when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh constituted the National Council on Skills Development in 2008 and the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) thereafter. For NSDC, a-one-of-its-kind publicprivate partnership has been formed to contribute to the charter of skilling Indians. NSDC forged many joint ventures with the Bharti Group for 11.5 million, with Everonn for 15 million, with Future Group for seven million and with NIIT for another seven million. They have approved 34 training projects and eight sector skills councils, covered 177 districts, set up 2,427 centers, touched 20 sectors and have already set up the foundation to train 58.6 million people in 10 years. In addition, under a special scheme, indus-

N

try showed interest in joining hands with NSDC to induct youth from Jammu & Kashmir to train them in special skills at their facilities across India. Appointment of an industry veteran, former TCS chief executive S. Ramadorai as an advisor to the PM in NSDC with the rank of a cabinet minister, is yet another achievement. Private participation also came along. Fiat India launched "Diksha" to provide educational avenues and technical training for youth. Axis Bank and Bandhan jointly launched a Rs.100-crore initiative on providing skills training and assets to the marginalized in West Bengal. 2. Higher secondary education reform The HRD Ministry launched the revised scheme of vocationalization of higher secondary education. To promote vocational training in schools, the government established a vocational education cell within Central Board of Secondary Education. The scheme also helps create a bridge between academia and industry. The National

Occupational Standards (NOS) developed by the sector skills councils formed by NSDC will govern the activities in vocational education. In higher education, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal advocated the need for mobility of students from one university to the other. The number of engineering seats went up to 1.3 million in 201011 and there was talk on how to make the selection process for IITs and other engineering colleges stress-free for the students. 3. Job creation remained a key challenge The government could create only one million jobs against the target of 50 million jobs during the 11th Plan period that ends March 31, 2012. It has now set a daring target of creating 60 million jobs during the 12th Five Year Plan. As a step towards this, the government unveiled a new Manufacturing Policy that promises 100 million new jobs. India is also on the path to dusting off the Apprentices Act to create an industry-driven apprenticeship regime.

4. Changing the social perception of skills The WorldSkills Competition got significant coverage in the media in India. A 16member India contingent participated in the competition in London and showed the determination to become the skills reservoir of the world. Path forward As we move into 2012, we are moving in the right direction. Skills do not form the social fabric of India as yet. To have social currency, the acceptable tags are of an engineer, a doctor, an MBA. Skills, such as plumbing, electrician and masonry, have little social currency, and this is evident even in our matrimonial advertisements. Changing the social perception about skills, therefore, is our big challenge for 2012. We should also look at launching events such as 'Indian Skills Idol' and have popular brand ambassadors to endorse pride in skills. Then we will not be apologetic about our 1.2 billion population. We can be an enviable reservoir of 1.2 billion skilled people. Let's declare 2012 as: "The Year of 'Proud to be a Skilled' Indian." Vijay Thadani is CEO of NIIT Limited and Chairman of CII's Northern Region.


20

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

India as leader: Where the head is held high India is the leading developing country in the entire world. Being the second most populous country in the world is no more considered a curse as in the 1960s and 70s. India now treats its population as an asset and as human capital – indeed as demographic dividend. By Namit Narain hile India is still far from assuring social security and health care to all, and struggling with controlling corruption, it has come a long way after becoming a Republic in 1950. It is the leading developing country in the entire world. Being the second most populous country in the world is no more considered a curse as in the 1960s and 70s. India now treats its population as an asset and as human capital – indeed as demographic dividend. More, it is the only young country in an aging world. But this demographic dividend is only good if there is a huge investment in the human capital for education, health, social security, and jobs. Looking forward to connecting the dots, India is evolving rapidly compared to any other country in Europe or the Americas. The countries which have not respected the value of human capital have turned demographic dividend into demographic disaster. So far India has been the largest exporter of highly educated and skilled human capital to the west. Indians have clearly been far more comfortable with globalization. There has been a sea change in the way people think now in India. The role of entrepreneurs has evolved from being seen as villains in the 1950’s to role models in the 21st century. These people have taken risks in business, succeeded and created jobs so many more can

W

run their homes, send their children to good schools and make a better future. So far they have done this by learning from the past and from other economies. Credit for local entrepreneurs’ success also goes to the banks. Their micro credit system has created a huge value chain, which drives success and a safe economic environment. Central to India’s success story is embrace of technology over the past decade. Technology was earlier seen as a new shift in a business that cut jobs. Today the country has led the race of technology and created jobs in the bargain. The irony is, technology first evolved in the West, was adopted with gusto

in India and China, where it helped create jobs. India sells over 8 million mobile phones a month -- a measure of how technology has been liberated in India and embraced by the culture. In 2011, we saw India taking the lead in not only technology but also education, energy, politics, and sports. Hundreds of thousands Indians stood together against corruption and valued the democracy by using their right to free speech and protest. Schools such as IIMs and ISB (Indian School of Business) got listed in the Financial Times Top 50 business school rankings. More and more Indians are getting master’s degrees compared to other

nations, making them highly skilled and highly paid work force. This has enabled to double the per capita income of India over just 9 years as compared to 45 years it took for the same increase earlier. Naturally, aspirations have risen among the billion plus people. This is also the key reason the West is looking to India for its growing purchasing power. Still in this modernizing, urbanizing India, conflicting ideas persist such as caste system, reservations for certain sections of society and outmoded labor policies. There are still 93% of Indians who don’t have health care, job security, and pension benefits. India has the highest rate of cardiac problems, diabetes, and poor sanitation. What is missing can be addressed by taking high end decisions, quick implementation, less bureaucracy, and no-corruption. Despite all the hurdles, India’s march in 2011 has made Indians feel proud. Witness the launch of the Nano-satellite Jugnu, cricket World Cup win and putting the country on the map of F1 Grand Prix. We also caught the world's attention by launching the cheapest ever android tablet, Aakash, costing only $35. India is a country full of dreams and hope where we have seen the steepest decline in population growth in the past decade and high increase in the literacy rate. In 2012, India has a lot more to give to the globalized world where we will see Indians going full steam ahead in business, global politics and socio-cultural aspects.

India chooses to use its soft power only By Smita Prakash ailed as a superpower in the making, India today stands on the cusp of a past, rich in history, and a promising future. Its democratic ethos is hailed worldwide; from Canberra to Cairo, India is looked upon as a stabilizing force in the Asian region and a voice for developing countries. As we celebrate our 63rd Republic Day, it is with pride and humility that we can look back upon our civilizational ethos and our pluralistic democracy and realize that these two are strengths, which make us a beacon of light in the region. Quite naturally, it leads one to wonder why just a soft power? Why not a hard power or a super power? What is a ‘soft power’? Harvard University professor Joseph Nye first coined the term describing it as a country’s ability to alter the behavior of others through attraction rather than sticks and carrots. No country in the world can afford to be just a hard power or just a soft power. The desire to influence other countries and make them agree with one’s perceptions and co-opt them is part of every country’s foreign policy. Can we do that with just carrots

H

and sticks? Not possible, as the US has realized in its interactions in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Soft power is not merely the act of persuasion. The country would also need to have the ability to attract another country to its way of thinking. For that one needs assets. For example, India’s democracy, nonviolent freedom struggle, pluralistic society, ancient and rich culture, educated work force, arts and crafts, computer software industry, Bollywood and cuisine are all soft power assets. A healthy foreign exchange reserve helps. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once said, “The soft power of India in some ways can be a very important instrument of foreign policy. Cultural relations, India’s film industry, Bollywood… I find wherever I go in the Middle East, in Africa people talk about Indian films.” Or Indian doctors, or Indian tech workers or Indian cooks. Each of them is an ambassador. Each one who speaks on behalf of India becomes an instrument of India’s soft power. He or she gives credibility and legitimacy to the Indian way of doing things. It is at once a responsibility, as is a burden. Shashi Tharoor, in his essay on India’s soft power, puts it succinctly.

“…so many speak about India as a great power of the 21st century when we are not yet able to feed, educate and employ all our people. So it is not economic growth, military strength or population numbers that I would underscore when I think of India’s potential leadership role in the world of the 21st century. Rather, if there is one attribute of independent India to which I think increasing attention should now be paid around the globe, it is the quality, which India is already displaying, in ample measure today - its ‘soft power’. The only objection I have to the above statement is the word ‘today’. India has always displayed its soft power, albeit unwittingly, unintentionally. From the times of Gautam Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi, from the Kushanas to the Mughals, from Nehru and the Panchsheel, from Tandoori chicken to Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, from appam and avial to M.S. Subbalakshmi and Rukmini Devi Arundale, from pashmina shawls and patola sarees to Tagore and Mira Nair, our soft power is constantly at play. See them as products or assets, they have worked for us in subtle and consistent ways to show the world the Indian way of doing things: unhurried, elegant, sensitive, traditional,

pathfinding and persuasive. In its 64-year history India has never invaded or dominated another country and despite its huge armed forces and nuclear arsenal, it poses threat to no country. We have gone to war four times but always when there was aggression thrust upon us and negotiation and compromise had failed. We have lost territory, never gained in the wars that we fought. This astonishes the world, as they wonder what holds back India to emerge as the superpower in the region. Why don’t we flex our muscles? Why do we always seem vulnerable to smaller nations in our neighborhood? The simple fact is that we are uncomfortable being seen as a bully. We engage with the global strategic community but as a persuasive power and a co-optive power. Blame or praise Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha for that. We follow the middle path of peaceful coexistence. It makes us vulnerable but we don’t see vulnerability as a flaw. We build defenses not moats. We build bridges not fences. It is impossible for a state to exercise its soft power without having strong foundations. Hard power is essential for that but not chronic warfare. Kautilya in his seminal

From the times of Gautam Buddha or Mahatma Gandhi, from the Kushanas to the Mughals, from Nehru and the Panchsheel, from Tandoori chicken to Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, from appam and avial to M.S. Subbalakshmi and Rukmini Devi Arundale, from pashmina shawls and patola sarees to Tagore and Mira Nair, our soft power is constantly at play. work, the Arthashastra, says that compassion, morality and religious principles have no place when a country is under threat, unless they are useful for bringing victory in war. For sure, we posses hard power, we just choose not to exercise it. The author is Editor, News at Asian News International.


21

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Comparing India and US democracies

The long march towards a clean Indian democracy India can learn from the ways the constitution of the USA has touched the lives of its citizenry. By Ashok Ojha s the people of Indian origin celebrate 62 years of Indian Republic, the largest democracy in the world, it is natural to think how much the system has touched the lives of ordinary citizens. It is also relevant to look at the ways the constitution of the oldest democracy in the world, the United States of America, has touched the lives of its citizenry. While socialism is the mantra of Indian Democracy, capitalism is the hallmark of American Democracy. India is a multi-party representative parliamentary democracy sharing various features with the political system and institutions of the USA. Both systems are federal in nature with their independent judiciary and legislative bodies. However, the executive branch in the US is headed by the President rather than the prime minister. The powers of the US president are restricted by the two houses of the Congress. The executive branch depends upon a number of government agencies as in India. In India, the executive is headed by the Prime Minister who is answerable to the elective body, the parliament. He administers the country with his cabinet of ministers, all elected by people. The head of Republic of India, the president, holds nominal powers. The judiciary in both nations, headed by the Supreme Court, is independent, and can rule against the executive. In USA there is a clear separation of power among the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. The US and India are governed by the laws and principles of their respective constitutions. The US Constitution empowers all the branches with appropriate mechanism of checks and balances. This principle is followed at the lowest rank of democratic apparatus, such as the local self governments. The federal apparatus is watchful of unlawful and corrupt practices of both elected officials and government employees. There is a constant fear of being investigated by the federal agencies, such as the FBI, whose action is swift and free from political interference. The legal system is efficient and effective and though corruption is not unusual in USA it is most often investigated and culprits are regularly prosecuted. The State has met its social obligation to a great extent, thanks to a broad overseeing by the justice system, a free press and the vigilance of people. The democratic society in India is based on

