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Vol.5 No. 22 September 15-21, 2012 60 Cents
It looks like President Obamas race to win US Elections, Page 9 Rahul Gandhi decoded in new book India, Page 12

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Verghese Kurien: Father of the White Revolution in India Features, Page 24

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E-cigarette does more harm than help: Study Health, Page 25

Drones, warships to hunt US envoys killers in Libya

Ravi Batra quits NYS ethics panel in protest


Eminent attorney Ravi Batra has accused Governor Cuomo of improperly big-footing the states ethics commission.
New York: In an exemplary and courageous step, eminent attorney Ravi Batra has resigned from the New York States Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). Known to be outspoken, Batra has been critical of the functioning of JCOPE before, but what finally prompted him to quit was to have the governor, who is himself subject to JCOPE, illegally seek to become exempt by wielding a Morelandsledgehammer to enslave JCOPE to do his bidding. Cuomo had threatened Sept 7 to install a special panel under the Moreland Act to investigate the scandal of sexual harassment alleContinued on page 10 with an exclusive interview with Batra.

Protests on anti-Islam film spread to Yemen and Iran; US appeals for calm
A protester wielding a gun in front of the US Consulate set afire by a mob in Benghazi Sept 11, in which US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens perished. Washington: The US has deployed warships and surveillance drones in its hunt for killers of four US diplomats in Libya, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who perished Monday as the US Consulate in Benghazi was stormed by a mob and set ablaze. The assault was reportedly preplanned -- note the date it was carried out on, September 11. But the attackers camouflaged it as protest against the online release of the trailer of a film produced in the US that allegedly insulted Muslims and Prophet Mohammed. US has also deployed Marines to secure its interests in the region. Two US destroyers -- USS Laboon and USS McFaul -- equipped with satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missiles were en route the Libyan coast, US officials told CNN. President Barack Obama said: "We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done." Libya's Prime Minister Mustafa Continued on page 4

Feds new steps to stimulate economy ignite Wall Street


Washington: The Federal Reserve unleashed a series of bold and open-ended steps Thursday to stimulate the economy by making it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow and spend. The Fed said it will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it deems necessary to make home buying more affordable. It plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015 six months longer than previously planned. A statement from the Fed's policy committee said it thinks "a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens." Stocks surged to multi-year highs at Thursday closing bell as the Fed announcement encouraged investors to dive back into the market. The Dow and the S&P 500 both closed Continued on page 4 Celebrating the success of Long Islands first India Day Parade, Bobby Kumar Kalotee (middle), was honored with "Jewel of India in America" by Justice Stephen Bucaria at a gala. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto (second from left) were bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Award for service to Indian communities. (More photos and report on page 18.)

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Queens College kicks off Year of India with Sholay screening


Flushing, NY: Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is hosting a Year of India during the 2012-13 academic year with exhibitions, a film series, and performances and student-sponsored activities on culture, sports, and everyday life in India. Presentations will explore India its society and politics, arts and culture, math and science, religions and economicsas well as its influence in the South Asian region and the world, and its diaspora in the United States. Sholay, the most successful Hindi film of all time, was screened on September 12, to kick off the Representing South Asia on Film series, which includes 16 titles including Lagaan, The Namesake, Awara and Aparajito, as well as three panel discussions on topics raised in the series. A day before that New Age guru Deepak Chopra made a presentation. Hindustani Music of North India, a concert on October 12, will feature noted tabla player and Yale faculty member Samir Chatterjee and flautist Steve Gorn. This concert at the LeFrak Concert Hall in Queens College is the first performance of the Aaron Copland School of Musics Chamber Music Live fall season. Queens Colleges Year of India will also feature student and faculty exchanges, newly developed creditbearing courses taught by professors from the college and their partner institutions in India, and programs by members of the Indian community. To encourage collaborations and partnerships, faculty will lead three study tours to India for faculty, stu-

dents, and staff. An exhibition titled Art from the Land of the Peacock will spotlight Indias distinctive and diverse artistic traditions while drawing upon the collections at Queens Colleges Art Library. It will run Nov 1, 2012-June 27, 2013 at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library n the campus.

During the 2012-13 academic year, the CUNY college will explore India with exhibitions, a film series, performances and student-sponsored activities on culture, sports, and everyday life. The Indian Consulate of New York year the history, art, and culture of a is hosting a reception on September different country. China and Turkey 20 for Queens College celebrating have been featured before. Queens College of CUNY, foundwhat the college calls a vibrant, diverse country with a complex histo- ed in 1937, has on its rolls over ry and globally significant econo- 20,000 students from over 170 namy. tions and gets cited every year by The college, located in Americas The Princeton Review as one of the most diverse county, examines each nations 100 Best Value colleges.

Who is rooting for Obama, who for Romney: Facebook can tell
By Vikas Girdhar New York: As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney gear up for the all-important last stretch of the presidential election and go all out to try to sway the still undecided voters, Facebook is brewing up some interesting details of its own. The social networking behemoths likes and follow options have revealed the types of people the Democratic and Republican rivals have won over as supporters. Some findings are expected; others are eye-opening. Social media platform Compass Labs used some of the data it employs to help marketers target ads to reveal some of the major differences between followers of Obama and those of Romney. As of now, Obama has four times more Facebook followers than Romneys: 28.5 million to just 6.6 million. However, Romneys followers are five times more engaged which means, liking, commenting and sharing content as opposed to simply viewing it. The main reason for this may be because Obama has been in office and his followers are already aware of his views and stances. Romney, on the other hand, is the new guy giving people more new things to discuss. Nevertheless, Romneys content on Facebook is more than just a regurgitation of points on his website. Compass Labs has also collected date on the types of people each nominee has won over. As indicated on Facebook, Romney has attracted churchgoers, gun enthusiasts and active quilters. Obama, on the other hand, has won over meditators, video gamers and fans of jigsaw puzzles. Many fans of Romney also seem to like movies such as Atlas Shrugged and 17 Miracles, while Obama fans like The Blind Side and Fast and Furious. Romney fans also

7-language campaign to educate South Asian voters in US


Washington: A coalition of South Asian community organizations has launched a national, non-partisan campaign called South Asian Vote! in seven South Asian languages to engage the community in the November 6 US elections. South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) said it is doing this through several strategies including distribution of voter education materials in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu. The material covers Know Your Rights, How to Get Involved, and the Election Process; voter outreach and voter registration by civic leaders throughout the country; and election monitoring and protection for language access. "Are You Ready To Vote?" is a checklist for US citizens, who will be at least 18 years old by election day, and have met their state's residency requirements for voting to make sure they are ready to exercise their fundamental right to vote. "A Guide To The Presidential Elections" shows how an individual's vote counts, it says. "By deciding who should represent you and your community in local, state and federal government, your vote can help shape the policies and

An infographic by Compass Labs. like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks and Fox News while Obama fans prefer Samsung Mobile, Visa, DoubleTree and Nature Made. One similarity: supporters of both Obama and Romney like shopping at Target. The age and gender of the fans are also indicated by Facebook users activity with regard to the presidential election. 53% of the 28.5 million Obama supporters are women while 53% of the 6.6 million Romney supporters are men. Of Obama likers: 20% are aged 18-25, 21% are aged 25-35, 18% are aged 35-45, 17% are aged 45-55 and 24% are aged 55 and over. Of Romney likers: 11% are aged 18-25, 12% are aged 25-35, 13% are aged 35-45, 21% are aged 45-55 and 43% are aged 55 and over.

The campaign is launched by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) laws that affect the daily lives of all Americans," the guide tells the community. "Unfortunately, in past elections, many South Asians have faced challenges at the polls due to voter intimidation and suppression and have encountered difficulties in casting their ballot due to language barriers," SAALT said. Noting that "As a result, many have felt discouraged from participating in the electoral process," it said a guide tiltled "Know Your Rights On Election Day" answers frequently asked questions about protecting one's right to vote on election day and where to turn if they feel their rights are violated. "As we approach the 2012 Elections, it is important for everyone, citizen or not, to become involved in the civic and political process in the US," SAALT said suggesting 10 ways members of the community can make a difference in the 2012 elections!

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Florida-based, Quran-burning pastor, a few weeks ago for help promoting the film. The protests in the Muslim world ensued after the trailer of the film was dubbed in Arabic and released on YouTube. YouTube has since restricted access in Libya and Egypt to the film Steps to stimulate economy story Continued from page 1 at their highest levels (13,540 and 1,460 respectively) since December 2007, while the Nasdaq ended at the highest (at 3,156) since November 2000. But some economists felt the benefit of the new round of stimulus to economy would be slight. "We doubt it will be enough to get the economy on the right track," said Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics. "It's only a matter of time before speculation begins as to when the Fed will raise its purchases from $40 billion a month." The Fed's bond purchases have been intended to lower long-term rates to spur lending. The Fed has previously bought $2 trillion in Treasury bonds and mortgagebacked securities since the 2008 financial crisis. Though the Fed is ostensibly politically independent, the decision comes at a ticklish time with the presidential election less than two months away. Washington conservatives have been critical of the central bank's money creation, which has caused its balance sheet to swell to $2.8 trillion. They worry that the growing money supply will lead to inflation, which has reared its head in food and energy prices but has remained tame through the broader economy.

September 15-21, 2012

Continuations of page 1
US Envoys killers in Libya story Continued from page 1 Abushagu said Thursday at least one person has been arrested -and others were in authorities' sights -- tied to the killing of the US envoys. Protests inspired by the antiIslam film targeted more US facilities in the Muslim world Thursday, raising questions about whether governments there had the will or even the ability to protect Americans abroad from angry demonstrators, Washington Post said. In Yemen, the US Embassy in Sanaa was assaulted by protesters as Yemeni security personnel did little to intervene, witnesses said. In Egypt, clouds of tear gas enveloped the fortified area around the US Embassy in Cairo as security forces clashed with protesters for the third straight day Thursday. The countrys President Mohamed Morsi has vowed to defend the security of US diplomatic buildings even as his Muslim Brotherhood movement and other groups were calling for major, peaceful protests against the US on Friday. President Obama said he will decide whether Egypt is an ally or an enemy of the US in part according to the way the fledgling government in Cairo responds to the violent assault on the American Embassy there on Monday. In Tehran, too, reportedly around 500 Iranians chanting Death to America tried to converge on the Swiss Embassy, which handles US interests in the absence of formal diplomatic relations with Washington. On the home front, Obama waged a pitched political battle with his Republican rival Mitt Romney, who drew fire even from some in his own party for a

President Obama, accompanied by Hillary Clinton, condemns the attack that killed American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya. late-Tuesday statement in which he leveled the inflammatory charge that the Obama administration had sided with those who killed Americans. He was referring to an earlier statement put out by the US mission in Cairo that apologized for the antiMuslim film. But that statement came BEFORE the embassy attacks even began. That prompted Obama to accuse Romney of displaying a "tendency to shoot first, aim later." John McCain, Republican presidential nominee in 2008, has refused to criticize the Obama administration on the issue. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took strong steps Thursday to distance the US government from the anti-Islam movie, calling it disgusting and reprehensible but also condemned the violence in response to it. There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind, she said. The man behind the making of the controversial film is believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian with a criminal past who lives in California. To Associated Press, he admitted to providing logistical support for the production of Innocence of Muslims. A 13-minute trailer for the amateurishly made film portrays Mohammad as a pedophileappeasing, bumbling spreader of false doctrine. Nakoula apparently went to Terry Jones, the

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INOC (I) USA condemns the killing of US diplomats


New York: Indian National Overseas Congress (I) USA has strongly condemned the killing of four US diplomats in Benghazi. We ought to reject denigration of religions in all forms, however, nothing would justify the murder of innocent people in the name of religion, the INOC statement added. It is sad to see that the Arab Spring that offered so much hope and promise towards democracy and freedom for an aspiring people is being hijacked by a group of extremists to its possible detriment , the statement continued while expressing sympathy for the victims and asking the Libyan authorities to bring the culprits to swift justice.

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Indian-origin woman arrested for 'posing' as Columbia student


Columbia University's campus after she allegedly posed as a student for nearly nine months and attended classes and orientation events. 26-year-old Birva Patel, who had told the students at the university that her name was Rhea Sen, was charged with criminal trespass. Students at the university said they had seen her on campus as early as December 2011 and she had claimed to be a junior studying engineering, university paper 'Columbia Spectator' reported. Patel roamed freely on campus, even going on bus tours around the city, taking photos with new acquaintances, eating meals in the university's dining areas and attending orientation events. Student Affairs spokesperson Katherine Cutler said administrators first became aware of her presence "after several odd interactions with International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) participants." Patel had told fellow students that she was registered for the Columbia Outdoor Orientation Programme but had missed the programme's departure. She said lived in Philadelphia and was born in India. Patel did not have a university ID but was still able to get access to classes and venues across campus. She had claimed she did not have her ID with her because she left it with a friend and whenever anyone persisted to see her ID, she would "run off". Students, however, began to get suspicious as she gave differing accounts of where she stayed in the campus hostel. They said they were unsure of where she slept on campus. "People saw her running around, hiding in bushes, but as far as I know, nobody actually saw her in the residence halls," Columbia student Cami Quarta said. "Eventually, she tried to make friends with our first-year students, and it just got to the point where her lies were too obvious," another student Louis Lin said. Other students who interacted with Patel said while she seemed to know enough details about Columbia to make it plausible that she was a student, sometimes she would go blank when asked about basic facts regarding the university. Some students said they had felt "unsafe" around Patel, who appeared "psychotic and weird." Quarta said Patel went with a friend to a Literature Humanities class last week, but when the preceptor arrived, she left the room and waited in the hallway for two hours. Student Affairs notified Public Safety and instructed students to keep an eye out for Patel after realising she was not a student. Students again came across Patel last week and alerted Public Safety, who took her into custody.

Birva Patel New York: An Indian-origin woman has been arrested on charges of trespassing on

Two Indians among Yale World Fellows

Sunita Williams sets a record with sixth spacewalk


Washington, DC: Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams set a new record for total cumulative spacewalk time by a female astronaut with her sixth space walk to repair a faulty power distribution unit. Williams surpassed Peggy Whitson's record during Wednesday's excursion as she and her Japanese counterpart Akihiko Hoshide used a toothbrush and a wire brush fashioned out of a spare cable to restore power to the International Space Station. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours 28 minutes. Williams has now worked outside the station for a total of 44 hours and 2 minutes overtaking Whitson who worked outside for 39 hours and 46 minutes over the course of six spacewalks, US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced. Peggy Whitson sent up congratulations, saying, "You go, girl!" Williams replied: "Anybody could be in these boots." Williams and Hoshide had to go into space for the second time in less than a week to complete repairs on the main power unit switching mechanism, the repairing of which ran into problems earlier this week. It appeared that there was significant debris, especially metal shavings, that had accumulated inside the bolts and was preventing them from attaching it to the space craft and securing the unit. With repeated attempts to clean out the bolts with a wire brush failing, they fastened a simple toothbrush to a metal pole. And that worked. "Looks like you guys just fixed the station," astronaut Jack Fischer radioed from Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

Ayush Chauhan New York: Two Indians are among this year's Yale University 2012 World Fellows. Ayush Chauhan and Ruchi Yadav are two of the 16 honorees considered "global emerging leaders," the university announced in a Sept. 6 press release. Jasmeet Kaur Ahuja, a scholar at Yale, has been named an associate fellow. Chauhan is co-founder and managing director of Quicksand, a multidisciplinary design and innovation consultancy working at the intersection of business, development, and culture. He is also a partner at the Box Collective, where he conceptual- ized and launched UnBox, the first interdisciplinary festival in Delhi that brings together leading voices from across the world for inspiration, debate and reflection, the release said. Yadav is a senior program officer with The Hunger Project, an initiative to empower elected women representatives at the grassroots level

Ruchi Yadav as key change agents across seven states in India. She has a background in advertising, human rights and the women's movement in India. Ahuja is at Yale Law School. She spent six years working in Washington, D.C., on U.S. policy toward South Asia. As the senior adviser for South Asia on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, she helped draft foreign policy legislation on Pakistan, negotiate the civilian nuclear deal with India and lobby for the right of SikhAmericans to wear turbans while serving in the U.S. armed forces. The fellows will learn from Yale experts and join in dialogue with members of the campus community, the university said.During the semester, the fellows are scheduled to discuss important global issues as part of the "Hot Coffee, Hot Issues" series, which will take place at least once a month until December.

India takes up case of child in foster care in US


New York: Indian missions in the US have taken up with authorities the case of an Indian couple who have been denied custody of their child after he suffered head injuries in a fall. US authorities took the one-year-old boy, Indrashish, under their care after the accident at the New Jersey home of an Indian engineer Debasish Saha, 28 on Aug 9. The child is currently in Children's Specialized Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey, according to the Consulate General of India in New York. Prior to this, he had undergone treatment at Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey. The Indian mission here said Saha had conveyed to it the concern of the couple and other family members that the child has not yet been handed over to them. The consulate said it has also been informed of a case filed by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, New Jersey, in the Morristown County Court. The consulate said it has requested the US Department of State (Office of Foreign Missions) in New York to have the concerns of the parents addressed. The Embassy of India in Washington has also taken up the matter with the US Department of State. The matter came up before a New Jersey court Friday and it asked Saha to appear with a lawyer Sep 14. The court has asked Saha to suggest names of relatives who could be given the custody of the child.

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September 15-21, 2012

IN BRIEF

Nishad Singh sets new world record for Under-17 100-mile ultramarathon

ZEE TV HD first high-definition South Asian channel in US


ee TV, a leading South Asian entertainment network has announced the debut of Zee TV HD on DISH, the leader in international programming among major pay-TV providers in the U.S. This launch marks the delivery of the first high-definition South Asian channel to viewers in North America. The announcement was made by Suresh Bala, CEO of Asia TV USA Ltd. Zee TV is an undisputed leader in delivering South Asian content, and we continue to elevate this leadership, said Bala. Years ago,

ishad Singh, a teenager gave a worldrecord-breaking performance in the August 18-19 Run-de-Vous 100-mile ultramarathon. Nishads time of 23:33 shaves 18 minutes from the previous world record of 23:51. The 24-hour time is an important psychological and physical barrier for an ultramarathon runner, said Rajeev Patel, Race Director for the Run-de-Vous race. For Nishad to finish, at his age, under 24 hours is clearly impressive. But what is truly stunning is in achieving his record, Nishad shaved over five hours from his 100-mile run time in last years Run-deVous. Nishad uses the attention from his runs to raise thousands of dollars for causes that are near and dear to him. In 2011, for his inaugural 100mile race, he helped fund scholarships for underprivileged high school students. This year, he focused his fundraising efforts on the Asthma and Allergy Association. Last year during my first 100-mile run, I struggled with my asthma, Nishad said. This year, I learned how to better handle it both psychologically and physically. In the past, asthma has been more than just a hassle during a race for

Nishad Singh (center) with his friends


me, and Im grateful for the chance to help other people get the best of their asthma as well. Moving forward, Nishad is forming small running groups to work with other, younger runners. Since he wasnt very athletic and suffered from asthma as he was growing up, hes keenly aware of the need for providing a positive, supportive athletic environment for people who are starting from a place of not believing that they can be athletic. His aim is to show the kids hes mentoring a different lifestyle where connecting to nature, eating healthy, and exercising is just a part of life and not the exception.

