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The South Asian Times

e x c e l l e n c e i n j o u r n a l i s m
Vol.6 No. 22 September 21-27, 2013 60 Cents New York Edition Follow us on

Boost for Modi: BJP likely to win 3 poll-bound states

Opinion poll also says that three times more people want Modi as prime minister compared to Rahul Gandhi.
New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modis anointment as BJPs prime ministerial candidate last week for the next parliamentary elections is auguring well for him and the party. Opinion polls say that the BJP is set to retain power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and unseat the Congress in Rajasthan. In Delhi the party is locked in a neck-and-neck race with the Congress, according to a Times Now-CVoter poll. If the projections hold in the November polls, they would give a massive psychological boost to Narendra Modi and the BJP just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. Continued on page 4

Narendra Modi was last week named BJPs prime ministerial candidate by party chief Rajnath Singh.

Syracuse resident Nina Davuluri is proud to be first Miss America of Indian heritage.

Indian stocks, Nargis Dutt charity to honor 7 including rupee surge on Harendra Singh & Saleem Iqbal US stimulus move
Nassau County Executive Mangano, Consul General Mulay and Indian MP Priya Dutt will keynote the gala Sept 22.
Uniondale, NY: The Long Island based Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation (NDMF), which is devoted to improving cancer care in India, is holding its 32nd gala at Hotel Marriott here on Sept 22. Seven prominent Indian Americans are to be honored at the event. Priya Dutt, Indian MP and patron of the foundation, Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano are billed as keynote speakers at the gala. The honorees include Harendra Singh and Saleem Iqbal. Harendra

New Miss America puts spotlight on Indian communitys rise

Washington DC: "I'm so proud to be the first Indian Miss America," Nina Davuluri, the 24-year-old Miss New York and an aspiring physician told reporters here Sunday night after defeating 52 other contestants from all over the country in Atlantic City. The improbable win of Nina Davuluri, a dusky beauty who once overcame weight problems, was met by a barrage of hateful media tweets, but she has nonetheless succeeded in putting the spotlight firmly on the Indian American community after she became the first woman of Indian descent to win the coveted title. Reacting to the tweets disparaging the beauty queen's ethnic heritage who did Bollywood fusion dance in the talent segment - some even called her an "Arab" - and Continued on page 4

Mumbai: The Indian stock markets' key indices surged by more than 3 percent with the benchmark Sensex touching the highest level in three years, and the rupee zoomed to one-month high after the US Federal Reserve decided to continue with its $85 billion Continued on page 4

Honorees Harendra Singh, chief of Singh Hospitality Group, and Saleem Iqbal, President & CEO of HAB Bank.

Singh is chief of Singh Hospitality Group, which runs many restauContinued on page 4

Toronto Film Festival 18

Interview 26

International 22

Spiritual Awareness 30

excellence in journalism

September 21-27, 2013


September 21-27, 2013

IBSA Fund celebrates South-South cooperation Community demands justice for LI youth found dead in India
tion. The themes that the Fund has explored include promoting food security, addressing HIV/AIDS, extending access to safe drinking water, capacity building, building hospitals for children with special needs - all with the singular aim of contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in partnership with UNDP. South-South cooperation via this project is very important for my country especially in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The fund has helped build a facility for testing HIV and also to spread awareness about the disease especially in rural areas, said Anesie Ndayishimiye, first counselor, Permanent Mission of Burundi to the UN, adding, The percentage of population who have HIV is growing in rural region which was not affected as much as the urban region. Ambassadors from Palestine, Vietnam and Cambodia also spoke at the event. Amb. Mukherji also addressed the issue of increased burden sharing when such calls are placed upon the so called 'rising South. The IBSA Trust Fund operates through a demand driven approach. Governments of other developing countries request support by this fund, the board of directors at IBSA fund review the proposal before releasing the funds. The event was followed by the inauguration of an IBSA Exhibition at the UN headquarters, which featured panels on projects completed under the IBSA Fund.

Indias Ambassador to UN Ashoke Mukherji (left), with his counterparts from Brazil and South Africa, releasing the IBSA Fund project portfolio overview publication.

By Jinal Shah New York: The Permanent Mission of India to United Nations along with the Permanent Missions of Brazil and South Africa, celebrated 10 years of funding projects in other developing nations - under the India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) Fund - on September 12, celebrated as the International day for SouthSouth cooperation by the UN. Permanent Representatives from India, Brazil and South Africa ambassadors Ashoke Mukherji, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado and Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo respectively - released an IBSA Fund project portfolio overview that summarizes accomplishments of the fund at the event titled "IBSA Fund: A Flagship Initiative in South-South Cooperation". IBSA fund has been actively helping projects in Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra

Leone, Palestine, Vietnam, Cape Verde and Haiti supporting a wide range of projects. While addressing the media, Ambassador Mukherji said, It was exactly ten years ago in 2003, when India, Brazil and South Africa announced at the UN General Assembly their decision to establish a Trust Fund in partnership with the UNDP, with one singular aim: to contribute to, in our own ways, eradicating poverty and alleviating hunger. He added, What subsequently became operational with a mere $3 million initial corpus has today metamorphosed into a fund with accumulated and invested operating capital of more than $ 26 million, with 14 success stories implemented, and several others ongoing. These are spread all across the spectrum of the developing world, as examples of best practices in our common fight against the greatest global challenge of poverty eradica-

Family and friends at the candlelight vigil for Anmol Sarna

Hicksville, NY: Anmol Sarna, 20, a US Citizen and Long Island resident was found dead in New Delhi on September 13, 2013. Friends and family held a candlelight vigil in his honor at on Sunday September 15 at Triangle Park in Hicksville. About 150 members from the community attended the vigil. Anmol was visiting family in India and was planning to return to the United States later this month. He attended a small party at his friends apartment. Neighbors testify that Anmol was seen running out of the apartment screaming for help around 11pm. Around 2am passersby

found him in a pool of blood nearby and called Delhi Policy Control Room. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Anmols head showed a deep gash that doctors believe was caused by a blunt object.. New Delhi police are investigating this death as a murder. Bloody handprints were found on cars outside the apartment as well as in the apartment. Police are in the process of collecting further evidence from the apartment and will be making arrests accordingly. Friends and family see foul play and have demanded justice for the death of Anmol.

'India, US destined to be partners on world stage'

By Arun Kumar Washington: India and the US are destined to be partners on the world stage because of shared values and outlooks, a top US official told Indian officials ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US. US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter conveyed this message to India during his just concluded visit to India in preparation of Manmohan Singh's Sep 27 meeting here with President Barack Obama, according to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. Carter, who met with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and Defense Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur also discussed "steps toward deepening the multifaceted US-Indian defense relationship," he stated. "They discussed steps the US and India are taking to streamline their administrative processes and make bilateral defense trade more responsive and effective," Little said. Carter also hosted a meeting of senior representatives from the US and Indian defense industries that focused on additional steps the United States can take to remove barriers to bilateral defense trade, he added. Carter himself told US travelling media on way back home that a central topic of discussion with India was the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative to increase defense industrial and technology cooperation. The agreement isn't just about selling defense equipment to India, it's about fostering joint ventures, he said. "They don't want to just buy our stuff," a story on Pentagon website quoted him as saying. "They want to build our stuff with us and they want to develop new things with us, and they want to do research with us." The joint C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft venture between Tata and Lockheed Martin is a perfect model of co-production, he said. "India is now part of the supply chain [for the aircraft], and has the economic benefit of being part of that," Carter said. Future defense projects between the two countries will include both co-development and co-production, the official said. "We want India to have all the capabilities it needs to meet its security needs, and we want to be a key partner in that effort," Carter said. "When you look at pictures of the IAFs C130s participating in the recent flood relief efforts in the north, that tells us we're on the right track," he added. Carter, who also visited Afghanistan and Pakistan before India, said the principal threat to Pakistan is terrorism, not its neighbors. "The government of Pakistan has flirted over time with using terrorism as an instrument of state policy," Carter said. "It is coming to the realization that terrorism is a boomerang, and it comes back on you when you try to use it for your own purposes." To develop its economy, Pakistan first needs peaceful relations with India to begin trading with them, he said.

September 21-27, 2013

New Miss America puts ... Continued from page 1 questioning whether her Indian background makes her less "American," Washington think tank Pew Research Centre took note of the community's growing influence. The Indian American community, now numbering more than three million, has notably high rates of education, it pointed out - 70% Indian Americans ages 25 and older have a college degree, compared with 28% of the general population. "Indian-American women are going mainstream -- from Monday Night Football to Pepsi's CEO. And now, Miss America herself, Nina Davuluri," quipped Tampa, Florida's FOX 13. Roxanne Jones, a founding editor of ESPN, penned a letter on CNN to "Dear Miss America" thanking her "for reminding us what classic American beauty looks like today. "For the rest of America, here's an alert: Beauty is Serena Williams and Michelle Obama. Beauty is Angelina Jolie and Marissa Mayer. "And yes, beauty is Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014," she wrote. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American," Davuluri told ABC's "Good Morning America," during a live video appearance. "I'm just really so honored." Syracuse resident Nina Davuluri sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash that she intends to use to pursue her medical studies. Boost for Modi: BJP likely... Continued from page 1 According to the poll, which surveyed close to 39,000 people across the four states, in Rajasthan, the BJP is predicted to gain a decisive verdict, picking up 118 seats in the 200-member House. The Congress is estimated to win a mere 64 seats. In Madhya Pradesh, the party under Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan will win a comfortable 130 seats in the 230member House. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP seems to be somewhat less securely placed at 47 of the 90 seats. In Delhi, an impressive debut is expected for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, which is estimated to win seven of Delhi's 70 assembly seats, stealing from Congress base. The survey also says only 3 percent of Delhis people approve of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister as against a whopping 55 percent for Modi. Rahul Gandhi is preferred by 18 percent people. The march of the Modi juggernaut towards Raisina Hill has begun. All eyes will be on UP and Bihar next. Nargis Dutt charity to honor... Continued from page 1 rants and banquet facilities. Since 2000, he also launched a successful partnership with the Town of Oyster Bay, running food concession services at The Woodlands and Tobay Beach. He also supports his fathers The Raj and Rajeshwari Foundation, which uplifts the lives of the poor and destitute in rural India through medical services. Saleem Iqbal is President & CEO of HAB Bank (rechristened from Habib American Bank), a multi-state bank chartered in New York. Since 2000, he has led an extraordinary transformation of the bank with ambitious strategies to re-engineer processes and fuel sustained growth with diverse revenue streams. The bank besides expanding its branch network saw its assets and deposits more than tripled since he took over. HAB has played a key role in nurturing and strengthening the community with South Asian roots. The other five honoree are Chintu Patel, CEO, Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Vaijnath M. Chakote, MD, servicing medical care in poor communities in NYC; Vijaypal Arya, MD, Director, Endoscopy Unit, WHMC; Manohar S. Toor, construction and gas station business; and Prem C. Goel, MD, noted physician and teacher. Inspired by the legendary Indian actress Nargis Dutt, who died of can-
cer, NDMF organizes an annual gala dinner to raise funds for providing facilities for the treatment of cancer to patients in India. Over the last 32 years, they have completed more than 50 projects at a cost of over $5 million. Indian stocks, rupee surge on... Continued from page 1 monthly bond-buying program. But Wall Street's rally the day before faded as investors digested the Fed's comments about the economy. The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange closed 684.48 points or 3.43 percent higher to 20,646.64 points, the highest level since Nov 11, 2010. The Federal Reserve Wednesday surprised the markets by deciding to refrain from reducing the pace of bond-buying program. The speculation over reduction had led to a huge selloff in Indian as well as other emerging markets and their currencies were battered. The Indian rupee that tanked to a record low of 68.85 against the US dollar Aug 28, soared to 61.70 level, the highest in over a month. The foreign funds bought aggressively in the Indian equities after the Fed's surprise move. "The US Feds decision would clearly provide respite to the rupee. Now the RBI has more headroom to focus on growth supportive measures, said Bhupali Gursale, economist at Angel Broking. RBI should now calibrate and ease its liquidity tightening measures that were taken in order to contain Forex volatility. Maintaining inflationary expectations also remains a priority, Gursale added. Suman Jyoti Khaitan, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Indian currency and the market would gain further as growth in the advanced economies remained sluggish. "We expect markets to rebound and rupee to appreciate and consolidate at around 60 per dollar going forward, he added.

Acharya Lokesh Muni honored with peace award by Consul General and NYS Assemblyman

HH Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni (in white robes) at the Indian Consulate function in New York to honor him.

New York: Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay organized a welcome function to honor HH Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni at the Consulate. Representatives of several Indo-American Associations and peace loving Americans were invited to honor the eminent Indian spiritual leader who delivered a speech on Future without Violence. Acharya Lokesh, FounderPresident of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati in New Delhi, mentioned that not only India and United States, but the whole world is affected by violence and terrorism. Peace is the key for development, violence and terrorism is not a solution to the problem. The United States and India need to cooperate in order to stop terrorism and violence. He also commented that the problem should be eliminated at the root level permanently rather than solve it temporarily. He elaborated, It is ironic that we seek the fruits of peace without

investing anything in it. Let us talk together. Let us meet other (of diverse backgrounds) and walk a few steps together. He also mentioned that peace, non-violence and harmony are the only way to establish a better world. He also said that poverty, illiteracy and growing population are the bottlenecks. He appealed to world spiritual leaders to work closely together on this mission for better society. In regard to the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Boston bombing, Syrian chemical attack, and Bombay terror attack, he said, Nations are investing enormous sums of money in the development of armaments and nuclear weapons, but very little is being spent on peace. In his Welcome Address for the Jain guru, Amb. Mulay said that not only India and the US, but the whole world is affected by violence and terrorism. He called upon the political and the religious leaders and NGOs to come forward to check the violence, terrorism and strengthen the unity of mind.

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September 21-27, 2013

Mr & Ms Vegetarian pageant draws enthusiastic participation Priyanka Chopra to keynote SAMMA summit
Meghav parikh and Ms.Vegetarian runner up Teena Sukhwal. More than 40 talented contestants between the age group of 18 and 26, representing over 20 different colleges from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut shared their thoughts on vegetarian way of life and exhibited exquisite talent. The entire pageant was well organized under the strong leadership & direction of Pageant chair Flora Parekh with an efficient pageant committee including Cultural Chair - renowned singer & performer Varsha Joshi, Youth Chair Nivea Kothari, Public Relations chair Paresh Parekh, Sound Engineer Sunil Joshi and several other volunteers. A beautiful souvenir, extra ordinarily designed and facilitated by Mrs. Beena Kothari, was gifted to the attendees in a Vegetarian Vision carry bag. The event was completely sold out with over 350 people representing several organization and community leaders from Tristate area attending. Several media including The South Asian Times, TV Asia, IVS TV, PTC Punjabi, Get Punjabi, etc covered the event.
New York: The Bollywood leading lady and internationally acclaimed recording artist, Priyanka Chopra, will deliver the keynote speech at the upcoming 4th annual South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment (SAMMA) Summit. The two-day networking conference - which starts on September 27 - at the Time Warner Global Headquarters and Conference Center here, is expected to attract South Asian leaders and innovators in digital media, television, film, advertising, marketing and entertainment. I am honored to be speaking at SAMMA, and I am humbled by the great impact of Indians in US and global entertainment and media, whether that is in digital media, television or music, said Priyanka Chopra in a press release. As creative artists and industry leaders, it is important to help open the worlds eyes to the great contributions Indians make to these industries and help pave the way for fellow South Asians. Although Indian actors like Mindy Kaling are getting meaty roles on American TV, there is still underrepresentation of Indians in the entertainment world and SAMMA is bridging this gap by partnering with major TV networks to create new opportunities for South Asian actors. This will be first such initiative ever where ABC casting will host an actor audition

Bollywood superstar Priyanka Chopra workshop exclusively for South Asians at the event. By partnering with companies with a strong belief in culturally relevant programming, we hope to open more doors for South Asian actors as well as serve as a great voice for the power of diversity, said Summit co-chair Radha Mehta. An impressive lineup of speakers including Dr. Mehmood Khan, chief innovations and science officer at PepsiCo and Keli Lee, head of casting at ABC Entertainment, are slated for the event. Other participants and panelists at SAMMA Summit 2013 include: Janina Gavankar Actor, Bobby Sharma SVP, Corporate Strategy, IMG Worldwide, David Taghioff VP, Development, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Jaideep Janakiram SVP, North America, Sony Entertainment Television, Anjula Acharia Bath CEO, DesiHits! Universal.

Paresh Parekh, Animesh Goenka, H.K. Shah, Ms. Vegetarian Pamela Osborn Popp, Mr. Vegetarian Harshil Parekh, Pageant Chair Flora Parekh, Ms. Vegetarian Runner up Teena Sukhwal, Mrs. Malati Shah and Mr. Vegetarian runnerup in background.

