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VOL 29 No.

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October - November 2017 Newsagencies $1 inc GST

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Best Editorial

The Indian Down Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh NSW 2120 Ph (02) 9875 2713 Mobile: 0414 155 402 Email:
02 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October - November 2017
October - November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 03
04 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October - November 2017
October - November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 05
06 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October - November 2017
Editor's Letter

India’s resilience is legendary
he Australian Marriage Law faction. We should also spare a or education funding among his many
Editorial/Advertising Enquiries: 02 9875 2713 postal survey – to change the thought for the PM that he virtually infirmities dealing with his party con-
Postal Address: PO Box 99, Thornleigh NSW 2120. existing law or not – is an runs a minority Government, albeit servatives. As a leader, he must give
unnecessary and a wasteful exercise with a majority of one, with so many direction to his people when, in his
Email: for the nation (costing some $110 M) MPs mired in citizenship imbroglio opinion, the issues are principled,
Website: that could have been handled by our and also with Tony Abbott breathing even though not with a clear blessing
parliamentary system if Prime down his neck. of the majority. Going for the public
Minister Malcolm Turnbull had the Former PM Tony Abbott at least opinion, the marriage equality debate
EDITORIAL ticker. But he did not want to shoulder has the resolve (although for some may be doomed for failure as his earli-
Principal Editor: Vijay Badhwar the responsibility (which the Labor reason even he has silly ideas like er Republican Plebiscite as a large
manoeuvred for) for which he would Knights and Dames) but Turnbull is silent majority does not like change in
Associate Editor: Neena Badhwar
have been blamed by one or the other just not firm: be it the climate change conservative Australia.
North America : Parveen Chopra

Sports Editor: Kersi Meher-Homji he Australian scenario is, however, calm in comparison
to India where there is non-stop drama – children
Delhi Reporter: Ritu Ghai dying in hospital due to non-sup-
ply of oxygen, a goon of a baba
leading his followers on a
killing spree before being
Third Eye: Rekha Bhattacharjee jailed, anarchical show in do you
Political Columns: Cyprian Fernanades, Tamil Nadu parliament.
Karam Ramrakha
The list is long. How can reconcile this:
this go on and India still
Bollywood: Neeru Saluja managing to do well at in a country that just
the BRICS conference
Films and Art: Neeru Saluja, Abhishek Sood,
to expose Pakistan, or launched a new bullet
Sumi Krishnan, Devaki Parthasarthy, partnering with Japan
Neena Badhwar, Rekha Rajvanshi, to start the Ahmedabad- train project, children
Manju Mittal
Mumbai Shinkansen
(bullet train) project. die in a hospital due
Body-Mind-Spirit: Dr Sunder Das, Kanaka
Ramakrishna, Faith Harper, T Selva
India is a resilient coun-
try, a pradox.
to non-supply ridding Lalu Yadav family from the Bihar throne.

Sport: Kersi Meher-Homji, Gaurav Joshi
According to reports
from India, more than 600
of oxygen. The scenes are ugly as there are many splinter groups
formed within the AIADMK and Shashikala able to pull
Fiji Diary: Karam Ramrakha skeletons have been recovered at the strings from her gaol. They do not seem to be fighting
the Dera of Gurmeet Ram Rahim for a cause or to serve general public, but for quick gains.
Cookery: Promila Gupta
Singh at Sirsa. His followers say that the DMK waiting in the wings are no saints either.
Children Section: Esther Chaudhary-Lyons skeletons belonged to persons who wished for moksha from Festive season is upon us; so, let’s rejoice. Very Happy
Classical Music: Sumi Krishnan, Kris Raman, life! What ignorance! Navratris, Dussehra and Deepavali from all of us at The
They should instead have wished for moksha from such Indian Down Under.
Lokesh Varma
unreligious preaching which
Travel : Vijay Badhwar, Kris Raman has trammelled many a soci-
Humour: Melvin Durai, Santram Bajaj eties since time immemorial.
There is self-interest of rogue
Seniors Column: Santram Bajaj
gurus and swamis who, in
Beauty: Devaki Parthasarthy, Ritu Ghai, the name of God, cast that
Akvir Kaur spell of fear in unsuspecting
public. The politicians, too,
Community: Neena Badhwar, are to blame for the symbiot-
Kersi Meher-Homji, ic relationship they develop
Vijay Badhwar, Sumi Krishnan, Neeru Saluja, with the con gurus to cash on
their vote bank.
Savitha Narayan, Manju Mittal The high drama in Tamil
Photographers: Raj Suri and Jordan Anjaiya Nadu politics, according to
political observers, is
Graphic Design: Dhiraj Kumar Showaan,
fomented by the Bharatiya
Nayanesh Gandhi, Dinesh Verma, Bharat Janata Party’s overzeal after
Bhushan Chopra/Bhagwati Multimedia their justifiable success in

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 7

Ungodly conduct of fake godmen
! By Vijay Badhwar

hey are self-appointed
representatives of God,
claim miracle powers,
live a life of luxury, command
followers, some control harems,
but all are rich and powerful –
truly what a misguided human
would see in the image of a god.
O pity, pity, gentle heaven,
Those innocent, gullible,
unsuspecting souls!
Those 30 killed, injured and
ruined recently due to that self- The flamboyant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s
appointed God representative conviction on rape charges led to law and order
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Some of those in the list of 14 fake godmen circulated by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara situation in Haryana and Punjab, in which
There are many more like Parishad, the apex body of saints and seers in India. about 30 people were killed.
him, not only in India, but
throughout the world, all prolif- aka. Vivekanand Jha, Nirmal in Haryana sentencing Dera as the city life came to a stand- nificant political clout as he
erating and profiting in the name Baba, Ichchadhari Bheemanand, Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram still and the local residents wor- claimed a large vote bank. The
of God. Aseemanand, Om Namah Shivay Rahim to 20 years in prison for ried about their lives and proper- political parties on either side of
Now, the Akhil Bharatiya aka Avdhoot Baba Shivananda, the rape of two of his former dis- ty. the fence traded his influence
Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the Rampal, Acharya Kushmuni, ciples. The Government imposed with backdoor facilitations as
apex body of saints and seers in Malkhan Singh and Brihaspati The verdict sparked violence two-day curfew in Sirsa to allow well as cash donations.
India, has released a list of 14 Giri. across Haryana and Punjab in search of the convicted rapist’s It is indeed mind boggling
‘fake’ godmen after its special Asaram Bapu, Narain Sai, which 30 people were killed and 700-acre ashram. The police dis- how thousands of his followers,
meeting held in Allahabad on Ram Pal and Gurmeet Ram many injured. The Indian covered a tunnel that allowed some probably even in Australia
September 10. Rahim are already in jail on var- Government had to call in army unhindered and secret access to (as his adopted daughter/friend
The list of what the ABAP ious charges that include rape when the state government’s women’s living areas including Honeypreet was reported in
calls fraudsters: Asaram Bapu, and murder. The action by inaction led to large scale vio- minors’. There is also specula- Indian media preparing to come
his son Narain Sai, Radhey Maa ABAP which, its head Mahant lence in Panchkula. The rampage tion that from a hospital in the to Australia), were conned by a
aka Sukhwinder Kaur, Narendra Giri says, is to save the by Gurmeet Singh followers premises there was illegal trade jet-setting rock star, actor, fraud-
Sachchidanand Giri, Gurmeet saints from disgrace, comes resulted in burning of cars and of human organs. ster to lead them on a divine
Singh Ram Rahim, Om Baba close on the heels of a CBI court buses and widespread disruption Gurmeet Singh exercised sig- journey.

Fiji election next year will be close
! By Karam Ramrakha selves Fijian and thus break down racial
divisions. But deep down, as with

onald Trump wants to build a Maoris and our Aborigines, the desire
wall on the Mexican border and for a total return of the country to its
Pauline Hanson preaches original inhabitants with full sovereignty
migrants do not blend into our existing still lingers. Speech and print is careful-
ways or conform to our expectations and ly monitored and the military remains
standards. This debate has been going on the largest single force. The Army is
forever. 99.99 per cent indigenous while they
In 1901, Australia promulgated The dominate the police force and civil serv-
Immigration (Restriction) Act to pre- ice by almost two thirds.
serve what it saw Australia as a White Mahendra Pal Chaudhury currently
Mahendra Pal Chaudhury, leader of the Fiji Labour Party, has formed an alliance with
Country. Similar to a university-level Sitiveni Rabuka, "reformed and penitent" 1987 coup leader, to challenge Prime Minister
leads the Fiji Labour Party despite his
language test for Australian citizenship Frank Bainimarama (right) in the 2018 elections. criminal conviction and heaving fine on
proposed now, criteria for exclusion then some convoluted criminal charges.
was a Dictation Test in 50 words in any ment. Witness the 7-Eleven underpay- exclude Tahiti and New Caledonia, Sitiveni Rabuka, "reformed and peni-
European language. In 1934, an Egon ments, and recurring exploitation of which are technically part of France. I tent" 1987 coup leader, has formed an
Kisch brought White Australia and its workers in restaurants and service indus- have always maintained Fiji's superior alliance with Chaudhry to challenge
Dictation Test into ridicule by passing tries, even in prostitution. position owes greatly to its Indian popu- Frank in 2018.
tests in several European languages. Just as when my forefathers from lation’s labour and toil that established a Prime Minister Bainimarama has
As that ‘White Bubble’ would per- India were recruited under bogus sugar industry beside contribution to shrewdly brought in road structures and
force bust after World War II due to Indenture documents and shipped to industry, education and commerce. introduced coin operated electric lighting
Australia's desperate ‘Populate or colonies, Capital - that brutal beast -- Well, in the elections next year, nei- in remote villages. Tourism keeps the
Perish’ wont, today, Australia can boast will find ways to exploit our human race. ther of the main parties is expected to economy afloat.
a truly multiracial country, thanks to its Donald Trump’s country has 14 mil- win outright. Frank rides the international waves
emphasis on skills and shortage of avail- lion plus illegals or people without docu- Frank Vorege Bainimarama is credit- and during the United Nations
able workers resulting in Section 457 mentation. They prop the US economy ed with abolishing racial seats, racial Conference of the Sea, he graced the
visas. but Mr Trump has demonised them. voting and bringing in a long overdue occasion with a Fijian meke with beauti-
As usual and even today, most On to Fiji and the election there next common roll with one man, one vote and ful young ladies to boot. He spoke of the
"Lucky Australians", as Professor year. Fiji may be a little dot on the one value. Frank's other outstanding danger to the sea, citing over-fishing,
Donald Horne termed them, would World Map but it somehow seems to achievement was in giving all of Fiji a pollution and climate change which are
refrain from dirty unwanted work and, loom large internationally and particular- common name, namely "Fijian". destroying our ocean resources.
in particular, shift work. Migrants and ly in the Pacific. This despite countries Prime Minister Bainimarama has But the unrest at home continues,
students fill this void, prepared to out- like Papua New Guinea, Solomon sought to provide an equal playing field even murmurings of defections. I predict
work, underlive and accept underpay- Islands, Vanuatu Tonga and Samoa. I by allowing all persons to call them- a close election in 2018.

8 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October-November 2017

The Third Eye By Rekha Bhattacharjee

Chinese students flex muscle
in Australia over Doklam
hile the international dents show their aggressive stance
community is taking a while pushing their nationalism in
collective sigh of relief Australia. "More than 1,200,000
over the proposed withdrawal of Australians have Chinese ancestry,"
forces by India and China from Andrew Bolt wrote in his regular
Doklam, concerns are being raised column in Herald Sun.
over the way China is using her "This is a security risk as China
proxies in Australia to flex its mus- asserts its power - both in foreign
cle. "The challenge for [Australia] affairs and over Chinese at home,
is, how do we cope with the fact including relatives of those here,"
that our single biggest customer is Map showing the disputed area he added while highlighting all of
instructing students and teachers to which created protracted tension the recent incidents where Chinese
have red hot patriotic sentiment between India and China. students have grouped and forced
when they are in Australia," John the university lecturers to make
Garnaut, a former adviser to Prime turer Khimji Vaghjiani is of Indian changes to their lecture material or
Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said. origin seems to have instigated the instructions.
The senior Australian bureau- complaint about the map down- The targeting of Khimji
crat seems to be referring to a loaded from the internet. Vaghjiani prompted an intervention
recent incident in which a The disturbing incident came by High Commissioner of India to
Chinese students took out a car rally in Sydney, culminating in front
University of Sydney Information after a bizarre protest staged by a Australia, Ajay M. Gondane. The
of the Indian consulate, to protest against India's stand at Doklam.
Technology lecturer was forced to Sydney-based Chinese automobile Indian diplomat urged Australian
(Photo courtesy SBS).
issue a public apology after Chinese group as they drove in their luxury universities to protect the right to
international students expressed cars in front of the Indian Consulate three similar incidents in different to exert influence abroad. freedom of expression in the wake
outrage by his use of a map show- General on the 70th anniversary of Australian universities have also "It's got a large presence in of the map incident.
ing Chinese claimed territory as India's independence. been reported. The recent assertive- Australia which is not sufficiently “I could only say that we sup-
part of India. Bentleys, Lamborghinis, ness of the Chinese students is understood," John Garnaut was port freedom of expression. These
A Wechat account run by BMWs, Audis and Maseratis were being linked to instructions, report- quoted by the Australian Financial groups should be [promoting] inter-
Chinese students' group, aptly- reportedly among the 10 luxury cars edly, emitting from Beijing. Review in an article headlined: cultural harmony in the multicultur-
named Australian Red Scarf, posted which joined the parade represent- "One of [Chinese President] Xi "Beijing is stirring up 'red hot patri- al context in Australia,” Ajay M.
an article demanding that the map ing a Communist country's view- Jinping's objectives has been to otism' among Chinese students on Gondane told The Australian news-
be removed. point. ensure that the party can project its Australian campuses". paper.
The timing of the demand sur- "Anyone who offends China interests into the world, including John Garnaut is not the only one “It is a free country accepting
prised many as the map was used as will be killed no matter how far the following Chinese people wherever raising concerns over the “large all sorts of opinions … Those
lecture material 18-months back by target is," read one of the slogans they go," John Garnaut said in his presence” of the Chinese expats and groups displaying [uncivilised]
the concerned University of Sydney painted on one of the luxury cars. speech at The Australian Financial international students and the way behaviour should restrain them-
lecturer. It is believed that the Indo- It is this unveiled aggression Review's Higher Education they are pushing China’s agenda in selves," Indian High Commissioner
Chinese border spat at Doklam pro- precisely which is worrying the aca- Summit. Australia. added.
voked the protest by the Chinese demics and political commentators According to John Garnaut, Senior journalist Andrew Bolt Rekha Bhattacharjee can be
students' social media group. Down Under. President Xi of China is relying on has already expressed his dismay at contacted at
The fact that the senior IT lec- In the past month or so, at least the United Front Work Department the way the Chinese expats and stu-

SBS India map creates
community furore
Communication, Mitch Fifield.

map of India with Jammu & According to OFBJP Australia pres-
Kashmir shown as a disputed ident, Balesh Singh Dhankad, the com-
territory by SBS on the occasion munity response was overwhelming
of India’s 70thIndependence Day, and with more than 5000 members joining in
not the map used by the Department of the email protest that was forwarded to
Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Minister.
riled the Indian community in Mr Dhankad cited several controver-
Australia. sial areas internationally, including
The Overseas Friends of BJP Wrong map used by SBS Corrected map of India now Tibet, which SBS does not care to show
(OFBJP) Australia took it upon them- video news report used in the video report as disputed. Then, why Kashmir, partic-
selves to protest to SBS in regard to ularly, he said. He also quoted several
their biased Indian coverage, also a news organization, it is not our role to The OFBJP considered this response SBS news in the past that had bias
repeated several times in the past. take a particular side in disputes”. He unsatisfactory and called for a meeting against India.
In their response, SBS Acting further invited the representation to of Indian community leaders in Sydney Although there is no official
Executive Producer, Steve Wilson, make a complaint to the SBS on August 19. A committee of ten mem- response, Mr Dhankad says that the
maintained that the map showed Ombudsman if they were not satisfied bers was formed to enrol community Indian map now used by SBS follows
Kashmir as a disputed territory and, “as with his response. support and approach the Minister of the DFAT version.