Zee TV was the first South Asian channel available in the U.S., and now it is the first to be offered in HD. With more than 250 international channels in 28 languages, DISH offers the most international programming of any pay-TV provider in the nation, added Chris Kuelling, DISH vice president of International Programming. The launch of Zee TV HD is testament to our continued effort to expand DISHs high-definition options beyond domestic and into the international segment.

Gotham Chopra debuts as director with movie on father


otham Chopra devoted a year of his life to follow his well-known father, Deepak Chopra around the world to learn more about the man that millions of people follow and idolize. Gotham has chronicled this journey in his directorial debut, Decoding Deepak. The movie in an attempt to resolve the spiritual icon Deepak Chopra is to the world vs. the real man known to his family. From devoted disciples that range from Lady Gaga to lost souls searching for themselves in the red rock deserts of Sedona, Gotham begins to paint a raw portrait of his dad. The film travels across the planet chronicling colorful Deepak activities from a traditional monk ordainment in Thailand to a literal decoding of ancient family registers in rural India. On the home front, Gotham also takes a closer look at the expansive spiritual empire his father has built over his 25 year career that initially was conceived out of Deepaks own

IFFLA announces 2013 dates and calls for entries


he Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced its 2013 dates. The 11th edition of the festival will be held April 9-14,2013, at ArcLight Hollywood, located in the heart of Los Angeles. The early deadline with reduced fees for all film submissions is November 16, 2012. The final deadline is January 11, 2013. IFFLA 2013 seeks narrative, documentary, music videos, experimental, children's and animated films of any length and format. Jury and Audience Choice prizes are

awarded for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short films. IFFLA 2012, the film fests 10th anniversary edition, had over7,500 attendees, screened 33 films and hosted 45 filmmakers from India and around the world. The 10th anniversary celebrations launched with the Opening Night Galaworld premiere presentation of Bedabrata Pains Chittagong, and concluded with the Los Angeles premiere of Prashant Bhargavas Patang starring Seema Biswas who was in attendance.

The father-son duo deep personal and spiritual dissatisfaction, and a decidedly non-spiritual (and boozy) origin. Ultimately what emerges is a picture of a Deepak that while reminiscent of other popularized Indian gurus, is more dad than demigod. Full of flaws, foils, intelligence, and irreverence, the decoded Deepak uncovered by his sons honest scrutiny of him is a symbol of a world searching for answers in the most unlikely places and a deeper plunge into the meaning of identity itself.

OEM First Deputy Commissioner Calvin Drayton (at podium) addresses Borough Board, Wednesday, September 12th, on hurricane preparedness and need for an emergency plan and "Go Bag" prior to a hurricane, tornado or other emergency. The "Go Bag " (at left) should include a radio, flashlight, medications, at least a gallon of water, photo identifications and other personal items. Sated at table is Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik and (standing), OEM Ready New York Program Manager Mitchell Bass.

Lynbrook Village Justice William Gaylor is honored as chief guest at the Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Centers fall celebration ceremony for his service to the community. (L to R) Thampi Thalapillil President of the Kerala Center Executive Committee, Gaylor,wife Deborah and Gopalan Nair, Chairman of the Keral Center Board of Directors. A practicing attorney, Justice Gaylor is an active member of the Lynbrook community and a retired Lt.Colonel , US Army.

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September 15-21, 2012

Washington, DC: California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills designed to battle workplace discrimination against Sikhs and Muslim by shunting workers wearing turbans, beards and hijabs to backroom jobs out of public view. "This bill, AB 1964, makes it very clear that wearing any type of religious clothing or hairstyle, particularly such as Sikhs do, that is protected by law and nobody can discriminate against you because of that," Brown told an enthusiastic crowd of 500 Sikhs Saturday, the Sacramento Bee reported. "Breaking down prejudice is something you've got to do every day and to help us do that, I'm going to sign a couple of bills," he said at a rally of the North American Punjabi Association on Governor Brown after signing AB1964 and SB1540 (Photo : Karaminder Ghuman) the steps of the Capitol in the state capital of Sacramento. changing how history and social sciences "Sikhs everywhere can see in are taught in schools so that students California they are a powerful presence," learn about the history, tradition and thehe was quoted as saying. ology of California Sikhs. The Workplace Religious Freedom Act, Education can blunt hatred, prejudice Assembly Bill 1964 by Democrat Mariko and fatal misunderstandings, such as the Yamada, ensures that employees receive massacre of Sikhs outside a Wisconsin equal protection under law, protecting temple, Brown said. workers who wear turbans, hijabs and "Both bills represent landmark achieveyarmulkes. In California, employers ments that will increase protections for faced over 500 cases of religious dis- all religious observers in the workplace crimination in 2011. and expand awareness of the 100-year Brown himself declined to wear a tur- history of Sikhs in California," said ban, saying, "I've worked hard to get my Balbir Dhillon, president of the head cleared," but honored the thousands Sacramento Sikh Temple. of Sikhs who have given their lives in a Calling it "a historic win for civil long history of struggle for religious free- rights," Sikh Coalition said "This dom both in India and the United States, achievement ranks among the most farthe Bee said. reaching victories in the Sikh Coalition's Brown also signed Senate Bill 1540, history. It will protect the civil rights of sponsored by Democrat Loni Hancock millions of Americans."

Bars cannot discriminate against Sikhs, Muslims in California

Indian-American elected to Royal Society of Canada


Washington, DC: Ponisseril the highest honors a scholar can Somasundaran, an Indian achiee in the Arts, Humanities American member of the faculty and Sciences. of Columbia University School of Somasundaran was named La Engineering and Applied Science, von Duddleson Krumb Professor has been chosen as the sole forin 1983 and was the chairman of eign fellow of the prestigious the Henry Krumb School from Royal Society of Canada. 1988 to 1992 and of the The only one from outside Department of Chemical Canada to be elected this year, Engineering, Material Science Somasundaran, who has been at and Mining from 1992 to 1997. Columbia since 1970 will be Somasundaran is currently inducted in a ceremony on Nov Director of the National Science 17 at the Ottawa Convention Foundation Centre for Advanced Ponisseril Centre in Ottawa with 70 other Studies in Novel Surfactants and Somasundaran fellows. Langmuir Centre for Colloids "Somasundaran is recognized for his ground- and Interfaces. breaking contributions towards unraveling comHe was one of the youngest members to be plex nano-scale structures and energetics of sur- elected in 1985 to the National Academy of factant self-assemblies and polymer-surfactant Engineering, the highest possible distinction hybrids at interfaces," according to the citation then in engineering in the US. announcing his election. Somasundaran was also elected to the Chinese "He pioneered the use of spectroscopic meth- Academy of Engineering (1998), Indian ods for probing surfactant self-assemblies. His National Academy of Engineering (1999) and work forms the backbone of many of the current the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2000) practices in ultra-lean ores beneficiation, haz- and Balkan academy of science/Mineral ardous materials/waste water treatment and per- Technology. sonal care industry," it said. He was honored as the only 1989 "His seminal work continues to be vital for Distinguished Alumnus and the first Brahm meeting today's environmental and sustainability Prakash Chair in 1990 from the Indian Institute needs," the citation added. of Science. Founded in 1882, the Royal Society of Canada Elected a Fellow of the American Institute of (RSC) comprises the Academies of Arts, Chemical Engineers in 2009, he was awarded Humanities and Sciences of Canada. Padma Shri civilian honor by the Indian Election to its academies is considered one of Government in 2010.

Police release video of Wisconsin gurdwara shooting incident


Washington, DC: A dramatic video of the tragic Gurdwara shooting incident in Wisconsin was released on Tuesday in which Wade Michael Page, the white supremacist who gunned down six Sikh worshippers, is shown on the rampage. "He (Page) was on a mission and he had to be stopped," Oak Creek police officer, Sam Lenda, who shot at Page told reporters at a news conference in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, after the police released the portions of the dramatic video of officers responding to the August 5 shooting. Police Lt Brian Murphy, a 21-year officer, who had stopped to tend to a victim outside the temple, is also seen being ambushed by Page in the video as there was exchange of fire between the two. Murphy who was fatly injured during the incident is now recovering. "There's no question in my mind that Lt Murphy prevented the gunman from taking more lives," Lenda said. Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwardstold reporters that Murphy was hit by 15 bullets, not nine as reported earlier. Twelve bullets struck Murphy, and three bullets struck his bulletproof vest, Edwards said.At a joint news conference with the police, Oak Creek Mayor, Steve Scaffidi, praised the police officers and said that they handled themselves in a professional and heroic manner.

National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Hillary enlists Indian chef in aid of diplomacy


Washington, DC: US dilating on the idea of Secretary of State Hillary "culinary engagement." Clinton has added a culiThe newly formed nary dimension to the "American Chef Corps" exercise of "smart power" will help the State by enlisting 80 top chefs Department in preparing including an Indianmeals for foreign leaders, American in the aid of and will participate in diplomacy. public diplomacy proMumbai native Vikram grams that engage foreign Sunderam, executive chef audiences abroad as well at Rasika, a top end as those visiting the Indian restaurant in United States. Washington, is part of the Those anointed State State Department's new Chefs also get a navy Diplomatic Culinary jacket with the American Chef Vikram Sunderam Partnership initiative. flag and their names It was he, who introduced local school- embroidered in gold. children to "A Taste of India" at a cultural This month, chefs and food experts from exchange at Blair House, the presidential 25 countries are visiting Washington, New guest house, during Prime Minister York, San Francisco, the Midwest and New Manmohan Singh's state visit in Nov 2009. Orleans to learn about US food culture in a "Food isn't traditionally thought of as a State Department program. diplomatic tool, but sharing a meal can help The new culinary partnership is part of people transcend boundaries and build Clinton's "smart power" philosophy of using bridges in a way that nothing else can," "every diplomatic tool at our disposal," said Clinton said in a video message Monday on US Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic the launch of her new initiative. Marshall. "Some of the most meaningful conversaClinton's focus on the role of food in pertions I've had with my counterparts around son-to-person diplomacy began when she the world have taken place over lunch and was first lady and Marshall served as White dinner," recalled America's top diplomat House social secretary.

US Congressman campaigns to invite Narendra Modi


paign to end the seven-year-old ban by writing to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a letter dated June 13, 2012, Walsh said, "The basis on which Modi was denied a diplomatic visa was unfounded and not in compliance with US law. Walsh is a controversial figure known for his strong anti-big government views and is seen as a favorite of the Tea Party movement, implacably opposed to the Obama administration generally and President Barack Obama personally. In certain sections of Chicago's Indian American community, particularly those who support Modi, he is a popular figure. The ban on Modi was imposed in 2005 when George W. Bush was president and has been continued by his successor Barack Obama. It was imposed under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act relating to foreign government officials "who have committed particularly severe violations of religious freedom." In the case of the Gujarat chief minister, the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which hundreds of Muslims were killed, were the primary cause that triggered this particular section. However, it is Walsh's argument that Modi "has never been tried nor convicted, as required under this statute, of any religious crimes in any country. Regardless, the statute states that he can be denied a visa only up to 24 months after a conviction. The allegations arose in 2002; it is now 2012."

Republican Joe Walsh Chicago: US Congressman who has mounted a campaign to revoke the ban on an American visa for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi says in the "trying economic times" this country "could learn a great deal from him." "Modi has been recognized across the world for his staunch stance against corruption and for making Gujarat a shining example of the successes that pro-growth, limited government policies can create. In the US's trying economic times, we could learn a great deal from him. Instead of denying him a visa, we should be inviting him to apply," said Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, who represents Illinois' 8th district from the Chicago area in an interview. In recent months at the urging of his particularly vocal Indian American constituents Congressman Walsh has stepped up his cam-

US Elections TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Obamas race to win


Different campaign agenda and reduced margin than in 2008 for the President, who will be bailed out by swing voters, more of whom traditionally favor the incumbent.
he 2008 presidential election revealed the disturbing level of racial and ethnic divisions in the US. Then, Barack Obama took only 45% of the white vote. He was elected because of his dominance in ethnic minority votes. Approximately 95% blacks voted for him. A report in The Telegraph, London (6 November 2008) titled Power of the white vote is fading by Gordon Rayner says that Obama drew his support disproportionately from ethnic minorities and the young. Voting on racial or ethnic lines reduces representative politics to a bum fight. Each minority is seeking its own advantage rather than the national advantage. In US today, the only group which does not campaign on ethnic or racial lines is the one which still forms the numerical majority, namely whites, especially

those identified with the founding of the USA, of Anglo-Saxon lineage. When any part of the white population tries to speak up for the needs and desires of white Americans, it is labeled a fruitcake at best and racist at worst by mainstream politicians and media. Gordon Rayner says that whites today in places such as the USA and Britain know that if they say anything which can be interpreted as racist, they run, at best, a grave risk of losing their employment, especially if that employment is in the public service, and at worst, demonization by the media with the possibility of legal action, both civil and criminal, being taken against them. Moreover, the definition of racism used by the politically correct is now so wide that includes any statement by whites which is deemed non-inclusive, that is, it refers

Opinion
By Heera Lal only to white society and culture. Obama cant be called a successful president by objective standards. He couldnt fulfill promises of Change, nor rise to the occasion to push back difficult economic times completely. Yet, he has solid accomplishments. He has navigated the US economy out of the hole. Recovery may be patchy but America is weathering the global slowdown better than some other developed economies. His decision to withdraw US army from Afghanistan was a good political move. Above all, in his four years as head of the nation, no scam or scandal has tainted him personally. Within his own party, there is barely any opposition as was in 2008 with Hillary Clinton giving him a good fight in the primaries. Educated, rich and developed Americans see and evaluate the situation holistically. They know that the countrys major problems - economic woes and war entanglement were inherited by him. Add to that the spillover of the world economic recession. Four years is not good enough time to resolve all these ills. No President could have accomplished that, as Bill Clinton said at the Democratic convention. Hence, Obama deserves another term to complete the task he initiated. It would seem then that Obama

2008 voting pattern based on race and ethnicity


Category White Americans Black Americans Hispanics Asians Jews Men Women Age 18-29 Age 30-44 Age 45-59 Age 60+ First time voters John McCain % votes Obama % votes 55% 43% 4% 95% 31% 66% 35% 62% 22% 77% 48% 49% 43% 56% 31% 66% 46% 53% 49% 49%. 52% 46% 30% 69%

will be able to muster the support of whites, where he is weak. America is a capitalist country. They will not risk on economic front by giving reins of power to Republicans without giving full chance to Obama to finish what he started. Medical care is a contentious issue in the US. All those benefiting from Obamacare (dubbed so by his opponents) are grateful to Obama. A systemic overhaul was long due, something no earlier president could push through. Obama has also accomplished something that Bush failed to do. Osama bin Laden kill has brought back Americans lost pride. 9/11 is an emotional issue for Americans. So, Obama strikes the emotional chord with citizens cutting across party lines. In American politics, many centrists, liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats are considered "swing voters" since their voting patterns cannot be predicted with certainty. Such votes are usually sought after in elections, since they

can play a big role in determining the outcome. Gallup polls show the number of undecided voters hovering between 6 percent and 8 percent compared with 11 percent at this point in 2008. William G. Mayer, in his book about swing voting pattern in American politics, says that in case of re-election, an incumbent on average gets 46 percent as compared to 42 percent for the challenger. Due to Obamas broad acceptability, these swing and undecided voters will lean towards him in the last moment and sail him towards a second term as President of USA. Obama - cool from outside and fiery from inside - has broad acceptance like Atal Behari Vajpayee, former PM of India. He is well read and experienced about his politics. His inside fire to solve chronic problems of the country will make him a winner, more so because the challenger Mitt Romney scores low on likeability, even within his own Republican party.

Obama campaign hits back at DSouzas '2016' film


Washington: The Obama camwithstand basic scrutiny," it said. paign has hit back at an anti-Obama "The facts show that '2016: film by an Indian-American conserObama's America' is nothing more vative author that has rocked the than an insidious attempt to dishonbox office since last month's estly smear the President by giving Republican National convention in intellectual cover to the worst in Tampa, Florida. subterranean conspiracy theories In a new blog post on the camand false, partisan attacks," the paign's Truth Team website, the campaign wrote. campaign calls Mumbai-born "'2016' promises to show viewers Dinesh D'Souza's documentary what they 'don't know' about "2016: Obama's America", purportPresident Obama, but instead ing to show what will it be like reveals what Newsday called a 'ranshould Barack Obama be re-elected ter' peddling conspiracy theories," it A poster for Dinesh as president, an "insidious" smear. said. D'Souza's documentary Based on D'Souza's book, "The "In place of an actual documen"2016: Obama's America" tary, D'Souza employs "pseudoRoots of Obama's Rage", the documentary basically argues that Obama has a pro- scholarly leaps of logic" to invent an imaginary third world view inherited from his Kenyan father, character who has inherited 'anti-colonial,' 'Third and he is actively and willfully working to dilute World' views from his father-whom he last saw America's primacy in the world. "His writings and when he was 10 years old," the campaign said. film based on lies should not come as a surprise to The campaign cited four specific "falsehoods" in anyone given D'Souza's long history of attempting the film relating to American exceptionalism, to add a veneer of intellectual respectability to Brazilian oil exploration, the release of a Libyan fringe theories, conspiratorial fear-mongering, and terrorist and the Troubled Asset Relief Program flat-out falsehoods," the campaign argued. (TARP). Produced for roughly $2.1 million, the "It should say enough about D'Souza's credibility film with its catchphrase, "Love Him. Hate Him. that a movie catering to the Tea Party attacks You Don't Know Him", has remained in the top ten someone for allegedly "anti-colonial" views. His for three weeks straight. It has collected $26.1 milattempts to hide his lies behind a pseudo-scholarly lion, making it the sixth highest grossing documenpresentation and glossy production values cannot tary of all time.

Obama leads Romney, post-conventions


Washington: With a new poll showing President Barack Obama getting a six point advantage over Mitt Romney after last week's Democratic National Convention, the Republican challenger has gone aggressive with his attacks on his opponent. The new CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed that Obama received a four point "bounce" from last week's Democratic convention, giving him a 52 percent-46 percent advantage over the former Massachusetts governor. After the Republican National Convention in late August, the same poll showed the candidates at 48 percent each. The sampling error means both results were statistically even, but the trend from the CNN survey and another one by Gallup showed Obama "did gain strength from his convention, principally by energizing the Democratic base", CNN polling director Keating Holland said. The Gallup daily tracking poll released Sunday showed Obama opening up his largest margin over Romney since early July -- 49 percent to 44 percent -- which also was statistically even due to the margin of error. It was conducted Sep 2-8, a time window that included the entirety of the Democratic convention as well as a disappointing August

Romney campaign has played down the latest poll numbers because some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions. jobs report that came out Friday. A week earlier, the same Gallup poll showed Obama with a 47 percent-46 percent advantage after the Republican convention. Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse advised against anyone getting "too worked up about latest polling". "While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly," Newhouse wrote in the memo made public Monday.In more bad news for Romney, Obama's campaign announced Sunday it raised $114 million in August, topping the challenger's monthly haul for the first time since April.