A

In India, political parties of all shades are responsible for neglecting the poor as both the left and right groupings have had opportunities to rule the country during the six decades of Independent India. the principles of a welfare state where the government is responsible for providing basic needs to the people, such as health and education. Indian political leaders love to make promises of helping the poor and claiming to be great supporters of a socialist society. Though belonging to a communist party has never been frowned upon in India, most of the politicians shied away from communism but took pride in calling themselves socialists. Capitalism, for almost five decades, remained a term that the Indian leftists used as if it was a form of crime. Until the demise of communism in the late 80s, a capitalist in India was thought to be one who made money by exploiting the poor. In reality Indian political system has a history of creating capitalists by granting government contracts to favored bidders become rich using corrupt means. The State largely neglected its obligation to providing medical facilities in most of the rural India as well as providing a framework of primary education system in most part of the country. Political parties of both shades, the left and the right, are responsible for neglecting the poor as most of them got opportunities to rule the country during the six decades of Independent India. In USA, politicians of both sides, Republican and Democrat, shied away from doing something that could label them as Socialists. The conservatives never liked a big government and labor unions, but the working class, especially in manufacturing

sector, has greatly benefitted by unionizing themselves. The unity among the working class in America, including teachers, enabled them protection of effective systems of health and pension while the private sector employees depend upon bonuses but deprived of lifelong benefits other than investment opportunities. But the State cares for all Americans on their retirement by providing an efficient system of social security and Medicare network. Millions of Indians, though promised by the State, are deprived of social security benefits. However, the State has been kind to government employees by showering them with periodic salary increases. The politicians in power are also the beneficiary of the system as they are assured of indirect benefits even after they cease to be in power. The executive branch in India deliberately avoided a transparent framework of decision making affecting the lives of common people. On the other hand, ordinary citizens are subjected to an elaborate system of providing documentation and certificates for seeking administrative approvals of different types. The bureaucracy in India has built a very sustainable system of supporting its complicated nature of working by fulfilling a variety of ‘unconstitutional’ whims of their political masters. As a result there is a lack of loyalty towards the guiding principles of the constitution. Most of the government departments find it easy to listen to the politicians in power rather than to their constitutional

obligations. Many powerful branches of the executive including those responsible for development and human resources are largely seen favoring lobby groups while neglecting the needs of the ordinary citizens. This practice, which began in the early days of Independent India, originated from the Socialist pattern of controlling people’s resources by the ruling elite, resulted into losing propositions as most of the government owned enterprises failed in the Seventies and Eighties. The situation improved only after the government relieved itself from socialistic guidelines and moved closer to capitalist principles of allowing the private industry become engine of growth. Indian political leaders win elections promising to work for the poor. As soon as they take the oath of allegiance to the Indian constitution, they begin looking for opportunities to make money through often dubious dealings with contractors, builders, and industrialists. The bureaucracy of India has been very pragmatic. It is manipulative and quickly coach the politicians how to govern and then a cool liaison develops between the minister and their secretaries. When a common man goes to get his papers cleared at a government office, he has to listen to the demands of the officer concerned. When a farmer goes to the block development officer he has to find a middle man for getting his work done as the government officers avoid speaking local languages for fear of losing their social status. The uneducated citizen is most often lost in the long line of needy people. The police force whose job is to protect the people, are mostly busy protecting ministers and the MLAs and overlooking criminal activities. The Indian justice department and investigative agencies are not free from political interference. The provisions of Indian constitution have allowed the ruling party and the parliament to enjoy most of the executive powers. The members of the parliament, who don’t have to qualify on an educational or professional yardstick and are not often elected by a totally fair and free election system, are prone to corrupt practices as they enjoy authoritative powers lacking oversight or fear of being investigated. The people of India are demanding overhaul changes in the administrative system as it has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent times. The good news is that the Indian democratic apparatus is working overtime these days to clean itself of crony capitalism, nepotism, corruption and disregard for people’s needs.


January 28 - February 3, 2012

22

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

First Person

Miss you, Ma Jinal Shah writes to her mother comparing and contrasting living in New York and Mumbai. Dear Ma, t’s been six months since I left Mumbai to live in the Big Apple. Since you keep asking me on the phone how the transition was, I decided to put it all on paper for you. No doubt, everybody gets bowled over by the enormousness of New York City, its brilliant infrastructure, its hustle and bustle round the year. People are courteous too. It is true that I am in awe of this city, which is slowly captivating my mind. Yet, the memories of years in India remain etched in my mind, especially the last days in Mumbai - hogging on street food as if I will never get to have it again, meeting streams of relatives and that bundling up apprehensions and inhibitions with my clothes, utensils and some home-made food. The exposure to both the cultures tempts me to compare and contrast the two. Remember how we pictured New York? The city that makes you feel tiny with its jungle of skyscrapers, the city that makes you feel lost with its potpourri of world cultures and crowds thronging the streets. Well, it is not as simple as a change in address in what is touted as a global village. For me it entailed a change in attitude and even outlook towards life. Now with a slight attitude shift, I can also be part of the concrete jungle, absorbing the world culture and enjoying what the crowds enjoy, including

I

American football. O Ma, People here are as crazed about football as Indians are for cricket. Many even give work a miss to catch up on matches, particularly the upcoming Super Bowl, the grand finale of the league matches. Our Mumbai is in many ways similar to New York. Both are financial hubs, a melting pot of diverse cultures and languages. Both are coastal cities dealing with crazy traffic, and home of entertainment (Broadway and Bollywood). Finally, both are cities that never sleep. The throngs in subway trains match the madness in Mumbai locals. But after my ‘honeymoon phase’ with

NYC was over, when I started experiencing life as an average Indian American here to stay, small and subtle differences caught my attention. Coming from a tea drinking country, the Starbucks culture is a novelty. I was also pleasantly surprised by the variety of packaged Indian food at Indian groceries playing on your nostalgia of home cooked food. Also, the Sunday outings back home are now enjoyed on Saturdays and Indian fast food has given way to world cuisine. The busy, busy weekdays leave little scope for socializing as we did with our extended family in Mumbai. Contrary to our image of

American Born Confused Desis (ABCD), the second or third generation Indian Americans are clear about their identity and are comfortable with both cultures. I live in Jersey City and commute to Manhattan practically every day. It is impossible to walk on the streets without bumping into a fellow Indian or more specifically a Gujarati. Indian restaurants are no more confined to Little Indias; tony New York neighborhoods also have Indian restaurants with exotic menus and prices. Indian fashionistas here are more conscious about the brands they are wearing. And of course, it is the whites who crowd yoga studios not browns. As I write this on the eve of India’s Republic day, it just dawned on me that staying away from homeland makes one more patriotic. Apart from the parade - something we religiously watched every Republic day on Doordarshan - I will miss the jalebis and flag hoisting on our building terrace. -Jinal Shah Jersey City P.S.: Oh, did I mention how much I miss our maid. Everything here is self-service right from assembling furniture from Ikea to cleaning up the house to doing laundry. At times I even miss our loud neighbors as here it is hard to see, leave alone befriend, blokes next door. And, it pinches the pocket to hail a cab every time for short distance, so wish there were auto-rickshaws here too!!! P.P.S.: I miss you Ma, and your yummy dosas.

American-born, not-so-confused desi By Vikas Girdhar have been born and raised in New York and, aside from the rare weekend getaway to a neighboring state, have spent my entire life here. I moved from Queens at the age of six to Hicksville, where being Indian meant being part of a glaring minority. That was in the early 90’s, however. Today, Hicksville is commonly referred to as “Little India” with its rapidly growing desi population and booming sites for Indian shops and grocery superstores. The ‘Indian-izing’ of Hicksville is something I have witnessed for 20 years. As the years passed, I noticed not only certain aspects of my environment becoming more identical to values of the motherland, but I myself became more comfortable with my expression of them. I come from a family that places great importance on Indian customs and values the unity they promote. My parents have done an absolutely fantastic job of keeping my brother and myself as informed and aware as possible about our culture. I speak Hindi at home, regularly eat and enjoy home-cooked Indian food and am familiar with and able to participate in poojas. Being in touch

I

The author (right) at a friend’s wedding. “I accepted the trades of two separate lifestyles, ignored the stereotypical questions—and those that asked them--and simultaneously became more adept with mastering the values of two separate societies.” with my culture and religion has never been a problem for me. While I am friends with several people who are equally adept at demonstrating core Indian values, I also know many second-generation desis who are not nearly as familiar with elements of their first-generation parents’ upbringings. I would have to attribute many of my experiences to my changing environment. Going to an elementary school

where I could count the number of fellow desi children on one hand was tougher than some may expect. The vast differences between my traditional Indian home life and the aspects of it that I could readily expose in a society not particularly willing to accept them was probably the toughest part about growing up. The transition between a well-cultured home life and school life is one that strengthens the will of a

child if he can master it. Some might say that the transition is inevitable, and they would be right. The important thing to realize is that some of these children feel so “culture-shocked” from either direction that they tend to gravitate towards the one that takes them less out of their comfort zone. The result is a child who is either too ‘Americanized’ and far apart from cultural values or a child that is too oblivious to the way the American society works. Of course, this “struggle” is much easier to tackle as one gets older, somewhat because of increasing maturity levels of both the individual and the society he interacts with. That perfectly coincides with my belief that ignorance finds its most comfortable home in children with parents who haven’t yet opened their eyes to the rest of the world. For example, if I took Indian food for lunch one day, I would be the center of attention. What I was so comfortable with at home was suddenly a cause of commotion among my non-desi peers. Of course, it took adjustment. I accepted the trades of two separate lifestyles, ignored the stereotypical questions—and those that asked them-and simultaneously became more

adept with mastering the values of two separate societies. In hindsight, it opened my eyes to reality. I see it as such a strength to be so well-versed in both the Indian culture and the American culture, but I feel there are many factors that play a role. The persistence of the parents to teach their children, the environment the children grow up in and finally the willingness of the child to learn—are all equally important. My views on marriage, religion and other major elements have been shaped by how I’ve been brought up and what I have been able to experience and witness within my surroundings. It must have been a tougher transition for my parents, I’m positive. I’m just fortunate enough to have been able to carry their lessons forth as a follow-up to their generation. I already consider it a success to have—for the most part—made a seamless transition between two very different lifestyles. That shy and misunderstood child who seemed “weird” or “too Indian” to other children now comfortably sits and writes about his experiences to an entire newspaper-reading audience, convinced he got the better end of the bargain.


26

January 28 - February 3, 2012 TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Revisiting the glorious past Continuing from here we drove past many institutions started by the Maharajas including the Samaldas College, the first arts college of Saurashtra, which counts many distinguished people as its alumni including Mahatma Gandhi and India’s first chief justice, HJ Kania.

The public works of Bhavnagar

A

t the Nandkuvarba Kshatriya Kanya Vidhyalaya (NKKV) in Bhavnagar, smartly dressed girls are gathered for the centenary celebrations of the late Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji, one of the first princes to voluntarily accede his princely state to the government of India. Krishnakumar Sinhji was also one of the first Rajpramukhs of Independent India. Education flowered in Bhavnagar, which saw the mushrooming of educational institutions like schools, the institution of scholarships for foreign studies in fields like medicine and science, and the launch of an arts college that was among the first in Gujarat. The Nandkuarba school was started in the late-1800s during the reign Of Maharaja Bhav Sinhji and Maharani Shri Nandkunverba Sahiba in the princely state of Bhavnagar between 1896 to 1919.The Maharani in 1911 was awarded the Order of the Crown of India, the highest Imperial award for women of the Empire. From the school, we drove to the Takth Sinhji Hospital which was built in 1879 AD during the rule of Maharaja Takth Sinh. This hospital was designed by Sir William Emerson, whose other works include Calcutta’s Victoria Memorial. This is an impressive building with domes, arches and latticework.

By Anil Mulchandani

When the constituent assembly was formed in India, most of the 565 or so princely states had voluntarily signed their accession to the Republic of India. We look at the contribution of two such princely states to the growth of its people

We drove to the Barton Museum, built in 1895 AD and housed the collections of Col. Barton, a British resident of Saurashtra. Since then the collection has been enhanced with exhibits donated by the Oza family and other prominent personalities of Bhavnagar, as well as various departments. Prominent among the exhibits are the coins and currency, including koris of Kutch and other royal minted coins, the old guns and other arms and armour, and farming implements. One of Bhavnagar’s principal sightseeing spots is the Takteshwar temple which rises serenely from an incline and offers a good view over the cityscape to the Gulf of Cambay marshes. From this temple, we drove into the city to see the Darbargadh, the imposing old palace of the Maharajas of Bhavnagar who founded this coastal city in the 18th century. The Maharajas belong to the Gohil clan that came from Rajasthan in the 13th century and founded their kingdom along the Gujarat coast. From the palace, the roads led us through the markets to the lake called the `Talao’ with the Ganga Jalia Temple on its banks. As evening approached, we drove to the Gaurishankar lake created as a reservoir in the 1800s and named for Gaurishankar Oza. This lake is a popular recreational spot of Bhavnagar and is a birding paradise.

Photos by Dinesh Shukla

Barton Museum & Gandhi Smriti

Historic college building of Bhavnagar

The Indore Palace (top) and the Raj Wada

The Holkar’s Indore Earlier mainly a stopover between the jyotirlingas of Ujjain and Omkareshwar, Indore developed after this part of Malwa was given to Malhar Rao Holkar by the Peshwas following his military achievement. But Indore owes its heritage to his successor, Ahilya Bai Holkar, who was described by her British contemporaries as “the most exemplary ruler that ever lived.” Besides developing Indore, the gifted Ahilya founded palaces, temples, dharamshalas and charitable institutions all over the country.

support Gandhiji’s call to open temples, schools and wells to Harijans.