New York: Vegetarian Vision, a not for profit organization registered in the State of New York since 1992, organized the very first intercollegiate, tri-state Mr. & Ms. Vegetarian Pageant on September 14, 2013 at the Maguire Theatre SUNY OLD Westbury in Long Island, NY. This pageant was organized with the goal of promoting vegetarian way of life amongst our young up-

coming generation, under the strong leadership of Founder & Chairman Harshad K. Shah. Animesh Goenka (President), Flora Parekh (Pageant Chair & Jt. Secretary), Vinod Shah (Pageant CoChair & Secretary) and Naveen Shah (Pageant Advisor & Incoming President) honored the winners - Mr. Vegetarian Harshil Parekh, Ms. Vegetarian Pamela Osborn Popp, Mr. Vegetarian runner up

Indian Consulate hosts welcome dinner for BoBs S S Mundra LI Muslims respond to Florida pastors Qur'an burning threat
By Jinal Shah/SATimes New York: We are a boring bank claims SS Mundra, CMD, Bank of Baroda (BoB) at a gathering held in the Indian consulate on Monday. The consulate general hosted a welcome reception for Mundra that was attended by BoB employees, customers and members of the Indian American community. While addressing the gathering about banks traditional roots, Mundra said, Wherever I go it is heartening to hear that we are a tradition bound bank with a consistent existence. In many respects we are a very boring bank but we feel very happy that we have decided not to be adventurous especially post 2008. The most apt description we got of banks in very advanced economy was -Nothing is left on the right side of the bank and nothing is right on the left side of the bank. We never understood this kind of banking, never tried to do it and have no intention of doing it. He added, We are a very conservative bank and believe that test of a banker is not in good times but in times of stress. We are a good bank in bad times. Talking about current market sentiments on the diminishing rupee value, Mundra pointed out to the anxious gathering that, Within a period of two to three months (from being jubilant to doubting countrys economy) fundamentals dont change. You cant say that India has reached to a stagnation point, there is no demand, and there is no room for growth. Everything is intact; the country is still continuing to have a demographic advantage and we will bounce back. This is his first visit to New York after he took over as Chairman and Managing Director of one of the largest public sector banks of India. Banking plays extremely important role in the economic relations between the two countries. Indian banks have done very well but thats not enough, they need to be very aggressive, their products must be varied and must be in tune with the times. In that context the visit of Bank of Baroda chairman and managing director requires special reception because they have huge exposure, huge business in US and a very strong economic partnership with India and therefore if banks perform well then new projects will be generated, new partnerships will generate, said Indian consul general, Ambassador Dyaneshwar Mulay. (Turn to Page 6 for The South Asian Times interview with Mr.S S Mundra ) New York: Muslims of Long Island responded in an interesting and positive way to the threat of planned burning last week of about 3000 copies of Qur'an by Pastor Terry Jones of Florida. Instead of criticizing, condemning or opposing Pastor Jones freedom of expression guaranteed in our constitution, Muslims of Long Island collectively decided to donate 3000 items of food to the needy. The event was held on Tuesday, (L to R) Main speakers: Rev. Tom Goodhue, Executive Director of Long Island Council of September 11 at the Islamic Center Churches, Dr. Faroque Khan, Trustee Islamic of Long Island in Westbury. Mr. center of Long Island, Rabbi Menshe Bovit, Habeeb Ahmed, past president of Bellerose Jewish Center, Rev. Mark Lukens, ICLI and a proponent of Multi-faith President of Long Island Interfaith Alliance. and Inter-faith initiatives in Long IsIn the forefront seenMr. Habeebuddin Ahmed, land to promote harmony and peacePast President of ICLI. ful co-existence, welcomed the attendees. Almost 4000 non-perishable food plicitly in line with the examples set forth by items donated were lined up along the steps of Prophet Muhammad and the guidelines laid the mosque, beautifully boxed and ready for down by God Almighty in the Holy Quran. delivery to the Long Island Council of Church- Not one of you is a believer until he loves for es and St. Brigids Pantry of Westbury for dis- his brother/sister what he loves for himselftribution to families of all faiths across Long Hadith 40, an-Nawawi. The good deed and Island. Mr. Habeeb and his small group of vol- the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel the evil unteers worked tirelessly to secure the dona- with one which is better-and verily! He between whom and thyself was enmity (may then tions in a short time. Dr. Faroque Khan, trustee ICLI, addressed become) as though he was a close friendthe gathering and stated that this act was ex- Holy Quran, chapter 41 verse 34.

September 21-27, 2013


Exclusive Interview with Bank of Baroda CMD S.S. Mundra

very important to stick to fundamentals; having said that, this year we are oriented more towards retail banking. Further we are also very significantly developing our alternative delivery channel. For example we are ramping up our 2400 ATMS to 6000 ATMS, setting up 25,000 point-of-sale terminals and open 50 elobbies. So our focus is to significantly ramp up the delivery channel, do business with retail franchise, have complete control over the asset quality and grow with the fundamentals. What is your take on the recent RBI measures, especially the on-tap licensing? India has many banks; however 60% of the population is still excluded from a formal banking system. As we have seen in the last round of liberalization- with new players come new thought process, new technology. I dont think it will bring any undue crowd in the market, it will be good. What about other reforms suggested by the new RBI governor like central repository

'We significantly want to improve our alternative delivery channels'

database where all the banks will give exposure of their large credits to corporate entities. Everything is the step in the right direction. Some of the reforms are for short term effect such as FCNR (Foreign currency non-resident) b (bank) deposit scheme, allowing the bank to borrow 100% from overseas. These allow for some breathing time to put the medium term plan in place for issues of far reaching consequences reforms in the market, repository of the credit information and bringing some more products in the market. These are very well designed measures and very timely. In terms of central repository database, it is not that this kind of information is completely not available but the suggestion makes it much more efficient, quick and real time. How is corporate sector responding in terms of demand for credit? In the last month or so sentiment have suddenly become better than what it used to be. I wont say it has translated into a large order book or ample projects but there is a positive response. What are your plans for the overseas banks especially in the US? In the regulatory environment, they (US branches) are doing very well, and are complied with the business. Beyond that there will not be any immediate plans in the US. What are your future plans for India? We significantly want to improve our alternative delivery channel, achieve a very wide retail franchise, we may be opening around 600 branches around this year, taking our domestic branch network to 6000. This year alone we are hiring 7,000 people, and to train them, groom them and integrate them with the culture of the bank is a daunting task and very relevant today. And we are doing a lot of work in the area of financial inclusion because we believe this is going to be a very viable business in near future.

Bank of Baroda Chairman and Managing Director S S Mundra

By Jinal Shah n an interview with The SATimes, S.S. Mundra, CMD of Bank of Baroda, shared his views on the Reserve Bank of Indias new measures to stabilize rupee value, their future prospects and the banking sector in general. Excerpts: It has been more than seven months since you took charge. What changes have you introduced during this period? My message on taking charge was to go back to the basics. At this point in time it is

Hundreds gather to honor a saints message of peace and unity

New York: On September 15, hundreds of people came from throughout the Tri-State area to the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Amityville, NY to celebrate the birth anniversaries of two great spiritual luminaries, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and their message of peace. The Science of Spirituality (SOS) holds an annual festival on this special occasion combining fun activities for the whole family, along with inspirational presentations to nourish the spirit. SoS is a nonprofit, multi-faith organization that provides a forum for people to learn meditation, experience personal transformation, and bring about inner and outer peace and human unity. It is currently under the direction of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, who is internationally recognized for his work toward inner and outer peace through spirituality, promoting intercultural and global understanding. The Darshan Mela has become a muchanticipated yearly event at the Amityville SoS Meditation Center. Upon arriving, one strolled past a festive gateway, leading to the center grounds, dotted with large white tents. Booths that housed different activities were gaily decorated in whites and bright blues and sprinkled with arrays of flowers. The day began with the Centers weekly Yoga for Beginners class, taught by Mrs. Anup Bawa, and in the spacious sanctuary the weekly Sunday program was presented on the theme of Human Unity and Respect for All Life, followed by a Jyoti meditation session. A free luncheon was served from a wide variety of vegetarian food stalls -- delicious Indian, Caribbean, and South American selections, as well as old-time favorites like veggie hot dogs and roasted corn on the cob. Ice cream, fruit smoothies, fresh juices and fruit salads, and Indian sweets added to the festive atmosphere for children and adults alike. An expansive spiritual bookstall and photo exhibition were on display, including multi-media of spiritual talks given by the Spiritual Masters of Sant Mat, along with music, gift items and inspirational literature. During the day there

Science of Spirituality Meditation Center in Amityville, NY, holds Darshan Mela.

The annual event celebrates the birth anniversaries of two spiritual luminaries, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and their message of peace

were a variety of games, kids entertainment, rides and colorful face painting for the children. Live music was presented by the Center's own musical group called Junoon and an underlying spiritual message throughout all the programs of kindness and unity. There were workshops including a seminar titled Meditation for Peace & Happiness presented by international speaker Jim Rose, and Quick n' Healthy Vegetarian Meals, offered by Susan Rose. Another yoga session was presented by Joao Guimaeres. Many benefited from the free medical checkups provided by Dr. O.P Chawla who also answered healthrelated questions. The SOS Young Adults group organized a clothing and vegetarian food drive. All donations went to a non-profit, interfaith, Long Island-based charitable organization that feeds, clothes and provides social services to our neighbors in need. The SOS teens and young adults are planning more communitybased activities, working with charitable groups and helping to make a difference. Realizing the benefits they receive through meditation and spirituality, these young people are working to positively impact the lives of others to help make this world a better place. Later in the afternoon, as the children enjoyed the outdoor fun, the program resumed inside

the hall. Emceed by educator and author Andrew Vidich, PhD, poetry, music and videos were presented celebrating the lives of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. Sant Darshan Singh (1921-1989) was a Master of Surat Shabd Yoga and the founder of Science of Spirituality. He was known to be a spiritual leader of the greatest compassion and kindness -- an ocean of divine grace and love. He was also acclaimed as Indias greatest mystic poet writing in the Urdu language. He won four Urdu Academy Awards for poetry. His poetry was honored in India and abroad. His many books, articles and tapes spread a message of love, unity and peace all over the globe. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is one of the worlds most highly regarded and distinguished masters of meditation. As the current spiritual leader of Science of Spirituality, he tours the world year round presenting his powerful, yet simple meditation technique to millions of people in over 20 countries. His many books include the critically acclaimed Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living, and Empowering Your Soul through Meditation, and Inner and Outer Peace through Meditation, both Barnes & Noble #1 bestsellers in their genre as well as his latest book Meditation as Medication for the Soul. He also

holds annual global conferences on Human Unity, where religious, civic and social leaders from the world over gather to celebrate the oneness of humanity and importance of peace in the modern world. Darshan Melas festivities continued into the evening, as the audience was warmly welcomed by D.S. Rana, coordinator for the SOS Centers Hindi Chapter. The presentation was emceed by Mrs. Vimmi Kohli who also spoke about the universal teachings of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. The festival ended with an inspirational children's presentation, reflecting the goals of our coming generations to make this a kinder, healthier and more peaceful planet. The Science of Spirituality Meditation Center holds spiritual programs weekly in multiple languages including English, Hindi and Spanish. On Saturday November 2, 9:30 am - 3 pm, the Center will be hosting an allday program entitled A day of wellness for body, mind and soul with workshops on ways to de-stress, meditation, healthy eating and yoga. All programs sponsored by the Science of Spirituality are free of charge and all are welcome. To learn more about events happening at the SOS Meditation Center: 631.822.7979;;


September 21-27, 2013

Three Indian-Americans among America's 400 richest

Washington, DC: Three IndianAmericans figure among America's 400 richest people with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates retaining the top spot on the Forbes list for the twentieth straight year, at Bharat Desai is the $72 billion.Up $6 richest Indian in billion from 2012, America. Gates is once again the world's richest person, having passed Mexico's Carlos Slim in May. Topping the Indian-American list was Florida outsourcer Bharat Desai & family with a net worth of $2.2 billion in the 252nd position. He was followed California software manufacturer Romesh T Wadhwani with a net worth of 2.1 billion. California venture capitalist Vinod Khosla was ranked 352 with a net worth of $1.5 billion Investor Warren Buffett, the second richest is the biggest dollar gainer this year at $58.5 billion, up $12.5 billion from last year.

Indian-American shooting victim lived the US dream

Washington, DC: India-born Vishnu "Kisan" Pandit, one of the 12 victims of Washington's Navy Yard shooting, came to the US in the mid-1970s to live the American dream like millions of other immigrants from around the world. Pandit was among 12 people who were killed by a gunman in the deadly mass shooting Monday at the sprawling Washington Navy Yard complex in Washington. Fourteen people were injured, while the gunman, Aaron Alexis, 34, was later killed. Coming to the US in his early twenties after studying marine engineering at a Kolkata college, Pandit, 61, earned a Master's degree from the University of Michigan before joining the US Navy as a civilian employee. "Kisan took great pride in being employed by the United States Navy, which he very proudly served in various capacVishnu Kisan Pandit

ities as a civilian for over 25 years," Pandit's family wrote in an obituary released Tuesday. "Kisan felt extremely privileged to have contributed to the superiority of the US Navy and the country that he served." Pandit's family remembers him as "a kind and gentle man who loved his family, friends, dog, and job," according to a Washington Post profile of the victims. Pandit was married to Anjali

Pandit and they have two sons, Siddhesh and Kapil, who are both in their 30s. They become grandparents last month when one of their sons had a daughter. The New York Times described Pandit as "the kind of man who watched out for his neighbors: watering plants, offering to watch a baby, even checking in when he noticed a garage door left open too long." "They were like family," one of his neighbors in North

Potomac, a Washington suburb in neighboring Maryland, was quoted as saying. Recalling Pandit "as a man whose ready smile and affection for his golden retriever stood out even to those who didn't know him," said the neighbor. Pandit wasn't just an engineer and suburban family man, he was a "pioneer", M. Nuns Jain, a friend from their days at a Calcutta university, told the Huffington Post. He had led the way and soon cajoled Jain to join him in the US. "He persuaded me to come to the States," Jain said. "He was a pioneer. I followed him. I wasn't too keen on it. He talked me into it." "He definitely lived the American Dream and achieved it," Jain said, standing outside Pandit's home. "It's disheartening that the one flaw in the American system is the uncontrollable proliferation of guns."

My autobiography for next generation: Ashok Amritraj Ratan Tata joins

New Delhi: He was a tennis ace. He is a prolific filmmaker. And now Ashok Amritraj has turned author with "Advantage Hollywood." The multi-tasker describes his autobiography as an "immigrant's journey" that focuses on his "growing up years in Chennai", "making it in the White Man's world" and says the book is for the new generation. "Advantage Hollywood", result of two years of writing and jogging memories, was to be launched at the two-day CII Big Picture Summit. Interestingly, the book will be unveiled by action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, with whom Amritraj enjoys camaraderie since "Double Impact" days. "It's for the next generation. People I would love to read it are kids in schools and colleges; people who want to make it in the entertainment business or any other business," said Amritraj, who grew up in Chennai before moving to the US. The 57-year-old added, "the book is also for those who want to go global. It kind of speaks to them." Although he is based in the US, Amritraj felt India was an appropriate place to launch the book, as it is where it all started. When probed about the highlights of the book, he said: "There are few things - one is sort of an immigrant's journey at a time when India was not fashionable, Asia was not fashionable. It's about early 1980s when America was sort of a center of the world Apart from family, he also talks about culture, tradition and arranged marriage in his book. "It's also about making it in a white man's world at that time and the lessons learned," he added. Remembering his childhood days, he said, "Growing up in Chennai, Madras then, was much simpler and easier." "It was absolutely wonderful time that we grew up in - my brothers (Vijay and Anand) and I - we have always been a close family," he said and added: "It's still a great place for today's kids but it is different than it used to be." In his 31-year-long stint in Hollywood, he has produced more than 100 films under his banner Hyde Park Entertainment and collaborated with big names like Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Angelina Jolie and Robert DeNiro. So, why you finalized Van Damme to release your book? "I could have had others, but I think we have a sort of a history together it was not just one film ('Double Impact'), we share a friendship Also, it was 'Double Impact' that sort of made his career take off and mine too. In fact, the book starts in 1991 when I made the film and got married," he said and admitting the double impact of the film in his real life. Next week Amritraj will travel to his hometown Chennai to unveil the book.

Carnegie Board
Washington, DC: Leading Indian industrialist Ratan N. Tata has joined the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an influential Washington think tank. "We are extremely proud to welcome Ratan to our board of trustees," said Harvey V. Fineberg, chairman of the board in a statement announcing Tata's induction. Ratan has an unparalleled knowledge of the global economy, as well as the business sector in one of the world's most important emerging economies. He has enormous experience managing large organizations, and I know he will be a tremendous asset for Carnegie." Welcoming Tata to Carnegie's board, the think tank president Jessica T. Mathews said: "As we continue to develop the world's first truly global think tank, including establishing a South Asia Centre in New Delhi, I can think of few better people to help us in that mission." Tata, who is also a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry, was chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, from 1991 until his retirement at the end of 2012.

Ashok Amritraj

power and California was a mythical place. So it's journey in that period of time." If one aspect of the book focuses on his struggle as a filmmaker, the other talks about how he balanced work and family after becoming successful. "Another thing was growing up in India, which has been very important part of my career," he said and added that people kind of found India essence in his films "Double Impact" and "Raising Helen."

September 21-27, 2013


Ex US envoys to India seek non-discriminatory immigration law

By Arun Kumar Washington, DC: Five former US ambassadors to India have written to top US Congressional leaders in support of a "clean" immigration reform bill that does not include any discriminatory provisions that may harm US or Indian interests. "For all the right reasons, the United States has made India one of our premier strategic partners," wrote the five who served as envoys to New Delhi between 1991 and 2009 described as "the transformative period that heralded India's economic opening and liberalization. "American competitiveness and vitality depend heavily on robust US-India commercial ties," they wrote seeking a legislation which supports the growth of the US-India knowledge economy "Any comprehensive immigration reform legislation approved by Congress must appreciate the mutual benefit of deepening the US-India partnership, which is vitally important to our two countries and the global economy," the former envoys wrote. The letter ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the US later this month is addressed to Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner, Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Signed by former ambassadors Thomas R. Pickering (1992-1993), Frank G. Wisner (1994-1997), Richard Celeste (1997- 2001), Robert Blackwill (2001-2003) and David C. Mulford (2004-2009, the letter was circulated by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) comprising about 350 top-tier US and Indian companies. A key aspect of US-India has been the ability of US companies to draw upon Indian information technology (IT) professionals to form a "knowledge economy" not outsourcing- "to drive innovation and provide US companies with an advantage over global competitors, they wrote. While "US Congressional efforts to further Comprehensive Immigration Reform can be of great benefit," they were "concerned that the high-skilled visa provisions in legislation currently contemplated by the Senate are not in US economic interests and they complicate our relations with India." "The Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation that has passed the US Senate unfortunately differentiates between US providers of IT and Indian IT companies which provide the same services to American businesses using virtually the same labor pool sourced from India," the envoys lamented. In particular, the bill will block Indian IT companies as well as significant US IT service providers from providing these essential services - and free-market competition - to leading US-based multinational companies, they wrote. "Equally important, such legislation sends a protectionist signal to our Indian counterparts - a signal normally reserved for nations with whom we have non-productive relations," the envoys wrote asserting "India does not fit this category."

US stops debt collection scams through Indian call centers

Washington, DC: A US regulatory body has put a stop to fake debt scams by two Florida-based companies who worked with a call center in India and bilked millions of dollars from consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Tuesday the companies, through threatening debt collecting tactics, collected about $5 million from consumers who either did not owe the debt or owed a debt to someone else. The FTC said it had imposed a judgment of more than $25.3 million against the companies, which also used a phony interest rate reduction scheme between January 2010 and August 2011. The FTC alleged that the two companies Fisher, Andre Keith Sanders, Pro Credit Group, LLC, and Sanders Legal Group, P.A. set up US-based financial accounts for a call center operation based in India. The operation's callers used threats, lies, and abusive tactics to collect debts from consumers who had previously applied for or received loans from online payday loan companies and had supplied sensitive personal financial information that later found its way into the hands of those involved with the scam. Once consumers agreed to pay, Fisher and attorney Sanders used Sanders Legal Group, PA to process at least $5 million from consumers whom the India-based callers had misled, the FTC alleged. Although numerous consumers complained to the local Better Business Bureau chapter about the abusive tactics of the callers, and many consumers tried unsuccessfully to get refunds, the defendants continued processing consumers' payments, it said. In the spring of 2012, at the request of the FTC, a court shut down the two operations.