10

US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Ravi Batra gave an exclusive interview to The SATimes after resigning from New York States ethics commission.

I walked on the peak of Mount Olympus and found it corrupt and corruptible
By Parveen Chopra minent attorney and one of the leading lights of Indian community on the East Coast, Ravi Batra has shown spine in resigning from the prestigious commissioners position on New York States Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), which was instituted last year to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the State's ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. Batra has made public his resignation letter to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo protesting his interference in JCOPE functioning. Batra also resigned from the New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund (IOLA) which helps low income people in the state obtain help with civil legal problems. He was appointed to IOLA by former state Governor David Paterson. Cuomo gave an interview on Patersons radio show last Friday in which, without naming Batra, the two slighted him. Indian community can be proud of Batras defiant actions and integrity because so many would stoop to lick the shoes of their political superiors. Batra gave an extensive interview to The South Asian Times Wednesday on what he calls controlgate, his course of action, and even comparing corruption in the US with that in India. Excerpts:

Ravi Batra (left), with Janet DiFiore (middle), Chair, and other commissioners at a meeting of JCOPE in Albany June 7, 2012. He has resigned from JCOPE in protest. (Photo courtesy: Times Union).
end product as being merit-based. SAT: Cuomo Is Open to Tweaks in Ethics Panelreports New York Times. Is that a fallout from your criticism? Ravi Batra: Its delightful that the statutory and operational defects that I identified during my tenure and in my resignation letter, along with clear remedies, has informed the political process for the need to make serious and significant changes so that the chances of further public deception is reduced and public ethics not be a farce. The recent Suffolk County Ethic Commission experience, documented by a Grand Jury Report released by DA Tom Spota is quite instructive on not permitting an Ethics Commission to become a political tool. SAT: Governor Cuomo was pressuring JCOPE to probe the Vito Lopez case, what is wrong with that? Ravi Batra: Everyone has a right to an opinion and to be able to say it. That is a far cry from taking a gun, the Moreland Act powers, and enslave JCOPE to do his bidding when he himself is subject to the commissions jurisdiction, and by doing so makes himself exempt. Can a person, no matter how powerful, put a gun to a judge's head and ask her to sign an Order and expect society to honor such an order? No, its illegal for lacking the predicate independence, and may be a crime. I, as a JCOPE commissioner read press reports alleging ungentlemanly misconduct, hush money being paid and public money being used to settle private misconduct. Imagine the investigation I would have started. I had already reserved my right to sue JCOPE for illegally changing the effective date of the source funding disclosure law by one month so as to unlawfully cloak six months worth of disclosure by 501C4s. I didn't need any lessons from our great governor on how to do the job of a JCOPE commissioner. Of course, my resignation is a huge benefit to those who are enemies of transparency, even when the law requires it. Disinfectant sunshine isn't sought by those who are about to be disinfected. SAT: Why did Governor Cuomo criticize you on David Patersons radio show? Ravi Batra: You would have to ask the sitting and prior governor why they decided to violate the independence of a JCOPE commissioner, and seek to either enslave or cause a resignation, and in so doing cause me to have the right to file a complaint against them for inter alia, violation of the Public Officers Law with JCOPE. Ironic isn't it. The criminal law of extortion, similarly, is a thing of beauty for it has much irony in it SAT: What issue you have had with David Paterson, that prompted you to also resign from IOLA. Ravi Batra: None prior to September 7. He was always extremely warm and publicly affectionate. But, that was before he became a self-described soldier when Gov. Cuomo appointed him to the MTA Board. His sarcasm on the air required a public rebuke. He got a small taste. However, since he had appointed me (to IOLA) and I wanted to give him a public rebuke, I rejected such appointment by resignation and said so. That he had gotten to serve almost eight months as a governor in 2010 due to my timely and critical intervention to give him due process as my letter-affidavit makes clear, only added to my inability to tolerate

SATimes: So, what impact your resignation from JCOPE has had so far? Ravi Batra: The public knows the truth, and that I would not serve on "bent knee" when I am legally authorized to be independent and impartial. That no one can legally enslave those who sit in judgment without making the ethics regime a farce and a public deception. I have gotten a lot of support not only from my friends and references, but even strangers and society leaders. While I may have felt what Gov. Cuomo felt about the investigation, and perhaps, even more of what needed to be done, he lacked the right to whip JCOPE as he did and still expect the public to accept its

Ravi Batra quits story Continued from page 1 gations againstAssemblyman Vito J. Lopez, and the use of public money by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to settle with two alleged victims. For Batra, Cuomos threat was tantamount to political interference in the commissions work. On Monday, he sent an 8-page letter to the governor in which he stated the commissions functioning was lacking in basic integrity.

Noted for his eloquence and colorful metaphors, Batra compared his experience as a JCOPE commissioner to watching a glorious diamond being crushed by a s l e d g e h a m m e r. I r o n i c a l l y, JCOPE was created by Cuomo himself last year to have oversight over both the Executive and Legislative branches and to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the State's ethics and lobbying laws, regulations, and guidance.

such base and rank behavior, unworthy of a gentleman. That I had publically voted, again alone, against funding Vito Lopez-founded Ridgewood Bushwick due to then pending federal and city investigations was made very difficult because Gov. Cuomo's administration during such time had given almost 3/4 million dollars; so, if its good enough for NYS to give money, why not IOLA. So, I've stood up to Vito Lopez and supported the law long before. To JCOPE and the governor's desire to investigate Lopez. SAT: In essence, you resigned from JCOPE because Gov Cuomo was trying to make it his handmaiden? Ravi Batra: To allow a sitting Governor to sledgehammer JCOPE's essential independence, a body that he is subject to, was beyond the pale. I will not serve on "bent knee." The product of such a smashed body, like an order signed by a judge who had a gun to his head, isn't worth the paper its written on. SAT: So, youd stick to your thriving legal practice? To enter politics? Or something else? Ravi Batra: Idealism can be practiced anywhere, all the time. The status of private citizen, endowed with constitutional rights and the honor of being an Officer of the Court, the Third Branch of government which has the last word in our separation of powers regime, is a pretty cool and lofty place to be. I enjoy maximum freedom and independence, and have the power of the law to invoke when appropriate and just. A lawman; what is better than that? I walked on the peak of Mount Olympus and found it corrupt and corruptible, despite so many good and honorable people trying to do right. Main Street is real and more honest, for you can better tell a piece of glass from a diamond, but it takes longer on the peak of Mount Olympus given the fog, be it by deception or by misrepresentation. The future will be whatever the Almighty decrees a la "man proposes and God laughs." All I can do is walk humbly with my God and stand tall with my fellow man, no matter how powerful. SAT: You have seen American politics and lobbying from close quarters. How widespread is corruption here, and how different from the way it is in India? Ravi Batra: India's corruption is a misnomer, for if India would just pass the necessary laws allowing for political campaign contributions and lobbying, what is now deemed corrupt would become instantly legal, at least 80-90 percent. There is a limited amount of corruption that is based upon an individual's defective

moral compass. All you can do is prosecute and hope its US Attorney Preet Bharara on society's side. Here, where we have all the laws needed, any corruption is unacceptable and ought to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. America has the mantle of being the best nation on earth, and for good reason. No nation has as its root the Declaration of Independence and that unique document of unparalleled genius, the Constitution and its separation of powers regime. It is no accident that the sole goal of separation of powers is to create greater independence, so one may dissent. American exceptionalism is due to its architectural embrace of dissent, knowing that it promotes excellence and greater certainty. I honored the Constitution, and rebuked the illegal abuse of power to achieve political goals rather than an investigation that was fact-driven with due deliberation and independent judgment. A public lynching is really out of fashion, even though a 24 hours news cycle accidentally pushes society towards it. Smart politicians understand that they can ride a tsunami of public attention and collective distaste and wipe out their political enemies or subjugate them, much like tsunami waters wash away civilization's footprint. But, it isn't right. SAT: Earlier you resigned as Special Counsel to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano over conflict of interest, reportedly without pay Ravi Batra: I never billed, and hence, the taxpayers never had to pay. Whatever discussions I had with CE Mangano, however, are still covered by the confidentiality privilege. SAT: The news reports about your resignation, while calling you outspoken and colorful, also refer to your links earlier to jailed Brooklyn politician Clarence Norman. Ravi Batra: Some of the people we walk life with fall from grace. Unless and until one was involved in the act that causes another to fall from grace, then such falling cannot be used to malign the one uninvolved. So, while Clarence fell from grace and paid his debt to society, it has nothing to do with me other than the sadness to see a friend in such a situation.All one can do is to be lawful and have personal integrity that is unshakeable. SAT: How long it took you to write the over 3400-word resignation letter! Ravi Batra: About 20 hours between Sunday and Monday. One owes the future New Yorkers and historians critical attention to detail, as this will be part of New York States history in our state Archives.

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

11

September 15-21, 2012

We respect CAG, Congress tells BJP


New Delhi: Two days after it attacked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) by questioning the credibility of its report on the coal blocks allocation, the Congress said it respected the constitutional body but said it should not stray out of its jurisdiction. "We have never critiThe CAG said that private players made cized the CAG. We respect constitutional bodies but windfall gains worth Rs.1.85 lakh crore in the coal block allocations no constitutional body should come out of its jurisdiction. why," he had asked. Alvi said: "Rather than debating Policy-making is the responsibility of the government," Congress the issue in parliament, the BJP is spokesperson Rashid Alvi told levelling baseless allegations." He reporters. The reaction came after a pointed out that former BJP minister BJP delegation sought the interven- Arun Shourie had termed a CAG tion of President Pranab Mukherjee report on the sale of Centaur Hotel in the matter. The CAG in a recent as "idiotic". The Congress also cited report said that private players had a recent Supreme Court order made windfall gains worth Rs.1.85 quashing a PIL saying the Public lakh crore in the 142 coal blocks Accounts Committee would debate allocated by the Congress-led the CAG report which will then go United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to parliament and that it would not form a final opinion on the basis of government 2006-09. "Is it a meeting of minds of the the auditor's report. The BJP did not allow parliament CAG and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)? Is it solely a coincidence or to function during the monsoon sesthere is more to it," Congress sion by demanding Prime Minister spokesperson Manish Tewari had Manmohan Singh's resignation over said. "Is the CAG misusing its cred- the issue and cancellation of the ibility? If it is so, the question is allocated coal blocks.

Jaiswal allocated three coal blocks: SP


Kolkata: Training guns on Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on the alleged irregularities in coal block allocation, the Samajwadi Party held him responsible for allocating three coal blocks "one hour of taking charge" as minister in the second UPA regime. Jaiswal has, however, said he has not sanctioned even a single coal block during his ministerial stint, and allocation letters of only two coal blocks approved during the United Progressive Alliance-1 regime were issued. The Samjawadi Party did not accept the clarification. "He has already said that somebody had already given the clearance. The minister concerned who has accepted it, and has signed it, is responsible for this thing. I repeat that the minister who has accepted it is responsible for it," said SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. Earlier in the day, Ram Gopal Yadav had made the

Federal Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal startling allegation that Jaiswal had "cleared allocation of three coal blocks with one hour and seven minutes of taking charge as union coal minister".

Sibal slams states for corruptions related to land


Kolkata: While the opposition, led by the BJP, is attacking the Congress-led UPA government for scams, including over irregularities in coal block allocations, union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal slammed the governments in opposition-ruled states for graft related to land. "Land is not a central subject. The maximum corruptions in India are in land. Land is the jurisdiction of the state. People do not understand that. People think that I can make laws to deal with corruption in respect to land when I have no jurisdiction to do that," Sibal said at an interactive session organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) here. "When there is corruption is respect of minerals, in respect of land, they blame the central government... that look you let the corruption to flourish, the fact is that it is the state government. But all this is happening," he said.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) disrupted parliament proceedings and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for alleged discretionary allocations of coal blocks between 2004 to 2009 when he was in charge of the coal ministry.The CAG report on coal block allotment said private firms are likely to gain Rs 1.86 lakh crore from coal blocks that were allocated to them on nomination basis instead of competitive bidding.

12

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Early Lok Sabha elections likely: Mulayam


Kolkata: Lok Sabha elections could be held before 2014, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said while declaring he would like to strike equations with like-minded regional parties as the Congress and BJP were weakening. "Looking at the current situation it seems that there can be early polls before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But I can't say that for sure," Mulayam Singh said at a press conference after the two-day national meeting of the SP here. Discussing the issue of a possible Third Front, he said the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were becoming weaker each day. "We would like to maintain good relations with all like-minded regional parties. Both the Congress and BJP are becoming weak and are more bothered about their own confrontations within their parties," he said. The SP chief also declared that a Third Front would be formed only after the Lok Sabha polls. A day after senior SP leaders stated that the party had sown the seeds of the Third Front, Mulayam Singh said: "Third Front is always formed only after the Lok Sabha polls after taking stock of the political situation. It is never formed before the polls." SP general secretary Mohan Singh had said that the party had sown the seeds of Third Front and "now they have to be nurtured".

In Brief BJP dares SP to withdraw support to Center


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made light of the Samajwadi Party's (SP) pitch for a Third Front and its criticism of the central government and dared it to withdraw support to the Congressled UPA. "Before he starts talking of a Third Front, he should first set the country free of Congress-led UPA," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said here. He said the SP had not disappointed the Congress and was "part and parcel of the UPA"."What is the SP after all? It is a regional party which has 19 MPs (in Lok Sabha). It contests against the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and supports the Congress in Delhi," he said.

The Samajwadi Party claims to have sown the seeds of Third Front

Congress slams Trinamool, may go alone in Bengal


Kolkata: Alleging that alliance partner Trinamool Congress was trying to politically finish off the Congress in West Bengal, the party's state unit Wednesday said it was capable of fighting elections alone. "We are capable of fighting (elections) and going alone in the state. We are not weak... Nobody should dare to politically write off Congress. We are still a formidable and decisive force in the state," said Pradip Bhattacharya, president of the state Congress. Congress MP Deepa Dasmunsi also criticised the West Bengal government's on providing financial compensation to rape victims and called it a matter of "national shame". "The state government is planning to compensate rape victims with money. This announcement is a national shame," said Dasmunsi.

Brand Rahul does not exist, says BJP


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) targeted Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for remaining "silent" on corruption issues and claimed that the "Brand Rahul" did not exist. BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that he did not hear Rahul Gandhi speak on issues of price rise and corruption, including the raging controversy over coal blocks allocation. Answering queries about an article pertaining to Gandhi in a foreign magazine, Rudy claimed the Congress general secretary did not speak on the 2G spectrum scam although former communications minister A. Raja went to jail in connection with it. He said the coal blocks allocation controversy has been doing the rounds for almost a month but Gandhi preferred not to speak on it. "It has been about a month or so (since the coal block allocation controversy has been making headlines). (But) Never heard

Don't give importance to foreign media: Congress


New Delhi: The Congress said the Indian media was no less than any other media and asked it not to give importance to what the foreign media writes about India or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "The Indian media is no less than anyone. It should not give importance to what the foreign media writes about India or the prime minister," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters. "The Indian media is concerned about national interest, not the foreign media," he said. Recently, a critical report on the prime minister in Washington Post had invited angry reactions from the government. Before that, Time magazine had termed Manmohan Singh as an underachiever.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi him say (anything) about the coalgate. That's why Brand Rahul does not exist," Rudy said. The BJP spokesperson added that whether Gandhi, 42, should assume a bigger role in the Congress was for the Congress party to decide. "When person is not fit at 42, (based on) what assessment will he be fit at 52? One does not know... Congress has to decide," Rudy said. On what kind of fitness he was referring to, Rudy said: "Political, administrative and mental (fitness)". It has been speculated that Gandhi would assume a larger role in the Congress and the government, or both, in coming days to improve the party's electoral prospects in the 2014 general elections.

Rahul Gandhi 'decoded' in book


New Delhi: Does Rahul Gandhi have an overarching political and economic vision? asked panelists at a book release function while debating the strategy and thinking of the Congress leader. Some panelists suggested that the Congress general secretary should take a bigger political role upfront to guide his party for the 2014 electoral challenge. Senior journalist M.D. Nalapat, who released the book "Decoding Rahul Gandhi" by Aarthi Ramachandran, set the tone of a freewheeling discussion by posing questions about the possibility of Rahul Gandhi being able to outshine his father Rajiv Gandhi because of the "very low expectations" of him. Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor, Open magazine, said Rahul Gandhi was by nature a fairly decent man but was not willing to step ahead. Bal said the Congress would shape around the role Rahul Gandhi takes but "he does not want to take a role upfront". "He may forced in 2014," Bal said, and added that Rahul Gandhi should either step back completely or step forward. He said Rahul Gandhi had wasted too much time being in charge of the Youth Congress and the National Students' Union of India. Columnist Santosh Desai said the charisma of the Gandhi dynasty was no longer sufficient and vote catching abilities of a single person were unlikely to deliver results. Referring to Rahul Gandhi's work in the Youth Congress, Desai said that the young leader had the idea of seeing politics as a management consultant and converting everything into projects. "He is trying to impose a new kind of framework. It is a tall order," Desai said. Ramachadran, who has worked with dailies, said her book was an attempt to critically look at the person who could be the country's prime minister. "He does not want to put much of himself out. The book is neutral, set out to examine what he adds up to," Ramachadran said.

The cover of 'Decoding Rahul Gandhi'

India TheSouthAsianTimes.info

13

September 15-21, 2012

Another protest, Current times worse than emergency: now against Advani Kudankulam N-plant
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has come out in support of Aseem Trivedi, saying the act of jailing the cartoonist for an allegedly seditious work had made him wonder if the current political set up was "worse even than the emergency?" Advani, in a blog post, said he has "always regarded the emergency period 1975-77 as the worst in so far as suppression of civil liberties and freedom of expression were concerned". "But seeing what has happened to political cartoonist and anticorruption crusader Aseem Trivedi, I have started wondering: Is today's political set up worse even than the emergency?" Advani said the "draconian mindset of the present rulers is born out of failure and desperation"."Dictatorships cannot afford laughter because people may laugh at the dictator, and that would not do. In all the years of Hitler, there never was a good comedy, not a good cartoon, not a parody, not a spoof." he said.

