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The South Asian Times

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Follow us on Vol.5 No. 50 April 6-12, 2013 60 Cents New York Edition

North Korea moves missile to east, escalating crisis

But Washington thinks it prudent to now amp things down
Washington: North Korea is moving a medium-range missile to a site in the east of the country, a US intelligence official said Thursday as tensions with the nucleararmed state continued to escalate. The official declined to say where the Musudan missile was headed, but the North has used a site near the Russian border on the Continued on page 4

Secrets of tax havens exposed in global media probe

Mallya, Ruia in list of 612 mega rich Indians with tax haven links

The Musudan missile has a range of 1,800-2,500 miles, but not enough to hit mainland America from Korea.

Vikram Chatwal arrested for drug possession and trafficking

Miami, FL: Hotel owner and son of Padma Bhushan Sant Chatwal, Vikram Chatwal was arrested at Florida's Fort Lauderdale Airport Tuesday when trying to get on a plane with a big stash of drugs. According to the police report, Chatwal, 41, who owns New York City's Dream Hotel, a popular spot with celebs. tried to board with cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered the drugs hidden on his person and in his bag. He had hidden heroin in the crotch of his pants. He was booked on one count of trafficking (6 gm of heroin) and seven counts of possession for cocaine, heroin, Continued on page 4

MP and business honcho Vijay Mallya and (right) Essar Groups Ravikant Ruia

Hotelier Vikram Chatwal

3 days, 2 corruption cases, 3 New York lawmakers arrested

(from left): NYC councilman Daniel Halloran; state Senator Malcolm A. Smith, and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson

New York: For the second time in three days, prosecutors announced corruption charges Thursday against a New York state lawmaker, this time accusing him of accepting bribes from busi-

nessmen who wanted his help in running and maintaining adult day-care centers. On Tuesday, US attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara announced charges against

state Senator Malcolm A. Smith and five others, including NYC councilman Daniel Halloran, on charges Smith had tried to buy his way onto the 2013 mayoral Continued on page 4

Washington: Hidden dealings of politicians, con artists and the mega-rich in more than 170 countries, including India, have been exposed by a group of international journalists sifting through a trove of 2.5 million secret files, Described as perhaps the largest cross-border journalism collaboration in history, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) claimed to have laid bare the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents. These individuals and companies have invested in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore, Samoa and other offshore hideaways. The 612 Indians in this list include two members of Parliament Vivekanand Gaddam and Vijay Mallya and industrialists such as Essar Groups Ravikant Ruia, Teja Raju (son of jailed Satyam founder Ramalingam Raju), and Indiabulls Saurabh Mittal. The trails lead back to redoubtable corporates such as Dabur, Berger Paints, Onida, Khatau and MRF Tires. The list also includes businessmen who have had a brush with the Income-Tax department and the CBI. Several of the offshore investments were made in possible violation

of foreign exchange rules. Many of the world's top's banks - including UBS, Clariden and Deutsche Bank - have aggressively worked to provide their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in offshore hideaways. "What we found as we started digging in the records is a pretty extensive collection of dodgy characters: Wall Street fraudsters, Ponzi schemers, figures connected to organized crime, to arms dealing, money launderers," said Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the ICIJ. Worldwide, the Tax Justice Network estimates that between $21 trillion and $32 trillion of private wealth is held offshore, out of reach of national treasuries. This translates to up to $280 billion a year in lost taxes. ICIJ collaborated with 38 media organizations around the world, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC and The Indian Express, for this ambitious global project. For instance, a cluster of 28 "sham directors'' have been identified as having served as the on-paper representatives of more than 21,000 companies between them, with some individual directors representing as many as Continued on page 4

US Affairs 9

IPL Fever 18

Health 25

Spiritual Awareness 38

excellence in journalism

April 6-12, 2013


April 6-12, 2013

Srinivasan as top judge: Obama seeks swift confirmation

Washington: The White House has urged the Senate to swiftly confirm Chandigarhborn Indian-American legal luminary Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan to what is "often called the nation's second-highest court", the US court of appeals for the American capital. Srinivasan, 45, became the first South Asian to be ever nominated to the circuit court by President Barack Obama last June, but the Senate Judiciary Committee announced his confirmation hearing for next week only Monday. "The DC Circuit, as you know, is often considered the nation's second-highest court, but it has twice as many vacancies as any other court of appeals, and its workload has increased by over 20 percent since 2005," Obama's press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "Sri's confirmation will be an important first step to filling this court's four vacancies, and he will be, when confirmed, the first South Asian circuit court judge in history," he said urging the Senate to move swiftly to also confirm the 15 additional judicial nominees waiting for votes. The third South Asian named to any federal judgeship, Srinivasan was named principal deputy solicitor general of the US in August 2011, succeeding another Indian American, Neal Kumar Katyal. Sri was born in India and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. "Sri is a highly respected appellate advocate who has spent a distinguished career litigating before the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals, both in private practice and on behalf of the United States for both Democratic and Republican administrations," he said. "He has argued before the Supreme Court 24 times; drafted briefs and several dozen additional cases; and has also served as lead counsel in numerous cases before the federal and state appellate courts. "As a testament to how highly regarded he is by members of both parties, 12 former officials from the Solicitor General's office -- six of them Democrats, six of them Republicans -- all announced their support for Sri today," Carney said. Srinivasan received the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Furthering US National Security in 2003 and the Office of the Secretary of Defence Award for Excellence in 2005.

Srikanth 'Sri' Srinivasan

Anand Jon gets 5 years jail for molesting NY models

NIAPPI funded US delegation's India visit

There was insinuation that the delegates who met Narendra Modi were canvassed at prices up to $16,000.
New Delhi: Amid a row over financing of an American delegation's visit to meet Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a US lawmaker Wednesday claimed it was sponsored by "an educational foundation". US House of Representative member Cynthia Lummis, who was in the delegation that met Modi on March 28, said the visit was mainly sponsored by National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI) and was cleared by the house ethics committee of the US Congress. Hi India, an Indian newspaper in Chicago, reported that organizers of the US delegation to India that met Modi had canvassed for participants in the trip at prices ranging from $3,000 to $16,000. Lummis, who was in the capital to take part in a reception hosted by NIAPPI and Delhi Study Group, said they had paid part of the expenses themselves. "It was cleared by the house ethics committee," Lummis told IANS. House of Representatives member Aaron Schock, who too was part of the delegation that met Modi, also attended the reception. The delegation from the US met Modi March 28 and lauded the economic development of the state under his watch.

Arise: The art of Innocence painting by Anand Jon (right) New York: A New York court has sentenced Indian fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander to five years jail for admittedly forcing oral sex on an aspiring female model under a plea bargain deal. Alexander already serving 59 years to life in California for molesting 16 would-be models had originally been charged in Manhattan with sex attacks on 12 women and girls, including first degree rape. Prosecutors dropped all but one of those cases when Alexander struck his no-additional-jail plea deal here in February. As his prison time in New York amounts to time already served, no years will be added onto his California sentence, Alexander's attorney said. At his sentencing Tuesday by a Manhattan Court, he was named a high-risk sex offender and sexually violent predator. "Anand Jon is a predator. He is a threat to the community," assistant district attorney Maxine Rosenthal said. Judge Cassandra Mullen ask Alexander several times if he had anything to say about his sentencing. "I'd like to thank everyone for being here," he finally replied in a courtroom full of supporters, some wearing "Free Anand Jon" t-shirts. But he did not apologize to the victim. Known professionally as Anand Jon, India-born Alexander launched a fashion line in 1999 and built it into a high-flying career. He was featured on "America's Next Top Model," worked with such celebrities as Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige and was among 20 people profiled by Newsweek in 2006 as up-andcoming players in various industries. Defence lawyers said Alexander hopes to overturn his California conviction by arguing he had ineffective counsel there. Outside the court, his mother Shashi Abraham and sister Sanjana Jon both proclaimed Alexander's innocence.

The US delegation with Modi. NIAPPI chairman Shalabh Kumar (bearded) is to the right of Modi.

The meeting had assumed significance as the US has been denying Modi a visa for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Ron Somers, president of the USIndia Business Council (USIBC), Cathy M. Rodgers, Republican Congresswoman from Washington state, apart from Cynthia Lummis and Aaron Schock were members of the delegation that met Modi. NIAPPI chairman Shalabh Kumar said the US delegation's visit to India was a trade mission. "A flexible package was offered (to those) who wanted to do business with India," he said. Kumar said the visit took place in accordance with US laws.

"Who not a report available publicly," he said. Kumar said the US business delegation will visit Punjab before flying back to the US. Vijay Jolly, president, Delhi Study Group, who is also convener of Overseas Friends of BJP, said the delegation members had spent their own money during their visit to India. "There was no sponsorship of government of India, the US government, Gujarat government or the BJP," he said. He said the US delegation invited Modi to the US and he had accepted it. "There was no talk of visa," Jolly said.

April 6-12, 2013


Time magazine votes for Chidambaram as PM

New York: of the economy" in a American news maglatest issue. azine 'Time' has proIn a previous issue last year, the magajected P. Chidambaram, curzine labeled Prime rently India's finance Minister Manmohan minister, as a fit canSingh as an "underdidate for the prime achiever" creating a furor in political cirminister's post in the cles. The magazine country's general however has projectelections due next P. Chidambaram year. ed Chidambaram as an The lawmaker from Tamil Nadu, achiever, who has helped spread who until recently was the union economic reforms. There are also of praise for home minister, has been called words "the troubleshooter" and "manager Chidambaram's 2013-14 budget.

Zee TV Canada launches in HD

New York: Zee TV, the No. 1 South Asian Entertainment Network in partnership with Ethnic Channels Group Limited (ECG), Canadas largest distributor of third language television services, launches ZEETV Canada in HD. Zee already has six channels in Canada catering to the diverse group of viewers: Zee TV, Alpha ETC Punjabi, Zing, Zee Salaam, Zee Sectrets of tax heavens exposed story Continued from page 1 4,000 companies each. The expose comes shortly after a list of 18 Indians who had bank accounts in the LGT Liechtenstein Bank and around 700 Indians who had accounts in HSBC in Geneva became public. In both cases, account holders were prosecuted and paid penalties to Income-Tax authorities for deposits they had made abroad without paying taxes in India. North Korea moves missiles to east story Continued from page 1 coast for its missile tests in the past. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Thursday that the missile had "considerable range" but not enough to hit the US mainland. In response to North Korea's threat that they will be deploying "small, light" nuclear strikes, the Pentagon has announced it is sending an anti-ballistic missile system to Guam to protect American military sites there. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Norths provocations were "a real and clear danger and threat" to U.S. interests and stressed that Washington was taking them seriously. On Thursday evening CNN Tamizh and Zee Cinema will now be joined by Zee TV HD as a 24/7 channel catering to womens entertainment. Zee TV HD is available on NEXTV along with Zee Cinema and Zing. Zee Americas Director Distribution; Akhilesh Gupta said Zee TV HD was the first South Asian Network to go HD in the US last year and we are very pleased to reported that Pentagon now feels that recent announcements of US deployments in response to belligerent statements by Pynogong may have contributed to escalating tensions. So, an effort to reduce US rhetoric about the reclusive state is in order. "We accused the North Koreans of amping things up, now we are worried we did the same thing," one Defense Department official said. Vikram Chatwal arrested story Continued from page 1 marijuana and various other drugs. Also found: Buprenorphine (an opioid), Xanax, muscle relaxants and sedatives. The report states that Chatwal did not have prescriptions for any of these drugs. The story was first broken by TMZ website. "The arrestee provided a statement to narcotics detectives admitting possessing and purchasing the controlled substances illegally," wrote Officer Carmen Hunsinger in his report. Chatwal, who has a playboy image and is friends with Lindsay Lohan, was released from jail Wednesday after posting bail, a sheriff's spokesperson said. He faces a minimum three-year jail sentence if convicted of the most serious charge. Chatwal previously entered rehab in Mumbai for treatment of alcoholism, an Indian media report said now announce the launch of Zee TV Canada inHD. Zee Americas continues to maintain its leadership position in the North American market by delivering the highest quality entertainment that the South Asian audience wants to watch. NEXTV is poised to redefine television viewing, and is going to be a game changer added Konstantin Salenkov, CEO of NEXTV. 3 days, 2 corruption cases story Continued from page 1 ballot. Smith, a Democrat from Queens, was charged with paying two Republican Party county officials to get their support for his GOP candidacy. Besides Smith, the five politicians, three Republicans and two Democrats, were also arrested and charged with collectively accepting more than $100,000 in bribes in meetings that often took place in parked cars, hotel rooms and state offices, according to court papers. In this sting operation, an FBI sleuth posed as a businessman gobetween. The complaint against Sen. Eric Stevenson, who represents the 79th District in the Bronx, charges him with accepting about $22,000 -- most of it stuffed into envelopes and handed over at a number of secretly recorded meetings -- between April 2012 and this month. So here we go again, Preet Bharara said at a news conference. This has become something of a habit. The investigation of Stevenson began more than a year ago and was aided by another state lawmaker, Nelson Castro. Castro also was accused of wrongdoing but is cooperating with prosecutors and resigned Thursday as the criminal charges were announced.

Violinist siblings to play at Carnegie Hall

New Jersey: Violinist siblings, Ishaan Sinha,7 and Survani Sinha, 5, recently won top prize at the Golden Key Music Festival and will be playing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The competition was held on March 10th at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. There, Survani won Gold prize (1st) in her age group. Ishaan - in the same competition - won Silver prize (2nd). Survani will be playing at Carnegie Hall on April-272013 at 8:00 PM. Ishaan will be playing at Carnegie Hall on May5-2013 at 3 PM. Both are students of Mr Gregory Gelman of Woodbridge Academy

Ishaan Sinha and Survani Sinha

of Music, Metuchen, NJ for last one and half years. Survani is a preschooler at Little Flower Montessori School in Edison New Jersey and Ishaan is a first grader at John Marshall Elementary school in Edison New Jersey. and any other expenses incurred. Please donate a life to this needy person. Blood group B+ or O+. Contact phone No. 516-661-6531 or 516-661-6528. Thank you.

Wanted donor to donate kidney for critically ill patient of kidney failure. Donor will be compensated for loss of work

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April 6-12, 2013

INOC presents OCI Card issues to Home Minister of India

New York: Indian National Overseas Congress (I), USA, in its continuing mission to work on behalf of the diaspora in dealing with issues that concern them, dispatched a position paper with its Senior Vice-President Shudh Prakash Singh to New Delhi to discuss the recommended changes to the recently promulgated OCI card rules. Shudh Prakash met with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on March 16 and held discussions on modifying some of these rules promulgated by his ministry. Shinde promised to take a look at these rules that have become major irritants to the Indian diaspora wherever the OCI card rules apply. As an organization that works closely with the Indian National Congress, the leading party in the UPA Government, we feel that it is our duty to bring these matters to the attention of the highest official possible for a quick resolution, said George Abraham, President of the INOC. We are committed to play the role as a bridge between Government of India and its Diaspora in US on some of these key issues, Abraham added. Earlier, a delegation of INOC led by Abraham traveled to Washington DC and presented the Memo to Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to US. According to the new rules, the OCI registration certificate and India visa have to be re-issued each time a new US passport is acquired after the holder completes the age of 20 or 50. Re-issuing of an OCI card is not These rules, the letter said may be unknowingly or unintentionally arbitrary and capricious. We, therefore, urgently request the government of India to reconsider these and carry out its promises to streamline the process of symbolically integrating OCI with their motherland. To the best of our knowledge, the rational basis for these rules has not been articulated by the promulgating ministry, the letter added. If the reason is terrorism related, the letter pointed out, then it is the 21-49 years group that would likely require re-issuance, not those under age of 20 or those above the age of 50. If there the reason is to ensure that the OCI card reflects an accurate representation of facial characteristics, then this age breakdown does not logically stand since physical features change little over the age of 50 as compared to those who are 21-49. The letter added: It is often noted that Chinas rise was marked by rational administrative policies that enabled the inflow of FDI from its vital Diaspora. Similarly, India can accelerate its development if it provides mutually beneficial policies that invite and encourage Pravasis rather than inhibit their opportunity to assist their motherland. Shudh Prakash Singh also visited Hon. Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs, and submitted them copies of the memorandum.

Three Indian American journalists in 'Pulitzer Prize' judging panel

New York: Three Indian American journalists got the opportunity to judge the biggest event in journalism, the Pulitzer prizes. The names of the recipients of the award will be announced on the 15th of this month. Peter Bhatia, Davan Maharaj and Raju Narisetti are the ones who joined other top editors in the judgment. They gathered at the Columbia Journalism School and the names of the finalists were sent to the Pulitzer Board for the final selections. Raju Narisetti is the Managing Editor of Wall Street Journals digital network. Prior to this he served as the Managing Editor for The Washington Post. Narisetti has spent more than 13 years of his journalistic career at the Wall Street Journal in US and Europe, prior to Joining Mint and The Washington Post. Peter Bhatia, editor of the Oregonian has been serving the newspaper for more than 16 years. He has been in the field of journalism for more than 35 years, working for various publications. Davan Maharaj is the editor of the Los Angeles Times and he was named to this post in the year 2011.

INOCs Senior Vice-President Shudh Prakash Singh apprised Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde of the issue in New Delhi. mandatory for those between the ages of 21 and 50 though the holder can avail of the service as an option. The argument is that the OCI card and lifelong visa have the number of the US passport included in them. When a US passport is renewed, the new number should appear on the OCI card and the visa, for which a re-issuance is necessary. The rationale put forth is contradictory, the letter said. Since it admits that renewal of passports, regardless of age, always creates a new number, but renewal of passports for individuals under the age of 20 and above the age of 50 warrants re-issuance and a fee.

Author Ruth Prawer Jhabvala dies in New York

New York: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the German-born novelist and award winning screen writer for Merchant-Ivory Productions, died Wednesday at her home in New York. She is survived by three daughters. The 85-year old writer, who set the locale of many of her stories in India, was suffering from pulmonary disorder, US media reported, quoting filmmaker James Ivory. Jhabvala was associated with Ivory since the 1960s. After moving to New Delhi with her Indian-born husband in the 1950s, Jhabvala wrote a series of novels and short stories about India. She was invited in 1961 to write the script for "The Householder" by Ismail Merchant, a young producer of Indian origin. The movie was made by James Ivory in 1963. The trio went to become the most creative team in the crossover movie industry, making more than 20 films. Jhabvala won the Oscar in 1987 and 1993 for her screenplays of the "Room With A View" and "Howards' End" by E.M. Forster. Born in Cologne in Germany to Jewish parents, the family fled the Nazi regime in 1939 to Britain. She became a British citizen in 1948 and received her master's degree from the University of London in 1951. She married Cyrus H. Jhabvala, an Indian Parsi architect, the same year and came to India .