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 9

Modi govt to announce stimulus Sitharaman defence minister
package to spur economy in Modi cabinet reshuffle
New Delhi: The govern-
ment may soon unveil a New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman was pro-
package of measures to moted and appointed as India's Defence
speed up growth, gener- Minister even as Prime Minister Narendra
ate employment, lift Modi elevated three others to the Cabinet
exports and step up minister level and brought in nine new
investment in infrastruc- faces, including four former bureaucrats,
ture. A broad framework in a reshuffle of his ministry based on per-
to boost the economy was formance.
discussed in a meeting of Power Minister Piyush Goyal got the
ministers and officials railways portfolio, from which Suresh
chaired by finance minis- Prabhu was shifted to Commerce and
ter Arun Jaitley in mid Industry that was with Sitharaman. Prabhu
September as the govern- had offered to quit after a major rail acci-
FM Arun Jaitley with PM Narendra Modi: dent in Uttar Pradesh in August. All min-
ment grappled with a demonetisation and GST implementation have been
slump in growth. isters were administered the oath of office
factors in slump in growth by President Ram Nath Kovind at the
Prime Minister
Narendra Modi will take a final decision needs to be addressed appropriately. Rashtrapati Bhavan.
on the measures, according to people with Finance minister Jaitley is expected to Sitharaman became the second woman
knowledge of the deliberations. “We may consult other ministries before preparing a to head the Defence Ministry after Indira Nirmala Sitharaman became the second
need to take some specific, targeted detailed plan that will be presented to the Gandhi when she was Prime Minister. woman to head the Defence Ministry
steps... It's not as if there is a course cor- prime minister. The plan is expected to The Defence Ministry was so far with after Indira Gandhi when she was PM.
rection,” a government official said. examine the reasons for the slowdown and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
There has been concern in government the measures that can be taken to acceler- In the third reshuffle of the ministry in Mahendra Nath Pandey.
circles over growth slumping to a three- ate growth. three years, Nitin Gadkari, who held Road Among the four bureaucrats inducted
year low of 5.7% in the April-June quar- The Confederation of Indian Industry Transport and Highways and Shipping, into the government, former Home
ter with disruption due to the rollout of (CII) called for a 100 basis point reduction also got the Water Resources, River Secretary R K Singh got Power and New
goods and services tax (GST) and linger- in interest rates to “inject huge growth Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Renewable Energy, while former
ing impact of demonetisation being the impulse” and urged the Centre and states Ministry that was taken away from Uma diplomat Hardeep Puri secured Housing
primary cause. A rise in the current to ensure that public capital investment Bharti. Six ministers resigned ahead of the and Urban Affairs. "Demolition Man" KJ
account deficit and inflation has added to remains elevated even as it pointed to a reshuffle: Kalraj Mishra, Rajiv Pratap Alphons has been made MOS with inde-
worries. Some economists have argued rebound in many sectors. A basis point is Rudy and Bandaru Dattatreya, Faggan pendent charge in Tourism and
that the decline is structural in nature and 0.01percentage point. Singh Kalaste, Sanjeev Balyan, and Electronics and IT ministries.

scam of
Rahul’s US takeaways positive;
century: rejuvenating Congress still a task
Congress Comment by Mayank Chhaya are of no consequence to him in his
larger political strategy back in

wo weeks of a well-orches- India. Even his much-emphasised
New Delhi: Terming demon- trated tour of the US may not message to the 21st century NRIs of
etisation as the "scam of the be enough to determine India’s independence movement
century", the Congress recent- whether Congress Vice President being propelled by the early 20th
ly said Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi is a reflective and century NRIs such as Mohandas
Narendra Modi will go down seriously analytical politician, as his Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru,
in India's history alongside supporters insist, or a privileged Ambedkar and Vallabhbhai Patel,
Muhammed bin Tughlaq for nincompoop, as social media so had only limited resonance.
the "gross misadventure" and churlishly characterises him. His first public speech, at the
demanded that he quit office. However, what it appears to University of California-Berkeley,
"No wonder that former have done somewhat successfully is did make some news in India
PM Manmohan Singh called it lend him some sheen for the urban because of Gandhi’s clarity of pur-
organised loot and legalised constituencies that have been miss- pose on subjects such as the rate of Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi speaking at a public
plunder. Rahul Gandhi had ing in his public engagements in growth versus very low job cre- meeting in New York: During his US tour, he has finally said that he
demanded an investigation in India. At the very least, the tour ation, and the country’s syncretic is ready to be his party’s PM candidate in 2019 elections..
helped him reboot — even though it culture coming under a serious
the demonestisation scam, lay-
remains to be seen if all apps fire up strain by divisive political forces. cy-focused engagement that he had old’s serious side outside the relent-
ers of which have now been
subsequently. Ironically, what made most news was in front of some 200 students at less ridicule he faces in India may
unveiled by the RBI annual
His visits to San Francisco, Los was his rather glib dismissal of Princeton University where he dis- help him personally in attending to
report," said Congress Angeles, Washington, D.C., dynastic politics, saying that had played a grasp of broader economic, the Congress Party’s decline with
spokesperson Randeep Singh Princeton and New York exposed become the way things are done in political, cultural and social trends. renewed vigour. However, the scale
Surjewala during a seminar on him to a diversity of opinion makers India even in professions beyond His central point was about the need of the party’s disaffection is so great
"Demonetization and its dev- but, put together, the audiences politics. to create large-scale jobs as a vehi- that its rejuvenation is unlikely to
astating effect on the economy were no more than 5,000 people. From all available accounts, his cle to impart a broader vision to come via Berkeley or Princeton, but
and society". While the numbers do not necessar- interactions with the mainstream India’s increasingly frustrated popu- through his unfailing engagement
Surjewala also said: "GDP ily tell the whole story, what they do political and policy communities in lation. across the length and breadth of
data released reflects a decline say was that the attendees were Washington left most of them rather One recurring feature of his India.
from 9.2 to 5.7 per cent and mainly props to transmit a more impressed by his understated but interactions was India’s reputation The role that the NRIs could
the picture of colossal eco- credible message back home, where substantive style. The image of as a tolerant and harmonious culture play in boosting Gandhi’s prospects
nomic pilferage of India's his voice is either instantly derided Gandhi within these fraternities has having suffered a major setback in as a credible rival to Prime Minister
economy is writ large. This by a frenzied social media trolling been one of an absentee politician recent months. He said he was asked Narendra Modi is rather limited, but
itself means a loss of over Rs culture, or ignored altogether. riding his family name. However, throughout his tour what had gone to the extent their positive attention
3 lakh crore to the economy Unfortunately for Gandhi, the the Washington meetings seemed to wrong with the country — and his can lift his personal spirits in a way
for which PM is solely people with whom he interacted with have changed that uncharitable point response was to speak of “a divisive he can achieve that goal, the tour
responsible." sobriety and substance — to the of view. politics”. could be particularly useful.
pleasant surprise of many of them — Perhaps the most extensive poli- The showcasing of the 47-year- Source: IANS

10 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October-November 2017

At UN, India slams
Pakistan as ‘terroristan’
United Nations: In a sharp escalation of its
attack, India slammed Pakistan at the UN for
its support to terrorism, calling it “terroris-
tan” “In its short history, Pakistan has
become a geography synonymous with ter-
ror,” Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary in
India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, said
on Thursday exercising India’s right of reply
after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid
Abbasi’s virulent attack that “the struggle” of
the people in Kashmir was being “brutally
suppressed by India”.
Pakistan’s “contribution to the globalisa- External Affairs Minister Sushma
tion of terror is unparalleled”, she declared. Swaraj met the US Secretary of State
“The quest for land of pure has actually pro- Rex Tillerson on Sept. 22, 2017, in New
duced a ‘land of pure terror’. York on the sidelines of UNGA session
“Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’ with a to discuss how the two countries can
flourishing industry producing and exporting jointly fight terrorism and promote secu-
global terrorism,” Gambhir added. rity in the Indo-Pacific region.
In his speech, Abbasi warned of the pos- try whose counter-terrorism policy is to
sibility of a “dangerous escalation” in the mainstream and upstream terrorism by either
subcontinent and clamoured for intervention providing safe haven to global terror leaders
by the global organisation. in it military towns or protecting them with
Accusing New Delhi of frequently violat- political careers.”
ing the ceasefire along LoC in Kashmir, he “It is extraordinary that the state which
said that “if India does venture across the protected (former Al Qaeda leader) Osama
LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of ‘limited’ bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should
war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong have the gumption to play the victim.
and matching response”. “By now all Pakistan’s neighbours are
“The international community must act painfully aware of these tactics of creating
decisively to prevent the situation from a dan- narratives based on distortions, deception and
gerous escalation,” he said. deceit,” the diplomat said. She also said that
Abbasi also admitted that Pakistan’s the current state of Pakistan could be gauged
nuclear arsenal is directed against India. from the fact that Hafiz Saeed, leader of the
“Confronted by a hostile and increasing- UN-designated terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-
ly militarized neighbour, Pakistan has been Taiba, was now seeking to be legitimised as
obliged to maintain the capability for credible a leader of a political party.
deterrence,” he said. “Our strategic assets Stating that nothing can justify Pakistan’s
are vital to deter oft-threatened aggression.” avaricious efforts to covet territories of its
Abbasi spent almost a third of his General neighbours, Gambhir said: “In so far as India
Assembly address of about 12 minutes attack- is concerned, Pakistan must understand that
ing India. Lampooning Abbasi’s claim of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is and will
fighting terrorism, she said: “This is a coun- always remain an integral part of India.

Musharraf blames Zardari
for Benazir Bhutto's killing’
Islamabad: Former Pakistan President
Pervez Musharraf has accused Peoples
Party of Pakistan leader Asif Ali Zardari of
"having the most to gain from Benazir
Bhutto`s murder" in a video posted on his
official Facebook page. The video came
days after he was accused of being involved
in the murder. "Asif Ali Zardari is respon-
sible for the Bhutto family`s demise and is
involved in the deaths of Benazir and
Murtaza Bhutto," he said in a startling
address directed at the three Bhutto-Zardari
children, the Bhutto family and the people
of Sindh.
Asif Ali Zardari, who later became
"Every time there is a murder, the first
Pakistan President, had the most to
thing that needs to be seen is who has the
gain from his wife Benazir’s demise,
most to gain from the death. In this case, I
argues General Musharraf.
had everything to lose as I was in power and
the murder put my government in a difficult murder."
situation," the former military chief said. Musharraf went on to add: "The evi-
"There was just one person that had dence is clear that Baitullah Mehsud and his
everything to gain from Benazir`s assassi- people were involved in the murder, but
nation and that was Asif Ali Zardari," he who had asked them to target Benazir
added, proceeding into what he termed as Bhutto - it could not have been me, the
his analysis of the case. group hated me and the feeling was mutu-
He added: "Zardari was in power for al." "It is a known fact that I wanted
five years, why did he not look into the Mehsud dead and so did the government of
case, why was the investigation not active - Pakistan, after his group had attempted to
because he was involved in Benazir`s kill me," Musharraf argued.

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 11

Shashi Tharoor: Cook did not discover
Australia, just as Columbus didn’t America
e’ SK: As per 2016 Australian census,
! By Sudha Kumar Shashi Tharoor gave lecture titled ‘Inglorious Empir
at Antidote festival in Sydne y Opera House the proportion of people who reported

n his recent visit to Sydney, Dr "no religion" increased to 30% and was
Shashi Tharoor, former UN higher than Catholics at 23% (who until
Diplomat, author, politician and then were the highest). Considering the
proud father, shared some of his thoughts current socio-political atmosphere in
with me on a range of issues. The issues India, do you think Indians should cam-
ranged from his desire to ‘make a differ- paign for a "no religion" policy?
ence’, his ‘central animating principle in Shashi Tharoor: It is difficult.
all aspects of his life’, his ancestral home Religion is far too deeply immersed in
in Kerala, his belief that his sons are bet- Indian society and cultural experience. It
ter writers than him, to religion and mar- is caught up in notions of culture, authen-
riage equality in Indian society, and the ticity, rootedness… the rhythms of Indian
concept of ‘identity and belonging’. life often are around religious festivals.
Shashi was most forthcoming. There is nothing more important than
To converse with a person who uses the Durga Puja for people of Kolkata. And
the power of intellect, vocabulary and nothing more important than Onam for
conviction in his expression, it was indeed Keralites, though most admit that Onam is
a privilege and a delight. a more secular festival, but of religious
Excerpts from the interview: origins, everyone owns it today.
But having said all of this, what is
Sudha Kumar: Australia is re-evalu- striking is that even officially-atheist polit-
ating the celebration of Australia Day ical parties like the Communist parties
(Captain Cook’s landing). Can events compete with each other to construct the
like Colonial racism that have caused most lavish puja pandals. And that in a
trans-generational trauma be corrected? sense should make no sense, except that it
Shashi Tharoor: To begin with, does!
Australia was already discovered by peo- An For them it is going beyond. Whether
ple living here. So Cook didn’t discover more liberal and inclu- History! You got you believe in the Goddess or not, it is
Australia, just as Columbus didn’t discov- sive and accepting of acknowledge- busy with part of your cultural identity as a Bengali.
er America as there were people living different forms of ment of the wrong done Science and It connects them with the people, and con-
there already. behaviours, as we Math wanting nects people with that cultural badge of
All this is a reflection of the inade- can see from our to the indigenous people of to be honour of being a Bengali. So, privately,
quate frame of reference of those times, own temple sculp- Australia, an apology and an Engineers they may not bother to pray, but Durga,
when a Europe- centred world view was tures, carvings. atonement would be fitting. and Doctors! all the rituals associated with her and the
all that people were relying on. But having got to I was one whole occasion is of great importance to
Secondly, even if it is not called a day a point where the And I am glad to see that of the freaks them.
of discovery of Australia, clearly it was a British have Australian Prime Ministers and who was So, we can appreciate that the place of
momentous occasion because in the wake shaped a lot of con- leading politicians have felt obsessed with religion in our society cannot be wished
of Cook came all these people who trans- temporary attitudes, History… but away.
formed this country. Today, Australia is we may have to take possible to stand up and jokes apart… And, also, that somehow through edu-
an overwhelmingly non-indigenous coun- things one step at a say this. We never cation you create more atheists and agnos-
try. The experience of indigenous people time. made a big deal out tics is not necessarily true, and many edu-
Certainly, after the
-Shashi Tharoor of it. We (Indians)
has included near genocide in many cases, cated people are devout believers not only
deaths, suffering, children being taken Supreme Court’s recent ruling are from a forgive and in religion, but often in Godmen and spir-
away from parents and range of human of the ‘right to privacy’, Section 377 forget culture; even our offi- itual leaders.
rights issues which perhaps at that time which criminalises homosexual relation- cial education system didn’t want to make We saw this extraordinary uprising
was not fully realised as a wrong doing. ships will not survive judicial scrutiny. a big deal of it. about this rapist Baba, and the question
Every generation seems to act in its own We hailed our freedom fighters as that comes up is, if people are willing to
framework of reference. SK: The young should know their heroes, but didn’t demonise the ones they behave like this over a person, who in
Today, it is too late to undo the dam- past. How else will they know where they fought against. Continued on page 13
age. The dead cannot be brought back and are going? It is all about ‘Identity’ and
childhood cannot be given back. But at the ‘belonging’ isn’t it? Tharoor with Ben Doherty (of The Guardian)
same time an acknowledgement of the Shashi Tharoor: No, it is more than at Antidote festival, Sydney on September 3.
wrong done, an apology and an atonement that. Identity does not change, but belong-
would be fitting. And I am glad to see that ing does.
Australian Prime Ministers and leading One can move from India to Australia
politicians have felt possible to stand up or America but ethnically you are still
and say this. who you are. You cannot deny the past.
Similarly, one needs to have a conscious-
SK: Your thoughts on marriage ness of historical facts.
equality (same sex marriage). There is a reason why the world is the
Shashi Tharoor: Well, in India, we way it is today. It is because of what hap-
are far behind in that debate. We are at a pened before. Being aware of it to my
point where we need to decriminalise mind is important.
behaviour between consenting adults, and It goes beyond questions of belonging
I have been an advocate of that. or allegiance.
Whether that decriminalisation should
lead to marriage rights, is a separate SK: Thanks to your eloquent Oxford
debate we haven’t yet had. In my own Union debate followed by your books, in
view, I don’t see any particular difficulty the recent past many Indians have
with that. However, I am not prepared to become aware of their colonial past. I
open that can of worms until our country have read ‘An era of Darkness-The
has taken the first step. British Empire in India’ and realised that
The truth is that ours is, in many even the educated never knew. Is it fair
respects, a society that has been made to ask WHY?
more conservative by Muslim and British Shashi Tharoor: Well, obviously
rule. The old Hindu society was much many of you didn’t pay attention in

12 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

Continued from page 12
many ways seems unworthy of
their respect, then what more can
one ask for when it comes to
more serious issues involving
But for ‘no-religion’ to be a
bigger answer than the biggest
faith is truly astonishing. Would
not be true in US or UK.

SK: Considering your depth
and breadth of cumulative
knowledge and experience, what
is the most important contribu-
tor to the fabric of a robust
thriving human society?
Shashi Tharoor: RESPECT
for others.
Ultimately, that’s what makes
a society work. If you respect
others for who they are, let them
be who they, don’t try and
encroach their space, don’t chal-
lenge them all the time, then you
have a functioning society. That
has been the greatest strengths of
India, of Hinduism, in the past.
A notion of acceptance, not
Tolerance is slightly For
patronising. It assumes ‘I a robust thriving
know the truth, you are Tharoor at Sydney Malayalee Association’s Onam celebrations
in error, but I’ll allow
human society?
you to be in error. Acceptance not tolerance. child, like many other chil- But as we grew older we ily is five generations in one pic-
Whereas acceptance Tolerance is slightly patronising. dren growing in the city, we realised the charm of it. ture - a rare one!
were dragged back to the It didn’t exactly have the Connections can be pre-
goes beyond toler- It assumes ‘I know the truth, you
ance- it says ‘I family village by parents. same association for us because served. I feel confident even for
are in error, but I’ll allow you to be in My sisters and I resented it our parents had grown up in this half American baby that’s
believe I have the
error. Whereas acceptance goes initially and I used to joke those places. We had not grown my niece’s daughter - she is
truth, you believe
you have the truth. I beyond tolerance- it says ‘I believe I to my father this migration up there, only visited, and as we going to be brought up conscious
will respect your have the truth, you believe you south is strictly for the grew up we began to realise the of the fact that she has a part of
birds. charm of it and made a consider- her heritage in that old ‘tharavad’
truth; you respect my have the truth. I will respect
truth.’ My ancestral ‘tharavad’ able effort to go back every year (ancestral home).
your truth; you respect my (ancestral) home in the early to see the extended family –
And that is where
truth.’ 60s had many privations, there cousins, uncles, aunts, and my SK: Thank you Dr Tharoor
India used to be the
strongest. Today we have peo- -Shashi Tharoor was no electricity, no indoor grandmother who -- bless her for your time and thoughts.
ple who are sadly moving away. plumbing, we had to bathe out of soul -- lived to a ripe old age of Happy Onam!
buckets, toilets were in outhous- 97. And my sisters in particular Shashi Tharoor: Thank you.
deal of
SK: Nehru described India reverence and respect for what es, we brushed our teeth and spat were able to transmit that down Wishing you a Very Happy
as a ‘palimpsest’- a work of art he accomplished, but I would into the paddy fields outside the to the generations. One of the Onam and All the best.
that is the result of contributions have so many questions to ask house porch – a very different most precious photos in the fam-
by many added on over an him. experience.
extended period of time. Would First of all, about how he felt Sudha Kumar’s family posing with fellow
you give a space in that about Nelson Mandela saying Keralite Shashi Tharoor
palimpsest to the British? Why? non-violence was not useful in
Or Why not? the struggle against Apartheid,
Shashi Tharoor: Yes, defi- about India’s military strength,
nitely. how we brought justice to
They are all part of our histo- Bangladesh by going to war
ry. They lasted two hundred against Pakistan, how he feels
years. And those two hundred about his techniques like hunger
years are more recent than two strikes being used by politicians
hundred and fifty years of for lesser purposes. About the
Mughals or empires that came corruption that has invaded our
before them. Those two hundred society at all levels...And our
years are relevant to us today and politics … and our economics…
I would say as far as the British I think he’d have a lot of
are concerned, it’s relevant on things to say too… or….
very many things - the sports we He may just turn around and
play, the language we speak, the say, ‘Sorry it is my day-of-
beverage we drink at 4 in the silence!’
evening. All these things bear a
British impress, and some would SK: Your ancestral home
argue that even in our criticisms and roots are in Elavancherry,
of the British, we use British Palakkad, Kerala. Life has
forms of learning, reasoning and taken you through many routes
argument as well as language to around the globe. How rooted
challenge themselves. are you to your roots?
So why not? Shashi Tharoor: Aah but
those are different spellings of
SK: If you found yourself roots ..(laughs).. my roots in
stuck in an elevator with Kerala are ‘r-o-o-t-s’, when you
Mahatma Gandhi…what would speak of my routes around the
you say to the great soul? globe that is ‘r-o-u-t-e-s’ …..
Shashi Tharoor: (Laughs…) (laughs)…
Obviously, I would express a It is curious… when I was a

