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info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019

The South Asian Times
e x c e l l e n c e i n j o u r n a l i s m
Vol.11 No. 36 January 5-18, 2019 80 Cents New York Edition Follow us on TheSouthAsianTimes.info

White House mulls Navika is

using disaster
The South Modi govt gets
Asian Times
relief funds for wall
Trump went to the
of Year 2018
upper caste
Rio Grande in Texas
Thursday to make
his point about
crisis at the border
even as over
quota passed
800,000 federal
Getting Parliament to pass
workers are set to
miss their
the Constitution
paychecks Friday amendment bill
because of govern‑
ment shutdown. instituting 10%
(Photo courtesy AP)
reservation for
Washington: Even as President relief to build a border wall with
Trump has invoked declaring Mexico. That's according to a con‑
Naveen Shah,
Navika President & CEO
national emergency to sidestep
Congress to get funds for the bor‑
gressional aide familiar with the
matter who was not authorized to New York: The South Asian Times
weaker sections
der wall, the latest news is that speak publicly, media reports say. has announced Navika Group of in the upper
White House has directed the The aide said $13.9 billion has Companies as its Organization of
Army Corps of Engineers to look at been allocated but not yet obligat‑ the Year 2018 for their vision, castes is
leadership, philanthropy and
using emergency funds that
Congress approved for disaster
ed through contracts for a variety
becoming an inspiration for the
considered a
Continued on page 6
Indian community. masterstroke
Navika is not only a successful

Actors, filmmakers Commercial Real Estate and

Continued on page 6
by PM Modi.
New Delhi: Ahead of the Lok Sabha thirds of those present voting in

meet PM Modi Kamala Harris

elections, Indian Parliament on
Wednesday passed a landmark
Constitution amendment bill pro‑
favor of it.
The AIADMK, which is friendly
with the BJP, staged a walkout
to announce viding for 10 per cent reservation opposing the Bill with its member
to upper castes in government A. Navaneethakrishnan saying it
White House jobs and higher educational insti‑ violated the basic structure of the

run on Jan 21
tutions, with the Rajya Sabha vot‑ Constitution.
ing it late in the night. Rejecting the opposition criti‑
Washington: Senator Kamala The bill passed with broad sup‑ cism that the bill was brought late
Harris is expected to announce her port from the Congress and other in the government's tenure with
candidacy for the opposition parties despite their an eye on upper caste votes in the
White House on reservations over its constitutional coming Lok Sabha elections, Social
or after January validity and the timing in view of Justice Minister Thawarchand
21, which is the approaching elections. Gehlot said the measure had been
observed as Earlier, the House rejected an brought with good intentions and
Martin Luther amendment moved by DMK mem‑ was aimed at justice for the eco‑
King Day. Harris, ber Kanimozhi and CPI (M)'s T.K. nomically weaker sections.
New Delhi: A delegation of Thursday to discuss how the who is of mixed African American Rangarajan for referring the bill to He called the bill historic and
young Hindi film actors and entertainment industry can con‑ and Indian American heritage, had a select committee for in‑depth allayed fears that the legislation
filmmakers like Karan Johar, tribute to nation building. indicated earlier she would decide scrutiny. Several other opposition would face legal hurdles, saying
Rohit Shetty and Ashwiny Iyer Karan, who was a part of past about the run during the past holi‑ amendments were also rejected. A since it is a constitutional amend‑
Tiwari met Prime Minister industry meetings with the PM, days. Though she hasnʼt yet, she is constitutional amendment needs a ment even the Supreme Court
Narendra Modi here on Continued on page 6 widely expected to and her special majority of more than half would accept it, should there be
Continued on page 6 of the House present and two‑ Continued on page 6

4 January 5-18, 2019 L E T T E R F R O M T H E P U B L I S H E R TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Presenting Organization of the Year 2018

Year, which has become a much the views of the Navika
anticipated feature among our Letter from the Publisher investors and management
readers and the community at team, interviewed by us for the
large. There are always so Corporation, a For‑Profit cover story, is that much of the
many Indian‑Americans and Friends & Family organization credit for Navikaʼs success goes
their associations and organiza‑ whose motto ʻConventional to its Founding CEO and
tions which are scaling newer Wisdom‑Forward Thinkingʼ can President, Naveen Shah, a born
heights every year in some or be applied as a formula for suc‑ leader yet team player, indefati‑
Dear Friends, the other sphere, making the cess by all Indian Americans gable worker, problem solver,
community very proud. We con‑ and their enterprises. We who is always moving the goal
arm greetings for a gratulate and admire all those should honor and draw on our post.
beautiful & joyous who keep contributing to make roots in the Indian culture while Since its inception, The South
New Year. Hope the the community shine and at the same time adapt to the Asian Times has earned an
year 2019 brings more happi‑ humanity move forward. modern business strategies and immaculate reputation for its
ness in everyone's life. Last year we found our technologies in a fast changing excellence in journalism: value
The Team @ The South Asian Persons of the Year literally in world. based content, clean display and
Times is proud to present our our backyard, right here on It is a matter of immense quality advertising. Our unal‑
New Year Special issue. Long Island: Co‑Founders of pride for us as a leader in the tered vision has set new trends
We have successfully complet‑ Kamlesh C. Mehta South Asian print‑media to
Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and standards in South Asian
Chairman & Publisher
ed 10 years of our uninterrupt‑ Chintu and Chirag Patel. This announce and profile Navika media fraternity of America,
ed publication, which would not time around also it is the same borhood Navika made their Group of Companies as "The both in print and online.
have been possible without situation. Navika Group of presence felt by acquiring South Asian Times – We, the team at The South
your continued support. Companies is headquartered in Uniondale Marriott & Organization of the Year 2018" Asian Times, sincerely thank all
We are also proud to present Long Island and I have person‑ Huntington Hilton on Long for their vision, leadership, phi‑ our readers and supporters who
our annual feature, The South ally known the people behind Island and the beautiful lanthropy and becoming an have been integral partners in
Asian Times‑Person of the Year its spectacular success and seen Sheraton in Mahwah, New inspiration for the Indian com‑ our gracious success.
2018. This year, make it its growth from humble begin‑ Jersey, in a period of less than munity. We recognize the mag‑ Hope you enjoy the hard work
Organization of the Year. Let me nings in 2005 as a small real two years. nitude of managing so many put in by our editorial team in
elaborate a little more. estate financing company to But equally, Navika deserved marvelous and magnificent New Year Special issue.
It is truly not an easy task – what is now a hospitality giant to be our Organization of the properties and the significant
yet a proud one ‑‑ to zero down with multi billion dollars in Year 2018 because it is a success achieved by Navika in a Kamlesh C. Mehta
The South Asian Times‑ assets and more than 70 prop‑ unique showcase of becoming a short span of less than 15 years. Chairman@
Person/Organization of the erties. In our immediate neigh‑ conglomerate of Co‑operative‑ The unanimous consensus in TheSouthAsianTimes.Info

2010 2011 2012 2013

The special editions of
The South Asian Times The South Asian Times
Excellence In Journalism
The South Asian Times
e x c e l l e n c e i n j o u r n a l i s m

are much awaited by Vol. 5 | No. 37 | January 5-11, 2013 | 60 Cents

the community. We the Robin


obin Ra
tation a

aking over
ina has built
built a repu-
ass a tturnaround
urnaround a
ver Ebix Inc
Inc as CEO
rtist .
CEO at
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when it it was
was b leeding

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editions for welcoming Man of the Year

the New Year, Ed Mangano Man of the
Year 2012
Vol. 2 | No. 37 | January 2-15, 2010 | 60 Cents

Edward P. Mangano always looks cool and composed, but he has engineered
one of the biggest upsets in politics by defeating a confident incumbent in

Celebrating India Day the election for Executive of Nassau County, which in terms of importance
and budget is bigger than a dozen American states.
Robin Raina
Chairman & CEO, Ebix Inc
Founder, Robin Raina Foundation
and the Joy of Diwali. See
e e p a ges
g e s 3 a nd
n d exclusive
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h e Year.
See exclusive interview with
Robin Raina on pages 6-11.

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
6 January 5-18, 2019 TURN PAGE TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and wife Gita Gopinath takes over
divorcing after 25 years as IMF chief economist
Washington: Eminent academic and and Kristalina Georgieva, the
Seattle: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos nearly 79 million shares of former economic adviser to the Bank's CEO who will become its
and his wife, MacKenzie, are Amazon stock that Bezos owns, Kerala government, Gita interim President next
divorcing, ending a 25‑year mar‑ translating into a 16 percent Gopinath has taken over month. When Lagarde
riage that played a role in the cre‑ stake in the Seattle company. as IMFʼs chief economist announced in October
ation of an e‑commerce company The amicable tenor of the in a time of global finan‑ Gopinath's appointment
that made Bezos one of the Bezoses' divorce announcement cial uncertainty. with formal title of
world's wealthiest people. makes it highly likely that the In a sign of growing Economic Counsellor and
The decision to divorce comes couple already has reached an women power, she joins a Director of the Research
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with select group of four women who Department, she called her "one of
after a trial separation, according agreement on how to divide their
wife MacKenzie. (Photo : Reuters)
to a statement posted Wednesday assets. The divorce announce‑ will dominate the global economic the world's outstanding econo‑
on Jeff Bezos' Twitter account. during the marriage will be divid‑ ment came hours before the sphere ‑‑ her boss and IMF's mists, with impeccable academic
Left unanswered was one of the ed. Jeff Bezosʼs fortune currently National Enquirer began tweeting Managing Director Christine credentials, a proven track record
biggest sticking points in any hovers around $137 billion, virtu‑ that it planned to publish an Lagarde, World Bank's chief econo‑ of intellectual leadership, & exten‑
divorce: How the assets amassed ally all of that is tied up in the expose about the split. mist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, sive international experience".

Modi govt gets upper Sharma, welcomed the 10 per cent Navika is The South Asian industriousness and vision. today was an incredible opportuni‑
caste quota bill passed quota for the upper caste poor but Times Organization of The South Asian Timesʼ annual ty. "As a community, there is a huge
Continued from page 3 questioned its timing as it comes Year 2018 New Year issue announcing the interest to contribute to nation
any challenge. The Minister told ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Continued from page 3 Person of the Year gone by is much building. There is so much that we
the Congress party that unlike the Hospitality Enterprise with a multi awaited in the community. In the want to do. And can do and this dia‑
Narasimha Rao government which White House mulls using billion dollar asset base, it is also, to past 10 years, the weekly has fea‑ logue was towards how and what
issued a government order to disaster relief funds for wall use its founding President and CEO tured NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, ways we can do that. When the
implement a similar quota, the Continued from page 3 Naveen Jainʼs words, a unique com‑ Pramukh Swami Maharaj of BAPS, youngest country (in demography)
Modi had taken precaution by of projects in California, Florida, pany “of the community, by the Amneal Co‑Founders Chirag and joins hands with the largest movie
bringing in a statute amendment. Texas, other states and Puerto Rico, community and for the community.” Chintu Patel and Nassau County industry in the world, we hope to be
Intervening in the over eight‑ which have experienced hurricanes, Navika had humble beginnings in Executive Ed Mangano as its Person a force to reckon with. Together we
hour debate, Law and Justice wildfires or other natural disasters. 2005 and now with its corporate of the Year. In 2016 it was FIA, an would love to inspire and ignite
Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said The money funds a variety of proj‑ headquarters in Uniondale, NY, it organization instead of a personali‑ positive changes to a transforma‑
that the proposed quota would not ects, mostly flood control to prevent has in its portfolio over 40 top ty. This time again it is a company. tive India."
breach the Supreme Court's cap of future disasters. brand hotels ‑‑ including newly
50 per cent on overall reserva‑ President Donald Trumpʼs acquired trophy properties like Actors, filmmakers meet Kamala Harris to announce
tions. He said the legislation would demand for over $5 billion for the Hilton and Marriott in Long Island ‑ PM Modi White House run on Jan 21
apply to both Central and state wall/barrier along the southern ‑ with 10,000 rooms and 5,000 Continued from page 3 Continued from page 3
governments. Senior Congress border has led to the partial govern‑ employees. led the delegation which included ongoing tour to promote her new
member and an eminent lawyer, ment shutdown. The meetings he In his interview to The South marquee names like Ekta Kapoor, book, “The Truths We Hold: An
Kapil Sibal, said the bill had been has had with Democratic leaders Asian Times for the cover story in Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer American Journey”, is adding to
brought with "complete non‑appli‑ Nancy Pelosi and Chick Schumer, this New Year issue, Naveen Jain Singh, Sidharth Malhotra, the speculation. She has been
cation of mind" and raised ques‑ who oppose funding the wall but broke the news that they have Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar reportedly putting together the
tions over the constitutionality of are willing to consider other securi‑ recently launched a company Rao, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi logistics of the campaign such as
the bill and its implementation. ty measures, could not move the named Flex Point Hospitality Pednekar. After the meeting, where selecting a site for her announce‑
"If the bill is passed, the imple‑ needle on passing appropriation Solutions as an operations and the Bollywood squad clicked a ment, the headquarters and the
mentation of the reservation due bills More than 800,000 federal management arm of Navika to take group selfie with Modi, Karan wrote personnel. The San Francisco
to complexities involved and workers ̶ more than half of them it to a still higher corporate level. on Instagram: "Powerful and timely Chronicle reported Wednesday,
absence of required data with the still on the job ̶ are set to miss He is modest speaking about the conversations can bring about citing sources, that the California
government would be like demon‑ their first paycheck Friday under value he has created for the enter‑ change and this was one of what we senator could announce her run
etization." the stoppage that began Dec. 22, prise, but others in his management hope will become a regular conver‑ on MLK Day or after, but, it added,
Earlier, his party colleague and and is set to become the longest in team credit Navikaʼs success major‑ sation. Meeting the Honorable the exact date is still being worked
deputy leader in the House, Anand US history. ly to his leadership, strategies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi out.

Chairman and Co-Founder Managing Editor: Parveen Chopra Jaipur Bureau News Service
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8 January 5-18, 2019 COV E R S T O RY

I n the profile of Navika Group

of Companies on their website,
you will read that it was founded in
The Commercial Real Estate and Hospitality Enterprise has hit the $1.5 billion mark in assets. In just over 14
2005. As Commercial Real Estate years of operations, this privately owned Friends & Family company has acquired 70 properties in 26 states
and Hospitality Enterprise, yes it including trophy hotels like Marriott and Hilton on Long Island, with more than 10,000 rooms in its hotels.
started operations in that year. But
Navika had existed since 1992 as & Limited Service Hotels. There are entered into several Strategic Al- neurs together to benefit from their accomplish the mission.
a lending company. It was founded a handful of Office Buildings, Shop- liances with other Hoteliers and collective talent and experience
by three friends and first two let- ping Complexes and Recreational Hotel Management Companies and forge a premier place for itself COMMITMENT
ters from their names - NAveen Assets. The smaller properties are and tactically capitalized on lever- in the Real Estate & Hospitality In-
dustry. The earlier idea of becom- Navika is committed to fos-
ing a publicly traded REIT concern tering an entrepreneurial culture
has been dropped. where they employ the most capa-
Having withstood a test by fire ble and talented individuals, and
of a challenging economy, envi- encourage them to think indepen-
ronment and markets, Navika has dently in collaborative setting,
emerged stronger by concentrating enabling them to grow personally
on its strengths, determination and and professionally.
focus on the long term. The com-
pany has navigated an extremely DISCIPLINE
difficult and volatile climate in our
business environment thanks to its Discipline and successful ex-
expertise, motivation and creativity ecution are the cornerstone of
and by using Conventional Wisdom their acquisition strategy. “We will
and Forward Thinking. aggressively pursue acquisition in
the growing regions that offer the
potential for high revenue growth
VISION and maximize capital appreciation.
Navika’s vision is to become Regarding hospitality real estate,
a premier commercial real estate we will continue to focus on pre-
and hospitality company to gener- mium brands that appeal to broad
ate consistent returns with reduced spectrum of customers, ranging
volatility to their partners by in- from diversified corporate custom-
vesting their capital in the most ers, to leisure and group visits,”
profitable commercial real estate says Navika on its website.
and franchised hospitality assets
Navika was founded by three friends NAveen Shah, VInod Shah and KAnti Vadsola, and two letters
of their first names went into forming the company name which means ‘sailing boat’ in Hindi.
across United States of America. QUALITY ASSET
Shah, VInod Shah, KAnti Vadsola hived off as and when appropriate. age financing to maximize cash OBJECTIVE
went into the company name that The Navika Group has built a flow and capital appreciation. In Navika’s strategy is simple – To
means sailing boat in Hindi. successful track record by con- time, Navika also bought out the Navika’s objectives are to con- create significant value through in-
The mission of Navika in its cur- verting productive and sustainable partners. The Company remains sistently provide the highest pos- telligent positioning and operating
rent avatar is to acquire, own and business strategies into not only committed to its employees by fos- sible returns on capital to its part- strategies. In order to achieve this
manage income generating real providing the highest possible re- tering a work environment where ners, preserve and grow partner’s goal, they analyze each property in-
estate across the United States. The turns on partners’ capital, but also employees are encouraged to think capital, and enhance earnings by dividually in order to create value
Company seeks to provide consis- preserving & growing their invest- independently and collaboratively implementing dynamic, produc- from its unique attributes within
tent returns to its partners and en- ments in the Company. The Compa- and are motivated to accomplish tive and sustainable business specific parameters. Working with
hance their capital base. Over the ny remains committed to building the mission of Navika. strategies. Navika also stresses their management and operation
years, with expreicne they found and fostering long lasting relation- Navika offers full and uncondi- the importance of building qual- team, they strive to develop opti-
that hospitality business brings ships based on integrity and re- tional ownership to its partners in ity relationships based on integri- mal business mix for each proper-
better returns, so eventually that spect through the strength of its accordance with their capital con- ty, responsibility and respect, and ty, while constantly adapting to the
became the 100% focus. Their port- partners and its strategic alliances. tribution in the Company. Navika create a work environment where change in this economic environ-
folio today consists of over 40 Full The Company also successfully aims to bring successful entrepre- team members are motivated to ment to enhance revenue growth
and flow of funds from operation.

People who give a million or more are inducted into the Executive Board, the decision making body of Navika.
COV E R S T O RY January 5-18, 2019 9

ka to reap rewards through higher can lead to increased costs and

sale proceeds upon disposition. reduced guest and tenants’ satis-
faction, and endorsing relation- NAVIKA’S JOURNEY
ships to reduce purchasing costs
and improve quality.” IN ITS CEO’S OWN
Navika claims it constantly AND VALUE
Navika’s management and op-
erations team has gained valuable WORDS
strives to develop more efficient ADDITION experience working in the eco- yet conducted in a family
ways to operate their properties nomic challenges and financial atmosphere.
and hotels whatever the economic Whether Navika is acquir- crises. It has now crafted an excel- • An intense desire to com-

climate is; then work to deploy ing new properties or enhanc- lent blueprint to build a larger or- pete and win, balanced with
these cost saving initiatives on ing existing ones, the goal, they ganization and developed strate- respect and understanding
a system wide basis. Ultimately, say, will remain to drive revenue gies using “Conventional Wisdom for all stakeholders.
the successful execution of these growth and create long term and Forward Thinking.”
strategies will maximize the perfor- value: “We look to reinvest intel- When I look at our company,
mance of the properties and hotels ligently in our assets, eliminat- continues on page 10 I see a well-established organiza-
which will then likely position Navi- ing deferred maintenance that tion made up of what I believe
to be the best group of profes-
sionals in the business. I see
By Naveen Shah individuals who, not content to

N avika was founded in 2005 rest on past accomplishments,

with a vision to invest in constantly challenge themselves
premier commercial real estate and their colleagues to find in-
and hospitality assets. The group novative ways to create value,
currently owns premier proper- increase efficiency and provide
ties in diversified geographical the highest level of service to
locations, with a mix of limited our guests and partners.
and select service hotels, office We are committed to uphold-
buildings, shopping centers, ing the Navika standard and our
multi-family housing and a golf guiding principles that help us
coruse. Envisaging greater asset achieve it. With the best prac-
growth and profitability from tices of our organization and the
investments in the hospitality best efforts of all our employees,
sector, the group strategically we continually strive to be the
changed direction and has decid- premier commercial real estate &
ed to focus more on investments hospitality company in business.
in upscale hospitality assets. We continue to think entre-
When Navika was founded, preneurially so that we can take
our goal was to create an organi- advantage of opportunities avail-
zation and environment with a vi- able in the industry to meet our
sion to concentrate on the things fiscal priorities and extend our
that matter – meeting the finan- resources to help our partners
cial expectations of partners, op- and businesses achieve theirs.
erating hotels with an emphasis Like any business, we have our
on unparalleled guest service, challenges and concerns. Growth
driving revenue and building a of performing assets and requisite
professional team. In the short capital concerns are matters that

Trophy Properties
time that the Navika Group has we’ve anticipated and planned
Navika acquired Marriott in Uniondale next to the Nassau Coliseum, for. We are looking to do more
been in business, we have built
and Hilton Long Island in Huntington, NY, within a period of two years, creating
real value for our partners and than hold our own however; we
waves in the community and hospitality market.
team members. We have built a are working to make the Navika
culture with a team spirit while Group the country’s preeminent
building our professional careers. hospitality enterprise.
With our strategic focus and I am excited about the op-
our valuable partners, we are able portunities that lie before us. The
to implement and accomplish Americas region has now passed
what really works for each hotel. the Asia Pacific as the most highly
Be it selecting and negotiating rated region for hotel investment.
with the right brand partners, Hotel operating fundamentals
hiring and empowering talented across the Americas have exhib-
professionals or providing expert ited a steady and increasing rate
support when needed to our ho- of growth. There is significant de-
tels, we strive to be a “truly differ- mand among private equity funds,
ent” hospitality company. Our par- real estate investment trusts, in-
ticular size and vision has created stitutional investors and off-shore
an environment that allows suc- investors to make investments in
cessful hotel teams to concentrate hospitality assets.
on the things that matter: We have plans to expand our
reach and continue to invest in
Upscale Hospitality Assets in the
THREEFOLD future. We are seeking out op-
VALUES portunities, partners and places
where we can make an impact. We
I believe that the values of the look forward to further strength-
Navika Group are threefold: ening our business relationships,
• An aggressive and proac- both with our partners and our
tive management style, ex- team of dedicated employees. To-
pressed with sensitivity and gether, with our best efforts put
integrity in all we do. forth, we hope to see our com-
• A commitment to the high- pany accelerate profitability and
est professional standards, asset growth in the coming years.
10 January 5-18, 2019 COV E R S T O RY


in the intelligence, talents, skills From mixed commercial real estate, Navika has shifted to hospitality.
continued from page 9 and foresight of their team mem-
bers. They believe that the company
Recently it has floated Flex Point Hospitality Solutions as an in-house

N avika’s is mission is to acquire,

own and manage upscale com-
mercial real estate properties and
operates best in an entrepreneurial
environment. They strive to em-
power their people to make timely
operations and management arm.

branded hospitality franchises in and responsible decisions and to

metropolitan regions to maximize take actions necessary to achieve
return on Partners‘ capital, gen- exceptional operating results.
erate consistent cash flow which
continues to enhance enterprise COLLABORATION
value and increase in tangible net
worth of the Company. Navika says it values individ-
ual differences in style, perspec-
OBJECTIVES tives and background, and values
independent thinking and talent,
Navika’s objectives are to con- adding, “Yet we believe that in-
sistently provide the highest pos- dividual contributions made in
sible returns on capital to its part- a collaborative setting are most
ners, protect and grow partners effective. We cooperate and col-
capital, and enhance earnings by: laborate within and across work-
implementing dynamic, productive groups and teams, and share our
and sustainable business strategies; successes and failures. We are de-
building quality relationships based pendable and reliable and share
on integrity, responsibility and the workload. We communicate
respect; and creating a work envi- and share information openly and
ronment where team members are candidly with each other.”
valued and our mission is fulfilled.
VALUES Owned by Navika, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Front Royal, Virginia came with a golf course.

INTEGRITY Navika believes in continuous

improvement, encouraging their
Navika claims to exemplify the people to think innovatively and
highest standards of personal and respond dynamically. Says its
professional ethics in all aspects management: “We provide supe-
of their business. “We believe in rior training and resources, and
being open, honest and trustwor- encourage our people to grow
thy, and in taking responsibility both professionally and person-
for our actions. We are commit- ally. We demand high standards
ted to higher standards to follow from ourselves, challenging us to
corporate governance and ethics,” reach our potential in common
says the company website. ways with uncommon means.”

Navika’s promise: “We treat Navika tries to recruit and re-
others as we desire to be treated. tain exceptional people with high
We respect the dignity of each in- levels of skill, education, and ex-
dividual, whether a Navika team perience. Motivated and ambitious
member, partner, colleague, or individuals are valued who work
member of the community. We efficiently and productively to help
behave professionally and re- the company fulfill its mission.
sponsibly. We value diversity and Sheraton Mahwah, NY in a picturesque setting is another prestigious property Navika acquired in 2017.
support an environment where TEAM MEMBER
people of different backgrounds PROMISE
can reach their fullest potential
with equal access to opportuni- For Navika, team members
ties. We embrace a corporate cul- are the heart of the organization.
ture where work and personal life They say they are committed to
are balanced.” fostering an entrepreneurial cul-
ture where “we employ the most
LOYALTY capable and talented individuals
and encourage them to think in-
Navika’s credo: “We appreci- dependently in a collaborative set-
ate those who show loyalty to us, ting, enabling them to grow both
and we promise loyalty to them personally and professionally.
in return. We recognize and re- Navika embraces a work environ-
ward individual contributions and ment where our values are lived,
achievements. We deliver on our life balance is encouraged, indi-
commitments, and commit our- vidual aspirations are achieved,
selves to acting in the best interests and our mission is fulfilled.”
of our partners, Navika team mem- With the experiences of learn-
bers, colleagues, and community. ing through the challenges in busi-
ness and professional life, the part-
ENTREPRE- ners have crafted a roadmap for a
NEURSHIP consistent growth plan and devel-
oped strategies using “Convention-
Navika works with confidence al Wisdom. Forward Thinking”. DoubleTree by Hilton in Greenway Plaza, Houston acquired by Navika.
12 January 5-18, 2019 COV E R S T O RY

By Parveen Chopra
Majorly responsible for leading Navika to become a well-managed, premier commercial real estate and hospitality enter-
A s Navika’s President and CEO,
Naveen Shah is involved in all
areas of the business operation with
prise, its founding CEO and President Naveen Shah wishes to share credits with his founding team, operations team and
growth team. More importantly, he call this unique company ‘of the community, for the community and by the community’.
a particular emphasis on strategic
planning, capital transactions, as- Naveen Shah with his core management team (from left) Amarish Kachhy,
set management, and acquisitions. Dr Shital Sheth, Vinod Shah, Kanti Vadsola, and Chandrakant Trivedi.
He is one of the three founders of
Navika. According to others in his
top management team interviewed
by The South Asian Times, Shah
is the architect and engine of the
spectacular success of Navika, mak-
ing it a premier commercial real es-
tate and hospitality giant. Bringing
together a class management and
operations team, he has immensely
built the enterprise value of Navika.
All achieved with the company’s
founding values of ethics, vision,
integrity and commitment.
His three decade long experi-
ence of working in commercial
real estate, in accounting, financial
reporting, business consulting,
management advisory, and tax ser-
vices all came in handy in his role
at the helm, but it is equally his vi-
sion, industriousness, and leader-
ship that played a role.
Naveen Shah came to America
from India in 1982 with a degree as Organization of the Year 2018 in captain of this sailing boat named ton TX, and Indianapolis.
in accountancy and started his The South Asian Times’ New Year Navika successfully navigating the Naveen Shah: Navika Capital Group Which are the major brand
own CPA company and has not Special, Naveen Shah gave this ex- high seas of hospitality. How is the sole owner but every prop- properties in your portfolio?
looked back since. He is very ac- clusive interview to the weekly’s do you see it yourself? erty has its own entity. There are
tive in the Indian community. Managing Editor, Parveen Chopra, over 100 such entities. We want Naveen Shah: Hilton, Marriott
Co-founder of RANA (Rajasthan in Navika’s Uniondale, Long Island Naveen Shah, Navika’s founding to keep profit and loss of each (Sheraton is part of Marriott) and
Association of North America), office last week. Excerpts from the President and CEO: Navika has property separate that way. Intercontinental (of which Holi-
he was its President in 2015. He interview: been built up over time with intel- day Inn is a part). We also have
is married to Rajshree and they lectual and financial capital, which To run Navika like a well-oiled Choice Hotels and the Wyndham
have two daughters and one son, The South Asian Times: Navika are the two components of capital. corporation, you have set up brand. We are franchisees. We
named Anjali, Aashna and Arpit. investors and the top guys in your Intellectual capital came from the a new company... own, run and manage the proper-
In connection with Navika management team we have spoken operations team. Financial capital ties. We had alliances with other
Group of Companies being featured to all say that you are the worthy came from the founding members Naveen Shah: Yes, and we all are hotel groups before, but along the
team. The founding team is the one very excited about this big, new way we have bought them out.
that broke the ground, and created development four months ago.
the foundation for the building. We have brought all our manage- How do you envision the future
And then the growth team came ment in-house in a management growth path of Navika?
along to help the company to grow. company, creating a wholly owned
subsidiary in the name of Flex Naveen Shah: We want to contin-
Where is the company currently at? Point Hospitality Solutions. Based ue to grow our company with the
in Washington DC, Flex is the man- business model we have created
Naveen Shah: We have over 70 agement and operation arm of historically, to continue to grow
assets in 26 states, with 10,000 Navika. Our objective is to manage our business in hospitality indus-
rooms. Besides New York and New and consolidate our management try by adding full service, qual-
Jersey we have a strong presence and operations not just with re- ity assets throughout the nation,
in Virginia, Texas, Georgia and spect to the properties of Navika, wherever we find opportunities,
California. We have 5,000 em- but also expand into third party and we have capital. We will con-
ployees at last count. management. Flex satellite offices tinue to grow our company with
are in prominent regions where full service branded hotels every-
Your asset base grew from $1 our properties are based. where in all regions of US—where
billion to $1.5 billion over two we have been there and where
years, what is the next target? Tell us more about your operations. we have not been there so far. In
short, continue to expand. And
Naveen Shah: We have targeted to Naveen Shah: Our corporate of- continue to build a role model of
reach $2 billion by the end of this fice is in New York (Uniondale, an enterprise in the society.
year. Long Island) and now our central
management office is in Washing- Any plans to go public?
Navika is a group of ton DC. And we have satellite of-
companies, namely? fices including in Atlanta, Arling- Naveen Shah: No, we want to re-
main private. We will continue
to raise capital from friends and
family, as we have been doing for
“A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A DEADLINE.” last 14 years and leverage that
--Naveen Shah, an inspirational leader and consummate CEO. capital to build up performing
COV E R S T O RY January 5-18, 2019 13

Naveen Shah: All investors are

equally important to us. I value my
two co-founders (Vinod Shah and
Kanti Vadsola) and our early team
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW like Dr Shital Sheth who brought
up the company in the early years
By Parveen Chopra as much as those who have come
to invest 10 million in recent years.
assets in the hospitality industry.
And to drive the value and cash How is your move from
flow for our partners and that is mixed commercial real estate
basically what our future aim is. to hospitality faring?