Farmingdale resident Manasa Pisipati performs Aarangetram

hundreds. Manasa was trained for the past New York: Indian tradieight years by Syostion is kept alive in New set resident Satya York as Farmingdale Pradeep, who has resident Manasa Pisipati been guiding young made her formal stage dancers and impartdebut with a three-hour ing traditional Indian long solo classical culture to New York dance performance area residents for the called Aarangetram. last twenty years Pisipati, 16, graced the through her school stage on 31 August at Nritya Saagaram the Flushing Hindu Dance Academy. Temple Auditorium in An honors student, Queens, New York perManasa is currently a Manasa Pisipati forming eight intricate junior at Half Hollow dance pieces in the South Indian Hills High School East in Dix Hills, dance style known as New York. Bharatanatyam. She is the daughter of long-term Accompanied by a renowned or- Farmingdale Rotary Club member chestral ensemble consisting of vo- and Past President Prakash Pisipati. cals, tabla, violin, flute, and cym- Sunitha Pisipati, her mom, encourbals, Manasa debuted her extensive aged her to learn this divine art dance training to an audience of form. By Anusha Kambhampaty

'Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi' premieres on Sony Entertainment Television

New York: Indias most loved Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will tantalize your taste buds as Sony Entertainment Television presents a brand new cooking, reality show Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi. This delectable show premiered on September 16 at 8pm ET and will be a gastronomic delight for all food lovers. Get ready to celebrate food in a whole new way as we see a family take on a chef, in cooking up dishes, which are the families culinary pride. Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi will witness a cook-off between ordinary families and a professional chef. Both the chef and the families will cook and present the same dish to Sanjeev Kapoor (Chief Judge) for the final verdict. The show will not just entertain viewers with its competitive format but also give viewers an opportunity to learn interesting recipes as a part of the Dish of the Day in each episode. This culinary battle will feature families that have auditioned from all over the country, and the best amongst them will find their place in the show. The renowned chefs who will be pitted against the families are entertaining and energetic Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, experimentative Chef Ajay Chopra, Mexican food specialist Chef Vikas Seth, Indias Youngest TV Chef and Limca record holder Chef Saransh Goila and last but not the least Continental food specialist Rahul Kulkarni. Speaking about the new culinary show, Jaideep Janakiram, SVP International Business-Head of North America said, Sony Entertainment Television has always intro-

duced innovative and captivating programming for its viewers. As we launch Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi, we will introduce cooking with a dramatic new twist. We are sure it is going to rekindle the audiences love of cooking. The charming host and Judge Sanjeev Kapoor said, I always believed and thought that food is not niche. It is a specialty but it is mass. I wanted people to view it like that and I am glad that Sony Entertainment Television is supporting us in this endeavor by presenting this new culinary reality show. The Chefs will be handicapped as they will have no advance knowledge of the dishes & no one to help them. It will be a gastronomic treat for viewers. The families along with the Chefs will battle it out for the coveted title of the show Swaad ke Sartaaj. Get ready to watch the ultimate culinary battle in Sanjeev Kapoor ke Kitchen Khiladi; Mondays to Fridays at 8PM ET, only on Sony Entertainment Television Asia!


September 21-27, 2013

Wall Street soars as Fed maintains stimulus

New York: Stocks finished sharply higher Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 logging fresh highs, after the Federal Reserve surprised Wall Street by keeping its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying stimulus program intact. "This has been music to the market's ears and a positive for risk assets across the board," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "But investors at some point will start to question the strength of the underlying economy. The Fed specifically cited rising mortgage rates, and it also blamed Washington, where Congress is heading toward another showdown on the debt ceiling. "Federal fiscal policy continues to be a restraint on growth and a source of downside risk," said Fed Chairman Ben program. The Fed also downgraded its outlook for the U.S. economy. The central bank now expects GDP growth will be in the 2-2.3 percent range this year, down from 2.3-2.6 percent forecast earlier this year. It also cut the 2014 forecast to 2.9-3.1 percent from 3.03.5 percent. Treasury yields slid, with the Benchmark 10-year yield at 2.76 percent, down from 2.86 before the Fed statement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average spiked more than 100 points after the Fed announcement, setting a fresh intraday-high of 15,709.58. The S&P 500 jumped to hit a new high of 1,729.44. Both indexes posted their best day since June 13. The Nasdaq rallied 1 percent to hit its best level in 13 years.

US debt hike emerges as main battleground over Obamacare

Washington: Republicans in the House of Representatives set in motion on Wednesday a plan that ultimately could avert a federal government shutdown on October 1, turning a later battle over the debt ceiling into the main event in the conservative struggle against President Barack Obama's healthcare program. Obama accused Republicans of engaging in extortion by demanding a delay in "Obamacare" as the price of avoiding default that, were it to happen, would smash the US economy. "You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a President or a governing party," Obama told a group of business leaders. Undaunted, Republicans said Wednesday they would add other demands to their list, including approval of the Keystone oil pipeline. The action on the two separate measures, to continue funding the government and increase the government's borrowing authority by raising the debt ceiling, may begin as early as this week in the House, starting with the funding measure on Thursday or Friday. The debt ceiling, which could come up next week, is far more consequential because it could rattle world markets and lead to a downgrade of the government's credit rating or to default. Without Congress' approval, the government will be unable to borrow money to pay its debts sometime in mid-October,

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

Latest round of Republicans obsession with repealing Obamacare

Bernanke. The Federal Reserve said it would continue buying bonds at the current rate of $85-billion a month for now, surprising Wall Street. Strategists and traders were expecting the central bank to announce a $10 billion-$15 billion reduction to its asset purchase

De Blasio jumps to big early lead over Lhota in mayor race

New York: Bill de Blasio leads Republican Joe Lhota among likely voters by 43 percentage points in the race for New York City mayor, an early positive news for Democrats seeking to recapture City Hall for the first time in 20 years, a Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll released Tuesday showed. De Blasio, the city's public advocate who is contesting on a progressive agenda, is outpacing Lhota, a former deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani, 65% to 22% among likely voters, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate. "It's a very lopsided contest at this point," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Coming out of the starting blocks, it is playing de Blasio's way in a big way." The poll was the first since the Sept. 10 primary, from which De Blasio and Lhota emerged as victors, according to unofficial returns. The results show the challenges Lhota faces in a city where Democrats outBill de Blasio at an event where his primary rival Christine Quinn endorsed him. Bill Thompson also finally conceded.

according to the Treasury Department. "A government shutdown, and perhaps even more so a failure to raise the debt limit, could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and for the economy," Fed chairman Ben Bernanke warned at a news conference. In an ominous move, Republicans said they will include in their temporary spending plan a provision they claim will prevent a debt default if Congress does not raise the debt limit on time. The usual uncertainty surrounding such showdowns is compounded this time for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are deeply divided over their tactical approach, with House Speaker John Boehner unable to control his members and increasingly portrayed by Tea Party activists as an enemy for trying to avoid linking the fiscal showdowns to the health care law.

number Republicans 6 to 1. Giuliani is strongly backing Lhota, former MTA chairman, but his endorsement may not help much. A majority of voters, 51%, said Guiliani's backing makes them less likely to vote for Lhota. De Blasio has also received the endorsement from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as President Bill Clinton in the mayoral race hardly a surprise given that he was Mrs. Clintons campaign manager in her successful 2000 campaign for Senate. State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has also endorsed De Blasio during an event at City Hall.

Navy Yard shooter was treated for "serious mental illness"

Washington: The deadly attack at the Washington Navy Yard was carried out by one of the military's own: a defense contract employee and former Navy reservist who used a valid pass to get onto the installation and started firing inside a building, killing 12 people before he was slain in a gun battle with police. Government sources told the Associated Press that Alexis suffered from paranoia, a sleep disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and that he also heard voices. And according to the AP, approximately one month before the shooting, he complained to Rhode Island police that "people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel rooms and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep." Recently, he had sought treatment from two Virginia hospitals. The motive for the mass shooting - the deadliest on a military installation in the US since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 - was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings and a disorderly conduct citation in Georgia. The officials also said there has been no connection to international or domestic terrorism and investigators have found no manifesto or other writings suggesting a political or religious motivation for the shooting.


September 21-27, 2013


The Rise and Rise of Narendra Modi

Modi-fication is complete
Triggering a new ray of hope among the supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party panIndia, Narendra Modi is party's PM candidate for 2014 general elections. All eyes are now on Congress. Will it name Rahul Gandhi to match Modi's growing clamor?

From humble tea vendor to PM candidate

Ahmedabad: Immediately after being anointed BJP's PM candidate, Narendra Modi talked of his humble background . The message: A common man was taking on the might of India's first family - the Gandhis. ND, as his schoolmates at B N High School in his hometown Vadnagar 100 km from here know him, has had a roller-coaster life. In the 1960s, Modi helped his brother run a stall at old Ahmedabad's Gita Mandir bus stand, serving hot cups of tea. The stall was near the RSS state headquarters and allowed him to listen in on political discussions. The Sangh ideology left an impression on this 20-year-old political science student, who became a swayamsevak, then full-time pracharak. Then prant paracharak Laxmanrao Inamdar, popular as Vakilsaheb , became his mentor. The work ethic of a tea vendor never left him. Modi puts in 18 hours of work every day. He has kept a pracharak's discipline - vegetarian diet, yoga and a quick scan of all newspapers and websites. He took to social networking before other politicians realized its power. It was this discipline, sharp political mind and organizational skills that LK Advani spotted in him in 1975 during the Emergency. He was inducted into BJP in the 1980s and made party state organizing secretary. While everybody knew him as a planner, many were unaware of his powerful oratory. This skill has its roots in whatever little theater he did at school. In 1963 Modi, himself an OBC, did a monoact 'Pilu Phool' , on the plight of dalits, to raise funds for a social cause. Now, it's his persona that connects, especially with the urban youth and women. The halfsleeve kurtas he buys from a city boutique have become a style statement. Soon after BJP came to power in 1995, Modi came to be seen as 'Super CM' operating from then CM Keshubhai Patel's backroom. Many believe it was Modi's highhandedness that forced Shankarsinh Vaghela to split BJP in 1996 and form government with his party, Rashtriya Janata Party. Modi was banished from Gujarat . He used his exile to build national networks. Vaghela lost the 1998 polls and Keshubhai returned to power. He was hit by many natural calamities and lost grip on the state, paving the way for Modi to be CM. Several BJP leaders bristle over Modi's "high-handedness" , others see it as strong leadership. He invokes Sardar Patel and insists Patel could've been PM but for the Nehru-Gandhis. The turning point for Modi were the riots that changed the state forever. Modi has never apologized for the riots, and in 2002 won two-thirds majority despite criticism over his handling of the violence. Then PM AB Vajpayee asked him to follow 'Rajdharma' and tried to sack him. Modi realised that the communal pitch might not help him achieve his larger goal. In 2003, he switched to talking development. He got a jolt in 2005 when the US revoked his visa for suppression of religious freedom . While the West banned him, Modi engaged with the Far East and China. Gujarat witnessed some controversial encounters under Modi between 2002 and 2007, when the state went to polls. Some police officers and Modi aide Amit Shah have since been accused of murder. An otherwise dull campaign in 2007 came alive when Sonia Gandhi called Modi 'Maut ka saudagar' - a term Modi used to his advantage and stormed to power.

The sulking LK Advani stayed away from the parliamentary board meeting; later, the BJP stalwart praised Narendra Modi and his governance style

New Delhi: The countdown to India's general election began with the BJP declaring Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate despite party patriarch L.K. Advani's opposition. A confident Modi pledged to lead the BJP to victory in 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party's decision, expected since Modi was named the election campaign chief in June also against Advani's wishes, triggered a wave of euphoria in the main opposition party that has been out of power since stunningly losing the 2004 Lok Sabha battle. The Congress spoke in different voices. While spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury called it "an internal affair" of BJP, Law Minister Kapil Sibal was sarcastic: "If BJP wants to celebrate an early Diwali, let them." The Congress is unlikely to name a prime ministerial candidate though there is clamor within to pick Rahul Gandhi, the party vice president and son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. There were joyous scenes at the BJP headquarters here as the 64year-old Modi drove in to attend a meeting of the parliamentary board which decided to name him its general. More celebrations took place later too. BJP president Rajnath Singh made the formal announcement at a media conference, and Modi pledged to do everything to ensure that the BJP again got to rule the world's largest democracy. "I promise that in the 2014 election, the BJP will emerge victorious," said Modi, dressed in a lemon green buttoned-up traditional kurta, flanked by senior colleagues, the

only absentee being former mentor Advani. "For this, the party will work hard and we will leave no stone unturned," said Modi after accepting sweets, bouquets and garlands. "I am sure people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari will vote for the (BJP)." The announcement came after days of drama during which Rajnath Singh tried his best to persuade those who ranged against Modi to fall in line. He succeeded -- except in Advani's case. Advani not only

stayed away from the parliamentary board meeting but wrote -- a la June -- a stinging letter to Rajnath Singh voicing displeasure over the latter's style of functioning -- an obvious reference to the way the party president goaded others to come on board the Modi decision. In his four-minute speech in Hindi, Modi paid tributes to Vajpayee and Advani. In an attempt to buy peace, Modi later drove to Advani's residence but details of what they discussed were not available.

Modi can apply for visa like anyone else: US

Washington: Narendra Modi would still have to apply for a visa "like any other applicant", said the US after the Gujarat chief minister was anointed BJP's prime ministerial candidate. "There's no change in our longstanding visa policy," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters. "Well, I'm not going to comment, as I don't think we ever do, on domestic Indian politics," she said. "These are decisions for the Indian people to make, certainly not for me to make judgments on one way or the other." But Modi "is welcome to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant", Harf said, adding, "That review will be, of course, grounded in US law. And I just am not going to speculate about what the outcome of that review might be. If Mr. Modi would like to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant, he's certainly free to do so." Modi has not applied for a US visa since 2005 when he was denied a diplomatic visa for his alleged inaction in controlling the 2002 Godhra riots. In addition, the B-1/B-2 visa that had previously been granted to him was also revoked.

It was discipline, sharp political mind and organizational skills that LK Advani spotted in Narendra Modi in 1975


September 21-27, 2013


The Rise and Rise of Narendra Modi

PM aspirant Modi warns Pakistan

Rewari (Haryana): In his first outing as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi told Pakistan to "shun its anti-India attitude", pitched for a strong leadership and said the massive crowds gathered to hear him were an indication of a "call for change" to the "sultanate of Delhi". In his 65-minute speech to former soldiers and party supporters in this south Haryana town, 90 km from Delhi, Modi sought to project a national outlook, as he accused the United Progressive Alliance government of vote-bank politics and called upon ex-servicemen not to forgive it. Though the event was scheduled weeks in advance, the rally turned out to be Modi's first big political show after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) named him its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections. The massive crowds cheered Modi every time he made an important point. On Pakistan, Modi said that promoting gun culture had done the neighboring country no good over the last 60 years. "The rulers in Pakistan should resolve that they will not allow terrorists (to operate) in Pakistan for 10 years. I can say with authority that if this happens, Pakistan will see the progress that it has not seen in the last 60 years," he said. "Earlier, the war used to take place on the border. But when you (Pakistan) could not defeat the Indian Army, you started going for killing innocent citizens." Modi, who has often taken a strident line on Pakistan, took a relatively soft line despite the harsh words of some of the earlier speakers. Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who joined the BJP recently, said

'Always fascinated by armed forces'

Rewari (Haryana): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi admitted to having a fascination for the armed forces since his childhood and said that he considered it "a signal from God" that he got the chance to address an exservicemen's rally immediately after being named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. He revealed that he wanted to study in a Sainik School but could not fulfil his dream due to his family's financial status. He said he procured the prospectus of a Sainik School by sending Rs.2 when he was a class 4 student. However, his father could not afford to pay the money to sit in the entrance test for Sainik School and his dream of joining it died. Modi said he was a class 6 student during the 1962 war with China and went to Mehsana railway station to serve soldiers going to the border. "I went to Mehsana without telling my father and served them tea, breakfast and pressed their feet for days," Modi said, who greeted the ex-servicemen by folding his hands.

The rally turned out to be Narendra Modi's first big political show after his anointment as BJP's PM candidate

Pakistan would be finished if it eyes Kashmir upon Modi coming to power. Modi, dressed in a white kurtapyjama, also charged neighboring countries like Pakistan and China of trying to create trouble on the borders with India and alleged were being aided by the "weak policies" of the central government. "The neighbors are it due to weakness of forces? The problem is not on the borders but in Delhi. The problem is in Delhi. We have to find solution in Delhi," he said and added that a solution can only be found if there is a

strong leadership.Hailing the armed forces' secularism, Modi attacked UPA over a survey to know religion of the personnel "through the Sachar commission" and complimented the forces for not accepting the suggestion. Sharing the dais were former army chief Gen. V.K. Singh and a number of retired military officers. Thousands of people, including former soldiers, turned up for the rally. Seeking to reach out to the ex-servicemen, Modi asked the UPA government to bring out a white paper on the long-standing demand of former soldiers for "one rank, one pension".

Modi faces challenges of reach, image

by thinking among BJP leaders that the party would not get a large chunk of Muslim votes this time around. However, Nihal Singh noted that Modi had appeal among sections of urban youth, who see him as a decisive leader. Subrata Mukherjee, a political analyst who taught at Delhi University, said Modi was still a polarising figure and does not have wide political acceptability. "In a liberal democracy and in normal circumstances, extremist forces cannot win. Democracy inevitably leads to moderation, except in rare situations," Mukherjee told said. He said the BJP should have at least waited till the assembly polls in five states before taking a decision on Modi's elevation. Aswini K. Ray, a former professor of political science at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said Modi's critics have raised his profile through constant pillorying. "His critics have made him a hero," Ray said. He said Modi had an image of being focused, uncorrupt and target-oriented. "I think the BJP's decision to make him its prime ministerial candidate is justified. He has it in him. He has come up from the ranks. He has the political skills," Ray said.

Modi to woo Indian Americans via satellite

Surveys have shown Modi leading the race for the post of prime minister

New Delhi: Narendra Modi's elevation as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has energised the party cadre and given them scent of victory in the 2014 general elections. Analysts, however, say that the path ahead is rife with challenges for the Gujarat chief minister due to limitations of the party's geographic spread and the preference of a good number of Indians for a leader with a moderate and inclusive image. Senior journalist and commentator S. Nihal Singh said Modi's elevation was no surprise, especially after he got blessings of

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP's ideological fountainhead. "I doubt if he can win the polls (for the BJP). I doubt he will have acceptability in the whole country," Nihal Singh said. In a country like India, with its vast ethnic diversity, people have backed "an inclusive leader", he added. "How is he going to transform himself into another Modi? He can change the narrative...The problem will be credibility," Nihal Singh maintained. He said decision to elevate Modi may also have been guided

The theme of the conference is 'Mission 2014: BJP 272+'

Washington: Denied a US visa for years, Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata party's newlyanointed prime ministerial candidate, is all set to woo Indian diaspora via satellite video ahead of the 2014 parliamentary poll. The Gujarat chief minister will address the annual national convention of the US chapter of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) at Tampa, Florida on September 21 through satellite video with his speech telecast live on "TV Asia" across US, Canada, Europe, and India. The theme of the conference is "Mission 2014: BJP 272+", a refer-

ence to the party's ambition to secure absolute majority on its own in the 543-member Lok Sabha, according to Chandrakant Patel, president-elect of OFBJP. The event would kick start OFBJP's campaign for "Congress Mukt Bharat Nirman" or building India without Congress - by winning power at the centre "with new thought and new hope to build one and excellent India" among the Indian diaspora, he said. To be inaugurated by BJP vice president Smriti Irani on September 20, the convention will be attended by over 1,000 members of the Indian American community.