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 13

Citation for The Indian

Kersi Meher‑Homji remembers Down Under

I Neena Badhwar, TIDU Associate Editor, with
was working at the Sydney
University in 1987 when I NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at Premier’s
received a phone call from Multicultural Media (PMM) Awards 2017.
a lady I did not know. She
told me about her idea to start
a monthly paper with news
and features on India/Asia and
Australia. She wanted me to
write a monthly column on
I liked that voice and the
idea as there was no such pub-
lication in Australia. I said a
big yes instantly. The rest is
history. That voice was Neena
Badhwar’s and the paper is
The Indian Down Under, lov-
ingly known as TIDU.
This was the start of a new
friendship with Neena, her
husband Vijay and children –
Prerna (Kiwi), Kush and
It also brought me in con-
tact with Cyprian Fernandes, a
respected writer on all topics,
and with many other contribu-
tors of TIDU.
TIDU team past & present
I have preserved all the The team of writers, TIDU and recently we have added
issues of TIDU from June remembers fondly are K.V. to our team Aradhana
1987 till now and I am proud the 10th, 20th and 25th year Pradeep, Sumitra Pradeep, Bhatt, Satish Rai and Sudha
to say that I have contributed I have preserved all the celebrations. Kersi Meher-Homji, Rani Kumar. Without the photog-
to each issue. Even a heart issues of TIDU from June In early days when e-mails Narpatsingh, Shreena raphers support stories
attack and triple bypass sur- 1987 till now and I am were new to me, I would hand Hronsky, Nisha Bhasin, Late would look mundane – Raj
gery could not prevent me proud to say that I have over the columns to the Dr. Sunder Das, Kanaka Suri, Jordan Anjaiya, Hemu
from contributing my sports contributed to each Badhwar residence and enjoy Ramakrishnan, Urmil Sethi, Negi and Rajesh Kumar
column (mostly on cricket). issue. Even a heart attack Neena’s delicious meals and Sumegha Agarwal, Maya have been most helpful.
During those health crises for and triple bypass surgery Vijay’s snacks. Narpatsingh, Faith Harper, Graphic Designer Nayanesh
me, I would dictate my could not prevent me Now TIDU is 30 years old Dr. T. Selva, Karam Gandhi, Bharat Bhushan
columns to my wife Villie who from contributing my and has an active “son”, on- Ramrakha, Rekha Bhatta, Chopra and Dhiraj Kumar
would fax these to TIDU. sports column line-TIDU, which appears Sumi Krishnan, Vish have been working on TIDU
My first sports column fea- (mostly on cricket). every day with topical news Viswanthan, Ritu Ghai, backstage as it takes a round
tured Sunil Gavaskar scaling and feature stories hot off the Promila Gupta, Abhishek of the world these days with
Everest of Test cricket by Indians performing well in press. Sood, Esther Chaudhary- stories collected for Indian
becoming the first in the world table tennis, golf and cricket in May both TIDU and Lyons, Pallavi Sinha, Prerna readership down under, then
to score 10,000 runs in Test Sydney. My friendship with online-TIDU survive for a Jones, Melvin Durai, to New York to associate edi-
matches. At that time no one the Badhwars has blossomed long time, giving us news and Santram Bajaj, Kris Raman, tor Parveen Chopra, then
had even scored 9,000 Test over the years; they are more insights of what’s happening in Gaurav Joshi, Savitha Delhi for setting with fin-
runs. The column also includ- like family than just friends. I India, Australia and rest of the Narayan, Rekha Rajvanshi, ished product back in
ed India’s clean sweep in have attended all the milestone world. Neeru Saluja, Manju Mittal Sydney for printing.
chess in Doha (Qatar) and events of TIDU: the launch, Continued on page 15

14 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

! By Cyprian Fernandes

O TIDU 30 years
NLY one person is truly
responsible: first for the
vision of publishing an
Indian newspaper in English
(with a little vernacular thrown

of dedication
in) and secondly for maintaining
publication for the past 30 years.
Neena Badhwar.
Once in a while, life creates peo-
ple who have an idea and see it
through to creation or establishment.
Mostly among these select group of
people are scientists, medical luminar-
ies, architects, painters, engineers of Parsi, cricket runs growing professional and
all sorts, all of those people who fill in his blood. legal migrants. Indian Government
our history books for having done Both men are blessed with the promotional offices, such as the India
great things, found the greatest medical greatest amount of quiet patience and Tourist Office and the Tea Board, and
cures, advanced education techniques, have the capacity to work outside life’s local spice shops were the main source
taken us to the moon and into orbit, boxes. In Vijay’s case, completely out- of meagre revenue for this Australian-
introduced the world to the digital rev- side his chosen profession. Naturally, Indian publication.
olution (although I am not yet sure that Neena had to rope in her two sons, However, to get any money out of
is a completely good thing). They all Kush and Ankur who must have won- a spiceshopwallah or a restaurantwallah
had an idea and followed it through. dered “Mum what have you done is often like getting blood out of a
In much smaller way, in everyday now?” Fortunately, both were good stone. But Neena’s tenacity, arm-twist-
life, there are millions of people all with new technology, especially ing, begging and her never-give-up
around the world, who identify a Ankur. manner usually won the day. As credit
human need, however small in magni- In 1979, when my family migrated was the mainstay of the relationship,
tude and follow it through. Neena to Australia from the UK after I was our advertisers built up huge debts
Badhwar falls in this latter category. hired by the Sydney Morning Herald in which may even exist to this day.
She saw a community need and London, there was one spice shop: Eze The trinity of the Indian Consul
although she did not have the skills or Moses in Bondi. In 1987, when the General in Sydney, V.B. Soni, Tea
the money, she set about achieving it. Indian Down Under was first pub- Board Director, D.R. Karthikeyan and
She had no idea what was involved in lished, there were just a few Indian Tourist Office Director Hemant Gupte
journalism, advertising, printing, pho- owned spice were the encouragement behind the
tography or all the other hundreds of shops to venture once they knew the first
skills that go into publishing a newspa- cater for Indian newspaper from Sydney
per. Brilliant. the was possible. The late Allan
Along the way, she always had two Fernandes (an outstanding
people by her side: her husband, Vijay advertising executive from
Badhwar, an accomplished engineer India), Tourist Office
working in Sydney in the highest strata Director Shanker Dhar and
of his profession and Kersi Meher- Joe Gomes, who designed
Homji, a sports lover of the most dedi- the masthead “Bringing
cated kind, a scientist for whom work- Australia closer to India”,
ing with sports data was simply work were always ready to help.
and a sportswriter whose work graced Prominent amongst the
the pages of the likes of the Sydney first Indian restaurants in
Morning Herald. Being an Indian Sydney was Surjit Singh’s
family. First his elder brother,
Nitasha Bhatia and Neena Badhwar, finalists Amar Gujral, opened a restaurant
of PMM Awards, holding TIDU Principal in the city which did well for many
Editor Vijay Badhwar's winning trophy. years, then Surjit followed him with a
restaurant in Strathfield. You would
see this turbaned guy standing outside
a restaurant saying “hello” to every-
one. I asked him one day why he did
that. He said: “When they come into
my restaurant, they will see a familiar
Neena took care of the most impor-
tant job: Advertising. She also did a lot
of writing about local Indian stories.
Our coverage of Indians in NSW and
elsewhere was a thing that won us a lot
of readers and supporters. The Indian
Down Under was there not only in the
major cities but also in the remote cor-
ners of Australia – Woolgoolga, for a function in Perth or Darwin for
Wagga Wagga, Mareeba, Broken Hill, no monetary benefit. But she would
Tasmania, thanks to her zeal. As she continue to do it just for her own satis-
mailed the newspaper, she remembered faction and love for literary work.
hundreds of subscribers and their post- Kersi looked after the sports page.
codes, sometimes even visiting them if He is a very clean writer and requires
the family went on a holiday through very little editorial help. He is after all
the area. a scientist and precision is his game.
Neena had a mother’s love for the The business section was covered
Indian Down Under. Many a times it by finance guru Manmohan Singh who
would make no business sense but she regularly appeared on Hong Kong TV
would continue to go miles to deliver as an expert on global markets.
20 copies of the newspaper to a distant Serendipitously, in those days, a
shop or courier bundles of newspapers Continued on page 16

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 15
Continued from page 15
The Indian Down Under strips of paper which was then
young journalist from India, Parveen cut and fashioned according to
Chopra, was visiting Australia and he
has traversed a long the layout. If there were any cor-
decided to extend his stay in journey with the Indian rections, then these had to be
Melbourne. He took over the charge of community in Australia done letter by letter. Sometimes,
the Melbourne section covering all cul- - a symbiotic relationship we would be there until 7 in the
tural events and liaison with the com- morning and then go on to our
which has witnessed the
munity. The relationship was so suc- respective jobs. It was a long and
cessful that even after his own launch of growth of the community arduous process, but we came
a prestigious magazine from India, Life as well as of the many through. After that Neena would
Positive, and later, after he settled in publications that have take the finished paper to the
USA, Parveen continues to this day to since come into being. printers and, sometimes, on the
be associated with The Indian Down same evening, both her and Vijay
Under. Now possible to be instant would personally distribute the
Vijay and I looked after putting the and on-line, in keeping up paper.
paper to bed (in journalistic language with the times, the journey Many years later with the
meaning getting the finished article on continues. advent of PageMaker for laying
the presses). Vijay also did out the paper digitally
a lot of the writing on at home, life
both Indian and became much
Australian affairs. easier but we
Thing about rarely fin-
Vijay is that it ished before
seems he has 4 or 5 in the
been blessed with morning.
the largest portion We tried
of karmic to produce a
patience. He is also quality news-
almost the most silent paper by
persuader. I am just the Australian and
opposite, gung ho, publish and be tems. What was planned for TIDU British standards and although we
damned, expose, expose … Vijay would would take newspaper publication back may have fallen a little short, it
gently steer me to his way of thinking, a couple of centuries. I could not handle was on that just little Indian bit.
which I put down to “the Indian way” that. I remember I gave them some We adhered to the best standards
of doing things. After all, I was only advice and walked away, and glad to of integrity and honesty, similar
doing this gig for a month or two and I have done just that. to the ones I had to adhere to at
would be gone as soon as it got its baby A few weeks after the first issue was the SMH and The Australian.
legs. Stayed 14 years I think. published, Vijay came to visit me. I The standards we lived by
I first got to know about the planned can’t remember exactly what transpired those early pioneering days con-
paper when a friend of Neena’s got me but he convinced me to lend them a tinue today.
to come and see what they were doing. hand for a little while. I would lay out The Indian Down Under has
I spent just a few minutes and told the paper, edit the stories, Vijay would traversed a long journey with the
myself that I would be mad to get look at the editorials in addition to all Indian community in Australia - a
involved. At the time, I held a reason- the other things he had to do. symbiotic relationship which has
ably high position with the SMH’s Good One of the printers who helped us witnessed the growth of the com-
Weekend magazine which I help found with the earliest editions was a munity as well as of the many
as Chief Copy Editor with the Editor Vietnamese publication house, Viet publications that have since come
Valerie Lawson. At the SMH, The Luan, and even though English was not into being. Now possible to be
Australian, St George and Sutherland their first language they did do a fair instant and on-line, in keeping up
Shire Leader I had luxury of working job in typesetting the paper. This was with the times, the journey
with tailor-made digital publishing sys- done on IBM golf ball typewriter on continues.

Neena Badhwar with Minister for Multiculturalism
Ray Williams at PMM Awards

16 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

From Delhi to Delhi Road
The recent addition of Lotus Pavillion at the Macquarie Park
Crematorium, aided by Government’s contribution of $2 million,
has added to the sanctity of Hindu rituals.
! By Neena Badhwar

adly, nowadays we are frequenting
Delhi Road (North Ryde) more often.
Hard to accept, but this is a fact of life,
rather its end.
Since the early seventies, the journey has
been long and arduous – when we did not
know how and who could perform the last
rites (Mr Shiva Bhatt, a teacher by profes-
sion, was a grace from God to perform the
earlier rites. His readings from Bhagwad
Gita with English translation provided much
solace to many a grieving communion. May
his soul rest in peace, he passed away on 9th
September this year).
When it comes to death and last rites,
when the desperate and mourning family
want to send away their near and dear ones
properly, giving them decent last rites and a
funeral, one finds the families at a loss.
Many a times they have shown frustration as
proper last rites and rituals can’t be con-
ducted, for one cannot find either priests or Alandkar, who passed away on 29 August, Athreiya, are elated at this great achieve- Pandit Rami Sivan
even a place where one can conduct proper was cremated the next day at Lotus ment. “There was a great need for a place,” conducting the rituals
Hindu rituals. The same dilemma presents Pavillion. says Pandit Ramchandra, who is also a
for people of Buddhist, Sikh or Jain faiths. It was the first Hindu ceremony that took member on the National Religious Forum our cause. We asked the Hindu Council of
Now there are many Indian seniors, not place at the newly-constructed facility, a and helped set up the Australian Council of Australia but they did not understand what
only from the early migrants but also unique experience such that the communion Hindu Clergies. “It has been a long journey we were talking about. It has been a long-
enjoined by recently arrived elders under the was appreciated to be more authentic than and our struggle to convince this idea that fought battle that started in 1988.
family reunion programme. As well, there the church-like atmosphere. we also need a place where we can conduct “We approached temples, but there is
are a number of Hindu priests who perform Pandit Rami Sivan, from the Australian proper rituals as there are now 400,000 politics everywhere. We wanted everyone to
the prescribed rites. Council of Hindu Clergy, said the pavilion Hindus in Australia,” he said. be inclusive in this project but there was
The recent addition of Lotus Pavillion at would be an invaluable asset to Australia’s “Many people come to us and talk of very little support. It is a fact of life, the ulti-
the Macquarie Park Crematorium, aided by expanding South Asian Dharma communi- frustrating times in India when they go to mate truth is that we all die,” says Pandit
Government’s contribution of two million ties. He said, “Since we only cremate our Prayag or Hardwar to disperse ashes of their Ramchandra.
dollars, has added to the sanctity of Hindu deceased we do not require land for burial, loved ones,” says Ram Chandra. Thanks to the Australian Clergy of
rituals. Outdoor, but sheltered, it is elegant- but we find existing chapels are not suitable “They fight, haggle and blackmail you Hindu Faith and the persistent efforts of
ly designed with landscaped gardens and a for our rituals. We believe this is the only with rituals not even conducted properly. these two priests who finally convinced the
water pond for the pre-cremation ceremony. pavilion of its kind in the Southern People have come back very upset with such government and other authorities on behalf
It is also available to the wider community Hemisphere that will allow Hindu priests bad stories from there,” he says. of Hindus that the Indian community now
for services of their choice. The pavilion has and family members of the deceased to carry “We thought we will create something has the Lotus Pavillion, a place they can
space for 120 people seated, together with out last rites at their own pace and in the way here so that funeral and last rites for Hindus relate to, with all the amenities, sound sys-
additional standing capacity. Hindu scriptures prescribe.” can be conducted in a decent manner. tem, TV and audio visual, even with its own
Much loved Sydney artist, Ramesh Priests, Pandit Rami and Pandit Luckily, this crematorium supported us in private entrance.