I drew no wrong, I'm not sorry: Aseem


Mumbai: Cartoonist Aseem chy, not a democracy," he Trivedi said he made no missaid. take in drawing cartoons, and Trivedi was accompanied that he would not apologize by social activist Dr Binayak since he had done no wrong. Sen who was also charged The 25-year-old Trivedi with sedition and is still walked out of jail, four days fighting the charge. Activist after he was charged with with India Against sedition. Trivedi, an activist Corruption (IAC) Mayank of India Against Corruption Gandhi was also present at The 25-year-old cartoonist (IAC), has been given bail. walked out of jail after he was the meeting with media peoThe case has led to outrage in ple. charged with sedition the country. After he was released from "I respect the law, but I do not respect a law Mumbai's Arthur Road prison in south that, even today, makes us feel as if we are not Mumbai earlier Wednesday, Tiwari had said living in a free country," he said, addressing that he would continue to fight for the freemedia persons here after his release. dom of expression. When asked if it was appropriate to draw a "This fight, my fight does not end here. We cartoon depicting 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab will continue to fight this battle till the sediurinating on the Indian Constitution, Trivedi tion charges under Section 124A (of Indian maintained that he expressed things as he saw Penal Code) are dropped," he said, soon after them, and there was no reason to think it was emerging from the Arthur Road prison. improper. He said he saw no need for an apolHe was charged with sedition for drawing ogy. Trivedi slammed the sedition law under cartoons insulting Indian emblems, including Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, stat- the Constitution, during Anna Hazare's antiing that the law was a colonial relic that was corruption movement in Mumbai Dec 2011. used by the British government to "silence Following nationwide outrage, Mumbai rebel voices". police Monday produced him before a court "This law should be repealed from our where he was remanded to judicial custody till Constitution. It is the only law more misused Sept 24 but on Tuesday, he was granted bail than used. It is archaic and befitting a monar- by the high court.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Chennai: Hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu's Idinthakarai village, the epicenter of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), stood in the sea water to give expression to their anger at moves to load uranium fuel in one of the two reactors. Forming a human chain in the sea, the villagers from around the Kudankulam nuclear plant followed a similar 'jal satyagraha' in Madhya Pradesh against the Omkareshwar Dam on the Narmada. India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian help at Kudankulam since 2001.Villagers under the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) banner have opposed the project for the past one year, fearing for their safety.

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Op Ed TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Much ado about a newspaper article: Post and India


By Mayank Chhaya hether or not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a tragic figure, it is clear that his office's media management is tragically inept. By practically whining about a perfectly ordinary news profile about Dr. Singh in The Washington Post, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has given the article the weight it does not deserve. The profile published by the Post on September 4 said the prime minister's image of a "scrupulously honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat" had turned into one who is "a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government". As profiles go this one by the newspaper's Delhi correspondent Simon Denyer is one of those quickly marshalled pieces reliably reflecting the popular sentiment in the country's middle class and republishing some fairly pungent comments by eminent names such as historian Ramchandra Guha and Manmohan Singh's former media adviser and economist Dr. Sanjay Baru. Even there Denyer was caught flatfooted by first disregarding to mention that the quotes

Ideally, the PMO should have treated the Washington Post profile with a sense of dignified detachment and not felt compelled to issue any clarification he attributed to Guha and Baru were, in fact, first published in the Caravan magazine last year. The newspaper has since carried a correction acknowledging that "An earlier version of this article failed to credit the Caravan, an Indian magazine, for two statements that it originally published in 2011. The assertion by Sanjaya Baru, a former media adviser, that Singh had become an object of ridicule and endured the worst period in his life, first appeared in the Caravan, as did an assertion by Ramachandra Guha, a political historian, that Singh was handicapped by his timidity, complacency and intellectual dishonesty. While both men told The Post that the assertions could accurately be attributed to them, the article should have credited the Caravan when it used or paraphrased the remarks." The profile even resorts to cheap

shots such mentioning how Dr. Singh's detractors put their mobile phones on 'Manmohan Singh mode', as in the silent mode. While the joke is clearly funny, its place in a serious profile in a serious newspaper about a serious man is questionable. However, it is not the content of Denyer's article, such as it is, that is the issue but the way some functionaries of the Indian government went about trying to counter it. India's Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni seemed exercised enough to say that she would take up the publication of the profile with the external affairs ministry ostensibly to find ways to correct the misimpressions created by it. But Soni's comments were unfairly conflated by the broadcast media to say that the Indian government was demanding an apology for the piece when that was not the case. Then came a poorly crafted letter from Pankaj Pachauri, the communications adviser to the PMO, to Denyer which accused him of "unethical and unprofessional conduct". On the face of it there was nothing even remotely unethical or unprofessional about Denyer's conduct, at least until it was pointed out that he did not bother to say

that the Baru-Guha comments were dated and taken from another publication. That certainly opened him to criticism but Pachauri did not know about it at the time he sent his rejoinder. In any case, that does not materially change the fact that the PMO handled the whole affair poorly. Ideally, the PMO should have treated the Post profile with a sense of dignified detachment and not felt compelled to issue any clarification. Other than disputing on factual grounds via the finance ministry assertions by the newspaper's that the rupee has "collapsed", it serves no purpose getting into a slanging match with a journalist over such routine stories. The PMO rejoinder is in keeping with how quickly the Indian establishment bristles at slights in the Western media when the more mature response would be to dismiss it as unworthy of their attention. In the end, whether the prime minister is a silent tragic figure who is also "a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government" is largely still a matter of opinion. In this particular debate, it needs no stating who has the more difficult job - the prime minister or a journalist?

Interview

'Pakistan must address our terror concerns'


By Jayanth Jacob

n an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna talks about the road ahead in India, Pakistan dialogue process, issues that confront the relationship and how New Delhi intends to deal with them. The minister was in Pakistan to review the dialogue process with his counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar. Excerpts: Q: The resumed India-Pakistan dialogue process was aimed at reducing the trust deficit and normalizing the ties between the two countries? As you prepare for your meeting with your counterpart in Islamabad to take stock of the ongoing talks, in your assessment, how fruitful this exercise has been? S.M. Krishna: Dialogue is the best way to resolve issues between two sides. We have travelled some distance since our bilateral dialogue was resumed in February

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar 2011. There has been some about how to resolve these difficult progress in the area of economic issues. Q: The Pakistan leadership has and commercial cooperation and promotion of friendly exchanges, high praise for Prime Minister including people-to-people con- Manmohan Singh-for his vision tacts. In other areas like terrorism, for the region, his innovative much more needs to be done and approach towards dealing with there are challenges that exist but India-Pakistan relationship. Are that shouldn't deter us from talking you hopeful that Prime Minister

would be able to visit Pakistan this year? S.M. Krishna: The Prime Minister has been very clear on this issue. He has accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan at an appropriate time. He would like a well-prepared visit, which may have suitable outcomes. Q: We hear of so much about "suitable outcomes" that would warrant a PM visit to Pakistan? Why New Delhi insisting on big takeaways, considering there have been many Indian PM visits to Pakistan and we are still stuck on all the core issues? Or 26/11 Mumbai attack made things very difficult for when you think of Indian prime minister visiting Pakistan? S.M. Krishna: I don't think Prime Minister is making his visit conditional on any big takeaways as you call it. All he is saying is that for a visit of such importance the time and atmosphere has to be appropriate, and the visit has to be

well prepared keeping outcomes in mind. Q: It seems President Asif Ali Zardari is keen on the urgent resolution of the Siachen issue? Is India game on that considering it would be a great "take away" for him? And are you still following a step-by step approach to the dialogue process or do you think time has to come to address the core issues, which many would say, is necessary for restoring the trust between the two countries? S.M. Krishna: We are committed to resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries through dialogue. We are convinced that for the normalization of relations between our two countries a step-by-step graduated approach is the most realistic one. Given the complexities of the issues involved, we have to move forward by tackling the 'doables' first and at the same time continuing with our sincere efforts to resolve the more intractable issues.

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

September 15-21, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

718-347-0434

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Ultimate Bollywood TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Harvard conducts case study on Farhan's firm

he famed Harvard Business School (HBS) has done a case study on Indian film production company Excel Entertainment, the banner behind movies like "Dil Chahta Hai", "Rock On!!" and "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara". The company, co-owned by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, is the centre of a case study, which will be taught to second year MBA students at HBS in early 2013. Confirming the development, Sidhwani said: "It's a huge honor for any organization." Earlier this year, Sidhwani was invited to speak at the Harvard India Conference 2012, held at the university's campus in Boston. His talk gave them a good insight, and they decided to take it further by doing a case study.Mukti Khaire, associate professor at HBS flew down to Mumbai from Boston for a week and was the faculty lead on the case. Khaire worked closely with Namrata Arora, associate director, Harvard University South Asia Initiative, during the case-writing process on Excel Entertainment.

Actor Farhan Akhtar

I want to learn more about Indian culture: Berry


The first poster of Yash Chopra's 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'

Yash names SRK-starrer 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'


ilmmaker Yash Chopra has finally locked a name for his new directorial. The Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma-starrer love triangle is titled "Jab Tak Hai Jaan". The title seems to have been inspired from a song of the same name from the 1975 hit film "Sholay". The official announcement of the title was made Tuesday, following months of speculation that it would be called "London Ishq" or "Yaara Silli Silli". "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" marks the directorial comeback of Chopra, who last helmed the 2004 Shah Rukh, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta starrer crossborder romance "Veer-Zaara". In the new film, Shah Rukh is said to be playing an army officer named

Samar, as suggested by first look pictures from the film's shooting in Ladakh in the Jammu and Kashmir region.The crew has also shot in London and were shooting in the scenic Kashmir Valley till last week. The film's poster gives a sneak peek into Katrina's feminine look in the film, while it shows Anushka as a rough and tough girl, riding a bike. Shah Rukh sports two looks - a romantic, clean shaven hero look, and another, a grungy, bearded look. "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" has also brought together the award-winning pair of A.R. Rahman and Gulzar, who are said to have created some wonderful and poetic music for this romantic film. The movie is set to release this Diwali.

Halle Berry dons sari for role in 'Cloud Atlas'

ollywood actress Halle Berry, who is draped in a bright red sari in her upcoming film 'Cloud Atlas', says she is fascinated with Indian culture and wants to know it better. "India is a fascinating country with myriad layers in it. I want to take a step towards learning more about one of the oldest cultures in the world. I have many Indian friends and it's fascinating to hear their stories of ancient India," Berry said in a statement. For a scene in "Cloud Atlas", an adaptation of the eponymous 2004 novel by David Mitchell, the actress she dressed in a traditional Indian way. Her look is complete in a sari, and she also wears bangles, with henna applied on her palms. "Cloud Atlas" is written and directed by Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski along with Tom Tykwer. It is the story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of everyone's lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future.

Actor Bipasha Basu in a scene from 'Raaz 3'

oodoo karle saajwill never know. Presiding Review over the ritual of unmitigated na..." If your career starts to slip up, have no fear. Consult evil is Satan in human form living in a slum God. If He lets you down, consult his nearest that would give Danny Boyle an orgasm, wearrival Satan. Shake hands and even bed the ing a suit that has seen better days, sitting on a devil, and you have an ally to work on your forlorn chair parked in ankle-deep water. This, I guess, is apocalypse in the other enemy.So now we know why actresses in Bollywood can't get along. They are too busy world. Hell, director Vikram Bhatt even throws sticking needles into one another's careers to in two seances where our hero - weak vulnerafocus on their own. Shanaya (Bipasha Basu), ble ineffectual and uncertain as only Emraan we are told at the outset without wasting time, Hashmi can be, enters to save Sanjana who is is a top-notch actress on the downslide. Instead under a satanic attack. The jealous Shanaya unleashes what could of drowning her defeat in drinks, she decides to smother her nearest rival, the upcoming comfortably be called an orgy of gory violence Sanjana's (Esha Gupta) career, using her direc- on the other actress. If this is what the fear of tor-lover Aditya as a bait.Writer Shagufta failure does, then success be damned! It's Bipasha who holds together the feverish Rafique's screenplay is more of scream-play. The two actresses between them scream their proceedings. She delivers a full-bodied gutsy lovely lungs out, as hands pop out of graves to performance. Pulling out all stops she plays the lunge at shapely throats. Mirrors are broken devil-woman out to kill competition by hook or and used to pierce satanic casualties and to by crook, pouring her soul into her character, track down ghouls which appear only in mirror making Shanaya's desperation her own.It is a images. Just where Vikram Bhatt gets all this brave and fearless performance conveying the information on the dark side of the moon, we trauma of a floundering career.

Ultimate Bollywood Thesouthasiantimes.info

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September 15-21, 2012

'KBC 6' gets first crorepati in Manoj Raina

Fortunate to have dream cast for 'Satyagrah': Jha


rakash Jha, who has managed to put together an ensemble cast for "Satyagrah", says that he is lucky to have Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpayee playing important roles in a film that focuses on corruption in the country."Today, it seems that the middle-class all over the world is in anguish with the system and is gearing up to almost renegotiate democracy. This is where our history is going to be settled. It's such an important juncture in the world history," Jha said. "There is corruption of wealth and power and it seems that the course of history is going to be settled. I'm extremely fortunate to have a dream cast of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay, Kareena, Arjun and Manoj playing the key roles," he added.Scheduled to go on the floors in January next year, "Satyagrah" will address the ethos of a peaceful mass protest against corruption.

Sharmila sends invites for SaifKareena's wedding

Manoj Kumar Raina with Amitabh Bachchan

Saif and Kareena may get married on October 16 edding preparations have begun in full swing for Saif Ali Khan's impending marriage with Kareena Kapoor. Sharmila Tagore, who had announced the wedding date as October 16, has started sending out the invites. Sharmila Tagore had disclosed to Mid Day last month that the wedding will be attended by close family members only and the ceremonies will be held in Delhi and Mumbai. Rumours about Copacabana or Maldives being the wedding venue were put to rest. Kareena will be wearing Sharmila's bridal Sharara on her wedding day and is expected to wear Manish Malhotra's creations

crore of rupees was a distant dream for Manoj Kumar Raina, who was uprooted from the Kashmir Valley when militancy broke out in 1989. But the dream has turned into reality with his participation in game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati 6" (KBC-6), and now the Indian Railways employee wants to rebuild his house in his scenic hometown of Chowgam. "I feel I am in seventh heaven," Raina gushed with excitement. He has his reasons - he is the first contestant from Kashmir to be in the hot seat, he has won a Rs.1 crore, met his favourite actor, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, and is now capable of re-building his house in the Kashmir Valley,

which he left over two decades back due to the turmoil there. "My house in the Kashmir Valley was destroyed during the militancy. We were forced to leave the place, and since 1990, I've been living in Jammu. Ever since then, I have wanted to make a house in Kashmir, and that's what I want to do with the money I have won," said the Kashmiri pandit, who also wants to also help others of his tribe, in whatever little way he can. In Jammu, the 48-year-old lives with his parents, wife and has a 10-year-old son. His family accompanied him to the sets of KBC, an experience which will remain with him for a lifetime, he says.

Filmmaker Prakash Jha

for other ceremonies. "We are yet discussing what functions she's going to have. Just the other day I was at her house and I was discussing with her. So it's on the way," the designer had said during Delhi Couture Week last month. Saif and Kareena have been dating for five years now. The couple had officially declared that they will tie the knot in the beginning of 2012 after the release of their film Agent Vinod but that was postponed. The 41-year-old actor has two children, son Ibrahim and daughter Sara, from his previous marriage to actress Amrita Singh. The actress, too, dated Shahid Kapoor for three years before committing to the Nawab of Pataudi.

Investing in newcomers not a risk: Mahesh Bhatt


n his four-decade career, Mahesh Bhatt has never shied away from giving chance to fresh talent in his films - whether it was Anupam Kher in "Saaransh", Rahul Roy in "Aashiqui", or Sunny Leone in "Jism 2". The filmmaker says he doesn't see any risk in investing in newcomers. "Filmmaking is all about ideas. It is the idea that sells. And if you have a unique story idea, it will get positive responses, irrespective of the star cast of the film," Bhatt said. "The way I perceive it, investing in newcomers is not a risk. They are the future of our industry and if we can sell a unique idea along with their talent, there is no question of

Interview
the movie not performing well," he added. After wielding the megaphone for iconic films like "Arth", "Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin" and "Murder", Bhatt has moved away from direction to pave way for new and budding directors. "Every filmmaker has his unique style of directing and as easy as it is for audiences to get accustomed to his style, it is equally easy for them to get weary of it. The industry is evolving and we need fresh and young talent who relate to today's fast moving times," he said.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt

The 63-year-old, who now mostly oversees the production department of his banner Vishesh Films, feels youngsters bring fresh perspectives and ideas in the style of filmmaking. "Youth today has the thirst to sell movies with fresh ideas, technical know-how and they bring their fresh perspectives and ideas in their style of filmmaking. So, we should give newcomers more opportunities to present their ideas," he said. "As far as I am concerned, I will write, only when there is a unique demand. But on the whole, I am handing everything over to the creative director," he added.

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Tristate Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Bobby Kumar Kalotee Honored with 'Jewel of India in America'


Celebrating the huge success of first India Day Parade, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto were bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence of Services to Indian Communities at a gala event attended by over 300 elite guests of Long Island.
By Vikas Girdhar Melville, NY: Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and Bobby Kumar Kalotee, Chairman of the Independence Party of Nassau County, were honored Sunday at Woodlands at the Greens here for their contributions to Long Islands ethnic diversity. The Gala Dinner was organized to celebrate the success of Long Islands first India Day Parade, which was held on August 11 in Hicksville. Supervisor Venditto was the first to be honored. Expressing gratefulness, he suggested, I should be the one awarding the Indian community for all of its richness and unity. He promised that the award he received would be displayed prominently in his office because of how proud it makes him. County Executive Hon. Mangano was unable to attend to accept the award in person. Instead, Kamlesh Mehta, Director of Business and Economic Development in Nassau County, accepted the award on his behalf. Mehta also played a key role as one of the conveners of the India Day Parade (IDP) USA. Bobby Kumar Kalotee was honored with a special Jewel of India in USA award. A video montage of bits from his life and praise from dignitaries was shown as an introduction to Bobby Kumar. He recounted the difficult road he has travelled, one that began in a small village in India, sans any formal education. He acknowledged that he has been a perfect example of American Dream come true and that with hard work, anything is possible. Kumar went on to thank all the individuals who helped him get to where he is today. Gracing the event were 300 prominent people, dignitaries, judges, community and business leaders, as well as IDP USA Team conveners Harendra Singh, Animesh Goenka, Indu Jaiswal, Gobind Munjal and Mohinder

Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto is honored by Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Stephen Bucaria.

Bobby Kumar Kalotee is honored, seen flanked by Supervisor Venditto and Justice Bucaria.