So how do you attract investors? Naveen Shah: Very, very well. Go-
ing forward, it is going to be 100
Naveen Shah: No, we cannot at- percent hospitality.
tract investors, we are a privately
owned company. SEC (US Securi- How did you weather the
ties and Exchange Commission) market crash of 2008?
laws say if you go to the open mar-
ket you are considered a deemed Naveen Shah: We took the down- Naveen Shah and his wife Rajshree Shah receiving the prestigious Bharat Gaurav honor bestowed
public company. Then you have turn as an opportunity. We con- by the Yuva Sanskriti Sansthan, Jaipur, presented by founder Pandit Suresh Mishra and then Indian
to do full blown registration with tinued to acquire the assets in the National Commission for Women Chair Mamta Sharma at a gala event in New Jersey in 2012.
SEC. We are not going the REIT down time. Then the company re-
(real estate investment trust) way. ally took off in 2010-2012.
Our capital comes from friends and
family who are accredited with us Tell us some of Navika’s achieve-
and with known relationship. We ments under your leadership?
cannot go in the open market and
seek capital from strangers. What Naveen Shah: We have created a
we do is accredited investors meet- substantial assets and capital base,
ings. If somebody we know offers expanded geographical presence to
to invest, they have to have a cer- diversify risk, no mortgage defaults
tain range of assets, only then we and met all operating expenses
accept. Minimum investment is from operating cash flow. We have
one million dollars now. also considerably enhanced the
value of the partners’ capital in a
What return do you promise relatively short span of time.
– 6%, 8% to investors?
Your trophy properties?
Naveen Shah: No, we do not prom-
ise a fixed percentage. But histori- Naveen Shah: Marriott in Union-
cally we have continuously been dale (which is across the road from
distributing cash flow back to the our office) next to Nassau Coli-
partners to meet their expectations. seum, Hilton in Huntington, and
We plan and promise to maintain Sheraton in Mahwah, New Jersey.
that history. If we say 6, or 8 or 9 %
then it becomes a dividend. We are Why would the existing owners of ultimately the brand has to accept ity industry. We have the highest bodies. To name a few of those:
not a dividend based company. a Marriott or a Hilton sell to you? you. That is the most critical fac- credit rating. We have never de- AIA (Association of Indians in
tor. Maybe they could not find a faulted on our obligation to the America), IALI (Indian Association
Is the returns to investors Naveen Shah: Well, we continue buyer accepted by the brand. lender and/or third party. The of Long island), Rajasthan Asso-
a rising graph? to develop relationships and make most important thing, we would ciation of North America (RANA),
a compelling case that we are the Your reputation by now has a not have been able to grow our BAPS, Akshaya Patra, BAPS and
Naveen Shah: No, it is stable. We right owner. In the case of Marriot seal of approval from all sides. company unless we maintained some temples. We also continue
believe in consistency. Not volatil- and Hilton in Long island, our ar- the highest level of reputation in to promote social, charitable and
ity, by giving a high return in one gument was that we are local. Also, Naveen Shah: Yes, historically we the hospitality industry as well as welfare activities by being spon-
year and low in another. we matched their expectations on have proven that to the brands, in the lending community. Because sors of major events in the tristate
price. It is a combination of many the community and in the busi- we leverage our capital. Banks area, like of Nargis Dutt Memorial
Who are your biggest investors? factors not just the price, because ness community, in the hospital- and financial institutions are the Cancer Foundation (NDMF) etc.
backbone of the growth of Navika. Our upcoming contribution in a
major way is going to be RANA’s
You call Navika a for-profit commu- Global Convention this July 4
nity organization. How does it con- weekend at the Marriott, Union-
tribute to social, charitable and phil- dale. We have also contributed
anthropic causes in the community? to promote cultural values and
heritage of different regions of In-
Naveen Shah: To borrow from the dia, for example, to the Rajasthan
definition of democracy by Abra- Mahotsav in 2015. We continue
ham Lincoln, Navika is of the com- to promote cultural and religious
munity, for the community and by values in the community. As an or-
the community. So, contribution ganization we are not married to
to the community is, of course any one religion but relate to the
fundamental to our company. We religious values. We continue to
create value to the community by spread the value of spirituality by
hiring talent from the community. hosting religious events and plan
By also giving contributions to to have another big religious event
various community organizations. in 2020: Mahalaxmi Pujan. In the
Some small and others large con- past we have had hosted Saraswa-
tributions. We have already given ti Pujan (the goddess of learning)
Family values: Naveen Shah with his wife Rajshree, to over 100 organizations, which with 1008 couples and Padmavati
and their daughters Anjali and Aashna & son Arpit. work for social, charitable and Pujan (goddess of spiritual power)
welfare causes as well as religious with 108 couples in 2007.
14 January 5-18, 2019 COVER STORY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Our CEO is a one-man army dealing

H with 360 degree of operations
aridas Kotahwala is respon‑
sible for overseeing corpo‑
rate matters and presides
over all the board meetings. He is a
very well‑known jeweler in New
York and successful business entre‑
preneur in the community. He has
-Haridas Kotahwala, Navika Chairman
experience in managing commer‑
cial real estate business of over 40
years as well as a pioneer and
founding member of Indian Dia‑
mond & Color Stone Association.
Very active in the community, he is
President of Rajasthan Association
of North America (RANA).
The South Asian Times caught up
with him when he was away in In‑
dia for this interview.
The South Asian Times: As Chair‑
man what exactly is your role at
Haridas Kotahwala: I do not par‑
ticipate in day‑to‑day operations of
Navika but am actively involved in
Board meetings and proceedings. I
try my best to make myself always
available when and where Navika
needs my presence. As Chairman, I Navika Group Chairman Haridas Kotahwala, seen with his wife Sharda Kotahwala at his side, speaking at a community event.
personally pledge to adhere to the A prominent jeweler, he is the current President of RANA. (Right) Haridas Kotahwala heartily commends
highest standards of integrity and Navika CEO‑President Naveen Shah for what he has achieved for Navika.
the principles on which Navika was Haridas Kotahwala: Not only me ough due diligence, conservative as we see it today. munity, socially, or by way of phi‑
founded. and my family, in my knowledge approach with risk‑free mindset, What would you want Navika to lanthropy?
When did you take over this re‑ and view, all investors are very hap‑ and astute financial planning. do differently? How do you see its Haridas Kotahwala: Navika has
sponsibility at Navika? py and utterly satisfied with the How much credit for Navikaʼs future? always shared tis success with the
Haridas Kotahwala: Navika was growth and overall success of Navi‑ success goes to its CEO/President, Haridas Kotahwala: Navika has community; they have generously
started with a few very prominent ka. They are proud to be share‑ Naveen Shah? successfully moved into large prop‑ supported almost all Indian Ameri‑
people and we started with acquir‑ holders and to be part of this pres‑ Haridas Kotahwala: The Found‑ erties serving the hospitality indus‑ can community organizations.
ing a couple of hotels. I am part of tigious company. ing President and CEO Naveen Shah try. We are moving towards sharing Their continuous support to RANA,
Navika since its inception, joined as That Navika is being recognized is the architect of Navika's phenom‑ the management skills to manage BAPS, AIA, IALI, Akshaya Patra etc
a member and Director. And soon I as "Organization of the Year" by an enal success. He is the one who at‑ and operate third party properties. is well known in the community.
was appointed Chairman by the acclaimed newspaper like The tracts the investors, finds the prop‑ The outlook for hospitality industry Anything else you want to add
Board of Directors of Navika be‑ South Asian Times speaks volumes erties, deals with the institutions continues to be positive for the Haridas Kotahwala: I wish all the
cause of my seniority. about its success and standing. and seamlessly runs the manage‑ coming years and we plan to con‑ readers of The South Asian Times a
Have your family members also What is the secret of success of ment. He is a one‑man army dealing tinue to invest in productive and very happy New Year. Warm con‑
invested in Navika? Navika? with 360 degree of operations. He performing assets and increase its gratulations to Mr. Kamlesh C.
Haridas Kotahwala: Since 2005 Haridas Kotahwala: Convention‑ has succeeded in creating a trans‑ enterprise value. The future of Mehta and Parveen Chopra for
my family is part of Navika, and we al Wisdom and Forward Thinking is parent organization, and assuring Navika is bright and success will be serving the community with such a
are part of a large group of proud our motto. Other factors which are safety for every dollar of investors. sustainable forever. clean and informative newspaper.
investors in Navika. the key to Navikaʼs success include: He is dynamic, inspiring, and a well‑ Navika calls itself a community Thank you for selecting Navika as
How satisfied are you with the Unity and trust in the core manage‑ balanced human being. Without organization, albeit for‑profit. In The South Asian Times‑Organiza‑
growth and success of Navika? ment team by the partners. Thor‑ Naveen Shah, there won't be Navika which ways has it helped the com‑ tion of the Year 2018.

We have given consistent David Fincannon, CHA

Executive Vice President,
Navika Capital Group
returns to investors
avid Fincannon joined Navika in
2016. He is a seasoned profes‑

-Narsinh Desai sional

with over 25 years
of experience in
the board meetings. When asked how he plaints, if any, his confident response: “So
the hospitality in‑
sees his role and responsibility at Navika, far we have given consistent returns. We do
dustry. Before
he replies: “To oversee operations, review not leverage high, we keep expenses down
Navika, he worked
new deals and support for better deals.” and are always trying to make improve‑
for the Dow Hotel
He foresees the groupʼs growth trajecto‑ ment in every aspect of our functioning.”
Company as re‑
ry continuing to go upward. Because, he From experience he says, “Hard work, con‑
gional vice presi‑
says: “Now we have a solid base, our own stant focus, unity and patience always pay
dent and was responsible for overseeing
management company (Flex Point Hospi‑ off.”
the operational performance and growth
tality Solutions) and good credit.” The South Asian Times declaring Navika
of Hilton Long Island in Huntington, the
What has been the secret of success of group as the Organization of the Year 2018
same trophy hotel now acquired by Navi‑
Narsinh Desai, Co‑Chairman, Navika Navika? His terse reply: “Stay together in a “Is wonderful, a matter of pride for us”, De‑
ka. He has served in the US army, earn‑

financial crisis like in 2008‑2011 and take sai says.
arsinh Desai has been Navika Co ing , earning an Army Commendation
advantage of the downturn.” A resident of New Jersey, Narsinh Desai is
Chairman and Executive Board Medal, and holds an A.S. in Business
He confirms that he is a major investor in a highly respected and very successful busi‑
member for 14 years and is a ma‑ management from Monterey Peninsula
Navika. When asked how secure are re‑ ness entrepreneur. He has over 25 years of
jor investor. He is responsible for oversee‑ College and is a Certified Hospitality
turns of investors or their investments and experience in Real Estate and Pharmaceu‑
ing corporate matters and presides over all Accountant (CHA) Executive.
how does the management deal with com‑ tical Industry.
16 January 5-18, 2019 COVER STORY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

We do not play with other

inod Shah is responsible
for all the corporate legal
and secretarial matters.
He is a very successful business
entrepreneur in the community
with experience of over 30 years
people’s money -Vinod Shah
in managing real estate and phar‑ portant thing which is good about so the equity keeps adding up. any problem they sit down to‑
maceutical businesses. Navika is that those who become That means all the partners are gether, discuss and resolve it.
Vinod Shah says that as secre‑ partners in Navika are partners in also making 16 % even if they are There are 35 people on this
tary it is his job to see that all le‑ all the properties instead of in one getting 6% or so now. The rest board.”
gal formalities are completed particular property. Which on the 10% is built up in the equity of the Shah is on the management
properly. ground means if one property company. team but like others who have
One of the original three runs into losses, they donʼt lose The secret of success of Navika their own individual businesses is
founders (the VI in NA‑VI‑KA), their money.” he puts down to these factors: uni‑ not part of the day to day opera‑
Shah says why people like Navika When pointed out that some ty among partners and the man‑ tions, he clarifies, adding, “But we
is “because we work with our own real estate companies are luring agement, leadership and trans‑ are the decision makers.”
money, we do not play with other investors by promising as much parency. In leadership he includes Vinod Shah runs a retail phar‑
peopleʼs money. For example, we as 20% returns, he says, “But that CEO Naveen Shah and all the Ex‑ macy in East Patchogue, Suf folk
the early investors put in our own 20% is not for all time. That may ecutive Board. He then goes on to County, and is also into manufac‑
money, and let the people see, and be temporary. At Navika, we may elaborate, “People who have in‑ turing herbal products which he
then we tell the people what we be distributing a lower return, but vested more than a million dollars says are allowed to be sold as
are doing. So people have confi‑ we have given the same consis‑ are on the Executive Board of food supplements in America.
dence in us.” tently without fail all these 14 Navika. They meet every month
Vinod Shah, Founder and
Continuing in the same vein, years.” He clarifies that Navika as or so whenever the company is
Secretary, Navika
Shah says, “The second most im‑ a company is making about 16%, buying a new property. If they see

A reserve fund gives

security to Navika
and investors
-Kanti Vadsola
anti Vadsola is re‑ erties and buy big brand‑
sponsible for the ed properties.”
corporate treasury According to Vadsola,
and banking. He is a very the secret for success of
successful business entre‑ Navika is, “We are clear
preneur in the community and open, in the sense that
with experience of over anyone can come and look
30 years in managing real at a certain portfolio, that
estate and pharmaceutical
kind of transparency we
US map showing states where
Talking about his role as
treasurer at Navika, he
Vadsola is one of the
three original founders of
Navika has sizeable presence.
says it is to find out finan‑ Navika (the KA in NA‑VI‑
cial requirements and talk KA). But he says the three
to the Executive Board founders do not necessar‑
and decide what we have ily have the highest invest‑
to do with this. ment in the company. He
When asked if the com‑ also refuses to name the
pany is cash rich, he puts highest investors in Navi‑
it like this, “The company ka. “It is hard to say who is
has cash to roll over. But the biggest investor as sit‑
yes, we have kept money Kanti Vadsola, Founder and uation changes on a daily
in a fund for the rainy day. Treasurer, Navika basis as money keeps
Rainy day like if the stock market crashes rolling.”
and everything goes down, then we can use It took a mere two years for Navikaʼs as‑
this money. Otherwise we donʼt use that sets to grow from $1 billion to $1.5 billion,
money and do not invest it either. It is be‑ he says. So, will this rate of growth hold?
cause of holding that fund for the rainy day He replies cautiously, “It depends on how
that we never face problems. This gives sta‑ the value of properties grows as it all de‑
bility and security in the company and pends on the market. Hospitality industry
peace of mind to the investors.” does well if the share market is doing well.
Talking about the figure of 1.5 billion dol‑ We did have bad years in 2008‑10. That is
lars in assets, Vadsola says that that num‑ when we survived because of the reserve
ber is always changing as “sometimes we funds we had stashed away and therefore
The major brands Navika group
buy and sometimes we are selling proper‑ did not have a problem.”
ties. Yes, once in a while we sell our small Kanti Vadsola runs a pharmacy in Lyn‑
is working with.
properties. The trend is, we sell small prop‑ brook, Nassau county.
18 January 5-18, 2019 COVER STORY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Navika promises safety, security

A and growth of investments
s Vice President, Chan‑
drakant Trivedi is involved in
all the areas along with the
CEO of Naivka, Naveen C. Shah. He is
a successful entrepreneur in the
community with experience of over -Chandrakant Trivedi
30 years in managing real estate
and pharmaceutical businesses. credit goes to him. As a vice presi‑ in the family ‑ or due to changes in
Trivedi told The South Asian Times dent my role is to communicate with business, when they need money.
that the success of any company the investor‑members and try to un‑ And their money is returned.”
mainly depends on leadership and derstand their concern and commu‑ Is it 6 percent return that in‑
in what direction we are heading for nicate to the CEO to find the right vestors get? Trivedi explains, “The
future success. Navika is in good solution and to be supportive.” returns are distributed on a quarter‑
hands having Naveen Shah as CEO On Navikaʼs secret of success, ly basis. And you do not look at 6
and President, he said. Trivedi sees Trivedi says, “Overall it is Navikaʼs percent or 8 percent as your equity
his role as direct and indirect com‑ unique promise of safety, security is getting appreciated over time.
munications and public relations and growth of investments. The CEO Look at the properties in the Navika
and reduce the load on the CEO is trying to approach the task at dif‑ portfolio which have grown tremen‑
while moving in the direction the ferent levels with different kinds of dously. So you keep focus on the
company is heading out to. people and in marketing at the same long term that there is safety, secu‑
Trivedi recalls, “When in 2005 I time ‑ and he has met with success. rity and future.”
joined Navika, Naveen bhai talked of He is not exercising his own deci‑ Trivedi informs that the a unit of
making it a billion dollar company sions all the time, but adapts in a investment in Navika is $25,000,
and see, we have already crossed timely manner when new input one can buy 20, 30 or 40 units, and
that landmark. We have 400 in‑ comes in and that has been helpful be rewarded accordingly. “When
vestors today because Naveen bhai in the success of Navika.” Besides they invest a million dollars they get
Chandrakant Trivedi, Vice President, Navika
is able to convince the people in a flexibility, transparency and clarity executive membership but all in‑
positive way and take them along They are successful business people country. We have properties in more are Navika qualities. Adds Trivedi, “I vestors are treated equally. The priv‑
when making a decision.” He talks of and very supportive in guiding than 18‑20 states right now with have not come across any complaint ilege for Executive Members is to
some other positives in the way Naveen Shah to take decisions from more than 60 small and large scale from any investor‑member. If any‑ take part in Navikaʼs decision mak‑
Navika functions: “If you have any time to time. Navika also brings val‑ properties. In 2008‑9 when there one wants out at any time, our CEO ing.” He adds that most of the Navi‑
objection you communicate with ue to the community – there is rela‑ was a disturbance in the hospitality has done the needful in a timely ka investors are successful business
Naveen Shah and he will find a solu‑ tions with the banks and venture industry (a direct result of the down‑ manner. He has never said no to people, some are in jewelry business
tion and we move forward. There is partners and general partners.” turn in the economy), Navika stood anyone so far in the last 15 years.” like Haridas Kotahwala, the Chair‑
transparency and help also comes Trivedi is all praise for Naveen its ground and even came up be‑ When asked whether investors do man, some are doctors.
from the thought process of the Shahʼs role in Navikaʼs success, “He cause of Naveen Shahʼs decisions withdraw sometimes, Trivedi Trivedi himself owns a neighbor‑
Chairman Sahib Haridas Kotahwala works 24/7 and is dedicated and then and blending of different kinds replies, “Yes, some people withdraw hood pharmacy in Islip in Suffolk
and Co Chairman Narsinh Desai. travels quite a lot all around the of properties. And so the success due to their family situations – a loss County.

AT NAVIKA WE PULL Kuods to all at Navika for

The South Asian Times honor
IN ONE DIRECTION -Dr. Anil Paulose
-Amarish Kachhy
marish Kachhy is a nʼt? Kachhyʼs response: “Some‑
member of the Execu‑ times it is difficult to work with
tive Board. He is in the some partners as different peo‑ Dr. Anil
phramacy business otherwise. ple join the group. That can Paulose,
He says his association with hold up progress of the compa‑
Navika goes back to almost the ny. So we decide to stick with
time it was started as a com‑ Navikaʼs direction. The final de‑
mercial real estate company. cision maker is the Executive
He has been friends with its Board and we meet every
founders Vinod Shah, Kanti month. The meeting used to
Vadsola and Naveen Shah. happen at the Navika office,
“When they decided to expand and now at Hilton Huntington

Navika from a lending compa‑ (which is now a Navika proper‑ r. Anil Paulose is the acquisitions over the past
ny to commercial real estate, I ty).” principal of Reliance In‑ decade is highly commendable,”
was among the first few to join Hilton Huntington and Mar‑ surance and Account‑ said Dr Paulose, adding, “Itʼs
them. We started with small riott Long Island are the two ing based in Astoria, New York, Mr. Shahʼs relentless and con‑
properties. Since then Navika most prestigious properties ac‑ for over two decades. He says scientious work ethic, his expe‑
has grown and grown and quired by Navika, states Kach‑ his affiliation with Navika start‑ rience and approach to life
grown into what it is today.” hy. Add to that Sheraton Mah‑ ed as an Investor/partner sev‑ which is to be credited for the
Kachhy says that his associa‑ wah in New Jersey as well. eral years back. “CEO Mr. success and growth of Navika.”
tion with Navika has also grown
Amarish Kachhy, The secret of Navikaʼs growth Naveen Shah who is also a close Dr Paulose congratulates all in‑
Executive Board member, Navika
over time. “From small investor in Kachhyʼs view is: “We are en‑ friend of mine continues to im‑ volved in the administration,
to as the company grew it need‑ board meeting and during the dis‑ ergetic people. We are united, we press me through his humility management and fellow in‑
ed more money and we were cussion everybody gives their donʼt pull each otherʼs leg. Rather and exceptional management vestors at Navika for this recog‑
there.” opinion and suggests the way to we pull in one direction. We take and vision for Navika. The tra‑ nition as the “Organization of
About his role at Navika, Kachhy go. And unanimously we decide on unanimous decisions with the lead‑ jectory of growth Navika has the Year 2018” by The South
says, “It is not in day‑to‑day opera‑ the right way to go.” ership of CEO Naveen Shah and achieved to become a 1.5B Asian Times and feels personal‑
tions. When something new comes What lessons have been learnt at Chairman Haridas Kotahwala. And company with its steady and ly very proud to be part of the
up, we talk about it in the executive Navika, what works and what does‑ they are good visionaries.” continuous stream of selective Navika family.
20 January 5-18, 2019 COV E R S T O RY


Degree in Mechanical Engineering plan. He is the brain behind the out these years. It reflects the tre- as a large corporation. There are
and professional engineering li- operation. We are accessories. mendous amount of trust the com- now different departments and
cense from the state of New York. And I am not just saying this be- pany has received from its investors each is responsible for a certain
He brings more than 28 years of cause he is my older brother.” because of its continued success. area of the group’s growth.
experience in engineering, business So how did Naveen Shah dream Asked about Navika’s future Naveen is a great manager and
and trading experience to Navika. up the idea of starting a commercial prospects, Shah says, “Navika is I believe that he will be able to take
He has worked with many diverse real estate company? Sunil Shah’s a very well-managed company by Navika to much greater heights in
industries and successfully run his reply: “He is a very ambitious and Naveen. His approach is multi-fac- the future. Navika is a company that
manufacturing business of plastics visionary person, always looking to eted. He is now able run Navika is here to stay for the long haul.”
and metal injection molding. Shah innovate, to grow himself out of his
is an accomplished entrepreneur current situation, and come up with
Sunil Shah with over 25 years of domestic and
international experience in strate-
great ideas. And the ideas he sees
value in, he is going to pursue.”
Executive Partner, Navika
gic planning, operations, oversight “Navika’s growth really took off

A s an Executive Partner, Sunil

Shah is heavily invested in
the growth and success of Navika.
and cost-cutting in diverse indus-
tries and has extensively traveled to
different parts of the world.
around 2010,” recalls Shah: “That
is when Naveen acquired fifteen
new properties throughout the
His company responsibilities in- Shah has been able to take his U.S. that accelerated the growth.
clude renovation work and facil- expertise to aid Navika’s continued These acquisitions helped Navika
ity upgrades to meet compliance growth. He started his new com- both from a financial and growth
standards amongst the company’s pany, Elite Hospitality Manage- perspective. As a result, he started
properties and assets. ment out of necessity while helping building good relations with all
He is actively involved with Navika Capital. Says he, “Elite’s job top industry brands like Hilton
Navika Capital group of companies is to serve Navika in all their prop- and Marriott. It enabled Navika
since its inception, and understands erty improvement needs and to to pursue a variety of name brand
the hospitality business from inside fully comply with brand standards properties. Of course, credit for
out. He takes an active part in key (Hilton, Marriot, IHG and others).” the success of Navika also goes to
decisions making process of the When asked about the secret the company’s partners. They have Navika’s founding CEO and President Naveen Shah does
company. He is responsible for over- to Navika’s success, Shah praised financially supported the company not boast about it, but others in the company’s management
seeing its PIPs and renovation work. the company’s CEO. “The secret is allowing us to have the capital to heap praise on him as the single most contributing factor
Shah’s academic and work expe- Naveen Shah. His mind and ambi- acquire these properties.” for the success of Navika, for which he has been recognized
riences make him more than quali- tion have guided the company. He Shah has continuously invested by the Indian community and business community at large.
fied for the job. He holds a Master’s is the architect of Navika’s growth his own money in Navika through-



day to day activities. I did HR when She confirms that initially Partners have contributed in their But Navika did change its busi-
the company was not very big. I did Navika used to do investor meet- own different ways. “When Navika ness strategy from mixed real es-
their website (now they have their ings, not anymore. “People who are was in the growing stages, everyone tate portfolio to hospitality. Was
own IT person). I managed a lot of coming now are coming through contributed a lot. It has been team that a conscious decision? Says Dr
things. I also did public relations. I word of mouth, through family or work and everybody has worked Sheth: “It is because hospitality has
was director of corporate affairs. friends. Navika is not going looking hard for it. People have sacrificed.” more potential and everybody has
Did the initial, small group for people. People come looking for Has Navika (meaning boat in been more focused on hospitality
of people who started Navika in us. This is because Navika has set a Hindi) stabilized enough where one now than being all over the place.
2005-6 think it will expand to the benchmark; everyone knows about can say it is smooth sailing from People realized from experience
level it has? Replies Dr Sheth, “Defi- it in the community and we are an here now and everything is in con- that we were made for hospitality,
nitely, there was a vision. It was just enterprise in which community trol? Dr Sheth replies confidently: not office buildings and the like.”
a matter of time. We knew it will members can participate. ” “It has always been under control. And that shift in focus happened
reach to that level. The goal was al- Now Dr Sheth is not doing much Naveen micromanages everything about 7-8 years ago, she adds.
ways there. It was just working to on HR front for Navika as they have and everything has always been Dr Sheth runs Fulton Pediatrics
Dr Shital Sheth achieve it. But we definitely knew their own person. But PR she still under control. There are hiccups, in Hempstead, NY and has 4 other
Adviser, Navika
we will achieve it.” manages. When asked why does of course, but not something that doctors and a staff of 20 work for

A pediatrician by profession with

her own thriving practice, Dr
Shital Sheth, an Executive Partner,
That is not the end of it. Adds
she, “Our ambitions are always
higher. So when we achieve one
Navika need PR if investors are
coming on their own, she says, “It is
to still be known in the community
goes beyond control. Problems
come, get solved and we move on.”
her, making it one of the biggest pe-
diatric practices in Nassau County.

has been associated with Navika thing, our goal goes to a second that we are the best and that we are
from the very beginning. “I was in- level. We are still trying to achieve there for the community.” Ben Koopman
volved with not the operations, but more and more.” She asserts that all the Executive President, Flex Point Hospitality Solutions

Ben Koopman is the President of Flex

Point Hospitality Solutions and serves on the
Board of Directors. He joined a year ago. Flex
Point’s nationwide portfolio include includes
full and focused service hotels with best of
class brands from Hilton, Marriott, and IHG.
Ben Koopman is a High-impact Senior
Level Hospitality Executive known as a stra-
tegic growth driver and collaborator recognized for consistently
delivering exceptional revenue, profitability, market share, em-
ployee satisfaction and guest satisfaction.

Flex Point Hospitality Solutions has recently been cre-

Navika officials and spouses at a company event. ated as the operations and management arm of Navika.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
22 January 5-18, 2019 COVER STORY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Principles & Practice

Spell Success at Navika
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
24 January 5-18, 2019 COVER STORY TheSouthAsianTimes.info


he master brain who con‑
ceived the idea and sowed
the seed of Navika has many
other feathers in his hat. As a team
Like a Diamond with Many Facets
player and leader, he is behind
many successful ventures and or‑
ganizations. A Rajasthani Jain,
Naveen Shah
speaking at
known to be a highly educated and
RANA Diwali at
business minded community, qual‑
Hilton Hotel.
ified Chartered Accountant and A RANA
Certified Public Accountant by ed‑ co‑founder, he
ucation, he has been associated has served as its
with quite a few successful com‑ President twice
munity organizations.
Navika was formed with his part‑
ners Vinod Shah and Kanti Vadso‑
la. Rajasthan Association of North
America (RANA) was initiated and
formed at his residence in 1999
with Arvind Bhandari, Kamlesh
Mehta, Krishna Mehta, Rajesh Shah
and Sunil Shah. Rajasthani Insti‑
tute of Culture and Heritage (RICH)
was also formed with him and
Haridas Kotahwala, Kamlesh
Naveen Shah with his sister Beena Kothari (left) &
Mehta, Kanak Golia and Sushil Goy‑
wife Rajshree atRajasthan Mahotsav, sponsored by RANA,
al. President, Kanak Golia as Jt. Con‑ dians in America), NDMF and celebrated in SUNY Old Westbury.
RANA is the premier organiza‑ vener and Kamlesh Mehta as Co‑ RANA for his success, service and
tion representing over 300 fami‑ Convener, RANA is again getting contributions to the community.
lies as life members in the tristate prepared to welcome over 2,500 People look to him at times of
area. Naveen has served RANA in people from all over the globe for need, when requiring help. Navika
many capacities, twice as Presi‑ a 4‑day festive event. supports some 30‑40 community
dent. During his Presidency, in Naveen is a strong and consis‑ events every year.
2016 Vasant Mahotsav was organ‑ tent supporter of many religious Naveen has also been supporting
ized at the sprawling campus of organizations, especially Jain tem‑ local politicians. He is one of the
SUNY Old Westbury attended by ples. His public events on Long Is‑ leading supporters of Congress‑
over 2,000 people. The communi‑ land of Shree Saraswati Devi poo‑ man Tom Suozzi since the year
ty still cherishes the memories of a jan with 1008 couples and Shree 2013 as well as the current Nassau
colorful procession with live band, Padmavati Devi poojan with 108 County Executive Laura Curran.
horses and elephant. couples are still fresh in the mem‑ He lives on Long Island with his
Naveen Shah is the Convener of ories of hundreds of people after wife Rajshree, two daughters and a
the Rajasthani Global Convention so many years. son. Rajshree takes care of his so‑
2019 to be held at Uniondale Mar‑ Naveen has been recognized by cial commitments, daughter Anjali
riott during the July 4th weekend. almost all major organizations is practicing medicine, son Arpit
With Haridas Kotahwala as RANA such as IALI, AIA (Association of In‑ helps him in Navika and the
youngest daughter Aashna is pur‑
suing her undergraduate degree.
Naveenʼs two brothers Rajesh Shah
and Sunil Shah and sister Beena Naveen with his wife Rajshree Jain Shah performing Puja
Kothari also live on Long Island at Jain Temple, New Hyde Park. Also seen Naresh bhai Shah,
with their families. a Jain community leader.

Naveen Shah speaking at Vaishnav Temple of Long Island on the

occasion of Indiaʼs Republic Day; also seen with him Bobby Kumar
Kalotee and Temple Chairman Dr Arvind Shah.