After spending the night at a 5-star hotel, we set off to explore the city driving into the market area early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The market has many three and four storey historic buildings, some of them palaces and havelis converted into shopping or office blocks with their ornate overhanging jarokha balconies still in place and comings-and-goings through a courtyard in the centre. We had skipped breakfast to have it in the market and enjoyed indulging in sweetened milk, poha wrapped in newspaper, stuffed After her death in 1795, a series of kachoris and gulab jamun! skirmishes between the Marathas and East India Company followed, ending in Walking from the stall, we came to a the Treaty of 1818, which secured for palm-filled square in the marketplace the dynasty a small but rich dominion dominated by the Raj Wada, an eighwith Indore as the capital and gave the teenth-century palace worth seeing for city a status as a British headquarters its ornate seven-storey gatehouse that is in Malwa. Indore grew financially as something of an Indore landmark. Most the centre of cotton and opium trade of the palace inside was burnt in a fire through the 19th and early 20th cen- and only the newer wings can be seen. tury, and after independence it has remained an affluent city second to Bho- We drove out of the market as it began pal, the state capital, in importance in to bustle with energy, and set off to the Madhya Pradesh, and the major centre Lal Bagh palace in a pleasant garden setting. This extravagant palace has an for industrial growth in the state. eclectic style like most other princely I remember my visits to Indore in buildings of the British Raj period with the 1980s when industrial estate of Doric columns, gilded stuccowork and Pithampur was hyped as “the Detroit a neo-classical façade. Rated among the of India” with auto-manufacturers like most flamboyant of the palaces of MadHonda, Bajaj, Hindustan Motors, with hya Pradesh, after the Jai Vilas palace in steel industries and ancillary units, set- Gwalior, it has been restored and renoting up units here as the car-economy vated into a museum open to visitors began in India, and of course there are for a fee. For me one of the highlights various other industries at Indore and of Indore was the Maharaja’s private nearby towns like Dewas and Mhow. planetarium where we were shown the Incidentally, Indore was also a centre position of planets, important stars and of the 1857 mutiny and again the Hol- constellations in the Indore night sky on the day of our visit. kars were among the first princes to


28

India

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

'Clouds' galore over Punjab's electoral skies

Chandigarh: The recent cold wave may have partially abated from Punjab, but political clouds continue to loom over the state. The state's ruling first family Badal (which literally means cloud) and its extended clan are out in full force to contest next week's assembly polls. There may be over 1,000 candidates testing their luck in the Jan 30 elections to 117 assembly seats in Punjab, but the Badal family, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 84, has nearly a dozen leaders in the fray this time. While the chief minister is contesting for his traditional Lambi seat from Muktsar district, his son and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the Shiromani Akali Dal president, is seeking re-election to the Jalalabad seat from Ferozepur district.

BJP candidate Navjot Kaur Sidhu (right) with husband and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at a rally in Amritsar. Sukhbir's wife and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Badal is actively campaigning for her father-in-law as he

Huge turnout at drive to promote voting in UP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati waves to supporters at a rally in Muktsar. Lucknow: The Election Commission went on an unprecedented drive across poll-bound Uttar Pradesh to inculcate the spirit of voting among the state's 12 crore electors. While a mega show to mark the 'National Voters Day' was held in Lucknow where Governor B.L. Joshi led the voting promotion bandwagon by exhorting the citizens to make it a point to come out and cast their vote, the message was spread right down to the polling booth level across the sprawling state by lower functionaries. As a symbolic gesture, Joshi also gave away voter cards to a few people, while he handed over certificates of appreciation to school and college children as well as organisations and officials engaged in the two-month-old campaign. The function drew massive crowds, keeping the entire Indira Gandhi Pratishthan premises packed to its capacity. Much enthusiasm was visible among students, who not only turned up

in huge numbers but also took a pledge to do everything to urge more and more people to vote. "It was matter of serious concern that the educated were particularly shy or reluctant to exercise their right of franchise," said the governor, expressing hope that the efforts of the election commission would bring the desired change. The state's pro-active chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha, who has been deeply engaged in exhorting the young and old alike to exercise their vote, expressed confidence that his efforts will not go wasted. "I am sure, our efforts to promote voting will bear fruit; I am particularly hopeful because the youth has displayed tremendous enthusiasm in join the campaign," he told this scribe. Praising the role of several younger officers, he said, "Some young district magistrates came up with novel ideas to encourage people to cast their vote." Seven-phased elections will be held in Uttar Pradesh from Feb 8March 3.

faces perhaps his toughest political test, being pitted against his younger brother Gurdas Badal, 81, and

cousin Maheshinder Singh Badal in Lambi. Gurdas Badal, who used to be his elder brother's poll manager till the last election (2007) and used to nurse the constituency on his behalf, has entered the fray as a candidate of the People's Party of Punjab (PPP). The PPP was floated last year by former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, the son of Gurdas Badal. Manpreet had left the government of his uncle in October 2010 following ideological differences. Manpreet Badal is himself contesting from two assembly constituencies - Gidderbaha, which he has represented four times, and the new constituency of Maur. The surname 'Badal' comes to the family from their ancestral village

Badal, near Lambi town in Muktsar district. Another Badal in the fray, though not from the original Badal family, is former Punjab agriculture minister Gurdev Singh Badal from the Jaiton (reserved) constituency. Besides the immediate Badal family, there are other close relatives in the fray as well. Bikram Singh Majithia, the brother of Harsimrat Badal and brotherin-law of Sukhbir Badal, is seeking re-election from Majitha near Amritsar. Parkash Singh Badal's son-in-law Adaesh Pratap Singh Kairon is seeking re-election to his traditional Patti seat from Tarn Taran district. Another relative of the chief minister, Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, is contesting against Manpreet Badal for the Maur seat.


30

India

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

ISRO row: ex-chief, govt locked in battle Bangalore/New Delhi: In an unprecedented action in the annals of Indian space odyssey, the central government blacklisted top scientist G. Madhavan Nair from official jobs following the controversial deal with Devas Multimedia but the former space agency head hit back, blaming his successor K. Radhakrishnan for the action. The government's action and the blistering attack of Nair, the man who led the successful launch of India's first Lunar probe in 2008, on Radhakrishnan sent shockwaves among the scientists and staff at the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) in Bangalore and other centers. Along with Nair, three other scientists --

The government has blacklisted Madhavan Nair from official jobs following the controversial deal with Devas Multimedia.

Congress slams Hazare for justifying slapping New Delhi: The Congress hit out at Anna Hazare for justifying slapping as a means of expressing anguish against corruption and said the whole country would like to be educated on "this new definition of the Gandhian path". Reacting to Hazare's remark that an individual is left with no option but to slap when his power of tolerance of corruption runs out, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that it was not appropriate for the social activst to say so."We would all like to understand this new approach to the

Gandhian way which talks of fast and sacrifice and also about slapping other people," Singhvi said. Hazare had told reporters Tuesday after seeing a movie on the theme of corruption that slapping appeared to be an option for a person who had run out of tolerance in fighting graft.Hazare had also sparked a row in November last year by his remarks seemingly approving the action of a youth who had slapped Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. The social activist had later condemned the incident.

former scientific secretary A. Bhaskarnarayana, former satellite center director K.N. Shankara and former Antrix executive director K.R. Sridharamurthi -have also been barred from holding any government position or being on official committees over the deal ISRO's commercial arm Antrix signed with Devas for allotting the scarce S-band spectrum (air waves). The deal, signed during Nair's stewardship of ISRO, was cancelled in February last year on the ground that it would have caused the government loss of billions of rupees. Besides blaming Radhakrishnan, who succeeded him as ISRO head in 2009,

Nair said ISRO had "gone to the dogs" and asked the government whether he was "worse than a terrorist" for blacklisting him. The government's move came in for sharp attack from the BJP also which wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take action against the then minister of state in his office, Prithviraj Chavan, now Maharashtra chief minister, as the space department was handled by him. Atomic Energy and Space Science have always been under the direct charge of prime ministers. ISRO, however, chose to keep mum and declined to comment on Nair's outburst.

Fresh setback for Modi, probe in fake shootouts

New Delhi: In yet another setback to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court directed a panel headed by former apex court judge M.B. Shah to probe 15 cases of alleged staged shootout killings in the state 2003-06. An apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice C.K. Prasad said that it was open to the monitoring authority headed by Justice (retd) Shah to constitute its own investigating team of police officers either from the existing special task force (STF) or other officers from within and outside the state.

The court said the monitoring authority would steer clear of the cases that were already under investigation on the direction of the apex court or the Gujarat High Court. This included the staged shootout cases of alleged gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and alleged terrorist Ishrat Jahan and three others. The apex court is already hearing a CBI plea seeking investigation into the alleged staged shootout killing of Tulsiram Prajapati, an aide of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, saying his case was part of a chain.

Rich fare attracts 70,000 to Jaipur litfest By Prakash Bhandari/SATimes Jaipur: The annual Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) has undoubtedly become Asia’s biggest literary festival. This year, with Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Ben Okri, Jamaica Kincaid, Lionel Shriver and Richard Dawkins in its lineup, over 70,000 people, including hordes of students from all over north India, turned up at the venue Diggi Palace. The Jaipur festival aims to provide a platform for Indian writing, in English as well as in other official Indian languages, including Hindi and Bengali. An appearance by Salman Rushdie in 2007 was a turning point, attracting global attention - and no incidnet. He was followed by Tina Brown, Vikram Seth, Martin Amis and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. This year, Oprah Winfrey had most mass appeal and she was on stage with India’s top TV presenter Barkha Dutt. Oprah showed up in light mustardyellow kurta and a floral churidar with a pink dupatta, creating a rapport. She praised the Indian chaos and calm. In Agra, she said, she was amused to see a cart being pulled by an ass, reminding her how after fulfilling her mission to get Barack Obama elected President, she stuck a picture on her pinboard of a Rajasthani woman riding a camel with the caption: "Come to India". “The festival has become a hotbed

dangerous about books. Festival co-producer William Dalrymple talked about the wonderful heritage of arts still alive in Rajasthan, citing the performance of

Oprah Winfrey was interviewed by Barkha Dutt

Fatima Bhutto moderated a session on ‘Writing and Resistance’.

of activity, with publishers scouting for talent and writers for book deals. Even Indian publishers have begun rushing books to capitalize on the event,” said Mita Kapur, an author. “JLF has had a ripple effect, with similar events springing up all over South Asia,” said Pakistani writer Ameena Saiyid. “There is everything for everyone at the festival. There is a star-studded lineup and we also showcase homegrown talent,” said co-producer of the festival Namita Gokhale. The session 'The Magic of Reality' had Lalla Ward in conversation with Richard Dawkins, a self-proclaimed atheist and science writer. Dawkins spoke passionately about the importance of science and how it can teach us to look at the world ‘in unfamiliar ways.’ The session 'Adaptations', chaired by Girish Karnad, had Lionel Shriver, Vishal Bhardwaj, Richard Flanagan and Tom Stoppard discuss adaptation of books into theatre and movies. Novelist Flanagan said it took three years for him to write the

screenplay for ‘The Sound of One Hand Clapping’, and when he couldn’t sell it, turned it into a novel instead, a very different process. Indian screenwriter and director Vishal Bhardwaj talked of his, Maqbool being based on Macbeth. The session 'Nothing to Declare: Straight Lines and History' had Fakrul Alam, Mohammed Hanif, Rabi Thapa and Siddhartha Gigoo talk about interpretation of the word ‘border’. Poet and novelist Siddhartha Gigoo spoke about his experience of Kashmir, talking of the migration within the country itself. The session ‘The Good Muslim’ had Tahmima Anam read passages from her novel, The Good Muslim, which portrays post-1990s Bangladesh. The session ‘Writing and Resistance’, moderated by Fatima Bhutto, had Raja Shehadeh, ThantMyint-U and Iftikhar Gilani explore writing contributing to resistance. Bhutto questioned whether books themselves were inherently dangerous. Iftikar Gilani responded that there was nothing

epic stories such as Pabuji The Camel Herder, a sacred and healing performance event which can start at sunset and end at dawn, taking place over eight days.

Rushdie fiasco cloud over freedom of expression in India

Jaipur: The organizers of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) were disappointed when because of pressure from Muslim clerics Salman Ruhdie was neither allowed to come to the festival nor to speak via video conferencing. The alleged death threat to the controversial author of The Satanic Verses forced him to cancel his visit. “It is tragic. What is hurting is the protestors are trying to snatch from the authors their right to speech. This is happening in a country which claims to be the world’s largest democracy," said William Dalrymple, an author and co-organizer of the JLF. Rushdie is unpopular with the Muslims because of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses which was banned in India. He lived for long years in police protection when Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa against him. The strong stand against Rushdie by the Muslim organizations in India this time became a

Salman Rushdie free speech controversy. The cancellation of his trip to Jaipur and videoconferencing drew criticism from authors and writers from all over the world for rising censorship and limits on freedom of expression in India. Four authors including Amitava Kumar and Hari Kunzru, who dared to read a few paragraphs from the banned Satanic Verses were forced to leave the festival as they were likely to be arrested for reading the banned book. The Congress government in Rajasthan did not rise to the defense of Rushdie because of the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh where a large number of electorate are Muslims.


