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NEW YORK EDITION


Vol.5 No. 6 May 26-June 1, 2012 60 Cents
NY Polytechnic honors Sam Pitroda Dharun Ravi sentenced for 30 days

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Rupee dives to 56.1, touches new low Business, Page 23

What would Greek exit mean for the U.S. economy?

BJP pitches itself as Congress' alternative, tries to smooth rifts


Mumbai : With two years to the 2014 general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday strongly pitched itself as an alternative to the Congress, and said it will seek to expand base among the minorities, Dalits and poor. The party also sought to begin a process of reconciliation within its ranks as party president Nitin Gadkari made it clear the meet was focused on general election "irrespective of whether they are held in 2014 or earlier." Sanjay Joshi's resignation from the national executive - which led to BJP's star chief minister, Gujarat's Narendra Modi lastminute change of plan to attend the meet, was seen as party's first step to settle internal issues. Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who had threatened to quit

US spotlights government corruption in India


Washington, DC: The US state department has highlighted "widespread corruption at all levels of government" and separatist, insurgent and societal violence among the most significant human rights problems in India. "Widespread impunity at all levels of government remained a serious problem," said the department's annual report on human rights released by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here Thursday. "Investigations into individual cases and legal punishment for perpetrators occurred, but in many cases a lack of accountability due to weak law enforcement, a lack of trained police, and an overburdened court system created an atmosphere of impunity," the report noted. Other highlighted problems included police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and rape. Also listed were disappearances, poor prison conditions that were frequently life threatening, arbitrary arrest and detention and lengthy pre-trial detention. "The judiciary was overburdened, and court backlogs led to lengthy delays or the denial of justice, the report said as authorities continued to infringe on citizens' privacy rights," the report said. The law in some states restricted religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests, but no reports of convictions under these laws, it said. Separatist insurgents and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the northeastern states, and the Naxalite belt committed numerous serious abuses, including killing armed forces personnel, police, government officials, and civilians, the report said. Insurgents were responsible for numerous cases of beheading, kidnapping, torture, rape and extortion, it said. However, the number of incidents declined considerably in the northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir compared with the previous year, the report noted.

Washington, DC: Uncertainty over the fate of the euro currency is already dampening U.S. economic growth and any significant worsening of the crisis would deal a blow to a recovery that is gradually gathering steam. Economists estimate that volatile markets and business uncertainty over the fate of Greece and the policy course in Europe is already shaving anywhere from one tenth to one half a percentage point from U.S. 2012 gross domestic product growth. In a Reuters poll last week, U.S. GDP was forecast on average at 2.3 percent for 2012 and 2.4 percent for 2013. The direct hit to growth comes through trade. U.S. exports to the European Union account for 19 percent of total exports, and those to the euro zone represent 13 percent of the total. But when calculated in terms of GDP, the share is tiny - only 1.3 percent of total output. The indirect effects are another matter. Europe in 2010 accounted for 25 percent of world trade, according to Deutsche Bank. Europe also is the biggest trading partner for China and the United States. Loss of this market would ripple worldwide and slow global growth.

BJP's star chief minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP National Executive Meet in Mumbai on May 24 over a tussle with a state party leader, was Continued on page 4

US Senate panel cuts Pakistan aid over doctor's jailing


Washington, DC: Outraged over the jailing of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden, a US Senate panel has cut Pakistan's aid by $33 million, or one million for every year of his sentence. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 30-0 Thursday to cut Islamabad's aid in response to the conviction of Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who sought to collect DNA samples to help verify for the CIA that bin Laden was hiding at a compound in Abbottabad, close to the Pakistani capital. The cut, seen as a symbolic gesture that reflects growing US frustration with a difficult ally, was pushed by Republican senator Lindsey Graham, who called Pakistan a "schizophrenic ally". The US "(doesn't) need Pakistan double-dealing and not seeing the justice in bringing Osama bin Laden to an end." The committee had already slashed President Barack Obama's request for aid to Pakistan by 58 percent and threatened deeper cuts if Islamabad failed to open supply routes to US-led Continued on page 4

Dr.Shakeel Afridi helped CIA in collecting DNA samples to verify Bin Ladens existence in Abbottabad

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May 26-June 1, 2012

Attorney who prosecuted Headley's case resigns


Chicago: Patrick Fitzgerald, the tough- talking US Attorney who prosecuted a slew of highly-publicized cases including those leading to the conviction of Mumbai attack suspect David Headley and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, has resigned. In his surprise announcement, 51year-old Fitzgerald, Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said he would step down officially on June 30, and leave the Justice Department after serving nearly 24 years. Fitzgerald was appointed by former President George W Bush and began serving in the post on September 1, 2001. He was kept on by President Barack Obama and ended up serving for nearly 12 years, making him the longest serving US attorney ever in Chicago. Fitzgerald praised the career attorneys in the Northern District of Illinois, where he presides. "I tried not to get in their way," he said. Fitzgerald said he has no future employment plans and, after this summer off, the father of two young children will "consider his career options." The announcement came as a bit of surprise to Justice Department officials who had been informed of his decision, CNN reported. US Attorney General Eric Holder praised Fitzgerald for his commitment to serve "the American people trust of two Presidents and the unwavering confidence of four Attorneys General, and I am deeply grateful to him for his service and his friendship over the years," Holder said in a statement. Fitzgerald was leading the prosecution of Headley and Tahawwur Rana in Chicago for participating in plotting the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and planning to attack a Danish newspaper. Fitzgerald first became widely known when he participated in the prosecution of Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. He also helped prosecute the terrorism defendants tied to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He also prosecuted the case of Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who was convicted last year of corruption charges in connection with his efforts to profit from appointing the successor to the US Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president. Speculation about Fitzgerald's future in legal circles has included the possibility of his being named FBI director to succeed Robert Mueller, whose term expires in September, though lucrative offers may be forthcoming from the private sector, the CNN reported.

Patrick Fitzgerald and the citizens of Illinois with the utmost integrity and a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice." "Over the years he has gained the

Taxi fares in NY may go up by 20%


the higher rates would be put into effect are still being drawn up, the Bloomberg administration supports a taxi fare increase, making it likely that one will be approved and that it could take effect as soon as mid-July. Officials at the taxi commission said there were compelling reasons to grant the industrys wish for higher prices, like allowing fares to keep up with the rate of inflation and recent increases in gasoline prices. The fare hasnt changed since 2006, so it is reasonable for taxi drivers and fleet owners to put this on the table, David S. Yassky, the taxi and limousine commissioner, said in a statement on Monday. The city has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for May 31, when the commission is expected to consider an increase of 16 percent to 20 percent. Such hearings are almost never arranged unless a fare increase is under serious consideration. The fare proposal comes amid a time of flux for the taxicab industry, which has recently experienced some of the biggest upheavals in its history. Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, applauded the proposed measure. She said the group hoped that the increases would be applied to mileage and waiting time charges, rather than the base fee, so that people on shorter trips are not subsidizing the longer trips.

US says it's helping India find alternative oil supplies


Washington, DC: In the face of a public outcry in India over rising oil prices due to Iran oil sanctions, the US said it was trying to help New Delhi find alternative sources of supply. "We are working with countries around the world to encourage them to diversify supply away from Iranian crude," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Wednesday when asked about the impact of Iran sanctions on India. "This isn't just about India. It's about a whole list of countries who we are trying, in the first instance, to help find alternative sources of supply, to work through what their options might be," she said. Nuland also welcomed the signing of an agreement for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline as "a perfect example of energy diversification, energy integration, done right". "We consider it a very positive step forward and sort of a key example of what we're seeking with our New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regional integration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region." The US, she said, had offered to be supportive "politically, and we stand by to be supportive in other ways if asked". Asked why the US was opposed to the Iran-Pakistan pipeline when it was so positive on TAPI, Nuland said: "The other pipeline, as just to be clear, goes to an unreliable partner who is not complying with its international obligations with Iran." "Our concern has to do with investing in a country that that we have concerns is spending its money not on its people but on dangerous technology and weapons."

New York: New York Citys Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed on Monday to formally consider a proposal from the yellow cab industry that would raise taxi fares by as much as 20 percent, a significant increase to a pricing structure that has been virtually unchanged since 2006, according to a New York Times report. While the precise details of how

Indian-American treats wife as slave; gets away with probation


New York: An Indian American ta in February, only on a misdeman whose family forced his wife meanor assault charge. The coninto slave labor was spared jail but viction carried a maximum sensentenced to three years' probation tence of a year in jail. and ordered to perform 220 hours His 58-year-old mother Parveen of community service. His mother Jagota, and 31-year-old sister Raand sister each face up to seven jani Jagota were convicted of labor years in prison. trafficking and second-degree asVishal Jagota, 34, of New York sault, both felonies. suburb Ramapo was also fined They each face up to seven years $1,000 by Rockland County Court in prison when they are sentenced Judge William K. Nelson, Newsnext month. Husband Vishal Jagota day reported. Rockland County District Attorwith his parents Prosecutors alleged that Jagota's ney Thomas Zugibe said he was wife, whom authorities never publicly named, was disappointed by the sentence Vishal Jagota received. brought to the US from India in January 2008 through "Plain and simple, he and his family imprisoned this an arranged marriage at 20 and suffered in a life of young victim for three years," he said in a statement. servitude and sexual abuse. Prosecutors alleged that the Jagota family used inThe abuse went on until the Jagotas were arrested in timidation, and physical and sexual abuse to force the October 2010. victim, now 25 years old, to work round-the-clock in Jagota, his mother and sister were indicted in March their home. On one occasion, Jagota's mother and sis2011 on charges of labor trafficking and endangering ter burned the victim's hand with a hot iron because the welfare of a child in addition to assault charges. they didn't like the way she had done the laundry, they However, in a non-jury trial, Nelson convicted Jago- said.

Dhoonya Dance instructors led an outdoor Bollywood dance flash mob on the hit song Chammak Challo at the Fiesta Asia Street Fair, Saturday, in Washington, DC. For the seventh consecutive year, this festival was held to celebrate the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month that is chock-a-block with events recognizing the tremendous achievements of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Organizers estimated that some 20,000 people attended the all-day event on Saturday, set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the US Capitol building.

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May 26-June 1, 2012

Indian Americans win top 3 prizes at National Geographic Bee


Washington, DC: A first-time contender from Texas won the annual National Geographic Bee May 24 in Washington, claiming the top prize in a contest that started with local competitions among about 4 million students around the country.The contest was to be televised the night of May 24 on the National Geographic Channel and later on public broadcast stations. "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek hosted the finals. Indian American Rahul Nagvekar, 14, of Sugar Land, Texas, will receive a $25,000 college scholarship for his win, along with a trip to the Galapagos Islands. He beat another Indian American student, Vansh Jain, 13, of Minocqua, Wis., on the fourth tie-breaking question. Much of the bee tested the 10 finalists' knowledge of history, world cultures and landmarks used as clues for geography-based questions. Rahul won by correctly naming Regensburg as the Bavarian city located on the Danube River that was

IALI to host India Fest on August 12


Long Island, NY: India Association of Long Island (IALI) will be hosting the 21st Annual INDIAFEST 2012 event on Sunday August 12, 2012, at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hauppauge, NY. IndiaFest has become one of most anticipated and biggest premier events to be held in Long Island with over 10,000 people in attendance. The event is open to public with no entry and parking fees. The daylong festival will showcase and highlight in many ways - Indian culture, art and crafts, variety of Indian cuisine, fashion shows, Indian bazaar, designer clothing and jewelry, music, Indian folk and classical dances, Bollywood entertainment, mingle with social and political dignitaries, youth and kids activities and even in the area of spirituality and yoga.

South Asian community to organize American Independence Day event


Long Island,NY: In a first of its kind, a leading South Asian Group is planning a grand celebration to mark and celebrate Americas Independence on Sunday, July, 8th, 2012, 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The event is planned to take place at the Lakeside Theater, Field 6 and 6A in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, Long Island. Zahid Syed, Chairman of the Nassau County Commission of Human Rights and a South Asian community leader is the brain behind this event. When asked about the importance of organizing such an event, Zahid Syed said that We need to showcase our solidarity with the mainstream American community by becoming part of their celebrations. America has given us plenty of happiness and freedom, this the least we can do for our adopted country and home country of our children. The event will focus on familiarizing youngsters with the importance of the day. We are planning to make this a fun filled day for the whole family, full of tasty food, music, entertainment, kids rides, face painting, mehndi, & many more attractions." Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano has already shown his enthusiasm. Many other State and County officials as well as community activists will be a part of this planned celebration. If you would like to have an opportunity to showcase particular merchandise at this event, have any suggestions or would like to be a part of the committee, contactZahidSyed9@aol.com

Rahul Nagvekar (right) beat another Indian American student Vansh Jain to win the $25000 college scholarship and trip to Galapagos Islands..
a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806. "It was a guess, a 50-50 chance," Nagvekar said after the competition. "It just happened to be a good guess." Jain, the runner-up, was making his third trip to the national geography bee and will take home a $15,000 scholarship. The third-place winner, 13-year-old Varun Mahadevan of Fremont, Calif., another Indian American student, wins a $10,000 scholarship.

BJP pitches story Continued from page 1 also present. Missing however was former Karnataka chief minister, B. S. Yeddyurappa, who has been at loggerhead with his handpicked successor Sadananda Gowda. Meanwhile, BJP sought to present itself as the "solution" to the "problems" created by Congress, and passed two resolutions slamming the United Progressive Alliance government on its agriculture and economic policies. History was also created when BJP amended its constitution to enable an extension of three years for Gadkari, making him in all likeliness the first one to get six years as BJP president. At the last minute, a resolution against the report of Kashmir interlocutors, calling it against integration of Kashmir with India, was also accommodated. In his inaugural speech, Gadkari accused the Congress-led central government of gross misgovernance. "We need to tell the nation,

Congress has created problems, we will offer the solution". He warned the Congress led government that its days were "numbered" and people can no more afford its "misrule". Gadkari said that the party will focus on expanding base among minorities, Dalits and poor for increasing its vote bank by 10 percent. He also appeared confident that despite Uttar Pradesh defeat, the party has a "very large base" which will reflect in Lok Sabha polls and specifically hailed the "good governance of Gujarat". However, even as the BJP talked about expanding base among minorities, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Ram temple continued to be on the party's agenda. "We have an eternal faith in the construction of Ram temple (in Ayodhya)...if it is constructed with religious harmony, it will be

even better," Prasad said. He, however, added that six years of BJP rule at the centre between 1998 and 2004, and its various state governments have proved that the party has not discriminated on the basis of religion. The resolution on economic situation of the country slammed the government on plethora of issues including the petrol price hike, falling rupee and drop in foreign direct investment. "Why the value of dollar against rupee is increasing while the dollar is falling all over the world," senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi said. The party's resolution on agriculture demanded banning of genetically modified seeds, and a special policy to deal with problem of drought and loan burdens on farmers. "We need farm related insurance to safeguard the farmer's income," former president Rajnath Singh said. Consultant - Media Alliances Bhrigu Pankaj Prashar C: 516.303.4002 Bhrigu@TheSouthAsianTimes.info

US senate cuts pak aid story Continued from page 1 NATO forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan closed those routes after a US attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. Meanwhile, the White House and both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta spoke out against Dr Afridi's sentence. "The United States does not believe there is any basis for holding Dr (Shakil) Afridi. We regret the fact that he was convicted and the severity of his sentence," Clinton told reporters Thursday. At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney taking note of Panetta and Clinton's comments said: "We continue to see no basis for Dr. Afridi to be held." The US, he said, had "raised the issue with the Pakistani government. We'll continue to have conversations with them about it." Photographs: Gunjesh Desai/ masalajunction.com. Xitij Joshi/xitijphoto.com Photo Journalist: Parveen/Bhanu Seth Chief Cartoonist: Mahendra P. Shah Art and Design: Vladimir Tomovski Bhagwati Multimedia, Rahul Sahota Web Editor: B.B.Chopra News Service: HT Media Ltd. IANS Newswire Services Printing: Five Star Printing, NY Richner Publications Contacts Editor@TheSouthAsianTimes.info Subscribe@TheSouthAsianTimes.info Advertisements Advertise@TheSouthAsianTimes.info P : 516.390.7847 F : 516.465.1343

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May 26-June 1, 2012

President of NY temple claims he was assaulted


Baldwin, NY: The newly-elected president of Baldwin, NY-based Hindu temple, New York Kali Mandir, said he was assaulted in an attempt to cover up his discovery of inappropriate financial dealings by the temples previous president. Long Island native Ajoy Nayak, age 72 and a disabled left-leg amputee, indicated he was lured by temple member and past president, Kumar Mandal, MD, into a locked room on Mothers Day (May 13, 2012) where other members of the temple were waiting and one member physically assaulted him as others my tenure as president of New York Kali Mandir trying to clarify our financial position and ensure a successful and secure resource for our Hindu community there. It is shocking and disheartening that members of our religious community would not only misappropriate the funds of our temple but then resort to thuggery and violence in order to try to cover it up, said Nayak. This is a sad time for our community but I urge members to come together in peace and harmony and demonstrate that these behaviors are not demonstrative of our beliefs and culture and will not be tolerated by our community. Pursuant to an order he received to appear, Saha will be arraigned in Nassau County First District Criminal Court in Hempstead in front of a Criminal Judge on June 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM, at which time an Order of Protection is to be issued. Members of the Nassau County community are requesting Nassau County District Attorney, Kathleen Rice, to fully prosecute all of the above professionals for instigating this premeditated hate crime on the 72-year-old disabled amputee.

present instigated the criminal attack. The alleged assailant was a New York State-licensed pharmacist, Suman Saha, who Nayak said physically assaulted him, while other temple members, including Dr. Mandal, Milan Awon, registered pharmacist Buddhadeb Majumder, registered pharmacist Dhrubo Dutta, registered pharma-

cist Dilip Chakroborty, and Sankar Bhaumik were verbally abusive while instigating Saha in the criminal attack. It has been surmised the assault was orchestrated by Dr. Mandal to attempt to cover up his inappropriate financial dealings and misuse of funds from the temple, which Nayak had discovered. I have spent the early part of

Washington, DC: A former executive at Yahoo! and a former IndianAmerican mutual fund manager have pleaded guilty to fraud and insider trading charges relating to deals between Yahoo and Microsoft and a couple of other companies. In a civil action Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Robert W. Kwok, who was Yahoo's senior director of business management, informed Ameriprise Financial's Reema D. Shah in July 2009 of a pending deal between Yahoo and Microsoft. Shah had made inquiries to Kwok when there were rumors about a partnership between the two companies, the SEC alleged. Kwok confirmed the reports and told Shah the information was confidential, the SEC said. Shah bought more than 700,000 shares of Yahoo stock that were later sold for profits of approximately $389,000. The SEC further alleged that a

Indian American manager New York polytechnic honors Sam Pitroda York: Polytechnic Institute of I see technology as the key driver. To pleads guilty to insider trading New York University, America's secNew me, technology is a great social levelyear earlier, the roles were reversed. Shah told Kwok about non-public information regarding an impending acquisition announcement between two other companies, Kwok made a profit of $4,754 as a result of that information, it is alleged. Kwok and Shah have agreed to settle the SEC's charges. Financial penalties will be determined later. Shah will be permanently barred from the securities industry and Kwok will be permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company. The two also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud in a criminal case also announced Monday. Both will be sentenced by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York."Kwok and Shah played a game of you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," said Scott W. Friestad, Associate Director in the SEC's Division of Enforcement.
ond-oldest private engineering school, has conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering on Sam Pitroda, adviser to Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh. Delivering the keynote address at the school's 157th Commencement here Friday, Pitroda urged the class of 2012 to recognize technology as the key to social change and inclusive growth, not only economic prosperity. "How do we use connectivity to address the challenges of the 21st century?" he asked and himself answered: "India has been growing at a rate of 8-9 percent and everywhere, er." "Technology is the key in the 21st century. The challenge of today is inclusive growth, access and equity," said Pitroda, who grew up in the small village of Titlagarh in the Indian state of Orissa without electricity, running water or access to education and went on to earn two masters degrees and revolutionize India's telecommunications infrastructure in the 1980s. "We need affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions," he said. "My advice to you is that hard work and discipline is the key to your success. There is no shortcut."

Technocrat Sam Pitroda

NFIA to host Empowering Women seminar, gala and dinner


Washington, D.C.: After the successful event last year, the National Federation of Indian American Association (NFIA) will conduct for the second time a meet and greet and a symposium on Empowering Women on June 8, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at Diya Restaurant Banquet Hall, located at 2070 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA 22182. For the last twenty years, NFIA has been conducting a congressional lunch and a White House briefing only. Last year, the Empowering Seminar was well received and much appreciated by all the attendees so considering the success of the program from last year; the Womens symposium is organized again this year. Organized by Angela Anand, Chairwomen of (NFIA), Womens Conference program promises to offer a photo opportunity with dignitaries, entertain and provide opportunities to network, and intellectually stimulate the audience. This will be followed by a sumptuous dinner prepared by the restaurant as well as a brief entertainment program. The NFIA is sponsoring a congressional luncheon, White House briefing and the Indian Embassy is hosting a dinner for all the invited delegates traveling from different parts of the country to attend the NFIAs two day events. Invited special guests for Empowering Seminar are Ambassador Nirupama Rao, Commissioner on Women from India, Mrs. Mamta Sharma and US Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA.