Pandit Ram Chandra Athreiya

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 17

‘I want to tell a story through my films’
In India, there is Bollywood and there is cinema. I want to do cinema and that is
where I see myself progressing, affirms Australian Indian actor KABIR SINGH, who
plays an intense role in ‘One Less God’ based on the Mumbai terror attacks.
! By Neeru Saluja

t first glance, Kabir Singh fits the
bill of the next Bollywood star. He’s
young, tall, handsome and carries
the charisma of an actor. But when you get
talking to him, an intelligent man is unrav-
elled who is not interested in becoming the
next Ranveer Singh. He has become an
actor with one sole purpose – to do mean-
ingful cinema and tell stories.
Australian Indian actor Kabir Singh is
currently in Sydney promoting his latest film
‘One Less God’. Based on the Mumbai ter-
ror attacks, it’s an Australian film directed
by Liam Worthington with an Australian
cast. Shot in Nepal and Australia, the film
has won the top awards at the Dances with
Films Festival in LA and is shortlisted for
in g h p lays fic rorist
the Australian Academy of Cinema and Kabir S e Pakistani ter
o f th o ’.
Television Arts (AACTA) awards. version in ‘One Less G
Kabir Singh plays the supporting lead Kasa b
actor and has been nominated for the best
supporting actor for AACTA awards. In a
lengthy and insightful conversation, we
come to know more about the actor who has
played a very intense role at the young age
of 25. breaking out of the box. It’s still a It’s in my genes from my Mom. She has
small market but the vibe is get- always pushed me. When I was in Delhi
Congratulations Kabir for being ting better. Public School, she pushed me to take part in
nominated as a supporting lead actor Ramayana every year and I hated wearing
for the prestigious AACTA Awards. So, does that mean you those itchy beards! Saying that, I always
Tell us more about your role and are also open to Bollywood enjoyed the experience. I clearly remember
how did you get into the skin of the films? performing for underprivileged children and
character, as the story was from I can’t visualise myself bringing smiles on their faces. I was around
your homeland? in Bollywood films. I 6 years old, and never looked back since
Thank you. ‘One Less God’ don’t care too much then. I continued drama in high school,
has been a long journey but totally about Bollywood. It’s a enrolled in a university but my focus was
worth it. The Australian premiere booming industry. In always on acting. I deferred from university
is happening in October at the India, there is Bollywood and enrolled myself into an acting school.
Byron Bay Festival and the film is and there is cinema. I
releasing Australia-wide in want to do cinema and So what’s next in the space of acting?
November. I’m the supporting lead that is where I see myself I was shooting for a film ‘Shambala’
and play a fictional version of progressing. I take my art which is written and directed by Summer
Kasab. and telling stories very Nicks and I play a mountain man from
I remember watching the attacks seriously. If I’m a part of Pakistan. I’m a horse riding champion. It’s
on television in Australia with my the film, it needs to tell a the story about a plane crash that happens in
parents. It wasn’t something random, story. Shah Rukh Khan and the mountain and how the plot unfolds. I
it was a strategized attack. When this Salman Khan’s last films were was herding everyday, talking to the farmers
story came to me through Liam, I knew a flop. The Indian audiences and living with the cows and goats in the
that this is something I want to do. We are waking up to this changing mountains. The process of building a char-
had tears in our eyes when he heard the movement. Many recent Indian acter is something what I enjoy. I leave
story. As an actor I always aim to get in films are going to international film Kabir Singh and then get into the character.
the skin of the character. I did a lot of festivals. I’m not interested in commer- And also that Australian film by a South
research, read about the organisation need- cial Bollywood. Cinema is a medium to Indian director.
involved in the attacks. The director had ed it. The tell stories and if we don’t utilise it, then we
explained to us very early that he did not director did are wasting its potential. Kabir, what message would you like to
want to antagonise the villain. It was a very everything possible to push me to the give to upcoming Aussie Indian actors?
difficult and challenging role for me. My extreme. I remember on the last days for the To get that break in cinema, did you Don’t have any fear. You have to live
research helped me prepare for my charac- shooting where we had to shoot a crucial find it difficult? What kind of challenges your own life. Respect your parents but you
ter. I shaved my head and kept a clean- scene, after that scene I couldn’t stop cry- and barriers did you face as a newcomer? have to break out of the norm. Believe in
shaven look. I also did some rigorous train- ing. Being in Bollywood is a different ball yourself. There will be times when you have
ing and found training for martial arts camp game. It was a whole new world with its doubt, but at the end of the day you have to
the hardest. I went through the transforma- In your last two films ‘One Less God’ own set of rules. In India, you hear about an keep going. Have something to strive for. If
tion of the boy to a man, which happens in and ‘Shambala’, you play the roles of an audition and there are 300 people waiting. It work doesn’t come to you, make your own
reality. The brains are mush and they brain- antagonist. Do you have the fear of being can be very nerve wracking where you are content. Besides acting, I also write and I’m
wash them as propaganda is injected in their stereotyped? treated like cattle. Eventually you have to working on my production house to provide
brains. I’m open to all kinds of cinema. The get past that phase and make contacts. a platform to upcoming talent.
next film I’m doing is an Australian film by People do recognise your talent. On a closing note, Kabir would like
As the role was intense, did you feel a South Indian director, a horror film. When every Indian to watch his film. “One Less
that this experience was daunting and I was working in Australia, I was getting We have heard that you have been act- God is releasing in Australia in November
emotionally draining? stereotyped. The Indian guy in that, the taxi ing since your childhood! Your Mom is and I urge all Indians to support Australian
Yes, definitely. My family knows when driver, etc. I have come back to Australia as also an actress. Is it in the genes? cinema. Support local cinema, this is a film
I need my space, so they did that when I our country has started waking up and I have been acting since the age of four. close to home”.

18 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

The Bend it
was in
Australia to
her new
film on
me their daughter. When we found the Was it a deliberate attempt to show
unrav- house, there were several families who Lord Mountbatten in a sympathetic
els what were refugees. That was the turning point light?
could be when I decided I need to make a film on Gurinder Chadha: I think that the his-
a possible partition, but it needed to be different. tory that we have been told is to blame him
motive behind the par- You have chosen a stellar cast for for the partition. We found evidence that it
tition. your film with Huma Qureshi, Manish was already planned before he arrived on
While promoting the film in Australia, Dayal, Gillian Anderson giving great the scene. I wanted the audience to
director Gurinder Chadha took out time for performances. How did you go about empathise with him as a human being but
By Neeru Saluja an exclusive interview to talk to The Indian your casting for a film set in 1947? saying that he was culpable of changing the
Down Under about why the film is close to Gurinder Chadha: I enjoy casting and partition date and couldn’t get out of the

he’s known for her light comedy her heart, how she developed the story and approached the actors who were right for blame.
films. But this time director Gurinder her experience of working with late Om the roles. I’ve seen Manish Dayal in the You have subtly shown the intimacy
Chadha depicts the most decisive Puri. film ‘Hundred Foot Journey’ and have of Nehru and Lady Edwina Mountbatten
moment in India’s history – the partition. been following him since then. Huma through one scene. Did you ever think
After making a breakthrough with her Your latest film Viceroy’s House is a Qureshi did really well in the audition and about expanding the notion?
film ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ fifteen years big step away from your light comedy I liked her a lot. All the actors were amaz- Gurinder Chadha: Whether they had
ago, the director has now taken a leaf from films. What was the turning point in ing, most of them being British actors. an affair or not, we aren’t sure. But we
her own family history to make the film your life that made you decide to make a Partition is a serious topic but you knew they were very close. That is why I
‘Viceroy’s House’. film on partition? have woven a love story in it. Was the showed the intimacy and sharing glances.
The last Viceroy of India, Lord Gurinder Chadha: About 11 years ago love story to balance the sensitivity of But I didn’t want to go beyond that as it
Mountbatten, and his family live upstairs in I did an episode of the BBC series ‘Who the issue? would then steal the main plot, which is
what is now Rashtrapati Bhavan while their do you think you are’. I went to my ances- Gurinder Chadha: If you are making partition.
500 Hindu, Sikh and Muslim servants live tral homeland for the first time with my a film on divisions, having a love story Being a British Indian, did you con-
downstairs. The film’s story depicts the uncle, Balwant Chadha, who lives in always helps to focus on the divisions. The sider balancing the sentiments of both
suffering and loss of life during the parti- Sydney, and we went to Jhelum to find my idea was to look at the politics but also countries while making this film?
tion while interweaving that with a series grandfather’s house. In the program, we go show how the political decisions and nego- Gurinder Chadha: Of course. I’m as
of events at the Viceroy’s house. from Kenya to India and then to Pakistan. tiations affect the couple, one being a much British as I’m Indian. I made sure I
As the politicians Jinnah, Nehru and Initially, I was hesitant to go to Pakistan, Hindu and the other being a Muslim. I made a well-balanced film and satisfied the
Gandhi consult, bicker with each other and but the welcome was outstanding. They wanted to balance out the politics with the varied audiences, be it Indian, British or
stand their respective ground, the film welcomed me with flower petals and called love story. Pakistani.
What was your experience working
with late Om Puri, considering this was
his last film?
Gurinder Chadha: It’s a tragedy that
Om Puri passed away before watching the
film. But he was in Gandhi 30 years ago
and that was the last film made on parti-
tion. He was excited to get the script from
a Punjabi director, that is me. He was very
concerned about the relations between
India and Pakistan, particularly in his
series of tweets before he passed away. His
last dialogue in the movie is a goodbye
scene and is befitting to be his farewell.
We have also heard that you are
making a Bend it like Beckham 2? Were
you like Jassi while growing up?
Gurinder Chadha: I don’t know where
these rumours have come from! I have no
plans as yet to make a part two. I was like
Jassi growing up. Bend it like Beckham is
about me and my dad. As a director,
somewhere along the line, your story does
influence your film and it is semi-autobio-

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER

Nick Brown – a man of many parts
now plays for the little audience
By Neeru Saluja sue his other acting projects. He
is shooting for the hospital series

hen it comes to diversi- ‘Harrow’ for ABC International
ty on Australian televi- and is also cast in the comedy
sion, Aussie-Indian series ‘The Let Down’. He is also
actor Nicholas Brown always playing the role of cricketer
makes us proud. From playing Rahul Dravid in a play about the
the lead role in the TV series ‘The transgender writer and cricket
Cooks’ in 2004, appearing on the commentator Cate McGregor.
popular TV series Home and Side by side, his creative pen also
Away, Packed to the Rafters, keeps flowing, narrating
Underbelly and many more TV Australian Indian stories. While
credits, Nicholas is now selected he wrote and acted in his play
as an ABC Kids Play School pre- ‘Lighten Up’ last year, he recent-
senter. ly wrote a play called ‘Tantra 2’.
“It’s an Australian Indian play
As he has returned to and a love story where the pro-
Australia after making his foray tagonist travels back to India to
in Bollywood, the baddie from connect with his theatrical ances-
the film Kites has many aces up try. It's quite a controversial
his sleeve. The NIDA graduate story as it involves spirituality,
from Australia is not only an religion and sex!” declares
actor, but a writer, singer, song- Nicholas.
writer and screenwriter. In an
exclusive interview with this The busy actor is also looking
handsome and multi-talented forward to his upcoming
actor, we talk about his latest gig Bollywood films, ‘Prattichayya’,
at Play School, his upcoming a horror film, and ‘Sedition’, a
Bollywood films, theatre and dis- spy thriller. And if you think that
cover his passion for writing chil- he is playing the villain again,
dren’s stories. you got it wrong. “For the first After acting in movies and TV serials, Nicholas Brown will now be seen as a presenter
time in a Bollywood film, I’m in ABC Kids Play School, the first brown face there.
As a presenter for Play playing the sweet good husband
School, Nicholas has become the that gets tricked and betrayed. It’s teeth into. It was a great learning long time. People change as they develop a script. While in India
multicultural face for the young based on Agatha Christie book experience. I was very young, I get older and sometimes things suddenly a film is shot even
citizens of our country. And this ‘The Mousetrap’. It was a nice was only 28 then. I was nervous don’t work out. I respect them though the script is not ready.
was something that he was always change to play the good guy!” before the film was released as all both for deciding to move on”, When I'm in India, I always ask a
keen on. “This is actually the chuckles Nicholas. eyes were on me. My life had says Nicholas. script and I get a 'narration'
fourth time I auditioned for Play suddenly changed. I was partying instead. You'll get the script on
School. I auditioned once when I His last major Bollywood film with Bollywood celebrities, walk- Nicholas was also one of the the day of the shoot often. While
was 21, then 28 and then three was ‘Kites’ starring Hrithik ing red carpets and being asked actors in the Aussie Indian film in Australia or America it will
years ago. My agent called me Roshan, which suddenly brought questions about Hrithik and UnIndian which became the talk never happen like that. That’s
and I got lucky the fourth time. him in the limelight in Bollywood Barbara Mori. There was a media of the town two years ago. He what we can learn from
The timing was right as I'm a lit- for various reasons. “Kites was storm. There was a lot of pressure had a great experience shooting Bollywood – to be more sponta-
tle older and wiser. my first big Bollywood experi- for Kites to be this big crossover the film in his hometown and act- neous and take risks. Indians can
ence. It was nerve wracking and film. We had lot of weight on our ing with a few friends. perhaps learn to be more organ-
“I’m the first Indian man to be terrifying but a great role to sink shoulders,” recounts Nicholas. “Tannishtha (Chatterjee) is a ised and ordered like in Australia.
on Play School which is a great m y superb actress. I have a lot of Saying that, I love working in
honour. Obviously there is no While Kites created a storm respect for the type of films she is both the industries and can adapt
reference to my brown skin with news on Hrithik and doing - marvellous indie films. to both styles.”
on the show but the fact Barbara, Nicholas' on-screen Pallavi Sharda is one of my best
that young kids will be sister, actress Kangana friends and we love working While Nicholas has been act-
seeing another Ranaut is spilling the together. We first met 8-9 years ing for many years, he is also
brown face is so beans on her alleged ago in Mumbai and have a com- chasing his writing dream. “I get
inspiring. When I affair with Hrithik in mon understanding as we started a lot of satisfaction from writing.
was little I saw explosive interviews. our career together in Mumbai As an actor, you're often told
no brown faces We had to ask and we both are Australian. We what to do but as a writer you are
on television Nicholas his thoughts both have experienced large scale the boss. Therefore, I am writing
and I hope this about it as he worked Indian films and independent two children’s books based on the
inspires others. closely with both the films. Anupam Sharma is always Aussie Indian experience.
Play School and actors during the creating important, interesting Everything that I create celebrates
the ABC have shooting and promo- content and Brett Lee is a leg- diversity in one way or another.
always wel- tion of the film. “I end,” says Nicholas.
comed diversity think Kangana is an “I have always worked
with open arms by incredibly brave actor Nicholas has also been fortu- towards creating a diverse indus-
having multicultur- and a courageous nate enough to work both in try. Things have really changed
al presenters. It’s woman. Australian and Indian film indus- since I started my career. With
important for kids to tries. What difference do you see artists like Pallavi Sharda, Arka
see this diversity”, says Hrithik is a wonderful man, and what can both the industries Das, Kabir Singh, Sharon Johal,
Nicholas. a great father and an amazing learn from each other? Bali Padda, Sheila Jayadev,
actor. He loved Suzanne very Shakthi Sivanathan and Mithila
Play School much when I first met “There is a lot of spontaneity Gupta we are all now a small
at ABC also Nick Brown first came into limelight as the baddie in him. They were child- in India and that’s why many family. The future is very bright
gives Nicholas Hrithik Roshan starrer ‘Kites’. But a multifacted man, hood sweethearts and things are fresh and original. In for the upcoming Aussie Indian
the time to pur- he wrote and acted in his play ‘Lighten Up’ last year, had been together for a Australia it takes a lot of time to talent in this industry.”

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 19

TIDU landed an exclusive
interview with the music icon

By Manju Mittal

magine the nightingale of India Lata
Mangeshkar, herself, on the other end
of your phone line, her melodious voice
ringing in your ear. Your whole life will be
fulfilled, a never to forget experience.
After trying for an interview with the
legend for almost three months, fate finally
knocked on my door. I was overjoyed
when she agreed to do a telephonic inter-
view on March 16 this year when I called
her at her residence in Mumbai.
It was a breathless moment. Time stood
still with the legendary voice: ‘Namaskar
Kaisi hai aap’, as my receiver came alive.
Oh, my God, she is there at the other
end of the line! I quickly got over my
goose-bumps and got into the conversation
straight away.
Lata Mangeshkar is a living legend of
Bollywood playback singing. The melody
queen or Malika-e-Tarranum, as we refer
to her in her honour among infinite others
sobriquets, has ruled our hearts for more
than five decades. And she still does, defy-
ing all gravity. Lata has sung for heroines from Madhubala to Preity Zinta.
Fondly addressed as Lata didi by the
Hindi Cinema -- and some 50,000 songs

Mumbai fraternity and dubbed as the
Nightingale of India, Lata is a name that (still more to come!). In 1974, she was list- I think playback singing has a lot to do with voice acting. I
makes us think and feel music, that creates ed in the Guinness Book of Records for her would suggest to all the youngsters to understand the character,
a nostalgia among all of us, young and old. 25,000 songs she had recorded until then. situation and the story behind the songs. That is when you can add
I have always wanted to write about Lata ji has been awarded the Bharat

Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, soul to the rendition which, I think, is missing in today’s music.
Lata didi’s musical journey so that today’s
generation would also come to know about Dadasaheb Phalke award and multiple other
Indian music and how it has evolved national film awards. is being made now. I am not saying this songs are classics and have lived on forev-
through the ages. We had a heart to heart conversation. contemporary music is bad but there are er. I remember with musicians like Madan
Lata’s voice weaves a magic that casts a Lata didi blissfully regaled me in her can- too many beats. Mohan, SD Burman, Jaidev, Salil
spell over her listeners all over the world. did interview - about her singing career, The Sur (notes) and Kavita (Poetry) are Chowdhary, we would sit and rehearse one
They identify with her and her contribution her interests and much more: also not as good. Everything is different song for days and this was when there
to Indian music. She is a synonym for What is the biggest difference and fairly strange today as compared to the were 8-9 songs in every film. That
music and melody. between music now and when you began golden days. New songs don’t last for long sense of camaraderie is denied to today’s
Hailing from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, your career in singing many years ago? in our minds. Many mainstream songs singers.
Lata Mangeshkar has been singing profes- What do you have to say about today’s made nowadays are meaningless. The earli- Lata didi, you were very selective
sionally from the age of 13. She has lent songs? er songs had a lot of meaning. Lyrics made with your songs. Tell us more about it.
her voice to four generations of heroines – Lata Mangeshkar: There is a big differ- sense and tunes had more melody. I feel Lata Mangeshkar: Songs in those days
an unparalleled and iconic phenomenon of ence between what I sang earlier and what they were composed from the heart. Older were very good songs, so there was no

20 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017
black and white camera.
question of choosing. Yet, com- What advice would you like
posers always kept my preferences to give to young singers?
in mind, what I was comfortable Lata Mangeshkar: I think
with, the lyrics and the tunes. playback singing has a lot to do
They always gave me songs that with voice acting. I would suggest
kept my voice and skills in mind. I to all the youngsters to understand
always made sure the words were the character, situation and the
not cheap and also the tune was story behind the songs. That is
within my comfort zone. I am when you can add soul to the ren-
meant for softer, romantic songs. I dition which, I think, is missing in
just couldn’t connect with cabaret today’s music.
kind of songs. They must learn classical
You have sung for so many music and they must not get car-
actresses from Madhubala to the ried away by overnight success.
new generation of actresses. How Humility is the key to longevity.
do you feel? Spare some time to understand
Lata Mangeshkar : I feel Indian classical music. I keep
good that I have lent my voice to telling singers of today that it is
four generations of heroines and I very important to have knowledge
must say they have done justice to of classical music first. Otherwise,
my songs. you are just singing for the sake of
Lata didi, ‘Ae mere watan ke singing.
logo’ is a song that brought tears Lata’s ‘Ae Mere Vatan ke Logo’ brought tears to Pt Nehru’s eyes. What is your message to your
to our late Prime Minister fans in Australia?
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s eyes soldiers who had lost their lives in tions of music lovers. Lata didi, ke hain, Jaidev ji ke, ek gaana Lata Mangeshkar: Always
in 1962. How was the experi- the 1962 war with China. tell us about your favourite kehna mushkil hai. Rafi saab, respect your parents, elders, guru
ence? What’s the secret of your song? Kishore da, Manna De, Mukesh, (teacher), do not forget your moth-
Lata Mangeshkar: Initially, I magnificent soulful voice? Lata Mangeshkar: It is a dif- Asha – they were all so inspiring erland India. “Main aap sabki
did not know ‘Ae mere watan ke Lata Mangeshkar: (Laughs) ficult thing to do, and an equally and motivating, they had their own bahut shukar guzaar hun” (I am
logo’ will become so popular My voice is a gift from God and difficult question (laughs). I can’t style. We all learnt while we thankful to all of you) and I am
when I sang the song as part of my parents. Their love and respect recollect my favourites very easi- worked. happy that even today you all have
Republic Day celebrations in front is my biggest reward. God has ly. I must say all songs are close Other than music, what are kept me in your hearts. The love
of Pandit Nehru 53 years ago. He given me more than I deserve. It to my heart. In those days, apart your interests? that I have received from my well-
was very sad over the India-China is my parents’ blessings and God’s from having great musicians, we Lata Mangeshkar: I love wishers and fans, ‘Yeh bhagwan
war and he looked downcast. I had kindness. I always say whatever had amazing songwriters. That’s reading books and clicking pic- ki kripa hai mujh par’ (it’s all by
not imagined that my song will skills I have imbibed are God’s why old songs are evergreen. tures. Though photography is my God’s grace) that I still continue to
acquire an iconic status and gift. Whether it was ‘Pyar kiya Music in those days used to be passion, nowadays I have stopped get this kind of affection. I request
become hugely popular in the to darna kya’ from Mughal-e- very important. Mujhe Naushad ji clicking pictures because I do not everyone, “Love each other, care
country and also abroad. The song Azam or ‘Lag ja gale’ or ke gaane, kucch Salil Chowdhary understand the functioning of a for each other, live with peace and
was composed by C. ‘Baahon mein chale aao’, your ji ke, kucch Shankar Jaikishan ji digital camera. I don’t like colour harmony so you can make the
Ramachandra, in honour of Indian renditions have touched genera- ke hain, Kucch Madan Mohan ji pictures. I used to like my old world more beautiful.”