32

Tristate community

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

R-Day celebrated in US Washington, DC: The Indian community in the US celebrated the Republic Day with the Ambassador Nirupama Rao unfurling the national flag at a colorful function at the Indian embassy here on a rain swept chilly day. After hoisting the flag in front of the embassy overlooking a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Rao read out President Pratibha

Patil's message to the nation. A short cultural program of patriotic songs in Marathi, Telugu, Assamese and Hindi followed. About 200 members of the community joined the celebrations. Similar flag hoisting ceremonies were also held at the Indian consulates in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston

Rao paying floral tribute at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC

Introducing Hindi at UN: India’s apathy irks community By Ashok Ojha/SATimes New York : Prominent Indian American teachers and professionals, who gathered at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan auditorium in New York City on January 20 to celebrate World Hindi Day, felt disappointed when India’s Consul-General Prabhu Dayal categorically stated that Government of India was not able to pursue a long standing demand to make Hindi as one of the working languages of United Nations due to financial reasons. “In order to introduce Hindi at the UN as a working language, it will cost India enormous money,” said Ambassador in response to speeches by speakers at the event. “The United Nations will have to recruit many translators and interpreters for varieties of work it would need to do in Hindi.” Earlier Dr. Navin Mehta, Trustee of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Dr. Surendra Gambhir, Chairman of Yuva Hindi Sansthan raised the issue of introducing Hindi at the UN and Government of India offices in USA and other countries. Reminding the audience that the Government of India had organized the eighth World Hindi Conference held in July 2007 in New York with great fanfare, Dr. Mehta pointed out that the conference was inaugurated at the United Nations General Assembly Hall where promises to introduce Hindi at the UN were made by officials in the presence of 800 writers, authors, and teachers who came from various parts of the world to attend. “Nothing substantial was done to fulfill the promise to introduce Hindi at the UN.” To commemorate the World Hindi Day the Consul General read a message sent by the Prime Minister of India in which Hindi was termed as a very important

The Consulate General of India celebrated the World Hindi Day Jan 20 where H. R. Shah (extreme left) announced to launch a Hindi teaching program at TVAsia studio in Edison, NJ. Also seen in the picture are Dr. Navin Mehta (second from left), Consul General Prabhu Dayal, Dr. Surendra Gambhir and Kenny Desai of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. (Photo by Ashok Ojha) aspect of Indian culture. Paying rich tributes to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for its services in promoting Hindi and Indian culture he said that the Bhavan was conducting Hindi classes at the premises of the Indian Consulate in New York for a long time. He said that Hindi was used in private conversation among the Consulate staff. Traditionally it is celebrated on January 10 every year. An announcement to teach Hindi at the TV Asia studio in Edison was made by H. R. Shah, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at the event.

Nambiar named UN chief's adviser on Myanmar United Nations: Veteran Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar is stepping down as chef de cabinet of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to become his special adviser on Myanmar. "Nambiar expressed (his) wish to step down, so as to allow me to compose a new team of senior managers for my second term as UN chief," Ban told reporters Wednesday. Nambiar, who has held his current position since 2007, will move to serve as Ban's "Special Advisor on Myanmar at an appropriate time, following the

Vijay Nambiar transition in my Executive Office," the UN Chief said.He thanked the former Indian Permanent Representative to the UN for his "unfailing support,

wise counsel, and dedication in handling the many challenges that have faced the organization during my first term." Nambiar previously served as India's ambassador to Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. Ban said the United Nations has been playing a key role in furthering the democratization process of Myanmar. "Encouraged" by the recent release of political prisoners in the country, Ban said he is planning to visit Myanmar in the near future to have further discussions with the authorities.

Ambassador Nirupama Rao unfurling the Indian National Flag.

Smita Goradia appointed head of retail at Indus American Bank

Iselin, NJ: Indus American Bank has appointed Smita Goradia as Senior Vice President & Director of Retail Banking. In welcoming Goradia, Jasbir Chopra, President & CEO of the Bank said, “Smita brings with her extensive retail banking and management experience, and her client network and a proven track record of business development will help us in our plans for expansion and growth in market share.” In this position at Indus American Bank, Goradia will be responsible for heading the Retail Banking Division, which includes the four branches located at Iselin, Parsippany, Jersey City and Hicksville, and increasing the sales and promoting business development

Smita Goradia for the Bank. Goradia has held executive and managerial positions which include: VP /Regional Sales Manager at United Central Bank and AVP / Branch Manager at Unity Bank. Her experiences include business development, relationship management, account and portfolio management, branch compliance and operations.

Muslim civil rights group asks NYC top cop to step down

Raymond Kelly, NYC Police Commissioner New York : In the wake of revelations about NYPD's involvement in production of an anti-Muslim propaganda film, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) has called for the resignation of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs Paul Browne. Kelly's and Browne’s admission of their involvement in the production of The Third Jihad marks the blatant bigotry and lack of transparency that permeates the NYPD’s approach to New York’s Muslim communities MACLC said in a press statement. It demanded that the City Council institute an independent community control and oversight mechanism for the NYPD. MACLC further called on the NYPD to retrain all 1500 officers who watched The Third Jihad during cadet training. In early 2011, MACLC contacted

the NYPD regarding the use of the The Third Jihad in cadet training, only to have the NYPD deny its role in training of cadets. However, police documents obtained by a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request now reveal that the film was shown to nearly 1500 officers during police training. Only after the film’s producer identified for the New York Times the date on which Kelly was interviewed for the film, did Kelly and Browne admit to participation in the film. “NYPD officials should not have permitted and actively participated in the screening and creation of such hateful propaganda produced by a special interest organization,” said Nermeen Arastu, staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a member of MACLC. Shown to NYPD officers, The Third Jihad portrays Muslims as engaged in a “1400 year war” to “infiltrate and dominate America.” The film allegedly includes inflammatory imagery, including people who appear to be Muslim engaging in acts of terrorism, car bombs exploding, executed children, and repeated images of an Islamic flag flying over the White House.


January 28 - February 3, 2012

33

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Happy 63rd Republic Day, India et me start with a warm, happy and joyous wish: Happy Republic Day, India! Luckily, it comes soon after New Year’s Day and part of the global wellness during January, when the world over folks are wishing each other a “Happy New Year!” and harnessing the promise of tomorrow. The Republic Day of India commemorates January 26, 1950, when the Constitution of India replaced the Government of India Act of 1935. Amazingly, while India declared its independence on August 15, 1947, it continued its life under the Act of 1935 for two and a half years. India, like the United States, is a nation of laws. 26th January is celebrated with much enthusiasm all over India, and outside India, by folks who trace their ancestry to India. It is also a solemn reminder of all the sacrifices made by freedom fighters who gave their lives for the freedom of the country. So here is to all the SHAHEEDS- JAI HIND! Their sacrifices did not go to waste. Look where India is today. Living life in the greatest city in the world, New York, and reflecting upon India’s Republic Day is a pretty blessed thing to do. Particularly, since the exhaustion from organizing and staging an awesome AIA-NY’s Diwali 2011 is finally behind us, and the Diwali Stamp Petition process awaits continued and concerted action. So, let’s take a quick look back, and a longer look forward. 2011 was pretty cool: we made it into 2012 without injury and the world is safer. The Arab Spring has sprung, and political solutions necessary to cause stable and peaceful governance may in fact force all concerned stakeholders to find that “sweet spot,” closer to the “center,” which each stakeholder's ideology permits. We wish all our global citizens to realize their dreams peacefully and make regime change through the ballot box. Japan’s nuclear incident was scary, as was the Tsunami that caused it. India’s blossoming relationship with the United States, the single most important bilateral to India, is at its highest, particularly, given the warmer multilateral dynamic at the highest level. The robust bipartisan India Caucus in the House and Senate as well as tangible policy warmth by President Obama and his cabinet bodes well for greater partnering between the US and India. The globally well received Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh's reference to Pakistan as a "friendly power" is a milestone for the sub-continent. That the Supreme Courts have become active, some say hyperactive, leaves no doubt that there is a rule of law and civil society is well and strong. 2012 is a year when we push for the Diwali Stamp in a concerted way, harness the goodwill of our dear friend Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and get the United States Postal Service to take note. In addition, we seek to launch new programming for AIA-NY, as Diwali at the Seaport Street in Manhattan needs a cultural relative during the earlier part of the year; something before FIA’s glorious India Day Parade on Madison Avenue. I would like to invite emails from those interested in supporting AIA’s goal of greater community activities, be it to volunteer or with do-

L

able program suggestions and enhancements. This is also a big year, while the Euro fights for relevance, we have a presidential election, and through the ballot box our nation will redefine or re-calibrate our nation's direction and policies, from economic growth and debt reduction, border security and immigration reform, national security and global stability. But most of all, it will seek to re-energize the American Dream for all, especially, for those who are more challenged in life or society. America is exceptional in human history, and American exceptionalism needs to be refelt the world over. That India is becoming a stronger presence on the global stage is a matter of greater joy if it also continues in becoming even closer to the US, as this will let freedom ring louder yet. The cultural heritage of India, the economic and professional achievements, and the young

folks amongst us who are ready to embrace the public service across the US is both satisfying as it is exhilarating. The mainstreaming of our young is a top priority for all of us, as well as keeping their roots memorable. Happily, it seems our young ones are well on their way to make their families, communities and nation proud. I cannot close without noting that AIA was started in the 1960's, when civil rights was a hot button topic. In 2012, an AfricanAmerican president Barack Obama is seeking that special “Second Term” from his fellow patriot, the Republican candidate for president, and what lies ahead after the election is a better and stronger America. AIA’s core mission in 2012 isn’t a civil rights agenda anymore, but one of enhancing American excellence while serving to protect and enhance the contributions that one’s cultural “Indian-ness”

By Ranju Batra President, Association of Indians in America-NY Chapter (AIA) can make to all our neighbors from sea to shining sea. Let me close by wishing everyone a Happy & Healthy New Year, and to India, a safe and strong republic that can continue to harness the benefits of civil society from “Jan Gan Man” to “Jai Ho.” God bless America!

Wishing all readers Happy 63rd Republic Day of India.


34

National Community

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Jay Leno sued over Golden Temple remark New York: Talk show host Jay Leno has been sued by an Indian-American in California for his "racist" comments on the Golden Temple and ridiculing the entire Sikh community by portraying the holy shrine as a vacation home. According to court papers filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Randeep Dhillon claims that Leno "hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people in addition to those of the plaintiff" with his joke that the Golden Temple could be a possible summer home of Mitt Romney, a leading Republican presidential hopeful. Celebrity website TMZ said Dhillon has filed a libel suit and is seeking unspecified damages. The suit adds that Leno's joke "clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule and oblo-

Talk show host Jay Leno quy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh." It also mentions that this is not the first time that the talk show host has ridiculed the Sikh community.

"Previously, in 2007 he called Sikhs 'diaper heads.' Clearly, Jay Leno's racist comments need to be stopped right here," the suit added. In more trouble for Leno, a Sikh rights group here has lodged a complaint with a federal agency demanding action be taken against him and NBC channel for airing the "racist and derogatory" depiction of the Golden Temple. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has filed its complaint with regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Leno and NBC. FCC is tasked with regulating the broadcast of television programs, analyzing complaints and conducting investigations. SFJ's Legal Advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that while freedom of speech should be valued and protected, it should not

Amit Gupta finally gets bone marrow donor

California: Amit Gupta, a California based Indian-American entrepreneur diagnosed with leukemia, has finally found a donor with matching bone marrow. More than 100 drives organized by Amit's family, friends and strangers through tweets and Facebook posts were eventually able to find him a perfect bone marrow match. The 32-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who is the founder of start-ups like Photojojo and Jelly, was diagnosed with leukemia last year. His South Asian ancestry meant his odds of finding a matching donor were slim - a successful donation required a Amit Gupta was close genetic match. But of the nine million diagnosed with leukemia names in the National Bone Marrow registry in Sept 2011 in the US, approximately only one per cent

are South Asians. On his Tumblr page, Amit said, "... After over 100 drives organized by friends, family, and strangers, celebrity call-outs, a bazillion reblogs (7000+!), tweets, and Facebook posts, press, fundraising and international drives organized by tireless friends, and a couple painful false starts, I've got a 10/10 matched donor! You all literally helped save my life. (And the lives of many others.)" He adds that the transplant procedure will begin at the Dana Farber hospital in Boston, where he will be kept for the next four to five weeks.With a donor in place, Amit can now look forward to the successful completion of the procedure and a healthy life ahead.

be made a tool to ridicule a religion. He added that Leno's wrongful depiction of the Golden Temple is "more hurtful to the sentiments of the Sikh community because any disrespectful or derogatory remark about the Golden Temple brings back the tormenting memories of Operation Blue Star in June, 1984." SFJ will be holding a protest rally on February 2 in front of the NBC Headquarters in New York demanding that the channel sack Leno. India has strongly objected to Leno's remark, with Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi directing Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao to take up the matter with the State Department. In turn, the US defended Leno's right to free speech and has termed his comments as "satirical."