Indian American Community of North America celebrated Gujarat day with Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modis live address via satellite on Saturday May 19,2012 at Shree Swami Narayan Temple Secaucus,NJ. The auditorium was full to its capacity accommodating more than 700 people. Community leader Jagdish Sewhani welcomed all to this program which was held throughout U.S.A. simultaneously in 12 cities. Other community leaders such as Suresh Jani, Dr.Sudhir Parekh, Dr Navin Mehta, Dr.Vithal Dhaduk, Sunil Naik, Piyush Patel and Pravin Khatiwala also spoke at the event. The vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Shobhna Patel.

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May 26-June 1, 2012

IN BRIEF

Ram Jethmalani to speak on non-violence in NY

Hyderabadi Cultural Association of Greater Newyork organizes first gala

minent Jurist of India and a legal luminary Ram Jethmalani will address the members and guests of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, on non violence on June 7 at 7 PM. Jethmalani has served in various posts such as Union Law Minister and Chairman of Bar Associations. He is considered a maverick and has many distinctions to his credit. The meeting will be held at Romanti Auditorium,Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 305, 7th

O
Legal luminary Ram Jethmalani Avenue, 17th Floor, New York and is open to public.

Ria Raval wins PBS contest

Chews Elementary against several fellow conSchool student has testants. However, her deterbeen selected the winmination to win did not falter. She worked diligently on the ner of PBS 39-WLVT's " PBS 3-D effects for her story. Kids Go! Writers Contest" in the third-grade division. Ravals parents, Sapana and Eight-year old Ria Raval and Saumil, and her family are her family were recently notivery proud of their little daughter. In her spare time, fied of the award. She is the Raval loves to write stories lone winner from the South Jersey area in the 2012 conand poems and also loves to test. play basketball. Raval's "Just a Dream" is a She is the younger sister of six-page, illustrated story Preet Raval, who, as an PBS contest winner about a boy named Jake who eighth-grade student at Glen Ria Raval loves and has a dream about Landing Middle School who represented Camden County in the 2011 animals. In this competition, Raval had to compete Scripps National Spelling Bee.

n May 19, the Hyderabadi Cultural Association of Greater New York (HCA) held its first annual gala dinner at Akbar Restaurant in New York. The HCA had been formally inaugurated in January 2012, with the objective of the promotion of the arts, culture and traditions of Hyderabad. It is the first formal association of Hyderabadis in the New York area. The program was attended by over 350 attendees, mostly from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut but also from other adjoining states. Charter President Quddus Mohammed stressed the need to preserve Hyderabadi culture and imbue it with the ethos of globalization. He also used the occasion to announce important initiatives that HCA would spearhead in the area of education, which will be called the "Gift of Education & Gift of Hope" programs. The association received a citation from County Executive Ed Mangano of Nassau County, NewYork. The keynote speech for the event was delivered by Janab Zahid Ali Khan, the editor of Siasat Daily. Zahid sahib stressed the need for public service by the successful Hyderabadis in the region, especially in the service of the underprivileged. He presented the HCA officials with an account of the impressive ef-

Several Hyderabadi professionals were honored forts made by the Siasat group in the aid of struggling Hyderabadis. The HCA honored Janaab Zahid Ali Khan with its inaugural "Shared Vision Award". The guest speaker for the event was Mohammed Hameeduddin, who is the mayor of Teaneck, NJ, and the first among the Hyderabadi Diaspora to be elected mayor in a US town. Mr. Hameeduddin spoke to the need for younger diaspora Hyderabadis to set their sights higher and believe in their dreams. Hussain Baqueri, the Charter Executive Vice President of the HCA, honored prominent Hyderabadi professionals in the New York area. The evening concluded with a delicious Hyderabadi dinner, and a cultural program that included mazahiya shayari and a musical program.

CRY America celebrates 10 years of existence


By Jinal Shah/SATimes New York: On Friday, Child Rights and You (CRY) America celebrated its 10th anniversary by acknowledging its donors and volunteers for their efforts in effecting the change. Started as a funding agency, the organization has now escalated its services to capacity building both at grassroots as well as macro level in India. According to statistics provided by CRY America about 119987 children were immunized, 76,821 children were provided regular health check-ups and 364 public health care centers activated. Further 1,089 public schools were activated and 501 villages in India are now free from child labor under various programs initiated by CRY America. Today as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of CRY America, we are really celebrating the 411539 children in 2254 villages and slums across India, whose lives have been irreversibly transformed through our collective efforts, said CRY America president, Shefali Sunderlal. While media personalities like Time magazines editor-at-large, Bobby Gosh, Knight International Journalism, fellow, David Bloss shared their findings and experiences regarding education system and issue of displacement, celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan stressed on the fact that maternal health and nutrition is the key to childs overall wellbeing. There is a saying that it takes an entire village to raise a child. I feel that CRY is that village, said Chauhan. Gosh called for the global Indian community to take an active role in addressing issues like health and education for children, especially in a growing world power like India. We have looked upon developments in India with certain amount of pride. Newspapers in India are still in a self-congratulatory mode and are writing stories about India shining and India rising. However in reality there are two Indias, there is rich India and there is poor India, said Gosh, adding Investment in quality education is not only essential for a childs development but also for the growth of society and countries. Economic growth cannot be sustained unless nations and societies invest in social parameters like education and health for their children, he said.

Panelists speak at CRYs 10th anniversary Gosh is currently working on a publicize is that a very large prospecial report on Indias education portion of that 95% will drop out system. It is disappointing to see after four years of school, said that the government has the ten- Gosh adding In the course of my dency to fudge the figures by reporting I came across some stagincreasing the number of children gering figures- 17300 habitations admitted. The gross enrollment do not have a primary schools. ratio for children enrolled in About 1,50,000 do not have schools between class one and schools; it is there on paper, the eight is 95% that sounds wonderful school is receiving funds, teachers but what government tends to not salaries are paid.

National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Defence Secretary to visit India in June


Washington, DC: Calling developing the US-India relationship as a priority for the United States, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta will travel to India in the first week of June, the Pentagon announced. "Developing the US-India relationship is a priority for the United States government, and our bilateral relationship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century for the United States," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Tuesday. Panetta's first trip to India trip as defence secretary is part of a week-long Asia trip. He will leave here May 30 to participate in the Shangri La Dialogue, an inter-governmental security forum of 28 Asia-Pacific states, in Singapore where he is expected to speak about US defence policy in an era of austerity. He will then travel to Vietnam and India reaching New Delhi in the first week of June. Stressing the central role of the AsiaPacific region in US strategic guidance, Little said: "The secretary, when he was last in Asia, previewed much of that strategy. He talked about the United States being a Pacific nation and a Pacific power." The Asia-Pacific region is vital to US national security interests and will be in the future, he said. "We are absolutely turning toward the Asia-Pacific as a place where our strategic interests are increasingly of importance," he said. "Our partnerships ... in the region are critical. And we're going to continue to invest in those relationships."

American Sikhs hail India's Sikh marriage law


Washington DC: American Sikhs have hailed as "historic" the passage in the Indian parliament of Anand Marriage Act for the registration of Sikh marriages. "This is a historic day for Sikhs in Independent India after a long and hard struggle," said Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Washington based Sikh Council on Religion and Education. "Not having a full recognition of their observances and their customs in India had created a sense of lack among Sikhs in India and it questioned their independent identity as a community," he said. However, a comprehensive law on recognition the Sikh marriage is still needed, he said appealing to Sikh leaders to involve various sections of Sikh intelligentsia for community wide deliberations on the issue. I.J. Singh, a New York based Sikh commentator and author of several books on Sikhism, said: "Passage of Anand Marriage Amendment is obviously important for Sikhs in India and Sikhs across the world." Ranjit Singh, chairman of the Maryland based Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, said: "We are pleased with the outcome of this long standing struggle. Finally Sikhs in India have the chance to feel that they are fully acknowledged." It is important for Sikh leaders to evolve

Rajwant Singh consensus on the next phase of the process, he said. New York based eminent attorney Ravi Batra says, "For all who remember the teachings, love and sacrifices of the Gurus, including, my favorite, Guru Gobind Singh, it is high time for this identityhonor to be bestowed as a matter of law. That this multi-decades effort is realized during PM Manmohan Singh's tenure adds a durable applause in history and ennobles all of India and integrity-lovers everywhere."

Penn student sues JetBlue for racial profiling


Pennsylvania: An Ivy Leaguer from Beaverton is accusing JetBlue Airways of racially profiling him before tossing him off a flight from New York to Portland last July. Ram Narayan, a 21-yearold University of Pennsylvania student, had taken his seat aboard Flight 165 and fallen asleep when he was abruptly awakened by airline employee Reynaldo Rosario. The JetBlue worker wanted to know if Narayan, whose family hails from India, had booked his flight with a dark-skinned man seated behind him, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed this week in Portland's U.S. District Court. Narayan said he didn't know the man, who appeared to be of Southeast Asian descent and that they hadn't booked their flights together. But Rosario escorted the two -- along with a third man, also with darker skin -- off the plane as passengers glared at them, the suit alleges. The three were told that JetBlue records showed they booked their flight together. A JetBlue spokeswoman declined to talk about the lawsuit, saying the airline doesn't comment on pending litigation. Narayan, forced off the plane with the other two men, was not allowed to book another flight with the discount airline. "Embarrassed, tired, and hungry (he) asked if he could get a meal or motel voucher since he had nothing to eat and no place to go," his complaint alleges. Denied by JetBlue, he stayed overnight in the airport and caught a Delta flight home that cost $544.70.

Kuly of RDB fame passes away at 35


New York: Kuldeep Ral, a.k.a. Kuly of Punjabi bhangra and hip-hop band RDB, died of brain tumor. He was 35. Kuly, who was the music producer of the band constituting Manj (Manjeet) and Surj (Surjeet), lost his battle with cancer Tuesday. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April last year and underwent radio and chemotherapy. He was receiving treatment at a specialized clinic in Houston, US, at the time of his death. His family has asked people to respect their privacy and has thanked fans and well-wishers for their continued support and condolences. Kuly was an intrinsic part of RDB, known for giving super-hit tracks like "Aaja Mahi", "Shera di Kaum" and "Singh is Kinng."

Kuldeep Ral a.k.a Kulys untimely death is major loss to Bhangra music industry

Johns Hopkins honors Amartya Sen with a degree


Washington, DC: Nobel Laureate and eminent Indian-American economist Amartya Sen received an honorary degree from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Apart from Sen, five other persons including Myanamars pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, environmental microbiologist Rita R Colwell, Canadian diplomat-politician Stephen H Lewis, American businessman and philanthropist John C Malone and IBM chairman Samuel J Palmisano have also been chosen for the prestigious citation. The degrees were awarded at a ceremony in the university on May 24.

National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June1, 2012

Himesh Gandhi elected to city council in Texas


Houston: After several months of consistent campaigning, IndianAmerican Himesh Gandhi has been elected to a city council in the US state of Texas. 35-year-old Gandhi, elected to an At Large seat on the Sugar Land City Council, received 2,468 votes (52.11%) while Naomi Fulan Lam, a real estate broker, was in second place with 1,525 votes (32.20%). Houston Community College administration and Sugar Lands Building Standards commissioner Bill Cathey was third with 743 ballots (15.69%). A partner at the law firm of Hrbacek & Gandhi in Sugar Land in Houston, Gandhi succeeds Indian-American Councilman Thomas Abraham for At-Large Position One Clements High school, Houston Baptist University and South Texas School of Law. He currently serves on Sugar Lands Planning and Zoning Commission. Gandhis focus is to strategically move Sugar Land forward through financial accountability, quality development and public safety with an emphasis on the fundamentals of city services. Ford Bend County is growing rapidly in population, including a thriving Indian American community. Born in Montreal, Canada, Gandhi moved to Texas when he was about three years old with his Indiaborn parents. He and his wife, Farrah, live in the Telfair suburb in Sugar Land.

Himesh Gandhi on the council. Abraham has to leave office due to term limits. Gandhi is a 20-year resident of Sugar Land who graduated from

Noted photographer, filmmaker and art historian Benoy Behl speaking at his photo exhibition The Greatest Journey of Ideas: The Spread of Buddhism inaugurated on May 19, 2012 at the Gandhi Memorial Center in Washington, DC. The Center is hosting the exhibition in collaboration with the Indian Embassy and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The exhibition consists of 100 photographs of Buddhist heritage in India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Mongolia, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. It shows the birth and development of different schools of Buddhism in India and their spread to the many countries of Asia. [Photo courtesy: Ashley Law]

IN BRIEF

North American Telugu Association meet to be held in Houston


ndia's Telugu culture will be at grand display during the first North American Telugu Association (NATA) convention to be organized in the Houston city of Texas state June 29-July 1, 2012. The cultural meet will be held in downtown Houston at George R. Brown Convention Center, which is spread over two million square feet area and is also celebrating its silver jubilee this year. On this occasion, the convention center, offering "southern hospitality with a cosmopolitan twist", will be decorated with a Telugu touch in a bid to take the visitors back to their roots just as they step in, said a release. Over 130 individual vendors will set up

their stalls during the convention in the center's huge exhibition hall. The scrumptious Telugu food will be cooked on site in the state of the art kitchen and served fresh in two huge dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two cultural stages will showcase talent from India and the US with well over 100 cultural items, literary events and a grand concert by three music directors. With 100 meeting rooms under the roof, there will be something going on to meet every attendee's taste, may that be business, women's interests, medical, youth, spiritual, sports, literary or any other events related to Telugu.

SET to launch new life-style & Bollywood show SNAPSHOT

ONY Entertainment Networks (SEN) is launching a new entertainment show, SNAPSHOT on SET ASIA. Conceptually, SNAPSHOT will bring the latest in fashion, music, television, celebrity interviews and much more. SNAPSHOT brings together three dazzling and talented presenters whose versatile personalities will complement each other to form a dynamic team. Bobby, Alka and Yuvna will be the new faces of the show. It will be aired every Friday at 7:00pm, only on SET Asia. Bursting with freshness, SNAPSHOT will consist of six in-

dividual and electrifying segments. A unique feature which will be included is Your Call. It will feature the presenter personally calling select SONY TV Asia viewers and providing a closer link between the viewers and shows.

Film on Benazir Bhutto gets US award

documentary on the life of Benazir Bhutto has received a prestigious electronic media award in the US -- the George Foster Peabody Award. "Bhutto" is a 111-minute documentary about the two-time Pakistani prime minister who was assassinated in Rawalpindi while campaigning in 2007, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported. The documentary received the award at a glittering ceremony held in New York. Bhutto's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is the chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, attended the award ceremony with his aunt Sanam Bhutto. Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart of "XMen" fame presented the awards. Among prizes for electronic media radio, television, interactive and new media - the George Foster Peabody Awards are considered the most prestigious. Founded in 1940, the Peabody is the also the oldest electronic media award in

Indian American director's thriller wins award


9 ELEVEN", a Bollywood-style film by an Indian American director, has won the Best Feature Film award at the Peoples Film Festival (TPFF) showcasing extraordinary films using different media formats. Written and directed by Manan Singh Katohora, "9 ELEVEN" portrays the life of 11 people terrorized to the core by an unknown entity in an unfamiliar place. Each individual is petrified and is hesitant to talk or take each other into confidence for one simple reason: The Fear of the Unknown! Katohora also won the 2012 Rising Star Award for the film at Canada International Film Festival. A fast paced thriller with undertones of terrorism, the film poses the question how does one survive collectively in meeting the growing phenomenon of terrorism head on? Kashmera Shah features in an item

"

Film poster of Bhutto the world, recognizing excellence, distinguished achievement, and meritorious public service.

Film poster of 9 Eleven

number composed by 'Dilwaale Dulhania Le Jaayenge' fame Music Director Jatin Pandit.

Law TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

30-day jail for Dharun Ravi; no deportation


New Brunswick: Indian American student Dharun Ravi was Monday sentenced to 30 days in jail by a New Jersey judge for spying on his roommate kissing another man on his webcam. The judge said he will recommend that Ravi not be deported. Tyler Clementi, Ravi's freshman roommate at Rutgers New Jersey State University, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge days after the spying incident in September 2010. Ravi was not charged in connection with Clementi's death and was convicted on 15 counts of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy charges. Sentencing Ravi, Middlesex caused." "I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. He had no reason to but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity," Berman said. Ravi must report to the Middlesex Adult Correctional Centre May 31 at 9 a.m. for his probationary sentence. "I heard this jury say, 'guilty' 288 times -- 24 questions, 12 jurors. That's the multiplication," Berman said. "I haven't heard you apologize once." Before the judge's sentencing, Ravi's mother delivered an emotional plea for leniency, during which she and her son both broke into tears. At the end of her plea, Ravi's mother threw herself on her son, sobbing and hugging him. The family of Clementi bitterly asked the judge to sentence Ravi to prison time. The Indian American community has rallied in Ravi's support and in recent days, several prominent gay activists too have made public pleas for Ravi to not be sent to prison. Judge Berman began the proceedings Monday by noting that the court had received a box full of petitions seeking pardon for Ravi, some addressed to President Barack Obama and others to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Only Christie has the authority to pardon someone for a state crime.

Dharun Ravi in tears after his sentencing County Judge Glenn Berman said he will recommend that Ravi not be deported. "Down the road you can expunge this judgment," he said. "You cannot expunge the conduct or the pain you

Indian community reaction: Adopts cautious approach

Rajat Gupta threw away his duties: Prosecution


New York: Prosecutors accused Indian American Rajat Gupta with throwing away his duties as the high-profile trial of the former director at Goldman Sachs on insider trading charges began here. "Gupta threw away his duties, he threw away his responsibilities and he broke the law at the time the company was in crisis," Assistant US Attorney Reed Brodsky Monday told the Manhattan federal court in his opening statement. Gupta broke the law when immediately after a Sep 23, 2008 Goldman Sachs board meeting, he tipped Galleon hedge-fund cofounder Raj Rajaratnam that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc would invest $5 billion in the bank, he said. "He used those secrets to help his friend and Raj Rajaratnam sold his Goldman stock and made nearly a million dollars from Gupta's tip." In turn, Gupta's attorney Gary Naftalis said his client was "inno-

Rajat Gupta with his lawyer Gary Naftalis (right) cent of the allegations," that the prosecution's claims "defy common sense" and that "no crimes" were committed. Even if there is evidence of leaks from Goldman Sachs, the tips didn't come from Gupta, he said. "Rajaratnam had sources all over town," Naftalis said. Naftalis said Gupta, orphaned as a teenager in India, rose to become "one of America's most respected business leaders." "It defies common sense that in the twilight of an illustrious life, he'd decide to knowingly, willfully and deliberately to suddenly decide to become a criminal and do it for no benefit" Naftalis said. "He didn't turn into a criminal in the seventh decade of his life." Naftalis said Galleon frequently traded in Goldman Sachs stock and that what the prosecutors have done in this case was "cherry-pick" trades supporting their theory. Gupta had "perfectly legitimate" reasons to speak to Rajaratnam, he said.

Dharun Ravi's mother Sabitha Ravi breaks down after making an emotional plea Ashok Ojha/SATimes Edison, NJ: As the defense and prosecution prepared for appeal in Dharun Ravi case, New Jersey based Indian American community leaders took a cautious approach while reacting to the sentencing. A range of community folks, who observed the development in the case, felt that the 30 days jail term for Ravi was much better than a ten years jail term which was feared after the jury convicted him on fifteen counts. At the same time there were others who said Ravi should have been spared of a jail term. Community activist Peter Kothari, who played a leading role in organizing public events in support of Dharun Ravi seemed satisfied with the sentencing. He said that our faith in justice system has been restored. Two weeks ago Kothari helped mobilize community to gather at a meeting where demands were made for leniency from the justice. Supporters and sympathizers of Ravi demanded in one voice to spare Ravi from jail term arguing that he was undeservedly made a scapegoat in the bias crime that never happened. The protestors' contention was vindicated when the judge commented during sentencing that he didnt believe Ravi hated Tyler Clementi. Kothari commented that the communitys united voice did make a difference resulting into a lighter sentencing. The message for the community is that we should continue to speak with strong and united voice on matters concerning all of us, he said. According to Kothari there were cases in which people were victims of harsh punishment but our community failed to take any action. Edison Councilman Dr. Sudhanshu Prasad considers Dharun Ravis sentencing for 30 days jail time as fair and balanced. He said that the robust legal system duly considers all aspects before a conclusion is made. He however cautioned that Ravis sentencing shouldnt be seen as a final word as both sides were going to appeal for overturning Judge Bermans decision. Philanthropist, medical practitioner and media entrepreneur Dr. Sudhir Parikh, opined that Ravi shouldnt have been sentenced a jail term at all. He could have sentenced for a longer period of community service to showcase as an example for other youngsters but definitely didnt deserve a jail term. He added that the Indian communitys united voice was one positive thing that took place during this case.

