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New Delhi: Present and retired

cricketers paid rich tributes to


former Indian captain Mansur Ali
Khan Pataudi, who passed away
here Thursday after battling a
lung infection at age 70. He is sur-
vived by his wife, veteran actress
Frankfurt: Prime Minister Man-
mohan Singh has fown to New
York after a night halt here, to ad-
dress the United Nations General
Assembly Saturday, where he will
seek reform and expansion of the
UN Security Council and raise
concerns about the global eco-
nomic slowdown and terrorism.
Dr Singh, who arrived here Wed-
New Delhi: The 2G scam has
rocked the Indian government again,
this time over a six-month-old note of
the fnance ministry that fell just short
of indicting Home Minister P. Chi-
dambaram, sparking a war of words
between the Congress and the opposi-
tion that demanded his ouster.
Even as the BJP seized the op-
portunity and sought the immediate
resignation of Chidambaram, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh reassured
his home minister of his trust and
spoke with Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, also in the US.
Mumbai: A sell-off in stock mar-
kets around the world Thursday af-
fected Indian equities as well with a
benchmark index plummeting 704
points - its worst fall in over two
years - and broader markets under
a frm bearish grip. US Federal Re-
serves comments that there were
signifcant risks to the economic
growth triggered off panic selling
in equities across the world.
The sensitive index (Sensex) of the
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE),...
Indias Sensex Continued on page 4
New York: A senior Palestinian
offcial says President Mahmoud
Abbas will formally ask the UN Se-
curity Council to recognize Pales-
tine as a full member of the UN on
Friday, despite President Obamas
threat to veto the move.
Abbas believes the bid for UN
membership will not prevent seri-
ous peace negotiations with Israel.
US offcials say Obama told
Abbas that Washington will
veto the Palestinian bid if it
comes to a vote in UNSC. The
TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Vol. 4 | No.12 | July 9-15, 2011 | 60 Cents
The South Asian Times
US Affairs 9 Op Ed 19 Spiritual Awareness 30 Lifestyle 27
NEW YORK EDITION
Excellence In Journalism
Parsi community
created modern
India: Amitav Ghosh
Features,
Page 26
Indian-American
broadcaster les age
discrimination suit
National Community,
Page 7
Deadlock over
separate Telangana,
protests hot up
India Newswire,
Page 12
JAINAs 16th
Convention in Houston
a huge success
JAINA Convention,
Pages 16-18
Pakistan turns
new front line
of war on terror
2G scam claims another
minister: Maran quits
Kerala temple
treasure could be
worth $100 billion
New Delhi/Chennai: Union
Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Ma-
ran resigned Thursday following
allegations of involvement in the
2G spectrum scam, becoming the
second DMK minister after A.
Raja to exit the cabinet.
New Delhi: The
valuables found in
the secret cellars of
Keralas famous Sree
Padmanabhaswamy
Temple in Thiru-
v a n a n t h a p u r a m
could be worth Rs
5 lakh crore ($100
Toronto: Pakistan is now the
new front in the war on terror as it
has become a new safe haven for al-
Qaeda, says the Canadian media a
day after the country blacklisted the
Pakistani Taliban and started with-
drawal from Afghanistan Tuesday.
The war on terror has shifted,
and Pakistan is its new front line,
said the daily National Post.
These two events (blacklisting
of the Pakistani Taliban and the
start of withdrawal from Afghani-
stan) encapsulate a shift, not only
for Canada, but for all other na-
tions on the front lines of the war
on terror. For a number of years,
those lines have been shifting
southeast, from Afghanistan to
Pakistan, the paper said.
It said the Tehrik-e-Taliban is
very dangerous as its stated goal is
resistance to the countrys govern-
ment, the draconian imposition of
Sharia law and the waging of war
against NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Because of these militant outts
Pakistan has become the main
staging area for terrorist plots
around the world and - despite the
United States assassination of Osa-
ma bin Laden in Abbotabad - a new
safe-haven for al-Qaeda.
Quoting a study by the New
America Foundation, the paper
said 53 percent of terror plots
worldwide since 2004 involved
jihadists trained in Pakistan, com-
pared to six percent in Yemen and
three percent in Iraq. Pakistani ji-
hadi groups have directed 44 per-
cent of the terror plots since then,
according to the paper.
War on terror continued on page 4
While the government and the
Congress party did not comment on
the big political development, an
emboldened opposition described
it as too little too late and sought
resignation of Home Minister P.
Chidambaram, who they alleged
showed complicity in the scam.
Thursdays turn of events is
likely to impact both the shape of
impending cabinet shufe and deli-
cately poised relations between the
Congress and the DMK.
2G scam continued on page 4
Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran is second DMK minister to exit
Manmohan government in the spectrum scam.
53 percent of terror plots worldwide since 2004 involved jihadists,
like Tehrik-e-Taliban and LeT cadres, trained in Pakistan.
Only ve of the six secret cellars of Padmanab-
haswamy Temple have been opened, yielding
Gold idols, ornaments and other valuables.
billion), believes former chief sec-
retary of Kerala CP Nair.
As per a report, Thursday, the
former bureaucrat claims that the
estimated market value of the trea-
sures unearthed from the temple
makes it the richest temple in the
world.
Kerala treasure continued on page 4
CommuniIy 15
TheSouIhAsianTimes.inlo May 14-20, 2011
PSG College ol Technology, CoimbaIore
celebraIes diamond jubilee in New |ersey
T
he Diamond Jubilee
Celebrations oI PSG
College oI Technology,
Coimbatore, India was held at
Chutney Mary restaurant in
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
on Saturday May 7, 2011. The
gathering was attended by 50
alumni Irom various Iields oI PSG
College oI Technology. The alumni
came Irom Boston, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, New York and New
Jersey. Included were, the oldest
graduate Mr. Shanmugam Irom
1959 batch and the youngest grad-
uate Irom 2010 batch.
The meeting was presided by
visiting dignitaries oI PSG
Management Mr. G. Rangaswamy-
Managing Trustee, Mr. C. R.
Swaminathan - the ChieI
Executive, Dr. R. Rudramoorthy
Principal PSGCT, Dr P.
Radhakrishnan - Director,
PSGIAS, Dr. R. Nandagopal
Director, PGSIM, Dr. G.
Ranganathan - President, Alumni
Association, Dr R. Nadarajan,
Head/Maths & Computer
Applications, PSGCT, Dr A.
Kandaswamy, Head/Biomedical
Engineering, PSGCT.
The slide show presentation
highlighted various departments in
PSG College oI Technology and its
growth into an University accredi-
tation which will be honored upon
PSG next year. It emphasized the
importance oI PSG Tech Corpus
Fund, which will help in education
oI 200 deserving students every
year. The PSG Trust already helps
250 students each year Ior their
education.
Some oI the alumni honored by
Mr. Rangaswamy were - Mr. Jack
Poola Ior his donations to PSG
Tech, Mr. SampathKumar, Mr.
Marthuchala Moorthy, Mr. Selvam
and Mr. Vijay Ior planning the
meeting in New Jersey.
1he college's Managing 1rustee Mr Rangswamy presenting a plaque
to 1ack Poola (left) in recognition of his donation to PSC 1ech.
Mr C R Swaminathan Chief Executieve (in white) and Dr Radhakrishnan
Past Principal (in blue) with students
Mg 1rustee Mr Rangaswamy presenting a plaque to Sampath Kumar,
organizer of the event
Mg. 1rustee Mr. Rangaswamy presenting a plaque to
Selvam, master of ceremony
Dr Rudramurthy, Principal, speaking. Mg 1rustee and
Selvam are also seen in the picture.
1he alumni at the event
TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Vol. 4 | No. 23 | September 24 - 30, 2011 | 60 Cents
Subcontinent 22 Spiritual Awareness 30 Art & Books 26
NEW YORK EDITION
The South Asian Times
Excellence In Journalism
Stand-up comic
Ansari is a Funniest
Man Under 30
National Community,
Page 9
Madhuri Dixit is
relocating to India
from America
National Community,
Page 7
Insurgency paves
way for tourism
in Kashmir
Travel, Page20
Moodys cuts
ratings of top
three US banks
Business,
Page 24
US Affairs 10
Cricketers pay rich tributes
to Tiger Pataudi
2G scam: Opposition wants Chidambaram
out, Congress backs him
Rebuffing Obama, Palestine
to seek UN membership
- The South Asian Times
PM to address
UNGA on Saturday
The former Nawab of Pataudi
was a cricketing icon:
See Tribute page 15.
Dr. Manmohan Singh arrives Sept 21 at the Frankfurt airport en route
to New York to address the UN .
Sharmila Tagore, and three chill-
dren Saif and Soha, Pataudi
played 46 Test matches for In-
dia between 1961 and 1975.
He became captain at age 21,
and remained at the helm for
8 years. Quite a feat consider
TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Vol. 4 | No.12 | July 9-15, 2011 | 60 Cents
The South Asian Times
US Affairs 9 Op Ed 19 Spiritual Awareness 30 Lifestyle 27
NEW YORK EDITION
Excellence In Journalism
Parsi community
created modern
India: Amitav Ghosh
Features,
Page 26
Indian-American
broadcaster les age
discrimination suit
National Community,
Page 7
Deadlock over
separate Telangana,
protests hot up
India Newswire,
Page 12
JAINAs 16th
Convention in Houston
a huge success
JAINA Convention,
Pages 16-18
Pakistan turns
new front line
of war on terror
2G scam claims another
minister: Maran quits
Kerala temple
treasure could be
worth $100 billion
New Delhi/Chennai: Union
Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Ma-
ran resigned Thursday following
allegations of involvement in the
2G spectrum scam, becoming the
second DMK minister after A.
Raja to exit the cabinet.
New Delhi: The
valuables found in
the secret cellars of
Keralas famous Sree
Padmanabhaswamy
Temple in Thiru-
v a n a n t h a p u r a m
could be worth Rs
5 lakh crore ($100
Toronto: Pakistan is now the
new front in the war on terror as it
has become a new safe haven for al-
Qaeda, says the Canadian media a
day after the country blacklisted the
Pakistani Taliban and started with-
drawal from Afghanistan Tuesday.
The war on terror has shifted,
and Pakistan is its new front line,
said the daily National Post.
These two events (blacklisting
of the Pakistani Taliban and the
start of withdrawal from Afghani-
stan) encapsulate a shift, not only
for Canada, but for all other na-
tions on the front lines of the war
on terror. For a number of years,
those lines have been shifting
southeast, from Afghanistan to
Pakistan, the paper said.
It said the Tehrik-e-Taliban is
very dangerous as its stated goal is
resistance to the countrys govern-
ment, the draconian imposition of
Sharia law and the waging of war
against NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Because of these militant outts
Pakistan has become the main
staging area for terrorist plots
around the world and - despite the
United States assassination of Osa-
ma bin Laden in Abbotabad - a new
safe-haven for al-Qaeda.
Quoting a study by the New
America Foundation, the paper
said 53 percent of terror plots
worldwide since 2004 involved
jihadists trained in Pakistan, com-
pared to six percent in Yemen and
three percent in Iraq. Pakistani ji-
hadi groups have directed 44 per-
cent of the terror plots since then,
according to the paper.
War on terror continued on page 4
While the government and the
Congress party did not comment on
the big political development, an
emboldened opposition described
it as too little too late and sought
resignation of Home Minister P.
Chidambaram, who they alleged
showed complicity in the scam.
Thursdays turn of events is
likely to impact both the shape of
impending cabinet shufe and deli-
cately poised relations between the
Congress and the DMK.
2G scam continued on page 4
Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran is second DMK minister to exit
Manmohan government in the spectrum scam.
53 percent of terror plots worldwide since 2004 involved jihadists,
like Tehrik-e-Taliban and LeT cadres, trained in Pakistan.
Only ve of the six secret cellars of Padmanab-
haswamy Temple have been opened, yielding
Gold idols, ornaments and other valuables.
billion), believes former chief sec-
retary of Kerala CP Nair.
As per a report, Thursday, the
former bureaucrat claims that the
estimated market value of the trea-
sures unearthed from the temple
makes it the richest temple in the
world.
Kerala treasure continued on page 4
CommuniIy 15
TheSouIhAsianTimes.inlo May 14-20, 2011
PSG College ol Technology, CoimbaIore
celebraIes diamond jubilee in New |ersey
T
he Diamond Jubilee
Celebrations oI PSG
College oI Technology,
Coimbatore, India was held at
Chutney Mary restaurant in
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
on Saturday May 7, 2011. The
gathering was attended by 50
alumni Irom various Iields oI PSG
College oI Technology. The alumni
came Irom Boston, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, New York and New
Jersey. Included were, the oldest
graduate Mr. Shanmugam Irom
1959 batch and the youngest grad-
uate Irom 2010 batch.
The meeting was presided by
visiting dignitaries oI PSG
Management Mr. G. Rangaswamy-
Managing Trustee, Mr. C. R.
Swaminathan - the ChieI
Executive, Dr. R. Rudramoorthy
Principal PSGCT, Dr P.
Radhakrishnan - Director,
PSGIAS, Dr. R. Nandagopal
Director, PGSIM, Dr. G.
Ranganathan - President, Alumni
Association, Dr R. Nadarajan,
Head/Maths & Computer
Applications, PSGCT, Dr A.
Kandaswamy, Head/Biomedical
Engineering, PSGCT.
The slide show presentation
highlighted various departments in
PSG College oI Technology and its
growth into an University accredi-
tation which will be honored upon
PSG next year. It emphasized the
importance oI PSG Tech Corpus
Fund, which will help in education
oI 200 deserving students every
year. The PSG Trust already helps
250 students each year Ior their
education.
Some oI the alumni honored by
Mr. Rangaswamy were - Mr. Jack
Poola Ior his donations to PSG
Tech, Mr. SampathKumar, Mr.
Marthuchala Moorthy, Mr. Selvam
and Mr. Vijay Ior planning the
meeting in New Jersey.
1he college's Managing 1rustee Mr Rangswamy presenting a plaque
to 1ack Poola (left) in recognition of his donation to PSC 1ech.
Mr C R Swaminathan Chief Executieve (in white) and Dr Radhakrishnan
Past Principal (in blue) with students
Mg 1rustee Mr Rangaswamy presenting a plaque to Sampath Kumar,
organizer of the event
Mg. 1rustee Mr. Rangaswamy presenting a plaque to
Selvam, master of ceremony
Dr Rudramurthy, Principal, speaking. Mg 1rustee and
Selvam are also seen in the picture.
1he alumni at the event
Indias Sensex
crashes 704 points,
worst in 2 years
ing a car accident permanently
damaged vision in his right
eye when he was only 20. He
was bestowed Arjuna Award
in 1964, Indias highest in
sports, and Padma Shri in 67.
Said his compatriot Abbas Ali
Baig: It is a terrible moment
indeed... He had the talent not
only to play for the country but
also to lead it to perfection.
Mohinder Amarnath said, I
played my frst Test under him.
He was a great cricketer and a
real person to look up to. He
used to show a lot of aggression
on the feld.
Rahul Dravid remembered him
thus: We never saw him playing
but heard so many stories about
him from the likes of Prasanna,
Vishwanath and Chandrashekhar.
He made the game popular with his
personality and leadership skills.
Will focus on expansion of Security Council,
economic slowdown and terrorism.
nesday from Delhi, is accompanied
on the trip by his wife Gursharan Kaur
and a high-level delegation. Dr Singh
spelt out his agenda, saying the UN
must be seen as an impartial, credible
and effective body. I will stress the
need for early reform of this unique
organization, particularly an expan-
sion of the Security Council, he said.
Manmohan Continued on page 4
2G Scam Continued on page 4
two leaders met Wednesday on the
sidelines of the General Assembly
session in New York.
Abbas Continued on page 4
Look out for our Special Edition to be published in Media Partnership with Association of Indians in America,
AIA-NY, celebrating the 24th Annual Diwali Festival at South Street Seaport in Manhattan on Oct 2, 2011.
The South Asian Times
Excellence In Journalism
Palestine
President
Mahmoud
Abbas has
Indias
support
P. Chidambaram as fnance
minister could have enforced
auction of the 2G spectrum had
he stuck to his stand according
to an inter-ministerial note.
Tristate Community 3
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
AIAs sparkling Diwali
festival on Oct 2
NYC plans to open 50
new middle schools
New York: Spectacular fireworks will light up
the Manhattan skyline Oct 2 as the 24th Annu-
al Deepavali Festival is organized by The As-
sociation of Indians in America (AIA) at South
Street Seaport in Manhattan. Thousands of
people are expected to descend there to enjoy,
besides the fireworks sponsored by Air India,
live performances-Classical and Bollywood
shopping extravaganza, childrens fun filled
activities, free health fair, corporate fair and
mehndi and bridal makeup, according to Ran-
ju Batra, President of AIA-NY chapter. Mouth-
watering dishes at the multiple Indian cuisine
stalls will be as usual a must grab.
Many lawmakers and dignitaries as well as
Indian community leaders are expected to
grace the occasion. Pulse-diagnosis legend Vai-
da Pankaj Naram is confirmed to attend. Ra-
mayan will be presented by Swami Satya
Narayan Charakji. Giving live entertainment
performances will be Samar Sidhu and 3 Mix.
The AIA Deepavali festival showcases the
colors, tastes, arts and culture of India for the
community at large not just Indian Americans.
It has become a key calendar event in New
York City besides the India Day Parade, also in
Manhattan, around Indias Independence Day.
Diwali is a festival shared by all of the South
Asian communities. Diwali this year falls on
October 26, but AIA Diwali mela is scheduled
earlier when the weather is still good for an
outdoor event of this scale.
New York: In his first policy address since
becoming schools chancellor in April, Dennis
M. Walcott announced on Tuesday that New
York would open 50 new middle schools in
the next two years, many in the citys poorest
neighborhoods.
The city will also apply for about $30 mil-
lion in federal money to replace teachers and
leadership, while keeping students in place,
at five struggling schools for each of the next
two years, the chancellor said.
While the plan, outlined in a speech at the
Kimmell Center of New York University, got
a warm welcome from educators in the audi-
ence, it drew a more guarded response from
others, including the president of the teach-
ers union, Michael Mulgrew, who said Wal-
cott was not going far enough.
We need a strategy that focuses on in-
struction and lowering class size, Mulgrew
said. Rearranging the deck chairs isnt going
to do it.
In his speech, Walcott said he planned to
follow the federal turnaround model to
transform some troubled schools, meaning at
least half of a schools staff members would
be reassigned. That approach will foster new
possibilities in teacher compensation, he
said, hinting at possible bonus pay for teach-
ers who accept more difficult assignments.
It was unclear how many of the 50 new
schools would be charter schools, which are
publicly financed but independently operat-
ed, and how many would be traditional
schools. But while the chancellor praised
some district-run schools, his plan to improve
middle school performance called largely for
using techniques borrowed from the citys
successful charters, including emphases on
discipline and routines and on preparing all
students for college. There are about 400
schools in the city serving grades 6 through
8; 59 of those are charters.
NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis
M. Walcott with Mayor Bloomberg
in the background.
Ranju Batra, President of Association of
Indians in America-NY, organizer of the
annual Deepavali Festival at South Street
Seaport in Manhattan.
Kamlesh Mehta, Chairman & Publisher of The South Asian Times, was
recognized by Hicksville Chamber of Commerce for his contributions to
Hicksville business community. Seen in the photo: Kamlesh Mehta
receiving Presidents Choice Award 2011 from Lionel Chitty,
President, Hicksville Chambers of Commerce at annual gala event
in Westbury, Long Island.
Hindu, Jain and Sikh representatives joined their brethren from Christian, Jew, Muslim and other faith
groups at the Inter-religious Service for Peace in a Post-9/11 World on Sept 21, the UN International Day
of Peace, at Westbury Friends Meeting House, on Long Island. The graceful, uplifting service was coordinat-
ed by Arvind Vora, chairman of Long Island Multi-Faith Forum, which co-organized it with Long Island
Council of Churches and Westbury Friends Meeting, a Quakers group. (Photo: Parveen Chopra)
Multi-faith prayers for peace
in post-9/11 world
TheSouthAsianTimes.info
4 Community
September 24 - 30, 2011
Visited by Headley, Chabad House
causes concern in Pushkar
Kerala temples vault
B not to be opened
now: Supreme Court
see how the Chabad at Pushkar could be
targeted as there is always a large presence
of the Jews here, said Chandra Shekhar,
owner of Bhagwati Guest House that has
been rented to Chabad. The disclosure
about Headleys visit has seen Pushkar
hotel owners take all precautions before
renting out rooms to tourists. Chabad
House is where Jews assemble and stay
and offer prayers. These centers are run at
international level by the Jews to propa-
gate Judaism. A large number of Israeli
tourists come to Pushkar and on any giv-
en day more than 300-400 could be seen
roaming in the bylanes of Pushkar.
More than 40 percent of the tourists that
come to Pushkar are Israeli Jews and they
come round the year and stay here for a few
days to a few months. The large number of
Israeli tourists help the local economy but
they are not big spenders and stay in cheap
hotels or private accommodations that cost
as low as Rs 300 per day.
Manmohan Continued from page 1
While noting that India has been a non-per-
manent member of the UN Security Council
since January this year after a gap of 19 years,
he pointed out that the countrys efforts had
enriched the councils deliberations and en-
hanced its effectiveness. Pushing for effective
measures for global economic recovery and
adoption of a comprehensive anti-terror con-
vention are also high on his agenda.
The PM is also scheduled to meet Japa-
nese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Ira-
nian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapkasa.
His high-level delegation includes External
Affairs Minister S M Krishna and National
Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
2G Scum from page 1
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was also
briefed on the matter and was expected to take
it up when the prime minister returns here
Monday, after attending the UN General As-
sembly. In a fresh twist to the second genera-
tion (2G) spectrum case, a note to the Prime
Minister`s Ofnce from the nnance ministrv
in March said the airwaves could have been
auctioned in 2008 if Chidambaram, then the
nnance minister. had stuck to his stand
In the note. the nnance ministrv savs Chi-
dambaram, one of the governments most
high-pronle ministers. could have prevented
spectrum from being given away at throw-
away prices by insisting on its auction
implying that presumptive losses worth
Pushkar (Rajasthan): The Chabad
House, set up by the Israelis in the holy
town of Pushkar near Ajmer, is causing con-
cern among local people who feel it could
become a target of the terrorists like the Cha-
bad House did in Mumbai.