Raju Narisetti named Managing Editor of Wall Street Journal

Indian Americans ask Senators to support immigration reform Washington, DC: A group of Indian American IT-professionals have asked US Senators to support a key immigration-reform legislation, which if passed would drastically reduce the "Green Card" waiting period for highly- skilled workers from countries like India and China. "This as an important step in the effort to reform immigration policy in response to the changing global situation," said the Silicon Valley-based Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO) in a statement. Currently pending the Congress, Fairness for HighSkilled Immigrants Act (HR 3012) proposes to eliminate the per nation cap on employment-based visas in favor of a more fair, "first come, first serve" system, where all green-card applicants meeting the requirements will have the same waiting period. "The bill will also reduce the uncertainty faced by

organizations in retaining experienced resources critical to support the business," said Khanderao Kand of GITPRO. GITPRO asked US Senators to support the legislation in the Congress. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, contains a technical fix to eliminate per-country limits on allotment of high-skilled green cards without adding a single additional green card to the system, he said. The bill also increases per-country limits from seven to 15 per cent in the family-based immigration system, which will help reduce the huge backlogs in the family based system as well, without adding any new visa numbers, GITPRO said in its statement. Launched in 2009, GITPRO is a global networking platform for Indian Technology Professionals for their professional and self-development and their contribution back to the profession, society and people of US and India.

Raju Narisetti New York: The Wall Street Journal has named IndianAmerican journalist Raju Narisetti as Managing Editor of the publication's digital network. Narisetti is currently the Managing Editor for The Washington Post, where he oversees the company's digital content products, staff and strategy. Narisetti's appointment marks his return to the Journal, where he

had first worked in 1994 as a reporter in Pittsburgh and most recently served as Editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe in 2006. At the Journal he will be in charge of the online platforms like the WSJ.com, SmartMoney.com and the Chinese, Japanese and Germanlanguage editions of WSJ.com. Narisetti will also become a Deputy Managing Editor of the Journal and he will report to Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online. Narisetti holds a Bachelor's degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad and a Master's in Management from the Institute of Rural Management in Gujarat. Prior to joining the Post in 2009, Narisetti had served as founding editor of Mint newspaper In India. Robert Thomson, Managing Editor of the Journal said Narisetti's experience in creating Mint brings "important relationships and unique expertise that will assist us as we expand our global digital network."

Romney’s loss a setback for Nikki Haley Washington, DC: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s crushing defeat in the South Carolina primary comes as a major setback for the state’s IndianAmerican Governor Nikki Haley, who not only endorsed him but also extensively campaigned for him. Haley won the South Carolina gubernatorial election with an impressive margin only a year ago, and her candidate not winning the Republican primary is an indication that her popularity is fast slipping away, which was also reflected in recent opinion polls.

Only the second Indian-American after Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, to be elected as Governor of a US state, she was praised by Romney when he conceded defeat. “Governor Nikki Haley has been fabulous and I owe her so very much,” Romney said. Romney’s opponent Newt Gingrich, who won the primary with a decisive margin, was endorsed by the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives and the House Majority Leader. Immediately after former Massachusetts Governor Romney

was defeated, a disappointed Haley said she would continue to campaign for him and would travel to other states in his favour. According to Huffington Post, Haley, who won the South Carolina gubernatorial elections last year because of the support from Tea Party activists, shocked her base by endorsing Romney. “Haley isn’t getting the kind of strong support she did when she was elected, and Tea Party supporters couldn’t have been more shocked with her choice to back Romney,” National Public Radio said.

Nikki Haley had endorsed Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney


36

US Affairs

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

America indispensable in world affairs: Obama Washington: Joining issue with those suggesting that Washington's influence was on the decline, President Barack Obama has asserted that America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs and he intended to keep it that way. "Yes, the world is changing; no, we can't control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs - and as long as I'm president, I intend to keep it that way," he said in his third annual State of the Union address to a joint session of the Congress Tuesday. "Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're talking about," Obama said, turning to foreign policy issues in his 65minute address focused on the economy. "That's not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That's not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they've been in years," he said. "The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper," Obama said. "Our iron-clad commitment to Israel's security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history. We've made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope," he said. "From the coalitions we've built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we've led against hunger and disease; from the blows we've dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back," Obama said. Seeking the cooperation of opposition Republicans, he said: "When we act togeth-

er, there is nothing the United States of America can't achieve. That is the lesson we've learned from our actions abroad over the last few years. "Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the Al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can't escape the reach of the United States of America," he said by way of examples. President Obama giving his 3rd State of the Union address to Congress.

Eyeing re-election, Obama calls for bringing jobs back home Washington: Saying that 'no challenge is more urgent' than keeping the American dream alive, President Obama virtually launched his re-election campaign hitting out at "outsourcing" with a call to bring "manufacturing jobs back" to America. Declaring that "the state of our union is getting stronger", Obama in his third State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday pledged to fight obstruction by opposition Republicans saying America had come too far in its still sluggish recovery from economic recession "to turn back now". Obama, who then went on a three-day swing through five key election states, offered both his administration's priorities for the coming year and his campaign messaging for his re-election bid in November. While he did not name India in his tirade against outsourcing, Obama announced creation of a trade enforcement unit to investigate "unfair trade practices in countries like China", where a large number of American

goods are made. "No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits," Obama said as he defended a long list of his trademark policies -- tax increases on the wealthy, Wall Street reform, healthcare reform and government stimulus spending. Describing the possibilities offered by what he called a "blueprint for an American economy that's built to last," Obama said: "Think about the America within our reach... a country that leads the world in educating its people." He called for lowering corporate taxes and providing incentives for US manufacturers to bring overseas jobs back to America, while ending tax breaks for businesses that continue to outsource. At the same time, Obama said, every multinational company should pay a basic minimum tax while giving American manufacturers a tax cut. "It's time to stop rewarding businesses that

Gingrich leads Romney 37-28 nationally as per new WSJ/NBC poll among Republican voters.

Romney pays about 14% tax

Washington: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney Tuesday made public his two most recent tax returns, which reveal that the millionaire businessman is subject to a much lower tax rate than the average working American. The returns released show Romney had income of some $42 million in 2010 and 2011 and paid taxes at an effective rate of 14.6 percent, The Washington Post said. The question of taxes has become a bone of contention in the

Republican election debate, after another of the candidates, former House speaker Newt Gingrich challenged front-runner Romney to provide details about the origin of the fortune he made as a financier. The former Massachusetts governor urged Gingrich to make public his consulting contracts with the government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac, an institution often criticized by Republicans. For months, the campaign team of Romney, erstwhile boss of private

equity firm Bain Capital, refused to release his tax returns. Romney's fortune is estimated at around $250 million. More than half of Romney's income in 2010 and 2011 came from the interest and dividends on his investments, which the US tax code states are taxable at a rate of up to 15 percent. US taxpayers whose income is derived from wages and salary pay at rates ranging from 23 percent to 35 percent.

ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America," Obama said, adding a line that he repeated throughout the speech in a challenge to Congress. "Send me these tax reforms, and I'll sign them right away." With unemployment still above 8 percent amid sluggish economic recovery, Obama framed the challenges facing the country as a choice between opportunity for some or giving everyone a chance to prosper. The Republican response chided Obama for not addressing the nation's $15 trillion debt more forcefully, presenting a stark contrast in policy proposals and outlook to the president's more optimistic assessment of what has been accomplished and what is needed. "It was irresponsible for him not to recognize the dire circumstances our country is in because of our debt," conservative Senator Jim DeMint said. "He spent his speech making some more promises from government.�

Gingrich promises moon base by 2020 Florida: Newt Gingrich has promised to build a moon base by 2020 if he becomes the next US president in the November poll. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives said this before a crowd of over 700 people on Florida's "Space Coast" Wednesday. "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American," Gingrich promised to an applauding crowd. He also said that he would push to develop "the first continuous propulsion system in space" that would enable humans to travel to Mars, Politico.com reported. The topic of Gingrich's latest campaign struck a particular chord with the residents of

Florida's "Space Coast" who are still struggling economically after recent US federal cuts to the space program. "We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines of the 1930s," CBC News quoted Gingrich, "the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching." Gingrich's rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, mocked the idea of a lunar settlement, but Gingrich simply commented that "here's the difference between romantics and so-called practical people".


International+Subcontinent TheSouthAsianTimes.info

37

January 28-February 3, 2012

Car bombs kill 14, wound 75 in Iraq Baghdad: Four car bombs exploded in mainly Shi'ite Muslim areas of Baghdad, killing 14 people and wounding 75, underlining a political crisis that threatens to revive sectarian strife in Iraq. The first blast hit a group of day laborers gathering for jobs in the poor northeastern Sadr City area of the capital, leaving a chaotic scene of scattered shoes and food, and pools of blood. The bomb killed at least eight people and wounded 24, police and hospital sources said. "We were all standing waiting to earn our living and all of a sudden it was like a black storm and I felt myself thrown on the ground," said Ahmed Ali, a 40-year-old laborer whose face and hair were burned by the explosion.

"I fainted for a while then I woke up and hurried to one of the cars to take me to the hospital," said Ali, lying on a bed in the emergency room at Imam Ali hospital in Sadr City.The second blast near a traffic roundabout in Sadr City killed three people and wounded 26 others, the sources said. Two other car bombs exploded in mainly Shi'ite northwestern areas of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 25, sources said. One car blew up near two schools in the Shula district, the other on a busy commercial street in Hurriya.Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply from the height of sectarian killing in 2006-07, but insurgents and militias still carry out daily attacks and assassinations in an attempt to undermine the government.

Insurgents and militias in Iraq still carry out daily attacks and assassinations in an attempt to undermine the government.

Italy ship disaster: Pak Senate wants Musharraf More bodies found tried for treason

The Concordia rammed a reef and capsized on January 13 off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio as it was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew on a Mediterranean cruise. Rome: Nudged gently by the tides on a Mediterranean cruise. off Tuscany, the capsized Costa Salvage experts received the green Concordia has been deemed stable light to start pumping fuel soon enough on its rocky perch for sal- from the double-lined tanks of the vagers to begin pumping fuel oil Concordia. The weekslong fuelfrom its giant tanks. removal operation aims to avert a The cruise liner, its hull gashed by possible environmental catastrophe a reef and pocked by holes blasted in the waters off Giglio, part of a by divers searching for the missing, protected seven-island Marine Park. yielded two more bodies, 10 days The ship's Italian captain, after the accident. The corpses of Francesco Schettino, is under house two women were found in the luxu- arrest near Naples, facing possible ry liner's Internet cafe, now 55 feet charges of manslaughter, causing a (17 meters) underwater. shipwreck and abandoning his vesTables, desks, elegant upholstered sel while some people were still armchairs and cabinets bobbed in aboard. He has insisted that he was the sea as divers guided the furniture coordinating rescue operations from out of the holes to clear space for a lifeboat and then from shore. their exploration inside. Despite earlier fears, officials said So far, the bodies of 15 people the crippled cruise ship, with a 230have been found most of them in the foot (70-meter) gash in its hull, is submerged portion of the vessel, not expected to roll off its rocky while 17 others remain unaccounted seabed perch and be swallowed by for. Authorities said earlier reports the sea. that an unregistered Hungarian The sea has been calm for several woman had called friends from the days but was expected to become ship before it flipped over turned out choppy in the next few days. to be groundless. Seven bodies still await identificaThe Concordia rammed a reef and tion. Gabrielli said officials have capsized on January 13 off the tiny DNA from the relatives of all of the Tuscan island of Giglio as it was missing passengers and are working carrying 4,200 passengers and crew to confirm their names.

Islamabad: The upper house of Pakistan's parliament unanimously adopted a resolution that demanded the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf on his arrival in the country and the registration of a case of high treason against him. The resolution was moved in the Senate by Raza Rabbani, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party. Rabbani accused Musharraf, currently living in selfexile in London and Dubai, of abrogating the Constitution twice, arresting members of the superior judiciary and compromising national interests. Musharraf dented the national economy and inflicted colossal loss to the national exchequer, Rabbani said. The rules of business of the Senate were suspended when Rabbani moved a motion and informed the chairman of the House that he and several other Senators intended to move the resolution against the ex-dictator.

The former president of Pakistan is currently living in self-exile in London and Dubai.

Lanka expels 161 foreign Muslim clerics

Muslim members of Sri Lanka's government have expressed concern at the mass expulsion, and are expected to meet other officials to try to delay the move. Colombo: Sri Lanka has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics, including Indians, to leave the country for flouting visa regulations. Sri Lanka's immigration head Chulananda Perera said that the

clerics had no right to preach in mosques as they had arrived on tourist visas. "They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family, and not

to preach Islam," The BBC quoted Perera, as saying. The official also said that some local Muslims had complained that the visitors were not teaching a moderate form of Islam. The group also included preachers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and Arab nations. They have been ordered to leave by January 31. Perera said the group belonged to Tablighi Jamaat, an international Islamic movement popular in Sri Lanka and the region. According to the report, Muslim members of Sri Lanka's government have expressed concern at the mass expulsion, and are expected to meet other officials to try to delay the move. The news has also created consternation in the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, the third largest ethnic group in the country after Sinhalese and Tamils.


