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FRIDAY, August Wishing our Indo-11, 2017 American Readers

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Vol. 30 No. 31 Friday, August 11, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: voiceasia@aol.com

US warns NKorea that nuclear drive could spell end of regime by Thomas WATKINS

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ASHINGTON, | AFP | Wednesday 8/9/2017 -The United States on Wednesday warned North Korea that the pursuit of its nuclear drive could lead to the collapse of Kim Jong-Un’s regime, as President Donald Trump brandished America’s nuclear might as a powerful deterrent. The further escalation in Washington’s war of words with Pyongyang came a day after Trump stunned the world with a bold-faced message to Kim, saying his country faced “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Trump’s comments triggered expressions of concern from China and from US allies, and stock marCntinued on Page 12

US President Donald Trump pulled no punches in his latest comments about North Korea, warning Pyongyang of America’s nuclear might (AFP Photo/ NICHOLAS KAMM).

Pope prays for openness, courage at close of Asian Youth Day

Google firing fans flames of diversity debate in tech sector

More than two thousand young Catholics from all over Asia took part in the 7th Asian Youth Day in Indonesia, which came a year after the international World Youth Day gathering in Krakow, Poland, last summer, which was attended by Pope Francis. India will host the next event. (Photo: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, accepts the Asian Youth Day cross in Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

by Rob Lever

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai says a memo questioning the company’s diversity efforts was offensive (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN).

The “manifesto” published as an internal memo by James Damore, which

claimed “biological differences” were a key factor in the low percentage of

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OF PEJMAN ICE MA A I

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ASHINGTON, | AFP | 8/8/2017 - The dismissal of a Google engineer over a memo defending the Silicon Valley gender gap has fanned the flames of a simmering debate in the tech sector over sexism, free expression and political correctness.

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- See story on page 16- See story on page 16 ated stereotypes and discrimination.

women in technology jobs sparked outcry from those claiming it perpetu-

Serious Car Accident?

Then Damore was fired -- according to media reports and his own email to the far-right news website Breitbart -- which sparked a new backlash from those claiming Google was stifling free speech.

Cntinued on Page 3

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OP-ED/COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS

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Valuing the Gift of Citizenship

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Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew

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Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Legal: Nitin Sud Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas

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Shobana Muratee

All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: voiceasia@aol. com; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@voiceofasiagroup.com

It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher

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THE STORY OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Gandhi backs resolution on war recruiting

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ays passed. The mill owners were adamant. The strikers were getting impatient for they were faced with starvation. Their discipline became weak. Gandhi feared that some workers would break their pledge and go back to work. That would be a great moral defeat.

Gandhi did not want anybody else to fast. His fast was not against the mill owners, but against the lack of coordination and unity among the workers. The fast lasted only three days. It influenced the mill owners so much that they came to an agreement with the workers. Hardly was the mill workers’ strike over, when Gandhi had to plunge into the Kheda satyagraha struggle. The Kheda district of Gujarat was on the

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ne of the privileges of being the publisher of a community newspaper is I have the ability to reach out to a diverse audience on any number of issues. I am mindful of the weight of responsibility inherent in such a privilege. As such, I interject myself into the conversation only on rare occasions, thus allowing my editorial team to do their jobs. Every now and then, however, I am moved to write on a topic of particular importance to me. This is one of those occasions. With over 30 years of publishing, I have no doubt earned this right. As immigrants in this great and beautiful country of ours, it seems we are always doing the two-step: clinging to that which is a sacrosanct part of our histories, while embracing the new vistas our new country has to offer. All of us endeavor in earnest to find the balance between these two worlds. In this seemingly precarious balancing act, we often focus more on where we came from rather than where we are now and where we are headed. As South Asians, we are great at putting together galas, balls and commemorations that pay homage to our Indian heritage. Don’t misunderstand. This preservation of our rich heritage is vital. In the process, we have often given short shrift to our new identities as Americans.

verge of a severe famine. Crop yield had been so low that the cultivators, especially the poor farmers, were unable to pay the revenue. But the government insisted that the yield had not been so bad and that the cultivators should pay the tax. Gandhi saw the injustice advised the farmers to offer satyagraha by not paying their taxes.

When is the last time any of us have flown an American flag over our homes or businesses? When is the last time we celebrated July 4th or Memorial day, How many of us even own an American flag? When is the last time any of us have paid our respects at a Veterans’ cemetery? Who among us can recite the Pledge of Allegiance by memory or sing the Star Spangled Banner without faltering on the words? When is the last time any of us has gathered together for the sheer gratitude of being Americans? Is the latter not worth celebrating? I suspect the numbers are woefully inadequate. When we took advantage of the gift of citizenship in the greatest country, we made some promises. Among the promises we made: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…” Our beautiful country celebrated its 241st anniversary of independence on July 4, 2017. The Indian community will celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day on August 15. We will make a mighty celebration out of the latter, as well we should. It is a pity we didn’t make as big or even bigger commemorative occasion of July 4th when we had the opportunity. Shame on us. We came here as immigrants, made successful lives for ourselves. We became the envy of some and the gold standard to follow for others. From the luxury of our gated communities, the corner offices of law firms, hospitals full

of Indian doctors, investment banks and academic institutions, the gains we have made unequivocally say: we have arrived. From our churches, temples, gurudwaras and mosques, we pray to anyone we want without risking our lives; something many cannot say they can do in India or other parts of South Asia. Our children receive scholarships to the most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Arrogantly, we have come to believe that this is something we are entitled to. The unvarnished and uncomfortable truth: the lives we live as citizens of the United States of America are not a right we own. It is a privilege that has been given to us. Somewhere along the way, we forgot what has allowed us to enjoy this way of life. We have forgotten it is the blood of American servicemen and women spilled on the beaches of Normandy, the jungles of Vietnam, Iowa Jima, the forced death marches in Bataan, in the deserts of Iraq and the vastness that is Afghanistan that allow us to live the lives we do. If walking through the rows and rows of white headstones and

the freshly dug graves in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery doesn’t make you profoundly grateful, nothing will. Yet we do so little to honor our chosen country. All is not lost. We still have an opportunity to rectify this error. We can start when we celebrate India’s Independence Day this week. We can start the Indian Independence Day celebrations with homage to the greatest country: the United States of America. This is the land we chose when we left India and other countries of South Asia. Moving forward, we honor this choice by paying homage to the United States of America as a part of every single celebration wherein we honor our various countries of origin. We instill in our children respect for this country and its history. We inculcate in a new generation the meaning of service to our country, in and out of uniform. We made a promise to bear allegiance to our chosen country. It is time we honored this promise with outward demonstrations of our profound gratitude and loyalty. - Koshy Thomas

Cartoon by Bagley

Great Summer Project For children! Enter Mahatma Gandhi Week 2017 Essay, I-Tribute, Poster and Speech contests. Visit gandhilibrary.org for registration and more information. All school going children can participate! These contests are being organized to create higher awareness of the inspiring life and work of Mahatma Gandhi to promote universal values of Truth, Non-Violence, Love and Service Leaders, like Vallabhbhai Patel, Shankarlal Banker, Mahadev Desai and others took an active part in this struggle. There had been signs that the campaign might fizzle out, but after four months’ struggle there was an honorable settlement. The government asked rich farmers to pay and granted relief to poor farmers. The Kheda satyagraha marked the beginning of an awakening among the peasants of Gujarat, the beginning of their true political education. In addition it gave to the educated public workers the chance to establish contact with the actual life of the peasants. During this time the war had entered a critical phase. Britain and France were in a difficult position. In the spring of 1917 Germvy had inflicted crushing defeats on both the British and French troops in France. Russia’s war effort had broken down and the Revolution was threatening its Government. Though America had entered the war, no American troops had yet reached the battlefront.

One morning he called the workers and said, “Unless the strikers rally and continue the strike till a settlement is reached, I will not touch any food.” The workers were shocked. “Not you, but we shall fast,” they said. “Please forgive us for our lapse; we shall remain faithful to our pledge.”

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

The Viceroy of India, Lord Chelmsford, invited various Indian leaders to attend a War Conference. Gandhi was also invited. He accepted the invitation and went to Delhi. Gandhi was not happy that leaders like Tilak or the Ali brothers had not been invited to the conference, so he was un- willing to attend. After meeting the Viceroy, however, he went to the conference. The Viceroy was keen to get Gandhi’s support on military recruiting. Gandhi spoke only one sentence: “With

a full sense of my responsibility I beg to support the resolution.” Gandhi had supported going to war! Many of his friends were taken aback. Some said, “You are a votary of ahimsa, how can you ask us to take up arms?” Others said, “What good has the government done to India to deserve our cooperation?” Even some of his best friends could not understand how he could reconcile his war effort with his campaign for ahimsa. But Gandhi stuck to the belief he held at that time that “absolutely unconditional and wholehearted cooperation with the government by the educated Indians will bring India within sight of our goal of Swaraj as nothing else will.” Gandhi had made his decision and he now set out to implement it. The response to recruit went was not in any way encouraging, but Gandhi was determined to carry out his mission. He held meetings. He issued leaflets asking people to enlist in the forces. His steady work began to bear fruit. Many men were recruited and he hoped to get a bigger response as soon as the first batch had been sent. Gandhi nearly ruined his health during the recruiting campaign. He worked very hard. He could not take his food at regular times, nor could he take enough nourishment to keep up his energy. He had an attack of dysentery. He refused to take medicine and his condition became worse and worse. Friends tried their best to advise him but he was beyond all advice. He passed restless days and nights and he himself felt at times that he was near death’s

door. It took him a long time to regain his health, but before then news came that the war (World War I) was over. Germany had been completely defeated. Friends and doctors advised him to go away for a change and recover his health. He went to Matheran, but the place did not suit him. He went to Poona, where a doctor was consulted. He advised him to take milk to rebuild his body, and prescribed some medicine. Gandhi took the medicine but he would not agree to take milk, for he had given up milk years before. But Kasturbai said, “You gave up cow’s milk and buffalo’s milk. You cannot object to taking goat’s milk.” The doctor agreed. “If you will take goat’s milk it will be good enough,” he said and Gandhi agreed to take goat’s milk. Gandhi returned to Ahmedabad. He was recouping his health there when he read in the papers the Rowlatt Committee’s report which had just been published. The committee recommended that for the maintenance of peace, the government could arrest any person without a warrant and detain him for any length of time without any trial or right to appeal. Thus, the law was a direct attack on the ordinary civil liberties of the people and a clear indication of the autocratic and barbarous tendencies of the British rule in India. These

recommendations

startled Gandhi. He described them as “unjust, subversive of the principles of liberty and justice, and destructive of the elementary rights of individuals.” Friends approached him for guidance. “Something must be done,” he said to them. “If the proposed measures are passed into law, we ought to offer satyagraha.” Gandhi lamented the fact that he was in poor health; otherwise he would have given battle against the amendments alone. From his sick-bed he wrote articles for the Indian papers explaining that the proposed bill was an act of tyranny which no self-respecting people could submit to it. The only possible step against the government’s proposal, Gandhi thought, would be to launch a satyagraha movement in right earnest. A meeting of some of the leaders was called at the ashram and a satyagraha pledge was drafted. It was signed by everybody present. Gandhi did not believe that the existing institutions could handle such a noble weapon, so a separate institution named Satyagraha Sabha was formed with headquarters in Bombay. There were agitations everywhere against the Rowlatt Committee’s report. But the government was determined to implement the Rowlatt recommendations and in 1919, the Rowlatt Bill was introduced. When the bill was debated in India’s Legislative Chamber, Gandhi attended as a visitor.

— To be continued

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Chase Untermeyer talks on etiquette in public at IACCGH event

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Swami Mukundananda to visit Houston

Keynote speaker Chase Untermeyer with Chamber members. Photo credit: Bijay Dixit by Manu Shah

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n intimate group of IACCGH members listened intently as Chase Untermeyer, former Ambassador to Qatar shared his tips and techniques on how important people must act in public. As a former Ambassador and senior aide to the elder President Bush, he’s attended a fair share of banquets, funerals, ceremonies and meetings and used his keen observation of people to pen a book titled “How important People Act: Behaving yourself in Public.” Past President Sanjay Ram introduced the Speaker and expressed the fact that while the Former Ambassador was himself an important person, what was “more important was that he was willing to share his secrets” with those who could find themselves in similar situations.

In an address that totally nailed it with doses of humor and real life examples, Chase Untermeyer underlined the fact that important people are “composed, confident, considerate and comfortable.” These rules, he added, applied not just to CEO’s or high ranking officials but were equally applicable to the junior executive who’s been thrust into a leadership role in a certain circumstance and thus carries the responsibility of “becoming the company.” He also highlighted some common errors we all commit: the glass in the right hand, the nametag on the left and looking over someone’s shoulder in the midst of a conversation. His explanation: the glass must be held in the left hand since it leaves the right hand free to shake hands, the nametag should be on the right since

most people are unconsciously looking at the right side and finally giving your full attention to the person you are conversing with conveys you are really interested in meeting him – a quality, he says, President Obama had in spades. A trick he picked up was to concentrate on the bridge of the speaker’s nose in case his attention wavered. Important people, he underscored, often forget that all eyes are on them assessing their every move and judging every word which is why different behavior is expected of them. Some important do’s are keeping feet and knees together when sitting on stage, sipping water from a glass rather than a plastic bottle and setting your glass down before being photographed to avoid looking like the “town drunk.” When invited to “say a few

words,” keep it short, and use single syllable words as they have the most impact. Dress up rather than down. As for listeners, resist looking at the ceiling, wrist watch or emails during a speech as the action is read as insulting and unprofessional. Find yourself dozing off during a long and boring speech? Sit on the edge of your seat. This offers the double benefit of staying alert and looking interested. Despite all the digital ways of connecting, he noted, face to face interactions are infinitely more powerful and impactful and a personal hand written message is a clear stand out. The book which offers many more nuggets of “how to behave in public” is clearly a must read for each one of us. The Speaker also conducts training for companies based on his book.