Gupta was on Rajaratnam's 'Important People' list: Witness


New York: Former Indian-American director of Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was once on convicted hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam's "important people" list, according to a prosecution witness. On the second day of the insider-trading trial of Gupta in Manhattan federal court, Rajaratnam's executive assistant Caryn Eisenberg said that her former boss was very particular about not being disturbed at the beginning and end of the trading day. But he made an exception for those listed as "important people" in Eisenberg's notebook. Among them were Gupta and three other Indian Americans. Rajiv Goel, then an Intel Corporation managing director, Anil Kumar, a partner then at McKinsey and Parag Saxena, CEO of New Silk Route LLC, an investment firm co-founded by Gupta, she said. Kumar and Goel - who was nicknamed "Peter Pan" on the "important people" list - both later pleaded guilty to insider trading and testified against Rajaratnam at his trial last year. Someone on that list, Eisenberg said, called urgently just before the market closed on Sep 23, 2008, the day Goldman board got word of Warren Buffett's $5 billion investment. Although she said she couldn't identify the voice, Eisenberg recognized it as one of the important ones and told Rajaratnam. According to phone records, Gupta called him at 3:54 p.m. that day. After the call, Eisenberg heard Galleon trader Gary Rosenbach say "buy Goldman Sachs." Then, she said, Rajaratnam "was smiling more." Eisenberg, though, didn't hear about the Buffett business until the next day: "I went shopping at Bloomingdale's," she said. Former Galleon trader Ananth Muniyappa testifying about the minutes before the market closed the same day said that "Raj was either still on the phone or just getting off the phone" when he instructed him to buy 100,000 Goldman Sachs shares. In questioning Eisenberg, defence lawyer David Frankel brought out that Gupta was not the only person associated with Goldman Sachs on the "important people" list. Part of the defence strategy is to show that Rajaratnam had other potential sources of inside information about Goldman other than Rajat Gupta.

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US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Congressman Allen West: A rising star in the Republican Party


By Robert Golomb

o President Obama, the one percent of the wealth producers in America are a greedy lot born with a silver spoon. Borrowing the words from a sermon of his former long time minister, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama, in his tome Dreams of My Father, describes the purported hardships the rich impose upon mankind as The white folks greed that runs a world in need. For Republican Congressman Allen West, who when elected in November 2010 as the representative for Floridas 22nd congressional district became the first black man elected there since 1986, the meaning of the words born with a silver spoon contrasts starkly with that of the president. Speaking at a recent Republican fundraiser that I covered Allen began by stating that, Every person in America has been born with a silver spoon. After the applause that this comment generated from this by invitation only crowd of about fifty major Republican Party donors finally began to subside, West added, It is the silver spoon of opportunity and freedom for all Americans. West then began to specify how, he believed, President Obama has stifled that opportunity and eroded that freedom, The Obama Administration has added 71,000 new federal regulations and raised the corporate tax rate to 36%- higher than any other nation in the free worldadded 6 trillion dollars to

Congressman Allen West

the national debt {bringing it} to an unsustainable 16 trillion dollars and initiated Obama Care{which} beyond threatening our fundamental religious liberties, will impose untold costs on businesses. This has scared away many entrepreneurs from starting new businesses or from expanding existing onesand driven many others to move their businesses to far more business friendly countries{resulting in} a real unemployment rate of 18%...an increase of 14 million people living under the poverty line and an increase of seven million Americans classified as living below the poverty line. For the mostly middle aged men and women who, for the opportunity to meet the congressman had come on this rainy Sunday afternoon to be served light refreshments and sit in the spacious sunroom of a sprawling water front mansion located in the historic West Long Island village of Roslyn Harbor, this was the red meat that they had

expected to be fed. And the red meat became thicker still when West -who served in the United States Army from 1983 to 2004 (including several tours of combat duty in the Iraq war) and retired from the military with the rank of lieutenant colonel- moved on to discuss the presidents foreign policy. West attacked the president for what he denounced as the apology tours that Obama has taken to appease Arab Muslim theocracies in the Middle East. Contending that the president does not understand why we are hated by these countries, West first rhetorically asked, Why do they hate us? And then, answering his own question to the wild cheers of the audience, stated, They hate us because we are the true beacon of freedom. To West these Arab nations hate Israel, Our only true friend and the only democracy in the region, for the same reason they hate America - a fact of the harsh reality of the middle east, West contended, which is not understood by the president who has not stood for Israel or the Jewish people and does not understand that the real obstacle to peace has been the Palestinian leadership, which has as its stated goal the destruction of Israeland the president does not seem to understand that those who want to destroy Israel also want to destroy America. It might be said that the question and answer session that ensued was anticlimactic. In his just completed presentation, West had already directly or indirectly addressed most

of the questions that the audience was to ask about the Obama Administration. And it seemed that every answer West now reiterated about how to solve the problems he and the audience concurred had been caused by the presidents policies was punctuated with the same 6 words- Elect a Republican president in 2012. But then came the real climatic moment of the afternoon when a heavy set guy sitting in the back of the room asked, Do you think that Romney {the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee] will ask you to be on his ticket as the candidate for vice-president? Once again, every man and woman in audience stood and broke out in wild applause, which ceased only when West, with a slight smile on his face, responded that he felt honored by the question but the answer was a simple No. As a newly elected congressman, he explained, the Republican establishment, still views him as an outsider. And then, West added, many Republican Party insiders share the belief that he is too controversial to be considered to be placed on a national ticket. (West had given me the same answer to the same question when I briefly spoke with him shortly before most of the guests had arrived.) This was a point that even his supporters here could not dispute. In fact, as most of them probably knew, West had first became known to the American public as a result of a controversial action he had taken while serving as a lieutenant colonel in 2002 in Iraq.
Continued on page 11

US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info

11

May 26-June 1, 2012

Obama, Romney Public split on whether Romneys Bain tenure matters in 2012 tied in presidential race: Poll
Washington: Americans are split between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney less than six months before the presidential poll in November, according to two new polls. A Washington Post/ABC News survey released Tuesday showed the two candidates statistically tied with 49 percent of Americans backing Obama and 46 percent supporting Romney. When asked which contender would best handle the economy, Obama and Romney were tied at 47 percent. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released also showed that voters are nearly evenly split between Obama (47 percent) and Romney (43 percent). Voters were inclined against Obama's handling of the economy 52 percent disapproved, while 43 percent approved. The numbers were nearly reversed for his handling of foreign policy. Polls have shown the economy as the issue of most concern to voters, The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows nearly half of voters say they expect the economy to stay stagnant over the next year. Onethird expect it to improve, and 19 percent foresee the economy worsening. Washington: As Democrats intensify their attacks over Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, a new poll finds the public divided over whether his history as a venture capitalist hurts or helps the presumptive Republican nominee. A new survey released Tuesday found 54 percent of those surveyed say Romney'srole in buying and restructuring companies is "not a major factor" in their vote this year. Among those who do say it is a factor, voters are split: 21 percent say it is a "major reason to support" Romney, while 21 percent say it is a "major reason to oppose" him. On Monday, President Obama defended his campaign's focus on

Mitt Romney Romney's tenure at Bain, amid criticism from some of his own allies that he risks alienating Wall Street and members of the private equity industry. Romney's campaign moved to capitalize on Democratic criticism of Obama's tactics regarding Bain,releasing a video that featured Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., urging the Obama campaign to stop focusing so much on Bain and private equity firms.

NASA hails new era in space


Washington: NASA head Charles Bolden has hailed a "new era" in exploration after the launch of the first cargo delivery to the space station Tuesday by a private company, BBC reported. On board the California-based company's own Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon capsule rocketed into the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. In his reaction over the launch, Bolden said: "Today marks the beginning of a new era in exploration... The significance of this day cannot be overstated; a lifted clear of its Florida pad at 7.44 GMT. The launch system has been built by Californiabased firm SpaceX. The initial climb to an altitude some 340 km above the Earth lasted a little under 10 minutes. The bell-shaped Dragon capsule is 19 feet tall and 12 feet across. It carries more than 450 kg of cargo, mostly food and clothing. The Dragon was to reach the space station Thursday and undergo a series of orbital manoeuvres and equipment checks to make sure the craft can be controlled.

22 states join campaign finance fight


Helena, MT: Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending. The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana's state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief. The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse a state court's decision to uphold the Montana law. Virginia-based American Tradition Partnership is asking the nation's high court to rule without a hearing because the group says the state law conflicts directly with the Citizens United Palm Beach Republican Lincoln Day Dinner that captured the attention of the national media. West was reported to have received numerous standing ovations from the audience with that speech, which included his call upon Republicans to be, like a shark in the water to prevent President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat National Committee from taking America Down the road to destruction. It did not take long for his antagonists in the Democrat Party and the media to attack him for what he had said. All of this attention appears not to have hurt West: he has become the most tweeted member of the House, and ranks second only to Speaker of the House John Boehner as a guest on national broadcast decision that removed the federal ban on corporate campaign spending. The Supreme Court has blocked the Montana law until it can look at the case. The Montana case has prompted critics to hope the court will reverse itself on the controversial Citizens United ruling. The 22 states and D.C. say the Montana law is sharply different from the federal issues in the Citizens United case, so the ruling shouldn't apply to Montana's or other state laws regulating corporate campaign spending. But the states also said they would support a Supreme Court decision to reconsider portions of the Citizens United ruling either in a future case or in the Montana case, if the justices decide to take it on. radio and television news shows and again second only to Boehner as a fund raiser for Republican candidates throughout America. (In fact, as West bid his farewells to his audience in Roslyn Harbor, he was on his way to speak at another Republican fundraiser in Connecticut.) Such accomplishments, some members of the political class have conjectured, might be included on the resume of a congressman seeking higher elected office. An observation that makes his supporters hope and his detractors fear that one day, in the not so distant future, Allen West will be elected to the only office in the land higher than the one that his supporters at this fundraiser wanted him to seek. (Robert Golomb is a nationally published columnist. He writes on a range of educational, cultural, political and international topics.)

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch is the first by a private company private company has launched a spacecraft to the International Space Station that will attempt to dock there for the first time. "And while there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are certainly off to good start." The Falcon rocket, topped by an unmanned Dragon freight capsule,

Continued from page 10 West had ordered his soldiers to detain Yahya Hamoodi, a civilian Iraqi police officer, who had been identified by American intelligence as possibly being involved in a would be a plot to ambush West and his men. To induce the recalcitrant Hamoodi to provide information about the impending attack, West fired his pistol near Hamoodis head; Hammodi then quickly provided the information that West had sought. The story (told here in a condensed version) could have ended there. It was highly unlikely that Wests superior officers would have ever known what West had done. But they found out - because West himself told them exactly what he had done which, he admitted of being well aware, constituted violating two serious articles of the

Uniform Code of Military Justice. By November of 2003, West had gone from proud officer to a defendant facing a court martial. However, when news of the prosecution leaked to the public, West discovered that he had a legion of vocal supporters throughout America. And so probably did the military: The court martial hearings were reduced to an Article 15 proceeding (held for minor infractions), at which West was fined five thousand dollars- a slap in the wrist compared to the jail time he would have faced if convicted of the original charges in a court martial. When asked during the proceeding if confronted again with a similar situation would he take similar action, West responded, If its about the lives of my soldiers at stake, Id go through hell with a gasoline tank. Folk heroes are born from such

words and deeds. And so are candidates for elected office. In 2008, four years after he retired from the military, Republican Party leaders approached West and asked him to run for congress in his home 22nd congressional district. West accepted the offer but lost to incumbent Congressman Ron Klein. West ran for the same seat again in 2010. This time he won. And the name Lieutenant Colonel Allen West became Congressman Allen West. But West became no less a stranger to controversy as a congressman than he had been as a soldier. Both his most ardent supporters and harshest critics agree that in his less than two years in the House West has been involved in more controversies than have the average congressmen in their entire political careers. There was, as one example, his fiery speech this past January at the

12

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

UPA-II high on economy, to combat corruption


New Delhi: Dispelling the impression of policy paralysis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh touted India's high economic growth and a sharp decline in poverty as key achievements of the UPA-II government, and singled out Maoism and corruption as major problems. Manmohan Singh released the annual report of his United Progressive Alliance government at his 7 Race Course Road residence in the presence of UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party leaders and allies. Rebuffing the opposition's criticism on various fronts, he vowed to prove critics wrong. "We will be the first to say we need to do better. But let no one doubt that we have achieved much," the prime minister said in a brief speech in English. With the government suffering from an image crisis triggered by a host of scams, the prime minister acknowledged that there is "public frustration and anger on the issue of corruption" and vowed "exemplary punishment" to the guilty. "I wish to assure our people that we are working sincerely to address this issue through both legislative and administrative measures. omy grew by about 7 percent in 2011-12, which is amongst the highest in the world," he said. "Sustained high rates of growth during the UPA government's tenure have enabled us to pursue our agenda of inclusive and equitable growth. "Poverty has declined at twice the rate that it did before the UPA government's tenure." He said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme now reaches one out of five households in the country," he said while highlighting key initiatives that aim to "bring succour to the aam admi". The prime minister cited a 3.3 percent in agricultural growth rate, rise in rural wages, disbursal of Rs.200,000 crore to marginal and small farmers, record food production, new power generation capacity of 20,000 MW, and a near universal primary school enrolment as other highlights of the third year of the UPA-II. Also present was Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose Samajwadi Party extends outside support to the UPA. But Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi sent only representatives.

Manmohan Singh released the annual report of his United Progressive Alliance government in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, party leaders and allies. "Legislation is before parliament to establish a Lokpal, ensure timebound delivery of goods and services and judicial accountability," he said. "We are trying to ensure exemplary punishment to the guilty while also ensuring that public servants feel secure in taking bona fide decisions that are in the national interest." Echoing Manmohan Singh, Gandhi stressed on the need for "transparent and accountable politics." With an eye on the 2014 elections, Gandhi said the government will have to pursue inclusive economic growth to ensure more spending on social welfare programmes and asked the UPA combine to shun smugness and despondency. Asking UPA colleagues to defeat negativity, the Congress chief asserted: "We will not let any body run down our achievements." Saying internal security was "by and large been satisfactory", Manmohan Singh said the "scourge of Naxalism (Maoism) however continues to be a major problem". But amid growing public wariness with soaring inflation and a host of problems, he showcased India's economic resilience and high growth rate as singular achievement of his government. "Despite an adverse international environment, the (Indian) econ-

Trinamool cautious on red carpet welcome to Mulayam


Kolkata: Trinamool Congress soft-pedaled the red carpet welcome that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav got at the UPA anniversary dinner in Delhi. Clearly, it does not want to precipitate a crisis with a knee-jerk response on the eve of the presidential election and then the Lok Sabha polls. "I don't think Mulayamji was given any undue prominence at the program. Leaders of a number of other parties were present. He is a senior man," Union minister Saugata Roy, who represented Trinamool at the dinner and shared a table with the Prime Minister and Mulayam Singh, told TOI over phone. "I attended the program because I was asked by my party." Another Trinamool representative in Union ministry, Sultan Ahmed, said nothing much should be read into the absence of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other senior Trinamool leaders at the dinner. "She had preoccupations in state politics. On two other earlier occasions, when Mamata Banerjee was in Delhi, she had attended the Prime Minister's dinner. Too much should not be interpreted from our absence. There were 500 invitees, many of them could not attend. Many of them had other engagements. There was no instruction from our party that all of us will have to attend the dinner," he said. It is wrong to interpret that Congress accorded too much prominence to Mulayam Singh as it was looking for an alternative ally in place of Trinamool, Ahmed feels. "At UPA dinners, as is the

President race: Mamata backs Meira Kumar


New Delhi: Ruling UPA's alliance partner, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said she would "be happy" with Meira Kumar, Gopal Gandhi or A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as president but not Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The Congress said they would hold consultations with all concerned parties on the issue. Refusing to back Mukherjee, the West Bengal chief minister said: "I'll be very happy to see Meira Kumar or Gopal Gandhi or even A.P.J. Kalam. These three names are better. I think so." "Is he (Mukherjee) the son of Bengal? He may be the son of world... I don't think so, but it is his choice. I don't know," she replied when asked by CNN-IBN in an interview about her stand on backing Mukherjee for the coveted post. "No, I didn't say but if the country allows him, who am I to oppose it," she said. "It depends on the majority, it's a democratic country. He is finance minister... It's Congress party's decision who will be the candidate we cannot say... I cannot interfere in Congress party's business it's not my prerogative," she said. "But if you ask my party's choice or the personal choice then I'll say I love Meira Kumar. She is a soft-spoken lady and from the Scheduled Caste background also," she said, referring to the Lok Sabha speaker. "Even I love Gopal Gandhi (former governor of West Bengal) he is a very good man also. He is a man of integrity, and if you ask me A.P.J. (Abdul) Kalam he was a very good president also. He was an all

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav with son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the UPA anniversary dinner. practice, partners of the alliance share the table with the Prime Minister. There are three to four chairs for them in the PM's table." There was no threat to the UPA government and the Lok Sabha elections are still many months away, he pointed out. "The political permutations and combinations are still in the stage of formation." Though the presidential polls are due in July, Ahmed said this, too, would not pose any threat to the UPA government as Mamata had not given any hint so far that she would ditch Congress. "Didi has already announced that she will support the UPA candidate for the post of President. True, she has suggested two or three names, but she has not campaigned for any of them. Besides, all of them are close to Congress," Ahmed said.

I'll be very happy to see Meira Kumar or Gopal Gandhi or even A.P.J. Kalam, says West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee. party choice." Though the Congress is yet to announce its preference for the top post, there is a section in the party that feels Mukherjee, widely seen as the chief troubleshooter of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), would be better off serving the government. There is no consensus yet among key political parties on who should succeed Pratibha Patil as the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik have backed Sangma's candidature. Sangma, who met Communist Party of India leader D. Raja to seek his support, said he may contest as an independent candidate if his party does not back him.

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

13

May 26-June 1, 2012

Now, new visa system for foreigners visiting India

Surface-to-air Akash missile test fired successfully


Odisha: Boosting its air defense shield and re-validating operational efficacy, India test-fired successfully its indigenously-developed surface-to- air Akash missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur. "The user-specific trial, which formed part of the country's routine air defense exercises, was successful," said a Defense Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official associated with the Akash missile project. To revalidate the technology and operational efficacy of the missile, defense forces conducted the trial with logistic support provided by the ITR, the official said. The Akash weapon system was inducted into the armed forces in 2008. The missile, which has a strike range of 25 km with a warhead of 60 kgs, was test fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-III of the ITR at about 1108 hours, defense sources said. "During the trial, the missile was aimed at intercepting a floating object supported by a pilotless target aircraft, flown from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea," the sources said. Akash, an anti-aircraft defense system, can simultaneously engage several targets with Rajendra radar developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a DRDO laboratory in Bangalore. Rajendra does the surveillance, tracks the target, acquires

The indigenously-developed surface-to-air Akash missile. it and guides the missile towards it. The development of Akash missile took place during 1990s under the country?s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and after many trials, it was inducted into the armed forces. An air-force version of the Akash missile has also been developed by the DRDO. Rajendra is a 'passive phased array radar'. It is a multifunction radar, capable of tracking as many as 64 targets and controlling up to 12 missiles simultaneously.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to inaugurate the central office of the IVFRT facility at Delhi Information Technology Park. New Delhi: Tracking details of foreigners visiting India on valid travel documents, will become easier now with the government inaugurating the central processing office of the Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT) system which has, so far, connected as many as 60 Indian Missions and many immigration offices. Besides helping foreigners in getting visa quickly and sharing information across the concerned Indian agencies about foreign travelers, the IVFRT will also help in "software aided passenger profiling for identifying risky travelers at Missions, Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) and FRROs, and generation of automated alerts about over-stay of foreigners beyond their Visa period". The system envisages facilitation services to the travelers including on-line application forms, 24X7 online channel, phone support for grievance redressal and e-mail/SMS support for dissemination of information, application status and feedback. Union home minister P Chidambaram will inaugurate the central office of the IVFRT here at Delhi Information Technology Park, Shashtri Park on May 24.

