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Vol.3 No.52 April 16-22, 2011 60 Cent
Light of India awards for NRIs on April 22 in NY Tristate Community, Page 5 Nayan Padrais directorial debut is a romantic comedy Cinema, Page 18 Headley likely to admit ISI role in Mumbai attacks Subcontinent, Page 21
Mangano promises to return Nassau to greatness Nassau County, Page 23

China, Russia support India's UNSC 'aspirations'

Sanya, China: China and Russia Thursday joined fellow leaders of the five fastest growing economic powers in calling for comprehensive UN reforms and supported the "aspirations" of India, Brazil and South Africa for a permanent place in the Security Council. The two permanent UNSC members China and Russia - in a joint statement of the BRICS grouping, said they "support their (India, Brazil and South Africa) aspiration to play a greater role in the UN". But does this translate into support for their bids for a permanent UNSC seat? "It is an endorsement of our views on candidature and UN reforms," secretary, economic relations, in the ministry of external affairs Manbir Singh said when asked if it signaled backing for India's bid. "This is a consensus statement. This (joint) statement is satisfactory as far as we are concerned," Manbir Singh told Indian journalists later. India, Brazil and South Africa are in the Security Council but as non-permanent

8 South Asians to get Ellis Island medal

By Parveen Chopra New York (SATimes): Like in previous years, a sizeable proportion of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal honorees this year again are South Asians. The SATimes could count at least eight of them in the list of names of about a hundred who will be bestowed the award on May 7 at a venue in Battery Park, NY. The medals, now in 25th year, are given by The National Ethnic Coalition to native-born and naturalized US citizens from diverse ethnic backgrounds whose influence and achievements inspire and touch the lives of people everywhere. Dr Samin K Sharma, the Director Cardiac Cath Lab and Intervention, at Mount

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh with Chinas President, Mr Hu Jintao, on the sidelines of BRICS Summit at Sanya, Hainan, China on April 14. Chinas support will ensure a permanent seat for India on the Security Council. members for a period of two years after their election in January. They are seeking more permanent representation in view of their growing global influence. The BRICS countries together represent Continued on page 4.....

Dr Samin Sharma, eminent cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY, will receive the medal May 7. Read his detailed profile on page 15. Sinai Hospital, has made it to the list. He is from Jaipur, where he is building a 200bed heart hospital. Dr Nitin Doshi is another honoree. He and Dr Leena Doshi are behind Doshi Diagnostic Imaging

Manu Vora , another honoree, is chief of Business Excellence, Inc., a quality management consulting firm in Illinois. Services, the 3rd largest such chain in the country. The Doshi Family Foundation has partnered with Pratham, American India Foundation, Share and Care and Veerayatan. Continued on page 19.....

Indian designer supports homeless Beauty Queen

Chicago (SATimes): It is in our darkest hours that we realize how brightly the sun shines. Mac Duggal, India native and Chicago based designer, decided to let his light shine brightly upon Miss Colorado Blair Griffith as she readies to compete for the coveted Miss USA title in June. Since the death of her father from prostate cancer, Blair has dealt with a series of unforgiving blows. Her widowed mother suffered a heart attack, leaving her unable to work or afford household expenses. Shortly thereafter, mother and daughter were evicted from their home leaving them homeless. Worse, Saks Fifth Avenue, the company Blair worked for, shut its doors ultimately leaving her unemployed. Continued on page 4.....

Chicago based Mac Duggal designed Miss Colorado Blair Griffiths custom gown for the Miss USA pageant in June at no cost.

Award winning T Mobile Wireless dealers & Exclusive T-Mobile Limited Outlets owned and operated by AW Mobile of Hicksville, NY opened their22nd store at 120 Street & Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hills, Queens. Seen in the photo is a drum player at the inauguration of the new store on the auspiciousoccasion of Baisakhi, April 14, byJerry Kohli (inset), President & CEO and his team.

The South Asian Times wishes its readers

Happy Baisakhi April 14

Soulful Mahavir Jayanti April 16

Happy Hanuman Jayanti April 18.


April 16-22, 2011

Music album offers anthem for Rajasthan

Manesha Agarwal has just released Padaro Mhare Dess with a mission to restore the glory of Rajasthani folk music and its folk musicians. A visionary and lead singer of this album from Times Music, she has brought together 13 musical geniuses whose native origin is Rajasthan.

he Day! March 30th, 2011! Rajasthan Divas! A day never happened before! Thirteen musical geniuses including Jagjit Singh, Ustad Sultan Khan, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ustad Ahmed Hussain and Mohd. Hussain and many more legends and sons of the soil came together for a noble cause and to perform live on one platform at Birla Auditorium in Jaipur. The event was the release of the brand new Times Music album Padaro Mhare Dess by honble Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot as part of Rajasthan Day celebrations. In spite of the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final, people of Rajasthan turned out in huge numbers to witness story of success of one of their own. The artistes have dedicated the title track Padaro Mhare Dess to Rajasthan, and

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at the release of the album with Manesha Agarwal and other artistes. Manesha A Agarwal, the visionary and lead singer of this album, has embarked on a journey to restore the glory of Rajasthani folk music and its folk musicians. It's her mission to bring them back to the world they truly belong to the world of music. Joining her on this extraordinary journey are music maestros like Jagjit Singh, Ustad Sultan Khan, Pt. Bhatt, Roop Kumar Rathod, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammed Hussain, Ravi Pawar, Salil Bhatt, Mohd. Vakil, Gulabo, Anwar Khan and Gazi Khan, all whose native origin is Rajasthan. All these legends of Indian music have come together on one platform to support the cause of folk musicians welfare. The album is aptly titled Padaro Mhare Dess (which in Rajathani means Come to my land), which is also the theme of Rajasthan and features as the title track. The songs in this album composed by Ravi Pawar are inspired from the simple yet mesmerizing folk music of Rajasthan. The music video currently on air features all the artistes together in the beautiful locales of Rajasthan. The proceeds from the sale and concerts of this album will be used for the welfare of folk musicians of Rajasthan through Arpan Foundation. Padaro Mhare Dess, an honest attempt from Manesha Agarwal, is certainly much more than just as an invitation for everyone to visit Rajasthan.

Manesha A Agarwal, the lead singer who envisioned the album. have offered it to the state government to use it as an anthem as the Song of Rajasthan.

Music maestros like Jagjit Singh and Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhat, who feature in the album, also performed live on one platform at the release of the album in Jaipur. They have dedicated the title track Padaro Mhare Dess to Rajasthan, and offered it as the state's anthem.

Tristate Community

April 16-22, 2011

Jasbir Chopra is Indus American Banks President and CEO

Iselin, NJ: The Board of Directors of Indus American Bank and IAB Bancorp, Inc. have appointed Jasbir Chopra as the new President and CEO of the Bank and IA Bancorp. Additionally, Chopra will serve on the Boards of the Company and the Bank. Mr. Chopra comes to Indus with extensive banking experience, local market knowledge and a proven track record of business growth and expansion. In welcoming Mr. Chopra, Chairman Bipin Patel said, Jasbir brings a wealth of experience to our Bank and under his enthusiastic leadership we expect to provide new and improved products and services for emerging companies in our community. I look forward to this exciting opportunity since I believe there is great potential for IAB to support the

Krishna Pokhrel named Rookie and TAS new agent of the year
New York: Krishna Pokhrel was honored with The Rookie Agent of the year and TAS New Agent of the year Awards for the Queens G.O. of New York Life at the recently concluded Kick-off meeting as informed by Managing Partner Larry Gordon. Pokhrel has also achieved the 2010 Presidents Council of New York Life Insurance Company. Members of the Presidents Council are prestigious leading performers of New York Lifes elite sales force of more than 11,000 licensed agents. He has been a New York Life agent since February 2010, and is associated with the companys Queens General Office in Lake Success, NY. Yet, Krishna has already earned the distinction of setting a new General Office record of being the best producer so far in his first contract year. Krishna Pokhrel has also qualified for MDRT, the most prestigious productionbased national and international organization in the insurance industry. Qualifying to become a member requires achievement, ability, and excellent service. Krishnas consistent hard work and dedication has resulted in many families attaining financial security. Pokhrel is a member of National Associa-

Jasbir Chopra growing needs of consumers Community Bank), where and businesses in the ex- he formulated the strategic panding South Asian com- direction, organizational munity, said Chopra. structure and business plans There is a tremendous op- for launching new initiaportunity for all stake hold- tives. Previously he was ers: our shareholders, our EVP at Citibank (formerly employees, our customers EAB) for small and middle and the communities we market businesses. Indus American Bank, the serve. Jasbir Chopra was most leading bank for the South recently Market President Asian community, is headfor NY/NJ Business Bank- quartered in Iselin, NJ. It has ing at Sovereign Bank (and branches in New Jersey and formerly Independence New York.

Krishna Pokhrel tion of Insurance and Financial Advisors and is active in various US-Nepalese community organizations. He received a Masters degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He lives in Ridgewood, NY with his wife Rachana and daughter Kriti. New York Life, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the US and one of the largest life insurers in the world.

3 Indian jewelry stores raided by FBI in Jersey City

Jersey City: Three jewelry stores on Newark Avenue here were raided by the FBI last week in what appears to be a multimillion dollar identity theft and credit card scheme, officials said. The three stores, all in a section of Jersey City known as Little India, were swarmed by dozens of FBI agents with Jersey City police providing backup. A law-enforcement source told local papers that ID thieves would bring stolen credit card information to the cooperating store owners and make fake purchases. Credit card companies would then charge the accounts, sending the money to the merchants, who would split the proceeds with the ID thieves, officials said. As much as $10 million dollars in fake sales were reimbursed this way, according to the law-enforcement source. The raided stores go by the names Ashu Jewelers, Raja Jewelers and Nikita's.

Young researcher recognized

New York: Samrath Mogha, age Hills, and a grandson of Nabin 17, a student of Queens High Chand and Sarla Kumari, Mogha was also congratulated by PresiSchool For The Sciences At York College, has won the Goethe dent Obama and Mayor Bloomberg at American Museum Award For Young Researchers for his outstanding achievement of Natural History, where the sein math and science at the New lection took place. Goethe Institute is a German inYork City Science And Engineering Fair 2011 on 31 March. His stitution sponsoring talents around project Feasibility study Of A Mithe world . They are picking five cro-Hydropower Project On The high school students for an all-expense paid trip to Chicago and Roshi River (in Nepal) was selected as the best project among Samrath Mogha (middle) holding his then to Germany for nine days. Goethe Award certificate seven hundred projects by the Mogha also won the US Air force Goethe institute. Belonging to a Jain family of Forest achievement award for his project .

Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) and Tina and Zinda Singh honored the team of five distinguished students from Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology, New Delhi. They represented India at the invitation of NASA and won award for Best Performance by an International Team in the Great Moonbuggy Race earlyier in Alabama. Students are asked to design a vehicle that addresses engineering problems akin to those by the original Moonbuggy team. At the gathering in Long Island, $2500 was gifted to the team.

issue was not on the agenda of the summit. Sources said that it took India, Brazil and South Africa some diplomatic efforts to convince the other two members to discuss the issue, particularly the UNSC expansion. Indian designers story from page 1 Yet, Blair kept her sights on her dream to be Miss USA and a legend in the design world of pageant and prom wear was opening his heart. With his countless years in the pageant business, Mac Duggal is versed in the inner workings of pageant competitions and how young women put in years of hard work and wait for years for the chance to compete at the elite level of Miss USA. Mac knew he had to help. He reached out to the beauty queen with an offer. He invited Blair and her mother to his Chicago land design room for a once in a lifetime opportunity. The offer? To design Blairs custom gown for the Miss USA pageant... at no cost. Blair spent the day at Macs studio looking at beautifully adorned pageant gowns while trying to narrow her choices down. The excitement and appreciation in the eyes of both Blair and her mother Bonita left Mac and his staff proud. Macs generosity ran so deep that it sparked the interest of the local news media who also wanted to capture the story. The story previewed on several Chicago news stations and outlets.

April 16-22, 2011

China, Russia story from page 1 more than 40 percent of the world's population and 20 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The fastest emerging economies are projected to contribute 48 percent to the global economy in the next decade. "We express our strong commitment to multilateral diplomacy with the United Nations playing the central role in dealing with global challenges and threats," said the joint statement issued after a summit in the Chinese coastal city of Sanya. The statement, also called the Sanya declaration, was signed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and presidents Hu Jintao of China, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and South Africa's Jacob Zuma. It reaffirmed "the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council to make it more effective, efficient and representative, so that it can deal with today's global challenges more successfully". "China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of India, Brazil and South Africa in international affairs, and understand and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN." The statement on UN reforms is significant because Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong in an April 2 address to the media in Beijing said the

Trump leads among Republican voters for White House race

New York: Running on a populist message of isolationism and spite for President Obama "the foreigner," real estate mogul Donald Trump is romping to early polling glory in the White House race. In less than a month, the 64year-old known best for his multiple marriages, garish skyscrapers and reality TV show, has jumped from 10 to 19 percent support among Republican voters, tying with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, according to a CNN poll released this week. That puts the billionaire businessman ahead of a crowded field of more established potential Republican contenders, including conservative Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin (12 percent) and Mitt Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts (11 percent).But more than four in 10 Republicans said they would not like to see Trump enter the 2012 race, the poll found. Yet, the 420th wealthiest person in the world is vowing to ask voters for campaign donations, just like other candidates.

Donald Trump: tantalizing but non-committal on running in 2012

The I Meditate NY Launch event at Lincoln Center in Manhattan with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living, had over 2700 participants on April 10. A day before that Sri Sri had a meditation event in Secaucus, NJ. (Photo: Gunjesh Desai/

Tristate Community

April 16-22, 2011

The Times Groups Light of India awards to honor NRIs

Some of the nominees Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni New York, NY: A Times Group service, Remit2India, ranked the worlds #1 online money transfer portal for non-resident Indians (NRIs) by AC Nielsen, celebrates half a million satisfied customers and ten years in the business in 2011. To mark this milestone, The Times Group is organizing the first-ever The Light of India Awards ceremony at New York Citys iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 22, 2011 to recognize exemplary achievement by the non-resident Indians in the fields of business leadership, corporate leadership, political leadership, science and technology, journalism

Russell Peters and literature, and arts and entertainment. NRIs have always been one of the reasons for which India has been shining, says Avijit Nanda, President of TimesofMoney. Having catered to this community with our Remit2India service, it is only logical for us to create a platform to recognize these shining lights. What is even more unique is that for the first time this community is being recognized by a combination of a distinguished Jury and, most importantly, by the very members of this community the NRIs. We are extremely delighted to

Swati Dandekar be a part of this commendable endeavour says Anil Kumar Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director Amrapali Group. Its great to see Indians succeeding across the globe and getting recognized through this initiative. It also fits in perfectly with our philosophy of Developing India, as NRIs are key contributors to our nations success & development. Based on a unique rating system, an esteemed panel of jury members will select one nominee who becomes the proud recipient of Jury Award. ALL the nominees below will be listed on the events web site (www.lightofindi-

Naveen Jain, where Indians from all over the world will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite nominee in each category. The nominee with the highest number of votes will be the recipient of The Peoples Choice Award (technically, there could be two different people awarded in each category, given this system). Some of the nominees are: Recognition in Corporate Leadership: Ajay Banga, Arun Sarin, Dinesh Keskar, Francisco D'Souza and Vikram Pandit. Recognition in Business Leadership: Vinod Khosla, Naveen Jain, Mukesh Majmudar and

Ajay Banga Promod Sharma Recognition in Political Leadership: Bobby Jindal, Swati Dandekar, Dr. Ruby Dhalla and Ameya Pawar. Recognition in Science & Technology: Vivek Kundra, Vinod Dham, Narasimha Chari and Shiladitya Sengupta. Recognition in Journalism & Literature: Jhumpa Lahiri, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, M G Vassanji and Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni Recognition in Arts & Entertainment: Sunil Nayar, Mira Nair, Russell Peters, Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Intimate life stories in Langsteihs dramatic artworks at Agora gallery

New York, NY: Chelseas Agora Gallery will feature Indian artist, Careen Joplin Langstieh, in Sensorial Realms. The exhibition is scheduled to run from May 12, 2011 through June 1, 2011 (opening reception: Thursday, May 12, 2011). Langstieh is inspired by her culture and her works tell the story of about the Khasi people, our culture and way of life. Her paintings, full of rich textures, atmospheric hues and evocative gestures, tell immense, moving stories through brief glimpses of everyday life. Her intimate visions are firmly rooted in the public and private activities of the Khasi people in North-Eastern India, where Langstieh has lived all her life. She has a sharp eye for traditional details, from clothes to furniture, but renders them in a confidently modern style. Her dramatic acrylic compositions strive to bring the Khasi into dialog with the rest of the world. She conveys the matrilineal societys domestic and communal activities through women and childrens daily rituals, but in doing underlines the populations vulnerability. Like many of the Indian painters she admires, including Amrita Shergill and Jogen Choudary, Langstieh portrays subjects steeped in time-honored custom with a spectacularly contemporary aesthetic. Many of her expressionistic paintings are radically ruptured, with areas of the canvas becoming abstract or sprouting smaller frames within the larger composition. Her paintings burst with stories demanding to be told.

Himanshu Shah is Acting Mayor of Old Bridge

New Jersey: Himanshu Shah, the director of finance and chief financial officer for the Township of Old Bridge, N.J., is temporarily taking over as mayor. Incumbent Democratic Mayor James Phillips announced April 11 that he is resigning due to health reasons. The resignation goes into effect April 25, about eight months before his second term ends. Shah has been officiating as acting mayor since at least Feb.1, as and when Phillips has been seeking treatment. "I regret that due to medical conditions that require my attention, I am unable to fulfill by responsibilities," Phillips said in a statement. Philips has a pacemaker, and is being treated for diabetes-related illnesses, The Star-Ledger reported. After April 25, township council President G. Kevin Caogera will serve as mayor, as the statute requires. In keeping with the statute, Phillips will suggest three names as his replacement, and council members would then select one to serve as mayor until Dec. 31. The mayor's post is up for election in November, and the winner of that election will take over Jan. 1.

Fusion charity concert by W W Philharmonic

Princeton, NJ: W Windsor Philharmonic presents East/West Fusion Music Night, a charity concert for Prayer Meeting for World Peace & Prosperity and Encourage Friendship & Tolerance with Samir Date, Deepali of Mystical Bollywood and W Windsor Orchestra.WW Philharmonic is a place for young and mature artists to showcase their talents. Admission is free. All are welcomed. Donations to support this unique Peoples Philharmonic are greatly appreciated. The concert will take place from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on April 16th 2011 at WW-P High School North Auditorium 90 Grovers Mill Road, Plainsboro NJ 08536. For more information, please call Rajyalaxmi at 609-936-0263 or

An estimated 800 people attended the first Varli Food Festival, an Indian Culinary & Chef Showcase in New York City on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at the prestigious Altman Building in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan. World renowned celebrity chefs that participated are Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna, Jehangir Mehta (former, runner up on the Next Iron Chef) Hemant Mathur, Floyd Cardoz , Suvir Saran, Prasad Chirnomula, Hari Nayak, Maneet Chauhan (former, contestant on The Next Iron Chef), Walter DRozario, Mel Oza, and Peter Beck. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of Master Chef India and Radhicka Agarwaal, runner up of Master Chef India both flew in from India to be a part of the event.