Google firing fans flames of diversity debate... Continued from Page 1 Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, without commenting on Damore, said employees have a right to express themselves but that the memo appeared to “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai said in his email to employees. But Damore’s firing fueled a wave of criticism from those arguing Google was suppressing a dissenting viewpoint. “Very sad about #JamesDa-

more being fired by @Google for basically popularising behavioural science. Scandalous and immoral,” one Twitter user wrote. “Google went from: ‘Don’t be evil’ to ‘Speak no evil about political correctness,’” another tweet said. Damore’s firing made him a hero to the far right and those claiming political correctness has gone too far. Breitbart published the first of what it said was a series of interviews with “rebels of Google” who claim the company is stifling dissent. “Witch hunts are a wellknown cultural problem at

Google,” one employee identified only as “Hal” said. “A lot of social justice activists essentially spend all day fighting the culture war, and get nothing done.” Damore’s 10-page memo, which was leaked on the website Gizmodo and later on Motherboard, argued that Google has silenced anyone seeking to differ with official policy, leading to “an ideological echo chamber.” - Gender woes in Valley Currently some 69 percent of Google’s employees are men, according to the company’s latest figures, a proportion that rises to 80 percent when it

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comes to technology jobs. In 2016 at Facebook just 27 percent of senior executives were women. At Apple, around 30 percent of total employees are women. Roger Kay, who heads the tech consultancy Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the Damore case is not about free speech, and that Google has a right to keep employees who support the company’s values. “They’re not putting him in jail, it’s not a criminal indictment,” Kay said. “His speech (memo) was odious, and they’re absolutely allowed to fire him for it if it promotes the greater good.”

Swami Mukundananda is conducting 2 workshops, namely Kripalu Prakriya and Kripalu Paddhati at India House

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wami Mukundananda will visit Houston and have Talk, Yoga & Meditation on ‘7 Mindsets for Success in Life and beyond’. In every city of his visit, a week-long program with Yoga sessions & Spiritual discourse is organized. Swami Mukundananda, received his degrees in Engineering and Management from two world famous institutes in India- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) respectively. However, the call of God was so strong that a short while after landing a top corporate job, he renounced his professional career to take Sanyas, at age 23 in quest for God-realization. Since the last two decades, Swamiji has been travelling to various states of USA, India, Nepal and Singapore awakening thousands of seekers He is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj and founder of JKYog. J KYog is a non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of Humankind, through true Yoga and Spirituality. During Swami Mukundanandaji’s week-long program in Houston, the first hour of each day focuses on Yoga & Meditation followed by

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COMMUNITY

VOICE OF ASIA 4

The People’s Lawyer www.peopleslawyer.net

Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center

Q. Can I be arrested for not paying my credit card bill? A debt collector is telling me he is going to report me to the police. A. You cannot be arrested for not paying your bills. There is no debtor’s prison in Texas. If you don’t pay the money you owe you may be sued, but you cannot be put in jail. In fact, the threat to throw you in jail for not paying your bills violates both federal and state debt collection laws. For more information about what may happen if you don’t pay your bills, visit the debt collection section on my website, www.peopleslawyer.net. Q. I signed a lease with an apartment that requires a 60-day non-renewal notification. The lease states I am allowed a three-day grace period and I submitted my non-renewal two days after that three-day grace period. Now they insist that I pay for another month at a much higher rate. Do I have a means to contest? A. As far as terminating the lease, I don’t see a basis to contest their requirement you give the proper notice. You agreed to the lease and it controls the terms of your agreement. Even though you were only two days late, you still did not comply with the terms you

There is no debtor’s prison in Texas agreed to. As far as the landlord charging much higher rent, I don’t see any basis for him doing that unless he had previously given you notice of a possible rent increase, or it is in your lease. Just as you have to comply with the terms of the lease, so must your landlord. Read your lese and see what it says about rent when you “hold-over” the lease term. Q. I had a small “fenderbender” with another motorist. Neither of us wanted to report the accident to our insurance company, so he just agreed to pay my repair bill, which was about $400. Now he won’t pay. What can I do? A. First, in my opinion, even if you believe you are going to settle a matter without involving the insurance companies, you should exchange insurance information. Texas law requires automobile insurance and you should make sure the other driver has it. Assuming you don’t want to get your insurance company involved, however, this may be a good case for Justice Court. I suggest you send him a certified letter asking that he pay, as he promised. Let him know that if you cannot settle the matter, you will consider a claim in Justice Court. If you do not resolve the

dispute, file a petition with the appropriate Justice of the Peace. Remember, you may sue in Justice Court for as much as $10,000. Q. If I file bankruptcy, will I lose my house? A. You probably will not lose your house if you file bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy, you get to keep your “exempt” property. Exempt property is property that your creditors may not take, even if they sue you and win. In Texas, your homestead is exempt property. This means that you do not automatically lose it in a bankruptcy. The only parties who may take your house are creditors that are not subject to this “homestead exemption.” For example, a lender that loaned you the money to buy the house, a bank that made a home equity loan against the house, or a contractor who improved the house. Each of these creditors has the right to enforce their lien, even if it is against your homestead. But even if there is a lien on your home, you should still be able to keep it as long as you are willing to reaffirm the debt and continue making payments. If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, speak with an attorney who is board certified in consumer bankruptcy.

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

ISKCON of Houston holds two day celebration of Srila Prabhupada by Staff Reporter -Exclusive to Voice of Asia

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onoring HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada on the 52nd anniversary of His Divine Grace’s departure from India to the USA, the local ISKCON temple here in Houston set aside two full days to celebrate his life and mission with readings, memories from his disciples and loving devotionals. Local Houston devotees spoke from books detailing his life and direct disciples recounted conversations, teachings and events which they directly witnessed and were serving to make his vision for success a reality, for the benefit of spreading the holy names of God.

Vaishnava, being Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace). With special emphasis on harinam kirtan (the public chanting of Hare Krishna), the devotees took a break and attended the annual White Linen festival in the Houston Heights for a gathering of music and chanting. There was book distribution and prasadam sharing with the public at this feted, free event a few miles from the temple. Now the whole community of devotees are focused on the preparations for a joyful day of devotion to Lord Krishna’s appearance day, Krishna Janmastami on Tuesday, August 15 (please view details in the ad on page 24).

Organized by the local temple servant leaders and with a sizable devotee volunteer team, from August 5-6, 2017, the public was invited to join in hearing the fascinating pastimes of Srila Prabhupada’s life of sacrifice and love. From his early childhood in Calcutta, through is taking sanniyas (the renounced order) after retiring from family life, to his amazing story of spreading Krishna consciousness throughout the Western countries and establishing new temples in India. While he was only following the orders of his spiritual master by preaching Krishna bhakti (devotionsl service) outside India, after doing so from 1966 onwards (by incorporating The International Society for Krishna Consciousness), by 1977 Srila Prabhupada has returned to India to establish centers and places of worship in Vrindavana and Sri Mayapur Dham (the world headquarters for Gaudiya

HH Keshav Bharati Dasa Goswami (Photo: Facebook)

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FORT BEND VIEW

Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Tel: 713-774-5140

Willowridge High School students, staff to begin 2017-18 school year at Marshall HS Temporary relocation necessary due to mold remediation process underway

www.voiceofasiaonline.com

Fort Bend County won’t join ICE 287g program: sheriff

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ICHMOND - While 18 Texas counties recently signed to give their deputies the power to determine the immigration status of jailed suspects, Fort Bend County won’t be one of them. Sheriff Troy Nehls said the county would not join ICE’s 287g program at a press conference this afternoon. “The processes we have in place in Fort Bend County, it’s working,” Nehls said. Nehls said if the county had opted to join the program, he would have been forced to send six personnel members to a four-week training, at a cost of half a million dollars.

Photo courtesy: Willowridge High School website

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ORT BEND ISD (August 9, 2017) – Willowridge High School students and staff members will begin the 2017-18 school year at Marshall High School as cleanup efforts continue at the WHS campus. The school year begins on August 22, and the District is planning a Community Forum and Celebration on Wednesday, August 16, so that the community can learn more about the District’s efforts to support students and staff members in both communities. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at Marshall High School (1220 Buffalo Run, Missouri City, TX 77479). Fort Bend ISD district lead-

ers, working closely with the WHS administrative team, weighed several options as they considered an alternate location for the start of the year, working to ensure the best possible learning environment for students and staff members. The safety and security of students is paramount, as well as identifying a facility that could absorb all Willowridge students and staff. Both campus leaders are dedicated to creating a learning environment based on unity, partnership and respect. “Our top priority is to provide a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment for each student from the very first day of school,”

said FBISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Dupre. “The WHS administrative team worked with us to weigh several options and selected Marshall High School based on its proximity, capacity and the positive relationships that already exist among students and staff. I am especially pleased by the way both the Marshall and Willowridge communities have joined together to provide a solution that is in the best interest of ALL students in both communities.” For more information about the WHS Mold Remediation efforts and daily updates, please visit www.fortbendisd. com/WHSmoldremediation.

“I don’t believe and won’t feel comfortable knowing I’m going to send $500,000 of taxpayers’ money for something that maybe makes us feel good,” Nehls said. “It would be irresponsible for me to do that, to throw money at something

Fort Bend Sheriff Troy Nehls (Photo: KPRC) that isn’t broken.” The 287g program gives deputies the ability to identify undocumented aliens, lodge immigration detainers, and issue charging documents on potentially deportable criminal aliens booked into the jail facility. At a ceremonial signing at the Sheriff’s Association of Texas Annual Conference, 18 Texas

sheriffs committed to partner in the ICE 287g program. With those commitments, ICE now has 60 active agreements, doubling the number of active programs in 2016. Galveston, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller and Wharton counties are among the counties which recently signed to join the program. (-KTRK)

SLPD to Target Highway Impaired Driving during Labor Day Holiday Sugar Land, TX – Sugar Land police will target drunk driving from Aug. 18 through Sept 3. The Labor Day holiday enforcement is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) through a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant. The STEP grant is administered through H-GAC and provides overtime funds for

enhanced DWI enforcement during holiday weekends when there has traditionally been more alcohol-related traffic incidents. Convicted first-time DWI offenders face penalties that include fines up to $2,000, six months in jail and loss of driver’s licenses for up to a year. The STEP grant also provides overtime for year-round

speed compliance in targeted areas, an extra resource that does not affect SLPD’s normal operations. Speeding continues to be the number one factor contributing to accidents within Sugar Land. The police department uses crash data, speed surveys and information supplied by residents to identify those areas where additional enforcement is needed.


n India’s 71st Indepen

VOICE OF ASIA 6

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Consulate General of India Houston *****

INDEPENDECE DAY FLAG HOISITNG

Flag hoisting ceremony on the occasion of India’s 71st Independence Day will be held on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 at 7:30 AM at the Consulate General of India (4300 Scotland St, Houston Texas, 77007).

Indian nationals, members of the Indian American community, friends of India and their families along with children are cordially invited to the function. Participants are requested to assemble at the Consulate General of India. Kindly bring your photo ID.

Houston 25 July 2017

Consul General of India, Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray.

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali, he became the first nonEuropean to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

“Let My Country Awake” by Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali). Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

INDIA’S 71st INDEPENDENCE DAY!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

“I want to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the citizens of India on this auspicious occasion as you celebrate the 71st Anniversary of India’s Independence Day.

Pearland, Texas is home to many fine citizens of Indian descent who have built the beautiful Sri Meenakshi Temple and are contributing greatly to our quality of life. Our citizens join with me in wishing the citizens of India many more Independence Day Anniversary Celebrations throughout the coming years.”

- Tom Reid Mayor

OF INDIA On behalf of the City of Missouri City I would like to offer my congratulations on your observance of the 71st Anniversary of your National and Gazetted Independence Day on August 15th. The Indian community plays a very important role in making our City one of the most diverse ones in our Region. Please accept my best wishes for your successful celebration events and your observance of this Holiday. Mayor Allen Owen Missouri City, Texas


ndence Day Special FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Kulwant Roy, the Archiver of India “These images remind of late stages of the freedom struggle and the beginning of an independent nation.” — Karan Singh Kulwant Roy was an unknown name, until his priceless images captured during the Indian independence period were found in old crates. Kulwant Roy, Photographer.