38

Business

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

India's central bank infuses Rs 320 bn into system Mumbai: After keeping money supply under a tight leash for nearly two years to tame galloping inflation, India's central bank took steps to infuse more liquidity into the system by reducing a key rate that would help the industry get out of the current downturn. The cash reserve ratio (CRR), the amount against deposits which commercial banks have to keep as liquid assets such as cash, has been lowered by 50 basis points to 5.5 percent from 6 percent and will be effective Jan 28. "This step will release Rs.320 billion into the system," Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D. Subbarao said in a statement, soon after presenting the third quarter review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal year. "The policy actions and the guidance are

Industry welcomed the cut in CRR, but urged the central bank to start lowering interest rates in forthcoming reviews. expected to ease liquidity conditions, mitigate downside risks to growth and anchor medium-term inflation expectations on the basis of a credible commitment to low and stable inflation," he added. Industry welcomed the cut in CRR, but

India likely to weather global slowdown better: ILO Geneva: The International Labour Organization (ILO) believes India is likely to weather the latest global slowdown better than most countries, provided it ensures rising income levels for the working class and enough jobs for a growing working-age population. According to the annual report on global employment by the ILO, "The main challenge is not unemployment, but rather the high degree of informality that persists despite strong growth." "The robust growth witnessed in the South Asian region was driven largely by India and was

largely due to the rapid rise in labour productivity, rather than an expansion in employment," the report, titled, 'Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a Deeper Jobs Crisis', said. This situation is prominent in India, which accounts for 74 per cent of the South Asia region's labour force. In India, total employment grew by only 0.1 per cent over the five years to 2009-10 -- from 457.9 million in 2004-05 to 458.4 million in 2009/10 -- while labour productivity grew by more than 34 per cent over this period.

urged the central bank to start lowering interest rates in forthcoming reviews. "This gives a clear signal that the RBI has recognized the challenges to growth owing to a weakening demand condition. The RBI needs to start reducing the repo rate as well in order to start the investment cycle, which has weakened," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry. For the past two years, the central bank had been taking steps to curb liquidity with a mix of measures such as hikes in the shortterm lending and borrowing rates to contain inflation that had risen to double digits with food inflation at 20 percent once. But this has affected investments and increased the cost of capital to industry. As a result, industrial output has been largely sluggish in the current fiscal.

Morgan Stanley FDI in aviation may give tops India deal flight to domestic airlines show

Mumbai: Morgan Stanley was the top Indian deal maker last year consolidating its position five years after its split with Nimesh Kampani's JM Financial. Morgan Stanley's M&A team, led by the 41-yearold Aisha de Sequeira, the new power woman on the deal street, occupied the top slot in the three prominent deal league tables even as Goldman Sachs rallied to become the number two firm in 2011. Aisha de Sequeira is MD and head of investment banking at Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley advised transactions worth $11.2 billion , with 29.4% share of the deals by value, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

India gets N-capable Russian submarine

New Delhi: India has taken possession of a nuclearpowered submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease. The Akula II craft was handed over to India in a ceremony in eastern Russia in a deal that has cost close to $1bn. India previously owned a Soviet-built nuclear submarine but decommissioned it in 1991. It now rejoins China, Russia, the US, the UK and France as an operator of underwater nuclear vessels. India is also developing its own nuclear-powered submarine. It is expected to be ready by the end of this year. The 8,140-tonne Akula II submarine, the K-152 Nerpa, has been renamed by India as the INS Chakra II. It was due to be handed over to Delhi in 2009 but was delayed because of problems during testing. In November 2008, at least 20 people died in an accident on the Nerpa when a fire extinguishing system was activated by mistake. The INS Chakra II will operate from the Visakhapatnam base in the Bay of

Cumulative factory output in the AprilNovember period has been sluggish at 3.8 percent as against a growth of 8.4 percent in the like period of 2010. In the mid-quarter review of the monetary policy in December, the central bank had hit the pause button on rate hikes while also indicating that it may ease the tight money policy regime if inflation were to moderate further. "The growth-inflation balance of the monetary policy stance has now shifted to growth, while at the same time ensuring that inflationary pressures remain contained," Subbarao said in Tuesday's policy statement. India's annual rate of inflation currently stands at a two-year low of 7.47 percent for December. Food inflation has been in the negative for the past three weeks, giving some comfort to policy-makers.

The 8,140-tonne Akula II submarine, the K-152 Nerpa, has been renamed by India as the INS Chakra II. Bengal and have Granat nuclear cruise missile capability.

Currently, the government allows for FDI up to 49 percent in Indian carriers by non-airline players. New Delhi: Operating through a tough financial environment, Indian carriers see a ray of hope in the government proposal to allow foreign airlines to invest funds and expertise in them so as to bring back the zing in the sector. "A market growing at over 15 percent, huge untapped market in the interiors, growing per capita incomes and propensity to fly make India an attractive aviation market to be in," said Amber Dubey, a director in global consultancy firm KPMG. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh will move a cabinet note seeking 49 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) by foreign carriers in domestic airlines. The Group of Ministers will take up the issue of direct ATF imports and discuss plans to revive the aviation sector.

Currently, the government allows for FDI up to 49 percent in Indian carriers by non-airline players but bans foreign airlines from directly investing for security concerns. But would foreign carriers be keen to invest in a bleeding sector where three listed players -- Jet, Kingfisher and SpiceJet -- are reporting heavy second quarter losses? Industry watchers say 'yes'. The Indian aviation market is one of the fastest growing in the world. Last year, it expanded by 20 percent. And the current downturn makes valuations attractive. "Those who wait and watch may have to pay a higher price later," Dubey said. But a deterrent for foreign carriers could be the plethora of state sales taxes which make jet fuel one of the costliest in the world.


40

Sports

January 28-February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Oz Test series: India fear 4-0 whitewash

Adelaide: Virat Kohli's maiden Test ton and three quick wickets gave India something to cheer for, but Australia remained in command with a massive 450 runs lead after the third day's play of the fourth and the final cricket Test at the Adelaide Oval. India's first innings folded up for 272, in reply to Australia's 604 for seven, shortly after tea with Kohli scoring a valiant 116. Kholi also became the first Indian batsmen to score a century on the current tour. Peter Siddle was the pick of Australian bowlers with five for 49 while Ben Hilfenhaus bagged three

for 62.India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-24) then struck twice to remove Australian openers Ed Cowan (10) and David Warner (10) while pace spearhead Zaheer Khan (1-24) dismissed Shaun Marsh to leave the hosts at 50 for three in the second innings at stumps. Ricky Ponting (1) and skipper Michel Clarke (9) were at the crease. Despite a poor start in the second innings, Australia remained on top of the Test. They also didn't ask India to bat again despite the fact that visitors fell 132 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

With bowlers tiring and two days in hand, Clarke decided to built on the first innings lead of 332 runs before setting a stiff target for the tourists, who are probably staring at another 0-4 whitewash, their second in seven months. Barring Kohli, the Indian batting crumbled yet again as they were bowled out post the tea break on a flat track after resuming at 61 for two. Kohli's innings remained the highlight of the day as he experienced some nervous moments while batting with the tail before getting his maiden Test century.

Olympics ethics panel commissioner quits London/Bhopal: Meredith Alexander, a prominent member of the independent watchdog that monitors the sustainability of the 2012 London Games, has resigned to protest Dow Chemicals' sponsorship of the Olympic Stadium wrap. Alexander, who was one of the 13 Ethics Commissioners for the Games, quit her unpaid role, protesting against the 7 mil-

lion pound sponsorship deal with the chemical giant, which is linked to Union Carbide, the company responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster that claimed thousands of lives. Her step was welcomed by organizations representing the Bhopal victims, who lauded her courage while asking Indian leaders to fight against Dow's sponsorship more actively. Dow's associ-

The Australia Test series has been a disastrous one for Team India.

Kohli blasts Australia for sledging

Meredith Alexander. ation with the London Olympics has angered human rights campaigners.

Adelaide: Young middle-order batsman Virat Kohli, who struck his maiden Test century, blasted the Australian team for their overindulgence in sledging and also the local fans for disrespecting the Indian cricketers. Kohli said Australians were frustrated at not getting a wicket for long after they had reduced India to 111 for five. Kohli (116) and Wriddhiman Saha (35) resurrected the innings with their 114-run stand before India's first innings folded up for 272. "They (players) sledge when they get frustrated. Obviously, it was hot out there. Constantly they were sledging the players so that they could spoil their concentration. During that partnership (between him and

Wriddhiman Saha) they were really, really having a go," said Kohli, who also became the first Indian on this tour to get the three-figure mark. Asked about his heated exchange with Ben Hilfenhaus after he survived a run out, Kohli said: "Hilfenhaus said something to me which was quite unnecessary. It was out of the blue. He wasn't even bowling. I had just survived a run-out on 99. He said something to me which I can't say in press conference. I gave it back to him, (I said) you didn't have to do anything, why would you do it." Kohli had to be pulled away by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting before things turned ugly.

Giants, Patriots to meet in Super Bowl XLVI

By Vikas Girdhar/SATimes

One by one, Facebook statuses around the world reflecting the new development were trickling in. It was a sight to behold, as people all over were filling up their personal pages with updates about football, not the usual Sunday status content. Quotes about life and complaints about another weekend gone and work the following day no longer dominated the Facebook realm. Instead, the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, referees, fumbles, touchdowns and the pending Super Bowl were at the table of discussion. If you had no idea what was going on before, you most certainly did after logging in. January 22, 2012 was a different sort of Sunday. Those who were watching the two crucial games that day chose to let the world know, as Facebook essentially became a personal play-by-play broadcast with updates almost every minute. The Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 5 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in Indiana. Fans in New York and New England area

The Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 5 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in Indiana. are sharing a bit more of the excitement, as the Giants and Patriots both advanced to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years. To do it, they defeated the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively, in dramatic fashion. In the AFC Championship game, the Ravens’ Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard fieldgoal that would have tied the game up in the final moments, giving Tom Brady a shot to capitalize in his fifth Super Bowl appearance. In the NFC Championship game, the Giants’ Lawrence Tynes hit the game-winning 31yard field goal in an overtime thriller to advance over the 49ers. The Giants are now a

perfect 5-0 all time in NFC Championship games. This year’s NFC Championship game, with an average 57.6 million people watching, was the second most-watched since 1982 and the third most-watched ever. Eli Manning’s Giants and Tom Brady’s Patriots are slated for a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, played in 2008. That year, the Patriots were 18-0—until losing that one game, 17-14, to the underdog Giants. Even two-time league MVP Brady had publicly dismissed any chance of the Giants winning that game. “We’re only going to score 17 points?” Brady scoffed at the Giants’ Plaxico Burress’ prediction that the Giants would down the Patriots 23-17 that year. How the Giants and Patriots got to the final game in 2008 and this time is quite similar. The Patriots, though not unbeaten this season, were a dominant 13-3 while the Giants had to rally furiously and didn’t look back. They had to win their last two regular-season games just to make the playoffs and followed that up with victories over the Falcons, Packers and 49ers to make the Super Bowl, which is just the third time a 9-7 team has ever done that.

It’s been 7 seasons since the Patriots last won the Super Bowl, that was against the Eagles. They have now made 5 appearances in the last 11 years. When the two teams faced off this past season, the Giants won 24-20 on November 6, 2011. Fan bases of both teams started talking trash as soon as it became clear that there would be a rematch: New Yorkers playing up Manning’s dominance in 2012, fans in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire harping on Brady’s track record and stellar leadership. With the lines clearly drawn, there remained just one question: would New York Jets fans be cheering their cross-town rivals on in the championship game? “Well, the Jets aren’t going there anytime soon, so sure why not?” said Jets season-ticket holder and Farmingdale, NY resident Poly Saha-Gogia. “But seriously, I will be cheering the Giants on because in the end, it’s New York. It would have been much sweeter if the Jets were representing in the Super Bowl instead of the Giants, but at least New York is there. As long as Tom Brady loses, I’ll be happy!”


Ultimate Bollywood Thesouthasiantimes.info

41

January 28-February 3, 2012

'Agneepath' returns in new avatar ijay Dinanath Chauhan is back! The character, made popular by megastar Amitabh Bachchan in 1990 film "Agneepath", is making a comeback on the big screen, albeit in a new avatar with Bollywood hearthrob Hrithik Roshan. The 1990 film, directed by Mukul Anand, was produced by Karan Johar's father Yash. Though the film didn't work at the boxoffice, it won the best actor national award for Amitabh. Twelve years later, Johar came up with the idea of remaking the film by setting it in the modern day scenario, with debutant Karan Malhotra taking the mammoth task of direct-

V

ing it. Set in a small Indian village of Mandawa, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (Hrithik) is taught by his principled father about the path of fire - Agneepath. However, Vijay is left completely broken after evil drug lord Kancha Cheena (Sanjay Dutt) hangs his father to death. Following the death of his father, Vijay leaves for Mumbai with his pregnant mother, pledging to return to his native village later and bring his father's glory back. The role of evil Kancha Cheena was originally played by Danny Denzongpa. But this time, Sanjay has been roped in to essay the villain's part.

Though the Amitabh Bachchan starrer 'Agneepath' did not catch the eye of the audience, the remake has already grabbed eyeballs.

