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NEW YORK EDITION
Vol.5 No. 21 September 8-14, 2012 60 Cents
Protest and counter protest in city on Assam violence Tristate Community, Page 5 Kamala Harris gets primetime spot at Charlotte DNC National Community, Page 8

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That fateful day—what I remember 11 years after 9/11, Page 25

US daily terms PM 'tragic figure', Indian government fumes
When asked by SATimes, some community leaders defended Manmohan Singh’s record as PM, others said scams have tarnished his reputation.
New York/New Delhi: Months after the Time magazine termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "an underachiever", The Washington Post described him as "a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government". The influential US daily denied claim by the prime minister's office that it had apologized for the article published Wednesday and written by Simon Denyer, its India bureau chief. In the article, "India's 'silent' prime minister becomes a tragic figure", the Post said Manmohan Singh helped set India on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, but cited critics saying the soft-spoken 79-year-old is in "danger of going down in history as a failure". "The architect of India's economic reforms, Singh was a major force behind his country's rapprochement weeks, the Indian parliament has been adjourned every day as the opposition demands Singh's resignation over allegations of waste and corruption in the allocation of coal mining concessions. "The story of Singh's dramatic fall from grace in his second term in office and the slow but steady tarnishing of his reputation has played out in parallel with his country's decline on his watch." I&B Minister Ambika Soni termed the report by the Post as a piece of "yellow journalism" and "baseless" and said the government will seek an apology from the daily. The PMO, which found the article one-sided, claims the Post bureau chief had said "sorry twice" for not carrying the PMO's version in its article. (Indian community leaders react to the scathing article by WaPo and the scams rocking the Manmohan Singh govt -- page 3).

Seeking re-election, Obama presents plan to take America forward
By Parveen Chopra New York: After the 42nd President Bill Clinton defended Wednesday the 44th President’s record over the last 4 years, rebutting Republican criticism point by point, Barack Obama in his primetime speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, on Thursday presented his blueprint for the next four years. Asking American voters to reelect him, President Obama promised to steer the country towards a better path forward (than the one suggested by Republicans)-- a path that will create good jobs and strengthen the middle class and grow the economy. The way forward, he confessed, will not be quick or easy. “It will require common effort, shared

The beleaguered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the US and is a respected figure on the world stage. But the image of the scrupulously honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat has slowly given way to a completely different one: a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government," The Post said. The daily said that for the past two

President Barack Obama at the DNC 2012. responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. And by the way – those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should Continued on page 4

Thousands attend programs by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji in New York
Amityville, NY: Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj brought his message of transformation through meditation to the metro New York area on Labor Day Weekend. His talks and meditations drew thousands from even beyond the East Coast and other countries. He delivered two talks at the Science of Spirituality Center in Amityville, and one in Washington Heights. Frequent meditations gave everyone a chance to practice the technique the spiritual Master teaches: meditation on the Inner Light and Sound. Honored throughout the world for his work toward peace through human unity and spirituality, the spiritual Master continued to receive tributes for this selfless work from dignitaries in New York. NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat personally presented Maharaj Ji a proclamation from the State Legislature praising his “tireless work and creative genius”. Congressman Peter T. King sent a Citation that was read prior to the spiritual Master ’s Sunday talk. Tributes followed from NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller John Liu, and one each from Nassau and Suffolk County Executives Edward Mangano and Steven Bellone. Detailed reports and photos from Maharaj Ji’s New York programs on pages 15-18.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and Mata Rita Ji greeting devotees at a Long Island event.

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Who do you defend -- Dr Manmohan Singh or Washington Post bashing Indian PM?
In an article "India's 'silent' prime minister becomes a tragic figure", the Washington Post has described Manmohan Singh as "a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government". While acknowledging that he helped set India on the path to modernity, prosperity and power, the article said he is in "danger of going down in history as a failure". The Indian government has reacted strongly to the Post article. We solicited reactions to the controversy from the Indian ambassadors to the US and the UN, the Consul General in New York, and several community leaders. Those who responded till press time are featured below. We invite our readers to send in their brief responses on the issue to editor@thesouthasiantimes.info.
Tarring chief architect of India’s new economy
The Washington Post article denigrating the lifetime achievements of a great leader such as Dr. Manmohan Singh lacks objectivity, is biased and with skewed perspective. Dr. Singh was the chief architect of India's new economy. He has taken a centrally planned, inward looking, public sector centered economy and reversed its direction. This dramatic change paints his picture as a sort of revolutionary. If India has entered the 21st century, the current PM has a lot to do with it. Corruption is not limited to any political party. It is endemic and cuts across all spheres and every cadre. Congress party has shown great courage in dealing with corruption even at the highest places, be it 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games or the Adarsha Society scam, where the officials involved either were thrown out of office or are in jail or under investigation. The Right to Information Act (RTI) passed by the Congress-led government has become the catalyst in unearthing numerous cases for which Congress has gotten little credit. The BJP needs to look itself in the mirror, especially in Karnataka, and should realize that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others. As for the economy, India is still growing at a rate that is the envy of the western world today. BJP and regional parties are also to blame in shooting down the FDI initiative by Dr. Manmohan Singh that sent a negative signal to the global investment community. BJP and its allies were trying to protect the middleman at the expense of the consumer. Were mistakes made? Maybe. Once Dr. Singh said, ‘We must have the courage to accept our mistakes'. One rarely witnesses such a person in the political arena today, a person of bravery, integrity and character. --George Abraham President, Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA

Balanced critique of PM
Simon Denyer's front-page story in the Washington Post's Thursday on "India's 'silent' Prime Minister...," is a balanced critique of Dr. Singh and the woes that his second term in office has witnessed. In particular Denyer has even-handedly catalogued aspects of Dr. Singh's governance style that may have led to the slowdown in economic reforms and perhaps made him incapable of stemming high-visibility scams and grand corruption. However, when Dr. Singh ultimately demits office history may remember him more as the architect of economic reforms in the early 1990s and as the man who braved the stormy seas of coalition politics to make the landmark India-US civil nuclear energy agreement a reality. We must also not forget that for all its faults, his government watched over an unprecedented period of rapid economic growth since 2004, during which time structural transformations have occurred that may have permanently changed the course of India's development. While Denyer hints at a possible future position for Rahul Gandhi in the PMO, and indeed some may wonder if the BJP and its allies may return to power, there is no indication at this time that any battleready political team is standing by to step into Dr. Singh's large and well-worn shoes. --Narayan Lakshman Washington correspondent of The Hindu

Growing greatness

pains

before

India is a country beyond incredible - it is very old and very young, and is poised for a re-tryst with destiny given the unique combination of an awesome new President, Hon. Pranab Mukherjee, reminiscent of our own President George H.W. Bush's unique length and breadth of government service, and the intellectual yet humble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. India is poised for greatness the likes of which will leave many breathless, as it comes out of the maternity ward of internal conflict, similar to pressures from separation of powers, and better harness individual and national greatness. Every country has growing pains, or worse, dealing with the world's contractions thanks to financials wizards on Wall Street who continue to bet other people's money on fantastical greedy schemes that are more outlaw than legal. India's growth rate today, over 6 percent, would be lusted after by most nations around the globe. Take a look at Greece, the birthplace of direct democracy. Indians learned at a DNA-level to adjust and survive over the centuries and with different forms of governance, but have unleashed their individual potentials with freedoms granted by a constitutional form of government created by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, heavily informed by the American core exceptionalism: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Supreme Court jurisprudence till 1950. The ballot box is now deeply Indian, as is democratic freedoms. People the world over wish to do

Prime Minister was used as a puppet to do everything she asked him to. Now he has outlived his utility for the dynasty. To divert public attention from the billion dollar scams, some cunning leaders close to the Gandhi family have planted these stories in Western media to save their skin and further undermine the PM’s credibility, and prepare the ground for Rahul Gandhi to take over from him. --Narain Kataria President, Indian American Intellectuals Forum

business with, or in, India. The fundamentals are strong and bright. Brightest is that the Indian Court is alive, vibrant, and trusted, and the Indian media worthy of being a Roman gladiator. The state of the Republic of India is strong, and its future even brighter. On our recent trip to India, Ranju and I were honored to have an official one-on-one meeting with President Mukherjee in his Rectangular Office in Rashtrapati Bhavan for almost 45 minutes, and I discussed with him, given his unique presidency and India's constitutional powers vested in the president, India's re-tryst with destiny and achieving even more greatness for everyday Indian. Two major reforms that ought to occur is for public financing of political campaigns, like in NYC, or regulating political contributions like the US does with unlimited and uncoordinated issue-speech a la Citizens United case, and registration and regulations of lobbyists. More sunshine is better in any democracy, given its disinfectant consequences. India's best days are clearly ahead and clearly visible, as she remains strong, free and independent much like her people. --Ravi Batra Eminent attorney

He can still correct course
The scams and corruption cases cannot be overlooked, but Dr Manmohan Singh is a well respected leader in the world. His intentions to do the country right are genuine and well-intended. But the consequences may have led in a different direction unfortunately. It is still not too late to change the course of the country which he is capable of doing. We want our motherland to prosper and do well and we need to support Dr Singh in dire times at this juncture. --Dr Sampat Shivangi National President, Indian American Forum for Political Education

Scams broke on Singh’s watch
For liberalizing Indian economy with his structural reforms and turning the country into an economic giant, Dr. Manmohan Singh could have gone down in history as a national hero; alas, the rampant corruption on his watch totally tarnished his image. --Varinder K. Bhalla Community leader Compiled and edited by Parveen Chopra.

Conspiracy Manmohan

to

replace

I think this article is based on facts. Sonia Gandhi has fully used Dr Manmohan Singh’s meekness, ‘honesty’, economic expertise and loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty for her own advantage. This

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September 8-14, 2012

President Mukherjee to address ‘Global Indian Business Meet’ in New York
New York: President Pranab Mukherjee is slated to address the first of its kind ‘Global Indian Business Meet 2012’ being held here September 20-23 that will see the participation of government and business leaders, entrepreneurs and knowledge experts of Indian origin from around the world and focus on building sustainable growth models for impacting world economy. This will be the first visit to the US by the Indian President who took office in July. Among the prominent invited speakers are Indian ministers Vayalar Ravi, M. Veerappa Moily, Subodh Kant Sahay and Anand Sharma as well Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao and

Hindu-American Tulsi Gabbard shines at DNC
Charlotte, NC: Tulsi Gabbard, who appears all set to become the first Hindu-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives, received rounds of applause at the Democratic National Convention here when she took the stage to speak in favor of renomination of President Barack Obama and greeted thousands of her party colleagues with “Aloha”. "Aloha! I'm Tulsi Gabbard, candidate for Congress in Hawaii and a captain in the Army National Guard," she said. The daughter of a Samoan Catholic father and white Hindu mother who moved from American Samoa to Hawaii when she was a child, Gabbard is a rising star in the Democratic Party. At the age of 21, she became the youngest person elected to the Hawaii legislature. At 23, she was the state's first elected official to voluntarily resign to go to war. Gabbard, 31, who won the Democratic primary from Hawaii last month, is now all set to win the seat as this is considered to be a party stronghold."These days it's often women in uniform: moms, wives, even grandmothers who deploy and leave their families behind. Such heroes and patriots need and deserve leaders who truly understand and care about

It will be the first visit to the US as President by Pranab Mukherjee who took office in July this year. New York Consul General Amb. Prabhu Dayal. The grand event at Marriott Marquis in Manhattan is also likely to see participation from business tycoons like Mukesh Ambani and Lakshmi Mittal, thought leaders like Preet Bharara, Prof Tarun Khnana and Debashis Chatterjee, and spiritual leaders Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Deepak Chopra.

Daughter of a Samoan Catholic father and white Hindu mother, Tulsi Gabbard is set to become the first Hindu-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives. their hardships and will fight for them," she argued. "Leaders like President Obama and Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, the strongest advocates our military families could ever have," she said. Reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade. Vice President Joe Biden offered this pithy summary of Obama's reelection argument: "Osama bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive." On his part, Bill Clinton had propped up Obama's record in facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, with these words: "No president -- not me, not any of my predecessors -- no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years." Thursday’s DNC program was shifted from an open air stadium seating 74,000 to an indoor arena, with a capacity of 20,000 because of thunderstorms prediction.

New Delhi: German Volkswagen Group Thursday said it will invest 100 million euro (over Rs.700 crore) in its three Indian subsidiaries, including Volkswagen India, Skoda and Audi India, in the next two years. "We will invest 100 million euro in the entire group in the next two years," John Chacko, Volkswagen Group's chief representative for India told reporters here on the sidelines of the annual summit of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The investments will go into improving production facility in Chakan and Aurangabad near Pune and for making

Volkswagen to invest over Rs. 700 crore in India

minor changes to the export variant of the company's sedans. "The investments will be made in improving our (production) facilities and for minor changes for our export models," Chacko said. However, Chacko said that the group has put its investments plans in Maharashtra on hold due to the confusion surrounding various policies of the state government. "We had planned to invest Rs.2,000 crore that is on hold since lots of policy decisions are confusing. We are still putting pressure on Maharashtra government on various policy issues," he said.

Obama Story Continued from page 1 remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington,” he said. Running a tight race against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Obama acknowledged slow progress in solving the nation's economic woes but declared in his acceptance speech, "Our challenges can be met." He asked the country to rally around a set of goals he has chalked out on manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit– a plan that will create jobs, expand opportunity, and ensure an economy built to last.

The plan encompasses: Creating one million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016 Double exports by the end of 2014 Cut net oil imports in half by 2020 Support 600,000 natural gas jobs by the end of the decade Cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next 10 years Recruit 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years Train two million workers for real jobs at community colleges Invest in the economy with the money we’re no longer spending on war

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NYC turns battleground for rival groups on issue of Assam communal violence
Ashok Ojha/SATimes New York : New Yorkers stopped by at the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue and 64th street in Manhattan amidst slogan shouting by two opposing demonstrations last Sunday. While a group of Hindu activists and professionals hanging placards over their soldiers shouted slogans condemning the policies of ruling Congress Party to appease Muslims in India, another group of young activists raised counter slogans supporting the Indian government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the United Progressive Alliance headed by Sonia Gandhi. The venue of the demonstrations was half a block away from the Indian Consulate.The anti-Indian government demonstrators shouted slogans and distributed flyers which condemned Congress led government for 'supporting radical Islam who were promoting Jihad in India.' Hindu activist Narayan Kataria, who led the antiIndian government demonstration told 'The South Asian Times' that a dangerous situation was developing in Assam with the rise of violence perpetuated by immigrants from Bangladesh. Kataria called these emigrants as illegal intruders who were destroying the fabric of the security sensitive 'North East India'. "Assam is a Congress ruled state where 30 to 40 million illegal Bangladeshi Muslims have been allowed to live. These people are violently conflicting with the locals as a result hundreds of thousands Bodo tribesmen, women and children were forced out of their homes and were living in camps as refugees." Kataria claimed the support of organizations, such as, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Human Rights Watch, Human Rights

Demonstrators, pro Congress party and anti-UPA led govt., got engaged in slogan shouting near Indian Consulate
Coalition Against Radical Islam, India Heritage Foundation of Lansing Michigan, and Panun Kashmir. The counter protest led by Juned Qazi and Atma Singh, displayed the Indian tricolor and colorful banners depicting photos of Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and put the blame of violence in India on pro-Hindu parties, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Chanting slogans like 'Attack VHP and RSS', ‘Murders of peace and Gandhi’, the young activists said that these parties were dividing the country on religious grounds. Shouting slogans in favor of secular and pluralistic India the demonstrators said, "Indian Congress party ruled India on the path of prosperity and symbolized peace and progress. The pro-Hindu groups were engaged in dividing the nation and destroying it." Blaming Kataria for spoiling the name of India in the US, Atma Singh said, "VHP is a terrorist organization which is playing a dirty game of spoiling the name of India in other countries. These people should demonstrate in front of Pakistan Consulate against the victimization of Hindus in Pakistan." Juned Qazi said that Congress was a true secular party in India. "It is the duty of every Indian to support Congress which represents secular forces and unity in India."