Mahatma Gandhi on a campaign tour. He always travelled in the third class compartment. Photograph/Kulwant Roy

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru walk to a Congress meeting, while Sardar Patel is pulled alongside in a rickshaw. Roy’s access provided him with ample opportunities for informal photographs. Photograph/Kulwant Roy by Neha Mutreja Better Photography he crates stacked with old photographs were lying in one corner of renowned advertising photographer Aditya Arya’s house for almost 24 years. He finally opened them one day, and he was surprised to find a treasure—numerous photographs that reflected key moments in India’s history of independence. It was unimaginable that a long forgotten photojournalist from the pre-independence period clicked these pictures. This photographer was Arya’s uncle, Kulwant Roy. Roy’s images are a documentation of

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India during the pre- as well as postindependence eras. He has managed to capture raw emotions and crucial events that emerged from the Indian political movements. One is easily transported into these eras and swayed by the moments frozen into each of these frames. Years ago in the early 20th century, Kulwant Roy was just beginning to learn photography from Raj Gopal, who ran a studio in Lahore. He later joined Royal Indian air force to take up Aerial photography. Roy was a passionate and headstrong Nationalist. He served the air force for a short while, but could not stand the discriminatory poli-

cies of the British Raj. He eventually left the air force after being court-martialed, and moved to Delhi where he established his own photo agency, Associated Press Photographs, at Mori Gate. Over the next few years, Roy followed Gandhi in his travels around India. His dedication and involvement with the people around him gave him an insider’s access to the galleries of Indian Nationalist leaders. Pablo Bartholomew, a noted Indian photographer makes a similar observation: “It shows the proximity of the leaders to the people. The photograph

AFP photo Indian photographer Aditya Arya poses with his book collecting independece era photographs by his uncle at his home in Gurgaon south of New Delhi. From a historic image of the signing of India’s constitution, to a light hearted giggle between Jacqueline Kennedy and India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1960, Roy managed to capture candid moments between leaders and statesmen.

VOICE OF ASIA 7

of Nehru disembarking from a plane shows how close photographers could get to their leaders in those days…” Whether it was Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in an animated discussion or Nehru’s grandfatherly hand curled around Rajiv’s neck, Roy was able to release the shutter at the perfect moment. His photographs are not of political events alone. Some show luminaries in their most personal and vulnerable moments. They reflected an era of prolific writers and diehard Nationalists, and an age of aspirations and dreams to witness a free India. A decade after India won its independence, Roy decided to pack his bags and travel the world. He decided to carry along his photographs, to sell them wherever he landed. These images were different from what he had captured as a photojournalist. It had photographs of his pilgrimages around India, religious events and snow-capped mountains of Kashmir. These pictures soon found their way into several international newspapers. At the same time, they helped him fund his travels too! His camera never left his side. As soon as he had taken enough pictures, he would pack them in a box and courier it to his office back in Mori Gate. Aditya collated these images, digitised them and held an exhibition titled History in the Making in New Delhi, on 3 October 2008. It was a huge success! “Being a photographer I knew I had wasted enough time. I left everything else to archive Kulwant Roy’s work,” Arya says. “That’s the problem in India,” Sadanand Menon, an arts and photography professor at Chennai’s Asian College of Journalism comments. “There is no agency that documents photographs and no photo historians at all. What we have are images shot by Margaret Bourke-White or Henri CartierBresson.” Roy had sold most of his photographs to international agencies, some of which were found in their archival databases.


Special

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FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

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Independence-Day speech: Govt Narendra Modi kites to fly across readies report card on promises Kanpur on Independence Day PM Modi made last year

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After a detailed analysis of the speech, eight specific promises have been identified for the report card. These pertain to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, energyrich India, farmers’ welfare, healthy India, saluting freedom fighters and saluting tribals and giving an identity to every Indian. by Abantika Ghosh NEW DELHI - In preparation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day, the government has prepared a report card on the status of promises he made in his speech last year. It has also written to the ministries concerned, seeking responses on any recent update that may have been left out. After a detailed analysis of the speech, eight specific promises have been identified for the report card. These pertain to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, energy-rich India, farmers’ welfare, healthy India, saluting freedom fighters and saluting tribals and giving an identity to every Indian. Interestingly, the report card says that no status update is available with the Press Information Bureau on the promise of giving an identity to every Indian. On Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which is also among the 70 schemes to be showcased to mark 70 years of independence, the report card says that the pace of construction of rural roads reached a seven-year high of 130 km per day in 2016-17 as compared to 73 km in 2011-2014. In the present financial year 2017-18, the target is to construct 57,000 km of roads under PMGSY, at an average per day rate of 156 km, connecting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: Reuters/File) 16,600 habitations, according to the tabulated worksheet. On Modi’s commitment to an energy rich India — he had made special mention of solar energy — the document says: “Total solar capacity as on 30.06.2017 is 13114.59 mw (*This is a quantum jump from Solar Power installed capacity of 3,743 MW in 2014-15).” On farmers’ welfare, an issue on which the government has been facing heat, the report card mentions a new central sector scheme called Kisan Sampada Yojana approved in May with a Rs 6,000-crore outlay, 236 integrated cold chain projects in the works and a special fund of Rs 2,000 crore in NABARD to make credit available to designated food parks and agroprocessing units. The report card notes that that the promise of increasing freedom fighters’ pension to Rs 30,000 per month from Rs 25,000 has been fulfilled by the Home Ministry through an order that sanctioned the monthly sum for ex-Andaman political prisoners or their spouses. Modi’s emphasis on online medical records in last year’s speech was followed by financial assistance to 16 states and Union Territories under National Health Mission for creation of online medical records, says the report card.

The most detailed update has been drawn up on the promise of “saluting tribals” with the Tribal Affairs Ministry having received four proposals from Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to set up parks and museums and showcase tribal movements. Source: Indian Express

he skies of Kanpur will be colourfully decked out this year with kites sporting images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These kites also carry captions like Mahanayak and Acche din, as per ANI. In old Delhi, Lal Kuan, the city’s biggest kites wholesale market, vendors said after demonetisation Modiprinted kites with new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 on them ruled the market. These printed kites come from Ahmedabad, as per Times of India report. He also added that there has been 25 pct increase in sales this year. Every year a trend comes in the market. Mohammad Saqib told TOI that they sell at the rate of Rs 230 per hundred kites. The kite vendors in Lal Kuan said that the Modi-printed kites came to the market ever since he became the prime minister, the report added.

Kites with Prime Minister Narendra Modi images. (AP) However, there are also other kites in the market with cartoon themes like Doraemon, Barbie, Dragon Ball Z, and Tom and Jerry etc. This year, there has been a rise in the demand of designer kites. Apart from Modi kites, kites

printed as ‘Baahubali ko kyun maara’ are also demanded by the children. Liyakat Ali, a shopkeeper has said the designs of the kites are decided in Ahmedabad. Whatever topic trends in the market they prepare the design accordingly, he added.” (Financial Express).

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In quest of justice for British India, William Jones’ fortuitously discovers the roots of IndoEuropean family of languages by Mohamed Haq n March 1, St. David’s day of 1785 Sir William Jones, an AngloWelsh, Judge of the Supreme Court of Calcutta, received a gift, a book in Sanskrit, from Ibrahim Khan, the chief Judge. The book was Manavadharmashastra –the laws of Manu. This was the authoritative source of Jurisprudence for Hindus. The book was a turning point in the life of the Judge. Jones a polyglot took the challenge to learn Sanskrit. This started a remarkable journey, the beginning of discovery of kinship of languages of the world. Jones was born in London in 1746. His father was a mathematician and friend of Sir Isaac Newton. He attended Harrow’s an elite school. He was a stellar student, excelling in languages. He became fluent in six languages in high school. Eventually he learnt 28 languages, several of them self-taught. He joined Oxford University studying Middle Eastern studies, Oriental literature besides Philosophy. His talent and dedication led him to master Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. He garnered fame as an Orientalist by the time he graduated. He joined Law school, where he applied his talent to study the legal philosophies and intricate technicalities involved. He quickly established a reputation as a legal scholar.

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His legal writings showed a heartfelt desire for equality, justice and disdain for authoritarian rule. In 1783 he was appointed Judge of Calcutta Supreme Court. His remarkable talent in mastering languages, analytical skills and his quest for social justice, was the crucible, which created a new understanding of the relationship of languages. The British government took over all aspects of administration, including judiciary. Criminal law was common but personal law was based on the religion of the parties involved. Their personal law governed Muslims. The Hindus were under the codes of their Shaster. The courts had Pandits and Moulvis to provide the interpretations of the respective scriptures. Judge Jones was well versed in Arabic and Persian but had no knowledge of Sanskrit. He quickly realized the problem of totally relying on the Pandits. They were subject to interpretation favoring their caste, sect and at times bribery. The Sanskrit text of the laws, he received inspired him to learn Sanskrit. He secured the assistance of Pandit, Ramalocana at the University of Nadiya, the best center for learning Sanskrit in Bengal. Jones, the prodigy he was, within a year learnt the language and was able to rule on a rare case where two Pandits disagreed. The gifted Judge within 6 months of starting the lessons was struck by an amazing commonality of many words

in Sanskrit and other languages. An example is the word mother. Sanskrit Greek Latin Persian German Spanish Russian English

matar meter mater madar mutter madre mat mother.

There were several other words, which were similar. Jones also carefully compared the grammatical structure of the languages. Based on this analysis he wrote ““The Sanskrit language, whether by its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a strong affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar – than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed that no philologer could explain them all without believing them to have sprung from the same common source.” Jones proposed in a defining way the revolutionary idea of evolution of languages from a putative proto-Indo-European language, which is now extinct thus establishing the kinship of Indian and European languages.

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FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Lion Capital, Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath Sermon where he shared the Four Noble Truths (the dharma or the law). Currently, the pillar remains where it was originally sunk into the ground, but the capital is now on display at the Sarnath Museum. It is this pillar that was adopted as the national emblem of India. It is depicted on the one rupee note and the two rupee coin. The pillar is a symbol of the axis mundi (cosmic axis) and of the column that rises everyday at noon from the legendary Lake Anavatapta (the lake at the center of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology) to touch the sun.

by Dr. Karen Shelby

The top of the column—the capital—has three parts. First, a base of a lotus flower, the most ubiquitous symbol of Buddhism.

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Then, a drum on which four animals are carved representing the four cardinal directions: a horse (west), an ox (east), an

Lion Capital, Ashokan Pillar at Sarnath, c. 250 B.C.E

he most celebrated of the Ashokan pillars is the one erected at Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s First

elephant (south), and a lion (north). They also represent the four rivers that leave Lake Anavatapta and enter the world as the four major rivers. Each of the animals can also be identified by each of the four

perils of samsara. The moving animals follow one another endlessly turning the wheel of existence. Four lions stand atop the drum, each facing in the four cardinal directions. Their

mouths are open roaring or spreading the dharma, the Four Noble Truths, across the land. The lion references the Buddha, formerly Shakyamuni, a member of the Shakya (lion) clan. The lion is also a sym-

bol of royalty and leadership and may also represent the Buddhist king Ashoka who ordered these columns. A chakra (wheel) was originally mounted above the lions. Source: Khan Academy

US warns NKorea ..... Continued from Page 1 kets and the dollar slipped as investors seek safe-haven investments. Early Thursday North Korea reacted by saying Trump was not a reasonable man. It also elaborated on a threat to attack the tiny US Pacific territory of Guam. “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him,” the official KCNA news service quoted General Kim Rak Gyom of the Korean People’s Army as saying. The statement said the army would complete by mid-August a plan for the Guam attack, which would involve four rockets flying over Japan, and submit it to Kim Jong-Un for consideration as a “crucial warning to the US.” US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has often emphasized the devastating costs any conflict with North Korea could have, delivered a state-

ment underscoring his boss’s language. Mattis said North Korea must stop isolating itself and “stand down” in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang “should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” The Pentagon chief also said North Korea’s nascent missile capabilities were “grossly overmatched” by those of the US, and that Pyongyang would lose in any arms race or conflict. Trump earlier boasted on Twitter that America’s nuclear arsenal was “far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” after North Korea said it was considering a missile strike near the tiny US Pacific territory of Guam. “Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!” Trump tweeted.

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VOICE OF ASIA 13

voiceofasiaonline.com Section 2

BUSINESS VOICE OF ASIA

VOA

Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Four big things that could stand in the way of tax reform

It’s full steam ahead... with no details by Ashley Killough here’s a long list of reasons why Republicans’ plan to overhaul the nation’s tax system is going to be complicated this fall.

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Actually, tax reform is always complicated. The last time it was signed into law was in 1986. Fast-forward 31 years, and the conditions for smooth sailing on this issue haven’t gotten any easier. In fact, there’s a hashtag used by tax policy wonks, #TRIH, an acronym for “Tax reform is hard.”

it didn’t go to the floor before lawmakers left for the August recess. So the issue is awaiting continued debate when they return in September, but it’s unclear when exactly the House will pass the budget (though it faces a deadline of September 30, when the current fiscal year ends). And even after that, it still has to pass the Senate. Intra-

So far there is no bill with specifics on how exactly the White House and Republicans intend to accomplish tax reform. The White House released a one-page blueprint earlier this year, and it teamed up late last month with congressional leaders to release a broad set of principles.

on the fine print. The President has made public comments that he still wants Congress to focus on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act -- former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation also known as Obamacare -- to uphold a major campaign promise that Trump and other Republicans made for years.