Rajat Gupta sues Parag Saxena over Silk Road Fund Death penalty sought in double murder
New York: Former Goldman Sachs Group direcstatement that the lawsuit is without merit. tor Rajat Gupta, who was convicted of insider Since Mr. Gupta's conviction of conspiracy and setrading last year, is suing business partner curities fraud in June of 2012, the firm has been acParag Saxena, alleging Saxena is trying to gain tively working to sever all ties with him including ofcontrol of an investment firm they co-founded, fering to buy his remaining investment stake," the firm The Wall Street Journal reported March 22. said, according to Bloomberg. Gupta and Saxena co-founded IndiaNew Silk Routes team of over 25 profesfocused private-equity firm New Silk sionals continues to focus on the business Route Partners Ltd. in 2007. and remains excited about opportunities in Gupta claims in the lawsuit, filed Asia and India and realizing value from March 21, that with insider trading its existing portfolio of investments for charges pending, he, at Saxenas reits investors and stakeholders. quest, distanced himself from the firm by Based in New York, New Silk Route giving up control of voting shares. has offices in Mumbai, Dubai and Gupta, 64, quit as chairman, but retained Bangalore, according to its Web site. the right to appoint a member of the comGupta, who was chairman, led panys two-member board, the lawsuit the firm with Saxena and senior Parag Saxena claims. adviser Victor Menezes. The problem came when Saxena tried to block Guptas Gupta took a voluntary leave of absence from the firm nominee to the board in March to gain unfettered con- in March 2011 to avoid any distraction and ensure New trol over New Silk Route, the lawsuit said. Silk Route's continued focus on the execution of its inNew Silk Route, a $1.4 billion private-equity firm that vestment strategy," the firm said in a statement, focuses on South Asia and the Middle East, said in a Bloomberg reported.

case of baby Saanvi, grandmother

New York: The Montgomery County, Pa., district attorneys office announced Mar. 15 that it would seek the death penalty for Raghunandan Yandamuri, the notorious software programmer accused of killing a 10-monthold baby girl and her grandmother last October during a possible botched kidnapping for ransom money to settle his gambling debts. Appearing before Montgomery County Court Judge Steven ONeill Mar. 15, a shackled Yandamuri pleaded not guilty to two first-degree murder charges in the deaths of baby Saanvi Venna and her grandmother, Satyavathi Venna. Yandamuri also pleaded not guilty to 11 separate charges related to the case. If he is found guilty, Yandamuri will be the first Indian to be sentenced to death in the U.S. Weve found there are a number of aggravating circumstances which the legislature has indicated will allow us to move forward with the death penalty, first assistant district attorney Kevin Steele told reporters outside the courtroom Mar. 15. Steele has filed two separate notices seeking the death penalty in this case, one for each probable murder. We turned over a substantial amount (of evidence). This was an intensive investigation, said Steele, as reported by The Times Herald.

April 6-12, 2013



TCS employee from Andhra Pradesh missing in US

CGI NY hosts interactive business meeting

software engineer from Guntur, P Sarath Kumar, who settled down in the United States, went missing since Sunday after his visit to the Niagara Falls. The 33-year-old went to the Niagara Falls along with his wife and the family of his cousin Srinivas. After it was noticed that he was not on the tourist bus in which they were traveling back, the family searched for him but couldn't locate him. Sarath's wife Manjula later lodged a complaint with the police. Sarath had been working with software giant TCS for the past seven years and was residing in Chicago. He married Manjula, a divorcee from Srikakulam. Sources said that Sarath and Manjula were allegedly in a relationship even before the marriage of the latter ever since they met in US. While Manjula was working with Motorola, Sarath was with TCS. Sources said Manjula divorced her first husband and married Sarath about two years ago.

P Sarath Kumar went missing from Niagara Falls

Sarath along with his wife went to Washington DC and took Srinivas and other family members to Niagara Falls. They had all taken a tourist bus to return home from the Niagara Falls on Sunday evening. However, after a while, Manjula and Srinivas noticed that Sarath had not boarded the bus. They then got down and took another cab to reach the waterfalls and started searching for Sarath. However, they could not track him.

Sant Ram named to Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority

ennsylvania Governor charged with taking steps to reTom Corbett has apduce and eliminate medical erpointed Dr. Sant Ram to rors by identifying problems and recommending solutions the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety that promote patient safety in Authority. hospitals, ambulatory surgical A pediatrics specialist in facilities, birthing centers and Erie, Pa., he received his medcertain abortion facilities. It operates under an 11-memical degree from the All-India ber board, six appointed by the Institute of Medical Scigovernor and four appointed by ence/Ansari Nagar. Ram is Sant Ram filling a position on the board the Senate and House leaderthat must be held by a healthcare worker. The ship. The 11th member is a physician apPennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is pointed by the governor as board chair.

he Consulate General of India, New York, hosted an Interactive Business meeting on March 26, 2013 with CEOs and Regional Heads of PSUs and Indian companies based in Eastern USA. The interactive session was attended by 22 executives from financial, information technology and travel trade, along with media representatives. Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Acting Consul General, New York, welcomed attendees to the first of series of upcoming interactive sessions. She gave an overview of the Indian governments priorities and focus in the area of economic cooperation with the US government. She then inquired regarding individual companies future plans, priorities and challenges in doing business in the United States. Several queries that came up for discussion were 1) Travel Advisory and Tourism Trade, 2) FATCA, slowing down of economy and inflows of foreign funds to India, 3)Indian government's approach toward investors/businesses going to India 4) Positive India branding with US media, espe-

22 executives from financial, IT and travel industry attended

cially regarding IT success story and creation of jobs in the US market, 5) H1B quotas and processing time, new immigration laws impacting Indian students and professional etc. Acting Consul General assured that these issues will be highlighted to relevant departments/ministries in India and the US government. Participants also ensured that they will send in information required for follow-up. Networking session followed the discussions.

Nanubhai Education Foundation announces fifth annual gala

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center to host book talk with Nalini Natarajan
he Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center will welcome Nalini Natarajan, professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico, Friday, April 5, for a brown-bag book talk with her as she discusses her book Atlantic Gandhi. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch to the event, which runs from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CFCH Conference Room on the second floor of Capital Gallery, located at 600 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. The book talk is part of the public program series of the Asian Pacific American Centers Indian American Heritage Project, an initiative that aims to tell the multigenerational story of Indian Americans in America. Among the many program activities will be conversations and performances about Indian American art, comedy, cuisine, dance, film, television, literature and music. The book discussion with Natarajan is one of the first public programs this year, kicking off programs throughout the year and into 2015. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is proud to be able to feature Professor Natarajan speaking about Atlantic Gandhi, said Masum Momaya, Smithsonian curator. Her work exemplifies our continuous collective learning and sharing of how pivotal moments and movements in American history have global ties.

he Nanubhai Education Foundation will celebrate 9 successful years by hosting a Fundraising Gala in New York City on May 10th. This much anticipated annual event will take place at Midtown Loft and Terrace, in the heart of New York City in Midtown Manhattan. Spokesman for Nanubhai Education Foundation, actor Manish Dayal, along with fashion designer Payal Singhal, actors Pooja Kumar, Sheth, Neelu Sodhi, Samrat Chakrabarti, celebrity photographer and star of Bravo TVs Double Exposure Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, and Indian Supermodel Nina Manuel, will come forth to

honor and raise funds for the progress of education in rural India. Previous gala supporters have included actors Kal Penn and Sendhil Ramamurthy. The gala is the primary source to raise funds for the Nanubhai Education Foundations Teacher Training and Professional Development Program, which focuses on enhancing the teaching skills, classroom management techniques and English language capabilities of local teachers. Tickets are available online at and a portion of the ticket price will be tax-deductible.

Atlantic Gandhi examines Gandhis experience as a traveler moving from a classic colony, India, to the plantation and mining society of South Africa and argues that his diasporic life resonates with recent perspectives on the Atlanticas an ocean that not just transported the victims of a greedy plantation system, but also saw the ferment of revolutionary ideas. Most people think of Gandhiji as the nonviolent, spiritual man in a loincloth leading the struggle for independence on the subcontinent, said Natarajan. There was however, another, earlier Gandhi, a world traveler catapulted from his provincial Gujarati childhood and early youth to the multiracial plantation politics more customarily associated with the Atlantic world. From the perspective of Atlantic, plantation and diaspora studies, the book looks at this ocean-faring cosmopolitan from below, Atlantic Gandhi in the context of the solidarities and struggles of his diasporic life in South Africa. It argues that, in diaspora, he constructed India. The center is set to open its groundbreaking exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, in December 2013, which is expected to reach 7 million visitors before traveling to museums, libraries and community centers across the country.

Shyamal and Bhumika showcase their fashion wear in NY, NJ

amous fashion designNew York and New Jersey area last weekend. The showers Shyamal and Bhumika from Ahmedabad cases were also held in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georwere in New York and New gia during their recent U.S. Jersey for an exclusive showcase on March 29, 30 and 31, visit in last few weeks. The special edition of wed2013. The fashion event attracted more than 800 people ding, festive and formalwear collections were the highfrom the tri-state and surlights for brides and grooms rounding states at Studio Arte gearing up to tie the knot in on West 37th street in New York and Renaissance Hotel Designer duo Shyamal the U.S. The collection symand Bhumika in Iselin, New Jersey. The exbolized authority in colors, clusive collection included bridal wear, for- cuts and embellishments and reminded the mal wear and other variety collection for grandeur of the Mughal Courts. The demen and women started from $200 to signers have coordinated the womens wear $5,000. After successful showcase in Som- with the mens ensembles recreating a couerset, New Jersey in October 2012, the cou- ple dressing concept that used to be a part ple held their second fashion showcase in of the royal Durbaars.

Star Watch e-monthly guide to TV programs launched

ews Corp Star has announced the launch of Star Watch an interactive monthly guide to the TV schedule and programming highlights for Star Plus, Life OK and Star Gold channels. For Windows type http://www.youblish- For MAC users type: il_2013_?mode=window


April 6-12, 2013

Ro Khanna to challenge Mike Honda, Bobby Jindals approval rating using Obama campaign operatives drops to 38%: Poll
Fremont: Ro Khanna, the Obama re-election formerly a high-rankcampaign, will serve as ing trade official in the Khannas campaign Obama administration, manager. announced Apr. 2 his Congress has simbid for Californias ply not focused on an 17th District congreseconomic growth agensional seat, which is da or supporting entrecurrently being held by preneurs. We need to Mike Honda. have the right tax and Khanna and Honda trade policies that will are both Democrats encourage companies likely to be pitted to stay in the United against each other in States and invest here, 2014, due to new state he said. Ro Khanna mandates which allow We need to figure two opponents from the same party to run out how to encourage more small- and mediagainst each other in the general election. The um-size businesses to take advantage of overdistrict from which Honda received 73 per- seas markets and export. And we need to foscent of the vote against Republican challenger ter entrepreneurship, said Khanna, the author Evelyn Li in 2012 stretches from Cupertino of Entrepreneurial Nation: Why to South Fremont and covers huge swaths of Manufacturing Is Still Key to America's the Silicon Valley. Almost half of District 17s Future, which was released by McGraw Hill residents are Asian American; Fremont is last August. home to one of the largest concentrations of Khanna, the former Deputy Assistant South Asians in the U.S. Secretary for the U.S. and Foreign Both candidates have aggressively begun Commercial Service in the Commerce campaigning, 20 months before the general Department, said he will push aggressively to election. Khanna has already amassed $1.2 make the Silicon Valleys advanced electronmillion for his congressional bid, according to ics, semiconductors, and also clean technolohis Dec. 31, 2012 Federal Elections gy products available to markets overseas Commission report. He has also recruited sev- without unfair tariffs or restrictions. He also eral key members of President Obamas re- hopes to aid small and medium businesses to election campaign team, including Steve gain access to capital to be able to export their Spinner, who will serve as Khannas cam- products abroad. paign chair. According to several media To keep up with a global economy, Khanna sources, Spinner, a top fundraiser for Obama opined that children need to learn to code as a in both his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, was at second language and to be exposed to the core of a $535 million dollar loan by the entrepreneurship from an early age. Obama administration to thin film solar cell Honda released a statement Monday that manufacturer Solyndra, shortly before the said: "I've taken every one of my campaigns company went bankrupt in 2011. seriously and this will be no different. I'm Jeremy Bird, who served as the Obama grateful for the early support I've received, campaigns national field director, will serve from President Obama to local leaders across as a general consultant to Khannas campaign. the district, and I'm looking forward to our Leah Cowan, formerly a field director with strongest campaign yet in 2014." 41-year-old Jindal, who is receiving great attention at the national level, has an approval rating of 38 per cent. There has been quite a substantial drop from his 51 per cent approval rating in October, the poll said. Surprisingly, according to the poll conducted by Southern Media and Opinion Research, both Lt Governor Jay Dardenne and US Senator David Vitter -- both possible candidates for Jindal's job in 2015 -had approval ratings near 60 per cent. "A number of issues contributed to Jindal's low performance (in the poll), including state cuts to higher education and health care, plans to privatize the charity hospital system and the governor's proposed state tax overhaul," Southern Media and Opinion Research said in a statement. Jindal's spokesman said that the Governor is focused on creating more jobs and improving the States' economy. "We care more about the unemployment numbers than approval numbers, and right now, we still have too many Louisianans unemployed and underemployed," Jindal's spokesman Kyle Plotkin, said. "That's why our number one focus is growing the economy and creating jobs so that we can make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and find a good paying job," he said.

Washington, DC: Amid speculation over a 2016 presidential bid by Louisiana's Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal, his approval rating has dropped to a low 38 per cent. According to a latest poll released, Jindal is even running behind US President Barack Obama, in his own State, where in recent weeks he has come up with some innovative measures like elimination of income tax and increasing sales tax. Into the second term of his governorship,

American indicted for racially motivated assault on Sikh man

Washington, DC: A federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted a man in Washington state on a federal hate crime charge relating to a racially motivated assault of a 50year-old Sikh man. Jamie W. Larson appeared Tuesday before a US magistrate judge after his arrest by the FBI, where he pleaded not guilty, the Seattle Times reported. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "Attacks such as this one, based on prejudice and racial hate, are contrary to who we are and violate the law," said US Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. "Protecting the civil rights of all the members of our community is a top priority for our office." The single-page indictment does not provide details of the attack, nor did a news release from the US Attorney's office. It alleges only that Larson assaulted the victim, identified as K.H., on Oct 17 in Federal Way "based upon the victim's actual or perceived race, color and national origin, which include Middle Eastern and Arab descent." However, state charges that were initially filed in the incident said Larson attacked his Sikh cab driver, beating him savagely and using racially charged language. The complaint said Larson pulled part of the man's beard out, which was found by police on the ground. Larson was arrested at the scene of the attack after a witness called 911. Larson has a long history of arrests, including five convictions for drunk driving, and convictions for domestic-violence assault and disorderly conduct, according to the state charges.

April 6-12, 2013


Yoga fun at White House Easter egg roll

Washington, DC: It was a day of fun and games at the White House with thousands of children joining the annual White House Easter Egg Roll with some yoga and dancing to promote healthy and active living. With the "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!" theme, other activities on the South Lawn included obstacle courses, playing sports with professional athletes, including Indian-American hockey player Ajai Dhadwal and of course, the traditional egg roll. Dhadwal, 20, a resident of California, has been a member of the US national team. "Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors," read an announcement listing the items in the "Eggtivity Zone" showing the kids easy, fun ways to stay active and fit. With viral-video star "Kid President," American Idol's Jessica Sanchez, and the Easter Bunny at their side, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha kicked off the day-long fun event. "It's great to have everyone here this morning. We are so excited," Michelle Obama said from the Blue Room balcony. "The Easter Egg Roll is the biggest event that we have here on the South Lawn of the White House each year." The first family then headed over to cheer on some of the youngest visitors as they raced down the lawn in the Egg Roll, according to the White House blog. Obama and family dog Bo then made their way to the Storytime Stage where he gave a dramatic reading of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", calling it "one of my favorite books."

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia, along with Kid President Robby Novak, join children on the South Lawn for the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll, April 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


Indian-origin arms dealer found guilty of security fraud

n Indian-American arms dealer has been sentenced to six months of home detention with electronic monitoring and fined $30,000 for hiding his relationship with Indian defence officials during a background check for a high-security job in the US. Gurpreet Singh Kohli, 58, of Potomac, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the charges. According to his plea agreement, from November 2002 through March 2011, Kohli operated Navtec, LLC from his residence and locations in India. Navtec was registered with the US Department of State to act as a broker in the sale and transfer of US-manufactured defence electronics and related components. The majority of Navtec's customers were Indian government and military and defence-related agencies. From September 2003 through April 4, 2011, Kohli also held a full-time position with a

defence electronics and weapons manufacturer based in Maryland, for which he was required to obtain and maintain a US government security clearance. As part of his job, Kohli was involved in developing business opportunities with Indian military and defence-related government entities. Kohli did not reveal to his employer the full scope of his activities with Navtec, nor did he reveal his employment with the Maryland company to all of Navtec's US-based clients, federal prosecutors alleged. According to court documents, Kohli admitted that during two separate background investigations by the Office of Personnel Management relating to his security clearance, required to maintain his employment with the Maryland defence contractor, he made a number of false statements and representations regarding his activities for Navtec and his contacts with foreign nationals.

Carolinas Indian-American Physicians celebrate their achievements & contributions to society

Three Indians get US award for combating violence against women

hree brothers from India have received the prestigious Vital Voices Global Leadership Award from Vice President Joe Biden for their humanitarian working to end violence against women. The three, Ravi, Rishi and Nishi Kant, who started the nongovernmental organization Shakti Vahini to fight injustice against women in 2001, received a "Solidarity Award" for their work at the annual Kennedy Centre event Tuesday. "Getting women's groups to accept that men are leading our organization was a challenge," Ravi Kant, 45, a Supreme Court advocate in India and president of Shakti Vahini, told the Washington Post. "But we continued our work, and the support from women's activists came." Vital Voices, which was started by former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, upholds Shakti Vahini as a glowing example of how a group of men can and should work on women's issues.