$1 million check from India to UN Women

United Nations: Ambassador H S Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the UN handed over a cheque of US$ 1 million towards Government of Indias contribution to the core voluntary budget of UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) for the year 2011. The cheque was received on behalf of UN Women by H.E. Dr Michele Bachelet, Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women. Indias contribution demonstrates its firm support to the promotion of UN efforts in the field of gender equality and the empowerment of women. India is currently one of the members of the Executive Board of the UN Women.

Tristate Community

April 16-22, 2011

Rajat Gupta asks US judge to hear his suit

New York: Rajat Gupta, former IndianAmerican director of Goldman Sachs Group accused of giving inside information to hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam, has asked a federal judge hear his lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). "Gupta is the only Galleon-related defendant faced with the denial of the right to a jury and important procedural protections available only in federal court," Gupta's lawyer, Gary Naftalis, said in papers filed in the court of US District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York. Asking Rakoff to reject the US regulator's bid to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, he noted that at least two dozen Galleon hedge fund-related individuals or businesses have been sued by the SEC as part of the Galleon investigation which are all pending in federal court in New York. "The commission took the unprecedented step of instituting an administrative proceeding for civil penalties alleging insider trading against a non-regulated person," Naftalis said. "The impact of this 'first use' is to single out Mr. Gupta as the only Galleon-related defendant being pursued by the commission administratively." The SEC, in an administrative proceeding filed March 1 in Washington, accuses Gupta of giving information to Galleon Group co-

MassMutual Scholars Program enters 3rd year of helping multicultural college students reach education goals
Company opens scholarship to all majors
Springfield, Mass.: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) will offer $5,000 college scholarships to high-achieving students for its third straight year. The companys annual MassMutual Scholars Program offers a total of $135,000 to college students of AfricanAmerican/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander or Hispanic descent residing or going to school in nine metropolitan areas across the country. The MassMutual Scholars program provides financial support and guidance to deserving students striving to obtain a college degree, said Nick Fyntrilakis, Assistant Vice President, of Community Responsibility at MassMutual. We are very proud that in these tough economic times we are able to help students from diverse backgrounds achieve their dreams. This year, MassMutual will open the scholarship program to students of all majors, increasing access to the scholarship opportunity. Applicants must reside or attend college in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, Central New Jersey, Chicago, and Miami, meet certain academic criteria, such as having a 3.0 or better GPA, express an interest in careers in the insurance and financial services industry, and demonstrate financial need. The program also has internship opportunities, which will expose select recipients to careers in financial services, while helping to strengthen the companys emphasis on serving diverse communities. The application deadline is May 2, and winners will be notified in late summer. For more information on how to apply or to obtain an application, visit

Rajat Gupta founder Rajaratnam about Berkshire Hathaway Inc's $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. On March 18, Gupta sued the SEC in federal court in Manhattan, denying the SEC's allegations and seeking a jury trial. Gupta also asked to block the agency from pursuing its administrative claims and said the SEC's allegations occurred at least 1 1/2 years before regulators were allowed to bring such an action under the Dodd-Frank Act. Meanwhile, Rakoff himself is reported to have expressed concern about new powers vested in the SEC under financial legislation passed in July last year. "One concern I have about Dodd-Frank is that it puts more adjudication into the hands of the SEC and its administrative judges," Rakoff said in response to a question after a lecture at the Fordham University School of Law Monday night.

Cultural festival at Philadelphia zoo

Philadelphia, PA: On May 14th and 15th, the Philadelphia Zoo will host a weekend-long festival showcasing the culture of Asia. The celebration, which is the first of four cultural events called the Creatures of Culture International Series, will feature authentic Asian cuisine, activities, performances and demonstrations while educating about animals found in the Zoo that are native to Asia. Creatures of Culture: Asia is free with Zoo admission, and will run from 10am to 4pm on both

Creatures of Culture Series kicks off with a taste of the Asian culture Saturday and Sunday. Presented on Impala Plaza performances include Japanese Taiko drummers, traditional Korean dancers and authentic Indian dancers. Stations situated throughout the Plaza include activities that educate children on how they can help animals here and around the globe. At the Creatures of Culture Series, guests will experience all that the Asian culture has to offer, while viewing majestic animals. The Creatures of Culture Series connects visitors to conservation issues and shares how we can make a difference here and around the world, says Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO. It is an important series that we are thrilled to host.

Interactive educational tool for autistic individuals launched at Eden Institute

Princeton, NJ : Shanesh Colors, an interactive educational tracking and monitoring system was recently launched at Eden Institute in Princeton. The institute caters to the needs of individual with autism. Demonstrating Shanesh Colors kiosk to a small group of supporters, Nish Parikh the brain behind the software and CEO of Web Team Corporation that developed the method and the system, said, Shanesh serves the supplemental intervention requirement of teachers who need to monitor physical movements of students and deliver individualized intervention in the classroom. I believe our global patent pending method and technology is going to revolutionize the special needs education world.With three cameras mounted on it, the kiosk records users response and stores for evaluation. This method and technology maximizes results of all applied behavior activities without diminishing human touch, commented Nish highlighting the importance of one-on-one ABA intervention in a classroom setting. Individualized education is provided with the help of touch screen and animation technology. The program allows students to respond to animated characters on the screen while their responses are monitored by administrators or teachers. The reports and recorded video are accessible to experts for further analysis and improvements.

National Community

April 16-22, 2011

Indians in US back Hazare with fasts, candlelight vigils

Washington, DC: Hundreds of Indian Americans from New York to Los Angeles to Seattle kept up the tempo in support of Indian social activist Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption in India with fasts, silent marches and candlelight vigils.Over 300400 NRIs and Indian expatriates started converging on New York's iconic Times Square at noon Saturday in support of Hazare's crusade, other groups held meetings in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. It was a silent solidarity expressed for Anna under the tag of "NYC 4 Anna" at the New York rally organized by a team of volunteers who didn't know each other till the last day via Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. The group collected signatures for a petition to be submitted to the Indian government and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi through the Indian Consulate in New York Monday. The New York Indians have also formed a focus group called "NY Desis" to execute similar events and programs for social caus-

Hundreds of Indians and Indian exapts gathered Saturday at the iconic Times Square in New York to show silent solidarity with Indian social activist Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption in India. About 150 Indians gathered in Los Angeles and another 150 people gathered in Seattle, Washington. es in future. About 150 Indians gathered in Los Angeles and another 150 people gathered in Seattle, Washington to celebrate the movement with candlelight vigils and discuss about the next steps in the fight for a corruption-free India. "The success of Anna Hazare's fast is a victory for all Indians. This is the second time all Indians celebrated within a week, the first being the cricket World Cup championship," Sasidhar Kalagara, one of the organizers said. In Cerritos Regional Park in Los Angeles, California, a few people ended their one-day fast with lemon water and 'jalebis' and held a candlelight vigil, followed by a discussion about Anna Hazare's fast and the current state of corruption in India. In Seattle, Washington, Indians celebrated the victory of the civil society and efforts of Anna Hazare by singing songs with Indian TV actress Prabha Sinha leading the gathering to sing Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn "Raghupati Raghav Rajaram". After lighting candles in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Bellevue Regional Library, everyone sang the Indian national anthem and registered to volunteer for similar causes in the near future. The Los Angeles and Seattle events were put together by many associations such as Dandi March 2 team, Federation of Indian American Associations (FIAWA), Association for India's Development (AID) and Washington Telugu Samithi (WATS).

Obama names yet another Indian American to key post

Washington, DC: President Barack Obama, who already has over two dozen Indian Americans serving in top jobs in his administration, has named yet another, Anuj Chang Desai, to a key administration position. Desai, a lawyer and a Chinese studies expert, will join as Member, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. Desai, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School, is the sixth Indian American to be named to a top administration job this year alone. Obama has more Indian Americans serving in high places than any other previous US administration. Desai has also taught as a Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Centre for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China, the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, and the National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Lady Gaga comes up with Bollywood remix of hit single Born This Way
New York: On April 11, Lady Gaga released a Bollywoodinspired remix of her hit single Born This Way, produced by top Bollywood producers Salim and Sulaiman, in conjunction with fusion media company Desi Hits. This release marks the beginning of Gagas strategic foray into the Indian market. The remix, which authentically captures the signature Bollywood sound, delivers an energetic contemporary track featuring a sitar intro, dhol beats and Gagas vocals. We collaborated with Indian music producers from across the globe to show our respect and appreciation for our Desi fans and music community. We're looking forward to more Desi collaborations in the near future," said Troy Carter, CEO-Atom Factory, Lady Gagas management company. Salim and Sulaiman, are best known for incorporating western, folk, Hindustani and Sufi influences into their music. The brother duo has won more than 10 industry awards, including an Emmy, and has been sought after by some of the worlds top talent. As per Sulaiman, "When we started working on "Born This Way"

The album cover and (right) Salim-Sulaiman there was a feeling of excitement and a bit of nervousness. This was the no. 1 track in 23 countries and to remix it and give it an Indian touch to it was something that we were very conscious about. The sitar was the instrument of choice for us when it came to creating a melodic riff. Ofcourse there was the dholak and the dhol that always creates the party atmosphere and euphoria but what really rocked it all was Salim's voice to add that Indian flavor." Leaving No Desi behind, Lady Gaga will also release an urbanDesi version of the #1 selling track, targeting the UK South Asian (Desi) market. Created and produced by Culture Shock, this version of Born This Way fuses Bhangra with elements of Dubstep and features both Lomaticc and Sunny Browns vocals. Last year Culture Shock produced urban-Desi remixes for Rihanna, Sean Paul, Jay Sean and Alesha Dixon. The debut of these remixed tracks is step one, says Anjula Acharia-Bath CEO of Desi Hits, who is working closely with Gagas camp on a strategy for the South Asian market. Gaga has truly fallen in love with India, so were helping her pursue this audience to authentically connect with both the huge Diaspora and South Asia itself.

Anuj Chang Desai

He holds an AB in Mathematics from Harvard University, where he was awarded a Henry Russell Shaw Fellowship, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review.

National Community

April 16-22, 2011

IRS wants HSBC to disclose names of Indian-American depositors

Washington, DC: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service asked a California federal judge Thursday for a court order to force Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to disclose the names of wealthy IndianAmerican depositors who are suspected of tax evasion. The IRS believes that the suspects opened offshore accounts through HSBCs affiliate in India. The IRS is particularly after HSBC American clients who use the banks Non-Resident Indians services, which has served over 160,000 non-resident Indians globally by providing cross-border banking. From 2002 to September 2010, there were about 9,000 U.S. residents who held premier accounts with HSBC India or with deposits of at least $100,000. But only 1,391 declared their accounts to the IRS in 2009. The basis of the IRS in opening HSBC documents is a Jan. 26 indictment of HSBC account holder Vaibhav Dahake, whom the IRS accused of conniving with five HSBC bankers to hide NRI accounts from U.S. tax authorities. The court order is part of the IRSs widening probe into private offshore services offered by Swiss and Swiss-style banks used by rich Americans to evade taxes. Aside from HSBC, Credit Suisse and Swiss cantonal banks are under the IRS scrutiny. HSBC said in a statement that it does not condone tax evasion and promised to fully support Washingtons efforts to collect taxes from American citizens who have accounts in the bank.

Desi doctors fundraiser under scanner

Chicago: A federal grand jury has subpoenaed dozens of doctors in the Chicago area as part of a probe into a wealthy Indian-American fundraiser with ties to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, according to a media report. While the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI )) and Internal Revenue Service ( IRS )) investigation is centered on businessman and political fundraiser Raghuveer Nayak, the feds have cast a wide net, Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday citing unnamed sources. Nayak owns surgical centers in Illinois and Indiana owns and has ties to besides Blagojevich, impeached for allegedly trying to sell President Barack Obama's senate seat, and Jesse Jackson Jr , a member of US House of Representatives. Sun-Times citing sources said at least 30 doctors received grand jury subpoenas, and more than 10 of Nayak's employees have also been subpoenaed. Federal authorities are investigating whether Nayak made improper payments to the doctors in order to draw their surgeries to his centers. Nayak, a longtime friend of the Jackson political family, told investigators after Blagojevich's 2008 arrest that congressman Jackson asked him during a visit to Washington DC to approach the then-governor with a $6 million offer of campaign money in exchange for a Senate seat appointment. Blagojevich faces retrial next week regarding the alleged Senate seat sale, among other charges. Jesse Jackson Jr. has not been charged with wrongdoing and staunchly denied Nayak's allegations. Surgery centers linked to Nayak contributed more than $283,000 to Illinois politicians between 2001 and 2007, including $174,500 to impeached Blagojevich during that period, state campaign records show.

Five Indian-Americans named Truman Scholars

Houston: Five Indian-American students have been named 2011 Truman Scholars by the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation. Ishan Nath from Georgia, Anjali Bipin Thakkar from California, Veena Irene Patel from Iowa, Niharika Sanjay Jain from Louisiana and Aditya Attiguppe Ashok from New Hampshire are among 60 students from 54 American colleges and universities who will receive the award, which provides up to USD 30,000 for graduate study to students committed to careers in public service. The award is one of the US' most prestigious national fellowships, given annually to college juniors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in government, nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or other public service. They were selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of 'making a difference.' It provides them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students, who are committed to making a difference through public service. The 60 scholars were selected from among 602 candidates nominated by 264 colleges and universities.

Telugu Association of Southern California (TASC) kicked off its 40th year festivities in grand style with Ugadi celebrations on April 9,2011 at Excelsior Auditorium in Norwalk,California. It was a packed house with more than 800 people attending the Srikhara nama Ugadi celebrations.

Indian-American embezzler's online auction nets $75,000

Houston: A US federal law agency has raised about $ 75,000 from an auction of clothing, shoes and accessories seized from Indian-American executive Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva, jailed for 11 years for embezzling $ 34 million. The online auction of her ill-gotten clothing, accessories and footwear wrapped up Thursday afternoon with dozens of bids on some items and no bids on others. Top bids have been as low as $ 155 and as high as $ 7,350. The items that received the most bids were five pairs of Prada shoes with 70 bids and a top bid of $ 1,686. There were 70 bids for a lot of miscellaneous designer handbags, with the price reaching $ 5,375 about 45 minutes before the auction was to end. A lot of miscellaneous designer suits, pants, tops, dresses jackets and evening gowns had attracted no bids at the suggested first-bid level of $ 7,350. On the less-expensive end, the latest bid for three pairs of Sergio Rossi shoes was $ 255 and had attracted 11 bids. Proceeds from the auction will go to Sachdeva's former employer Koss Corp in Milwaukee as restitution for her $ 34 million embezzlement. Sachdeva, 47, was sentenced to 11 years last year for embezzling $ 34 million from Koss Corporation, where she had served as vice president of finance and secretary. Earlier, an auction of Sachdeva's ill-gotten jewelry raised about $ 1.2 million in March.The auction was only the first round with more rounds to come, as not much money was raised so far.

National Community

April 16-22, 2011

Online dating scamster gets 42 months' jail Clinton wishes 'Shubho Nobo
Washington, DC: An Indian accused of meeting women on dating websites, pretending to be a high-powered financier and then seducing them, has been sentenced to a maximum of 42 months in federal prison by a US court. Once he gained their trust, Jaitass Dhanoa, 23, also known as Jay D. Singh would steal their credit cards and their identities, prosecutors told a Philadelphia judge who sentenced him Thursday. Dhanoa has admitted he trolled internet dating sites looking for victims, especially women of Indian descent. US authorities say they know of four local victims, although there's evidence he was dating upwards of 11 American women at the same time. Dhanoa has never apologized directly to his victims. Back in January, he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of unauthorized use of an access device, eight counts of bank fraud, and one count of false representation of US citizenship. On Thursday he told the judge he was sorry and has gotten religion since he was caught a year ago. But the judge gave him the maximum, three and a half years. In addition to the prison term, Dhanoa was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and a $1,500 special assessment. A victim, as cited by ABC news told the judge: "Everything came crashing down," "It was just.... Everything that I saw that I thought was real, that I understood, was fake. And everything I saw in my future was shattered. And it really hurt me," she said.

Borsho' to Bengalis

Dahake pleads guilty to hiding Indian bank accounts

Washington, DC: An Indian-American businessman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with five HSBC bankers to keep his Indian accounts 'below the radar' to evade taxes in the United States. Vaibhav Dahake, 44, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, Monday to one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Dahake, who became a naturalized US citizen in 2006, faces up to five years in prison, but a plea deal outlines a federal prison sentence ranging from 10 to 18 months, restitution and other penalties. The judge will have the final say at sentencing, scheduled for July 22. Dahake admitted that from 2001 through 2010 he maintained undeclared bank accounts in India that he failed to report. According to a plea agreement signed by Dahake in November, the tax loss to the IRS fell between $30,000 and $80,000. Dahake's guilty plea came four days after a US judge in California gave permission to the IRS to serve a so-called John Doe summons on HSBC for information about Americans who may have banked in India to hide accounts from the IRS.

Hillary Clinton Washington, DC: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wished Bengalis across the globe a 'Happy New Year' with the traditional Bengali greeting "Shubho Nobo Borsho!" In a message to the Bengali community on the occasion of "Poila Boishakh", the Bengali New Year, Clinton said: "Shubho Nobo Borsho! As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States stands with all Bengalis everywhere as we work for a more peaceful and prosperous future." "On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the people of the United States, I send my best wishes to all Bengali-speaking people around the world as you celebrate Poila Boishakh in the coming days. I wish all Bengalis prosperity and happiness in this New Year of promise and possibility," Clinton said. Clinton said it is an opportunity to honor the rich history of Bengali culture with music, drama and traditional foods. She believed Bengali artists, scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs have positively influenced American culture. "Bengali-Americans will join their fellow Bengali family and friends to celebrate the many accomplishments of the Bengali people," she added.

Mass. groups cancel Gandhi event after gay controversy

Boston: Two Massachusetts groups have canceled a jointly sponsored appearance by the author of a Mahatma Gandhi biography that's been banned in part of India, the second cancellation this month for the author. Joseph Lelyveld's "Great Soul," about Gandhi's struggle for social justice and the evolution of his social values, was banned in Gujarat in March after reviews hinted the father of the nation's independence had a homosexual relationship. Lelyveld, a Pulitzer Prize winner, said Saturday the book never alleges Gandhi was gay or bisexual. The chairman of the Indian Lelyveld to the Lexington Historical Society, said he hasn't read the book and "the author may be 100 percent correct." But Puran Dang said his group wanted to avoid any controversy for the historical society and decided to cancel the event in a decision relayed Thursday to Lelyveld's publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. Early this month, an educational organization in Santa Clara, Calif., the Foundation for Excellence, canceled an appearance by Lelyveld, also citing a desire to avoid controversy. The foundation provides scholarships for students in India.