- How to pay for it? -

party divides exist there, too. - Debt ceiling -

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An Indian-American millennial changing the future of college admissions 95% of students get into their top three choices

Now there’s some pressure on Republicans to use tax reform to rid of those same taxes. But that looks highly unlikely. For one, even if they eliminated the taxes, Republicans would have a gaping hole in revenue to continue funding Obamacare. That challenge would be in addition to the pending battle to offset the list of tax cuts that the White House and congressional Republicans are hoping to make in tax reform.

The White House says it will be working behind the scenes during the August recess to get the House and Senate on the same page before a bill goes for a committee mark-up in September, with the ultimate goal to send a bill to the President’s desk by mid-November.

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

On top of timeline issues are debates over how to pay for any potential package. Democrats and some Republicans have insisted that the bill must not add to the deficit, meaning any tax cuts must be paid for.

Jacob Sanchez Diagnosed with autism

Neha Gupta (Photo: Paulius Staniunas) he first-born generation Indian attended Rice University as a triple major, was the commencement speaker at one of the most prestigious high schools in Texas, and embodies the word passion. The best selling author of The Four Year Plan, has been in hundreds of articles such as the Washington Post to ABC News during the presidential election as an educational expert, Gupta is constantly focused on helping children get into college. In the last 12 years, Neha Gupta, founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors, has become one of the most prolific college consultants of her generation with a 95% acceptance rate into a student’s top three choices. It comes to no surprise she has been coined the ‘Teen Whisperer’ in a world where teenagers are rebelling more than ever before.

T

Another urgent matter for To make a bill “revenue neuCongress when it returns will And Senate Majority Leader be a deadline at the end of the tral,” which means tax cuts Mitch McConnell said last month to raise the debt ceil- would be offset through other week the goal was to finish tax ing to avoid default. That issue methods involving the tax reform “sometime this year.” will undoubtedly take up time code, like closing up loopholes That’s an extremely fast from key players in the tax re- and deductions, for example. timeline considering how com- form debate -- like Treasury To make it “deficit neutral,” plicated tax reform is and how Secretary Steven Mnuchin and that would entail raising the partisan gridlock has already congressional leaders heavily money through spending cuts resulted in multiple stalemates involved in fiscal matters. in other parts of government, this year, from nominations to (That deadline, however, is which can be a large ambihealth care. just Mnuchin’s best estimate tion to take on, especially after Gupta’s heart is full of pasNot to mention, there’s a host as to when Treasury will face a passing a budget where cuts Lack of speech is a sign of autism. Learn the others at autismspeaks.org/signs. were also likely made. sion and she believes that every cash crunch, meaning it won’t of other issues and deadlines that Congress will face this fall have enough cash and revenue Earlier this year, McConnell child matters. She is consistentthat have the potential to derail on hand to pay all the country’s said tax reform would have ly working with integrity and bills in full and on time. The to be revenue neutral, but it’s authenticity to help students or at least delay tax reform. actual date could turn out to be unclear what path Republi- gain a holistic and conscious Here’s a look at just a few. somewhat earlier or later, since cans will take on this since the perspective on the college adrevenue inflows and outflows White House hasn’t laid out missions process. - Budget aren’t entirely predictable.) how they plan to offset the loss Thousands of parents tune McConnell said last week that into College Shortcut’s FaceA week before recess, of revenue from tax cuts. he plans to use reconciliation to pass tax reform, a method that Mnuchin was on Capitol Hill If they choose not to lay out book Page as Gupta goes LIVE would allow the Republicans, to work with Senate leaders ways to make up the revenue, to give as much information rewho hold a 52-48 majority, to toward an agreement, but noth- then that could spark pushback garding the college process. “If advance the bill with 51 votes ing was announced before law- not only from Democrats, but you aren’t putting your child’s makers left town. only, rather than the usual 60. also from conservative Repub- dreams on your to-do list, someone else will dictate their Debt ceiling showdowns licans and deficit hawks. This strategy allows Republidreams,” she says. in the past have evolved into cans to pass a bill without any Interestingly, though, some At half the age of many colbitter fights over spending. fiscal conservatives in the help from Democrats. Mnuchin is currently pushing House showed openness to lege consultants, Gupta is at But to use reconciliation, for a “clean” debt ceiling hike the top of her game, and she Congress would first have to -- meaning an agreement to tax cuts without offsets, arguing that the cuts are needed for pass a budget for 2018. The raise the debt limit without any economic growth. Senate can use reconciliation extra conditions attached. only once per fiscal year, and If the White House and Re- Health care Republicans already used it the publican leadership go with the 2017 fiscal year trying to pass While the House passed a revenue neutral path, as Mchealth care. health care bill earlier this year, Connell suggested, then they’ll The House has been busy the overall failure by Congress start looking at potential deducdebating a budget, but its Re- to send a bill to the President’s tions to get rid of. That path in publican majority is seeing ide- desk doesn’t bode well for an- itself is a potential landmine ological splits between conser- other major legislative task field, given the wide array of vatives and moderates. While like tax reform. It showed that deductions and the various the House budget committee even though Republicans are special interest groups and lobapproved a budget last month, in power and share common byists who will be fighting to goals, they don’t always agree keep them in place. (-CNN)

Realizing that the national average of 1 high school counselor is to 500 students at a typical high school, Gupta created College Shortcuts as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ online course that has helped thousands of students get into college. Many people have called her the “Netflix” for college consulting with her six online courses that teach parents and students exactly how to apply in less than 3 weeks. Just last year, students that took her course are at their top choice this year and have received $1.2 million dollars in scholarships as last year’s class. College Shortcuts is the most affordable online course on getting into college and many schools have already looked into using the course for their entire junior and senior grades in high school as a supplement to their high school counseling department. Gupta still enjoys having her hands involved in the business and still consults with students one-on-one to help with their applications. “Having the immigrant drive makes me work harder than anyone else I know in my industry. If you knew my parents, you would understand why I work seven days a week. My parents moved here with $20 bucks in their pocket

and built multi-million dollar companies from scratch. For me, I knew that I had to follow my passion and help as many kids as I could. Now, we have launched an entire team of consultants with our College Mastery Program that will be working one on one with students on every part of the application process for those parents who want a concierge level experience in college admissions.” “We decided to expand our concierge service for families because the average high school student will get one or two meetings with their counselor. No one in their right mind, would invest in anything for over $100,000 without having someone advise them in the process – whether it be a house, car, or job. Having a consultant can be crucial in this process, especially for parents who didn’t go to school here,” says Gupta. To learn more about her team and services, visit www.collegeshortcuts.com and www. eliteprivatetutors.com or call 713-401-2867 as students work with her team from all over the world. Neha Gupta, founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors, is holding a FREE Back-To-School Event, onetime only. Location: India House, 8888 W. Bellfort Blvd., Houston, TX 77031. Time: August 16, 6:308:30pm Admission: Free, to reserve your seats text YES to (832) 356-3943

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LIFESTYLE

VOICE OF ASIA 14

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Indian villages spooked by outbreak of 'braid chopping' At least 55 women across five Indian states, including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have reported waking to find their braids mysteriously cut off

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EW DELHI, India | AFP - Police said Thursday they were investigating an outbreak of “braid chopping” that is spooking Indian villagers and has seen a woman murdered amid rumours of witchcraft. Since July, at least 55 women across five Indian states have reported waking to find their braids mysteriously lopped off, sparking intense speculation around the assaults.

lying next to her.”

Four new cases were reported on New Delhi’s outskirts on Wednesday, just days after half a dozen similar cases were reported in Gurgaon, south of the capital.

A 65-year-old woman murdered by a mob in Agra -home to the Taj Mahal -- was later branded a witch and accused of using sorcery to slice braids, despite no cases being reported in the city.

“We heard her cries, and when we rushed she was lying on the floor unconscious,” said Rohit Yadav, whose 55-yearold mother Monesh Devi fell victim in July in Delhi. “Her chopped off hair was

The string of unexplained attacks has occurred in largely rural areas, where superstitious beliefs sparks hysteria and allegations of witchcraft. Some villages have held special prayer sessions to ward off evil spirits and begun patrols to protect their women. None of the victims have been harmed in any physical way or robbed.

“She was beaten after they found her loitering in a nearby village. Someone accused her of being a witch and later linked her to the hair cutting incidents,” Dinesh Chandra Dubey, Agra police chief, told

Mystery: Monesh Devi, 55, is one of dozens attacked across India since July, a wave of ‘braid choppings’ which have caused panic and led to a murder of a woman accused of witchcraft. AFP.

missioner of Delhi police, told AFP.

Authorities in Delhi are treating the assaults as crimes but have no leads thus far, said Surinder Kumar, deputy com-

However they have dismissed claims of witchcraft, leaning more towards the theory that mental illness or cases

Investigation: Forensic experts examine a 50-year-old victim in Kanganheri village, one of dozens of alleged attacks which have baffled police in India. of copycat attacks could be behind the bizarre events. “Counsellors said they could be suffering from dis-

orders and could have done it themselves but our investigating are broad-based,” Kumar told AFP.

Beauty behind bars: recycled lipstick for Thailand’s inmates

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ANGKOK, Thailand | AFP - Desperate to brighten up the gloom of Thai prison life, Prontip Mankong and her fellow female inmates used to sneak food colouring from the kitchen and mix it with Vaseline to create a homemade lip gloss. After serving two years for violating Thailand’s royal defamation law, the former political prisoner is now on the other side of the prison gate. But she is drawing on the same spirit of ingenuity to make recycled cosmetics for those still stuck in Thailand’s notoriously bleak jails, which are bursting at the seams in a country with the highest female incarceration rate in the world. “The lip gloss boosted our confidence and gave us a sense of self-expression in a place where freedom is limited,”

said Prontip Mankong, who was jailed for her role in a satirical play that authorities said mocked the royal family. On a recent Sunday, the 29-year-old and other female ex-cons spent the afternoon slicing off the tops of thousands of donated lipsticks and grouping them into baskets by colour. The waxy chunks were boiled down over a stove into shimmering pink and magenta liquids, and then poured into small containers which will be donated to a women’s prison after they cool. Of all the deprivations of prison life make-up may seem a minor one. Yet Prontip sees the donated cosmetics as a simple way to boost morale and free up cash for inmates, whose lives are

just as governed by money as those on the outside. Inmates earn small incomes from jobs like cooking and making crafts, which they use to buy sanitary pads and other basic necessities from small convenience stores, where purchases are limited to around $10 a day. “Getting cosmetics was very difficult and expensive,” she told AFP, explaining that some inmates would buy out all the beauty products from a small prison store and then jack up the price for other buyers. This type of black market economy permeates the prison yard, with cash via prison jobs and relatives the only way to secure other comforts like longer showers or pain medicine.

Prontip and her fellow Thai female inmates used to sneak food colouring from the kitchen and mix it with vaseline to create homemade lip gloss. Now, after serving two years in jail, she makes recycled cosmetics for former inmates stuck in Thailand’s jails, which have the highest female incarceration rate in the world.

“This money doesn’t go to the prisons but goes to the

pockets of the influential inmates,” said Prontip, whose

chipper attitude cracks when she starts recalling her own

time behind bars. (-Photo credit: AFP)

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LEISURE & TRAVEL

VOICE OF ASIA 15

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

A D V E R TORIAL

A divine experience for 750 Shrimad Bhagvat Katha participants on Royal Caribbean Cruise Pujya Bhaishree compared the luxuries of the cruise ship with the pampering care of the maternal grandfather of humanity. Although holy vibrations are normally felt in pilgrimage places, Pujya Bhaishree specifically referenced the positive vibrations emanating from the Vyaspeeth located in the ship as it floated on the ocean.