Leading a staff of 45, Kants believe they are witnessing a sea change, not only for victims of violent rapes, but also for victims of human trafficking since the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman from Delhi on a bus last December galvanized India and led to the passage of a tough law on sexual harassment."When we saw the mass uprising, we said 'This is the moment we've been waiting for,'" Ravi was quoted as saying. "It's been a turning point, not only for us, but for women's groups around the country." "People thought: This could be my sister. This could be my daughter," Nishi told the Post. Vital Voices is hoping that the brothers' presence at the awards will encourage female advocates to embrace their male allies - and encourage American men to take the initiative, the Post said. "Men should take up this issue. It's half of our population, and women are the priority," Ravi was quoted as saying. "Women build families. They build children and generations."

ore than 400 physicians and their families of Carolinas Indian-American Physicians came together to join in a celebration of medical excellence, professional achievements, business successes and rich cultural heritage, as Dr. Amit Shah, president of CIPS told the delegates who had come from across the nation on March 22nd, 2013 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites. They had come together to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the society during the annual convention and General Body Meeting of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). The three-day celebrations were filled with events that showcased the rich cultural heritage of India, professional excellence of the participating physicians of the North and South Carolinas through CME and non CME lectures, and the successful businesses the NRIs have come to be associated with in this adapted motherland of theirs. Through the enlightening CME presentations by experts, the physicians were educated on: Meaningful Use of EMR & CMS Guidelines; Expanding the Role of the Hospitalist in Healthcare; Cardiovascular Health Issues in South Asian Population; and Opportunities for Voluntary Healthcare Services in India. Other presentations included: Its Not Just a Mans Disease; Life After Loss; Good Night, Sleep Tight; Teens, Why They Do What They Do; and We Can Bring Home the Dough and Roll Out the Rotis. The CME programs were arranged and conducted by the CME committee comprising of Dr. Pramod Sethi (Guilford neurology in Greensboro), Dr.

Members of CIAP at the annual event

Venkat Challa from Raleigh NC, and Dr. Santosh Gopalakrishnan from Charlotte, NC. A discussion on Indo-US Relations: The Past, Present, & Future, was moderated by Toni Sawhne. Honorable Mention of the CIPS Woman of the Year was given to Dr. Animita Saha for services to the underprivileged sections of the society in the US. CIPS Woman of the Year 2013 Award went to Rekha Rajani of the Wells Fargo Bank for her works for the poor and the homeless both here in the US and India. Acknowledging the achievements and contributions of individuals, Dr. Vinod Jindal, an Ophthalmologist and Retina specialist, currently serving as the Medical Director of New Century Ophthalmology Group was honored for his community work. Simran Rajani of We Will Win was honored for raising awareness about the serious injuries and illnesses that can destroy the lives of youth, and encouraging the community to contribute towards the cost of rehabilitating these young children from their struggles to stand on their own feet.


April 6-12, 2013

Obama launches $100 mn BRAIN initiative to beat India, China

Washington: Saying that he wanted the next job-creating discoveries to happen not in India or China, but the US, President Barack Obama has unveiled a $100 million initiative to unlock the "enormous mystery" of the human brain. "I don't want the next job-creating discoveries to happen in China or India or Germany. I want them to happen right here, in the United States of America," the president said Tuesday. "And that's part of what this BRAIN Initiative is about," he said referring to the initiative, dubbed Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. "That's why we're pursuing other 'grand challenges' like making solar energy as cheap as coal or making electric vehicles as affordable as the ones that run on gas," Obama said. "What if computers could respond to our thoughts? Or language barriers could come tumbling down? Or if millions of Americans were suddenly finding new jobs in these fields -- jobs we haven't even dreamt up yet because we chose to invest in this project? That is the future we are imagining. That is what we are hoping for," he said. "There is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked," Obama said, "and the BRAIN Initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember. And that knowledge could be -- will be -Guests visit the Lego Miniland of Manhattans iconic landmarks that have been reconstructed from nearly one million Lego bricks at Legoland Discovery Center in Westchester, NY, that opened to public on March 27.

President Obama announcing the initiative

transformative." BRAIN "aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury", the White House said in a release. The money to study the brain would support research by the National Institutes of Health, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation. The research would involve both federal research agencies and private partners. A major goal is to reveal "how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought", the White House said. "Our ultimate objective is a deep understanding of the human brain and its understanding," said DARPA director Arati Prabhakar in a conference call with reporters.

Texas prosecutor quits white supremacists case

Houston: In the wake of the weekend slayings of a Texas district attorney and his wife that prompted investigators to suspect a violent white supremacist prison gang, an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston has withdrawn from a large racketeering case against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, CBS News reports from Kaufman, Texas. Richard O. Ely II, a Houston defense attorney for one of the 34 defendants, told The Dallas Morning News that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman sent him an email on Tuesday informing him that he was off the case. "I understand why someone would want to step back," Ely told Houston television station KTRKTV. "It makes sense to me, especially people that have families." Ely told the newspaper another Justice Department prosecutor, from Washington, D.C., will be assigned to the case to replace Hileman. The replacement would join David Karpel, a lawyer with the Justice Department's gang unit, who is also assigned to the case. Ely said the case will continue to be prosecuted in Houston. Angela Dodge, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Houston, didn't confirm or deny to the newspaper that Hileman was off the case. The gang was the focus of a December law enforcement bulletin warning that its members might try to attack police or prosecutors. The weekend deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, who were found fatally shot in their home, were especially jarring because they happened just two months after one of the county's assistant district attorneys, Mark Hasse, was killed near his courthouse office. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been in the state's prison system since the 1980s, when it began as a white supremacist gang that protected its members and ran illegal activities, including drug distribution, according to Terry Pelz, a former Texas prison warden and expert on the gang. The group, which has a long history of violence and retribution, is now believed to have more than 4,000 members in and out of prison who deal in a variety of criminal enterprises, including prostitution, robbery and murder.

New York: American Express Web site came under attack last Thursday, and was offline for two hours. It was the latest in unusually powerful attacks on American financial institutions that began last September, costing millions of dollars, reported The New York Times. JPMorgan Chase was taken offline by a similar attack. Another attack incapacitated 32,000 computers at South Koreas banks and TV networks. The perpetrators of these attacks, officials and experts say, appear intent on disabling financial transactions and operations. Earlier online attacks were thought to be aimed at financial fraud or economic espionage, but the new threat is that attackers, possibly with state backing, are bent on destruction. The attacks have changed from espionage to destruction, said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity training organization. Nations are actively testing how far they can go before we will respond. A group that calls itself the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks. The group says it is retaliating for an anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube last fall. But American intelligence officials and industry investigators say they believe the group is a convenient cover for Iran, though no smoking gun has been found. North Korea is considered the most likely source of the attacks on South Korea, though investigators are struggling to follow the digital trail. The North Korean government of Kim Jong-un has openly declared that it is seeking online targets in its neighbor to the south to exact economic damage. Representatives of American Express, while confirmed that the company was under attack Thursday last week, insisted that there was no evidence that customer data had been compromised. The Obama administration has publicly urged companies to be more transparent about attacks, but often security experts and lawyers give the opposite advice. The largest contingent of instigators of attacks in the private sector, government officials and researchers say, remains Chinese hackers intent on stealing corporate secrets. American officials are currently weighing their response options, but the issues involved are complex. At a meeting of banking executives, regulators and representatives from the departments of Homeland Security and Treasury last December, some pressed the United States to hit back at the hackers, while others argued that doing so would only lead to more aggressive attacks, according to two people who attended the meeting.

Cyberattacks now aim to destroy NRA task force calls for guns as path to school safety
Washington: With the Senate set to debate gun control this month, a National Rifle Association task force released a 225-page report on Tuesday that called for armed police officers, security guards or staff members in every American school, and urged states to loosen gun restrictions to allow trained teachers and administrators to carry weapons. Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman from Arkansas who led the task force, unveiled the report at a packed news conference with unusually heavy security, including a bomb-sniffing yellow Labrador retriever. A dozen officers in plain clothes and uniforms stood watch as he spoke; one warned photographers to remain stationary during the event. Among the studys central conclusions is that the presence of armed security personnel adds a layer of security and diminishes response time in a shooting, Hutchinson said. He cited a 1997 Mississippi case in which an assistant principal ran to his truck to retrieve a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and subdued a gunman who had killed two students. The recommendations which also included expanding the police presence in schools drew immediate criticism from gun control advocates and many Democrats, who have been fighting to tighten gun restrictions after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. Arming the teacher is merely a response to the last tragedy, said Representative Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of a House task force on gun violence. The one before that was in a shopping mall in Oregon, and the one before that was in a movie theater in Colorado. I dont think the proper response is to arm all the projectionists in the movie theaters or all the vendors in the mall. After the Newtown shooting, Wayne LaPierre, the rifle associations executive director, announced that it would devise a plan to put armed guards in every school. Technically, Mr. Hutchisons task force is independent of the rifle association, even though it paid for the study, and LaPierre was not present on Tuesday. But critics see no distinction between the two.

A dropped out member of the Aryan Brotherhood at a prison.


April 6-12, 2013


Republican Freshman Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci: Tackling tough issues

By Robert Golomb

hen 33 year old attorney Chad Lupinacci was elected this past November to the New York State Assembly from the tenth district, which includes parts of Western Huntington, Elwood, Lloyd Harbor and Babylon, the political buzz from within the political insiders in west Suffolk County was that a young rising star in the Republican Party had just been born. It was widely seen by the countys both Democrat and Republican leaders as no small accomplishment for Lupinaccci, a non-incumbent running in a Democrat leaning district, to have handily defeated by 56-44% his well-funded Democrat opponent Joseph Dujmic Jr., an assistant Suffolk County Attorney well known in the region for his work in child abuse and neglect cases. And yet due to the tragic circumstance that led to his first seeking the office, Lupinacci, at first, found it difficult to fully enjoy his victory. In an interview he gave me in his Huntington office last week, the new Assemblyman described, with a discernible sound of sadness in his voice, his long professional relationship and personal friendship with the late iconic Republican Assemblyman James Conte, whose terminal illness last year, after 24 years of service in the Assembly, first opened the Tenth Districts Republican line, from which Lupinacci first launched his successful campaign to replace him. (He later gained the Conservative Party, Independence Party and

Chad Lupinacci, represents NY State Assemblys 10th district.

Working Families lines.) My victory was bittersweet. It was very sad to see how the Assemblymans declining health made it impossible for him to run for re-election {in 2012}, he lamented. While I knew his health was rapidly deteriorating, his death this past October just a few weeks before I was elected to the seat he had so proudly held for so many years was devastating. Lupinacci, who had worked closely with Conte as his Community Liaison for several years in the mid2000s, had actually first met him years earlier. While an undergraduate at Hofstra University, Lupinacci, as part of the schools political science departments internship program, had been chosen to intern for Conte, who was then the Republican Partys ranking minority member on the Education Committee.

This internship was to play a decisive role in the career path of the future assemblyman. My internship under Assemblyman Conte is what first inspired me to become involved in governmental issues, he explained. I got a first hand understanding of how the state legislative process works. and a first hand understanding of the importance and complexities of issues relating to education through the Assemblymans work on that {education} committee. This early involvement in educational issues made an obvious impression upon the young Lupinacci who in 2004 ran and was elected to the school board in the South Huntington Union Free School District - a position to which he was to be re-elected to two threeyear terms and which he just recently relinquished upon his election to

the assembly. He described to me how his experience as a school board member has influenced the positions he has taken on legislation relating to public education. In my years on the school board, I saw how heavy handed and arbitrary State Education Department officials could be. While well meaning, they frequently force upon local schools mandates, often costly and unfunded, which hurt rather than help our students and teachers. As an Assemblyman I support policies that give greater autonomy to local school districts, which possess a far better understanding of the needs of their students than do the bureaucrats {at the State Education Department} in Albany. I am not alone in this thinking. Both Republican and Democrat legislators throughout Long Island support policies that grant a greater amount of autonomy to local school boards. Education here {on Long Island} is not a partisan issue that separates Republicans from Democrats. But there are partisan issues in the Assembly which do in fact divide Democrats from Republicans, regardless of geography. On the economy the freshman Assemblyman has clashed with some Democrats over issues relating to business taxes and the governments over regulation of small business owners. I try, he said, to convince my Democrat colleagues that by lowering taxes on small business and by removing unnecessary regulations placed on them, we will help create private sector jobs and at the same time lower prices for the consumer, who in reality pays for the cost of these regulations

and these higher business taxes every day at the store register. Lupinacci follows a similar line of Republican thought on property taxes. Contending that enormous areas of alleged waste and fraud contained in the state budget are responsible for New York State homeowners paying among the highest real estate taxes in America, he promised to work on legislation that will curtail the tremendous waste and fraud found in the budget Including in our enormous Medicaid funding. The savings found there alone will enable us to reduce the tax burden placed on homeowners across the state. The Assemblyman also adheres to conventional Republican thinking concerning crime and public safety, believing that the first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens. It is governments most fundamental responsibility, he stated, to provide a safe and secure environment for its citizens. Nothing else government could ever do for its citizens would matter, unless they and their children feel safe and secure as they live their daily lives I have worked and will continue to work with my Republican and Democrat colleagues in the Assembly to craft legislation that will serve to create the safest possible environment for every one of our citizens. His beloved predecessor would have expected no less. Robert Golomb is a nationally published columnist. He writes on a range of educational, political, cultural and international topics.

JFKs daughter to be named envoy to Tokyo

Gays winning the marriage battle in US

By Arun Kumar Washington: America's top court is expected to rule on same-sex marriage in mid-June, but going by the growing tide of support for it, gays and lesbians have already won half the battle. Though it's hard to predict how the nine justices of the Supreme Court divided almost evenly between conservatives and liberals would eventually rule, but after last week's oral arguments on two cases, the writing on the wall appeared pretty clear. "Gay Marriage Already Won" proclaimed the cover of Time magazine observing "Like a dam that springs a little leak that turns into a trickle and then bursts into a flood, the wall of public opinion is crumbling." Exit polls during the November presidential showed that 83 percent of voters believe that same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide in the next five to 10 years, according to a bipartisan analysis of the data cited by Time. Before that a Gallup poll last influenced by his son, who is gay. While an ABC/Washington Post poll showed that 68 percent of Republicans over age 65 oppose same-sex marriage, it also showed younger Republicans between 18 and 49 were more supportive. In that age group, 52 percent said same-sex marriage should be legal. Same-sex marriage is currently legally recognized in nine statesConnecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington-as well as the national capital Washington, District of Columbia, representing 15.7 percent of the US population. In addition, Rhode Island recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and California, where same-sex marriages were legal for 142 days in 2008, now recognizes them on a conditional basis. About 18,000 gay couples married in California during the window when it was legal. Nine other states prohibit same-sex marriage by statute and 30 prohibit it in their constitutions.

Caroline Kennedy

Washington: Caroline Kennedy, the only living child of President John F. Kennedy, is expected to be named US ambassador to Japan. The 55year-old Kennedy daughter is a lawyer and author of 10 books. She played a crucial part in President Obamas reelection campaign, making several appearances on his behalf in swing state New Hampshire and echoing the attack that Mitt Romney was the wrong candidate for women. She will replace John Roos, who has served as ambassador since 2009, and succeed other luminaries like Walter Mondale, Howard Baker, and Tom Schieffer.

Supporters of gay marriage demonstrating at the Supreme Court in Washington when it was hearing two related cases.

October showed that 3.4 percent of American adults identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender with non-whites more likely to do so. There well might be many more both white and non-white who have yet to come out of the closet. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre, 1 in 7 American adults say their initial opposition to same-sex marriage has turned to support. Before 2012, no major presidential nominee favored same-sex marriage, but after Barack Obama finally "evolved" into a supporter in May before sailing to an

easy victory over Mitt Romney in November, many a politician have changed their minds. Among then leading potential 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton who during his 1996 re-election bid signed the very Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) denying federal benefits to same sex couples, into law, calling it a "mistake." Earlier Senator Rob Portman of Ohio became the first Republican in the Senate to back same-sex marriage, explaining his decision was


April 6-12, 2013


Nothing to hide, 2G records with JPC: PM Growth can only be inclusive: Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh virtually rejected BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's demand that he appear before the JPC on the 2G spectrum controversy, saying that all records in the case were with the panel and he had nothing to hide. "You are aware that all pertinent records and documents available with the government have already been placed at the disposal of the JPC," the prime minister said in response to Sinha's letter. "I have said from the beginning that neither the government nor I have anything to hide in this matter," he said. "The decision as to what evidence should be sought and which individuals should be asked to appear before the JPC is a matter that needs to be decided internally by the JPC and its chairman," the prime minister wrote. In a letter Monday, Sinha had asked the prime minister to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G spectrum allocation. Sinha had said that former Minister A. Raja had leveled "serious allegations" against the prime minister and he should appear before the panel if he had nothing to hide. With the prime minister having rebuffed his demand, Sinha said Wednesday that failure to do appear before the JPC would send a loud and clear signal that Manmohan Singh had something to hide. Talking to reporters in Chennai, Sinha said if the prime minister said his conscience was New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi pitched for inclusive growth, saying whenever certain groups like women, tribals and Dalits have been left behind, India has fallen back. Spelling out his priorities for India's growth, he said: "The biggest danger is excluding people, excluding the poor, the middle class, the tribals, the Dalits." "Whenever we excluded women, the minorities, Dalits... we have always fallen back," the 42-year-old Gandhi scion said, addressing the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here. Gandhi, formally addressing a gathering such as this for the first time, said: "India is the largest pool of human capital people have ever known, and probably will ever know. It was this movement of people... this tremendous movement of people and ideas that is going to define this country in the 21st century." "Democracy and technology have triggered a non-

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi reversible chain reaction in India. This reaction is unstoppable, nobody can stop it," he said. Gandhi said: "The government cannot build infrastructure alone. We need your (the industry's) help. It has to be done jointly." The Congress vice president said: "It is our duty to provide India with a physical infrastructure to enable this unprecedented movement of people and ideas." Industry chamber CII's annual general meetings, over the years, have seen many political bigwigs cutting across party lines making an appearance to enunciate their vision for economic growth. Congress president and Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi has attended the meeting at least twice in the past. This year's AGM was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clear, he should offer to appear before JPC. "By not appearing before the JPC, the prime minister is sending a signal loud and clear that he has something to hide," he said. Sinha also accused JPC Chairman P.C. Chako of behaving in a "partisan manner". Chacko Wednesday rejected Sinha's demand for prime minister's appearance before the panel probing the 2G issue, saying the committee had passed that phase. "We are now preparing the draft of the committee report for which the commitee has authorised its chairman unanimously," said Chacko, who is also a Congress spokesperson. Chacko rubbished Sinha's demand for calling the prime minister before the JPC as a "political stunt". Chacko also rejected criticism for not calling Raja before the panel despite the DMK leader's insistence.