Gujarat Congress leader hooted out of ‘Chaalo Gujarat’ event by Modi supporters
Ashok Ojha/SATimes Edison, NJ: Shaktisinh Gohil, leader of opposition in Gujarat Assembly, who attended the much hyped event of 'Chaalo Gujarat' was hooted out of the World Gujarat Convention on its third and final day for his remarks against Narendra Modi, the BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi has strong support base among Indian Americans of Gujarati origin. Gohil was addressing thousands of people, most of whom having strong roots in Gujarat, when he compared Modi's policies with mythical 'Sone ki Lanka' (Golden Lanka) ruled by Ravana. The analogy Gohil was trying to interpret compared Modi with the demon king Ravana. "As the golden Lanka didn't reflect the agony of its people, Modi's progress didn't represent the reality in Gujarat, where even widow's pension is not raised in many years," said Gohil. Gohil's comments quickly backfired as some members of the audience loudly protested that resulted into a disruption of the proceedings. Someone turned off the microphone and the organizers escorted him out of the stage. Gohil, who claimed to have close ties with Gujarat Congress leader Ahmed Patel and access to Sonia Gandhi, is facing an uphill battle against the incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, whose popularity makes him a formidable candidate in the forthcoming Gujarat Assembly election, scheduled to be held by end of the current year. During his current visit to New Jersey, Gohil

Mira Nair's film on 9/11 aims to build bridges
‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ opens Venice Film Festival; challenges western views of Pakistan as a fundamentalist nation
India and Pakistan and also features Hollywood New York: A young actors Kiefer Sutherland, Pakistani immigrant purLiev Schreiber and Kate sues the great American Hudson. “I believe that I dream - tops his class at have actually been put Princeton, snaps up a job on this earth to tell stoin an elite ‘valuation’ ries of people like me, firm and thrives on the who live between energy of New York worlds,” the Indian-born Mira Nair with her ‘The Reluctant until September11 when and New York-based Fundamentalist’ cast of Kate Hudson, Riz suddenly the world director told a news conAhmed and Liev Schreiber at the Venice Film changes and he is looked ference. “I am a child of Festival Aug 29. at as the 'other.’ He finds modern India but I was his position in his adopted city suddenly over- raised by essentially a father who came from turned when all that was promised to him in the Lahore, before it was partitioned and became land of freedom is swiftly taken away and he is part of Pakistan.” As an Indian living in New forced to evaluate his own identity in the after- York, Nair hopes for a change of attitude math of the 9/11 attacks. That’s the story critical- towards South Asians following the 9/11 attacks. ly acclaimed Indian American director Mira Nair At a press conference before the opening of the wants to tell in the movie ‘Reluctant fundamen- event, Nair said, “We all know there has been an talist’, a Hollywood political thriller. Fittingly, enormous schism, a wall between East and West, the movie premiered just days ahead of the since, in this last decade,” she said. “So I sought anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attack on very much in the dialogue between America and Wednesday August 29 as the opener of the the Islamic world in the film to really bring some Venice Film Festival, a city that historically has sense of bridge-making, some sense of healing, a been a bridge between East and West.Reluctant sense of community that goes beyond the stereofundamentalist is based on the novel by the same types, goes beyond the myopia, goes beyond the name by British Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. ignorance.” The movie got mixed responses Movies based on prejudice and mistaken identity from the audiences. Many critics praised Nair’s post 9/11 terrorist attacks have become a com- attempt for challenging the Western views of mon place in the South Asian cinema but in Pakistan as a hotbed of radicals and fundamenterms of movies coming out of the USA it's talists. The film was shot in Delhi, Istanbul, New unique. It is the first movie co-produced between York city, Atlanta and Lahore. By Jinal Shah/SATimes

Shaktisinh Gohil at a community reception in NJ.
met a number of anti-Modi activists, many of who worked for years to mobilize support and atmosphere that prompted denial to US visa for Modi. Prominent among them were activists led by Saeed Patel, an IT professional based in Englewood, NJ. Making a stopover at Patel's residence, Gohil declared that Modi's days were numbered. "People of Gujarat are realizing that the progressive policies of Modi were only helping his favorite industrialists," said Gohil as his supporters vowed to keep working for creating visa denials for Modi from Asian countries as well. Patel and other activists sought Congress support to create anti Modi atmosphere around the world. "We have succeeded in denying visa for him to visit USA and European Union. We want to make sure that he is barred entry into countries like China and Japan," they told Gohil.

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‘Chaalo Gujarat’ draws 30,000, celebrates Gujarati culture
New Jersey: The World Gujarati Conference ‘Chaalo Gujarat’ held Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at the Raritan Expo Center attracted more than 30,000. The three day event organized by the Association of Indian Americans in North America (AIANA) featured cultural extravaganza including music and dance shows, speeches, religious discourses, a laser show, interactive seminars, multimedia presentations apart from debut of a Miss Gujarat USA 2012 pageant. The State of New Jersey even issued a proclamation declaring Aug. 31 as Gujarati Day as recognition of the community’s contributions to the state. As during the last WGC, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addressed the conference through a video linkup. He referred to the misrule at the center and how the country had suffered during the eight years of Congress Partyled government. He urged the diaspora to support development, rising above politics, parochialism and nepotism. He reminded the audience about development in Gujarat. The attendees got a taste of the language, culture, heritage, art, history, enterprise and people of Gujarat as part of its central theme, "Gujarat, Gujarati and Gujaratism." Highlights included shows by singer Parthiv Gohil and actors Prachi Desai and Sharman Joshi; speeches by globally renowned Gujaratis such as telecom guru Sam Pitroda and discourse by Morari Bapu; and a property show by the Gujarat Institute of Housing & Estate Developers. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Edison try to the conference venue. A multimedia show on Soneru Surat, Khamirvantu Kheda and Vaibhavi Vadodara was screened on the first day. AIANA members also rang the opening bell at Nasdaq on Aug. 31, while the Empire State Building displayed the theme colors of the event -- pink, yellow and blue, organizers said in a press release. A kavi sammelan featuring prominent Gujarat poets was a highlight of the concluding day. Shradha Amin from New Jersey was crowned Miss Gujarat USA 2012, at a pageant on Sept. 1. Meera Thakrar and Ekta Khetia were first and second runners-up, respectively. Amin won a voucher for $3500 from Premji Valji Jewelers in Edison, N.J., along with a crown; Thakrar won a $1,500 voucher and crown and Khetia won a $500 voucher.

Team AIANA organized the event Mayor Antonia Ricigliano also attended. Visitors were transported from the parking lot to the venue in specially painted chhakdas and auto rickshaws imported from India. On the route, they passed a 25-foot charkho and the 30-foot Sidhpur Rudramal gates at the en-

IN BRIEF

Share and Care Foundation annual gala on Oct 14

D

ance ballet Krishnam Vande Jagath Gurum will headline the annual gala & fund raiser celebrating the 30th anniversary of Share and Care Foundation, NJ to be held on October 14 at 4.30 pm at the State Theatre, 11 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Shakti Dance Company presents choreographer and dancer, Mythili Prakash with an ensemble of skilled dancers and musicians, in Krishnam Vande Jagath Gurum a dramatic theatrical experience that seamlessly weaves vibrant energy and spectacle with profound philosophical thought and spirituality. Through playful stories of Krishna’s life, he teaches how to live, love, laugh, and see life as play.

A still of dance ballet Krishnam Vande Jagath Gurum Share and Care Foundation has impacted numerous lives and has created sustainable change in rural India. For more information and to obtain tickets visit www.shareandcare.org or email: info@shareandcare.org or telephone: (201) 262-7599.

reach out to state legislators, invite the leaders to visit gurdwaras and listen to Sikhs' concerns, according to a press release. United Sikhs is working with school districts in the state to promote awareness and education about the Sikh faith. The group will also organize a leadership training summit in November for youth to receive training in advocacy, emergency preparedness and community activism and will also have volunteers visit schools to talk about bullying and increase awareness of who the Sikhs are. According to a resolution

passed by the California state Assembly, November will be celebrated as Sikh American Awareness and Appreciation Month. Introduced on Aug. 2 by Assemblyman Daniel R. Logue at the request of Marysville-Yuba City Sikh community, Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 181 serves to honor the Sikh community, acknowledge the significant contributions made by Californians of Sikh heritage and provide Californians the opportunity to understand the rich history and shared principles of Sikh-Americans, the press release said.

NRI starts campaign to collect fund for M C Mary Kom Boxing Academy
run Agarwal, a Massachussettesbased NRI has started a campaign to raise contributions for M.C. Mary Kom Boxing Academy, India's 5 time woman's boxing world champion and bronze medalist at 2012 London Olympics. She is from the northeastern state of Manipur, has already set up an academy and recently has been given two acres of land for it by the Manipur State government. She made a plea on Hindustan Times for funds. Mary Kom is a role model for thousands of under-privileged kids. Those wishing to support the initiative can visit http://www.indiegogo.com/bamcmk or reach Arun Agarwal on 978-251-7427.

Vidya Daanam organizes ‘Raaga Rendezvous’
idya Daanam has taken this initiative of organizing a concert ‘Raaga Rendezvous’ on Sept 15 at 8 pm at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman center, New York, which, for the first time brings together two of India’s most renowned violin virtuosos Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi & Kala Ramnath together to create a beautiful musical mélange. The duo will be accompanied by Bangalore V. Praveen on Mridangam & Pandit Abhijit Banerjee on Tabla. “Vidya Daanam” is an initiative inspired by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and is designed to empower under-privileged children born in rural and remote tribal areas in In-

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dia by providing them the opportunity of an adequate modern education. The objective of Vidya Daanam is to impact many areas of life, which are connected to the education of the human mind, with special focus on communities in India, which are under-privileged. Since these children come from extremely poor homes, the aim is to provide them adequate healthy food and the kind of supportive environment that promotes the holistic development of the child. While the tickets are sold on the www.vidyadaanam.org, one can reach for more details Chitra : 732 433 0836 or Roshi : 848 391 6927

Olympic bronze medalist Mary Kom

Arya Samaj of Long Island extends help to NGO
rya Samaj of Long Island and community members donated cash and school supplies worth $1000 for the children of Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a voice for the children. This is a nonprofit organization headquartered located in Bethpage, Long Island. The agency is funded by thy Department of Social Services of Nassau County and private donors. At the presentation, special vedic prayers, for the wellbeing

November to be Sikh American Awareness Month in California

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nited Sikhs, an international civil and human rights advocacy group has urged Sikh organizations in Califor-

nia to participate in the Sikh Cultural Awareness and Appreciation Month in November. The group has urged the organizations to

of all was performed to bring joy into the hearts of the children and for those who are less fortunate by Mrs. Suda Sharma, the Chairperson of this project. Arya Samaj has also helped victims of earthquake in Haiti by shipping 6000 books and school supplies. Arya Samaj also donates monetary funds during Diwali every year with India Association of Long Island for 16 soup kitchens which are run by Interfaith nutrition network(the INN)

National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

Washington, DC: The Indian-American community, having the highest per capita income among the ethnic communities in the US, appears to have opened up its wallet for the Obama campaign, but its contribution is far less than that of 2008. The Mitt Romney campaign, which last week at Republican National Convention wooed the community by inviting a record number of Indian-Americans to address the event, does not appear to have been successful in getting a pie into the Indian-American money bag, the list of major Romney donors available from open source documents indicate.Florida-based Dr Akshay Desai appears to be the only Indian-American to have raised more than $1 million for the Romney campaign, which unlike the Obama campaign, has remained very secretive in revealing the list of

Indian-Americans loosen Obama names Mumbai purse strings for Obama IIT graduate to key post
its major donors. Desai has been named as Romney's " stars and stripes" - the small group of top fund raiser for the campaign. "Republican Party donor base at all levels is very motivated and energized. I am very confident that we will out raise President Barack Obama in the month of August and every month leading up to November election. We will match and surpass president Obamas goal to have raised one billion dollars. We are confident that we will have resources to get our voice out to the public and win the election on strength of our ideas," Desai said.If Desai is the only major Indian-American donor for the Romney campaign, the list of bundlers made public by Obama campaign names nearly half a dozen who have raised between half a million to one million dollars. Washington, DC: President Barack Obama has appointed Romesh Wadhwani, an Indian American founder of several software and IT companies, on board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts. Announcing his intent to appoint Wadhwani and nine other general trustees of the center, Obama said, "These dedicated men and women bring a wealth of experience and talent to their new roles and I am proud to have them serve in this Administration." "I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," added Obama, whose administration has over a score Indian-Americans serving in senior positions, more than any other previous administration. Set up in 1971 as a living memorial to former President John F. Kennedy, the center is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million. According to a White House announcement Wadhwani, who received a BA from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and an MS and Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University, is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of Symphony Technology Group.

Romesh Wadhwani He is actively involved in Kennedy Centre initiatives, having served as CoChair of the Maximum India Festival in 2011 and as a supporter of the 2010 Honors Gala. He is the founder and Chairperson of the Wadhwani Foundation, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Previously, Wadhwani was the founder, Chairman, and CEO of several software and IT companies, including Aspect Development, Inc.

Sunita Williams takes fifth spacewalk
Washington, DC: IndianAmerican astronaut Sunita Williams, who holds the record of the longest space flight (195 days) for a woman, has completed her fifth spacewalk lasting a near record eight hours and 17 minutes. Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide set out from the international space station at 5:46 p.m. Aug 30 (India time) and returned at 2:03 a.m. Friday, the US space agency NASA announced.The longest spacewalk of 8 hours and 56 minutes was undertaken by US astronauts Susan Helms and James Voss in 2001. However, Williams and Hoshide failed to replace a power distributor after removing and stowing a failed unit due to difficulties in driving the bolts to secure the replacement switching, officials said. Williams and Hoshide used a long-duration tie-down tether to secure the replacement distributor to the space station for a future spacewalk. Earlier, Williams was able to successfully connect one of two power cables in preparation for the future arrival of a Russian laboratory module. But the third objective, replacing a camera on the Canadarm2 robotic arm, was not completed.Last Thursday's spacewalk was the fifth for Williams and the first for Hoshide. Hoshide is the third Japanese astronaut in history to conduct a spacewalk. The duo arrived at the station July 16 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Washington, DC: President sional achievement, evidence Barack Obama has appointed of leadership potential, and a Indian-American neurosurgeon proven commitment to public from California, Anand service. Veeravagu, as one among the The 2012-2013 Class of 15 White House Fellows. White House Fellows come Veeravagu, a neurosurgeon in from diverse backgrounds, vartraining at Stanford University, ied professions, and have all most recently served as Chief shown a strong commitment to Neurosurgery Resident at the public service and leadership, Palo Alto Veterans Affairs the White House said in a stateHospital caring for soldiers ment. returning from Afghanistan In 2011, Anand staffed the with traumatic brain and spinal CURE Neurosurgical Hospital Dr Anand Veeravagu cord injuries. in Uganda and organized medFocused on advancing minimally invasive ical relief missions for the Tsunami of 2004. diagnostic and surgical techniques for diseases Anand has received over 30 awards for his of the central nervous system, in 2006, he leadership, research and promotion of healthdeveloped a novel radiotherapeutic to treat care access to underserved populations, the Glioblastoma Multiforme, a malignant statement said. brain tumor. In 2012, Anand received the Gold He has published over 50 peer-reviewed sci- Foundation's Humanism and Excellence in entific manuscripts and has written for the Teaching Award for his commitment to menHuffington Post. torship, the White House said. The White House Fellows Programme was Anand's research employs national databascreated in 1964 by President Lyndon B es to evaluate trends in health resource utilizaJohnson to give promising American leaders tion to provide guidelines for policy reform. 'first hand, high-level experience with the Anand has been accepted to the Stanford workings of the Federal government, and to GSB MBA program, received his M.D. from increase their sense of participation in national Stanford University and graduated with honaffairs'. ors from Johns Hopkins University with a Selection as a White House Fellow is highly B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and minor in competitive and based on a record of profes- Multicultural and Regional Studies.

Indian-American appointed to class of White House Fellows

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National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

Kamala Harris gets primetime spot at Charlotte DNC
Washington, DC: "President Obama will California's Indianfight for working families. American attorney generHe will fight to level the al Kamala Harris drew economic playing field from her own experience and fight to give every to describe the November American the same fair presidential election as a shot my family had," choice between an Harris said. America with opportunity "I remember when my for all or tilted to the mother, Shyamala Harris, wealthiest few. bought our first home. I "We are here because was thirteen. She was so we love our country and proud and my sister and I we firmly believe in the were so excited," she American ideal that our recalled. California Attorney General country should work for "Millions of Americans Kamala Harris everyone," said the know that feeling of walkdaughter of a Tamil Indian immigrant mother ing through the front door of their own home and a Jamaican-American father Wednesday. for the first time - the feeling of reaching for Harris, 47, the first woman, the first opportunity and finding it." African American, and the first South Asian "That's the choice in this election," said to hold the attorney general's office in the Harris. "It's a choice between an America history of California, was given a prime time where opportunity is open to everyone, spot at Democratic National Convention in where everyone plays by the same set of Charlotte, North Carolina. rules, or a philosophy that tilts the playing Speaking ahead of former President Bill field to help the wealthiest few." Clinton, who formally entered President Harris was the second Indian-American to Barack Obama's nomination for a second get a prime time speaking spot at the convenWhite House run, she said his Republican tion. Indian-American actor Kal Penn, best challenger Mitt Romney "would have us roll known for his "Harold and Kumar" movies, back" the rules that "create a level playing provided the humorous touch to the convenfield in this country." tion Tuesday.

Smita Shah first Indian-American to serve as DNC parliamentarian
Charlotte, NC: vote, he or she must be Chicagoan Smita Shah replaced by an alternate,” has become the first he said. Indian-American to “During the convention, serve as a Democratic the parliamentarians will National Convention be available to respond to parliamentarian. any of your questions Shah, a close supportabout the order of proer of President Obama, ceedings, the methods of is vice-chair of the voting and the nature of Chicago Plan the proceedings. “Each Commission. delegation can call our She heads Spaan Tech, office at any time, and a which The Chicago parliamentarian will Tribune in 2011 always be on the podium described as a politically and available for advice connected information and counsel,” Hoyer said. and management techSmita Shah, according nology firm that has to publicly available docfour contracts with the uments, has been a major Smita Shah city potentially worth donor for the Obama several million dollars. Campaign and the Democratic Party. Addressing the convention, House She has donated more than $70,000 to Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said Shah is the Obama Victory Fund 2012 and another the “first person of Asian Indian descent” equal amount to the Democratic party. to serve as a convention parliamentarian. A licensed Professional Engineer, Shah “It is our responsibility to help the chair founded Spaan Tech in 1998 and has pioapply and enforce the rules of this conven- neered its growth into a multi-million doltion,” Hoyer said describing the role of the lar Engineering, Construction Management convention parliamentarian. and Program Management firm with spe“To that extent, I would advise the dele- cial expertise in infrastructure projects gations that proxy voting is prohibited. If a including: roads, highways, airports, and pledged delegate is absent at the time of a buildings.