Daily satsang inspired from the readings of Shrimad Bhagvat took the devotees into a different plane of existence. Devotees transcended current reality and were transported back in time and place to Vrajbhumi

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ETROIT, MI – July 24th, 2017 - In the midst of one’s busy life, there is a longing in everyone to be united with the Divine, to listen to the spiritual discourses, and read the Scriptures. With the challenges of meeting one’s daily needs of work, family, and social life, it’s hard to find time for spirituality, prayer, and divine experience. To help fulfil these noble desires, as well as to provide an opportunity for participants to experience the divine in a fun and memorable way, a sevenday cruise with spiritual teachings of Shrimad Bhagvat by Shri Rameshbhai Oza, popularly known as Pujya Bhaishree, was organized aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship departing from Seattle starting July 14th courtesy of Jaya Travel & Tours. Attended by 800 devotees, this Bhagvat katha was inspired by members of the Board of Trustees of the Sanskruti Foundation USA. The volunteer force comprised of devotees from Detroit, Seattle, and many other cities across the United States, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Madagascar, and India as well. The presence of divine Saints – Karshni Gurusharanananda Swami of the Udasin Ashram in Raman, Reti Gokul and Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, and the spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. This made for a special experience on this unique cruise. The collective presence of three holy sages created a supremely religious environment and devotees felt that they were in the presence of the divine trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. Specially prepared Jain vegetarian meals were available to devotees round-the-clock. The abundant comforts, good food, lack of any physical wants, and the relative isolation provided

a perfect environment for devotees to develop focused attention and love for the most beloved scripture and their Lord. Pujya Bhaishree acknowledged the inspirations that he received with the presence of these holy sages. Daily satsang inspired from the readings of Shrimad Bhagvat took the devotees into a different plane of existence. Devotees transcended current reality and were transported back in time and place to Vrajbhumi where they participated in the divine birth of Lord Shri Krishna, watched his many childhood Leelas unfold before their eyes, enacted the Govardhan Leela, and participated in the wedding of the Lord with Shri Rukminidevi. Devotees stood and danced in the unobstructed joy as Pujya Bhaishree would intersperse the discourse with melodious bhajans. The guru and devotees became one with each other, and together, one with their beloved Lord Sri Krishna. Devotees and sages also attended some cultural programs which included musical and comedy sessions from the famous standup comedian Sri SaiRam from Gujarat, which had everybody laughing. On another occasion, devotees played Raas-Garba and they were joined by Pujya Bhaishree. Everyone took time for some shore excursions whenever the ship was docked on land. Pujya Bhaishree and Pujya Muniji took a helicopter ride over a glacier and walks in parks that were filled with abundant natural beauty. Having this Srimad Bhagvat katha aboard a cruise ship was a unique event as the ocean is the residence of the Lord Ananta as he rests on Sheshnaga. In that sense, the participants felt as though they were in the house of the divine. According to Vedic scriptures, the ocean is also the father of Sri Lakshmimata, and since all humans are children of the Lord Vishnu and mother Lakshmi,

The holy book of Shrimad Bhagvat is unique in that Lord Shri Krishna resides within the scripture for the benefit of all devotees in this age of Kaliyuga. The Lord himself is an infinite ocean residing within this Holy Scripture which is itself an ocean of love and devotion. This cruise katha was therefore extremely unique in that an ocean (Shri Krishna) present within an ocean (Shrimad Bhagvat) was present within an ocean (Pacific Ocean). For the first time, as per instructions from Pujya Bhaishree, the pothi (holy book of Shrimad Bhagvat) rested in a devotee’s room each night, instead of residing in a single location as per tradition. Devotees would gather and sing bhajans to Shri Krishna in these different locations.

A 7 day cruise with spiritual teachings of Shrimad Bhagvat by Shri Rameshbhai Oza, popularly known as Pujya Bhaishree, was organized aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship departing from Seattle

While the katha delved into some deep philosophy ranging from “Who am I,” and the “creation of this universe,” and “how do we please our beloved Lord,” the devotees also were enveloped in the heavy outpouring of love for Lord Sri Krishna from hearing his childhood stories as well as stories of Raas-Leela. This occasion was unique in that devotees got intimate connection with Lord Shri Krishna, Shrimad Bhagvat, Pujya Bhaishree, Gurusharanananda Swami, and Pujya Muniji. This occasion was also unique as this event fell within the dates of Guru Poornima and Pujya Bhaishree’s upcoming 60th birthday on August 31st. Devotees celebrated both of these events in spirit and in person. This cruise katha was seven days of continuous celebration of Lord Krishna, his creation, his saints, and his devotees. “Nearly a year of hard work, planning, and reaching out to the Indian community and Americans around the world, paid off,” said Arvin Shah, founder and CEO of Jaya Travel which organized the cruise. “Hearts overflowed with joy, tears welled up in our eyes as the participants of the cruise personally experienced the presence of Lord Sri Krishna. It was indeed heartening to see the nearly 800 participants from around the world have a unique experience of the divine and at the same having a memorable cruise with the inspiring presence of Pujya

The presence of divine Saints made for a special experience on this unique cruise Bhaishree Rameshbhai Oza, Karshni Gurusharanananda Swami, and Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati.”

For more details on the Shrimad Bhagvat Katha on Royal Caribbean cruise 2017 please

call 1-877-FLYJAYA (1-877359-5292) or visit www.jayatravel.com


VOICE OF ASIA 16

Young Life

Section 2 Email: voiceasia@aol.com

Children consuming online time ‘like junk food’: report

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Tel: 713-774-5140

Innocence in Kasmir

ONDON (BBC News) - Parents must intervene to stop their children overusing social media and consuming time online “like junk food”, the children’s commissioner has said.

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In an interview with the Observer, Anne Longfield criticised the ways social media giants use to draw children into spending more time.

“I was climbing to the first mountain pass from the base camp in Sonmarg, Kashmir when we stopped for some time for ID checks at a military checkpost. While we were waiting, I came across this group of cute kids playing and grazing their own cattle” - Photographer Rahul Chatterjee (NatGeo)

She said parents should be proactive in stopping their children from bingeing on the internet in the summer holidays. Ms Longfield has launched a campaign to help parents with the issue. She said: “It’s something that every parent will talk about especially during school holidays; that children are in danger of seeing social media like sweeties, and their online time like junk food. “None of us as parents would want our children to eat junk food all the time. For those same reasons we shouldn’t want our children to do the same with their online time.” The commissioner added: “When phones, social media and games make us feel worried, stressed and out of

Photo: PA control, it means we haven’t got the balance right. “With your diet, you know that, because you don’t feel that good. It’s the same with social media.” Last year, industry watchdog Ofcom said the internet overtook television as the most popular media pastime for children in the UK. Children aged five to 15 are spending 15 hours a week on the internet. Ms Longfield said children should

Pope prays for openness, courage at close of Asian Youth Day by Elise Harris

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OME - As young people gathered in Indonesia for the 7th Asian Youth Day prepare to head home, Pope Francis sent a message encouraging them to be courageous, and to turn to Mary as a model of what it means to be a missionary. In an August 6 telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the prelate extended “warm greetings and prayerful best wishes” to all participating in the event on behalf of Pope Francis. The Pope, he said, “prays that young

people from across Asia will listen ever more attentively to God’s call and respond with faith and courage to their vocation.”

be helped to understand that sites encourage them to continue their use based on what they have previously been doing online.

Little girl’s first interaction with a sanitary pad is a thing of beauty

A study earlier this year of screen time and mental wellbeing among teenagers suggested that moderate use of devices may be beneficial. The research, which appeared in the journal Psychological Science, was based on self-reported data from 120,000 15-year-olds in England.

said, giving his blessing and entrusting the youth and their families to Mary’s intercession. Pope Francis’s message was sent on the final day of the August 2-6 Asian Youth Day gathering in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, holding the theme: “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel in Multicultural Asia.”

Looking ahead to the global World Youth Day gathering in Panama in 2019, Francis invited the youth to turn to Mary, the Mother of God as “ a model of missionary discipleship, to speak to her as they would to a mother, and to trust always in her loving intercession.

More than two thousand young Catholics from all over Asia took part in the gathering, which came a year after the international WYD gathering in Krakow, Poland last summer, attended by Pope Francis.

“In this way, as they seek to follow Christ Jesus more closely, they too, like the young woman of Nazareth, can truly “improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history,” he

The Pope was also present during the last Asian Youth Day, which coincided with Pope Francis’s Aug. 13-18, 2014, visit to South Korea (-Catholic News Agency)

Unsure of it’s function, she takes the pad and sticks it to her forehead (Photo: YouTube)

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sage.

oming into contact with a tampon or pad for the first time is a beautiful rite of pas-

In one little girl’s case, we mean beautiful literally. Jaiden Park recently posted a video of her 8-year-old sister giving a makeup tutorial on Twitter (as 8-year-olds do), when she happens upon a pad amidst the cosmetics. “When your 8 year old sister makes a makeup tutorial and sees a pad for the first time...what better use?” Park

captioned the hilarious video. She initially gives the pad a little thought before using it to blend and blot her face makeup, but after removing its adhesive, things get a bit more confusing. Unsure of it’s function, she takes the pad and sticks it to her forehead, before moving on with the rest of the tutorial. Naturally. Hey, it’s not the weirdest thing we’ve ever seen used to apply makeup before. But it’s certainly the most adorable. (-HuffPost)

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VOICE OF ASIA 17

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

BOLLYWOOD - HOLLYWOOD

Section 2

Email: editor@voiceofasiaonline.com

Chris Pratt, Anna Faris separating

Tel: 713-774-5140

Amitabh Bachchan does not want 75th birthday celebrations

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UMBAI Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says he does not want people to organise any special event for his 75th birthday. The 74-year-old actor turns a year older on October 11. “Many threaten and plan a 75th celebration for my birth... May it be known that there shall be no such event, allowed or even acknowledged,” Bachchan posted on his blog. “May it be known that if there is such move by others they must withdraw from it for I shall never acknowledge or endorse such... Be it family or Ef or any other... It is not going to be with any consent...” he wrote. The superstar said if his wishes were not respected, he would end up going to “some isolated unknown location which shall never be known by any”. (-PTI)

File photo/AFP

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OS ANGELES - Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced Sunday that they are separating after eight years of marriage, sparking a wave of shock and sadness online about the demise of one of Hollywood’s most popular power couples. The actors announced their breakup on social media in a joint statement confirmed by Pratt’s publicist. “We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed,” the actors wrote. “Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another.” Pratt, who stars in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise and Faris, who stars on CBS’ comedy “Mom,” married in 2009. They have a 4-year-old son. The actors were publicly supportive of each other in their work and on social media. Pratt guest-starred as Faris’ love interest on “Mom” earlier this year, and the couple laughed and kissed in April when Pratt was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their breakup quickly became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, where the pair had frequently shared messages about each other and their family. Pratt, 38, has become an international superstar in recent years and is the face of two major franchises: Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and a new slate of films based on the

“Jurassic Park” universe. He spoke about balancing his home life and his career in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year before the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” which went on to become a blockbuster. “For the first part of our relationship, we put our careers at the top,” Pratt said of his relationship with Faris. “We were like, ‘Honey, if you get a job and you have to go to Istanbul for six months, you’re going. I’ll help you pack. I’ll Skype with you every day. You’re living your dream, I’m living my dream. That’s what we do.’” He said, at the time, that starring in two major franchises made it easier for them to strategize what roles they would take. Faris, 40, has starred in “Mom” for five seasons opposite Emmy-winner Alison Janney. The actresses play mother-daughter who are both recovering drug addicts and are trying to navigate sobriety and relationships together. She is also the voice of the Jailbreak character in recently-released “The Emoji Movie.” Legal separation can be a precursor to a divorce filing, but it doesn’t mean one is imminent. Several celebrity couples have in recent years announced their separations before filing any legal paperwork. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced their separation in June 2015 but didn’t file to end their marriage until April. Affleck’s younger brother, Casey, and his wife announced they were separating in March 2016, but did not file divorce petitions until July 31. (-AP)

Jaya Bachchan and Shweta Bachchan Nanda bookend their teen grandchild and daughter Navya Naveli Nanda in this India Vogue photoshoot by Tarun Vishwa.

Navya will not be following in her famous grandfather’s footsteps when it comes to a career in acting. “No way,” says the young teen emphatically. In a family with a long lineage in films (she’s the granddaughter of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, and the greatgranddaughter of Raj Kapoor on her father’s side), it’s a natural question, especially in an industry known for its dynasties. “I really try to tell her about all the cons… I have nothing against the industry—it’s who we are—but it’s not an easy world to be in,” Shweta admits (-India Vogue)

Mika Singh: Performing in US for Hindustanis and not Pakistan

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UMBAI | ANI | Aug 6, 2017 -After Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar, who were attacked over the Pakistan artists, Mika Singh is the latest celeb to take the heat from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for referring to Pakistan as “humara Pakistan” in a promotional video of his upcoming U.S. concerts. The 40-year-old playback singer, who is all set to perform in Chicago and Houston just ahead of Independence Day, took to social media to clarify that his U.S. shows are only for ‘Hindustanis.’ “People are thinking that I’m going

to perform in Chicago and Houston for Pakistanis, which is completely wrong. I’m doing this show only for Hindustanis. I’ll be sending you people videos to prove it,” he said, adding, “I am always proud to be an Indian [sic].” “I spoke to MNS leader Amey Khopkar over the phone and requested him to not worry. I also assured Raj Thackeray that I will be performing only for India,” the ‘Aaj Ki Party’ hitmaker noted before ending his clarification with ‘Jai Maharashtra’. Few days ago, the singer said in the promotional video that his gigs would be held in celebration of India’s Inde-

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In response, the Raj Thackeray-led MNS staged protests in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik on Saturday. Khopkar, who heads the MNS Cine Workers Association, even threatened him. “Here, Indian soldiers are being killed by Pakistani forces and we have a singer like Mika performing a ‘Humara Pakistan’ show. If Mika performs, he will face an MNS-style welcome in Mumbai,” he said. The party also wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, seeking a ban on the singer.

Bollywood is going after Apple, Amazon, and Netflix

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UMBAI - Eros Group, the largest movie producer in India, is in talks with Apple Inc, the world’s most valuable public company, to sell its entire content library of films and music for around $1 billion multiple sources aware of the ongoing negotiations. A deal may also include their digital OTT platform, Eros Now, billed as the Netflix of Bollywood.