Aarushi murder: parents charged


Ghaziabad: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has charged dentist couple Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar with the murders of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj. Special CBI Judge S. Lal ruled that Dr. Nupur Talwar and Dr. Rajesh Talwar were charged with the crime under sections 302/34 (murder with common intention) and 201/34 (destruction of evidence with common intention). Dr. Rajesh Talwar was also charged with 203/34 (misleading police about the crime with common intent). Earlier, during the arguments, CBI prosecutor R.K. Saini contended before the court that the parents were the killers of their daughter. To cover up their crime, they had "dressed up" the crime scene, he said and requested the court to frame charges against them. Opposing the CBI argument, defense lawyer Manoj Sisodia submitted that the evidences produced by the CBI were irrelevant. The submission of the closure report itself was the evidence that there was no evidence against the Talwars, he said.

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14

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Andhra minister arrested in Jagan graft case


Hyderabad: The CBI has arrested Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramna in connection with a corruption case related to YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy. Venkataramna, the first minister in the state's history to be arrested on charges of corruption while in office, was arrested soon after he appeared before them for questioning for a second consecutive day. A Central Bureau of Investigation official said the minister was arrested at Dilkusha Guest House, the camp office of the investigating agency. He is likely to be produced in court later in the day. Venkataramna, the fourth accused and first minister to be arrested in the case, was nabbed a day before Jaganmohan Reddy, known as Jagan, is to appear before CBI for questioning. Venkataramna was minister for infrastructure and investment in the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's cabinet when certain companies were shown undue favours in return for investments they made in his son Jagan's businesses. The CBI has booked the minister for corruption, cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant, falsification of accounts. He has been arrested for issuing certain government orders for allotment of lands and other concessions to the Vanpic project in 2008. He reportedly violated norms and also did not take the opinion of the finance and law departments while issuing government orders allotting 15,000 acres of land in Guntur and Prakasam districts to Vanpic and granting it exemptions under Stamps and Registration Act.

Modi to attend BJP meet, Joshi quits


Mumbai/Udaipur: Ending days of speculation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced that its star chief minister, Gujarat's Narendra Modi, will attend the national executive meeting after his old foe Sanjay Joshi quit the panel. "I talked to Modi, he said he will come to the national executive in Mumbai... We will work together shoulder to shoulder for the party," BJP president Nitin Gadkari said in Mumbai as the twoday meet began on May 23. Gadkari said that Joshi had resigned to avoid "any conflicts in the party". He added that Joshi quit "on his own so that there are no differences within the party over his presence". Signaling an end to the much talked about rift between Gadkari and himself, Modi told reporters in Udaipur. Joshi had offered to resign after Modi reportedly decided to keep off the meet due to Joshi's inclusion in the national executive. Modi had also kept away from the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as Joshi was given a key post in managing the campaigning for the party. Joshi earlier had to resign from the post of party general secretary in 2005 after a

Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramna The CBI last week arrested leading industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy. Prasad, one of the two promoters of Vanpic, allegedly invested over Rs.800 crore in Jagan's companies in return for the land and other concessions he received under a quid pro quo arrangement. Venkataramna is likely to be dismissed from the cabinet as he reportedly refused to submit his resignation during his meetings with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Wednesday night and again Thursday morning. The CBI grilled the minister Wednesday. He was questioned along with Prasad and Brahmananda Reddy, then special secretary, infrastructure and investment.

Sanjay Joshi had offered to resign after Narendra Modi reportedly decided to keep off the meet due to Joshi's inclusion in the national executive. clip of him showing him in a compromising position with a woman was circulated. Gadkari later reinstated Joshi in the party, a move which caused a rift between the party president and Modi. The Gujarat chief minister had also kept away from the party's national executive meeting in Delhi. With Joshi's exit, expectations are that the equation between Modi and the party leadership will be smoother. The internal conflict in the party has become increasingly sharp with leaders in many of its stronghold states unhappy with the central leadership. In Karnataka, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is at war with incumbent Sadanand Gowda, who was earlier his confidant. The two have now fallen apart. In Rajasthan, also a BJP stronghold, another former chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, is pitted against Gulabchand Kataria, a party leader. Modi chose to target the UPA government on hike in petrol prices, and did not talk about the conflicts. "The government which promised to give results in 100 days, hiked the petrol prices on the next day of completing its three years," Modi said in Udaipur.

Kashmir: Review central laws, say interlocutors


New Delhi: A constitutional committee should review all central laws extended to Jammu and Kashmir and make permanent article 370 of the constitution that grants the state special status, a three-member team of interlocutors led by journalist Dileep Padgaonkar has recommended. The panel had been tasked with ascertaining the views of the people on resolving the Kashmir tangle. In its report, submitted to Home Minister P. Chidambaram in October 2011 and made public Thursday, the interlocutors also noted that there was consensus in the border state that its distinctive status guaranteed by article 370 must be upheld. The report also said its erosion over the decades must be re-appraised to vest it with such powers as the state needs to promote the people's welfare on its own terms. "To build on the consensus, we recommend that a constitutional committee be set up to review all central acts and articles of the contional committee to be headed by an eminent personality who enjoys the esteem of the state's and the nation's people, and it should include constitutional experts as members . The committee should submit its report within six months and this will be binding on all stake-holders in Kashmir, the report said. On article 370, the panel said: "Delete the word 'Temporary' from the heading of Article 370 and from the title of Part XXII of the Constitution and replace it with 'Special' as has been used for other states under other Articles for Maharashtra, Gujarat, Sikkim and northeast." However, the interlocutors held that there was consensus in Jammu and Kashmir on it continuing to function "as a single entity" within Indian Union. Soon after the report was made public, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted that he "will not be reacting" to it for the time being. Padgaonkar, though, said he hoped the report will lead to an informed debate on the issues touched by the interlocutors, all across the country, including in Jammu and Kashmir. He also announced that the interlocutors, in their capacity as resource persons, will hold seminars in the border state on the report over the next four months and provide feedback to the government. The interlocutors had, since October 2010, when they were asked to take up the task, met 700 delegations in 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir and also held three round-table conferences. "The political settlement we propose takes into full account the deep sense of victim-hood prevalent in the Kashmir valley. It surely deserves to be dressed with great sensitivity. "At the same time, we have also sought to avoid the pitfalls of viewing the myriad issues bedeviling the state from the prism of any one region or ethnic or religious community," the report said.

The panel had been tasked with ascertaining the views of the people on resolving the Kashmir tangle. stitution of India extended to the state after signing of the 1952 agreement," the interlocutors said in their 180-page report that called for a "new compact" with the state's people. "It will bear in mind the dual character of Jammu and Kashmir, viz. that it is a constituent unit of the Indian Union and that it enjoys a special status in the said Union, enshrined in article 370 of the constitution; and the dual character of the people of the state, viz. that they are both state subjects and Indian citizens," it said. The 1952 agreement lays down the terms of engagement between the central government and the Kashmir government. The other members of the interlocutors panel were academicians M.M. Ansari and Radha Kumar. The panel wants the constitu-

Cannes Film Festival 2012 Thesouthasiantimes.info

15

May 26-June 1, 2012

Cannes rolls out red carpet for all


From Angelina Jolie and Diane Kruger to Aishwarya Rai and Mallika Sherawat, everyone puts her most stylish foot forward at the 12-day, 65th edition of the annual gala that would end on May 27
From left, Aishwarya Rai, Mallika Sherawat, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Freida Pinto at the Cannes film festival. By Nivedita Sharma t is the most celebrated cinematic jamboree across the globe, but the annual Cannes International Film Festival also rolls out the red carpet for the latest and best in the fashion world. From international divas like Angelina Jolie and Diane Kruger to Bollywood beauties like Aishwarya Rai and Mallika Sherawat, everyone puts her most stylish foot forward at the gala. The best movies are screened at the fest, with top-rated filmmakers and A-list stars from the world congregating at the French Riviera. But what's not amiss is a lot of fashion elaborate cocktail gowns with intricate embroidery and superflous trails, teamed with eye-catching accessories. Some like it over-the-top, while some keep it minimalistic, but the fashion quotient at the 12-day red extravaganza doesn't go unnoticed as the paparazzi keep a constant tab on the hits and misses year by year. From Angelina Jolie's strapless black gown, Natalie Portman's white ruffled dress by Givenchy to the Atelier Versace gown worn by Freida Pinto or Sonam Kapoor's classic white gown by designer Jean Paul Gaultier - fashion divas have been setting statements and trends with their red carpet appearances at the event. According to designer Shane and Falguni Peacock, who have designed for the likes of international icons including Madonna, Britney Spears and Katy Perry, "Cannes is a fabulous place for fashionistas." "Cannes is a classy haute couture affair where all fashionistas come out to play. The look needs to be nothing less than perfect with the perfect synergy between high levels of fashion, glam and elite class," Falguni said. "It is abuzz with a high dose of film and fashion and is where everyone looks their best. It is a compliment to us as designers, if a celebrity chooses to wear one of our creations for an event of such calibre," added Shane. What with some of Aishwarya Rai's disappointing choices of attire in previous seasons of the fest, Indian beauties, including Aishwarya, now go out of their way to get the perfect look for their red carpet moment. Designer Pria Kataaria Puri said: "Cannes film fest is a big and great opportunity for designers to showcase their talent since it has become a big fashion and film glamour event." "Everyone eagerly waits to see what everyone is wearing, and there are some points one needs to keep in mind when selecting an outfit. One should realise it's an international event, and people should keep in mind the colour and silhouette trends abroad." Freida, who had a fairytale ride to fame with "Slumdog Millionaire", grabbed camera lenses with a pink Michael Angel gown on the first day of this year's fest May 16. Her lime green coloured Atelier Versace number on day two also won a thumbs up from fashion critics. Bollywood's "Maiyya maiyya" girl Mallika Sherawat, who is at Cannes for the fourth time, sported a a bold nude-colored gown with a high neck and a low back. The dress was so body-hugging that the actress took to Twitter and said it was "literally stitched" on her body. It was a welcome change from the over-the-top, blingy, attention-seeking golden ensemble she wore for her first appearance at Cannes in 2005 when she accompanied international action star Jackie Chan for "The Myth". All eyes are currently set on Aishwarya, whose post-pregnancy weight has become the talk of the town in the Indian and international media alike. Earlier, the former beauty queenturned-actress received many brickbats for her sunflower yellow sari, parrot green sari and shimmering white gown, but she made up for her fashion misses with her selection of a one-shoulder gown by Elie Saab last year. Sonam, who is Cannes-bound this year too, stole the limelight during her debut appearance at the festival in 2011 when she opted for a white gown by Jean Paul Gaultier. Among Hollywood bigwigs, Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Berenice Marlohe and Jane Fonda have impressed fashion critics with their wardrobes. Chastain's nude chiffon Gucci gown with gold detailing on the bodice, Kruger's gold sequinencrusted Vivienne Westwood gown and Marlohe's gold lame Emilio Pucci gown have turned out to be head turners at the ongoing edition so far. At 74, Fonda, who proves glamour is ageless, grabbed eyeballs with a bronze Atelier Versace and black and white Stella McCartney gown. In the past, international artists including Rachel McAdams have sported designs by Indian jewelery brand Amrapali at the gala as well. With such a plethora of designs and colours from all nooks and corners of the world, Cannes seems to be becoming another fashion hub.

Time ranks 'Devdas' in millennium's top 10


Honor
Washington: Time magazine has ranked Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 2002 film 'Devdas' eighth among the 10 greatest movies of the millennium with "WALL.E" at the top and "The Artist" in the tenth spot. It described Shah Rukh Khan as an "all-world charismatist" and Madhuri Dixit a "a hot number who danced flamencos on men's libidos". "A year after 'Moulin Rouge!' had its world premiere at Cannes, another visually intoxicating musical opened at the festival, introducing sang-anddanced Bollywood dramas to the international culturati," it said of the film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit "Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's 1901 novel inspired at least a half-

dozen film versions before this one in its time, the priciest movie in Indian history (at about $10.6 million)," the prestigious US news magazine noted. Time describes Shah Rukh Khan as

an "all-world charismatist" and Madhuri Dixit, as "a hot number who had danced flamenco on men's libidos for a decade or so before appearing in this worldly-wise role" of a prostitute.

16

Ultimate Bollywood TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Working with Luhrmann sheer delight: Big B


egastar Amitabh Bachchan says he is delighted to work with a genius like Baz Luhrmann in 'The Great Gatsby'. He is impressed by the director's art of binding the film's cast and crew together. "I still do not have the liberty to talk of the film in a personal capacity. Contracts bind me, but this I can say that it was a sheer delight to work with someone of such great genius as Baz Luhrmann and a host of co-stars that have astronomical presence in the world of cinema - Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire and the other greats," Amitabh posted on his blog bigb.bigadda.com. "And everyone works as a family and a large portion of this attitude should be credited to the master of the scenario, the director Baz Luhrmann," he added. "The Great Gatsby" is Amitabh's debut Hollywood venture where the actor makes a

Amitabh Bachchan with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in 'The Great Gatsby'. friendly appearance. Though for a short while, the 69-year-old will share screen with Hollywood stars Leonardo and Tobey. The first look of the film with Amitabh has been released and the actor looks dapper in a greycolored suit teamed with a white hat. He looks classic as he sports a beard and mustache. He feels the film will take viewers back in time. "The attention to detail, the amount of research and finesse on recreating the 'times' of NYC in the those early years, was simply brilliant," Amitabh said. "I am certain that when you shall see the film, you will realise that you have indeed been transported to another decade of the early years with such authenticity

that you begin to feel as though you were present there yourself," he said. Amitabh also can't stop raving about the professionalism with which the Hollywood filmmakers work. "There is a quiet sense of professionalism that works without notice and corrects or adjusts or informs when and if there is need for it. They are the crew, the costume, the hair and the properties people. The language and accent director, the assistants who shall come and ask you to be on set, or if on it to be ready for the take," he said. "The other factor of course is the dedication that all the crew and actors have towards the script the film and the production. Leonardo and Tobey would be more than willing to rehearse if you demanded it and would give each rehearsal the same deliverance as they would, were they to be asking for one themselves," he added.

Despite shoe bites, Shahid shoots 'Teri Meri Kahaani'

A red carpet premiere for TV's 'Madhubala'


he launch of forthcoming show "Madhubala... Ek Ishq, Ek Junoon" here was nothing less than a glamorous red carpet Bollywood premiere. And why not -- the show promises to take a behind-the-scenes look into the emotional journey of all those associated with the industry. Held at the Cinemax, Versova, here Monday night, the launch was different from the usual announcements at hotels and banquet halls. A red carpet was laid for the show's crew and actors, including lead stars Vivian D'Sena and Drashti Dhami. Producer Saurabh Tewari of Nautanki Films says it was always his dream to host a premiere for his show like that of a film premiere. The show, and its poster, spell most things Bollywood. With lights, cameras and action, the story begins in the old town of Motihari, in the interiors of Bihar. The setting is reminiscent of the sets of Ramesh Sippy's classic "Sholay". The scene then shifts to a pregnant lady running away to Mumbai only to find herself in the midst of a film set where she gives birth to Madhubala, the show's protagonist, essayed by Drashti. Born literally in the lap of the film industry, Madhubala is forced to be a part of showbiz, whether she likes it or not. Prashant Bhatt, programming head (fiction), Colors, says this is the best time to launch a show on the film industry, given the fact that Indian cinema completes 100 years next year. "It is the story of a simple girl who is given the gift of stardom and she is not happy enjoying it. She is fulfilling dreams which she has not seen and is living a life which she didn't want," said Bhatt. Sippy, who was present at the event too, is

Actor Shahid Kapoor in a scene from 'Teri Meri Kahaani'. hoe bites kept Shahid Kapoor on his toes literally. The actor suffered shoe bites while wearing a traditional juti for 'Teri Meri Kahaani', but he not only continued shooting, but danced too. Shahid was asked to wear the juti or the Indian Mojri for his character of Javed in the Kunal Kohli-directorial. "I had a lot of shoe bites when I wore them for the first time. It takes a long time for your feet to get used to them. I used to stuff cotton on my ankles and bandage my feet before I could wear them. I had cuts all over my feet within the first few days. It was one painful experience," said Shahid. He remained undeterred, and even shot a song wearing them.

However, he says the memories of the juti will stay with him for a long time. "More so because I had to dance with them on for a song. It used to come off my feet and fly. Kunal would often say -- 'It's a nice shot but let's go for one more take as the juti has flown away.' "I don't think I will wear them for a long time to come," quipped the 31-year-old. "Teri Meri Kahaani", releasing on June 22, also features Shahid's "Kaminey" co-star Priyanka Chopra. Their chemistry worked very well for the Vishal Bharadwaj movie, and fans are hoping to see them revive it yet again for "Teri Meri Kahaani", a love story set in three different eras.

TV actor Drashti Dhami to feature in 'Madhubala... Ek Ishq, Ek Junoon'. impressed with the look of the show. "The show looks very dramatic and interesting and promises something very different. The story is about the film industry and of someone within the film industry. Somebody who goes there and how she got there and how her journey was," said Sippy. The show, which goes on air on May 28, also features other actors like Raj Zutshi, Sushmita Mukherjee Bundela, Shagufta Ali and Lalit Parimoo.

Ultimate Bollywood Thesouthasiantimes.info

17

May 26-June 1, 2012

'Aamir doing fantastic job with Satyamev Jayate'

'...Wasseypur' premiere gets full house at Cannes

Aamir Khan in Satyamev Jayate.

ilm producer Ritesh Sidhwani, who is co-producing Aamir Khan's next movie 'Talaash', is impressed with the actor's TV debut 'Satyamev Jayate', aimed at bringing a positive change in society. "Aamir's show is a brilliant effort. It is fantastic what he is doing. Through the show, he is making everyone socially responsible and aware," Sidhwani said. The show hits upon social evils and issues in the country, and so far Aamir has been seen talking to victims of female foeticide, child sex abuse and dowry. He also doles out statistical facts to support his quest for change. There have been many shows in the past that have tried to portray the real life trauma of people, but Sidhwani says "Satyamev Jayate", aired on Star Plus, is incomparable. "One cannot compare it with other entertainment shows. He is dealing with issues on his shows that everyone knows, but nobody talks about. The show might take some more time to grow but it is something everyone should be proud of," he said.

The producer, who runs the banner Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. along with actor Farhan Akhtar, appreciates Aamir's decision of being different. "It is commendable that he did not choose a run-ofthe-mill show and merely hosting it for the heck of it. He is doing what he believes in," said Sidhwani, who has produced films like "Dil Chahta Hai", "Lakshya", "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" and "Don". The first episode of "Satyamev Jayate" was aired on May 6 in eight languages on nine channels, including seven STAR TV network channels, ETV Telugu and national broadcaster DD1. The show has seen huge positive sentiment across viewers. It has generated much buzz on internet with "Satyamev Jayate" recording more popularity than its host Aamir on search engine Google India. It also trended on Twitter, occupying the top five slots out of 10. The launch episode was viewed by 90 million people and was the highest rated show with 4.1 television rating (TVR), according to Television Audience Measurement (TAM) data.

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap with wife-actor Kalki Koechlin.

he world premiere of Anurag Kashyap's "Gangs Of Wasseypur" saw a packed audience at the ongoing 65th Cannes International Film Festival. Eager crowds lined the streets outside the JW Marriot hotel for the show, while Bollywood celebrities Kalki Koechlin, Huma Quereshi, Richa Chadda and Reema Sen walked across the red carpet. Also attended by Kashyap, male

actors Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui and female music director Sneha Khanwalkar, the premiere saw a full house in an 800-seating-capacity hall. Both parts of "Gangs Of Wasseypur", a gritty take on the coal mafia, were screened at the festival's Directors' Fortnight, a non-competitive section. The film, to hit screens on June 22, is presented by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and produced by Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt Ltd.

Why does Madonna want to be president?

ritish pop star Madonna wishes she could be the president of a country so that she could stop money being splashed on weapons of mass destruction. "You can't really change much in one day. I think I would like to be president for a longer time. I wouldn't spend as much money for weapons of mass destruction but instead for education and art," femalefirst.co.uk quoted her as saying. The 53-year-old singer attributes her success to her thirst for reinvention and never taking anything for granted. "It's harder to stay famous than become famous. I don't think there's a rule for staying successful.You have to really love what you're doing. You have to feed your soul with ideas and you're

British pop star Madonna. not allowed to stop growing as a human. That's what helps to create art. When it comes to my work I don't take anything for granted," she said.

nternational teenage sensation Justin Bieber may not have had the opportunity to come to India yet, but that doesnt stop the 18-year-old from tasting, and loving Indian food. I love Indian food and have tried it in London a couple of times, says the Canadian pop and R&B singer, who now seems to have fallen for desi flavour. I have heard a lot about India too and would love to visit the country, says the 18-year-old. Thats not all, as the Baby hitmaker, who has already sold over 15 million albums worldwide, is also looking forward to some Indian partnerships. I like Indian music its good to the ears. If I get a chance sometime, I would like to collaborate with Indian artists, he says. Though he pleads ignorance about Bollywood, he does concede knowing about his fan following in India. I dont get much time to sit down and watch a movie etc. But with Twitter and other social networking sites, I connect with my fans. I know that I have a big fan following in India. They love me immensely and have even asked me to visit and perform in India, says Bieber, whose fans famously call themselves Beliebers.