US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

Democrats woo middle class, say Romney out of touch
your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are," she said. "So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother." The arena in Charlotte, crammed to 15,000-seat capacity with Democratic delegates and Obama supporters, erupted into chants of "Four more years! Four more years!" President Barack Obama with daughters Malia and echoing around the audiSasha, in White House watching on television Michelle torium. First Lady Michelle Obama speaking at the DNC. give her DNC speech. Other speakers lambasted Romney and "Mitt Romney, quite simply, won't even get a chance," Castro with the Republican platform Republicans, accusing them of doesn't get it," declared San said. adopted last week. But the word being out of touch and politically Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the Romney and Republicans "are God did not feature even once, divisive at a time requiring nation- first-ever Hispanic keynote con- perfectly comfortable with that Republicans pounced. al unity to confront high unem- vention speaker, who was tapped America - in fact, that's exactly The convention will conclude ployment, a sluggish economy and in part to appeal to the crucial and what they're promising us," he Thursday with Obama accepting mounting federal deficits and debt. growing Latino voter base that added. his party's nomination exactly two Seeking to further strengthen largely supports Obama but has Earlier, the more than 5,500 months before the Nov 6 election. Obama's advantage with women, been disappointed at his failure to Democratic delegates adopted a In a blow to Democrats, the Hispanic Americans and young deliver on issues like immigration party platform focusing on threat of severe weather forced the voters, the speakers hailed Obama reform. improving the economic situation president's renomination address for promoting health care reforms, on Thursday to be moved indoors "We know that in our free-mar- for middle-class Americans. supporting gay marriage, and end- ket economy, some will prosper It also contains language endors- from a massive American football ing deportations of some young more than others. What we don't ing same-sex marriage and abor- stadium, the kind of arena that illegal immigrants. accept is the idea that some folks tion rights that directly contrasts served him so well in 2008.

Washington: Democrats wooed the middle class with Michelle Obama calling the First Family a testament to the American Dream as others attacked President Barack Obama's Republican challenger Mitt Romney for being out of touch. "In the end, for Barack, these issues aren't political - they're personal," said the First Lady making an impassioned case for her husband's re-election in a prime-time speech on the opening day Tuesday of the party's national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it, and he wants everyone, everyone in this country to have the same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love," she said. "As president, all you have to guide you are your values, and

Democrats to continue long-term strategic partnership with India
Washington: Indicating the bipartisan support that US-India ties enjoy, Democrats have now vowed to "continue to invest in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor" as they formally approved President Obama's second run for the White House. Reaffirmation of the ties with India came in the Democratic platform approved at the party convention in Charlotte, NC, Tuesday that also suggested that alliances which had been the cornerstone of US engagement "had been badly damaged under the Bush administration." In seeking to rebalance US foreign policy under Obama, the Democratic party resolution said, Washington had turned greater attention towards Asia-Pacific region" given Asia's "status as the fastest growing economic region, with most of the world's nuclear powers and about half of the world's population." "...And we will continue to invest in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region," it said. Last week the Republican platform approved at their convention in Tampa, Florida, had declared India a "geopolitical ally and a strategic trading partner". "We welcome a stronger relationship with the world's largest democracy, India, both economic and cultural, as well as in terms of national security," the party had declared as it formally named Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate.

Bill Clinton makes case for Obama at convention
Charlotte, NC: Former US "I like the argument for president Bill Clinton, the President Obama's re-eleclast Democrat to win re-election a lot better. He inherited tion, took to the stage at the a deeply damaged economy, Democratic National put a floor under the crash, Convention on Wednesday to began the long hard road to convince American voters to recovery, and laid the foungive Barack Obama another dation for a more modern, term in office on November more well-balanced econo6. Twenty years after the man my that will produce milfrom Hope, Arkansas won lions of good new jobs, over the country at his own vibrant new businesses, and presidential nomination, the lots of new wealth for the party superstar, who presided After Bill Clinton's spirited speech innovators. over a gilded era of growth, endorsing him, President Obama "The most important quesmade the economic case for appeared on the stage with him. tion is, what kind of country re-electing Obama on November 6. Here are do you want to live in? If you want a you're-onexcerpts from his speech: "In Tampa the your-own, winner-take-all society, you should Republican argument against the President's re- support the Republican ticket. If you want a election was pretty simple: We left him a total country of shared prosperity and shared responsimess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire bility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you him and put us back in. should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."

Washington: Indian American actor Kal Penn, best known for his "Harold and Kumar" movies, brought the house down at the Democratic National Convention as he ended his humor filled speech with a four-letter word: "Vote." The former White House staffer, whose real name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, provided the Democrats' answer Tuesday to Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood who had panned

Kal Penn makes a four letter call: "Vote"
President Obama at last week's Republican National Convention with an interview with an empty chair. Defending Obama's first-term achievements at the convention, particularly playing up issues that might appeal to younger voters, Penn said: "I can now legally register you to vote." He recounted a variety of experiences that he said showed him that change under Obama had indeed been change he could believe in. "I ask all of you young people to join me. You don't even have to put pants on. Go to commit.barackobama.com and register right there. And you know what, the oldies out there, you can do it too," Penn said. Besides Penn, who briefly served the Obama administration as Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, the convention also featured Kamala Harris, daughter

Indian American actor Kal Penn speaking at the DNC

of a Tamil mother and a Jamaican-American father. The first female AfricanAmerican as well as the first ethnic Indian American attorney general, made a presentation as a national co-chair for Obama's reelection bid. With her star on the rise, some have hinted she could one day be the first female president of the United States, but Tuesday Harris told ABC she's not getting carried away with all that presidential talk just yet.

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US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

The sitting Republican Nassau County 6th District Legislator, running for the 4th Congressional District, is up against the 8-term Democrat incumbent Carolyn McCarthy.

Congressional Candidate Fran Becker: Hoping two years will make a Difference
By Robert Golomb

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etting an interview with Fran Becker, the sitting Republican Nassau County 6th District Legislator and current Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District held by 8term Democrat incumbent Carolyn McCarthy, proved to be no small accomplishment. Becker is a very busy man nowadays as he tries to fit his busy public legislative schedule, his private responsibilities as President of Becker and Associates Planning Services, and his very active campaign for Congress into what he told me when we finally got together to meet in his office last week is routinely a 16 hour day. It is, according to several Nassau County political insiders, no secret within the walls of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building that the 59year-old Becker, an 8-term incumbent himself, is viewed by his fellow County legislators and their staff from both sides of the aisle as a tough yet likeable and a very conservative yet pragmatic lawmaker who has played a major role in, among other bills he has worked on, crafting legislation that prevents increasing taxes on small businesses and homeowners. It is also no secret that the popularity of such legislation with the voters of his district, that runs North to South through six Eastern villages from Lynbrook to Oceanside, has greatly contributed to Becker’s re-election by consistently huge margins over the past 7 election cycles in a Republican leaning District - in which, past exit polls have indicated, Becker has won a majority of the vote of registered Independents and has also garnered support from a sizable number of Democrats who have crossed party lines to vote for him. Whether Becker can transfer his popularity in his sixth Legislative District to the almost three times larger Democrat leaning 4th Congressional District, which runs North to South from Mineola to Long Beach and East to West from Wantagh to Valley Stream, seems, from what I have been told, to be the most frequent question asked by the political pundits following this election. The answer to that question might or might not be found in the results of the election of 2010. While

Fran Becker
Carolyn McCarthy defeated Becker in what was then his first attempt to win her seat, the election turned out to be relatively close, with McCarthy besting Becker by 8 points in what proved to be the tightest race ever for her. So are Becker and his supporters themselves now optimistic since he came within a 4 percentage point voter swing of winning two years ago or are they still nursing their wounds over a tough loss? This was the first question I asked him. “Actually I am very optimistic about our chances of winning in November,” Becker replied. When asked to give a specific reason for this optimism, Becker elaborated, “I believe that two years ago people still had some hope that the economy would improve…. As I have campaigned throughout the {4th} District the past three months, I have spoken to hundreds of voters - Republicans, Democrats and Independents. So many of them tell me they now no longer possess that hope…. {They} tell me that they or their children or their parents, or close members of their extended families have become victims of the Obama economy…. So I am convinced they are prepared to hold Congresswoman McCarthy accountable for voting in favor of a mind-boggling 98% of the time for the Obama economic policies, which are responsible for, to give just a few examples, our national debt increasing by five trillion dollars, our unemployment rate hovering at levels of over 8%... {which is} closer, economists say, to 18% when you include those people who are not calculated in the unemployment figures because they have stopped looking for work {and} the doubling of the price of gas.” Becker continued with his contention that McCarthy has alienated her constituents because of her support of the President, asserting, “Voters will not forget her support of Solyndra and other such ill-conceived projects in which billions of hard earned taxpayer dollars were wasted to prop up Obama’s friends in the green energy movement…. And I believe that the voters are now also prepared to hold her accountable for her vote in favor of Obamacare, which takes 700 billion dollars in Medicare funds directly from our seniors, transferring it to fund Obamacare, which, while in addition to stealing this money from our parents and grandparents, chillingly threatens the fundamental religious freedoms once thought to be protected by the Constitution by forcing religious institutions to pay for medical procedures and drugs that, based on their sacred religious teachings, they believe to be immoral”. Becker promised that if elected to Congress, one of his top priorities would be to work with his fellow Republicans and “like minded Democrats” in the House and the Senate to repeal Obamacare. But

he vowed that ending Obamacare and reducing wasteful spending would just be the beginning of a broader plan to repair the economy. “We must create a business friendly economy…. As the economic policies of Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Bush have proven, when the government allows the private sector to be free, jobs are created, wealth providing goods and services are produced, and more revenue, which can be used today to reduce the deficit, begins to flow into the federal treasury.” Included in this broader economic plan, was, Becker added, “ending our reliance on foreign oil that has been perpetuated by the extremist environmental policies of President Obama and Congressional Democrats like Carolyn McCarthy…. We must utilize the oil, natural gas and clean coal resources that we have in incredible abundance right here within our borders…. {By doing this} we will end our reliance on foreign oil from hostile Middle East countries, dramatically reduce the price of gas and oil for American consumers and create hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs.” As the interview moved to foreign affairs, Becker explained why he is as troubled by Congresswoman McCarthy’s “uncritical, knee-jerk support” of Obama’s foreign policy as he is of her support of the president’s domestic ones. “The President shows that he does not understand how to treat our friends and allies…. In the Middle East as Obama watches Iran on the brink of developing nuclear weapons, the Arab Spring turns Egypt into a theocracy run by the Muslim Brotherhood that preaches hatred

Becker criticized Carolyn McCarthy’s support of the President’s policy toward India where, he said, “there is known to be a strong feeling in the government and from the people of India that President Obama has subordinated the economic and security interests of India in an effort to appease its neighbor Pakistan and its economic rival China”.

and threatens war with Israel, Hamas firing rockets into Israeli cities and Muslim nations teaching hatred of the Jewish people in their schools, he chooses to sit idly by, even refusing to offer diplomatic support for Israel…. And Carolyn McCarthy just goes along with him.” Becker also criticized McCarthy’s support of the President’s policy toward India where, he said, “there is known to be a strong feeling in the government and from the people of India that President Obama has subordinated the economic and security interests of India in an effort to appease its neighbor Pakistan and its economic rival China…. I understand it is a delicate situation. However, the question must be asked, ‘Why four years after the horrendous attacks in Mumbai doesn’t Obama attach the word terrorist to those who helped plan and carry out the mass murder’.” Becker was referring to the slaughter in 2008 of more than 170 people in a one day siege in Mumbai by Muslim terrorists authorities later learned had been trained in a terrorist friendly enclave within Pakistan. Whether or not the voters of the 4th Congressional District are prepared, as Becker believes, to vote out McCarthy - who was first elected in 1996 on a strong gun control platform three years after her husband was murdered and her son was seriously injured at the hands of a crazed gunman in a killing spree that left five other commuters dead during an evening rush hour on the Long Island Rail Road remains, with virtually no known polling results available to date on the race, difficult to predict. But my own prediction based on what I sensed to be a prevailing feeling in the 4thCongressional District is that McCarthy, who, has retained much of the personal popularity that has helped her win in the past, will win again if she can sufficiently distance herself from President Obama who is reported to be growing increasingly unpopular with her constituents. For Becker to win, it will be as the election speeds into the fall, his job to see that she can’t. Robert Golomb is a nationally published columnist. He writes on a range of educational, cultural, political and international topics. MrBob347@aol.com

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

'Quota bill aimed at diverting attention from Coalgate'
New Delhi: The BJP termed the introduction of a bill for quota in job promotions as a "diversionary tactic" by the Congress, to take away attention from lapses in coal blocks allocation and sought the bill's review by a house panel. A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Seen in a TV footage, an ugly clash said he would prefer between a BSP and a Samajwadi Party the bill to be seen by MP generated the most heat a parliamentary standing committee, as it had sever- in a very suspicious manner. There was no discussion on it after the allal flaws. "There are certain flaws in the bill party meeting, not even a whisper in and there is no point in letting the the business advisory committee. bill pass and then be quashed down All of a sudden, on a day when CBI by Supreme Court. We would prefer raids are on, the government passes that such an important bill be sent to the bill in the cabinet, and on the a standing committee," a BJP leader very next day brings it to the Rajya Sabha," Prasad said. said on condition of anonymity. "This is a tactic to divert attention Talking to reporters in the Parliament House complex, Deputy from the coal scam. The governLeader of Opposition in the Rajya ment wants the attention to be Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the diverted to caste politics, from corbill was brought hurriedly in a very ruption," he said.The BJP leader suspicious manner, and the govern- also blamed BSP chief Mayawati ment had no intention of getting it for supporting the government in its passed. "The bill has been brought defense of corruption.

Coalgate: Parliament session washed out
New Delhi: The logjam over 'coalgate' crippled Parliament for the 12th day on September 6, with the BJP adamant on the cancellation of the controversial coal mines allocation and the government refusing to bow down. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram signaled the government's desire to stand firm, by dubbing the BJP's call for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation as "outrageous". "The demand for the prime minister's resignation is outrageous, they know it will never be done," the minister told the media here. "As for the cancellation of coal blocks, action will be taken after an inter-ministerial group looking into the issue submits its report by mid-September," he said. "Cancellations cannot be done through a diktat." The minister also made a passionate appeal to the Bharatiya Janata Party to allow parliament to function. "The coal blocks allocation policy has been in operation since 1993," he said. "But the purpose of allocation (to boost economy) has suffered a setback (as) many mines have not been mined." Chidambaram said the only way forward was a faceto-face debate in parliament. The BJP has rejected repeated government appeals to stop holding parliament to ransom. It says it will allow the house to function only if Manmohan Singh, who held the coal portfolio earlier, quit. The BJP also wants all the coal mines allotted mainly to private parties and which have come under a cloud cancelled. Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal echoed Chidambaram, adding that the inter-ministerial group had been asked to submit its report by Sep 15 and "the government will decide on the issue after that". The BJP kept up its attack on Manmohan Singh, saying he needed to speak up. "The government has not given any response to the

The monsoon session of Parliament has seen its proceedings lost to BJP protests on the issue during the last two weeks series of allegations (over) coal allocation. The prime minister has invoked his right to silence," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said. "A right to silence is available to an accused in court, it is not available to a prime minister," he said. The prime minister had last week recited an Urdu couplet to mean that his silence was better than providing answers. The Left parties too said they want the coal mines allocation to be axed but said they are in favour of a parliamentary debate. "We have been asking for the cancellation and a probe into the allocation," Communist Party of IndiaMarxist leader Sitaram Yechury said. "The government should take some initiative now that the BJP has also come around to our view," he said. The BJP protest follows a Comptroller and Auditor General report that says that the nation lost around Rs.1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) because of the irregular allocation of coal mines mainly to private players.

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India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

Chennai: At least 36 people were killed and more than 75 injured when a powerful explosion tore through one of the biggest fireworks factories in Tamil Nadu, triggering a major fire, the authorities said. Six people have been arrested. So powerful was the blast that more than 40 of the 48 sheds in the fireworks unit in Sivakasi, a firecracker manufacturing hub about 480 km from Chennai, were reduced to rubbles in no time. The flames quickly engulfed the entire Om Shakthi Fireworks factory because a huge amount of raw materials and firecrackers were being readied for the upcoming festival season. Police said the fire had been brought under control but the exact number of casualties will be known only after the debris was cleared. The death toll may go up since many of the injured, admitted in hospitals in Madurai, Sivakasi and Sattur, are in a critical condition, they said. "Most of the dead and injured were bystanders," a witness was seen speaking on a TV channel. Villagers ran with the the injured in their arms or in cloth sheets in the absence of stretchers. Thirteen fire tenders battled the

Sivakasi fire: 36 die, six held

New US visa processing system for Indians
New Delhi: The United States Embassy has announced a new visa processing system under which Indians traveling to the US can have easier visa procurement and fee payment system. "The new visa processing system will streamline appointment scheduling, simplify fee payments and provide the applicants with new delivery options. Under our new system, we have more payment options available for visa application fees," said Julia Stanley, minister counselor for consular affairs. While the changes in procedure are a part of global support strategy program by US state department across the world, the new system will be implemented in India Sept 26. Under the new system, the US visa applicants will be able to pay application fees through electronic fund transfer, mobile phones and collect their documents from 33 document pick-

Sivakasi is one of the oldest and biggest firecracker manufacturing hubs in India flames while more than 25 ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals. The police officer said thick smoke and blasts in the factory area hindered rescue efforts. All fire tenders and ambulances in the area were pressed into service but it took time to put out the blaze, Tamil Nadu minister K.T. Rajenthra Balaji said. Grieving relatives of the factory workers rushed to the spot. Police are now on the lookout for Murugesan, the owner of Om Shakthi Fireworks, and Paul Pandi, who was running the unit on a lease. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed deep shock over the tragedy and announced exgratia of Rs.2 lakh to the next of the kin of each deceased. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa also announced a solatium of Rs.2 lakh to the families of the dead, Rs.25,000 to the severely injured and Rs.10,000 to those with minor injuries. Sivakasi is one of the oldest and biggest firecracker manufacturing hubs in India.

up locations in the country. The moves comes after the launch of interview waiver programme back in March which allowed certain qualified applicants to renew their visas without coming for the interview. In 2011, the US consular office processed around seven lakh visa applications witnessing an increase of 11 percent over 2010. According to Stanley, a significant change in the processing system is that applicants will need to schedule two appointments -- one for fingerprint collection at an Offsite Facilitation Centre and one for consular interview at the Embassy or consulates.