Eros International Media by the end of this financial year to create a single listed firm.

Parallel discussions with rival media and technology majors Amazon and Netflix have also gathered momentum as the Kishore Lulla led company is planning to embark on a mega restructuring exercise that is likely to result in a reverse merger of its NYSE listed parent Eros InternationalBSE 4.50 % Plc into its locally listed subsidiary

If successful, Eros India’s library of over 3000+ Indian films (Bollywood and regional blockbusters), the largest in the country of which over 50 per cent the company has long term rights, would give any potential suitor unbeatable access to premier entertainment content as the war over

The move is seen as an attempt to soothe investor nerves that has rattled since 2005 repeatedly over allegations of corporate misgovernance, nontransparent related party transactions, financial malpractices and fraud. The company has always denied any irregularities.

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pendence Day, which falls on August 15, and Pakistan’s Independence Day, which is on August 14.

Safe Driving starts with Safe Learning! • Adults 18 and up - 6 hours permit classes • Defensive Driving Classes • Teens Full course, ages 15 to 17 • Classes in English, Hindi & Gujarati www.iladrivingschool1.com iladrivingschool@gmail.com

music and video streaming intensifies between stand alone service providers, media and entertainment conglomerates, telcos and digital OTT companies. Eros Now, its digital arm that is currently housed under the US parent, also has rights to over 10,000 films, out of which around 5,000 films are owned in perpetuity, across Hindi and regional languages from Eros’s internal library, as well as third party, aggregated content. It has close to 2.9 million paid subscribers and over 100 million registered subscribers as of June 30, 2017. Discussions are on to monetise the library. An announcement is likely soon. (-FT)

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VOICE OF ASIA 18

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Voice of Asia

Section 2

2,000 Philippine mums show breast is best for babies ANILA, Philippines | AFP - Some 2,000 mothers in the Philippines breastfed their babies in public on Saturday in a gathering aimed at cutting infant deaths and dispelling taboos over the practice.

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have a very low infant breastfeeding rate,” Ros Macachor, an organiser for the nongovernment advocacy group Breastfeeding Pinays told AFP. Macachor said Filipina mothers typically breastfeed their newborns only for the first 24

HEALTHY Achieve a healthy lifestyle through family and primary care physicians

country report added. The UN Children’s Fund said 28 out of every 1,000 Filipinos die under the age of five. While that marks a significant improvement from the 56 per 1000 deaths recorded in 1990

Dr. Manjula Raghuthu

by Dr. Manjula Raghuthu

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he best way to lead a healthy life is to incorporate a suitable life style with proper diet and fitness. It is important to know what’s good for you and your family’s health is through your family doctor or primary care physician, who can guide you and your loved ones to keep you informed and prevent any health complications. Breastfeeding advocate Philippine Senator Pia Cayetano (center) is a leading advocate for breastfeeding awareness in the country (Photo: AFP) To the upbeat sounds of local pop songs, hundreds of mothers suckled their babies inside a cavernous Manila stadium, some of them multitasking by feeding two children at the same time. Organisers of the annual event said they aimed to encourage Filipina mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months to lower the country’s high infant mortality rate. “In the Philippines we still

days, then switch to commercial infant formula which is ubiquitous and heavily marketed by powerful conglomerates. A WHO study published in 2013 found only 34 percent of Filipino infants younger than six months were exclusively breastfed, and an “alarming” 36 percent were fed infant formula. This was due to “aggressive marketing by milk companies” to counter laws designed to encourage breastfeeding, the

it remains above the country’s stated goal of lowering infant mortality rates to 19 per 1,000. Macachor said similar mass breastfeeding events would help combat stereotypes and encourage mothers to exercise their right and shrug off taboos against nursing babies in public. “They should not be intimidated by people telling them to go breastfeed in the toilets, which is unsanitary,” she added.

Yoga reduces depression symptoms: research by Sarah Wiedersehn

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oga has been shown to lessen the symptoms of depression, psychologists meeting in the US have been told.

By the end of the program, veterans with elevated depression scores before the yoga program had a significant reduction in depression symptoms. Meanwhile, a pilot study

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Most of those affected live in Africa and Asia, a team wrote in The Lancet Global Health journal. Looking at data from 188 countries, the researchers concluded that the prevalence of blindness -- the number of

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Appeal Level 2 and Level 3 If you have Original Medicare

The redetermination notice you got in level 1 has directions for you to file a request for reconsideration. There are 2 ways to submit a reconsideration request. 1. Fill out a “Medicare Reconsideration Request Form.” 2. Submit a written request to the QIC that includes: • Your name and Medicare number. • The specific item(s) or service(s) for which you’re requesting a reconsideration and the specific date(s) of service. See your redetermination notice for this information. conducted by researchers at the Center for Integrative Psychiatry in the Netherlands followed patients with chronic depression for 11 years.

At the end of the treatment period, patients’ scores of depression and anxiety were reduced compared to when they’d started the yoga.

As part of the research, the participants took weekly 2.5 hour classes for nine weeks combined with their usual care - generally a combination of therapy and antidepressants.

Another study found that an eight-week course of Bikram yoga (hot yoga) helped reduce depression symptoms in young to early middle-age women, compared to those in the control group. (-AP)

World’s blind population to soar: study ARIS, France | AFP The world’s blind will increase threefold from about 36 million today to 115 million in 2050 as populations expand and individuals grow ever older, researchers said Thursday. The number of people with a moderate to severe vision impairment -- only those not corrected by glasses, contact lenses or an operation -- will also near triple, from about 217 million to 588 million over the same period.

Dr. Manjula Raguthu has been a family physician for 26 years. She is specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, American Physicians of Indian Origin, Texas Academy of family Physicians and American Anti-Aging Academy. She takes a holistic approach to health, uses Bio identical hormones and integrative therapies to achieve optimal health for her patients. Visit www.medwinfamily.com for more details.

A QIC is an independent contractor that didn’t take part in the level 1 decision. The QIC will review your request for a reconsideration and make a decision.

While the research is still preliminary, yoga as a treatment for depression does have potential, says researcher Lindsey Hopkins, PhD, of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who chaired the session.

For eight weeks, 23 male veterans participated in hatha yoga classes twice a week.

dex and load, and sugar intake. The fiber made the greatest difference in what the researchers called “successful aging”. They defined “successful aging” as including an absence of disability, cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases including cancer coronary artery disease, and stroke.

Appeals Level 2:

A series of studies focusing on the antidepressant effects of yoga were presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

One of the studies, led by Ms Hopkins, examined the effects of hatha yoga, a type of yoga that emphasises physical movement and breathing exercises.

A new study shows those who avoid risky health behaviors tend to live a long life. Perhaps more importantly, those extra years are characterized by good health. Examples of such “risky health behaviors” include smoking, consuming an excess of alcohol and eating to the point of reaching obesity. The study’s results show avoiding such behaviors leads to an increased

lifespan of seven years. Nutrition is key to prevent most health issues and to make the most to lead an active life. Exercising keeps your body in check and helps your body to function most efficiently. The unfortunate truth is that many people consume this nutritious vegetable mainly in the form of ketchup. The appeal of tomato consumption is rooted in the vegetable’s ability to combat the onset of skin cancer tumors. In fact, a recent study performed at the Ohio State University determined the daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the development of skin cancer tumors by 50 percent. It is well known that a diet with adequate fiber assists in keeping people “regular.” Increased dietary fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and has been shown to lower blood pressure. The researchers explored the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy aging. The factors they examined included total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic in-

blind per population group -decreased from 0.75 percent in 1990 to 0.48 percent in 2015. The rate of moderate to severe visual impairment declined from 3.83 percent to 2.9 per cent over the same time. “This is almost certainly because of improved health interventions,” such as cataract surgery, study co-author Rupert Bourne of the Anglia Ruskin University told AFP. But the rough numbers have not stopped rising in step with population growth and ageing. Most visual problems occur in older people. The new forecast is based on UN population projections, even assuming that the prevalence continues to decline, said Bourne.

The research did not consider the impact of possible improvements in diagnosis, treatment, and access to healthcare, as “nobody can accurately estimate” what those will be, he added. Someone with moderate visual impairment is considered to be unable to legally drive, and would not recognise another person from across the street. “With the number of people with vision impairment accelerating, we must take action to increase our current treatment efforts at global, regional and country levels,” said Bourne. “Investing in these treatments has previously reaped considerable benefits, including improved quality of life, and economic benefits as people remain in work.”

• The name of the company that made the redetermination (the company that handles claims for Medicare). See the MSN or the redetermination notice for this information. • An explanation of why you disagree with the redetermination decision. • Your signature. If you’ve appointed a representative, include the name and signature of your representative. In most cases, the QIC will send you a written response called a “Medicare Reconsideration Notice” about 60 days after the QIC gets your appeal request. If the QIC doesn’t issue a timely decision, you may ask the QIC to move your case to the next level of appeal. If you disagree with the reconsideration decision in level 2, you have 60 days after you get the “Medicare Reconsideration Notice” to request an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.

Appeals Level 3: Hearing before Administrative Law Judge A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) allows you to present your appeal to a new person. The ALJ will review the facts of your appeal independently and listen to your testimony before making a new and impartial decision. An ALJ hearing is usually held by phone or video-teleconference, or in some cases, in person. You can also ask the ALJ to make a decision without a hearing. The ALJ may also issue a decision without holding a hearing if evidence in the hearing record supports a decision that’s fully in your favor. To get an ALJ hearing, the amount of your case must meet a minimum dollar amount. For 2017, the required minimum amount is $160. The ALJ will decide if your case meets the minimum dollar amount. You may be able to combine claims to meet the minimum dollar amount.

Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com If you have Original Medicare, follow the directions on the “Medicare Reconsideration Notice” you got from the QIC in level 2 to request a hearing before an ALJ. You must send your request to the appropriate Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) Central Operations. The address is listed in the QIC’s reconsideration notice. If you have Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, other Medicare health plan, or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you can request a hearing in one of these ways: 1. Fill out a “Request for Medicare Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge” form. 2. Submit a written request to the OMHA office that will handle your ALJ hearing that includes: • Your name, address, and Medicare number. If you’ve appointed a representative, include your representative’s name and address. • The appeal number included on the QIC reconsideration notice, if any. • The dates of service for the items or services you’re appealing. See your MSN or reconsideration notice for this information. • An explanation of why you disagree with the reconsideration decision being appealed. • Any information that may help your case. If you can’t include this information with your request, include a statement explaining what you plan to submit and when you’ll submit it. (To Be Continued) To choose right Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan, contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.


VOICE OF ASIA 19

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

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Disease gene ‘edited’ in human embryos in scientific first by Mariëtte Le Roux

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ARIS, France | AFP | Wednesday 8/9/2017 Scientists in the United States have repaired a diseasecausing mutation in the DNA of early-stage human embryos, they said Wednesday, taking a step closer to engineering babies free of inherited disorders. The team’s successful use of the CRISPR “gene editing” tool in viable embryos was hailed as a technical feat by outside experts, who called at the same time for deeper debate on the ethics of altering human DNA. The lab-created, edited embryos were not allowed to develop beyond a few days, when they comprised a handful of cells. Just over 72 percent of the embryos -- 42 out of 58 -- ended up being free of a heart disease-causing mutation carried in the DNA of the sperm used to create them, a team reported in the journal Nature. This was an improvement on the 50-percent odds for embryos that result naturally from a couple in which one partner carries the coding error. With further improvement, said study co-author Paula Amato of the Oregon Health & Science University, the method “can potentially be used to prevent transmission of genetic disease to future generations.” The alteration itself is heritable, meaning that the children and grandchildren of a person born with edited DNA will be safe from the same genetic disease. Further research is needed to determine the technique’s safety, and to boost its accuracy to as close to 100 percent as possible before it can be used to create embryos meant to develop into healthy babies.

“I am quite sure that there are tools that we could use to improve... this repair so that we could achieve say 90 to maybe 100-percent efficiency, then I would say we would be ready to move to clinical trials,” said Amato’s colleague Shoukhrat Mitalipov. Gene editing is controversial because it evokes a future in which humans can order “designer” babies with specific features -- blonde hair, athleticism, perhaps even intelligence. But there is also the prospect of avoiding heritable, genetic diseases that can handicap or kill. Amato, Shoukhrat and a team studied a gene mutation which causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease of the heart muscle which can translate into sudden heart failure and death, notably in athletes. - No longer fantasy It is a type of disorder, like Huntington’s Disease, that requires an abnormal gene from just one parent. The researchers used sperm from a donor carrying the mutation, and eggs from healthy women. They injected the CRISPRCas9 editing tool into the eggs at the same time as the sperm -- a major departure from what other teams have done. The researchers found that 72.4 percent of the embryos, not 50 percent as would have been expected, were free of the errant gene. Nor were there unintended mutations in other parts of the genome. In previous CRISPR studies in China, the gene-editing tool was added only after fertilisation.