September 21-27, 2013


UP did not handle riots well, In politics to make the poor dream big: Rahul says Congress
Baran (Rajasthan): Accusing opposition parties like the BJP of pursuing pro-rich policies, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said his mission in politics was to make the poor dream big. Addressing a huge rally here after presiding over functions aimed at improving irrigation and power supply, Gandhi sought to identify the country's oldest party with the poor. "We want that the poorest of poor are able to realise their dreams. We want women should be able to realise their dreams. Otherwise, there is no interest in politics for us," he said to applause. This was his second rally in Rajasthan in seven days. In his about 20-minute speech, Gandhi took a veiled dig at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. He said people come and make tall claims but the Congress delivers. Gandhi stressed that the poor and women were the power of the country. "If the country moves forward, it will be on the basis of your dreams. If we do not allow you to see dreams, the country cannot go forward," he said. "Our politics is politics of your dreams," he said. He repeatedly referred to welfare legislations passed by the UPA government including on food security, rural employment guarantee and land acquisition. The opposition, he said, were creating hurdles in their passage. He said the opposition agreed with the Congress on the need to build infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railway lines and power plants, but not on the party's concern for the poor. "They (opposition) say well-placed people should walk on these roads, should board planes while the common man goes hungry and keeps looking at swanky cars. "We say the biggest dream should be seen by the poor," he said. The son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi contended that the reasons behind poverty was not

Over 40 people lost their lives in the communal violence

New Delhi: The Congress targeted the Uttar Pradesh government, saying it did not handle properly the recent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar district. Over 40 people lost their lives in the communal violence. "The Samajwadi Party government did not handle the situation well," Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal told reporters. "The focus now should be on bridging the gap between the communities and rehabilitating the displaced persons," he said. He said around 20,000 of the 40,000 displaced people in the recent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar were still living in the relief camps. "They are fearful of going back to their homes. The priority should be to bring their con-

fidence back," he said. Most of these people were Muslims, though members of the Jat community too have suffered in the process. He denied media reports that the Congress leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, who visited the riot affected areas, met only victims from a particular community. "You probably published their pictures only with one community members," Afzal told media persons. Though the Congress spokesperson demanded a probe into the violence, he did not specifically seek a Central Bureau of Investigation probe. "The state has to probe. The state government recommends a CBI probe," he said.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressing a public meeting at Baran town in Kota district, Rajasthan

unemployment but frequent health problems and diseases. Noting that the Congress government in Rajasthan was giving free medicines to the poor, he said the scheme will be replicated in the entire country. Gandhi said India was a country of young but most were poor. "They have a lot of dreams. If they want to find employment, want to start a business, the government needs to hold their hand," he said. Gandhi did not directly refer to Modi, but Rajasthan Congress chief Chandrabhan called the Gujarat chief minister "a specialist in riots".

Muslim leaders blast UP government over riots

Aligarh: Muslim leaders and activists denounced the Samajwadi Party government for failing to check the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh that left over 40 people dead. A meeting of Muslim intellectuals and social and cultural groups organized by the Sir Syed Awareness Forum here also criticized the ruling party for not fulfilling its election promises. Renowned Islamic scholar M. Saud Alam Qasmi said the Samajwadi Party was playing politics with Muslim sentiments instead of providing, as promised, 18 percent reservation in jobs to Muslims. He declared that Muslims "will teach a lesson" to the Akhilesh Yadav government in the next election. Social worker Najam Abbasi said the Samajwadi Party government was not worried about the security of Muslims. Shakeel Samdani, president of Sir Syed Awareness Forum and general secretary of United Muslim Organisation, said communal riots were harming the sec-

Don't issue hollow statements on Muzaffarnagar: BJP

Lucknow: The BJP asked the union and the Uttar Pradesh governments to stop "issuing hollow statements" on the Muzaffarnagar riots and instead work to nail the guilty. The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Congress and the Samajwadi Party governments of paying lip service to the violence in Muzaffaranagar that left 48 dead. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Monday said the guilty would be booked, but what stopped them from doing so, state BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS. "Both these governments have intelligence set-ups with them and police. So instead of issuing hollow statements, they should act," the spokesman said. The spokesman questioned the divergent views emerging in the Samajwadi Party on the Muzaffarnagar clashes. "SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said that the violent incidents in Muzaffarnagar were caste conflicts. However, Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan said these were the worst communal riots in India after the 2002 Gujarat riots," Pathak said. He questioned what he called "efforts by the SP government to cover up its administrative and intelligence failure" and said such efforts will only increase the pain of the people displaced in the riots. He said the Samajwadi Party and the Congress "should ensure that the guilty behind the riots are booked", he said. Earlier, state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai dared the government to arrest party legislators booked by the district administration for their alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar riots. "Two of our MLAs accused falsely by the police are attending the monsoon session of the assembly. I dare the government to arrest them," Bajpai said, accusing the state government of falsely implicating the legislators.

The Akhilesh Yadav government is facing flak over the handling of communal riots

ular fabric of India. He said the Sep 7-9 Muzaffarnagar violence was a part of a larger conspiracy and "the so-called pro-Muslim government of UP has miserably failed to contain these riots". He demanded that the compensation for those killed in the riots should be raised to Rs.25 lakh and

for the injured to Rs.5 lakh. The secretary of the forum, Mansoor Ilahi, accused the social media of playing a negative role in the riots. The general secretary of Aligarh Zakat Fund, Obaid Iqbal Asim, said the Samajwadi Party would no more be able to fool the Muslim community.


September 21-27, 2013


Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur joins BJP

By Prakash Bhandari Jaipur: Five decades after her step grandmother late Gayatri Devi of Jaipur stepped out of the palace to contest the Lok Sabha election, Princess Diya Kumari too has announced her entry into active politics. Maharani Gayatri Devi had founded the Swatantra Party in Rajasthan with the blessings of C. Rajagopalachari, the first governor general of India. She was elected to Lok Sabha three times and might have continued in politics, but when she was jailed during the emergency by Indira Gandhi and suffered heavily at the Tihar jail, she called it quits and opted to write A Princess Remembers about her life - good and bad times. But Diya Kumari, the only daughter of late Maharaja Brigadier Bhawani Singh and Padmini Devi, is following a different script. On Sept 10, before a mammoth crowd of about two lakh in the Pink City and in the presence of BJP president Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister-in-waiting Narendra Modi, she joined the BJP along with Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathor. Diya Kumari thus joined the new breed of ex royals who are seeking their pie in the political system. From Rajasthan they include: Princess Siddhi Kumari of Bikaner, Rohini Kumari of Karauli (both BJP MLAs), Divya Singh of Bharatpur (former MP), her husband Vishvendra Singh (former BJP MP), Ijyaraj Singh, prince of Kota (Congress MP from Kota) and Alwar royal Jitendra Singh (Union minister for sports). Diya Kumari, 42, who married a commoner Narendra Singh, is the proud mother of Padmanabh Singh, a student of Ajmer's Mayo College, who was anointed the Maharaja after the death of Bhawani Singh. She runs the affairs of the royal family of Jaipur on behalf of her minor son. She has opened a school in the palace precinct called the Palace School and she devotes most of her time in running the school and the Sawai Man Singh Trust which runs the museum. She is also the state head of Assocham. In a tete-a tete at Jaipur's City Palace, she talked freely about joining politics: What inspired you to join politics? Princess Diya Kumari: I was never interested in politics, but in the last few years I noticed that the Congress which has ruled the country for most of the years since independence could not deliver the goods. The country's development has not touched the desired heights. The UPA government in the past two terms has failed on all fronts and corruption has skyrocketed. I thought every individual can and should contribute to the country and make India strong and self-sufficient in every way. There is a family legacy in politics too - my grandmother Rajmata Gayatri Devi was in politics and launched the Swatantra Party. My father Maharaja Bhawani Singh joined the Congress. How the idea came to join BJP? Diya Kumari: My father Maharaja Bhawani Singhs joining Congress party was a mistake. He won the Mahavir Chakra in 1971 for gallantry in the war against Pakistan. He took retirement from the army as he wanted to do something for the people of Jaipur. But in our country one cannot do much until he has power. At Rajiv Gandhi's insistence, he contested the election from Jaipur. But to his horror, he found that he was opposed by his own partymen who thought he would become too powerful if the Congress won. He lost and it taught a lesson to us in the family and I kept away from politics. But I later realized that one can contribute in a positive way even being in politics. You have been inspired by Vasundhara Raje Diya Kumari : Yes, Vasundhara-ji really inspired me. I admire her, a woman of substance. She made a place for herself the hard way and has survived in a male dominated political system with grit and determination. She served as Rajasthan Chief Minister for five years and started new development process. She believed in sustainable growth unlike the Gehlot government that started offering freebies for electoral success. What do you think of Narendra Modi as a PM candidate? Diya Kumari: He is a person that the country needs. He believes in development and economic growth. He made Gujarat the most ideal destination for investment as the state is corruption-free and investors have the governments backing. As Prime Minister, he would turn India into Sone Ki Chiriya. He has ideas and is loved by the youth. The BJP wants to project you as a youth

Princess Diya Kumari

icon Diya Kumari: Sure, today 40 percent electorate are youth and they have the power to become game changer. They also like Modi. I would like to work for the youth as they are the country's future. Are you planning to run for Parliament or state assembly? Diya Kumari: I have no personal aspirations, but if the party wants me to contest I would not say no to it. But politics is no cake walk. You have seen your father losing an election in his own city. Diya Kumari: Yes, I understand that, but since 1989 when my father contested, the scenario has changed. People are looking for a change and I want to be a witness to that change.

Accepting Applications

For January 2014


September 21-27, 2013


BJP to win 3 states in assembly elections: survey

New Delhi: The BJP is set to retain power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and unseat the Congress in Rajasthan. But in Delhi the party is locked in a neckand-neck race with the Congress, which could end up in a hung assembly, according to a Times Now-CVoter poll. If the projections hold, they would come as a massive psychological boost to Narendra Modi and the BJP just months ahead of the Lok Sabaha elections of 2014. They would also mean an impressive debut for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, which is estimated to win seven of Delhi's 70 assembly seats. According to the poll, which surveyed close to 39,000 people across the four states, the BJP could end up with 30 seats in Delhi, six short of a majority. With the Congress estimated to win 29 and AAP seven, that could well end in a situation where no government can be formed as AAP is unlikely to support either Congress or BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, the poll suggests the BJP is poised to win quite comfortably despite the BJP having been in power for a decade. It projects 130 seats for the Shivraj Chauhan-led party in the 230-member assembly, leaving the Congress a distant second at 84. In Rajasthan too, the BJP is predicted to gain a deci-

Several millions of people in Mumbai and in other parts of the country trooped out onto the streets to bid an emotional adieu to Lord Ganesha at the end of the 10-day Ganapati festival. Mega processions were witnessed in Pune, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Nashik, Jalgaon and other major cities carrying big and small idols for immersion to local sites.

The BJP is set to retain power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and unseat the Congress in Rajasthan

sive verdict, picking up 118 seats in the 200-member House. The Congress is estimated to win a mere 64 seats, with BSP and others winning the remaining 18. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP seems to be somewhat less securely placed but with the poll predicting it will win 47 of the 90 seats, it could win a majority though a smaller one than in 2008.

Asaram's bail plea to be heard on Oct 1

Jaipur: Asaram Bapu, arrested on allegation of sexually assaulting a minor girl, will continue to remain in judicial custody as the Rajasthan High Court decided to hear his bail plea Oct 1, police said. Asaram, 72, filed a bail application before the Jodhpur bench of the high court on September 13. The bail application first came up for hearing Monday and since the arguments remained inconclusive, the high court put off the proceedings Wednesday. Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani appeared for Asaram in the court. "We presented our argument opposing the bail today," Anand Purohit, prosecution counsel, said. "The defence lawyers sought time for replying, for which Justice Nirmaljit Kaur has slated the next hearing for Oct 1," he added. A 16-year-old girl has lodged a police complaint, accusing Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram near Jodhpur.

Rajasthan minister resigns over rape charge

Rajasthan food and civil supplies minister Babu Lal Nagar

Jaipur: Rajasthan minister Babu Lal Nagar, accused of raping a 35-year-old woman at his residence here, tendered his resignation. The 53-year-old food and civil supplies minister sent his resignation to the chief minister's office. "I have resigned on moral grounds so that an impartial probe can be carried out as I am not guilty in the alleged case", Nagar told reporters at his residence. "I sent my hand written resignation to the CMO through a person this morning. After many thoughts and second thoughts, I decided to resign ... no one asked me to do this", he said. The Sodala police station had booked Nagar for allegedly raping, threatening and beating up the woman on September 11, after calling her to his official bungalow in Civil Lines on the pretext of giving her a job. After registering the case under various sections of the IPC including 376, police referred the case to CB-CID as it involved an MLA of the present assembly.


September 21-27, 2013


Indian American makes history as first Miss America

Atlantic City, NJ: After conquering the realms of politics to business to sports, the growing influential Indian American community added a crown jewel to their glory with Nina Davuluri winning the Miss America title for the first time. "I'm so proud to be the first Indian Miss America," the 24-yearold Miss New York and an aspiring physician told reporters here Sunday night shortly after defeating 52 other contestants from all over the country here. "We are making history right here as Asian-Americans," said Davuluri after last year's winner, Mallory Hagan, another former Miss New York, crowned her successor. "I'm so happy this organization has celebrated diversity, and, on this stage tonight, there was so much diversity," she said. Miss California Crystal Lee finished first runner-up in the 93-yearold beauty pageant that returned to Atlantic City after six years in Las Vegas. Syracuse resident Davuluri sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash that she intends to use to pursue her medical studies by showing off her talent with a "Classical Bollywood Fusion" dance. Competing on the platform of "Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency," she was also asked a question about revelations that American TV personality Julie Chen had plastic surgery on her eyes. Davuluri answered that she personally was opposed to plastic surgery and said that one's diversity should be celebrated. Davuluri studied at St. Joseph High School and University of Michigan. Earlier the 53 contestants introduced themselves in a taped segment with some quippy catchphrases, including "Listening to your phone calls from the Nation's Capital. Just kidding! I'm Miss District of Columbia, Bindhu Pamarthi." The pageant was televised live by ABC. The judges were 2004 Miss America winner Deidre Downs Gunn, the New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, Lance Bass from the boy band 'N Sync, comedian Mario Cantone, violinist Joshua Bell and television chef Carla Hall.

Davuluri showed her talent with a "Classical Bollywood Fusion" dance.

Syracuse resident Nina Davuluri sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash that she intends to use to pursue her medical studies.

Racist slur on Miss America not acceptable: Indian fashion industry

New Delhi: India's fashion industry has come to the defense of Nina Davuluri, who has come under racist attack after winning the Miss America title. Models and designers say it is a shame that a chunk of the American population does not even know how to differentiate between an Indian and an Arab. "They don't know the difference between an Indian girl and an Arab girl. I think, Americans are not color biased, but they are more concerned about terrorism," model Noyonika Chatterjee said. As soon as Davuluri won the title, microblogging site Twitter was flooded with hate tweets. Some of the tweets read: "How is Miss America Indian? This is America... Not India." "Miss America ummm wtf?! Have we forgotten 9/11?" and "So miss America is a terrorist." Such hate comments put the "developed nation" in a bad light, said model Shamita Singha and added: "I think it's the ignorance of the American people." Hemant Sagar of famous international designing duo Lecoanet-Hemant said: "I don't take such remarks seriously when their own president is of black tone." This is not the first time an Indian has been subjected to a racist remark. In 2007, actress Shilpa Shetty had to bear the racial remarks on Britain's reality show "Celebrity Big Brother". Five years later, Indian British model Deana Uppal faced similar "insults" from a fellow contestant on the British reality show. Uppal, winner of 2012 Miss India UK crown, hails from Birmingham and had done modeling assignments in India and Britain. On the show, she was addressed as a "piece of s***" by one of the housemates - Conor McIntyre. After watching the show, 1,200-plus viewers filed complaints against the racist remarks to Ofcom, Britain's television regulator and it has mounted a probe.


September 21-27, 2013


'India should make movies American way'

ollywood actor JeanClaude Van Damme, known for his martial arts, said that Indian filmmakers are making really good movies, but they need to understand the American thought process and movie-making technique to make a mark in their filmdom. Van Damme, who launched Hollywood-based Indian filmmaker Ashok Amritraj's autobiography "Advantage Hollywood" at the CII Big Picture Summit, talked at a session How India can make $100 million Films. The 52-year-old said: "I am

Van Damme launched filmmaker Ashok Amritraj's autobiography 'Advantage Hollywood'

from Belgium. I am not an American, and I came to America with nothing, just like Ashok came with nothing. He

came from a culture like India and I came from a culture like Belgium." "I must say you guys have a very strong culture... I am

a huge fan of Indian movies. But India should have sort of a school to understand the American way of making movies with some of the fantastic Indian actors. You don't have to learn anything, but you need to have a special way to understand American thinking, and how they make movies," he added. He suggested that Amritraj can bring actors from different parts of the world to a school and make a movie that helps make inroads in Hollywood. "You take those amazing talented people with Ashok and some American

actors with some French and Asian actors to that school. He can present a movie in America, with American content in terms of script, no music, no this and that and then you move in with your culture in the US and they will start embracing you." "And I think that is going to work. Because all I am saying that you have to go like a cowboy," he said. Van Damme and Amritraj go a long way. The actor played the lead role in Amritraj's film "Double Impact", which turned out to be a turning point in their respective careers.