The book Great Soul by Pulitzer Prize winning author Lelyveld has been banned in Gujarat Americans of Lexington, which was co-sponsoring a planned April 29 visit by

8 South Asians nominated for NAMIC awards

New York: At least eight South Asians are among the nominees for this year's multiethnic awards in communications, and most of them are from the NBC comedy "Outsourced." CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and actress Anisha Nagarajan, who plays the shy Madhuri on "Outsourced," lead the South Asian nominees for the National Association for Multiethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) 2011 Next Generation Leaders Awards. Additionally, "Outsourced" is nominated for best comedy, and several actors in it are nominated for their performance, making this the largest number ever of South Asians nominated for these awards which recognize diversity and ethnic presence in U.S. television, according to the NAMIC website. Gupta, chief medical correspondent for the Health, Medical & Wellness unit at CNN, is nominated in the news/informational category for his segment "Pakistan Hope Floats." Nagarajan is nominated for best performance in a comedy. Other nominees are Suleka Mathew in "Hawthorne" for best performance in a drama; and Maulik Pancholy in "30 Rock," Aziz Ansari in "Parks and Recreation," as well as Rizwan Manji, Parvesh Cheena and Sacha Dhawan, all in "Outsourced," for the best performance comedy category. Winners will be honored at the NAMIC Annual Awards Breakfast in Chicago on June 16. Founded in 1980, the organization has over 2,000 members in 16 chapters across the United State. The organization says its goal is to promote multiethnic diversity.


USA Affairs

April 16-22, 2011

Obama moots tax hikes and spending cuts to slash budget deficit
Washington: After largely staying on the sidelines during the fight over the deficit, President Obama Wednesday jumped headfirst into the fray, laying out a broad framework to reduce the federal budget gap by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. In a speech at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., he proposed what he called a "balanced approach," a mix of spending cuts and tax increases "that puts every kind of spending on the table, but [...] protects the middle class, our promise to seniors, and our investments in the future." he said. The plan contrasts with one released last week by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican point man on budget issues. Obama derided Ryan's approach as "less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America." Here's what Obama called for in his "Framework for Shared Prosperity and Shared Fiscal Responsibility": One quarter of the deficit reduction to be achieved through tax increases, with the rest to come mostly from spending cuts--a split that the president's liberal base may see as still too heavily tilted toward spending cuts * An end to the Bush tax cuts for the 2 percent of Americans making $250,000 or more Tax reform aimed at closing loopholes that favor the rich, allowing for a lowering of overall rates, as recommended by the BowlesSimpson deficit reduction commission Cuts of $770 billion by 2023 to non-security discretionary spending, another BowlesSimpson recommendation Cuts of $400 billion to "security spending"-that is, defense--by 2023 * A rejection of the Ryan budget's approach to Medicare and Medicaid, which the White House believes would unfairly shift costs to seniors and the vulnerable while undermining both programs in the long term. Instead, Obama proposed reforms to reduce the growth of health care spending (beyond those in the overhaul last year) that would save $480 billion by 2023, and at least an additional trillion in the decade following Cuts to other mandatory programs--the White House listed agricultural subsidies, the federal pension insurance system, and antifraud measures--worth $360 billion by 2023 A general effort to "strengthen Social Security for the long haul," without slashing benefits for future generations A "debt failsafe," to kick in by 2014. If longterm deficit projections aren't looking better by that time, the failsafe would trigger an acrossthe-board spending reduction (with exceptions for Social Security, low-income programs, and Medicare benefits) The creation of a committee chaired by Vice President Joe Biden and including members of both parties and houses of Congress, to begin meeting next month in order to "agree on a legislative framework for comprehensive deficit reduction"

A woman going to Yale? Reconsider

New Haven, CT: Yale, an Ivy League University, has acknowledged that the Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights was investigating a complaint filed by 16 students and recent graduates, accusing the university of violating Title IX, the federal gender-equality law, by failing to eliminate a hostile sexual environment on campus. The complaint alleges a range of acts against women, from taunts to assaults, over seven years. The Yale administration has responded swiftly, saying it had zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and announcing the creation of a university-wide committee to streamline a disciplinary process that is now handled differently at each of its schools. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. even weighed in this week; though not mentioning Yale, he urged colleges to do more to prevent sexual violence, emphasizing that no means no. In Yale dormitories and online forums, the federal investigation has been a prime topic, with many students echoing the frustrations voiced in the complaint. In interviews, some undergraduates said the administration had become bogged down in confidentiality rules and its own tortuous procedures, missing a bigger truth about the treatment of women, who make up slightly more than half of the student body. The 26-page complaint, filed on March 15, has not been made public. But a news release by some who signed it detailed what they called the universitys inadequate response to a long trend of public sexual harassment, including the chanting last fall by pledges of Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Boys pose in front of the Yale Womens Center holding sign proclaiming We love Yale sluts. The complaint also cites Yales failure to appropriately address several instances of private sexual harassment and assault, the release said. A 2010 graduate who signed the complaint Presca Ahn, a Fulbright scholar in London said in a phone interview that one of those cases involved an undergraduate who had been sexually assaulted. Ms. Ahn said that in the complaint, the student describes reporting her case to the universitys Sexual Harassment Grievance Board, which, according to Yale, offers a range of formal and informal resolution procedures; the student writes that the board discouraged her from going to the police or to Yales more punitive disciplinary board, the Executive Committee.

Congressman questions US backing for Indias UNSC bid

Washington: The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia has criticized at President Barack Obamas endorsement of Indias bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Representative Steve Chabot from Ohio, who convened a hearing on South Asia, asked Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robert O. Blake to explain why Indias voting record was not in line with that of the US. He has asked Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar the same question too earlier. One of the things that I find particularly annoying as a member of Congress and a representative of the taxpayers who send dollars over to India, Chabot said calling India an important ally to the US as well as a key trading partner, that in the UN they have a history of not being particularly in sync with where the United States is. He continued: I asked to have the most recent year available, which I think is 2009, the numbers, how they were with the US. I was informed that when the votes werent particularly big they (New Delhi) were with us 30 percent of the time, not counting consensus vote. And on important votes they were with us 11 percent of the time. And one would hope that a strategic ally, a friend of the United States would be with us a bit more than 11 percent. In his response, Blake said, This is something that weve had a long dialogue with our friends in India about. I would say that things are changing. India is now on a two-year rotation (on the Security Council), just started in January. We have made it a point on very important votes to talk to them. And I would point to things like some of the recent IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) votes over the last several years on Iran, where India has similar interests to ours in terms of ensuring that theres not going to be another nuclear-weapons state in the region. And theyve taken some very important votes with the United States and with the majority on in the IAEA Blake went ton to add that even on some of the issues like human rights, where traditionally the India has not been willing to support country-specific resolutions, there has actually been an evolution. Because one of the most important trends in India over the last 10 years is that they want to be a responsible global power, they want to help to manage the international system

India Newswire


April 16-22, 2011

Congress apology sought on martyrs' row

New Delhi: A mention of the castes of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh and Rajguru in the Congress mouthpiece Sandesh invited flak from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which sought an apology from the Congress. The Congress hit back, saying the main opposition party had no right to raise questions about martyrs as none of its leaders had taken part in the freedom movement. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that mention of caste of national heroes was an insult to them as they had sacrificed their lives rising above all narrow considerations. "This is an insult to the nation's heroes. The Congress should apologize or BJP workers will protest against this disgraceful and shameful act," Naqvi said. The March issue of Congress Sandesh describes Bhagat Singh as a freedom fighter "born in a Jat Sikh family" and Rajuguru as one "who belonged to the Deshastha Brahmin community". Congress leader Anil Shastri, who is editor of the Congress Sandesh, dismissed the BJP demand and said the magazine was meant for party workers and not for the opposition party. "This is a party magazine meant for Congress workers. Whenever necesminister (Narendra Modi) was denied visa by the US authorities for perceived human rights violations," he said. The back cover of the Congress Sandesh carries picture of a statue of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev to mark their 81st martyrdom day. The picture is accompanied by a small description of each of the three freedom fighters. It says the three martyrs were hanged in Lahore Central Jail on March 23, 1931, in the evening. "Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter born to a Jat Sikh family in Lyallpur, Punjab, which had earlier been involved in revolutionary activities against the British Raj. He is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh." "Shivaram Hari Rajguru was an Indian revolutionary from Maharashtra and belonged to the Deshastha Brahmin community. Rajguru was born in a place named Khed near Pune." "Sukhdev Thapar was born in Ludhiyana, Punjab. He was a freedom fighter who was involved with Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Rajguru in the killing of a British police officer J P Saunders in 1928 in order to take revenge for the death of veteran leader Lala Lajpat Rai due to excessive police beating."

No dilution on 26/11 attack: India

New Delhi: There was no dilution in its position that all those responsible for the Mumbai terror attack should be brought to justice expeditiously and the on-going dialogue with Pakistan will seek to address the country's terrorism-related concerns, the Indian government has said. "It is our expectation that all those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack will be brought to justice expeditiously. This position is shared by the international community at large, particularly those countries whose nationals were killed during this horrific attack," the ministry of external affairs said in New Delhi. Noting that India has embarked on a dialogue process with Pakistan with the aim of normalizing relations, the ministry said, "This dialogue will naturally seek to address our terrorismrelated concerns, particularly with respect to the Mumbai terrorist attack." This issue figured prominently in the recently concluded home secretary-level talks as also in various recent interactions with the Government of Pakistan, the official spokesperson said, adding, "Clearly, there is no dilution of our position in this regard". The remarks came in response to a question regarding the purported statement made by PakistaniAmerican terrorist Tahawwur Hussain Rana in a US Court. Rana, the PakistaniCanadian accused in the Mumbai terror case, has claimed in court documents that his "alleged illegal acts of providing material support to terrorists -- were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organization." Rana's disclosures have brought to the fore India's suspicion that the Pakistani government and the ISI had a role in the 26/11 carnage that left 166 dead.

The March issue of Congress Sandesh describes Bhagat Singh as a freedom fighter "born in a Jat Sikh family" and Rajuguru as one "who belonged to the Deshastha Brahmin community". sary, we give information to Congress workers. There is nothing wrong in giving information about martyrs. The Congress holds Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in the highest esteem," he said. Shastri said there are references even in school books about Mahatma Gandhi having been born in a Baniya family. "The BJP has no right to talk about freedom fighters. None of the BJP leaders is associated with the freedom movement," he said. Shastri accused the Sangh Parivar organizations of pursuing an agenda of divisiveness. "What happened in Gujarat in 2002. It was a matter of shame that the chief

Air India pilots told not to fly to Kabul

New Delhi: Emboldened by the DGCA's nononsense stand on flight safety issues, the pilots' union of erstwhile Indian Airlines asked its members not to operate flights to Kabul. The union, Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA), has also raised doubts over safety of operations to Kathmandu and told the airline that unless those fears are resolved, its flights to Nepal may also be affected like those to Kabul. According to ICPA, there's a daily flight to Kabul and twice daily to Kathmandu. The airline spokesperson did not respond to a query whether flights to Kabul would get affected. ICPA had opposed unsafe 'blind' landings in Goa during those times of the day when landing aids are not available due to maintenance work. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) had found this fear true and pulled up many airlines for often landing in Goa without proper landing aids. Also hardening its stance against the management, the pilots' union has taken a "safety pledge" for passengers by saying it'll operate only those aircraft that are "completely snag free". This means if an erstwhile IA (now Air India-domestic) aircraft lands with some snag in any of its big engineering base like the metros and has a night halt there, ICPA has directed pilots not to accept the aircraft next morning unless the snag has been rectified.

Radia's claim absolute lie: Pawar

New Delhi: Calling her statement an "absolutely lie", Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar rubbished corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's claim that he pursued the issue of spectrum with former communications minister A. Raja. "This is absolutely lie and foolish statement and I have no financial or any interest in this company. The person Vinod Goenka his father knows me from many years. He has set up a milk processing unit in my hometown 20 years back and that unit is going well," Pawar told a TV channel. Radia, in her statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), claimed that Pawar may be controlling controversial company DB Reality and may have pursued the issue of spectrum and license for Swan Telecom with Raja. She said Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka were key people in DB Reality and in that con-

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. text she quoted the name of Pawar. Radia, however, said she had no documentary proof or any other evidence to back her statement. Pawar said he has good family relations with the Goenka family. "I have good family relations with his father and that is why I know the second generation also very well and they are doing good service for my farmers," he said.


India Newswire

April 16-22, 2011

Peaceful elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai: In an exercise that will see a ripple effect or more on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, elections to the politically significant states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as Puducherry ended with millions voting peacefully to bring in new assemblies. While Kerala saw more than 74 percent of the 22 million electorate voting, the turnout in neighboring Tamil Nadu was also a high 75 percent of 47 million voters. Puducherry witnessed more -- 78 percent polling. With 404 combined seats in the coastal belt, this was a crucial phase for Election 2011 - the largest electoral exercise since the 2009 general elections that has already seen polls in Assam and will also include West Bengal where the six-phased polls begin April 18. For India's ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), this could be a litmus test of far reaching consequences as its key ally DMK took on the AIADMK in scape of Tamil politics, both parties claimed they would emerge victorious in the 234-member house. Tamil Nadu saw a high of 2,748 candidates, including 141 women. Former chief minister Jayalalithaa predicted a landslide win for her alliance, which includes the Communists, and a possible clear majority for her party. The AIADMK is contesting in 160 seats. Terming the DMK corrupt, she said: "There has been corruption earlier but not on this scale. Not only the 2G spectrum scam but people are also aware of scams in granite quarrying, sand mining and others." Karunanidhi, seeking election to the assembly for a record 12th time and as chief minster for the sixth time, added equally definitively: "DMK's chances are as bright as the 'rising sun' (the party's election symbol)." The party is contesting in 119 seats, leaving 63 for its ally Congress - an arrangement arrived at after considerable negotiations with both parties realizing the stakes involved. "It will be a DMK-led government. It could be a single party government or a coalition," Karunanidhi said. In neighboring Puducherry, the voter turnout was 84.13 percent. Over 810,000 voters - about 390,500 men, 419,800 women and five transgenders - decided the fate of 187 candidates. The choice in the union territory was between incumbent Congress Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam and former Congress chief minister N. Rangasamy, who now heads the All India NR Congress (AINRC). For the first time in India, NRIs got to vote. In Puducherry's Mahe district, 29 NRIs voted. And in Kerala, among the voters was Thiruvallam Bhasi, a journalist from Melbourne who had come all the way to exercise his franchise. There were 8,862 non-resident Keralites -- 8,531 males and 331 women -- registered to vote. Counting of votes for all the five assemblies will be on May 13.

Actor Rajnikanth is surrounded by mediapersons as he enters a polling booth in Chennai on April 13. Tamil Nadu. In Kerala, the Congress is confident its United Democratic Front (UDF) will oust the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The high turnout in Kerala boosted the morale of the LDF as well as the UDF competing in a state that has never returned a government to power. There were 971 candidates, including 78 women, in the fray. An upbeat Ramesh Chennithala of the Congress-led UDF said they would win 100 of the 140 seats. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, 87, was equally confident that the Left would get a renewed mandate. Rhetoric reigned in Tamil Nadu too, where Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's DMK faced a resurgent AIADMK of J. Jayalalithaa. In the complex political land-

Pranab accused of poll code violation

Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) is looking into an allegation that Congress leader and union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee violated the model code of conduct in West Bengal, a senior electoral officer said. "We have received a complaint against Mukherjee for violating the EC's model code of conduct. The allegation says he met party leaders and supporters in a circuit house in Murshidabad," state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said in a media meet organized by the Kolkata Press Club. According to EC guidelines, no political activities should be held in any government premises after the poll notification. "We have asked the district electoral officer to study the complaint in depth," said Gupta.

Vote out CPI-M: Rahul tells Bengal

Naxalbari (West Bengal): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has launched a scathing attack on the Left Front government in West Bengal, saying its leaders put their own interests first. He said it had failed to set up industry, check Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves to the crowd in unemployment or Naxalbari village on April 14. provide education. "The elections are before you. It Dinajpur and Malda. The sixseems to me the CPI-M govern- phased polls in the state go on till ment will go after 34 years," Rahul May 10. Rahul Gandhi said West Bengal Gandhi said to tumultuous applause. He was addressing his had an 80 percent school dropout first election meeting in this belt of rate. "Across India, school education is going fine. But in Bengal, Darjeeling district. "The sad thing is India is march- you have the largest dropout in ing forward, but Bengal is lagging India. Eighty percent of children behind. The way industries should drop out of school midway," he have come and employment should said. He said industrialists were willhave increased, that did not haping to go to states like pen," he said in a brief speech. He criticized the Communist Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which leads the Left Front. "This is but loathe to come to West Bengal. "Nobody wants to pump in because the state government first thinks about its organisation, its money in Bengal. So there is no leaders and then about the people progress. There is no industry, there is only of Bengal. You have seen 34 years of CPI-M rule, you know the kind unemployment," he said. Rahul Gandhi said urban employment of progress in the state," he said. Voting will be held April 18 in was 15 percent, while the figure in the 54 North Bengal constituencies the rural areas stood at 10 percent. spread across six districts - "Because of this, youths, who are Darjeeling, Jalapaiguri, the country's future, are hit the Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South hardest."

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. "The Communist Party of IndiaMarxist (CPI-M) has lodged a complaint alleging that Mukherjee held a meeting with party activists at the Beherampore circuit house in Murshidabad during his stay there Monday night," Murshidabad district election officer (district magistrate) Parwez Ahmed Siddiqui said.

Another mandate for us: Achuthanandan

Ambalapuzha (Kerala): Star campaigner of Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, expressed confidence that the people will give the government another mandate. Emerging from the polling booth here after casting his vote along with his wife and son, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) senior told reporters: "G. Sudhakaran (state minister for cooperation) will win from here. There is no doubt that across the state people will elect us again." A huge crowd was waiting outside the booth where Achuthanandan and his immediate family members were listed. The chief minister had rushed back here to cast his vote in the morning from the Malampuzha constituency in Palakkad where he is contesting. An hour before the voting ended at 5 p.m., the turnout appeared to be impressive and was expected to cross the all-time high of 72.27 percent recorded in the 2006 assembly polls.