Those teams had problems with “mosaicism”, which occurs when some cells in an embryo are corrected, and some not. In the new study, just one embryo turned out a mosaic. “We definitely want to replicate this study with other mutations and other donors,” said Amato. CRISPR is a revolutionary gene-editing technique which allows scientists to insert, remove and correct DNA within a cell with pinpoint precision. For Peter Braude, a reproductive health expert from King’s College London, the study showed that “germline genome editing has moved from future fantasy to the world of possibility.” The debate about using it in practice, he added, “needs to run to catch up.” “Perhaps the biggest question, and probably the one that will be debated the most, is whether we should be physically altering the genes of an IVF (lab-created) embryo at all,” added Darren Griffin of the University of Kent, in Britain. “Equally, the debate on how morally acceptable it is not to act when we have the technology to prevent these life-threatening diseases must also come into play.” Currently, the only way to avoid heritable disease in assisted reproduction, is to fertilise eggs in the lab, analyse the DNA of the resulting embryos, and eliminate those containing errors. The new CRISPR technique could be used to increase the number of viable embryos for implantation, said the team, thus reducing the number of eggs that have to be invasively harvested.

Harris County Public Health Executive elected to lead National Health Organization Priorities include health equity and disease prevention

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OUSTON - Harris County Public Health (HCPH) Executive Director, Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, is the newly-elected president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). He was sworn into office on July 1. NACCHO represents nearly 3,000 local health departments across the U.S. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. As President of NACCHO, Dr. Shah chairs the association’s Board of Directors. The Board establishes NACCHO’s strategic direction and initiatives, ensures that annual goals are met, sets the annual legislative agenda, and provides financial oversight. “Local health departments play a vital role in supporting the overall health of a community,” said Dr. Shah. “We are bound by one common theme: the relentless pursuit of health. We know our work, our place, and our value.”

During his tenure, Dr. Shah said NACCHO will focus on building capacity in health departments, connecting NACCHO members across different disciplines and interests, amplifying the voice for small and large health departments and broadening the scope of NACCHO to work alongside key partners in the public and private sectors. “All of our efforts will focus on promoting health and equity, combating disease, and improving the quality and length of all lives,” said Dr. Shah. Since 2013, Dr. Umair A. Shah has served as Executive Director and Local Health Authority for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) – the county public health agency for the nation’s 3rd largest county with 4.5 million people. Under his leadership, HCPH has won numerous national awards including the “Local Health Department of the Year” award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in 2016. Dr. Shah earned his B.A.

Tel: 713-774-5140

Multitasking much? Women’s brains more active than that of men

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EW YORK | UPI | Tuesday 8/8/2017 The brains of women are significantly more active in many more areas of the brain than men, especially in the prefrontal cortex, involved with focus and impulse control, and the limbic or emotional areas of the brain, involved with mood and anxiety, new research has found.

The study findings of increased prefrontal cortex blood flow in women compared to men may explain why women tend to exhibit greater strengths in the areas of empathy, intuition, collaboration, self-control, and appropriate concern. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, also showed increased blood flow in limbic areas of the brains of women, which

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The researchers surveyed the results of

Understanding these differences is important because brain disorders affect men and women differently.

more t h a n 45,000 brain imaging studies involving singlephoton emission computed tomography, or SPECT, are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future,” Amen said.

Wo m e n have significantly higher rates depression, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety disorders, while men have higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conductrelated problems. (-ETimes)

Is ‘healthy’ chocolate really good for you? If it’s ‘healthy’, can we eat as much as we want? (Spoiler: no) by Rachel Hosie

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espite the backlash against the “clean eating” movement, Britain’s passion for fitness and healthy eating shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. And this is reflected by what’s appearing on our supermarket shelves - every day, more and more “healthy” products are launching, with all sorts of tenuous claims designed to hook us in and make us part with our cash. High-protein, gluten-free, low-fat, sugar-free, vegan, all-natural… these labels are blasted across products with the intention of making us feel like we’re making healthier choices. And one area where this is particularly evident is chocolate.

The latest findings from Mintel reveal that 37 per cent of people are interested in chocolate made with all-natural ingredients, 35 per cent in low-sugar chocolate and 27 per cent in refined sugarfree chocolate. This still makes up a small part of the market compared to standard chocolate, but it’s a market that’s growing. Many chocolate brands proudly proclaim they’re all-natural, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. And to make up for their lack of classic chocolate ingredients - namely milk, sugar, cocoa but-

ter, cocoa mass and vegetable fats - new so-called “healthy” chocolate bars are made from cacao powder, cacao butter and raw cocoa mass, and sweetened with dates, coconut blossom nectar and agave nectar amongst other ingredients. Many healthy food bloggers proclaim the health benefits of raw chocolate: It’s supposedly high in vitamins and minerals (including magnesium, iron, flavonoids, phosphorous and calcium), full of antioxidants and is even an aphrodisiac. Raw chocolate has been heralded for reducing the risk of heart disease, boosting energy and even protecting your skin from sun damage. However, it’s also addictive, high in caffeine (the unroasted cocoa beans used in raw chocolate contains almost the same level of caffeine as coffee beans)

and some even claim it could be toxic. So what’s the truth? At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, regardless of whether it’s coconut sugar or white sugar, and nutritionist Nichola Whitehead believes we shouldn’t be fooled by healthy-sounding ingredients like organic cane syrup and agave nectar. Many studies have pointed out health benefits of dark chocolate, largely those with a cocoa content above 75 per cent, unlike milk chocolate which is laden with sugar. Yes, raw and high cocoa content chocolate is more nutrient rich, and is good source of magnesium, but, it is still a food to eat in moderation. Let’s not pretend it is a bag of spinach and enjoy it for what it is - a delicious treat.” (-The Independent)

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The visual and coordination centres of the brain were more active in men.

A total of 128 brain regions were analysed for participants at baseline and while performing a concentration task.

“This is a very important study to help understand gender-based brain differences. The quantifiable differences we identified between men and women are important for understanding gender-based risk for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author Daniel Amen, Founder, Amen Clinics, Newport Beach, California.

Because even healthy people want their chocolate fix.

(philosophy) from Vanderbilt University; his M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; and completed his Internal Medicine Residency, Primary Care/General Medicine Fellowship, and M.P.H. (management), at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He also completed an international health policy internship at World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland. Upon completing training, Dr. Shah began a distinguished career as an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. He started his public health work as Chief Medical Officer in Galveston.

may also partially explain why women are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and eating disorders.

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VOICE OF ASIA 20

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Multilayered maps of modern India: Anjum Hasan’s fiction Review by Anjali Vaidya

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he protagonist of Hasan’s more recent novel The Cosmopolitans (2015) finds herself coping with a strange kind of nostalgia: for a Bangalore only 15 years in the past. Middle-aged, never-married, comfortably unambitious Qayenaat is faced with a new money-crazed at-

mosphere she feels out of step with, and old friends who have adapted to changing times that have left her far behind. “I’m fascinated by what the memory of a city does to your perception of it,” Hasan said at the fictional cities talk. For those like Qayenaat, which included some in the audience that day, memory means a sense of continuous alienation from the present. Internet groups have sprung up in recent years to exchange grainy photos of Bangalore’s not-sodistant past, talismans against incomprehensible change. For Qayenaat, memory and nostalgia spur her to action, as she searches for meaning — and meaningful art — in modern India, in a village wracked by Maoist conflict half a country away. Bangalore is not the only part of India (or the world) presently experiencing the aftershocks of neoliberalism and globalization. Neither is India the only country that has witnessed violent backlash in response to those global forces, as nations struggle to build new stories of themselves. All across India right now, rising Hindu fun-

damentalism and xenophobia in the political sphere fans the flames of ethnic and religious conflict, producing popular nostalgia for a reconstructed past. Times are volatile; Bangalore is not the only place that seems to have lost the plot. To capture such times with words is difficult enough, but to make them coherent without resorting to tidy ideological explanations is harder still. When conflict over questionably offensive artwork leads to riots in Hasan’s The Cosmopolitans, Qayenaat mourns the loss of nuance that such violence creates — the loss of freedom to see the world from multiple points of view. Hasan has described “the cosmopolitan” as one who is rootless. The status of the rootless cosmopolitan has often been tenuous, viewed with particular suspicion during turbulent times. It can be a radical act to insist on a bit of rootlessness in India today, which almost all of Hasan’s protagonists do. Always at a slight distance from their surroundings, they resist easy categorization, in a country increasingly prone to black and white. The consequence is that Hasan’s characters work their way into your mind, revealing new layers years after first reading. There was a time in the late 1990s when I felt as if I didn’t know a single teenage boy in Bangalore not currently learning the opening guitar riff to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” I saw echoes of those boys in Aman, one of the protagonists of Hasan’s Lunatic in My Head (2007), who divides his time between studying for the Indian Administrative Service exams and taking long tea breaks to philosophize about classic Western rock music with friends. In that same novel, a woman named Firdaus leads a quiet, relatively cloistered existence, teaching and caring for her traditional grandfather, while writing a neverending graduate thesis on Jane

Austen and cloistered Regency women. Aman’s and Firdaus’s stories are set against the backdrop of 1990s Shillong, a city evolving to exclude each of them from its ethnic definition

of who belongs. In Hasan’s short-story collection Difficult Pleasures (2012), a young village boy impetuously hops a train to Bangalore, where he loses

what is for him (and most Indians) an astronomical sum of money at an upscale Bangalore shopping mall, purchasing a trinket priced for India’s elite. Elsewhere in that collection, a

Shillong philosophy professor, fixated on Kant and the higher mind, remains oblivious to the complexities of his students’ precarious, impoverished lives. Continued on page 24


SPORT

VOICE OF ASIA 21

Serena Williams hosts ‘50s-themed baby shower by Derrick Bryson Taylor

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UMBAI, India | AFP - Tormented by blisters, illness and injuries, Indian ultra-marathoner Samir Singh got to within 36 kilometres of his goal of running 10,000km in 100 days when pain and exhaustion beat him.

On Saturday, Williams, 35, hosted a ’50s themed baby shower from the aptly named “Baby O Diner” with all of her famous gal-pals. “When you and your crew go so far back to the 50’s. Even then they had your back,” Williams captured the snaps.

The tennis champ was joined by Ciara, La La Anthony, Eva Longoria, Kelly Rowland and sister Venus Williams for the

Serena Williams’ baby shower (Photo: Instagram) party. The girls also jammed with a juke box and posed with a retro red pick up truck. While Williams and fiancé Alexis Ohanian have yet to formally announce the baby’s sex, he believes they’re having a girl.

“We have our hunches,” the Reddit co-founder beamed to Jimmy Kimmel in early August. “She put it really well – she won the Australian Open while pregnant, and she remarked that she feels like it has to be a girl because everything that little baby went through.” (-Page Six News)

Autistic golfer dreams of Green Jacket by Park Chan-Kyong

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olf is among the most solitary of sports, its players engaged in a constant struggle with themselves as they compete against the implacable opponent of par. But for autistic newly qualified professional Simon Seungmin Lee, it is a way to escape from his enclosed self and engage with the world. The 20-year-old South Korean, who grew up in the US, has been medically assessed as having the communication skills of a child half his age -and the socialisation abilities of a 10-month-old baby. But six years after taking up the clubs, and following five

India’s ‘Faith Runner’ falters on the final straight by Indranil Mukherjee

EST PALM BEACH, Florida Serena Williams is prepping for the arrival of her little one.

Williams, who is due this fall, wore a yellow poodle skirt with black and white polka dots ruffles underneath. She let her bump shine through in a crop top that came off the shoulders. She completed her ‘50s ensemble with a top-knot, red scarf, chunky white pearls and black and white saddle oxfords.

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

failed attempts, he secured professional status at a Korea PGA trial in May -- one of the few autistic people to do so anywhere in the world. “I love golf,” said Lee, who

has difficulty speaking and whose mother helped him communicate throughout the interview.

Singh, dubbed “The Faith Runner” and inevitably compared to Forrest Gump, spent nearly three months running between Mumbai’s slums and business district using donated clothes and equipment, and living on just $3 a day. At the end of his attempt on Sunday, the 5ft 7ins (170cm) running coach, who also suffered stomach problems and viral fever, weighed just 40 kilogrammes (88 pounds). Singh started on April 29 in Mumbai’s scorching heat, and has been running through the monsoon rains without skipping a day. He needed to clock 150km (93 miles) on the final day on Sunday, after falling behind schedule through illness.

Samir Singh running on the streets of Mumbai (Photo: AFP)

But the 44-year-old could only complete 114km, falling agonisingly short of his target -- which was the equivalent of about a quarter of the Earth’s circumference.

“I survived without a job for the last nine months and people have come forward and supported me with donations, shoes, clothes and equipment,” Singh said.

“He was plagued by gastrointestinal infections and contracted viral fever but has run 9,964.19 kms in 100 days,” Vikram Bhatti, who handled Singh’s campaign, told AFP.

He had a GPS watch, a basic mobile phone for emergencies and 200 rupees ($3.14) a day. Singh said he particularly enjoyed his meal of rice and spicy lentils, after every run.

Dressed in a blue sports vest, Singh started each day in the early hours from the northern Mumbai slums and headed to the business district in the city’s south.

The five-time ultra-marathon winner lost 16 kilos (35 pounds) during the challenge as his exertions took their toll.

- Running sore Friends mocked the man from Madhya Pradesh state for taking on the challenge, but it became an attempt that caught the public imagination.