'Bigg Boss Saath 7' begins

Salman Khan in a 'Bigg Boss -7' promo

A scene from 'Grand Masti'

ctor Vi v e k Oberoi is in a party mood as his latest release Grand Masti, an adult comedy replete with double entendres, earned Rs.26 crore in two days. Made at Rs.35 crore, it has been written by Milap Zaveri and has earned brickbats from critics for innuendos and suggestive leery double-meaning dialogues. But Vivek, whose movies like Prince and Mission Istaanbul bombed at the box office, is undeterred by the criticism and wants to enjoy the success that has come to him after a long while. Party! Milap. After a humungous start, 'Grand Masti' (earned) even better than Friday on Saturday with Rs.13.5 crore! Grand total is now Rs.26 crore in just two days!", Vivek posted on Twitter. Directed by Indra Kumar, "Grand Masti" also features Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Sonalee Kulkarni, Kainaat Arora, Maryam Zakaria, Manjari Phadnis, Karishma Tanna and Bruna Abdullah. Vivek also missed Riteish, who is busy shooting for Sajid Khan's Humshakals, which is being produced by Vashu Bhagnani.

opular reality show "Bigg Boss" is now headed for the big screen -- as a horror comedy! Endemol India, producers of "Bigg Boss", along with Select Media Holdings Pvt. Ltd's film production arm, Moving Pictures, will jointly produce the horror comedy, based on the experiences of the people in the "Bigg

Boss" house. The movie will go on the floors next year. "The success of 'Bigg Boss' has achieved epic proportions, where we have seen that it has become a part of people's daily lives. One of the biggest advantages is its ability to cut across people of all age groups. We are certain that we will be

able to replicate the success and recreate the unpredictability of this format on the silver screen as well," Deepak Dhar, CEO, Endemol India, said in a statement. The cast of the film is being finalized and the makers have approached some of the contestants from the previous seasons of the reality show.

'Ram Leela' trailer impresses

ilmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's forthcoming movie "Ram Leela" is loaded with passion, aggression, culture and love. At least this is what the trailer suggests. The official trailer was released online Monday evening and has got over 300 views so far. The colourful Rajasthani backdrop is reminiscent of what he showed in his first big hit, 1999 movie "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", but the lead pair of Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are nowhere close to the simple romantic couple played by Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan. Ranveer's character Ram and Deepika's character Leela look bold, courageous and ready to break rules for each other, but the rivalry between their societies play spoilsport. Going by the trailer, one might think that "Ram Leela" is on the similar lines of "Ishaqzaade", but then it would be interesting to see the new twist and turns that will unleash on the screen when the movie comes out on Nov 29.

A promo scene of 'Ram Leela'


September 21-27, 2013


Actor Akshay Kumar in 'Boss'

ctor Akshay Kumar says his forthcoming film "Boss" highlights the "underplayed relationship" between a father and son. In the film, Akshay will be seen as gangster from Haryana, while actor Mithun Chakraborty will be seen as his father. "I am playing Haryanavi (character in "Boss"). I think so far no actor has played a Haryanavi character (on screen). I enjoyed myself," Akshay said. "It is about a beautiful relationship between a father and son, a very underplayed relationship," he added. Akshay was present on the

'Boss' about father-son relationship: Akshay

sets of the dance reality show "DID Dance Ka Tashan". Mithun, who will judge the show with choreographer Geeta Kapur, was also present on the set. Mithun is excited about working with Akshay again. "I enjoyed this film. As he (Akshay) says, we really enjoy a good rapport," said Mithun, who has earlier worked with Akshay in "Khiladi 786".

roducer Ramesh Taurani is confident that his film "Phata Poster Nikla Hero" starring his protege Shahid Kapoor, whom he launched with "Ishq Vishq" in 2003, will be the biggest film of the actor's life. Shahid's last two releases "Mausam" and "Teri Meri Kahaani" turned out to be boxoffice duds. "I launched Shahid with 'Ishq Vishq' and I have full faith in him and his talent. If an actor is accepted by the audience and after that if his three-four films doesn't work at the box-office, then it doesn't make a much difference," Taurani said here in an interview Friday. "If the actor has performed in a good film then he is definitely loved by the audience. I can say it will the biggest film of Shahid's life," he added. Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, "Phata Poster Nikla Hero" is slated to release Sep 20 and also features Ileana D'Cruz and Padmini Kolhapure in pivotal roles.

Shahid Kapoor in 'Phata Poster...'

his is no place for the weak. This Review world as we know it. And this film, as we discover with the thrill of chancing upon an unexpected little gem. Inspired from a Spanish film, is it? I really don't give a fig where writer-director Ahishor Solomon got the raw material for this gripping cat-and-mouse tale. Does the kitchen where the food on the table originates really mean anything? What counts is the quotient of curiosity and suspense simulated by the script. And there, "John Day" ranks very high. Not for a while have we seen a film so steeped in despair, so swathed in anxiety, so audaciously "John Day" brings Naseeruddin and Randeep for a taut catdraped in despair and yet it and-mouse chase engages our senses without miring "John Day" is a restless edgy In a way Randeep character the plot in morbidity. The story is not for the squeam- drama of the doomed and the plays a mirror-image of Naseer's ish. The two main characters are damned. This not the first time banker gone amok. This is not the constantly haunted by their irrevo- Randeep has played a fugitive first time that India's most vaunted cably tragic parts. Naseeruddin shadowed by his own past.But this actor has played a wizened comShah and Randeep Hooda, real-life is certainly his most layered char- mon man pushed to a corner by the guru and pupil, play people who acter which he performs with the monstrous corruption in out socioknow no happiness. Incidents from kind of gravelly gusto that allows political system. "John Day" brings the their past continue to shadow and us to get only as close to the sullen chase their present. There is character as he wants us. Towards indomitable Naseeruddin and the scarcely a moment in the plot the end-game when the momentum intriguing Randeep for a taut catwhen John (Shah) and Gautam gets frenzied beyond recuperation, and-mouse chase that stays a step (Hooda) are happy except when Randeep's character's softer side ahead of the audience right till the shattering end-game. they are with their beloved 'Other'. emerges.

'John Day': taut, tense, tactile and terrific T

Actor Aamir Khan in 'Dhoom:3'

Aamir Khan wraps up 'Dhoom:3'

amir Khan, who will next be seen in 'Dhoom: 3', wrapped up the shooting for the film. The actor, as well as the entire unit of the film, shared an emotional moment after the last scene for the film was shot. An industry insider reveals, Aamir was the only actor from the lead cast who was present at a suburban studio for the final shoot. As Victor (Vijay Krishna Acharya, director) was shooting the last scene, the atmosphere got extremely emotional. After it got over, there was a round of applause that didnt stop for almost 10 minutes. Everyone got extremely teary-eyed. It seems that after the shoot, Aamir met every unit member personally and thanked them for being part of the project. He had long conversations with most members, including the spot boys, informs the source. Dhoom:3, which also stars Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra, is slated for a Christmas release.


September 21-27, 2013


Toronto: After the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) celebrated 100 years of Bollywood by featuring many films last year, there were a few films from India this year too. As expected, the Bollywood masala film Shuddh Desi Romance failed to evoke any response during its press and industry screening as most non-Indians could be seen leaving the theater mid-way. Siddharth by Toronto-based director Richie Mehta, which is the heart-rending story of a struggling merchant father trying to find his young missing son, made an impact as did Anup Singhs Qissa which, of course, went on to win the award as the top Asian film. Faith Connections by Pan Nalin was also a fine documentary about the Kumbh

Ilas (played by Namrata Kaur) lunchbox for her husband is misdelivered to Saajan Fernandez (Irrfan Khan), leading to a glimmer of love between the two lonely people.

Mela and various streams of Hindu faith that merge at the Sangam. But the film that stood out at TIFF 2013 was The Lunchbox. Brilliantly directed by Ritesh Batra, this Guneet Monga-Anurag Kashyap production is the story of a joyless widower Saajan Fernandez (played by Irrfan Khan) who is about to retire after 35 years of service in the claims department of a government office. Then suddenly love enters into the life of this brooding, lonely man thanks to a dabbawalla mistakenly delivering daily lunchbox to him - - the lunchbox is actually sent by Ila (played by Namrata Kaur) for her husband (played by Nakul Vaid). When Ila realizes that the lunchbox

meant for her husband is reaching Saajan Fernandez, she sends Saajan a note in the lunchbox and gets a rather cool response. But slowly, the joyless Saajan melts and the exchanges between these two strangers develop into love. Once again, Irrfan Khan is excellent in his role of the brooding, joyless widower Saajan on the verge of retirement. The cheerful and outgoing Aslam Sheikh (played Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who is being trained to take over Saajans place in the office, is the very opposite of Saajan. In fact, the exchanges between the two provide much needed humor in the film. The director manages to subtly bring out the humdrum of our daily lives in urban

jungles of today. Ila is trapped in a loveless marriage and has no escape. Her only deeper connection is with her neighbor Mrs. Deshpande (Bharati Achrekar) through sharing of tips on cooking or music or dressing. Saajan Fernandez s alienation or loneliness is so deep that he doesnt allow children from the neighborhood to play near his house. Only a glimmer of love between these two unhappy people opens new possibilities in their lives. From scenes in crowded Mumbai local trains to lonely lives in metropolises, this film is a telling comment on todays urban reality around the world. News East West

Punjabi film Qissa awarded as top Asian film at TIFF

Rasika Dugal and Tillotama Shome, and the international crew of this film all gather with me to give thanks to the people of the Punjab who so lovingly and generously supported us in the making of this film. Qissa (meaning tale) is the story of a Sikh refugee Umber Singh who is displaced from his village near Rawalpindi by the Partition of India in 1947. As Umber Singh tries to rebuild his life after displacement to India, the loss of his home and identity unleashes forces within him that turn him against others and himself and his family. He is so blinded by his yearning to have a boy that when his fourth daughter is born, he rushes into the delivery room, grabs the baby from his apprehensive wifes arms (played by Tisca Chopra) and announces it to be a boy. Umber Singh puts the fourth daughter raised as a boy named Kanwar (played by Tillotama Shome) under the care of a wrestler so that Kanwar becomes an iron man. Kanwar becomes a truck driver and is married in a bizarre fashion to Neeli (Rasika Duggal). Neeli finds out that Kanwar is a girl, and tries to run away at night. Umber Singh grabs Kanwars runaway bride, but Kanwar wakes up and shoots her father. Kanwar and Neeli go to a new place where they develop sisterly feelings and mutual empathy. But there is no hiding place for them as villagers become suspicious of Kanwars sexual identity. According to Anup Singh, who is based in Switzerland, the film has been in the making for 12 years. He says the film resonates with the life journey of his family. Our family was displaced by the Partition, and my grandfather was very bitter about being uprooted from his roots. He knew he would never be able go back to his roots. He remained very bitter. With his slow but perfect Punjabi, Irrfan Khan has brilliantly played the role of Umber Singh in the film. Despite brilliant performances by Irrfan (with his deliberately slow but perfect Punjabi), and the rest of the cast, and its haunting music, Qissa is a little too complex as it tries to tackle too many sub-themes. News East West

A girl raised as a boy is married off and all hell breaks loose in Qissa. Toronto: Director Anup Singhs Punjabi film Qissa was awarded as the top Asian film at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday. It was the first time that any Punjabi film had entered the worlds top film festival. A jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) voted Qissa as its choice for the NETPAC Award for World Asian Film Premiere. The jury comprising Jay Jeon (Korea), Intishal Al Timini (Abu Dhabi) and Freddie Wong (Hong Kong) said, The NETPAC Award for the best Asian film at Festival 2013 goes to Qissa for its sensitive portrayal of the issues of identity and displacement that affect people not only in India, but in all parts of the world and for brilliance of cinematic craft and the choice of metaphor that has been employed to tell a moving story that is bound to provoke thoughts, spark debate and give its viewers an intense experience. Reacting to the news of the award, Anup Singh said, What moves me is that this film about a refugee on this earth has finally found a home in the community of world cinema. What is of even more importance to me is that the award celebrates a film in Punjabi. Im proud and gratified. My producers, my cast Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra,

12 Years a Slave wins the TIFFOscar

A still from 12 Years a Slave

Toronto: Director Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave has grabbed the People's Choice Award for Best Film, the most coveted award at TIFF in the film festivals 38th edition. The breathlessly-reviewed slavery drama, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, has already been heralded by some pundits as a lock for a Best Picture nomination come Oscar time, and the TIFF win only confirms its early lead in the awards season race. Last year's TIFF winner, Silver Linings Playbook, went on to a Best Picture nomination at Oscars, with previous years' victors including Best Picture champs Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech. The runners up for Best Film were Denis Villeneuve's thriller Prisoners, with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and Stephen Frears' Venice fest favorite Philomena, starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench. Elsewhere, Jehane Noujaim's Egyptian revolutionary doco The Square was voted Best Documentary, cult Japanese director Sion Sono's latest, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, claimed the Midnight Madness Award, and Alan Zweig's When Jews Were Funny, an exploration of the history of 20th century American Jewish comedy, was awarded Best Canadian Feature Film.


September 21-27, 2013


Muzaffarnagar riots: sinister is happening

By Saeed Naqvi he script which eventually brought Narendra Modi to power in Gujarat is being tried out in Muzaffarnagar and, at the time of writing, even in Meerut which is still closer to the national capital. What is frightening is this: the political class is in deep slumber. Nero fiddled while Rome burnt; this class is asleep. After motoring through some of the Jat-dominated villages around Muzaffarnagar from where Muslims have been driven out (or which they have left in fear), I can say with certainty: something very sinister is happening barely two hour's drive from New Delhi and just a little more from Lucknow. Mulayam Singh Yadav, of course, has had it in Muzaffarnagar. That is the least important story at the moment because state assembly elections are due only in 2017. His prime ministerial dreams for 2014 are also over, but shattered dreams of ambitious politicians too are not stories of consequence. I had barely returned from Muzaffarnagar when friends from Meerut, which is mid way, called: "A Muslim fruit seller, Zahid, in village Behrampur in Jani Block has been stabbed to death." Almost as an echo came the next report. "Pankaj from Bhasuma in Markala Tehsil was likewise killed". Soon

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi meeting the riot-affected families in Muzaffarnagar.

came the news from a Muslim dominated cluster around Gulmarg cinema in downtown Meerut: a Hindu boy killed and his body hurled into the nearby graveyard. In other words, the tempo of Muzaffarnagar is being kept up in Meerut. It is officially accepted that 40 people have been killed in Muzaffarnagar. Maulana Mohammad Nazar, who represents the Deoband seminary in Muzaffarnagar, offered figures

which took my breath away. According to him and his colleague Maulana Asad Rashidi, "the number of those killed could be anywhere between 250 to 500". Lakhte Hasnain, a respected lawyer of the city, is much more cautious with his figures. "People are either in refugee camps or are hiding in Muslim villages", he says. "An accurate figure will emerge only after normalcy returns." But the figure of "40 dead" is too low, he says.

A Jat farmer, who is connected with the aggressors in these pogroms spread over atleast 20 villages, believes "100 or more" may have been killed. Between villages are tall sugarcane fields which the locals describe as "jungles". Driving through these fields at night is a frightening experience, custom made for a Hitchcock sequence. The sugarcane will be cut and harvested in November. Only then will the fields reveal their secrets.

Has the Muslim-boy, Hindu-girl element been inserted into the narrative of August 27 in which a Muslim and two Hindu boys were killed? Various stories are available: that two motorcycles collided, leading to a scuffle and that the girl angle is an afterthought. The second is that a Muslim and some Hindu boys claimed the same girl's favours, and thirdly, a girl complained to her family that Muslim boys tease her when she passes their village on her way from school. Can there not be an official, police version? The truth is elusive because such allegations are common in a traditional, rural society coping with rapid change. I have covered a series of riots these last few years in which the police partisanship followed a pattern: it took sides against Muslims. Of these Massoori in Ghaziabad, Faizabad and now Muzaffarnagar have been during Akhilesh Singh's rule. In none of these riots did I ever see the chief minister visit the victims. Gopalgarh in Rajasthan and Dhule in Aurangabad were under Congress ruled states. The chief ministers, likewise, never obliged. The most prophetic slogan was by Yogi Adityanand in Faizabad: "Faizabad shuruaat karega, UP ab Gujarat banega." (Faizabad is the beginning. UP will now follow the Gujarat model)

December 16 gangrape trial is an exception

By Shivani Singh

he death penalty pronounced in the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on December 16 has triggered an intense debate on the merits or demerits of capital punishment. But there is unanimity that the case was handled efficiently. The police force that failed to detect the crime while it took place, tried to redeem itself by catching all the six accused within days. Pressured by angry citizen protests and under sharp media glare, forensic evidence was collected deftly and processed fast. The chargesheet, prepared by the then police chief himself, was filed within 17 days. The public prosecutors hired were among the best and, bypassing the hugely overburdened court system, the case was heard on a daily basis. In nine months, we had a verdict. This should be the standard operating procedure for all criminal cases. But it remains

At present, there are at least 9,000 rape cases stuck in various stages of investigation and trials in India

an exception. The fast-track court in Saket that handed down death penalty to the gang rape accused could secure conviction only in three out of the 23 cases it has been handling since January this year. Twenty cases fell flat because the chargesheets were weak, the evidence poor and the complainants

retracted. Modeled after the British system, our jurisprudences primary concern is to protect the innocent rather than to punish the guilty. This means our judiciary is not obliged to achieve a conviction rate of above 98 per cent like their Russian and Japanese counterparts. But we cannot blame fair

trial or our criminal laws for failing to achieve a conviction rate that will deter criminals. The problem lies somewhere else. Following the fatal gang rape in Delhi on December 16, the government tried to reform the system by introducing stricter penalties, better-defined laws on sexual assaults, putting all rape cases in fast-track courts and fixing polices responsibility in registration and investigation of such cases. As a result, reports of rape have increased from 433 in the first eight months of 2012 to 1036 in the corresponding period this year. While more cases are being registered, few are being followed up by swift and deft investigation. But the police are not the only to blame. At present, there are at least 9,000 cases, some as old as from 2006, stuck in various stages of investigation and trials because the samples of evidence sent for forensic examination have not been tested and analysed. The

police have just two labs in Delhi and badly need at least four such facilities to handle almost 500 forensic samples from various crimes reported every month. The fast-track courts carry their own baggage. With huge backlogs, these are not exclusive courts and often hear multiple cases at the same time. There were no fresh appointments and judges for these courts are picked up from the existing pool. The court hearing the December 16 case was so burdened with the existing cases that it could hold the daily hearing only after 2 pm. Since December 16, the system pulled out all stops to ensure speedy justice in a high-profile case that shocked the nation. But it is simply not equipped to consistently meet that benchmark. Without police and judicial reforms, the familiar story of delay and denial of justice will continue. It is perhaps too much to ask for since we cant even set up two forensic labs in the capital.

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


September 21-27, 2013


Indian-origin man's tomato plant may smash Guinness record

London: An Indian-origin gardener in the British city of Coventry has produced record number of tomatoes from a single plant and is vying for the Guinness World Record. Surjit Kainth planted a single seed earlier this year in his garden, which to his astonishment, has grown into a huge plant and produced huge yield, the Coventry Telegraph reported. His daughter Kiran persuaded him to contact the Guinness World Records' selection committee. The plant produced a whopping 1,355 tomatoes and it could easily beat the current Guinness record of 488 from a single plant which is held by Graham Tranter from Shropshire, West Midlands region of England. The official count of the number of tomatoes was filmed and all the documents would be sent off to the

South African varsity confers doctorate on Indian-origin freedom fighter

Pretoria: Eighty-four-year-old South African political activist and freedom fighter of Indian descent Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada, who spent time in jail with Nelson Mandela, has been conferred a doctorate degree by the University of South Africa (UNISA) here. In 1964, along with Mandela and other South African greats Rivonia Triallists, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment. He served most of his sentence on Robben Island and was released in 1989 after 26 years of incarceration. Whilst in prison, Kathrada pursued his studies through the distance mode and obtained BA degrees in history and criminology and another in library science and African politics. He also wrote a biography of Mandela while in jail. "When the prison authorities

Surjit Kainth with Mick Poultney, from Guinness records and Councillor Linda Bigham

Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada with Nelson Mandela (file photo)

Guinness World Records offices to be authenticated. The final decision is expected in about six weeks. Surjit was joined by his neighbors and Longford councilor Linda Bigham for the occasion.