April 16-22, 2011

Hazare Movement: For the (re)public

By Sagarika Ghose he Anna Hazare movement crept up unnoticed, pounced suddenly and unexpectedly seized a country by the throat. Within hours of Hazare announcing his fast, the news, disseminated by 24-hour media, had spread to every city, small town and village. A media event rapidly became a public one. Hundreds heard, pushed back their chairs and charpoys and walked. They walked with candles, they marched to streetside venues. Forty thousand 'liked' Hazare's 'India Against Corruption' page on Facebook. There were protests in 400 locations across the world. Seven lakh people expressed solidarity with Hazare by giving a missed call. The crowds were peaceful, wellbehaved and not a single violent incident was reported. At Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the atmosphere was low key and respectable. No goons. Instead, the new knowledge economy middle class turned up: geeks, students, doctors, litigants who had battled an uncaring state for decades. They came to sit with an elderly man from Maharashtra whose name they may never have heard before but who, they had heard, was willing to die for them. The movement for the Jan Lok Pal Bill has been criticized. A fast unto death in many ways is undemocratic and sets a precedent of blackmail. There is an authoritarian undertone to a group of unelected civil society members seeking to make law. The movement betrayed glimpses of a disrespect to all democratic

Actors Dia Mirza, Urmila Matondkar and Shabana Azmi support Anna Hazare Movement at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. institutions like Parliament and seemed to place its hopes on a dictatorial super hero like the Lok Pal with absolute powers. When powers of judge, jury and executioner are all vested in a single entity, its possible that entity could become an instrument of evil. All these reservations must be taken on board by the committee which will draft the Jan Lok Pal Bill. Our elected representatives are the heartbeat of our republic and if we place them in jeopardy, we will become yet another high-growth authoritarian country like our neighbors in south east Asia. The 'sab neta chor hai' mentality is dangerous. A country that hates its elected politicians soon begins to hate democracy itself. But those who criticize the Anna Hazare movement as being anti-politician and thus anti- democratic must also answer the question: is Indian democratic politics still democratic? Or is democratic politics now a gigantic multi-crore syndicate in which hereditary

bosses control paid vote-banks to repeatedly return to power? According to a study, the total amount spent in 2009 elections was R10,000 crore. The Hazare movement did not became a wildfire phenomenon because of the media. It became a phenomenon precisely because of the helplessness that people feel about politics becoming impervious to public concerns. The Hazare movement is a wake-up call for Indian politicians. Yes, there is a citizenry out there that feels helpless and anguished that big money and big power are charting the nation's destiny according to their needs. Yes, there is a citizenry out there that feels betrayed that politicians are handing

over their legacies not to the country but to their sons and daughters. Yes, there is a citizenry out there that feels agitated when an aloof and elitist government does not talk to them as equal stakeholders. Hazare's movement must not be seen as just a movement against corruption; its also a movement against the kind of 'democracy' we are becoming. A fast unto death has gatecrashed the political cocktail party. In a patchy subliminal way, the word 'public' has been reinserted into the Republic. (Sagarika Ghose is deputy editor, CNNIBN. The views expressed by the author are personal)

Anna hits at politicians

Ahmednagar: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has charged "political and criminal forces" of trying to dilute the nationwide movement against graft by defaming and criticizing the campaign for a comprehensive Lokpal Bill. "Some political and criminal forces are afraid of recent awakening and huge support of the common man to the Jan Lokpal Bill. They are trying to create confusion and defame the movement to political leaders, the social activist said that he never said that all politicians in India are corrupt. "There are very few exceptions at all levels. But those exceptions can be honored only if they too raise their voice against known corruption in their close circles. Keeping mum on issues related to corruption is also silent support to corruption and such leaders who fall in that category are actually of no use for nation," he said.

Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi last week. defuse the emerging people's movement for curbing corruption," Hazare was quoted as saying. On criticism for reported remarks against


Op Ed

April 16-22, 2011

Leftism in the lurch

By Sumit Mitra

est Bengal is a Work in Progress. Or that's what it appears like from the unnished yovers, the roads proposed to be widened, the airports waiting to be built and the new schools, colleges, universities and hospitals for which foundation stones were being laid till the moment the Election Commiss ion banned the distribution of such promissory tablets. Indira Gandhi had 'gifted' Calcutta (not yet renamed Kolkata then) the Metro Rail in the early 70s. While the work crawled on, she lost power and grabbed it back and got killed, and the CPI(M) overran Writers' Buildings for eternity, as it were. Kolkata Metro at last became functional in 1984. But, since then, it covers only 25 km against Delhi's 200 km - and that too in one direction, from north to south. Tardiness is Bengal's hallmark.

The election manifesto of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has promised the moon, all in either the first 200 or 1,000 days.

In Delhi, for every cup of coffee drunk at the caf of the India International Centre (IIC), there are a dozen bitchy remarks passed on who made the millions, and how, by looting the treasury in the name of the Commonwealth Games. But nobody notices that the city is wearing a new look in just about a year. It's so unlike Bengal, which has less corruption than Delhi, maybe, but absolutely no progress.

What is it that jams the brake so painfully on every project in Bengal? Is it because the state is too full of leftists? That's doubtful. IIC itself has perhaps more leftists per square meter than today's College Street Coffee House, if leftism in a general sense means the caption you wear on your T-shirt - from saving the Narmada to condemning the allied forces for bombing Libya. In Delhi, Mumbai or Ben-

galuru, to be a leftist is an identity issue - like being male or vegetarian. In Bengal, it's a licence. It's a proclamation of one's right to get paid without work, and to collectively defy the law, if it dares stand in the way of the beautiful community free lunch. Being a leftist in Kolkata is one's meal ticket. Left ideology still has many takers in all geographies, as it pampers the rebellious spirit, which is inherent in most individuals. However, when leftists come to power, they cease to be romantics. On the contrary, they run the state like a dictator. The election manifesto of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, for which the deck appears to be stacked, has promised the moon, all in either the rst 200 or 1,000 days. It is written like an IPO road-show literature, with its supposed author being a chamber-of-commerce executive. It does not talk at all about what it will do with the heavy carcass of 'leftism', which sym-

bolizes nothing but a profound disregard of authority. Mamata has given the rst sign that Bengal might exorcise leftism at last by saying that she is thinking of introducing a legislative council, 42 years after its abolition in the state. A bicameral legislature, bi-partisanism in all affairs of the state, all-parties consultation on major policy issues, the government treating the leader of the opposition as an esteemed colleague - these are marks of a democracy coming of age by accepting consensus, and not numbers, as its guiding principle. Lenin called his faction Bolshevik as it managed to get majority in the Russian Social Democratic Party in 1903, the word being derived from the Russian word bolshinstvo, meaning majority. It is a mistake from the past that cries for correction. (Sumit Mitra is a Kolkatabased writer. The views expressed by the author are personal.)

A mass movement
By Sitaram Yechury

he census operations in India, probably the largest such exercise anywhere in the world, have an immense importance in our history as well as in our contemporary lives. Census data has been central in formulating population policy. Consequently, to ensure the southern states that were more efcient in implementing the population policy do not lose out as against those states that weren't as efcient in terms of their representation in Parliament, the Constitution had to be amended to freeze the number of seats in the Lok Sabha till 2026. Census data, however, also had the potential to be used to strengthen the process of political unication of modern India or to feed the disruptive tendencies that British colonialism so perfectly used for their divide-and-rule policies. During the transition towards inde-

In order to win the battle of realizing this modern idea of India, we need to immediately set right the policies that perpetuate the creation of two Indias - the privileged and the dispossessed in India. pendence, the census operations, pregnant with the possibility of Partition, assumed passionate expressions of strife. Given such potential for conict, the issue of caste-enumeration in the census had become a contentious issue in last year's parliamentary proceedings. Having amended the Constitution to grant reservation and other benets to the other backward classes (OBCs), it had become important to quantify the numbers that are entitled to such benets. While the Mandal Commission did so many years ago, the current status is very opaque. It would be, therefore,

necessary to arrive at some scientic assessment on this score. The census enumeration however, is based on voluntary disclosure of information. It thus lacks a scientic methodology to authenticate an individual's claim. So the Left has suggested that the estimations of the OBCs must be based on a scientic evaluation and not on voluntary disclosures. This could have been done through surveys conducted by constitutional entities than through voluntary census enumeration. But the UPA 2 government, under the by-now familiar 'coalition compulsions', decided to conduct a caste enumeration as a part of the Census 2011 operations conducted between June and September 2011. While one can't have an ostrich mentality and ignore the powerful caste reality and consequent social oppression, such an enumeration should not be allowed to become yet another cause of tension. In this

context, quite apart from the existing reality of anachronistic khap panchayats, the census data revealed the most disturbing reality of continuing gender discrimination. The child-sex ratio fell to the lowest level since independence: 914 females to 1,000 males. This atrocious, bordering on criminal, antipathy to the girl-child reects the age-old hierarchical attitudes. What is worse is that the data shows that this phenomenon is most acutely manifested in what are considered as the most economically developed parts of the country. In order to win this battle of realizing this modern idea of India, we need to immediately set right the policies that perpetuate the creation of two Indias - the privileged and the dispossessed in India. (Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP. The views expressed by the author are personal.)

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



April 16-22, 2011

Samin K. Sharma, MD, is a leading cardiologist holding the American record for the highest number of complex coronary interventions performed annually, along with the highest angioplasty success rate in New York State. He has also had the honor of performing angiography on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a former New York Governor, and angioplasty on Pakistan President Asif Zardari. Dr Sharma will be bestowed the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor 2011 on May 7.

Eminent cardiologist to receive Ellis Island Medal

amin K. Sharma, MD, one of the 2011 Ellis Island Medal honorees, is the Director of Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Zena and Michael A Wiener Cardio-vascular Institute, at the famous Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr Sharma performs over 1500 complex coronary interventions annually (the highest in the country) while achieving an extremely low complication rate. According to New York State Department of Health reports, he has the highest angioplasty success rate (lowest mortality <0.1%) for an interventional cardiologist in the state since 1994. Under Dr. Sharmas leadership, Mount Sinai Hosptial has become one of the best and busiest centers in New York, providing excellent care for all types of simple and complex high-risk heart patients. In addition to coronary interventions, Dr. Sharma specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of mitral and aortic stenosis (balloon valvuloplasty). Dr Sharma serves on the Cardiac Advisory Board of the New York State for coronary interventions that advises the health department and the Governor on issues of health policies and supervision, safety and appropriateness of the heart care by various hospitals in New York. Recently Dr. Sharma received the Governors Award of Excellence (2006) for his outstanding contributions to Medicine. Dr. Sharma also has a passion

for teaching and Fellows enjoy learning from his expertise, so much so he was awarded the Simon Dack best teacher in cardiology division in 2000. Dr. Sharma travels to India 4-6 times a year to teach the art of angioplasty to cardiologists there. He is the vice-president of the Rajasthan Development Foundation and has been donating medical equipment worth Rs 1 lakh every month for the last five years to the Chief Minister relief fund to help Rajasthans people in need. Dr Sharma has been the recipient of numerous community awards such as the Rajasthan Gaurav from Sanskriti, a body in Rajasthan, and the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Award. Dr. Sharma is widely published on technical topics relating to his speciality. He is finding ways to reduce complications of coronary intervention by the use of betablockers, etc. A regular fixture on international, national, local TV stations, newspapers and magazines, Dr. Sharma has been the focus of news stories for outlets like The Today Show, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, India Abroad and India Today. He has received Best Doctors status by US News and World Report Dr. Sharma, a gold medalist from SMS Medical College, Jaipur, came to the US in 1983. He did his residency in Internal Medicine at the NY InfirmaryBeekman Downtown Hospital, fellowship in Cardiology at Elmhurst Hospital and interventional training at Mount Sinai Hospital (1988-1990).

Our heart hospital in Jaipur will be ready this year

By Parveen Chopra Dr Samin K. Sharma told the SATimes that he was nominated for the Ellis Island Medal last year, but had to wait another year. The prestigious medal is only awarded to native-born and naturalized US citizens from diverse ethnic backgrounds whose influence and achievements inspire and touch the lives of people everywhere. Jaipur born Dr Sharma became naturalized only last November and is now a proud recipient of the award that celebrates the immigration experience and gets into the Congressional Record. Dr Sharma is rightfully being recognized because under his directorship the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Mt Sinai has become the best and busiest in the country, handling procedures twice or thrice more than the comparable facilities like Mayo Clinic. Dr Sharma has also been adjudged Best Angioplasty Doctor by the New York Department of Health 13 times in the last 15 years. But his proudest moments came when he had the honor of performing angiography on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (performed jointly with Dr Ramakant Panda of Mumbai at AIIMS in New Delhi, but the PM had heavy blockages and opted for open heart surgery), a former New York Governor (he did not need angioplasty), and angioplasty on Pakistan President Asif Zardari. Dr Sharma is now building a 200-bed hospital called Eternal Heart Care and Resource Center in Jaipur. Built at a cost of Rs 95 crore, it will have state-of-art facilities and will open around Diwali later this year. His wife has been camping in India looking after the project. Dr Sharma lives in Scarsdale, NY and is blessed with two children, Ritu, 25, who is doing MBA in Hospital Administration, and Raman, 23, who is a 2nd year medical student at Mt Sinai and plans to follow in his fathers footsteps, specializing in cardiology. The Indian community in the US has recognized Dr Sharmas contributions. He was honored last year by the Association of Indians in America (AIA-National Chapter). He is associated with American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and took part in the 4th Indo-US Healthcare Summit organized by AAPI and Rajasthan Government in Jaipur earlier this year.

Dr Samin Sharma with his wife Manju Sharma, daughter Ritu, and son Raman.

Dr Samin Sharma received the Governors Award of Excellence in 2006 from Gov Pataki for his contributions to medicine

Dr Sharma has been adjudged Best Angioplasty Doctor by the New York Department of Health 13 times in the last 15 years.

Dr Sharma was given the Sushruta and Charaka Award by the Association of Indians in America last year.


Ultimate Bollywood

April 16-22, 2011

Abhishek top Bollywood brand endorser

Chicks Love a Vegetarian!

ollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, who was voted Bollywood's sexiest vegetarian by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), will be seen urging people to turn vegetarian in a new ad of the animal rights group. In the new ad titled "Chicks Love a Vegetarian", a casually dressed Shahid is seen with two downy yellow chicks perched on his body, extolling the benefits of a plantbased diet. The ad is shot by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar "I love chicks... pigs, cows, fish, and all the other animals too. That's why I turned vegetarian," said Shahid. "I am very happy being a vegetarian and I believe that it is the best way to be. The day I started believ-

Shahid Kapoor. ing in the fact that I would want not to kill animals for my taste buds, that is the day everything changed for me," he added.

Abhishek Bachchan has taken the 'Get Idea' campaign to an all new level. uess which Bollywood cent share of ad volume, out of actor is the most visible the 41.5 percent film actors face in the advertising hogged on the endorsement cirspace? No 'idea'? Well, it's cuit today. "Abhishek Bachchan has taken Abhishek Bachchan, who hogs the limelight among his film the 'Get Idea' campaign to an all world peers, according to a study. new level. He makes you really sit AdEx India, a division of TAM up and take notice - the intelligent Media Research, recently con- ad needed an intelligent face and ducted a study on celebrity brand that's exactly what he brings to endorsements for the period of the table," a statement said, quotJanuary-December 2010 and ing a marketing expert. Idea Cellular grabbed the top found that Abhishek topped the list in the male star category. spot recently in the Mint Synovate The list was compiled by taking TVAdIndx survey. The ads featurinto account figures based on ad ing Abhishek dominated TV volumes (seconds), and advertis- advertising in January, shrugging ing featuring celebrities from off competition from food and Hindi films and TV industry, as beverage companies and a mobile well as sports personalities. handset maker to lead the ad reach The report concludes that index, a measure of awareness Abhishek alone covered 4.7 per- and brand recall.

I am not part of 'Dostana 2': Priyanka

Priyanka Chopra in Dostana.

ctress Priyanka Chopra has shot down reports that she will be starring in the sequel to 2008 hit "Dostana". "I was never doing dostana two..hello..reason bein my love story ends in the first where is the question. this was cleared some 2 years ago," Priyanka wrote on microblogging site Twitter. Directed by Tarun Mansukhani and produced by Karan Johar, the 2008 film starred Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Bobby Deol. There were also reports that Priyanka was likely to do a comeo appearance in the film and Katrina Kaif might play the lead. "And whn it comes to a special appearance or something thats a much later call. once and for all (sic)," she added.

Thank You The tale of three skirt-chasers

ow to the wow. Men, we are told, are dogs. They cheat on their wives. And have themselves the time of their lives. And the wives, poor creatures, are so devoted to their spouses they observe the Karva Chauth for their pati-devils even when they have no reason to do so. Such devotion in show motion. "Thank You" is a kind of backhanded ode to the classic Indian wife we grew up watching in the films where the resplendent Nutan would sing "Tumhi mere mandir tumhi mere pooja" to her smug husband. Times have changed. But mores and marital values have only shifted location. Inexplicably "Thank You" is shot in Canada. Caucasian girls steeped in a slutty splendor, fill up the fringes of the saturated frames. Blonde salad-dressing apart, the message at the heart of "Thank You" remains as desi as the Punjabi accent that Akshay Kumar doesn't even try to conceal. Since this is a film about the perils of skirtchasing there are plenty of women of all shapes and sizes in skirts (including Sonam Kapoor whose dress code defies all analysis) and other designer clothes. For that talented

A still from 'Thank You'. writer Anees Bazmi the theme of infidelity in "Thank You" is familiar territory. In the past he has done jokey takes on men who can't keep their libido down with varying degrees of humor. A certain higher level of intelligence is perceptible in the way the characters are put out for scrutiny in the light of their unfaithful characters. Irrfan Khan as the sarcastic bully of a husband scores the highest marks in the acting department. His wry

caustic responses to semi-petrified wife Rimi Sen make a mocking mark mainly for the way the lines are written and delivered. Irrfan is priceless in projecting parody. Rimi Sen, an underrated actress, provides Irrfan valuable support. Akshay Kumar plays the pied piper of the libido. He tries to teach the three womanizers how to check their carnal instincts. While his comic timing remains sharp and spot-on it is the way he tries to create an aura of suspense about his character's motives as a man on a mission, that provides a cutting edge to the tale of three skirt-chasers. Remarkably the dialogues remain free of innuendos. Surprising, considering how lurid films about infidelity have gotten in the past. The proceedings adhere to a sense of fun without getting cheesy. Suneil Shetty's body language and comic timing in some sequences show his coming of age as an actor of mirthful value. As far as masala comedies go, "Thank You" gets by on the strength of some smart writing, sassy dialogues and of course a handful of performers who try to balance out the lackluster performances of other actors who, lethally for a comedy, just don't get it.

Ultimate Bollywood


April 16-22, 2011

Ranbir to revive RK films

anbir Kapoor looks all set to revive his prestigious family banner RK Films. The production house set up by Ranbir's legendary actor-filmmaker grandfather Raj Kapoor in 1948 has been out of action for 12 years now and latest reports suggest the Gen-Now superstar is planning to launch a new film under the banner. According to sources, Ranbir's dad, Rishi Kapoor, and uncles, Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor, want to let Ranbir take the decisions on reviving the banner. "The brothers want to pass on the RK legacy to Ranbir and let him chalk out plans to kickstart a new home production. Ranbir is a mature guy who has revealed a flair for choosing the right scripts and projects so far and they have the confidence that he can take the right decisions to revamp the banner. A proper announcement

Raj Kapoors sons Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv Kapoor want to let Ranbir take the decisions on reviving the RK Films banner. will probably be made in the second half of the year," said a close source. "After Aa Ab Laut Chalen in 1999, Raj ji's sonsRandhir, Rishi and Rajiv-had mulled over the idea of produc-

ing a new film under the banner several times but nothing came out of it. The production house has remained all but shut for over a decade now, but things could change with Ranbir revealing genuine interest in reviving it," said a source. A few years ago, reports were rife that RK Films would be relaunched with a film starring Kareena Kapoor in a central role but the project had to be shelved owing to the actress's packed date diary. "Kareena has been bagging one big project after the other over the past few years. Relaunch of the RK banner would need a special script and lots of preparation. So, the film kept getting postponed," said the source. Raj Kapoor's last film as a director-producer was the blockbuster Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985. He passed away three years later.