'I won't be PM candidate'

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi rubbished speculation that he may be the prime ministerial candidate in the next parliamentary election. "It's an irrelevant question... all smoke," he said at a Confederation of Indian Industry meeting here.


April 6-12, 2013


Outrage in Kolkata over Left student's death

Kolkata: Thousands of Leftists joined the funeral procession of a Students' Federation of India (SFI) activist, whose death in police custody here triggered outrage cutting across the political divide. The row was triggered with police claiming that the death of Sudipto Gupta was an accident, while the opposition Left Front alleged he succumbed to injuries sustained during a heavy lathicharge by police. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee was on the defensive as she called the death of Gupta "unfortunate" and pledged to help his distraught family. The Left Front, however, lambasted Banerjee for commenting on the death of the activist in police custody before a probe had inquiry was "wrong". "The chief minister has made some comments. She is not only a chief minister but also holds the home portfolio. If she comments on the death, then is there any scope of an inquiry," Bose told a media conference here. The SFI is the student wing of the Communist Party of IndiaMarxist (CPI-M). Gupta, 24, a post-graduate student of Rabindra Bharati University and an SFI activist, died allegedly after policemen assaulted him in custody. Left activists said Gupta was "mercilessly beaten" while he and other students who had staged a protest seeking elections in colleges were being taken in a bus to the Presidency Correctional Home. In the process, Gupta reportedly fell from the bus and collapsed after crashing against a lamp post, said an SFI member. "He was hit on his head so hard that one of his eyes popped out," added West Bengal SFI joint secretary Shatarup Ghosh. Police, however, said that the activist died after he crashed into a lamp post while being taken to jail. The funeral procession, in which thousands of people from different walks of life participated, traversed various arterial roads and finally reached at Keoratala crematorium at south Kolkata, where the body of the SFI activist was consigned to flames. The Left Front announced that it would hold demonstrations across the state to protest against the shocking death.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the death of Students' Federation of India (SFI) leader 'unfortunate'

been conducted. It also alleged that she was trying to establish the death as an "accident". The chief minister visited the state-run hospital where Gupta succumbed to his injuries. She said many activists of her party had

been killed when they crashed into lamp posts while traveling by trains. State Left Front chairman and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said Banerjee's comment on the SFI leader's death before any

Modi introduces new Lokayukta bill

Gandhinagar/New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government introduced a bill in the Gujarat assembly which seeks to create a multi-member Lokayukta and dilute the primacy of the governor in the appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman. His Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) defended the bill, noting that the chief minister will come under its ambit while the Congress accused the party of "double standards" and creating obstacles in the appointment of Lokayukta. The Lokayukta Aayog Bill, 2013, proposes the appointment of a Lokayukta and a maximum of four Up-Lokayuktas by the governor on the recommendation of a selection committee chaired by the chief minister. The bill, which seeks to replace the existing Gujarat Lokayukta Act 1986, says the chief minister will head the six-member selection panel which will have as members the speaker of the assembly, state law minister, leader of opposition and two experts. The bill comes in the wake of the Modi government's tussle with Governor Kamla Beniwal over appointment of Justice (retd.) R.A. Mehta as the state Lokayukta. The state government had expressed its reservations over appointment, but it was however, upheld by the apex court in January this year. The Gujarat government had filed a curative petition on the

Government in a spot over Italian marines case

New Delhi: The government seemed to be struggling over how to deal with the Italian marines accused of killing two Kerala fishermen, sparking uncertainty over which agency may be asked to probe the incident afresh. Doubts about the choice of agency arose when the foreign ministry on Wednesday stressed in contrast to the indications earlier from the government that the NIA has been asked to probe the case that no notification assigning the probe to NIA had been issued yet. "As of now, we have not received any formal notification about NIA having taken over the case,'' foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. The statement immediately sparked a sense of wonder because the indication from the home ministry so far had been that the decision to assign the probe to NIA was a done deal. In fact, even on Wednesday, NIA sources said the notification was a mere formality, and that they had been asked to get on with the probe. NIA sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they had begun drafting the FIR, adding that the exercise would be completed by Thursday after they had received a missing document from Kerala Police. Other sections in the government, however, insisted that the issue was far from settled, and the possibility of CBI being asked to take up the probe remains open. The last-minute uncertainty over which agency should re-investigate the case, seems to be stemming from Italy's insistence that its marines cannot be charged with an offence which carries death sentence. There were strong indications on Tuesday evening that the NIA was considering to book the Italian duo under SUA or Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002: a law which entails death penalty. It is learnt that the attorney general's opinion has been sought on whether the NIA, in case it is handed over the new probe, can be asked to not invoke SUA and book them under normal IPC provisions.

Congress intimidates allies: Mulayam

The new bill dilutes the primacy of the governor in the appointment of the anti-corruption ombudsman

issue. Sources said that under Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986, power of selection and appointment of new Lokayukta had been vested with the governor and chief justice of high court. In Delhi, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Gujarat Lokayukta bill had provided for creation of multi-member body in accordance with suggestions of central government. Contending that the new bill "will not disturb appointment" of Justice Mehta, she stressed that the chief minister will be in the ambit of the bill. She rejected suggestions that the bill had taken away powers of governor.

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav once again targeted the Congress, saying it intimidated alliance partners and forced them to support it. He added that the Congress intimidated its allies by putting the fear of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into them. Addressing party workers at the SP headquarters in the state capital, Yadav - whose 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha are crucial for the survival of the Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government - said that the Congress had "thousands of hands" which it uses to send its rivals behind bars. "The union government has the CBI. It can get anyone arrested and jailed," Yadav added. He also praised Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. "Mukherjee was a fighter and contributed greatly to the freedom struggle" he added. Yadav had last month heaped praise on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and had vouched for the honesty of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Yadav has been under attack from Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and the SP looked set to pull the

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav

rug from under the UPA's feet. However, it stopped short after crisis managers from both parties worked overtime to ensure a ceasefire for the time being.


April 6-12, 2013


Never dreamt of becoming an astronaut: Sunita

New Delhi: Space almost feels like home and she miss it while back on earth but Indian American Sunita Williams said during her childhood, she never dreamt of becoming an astronaut. "Space is an amazing place to be in... it feels like home now. Four months was like vacation from earth and it went quite fast," Williams, 47, said during an interaction with students at the National Science Center here as she began a week-long promotional tour. Students posed some interesting questions to the US Navy captain and she obliged the group during the more than an hour interaction. Williams, who holds the record of the longest spacewalk by a woman astronaut, told students she never dreamt of becoming an she said in a jam-packed auditorium. Williams said the idea of becoming an astronaut only came when she met an astronaut during a pilot training course. "So, for me it was never a direct route. I had a couple of failures in college and failure is good. My suggestion is that everyone should find something that they like to do well and enjoy it," she said. Speaking about the most memorable part of her space stay, Williams said: "The first time I did a spacewalk, it was the most memorable thing. As I opened the hatch and stepped out I was pretty scared seeing the earth flying below me I was like as if I will fall but then I realized I am in space and was flying." She shared some interesting pre and post launch training activities and her experience during the stay at the International Space Station. "In space you don't walk so bone density and muscle density leeches away. There are also other physiological changes that you notice and you have to do rigorous physical activity like weight lifting and squat exercise to maintain bone density," she said. Williams said her space stay has changed her perspective about the world. "The most impressive part of being in space is when you look down at earth. There are no borders and it seems human beings are citizens of a universe with no nationalities. We are lucky to be on a beautiful planet that has air and water to sustain us," she said.

Astronaut Sunita Williams being honored at the National Science Center in New Delhi

astronaut and it happened as her career progressed. "My father is a doctor and biology is in our family. I love animals so I had thought of becoming a

veterinarian but I didn't manage to get into the college of my choice so joined the US Naval Academy. Then I wanted to be diver in Navy but ended up becoming a pilot,"

'Indians are creative, innovative'

Sunita Williams addressing students at an interactive session in Kolkata

Kolkata: Calling Indians creative and innovative, US astronaut Sunita Williams said that an international space program was the "right way to go". "What I see when I come to India is that there are a lot of creative and innovative people who are ready and willing to jump ahead and be entrepreneurial and add to any programme out there," Williams said at a media conference at the Science City auditorium here Tuesday. "I have had a real honour and privilege to be a part of a space programme that is not only US but also international. That is the right way to have a space programme, international, because it is our planet, not one country. I see myself as citizen of the universe and I think we are all lucky," Williams added. Williams, 47, who holds the world record for the most

spacewalk time - 50 hours 40 minutes - by a female astronaut, is in India on a week-long trip. "The international space program is alive and kicking and is wanting more and more people," said the US-born Williams, whose father is from Mehsana in Gujarat. "Once we leave our atmosphere, we have to seriously think about being protected from radiation. Even just going to the moon... there is increase in radiation," said Williams, who also holds the record for the longest spaceflight time by a female astronaut - 322 days in space on two missions. "There are a lot of things that we have to understand and another thing the people have to like each other quite a bit... learn to interact with each other. We also get to learn about leadership and powership," added Williams.

Media Partner


April 6-12, 2013


Growing clout of regional aspirations

Newly-acquired importance hasn't made the regional leaders more responsible. Instead, it has fueled inordinate ambitions. By Amulya Ganguli ome disadvantages of the decline of national-level parties are obvious. These include the coalitions that are cobbled together to form governments at the center and in the states, and the resultant political instability. But a third more worrisome fallout is the growing clout of regional leaders who might otherwise have remained mostly on the sidelines. Had these local chieftains taken the opportunity to enter the national stage to broaden their outlook by acquainting themselves with issues outside their states, the outcome of the presentday coalition era might have been beneficial for the polity. But recent events have shown that their newly acquired importance hasn't made them more responsible. Instead, it has fueled inordinate ambitions and encouraged them to boost their support bases with reckless gestures. To start with the second, the stoking of local passions on the Sri Lankan issue by the two Tamil Nadu-based parties - the DMK and the AIADMK - has exposed their unwillingness to reconcile the distress over human rights violations in Sri Lanka with a more sober approach to the problem India's national interest demands. Instead, by favoring the establishment of a Tamil Eelam or homeland in Sri Lanka, the AIADMK seems bent on a course

of enmity with Sri Lanka. Yet, India can ill afford to be involved in another dispute with a neighboring country when its relations with other neighbors like Pakistan and China remain fraught. Thankfully, the AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's focus seems to be on consolidating her position in the state. She hasn't yet evinced any interest in becoming prime minister. Another state-based leader, the Samajwadi Party's (SP) Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been more candid about his aspirations. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who has now stepped down in favour of his son, Akhilesh, has let it be known that since he is "not a saint", he cannot be expected to be coy about pressing his claim for the topmost post. To advance towards this goal, his tactic at the moment is to berate the Congress and float rumours about a Third Front. Since it is a feature of Indian politics that conjectures about a nonCongress, non-BJP front surface

on the eve of almost every general election, there is nothing surprising about the latest speculation. What is odd is that it is someone like Mulayam Singh who is being projected - mostly by himself - as leader of the still nebulous alliance, which will make him a prime ministerial candidate. The oddness of the claim comes from his background. Although Mulayam Singh has been the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh more than once, his regime has been associated more with complaints about lawlessness than about the state's advancement. In fact, the main reason why the SP lost in 2007 to Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was popular disenchantment with the SP's rule. It is another matter that Mayawati squandered her chances by concentrating on building statues of herself and other Dalit icons instead of on the state's development. But one of the promises which Akhilesh Yadav made both before and after

becoming chief minister was to tame the unruly SP cadres. It isn't only the propensity of the SP's followers to take the law into their own hands which raises questions about Mulayam Singh Yadav's credentials. He was long known to be opposed to both English and computers apparently because he felt that his rural support base comprising the backward castes had no time for these preferences of the urban intelligentsia comprising mainly the upper castes. Ironically, if Mulayam Singh is currently harboring dreams about being PM, it was his bete noire, Mayawati, who nurtured similar illusions before the last general election. Moreover, she was egged on at the time by the Left after it had broken away from the Manmohan Singh government on the nuclear deal issue. As an exercise in opportunism, Mulayam Singh is now accusing Congress members of being cheats and deceivers, while Mayawati is keeping her options open.

BRICS has arrived, so will the mortar

By Arvind Padmanabhan ith Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa concluding in Durban a cycle of one summit in each country, the BRICS bloc, in a rather short span of time, seems to have arrived as an influential voice on the geopolitical space and some decisions like a development funding arm for poor and emerging economies, when executed, will have the potential to even challenge the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Unlike the previous four summits, the fifth one in the South African city March 26-27 had something concrete to show, notably the nod for BRICS Development Bank, creation of a $100-billion contingency arrangement to be used when any of these five economies is in distress, a lot of money and a pledge for African resurgence and several initiatives to promote trade and commerce among the five countries. IntraBRICS trade already stands at $360 billion and a target has now been set at $500 billion by 2015. The BRICS Development Bank in particular, proposed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when India hosted the previous summit in New Delhi last year, can be a game-changer, as the Bretton Woods twins, the two funding institutions of signif-

BRICS countries account for 40 percent of the world population and 27 percent of global Gross Domestic Product. icance with an appetite for big-ticket lending, were seen toeing the line of the West (read the US) with voting rights for decision-making also skewed heavily in favour of rich nations. Memory is still fresh about how the current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim made it to the top post last year. Ever since the World Bank was founded in 1944, its president has always been an American. Last year, there was a call to name a person from emerging economies as its chief. The US rather craftily pushed for Jim who may be born in Seoul, but is a Korean American with a US passport. Similarly, when the Asian economies including India when Manmohan Singh was finance minister - were forced to knock on the doors of the IMF in the 1990s, they were treated differently vis-a-vis European nations, with harsher conditionalities, higher interest rates and stricter reforms directive. With such history, Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa, along with India's Manmohan Singh, collectively representing the world's major emerging economies, will certainly want a World Bank- and an IMFlike institution of their own.

For the record, what people have been talking about is that BRICS countries account for 40 percent of the world population and 27 percent of global Gross Domestic Product. But among them, they boast a whopping $4.5 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, or 40 percent of what is held globally, compared to the capital of $205.4 billion contributed by the 188 member countries of the World Bank. Little wonder both the World Bank and the IMF were quick to react. "On the development bank we're following the initiative with great interest," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in Washington. "The issue it seeks to address, which is the infrastructure gap in the developing countries, is indeed a key constraint to sustainable growth, especially in Africa, and hence of direct concern to us." The World Bank had a similar comment. The Doubting Thomases point out that some major contours of the proposed BRICS bank have yet to be defined and crucial issues remain unaddressed: Will its governance model go by consensus or voting rights? Where will it be domiciled? What will be the size of the corpus, for China is pushing for $100 billion and some others are comfortable with $50 billion? No doubt these will require a lot of effort to reconcile.

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


April 6-12, 2013


Youngsters impress at Holi talent competition

ratham Parvatacharya Anant Vibhushit Guruma Jyotishanand Saraswati is the founder of Vedic Heritage Inc. (VHI) of Long Island. She has been a pioneer in promoting and providing worldwide exposure to Indian classical dance and music in New York. VHI holds two annual functions every year where the maestros are invited in Fall and youngsters under 25 years in Spring. Keeping up the tradition, VHIs annual Holi Talent Competition for young children on March 30th. Over a hundred children performed in the Pandit Jasraj Auditorium to showcase their talent in Indian classical music and dance. Every year for more than 17 years this talent competition is organised in Spring to encourage youngsters. Participants are mostly juniors who are learning Indian classical or semi classical vocal music and/or any Indian string or percussion instrument. They also learn dance in Indian Classical, Semi Classical or folk style under guidance from dance Gurus from India who are now settled here. The chief guest for the event was Dr Kiran Bedi, retd DG - IPS who was accompanied by some of her G30 members, as well as Kamlesh Mehta, Director of Nassau County's Business & Economic Development and Chaman Gupta. The youngest contestant who stole everyone's heart this Saturday was a two and half year child Aiden Mascarelli, who danced as Krishna. He copied almost all the dance movements that the Gopis were

Vedic Heritage Inc. of Long Island held its spring classical music and dance program on March 30 with Kiran Bedi as Chief Guest.

Vedic Heritage Trustees, P K Lunavat & wife Sangeeta, Kusum Gupta and Nilima Madan with Dr Kiran Bedi (chief guest) and members of her G-30 team.

Among the remarkable winners was a seven year old boy Vivek Pandya on the Tabla.

doing and was constantly cheered by the audience. There were 23 performances in all and the judges had a hard time making their decisions. Among the remarkable winners was Vivek Pandya, 7, on the Tabla, a six year old Devanshi who sang 'Khamaj', a solo Bharatanatyam dance by Megan Gupta, two young girls Archa Joshi and Naquiya Choonawala who danced Kathak, a vocalist Pranay Lunavat who gave a German Classical recital and a mature almost professional young lady Radhika Vishwanathan who danced in Bharatnatyam/ Kuchipudi style. Other great performances were by young Veena players and various

dances by groups of mostly petite or junior age groups in classical Bharatanatyam, Kathak and energetic folk dances from different states of India like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The effort made by all the teachers and Gurus of these children was commendable and the enthusiasm shown by the children and their hard work was admirable. It was an evening of sheer celebration in the spirit of the Holi festival where everyone was constantly declared a winner by all judges as they all did so well. The South Asian Times was the Media Partner of the event.

Photos: Anirudha Kinare

Folk dance by Sneha Raj, Annika Raj, Diya Mahtani, Ariana Mascarcelli, Eesha Butani, Riya Bhal, Nihira Pathak, Sahana Shah , Jadalina Sarita, Amandeep Kaur, Aliana Vij, Ashleen Bhasin & little Aiden Mascarelli as Krishna (dance Guru Shilapa Mithaiwala).