It has come to light that David Headley,
the Pakistan born US citizen who was in-
volved in the Mumbai attacks, had come to
Pushkar in Sept 2008 and stayed at Hotel
Oasis, bang opposite the Pushkar Chabad.
He surveyed the town and studied the activi-
ties at Chabad. Headley is charged in the
US for scouting targets for Lashkar-e-Taiba,
the terror group behind Indias 26-11.
Intelligence reports confirm that Hed-
leys visit was aimed to plan an attack
on the Chabad on a Friday when a few
hundred Jews on a visit to Pushkar would
assemble for Sabath. Killing of so many
Jews would have attracted international
attention.
Headlev came with a specinc purpose to
New Delhi: Opening vault B of Keralas
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple will be con-
sidered only after the around Rs.1 lakh crore
worth of treasure unearthed from the other
nve chambers is properlv documented. the
Supreme Court said Thursday.
The documentation. categorisation. se-
curity, preservation and conservation of the
treasure found from nve chambers must be
substantially completed, said the apex court
bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Jus-
tice A.K. Patnaik.
The security of the temple will be pro-
vided by the Kerala government, which will
also bear its cost, the court said. The court di-
rections were based on its examination of the
interim report of the expert committee which
it constituted in July and other additional in-
formation submitted this month.
The court also examined a report furnished
by the Kerala government and its assurance
to put in place a multi-layered security sys-
tem for the temple in a time-bound manner.
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thousands of crores could have thus been
avoided.The note, which was apparently
shown to Mukherjee and accessed by an
application under the Right to Information
Act, was prepared by a deputy secretary in
the nnance ministrv and sent to the Prime
Minister`s Ofnce March 25 This clearlv
proves the role of P. Chidambaram in the 2G
scam. He is responsible, BJP leader Murli
Manohar 1oshi said He should resign him-
self or he should be dismissed. I demand it
strongly. He sought a probe by the Central
Bureau of Investigation.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa
echoed the demand and said in Chennai that
the prime minister should axe Chidambaram
if he did not resign on his own.
Indias Sensex from page 1
The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay
Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened in the red
at 16.82785 points. fell 413 percent to close
at 16.36115 points compared to the previous
close at 17.06515 points The 50-scrip S&P
CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange
also fell sharply and closed 209.6 points or 4.08
percent down at 4.92365 points Selling pres-
sure was across the board as all the broader
markets as well as sectoral indices closed deep
in the red. Realty, metals, oil and gas, capital
goods and banking indices of the BSE closed
between 4-6 percent. Along with falling mar-
ket, rupee weakening to two-year lows is ex-
pected to add up to the inationarv ngures put-
ting further pressure on the Indian economy.
Chabad House in Pushkar
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By Prakash Bhandari/SATimes
Tristate Community 5
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
Indian-Americans played key role in
shaping Indo-US ties: Nirupama Rao
Washington, DC: Indian
Ambassador to the US
Nirupama Rao has lauded
Indian-Americans, saying
they played a key role in
shaping the strategic part-
nership between the world's
two leading democracies.
"You have contributed
and played a significant role
in crafting US-India part-
nership; strategic partner-
ship between the world' s
two leading democracies;
this defining relationship
that has the capability to
impact the destiny of the
21st century," she said.
Rao was addressing the
Indian-American communi-
ty of Washington DC
Metropolitan who had
organized a welcome recep-
tion for her.
"I particularly recall your
role in the successful real-
ization of India-US civil
nuclear agreement and the
zeal and the enthusiasm
with which you supported it
- the passage of the deal in
the United States
Congress," Rao said.
"Your accomplishments
and achievements as a com-
munity has caught the imag-
ination of this country... this
is because of the reputation
you have established, disci-
pline, diligence and deter-
mination to succeed," she
said, urging the community
to work towards even big-
ger and better ties between
the two countries.
"You can play a crucial
role in interpreting India's
priorities to your American
brethren. You can be that
bridge of understating and
friendship between India
and the United States," Rao
said.
Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State Alyssa
Ayres applauded the role
played by the Indian-
American community in
strengthening the relation-
ship between the two coun-
tries.
The State Department is
working on initiatives to
realize the full potential of
the Indian-American com-
munity.
24 years of prison term for
Rajaratnam?
New York: Federal prosecu-
tors want to send the convict-
ed hedge fund chief Raj
Rajaratnam to prison for as
long as 24 years, which
would be the longest insider
trading sentence in history.
How a judge rules next
week on Rajaratnams pun-
ishment is being seen in legal
circles as a litmus test of
whether the crime of insider
trading justifies such a long
prison term says a
Bloomberg News report.
In May, a jury convicted
Rajaratnam, the head of the
hedge fund the Galleon
Group, of 14 counts of secu-
rities fraud and conspiracy.
Prosecutors, calling him the
modern face of illegal insider
trading, placed him at the
center of a vast insider trad-
ing ring, accusing him of
using a global network of tip-
sters to gain about $64 mil-
lion from illegal stock trad-
ing. For Rajaratnam, the gov-
ernment has requested a sen-
tence from 19 years and
seven months to 24 years and
five months, based on federal
sentencing guidelines. The
government said he did not
deserve leniency because he
was a fundamentally decep-
tive and dishonest person
who had lied under oath in a
deposition and had tried to
cover up his crimes.
If Judge Richard J. Holwell
of the Federal District Court
in Manhattan issues such a
sentence on Sept. 27, it will
be the longest prison term
ever for an insider trading
crime. Rajaratnams lawyers
call the proposed sentence
grotesquely severe and
argue that the advisory
guidelines severely overstate
the seriousness of the instant
offenses, and would expose
Rajaratnam to a sentence
grossly out of proportion to
the sentences imposed on
other insider trading defen-
dants.
They point out that the sen-
tence is not only dispropor-
tionate to the sentences
imposed in other insider trad-
ing cases, but also greater
than the average federal sen-
tence for murder (23 years),
kidnapping (14 years) or sex-
ual abuse (9 years), accord-
ing to the United States
Sentencing Commission.
His lawyers also criticize
prosecutors for comparing
Rajaratnams crimes to the
accounting fraud committed
by Ebbers of WorldCom and
the Ponzi scheme run by
Bernard L. Madoff. Those
crimes ruined the lives and
livelihoods of scores of vic-
tims, while Rajaratnams
insider trading offenses vic-
timized no one, his lawyers
said.
Jury convicted Raj
Rajaratnam of 14 counts
of securities fraud and
conspiracy
Ambassador Nirupama Rao
speaking at welcome
function organized by the
Indian American
Community, Washington
DC, September 18, 2011
Embassy of India in Washington, DC hosted Hindi Diwas celebrations on September 14. Seen
here poetry recitation and songs by children.
Washington, DC: Documenting the expe-
riences of South Asian Americans in the
decade after the 9/11 terror attacks, a com-
munity organization has suggested steps to
ensure American ideals of diversity, inclu-
sion and equality.
Looking back at the past decade, South
Asian Americans Leading Together (
SAALT), in a report entitled, Community
Resilience recounts the experiences of
South Asians who suffered loss as a result
of the Sep 11, 2001 tragedy as well as
examples of best practices around commu-
nity collaborations.
The report, complemented with pictures
and stories, takes note of backlash suffered
by South Asian communities living in the
US; bias-based bullying at schools; work-
place discrimination; racial and religious
profiling; and, Islamophobia and attacks on
faith. In the face of these challenges, the
report also presents the stories of success,
resistance and resilience of individuals,
organizations and communities.
"Over the past decade, South Asian,
Muslim, Sikh and Arab, Muslim, Sikh and
Arab American organizations have been
instrumental in developing resources, creat-
ing safe spaces for those affected by post
9/11 backlash, shifting the public conversa-
tion, and advocating with government
agencies and policymakers," said SAALT's
Executive Director, Deepa Iyer.
"As we look ahead, we must continue to
build strong partnerships to create an
America that belongs to all of us," she said
noting the impact of the post 9/11 backlash
continues today.
Many South Asian, especially those of
Sikh and Muslim faiths, endured bigotry
and harassment at workplaces, schools, and
at airports after 9/11, according to the
report.
Still others became ensnared in never-
ending government investigations that scru-
tinized their personal and professional lives
for any traces of terrorist activity or affilia-
tions. Several were detained and deported
in connection to immigration and national
security investigations, it said.
South Asian Americans seek
return to diversity ideals
6 Tristate Community
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Modern and contemporary
South Asian Art totals $2.3
million at Sothebys
New York: Sothebys week of
Asian Art sales concluded with
Modern and Contemporary South
Asian Art which brought
$2,262,000 (est. $2.6/3.8 million).
This brings the combined total for
the weeks three sales to
$31,447,375. The auction was led
by the cover lot Eglise by SH
Raza. The painting comes from an
important period in the artists
work and met expectations when
it sold for $362,500 (est.
$300/500,000). This was one of a
number of strong prices for mod-
ern paintings with works by
Jehangir Sabavala, Jagdish
Swaminathan, and M.F. Husain
all selling well. A further highlight
was Untitled (Himalayan Beauty)
by Raja Ravi Varma which had
passed though the family collec-
tion of the artists German print-
ing technician. The magnificent
painting sold well above the esti-
mate for $266,500 (est.
$100/150,000).
Priyanka Mathew, Head of the
Modern and Contemporary South
Asian Art sale commented: We
are pleased with a number of the
prices in the sale.
Our cover lot by SH Raza met
expectations and paintings with
strong provenance performed
well. Untitled (Himalayan
Beauty) by Raja Ravi Varma com-
fortably exceeded the high esti-
mate to sell for $266,500 and
Jehangir Sabavalas The Cobweb
Cloud also fetched $266,500. Of
the MF Husain works that found
buyers, many exceeded the high
estimate, particularly works that
have not appeared on the market
recently. Overall, our total of $2.3
million was a solid result in a
market that remains price sensi-
tive.
Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar, Head of
the Indian Art Department at
Sothebys New York continued:
We were also pleased with the
performance of the Indian
Miniatures which included a wide
range of works from a variety of
Rajput and Pahari schools.
Here too, works with distin-
guished provenance and in good
condition were actively sought
after by collectors from around
the world. The highlight of this
part of the sale was Krishna and
the Cow from the Sirmur School
circa 1810 which sold for $56,250
to an anonymous buyer after it
was pursued by a number of bid-
ders.
Children's Hope to host Royal India
Gala on October 9
New York: Children's Hope India
will be hosting "The Royal Gala"
on Sunday, October 9, 2011, at
Pier Sixty in Manhattan.
Pier Sixty, the fabulous space on
the water in Chelsea, will be
transformed into a royal palace for
entertainment; bidding will be
invited on luxury trips and palace
stays in India. People will get to
savor a feast of regional dishes
made for the maharajas of India.
Over 500 guests are expected at
this fun-filled evening including
Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, the
Consul General of India and Mrs.
Chandini Dayal. The emcee for
the evening is popular television
personality Tinku Jain. Guests
will be treated to a live perform-
ance by noted singer Falu, and a
magical dance presentation of
'Mystic India'.
Royal Gala CHI recognizes top
leaders for their exemplary leader-
ship, philanthropy and support of
social causes with the Lotus
Award. This year's honorees are
Dr. Melvin and Daryl Rand, and
Dr. Samin K. Sharma.
Dr. Melvin Rand is a distin-
guished forensic and clinical psy-
chologist who has practiced in the
State of New Jersey since
1968.Daryl Rand is the founder
and president of HarrisonRand
Advertising and incorporates three
decades of active volunteerism on
boards of several non-profits,
including CHI.
Dr. Samin K. Sharma is Director
of Interventional Cardiology and
Cardiac Catheterization
Laboratory at Mount Sinai
Hospital. He is Co-Director of the
Zena and Michael A. Wiener
Cardiovascular Institute and a
Professor of Medicine.
The Making a Difference Award
is being presented to Urmi Basu,
Founder of New Light Foundation
for her ground-breaking work
with the children of sex workers
in Kolkata. The proceeds from
the event will benefit Children's
Hope India's health and educa-
tional programs.
Children's Hope India is a vol-
unteer organization of Indian
women professionals in New York
that has been raising funds for
children's health and education
since 1992. They support over 20
projects across several major
cities in India reaching out to over
20,000 children per year.
New York: Prachi Makkar, 15, has been
selected for National Honor Society (NHS)
for her outstanding academic performance.
In addition to scholastic achievements NHS
requires candidates to demonstrate three
additional criteria: service, leadership and
character. NHS is a prestigious organization
recognized by colleges and universities
throughout USA.
US born Prachi plays harmonium and vio-
lin and can sing in four languages; Sanskrit,
Hindi, Punjabi and English.
In March 2007 Prachi was selected to
attend Junior National Youth Leadership
Conference in Washington D.C. for out-
standing 6th & 7th Graders organized by
Congressional Youth Leadership Council.
Prachi along with her younger brother
Surya is first to recite a Hindu Sanskrit
prayer, Indian national song Vande Matram,
Sikh Shabad Kirtan recital Vahe Guru and
US national anthem while playing harmoni-
um & tabla on American TV NJN12 in Aug
2007. Both are winner of various Hindi poet-
ry competitions, devotional singing competi-
tions, essay, posters, educational competi-
tions organized by their school and various
organizations in Tri State area. In 2008 both
received "True Ambassador of India" award
from The Indian Panorama News Paper for
their tremendous love for music and adher-
ence to the pristine culture of India.
Prachis video with her request to
President to Fight Poverty & Hunger was
shown to 2,800 students during President
Obamas swearing ceremony in Jan. 2009.
Prachi has been an exceptionally outstanding
meritorious student at Springfield Schools in
New Jersey with High Honor Rolls in every
subject. In June 2009 she got President
Obamas Outstanding Academic Excellence
Award. This award is given to students for
achieving more than 95 GPA in 6th, 7th &
8th grade. In 2009 she was selected for
admission in Academy of Performing Arts of
Union County in New Jersey for the academ-
ic year 2009-2013 by competing against
more than 2,000 students for 50 seats. She is
doing the 4 year course in Acting, Dancing
& Stage Management while pursuing her
regular high school studies in the Academy.
In Jan 2010 Prachi and Surya again
became the first in America to recite bhajans
for two hours non stop while playing harmo-
nium and tabla at Shirdi Sai Cultural and
Community Center in Iselin, New Jersey.
Since 2009 both are performing Maa Durga
Chowki independently in New Jersey and
adjoining areas in private homes. Both of
them received Excellence in Gurmat Sangeet
Award and First Prize for Shabad Kirtan in
May 2010 from Guru Nanak Foundation of
America. In Sep 2010 Prachi received 3rd
prize in an Adult Singing Competition
organized by JusPunjabi TV.
In Jan. 2011 Prachi & Surya won the first
prize in Republic Day Video contest held for
all 50 states of America organized by Indian
American Muslim Council for their video
Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara. On
top of this Prachi & Surya' s bhajan
"Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram" became No.
4 on You Tube chart in Aug. 2011 with over
165,000 views.
Prachi is planning to join an ivy league
college for her Masters in Law and Business
Administration in the future while perusing
her singing and acting also.
Prachi Makkar selected by National Honor Society
Prachi Makkar, a multi-talented youngster
Cardiologist Dr Samin Sharma
will receive Lotus Award
Urmi Basu will receive The
Making a Difference Award
Shining Stars
Falu and the Dancers of Mystic India to perform
National Community 7
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
Will relocate to India by October: Madhuri Dixit
Shwetak Patel recipient of
2011 MacArthur Fellows
Chicago: The John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
named 22 new MacArthur Fellows
for 2011, including 29-year-old
Indian American Shwetak Patel.
The recipients will each receive
$500,000 in no-strings-attached
genius grant over the next five
years. MacArthur Fellowships
come without stipulations or report-
ing requirements and offer Fellows
unprecedented freedom and oppor-
tunity to reflect, create, and explore.
Patel is a computer scientist who
has invented a series of sensor tech-
nology systems for home environ-
ments with the goal of saving ener-
gy and improving daily life through
a broad range of applications. Much
of his work to date has focused on
the development of low-cost and
easy-to-deploy devices that can
detect and measure household ener-
gy consumption without an elabo-
rate network of expensive instru-
ments.
To allow residents to track their
energy usage down to the level of
individual appliances and fixtures,
Patels distinctive approach lever-
ages existing infrastructure such
as gas lines, electrical wiring,
plumbing, and ventilation ducts
and requires only a minimal number
of small, wirelessly connected sen-
sors attached to the central hookup
of each of these utility sources.
When coupled with a machine
learning algorithm that analyzes
patterns of activity and the signa-
ture noise produced by each appli-
ance, the sensors enable users to
measure and disaggregate their
energy and water consumption and
to detect inefficiencies more effec-
tively.
In addition to the resource conser-
vation applications of his sensor
systems, Patel is also exploring
their potential for home security or
elder care, as they serve the related
function of sensing human activity
and monitoring movement through-
out a buildings rooms.
While envisioning cutting-edge
new tools to address pressing social
challenges and to make the build-
ings we live in more responsive to
our needs, Patel devises elegant,
simple solutions that dramatically
reduce the cost of implementation.
Patel received a B.S. (2003) and a
Ph.D. (2008) from the Georgia
Institute of Technology. Since 2008,
he has been an assistant professor in
the Departments of Computer
Science and Engineering and
Electrical Engineering at the
University of Washington.
The unusual level of independ-
ence afforded to Fellows under-
scores the spirit of freedom intrinsic
to creative endeavors. The work of
MacArthur Fellows knows neither
boundaries nor the constraints of
age, place, and endeavor.
This has been a year of great
change and extraordinary challenge,
and we are once again reminded of
the potential individuals have to
make a difference in the world and
shape our future, said Robert
Gallucci, President of the
MacArthur Foundation. The
MacArthur Fellows exemplify how
individual creativity and talent can
spark new insights and ideas in
every imaginable field of human
endeavor.
New York: Bollywood diva
Madhuri Dixit Nene, who recently
announced that she is relocating
to India says she will return to
Mumbai by October.
After living in the US for more
than a decade, the 44-year-old
actress is looking forward to
returning India.
"Excited! Should be back in
Mumbai by middle of October,"
she wrote on Twitter.
Madhuri, who spent two
decades in the Hindi film industry
establishing herself as one of the
leading actresses and most accom-
plished dancers, shifted to the US
after tying the knot with Denver-
based cardiovascular surgeon
Shriram Madhav Nene in 1999.
They have two sons Arin and
Ryaan.
Madhuri made her acting come-
back with the 2007 film Aaja
Nachle.
The actress is currently working
with chef Sanjeev Kapoor for the
Food Food channel. She also
appeared as one of the judges in
reality dance show Jhalak Dikhla
Ja this year.
In a media interview Madhuri
said her husband has a few
options in Mumbai that he wants
to explore.
"I think this was going to hap-
pen one day anyway...it's preor-
dained. We are all very excited,
the kids especially," she said.
Madhuri quit Bollywood when
she was at the top of her game, a
shockingly unconventional move
in an industry where stars hang
around much after their time is up.
One of her biggest hits, Dil To
Pagal Hai released in 1997. The
same year, her performance in
Mrityudand won her critical
acclaim. Yet, just a year-and-a-
half later, she gave it all up for a
quiet married life.
Madhuri said she has begun
looking for a school for Arin, a
grade III student and Ryan, who is
in grade 1. Dr Nene is also in
touch with his friends in the med-
ical field and some top-notch hos-
pitals in the city.
"Everything is changing rapidly
in India. It's a land of opportuni-
ties. There is so much to do there.
So we thought this is the right
time."
The Bollywood diva is returning to India with husband Dr.Sriram Nene
and children, Arin and Ryaan
Computer scientist Shwetak Patels
work focuses on making low-cost,
easy to deploy devices to measure
household energy consumption
GOPIO seeks relief on US
penalties on foreign accounts
Reserve Bank of India relaxes
rules for NRI remittances
Businessman arrested for
$2.4 Million investment
fraud scheme
Washington, DC: A leading
organization of people of Indian
origin has sought help from a
leading lawmaker in getting
relief on penalties under US tax
rules on non disclosure of foreign
accounts.
Global Organization of People
of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Chairman Inder Singh met with
Howard Berman, top Democrat
on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, seeking his help for
relief on penalties under Report
of Foreign Bank and Financial
Accounts (FBAR) and Offshore
Voluntary Disclosure Initiative
(OVDI) schemes.
Singh told Berman that the let-
ters sent to President Barack
Obama and US tax authorities
did not receive any positive
response from the Internal
Revenue Service Commissioner.
Berman, according to a GOPIO
release, assured that he would
have his staff look into various
situations and extend help where
possible and practical.
Singh suggested to Berman that
the current limit to report about
someone having a foreign bank
account be raised from $10,000
to $25,000 taking into account
the current cost of living index.
He also suggested that the
penalties be waived if less than
$25,000 has been sent abroad for
supporting parents or members of
the extended family or money in
foreign banks was from inheri-
tance received before migrating
to the United States.
Singh also sought exemption
for the temporary workers, such
as H1B and L1 visa holders as
they were never told about com-
pliance with such laws while tak-
ing up jobs in the US.
Even if a penalty were to be
imposed, it should be on the
income rather than the highest
balance from 2003 to 2010, he
said. "After all, it was not money
laundering but genuine transfer
of money for buying property, for
investment or children' s
education."
By Ashok Motwani
New Delhi: After the Reserve Bank
Of India (RBI) amended requisite
law discussed at Pravasi Bharatiya
Divas event for purchasing immov-
able assets / properties in India,
here is further good news.
RBI has doubled the amount a
resident in India can transfer to a
person resident outside India as gift,
to $50,000 during a financial year.