Justin Bieber digs Indian food!

Justin Bieber is looking forward to some Indian partnerships.

18

IPL & Controversies TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

IPL 5: Glamor clouds game, endless controversies


New Delhi: Bribery and molestation, star tantrums and rave parties, yet growing crowds - this year's Indian Premier League is proving there is no such thing as bad publicity. Full stadiums have been a welcome sight after sparse attendances last year due to a post-World Cup hangover. Refreshed and ready for cricket, fans have also been digesting news of a string of off-field controversies. Such off-field issues are nothing new for the IPL, whose founder chairman Lalit Modi remains in selfimposed exile after being slapped with cases of financial irregularities and whose governing council has had skirmishes with at least four of its own franchises. Just as fans were raving about a number of close games came a TV sting operation that showed IPL players agreeing to spot fixing and raising murmurs about those last-over finishes being possibly contrived. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was quick to provisionally suspend five uncapped players after they were shown by India TV news channel as either agreeing to spot-fixing or negotiating on their contracts, which is not allowed as per tournament rules. TP Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali were suspended and an inquiry ordered. Sudhindra, who plays for Deccan Chargers, was shown allegedly agreeing to and then bowling a no-ball at a predetermined time in a local T20 game in Indore. The channel also played a purported telephone conversation with Srivastava of the Kings XI Punjab team agreeing to bowl a no-ball in the IPL. Srivastava, however, did not play in the tournament this season. The others were seen talking about their IPL contracts and how underson. He was arrested and subsequently released on bail for allegedly molesting a US woman of Indian origin and assaulting her fiance at a New Delhi five-star hotel. Pomersbach was required to surrender his passport pending investigation of the case. Cricket officials were quick to wash their hands off the incident which is being investigated by police. "There were no official parties in IPL 4 and 5. So the incident was not connected with an official IPL party. It was an individual misbehavior of an individual player," IPL chief Rajiv Shukla told reporters. "It is a police case and we will wait for the police report." Two Pune Warriors players, Rahul Sharma and South African Wayne Parnell, were also in hot water for attending a party that was busted for drugs. Their blood and urine samples were taken along with those of over 80 others after a police party found cocaine in the rave party. Once again, IPL officials said they had no comment to offer pending investigation. But former India player Kirti Azad, who has raised the IPL controversies debate in Parliament, wonders how everything goes wrong only when the Twenty20 tournament is on. "I'm not against the IPL but the way it is run," said Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning team. "There is no transparency, accountability or discipline. Why doesn't all this indiscipline happen in test, one-day or domestic cricket matches?" While organizers will be hoping the IPL ends with focus on the game and people remember the big-hitting from Chris Gayle and the incisive bowling of Morne Morkel, these controversies are bound to remain in the news well after the tournament is over.

Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach allegedly molested an American woman; Two Pune Warriors players (including Rahul Sharma) were booked for attending a party that was busted for drugs; five IPL players were suspended over bribe match-fixing charges; and Shah Rukh Khan was banned for five years from entering Mumbai stadiums following a brawl with officials.
the-table payments are used to entice players to franchises. The expose gave sports minister Ajay Maken a chance to reiterate his call for the BCCI to be brought under the ambit of Right to Information Act. Currently the BCCI is not accountable since it is not government funded. "The BCCI performs a public function, that is the selection of the Indian team," Maken said. "This team plays under the aegis of the Indian flag. This is the Indian team. That is why the body that chooses the team needs to be transparent to the people." The bribery allegations were followed by a string of off-field controversies that ended in police stations. Kolkata Knight Riders team coowner Shahrukh Khan was involved in a brawl with officials at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai Cricket Association and police officials alleged Khan confronted guards while under the influence of alcohol. The Bollywood star claimed he was not drunk and had only reacted to rude behavior to kids near the boundary line. Other more serious controversies were round the corner. Australian batsman Luke Pomersbach made headlines without playing a game for Royal Challengers Bangalore this sea-

Super Kings dump Mumbai Indians


Bangalore: The Chennai Super Kings showcased their big-match temperament and collective class as they steamrolled Mumbai Indians by 38 runs to move a step closer to the Indian Premier League final. A thunderous unfinished partnership of 73 off just 29 balls for the sixth wicket between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51 not out) and Dwayne Bravo (33 not out) carried the Super Kings to 187 for five after being put into bat and losing two early wickets. In reply, the Mumbai Indians, who had beaten the Super Kings in both the previous two meetings this season, faltered after the run out of Sachin Tendulkar (11), followed by the dismissal of in-form opener Dwayne Smith(38) and were pegged to 149 for nine with seamers Bravo (2 for 10) and Albie Morkel (2 for 31) delivering body blows. While the Mumbai Indians were eliminated

Super Kings deserved to win: Harbhajan

A
The Super Kings take on Delhi Daredevils for the right to face the Kolkata Knight Riders in Sunday's final. from the competition, the Super the brink of elimination, but Kings take on Delhi Daredevils stayed on in fourth spot due to in Chennai on Friday for the right superior Net Run Rate following to face the Kolkata Knight Riders a tie with Royal Challengers in Sunday's final, also at the M. Bangalore, rose to the occasion as Chinnaswamy Stadium. in the past two seasons to outplay The Super Kings who were on Mumbai Indians.

dejected Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh said it all when he complimented Chennai Super Kings for "playing like champions" after his team lost the Indian Premier League play-off game by 38 runs. "Of course, I am disappointed that we lost, but we cannot change the result. The Super Kings played like champions and deserved to win today," said Harbhajan after the game. "Dhoni and Bravo took the game away from us in the last four overs (of the Super Kings innings), and there was not much we could do," he added, referring to the rollicking unfinished stand

of 74 runs off 29 balls between Dhoni and Bravo for the sixth wicket. Dhoni, adjudged Man of the Match for his unbeaten 51 off 20 balls, pointed out that it was the 94 run stand between Michael Hussey and Subramaniam Badrinath for the second wicket that set up the Super Kings innings. "Hussey and Badri gave us the platform with their partnership. Badri is our silent hero," said Dhoni. Over the past week, Dhoni said his team that had completed the league engagements, watched the other games whose results directly influenced their entry into play-offs.

Op Ed TheSouthAsianTimes.info

19

May 26 - June 1, 2012

By Pankaj Vohra

UPA II: A difficult road ahead


uncertainty over when the next Lok Sabha elections will be held. Though scheduled for 2014, the possibility of it happening much earlier cannot be ruled out. The run-up to the presidential elections and subsequent events may, in fact, determine the nature of political developments. Even as supporters of the UPA give out its report card in an exercise that can at best be described as an internal assessment, the jury is out to provide the external assessment. In the final result, a dimension that cannot be ignored is that the UPA 2 has all along drawn its strength from the charisma and power of its chairperson Sonia Gandhi. But there is no dearth of political observers who will agree that in terms of actual power, Sonia Gandhi is not appearing to be as potent and assertive as she was in 2004. She should act to correct the perception that there has been a marked erosion in her authority. This factor alone can have an impact on how the party and its government

he third anniversary of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 2 government could very well be its last if those at the helm of affairs do not take corrective steps to take control of matters and set both the political and the government's agenda. The Congress-led coalition has been on the backfoot all through last year, with rising prices, corruption and the socalled 'differences' between the party and government testing its perseverance repeatedly. However, its most crucial test is likely to be in the form of the presidential election in July. A failure to get the nominee of its choice elected to the august office may be at the risk of losing power at the Centre. The UPA in its first avatar between 2004 and 2009 seemed to be much better off and though the Congress increased its individual tally from 145 to 206, its plight seems to have worsened. It is obvious that the party and

There is a lot at stake and the UPA leadership cannot afford to play its cards wrongly if it is to increase its longevity. Otherwise, the consequences might be too severe to bear. its cadres have not done enough. The negative perception about the government has increased given that several of its top ministers are constantly quarreling among themselves. The results of the assembly polls in March have further weakened the grand old party and there are enough indications that regional satraps who have already started calling the shots will navigate the future course of events. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the principal opposition party, seems to be in the grip of a fierce power struggle to resolve its leadership crisis. In any case, its efforts to reclaim the opposition space it conceded to civil society groups like those led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have not been successful. There is also an element of

fares in the future. Most political analysts have failed to recognize that when the presidential poll takes place, the strength of the UPA on paper may turn out to be a deceptive indicator. The 2012 presidential polls are going to afford an opportunity to several political leaders and parties to realign themselves if the principal ruling party does not initiate measures for proper and appropriate political management. There are many ambitious regional players who would see the issue of presidentship from a totally different angle. Like the Congress had done in the past, they too may look for a presidential candidate who would give them an opportunity to be sworn in to the office of the prime minister after the next parliamentary polls. There is a lot at stake and the UPA leadership cannot afford to play its cards wrongly if it is to increase its longevity. Otherwise, the consequences might be too severe to bear.

Memorial Day for Indian Americans


By Inder Singh

n the United States, the last Monday of May is observed annually as Memorial Day a day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending American Nation and its values. Memorial Day parades and memorial services are held to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country. It was first observed on May 30, 1868 and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Indian Americans may not know the historical background of Memorial Day. However, like Americans, several Indians hold gatherings of family and friends for parties and barbecues. Most of the Indians in America may also not know their own day of reverence. Between 1913-15, nearly 6,000 overseas Indians went back to India to fight and free their motherland from British slavery. Some paid the ultimate price with their lives, hundreds were jailed,

Lala Har Dyal, one of the greatest revolutionaries and a founder of the Gadar Party in the US. some for life. It is such a pity that there is no memorial day for them! Indian emigrants started coming to the United States in the beginning of the twentieth century. Most of them were unskilled workers and found work in lumber mills or as farm hands. The employers preferred Indian workers as they worked hard and accepted lower wages. White laborers, fearing dis-

A media coverage on Lala Har Dyal. placement from their jobs, demanded exclusionary laws against the cheap Indian workers. Americans pressured their elected officials to pass exclusionary and other laws against the Asians. As a result, in 1917, Asian emigration to the United States was stopped. Lala Har Dyal who had come from England and had been a faculty member at Stanford

University for some time, was identified with nationalist activities in the United States. He inspired many students studying at the University of California at Berkeley and channelized their pro-Indian, anti-British sentiment for the independence of India. In May, 1913, at a meeting of some patriotic and enlightened Indians in Astoria, Oregon, Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast was formed with a major objective to liberate India from British colonialism. Sohan Singh Bhakna, a lumber mill worker in Oregon, was elected President, Har Dayal, as General Secretary and Kanshi Ram as treasurer. Har Dayal provided leadership for the newly formed association and was the central figure and the force behind the new organization. The association began publishing a magazine, named Gadar after the 1857 Gadar Movement (mutiny) in India. Every issue of Gadar exposed the British imperialism and called upon the Indian people

to unite and rise up against the British rule. Gadar literature was sent to Indian revolutionaries in India, Europe, Canada and several other countries. The magazine, being the principal patriotic literature, reached many people; even if one copy reached a fellow revolutionary anywhere, multiple copies were made for circulation. Although the movement did not achieve its stated objective, but it awakened the sleeping India and had a major impact on Indias struggle for freedom. The Indian American community, at least on Memorial Day, should remember the sacrifices of Gadarites and pay tribute to them. The 100th anniversary of Gadar Movement is falling next year. All Indian Americans should seriously consider commemorating the centennial and pay the well-deserved tribute to Gadarites and Gadar martyrs. (Inder Singh is Chairman of GOPIO, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin.)

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

20

Diaspora TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Tight British visas driving Indian students to Australia


Melbourne: In a classic reversal of a situation a few years ago, Australian universities now stand to benefit from the recent tightening of student visa rules and a drastic fall in enrolments in Britain from India. British universities have experienced a fall of more than 30 percent in Indian enrolments while the percentage of the number of enrolments and visa grants for Australia is reported to be in three figures. The number of Indian student visa applications for Australia has gone up by a whopping 120 percent in the last nine months while the number of visa grants has also improved by nearly 80 percent in the same period. Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK - the representative organization for Britain's universities - has reportedly written to British Prime Minister David Cameron, warning that the immigration changes could cost the country as much as five billion pounds ($8 billion) in tuition fees alone. The recent immigration crackdown is reported to have led to Indian students shunning British universities.

Angola workers crisis: Bihar asks PM to intervene


Patna: Concerned over the safety of over 1,100 Indian workers, including those from Bihar, facing trouble in Angola, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to resolve the crisis. "The situation is serious enough to warrant immediate intervention by the Indian government. The government should ensure that a fair treatment is meted out to the laborers, their wages are paid and they are given assistance for returning home, if they choose to do so," Nitish Kumar said in a letter to the prime minister. The chief minister also requested Manmohan Singh to direct the authorities concerned to take prompt action for the release of laborers being prosecuted for several offences in the southern African country. "Anxious relatives of some laborers from Bihar have reported that injured workers are deprived of proper treatment. Their passports have been impounded by the company they were working with," Kumar said. The Indian workers are employed in a cement factory at Sumbe in the southern African country and there has been labor unrest at the factory due to non-payment of certain emoluments to them. The $860 million cement project employs about 1,260 workers of whom 1,100 Indians were recruited by Dubaibased ETA Star. The trouble has been festering since February this year, but it took a turn for the worse earlier this month when the Indian workers "became very restive" and clashed with the company officials. This led to local police charging 59 Indians under several offences and initiating prosecution.

UAE to set up consulate in Thiruvananthapuram


Thiruvananthapuram: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to set up its Kerala consulate here in the state capital, India's Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said. "The decision to set up the consulate in Thiruvananthapuram is because of the rule that consulates can be set up only in state capitals. There are certain rules and guidelines and they have to be adhered too," he added. The minister said the consulate would start functioning in a few months. The news about the setting up of the consulate was announced last July when UAE's Ambassador to India Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Al Owais met Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here. The new consulate will help people of the state who want to go to the UAE for work. Currently, they have to get their documents certified by the UAE embassy and consulate in New Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. The new consulate is also expected to boost trade between Kerala and the UAE. More than a million people from the state live and work in the UAE, says a study by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

Chaurasia's magic flute charms Poles


Warsaw: The profile of Poland has gone up by many notches as a cultural destination for Indian artists. After Bollywood films and translations of Urdu masters into Polish language, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, one of the doyens of Indian classical music maestro, enthralled the Polish crowd in three cities - Wroclaw, Krakow and Warsaw. In all these places, Chaurasia won the hearts of the audience with his spell-binding flute recitals. "He creates magic with his flute and we simply feel enchanted with his performance. It was once in a lifetime event and so memorable that we would love to remember him for a long time to come," says Janusz Krzyzowski, president of the India-Poland Cultural Committee in Warsaw. Chaurasia was jointly sponsored by the Pandit Chaturlal Memorial Society of New Delhi along with its sponsors the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Embassy of India. They had persuaded Chaurasia to give concerts in Poland to mark the annual Chatur Lal Music Festival. He was accompanied by Snehgunshu Banerji on the tabla.

Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia

UK town gets first Indian Muslim Lord Mayor


London: Indian-origin councilor Abdul Razak Osman has become the first Lord Mayor of the Islamic faith to hold the high office in the multicultural town of Leicester, which has a large minority of Indian origin people. Osman was born in Kenya and arrived in the UK in 1971. His late father Yousuf Razak worked on the East African Railway, and worked for a local engineering firm after moving to Leicester. The Lord Mayor is Leicesters first Citizen and has a high profile role maintaining and promoting the interests of the city and its citizens, by attending a variety of civic engagements during the year. Leicester previously had Hindu and Sikh Lord Mayors, but Osman is the first Muslim to hold the high office. Incidentally, the office of the Deputy Lord Mayor of Leicester is also held by an Indian-origin councilor, Mustafa Kamal, who hails from Ferozepur, Punjab. Osman has worked with several

India last stop for Stanford-bound ICSE topper


Dubai: This 17-year-old knew he would do well in his Grade 12 exams but becoming the ICSE topper worldwide with 99.5 percent marks was unimaginable. Indiaborn Rohan Sampath now looks forward to joining Stanford University and unlike many brought up in Dubai, he really hopes he can return to India some day. "My first reaction was disbelief. I thought it was a typo. I didn't expect it," Rohan, a science student of Dubai Modern High School said. Born in Mumbai, Rohan scored 100 per cent in mathematics, 100 percent in physics, 100 percent in computer science and 98 percent in English, becoming the highest scorer in the history of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) examinations. His parents, who have been in Dubai for 18 years, are naturally overjoyed but say they were more elated when he got through both Stanford and Yale universities in the US. "We were not that concerned about marks. He has been topping in school every year with 98 percent. My elation was higher when he got through Stanford and Yale. Only later when we realized that he had topped ICSE across the world, then of course we were very happy," said his mother Sandhya Sampath. Rohan has chosen to attend Stanford University and study either economics or engineering. Private tuition classes have no place in Rohan's study mantra, defying a trend among a majority of Indian families. "I've been an opponent of tuitions. Teachers in school have been instrumental in my success. I look at private tuitions as an insult to my teachers as I trust them completely," said Rohan. Despite having grown up in Dubai all along, Rohan says he has a special connect with India. Recalling his holidays with grandparents to teaching underprivileged children in Mumbai as a volunteer for an NGO called Aakansha last year, Rohan hopes he can return to his country some day. "I have always wanted to return to India after my education." On adjusting to life in India, he said: "I don't think it will be that tough. I don't find much difference

Abdul Razak Osman charity organizations and was instrumental in fundraising to build two villages and a school in Kutch, Gujarat for orphaned children, following an earthquake in 2011. Osman, who joined the city council in 1996, takes over from Councillor Rob Wann. I want to focus on visiting the communities and raising the profile of the office of Lord Mayor. Im proud to be the first Muslim councilor to hold the position weve had Christian, Hindu, Sikh and now Im able to bring the Islamic faith to the office which is a great honor, he said.

Rohan Sampath between me and kids my age in India except that we don't talk much Hindi." He credits his parents' upbringing and his school for inculcating in him "the Indian value system with a global perspective." Rohan's parents originally hail from Tamil Nadu but they too were brought up outside their home state. His mother, who worked as an IT manager with Emirates Airlines till last year, was brought up in Mumbai. And his father, an independent consultant in the banking sector, grew up in Pune.

Subcontinent TheSouthAsianTimes.info

21

May 26-June 1, 2012

US senate panel votes to cut Pak aid


Washington: In a fresh warning to Pakistan, a senate panel has approved a foreign aid budget for next year that slashes US assistance to Islamabad by more than half and threatens further reductions if it fails to open supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan. The senate Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations also cut aid to Iraq, Egypt and Afghanistan while adding $50 million for Jordan to help it handle the influx of refugees from a violent Syria. By voice vote, the panel approved the overall bill totaling $52.1 billion, which is $2.6 billion less than what President Barack Obama requested for the 2013 fiscal year beginning in October, $1.2 billion below the current spending. The bill would provide $1 billion in aid to Pakistan and including $184 million for state department operations and $800 million for foreign assistance.

NATO air strike: Pakistan harp on US apology


Washington: Pakistan's demand for the US apology for the NATO air strike in which its 24 soldiers were killed - an incident which has strained bilateral relations -- was reiterated by Pakistan's ambassador Sherry Rehman and ruling Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. US President Barack Obama should apologize to Pakistan for the NATO air strike on the Salala border check post that killed 24 soldiers in November, said Bilawal, who is on a visit to the US to "normalize the ties" between the two countries, Dawn News reported. The continuous drone attacks in Pakistan's northwest tribal region were a violation of the country's sovereignty, Bilawal said at a program in New York. relations between the two countries were at a critical juncture. He said his mother, late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, had sacrificed her life for democracy and for women's rights and that she struggled to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's envoy to the US, also said that Islamabad was adamant on its demand for an apology for the NATO air strike. The air strike led Pakistan to close the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan through Pakistani territory and ask the US to vacate the Shamsi air base near Quetta in Balochistan. Talks are on for the restoration of the supply routes, Rehman told Geo News on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Chicago.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Obama should apologize to the people of Pakistan over the air strike. Bilawal said Obama should apologize to the people of Pakistan over the air strike, as the

Troops to leave Afghanistan by 2014: NATO


Washington: Leaders of America's NATO allies has declared that all the international troops led by the US and its coalition partners would withdraw from war-torn Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after being there for more than a decade. Participating in a NATO-led summit in Chicago, they said the mission of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan would end in 2014. "In line with the strategy which we agreed at the Lisbon Summit, ISAF's mission will be concluded by the end of 2014. But thereafter Afghanistan will not stand alone: we reaffirm that our close partnership will continue beyond the end of the transition period," leaders of the NATO-led ISAF member countries said in a joint declaration at the end of the summit. However, leaders of the NATOled ISAF mission countries at the end of their Chicago meeting pledged to have a long-term commitment to Afghanistan, given that they still have a long way to go in the fight against terrorism and achieving political stability and satisfactory-level security in the country, to have another NATO-led mission for Afghanistan post 2014. The new mission would also have the approval of the UN Security Council, they declared. The meeting was hosted by US President Barack Obama. They noted that sustaining a sufficient and capable Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) is the responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan supported by the international community.