The award for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was accepted on his behalf by Kamlesh Mehta, Director of Business and Economic Development in the County, as well as a convener of IDPUSA. Singh Taneja. Among the judges from the supreme, district, family and appellate and division courts and candidates for judgeship were Francis Ricigliano, Stephen Bucaria, Sheri Roman, Andrea Phoenix, Robert Spergel, David Sullivan, Hope Zimmerman, William OBrien, Leslie Stein, Anthony Paradiso, Sandy Pardes, Douglas Lerose, Andrew Engel and Rich Porcell. IDP USAs lead sponsors, Harry Singh of Bolla Oil, Patel Brothers and Bolly Arts were recognized for their outstanding support. Dance performances by Bolly Arts rounded off the Gala Dinner as the celebration of success continued and was promised for years to come.

Bobby Kumar posing in a group after he was honored with a gold medal besides the 'Jewel of India in USA' award.

IDPUSA conveners and organizers - some with their spouses - posing for a group picture.

Diaspora TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 15-21, 2012

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee Friday asked the youth of the Indian diaspora to learn about India, its traditions and thought process and to use the knowledge for the betterment of the global community at large. Speaking to a group of Indian youth diaspora attending the 'Know India Program' (KIP) of the ministry of overseas Indian affairs (MOIA) here, Mukherjee said they were fortunate to learn from their Indian ancestors the principle of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (The world is a family). Answering questions from participants at Rastrapati Bhavan, the president emphasized the importance of values for the youth and said: "We are fortunate to have learnt from our ancestors the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam." Naming Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi as contemporary exponents of the ancient philosophy, Mukherjee said the same is enshrined in the Indian constitution, which has been described as a 'Magna Carta' for the socio-economic transformation of a large majority of

Mukherjee asks youth diaspora to learn about India


spread of knowledge." "The story of India is not a few paragraphs in a text book of history but the story of a vast multitude of human beings trying to find their rightful place in the comity of nations," he said and noted that this story is enacted everyday in India's villages, agricultural fields, offices, factories, laboratories and classrooms. Expressing confidence that each of the participants would take home a little part of India in their hearts, he encouraged them to continue learning about India based on their first hand experiences acquired through the KIP. Commenting on the influence of the western world on India, Mukherjee said India has always been an open society with a continuous flow of cultural influences to and from outside. India, he said, assimilated the foreign influences and redesigned them to suit its own, unique identity. "English education and parliamentary system are some of the contributions of the West to India. India added its own traditions of Sabha and Samiti (local bodies of governance) to the democratic system.

President Pranab Mukherjee with participants of Know India Program in New Delhi
the human race. Describing the Indian constitution as a living document, which is operationalized every day through statecraft, he pointed out how India has been empowering people through legislations such as the Right to Information, Right to Education and Right to Food, which entrusted a tremendous amount of responsibility on the government. The president asked the youth attending the 21st edition of KIP to "always keep in mind India's unity amidst extraordinary diversity, economic goal of inclusive growth and the fact that the key to attaining inclusive growth is

The president said every modern nation is a product of assimilation and India has led in civilizational interaction with other parts of the world. The 21st edition of three-week KIP has participants of Indian origin from 11 countries such as New Zealand, Surinam, Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Iran, Slovak Republic and Israel. All are in the 18-26 age group. KIP's objective is to introduce India to the youth of Indian origin living abroad and to link the youth diaspora with their country of origin. Under the present edition, the participants will visit Tamil Nadu to see and experience historical, cultural, industrial and administrative institutions. They will also interact with the Indian media, visit NGOs and women's movements. The first leg of this edition of KIP began on Aug 29 and ended with the participants' interaction with Mukherjee. The visitors will visit their host state from Sep 8 to 15 and return to the national capital to share their experiences with the MOIA officials from Sep 16 to 18.

India's envoy to Belgium holds get-to-know reception


Brussels: The new Indian ambassador to the European Union and Belgium, Dinkar Khullar, has held a get-to-know reception for the Indian community here. Khullar, who arrived here only last week, noted that India enjoys a positive image in Europe and that Indians are considered to be hard working and law-abiding people. He informed the gathering at the Indian embassy Monday that a major arts festival on India called Europalia will be held in Belgium next year, the EuAsiaNews reported Tuesday. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to inaugurate the event, which will begin Oct 3, 2013 and end Jan 26, 2014. Khullar urged the Indian community in Belgium to come up with initiatives and ideas to make this festival a great success. Khullar will present his credentials to the Belgian government and the EU in the coming weeks.

NRI entrepreneur honored in UK


London: A leading NRI entrepreneur and two other people have been honored here for their outstanding contribution to Heart and Stroke Research and their support to the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research.Atul Pathak, Managing Director of Appt Corporation Limited, Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research founder Colin Green and Dominic Grieve, MP, Attorney General, received a trophy each for their "invaluable support over the years." The trophy was handed over to them by Dr Rami Ranger, Chairman of the Golden Heart Club here last night. "I am really humbled to accept the award," Pathak said after receiving the award. The Northwick Park Institute, Ranger said, was set up in 1994 and is one of the UK's leading charity-based independent Medical Research Institutes, working to translate ground-breaking medical research into patient care. It is affiliated with University College London which is consistently rated as one of the top five medical schools in the world.

Canada honors Indian-origin journalist


Ottawa: Indian-origin journalist Sultan Jessa has been presented with the Queen Elizabeth diamond jubilee medal by Canada's Governor-General David Johnston at a special ceremony here in recognition of his remarkable service. The medal, specially created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II, was presented Monday to Canadians for their significant achievement and remarkable service. The retired, Tanzania-born journalist has scored a hat trick to mark Queen Elizabeth's accession to the British throne. He was presented with the Queen's silver jubilee medal in 1977 and the golden jubilee medal in 2002. "It is quite an honor to receive all three medals," said Jessa, who has previously received the Order of Canada, the country's most prestigious and highest civilian order for 35 years of community service. "It encourages you to continue to help others. You don't seek recognition, but it's heartwarming when the work you do is appreciated," he said. In 2010, Jessa was selected as one among Canada's top 25 immigrants. This award is given to people who have not only succeeded in Canada but have made a difference in their adopted country. Born in Moshi on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the former editor and publisher of Northern News in Arusha, at one time worked for The Nationalist and Standard in Dar es Salaam before moving to Nairobi to work for the Daily and Sunday Nation. paper owned by the Thomson chain. Six years after arriving in Canada, Jessa was made Citizen of the Year of Cornwall, Ontario. Jessa has received numerous honors from municipal, provincial and federal governments. The journalist has also been honored by Rotary, Kinsmen and the Ontario Medical Association. An Ismaili, he has a rare distinction of being honored by the Catholic, Jewish and Sikh communities. Jessa has won Ontario's medal for volunteerism, good citizenship and has been recognized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Royal Canadian Legion as well as Red Cross. Jessa, who lives in Quebec, is married to Rosila and the couple has two daughters, Anaar and Yasmin.

Canada's Governor-General David Johnson (left) presented Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal to Sultan Jessa (right) at a ceremony in Ottawa Sep 10 He moved to Canada in 1973 and started working for Standard-Freeholder, a news-

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Subcontinent TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

239 die as blaze engulfs Pak factories


Islamabad: At least 239 people met a macabre death when fire raced through two factories, one in Karachi and the other in Lahore. The bigger of the two tragedies took place in the port city where over 214 people died in one of the worst infernos that the country has seen in recent times. A fire enveloped a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore, killing 25. A few hours later, a massive blaze broke out in a garments factory in Karachi, leaving 214 people dead overnight. In Karachi, there were so many bodies sent to hospitals that there was not enough space for them at the mortuaries. The toll has reached 214, said hospital sources in Karachi. Many of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition, they said, adding that 26 out of the 60 bodies identified have been handed over to their family members. "We found dozens of people dead in a large room of the factory's basement. It was totally burnt and parts of it were smoldering, which we put out before taking the bodies to hospitals," Geo News quoted Karachi fire chief Ehtesham Salim as saying.

In Karachi, there were so many bodies sent to hospitals that there was not enough space for them at the mortuaries

Maoists welcome US' removal of terror tag


Kathmandu: The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPNMaoist) has welcomed the US State Department removing it from its list of terrorist organizations - six years after the end of the armed rebellion in this Himalayan country. Agni Sapkota, a former minister and currently spokesperson and member of the Central Committee of the Unified CPNMaoist Party, said that they welcomed the decision of the US. "We are happy that the US has finally removed the terrorist tag in our party although it is a little bit late. As you know, we have been engaged for a long time in the political process in Nepal. It took a long time for the decision due to procedural task that has to be completed by the US government," Sapkota said.

US sponsors India-Pakistan girls soccer exchange


Washington: Eighteen young female soccer players and two coaches from India and Pakistan begin a tour of the US as part of a dual country soccer exchange to promote common interests through sports. Throughout the 10-day program, members of the delegation will share their experiences, learn about the US through the lens of sports, interact with young American athletes, and meet with US sports professionals. The September 11-22 tour marks the third sports exchange with Pakistan and the fourth with India, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Sports United Division announced. The program will include a series of intensive soccer clinics, conflict resolution workshops, and sessions on disability sports. The group will meet with officials from DC Parks and Recreation for a discussion on sports nutrition and training. The DC United Women's Team will host a clinic for the group and the team's philanthropic organization, United for DC, will organize a volunteer activity. The delegation will also visit ESPN in Washington, DC to learn about the sports media world.

'ISI considers US its worst enemy'


Washington: Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI considered the US its "worst enemy" and Islamabad's cooperation with Washington was just a sham to extract billions of dollars in aid, said the doctor who was jailed for helping the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden. In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Shakil Afridi who helped track down Osama's Abbottabad compound before the May 2 raid by US commandos, described torture at the hands of the ISI. He said the agency was openly hostile to the US. "They said 'The Americans are our worst enemies, worse than the Indians'," Afridi, who spoke from inside Peshawar Central Jail, was quoted as saying. He added: "I tried to argue that America was Pakistan's biggest supporter ... but all they said was, 'These are our worst enemies. You helped our enemies'." "I tried to argue that America was Pakistan's biggest supporter - billions and billions of dollars in aid, social and military assistance -- but all they said was, 'These are our worst enemies. You helped our enemies'." Afridi helped the CIA by running a fake vaccination program that allowed him to collect the DNA of bin Laden's children from

Shakil Afridi the family compound in Abbottabad. Sample analysis confirmed the terror chief was probably there and triggered the deadly mission by US Navy SEALS in May last year. Pakistani officials felt the operation was a violation of the country's sovereignty. After the raid, Afridi was arrested for conspiring against Pakistan, and last month jailed for 33 years. The doctor also pointed out that the ISI helps fund the Haqqani network and spy agency also works against the US by preventing the CIA from interrogating militants captured by Pakistan, who are routinely released to return to Afghanistan to continue attacks on NATO forces there.

Will Manmohan go to Pakistan this year?


New Delhi: India and Pakistan have managed to avoid controversy and grandstanding to forge a people-centric relationship on the back of a liberal visa pact, but given the lack of progress in 26/11 justice and a limited timeframe, large question marks remain on the much-speculated visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Islamabad. Manmohan Singh, who was born in the village of Gah that is now part of Pakistan's Punjab, is seen as the prime mover behind the initiative to craft a new relationship with Pakistan and is known to be very keen to go to Islamabad during the remaining two years of his tenure, said well-placed sources. But the guessing game is still on on whether Manmohan Singh will indeed make it without Pakistan showing any concrete progress against the perpetrators of the Mumbai mayhem or any concrete 26/11 trial, said the sources. The fact is that this is a prime minister under enormous pressure at home with corruption scandals and a faltering economy. With an aggressive opposition waiting to maximise his government's failures and demanding his resignation, it might be difficult for him to go to Pakistan. "Pakistan has not shown any desire to act against terror. The perpetrators of 26/11 are roaming free. The prime minister should not take any initiative that will give legitimacy to Pakistan's designs to sidetrack terror and 26/11," Prakash Javadekar, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said. "The PM is keen to go. But if he goes without progress on the 26/11 trial, he will be in trouble at home," Satish Chandra, a former deputy national security advisor and a former envoy to Pakistan, said. There is also the question of logistics, with just a limited window available for Manmohan Singh to travel to Pakistan. Pakistan goes into election mode at the end of the year and will have a caretaker government in December. Elections in Pakistan are likely to be held March 2013. This will make the visit untenable as there could be a non-substantive outcome after talking to a caretaker government. "What kind of business can one do with a caretaker government?" asked G. Parthasarathy, a former high commissioner of India to Pakistan. According to some reports, Pakistan is preparing for Manmohan Singh to visit Nankana Sahib, Guru Nanak's birthplace, on his birthday on Nov 28. But the sources indicated that November is out, as it will be the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, an issue that generates a lot of emotion in India.

Manmohan Singh is keen to go. But if he goes without progress on the 26/11 trial, he will be in trouble at home, say analysts deliverable that could justify the trip. A final decision on the trip will be taken after an assessment by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), based on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's report about his three-day visit last week and Pakistan's subsequent actions on the

International TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 15-21, 2012

US envoy to Libya killed in Benghazi


Washington: US ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three of his staff were killed as an armed mob apparently incensed over a US-made film critical of Islam attacked the American Consulate in Benghazi. Confirming the four deaths in the attack in the eastern city, President Barack Obama said he strongly condemned the killings and had ordered increased security at American diplomatic posts around the world. Obama praised Stevens, who had also served as an envoy to the Libyan movement, that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi last year, based in the rebel capital of Benghazi for having "supporting Libya's transition to democracy". A speaker of Arabic and French, he was among the first American diplomats sent to Libya in 2007 when the US resumed ties with the Gaddafi regime. He was appointed ambassador in May. The offending film ridiculing Prophet Mohammed also prompted a similar attack on the US embassy in Cairo, according to various "Criminals managed to get in and they burned and ransacked the consulate," he said. The US mission is very badly damaged and was being looted Wednesday, CNN said citing a contractor working at the mission. He said he saw the bodies of all four Americans on the street Wednesday morning. The last time an American ambassador was killed by terrorists was in 1979, when the envoy to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, was kidnapped and killed during an attempt to rescue him, according to State Department records, CNN said. "I do condemn the cowardly act of attacking the US consulate and the killing of Mr. Stevens and the other diplomats," Libya's Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur said on his Twitter account as cited by CBS News.

President Barack Obama said he strongly condemned the killings media reports. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack "in the strongest terms". She said she had called Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf "to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya". Clinton identified a second victim as Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer who was a 10-year veteran of the State Department, a husband and a father of two. The two other victims have not been named. Libya's Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif said an "angry crowd" marched on the US compound Tuesday, furious about an American-produced online film considered offensive to Muslims, CNN reported. Consulate security staff opened fire after they heard gunfire outside the mission, al-Sharif said. "This led to more anger and this is when the consulate was stormed," he said, suggesting that people loyal to Gaddafi were aiming to create chaos among the protesters.

US sends warships to Libya


Washington: The US Navy has sent two destroyers to Libyan waters after an American ambassador was killed in that country, a media report said. The ships will give President Barack Obama "flexibility", should his administration decide to take action against suspected militants in Libya, Xinhua quoted CNN as saying. The deployment of USS Laboon and USS McFaul comes a day after gunmen attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, killing US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US nationals. The attack prompted the State Department to pull most of the embassy staff from Libya. The Pentagon has also sent Marine Corps units to Tripoli to provide additional protection for the US diplomats still in the country.

UK channel won't air documentary on Islam


London: A documentary on Britain's Channel 4 on the origins of Islam has sparked off a furious row, leading to over 1,000 complaints and security fears that prompted the cancellation of a planned repeat screening in London. The documentary, titled 'Islam: The Untold Story', was telecast on Channel 4 on August 28. Its presenter, historian Tom Holland, soon became the target of criticism and abuse, prompting security fears and complaints to the channel and The documentary, titled 'Islam: The Untold Story', broadcast regulator Ofcom. was telecast on Channel 4 on August 28 Holland has been accused of making 'baseless assumption' and engaging in 'selec- He added, "An accusation laid against the film tive scholarship' for making the claim in the is one of bias and, although I believe that absolute objectivity is a chimera, what was 'poorly researched' documentary. Holland said, "The origins of Islam are a incumbent upon us, in making the film, was to legitimate subject of historical enquiry and be up-front about my own ideological backthis film is in keeping with other series and ground and presumptions, and to acknowledge programs on Channel 4 where the historical the different perspective that Muslim faith context of world religions has been examined. provides".

Canada wants to sell nuclear reactors to India


New Delhi Canada wants to tion of negotiations on sell nuclear reactors to India. Appropriate Arrangements Putting behind a troubled for the bilateral Civil Nuclear nuclear history with India, Cooperation Agreement Canadian foreign minister signed in 2010." John Baird said, "We have Acknowledging that the turned the page with India. agreement was "actively disIndia is a very different councussed", Baird said, "We're try today." With Canada Canadian foreign minister readying an end-user pact John Baird emerging as an energy superwith India, same thing we power, buoyed by a thriving economy, the have with 42 countries. We're not asking for minister said, "We value and welcome Indian or imposing any additional obligations on investment in natural resources and energy." India." Baird was in New Delhi to meet foreign Canada is emerging as a favourite source minister SM Krishna and prepare for a for energy and resources for India. New November summit visit by Canadian PM Delhi wants to buy oil and gas from Canada Stephen Harper. especially after abundant oil finds from its tar A nuclear deal between Canada and India sands. Baird said Canada was ready to supply signed in 2010 is yet to be operationalized, oil and gas to India from its oilfields in the waiting for a follow-up end-user agreement. west as well as the east. India is trying to use After meeting Baird on Wednesday, Krishna Canada as a route to ship out US oil and gas said, "We also look forward to early comple- as well.

Apple's iPhone 5 bigger, faster but lacks 'wow'


San Francisco: Apple Inc's new iPhone goes on sale on Friday with a bigger screen and 4G wireless technology, as the company seeks to safeguard its edge over rivals like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Google Inc. The iPhone 5 fulfilled many of the expectations laid out by gadget geeks and technology analysts ahead of its Wednesday unveiling but offered few surprises to give Apple shares already near record highs another major kick. "There is not a wow factor because everything you saw today is evolutionary. I do think they did enough to satisfy," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of wealth management company Destination Wealth Management. Other industry analysts speculated about what else was in Apple's product pipeline ahead of the crucial year-end holiday season, especially since the company stayed mum about an oft-rumored TV device or a smaller iPad. The consumer electronics giant that in 2010 popularized tablet computing with the iPad has given no hints on whether it plans a smaller version to match cheaper tablets from the likes of Google or Amazon.com Inc. "We would really like to see the iPad Mini in the product offering for the all-important holiday quarter. They still have time," said Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund. "As soon as we see that, we will have more conviction about the stock heading into the final quarter." The latest iPhone comes as Apple faces competition beyond current key competitors Samsung and Google. Late entrant Microsoft Corp is now trying to push its Windows Phone 8 operating system as an alternative to Apple and Android, the most-used smartphone operating system in the world. Analysts have forecast sales of 10 million to 12 million of the new iPhones in this month alone.