“I have focused on my goals with determination and nurtured my dreams despite cracked heels, fractured joints and legs,” Singh said.

“My journey of running 100 kilometres per day is very challenging but I wanted to show the endurance limit of human spirit,” Singh told AFP ahead of the final run.

Singh was spotted one day by Mumbai documentary-makers Vandana and Vikram Bhatti,

who christened him ‘The Faith Runner’. “We met him on the 47th day of his challenge and were taken aback by his story. So, we have been running a Facebook campaign to create awareness and generate funds for Samir,” Vandana Bhatti told AFP. Fans joined him for several stretches of his run each day. Singh’s run was longer than the Great Wall of China (5,500km) and further than the distance from Mumbai to London (7,200km). He went to a temple to pray on Monday, giving up a plan to complete the last 36km. Singh said he will now rest, and then starting mapping out a new challenge -- this time over 40,000 kilometres. “I have not met my mother for a while as she would be heartbroken looking at my sunken face. But I am happy so many people are invested in my story right now,” Singh said.

“I want to win the Masters,” he added. (-AFP)

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HOROSCOPE

VOICE OF ASIA 22

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

Your Horoscope for the Week of August 11, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE

by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950

ONLINE WWW.VOICEOFASIAONLINE.COM

Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April

Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct

Week will start with mixed note. Health should be taken care of. Swimming should be avoided. You hard work will not be rewarding but still you will be focused in your work punctually. Parents health will demand your time & attention. Friends will consult you for your advice & suggestions but be careful & follow limits so that by helping others don’t bring problems to your own life.

You will take brave steps necessary to feel happier in your life. You will be firm in your decisions. Some unexpected expenses will arise but you will overcome it. Legal confrontation should be avoided, An act of kindness or gesture of caring can melt the resistance and get you what you want. Unpredictable events may disrupt your progress greatly. Make plans, follow through & put your power behind your presence. When dealing with peers, be yourself & you’ll draw energy from deep inside. Follow your basic instincts & you’ll do very well.

Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May

Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov

Work related problems will not get solved easily, small things will create delay. You need to keep all your work highly organized for the smooth flow at your work. Be fair to all concerned when negotiating or settling contracts, trading terms. Late night outside eating should be avoided or it may lead to upset stomach. Festive season is a good time to spend quality time with loved ones, but you must start planning your future. Your path will cross with someone who will show you simple ways to increase your potential income.

Your independent nature will help you to achieve your separate place. Outspoken talking should be avoided at any cost or it may backfire & bring you un success. You will be able to handle everything with confidence & better organizing skills. But verbal confrontation should be avoided, things may hurt your ego but working with patience only will keep you on track. You have the ability to listen, as well as help others to see things clearer. It’s better to take feedback sometimes. Once you let your feelings out, you should be able to enjoy a good time.

Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec

Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June You will be highly occupied in your routine work. Proper care for your eyes should be taken or it may lead to eye infection or severe headache. Be careful while doing conversation with your friends or you may lose any of your friend. Dealing in business or work will be fruitful, you will develop new contacts. Your spouse will get success in his/her professional life that will bring new zeal of positivity in your home. You will be little more conservative & will think twice before spending.

You will analyze your relations with friends as there will be reshuffling in your friends list. Support & cooperation with friends will be there. Weekend will be passed with get to gather of friends. Your children will be more inclined towards sports & will get recognition in sports & cultural activities. There will be need to show some emotions towards your spouse, as you became lazy to show your emotions from past few days. You are emotional by nature but some times either you forget or don’t know how to show emotions.

Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan

Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Use your creative plans to make changes in your professional life. If you want to make long term plans, make sure you share them with those who will be affected. They’ll appreciate your consideration. Ask direct questions if you have any doubts. Give yourself some room to breathe. Don’t commit to too many new projects. Time limits will deter you from success. Focus on your priorities. Don’t allow your emotions to make decisions for you. It may cause trouble to control your actions or re-actions.

It will be time to stop thinking & take actions in practical way. You will be thinking positive, to take care of your siblings & family members but thinking too much will give you only stress, so stop thinking too much. Talk in smart way with children about their education or else it may create wrong message. Differences with partner or collogue will arise but just ignore it for few days & it will be back to normal. Travel related expense is visible, also some spending for good work or helping family member will also be need of time.

Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb

Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Avoid difficulties, by being more open with your gentleness. Investigate new possibilities in matters of business & trade. Look past the present & you’ll be able to visualize future prospects. Express your true feelings, if you deal with little problems, they won’t compound. Set your goals & focus on them full force. Dispute with bother may arise but with proper communication & care it will be avoided. Work related over commitment will create stress for you & it will create pressure from higher authorities.

Sudden monetary benefit will be visible that will add to your self confidence. Luck will favor you but if you are dealing with property, you may have to face some delays. Your mother will demand your attention either due to health or emotions. Weekend will be planned with family gathering & emotional feelings. New partnership offer should be avoided at this time, as it may not be fruitful. Driving will demand some precautions, speeding should be avoided.

Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March

Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Some blessings will work for you. Many opportunities will be visible on horizon, it will be time to choose from many favorable options. Objectivity is needed for you to make the best decision. The better choice should become very clear to you. Much to your surprise, your efforts will be rewarded. Realize your potential. Think Big. Take action. Confrontation with spouse should be avoided or it will drain your positive energy, try to create loving atmosphere at home. Old investment will be gainful at this time.

BD

Care full approach is advised for your health, mental & physical both. Don’t loose your patience. Outspoken wordings or careless remark could get you into trouble with others, so watch what you say. Involvement in Sports activities will give you cheers & happiness, but proper care should be taken during sports for not getting injury. Do not borrow money to someone this week, as it may not come back. New Ideas related to your work will keep you extra busy during weekdays. Your spouse may have to make short trip to visit family members. Positive emotions will promote healing.

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VOICE OF ASIA 23

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FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

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I need a loving home

It’s tough to have a manager who can’t make a decision. Without direction, you may not know what your boss expects or how best to push a project forward. You can help the situation by acting as a sounding board for your boss. Help your boss weigh the pros and cons of various actions. Ask sharp questions, provide relevant data, and offer your personal perspective. If your boss is still unsure, try taking charge. For example, if you’re eager for them to make a strategy decision, say: “There are several ways to address this. Can I try one and report back with my progress?” Even if these tactics work, keep in mind that an indecisive boss is likely to be seen as ineffective, which is ultimately bad for both your reputations. It’s wise to cultivate mentors in other parts of the organization, too. You need people who have your back. Source: www.hbr.org

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DIASPORA

VOICE OF ASIA 24

NRIs in US hails cabinet decision to extend proxy voting by Lalit K Jha ASHINGTON, Aug 8 (PTI) The large non-resident Indian community in the US has welcomed the recent decision of the Union Cabinet to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians.

W

“We welcome this move,” Thomas Abraham, chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) said. Still an Indian citizen, despite having obtained a green card for more than four decades now, Abraham said the decision of the Indian government in this regard is a dream come true for people like him and many others. The Election Commission of India (EC) estimates that there are about 16 million Indian citizens living outside of which about 70 per cent are eligible to vote. While the significant portion of them are in the Middle east, in the US the estimate range from 800,000 to 1.5 million. An overwhelming majority of them are young, either university students or those on H-1B visas. “This is a very good move. But I have to figure it out, what is the process,” said Sanjay Singh, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Pak Campus, which is in one of the suburbs of Washington DC. Having come to know about it through online and social media, Singh was of the view that this move would be put to best use only if NRIs are allowed online voting. “This is not the case right now,” said E M Stephen, found-

Book review Continued from page 20 These are character-driven tales, avoiding explicit social commentary, but the reader may find that, as they are drawn into the protagonists’ minds, the world cracks open in unexpected ways. If there is a literary map of Shillong and Bangalore to be found in Hasan’s fiction, it’s not a map that lets you know precisely where you are, because nobody in these cities has that luxury. There are a few lurking dragons on this map: shifting boundaries and variable place names, with perhaps an abyss or two for unsteady feet. A pervasive disquiet reigns, without easy solutions. In The Cosmopolitans, Qayenaat remembers her engineer father, part of the postindependence nation-building generation, watching the news on television and saying simply, “Something seems to have gone wrong somewhere.” “Nations are great empty abstractions before they are filled up with stories,” British-Indian essayist and novelist Rana Dasgupta wrote in 2010. In Dasgupta’s estimation, novels don’t just reflect a nation’s reality; they also create that reality, giving structure to a shifting landscape. That task of tracing the new shapes of a nation through words is a vital one in India right now, as the country whittles down its acceptable range of stories. Media censorship is on the rise, while writers are murdered for promoting rationalist thought, academic papers excised from curricula for recording alternate tellings of religious stories, and the ambiguities of historical research lose out against the comforting certainties of mythical dogma. I thought I knew New York City the first time I visited it, because pop culture had covered the place so thoroughly. The fact is, I didn’t know the place at all. But I had to let the firm bounds of my fictional maps unravel in order to accept that. Fiction has the ability to map out the world into neatly digestible parts, sketching solid lines where none exist. It is far harder to map uncertainty, to give a literary guide to complexity and doubt. But fiction also has that power: to open windows onto a multilayered world, brimming with more questions than answers. Stories that manage to do so, like Hasan’s, have a way of sticking in the mind. These stories bear witness, with eyes wide open, to the beauty and contradiction of a dark, changing world. (The Cosmopolitans is available from online booksellers)

er president of Kerala Center in New York. “There is a very high chance of proxy voting being misused. It could be up for sake too,” said Stephen, who has retained his Indian citizenship despite being a green card holder for more than four decades now. Senior Election Commission of India recently interacted with eminent Indian American community leaders in New York and Washington. Officials present in the meeting said the feedback was very positive, but many of them did had questions on the process. The delegation was led by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha and Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena. Participants in these meetings welcomed the effort from EC and agreed to publicise and reach out to the Indian citizens to register for voting, GOPIO said in a statement. Notably GOPIO had passed a resolution in this regard way back in 1989. Community leaders like Stephen favoured in person voting at Indian diplomatic missions

Indian scientist creates Twitter account to track moped gangs

abroad, so as to prevent misuse of proxy voting. However, election commission officials noted that such a move could have logistical problem. But they assured Indian Americans that they would discuss their feedback and concerns with their senior leadership.

ONDON, PTI - An Indian-origin data scientist, who was a victim of a growing number of moped-riding thieves in London, has taken to social media to track the gangs operating on the streets of the British capital.

“We would prefer direct voting, instead of proxy voting. We think, we can find ways to have secure voting process through IT. This is possible,” Abraham asserted ruing that absence of a process for the NRIs to vote is violation of constitutional rights of those Indian citizens living overseas.

Dr Hira Virdee has launched a new Twitter account - @ MopedSpotted - after his mobile phone was grabbed by a moped gang while walking in Lincoln’s Inn Fields area of central London last month.

Many present at these meetings also voiced their opinion that Overseas Citizen of Indian (OCI) should be upgraded to Dual nationality. GOPIO has also suggested that a proper representation must be provided to NRIs in the Indian Parliament. “One option could be by abolishing the reserved seats for Anglo Indians since they are already well integrated settled in the Indian society and those seats are reserved for the unrepresented Indian citizens living outside India,” Abraham said.

FRIDAY, August 11, 2017

L

The 28-year-old then took a taxi to chase the four youths who were on three mopeds and also witnessed them snatch a phone from another victim nearby. While he reported the thefts to Scotland Yard, days later he received an email from the Metropolitan Police saying they were taking no further action because there were no leads. “I understand the police are overwhelmed but I doubt whether they followed up all the CCTV leads they could have. I decided if no one else was going to collect evidence then there was an opportunity

for someone else to collect information on moped crimes and suspects,” Virdee told the ‘Evening Standard’. His Twitter account asks people to report sightings of possible moped suspects so they can be tracked in real time. It is aimed at then passing on the information collected to police. Dr Virdee, who has a PhD in physics and engineering and works for a data company, says he has already tracked one suspect group in Finsbury Park, north London. “It means we can quickly identify hotspots of crime and build up a picture of where these criminals are operating. I get a lot of cab drivers reporting sightings of mopeds,” he explained. The Met Police are also planning to test a tagging spray that could link moped bandits to crime scenes. They are working out how to deploy the liquid, which leaves a chemical footprint on clothing or bikes visible under UV light. Virdee’s fight-back comes as it emerged that moped- en-

abled crime has multiplied in London, with more than 16,000 moped-related crimes being logged in the past 12 months - a threefold increase on the previous year. It is also believed that a large number of police officers are deciding not to give chase to moped criminals for fear they will not have the support of senior officers if something goes wrong. Detective Superintendent Stuart Ryan, head of the moped crime task force for the Met Police, admitted tackling offenders on motorbikes poses significant challenges for his officers. He said: “If you look at the cohort that are currently doing this crime, they are 13 to 19 year olds. The average age is about 15, and it seems to have become their crime of choice. “The reality is that with mopeds, it is a challenge for us to slow the mopeds down or stop them because of the speed they’re going.” Mobile phones are often stolen using mopeds, resulting in delayed police response because the victims have no way to report the offence quickly.

Voice of Asia Newsweekly e paper August 11 2017  

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