Reliance DreamWorks films 'Chaalis get 11 Oscar nominations Chauraasi' a quirky comedy T

4084 is a crisply edited one-wild-night-on-the-wrong-end-of-town caper that manages an improbable merger of the sinister and the satirical. our fine actors, one wild unpredictable night of adventure. As a premise for a two-hour adventure-caper this sounds exactly like the recipe Sudhir Mishra ordered from his scriptwriters when he made "Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin" 15 years ago. Times have changed. So has morality. Nowadays guns are no longer what the villains hold in our films. They are often the tools to trigger off a torrent of titters in times of violence. In this day and age of dithering morality "Chaalis Chauraasi" (4084) has some finger-licking fun with the formula of farce. 4084 is a feast of the feisty. Indeed Hriday Shetty who earlier directed a tender but undercooked tale of midlife romance "Pyar Mein Twist", is here on far surer grounds as he takes his quartet of quirky characters through a maze of mindboggling adventures. All

F

highly nefarious. The camaraderie among the quartet of over-aged fun-seekers is so convincing you wonder if the director Hriday Shetty came up with this brawny concoction of crime and comedy after getting Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Kay Kay Menon and Ravi Kissan on board. There's no blood and gore, no abusive invocation of mothers and sisters and their private spaces. And yet the rollercoaster ride is never free of excitement. In spite of some repetitive scenes Bunty Negi's editing is crisp and sassy. 4084 is a crisply edited onewild-night-on-the-wrong-end-oftown caper that manages an improbable merger of the sinister and the satirical. The four principal performers are dead-on, full of beans percolating with a pungency that makes them credible all through their incredible journey.

hree films produced by Reliance DreamWorks, a venture between industrialist Anil Ambani and Hollywood producer-director Steven Spielberg, have bagged as many as 11 Oscar nominations this year, it was announced Tuesday. This is the first time movies produced by a company with such huge Indian holding has bagged such large nominations for one of the most prestigious cinema awards across the globe. The nominations are for "War Horse", "The Help" and "Real Steel". Directed by Spielberg himself, "War Horse" has been nominated for six categories -- best picture, sound editing, sound mixing, original score, art direction and cinematography. This movie is about the friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert and releases in India Feb 10. Nomination for best achievement in visual effects is for "Real Stee" -a sci-fi thriller with Hugh Jackman in the lead. For "The Help", directed by Tate Tylor, the nominations are again for

Steven Spielberg directed Reliance-DreamWorks' "War Horse" has been nominated for Best Picture Oscar. best picture, as also for best actress, best supporting actress and best picture trophies. This year's Oscar nomination pack is led by "Hugo", which has 11 nominations alone. It is followed by "The Artist" with 10 nominations. Apart from movies produced by Reliance DreamWorks, India's only hope at the Oscars -- Sohan Roy's "DAM 999" -- failed to make it to any category. One of Ambani's group firms and Spielberg-promoted venture had

forged a mega venture in 2008 to make films for the global audience and set up a Hollywood studio. The deal also helped the celebrated filmmaker to break away from Viacom Paramount Pictures, which owned DreamWorks till then. While the Reliance Group pumped in $325 million, a similar amount was raised from a consortium of investment banks.

Dhanush signs first Hindi film anand L Rai will direct the Kolaveri Di singer in his next film, set against the backdrop of Banaras Director Aanand L Rai has signed Tamil actor Dhanush for his film. He says, "For the past six months, I've been looking for a simple boy to play the lead in Raanjhnaa. My requirement was a man who could look vulnerable on screen. When I saw Dhanush in the Tamil film Aadukalam (for which he won the National award), I liked him immediately.

A

He looks very ordinary and honest, and that was the demand of the character." Dhanush doesn't know Hindi; won't language be a problem? Dhanush says, "The problem is not language. It's culture. I will learn the culture and the language will come automatically." Rai adds that he's not worried about it. "The film is an intense love story. Just like my film Tanu Weds Manu, the film and its characters will take you to Delhi, Punjab, Chennai, etc."

Director Aanand L Rai has signed Tamil actor Dhanush for his film Raanjhnaa.


42

Humor

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Humor with Melvin Durai

Money-saving tips that really work! veryone’s offering moneysaving tips these days, trying to help people survive the economic downturn. It doesn’t take much to save a few bucks here and there, even if you’re already scrimping, even if you order the “short” cappuccino at Starbucks and have reduced your cable TV package to only 380 channels. Anyone who’s really serious about saving money needs to follow Melvin’s can’t-miss tips: 1. Be more religious. Yes, going to the temple, gurudwara, mosque or church can save you money. How? Well, many of these religious institutions offer you something you can’t usually find anywhere else: FREE FOOD! Entire meals are served at many temples, gurudwaras and mosques, while snacks are commonplace at churches. I’m not suggesting, of course, that you go there just to eat. You can also get something to drink. But if the minister asks if you want to be “filled with the spirit,” it’s probably not a good idea to say, “No, thanks. I’m driving.” 2. Don’t pay interest on your credit card. If you’re buried in credit card debt, it might be time to look in the mirror and accept that there’s only one person to blame for the mess you’re in: your spouse. (Or sig-

E

nificant other.) He or she buys all sorts of luxury items with the credit card, whereas you use it only for essential items, such as wool pajamas for the dog. It might be time to get a divorce –- from your credit card. 3. Find vacations on the Internet. Let’s face it. it’s expensive to travel abroad and, even if you can afford it, do you really want to spend half your vacation going through airport security? Thankfully, there’s an easy solution. Just travel anywhere in the world –- Tahiti, Jamaica, Hawaii –by gazing at your Facebook friends’ vacation pics. Put your face right against the computer screen and you’ll almost feel yourself there. 4. Cancel your gym membership. Does it really make sense for you to spend two hours lifting weights, sweating profusely and not getting paid for it? Instead, head to the airport or train station and get yourself a job as a porter. Many companies, including UPS, Wal-Mart and Sears,

offer “lifting opportunities,” though it might be a good idea to stay away from shoplifting. 5. Take the bus or train to work and do some reading. The first step is to buy a monthly bus/train pass. The second step is to cancel your newspaper subscription. Why subscribe to the newspaper when you can read it for free over someone’s shoulder? 6. Take advantage of telemarketers. If you get lots of calls from telemarketers, you need to do what I do: sell them stuff. It’s amazing how much you can sell if you’re a little forceful. Just ask Satwinder, the guy in New Delhi who just bought 100 copies of my novel “Bala Takes the Plunge.” 7. Do your own recycling. Don’t throw out that fashion magazine –pull out the glossy pages and use them to wrap small gifts. Don’t throw out that worn boot –- fill it with soil and grow a plant in it. Don’t throw out that old pair of underwear –- cut it into a fancy shape and use it as a doily. 8. Keep your lotto dreams in check. It’s okay to buy a lottery ticket now and then, but if you’re plunking down 10 bucks a week, you’re throwing your hard-earned money away. Yes, people do win the lottery, but you have a better chance of get-

ting Justin Bieber to share nail polishing tips with you. 9. Think big. Don’t buy a small bag of rice when a big bag is more economical in the long run. The best part is, once the bag is empty, you can recycle it. Just write “Gucci” on the side of it and use it for shopping. 10. Get to know your neighbors.

Neighbors can save you a lot of money. In fact, if you’re trying to buy a house, make sure you find one with a plumber living on one side, an electrician on the other and a carpenter across the street. Don’t forget to show them your appreciation with a special gift, such as a nicely wrapped doily.

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.

Tech Life

No joke this! Rajnikanth website really runs without internet

Kolkata: It may sound like another Rajinikanth joke, but a new website dedicated to the superstar runs 'without an internet connection'! Visitors to www.allaboutrajni.com are greeted with a warning that "He is no ordinary man, this is no ordinary website. It runs on Rajini Power" and are advised to switch off their internet connection to enter the website. Only when the web is disconnected, one is allowed to explore the site. Netizens can trace the story of the legend from the beginning, read inside scoops from his films and get a glimpse of behind-thescenes action, while browsing through famous Rajini jokes about impossible feats only he can achieve. "The unbelievable spectacle of running a website without the internet is a tribute to Rajinikant's larger than life image," claimed Webchutney's creative director Gurbaksh Singh, who developed the site for Desimartini.com. With a heady mix of foot-tapping music, vibrant splash of colors, quirky quotes and illustrations, and icons in true Rajni style and lingo, the unique website reflects Rajini's signature style.

Singh told that the website is based on a complex algorithm running in the back-end that keeps an eye on the propagation of data packets between two terminals. Magic kicks in soon as the internet speed is down to zero, which is the basic premise on which the site and the concept has been constructed. The humor element on the website is accentuated by the error message in typical Rajini style that appears if a visitor attempts to re-connect the internet. "Aiyyo! That was unexpected. To keep browsing, switch off your internet," reads the message. "The website has received a phenomenal response and has gone viral with several thousand hits and counting, along with innumerable shares and mentions across the web, especially on popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter," Singh said. "After a few iterations and testing, we cracked the code required to build the world's first website that runs without the internet - a website that runs offline - which is as awesome and unbelievable as miracles and stunts associated or performed by Rajni himself," he said.


Astrology TheSouthAsianTimes.info

43

January 28-February 3, 2012

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874; Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899; psharma@premastrologer.com; www.premastrologer.com

Stars Foretell: January 28-February 3, 2012 Aries: Your confidence and energy level will be high and accomplishing difficult tasks will be much easier than you ever thought. Find tender love and comfort in the arms of your beloved. You would find members of the opposite sex very appealing, but try not to annoy someone you really care. Partnership with people having a creative mind will bring enormous monetary gains. Be to the point in your correspondence.

Taurus:This week romantic thoughts will ruin your ability to work efficiently. Difficulties concerning financial matters would ease, bringing happiness and peaceful atmosphere at home. Scholars and artists will gain recognition in their work. Health related problems might bring some discomfort. Your varied interests and vast knowledge will become a major attraction for you at social gatherings. Sports and physical exercise will be beneficial.

Gemini:This week you will try new ideas and methods to improve your work efficiency. You will reap fantastic rewards if you stick to your objectives. Personal spending on yourself and your friends should be avoided, rather children and family members should be on your priority this week. Weekend would be perfect to go out for some recreation and entertainment. Sports persons should look after their health and physique.

Cancer: This week entertainment activities along with family members will be highly enjoyable. You should look for ways to make things better for all those around you. Personal needs and requirements will be fulfilled and a cordial relationship with the spouse brings peace and harmony at home. Business partners however are unlikely to agree to your terms and uneasy atmosphere might prevail at work. You can make long lasting relationships during this period if you are open to some unique ideas.

Leo: This week your interaction with influential people will be highly productive. New assignments and jobs for some. You will gather valuable information if you are open to new cultures and ideas. Unexpected guests crowd your place later in the week. Your involvement in the affairs of others will only bring you criticism. A small outing towards the weekend will be good for the entire family.

Virgo:This week completing your backlog of personal work should be your priority. Your communication skill and knowledge will be highly impressive. Investment opportunities if any should be properly verified, as only wise investments will fetch returns. Spouse remains cooperative and helpful. Children would win laurels and make you feel proud. Certain domestic issues will need immediate attention. You are likely to get cornered if you are not honest at work.

Libra: This week you should avoid discussing issues, which are likely to disturb the peace at home. Your attitude and sarcastic comments need to be controlled. Health of an elderly person in the family will cause anxiety. You will meet new and interesting people at social gathering, however be careful while revealing your secret plans. Do hobbies and work that would keep you in a relaxed and jovial mood. Avoid spicy and oily food and be regular towards exercise.

Scorpio: Confusion and arguments will arise if you ignore your spouse ruining the peaceful atmosphere at home. Rise in frustration will dampen your work and slow down your progress. Company of friends would keep your relaxed, but you should not shy away from your responsibility towards your family members. Shopping would be pleasurable and exciting provided you stick to your budget. Not a favourable period for venturing into joint ventures.

Sagittarius: Spend more time doing your hobbies in order to relax. Pressure at work and home will increase making you short-tempered and a little restless. Investment decisions should be made only after proper guidance. You will make extra bit of money if you bring your creativity to proper use. Your outgoing nature will help you in making some new friends. Contribute generously towards social events and organizations. Travel will be pleasurable but expensive.

Capricorn: A colleague, being jealous of your recent success might try to sabotage your plans. Your creative side will grow during this period, bringing you popularity and good monetary gains. Certain changes in your looks will be highly appreciated. Later in the week a spiritual person gives blessings and good wishes. Catch up on pending correspondence and call up friends with whom you have not been in touch for the past few days.

Aquarius: Love and romance dominate your week as you spend extra time with your beloved. Govt. favours sees pending proposals getting implemented. Spend some time with children and close relatives. Your high energy and dynamic approach would make you popular amongst your colleagues. Fix up something exciting and entertaining to do for the weekend. Avoid rash driving when you are moving out with your friends.