Classical Bharatanatyam by Sneha Narayanan, Aishwarya Ganesh, Bhavani Sankaralingam, Khoshna Ande, Saumya Ragachitra Foundation Veena players: Ramya Iyer, Shetty, Shriya Shetty, Shruti Balaji, Navaya Misra (dance Srinidhi Rao & Lakshmi Rao. Guru Raj Tejaswini and choregarpher Radha Vardhacharya)

Kathak by Moksha Mehra, Kajal Parikh, Mansi Kinare, Kinjal Sharma, Sneha Daulatani, Eesha Patel, and Priyanka Rane.

Participants on stage awaiting results of the competition.

Radhika Viswanathans solo Bharatanatyam dance was much appreciated.


April 6-12, 2013



April 6-12, 2013


Colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, Multicultural Holi by Surati in Jersey City S are also on the faces of people going by
New Yorkers celebrate Holi at NYC Bhangras Holi Hai in Manhattan.
(Photos : Xitij Joshi )
uratis Holi Hai 2013 was held March 30 at Hamilton Square in Jersey City, NJ, and was attended by over 500 adults and children of different ethnicities. The premier event showcased the cultures of India along with other cultures of the world - featuring a program of Indian classical, folk and Bollywood, along with Western acts of Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Popular dance and music, a traditional Holi Mela and celebration with Color Playing (Organic Colors), Live Band, Bhangra and dhol, DJ, Dancing, Food, Drinks, Rangoli, Henna, Thandai, a variety of Vendors and Festivities and was enjoyed by all. Among the Surati artistes who performed were Sweta Goswami (classical, innovative and Bollywood), Kamakshi Saxena (jazz, modern, innovative), Jennifer Salazar (tap, jazz), Calai Chandra (Bharatanatyam), and, of course, Rimli Roy (Odissi, innovative, dance drama / story-telling). Live band "Eventually Epic" with Jayanta Banerjee performed Indian movie songs and American pop music. Bollywood Funk conducted a special performance and dance along workshop. DJ Sumie and the punjabi dholis (drummers) rocked the dance floor. Celebs and dignitaries who attended the event included Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Deputy Mayor Raj Mukherji, Councilwoman Viola Richardson, Councilman Steven Fulop, Councilman Rolando Lavarro, Ms. Pooja Kumar (Lead actress of Vishwaroopam), and Actor/Anchor Obaid Kadwani. The event was made possible in part by the NJ State Council on the Arts Dept. of State, a partner agency of the National endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County executive and the board of chosen freeholders. Surati for Performing Arts, Education and Entertainment's has a mission to promote Indian art and culture, educate and enrich the community primarily through arts. Its founder-director is Rimli Roy, who is a recipient of grants from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. At the event, Roy announced their association as cultural ambassadors for Institute of Research for Rural and Agricultural Development, a nonprofit working for women's empowerment and providing clean water to rural areas in India.
On display was a Bollywood Holi songs inspired interactive art installation by artist Shailja Gupta.

By Nupur Joshi

he colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by. Louis Armstrong, the musician behind What a Wonderful World had the right idea when writing the song. Colors are quite beautiful when displayed on the faces of people surrounding oneself and there is no better day to take joy from this beauty than during Holi. Holi, or the Festival of Colors, is a major Hindu festival, next only to Diwali. It welcomes the arrival of spring while commemorating the triumph of good over evil in the mythological story of Hiranyakashipu, the king of demons, and his son, Prahlada, wherein the latter is a devotee of Vishnu much to the chagrin of his father. When the holiday comes around, however, there is no need for one to be a Hindu

in order to enjoy the festivities. The fourth Holi Hai festival organized by NYC Bhangra, founded by Megha Kalia, demonstrated just that. On Sunday, March 31, hundreds of people of varied ethnic and religious backgrounds filtered into a park in Midtown Manhattan to celebrate Holi. Despite many beliefs, the event was not simply a gathering in order to play with colors. While color inarguably played a significant role during the event, a large emphasis was placed on giving upcoming artists a platform to showcase their musical and dance talents. A number of singing and dancing groups performed including NYC Bhangra Dance Company and Rutgers University Dhol Effect (RUDE). All in all, the event brought smiles to the faces of many people while imparting unto them the significance of Holi and leaving them eager for celebrations in coming years.

Pooja Kumar (recently seen in Kamal Haasans Vishwaroopam) at the event.

Rimli Roy, Founder-Artistic Director of Surati.

RANA celebrates Holi with poetry and laughs

he Rajasthan Association Of North America (RANA) celebrated Rajasthan Divas and Holi on March 30 at Hindu Temple Auditorium, Flushing, attended by 500 families and friends. The high point of the evening was Hasya Kavi Sammelan now a tradition at the annual RANA Holi event -- arranged by

Dr Narendra Hadpawat, RANA President, with the hasya poets (from right) Dr Praveen Shukla and Sanjay Jhala, and Mrs Hansa Hadpawat.

Vinod Jain. Two world famous Hindi poets, Praveen Shukla and Sanjay Jhala were invited from India who entertained guests for a four-hour program. In addition, children and ladies performed colorful Rajasthani folk dances. Authentic Rajasthani cuisine of Dal Batti Churma was served for dinner. RANA President Dr Narendra

Hadpawat stated that the mission of RANA is to preserve and promote Rajasthani culture and values in North America, particularly among the younger generation. For this RANA is also cosponsoring a program with the Rajasthan Government for our children to visit Rajasthan for two weeks at no cost to themselves.

The multicultural program included Western acts of Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Popular dance and music.


April 6-12, 2013

Catching the IPL fever, Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan promoted their upcoming movie ``Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Again`` in Kolkata on April 3.

IPL connects cricket to art with mega public installation

New Delhi: Cricket has found a new cause in the national capital ahead of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Fifteen leading artists Friday unveiled their "bat art" in support of the Delhi Daredevils franchise by flagging off a "Batting for Art...Khelo Front Foot Se" public installation project. The project, a joint promotional campaign by the Delhi Daredevils and Arts4All private arts platform, has brought cricket and art under one umbrella to raise awareness about Indian contemporary art and carry it to wider cross sections of people as a commercial enterprise. Painted on giant wooden bats in bright colors, the public installations that will be displayed at the venues where the team will play, at Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport and at public venues where they will draw maximum viewers, co-curator of the project Archana Bahl Sapra of Arts4All, said. The collection will also be exhibited at the marquee at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium here where the Delhi Daredevils play their home games. The month-long IPL-6 begins April 3. The roster of artists who unveiled the cricket art represent the regions where the Delhi Daredevils will play their matches. They include Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Chintan Updhayay, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Thota Vaikuntam, Seema Kohli, Neeraj Goswami, Farhad Husain, Yusuf Arakkal, Kachan Chander, Khem Vaishnav, Binoy Verghese, Dileep Sharma and Satish Gupta. "The idea germinated two years ago. We had begun Arts4All with small residencies inviting young artists from the smaller towns to work and train the capital. But we realized that we required money to pay for their travel. We came upon the IPL team by chance and decided to merge the two

Cheerleaders of Mumbai Indians IPL team at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on April 2.

Artist Seema Kohli with her bat art installation in the capital

Daredevil chicken wings, Pathan swinger: IPL fever on your platter

New Delhi: Double up the fun of this Indian Premier League (IPL) season with a string of pubs and restaurants across the country offering tempting deals on delectable food items, funky mocktails and cocktails - all topped with the advantage of watching the cricket extravaganza on big projector screens. Be it in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai or Chennai, the IPL matches, which kickstarted at Kolkata's Eden Gardens Wednesday, are set to grip the young and old alike till May 26. Cashing in on the craze will be lounge bars, pubs and eateries with some even offering free drinks or shots on every sixer or a wicket - and a whole lot of them adding special decorations to create a suitable environment for cricket lovers. Zebaa, a newly-opened lounge in the capital's Greater Kailash II area, has introduced snack-and-drink packages. It has five different packages Bouncer, Googly, Stumped, Hat-trick and Power Play, and its ambience has also been modified. "We have made a nine-foot long bat with the entire IPL schedule on it. Three projectors have been installed in the lounge with loudspeakers, which can help people listen to the commentary," Vinay P. Singh, general manager (Operations), Zebaa, said. ne of its packages has vegetarian and non-vegetarian finger food with a herbal sheesha, six Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) or six pints of beer in just around Rs.1,500, while another offers cricket fans a one-plusone treat on IMFL and a 20 percent discount on all food and herbal sheesha. The Stumped package costs a mere Rs.1,100 for a bucket of eight beers. The lounge is also decorated with the flags of the nine participating IPL teams and a faux cricket pitch made to give the feel of a cricket ground. Bangalore-based pub Over The Top Terrace Lounge and Enigma have oneplus-one offers running during weekdays and weekends too. Both places have huge LCD screens for the convenience of fans. The clubs are expecting roaring business, said Enigma business head Vineet Raj. In Chennai, places like Radha Regent, Benzz Park and Keys Cafe are offering packages encompassing unlimited drinks and food discounts, while Kolkata, where the first match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils will be held, projector screens and extra LCD screens will be up in several food joints for guests to savor the cricket matches. Caught n Bowled, The Big Ben, The Tea Trove are some of the places that have their plans set for IPL 6 viewers in Kolkata. Uber, a lounge in the national capital, is especially cheering for the team Delhi Daredevils and has come up with IPL special drinks and dishes, a few of which are: Viru's mixer, Tangy Warner, Pathan swinger, Exotica Devil's platter, Daredevil alla pizza. Life Caffe, another lounge in Connaught Place, is celebrating IPL with an exotic menu. Each dish has been named to represent a team - Daredevil Chicken Wings (Delhi Daredevils), Royal Mutton Boti (Rajasthan Royals), Kolkata Kasundi Potatoes (Kolkata Knight Riders), and Nuts about Bangalore (Royal Challengers Bangalore) are some examples.

fields. We want the price art works between Rs.300,000 and Rs.500,000," Sapra said. The imageries were a contrast to the bats - the medium. Inspired by Indian mythology, traditions and lifestyles, the artists interpreted anecdotes from Krishna Leela, Ramayana, lifestyles, nature, ethnic iconography and Indian figurative motifs to bring out the synergy between the culture of cricket and the Indian way of life.


April 6-12, 2013


Lata Mangeshkar felicitates sister Asha

It was rare to see the Mangeshkar siblings - Lata, Asha, Hridayanath, Usha and Meena together

n a rare show, singer Lata Mangeshkar felicitated younger sister Asha Bhosle with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award at a function that saw all the Mangeshkar siblings come together. Asha, known for evergreen songs like "Dum maro dum", "Mehbooba mehbooba", "Mera kuch saaman", "Piya tu ab to aaja", "Chura liya hai tum ne" and "Dil cheez kya hai"

during her six-decade career, performed live for three hours Sunday night. Asha, 79, who was rewarded Rs.100,000, said she would add some more money and donate the entire amount to those affected by the drought here. Her brother Hridaynath accompanied her in singing a few songs at the event, packed with fans.

etired actor-filmmaker Manoj Kumar lodged a criminal case in a local Mumbai court against superstar Shah Rukh Khan and choreographer-director Farah Khan for allegedly defaming in their 2007 movie "Om Shanti Om". Among other things, the 75-year old actor has demanded registration of a first information report against Shah Rukh and Farah for alleged offences pertaining to cheating, defamation, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy, in his complaint before the Andheri Metropolitan Court. The case is related to a scene in the blockbuster movie in which Shah Rukh had mimicked Manoj Kumar in a manner which the veteran actor found objectionable. The magistrate, while adjourning the matter till Friday, has directed that a CD of the movie containing

Manoj Kumar drags SRK, Farah to court R

Manoj Kumar lodged a case against SRK and Farah Khan for allegedly defaming him in 'Om Shanti Om'

the objectionable scene be produced before the court. Manoj Kumar had filed a defamation case in 2008, but had

withdrawn it after Shah Rukh and Farah Khan apologized and assured that the objectionable scene would be deleted from the movie.

Vidya to promote M 'Ghanchakkar' in local trains

Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi in 'Ghanchakkar'

umbai local trains play an important role in Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi-starrer "Ghanchakkar", so the makers have decided to promote the film in local trains. A source close to the team revealed that the Mumbai local trains play a vital role in the film, so "when promotion strategies were being discussed, promotions on train was considered an important idea". "Emraan and Vidya are set to promote the film on the local trains in four cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Indore and Lucknow," added the source. "Ghanchakkar" promos, released digitally, garnered positive response from the audience.

Old classics are national heritage: Farooque

Barfi! wins Japanese award

Veteran actor Farooque Sheikh

anbir Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra starrer Barfi! (2012) may have failed to woo the jury at the Academy Awards or the National Awards but the film has managed to bag the Grand Jury Award for Best Filmat this years Okinawa International Film Festival, Japan. The film was up against critically acclaimed international films from last year, including 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' (USA) that had received four Academy Award nominations and even won three awards at Cannes 2012. Talking about winning the award, a happy Anurag Basu (director) says, This is not just an honour for me or my film, its

Barfi! defeated 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' (USA)

an honour for the entire country. This award proves that Barfi! is a universal film. I am doubly happy because it won over

Oscar-nominated films. A few people thought Barfi!s selection for the Oscars was a wrong decision.

estoring classics is like "restoring heritage", says seasoned actor Farooque Sheikh, who rues that many good films perished but is happy over steps being taken to save other masterpieces like his "Chashme Buddoor". One of the best classic comedies of all time, Sai Paranjpye-directed 1981 film "Chashme Buddoor" has finally been digitally restored. "It's a pity that we haven't restored many memorable films yet. Indian films are like a national heritage that reflects our society in various times," Farooque said. "It's like restoring the part of the heritage. The future generation will get to see how it was earlier and will get a fair idea. "But I am happy that at least now we have started the registra-

tion process for such films. However, it saddens me that we haven't restored many good films, which are a part of our cultural history," he added. The 65-year-old showed his acting acumen in a string of commercially successful and critically acclaimed films "Noorie", "Saath Saath", "Umrao Jaan", "Bazaar", "Katha" and "Biwi Ho To Aisi" among others. "Earlier, we used to make films by starting from head (content) and then used to come to the tail (money part), but these days we are starting from tail and then come to the head," he said. Not seen in too many films nowadays, Farooque finds acting satisfying and would like to be an actor in his next birth as well.


April 6-12, 2013


"Doctors focused too much on Savitas fetus"

Appropriate attention could have saved her: draft report
Ireland: Dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died in an Irish hospital last year after being refused abortion, may have been saved had doctors paid appropriate attention to her deteriorating condition instead of focusing all efforts on saving the fetus, according to the draft report of an inquiry into her death. The investigating team considers there was an apparent overemphasis on the need not to intervene until the fetal heart stopped, together with an under-emphasis on the need to focus an appropriate attention on monitoring for and managing the risk of infection and sepsis in the mother, the inquiry said. A report in The Irish Times said the inquiry found that Savitas vital signs were inadequately monitored and that though she was seriously ill this was not acted on. By the time, doctors saw her she had further deteriorated, and still this was not acted on adequately.

New Saudi work policy to impact thousands of Indians

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: Thousands of Indians, especially Malayalis employed in Saudi Arabia, may be impacted by a new work policy of the kingdom that seeks to reserve a certain percentage of jobs for locals. According to the new Nitaqat policy - or Saudisation program - of the kingdom, 10 percent of jobs are to be reserved for locals. The policy is aimed at expanding employment opportunities for Saudi nationals. There are over two million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, including 576,000 from Kerala alone. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said there was no need to panic and the Indian government would provide assistance to Indians forced to return from Saudi Arabia. "If somebody has to go to another country, he has to satisfy the rules of that country. But if there is inconvenience caused to any Indian citizens, then whatever assistance we can give, we will provide," Khurshid assured. "The Kerala government is setting up help desks at the three international airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut and Kochi and 24-hour call centers to help people in distress," said an official of the department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA). "Around 576,000 people from Kerala are working in Saudi Arabia. We are requesting for general amnesty and request a review of the ban on reentry of workers," the official added, declining to be named. According to reports, street cleaning and other sanitation works have been hit hard by the Saudisation program as almost 100 per cent of the workers in this sector are foreigners, mostly Indians. Many of them are illegal immigrants. Labor inspectors and police have begun conducting raids on enterprises suspected of employing illegal workers. Employers complying with the Nitaqat norms would be rewarded with incentives while those failing would have to shut shop as the work permits of their expatriate workers would not be renewed, according to Saudi reports. The work permit is mandatory for getting the residential permit.

Savita Halappanavar

Savitas husband Praveen Halappanavar said he was not satisfied with the report because it did not answer the question why she was refused abortion even when her life seemed in danger and despite repeated requests. Savita (31) was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to Galway University Hospital on

October 21 with severe back pain. She was found to be miscarrying but according to her husband, doctors refused to abort citing Irelands strict anti-abortion law. A week later she died of septicaemia and E.coli. An inquest into Savitas death will resume next week. It opened last year but was adjourned.

Shireenjit Kaur is Miss India Indonesia

Jakarta: Shireenjit Kaur is Miss I n d i a Indonesia. She will now repres e n t Indonesia in the Miss I n d i a Worldwide contest to be held in Malaysia April 27. The Miss Shireenjit Kaur (center) won Miss India Indonesia title India Indonesia 2013 beauty pageant, was organized by Innaz Communique. Before narrowing down to the top which was organized here earlier this week, witnessed 28 young women 10 deserving contestants, the winners vying for the coveted crown. Indian of the sub-contests were announced Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh for different categories including Miss was the chief guest of the event which Beautiful Hair, Miss Beautiful Smile, aims to build a bridge between Indian Miss Graceful, Miss Photogenic and and Indonesian communities. His wife Miss Congeniality. The winners of all the various Neeru Singh, a civil servant who has worked with the UN, was among the national pageants from all over the panel of judges. Miss India Indonesia world come together once a year to pageant encourages a healthy compe- compete for the glamorous and prestitition between beautiful, young, sin- gious title of Miss India Worldwide. gle, ambitious and modern Indian The IFC, New York-USA has been women residing in Indonesia. The organizing the pageant since 1990. It event, presented by Alta Moda - The is a common platform for young Centre for High Fashion Originals, Indians all over the world.