Terrorists taking to cyber-space: Shinde
New Delhi: Cyber-space has become another tool in the hands of terrorists who post 'motivated rumors' in social networking sites thereby creating a new challenge to the security forces in the country, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in New Delhi. "There is increasing evidence of resort taken by terrorists to the cyber-space domain. The recent incident in Bengaluru in Karnataka, Pune in Maharashtra and other states of the country where motivated rumors and irresponsible use of the social media networking media posed a new challenge," he said addressing the country's top police brass in New Delhi. Shinde, who took over as the home minister on August one, said cyberspace by providing a pervasive infrastructure for discreet communication is proving to be a facilitator for the malevolent seeking to enlist new recruits and to purvey a distorted version of the reality. Shinde asked the security agencies to take 'prompt notice' of every piece of intelligence as it is received to tackle the continuous thrust of Pakistan-based Islamist groups to infiltrate terrorists and hardware across the border and Line of Control. "I would urge you to take prompt notice of every piece of intelligence as it is received, develop capacities for addressing the threats posed by terrorism, share experiences and create an overall milieu of collaboration wherein there should be no distinction between central agencies and state police forces as they work together towards achieving the common objective of curbing terrorism," he said. He lauded the agencies for busting 19 terrorists modules across the country since January 2011.On the issue of Leftwing extremism, Shinde said Naxalism continues to pose "significant challenge" as confidence levels of Maoists are exhibited in their ability to move in larger formations, hold 'jan adalats', obstruct thoroughfares and recover levies.

Digvijay is mad: Uddhav
Mumbai: Stung by Congress leader Digvijay Singh's statement that Maharashtra's Thackeray family originally hailed from Bihar, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray hit back, saying Digvijay was "mad". "That man (Digvijay Singh) is mad," an irritated Thackeray burst out to reporters who questioned him on the issue. The Congress leader, however, was only quoting from a book penned by Uddhav's grandfather, Prabodhankar Thackeray, father of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Uddhav admitted that although his grandfather's book, "Mazhi Jeevangatha" (An Autobiography), does mention that the Thackerays' origins trace back to Bihar, it did not refer to his family, but only to the clan of Thakres. "What he (Prabodhankar Thackeray) has written does not refer to my family, but to the entire Thakre community which lives in Bihar," Uddhav claimed. Uddhav accused Singh of making "attempts to exploit the issue politically". He was at pains to dismiss

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray the matter, which had come to a head after he had demanded that Bihari migrants entering Maharashtra in search of work ought to be given special permits. Singh, on his part, has gone hammer and tongs at the Thackerays, flashing copies of the book, first published in 1995 when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance was ruling Maharashtra. The book, now enjoying wide publicity, has also emerged as a rallying point for anti-Thackeray lobbies. The Congress leader pointed to sections of the book - highlighted for effect - that told of Maharashtra's numero uno political family and its origins in Bihar. According to the author, the Thackerays originally hailed from Magadh in Bihar and migrated to Bhopal and later to Pune, in search of employment opportunities.

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

Attack on Lankan visitors unacceptable: Karuna

DMK President M. Karunanidhi Chennai: DMK President M. Karunanidhi said attacking Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu or other parts of India is unacceptable and will affect ties between the two countries. "At a time when a team from the United Nations is slated to visit Sri Lanka to meet people affected by the internal war and those who have been resettled post war and suggest measures, creating an unnecessary problem here would actually create problems for Tamils there," Karunanidhi said in a statement. Urging people of Tamil Nadu to maintain peace, the former chief minister said: "Tamils are not against any race. It is unacceptable to attack Sri Lankans coming to Tamil Nadu or to any part of India for tourism, business or cultural exchange."

New Delhi: Amid reports of attack on buses carrying Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu and a travel advisory issued by Colombo, the government assured that it will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety and security of Sri Lankans visiting India. "I wish to convey here that the government of India, in close consultation with the concerned state governments, has taken and will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Sri Lankan dignitaries and visitors to India, including to Tamil Nadu," Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, told

India assures safety to Sri Lankans
between India and Sri Lanka". He pointed out that the Indian High Commission in Colombo issued visas to nearly 200,000 Sri Lankan nationals to visit India last year, while approximately 175,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2011. The Sri Lankan government has issued a travel warning following a spate of incidents targeting Sri Lankan nationals, the Sri Lankan foreign office said in Colombo. The external affairs ministry said it was compelled to issue the travel advisory after 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting a church in Tamil Nadu became the latest victims of intimidation,

The Sri Lankan government has issued a travel warning following a spate of incidents targeting Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu reporters.The spokesperson stressed that "people-to-people contacts are an integral part of the close historical, cultural, ethnic and civilizational ties

reported Xinhua. As a result Sri Lankan nationals have been told by the government to desist from undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu until further notice. The ministry said that in the event there is a compelling reason to visit Tamil Nadu, such a visit should take place following prior timely intimation to the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai. Travel to all other states in India is safe for Sri Lanka nationals, it said.Tamil Nadu politicians have been agitating over the past several weeks against Sri Lanka over allegations of human rights abuses committed during and after the war targeting Tamils.

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175 Sri Lankan tourists to return home
Chennai: One hundred and seventy-five Sri Lankan tourists were safely escorted by police to Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirapalli airport when Tamil activists staged demonstrations against their visit. They are leaving for Sri Lanka late Tuesday, a senior police officer said. The Sri Lankan tourists were on a tour to Velankanni Church, around 320 km from here. "The tourists will be leaving for Sri Lanka tonight. Their flight is around 10.40 p.m. We have organised food packets for them at the airport," Shailesh Kumar Yadav, commissioner of police, Trichy said. He said another six Lankan tourists later joined the group at the airport. Following the protests against their visit by Tamil activists, the tourists were taken in vans to Tirchy airport, said police officials. According to the police, the Lankan tourists were travelling in seven buses. A tyre of one bus got punctured on the outskirts of Trichy and MDMK activists came to know about their presence in the state. Around 30 MDMK cadres gathered around the buses and shouted slogans and also pelted stones at the buses, police said. According to police, no serious injuries were caused to the tourists. The Sri Lankan government has issued a statement warning its nationals to desist from visiting Tamil Nadu till further notice. "The Government of Sri Lanka regrets the increasing number of instances of intimidation of Sri Lankan nationals visiting Tamil Nadu for the purposes of tourism, religious pilgrimages, sporting and cultural activities and professional training," the statement said. "These visits are a reflection of people to people contact between the polity of two countries which are bound by age old friendly ties and traditions," the statement added. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa ordered the sending back of two Sri Lankan football teams that were in the city to play friendly matches. The teams left for their country.

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Op Ed TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

The Indian Political Philharmonic Orchestra must be the world’s most amazing cacophony of rogues, rascals and robbers. Luckily for the UPA, there was always Singh to fall back on. But now, enough is enough. Neither Singh nor Pranab Mukherjee, nor anyone else is capable any more of saving this Government.
By Pritish Nandy like Manmohan Singh. He has immaculate credentials. It’s these credentials that have seen the UPA through its most stormy years. If Singh wasn’t Prime Minister, the Government would have collapsed a long time back. No, not because of its inherent coalition contradictions but because it’s simply not possible for so many crooks with conflicting agendas to loot the country together, almost as if in perfect unison. The Indian Political Philharmonic Orchestra must be the world’s most amazing cacophony of rogues, rascals and robbers. Luckily for the UPA, there was always Singh to fall back on. Most middle class Indians refuse to be cynical. We know exactly what’s happening around us, we criticize it constantly, but when it comes to the crunch we all rally around the nation and the flag. We are not bat-brained paranoids. Neither are we wideeyed innocents ready to buy into

A SHIP ABOUT TO SINK
every ridiculous explanation thrown our way to explain the loot that’s taking place in broad daylight. But the latest season of scams has flummoxed all. This is not just Alibaba and his chaalis chor. Everyone among the chaalis chor is another Alibaba with his own forty thieves. That’s the way the pyramid of crime operates today. But because Singh, soft spoken and self effacing, is the face of this Government, India has kept faith. But now, enough is enough. Neither Singh nor Pranab Mukherjee, nor anyone else is capable any more of saving this Government. It’s neck deep in its own sticky sleaze. What’s worse, you haven’t seen anything yet. All these scams are but the tip of the iceberg. Talk to anyone and you will get an instant dhobi list of scams in queue to break. No, I am not saying this. Congress leaders are, in private. Look at Singh, wan and waylost. Or Mukherjee going apoplectic in faux anger because he has to defend what he knows is indefensible. They look less convincing than Rakhi Sawant playing Joan of Arc. The problem is: We have voted into power the stupidest bunch of thieves. They are such losers that they can’t steal a hamburger without leaving ketchup stains all over. Yet they are constantly trying to pull off the biggest scams in history. From Rs 64 crore in Bofors, they have upped the ante to Rs 170,0000 crore in 2G and no, I am not including hundreds of aircraft Air India bought while sinking into bankruptcy and preposterous sums spent on arms deals that have made India the world’s second largest arms buyer when we can’t provide food and healthcare to 60% Indians. Our leaders are making deals on the sly with greedy builders, land sharks, illegal mining companies, corporate fixers, shady arms dealers and, O yes, US diplomats who want to manipulate our political choices. And, what’s more amazing, they do it like

I

bungling idiots. Even Inspector Clouseau can outwit them. But that doesn’t mean they are not malevolent. These are people who are destroying India from within. They are not just robbing you, me, and the exchequer. They are destroying institutions, subverting laws, vandalizing our heritage and history, and trying to build a dazzling, amoral edifice of crime and corruption unprecedented in the nation’s history. It’s a scary scenario that could turn the land of the Mahatma into one gigantic Gotham City with a flyover to hell. But my question is more basic:

These are people who are destroying India from within. They are not just robbing you, me, and the exchequer. They are destroying institutions, subverting laws, vandalizing our heritage and history, and trying to build a dazzling, amoral edifice of crime and corruption unprecedented in the nation’s history.

Can we trust these idiots to run this great nation? If you travel and meet people across India , you will realize that for every scam that breaks—and currently there’s one breaking every week—there are ten more waiting in line. The media has never had it so good! And it’s the same gang whose names keep coming up. Kalmadi, Satish Sharma, Sant Chatwal, Ashok Chavan. The NCP lot. The DMK. And everyone, in private, is protesting his own innocence, pointing fingers at someone else. It’s a sure sign of a collapsing regime. It’s what happened when Rajiv with a staggering majority in parliament lost his mandate to govern. Rats alone don’t leap off a sinking ship. So do everyone else. So even though Singh, like Pontius Pilate, may wash his hands off every scam that hits the headlines, the fact is: The longer this Government stays, the more compromised the Congress will be, and the less capable of coming back to power. You can’t allow the sovereignty of a nation to be compromised just to win a confidence vote. You can’t bribe MPs to get your way in parliament. You can’t allow a shady hotelier, with CBI cases against him, to play roving diplomat and, worse, give him a Padma Bhushan for it. You can’t appoint a tainted bureaucrat as the nation’s CVC. You can’t file an FIR against a corrupt CM and then allow him to melt away. You can’t let the prime witness to the nation’s biggest scam, who offered to turn approver, be murdered in broad daylight and pretend it’s a suicide. If this is the best this Government can do, it’s time to step down. (Courtesy: The Times of India blog. Though it is an older blog entry, we found it relevant today too)

Science of Spirituality TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

Amityville, NY: Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj brought his message of transformation through meditation to the metro New York region on Labor Day Weekend, August 31-Sept 2, 2102. His talks and meditations drew many thousands not only from the East Coast but also from other parts of the country, Europe, Africa, and South America. Beginning with a Hindi talk on Friday night before an audience of over 2,000 people at the Science of Spirituality Center in Amityville, drawing three thousand to Washington Heights on Saturday night with a discourse simultaneously translated into Spanish, and returning to the Amityville Center on Sunday for a major talk to another overflow crowd of thousands, the weekend was a nonstop feast of spirituality. Frequent meditations gave everyone a chance to practice the technique the spiritual Master teaches: meditation on the Inner Light. Honored throughout the world for his work toward peace through human unity and spirituality, the spiritual Master continued to receive tributes for this selfless work from dignitaries in New York. Saturday evening at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, speaking before a packed house, NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat, 31st District, read a proclamation from the NY State Legislature praising Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj for “his tireless work and creative genius which are testament to the life he singlehandedly breathes into the global human unity movement.” Chairman of the United States House Committee on Homeland Security, Representative Peter T. King sent a Citation that was read

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj brings message of transformation to New York

More pictures and stories on Maharaj Ji's NY visit on pages 16-17-18.
His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, a natural, engaging speaker, giving his address at one of the Labor Day events in New York. prior to the spiritual Master’s Sunday talk. Tributes followed from NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller John Liu, and one each from Nassau and Suffolk County Executives Edward Mangano and Steven Bellone. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s talk highlighted the program, focusing on meditation as a vehicle for self-discovery and God-realization. Mentioning the physical benefits of meditation, such as stress relief, he said these are by-products of meditation. The real benefit is contacting the spark of the divine within each of us. His non-stop schedule included Sunday print media and electronic interviews which will be broadcast to millions worldwide on Sahara One, TV Asia, ITV Gold, and Get Punjabi. The spiritual Master will leave for India later this week where he will preside over the 20th Global Conference on Mysticism, held in Delhi from Sept 13-20. For more information about Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and his schedule, visit www.sos.org.

Maharaj Ji makes a personal connection with grateful devotees.

Accompanied by Mata Rita Ji, Maharaj Ji blesses the devotees who turned out in hundreds for the Labor Day picnic in The Woodlands in Woodbury.

NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat presents a proclamation from the NY State Legislature to Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj.

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Science of Spirituality TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

The spiritual master’s appeal extends to all age groups and people of different ethnicities and faith traditions.

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj greets the audience before giving his discourse Sunday at the Amityville Science of Spirituality Center.

Spiritual Master, Global Leader and Humanitarian
Over a million people around the world follow the teachings of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, and the number of spiritual seekers drawn to him continues to grow.

Mata Rita Ji, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s wife, rendering a Paltu verse at the Sunday event.

After his discourse Sunday, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj was gracious enough to go out in the SoS Center grounds to greet devotees waiting there. Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. He received Peace Award from the Interfaith Center of New York and the Temple of Understanding. He spoke at a ceremony honoring UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and was a featured spiritual leader at the 2000 Millennium Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders held at the UN. In his interview with the New York Times, he said world peace could be a reality when each person finds peace within themselves and that peace could be attained through meditation. Among his many awards and tributes are five honorary doctorates in recognition of his global mission he has undertaken since 1989. A prolific author, his books and articles are available in 50 languages; his talks go out to the world via radio, television, and live internet broadcasts. Among his bestselling books are ‘Inner and Outer Peace through Meditation’, and ‘Empowering Your Soul through Meditation’. His most recent books are ‘Spark of the Divine’ (2011), and ‘Meditation as Medication for the Soul’ (released in August this year). As founder of Darshan Education Foundation, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj has established 17 Darshan Academies (K-12) throughout India and in South America which integrate meditation and a spiritual curriculum into a traditional academic environment. As spiritual Master, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj grants seekers a first hand experience of their soul by putting them in direct contact with the Light and Sound of God. This Light and Sound is within each and every one of us – and the experience of connecting with it goes far beyond a general sense of wellbeing, relaxation, or peace. This is why over a million people around the world follow the teachings of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, and the number of spiritual seekers continues to grow. His meditation seminars and initiation he offers into meditation is all free of charge. He lives on his own earnings and accepts no donations. Science of Spirituality centers around the world offer the local community workshops, lectures and retreats on medication, spirituality and related topics free of cost. The New York center is at 79 County Line Rd, Amityville in Long Island. For more information, visit: www.sos.org

H

is Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is the Spiritual Head of Science of Spirituality and President of Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission, as it is known in India. He is internationally recognized for his work toward inner and outer peace through spirituality. Born in India and educated as a scientist, he has a keen understanding of both mysticism and science. He received his spiritual education from two of India’s greatest spiritual Masters: Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894–1974) and Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj (1921–1989). He earned his master’s degree in Chicago, USA and had a distinguished 21 years career in science and communications. His training in both of these disciplines has helped him express age-old mystical teachings in

clear, logical language. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s dedication to the human unity movement leads to his global efforts to help humanity seek unity at the level of the soul and transcend individual, racial, cultural, national, religious and economic differences. He tours the globe, brining a message of peace. In each country he visits, he convenes a Human Unity Conference to bring civic, social, religious and spiritual leaders together to share their views on how to integrate ideals of human unity into their communities. To date there have been 26 such forums in various parts of the world. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, he led an audience of thousands in meditation at the

Science of Spirituality TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

"Consciousness of the Master is imparted to us at the time of initiation in Sant Mat"
Excerpts from an insightful interview Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj gave to The South Asian Times at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Amityville during his visit to New York after a gap of three years.