Hindi Divas celebrates Hindi language in Sydney
By Neena Badhwar cial poem she wrote on the day
‘Aao Hindi ki sajaaye alpana’ and

indi Divas is celebrated the session proceeded to discuss
worldwide on September the work being done to promote
14, an initiative by the Hindi in Sydney.
Indian government to promote and Gayatri Singh, a Hindi aca-
propagate Hindi language. demic and school principal from
September 14 is an important date Kanpur in India, was the keynote
in India’s history as in 1949 Hindi, speaker. In her insightful talk, she
with its Devnagri script, was offi- pointed to all the worthwhile work
cially adopted as the official lan- and research being done on Hindi
guage of India. while quoting the works of many
On September 16, Sydney cel- Hindi scholars from abroad includ-
ebrated Hindi Divas at the ing countries such as Russia, Japan
Consulate General of India along and Germany.
with ILASA (Indian Literary and Teachers Archana Chaudhary,
Art Association of Australia) and Kulwinder Kaur, Mritunjay Kumar
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. spoke about their experiences of
Many guests including Hon. teaching Hindi. Mala Mehta talked
Jody McKay, Dr. Harinath, about her IABBV Hindi School
Chairperson Multicultural NSW, where kids are taught Hindi to
Hindu Council of Australia such a level that around 50-60
President Nihal Agar, community children can recite poems either
members, Hindi school principals, written by themselves or even of Dignitaries and guests were joined by community members, Hindi school principals,
teachers and local Hindi writers well known Indian poets on the teachers and local Hindi writers at the event.
graced the occasion. Hindi lan- school’s Hindi Divas Day. Akash converse with their grandparents The third segment had poets ‘Kaan ki Safai’ generated laughs.
guage was the flavour of the after- Prasad gave an audiovisual presen- and family. Sudesh Verma said and writers of Sydney reciting Last year when Hindi confer-
noon as Indian Consul Mr. S.K. tation of his Green Valley Hindi that students keenly wait for her their poems. Praise of Hindi lan- ence was held at Sydney university
Verma informed the audience that School where children are not only Hindi class on Sundays. guage, its scientific basis, its rich the literature segment was towards
the Consulate plans to provide a taught Hindi but Indian music and David Townsend, a Hindi stu- expression was all evident from the end and fell short of time.
qualified Hindi teacher to resume musical instruments as well. He dent of Rekha Rajvanshi at Sydney the sentiments in the poems. Same was the case this time as
Hindi classes at the premises. He showed children playing tabla for university skillfully conducted the Bhavna Kunwar’s poem ‘Bhavnaon poets were exceptional but the
added that if any Hindi schools the preparation of Diwali event at first session. Young Sanghmitra ko behne do’ was well received. schedule was tight. It would be a
need any form of help in terms of his school. Gunjan Tripathi said spoke about Hindi films and her Kunwar Manish Rana Rasik is good idea that an exclusive session
teaching as well as resources, the that emphasis at her school in work there with Pallavi Sinha who another young man whose poem or an afternoon is devoted fully to
Consulate is too happy to provide. Girraveen was on the normal day- said she learnt Hindi at home on the universal sentiment that is literature so that we can hear all
Rekha Rajvanshi, writer and to-day Hindi armed with which the because in her school days Hindi love was well received. Santram those creative compositions of
co-ordinator ILASA, sang a spe- children when in India can at least schools were not around. Bajaj’s humour piece in Hindi local writers.

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 21

Premier honours language teachers
Quarter of a Century Language Teaching Awards were conferred on
Meenakshi Srinivasan for Sanskrit, Shayami Karunaweera for Singhalese,
Malini Somaskanthan for Tamil and Mala Mehta for teaching Hindi language.
! By Neena Badhwar able to better understand the culture of their forefathers’
land. They are also able to use their bilingual capability to

r Meenakshi Srinivasan received an award for advantage in their respective careers.
teaching Sanskrit language in Sydney for 25 years. Thanks to these committed teachers who have spent
She also teaches Hindi to adults at Sydney their life time in such noble community activity.
University’s Centre for Continuing Education. Of the
31,000 students learning a community language in NSW, SHAYAMI KARUNAWEERA
about 9 per cent, that is around 2,700 students, learn one of
the Indian community language such as Tamil, Punjabi,
Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, Urdu, Malayalam,
Telugu or Kannada. There are Nepali and Tibetan schools
as well catering to about 200 students.


She says, “I was pleased to receive from the Premier the
‘Quarter of a Century Community Language Teacher
Award’ for teaching Tamil. I am grateful to the Federation
of Community Language Schools for nominating me for this
award. These awards provide much needed encouragement
for community language school education in Australia. It
can be difficult to show our children our culture and our
identity being so far away from our homeland. Community
language schools serve as a medium to connect our children Shayami Karunaweera was delighted to receive an
to our traditions.” award for teaching Sinhalese language for 25 years.
“I arrived in Australia with my husband and three
MALA MEHTA ‑ FOR HINDI daughters in September 1988. I am now retired after work-
ing for 20 years at the Western Sydney University. It was
not an easy start for us, like with most immigrants. My hus-
band and myself worked hard whilst still raising three
“When we find fellow Sri Lankans, we find such com-
Thrilled at the honour which was conferred on her at the fort in meeting and sharing our love for our country - this
Federation of Community Languages Annual Dinner by the is how the idea of Sinhala School started. A community that
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, Meenakshi explains would allow us to still celebrate our language and culture all
many other benefits of language learning. the while educating our children to do the same,” Shayami
“Learning a second language has proven to be beneficial said.
for brain development in children and young adults. It is not always easy for anyone to dedicate their time
Learning the language of their parents helps these every Sunday whilst still working full time and also main-
Australian born children to develop a better bond with their taining family life. “I started teaching in 1992 and at that
parents and their relatives and also gain easy understanding time my daughters were still quite young. I believe that you
of their cultural heritage, customs and beliefs. In the case of must have a passion for your language and country to have
Indian languages, it is beneficial to learn them because it the ability to teach for so long. When you leave a place
might result in better job and business opportunities in an where you have grown up and spent most of your life, your
increasingly globalised world.” heart is always there – this is part of what allowed me to
She compares language learning to Vaak yoga and how continue teaching.
it affects the physiology of vocal cords and the correct pro- “The two and half hours that I spend each Sunday at
nunciation assists in better training of the mind and body. Sinhalese school would take me to another world, one
“The varied levels of slokas have different effects on the where I am able to expand the minds of young children,
personality. For example, those who are able to recite Sri broaden their horizons about their background, culture and
Shankaracharya's slokas will have a calming effect. the traditions that we follow.
“As Sanskrit is the root of various Indian languages and “Parents also have to give up part of their Sundays so
also many other languages that are spoken today around the Mrs Mala Mehta who has been running the IABBV that their children can learn outside their normal school
world, it is essential to learn Sanskrit to understand the root Hindi School in Thornleigh for the last 30 years was also hours. This is to be admired. Also because of our Sinhala
of these modern day languages. Besides being able to under- ecstatic at receiving an award for teaching Hindi language. school, I have had so much support from our community,
stand an array of historic texts, it can explain why words From ‘Mala Aunty’, she is now called ‘Mala Nani’ by the whether it be a lift to our local temple or even taking my
may have similar roots and pronunciations in different lan- little ones, she said. There are many teachers who have husband to a doctor’s appointment,” she says.
guages,” Meenakshi says. spent their valuable Sundays in helping pass their mother “I strongly believe that learning your language is so
tongues to the community children who were practically important especially for children who have grown up in a
dragged out of their beds on weekends by their parents.
MALINI SOMASKANTHAN Teaching a community language is not easy in a mono-
different country. This teaches them about their background
and gives them their cultural identity. Growing up in
– FOR TAMIL culture where English is dominant as the spoken language. Australia it allows our children to explore so many different
So, the kids protest. But the rewards are there to see as chil- cultures - we have a distinct advantage living in this beauti-
Malini Somaskanthan has taught Tamil language at dren who have now grown into young adults can converse
Homebush Tamil Study Centre for 27 long years, and is still ful country and still be able to learn about our heritage,”
with their extended family when they visit back home and Shayami Karunaweera says.

22 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

Meat and Livestock Australia
stooped low to advertise
lamb through gods from
various religions sitting
around a table, including
Lord Ganesh, raising a toast
with lamb. Protests by
infuriated Hindus have so
far not brought result.

! By Vijay Badhwar ducer members, “delivers research, devel- September, advised that the complaint was September in all major cities of Australia to
opment and marketing services to not upheld by the Board. protest against the Bureau decision.

robably fearful of the Islamic back- Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat produc- A people gathering was scheduled on 24
lash, Meat and Livestock Australia ers”, according to their company profile.
(MLA) ‘Lamb Ad’ video does with an The offensive adver-
apology from Prophet Mohammad, but tising has caused inter-
bankrupt of clever ideas and understanding national uproar as
of religious sensitivities, they stoop low to president of Universal
advertise lamb through gods from various Society of Hinduism,
religions sitting around a table, including Rajan Zed, called in a
Lord Ganesh raising a toast with lamb. statement from Nevada
In a meeting organized by Dr Yadu (USA) for strong action
Singh on 11 September at the Multicultural against MLA.
NSW Offices in Parramatta, Indian commu- On September 12,
nity representatives met with the Minister Ms Julia Finn MP, State
for Multiculturalism, Ray Williams, and Member for Granville
Chair of Multicultural NSW, Dr Harry gave notice of a motion
Harinath to express their displeasure with which may be debated in
the offensive video. NSW Parliament calling
Lord Ganesh is one of the most revered on MLA to withdraw the
deities of Hinduism and is invoked at the ad and apologise unre-
beginning of every religious activity among servedly.
Hindus. Associating Lord Ganesh with meat Senior Greek
and alcohol is inappropriate, incorrect, Orthodox Christian Priest
offensive and hurtful, they said. It generates Stephen R. Karcher,
a bad image of Australia, which, otherwise, Buddhist Priest Matthew
is a successful example of multiculturalism. T. Fisher and well-known
The Minister agreed that the community Jewish Rabbi in Nevada-
was offended and agitated. He agreed to California Elizabeth Webb
write a letter to the Meat and Livestock Beyer also
Australia (MLA) and to the Federal denounced
Government authorities, seeking remedial lamb market-
action. ing using reli-
The High Commission of India, gious figures
Canberra, taking note of the protests of which, they
Indian community in Australia, have made a said, trivial-
demarche to the Department of Foreign ized various
Affairs and Trade, Department of religious fig-
Communication and Arts and Department of ures.
Agriculture bringing to their notice an offen- A complaint
sive advertisement by MLA that hurt the was sent to
religious sentiments of the Indian communi- Advertising
ty. Standards
An MLA media release said, “The new Bureau by Sai
integrated campaign continues with the Paravastu of
theme that Lamb is the dish that brings Willoughby to
everyone together, with the creative content stop the adver-
for online, social and TV showing the Gods, tisement that hurt
Goddesses and Prophets of different faiths Hindu sentiment.
and beliefs coming together over Lamb at a The Bureau, in a
modern day spring barbecue.” letter to Sai
MLA, with about 50,000 livestock pro- Paravastu on 18

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 23

One of India’s most revered classical dance maestros, Pt Rajendra Gangani,
is coming to Sydney – not only for a live performance, but also to hold an
intensive six-day Kathak workshop. AKASH ARORA has the low down.

ydney’s premier Indian cultural Draupadi cheer haran to the harmless
ngani will hold
school, Swastik Institute of Dance Pandit Rajendra Ga light-hearted flirting between Radha and
k wo rkshop from
has scored a real coup. It has man- the six-day Katha Krishna on the banks of Yamuna.
at Sw as tik Institute
aged to convince one of India’s most 22-27 October
Park, while his
revered classical dance performers, Pandit of Dance in Harris So is the show quite spiritual in
rpan, will be
Rajendra Gangani, to stage a dazzling live show, Kathak Da nature?
Theatre in
Kathak concert at Parramatta’s Riverside staged at Riverside I wouldn’t say it’s spiritual – I would
tober. For
Theatre on 28th October. Not only that – Parramatta on 28 Oc say it’s just Kathak. Traditionally, this
04 02 551 841,
Swastik has convinced Pandit Gangani to more details, call dance form has taken a lot of inspiration
04 31 60 2 843.
host an intensive six-day Kathak work- 0411 817 678 or from Indian mythology. So this show will
shop for students of this timeless art form encapsulate a lot of that. For instance, one
in Sydney. of the other segments is based on the life
Now, Pt Gangani is a seriously sought- and shlokas of Lord Shiva. But it’s not all
after talent in India. He is not only the religious. The Teen Taal segment of the
recipient of the 2003 Sangeet Natak show, for instance, is all technique-based
Akademi Award (the then President of – all about twirls and footwork and sharp-
India, APJ Abdul Kalam, himself hon- ness and fluidity and precision and grace.
oured Pandit Gangani with the highest It’s all about Kathak in its truest form.
award for contribution to Indian perform-
ing arts), but he is also considered one of Tell us a little about the workshop
the strongest exponents of this dance form you’ll be conducting for Swastik.
world-wide. I’m really excited about that. Because
“One of the most crucial reasons why that’s one thing I haven’t done in Australia
– despite his busy schedule – Pandit – teach Kathak. This art form is really
Gangani has agreed to travel to Sydney all close to my heart and nothing gives me
the way from India is because he wants to more pleasure than sharing it. And to
give Australians the opportunity to experi- share it with people based outside India is
ence the beauty of Kathak,” says Sumati a wonderful opportunity. I have created
Nagpal, the artistic director of Swastik the curriculum in such a way that every-
Institute of Dance. one and anyone who’s interested in
While there is no dearth of Indian con- Kathak can be part of these workshops
certs and live shows in Sydney, Pandit and learn from them. To really gain for
Gangani’s performance is unique, in that this workshop you will need to be an inter-
it’s entirely dedicated to Kathak. “Our mediate or advanced student – but that is
show, Kathak Darpan, is all about this the only requirement. Beyond that nothing
classical dance form. It’s a rare opportu- else matters. It does not matter how young
nity for people living in Sydney to experi- or old you are. It does not matter how
ence the full, true and unadulterated might long you have learnt Kathak for – one
of Kathak,” adds Nagpal. year or 10 years. Everyone and anyone
The workshop will be held in the week with a base in Kathak can gain from these
leading up to the performance at Swastik workshops.
Institute of Dance from 22-27 October.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity You’re quite traditional in your
for people living in Sydney to learn from approach. How do you feel about young
such a world-renowned artist. And once performers who are giving Kathak a
again, it’s not about Swastik, it’s about the modern, almost Bollywood twist, and
art form. This six-day workshop is open becoming YouTube stars?
to everyone – to all schools and not just I get that question all the time. And I
Swastik. Anyone can be part of this work- always use the river and canal analogy.
shop and learn from it because, at the end Kathak is the river. And these dancers are
of the day, this whole project is about canals. If you want to move the river’s
Kathak only,” says Nagpal. water you need the canals. If you want to
Ahead of his arrival in Sydney, Pandit communicate the depth and beauty of
Gangani spoke to us about the show and Kathak to the new generation, you need
the workshop. Excerpts: these dancers. As long as their art has a
strong connection to the original – as long
Is it true that you cancelled a show in as the water in the canals is the water from
Ujjain so you can come for Kathak the river – I have absolutely no objection
Darpan in Sydney? to it. Art, like water, is fluid. It moves, it
I didn’t cancel it, but, yes, I was meant evolves. And that’s perfectly fine. As long
to perform in Ujjain and the dates clashed Kathak is such a diverse dance form – Yes, it’s completely steeped in the cul- as it does not lose its purpose and essence.
with the timing Swastik had in mind for it can be gracefully slow and furiously ture and tradition of India. One of the seg-
this show. So I asked the organisers in fast. It can have mesmerizing twirls and ments in the show is called Gatbhao. In The six-day Kathak workshop takes
Ujjain if there was any room to re-sched- precise footwork. It can be sharp and it this segment the dancers tell stories but place from 22-27 October at Swastik
ule and there was. So here I am perform- can be fluid. And what I love about they don’t use any words – they only use Institute of Dance in Harris Park, while
ing at both the shows. Kathak Darpan is that it showcases all expressions. And the stories are taken the show, Kathak Darpan, will be staged
these different aspects of the dance form. from some of India’s most revered mytho- at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta on 28
Tell us a little about your show in logical epics. Different emotions are tack- October. For more details, call 0402 551
Sydney. Is it a traditional performance? led, ranging from the terrifying scene of 841, 0411 817 678 or 0431 602 843.