Hrithik & gang copy 'Lords of Dogtown'

o Bollywood has been borrowing ideas from Hollywood for years now. The latest to find their muse in the West is actorproducer Farhan Akhtar, co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani and director Zoya Akhtar. The poster of the trios soon-to-release movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD), appears to be a direct lift of that of the 2005 movie, Lords Of Dogtown. Interestingly, a woman, Catherine Hardwicke, called the shots on the English film that is a fictionalized take on a group of young skateboarders raised on the mean streets of Dogtown in Santa Monica, California. The Z-Boys perfect their skateboarding skills in empty swimming pools of unsuspecting suburban homeowners, pioneering a

Mumbais Ankita Joshi painted Salman Khan as Dabanggs Chulbul Pandey. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara versus Lords Of Dogtown. thrilling new sport that eventually turns them into American legends. Zoyas film, we are told, is about friends --- Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar who go on a road trip through Spain. Lets hope the coincidences between the two films end here.

Fan paints Salman in zero gravity

Hrithik's on a fan's back!

Hrithik Roshan fan wanted to prove his love for his idol by making something permanent -- so he flew into Mumbai from Delhi just to have the actor's face tattooed on his back. This impromptu trip by Sachin Bhatnagar, who works in a private firm, was a complete surprise to his unsuspecting wife Rekha. Bhatnagar got the tattoo done in the afternoon and then flew back to Delhi the same night. "Initially, he wasn't taking off his shirt in front of his wife for a few days," a source revealed. "But how long could he hide it? When she finally saw the tattoo, his back was swollen and red. Hrithik's picture staring in front of her eyes added to her shock. Now she is okay," the source added. Bhatnagar said: "Yes, Rekha is okay now. In fact, she even applies the cream, which I need to put on the tattoo." When asked if Rekha shares the same passion for Hrithik, he said: "Yes. She likes him because I like

Hrithik Roshan's face tattooed on the back of Sachin Bhatnagar. him. I have seen all his films several times." "I wanted to be a part of the dance show Hrithik is judging (Just Dance). I went to Mumbai for that too, but nothing happened. Frankly, I was expelled in the preliminary audition stage itself," he added.

27-year-old girl from Mumbai, Ankita Joshi, has painted `Dabangg' actor Salman Khan in a zero gravity flight. Ankita is the first woman in the world to paint under zero gravity conditions, and being a big fan of the actor's, she chose Salman, to start with. "I am a huge fan of Salman Khan...he is my favorite and I loved his film Dabangg. He has a great personality. I wanted to start with him," she said. She painted Salman -- as Chulbul Pandey -- within two eight-second trajectories above Florida, USA, on March 27. Ankita plans to gift the painting to the actor. She flew in a Rockwell Commander aircraft along with a doctor, under the supervision of

space agency NASA. The aircraft nosedived to create zero-gravity conditions for about four minutes, when she painted. "I was able to experience the void of gravity, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. I painted series of canvases," she said. Prior to the flight, she underwent training with an ex-NASA astronaut, Greg Claxton. Painting in the space was not easy as everything from the canvas to the crayon was floating. "We tried to fix the canvas with rods but it did not help. I was constantly banging my head on the ceiling...I remained dizzy and sick," she said. Ankita will display her zero-G paintings at the Jehangir Art Gallery here from April 21 to 27.



April 16-22, 2011

Rahul Rai and Stefanie Estes in a publicity still from When Harry Tries to Marry.

A poster of the independent feature film. New York: When Harry Tries to Marry, a new romantic comedy co-written and directed by Nayan Padrai, is opening at AMC Empire 25 and other select movie theaters in New York on April 22 and will expand to Los Angeles and other cities on May 6. The film was shot on location in lower Manhattan and Pace University in New York City and in India; it stars Rahul Rai in his film denut, Freishia Bomanbehram and Stefanie Estes. It is being distributed domestically by 108 Pics. A festival favorite, When Harry Tries to Marry marks Nayan Padrais directorial debut. It screened to audience acclaim at both the Mumbai & Austin Film Festivals in late 2010, and won Best Film (Audience Award), Best Crossover Film, and Best New Talent (Rahul Rai) at the London Asian Film Festival in March 2011. The London Asian Film Festival was founded in 1999 and is dedicated to expressing the drive and spirit of Asian independent media and cinema cultures of South Asia. The majority of the films shown are independent or arthouse cinema, as opposed to Bollywood. The original script by Ralph Stein and Nayan Padrai was a featured project at the Sundance Institute Independent Producers Conference; a top-ten finalist of the Creative Screenwriting contest, a member of the Winners Circle at the Texas Film Institute Screenplay Contest. It was also included in the High-Value category in the Empire Screenplay Contest. Both writers are alumni

Romantic comedy with fresh talent

When Harry Tries to Marry, an indie film that opens in theatres next week, marks the directorial debut of Nayan Padrai, a New Yorker.
of the Gotham Writers Workshop. When Harry Tries to Marry is a cross-cultural romantic comedy about a young Indian-born bachelor who lives in New York City. Harry is handsome and charming, but hes cynical about love. He's never really gotten over his parents' divorce -- they were a modern Indian couple who married for love and it didn't last. So to improve his odds of living happily ever after, Harry decides to have an arranged marriage, and asks his uncle back home in India to assist him in arranging the introduction to an appropriate Indian woman. To the dismay of his parents and friends, Harry finds the perfect girl and embarks on a long-distance courtship. But unexpectedly, Harry's friendship with Theresa, a fun and sexy American student, becomes confusing, appealing -- and maybe a little bit romantic. Once Harry, his friends and the entire wedding party converge in India, Harry's plan to avoid romantic risk becomes a recipe for chaos. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the passion out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to? Continued on page 19...

Stefanie Estes and Mumbai actress Freishia Bomanbehram in a scene from the film.

Rahul Rai as Harry in the Park. He won the New Talent award at the London Asian Film Festival last month.

Majella Griffin of Filmbank Distributors presents award to director Nayan Padrai, co-producer Sheetal Vyas and lead actor Rahul Rai of the festival favorite film, When Harry Tries to Marry.

Romantic comedy with fresh talent Continued from page 18 The soundtrack of mainly original, new music from the US, UK, and India includes tracks from The June Junes, Sarah Sharp, Small*Star, Andrea Perry, Craig Marshall, Ter ell Shahid, Rachel Loy, and from Indias superstar singers Shreya Goshal, Udit Narayan and Madhushree who are joined by Rishkesh Kamerkar. Integral to the making of the movie, the soundtrack matches the films distinctly indie American vibe and its intricate, vibrant Indian scenes. It features some of Austins boldest, most soulful sounds and some of the subcontinents best playback (cinema) singers and composers. The tracks share a catchy intensity perfectly tuned to the film. Music and movies go hand in hand when you come from a culture like ours, notes India-born, US-raised director Nayan Padrai. A soundtrack is about telling a story, rather than simply licensing some tracks. The soundtrack is available on Soundtrack music videos can be seen and downloaded from h t t p : / / w w w. w h e n h a r r y 108 Pics is a new distribution entity and a sister company to 108 Production, which is based in US and India. The film was produced by 108 Production, which develops original content across film and television, and produces advertising spots for brands and agencies.


April 16-22, 2011

Making the film was exhilarating

Nayan Padrai spoke to SATimes.
When Harry Tries to Marry is a light-hearted film with new talent. It is different from Bollywood, or NRI/diaspora film, because we are targeting it at the mainstream, Nayan Padrai told SATimes in the midst of hectic activity as his first directorial venture get ready for commercial release. The experience of making the film was exhilarating, Padrai says rejecting the notion that such a big project as a feature film can be full of hassles. No pain, no gain, he says. Educated and trained in screenwriting and filmmaking at the prestigious School of Visual Arts, NYC , he had promised to himself to make a feature film before he turned 35. So he left all else in 2009 to focus on his dream of making movies and managed to finish his first film within the deadline. He is now 36. The 10 years he spent earlier as Co-Founder and President of one of the largest South Asian media, entertainment and marketing conglomerates in the US, he now calls a detour. When Harry Tries to Marry, Padrai says, will

Nayan Padrai on the sets of When Harry Tries to Marry, which he directed be released in India later this year. Parts of the film were shot in Kutch, near Mandvi, the area he comes from in Gujarat. But no, the story of When Harry is not his own. He is not married. When Harry also marks the film debut for Rahul Rai, the lead actor. Rahul is from Westbury, Long Island, and Freishia Bomanbehram is a Bombay actress, says Padrai, who is now going over some scripts to decide on his next project.

Ellis Island medal Story Continued from page 1 Two other Indian Americans to receive the honor are: Manu K. Vora and Babu Rao Mandava. Three honorees this year are natives of PakistanFahim Rahim and Naeem Rahim, both doctors, and Dr. Munr Kazmir. Dr. Manu Vora, PhD, of Naperville, Illinois is Chairman and President of Business Excellence, Inc., a global quality management consulting firm. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Northern Illinois Universitys College of Business and has delivered over 250 presentations on business excellence and quality management around the world. He has also served on the board of the American Society for Quality. He holds B.S. in chemical engineering from Banaras Hindu University, India, M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago. Vora is the founding director and president of the Blind Foundation for India, which has since 1989 raised over $3.5 mil-

lion to serve over 15 million blind people in India. Babu Rao Mandava is a native of Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. He is President and CEO of Indotronix International Corporation (IIC) Poughkeepsie, NY since 1987. He is responsible for creating and executing strategies and plans to develop, organize and grow IIC into global computer software business. The company employs 500 people and generates $35 million in annual revenue. He holds a BE degree from Mysore University and ME from University of Vermont. Earlier in his career he worked for IBM Corporation and Tata Steel. Fahim Rahim, MD and Naeem Rahim, MD, are honored for their contribution in providing care for patients suffering from kidney disease, those needing dialysis, and also those who have received kidney transplants. Born in Peshawar, they moved to America to pursue an education and career in kidney care and settled in Idaho to found the Idaho Kidney Institute, today the largest such provider in Southeast Idaho. Later they opened Liberty Dialysis center in Idaho Falls to

serve rural communities. Businessman, physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Munr Kazmir had his medical education from Lahore and Rawalpindi before moving to the US. Among his various projects: in 1998 he founded Direct Meds, Inc., licensed to provide prescription medicines throughout the US. Last year he was selected as Vice-Chairman of the New Jersey Lottery Commission, where he previously served 9 years as commissioner. These South Asian Americans will join legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis and FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano at the awards ceremony. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals , and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. To date, more than 1,600 American citizens have received Ellis Island Medals of Honor. They include Generals Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell, Sen. John McCain, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Lee Iacocca, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and Walter Cronkite.

Nothwithstanding his trouble with Indian customs for carrying undisclosed foreign exchange couple of months ago, popular Paksitani Sufi singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan managed to pack the 2750-seat hall at New Jersey Performing Art Center on April 9. Photo:



April 16-22, 2011

British Bhangra Artist Indy Sagu celebrates Vaisakhi with David Cameron

Honeymoon murder: Indian origin accused held for violent outburst

London: Indian-origin businessman Shrien Dewani, accused of plotting the murder of his newly-married wife during their honeymoon, has been arrested for violent outbursts at the psychiatric clinic where he had been kept. Dewani, 31, was Monday removed from The Priory clinic by police and was taken to a secure hospital instead, after he created a "disturbance," The Sun reported. Police, however, did not say if Dewani attacked anyone or was himself attacked. But the incident is being considered as a breach of bail. Dewani is accused of hiring hitmen to shoot dead his new bride Anni, 21, during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November last year. He is fighting a procedure to extradite him for trial. The accused was sent to a psychiatric clinic in Bristol after he took an overdose of pills while on bail. His arrest and removal from the clinic was due to a "violent adverse reaction" to anti-depressants, a source said, adding: "Over the weekend he was loud and noisy. There were a number of violent outbursts. Doctors decided he'd be better catered for elsewhere." "There was no fight or argument but one female resident got in a heated discussion with him and taunted him, saying, 'You should go back to South Africa'," another source said. After his arrest he was taken to the Cygnet Hospital in Kewstoke, Somerset, described as "a tranquil and therapeutic environment to provide care and treatment for those individuals with complex mental illness." Dewani's extradition hearing is due next month.

Artist Indy Sagu London: Indy Sagu, popular British Bhangra artist met PM David Cameron at his private residence Downing Street Number 10. He was among a select number of exclusive guests who gathered for a day of meet and great and Vaisakhi celebrations. Indy Sagu states, It is a great honor and pleasure for me to have this extraordinary opportunity to personally meet with David Cameron and to celebrate Vaisakhi at his home.

Indian Maharajah's Rolls-Royce up for sale at 850,000 pounds

London: A Rolls-Royce with gullwing doors owned by an Indian Maharajah has gone on sale for a hopping 850,000 pounds, a media report said Tuesday. The super car, with the number plate 'Cexi', was customized from a 2005 Rolls-Royce. The four-seater Phantom DC Concept was designed by its wealthy owner, the Daily Mail reported on its website. The car can reach speeds of 130 mph - over 200 km per hour. The Maharajah was not named. It is decked out in chrome, flashy red leather, walnut dashboard, DVD screens and 22-inch alloy wheels. After four years of ownership, it seems the Maharajah is ready to part ways with his extraordinary creation, the Mail said. According to sellers, based in west London, the motor has caused quite a sensation among car enthusiasts. They received 16,800 hits on their website in just one weekend after posting a picture of it. Garage owner Vaughan Davis said: "The current owner is a motor fanatic who has probably owned every single type of car ever made." "He currently has a collection of around 50 cars, including this RollsRoyce Concept, which he designed himself and had built for him. He has created something quite incredible." "It's such a unique model that we've had interest from all over the world."

Tagore anthology in Polish released

Warsaw: A Polish anthology of Nobel laureate Rabrindranath Tagore, translated from the original Bengali instead of from English, was released here by the Indian ambassador to Poland."I speak more than ten languages. In none of them can I find words to describe the genius of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, an outstanding son of India and eminent citizen of the world. His powerful writings, paintings and music have inspired generation across the globe," said Ambassador Deepak Vohra, while releasing the book Saturday. Comprising poetry, short stories, essays, paintings, letters and the famous play "Post Office", the material for the anthology was selected and translated by the Warsaw University's Bengali department, led by Elisabeth Walter, who herself was a student of Bangla language and literature at Shantiniketan. "It is amazing that the teaching staff has done such a laborious work in a such a short time.They have brought India and Poland much closer to each other than ever before and that too when we are celebrating Tagore's 150th birth anniversary. If one wants to understand India better one can select two persons, Gandhi and Tagore. If Gandhi was a political

India to open consulate in Perth

New Delhi: The cabinet Wednesday approved the opening of an Indian consulate in Perth in Australia and the creation of 12 posts there. The approval came at a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Of the 12 posts to be created in Perth, six will be for Indians, with the consul general being of the rank of a joint secretary in the external affairs ministry here, an official spokesperson said after the cabinet meeting. The other six posts will be for locals. There is the need for formal Indian diplomatic presence in Perth in view of the strategic importance of Western Australia from political, economic and defence viewpoints. It is an important location with respect to sea lanes in the Indian Ocean, the spokesperson said. "The establishment of the consulate general of India in Perth will immensely benefit the growing Indian community in Western Australia which numbers around 40,000-45,000. "This will also provide easier consular access to the people of Western Australia and Northern Territory," the spokesperson added.

66 Indians evacuated from Cote d'Ivoire

New Delhi: Amid intensifying violence in the West African nation of Cote d'Ivoire, 66 Indian nationals, including 11 women and 12 children, were Tuesday safely evacuated from Abidjan to Ghana's capital Accra, officials said. They were evacuated on a Boeing 737 aircraft chartered by India's external affairs ministry. They landed at the Kotoko International Airport, Accra at 4 p.m. (local time) (9.30 p.m. IST) Tuesday. "They were duly received by officials of the High Commission of India in Accra and rendered necessary consular and other assistance," the external affairs ministry said here. The Indian missions in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Cote d'Ivoire, and Accra arranged the evacuation in close coordination with members of the Indian community in Abidjan and other concerned authorities. In a statement, India lauded the cooperation and support received from the Ghanaian and other authorities in the course of evacuation. Last week, India's ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire Shamma Jain was "safely evacuated" from her residence, near the presidential palace due to "very heavy fighting in Abidjan".

The anthology comprises poetry, short stories, essays, paintings, letters and the famous play "Post Office" idealist, Tagore is a permanent idealist in world literature," said J.J. Singh, president of the IndoPolish Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IPCCI). The anthology was financed by the Chamber. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has written a special introduction for the anthology. The teaching of Bengali language and literature started at Warsaw University in the 1950s when Hiramon Ghoshal came to Poland, and bears credit for nurturing a number of eminent scholars like Walter, Barbara Grabowska, Bozena Sliwczynska, Weronika Rokicka and many others in the last six decades.



April 16-22, 2011

Headley to admit plotting 26/11

Toronto: Pakistani-born Canadian citizen Tahawwur Hussain Rana and his accomplice David Headley are likely to admit during their trial in the US next month that they masterminded the Mumbai terror attack at the behest of Pakistan's spy agency ISI, according to a report on April 11. The trial of Rana and Headley begins in Chicago from May 16. It was postponed in February at the request of Rana's lawyer. 'India-Pakistan tensions will likely be inflamed by a trial that's slated to begin in the United States next month: New court documents reveal that two terrorist operatives accused in the 2008 Mumbai massacre conspiracy are preparing to say they believed themselves to be working for Pakistani spies,'' according to the Globe and Mail newspaper here. was arrested Oct 3 for plotting to attack the Danish newspaper that published the controversial cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005. Investigators found that Rana was also involved in helping David Headley, whose real name is Daood Gilani, in plotting the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 which left 160 people dead. Headley had traveled to India for doing the surveillance work for the Lashkar-eToiba before the Mumbai terror attacks. As India has all along suspected that Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) had a role in the terror attack, the report said, 'Mr. Rana's trial threatens to lend an aura of credence to the suspicions of ISI complicity. According to court documents, the jury will hear the two Chicago conspirators say they believed themselves to be working for both LeT and the ISI. 'Previously secret testimony heard only by a grand jury is referred to in a decision published earlier this month.'' But Headley in his testimony to the grand jury has said, 'I also told him (Mr Rana)... how I had been asked to perform espionage work for ISI,'' says the newspaper. Having turned FBI informer to escape the death penalty, Headley will reveal the blowby-blow of the Mumbai massacre surveillance scheme when he gives evidence against Rana, says the report. Headley's testimony will reveal how he anglicized his Pakistani name, cultivated ties with LeT, videotaped sites in Mumbai, and briefed his handlers in Pakistan in the run-up to the carnage, according to the report.

David Headley is likely to admit ISI's role in the Mumbai terror attacks during his trial in the US next month. Rana, 49, who runs immigration service in Chicago with offices New York and Toronto,

Pak gives C.I.A. Use UN report for justice the Cold Shoulder in Sri Lanka
New York: The report by a panel of experts to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about laws-of-war violations in Sri Lanka should be used to pave the way for justice, Human Rights Watch has said. Ban commissioned the report in May 2010 after Colombo failed to investigate violations committed in the final months of its decades-long conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Ban's office said he will make the report public after he shares it with the Sri Lankan government. "Ban's creation of a panel of experts and his decision to make the report public show the UN has not forgotten Sri Lanka's war victims," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "In the face of two years of

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. stonewalling by the government, the public release of this report will help move justice forward in Sri Lanka."