Navika under Naveen Shah supports many A colorful looking Naveen Shah with then Home Minister of Rajasthan Gulab Chand Kataria and
worthy social and charitable causes. a RANA founder Kamlesh Mehta at the Vasant Mahotsav at SUNY Old Westbury.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
28 January 5-18, 2019 NEWSMAKERS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

In the spotlight
Satya Nadella live in New
York for at
Combating Hu‑
man Traffick‑
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella topped Com‑ least two years
while her son
ing' in the
White House.
parablyʼs ‑ a platform that rates companies
based on a mul‑ finishes high She was This renowned Indian‑Australian mathe‑
titude of fac‑ school. Haley awarded the matician was one of the four winners of pres‑
tors ‑ list of hasnʼt said country's high‑ tigious Fields
best CEOs of what her next est honor in medal, known
2018. The rat‑ career move the field at a as the Nobel
ings were will be, but ceremony also prize for math
based on em‑ most donʼt attended by for his "pro‑
ployee inter‑ think sheʼs President Don‑ found contri‑
views that done with na‑ ald Trump. She butions to an
were conduct‑ tional politics. Haley burnished her national is currently im‑ exceptionally
ed anony‑ and international reputation in her time at plementing Mayor Turner's Anti‑Human broad range of
mously. While the UN, and speculation abounds that she will Trafficking Strategic Plan, which is the first subjects in
Nadella got 82 run for presidency someday. Thereʼs also comprehensive municipal response to human mathematics."
points on a rating scale of 100, the company some thought she could run for vice presi‑ trafficking by a US city. The prize is
also got appreciated for its culture, diversity dent if President Donald Trump decides to re‑ awarded every
and perks and benefits. Not surprising place Vice President Mike Pence in 2020. Anurima four years to
the most promising mathematicians under
though. Since becoming CEO over four years
ago Nadella has created quite a buzz for turn‑ Tulsi Gabbard Bhargava the age of 40. Akshay, 36 is currently teach‑
ing around the fortune of Microsoft. Under A civil rights lawyer, Arunima Bhargava ing at Stanford University.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard confirmed in December
Nadellaʼs leadership, Microsoftʼs stock price
has tripled and also surpassed Apple to be‑
that she was seriously considering a 2020
White House
was appointed as a Commissioner to the US
Commission for
Abhay Ashtekar
come the worldʼs most valuable company in bid. Her critics International Professor of physics, Evan Pugh Professor,
terms of market valuation. His views and ini‑ and observers Religious Free‑ Holder, Eberly Chair, and director of the In‑
tiatives in new tech areas such as virtual re‑ had long been dom (USCIRF), stitute for Grav‑
ality, cloud computing, artificial intelligence speculating an independ‑ itation and the
and cybersecurity have grabbed headlines given her re‑ ent, bipartisan Cosmos at the
around the year. cent trips to federal govern‑ Pennsylvania
ment entity es‑
Sundar Pichai Iowa and New
Hampshire and tablished by
State Universi‑
ty Abhay
For someone heading a behemoth as meetings with the US Con‑ Ashtekar was
Google being in limelight constantly is not Hindu Ameri‑ gress to moni‑ conferred the
uncommon. cans before tor, analyze prestigious Ein‑
However the she confirmed and report on stein Prize by
world stood up the idea respond‑ threats to reli‑ the American
and took no‑ ing to a direct question on MSNBCʼs ʻHard‑ gious freedom abroad. She was a perfect pick Physical Socie‑
tice of how ballʼ show. “Iʼm concerned about the direction for her extensive experience in various roles ty (APS) for nu‑
Sundar Pichai of the country,” she reasoned. If she wins, advocating for members of under‑represent‑ merous and
as the search Gabbard would be the youngest person to be ed communities, including at the US Depart‑ seminal contri‑
giantʼs CEO elected president. ment of Justice and the NAACP Legal Defense butions to general relativity, including the
handled the and Educational Fund (LDF). theory of black holes, canonical quantum
K P George gravity, and quantum cosmology.
Rita Baranwal
bowled to him
In November, to the surprise of almost
everyone outside his campaign, K P George President Donald Trump nominated top nu‑
when he testi‑
fied before the House Judiciary Committee in
was elected clear expert Rita Baranwal to be an assistant
secretary of en‑
Fort Bendʼs
December for 3.5 long hours. The lawmakers county judge ergy (nuclear) Dr. Achuta Kadambi of the Electrical and
grilled him on a wide range of issues, includ‑ ̶ one of the at the Depart‑ Computer Engineering Department at UCLA
ing potential political bias on the companyʼs United Statesʼ ment of Energy was named to
platforms, its plans for a censored search app fastest‑grow‑ in October Forbes maga‑
in China and its privacy practices. He was ing counties, 2018. A major zineʼs 30 under
also the only other Indian‑origin CEO in Com‑ with 765,000 part of Baran‑ 30 list for Sci‑
parablyʼs list of top 50 CEOs at large compa‑ residents, near‑ walʼs job would ence 2019. He
nies in the world. Pichai was given 80 out of ly 3,000 em‑ be to oversee heads the Visu‑
100 points and his company, despite the anti‑ ployees, and the develop‑ al Machines
trust lawsuit in the European Union, and the an annual ment of the Group, whose
Google+ bug that allegedly gave the private budget over next genera‑ research aims
data of 52.5 million users to the developers, $370 million. tion of nuclear to give the gift
was appreciated for its diversity, culture and That makes him now the most prominent In‑ power as many of sight to ro‑
as the best place to work for women. dian‑American to hold an executive position current, aging bots. Professor
nuclear power plants reach the end of their Kadambiʼs in‑
Nikki Haley in the U.S. government.
lives. In November a US Senate panel ad‑ ventive cameras
The former South Carolina governor Nikki Minal Patel Davis vanced Baranwalʼs nomination to run the of‑ enable new capabilities for robots. Examples
Haley left her post at the end of 2018 after fice that oversees Idaho National Laboratory. include deploying drones that can image sur‑
Minal Patel Davis, Special Advisor on Hu‑ vivors in a natural disaster, or autonomous
two years representing the Trump adminis‑ The Energy and Natural Resources Commit‑
man Trafficking to Houston Mayor Sylvester cars with specialized LIDAR systems that op‑
tration at the United Nations. She will now tee voted to send Baranwalʼs nomination to
Turner received the 'Presidential Medal for erate in fog.
the full Senate.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
30 January 5-18, 2019 NEWSMAKERS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

In the spotlight
Kavya Kopparapu, crowned Miss
India World‑
US‑based global software major Cognizant
appointed CEO Francisco D'Souza as Vice
the teams that build the end‑to‑end e‑com‑
merce experience, enterprise‑shared services,
Rishab Jain wide 2018 at
a glittering
Chairman of its Board. The Indian‑born D'‑
Souza has been the IT major's CEO since
infrastructure, field services and functional
IT support.
Kavya Kopparapu and Rishab Jain were pageant held 2007 and the company has grown more than
named among 25 most influential teens of Dec 14 in seven‑fold, to a Fortune 200 firm, with $15 Indra Nooyi
2018 by Fords, New billion in revenues. D'Souza has also been rec‑
PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi stepped down as its
Time maga‑ Jersey. She ognized as one of America's Best CEOs by In‑
chief executive officer on Oct 3 after 12 years
zine. won the stitutional Investor and as one of the top 10
at the helm
Oregon crown from on Fortune's Businessperson of the Year
of the global
based among en‑ ranking.
beverage gi‑
Rishabh trants from 17
Jain, 14, de‑ countries. She Rajesh ant. When
she was
veloped a started her
software non‑profit organization at the age of 15 in re‑ Subramaniam named CEO
of Pepsi, she
tool that, sponse to the injustices she saw in the world Kerala‑born IIT Bombay alumni Rajesh Sub‑ was one of
during sim‑ and her own personal life struggles. She ramaniam was named as the president and only 11 fe‑
ulations, needed a pacemaker at the age of 12 and told CEO of multina‑ male CEOs
was shown she could never live a normal life but she per‑ tional courier of Fortune
to help doctors zero in on the pancreas more severed and is a spokesperson for the Amer‑ delivery giant 500 compa‑
accurately, ideally improving treatments of ican Heart Association. FedEx Express nies. One of
pancreatic cancers, according to Time maga‑
zine. Anshdeep Singh last year. He
assumed his
the most
powerful and influential business leaders in
18‑year‑old Kavya Kopparapu, a freshman
at the Harvard University developed a deep‑ Bhatia new role from
Jan 1, 2019.
the world, Nooyi was regularly featured on
power lists compiled by Forbes and Fortune
learning computer system that can scan Indian American Anshdeep Singh Bhatia, Subramaniam magazines. Characteristic of PepsiCoʼs robust
slides of tissue from brain cancer patients originally from Ludhiana, Punjab, India, be‑ is credited performance under Nooyiʼs stewardship, the
looking for differences in density, color, tex‑ came first tur‑ with several company reported strong second‑quarter re‑
ture and cellular alignment that are unique to baned Sikh to landmark de‑ sults in 2018.
that particular person's case. This would help be inducted velopments at
develop targeted therapies unique to a per‑
into the securi‑ FedEx, includ‑ Venkat
ty detail of ing the continuing digital transformation of

Dr. Chad P Gehani President Don‑ the companyʼs services, the first‑ever global Srinivasan
ald Trump. brand campaign, and a significant expansion
A serial entrepreneur, Venkat Srinivasan
Dr. Chad P Gehani was the first person of Bhatia always of the companyʼs global product portfolio. He
launched a new venture capital firm, In‑
Indian origin to be elected as the president of dreamt of be‑ has been with FedEx for more than 27 years
the American coming a secu‑ and has held various executive‑level posi‑
Dental Associa‑ rity guard for tions in the company.
with $100
tion (ADA). the President
482 delegates of the United Naveen million for
States one day.
of the Ameri‑
can Dental As‑ However, he Krishna startups
and ven‑
sociation voted had to fight a legal battle to get court nod af‑ Naveen Krishna assumed the post of Macyʼs tures pri‑
for Dr. Gehani ter he was asked to change his looks to get Inc.ʼs new chief technology officer in June. He marily in
on October 22, cleared for the security job. is responsible early‑stage
2018 in Hon‑
olulu, Hawaii. Francisco for driving
the technolo‑
in life sci‑
ADA is a lead‑
ing advocate of
D’Souza gy strategy
and direction
dentistry in America setting standards of care for Macyʼs, services,
and policies to protect the public, to protect Inc., includ‑ education
the profession and provide advocacy for ing all store, and cyber‑
“things that matter” to the dentists. e‑commerce security. Srinivasan has also founded Eng‑
and internal‑
Shree Saini facing tech‑
lishHelper, KnowYourMeds, and AIinGov all
of which are double bottom‑line enterprises
Twenty‑two year old Shree Saini was nologies. He leveraging AI, focused on education, health
also oversees and the public sector, respectively.
32 January 5-18, 2019 NATIONAL ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Indian Americans
- Raising the profile
Some major highlights of 2018 events affecting our community
mented by the Trump administration not only increased the
Midterm Elections: find their voice and create a consequential positive impact on
the world stage. The proceedings though were briefly marred
woes of IT companies but also affected the future of depend‑
ent spouses (H4) whose work status would be revoked under
Four Congressmen by protests by a group of six people who raised slogans
against atrocities on religious minorities in India.
the new rules. From changes in the lottery system to prefer‑

get re-elected First ever Diwali

ence for US‑educated applicants, the administration has been
moving slowly but steadily towards implementing President
Trump's 'America First' election rhetoric. The community has
celebrations at US been fighting the good fight with petitions filed in US courts
against the proposed changes to generating voice against the
State Department new policies.

Ivy League universities

oppose visa policy
As many as 65 top US universities, including Harvard, MIT,
Cornell, Yale, and Princeton challenged the Trump adminis‑
tration in a court against its stringent visa policy for foreign
students which places restrictions on overstaying a visa. The
(Clockwise) Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, top institutions signed onto an amicus brief arguing that the
Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi new rule will render tens of thousands of F, J and M cate‑
Four Indian‑American Congressmen from the Democratic gories of visa holders subject to three and 10‑year re‑entry
Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan and
Party ‑ Raja Krishnamoorthi from the 8th District near Chica‑ bars without any opportunity to cure. In the good news sec‑
Ambassador Navtej Sarna lighting ceremonial lamp
go in Illinois, Ami Bera from Californiaʼs 7th District, Pramila tion though, the number of Indians studying in the US has in‑
Jayapal from Washingtonʼs 7th Congressional district and Ro creased by 5.4 percent since 2017, according to the 2018
For the first time, the United States Department of State or‑
Khanna from Californiaʼs 17th District ‑ were re‑elected to the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
ganized Diwali celebrations at the State Department in col‑
House of Representatives and over a dozen other Indian‑ An estimated 1,96,271 Indians are at present studying in the
laboration with the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
American candidates many of whom caught national atten‑ US and this is the fifth consecutive year during which their
Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan and Ambassador
tion by giving a tough fight to their opponents and outraising strength has grown!
of India to the US Navtej Sarna were the chief guests. Over
them in the fundraisers won various other races across the
country in midterm elections held Nov 6. Also for the first
200 guests including officials of the US State Department and
the Embassy of India attended the celebrations.
Indians arrested for
time, at least 100 Indian Americans stood for various public
offices. Republican Niraj Atani, 27, registered his third con‑
Sullivan said that celebration at the State Department re‑
flected the great strength of partnership with India and
illegally entering US
secutive electoral victory from Ohio House 42nd District. In‑
dian‑Americans picked up more seats in the State Assemblies.
shared values of tolerance, diversity, freedom and justice. The tripled in 2018
celebrations included a recital of Hindustani classical music
The community sent its member Ram Villivalam for the first played on tabla and sitar and servings of vegetarian Indian The number of Indians arrested for illegally entering the US
time to the Illinois Senate and also elected a Muslim Indian‑ food. nearly tripled in 2018, making them one of the largest groups
American Mujtaba Mohammed to the North Carolina State of illegal aliens apprehended according to US Customs and
Senate. Indian kids monopolize Border Protection (CBP). Paying smuggling rings between
$25,000‑$50,000 per person, a growing number of Indians
Call for unity at World Bees yet again illegally cross the US‑Mexico border and claim asylum for

Hindu Congress persecution. As of 2018 as many as 2,382 Indians are lodged

in 86 jails in the US, according to the information obtained by
the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) through
Freedom of Information Act.

8 Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan acquired sixth US

church in Portsmouth, Virginia at $1.6 million, to
be transformed into a temple.

8 US Sikh community thanked PM Modi for

Kartarpur Corridor Project

Karthik Nemmani, Scripps Spellbee winner 8 Alumni generously gave back to their alma
maters. While Manoj Saxena gifted $1 million to
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at WHC Indian‑origin children monopolized the National Spelling Bee MSU to advance Responsible AI, BITS Pilani
crown for 11th consecutive year with Karthik Nemmani win‑ received $1 million pledge from Prashanth and
Heads of several countries with a sizeable Hindu popula‑ ning the 2018 championship. Venkat Ranjan, won the 30th Anuradha Palakurthi
tion, chief ministers of states, top corporate honchos and re‑ National Geographic Bee and Avi Goel won the world cham‑
ligious leaders attended the second World Hindu Congress
(WHC) in Chicago in September. Focussing on the theme
pionship at the International Geography Bee's junior varsity
division held in Berlin, Germany.
8 People from Kerala made generous donations
toward flood relief. While Arun Nellamattom,
"Sumantrite Suvikrante" ‑‑ think collectively, achieve valiant‑
ly and billed as the biggest‑ever gathering of the who's who Community on tenter- Ajomon Poothurail, and Abin Kulathilkarottu
raised a remarkable $1.5 m in five days, Dr. Babu
of the Hindu community across the globe, WHC 2018 com‑
memorated 125 years of Swami Vivekananda's historic Chica‑
hook over H1B and H4 Stephen donated Rs.1 crore to KCMDF.
go address. The event drew 250 thought leaders and 2200
delegates from over 50 countries to connect, confer and de‑
visa changes 8 International Yoga Day was celebrated across the
country with active participation of the
liberate how Hindus around the world can raise their profile, The H1B and H4 visa policy changes proposed and imple‑
34 January 5-18, 2019 TRISTATE ROUND UP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Community events and

achievements: A recap
Time and again the community won accolades, supported each other and celebrated
their roots as events around the year 2018 across the Tristate region prove.
Here's recounting some from many moments of pride and unity.....
NYC witnesses largest India Elected officials from Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Bergen, Mid‑ 1500 attended National Hindi
dlesex, and Monmouth counties were also present. Also on
Day celebration hand was US Senate Candidate Bob Hugin. A cultural program Convention in Boston
followed the parade at the review stand in Iselin. It included
local and international talent, who entertained the crowd with
music and dance.

Kevin Thomas became first

Indian American in NY Senate
Democrat Kevin Thomas became the first Indian American
to be elected to the New York
Senate, from New Yorkʼs 6th dis‑
trict. Thomas is an attorney and
an appointee of the U.S. Commis‑
sion on Civil Rights to the New
York State Advisory Committee. Hindi Manch, a Boston‑based non‑profit organization with
Thomasʼ top priorities are educa‑ the mission of bringing together people who know Hindi or
Over 150,000 people were in attendance for the 38th India tion, womenʼs rights, fighting the who want to know Hindi and propagate the language and cul‑
Day Parade on August 19, in New York City. The parade, or‑ opioid crisis, taxes, infrastruc‑ ture in the future generations, hosted a 3‑day National Hindi
ganized by the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, ture, protecting the working Convention, or Rashtriya Mahotsav, in Boston Nov. 30 – Dec.
New Jersey, and Connecticut (FIA), commemorated the 72nd class with the passing the Public 2, 2018. The event also marked the organizationʼs 10th an‑
Independence Day of India, and was the largest celebration of Works Definition Act and Pro‑ niversary. Over the three days of the convention, a 1500
Indiaʼs Independence outside of the country itself. tecting the Prevailing Wage, gun control, immigration, pro‑ member audience was treated to live music, dance, theatre,
The 2018 India Day Parade was overseen by FIA‑NY‑NJ‑CT tecting the environment, civil rights, and consumer protec‑ poetry reading sessions and workshops by celebrity figures
President Srujal Parikh, Shrujal Parikh who was elected pres‑ tion. as well as other talented artists from USA and Canada.
ident at the end of 2017. Parikh selected the theme of this
yearʼs parade as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one NJ Governor celebrated Diwali Diwali holiday for students
family. People from all walks of life came to join in on the cel‑
at official residence in 27 NJ school districts
ebration of Indian independence, pride, and culture. The day‑
long event included Indian cuisine, activities, and perform‑ Over 27 school districts in New Jersey reportedly stayed
ances for all to enjoy. closed for students on November 7 for Diwali. In addition,
Padma Shri & Padma Bhushan Kamal Haasan served as there was an early dismissal for students in over 15 New Jer‑
Grand Marshal for the parade. The legendary actor/direc‑ sey school districts. The New Jersey school districts with no
tor/singer/politician was joined by his daughter, actress Shru‑ classes for students on Diwali included Chesterfield Township
ti Haasan, as well as Chief Guest singer Kailash Kher, and School District, Clifton Public Schools, Glen Rock Public
Guests of Honor cricket player Sir Vivian Richards, actor Anu‑ Schools, Jersey City Public Schools, Passaic Public Schools,
pam Kher, pop singer Shibani Kashyap, and singer Mickey Piscataway Township Schools, South Brunswick School Dis‑
Singh, as well as Shri Dwarkeshlalji Maharaj. trict, etc. In addition, there was reportedly no school for stu‑
dents for Diwali on November 6 in Edison Township Public
Thousands attend IBA India Day
Parade in NJ Kerala Center honored five
achievers at annual gala
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy held a special Diwali cele‑ The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center hon‑
bration at Drumthwacket, the Governorʼs Mansion in Prince‑ ored five Indian American Malayalees for their outstanding
ton, NJ, Nov. 8 evening. The Diwali celebration included more achievements in their field of specialization or for their serv‑
than 150 community leaders and members of the South Asian ice to the society at its 26th Annual Awards Banquet held on
community, including several elected officials, as well as New November 3rd at The Kerala Center Banquet Hall, Elmont,
Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Indian Consul New York. The program with dignitaries, speakers, and en‑
General in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty. Drumthwacket tertainment was held in full capacity attendance. The hon‑
was adorned with traditional Indian decor and food from sev‑ orees included two achievers in corporate leadership; Bobby
eral regions of India, and also included a henna artist for V. Abraham, former Chairman of the BOD and CEO of Paragon
guests. The Governor ended the evening by lighting sparklers Trade Brands (Seattle, WA) and Jayasankar Nair, former CEO
with the community. and currently a senior advisor to Sabinsa Corporation (East
Brunswick, NJ). Other recipients were: Malini Nair, the own‑
AIA celebrated 50 er and director of Sowparnika Dance Academy in New Jersey
for performing Arts; writer Chacko M. Chacko for literature
Thousands attended India Day Parade organised by New years at NY gala and community volunteer Joy Ittan for community service.
Jersey based Indian Business Association.
The oldest grassroots Indian organization, the Association
The parade, which included 18 floats, a marching band, and
of Indians in America (AIA) which has been a pioneer in serv‑
multiple walking groups, ran down the Oak Tree Road, be‑
ing the causes of the Indians in America addressing their va‑
ginning in Edison and ending in Iselin. Veteran actor Anupam
riety of issues celebrated their 50th anniversary Golden Ju‑
Kher was the Grand Marshall. The parade also featured tele‑
bilee Gala on December 1st at the Garden City Hotel in New
vision journalist Richa Anirudh as well as Bollywood actors
York. It was a sold out black tie dinner event attended by close
Niharica Raizada and Prachi Tehlan.
to 400 people. The gala was well organized and coordinated
Elected officials and candidates from across New Jersey
also showed their support for the IBA. The delegation includ‑ by Chairman Ravishankar Bhooplapur supported by co‑chairs
ed Congressman Frank Pallone, Middlesex County Freehold‑ Dr. Buddhadev Manvar and Surinder Rametra as well as the
ers, Senators Vin Gopal, Patrick Diegnan, and Sam Thompson. Banquet Committee.
36 January 5-18, 2019 US AFFAIRS ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

The year ends in political,

strategic, financial chaos
that relies on Riyadh and central bank policies and wiped
Jerusalem. out all the gains the stock markets
The withdrawals from made this year. Wall Street indices
Op Ed by Afghanistan will likely have an im‑ ended in the red for 2018, even
Arul Louis/IANS pact on South Asia and affect In‑ though by most measures, espe‑
dia. The troops pullback led to the cially the low unemployment, the

he rumbling controversies resignation of Mattis, who op‑ economy was strong.
and divisive trends of 2018 posed the pullout from Syria, and With their control of the House,
erupted in a perfect storm to criticism from many Republi‑ Democrats, who are smarting
of chaos at the year's end with cans and conservatives. from the 2016 election defeat that
parts of the US government para‑ A positive development in 2018 they blame on Russian interfer‑
lyzed by a showdown between ‑ though still clouded by uncer‑ ence, will be pushing harder for
President Donald Trump and the tainties ‑ is Trump's North Korean investigations into Moscow's role
Democrats, while senior officials diplomacy that led to a summit be‑ and into whether Trump collabo‑
quit, foreign and strategic policies tween him and Kim Jong‑un, the rated with the Russians, as well as
fell into disarray, and the stock Pyongyang strongman, after into various allegations against
markets tumbled. Trump's characteristic blasts of in‑ him and his family.
In his resignation letter, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis criticized sults and threats. So far the 18‑month investiga‑
Trumpʼs Chief of Staff John Kel‑
the Presidentʼs foreign policy. (Photo courtesy NBC)
ly and his Defense Secretary, Jim They agreed in principle to de‑ tion by a special counsel has only
Mattis have quit, and so has Nikki along the Mexican border to pre‑ ise to build the wall has failed so nulearization of the Korean Penin‑ trapped people connected with
Haley, his UN ambassador and the vent illegal immigration, which far, he partially made good on an‑ sula and North Korea has begun Trump campaign, including his
first Indian American to serve on was one of his election pledges. other pledge to bring US troops dismantling its missile production former National Security Adviser
the US cabinet, along with several Illegal immigration was one of home from the Middle East. He or‑ and test facilities while there has Michael Flynn, on charges like ly‑
other officials. the flashpoints this year as Trump dered a complete pullout from been no progress on nuclear dis‑ ing to investigators and bank
Adding to Trumpʼs sense of iso‑ moved to curb the inflow of mi‑ Syria and halving the troop‑level armament. fraud.
lation, his party lost control of the grants ‑ many of them economic in Afghanistan to about 7,000. On the economic front, Trump, Trump is crossing the half‑way
House of Representatives to the migrants or those upset by gang‑ Coupled with the pressure from who had promised to tackle the mark of his four‑year term and
Democrats in the November mid‑ violence and seeking to claim within the US and the West trade deficits and bring back man‑ will be in full campaign mode in
term elections. "I am all alone refugee status. To discourage par‑ against Saudi Arabia because of ufacturing jobs, took on Mexico 2019 as all parties start preparing
(poor me) in the White House ents and others who bring chil‑ the killing of Washington Post and Canada and reworked the for another polarizing election in
waiting for the Democrats to come dren with them to claim sympathy columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the trade agreements to reflect what 2020. Short of an impeachment or
back and make a deal on desper‑ and lenient treatment, he ordered troop withdrawals threw Wash‑ he considered a fair deal for the evidence of direct collusion with
ately needed Border Security," the separation of children from ington's Middle East strategy into US. Russians or a major criminal case,
Trump tweeted on Christmas Eve, parents citing a Obama‑era court disarray. While India and other countries Trump will be his party's candi‑
a picture of isolation. order against keeping children in This opens the way for Israel's were in his sights as tied to lower date.
He lacked the votes that are re‑ custody for more than 20 days. and the Saudi's nemeses Turkey, trade deficits, he launched an al‑ For the Democrats, the test will
quired beyond a simple majority It became a public relations Iran and Syria (and, by extension, most full‑fledged trade war of tar‑ be to come up with a charismatic
to pass budget legislation in the nightmare for Trump and under a Russia) to increase their influence iffs against China, which retaliat‑ and unifying leader and a coher‑
Senate to include funding his $5.6 new court order, he had to reunite in different areas of the region ‑ ed. It has added to the uncertainty ent policy alternative, which they
billion demand for building a wall them. While his campaign prom‑ upending the core of US policy from the budget battle and the US did not manage in 2018.

The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.

A woman rocked President’s men Democrats take

Kavanaugh’s court facing jail time back the House
n 2018, Paul Manafort, Trumpʼs former campaign chairman, fter the
went to jail. Even before a jury found him guilty of multiple 2018

t first Brett Ka‑ counts of federal tax and banking crimes in August, he was midterm
vanaugh seemed sent to jail after a judge accused him of witness tampering. He re‑ elections, Re‑
to be on a glide mains in prison. publicans man‑
path to the high court As part of his plea agreement with Mueller, Manafort agreed to aged to hold
after an uneventful con‑ cooperate with prosecutors in their probe. He also forfeited mul‑ onto the Senate
firmation hearing. But tiple bank accounts and several New York properties. ‑‑ but Democ‑
just before the Senate Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, President Trumpʼs lawyer‑cum‑fix‑ rats gained a to‑
was set to vote, Califor‑ er, has pleaded guilty to Mueller's charge that he had lied to Con‑ tal of 40 House
nia psychology profes‑ gress about plans to build a Trump Tower development in seats, giving
sor Christine Blasey Moscow. He also pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts related them a substan‑
to tax fraud, unlawful corporate contributions, etc. He has been tial majority
Fordʼs accusations of Nancy Pelosi is set to be the
sexual misconduct came sentenced to three years in prison. starting January Speaker again.
to light. 3, 2019. “Today
Several more women is more than about Democrats and Republicans,” Mi‑
then came forward to nority Leader Nancy Pelosi ‑‑ who is all but certain to
Brett Kavanaugh was become House speaker again ‑‑ said after Democrats
accuse Kavanaugh of eventually confirmed as
sexual misconduct, regained control. “Itʼs about restoring the Constitu‑
Supreme Court Justice.
prompting the Senate tionʼs checks and balances to the Trump administra‑
Judiciary Committee to scramble to hold a dramatic new tion.”
hearing, with Ford and Kavanaugh testifying back‑to‑back. The Democratsʼ takeover sets up 2019 to be a year
Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations before the for tough legislative battles between lawmakers and
judiciary panel. He was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme the Republican president. Additionally, Pelosi has her
Court in the wake of the second hearing and a supplemental eyes set on campaign finance laws, election statues
FBI background review. and ethics requirements.
Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019

For more information, write to : ttninternational@timesgroup.com

38 January 5-18, 2019 ANALYSIS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

What fate
awaits Trump?
The legal troubles for
President Trump are
growing, and Mueller’s
report is expected in a
few months. With
Democrats now holding
the House promising to
By Ravi Batra fully investigate his

o Americaʼs enemies ‑ for‑
affairs, will Trump
eign & domestic ‑ be
warned ‑ America has nev‑
complete his term and
er been stronger. “What to the get re‐elected in 2020?
uninitiated may be seen as our
weakness ‑ that a president is un‑
der scrutiny ‑ is actually proof of
both American Exceptionalism
and that we are a nation of laws.
Self-correction is in America’s genes
The genius of our Constitution but the means are not so correct. moment that follows. We need to ignore the soap be as the Coliseum of Rome once
is that it expects persons in pow‑ It is a fact that our allies have I for one, have concluded that opera that the star of The Ap‑ was. But because itʼs part of Sepa‑
er to be corrupt ‑ indeed, it takes taken America as a sucker. It is a Counterbalance as a tool of State‑ prentice is a master at causing, for rated Powers regime that is Amer‑
that as a given ‑ and created our fact that Obama drew a Red Line craft is the opioid of geopolitics, it fogs the body politic from what ica, it will cause all to behave bet‑
cherished Separated Powers in Syria and then ignored its and always boomerangs. See the are simple facts: half of America is ter. That is American Exceptional‑
regime ‑ unlike any on earth ever breach. High Level Brainstorming session unhappy and feels powerless. The ism in action, and every American
‑ so that meek dissent, when ag‑ And for the same reasons Oba‑ at the UN organized by Belarus, other feels angry at being accused benefits.
gregated, in a co‑equal setting ‑ ma didnʼt dive into Syria, is why Kazakhstan and Surinam in early for Americaʼs weakness. When itʼs It matters not if there is an “I”
checkmates the corrupt to better Trump is pulling out. Sorry, that 2017. “Wall Street” and “Special Inter‑ coming out of SDNY (Southern
serve the public good. the Kurds experienced the joy of For those who are curious ‑ it is ests” who play both and make District of New York) or an “I”
The irony of the Trump presi‑ American support and now have legal for a president to be indict‑ money off the fight. coming out of the House. What
dency ‑ apart from the problems to cut a local political deal consis‑ ed for pre‑presidential acts as it is Thomas Jefferson said: Eternal matters is that America self‑cor‑
Robert Mueller is investigating tent with local political ecosys‑ to be impeached for presidential vigilance is the price of liberty. rects, recalibrates and gets bet‑
about getting elected or the firing tem. Anyone who forgets to deal acts. To be indicted for a personal Midterms just gave the Dems the ter.”
of Jim Comey ‑ is that he is most‑ with neighbors because of act ‑ like domestic abuse ‑ is also House, and hence the gears of Ravi Batra is an eminent attor‑
ly correct in what he wishes to do, tourists, deserves the teaching possible as itʼs not an official act. government will grind loudly and ney based in New York.