"It's been a great pleasure to invite all these people here, including the dignitaries who have given their precious time," the Coventry Telegraph quoted Surjit was quoted as saying.

found some of the original manuscript of Madiba's autobiography, which had comments by Walter Sisulu and me, we were punished for abusing our study privileges and we were barred from studying for four years," Kathrada said.

Brampton A announces first foreign player, Dipanjot Singh

Orangeville, Ontario: Brampton A's announced the signing of their first foreign player in American Dipanjot Singh. Singh, born in the Punjabi region of India and raised in Evanston, IL comes with an amazing resume of perseverance, vision, and ultimately success. A solid High School player in Illinois, Singh had virtually no scholarship offers to play basketball at the university level. He took his love of basketball to NCAA Division I, University of Illinois at Chicago, where he would "do anything to stay in the game" and offered to become a volunteer student manager (washing uniforms, sweeping the floor, and keeping stats in practice.) While playing pick up one day the Head Coach walked in and saw him doing well against his varsity players and asked him to be on the "scout squad" a nonroster spot, just for practice. In addition to doing well and a roster spot opening up over the summer, he was moved into a non-scholarship position of a walk-on by then coach Jimmy Collins. This role allowed him to dress, be on the bench, and travel with the team. In his final season at UIC, new coach Howard Moore saw his potential and in response to a losing streak decided to put him in a game. He scored 10 points off the bench against Cleveland State University led by 2 time NBA Champion Norris Cole of the Miami Heat. Singh ultimately became a starter and one of the leading scorers on the team. He scored 17 points against the Horizon Leagues top team UW Milwaukee in his first career start. Dipanjot graduated and with one year of eligibility left took his talents to the University of Mass at Lowell (an NCAA Division II powerhouse), where he would lead them in to the NCAA tournament and work on his Post Grad Degree under head coach Greg Herenda. For his part, the humble Singh, says, "I'm blessed to play professional basketball with the Brampton A's franchise in my rookie year. I am thankful for Coach David Magley for finding me and giving me this opportunity. I am grateful to the owner James Tipping and everyone in the Brampton A's organization. My childhood dream was to play professional basketball and it has come true, and one day I plan to write a book about my journey. Maybe a NBL Canada Basketball Championship can be part of the story too. I am blessed and thankful for this opportunity."

Vivekananda's philosophy can help to heal Trinidad

Port-of-Spain: The philosophy of Swami Vivekananda can assist in healing the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, according to the Caribbean nation's newly-appointed Minister for National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel. Launching the Swami Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago Saturday at Divali Nagar, an annual Indian cultural event, Samuel said: "As we launch the Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago, we do so with the firm belief in the teachings of universalism, spirituality, and the divinity of Swami Vivekananda." Making his inaugural address as the new minister, Samuel said the Vivekananda Society of Trinidad and Tobago would assist in community development, record and teach the life and work of great Indian thinkers and revolutionaries and promote healthy living through yoga. Noting that this year commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Samuel said that "with shared principles of harmony, inclusion, and universalism, our ministry and the Vivekananda Society can become partners in the healing of a nation." Subash Kak, professor at the Oklahoma State University, US, in his keynote address noted that the most remarkable issue about Swami Vivekananda was his reframing of the Vedanta in a form that the layperson could understand. People of Indian origin make up around 42 percent of Trinidad & Tobago's total population of 1.2 million.

Keralites celebrate Onam across Gulf

Dubai: Expatriates from the south Indian state of Kerala celebrated the harvest festival Onam with traditional fervor across various Gulf countries. Keralites in the Gulf celebrated the festival Monday by partaking the special Onam meal, Onam Sadya, that comprises 20 to 30 dishes served on banana leaves and includes varieties of vegetables, rice, banana and payasam, media reported. We do miss colourful celebrations with a lot of activities back home, Gulf News quoted Gopa Kumar, who works for a private firm in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as saying. But at the same time this occasion reminds us the advantages of life in the UAE, he said. Kumar's wife and mother-in-law woke up early Monday to prepare Onam Sadya for the family that includes his two schoolgoing children. Being a working day, we prepared the Onam Sadya before leaving for work and came back in the afternoon to enjoy the feast together, Kumar said. In Saudi Arabia, the Indian embassy and Indian schools observed a holiday and hotels and restaurants run by Keralites prepared Onam Sadya. Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah, where the maximum number of Keralites in Saudi Arabia live, witnessed huge crowds in various hotels for the special festival feast. Being a Keralite I have to celebrate our national harvest festival wherever I am living, the Saudi Gazette quoted Balakrishna Pillai, a design engineer in Saudi Arabia, as saying. In Oman, hotels and catering establishments did roaring business, but most of them found it difficult to meet the orders for Onam Sadya, the Times of Oman reported. "By 11.30 a.m. itself, we stopped taking further orders for takeaways because we knew we would be unable to meet the demand," a hotelier in Ruwi told the newspaper. Keralites make for the bulk of the expatriate Indian population in the Gulf countries.


September 21-27, 2013


Sharif puts Kashmir on talk menu

said his government wanted stable ties with all countries, especially the neighboring ones. "For the effective pursuit of our socio-economic agenda, good relations with all our neighbours are essential and a priority for my government." The prime minister also sought global support to battle terrorism in Pakistan. "Our challenge is to root out this menace from our midst. Pakistan needs the cooperation and support of the international community and our neighbors for controlling funding, supply of arms and training to terror networks."
The Pakistan prime minister also sought global support to battle terrorism in his country

Top Amnesty award for Malala

Islamabad: Calling tensions on the Kashmir border "a matter of concern", Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan will respond to firing by the Indian military "with restraint and responsibility". Sharif told the Turkish media in Ankara that Pakistan was committed to "a serious, sustained and constructive engagement with India" that must include the contentious issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharif's comments follow unending skirmishes between the Indian and Pakistani militaries along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries. Sharif, who took office in June, also said that Pakistanis had given him the mandate to improve relations with India. "I have always given high priority to good relations with India for the sake of durable peace in the region," The Nation quoted Sharif as telling Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) network in Ankara. "We are keen to have a comprehensive dialogue with India for the resolution of all issues including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir," which is claimed by both countries. Sharif said he had started the peace process with India when then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Lahore in 1999. He said the two countries were then very close to finding a settlement to the Kashmir dispute. Sharif

UN, US back Manmohan-Sharif meeting

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon says he supports a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to "handle" tensions along the Line of Control in Kashmir. "I will strongly welcome and continue to provide my own support and efforts to facilitate such a dialogue" on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's ministerial session starting next week that both leaders are attending, he told reporters. The issue of violence along the LoC "should be and could be handled ... between the two leaders" the UN chief said, disclosing that when he visited Pakistan last month he strongly recommended to Sharif to take advantage of the UN session for such a meeting. The issue of improving ties between the "two very important countries" India and Pakistan "was one of my top agendas" during his Pakistan visit, he said as he "was very much concerned about this exchange of fires and skirmishes along the Line of Control."Meanwhile, in Washington, US officials have also expressed support for an India-Pakistan dialogue at the highest level.
Malala Yousafzai, 16, is an advocate for equal access to education

No rush for US security Nepal to elect 601-member constituent assembly deal, says Karzai
Kathmandu: The Nepal government formally decided to elect a 601-member Constituent Assembly (CA) in the Nov 19 elections for drafting a new constitution. A cabinet meeting decided to submit an ordinance to the president's Office to make an amendment to change the earlier provision of 491 members to a 601-member assembly. In the absence of parliament, the president's office is a mandated institution to make necessary changes in the interim constitution but it is mandatory for the president to endorse the government's decision. "We have decided to make necessary legal arrangements for holding (the) Nov 19 election(s)," government spokesperson Madhav Poudel told media persons after the cabinet meeting. Earlier, the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), a mechanism of the parties that back the government, decided to elect 601 members as demanded by some poll-opposing parties. The 601-member CA elected in 2008 was dissolved last year without delivering a new constitution which had drawn criticism for being too big. After the criticism, the HLPC March 13 this year agreed to reduce the size of the CA to 491. However, it agreed to retain a 601-member assembly after some fringe parties said that a 491-member body cannot be inclusive. The government's decision has paved the way for the Election Commission (EC) to make technical preparations for the Nov 19 elections. The government decided to finalise the legal arrangements after the talks with the Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) (CPN-M) failed Tuesday.

London: Pakistani schoolgirl and education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai and American singer, human rights and social justice activist Harry Belafonte were named as joint recipients of Amnesty Internationals Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2013. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is the human rights group's highest honor, recognizing individuals who have promoted and enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example. Malala Yousafzai, 16, is an advocate for equal access to education. After she wrote a diary for the BBC in 2009 detailing her

frustrations with the Talibans edict to shut down all girls schools in Pakistan, she was shot at and severely wounded in an attack in 2012 claimed by the Pakistani Taliban. Malala will be presented with the Award by singer Bono along with Azar Nafisi, author of the book Reading Lolita in Tehran. I am truly honored to receive this award and would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that there are many millions of children like me across the world who fight every single day for their right to go to school, Malala said, according to the Amnesty release.

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Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai

Kabul: Afghanistan's president says he is in no rush to sign a security deal with the United States, once again dashing American hopes that a pact can be quickly finalized. President Hamid Karzai told a youth conference in the capital on Tuesday that a deal could be signed by his successor after next April's election for a new head of state. The security deal will give the US a legal basis for having forces in Afghanistan after 2014. It was not the first time Karzai has said there was no rush for the agreement, but his comments came one day after President Barack Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, said Washington was optimistic a deal could be signed in October.

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dollar? 3. What is your take on the Immigration Bill being worked in Congress? How is it going to affect you personally? Are you for or against it?


September 21-27, 2013


Abbott sworn in as Australia's new PM

Canberra: Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia's new prime minister and immediately ordered the scrapping of the nation's carbon tax and the halting of asylum-seeker boats. The 55-year-old conservative pledged to get down to work after a ceremony at Government House in Canberra where his Liberal/National government officially brought six years of Labor rule to a close. "Today is not just a ceremonial day, it's an action day. The Australian people expect us to get straight down to business and that's exactly what this government will do," Abbott said in a statement. Top of his to-do list is axing the unpopular carbon tax, which charges the country's biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price. His new government instead favors a "direct action" plan that includes an emissions reduction fund to pay companies to

West can't force itself on us: Syria

Tony Abbott

increase their energy efficiency, and money for schemes to replenish soil carbon and plant 20 million trees.

Brazilian President snubs Obama, cancels US visit

President Obama, whose international stature is evaporating as quickly as his domestic approval, scrambling to the phone to mollify her. White House officials said the US President told Rousseff that he ''understands and regrets the concerns (that) disclosures of alleged US intelligence activities have generated in Brazil'' and made clear that he is committed to working together with the Brazilian President and her government in diplomatic channels "to move beyond this issue as a source of tension" in the bilateral relationship. ''As the President previously stated, he has directed a broad review of U.S. intelligence posture, but the process will take several months to complete,'' White House spokesman Jay Carney said, while indicating the visit, which was scheduled for October 23, would be rescheduled once the dust settles down.
Britain, France and the US agreed to seek a 'tough' UN resolution against Syria

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff with US President Barack Obama

Washington: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has delivered a stunning rebuke to the United States, scrubbing a much-anticipated state visit to Washington DC to

express her country's anger over American spying activities including monitoring her personal communications. The resounding snub sent

Damascus/Jeddah/Tokyo: Syria's foreign ministry said that the US and its allies cannot force their will on Syria even as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the US-Russia agreement on checking the use of chemcial weapons in the country. In a statement carried by the staterun SANA news agency, the foreign ministry said talks about the political and constitutional legitimacy in Syria is an "exclusive" right of the Syrian people, Xinhua reported. "In a new confirmation about the size of their involvement in the Syrian crisis and their feverish resolve to impose their will and agendas on the Syrian people, the foreign ministers of the US, France and Britain have tried to promote their contradictory stances through trying to reconcile between their support of terrorism and their allegations about supporting the politi-

cal process in Syria," the ministry said. A day earlier, Britain, France and the US agreed to seek a "tough" UN resolution against Syria over its use and stockpile of chemical weapons. During talks in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague also announced a "major international gathering" next week in New York to seek further support for the Syrian National Coalition, the main Syrian opposition abroad. Meanwhile, in Jeddah, Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the agreement between the US and Russia over chemical weapons in Syria. Japan condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria after a UN report confirmed that sarin gas was used in an attack in August near the capital Damascus.

Syria is no Vietnam its worse

By Ravi Batra

plot and plan terror strikes against us on non-Afghani soil. To understand Syria, one must first recall what happened in Tunisia. The Insulted Tunisian street vendor didnt just self-immolate, but lit the fuse of Arab Spring that engulfed much of North Africa - rapidly lighting up Libya, racing over to Egypt and the environs unchecked. It is only in Syria, that the Arab Spring was checkmated by Assads purposeful unleashing of sectarian violence to checkmate Arab Springs core demand to have a Lincolnesque Government: "of, by and for the people." Assads genius was in knowing that people were more jealous of each other ethnically, than their collective wanting of a better government for all. So, the "petty

ietnam was a "hot" war, albeit, within the context of Cold Wars ideology-containment - and instead, was fought against the nationalists of Vietnam. One can argue, as anything is arguable, that by having the Vietnam War a la Bob McNamara, the then "boy wonder," that the goal of containment was met - who knows he may be right, and then all the deaths, the MIAs and various horrors were somewhat worth suffering. But one cannot really win a war against people defending their homeland, given their "home" advantage and simple desire to be left alone. See, Afghanistan except for one huge and painful difference: unlike Vietnam and Ho Chi Min, our adversaries in Afghanistan, such as the Taliban,

good" for a sectarian few was more important than the "greater good" for all. Thats a heady lesson of the dark side of Statecraft, one that Niccolo Machiavelli would relish. Syria, then, created a recipe that other nations can follow: "divide and rule." It is fair to say that there are more nations waiting to be born courtesy of sectarian pride. Before Syria other nations have used that "divide and rule" principle pretty well, including building a multicentury empire on that principle. President Barack Obama, Secretary John Kerry, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and Congressman Eliot L. Engel were repulsed into action - as they are no Neville Chamberlains. While action is needed, what is a leader to do when the citizenry is war-weary and the nations treasury is living on borrowed cash.

Syria may well cause Russia to get a red-carpet welcome from the US

Vladimir Putin and Sergey V. Lavrov and Barack Obama and John Kerry may have actually struck a deal that gets done what needs to get done: public awareness that chemical weapons cannot be used, and to stop their use as soon as possible. The military industrial complex may not be happy without a new war, but cashstrapped nations and their warweary citizens, who have created enough heroes and bled enough, surely are and collectively say:

give diplomacy a chance. What is almost funny is that Syria may well cause Russia to get a red carpet welcome from the United States, and together, US and Russia may end up counter-balancing China. Historic, and ironic - but dont tell Richard Nixon or Henry Kissinger who sold us a "Brooklyn Bridge": that China will counterbalance the Soviets. (The writer is Chair, National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs)


September 21-27, 2013


India for expeditious implementation of G20 decisions

New Delhi: Concerned over the unwillingness of developed economies to push IMF quota reforms, finance minister P Chidambaram said the decisions of the G20 meeting should be implemented expeditiously to ensure credibility of the organization. "Most advanced countries have now clearly indicated their unwillingness to move ahead on International Financial Institutions (IMF, World Bank) governance and capital reform. This has hampered the credibility of G20 and makes it difficult to progress on other issues as well," he said at an ICRIER event.The Minister said to be able to play a meaningful role in the global governance, the G20 agenda should be sharper and focused only on those issues on which it can make a distinctive contribution, particularly, on economic and financial matters. "Finally it is important to ensure that the decisions taken in G20 meetings are carried forward expeditiously," he said. "In the backdrop of the upcoming WTO ministerial in Bali in

Govt may set up company for overseas investments

New Delhi: In contrast to the conventional sovereign wealth fund (SWF) traditionally floated by rich economies, India is looking at floating a new company the India Overseas Investment Corp Ltd (INOIC) that will invest in the ownership of natural resources assets overseas to create long-term resource security without drawing on the forex reserves that will continue to be managed by the Reserve Bank of India. INOIC will not be Indias SWF in the conventional sense but will be a development finance institution with the specific mandate to provide equity and debt to Indian public sector enterprises (PSEs) for securing natural resources abroad, said a senior government official associated with the process. INOIC will use surpluses available with public sector units to acquire foreign exchange from the RBI at market-related rates for purchasing overseas assets. This model, according to officials, would defy all the usual constraints of a high current account deficit (CAD) and fiscal deficit, large external debt, large forex reserves, absence of high commodity export earnings, which have so far prevented setting up of an SWF. INOIC will need not borrow from the RBI unlike IIFCL....this new company will purchase or swap its rupee funds with foreign currency from the RBI at marketrelated rates, officials said, adding, the rupee funds will be mobilised through the issue of long-term bonds. It is proposed that the foreign exchange required by INOIC would be acquired from the RBI through outright purchases on a spot basis or medium-term currency swap.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had emphasized the need for early completion of the International Monetary Fund quota reforms

December 2013, G20 leaders have called on all WTO members to show flexibility so as to achieve a successful conclusion in Bali," he said. In the recent G20 Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had emphasized the need for early completion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota

reforms to increase representation of the developing countries in the multi-lateral body. Aimed at improving the voting share of developing countries and achieving a better representation on the IMF Board, the reform of the international financial institutions has been a key part of G20 agenda.