Migration to Middle East will continue: Expert

Thiruvananthapuram: An expert on migration has rebuffed reports of an exodus of Keralites from the Middle East and said that migration from Kerala to Saudi Arabia and the UAE would continue for the next two decades. "In the past one decade, there were many reports that Keralites and Indians would have to return to India from the Middle East. This is just a rumor," S. Irudayarajan, head of International Migration at the Centre for Development Studies here, who has done extensive studies on the subject for the past two decades said. He was responding to media reports that about four lakh Keralites employed in Saudi Arabia would have to return after the Saudi government decided to follow a strict policy of employing locals. "Migration figures show that in the past four years, more Keralites migrated to Saudi Arabia than to the UAE," Irudayarajan said. According to the annual report of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Saudi Arabia continues to be the desired destination among low- and semi-skilled workers from India, attracting 289,297 people in 2011. In 2011, 2.28 million Keralites were working abroad. The number was 2.19 million in 2008, 1.84 million in 2003 and 1.36 million in 1998.

People smeared with colored powder pose for a photograph during Holi festival celebrations at the Shree Lakshmi Narayan temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


April 6-12, 2013


Lanka row: Tamil film industry halts work

Chennai: Tamil stars Rajinikanth, Ajith Kumar and Kamal Haasan were among a large number of Tamil actors who observed a daylong protest here this week to denounce the "war crimes" on Sri Lankan Tamils. "We as an industry stand united for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka," said Sarath Kumar, president of the South Indian Film Artistes Association (SIFAA), as a day-long fast ended. He demanded "strict action" against the Sri Lankan regime for killing a large number of innocent Tamils in the war against the Tamil Tigers which destroyed the rebels in 2009. "We also urge the central government to take notice of the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka and organise rehabilitation for them," he added. Actors turned up in hundreds to support the fast organized by theaters remained closed during the fast. However, there were no mikes and no speeches. "One reason we are not using microphone is that we don't want tempers to flare," a member of SIFAA said. Kamal, Rajinikanth, Ajith Kumar, Suriya and Karthi are among those who couldn't join the March 19 fast. Tamil actor Vijay, currently shooting in Australia, expressed regret that he was not able to join the Chennai hunger strike. "I am currently shooting for my film 'Thalaivaa' in Australia and couldn't make it to the fast. I regret not being present in this movement," Vijay said in a statement. Tamil Nadu has been in ferment in recent weeks over the death of thousands of Tamils in the end stages of the war in Sri Lanka that crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009.

Tamil newspaper office attacked

Colombo: An office of a Tamil newspaper was attacked in the northern Sri Lanka, police said. Police said that the Uthayan newspaper distribution office in Kilinochchi town, an area which was once under rebel control, was attacked by an unidentified group. At least three people were injured during the attack while the building and a vehicle parked outside were also damaged. The Tamil newspaper was the target of several attacks in recent times while distributors and journalists of the newspaper have also faced threats and intimidation.

All shootings were canceled while theaters remained closed during the fast

SIFAA at T. Nagar here. This is the second fast after March 19 which was organized by Tamil Nadu Film Directors Association (TANTIS). Prakash Raj, Vishal Krishna, Silambarasan, Dhanush, Bharath, Jiiva, Jeyam Ravi, Arya, Suriya,

Karthi, Lakshmi Rai, Ramya Krishnan and Lakshmy Ramakrishnan also observed a silent protest. Many actors who couldn't be part of the fast March 19 were present. All shootings were canceled while

Pak yet to give 'Shoe hurling shows Pakistanis feeling miserable' report on Indian prisoner's death
Islamabad: A shoe thrown at former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf shows Pakistanis are feeling miserable since they have been "suffering greedy politicians and generals for too long", a Pakistani daily said. An editorial in the Daily Times said that Musharraf found himself in a rather embarrassing spot Friday at the Sindh High Court when a lawyer hurled a shoe at him. "...In a crude and very basic form of protest, one of the lawyers present in the court that day threw his shoe at Musharraf while he was walking into the courtroom. While the shoe missed its intended target, it left the 'politician' shaken up and distressed." The daily noted that shoe throwing has become a universal form of protest recently ever since an

After 50 years, private dailies published in Myanmar

Yangon: Four private daily newspapers started temporary publication, signifying the re-introduction of private daily newspapers in the Southeast Asian nation after a gap of five decades. The four daily newspapers put into circulation are Pyidaungsu Daily (Union Daily), Shwe Naing Ngan Thit Daily (Golden Freshland Daily), San Taw Chein Daily (Standard Times Daily) and Voice Daily. The Union Daily is run by the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). A dozen daily newspapers are expected to begin printing at a later date. They include Khit Moe Daily, Empire Daily, the Messenger, Up-Date Daily, Myanmar Newsweek Daily, Mizzima Daily, Eleven Daily, Khit Thit Daily, Yangon Times, Myanmar Dika, Union Athan, 7-Day Daily and D-Wave. More than 20 offices of foreign news agencies are also operating in the country.

Chamel Singh (left) New Delhi: As Pakistani authorities denied that Indian prisoner Chamel Singh had died after being assaulted by jail staff, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India was waiting for a full and detailed report on the circumstances of his death. Khurshid, asked if he accepted Pakistan's explanation of the death, said: "I don't have to take Pakistan's explanation... We are awaiting the autopsy, and when a full report is given to us and detailed investigation report given, we will be able to reflect on it." Asked when India would be given the report, he said: "We have been told that it will be given to us." A senior official of Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, where Chamel Singh died in January, had Sunday termed as "malicious Indian propaganda" the reports that Singh died after allegedly being tortured in the jail and said a stroke was the reason. Singh, said to be in his 60s and serving a five-year-term for espionage, had died at the state-run Jinnah Hospital on Jan 15. During an autopsy done on March 13 nearly two months after his death marks of injury had reportedly been found on Singh's body.

The shoe-throwing incident points to worse to come for Musharraf,' says the daily

enraged Iraqi man threw his shoe at then US president George Bush in 2008.

"The shoe throwing incident validates this point and perhaps points to worse to come for Musharraf."

Jolie opens school in Afghanistan

Kabul: Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie has reportedly opened a school in Afghanistan through her newly-established foundation - The Education Partnership for Children of Conflict. The 37-year-old has funded the girls educational establishment that caters to about 200 to 300 students. The school is located just outside Kabul and the actress hopes it will be the first of many schools she sets up. Jolie is also planning to fund more schools by selling her own self-designed accessories collection, the Style of Jolie, to retail stores for the first time with 100 percent profits going to her foundation. "Beyond enjoying the artistic satisfaction of designing these jewels, we are inspired by knowing that our work is also serving the mutual goal of providing for children in need," quoted Jolie as saying.

Bilawal Bhutto returns to Pakistan

Lahore: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari returned to the country after spending over a week in Dubai but will not lead the party's campaign for the May 11 general election, one of his close aides said. "Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be very much a part of the campaign but he will not head the campaign. In fact, the PPP never had tasked him to spearhead the election campaign," Hasham Riaz, Bilawal's chief of staff, said. The 24-year-old chief of the PPP had left Pakistan for Dubai last month after a tiff with his father President Asif Ali Zardari and his aunt Faryal Talpur over the affairs of the party.

Pakistan People's Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Zardari subsequently traveled to Dubai on March 30 amidst reports

that the trip was aimed at persuading Bilawal to return to the country.


April 6-12, 2013


US warns North Korea on reckless provocations

Washington: The Obama administration has warned North Korea to halt a recent spate of "unacceptable" rhetoric and actions that Secretary of State John Kerry called "provocative, dangerous and reckless." Kerry also vowed that the United States would defend itself and its allies South Korea and Japan from North Korean threats. "We have heard an extraordinary amount of unacceptable rhetoric from the North Korean government in the last few days," Kerry told reporters at a joint news conference with visiting South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. "The bottom line very simply is that what Kim Jong-Un has been choosing to do is provocative, it is dangerous, reckless, and the United States will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear state," Kerry said, referring to North Korea's young new leader and the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "The United States will do what is necessary to defend us and ourselves and our allies," he said. "We national security team was focused on North Korea. However, US officials did cast doubt on whether North Korea would follow through, portraying the latest threat as part of a pattern of antagonistic taunts that, so far, have not been backed up by action. North Korea's recent tide of nuclear vows and aggressive threats are seen as efforts to force Washington into disarmament-foraid talks and to boost young leader Kim Jong Un's stature as a strong military leader. Pyongyang has reacted angrily to US-South Korean military drills and a new round of UN and US sanctions that followed North Korea's Feb. 12 underground nuclear test.

North Korea is reviving a long-dormant nuclear reactor

North Korea bans South Korean workers

Seoul: North Korea banned the entry of South Korean workers to the joint industrial complex at the border town of Kaesong, authorities said. "In the morning, North Korea notified us of the ban of entrance to the Kaesong industrial park, while only allowing for leaving Kaesong," Kim Hyung-seok, spokesman of the ministry of unification in charge of dialogue and cooperation with North Korea, told reporters at a press conference. Kim said that the South Korean government "deeply regrets the failure of normal cross-border movement" in and out of the inter-Korean industrial zone, noting that it will put its top priority at ensuring the safety of workers at the industrial site, reported Xinhua. The entry ban came four days after Pyongyang threatened to shut down the joint industrial park, which is housing around 120 South Korean companies and is employing some 54,000 North Korean workers.

are fully prepared and capable of doing so and the DPRK understands that." His comments came as North Korea ratcheted up an almost daily string of threats toward the US, South Korea and Japan with an announcement that it would revive a long-dormant nuclear reactor and ramp up production of atomic weapons material. A North Korean official said the country would quickly begin "readjusting and restarting" the facilities at its main Nyongbyon nuclear

complex, including the plutonium reactor and a uranium enrichment plant, which was shuttered as part of international nuclear disarmament talks in 2007 that have since stalled. Kerry said such a step would be "a direct violation" of North Korea's international commitments. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that development would be "extremely alarming" while the White House said President Barack Obama's entire

UN General Assembly adopts arms trade treaty

New York: The UN General Assembly has approved the first global treaty to regulate international trade in conventional weapons, the UN News Center said. The resolution containing the text of the treaty was approved by 154 "yes" votes with the simple majority of 97 votes in favour needed to pass the text. The document received strong support from the majority of UN members during the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty last Thursday. The adoption of the treaty, which required a unanimous approval, was blocked by three states - Iran, Syria and North Korea. The three countries, who have earlier criticised the draft treaty as "unbalanced" and giving an advantage to the world's biggest weapons exporters, voted against it during the General Assembly's vote, while 23 countries abstained, including the world's two major arms exporters, Russia and China. The US, the world's biggest arms trader accounting for over 40 percent of global conventional arms transfers with annual revenues estimated at more than $28 billion, voted in favour of the agreement. According to the resolution, the treaty will be open for signing July 3, 2013. It will take effect 90 days after being ratified by its 50th signatory.

Mullah Omar can run for presidency: Karzai

Berlin: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai wants the elusive Taliban chief Mullah Omar to run for president in next year's election so that people could "vote for or against him". Karzai, in an interview to German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, said his government had sporadic contacts with the Taliban but that there was no negotiation. He called on the Taliban to lay down their arms and participate in the political process, the daily said. Asked whether Mullah Omar should could be a 2014 Presidential candidate, Karzai was quoted as saying: "He can become a candidate for the presidency and give Afghans the opportunity to vote for or against him." Karzai's remarks came in the backdrop of his visit to Qatar on Sunday. Karzai's government has agreed that the Taliban can open an office in Qatar if the group breaks all ties with al-Qaida and

The elusive Taliban chief Mullah Omar

renounces terrorism. The daily quoting sources in his delegation said "there had been no discussions" on the issue of Taliban office. Karzai also complained that his government had been disrespected by the West.

Mandela making 'steady progress' in hospital Truce broken, Israeli aircraft hit Gaza Strip
Johannesburg: Former South African president Nelson Mandela was in good spirits while recovering from lung infection at a Pretorial hospital, the South African presidency said. US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned with Nelson Mandela's health", adding that "we will be keeping him in our thoughts and prayers". Earlier, when asked whether people should prepare for the inevitable, President Zuma said: "In Zulu, when someone passes away who is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the things we should be thinking about." Mandela has a history of lung problems after suffering from tuberculosis towards the end of Gaza City: Israeli aircraft carried out apparent warning strikes in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, hitting empty fields after a militant rocket earlier struck waste ground in southern Israel. Palestinian security sources said the strikes, the first since the end of a deadly eight-day confrontation between Israel and Hamas militants in November, hit in two spots close to Gaza City and another site further north toward the frontier with Israel. No US President Barack Obama said one was injured. he was deeply concerned with The Israeli military confirmed two attacks. Nelson Mandela's health "In response to several rocket fire incidents his 27-year term for national liberation move- directed at Israel, an Israel Air Force aircraft ment. He became the first democratically- targeted overnight two extensive terror sites in elected president of South Africa in 1994 fol- the Northern Gaza Strip," it said in a statement. lowing the end of apartheid. "Accurate hits were identified." Gaza mili-

tants fired a rocket into southern Israel after the death in custody of a Palestinian who suffered from cancer, Israeli police said. "There was a rocket that was fired," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. "It landed in an open area," he said, adding there were no immediate reports of casualties or property damage.


April 6-12, 2013


Novartis ruling: US trade lobby decries

Washington: The Indian Supreme Court's decision to reject Swiss drug maker Novartis' patent claim for its pricey cancer drug Gleevec has been hailed by consumer advocates, but decried by the powerful drug industry lobby. Dr. Jennifer Cohn of Doctors Without Borders called it "an incredibly India's generic drug makers can sell important decision for us" as the ruling assures that the leukaemia drug Gleevec at less than groups like hers can afford 10th of the price of $2,000 a month The victory means that India's to buy generic medications for its generic drug makers can continue to far-flung patients around the world. "Over 80 percent of these generic sell the leukaemia drug Gleevec at medications actually come from less than a tenth of the sticker price India. So India has been called the of $2,000 a month, NPR said. However, Mark Elliot, head of the pharmacy to the developing world," she told National Public Radio Global Intellectual Property Centre of the US Chamber of Commerce, (NPR). "We don't want access to medica- told NPR: "This is not the first incitions to be dependent on the drug dent of this kind in India. There's a companies' whim or voluntary pro- pattern of behavior over many years gram," Cohn said. "What does work that is of concern to the business on the long term to bring down community." "This decision is significant prices and ensure sustainable access to medicines is generic competi- because this patent for the drug tion." Celebrated attorney Anand Gleevec is recognized right around Grover, who argued the case on the world except for India. It's recbehalf of Indian cancer patients, too ognized in both China and Russia called the decision "very important and 38 major countries specifically. for India and for developing coun- And India in this case is the odd man out," he said. tries."

Ambani brothers join hands for telecom business

Mumbai: Companies run by brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani have announced a Rs.1,200 crore deal for cooperation in telecom business. As per the deal, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications' optical fiber network for fourth generation (4G) telecom services. Reliance Communications in turn will have reciprocal access to optic fiber infrastructure to be built by Reliance Jio in future. Reliance Jio is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. The two firms have signed a "definitive agreement" for approximately Rs.1,200 crore as a one-time indefeasible right to use fees for sharing Reliance Communications nationwide inter-city fiber optic network infrastructure, Reliance Communications said in a statement. "This agreement is the first in an intended comprehensive framework of business cooperation between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications to provide for optimal utilization of the existing and future infrastructure of both companies on reciprocal basis, including inter alia, inter-city fibre, towers and

Mukesh Ambani will utilise Anil Ambani-led Rel Comm's optical fiber network for 4G telecom services

related assets," the statement said. The agreement provides for joint working agreements to be put in place immediately for upgradation of the optic fiber network to ensure seamless delivery of next generation services.

India can get back to 8 pc growth: PM

New Delhi: It was disappointing that growth had slowed to five percent but this was temporary and the government was taking corrective measures to get back to eight percent growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. Addressing the annual meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the prime minister said the government and business have to be partners in writing the story of development. "We are seeing a temporary downturn, which does happen. We must recognize it as such and take corrective action. I do not believe our future is five percent growth. We grew at an average of about eight percent in the last 10 years and we can get there again," he said. The prime minister said the government was taking domestic measures to deal with the crisis.


April 6-12, 2013


IPL: SRK, Pitbull showcase diverse culture

Kolkata: A dazzling and extravagant ceremony combining Bollywood's glamour quotient and a medley of diverse cultures showcased by American rapper Pitbull and Tagore's compositions heralded the start of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Promising a "great time" and a "party", Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan and the leading ladies of Bollywood Deepika Paudkone and Katrina Kaif kept around 50,000 spectators at the brightly-lit Salt Lake stadium - and millions more glued to Tv sets in their drawing rooms - with their enthralling performances. The much-awaited show started with classical dancers serenading two giant lamps, and dancing in white, gold and red with diyas in hands. As more dancers joined in, Shah Rukh's voice boomed Tagore's "Where the mind is without fear" in the background. Music director Pritam's composition that incorporated Afro beats amped up the music as hundreds of children, holding aloft torches that sparkled in the summer evening, moved gracefully on the ground below the elevated stage to form 'Om'.

Shah Rukh Khan and the leading ladies of Bollywood enthralled spectators with their performances

Jumping into the arena bordered by artificial crags and peaks, cheerleaders in bright hues of red, white, and blue embraced the stage in jumps and lifts as golden curtains drew back to reveal acrobats cartwheeling across the stage. Spectators cheered as the flying drummers from Europe descended from the roof while back on the grass children grooved to Pritam's composition in a flurry of pompoms, tassels, umbrellas and shimmering red and gold flags. Gymnasts in shiny costumes

bobbed across the stage and playground whirling streamers as violinists struck up a soulful note. Meanwhile, Chinese women percussionists positioned across the lawn fired up the musical gala as nine balloons representing the teams synced up to the giant ball that went up sporting the IPL logo. Amid the cultural mix, cricket also took the centrestage as captains of the nine participating teams joined hands to sign the ICC spirit of cricket pledge "Play hard, play fair" with former Indian cricketer

Ravi Shastri administering the oath. The IPL trophy was dropped into Kolkata Knight Rider captain Gautam Gambhir's hands by a woman breezing through the air suspended to a mass of balloons. Khan made a grand entrance to a track from "Don" in the much anticipated Bollywood showdown. Breaking out to hits like "Chammak Challo", "Koi Mil Gaya", "Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhen", King Khan garnered maximum audience applause. Mesmerising spectators by grooving to hits like "Angrezi

beat", "Sajday Main" and "Yo Yo Honey Singh", Deepika took to the stage in a black outfit. The glam quotient went up a notch as Katrina gracefully yet energetically performed to hits like "Tera Hone Laga Hoon", "Chikni Chameli", "Touch Me" etc. looking elegant in a black ghagra and choli. Indian singer Usha Uthup and Bollywood music director Bappi Lahiri kept the audiences enthralled with disco tracks "Koi Yahan Nache Nache", "Hari Om Hari" and "Rambha Ho".