Wherever Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is visiting, followers in big numbers gather to have his darshan and blessings as at this picnic organized by SoS Center on Monday. By Parveen Chopra The South Asian Times: In India people know the tradition you come from as Radho Soami Satsang faith, but in Science of Spirituality, that term is not used… Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj: Like in all faiths there are differences of opinion. The Radha Soami faith started with Soami ji Maharaj (founded in the 1850s in Agra, India), until some parts were left in Agra and some went to Beas, Punjab. Later in 1950, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj started Ruhani Satsang from Delhi. He was succeeded by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, who founded Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission. We are not trying to convert people into any faith. Our path (Sant Mat) is asking people to stay in their own faith but add meditative practices to their day-to-day life. Because when we go into each faith, we find there are meditative practices. So we have tried to stay away from having to start a new thing. And that is the main difference between us and the Radha Soami faith. Have you tweaked in some way the system or teachings coming down from Sant Mat? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj: The connection with the Light and Sound of God is based on being able to have the inner eye open and connect with a Divine Power within. So that process which is called Naamdaan (or diksha) in Surat Shabad Yoga is there. So there is no tweaking of faith. The belief in Sant Mat is that the Master Power helps you to be able to connect with the Divine Power. It is the power of God, which is helping every one of us. And that power is lying latent in each one of us. So it is a matter of how that power gets to a state where it is ignited. Your followers seem to come from varied religious backgrounds… Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj: We believe that there is one God, but saints have come in all ages in all faiths, whether you call them Sons of God or Enlightened Beings or Spiritual Masters. When we look at their teaching, we find that their teachings are very similar. We feel that there are two sides to every faith, the esoteric which is inner, and

To the extent possible, Maharaj Ji gives personal attention to seekers and followers. the exoteric, which is how we behave and the kind of rites and rituals we have. The exoteric side is different in different faiths. But the esoteric side, which is based on the soul and the spirit, is one and the same. So our mission focuses on the esoteric side and we do not touch on the outer side. But we tell people to make sure that the inner side – spirit and the soul--is nourished and put some effort to experience the soul. But now a lot of the esoteric is also being made exoteric. What was mystical knowledge is coming into the public domain. So should the five-word mantra of Surat Shabad Yoga be made public? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj: Knowing the words will not make a difference. The belief in the Sant Mat is that when the five words are given to us, they are charged by the attention of the master. The names will not make a difference, only the attention of the master does. So the tradition is that the consciousness of the Master is imparted to us at the time of our own initiation, and that makes the words work so they can still the mind. Now that you are based in America, how is your connection with India holding? Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj: Half the year I am in India, making three trips there of two months each. And half the year I am in the States or some other part of the world.

Both Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and his wife, Mata Rita Ji, who usually accompanies him, are gracious and accessible.

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Science of Spirituality TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s mission lauded by federal, state, city, and county officials
Amityville, NY: H.H. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj was in the metro New York region on Labor Day Weekend to offer a series of public programs and teach meditation that leads to inner and outer peace. His Herculean efforts to forge peace through spirituality and human unity garnered recognition from federal, state, county, and city officials who enthusiastically welcomed him everywhere he traveled in the Empire State. A Congressional Citation from Congressman Peter T. King whose district encompasses Amityville, NY, honored the Spiritual Master for generously giving his time and talent teaching inner and outer peace through spirituality. He also commended Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj’s global efforts to help humanity discover unity at the level of the soul. State Senator Adriano Espaillat, whose Senatorial district includes Washington Heights, New York, in the heart of the largest Spanish speaking community in Manhattan, presented a Proclamation to the spiritual Master at the United Palace Theatre. This proclamation focused on the educational work pioneered by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj who founded 17 Darshan Academy K-12 Schools for Peace in India and South America that integrate meditation into traditional school curricula. New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, praised Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj for his personal achievements as a “noted author, teacher, and peace advocate, and the spiritual Master of the worldwide Sant Mat movement.” New York City Comptroller John C. Liu presented a Commendation, “For offering people from around the world an opportunity to find peace, joy, and spiritual fulfillment; for encouraging others to make positive contributions to the world around them; for reaching across religious borders to promote unity and appreciation; and for his tremendous contributions to the City of New York.” Suffolk County Executive, Steven Bellone presides over the country in which Amityville’s Science of Spirituality Meditation Center is located. On behalf of the 1.5 million Suffolk County residents, he lauded Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj who “. . . travels the globe tirelessly bringing his message of peace, unity, and hope to the world.” Nassau County Executive, Edward P. Mangano, whose county was the venue for the final picnic event on Monday, offered a Citation in honor of the spiritual Master’s work toward human unity, education, and spirituality. Mangano calls the spiritual Master’s mission “creative genius.” The citation was presented by Kamlesh Mehta, the County’s Director of Business and Economic Development, who said that after taking initiation and blessings from Maharaj Ji, his own life changed for the better. Mangano and Senator Espaillat offered effusive praise for Master as a prolific author who has released the critically acclaimed Spark of the Divine last summer. Two weeks ago he released Meditation as Medication for the Soul, which is already in a second printing. He has two best sellers: Empowering Your Soul through Meditation and Inner

His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj giving darshan and greeting devotees during one of his Labor Day weekend programs in New York.
and Outer Peace through Meditation. His books have been translated into 50 languages. His talks go out to millions weekly in India and Asia on television, and globally on the Internet. Responding to these tributes, Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj told an ITV Gold reporter he was happy to receive such recognition for the work of peace, for the work of unity, for the work of spirituality. The barriers that separate us through nationality, religion, social status, or appearance come tumbling down as we realize that we are all children of the one Parent—God. This is a realization that we reach the more we meditate. This nondenominational meditation practice can be performed by people of all religions and na tionalities. The peace and bliss found in meditation transforms the individual practitioner. A transformed individual transforms those in her or his circle – family or friends, co-workers too. Transformed families will transform communities, then cities, nations, and the planet. Inner peace truly leads to outer peace. That was a part of the spiritual Master’s Washington Heights talk and is consistent with the message in his critically acclaimed book Spark of the Divine.

The citation on behalf of New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli was presented to Maharaj ji by Assistant Comptroller Joseph Galante.

The citation on behalf of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was presented to Maharaj Ji by Kamlesh Mehta, the County’s Director of Business and Economic Development.

A Congressional Citation from Congressman Peter T. King was presented to Maharaj Ji by Renee Lobo, TV journalist and NYC Human Rights Commissioner, at the Amityville program on Sunday.

Diaspora TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

London: An estimated 150 Indian students out of a total of 600 impacted in some form could be in danger of immediate deportation from Britain after the immigration authority, the United Kingdom Border Agency, revoked London Metropolitan University's licence to admit or teach anyone from outside the European Union. Legal experts believe LMU, the first British university to be stripped of its right to sponsor foreign student visas, is bound to challenge UKBA's order in court. Its chancellor Malcolm Gillies confirmed the university has sought

150 Indian students in Britain may be sent home soon
legal advice on the matter. However, pupils who did not possess valid student visas will be served with orders to leave Britain immediately. A UKBA enforcement team thinks up to 500 of the nearly 3,000 overseas students affected by the action against LMU fall into the category of having no right to be enrolled at this university. A UKBA source told media, "They either have lapsed student visas, the wrong type of visas that don't allow them to study here or are studying without any visas." The source warned, "Some will be raided, detained and removed,

others will be firmly asked to leave or risk being thrown out." It is also unclear whether LMU will refund fees to the de-recognized students. It is said to be consulting lawyers on how much it is obliged to pay. Students who don't fall foul of the visa regime have been granted 60 days to find places at other British universities. Gillies said LMU would lose nearly £30 million in tuition fees without non-EU students. The diplomatic mission has posted an advisory on its website — www.hcilondon .in — asking concerned students to get in touch for assistance.

Kerala workers in Oman in limbo over invalid medical papers
Dubai: Some expatriates from Kerala are in for uncertain times in Oman as the medical certificates provided by a center in the state have been termed invalid by the Gulf Sultanate's foreign affairs department. These expats have now approached the Indian embassy in Muscat urging it to alert other Indian migrants not to fall prey to Carino National CT & Diagnostic Centre, which is providing medical certificates despite not being authorized to issue such certificates to Oman visa applicants, a news report said. The center's main office is located in Goa and a branch is operating in Calicut, the Times of Oman report said. "We landed in trouble by taking certificates from the center. They made us believe that they have the right to issue medical certificates for visa services. One of the certificates which we sent to Oman was not cleared," Jaison and Sajeev told the newspaper. "When we enquired about this with the hospital authorities they provided us a new certificate and told us there would be no problem in future. But when we landed here and went to the foreign affairs department, they said that National Hospital is not authorized to issue medical certificates to Oman visa applicants." All Indian nationals taking up employment in GCC-member countries are required to be examined and issued a medical fitness certificate. According to the report, when the Muscat-based social workers contacted the center, they did not get a satisfying reply. "I called the medic and the center management. They were not providing us a proper answer. They behaved arrogantly, even though the mistake was made by them," Hussain, a Muscat-based social worker who helped the victims, said. "We have decided to take up the issue back in India as well. If we don't stop this center from issuing certificates, then more and more will be betrayed," Hussain said. The case has brought to light several instances of such invalid certificates following which the jobseekers have had to spend extra money to get the certificates again.

UK Indian women told to hide jewelry
London: Amid growing incidents of jewelry snatching and burglaries in British shops, police in the east Midlands town of Leicester have advised women of Indian-origin to use a scarf or clothing to cover their ornaments while in the streets. The town with a large minority of Indianorigin has seen a spate of daring burglaries of jewelry shops owned by Indian origin businessmen, particularly in the 'Golden Mile' on Belgrave Road, popularly known as 'Little India.' The road is called 'Golden Mile' due to the large number of jewelry shops there, with trade arrangements with jewelers in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The police have now issued guidance to the Asian community on how to protect themselves from muggers and thieves seeking profit from the rising prices of gold, reports from Leicester said. A video has also been produced on the guidance. Created by city crime reduction officer, Alan Cook, the video it features Dee Bahra, local radio presenter, who received complaints from listeners on her program about the problem of ornaments being snatched on roads. Bahra said: "For many women, especially Hindus and Sikhs, but also women from

other Asian communities, it is traditional to wear jewelry. But it's a sad fact that thieves are looking to target vulnerable pedestrians in the street. The police have seen a marked rise in reports of gold chains, bracelets and other jewelry being snatched from pedestrians, mainly women, the Leicester Mercury, a leading local daily, reported. The police said 17 reports of jewelry snatches were received from people in the Golden Mile, Belgrave Road and Melton Road areas, from May 28 to August 28, compared with five in the same period last year. Kev Mistry, a police officer from the Belgrave safer neighborhood team, said an increase in the value of gold had made tempting targets of female pedestrians with their jewelry on show. Bahra said she had also been a target of a jewelry thief.

London: A total of 184,000 children have been born to foreign mothers in the UK last year, with babies of Indian nationality being third in the list. The UK Government has revealed the top-ten most common nationalities of foreign-born women who gave birth in NHS hospitals last year. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that almost 15,000 babies born in the UK are from Indian mothers.

Indians produce third highest number of kids in UK among non locals
According to the Daily Mail, the numbers revealed by the ONS showed that a new record level of births to foreign-born mothers is more than double the proportion of 20 years ago, with women originally from Poland topping the list. Other nations represented in the top ten include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Somalia, the report said. A total of 184,000 children were born in the country, with almost half of them in London, which has a foreign-born mother rate of 56.7 percent, far above the national average of 25.5 percent. According to the report, the so called 'health tourism' as a whole is thought to cost taxpayers as much as 200 million pounds a year. The number of foreign-born mothers in the country has consistently being rising annually, with the figures now double what they were 30 years ago,

the report said. Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a 25.5 percent of all children born in 2011 had foreign-born mothers, compared with 25.1 percent the year before, the report added. More than 20,000 were from Poland, followed by 18,000 from Pakistan, almost 15,000 from Indian and more than 8,000 from Bangladesh.

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Subcontinent TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

New visa regime to top India-Pakistan talks
New Delhi: India and Pakistan will discuss the roadmap of bilateral relations when their foreign ministers meet in Islamabad at the weekend, with a new visa regime likely to top the agenda. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna arrives in Islamabad on Friday for talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar. A high point of the three-day visit could be the signing of a visa pact, but the two sides have not given a final confirmation. Krishna and Rabbani will review the second round of the dialogue process revived in February 2011 after a long hiatus following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The two ministers are expected to discuss all bilateral issues including those related to terrorism and Kashmir. They will cochair the plenary of the IndiaPakistan Joint Commission Saturday. From India's perspective, expediting the trial of the Pakistanis who masterminded the Mumbai attack will top the agenda. India has been pressing Pakistan to punish the perpetrators to create an atmosphere of confidence building. Other issues likely to figure in the talks are confidence building measures (CBMs), release of prisoners as well as trade and border issues. The controversy over fake SMS messages that allegedly emanated from Pakistan, sparking an exodus of people of northeastern states from cities like Bangalore could be taken up. regime were sealed when the home secretaries of India and Pakistan met. "We are ready to sign it. At the time of home secretary talks, we were told (by Pakistan) that there were legal and other requirements," Akbaruddin said recently. Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in Tehran last week that the issues related to the visa regime had been worked out. He hoped the pact gets signed during Krishna's visit. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Tehran last week, said that the expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial will be a "major" confidence building measure in bilateral relations.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet before the foreign ministers' meet. The talks for a liberalized visa

Suicide attack Report warns of Taliban strikes in heart of Pak Lakhvi had access to mobile phones currently residing in Attock" in within the prison and was in touch Punjab, are expected to simultanekills 25 at with other LeT operatives to direct ously target government installations the group's operations. and attempt kidnapping some highAfghan funeral The Taliban militants, who are profile people in Islamabad and
Jalalabad: A suicide bomber targeting an Afghan government official at a funeral killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens more in the east of the country near the Pakistan border, officials said. Police and the interior ministry put the death toll at 20, but a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial government said as many as 25 people had been killed in the remote Dur Baba district. The target was the district governor, who was wounded, and officials said there were fears that the toll could rise further. "The suicide attack killed 20 people and wounded around 50, including the district governor. Some wounded people are in critical condition, the toll might rise," interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said. Provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said the bomber was on foot and killed 25 people, including a son of the district governor. "highly trained and reported to be Rawalpindi , the daily said.

Hate content in Pak textbooks increases manifold
Lahore: At a time when Pakistan is plagued by terrorism, its official academia has been unable to stop the inclusion of hate material targeting Hindus, Christians and Sikhs and fanning sectarian hatred in school curriculum.This hate material included in textbooks being used in Punjab and Sindh provinces mainly targets the country's religious minorities Hindus, Christians and Sikhs - and India and Westerners, says the NGO National Commission for Justice and Peace. "The latest textbooks have more hate content than those written previously," the NGO said in a statement. According to a content analysis of books published by the Punjab and Sindh textbook boards that was done by the NCJP, the hate content has increased manifold with the passage of time. "Many textbooks that had no hate material in their earlier versions, now carry such material in Punjab and Sindh provinces. The issue of religious intolerance should be discussed openly and that must lead to some action to save younger students from such influences at the outset," the NCJP said in a report entitled "Education or Fanning Hate". The report said there were 45 lines containing hate material in books published in Punjab during 2009-11, and the figure increased to 122 lines this year. The textbooks for Urdu and Pakistan Studies for Classes VII, VIII, IX and X were found to be the "most affected", as hate material increased from 15 lines to 86 lines. In all, 22 lessons in the current curriculum for primary and secondary schools have hate content, the report said. Rights and civil society groups have often blamed such contents in textbooks for fanning sectarian hatred and animosity towards countries like India.

The secret report said Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi is likely to be the "main target" of the militants Islamabad: Pakistan's interior ministry has warned authorities that a group of Taliban militants plans to carry out attacks on targets in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, including the prison where LeT members charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks are being held. A secret report circulated by the National Crisis Management Cell of the interior ministry contains "specific warnings of terror attacks" by around 16 members of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan over the next two weeks, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying. The report, sent to all provincial home departments, provincial and federal police departments and the Islamabad's commissioner, said Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi is likely to be the "main target" of the militants who intend to "free their accomplices in a prison break" . LeT operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attack is currently being held at Adiala Jail. Western and Indian intelligence sources had earlier confirmed that

Zardari case: Lahore HC issues notice to Pak president
Lahore: Amid controversy over Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's dual office, the Lahore High Court issued a notice to him to explain by September 14 why he had not followed its direction to relinquish the political post of co-chairman of the ruling PPP. A four-judge bench headed by the High Court Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial issued the notice to the President through his Principal Secretary. "We ask the President to tell the court as to why he did not follow the High Court's direction of leaving political office of his party," Bandial said. He further said: "The President should inform the court if he thinks that the petition against his holding of two offices is not maintainable." The petition challenging the holding of two offices by Zardari was to be heard by a five-member bench but one of the judges, Mansoor Ali Shah, went on leave hours before the hearing. Additional Attorney General Abdul Hai Gilani and lawyer Wasim Sajjad represented the federal government during the hearing. Gilani told the court that Attorney General Irfan Qadir was to appear before the bench but he had to go to Balochistan in connection with another crucial case. "The Attorney General will appear in the next hearing to file a reply," he said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari

International TheSouthAsianTimes.info

21

September 8-14, 2012

FBI laptop hacked, 12 mn Apple IDs stolen
Washington: A hacker group has claimed to have obtained personal data from 12 million Apple iPhone and iPad users by breaching an FBI computer , raising concerns about government tracking. The group called AntiSec, linked to the hacking collective known as Anonymous, posted one million Apple user identifiers claimed to be part of a larger group of 12 million, purportedly obtained from an FBI laptop. When contacted, FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said: "We are not commenting." Peter Kruse, an ecrime specialist with CSIS Security Group in Denmark, said on Twitter that the phone numbers etc... Big ouch!" he tweeted. Eric Hemmendinger, a security expert with Tata Communications , said the report raises concerns about the protectors of cybersecurity. "The question is not whether it's accurate , it is why did the feds have the information and why did they not take due care to secure it," he said.Hemmendinger said that based on past reports from Anonymous and related groups, he believes the report is probably true. "If you work in cybersecurity and your machine gets hacked, that's a pretty embarrassing scenario ," he said. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Japan to buy islands disputed with China: Media
Tokyo: Japan's government has agreed to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea at the center of a territorial dispute with China, a move likely to irk Beijing, Japanese dailies said. The central government will soon sign a contract to buy the islands claimed by both countries, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million) from their Japanese landowners, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, quoting government sources. Deputy chief Cabinet secretary Hiroyuki Nagahama met the landowners on Monday and struck the deal to buy three major islands in the chain, including Uotsurijima, the largest island, Yomiuri said. Government officials were not immediately available to confirm the reports. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet would soon confirm the nationalization of the islands and allocate reserve funds for the purchase, the Asahi Shimbun reported. Noda plans to formally inform the Chinese about the move on the sidelines of the UN assembly meeting later this month, Asahi said, but a Japan-China summit has not yet been set. The move is aimed at underscoring Japan's control of the islands, "but China, which has opposed the nationalization plan, will for sure step up criticism if the cabinet decides on the purchase," the Asahi added. Tokyo's outspoken nationalist governor Shintaro Ishihara earlier this year unveiled a plan to buy the islands for the metropolis. He charges that the country is not doing enough to protect its territory and had said he wanted to develop the chain. Testy Japan-China ties took a turn for the worse in August after pro-Beijing activists landed on one of the islands, which are controlled by Japan. They were arrested by Japanese authorities and deported.