Tough to take on Teflon

manity‑erased ones. The Hill is does exist the pathway to indict‑ Republicans are reluctant to con‑ nations of that region who will
awash with rumors. Excitement ment, although not on the sensa‑ demn him. That leaves a bruised pay for the re‑building of Syria,
has 2018 ending on a roller‑ tional scale of the 1990s. But press, the market and people to not the American taxpayer. Un‑
coaster of leaders wanting to do this President is a shrewd maver‑ either fear‑monger, speculate or fortunately, leadership has been
their own thing. Then comes ick, who has successfully navi‑ freak out, while swallowing his absent with respect to our south‑
bluster and blunder and they do gated thousands of lawsuits in cheesy tweets, platitudes and ern wall, with climate change,
the wrong thing. In India the his lifetime. He is also a master‑ whims in 'enjoyment' of the half‑ whaling, some of my pet peeves.
Hindi heartland ousts PM Modi's class salesman, used to playing time show, where the program is Mother Earth is the mother we
BJP. In England the ruling pow‑ the world as poker chips. While not about the power itself but know. I am not into making pre‑
ers lose control over Brexit. In the attorney general may get to about the willingness to use the dictions but with Teflon‑coated
America, like it or not, voiceover decide what and how much will power. giant we are talking about, the
for "we the people" has shut be made public, I believe techni‑ Looking across the globe, the year will surge on a high note.
down the government with no cally the Mueller report due message is largely one of peace. That said, NASA's Mars Landing
end in sight. Over a border wall. soon could open grounds for America remains very much the recently filmed cobalt blue sand
Ludicrous? Maybe. Democrats in Congress to act. Question is, will powerhouse of the world, its dunes on red planet Mars, when
the House are chomping at the they? This will be historical. economy banging at such levels NYC's night skies were lighting
bit. Question is, who pays? How Whether it will affect the Presi‑ it still becomes our responsibility up with an eerie blue glow.
By Rekha Valliappan will it end? Looking longer term, dent's chances at re‑election to help the world, despite shrink‑
will the President Trump be im‑ would depend on how much po‑ ing policeman‑role or re‑strate‑ Rekha Valliappan is a multi‑

ombie Apocalypseʼ poten‑ peached? Removed from office? litical capital he has gained or gizing who pays for what. We genre writer of short fiction and
tially shows the state of Or will he lasso key players to lost, the support he enjoys, and have effectively stopped World poetry. She has also served the
chaos and panic to hit if more rodeos? how nourishing remains the War III. If the President's tough Long Island community as a
90% of humans are wiped out, America's history of 'Presiden‑ "word‑salad" which seemed to act is to be believed it will be three‑term Secretary of an Indian
replaced by virus‑infected‑hu‑ tial‑impeachment' indicates there work well with his base. For now, Saudi Arabia and other wealthy association.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info ANALYSIS January 5-18, 2019 39

Need to correct what

Trump has wrought
platforms, that included reining in approach. However, they have made
President Trump. it clear that they will make President
In January 2017 when Trump Trump much more accountable in
took office, the nation was divided the days to come, including pushing
By Dev Banad as it ever was but polarization was for disclosure of his tax returns
Viswanath, Esq. stirred further throughout his 2016 which he has refused to share.\
campaign and negativity was cham‑ Impeachment seems very unlikely
pion of the day. In fact, many would in the near future. Mueller investi‑
argue that while there were some gationʼs full report when it comes
fundamental principals (populist, may change everything. Trump has
nationalist, or ideological) that he not only isolated himself, but he has
espoused, the main theme of his also created a very bad situation for
campaign was a railroading bulldoz‑ the Republican party, members of
er of speeches geared towards which are starting to express disap‑
drumming up fear, hatred, anger, proval. Yet, many will point to bet‑
and maybe, just maybe, some hope terment in parts of the country. Such
for a portion of White Christian as the December 2018 job numbers,
America, that the America they re‑ which showed a higher than expect‑
membered from the 60ʼs, 70ʼs, and ed growt. Aside from plummeting
early 80ʼs was back on top. Where stocks more recently there was a
the middle class white American good run in the market since Trump
could feel more in power again, and took over.
less like the world, and the US is In the end, the question is whether
changing and they must accept it. I President Trump deserves to be and

hile ushering in the New call it, and have heard similar refer‑ will be held accountable for any
Year, we contemplate ences, to the “Archie Bunker Years” wrongdoing and whether the Con‑
our resolutions and how (from the sitcom All in the Family). This is a time for standing up for our values and the country we gress and the people are strong
we will make things different, bet‑ A good portion of Americans did would like ourselves, our children, and their children to live in. enough to flex their muscles. A
ter, and more fulfilling. We also look not see the country becoming more with Russia and Russians in turn in‑ nated Justices, have not shown, yet, democracy is only as strong as its
back at what has gone wrong and equal and just, but conversely be‑ terfered with our elections to favor the type of wide pread conservative people and their will to exercise
didnʼt work as we had planned. Pres‑ coming more hard, and difficult, and him. Then there are those who be‑ leanings that people and some pun‑ their voice and vote! We are at a
ident Donald Trump, has been, for anti‑white, and anti‑Christian. And lieve that he was just more astute dits have feared. So where do we crossroads and while the voters
many American, something that Donald Trump, expertly, capitalized and a better campaigner and was stand? What will be the fate of have spoken in the November 2018
went wrong, and now people are on that sentiment, with the help of able to game the electoral college in Trump? elections, only time will tell whether
looking at ways to correct him, or an astute campaign staff, and was a more favorable way. But ultimate‑ Well, the federal court judge in we still, as a nation, have the moxie
the world we live in under his presi‑ catapulted to the highest position of ly, no matter what you believe, we Washington D.C. has already grant‑ and determination to see America
dency. We have just welcomed a ros‑ power in the modern world! saw him ride in on a wave of hate, ed Special Counsel Robert Muellerʼs get back on track.
ter of new and 1st time Congress Of course, there were those who disillusionment, and feelings of mar‑ request to extend the Grand Jury We live in a remarkable and ex‑
members who ran on a platform, or argue that he may have colluded ginalization as he was ready to do term by 6 months, which allows for traordinary country, where opinions
whatever to became president. He additional investigation and intelli‑ and choices matters. Where people
have a type of freedom not often en‑
Letter to the Editor blasted those who defied him and
praised those who towed the line
and stayed loyal. It is not uncom‑
gence gathering. The information
that has come out so far, including
that provided by Michael Cohen,
joyed by much of the world.
We need to live up to the princi‑
mon, to this day, to see the man, the does not portray a pretty picture of ples of what founded those free‑

Bhutoriaʼs incisive report presumable leader of the free world,

contradict himself in statements and
the President and suggests several
criminal and unlawful activities that
doms and be it Donald Trump,
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or

on Israel on Twitter regularly.

Now, what to expect in 2019, with
he may have been involved with, had
knowledge of, and in some in‑
George W Bush, we need to make
sure that we can endure the test of
the GOPʼs heavy midterm losses in stances, directed. civility and still stand up to the ma‑
Dear Editor, the House, albeit gaining seats in the Yet, newly elected Speaker of the chine when things arenʼt working.
Ajay Bhutoria's article "Pressures and Challenges that Both Israel Senate. Trump, for the first time House, Nancy Pelosi, has suggested This is not a time for apathy and
and Palestinians Face," made interesting reading. I hope SAT will since taking office, does not have a that discussions of impeachment are standing on the sidelines. This is a
publish more articles like this: informative, humanistic and inci‑ time for standing up for our values
unified Republican controlled gov‑ pre‑mature and that she would not
sive. and the country we would like our‑
ernment. And the Supreme Court, consider the same without biparti‑
We Indian Americans, who are more educated than almost all
while ideologically dominated by san support. So for Democrats for selves, our children, and their chil‑
other ethnicities in the US, nevertheless need to be educated in the
conservative and Republican nomi‑ now, itʼs more of a wait and watch dren to live in.
major issues confronting this great country. The Israeli‑Arab issue
is one of them.
What makes this article even more readable is the intimacy with
which Mr. Bhutoria narrates about his visits to the holy sites of
Jerusalem that embrace the three religions of Judaism (King
David's Tomb, Western Wall) Islam (site of Muhammad's ascen‑
sion to heaven) and Christianity (the road on which Christ walked
to his crucifixion). With what reverence yet with the excitement of
an enthusiastic tourist does he write about his visits to these lands
of historic, indeed, iconic import!
Just one reminder: I wish Mr. Bhutoria did mention in his article
about the joint conspiracy between the US and UK back in the
1940s that carved up the Middle Eastern holy lands solely among
Israelis while abandoning the Palestinians. Britain and America
were the original culprits, try as they might now to bring peace

Shivaji Sengupta
Long Island
42 January 5-18, 2019 T R AV E L

Doing Washington & Alaska

The writer had set himself the goal of visiting all 50 states in America.
The two northwestern states were the last ones remaining on the list.
From Tulip fields to Northern Lights, the trip there was full of memorable sights.
brands such as Starbucks and Tul-
ly’s. During my stay, we made stops A clear water lake in Mount Rainier National Park.
By Hassan Majeed at several independent coffee shops Driving in the snow in the area I had a scary experience.
to have freshly roasted brews.

A rriving at international air-

ports with a Pakistani pass-
port is the least favorite part of my
The Tulip fields were more
beautiful than I expected. It was
like a scene out of a movie with
travel, but the excitement of see- enormous fields of tulips of differ-
ing the pristine beauty of the Pacif- ent colors extending to hills far in
ic Northwest overrode any anxiety. the background.
Out in the fresh air with the sun
Washington State dancing in and out of the clouds,
I felt one with nature. I touched,
Once we landed in Seattle, I smelled and felt the flowers; it was
rented a mid-size sedan and drove an intoxicating experience.
to our host’s home. The house was Most of the tourists I met were
located in East Lake District, just professionals from India and other
one block from Union Lake. parts of Asia. I imagine them as
This was my first experience future builders of the world, now
as a guest at an Airbnb. The neigh- employed at Amazon, Microsoft,
borhood, located on the steep hills Expedia, Google, Boeing, Nike and
that lead to the lake, was clean other multinational companies. a parallel universe made of glass they were very good! application at a turnstile.
and well maintained. The apart- As I left, I ordered some tulip that has jungles, trees, grass, flow- Washington is among the first Inside the store, cameras and
ment had china and silverware, a bulbs for the front yard of my ers, animals, birds and other crea- states that legalized marijuana scanners detect whatever you
small refrigerator, a Keurig ma- house; they arrived by mail a few tures. It looked vividly real, leav- for recreational use. You could pick up and automatically bill
chine with a wide selection of cof- weeks later. ing a delightful and permanent find stores and vendors all across your Amazon account.
fee flavors and cookies. The walls The Space Needle is an iconic impression on my mind. the market selling weed products We took bottled protein
had artwork. I was impressed with structure that defines the skyline I woke up early in the morn- such as cookies, munchkins, beau- shakes, fruits and other snacks,
the homey environment, finding it of Seattle. The ticket to the obser- ing and went for a run. Usually, ty products and even marijuana- and just walked out of the store.
more comfortable and interesting vation deck was overpriced and the landlords would come out and infused chocolates. It felt weird and uncomfortable to
than an average hotel room. going up and down in the glass ele- we would have hour-long chats. At We also visited the Seattle Art shop without paying anything.
After some rest, I drove to the vator was nerve racking, to say the times, a couple of neighbors came Museum, which had a fascinating We decided to visit Mount Rain-
University of Washington. One least. The panoramic view from and also sat with us. The neigh- exhibit of Edward Curtis’ photo- er, 60 miles south of Seattle. It was
purpose of my trip to Seattle was the circular platform on the top borhood definitely had the feeling graphs of Native Americans. a bright and sunny day, and I was
to interview for a fellowship posi- was interesting. Also, there was a of a community. Our friends said
tion at the university. touchscreen map where tourists that ultra-rich Seattle natives such
As I entered, I drove under could pin their place of origin on a as Paul Allen and Bill Gates, Jeff
a banner saying, “Question the map. I marked Lahore there. Bezos and other entrepreneurs
Answer.” This free spirit of ques- The next stop was a glass mu- are investing in several neighbor-
tioning of any theory, dogma or seum that displayed the work of hoods to improve city living.
notion is, I believe, what differen- the internationally known artist, We drove to Snoqualmie Falls,
tiates American institutions from David Chihuly. He has created ex- which is almost 30 miles east in
those in Pakistan. ceptionally beautiful glass sculp- the Cascade Mountains. We had
The next day we set off to visit tures in every shape, color, style breakfast at a restaurant located at
the famous Skagit Valley Tulip Fes- and form you can imagine. Walk- the edge of the fall with a spectacu-
tival, 60 miles north of the city. ing through the different galleries lar view of the water. The water fell
Seattle is home to several is breathtaking. He has created vertically from a height of a couple
of hundred feet and made a big
splash. Everything on the banks
was wet from water and mist.
I decided to go down, follow-
The untouched beauty
ing a dirt track, nearer the water. I
around the majestic volcano
named Mount St Helens with passed evergreen trees filled with
its snow-covered peak. moss and algae. It reminded me of Amazon headquarters in Seattle has three giant spheres,
the Shogran hiking track through which serve as employee lounge and workspace.
the woods to Siri Paye in Pakistan. During the next couple of days, able to see the mountain from dis-
Then I realized that the track was we visited Amazon’s headquarters, tance. But the snow-covered peak
closed due to construction. I was which has amazing glass spheres was invisible because of cloud cov-
disappointed that I could not enjoy within which are some employee er. Once the black-top road ended, a
the view of the fall from its base. work spaces, and a park-like area gravel track began. Then the snow
We went to Pike Place Market covered with soft AstroTurf and sur- started to fall gently and a few miles
for a lunch of good French food rounded by rare trees and plants. up the hill, it became steadily heavi-
with a perfect view of the river. It Parents let their children crawl er. We were less than a mile away
was one of the best meals I had across the turf and Amazon employ- from the base camp when I saw
in Seattle. Then we wandered ees came out to play. At street level, two deer on the road. I stopped to
around the market, which sold the office building has Amazon Go, take a photo and afterwards when
fresh seafood as wells as organic a cashier-less store where you shop I pushed on the gas pedal, the tires
berries, fruits, vegetables, flowers without paying cash or swiping started to spin because of the steep
and milk from local farms. Differ- card. You must carry an Amazon elevation and the snow. I changed
ent vendors were giving out sam- Go app on your smart phone. You the gear from automatic to manual,
ples of food. I tasted all of them; enter the store after scanning the but the car did not move.
T R AV E L January 5-18, 2019 43

The next day we took off for
Fairbanks, Alaska. When our plane
landed, I was excited that I had fi-
nally visited all 50 states.
Fairbanks is a small town in
central Alaska. I had chosen the
travel dates carefully. These were
the darkest nights of the month,
without any moonlight, which
would provide the best chance of
seeing the Northern Lights.
I felt helpless and scared. I I had rented an apartment
thought of calling 911, but my through Airbnb and drove through
phone was not receiving any signal. the small town to find it. The owner
There was a few-hundred-feet-deep was a young Native American who
trench with evergreen trees on one was proud that, for generations,
side of the road. On the other, there his ancestors had lived in the area.
was a small natural drain, almost He told me that the sun did not go
one to two feet deep. I did not want down till 11pm at this time of year
the tires to get near either side of
the road. I was not sure that I would
be able to get out of the place with-
out the help of a tow truck.
I started to drive in reverse
gear. Because of the weight of moose and a few cari- Taking a dip in the Hot Springs, my body was both hot and
the vehicle, gravity and slope, it cold simultaneously as the air around was almost freezing.
bou grazing in the vast
started to slide down the road in wilderness. We visited ern Lights but without luck. green hues in the swirling waves.
an unexpectedly smooth manner. a kennel of sled dogs It was my last day in Fair- It was extended all over the sky
The car had a rearview camera. I where we were able to banks. The morning was cold with and seemed to be moving slowly.
don’t think there could be a situ- pat those Alaskan hus- some ice showers. The weather This was the Aurora.
ation where a rearview camera is kies. The forest guard forecast predicted better weather After half an hour, the process
more helpful. There were more said that, on average, in the evening. After dinner, I fell started again, this time in a differ-
scary moments but I finally made these dogs travel 3,000 asleep and woke up around mid- ent corner. The pale yellow light
it out of that snow trap. miles each winter be- night. I checked my phone for the started to become clearer and
The experience at Mount Rain- fore they retire at the updated Aurora prediction, which then it spread all over the sky. It
ier did not discourage me from age of seven or eight indicated that, in 20 minutes, did not have any bright colors in
driving toward Mount St. Helens. years. there would be an 18 per cent it this time. But it was a live light
We went a few miles off the main In Denali National Park, I Visiting Hot Springs, where the chance to see the lights. show happening in front of me.
road to explore the untouched spotted one moose and a few water temperature was 106 de- I jumped out of bed and drove The show was not as spectacu-
beauty around the majestic vol- caribou grazing in the vast
grees because of sulphur in the to the hilltop. While the predic- lar as I had seen in pictures and
cano with its snow-covered peak. water, was an interesting experi- tion seemed to be in my favor, I videos. It seemed to me that the
Due to past eruptions, we were and it did not get dark till midnight. ence. My body was both hot and did not see anything in the sky. full spectrum of the Aurora was
able to see lava caves in the val- In Fairbanks, I visited an inde- cold simultaneously in an open Around one in the morning, I saw like a colored painting by Monet.
ley. I went inside a mile-and-half- pendent bookstore named Gulliv- hot water spring while the air some milky white streaks over my The next morning, before
long lava tube for a couple of hun- er. Gulliver was only a block from around me was almost freezing. head. They seemed to extend, like boarding the plane, I bought some
dred feet. Then I decided to turn the place where I was staying and I downloaded a couple of phone long fingers parallel to each other, postcards of Aurora Borealis from a
around. I did not have the right it had a good collection of books apps to predict the likelihood of stretching from the north western store and mailed them to my friends
equipment and clothes to navi- as well as a cafe. It made me wish the Aurora Borealis activity in to the south eastern sky. and family with pride. It was a long
gate the lava caves that run for there was a better reading culture the area. The phenomenon does Within the next few minutes, flight back to New York, but once
miles. Instead, I decided to move in Pakistan. not happen dependably. For four the display started to swirl around I closed my eyes, the memories of
on to see the rest of the Lava Val- Next, we drove to Denali Na- nights, I went out in the woods and the sky, in a typical Aurora pat- the beautiful sights from this trip
ley in the bright sunlight. tional Park. I was able to see one waited for hours to see the North- tern. Now I could see very light made my journey easy.

I bought some
picture postcards
of Alaska’s famous
Aurora Borealis to
impress my friends
and family.

Hassan Majeed is a child and

adolescent psychiatrist based in
Connecticut, USA. He tweets @
44 January 5-18, 2019 OP-ED TheSouthAsianTimes.info

2018 a watershed year for

India-US strategic ties
Wells, who has been Trump ad‑ upheavals impacting longstanding
ministration's point person for the trade agreements and frame‑
South and Central Asia. works, with retaliatory tariffs, ris‑
By Lalit K Jha Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ing protectionism, and domestic
described the first 2+2 Ministerial political clashes spilling over into

otwithstanding irritants Dialogue in September as "sym‑ the economic policy of major
on trade issues, India and bolic of our increasingly close economies.
the US made "landmark" partnership," she said. "Despite these trade headwinds,
progress in 2018 to bolster their Pompeo along with Defence Sec‑ the US‑India commercial and
strategic and defence ties – from retary James Mattis were hosted strategic relationship continues to
holding the maiden trilateral by their Indian counterparts, Ex‑ enjoy strong bipartisan support in
meeting with Japan to the first‑ ternal Affairs Minister Sushma the US, underpinned by rapidly ex‑
ever 2+2 dialogue during which Swaraj and Defence Minister Nir‑ panding bilateral trade," she said.
they signed the long‑pending mala Sitharaman in New Delhi. Biswal said that on the commer‑
COMCASA agreement that would India's strategic partnership cial front, the private sector will
open the way for sales of more with the US and its emergence as be watching closely to see
sensitive US military equipment to a leading global power was on dis‑ whether the two governments can
India. play during other high‑level gath‑ reach a bilateral trade deal and re‑
The trade disputes posed bumps erings this year, including two solve key trade irritants impacting
on the road as President Donald meetings of the quadrilateral part‑ US business.
Trump called India a "tariff king" ners (Australia, India, Japan, and The resumption of the US‑India
in September. However, two Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Defense Secretary the US) and at the India‑Japan‑US Commercial Dialogue next Febru‑
months later, he praised Indians James Mattis during the signing ceremony of COMCASA pact after trilateral meeting at the G‑20 sum‑ ary, a US‑India CEO Forum and the
as tough negotiators as the two 2+2 Dialogue, in New Delhi in September. (File photo: IANS) mit last month. potential for a Trade Policy Forum
countries started talks on a bilat‑ country of any individual who met in Buenos Aires with Prime On the economic front, India‑US will make 2019 a particularly im‑
eral trade deal. committed, conspired to commit, Minister Narendra Modi and trade relationship continues to portant year, Biswal said.
India was among the few coun‑ or aided the 26/11 attack. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the grow, she said. Bilateral trade All eyes are right now on the up‑
tries, which received a waiver on "This has been a landmark year first US‑India‑Japan – or 'JAI' grew to $126 billion last year, coming elections and how that
Iran sanctions from the Trump ad‑ for US‑India ties as we build out meeting as Prime Minister Modi and, parallel with the launch of will impact the economy and over‑
ministration, which also pressed stronger relationships across the called it – between the three lead‑ the Strategic Energy Partnership, all investment climate, she noted.
Pakistan to bring to justice the board," Alice Wells, the Principal ers, and Vice President (Mike) US‑sourced oil and liquefied natu‑ Alyssa Ayres from the Council of
perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai Deputy Assistant Secretary of Pence reviewed the rapid develop‑ ral gas landed on Indian shores. Foreign Relations said bilateral
attack and announced a reward of State for South and Central Asia, ment of the strategic partnership Nisha Desai Biswal, president of ties have made good progress on
$5 million for information leading told PTI. during his meeting with Prime the US‑India Business Council, be‑ strategic and defence front, but
to the arrest or conviction in any "Last month, President Trump Minister Modi in Singapore," said lieves 2018 experienced major economic ties are bumpier. ‑PTI

Rahul emerges as effective campaigner, strategist

By Prashant Sood rich". He attacked the BJP on national securi‑ Gandhi changed the Congress stance of pro‑
ty ‑‑ a key plank of the ruling party ‑‑ high‑ jecting him as the prime ministerial candi‑

t was a year Congress President Rahul lighting how the government had been date for the 2019 elections and said the de‑
Gandhi came into his own as a campaign‑ "silent" on the Chinese build up near the Dok‑ cision will be taken after the polls. Rahul Gandhi
er and strategist, emerging as a powerful lam site and its "failure" over the continued Gandhi also reached out to people directly openly said that
infiltration from Pakistan in Jammu and through the social media. BJP leaders may
voice in the opposition against Prime Minis‑
call him "pappu"
ter Narendra Modi. Kashmir. Gandhi sought to demolish the per‑ As party chief, Gandhi has run far more
but he does not
He also earned his electoral spurs in tough ception that Modi was "personally incorrupt‑ elaborate and sustained assembly election
hate the party.
Hindi heartland battles, helping his party win ible" by taking repeated jibes at him over the campaigns than did Sonia Gandhi, who
three states that will have ramifications in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France. He single‑ helmed the Congress for 19 years.
Lok Sabha elections a few months away. handedly made Rafale deal a national issue He also openly said that BJP leaders may
Rahul Gandhi began the year as Congress through press conferences, tweets and call him "pappu" but he does not hate
President, having taken over the post from speeches and attacked Modi with "chowkidar the party. But the challenges that re‑
his mother Sonia Gandhi last December at the is chor" (the guard is the thief) barb. main for him are herculean.
culmination of party's organisational elec‑ He traveled abroad to counter Modi's out‑ The Congress lost six assembly
tions. The path was full of challenges as bar‑ reach among the diaspora. Gandhi's consis‑ elections this year ‑ Telangana,
ring Karnataka ‑‑ where it is the junior part‑ tent articulation of issues, including job loss‑ Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya,
ner in the ruling coalition ‑‑ the Congress was es caused by demonetisation and the slowing Nagaland ‑ despite the three
virtually starved of electoral victories since down of economy due to "flawed implemen‑ wins in Hindi heartland and
its Lok Sabha debacle in 2014. It had also not tation" of the Goods and Services Tax, seem‑ scraping through in Kar‑
beaten the BJP in a straight contest anywhere ingly put the government on the defensive. nataka. It is not in power in
in four years. The GST, which was simplified in the run‑up any state in the northeast, a
Gandhi went about the task methodically to the Gujarat assembly polls last year, has party stronghold only four
by identifying weaknesses and bridging gaps. been further eased after the BJP lost power in years ago.
He sought to beat Modi at his own game by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattis‑ It is weak in the crucial
expanding social media outreach and con‑ garh. states of Uttar Pradesh, Bi‑
necting with the audiences through witty, Gandhi aggressively clamoured for farm har, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil
hard‑hitting tweets and posts. loan waivers and several state governments Nadu and West Bengal and
Gandhi consistently attacked Modi on is‑ are likely to opt for the measure before the needs allies to win seats.
sues linked to the common man ‑‑ corruption, 2019 general elections. Next year is likely to be a
unemployment, farmers distress, demoneti‑ Realising that the Congress would need as make or break year for
sation, price rise ‑‑ and stepped up his efforts much support as possible to oust the BJP‑led Congress, as the country
to portray the BJP leader as a "friend of the National Democratic Alliance from power, goes to general polls.

The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info OP-ED January 5-18, 2019 45

Can a divided opposition

take on weakened Modi?
statue in the world ‑‑ of Sardar Pa‑ cluding those ruled by the Con‑ was once close to Modi but is now dealt with immediately. There is
tel – and of Shivaji that is coming gress party, are doing the same. leading a campaign to oust him. wide consensus that it has to be
Special to up off Mumbaiʼs coast. Urjit Patel, former RBI governor, Naidu is trying to garner support resolved before it becomes a hu‑
The South Asian Times Many Indians, including the remarked that such giveaways among non‑NDA parties saying manitarian crisis. The govern‑
burgeoning youth population, re‑ will have a long‑term adverse im‑ “either you are with the BJP or ment should dust off a report sub‑

olitical parties in India en‑ main locked in informal, often pact on the national economy. you are against it,” stressing there mitted by the noted farm scientist
tered the New Year with lowly paid jobs. The government Fiscal deficit is going to cross is no middle way. KCR, a regional M.S. Swaminathan. The report
great enthusiasm and op‑ has stopped publishing unem‑ 3.3% of GDP. It bloats up to 6% rival of Naidu, is also trying to suggests long‑term solutions to
timism about the coming general ployment figures. In general, Indi‑ when you add the statesʼ figures. form the third front with not the issue, but neither the UPA nor
election. Each party is either a ans supported demonetization as It is going to increase as nearly all much success. He is confident the NDA acted on it. It is not diffi‑
part of the ruling NDA, led by the they thought it would hurt the states and parties have promised that he would at least play the cult for a politician like Modi to
BJP, or the Congress‑headed Unit‑ dishonest tax‑evading rich people. to ease the agrarian distress and kingmaker post‑national election bring back the unaccounted mon‑
ed Progressive Alliance. Any par‑ But the purported benefits have offer dole‑outs. scheduled for April‑May. ey concealed abroad. Similarly the
ty left out could join the third not percolated down. It is not NDA alone that faces Advantage Modi then. Though Make in India program has to be
grouping, the Federal Front float‑ Rural India is not happy as hurdles in its attempt to retain his governmentʼs standing has expedited and foreign‑investment
ed by the re‑elected Chief Minis‑ shown by the Hindi heartland as‑ power. The divided opposition, taken a hit, he himself remains rules should further be eased. All
ter of Telangana, K. Chan‑ sembly election results. Agricul‑ too, is nowhere close to providing popular. He beat Rahul and other these measures should create the
drasekhar Rao (KCR). tural growth fell to 4% from 5%. an alternative. There is no con‑ potential PM candidates in a re‑ much‑needed employment. The
Four and a half years have Modiʼs promised ʻachche dinʼ sensus over projecting Rahul cent survey. Modinomics after all 10‑year rule of UPA led by noted
passed and the NDA fell much (good days) are not in sight. Gandhi as PM. Mamata Banerjee, is not a farce. Under his watch In‑ economist Manmohan Singh did
short of delivering on its promis‑ Uttar Pradesh and other BJP‑ the firebrand chief minister of dia is going to overtake the UK be‑ not do it. Manmohanomics did not
es. Worse, fingers were pointed at ruled states wrote off farm loans Bengal, has already declared her coming the fifth largest economy. work as he was acting under the
corruption among higher‑ups in amounting to billions of rupees. candidacy for the post. Remember, India was not even orders of somebody; but Modi‑
power. Make in India and intro‑ Yogi Adityanath of UP alone nulli‑ Mayawatiʼs BSP and Samajwadi among the Top 10 about a decade nomics should succeed as he
ducing bullet trains did not make fied farm loans valued at 392 bil‑ Pary may not sail with Rahul or ago. gives his own orders, accountable
much headway. Not many even lion rupees benefiting 10 million join hands with Chandrababu No matter who is at the helm, to no individual but the people at
appreciated building the tallest people. True, non‑BJP states, in‑ Naidu, the regional satrap who the agrarian distress should be large.

There is no consensus over projecting Rahul Gandhi as PM. Mamata Banerjee is already a contender. Chandrababu Naidu and KCR are trying to float their own third fronts.