CIA contractor Raymond Davis, center, in Lahore in January. His killing of two Pakistanis angered many people in that country. Islamabad: Pakistan has privately demanded the Central Intelligence Agency suspend drone strikes against militants on its territory, one of the U.S.'s most effective weapons against al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, officials said. Pakistan has also asked the U.S. to reduce the number of U.S. intelligence and Special Operations personnel in the country, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials. The U.S. strategy in the war in Afghanistan hinges on going after militants taking refuge in Pakistan. The breakdown in intelligence cooperation has cast a pall over U.S.-Pakistani relations, with some officials in both countries saying intelligence ties are at their lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks spurred the alliance. Beyond the Afghan battlefield, officials believe that without a robust counter-terrorism relationship with Pakistan, al Qaeda and other groups can operate with far greater impunity when planning attacks on the U.S. and Europe. The vast majority of attacks against the West in the last decade originated in Pakistan. Relations have been under heightened strain since Pakistan's arrest in January of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was jailed after killing two armed Pakistani men in Lahore on Jan. 27. Mr. Davis was released last month, but the case fueled Pakistani resentment over the presence of U.S. operatives in their country. U.S. officials have publicly sought to play down the tensions. CIA Director Leon Panetta met with the head of Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha at CIA headquarters. After the meeting, CIA spokesman George Little said the intelligence relationship "remains on solid footing."

Nepal PM expands cabinet

Kathmandu: Nepal's Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal has expanded his cabinet with an addition of 12 ministers from his own party. Khanal on April 11 inducted five ministers and seven cabinet rank ministers from his party, Communist Party of NepalUnified Marxists-Leninists (CPNUML), taking the total number of the cabinet members to 20. Those appointed include Bhanubhakta Jaishi (Forest Minister), Raghubir Mahaseth (Irrigation), Urmila Aryal (Local Development), Gokarna Bista (Energy) and Yuvraj Karki (General Administration). Newly appointed State The cabinet expansion comes at a time when the government is facing pressure for completion of the peace process and the writing of a fresh constitution. Meanwhile, one of the newlyinducted ministers, Minister for Energy Gokarna Bista was attacked with Khukuri last night by unidentified armed men near his residence. An unidentified group attacked Minister Bista as soon as he came out of his home at Gongabun in the northern Kathmandu with his supports. He was rushed to Manmohan Memorial Hospital immediately after the incident and is out of danger, according to the police.

Nepal's Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal. Ministers are Radha Gyawali, Shatrughan Mahato, Ramji Sharma, Dal Bahadur Sunwar, Dambar Sambahamphe, Bhagwati Chaudhary and Le harkyal Lama.



April 16-22, 2011

BRICS seeks peace in Middle-East

Sanya (China): Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa refrained from calling for an end to air strikes on Libya, while denouncing the use of force to end turmoil in the Arab world. Expressing deep concern over the mass unrest in Middle East, the North African and West African regions, the leaders of the world's fastest growing economies said in a statement that "the use of force should be avoided. "We maintain that the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of each nation should be respected," the BRICS grouping said. China, Russia, India and Brazil have earlier condemned the US-led air strikes on Libyan forces to end Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule. South Africa, a new entrant to the grouping, was the only BRICS country that approved a UN NATO strikes and expressed their "wish to continue our cooperation in the UN Security Council on Libya". "We are of the view that all the parties should resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue in which the UN and regional organizations should as appropriate play their role." The statement said they supported the African Union's mediating initiative to end hostilities in Libya. The five countries of the BRICS block represent over 40 percent of the world's population, and their combined GDP accounted for nearly 20 percent of the globe. The five countries coincidentally are now members of the UN Security Council with China and Russia being permanent and other three countries, including India, non-permanent members.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with other leaders during the BRICS summit in Sanya on April 14. Security Council resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Libya, leading to NATO air strikes in the North African country. But South African President Jacob Zuma called for a halt to the NATO campaign when he toured Tripoli. "We are deeply concerned with the turbulence ... and sincerely wish the countries affected achieve peace, stability, prosperity and progress and enjoy their due standing and dignity in the world, according to the legitimate aspirations of their peoples," the joint statement said. But the five countries didn't specifically call for an end to

Hosni Mubarak, sons detained

Gaddafi must go: Libyans

Gaddafi made their first high-profile diplomatic appearance at the summit. The contact group also agreed to continue to provide the rebels with "material support" - a form of words described as ambiguous by the BBC's Jon Leyne - and also to consider channeling funds to them. Earlier, delegates were told by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that more than half of Libya's population of six million might eventually require humanitarian aid. US Women walk past an anti-Gaddafi mural in the eastern port city of Benghazi. The Arabic writing on the painting reads: "The people have said their word." Tripoli: The newly formed international "contact group" on Libya has called for Muammar Gaddafi to stand down as leader. It said his continued presence threatened any resolution of the crisis in the country, and that Libyans should be allowed to determine their future. The call came in a final statement read out by Qatar's prime minister at a summit on Libya in Doha. Rebels seeking to topple Col Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken of reports of "renewed atrocities" by pro-Gaddafi forces against civilians in Misrata. She said the US condemned the "brutal attacks", and was gathering information to "ensure that those who committed these atrocities are held accountable for their actions". There was no dramatic outcome from this meeting in Qatar but it did represent a further increase in international pressure on Col Gaddafi.

Rebels ask for weapons

Rome: Libyan rebels have asked NATO to supply them with weaponry as the prospects for a rebel military victory over Muammar Gaddafi's forces are fading away, said the Italian foreign ministry. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini met with envoys from Libya's rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) in Rome on April 12. The ministry's spokesman Maurizio Massari told reporters, following the meeting, that the Libyan rebels reiterated their request to gain access to Libya's overseas financial assets frozen by a UN resolution and demanded that NATO intensify its military operations in Libya. Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi's forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound the poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.

Egyptians in Cairo's Tahrir Square cheer the news of Mubarak's detention on April 13. Cairo: Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal have been sent to a 15-day detention on charges of use of violence against protesters, power abuse and embezzlement of public funds, state media reported. Mubarak suffered a second heart attack after detention, a media report said. Egypt's Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud on April 13 ordered a detention for the former president, the official MENA news agency said. Mubarak's sons arrived at the Tora prison in southern Cairo Wednesday morning, according to Xinhua. All three face charges of use of violence against protesters, power abuse and embezzlement of public funds, MENA said. Mubarak, 82, was hospitalized on April 12 in Sharm el-Sheikh tourist resort

Japan quake toll rises to 13,392

Tokyo: The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last month has left 13,392 people dead, while 15,133 were still unaccounted for till April 13, the National Police Agency said. About 139,000 survivors were now staying in 2,300 shelters across the country, Xinhua reported. The massive quake led to three explosions and a fire at four reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, a magnitude-6.1 earthquake hit off the east coast of Honshu, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The quake, which had its epicenter some 537 km northeast of Tokyo and 190 km east of Morioka, Honshu island, occurred at 5.57 a.m. local time on April 14, with a depth of 11.2 km, Xinhua cited the USGS as stating. No tsunami warning, however, had so far been issued.

Hosni Mubarak. after suffering a heart attack during questioning by prosecutors. He had refused to eat or drink after learning that he was to be questioned by the investigators, sources said. He will be moved to a military hospital in Cairo, where he will undergo further investigation, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Heavy machinery removes tsunami devastation in Rikuzentakata city in Japan.

Nassau County


April 16-22, 2011

Promising to return the County to greatness

In his second State of the County Address, Nassau Executive Ed Mangano renewed his offer to both the Democrats and NIFA to come together in a bipartisan manner and work with him to make the tough decisions that will return this County to greatness. He added, I will not let anyone deter me from cutting government waste, growing our private sector to enhance economic development initiatives and from putting people back to work.
Bethpage, NY: Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano said the County is on the road to recovery because of the tough decisions he and the Republican legislators have made this past year and due to the badly needed reforms hes begun to implement. In his second State of the County address on April 11, Mangano said that despite a decade of higher taxes, lavish spending and little reform, recovery is happening here, in Nassau County. The County Executive also announced he would soon be holding public input sessions to talk with residents about the best way to redevelop the area around the Nassau Coliseum. Mangano spoke to a crowd of about 200 gathered at a venue he referred to as a shining star in our County - Gold Coast Studios, in his hometown of Bethpage, NY. While his 45-minute speech highlighted many accomplishments made during his term, Mangano made sure to say there was much more to be done and many more tough decisions to bring Nassau back to the thriving County it once was. For too many years, Nassau ignored its future and settled for quick fixes rather than address the real underlying problems, he said. This Band-Aid approach left our great County on life support. Mangano broke down the causes of Nassaus fiscal woes into three main areas and talked about structural reforms hes implemented in each case. * the assessment system, which resulted in $1.6 billion in debt and cost the average homeowner 10% more annually on their County tax bill; * The Countys Sewer Authority, which he discovered had a multi-million dollar deficit; and * expensive labor contracts that taxpayers cannot afford and dont allow for layoffs.. Mangano said he was proud that his administration had managed to turn around an inherited $133 million deficit and end 2010 with a $17.2 million surplus. And he labeled Democrat Legislators as the individuals who allowed property taxes to increase by double-digits, let spending run amuck, depleted reserves and brought Nassau County to the brink of insolvency. For over a decade, their only answer was to increase real property taxes, Mangano said. In fact, the critics claimed that my tax cuts were wrong. I disagree. I along with Republican Legislators laid out a plan to right size government. . .This surplus proves the Democrat pundits wrong and establishes this administrations ability to meet and overcome fiscal challenges. Mangano told those in attendance that 2011, unfortunately, brings additional fiscal challenges to our great County including increases of $44 million in employee pension costs; $21 million in employee health care costs; and $65 million in additional expenses associated with labor contracts and contractual obligations kicked down the road to 2011 and 2012 by his predecessor. But, Mangano maintained he would meet those and other challenges by continuing to fulfill his campaign pledge of cutting wasteful government spending. He said hes been able to cut over $171 million in wasteful spending by negotiating labor savings, reducing the work force to historic low levels while continuing to provide critical services, and forming an Island-wide purchasing consortium to save tax dollars. Midway through the speech, Mangano turned the focus to New York State and reforms it must make to keep Nassau and the other Counties afloat. And then he offered one possible solution. New York State must reform the pension system now, he said. A different Pension Tier must be created for all new employees that utilize a Defined Contribution Plan, more like the private sector which are subject to change in the market. The time is now to put government on a diet. He also said he supports Governor Andrew Cuomos proposals to cap property taxes and eliminate unfunded mandates that drive up the costs of running government. Moving forward, Mangano said he renews his offer to both the Democrats and NIFA to come together in a bipartisan manner and work with him to make the tough decisions that will return this County to greatness. I will not let anyone deter me from cutting government waste, growing our private sector to enhance economic development initiatives and from putting people back to work, he said. He reiterated his intention to form a publicprivate partnership to operate LI Bus; his plan to attract a minor league baseball team to Nassaus Mitchel Field; and his desire to develop the area around the Nassau Coliseum into a sports and entertainment destination center. One proposal, he said, is to allow the recently federally-recognized Shinnecock Indian Tribe to build and operate a casino there. A project of this magnitude would create thousands of jobs, generate $100 million in tax revenue annually and would increase tourism in Nassau County, Mangano said. Best yet, it would help keep our NY Islanders here in Nassau County. He said that over the coming months, he would seek public input on various options and work with community leaders to address any and all concerns. Other ways Mangano said he was helping to create jobs and spur the local economy is through attracting the motion picture film industry to Nassau. Movies and television shows are now being filmed in Nassau County on a regular basis. Movies like Salt, the major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie was filmed at nearby Grumman Studios. Mangano said he has also worked to attract the homeland security industry to Nassau and made mention of the Countys own one-of-akind, comprehensive, emergency-preparedness facility designed to bring government, defense contractors and local business together to develop tomorrows security technology and composite manufacturing the Morrelly Homeland Security Center. Other accomplishments Mangano underlined include: a reduction of crime in the County; an increase in arrests for heroin sales as well as more drug education and awareness programs for Nassaus youth; a significant reduction of guns from the streets; a federally-funded program that helps volunteer firefighters pay for college tuition and tremendous improvements to parks and athletic fields throughout the County. After a decade of poor upkeep and outright neglect, our parks have risen from the ashes as vibrant destinations for the children and families of Nassau, he said. The Countys infrastructure, Mangano said, was also neglected and left in a state of disrepair more challenges he says hes met and overcome. These include Nassaus 911-call system, which hes since improved and doubled the capacity of, and Nassaus sewage treatment plants, at Cedar Creek and Bay Park, to which hes directed millions of dollars in improvements. In closing, Mangano said that State and Federal governments must be our partner if we are to truly reform government, control spending, and stop out of control taxes. My administration has taken many strides at reducing the tax burden on our homeowners while maintaining and improving services for our families and seniors, he said. However, its time for the state and feds to do the same and help Nassau recover. He quoted President Ronald Reagan who once stated, There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what is morally right. Well my friends, those are words to live and govern by, Mangano said. Today I say to you, not that we can, but we have and we will continue this year and in the years to follow to recover from the past, bring real reform to this government, close the budget deficit; address a wasteful and bureaucratic system and bring jobs to our community. The citizens of Nassau deserve nothing less, he said.

Initiatives & Intentions

* Intention to form a public-private partnership to operate LI Bus. * Develop the area around Nassau Coliseum into a sports and entertainment destination center. One proposal is to allow the recently federally-recognized Shinnecock Indian Tribe to build and operate a casino there. * Attracting filming of movies and TV shows in Nassau County on a regular basis. Salt starring Angelina Jolie was filmed at Grumman Studios here. * Attracting the homeland security industry to Nassau.



April 16-22, 2011

Vathaty leads Kings XI to victory

Mohali: Mumbai's little-known Paul Vathaty scored an incredible century to lead Kings XI Punjab to a sensational victory, chasing a tough 189-run target set by Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League match at the packed Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here on April 13. Vathaty's breathtaking 120 off 63 balls saw Kings XI chase down the target with six wickets and five balls to spare. The 27-year-old hit 19 fours and two sixes and stayed till the end to take the team home. A staggering 88 of Valthaty's run came off just 21 balls. Adam Giclhrist (19), Sunny Singh (20) and Dinesh Karthik (21 not out) batted around him. Vathaty's gallant knock completely overshadowed the innings of Super Kings opener Murali Vijay (74 off 44 balls), who hit fours sixes, and that of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43 off 20 balls). Till now, Vathaty, who was in India's U-19 World Cup squad in

IPL: Pune Warriors beat Kochi Tuskers

Navi Mumbai: Riding on a cameo from Mohnish Mishra, Pune Warriors maintained their unbeaten run in the battle of Indian Premier League (IPL) debutants with a fourwicket win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala here on April 13. Mishra struck an unbeaten 21-ball 37 as Pune Warriors made 151 for six with seven balls to spare while chasing Kochi Tuskers Kerala's 148 for eight in 20 overs. With the win, Pune Warriors moved to the top spot in the points table with four points from two matches while Kochi Tuskers are languishing at the ninth spot with two losses from as many matches. While chasing, Pune Warriors were in real trouble at 73 for four in the 12 over. But Mishra and Robin Uthappa (31) added 42 valuable runs for the fifth wicket to take the Warriors home safely. Mishra was adjudged the Man of the Match. Uthappa's 13-ball innings took the match completely away from Kochi

Paul Vathaty celebrates his breathtaking century against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali on April 13. 2002, had played just one List A game and 13 Twenty20 matches. He has been languishing on the sidelines of the Mumbai team in the domestic circuit. But Wednesday night, Vathaty gave his cricketing career a fresh lease of life. His century was the first this season and 13th overall in IPL.

Mohnish Mishra hammered the Kochi Tuskers' bowlers to bring up victory with four wickets to spare. Tuskers, who looked like pulling off their maiden win in the IPL after Brad Hodge had Pune Warriors' skipper Yuvraj Singh (8) caught behind.But from then on, both Mishra and Uthappa played some big shots to steal the match away from the Tuskers.

Royals thrash Daredevils

Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals maintained their unbeaten run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a clinical six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on April 12. Riding on Rahul Dravid's 38 and Johan Botha's unbeaten 39, the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals easily chased down the target of 152 with nine balls to spare and followed up their win over Deccan Chargers with an equally-impressive display on home soil. Warne was also the Man of the Match for his miserly figures of 2/17. For Delhi Daredevils, it was their second successive loss and some poor bowling couldn't help them in preventing a score of 151 for six in 20 overs. Y.Venugopal Rao (60 off 40 balls) and David Warner (54 off

Sania-Elena win 2nd WTA Tour title

Charleston (US): Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina of Russia defeated Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy 6-4, 64 to claim the Family Circle Cup, their second WTA doubles title in as many months. Sania and Elena, who won their first title together at Indian Wells three weeks ago, had defeated Mattek-Sands and Shaughnessy in that final too. The Indo-Russian pair on April 10 let go of a 5-1 lead in the first set but recovered in time to serve it out. They then squandered a 4-0 lead in the second set and MattekSands and Shaughnessy draw level 4-4. But once again Sania and Elena got their act together in the final stages to close the set and the match. It was Sania and Elena's fifth tournament together. It was Sania's 11th career WTA doubles title and Elena's fifth.

Shane Warne and Shaun Tait dismantled the Delhi top order, leaving them 36 for 4. 44) were the chief contributors and helped Delhi achieve a competitive score after a poor start.

Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina hold their trophies after winning the doubles championship at the WTA Family Circle Cup tournament in Charleston. "It helps as we get along so well," Sania said. "If either one of us isn't playing well, you don't get angry at your friends. We've known each other for really long. We're playing better every day and understanding each other's games better. When the other one isn't playing as well, the other picks it up."

Force India launch academy

BANGALORE: For all those aspiring to make it big in motor sports, and probably for a seat in Formula One, here's some good news. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal of Force India Formula One team, announced the launch of the Force India F1 Team Academy, sponsored by ExxonMobil. The academy, based in India, is an initiative aimed at identifying racing talent in the country, and probably identifying an Indian F1 driver. "I have been looking for this day ever since my association with Formula One," said Mallya, at the launch of the 'Hunt For 1 From A Billion' programme on April 12. "The setting up of the Force India F1 Team Academy is a milestone in the sports arena in the country," he added. The programme, purely a karting one and which consists of three stages, will kick-off on April 25 at Mumbai. While the first stage is the grassroots programme where 100 finalists will be identified through seven regional trials in Mumbai, Goa, Kolhapur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Amritsar. This comprises top 14 drivers from each center plus two wild cards. The 100 finalists will compete in the National finals in September, the venue for which is yet to be announced. For the record, the driver hunt will be held every two years. The top 10 finalists will do a week-long stint at Silverstone between October 3 and 8, which is the second stage of the programme. The top three will be announced during the Indian Grand Prix in October.

Vijay Mallya with Nico Hulkenberg, Test & Reserve Driver, Force India Formula One Team, at the launch of the academy.