The group is called AntiSec, linked to the hacking collective known as Anonymous leak "is real" and that he confirmed three of his own devices in the leaked data. "Also notice that they claim to have fullname, addresses ,

Iran monitors US warships movement in Persian Gulf
Tehran: Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the Iranian naval forces enjoy full intelligence command over all the movements of U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, reported Xinhua, citing Press TV. "We monitor all the movements of US warships and have intelligence command over their activities," Sayyari was quoted as saying by the channel. "The presence of US warships in the free waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman is in accordance with international law and we have not allowed the US to enter our territorial waters," said the Iranian commander. The kingdom of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf is home to US Naval Forces Central Command and United States Fifth Fleet. The US and over 25 other countries will hold the largest scale mine-sweeping exercise on Sep 1627 in the Persian Gulf, in a show of unity and a defensive step to prevent Iran from attempting to block oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz. Under Western sanction pressures on Iran's oil exports, a number of Iranian commanders have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and to block the flow of oil through this international waterway.

23 Indians hostage in hijacked ship in Nigeria

The oil tanker was coming from Bonny port town and was heading to the US
Lagos: Twenty-three Indian sailors are on board an oil tanker hijacked by pirates off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, said the oil tanker company. Pat Adamson, spokesperson for the Dubai-based Pioneer Ship Management Services LLC, told Xinhua on phone that all the crew on the fully loaded gasoline tanker are Indian nationals. He said the company lost contact with the crew after they sent distress signals even as the pirates boarded the ship in the night, with their last message indicating they had locked themselves inside a panic room on the vessel. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said in a statement that armed pirates boarded the vessel Tuesday night, attacking the crew members. The pirates forced the ship to sail into the open sea, the IMB added. Harrison said the tanker was coming from Bonny port town and was heading to the US. According to him, the company has since received contact from the crew onboard the vessel and can confirm that all crew members are currently safe and uninjured, but that the vessel has been boarded by suspected pirates.He said no contact has been made with those believed to be holding the vessel and that no demands have been received by Pioneer Ship management. "Pioneer is taking the matter extremely seriously and its primary concern is for the well-being and safe return of its crew members," he added. The spokesperson said that all relevant authorities have been notified and that the company is working closely with the International Maritime Bureau and local authorities. The frequent attacks on ships by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea pose an increasing threat to the trade hub.

Russia, France should join hands for united Europe : Putin
Moscow: Russia and France should make joint efforts for a united Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. During a ceremony held to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1812 Patriotic War at the Russian village of Borodino outside Moscow, Putin watched a re-enactment of the Battle of Borodino, a decisive fight between Russian and French troops. On this occasion, Putin said though the Russians and French people were rivals during the Battle of Borodino 200 years ago, soldiers from both sides showed their courage and heroism. The people of the two sides should joint hands to promote a united Europe. "In our history, we have been together more often than at war. France has almost always been our close ally," Putin said. "I hope together we shall be able to do more to unite Europe on the basis of common moral values." Over 3,000 military and history enthusiasts from 120 history clubs around the world participated in Sunday's re-enactment. The Battle of Borodino, fought Sep7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia, involving more than 250,000 troops and causing at least 70,000 casualties. The battle was led by Emperor Napoleon I of French side and General Mikhail Kutuzov of Russian side.

Vladimir Putin at the 200th anniversary celebrations of the 1812 Patriotic War

22

Business TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

11 Indian firms in Forbes Asia's Fab 50
Washington: India claims the second-biggest haul after China in Asia's Fab 50 with 11 Indian companies, up from seven last year, figuring in Forbes 2012 list of 50 best publicly traded companies in Asia-Pacific. The US magazine's 2012 list sees the return of the big Indian IT software services and consulting firms, HCL and Tata Consultancy, while an Indian drug company, Sun Pharmaceutical, breaks into the elite ranks for the first time. Once again China dominates the list with 23 mainland entries, the same as a year ago. Malaysia, Japan, Philippines and Singapore each had one representative on this year's list. South Korea could only muster four companies this year, down from eight last year. HTC-failed to repeat this time. Among executives and founders of these Asia Fab 50 companies, who also figure in Forbes list of billionaires are Uday Kotak and Aloke Lohia, one-third owner of Indorama Ventures, ranked eight with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. The companies were chosen from a pool of 1,295 that had at least $3 billion in annual revenue or market cap. The Indian companies in the list with their ranks were: Tata Consultancy Services (4), ITC (5), HDFC Bank (6), Bharti Airtel (9), Tata Motors (16), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (18), Bajaj Auto (27), Kotak Mahindra Bank (29), HCL Technologies (33), Titan Industries (37) and Asian Paints (41).

The list sees the return of the big Indian IT software services and consulting firms, HCL and Tata Consultancy A slowing economy weeded out the merely good companies from the truly great ones, Forbes said noting 15 companies are new this year. Another ten returned after falling off in past years. Several leading names that claimed a spot year after year-such as Australia's Wesfarmers, India's Mahindra & Mahindra and Taiwan's

Boeing increases target Moody's changes EU rating outlook to negative for India's aircraft needs
New York: Rating agency Moody's Investors Service has changed its outlook on the European Union's long-term debt ratings to negative from stable, sending a warning signal on a possible downgrade to the regional bloc's Aaa rating. "The negative outlook on the EU's long-term ratings reflects the negative outlook on the Aaa ratings of the member states with large contributions to the EU

budget: Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue," the agency said in a statement. Moody's has previously put all the four countries on negative outlook. The agency said that the EU's rating would be particularly sensitive to any changes in the ratings of these four Aaa-level member states, indicating that if it

downgrades these four countries, it may also cut the EU's rating. The Moody's move came ahead of a widely-anticipated European Central Bank (ECB) meeting scheduled for Thursday, and is expected to add pressure to the ECB about its new plan to tackle Europe's debt crisis.

It projects a requirement for 1,450 new aircraft worth $175 billion from 2012-2031 New Delhi: Despite a free fall in with long-term growth projections of domestic air travel, global aircraft twice the world average." European major Airbus, which probiggies continue to remain bullish on India. US major Boeing upped its jected that the world would need current market outlook (CMO) for 28,200 passenger and freighter airthe country by projecting a require- craft between 2012 and 2031 worth ment for 1,450 new aircraft worth $4 trillion, also said domestic $175 billion from 2012-2031. Last demand in India would be among the year's CMO had projected a require- highest in years to come. Airbus estiment of 1,320 new planes worth mates China to be the single biggest market in value terms followed by $150 billion till 2030. Forecasting India's commercial the US, UAE and India. "Aside from aviation fleet will grow more than growth in international traffic, by 4.5 times in size over 20 years, 2031 four of the world's biggest trafBoeing senior VP (sales) Dinesh fic flows will all be domestic - US, Keskar said: "India is projected to China, Intra western Europe and have the highest passenger traffic India - and these (would) account for growth in the world. "Over 60 mil- a third of world traffic," said John lion passengers will fly within India Leahy, Airbus' COO (customers). this year. Over the next 20 years, the According to Dinesh Keskar, the passenger growth is expected to be largest demand from India would be driven by an underlying economy of single aisle aircraft.

India's economic growth may fall below 6 pc: CII
New Delhi: A majority of CEOs are pessimistic about the Indian economy and feel that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth would fall below six percent in the current fiscal and will be in the range of 6 to 6.5 percent in 2013-14. According to a snap poll conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) among the members of its National Council shows that a majority of chief executive officers (CEOs) remain pessimistic about the outlook for the economy in the current year and expect only a moderate recovery in the forthcoming year. The poll results indicate that GDP growth during 2012-13 is expected to remain below six percent by as many as 44 percent of the respondents while no one expects it to cross seven percent. Another 44 percent expect it to remain between 6 and 6.5 percent. The scenario is not likely to improve much in 2013-14 either as more than half of the respondents (52 percent) expect GDP growth to remain in the range of 6 to 6.5 percent, while only 36 percent expect it to lie between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent. "This reflects low confidence levels in industry. The first quarter GDP growth at 5.5 percent corroborates the fact that the slowdown is sustaining," Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, said in the survey report. According to data released by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), the Indian economy grew at a sluggish 5.5 percent in April-June 2012 period as compared to 8 percent in the corresponding quarter of previous year. "Our best hope would be that the economy is bottoming out. However, from the results of the snap poll or from government data, we do not have adequate indicators to substantiate this hypothesis," Banerjee said. On inflation, 56 percent CEOs expect the average rate of inflation in 2012-13 to be in the range of seven to eight percent, while 32 percent of the respondents expect it to be between six to seven percent. Only 12 percent expect to higher between eight to nine percent. These expectations are in line with the seven percent inflation projected by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

After Amritsar, McDonald's eyes to open veggie outlets
New York: After opening an outlet in Amritsar, the US chain plans to launch another vegetarian outlet at Katra near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Indian Kashmir -- a revered Hindu pilgrimage site that draws hundreds of thousands of worshippers a year. It sees the potential for many more vegetarian restaurants across the country. McDonald's in India already has a menu that is 50 percent vegetarian. Its McAloo Tikki burger at 28 rupees or 50 cents -- which uses a spicy fried potato-based patty -- is the top seller, accounting for a quarter of total sales. Among the chicken-only meat offerings, the Maharaja Mac is also a favorite. Currently India, with its population of 1.2 billion, is still a "very small market for McDonald's", said Maini. "We have just 271 restaurants in India and across the world we have nearly 33,000," Maini said. The chain serves half a million customers a day in India, out of 50 million people it serves daily in over 100 countries. "When you look at the potential of the country, it's one of the top priority countries and we're laying the groundwork for capturing the market," said Maini. "We plan to nearly double the number of outlets to 500 plus within the next three years," he said. McDonald's is not alone in "Indianizing" its offerings. Domino's Pizza, another leading fast food chain in India, has created pizzas with extra spicy toppings.

McDonald's in India already has a menu that is 50 percent vegetarian

Sports TheSouthAsianTimes.info

23

September 8-14, 2012

I can't wait to step on the field: Yuvraj

India swept the Test series 2-0 against New Zealand

Yuvraj Singh Mumbai: Yuvraj Singh, who has recovered from cancer, says he can't wait to step on the field for the two Twenty20s against New Zealand slated for September 8 and 11. Yuvraj will be making his comeback to international cricket with the two Twenty20s after surviving cancer. The matches will also help him to test his fitness ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka from September 18. "I have been preparing for last couple of months in the National academy and have played a couple of matches along with team in the last four days and I can't wait to step on the field because that is something which is going to be a huge day for me," Yuvraj said. "I have trained really hard it was not easy on my body after cancer and as I said I just can't wait," he said. Yuvraj stepping on the field in the first Twenty20 against the Black Caps will be a momentous occasion in his life. "It's going to be a huge moment in my life. I can't wait for Sept 8 anymore. Every day I put a status 8 days, 7 days, I can't wait for the excitement, I can't wait to hold my bat, stand anywhere on the field that is one environment that I am used to that is what I was doing for 15 to 17 years and when that was taken away from me it was a shock. How many hours how many minutes I just can't wait honestly," he said.

Tests: Dhoni happy with team's showing
Bangalore: Mahendra Singh Dhoni ticked all the positive boxes while asserting that he was quite happy with the overall performances of the team that is unlikely to see any kind of "reshuffling" for the forthcoming home Test series against England and Australia. Speaking to media after leading India to a 2-0 series sweep against New Zealand, Dhoni said he was not unduly worried about the poor form of some of his batsmen, notably opener Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar, while making a case for a longer run to the younger players rather than judging them on the basis of a couple of innings. "No reshuffling. I think, it is just a matter of time before he gets going. I thought he batted quite well in the second innings," said Dhoni with reference to Gambhir who had scores of 22, 2 and 34 in three innings in the two Tests against the Kiwis. With regard to Tendulkar, the captain said: "Everytime we talk about Tendulkar's form, he comes up with a big innings and I am waiting." Dhoni was dismissive of criticism of Suresh Raina's injudicious shot that cost him his wicket in the second innings here and emphasized that younger players needed to be given a long run. "Like I said, there are two ways of dealing with pressure. Either you go for your shots, like Raina did, or soak in the pressure, like Virat (Kohli) who batted brilliantly. It depends on the individuals, but I feel we need to back the youngsters, for that's the way to groom them," said Dhoni. The Indian captain again made a strong case for playing home Tests on pitches that assist spin, but in the same breath, Dhoni praised spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha for their effort on tracks that did not assist them, but favoured the batsmen. "I would like to see us batting on turning tracks, but our spinners were brilliant (in the just-concluded series) on pitches that didn't help them, but I feel that the fast bowlers need to chip in. "Ashwin and Ojha complemented each other and hunted well on pitches that were good to bat on. Ashwin has been bowling brilliantly and is learning variation while Ojha bowled well in the first innings here," said Dhoni.

US Open: Roddick and Federer bow out
"It couldn't be better," Berdych said in a courtside interview. "There is no better feeling. There is no better moment than this one." Federer could not hide his disappointment after arriving in the Big Apple full of hope following his win at Wimbledon in July. "There were so many moments I thought, man, it's just not happening for me," said the five-times US Open champion. "It was just a very disappointing match for me." Roddick made his final appearance at Arthur Ashe Stadium when he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round, while Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova both dug themselves out of trouble to stay alive on a drama-charged day at the last grand slam of the year. Only Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic had an easy time, both romping to comfortable victories to enhance their status as the favourites for the singles titles. Djokovic was in complete control of his fourth round match against Stanislas Wawrinka, leading 6-4 6-1 3-1, when the Swiss called it quits in one of five matches that were held over from Tuesday because of rain. Sharapova needed all her fighting qualities to come from behind and beat Marion Bartoli of France 3-6 6-3 6-4 and reach the semi-finals for the first time since she won in New York in 2006. Williams, full of confidence and self-belief, demolished Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in less than an hour to raise hopes of an American winner after Roddick departed.

Sachin's poor form worries Sunil Gavaskar

Sachin Tendulkar
Mumbai: There's no denying the sheer impact of Sachin Tendulkar's two-decade-long career on the cricketing world. The master blaster's class and brilliance have dazzled fans around the globe, while terrorizing bowlers of all pedigrees. However, the recent two-match Test series against New Zealand showed a man well into the evening of his career. There's no doubting Sachin's love for the game, but at 39 his body is putting out signals that he would do well to heed. Having his stumps uprooted thrice in a row against average Kiwi bowlers bears testimony to Sachin's slowing reflexes. The will to perform is there, but execution is proving to be a challenge. Known for making comebacks, Sachin may yet turn around his form. But with age, his comebacks are getting increasingly painful. No matter what he does from this point onwards, his place in cricketing history is assured. In addition to being the highest run scorer in both formats of the game, Sachin's record of 100 international centuries is likely to remain a benchmark for a very long time. He will always be remembered as the first batsman to break the 200-run barrier in One-Day Internationals, while his legacy will continue to inspire generations of Indian cricketers to come. In such a scenario, Sachin has little else left to prove or achieve.

Roger Federer

New York: Roger Federer was knocked out of the US Open when he lost a quarter-final thriller to Tomas Berdych just hours after his old rival Andy Roddick bid a tearful farewell to his tennis career. Federer was unable to conjure up any of his old magic as Berdych stormed to a surprise victory, 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3, handing the world number one his earliest exit from Flushing Meadows in nine years.

24

Health TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

First person

Operation fresh start!
How I utilized post-surgery blues to begin life afresh!
By Nishant Arora n adversity, when you feel low, almost giving up, where do you derive strength from? People have various options to lean upon when they are in dire need of emotional backup -- family, friends, children, relatives, books, songs, alcohol, a long

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drive, sleeping over it, or not sleeping at all, chatting long hours on social media, or switching off the cellphone... Pain takes you to a different planet, where your body, mind and soul begin an all-together journey towards reducing the pain anyhow. At the crossroads of life, when

things must start looking up, when career should get a new direction, when marital life should begin exploring the true meaning of relationship, when financial planning should start cementing your future... what if you come across one such adversity -- a medical condition... You know you will be all right

once you have gone through it, but fear lurks, doubts rule and you are left with no choice but to wait for the moment. Once in the Operation Theater (OT), you are made numb, sleepy and by the time you come back to your senses, the procedure is over and you are lying in bed, either staring at the walls, getting your doubts cleared while talking to the attendant or taking in 'Get Well Soon' bouquets from friends, colleagues and relatives... Recovery time post-surgery or post-operation is the worst part. With the passing of a day or two, when your nerves begin responding to you in a normal fashion, comes the subtle feeling – of doing nothing. Why the day is so long? Why the night is never-ending? When will the discharge message come? While the body is healing itself and the soul recuperating from the traumatic time you just went through, mind wanders all through day and night. This break was uncalled for; there is no cellphone, no newspaper, no laptop, no emails… a complete cut-off from the outer word. The realization comes later. This sudden break in your otherwise busy life is actually a fresh beginning - a new start towards getting back to the basics. Now comes the catch: spend the time reading books that you have missed on while maneuvering the daily churning of life... watch movies that you always wanted to see but failed to do so

because 12 hours a day in office left you with little energy even to hit the sack... and Sundays were consumed by weekly lists of chores, children, and must-awaited day sleep... Utilize the time unwinding yourself from job-related stress, family-related problems, rushhour traffic, monsoon mania on roads... When allowed to sit, meditate. When told to walk, walk as if this is your first step. Yield to the pain as this was bound to happen. Learn from the pain as this came to you for a certain reason – to teach you the importance of a healthy, meaningful life. When you are finally discharged from the hospital, and see the daylight for the first time, nothing in the world can be compared to the child-like happiness that glows on your face -- the joy of being reconnected to the world, and you become one with it. The importance of life unfolds in front of you. The traffic appears melting in front of your eyes, as you soak in the hot summer day and reach home where the family is eagerly waiting for you. It is when you forget your pain, and look at the world differently. The unending wait in the hospital bed results in a great joy - and a commitment to keep yourself fit, healthy and connect to the moments lost in the rat race called life. (The writer went through a kidney-stone removal advanced surgery recently.)