Obama 'briefly' meets Zardari


Washington: US President Barack Obama spoke "briefly" with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari twice on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago, the White House has said, contradicting media reports of Obama shunning Zardari. Obama "spoke briefly with President Zardari twice", first in a "brief one-on-one conversation as they made their way into the ISAF meeting", Xinhua reported citing a White House statement. Later, Obama again spoke briefly with Zardari, this time joined by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The leaders underscored their "shared commitment to an Afghanled reconciliation process to bring the war to a responsible end", the statement said. Obama and Zardari mon enemy of extremists", and need to work through some of the tensions that has been created because of 10 years of US military presence in the region, Obama said. The two sides, however, failed to reach an agreement to reopen the NATO supply route through Pakistan to Afghanistan. Obama said Zardari shared his belief that issues between Pakistan and NATO, as well as between Pakistan and the US will be resolved, and the supply route will be reopened soon. The routes, through which 40 percent of NATO's non-lethal supplies passed to Afghanistan, were closed in November after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO air strike on a Pakistan Army border post.

US, Japan to build power plants in Myanmar


Yangon: Myanmar plans to build more power plants in the country with companies from the US, Japan and South Korea in an effort to address the electricity shortage, state media reported. The companies with which Myanmar's ministry of electric power will cooperate in building power plants are General Electric Co. and Caterpillar Co. of the US, J Power Co. of Japan and BKB Co. of South Korea, Xinhua reported citing the New Light of Myanmar daily, published by the country's interior ministry. The report did not disclose which projects will be implemented with the US companies. It said a 600 MW coalfired power plant near Yangon will be built on a joint venture with the Japanese firm, while another 500 MW gas-fired power plant will be carried out in collaboration with the South Korean company.

Barack Obama with Pak President Asif Ali Zardari. did not have a formal bilateral meeting at the summit. At a press briefing after the summit concluded, Obama said he emphasised to Zardari that Pakistan "has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan". The two countries "share a com-

Doctor jailed for helping US kill Osama


Islamabad: Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, charged with treason for helping the US to kill Osama bin Laden, has been jailed for 30 years. The sentence was announced by the political administration of Khyber Agency to which Afridi belongs, Xinhua reported. He was found guilty under the Frontier Crimes Regulation for carrying out a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad in order to get the DNA samples of bin Laden. Afridi was also fined 320,000 rupees (over $3,400). If he fails to pay the fine, he could face another three years in jail. After the sentence, Afridi was shifted to a central jail in Peshawar. US commandos stormed bin Laden's hideout at Abbottabad near Rawalpindi May 2 last year, taking the US-Pakistan ties to a new low. The doctor was arrested 20 Shakil Afridi. days later while trying to escape to Afghanistan.

22

International TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

World powers, Iran Egypt goes to poll to elect new president begin N-talks
Cairo: Egyptians went to polls to elect a new president after last year's fall of Hosni Mubarak who ruled the country for three decades with a tough hand. The polling stations opened at 8 a.m. across the country under tight security. The elections would be the first since Mubarak was ousted following 18 days of demonstrations in Egypta in February 2011. He assumed the presidency in October 1981, following the assassination of then president Anwar Sadat. Mubarak is now facing a trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power, and premeditated murder of peaceful protesters. He may be sentenced to death if found guilty. There were long queues in front of many polling stations in Cairo since early morning. Ahmed Fatah, a middle-aged Muslim who came to a polling station at 6.30 a.m., told Xinhua that he had a high expectation from the election. "I hope the new president can restore peace and stability in our life. Our economy has suffered from continuous chaos and violence. We want the new president to revive our

'Russia has no business in NATO missile defense'


Warsaw: Poland has warned Moscow against interfering in NATO's plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe, as Russia is not a member of the military alliance, said a Polish official. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the "first step" in the European missile defence system. "If this system belongs to NATO, then it cannot be that a state, which is not a NATO member, could influence NATO's defence system and the development of this system," said Bogdan Borusewicz, chairman of the Polish parliament's upper house. Talks with Russia on the missile shield in Europe, however, must be continued to convince it that the system is not threatening Russia's national security, he added.

Former US president Jimmy Carter is in Egypt to monitor the election. economy, make our life easier and bring back the good reputation and great influence Egypt used to have before the revolution in international community," said Fatah. There are about 50 million eligible voters, who will elect one from 12 presidential candidates. Top hopefuls include former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, Islamist Aboul Fotouh, Freedom and Justice Party chairman Mohamed Morsi and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. Government employees have been given a day off for the voting. Former US president Jimmy Carter is also in Egypt to monitor the election. The results of the presidential polls will be announced June 21.

The meetings put forward a proposal aimed at reining in Iran's highest-level uranium enrichment. Baghdad: Iran traded proposals with six world powers, including the United States, in a new round of talks aimed at persuading it to curb its nuclear program and ease concerns it wants to make atomic weapons. But divisions over sanctions complicated the discussions. The meetings opened with the socalled 5+1 group - the permanent UN Security Council members, the US, Russia, China, Britain and France, plus Germany - putting forward a proposal apparently aimed at reining in Iran's highest-level uranium enrichment. Many leaders fear the uranium, enriched to 20%, could be quickly turned into warheadgrade material . Other details of the plan were not immediately disclosed. Hours later, Iran made its move by offering a counterproposal that includes what one of its negotiating team member called "nuclear and non-nuclear issues". The official said he would not discuss details of the plan, but added that it would be discussed privately with diplomats from the EU and China, an Iranian ally.

US to judge Iran's deal with IAEA on action


Washington: The potential deal between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog on nuclear inspection was a "step forward", said the White House while stressing that the deal would be ultimately judged by Tehran's actions. The White House statement came after Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced Tuesday that an agreement on probing suspected work on Iran's controversial nuclear programme was expected to be signed soon, Xinhua reported. "I think it's important to note that the announcement today is a step forward," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing. "It's an agreement in principle. It represents a step in the right direction." "But as we've said in the past about the totality of Iran's obligations and their fulfillment of them, we will make judgments about Iran's behaviour based on actions, not just promises or agreements," he noted. The potential agreement is meant to give the UN nuclear watchdog access to sites, scientists and documents it seeks to address international concerns over Iran's nuclear activities.

Greece must buy into austerity or exit euro: Britain


Chicago: British PM David Cameron has issued his bluntest warning yet to Greece that voters need to "meet their commitments" as a member of the eurozone in elections next month or leave the currency union. Speaking at the NATO summit in Chicago, and three days before a crucial EU meeting, the PM said the leaders of the eurozone must now prepare for either outcome and be ready for the repercussions of the Greek vote, set for June 17. The poll was called after Greek parties failed to form a new government earlier this month. "It has to be absolutely clear there is a choice: they can vote to stay in the eurozone and meet their comNo one could tell Greece's parties what to do, but Cameron can have left them in no doubt of how he feels. "The choice Greece faces is maintaining its commitments and maintaining its place in the eurozone or deciding that's not the path it wants to take. Cameron also defended the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose insistence on austerity has been blamed for preventing the G8 summit from making progress. "Obviously she wants to make sure that countries in the eurozone that signed up to all sorts of commitments meet those commitments . She did show some flexibility in terms of what more can be done on the growth agenda."

Greece is going through worst economic crisis mitments , or they can vote to give tively give up on the eurozone," he up on their commitments and effec- said.

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb dies


London: With his carefully tended hair, tight trousers and perfect harmonies, Robin Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, defined the disco era. As part of the Bee Gees - short for the Brothers Gibb they created dance floor classics like 'Stayin Alive','Jive Talkin' and 'Night Fever' that can still get crowds onto a dance floor. Robin Gibb, 62, died on Sunday "following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery", his family said. He is the second discoera star to die this week after Donna Summer. The Bee Gees, born in England but raised in Australia, began their career in the 1960s but it was their soundtrack for the 1977 movie 'Saturday Night Fever' that sealed their success. The album's signature sound remains instantly recognizable more than 40 years after its release. For decades, Gibb was a familiar pop figure, starting out in the 1960s when the Bee Gees were seen as talented Beatles copycats. They sounded so much like the Beatles that there were strong rumors that it was really the Beatles performing under another name. After several hits, Robin Gibb left the group in 1969 over some disagreements. He released some successful solos -

Robin Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, defined the disco era. most notably 'Saved by the Bell' - and scoring a hit with 'How Can You before rejoining his brothers in 1970 Mend a Broken Heart'.

Business TheSouthAsianTimes.info

23

May 26-June 1, 2012

Rupee dives to 56.01, Sensex at 4-month low


Mumbai: The rupee weakened beyond 56 per US dollar and closed at 56.01 as the euro fell to a 20-month low against the dollar on fears of a Greek exit from the common currency. Forex dealers said that the petrol price hike was a positive for the exchange rate and equity markets, but the next day opening would depend on how the global sentiment in respect of euro moves tonight. The rupee was among the worst losers in Asia as traders felt that weak macroeconomic indicators made the rupee more vulnerable in a risk-off scenario. A 'risk-off' scenario is a term used to describe an environment in which investors shun markets despite higher returns in favor of safe haven investments even if returns are negligible. indicate that the rupee could slip close to 58 in six months or beyond 59 in 12 months. The BSE benchmark Sensex ended at 15,948.10 points, its lowest closing since January 7, due to hectic selling by funds as the rupee tumbled to yet another alltime low. Brokers said selling pressure gathered momentum as rupee touched fresh record low levels renewing concerns over slowing economic growth and widening trade deficit. The free-fall in rupee was unabated on strong demand for American currency from importers and increased capital outflow from equity markets, even as the Reserve Bank measures failed to curb the persistent fall, forex dealers said.

Internet content: Court considers summoning US firms


New Delhi: A Delhi court directed a complainant to apprise it about the method of summoning some US-based companies, including Facebook and YouTube, named by him as accused in a case related to objectionable content on internet. Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja said: "Put up for method of service of process of summoning of Facebook, Youtube and other USbased companies for June 8." The court was hearing a criminal case filed by journalist Vinay Rai seeking removal of derogatory contents from around 20 social networking sites and websites. The magistrate told the complainant that service of summons would also be effected through the external affairs ministry.

Quotes in the forward market indicate that the rupee could slip close to 58 in six months or beyond 59 in 12 months. The local currency, which However, the currency recovered opened at around 55.68, soon fell to close at 56.01. to the day's low of 56.22. Quotes in the forward market

Indian IT White paper: no estimate Airtel, ICICI among firms spent 'top 100 global brands' of black money abroad telecom major New Delhi: The government sus about the best methodology Rs.1,910 bn New Delhi: Indian private sector Bharti Airtel and released the much-awaited white or approach to be used for this bank ICICI Bank have been paper on black money, which purpose. in 2012 included in the 'BrandZ list' of the makes a strong pitch for setting "There have also been wide
New Delhi: The IT spending of Indian enterprises is likely to touch Rs.1,910 billion in 2012, a 16.4 percent increase from 2011 spending of Rs.1,640 billion, driven by investment by government and manufacturing sectors, technology research firm Gartner Inc said. The government spending is expected to increase Rs.349 billion in 2012 from Rs.302 billion in 2011, while manufacturing and natural resources will hike it to Rs.386 billion against Rs.334 billion during the period under review. "Indian IT providers continue to experience strong growth, and there are more Indian companies in general taking a place on the global stage," said Derry Finkeldey, principal research analyst at Gartner. "There are currently 25 Indian companies in the Fortune 500, and there is a corresponding uptake of information and communications (ICT) technologies in the domestic market, as organisations seek globally competitive practices," he added. According to Finkeldey, government investment in the revamp of education is driving high growth in the relatively small education ICT market. The education segment is expected to achieve the strongest growth in percentage terms in 2012, where IT spending is forecast to grow 18 percent in local currency. top 100 most-valuable global brands of 2012 by research firm Millward Brown. ICICI was ranked 63 and Airtel 71. The top five brands on the list are Apple, IBM, Google, McDonald's and Microsoft. According to the study, ICICI Bank's brand value has declined by 15 percent since 2011. "While ICICI declined, Airtel appeared in the BrandZ Top 100 ranking for the first time," Millward Brown said on its website. The study took into account what people thought about the brands they bought alongside analysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles and covered almost two million consumers and more than 50,000 brands in over 30 countries. "With an overall ranking of 71 and brand value of $11.5 billion, Airtel has been ranked ahead of top global brands such as Citi (82), Sony (86), MTN (88), China Telecom (90), and Volkswagen (96)," Airtel said in a statement. The study said Indians generally liked brands and were familiar with many from the West and other markets and suggested that firms take into account regional differences to establish business. up the Lokpal and Lokayuktas but carries no official estimate of the illicit money stashed by Indians abroad. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee tabled the white paper in the Lok Sabha. The paper carries no estimates on the quantum of money stashed abroad, but quotes figures released by different agencies. "There are no reliable estimates of black money generation or accumulation, neither is there an accurate well-accepted methodology for making such estimation," the paper said. It pointed out that among the estimates made so far, there is no uniformity, unanimity, or consenvariations in the figures reported, which further serves to highlight the limitations of the different methods adopted." The paper made a strong pitch for setting up the Lokpal and Lokayuktas to effectively deal with the menace of black money and other corrupt practices. In the foreword to the report, Mukherjee pointed out that in this past year the government has brought five bills -- namely, the Lokpal Bill, the Judicial Accountability Bill, the Whistle Blowers Bill, the Grievance Redressal Bill and the Public Procurement Bill. These are at various stages of consideration by the parliament.

Air India crisis continues, losses Rs.250 crore


Impasse between agitating pilots and the national carrier's management continues
New Delhi/Mumbai: The crisis in Air India raged on for the 17th day and the national carrier's losses mounted to Rs.250 crore as the impasse between agitating pilots and the management continued. "The loss due to ticket cancellations, unused labour and with the bulk of our Boeing-777 fleet grounded now stands at Rs.250 crore. Our losses per day have come down from Rs.13-15 crore to Rs.10-11 crore due to the contingency plan," a senior official of Air India's operations arm told IANS in New Delhi. "Under the contingency plan for international operations, we agitating pilots, who are on a mass sick leave, are mandated to get a medical check-up done by a board of doctors from the Indian Air Force on immediate notice. "They (pilots) will be checked by Indian Air Force doctors. We are awaiting the issuance of notices to them. If they clear it and are actually sick, then it is valid, but if they fail the test and come out to be absolutely fine, then they can either join back or resign," the official said. The government may also further curtail Air India's international operations if the strike continues.

The government may also further curtail Air India's international operations if the strike continues.

are operating a bare minimum number of international operations by clubbing flights to des-

tinations in Europe and the US," he said According to the official, the

24

Sports TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Olympic hockey opener: India face Holland

Nobbs satisfied with India's hockey schedule


Bangalore: Australia's hockey coach Ric Charlesworth is unhappy with his team's Olympic hockey schedule, saying the early starts may prove to be disruptive to the Kookaburras but his India counterpart Michael Nobbs argued that it wasn't a given that Australia should get a favourable draw just because they are the top team . India face the Netherlands in their Pool B game on July 30, the opening day of the hockey tournament at the Riverbank Arena. In Group A, Australia take on South Africa on the same day but later in the competition , the top ranked team in the world will play three world No.2 and defending champions Germany play no early games , according to Hockey Australia's website . Charlesworth was quoted as saying by the website that the schedule was unfair. "I don't expect special treatment, I expect not to be disadvantaged, out of five matches you may expect one 5am start for our athletes not three," Charlesworth said. "It interferes with momentum, as major finals won't be played at that hour and it interrupts our routine over two weeks. Early games should be fairly distributed among all teams."

India are clubbed with holders Germany (No. 2), Korea (6), New Zealand (7) and Belgium (11) and the Netherlands. Bangalore: India will open their campaign in the 2012 Olympics hockey competition in London with a game against the Netherlands on July 30, according to the schedule released by the International Hockey Federation ( IHF). India, ranked No. 10, are clubbed with holders Germany (No. 2), Korea (6), New Zealand (7) and Belgium (11), besides the Netherlands in Pool B of the 12team competition that will be held from July 30 to August 11. Pool A has world champions and top-ranked Australia, Great Britain (4), Spain (5), Pakistan (8), Argentina (9) and South Africa (12). India next play New Zealand August 1, Germany August 3 and Korea August 5 before concluding their league engagements with a game against Belgium August 7. The final classification matches, including the medal games, are scheduled for August 9 and 11, according to the FIH press release.

India hockey coach Michael Nobbs 8.30 am games against Spain, Argentina and Pakistan while

16 Indian players head for Milan


Kolkata: Sixteen budding players from across the country have been selected through a five-monthlong football talent hunt to represent India at a youth football tournament to be played in Milan later this year. The under-15 soccer talent hunt organized by Tata Tea in association with Inter Milan football club, kicked off in Bhubaneswar in December 2011 and covered 15 cities across India. Started in 2007, the latest season witnessed participation of 6,500 students from 1,100 schools across the country, who were trained by Inter Milan coaches Marco Monti and Massimo Ciocci. "The players I saw are very talented and hard working," said Monti. The final 16 players were chosen after a week-long intensive training session. "We are very excited to play with the famous club Inter Milan. I always dreamt of playing at a club like Inter. It is a dream come true for me," said Yami Longwah from Shillong.

2012-13: England, New Zealand, Oz to tour India


New Delhi: India are all set to host three major international series from August 2012 to March 2013, involving ten Tests, five ODIs and four Twenty20 Internationals. The series between India and New Zealand will be played in August-September, and feature two Tests and two T20 Internationals. Hyderabad and Bangalore will host the Tests, and the T20 Internationals will be played at Vishakhapatnam and Chennai, a BCCI release stated. India will next host England for four Tests, two T20 Internationals and five ODIs, from November 2012 to January 2013. The Tests and T20s will be played in November-December 2012. The second of the T20 Internationals will be played at the MCA Subroto Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune, thus marking the venue's international debut. The England team will fly home for Christmas, and return in the new year for a five-match ODI series. The series will feature the international debuts of as many as three venues, in the cities of Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala. The series between India and Australia will be played in February-March 2013, and feature four Tests. The match-schedule is yet to be decided, the statement said.

BCCI snub hurts Dilip Vengsarkar


Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have bought plenty of goodwill by shelling out around Rs 100 crore as onetime payment to former Indian cricketers who missed out when the game wasn't as rich and monetarily rewarding as it is today, but it seems to have ruffled a few feathers even with its noble intentions. On Wednesday, it emerged that Kirti Azad, part of India's World Cup-winning team in 1983, won't get the benefit because of speaking out against the Board publicly. Azad joined his World Cupwinning captain Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin, who find themselves out of this benefit - derived from the India Premier League ( IPL) coffers due to various reasons. Some other top cricketers too have been kept out of the list of beneficiaries. Former India skipper Dilip Vengsakar, batRs 75 lakh. "It is nice of the board to honor those who have done a yeoman's service to Indian cricket. The BCCI has done a fantastic job here. But when you want to honor people, do it honorably. I hope that they decide to honor everybody and rectify this error," Vengsarkar was quoted as saying. It is being alleged that most of the cricketers who will benefit from this scheme have had their benefit matches, though these matches were held at a time when it was the cricketer who had to arrange for everything in order to make the maximum out of his benefit tie. When contacted, former India skipper Chandu Borde said, "In earlier days one had to do everything on his own to organize a benefit match for himself, with the board just sanctioning it and agreeing to stage the match."

Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar

ting star Gundappa Vishwanath, ex-India stumper Syed Kirmani and the gutsy Mohinder Amarnath will not get the booty - which is up to Rs 1.5 crore for cricketers who have played more than 100 Tests for India - because the board says it has already organized benefit matches for them.

This is clearly a weak logic, since the benefit ties for these cricketers were organized at a time when such huge returns from the game were unthinkable. Due to this stand by BCCI, Vengsarkar and Kirmani miss out on Rs 1.5 crore each, Viswanath loses Rs 1 crore and Amarnath will be deprived of

India clears foreign training for swimmers


New Delhi: The sports ministry has cleared training of the three-member Indian swimming team at Germany's Olympic Centre in Frankfurt to prepare for the 2012 London Games. The three-member team, comprising Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal along with their coach Nihar Ameen, will train from June 1 to July 24 before joining the Indian contingent in London for the Games that start July 27. The government will bear their full training cost.