Govt to unveil fresh austerity steps Asia business sentiment drops, India optimistic
Singapore: Business sentiment among Asia's top companies deteriorated in the third quarter, led by businesses in export engines such as China and South Korea, ending three consecutive quarters of improving sentiment, the latest Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asia Business Sentiment survey showed. The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asia Business Sentiment Index fell to 66 in the third quarter from 71 in the second quarter when it reached the highest level in more than a year. An index reading above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook. Some of the weakest readings came from north Asia's economies of China, South Korea and Taiwan, and regional trading hub Singapore, all of which turned in readings of 50 - highlighting the impact of a stuttering global economy. Optimism returned to India, lifting its sentiment index moderately higher at 67 after a drop last quarter. "Asian companies are still maintaining a relatively cautious outlook regarding their earnings

New Delhi: Finance minister P Chidambaram has asked government departments to stick to the Budget allocation amid indications that the government will initiate steps to put curbs on wasteful spending. The finance ministry is expected to announce fresh austerity measures over the next two to three days, government officials said. The move comes at a time when the Centre is grappling with the possibility of a higher oil subsidy bill in the wake of the rupee depreciation, which will upset its fiscal calculations. In addition, tax receipts, especially on the direct tax front, have been hit by the extended

economic slowdown, although the finance ministry expects to make good some of the lost ground through a higher customs duty collection. Weaker rupee has made imports more expensive, which means the government pockets more money from the import duties. Chidambaram met financial advisers of all government departments and asked them to stick to the Budget allocation so that the fiscal deficit target of 4.8% of GDP is not breached. The minister told financial advisers that no additional allocation would be made to any ministry, including defence and railways, which argued for more funds, official sources said.

RBI's new governor Raghuram Rajan will be under intense scrutiny when he chairs his first policy review this week

growth prospects," said Fan Cheuk Wan, chief investment officer for the Asia-Pacific region at Credit Suisse's private banking and wealth management unit. "It could be partly related to the recent volatility across the emerging economies over the past three months." Asian equities, currencies and bonds have taken a beating over the last few months after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted it would halt its nearly five-year policy of

flooding markets with cheap cash. "This market volatility also inevitably has an impact on the perception and business sentiment of Asian corporates as they are still assessing the global growth outlook," Fan said. The survey showed that shipping and financial sectors were the most negative with a thirdquarter score of 50, a sharp drop from the shipping industry's reading of 80 and financials' reading of 78 in the second quarter.


September 21-27, 2013


Fixing: Life ban for Sreesanth, Chavan

New Delhi: The Indian sented at the hearing. The cricket board came down committee's decision is heavily on the tainted crickbinding. eters, slapping life bans on "After considering the fast bowler S. Sreesanth and evidence on record and his Rajasthan Royals teamhearing each of the players mate Ankeet Chavan for in person, the disciplinary spot-fixing in the Indian committee has passed the Premier League-6 (IPL-6). following order. Amit Singh A decision on Royals spinis banned for a period of ner Ajit Chandila will be five years from playing any taken in a few days. representative cricket, or in The Board of Cricket for any way being associated Control in India (BCCI) diswith the activities of the ciplinary committee also BCCI or its affiliates," banned cricketer-turnedBCCI secretary Sanjay bookie Amit Singh for five Patel said in a statement. Sreesanth is banned for life years and gave his Royals "Trivedi is banned for a from playing any representateammate Siddharth Trivedi period of one year from tive cricket a one-year sentence for not playing any representative reporting that he was approached by bookies. cricket or in any way being associated with Harmeet Singh, 20, who was part of India's the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates. Under-19 World Cup winning team in 2012, "Chavan is banned for life from playing any was let-off with a warning since the BCCI had representative cricket, or in any way being no evidence against him. Harmeet had a simi- associated with the activities of the BCCI or lar charge against him as Trivedi but was its affiliates. cleared of any wrongdoing. "Sreesanth is banned for life from playing The disciplinary committee met here under any representative cricket, or in any way the chairmanship of its president, N. being associated with the activities of the Srinivasan and deliberated on the findings of BCCI or its affiliates," the statement said. anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani for "The case against Harmeet Singh has been more than three hours. The other two mem- closed in the absence of evidence against bers of the committee are BCCI vice presi- him." dents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah. Since Chandila was released from jail this All the cricketers except Chandila, who was week, Sawani couldn't interrogate him and his released from jail earlier this week, were pre- case will be taken up later.

Wrestler Bajrang wins bronze at World Championship

Budapest: Wrestler Bajrang gave India its second medal from the World Championship as he won the bronze medal in the 60kg freestyle category here on September 17. Bajrang's bronze is the second after Amit Kumar's silver won on September 16, making it the first time that India won two medals from the World Championships. Bajrang clinched the bronze in the 60kg freestyle category with a convincing 9-2 win over Mongolia's Nyam-Ochir Enkhsaikhan. It was the Mongolian who got a good start with a take down but 20-year-old Bajrang came back strongly in the dying seconds and pushed Nyam out of the mat to level the scores 2-2. From then on, Bajrang kept clinching points and didn't give the Mongolian to stand his ground. Early in the day, Bajrang had fallen out of the race for the gold medal ater he lost 0-7 to Vladimir Dubov of Bulgaria. But he was back in the hunt for a medal, as Dubov reached the final
Wrestler Bajrang

making the Indian eligible for the repechage rounds. Bajrang was in his elements in the repechage round. He first beat Shogo Maeda of Japan and Ivan Guidea of Romania before getting the better of Enkhsaikhan in the bronzemedal bout. Other Indians, Pawan Kumar (84kg) and Hitender (120kg) had made early exits from the competition.

Japan Open: Sindhu off to winning start

Tokyo: India's P.V. Sindhu got quickly took the first set 21-12. off to a winning start at the Sindhu started off Game 2 , Japan Open Super Series on taking a 6-0 lead before Yukino came back to tie the game at 8September 17, with a 21-12, 2113 win over qualifier Yukino 8, and then again at 12-12. Nakai. Sindhu used her superior skills Initially, the first game was to go on to win the game easily tight between the two. After at 21-13. P.V. Sindhu Sindhus net game was exceltaking large leads twice, at 7-3 and 10-5, the qualifier Nakai came back lent, as she won 21 points there compared to strongly to tie it at 10-10. Nakais 13. Meanwhile, Tanvi Lad, lost 15-21, Sindhu began to dominate after that and 10-21 to Sayaka Takahashi of Japan.


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September 21-27, 2013


September 21-27, 2013


Will John Burnett end GOPs 70-year drought?

The Republican Party candidate for NYC Comptroller explains why his race with Democrat Party nominee Scott Stringer is winnable.
John Burnett has overseen multimillion dollar corporate and private investments on Wall Street.

By Robert Golomb ell John Burnett, the Republican Party nominee for NYC Comptroller in this coming November election against Scott Stringer, that there are six registered Democrats for every registered Republican in NYC, and you become a bit surprised to see a smile coming to his face. Tell him that in NYCs last city wide election in 2009 the Republican candidate for comptroller, Joseph Mendola, won less than 20% of the popular vote in losing to current and now retiring Comptroller Democrat John Liu, and you will see the smile remaining. Tell him further that you have to go back to Joseph D. McGoldrick, who served from 1938-1945, to find the last Republican elected as Comptroller of NYC, and you will see that he still appears unbothered. When I brought this all of what I thought would be unsettling NYCs history to Burnetts attention during an interview in his Manhattan campaign office on Sept 11, the first interview he granted after the previous days Democrat Primary won by Scott Stringer, he appeared undaunted, Actually, I am well aware of the disparity {between Democrat to Republican registered voters}, and I know how handily John Liu defeated Joe Mendola, but none of that alarms me. The reason the 6-1 outnumbering of Democrats to Republicans in the city fails to alarm Burnett is simple, he told me, If you look at the Republican victories in the last 5 mayoral elections, the elections of Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg clearly shows that NYC voters have the ability and intelligence to put their party affiliation aside and vote for the person who they believe will best serve them. Equally simple to Burnett is the reason Mendola was so crushingly defeated by Liu four years ago. I like and respect Joe, Burnett stated, but he did not run an active campaign, and the Republican Party did not encourage him to do so. I promise you I am running to win and will have the Republican Party fully behind me. In addition, unlike Joe, who had an opponent running against him on the Conservative line, I will be on the Republican, Conservative and the Independent School Choice lines. As for Joseph D McGoldrick, Burnett maintained the same glass is half full mind set as to his chances in November. I know its been a long time since a Republican was elected as Comptroller. To me that means the time is long overdue {to elect one}. Burnett, who told me he has done extensive research on the history of NYC comptrollers to prepare for the race and knew just who McGoldrick was, added, While its been almost 70 years since a Republican last served {as Comptroller}, many of the

Democrats {who served as comptrollers} were fiscally conservative. That includes Mario Procaciino {1966-1969}, Harrison Goldin {1974- 1989}, William Thompson {2002-2009}, and to a certain degree even John Liu now. While both Democrat and Republican leaders felt that Spitzer with all his publicly well known personal and political baggage would have been the easier opponent for him, Burnett said he looks forward to the race against Stringer which officially began the moment Stringer was declared the winner on primary election night. Whether I ran against Mr. Spitzer or against {Manhattan Borough President} Stringer, the critical issues confronting New York City as a municipality and its eight million good citizens remain the same. I am using the opportunity of this interview to challenge Mr. Stringer to a series of televised debates where we can present our views,

ies show will benefit all NYC retirees. Burnett, whose mother, Mary, a cook and dietician at a child-care center, died in 2005 of congestive heart disease and whose father, James, a chef, died in 2006 of cancer, told me that pension plan reform is a deeply personal matter for him. My parents depended greatly on their pensions, he informed me. This dependence increased as they became ill later in their lives. So I have a deep personal understanding of why maintaining a healthy pension plan is so important to so many people. As Comptroller, I will always remember that we are making investments for millions of men and women like my mom and dad, people whose retirement benefits are financially crucial to them both today and in the future. Less controversial is his plan for a greater degree of accountability and transparency in the city government, about which he contended, Every candidate for {NYC}

Burnetts Democrat supporters at the West Indian American Day Carnival Parade 2013, Brooklyn.

which contrast sharply on the three most vital issues - pension plan enhancement government accountability and transparency and job growth through private sector economic development. Burnett and I agreed that in this interview we would examine only his policies and leave how they differ with Stringers to be hashed out at the proposed debates. We first discussed Burnett s pension plan reform, a controversial proposal to combine the five separate pension plans of New York City public employees into one comprehensive plan. I dont know why it would be considered controversial, he asserted. It will reduce by millions of dollars the redundant administrative costs and fees incurred by running five separate systems. When they retire, these savings will go directly to the pension plans of our hardworking police officers, firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers as well as to all other NYC civil service employees. I know people do not like change, but this is a change which stud-

Comptroller over the past years has promised to reduce waste and fraud in government. Few have made good on that promise. But this is something I will begin to address my first day in office. I will utilize my 20 years of experience with auditing and compliance to formulate risk assessments and corrective action plans, which will save our hardworking citizens millions of their tax dollars. Yet Burnett believes his most important responsibility will be in the area of private sector job growth: A mixed economy which includes small businesses, corporations, construction and the financial industry are vital to the financial well-being of our city. It creates well paying jobs and is responsible for generating the tax dollars that pay for the services the city provides. We must have tax policies that encourage already existing businesses to remain in the city and which attract other businesses to come here. There is nothing in our economy that can take the place of thriving and growing businesses. Burnett, whose rise in the business world -

which evolved from working as a teenager at cash register at Pathmark, to serving in a mid-management position in the financial industry to, while still in his thirties, overseeing multimillion dollar corporate and private investments on Wall Street, at first coincided and subsequently followed his educational achievements - which progressed from obtaining a high school diploma at Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, to earning a BS with dual honors from NYU and later obtaining an MBA from Cornell - credits his parents for his success. My parents always stressed the importance of getting a job and performing your best at every job you ever have, he told me. They also stressed the importance of studying hard and receiving the best education available. The father of a 19-year-old daughter who is a sophomore at an out of town college, Burnett wants his daughter to live in NYC after she graduates from college in three years, but said that like thousands of other young adult New Yorkers she too might find it difficult to find a suitable job. So the interview returned back to the economy. The citys unemployment rate is a staggering 7.5%, at par with the national average. The hardest hit are those graduating from high school or college and African Americans and Latinos of all ages. To reverse this trend and create well-paying jobs in the city, Burnett promised, if elected, to, Use the power of my office to support and facilitate and create projects such as the renovation of Midtown East {a plan supported by Mayor Bloomberg to pass new zoning laws in the immediate area surrounding Grand Central Station enabling real estate developers to replace old, out-of-date buildings with new technology compatible, energy efficient new constructions}. This plan, and others like it, will help NYC retain its status as the business capital of this growingly competitive world, and also create thousands of new jobs in the construction industry, which will then mushroom into thousands of more jobs in restaurants and other local retail establishments. Burnett also stood by his promise to, use my experience in auditing and assessments to fight fraud and waste in the city government and reinvest the cost savings to lower taxes on both small and large businesses. Such lowering of taxes will, as they have when implemented in the past, encourage small and large businesses to expand and make new investments. Once this occurs, I promise that you will see many thousands of jobs created in our town. For Burnett to have the opportunity to make good on those promises, he will have to convince a great number of NYC Democrats to cross party lines in November to give him that chance. Robert Golomb (Mr is a nationally published columnist. He writes on a range of educational, cultural and political topics.


September 21-27, 2013


Tips to cook quick dinner

Los Angeles: After a long day, it becomes difficult for most of us to enter the kitchen and prepare dinner. You can shorten the duration of cooking by organizing things in the kitchen, stocking up essential cooking items and more. has a few tips that are quick and easy: * Chop vegetables ahead of time: Its best to do things in advance especially when you are staring at a busy week. Take vegetables in abundance and chop them once a week (instead of daily) and store them in the fridge. * Reach for baking mixes: Use mixes that are readily available on the market instead of baking from scratch. You can give a personal touch by adding something like fresh fruit, citrus zest or nuts. *Stock necessary basics: Be it salt, pepper, flour, sugar or oil, stock up to make things smoother. * Stay organized: Keep all your tools used to prepare meal in an organized way. This will also make you enjoy the cooking experience more. *Make enough for leftovers: If you are preparing something delicious and special, increase the portion. Store it and later reheat whenever you wish to eat again.

Yo ladies! Carry androgynous look to parties

New Delhi: What is the latest party look? Androgynous! Style-conscious women can team up pants with jackets and make a style statement, say experts. They can take tips from the likes of Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra on how to carry it with panache. Vandy Mehra, group director of Study By Janak, says it makes a powerful statement and also adds an edge to your dressing. Well-fitted pants and blazers with wide lapels look chic," Mehra said. "You can alternate pants and go for different fits like high waist pants, the wide legged palazzo style pants and cigarette pants. The blazer, however, should always be fitted. Short women should not opt for palazzo pants as they will make them appear shorter, she added. As the trend is catching up, designer Kavita Bhartia, owner of Ogaan, says flared pants with fitted jackets can be tried too. The combination is good for those who have big hips, she added. Mehra advises to try pastel pink, pastel green, ice blue to kill the masculine look. The other way to do is by choosing the right top to team up with the suit. If you are teaming it with high waist pants, then the top should be well-fitted which hugs your body and can be easily tucked in. Otherwise an effeminate blouse in chiffon or silk will complement the pant suit well. It is typically an androgynous look and the chiffon blouse will add that feminine touch to it, she said. Go minimal with accessories. You can wear a wide cuff on the wrist or a classy necklace if you like. Slip on a pair of

stiletto and put on some lipstick and you are ready to go, Mehra said. Makeup artist Niti Luthra also supports minimal makeup. While daytime, one can go with nude makeup, for evening she suggests to switch from neutral

lip color to something bright. One can use bright lip color and more kohl on the eyes. As far as hair goes, they can tie a French bun as it looks neat. High pony tails also look tidy, she said.


September 21-27, 2013


Humor with Melvin Durai

The most beautiful woman in the world

was at the dentists office the other day and came across an issue of People magazine. On the cover was a picture of singer Beyonc Knowles, along with the headline Worlds Most Beautiful Woman! I was surprised, shocked, stunned, stupefied and many other S words. Beyonc, the most beautiful woman in the world? Dont get me wrong. Beyonc is indeed a beautiful woman, but I thought that everyone agreed that Aishwarya Rai is the most beautiful woman in the world. Indeed, when an Indian mens magazine recently asked its websites visitors Is Aishwarya Rai the most beautiful woman in the world? only one percent clicked on the response No, she isnt. Everyone else a whopping 99 percent chose the response: Yes, she is. Continue to free pics of Beyonc. Despite such overwhelming evidence, People magazine decided to name Beyonc the worlds most beautiful woman. I had no choice but to call the editor of People and get to the bottom of this. Me: Is Beyonc really the worlds most beautiful woman? Editor: Yes, thats what we believe.

Me: Did you tell Aishwarya Rai? Editor: The Bollywood actress? No, we didnt tell her. But we informed her agent and hes breaking the news to her gently. Me : Was it because you thought that Aishwarya had gained some weight? You may have heard that some Indian publications are calling her FAT, but trust me, they are just using an acronym for fit and trim. Editor: Youre kidding! Me: Its true. Many people who are FAT in India would be considered fit and trim in America. Aishwarya is actually quite slim. Im sure you already know this, but she won the Miss World title in 1994, was named most beautiful woman in the world by none other than Julia Roberts, and is still considered the most beautiful woman in the world by 99 percent of Indian men taking an online survey, as verified by the independent accounting firm of Ash, Warrior & Rye. Editor: Thats impressive, but it really wouldnt have affected our choice of Beyonc. We looked at hundreds of photos of beautiful women from around the world and Beyonc just stood out she has this special quality. Me: Yes, I know she has a special quality,

but I thought you looked at these women only from the front. Editor: We did! We try to focus on beauty, not booty. All of us my staff and I agreed that Beyonc is the worlds most bootiful I mean, beautiful woman this year. Me: What about last year? Editor: In 2011, the worlds most beautiful woman was Jennifer Lopez. Me: Did you tell Aishwarya? Editor: No, we didnt tell her. But we informed her father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan, and he tweeted his three million followers to visit every magazine rack in America and draw a mustache on J-Los cover photo. Me: So he took it pretty well, then. Editor: Yes, I suppose you could say that. By the way, do you know how I can get rid of

10,000 Bollywood DVDs that were dropped on our building from a helicopter? Me: Just go to Edison Township, New Jersey, and have a sidewalk sale. What about previous years? Going back a decade or so, who did you put on your cover as the worlds most beautiful woman? Editor: Julia Roberts in 2010, Christina Applegate in 2009, Kate Hudson in 2008, Drew Barrymore in 2007, Angelina Jolie in 2006, Julia Roberts again in 2005, Jennifer Aniston in 2004 and Halle Berry in 2003. Me: What do you have against poor Aishwarya? Editor: Nothing. We just think these other women were really beautiful. Before our beauty issue comes out, we spend days poring over photos of beautiful women from around the world some from as far away as Alaska! Me: Im sure your readers appreciate how much hard work you put into this important task searching the entire world for the most beautiful woman. And somehow she always seems to turn up in America. Editor: Yes, were quite lucky to find her right here in America. Me: It doesnt surprise me. According to the U.S. State Department, America has the worlds highest BWD (beautiful woman density) about 25 beautiful women per square mile, slightly less in West Virginia. You cannot walk down the street without running into a beautiful woman. Maybe thats why Freida Pinto moved from Mumbai to Los Angeles. She was beautiful before, but now she has a chance to be the most beautiful woman in the entire freakin world! (From the archives)

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.