Analysts have forecast sales of 10 million to 12 million of the new iPhones in this month

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Business TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

US may lose 'AAA' rating: Moody's


New York: Moody's Investors Service has said it would likely cut its "AAA" rating on US government debt, probably by one notch, if federal budget negotiations fail. If the highly partisan Congress does not reach a budget deal, more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases will automatically kick in starting January 1, a scenario that's been called the "fiscal cliff", because it is likely to send the economy back into recession and drive unemployment up. The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives said he's not confident Congress can reach a budget deal and avoid the downgrading. He said the Senate needs to act and President Barack Obama needs to show some leadership. Any real negotiations are not expected until after the November the government of its "AAA" rating on its bonds around the same time. Fitch Ratings issued a warning of potential downgrade. Moody's said it is difficult to predict when Congress will reach a deal on the budget, and it will likely keep its current rating and "negative" outlook until the outcome of the talks is clear. Moody's also noted that the government will likely again reach the debt limit by the end of the year, which means another round of negotiations in Congress on raising the limit if the US is to keep paying its bills. "Under these circumstances, the government's rating would likely be placed under review after the debt limit is reached, but several weeks before the exhaustion of the Treasury's resources," Moody's Steven A Hess said in his report.

India posts 25 pc increase in visas on arrival


New Delhi: A total of 9,412 visas on arrival (VoAs) were issued till August compared to 7,514 during corresponding period of 2011, registering a growth of 25.3 percent, an official said. According to the tourism ministry, 1,750 VoAs were issued in August compared to 920 during August 2011, registering a growth of 90.2 percent. As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the union government launched the VoAs scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries - Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore - visiting India for tourism purposes. This scheme was extended for the citizens of six more countries - Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011.

If federal budget negotiations fail, the economy will go back into recession and drive unemployment up presidential elections. A year ago, gling over raising the US debt Moody's cut its outlook on US limit led the nation to the brink of debt to "negative", which acts as a default. warning that it might downgrade Rival agency Standard & Poor's the rating, after partisan wran- took the drastic step of stripping

MIT world's top university


London: UK universities have taken four of the six top slots in a global university "league table" for 201112. With US's Massachusetts Institute of Technology leading the list, UK's Cambridge, which was top last year, stood second and Harvard University ranked third in the QS World University Rankings, based on a number of criteria. University College, London (UCL), Oxford and Imperial took fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively. Seventh place was awarded to Yale University, followed by University of Chicago, Princeton University and the tenth position to California Institute of Technology. Ben Sowter, of QS Research, warned higher fees and new visa rules could see UK universities struggle next year. Students trying to get ahead of a trebling in fees for English undergraduates had produced a surge in applications to start university in autumn 2011, Sowter told BBC News. "We won't know for sure until the 2012 results come in, but we may see a drop off next year," he said. He also said tougher visa rules for international students

Remittances to India rose to $66.13 bn

R
UK's Cambridge, which was top last year, stood second and Harvard University ranked third could deter some from applying to UK universities. Just 40% of UK employers agreed visa regulations had helped them hire international graduates - globally the figure was 70% said Sowter. The UK government has been widely criticized by MPs within the past week for tightening the student-visa system. The QS rankings rate the world's top 400 universities.

emittances to India surged to $66.13 billion in 2011-12 as compared to $55.62 billion in the previous year, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said. Remittance flow has risen consistently in the last three years. In 2009-10, total remittance flow to India through private transfers was $53.63 billion, Ravi said in a written reply in parliament. Referring to a study by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the minister said Gulf countries accounted for 27 percent of total remittance inflows to India during the first half of

2009-10. Ravi said the government has launched an initiative called "Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana" to help in resettlement of the overseas Indians. "By providing a co-contribution from the government, this scheme encourages and enables overseas Indian workers to save for their return and resettlement and to save for their old age. This also provides a free life insurance cover against natural death during the period of coverage, under the scheme," he said.

Philips to cut 2,200 jobs by 2014


Amsterdam: Royal Philips Electronics NV, the largest maker of lights, says it plans to cut 2,200 jobs by 2014 to save (euro) 300 million ($383 million) per year. Saving money will lessen "the effects of macro-economic headwinds and changes in pension cost accounting'' said Philips chief executive officer Frans van Houten in a statement. The company says it plans a fuller explanation at a press conference later Tuesday. Van Houten calls the job losses "regrettable."

Five Indian firms among world's most innovative


Washington: Five Indian companies including Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys are ranked on Forbes magazine's list of "The World's Most Innovative Companies" topped by four US companies. Larsen & Toubro with an annual sales growth of 19 percent is ranked ninth in the world followed by Hindustan Unilever (12) with 11.4 percent. Infosys (19) comes third with 12.7 percent growth thanks to what the US business magazine called a lower "innovation premium." This measures the difference between the value of the company's existing businesses and its expected future innovations. Companies must also have $10 billion in market capitalization and spend at least one percent of their asset base on research and development. Tata Consultancy Services (29) with 19.5 percent was fourth among Indian companies with Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (38) with a 14.6 growth bringing up the rear. Four US companies- Cloud computing king Salesforce.com, drug major Alexion Pharmaceuticals, internet retail giant Amazon.com and open source software leader Red Hat took the top four places. Forbes said its analyses show at least three key things that the innovative companies do to create and sustain an innovation premi-

Larsen & Toubro is ranked ninth in Forbes' list um. These were: How well companies leverage people, process, and philosophies, differentiates the best in class from the next in class when it comes to keeping innovation alive and delivering an innovation premium year after year. Forbes also featured S.D. Shibulal, cofounder and CEO of Infosys (#19 this year; #15 last), calling him "both observer and experimenter." In his 30 years at Infosys Shibulal says "

Sports TheSouthAsianTimes.info

23

September 15-21, 2012

Chennai: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says that Yuvraj Singh can draw confidence from his performance against New Zealand in Twenty20 as he made a return to international cricket after a grim battle with rare germ cell cancer. In his first international match in 10 months, Yuvraj bowled two overs for 14 runs and struck an aggressive 34 off 26 balls at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. India though lost the match by one run but Dhoni was happy with the way Yuvraj made his return to international cricket. Dhoni feels the game will give Yuvraj the much needed confi-

Dhoni happy with Yuvraj's return


dence ahead of the World Twenty20. "From tomorrow, he can do whatever he wants to. It's just about giving that individual a bit of space so that he can think about what he needs to do. Especially given that he is playing after 10 months, you will put pressure on him because he doesn't know where he stands. Now that he has done well, he can do whatever he wants," Dhoni said. Dhoni said Yuvraj brings a balance to the team with his allround skills. "It was a big game for him. All the eyes were on him. It was good to see him on the field. I personally feel that he

Yuvraj bowled two overs for 14 runs and struck an aggressive 34 off 26 balls gives us the right kind of balance we need," he said. Dhoni also said that Yuvraj's left-arm spin brings a variation to

the bowling attack. "Of course he is not someone who will bowl all four overs in a T20 game but I can use his variations. If you see our bowling line up, we have to play with four specialist bowlers and the fifth bowler will be all these part timers," he said. Dhoni said it is time for Yuvraj to forget everything about his ailment. "Once you go onto the field you don't think about all these things. I have always believed that if some of these things happen, you should try to keep it simple. You will get in and play big knocks. We all know his batting is among the best in the world so I am really happy for him," he said.

Former NBA star says 3-a-side game suits India

Sachin should go out on a high: Imran


New Delhi: Legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan has advised India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar not be at the mercy of the selectors and asked him to quit international cricket on a high. Calls for 39-year-old Tendulkar's retirement from international cricket got stronger after the batting maestro was bowled thrice in a row during the recently concluded Test series against New Zealand. Imran said if he was in Tendulkar's position he would have left cricket on a high. "Sachin is such a great player but I can only say if I were in his position, I would want to leave on a high and my greatest worry was that I should never be at the mercy of the selectors," Imran was quoted as saying. Asked if Tendulkar could ever be at the mercy of the selectors, Imran said: "No, but why put yourself in such a position. I mean Sachin, what

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan with Sachin Tendulkar a brilliant record he has. Would he not want to?" Imran said what worries him is whether Tendulkar can perform to the best of his potential. "Again I put myself in that position, my greatest worry was that I would not be able to perform best to my abilities. So people will not remember me for when I was at the peak but when I was leaving my career," he said.

Seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry with children in Kerala

New Delhi: Seven-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Robert Horry said three-a-side is the way to promote the game in India. The 42year-old Horry is here in India to promote NBA 3X presented by Sprite to help the sport grow in the country. "The three-on-three game is fun and fast too. I think it is the way to get individuals to understand the game. It is a more of a competitive way to play the game. "I think this is the basis from where it should be carry forward. Basketball Federation of India has taken an aggressive approach and this is the first step," said Horry, who has played 16 seasons in the NBA for four difference teams and winning with three. "These clinics which are being conducted are not a major ones but small to learn the basics. It is a platform from where you can take it forward," added Horry. Horry said of whatever Indian basketball he has seen he believes that they are competi-

tive. "I recently saw some basketball in Bangalore and I think they are very competitive and play very hard. If they have the passion then they can go forward. "The main problem is they don't put in the time. You need to put in a lot more time to keep getting better and be aggressive and passionate simultaneously about the game," said Horry, who won the NBA championship with Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. "The players here have to put in a lot of time. Not just three-six years. I was seven when I started and was 21 when I made it into the NBA. It is not an overnight sensation. They have not been playing that long competitively. On the topic of when an Indian will make it into the NBA he said: "I can't tell you." Horry, however, said that teenager Satnam Singh Bhamara, who is being tipped to be the first India, who can make it big, has a lot of potential.

US Open: Murray wins Grand Slam title


New York: Andy Murray became the first British man to win a Grand Slam men's singles title in 76 years after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in five grueling sets in the US Open final. After losing four Grand Slam finals, the Scotsman at last won a major title by battling it out in blustery conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, here at Flushing Meadows. It looked as if Murray had the measure of the windy conditions as he took the first two sets before Djokovic came back roaring to take the next two. The Briton quickly regained his equanimity in the deciding set and jumped into a 3-0 lead pulling on his reserve stamina by breaking the Serb's serve twice. Then and there the Serb's fight was over and the Briton raced to take the set and the match. Djokovic thus failed to become the first to defend the title at the US Open since the five straight wins by Federer (2004-2008). In the women's singles, American Serena Williams won the last four games to beat top ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 2-6 and 7-5 to take her fourth US Open title and 15th Grand Slam title overall. The last British male champion to win a Grand Slam title was Fred Perry, who claimed the US Open

Andy Murray is the first British man to win a Grand Slam title in 76 years in 1936. The defeat cost Djokovic heavy. Had he won he would have collected $2.9 million payout instead of the $1.45 million runner-up cheque as he would have pocketed $1 million bonus for leading the US Open series.Murray earned $1.9 million, bringing his career prize money to more than $23 million. Now Murray has a Grand Slam as well, moving past Nadal to become the ATP World Tour's third-ranked player.

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Features TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Verghese Kurien: Rare visionary and astute manager


Dr Kurien was the architect of the globally acknowledged White Revolution in India.
By Animesh Banerjee he demise of Dr Verghese Kurien marks the end of an era. During this era, an import dependent milk deficit nation - where availability per capita per day was 117 gm - not only became self-sufficient at 220 gm per capita per day but also achieved the laurel of becoming the largest milk producing nation. This period would always be remembered as a golden chapter in the annals of the Indian dairy industry! My association with Dr Kurien began over four decades ago when I joined as an engineer at the formative stage of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) at Anand, Gujarat, during the late 1960s. With the growth of NDDB, I also grew and became its executive director cum board member and finally retired in 1996. Thus, I had the privilege to be one of those members who were involved under the leadership of Dr Kurien in rolling out the globally acknowledged white revolution in India. Dr Kurien was the rare visionary who always translated his vision on mission mode. His creation of community owned cooperatives empowered millions of rural families, mostly landless and small farmers, in India. Though he was professionally an engineer, he had an astute sense of management and marketing. He marketed the "Anand Success Story" as a management model for rural institutional development wherein a commodity was used as a tool for socio-economic development. He attempted to replicate the Anand Model nationally through the launching

Tribute
great critic of the Indian bureaucratic system, to get his mission achieved, especially when the situation so warranted, he skilfully used them against their political masters. Whenever he found any obstruction to his proposal from the bureaucratic system, he used his political contacts for its clearance. Managers in the public sector delivery system sometimes faced undue political pressures, which do reflect on their functioning. Dr Kurien, however, ensured that his managers were protected, whenever similar situations arose in NDDB. Though Dr Kurien was known for his authoritative style of functioning, he always delegated greater responsibility to his subordinates and ensured their smoother functioning. The liquid milk marketing in the Indian metro and major cities by the formal sector was initially a big task. These markets used to be commanded by the informal sector, consisting of milk dwellers/khattal owners and private milk traders. Several attempts were made through legislations to remove city milk dwellers/khattal owners in India but they failed due to inadequate milk supply from the formal milk sector - there was also political patronage. Being an ace marketer, Dr Kurien thought of a way to resolve the problem - a market milk intervention program at the nation level would be the better solution. He, therefore, established a national milk grid, under the Operation Flood program. Through the milk

Dr Kurien had started his stint with the co-operative sector from Amul Dairy in 1949. This is the ad Amul released on the occasion of his 90th birthday a few months ago. Now they plan to set up a memorial in his name Operation Flood Programme (OFP). He believed that the rural development process required professional transformation. With this vision in mind, he not only succeeded in establishing the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) but also created several grassroots institutions especially to provide skill-oriented training. Amongst these, Tribhuvan Das Foundation was a landmark. Dr Kurien had a unique style of public management. Though he was known to be a

grid he ensured that surpluses from higher milk produce areas reached deficit areas. At the demand side, he established Mother Dairy and bulk vending system which could deliver loose hygienic milk at a reasonable price to the urban consumers in competition with the loose milk supplied by city milk dwellers/khattal owners. Dr Kurien was a great believer in innovation. Amongst his several initiatives, the development of the automatic milk bulk vending system to compete with the urban liquid milk dwellers was exemplary! It was re-engineered from a similar loose (pasteurized) liquid milk supply system established by M/s Conosupo, in Mexico. The vending system was invented originally by M/s Rowe International of USA. The re-engineered Indian bulk vending system was established as more functional and economical than the original system! With the development of the automatic milk bulk vending system, the ther Dairy concept was shaped, focusing the perception of supplying the purest form of mother's milk to her children. The whole re-engineering exercise finally led to an innovation of a branded hygienic loose (unpacked) city milk supply system, in India! I met Dr. Kurien last a few months ago during his 90th birthday celebration organized by the Karnataka Milk Federation in Bangalore. Though he was physically not well, his mind still sparkled. Animesh Banerjee is advisor, dairy food sector, former executive director of NDDB and president of the Indian Dairy Industry.

Udaipur hot favorite for gravitational wave detector site


By Prakash Bhandari in Jaipur

daipur is vying along with Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as the likely venue for a Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) that would cost Rs 1,400 crore ($ 250) million, out of which $150 million will be spent during the 12th five year plan. The US LIGO Laboratory and Indias Indian Initiative in Gravitational Observations (IndIGO) are jointly working on a plan to create a world-class gravitational wave detector in India. The Inter University Centre of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Pune has sent a team to Udaipur. Prof Syed Nissar Ali Jaffery of Mohan Lal Sukhadia Universitys Laser center, who is a visiting associate scientist at the Pune center, took the visiting team to Ogana, Entally, Gogunda and Rashmi, identified as ideal locations for the observatory. The team is led by Sharda Gaokar, former deputy director general of Geological Survey of India. LIGO's mission is to directly observe gravitational waves of cosmic origin. These waves were first predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity in 1916, when the technology necessary for their detection did not yet exist. Direct detection of gravitational waves is the basics of setting up an observatory. Its location is crucial as it has to be free from earthquakes. The site should be far away from airports, railway stations or highways. It should be located in a forest area with almost

Aerial view of LIGO facility in Livingston, Louisiana, in USA. zero noise. The area should be least inhabited by human beings. We showed the places in Udaipur after ascertaining a few basic facts, said Prof Jaffery. The placement of this detector in India will greatly enhance a wide network of detectors in the US, Europe, and Japan to test fundamental physics in the form of Einsteins General Theory of Relativity and to study some of the most unusual astronomical objects in our universe black holes, neutron stars, and supernovas and possibly shed light on the Big Bang theory. The goal of the LIGO Project is to detect and study astrophysical gravitational waves and use data from them for research in physics and astronomy. LIGO will support studies concerning the nature and nonlinear dynamics of gravity, the structures of black holes, and the equation of state of nuclear matter. It will also measure the masses, birth rates, collisions, and distributions of black holes and neutron stars in the universe and probe the cores of supernovae and the very early universe, said Prof

Jaffery. The development of this critical element of a global array of gravitational wave detectors will place India among the nations leading the scientific exploration of this new window to the universe. The advanced interferometer detector located and operated in India will be transformational and rejuvenating for Indian astronomy and gravity research, bringing together the best engineering and physics groups, fostering the research-industry partnership for advanced scientific instrument building and initiating the much needed development of expertise and human resource in many fields relevant to the next generation technology, physics and computation. In July 2011, the IndIGO Consortium became a member of the Gravitational Wave International Committee (GWIC) and in September of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), said Prof Jaffery. Raigarh in Chhattisgarh and two other venues in Andhra Pradesh and in Karnataka are also shortlisted for the observatory. The team would go there also and submit its report. There cannot be any compromise over location as it involves huge investment. I rate the chances of Udaipur getting the observatory 25 percent as I do not know the attributes of the other locations, admitted Prof Jaffery. We wish Udaipur is chosen as a location for LIGO. This would get boost to tourism also as the two LIGI observatories in US attract large number of tourists, said Kamal Bhandari, a hotelier.