Travel TheSouthAsianTimes.info

25

May 26-June 1, 2012

Te Aroha - for hilly holiday with colonial feel


Mukteshwar (Uttarakhand): Looking for a colonial style holiday spot in the mountains? Nestled in Dhanachuli village, a few kilometres from this popular destination, is the Te Aroha resort. A summer house converted into a boutique luxury hotel, Te Aroha offers its guests traditional architecture and contemporary comforts. The surroundings are breathtaking, thanks to snowcapped mountains and the serenity of the place. It is the brainchild of Sumant Batra, a lawyer, writer and poet. Explaining the meaning of the name, Batra says: "Te Aroha means mountain of love in the Maori language of New Zealand. The place completely justifies its name. It has been a year for Te Aroha." The resort in Nainital district is about 340 km from Delhi and one can reach there by road in eight hours. Batra renovated the summer house but has preserved its original charm. Huge decks and terraces, antique furniture, glass windows with views of the landscape and the high ceiling lobby brings back the feel of a colonial era. "It is perhaps one of the few properties located in the wilderness that offer contemporary comforts of high standards and scale. The entire property has been done without the help of any architect, designer or industry expert," said Batra. When it comes to rooms, all are made with a different ambience. The four spacious suites and six luxury rooms offer various landscape views. The ideal time to visit the place is from October to July. Another high point of the place is Cafe Flashback, a first museum cafe and Bespoke Spa, a luxury spa. Cafe Flashback, a restaurant in a hut, is a total recall of old movies. From the 1940s to 2012, one can see the change that the television and the cinema industry underwent under one roof. On can go for an evening stroll to the market area with shops lined up on both sides of the street selling local food items and tea. You can also enjoy a drive on the long winding hilly road and visit popular tourist places such as Mukteshwar, Nainital, Bhimtal and Almora, with Te Aroha as a base. A train journey takes the same amount of time, the nearest station being in Bhimtal. However, traveling by train is not advisable as visitors are dependent on the resort for the pick up and drop off. There is no commuting mode available other than crowded local buses. Trekking or camping facilities could make this place all the more attractive for holidayers looking some adventure in the mountains. How far: Te Aroha is 340 km from Delhi. How to reach: By train or by car. Either way, it is an approximately an eight-hour journey from New Delhi. The nearest station is Bhimtal, from where you can take a local bus to the destination.

The Master bedroom

Te Aroha at Dhanachuli

Endangered pheasant species multiply in Himalayan park


the western tragopan." As per the estimation figures of the last two-three years, it is clear that the population of the western tragopan is on the rise. Srivastav attributed the increase to management strategies in terms of protection through regular patrolling of the area. From March-end till mid-June, all pheasant species breed. "The male tragopan gives a loud chorus before dawn during the breeding season. In the estimation, every male call is counted, which gives an index of the population in a specified area," Srivastav said, adding, "The mating call is different from the distress call." During the estimation, all teams were given Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and data sheets to record the altitude and the calls of the tragopan. In this method, it is assumed that each call can be equated to a breeding pair, Srivastav said. The western tragopan belongs to the family Phasianidae, which also includes peafowl and red jungle fowl. It's the least studied bird in the world. Being a shy bird, it is rarely sighted and is found at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,600 metres in the temperate forests of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Jennifer R.B. Miller, who studied the park in April-May 2008 during the US Fulbright Student Research Scholarship, says the populations of three pheasant species - western tragopan, koklas and Himalayan monal - in the Great Himalayan National Park have grown since surveyed in the late 1990s. "Surveys conducted in the late 1990s indicated that pheasant populations in the park were declining. In 1999, the government legally notified the park and the authorities began enforcing the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. Relative abundances of all three pheasant species were significantly higher (in 2008) than in previous surveys," says Miller in her paper titled "Himalayan pheasants in the Great Himalayan National Park" published in the Indian Birds journal in 2010. With magnificent glaciers, lofty mountains and gurgling streams, the Great Himalayan National Park, spread over 754 sq km in Kullu district, is one of the richest biodiversity sites in the western Himalayas. The park is home to 203 bird species and 31 mammal species, three reptiles, nine amphibians and 127 insect species, besides 425 species of plants. The famous mammals in the park are the leopard, the Himalayan black bear, the brown bear, the rhesus macaque and various herbivores like the goral, a small antelope, and the Himalayan tahr, a wild goat that lives on the steepest cliffs. One of the most elusive species in the park is the snow leopard. It can be spotted in the highest portions, adjoining the Pin Valley National Park. The best time to visit the park is April-May and September-November.

The western tragopan's numbers in Himachal's Great Himalayan National Park have increased as per latest surveys. Kullu (Himachal Pradesh): The presence of the highly endangered, elusive western tragopan can now be felt more clearly in the Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh, with its numbers multiplying. Park authorities say the population of this brilliantly colored pheasant species in the park has gone up and so has its sighting. "The density of the western tragopan in the park was 6.5 birds per sq km (in this year's census). Last year, it was six birds per sq km, while it was just five birds in 2010," says Park Director Ajay Srivastav. For population estimation, the western tragopan, like other pheasant species, needs specialized techniques. One of the standard census techniques is recording their call counts at a specified time and location. Srivastav said that estimation was done at 18 locations. "This exercise is now part of regular monitoring protocol being followed in the park to ascertain the status of population dynamics of

26

Lifestyle TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Retro to Hawaiian with a twist: Summer fashion for men

ailored shorts with a linen jacket, tshirts with bow-ties, Chinese collar shirts with printed pajamas; for all those men out there, a fashion lowdown on how to look cool this summer with funky mix and match tips and jazzing it all up with the right accessories: APPAREL First rule this season, avoid denim and try skin-friendly fabrics like linen. To make a style statement, dig out printed shirts and team them up with bright-colored shorts. Try Chinese collar shirts in powder cotton or tricot with printed pajamas; add khaki or army green shorts with t-shirts in any color! If you really want to adapt high street fashion, go for linen 'two-piece' suits and wear with shorts and loafers. "A lot of new print techniques can be seen this summer. Sailor, African and screen prints can be seen on shirts and tshirts. Also, fitted lycra t-shirts with deep and big necks will be a big hit," says Lav Trivedi, stylist-cum-art director. "Accessorize it well. Try bow ties on

Modern footwear such as espadrilles figure to be a huge hit for men this summer. half-sleeves shirts and polo neck t-shirts. You can also try formal shoes with fitted shorts and shirts. I call it the very modern Hawaii look, it makes you look sharp yet summery," he added. Trivedi is in tune with the latest styles, thanks to his stint on "MTV Splitsvilla", and fashion shoots for magazines like The Man and Andpersand. He also did art direction for the movie "Yeh Saali Zindagi." Experts say sportswear like t-shirts, shorts and jumpers will be in vogue in men's fashion this season. "Most people in India wear sportswear

influenced clothing because of details and designs in male clothing. Sportswear is comfortable and easy to carry, therefore never out of fashion," Mumbai-based designer Narendra Kumar Ahmed said. The designer, who is associated with brands like Puma and Killer, said tailored shorts - knee length with little fit and pleats - would also be prominent. COLORS Comfortable cotton shirts paired with waistcoats in vibrant colors like electric blue, neon green, pink and earthy yellow will add freshness, says designer Raghavendra Rathore. "Cotton waistcoats in vibrant colors is the predominant trend. An array of pastel yet colorful tones in shirting is what adds to the freshness. The new semi-formal sleek appeal is the one to look forward to," Rathore said. Kumar said that there will be lot more pastel colors as well. "You will see many colors in the bottom as well, like colored jeans, shorts and trousers," he added. FOOTWEAR

To make the summer more stylish and colorful, opt for espadrilles. Originated in the Basque, Spain, espadrilles are made of canvas cotton and linen fabric with a flexible jute rope sole. "Male gladiators (sandals), leather sleepers and espadrille shoes will be best to go with this combo," added Trivedi. HEADGEAR Despite the heat, men are still reluctant to wear hats or caps. But men can add to their style quotient by adding some head gear in their wardrobes, say fashion experts. "People think that it's not fashionable or a must have accessory in a hot country like India. There are very few who wear hats, but only for night outs because they associate it to the style element, not to the functional element. They should wear caps and hats," said Narendra. EYEWEAR Go retro this season, suggest fashionistas. "Retro shades are big this season, you'll see lots of retro frames, big glasses, from the era of the 1950s and 1960s," said Narendra.

Women can be more promiscuous than men

new study has suggested that when it comes to being sexually unfaithful while being away from home, women tend to rack up more lovers than men. The UK Adultery Survey 2012 found that once women decide to play away, they are far more likely to play the field in search of love. Research into the behavior of 4,000 people suggested that women are more promiscuous, having an average of 2.3 secret lovers compared to a mere 1.8 for men, the Daily Mail reported. While explaining their reasons to cheat, the men say the pursuit of sexual excitement, boredom with their marriages and the need of an ego boost are the main causes. Women say their reasons could be anything from looking for emotional fulfillment, an improvement to their self esteem to romance. Women adulterers are also far more prone to falling in love with their illicit lovers than their male equivalents. According to Emily Pope of Undercover Lovers, a dating site for married people seeking affairs with some 600,000 members, the survey's results challenged the general assumption that men are more

Contrary to popular belief, studies indicate women are more likely than men to sway in a relationship. adulterous than women. "Once they have made the huge decision to have an affair, women have far more opportunity to actually find someone to cheat with and are generally in control of deciding if and when to consummate the relationship once they do," she said. The survey also found that women are likely to be the first to get itchy feet in a marriage.

Schoolbags turning into curse for kids

utsized school bags are turning into a curse for kids, 80 percent of whom carry loads up to a fifth of their body weight, really taxing their backs, says a new research from the charity BackCare. Studies show that carrying any more than a tenth of your body weight can cause spinal damage. Experts warn we are facing an epidemic of back problems in young adults when the long-term effects of this early damage starts to appear. "We are seeing increasing numbers of young adults coming for treatment in relation to back trouble and this can often be traced back to carrying heavy bags to school," warns Peter Skew, an Essex-based expert in musculoskeletal medicine, the Daily Mail reports. Skew, vice-president of

BackCare, adds: "Children's skeletons are still developing, and having a heavy bag slung over one shoulder can exert unnatural force on the spine, muscles and attachments. "Rather like exercising only one side of your body in the gym, you quickly get unilateral muscle-loading, which can cause the small muscles in the back to tighten and compress the spine," adds Skew. A 2007 British study showed that 13 to 50 percent of 11-17 year olds have experienced back pain. And it's been shown that if you experience back pain as a child, you are four times more likely to have to endure back pain as an adult. "Picking up and swinging a heavy backpack onto your shoulder multiple times a day is potentially more damaging to a growing body than having to walk a long distance with

It is advised that schoolbags be kept as light as possible to avoid the risk of back problems in children. a static load," says Skew. It's not just getting to and from school that's the problem, because most schools no longer provide lockers or desks to store books (children sit at tables), so children have no choice but to carry everything around with them all day.

Somewhat impersonal nature of texting gives people a bit more comfort in expressing truths. urprisingly, text messaging sure in a largely asynchronous mode seems to evoke more truthful like text that there is in phone interresponses to sensitive ques- views," says Conrad. "As a result, tions, according to a new study. "The respondents are able to take longer to preliminary results of our study sug- arrive at more accurate answers." gest that people are more likely to Conrad conducted the study with disclose sensitive information via Michael Schober, professor of psytext messages than in voice inter- chology at Michigan and cognitive views," says Fred Conrad, cognitive psychologists, psycholinguists, surpsychologist at the University of vey methodologists and computer Michigan Institute for Social scientists, as well as collaborators Research (ISR). from AT&T Research. "This is sort of surprising," says "We're in the early stages of anaConrad, "since many people thought lyzing our findings," says Schober. that texting would decrease the likeli- "But so far it seems that texting may hood of disclosing sensitive informa- reduce some respondents' tendency tion because it creates a persistent, to shade the truth or to present themvisual record of questions and selves in the best possible light in an answers that others might see on interview - even when they know it's your phone and in the cloud." a human interviewer they are comWith text, researchers also found municating with via text. that people were less likely to engage Researchers recruited approximately in 'satisficing' - a survey industry 600 iPhone-users on Craigslist, term referring to the common prac- through Google Ads, and from tice of giving good enough, easy Amazon's Mechanical Turk, offering answers, like rounding to multiples them iTunes Store incentives to parof 10 in numerical responses, for ticipate in the study. example, according to a Michigan These findings will be presented statement. "We believe people give this week at the annual meeting of more precise answers via texting the American Association for Public because there's just not the time pres- Opinion Research.

Health TheSouthAsianTimes.info

27

May 26-June 1, 2012

Secrets revealed for a beautiful you


By Janya Bhave n this modern world, many actresses and rich women go for cosmetic surgeries and lipo-suction procedures to make them more beautiful. However, all this could be for nothing if they do not have inner peace and self confidence. God makes everyone beautiful in their own ways but many do not take care of their God-given beauty. Further, while the outward beauty may go down with age, the inner beauty stays with you forever. Good health and good looks depend on good nutrition because it affects your skin. Therefore, one should exercise regularly, drink a lot of water and have a well-balanced diet that includes green vegetables and lots of fruits such as apples, oranges, strawberries, peaches and cantaloupes. Your skin looks better because of the C vitamin in your diet. On the other hand, highly processed foods are bad for the skin and can cause rashes, pimples, acne and coarse skin. Your skin could be determined by genetic factors. The main skin types are normal, dry, oily and acneprone. We see a number of commercial advertisements for skin products on television and some channels constantly broadcast these commercials. However, many believe that a majority of these products are expensive, do not work as they claim in the commercials and turn out to be a waste of money. Similarly, many dermatologists believe that frequent salon facials could also damage skin. Therefore, one should be careful before trying any new treatment for their skin. One recommended procedure is to exfoliate the skin. When you exfoliate your skin properly, it can remove the dead skin cells that clog pores, trigger breakouts and leave skin looking dull. Masks are excellent exfoliants and can be used once or twice a week (in place of cleansing grains) to give away dry skin flakes, give the skin a rosy com-

plexion and temporarily tighten pores. Mask can quickly perk up tired skin and give it a glow. Dermatologists generally recommend the following masks for different types of skin: Skin Type Dry Acne-prone Sensitive Oily/Normal Combination Mask Type

fatty acids which moisturize and soften skin. Honey is a natural moisturizer that creates a watertight film on the face allowing the skin to rehydrate itself. 3. Mix one half mashed avoca-

Moisturizing mask that contains water and urea Mask that contains salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide (to prevent or dry-up blemishes) Gentle mask that contains Aloe Vera gel or chamomile to soothe skin Mask that contains clay or salicylic acid do, one spoon yogurt, one spoon natural clay (you can get this in Indian grocery stores) or one spoon corn flour. Apply the mixture to face and keep it for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash face with lukewarm water. The clay or corn flour will give away dry skin flakes. Yogurt is a cleanser and soothing. Avocado moisturizes and softens the skin. 4. Use egg-beater to mix one egg, two spoons besan (chana) flour, one spoon butter, and half spoon turmeric powder. Apply the mixture to face and keep it for 1520 minutes. Then, wash face with lukewarm water. Many of the masks described above include moisturizers. Moisturizers act as barrier between the skin and the environment buffering the skin against wind, overheated rooms and pollutants

According to many dermatologists, some of the more popular masks are described below: 1. Mix one spoon tomato juice, one spoon buttermilk and one spoon oatmeal. Apply the mixture to face and keep it for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash face with lukewarm water. Tomato juice is a general astringent that normalizes the skins acid mantle. It is high in vitamins A and C which are essential for healthy skin. Buttermilk is a natural cleanser and oil stabilizer. Oatmeal soothes the skin and exfoliates. 2. Mix one spoon honey, one small mashed banana, two spoons yogurt, and one spoon besan (chana) flour. Apply the mixture to face and keep it for 15-20 minutes. Then, wash face with lukewarm water. Bananas are high in essential

like smog. In addition to masks, one should also have facial once a month after the age of 22 so that skin remains healthy. For facials, you can use cold cream or other mild creams available in pharmacies or grocery stores. A massage with almond oil is also recommended because it serves as a cushion before skin exfoliates. During facials, many find that light music helps them relax and have better blood circulation. Dermatologists also recommend that you should lather soap in your hands, mix in to one teaspoon salt (use less for dry or sensitive skin) and gently massage over face. This lessens your chances of overexfoliating your skin. Many Indian women are vegetarians and their diet may not provide enough protein, magnesium, and folic acid. Therefore, many experts recommend that vegetarians should take vitamins B6, A, E, iron and folic acid. Tea and coffee drinkers should also take vitamins because caffeine interferes with the bodys absorption of vitamin C. Your body does not store vitamin C, and therefore, you need C-rich food in your diet every day. Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption. Oranges, lemons, strawberries, and tomatoes have vitamin C. Soaps are a mix of alkali (mineral salt), animal and vegetable fats and water. It is great for removing dirt, bacteria, oil, perspiration and makeup. However, sometimes soap can be harsh for dry skin. To wash your face, never use too hot or too cold water because temperature extremes can worsen dilated capillaries. Always use lukewarm or tepid water. Splash skin with clean, running water for 10-20 minutes to have clean and clear skin. Although we all love sunshine, sun can damage your skin. The suns ultraviolet rays are very strong and dangerous for skin (for example, they can cause skin cancer). Any outdoor activities such as

playing tennis, jogging, swimming or working in back yard should be done either during early morning or late afternoon. If you are going to be in sunshine for a long time, make sure to apply sunscreen with adequate sun protection factor or SPF. See the package of sunscreen products to determine what you need depending on how long you plan to be in sunshine. Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to exposure to sunshine because the sunscreen must be absorbed into and react with the skin in order to protect it. Make sure to cover all important areas such as the nose, ears, back of the neck and hands. Creamy sunscreens tend to stay on the skin better than those in the gel form. As one gets older, your skin thins and is more susceptible to sun-related damage. So, choose higher SPF product for better protection. Also, people with sensitive skin may need higher SPF product. On the other hand, some people are sensitive to certain ingredients in some sunscreens and may develop rash, redness, itching, or tingling after applying sunscreen. They should try hypoallergenic products. Sunscreens are also good for aging skin, wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. They contain skin rejuvenators such as alpha hydroxyl acids to gently take away dead cells on the skins surface. They penetrate deep into the skin to moisturize it. Usually, sunscreens are good for two years and should be stored in a cool, dry place. If the product changes consistency or has odor, discard the sunscreen. Finally, smoking is bad for your skin. Any nicotine product constricts blood vessels in the skin and reduces vital oxygen flow to the skins surface which results in a dull complexion. Note: The article above is for general information only. Readers should consult their own dermatologist before attempting any treatment for their skin.

Attention key to recovery in stroke, feel researchers


Sydney: Attention may have an important bearing on the successful recovery after a stroke, researchers believe. People with a curious condition that causes them to apply make-up on only one side of their face, or ignore food on half of their plate, are playing a new role in understanding stroke recovery. Researchers from the University of Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have found the condition, a subset of the stroke called 'unilateral spatial neglect' (USN), tends to have the worst recovery outcomes in regaining lost functioning in their bodies, leading them to believe attention may have an important impact on recovering successfully. USN is typically caused by strokes on the right hand side of the brain and manifests in patients ignoring the left side of their body. People with the condition may ignore food on the left side of their plate or, if asked to draw a clock, squash all 12 numbers into the right side of the clock face, leaving the other side blank. They may also fail to shave, or to put make-up on the left side of their faces. In severe cases, they behave as though the left side of their world does not exist, the Journal of Neuroscience reports. "We know that brain plasticity plays a critical role in recovering from stroke," says Jason Mattingley, professor of cognitive neuroscience at Queensland. Brain plasticity may be defined as the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and network over a lifetime, according to a Queensland statement. "What we're trying to do is explore what effect attention has on brain plasticity, and how attention might be used in neuro-rehabilitation" says Mattingley. Mattingley adds: "While practical applications remain several steps away, this knowledge may ultimately help us develop more effective strategies for physical therapy after stroke."