24 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017

Minister Alex Hawke posing with community members

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection,
Alex Hawke, answered immigration related queries at a session
organised by Federation of Indian Associations, NSW
By Neena Badhwar charge more but good advice should come at
a reasonable price.

he Assistant Minister for Immigration “We have quite a robust process on
and Border Protection, Alex Hawke, immigration with counter checks and back-
apprised the Indian community on ground checks on Visa 457,” he said.
September 20 at the Madison Function Jagdish Chawla brought to notice the
Centre, Dural, about the Government’s dilemma the temple priests face as they did
immigration policy in a Q&A session organ- not comply with Government’s requirement
ised by the Federation of Indian of five years training for priesthood.
Associations NSW (FIAN). According to him, Indian priests came from
The Minister gave details about short a lineage training, from father to son or are
term temporary visas for parents for which trained by a guru.
the community has been keenly looking for. Alex Hawke said that the government
“Now, temporary visas for parents for a was trying to understand the cultural tradi-
period of three years (at $5,000) or five tions and practices in such cases. “Bring
years ($10,000) are available besides the those cases to our attention and we will look
$47,000 per parent contributory visa. into them,” he said.
Minister Alex Hawke and Dr. Yadu Singh, A case from Perth of 450 students whose
“The government is concentrating on
FIAN President, at the Q & A Session visas were cancelled due to collapse of a
economic, student and online visa reforms –
in tourist, business, family migration and training college was brought to Minister’s
trade categories. More security, more bor- notice. “We want to know those dodgy
der protection besides drug trafficking, illic- program allowed 190,000 migrants every cult for the next applicant. But I must say operators, we want to shut down those peo-
it foods are some of the challenges the gov- year from which two-thirds are skilled that tourist visas are going well with India.” ple,” he said, adding that the Government
ernment faces. migrants and one third comprise refugees, “We want your feedback if you’ve had was trying to improve the VET system, edu-
“Our migration system is the best. Even parents and asylum seekers. bad experience,” he said. cation colleges and TAFE colleges.
President Trump said he would like US to Mr Hawke clarified that students were Another question was about English Test Another question was about IELTS
follow the Australian system as we gave allowed to come to Australia to study and for Citizenship as older people might not exam which costed a lot. People had com-
high priority to integrity and quality. We that studying was not a pathway to getting know English. pleted a university degree, yet had to prove
continue to set high standards to the man- visa. “Students can study and then they must “We have exempted children under the that their English language was good all
agement of people. go back,” he said. age of 16 years and people over 60 who do over again with the exam. If you failed in
“Immigration is the most litigated Questions were invited from the floor, not have to sit for the test. You cannot one, you would need to sit in the exam all
department as it has more than 200 lawyers moderated by FIAN President, Dr Yadu expect older people to come and learn a lan- over again. Everyone clapped because the
with legal challenges from refugees, asylum Singh. guage.” He assured it was in the Bill which questioner wanted to know whether it was
seekers and others. We must get the laws Dave Passi asked about visitor visas and was before the parliament. simply a money-making exercise.
right and their proper implementation is why people had to wait long when, some- The Minister said that parents could cost The Minister insisted that, “Currently
important. We are polishing Visa 457 times, the situation could be urgent - for up to $400,000 on the health care system. there is 72 per cent success rate in IELTS
scheme so that temporary long stay work example - sickness, death or perhaps a fam- “We are not able to provide for all the peo- exam and the exam is not too hard.”
visas for genuine skilled shortage are in ily event. ple who may want to bring their parents. It was a successful session and the min-
place,” Mr Hawke said. The Minister said that the volume of Young people can have older parents and the ister patiently answered each and every
He also said that citizenship pathways applications from India was quite high but cost can go up a lot.” The Government is query. There were some who praised the
stayed the same and people needed to show insisted that online lodgement of visas was a trying to work out the health insurance for Minister to have taken time to explain
evidence of work, integration, right English big success. Genuine application and older people, he said. everything.
skills, family values and allegiance to integrity issues delayed things: “If one per- Mr Hawke said that the government was Delicious food was provided by Ajay’s
Australia. The Minister said the migration son does anything wrong, it makes it diffi- regulating migration agents. “Some can Maya Da Dhaba.

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 25

! By Neena Badhwar

he South Asian Australian
Association (SAAA) Hindi School
at Kogarah teems with children and
teachers every Sunday. Green Valley
School of Language & Art in the South-
West of Sydney catering to Liverpool and
Fairfield regions is similarly full of chil-
dren and their parents who are keen that
they learn the language.
Mritunjay Singh, on his own initiative
and cost, printed 5,000 flyers, stood at
Kogarah Public School gate to distribute
the flyers and to drop in letter boxes
around the area to raise awareness for
That was in 2015 and just in a matter
of three years the SAAA Hindi School has
grown with enrolment of 90 students and
15 teachers along with a team of volunteer
parents who are always ready with a cup
of tea from the kitchen.
It has been a lot of hard work and
labour of love for Mritunjay Singh, the
Co-Founder Co-ordinator of the school.
He is a full-time Maths teacher at the St.
George Girls High.
It took some convincing the Kogarah Mritunjay Singh with a student on SAAA Hindi School’s India Day function
Public School Principal, Ms Betty Romeo,
for using the classrooms, which have now tle ones to remember and recite these them where they may be making mis- Indian Consulate with his students prepar-
grown to eight classes from two when the poems. The older children are preparing takes,” he says. ing for a Diwali tabla performance as he
school started. Not only that, he went the song ‘Mera joota hai Japani, phir bhi SAAA Hindi School is planning a big himself plays the harmonium with them.
ahead and canvassed for Hindi to be dil hai Hindustani’ whereas the little ones Diwali event on October 14 for which the Comprising many dedicated teachers,
taught in regular school hours. have been learning to sing ‘Jungle Jungle school students have prepared cultural a Hindi Association of NSW was launched
Mritunjay met local MPs, both state Baat Chali Hai Pata Chala Hai, Chaddhi items to put up a showcase for the com- by Mritunjay at the Consulate on
and federal, and got letters of support Pehen Ke Phool Khila Hai’ a kid’s poem munity who will come and see for them- September 16.
from them. He even contacted community by the poet Gulzar,” he says. selves the proud achievement this school Mritunjay Singh is charged about the
leaders and people involved in Hindi According to Mritunjay, the school’s has made in a short span of three years. Hindi Association of NSW as he says that
schools to support his cause. success is because of Dance, Music and The Green Valley School of Language many people have come on board so that,
Talking about his Sunday school Yoga which are also taught besides the & Art in the South-West of Sydney has “we can have a stronger platform for the
Mritunjay has left the responsibility to language teaching. “We have tried to been running for the last 23 years. One newly arrived Indian migrants to get serv-
teachers and parents in running the engage parents in our activities. We have student of this school was Akash Prasad ices they need to settle here in Australia”.
school, himself teaching nursery rhymes parents who help teachers in the class, who has now become its teacher. He says the AGM of the association
and poems to the Hindi kindergarten help marking students’ work as well as sit- Akash’s dedication is simply com- will happen in October when the office
class. ting down with children to guide them mendable. He recently showed an audio- bearers for the association will be
“It takes about 2-3 months for the lit- with their work and give suggestions to visual presentation at Hindi Divas at the announced.

Students learning Hindi and much more at SAAA Hindi School Students celebrating India’s Independence Day

26 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017
October - November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 27
Santram's Grey Page
it protects against the flu strains which are arteries and veins ensure a constant supply of We have the tendency to ‘hide’ this kind
most likely to be around during that winter. oxygen to and removal of toxic wastes from of abuse for fear of
There is now evidence that the effective- the brain. Improving blood circulation in the bringing ‘shame’
ness of the influenza vaccine wanes over body can have long-ranging effects on the to the family or
time and its important be protected when the whole body. ‘loss of face
flu is most common, around August. Ask The brain is greatly benefited by a or loss of self
your doctor for advice on the best time to healthy heart, and taking good care of your respect’ per-
receive your vaccination. heart will ensure that your brain stays sonally. But
The 2017 flu shot is available since April healthy for longer. t h e
By Santram Bajaj
from GP surgeries and other immunisation Loneliness and isolation Government

his column has been mainly concen- providers. Loneliness and isolation appear to be has estab-
trating on topics on health and bring- The flu vaccine is recommended for destructive to the heart. They have been lished ‘The
ing tips to keep healthy, from various everyone from six months of age, but is known to increase the risk of early mortali- NSW Elder Abuse
publications of repute. We have tried to available free under the National ty, alter immune system and cause illnesses, Helpline & Resource
avoid the so called ‘experts’ on the Immunisation Program for people who face the psychological outcomes of which are low Unit’, as part of the NSW Ageing Strategy to
‘Facebook’ or general internet pages. a high risk from influenza and its complica- self-esteem and depression. help intervene and prevent incidences of
Hopefully we have been able to help some in tions. The depression leads to heart disease. elder abuse. The Unit can be contacted on
one way or the other. Old age, Heart and Brain The connection between depression and
heart diseases is incredibly irrefutable.
1800 628 221 by anyone, if they suspect
elder abuse is occurring.

Health and Wellbeing and Dementia It is no wonder then that feelings of iso-

It looks like the‘flu season’ is taking a Old age is accompanied by declining
lation and loneliness easily give way to
depression and finally to heart disease. Keep HUMOUR
permanent hold in Australia. The dry winter body functions, such as a failing heart, and yourself, socially active. Visit friends; go to
very often, a compromised brain. Dementia, temple, Gurudwara or any religious place A small boy parks his bicycle near the
has been followed by very windy conditions
a condition in which a person may struggle (even if you don’t believe in God!). This Parliament house and walks on. A police con-
We are not talking of the ordinary cough and
with normal day-to-day activities as a result way you can ‘kill’ your loneliness. In addi- stable stops him and asks him, “Don’t you
cold, which is a discomfort of a few days,
of declining memory and brain function, is tion to being socially involved, getting treat- know, many MPs, cabinet ministers and
but of the more sinister epidemic, which can
common in the elderly. ed at the right time for depression seems to politicians and other VIPs pass from here?”
cause severe illness. Hope, you remember
While consumption of meat, sweets, and be the mantra. The boy replied innocently, “Don’t worry
those dreaded “Hong Kong’ or ‘bird’ flues.
high-fat dairy products that characterise a Meditation has been found to be of sir, I have put a big chain and locked my
It is the time to go for your flu vaccine,
Western diet, significantly increases the risk immense help in reducing the feeling of bicycle.”
if you have not done so far. The people at
risk are older people over 65, pregnant of Alzheimer's disease, traditional Indian, loneliness and depression.

which is basically vegetarian diet ,is associ-
women and children. The vaccine is free in
most cases. Please check with your G.P. ated with reduced risk of the most common ELDER ABUSE
A bit more about the flu: form of dementia, says a study. Fruits, veg- What is Elder Abuse?
etables, grains, low-fat dairy products, 'Elder abuse can be defined as a single, The Health tips and information in the
Influenza (Flu) legumes, and fish are associated with or repeated act, or lack of appropriate article are taken from various well estab-
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. action, occurring within any relationship lished and reliable sources and are given
viral infection that spreads easily from per- Heart disease results in vascular insuffi- where there is an expectation of trust which to you in good faith. However, readers
son to person through coughing, sneezing ciency which has potential to impair func- causes harm or distress to an older person. are reminded to take care and consult
and close contact. tions in other organs including brain. What Elder abuse can take various forms such as their doctor if not sure, as no responsibil-
Unlike a cold, symptoms such as fever, keeps the heart healthy can also keep the physical, psychological or emotional, sexual ity can be accepted by the writer of this
sore throat and muscle aches develop sud- brain functioning adequately. This associa- and financial abuse. It can also be the result column or The Indian Down Under).
denly with flu and last about a week. In some tion is possibly due to the fact that healthy of intentional or unintentional neglect.
cases, severe illness and complications such

Nine foods that tackle inflammation
as pneumonia and bronchitis can develop,
which can result in hospitalisation and even
death. The flu can also make some existing
medical conditions worse.

The flu virus can be especially dangerous he majority of serious progressive
for elderly people, pregnant women, diseases hassling the Western
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people world are in one way or another
and very young children, as well as for peo- caused by chronic inflammation. This
ple with underlying medical conditions. includes arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardio-
Causes vascular disease and more. The good
Three different types of influenza viruses news is that it’s relatively easy to manage
infect humans: influenza A, B and C. Only chronic inflammation just through diet and
influenza A and B cause major outbreaks and small lifestyle changes. And when inflam-
severe disease, and these types are included mation is dealt with, it reverses the pro-
in seasonal influenza vaccines. Influenza gressive illnesses caused by it.
spreads from person to person through the 1. Fatty fish
air by coughing or sneezing, or by direct Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines
contact with the virus on hard surfaces or are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
people’s hands. The flu usually differs from that reduce inflammation. If you don’t
a cold as symptoms develop suddenly, and like eating fish, consider taking fish oil
can lead to complications such as chest infec- supplements.
tions and pneumonia – particularly among 2. Whole grains
the elderly and young children. They are a good source of fibre and
Symptoms are low in sugar and are ideal for reduc-
Flu symptoms tend to develop abruptly ing inflammation.
one to three days after infection, and can 3.Green leafy vegetables
include: tiredness, high fever, chills, Spinach, kale, collard greens and C-reactive proteins in the body and thus matory substances like quercetin and
headache, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, broccoli are already praised for their reduce the chances of inflammation. allicin that break down to form sulfonic
poor appetite, and muscle aches. Most peo- health benefits. The high Vitamin E con- Avoid processed soy as the additives and acid that, in turn, fight free radicals.
ple who get the flu will suffer from mild ill- tent in them helps protect the body from preservatives in it will destroy the bene- 8. Garlic
ness and will recover in around four weeks. inflammation-causing substances like fits. Consume tofu, soy milk and It might have a strong smell, but that’s
However, some people can develop more cytokines. edamame (boiled soya beans), for maxi- no reason to stay away from this healthy
severe health problems, including pneumo- 4. Nuts mum benefits. vegetable! Garlic has many compounds
nia, bronchitis, chest and sinus infections, Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts, 6. Beetroot that work in the same way as non steroidal
heart, blood system or liver complications, are packed full of antioxidants that help Beetroots are packed full of fibre, anti-inflammatory drugs and shuts down
which can lead to hospitalisation and even reduce inflammation. Almonds contain Vitamin C and antioxidants and are known the inflammation molecular pathway.
death. high levels of Vitamin E, calcium and for its blood pressure-lowering properties 9. Berries
Prevention fibre, while walnuts are rich in a type of as well as reducing inflammation. Almost all types of berries are good
Annual vaccination is the best way of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic 7. Onions for fighting inflammation, especially the
preventing the flu and any associated illness. acid. Onions are not just remarkably great bright red-coloured berries like raspber-
You should get the flu shot every year 5. Soy at boosting the flavour of food; they are ries and strawberries which contain anti-
because the flu virus is constantly changing. Soy and soy products are a rich source also very good for keeping inflammation inflammatory compounds. called antho-
Every year, the flu vaccine changes too, so of isoflavones, which lower the levels of at bay. Onions contain several anti-inflam- cyanin.

28 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October-November 2017
Body Mind Spirit

Passion is the petrol that keeps the engine of your life running. Its powerful
energy is the secret behind success, achievement, and a joyous life.
! By Suma Varughese crash exhausted into bed. But that that fails and depending on how hood, we can still find our way to selves, the less vulnerable we will
does not mean that passion is strong our desire is, we will go to passion, for life itself often aston- be to outside forces that can damp-