Health TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 15-21, 2012

E-cig does more harm than help: Study


By Jinal Shah/ SATimes recent study indicated that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), touted as a safer substitute for cigarettes, could turn out to be a remedy worse than the disease and end up damaging the lungs. Researchers from the University of Athens, Greece, aimed to investigate the short-term effects of using e-cigs on a mixed group, including people without any known health problems and smokers with and without existing lung conditions. The study included people who had never smoked and 24 smokers, 11 with normal lung function and 13 people with either Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma, according to an Athens statement. Each person used an electronic cigarette for 10 minutes. The researchers then measured their airway resistance using a number of tests, including a spirometry test. The results showed that for all people included in the study, the e-cigs caused an immediate increase in airway resistance, lasting for 10 minutes. In healthy subjects (never smokers) there was a statistically significant increase in airway resistance from a mean average of 182 percent to 206 percent. One out of every three cancer- related deaths is caused due to tobacco products. Smoking causes more deaths than any other recreational drugs put together. Despite knowing fully the hazardous effects of smoking, smokers simply dont have the will power to quit. There are various smoking cessation methods that help smokers quit including nicotine patches, gums and even e-cigaretteswhere the underlying principle is to give addicts the nicotine kick without the harmful carcinogens found in tobacco. The electronic cigarette industry is growing. According to a recent survey conducted by the Wells Fargo Securities Tobacco Talk, the electronic cigarette industry which was once viewed as a passing fad, has grown to around $300 million in revenue at retail. While electronic cigarette companies are still waiting for regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some industry experts project that this figure could grow to more

than $1 billion over the next few years. E cigs, that are widely available in stores and online- are fast catching up as the most popular alternative to traditional ciga-

element responsible for vaporizing the liquid in the cartridge. The vapor resembles smoke. And lastly for the power supply, e- cigarettes have lithium-ion rechargeable battery that powers heating element, airflow sensor and timed cutoff switch to prevent overheating. To date, there are currently 2.5 million

rettes. Ever wondered who invented them? What is in the cigarette? Are they safe? The primitive concept of e cigs can be traced to an idea by Herbert A Gilbert, who in 1963 patented a device which was described as A smokeless non tobacco cigarette by replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air. What we know of today as the modern e cigs was first devised in 2004 by a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik. He came up with the idea of using piezoelectric ultrasound emitting element to vaporize a pressurized jet of liquid containing nicotine diluted in a propylene glycol solution, a solvent used in food coloring. This design produces a smoke-like vapor that can be inhaled and provide an effective vehicle for nicotine delivery into the bloodstream via the lungs. He also proposed to use propylene glycol to dilute nicotine in a free base form. The nicotine liquid is placed into a disposable plastic cartridge which serves as a liquid reservoir and mouthpiece. These inventions have laid the basic elements of the present day e cigs. Electronic cigarettes all share three essential components in general- (Nicotine) Cartridge, Atomizer and power supply. Cartridge serves a mouthpiece and usually doubles as a small reservoir holding the liquid nicotine (that is to be vaporized) and propylene glycol. Atomizer, situated in the middle, serves as the heating

e-cigarette users, a figure that is expected to continue to rise considering the past and future projection. Since being introduced to the U.S. in 2007, the e-cig market has been growing at a triple-digit rate. Looking ahead, the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association expects the market to quadruple by the middle of 2014. E cigarette proponents and marketers typically describe the devise as a means to help smokers break their addictions to tobacco. World Health Organization, in response to the e-cigarette marketers who claimed WHO views it as a legitimate nicotine replacement therapy like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches, in September 2008 stated "no rigorous, peer-reviewed studies have been conducted showing that the electronic cigarette is a safe and effective nicotine replacement therapy. However WHO does not discount the possibility that the electronic cigarette could be useful as a smoking cessation aid. United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) too does not approve the use of e-cigs. According to its 2009 study, known carcinogens were detected into the nicotine-cartridges and there were also concerns it could be mar-

keted to younger people. There are several studies currently in progress on the effects of nicotine vapor both inhaled directly and second hand. However lack of studies on any possible long term health effects caused by ecigs and due to the absence of tobacco content, e-cigs aren't subject to U.S. tobacco laws, which mean they can be purchased without proof of age, especially online. Because e- cigarettes are not regulated, marketers in this relatively new and growing space are benefiting from looser FDA restrictions and are boosting budgets to target their core consumer market which is 30-to-55year-old smokers along with adding a whole new segment youth smokers. Since e-cigs neither produce smoke nor actively utilize fire, they have made their way around the no smoking policy. Instead, marketers use this very policy to promote e-cigs in cities where smoking is banned in outdoor spaces. Marketing veteran Jeffrey Hill, for a leading e-cig company, has gone one step further by selling in bulk to corporations in cities (where smoking in office areas is banned). His pitchemployees who work in tall buildings lose an average 15% of daily efficiency going outside to smoke. The findings are based on his own study. Further, e-cigarettes are not limited like tobacco companies as to where they can advertise. And with the advent of social media, marketers and PR companies are finding it lot easier to reach out to a wider audience. They are getting creative in consumermarketing approach by heightening their online focus with a direct- sales model that incentivizes consumers to promote the brand via outlets such as Facebook and earn commission on sales. Unable to market using search tools from Google, Bing or Yahoo because of anti-tobacco policies are no deterrent for e-cig promoters; instead they are investing in peer to peer marketing, thanks to online forums, blogs, and other social media platforms. Promoters are targeting the non-smokers by communicating product's attributes, such as having U.S. ingredients, which they think could be a huge selling point from the safety perspective.

A healthy diet, more exercise can beat diabetes


London: A few simple changes in daily life can ultimately prove to be a major help in preventing two in three cases of diabetes while saving a large number of lives annually, a British study has found. People from South Asia are particularly prone to diabetes. According to the findings of the 20-year British study into Type 2 diabetes, most deaths could be avoided if people ate healthy food, drank less alcohol, took more exercise and had regular check-ups, Daily Express reported. The study is the first to reveal the full implications of ethnicity, with the risk almost doubling for people of South Asian, African and AfroCaribbean descent. According to Mike Knapton, associate director of the British Heart Foundation, people underestimate the magnitude of the problem. "The key is prevention, early intervention and treatment. There are very simple measures we can take to reduce levels of obesity. A healthy diet needs to start very early in life before patients come through my door for a risk assessment for cardiovascular disease." The Southall and Brent Revisited study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation, followed the health histories of nearly 5,000 Londoners. The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, starting observing participants from the ages of 40 to 69.

'Vitamin C keeps dementia at bay'


Berlin: The levels of antioxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene in blood are lower in patients with dementia than in people without it, a German study says about the disease which affects millions worldwide.Gabriele Nagel and and Christine von Arnim, professors of epidemiology and neurology from the University of Ulm, Germany, have discovered that the concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene in blood are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in people without them. Forgetfulness, lack of orientation and cognitive decline are all offshoots of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Seventy-four AD-patients and 158 healthy controls (without AD) were examined. Oxidative stress, which constrains the exploitation of oxygen in the human body, is suspected to promote the development of AD. "In order to possibly influence the onset and development of Alzheimer's disease, we need to be aware of potential risk factors," says Nagel, according to an Ulm statement. The 65 to 90 years old seniors from Ulm and the surrounding area underwent neuropsychological testing and answered questions regarding their lifestyle. What is more, their blood has been examined and their body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene in the serum of AD-patients was found to be significantly lower than in the blood of control subjects. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disease: Alterations in the brain caused by amyloid-beta-plaques and loss of synapses connecting the brain cells or neurons are the major factors behind the characteristic symptoms.

Whereas so called antioxidants might protect against it. Researchers investigated whether the serum-levels (blood levels) of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene as well as lycopene and coenzyme Q10 are significantly lower in the blood of AD-patients, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reports.

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Interview TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

I trained with rats for 'Life of Pi': Suraj Sharma


By Priyanka Sharma raining, training and training! Delhi University student Suraj Sharma swam for hours, worked on his body and his dialect and even had rats run all over him to prepare for his role in Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's adventure film "Life of Pi". For the 19-year-old second year student of Philosophy at St Stephen's College, working in the film, based on Yann Martel's Booker Prize winning book, has been life-changing. "There was a lot of training. There was acting training with Ang Lee...he used to give me certain scripts to read with him. As I had to get accustomed to that period, I had to watch a lot of movies of the 1960s and 1970s; and there was dialect training too," Suraj said. "I also had to learn how to swim. I used to swim for four to five hours until I was comfortable with the water. There were a lot of workout sessions too because I had to gain weight first and then, as the shooting happened, I had to lose weight. I had trained with rats and had them run over me. It was a lot of fun. I was enjoying each and everything," he added. Suraj was just 16 when Lee signed him for the film adaptation of the bestselling novel. After three years, the film is complete and "being a part of the film has been a life-changing experience", he said. "It has really changed me and how I perceive the entire world in many ways." "People say that I have grown up personally

Suraj Sharma, a student in Delhi, with no previous acting experience, plays Pi. after this film. Like, I went there as a 16-yearold boy. Now, sometimes I feel like I am 40 years old and my perception about the world has changed completely. "I have realized that the world is this open place with opportunities. Now I know how to deal with situations in a better way and I can work five times harder without it affecting me because I have already worked like that," he added. Acting was luck by chance for Suraj. It was his younger brother who went to audition for the role and took Suraj along. Little did Suraj

Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian boy explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck, while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger. The forthcoming film adaptation is directed by Ang Lee, of Brokeback Mountain fame. know that he would end up auditioning for it himself and bag the role. The story of the film revolves round a teenage boy, who is forced to survive on a lifeboat with a tiger after the ship he was travelling in sinks. Asked how he managed to give the shots with tiger, Suraj said, "...I never acted with a tiger. Ang used to give me an eyeline as in where the tiger would be and how it would move at that point of time; so I used to imagine that in my head and give the shot." The film is complete and is due to hit the screens soon. "I really don't know what to expect. It has not yet sunk in. And the story is such that everybody can come up with their own interpretations because it's open-ended in the end. I just hope that when people leave the hall, they'll feel inspired," Suraj said. Suraj is unsure if he would like to act again, and is now focusing on his studies.

Lifestyle TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 15-21, 2012

Now, a computer to lip-read and decode emotions

computer is being taught to interpret human emotions based on lip-reading, one which could improve our interaction with these machines and perhaps allow disabled people to use voice synthesizers, more effectively and efficiently. KarthigayanMuthukaruppan of Manipal International University in Selangor, Malaysia, and co-workers have developed a system using a genetic algorithm that gets better and better with each use to match irregular ellipse (lip shapes) fitting equations to the shape of the human mouth displaying different emotions.

They have used photos of individuals from South-East Asia and Japan to train a computer to recognize the six commonly accepted human emotions - happiness, sadness, fear, angry, disgust, surprise - and a neutral expression. The upper and lower lip is each analyzed as two separate ellipses by the algorithm, the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing reported. "In recent years, there has been a growing interest in improving all aspects of interaction between humans and computers especially in the area of human emotion recogni-

tion by observing facial expression," the team explained, according to a statement of

Manipal University. Earlier researchers had developed an understanding that allows emotion to be recreated by manipulating a representation of the human face on a computer screen. However, lips remain a crucial part of the outward expression of emotion. The team's algorithm can successfully classify the seven emotions and a neutral expression described. Researchers suggest that initial applications of such an emotion detector might be helping disabled patients lacking speech to interact more effectively with computerbased communication devices, for instance.

Parna Ghose goes to NY Couture Fashion Week

Junk food could also damage brain, says study


besity-inducing junk food could also give you dementia through high blood pressure and cholesterol, which interrupt blood supply to the brain, says a study. Some animal studies have specifically implicated insulin, a hormone, suggesting that Alzheimer's could be 'diabetes of the brain'. But the latest theory also points to high levels of fatty and sugary food damaging the brain by interrupting its supply of insulin. In type 2 diabetes, junk food prompts our cells in becoming resistant to the insulin they need to convert sugar into energy. Insulin is required to regulate brain chemicals, key to memory and learning, to make and strengthen

er motto is to make Indiainspired fashion popular in the global arena and Indian-American fashion designer ParnaGhose gets another opportunity to do so at at the Couture Fashion Week (CFW), starting Sep 15 in New York, where she will flaunt her bridal collection inspired by "traditional Indian art". "The elegance in traditional Indian arts is timeless and eternal and that is the inspiration behind my collection. Each piece is unique, handcrafted and have meticulous embroideries and embellishments," Ghose, who designs under the label Pure Elegance, said. The 16th season of CFW will take place at Waldorf-Astoria hotel. The three-day event will witness designers from around the world showcasing the latest trend in fashion and accessories. Ghose will showcase her collection on day two of fashion gala. "The collection is soft, elegant and vintage which makes it reminiscent of timeless beauties. It includes a mix of ultra-feminine flowy skirts and dresses in vibrant colors, exquisite fabric, timeless designs that are enhanced with thread, zari and antique zardosi embroidery. I cannot wait to see the girls sashaying down the ramp in lehengas, saris, long anarkali-styled kurtas and churidars," she added.

Parna Ghose The designer, who also showcased at the Dubai Fashion Week and Vancouver Fashion Week, says India's rich fabric is being appreciated around the globe, but 'India Inspired' couture line is yet to get prominence in the world. "India-inspired branded couture is notably absent from the wardrobe of western women today. This is especially remarkable since India's rich fabric, superb artisanship, and century's old tradition is hailed globally. Pure Elegance aspires to bring 'India-inspired' fashion into mainstream," she said. "It also strives to help its clients make a distinct statement about their individuality that is consistent with their values yet contemporary to 'wow' their friends," she added. Known for its traditional ethnic couture and ready-to-wear western designs, Pure Elegance is a SouthAsian fashion brand based in the US.

connections between brain cells and to maintain the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood and oxygen, the journal New Scientist reports. The study suggests that something similar may be happening in Alzheimer's, with a bad diet preventing brain cells from responding properly to insulin. Rats developed Alzheimer's after

being fed a compound that prevented their brains from using insulin, according to the Daily Mail. Suzanne de la Monte, study coauthor from Brown University, US, said: "They were demented. They couldn't learn or remember." When researchers fed healthy men and women fatty and sugary foods for a month, levels of insulin and beta amyloid rose. With rates of diabetes soaring, dementia could be reaching 'epidemic' proportions. The Alzheimer's Society's director of research, professor Clive Ballard said: "One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. Research like this points us in new directions for treatment development."

Ruined monuments inspire Ramam's debut jewelry line

he is known as textile revivalist and now AnuradhaRamam ventures into silver jewelry designing and says her first ever collection is inspired by ruined monuments of Gujarat and West Bengal."My debut collection is inspired from my travels to lot of ruins and old abandoned havelis, villas and monuments of Jaipur (Rajasthan), Gujarat and West Bengal. I have used old silver to capture the essence of bygone era. By putting a lot of pieces together, I have created one individual piece," Ramam said. Each jewelry item of hers has a story to tell. For instance, one piece is inspired from a 15-year-old tribal girl from Odisha who made a most beautiful flower rangoli. "It was very fascinating to see that show. She created a vibrant rangoli with limited flowers and color. So

every piece tells a story. They are handmade and exclusive," she added. The designer has come up with elegant neck pieces, earrings and rings. "This is my first collection where I am fusing my design and color aesthetic with silver. I have created a couple of neck pieces which are very, very contemporary but steeped in ethnicity. These pieces are very practical and can be worn to work, family function or with daily wear," she said. And no age bar to enjoy her collection as her target buyers are "people who want to make a statement and be different". "My range cuts across all age groups... its timeless! My jewelry is meant for every woman who yearns to be different," she added. The collection begins at the price range of Rs.3,800 and is available at the designer's store.

Learn while you shop at Armani Junior store


ce designer SuneetVerma, who has opened the first Armani Junior store in the country, has a novel idea to cash in on the growing kids-wear market in India - the store will host unique interactive sessions on art and music for the young ones, once in a while. "I wanted the store to have slightly more interesting appeal, so we decided that one part of store is actually transformed into educational center," Varma, whose company Unique Eye Luxury Apparel Pvt. Ltd, has brought Armani Junior to the country, said. "We have elocution classes once a month. Also there will be theatre appreciation, art appreciation, writ-

ing skills and music appreciations classes once in a month over the year," he said. "People can come and enroll their children free of cost. This is also the first interactive education center of Armani anywhere in the world," he added. Armani Junior, a subsidiary of international luxury fashion label Giorgio Armani, has many firsts to offer as it opened doors for the Indian market Sep 1. "A lot of research had to be done before bringing the brand to India. We looked at the fabrics and season in India. As we knew that India is country that has long summer season, so we went for light fabrics. Also the fabrics used are more

durable because I believe that a lot of people in India still hand-wash their clothes rather than machine wash," said Varma. The measurements were also especially taken care of. "We found that the measurement of Indian children is different from those in Europe, so we knew we have to buy slightly larger sizes. But what makes this store different from other stores around the globe, is kids' kurtas," Varma added. Spread in an area of 2,000 sqft, the Delhi store at the DLF EmporioMall, is one of the largest Armani Junior stores in the world and offers everything from shirts, sweatshirts, chinos and jeans to

dresses and skirts for boys and girls. What's new is a range of Armani Junior kurtas. "It was important to create something unique to inspire Indian clientele. I spoke to the design team there and said India is very important market for international brands, so I would like to introduce something new from Armani, specifically for India. So we designed first ever Giorgio Armani kurta," said Varma. "The team has done beautiful black and white children's kurta for kids in the age-group of 6 months to 16 years. Also there is a beautiful Armani logo on it and you would not believe that it's selling like hot cakes," he added.

Suneet Verma has opened the first Armani Junior store in India

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Humor TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Funny Bone by Nury Vittachi

New app to get you out of the house in pajamas


By Nury Vittachi an't wake up? Me neither. Luckily, Takuya Sato is working to solve our problems. The inventor first came to my attention with a brilliant Japanese app called MorningBomb. You download it to your phone, set the time that you want to be out of the house, and then go to sleep. The "bomb" (a loud noise) will go off if you are not up and out of your home by that time. There are the two genius things about this app: 1.) The bomb cannot be turned off so you can't cheat. 2.) It detects where you are so you can't lie to it. (ME: "I'm up! I'm up!" APP: "No, you're not, you @#$% liar.") The ONLY way to shut it down is to get up, get dressed, and travel a set distance away from your house. The app is a bit like an Automated Mom, forcing us sleepjunkies on to the street, SOMETIMES IN PAJAMAS. But then it ran into trouble. Moms can't be uninstalled, but apps can, mua ha ha ha! Many users started deleting it. So Takuya crafted a gentler version for

the wimps among us. The new one, called Morning+ (Morning Plus), detects whether you leave your home on time and, if you do, a sponsor gives you a metaphorical pat on the head by donating one US cent to a charity. The last I heard, from a report on Japanese website erocketnews24, he hadn't found a sponsor yet, so was using his own personal savings, and had donated 320 yen, the equivalent of US$4, to charity. Joke: How do you wake up Lady Gaga? Answer: Po po po poke her face. *-* A shopping mall in China has built a nonmoving escalator. It has glass sides and a black rubber rail but doesn't do anything. People get on the bottom step and just stand there, waiting for the machinery to

clank into action. Even more weird is the fact that it doesn't move makes people feel dizzy and unstable, as if they are about to fall off. I once lived in an ancient apartment block at which you had to pull open the elevator door by yourself. We used to time our friends to see how stupid they were. The record was set by a stockbroker who stood there for three minutes before realising he had to open the door. *-* One evening recently, a snake bit a farmer in a paddy field in Nepal. Mohammed Salmodin went home, got a torch, found the snake and bit it. The snake died, the BBC reported. Of the bite? Or of humiliation? *-* Look! An evil male attacking a poor defenseless woman! A pair of have-a-go heroes stopped their car and leapt out on to the verge. They grabbed the guy to let the woman escape. Which is when they started listening to what he was saying and realized that HE was the innocent victim and SHE was the mugger who had robbed him. This story, which took place in the US state of New Jersey recently, was sent in by a reader to make his point that being male was worse than being female these days. And it arrived as part of a flurry of missives triggered by an earlier assertion by this columnist that being a modern guy sucked. Reader Otis Schindler said men were told to "take it like a man" if they got weepy at women's movies, but he had never heard a women being told to "take it like a woman" at a man's movie. Good point. Christian Fardel said teenage girls were often adorable, but you rarely hear that said about teenage boys. *-* I eventually compiled the notes into a list of:

Clear Advantages Of Being Male: Two pairs of cheap ugly shoes are all you need your whole life. You can say stupid unfeeling things because "he's a guy, what do you expect?" Evil food companies, all run by men, put everything in jars that only males can open. A barber costs a tenth of the price of a hairdresser and does his job in eight minutes. If you get to the age of 30 without being married, no one commiserates. Your name stays the same, however many people you marry. You can buy enough underwear for two years in two minutes from one stall for small change. If your suitcase gets lost, it doesn't matter because you wear the same thing every day anyway. Your entire morning routine takes two minutes, or three if you include a shower. *-* THIS WAS A PRETTY powerful list, so I hoped the guys would have something to match. But scanning all the comments and emails, I found ONLY FIVE items for a list of: Five Clear Advantages Of Being Female 5) You can win a job interview using only your cleavage. 4) You can make infants stop crying by magic. 3) You can change how you look every day. 2) You have a lie detector built into your inner ear. 1) You can get 1,000 hits on YouTube by eating a popsicle. *-* Not bad, guys, but let's face it - the women win this argument, by dint of the simple fact that 6.) Women ultimately win all arguments. (Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller)

Photo of the week

President Barack Obama is lifted off the ground by the owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian restaurant during an unannounced stop in Ft. Pierce, Fla.