April 16-22, 2011

Hollywoods craze for Rajasthan

By Prakash Bhandari/SATimes

host of Hollywood stars come on a cinematic passage to India. And Rajasthan is definitely the most popular destination for Hollywood films. The desert state also happens to be one of Asia's most popular tourist spots. The most recent film to be shot in the state has been The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The film stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame. Some of its scenes were shot in Jaipur, Udaipur and surrounding areas over two months. The film is directed by John Madden and cofinanced by Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, with Searchlight Pictures holding the worldwide rights. It is about outsourcing seniors care by transporting them to India. After Octopussy, a James Bond thriller that was shot in Udaipur 25 years ago, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had the longest shooting spell in India. Other famous films shot in Rajasthan include ShakespeareWallah, at City Palace, Alwar; The Jungle Book, at Mehrangarh Fort; The Jewel in the Crown, at Udaipur; Heat and Dust, The Far Pavilions, both at Jaipur; Siddhartha at Deeg; Autobiography of a Princess at

Dev Patel pushes Maggie Smith in a wheelchair as they film scenes for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel recently in Jaipur. Jodhpur; Meera Nairs Kama Sutra at Jaipur and at Pushkar; and Darjeeling Limited at Jodhpur. Rajasthan lies in the lap of the vast Thar Desert and boasts rich history, culture and tradition. With picturesque surroundings and dotted by heritage sites, Rajasthan has some amazing venues to offer filmmakers. The lakes in Udaipur, the palaces in Jaipur, Jodhpur, the desert areas of Jaisalmer and, of course, the famous Palace on Wheels luxury train are just some of the lures that Hollywood cannot resist. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotels director John Madden said, "This is a gorgeous script witty, moving and hilarious with a wonderful feel for its subject India. It's rare to find one that traverses comedy, romance, and melancholy with such a lightness of touch and it's proved

Kate Winslet of Titanic fame with the late Yoga Mother. to be a magnet for the cast of your dreams: actors I know and would want to work with in every film Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson; and actors I'd feel lucky to be in the room with Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and an amazing ensemble. It's a great project about a world that defies all categorization. No one could come to India and that too Rajasthan and not be changed by it." The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a movie about a group of British senior citizens who travel to India to live out their dotage an outsourcing, after a fashion and find a new lease on life. Author Deborah Moggach describes it as a "comedy of manners between east and west" that evolved out of the question "how about... outsourcing the elderly? How about setting up retirement homes in developing

countries where its sunny and labor is cheap?" When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his disgusting and difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: Cant we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away. His prayer gets answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up the retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Jaipur. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin. Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman visited Udaipur last year to shoot for an ad film directed by Shekhar Kapur. Julia Roberts stayed in Jaipur during a family holiday with her husband and children last year. Udaipur has played host to Alist celebs such as Madonna, her exhusband Guy Ritchie, and Richard Gere. Brangelina power couple had taken time out of their shooting schedule for "A Mighty Heart" in Mumbai to visit the desert state in 2008. Rajasthan is also a favorite of Mick Jagger, who last visited the state in 2008 with daughter Jade. British comedian Russell Brand married US pop star Katy Perry at Ranthambhore in November last year. Similarly, actress Elizabeth Hurley chose Jodhpur as the setting for her lavish wedding with NRI

tycoon Arun Nayar. The two are no longer a couple. Oscar award winner Jane Campions second home is Jaipur and she was a great devotee of the yoga mother late Daya Vyas. She still comes here and stays with Daya Vyass son Atul and learns yoga from him. Jane shot Holy Smoke at Pushkar and brought Kate Winslet of Titanic fame to Rajasthan. Kate too is close to the the Vyas family. Jane even gave credit for the music score of the movie to Shiva Vyas, daughter of the yoga mother. Singularity is an upcoming Hollywood movie with Bollywood stars, which is being shot currently at Orchha near Gwalior. The unit would also come to Jaipur for shoots. Starring Bipasha Basu and Abhay Deol, the film is directed by Roland Joffe. Singularity, from Limelight International Media, is about a tough marine archeologist Jay Fennel, who after an accident goes into coma. Fennels dream like coma takes us back to 1778 Poona in India where East India Company is conquering India and a young Captain James Stewart, who has remarkable resemblance with Fennel, is about to set for a dangerous mission. During his mission he falls in love with Indian warrior Bipasha Basu. A blend of action, adventure, romance and science fiction, this multimillion dollar movie will be released later this there.

The biggest Indian cricket fan

his guy is perhaps the most consistent supporter of Indian Team - visible to all who watch Indian Cricket on TV. Sachin Tendulkar walked out of the changing room and gestured to Sudhir Gautam to come up. Sudhir is the thin, pale man with a shaven head and body covered in the Indian tri-colour. He is the man you would have seen recently with a miniature replica of the World Cup hanging atop his head. For at least half a decade now, Sudhir has been Tendulkar's biggest fan, waving the Indian flag and blowing his conch shell at every venue Tendulkar plays. Today, Tendulkar decided to repay Sudhir for his devotion. No sooner had he realized that Tendulkar was calling, than Sudhir jumped the electronic advertising hoard-

India's worst, but Haryana's sex ratio is best in a century

Sachin Tendulkar gave an opportunity to Sudhir Gautam to hold the World Cup India won. ing and then skipped up the 30-odd stairs on to the corridor of the Indian changing room. All through his short journey he screamed in delight. Tendulkar shook hands with him, then embraced him and finally asked one of his team-mates to get the World Cup trophy. Zaheer Khan brought the cup outside with utmost care and held it tight. Sudhir virtually snatched it out of the hands of the tournament's joint-highest wicket-taker. But Zaheer held on to the crown still. Eventually Sudhir lifted the Cup with both hands as Zaheer let go. As soon as Sudhir lifted the Cup and screamed "Indiaa", Tendulkar could not help but smile. He even clapped and was joined in appreciation by a few of his team-mates.

aryana has both good news and bad as far as the state's skewed sex ratio is concerned. First, the good news. As per the data by Census 2011, the state has reported a rise in the sex ratio - 877 females per 1,000 males, the best figures in the last 110 years. The last census in 2001 showed the sex ratio to be 861. Within a decade, the sex ratio has increased by 16 points. Since the first census in the country in 1901, the latest provisional figures have shown a marked improvement in the state's sex ratio. But now, the bad news. Haryana ranks lowest among all 28 states on the sex ratio front. Against Kerala's high of 1,084 females per 1,000 males, Haryana reports a sorry number of just 877. "In Haryana, the sex ratio of 877 in Census 2011 is the highest since 1901. Among the neighboring states, sex ratio of Punjab is 893 and of Himachal Pradesh 974," Haryana's Director of Census Operations Neerja Shekhar said. Officials in the state are still seeing a silver lining. "Haryana is one of the nine states in the country in which the child sex ratio (0-6

years) has also shown an increasing trend. In all remaining states, the child sex ratio has shown a decline over that in Census 2001," an official said. State Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati agreed that a lot remains to be done. With a ban on sex determination tests, health officials in Haryana had conducted over 11,600 searches in private clinics and health centers to see if there was any violation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act. Among Haryana's 21 districts, the best sex ratio has been achieved in the backward districts of Mewat (906) and Fatehabad (903), while the industrialized districts of Sonipat (853) and Gurgaon (861) figure at the bottom. The Haryana government is attributing the increase in sex ratio to strict implementation of the PNDT Act. Health officials have been conducting raids at private health centers and clinics across the state to curb sex determination tests. The state government has also floated several schemes for the girl child, including the Ladli Scheme, which provides for financial incentives to poor parents who have a girl child.



April 16-22, 2011

the incandescent light of the supreme consciousness that eradicates the darkness of ignorance. Just as all darkness gets dispelled immediately in the presence of light; likewise, with the rising of the guru in the form of knowledge right within your own inner being, all the ignorance that was present in the mind since time immemorial, all that gets eradicated instantaneously. So, the guru is the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance. And if you say I have been listening to discourses yet my ignorance hasnt been destroyed; then this does not mean there is any shortcoming in the guru. After all, if you were to blindfold yourself; even with the rising of the sun, you will still be in darkness will you blame the sun for the darkness? The sun quietly spreads its sunshine the world over. It doesnt proclaim Get up people for I have arrived! And if you keep on sleeping, the sun is not bothered by that, how does it matter to the sun? The guru has experienced the supreme truth, supreme consciousness and has been liberated of all ignorance. The guru has known the light of truth within, the epitome of bliss withini.e. the guru has known Shiva. Shiva means Brahman, Shiva means the supreme consciousness and guru and Shiva are one and the same because the one who has known Shiva cannot be separate, cannot be apart from Shiva. Who is Shiva? Shiva is God. Who is God? God is Shiva. They are one and the same; the all pervasive, eternal, bliss, truth, supreme consciousness. And the one who has experienced, who has known, who has attained the light of this supreme consciousness within, who has known the truthhe is the guru. This guru form of Shiva awakens the supreme knowledge within the disciple and prepares the disciple to experience the ultimate truth, to get enlightened. A guru is the one who is the epitome of purity, the embodiment of compassion forever showering his compassion and grace on one and all. So much so that even on meeting the most vile and nefarious individual, the guru doesnt get disgusted or revolted; he does not discriminate, and treats everyone with the same eye of compassion and benediction. The scriptures describe the key attributes of a guru tranquil, pious, polite, virtuous and free from anger, lust; one who has conquered the need for sensory gratification, who is no longer a slave of the sense organs. A guru doesnt want anything from the disciple; a guru is self assured, completely autonomous. A guru is the one who adeptly eradicates all possible doubts from their very roots, the one who completely destroys all fear of life and death, the one who gets the disciple acquainted with the God residing within - he is the guru. He has no attachments, is always tranquil, always contented and completely self reliant, ever free. One doesnt meet an accomplished, enlightened guru until and unless the previous accumulated virtues dont awaken. And when one meets such a master, one receives supreme knowledge that frees one, liberates one from all worldly bondage forever. But it is important to bear in mind that although it is true that a guru liberates you; who can liberate the one who is not sincere, who doesnt contemplate, who is impure, vile, who has no forgiveness, no empathy, no dispassionwho can liberate such a person? Hence, just as it is crucial that the guru be a true guru in every sense of the word; it is equally important

By Anandmurti Gurumaa

n India, the term guru is so very commonly used in daily parlance by people from all walks of life. But it has now arrived at the global scene as well after all, what with the recent news of Hollywoods Brangelina having an Indian guru! The irony nevertheless is that the understanding of the true meaning of the word guru is as rare as the usage of this word is common. So, what does the word guru entail? Who is a guru? To understand this, first take in the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word guru: gu means darkness and ru means light. Guru is, unarguably,

The scriptures describe the key attributes of a guru tranquil, pious, polite, virtuous and free from anger, lust; one who has conquered the need for sensory gratification. A guru doesnt want anything from the disciple, he is self-assured, c o m p l e t e l y autonomous.
for the disciple to be a true seeker, to have a purified mind and surrender himself to the guru unconditionally. Only then can the shroud of ignorance be removed leading to perennial freedom from all bondage. Anandmurti Gurumaa is a contemporary master who is guiding millions around the world towards their spiritual growth. Her ashram is in Sonepat, Haryana, and she is also accessible through the website

Spiritual leader who gave us ahimsa

Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti will be celebrated in India and many other countries on April, 16. Mahavirs teachings of ahimsa (non-violence) inspired Mahatma Gandhi who in turn inspired Martin Luther King, Jr and many peace activists throughout the world.
By Gary L. Francione Lord Mahavirs idol at Ahimsa Sthal in Mehrauli, New Delhi. notion to include all living beings, but by making clear that violence was not simply a matter of what we did, but what we thought and said. Mahavir also taught us about two other central tenets of JainismAnekantavada, or the notion that truth is many sided, and Aparigraha, or non-possessiveness. The latter two principles cannot be understood except as aspects of Ahimsa. The doctrine of Anekantavada serves to promote social harmony and to reduce the violence that results from absolutist views of truth. The doctrine of Aparigraha recognizes that attachment to wealth and the accumulation of material things makes us more inclined to act in violent and destructive ways. Mahavir taught that all breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the only moral or spiritual principle that we need to know. If we live by this principle, we will be at peace with ourselves and the world will be at peace. Whatever our religious tradition may be, let us celebrate Mahavir Jayanti 2011 by recommitting ourselves to a simple but profound idea that all may embrace: Ahimsa. The author is Distinguished Professor of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University, NJ.

lthough many are aware of the Buddha or the deities of Hinduism, few of us know anything about Mahavir (599-527 BC), whose birth the Jain community around the world will celebrate on April 16. This celebration is known as Mahavir Jayanti.Jainism, along with Hinduism and Buddhism, are the three primary spiritual traditions of India, and archeological evidence indicates that although Mahavir was a contemporary of the Buddha, Jainism predated Mahavir by hundreds of years and, therefore, is the oldest religion in India. Mahavir is considered to be the last in a line of what the Jains call Tirthankaras, which literally means maker of a ford and refers to a human being who achieves omniscience and then teaches the path to liberation to others, thereby establishing a ford across the river of rebirth. A Tirthankara is also referred to as a Jina, which means spiritual victor, or as an Arihant, which means destroyer of enemies. A Jina or Arihant is a victor or destroyer in that he or she has conquered inner emotions and passions, and has complete equanimity that is characterized by an absence of attachment and aversion. Mahavir was a social revolutionary. He

rejected the caste system and the sexism that pervaded the society of his time (and that unfortunately persists), and promoted a radical social justice movement based on complete equality and equal inherent value. He did not limit this revolution to humans and was the first historical figure to regard all nonhuman animals as full members of the moral community. He was also the first historical figure to articulate the view that

the planet itself, including air, water, and earth, consists of living systems. Mahavir was, indeed, the first ecologist. The notion of revolution is often connected with violence, particularly in modern times. The central feature of Mahavirs revolution, however, was Ahimsa, or nonviolence. Mahavir provided the most expansive concept of Ahimsa that the world has ever known not only by extending this



April 16-22, 2011

BRICS: China pushed to widen imports

Sanya (China): Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa have found common cause at a meeting of the so- called BRICS grouping of developing countries in China: push their host to import more than just commodities such as oil, soybeans and iron ore. Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming assured his counterparts in a closed-door meeting that China would make it a priority to import more value-added products from BRICS countries, Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma told reporters at a beachside resort in Sanya, China. Oleg Fomichev, Russias deputy economic development minister, said China had pledged to set up high-technology projects with Russia, not just importing our resources and exporting industrial goods. China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa, brought together under the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-coined acronym, are divided by a host of trade disagreements. Brazil and India are pushing China to buy more value-added goods, group its S. Aircraft Deal The five nations have agreed to push for Russias entry into the World Trade Organization and called for progress in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization trade talks. Chen told reporters that the BRICS nations still face economic overheating issues such as inflationary pressure and asset bubbles.

Local currencies to replace dollar

Sanya (China): In a first of its kind, BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa were to sign a major pact that will enable them to give credit or grants to one another in their local currencies instead of US dollars. The accord will be signed at the 3rd BRICS summit to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and heads of state of the other four countries in Chinese coastal city of Sanya, India's National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters. Menon is accompanying Manmohan Singh on his five-day tour abroad that will also take him to Kazakhstan. "We (the member countries) are making a beginning... An agreement will be signed under which BRICS countries will be able to issue credit or grants to each other in own currency," Menon said, adding this was the "first such step". Asked about Chinese efforts to make its currency an alternate to the US dollar, Menon denied there was any such proposal to make yuan as a reserve currency of BRICS nations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with wife Gursharan Kaur at Sanya Phoenix International Airport in Sanya, China, on April 12. such as Brazilian aircraft and Indian pharmaceuticals. South Africa wants more iron ore and other raw materials processed domestically before exporting them to China. Brazil and India have also complained that Chinas yuan is undervalued, undermining their exports. The countries dont have the same interests, Jim ONeill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, who coined the term BRIC in 2001, said. The wealth per head is very different, the politics is very different, and the philosophy and their natural economic edge is different. South Africa was invited to join the BRIC this year, giving the

India to grow at 8.25 pc: IMF

US trade mission visits Mumbai

Mumbai: Representatives of 15 companies visited this financial hub to network with leading entrepreneurs and business leaders as part of a trade mission organized by the US Department of Commerce.Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale, assistant secretary of manufacturing and services of the US Department of Commerce, led the mission to India that will also explore the market in Hyderabad and New Delhi also. "This is the first franchising trade mission organized by the US Department of Commerce to visit India. We are here as part of President (Barack) Obama's national export initiative," Lamb-Hale said. "The goal of the initiative is to double the US exports in five years and to support several million jobs," she added. The participating companies include Applebee's, BannaStrow's Crepes and Coffee, CKE Restaurants- Carl's Jr., Denny's, Focus Brands, Schlotzsky's Deli, Moe's Southwest Grill, Carvel Ice Cream, Johnny Rockets, Molly Maid and Wonderworks Amusement Parks. Currently, the franchise market in India is estimated at $3.3 billion and growing at about 30 percent. Over 700 franchise systems are already operating in the country, and approximately 10 percent of these systems are run by international companies.

Infrastructure will remain a key contributor to growth in India, and corporate investment is expected to accelerate. Washington: Growth in India is of developing Asia, inflation is expected to be moderate but lower but is on the rise. remain above trend, with GDP The WEO said even though growth projected at 8.25 percent in growth has moderated from cycli2011 and 7.75 percent in 2012, the cal highs to more sustainable rates, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Asia continues to outpace other said. Infrastructure will remain a regions. key contributor to growth in India, But signs of overheating are and corporate investment is expect- starting to materialize in a number ed to accelerate as capacity con- of economies, including India, it straints start to bind and funding said while noting that continued conditions remain supportive, it high growth has meant that some said in its April 2011 World economies in the region are now Economic Outlook (WEO). operating at or above potential. However, with continued rapid Credit growth is accelerating in growth, inflation is expected to some economies like Hong Kong, continue increasing this year across India, and Indonesia, while it much of developing Asia, it said remains high in China. noting inflation pressure is most Most of the increase in headline evident in India. inflation in recent months in Asia Despite some moderation, infla- has been due to a spike in food tion has become more generalized prices, but core inflation has also in India and is projected to remain been increasing in a number of high - averaging 7.50 percent this economies, most notably India, the year, the WEO said. In other parts WEO said.

Indian outsourcing industry to grow 23.2 pc

New Delhi: The business process outsourcing (BPO) market in India will expand by 23.2 percent in 2011 to reach a size of $1.4 billion, compared to $1.1 billion a year ago, a study by global IT research firm Gartner said. "Changing demographics, increasing affluence and economic growth in Asia-Pacific continues to drive shared services and BPO adoption, especially in Australia, India, Southeast Asia and China," Gartner's research director T.J. Singh said. "Buyers continue to invest in services that deliver scalable and consistent services across their geographical presence," he added. The study also forecasts that the BPO market will grow to $1.69 billion by 2012 and $2.47 billion by 2014. According to the study, India is one of the fastest growing BPO markets in the region. However, the

India is one of the fastest growing BPO markets in Asia-Pacific region. largest BPO country market is Australia, which is more than three times larger than India, the secondlargest consumer of BPO services. Banking and financial services, communications, government (both local and federal), technology and travel and transportation have been largest consumers of BPO services in the region. Over the past three years, many established India-based BPO service providers and US and Europe-based multinational BPO service providers have started focusing on the Indian domestic market.