By Saket Suman
Insist on Indo-Pak cultural exchanges,
hatever the state of politics be‑
tween India and Pakistan, the citi‑
zens of the neighboring countries
separated at birth, are naturally drawn to
each other, says Fatima Bhutto, niece of for‑
reject barriers: Fatima Bhutto
icalism is born out of religion, I don't think
mer Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto. She said "The narrative we are fed that's necessarily true. I think radicalism
she has personally been a witness to the comes from a hundred different humiliations
today is that radicalism is born
"great warmth" between Indians and Pakista‑ and wounds ‑‑ not just one source. To boot,
nis. out of religion. I think it comes we live in a time where young people are sub‑
"Whether it's Pakistani serials or Indian from a hundred different jected to an overwhelming culture of the self:
films, art or books, as a people we are natu‑ humiliations and wounds,” Everyone wants to be famous, to go viral, to
rally drawn to each other and open and curi‑ be seen, to be significant," she said.
ous to learn more. Art has always broken bar‑ Fatima Bhutto argues.
Bhutto clarified that she doesn't set out to
riers ‑‑ it's always been a powerful way for insert politic in her books but it's what she is
of millennial culture and how difficult it is to
people to connect and communicate with drawn to.
survive in a world on fire, was welcomed with
each other and I think the ease of the internet "My way of seeing the world is shaped by a
rave reviews in India.
has helped us overcome physical obstacles," fundamental belief that politics is ingrained
She said when she began writing it, she was
the 36‑year‑old writer, who has been a critic read before. in everything. It codes the films we watch, the
thinking primarily about her two main male
of Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, When told the cultural exchanges between places we travel to, how we live, how we treat
characters ‑‑ Monty and Sunny ‑‑ who come
whom she accused of being involved in her India and Pakistan have hit rock bottom late‑ others, how we dress ‑‑ everything. With 'The
from very different worlds but are thrown to‑
father Murtaza Bhutto's murder, told IANS in ly, with books being the only exception, Bhut‑ Runaways' I wanted to write about what has
gether in the wilds of Iraq. The narrative of
an email interview from Karachi. to urged people to engage with each other's to happen to a person in order to radicalize
the novel also makes it apparent that young‑
She recalled that, in the year gone by, she creative and popular cultures. him ‑‑ what does it mean to be at war with
sters are drawn to radicalism as a result of so‑
read books by several Indian authors online Interestingly, her recent novel "The Run‑ your society, your family, your friends, your
cietal and political pressures.
and even discovered authors she had not aways" ‑‑ about radicalism and the confusions world?"
"The narrative we are fed today is that rad‑

The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.
46 January 5-18, 2019 INDIA ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Five key events in India

From improving foreign ties to bracing
mammoth Kerala floods, India saw some key
moments in a year defined by the Supreme
Court judgments that delighted the masses
INDIA STRENGTHENED In a 4‑1 majority decision, the Supreme Court in September
lifted the ban on women entering the Sabarimala temple in
FOREIGN RELATIONS Kerala , which it termed as a violation of women's right to
practice religion.
A Supreme Court bench in September held the constitu‑
tional validity of the government's Aadhaar project. However,
it set boundaries to the use of Aadhaar for verification ‑‑ Aad‑
haar can be used for payment of government benefits and tax‑
ation records but private companies were barred from ac‑
cessing it.
In January, the apex court modified a 2016 order which
made playing the national anthem in movie theaters compul‑
sory. By changing the word 'shall' to 'may', it decreed that the
order was no longer mandatory. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat
Proving that love wins, the Supreme Court in a unanimous Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Amit Shah
judgment repealed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code ‑‑ the at the inauguration of 'Statue of Unity'.
draconian law that criminalised same‑sex relations as well as
unnatural sex between consenting adults. The landmark judg‑ WORLD’S HIGHEST
ment held that sexual orientation was a biological phenome‑
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. non and not a mental disorder or something against the or‑ TRIBUTE IN STATUE
Wanting to be close to all major countries, India's policy went
der of nature.
In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court in March broke
beyond the non‑alignment spirit. The recent agreements and new ground, giving legal sanction to the living will of patients Dedicating the the 182‑meter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stat‑
defense cooperation of Russia with Pakistan shook New Del‑ by observing that "Right to refuse medical treatment and die ue in October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is Indiaʼs
hi and led to mending the ties between the two countries. The with dignity is a fundamental right; and a part of the right to reply to all those who question her existence and asked all cit‑
two leaders, Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin, chose the live, as guaranteed by the Constitution". izens to remain united in countering efforts made by divisive
same "informal" format to reset ties in the Russian city of Furthering its championing of women's rights, the apex forces. Unveiling the statue of the former Deputy Prime Min‑
Sochi. Coming on the back of the Doklam standoff between court struck down Section 497, a 158‑year‑old law that con‑ ister built on Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada river at a cost
India and China at the India‑Bhutan‑China tri‑junction, the siders adultery to be an offense committed by one man of Rs 2,389 crore, Modi touted it to be the worldʼs tallest ̶
Wuhan Summit was a useful, timely and necessary step to cut against another, and has been criticized for treating women surpassing Chinaʼs Spring Temple Buddha that stands at 153
through the negativity building up within their ties. as possessions rather than human beings. metres by 29 metres and nearly double of the 93‑metre Stat‑
India became the 43rd member of the Australia Group, ue of Liberty in New York.
which aims to prevent proliferation of biological and chemi‑ KERALA FLOODS The Gujarat government expects the statue to boost
cal weapons, will ensure a more secure world. With this India tourism, with one estimate putting the daily numbers at
is a member of three of the four nuclear export control CREATED HAVOC 15,000.
regimes. The India‑Japan annual summit saw the signing of A viewing gallery at a height of 153 metres has been creat‑
key defense agreements and the official start of negotiations ed inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of the
between the two countries on an acquisition and cross‑serv‑ 1,210 metre long concrete Sardar Sarovar Dam, 3.2 km up‑
icing agreement (ACSA). stream as well as the nearby Satpura and Vindhya mountain
In February when Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in ranges.
Ramallah for a day visit, it was a mark of solidarity with the As per a government statement, the statue has been built
Palestinian people and commitment to "deepening of ties". using over 70,000 tonne of cement, 18,500 tonne of rein‑
India took leadership of the International Solar Alliance forced steel, 6,000 tonne of structural steel and 1,700 tonne
along with France when the so called superpowers of world of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the struc‑
shied away from the greatest challenge that faces the planet, ture.
globally warming and climate change. India has been con‑
sciously working towards the issue of climate problems in the REALTY SECTOR STARES
A YEAR OF LANDMARK Though the fledgling real estate sector facing a slowdown
Army personnel carry rescue operations in
JUDGMENTS flood‑hit Kerala's Chengannur.
due to the weak residential segment showed signs of recov‑
ery in 2018 with affordable and mid‑segment housing driv‑
The Kerala flood disaster in August claimed hundreds of ing sales amidst largely stagnant prices, the liquidity crisis
lives and the estimated value of destruction was more than gripping NBFCs, a major source of funding for realty, put the
the annual outlay of the state. It was the worst flood in Ker‑ brakes on recovery. And with the assembly polls and upcom‑
ala in nearly a century. ing general elections further casting a pall of uncertainty over
About a million people were evacuated. All 14 districts of the liquidity situation in the New Year, real estate is headed
the state were placed on red alert.According to the Kerala for a turbulent turnaround.
government, one‑sixth of the total population of Kerala had This year, the spotlight was on the dominant residential
been directly affected by the floods and related incidents. The segment. With key reforms of RERA and GST settling in and
Indian government had declared it a Level 3 Calamity, or the disruptive impact of demonetization fizzling out, residen‑
"calamity of a severe nature". tial real estate staged a recovery, propelled by substantial in‑
Over 3,274 relief camps were been opened at various loca‑ terest subsidy (up to Rs 2.67 lakh) and lower GST (8 per cent)
tions to accommodate the flood victims. Thirty‑five out of the on affordable and mid‑segment housing.
54 dams within the state were opened, for the first time in Flagship reforms like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
history. (PMAY) proved to be a panacea to bridge the housing deficit,
Kerala will be given Rs. 3,048 crore as an additional assis‑ especially in urban India. Further, liberalization of FDI norms
Sabarimala temple being shut down tance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), of‑ in retail saw growing interest of foreign investors in this seg‑
for "purification rituals”. ficials said in December.. ment, with tier 2 & 3 cities significantly contributing to the
growth of retail real estate, along with metros.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info INDIA ROUNDUP January 5-18, 2019 47

Top 5 defining
moments in India
From the BJP losing in key states to the Supreme Court delivering on morality
and gender justice, the year saw some significant developments in India

MODI'S CHARISMA ed it from demanding the Unique ID (UID) number for each
and every scheme.
house by its supporters, decided to bury the hatchet and join
ranks with the party.
APPEARED TO WANE Another area of serious concern where top court left its in‑
delible stamp was environment. It was unsparing in hauling
Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are now glued to each other
in their hatred for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and haunt‑
the administration for not doing enough for curbing an ed by the spectre of his again returning to power in 2019. Po‑
alarmingly high level of air pollution and the handling of the litical observers here say that this was the "only option before
piling mound of solid waste. the regional satraps as they fought for survival and not suc‑
cess anymore".
DEATHS ON TRACKS The new understanding between the two seemed to have
found favor with the voters who threw their lot behind the
AND SHAKY FINANCES duo after which SP candidates romped home winners in the

STALK RAILWAYS Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana parliamentary by‑polls. Hav‑

ing tasted blood, the two parties now have more or less ce‑
Mowing down 61 people on the tracks on Dussehra, among mented a seat‑sharing agreement for the 2019 Lok Sabha
a spate of accidents; rolling out the first indigenously‑built polls. Even BJP chief Amit Shah has conceded that the com‑
Trainset and inauguration of the long‑awaited Bogibeel rail‑ ing together of the SP and BSP would cost the party dearly in
road bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra river will perma‑ UP.
nently etch 2018 in the annals of the Indian Railways.
However, as the year draws to a close, the national trans‑ POLL TIMING, SOPS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
porter stares at a dismal financial scenario, with its operating
ratio (OR) touching 112.91 per cent till November‑end ‑‑
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP face a
meaning it is spending almost Rs 113 to earn every Rs 100.
Despite the gloom over its financial health, the year will also
tough challenge in the Lok Sabha elections in the coming be remembered for the railways going full steam ahead on
summer in the wake of its defeat in the Assembly elections in electrification, track renewal and elimination of unmanned
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and mounting level crossings ‑‑ the three mantras of Railways Minister
worries on the economic front. Piyush Goyal.
The BJP was contained in Modi's home state of Gujarat in The year's worst train tragedy occurred on October 19
the year‑end Assembly elections where it was stopped short when a speeding train crushed 61 people to death on the
of the 100 mark, signaling the green shoots of recovery for tracks on Dussehra in Amritsar. The festive crowd, including
the Congress. women and children, had spilled over on to the track while
The change in the last one year became evident after a unit‑ watching the burning of Ravana's effigy.
ed Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party defeated The year also witnessed the opening of a limited section of
the BJP in the Lok Sabha by‑elections in its strongholds like the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), one of its flagship proj‑
Gorakhpur and Phulpur and along with the RLD, in Kairana ects ‑‑ though only for trials.
in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress worsted the BJP in parlia‑ Billed as the next‑generation train, the Rs 100 crore Train‑
mentary by‑elections in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and in 18 ‑‑ the costliest so far ‑‑ can run at 160 kmph and is
Karnataka. equipped with world‑class amenities to improve passenger
The results of the Assembly polls in five states, where the comfort to a great extent.
Congress snatched power from the BJP in the Hindi heart‑
land, gave a major boost to the opposition parties and could TECTONIC SHIFT IN UP'S
be a factor in the battle for control of the next Lok Sabha.
During the year, the BJP had lost seven out of the 13 by‑ POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
elections in parliamentary constituencies. Of these, it held
A year is a long time in politics. In Uttar Pradesh, the change
nine since 2014. It could retain only Palghar in Maharashtra
of the calendar from 2017 to 2018 saw a tectonic shift in the
and Shimoga in Karnataka. TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao
political landscape, one that left the ruling BJP and its cadres
The BJP's tally in the Lok Sabha has come down to 268
shocked to the core. Mayawati, the Dalit powerhouse who was
from 282 in 2014. Early Assembly elections and the Telangana Rashtra
daggers drawn with arch rival, the Samajwadi Party (SP),
In the present political scenario, political analysts feel the Samithi (TRS) retaining power with a landslide majority ear‑
since June 2, 1995, after a murderous attack on her at a guest
BJP is unlikely to repeat its performance of 2014, especially lier this month dominated the events in Telangana during
in key states. 2018.
Eight months before the expiry of the Assembly's term, the
SC DELIVERED ON TRS government recommended dissolution of the House on

MORALITY AND September 6. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan accepted the rec‑

ommendation the same day.
GENDER JUSTICE Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao's
gamble of early polls paid rich dividends as the party bagged
The Supreme Court entered 2018 on a tumultuous note 88 seats in 119‑member Assembly. The historic alliance be‑
with four senior‑most judges going public over its function‑ tween Congress and its arch rival for 36 years, Telugu Desam
ing and the allocation of cases, including certain cases being Party (TDP) ‑‑ and the formation of four‑party People's Al‑
selectively allocated to select benches. liance led by Congress ‑‑ failed to stop the TRS juggernaut.
The press conference by the four judges, including Ranjan The year began with the launch of free 24‑hour electricity
Gogoi, who was elevated to Chief Justice later in the year, cre‑ to the agriculture sector. This made Telangana the first state
ated ripples in judicial and political circles which Justice Ami‑ in the country to provide this facility to farmers.
tava Roy said left the top court with a "fractured face" and The year also saw the launch of two major schemes for
dented its credibility and the paramountcy of the judicial farmers. Under 'Rythu Bandhu', an investment support of Rs
process. 8,000 is being provided to each farmer per acre per year for
The year also saw court telling the government that Aad‑ two crops. 'Rythu Beema' offers Rs 5 lakh life insurance cov‑
haar was not panacea of all that ails governance and restrict‑ BSP Supremo Mayawati, er to every farmer.
48 January 5-18, 2019 ANALYSIS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Will Modi be PM Congress party

ousted BJP from
power in the

again in 2019?
heartland states of
MP, Rajasthan &
Chhattisgarh. In UP
too, BJP’s popularity
has suffered. So, is
By Shaker Nelanuthala
Narendra Modi’s
charisma on the

remember vividly the early wane? In the Lok
hours of May 16, 2014 when I
was glued to NDTV news on
Sabha elections this
election results in India. As the year, will BJP scrape
numbers came pouring in, it was through and Modi
an inevitable change and a victo‑
ry for the BJP led National Demo‑
become PM again.
cratic Alliance (NDA). It was an
coined by a Victorian philosopher
amazing and awe‑inspiring night!
Herbert Spencer and employed
Not only did the NDA get a con‑
repeatedly by the Congress party
vincing mandate (won 336 seats /
to install Nehru‑Gandhis in the
273 needed for simple majority),
PM seat, will come into play in fa‑
they embarrassed the incumbent tesy of Muslim millennials); Aadhar card; consolidation of candidate for the PM post. We as
vor of Modi. The rise of conserva‑
UPA‑Congress party. The torpor perennial infrastructure problems troubled banks; and demonetiza‑ Indians or as Indian‑Americans
tives like Modi in India, Theresa
that was prevalent in the Con‑ and finally, by an efficient use of tion (which created short term are no longer interested in dy‑
May in UK and Donald Trump in
gress party made them lose technology via micro‑targeting hardships to common people) nasty rule (Gandhi, Bush, Clinton
America was caused by growing
around 20 states with no repre‑ (including the use of social media) were heralded as a success. For clans). The opposition parties that
populism and nationalism in
sentatives at all in the 16th Lok to reach out to every BJP/ Modi this Modi should be given all the include the UPA‑Congress and
these democracies. Were Modi to
Sabha. The sycophant‑dominated, voter in the country. accolades. several regional players have a
get PMship again, will it presage
nonchalant grand old party gar‑ A “Chaiwallah” (tea seller), an al‑ Now that the year 2019 has mental torpor and are extremely
survival of Brexit‑May and the re‑
nered a meager 44 seats, making truistic person and a virtuoso in rolled in, itʼs time for new elec‑ polemical. There are also several
election of President Trump? My
them ineligible to even assume politics that came from penury tions in India for the 17th Lok egocentric megalomaniacs who
epiphany! Time will tell.
the status of Opposition party came to rule the largest democra‑ Sabha. The question on every In‑ would want to Prime Minister and
(needed 55 seats). cy in the world. Modiʼs policies dian and NRIʼs mind is, whether as such there is no consensus on
As analyzed by The Telegraph of are more in line with those of the Modi will become PM again. Here any one candidate.
the UK, there were five solid rea‑ conservatives in other parts of the is my take on this issue. The recent state election losses
sons for Narendra Modi leading world. The policies of deregula‑ In 2014 the BJP projected Mr. for BJP in the Hindi heartland
BJP to a spectacular victory and tion helped the country signifi‑ Modi as its PM candidate right should have limited effect on na‑
to become the Prime Minister of cantly, by moving it from 134th in from the get‑go, almost in the tional elections. It is likely that
India. They included the slowing the world in 2014 to 77th in the style of a US Presidential candi‑ the BJP and its NDA partners will
down of the GDP to around 5%; world as far as ease of doing busi‑ date. A majority of the electorate fall short by a few seats . I per‑
the corruption that has reached a ness is concerned. In addition, cast their vote for Mr. Modi, and sonally feel that they would get
new high; disenchantment among several policies implemented many had little clue of the actual around 230 seats (will need about
the youth that did not care for were business and consumer BJP candidates that they were 43 more) and they should be able
communal politics, voted with
Shaker Nelanuthala is an IT &
friendly, including a uniform GST; voting for. to garner these required seats to
their hearts and on pocket book
Web development consultant,
Real Estate (Regulation and De‑ Now again, in 2019, the BJP is form a government from a frac‑
issues (one study found Modi gar‑
political junkie and a writer for
velopment) Act; Benami Transac‑ featuring Modi as the PM candi‑ tured and incoherent opposition.
nered the highest percentage of
The South Asian Times. He lives
tions (Prohibition) Amendment date and is challenging the oppo‑ In the end, the TINA factor
Muslim vote in BJP history, cour‑
on Long Island.
Act; Biometric identification via sition parties to come up with a (There Is No Alternative), as

Rajasthanʼs popular CMs, Shivraj

Master of developing India,

Singh Chauhan and Vasundhara
Raje have been ousted, which is
perceived as a taste of first suc‑
cess by Rahul Gandhi. But the
margin of votes with which the

Modi to return as PM BJP lost is not substantial, lead‑

ing me to conclude that majority
of voters still appreciates PM

By Ashok Vyas This image is still intact in the inconvenience for small business have been brought into the orbit
mind of a common Indian. In owners. Yet, in 2018, Indiaʼs of banking. One can list many

rime Minister Narendra terms of his sincerity, simple and economy grew more than most positives for the Modi govern‑
Modi retains his unique disciplined living style with abili‑ of the key nations of the world. ment but questions about the
position as a very special ty to think out of the box, identi‑ Soon, India will overtake the UK Rafale deal raised by Congress
leader of modern India. He is the fy problems, confront them and to become worldʼs fifth largest President Rahul Gandhi also
first leader to have convincingly of fer executable solutions has economy. Indiaʼs international caught attention. Concerns about
demonstrated his understanding strengthened with landmark de‑ image has significantly improved India becoming unsafe for the
of Indian culture with whole‑ cisions taken by his government. under Modiʼs leadership. minorities are being voiced ‑‑ BJP
hearted appreciation of the so‑ The Modi government has defi‑ Infrastructure is markedly im‑ has always been referred to as
cial fabric of Bharat interwoven nitely moved the needle by re‑ proving. The speed of road con‑ ʻHindu Nationalist Partyʼ by the
Ashok Vyas is Program Director
with the awareness of the eter‑ placing Indiaʼs policy paralysis struction has changed Indiaʼs foreign media. Modiʼs cabinet
with ITVGold. Poet and Hindu
nal. with a dynamic approach. connectivity. Building toilets has colleagues are made to again and
priest he also writes primarily on
He seems to be a genuine devo‑ dmittedly the rollout of demon‑ helped in improving the quality again explain the ground reality
Hinduism, Indian culture and
tee of Mother Goddess and a true etization af fected millions of of life of rural folks. of ʻSabka Saath, Sabka Vikaasʼ.
admirer of Swami Vivekananda. people, and GST has caused lot of Millions of common Indians Indeed, Madhya Pradesh and
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
50 January 5-18, 2019 OPINION TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Modi must make women’s

safety priority No. 1
tending a tougher‑than‑expected family man insensitive to the plight
battle for him to retain power in the of women and young girls? Modi has
upcoming nationwide elections. His to man up now and take action,
By Sunil Tolani opponents are divided and lack a amending penal codes and ensuring
leader of his stature. But even if that swift action is taken and justice

here is no doubt Prime Minis‑ Modi wins again, his allure as a is served right away and the cases
ter Narendra Modi is Indiaʼs statesman and reformer has faded. donʼt languish in courts forever. The
most charismatic politician in In my view, the # 1 thing that can BJP government said it was consid‑
a generation. And for over four and bolster Modi is women of India. If I ering tougher penalties for rape cas‑
a half years was Modi or leading BJP, I would es, including the death penalty in
he has ruled make womenʼs status and safety my crimes in which the victim is
with a swag‑ # 1, 2 and 3 priorities. This will be younger than 12.
ger that cap‑ Modiʼs biggest opportunity to do Modi, a savvy communicator who
tivated Indi‑ good in the biggest problem India skilfully uses social media, said with
ans who have faces. the patriarchal attitude which infects
long believed Indian women have the highest most Indian thinking about women:
their country rate of suicide in the world. A stag‑ “Our daughters will get justice.”
wasnʼt taken gering 230,000 women in India an‑ The question is, who will make
Working on womenʼs safety and status will be Modiʼs biggest
seriously nually die from suicide. Under‑re‑ sure justice is served. Modi is calling
opportunity to do good in the biggest problem India faces.
enough or re‑ porting and mis‑classification of sui‑ for a mass movement to protect the
spected enough on the world stage. cide deaths, rapes and sexual ha‑ in the countryʼs largely patriarchal voyeurism. There was a 12% rise in girl child in India with his flagship
But the hype isnʼt always good. His rassment are common. Women still society. rape related cases in 2016 in part campaign “Beti Bachao, Beti Pad‑
2016 decision to cancel the two face lower status and barriers to op‑ It is estimated that nearly 39,000 because women felt more embold‑ hao."
most valuable currency notes looks portunity. sexual assaults occur every year but ened to report crimes. But the na‑ The bottom line is, India has a long
increasingly like a colossal blunder, Indiaʼs rape crisis and #MeToo are the real number may be 5‑7 times tional statistics remain shocking. In way to go on race and caste issues,
which crushed the poor and middle‑ a national shame and disgrace. Sexu‑ higher. 40% of the rape cases, the victims gender equality, female infanticide,
class people of India. Relations with al harassment, abuse and violence is There has to be a come‑to‑Jesus‑ were under 18. dowry, sexual harassment and do‑
nuclear‑armed rival Pakistan are at a rampant in the workplace. Sexual fa‑ moment, a national soul‑searching Narendra Modi came to power, mestic violence, rape and more.
low ebb. Modi has been silent as par‑ vors are demanded by men in posi‑ whether anything changed since partly professing pro‑Hindu Ideolo‑ Modi must seize the initiative in this
tisans and officials of his Hindu na‑ tion of power and authority and un‑ 2013 when, post‑Nirbhaya, the gov‑ gy, where women are respected and regard.
tionalist party are implicated in hate reported by women for fear of ernment introduced measures to honored. Modi is a single man, nev‑
crimes against minority Muslims shame and losing their jobs and speed up prosecutions of rape cases er fathered children. . While cam‑ Sunil Tolani is CEO of Los Angeles
and Sikhs. Recently the BJP lost con‑ livelihood. Molestations and catcall‑ and expanded the definition of sex paigning he boasted that he had "no‑ based Prince Organization, which is
trol of three state assemblies, por‑ ing on streets is deeply entrenched crimes to include stalking and one to be corrupt for". So is the no‑ in hospitality business.

India needs a competency-enhancing,

job-creation master plan
By Frank Islam economies after World War II through a laser beam focus
on technical and vocational education. It should also com‑

hen Narendra Modi was campaigning for his pare and contrast what China has done to evolve its infor‑
party in 2014, he promised to create 10 million mal sector.
jobs per year. The Modi administration has The master plan should clearly spell out a vision, goals,
come nowhere near generating that number during his strategies, strategic action programs, implementation re‑
tenure in office, with the Indian economy expanding but quirements, facilitating factors, potential obstacles or bar‑
the growth being essentially "jobless". riers, and critical success factors. It should present a de‑
In this election year, job creation, or tailed budget and cost‑benefit analysis.
the lack thereof, has become a con‑ The master plan must be multi‑faceted, addressing all ar‑
tentious topic. eas that are essential for building and evolving a modern
Modi and his supporters ‑‑ using data Indian workforce and economy, including: Rural and ur‑
which now includes jobs that have ban differences, literacy enhancement, skill development,
moved from the informal to the formal vocational and technical education, apprenticeship and
sector due to factors such as tax pay‑ mentoring, entrepreneurship, small‑ and mid‑size business
ments, government loans and health‑ my: A Statistical Picture" said that for a country to be de‑ assistance, high‑growth firm focus, public service employ‑
care coverage ‑‑ claim numerous jobs veloped it must have a high percent of its workforce in the ment as a means for propelling national and state‑level ini‑
have been created recently. His opponents assert that the formal sector which provides meaningful employment and tiatives forward, and, implementing a uniform job creation
data is being manipulated to give the appearance of job benefits for employees. India, with more than 80 per cent and employment measurement methodology.
creation. of jobs in the informal sector, ranks lower than even India has many of the bits and pieces for job creation to‑
Here are some facts about the nature of India's economy Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. day. For example, it is an international leader in informa‑
and the dimensions of that problem:| This is a formula for failure. For India to become a de‑ tion technology driven by the private sector; it has the
* India has a huge workforce of 470 million people with veloped nation, it must have modern jobs, workforce and Make in India manufacturing focus driven by the govern‑
"almost half " of that workforce being self‑employed. economy. This could be accomplished by creating and im‑ ment; and, it has numerous start‑ups driven by fledgling
* Over 80 per cent of the Indian workforce is in the in‑ plementing a citizen‑centered and competency‑enhancing entrepreneurs. Bringing these pieces together into an in‑
formal as opposed to the formal sector. job creation master plan. That plan should be developed tegrated and coordinated master plan will solve the job‑
* 12 million Indian youth enter the workforce each year. based upon a comprehensive, objective and strategic as‑ creation puzzle in a manner that will make India and its
These are staggering numbers. The most critical one re‑ sessment, including a SWOT analysis of India's current people economic leaders in the 21st century.
lates to the percentage of the Indian workforce currently and future job situation and the employment and employ‑
in the informal sector. ability needs of its citizens and employers. The plan should Frank F. Islam is an entrepreneur, civic and thought
An ILO report "Women and Men in the Informal Econo‑ study how Japan and Germany transformed their leader based in Washington, D.C.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info I N T E R N A T I O N A L R O U N D U P January 5-18, 2019 51

North Korea, Pakistan

took center-stage in 2018
The year gone by was important for the international politics as rogue nation North Korea finally returned
to the path of dialogue & Imran Khan rose phenomenally to Nawaz Sharif’s staggering fall in Pakistan

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with A Brexit protester outside the House of People protest against the disappearance and murder
US President Donald Trump in Singapore. Parliament in London. of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Denuclearized N. Trump and Kim were expected to EU member states would be com‑ US decides troop 14,000 American troops stationed
meet in the first half of 2019 to iron pelled to tax all imports from and in the war‑torn country would jeop‑
Korea amid Trump- out remaining differences and take exports to the UK by applying the
pullout from Syria, ardize the peace efforts as it would
Kim bonhomie the peace process forward. bloc's agreed customs code. Afghanistan reduce the incentive for the Taliban

to negotiate a deal to end the 17‑
fter years of threatening the Brexit in limbo as Khashoggi’s killing With the suddenness of revela‑
year war.
world with nuclear annihila‑ tion, President Donald Trump an‑
deadline looms triggers crisis for
tion, North Korea chose to nounced withdrawal from Syria and US pulled out of
return to the path of dialogue. Reel‑ With less than 100 days left until Saudi Arabia “drawdown” from Afghanistan.
Iran nuclear deal
ing under tough world sanctions, Brexit, the UKʼs planned divorce The murder of dissident journal‑ President Donald Trumpʼs an‑
Kim Jong‑Un became the first North from the European Union experi‑ ist Jamal Khashoggi created a ma‑ nounced a complete pullout from President Donald Trump in May
Korean leader to enter South Korea, enced a rocky year, with Prime Min‑ jor crisis in Saudi Arabia as several Syria, where some 2,000 soldiers announced that the United States
where he met the South Korean ister Theresa Mayʼs plan facing global leaders castigated the Saudi are deployed as part of an interna‑ would pull out of the multilaterally
president Moon Jae‑In to initiate staunch opposition from within her leadership. tional coalition fighting the Islamic negotiated Joint Comprehensive
baby‑steps towards lowering ten‑ own party. The assassination of the Wash‑ State (IS) terrorist group. Plan of Action (JCPOA).
sions on the peninsula. The British cabinet met several ington Post columnist occurred at He said that his country cannot In 2015, Iran agreed a long‑term
Setting an important milestone in times to discuss whether to ramp the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The be the world's policeman, even as deal on its nuclear programme with
the history, Kim met US President up preparations for a no‑deal Brex‑ exact cause of his death is unknown he claimed victory against the IS. the P5+1 group of world powers ‑
Donald Trump at a summit in Sin‑ it amid uncertainty. As May's pro‑ since his body has not been found. While Russia and Turkey seemed to the US, UK, France, China, Russia
gapore where the two leaders posed exit plan struggles in Parlia‑ Saudi Arabia is now in a position welcome the decision, rest of the and Germany. The deal, formally
signed a joint statement agreeing to ment, both sides are preparing for from where it was difficult to con‑ world, including France and UK, known as the Joint Comprehensive
the denuclearization of the Korean the worst case scenario. vince the world that Khashoggi's were left stunned. Trump was also Plan of Action, offered Tehran bil‑
Peninsula. The European Commission (EC) mysterious disappearance wasn't mulling withdrawal of nearly 7,000 lions of dollars in sanctions relief in
The summit removed the immedi‑ has also published a set of meas‑ planned in the kingdom. Denying troops from Afghanistan. exchange for agreeing to curb its
ate threat of war from the Korean ures that would limit the negative the leadershipʼs involvement in the Former top US commander in nuclear program. It came after
peninsula as the North indicated its effects on Europe of the UK leaving killing, Riyadh fired five top offi‑ Afghanistan Retired General Stan‑ years of tension over Iran's alleged
willingness to embark upon the the EU without an exit deal. cials and arrested 18 Saudis as a re‑ ley McChrystal said in December efforts to develop a nuclear
process of denuclearization. In the event of a no‑deal scenario, sult of the initial investigations. that the withdrawal of half of weapon.