Astrology
TheSouthAsianTimes.info

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September 15-21, 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 15-21, 2012
Aries: This week brings happiness and prosperity. Your creative ability would flourish and your willpower and determination would defeat all opponents. Real estate investment would bring excellent rewards in the long run. Lovebirds will have a fabulous time together and chances of a matrimonial alliance will be strong. Overall a good week but make sure you do not neglect your health. Taurus: This week, people would surround you and find you very charming and witty. You would also be putting in a lot of hours at work or on projects that are important for your career. You would acquire a lot of knowledge if you observe others. A wonderful week to look into courses and hobbies that interest you. A small vacation or a pleasure jaunt will help you keep relaxed. Gemini: This coming week you would get opportunity to lead others. You should watch their moves and appreciate their efforts and guide them if necessary, but do not be too critical of them. Businessmen would explore new and more profitable avenues. New partnerships and contacts would also prove to be beneficial. Health needs proper care and you should avoid consuming extra sweets and junk food. Cancer: This week people gather around you and expect you to do miracles for them. Try not to be so generous and flexible to their demands that you neglect your own responsibilities. Your confidence would grow and advancement is certain in your career. Financial gains seem imminent for businessmen, but they need to be careful while extending credit. Highly beneficial time for working women and those involved in overseas projects. Leo: This week you would please your seniors and win their appreciation, but any immediate monetary gains seem unlikely. New romance would flourish for some, but any intimate relationship with a co-worker would lead to gossip and would seriously damage your reputation. New ventures would be alluring but you need to consult your experts to make sure you are making no mistake. Not a beneficial period for speculation. Virgo: This week you can expect some problems with partners. You would lack confidence and ongoing problems would severely disturb your peace of mind. Positive thinking and working towards your long-term goals will be important. Stress related ailments like backache, headache, sleeplessness cannot be ruled out, but after some rest and relaxation, you will feel much better. Financial gains seem certain towards the end of the week. Libra: This week people would not be very pleased with your way of doing things. You need not to rush over your plans but seek advice from others if needed. Love and romance alone would not succeed in cheering you up, rather you would look for some commitment from your beloved. Try an outing or a short trip to cheer yourself up and lift your spirits. Religious activities will bring comfort to your mind. Scorpio: This week your talents would shine at work, but above all you would be appreciated for being a major support to a colleague or a friend. You would enjoy the time that you spend with others and your confidence would also rise. This period is also good for socializing, but if you are travelling you need to be extra careful of your belongings. Some losses due to hasty decisions cannot be ruled out. Sagittarius: Professionally and financially things look brighter and you would work overtime to complete important projects in hand, but whatever you do, dont run away from your responsibilities towards your home. An old friend would make an unscheduled but pleasant visit, sharing with you lots of delightful and memorable moments. New romance is certainly yours if you go out and do things in a large group. Capricorn: This week you should implement new ideas into your projects for instant gains. Colleagues and seniors would be helpful. Plan your days carefully as efforts put during this period would have long lasting rewards. Money gains are certain but losses due to speculation are also foreseen. You would gain valuable information if you listen to those who are older and experienced. Aquarius: This week new ventures and partnerships seem likely. It would be important for you to invest, but it would be equally important to consult financial experts and books on investments. Stay away from an investment that seems doubtful and risky. Pleasure trip that you undertake this week would be very exciting and educating. Your creativity would make you earn some extra money. Pisces: This week do not get depressed, but put your time and efforts on important projects. Although finances would not be managed easily, but you would receive immense recognition and appreciation for your efforts. Your analytical skills would help you get everything done on time and eventually success would be yours. Opportunities to expand your circle of friends would result in new romance.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week


September: 15 You are governed by the number 6 and the planet Venus. Most of you are born artists. Art and beauty in any form, appeal to you. Those of you, whose business deals with art and music, can expect it to be an exceptionally good. You will have new ideas to express your form of art and this will bring fame and recognition to you. This will not only give you a sense of satisfaction, but also bring in handsome profits, which will improve your financial status. Honor and prestige in whatever you do, is predicted for you. You are ambitious by nature, but you will have to set specific goals for yourself. Only then will you be able to reach your pinnacle of success. In the bargain, you may tend to get a little restless. Learn to relax and let and try to stay stress free. The months of October 2012 and January, April and June of 2013 will be eventful for you. September: 16 You are governed by the planet Neptune and influenced by the number 7. Your ideals and ambitions are of a high nature. You will follow your own ideas and plans, in whatever you do, in the year ahead of you. You will not be bound by traditions and customs. In doing so, sometimes, you may tend to become over independent and not bother about what is happening around you. Full of energy and enthusiasm, you will not be able to tolerate, those who are lazy in their approach to work. You will have to travel far and near and business travel abroad is not ruled out. You like to mix around with a select group of people and in doing so, clearly ignore the ones who are not up to your mark. You are proud of your knowledge and abilities. You will have to control your ego, so as not to create misunderstandings with your friends and colleagues. The months of November, December of 2012 and January, April of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 17 Governed by the number 8, you are also governed by the planet Saturn. Disciplined, methodical and systematic in your approach to work, you can expect to achieve success in your professional as well as your educational field. But success comes to you delayed. Your hard work is finally rewarded, but you have to face delays and obstacles in achieving success. But this should not demoralize you, because late it may be, but success will be yours finally. You have the ability to weight the pros and cons of any issue that is put to you. You take decisions with a balanced mind, and this is a strong trait of your character. Music, art and beauty will catch your attention, in the year ahead of you. You will gain peace of mind from music and art. With your pleasing personality you are able to attract others. In fact, you tend to become dominating at times. October, November of 2012 and March, July and August of 2013 will be highly significant. September: 18 Governed by the number 9, you are also dominated by the planets Mars. You are aggressive by nature. Your courage and determination, will take you far in your respective fields, in the year ahead of you. But your dashing nature is often misunderstood by your friends and colleagues as dominating. You tend to impose your ideas on others and sometimes even start finding faults with your colleagues. You will have to control this trait to avoid misunderstandings. Honor and prestige will be yours, finally and you will not shudder to overcome any hurdles which may come your way. You will be full of good ideas which will be original and will impress your Bosses. A strong will power and determination will take you to newer heights of excellence in your professional field. You will have to travel far and near, which will be related to work. December 2012 and May, August, September of 2013 would be important months for you. September: 19 You are governed by the number 1 and the Sun. You are clever and intelligent, but you lack concentration. This, often results in drawbacks in your career. With a little bit of concentration in your work and studies, will do wonders for you, in the year ahead of you. Those of you, in the research line, will do well in your educational career. You enjoy anything that is fast moving and want fast results from your work. You will have to learn to be patient and calm. Make use of your energy and enthusiasm in fields like horse riding and shooting, which will give you pleasure. In love matters, you tend to get restless and expect your partner to respond immediately to your emotional feelings. Try to give respect to the feelings and sentiments of your loved ones. November 2012 and January, March, July of 2013 will be highly eventful. September: 20 You are governed by the number 2 and by the planet Moon. You have high ideals. In addition, you are highly imaginative. Your intelligence and your imagination will not only help you to initiate new ideas and projects, but will also help you to complete them to your fullest satisfaction. Whatever project or plan you undertake, will earn you prestige and honor. Scientific subjects will be your passion. You will undertake a lot of travel for work and pleasure, in the year ahead of you. Socializing, party and friends will fill your year with happiness and fun. You will be the centre of attraction, at many get-togethers and functions. Your enthusiasm and ambition will bring you success, but you will still remain modest in your deed and actions. You do not have a habit of boasting about your success. The month of February, March and August of 2013 will be eventful months. September: 21 You are governed by the planet Jupiter and the number 3. You have a personality, which is dashing and attractive. You are popular in your friends circle. In the year ahead of you, you are likely to inherit property from your fathers side. This will help tremendously, in enhancing your financial position. In the domestic front, you can expect to receive love and affection from your spouse and your children. Your children will be a source of joy and happiness. Helping the needy and the distress, will give you a kind of satisfaction. You will be able to use your confidence and warmth, to give solace to those who are depressed and in need of counseling. Your passion for outdoor activities, will keep you in good health. Generous and loving in nature, you will create an aura of happiness and peace, not only at home, but also amongst your colleagues. November 2012 and April, July, August of 2013 will be highly significant.

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30

Spiritual Awareness TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

Concluding part of discourse 'Angel of love'

The love of God lasts forever


spiritual region of Sach Khand in which our soul merges back in God. From the tens of thousands of people who learned meditation at his feet, thousands and thousands of more people came to know of the spiritual path, and we find the numbers of people who meditate growing every day. If everyone spent some time in meditation daily, we would find that each person would attain inner peace and contribute to outer peace and love on our planet. In one of the ghazals Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj has written, he has given us a clue from his own life about the most beneficial attitude with which we can live our lives. I will take up two verses from a ghazal written by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. In them we can learn much about how we can live our lives in a happier and more peaceful manner. The first verse says: The divine wine goes round and round and I am in ecstasy. I pass through all the vicissitudes of life. This verse is talking about living our life in a state of bliss, love, and joy. We search for love and happiness in many ways. Unfortunately we are looking for love in the wrong places. We look for it in the enjoyments and pleasures of the world. Some try to find it through engaging in hobbies and talents. We seek love from other people. Unfortunately, all loves of this world are only temporary and we may one day lose what we gained. There are often fluctuations and changes in what we gained. If we seek happiness in a loved one, we ultimately have to face loss through death. How, then, can we find permanent love and happiness? Sant Darshan Singh Ji is saying that the divine wine that is circulating has put him into so much ecstasy and love that he can pass through the vicissitudes, or ups and downs, of life. What is this divine wine? Many people will serve wine and get a bit intoxicated. But that wears off. Divine wine as described in this verse is the wine of the love of God, and that lasts forever. The love of God manifests as the divine Light and Sound, a radiant warm Light that makes us feel more loved than we have ever felt before, and divine Music so enchanting that it fills our soul with bliss and uplifts us into the very arms of God. In this verse, the divine wine is circulating. How? In the company of one who has been asked by God to serve the wine. That person is known as the Cupbearer. The Cupbearer does not make the wine himself. His job is to get the wine from the producer, who is God, and just serve it. God is the wine producer. He has a storehouse of winethe wine of loveand is looking for tipplers to drink. Unfortunately, few tipplers come. He has enough wine for all people who inhabit the earth. He has enough for all the plants and animals. He has enough for all the souls in all the regions of creation. The problem isfew come forth to drink. Why? They are so lost in the cheaper wines of this earththe wine of lust, greed, attachment, ego, name, fame, money, and worldly pleasuresuseless wines that only give a few moments of inebriation, but no permanent happiness. They think that they are getting joy from worldly pleasures and pursuits. Little do they know of how much more sensitive. Rather, we forget ourselves and become attentive to others. Beyond this, when we decide we want to sit in meditation, we are able to focus our attention so fully that we can become absorbed within and not be distracted by anything around us or our own thoughts. We can focus at the third or single eye, transcend body-consciousness, and see worlds of Light within us. To be embraced by God is to be lost in the tion. At initiation he opens the floodgates so the divine Wine pours out. He teaches us to recognize the spiritual Wine in the form of the divine Light and Sound. This Light and Sound flows within us. If we contact it, we can not only drink it, but travel on it back to God, the Home of the Divine Tavern keeper. The more we drink, the more we are immersed in Gods wine. When we return to God, a strange phenomenon happens. We merge with God and become the divine Wine ourselves. God is the divine Wine. By becoming one with God, we are then one with the divine Wine and our whole being is Light, Love, and ecstasy. If we want to drink of the divine Wine that makes us forget the problems of the world, we need to learn meditation from a Tavern keeper, and sit in meditation daily. We should get a boost from the company of one who is pouring out the divine Wine. Then we can go within and drink as much as we want for ourselves. The next verse of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj is: With every breath I must bow to my Friend, For I owe my life to his grace. This verse truly reflects the attitude we should inculcate in our lives. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj is telling us that we should bow our heads in gratitude to God for every breath. We have seen what God is trying to offer us. God has given us our life. God has provided this wonderful earth with sun, water, air, plants to eat, and beauty to enjoy. For example, there is a story that Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj once told about the earth. A man once asked the earth, "You have such large, majestic mountains on you. It must feel like it is such a heavy burden to carry." The earth replied, "No, the mountains are not a burden to me." The man further asked, "You have such deep oceans and seas filled with millions of fish and sea life that live on you. Surely, that must feel like a heavy load on you!" The earth replied, "No, that is not a burden either." The man continued, "You have so many people, mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects living on you. I am sure that must be a heavy burden on you." The earth smiled and said, "No, that is not a burden at all." Finally, the man inquired, "Is there anything that causes you to feel burdened?" The earth sighed deeply and said, "Yes, there is something. When someone is ungrateful to God for the gifts God has giventhis burden I cannot bear." So, as we sit in remembrance of Sant Darshan Singh Ji, we can reflect upon his love, and be grateful for all the gifts he gave us. Let us honor his memory by also leading a life of love.Let us pray that he keeps his blessings always over our heads.

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

nother aspect of love is nonviolence. We would never hurt those we love. Similarly, if all creation is one family, how could we be violent to them? We would not want to hurt even the younger brothers and sisters in God, who come in the form of the animals. From Sant Darshan Singh Jis life, we learned the true meaning of being a vegetarian or living on a plant-based diet, a diet based on love for all lower forms of life. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj himself maintained his vegetarian principles even in the face of working with coworkers who tried to encourage him to eat meat and take alcohol with them. But he lived up to his own principles, and earned not only the respect of his co-workers but inspired many of them to become vegetarian as well. He showed us that vegetarianism was not just a matter of healthy living, but that it was the highest expression of love love for God who created all creatures and love for our younger brothers and sisters in God who also deserved to live out their lives without being killed for their meat. We find that in the past twenty years, the vegetarian principles for which he lived have become acceptable and even recommended by people from all walks of life for their value physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It was due to great Masters such as Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj that people in the West are slowly accepting vegetarianism as a way of life. The greatest contribution towards a life of love that Sant Darshan Singh Ji made was teaching meditation. From an early age he began meditating under the guidance of his Master, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj, and his father, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj. As a young child he had such a high experience at his initiation into the Light and Sound of God that he journeyed to the inner stars. He ultimately attained communion of his soul with God through meditation. As a Master, he then shared the technique for meditation freely with all sincere seekers after Truth so that they, too, could see the inner Light and hear the inner Sound of God, rise above body-consciousness, and traverse the astral, causal, and supracausal realms until finally reaching the

Where can we get the divine wine? The divine wine is spiritual. It is not physical. Because we are accustomed to getting input through our senses, many have not learned to realize the gifts that come to us spiritually because they are subtle. When our inner eye is opened, we can recognize the spiritual wine.
ecstasy and joy can be theirs if they partake of Gods wine. The Cupbearer has opened the Tavern to invite all to drink, free of charge. He does not care whether tipplers are rich or poor, to what religion or country they belong, what color hair, eyes, or skin they have, or what social status they hold. Like any tavern, it is open to all. The Cupbearer does not limit how much anyone wants to drink. They can drink as much as they want, and there is no fee. The Tavern is open twenty-four hours, every day, every week, every month, and every year. The Tavern keeper has no interest in anything but to serve as much of Gods wine as he can to anyone to drink as much as they want. God is eager for all to partake of his store. This is why the ones who have come to earth as Cupbearers to share Gods wine have been tireless, selfless souls who travel the earth ceaselessly to offer this cup to all who want it. We know them as saints, mystics, prophets, or Masters. They pour out without end the divine wine to put the tipplers in ecstasy. Once the tippler is intoxicated, he or she is no longer caught up in the vicissitudes of life. When one is intoxicated, one loses awareness of ones body and surroundings. Unfortunately, worldly wine is such that this loss of awareness can end up hurting others and ones own self because one is no longer fully conscious. But the divine wine makes one super-conscious. Although not aware of our own problems, we are super-aware of the problems and hearts of others. We become even greatest ecstasy. God is the greatest lover. The loves of this world are but reflections. Gods love is so fulfilling, every pore dances in ecstasy. There is so much incredible rapture in Gods love. Our problems melt away in Gods embrace. Where can we get the divine wine? The divine wine is spiritual. It is not physical. Because we are accustomed to getting input through our senses, many have not learned to realize the gifts that come to us spiritually because they are subtle. When our inner eye is opened, we can recognize the spiritual wine. Until then, we need guidance. The Cupbearer, in the form of a Master, teaches us how to drink the spiritual wine. He gives us a taste of it by his divine presence; he is pouring out the wine through his eyes. A peep into the eyes of a Cupbearer draws our soul upwards to the seat of the soul. It provides the soul with an awakening to its own divinity. The magnetic attraction of the Cupbearers eyes pulls the iron filings towards it. This quickening of the soul is uplifting. It gives us our first reminder of the divine Wine on which we once had lived when we were in Gods home, but have since forgotten. He then teaches us how to open the faucet within ourselves so we can drink the divine Wine already within us. The Cupbearer is not the only one with the divine Winewe all have it within us. He just knows how to turn it on. He has come to turn on our own tap so we can drink from that which is already within us. He does this by teaching us meditation at the time of initia-

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

September 15-21, 2012

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