Also it has decided that individuals
resident in India may be permitted
to include non-resident close rela-
tive(s) as a joint holder(s) in their
resident bank accounts on former
or survivor basis. However, such
non- resident Indian close relatives
shall not be eligible to operate the
account during the life time of the
resident account holder.
NRIs may be permitted to open
NRE / FCNR(B) account with their
resident close relative on former or
survivor basis. The resident close
relative shall be eligible to operate
the account as a Power of Attorney
holder in accordance with extant
instructions during the life time of
the NRI/ PIO account holder.
Indians will be able to lend up to
$2 lakh in rupee in a fiscal to NRIs
and PIOs, who are their close rela-
tives, for personal purpose or busi-
ness activities other than agricul-
ture, real estate or relending
business.
Fresno, CA: Janamjot Singh Sodhi, aka Jimmy Singh,
35, was arrested on an outstanding warrant issued on
Sept. 13, 2011, for an investment fraud scheme,
announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.
According to the complaint, beginning in April 2010
and continuing until his arrest, Sodhi, former owner of
Elite Financial Inc., enticed investors into giving him
money for investment opportunities but used the monies
to pay off previous investors and for his own personal
use. Since 2005, Sodhis license to sell investments had
been revoked, and in January 2009, the state of
California issued a cease and desist order against him
and Elite Financial from selling securities to investors. It
is alleged that Sodhi defrauded investors of $2.4 million.
Company: Lotus Exim International, Inc.
Industry: Leading distributors of Natural Stone,
Marble and Granite
Position Offered: Inside and Outside Sales
Profile: Build Sales and Distribution network,
create market base and service existing clients.
Requirements: Service oriented people with
proven track record and strong communication
and people skills. Industry experience a plus.
Travel: Intensive traveling in Tri-state area
Rewards: Competitive salary, Performance
Bonus and benefits package Right opportunity
for fresh graduates: Willing to sponsor OPT
Email resumes to hrdept@lotusexim.comor
FAX to 201-475-2817.
Visit us at www.lotusexim.com
JOB OPPORTUNITY
8 National Community
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Memorial for first 9/11 backlash
murder victim held
Washington, DC: Ten years ago, on
September 15,2001, Balbir Singh Sodhi
was shot and killed outside of his Mesa,
Arizona, gas station in a misguided
attempt at retaliation for the attacks on
September 11. He was murdered
because he had a turban and beard in
accordance with his Sikh faith. He was
the first murder victim due to post-9/11
backlash.
Frank Roque wanted to kill a
Muslim in retaliation for the attacks on
September 11.
He selected Sodhi simply because he
had a beard and wore a turban in accor-
dance with his Sikh faith. Roque shot at
Mr. Sodhi three times, then shot at
another service station owned by a
Lebanese American and finally shot at a
home of a family of Afghan descent.
Fortunately, no one else was injured.
He was convicted of first degree mur-
der and sentenced to life in prison for the
hate crime.
Balbir Singh Sodhi was the oldest of
five brothers. He immigrated to the
United States from India in 1988 to
realize the American dream. He joined
his brother Harjit Sodhi in Los Angeles,
CA, where he worked at a 7-Eleven for
several years until he moved to Walnut
Creek, CA to become a cab driver. He
had moved to Mesa a year prior to his
death, bought a house, and the gas sta-
tion across the street. He worked 12,
14 hours a day, said his brother Harjit,
and he saved his pennies. He regularly
sent money to his family still in India.
Jagjit Sodhi, his older brother, stated,
We depended on the money he sent us
from time to time.
Just a few months before the tenth
anniversary of his death and the attack
on America, the Arizona legislature
decided to remove Sodhis name from
the state 9/11 memorial because he was
not deemed a victim of 9/11. After
advocacy by community groups,
Governor Jan Brewer would veto the bill
and continue to honor the memory of
Mr. Sodhi. On September 15, 2011, indi-
viduals from across Arizona and the
country participated in a memorial serv-
ice at 7955 E. University Drive, Mesa,
Arizona, to commemorate the victims of
9/11 and to remember Balbir Singh
Sodhi.
New York: Dr. Gopinathan Nair, Founding
Chairman and Managing Director of
Santhigram Group of Companies and
President of Santhigram USA was presented
"Dharma Award" by Association of
Ayurvedic Professionals of North America
(AAPNA) during its 3rd international con-
ference held at Hilton Hotel, Boston, MA on
August 14, 2011. The award was conferred
by the guest of honor, Yogi Shri Amritji, of
Amrit Yoga Institute in the presence of over
350 Ayurvedic professionals from 35 coun-
tries. The prestigious international award
was given to Dr. Gopinathan Nair, in recog-
nition for his excellence in promoting aware-
ness of Ayurveda across the globe.
AAPNA is an international organization of
repute, which is tirelessly working to spread
knowledge of Ayurveda worldwide, the age-
old system of medicine. AAPNA is currently
headed by the renowned Ayurvedic physi-
cian Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla.
Dr. Gopinathan is already the recipient of
many prestigious awards for his outstanding
contribution in propagating worldwide, the
age-old, side-effect-free Kerala Ayurvedic
and Panchakarma treatments. Over the years,
his efforts have helped hundreds of people
suffering from various chronic ailments
worldwide. Dr Gopinathan was instrumental
in establishing three Ayurvedic Hospitals in
Delhi, India, "Santhigram Kerala Ayurvedic
Hospital" ( Safdarjung Enclave in South
Delhi, Paschim Vihar in West Delhi and
Dwarka in South-West Delhi). These estab-
lished facilities provide state of the art
Ayurvedic Treatments to local and interna-
tional patients, suffering from various chron-
ic ailments since the past 15 years. Under his
leadership these centers have consistently
provided quality services to its clients and
they are the first Ayurvedic service provider
to be awarded ISO 9001:2000 quality certifi-
cation in India.
Dr. Gopinathan's special efforts have creat-
ed history for Ayurveda in United States.
Since the last five years, his efforts have
come a long way in establishing authentic
Ayurvedic Panchakarma Centers in US, pro-
viding authentic Kerala specific Ayurvedic
therapies.
These therapies are famous for alleviating
various chronic ailments like Spondylitis,
Slip Disc / Back Ache, Arthritis, Joint Pains,
Muscle pains, Sprains, Frozen Shoulder,
Obesity, Migraine, Sinusitis, psychosomatic
disorders due to stress & strain, depression,
insomnia, skin diseases like Psoriasis,
Eczema etc . These natural therapies are free
of side-effects.
Dr Gopinathan Nair receives "Dharma Award" from AAPNA
Photo of Balbir Singh Sodhi at his
Mesa, Arizona residence
Santhigram Group's Dr. Gopinathan Nair,
being conferred Dharma Award from
AAPNA by the guest of honor, Yogi Shri
Amritji, of Amrit Yoga Institute
Michael Salahi with husband Tareq
Gate crasher Salahi
deserts husband for a
rock band guitarist
Washi ngton, DC:
Cel ebri t y Whi t e House
gate crasher Michael Salahi
is reported to have left her
husband Tareqs home to
be with another man, the
lead guitarist for the rock
band Journey.
Tareq Salahi had reported
his wife missing Tuesday
night, telling authorities in
Virginia he feared she had
been ki dnapped.
Authorities, however, said
ex-reality TV personality
Michaele Salahi told them
she was fi ne and di dn' t
want to return home. Then
cel ebri t y websi t e TMZ
reported that a representa-
tive for Journey said she
was safe and with guitarist
Neal Schon.
"Tareq is devastated but
he is relieved to know that
Michaele is safe," Salahi
attorney David Silek told
ABC' s "Good Morni ng
America. "That was his
first concern."
Silek said it's premature
to say if the couple would
get a divorce.
"He' s so devast at ed
there's not a goal other than
trying to figure out what is
goi ng on at t hi s t i me, "
Si l ek sai d of Tareq. "If
there's an opportunity for
reconciliation, that's some-
thing they can and ought to
explore."
Di ane Di mond, who
wrote the book "Cirque du
Salahi" about the couple,
told the morning show that
Michaele had been frustrat-
ed with her husband and
t hat she had a previ ous
relationship with Schon.
"She told me, in effect,
that he was one of the loves
of her life," Dimond told
the show.
The Salahis burst onto
the scene in 2009 when
t hey crashed a Whi t e
House st at e di nner.
Michaele Salahi was a cast
member of the reality show
"Real Housewives of D.C."
last year, but the show was
canceled after one season.
The couple posted a pic-
ture of Twitter of them-
sel ves wi t h Schon and
other band members last
week.
TMZ posted video of the
couple partying with Schon
at their embattled winery
last year.
Man of South Asian origin sentenced
for insider trading
New York: An accounts manager for a Taiwanese firm who
pleaded guilty to insider trading in May, was sentenced Sept. 15
to 1 years in prison, $35,000 in restitution, and two years of
supervised release. The information he provided led to $1 million
in gains for his "clients." Manosha Karunatilaka was convicted
of conspiring with others in an insider-trading scheme in which
he defrauded a public company to obtain material, nonpublic
information and provide that information to members of the
investment community so that they could execute securities
transactions.
Karunatilaka participated in the insider-trading conspiracy
while working as an account manager for Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Company Ltd. He pleaded guilty to one count of
conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud May 11.
U.S. District Judge Jed S.Rakoff pronounced the sentence,
according to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the
Southern District of New York. Between 2008 and 2010,
Karunatilaka and his co-conspirators obtained inside informa-
tion, including product sales and shipping information for
Taiwan Semiconductor. They used an "expert networking" firm
to facilitate so-called "con sultation calls," during which
Karunatilaka provided the inside information, prosecutors
said.On Oct. 8, 2009, for example, he had a telephone conversa-
tion with a technology analyst at a financial institution in New
York City during which he provided nonpublic information
about Taiwan Semiconductor and its customers, the release
said.Between January 2008 and June 2010, he was paid more
than $35,000 for his consultation calls, according to the release.
In his plea agreement, Karunatilaka admitted that, based on his
participation in the conspiracy, the inside information he provid-
ed to others resulted in trading gains of more than $1 million.
National Community 9
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
Karan Singh to keynote
Satyajit Ray Lecture at
UC-Santa Cruz
California: Diplomat and statesman Karan
Singh will deliver the 2011 Satyajit Ray
Lecture at the University of California at
Santa Cruz Sept. 24. His topic is: Nava
Vedanta: Ancient Indian Philosophy of
Non-Dualism and its Modern
Transformation.
The lecture will be preceded by a screen-
ing of Indian director Satyajit Rays last
movie Agantuk (The Stranger) at 3 p.m.
in the UCSC Media Theater. The lecture
will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Music Recital
Hall on campus.
President of the Indian Council of
Cultural Relations in New Delhi, Singh is
the last Maharaja of Kashmir and served as
its governor for 18 years. He was a member
of Prime Minister Indira Gandhis cabinet
and has served as Indian ambassador to the
U.S.
The lecture and film screening are pre-
sented by The Satyajit Ray Film and Study
Center, a research center dedicated to Rays
work at UC-Santa Cruz. Under the direc-
tion of founding director Dilip Basu, the
Ray FASC has a collection of 32 of Rays
36 films, including 22 fully restored prints.
The New York Times has called Rays
last film a gentle, exquisitely realized
comedy, beautifully observed, sweet, and
enriching.
During the past year, we have curated
complete retrospectives at film museums in
Munich, Zurich, Basel, London, Paris,
Singapore and at the Lincoln Center in
New York, said Basu, an Indian American
professor at UCSC. We expect to continue
to have similar global reach in the foresee-
able future.
A professor of history at UC-Santa Cruz,
Basu also teaches an annual upper division
class, Cinema and History: Film Author
Satyajit Ray.
Indian diplomat and statesman
Karan Singh
Anand Sharma: India will
return to 'double digit growth
Guv Rick Perry welcomes as honored guest of Texas
Texas: Addressing a 650
Indian-American business
leaders at the annal gala of
the Greater Dallar Indo-
American Chamber of
Commerce, Indias
Commerce, Industry and
Textiles Minister, Anand
Sharma, promised Indias
return to double digit
growth after the wobbles
of the global economic
downturn and the shaky
ongoing recovery.
In his speech the Minister
asked the US companies
to do more than they are
doing, to revitalize a bilat-
eral trade relationship that
was well below potential.
Sharma sought to allay
concerns surrounding the
controversy on outsourcing
of U.S. jobs to India, argu-
ing that for every job out-
sourced to India, two
skilled and well-paid jobs
were created on U.S. soil.
In building this case he also
made a plea to end a host of
restrictive rules that made it
difficult for Indian profes-
sionals in areas such as
information technology to
work in the US. At the
event Sharma was bestowed
with the keys to Dallas city
and also was felicitated by
Ashok Mago, GDIACC
founder and a prominent
Dallas businessman who
facilitated the movement of
the India-U. S. civilian
nuclear agreement bill
through the U.S. Congress
in 2008. While Texas
Governor and presidential
hopeful Rick Perry could
not attend the event owing
to his campaign activities,
his colleague read out a
note on Perrys behalf in
which the Governor wel-
comed Sharma as an hon-
ored guest to Texas.
Sharma also attended the
India-U.S. CEO Forum on
September 22, along with
Indian Finance Minister
Pranabh Mukherkjee and
their US counterparts.
India's Commerce, Industry and Textiles minister,
Anand Sharma
Comedian Ansari named
Funniest Man Under 30'
New York: Comedian Aziz Ansari, who
starred in the recent film C"30 Minutes or
Less," was featured on the back cover of the
September issue of Rolling Stone magazine
that dubbed him "The Funniest Man Under
30." The 28-year-old has appeared in films
like "Funny People," "Get Him to the Greek"
and stars in "Parks and Recreation" on NBC.
Ansari, whose parents migrated to the
United States from Tamil Nadu, grew up in
South Carolina.
He began his career as a stand-up comedi-
an in 2004 and landed his first movie,
"School For Scoundrels," in 2006.
On "Parks and Recreation," centered on a
dysfunctional city hall in Pawnee, Ind.,
Ansari plays Tom Haverford, a wannabe big
fish in a small pond, Rolling Stone said.
"He wants to be Russell Simmons, but he's
too scared to go to a big city," Ansari told the
magazine about his character.
"He's doing stuff he sees rappers doing,
and it's not impressing anyone but himself,
but he's doing it.
That's really sweet and funny to me." Like
Tom, Ansari, 28, grew up in a small town
Bennettsville, S.C., where he was the only
Indian kid in his school.
Unlike Tom, Ansari leapt out of his small
pond the first chance he got, enrolling at
New York University as a marketing major.
His heart wasn't in it, and after people kept
telling him he was funny, he tried stand-up,
the mag- azine said about Ansari's early
years.
He hustled his way up from five-minute
slots to hosting entire evenings. On the
strength of his stand-up buzz, Ansari was
able to co- write and co-star on a daffy,
unhinged MTV sketch show, "Human
Giant," which ran for two seasons; MTV
offered a third, but Ansari was already plan-
ning to move to Los Angeles where he was
hired on to "Parks and Recreation." In "30
Minutes or Less," Ansari plays a school
teacher, whose best friend, played by Jesse
Eisenberg, is forced by some goons to rob a
bank. The film is directed by "Zombieland"
helmer Ruben Fleischer.
He is also featuring in the next "Ice Age"
film lending voice to a prehistoric rabbit,
which is part of a pirate gang.
Aziz Ansari
10 US Affairs
Washington, DC: The Federal Reserve
announced a new plan Wednesday to stimu-
late growth by purchasing $400 billion in
long-term Treasury securities with proceeds
from the sale of short-term government
debt, defying Republican demands to refrain
from new stimulus actions.
In extending its campaign of novel efforts
to shake the economy from its torpor, the
Fed said that it was responding to evidence
that there is a clear need for help.
Growth remains slow. Recent indicators
point to continuing weakness in overall
labor market conditions and the unemploy-
ment rate remains elevated, the Fed argued.
Household spending has been increasing at
only a modest pace in recent months.
The central bank said in a statement that
the program was aimed at reducing the cost
of borrowing for businesses and consumers,
including the cost of mortgage loans. It
hopes that the lower rates will encourage
companies to build new factories and hire
more workers, and consumers to start spend-
ing again on homes and cars and clothes and
vacations.
Specifically, the Fed said that by June
2012 it will sell $400 billion in Treasury
securities with remaining maturities of less
than three years and purchase roughly the
same amount of securities with maturities
longer than six years.
It said the result would move the average
maturity of the bonds it holds to about 100
months from 75 months.
The Fed added it would resume direct
efforts to help the mortgage market by rein-
vesting the proceeds of its existing invest-
ments in mortgage-backed securities into
new mortgage-backed securities, rather than
putting the money in Treasuries.
Three members of the Feds 10-member
policy-making committee, however, dissent-
ed from the decisionthey had earlier
objected to hold short-term interest rates
near zero until at least 2013.
Economists project that the effort could
reduce interest rates by a few tenths of a per-
centage point, a significant increment when
multiplied by the vast extent of borrowing.
The forecasting firm Macroeconomic
Advisers estimated in advance of the Feds
announcement based on its best guess
about the details of such a program that
the Feds efforts could add about 0.4 per-
centage points to economic output and cre-
ate about 350,000 jobs.
Fed moves on long-term rates to spur growth
Boston: Children whose parents are
illegal immigrants or who lack legal
status themselves face uniformly
negative effects on their social
development from early childhood
until they become adults, according
to a study by four researchers pub-
lished Wednesday in the Harvard
Educational Review.
The study concluded that more
than five million children in the US
are at risk of lower educational per-
formance, economic stagnation,
blocked mobility and ambiguous
belonging because they are grow-
ing up in immigrant families affect-
ed by illegal status.
The study is the first to pull
together field research by social sci-
entists nationwide to track the
effects of a familys illegal immigra-
tion status on children from birth
until they graduate from college and
start to navigate the job market. It
covers immigrants from a variety of
origins, including Latinos and
Asians.
About 5.5 million children in this
country have at least one parent who
is an illegal immigrant, according to
an estimate by the Pew Hispanic
Center. Among them, about one mil-
lion children were brought here ille-
gally by their parents, while about
4.5 million are US citizens because
they were born here.
In all, about 9.5 million people
live in mixed status families that
include American citizen children
and unauthorized immigrants,
Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demograph-
er at the Pew center, said on
Tuesday. Unauthorized status casts
a big shadow that really extends to
citizen as well as undocumented
children, Marcelo Surez-Orozco,
a professor of education at New
York University who is an author of
the study, said on Tuesday. It
affects their cognitive development,
engagement in school and their abil-
ity to be emerging citizens.
The Harvard study reports that
fear and vigilance guide the home
lives of young children whose par-
ents are illegal immigrants, making
the parents significantly less likely
to engage with teachers or be active
in schools.
Parents fears of deportation led to
lower levels of enrollment of their
American children in public pro-
grams for which the children were
legally eligible, including child care
subsidies, public preschool and food
stamps, the study found.
Many illegal immigrant parents
work long hours in low-wage jobs,
sometimes more than one job. New
research on very young children
cited in the Harvard study showed
that the undocumented parents dif-
ficult work conditions contribute
substantially to the lower cognitive
skills of children in their families.
This was true even though the chil-
dren were more likely to be in two-
parent families than American chil-
dren as a whole.
As teenagers, children without
legal status face a hard awakening
when they apply for jobs, drivers
licenses or financial aid for college
and discover they are not legally
qualified for any of them. Their
paths diverge from siblings who are
American citizens by birthright.
Academic achievement does little
to lift the prospects of illegal immi-
grants who have grown up here. Out
of 150 immigrants studied, 31 had
completed college or advanced
degrees, but none were in a career
that matched their educational
training.
Children of illegal immigrants face hampered growth
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Ben Bernanke, the chairman of Federal
Reserve: defying Republican demands to
refrain from new stimulus actions.
Ban over, Marines
seek recruits at
gay center
Tulsa, OK: Master Sgt.
Anthony Henry, a top Marine
recruiting trainer for the
southwestern United States,
visited Tulsas biggest gay
community center on
Tuesday. He had been invited
to set up a recruiting booth
on the first day of the end of
dont ask, dont tell at the
Dennis R. Neill Equality
Center in downtown Tulsa.
He spent the day talking to a
trickle of gay women inter-
esting in joining the Marines.
Its your business and you
dont have to share it,
Sergeant Henry told Ariel
Pratt, 20, who asked whether
she would face discrimina-
tion in the military as a les-
bian serving openly. But
youre also free to be at the
mall with your girlfriend.
The Marines were the serv-
ice most opposed to ending
the dont ask, dont tell
policy, but they were the
only one of five invited
branches of the military to
turn up with their recruiting
table and chin-up bar at the
center Tuesday morning.
Although Marines pride
themselves on being the most
testosterone-fueled of the
services, they also ferocious-
ly promote their view of
themselves as the best. With
the law now changed, the
Marines appear determined
to prove that they will be bet-
ter than the Army, Navy, Air
Force and Coast Guard in
recruiting gay, lesbian and
bisexual service members.
Still, judging by the traffic at
the gay rights center on
Tuesday, there will not be an
immediate flood of gay and
lesbian Marine applicants.
By 3 p.m., more than four
hours after the Marines had
set up their booth opposite
the centers AIDS quilt, only
three women had wandered
in, none ideal recruits.
Repeal of a 1993 law that
allowed gays to serve only so
long as they kept their sexual
orientation private took
effect on Tuesday.
To GOP ire, Obama seeks taxes
on wealthy to cut debt
Washington: Striking a confrontation-
ist posture, President Barack Obama
has proposed $1.5 trillion in new taxes
for the wealthy to cut the national debt
by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.
In a White House address Monday he
also threatened to veto any debt reduc-
tion legislation that cuts benefits like
Medicare and Medicaid, government
provided healthcare for the elderly, and
doesnt include higher taxes on the
wealthy.
I will not support any plan that puts
all the burden on ordinary Americans,
he said abandoning earlier attempts at
compromise with the GOP.