ulsidas, the poet saint who denied us in this lifetime. We too the outlet ourselves. If we live ishingly makes us whole. en and destroy our passion.
wrote the can lead a life of joy and brio; of beyond the reach of pizza, we will Another factor that can dissi- Neither failures, nor societal pres-
Rancharitramanas, was full passionate purpose that infuses our get around to making it. The same pate passion is our disproportion- sure, not discouragement or
of lust for his wife, Buddhimati. life with meaning and makes each is true for a movie we want to see, ate attention to only those areas of depression can affect us for too
So much so that when she went to moment a deep experience. or a book we want to read. And if our lives that drive our passion. If long. Through paying loving atten-
her parent’s house for a holiday, we want to meet a lover, nothing our passion is solely focussed on tion to all that arises, we learn to
he followed her there late at night. What is passion? on earth can stop us. work and we ignore other aspects, dissipate these forces and reclaim
It was a wild and stormy night and To start with the basics. What our lives will topple into misery, our true heritage of enthusiasm,
Tulsidas had to battle a raging is passion? Passion is the power Passion generates and we will eventually squander confidence and commitment.
river in spate which he did by the that drives us long after our energy energy our passion. And eventually we reach a
power of his passion. When he forsakes us. It is what takes us When his desire for his wife stage when there truly is nothing
reached her home, he mistook a back to the drawing board time and became converted to desire for lib-
The spiritual outlook between us and life. A moment
snake for a creeper and used its time again, until we finally have it eration, Tulsidas’s energy pack Mostly passion dies because when the shadows of the past and
power to hoist himself into her right. It is what enables us to prop magnified in proportion. our default approach to life is not future dissipate and disappear. We
room. The shocked Buddhimati up our drooping eyes, straighten Thus, when we live life pas- guaranteed to keep it going. What are left in full possession of the
looked at her dripping wet and our slumping form and continue sionately we have at our disposal do you do when you can’t get the moment, to relish it, to squeeze
panting husband and said reprov- labouring into the night long after an endless supply of energy, work of your dreams no matter every bit of juice out of it and to
ingly, “If you had half the passion exhaustion has rung in. It is what because the more energy we use to how many doors you knock at? slurp it up. Joy, passion and love
for God that you have for this mor- enables us to climb mountains, dis- achieve our purpose passionately, What do you do when surrounded surge out of us and encompass all
tal body of mine which will soon cover continents, uncover the the more becomes available to us. by people who put you down and that we do. Everything, even the
fall prey to worms, you would secrets of life and create enduring We tap into an inexhaustible emotionally abuse you? What do most mundane act such as brushing
surely attain enlightenment.” works of art. source. you do when your sweetheart jilts our teeth or bathing becomes
Stunned to the core of his being The script of excellence is writ- you and takes along your passion deeply enjoyable, a memorable
by the truth of what she said, ten with the ink of passion. With Acquiring passion for life with them? How do you moment. It is then that we know
Tulsidas turned on his heels and passion as our partner, sooner or So how does one acquire pas- make sure passion flows through what it is to truly live, to be what
left her; he spent the next 14 years later success will be ours. Passion sion? Or stoke its embers into a all areas of your life? the sages call us: amrutasya putra-
in sanyas, passionately immersed is the petrol that runs the engines constant steady flame? Only the capacity to work on ha (children of immortality).
in his love for Lord Ram. of our lives. Without passion our The foundation for passion as ourselves, the willingness to Osho describes this state of
lives sooner or later judder to a for any good quality is set in child- change and grow, and an access to mind beautifully, “Death is a con-
A question of passion halt, or chug along lackadaisically. hood. In his book, The Road Less the higher truths can enable us to stant reminder that, ‘I can come
Not everyone can boast of pas- Among the millions of gifts life Travelled, Scott L Peck, says that lead an ongoingly passionate life. any moment. Be prepared.’ And
sion. Wasn’t it Thoreau who said showers us with, passion is one of it is the love that parents give chil- A life where we are passionate what is the preparation? The
that “the mass of men lead lives of the choicest. Joseph Campbell dren in childhood that enables about everything, not just one preparation is: live life so totally,
quiet desperation”? rightly says, “Passion will move them to develop the self-esteem thing. A life that enables us to pay so intensely, be so aflame with it
Even if our lives don’t embody men beyond themselves, beyond that is essential for living. He says, attention and focus on the smallest that when death comes there is no
quiet desperation, how many of us their shortcomings, beyond their “When children have learned task. A life that enables us to tend complaint, there is no grudge. You
can claim they embody passion? failure.” through the love of their parents to to the flame ongoingly. In other are absolutely ready because you
How many of us are afire with love The reason why passion is such feel valuable, it is almost impossi- words, a life attuned to spiritual have lived life so totally, you have
of life every moment of the day? a power is that it is sourced in ble for the vicissitudes of adult- growth. known all its mysteries — there is
How many of us pour ourselves desire, and each of us is given the hood to destroy their spirit.” Spirituality is really the journey no point in living anymore. Death
into everything we do? How many energy we need to attain any desire A sense of being valuable gives of eliminating our false self and has come exactly at the right time,
of us are consumed by a project, a we may feel. Desire comes with an us clear access to the energy flow- finding our true self. This means when you may have thought to die
person or a cause? inbuilt energy pack. For instance, ing within us, which can otherwise eliminating all the negative feel- yourself. I call that death perfect
Let’s face it, most of us just go if a desire for a pizza consumes us get blocked by self-doubt, fear, ings that characterise our ego self which comes at the moment when
through the motions, simply cop- and we have the money to pay for anxiety and negative circum- and reclaiming our true nature of you yourself may have thought, ‘It
ing with the mountain of chores, it, most of us will immediately call stances. peace, love, joy, compassion and is enough.’”
duties and responsibilities we have for it, or if we cannot get through, But even if we have been yes, passion. What more can we say?
to juggle every day, before we send someone to collect it, or if deprived of self-esteem in child- The more we work on our- Courtesy: Life Positive Magazine

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 29

across the
! By Vijay Badhwar Airport in Evandale that a friend
Kirit Ruparelia had recommended.

f a trip to Rocky Mountains We take the latter option and not
seems too distant, try neigh- disappointed to stay in the tiny her-
bouring New Zealand for an itage township.
equally beautiful landscape. If Next day we are on the move,
even New Zealand seems far first for a drive along Tamar River
away, or just for the sake of saving and then a short walk in the
the hassle of international travel, Cataract Gorge Reserve, skipping
just go to Tasmania and you will the oft-recommended Tamar
be similarly entranced with its Valley wine route due to paucity of
lakes, waterfalls and spectacular time.
mountains. A large part of the drive
If the recently stuck label on towards Devonport and Penguin is The incredible Cradle Mountain
Jetstar by consumer watchdog along the picturesque north coast
Choice as the ‘world’s worst air- of Tasmania but there are no pen-
line’ does not worry you (what the guins to be seen around the town
heck, it’s less than two hours fly- bearing the name. A small colony
ing time!), for $79 you are across of penguins, however, can be seen
the Tasman, sans jetlag, sans lan- around Ulverstone around dusk but
guage barrier, sans currency has- keep a careful watch for the sign to
sles. Immediately after landing, come off the highway.
our first experience with the fresh- The world heritage-listed
ness in the zephyr is heavenly. Cradle Mountains is one of the
Past Launceston Airport, as we are most visited places not only in
driven to the rental car pickup yard Tasmania but throughout
by its manager speaking in heavily Australia. Therefore, accommoda-
rolled ‘Oustraalian’ (who makes us tion at the park is always at a pre-
feel absolutely at home being from mium and hard to come by unless
Punjab), there is that stillness of booked well in advance. Peppers
farms, far far away from the mad- Cradle Mountain Lodge is one of
dening crowds of Sydney. the top 10 extraordinary places to
There are six of us - Badhwars, stay according to Lonely Planet
Joses and Goplanis – who have guide. Outside the park, there is
opted to try farm stay this time. As affordable accommodation in Mole
we would experience later, these Creek and Sheffield within a 90- Penal colony on Sarah Island
are not corrugated iron stables they minutes’ picturesque drive.
offer in the market for short stay Cars are not allowed beyond other national parks the Cradle Mountain is unpre- settlement of Sarah Island.
but grand mansions with panelled the visitor centre at Cradle in Tasmania. dictable and it can be very cold and Although Australia is replete with
interiors and hardwood roof beams Mountain. There are shuttle buses There are short and gentle miserable; so, going prepared with heritage prisons and settlements, a
with mortised joints of near sculp- every fifteen minutes to take visi- walks of 30-minute duration to rain gear and warm jackets is solo enactment of the harsh reali-
tural quality. tors to and fro between the visitor tough walks to the mountain peak always recommended. ties of life at the island makes it a
There are many choices for centre and various walks. It also of eight-hour duration. The gentle Along the west coast from worthwhile experience articulated
stay after the school holidays in requires a permit for park entry walks are boardwalks to protect Strahan there are day cruises for with a relaxing day at the cruise
beautiful Tamar Valley and also that costs $60 per car and is valid the flora and fauna and are magical Franklin-Gordon Rivers that also with sumptuous lunch.
close to Launceston for eight weeks including visits to for the senses like the Enchanted include short walks in the rainfor- It would be a sin to go to
Walk. The weather at est, as well as a visit to the penal Tassie and not visit the Nelson
Falls. Off the Lyell Highway
between Queenstown and Derwent
Bridge it is a short boardwalk of
700 metres to the Fall. The Sun
rays filtering through the rainfor-
est create a surreal scene; a variety
of ferns draw a magical foliage to
the accompaniment of the sound of
running water. The stepped water
fall glistens in the sun rays from
behind; the haze of water vapours
blocks the remaining background
to highlight only the falls. It’s an
amazing scene making the posters
all around Tasmania - at Visitor
Centres and at the airports, and
now you can see it in real.
There are many other walks in
the Franklin-Gordon National Park
accessed from the highway. A
lover of nature can spend days
Hells Gate Lighthouse Straha Continued on page 31

30 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October-November 2017

Wine Glass Bay
if you are a selfie fan. Tasmania is its coast, that an everlasting scene
Continued from page 30 plum orchards – and so sparkling- Katsalidis has truly created a land- a visitors’ paradise. There are so on the memory canvas is etched.
exploring the natural beauty. ly clean that we all wished that we mark, albeit not quite in the ranks many places truly worthy of men- For places to visit, a publication -
On the way to Hobart we had had a longer stay there. of Bilbao and Guggenheim, but tion outside the few mentioned, for 60 Great Short Walks - makes an
the best stay at a farmhouse at Hobart has plenty to offer – close, especially its entry. Its con- example, its infamous Port Arthur excellent tourist guide.
Sassafras Springs an hour’s drive markets, eating places, nature tents, however, attract widely and many islands and bays around
before the biggest city in walks and short cruises. A drive to ranging opinions.
Tasmania. With the background of Mt Wellington offers a bird’s eye Tasmania’s east coast is equal-
hills at a distance and rolling view from the mountain top. Then ly spell-binding – Freycinet,
farms, it was natural living in the it has MONA (Museum of Old and Bicheno and a great visitor attrac-
real – baskets provided to collect New Art) that has placed the city tion, Wine Glass Bay. The latter is
eggs, vegetables patches marked to on the map of art lovers through- a fair hike up the mountain but
collect your own greens, apple and out the world. Architect Fender worth going up the top, especially

the farm house
Farmhouse stay with friends Jose and Harry Gopalani in Launceston in Launceston

October-November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 31

How to get good sleep for well-being
Dos and don’ts for a good sleep
! The Indian science of longevity called Ayurveda recommends that
we should sleep three hours after sunset and wake up two hours
before sunrise.
! Those who want to enjoy the pleasures of the world and relaxation
should sleep on their left side and those sleeping on the right side
will gain from sensuousness.
! Take oil bath twice a week to ease your muscles and reduce tension.
! Drink some milk 30 minutes before you go to bed and you will be
VasthuSastra assured of uninterrupted sleep.
! Meditation before sleeping is encouraged to calm the mind.
By T. Selva ! Dwellers are discouraged from sleeping on their back because it
does not harmonise the body, mind and spirit. Such a position will

ne of the biggest challenge promote diseases, reduce body energy level and lead to illness.
of almost every individual is Sleeping on the stomach should be avoided because it will obstruct
getting a quality sleep every your breathing pattern.
night. Most of us go to bed but how ! Switch off smart phone and electronic gadgets
many of us really get a decent
Getting an adequate number of
Things you should avoid before bedtime
hours of slumber is important for ! Don’t take your work to bed
our body, mind and spirit; and this ! Avoid arguments before sleep
regime is required throughout our ual sleep is vital and this is based on quadrants should be ideal locations ! No alcohol before hitting bed
life. According to Vasthu Sastra the the five elements – fire, water, air, to deal with your issues. ! Avoid sleeping with your pet dog or cat
location and direction we snooze can earth and ether. Next the direction you sleep is ! Stay away from caffeinated drinks
determine our mood, energy, think- If you are a hyper active person equally significant because the ! Keep away from spicy food
ing power, health and happiness and have issues with anger you wrong direction could lead you to ! No smoking
when we wake up. should avoid sleeping in the south- having bad dreams, waking up feel-
At a recent conference on east, which is the fire quadrant. ing fatigue, having a restless night east are allowed. Certain planets after you close your eyes and rest in
Vasthu Sastra and astrology in The recommended space should or disturbed sleep. also determine our sleep. If you are bed if you are under the influence of
Delhi, India, I participated in, the be north-east, northwest, south- Totally avoid sleeping with your going through strong presence of Neptune. You will make up having
need to clock in adequate hours of west, east, west and south. head towards the north and legs moon in your astrological chart you low esteem, feeling lethargic and
sleep was discussed actively by Any person having air related towards the south. are likely to experience emotional stressful.
practitioners applying ancient sci- issues like gassy, feeling full or hav- In this position, your energy will swings and unwanted thoughts when Dr T. Selva is the author of the
ences because it is directly related to ing indigestion should stay away be drained out of your body. you go to bed. You may have an bestseller Vasthu Sastra Guide book
health and well-being of everyone. from sleeping in the air corner of This direction is harmful to interrupted sleep or some nights and the first disciple of 7th-genera-
Vasthu experts spoke about the north-west. health and could lead to you having without sleep if you are undergoing tion Vasthu Sastra master Yuvaraj
importance of location and sleeping He or she should occupy south, nightmare, stress, sleeping disorder Uranus influence. Sowma from Chennai, India. His
directions while astrologers showed south-west, south-east, north, south and frequently falling sick. Those undergoing the Saturn master and he will be visiting
how planets like Moon, Mars, and east. The recommended directions are period in their birth chart should Sydney from July 6 to 10. For an
Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune could If you are suffering from insom- placing your head towards the west, exercise extra care and practise appointment call Devi at
influence our nap. nia and mood problems, stay away east or south. Placing your head in good sleep habits or your sleep can 0412623017. He can be reached at
In the Indian science of architec- from the north-east quadrant. the sub directions of north-east, be in disarray. You are highly Website:
ture, the location where an individ- South, west, north and east north-west, south-west and south- unlikely to have a blissful sleep even


Nothing excites me like our solar energy potential
imagine how much cooking you need to have more electric cars on prices! That's why I'm excited
can do. the road, and after that, we can about Professor Raman's
According to a Press Trust of figure out how to recharge them research."
India report, Goyal also stated that using solar energy. By then, of First driver: "What is he
the country has immense solar course, the free market will figure doing?"
potential, as much as 748 GW. I out a way to make sure that solar Second driver: "Professor
wasn't sure what GW stands for, energy isn't free. And the govern- Raman is developing cutting-edge
but Conway confirmed that it ment will jump in and make sure technology that will allow us to
stands for "good wives". A good we pay a solar tax. Because our generate energy from the moon.

ndia's Minister of New and wife is someone who is able to do cars won't be able to generate Lunar energy is the future! You
Renewable Energy Piyush all the household tasks – cooking, measurement of sound frequency. enough solar energy by them- can get it day and night."
Goyal recently told the Rajya cleaning and washing – on solar It measures how far a sound wave selves, we'll have to go to solar First driver: "Don't be a
Sabha that the country added power alone. When her husband travels before a good husband pump stations, where solar energy lunatic!"
5,525 MW of solar power genera- comes home and finds out how yells, "Turn it off! I'm trying to that was collected through solar While solar-powered cars may
tion capacity in the last fiscal year well she used solar energy, he watch cricket!" I'm very excited farms will be "pumped" into our be a few decades away, solar-
and now boasts a total of 12,288 pats her on her back and says, about the future of solar energy. cars. On cloudy or cold days, powered homes may be just
MW. "That's a good wife!" We should be using as much when there's little sunlight, we'll around the corner for many peo-
I wasn't sure exactly what MW I know what you're thinking: renewable energy as we can. complain about rising solar prices. ple. Companies like Tesla are
stands for, so I checked with Shouldn't we also be measuring That's why I'm really eager to get Some of us will yearn for the developing building materials that
Kellyanne Conway, Donald solar power in GH (good hus- involved and help promote the good old days when we had cars harness solar energy. A home that
Trump's adviser, and she told me bands)? After all, there are many solar industry, whether it means that ran on gas. generates its own energy is a won-
that it stands for "microwaves". In men who either stay at home and buying solar panels or appearing First driver: "At least in the derful thing. I hope I can own one
other words, India currently pro- perform household tasks or at on panels about solar energy. I old days, we didn't have to pay by the time I retire, so I can save
duces enough solar energy to least help their wives with some don't know if it will happen in my more whenever it rained." lots of money. Some old folks
operate 12,288 microwaves non- of the tasks. The problem is that lifetime, but I'm looking forward Second driver: "I'm tired of move in with their son – I'd rather
stop. Isn't that exciting? Just GH is already being used as a to solar-powered cars. First, we solar energy and these fluctuating depend on the sun.

32 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October-November 2017

R.I.P. Raghubir Singh

Mat16052016MM. Match for my daughter Master in Finance, FRM, Manager in a leading
Hindu Gujarati Australian born brought up vegetar- bank. Girl should be Hindu, 23 – 28 years, slim, pro-
ian well cultured 28 year old girl, beautiful, fair, tall fessionally qualified, Australian Citizen or PR.
5.7, educated completed Diploma in Paralegal and Please send details to ‘ Assemblies on Indian national days will the whole community was invited.
also Completed Bachelor of Business and Currently miss the presence of one of the foremost Deciding to settle in Australia after retire-
Studying Bachelor of Law - University of Western Mat190616SG. Suitable alliance sought from Indophiles, Raghubir Singh, who passed away ment from the Indian service, Raghubir Singh
Sydney Rose Hill Part time while working full time girls 28-30 for a boy 33 years, 5’11”tall, finishing after a prolonged illness on 28 July, aged 89. He devoted his time to settle his now grown up
with Department of Immigration. Looking for a MBBS internship at the end of this year. Family was formerly the director of India Tourist Office family. He made sure and felt proud that every-
Hindu, fair, tall and handsome, vegetarian non well settled in Australia, Hindu and believes in in Sydney, later deciding to settle in Australia. one was well-settled under his umbrella in the
smoker and non drinker preferred, 5.10ft to 6 ft. tall Indian tradition and well versed in western ways. The Singh family arrived in Australia in traditional India way. He compiled his achieve-
highly educated please contact by email - krish- Girls from similar academic background, preferably 1978 when only a few people of Indian back- ments in a book form describing his earlier vil- from families living in Australia with similar beliefs ground lived in Sydney. The Indian officials lage days, continuing education alongside his
and respect for Indian culture. Write to; The Indian then dominated the scene – from the Consulate, working life and reaching a highly ranked posi-
Down Under PO Box 99 Thornleigh NSW 2120 Tourism, Tea Board, State Trading Corporation, tion of a director at India Tourism. At their 50th
Mat170616MS. Looking for a suitable match quoting Mat No.: Mat190616SG Indian Reassurance etc. Everyone knew each marriage anniversary celebrations, he felt con-
for boy, 39 year old, 5’ 8” tall, divorcee. Running an other and found solace in each other company tent that as an elder he had looked after his fam-
Australian Grill restaurant. Hindu, educated, good Mat200616VG. Suitable matrimonial alliance having left their families and friends back in ily well.
traditional values would like a girl from Australia sought from boys 30-34 years for a 5’6” tall doctor India. Their love was special, not missing a Raghubir Singh will be missed for his love
with similar values and traditions. Divorcees can girl, specialising currently. Belongs to well settled weekend without each other’s company. of India, his concern over political directions
apply. Belongs to well settled family with grandpar- Hindu family and is comfortable with both in Indian The Singh family was untouched by west- sometimes Indian politicians were taking and
ents and uncles living in Sydney. Write to: The as well as western culture. Local boys from similar ern formalities which they more than compen- his deep insight of Indian politics. He is sur-
Indian Down Under, PO Box 99, Thornleigh NSW family background, doctor, lawyer or IT profession- sated for with their simple love and affection. vived by his wife, Bimla, four sons, two daugh-
2120 quoting Mat no.: Mat170616MS. al are welcome. Write to The Indian Down Under They used to hold regular get togethers for ters and grandchildren. A life well lived.
PO Box 99 Thornleigh and quoting Mat No.: politicians and officials visiting from India and May his soul rest in peace.
Mat140616DH. Qualified professional match Mat200616VG.
for Bengali boy, Australian citizen, 31, 5’10”,