Gambhir happy with Knight Riders' winning start

Drugs haul: Punjab cops arrest boxer

Chandigarh: The Punjab Police arrested accused who has been arrested in this case," a boxer Ram Singh in connection with the Punjab police spokesman said here recent recovery of huge quantity of heroin and Wednesday evening. other drugs worth nearly Rs.500 crore in the Police investigators said Ram Singh, who state. Police had, last month, busted an interhad been questioned several times by them in national drugs racket operating from the state. the drugs case, was arrested after huge quantiRam Singh is a fellow boxer and former ties of lifestyle drugs and raw material for room-mate of Olympic bronze medal winner these drugs were recovered from his brotherand star boxer Vijender Singh. Police earlier in-law Ravi Deol. claimed, based on Ram Singh's statements, Fatehgarh Sahib police made its first seizure that he and Vijender had consumed heroin Beijing Games bronze of over 28 kg heroin, worth Rs.130 crore five and 12 times respectively in recent medalist Vijender Singh in the international market, March 7 from months (December 2012 to February 2013). underwent a dope test Zirakpur town on the outskirts of The union sports ministry Monday asked by the National Anti- Chandigarh. It then made more seizures of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) lifestyle and party drugs. Based on internaDoping Agency to carry out a test on Vijender following the tional prices for these drugs, police said latest drugs controversy around him. The blood and urine the haul was valued at Rs.484 crore. Police also found a tests were conducted Wednesday. SUV, registered in the name of Vijender Singh's wife "The Fatehgarh Sahib police arrested boxer Ram Singh Archana, parked outside Kahlon's flat from where the first in the drugs case already registered against international seizure was made. Kahlon reportedly told the police that smugglers Anoop Singh and others. He is the 16th Vijender and fellow boxer Ram Singh were his "clients".

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir was ecstatic as the defending champions made a winning start to their title defence, beating Delhi Daredevils by six wickets convincingly in the Indian Premier League (IPL) opener. Gambhir lauded his bowlers for restricting the visitors to 128. "Restricting the opposition to 128 was a fantastic effort. We are a very good fielding side as well. I still feel Balaji did a very good job, so did Binga (Brett Lee)," said Gambhir. "Overall everyone did a very good job. 150 was a good total, but we wanted to be positive when we start-

ed the chase. Points on the table is always very satisfying," he added. Knight Riders's mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who bagged four for 13, was the key in bowling put Daredevils for a paltry total. Narine was also adjudged as Man of the Match. Narine said the track as the Den was offering more spin that last year. "It assists the spinners a lot, everyone played their part. Lit more turn and bounce than last year," he said. Daredevils skipper Mahela Jaywardene said losing wickets at regular intervals hampered the team's chances.

Jeev foresees Indian Major winner in 5 years

New Delhi: The first Indian golfer to pre-tournament press conference of play in the prestigious Augusta the Panasonic Open India. "May be in the next five years, we are going to Masters, Jeev Milkha Singh believes the country will have its maiden have an Indian winner at the Majors. Our players have the game," the veterMajor winner in the next five years. With Indian golfers making rapid an golfer said. strides on the Asian, European and the Jeev, who teed up at the Masters in 2007 and was at the top of the leaderPGA Tour, Jeev, the first from the country to break into the world topboard on the opening day, recalled his own experience. "I always dreamt of 50, feels the day is not far when an Indian triumphs at one of the four playing Masters and I was fortunate to Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh Majors. do that. I enjoyed my time there. The "The first thing is to break into the top-50 because that's Masters is my favourite Major because of the atmoswhat you need to play in a Major. We have got a lot of phere, which is fantastic. It's the only Major which is talent in the country and I am sure one of the guys will do played on the same course every year," he said. "You that. The first two-three Majors will give you the experi- have got to be mentally strong to play in a Major. Right ence and after that you can aim for a win," he said at the now, I want to get back into the top-50," he added.


April 6-12, 2013


Now, oral drops to treat allergies

many prescription and non-prescription alternatives available to start before the pollen season. Allergy Vaccination or allergy immunotherapy is a great treatment option for a long term relief. 5 steps to allergy-free life 1. Recognize the allergy symptoms runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, scratchy throat, itchy palate, itchy watery eyes, red eyes and ask for help. 2. Get tested- identify the allergy triggers. This can be done through needle free allergy skin tests or through the blood tests. 3. Avoid these triggers to the extent possible. 4. Use supportive methods and medications to alleviate the symptoms. 5. Get started on Allergen immunotherapy or allergy vaccination (this helps you develop tolerance to your allergy triggers). Those with seasonal allergies, especially children, can at times be very symptomatic. These symptoms affect sleep, day time alertness and day to day functioning. The quality of life is very much compromised and allergic individuals do not enjoy outdoor life while everyone around them is having outdoor fun. Help your children understand what allergies are and what they can do to live great lives, allergy-free. The has a lot of resources, including the stories of others who got better, to empower your allergic children. The information and education are the usual starting points to a future of an allergy free season. The support of family and friends is very valuable at any stage of being miserable with allergies. At the Center for Asthma & Allergy, we are now offering oral Allergy Drops or Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT), besides the regular allergy shots. It is a new form of

With pollen season arriving, here is some advice from an expert on preventing and minimizing allergy symptoms. He also introduces oral drops as allergy vaccination, comparing it with the more common allergy shots.
giving allergy vaccination, instead of allergy injections -- it is done as oral drops and can be done at home! As we open up this latest modality of allergen immunotherapy, we will continue to provide current services that include needle-free skin tests for environmental allergens (pollen, cat, dog, dust mites, mold etc); food allergens (peanut, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish etc); Penicillin and Local Anesthetic testing, Insect venom tests (bees, yellow jacket, wasp, hornet etc); Patch tests (for common cosmetics and contact chemicals) and Special Food Component blood tests for peanut, eggs, milk components. Allergy vaccination: Shots or drops If you have environmental allergies to indoor - outdoor triggers, the best treatment option that brings you close to cure - is Allergy Vaccination. It is also known as Allergen Immunotherapy. Most of you may be familiar with the traditional "allergy shots" or Subcutaneous Immunotherapy. The new approach that is gaining attention in the U.S. is "Allergy Drops", also known as Sublingula Immunotherapy. In March alone, major news media like NY Times, CNN, ABC, NBC had segments and interviews of allergists talking about allergy drops. The allergy shots as well as drops contain FDA approved environmental allergens that

By Dr Atul Shah

ollen season is here! For most, the arrival of spring season means looking forward to outdoor activities. For the pollen allergic individuals, it is again that time of year to suffer. An estimated 26-30 million Americans have hay fever symptoms each year. Seasonal allergy symptoms can be prevented and minimized with certain steps. If you have seasonal symptoms every year, you can get tested to identify the triggers. Depending on where you live and the time of the year when you have symptoms, your triggers can be tree pollen, grass pollen, weeds, ragweed or mold spores. Limiting outdoor activities when the pollen is very high and staying indoors with air conditioning can reduce exposure to pollen and other triggers. Keeping the bedroom windows closed and car windows rolled up while driving can be helpful. You may consider taking a shower, washing the hair and changing the clothes after pollen exposure outdoors. There are

help reduce the sensitivity of an allergic individual over time. The allergen is given at a small but tolerable dose and increased following a specific schedule. As the dose of the allergen is increased, allergic individual develops tolerance to the allergen and does not develop the same allergic symptoms with exposure. The process of administration is different. The shots require the administration in a medical setting, at least once a week. The drops require daily administration, under the tongue, but can be done at home. The process of oral administration is awaiting FDA clearance. Most allergy practices offer allergy shots, while only a select few advanced centers offer science based oral allergy drops. Our practice has joined the ranks of these select few in November 2012, offering high dose oral drops based on the latest scientific data. The major health insurance companies pay for allergy shots, while only a select few are currently covering the cost of oral drops. As more and more patients demand to their insurance companies to include the oral drops in their coverage, we believe that it will improve with time. For many patients choosing to go for oral drops, saving time and convenience outweighs the cost of allergy drops. Dr. Shah is a Board Certified Allergist & Asthma Specialist in Shirley, NY and he has offered a Free eBook to our readers at

Cut salt intake, exercise to avoid high BP

By Sreeparna Chakrabarty hruti Jain was a busy working mother juggling children, work and household chores with aplomb, until she suddenly collapsed in office one day. Diagnosed with a stroke, she had to undergo a six-month recuperation and paid a hefty fee at a private hospital. Little did the 35-year-old marketing executive know that she had been suffering from hypertension, which had gone undetected for a long time, ultimately leading to the stroke she suffered. Going by the lifestyles most of us lead, doctors say hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) can affect any of us and should be taken seriously as it is a silent killer. "A lot of Indians fall into the pre-hypertension category where they think they are absolutely fine and don't pay attention to their rising blood pressure," Ravi Kasliwal, chairman of the division of clinical and prevention cardio diseases at Medanta - The Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon, adjoining Delhi, said. According to WHO, high BP affects every third person above the age of 18 years. Given the seriousness of the problem, WHO has selected hypertension as its theme

Many Indians fall into the pre-hypertension category where they think they are absolutely fine and don't pay attention to their rising blood pressure.
ous heart problem, say doctors. In India, experts say a large number of people are in the pre-hypertension category - BP of 130/90 against the normal range of 120/90. People with BP of above 140/90 are considered to be in the hypertension category. High BP, as of today, remains inadequately controlled in India as a large number of cases go undetected. "The incidence of high blood pressure ranges from 20 to 39 percent in urban areas and 12 to 17 percent in rural areas," says Sailesh Mohan, senior research scientist and associate professor in the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). PHFI is a public-private initiative that works on promoting health issues. High BP is, however, both preventable and treatable. For many people, lifestyle changes such as

for 2013, with special focus on it on World Health Day on April 7. Blaming Indian food habits and a sedentary lifestyle, Kasliwal said: "Most of us grab snacks like namkeens and samosas when hungry between meals. Not only do these have a high salt content but they are also sources of trans-fats." Experts estimate that the number of patients in India with high BP is likely to rise from about 140 million in 2008 to nearly 215 million by 2030 along with an increase in the risk of complications such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and other serious illnesses. The problem is further compounded as high BP is a silent killer because it can remain undetected and manifest years later as a seri-

cutting down on salt; eating a balanced diet; avoiding harmful use of alcohol; getting regular exercise; and avoiding tobacco use are sufficient to control blood pressure. For others, medication is required. Rohit Sobti, a physician with regional medical services in the WHO, said it is easy to prevent the problem if people just control their diet and change their lifestyle. It is important to get BP checked regularly and avoid self-medication. Kasliwal said a simple measure like restricting the salt intake per person to less than five gm per day and half an hour of exercise can help control hypertension that is assuming epic proportions in the country. He said that coronary as well as cerebral strokes and even dementia in old age can be a direct result of high BP. One of the voluntary targets proposed by WHO and likely to be approved by the World Health Assembly in May this year is to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in average salt consumption by 2025 from the consumption level in the year 2010. There were nine global targets, which may be adopted. These included reducing deaths due to hypertension by 25 percent by 2025, encouraging physical activity and avoiding tobacco, Sobti said.


April 6-12, 2013


Birdsong and bright flowers, it's spring in Kashmir

Srinagar: Bright yellow mustard flowers, purple-white almond and cherry blossoms and emerald green meadows. It's a riot of color as Kashmir Valley welcomes spring after months of an icy winter. It's the season of revival, the time for murmuring streams and chirping birds, for people to shake off the layers of woollens and embrace life with song and dance. After three months of bone-chilling cold, when locals swathe themselves with woollens and stay mostly indoors, the arrival of spring is celebrated with music, song and festivity. "Till the late 1970s, people of Srinagar city celebrated the season of flowers in a big way. Men, women and children would throng the Badamwari (Almond Garden) in the city where folk singers would keep performing for many days. "The visit to the Badamwari was a much awaited event since this was often the first outing for the locals after three months of bitter winter," recalled Muhammad Afzal, 73, a resident of old city Srinagar. The years of militancy took their toll. For many years, Badamwari remained neglected and deserted because of the volatile situation in this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. But as spring arrives, so does the old glory of Badamwari. "With the help of the local Jammu and Kashmir Bank, we have brought back Badamwari to its old glory," said a senior state government official here. And so, once again, tourists and locals can be seen thronging the place, pausing to capture the moment on cameras big and small to carry a bit of the floral magic back for family albums. It's a common, happy sight to see couples posing for photographs alongside flower-laden almond trees. The birds seem to have woken up too. As yellow mustard flowers dot the countryside, orioles and starlings start arriving to feed and nest during the summer months. The birdsong and murmuring streams, fed by melting snow in the mountains, beckon local people and outsiders too. "Kashmir is really at its best during the spring months. I have come here during almost all the seasons, but nothing to beat the season of flowers," said Suresh Kumar, 42, a tourist from Delhi who visited Badamwari Friday. After remaining frozen in parts for many months, the Dal Lake in summer capital Srinagar is also abuzz with life. Fishermen and picnickers dot the expansive Lake. But this is also the time to say some goodbyes. The last flocks of migratory birds are seen, feeding away before the long flight back. Migratory birds have to build enough fat reserves to sustain the exhausting journey back to their summer homes in Russian Siberia, Japan, China, the Philippines or Eastern Europe, flying thousands of miles each year. "This year the Valley hosted more than 700,000 migratory birds, including graylag geese, mallards, pochards, shovellers, wigeons, teals and gadwalls. It is time to bid adieu to these avian visitors as they start to leave for their summer homes," said an official of the state wildlife protection department. As the migratory birds leave, the Valley waits to receive tourists; the tourism industry in the state is linked to the livelihoods of several thousands. In 2011, over one million tourists visited the Valley; besides, 500,000 devotees went for the Amarnath pilgrimage. In 2012, this reached 1.3 million tourists and 750,000 Amarnath pilgrims. What will this year be like? The recent attacks on troopers in the Valley cast their shadow, but industry insiders say they are hopeful despite cancellations. "No doubt the tourism industry has been seriously jolted because of the disturbances during the last over one month, but we are expecting things to improve soon," said a travel agent here, expressing the hope that only just looking around would convince tourists that nature meant Kashmir for beauty and peace.

Almond blossoms in Srinagar's 'Badamwari'. Almonds are among the first fruit trees to blossom.

Tourists enjoying in Dal Lake


April 6-12, 2013


Roof over roads to tap solar power?

By K.S. Jayaraman Gandhinagar: India's major roads may double up as solar highways, if an innovative proposal by some scientists gets the government's approval. The proposal is the brainchild of scientists at the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) in the state capital. In a paper just published in the International Journal of Energy, Environment and Engineering, the scientists say highways can be used to generate solar power, if a roof of solar panels was laid over them, across the length of the roads. The photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert sunlight into electricity is normally spread out on land. "While the price of PV panels is falling day by day, the price of land and its availability are constraints in the development of solar power, especially in India," says Tirumalachetty Harinarayana, director of GERMI and one of the authors of the paper. "Our proposal overcomes this obstacle by using the space over the highways for placing the PV panels," says Harinarayana. "This

In a paper just published in the International Journal of Energy, Environment and Engineering, the scientists say highways can be used to generate solar power, if a roof of solar panels was laid over them, across the length of the roads.
space can contribute to energy generation without extra land costs." The proposal by Harinarayana and co-worker Pragya Sharma is based on case studies they carried out on two highways passing through Gujarat, using computer simulation. From their computations, they estimate that a PV roof cover over the four-lane 205 km-long Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway can generate 104 MW of power while the Ahmedabad-Vadodara national highway, 93 km long, can generate 61 MW of electricity. "We can suggest that the same concept can be extended for use on the 52,584-kilometre long national and state highways in India with four lanes or more," the scientists said. The four-lane 5,839-km long Golden Quadrilateral Highway, for example, connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, can potentially generate 4,418 MW of power while the NorthSouth-East-West Corridor highway of 7,300 km connecting Srinagar, Kanyakumari, Porbandar and Silchar has 5,524 MW capacity of power generation. "If having solar panel roof over the national highways proves successful, one can think of using all our rail network as well for solar energy generation," Harinarayana said. The GERMI scientists claim that apart from producing power, the solar highway concept, if implemented, can generate jobs for both skilled and unskilled people. "Additionally, the shade provided by the over-head solar panels would result in improved vehicle efficiency and longer tyre life, besides reduction in road maintenance costs," Harinarayana said. "Another benefit of having a roof over the highways is rainwater harvesting at selected locations," he said.

The scientists point out that the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission (JNSM) launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Jan 2010 could not reach its target of 1,200 MW electricity by March 2013 due to various problems. "Again, there is no roadmap or clear plan to reach its 20 GW target by 2022," said Harinarayana. He said the solar highway concept has the potential for large-scale generation of electricity with grid connectivity in short time. "This requires one-time investment for constructing a simple elevated structure covering the national highways," he said. According to Harinarayana, Gujarat state is ideally suited to take a lead in implementing the proposal. The state, he said, has already made great strides in harnessing sunlight by establishing a large solar park near Charanka in the Kutch region, launching the fiveMW solar roof top program in Gandhinagar, and also erection of solar panels on a water canal. He said GERMI would be ready to demonstrate the feasibility of the solar highway through a 1MW pilot scale project once the government gives approval.


April 6-12, 2013


Funny Bone by Nury Vittachi

If germs don't kill you, our new health plan surely will
osses all over Asia are drastically revising their company health plans, their aim being to cut costs and kill off weaker members of staff. Trim medical benefits enough and half the staff will resign or die of bad diagnoses. "Runny nose? Take two bottles of paracetamol and a pufferfish. Next." Some bosses opt for "fire and theft" coverage, policies which only pay out if a sick staff member gets robbed while on fire. (At some newspapers for which I've worked, this combo of events probably happened to staff quite a lot.) One boss asked your humble narrator to edit his staff announcement about the new medical scheme. After studying the situation, I offered to write it for him. NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES. Some of you have noted that we have switched to a new company health plan. Rumours are circulating that this is a trick designed to cause staff to resign so that we can get rid of you without paying severance fees. This is a complete lie with no truth in it whatsoghfghfghfghf. Sorry. Had to cross my fingers while typing that sentence. 1) The cupboard storing stationery supplies such as Stanley knives, staplers and Sellotape will now be found in the staff medical clinic marked Surgical Appliances.