11 years after 9/11 TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

That fateful day -- what I remember
By Vikas Girdhar

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hortly after news of the terrorist attacks on New York on September 11, 2001 broke out, people and TV programs all over were echoing sentiments about how we all will never forget where each one was that day, that hour, that moment when the Twin Towers collapsed. I agree. I feel as if everything that day happened in such an indescribable way and what started off as an ordinary morning quickly changed so many lives and the course of history forever. In one sense, as one tragic update or tidbit of news piled on top of the next, I felt as though things were unraveling too quickly. Who knew what to expect next? In another sense, that day as a whole just felt like something outside the bounds of reality. In that dreamlike haze, time froze. What I was doing didn’t matter and my mind was preoccupied with horrific things I knew were taking place just a few miles

away. As I woke up and got ready for another day in what was still the early part of my sophomore year in high school in Hicksville, NY, I remember the weather being especially beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the mild temperature was simply a reminder of the summer that had just passed us. Nothing felt out of place as I made my way from 1st period to 2nd period—and then it happened as I was sitting in my math class, 3rd period with Ms. Hollander. What I don’t remember was what we were learning as news started to break out. In hindsight, it wouldn’t have even mattered if I did. What was unraveling was much bigger than any logarithm or algebraic equation could solve. As an aside, what I do remember is the mindless way I feel my school handled the breakout of this news. The principal came on the loud speaker, asked for everyone’s attention and bellowed “there’s a situation going on at the World Trade

In poignant memory of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Center” but nothing more. What is anyone supposed to think after such an uninformed update? The entire class was struck with curiosity and focusing on anything else was out of the question. My way of handling it would have been to provide an informed announcement when it was available to avoid people from driving themselves crazy over assuming or thinking the worst, even if the worst is seemingly what happened—or not say anything until it was available. Such a thing was elementary to me even then. If you’re making an announcement to hundreds of people, the right thing to do would be to try to keep them as calm and their thoughts as collected as possible, not rife with assumptive craze. That’s just my two cents and in the grand scheme of things, I got over that rather quickly. We finally got some updates to confirm what was going on and the rest of the day at school didn’t matter, quite frankly. Everyone knew where the others’ minds were and no one could really focus on much else. At last, it was time to go home. My parents were there to meet me because they had been dismissed from work early that day. All I had all day were fragments of news and information, but as I turned on the television I got all the linked confirmations I needed. Horrific images of a now incomplete skyline, planes crashing, people running, debris everywhere—it was frankly like something out of a movie. Never in my lifetime did I think I would have to live through news like this but at that time, my lifetime only spanned

The attack on the World Trade Center, collapsing the Twin Towers is the single most apocalyptic event in human history. 15 years. It is now 11 years later and I am now in charge of delivering news to people just like myself at that age. I look back and reflect on the wide range of emotions that are summoned by thoughts of that fateful day and it feels like just yesterday. I remember so much about that day because I knew it would be one that would live in infamy for terrible reasons.So much has changed—society, we as a people and each of us individually. Everyone, however, has a different story and account of their experiences of that 9/11. While mine may not be as riveting as others’, I’m sure it echoes the sentiments of the majority. It’s a day we shall remember for the rest of our lives, even in the midst of a changing landscape, a revamped skyline, tighter security and precautionary lifestyles. As we remember those events that took place 11 years ago, let us hope that the those who lost their lives rest in peace and let us pray for brighter future for us all. Close your eyes this September 11 and think about how lucky we all are to be here and how our lives may have very well been totally different from that day forward.

WTC Memorial going strong after one year
Museum and ‘1 WTC’ still in works
By Vikas Girdhar he World Trade Center Memorial, in the same spots that both the North and South Towers stood in Manhattan, will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of its opening this September 11. On that day last year, the memorial was opened to the victims’ families and to the public on the following day. Construction of the memorial was started in March 2006. The memorial is made to rest in the “footprints” of the Twin Towers and features downward flowing water on all four square sides. They are the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States. The names of 2,983 victims of the terrorist attacks are inscribed on bronze plates that form the edges of the footprints. Funding for the memorial and museum is provided by sources encompassing private and public funds with a budget of $530 million and an additional $80 million grant

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from New York for the museum pavilion. The non-profit organization that will manage the memorial lists the below goals as part of its mission statement: The Memorial Mission: Remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. Respect this place made sacred through tragic loss. Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and the compassion of all who supported us in our darkest hours. May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance. The museum is slated to open

The World Trade Center Memorial rests in the ‘footprints’ of the Twin Towers and features downward flowing water on all four square sides – visitors often find themselves gazing into the pools of water for hours. within the next year. It will be located approximately 70 feet below the ground and will feature distinctive elements made to mirror some “broken down” appearances of the attacks. Included in the museum will be pieces of steel from the Twin Towers, such as the last piece of steel to leave Ground Zero in May of 2002, and artifacts from the attacks. One World Trade Center, also known as 1 WTC, is the major 104story project being built in place of where the 8-story 6 WTC once stood. 74 of those floors will be useable above-ground floors and the plaza will also be open to the public, as the previous one was. When 1 WTC is completed in 2013, it will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the third

A model of the 1WTC being built: when completed in 2013, it will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere. tallest building in the world, based on pinnacle height: 1,368 feet tall. Construction of 1 WTC was started in April 2006 and will cost $3.8 billion as estimated earlier this year.

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Ultimate Bollywood TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

Obama 'counting on' RGV uses optical Kal Penn for campaign illusion in 'Bhoot Returns' poster
am Gopal Varma has managed to garner interest in his first 3D film "Bhoot Returns" by launching an innovative first poster, which has an optical illusion of a girl with a bleeding lip. The illusion has been created around the girl's eyes, and catches the attention immediately. Perhaps Varma wanted to give his audience a sense of the visual effects that are in store for them in "Bhoot Returns", a sequel to his 2003 horror film "Bhoot". "Bhoot Returns" features actress Manisha Koirala along with southern actor JD Chakravarthy. Eros International will release the film worldwide

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The first look of Ram Gopal Varma's 'Bhoot Returns'

US President Barack Obama greets actor Kal Penn n an attempt to create more buzz for the US presidential candidate, Barack Obama and Indianorigin Kal Penn are seen in a new promotional video. The video begins with US President Obama making a seemingly important call on the phone to a possible aide. The tone is intense as he speaks to the person at the other end. "Hey, this is Barack," the US president says. "Listen, I need to know if you're on board." Receiving an affirmative reply, Obama is heard saying, "Ok good, 'coz I'm counting on you, everybody is. We have to get this right, so there's a lot at stake here. Just remember that I'm trusting you on this and I'll see you then."

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Once Obama puts down the phone, the camera pans to Kal Penn cutting the call, while slumped on a couch watching cartoons.John Cho (Penn's companion from Harold And Kumar movies) asks, "Dude, who was that? Sounded intense..." Pat comes the nonchalant Penn's reply, "The President." "Sweet," says Cho. Moments later, both break into laughter watching the cartoon. The video is promoting 'Live From Charlotte,' a web-only convention special that Penn will host on Thursday at 8 p.m. It will include interviews with celebrities including Marc Anthony, Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde amongst others, reported Huffington Post.

Priyanka to miss her song's release for 'Barfi!'

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Priyanka Chopra in Barfi!

riyanka Chopra's first single and her mosttalked-about film "Barfi" are releasing on the same day and she has decided to skip the former event. "My music album will come in a few months but the first single will come the same day as 'Barfi', actually Sep 13. The first single features Will.I.AM. and it will be a worldwide release," the 30-year-old said. Titled "In My City", the single wil be released during the 'Thursday Night Football'. However, Priyanka will not be present as she says, "I am promoting 'Barfi' at that time... I had to choose". Meanwhile, Priyanka also wished a happy Teachers' Day to all her teachers. "My teachers didn't like me at all. Happy Teachers' Day to all my teachers who didn't like me and happy Teachers' Day to all those teachers who made me who I am," she said.

Want to be successful mainstream actress: Sunny

'Objectionable parts to go from 'Son of Sardaar'
ctor Ajay Devgn has promised to remove portions of his upcoming movie, ‘Son of Sardaar’, considered objectionable by the Sikh community. Devgn showed promos of his movie to a panel of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and complainant Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad, president of a faction of the All India Sikh Students Federation. Punjab information and public relations minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia was present at the meeting, during which the actor also narrated the film’s story and stressed that the film had no aim to hurt Sikh sentiments. Regarding objections raised by Sikh organizations about a Lord Shiva tattoo on the Sikh

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protagonist’s chest and a couple of dialogues, the actor, who is shown as a turbaned Sikh in the movie, assured that whatever the SGPC found objectionable would be removed. The actor also promised that a print of the film would be sent to the SGPC before the release. Addressing mediapersons, Devgn said, “The movie is about Sikhs. I am a Punjabi and hurting sentiments of Punjabis will mean hurting sentiments of my own family. I can never do that.” “There were some promos on Youtube to which there were objections. Since I have great respect for the Sikh community, I have come here and shown them the promos and listened to their objections. I have promised to do the needful,” Devgn added.

Actor Sunny Leone fter the success of "Jism 2", porn star and Bollywood newcomer Sunny Leone now aims to establish herself as one of the successful mainstream actresses of B-town by dabbling in different kinds of roles in the near future. "My full concentration is now on Bollywood. I want to do different and all kinds of roles, especially playing meaningful characters. I want to establish myself as a successful mainstream actress," Sunny said. "In order to become successful in Bollywood, for next two-three years I will stay on in India as I want to give my hundred

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percent," said the 31-year-old Indo-Canadian. Born to a Punjabi family in Ontario, Canada, Sunny has been one of the superstars of the international adult film industry since 2001. Her popularity as a porn star earned her the rare achievement of being named among the world's top 12 porn stars by fashion magazine Maxim in 2010. But Sunny, who had participated in several reality shows in US, struck gold when she was spotted by veteran Mahesh Bhatt in the reality show "Bigg Boss 5" and was offered the lead role in "Jism 2", the sequel to 2003 film "Jism".

Ajay Devgn in a scene from 'Son of Sardaar'

Ultimate Bollywood Thesouthasiantimes.info

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September 8-14, 2012

Aamir brings smile to 'Jalpari' director

Emraan not to give up his 'serial kisser' image
nown as Bollywood's serial kisser, Emraan Hashmi may have decided to do a family film but feels it would be foolish of him to alienate himself from the kind of cinema he is known for doing. After doing off-beat film "Shanghai", Emraan returns to his original avatar of a lover boy with "Raaz 3", where he will romance Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta. When asked about revisiting his image, he said: "We have upped the stakes. There is normally one heroine, but here there are two. The sinful experiences on screen have increased," the 33-year-old said."I have a core constituency, an audience who want me to do such films. Every actor has an image and you would be a fool to let go of that. Yes, you can occasionally do other films but if you let go of your core strength then the reliability drops. "Within that realm you should try other genres. Like I do 'Raaz', I also did 'Shanghai' and it received critical acclaim. Of course, this is my core strength and I want to do such films and 'Raaz 3' is a film which brings all those strengths together," he added.

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A scene from 'Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid'

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amir Khan surely goes out of his way for causes that are close to his heart. The actor, busy with a shooting schedule in Chicago, made time to write to "Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid" director Nila Madhab Panda, expressing his desire to watch the movie on female foeticide. As a subject, female foeticide is very sensitive for Aamir, who dealt with it in all its seriousness on his debut TV show "Satyamev Jayate". Now, "Jalpari", tackles the same subject in a different, entertaining format of an adventure thriller, and Aamir did his bit in boosting the morale of Panda on the eve of the film's release. Panda, of the criticallyacclaimed "I Am Kalam" fame,

wants to fulfill Aamir's desire soon after the film hits the screens. "I sent Aamir Khan a mail and got a very prompt response. I have always admired his work and think he is one of the most sensitive actors in the industry and has created a revolution by doing a show like 'Satyamev Jayate'," said Panda. "I'm trying to ensure that he sees the film soon and then hopefully he will be able to help us spread the message about the evil of female foeticide even more, that which we are trying to bring to light through our film 'Jalpari The Desert Mermaid'," he added. "Jalpari" features an eclectic cast of talented actors like Parvin Dabas, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Suhasini Mulay.

Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta in 'Raaz 3'

'Green Mile' actor Duncan dies at 54

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ctor Michael Clarke Duncan has died at a hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 54. Duncan, who rose to prominence by playing a death row inmate in the acclaimed film 'The Green Mile', had suffered a heart attack in July. But he failed to recover from it. A former bodyguard, the 6ft 4in Duncan was an imposing figure who played a wide variety of screen roles. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1999 for 'The

Michael Clarke Duncan Green Mile,' but also played action roles and voiced

animated parts. Duncan will be remembered primarily for his role alongside Tom Hanks in the adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Green Mile. He played convicted murderer John Coffey, a man possessed of a gentle demeanor and extraordinary healing powers. His unexpected performance won him a nomination as best supporting actor and kick-started an acting career that only began once he gave up bodyguard work in his 30s.

Expect fireworks at box office this Diwali

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his Diwali, the Bollywood box office is expected to be on fire with two major releases - Shah Rukh Khan's yet untitled film with Yash Chopra, and Ajay Devgn-starrer "Son Of Sardaar". The buzz is strong for both projects, which are most likely to mint at least Rs.100 crore, according to trade pundits. Both the films have a special advantage a clean week before and after their release on November 13. "There are no other films releasing in that period. So it's an added bonus. We are expecting both the films to collect Rs.100 crore-plus during Diwali," Sanjay Ghai of Mukta Arts said. The Shah Rukh-starrer marks the return of veteran filmmaker Chopra to direction after a hiatus of eight years. He is currently shooting for the romantic drama in the scenic locales of the Kashmir Valley. His movie also stars Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma and is said to feature King Khan in his true-blue romantic avatar, making it one of the most awaited releases of the year. "Son Of Sardaar", a romantic comedy directed by Ashwini Dhir, features Ajay and Sanjay Dutt in key roles, with Sonakshi Sinha and Juhi Chawla essaying

The Shah Rukh-starrer untitled film marks the return of Yash Chopra to direction after a hiatus of eight years the female leads. The movie's teasers have received a positive response. A budget of at least Rs.60 crore each is said to have been involved in the making of the two films as per industry sources. Rajesh Thadani of Multimedia Combines opined: "Yash Chopra's film will have the edge over the other and will benefit more.

But both the films have the potential to survive and should collect around Rs.100 crore each." Yash Raj Films (YRF) is lately riding high on the success of blockbuster "Ek Tha Tiger", starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. released on August 15, the film has already amassed over Rs. 200 crore and is on its way to creating more records. To make sure the film got one of the best openings ever, YRF released the film in over 3,000 screens. Now, YRF is reportedly planning to go bigger with its mega Diwali release. "The buzz and excitement for the as yet untitled film is tremendous. The film also marks the coming together yet again of the award-winning duo of music maestro A.R.Rahman and poet and lyricist Gulzar, adding to the appeal of the film," Rafiq Gangjee, vice president (Marketing and Communications), YRF, said. "Given all of this, while we are planning an extensive release worldwide this Diwali, it is too early to predict the number of screens finally. This will only firm up much closer to the release Nov 13," added Gangjee. According to industry grapevine, YRF has booked the pre-booked maximum screens for the new film.