Pisces: Participating in lectures and seminars will bring new growth opportunities. You are likely to gain approval from your seniors if you present your ideas well. Favourable period for new ventures and alliances. Take care of your health and avoid overwork and late nights. Problems with your beloved will surface if you try to force your ways. Do not overspend on your friends and entertainment. Spiritual gains for some.

thesizing the problems. Sometimes you might have to regret for your combative and contentious issues. If you consider to lower down this spirit then you fervently move forward in your life. You have plenty in reserve to bring about favorable and cheerful change through your innovative and artistic ideas. A huge cheer and great experience associated with NGO’s of disabled person paves the way to be in upbeat mood ubiquitously. You share wonderful chemistry with your friends who always help you to transit your ideas into reality. February, April, August and January will be healthy for you. February 01 Influenced by number 7 and the planet Neptune, you are honest, affectionate, creative, sensitive and a very emotional person. You are a wonderful host and you love to entertain others, but you need to control your tendency to behave stubborn and extravagant at times. There would be opportunities for miscommunication with your employer this year. Be sure to check your work before you give it to your seniors. It would not be an easy period as many things would not be in your favor, but support and help from friends and family members would induce new energy into you and make things much comfortable than they actually might be. Gains from property transaction, investments and gifts cannot be ruled out. The months of January, August and October will remain significant. Every act that you play on the stage teaches an unforgettable and inspirational lesson to the viewers. Besides being a loyal and artistic soul you need to curb your obdurate and prodigal behavior. You need to be very careful regarding your calculation in your task as slight mistake may bring down your performance and being impeached. You might be in a locked up situation in reordering the scattered matters which are the matter of concern for you but the much celebrated victory over them is because of the galvanization induces by loved ones. Surprises in the form of cash and goodies are high on your cards. January, August and October will be celebration time for you. The qualities like calmness, sensitive and compassionate are provided by number 7 and planet Neptune. February 02 Influenced by number 8 and the planet Saturn, you are practical, disciplined, systematic, original, and authoritative person. You never run away from challenges. You are bold, strong and always ready to face difficult situations and find creative solutions, but you need to control your tendency to behave moody, stubborn and jealous at times. This year your work would offer you great opportunities to express your skills. However, certain changes would be essential. Take extra care of the important documents that you carry while travelling. Few losses due to theft and hasty decisions seem likely. Businessmen should see their new plans and ventures get-

ting implemented. You would be emotionally interested in someone whom you do not get to see so often. Romantic entanglement would disturb your concentration and decision making ability. Property investment would be beneand morale would reach new height as you establish important contacts. The months of February, July and December will be highly significant. You are a organized, firsthand, dominating, checked and pragmatic soul. You never swing from hard line to soft line whatever be the situation might be. With the difficulty level of the problem your stubbornness and excitement for the same also increases. But hold back your sullen, adamant and green eyed traits. Alternative proposals are high on your fate agenda list to check your activeness and hunger for growth. Some alteration might be there, accept them. Preserve the testimonies carefully as they collectively provides sigh of relief to you. Watchman is needed to guard your legacy. In spite of taking small leaps be ready for the hard work which starts now for giant one. It is good time to look at the insights of the plans that you are trying to start for so long. Someone from distant place might get come closer than anybody in this world. Pleasure of love might create pains at the work. Potential gains in trading of land will boost you up and also helps you to make ever-lasting relation with top honchos. February, July and December will be good for you. February 03 Ruled by number 9 and the planet Mars. You are intelligent, energetic, confident, enthusiastic and courageous person. You possess a sharp memory and amazing technical skills, but you need to check your tendency to behave short tempered and vindictive at times. This year professional advancement would depend on your ability to handle important responsibilities. Your significant other would be a real asset to you. This person would make your daily life comforting and enjoyable. Distant pilgrimage is certain later in the year. Be extra careful while lending money and take extra care of your jewelry, precious gifts and items. The months of February, April, September and November will be important. Besides controlling your life, number 9 and planet Mars will make you more sound in knowledge, store house of energy, surefooted, keen and bold soul. You are versatile to take many forms with the help of your honed mind and professional attitude but should restrict your impulsive and vengeful attribute. You need to be as clever as your policies are so as to show your positive and right attitude. A lover of you will probably reduce all your worries and provide comfort throughout your life. Broad proposals to go for quest are at your anvil. Blow your whistle by guarding your hard earned money and deter yourself from any money transaction activity. February, April, September and November will be vital for you.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

January 28 Dominated by number 4 and the planet Uranus, you are simple, energetic, authoritative, jovial, reliable and highly organized person. You possess magnetic appeal and you are very fond of accepting challenges, but you need to check your tendency to behave moody, timid and spendthrift at times. This year someone close to you would bring you unexpected opportunities. Financial gains would also accrue from past investments. A wonderful period to do things that you enjoy and make you feel good. A distant journey for pleasure or pilgrimage seems likely later in the year. Your health would remain good but health of an aged family member would become a matter of concern. New friendships and contacts would develop during this period. The months of May, June and September will be important. Number 4 and planet Uranus will be chief negotiator and also provides you the qualities of being naĂŻve, industrious, dominating, jubilant, reliable and extremely systematic. You have the courage to fight against any inequalities, extremely resplendent in nature and loves to be aware of all around the world but should give a look at your sullen, fearful and extravagant nature. Sidestepped lending of money will now again comes to you to its original master. A privilege time which support you to conduct all the activities which give you calmness and tranquility. Be aware of the status of the health of some elder in the family which might take off your peace. Upsurge of new people in your life continues to be the main focus. May, June and September will be lively for you. January 29 You are governed by the number 2 and the Moon. Your alertness allows you to lead a cautious life. The coming year will see you and your spouse enjoy your marital relationship, which will be full of peace and harmony. Most of you have a good communication skill, and there are chances that you will be able to develop your linguistic mastery to teach language as a profession. Your high degree of imagination and your inborn talent will bring success in any creative work that you undertake, in the coming year. The months of February, May, September and December will be important. Number 2 and the Moon will be path seeking for you. The motto of your life is to live cautiously with kid gloves. Your personal relation has less demand which paves the way for outstanding and highly adhesive chemistry between both of you. Your breakthrough is your command over your native language skills which eventually become your hard earned way of livelihood. You way of reaching out directly to the work area with pre defined concepts in mind accompanied by massive blessed acumen will helps you to sit on the mountain of money. February, May, September and Decem-

ber will be in your favor. January 30 With Jupiter as your governing planet, you are blessed with intelligence and optimism. You are governed by the number 3. Your religious mind and noble nature, makes you tolerant towards those who need your help. The coming year has a lot of travel in store for you. Visits to pilgrimage places, is foreseen. Although you appear outwardly to be gently and sensitive, you sometimes tend to get secretive and deep down in your heart, you are restless. Try to get over this habit so that you can overcome even the smallest of difficulties, which you may confront. Those of you, who are in government job, will reach the acme of success. The months of March, May, July and November will be highly productive for you. Ability to comprehend the enigmatic task and highly positive attitude are the traits given by the combative planet Jupiter. Number 3 will make you benevolent and compassionate towards humanity for which you always stand by. Time promises to pave the way for highly hectic schedule stuck in locomotion. Your focus is shifted towards some quest to some sacred place for finding the eternal peace. In principle you seemed to be highly disciplined and decent person but from the inner side very restive and covertive in nature. You need to commence a movement against it via appropriate mechanism to bypass all the nitty gritty troubles. In your profession you are likely to reach maximalist positions. March, May, July and November will be highly yielding for you. January 31 Governed by Uranus and the Number 4. Truthfulness is what you preach and practice. You detest whatever is achieved through dishonesty. You are meticulous in your way of working, and this will catch the attention of your Bosses, in the year ahead of you. Your analytical and logical mind will take you to the pinnacle of success. However, your argumentative nature needs to be controlled. If you overcome this drawback in your nature you will be able to win over your enemies. Originality of thought and expression brings around unexpected changes for you. Your association with a charitable organization for the handicapped, will not only give you satisfaction, but also bring fame to you. You will be able to put your ideas and concepts into practice with a little assistance from your friends and colleagues. The months of February, April, August and January will be result oriented. Number 4 and Uranus regulate you. Loyalty and honesty are your trademark. You always find people incompetent and uncivilized who are deceit and of double standard. You have the power to commute any decision in your organization by your extraordinary heedful and measured attitude. You resort to the path of utmost success and glory through your way of syn-


44

Spiritual Awareness

January 28 - February 3, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

No end to desires 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 nce upon a time there was a carpenter who worked out of his home. Every day he took joy in building some furniture or tools to sell to others. He merrily sang and hummed as he worked, content with life. One day, his rich neighbor grew fed up with the noise the carpenter made as he hammered the wood. The neighbor had reached a point in which he could not take the noise anymore. The neighbor finally had a plan to quiet the carpenter. He took several hundred dollars from his money and left it in an

O

envelope in the carpenter’s workshop. The neighbor thought that if he gave the carpenter money he would not have to work and he would stop his incessant hammering. The carpenter entered his workshop and found the envelope lying there. Instead of using it to take a vacation or a break, the carpenter thought, “Someone left me several hundred dollars. What good fortune! I will take some of the money and invest in new tools so I can build bigger and better furniture and make more money.” Thus, the money flamed the carpenter ’s desire to earn more money. He began working even harder, hoping to increase the newly found hundreds into thousands. As he began to make more money, he was still not content. He decided he wanted to turn the thousands into tens of thousands and thus he worked still harder. The rich neighbor was annoyed that his plan had failed and instead of silencing the carpenter, it merely increased the noise because now the man worked longer hours. When the carpenter had earned tens of thousands he wanted to make a hundred thousand. He put

pressure upon himself to work day and night and even on weekends. Soon, he stopped his humming and singing. He no longer took joy in his work but felt strangled by the pressure he had put upon himself. On many nights, he was so stressed out he could not even sleep. The inner contentment and peace he had when he was just a poor carpenter were gone in the pursuit of trying to make more and more money. Consider our own lives. Do we find ourselves spending all of our time working to make money so we can retire? Do we work overtime to make more money? Do we work all weekend long to increase our profits? Do we find that we cannot even take a day or even several hours off work without thinking about work? If this is what is happening to us are we becoming like the carpenter? If we make all the money in the world but cannot enjoy personal peace and joy in our work, is it worth it? If we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are

making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need? Who knows what the future will bring? When we become old, will we have the health to do what we waited our whole life to do? If we leave our spiritual pursuits until we have reached our senior years, who knows how much time we will have left or whether we will be able to devote time to spirituality at that stage. If we ignore our family until they are already grown and have children of their own, we miss an important part of their lives that can never be recovered. Let us consider how we spend our time. If we have decided that certain goals are important then we should try to find time for them throughout our life and not put them all on the back burner in the pursuit of amassing more money than we need. We should weigh our time and make sure that we do not lose our peace and contentment over the stress of being engaged in a mad pursuit for money and possessions. Being conscious of how we spend our time and our life is important. If we listen to our soul,

If we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need? we will find that inner peace and contentment are more valuable than all the riches in the world. 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

Whatever you give me tastes sweet By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj n our daily life we face many difficulties, hardships and disappointments. Things do not always go our way. If we listen to the discussions of others and review our own words and thoughts, we find that many of them deal with complaints about how life is treating us. Life seems to be bitter at times and in turn makes us bitter. Have we ever thought about life from a different perspective? Think about how fortunate we really are. After all, we are human beings. How many species of life are there that walk the earth? There are mammals, reptiles, and insects. There are creatures of the air and creatures of the sea. Fortunately for us, we have been born as human beings. How many of us have ever thanked God for the life we have been given? We complain to God when things go wrong but what about the hundreds of things that God has given us? God has provided us enough food to keep us alive this long. We have had protection from the elements in the form of clothes and some sort of shelter. Most of us have families who love us. We have received some kind of education and have some kind of work. If we take all that comes to us as a gift from

I

God then we can accept the good and the tribulations equally under God’s will. In this respect, there is a story about King Mahmud of Ghazni. One day, while he was sitting with his most devoted servant, Ayaz, he shared half of his cucumber with him. When he had finished, the king then took a bite of his own half. “Yuk!” he cried, as he made a disgusted face and spit out the cucumber. “This is so bitter! How could you have eaten your piece if it tasted like bitter poison?” Ayaz replied, “My dear king, I have enjoyed so many favors and blessings from you all these years. Whatever you give me tastes sweet!” Ayaz’s attitude demonstrates the frame of

Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily. mind of a true lover of God. Such a lover is so much enamored of God and so grateful to God, that he or she takes everything, good or bitter, as a gift of the Beloved. Ayaz had received so many blessings from the king that he felt it was not his place to complain if one of these gifts were bitter. After all, if the king gave him so much good, he must love him. If therefore, once in a blue moon, he had handed him something

bitter, Ayaz knew he had no evil intention. He accepted all the king gave him with love and gratitude. If we could accept the rainy days with the same gratitude as we do the sunny days, we would find our lives would be more full of love, peace, and happiness. If we could appreciate the weeds as well as the roses, we would enrich our daily lives. If we could appreciate our enemies as well as our friends, we would not have to waste precious breaths in complaints and bitterness. If we could accept days when we are ill and under the weather as well as those in which we are well and healthy, we would reduce our stress and worry and maybe even heal faster. Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily. Like Ayaz, let us take everything coming from God as tasting sweet. Then, we will sweeten our whole lives and the lives of those around us. For more visit www.sos.org



40_vol4_epaper 2012 Republic Day Special