Knowing about the condition will help in recovery therapy

28

Humor TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Humor with Melvin Durai

Look whos the top dog at your workplace


ack in 1993, Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women founded Take Our Daughters to Work Day, realizing that the self-esteem of a girl could be enhanced greatly if she spent a day at a workplace and saw Mom or Dad being ordered around for a change. A decade later, this special day evolved into Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, as people realized that it was unfair to leave boys out, especially since surveys showed that almost all boys, regardless of age, were eager to take advantage of this rare opportunity to skip school for a day. But even before boys were included, people realized that Take Our Daughters to Work Day was unfair to another significant group, one that hardly ever got a chance to visit workplaces. And so, sometime in 1996, people in the western world began to observe Take Your Dog to Work Day. It started in the U.K., then moved to the U.S., where it became an instant hit. People loved the idea of driving Rover and Buddy to work, especially since it was the first time many Americans had ever been able to use those special car pool lanes. Take Your Dog to Work Day eventually spread to Canada, New Zealand and even Australia, where it became almost as popular

as Take Your Kangaroo to Work Day. Various versions of Take Your Daughter/Dog to Work Day have since cropped up around the world: Afghanistan: Take Your Goat to Work Day. Japan: Take Your Bonsai to Work Day. Saudi Arabia: Take Your Wives to Work Day. Zambia: Take Your Pillow to Work Day. Jamaica: Take Yourself to Work Day. But none of these special days has been quite as popular as Take Your Dog to Work Day, which was observed this year on June 25. It was created for three main reasons: (1) to celebrate the companionship of dogs; (2) to encourage people to adopt dogs from humane societies, rescue groups and shel-

ters; and (3) to show employees how easy it is to take naps under their desks. Taking a dog to a workplace can be risky, of course. What happens, for example, if you bring your dog to your workplace and he decides that he doesnt want to just sit around, preferring to be active? Next thing you know, your boss comes over to tell you that you are getting fired and your dog is getting hired. I like him, your boss says. He seems to be a self-starter. Already has his paws in everything. If you think thats far-fetched, then you probably havent heard of the goat herder in Tamil Nadu, India, who made the mistake of taking his dog to work. Now dog has job, I stuck at home, the man said. Its good for dog, but I get bored. Not many cats around to chase. Taking a dog to work was also the undoing

of a London man. I miss my job, he said. I enjoyed providing customer service for BP. If you call British Petroleums customer service department with a complaint of any sort, dont be surprised if you hear a growl on the other end. Or a recording that says: Sorry, all our dogs are currently busy, trying to fix an oil spill. Please stay on the line. Your call is being transferred to a hyena. Most dogs are unemployed, of course, but we shouldnt forget that tens of thousands of them do have important jobs, such as leading the blind, sniffing out drugs and bombs, following the trail of criminals, and fetching beer from refrigerators. Yes, if given the chance, dogs can be very productive. Just ask the man in London. He recently spent an entire day with his dog at work, thanks to Take Your Human to Work Day.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

by Mahendra Shah
Mahendra Shah is an architect by education, entrepreneur by profession, artist and humorist, cartoonist and writer by hobby. He has been recording the plight of the immigrant Indians for the past many years in his cartoons. Hailing from Gujarat, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tech Life

London: A social network for the dying -called " My Last Wish" -- has been created to help dying people meet others who have similar hopes and ambitions which they wish to achieve before they die. The free app, created by a software company called White Lotus Corporation, is available in Apple's App Store, the Telegraph reported. "A social networking application to make friendship with those unknown people from corners of the world with different ethnicity, culture, traditions, value systems, life style and much more - but having only one thing in common and that is the 'Last Wish'," the website says about itself. "By this application, we have tried to unite the community on the 'Wish Wall' to share their last wish with the world and find out those people with similar wishes before they

Social network launched for people on death bed

die, get connected to them and be friends forever." Users of the app - "fellow wishers" - are asked to post their final wish on to the "Wish Wall" and can choose to attach their email address or phone number so other users who want to do the same thing, can get in touch. "Fellow wishers" can tap on a user's name and their contacts will be instantly added to their phonebook. Kirtan Thaker, co-founder of the White Lotus Corporation, said: "I believed in the possibility that there can be two persons in this world with same hopes, dreams and wishes. I was confident that if we create an app where this possibility can be turned into reality, people will love this concept and they will get a chance to make friends who are unknown but having just one thing in common which is the last wish."

Astrology
TheSouthAsianTimes.info

29

May 26-June 1, 2012


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

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma


Stars Foretell: May 26-June 1, 2012
Aries: Interference in others work will not help in any way, it will only bring you criticism. You need to check your financial position and control your excessive spending. Although you have a good chance to bring your creative ideas to use, your colleagues and coworkers are not likely to extend much support. You could have a hard time convincing people who will be slow to catch on your plans. Contribute generously to social organizations. Taurus: This week spend time with family members and friends. It promises to be a special week, when loved ones bring you gifts and presents. You will find yourself bubbling with loads of energy and your intuition will be helpful in making crucial decisions. You will definitely pick up valuable suggestion if you listen properly. Love and romance will dominate your week as you go out of the way to please your beloved. Gemini: This week you will feel somewhat let down by people you trust. Dont allow people to take undue advantage of you. Be patient, not stubborn and control your emotions. Take time to think before you speak. Meditation and yoga will bring you spiritual as well physical benefits. A small pleasure jaunt towards the weekend will be good for lifting your spirits. Financial gains will be slow but certain. Cancer: This week your profile will be positive and you will work on projects, which would have tremendous effect on your life. Your artistic abilities and hard work will bring you recognition and fame, but make sure that you don't compromise on your principles in the process of glamour and finances that seem to come your way. Attending social functions will ensure you meet someone who will help you come closer to your goals. Leo: This week you will benefit from your leadership strength. You would take charge of important work and gain additional respect from people in your group. Your ability to negotiate important deals, make plans, and carry them to perfection will help you stay ahead of others. Elders and family members provide you with necessary love and care. You will also find sufficient time with the one you love, so dont shy away from expressing your true feelings. Virgo: This week be extra cautious how you deal with your colleagues and employers. Although you will be in a special position to express your ideas, too much interference in the affairs of others will only bring unnecessary tensions. Relatives and friends will make demand, which you will find difficult to keep. Real estate investment will pay off well in the long run. Spiritual gains likely for some. Libra: If you have a new idea, which you feel could bring you major recognition and monetary gains, then you should put your sincere efforts to convert it into concrete form. You will win support from family members and friends on your new project. If you are planning to travel abroad during this week, then this trip will be a major success. You will find members of the opposite sex very appealing, but try not to annoy someone you really care. Scorpio: New projects will be alluring and hard hour will ensure outstanding gains in the long run. You'll attract more respect and honor from people young as well as old. Financial gains are also certain, but if you have been ignoring your health lately, then you will feel tired, weak and might require some medication. Extra rest, proper diet and little exercise will be important to regain your strength and spirits. Although a favorable period but dont be afraid to speak in your defense if you feel others are trying to suppress you or ignore your opinion. Sagittarius: This week some memories or unresolved issues come to the surface, bringing you lot of tension and stress. If you thought you had these problems resolved for good, then you will be surprised that they appear once again. Frustration will engulf you. Unless you deal with these problems with proper advice and some help, you will find it extremely difficult to resolve this issue and concentrate on other work. Message from overseas will bring happiness. Capricorn: There will be many social activities this week, including few family gathering where you will get to spend some special moments with people you havent seen for a long time. You will be the center of attention, and you should not waste these opportunities to revive lost contacts. At office your efforts will bring desired results. You will accomplish jobs at a speed that usually seems impossible. New job opportunities for some seem later in the week. Aquarius: This week you should set new goals for yourself. You will have a vision and determination, which will bring you, gains much beyond your expectations. Elders will join you in your efforts and provide support whenever needed. Sudden romantic encounter with someone you have secretly admired will make your head spin. A wonderful week to spend with children, friends and relatives. Look for something to do together towards the weekend. Pisces: This week it doesnt matter if you are the guest or the host because you will be at the center of attention. Your observation and creativity will help you meet new and fascinating people, bringing you new opportunities. Unusual circumstances will involve legal matters and prove financially expensive. You might also need to seek favours from an influential person to sort the issue. Later in the week, a spiritual person gives blessings and good wishes.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week


May 26: Months of May, September, December and April will be revolutionary. A growing confluence between you and religious activities will increase the confidence of living life to the fullest and also take the minor concern related to family health matter wisely. You and your wife are blessed with God like wherever you two go, left your imprints for others to follow, the way you gel. Your perception of deserving high profile status with increased bank balance will eventually come into being. You will glad to share the platform with your better half while jaunting and tripping. This year you will come up with good and real ideas. With creative and intelligent thinking you will be able to surpass everyones expectation. New and daring activities will be on your cards. You should carefully look for your hot-headed, prodigal and envious traits. Number 8 and planet Saturn will make you dominating, pragmatic, organized, amiable and decent personality. May 27: Number 9 and planet Mars decree you. Some of your defining attributes are industrious, smashing, audacious, passionate and highly witted. You always keen to accommodate high profile with brains in your social circle. Clean and scavenge surrounding will be liked by you but should check your despotic, offensive and glowering nature. Do not negotiate while dealing, this act will take you at par. Just wait as the time of increment on package will be forthcoming and then look for the quality of things for home rather than quantity. Look for different kinds of model for constructing a new house or may be redevelopment of the same. You may need it any time. Relatives will start sending you marriage proposals. Concrete view point is necessary to succeed in lawful matter which is rare so avoid indulging in any kind of administrative affair. Children need your attention which will surely increase your intimacy with them. Months of July, August, November and September will be important. May 28: Number 1 and planet Sun will regularize you with some added features like innovativeness, diligency, kind and decency. The series of flourishing and blooming decisions will shine you in the society provided you curtail your careless, raring and hot-headed nature. You will do complete justice to your character responsibilities assigned. Elite people will come into your friend list and would help you by any means they can. You have the attitude of bandaging the attention of the masses towards you. Your tendency of charging and electrifying the ambience is what they most like about you. You should wrap up your expenses to save for the future. Time is golden for your pocket to invest and to save. Out-an-out action or comedy flicks are releasing every Friday, go further and give your spouse a delightful time. Many domains like construction, overhauling or spiritual session will entice you. Months like August, November, February and April will be yielding. May 29: Months of September, November, January and April will be very handy for you. You need to choose different courses for different occasions in life to move with the competitive pace. Onset of tying the nuptial knot will be soon. You have to revive the form rampant in the past time to take the full advantage of the administrative links that had developed over the time. The arrival of the year will bring the phase which work well in any lawful activity. Physical well being needs your attention this time. Being innovative and loyal is not enough to win the laurels you should not be gloomy and freewheeling. Until and unless you are happy personally you will not dig out the problems of other associated with you. So keep yourself happy then look out for solution for others. Bonding has special significance in your life. Number 2 and the Moon will make you energetic, creative, nave, loyal and dashing in nature. May 30: Months of July, October, December, February and April will be productive for you. You need to visit the sets of some spiritual lecture to gain some noesis of inner self. Anyone related to any art of work like advertising or media will soon be able to create master pieces which are flawless. The partner will unveil their aroha and philia gradually. Different versions of same assignments will make your work monotonous and boring. You should look in all the direction while investing money out in the market, then only profit will come to you. You have to adopt different looks while visiting different strange and unusual places for business alliance. The historical investment will accrue fruitful results. The open and exempted ambience will make your mind work swiftly in your work but you should curb the burgeoning of feeling of excessive pride, inflation, prodigal and dominative at times. Number 3 and planet Jupiter will help you to stick to your basic qualities like passionate, self-respected, level-headed and organized. May 31: Number 4 and planet Uranus will make you responsible, gumptious, taxonomic, trustworthy, diligent and authoritative. You have to do lot of research which you will surely accomplish to extend the terms of holding the top most position. Check your envious and obstinate trait also. You need to read the script well in advance before delving onto any business deals. Things will be in your favor wherever you go with positive and careful instinct. Quixotic bond will be on the floors for you as a result of some get together intimacy. You have to portray different deals at different point of time to make your marital relation worth living. Stillness at the health of some elders may become the matter of concern at abode. Siblings will extend their support unconditionally to cover up due tasks. Follow your diet chart strictly with some physical moves on daily basis. Months of June, August, October, March and April will be best. June 01: Ruled by number 1 and the Sun, you are highly imaginative, practical, emotional, honest, simple and generous person. You have a very sharp mind, an exceptionally good grasping power and you believe that its never too late to learn, but you need to check your tendency to behave lazy, timid and carefree at times. Certain events not in your control would be responsible for changes in your profession/career. It would not be an easy period as many things would not be in your favour, but support and help from friends and family members would induce new energy into you and make things much comfortable than they actually might be. Gains from property transaction, investments and gifts cannot be ruled out. If you are unattached then changes to meet the love of your life would be strong. Spiritual gains later in the year brings solace and comfort. The months of August, September, November and February will remain significant.

Before you consult...


i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, dont feel shy. Its his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.

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Spiritual Awareness TheSouthAsianTimes.info

May 26-June 1, 2012

Concluding part of three part series of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharajs keynote address at the 26th International Human Unity Conference held in Mexico City, Mexico, in November 2008.

Meditation to know what lies Beyond


lead their lives giving love and doing good as their main focus. They also lost their fear of death. They gained newfound fearlessness because they realized their soul was immortal. They realized there is no death but just a change of vesture. Thus, they could live the rest of their lives without fearing death because they had already experienced what lies beyond this life. Those who have a near-death experience are just visiting the borders between this physical realm and higher spiritual regions. Through meditation we can transcend to higher, more blissful realms. Saints have given detailed accounts of the various regions of existence to which a soul goes after death. There are three lower regions: a physical, an astral, and a causal region made of mixtures a point known as the third or single eye, located between and behind the two eyebrows. As it concentrates there, and we continue to gaze, we will begin to see inner vistas. We may see flashes of Light, Lights of any color, an inner sky, moon, or sun. We may see our inner guide who will take us on an inner journey. At the time of initiation, the Masters impart some of their spiritual attention to us to give us a spiritual boost within so we can see and hear the inner Light and Sound of God. To keep our mind still, they give us five Charged Words to repeat. These have several benefits. They keep our mind occupied so that no thoughts can distract us. We have seen that even yogis who meditate for many years and do physical poses and breathing exercises, still have to grapple with We are embraced by the love of God that puts us into states of eternal bliss and happiness. We become fearless as we realize that our body is not our true self, but that our soul is our real essence and exists beyond this physical world. This experience fills us with tremendous joy and peace. We are thrilled to know that we can be fully conscious in another realm of existence. We experience a state of all love, all joy, and all consciousness. This inner journey takes us through different levels of inner realms; each higher one has more and more consciousness and less matter. There is an astral realm filled with more Light than this realm and beautiful Music. There we travel in a lighter body known as an astral body. There are beautiful sights and colors in this region unseen on earth. Even more ethereal is the causal region, which is more subtle, more blissful, and more loving. It contains equal parts matter and consciousness. From there, there is the supracausal plane, which is predominantly consciousness with a small amount of illusion. Finally, there is the region of all spirit, with no trace of matter. It is here that our soul merges into God, and becomes one with God. Here we realize that our soul is the same essence of God and is a part of God. This state is one in which we gain immortality, permanent peace, and divine love that knows no end. We can attain each of these states through meditation on the inner Light and Sound, or Shabd Meditation, as taught by Masters of Sant Mat. To reach these heavenly realms, we need to meditate daily. By sitting still and keeping our mind still through mental repetition of the Charged Words given by a saint or Master, we can begin to witness the inner Light and Sound and learn to rise into spiritual consciousness of the Beyond. The benefits of doing so are that we will lose our fear of death. We will be able to journey at any time of day or night, from the comfort of our own homes, into the spiritual realms that await us Beyond. We will not fear death because we will have seen in life what is awaiting us Beyond. People who have had spiritual experiences of the Beyond do not fear death any longer because they know that there is a house waiting for them within. Another benefit is that we will not fear the death of our loved ones. It is true that we will grieve for them and miss them terribly, but we will be comforted in knowing for certain that they are safe, happy, free of pain, and in ecstasy in the realms Beyond. We will know that they have taken up residence in a far more beautiful and blissful place than where we live on earth. We will know that they are free of suffering and are in a peaceful place. While we still miss them, we are not fearful of what has happened to them. Finally, another benefit of meditation and finding God within is that we see that we are all one. We see the same Light of God that is in us is in everyone else. Then, we love all and serve all. We are able to forgive others because we realize their mistakes were caused by ignorance of our oneness. When we forgive others, we can contribute to a nonviolent world. In this connection, I would like to relate an anecdote about forgiveness. Once there was a warrior who went to a wise monk and asked him, "What is the difference between heaven and hell?" The monk looked at this warrior who was very large and muscular and had a savage look about him. The monk then replied, "You ignorant brute. You are nothing but a savage. Why would I waste time with you teaching you about heaven and hell?" When the monk said that, the warriors blood began to boil and he was filled with anger and hatred. Suddenly, he could not control his temper and he started beating up the monk. After a few moments, the warrior realized what a heinous act he was committing and stopped. The monk smiled, and said, "That fit of anger is hell." The warrior was so ashamed for his violent act and begged the monk to forgive him. The monk again smiled and said, "Your asking for forgiveness is heaven." This story describes in a nutshell the answer to the question about dealing with all the violence, injustice, and evil in the world. We can choose to respond in kind, which creates more of a hell, or we can respond with forgiveness, which creates heaven in our own lives on earth. Meditation can uplift our soul to realms in which we can find the answers to all our spiritual questions. We can journey to the regions that await us when we leave our physical body at the time of death. The burning question of where we go after we die will be answered, because we will have already journeyed there through meditation. Death no longer fills us with fear for we see for ourselves that it holds more bliss, joy, and love than we can ever imagine. Ultimately, we reach the stage of merger with God and become allconscious. It is at that stage that our spiritual thirst is quenched. If we can spend some time daily in meditation we will gain the fearlessness to overcome all lifes challenges and lose our fear of death. We will contribute to a world of nonviolence and attain lasting happiness, bliss and joy. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions and mystic traditions, emphasizing ethical living and meditation as building blocks for achieving inner and outer peace. www.sos.org.

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj


he saints tell us that what dies is the physical body, which is made of matter. Being made of matter, the physical body deteriorates, decays and is finally destroyed. But our true self, which is our spirit or soul, is eternal. It lives on and on. By connecting with our soul, we will have access to the answers of what awaits us beyond deaths door and how we can take a peep into the beyond while still alive. Is there any evidence to prove the souls immortality? We have two pieces of evidence to examine. One is the statements and accounts given by saints, prophets and mystics who claimed to pass through the gates of the Beyond in their mystic travels. The second is current statements made by doctors and scientists who, through modern medicine, have brought back to life people who had been declared clinically dead. Millions of people in the past three decades have had near-death experiences and their reports are all similar. A doctor discovered that those patients who had clinically died but were brought back to life through the wonders of modern medicine all had a similar experience. Many reported having separated from their body. They were able to watch from above their own body as the medical practitioners tried to revive them. Many were able to see relatives in other rooms or other cities and hear what they were saying while their body was on the operating table. Later, the accounts of what they saw and heard were borne out by the relatives. Many of them found themselves going through a tunnel and emerging in a world of Light. There they met a Being of Light who was radiant but whose light was not scorching. They were embraced by the Being of Light who poured out more love than any of them had experienced on earth. They also underwent a life review in which they experienced all the good they had done to others and all the pain they had caused others. This was a life-changing experience, for those undergoing the NDE realized that what matters most in this world is the love we give others. They came back transformed and vowed to

We can experience the souls immortal nature when we go within. We need not experience the trauma of a near-death experience, nor would we want to, in order to find out what lies Beyond. Rather, we can learn how the saints and mystics from all different religions had their inner experiences. We can learn the techniques they used and begin to practice them ourselves. This technique is meditation.
of matter and consciousness and which are subject to dissolution; and the higher spiritual regions which are eternal: the supracausal plane and a spiritual plane known as Sach Khand or True Realm from where God emanates. If we can rise above the three lower worlds, the soul enters the purely spiritual regions where it merges back in the Lord and lives eternally in bliss and love. We can experience the souls immortal nature when we go within. We need not experience the trauma of a near-death experience, nor would we want to, in order to find out what lies Beyond. Rather, we can learn how the saints and mystics from all different religions had their inner experiences. We can learn the techniques they used and begin to practice them ourselves. This technique is meditation. In this form of meditation, we sit in a comfortable position, one in which we can sit the longest without moving. We close our eyes, very gently as if we were going to sleep. With our attention, we focus into the middle of whatever lies in front of us. At first we may see darkness, or gray, or Lights of various colors. As we gaze into the middle of whatever we see, our soul will begin to concentrate at distractions from their mind. Stillness of mind is needed to be able to see the inner Light and hear the beautiful inner Music. These are always shining and reverberating within us, but we do not see or hear them because our mind is occupied with external thoughts. The moment we can stop these thoughts and enter the stillness within, we can see and hear the inner Light and Sound. These words are also charged to help our attention withdraw from awareness of the body to become aware of the inner Light within us. As we become more absorbed into the inner Light and Sound, we can transcend physical body-consciousness and cross into spiritual realms beyond. As we gaze into the inner Light we may find Lights of various colors, inner vistas, and ultimately we transcend physical consciousness and become conscious of the inner spiritual realms. Our soul soars into these inner states of consciousness, and experiences those places to which we will go when we leave this world for our final time. We find that we exist without our body as soul. Each inner region is alive with beautiful colors, celestial Music more enticing than any in this world, and divine love. All our suffering ends.

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