April 16-22, 2011

Humor with Melvin Durai

Ten years and still getting to know each other

y wife, Malathi, and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary. Yes, its been a whole decade since we got married, a whole decade since we stood in front of family and friends, looked into each others eyes and thought, Who is this person? We hardly knew each other back then, having met through a matrimonial ad on the internet. But after spending 10 years together and producing three children, one thing is clear: we still dont know each other. If we knew each other, she wouldnt get annoyed whenever she finds me on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, as though I have any control whatsoever over the schedule of the National Football League. If we knew each other, I wouldnt have waited patiently for her outside the clothing store in the mall -- I would have rented a tow truck with a hook and chain to pull her out. Despite not knowing each other, weve somehow managed to stay married for 10 years. That may not seem like a long time to some of our friends -- a few have been married 25 years or more -- but for Malathi and I, its amazing that were still together and even more amazing that we still occasionally talk to each other. In fact, youll be glad to know that we spoke to each other just last month. I said, Our anniversary is coming up. How do you want to celebrate it? And she said, Id like to try the new Japanese restaurant in town. Do you want me to bring something home for you? (Thats what I love about her -- shes so

thoughtful.) Actually, Malathi and I talk to each other quite a lot -- whenever the kids let us. The kids are 4, 6 and 8, and at any given time one of them is speaking, one of them is singing and one of them is screaming. Its hard to have a conversation when theyre around, especially since they dont like to see Mommy and Daddy getting too affectionate. We usually have to speak in code -- a special code that develops naturally during a marriage. Whenever Malathi wants to say I love you, she says, Are you watching that stupid football game again? And whenever I want to say I love you, I say, How many pairs of shoes do you need anyway? The kids dont realize it, but were a very romantic couple. Our relationship has evolved and matured over the years. Were even able to communicate without saying a word to each other. For example, if Im on the couch watching a football game and a pumpkin lands on my head, I know that Malathi needs help in the kitchen. All relationships change over time, and its important to adapt to the changes. Just look at

what Ive adapted to from then to now. Then: Leaves romantic I need you like I need food and water note on the dining table. Now: Leaves frantic I need you to buy some food and water note on the dining table. Then: Offers to make tea in the evening. Now: Shouts Wheres my tea? while checking Facebook. Then: Gives compliments such as Youre so sweet! Take a bow. Now: Gives advice such as Youre so

sweaty! Take a bath. Then: Finishes my sentences without thinking. Now: Finishes my sandwiches without thinking. Actually, the last one isnt completely true. She still occasionally finishes my sentences. Just the other day, I said, How many pairs of shoes ... and she said, would my husband like to dodge on a Sunday afternoon? Thats a special code, of course. She means the world to me, too.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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

Tech Life
Smartphones can be dangerous for your kid
LONDON: A new study has suggested that although parents want their children to have a mobile phone for safety and social reasons, they now realise it leaves them powerless to stop access to inappropriate Internet sites, including pornography. Parents are also worried that internet-ready mobile phones leave their offspring open to direct and inappropriate advertising. The fears were revealed by the new review currently being carried out by the charity Mothers' Union for the children's minister Sarah Teather, reports the Telegraph. The study found that nine out of 10 parents now think that their children are growing up too quickly because of increasing sexualisation and commercial pressures, mainly from the Internet and television. It has discovered that direct advertising through mobile phones was the marketing tool that most angered parents - with more 35 percent believing it was totally wrong. This was followed by products-linked to social networking websites, which invite the children to click to "like". The review, conducted by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Christian charity, has also uncovered growing concerns about the exposure of children to sex on television. In a poll of 1,000 parents conducted for the review, 41 per cent of parents said that in the previous three months they had seen television programmes or advertisements before the 9pm watershed that they considered wrong for their children to view because of their sexual content. In addition, 40 per cent said they had seen window displays or advertising hoardings that children should not be exposed to.

An iPhone app to calculate calories through photos of food

NEW YORK: Worried about how many calories you are going to consume in that slice of pizza, chocolate cake or bag of fries? A new iPhone application may help. After taking a picture of the meal with the phone, the app gives a calorie read-out almost instantly. The app, called MealSnap, was developed by DailyBurn, a fitness social network that has created several other fitness and diet-related iPhone applications. Within minutes of taking a picture of a meal and matching it to a database of some 500,000 food items, the app sends users an alert with a range of calories for the meal that was photographed. "The database can quickly help identity the food, how many calories there are, proteins, fat, carbs, vitamins, whatever you may want to know," said DailyBurn CEO Andy Smith. "Users can then choose to share what they've eaten on Twitter or FourSquare, leading to social accountability." Smith added that calorie counting can be a very time consuming process. But the app makes it easier to track the calories in food. "The pure act of tracking something can cause a psychological change that can help people on their health and fitness journey," he explained. "Just the simple fact of logging it makes me more aware of what I'm eating." Additionally, MealSnap can serve as a food diary, allowing users to keep a visual log of the meals they have eaten. "It's like a food journal, but easier. All you do is take the picture," Smith said.



April 16-22, 2011

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By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Stars Foretell: April16-22, 2011

Aries: This week you should get ready for a big surprise. Some unexpected good news will sweep you off your feet. But you need to be extra careful when handling finances, as you are likely to incur losses due to bad investment or theft. Stress will be easier to handle if you accept others advice. You will be in the mood to relax and spend extra time with friends. Take care of your health, eat right, and adopt an exercise regimen that will protect your vital energy. A spiritual person provides guidance. Taurus: Luck definitely seems to be on your side. Therefore take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. This week you'll find it easy to achieve your goals and live up to others expectations. Your tremendous enthusiasm will especially be very attractive and it will draw many people to your side. Work on your new projects with a long term prospective. Close friends and relatives will try to keep you happy. New alliances and contacts will develop through social activities. Gemini: This week people seek advice from you and give you responsibilities that you need to handle with care. You might even help managing money for those who are less capable than you are. Work pressure will increase but you need to be certain that added stress doesnt upset your mind and disrupt your health. Changing location of planets tend to bring favorable results in your life, as you will earn popularity and gains. Pilgrimage is on the cards for some of you. Cancer: Secrets and important information should not be disclosed. This week you will be in a position to raise funds, collect pending payments, or ask for funds. Your knowledge about new market trends will bring you immediate gains, but irresponsible action will ensure losses. Speak your heart out at group meetings. Any contribution that you make towards social cause will enhance your public image and bring you mental peace. Leo:Projects that depend on your creativity will gather momentum. Your confidence and morale will be high during this period and success and gains will be with you. Take care of your dealings with influential people. Saying wrong things at the wrong time will bring criticism from people around you. Social activities will bring about a new romantic relationship. Travelling will be highly educating. Good week for planning long term investments. Virgo: This week your charm and personality will make you popular with members of the opposite sex. Financial condition will improve with the help of associates. You should not invest in any new ventures and schemes during this period. Rituals/ hawan/function will be performed at home. Family members will bring you happiness and look after you well. Opportunities for a part-time job will brighten for some. Do not be lavish in your spending, especially when you go out with friends. Libra: Life is always exciting for you, therefore this week will be no exception. You will find yourself at the center of attraction at social gatherings, or draw large crowds wherever you go. You need to take advantage of the new moneymaking opportunities that come your way. Support from friends and associates will be immense. Your beloved will be caring but highly possessive. You'll hit the jackpot by associating yourself with the right people. Scorpio: New contacts that you have developed lately will bring you brilliant opportunity for business. Strong romantic feelings from a member of the opposite sex will bring about new excitement in your life. You will be in a commanding position at work, and lots will depend on your shoulders. Social activities to be lively and exciting. Your personality will have a magnetic appeal that will attract the right conditions and people. Little exercise will be important to stay in perfect shape. Sagittarius: Delay in results will be extremely frustrating, especially if things have proceeded smoothly in the recent past. Take some time to analyze what could have gone wrong and gather more information from experienced people. You should remember that knowledge is power and the more you have the better it will be for you. Spend enjoyable time with youngsters. Attending seminars and exhibitions will bring you in contact with important people. Capricorn: Emotionally you need to be much stronger this week. Confrontations and arguments will bother your mind. Occupy yourself with activities that will keep you relaxed. Your present situation represents your own test of your power and endurance. Social activities will provide you with knowledge and amusement. Partnerships if any, should be done with people who are creative and experienced. Speculation on all fronts should be strictly avoided. Aquarius: You should not feel depressed or irritated if you have to handle more responsibilities this week. You should remember that you could achieve anything that you set your mind to. Your mate will enjoy helping you out in completing outside jobs. Participation in family functions and social activities will bring you joy and happiness. Funds for businessmen will generate through loans or property transaction. Matrimonial alliance for some, while others will find romance to keep them in the right spirits. Pisces: This week you will find pleasure in unusual yet simple ways. A conversation with a close friend will bring happiness and make you feel relaxed. This period is also good for activities that will secure your future and help you improve your lifestyle. Your sense of responsibility and ability to accept challenges will put you into a leading position. New romance will be exciting, so make the most of it. Look into project that will help you earn some extra money.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

April: 16 You are dominated by the planet Neptune and governed by the planet Mercury. You are also dominated by the number 7. You are humble and modest by nature and do not like to exert your authority. But, at the same time, you do not like people interfering in your personal life. You like to be left alone and enjoy privacy. Your love for reading and your search for knowledge, will be your assets, in the coming year. Your sharp power of observation, will allow you to notice minute happenings around you, and you will be able to make the best of this. Your humble and modest nature will draw the attention of your friends, who will flock to you for advice and help. But, you tend to get restless at times and in the bargain you take hasty decisions. This only leads to unpleasantness. Your children will bring you fame and happiness, in the year ahead of you. The months of July, September and November will be very eventful. April: 17 You are governed by the number 8 and the planet Saturn. You are also dominated by the planet Mercury. You are ambitious by nature and will always aim to reach the top. You desire to achieve the best and nothing but the best, for yourself in life. Your creative ideas and hard work will bring success to you, in your professional front, in the year ahead of you. You can expect to see plans and projects, being fulfilled to perfection. You will not accept traditional customs and conventions, and keep away from those who have orthodox views in life. Although a believer of religion, you will not follow the routine track. Your pleasing personality and your deep knowledge of various issue, will make you the centre of attraction at social gatherings. But you will be cold towards sentiments and emotions of others. You are not led away by tears or emotions. The months of June, September and February will be very important. April: 18 You are governed by the number 9 and dominated by the planet Mars. You are also influenced by the planet Mercury. Generosity and courtesy, are two distinct qualities of your nature. In the coming year, you will leave no stone unturned, in fulfilling your responsibilities. You will be able to do this to the satisfaction of your loved ones. Your honesty will bring you prestige and recognition in whatever you undertake, in the year ahead of you. You will be able to pursue your quest for knowledge. Reading and research will bring you pleasure and satisfaction. Your communication skills will draw the attention of your bosses and you will be able to impress them with your views and knowledge of various subjects and issues. Your lucky colors are shades of yellow, red and white, and you should keep these in mind, while buying clothes or painting your house. The months of May, October and November will be very eventful. April: 19 Governed by the number 1 and the Sun, you are also dominated by the planet Mercury. You are intelligent by nature, and like to go deep into the study of any subject. Research and studies, are your passion. With your methodical approach to work, coupled with your sincerity, you will be able to achieve success in your professional career. Those of you, who are pursuing your studies, you are advised to try and put in your full concentration in whatever you are doing. This will bring out the best in you and you will be rewarded with flying colors. You are full of life and energy. Your enthusiasm in anything that you do makes you a centre of attraction at any social gathering. In the year ahead of you, you will make many friends and enjoy a life full of activity, fun and laughter. Your lucky colors are gold, yellow and green. The months of July, September and November will be very eventful. April: 20 Governed by the number 2, you are also dominated by the planets Moon and Mercury. Full of self confidence and determination, the year ahead of you, promises to be a successful one, as far as your professional career is concerned. Those of you in the media or the teaching line can expect to reach newer heights of excellence in the coming year. Proximity, to a water body will be of utmost important to you. Getting a transfer to a city or town near and water body, like a riverside or seaside, will help you to gain prosperity and happiness. You will have a large circle of friends and can expect to socialize and have lots of fun, in the year ahead of you. Some of you will be attracted to the opposite sex, and may even make a special friend. Your concern for the oppressed will make you do a lot of charity work. The months of August and January will be very significant. April: 21 You are governed by the number 3 and by the planet Jupiter. You are also dominated by the planet Mercury. Kind hearted and loving by nature, you are surrounded by friends. You are popular with both sexes. In the coming year, some of you are likely to inherit ancestral property, especially from your fathers side. Travel will form an important part of your career, in the year ahead of you. You like to develop spiritual powers, and you like to use this to bring relieve for the oppressed class. Helping those in need, gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Your self-confidence will help you to achieve popularity and success, in the year ahead of you. Friends and relatives will look to you for advice and help. You can expect to receive a lot of happiness and love at the domestic front, especially your children. Your lucky colors are shades of yellow, violet, purple and green. The months of May, December and March will be very eventful. April: 22 Governed by the number 4, you are also governed by the planet Uranus, and dominated by the planet Mercury. Your dynamic personality makes you the centre of attraction in any social gathering. In the year ahead of you, you will be able to impress the opposite sex with your style of dressing and also impress them with your conversation skills. In love matters, it will be a good year for you. Those of you, who are single, can expect to find your life partner. Those of you in your 40th year can expect to attain success. In fact, you will reach newer heights of excellence, and can expect to reach the top hierarchy, at work. You will have to be careful about respiratory infections. But care and precaution, will help you to overcome your health ailments, without much difficulty. Your lucky jewels are emerald, pearl and diamond and you should wear these to attain happiness and prosperity. The months of July, October and January will be very significant.

Before you consult...

i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, dont feel shy. Its his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.

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April 16-22, 2011

No end to desires
This article has been selected and reprinted from Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharajs book, Spiritual Pearls for Enlightened Living (Radiance Publishers), an inspirational collection of stories from the worlds great wisdom traditions.
in the carpenters workshop. The neighbor thought that if he gave the carpenter money he would not have to work and he would stop his incessant hammering. The carpenter entered his workshop and found the envelope lying there. Instead of using it to take a vacation or a break, the carpenter thought, Someone left me several hundred dollars. What good fortune! I will take some of the money and invest in new tools so I can build bigger and better furniture and make more money. Thus, the money flamed the carpenter s desire to earn more money. He began working even harder, hoping to increase the newly found hundreds into thousands. As he began to make more money, he was still not content. He decided he wanted to turn the thousands into tens of thousands and thus he worked still harder. The rich neighbor was annoyed that his plan had failed and instead of silencing the carpenter, it merely increased the noise because now the man worked longer hours. When the carpenter had earned tens of thousands he wanted to make a hundred thousand. He put pressure upon himself to work day and night and even on weekends. Soon, he stopped his humming and singing. He no longer took joy in his work but felt strangled by the pressure he had put upon himself. On many nights, he was so stressed out he could not even sleep. The inner contentment and peace he had when he was just a poor carpenter were gone in the pursuit of trying to make more and more money. Consider our own lives. Do we find ourselves spending all of our time working to make money so we can retire? Do we work overtime to make more money? Do we work all weekend long to increase our profits? Do we find that we cannot even take a day or even several hours off work without thinking about work? If this is what is happening to us are we becoming like the carpenter? If we make all the money in the world but cannot enjoy personal peace and joy in our work, is it worth it? If we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need? Who knows what the future will bring? When we become old, will we have the health to do what we waited our whole life to do? If we leave our spiritual pursuits until we have reached our senior years, who knows how much time we will have left or whether we will be able to devote time to spirituality at that stage. If we ignore our family until they are already grown and have children of their own, we miss an important part of their lives that can never be recovered. Let us consider how we spend our time. If we have decided that certain goals are important then we should try to find time for them throughout our life and not put them all on the back burner in the pursuit of amassing more money than we need. We should weigh our time and make sure that we do not lose our peace and contentment over the stress of being engaged in a mad pursuit for money and possessions. Being conscious of how we spend our time and our life is important. If we listen to our soul, we will find that inner peace and contentment are more valuable than all the riches in the world. If

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

nce upon a time there was a carpenter who worked out of his home. Every day he took joy in building some furniture or tools to sell to others. He merrily sang and hummed as he worked, content with life. One day, his rich neighbor grew fed up with the noise the carpenter made as he hammered the wood. The neighbor had reached a point in which he could not take the noise anymore. The neighbor finally had a plan to quiet the carpenter. He took several hundred dollars from his money and left it in an envelope

we find that we are devoting too much of our time to making money and not enough to our family, our hobbies, our spiritual pursuits and those things we love then we need to analyze whether we are making the right choices. It is good to save for the future, but is it worth using up our entire life in trying to have more than what we need?

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, an international spiritual leader and Master of meditation, affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions, emphasizing prayer and meditation as building blocks for achieving

Whatever you give me tastes sweet

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj n our daily life we face many difficulties, hardships and disappointments. Things do not always go our way. If we listen to the discussions of others and review our own words and thoughts, we find that many of them deal with complaints about how life is treating us. Life seems to be bitter at times and in turn makes us bitter. Have we ever thought about life from a different perspective? Think about how fortunate we really are. After all, we are human beings. How many species of life are there that walk the earth? There are mammals, reptiles, and insects. There are creatures of the air and creatures of the sea. Fortunately for us, we have been born as human beings. How many of us have ever thanked God for the life we have been given? We complain to God when things go wrong but what about the hundreds of things that God has given us? God has provided us enough food to keep us alive this long. We have had protection from the elements in the form of clothes and some sort of shelter. Most of us have families who love us. We have received some kind of education and have some kind of work. If we take all that comes to us as a gift from

God then we can accept the good and the tribulations equally under Gods will. In this respect, there is a story about King Mahmud of Ghazni. One day, while he was sitting with his most devoted servant, Ayaz, he shared half of his cucumber with him. When he had finished, the king then took a bite of his own half. Yuk! he cried, as he made a disgusted face and spit out the cucumber. This is so bitter! How could you have eaten your piece if it tasted like bitter poison? Ayaz replied, My dear king, I have enjoyed so many favors and blessings from you all these years. Whatever you give me tastes sweet! Ayazs attitude demonstrates the frame of

Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily.
mind of a true lover of God. Such a lover is so much enamored of God and so grateful to God, that he or she takes everything, good or bitter, as a gift of the Beloved. Ayaz had received so many blessings from the king that he felt it was not his place to complain if one of these gifts were bitter. After all, if the king gave him so much good, he must love him. If therefore, once in a blue moon, he had handed him something bit-

ter, Ayaz knew he had no evil intention. He accepted all the king gave him with love and gratitude. If we could accept the rainy days with the same gratitude as we do the sunny days, we would find our lives would be more full of love, peace, and happiness. If we could appreciate the weeds as well as the roses, we would enrich our daily lives. If we could appreciate our enemies as well as our friends, we would not have to waste precious breaths in complaints and bitterness. If we could accept days when we are ill and under the weather as well as those in which we are well and healthy, we would reduce our stress and worry and maybe even heal faster. Life is precious. Do we want to live our lives to their fullest? The pain and disappointments will not go away by complaining about them. We must pass through those times. Let us try to do so in a state of calm acceptance and conserve the energy that we normally use for complaining. Instead we can think of God in love and gratitude. We will find that we pass through the times of tribulations more easily. Like Ayaz, let us take everything coming from God as tasting sweet. Then, we will sweeten our whole lives and the lives of those around us. For more visit