The phenomenal rise mentary election in early January. dered the arrest of chief justice a former pres‑
ident. The emergency was lifted after 45
of Imran Khan No homecoming days. In September, the joint candidate of the

ricketer‑turned‑politician Imran for Rohingya coalition of opposition parties, Ibrahim Mo‑
Khan was elected Pakistan's 22nd hamed Solih, prevented Yameen from seeking
The misery of Rohingya, a highly persecut‑
Prime Minister by the country's Na‑ a second term as the president by securing
ed Muslim group numbering over one mil‑
tional Assembly in August after his Pakistan 58% votes in the president elections. In No‑
lion, continued – both in the refugee camps of
Tehreek‑e‑Insaf (PTI) party won the highest vember, Solih took oath as Maldives' third
Bangladesh and in their native Rakhine
number of seats in the general election. democratically‑elected president.
province of Myanmar.
Former Prime Minister and PML‑N chief Despite the repatriation deal between the Sheikh Hasina won
Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years in governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh,
prison on corruption charges and banned fourth term as PM
homecoming did not happen as the condi‑
from contesting elections. tions were not considered conducive for their Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Political impasse voluntary repatriation. secured a new term with a landslide victory
In June, Myanmar inked an agreement with on the last day of the year ‑‑ in an election
in Sri Lanka UN to expedite the process of Rohingya repa‑ marred by deadly violence and condemned
Sri Lanka plunged into a political turmoil triation, but the MoU was kept under wraps. by the opposition as "farcical" amid vote rig‑
when President Maithiripala Sirisena abrupt‑ Rohingya community leaders, after seeing ging claims.
ly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wick‑ the leaked MoU, rejected the agreement, say‑ The opposition alliance led by the
remesinghe and replaced him with former ing it did not address their concerns. Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of jailed
President Mahinda Rajapaksa. former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia took just
The turmoil in Maldives seven seats and condemned the vote as "far‑
Wickremesinghe was reinstated as Prime
Minister after the Supreme Court ruled as Severe political crisis erupted in the island cical". With Bangladesh, Indiaʼs ties contin‑
"unconstitutional" Sirisena's decision to dis‑ nation when President Yameen Abdul Gay‑ ued to remain positive as has been the case
solve Parliament and conduct a snap parlia‑ oom declared a state of emergency and or‑ under the prime ministership of Hasina.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
52 January 5-18, 2019 BUSINESS ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

US China trade war

dominated business world
The tumultous US‐China trade ties, India’s efforts towards extradition of fugitives Vijay
Mallya and Nirav Modi and Walmart‐Flipkart mega deal made headlines in 2018
Traffic soared Shaktikanta Das. of new projects, however, declined
India, meanwhile, continued to be this year, with around 1.9 lakh
on low fares the fastest growing big economy units being launched ‑ 22 per cent
Chinese Even as strong headwinds ‑‑ soar‑ during 2018 with its gross domes‑ lower on a year‑on‑year basis.
President Xi ing jet fuel prices and low yields ‑‑ tic product (GDP) rising at above 7
per cent.
Indian firms see
Jinping induced financial turbulence, the
with his US country's civil aviation sector main‑ On the inflation front, lower food silver lining in Cloud
counterpart tained robust traffic growth rate prices kept headline inflation down,
With digital transformation rap‑
Donald during 2018. which touched a 13‑month low of
idly re‑defining the regional land‑
Trump in Passengers were delighted as ma‑ 3.3 per cent in October, and fell fur‑
Buenos Aires, scape in India ‑‑ amid humongous
jor airlines flew‑out to un‑served ther to 2.3 per cent last month.
Argentina. amount of data being generated ‑‑
domestic destinations and budget Core inflation, however, continued
many more enterprises this year
carriers planned international ex‑ to remain elevated.
looked at embracing agile, scalable
Rise of unicorns in and cost‑friendly Cloud.
As per Directorate General of Civ‑ Nearly 88 per cent business lead‑
il Aviation (DGCA) data, India's do‑ Indian start-ups
90-day truce in mestic air passenger traffic grew
ers from India, polled in the Mi‑
India witnessed a dramatic rise of crosoft's "Asia Digital Transforma‑
US-China trade war by 11.03 per cent to 1.164 crore in eight unicorns in 2018 from among tion Study", acknowledge that

November, while it rose by 19.21 the start‑ups across verticals as Cloud technology is a critical en‑
ince midway through this
per cent during the January‑No‑ against a mere nine in six years abler that will fuel their digital
year, Washington imposed
vember 2018 period. from 2011 till 2017, according to transformation.
tariffs on $250 billion
worth of goods from China, to Indian IT industry IT industry apex body Nasscom. Nearly 43 per cent of Indian en‑
which Beijing responded with im‑ With the addition of the start‑ups, terprises will adopt Hybrid Cloud
goes digital about 40,000 jobs were created by 2020 ‑‑ from 13 per cent as of
port duties on $60 billion worth of
products from the US. Vijay Mallya Nirav Modi. Embracing disruptive technolo‑ during the year, taking their total in today. For India, 91 per cent of re‑
US President Donald Trump and gies to stay ahead of the curve, the the ecosystem of 7,200‑7,500 firms spondents agreed that Cloud com‑
Chinese President Xi Xinping re‑ dustrialist Vijay Mallya to stand tri‑ buoyant Indian IT industry made to 1.6‑1.7 lakh. puting has increased the efficiency
sorted to a tit‑for‑tat tariffs row al on charges of committing a Rs digital business its growth driver in The investment in the native of their IT departments.
since June this year which roiled 9,000‑crore bank loan fraud, the In‑ 2018, despite facing a shortage of start‑ups rose by a phenomenal
dian High Commission in London 108 per cent annually to $4.2 bil‑
world markets for months. skills and double‑digit attrition.
However, during a dinner meet‑ said it was in touch with British au‑ The industry revved up this fiscal lion in nine months (January‑Sep‑ mega deal
ing held on the sidelines of the G20 thorities, with the case now in the (2018‑19) to meet the increasing tember) from $2 billion in the same
hands of British Home Secretary. World's largest retailer Walmart
summit in Argentinian capital demand for new services in the dig‑ period of 2017.
On December 10, the Westminster picked up 77 percent stake in e‑
Buenos Aires on December 1, Xing‑ ital domain, spanning Artificial In‑
Magistrates' Court in London gave Indian realty's commerce major Flipkart year for
ping and Trump decided to suspend telligence (AI), automation, $16 billion, taking the companyʼs
imposing of any new tariffs for 90 its decision recommending the ex‑ blockchain, Cloud, data analytics or revival year
tradition of Mallya. value at about $20 billion, which
days. mining, Internet of Things (IoT),
Regarding absconding diaman‑ The year turned out to be an also met with protests in India.
But if there is no deal at the end machine learning (ML) and robot‑
taires Nirav Modi and Mehul Chok‑ eventful one for the Indian real es‑ Flipkart co‑founder Sachin Bansal
of the 90‑day grace period, the US ics. Accounting for 37 per cent
si, both wanted in the Rs 13,500‑ tate marked by the improvement in exited the business by selling his
will increase the tariffs on the $200 share of the global outsourcing of
crore Punjab National Bank fraud sales and its return to stability after entire stake of over 5 percent for
billions of goods from 10 percent to software services, the Indian IT‑
case, India was following up on the the double blow of GST and demon‑ around Rs 7,000 crore to Walmart
25 percent. BPM (business process manage‑
extradition requests submitted to etisation. immediately after the deal.
ment) industry is set to post $167
India rises in ease the British and Antigua & Barbuda billion revenue for fiscal 2018‑19
Although real estate did not wit‑ Another co‑founder Binny Bansal
ness an increase in launches, devel‑ stepped down in November as the
of doing business authorities. from $154 billion in fiscal 2017‑ opers say, the market registered CEO following an independent
With India jumping 23 places to Air India floats 18. higher sale of inventory in 2018 probe into allegations of "serious
77th rank on “Ease of Doing Busi‑ in deep red RBI governor quits compared to last year. The number personal misconduct".
ness” index, World Bank chief Jim
Yong Kim called up Prime Minister A 76 per cent stake sale process
Narendra Modi to congratulate him of national carrier Air India ended
for the ʻhistoric riseʼ in the rank‑ abruptly this year as "no interest"
ings. was shown by bidders.
Kim said this has been made pos‑ On May 31, the Ministry of Civil
sible, in large measure, due to the Aviation said that "no response"
unwavering commitment and lead‑ was received even during the ex‑
ership of Prime Minister Modi. He tended submission deadline for the
described this as a historic and un‑ 'Expression of Interest' (EOI) bids
precedented achievement. under Air India's divestment
Kim called it ʻremarkableʼ for a process and the "further course of
nation of over 1.25 billion people to action will be decided appropriate‑
Former Reserve Bank of India
have achieved a rise of 65 ranks in ly". Governor Urjit Patel.
a short period of 4 years. Naresh Goyal‑led Jet Airways, in
which Gulf carrier Etihad holds 24 The year leading up to the 2019
Mallya, Nirav percent stake, also grappled with fi‑ general elections was topped up by
Modi’s extraditions nancial woes and even delayed pay‑ the abrupt resignation of Urjit Patel
ment of salaries to staff. as the RBI Governor, a rare phe‑
come closer nomenon in the banking world. He
Jet Airways has been reporting
After a British court in December losses since last three successive was immediately replaced by for‑ Traders protest against Walmart's acquisition
ordered the extradition of Indian in‑ quarters. mer Economic Affairs Secretary of largest e‑tailer Flipkart.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
54 January 5-18, 2019 SPORTS ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Top defining moments

for sports in 2018
From the rise of Indian women shuttlers to the tiny Croatia reaching a soccer World Cup
final for the first time, the world of sports witnessed some spirited performances.
Serena Williamsʼ extended argument with
PV Sindhu,
chair umpire Carlos Ramos at the U.S. Open
India's leading
final in September was uncomfortable: she
called him a “thief” for calling violations on
her, and she accused him of sexism, as many
male players have treated umpires far worse
than she did and never suffered a game
penalty at a crucial point of a Grand Slam
The post‑match booing at the trophy cere‑
mony, which honored Japanʼs Naomi Osaka
̶ the superior player that day ̶ as U.S.
Open champ, was unfortunate. Serenaʼs out‑
burst, however, sparked a global debate
about gender bias, decorum, and proper in‑
an unanimous 5:0 verdict.
terpretation of rules. No on‑court moment
The 35‑year‑old Mary, a mother of three
was more consequential.
and a pre‑tournament favorite for the gold,
Tiger finally comes rewrote the record books when she eclipsed
A watershed year for AB de Villiers, India's Mohammed Kaif, Sri
out of the woods her joint haul of five golds with Katie Taylor
Lankan spin‑bowling great Rangana Herath,
of Ireland.
women shuttlers West Indian all‑rounder Dwayne Bravo.
The Manipuri pugilist, who went over her

ndian badminton continued to move Croatia celebrates weight category to clinch a 51 kg bronze at
northwards in 2018, especially the the London Olympics, previously clinched the
women's singles players ‑‑ P.V. Sindhu and in true style World Championship gold on five occasions ‑
veteran Saina Nehwal ‑‑ as they dished out ‑ 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 ‑‑ besides
one stunning performance after another. bagging a silver on her debut in 2001.
While Sindhu extended her status as India's
leading shuttler and shrugged off the 'chok‑
Wrestling: Phogat,
er' tag by winning the BWF World Tour Finals Punia, Sushil shine
title, Saina bounced back in style from in‑
juries to pocket a few titles. On the wrestling mat, Vinesh Phogat be‑
The 28‑year‑old Saina, who struggled with came more than just a famous Phogat sister
consistency and fitness in 2017, grappled with gold medals at both the CWG and Asian
gallantly with a cramped schedule and went Games and Bajrang Punia stepped out of the
on to clinch few titles along with the runner‑ shadow of his mentor and London Olympics
up finishes. bronze‑medallist Yogeshwar Dutt.
Punia won gold at CWG and Asiad before a
England had extinguished so much heart‑ After injuries and personal scandal nearly
Cricket's highs break at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After left him an afterthought on the PGA Tour,
silver at World Championships positioned
him as the biggest star.
and lows being eliminated from the tournament via Tiger Woods capped off a stellar comeback
However, double Olympic‑medallist Sushil
penalty shootouts in 1990, 1998, and 2006, campaign, in which he contended for two ma‑
The gentleman's game hit a new low in Kumar's stock fell due to a string of sub‑par
England finally clinched a World Cup jor titles ̶ Woods shot a final round 64 at
2018 when two of the world's finest batsmen performances.
shootout victory, in the round of 16 against the PGA Championship to finish second ̶
‑‑ Steve Smith and David Warner ‑‑ copped Columbia. with his first tour win in over five years, at Tennis: Manika
year‑long bans from Cricket Australia for And in the semifinal against Croatia, Eng‑ the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
their involvement in the infamous 'sandpaper land scored five minutes into the game to go As Woods walked towards the 18th green Batra rises
gate' scandal while in India, it was marred by up 1‑0. England held the lead into the second in September to soak in his victory, thou‑
The big takeaway in table tennis was the
"MeToo" allegations against the BCCI CEO half, before Croatiaʼs Ivan Perišić tied up the sands of fans trailed him on the course, as if
rise of Manika Batra.
Rahul Johri before he was re‑instated after game in the 68th minute. he were their leader. The scene spoke to
The Delhiite claimed four medals, including
the charges found very few takers, even as The tension built in extra time, before Tigerʼs power.
two gold, in the CWG before combining with
the administrative mess continues.
On the field, while the start was inauspi‑
Mario Mandžukićʼs left‑footed goal in the
109th minute set off a wild celebration. Croa‑
Golden State veteran Sharath Kamal for a historic mixed
doubles bronze at the Asiad, where India de‑
cious in South Africa, India capped off the tian players piled on top of photographer Warriors win livered its best‑ever medal haul.
year on a resounding note, thus stamping Yuri Cortez, a proʼs pro who still managed to
their authority as the top ranked Test side snap some memorable pics in the mayhem.
NBA again Unified Korea walks
when they took an unprecedented 2‑1 lead in Croatia held on to reach a World Cup final for People may have expected the Warriors to
the four‑Test series over Australia, after beat‑ the first time. win the NBA title this year, but winning three
together during 2018
ing the Kangaroos by 137 runs in the Boxing
Serena Williams of the last four years is a hell of an achieve‑ Olympics
Day Test in Melbourne.
ment ̶ especially the way they did it. They
Virat Kohli broke a 16‑year‑old record by The year began with the Olympic Winter
batting legend Rahul Dravid to become the
states her case corralled LeBron James and squeezed the life
Games PyeongChang 2018, which were a
out of the Cavaliers, completing a sweep and
highest run getter for India in away Test success story in so many respects.
etching their names among the greatest dy‑
matches in a calendar year. The best expression of this was the joint
nasties the league has ever seen.
In ODIs, the 30‑year‑old broke Sachin Ten‑ march of the athletes of the NOCs of the Re‑
dulkar's record and became the fastest to get Mary Kom public of Korea and the Democratic Peopleʼs
10,000 runs. Republic of Korea at the Opening Ceremony.
The year also witnessed a number of greats
scripts history They entered the Olympic Stadium as one
fading into the sunset with Gautam Gambhir. Mary Kom scripted history by clinching a team, united behind one flag, the Korean uni‑
Among the other prominent names to bid record sixth World Championship Gold medal fication flag.
goodbye to the game are former England in the light flyweight 48 kilogram category Norway led the total medal tally with 39,
Test captain Alastair Cook, ex‑Protea skipper after outclassing Ukraine's Hanna Okhota by followed by Germany's 31 and Canada's 29.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
56 January 5-18, 2019 TECH ROUNDUP TheSouthAsianTimes.info

How technology
changed our lives in 2018

echnology had an un‑
precedented impact on
An image
our lives as the year 2018
sent from
went by. From influencing elec‑ Parker Solar
tions to deciding what digital Probe
info you consume to spreading (Image
violence via fake news to design‑ courtesy:
er babies and art created by arti‑ NASA/Naval
ficial intelligence! Research
The positives definitely weigh Laboratory/
equally. The year brought new Parker Solar
breakthroughs, solutions, and Probe)
discoveries as a result of the re‑
search conducted day in and day
out by some of the world's best
minds in science and technology.
A year of many firsts for Indian Space Technology
We take a look back at promi‑ (ISRO). It completed 16 mis‑ lion, five‑year program to
8 While the term Fake News usher in a new era of data
nent moments and trends…. sions, signing off with 7 suc‑ harness the power of AI to fo‑
was one of the most popular privacy. In late May, Euro‑
cessful missions within 35 cus on four priorities ̶ help‑
of 2018, the yearʼs Word of pean Union lawmakers
days. This included two suc‑ ing the world recover from
SPACE cessful GSLV missions in a disasters, addressing the
the Year according to Dic‑ passed a user‑centric data
privacy law dictating what
tionary.com was: Misinforma‑
TECHNOLOGY single year. GSLV Mk‑III com‑
pleted its development flights
needs of children, protecting
refugees and displaced peo‑
tion ̶ defined as “false infor‑ companies can and cannot do
mation that is spread, regard‑ with the information shared
8 NASA reached a significant and entered the operational ple, and promoting respect
less of whether there is intent with them. This has far‑
milestone this year turning arena. GSAT‑29, the heaviest for human rights.
to mislead” ̶ often used in‑ reaching implications world‑
60 years old. Created by the satellite launched from Indi‑ 8 Artificial intelligence has
terchangeably with the ex‑ wide, affecting internet busi‑
National Aeronautics and an soil and GSAT‑11, the been making “art” for years,
pression Fake News and/or nesses, media publishers, and
Space Act of 1958, the space heaviest satellite built by and as A.I. systems have ad‑
the word disinformation. anyone else with European
agency began formal opera‑ ISRO were the two hallmark vanced, so too have the quali‑
8 2018 was the year of tech users.
tions on October 1, 1958. achievements of the year. ty of their creations. 2018
hearings on Capitol Hill. Even
8 In August 2018, NASA 8 Several new technological saw perhaps the biggest
launched the Parker Solar milestones achieved by ISRO breakthrough for the inter‑
Facebookʼs founder and CEO MEDICAL
Mark Zuckerberg, the compa‑
Probe: a spacecraft designed
to travel to the edge of the
by inducting the payloads for
Hyper‑Spectral Imaging
section of A.I. and art, when
the historic auction house
nyʼs Chief Operating Officer TECHNOLOGY
Sheryl Sandberg, and Twit‑
sunʼs corona to study solar (Hysis), Geo‑imaging and Op‑ Christieʼs sold its first paint‑ 8 In arguably the most contro‑
terʼs co‑founder and CEO
winds. tical Communication (GSAT‑ ing created by a machine. versial move in science in
Jack Dorsey were all grilled
8 On November 26, 2018, 29). Dubbed “Portrait of Edmond 2018, a Chinese scientist
by US senators and congress‑
NASAʼs InSight Lander suc‑ de Belamy,” the piece was ex‑ claimed he altered the DNA
cessfully touched down on
ARTIFICIAL pected to sell for up to
people. Zuckerberg appeared
of twin girls, creating the
in congressional hearings in
the Martian surface.
8 Backed by Sir Richard Bran‑
INTELLIGENCE $10,000. When the gavel fi‑
nally fell, the sale price was a
London and in Brussels.
worldʼs first genetically engi‑
neered babies. The an‑
Zuckerberg even testified in nouncement was met with as‑
son, Virgin Galactic success‑ 8 Artificial intelligence and ma‑ whopping $432,000.
Brussels in front of European sertions from his peers that
fully completed four powered chine learning represent one
space flights in 2018. The of the most exciting trends in TECH Parliament President the work was unethical, dan‑
Antonio Tajani and a EU gerous, and even “mon‑
next test flight will be used to
simulate a commercial pay‑
technology: virtual assistants,
autonomous cars, self‑learn‑
AND DATA Parliament Conference of strous.”
load weight that is expected ing algorithms. 2018 was a PRIVACY 8 General Data Protection Reg‑
Developing designer
babies is banned in most
when the starship is packed key year for artificial intelli‑
8 The backlash of the Cam‑ ulation (GDPR) arrived to countries.
full of passengers. More than gence with mounting con‑
600 people have purchased cerns about the repercus‑ bridge Analytica scandal had
tickets to ride on the Virgin sions of AI on society and hu‑ a deep impact not only on so‑
Galacticʼs reusable space ve‑ man activity. cial media users but also on
hicles. Each ticket costs 8 Google was the latest to enter the tech industry and govern‑
$250,000! this space of what some refer ment legislators around the
8 2018 was another banner to as AI for good. The compa‑ world.
year for SpaceX. With 20 ny announced in November 8 Equally came to fore the is‑
Portrait of
launches under its belt in its AI Impact Challenge to sue of fake news and the re‑ Edmond
2018, one of its most recent grant about $25 million glob‑ lationship between tech and de Belamy:
launches deployed 64 satel‑ ally in 2019 to humanitarian politics and the role of social First art
lites into orbit, a record num‑ and environmental projects media platforms in elections piece sold
ber of deployments for a sin‑ seeking to use artificial intel‑ around the world. by
gle mission in the US. ligence to speed up and grow 8 Social media giants such as Christieʼs
8 China launched more rockets their efforts. Facebook, Snapchat and Twit‑ created
ter were compelled to take using AI
into orbit in 2018 than any 8 Microsoft launched a series
other country. of new AI programs, totaling steps to improve their poli‑
8 The year 2018 was a year of $115 million, including AI for cies governing political ad‑
many ʻfirstsʼ and ʻbeginningsʼ Earth, its new project to put vertising and misinformation,
with profound growth in all AI to work for the future of with a focus on state and
directions for the Indian planet, and AI for Humanitar‑ non‑state actors trying to in‑
Space Research Organization ian Action, a new $40 mil‑ fluence elections globally.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
58 January 5-18, 2019 NATIONAL COMMUNITY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

AAPI’s Health Summit in Mumbai

commits to give back to India
Mumbai: The 12th Global Health‑
care Summit concluded here on
December 30th with Physicians of
Indian Origin rededicating them‑
selves to work and collaborate to‑
NJ businessman wards bringing in high quality, in‑
novative, preventable, cost‑effec‑
Bipin Patel tive ways to the delivery of health‑
holds 4th care to millions in India.
The 3‑day event at the Taj Palace
medical camp Hotel was jointly organized by
AAPI and Global Association of
in Gujarat Physicians of Indian Origin (GA‑
In his inaugural address, the
President of India, Ram Nath
AAPI leadership with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and other political leaders
Kovind said that AAPI is “more
than just a platform of doctors and academic institutions, Government thereby helping prevent deaths view to help the delivery of health‑
medical practitioners. It is a link of India, and have contributed to‑ due to road traffic accidents, ini‑ care to millions across the nation,
between two vibrant and demo‑ wards addressing diabetes with tiatives to make quality healthcare said, “AAPI has capped the achieve‑
cratic societies.” the launch of Sevak program, CPR‑ accessible to village and taluka and ments of the past 37 years with a
Dr. Naresh Parikh, President AED training for first responders, district levels, and now to make In‑ clear vision to move forward tak‑
AAPI, said, “Over the past 12 years Traumatic Brain Injury – the dia TB Free signing of a MOU with ing this noble organization and its
AAPI physicians have collaborated scourge of young India, and devel‑ USAID.” Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, Chair‑ vision for better healthcare to new‑
with several medical associations, opment of management guidelines man for GHS 2018, said that with a er heights.”

Bipin Patel (2nd from right on

the dais) at the medical camp.
New York: Indian American
businessman Bipin Patel held
Lalit Aery elected President of IALI
Jericho, NY: Lalit Aery was elected
his 4th free Medical Camp in
the new President of the India As‑
the Ghoghamba district of
sociation of Long Island (IALI) for
Gujarat, some 100 miles
2019 at its Annual General Body
south of Ahmedabad, on De‑
Meeting held on December 22 at
cember 23.
The Cotillion here attended by
Patel had taken a team of
over 250 IALI members and past
35 doctors and nurses from
presidents. Aeryʼs team includes
Ahmedabad including physi‑
Shashi Malik ‑ Vice President; Har‑
cians, cardiologists, orthope‑
govind Gupta – Secretary; Rajeev
dics, ophthalmologists, pedia‑
Chaudhary ‑Treasurer. Members‑
tricians, gynecologists and
at‑Large – Kuljeet Ahluwalia, Sushil
cancer specialists, who treat‑
Khanna, Jay Singh, Ramesh Gupta,
ed 1,350 people.
Neeru Bhambri, Neelima Srivasta‑
While more than 300 eye Lalit Aery (7th from left) with his executive committee.
va, Deepa Goyal, and Ravi Kanta
glasses were given, 70
Verma. sary year. IndiaFest, IALIʼs mar‑ County with 25 other organiza‑ (INN) for Diwali food drive, $2,500
cataract surgeries were to be
Outgoing President Gunjan Ras‑ quee program, was held outdoors tions, and many programs in col‑ to ECHO for the Kerala Flood Relief
performed at hospitals in
togi highlighted the accomplish‑ after 10 years at the Bar Beach laboration with other organiza‑ Fund, 100 school children back‑
Ahmedabad and Baroda in
ments of 2018, celebrating all IALI (North Hempstead State Park). tions such as AAPI‑QLI, GOPIO and packs to Nassau County schools
the following weeks with all
events with great attendance by IALI also celebrated Republic Day, NIASSC. IALI also donated $17K to and business professional clothing
expenses paid by Patel.
the members in its 40th anniver‑ Independence Day at the Nassau the Interfaith Nutritional Network for men and women in need.
A pharmacy was also set up
on site to provide patients
with more than 50 types of
medicine along with any ad‑
ditional supplements that
Sankara eye charity holds fundraiser on LI
Garden City, NY: The New York million visually impaired and 8
were prescribed. Refresh‑
chapter of Sankara Eye Founda‑ million of them totally blind.
ments were provided to all
tion USA held its annual fundrais‑ Sankara Eye Foundation, USA,
New Jersey based Bipin Patel
er at The Akbar here on Decem‑ founded in San Jose, CA, and its
holds a medical camp every
ber 15. Indian counterpart headquar‑
year around his birthday in
Under the foundationʼs Execu‑ tered in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu,
India and this year his daugh‑
tive Chairman, Murali Krishna‑ have been working together since
ter Payal and son Amit also
murthy, the New York chapter is 1998 towards a mission to eradi‑
took part in organizing the
helmed by Mohan Wanchoo, ably cate curable blindness in India by
camp ‑‑ the two have even
supported by a team including providing free high quality eye
formed an organization called
Chintu Patel, Dr. Yashpal and Ur‑ care at the doorsteps of the needy.
“Health Reach India” to take
milesh Arya, Dr. Raj Bhayani and They have performed 1.8 million
their fatherʼs initiative for‑
Nilima Madans. free eye surgeries till now. Start‑
Mr. Wanchoo hosted the event. ing with only one hospital, today,
The camp was held in asso‑
Mr. Krishnamurthy detailed the the SEF has nine hospitals per‑
ciation with the Psychological Mohan Wanchoo, Kanak Golia, Yatin Doshi,
achievements and plans of the forming around 160,000 free eye
Development and Mental Dr Nirmal Mattoo and Chintu Patel at the event.
foundation. In his keynote, Dr. surgeries per year.
Health Foundation, Shri Ra‑
Arvind Panagariya, of Columbia the Indian economy. Chintu Patel most of us take for granted.
jleela Sewa Trust, Navinbhai
University, highlighted the impact gave an impassioned speech on India has the largest population More information at
Patel and Vashram Makvana.
of health on the development of the true value of eyesight, which of blind in the world, with over 55 www.giftofvision.org.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
60 January 5-18, 2019 INDIA NEWS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Modi, Trump to further

boost India-US ties
New Delhi: Days after US President the two leaders took place after
Donald Trump's jibe at Prime Min‑ Trump on January 2 said that India
ister Narendra Modi over India's was not doing enough for peace
role in ensuring peace and stabili‑ and stability in Afghanistan.
ty in Afghanistan, the two leaders In his first Cabinet meeting,
SC reinstates agreed to further strengthen bilat‑
eral relations in the year ahead.
Trump asked India, Russia, Pak‑
istan and other neighbouring
Alok Verma According to a statement issued countries to take the responsibility
by the Prime Minister's Office on for Afghanistan's security as he de‑
as CBI Tuesday, Modi and Trump ex‑ fended his move to withdraw

Director changed New Year greetings in a

telephonic conversation on Mon‑
troops from that country.
Trump also referred to Modi as
day evening. an example of how world leaders
"They expressed satisfaction at were talking about their contribu‑
the progress in India‑US strategic tions that were nowhere near the
US President Donald Trump with Prime
partnership in 2018," the state‑ billions of dollars the US was
Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo: IANS)
ment said. spending.
"They appreciated developments was revived in 2017 seeking to Tuesday's statement said that India hit back with sources here
such as the launch of the new 2+2 work for peace and prosperity in Modi and Trump also "took posi‑ saying that New Delhi does not
Dialogue mechanism and the first‑ the Indo‑Pacific region. tive note of growing bilateral co‑ send troops abroad except under
ever trilateral summit of India, the Last September, the first ever In‑ operation in defence, counter‑ter‑ specific UN mandate.
US and Japan." dia‑US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue rorism and energy and coordina‑ Pointing out that India plays a
Modi, Trump and Japanese was held here in which External Af‑ tion on regional and global issues". significant role as a development
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on fairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, De‑ "They agreed to continue to work partner in Afghanistan, the sources
the idelines of the G20 Summit in fence Minister Nirmala Sithara‑ together for further strengthening said this partnership was built on
Alok Verma. Buenos Aires last November. man, US Secretary of State Mike India‑US bilateral relations in the specific needs and require‑
The three countries along with Pompeo and then Defence Secre‑ 2019." ments worked out with the Afghan
New Delhi: The Supreme
Australia, are part of a quad that tary Jim Mattis participated. Monday's conversation between government.
Court on Tuesday reinstated
Alok Verma as the CBI Direc‑
tor, setting aside the Central
Vigilance Commission (CVC)
and the Centre's decision to
10% quota for economically backward upper castes
divest him of his powers to New Delhi: With an eye on the upper decision. The decision comes four
function as the head of the in‑ caste vote in the coming Lok Sabha months before the Lok Sabha polls
vestigating agency. elections, the Union Cabinet on Mon‑ and after the reverses suffered by
While restoring Verma's day approved 10 per cent reserva‑ the BJP in the Assembly polls in the
powers, a bench of Chief Jus‑ tion for economically backward peo‑ Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan,
tice Ranjan Gogoi and Jus‑ ple in the general category in jobs Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
tices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and and educational institutions, a deci‑ The BJP was said to have faced the
K.M. Joseph said that the sion that came under attack from the wrath of the upper castes, especially
matter will go to the high Opposition which described it as an in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,
powered selection committee election gimmick aimed at mislead‑ over the amendment brought by the
comprising the Prime Minis‑ ing the voters. Central government to nullify the
ter, Leader of Opposition and The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Supreme Court judgement in the SC‑
the Chief Justice, which will Minister Narendra Modi, took the de‑ ST Act last year.
look into the issue. cision to provide for 10 per cent quo‑ The proposed move will not disturb the existing 50% reservation The idea has also been favored by
Pronouncing the judgement ta for people belonging to "unre‑ for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes the RSS, which has been demanding
authored by Chief Justice served categories", including Chris‑ the purpose was introduced in the tions not falling under any provision a quota on these lines. The move, a
Gogoi, Justice Kaul said the tians and Muslims, in jobs and edu‑ Lok Sabha on Tuesday. of reservation such as Brahmins, Ba‑ step to consolidate upper caste votes,
committee will meet within cation with an annual income limit of The proposed move will not dis‑ nias, Thakurs, Jats, Gujjars, Muslims was dubbed as "election gimmick" by
seven days from Tuesday and Rs 8 lakh and a land holding ceiling turb the existing 50 per cent reser‑ and Christians," a source privy to the the Opposition parties which ques‑
till then Verma will "cease of about five acres, highly placed vation for Scheduled Castes, Sched‑ decision told IANS. tioned its legality vis‑a‑vis the
and desist" from taking from sources said. uled Tribes and Other Backward He said that rules will be framed in Supreme Court putting a cap of 50
taking any "major policy" de‑ A Constitution amendment bill for Classes. "The quota will include sec‑ due course to implement the Cabinet per cent on reservations.
The Centre had divested
Verma of his powers to func‑
tion as CBI Director and had
Acharya Lokesh graces Yoga Institute’s 100th
asked him to proceed on an Mumbai: The centenary celebra‑ makes body, mind, soul, senses,
indefinite leave. tion of The Yoga Institute was in‑ emotions and intellect healthy..
The judgement came on a augurated by President of India and it is a unique gift of India to
plea by Verma and and NGO Ram Nath Kovind, Ahimsa Vishwa the world.
Common Cause challenging Bharti founder Dr. Lokesh Muni, Being a Jain saint, he pointed
the government's decision on Maharashtra CM Devendra Fad‑ that the idols of all Jain
the intervening night of Octo‑ navis, Director of Institute Hansa Tirthankaras from Bhagwan
ber 23‑24 to divest Verma J. Yogendra, Rishi J. Yogendra and Rishabh to Bhagwan Mahavir are
from exercising his powers. many other eminent people. in Yoga Mudra.
Referring to the provisions President Kovind commented Simply named The Yoga Insti‑
of the Delhi Special Establish‑ that yogic philosophy has the tute, it is the oldest organized
ment (DSPE) Act and the Lok‑ wherewithal to fight lifestyle yoga school in the world founded
pal law, the court said that problems of our time as it yoga in 1918 by Shri Yogendra. Hans‑
the legislative intent was to embodies a holistic approach to ben mentioned that over 50,000
insulate the CBI chief from well‑being. qualified yoga teachers have (From left) Acharya Lokesh, President Kovind, CM Devendra
outside interference. Acharya Lokesh said that yoga passed out of the institute. Fadnavis, Director of the institute Hansben and others at the event.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info US & INTERNATIONAL January 5-18, 2019 61

No US withdrawal from Syria

until IS destroyed: Bolton
Washington: White House Nation‑ He also acknowledged that pock‑
al Security Adviser John Bolton ets of the Islamic State remained
has contradicted President Donald undefeated and that a quick US
Trump's decision to immediately pullout could endanger US part‑
withdraw troops from Syria, laying ners and allies in the region, as
World Bank out conditions for a pullout that well as American forces them‑
can leave US forces there for selves.
head quits, months or even years. Trump, who had earlier declared

Trump likely Speaking during a visit to Israel,

Bolton said that American forces
the battle won against the mili‑
tants and refused military en‑
to determine would remain in Syria until the last
remnants of the Islamic State were
treaties for more time, said that he
remained committed to the with‑
successor defeated and Turkey provided drawal but told reporters: "I never
guarantees that it would not strike said we're doing it that quickly."
Kurdish forces allied with the US. Bolton said there was no
He and other top White House
US National Security Adviser John Bolton agreed that timetable for the US withdrawal
pockets of IS remained undefeated.
advisers led a behind‑the‑scenes from Syria but that there was not
effort to slow the President's order "We don't think the Turks ought agreed to by the US, at a minimum an unlimited commitment. He also
and reassure allies, including Is‑ to undertake military action that's so they don't endanger our said Trump wanted to ensure that
rael, the New York Times reported. not fully coordinated with and troops," Bolton said in Jerusalem. the Islamic State was "destroyed".