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Humor TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

Funny Bone by Nury Vittachi

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uys, you'll never have to sit next to noisy kids on flights any more. A policy sweeping through the airlines means all men seated next to children are moved before take-off. Not everyone is happy. In Australia and the UK, men have complained about the implication that they are latent child molesters when their only crimes are to have been born male. In the UK case, the courts agreed and made British Airways pay compensation to a guy who was moved. I understand how he feels, but I have to ask: Hey, fella, whose side are you on? If the airline wants to move us away from annoying kids, let them. Attendants, why not upgrade us to that nice little child-free cabin at the front? We don't mind. There is one exception, and I foresee the following conversation taking place regularly as this policy spreads through domestic Asian airlines. MALE PASSENGER: "Attendant! I am seated between two repulsive wailing infants and should be moved up the plane." FLIGHT ATTENDANT: "Nice try, Mister, but they're your own kids so shut the @#$% up and sit down." But I definitely agree with the notion that being born male is a crime in itself and compensation should be involved. Being a guy stinks. Consider. 1) If you walk into the wrong toilet, it's two years in jail. 2) In emergencies, it's always "women and children first". 3) You have to wear

The six worst things about being male
at American companions about gun violence in the West. Don't do this. Truth is the gun situation in Asia is sometimes worse. The US gun lobby has a motto which says: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." But that actual situation is evolving in parts of Asia, such as India and the Philippines. Indian citizens are not allowed to carry weapons, but the scariest group of people in the country, politicians, are armed to the teeth. A recently released list of gun-collecting members of parliament included 18 with serious criminal cases pending against them, ranging from kidnapping and murder to having astonishingly bad haircuts. The Philippines' homicide rate is worse than Europe's and approaching that of Washington DC kindergartens. Manila newspapers carry ads saying "Give Your Loved One a Handgun This Christmas". In China, shooting someone gets you the death penalty, unless you work for the government, in which case you get promoted two grades. *-* As for America, let's pause to say a prayer for the two police officers in the town of Vaughn, population 500, in the state of New Mexico. Residents are allowed to openly carry weapons except for the two cops, according to KOB-TV. Both have "domestic dispute" convictions which ban them from carrying guns. Can you imagine these guys keeping the rest of the town in order? "Put down your weapons or we will give you severe tongue-lashing." I know teachers who use that line all the time, and it gets you nowhere. *-* When a severe drought threatened crops in Bangalore recently, civil servants snapped into action. They instructed all 34,000 temples in the area to inform the gods that a heavy downpour was required IMMEDIATELY, I heard from reader Virat Pathan. It must be really easy being a temple god. All you have to do is answer prayers, and "No" counts as an answer. Virat was shocked that the authorities in 2012 could display such "superstitious ignorance". I agree, everyone knows that rainfall is decided by Weather Angels. *-* On a related topic, the 41,000 spells for sale on eBay are being removed this month. The web auction site is banning enchantments and incantations. This is terrible news for those of us plan-

dark clothes or everyone thinks you're gay. 4) In a shocking example of poor design, the most sensitive parts of the male anatomy are external, thus prone to painful accidents. 5) When watching sad movies, you have to flick the tears away from your eyes or people think you're gay. 6) If you express a desire not to mislabeled gay, you're homophobic. But where should we men of planet earth send our class action lawsuit? Does God have a law firm? Probably not. I bet all the lawyers serve his arch-rival. *-* Advice for married men: Never sneer at your wife's choices. You're one of them. *-* At an airport I overhead smug Asians sneering

ning to make bulk sales to the state government of Bangalore. *-* Did you see the news report saying that a man suffering from memory loss managed to work out who he was and what he did by examining Facebook picture files? How is this news? Doesn't everybody do that at the end of each week? *-* A mildly rude word was shouted out at a literary festival recently. "Tosser" is the British equivalent of "jerk". But though it's a gentle insult, the shocking thing was that it was heard at the world's biggest book festival, in Edinburgh, Scotland. This columnist has appeared on that stage twice: it's an erudite gathering of bookworms, little old ladies, professors, etc. The elderly audience members are so placid that if someone dies in the audience (which probably happens quite often) no one would say anything. (They may discreetly point.) The cause of the audience outburst was a speech by author Stephen Leather violently skewering the old literary establishment and defending ebook pirates. I used to work with Stephen, an energetic stirrer who spends a lot of time in Asia and often sets his stories here. He creates trouble so consistently that I have switched from being alarmed by him to having a grudging respect for him. At making headlines, he's a genius. *-* Grudging respect is a curious emotion where you're kind of horrified and impressed at the same time. Case in point: Halfway through writing this article, a reader forwarded a report from a newspaper crime page in Oslo, Norway. It said a woman shoplifted a 42-inch (1.06m) television by sticking it up her dress and sneaking off with it clamped between her thighs. For purposes of measurement, 42 inches is massive, about the circumference of Kanye West's head. She was caught. I know it's wrong to steal and all that, but in this case I think she actually deserves to keep it. *-* A strange mystery of modern life: Have you noticed, workers never phone in sick on Wednesdays? *-* Another mystery: Why is it that the only time there is a beer can rolling about on the floor of your car is the time that your boss asks for a lift?

Photo of the week

A protestor shouts and waves a sign during the Coalition to March on Wall Street protest in Charlotte, NC on September 2. The Democratic National Convention was held in the city this week.

Astrology
TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 8-14, 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: Septmeber 8-14, 2012
Aries: Excellent week for making new contacts and reviving old ones. Dabbling in speculation and lending money should be avoided. You would be highly creative. Take advantage by putting your ideas into practical use. Partnership opportunities would present themselves to you, but you should put everything in black and white. Gains from past investments seem certain. Avoid overeating to stay physically fit. Taurus: This week harsh words and actions would cause major damage to your reputation, but you can stabilize sour relationships if you are willing to make few concessions. Someone in a position of power would provide major support to your plans. Affairs of the heart need attention. Home front seems perfect and family members go out of their way to make you happy. Businessmen should avoid extending credit. Travelling would be highly educating. Gemini: This week you would feel somewhat let down. Don’t let someone you love play havoc with your heart. Problems with people could go out of hand if you do not control your emotions. Involve yourself in physical activities that would help you alleviate frustration that you experience. Businessmen can expect to sign an important contract towards the end of the week. Property matters will materialize. Cancer: This week female colleagues and relatives would be difficult to please. Do not discuss your personal matters and secrets with others. Your moral and confidence would not be to its optimum level. Practice restrains and focus positive energies in sorting complicated problems. Take additional care of your health and do not spend unnecessarily. Educational pursuits and creative endeavors will yield excellent results. Leo: Next few days you are likely to be torn between your personal and professional responsibilities. You should say no if you don’t want to do something. You possess a big heart and have always accommodated and helped others, but now is the time when you should start thinking about yourself. A greater involvement with children is likely to take place. Your interest in religious activities would make you spend time on puja/ hawan. Virgo: Your witty talks would make you star at social gatherings. Travelling undertaken during this period would be rewarding. Business deals should be done very carefully. You are likely to be presented with various new schemes for immediate gains. Verify the credentials for the company before making any investments. Relations with your spouse might get strained due to work pressure. Purchases made during this week are likely to cost you more than usual. Libra: This week do not count your chickens before they hatch. Dubious financial ventures would only result in losses. An eminent person provides support on your ongoing ventures. There might be some tensed moments at work. Tact and patience would ultimately be rewarding. Do not pay attention to humours and stick to your job. Jealousy is likely to upset your relation with a close friend. Scorpio: Not a very fruitful period. You would differ with the views of people around you, which would make it extremely difficult for you to get along with others. Your critical nature would make you say things, which would lead you to isolation. It would be best for you to work alone and avoid seeking help from others. Check your water tap, gas connections and electricity switches before moving out of the house. Sagittarius: This week you would be in the mood to travel and spend money on expensive items, but you would be sorry if you do. You are best to put your extra money into a safe place for an emergency. Time to relax and sit amongst close family members and relatives. Your friends would offer you vast amount of information and help you complete few important jobs. New ventures should be avoided this week. Capricorn: Work pressure would cloud your mind leaving you with no time for romantic entanglements. Avoid arguments and confrontation, as it would only lead to dismay and embarrassment. Outstation journey is on the cards for some of you. Some changes around your house would be essential. Health of some elderly person in the family may cause some stress and anxiety. Aquarius: This week if you present your ideas and opinions to others, you would receive more support than you anticipated. Talk to people who are enterprising and who would help you turn your dreams to reality. Friends would bring pleasure and share some wonderful moments with you. Travelling and educational pursuits would be to your benefit. Parties and pleasure jaunts for youngsters. Pisces:This is an excellent week to beautify your surroundings and entertain people at home. You can also help others with financial problems and work for social organizations and groups. Financial gains through property or shares transactions cannot be ruled out. Hectic work schedule would give you less time for family and friends. Do things that would help you stay in perfect health.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week
September: 8 Governed by the number 8, you are also governed by the planet Saturn. You are a good thinker and a good organizer. You implement new ideas and plans, for others to follow. You will be highly ambitious in your professional front, in the year ahead of you. You will be independent in your thoughts and actions. Religion and philosophy will attract you, but you will not follow the routine tract. Customs and traditions do not appeal to you and you will disagree with people who have old fashioned ideas and follow orthodox customs. Regularity and punctuality are your strong points. You will not be able to tolerate any sort of delay and irregularity from your juniors. This may sometimes lead to unpleasantness. Peaceful by nature, you will go all out to abide by law and will expect those around you to do the same. December 2012 and May, June and August of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 9 Governed by the number 9, you are also dominated by the planets Mars. Honor, prestige and success, will be yours in the year ahead of you. You will be able to impress your seniors with new ideas and most of all with your communication skills. Some of you are likely to inherit property from your father’s side. This will improve your financial position substantially. You will spend a lot of time in pursuing your higher studies. You will use this knowledge to enhance your career prospects and also use it for the betterment of mankind as a whole. Your strong memory and the ability to observe minute details will be your assets. You will be a good councilor to those who need your help. Those in distress, feel comfortable in your company. January, July and August of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 10 You are governed by the number 1 and the Sun. blessed not only with intelligence, you also have a very sharp memory and are able to remember minute details. Your practical approach and shrewdness in your work will bring success to those of you, who are in business. You can expect to sign big plans and projects and complete these to your satisfaction. Beauty and art appeal to you and you can appreciate nature and beautiful surroundings around you. In the coming year, outdoor sports and games will attract your attention. You will not only derive pleasure from these, but also be able to maintain good health. Health and wealth will be yours, in the year ahead of you. Your pleasing personality will draw many friends towards you. Your ability to understand and appreciate the good qualities of others will be your asset. The months of September, December of 2012 and April, June and July of 2013 will be highly significant and result oriented. September: 11 You are governed by the number 2 and by the planet Moon. You may appear gentle and quiet on the outside, but you are firm and strong about your ideas and decisions. You take pleasure in solving riddles and playing high stakes. You will have to be careful, not to exceed your limits. Excessive gambling could lead to losses. Sometimes, you also tend to become selfish in your attitude towards others. This could only result in heart burning, with your near and dear ones. Most of you will excel in your writing and communication skills, in the year ahead of you. You may sometimes, get worried over trivial matters. Do not allow stress to take over you. Let small problems, sort out themselves. October, December of 2012 and February, April and July of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 12 You are governed by the number 3 and the planet Jupiter. Prestige and honor will be yours in the coming year. You will be able to lead a comfortable life, without working very hard for the pleasures. You do not like to indulge in idle talk. You would prefer to spend time on your work rather than waste it on gossip. You are firm in your words and deeds and like to stand by your principles. But, you have a worrying nature and tend to get worked up over trivial matters. This trait can only cause you anxiety and stress. April, July and September 2013 will be highly important. September: 13 You are governed by the number 4 and the planet Uranus. High positions and prosperity, is what is predicted for you, in the year ahead of you. With your determination and confidence, coupled with good luck, you will be able to overcome any obstacle that may come your way. Those of you in your 31st year, it will be an exceptionally good year for you. Prestige, fame and above all happiness, is predicted for you. But, in spite of your achievements, you will remain humble and not show of your success. This will be an outstanding trait in your character and you will be appreciated for this by your near and dear ones. You will have the privilege to move around in an intellectual circle, and you should use this opportunity to enhance your knowledge and contacts. In love matters, you will have to be cautious. November 2012 and January, April and July of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 14 You are governed by the number 5 and the planet Mercury has a strong influence on you. You are quite and reserved by nature. You do not like to mingle with lots of friends. Although, introvert in nature, you are very observant. This trait will help you to observe minute details in both work and your personal life. Your observation power will help you to notice minute details, which may be overlooked by your colleagues. This will help you to gain success in your individual fields. Those of you, who are to be married this year, can expect to achieve success and financial gains, after your marriage. Your married life will bring you luck and prosperity. Solving riddles, will give you pleasure. The months of September 2012 and March, April, July of 2013 will be highly 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, don’t feel shy. It’s his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.

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30

Spiritual Awareness TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
he Gracious Master, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, brought so much light and love into the lives of each person who ever met him. There is not a soul who has met him who has not been touched by him in some way. We are gathered together to remember him as the angel of love. He showed us what love on earth was. He was the walking personification of all the godly qualities moving amongst us on earth. Each was transformed in some way by his loving presence. His life and his love made each one of us a better person in some way. If we look at our lives we will find something about his life that has influenced us in some way for the better. His life was a model of how we could live. He exemplified the ideal human being and showed us what we too could one day achieve. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj taught us the true meaning of love.

His was a love that knew no bounds. He embraced all who came to him in his loving arms, not caring whether we were of one religion or another, one nation or another, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, clean or unkempt. He did not see our outer form of beauty, but saw all as having inner beauty. All who came to his threshold felt a love they had never experienced before in their lives. By a single

Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj - Angel of love
sonified. He passed on all praise and thanks that people offered to him to his own two great Masters, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, saying that he was but a humble medium. He was so humble that he even thanked his disciples, claiming that he was being carried on their shoulders. He would pay obeisance to his own disciples for he saw the Light of his Masters in a part of the one Creator. Without God, we are nothing. Humility is recognizing that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. We are all souls, drops of God. It is only through humility that we can put an end to the hatred and bigotry between people of different religions, nationalities, and walks of life. We learn to love all, as children of one family of God, as Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and all

T

Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj taught us the true meaning of love. His was a love that knew no bounds. He embraced all who came to him in his loving arms, not caring whether we were of one religion or another, one nation or another, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, clean or unkempt. He did not see our outer form of beauty, but saw all as having inner beauty.
touch, they were uplifted and inspired to pass on the torch of love to others. That one touch of love has carried each of us for years in its sweet warmth and will carry us into eternity as well. With love comes humility. Sant Darshan Singh Ji was humility pereach. Thus, he would go down the roads of life, with folded hands, bowing to the God in each of us. By seeing his humility, we were hard pressed to be egotistical ourselves, and we learned to imbibe the virtue of humility. Humility is living with the sense that we are all Masters teach. Humility equalizes all of us and can bring an end to violence and war so we can enter an age of peace and love. When we have love, we develop selfless service. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj’s whole life was spent in serving others. No hour of

the day or night was too early or late for him to heal a broken heart. His heart was so tender he could not bear to turn away anyone crying in pain. He cradled in his arms our broken hearts and souls and made us whole again. Whether it was financial aid, medical help, giving the shirt off his back, or sharing his shelter, he gave freely. For some, he provided assistance by helping them find a job or taking care of a problem with their family. For others, it was providing a shoulder to cry on and being there to listen to their woes. All who met him can recall the many ways in which he helped. He wiped our tears and took away our pains. We saw him work tirelessly, often twenty-four hours a day, without caring for his own body or need for food and rest, just to serve our suffering souls. From him, we learned the lesson of service. If we could all put into action what we learned from watching his example of service, we would find a world in which no child would have to go to bed hungry, in which no person would have to be homeless, in which no family would have to go without medical care, and in which no elderly person would have to die alone, unseen and unsung. We would create a world in which people would share in taking care of everyone else.(To be continued….)

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Concluding part of discourse ‘Don’t stop until the goal is reached’

W

hy be content with the fleeting happiness of this world, when we can bask in the ecstasy of divine love of God within? Let us not stop, but keep moving until we merge with the source of bliss itself. Another verse by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj says: By setting an example of ideal and simple life, You have lifted the veils of illusion from the face of the earth. Sant Darshan Singh Ji is describing how Hazur showed us how we should lead an ideal life. Masters do not so much teach by preaching, but by leading an ideal life themselves so we can learn from their example. Hazur lived and breathed spirituality in everything he did. He was a devoted disciple of his own Master, Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj. Hazur spent time in meditation and selfless service. His whole life was devoted to the service of God and his fellow human beings. He was the embodiment of all the divine virtues. He practiced nonviolence, truthfulness, chastity, humility, love for all, and selfless service. He spent time in the practice of bhajan, or meditation on the inner Sound, and simran, or

meditation on the inner Light. By the example of Hazur’s life, many were inspired to lead such a life. His divine virtues radiated to others, filling others with peace and upliftment. When we come in contact with a person who makes us feel a sense of love and peace, we often ask what it is they have that enables them to do so. We see how they live, and we are inspired to lead such a pure and devoted life ourselves. Through Hazur, about a hundred and twenty-five thousand people took initiation into Naam. This contact helps lift the veil of illusion. Our eyes, which were blind to the inner Light, can finally see. Our ears, which were previously deaf to the Celestial Melodies within, can finally hear. This is the greatness of a living Master. If we are seekers or we are already initiated, we do not want to stop at being complacent at our current rate of progress. We want to perfect our meditation and our ethical life, so we can experience the ultimate goal of union of our soul with God. Another verse of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj says:

Gift of initiation
Your intoxicated eyes are overflowing cups of divine Wine. You have set aplunder the treasures of spirituality through Your enlivening glances. It is amazing how the verses written to describe saints and Masters from all ages use similar descriptions. Those who received the glances of Hazur experienced them as overflowing cups of divine Wine. What is that divine Wine? It is the wine of God’s love. It is the ecstasy and bliss of godly love pouring through those eyes. Those who experience such a glance are captivated and entranced. They can go on looking at those eyes for hours and hours without end and never tire. Others may wonder how people go on staring at the Master for hours, transfixed as if they were statues. But those glances have caused the souls of those disciples to be transported to realms within. In such a state, how could one even move one’s body? One is above body-consciousness at suchlike moments. Thus, the soul has been absorbed deeply into the intoxication they experienced from the glance. They may look like frozen statues to others, but their soul is very much alive and dancing in the intoxication of such a glance. Through those glances, millions can receive divine intoxication. Thus, one finds an entire assembly captivated by those glances. It is such a blessing to receive the glance of a Master. We should cherish and treasure every moment in which we can bathe in his glances. That is why we see people standing for hours, waiting for even one passing glance as the Master arrives or leaves, or travels from one place to another. That is why few want to leave the Master’s presence. Their soul knows that it has a chance to be uplifted and lost in that bliss, and does not want to pass up that opportunity. It knows that those glances bring some of the greatest and most intoxicating moments one can have in life. Through those glances, every soul in creation can receive upliftment. The next two lines of verse by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj conclude with: It is our good fortune that in this ephemeral existence you have initiated us into the mysteries of eternal

life. It is the wonder of your everlasting grace, O Master Divine, that you have brought about communion between the soul and its Creator. Sant Darshan Singh Ji is concluding with the gratitude he feels for the gift of initiation Hazur has given to him. He recognizes that through that gift of initiation, Hazur has enabled the soul to attain communion with God.This is a gift that all perfect Masters give. Through their grace, each can receive the gift of initiation and make contact with the Light and Sound of God, so our soul can journey back to its true Home and reunite with God. Let us be thankful that Hazur opened the spiritual floodgates making it possible for all of us to have access to the gift of Naam, the Light and Sound of God. Let us make the best of that gift by spending time daily in meditation and developing our ethical virtues. Let us not stop but keep moving forward until our goal is reached so we can achieve the fulfillment of our life’s end, union of our soul with God and living in eternal bliss.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 8-14, 2012