Rather than trying to identify com-
mon ground, the president is taking the
same kind of tough stance that
Republicans adopted in the debt-ceiling
debate, said the influential New York
Times.
The proposal drew an angry response
from key Republicans, underscoring the
considerable opposition to his plan on
Capitol Hill as a special bipartisan com-
mittee on deficit reduction ramps up its
work in coming weeks.
US assembling secret drone bases in Africa,
Arabian Peninsula
Washington: America is assembling
a constellation of secret drone bases
for counterterrorism operations in
the Horn of Africa and the Arabian
Peninsula as part of a newly aggres-
sive campaign to attack al-Qaeda
affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, US
officials say. One of the installations
is being established in Ethi o pia, a US
ally in the fight against al-Shabab,
the Somali militant group that con-
trols much of that country.
Another base is in the Seychelles,
an archipelago in the Indian Ocean,
where a small fleet of hunter-killer
drones resumed operations this
month after an experimental mission
demonstrated that the unmanned air-
craft could effectively patrol Somalia
from there.
The US military also has flown
drones over Somalia and Yemen
from bases in Djibouti, a tiny African
nation at the junction of the Red Sea
and the Gulf of Aden. In addition,
the CIA is building a secret airstrip
in the Arabian Peninsula so it can
deploy armed drones over Yemen.
The rapid expansion of the unde-
clared drone wars is a reflection of
the growing alarm with which US
officials view the activities of al-
Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and
Somalia, even as al-Qaedas core
leadership in Pakistan has been
weakened by US counterterrorism
operations.
The U.S. government is known to
have used drones to carry out lethal
attacks in at least six countries:
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan,
Somalia and Yemen.
President Obama in his Oval Office
12 India Newswire
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Chidambaram dragged into 2G net
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is
expected to decide whether a
Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) probe is needed into what
Subramanian Swamy alleges to be
the role of P Chidambaram in
deciding the price of 2G spectrum
allocations.
Janata Party president
Subramanian Swamy had indicat-
ed that Home Minister P
Chidambaram, as the then finance
minister, was along with jailed
former communications minister
A Raja involved in deciding the
2G spectrum price.
The documents filed by Swamy
included a communication of Jan
30, 2008, by the department of
economic affairs of the finance
ministry recording the gist of the
meeting between the then finance
minister Chidambaram and Raja.
The communication signed by
the then finance secretary D
Subbarao said: "The FM (finance
minister) said that for now we are
not seeking to revisit the current
regimes for entry fee or revenue
sharing."
Swamy told the court that all
along, on the question of 2G spec-
trum pricing, the then finance
minister and his ministry's offi-
cials were kept in the loop.
He pointed to various letters and
internal communications and said
that April 21, 2008, the then
finance minister sent a "non-
paper" to the communications
minister, conveying that an "in
principle" decision may be taken
to price the spectrum beyond 4.4
MHz as has been suggested by the
department of telecommunica-
tions (DoT).
The government and the CBI
have opposed a CBI probe into
Chidambarams role. They are of
the view that, as a special trial
court is besieged of the matter, the
SC should not order a CBI probe
at this juncture.
Meanwhile, in a new twist to the
second generation (2G) spectrum
case, a note to the Prime
Minister's Office from the finance
ministry says this resource could
have auctioned in 2008 if Home
Minister P Chidambaram, then the
finance minister, had "stuck to his
stand".
In the note, the finance ministry
says Chidambaram could have
prevented spectrum from being
given away at throwaway prices
by insisting on its auction -- allud-
ing that presumptive losses worth
thousands of crores could have
thus been avoided.
The Janata Party wants Home Minister P Chidambaram
to be made co-accused in the 2G case.
Advani not in PM race, ready for yatra
Nagpur: Senior Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani
indicated for the first time he may
not be the candidate for prime
minister's job in the next general
election, provoking the Congress
to say there was a war within the
main opposition party.
Already 83, the former deputy
prime minister made the com-
ments after meeting Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief
Mohan Bhagwat "to seek bless-
ings" for his (Advani's) proposed
nationwide rath yatra on "clean
politics and good governance".
Advani, who was widely seen as
the BJP's unstated prime ministe-
rial nominee in the 2009 Lok
Sabha battle, did not give a cate-
gorical "yes" or "no" when he was
asked if he was eyeing the top
executive post.
Instead, he gave a philosophical
answer, saying he had got more
from the BJP than anything he
could have got from the post of
prime minister.
Pressed if the RSS wanted him
to make it absolutely clear that he
was not in the running for the post
of prime minister, Advani said:
"There are reports."
That statement did not amuse
the Congress, which said there
was "upheaval in BJP" and that
there were five to seven prime
ministerial candidates in that
party.In contrast, "there is no
vacancy for the prime minister's
post" in the Congress, spokesman
Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Advani, one of the most experi-
enced leaders in Indian politics,
flew to Nagpur amid reports that a
section of the BJP was miffed at
him for announcing the rath yatra
next month.
Some BJP leaders complained
privately that he had not taken the
party into confidence and that it
was an attempt by him to portray
himself as the prime ministerial
candidate.
The RSS, however, clarified that
it had no role to play in shaping
the BJP's choice of who a prime
minister should be.
"These are issues the BJP
decides," RSS spokesperson Ram
Madhav said in Nagpur, where the
RSS has its headquarters.
The senior Bharatiya Janata
Party leader says he has got more
from the BJP than anything he
could have got from the post of
prime minister.
Delhi blast suspects to
be produced in court
New Delhi: Three people arrested in
Jammu and Kashmir for the Sep 7 Delhi
High Court blast were brought to New
Delhi by a National Investigation Agency
(NIA) team, police said.
Shariq Ahmed, Abid Hussain and Amir
Abbas Dev were brought here on transit
remand by the NIA team led by Deputy
Inspector General Mukesh Singh.
The accused are expected to be presented
in the Patiala House district courts, where
the NIA is likely to seek their remand for
further probe.
Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel
also accompanied the three accused.
At least 15 people were killed in the blast.
Dev, arrested by NIA Sep 16, was
remanded in police custody for seven days,
while Ahmed and Hussain were arrested
Sep 13 and were sent to police custody for
10 days.
The accused have been booked under
Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 153-
A (promoting enmity between different
groups on grounds of religion, race or lan-
guage and doing acts prejudicial to mainte-
nance of harmony) and 134-A (attack on
government servant on duty) of the Indian
Penal Code.
The NIA has announced a reward of
Rs.10 lakh for anybody giving information
about the perpetrators of the blast.
The National Investigation Agency has
announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for
anybody giving information about the
perpetrators of the blast.
PM to focus on terror,
reforms at UN
United Nations: Indian
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh came to the United
Nations focused on global
challenges such as terror-
ism, economic slowdown,
terrorism and unrest in
West Asia and North
Africa.
External Affairs Minister
S.M. Krishna, his
Principal Secretary T.K.A.
Nair, National Security
Advisor Shiv Shankar
Menon and Foreign
Secretary Ranjan Mathai
are part of the high-level
team accompanying
Manmohan
Set to address the UN
General Assembly on
September 24, Manmohan Singh will also
dilate on the issue of UN reforms as he speaks
about the role played by India since being
elected as a non-permanent member of the
Security Council after a gap of 19 years.
As he said in a statement in New Delhi
embarking on the five day UN trip, "Our
efforts at promoting international peace and
security and bringing to
bear a developing country
perspective have, I
believe, enriched the
Council' s deliberations
and enhanced its effec-
tiveness."
"The UN must be seen
as an impartial, credible
and effective body. I will
stress the need for early
reform of this unique
organization, particularly
an expansion of its
Security Council."
"The UN General
Assembly is meeting this
year at a time when the
world is faced with mul-
tiple challenges. The
global economy is in the
midst of an economic slowdown coupled with
all its attendant problems, including inflation-
ary pressures," the prime minister said.
He also said terrorism and non-traditional
threats to international security, such as pira-
cy, were threatening states and the internation-
al political and social order and called for col-
lective action to address all these issues.
Manmohan Singh is set to address the
United Nations General Assembly on
September 24.
Ajmer set to host first global Sufi festival
Why Big B playing a stereotypical Jewish gangster?
Swiss ready to share
black money details
Mumbai : Qawwali, ghazals, discus-
sions and Sufi music will be offered
at the first edition of the International
Sufi Festival Oct 21-27 in Ajmer,
Rajasthan. The week-long event will
bring together Sufi artists from coun-
tries like Britain, Pakistan, Egypt and
France with an aim to capture and
project the spirit of Sufism.
I want to bring about the true mes-
sage of Sufism globally where the
core belief and practice is nothing but
the acceptance of each other without
the barrier of religion, festival direc-
tor Gulshaa Begum told IANS.
The core intention is to awaken
the spirit of brotherhood, together-
ness, thoughtfulness, selflessness and
oneness which alone can make life in
the world successful. It will revive
the message Sufi saint Hazrath
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty, she
added. The event is organised by
Divine Abode in collaboration with
the Interfaith Foundation, the India
and Kashmir Society, the
International center for Kashmir
Sufism and the International Sufi
Festival India.
International artists from Britain,
Pakistan, Egypt and France will per-
form at the festival.
Why Ajmer?
Ajmer is the centre for Sufism,
spirituality, art and culture. It is the
fortunate city, chosen by Hazrath
Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty to
spread the message of love, peace
and oneness globally, said Gulshaa.
Mumbai: Superstar Amitabh
Bachchan will make his
Hollywood debut with 2012
Warner Bros. remake of 'The Great
Gatsby.'
What is rather interesting in this
new sis why Big B has agreed to
play the role of a crooked Jewish
associate of the novel's Jay Gatsby.
The F. Scott Fitzgerald-created
character named Meyer Wolfsheim
was modeled after a real-life
Jewish mobster of the period -- and
his portrayal in the novel was far
from friendly. In fact, it was down-
right anti-Semitic, some scholars
claim.
Bachchan has agreed to play the
one-scene role of the stereotyped
Jewish gangster -- and for free.
Here's Bachchan's take on his
own personal blog: "Baz ... called
last month and wondered if I would
do [a] small role in his ['Gatsby']
film and I agreed. It is a gesture. I
have refused any remuneration on
this, too."
"As to why Baz chose to ask me,
is something that perhaps he would
be better placed to answer, "
Bachman added. "I have gone
down to Sydney and had a prelimi-
nary reading of the script with the
entire cast and done hair makeup
costume rehearsals. It has been a
wonderful experience to be a part
of [the Hollywood] system and to
observe with what detail and dili-
gence they work."
But playing the crooked Jewish
Gatsby associate Meyer
Wolfsheim, a Fitzgerald stereo-
type?
Fitzgerald used the real-life
Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein
as the inspiration for Jay Gatsby's
crooked associate Wolfsheim. At
one point, Gatsby says to narrator
Nick Carraway, "He's the man who
fixed the 1919 World Series."
New Delhi: Switzerland
Ambassador Philippe Welti
said his country would share
details of the secret bank
accounts held by Indians,
provided everything is with-
in the framework of the
revised double taxation
treaty between the two
nations.
To a question in an inter-
view to a private news
channel that whether
Switzerland would share
details of Swiss bank accounts held
by Indians, the Ambassador said,
"Yes, provided it is in the frame-
work of the treaty."
Switzerland's Parliament on June
17 approved the revised Double
Taxation Avoidance Agreement
(DTAA) with India that would
allow access to details of its citi-
zens having unaccounted money in
Swiss banks.After ratification by
Parliament, the treaty is open to
scrutiny by Swiss people for 100
days. That period ends on
October 6.
India had inked an agreement
with Switzerland to revise the
DTAA in August 2010. Once in
force, the treaty would allow India
to seek information for cases relat-
ed to tax evasion also.
Going by statistics from the
Swiss National Bank, the total
deposits of Indian individuals and
companies with all the Swiss banks
was collectively about $2.5 billion
at the end of 2010.
Amid raging debate over the
issue of black money, the govern-
ment is looking at various ways,
including renegotiation of existing
bilateral treaties to bring back
unaccounted money stashed by its
citizens in overseas accounts.
When asked whether the Indian
government has submitted any
request regarding accounts held by
its citizens in Swiss banks, Welti
said, "I have not seen the request
going through me but I am not the
only channel.
Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to
play the one-scene role of the
stereotyped Jewish gangster -- and
for free, in 'The Great Gatsby.'
Switzerland Ambassador Philippe Welti.
India Newswire 13
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
14 India Newswire
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Deaths, destruction as strong quake hits India
Gangtok: Days after a devastating
earthquake measuring a forceful
6.8 on Richter scale struck large
parts of North East India, rescue
and relief teams are still trying to
reach thousands of people trapped
in remote areas.
Across India, buildings shook
triggering panic almost all over
northern and eastern India, includ-
ing Delhi, Uttar Pradesh,
Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar,
West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram.
While the death toll rose to 78 in
Sikkim, West Bengal reported 15
deaths and Bihar nine.
Sikkim passed through one of its
darkest hours, with landslides
snapping its only road link with the
rest of the world and preventing
disaster response teams from
reaching affected sites - a problem
compounded by incessant rain.
The toll in Sikkim mounted to 78
even as landslides in several places
cut off road links between the state
and the rest of the country. The toll
may further increase as rescue
workers were unable to reach some
interior north Sikkim areas because
of landslides, a government official
said.
An Army aerial survey showed
that at least five villages in north
Sikkim have been obliterated.
More disturbingly, the survey
failed to detect any people in or
around the area, raising fears of the
quake toll going up significantly.
Authorities also said that 11 bod-
ies were retrieved from the rubble
at the hydel project near here
where rescue teams fear that 40
workers are trapped in a flooded
tunnel. With more bodies being
found as the rescue teams are
reaching areas that were cut off,
fears of the toll going up are rising
by the hour.
There was no news of the 40
workers trapped in the tunnel of the
Teesta Urja hydel project between
Theng village and Mangan with
authorities now fearing the worst.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
has sanctioned Rs.2 lakh each for
the next of kin of those killed in
India.
The India Meteorological
Department (IMD) said the epicen-
ter of the quake was on the Sikkim-
Nepal border.
The quake also damaged some
Indian Army bunkers in eastern
Sikkim near Nathu-La pass along
the India-China border and left
many soldiers injured, said
sources.
This is the fourth earthquake to
hit India this month. An earthquake
measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale
had shaken north India Sep 7 at
around with its epicenter near
Sonepat in Haryana, 65 km from
New Delhi.
The toll in Sikkim alone mounted to 78 even as landslides in several
places cut off road links between the state and the rest of the country.
India lacks quake
preparedness: Experts
New Delhi: Pointing to an increase in tectonic
activities that escalate the chances of more
earthquakes in India, experts say the country's
preparedness to deal with the disasters seems to
be missing.
"Nearly 60 percent of India is prone to earth-
quake," India Meteorological Department's
seismology department director B.R. Vaidya
said.
The quake that has killed over 100 people and
injured several others in the northeast and east
was caused by a collision between the Indian
plate and the Eurasian plate. The boundary
between the plates is broadly along the
Himalayas.
The Indian plate usually has a north and
northeastward movement. But scientists say the
present quake indicates a westward movement.
"Over the last 100 years, there has been an
increase in global tectonic activities," R.K.
Chadha of Hyderabad's National Geophysical
Research Institute said.
"Particularly from 2000, there has been an
increase in earthquake activities. The 2004
Sumatra quake in Indonesia, which registered
9.3 magnitude, has triggered stress in many
areas. The stress is accumulated wherever the
earth is weak," he said. Chadha said the move-
ment in the Indian plate was around 1 to 2 mm
after the earthquake that rattled large parts of
India, from Sikkim to Bihar. It also shook
Nepal, Tibet and Bangladesh. It had its epicen-
ter in Sikkim. "With the effect visible on the
surface and the registered 6.9 magnitude, we
can estimate that it can be 1 to 2 mm," he said.
Even as most parts of India lie in a high risk
zone for earthquakes, the country has little pre-
paredness for dealing with the impact.
Jamia Millia Islamia civil engineering depart-
ment professor Gauhar Mahmood said the
tremors take place due to the movement in the
plates but the damage is caused by wrong plan-
ning. The northern plains of India along with
the Himalayas lie on the border of the Eurasian
and Indian plates.
"The Himalayas are 65 million years old and
the youngest mountain chain. Their uplifting is
still going on, making the area highly unstable,"
Mahmood said.He said planning and precau-
tions are the only possible guard against major
damage. "The only precaution is best city plan-
ning with wider roads and earthquake-proof
structures."
According to the expert, until 1995 Delhi was
under Zone 3, which is a moderate risk zone.
But later it was updated to Zone 4 - a high dam-
age risk zone.
The Indian plate usually has a north and
northeastward movement. But scientists say
the present quake indicates a westward
movement.
Rahul Gandhi visits
quake-hit Sikkim
Gangtok: Congress
leader Rahul Gandhi
made an aerial survey of
quake-hit North Sikkim,
besides visiting an affect-
ed village and a hospital
here.
Accompanied by
Sikkim Chief Minister
Pawan Kumar Chamling,
the Congress General
Secretary made the aerial
survey of the north district
which had suffered the
maximum number of
casualties -- 37, officials
said here. After reaching
Bagdogra Airport near
Siliguri two hours behind
schedule due to inclement
weather, Gandhi took a
chopper and landed at the
army helipad in Libing
near here. The Congress
leader then visited
Lumsey, a residential
pocket near here, which
was also visited by West
Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee.
Gandhi also visited the
Central Referral Hospital,
Manipal, here and inter-
acted with the injured.
After the aerial survey, he
left for Meghalaya.
Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling and Rahul Gandhi visit the
earthquake-affected area of Lumsay in Gangtok.
Rahul Gandhi meets quake hit victims in Sikkim.
Tribute 15
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
Tiger Pataudi's legacy lives on
Always played with straight bat, on and off field
New Delhi: As the cricketing world
grieves the loss of one its finest cap-
tains in Mansur Ali Khan, erstwhile
Nawab of Pataudi, little is said of a
man who was a constant presence in
the lives of his family of actors with
quiet empathy towards a profession
alien to his own.
The embodiment of grace and
royalty with his clipped accent and
unassuming charm, Pataudi has
achieved towering respect within
the film fraternity as in cricket.
Pataudi met actor Sharmila
Tagore on the sets of 'An Evening In
Paris' in 1966, sealing a love affair
that spanned four decades. It took
the tall and strapping lad four years
to woo Tagore who came from the
illustrious family of Nobel laureate
Rabindranath Tagore. Despite their
respective famous backgrounds,
both families were against a mar-
riage between a aspiring cricketer,
not considered a career proper for a
man in the 60s, and a Bollywood
star, considered a sex symbol at the
peak of her career. The fact that
theirs was an inter-religious mar-
riage also sparked off objections.
But despite dissimilar family
backgrounds, they married in
December 1969 and Tagore convert-
ed to Islam adopting the name
Begum Ayesha Sultana. Despite her
top billing and stunning good looks,
Tagore decided to take a hiatus from
acting. Many in the industry point-
ed an accusatory finger at the man
who swept Tagore off her feet and
took her away from films at the
prime of her career. There were still
many films left in the dimpled
Bengali star people loved, they said.
But Pataudi's contribution to the
career of his wife, whose immortal
role as the ill-fated child bride in
Satyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar' cata-
pulted her to fame, is often left
unsung. Pataudi came from an old
family of Muslim royals with a lega-
cy that transcended many genera-
tions to imbibe a strict sense of dis-
cipline and grace in the members.
Tagore, at the time of her marriage
has burst in to the scene with a
provocative photo shoot in a two-
piece bikini that made her a pin-up
star overnight.
Throughout the 70s Tagore's work
in both Bengali films and Hindi
made her a household name with
'Aranyer Din Ratri', 'Daag', 'Amar
Prem' and 'Seemabodhho'.
But she was also then the mother
to Saif Ali Khan, the firstborn of
Sharmila and Tiger Pataudi, as
Mansoor Ali was known amongst
his cricketing peer. Call it the quirk
of fate or genetic ties but Saif's deci-
sion was to follow his famous moth-
ers profession and not his father's.
Later their third child, a daughter,
Soha also entered tinsel town, with
the critical and commercial hit
'Rang De Basanti'. Her stunning
looks and understated acting has
often been compared to her mother's
style, but the children (Saba Ali
Khan included) have their fathers
reclusive nature and polite civility.
Tagore returned to acting after a
serious hiatus with Meera Nair's
'Mississippi Masala'. She has led the
Indian Film Censor Board from
October 2004 till March 2011. But
Pataudi's counsel in matters of fami-
ly and profession was often sought.
He was to be seen clapping
enthusiastically at his daughters'
events even though he was initially
reluctant to let Soha join the film
industry.
The 'Nawab' earned tremendous
respect among the film fraternity
who reacted with grief and disbelief
to the news of his demise. The 70-
year-old cricketer breathed his last
after battling a lung infection.
"Sad news...Tiger Pataudi passes
away," said Amitabh Bachchan who
starred with the cricketer's actress-
wife in films like 'Chupke Chupke'
and 'Viruddh'.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur called
Pataudi one of the most "courageous
cricketers" in the world. "Tiger has
left us. One of the most courageous
cricketers the world has known,
who took on the fastest bowlers in
the world after losing one eye."
New Delhi: Former India captain Mansur
Ali Khan Pataudi always played the game
with a straight bat and was equally forthright
off the field. He will be remembered as the
Tiger who preyed with one eye.
Born in 1941 in Bhopal, to former India
captain and the eighth Nawab of Pataudi,
Iftikhar Ali Khan, who also played for
England, and Sajida Sultan, second daughter
of the last ruling nawab of Bhopal, cricket
was always in Pataudi's blood.
He was one of the best educated Indian
cricketers. He spent his formative years at
Welham Boys' School in Dehradun and then
went to England like his father to study at
Lockers Park Prep School in Hertfordshire,
Winchester College and Balliol College,
Oxford.
He lost his father on his 11th birthday
while Iftikhar was playing polo. But Iftikar,
who captained India in 1946, was a constant
source of inspiration in Tiger's life.