Jayapal, Gabbard take oath of office on Bhagavad Gita

Jim Yong Kim would join a
By Surekha Vijh, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard,
private firm after stepping down
as the World Bank President.
The South Asian Times the first Hindu elected to the US
Congress and now serving her
United Nations: World Bank Washington: A record 102 4th term, again took the oath of
President Jim Yong Kim has an‑ women were sworn into the US office on the Gita. She is consid‑
nounced that he is stepping House of Representatives on the ering a 2020 presidential bid.
down as the head of the pre‑ first working day of the 116th Clad in her traditional Palestin‑
mier anti‑poverty institution Congress. Democrats took control ian dress, with her hand on a
putting the likely choice of its of the lower house for the first Quran that belonged to former
future leadership in the hands time in eight years. president Thomas Jefferson,
of US President Donald Trump, “It is the most diverse legisla‑ Rashida Tlaib took oath as a Con‑
a sceptic of international devel‑ ture ever in the history of the gresswoman from Michigan.
opment. Trump's role is expect‑ United States,” said Nancy Pelosi Ilhan Omar, a Somali‑American
ed reinvigorate challenges to beaming with pride. and refugee elected from Min‑
Washington's monopoly on ap‑ Pramila Jayapal, re‑elected for a nesota, took the oath of office on
pointing the Bank's head. second term with 84% votes from her grandfatherʼs Quran while
Announcing his decision, Kim Washington State, took the oath wearing a hijab. “No one puts a
said in a tweet: "It's been the of office on the Bhagavad Gita, scarf on my head but me”, she
Pramila Jayapal (R) was re‑elected for a second term with 84%
greatest privilege I could have along with a copy of the US Con‑ tweeted. “Itʼs my choice – one pro‑
votes from Washington State.
ever imagined to lead the dedi‑ stitution. tected by the First Amendment.
cated staff of this great institu‑ “Iʼm ready to fight for a bolder, Congress,” she said. pal has also been called Leader of And this is not the last ban Iʼm go‑
tion to bring us closer to a progressive America in the 116th A strong woman of color, Jaya‑ the Resistance, the anti‑Trump. ing to work to lift”.
world that is finally free of
Kim, 59, who is dropping out
19 months into his second term
on February 1, would be joining
Trump offers condolences to kin
a private company and focus on
infrastructure investments in
developing countries, the Bank
of slain Indian-origin policeman
Washington: US President Donald "Included in the President's
said. The Bank's CEO Kristalina
Trump has called up the family of calls were Corporal Singh's wife,
Georgieva will become the inter‑
Indian‑origin police officer Ronil Amanika "Mika" Chand‑Singh;
im president till a successor to
Singh who was shot to death al‑ Newman, California Police Chief
Kim is appointed.
legedly by an illegal immigrant in Randy Richardson and Sherif f
As the largest share‑holder,
the US state of California last Adam Christianson of Stanislaus
the US by tradition appoints the
week, the White House said. County, California," according to
head of the Bank, while Euro‑
Corporal Ronil Singh, 33, of the the statement. The California po‑
peans determine the chief of the
Newman Police Department was lice had arrested 33‑year‑old Gus‑
International Monetary Fund.
shot and killed during a traf fic tavo Perez Arriaga, who came to
Kim was nominated for the
stop at Merced Street and Euca‑ the US illegally and was believed
job by former President Barack
lyptus Avenue just before 1 am on to be fleeing Mexico, on charges
Obama in 2012. Kim, a South
December 26. of killing Singh.
Korea‑born US citizen, was an
White House Press Secretary Singh was a native of Fiji and
unusual leader for the Bank: He
Sarah Sanders released a state‑ had immigrated to the US. He was
was a medical doctor by train‑
ment on the President's call to a veteran of over seven years at
ing, a specialist in public health Indian‑origin police officer Ronil Singh was shot dead in California.
Singh's family. the Newman Police Department
and an academic with a Harvard
"President Trump spoke with "Ron" Singh," Sanders said in the zens, of fered condolences and and was assigned as a canine offi‑
doctorate in anthropology who
the family and law enforcement statement. commended law enforcement's cer. He earlier served with the
had led the Ivy League Dart‑
colleagues of fallen Newman, Cal‑ "The President praised of ficer rapid investigation, response and Merced County Sherif f's Depart‑
mouth College.
ifornia, police of ficer Ronald Singh's service to his fellow citi‑ apprehension of the suspect." ment.
62 January 5-18, 2019 BOOKS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

In the book, the key section is, “Becoming Us”, which is supposed to mean Barack and
Michelle. But I feel the word “us” in this autobiographical book is loaded: it also
denotes the joining of Michelle Obama to the public cause, encouraged by her husband.

By Shivaji Sengupta
ichelle Obama has written a won‑
derful book, a memoir dealing with
her life till after the time she and
her husband left the White House in early
The first part of the autobiography, entitled
"BECOMING ME" covers up to the time she
marries Barack Obama. The next set of chap‑
ters, from the beginning of the coupleʼs life
together to the presidential election of 2008,
are bunched under the section “BECOMING
US”. The epilogue is titled “BECOMING
For any human being, me and you included,
the slow, almost imperceptible transition
from "me" to "us" is iconic, in the sense that
all of us have transitioned from me to us, as both parents, and egged on by Craig, her old‑
we grew up, found jobs and partners, brought er brother who himself preceded her to
children into this world. For the Obamas, Princeton, all young Michelle Obama wanted,
however, the transition can serve as an ex‑ by her own admission, is success. She wanted
ample; and not just because the couple rose to become the best at whatever she tried, in‑
to the highest echelon of American society, cluding making money, being a “yuppie”
achieving the status of "Mr. President" and (young urban professional), to ultimately be‑
"First Lady." The reason the book means so come the successful wife of a successful pro‑
much to me is because of how Mrs. Obama fessional.
sees her life as an adventure, mysterious, in‑ One of the most inspiring aspects of this au‑
triguing, and yet, ultimately, a journey, not all tobiography is to read about how she
that different from ordinary persons like you changed. Yes, she remained as ambitious as
and me. I have read Barack Obamaʼs autobi‑ ever; but the goals changed. From” becoming
ography, “Dreams from My Father.” I donʼt me,” a cracker‑jack wealthy attorney in a
mean to compare the two – the purpose of multinational corporate firm, she turned her
writing each is vastly different. But I found direction to “becoming us,” devoting her life
Michelle Obamaʼs telling of her life story to community organizations and helping tal‑
more immediate, pulsating with life, roman‑ ented young others to join public service. In Michelle started a new life as First Lady when Barack Obama was sworn in
tic. the book, “BECOMING US” is supposed to as President in January 2009. (Photo courtesy The African Magazine).
The story of her childhood, growing up in mean Barack and Michelle. But reading the
scious decision not to make her First Ladyʼs hope to help create space for other stories and
an ordinary middle class black family in book I feel that that the word, “us”, is loaded:
work overly political. Instead, she worked on other voices, to widen the pathway for who be‑
Chicagoʼs southside which, much like the us means the couple, yes, but it also means
health issues of children, particularly obesity. longs and why….And here is what I have to say,
South Bronx of New York City, is fraught with the joining of Michelle Obama to the public
Mrs. Clinton, some of you might remember, finally: Letʼs invite one another in. Maybe then
poverty and mayhem. Neither of her parents cause, encouraged by her husband. Thus “Be‑
was given the responsibility to convince the we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong
were college graduates, more for economic coming Us” is all about how they fell in love,
members of the House of Representatives assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereo‑
reasons than the lack of desire. It is for this married, had children, but it is also about how
and Senators of the importance of passing a types that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we
reason the parents sacrificed all and every‑ Mrs. Michelle Obama became who she is now,
law mandating Universal Healthcare, a re‑ can better embrace the ways we are the same.
thing to educate their two children, the older a public figure, devoted to the highest pinna‑
sponsibility she took head‑on, meeting with Itʼs not about being perfect. Itʼs not about where
boy, Craig, and the younger, Michelle. She de‑ cles of public life. The transition from me to
Congress people, engaging them in policy dis‑ you get yourself in the end. Thereʼs power in al‑
scribes the America she grew up in, especial‑ us is told with sincerity, earnestness and even
cussions and even sometimes lecturing to lowing yourself to be known and heard, in own‑
ly, Chicago thus: romance. Witness the “ussing” of the Obamas:
them. The result was a disaster. The Clintons ing your unique story, in using your authentic
were accused of being overly ambitious voice. And thereʼs grace in being willing to know
Outside the ballparks, America was in the He was looking at me curiously, with the trace
about themselves, projecting the First Lady and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
midst of a massive and uncertain shift. The of a smile. “Can I kiss you?” he asked.
as a policy wonk, or even a future presiden‑
Kennedys were dead. Martin Luther King Jr. had And with that, I leaned in and everything felt
tial candidate. Universal Healthcare died pre‑ Completing the book, I had a feeling of self‑
been killed standing on a balcony in Memphis, clear.
maturely because the country was not ready fulfillment. Itʼs a strange feeling because I am
setting off riots across the country, including in
for it. Mrs. Clinton was gutted. much older than Michelle Obama and her
Chicago. The 1968 Democratic National Con‑ The final section is an epilogue, “Becoming
I think Mrs. Obama learned from that ex‑ husband. “It is I who should be telling them
vention turned bloody as police went after Viet‑ More,” is about the aftermath of Barack Oba‑
ample. Not coincidentally, her husband also these things,” I find myself murmuring. Yet, I
nam War protesters with batons and tear gas in maʼs two terms as president, and the defeat
brought in the healthcare issue and wanted realize that some people are wiser than their
Grant Park, about nine miles north of where we of Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.
Congress to make that into law. Affordable age, like Barack and Michelle Obama.
lived. White families, meanwhile, were moving Those who have read books by other First
Healthcare was passed without Barack Oba‑
out of the city in droves, lured by the suburbs̶ Ladies – Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush – have a
ma involving Michelle. Right until the end of
the promise of better schools, more space, and good idea of what the life of the wife of an Shivaji
her husbandʼs second term, she has been
probably more whiteness, too. American president is like. Suffice to say that Sengupta
known to be efficient and kind, kind to oth‑
despite being intellectually and professional‑ is VP
ers, kind about peopleʼs weaknesses, and im‑
Michelle Obama writes about her being ly every bit as qualified as Hillary Clinton, Academic
mensely practical. Thus, as the book ends
driven through ambition and intent through‑ Michelle Obamaʼs tenure as First Lady for Affairs
with these words, I find myself applauding
out her childhood, adolescence and college eight years was more traditional, not like at Boricua
these “ordinary people”:
life in Princeton, right up to the time she com‑ Hillary Clintonʼs. College:
pleted Harvard Law School and entered a top‑ And it was fully intended. Aware that the Bronx
Iʼm an ordinary person who found herself on
brass law firm in Chicago as a young law as‑ public expected her to aspire for the presi‑ Campus.
an extraordinary journey. In sharing my story, I
sociate. Supported in every which way by dency herself, Michelle Obama made a con‑
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019

Locations in New York:

East Meadow Hicksville Poughkeepsie
Flushing Manhattan Scarsdale
Forest Hills New Hyde Park Valley Stream
64 Jan 5-18, 2019 LIFEST YLE

Tech your wedding vows

popular on social media by adding
geofilters. And it is unbelievably
easy! Open Snapchat and click on
the create tab. This multimedia
messaging app offers a few ba-
sic templates and plenty of cus-
tomizations to create a signature
filter or geotag. “Make the filter
available at your wedding loca-
By Rachna Rawat tion for 72 hours, which will not
only cover all functions but can be

I t’s time for wedding bells to

ring all around as the most-
preferred nuptial season of the
accessed by all your guests,” sug-
gests Khera. It is a cost-effective
way of adding an exclusive touch
year for Indians is here. As the to your wedding. Another popular
country scrutinizes Deepika Padu- social media platform, Instagram,
kone and Ranveer Singh’s Italian too allows you to tag locations.
wedding celebrations, followed by What’s more, when you select
updates from the Jodhpur extrav- a location, posts from the same
aganza of the marriage of celeb- place automatically get collated.
rities Priyanka Chopra and Nick
Jonas, we find out what’s making Hashtags
waves in the industry.
In India, it’s considered that the We live in a ‘hash-tagged’ world
more extravagant a wedding, the today. Every emotion and action
higher is the families’ (of the bride has a trending hashtag. But in a
and groom) social status. That is space teeming with hashtags, most
one reason the wedding industry of them cliched, how do you make
here is estimated to be worth over yours epic and memorable? Create
$25 billion and is seeing a 30 per a catchy one with your names (of
cent growth, annually. However, the bride and groom) clubbed to-
millennials don’t only want lav- gether to create a new word with-
ish weddings, they are looking for out making it complicated. Try to
unique ideas as well. The trend is keep it simple so that your guests
to make a personalized statement, can easily use the hashtags. For ex-
specially with the help of technol- ample, #deepveerkishaadi!
ogy. “You need to plan something
quirky and unique. And don’t un- Heart rate monitor
derestimate the importance of an
effective social media plan,” says “My heart stopped as she ar-
Pooja Khera, general manager, rived at the wedding venue!” This
marketing & PR, Ferns N Petals, is a common statement most
a boutique florist brand that also grooms make, as they await for
curates exclusive weddings. And the bride to arrive. What if one
here are a few ideas on how you could actually monitor the heart
can make some special memories. rate? Several couples, who have
tried this, say it’s poignant to look
Geo-tagging back at your wedding day and ac-
tually be able to see your exact
Destination weddings have heart rate at the special moments
always been in demand, but during the ceremony. You can
now they are being geo-tagged. either monitor your heartbeats
Whether you are tying the knot in through health monitoring apps
Udaipur or Italy, you can make it installed in your phone or fitness

From drone photography to live streaming your marriage and from a 3D printed
cake to geo-tagging the venue, Air India’s in-flight magazine Shubh Yatra offers
some quirky technology backed ideas to make your D-day memorable.
trackers like FitBit. Take printouts eymoons. Experts say these are in video, all in fast forward motion!
and add to your wedding album. demand as they introduce a unique Experts suggest using this fea-
perspective to wedding imagery. ture to capture the mandap (tradi-
Hi-tech photography “At weddings, GoPros can be tional Hindu wedding venue) be-
strapped onto the photographer’s ing put together or guests arriving.
Gone are the days when wed- body as he or she moves among Another unique photography
ding photography was just about the crowd. Or it can be passed trick is to use a drone camera to
hiring a great photographer. To- around among guests so that each get fantastic aerial views of both
day, it’s also about knowing if he/ can capture what they are seeing,” the wedding ceremony and venue.
she has the updated equipment. A she explains. These cameras can “Just make sure the drone has
latest in this genre is the use of Go- be used to capture candid shots, enough battery life and doesn’t
Pros. These are cameras that can which make for great memories. crash. Also, it makes a buzz-
capture videos from a personal “Or use the camera’s time-lapse ing sound, so keep it at a height
With all the different photo sharing apps and social media plat- viewpoint and are often used for feature,” suggests Rehana. For this, where it doesn’t disturb anyone,”
forms out there, it’s nearly impossible for a couple to ever see adventure activities. Rehana, a Del- you have to mount the camera at a says Vaibhav of Marriage Moods,
all the photos their guests take at their wedding. An easy way
hi-based wedding photographer, vantage point and let it capture its a Mumbai-based wedding photog-
to collect all the photos in one place is to set up a wedding app
for yourself. Wedding Party is a great and free option for couples says the trend started as couples surroundings for hours. And then raphy firm. Make sure to check
looking to give their guests a fun social experience and reap the used these tiny cameras to shoot the time-lapse feature will crunch for permissions required for aer-
benefits of having all their photos in one place afterwards. their beach-side or mountain hon- the footage into a few-minute-long ial photography.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info CELBRATIONS January 5-18, 2019 65

At the stroke
New York

of midnight
How the world celebrated first few moments of 2019


fireworks in
St.Petersburg, Russia.
(Image : www.
at iconic Times
Square in New York
(Image courtesy:



ss the harbor in Sydney.

e launched from seven barges acro
More than 65,000 fireworks wer

explode in front of
Fireworks illuminate the sky over the Arc de Triomphe on the landmark building,
Champs Elysees, in Paris. (Image courtesy: www.news18.com) the Petronas
Twin Towers, Kuala
Dubai Lumpur, Malaysia.
(Image courtesy:

fireworks at
Burj Khalifa,
Dubai (Image
IANS) People
welcome the
new year near
Chao Phraya
River in
(Image: Image
66 Jan 5-18, 2019 FIRST PERSON

Cancer be not proud!

cancer that was in a late stage. It step, there is a dagger dangling
is known to come like a hurricane over your head. Before my surgery,
and sweep you away. So I made it the doctor in America said he had
a point to read a lot, finding stories treated someone with a similar
that made me stay positive and cancer and she was doing well.
helped me survive. But this was not Right after the surgery, he told
easy. It is a tough journey for any- me that he could not predict how I
one. That is why doctors say that would do because cancer is not like
patients with family support are a cough or a cold you treat it and
By Manisha Koirala likely to do much better than those have to wait to see how the body
who are alone. But there is a huge responds. I had to make peace with

T he worst things -- health and

relationship breakdowns -
have peppered my life. What I have
amount of guilt that plagues the
patients. I constantly felt guilty be-
cause my parents were old and still
my own death and with the fact
that it is not in my control. I have
vowed that I am not going to go
learnt, especially after this illness looking after me. Patients either with fear and sadness. I am going
hit me in 2012, is that I have the came to the hospital for treatment to go laughing and smiling. That
choice to decide how to take things alone or with their spouses or sib- will be my ultimate test. As long as
Manisha Koirala played legendary actress Nargis Dutt in ‘Sanju’
that happen to me. To give you one lings. My brother was a huge sup- I live, I want to be ready for it, and
(2018), a Sanjay Dutt biopic. Nargis Dutt had died of cancer.
example, I have a beautiful terrace port. But, I remember nurses in the when I realize that death is near, I
want to gracefully say goodbye. So they need to give me some space myself in a room and scream out.
I soon got back to work. This to recover from what I have carried The first few years after my
year, ‘Sanju’ released — it hit too and then come back. It is a beauti- treatment were filled with mood
close to home. I was nervous be- ful film about grieving, but I have to swings. I even experienced early
cause Nargis Dutt ji (the role I protect myself. menopause but I could not let my-
played) also suffered from cancer. I definitely do not want too self grieve as I was just thankful
Now, I have to be careful that I don’t many highs or lows in life now. If that I had recovered from can-
get into a sad, morose space. When cancer has not taught me impor- cer. I remember my mom going
I see that zone, I turn down the film tant lessons on how to live, what through her menopause and she
because I am a sensitive soul. In else will! We need to be able to see was a terror. For me too, it was
one movie that I will be doing, I am our strengths and work on them. quite bad. I experienced anger,
grieving. But I have a plan on how My strong will is my strength. But, and would burst into tears any-
to do it right. I have taken the direc- I keep a check on it and do not go to time. That whole phase was short-
tor and producers into confidence. extremes. The divine has made me a lived because I had to focus on my
I tell them that I do not intend to be person who can take a lot of punch- cancer not recurring.
in a sad space for the whole month. es. I don’t punch back, but I can lock So, I decided to concentrate
on something good and focused
on healing. When I see others like
Irrfan (Khan) and Sonali (Bendre),
I can see the pain behind their
smiles. During my treatment, I had
started noticing people’s eyes and
what they conveyed. I promised
myself that I did not want to have
a cancer patient’s eyes because
they reek of impending death. So,
whenever I take a selfie, I make my
eyes big and bright, and smile!

Article courtesy: NDMF

upstairs. I returned to my home in chemotherapy room whispering

Mumbai from Nepal (where I am that I only had my old parents with
from) to find it ruined and all my me. And I would shrink into myself.
plants destroyed. I broke down. But Even after I was declared can-
after a couple of days, I realized cer-free, doctors said that because
that perhaps something good could it was a late-stage cancer, it could
come out of it. And now I have de- recur. I had to be careful for the
cided to build a yoga room there. next three years. I asked them
I learned that dealing with can- what I had to do to ensure that
cer is not just black and white at it stayed away. They told me that
all. It has a lot of greys. It is not if it did come back, I should not
a linear course of action. The ill- blame myself. When I returned
ness comes as a huge shock and from my treatment in the US, mu- Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala’s has recently published ‘Healed’, her
it takes a while to recover from sic composer and singer Aadesh
personal story of her heroic battle against ovarian cancer. The book is subtitled
its impact. Then you have to begin Shrivastava - Vijeta Pandit’s hus-
to think practically. It’s happened, band — came to visit me. He was ‘How cancer gave me a new life.’ “Overcoming cancer has been a lesson in self-
so what next? Where is the best suffering from blood cancer. He discovery and learning to love life again!” remarks the 1942: A Love Story actress.
treatment available? Do you have told me that no matter how much
enough money? Then there is the the family loved you, it was a jour- Penguin Random House India, publisher of the book, comments: “Today, as she
fear factor. Is this the end of life? ney you had to take alone. `You
And during chemotherapy, there is have to take ownership, he said.
completes six years of being cancer-free, she shares her story — one marked by
lots of confusion because you have ‘You just have to be strong.’ apprehensions, disappointments and uncertainties — and the lessons she learnt
to sign many waivers. One faces many dark spaces along the way. Through her journey, she unravels cancer for us and inspires us to
I was diagnosed with ovarian and a lot of uncertainty. At every not buckle under fear, but emerge alive, kicking and victorious.”
68 January 5-18, 2019 CE L E B R I T Y W E D D I N G S

which was preceded by two days a six-year-long love story in a majestic venue, the royal Umaid A reception in Delhi was graced
of mehendi and sangeet revelry, “happily ever after.” Bhawan Palace, situated atop a by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
and followed by a grand recep- Deepika and Ranveer first tied hill in the “Blue City” of Jodhpur in who came to bless the couple.
tion party with close family, the knot as per Konkani traditions Rajasthan. Three days of wedding
Isha Ambani and
friends and Bollywood’s glitterati followed by a north Indian cer- celebrations included a color-
Anand Piramal
in attendance. emony. There were only about 40 ful mehendi ceremony, a friendly
t seems like actress Anushka
Sonam was all smiles in a red guests for the celebrations, and a cricket match and a power-packed Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s
Sharma and cricketer Virat
Anuradha Vakil lehenga with regal
Kohli gave a teaser of what mov-
jewelry, as she wed businessman
iegoers were expected to see in
Anand, who looked handsome in
the coming year when they got
a sherwani. They had been dating
hitched in December last year.
for the past two years, and their
The year 2018 witnessed some
wedding was announced formally
of the top Bollywood stars shin-
only a week before D-day.
ing even more off screen than on
From videos of Karan Johar,
Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan,
Anil Kapoor and Ranveer Singh
making some unforgettable
moves on the dance floor to the
celebrities’ wardrobe choices --
there was ample to swoon over
for social media users.

Neha Dhupia
and Angad Bedi
Actress and former beauty
queen Neha Dhupia surprised her
fans and friends in the industry
with the news of her hush-hush
wedding with actor and “best
screen when they decided to tie friend” Angad Bedi, son of former
the knot with partners, thereby Indian cricket captain Bishan
putting an end to incessant ru- Singh Bedi, here in May.
mors about their relationships. The couple got married in an
From Sonam Kapoor and Deep- Anand Karaj ceremony, which
no-pictures policy was imposed “desi” musical evening. daughter Isha Ambani tied the
ika Padukone to Ranveer Singh was attended by close family and
on them, leaving the couple’s fans Priyanka, 36, and Nick, 26, knot with Anand Piramal on De-
and Priyanka Chopra, the year friends in a Gurudwara in south
pining to get a glimpse of the gala. first exchanged vows in a Chris- cember 12 in a lavish wedding
that is soon going to say goodbye Delhi. They made the announce-
After their very private wed- tian ceremony officiated by the held at Antilia in Mumbai.
saw some of the successful and ment via social media. The couple
ding ceremonies, the couple had groom’s father on December 1. The couple’s wedding was at-
glamorous singles of Bollywood has since been blessed with a
receptions in Bengaluru and They wore custom-made Ralph tended by the biggest names from
settling down. The year ended baby girl whom they named Mehr.
Mumbai, with well-known person- Lauren ensembles -- a good fit all over the world like Hillary
with the spectacular wedding cel-
Ranveer Singh and alities from Bollywood, sports and as the two stars had shared the Clinton, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah
ebrations of billionaire Mukesh
political background attending spotlight for the first time as Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Deepika
and Nita Ambani’s daughter Isha Deepika Padukone
them. For many, their choice of guests of the designer at the Padukone among others.
Ambani with the scion of Piramal
This was one wedding that going ahead with three receptions 2017 Met Gala. They also had Photos from the couple’s wed-
industries Anand. Here’s a look
everyone was waiting for and the became the talk of the town with Hindu wedding. ding celebrations have been setting
at some of the most hyped celeb
couple lived up to expectations. many creating memes online. Marking their union, the the internet on fire for over a month
weddings of 2018.
They opted for an international Jodhpur sky lit up with fire- now and still the wedding has not
Sonam Kapoor location to tie the knot as they Priyanka Chopra works. However, Priyanka was faded from the minds of people.
and Anand Ahuja wanted to stay away from all pa- and Nick Jonas widely trolled for it as, around The couple’s wedding had the
parazzi. The wedding happened Diwali, she had urged people not best arrangements. From a lavish
The couple tied the knot in a over two days in mid-November Actress and former Miss World to burst firecrackers due to the engagement in Lake Como to two-
big fat Punjabi wedding in May. in a dreamy Lake Como setting Priyanka Chopra married Ameri- health hazards it leads to. As a day long pre-wedding celebrations
The wedding took place in a tra- in Italy amidst a tight circle of can singer Nick Jonas in a “fai- result, she was called out for her in Udaipur, Ambanis had the most
ditional Anand Karaj ceremony, family and friends, culminating rytale” wedding in tune with the “double standards.” extravagant functions for Isha.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info BOLLY ROUNDUP January 5-18, 2019 69

Content crowned king

of Bollywood
The charm of the Khans failed, while content ruled Bollywood like never before with films telling familiar stories
in an unusual way. Indian Cinema witnessed some of the quirkiest plots, which were loved by the audiences.

BOLLYWOOD SCREAMED Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta‑starrer ʻBadhaai Hoʼ, centered
on an older womanʼs pregnancy, earned nearly Rs 137 crore
#METOO at the domestic box‑office, comfortably eclipsing the figures
of Akshay Kumarʼs ʻGoldʼ and ʻPad Manʼ and Ajay Devgnʼs

MeToo movement created ripples in Bollywood this ʻRaidʼ.
year, in the same industry that finally saw a collective A Bollywood film that rests on the shoulders of an actress
consciousness on the darkest and dirtiest side of the has limited box‑office appeal, but ʻRaaziʼ, starring Alia Bhatt,
business emerge as earned in excess of Rs 120 crore.
women came out ʻAndhadhunʼ, ʻStreeʼ, ʻMantoʼ, ʻMulkʼ, ʻLove Soniaʼ, ʻTumb‑
with some heart‑ badʼ, ʻOctoberʼ, ʻPadmanʼ – all these movies were a break‑
wrenching stories of through from the typical highly dramatic Bollywood stories.
sexual harassment. Some were even credited for breaking stereotypes.
The campaign began The year 2018 established that the viewers like content
with actress which has relatability, likeability and virality.
Tanushree Duttaʼs al‑
legations of sexual KHAN MAGIC FELL FLAT
misconduct against
veteran actor Nana ON BOX OFFICE
Patekar and filmmak‑ Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar made
er Vivek Agnihotri. his Tamil debut with ʻ2.oʼ.
Following example, who stood out with films like with films like ʻMulkʼ
Tanushreeʼs claim, and ʻBadhaai Hoʼ. Neena, who became a household name af‑
several actresses ter portraying an iconic role in the 1990s TV show ʻSaansʼ,
came out in public to was away from the screen for a long time. Last year, she took
share their experi‑ to social media to ask for work.
ences of sexual ha‑ Surekha Sikri and Gajraj Rao won the audience's heart with
rassments and as‑ their funny and quirky performances in ʻBadhaai Hoʼ, which
saults. showed that for viewers what matters the most is good acting
Writer‑producer irrespective of an actor's age.
Vinta Nanda talked Surekha made her debut in 1978 with political drama
Actress Tanushree Dutta sounded openly about the "Kissa Kursi Ka", and made a name for herself by working in
the MeToo bugle in Bollywood. abuse she suffered at films, theatre and television. After featuring in TV show ʻBali‑
the hands of ʻsanskari babujiʼ actor Alok Nath. ka Vadhuʼ, she gained huge popularity as the stern ʻDadisaʼ.
Some of the other biggest names in the industry who came Gajraj has featured in movies like ʻBandit Queenʼ, ʻHazaaron
under fire included directors Sajid Khan, Vikas Bahl and Sub‑ Khwaishein Aisiʼ and ʻTalvarʼ.
hash Ghai, as well as casting directors such as Mukesh Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan in a still from ʻZeroʼ. The web space further opened up doors for older actors as
Chhabra and Vicky Sidana, music director Anu Malik and The three Khans started from 1987 to 1992 and since then Farida Jalal, Ashish Vidyarthi and Raza Murad.
singer Raghu Dixit.
All Indian film production houses are bound to implement
all three have only built their fan base with one hit after the
and enforce the 'The Sexual Harassment of Women at Work‑
place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013
But something extraordinary happened in 2018. The films
of all the three Khans fared poorly at the box‑office. The ac‑
(PoSH), the Producers Guild of India (PGI) declared in No‑ tioner ʻRace 3ʼ, starring Salman Khan, made on a budget of Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan, set foot in Bollywood
vember. A handbook on 'Prevention of sexual harassment at around Rs 180 crore, earned only Rs 169 crore at the Indian this year with ʻKarwaanʼ and Bollywood's Khiladi, Akshay Ku‑
the workplace' was also drawn up. box office. His last, ʻTiger Zinda Haiʼ, had earned more than mar didn't disappoint

A YEAR OF SENSIBLE AND double. The ʻThugs of Hindostanʼ, starring Aamir Khan and
Amitabh Bachchan was Bollywoodʼs most expensive movie
the audience with his
villainous role in ʻ2.0ʼ. It
PROGRESSIVE CINEMA made on a budget of Rs 335 crore. But the film turned out to
be a box‑office disaster, grossing less than Rs 150 crore. The
marked his Tamil de‑
Indian Cinema witnessed some of the quirkiest plots which biggest damage it did was to the perfectionist image of the Pankaj Tripathi made
were loved by the audiences. The yearʼs list of highest‑gross‑ content‑rich Khan. his Tamil film debut
ing films featured some unlikely names. Even the recently released ʻZeroʼ, led by Shah Rukh Khan, with Rajinikanth film
opened to a tepid box‑office response, collecting Rs 87 crore ʻKaalaʼ and Bollywood's
in the first six days of its release. dancing diva Madhuri
The year established that the viewers like content which has Dixit Nene's maiden
relatability, likeability and virality. Marathi film ʻBucket
The audiences have given a stern message that image and Listʼ released this year.
hype wonʼt work anymore. Neil Nitin Mukesh, who
But high ticket prices are also turning out to be deterrents featured in the 2014
for the audience to visit theatres, said experts. Also, with stiff Tamil film "Kaththi" by
competition from regional films, Hollywood and especially A.R. Murugadoss, made
the vast variety of digital content, Bollywood needs to step up his Telugu debut with
Malayalam actor Dulquer
its game with scripts being the focal point, and by allotting ʻKavachamʼ this month. Salmaan was the best export
the right budget. Vidya Balan will be from south cinema in 2018.
launched in Telugu film
SENIOR ACTORS BACK industry with the biopic on legendary actor‑politician and for‑

IN SPOTLIGHT mer Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N.T. Rama Rao. For
Aishwarya Devan, who has acted in Malayalam, Tamil and
Indian showbiz paved the way for senior actors to return to Kannada language films, it was her role that pulled her to‑
The film ʻBadhaai Hoʼ cashed in big at the box office. the limelight. Neena Gupta, 59, turned out to be the perfect wards the Hindi film ʻKaashi in Search of Gangaʼ.
70 January 5-18, 2019 COLUMNS TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Way Americans can

be Happier in 2019
take Psyc 157, Psychology and the Again. Making America great again,
Good Life. And you thought Yale stu‑ as we noted in the blog we wrote af‑
By Frank Islam dents would be more content and se‑ ter George H.W. Bushʼs death, re‑
cure than others their age. quires heeding the following words
I want to be happy So what to do about it. from his 1989 inaugural address:
But I canʼt be happy There is academic research that can “America is never wholly herself un‑
Till I make you happy too help. For example, the Harvard Study less she is engaged in high moral
of Adult Development of 80 years ago principle. We as a people have such a
These lyrics are from a hit song identifies factors such as relation‑ purpose today. It is to make kinder
written for the Broadway musical ships with family, friends and com‑ the face of the nation and gentler the
comedy No, No, Nanette, crica 1925. munity as central ingredients for liv‑ face of the world. My friends we have
The show was revived in 1971, after ing a happy and healthy life. Based on said: “A character like Fred takes us friends. That broader circle matters work to do.”
the tumultuous sixties, in a produc‑ newer research focused on the poor, back to how we should treat each oth‑ for them and for you. Julie Fraga So we have to again begin the
tion that reminded Americans of particularly non‑college educated er.” notes in the Washington Post, “Re‑ process of rediscovering what Ameri‑
more innocent times. whites and males, Carol Graham of On the popularity of Hallmark searchers have found that these per‑ ca stands for and who we are as
In 2018 there is evidence that we Brookings Institution recommends Channel, Suddath quotes Jess Aguirre, sonal connections may be more ben‑ Americans. That perspective makes
Americans are longing for simpler using life satisfaction monitoring and its director of research: “When we eficial to oneʼs health and well‑being us optimistic about the future for this
times again. We need someone or well‑being metrics to help shape gov‑ asked people why they watched Hall‑ than family relationships.” country and its citizens. Indeed the
something to make us happy. ernmental policies and programs as a mark, we used to hear things like, ʻI Relationships really matter because APA survey showed that a full 75% of
The American Psychological Asso‑ way to address the haves vs have‑nots want to escape.ʼ Now itʼs ʻI want to be they are mutually beneficial and the those surveyed “feel hopeful about
ciationʼs (APA) Stress in America sur‑ divide. reminded that thereʼs still love in the bonds that are built through them are their future.”
vey last October found the countryʼs For the near term, there is no quick worldʼ.” reinforcing and can be self‑sustaining. So we wish our fellow Americans a
current political climate as a “signifi‑ fix. But, three ideas for stress reduc‑ It could be yoga, or fly fishing, or 3. Be kind to those in need. Ameri‑ happier 2019 and ask them to join
cant stressor” for people. An astound‑ tion are: jogging, or reading, the essential cans are generous people – reaching with us in doing what we can to make
ing 69% reported that the nationʼs fu‑ 1. Be kind to yourself. In a thing is doing something that makes out to give to others and to address it so ̶ remembering, as the Beatles
ture is another stress source. Bloomberg article, Claire Suddath you feel better. It could be something problems. The APA has found that advised:
Those in Generation Z̶ages 15 to comments that Americans are accom‑ that you used to do that you havenʼt our societally stressful environment And in the end,
21 ̶ are especially stressed out, plishing this by “escaping from the done in a long time, or something that has magnified this American propen‑ The love you take
which relates to personal matters news”, for example by watching youʼve always wanted to but havenʼt sity. In 2017, 51% of Americans say Is equal to
such as work, money and health, and heart‑warming movies or TV shows. maybe even doing nothing. The point that the state of the nation “has The love you make.
national news such as mass shootings Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, a docu‑ is to be kind to yourself. prompted them to volunteer or other‑ The writer is an Indian American
and suicide rates. This heightened mentary about pre‑school TV show 2. Be kind to those around you. wise support causes they value.” In entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic
stress cuts across socio‑economic and host Fred Rodgers, did exceptionally One of the ways to be kind to yourself 2018, that percentage was down to leader, and thought leader.
educational levels. Last January, over well at the box office after its mid‑ is to be kind to those around you. 45% yet meaningful. Bottomline is, Article source: Frank Islam blog.
1,200 students at Yale signed up to year release. As the movieʼs director That could be family. Or, it could be we do want America to be Great Image courtesy: Time magazine.