September 21-27, 2013


By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Stars Foretell: September 21-27, 2013
ARIES: You are likely to fail in achieving set targets due to wrong assessment of team members. You achieve success in personal work with the timely help & support provided by family members. You succeed in making some extra cash on playing your cards well. Romance is just round the corner. Better to prepare yourself to grab it. Charity work undertaken will bring mental peace & comfort. Business or vacation travelling is what you needed right now. If you want to invest on property, then go for residential one. Your ability to help needy people will bring respect. TAURUS: Time to be a good communicator & natural negotiator to enable yourself to tackle the pressure of a highly responsible position. Misunderstandings with near ones in the family will get cleared. An auspicious week to invest money on items that would grow in value. Initiatives in love bring positive results as you catch the desired attention. Meditation and self-realization prove beneficial. Implementation of new ideas to travel will be beneficiary for you on work front. Selling your home privately can be an excellent way of saving on costs. You receive important invitation from an unexpected friend. GEMINI: A promising week for ambitious professionals to demonstrate technical skills & abilities. Children would do their best to keep you happy. Investment on long-term plans would pave the way for earning financial gains. Your generous attitude would contribute much in your love life this week. You will have ample time to do things to improve your health. An ideal vacation can claim your basic living expenses. Off-plan property investment is one of the easiest and most profitable methods to maximize gains in the real estate market. A sparkling laughterfilled week when most things go as you desire. CANCER: Politicians find a very smooth sailing as results go in your favour, thus immensely boosting confidence. You must restraint yourself from nagging the child to save him/her. Improvement in finances makes it convenient in clearing long pending dues & bills. Extremely supportive & loving partner would help in withering away your troubles. This week your `lack of will might make it difficult to achieve your goals. Travel plans for ambitions are in full bloom. You will have to go out of the way to buy your dream house. Ability to act swiftly to solve personal problems will be highly appreciated. LEO: People engaged in tourism will have the energy to keep pace with fast taking events thus giving themselves an edge over others. A week when you should not force your opinion on others in the family. Successful execution of brilliant ideas would help in earning financial profits. Romantic vibrations from someone unknown would lift your spirits taking imaginations to scaling heights. Sound physical health will enable to participate in outdoor activities. A beckon destination sounds tempting to you. Have you realize that your financial conditions do not allow you to invest on property? Favourable stars bring plenty of reasons to feel pleased in this week. VIRGO: Betterment awaits people engaged in the field of graphic designing. You are likely to be benefited as family members positively respond. A very successful week as far as monetary position is concerned. Love life brings immense romantic pleasure. You will be successful in getting rid from tensions. Be aware of the hazards holidays are not full of happy times only. First resolve the legal issues then mortgage your property. People shower compliments, which you have always wanted to hear. LIBRA: Self-confidence would immensely help in achieving good results at professional front. Parents and friends will do their best to keep you happy. You should focus investment on land/real estate or cultural projects to earn profits. Travelling proves a blessing in disguise by bringing a love in your life. A sparkling laughter filled week when most things proceed, as you desire. Planning a trip for your love will embrace you and your spouse. Your property prices will boost in the coming period. An old but fast friend is likely to contact to make it a memorable week for you. SCORPIO: The efforts of people aspiring to join interior designing course are likely to be handsomely rewarded. A promising week to plan things for your progeny. Indications of earning financial profits through commissions, dividends or royalties. Disappointing lover/beloved would make you regret later on. Your enormous confidence would help in enjoying a healthy life. Enjoy your holiday with love of your life. Buying property can lead to gains as property prices continue to increase. Efforts made to improve looks/personality will bring desired results. SAGITTARIUS : Leadership qualities and ability to understand people would benefit at work. Domestic work is likely to keep you busy most of the time in this week. Important people will be ready to finance anything that has a special class to it. You are likely to get a new friendship opportunity in the evening. A very healthy week filled with happiness & vitality. Your whole family needs a holiday, look further and take a break. You could buy the property that you are looking for. A promising week to attract others attention without doing much. CAPRICORN: Time to equip yourself with strong communication skills to enhance career prospects. You would be the center of attraction at a social gathering that you attend especially with family. Property dealings would materialize helping in bringing fabulous gains. New romance that some of you are going to experience would take the worries off mind. Pleasure trip would help in maintaining sound health in this week. Romantic destinations seems appealing to you. Looking to buy property, then go for commercial one. Excellent week for social as well as religious functions. AQUARIUS: You are likely to be criticised for atrocious handwriting at professional front. You would prefer to relax and enjoy the company of family members in the evening. You are likely to earn monetary gains through various sources. You enjoy a memorable time with partner to cement the lovely bond. Yoga and meditation would help in keeping in shape and mentally agile. Travel for fun and pleasure is what you demand. Good time to purchase a property. Even in the company of friends you may feel lonely and alone. PISCES: Professional front would require a persistent effort and ability to plan action quickly to sustain it. To avoid conflicts give an ear to family members. Increase in income from past investment is foreseen. You will be attracted to someone special. Blessings of a saintly person give peace of mind. Small journey with your office colleagues will be interesting. A good deal for your new property is ready to be made. You get time and opportunity to correct flaws in lifestyle.

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Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

21st September, 2013 Ruled planet: Jupiter Ruled by no:3 Traits in you: Being ruled by Jupiter, you are courteous, courageous, decisive, ambitious, disciplined, and realistic. You are gifted with high imagination power, optimism, and enthusiasm. However, behaving restless and dominating may hamper your characteristics at times. You need to work on your personality to make yourself better as an individual. Health this year: You need to take an appropriate care of your health. You may fall sick in the middle months of the year though those will not be serious. If you are a sportsperson, you need to be very careful for your diet and nutrition to perform better in your sporting events. Finance this year: You should invest in real estate to get better benefits. Your legal matters will settle down and provide you with the flow of the blocked money. You need to decisive enough before investing on something else but real estate as there are chances of loss. Career this year: Your communications skills will be proved instrumental in the overall improvement of your professional career. You will be able to make enough contacts and you will get regular projects and assignments. You may get promotions and salary hike towards the end of the year. Romance this year: You will find your partner to be a huge emotional support for you during the tough times of your life. You may get involved in a matrimonial alliance. Lucky month: November, February, June and September 22nd September, 2013 Ruled planet:Uranus Ruled by no:4 Traits in you: Uranus, being your dominating planet helps you become dynamic and creative. You are positive, realistic, responsive, and sincere. You need to work and overcome the weaknesses in your personality to attract more people towards you. Health this year: Your health will remain good throughout the year. You need to take utmost care of your health to maintain it and remain fit. The health of your family members might be a concern for you this year. Try and avoid your bad habits and start practicing yoga for the betterment of your health. Finance this year: Your innovative ideas to earn money may not meet your expectations. However, you need to keep trying until you succeed. You will find it tough to make money this year. You may go for investments in various sectors like shares, gold, land and so on. Career this year: With an enhanced confidence and brushed up skills, you will become very successful professionally. You will do justice to the role assigned to you. You may get promotion or a hike in your current salary. If you are in creativity field, this year will bring you much more success and recognition. Romance this year: This is a quite good year for women when romance is concerned. You will enjoy a very strong relationship with your spouse. You may decide to get married towards the end of the year. Lucky month: October, January, May and July 23rd September, 2013 Ruled planet:Mercury Ruled by no5 Traits in you: As you are ruled by Venus, you are simple, generous, cheerful, friendly, humble, honest and peace loving. You are pretty interested to stay in harmony with each and everyone in your surroundings. You need to work on your nature of being restless and pessimistic. Health this year: Your health will remain fine but the fluctuations in the health of your spouse may create huge problems for you. You should take care of the health of yourself as well as your family members to avoid future health problems. Finance this year: You will be among major financial gains this year. You may go for a real estate transaction later this year and this will bring you a lot of money to cherish. You may start up a new business. If you are already into business, you may plan for expanding its territory this year. Career this year: You will get enough opportunities in your professional life to prove yourself. You will create a better impression on your seniors or higher management, which may result in promotion. You should work efficiently to maintain your respect at your workspace. Romance this year: Your romantic life will become stagnant this year as you may not give enough time to your beloved. If you are unmarried and planning to marry this year, it may not happen because of the negative movements of your stars and planets. Lucky month: November, March, June and August 24th September, 2013 Ruled planet:Venus Ruled by no :6 Traits in you: As you are ruled by Venus, you are simple, generous, cheerful, friendly, humble, honest and peace loving. You are pretty interested to stay in harmony with each and everyone in your surroundings. You need to work on your nature of being restless and pessimistic. Health this year: You may enjoy a great health this year. However, that does not mean you will start neglecting your health. You need to take care of your diet and nutrition to maintain a good health. You may practice some exercises to remain fit. Finance this year: You would not be able to save any money for future this year as your earnings will be spent for something or the other. You may face unexpected expenses, which would make you a bit financially weak. You may go for new business ventures but need not get involved in any partnerships. Career this year: As far as your professional life is concerned you may find your job a bit monotonous. You need to go for innovative ideas to get better in your profession. Your decision making capacity may make you the favorite to win an award in your professional circuit. Romance this year: You will spend a peaceful life with your love interest this year. You will lead a blissful life with your beloved with lots of love, care, concern, and support. Lucky month: December, April, June and August 25th September, 2013 Ruled planet:7 Ruled by no:Neptune Traits in you: As your governing planet is Neptune, you are simple, dignified, unique, charismatic, reliable, trustworthy and confident. You have a great leadership skill and you are very creative. You should not be pessimistic and show your stubbornness. Health this year: Though you would not face any major health related issues, you should take extra care of your health. Do not take unwanted risk of putting your health in stake. Go for regular medical checkups. Finance this year: Though you will be able to improve your financial status, you may end up spending a lot of money in buying luxury and comfort for yourself and your family. You may put your money in real estate for better returns. Career this year: Professionally, you are a very smart and efficient worker. So you may need to clarify doubts and help you peers and juniors in their work. People in your professional circuit will seek your help at every crucial situation. You may get promoted as a result of your spectacular performance throughout the year. You may be assigned a new responsibility this year. You may go for a job change as well as there will be plenty of opportunities available. Romance this year: This is a quite good year for women when romance is concerned. You will enjoy a very strong relationship with your spouse. You may decide to get married towards the end of the year. Lucky month: October, December, March and August 26th September, 2013 Ruled planet:Saturn Ruled by no:8 Traits in you: Your governing planet Saturn makes you confident, unique, creative, dynamic, and intelligent. You are determined enough to perform any task assigned to you. So you always remain a step ahead from others. Along all your good characteristics, you have few negative characters as well. You need to work on your unreliability, insensitiveness, and selfishness. Health this year: You should take your prescribed medication in spite of a better health. The health of your parents may make you a worried person. You will remain fit and fine throughout this year. However, the health issues of your family members may put you in immense pressure. You need to secure the health of your family member by investing some money every year. Finance this year: Your financial condition will be pretty good as the movements of your stars are favorable for making money this year. You may go for any investment on real estate or gold. Do not trust anyone when partnerships are concerned. You should not lend or borrow money as it will create disputes. Career this year: You will be establishing yourself as a very efficient and important resource in your organization this year. Your performance will influence your peers, seniors and higher management. It is the best time to look out for a new job as it will help you grow both professionally and financially. Romance this year: You may go through minor personal disturbances and these could be solved by talking more to your partner. Do not let the distance grow. Get some time to talk to your spouse. You may plan a long trip with your partner to strengthen your relationship. Lucky month: November, February, March and July 27th September, 2013 Ruled planet:Mars Ruled by no:9 Traits in you: Your ruling planet Mars makes you strong, determined, courageous, enthusiastic, intelligent, ambitious, and motivated. You have a strong dislike towards fake people and fake emotions. You are a huge fan of truth and cleanliness. You need to work on your nature of showing dictatorship and being rude and stubborn at times. Health this year: Your health would remain very good this year. However, you need to go for regular yoga exercises. You should not ignore your healthy diet plan to remain in shape. Go for regular medical checkups to avoid any hiccups further. Finance this year:You may go for a property transaction this year and this will bring you a lot of money. You need to be decisive to invest on real estate or gold as there are risks involved. Do not trust any of your new partners as they may cheat you. You may spend enough money on buying a vehicle or renovating your property. Career this year: With an enhanced confidence and brushed up skills, you will become very successful professionally. You will do justice to the role assigned to you. You may get promotion or a hike in your current salary. If you are in creativity field, this year will bring you much more success and recognition. Romance this year: Your relationship with your partner or beloved will be strengthened as day passes. You may decide to get married this year if you are in a long term relationship. Lucky month: December, May, July and September


September 21-27, 2013


God is surrounding us and within us

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
spot in the river where there is no water. You are surrounded by water. Just open your fish eyes to see it. The fish said, Well, it is the same with you. You are surrounded by God. God is all around you and within you. You are swimming in the Lord and claim there is no God. Who is the bigger fool? You or I? This amusing story points out a great truth. We are all looking for God, but do not realize God is surrounding us and within us. There is no place where God is not. We only have to open our eyes to see it. God is everywhere. Just as the ocean is all around us, so is God. Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj said in a verse: Every grain of sand in the desert is a mirror; Amidst your infinite reflections, your mad lovers are lost. The verse is explaining how that. We may feel we are putting in a great deal of time meditating but have not yet seen God. It is only because we are not really meditating. We are thinking. We are evaluating. We are judging. We are sitting and thinking, O, God is not coming, God is not coming. That is not meditating; rather, that is thinking. If we truly want to find God, we need to stop thinking. We merely need to gaze within. The fish could have just looked out of its eyes and seen water. But it was so busy thinking, I cannot find the water. I am dying of thirst. While thinking that, it was distracting itself and not able to see the reality in front of it. Let us not be like the man or the fish in the story. Let us truly meditate, by stilling our mind and opening ourselves to the vision of God. God is available at every moment. We need to still our body and mind to experience it. Any thoughts of evaluation, judging, or stillness needed in meditation. It is incredible how many ways the mind can interrupt our meditation with thoughts. The mind uses the habit of complaining as one of its tools to keep us occupied. We are swimming in the ocean of Gods love, but cannot see it because we are engaged with the negative trends of the mind. There is an interesting example of how clutching puts us into a complaining mode so that we do not experience the beauty around us. In the United States, there are national parks and state parks in which people can enjoy the beauty of nature. In these beautiful parks we can enjoy mountains, valleys, rivers, streams, creeks, forests, and fields. These areas are kept preserved so that people can be in touch with nature without the development of houses, buildings, commercial areas, and concrete jungles found in towns and cities. These parks are places where people can walk in nature and enjoy the lovely trees, flowers, and period of time. Instead of writing to thank the park administrators for their preservation of natures beauty, the people wrote a list of complaints. Some complaints were humorous and some were ridiculous, yet the nature of the letters showed what people were really thinking about when they visited these natural parks instead of enjoying their beauty. People complained that some of the natural trails were not wide enough for people to walk along together, side by side, holding hands. Some complained that they did not like some of the trails that went up the side of the mountains because it made them have to walk uphill! Some complained that the hiking trails meant for hiking should have chair lifts so the people did not have to hike. Some said that the animals made too much noise at night and kept them awake when they camped out and the people wanted the park department to get rid of all the animals. Someone else said that a deer came into his campsite and stole a jar of pickles and the person wanted the park department to reimburse him for the stolen jar. Another said they wanted escalators put on the mountains so they did not have to climb. Another wanted a fast food restaurant put into the forest so they did not have to cook out. Someone even said there were too many rocks on the mountain. When we look at this list we want to laugh at how ridiculous the complaints sound. On one hand people want to be in nature, hike, and camp out, and when they get there, instead of enjoying the natural beauty, they want to turn it into a town or city. This is what we are doing when we meditate or try to experience Gods love in our lives. We have the entire kingdom of God within us, but refuse to see it because we are listening to the chatter of our mind or viewing the images our thoughts create when we think. We have the love of God flowing in us and around us every second of our lives, but do not experience it because we are focused on complaining about everything in our lives. (To be continued...) 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.

henever we swim or sail in the ocean, the beautiful blue waters of the sea surround us on all sides. Just as while swimming we are surrounded by the ocean, every second of our lives we are also surrounded by the ocean of divine love. The ocean of Gods love surrounds us. It is not only around us, but within. It is to the right of us, the left of us, above us, below us, and in us. If we could only have the eyes to see, we would find we are perpetually swimming in the ocean of Gods love. In this connection, there is a story of a man who had been meditating many years yet was frustrated because he had not seen God. He had given up many worldly pleasures to meditate and spent long hours meditating in silence. He was devoted and did whatever he could to find God. Finally, he prayed to God, O Lord, I have been meditating and praying to You all my life, yet You have not appeared to me. God did not respond to his prayer. The man became more and more impatient and soon started saying, There is no God. I have wasted my time. The man strolled along the side of the river, upset at his lack of experience with the Lord. Finally, the man took a pebble and threw it into the river, saying, O river, I have wasted my life. I have prayed and meditated to find God, but there is no God. Suddenly, a fish raised its head out of the water, saying, Why have you thrown a stone at me? The man apologized and said, I did not mean to hit you. I only threw it into the river in frustration. The fish asked, Why are you frustrated? The man said, I have spent my life searching for God, but have not found God. My efforts have been wasted. The fish said, You think you have problems? Look at me. I have been swimming in this river my whole life looking for water. I am dying of thirst and cannot find any water to drink. The man said, What is wrong with you? You must be a fool instead of a fish. The whole river is filled with water. There is not a

Meditation is merely changing our vision from blindness of God to vision of God. God is all around us every moment. God is pulsating with us. God is closer to us than our jugular vein. Meditation helps us experience that.
God is everywhere. God is in every grain of sand in the desert. God is in every particle of creation. God is in the fish. God is in the reptiles. God is in the animals. God is in every human being. When we can see God everywhere, we are lost in the love of God at every moment. God is love. When we recognize God everywhere, we are recognizing the power of love and are lost in the madness of that love. Meditation is merely changing our vision from blindness of God to vision of God. God is all around us every moment. God is pulsating with us. God is closer to us than our jugular vein. Meditation helps us experience clutching is going to keep us from the experience. waterways. We can hear the lovely sounds of birds chirping. We can get glimpses of Gods beautiful creatures such as deer, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, and fish. We can hear the sounds of silence, wind blowing through trees, and the natural sounds of wildlife. We can see the lovely sky with floating clouds in the day, or the stars and moon at night. Some people feel the national or state parks are a natural paradise. Yet, in one of the state parks, the park administrators were processing a pile of unopened mail that had accumulated in their office for a long time from people who had visited the parks. These letters came from many different people over a long

Avoid Clutching in Meditation

Clutching is another form of expectation in which we are trying to see one thing or another in meditation. We feel unsatisfied no matter what we see unless it is what we planned to see. Clutching interferes with us enjoying what we do receive because we are too focused on what we want to receive instead. Thus, clutching takes our attention away from the

September 21-27, 2013

September 21-27, 2013