Pataudi suffered another setback 10 years
later, when he lost the vision of his right eye
after a car crash in England. But a steely
resolve saw him making his international
debut a few month later against the formida-
ble Ted Dexter' s England in Delhi, in
December, 1961.
Once asked by a journalist, how he played
with one eye, Pataudi said: "In I fact see two
balls. I hit the one on the inside."
Like his father, Pataudi couldn't get a cen-
tury on debut but achieved his maiden ton, a
classy 103, in his third Test against England
to set-up a 128-run win in Chennai. He never
looked in discomfort playing with one eye,
and swotted the fast bowlers with ease. The
innings earned him a berth for the Caribbean
tour.
The presence of Polly Umrigar, Nari
Contractor and Vijay Manjrekar made it dif-
ficult for Pataudi to find a place in the final
eleven in the West Indies and he had to miss
the first two Tests, in which India suffered
humiliating defeats.
But a nasty injury to Contractor, who had
to undergo a brain operation after being hit
by a Charlie Griffith bouncer, changed
Pataudi's fortunes. There was bickering in
the team and none of the seniors were will-
ing to take up the responsibility of leading
the side.
They found a leader in Pataudi, who on
March 23, 1962, at the age of 21 years and
79 days, became the youngest cricketer to
captain any country in a Test match.
The next 13 years were known as the
Pataudi era during which he went on to re-
write India's cricketing history by captaining
the side to its first ever overseas series win,
when they defeated New Zealand 3-1 in
1967-68, at a time when a draw was consid-
ered as a win.
Under him, India played some good crick-
et and got the confidence of beating big
teams overseas. The spin quartet of Bishan
Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, S.
Venkatraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna also
flourished under his captaincy.
His spotless career was scarred after he
was arrested for killing a blackbuck in
Jhajjar in 2005. He spent few days in jail
before being released on bail.
Tiger Patudi captained the Indian cricket
team from 1962-70
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudis royal family
Tiger Pataudi with actor-son Saif Ali Khan Sharmila Tagore with actress-daughter Soha Ali Khan.
Wedding picture with film star Sharmila Tagore
16 Ultimate Bollywood
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
W
hich demons could
possibly provoke two
normal healthy ambi-
tious young people to kill a man,
cut his limbs into several pieces
and attempt to dispose of his
body in the thick jungles?
"Not A Love Story" attempts to
unravel the abiding mystery of
human nature and the extreme
measures it resorts to, when
pushed to the brink.
This is the frightening, sobering
and life-changing story of Anusha
Chawla (Mahie Gill), a small-
town girl with big Bollywood
dreams, who ends up being an
accomplice in a gruesome crime.
We certainly are left open- mouthed. Indeed it is the normal- cy of Anusha's dreams and how
drastically they get subverted
within the time-frame of a few
decisive days, that forms the core
of the compelling, often repug-
nant but always riveting, crime
drama.
Ramu's camera is frequently
more frenziedly crazy than the
deeds of the protagonists.
The frames are used as a wildly
wicked playground to signify the
unsettled mindspace of the lead
couple.
Gill and Dobriyal' s journey
from desperate love to unthink-
able crime is charted with a kind
of subverted dismay that is the
opposite of the dramatic sighs
and gasps that Hindi cinema usu-
ally uses to punctuate crime dra-
mas.
All the craziness of the camera
angles becomes one with the
insanity of the crime committed
by two people who, before
butchering their victim, had prob-
ably only committed minor
offences.
"Not a Love Story" is not an
easy film to watch. Crime has
never looked more unglamorous
on screen.
Varma just sucks you into the
ghastly deed and doesn't allow
you a moment of respite from the
savagely probing camera which
seems to penetrate the mind and
soul of the protagonists.
M
alaysian prime minister
Najib Razak seems to be
an admirer of Bollywood
films and finds actress Priyanka
Chopra very pretty.
Razak said he has watched a few
Hindi films, in spite of their length.
"I have seen some films, I find
them quiet interesting but too
long," he told visiting Indian jour-
nalists.
Razak said he had liked Shah
Rukh Khan starrer Kuch Kuch
Hota Hai. And among the bevy of
Bollywood beauties, former Miss
World Priyanka seems to have
caught his fancy.
Razak, who has met Priyanka
earlier, said that he found the 29-
year-old "very pretty but a little
snobbish. I didn't find her friend-
ly," he quipped in a lighter vein".
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib
Razak said he didnt find
Priyanka Chopra friendly.
Not a Love Story is not an easy film to watch. Crime has never
looked more unglamorous on screen.
B
igg Boss makers have invit-
ed actor Madhuri Dixit her
to be a part of season 5
being hosted by Salman Khan and
Sanjay Dutt.
Madhuri has apparently been
approached by Endemol and Colors
for the show and is reportedly
being offered a huge amount for a
special appearance in the
House.Other celebrity guests on the
show include boxer Mike Tyson
and actor Babara Mori. Charles
Shobhraj's wife Nihita Biswas, 22,
has also confirmed her presence on
Colors' controversial reality show.
"Madhuri will be paid equivalent
to international boxer Mike Tyson
while actor Babara Mori's remuner-
ation is still being worked out," a source said. The show is set to go on air in October.
Madhuri approached for
Bigg Boss 5!
The actress is reportedly being offered a huge amount for a special
appearance in the Big Boss House.
Toronto: Kiran Rao' s ' Dhobi
Ghat,' which premiered at the
Toronto International Film
Festival (TIFF) in the presence of
the whole cast at the city's Elgin
Garden Theatres, wowed the
audiences with its artistry and
fluidity.
The film is Kiran Rao's directo-
rial debut, with her husband
Aamir Khan playing the lead role
of a painter (Arun living in
Bhendi Bazaar).
Set in the Mumbai monsoon
season, the plot revolves around
Shai' s feelings for Arun and
Zohaib in the teeming metropo-
lis.
A beaming Kiran Rao intro-
duced the cast to the audience
before the start of the film. She
said she was immensely pleased
with her directorial debut and
expected 'Dhobi Ghat' to do well.
For his selection for the lead
role, Aamir said initially the cou-
ple's idea was not to cast him
because they thought that his
presence will "overpower'' oth-
ers. But after a few weeks, he
said, they had second thoughts.
And Kiran put him through usual
tests before casting him, he said.
Dhobi Ghat wows Toronto
film festival
Dhobi Ghat is Kiran Rao's directorial debut, with her husband Aamir
Khan playing the lead role of a painter.
Priyanka pretty but
snobbish: Malay PM
Mumbai: The 13th Mumbai Film
Festival, starting Oct 13, will
focus on French films this year.
"This year the country focus
will be France, so you will have a
large selection of French films...
and we expect a large delegation
of artists and filmmakers from
France to attend the festival,"
Amit Khanna, one of the trustees
of the festival, told reporters.
The festival, a Reliance enter-
tainment initiative, which is being
organised by the Mumbai
Academy of Moving Image
(MAMI) will host a special sec-
tion "4me Rendez-Vous", in col-
laboration with Unifrance,
Embassy of France in India and
Consulate General of France in
Mumbai.
In the section, best of New
French Cinema like "The Snows
of Kilimanjaro", "The Conquest"
and "Declaration of War" will be
screened.
The festival will also offer a
special presentation by Lee Yong
Kwan, director Busan
International Film Festival. He
will present a selection of latest
Asian films from Busan.
The festival will also offer a
special presentation by Lee Yong
Kwan, director Busan
International Film.
France focus at
Mumbai film fest
'Not A Love Story' leaves you open-mouthed
Ultimate Bollywood 17
Thesouthasiantimes.info September 24-30, 2011
P
ankaj Kapoor's directorial
debut "Mausam" is
described as a true romantic
film in which he has teamed up
with his actor son Shahid and
Sonam Kapoor to recreate a
bygone era through the movie,
releasing September 23.
Co-produced by Sunil Lulla and
Sheetal Vinod, the film is about
two lovers: Punjabi boy Harry
(Shahid), who goes on to become
an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer
and Kashmiri refuge Ayaat
(Sonam). But they are forced to
separate due to political hostilities
and religious conflicts.
After being separated for a
decade, they meet again and
through their journey, the director
shows how love transcends from
one season to another.
In the first season, the film is
about the adolescent attraction that
brings teenagers Harry and Ayaat
together in a small village in
Punjab.
The next phase is about young
love as both of them are grown-
ups and their love realises its
depth but at the same time destiny
separates them.
In the third and fourth phases,
both Harry, who is now a fighter
pilot, and Ayaat meet again and
their love culminates into togeth-
erness, although they had to sacri-
fice a lot and it helps them in
learning the truth about universal
love.
Shot in Edinburgh, London,
Mumbai, Gwalior and Agra, the
film, as Sonam says, is an attempt
to bring back the pure romance
that is lost somewhere in Indian
cinema. This is the first time
Sonam and Shahid have been cast
together.
M
anisha Koirala is
back in Mumbai
and is said to be
on the lookout for roles in
Hindi films.
The actress had shifted
to Nepal post her marriage
with Nepalese business-
man Samrat Dahal l ast
year.
But now, with reports of
the marriage falling apart,
Mani sha i s back i n
Mumbai and looking for
work.
Says a source,
"Manisha' s manager has
supposedly sent an SMS to
Bollywood producers that
goes like this, 'Sir is there
a role suitable for Manisha
in your production?'."
With reports of her marriage falling apart, Manisha is back
in Mumbai and looking for work.
Shot in Edinburgh, London, Mumbai, Gwalior and Agra, the film is
an attempt to bring back the pure romance that is lost somewhere in
Indian cinema.
'Mausam' - a tale of
timeless love
Prachi Desai not sexy
enough?
J
ust a fortnight before
Jannat 2 goes on
floors, producer Mahesh
Bhatt and director Kunal
Deshmukh have parted ways
with actress Prachi Desai,
who was earlier announced
as the female lead in the
film.
The decision was taken
after the actress refused to
get intimate on screen, and
as a result, the producer-
director duo is now casting a
Delhi girl in the part.
After Murder 2, it was
decided that the sexuality of
the movie should be upped,
but Prachi seemed uncom-
fortable with that. Bhatt con-
firmed the development and
said, "We realized that a sex-
ual component that was
missing from the movie. But
Prachi was clear from the
beginning that she wouldn't
cross certain boundaries.
She can' t be faulted and
there was a dignity in our
parting, which is rare in
Bollywood."
Prachi' s publicist said,
"Prachi's association with
them has been great. It has
been a very amicable deci-
sion."
The decision to drop Prachi Desai from Jannat 2 was
taken after the actress refused to get intimate on screen.
Madhur Bhandarkar faces trial for rape
T
hree times national award
winning filmmaker
Madhur Bhandarkar may
have to face the trial in a rape case
lodged against him by small time
actress Pretti Jaiin seven years
back.
A metropolitan magistrate' s
court in Andheri, ruling against
Bhandarkar, observed that a case
was made against him and that he
can take a defense against the case
at an appropriate stage. The court
has issued summons to
Bhandarkar for October 18.
Metropolitan magistrate B B
Pantawane observed that before
lodging the FIR, Jain had sent a
legal notice to Bhandarkar in July
2004. The filmmaker however,
chose not to reply, thus showing
that he did not refute the allega-
tions at the first available opportu-
nity.
Jain, needless to say, was visibly
happy after the order. The aspiring
actress who was present in court
said that she had full faith in God
and the judiciary.
Jain had filed a case of rape and
criminal intimidation against
Bhandarkar at the Versova Police
station over 7 years back - in July
2004. She had alleged that
Bhandarkar had intercourse with
her 17 times between 2000 and
2003, making false promises of
marriage and a big role in a good
film.
In November 2009, the police
had filed a report in the Andheri
court stating that the relationship
between Bhandarkar and Jain was
by mutual consent.
The report also stated that Jain
had filed the complaint "only to
teach him a lesson as he didn't
give her a role of the leading
actress in his film".
This report was strongly con-
tested by Jain through her advo-
cate Sushan Kunjuraman. They
had argued that there were enough
precedents from the Supreme
Court about testimony of the vic-
tim being enough to convict an
accused in a rape case. Based on
his submissions, the Magistrate
rejected the report and ordered an
inquiry in November 2009.
Bhandarkar said that after going
through the order in detail he
would challenge it in higher
courts. "As the lower court has
issued a process against me for a
case which has been going on for
7 years, I would like to say that
after reading the judgment, we
will challenge this order in higher
courts to seek justice," stated the
filmmaker.
Talking about the case, Madhur
revealed, "Initially, on 12th July
2004, Pretti Jaiin had sent a legal
notice to me stating that if I do not
cast her in my film as the leading
lady within the next 48 hours, she
would adopt necessary criminal
and civil legal proceedings against
me. There was no mention of rape
charges in that notice.
Small time actress Pretti Jaiin had filed a case of rape and criminal
intimidation against director Madhur Bhandarkar at the Versova
Police station over 7 years back - in July 2004.
Manisha Koirala's
looking for roles
18 Religion
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Amityville, NY: Over 400 people came from
throughout the Tri-State area to the Science of
Spirituality (SoS) Meditation Center in
Amityville here to celebrate the birth anniver-
saries of two great spiritual luminaries, Sant
Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Rajinder
Singh Ji Maharaj. SoS sponsors an annual fes-
tival on this special occasion combining fun
activities for the whole family, along with
inspirational presentations to nourish the spir-
it. SoS is a nonprofit, multi-faith organization
that provides a forum for people to learn med-
itation, experience personal transformation,
and bring about inner and outer peace and
human unity. It is currently under the direction
of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, who is
internationally recognized for his work toward
inner and outer peace through spirituality.
The festival has become a much-anticipated
yearly event at the Amityville SoS center,
which recently celebrated its 7th anniversary.
Hundreds of people from diverse cultures and
backgrounds attended this years program.
Upon arriving, one strolled under a festive
blue and white balloon archway and viewed
the Center grounds dotted with large white
tents. Booths that housed different activities
were gaily decorated in whites and bright
blues.
The day began with the Centers weekly
Yoga for Beginners class, taught by Mrs.
Anup Bawa. And the weekly spiritual pro-
gram was presented on the theme of Human
Unity and Respect for All Life, followed by a
Jyoti meditation session. At 1:00 pm the out-
door festivities began with a range of fun
activities. A free luncheon was served consist-
ing of a wide variety of vegetarian food stalls
offering delicious Indian, Caribbean, and
Italian selections. Ice cream, fruit smoothies,
an array of fresh fruits and salads, cakes and
delightful Indian sweets added to the festive
atmosphere for children and adults alike.
A spiritual bookstall and photo exhibition
were on display, including multi-media of
spiritual talks given by the Spiritual Masters
of Sant Mat, along with music and gift items.
During the day there were a variety of games,
kids entertainment, clowns, rides and colorful
face painting for the children. For the grown-
ups there were workshops including Embrace
the Light Within: Meditation for Health &
Well-Being, presented by Jim Rose, and a
seminar entitled Vegetarian Quick-Start: 7
Easy Steps to a Healthy Diet, offered by Susan
Rose. Beautiful gift baskets were raffled off
throughout the afternoon, free of charge.
Many benefited from the free medical check-
ups and advice provided by Dr Suresh
Hemrajani.
Moving inside the hall, poetry, music and
special videos were presented celebrating the
lives of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. The former
(1921-1989) was a Master of Surat Shabd
Yoga and the founder of Science of
Spirituality. He was known to be a spiritual
leader of the greatest compassion and kind-
ness - an ocean of divine grace and love. In
addition, he was acclaimed as Indias greatest
mystic poet writing in the Urdu language. He
won four Urdu Academy Awards for poetry.
His many books, articles and tapes spread a
message of love, unity and peace the world
over.
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is one of the
worlds most highly regarded and distin-
guished masters of meditation. As the current
spiritual leader of Science of Spirituality he
tours the world year round presenting his
powerful, yet simple meditation technique to
millions of people. His many books include
the critically acclaimed Spiritual Pearls for
Enlightened Living, and Empowering Your
Soul through Meditation, and Inner and Outer
Peace through Meditation, both Barnes &
Noble #1 bestsellers in their genre. His latest
work, entitled Spark of the Divine, provides
an easy blueprint for those searching for a
way to create a life of greater peace, health
and inner well-being.
The SoS Amityville center holds spiritual
programs weekly in multiple languages
including English, Hindi and Spanish. It also
offers special presentations including medita-
tion retreats, public talks and workshops on
meditation, stress-reduction and healthy living
by distinguished guest speakers and profes-
sionals in their field.
All programs sponsored by the Science of
Spirituality are free of charge and all are wel-
come. To learn more call: 631-822-7979; e-
mail: NYinfo@sos.org, or visit www.sostris-
tate.org.; www.sos.org.
Children enjoyed games, clowns, rides and face painting.
Free vegetarian food stalls served Indian, Caribbean, and Italian dishes.
Ice cream, smoothies, fruits and salads, cakes and Indian sweets
added to the festive atmosphere.
Hundreds gather to honor
two spiritual masters
Birth anniversaries of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj and
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj celebrated Sunday on Long
Island combining fun activities for whole families and
inspirational presentations about mysticism and spirituality.
Op Ed 19
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
Congratulates and Commends
Dr. Ganesh Bhat Dr. Dev Ratnam Mr. Mohinder Taneja
Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation
And All Other Honorees of
Accepting Applications for MD
BJP's PM wannabes more enthusiastic than party
By Amulya Ganguli
I
t is understandable that the Congress'
present condition of disarray will encour-
age its opponents to take it on in an elec-
toral battle. But curiously, the enthusiasm is
noticeable more among individuals than par-
ties.
As the Congress' principal adversary, the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) might have
been expected to be more assertive in chal-
lenging the former to a frontal confrontation
before the scheduled year of 2014.
Instead, it is two of the BJP's major lead-
ers, L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi, who
have signaled, without mentioning elections,
their intentions to be front-runners in the
ensuing battle as prime ministerial candi-
dates.
Advani's gambit is typical of him - a rath
yatra even if it will be his sixth since his riot-
scarred debut in 1990. He obviously expects
that, like his first journey, the latest one will
again be a memorable success in terms of
surging crowds and the whipping up of fer-
vor about his avowed objective, which is
corruption this time and not a pledge to build
a temple at the site of a mosque, as two
decades ago.
In contrast, Modi' s ploy is a new and
uncharacteristic one. He intends to go on a
three-day fast, albeit in an air-conditioned
venue, to advance the cause of "peace, unity
and social harmony". The move can be
regarded as a continuation of his efforts at an
image makeover - from being a fire-breath-
ing minority-baiter to a man of goodwill.
Earlier, his emphasis was on development,
which had earned him the plaudits of the
corporate sector. But he seems to have real-
ized the inadequacy of that praise as long as
he is seen as a Hindutva hawk, an unsavory
reputation which made his National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) colleague,
Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar, keep him
out of the election campaign in the state lest
he scare away the Muslims.
It is to erase that image that he has recently
referred to the need for expanding the educa-
tional facilities for Muslims and stressed that
his plans envisage progress without "dis-
crimination". But what was most noteworthy
was his observation in his blog that he
sought "forgiveness for any hurt" that he
"may have caused".
For a "modern-day Nero", to quote the
Supreme Court's description of Modi who
had dismissed the 2002 riots, which claimed
more than 1,000 lives, as "stray incidents" in
a letter to the president of India, to seek for-
giveness is astounding. If anything under-
lines his intention to move from Gujarat to
the national stage, this is it.
For the BJP, however, the sudden emer-
gence of two PM wannabes can be problem-
atic. For a start, the party is wary of Advani's
ambition. In fact, it had tried to sideline him
by making him the leader of the parliamen-
tary party, a post created for him, when he
insisted after the BJP's 2009 defeat on con-
tinuing to be the leader of the opposition in
the Lok Sabha till 2014.
The subsequent selections of Sushma
Swaraj and Arun Jaitley as leaders of the
opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya
Sabha, respectively, were a sign that the BJP
wanted to usher in GenNext. Now, Advani's
sudden decision to try to be in the limelight
will put the party as well as the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in a quandary,
especially considering that the saffron patri-
archs had eased Advani out of the party
chief's post because of his praise for Jinnah
in Pakistan in 2005.
It is difficult to say which of the two,
Advani or Modi, the BJP and, more impor-
tantly, the RSS will choose to be the person
to succeed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In any event, the process of selection will not
be easy, for it will mean marginalizing two
others, Sushma Swaraj and Jaitley.
Besides, it has to be remembered that the
RSS will not be too pleased with Modi's
new, liberal, even pro-Muslim stance, for it
will frustrate its game plan of turning India
into a theocratic Hindu rashtra, which has
long been a saffron dream.
Irrespective of who beats whom in the
race, the fact that no one in the BJP is talking
about building the temple any more means
the party has realized that the pseudo-reli-
gious card it played during and after
Advani's first rath yatra has no place in what
will probably be his last.
It is two of the BJP's major leaders, L.K.
Advani and Narendra Modi, who have sig-
naled, without mentioning elections, their
intentions to be front-runners in the ensu-
ing battle as prime ministerial candidates.
Mr. Inder Bindra, Chairman
Mr. Gurdeep Narula, Treasurer
For Excellence in Community Leadership
&
20 Travel
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
By Meenakshi Iyer
Srinagar: A picnic basket, children
playing cricket while elders watch
indulgently and, in the backdrop,
rolling hills and a gurgling stream.
The idyllic scene may seem an
anachronism and at odds with
Jammu and Kashmir' s bruising
two-decade insurgency, but bond-
ing the old-fashioned way is still a
way of life in the Valley.
Far from the madding crowds and
the world of mall footfalls,
Kashmiris still get together for sim-
ple picnics and walks in the park.
Living up to the description of 'par-
adise on earth', Kashmir surprises
you every moment with its serene
beauty that unfolds in the backdrop
of its volatile history -- insurgency
claiming the lives of 40,000 people,
including civilians, security forces
and terrorists. Unofficial estimates
put the figure at 80,000.
A walk in the gardens of Srinagar
transports you to a different world.