I‑751, Waiver of Joint Filing for

By Dev Banad Viswanath, Esq.
& Michael Phulwani, Esq.

f an individual received a green

card based on their marriage to
a U.S. citizen which occurred less
than 2 years after their marriage,
they will receive a “conditional”
Abuse or Cruel Treatment
green card that is only valid for two tional permanent resident; resident will receive a receipt tional permanent resident qualifies
years. Within 90 days of the two‑
year expiration, the green card VISA 4 Threatening to divorce the con‑
ditional permanent resident,
notice. The conditional permanent
resident is allowed to continue to
for a waiver of joint filing and send
a letter to the applicant with their

holder and their spouse would joint‑ especially if it is not accepted in live and work in the U.S. while their decision or, schedule them for an
ly file Form I‑751, Petition to their culture or religion; case is being processed. If USCIS interview.
Remove the Conditions of 4 Withholding money or food needs more evidence to show abuse On behalf of all of us at the Banad
Residence. If the conditions on their from the conditional permanent and/or cruel treatment they will Law Offices and Law Offices of
green card are not removed, then spouse. USCIS defines battery as resident as punishment; send a request for evidence, which Michael Phulwani, we wish you all a
the green card and their status and physical violence committed against 4 Name calling and harsh insults, must be timely answered. Once wonderful and prosperous 2019!
right to stay in the U.S. will termi‑ a conditional permanent resident in public or private; or USCIS reviews the whole I‑751 May it be filled with blessings and
nate at the end of two years. There by their spouse. Some examples of 4 Not allowing the conditional packet it will determine if the condi‑ joy!
are a few circumstances where a physical abuse include punching, permanent resident to contact
their family or friends. Dev Banad Viswanath is the Principal Attorney of
spouse may not have to jointly file slapping, forced sex, and any other
The Banad Law Offices PC in the United States, and
Form I‑751, such as if they have infliction of bodily harm. Extreme The conditional permanent resi‑
Banad Immigration in India for which Attorney
been abused or treated cruelly by cruelty is defined as nonviolent dent will need to provide USCIS
Michael Phulwani is also affiliated as Of Counsel.
their U.S. citizen spouse and itʼs no abuse that a U.S. spouse purposely with evidence showing specific
With Offices in Manhattan, Queens, Bangalore, and
longer safe or feasible for joint fil‑ caused on the conditional perma‑ instances of their spouseʼs abusive Mumbai, the firm is able to assist clients with all
ing. Therefore a waiver of joint fil‑ nent resident in order to control or actions and how these actions hurt facets of the immigration process, including
ing must be requested based on that embarrass them. Some examples of or controlled their life. If the condi‑ Employment Visas, Consular Visa Assistance,
abuse and cruel treatment. When extreme cruelty are: tional permanent resident was Student Visas, Removal & Deportation, US
applying for a waiver of the joint fil‑ 4 Threatening to report the condi‑ physically abused, official reports Citizenship and Green Card Applications based on
ing requirement based on abuse or tional permanent resident to from police and medical personnel Family or Employment. Dev B. Viswanath can be
cruel treatment the applicant must USCIS or any other government would be important to provide reached at Dev@Banadlaw.com and 718‑361‑5999.
provide USCIS with evidence show‑ agency; USCIS with. Dev will be in India working from those offices
ing that they there were abused or 4 Threatening to refuse to jointly After the whole I‑751 packet is Jan 28 to Feb 12 and can meet people
treated cruelly by their U.S. citizen file Form I‑751 with the condi‑ filed, the conditional permanent for personal consultations.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
72 January 5-18, 2019 ASTROLOGY TheSouthAsianTimes.info

By Dr PremKumar Sharma Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874;

Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899;
psharma@premastrologer.com; www.premastrologer.com

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week (January 12-18 2018)
source. You will easily surpass all tension for future. Your wardrobe is glory to follow you. You are not pseu‑ vestigate the things before dwell into
your hindrances well. Your way of replete of high profiled and branded do intellectual personality but care any matter be it related to family or
communication will take you to the items. Your mental and physical state free kind of attitude which makes you business otherwise unduly may be‑
pinnacle post at your professional will catch your interest in spirituality. eminent person. You need to control come culprit. Donʼt get impulsive
level. Serve the humanity is high on Catching time: November, January, your gallant feeling at times. Active‑ while taking any decision. Other as‑
January 12, 2019 your genre. Understanding the need May and July. ness and participating are your pects of life tend to attract you to‑
Carry forward by 3, Jupiter and Mer‑ of society and helping the people benchmarks. You donʼt bear any kind wards them like some artwork or
cury, your hardnosed approach will may lead you to enter into politics. January 15, 2019 of lousiness or regardless behavior in some euphony which warms your
take you on high rides. You are high‑ Your modest and organized approach Ruled by number 6 and planet Venus; your work. You will be like a pendu‑ heart. Your leadership qualities will
ly intellectual person with knowledge for your business will assured you Mercury also dominates you. You are lum moving to and fro from your one take you beyond imagination in your
of every domain in your kit. You have high returns with some B2B relation blessed with immense talent. Your country together for jaunting as well work which at times also brings you
the capability of dealing with your in the international market. Travel‑ artistic nature will create win win sit‑ as business trips. You are conserva‑ under the ambit of criticizing others.
professional as well as personal life ling may leads some onus on you but uation for you everywhere. Hidden tive and choosy about making Eventful time: November, March and
together. Your first love will always turned to be fruitful for you. You are talent in the field of art and music is friends. Your friends are special for May.
be your work with whom you tend to advices to dig into the details of every tangible symbol signifying distinc‑ you but any kind of misbehaved char‑
spend maximum time which in re‑ new project you are undertaken, tion in your life. You are likely to set acter will generate brush aside atti‑ January 18, 2019
turn will provide you awesome glory, surely get success. Goddess Luxmi your own venture in this named and tude from your side. Manipulation of Characterized by number 9, Mars
honor and surprises. You abhor bigot will shower all her blessing on you. famed industry. Your ideas will not your feelings may bother you and and Mercury, your chippy behavior
natured person and always try to Time for new options: August, Dec., only get populate at domestic level you will feel loneliness. You love tends to take people away from you.
light up the dark spaces with the ray March and May. but also at international market. This yourself more than any other person. They may call you a bilk person but
of hope. This makes you a veteran ensures you a smooth and contended Clashes of self respect arguments will you are pure by heart. Your so called
warrior. Always ready to help others January 14, 2019 life both in terms of your bank bal‑ fail to keep your near and dear ones caring nature will only bring embar‑
means a friend in need is friend in Supported by number 5 and Mercu‑ ance and health. You will get Red Car‑ close to you so just chill. Marvelous rassment for you. But on profession‑
deed. You should learn that love is al‑ ry, your inborn attitude will help you pet welcome wherever you go. Sug‑ time period: July, November, January al terms you will glow like a shining
ways known by deeds not by words to make good relations at your work gestion is to set your goals before fir‑ and April. star. You will easily overcome all the
so hurry until the tides will flow in place with dignity. Circumstances ing onto them. You are perfect exam‑ hindrance comes to your way. Your
your favor. Too much of expectation will force you to follow your ideals ple of “Donʼt follow success instead January 17, 2019 domination will create leadership
from others may strain you so be‑ path in your ventures. You should be so much talented that success will Superseded by 8 and Saturn, dictated quality which at times make you to
lieve in yourself. Result oriented pay attention to the saying “Careless follow you”. Yogic exercise and an ap‑ by Mercury, time prognosticate you take all the responsibility and polish‑
time: October, November, March and habits may lead to happening”. Your ple a day is all what recommended to to blossom in the field of education es you for upcoming high career
July. dual personality helps to claim name you by to keep your body in toned which is long term investment for prospects. You will get lot of surpris‑
and fame in all front of life. You are state. Profitable months: October, De‑ you. Your focused vision always is es from your employer which even
January 13, 2019 always there for your kins and cember, April and June. likely to make you concentrate on takes you close to the top notch posi‑
Charged by number 4, Uranus and friends. Your benevolent nature is an your utmost goal. All in vain tenden‑ tion in your company. Your arche‑
Mercury, unwittingly you will get lot asset for you. You are supposed to January 16, 2019 cy will distract you but you need to type facts will get prestige and high‑
of name and fame in your business get respect and regard from your Mercury and Neptune and number 7 stick to your ploy as time will replen‑ ly productive for you. Your volition is
but donʼt get excited just take the coworkers and seniors. You believe will follow you, “you are what you ish your loose energy. Better late as strong as stones so keep going
charge. Upcoming year promises to in “Earn and Spend theory” means on are” is the tagline of your life. You al‑ than never is what you need to fol‑ with your instincts. Surprises can be
bring positive vibes for your pious one hand your diligence pays for you ways believe to follow your foot‑ low. Make guidelines and do not in the form of increasing remunera‑
soul but little flip flop may chafe you. and on the other your spendthrift prints only. You invent your invento‑ leave the task bare. Honesty, thought‑ tion or overseas tour with your fami‑
Sharp and honed acumen skills are trait will credit you. You are likely to ry yourselves. You basket is full of fulness and organized approach will ly. Fruitful time: December, January,
all what you require in your income follow western culture of taking no new ideas all the time which makes take you to the heights. Properly in‑ and April.

Stars Foretell: January 12-18, 2019

ARIES: You are likely to remain in high spirits TAURUS: You will be able to get your ideas GEMINI: A piece of good news on the social CANCER: Those searching for accommodation
throughout the week. A business implemented at work and make front may get you into a celebrato‑ near place of work or study may
trip will prove fruitful in bag‑ your mark. Travel plans will go ry mood. You will do we ll to get lucky. Keeping seniors
ging a lucrative deal. On the without a hitch. You will be refurbish your professional informed of the developments at
professional front, chances of able to maintain the balance image to attract better clientele. work will be in your interest.
getting selected for something between food intake and work‑ Academic excellence is likely to Someone may convey his or her
prestigious cannot be ruled out. outs to enjoy good health. A treat, he lp you achieve your dream. indebtedness to you for your help, in
Good price can be expected for a property, if coupled with an enjoyable outing, is likely to Financial worries become a thing of the past, as a most touching manner. You may be singled
you are interested in it. Those going steady make it a best t ime for you. Financial money comes from unexpected sources. An old out for a special honour on the professional
may think on the lines of solemnising their stability will be maintained by concerted flame is slated to enter your life once again and front. You will feel fit and energetic, like never
relationship. efforts. brighten the romantic front. before!

LEO : Your burden of work on the professional VIRGO: Overseas travel is foretold for those LIBRA: Luck favours you on the financial SCORPIO: Investing all your money in one ven‑
front is set to increase, so tighten wishing to visit exotic places. Be front, so expect money to flow in. ture or scheme is not recommend‑
your belt. Change of scene, just to a realist enough to take no for Your initiative on the academic ed, howsoever attractive be the
resurrect your married life is pos‑ an answer from a potential front is like ly to g ive goo d prospects. T hings remain in
sible. Your current exercise regi‑ lover on the romantic front. results. Someone may persuade order on the professional front,
men will make you feel stronger You will be able to raise your you to accompany him or her on as you go about your task ef fi‑
and fitter. A family youngster may join performance level on the academic an interesting excursion. You may ciently. Your attempts to curry favour
the family business soon. You may need to front through outside help. Your efforts on spend more than you had budgeted for in set‑ with those who matter on the academic front
search out a mutual friend who can introduce the professional front will bring you into the ting up a new house, but it will be worth it. will succeed. Joining a group of health‑con‑
you to the one you admire on the romantic notice of those who matter, so keep up the Donʼt let personal differences spoil the fun on scious people will prove immensely beneficial
front! good work. the social front. for your health.

SAGITTARIUS: A pleasant period greets you CAPRICORN: A minor job at work may get AQUARIUS : The week promises much fun and PISCES: This is an blissful period for you.
and promises to climax towards complicated and eat away your gaiety, as you get the time to min‑ Money comes your way and fill
exciting finish. Your romantic working hours. You may resolve gle in your social circle. Not your cof fers to the brim.
endeavours prove fruitful, as to save money for paying an breaking your daily routine will Taking an instant liking for
you go around spreading your outstanding amount. You are he lp you in retaining goo d someone is possible, so expect
charm! An excit ing trip may likely to miss out on some good health. Initiative taken on the romance to knock on your door
materialise and take you on a tour of investment opportunities by being professional front will get due recog‑ soon! Your strong showing on the
beautiful sites. Increased earning and perks over cautious. Some development at home nit ion from those who matter. academic front is likely to mark you as an
are likely to give a boost to those in the pri‑ may not be to your liking and can pit you Misunderstandings doing the rounds on the achiever. Adopting an active lifestyle is indi‑
vate sector. An old ailment disappears, as you against others. An official trip may need to be family front will be sorted out, so expect the cated for some and will help achieving good
step on the path to perfect health. postponed. domestic harmony to prevail. health.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info ASTROLOGY January 5-18, 2019 73

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

2019 – High hopes for a good year for all

Not all years are the same. While 2018 brought a mix of good and bad overall for the world,
we should all hope for and look forward to a world of peace and harmony in 2019,
maintains our celebrated resident astrologer, Dr. Prem Kumar Sharma.
ARIES the Ram CANCER the Crab LIBRA the Scales CAPRICORN the Goat
(March 21‑April 20) (June 22‑July 22) (September 24‑October 23) (December 22‑January 21)
The year 2019 starts with a healthy note, Multi‑tasking may become your forte in The year 2019 promises to keep you fit A born leader, you believe in taking the
with the first quarter of the creating more earning oppor‑ as a fiddle, but exposure to a bull by the horns in profession‑
year promising total fitness. tunities. Your health remains lingering problem cannot be al matters. Taking up a sport
Luck and your own efforts satisfactory in the year. In ruled out. You are ambitious in a serious way is indicated
have certainly paid dividends fact, the first four months of and yearn to make your mark for some. Your positive influ‑
in 2018, as regards career ad‑ the year may find you in peak on the professional front. Year ence and insistence will keep
vancement. You uphold family values and physical condition. An elder may become 2019 may prove a mixed bag in this re‑ others around you perfectly fit. Your ten‑
will remain a pillar of strength to the fam‑ instrumental in bringing stability in the spect, since your endeavours may not be dency to overdo things threatens to affect
ily. On the whole, family life cruises along family. For you, love is in the air for the good enough to achieve total success. . A your professional reputation adversely in
smoothly in 2019, but may encounter whole of 2019! Forming a special equa‑ challenging situation may develop in the the month of October, so remain guarded.
some choppy waters too! In relationship, tion with partner is indicated, which months of March and April requiring you Extended family may come and stay with
you continue to blow hot and cold all promises immense happiness and fulfil‑ to devote extra hours in balancing work you in the third quarter. Eligible can expect
throughout the year. Do not allow situa‑ ment. and home. Married life will sail smoothly a suitable mate to walk into their lives by
tions of lack of trust or suspicion control Lucky Number: 7 as spouse grows extra supportive. the end of third quarter of the year.
your mind Lucky Colour: Pink Lucky Number: 6 Lucky Number: 17
Lucky Number: 4 Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Colour: Yellow
Lucky Colour: Blue
LEO the Lion SCORPIO the Scorpion AQUARIUS the Water Bearer
(July 23‑August 23) (October 24‑November 22) (January 22‑February 19)
TAURUS the Bull You may begin to focus on fitness by the Opportunities for career enhancement are Refuse your temptations to try shortcuts for
(April 21‑May 20) middle of the third quarter and aplenty in the year 2019, as weight loss as it may not help
The first and the third quarter of 2019 take appropriate steps to re‑ you enjoy an unhindered run much. Meditation and Yoga will
seem a period of excellent main fit. Those planning to of luck in the first two quar‑ help you achieve mental
health. This is because of set up their own business ters on the year. Those on the solace.Additional academic
your continued endeavour to should avoid the months of fitness trail may become insis‑ qualifications are likely to bene‑
attain perfect fitness. There is August and September. tent on eating right and exercising, and fit in a competitive situation. Be careful of
much happening on the profes‑ Family seems to remain sharply in your show the difference by the last quarter of some professional reverses in October. This
sional front in the year. Solemnising the focus. You will remain poised to provide the year. Stability on the marital front is is going to be an year to strengthen your
marriage of someone eligible in the fami‑ full support to a family member, who is yours for the asking, as complete under‑ family bond. Those staying away from their
ly may remain topmost on your mind in on the threshold of something important. standing with life partner is achieved. families will get many chances to visit their
the first half of the year. Those looking Newlyweds and young couples will find Newlyweds may get a chance to set up a families. Downplay whatever happens in the
for love may find it, but may not be able the third quarter to the year exceptional‑ separate household. Married couples will month of September on the romantic front
to continue it for long. ly blissful. keep their relationship alive by being avail‑ and you will be better off.
Lucky Number: 2 Lucky Number: 9 able to each other and giving each other Lucky Number: 22
Lucky Colour: Gray Lucky Colour: Cream space Lucky Colour: White
Lucky Number: 8
Lucky Colour: Lavender PISCES the Fish
GEMINI the Twins VIRGO the Virgin (February 20‑March 20)
(May 21‑June 21) (August 24‑September 23) SAGITTARIUS the Archer Eating right and adopting an active lifestyle
On the whole, no serious medical prob‑ You are sensitive to seasonal changes, (November 23‑December 21) will need to be your fitness
lems are foreseen, unless you more precautions are advised, A better and well paying job is mantra for the year, if you want
become negligent. job switch especially during winter and in the offing for those looking to maintain perfect health.
is on your mind, 2019 is the monsoon seasons. for one. An overseas job is Some work‑related tensions
year for you. However pro‑ During this lean period, you possible in the third or last may also manifest as bodily ills, so
fessionally, it may prove diffi‑ will need to keep your emo‑ quarter of the year. Promotion take steps to de‑stress. Avoid conflicts or ar‑
cult to get the best of both the worlds – a tional nature in check, so as not to rub comes with many perks, so rejoice! Natur‑ guments of any sort with seniors especially in
good salary and job satisfaction. Family someone important the wrong way. Some opathy may appeal and may entail sacri‑ the third quarter of the year. A promotion or
life appears most satisfying in the year special achievements are in store for you ficing the lifestyle you are used to. Nurs‑ an appraisal is also in the offing in the month
2019. Forming a special equation with in the last quarter of the year. ing someone back to health is indicated. of October or November. A family youngster
life partner is on the cards and will help A position of authority may be acquired A vacation with your near and dear ones may need to be handled with patience in the
in forming stronger ties. Although you re‑ by some marital relationship may is indicated. Those willing to settle months of August and September. A long‑
main happy in your present relationship, come under strain and the onus of steer‑ abroad are likely to hear of the possibili‑ term romantic relationship may culminate in
but someoneʼs unusual interest in you ing it out of troubled waters will rest ties in the third quarter. Socially, you will wedding. Those married will succeed in keep‑
may become hard to resist! upon you. be much in demand. ing the embers of passion alive.
Lucky Number: 18 Lucky Number: 3 Lucky Number: 15 Lucky Number: 1
Lucky Colour: Golden Brown Lucky Colour: Lemon Lucky Colour: Saffron Lucky Colour: Mustard
74 January 5-18, 2019 IN MEMORIAM TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Luminaries we lost in 2018

They were pathbreakers, pioneers and influencers of our time. History will
remember their contribution to the milieu they belonged to.
The South Asian Times remembers the icons the world said goodbye to.
Atal Bihari the countryʼs fourth highest civil‑ (1970). Ronald Reagan's vice president cy, died on August 25th at his
ian honor. Known to be one of the most before reaching the pinnacle of home in Arizona. He was 81.
Vajpayee Sridevi debuted as a lead in a brilliant minds of his time, Profes‑ political power by winning the Although a self‑described con‑
Bollywood film in 1978, soon be‑ sor Hawking received thirteen 1988 presidential election. servative “foot soldier in the Rea‑
coming one of India's most loved honorary degrees. He was award‑ After losing the White House in gan revolution” McCain clashed
actresses. ed CBE (1982), Companion of 1992, Bush became a widely ad‑ with his partyʼs right wing on a
Honor (1989) and the Presiden‑ mired political elder who leaped wide range of issues.
Kader Khan tial Medal of Freedom (2009). He out of airplanes to mark birthday A son and grandson of four‑star
was the recipient of many awards, milestones. admirals who were his larger‑
medals and prizes, most notably than‑life heroes, McCain carried
the Fundamental Physics prize
Paul Allen his renowned name into battle
(2013), Copley Medal (2006) and and into political fights for more
the Wolf Foundation prize than a half‑century.
His 1988 publication, A Brief
History of Time, quickly became a Bourdain
India lost a great statesman when bestseller and has sold more than
prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpay‑ 10 million copies.
ee passed away in New Delhi on In the early 1960s, Hawking
August 16 after being critically ill contracted an incurable degener‑
for over nine weeks. ative neuromuscular disease but
The 93‑year‑old Bharatiya Jana‑ continued to work despite its pro‑
ta Party leader was the oldest liv‑ Veteran actor Kader Khan gressively disabling ef fects. He
ing former Indian prime minister. breathed his last on December died on March 14.
A founding member of the 31st. He was 81.
Known for his impeccable com‑
Stan Lee The Microsoft co‑founder died
Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a precursor
of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and ic timing Khan made his debut in Stan Lee, who ushered in a com‑ from complications of non‑
a parliamentarian for four Rajesh Khanna starrer Daag in ic‑book renaissance by co‑creat‑ Hodgkinʼs lymphoma on October
decades, Vajpayee was the first 1973 and went on to work in over ing the iconic superheroes Spider‑ 15. He was 65. He was a noted
non‑Congress leader to have com‑ 300 films, spanning several Man, the Fantastic Four, and the technologist, community builder,
pleted a five‑year term (1999‑ decades. X‑Men ̶ characters who made conservationist, musician and Author, celebrity chef, television
2004) as Indiaʼs prime minister. A man of many talents he had the leap to film with often‑spec‑ supporter of the arts. personality; first became known
During his second term, from written dialogues for over 250 tacular results ̶ died on Nov. 12. He is estimated to have donated in 2000 after the publication of
1998 to 1999, India conducted movies. Among Khan's frequent He was 95. more than $2bn to philanthropy his bestselling book Kitchen Con‑
the second Pokhran nuclear tests collaborators as a screenwriter throughout his life including sci‑
(May 1998) and Vajpayee attend‑ were Manmohan Desai and
George ence, education and wildlife con‑
fidential: Adventures in the Culi‑
nary Underbelly.
ed the Lahore summit (February Prakash Mehra. With Manmohan H.W. Bush servation causes. He hosted a number of popular
1999) where he traveled to Pak‑ Desai, Kader Khan gave the Hindi He was also an avid sports fan, culinary travel shows, including A
istan in a bus for establishing full‑ film industry gems like Dharam owning both the Portland Trail Cookʼs Tour, Anthony Bourdain:
fledged diplomatic relations with Veer, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Blazers basketball team and Seat‑ No Reservations, The Layover,
the country. Born on December Coolie, Suhaag, Desh Premee, tle Seahawks NFL team, who won and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Un‑
25, 1924, Vajpayee never married Amar Akbar Anthony and Parvar‑ the US Superbowl in 2013. known and won a number of emi‑
but adopted a daughter, Namita. ish. In 2010 he pledged his majority nent awards during his career for
fortune to charitable causes after
Sridevi Stephen his death.
his shows. Sadly he committed
suicide on June 8. He was 61.
Hawking John Hubert de
McCain Givenchy
The French couturier who
founded the house of Givenchy in
1952 passed away on March
The 41st President, whose 10th. Known as a personal and
steady hand and foreign policy vi‑ professional designer for Audrey
sion led the nation through a pe‑ Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy
riod of sweeping global change he designed Hepburnʼs infamous
died on November 30 at the age ʻlittle black dressʼ worn in Break‑
of 94, just seven months after he fast at Tiffanyʼs.
lost his wife of more than 70 He learned his trade from an‑
Superstar Bollywood actress years, Barbara Bush. other fashion master, Cristóbal
Sridevi Kapoor died of an acci‑ Born into privilege and a tradi‑ Balenciaga, produced restrained
dental drowning on February 24 English theoretical physicist, tion of service, Bush was a son of designs of what admirers called
in Dubai. cosmologist, and author Stephen a senator, celebrated World War an “extreme elegance” that be‑
The 54‑year‑old actress gave Hawking worked on the basic II combat pilot, student‑athlete, John S. McCain, the proud naval came his trademark. His creations
some of the iconic classics of laws which govern the universe. Texas oilman, a Republican con‑ aviator who climbed from depths were eagerly awaited and sought
Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kanna‑ With Roger Penrose he showed gressman, national party chair‑ of despair as a prisoner of war in out by the titled and wealthy in
da and Hindi language films. that Einstein's general theory of man, pioneering diplomat, and Vietnam to pinnacles of power as the 1950s and 60s, including
Star of movies such as Mr India, relativity implied space and time spy chief. After his own 1980 a Republican congressman and Princess Grace of Monaco and
Chandni, ChaalBaaz, and Sadma, would have a beginning in the Big presidential campaign came up senator from Arizona and a two‑ Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of
she was also awarded Padma Shri‑ Bang and an end in black holes short, he served two terms as time contender for the presiden‑ Windsor.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019

Happy New Year

76 January 5-18, 2019 HUMOR TheSouthAsianTimes.info

The Best of Mahendra Shah

Mahendra Shah has been drawing cartoons for
The South Asian Times ever since the paper started.
Here is a selection of his best cartoons from 2018.

Mahendra Shah is an
architect by education,
entrepreneur by profession,
artist and humorist,
cartoonist and writer by
hobby. He has been
recording the plight of the
immigrant Indians for the
past many years in his
cartoons. Hailing from
Gujarat, he lives in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
78 January 5-18, 2019 S P I R I T UA L AWA R E N E S S

by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Perfecting meditation takes practice. Spiritual experiences can illuminate us in a twinkling
of an eye, but we need to create the right conditions for those moments to crystalize. What
preparations can we make for those moments to brighten our lives?

Consider a scientist who performs a chemistry experiment. For the right reaction to take place, we need the
proper ingredients, steps, and time. Meditation requires the right combination of steps to be fruitful.

While meditation can bring relaxation and peace to the body and mind, a higher benefit of meditation is il-
lumining our soul with the wonders within. Meditation on the inner Light and Sound provides us an experience of
the inner vistas and celestial Music. Just as the holiday season is celebrated with festive lights and seasonal music,
we have within us a continual symphony of inner Music and radiant Lights within. If we practice meditation we can
enjoy those not only at the holiday but all year round, anytime we want. To gain access to these, we can perform the
preparatory steps to be ready to experience them.

Be a meditation machine in 2019.

Meditation is not difficult. We sit still, close our eyes, still our mind from thoughts and gaze within. Practice
makes perfect. For 2019, we can remember these simple words to remind us to practice:

The term “machine” is often used for one who works hard with passion and zeal at a hobby or task. Machines are
an analogy for diligent work, efficiency, and persistence. Once turned on, they run continually without a break. This
is a good reminder for our meditation. Once we sit for meditation, we can be diligent, efficient, and persistent. This
means staying focused without distraction until we receive results.

The difference, though, is we are not only mechanical in our practice like a machine, but we do our work with
heart and soul. The electricity that runs our machine is the passion and zeal which fuels us to keep going. We medi-
tate with consistency and right effort, but we also add the love and joy for achieving the ultimate goal, experiencing
the inner Light and Sound that will lead us to oneness with God.

As a reminder for the new Year, let us be a meditation machine in 2019 and let our persistence, accuracy, and
diligent efforts in meditation be rewarded with the grace to experience the inner Light and Music that lead us to the
bliss, peace, and joy of union with God.

Yours affectionately,

Rajinder Singh

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an inter-

nationally recognized spiritual leader and
Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the
transcendent oneness at the heart of all re-
ligions and mystic traditions, emphasizing
ethical living and meditation as building
blocks for achieving inner and outer peace.
For more info visit www.sos.org.
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019
TheSouthAsianTimes.info NEW YEAR SPECIAL January 5-18, 2019