Monika Geetmala
Sundays - 10am - 3pm

89.7fm Eastside Radio

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October - November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 33
34 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October - November 2017
The Kersi Meher-Homji Column

India hope to rise as No. 1 in ODIs
The duel between Virat Kohli and Steven
Smith will ignite the series. India (3-0) at the
time of going to press) will need to win
the series 4-1 to leapfrog South Africa to
the title of the top team in ODIs

ndia is currently ranked number one in
Test cricket. A convincing victory in India’s squad for the Australia’s squad for the
the current One-Day International
ODIs in India ODIs in India
(ODI) series against Australia will see her
Captain Steve Smith, vice-captain and
reach top-ranking in ODIs as well. Captain Virat Kohli, openers Rohit Here is the programme of ODIs and
opening batsman David Warner, dash-
Currently South Africa is ranked No. 1 Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan* and Lokesh Twenty20 Internationals (T20I)
ing opener Aaron Finch*, wicket-keep-
with 119 points. Australia and India are Rahul, wicket-keeper batsman MS between India and Australia in India
er Matthew Wade, middle order bat
joint No. 2 with 117 points each. Dhoni, middle order batsmen Ajinkya
Whoever wins this 5-match series will Rahane and Manish Pande, all-
Marcus Stoinis, sort of all-rounders
Hilton Cartwright, Glenn Maxwell,
Fixtures for five ODIs
leapfrog South Africa to the title of the top rounders Hardik Pandya and Kedar 1st ODI at Chennai on September 17.
James Faulkner and Travis Head, fast
team in ODIs as long as the margin of vic- Jadhav, spinners Kuldeep Yadav (slow 2nd ODI at Kolkata on September 21.
bowlers Josh Hazlewood, Pat 3rd ODI at Indore on September 24.
tory is 4-1. A 3-2 win margin will leave left-arm Chinaman), Axar Patel# (slow Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile and 4th ODI at Bengaluru on September 28.
the winner in second place and relegate left-arm orthodox) and Yuzvendra spinners Ashton Agar and Adam 5th ODI at Nagpur October 1.
the loser to third. With this possibility in Chahal (leg-spinner) and speedsters Zampa.
sight and two extremely combative cap- Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav. *Because of injury, Finch is replaced
tains Steve Smith and Virat Kohli in *Dhawan was out of the squad for the Fixtures for three T20Is
by Peter Handscomb for the first three
charge, one can be sure that the teams will first three ODIs to look after his sick 1st T20I at Ranchi on October 7.
fight till the last drop of blood in their wife. 2nd T20I at Guwahati on October 10.
body. #Ravindra Jadeja replaced injured Mumbai in February 1980, fast-medium 3rd T20I at Hyderabad on October 13.
India started well leading the series 1- Axar Patel in the squad for the first Botham had taken 6-58 and 7-48 besides It may be remembered that Kohli’s
0 after a thrilling 26 run victory by few matches scoring 114 as England won by 10 wick- form had slumped against Australia in
Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in the Indian selectors have erred in resting ets. Before Lyon, no Australian bowler the Test series earlier in the year. Will
first ODI in Chennai. the experienced Ashwin. had taken 13 wickets in a Test in Asia. He he spring back to his best in the next
India started disastrously losing 3 for also took three consecutive five-fors few weeks against his “favourite”
11. Kohli was caught spectacularly by 7-94 and 6-60 in Chittagong, the Test against Bangladesh. opponents?
Glenn Maxwell for a duck. Nathan Australia won. And his reward? Being dropped from The duel between him and Steven
Coulter-Nile captured all three scalps. The He became only the second overseas both the ODI and T20I squads for India Smith will ignite the series.
slide continued and India looked sure los- bowler to capture 13 wickets in a Test in where spin’s the thing!
ers at 5 for 87. Then a magnificent 118 Asia. The first one was England’s leg- Economy rates are more important economy rate in those two Tests was 2.35.
run partnership between Hardik Pandya endary all-rounder Ian Botham. In the than averages in ODIs and T20s, you That is, he conceded a measly 2.35 runs
(83 sensational runs with five fours and Golden Jubilee Test against India in might say. My quick answer: Lyon’s per over. Australia will surely miss Lyon.
five towering sixes – three in a row off
spinner Adam Zampa) and MS Dhoni

Kuldeep bags hat-trick as
(79), India managed a respectable 7 for
Then came rains and Australia’s win
target became 164 runs in 21 overs by

India go up 2-0 on Aussies
D/L method. Apart from Maxwell (39
high rise runs with three fours and four
sixes at an amazing strike –rate of 216.66)
others flopped to the wrist spin of
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav

and could score only 9 for 137 to lose by hinaman’ Kuldeep
26 runs. Yadav bagged a
For his spectacular 83 runs and 2 for hat-trick as India
33 spell, Pandya was adjudged Man of the rode a dominant bowling
Match. performance to bowl out
Earlier, under Virat Kohli India had Australia for 202 and win
performed magnificently in Sri Lanka the second ODI by 50 runs
winning all nine internationals; all three at the Eden Gardens here
Tests, all five ODIs and one T20I. And on Thursday.
seven out of these nine internationals were In three successive
won by India by huge margins. So no deliveries, Kuldeep (3/54)
wonder India is feeling on top of the took the wickets of
world. Mathew Wade, Ashton
Australia, on the other hand, had a Agar and Pat Cummins in
tough two-Test series in Bangladesh, los- the 33rd over to become
ing the first Test by 20 runs and winning the second bowler in limit-
the next by seven wickets to draw the ed overs cricket to script a
series one-all. hat-trick at this venue and
The selection of the Australian squad only the third Indian to
had one notable omission. Off-spinner record the rare feat in 50
Nathan Lyon broke many records in overs cricket.
Bangladesh recently and along with open- Earlier, India posted
ing batsman David Warner was behind 252 riding Virat Kohli's
Australia squaring the series. 92 and Ajinkya Rahane's
Like Indian spinners, Lyon opened the 55.
attack for Australia in the second Test in With that India now led
Chittagong. He took 22 wickets at 14.31 the five-match series 2-0.
in the two-Test series; 3-79 and 6-82 in Kuldeep Yadav was ecstatic getting three wickets in 3 balls.
the Dhaka (Mirpur) Test and an amazing

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 35
The Kersi Meher-Homji column

Bravo Kohli and Team India for
whitewash victories over Sri Lanka
ndia under Virat Kohli grinded Sri
Lanka to dust in all nine internation-
als played in Sri Lanka; winning the
Test series 3-0, the One Day
International (ODI) series 5-0 and the
only Twenty20 international (T20I).
And it was not just winning those
matches; it was the margin of victories
which is staggering. Just have a look at
the results and marvel:
India won the first Test by 304 runs,
the second by an innings and 53 runs
and the third by an innings and 171
India won the first ODI by nine wick-
ets, the second by three wickets, the
third by six wickets, the fourth by 168
runs and the fifth by six wickets.
One might say that apart from the
second and third ODIs, India won the
other seven internationals unopposed.
Crushing victories!
Let me detail the fifth and final ODI
which concluded in early September.
With Lahiru Thirimanne (67 runs) and
Angelo Mathews (55) adding 122 runs
for the fourth wicket, Sri Lanka started
well for once. But then India’s pacemen
Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking 5 for 42 and
Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 45, the host team
was dismissed for 238.
India lost 2 for 29 but then skipper
Kohli (110 not out) and Kedar Jadav
(63) got together and India won by 6
wickets and the series 5-0. It was for the
first time that Sri Lanka had suffered a nka
whitewash (losing all matches) in a bilat- wh o wa s M an of Series against Sri La al
ra h
eral ODI series at home. ra t Ko hl i co m m ending Jasprit Bum lf re ac he d a m ile stone during the fin
Skipper Vi ries. Kohli him se
Bhuvneshwar was adjudged the Man et s in 5-match ODI se s.
for pi ck in g up 15 wi ck only 186 ODI inning
of the Match and Bumrah the Man of the ODI: 10,000 runs in
ODI Series.

Statistical highlights of ODIs
uring the final ODI, Kohli September, a smiling Kohli said, and it makes you hungry. It’s
reached the milestone of “It’s quite amazing to have won been a long journey with Malinga
10,000 runs in only 186 the series 5-0. We always thought and I’ve learnt a lot. I just want to
innings, the fastest in ODI history. the shorter format is going to be learn and become a better
Sachin Tendulkar had taken 267 much more challenging. The bowler.”
innings and Australia’s Ricky Ponting youngsters and the spunk on the
349 innings to reach this milestone. field have worked for us. All ! India also triumphed in the only
round, it’s been a complete series T20I by a big margin. Sri Lanka
! Kohli’s unbeaten 110 in the ODI for us. We’ve been playing some batted briskly to knock up 7 for
was his 30th ODI century. Only good cricket. We didn’t win three 170 in 20 overs. Dilshan
Tendulkar has registered more games in the shorter format before Munaweera hit 53 and India’s leg-
ODI hundreds, 49. Kohli shares this, and now we have six in a break and googly bowler
the second place with Ponting. row including the West Indies Yuzvendra Chahal took 3 for 43.
! MS Dhomi became the first wick- ! The confident India had no prob-
et-keeper to make 100 stumpings ! Man of the ODI series Bumrah lem overtaking the score by mak-
in ODIs. It was his 301st ODI. was over the moon. “It’s always a ing 3 for 174 to win by seven
The previous record holder was dream to play Test cricket but I’ll wickets. Man of the Match Kohli
Sri Lanka’s Kumara Sangakkara, wait for my chance. It was my top-scored with 82 and newcomer
99 stumpings in 404 ODIs. first visit to Sri Lanka and I’m Manish Pande hit an unbeaten 51.
glad I did well. I was focussing on Another international and another
India pace bowler ! After the stunning 5-0 victory in my preparation, I had time to rest facile win!
Jasprit Bumrah

36 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017
The Kersi Meher-Homji Column

God forbid if overseas citizenship
criteria were applied to cricketers
! By Kersi Meher-Homji

t’s a funny world we live in.
There are so many life-threat-
ening and vitally important
issues in this world today; a
World War III in the looming,
terrorism, domestic violence,
poor getting poorer, climate
change, education, housing, trans-
port And what do our politicians
think about? A national plebiscite
on same sex marriage and
Whether overseas-born or those
with dual citizenship can hold
positions in Australian parliament.
Fortunately, such narrow-
mindedness attitude on dual citi-
zenship has not engulfed sports in


F our overseas-born cricketers
played for Australia in the
January 2017 Sydney Test against
Bransby Cooper, born in Dacca, in British India in 1844

Pakistan. They are batsman
Usman Khawaja (born in
Pakistan), spinner Stephen
O’Keefe (Malaysia), opening bats-
man Matt Renshaw (England) and
debutant all-rounder Hilton
Cartwright (Zimbabwe).
Khawaja and Renshaw are
currently playing in the Test Neville Charsley Tuffnell, British cricketer and
series against Bangladesh in army officer born in 1887 in Simla, India
Dhaka. Cartwright, became the
440th cricketer and the 25th over-
seas-born to play for Australia.
This research involves only male
C harles Bannerman played the
first ball in Test cricket on 15
March 1877, scored the first run
Scotland-born Archie Jackson,
a contemporary of Don Bradman,
was an elegant batsman but died
cricketers. Australia’s first-ever (off the second ball) and went on aged 23. While lying in hospital
Test XI, who played England at to record the first Test century. on what was to be his death-bed
the MCG in 1877, featured six His domination in that innings he got married. Knowledgeable
players who were born overseas. (165 retired hurt out of critics opined that Jackson was as
They were the English-born quar- Australia’s total of 245, works out talented as Bradman and as ele-
tet of Charles Bannerman, John at 67.35 percent) remains a Test gant as Vic Trumper. What a
Hodges, Tom Kendall and record, even after 140 years. His tragedy that he died so young!
William Midwinter, along with K.S. Ranjitsinhji (‘Ranji’), played for India as well as England
younger brother, the stodgy Alec Billy Midwinter also played
Tom Horan (born in Ireland) and Bannerman, was born in for England and Kepler Wessels
Bransby Cooper (India). Paddington, Sydney. for South Africa. After scoring
1761 runs for Australia at an
average of 42.95 in 24 Tests from
Below is a list of 25 Australian 1982-83 to 1985-86 with four

Test cricketers born overseas.
hundreds, South Africa-born left-
handed bat Wessels played 16
Tests for his country of birth
ENGLAND (11): Charles Groube, Clarrie Grimmett and
making 1027 runs at 38.03 in 16
Bannerman, John Hodges, Tom Brendon Julian.
Tests from 1991-92 to 1994 hit-
Kendall, William Midwinter, INDIA (2): Bransby Cooper*
ting two centuries (highest score
Percy McDonnell, William and Rex Sellers.
118). When will Australia include
Cooper, Henry Musgrove, SRI LANKA (1): Dav Whatmore.
an Indian in their Test line-up? In
Hanson Sammy Carter, Tony PAKISTAN (1): Usman
women’s cricket, however, Pune-
Dell, Andrew Symonds and Khawaja.
born Lisa Sthalekar has captained
Matt Renshaw. PORTUGAL (1): Moises
Australia in Test cricket. Recently
SCOTLAND (1): Archie Henriques.
Singapore-born Meg Lannings has
Jackson. MALAYSIA (1): Stephen
also captained Australia.
IRELAND (2): Tom Horan, O’Keefe.
Unlike in politics, open-mind-
Tom Kelly. ZIMBABWE (1): Hilton
edness exists in cricket in
SOUTH AFRICA (1): Kepler Cartwright.
Australia. May it continue!
Wessels. Barnsby Cooper was born in
NEW ZEALAND (3): Tom Dhaka, now in Bangladesh. Nawab of Pataudi Sr, played for England
Continued on page 38

October- November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 37

Matt Renshaw, born in England is an Australian cricketer Dav Whatmore, born in Sri Lanka played for Australia

Continued from page 12 PERU: Freddie Brown.
HONG KONG: Dermot Reeve.
TESTS FOR ENGLAND AND Incredibly, seven overseas-born crick-
FOR INDIA eters from five countries represented
England in the first Test against New

B esides overseas-born Australian Test
cricketers, there is a large number of
overseas-born cricketers who played Test
Zealand at Christchurch in January 1992.
They were Hick (born in Zimbabwe),
Lamb and Robin Smith (South Africa),
matches for England and India. Pringle (Kenya), Lewis and DeFreitas
Did you know that 16 India-born (West Indies) and debutant Reeve (Hong
cricketers played for England? Kong).
They are K.S. Ranjitsinhji (‘Ranji’), Only four were “homegrown”
Edward Wynyard, Richard Young, Englishmen — skipper Graham Gooch,
Neville Tufnell, Douglas Jardine, K.S. Alec Stewart, R.C. (Jack) Russell and
Duleepsinhji (‘Duleep’), Nawab of Phil Tufnell.
Pataudi, Sr., Errol Holmes, Norman England triumphed by an innings, and
Mitchell-Innes, George Emmett, Colin retaining the same team for the next Test
Cowdrey, John Jameson, Bob Woolmer, in Auckland, won by 168 runs.
Robin Jackman, Nasser Hussain, and And below is the list of overseas
Minal Patel. Of these, Ranji, Duleep, born cricketers of India
Nawab of Pataudi Sr, S. Jardine and Salim Durani, Kabul, Afghanistan
Cowdrey are legendary. The first three Ashok Gandotra, Rio de Janeiro,
represented England as India played her Brazil
inaugural Test match much later, in 1932. Lall Singh, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya
Nawab of Pataudi subsequently played for (now Malaysia)
India, captaining her on the tour of RR “Robin” Singh, Princes Town,
England in 1946. Trinidad, West Indies.
In all, 61 overseas-born players from Derek Pringle, born in Kenya has played for India as well as England It may be added that Lala Amarnath,
15 countries – including unlikely places Amir Elahi, Dilawar Hussain, Gul
like Peru, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, SOUTH AFRICA: Basil D’Oliviera, INDIA: See the list above. Mahomed, Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Man
Denmark, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tony Greig, Ian Greig, Allan Lamb, PAKISTAN: Usman Afzaal, Owais Mohan Sood were born in Lahore (now in
Papua New Guinea – have played Test Chris Smith, Robin Smith, Andrew Shah. Pakistan), Jahangir Irani, Gogumal
cricket for England. (Those born in Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ian ZIMBABWE (formerly Rhodesia): Kishandchand, Pananmal Punjabi and
Scotland, Wales and Ireland are not Trott. Graeme Hick, Paul Parker. Gulabrai S Ramchand were born in
included in this list, for example Wales- WEST INDIES: Lord Harris, Pelham KENYA: Derek Pringle. Karachi (now in Pakistan) and Probir Sen
born reverse-swing quickie Simon Jones). Warner, Roland Butcher, Norman ZAMBIA: Phil Edmonds, Neil in Comilla (now in Bangladesh).
AUSTRALIA: Billy Murdoch, John Cowans, Wilf Slack, Gladstone Small, Radford. Abdul Hafeez Kardar later played and
Ferris, Sammy Woods, Albert Trott, Phillip DeFreitas, Devon Malcolm, Chris GERMANY: Donald Carr, Paul captained Pakistan. Also Gul Mahomed
‘Gubby’ Allen, Adam Hollioake, Ben Lewis, Neil Williams, Joseph Benjamin. Terry. later played for Pakistan. Nobody both-
Hollioake, Jason Gallian, Tim Ambrose. NEW ZEALAND: Andy Caddick. ITALY: Ted Dexter. ered about dual citizenship those days!


38 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October- November 2017
October - November 2017 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER 39
40 THE INDIAN DOWN UNDER October - November 2017