Families sitting on mats under the
shades of chinar trees, carrying
their Sunday brunch and 'nun chai'
or ' namkeen chai' , discussing
everything under the sun - events of
daily life, inflation, movies, kids...
Scenes that are confined to just a
few pockets in metropolitan cities
of India, with weekend outings for
so many limited to mall hopping,
pubbing and watching movies.
Not so in the case of the people in
Kashmir Valley. "This is all we
have got, isn't it?" asked lawyer
Narjees Nawab, referring to the
values rooted in the Kashmiri cul-
ture.
"Today you don't know what will
happen tomorrow. So, why not live
life today? We have accepted this
and we live with this fact," Nawab
added.
So, people here are happy to
derive joy from simple pleasures,
shorn of glitz. It's a lifestyle which
is quite old school, yet something
that one yearns for in the concrete
jungles of big cities.
"In a way, we feel blessed for not
having swanky malls, because they
don't go with the old world charm
that the valley still has, " said
Nawab.
One must thank the Mughals for
not building tombs and forts in the
city but banking on natural beauty
and building several gardens, popu-
larly known as Mughal gardens,
that the city is so proud of.
Srinagar, the summer capital of
Jammu and Kashmir, boasts of gar-
dens like Harwan, a much loved
picnic spot, Shalimar Garden,
Chashme Shahi, Nishat Garden and
Pari Mahal -- all meticulously
maintained.
The trimmed decorative trees,
roses in different hues, a variety of
flowers, chinar leaves on the side-
walks and the 'chashma' -- a small
water canal -- are sight for tired
eyes.
Beyond Srinagar, 90 km away, is
the quick getaway of Pahalgam. It
is where people enjoy their brunch-
es amid majestic mountains and the
crystal-clear Liddar river flowing
nearby.
"If we are looking for a more
interesting picnic, where we can
cook, make fresh tea, we head
towards Pahalgam with our stove,
food items and other necessary
things, " said Samina Habib, a
homemaker.
"Kids get their cricket bats and
we are joined by some friends or
relatives and it is a day well spent,"
she added.
In the flowing water of the
Liddar, women and children clean
up the utensils.
In the small waterfalls of the
Mughal gardens, couples
unabashedly throw water at each
other, children plead for some more
leisure time and grandmothers dis-
cuss their old lives. They make for
a picture-perfect scene, all too rare
in these busy days.
As the day nears an end, the sky
changes color. The illuminated Hari
Parbat Fort here merges with the
sky and darkness slowly takes over.
And people return to their bases
after a weekend well-spent, a suc-
cor for their not-so-easy lives.
A boy riding Shikara on Dal Lake. People enjoying their Sunday at Harvan Garden in Srinagar.
Boat Houses on Dal Lake
The famous Gondola ride at Gulmarg.
Schoolchildren taking rest at Mughal Garden
Kashmir is witnessing perhaps
the best tourism season in years.
Boat houses are full to their
capacities, hotel industry is
seeing a surge in tourists arrival
and locals are praying for the
peaceful atmosphere to stay in
the Valley, devastated by
insurgency in last two decades.
Insurgency paves way for tourism in Kashmir
London: Britain' s Electoral
Commission is looking into a case
involving an Indian-origin British
parliamentarian following allega-
tions that the Indian tourism office
donated 5,000 pounds for a party
hosted to celebrate his general
election victory, a media report
said.
Virendra Sharma is a Labor MP
for Ealing Southall, a borough
constituency represented in the
House of Commons.
According to the spokesman of
the Electoral Commission, it has begun an "assess-
ment" of what, if any, involvement the India-born
Sharma had with the donation, Daily Telegraph
reported.
Accepting donations from foreign sources is illegal
under the Political Parties, Elections and
Referendums Act 2000.
The party, which was attended by David Miliband,
the former foreign secretary, and
Lord Paul, the Labor donor, was
held May 23 last year at Monsoon
Banqueting Suites in Southall,
Sharma's constituency in west
London.
An invoice of 5,000 pounds was
allegedly sent to the tourist office,
Incredible India.
Sharma says: "I welcome the
opportunity to have the facts
properly examined and will fully
co-operate with the Electoral
Commission so that this matter can
be resolved without delay."
When Sharma's attention was earlier drawn to the
matter by Phil Taylor, a councilor in Ealing, he said:
"I vehemently deny the false allegations that have
appeared in various media. "I have never received a
donation from India tourism and have, therefore,
never been liable to make a declaration in the
Parliamentary register of members' interests."
Ganesh vs Hitler play in Melbourne
Festival worries Hindus
Nevada: Hindus are concerned at
the play " Ganesh Versus the Third
Reich", which is having a world
premiere at Melbourne Festival in
Australia on September 29.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a
statement, said that Lord Ganesh
was meant to be worshiped in tem-
ples and home shrines and not to
be made a laughing stock on the-
ater stages.
Zed, who is president of
Universal Society of Hinduism,
argued that Lord Ganesh was
divine and theater/film/art were
welcome to create projects
about/around him showing his true
depiction as mentioned in the
scriptures. Creating irrelevant
imaginary imagery, like reportedly
depicting him being tortured and
interrogated by Nazi SS, hurt the
devotees. Its creator, international-
ly acclaimed "Back to Back
Theater", itself calls it a "strange"
fable, "rambunctious." Describing
the play, media release of co-pre-
senter Malthouse Theater says that
Ganesh "seeks to go one-on-one
with Hitler." It is also described by
some as "wildly inventive ride
through history, where sacred
icons and rituals become
weapons" and "brimming with
humor."
Rajan Zed argued that taxpayer
funded organizations like
Australia Council for the Arts,
Arts Victoria, and City of
Melbourne; which supported this
play; should be more vigilant in
their selections.
Zed further pointed out that we
needed to be more sensitive about
the feelings of "others."Recently,
depiction of Hindu Goddess
Lakshmi on swimwear at a fashion
event held in Sydney (Australia)
resulted in worldwide protests.
Popular radio host Kyle
Sandilands recently made deroga-
tory remarks, ridiculing Hindus'
holy river Ganga, on Sydney's hit
music station. Australian
swimwear company, Sandilands
and his radio station later apolo-
gized after the protests.
Founded in 1987, Back to Back
Theatre claims to be "one of
Australia's leading creative voices,
focusing on moral, philosophical
and political questions about the
value of individual lives." It states
on its website: "The stories they
create explore 'the cold, dark side'
of our times...."
These French
nationals yearn for
Indian recognition
New Delhi: Their ancestors were
taken to the French territories of
Guadeloupe and Reunion Island
over a hundred years ago. But
these French nationals of Indian
descent still value their Indian
ancestry and are pained at non-
inclusion in the Persons of Indian
Origin (PIO) category.
"We are not rejecting our French
identity but we want to be official-
ly recognized by India as People
of Indian Origin. We are third and
fourth generation descendants but
we value our links with India,"
French banking professional
Christelle Gourdine said.
"It is an intensely emotional link
and many people long to have
their connection with the ancestral
land formalized with a PIO card,"
she said.
While Guadeloupe is in the
Caribbean, Reunion Island is in
the Indian Ocean.
"The PIO card has become an
emotional issue. Many of the
older people believe it would
establish their connection with
India which was lost because of
French colonial policies," she
added.
Gourdine's parents were part of
the 55,000-strong Indian commu-
nity in Guadeloupe - just over 10
percent of the population - till
they moved to mainland France.
However, the Indian govern-
ment has not accepted French
documents as evidence of ethnic
Indian ancestry that would make
them eligible for PIO cards.
The Indian government gives
the card to any person of Indian
descent whose parent, grandparent
or great grandparent was born in
India.
The card allows a visit to India
without a visa and certain invest-
ment facilities on the same lines
as are available to non-resident
Indians (NRIs).
People of Indian descent living
in France and in French overseas
territories like Guadeloupe have
petitioned the Indian government
to recognize them as PIO and
grant them cards.
"You cannot imagine the kind of
feeling it generates. My mother
lives in Paris. She went door-to-
door to get the petition signed.
She collected over 200 signa-
tures," said Gourdine.
The petition was handed over to
Overseas Indian Affairs Minister
Vayalar Ravi during a visit to
Trinidad earlier this year.
Diaspora 21
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
The play will premiere on Sept 29
Virendra Sharma
Indian-origin British MP faces
electoral probe
UK NRI millionaire may face jail for
dangerous driving
London: Tarlochan Singh, 34,
was found guilty of running over
50-year-old Nasreen Khan and
her son, Shaffad Khan, aged 30,
while driving a red Ferrari Spider
through the car park at Gallagher
Retail Park.
Singh has been disqualified
from driving. Tarlochan Singh
was on trial this week at Coventry
Crown Court for one charge of
dangerous driving. A jury of 10
people took less than two hours to
return a unanimous guilty verdict.
Sentencing is yet to take place
but, following the verdict on
Wednesday afternoon, Judge John
Maxwell instantly banned Singh
from the roads. According to
Coventry Telegraph, the incident
happened on May 23 last year.
Singh was then seen to hit the
Mrs. Khan, throwing her into the
air like a ragdoll and bouncing
on the bonnet.
During cross-examination,
Singh, who said he worked as a
taxi driver in the city, said wit-
nesses had fabricated the whole
story.
22 Subcontinent
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Kathmandu: After initial panic
and chaos, prayers began to be
offered in Nepal with the realiza-
tion that the earthquake that hit its
eastern region and capital city
Kathmandu along with India
Sunday could have wreaked far
greater devastation, being the
biggest in almost eight decades.
Nine people were killed.
As the resilient Himalayan state
began to limp back to normal fol-
lowing a trembler measuring 6.8
on the Richter scale, the toll had
risen to at least nine with the news
of another unconfirmed casualty,
while over 100 people had
received injuries with hundreds of
houses and buildings collapsing.
The cramped capital, full of
decrepit houses and little adher-
ence to building regulations, suf-
fered with three people dying in a
wall collapse while over 50 were
injured trying to jump down from
windows and balconies in the
panic.
Police said that the nine ft wall
fencing the compound of the
British Embassy in the Lainchaur
area of the capital, close to the
Indian Embassy, collapsed soon
after the jolt, smashing down on a
two-wheeler, a car and a pedestri-
an. Army and armed police person-
nel assisted by locals dug out the
three from under the debris and
rushed them to the Manmohan
Memorial Hospital where all three
succumbed to their injuries.
The National Seismological
Centre said it was the biggest
tremor to hit Nepal since 1934
when a quake measuring 8.4 had
killed over 8,500 people in the
Himalayan state alone besides
causing damage in India's Bihar
state.
Officials said Nepal was spared
greater havoc this time since the
epicenter of the quake was farther
away in Sikkim in northeastern
India and not in Bihar, the Indian
state adjoining Nepal's boundary.
Hundreds of people rushed out
on the streets in the capital with lit-
tle open space, crying and taking
the names of gods as the tremors
started.
Nepal's parliament was in ses-
sion when the quake struck, caus-
ing alarmed lawmakers to scream
and run out for safety. Chairman
Subash Nembang said he was
adjourning the house for some
time.
Biggest quake in 80 years in Nepal
Kabul: Former Afghan president
Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in
a suicide blast at his house here,
media reports said.
He was meeting with a group of
Taliban insurgents when the explo-
sion was triggered, Xinhua reported
quoting an unnamed source from
Rabbani's office.
"The suicide bomb went off at
18.10 outside the house. There are
casualties, but details will be
released later," said Hashmat
Stanikzai, the provincial police
spokesperson.
The Taliban insurgents had come
to the capital to meet the officials of
the Afghan High Peace Council that
is headed by Rabbani.
It was not immediately clear if the
visitors were involved in the attack,
which also left five others dead and
several injured, the local Tolo TV
channel said.
A witness said that it was a suicide
bombing. Security was beefed up
after the attack.
Rabbani was selected by President
Hamid Karzai in October 2010 as
chairman of the 70-member High
Peace Council to broker peace with
the Taliban.
Many members of the council are
former warlords who spent years
fighting the Taliban and their inclu-
sion led to doubts as to whether it
could succeed in its mission, the
BBC said.
The Taliban rejected the council
and called for the withdrawal of for-
eign troops from Afghanistan.
Taliban kills former Afghan
president Rabbani
Dhaka: Bangl adeshi pol i ce
arrested over 600 members of
the country' s largest Islamist
party after protests demanding
the release from jail of its top
leaders erupted into violence.
Three top Jamaat-e-Islami offi-
cials were among those held,
sai d seni or pol i ce offi cer
Mahfuzur Rahman, after thou-
sands of party activists went on
t he rampage i n maj or ci t i es
across Bangladesh.
"We have arrested more than
600 peopl e. They have been
accused of vandalism, violence,
torching vehicles, obstructing
duty of police and breaking law
and order," Rahman said.
Some 260 of the arrests were
made in the capital, according to
Dhaka police spokesman Masud
Ahmed, where Jamaat activists
fought street battles with baton-
wielding riot police and set fire
to dozens of vehicles.
The party's acting deputy head
and offi ci al spokesman were
among those arrested after the
violence, Ahmed said.
The edi t or of a pro-Jamaat
Bengali daily was also arrested
by t he count ry' s el i t e Rapi d
Action Battalion on charges of
inciting violence and obstructing
police, he added.
At least 70 people -- including
some 50 police officers -- were
injured in the worst political vio-
lence in recent months, police
said, adding that tear gas and
rubber bullets had been used to
break up the protests.
Jamaat called the protests to
demand the release of five senior
party officials, who have been
detained by a new tribunal set up
to prosecute atrocities carried out
during the country's liberation
struggle in 1971.
Two officials from the opposi-
t i on Bangl adesh Nat i onal i st
Party have also been detained by
the tribunal.
Both parties have denounced
the tribunal as a show trial and
say charges against their officials
are politically motivated.
Over 600 held in
Bangladesh Islamist
crackdown
Officials said Nepal was spared greater havoc this time since the epicen-
ter of the quake was farther away in Sikkim in northeastern India.
Burhanuddin Rabbani was select-
ed by President Hamid Karzai in
October 2010 as chairman of the
70-member High Peace Council
to broker peace with the Taliban.
Ahmednagar (Maharashtra): A three-member
Pakistani delegation met social activist Anna Hazare at
his village to seek his opinion on starting an anti-graft
drive in their country.
Former Pakistan law minister Iqbal Haider, Pakistan
Supreme Court's former judge Nazir Aslam Zahid, and
trade unionist Karamat Ali also invited the 74-year-old
activist to visit Pakistan to initiate a movement similar
to the one he launched in India.
The meeting was held at Hazare's hometown in
Ralegan-Siddhi.
"Hazare's movement has become a topic of great sig-
nificance in Pakistan and other countries in the world.
On behalf of the people of Pakistan, we congratulated
him. We have invited him to Pakistan and he has
accepted it," Justice Zahid told reporters after the
meeting.
The meeting was organized by NGO Sarhad. "The
delegation had an over three-hour long discussion with
Annaji about starting a similar movement in their
country because both have similar problems of corrup-
tion and terrorism," Sarhad head Sanjay Nahar said.
Hazare went on a 12-day fast in the capital last
month to press his demand for a strong anti-graft bill,
attracting the support of a large section of people.
The visiting delegation also apprised Hazare of
Pakistani social activist Raja Jehangir Akhtar, who has
been on hunger strike in Islamabad since Sep 12, seek-
ing an anti-corruption legislation in the country.
The delegation urged Hazare not to limit his anti-cor-
ruption crusade to India, but extend it to all over South
Asia.
While agreeing that there was a need for similar
movements in neighbouring countries, Hazare said the
success in India was mainly due to the ideals of
Mahatma Gandhi.
The delegation arrived in India September 16 to take
up the cause of Indian fishermen languishing in
Pakistani jails for years.
Pak team takes anti-graft
tips from Anna
The visiting delegation told Hazare of Pakistani
social activist Raja Jehangir Akhtar, who has been
on hunger strike in Islamabad since September 12,
seeking an anti-corruption legislation in the country.
At least 70 people -- including some 50 police officers -- were injured in
the worst political violence in recent months, police said.
International 23
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
United Nations: President Barack
Obama, trying to avert a show-
down on Palestinian statehood, told
the United Nations that there was
no substitute for Israeli-Palestinian
negotiations or a short cut to peace.
With US credibility and influ-
ence in the Middle East at stake,
Obama wants to dissuade the
Palestinians from asking the UN
Security Council for statehood in
defiance of Israeli objections and a
US veto threat. But they have
shown no sign of renouncing their
plan to stake their claim.
Flag-waving Palestinians filled
the squares of West Bank cities to
rally behind the statehood initia-
tive.
A year after telling the UN
General Assembly he hoped to see
a Palestinian state born by now, the
US president said creating such a
state alongside Israel remained his
goal.
"But the question isn't the goal
we seek -- the question is how to
reach it. And I am convinced that
there is no short cut to the end of a
conflict that has endured for
decades," Obama said.
"Peace will not come through
statements and resolutions at the
UN -- if it were that easy, it would
have been accomplished by now,"
he said.
"Ultimately, it is Israelis and
Palestinians who must live side by
side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and
Palestinians -- not us -- who must
reach agreement on the issues that
divide them: on borders and securi-
ty; on refugees and Jerusalem," he
added.
However, it is the failure of 20
years of US-brokered negotiations
that has driven Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas to take
his quest for statehood to the
United Nations -- a move that
threatens to embarrass the United
States by forcing it to protect its
Israeli ally against the tide of world
opinion.
And although Obama said he had
set out a new basis for negotiations
in May, chances of reviving peace
talks look bleak.
The two sides are far apart. The
Palestinians are divided internally
and Obama will not want to risk
alienating Israel's powerful US
support base by pressing for Israeli
concessions as he enters a tough re-
election battle next year.
The United States gives the
Palestinian Authority financial sup-
port worth $500 million a year.
Some US politicians have said they
will try to cut American aid to the
Palestinians if they do not give
way.
Obama rejects Palestinian UN statehood bid
Although Obama said he had set out a new basis for negotiations in
May, chances of reviving peace talks look bleak.
Tehran: Two US hikers jailed for
allegedly spying in Iran were
released on bail, the state media
reported.
Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer
were sentenced to eight years in
prison last month on charges of
espionage.
The Tehran Province Appeals
Court agreed to change their
prison terms to five-billion-rial
(over $400,000) bail each, the
official IRNA news agency
reported.
The development comes after
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
said in an interview last week
with the NBC News that Fattal
and Bauer would be released in a
couple of days.
One more US national, Sarah
Shourd, who was held along with
them in July 2009, was freed in
September last year on health
grounds. She had since returned
to the US.
The three were arrested for ille-
gally entering the country and
then charged with carrying out
espionage activities.
Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison
last month on charges of espionage.
Iran frees two US hikers
Brussels: NATO allies decided to
extend their air campaign in Libya
by another 90 days, as forces loyal
to ousted strongman Muammar
Gaddafi maintain resistance.
NATO Secretary General Anders
Fogh Rasmussen said warplanes
would stay in the air as long as
Libyan civilians are under threat but
the mission will be under constant
review and could be called off "at
any time."
"We are determined to continue
our mission for as long as necessary,
but ready to terminate the operation
as soon as possible," Rasmussen
said, calling the extension a "techni-
cal rollover" of a mission that has
lasted six months.
Any decision to end the air strikes
will be taken in coordination with
the United Nations and "in line with
the will of the Libyan authorities,"
he said.
"This decision sends a clear mes-
sage to the Libyan people. We will
be there for as long as necessary, but
not a day longer, while you take
your future in your hands to ensure
a safe transition to the new Libya."
The new mandate was accepted
"without any disagreements," a
NATO diplomat said, adding that
NATO military authorities would
provide an update on the situation
on the ground every month.
The current 90-day mandate was
due to expire on September 27. The
UN Security Council unanimously
agreed last week to maintain the no-
fly zone which has been used to jus-
tify NATO air strikes against
Gaddafi targets.
"So long as the Libyan people are
being threatened, the NATO-led
mission to protect them will contin-
ue," US President Barack Obama
said Tuesday at a United Nations
meeting on Libya welcoming the
country's new leadership.
Libya' s National Transitional
Council took control of Tripoli last
month, but Gaddafi forces still con-
trol some towns, putting up a fierce
resistance in the deposed despot's
hometown of Sirte after seven
months of fighting.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said warplanes
would stay in the air as long as Libyan civilians are under threat.
NATO extends Libya mission
Powerful Typhoon Roke hits Japan
Tokyo: A powerful typhoon has
buffeted Tokyo with strong winds
and rain, halting trains and strand-
ing tens of thousands of commuters
as it barrelled toward the tsunami-
ravaged northeastern coast with its
crippled nuclear plant.
Police and local media reported
that six people were dead or miss-
ing after being swept away by
rivers swollen with rains from
Typhoon Roke.
Nearly 260,000 households in
central Japan were without electric-
ity, and authorities called for more
than a million people to be evacuat-
ed in central and eastern Japan.
The storm, packing sustained
winds of up to 144km/h, made
landfall in the afternoon near the
city of Hamamatsu, about 200km
west of Tokyo.
Fire department officials reported
three people were injured in Tokyo.
In the trendy shopping district of
Shibuya, winds knocked over a tree
onto a footpath but no one was hurt.
Television footage showed pedes-
trians struggling to walk straight in
powerful winds that made umbrel-
las useless.
Typhoon Roke's projected course
was to take it near the damaged
Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power
plant, where a small amount of
radiation is still leaking after three
of its reactors melted down when
the tsunami cut off power to the
plant and its back-up generators.
Takeo Iwamoto, spokesman for
Tokyo Electric Power Co, the utili-
ty that operates the plant, said the
cooling system for the reactors, cru-
cial to keeping them under control,
will not be endangered by the
typhoon.
Heavy rains caused floods and
road damage in dozens of locations
in Nagoya and several other cities,
the Aichi prefectural (state) govern-
ment said.
More than 200 domestic flights
were cancelled and some bullet
train services were suspended.
Police and local media reported that six people were dead or missing
after being swept away by rivers swollen with rains from Typhoon Roke.