2) Yes, the clinic's tongue depressors now have orange stains and taste of ice popsicles. This should not be seen as a problem. Everyone loves popsicles. 3) Blocked vein operations and proctology explorations have been outsourced to a 24-hour operation called the E-Z Drain Clearing Co. 4) Staff who need internal examinations will note that a pair of X-Ray Specs from Toys R Us can be found in the top drawer of the clinic desk. 5) If you need pills of any sort, we have free

tablets from a company called Placebo Manufacturing Co Ltd. Each comes with a label you can fill in yourself, and a Hallmark card saying: "Believe". 6) Pregnancy coverage is now written into the scheme. However, it applies only to male staff members. 7) Dental operations will now be carried out by the engineering department, since these guys' tools and power drills lie idle most of the year. 8) Some staff members have pointed out that the doctors at the in-house clinic look similar to staff at the research and development division we closed last year. Hey, a guy in a white coat is a guy in a white coat, right? 9) As in the best schemes, staff may choose outside doctors. You can select from a list of two excellent "physicians", conveniently located in nearby slums, both with realisticlooking practice certificates. Use the in-house clinic at your own risk. We accept no liability even for things which are entirely our fault. Batteries not included. One death per customer. Enjoy. *-* A woman gave birth while roaring through town on a motorbike. And bikes being noisy, bumpy things, she didn't notice, media reports said. The baby promptly flew off the bike and landed in the road. New mama zoomed off over the horizon in a cloud of dust. The baby's luck turned. A female passenger in the bus behind spotted it and stopped the vehicle. Ancharee Mookta picked up the baby and gave it to another motorcyclist, who rushed it to hospital, the Pattaya Daily News said. Later, police managed to trace the mother. I would have loved to have overheard the conversation when cops finally found her in Bangkok, Thailand. "Excuse me, madam. I think you dropped this." Anyway, this kid is going to have the greatest first line ever for his biography. "I left home at an early age, when I was 0.3 of a second old."

*-* Student scientists have created a cow dung air-freshener. The secret of concentrating the smell is to collect the cow poop fresh and then ferment it for several days, Rintya Miki Aprianti and Dwi Nailul Izzah told judges at the Indonesian Science Project Olympiad last week. They want to patent their invention, pointing out that no one else has ever made a cow dung air-freshener. Well, that's a surprise. No doubt the students picture the average Indonesian housewife looking over her faultless dining room as her guests approach, thinking: "What would be a perfect final touch? If only cow dung was available in a handy spray-top container!" Now it is. Next: Feet-flavored shoe deodorizer. *-* Laptop users were horrified to find their government-sponsored computers were preset to open with images of ugly politicians. Any attempt to alter this caused the computers to shut down, the Times of India reported. Politicians Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam thought this would help make them popular, but it made users annoyed. Don't these guys know ANYTHING about nerds? To make them happy you need a screensaver of the luscious Kasumi from Dead or Alive. *-* News reports say cinemas in China sold not one ticket for the bio-pic of Lei Feng, the idolized perfect communist. Baffling. Who wouldn't want to go see a bio-pic of a guy invented by the world's least imaginative individuals and filmed by the world's worst filmmakers? Go figure. *-* When Kim Jong Un waved to soldiers from the deck of a boat recently, disaster almost followed: the men ran into the water after their adored leader, a news video shows. This could form the basis of a daring, weapons-free attack. You just stick a Kim lookalike on a boat and have him sail up and down the coast till everybody's dead. *-*

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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


April 6-12, 2013


By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Stars Foretell: April 6-12, 2013
ARIES: A long pending decision gets finalized at professional front. Believe it or not someone in the family is watching you closely and considers you a role model. Increase in income from past investment is foreseen. A romantic week as you receive all praises from partner. A very healthy week filled with happiness & vitality. Traveling for a conference doesnt mean that you forget travel etiquettes. Your income can be doubled by renting your house or a part of your house. Timely help to a needy friend would help in solving personal problems. TAURUS: You will have to take some calculated risks to conquer challenging situations at workplace. Concentrating on the need of family members should be your priority. Avoid overspending on entertainment and luxuries. You will have to make extra efforts to meet romantic partner this week. High time for you to realize your true potentials. Traveling alone sounds extrovert but your family might question your character. It would be beneficial if you plan to buy a small property. You get a golden opportunity to enjoy some recreational activities. GEMINI: Plans for new ventures get streamlined with the help of seniors. An important development at personal front brings jubilation for entire family. Monetary gains from unplanned sources will brighten your week. You find pleasure and enjoy ecstasies of love in the arms of partner. Pleasure trip would help in maintaining sound health this week. Travel abroad is possible but dont run short of cash. Real estate is one thing on which you can rely on to invest. You will be highly benefited by your sense of humor. CANCER: Policy of persuasive communications fails to bring desired professional success. A happy time in the company of friends and relatives as they do many favours to you. Bleak financial position could bring certain important work to abrupt halt. You enjoy a lovely time as Cupid is on your side during this week. Yoga and meditation would help in keeping in shape and mentally agile. Small journey with your office colleagues will be interesting. Investment on construction business would flourish your income. Some decisions going in your favour would put you on the top of the world. LEO: Lack of having a proper strategy on the part of marketing professionals will find it tough to achieve their targets. Avoid arguments, confrontation and needless worries at family front. You need to remain careful in financial matters to save yourself from monetary losses. Do things that would invest in your romantic relations. You need to develop self-trust to encourage yourself to fight illness. Dont wait for extra ordinary opportunities, travel plans may not work out. If you are hoping to sell your house quickly then you should consider a private sale. Make sure you avoid rash decisions. VIRGO: Use sharp thinking and ability to formulate quick strategies to bring positive results. Enjoying the company of close relatives will brighten your evening. Make sure you do not overspend on household luxuries. A special message from beloved/lover lifts spirits. Blessings of a saintly person give peace of mind. Are you longing to go on a vacation, consider your work also? Dealings for older properties can be in process. Nothing is impossible for you provided you have the will. LIBRA: Female colleagues lend a helping hand in completing important assignments. Shopping with family members will be highly pleasurable and exciting. New moneymaking opportunities will be lucrative. Instant romance could come your way provided you care for it. Health would remain fine despite a busy schedule but dont take it for granted. Your boss may ask you for your company to a friends party. Avoid the use of estate agents to sell your house or property. You are likely to face personal problems on trying to put-up an act. SCORPIO: Remain self-confident & determined. This is the secret mantra of succeeding at work. Do not behave stubborn otherwise it will only offend elders. Crucial decisions regarding investment should be put off for another week. Being revengeful towards lover/beloved will only disappoint you. Cataract patients must avoid overexposure to sunlight. You might travel for a while but stressful trip it would be. Reduce your property loans otherwise you will be in great trouble. Close friends are also not likely to be of much help. SAGITTARIUS: Self-confidence & discipline will be required to bring positive results in competitive examinations. Make sure you avoid overreacting to tense situations at family front. Avoid investing money in speculations based on rumours. Love takes a new turn as you brace yourself for wedding bells. Chances of recovering from physical ailment are high. Travel plan with a colleague might lead to a new relationship. You might face problem to sell your property as marketing might not be correct. You need to take a decision after a careful thinking but act quickly. CAPRICORN: At work you will be a part of something big, bringing appreciation & rewards. You will be at the limelight in a social gathering provided you attend. Be prepared to say no to people who expect too much in financial matters. Dont forget to plan something special with partner to enjoy the ecstasies of love. Inexhaustible energy enables to participate in outdoor activities. Small picnic organized by your company is good to change your mood. Want to buy a property at seaside, go through the safety measures. Dont forget to engage yourself in some creative work. AQUARIUS: You are likely to establish yourself a good manager on managing people and situation without any problem. You will be the star of attraction of familys get-together this week. You get some financial rewards as dedication & hard work gets noticed. L affair could create some personal problems. Health problem could make it difficult to concentrate. Your travel plans might effect your family life dont ignore them. Your plan to buy a plot, may lead to bankruptcy. Clinging to past could make you alienated and disappointed. PISCES: You will be successful in realizing your targets at professional front. Help from family members would take care of your needs. Monetary gains are likely to be from more than one source. Love companion will be eager to meet you this week. Make sure you avoid everything that affects your health. Official journeys prove to be more fruitful for you. Your possession for acquiring a plot might be achieved. Be happy no matter what the situation is. This is the secret of enjoying a successful life.

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Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

April 06: Influenced by number 6 and the planet Venus. You are highly energetic, independent, ambitious and charming person. You are fond of socializing with people, who are well educated, intelligent and hold important positions in the society. You can easily make friends, but you need to check your tendency to behave moody, stubborn and lazy at times. This year brilliant opportunities will come your way but you need to grab them before others. Financial gains will accrue from past investments. A wonderful period to do things that you enjoy and make you feel good. A distant journey for pleasure or pilgrimage seems likely later in the year. Your health will remain good but health of an aged family member will become a matter of concern. New friendship and contacts developed during this period will be highly worthwhile. The months of July, September, November, January and March will be eventful. April 07: Governed by number 7 and the planet Neptune. You are independent, brilliant, quick, confident and friendly person. You are very cheerful and pleasant person and posses as excellent sense of humour. You dislike office politics, arguments and confrontation, but you need to check your tendency to behave jealous, introvert and selfish at times. The year promises to bring you physical as well as financial benefits. Your energy will be high and will bring you immense gains. Speculation in real estate will yield handsome returns. Distant travel will be undertaken for business purpose as well as pleasure. Children need to concentrate more on their career. Health despite some initial hiccups will be more or less fine. You need to spend time on meditation and yoga for remarkable gains. The months of June, August, September, November and February will be highly significant and result oriented. April 08: Ruled by number 8 and the planet Saturn. You are assertive, cheerful, confident, authoritative and enthusiastic person. You are gifted with strong intuition, a lot of talent and a remarkable imagination. You are simple and honest, but you need to control your tendency to behave erratic, hypocrite and ungrateful at times. The coming year promises new hope and possibilities. Your gains will commensurate according to your efforts, but luck will definitely be on our side. Your imagination and skills will do wonders for you and your creativity will be at all time high. Your best opportunities will develop through your association with people who hold position of authority. Sudden gains and losses are foreseen, therefore do not indulge into hasty speculation. Children will bring happy news later in the year. The month of May, July & December will be eventful months. April 09: Influenced by number 9 and the planet Mars, you are dynamic, courageous, energetic, warm hearted and a religious person. You are a great admirer of music and literature. You are research oriented and have a strong determination, but you need to check your tendency to behave jealous, lazy and erratic at times. This year investments will bring you fresh gains and you will spend more on luxuries and other comforts. Romantic entanglement will be pleasant and chances to enter into a matrimonial alliance will be very strong. Religious feelings will arise making you embark on a pilgrimage later in the year. Expect gifts and goodies both in cash and kind, but some unexpected expenses will take you by surprise. The months of May, October, January, March and April will especially be significant. April 10: Governed by number 1 and the Sun. You are active, assertive, original, authoritative, brilliant and a talented person. You always welcome new ideas and thoughts, but you need to check your tendency to behave extravagant, stubborn and vindictive at times. This year lady luck is definitely on your side. Pending assignments and jobs will be completed. Investors who speculate in the stock market will benefit financially. Important decisions that you will take during this phase will enhance your prosperity and security in years to come. Sportsmen need to take extra care of their health. Those involved in art and other creative profession will receive recognition and monetary gains. Your spouse in a loving and caring mood will provide immense support. Children will demand more attention. Pilgrimage or journey will be high on your cards. The months of July, August, November and January will prove to be highly significant. April 11: Ruled by number 2 and the Moon. You are simple, friendly, cooperative and love peace and harmony. You are full of new and innovative ideas and simply a perfectionist in whatever work you decide to do, but you need to control your tendency to be moody, jealous and fickle-minded at times. New opportunities come your way this year. Financial position stabilises as past investment starts bringing in profits. Journeys undertaken for work purpose will be beneficial and highly rewarding. Investment in a house and selected stocks recommended. Legal matters will get complicated and expensive, as a visit to a lawyer to seek professional advice seems likely. Children will win laurels in their respective fields and will be supportive and understanding towards you. Wedding bells for those eligible and others will find romance to get them going. The months of May, August, September and March will bring in prosperity. April 12: Ruled by number 3 and the planet Jupiter. You are ambitious, dignified, confident, helpful, hard working and systematic. You are blessed with remarkable imagination and strong intuition, but you shouldnt behave restless, vindictive and dominating at times. This year resourceful and influential people are likely to boost your moral. Fame and fortune will be plenty provided you grab the right opportunities. New relation and attachments will develop through out the year. Children will do remarkably well in studies. Spiritual gains for some later in the year. People looking for matrimonial alliances will find a life partner. Avoid lending money, as recovery of the same would not be easy. The months of June, July, September, December and January seem to be highly eventful.

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April 6-12, 2013


The healing power of meditation

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

here is an amusing saying regarding the health of the physical body. It is said that the loss of health results in four things: the first is being ill; the second is a pill; the third is the bill; and the fourth, in some cases, is the will. I would like to add an option to provide a healing effect for an illnessand that is to be still! Let us explore how meditation, the art of being still, can have healing effects for our body, our mind, our emotions, our soul, and the world. Healing the body through meditation Meditation provides physical benefits. Medical researchers have been explor ing the bodymind connection. They have linked certain illnesses to our state of mind and emotional condition. They found that when we undergo mental stress, emotional pain, or depression, our physical resistance to disease drops. Spending time in meditation reduces stress. One meditation study, by Dr. John L. Craven, published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, states: Controlled studies have found consistent reductions in anxiety in meditators. . . . Several stressrelated conditions have demonstrated improvement during clini cal trials of meditation including: hypertension, insomnia, asthma, chronic pain, cardiac tachyarrhythmias, phobic anxiety. (Craven, Dr. John L., Meditation and Psychotherapy, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 34, October 1989, pp. 64853). In another study, Dr. Ilan Kutz states: As the ability to meditate develops, a hierarchy of sensation develops, ranging from deep relaxation to marked emotional and cognitive alterations. . . . Many of these peripheral changes are compatible with decreased arousal of the sympathetic nervous system. . . . The peripheral physiological changes have proven to be of value as a primary or adjunctive treatment for a variety of medical disorders such as hypertension and cardiac

arrhythmias, as well as in relieving anxiety states and pain. (Kutz, MD, Ilan, et al., Meditation and Psychotherapy, American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 142, January 1985, pp. 18). Many medical centers and hospitals now offer classes in meditation to reduce stress and eliminate certain illnesses. Meditation can heal our physical body by healing our mind and our emotional state. By becoming absorbed within, we divert our attention from feeling the effects of illness. In near-

rise above physical pain by connecting with the power within. The freedom from pain of those having near-death experience corroborates the protection from pain afforded to those who perfect the practice of medi tation. We do not need a neardeath experience to tap into this inner power. We can access it naturally in the comfort of our homes through meditation. Healing the mind through meditation Our minds are often agitated by

nate the lack of balance caused by mental stress. By spending time in meditation, we create a calm haven to restore equilibrium to our mental functioning. Researchers who record brain activity find that our brain waves measure from 1320 Hz when we are involved with stressful situations at work, driving in traffic, or in a fight-orflight mode. In meditation, brain waves register between 58 Hz, a state of deep relaxation. In medita tion, stress levels are reduced. The mind becomes

tors, psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists, they can increase their healing by meditating. Meditation helps in several ways. First, by going within through meditation, we see our lives from a clear angle of vision. We rec ognize the roots of our pains and solve the problems. Many are not aware of why they act and feel the way they do. By raising our consciousness, we become aware of the causes. We can pinpoint the areas in which we need to work. Second, in meditation, we contact the source of love. The Current of Light and Sound is made of the same essence as our soul and the Over3 soullove, consciousness, and bliss. As we contact the divine current, we experience divine love. We connect with the love of God latent within. It is said, God is love, the soul is love, and the way back to God is through love. Contact with godly love fills us with more love than we can ever imagine. This can fill the hole that may be the root cause of ones emotional pain. Through meditations healing power, one can mitigate and eliminate emotional pain. How doctors can help their patients While providing medical care and treatment to patients, many doctors are advising patients to spend time in meditation as a preventative health care measure and a supplement to medical treatment. Doctors can learn a beneficial introductory meditation technique: Jyoti meditation. This form of meditation can be done by anyone of any religion, culture, or age. It is a safe process that involves sitting in silence. By concentrating the attention at a point between and behind the two eyebrows, we find Light within. Sitting in meditation will fill us with peace, calm, and joy. By spending time daily in meditation, we come in contact with a healing power within that can transform our lives and give us relief and solace for a happy life. For more information:

Meditation is a way to eliminate the lack of balance caused by mental stress. By spending time in meditation, we create a calm haven to restore equilibrium to our mental functioning. Researchers who record brain activity find that our brain waves measure from 1320 Hz when we are involved with stressful situations at work, driving in traffic, or in a fight-orflight mode. In meditation, brain waves register between 58 Hz, a state of deep relaxation. In meditation, stress levels are reduced. The mind becomes calm, and, in turn, calms the body.
death experiences, people who underwent excruciatingly painful accidents were lifted above pain when they left the body. With their return to the body, millions of people had the same message to reporttheir pain ended when they entered a world of Light. These accounts confirm what saints have saidthere is a healing power of the divine that we can tap into when we shift our consciousness from the physical body to our spiritual side. We can pressures. Life has become complicated. People have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Some people hold jobs that require long hours and too much responsibility. Others work two jobs and raise a family. People snapthey become irritable, offbalance, and stressed-out. They may act in ways that are not themselves. Sometimes they take out their frustrations on their loved ones. Meditation is a way to elimicalm, and, in turn, calms the body. Through meditation, we bring a healing of our mental state. We can then function more effectively and peacefully in this world. Healing emotional pain through meditation Meditation can supplement therapy to heal emotional pain. As people work on their emotional problems with the guidance of trained specialists, doc-

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions and mystic traditions, emphasizing ethical living and meditation as building blocks for achieving inner and outer peace.

April 6-12, 2013

April 6-12, 2013