24 Business
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Labor unrest to
hurt profitability: Maruti
New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki's profitability will be hit
due to the ongoing labor stir at the Manesar plant,
said chairman RC Bhargava, ruling out any leniency
towards agitators who engaged in violence against
senior staff and sabotaged production.
"We should not make losses, but profitability will
be reduced," Bhargava said. The slowdown in the
economy was also impacting margins, he added.
The latest labor trouble, which started on August
29, has impacted the production of Swift, one of the
company's most profitable model, creating a huge
backlog. While the company has started makeshift
production plans using senior staff and temporary
workers, the waiting list (believed to be around
80,000 units) is too huge to be cleared just by alter-
native arrangements.
The labor trouble started after the company asked
workers to sign a 'good conduct bond' before going
to work. A little over 100 workers out of the 950-odd
regular staff at the factory have signed the bond,
while others are still not ready to accept it.
"Everybody is suffering - the company, our vendors
and the customers," Bhargava said.
Retailers divided over 51%
FDI in industry
Mumbai: The $28-billion organ-
ized retail trade in India is await-
ing the cabinet nod on 51% for-
eign direct investment (FDI) in
multi-brand retail, based on rec-
ommendations made by the com-
mittee of secretaries (CoS), but
domestic retailers and trade asso-
ciations are still divided on the
issue.
At the India Retail Forum
(IRF) 2011 in Mumbai, industry
leaders like Future Group, Bharti
Walmart, Reliance Retail and
Aditya Birla Retail stressed on
the importance of FDI in multi-
brand retail in order to build
scale, reduce supply chain costs
and improve efficiency in pro-
duction.
Modern retail has created a
great base and there are multiple
brands in every format, said
Kishore Biyani, founder and
group CEO, Future Group.
Now, we need an impetus which
can be provided by foreign capi-
tal, that looks at a horizon of 15-
20 years. No Indian retailer
would look beyond five years.
Moodys cuts ratings
on three US banks
New York: Moodys Investors
Service cut its credit ratings on
Bank of America, Citigroup and
Wells Fargo, saying that
Washington was now less likely to
bail out the banks if needed.
The downgrades result from a
decrease in the probability that the
U.S. government would support
the bank, if needed, Moodys
said.
The ratings agency said that it
did think the government would
provide some support to systemi-
cally important financial institu-
tions. But the huge bailouts that
rescued Bank of America and
Citigroup and others during the
financial crisis might not happen
again, Moodys said.
It is also more likely now than
during the financial crisis to allow
a large bank to fail should it
become financially troubled, as
the risks of contagion become less
acute. the ratings agency said. It
added that the moves do not
reflect a weakening of the intrinsic
credit quality of the bank.
The ratings agency cut Bank of
Americas long-term senior debt
to to Baa1 from A2 and lowered
short-term debt to Prime-2 from
Prime-1.
Moodys also cut its ratings on
Citigroups short-term debt to
Prime 2 from Prime 1, while
affirming its A3 long-term rating.
The ratings agency cut Bank of Americas long-term senior debt to to
Baa1 from A2 and lowered short-term debt to Prime-2 from Prime-1.
Marutis Manesar plant in Haryana.
India-US investment
treaty pact soon
Chicago: India and the
United States will soon
have a bilateral agreement
to facilitate two-way invest-
ments. Commerce and
Industry Minister Anand
Sharma said that negotia-
tions on the India-US
Bilateral Investment Treaty
were almost complete.
Addressing the US-India
Economic Opportunities
and Synergies Summit here
organized by the FICCI in
association with The
Executive Club of Chicago,
Sharma said he would meet
US Trade Representative
Ron Kirk to discuss the
issues related to trade and
investments.
The commerce and indus-
try minister urged US entre-
preneurs to increase invest-
ments in India's infrastruc-
ture sector, saying his coun-
try was one of the safest
places for investments and
offered attractive returns.
He said India would be
seeking investment in infra-
structure of over $1 trillion
in the next five years and
the "United States could be
major beneficiary being a
leading nation in the world
in terms of innovation and
technology, which could
help India's growth".
"India provides a stable
framework and rule-based
law that provides an impe-
tus to investors," Sharma
said.
40.74 crore Indians below poverty line: Govt
New Delhi: The Planning Commission
told the Supreme Court that the below
poverty line (BPL) population in the
country is 40.74 crore and the poverty
line for the urban and rural areas could
be provisionally placed at Rs.965 per
capita per month (around Rs.32 per day)
and Rs.781 per capita per month (around
Rs.26 per day), respectively.
The Planning Commission in an affi-
davit said that the BPL population at
present touched by the public distribu-
tion services (PDS) was 35.98 crore.
"If the Tendulkar (committee) poverty
ratio for 2004/05 is applied to the pro-
jected population of the Registrar
General of India as on March 1, 2005,
the total BPL population would be 40.74
crore," the affidavit said.
The Planning Commission told the
Supreme Court anyone spending more
than Rs 965 per month in urban India
and Rs 781 in rural India will be deemed
not to be poor.
Updating the poverty line cut-off fig-
ures, the commission said those spend-
ing in excess of Rs 32 a day in urban
areas or Rs 26 a day in villages will no
longer be eligible to draw benefits of
central and state government welfare
schemes meant for those living below
the poverty line.
The poverty estimates for year 2009-
10 were being worked out and the "pro-
visional estimates suggest that the total
BPL population as per 2009-10 estima-
tion may be lower than that which would
have emerged (on the basis) of Tendulkar
ratio on 2004-05 projection", it said.
The Planning Commission filed the
affidavit in pursuance of the May 14
order of the apex court bench of Justice
Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak
Verma, which said that according to the
expert group headed by Suresh
Tendulkar at the price level of 2011, it
was impossible for an individual in
urban and rural area to consume 2,100
calories in Rs.20 and Rs.15, respectively.
The bench's order asked the Planning
Commission to "revise norms of per
capita amount looking at the price index
of May 2011 or any subsequent dates".
The affidavit said that on applying
price increase using the consumer price
index for industrial workers in urban
areas and the consumer price index for
agricultural labourers for rural areas,
"the poverty line at June 2011 price level
can be placed provisionally at Rs.965 per
capita per month in urban areas and
Rs.781 per capita per month in rural
areas."
"At June 2011 price level, for a family
of five, this provisional poverty line
would amount to Rs.4,824 per month in
urban areas and Rs.3,905 per month in
rural areas," the affidavit said.
The affidavit said that the final poverty
line following the Tendulkar Committee
ratio would only be available after com-
pletion of the 2011-12 National Sample
Survey (NSS) and this would vary from
state to state because of price
differential.
Sports 25
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
BCCI gets new chief,
Kochi out of IPL
New Delhi: Board of Control for
Cricket in India's (BCCI) newly
appointed president N.Srinivasan
said that there is no conflict of inter-
est in his heading the board and
being the managing director of India
Cements, which owns the Indian
Premier League (IPL) franchise of
Chennai Super Kings.
"I have no personal conflict of
interest and will excuse myself on
key matters. It's India Cements that
holds the ownership rights of the
franchise and not me," said
Srinivasan.
Srinivasan said the matter is sub
judice and it would not be appropri-
ate for him to comment on the issue.
Srinivasan took over as the BCCI
president after the Supreme Court
refused to restrain him from taking
over. But while allowing him to take
over as BCCI chief, a bench of
Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M.
Lodha made it clear that his appoint-
ment would be subject to the final
outcome of a petition by former
BCCI president A.C. Muthiah, who
had questioned his eligibility for
holding any board post while own-
ing an IPL team.
"The conflict of interest matter is
sub judice and it wouldn't be appro-
priate for me to go on further on this
subject," Srinivasan was quoted as
saying by CNN-IBN.
The BCCI president also made it
clear that in no way terminated IPL
franchise Kochi Tuskers would be
allowed to take part in next year's
league. He said the IPL Governing
Council will decide whether the
league will continue as a nine-team
affair or fresh bids would be invited
to replace the Kerala franchise.
"Kochi cannot return to the IPL
and now it's up to the Governing
Council to see the future prospect of
filling in the vacant slot by a new
side. It's the IPL Governing Council
which will decide what to do after
Kochi's termination," Srinivasan
said. Srinivasan said the players
affected due to the termination of
the Kochi franchise will be taken
care of by the board. "Interests of
players affected by Kochi's axing
will be protected," said Srinivasan.
The BCCI president also rub-
bished suggestions that "non-stop"
cricket was taking a toll on Indian
cricketers.
New Delhi: Former India captain
Sourav Ganguly says it is not
right for the selectors to force the
senior players into retirement.
Ganguly said that seniors like
Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid
and V.V.S. Laxman should decide
on their own when it comes to
taking a call on quitting the game.
"The day their performance
drops, they will leave on their
own. Dravid and Laxman have
already phased out from ODI
cricket. Sachin also plays very
less. It is good to see youngsters
perform so well in the shorter for-
mat but I am more worried about
Tests. We haven't seen anyone
who can challenge these seniors.
Definitely, the time hasn't come to
phase out seniors in Tests,"
Ganguly was quoted as saying by
a TV channel.
Kapil Dev, captain of the 1983
World Cup winning team, dis-
agreed with Ganguly and said that
selectors should take a call on the
retirement of the senior players.
"It is the selectors who will have
to take a call on their retirement.
A player never likes to retire.
Selectors should see the bigger
picture and take a tough decision.
But, they (selectors) should this
while giving full respect to these
seniors," Kapil said.
Kapil also proposed that the
three seniors - Tendulkar, Dravid
and Laxman - should not play
together in a single Test.
"Two of them can play and one
can be rested so that a youngster
can be tested in his place. In this
manner, we can give a chance to a
talented youngster without taking
too much risk and making too
many changes all of a sudden,"
Kapil said.
Kapil said it is not going to be
easy to find replacements for the
likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and
Laxman.
"It is going to be extremely dif-
ficult. But, youngsters, even
though they might have failed in
whatever chances they've got till
now, have to be given another go.
Actually, the problem is not with
their (youngsters') talent.
It is their poor fitness level
which is letting them down.
Coach and selectors will have to
play a big role in coming times.
Youngsters should also learn to
take pride in their cricket," said
Kapil.
Kapil Dev disagreed with Ganguly and said that selectors should take a
call on the retirement of the senior players.
BCCIs newly-appointed president N. Srinivasan.
Sachins ODI proposal not
accepted by ICC
Colombo: International Cricket Council (ICC) said that
the world cricket body has no plans to tinker with the
format of the One-Day Internationals as suggested by
batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that he had a
discussion with Tendulkar on the future of the 50-over
cricket. "I was engaged with Sachin a long time back on
his thinking on the 50-over format. I met with him dur-
ing the World Cup. He gave me a written proposal
which we took to the Cricket Committee in May. The
Cricket Committee considered that proposal," said
Lorgat, who was here for the launch of the ICC's
Twenty20 World Cup that will be held here next year.
The South African said that the Cricket Committee
felt that there was no need to alter the format of 50-over
cricket because it is in good health.
"But the view of the committee, which was supported
by the board, was that the 50-over format was in sound
health and there was no need for dramatic changes to it
at this stage. You are well aware of the two new innova-
tions introduced. And that is what was felt was suffi-
cient at this stage," he said. Tendulkar, in a letter to the
ICC, said that ODIs should be changed to four 25-over
innings. He said that it was the best way to balance the
advantages gained by the team that won the toss.
Tendulkar had also proposed voluntary Powerplays.
Sachin Tendulkar, in a letter to the ICC, said ODIs
should be changed to four 25-over innings.
Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight
Riders lost to Somerset by 11 runs
in their last qualifying match pool
A match here at the Rajiv Gandhi
International Stadium here
Wednesday but both teams quali-
fied for the final round of
Champions League Twenty20.
Chasing a target of 167, Knight
Riders made 155 for eight in 20
overs after a brilliant 31-balls 46
by Dutch star Ryan ten Doeschate
and qualified for the main round
on the basis of better net run rate.
Opting to bat first, Somerset put
on a competitive 166 for six in 20
overs thanks to a crucial 72-run
stand between Peter Trego (70)
and the county's South African
import Roelof van der Merwe
(40). Besides Knight Riders and
Somerset, who have qualified for
the third time, Trinidad and
Tobago is the third team that qual-
ified while for the next stage,
while Leicestershire Foxes,
Auckland Aces and Ruhunu
Rhinos went back home.
Trego, Man of the Match, said:
"I have been playing for Somerset
for some time and this one of the
proudest nights of my career with
them. When Roelof bats the way
he did, it takes the pressure. All
other batsmen batted at more than
run a ball. We had nothing to lose
as outsiders, so we can give it our
all."
Knight Riders captain Jacques
Kallis said he was happy that his
team has qualified but termed it as
a poor performance.
"To be honest, we are happy to
qualify. It was tight in the end. To
be brutally honest, it was a poor
performance. We fielded poorly,
didn't bat well. Ryan played an
exceptional innings to get us
through. When we lost a couple of
wickets up front, we realized we
didn't need to be heroes," he said.
Somerset, Knight Riders
qualify for CLT20
Don't force seniors into retirement: Sourav
26 Art & Books
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
E
-commerce sites are chang-
ing the way people buy art
in the country, says Dinesh
Vazirani, CEO of India's biggest
online art auction house
Saffronart. The e-buyers are
aggressive, confident and wide in
demography.
"The e-commerce sites and the
penetration of internet have
thrown up a new segment of art
buyers who are savvy with tech-
nology and confident. E-com-
merce is a budding platform in the
country through which one can
access buyers all over the world. It
is very nascent in India but impor-
tant because people are looking at
the Indian art market, " said
Vazirani.
"The buyers, mostly upwardly
mobile, bid very aggressively on
the mobile phones because it
affords them anonymity and flexi-
bility. The physical auction room
has limitations," he said.
The bids get more layered on the
digital platform. "You get a cross-
section of demographic mix on the
online platform," Vazirani said.
Studies cite tha the Indian art
market is estimated at over
Rs.2,000 crore (Rs.20 billion).
Saffronart is offering a niche
collection of modern and contem-
porary art for its autumn online
auction Sep 21-22. The collection
featuring 70 lots by 32 contempo-
rary artists is estimated at about
Rs.35.2 crore.
The selection includes works by
masters like Jehangir Sabavala,
Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Husain, S.H.
Raza and Arpita Singh.
Vazirani said buyers will be bid-
ding online and on their cell
phones.
"There has been convergence
within technology. Hand-held
instruments like mobile and i-pads
are integrating with the internet on
one platform, the mobile phone, to
help more and more people con-
duct their lives through technolo-
gy, organize them. One can see all
kinds of transactions on the inter-
net, including art," Vazirani said.
India has more than 500 million
mobile users, estimates by telecom
regulatory authority TRAI say.
Auction bids on the mobile
phone and the internet are more
confident, Vazirani said.
The online art buyers are
younger, he said. "Younger people
are so comfortable with the tech-
nology all around. It has changed
their behavioral pattern," Vazirani
said.
Vazirani said "the dynamics of
the art auction market have
changed since the meltdown".
"During boom time, investors
had become speculators. But the
meltdown has changed the buying
outlook. The market is drawing
serious collectors who are a lot
more aware and educated. They
look for provenance (history and
authenticity) of the art they are
buying," Vazirani said.
Vazirani predicts that the consol-
idation of the collectors' market
and e-commerce in art will lead to
a "next phase of infrastructure
building".
"Many new private museums
and archives modeled on the Kiran
Nader Museum and the Devi Art
Foundation will come up in the
country. It is a very positive way
to go," Vazirani said.
Buying during the phase of
infrastructure building will evolve
further, he said. The astute nature
of transactions by the art collec-
tors, who are opting for quality
and branding post-meltdown, will
become more research-based,
Vazirani predicts.
Private museum owners will
demand better provenance of the
art works they acquire, longevity,
exclusivity and value of money,
Vazirani said.
The culture of auctions will
become proactive, he said.
Saffronart has introduced small
24X7 auctions and small theme-
based auctions every month to cre-
ate a new segment of buyers and
promote awareness about quality
in purchase, he said.
Vazirani said, "The three major
trends that will guide the Indian
art market in the next decade are a
new emphasis of art infrastructure,
globalization of Indian art and
emergence of serious collectors."
E-commerce changing India's art mart: Saffronart CEO
Dinesh and Minal Vazirani started Saffronart Indias first online
art auction house
A
t the age of 74, Anita
Desais prose and story-
telling seem to have
arrived at a level that only 50
years of writing can give. So her
three novellas in The Artist of
Disappearance make you want to
savor the narratives and plots
which few writers in English can
today attempt to write.
In an interview after the book`s
publication, Desai said the three
stories were based on memory and
past experience. This is evident in
the first novella, The Museum of
Final Journeys -- about an elderly
civil servant narrating an incident
from the 1970s, during his first
posting as a sub-divisional officer
in a small town in north Bengal.
The narrator, who carries the
burden of his IAS fathers hope, is
shamelessly prejudiced against the
people he has been hired to serve.
One day, an uninvited stimulation
knocks on his circuit houses door.
An old caretaker from a nearby tea
estate (Siliguri probably) has
come to him with a long-winding
story (for which the babu has no
patience) and at the end of it
comes an invitation to visit a
bizarre museum filled with things
the estate owners expat son used
to send from across the world.
Some days later, as the stuff and
a creature (kept secret till now) are
unveiled room by room to the
agape narrator in the dilapidated
bungalow, he is trapped in this
`real-life dream, unable ever to
escape.
The next story, "Translator,
Translated", is about two former
schoolmates. Prema is shy, mid-
dle-aged, unmarried and of mixed
parentage (like the writer) and
unwillingly teaches the works of
George Elliot and Jane Austen at a
girls college in Delhi (like
Miranda House where Desai stud-
ied). Tara on the contrary is now a
famous publisher and has a young
lover.
Prema wants to reclaim her
departed mothers bucolic Orissa
through an obscure Oriya writer
she had stumbled upon -- Suvarna
Devi. Tara agrees to publish her
translation of Devis book into
English. Therein comes the trepi-
dation and rapture of working on
the work of a writer who had been
the axis of her life and the reclu-
sive writer too emerges, her char-
acter partly resembling
Mahasweta Devi (living with adi-
vasis, writing about them). But the
spell starts to break as Prema
begins to translate Devis next
story. She sees flaws -- and begins
to rewrite the novel and in the end
is shamed, publicly.
"When she got home on the bus
and climbed the stairs...the day
was sinking into its murky nico-
tine-tinged haze of dust with
home-going traffic pouring
through it like blue-black oil from
a leak in the street below. The
crows that spent the day swinging
on the electric and telephone wires
and squabbling were dropping into
the scraggly branches of the
lopped tree below with exhausted
squawks. Would she allow herself
to be dragged into the gloom by it
all once again?"
The third novella, the title story,
again shows Desais mastery over
evoking nature with words, the
flora and fauna of the hills above
Mussoorie (where Desai was
born). There is Ravi, the boy who
feels closer to plants and animals
than he is to his Anglicized foster
parents.
Later, Ravi, orphaned, after
many years in Bombay, blooms
again in that old hill bungalow.
Then the house burns but Ravi
stays put, spending his days deep
in the forest creating a secret
miniature garden, only for himself
(much like Nek Chand, who creat-
ed the secret `rock garden` in
Chandigarh). Then one day a trio
from Delhi come to make a film of
ecological degradation and in the
process `desecrate Ravis garden,
who as a result retreats deeper into
himself, like a scared child.
At first reading, the stories seem
unalterable, as if they could not
have been written in any other
way, given the forces of circum-
stances acting on the characters.
But as the spell breaks, questions
arise.
Why was the IAS officer shown
to be so worthless? Or why did
Desai not give readers a peek into
Suvarna Devis special prose
(except for a few lines) when
Desai had made her works the
storys foundation?
May be she wanted us to feel as
disappointed as her characters.
Anita Desais new characters search for wholeness
Her three novellas in The Artist of Disappearance make you want to savor the narratives
Book Review
Author Anita Desai
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), New York, NY 10166. Securities products and investment advisory services offered by MetLife Securities, Inc. (MSI) (member FINRA/SIPC) a registered investment adviser.
MLIC and MSI are MetLife Companies. L0811203601[exp0812][NJ,NY]
E
veryone has dreams and
mine was to become a
Bollywood star. I know it
sounds crazy but please don' t
laugh. I'll be the first to admit that
it was a long shot that I had a bet-
ter chance of becoming a Sports
Illustrated swimsuit model.
But I've listened to enough moti-
vational tapes to realize the impor-
tance of "going for it." What did I
have to lose?
So after much deliberation, after
consulting my friends ("You're
nuts!"), my mother ("You' re
crazy!") and my wife ("You' re
delusional!"), I decided to audition
for a Bollywood agent, giving him
a quick look at my acting, dancing
and singing skills. Following my
performance, he asked me to have
a seat, scratched his chin and
looked directly into my eyes.
Agent: "Thank you for audition-
ing, Mr. Durai. Since you're so
determined to work in Bollywood,
I might be able to find you a job.
The directors are always looking
for someone to fetch them coffee."
Me: "But I want to be an actor."
Agent: "I'm sorry, Mr. Durai. We
have four major criteria for
Bollywood actors and I'm afraid
you fail all of them."
Me: "I realize I don' t speak
Hindi but I'm willing to learn."
Agent: "Speaking Hindi is not a
requirement anymore. The pro-
ducers are very good at dubbing.
They can even make George Bush
speak Hindi."
Me: "Is it my singing then? I
realize I don't sing very well."
Agent: "Well, your singing isn't
bad, Mr. Durai -- it's terrible. I've
heard better singing from a don-
key. But singing isn't an issue. The
producers can easily dub the voice
of a professional singer, so movie-
goers don't have to stuff popcorn
into their ears."
Me: "Is it my looks then? Am I
not handsome enough?"
Agent: "Well, let' s just say
you're no Salman Khan. Come to
think of it, you' re no Salman
Rushdie either. What's more, Mr.
Durai, you' re not exactly fair-
skinned. You'd have to be a vil-
lain."
Me: "But I'm willing to do any-
thing: wear a mask, cover my face
with talcum powder, or see
Michael Jackson' s plastic sur-
geon."
Agent: "Really? While you're at
it, you might as well see Michael
Jackson's dance instructor. You
dance like a cow. I hope you're not
offended by that. I really don't
mean to insult cows. Dancing is
very important in Bollywood, Mr.
Durai, more important than acting.
But of even greater importance is
your name. Yours, unfortunately,
does not end with 'han.'"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Agent: "All the top Bollywood
actors, in case you didn't notice,
have surnames ending with 'han.'
For example: Amitabh Bachchan,
Shahrukh Khan, and Hrithik
Roshan. This formula has even
worked for another top Asian star:
Jackie Chan."
Me: "What's the significance of
'han.'?"
Agent: "We're not sure. 'Han'
means 'yes,' but it might also be a
short form of 'handsome.' It makes
these actors more appealing on
screen."
Me: "Well, in that case, I'm will-
ing to change my name to Melvin
Roshan. In fact, I'm even willing
to change to Mohan Roshan. That
way, you'd get twice the 'han.'"
Agent: "Your determination is
inspiring, Mr. Durai. But if you're
not born with such a name then I
am sorry to say, the gods have not
smiled on you. Are you sure you
don't want to fetch coffee?"
28 Humor
September 23-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
Taking a shot at Bollywood
Tech Life
Humor with Melvin Durai
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 car-
toons. Hailing from Gujarat, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Washington, DC: Are you addicted
to your phone while driving? Well, it
could be due to an anxiety disorder,
says a new study.
Researchers at the University of
Arkansas have suggested that people
who engage in the risky practice of
using their cell phones while behind
the wheel, may be suffering from
obsessive-compulsive disorder
rather than addiction.
The findings have significant poli-
cy implications because most legis-
lation prohibiting mobile phone
usage while driving - which general-
ly has failed - has relied on research
that links dangerous and excessive
usage to addictive traits.
"Despite evidence that addiction
might drive some excessive and dan-
gerous mobile phone usage, that
model explains only part of the phe-
nomenon," said Moez Limayem,
professor and associate dean for
research and graduate programs in
the Sam M. Walton College of
Business.
"Our study shows that another
potential driver of such behaviors
may relate more closely to obses-
sive-compulsive disorders than
addictions.
"This is important because behav-
ioral interventions to treat OCD and
addictions differ fundamentally, and
the possibility that mobile phone
usage is a compulsion rather than an
addiction may suggest more effec-
tive legislative interventions and
prevention tactics," he stated.
Limayem and a doctoral student,
Zach Steelman, came to the conclu-
sion after they collected data from
451 men and women of various age
groups and locations through an
online survey website.
"Evidence of compulsive behavior
brings to light the notion that the
underlying motivation to use a
mobile phone is not pleasure, as pre-
dicted by addictions studies, but
rather a response to heightened
stress and anxiety," Limayem added.
New York: Google's Wallet is get-
ting thicker, with the addition of
Visa, American Express and
Discover to the search company's
payment system, which aims to
make cellphones the credit cards
of tomorrow.
MasterCard, the other major
payment processor, is already part
of the project. And Google
released the Wallet application on
Monday for one Sprint smart-
phone for users with MasterCards.
People with that phone will be
able to "load" a Citibank
MasterCard into the Wallet appli-
cation on the phone, and pay by
tapping the phone to wireless-
capable payment terminals in
stores instead of swiping a credit
card.
Visa, American Express and
Discover cards are set to appear
later.
Visa plans to bring out its own,
competing wallet application as
well.
Mobile addiction linked
to anxiety disorder
Google adds Visa, Amex,
Discover cards to Wallet
Aries: This week your personality would
attract lot of attention. Use your intelli-
gence to extract favours from others. New project
would be alluring, but govt. rules and regulations
would pose hindrances. Your spouse would love
you and take care of you a lot. Try not to over-
spend on visitors and guests, although gifts and
presents during this period would be plenty. Your
ability to stand out in a group will bring you pop-
ularity and recognition.
Taurus: This week you would make extra
money through your own creative efforts.
You would have some good ideas and your ability
to discuss those with people who can provide
assistance would help you in your situation. Your
energy would be high and competitive games and
outdoor activities would attract you. Your love
life would blossom as you receive gifts and pres-
ents. Great period to go out for shopping of
expensive jewelry and items. Residential moves
would be beneficial.
Gemini: This week you would accomplish
a lot through joint efforts. You would take
a position of a leader and guide others to success.
Your co-workers, colleagues and seniors would
notice your ability, which would work to your
advantage. Spouse would be caring and provide
you with love and affection. Go for social events
that would improve your social circle. Added
knowledge that you acquire during this week, will
give you advantage in your career.
Cancer: Unexpected changes regarding
financial and legal matters would be
favourable. As your energy would be high, you
would be able to achieve more than what you
expect. Although office pressures would increase
during this period, you still would be in a glorious
and energetic mood. Little time for meditation
and yoga would be important for mental as well
as physical gains. Do not neglect your beloved no
matter how hectic may be your work schedule.
Leo: Good period to sign new business
deals and alliances. Businessmen and
investors would see past investments reaping
profits. Good week to call important people over
to your place, as you would gain valuable infor-
mation and knowledge. You would also have little
free time to yourself, which you should spend in
helping those who are incapable of taking care of
their personal affairs. Opportunities to travel to a
distant place for some.
Virgo: A highly result oriented week,
where efforts bring desired goals. Your
career would get a boost, as you would be able to
gather small part-time projects to increase your
earning ability. Problems in your personal life
would enlarge much beyond your expectations, if
you were not open about how you feel. Use your
intelligence and charms to attract attention at
social get-together.
Libra: Good period for Libras, as excel-
lent surprises would keep you in a delight-
ful mood. Your career and your earning ability
would also take an upward climb and your posi-
tion would strengthen amongst your peers. Your
original ideas would win acceptance from others,
and people would seek your advice. However,
you would be overly tired and need extra rest
towards the weekend. Do not trust people with
important information.
Scorpio: This week you would have influ-
ential and experienced people around you
who would constantly be a source of inspiration
and support. You need to do things that would
improve your health since your body would be
highly receptive to change. Sudden good news
later in the week brings happiness and cheers for
the entire family. Traveling will not be as benefi-
cial as expected. Children and spouse will be
demanding.
Sagittarius: This is not the good period
to enter financial agreements.
Disagreements with partners would make it diffi-
cult for you to carry out your plans. Although you
would get substantial time with your beloved but
your relationship would suffer due to arguments
and silly contradictions. This temporary phase
would soon be over until then you need to spend
maximum time with friends, go out for a vacation
or do things that will keep you relaxed. It would
also be wise to meet experienced people who will
broaden your awareness concerning your career
goals.
Capricorn: Any renovation or decoration
that you carry out this week should be
done with the approval of others. You would also
improve your reputation if you help those who are
under extreme mental pressure. Your convincing
power would have a deep impact and people
would praise you for your efforts. Your money-
making ideas would be highly lucrative. Deals
related to land, home, and property would bring
gains. Recognition and rewards for creative
Capricornians during this period are certain.
Aquarius: Opportunities to travel outsta-
tion for business cannot be ruled out. Your
hectic work schedule would put you under stress
therefore it would be essential for you to seek
help from others. You might even feel depressed
and irritated but it would only be a temporary
phase. Participate in activities that would provide
you with entertainment, little adventure and
knowledge. Losses are likely if you invest on the
advice of dubious individuals.
Pisces: This week some arguments could
ruin your mood. Take your time before
making any crucial decision. Do not make hasty
decisions or you could blow situation out of pro-
portion and ruin a long lasting relationship. Be
careful not to get involved in easy money making
schemes. Gambling certainly is not on your cards.
You should try to put some extra time and energy
into learning additional knowledge and skills that
will help you in your career.
Sep 24:
Ruled by number 6 and the planet Venus. You have
a pleasant personality, sharp memory and you are
very fond of worldly pleasures. You are very me-
thodical, emotional and helpful person. You make
your plans and stick to it, but you need to control
your tendency to behave moody, timid and spend-
thrift at times. This year businessmen would ex-
pand their ventures into new and more profitable av-
enues. You would do extremely well if you deal in
real estate, but expect some opposition to arise from
partners. New romance for some, so make the best
of it. Meditation and Yoga should be practiced for
spiritual as well as physical gains. Some exhilarat-
ing news from your children will bring happiness
later in the year. The months of August, January and
May will be highly eventful.
Sep 25:
Dominated by number 7 and the planet Neptune,
you are highly creative, affectionate, trustworthy,
original, energetic and emotional person. You nev-
er run away from difficult task. What might appear
impossible to others would look like a challenge to
you. You have great talents, but you need to control
your tendency to behave arrogant and dominating at
times. This coming period is good for starting new
ventures. Projects that have been slow till now
would gain momentum. Disputes if any would get
sorted out and bring a sense of relief to your mind.
Romantic encounters with colleagues might devel-
op, though it would be very short lived. Your com-
petitive nature would make you stay ahead of oth-
ers and also make you popular amongst your peers.
Friends will be helpful but demanding. The months
of September, December, March and July will prove
to be significant.
Sep 26:
Influenced by number 8 and the planet Saturn. You
are ambitious, authoritative,
systematic, sober and simple person. You have great
potential to influence large group of people. You
possess modern, revolutionary views which keep
you in the limelight, but you need to control your
tendency to behave stubborn and jealous at times.
This year you would have abundance of energy,
which if properly used would bring you over-
whelming results. Financially it seems to be a good
period to invest in stocks and property, but all in-
vestments should be made for a long-term basis. A
distant journey seems likely later in the year, most
probably for attending some auspicious occasion.
Friends and relatives will not be very helpful and
should not be depended upon. The months of Au-
gust, February and Sep will prove to be beneficial.
Sep 27:
Ruled by number 9 and the planet Mars. You are ac-
tive, energetic, trustworthy, systematic and quick in
taking decisions. You always welcome new ideas
and are fond of reading to increase your knowledge
and discover new and unknown things, but you need
to control your tendency to behave shy, arrogant and
moody at times. This year you would make new
contacts, which would help you in your line of
work. You would also receive unexpected advance-
ments in your career. You would do extremely well
socially if you travel and get involved in clubs and
other social events. Your income would be much
better than the past few years. Your beloved though
possessive at time would be helpful and supportive.
Minor health ailments such as backache, stiff neck
or body pains will pose frequent problems. The
month of September, December and March will
bring in the desired result.
Sep. 28:
Influenced by number 1 and the Sun, you are active,
energetic, determined, responsible and original.
You are creative and highly result oriented person,
but you need to curb your tendency to behave reck-
less, spendthrift and stubborn at times. The coming
year improves financial status of many and some
even inherit ancestral property. Business will flour-
ish and financial gains will lift your confidence. Le-
gal matters that have been haunting your mind will
settle to your satisfaction. Promotions and incre-
ments are likely for some. Romance however will
not be pleasant as frequent arguments and disagree-
ments will keep on bothering your mind. Students
will perform remarkably well in academics and
sports. Those suffering from blood pressure and
piles need to take extra care of their health. The
months of August, February and May will be high-
ly significant.
Sep 29:
Ruled by number 2 and the Moon, you are highly
creative, practical, emotional, friendly, simple and
generous person. You enjoy enormous respect at
your workplace, but at the same time you need to
check your tendency to behave introvert, selfish and
jealous at times. New jobs and assignments will be
the highlight of the coming year. Promotions and
transfers for some employees. Investment in proper-
ty will yield good returns in the long run. Frequent
and fruitful journeys will be undertaken bringing
monetary gains and help you build up long lasting
relationships. Relations with someone of the oppo-
site sex will strengthen giving a refreshing and in-
teresting twist to your life. Some exciting news from
children will lift your spirits. Rise in your medical
bills as health of your parents could cause tension
and anxiety. The months of October, December, Jan-
uary and April seem to be highly eventful.
Sep 30:
Governed by number 3 and the planet Jupiter, you
are bold, ambitious, dignified, courageous and in-
telligent. You are hard working and always appre-
ciated for your commitment and efforts, but you
need to control your tendency to behave erratic,
stubborn and lazy at times. This year will be high-
ly beneficial for those who are willing to take in-
vestment and business risks. Speculation in proper-
ty and stocks will bring in handsome results. This
year will be highly significant for working and pro-
fessional women, as they will prosper in their re-
spective fields. New romance will be exciting but
short-lived. Journey or pilgrimage will provide
comfort and peace. Be extra careful of your jewelry
and expensive items. Chances of overseas education
for few students who are looking for a better career.
The months of September, November, February and
Sep will be important.
Astrology 29
TheSouthAsianTimes.info September 24-30, 2011
By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma
Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874; Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898,
2648 9899; psharma@premastrologer.com; www.premastrologer.com
Stars Foretell: September 24-30, 2011 Annual Predictions: For those born in this week
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 out-
come is not as desired, never give up.
v) Consult: Take second opinion before
spending thousands on cure/remedies.
Learn about the fair value of
diamonds & precious stones.
from a Gems Expert
For appointment, please call 516-390-7847
or email consult.gems@gmail.com
A special offer for the readers of
The South Asian Times
Before you consult...
Free Consultation
30 Spiritual Awareness
September 24-30, 2011 TheSouthAsianTimes.info
T
he saints tell us that what dies
is the physical body, which is
made of matter. Being made
of matter, the physical body deterio-
rates, decays and is finally
destroyed. But our true self, which is
our spirit or soul, is eternal. It lives
on and on. By connecting with our
soul, we will have access to the
answers of what awaits us beyond
deaths door and how we can take a
peep into the beyond while still
alive.
Is there any evidence to prove the
souls immortality? We have two
pieces of evidence to examine. One
is the statements and accounts given
by saints, prophets and mystics who
claimed to pass through the gates of
the Beyond in their mystic travels.
The second is current statements
made by doctors and scientists who,
through modern medicine, have
brought back to life people who had
been declared clinically dead.
Millions of people in the past three
decades have had near-death experi-
ences and their reports are all simi-
lar. A doctor discovered that those
patients who had clinically died but
were brought back to life through the
wonders of modern medicine all had
a similar experience. Many reported
having separated from their body.
They were able to watch from above
their own body as the medical practi-
tioners tried to revive them. Many
were able to see relatives in other
rooms or other cities and hear what
they were saying while their body
was on the operating table. Later, the
accounts of what they saw and heard
were borne out by the relatives.
Many of them found themselves
going through a tunnel and emerging
in a world of Light. There they met a
Being of Light who was radiant but
whose light was not scorching. They
were embraced by the Being of
Light who poured out more love
than any of them had experienced on
earth. They also underwent a life
review in which they experienced all
the good they had done to others and
all the pain they had caused others.
This was a life-changing experience,
for those undergoing the NDE real-
ized that what matters most in this
world is the love we give others.
They came back transformed and
vowed to lead their lives giving love
and doing good as their main focus.
They also lost their fear of death.
They gained newfound fearlessness
because they realized their soul was
immortal. They realized there is no
death but just a change of vesture.
Thus, they could live the rest of their
lives without fearing death because
they had already experienced what
lies beyond this life.
Those who have a near-death
experience are just visiting the bor-
ders between this physical realm and
higher spiritual regions. Through
meditation we can transcend to high-
er, more blissful realms. Saints have
given detailed accounts of the vari-
ous regions of existence to which a
soul goes after death. There are three
lower regions: a physical, an astral,
and a causal region made of mix-
tures of matter and consciousness
and which are subject to dissolution;
and the higher spiritual regions
which are eternal: the supracausal
plane and a spiritual plane known as
Sach Khand or True Realm from
where God emanates. If we can rise
above the three lower worlds, the
soul enters the purely spiritual
regions where it merges back in the
Lord and lives eternally in bliss and
love.
We can experience the souls
immortal nature when we go within.
We need not experience the trauma
of a near-death experience, nor
would we want to, in order to find
out what lies Beyond. Rather, we can
learn how the saints and mystics
from all different religions had their
inner experiences. We can learn the
techniques they used and begin to
practice them ourselves. This tech-
nique is meditation. In this form of
meditation, we sit in a comfortable
position, one in which we can sit the
longest without moving. We close
our eyes, very gently as if we were
going to sleep. With our attention,
we focus into the middle of whatever
lies in front of us. At first we may
see darkness, or gray, or Lights of
various colors. As we gaze into the
middle of whatever we see, our soul
will begin to concentrate at a point
known as the third or single eye,
located between and behind the two
eyebrows. As it concentrates there,
and we continue to gaze, we will
begin to see inner vistas. We may see
flashes of Light, Lights of any color,
an inner sky, moon, or sun. We may
see our inner guide who will take us
on an inner journey.
At the time of initiation, the
Masters impart some of their spiritu-
al attention to us to give us a spiritu-
al boost within so we can see and
hear the inner Light and Sound of
God. To keep our mind still, they
give us five Charged Words to
repeat. These have several benefits.
They keep our mind occupied so that
no thoughts can distract us. We have
seen that even yogis who meditate
for many years and do physical
poses and breathing exercises, still
have to grapple with distractions
from their mind. Stillness of mind is
needed to be able to see the inner
Light and hear the beautiful inner
Music. These are always shining and
reverberating within us, but we do
not see or hear them because our
mind is occupied with external
thoughts. The moment we can stop
these thoughts and enter the stillness
within, we can see and hear the inner
Light and Sound. These words are
also charged to help our attention
withdraw from awareness of the
body to become aware of the inner
Light within us.
As we become more absorbed into
the inner Light and Sound, we can
transcend physical body-conscious-
ness and cross into spiritual realms
beyond. As we gaze into the inner
Light we may find Lights of various
colors, inner vistas, and ultimately
we transcend physical consciousness
and become conscious of the inner
spiritual realms. Our soul soars into
these inner states of consciousness,
and experiences those places to
which we will go when we leave this
world for our final time. We find that
we exist without our body as soul.
Each inner region is alive with beau-
tiful colors, celestial Music more
enticing than any in this world, and
divine love. All our suffering ends.
We are embraced by the love of God
that puts us into states of eternal
bliss and happiness. We become
fearless as we realize that our body
is not our true self, but that our soul
is our real essence and exists beyond
this physical world.
This experience fills us with
tremendous joy and peace. We are
thrilled to know that we can be fully
conscious in another realm of exis-
tence. We experience a state of all
love, all joy, and all consciousness.
This inner journey takes us
through different levels of inner
realms; each higher one has more
and more consciousness and less
matter. There is an astral realm filled
with more Light than this realm and
beautiful Music. There we travel in a
lighter body known as an astral
body. There are beautiful sights and
colors in this region unseen on earth.
Even more ethereal is the causal
region, which is more subtle, more
blissful, and more loving. It contains
equal parts matter and conscious-
ness. From there, there is the supra-
causal plane, which is predominantly
consciousness with a small amount
of illusion. Finally, there is the
region of all spirit, with no trace of
matter. It is here that our soul merges
into God, and becomes one with
God. Here we realize that our soul is
the same essence of God and is a
part of God. This state is one in
which we gain immortality, perma-
nent peace, and divine love that
knows no end. We can attain each of
these states through meditation on
the inner Light and Sound, or Shabd
Meditation, as taught by Masters of
Sant Mat. To reach these heavenly
realms, we need to meditate daily.
By sitting still and keeping our mind
still through mental repetition of the
Charged Words given by a saint or
Master, we can begin to witness the
inner Light and Sound and learn to
rise into spiritual consciousness of
the Beyond.
The benefits of doing so are that
we will lose our fear of death. We
will be able to journey at any time of
day or night, from the comfort of our
own homes, into the spiritual realms
that await us Beyond. We will not
fear death because we will have seen
in life what is awaiting us Beyond.
People who have had spiritual expe-
riences of the Beyond do not fear
death any longer because they know
that there is a house waiting for them
within.
Another benefit is that we will not
fear the death of our loved ones. It is
true that we will grieve for them and
miss them terribly, but we will be
comforted in knowing for certain
that they are safe, happy, free of
pain, and in ecstasy in the realms
Beyond. We will know that they
have taken up residence in a far
more beautiful and blissful place
than where we live on earth. We will
know that they are free of suffering
and are in a peaceful place. While
we still miss them, we are not fearful
of what has happened to them.
Finally, another benefit of medita-
tion and finding God within is that
we see that we are all one. We see
the same Light of God that is in us is
in everyone else. Then, we love all
and serve all. We are able to forgive
others because we realize their mis-
takes were caused by ignorance of
our oneness. When we forgive oth-
ers, we can contribute to a nonvio-
lent world.
In this connection, I would like to
relate an anecdote about forgiveness.
Once there was a warrior who went
to a wise monk and asked him,
"What is the difference between
heaven and hell?" The monk looked
at this warrior who was very large
and muscular and had a savage look
about him.
The monk then replied, "You igno-
rant brute. You are nothing but a sav-
age. Why would I waste time with
you teaching you about heaven and
hell?" When the monk said that, the
warriors blood began to boil and he
was filled with anger and hatred.
Suddenly, he could not control his
temper and he started beating up the
monk. After a few moments, the
warrior realized what a heinous act
he was committing and stopped.
The monk smiled, and said, "That
fit of anger is hell." The warrior was
so ashamed for his violent act and
begged the monk to forgive him.
The monk again smiled and said,
"Your asking for forgiveness is heav-
en." This story describes in a nut-
shell the answer to the question
about dealing with all the violence,
injustice, and evil in the world. We
can choose to respond in kind, which
creates more of a hell, or we can
respond with forgiveness, which cre-
ates heaven in our own lives on
earth. Meditation can uplift our soul
to realms in which we can find the
answers to all our spiritual questions.
We can journey to the regions that
await us when we leave our physical
body at the time of death. The burn-
ing question of where we go after we
die will be answered, because we
will have already journeyed there
through meditation. Death no longer
fills us with fear for we see for our-
selves that it holds more bliss, joy,
and love than we can ever imagine.
Ultimately, we reach the stage of
merger with God and become all-
conscious. It is at that stage that our
spiritual thirst is quenched. If we can
spend some time daily in meditation
we will gain the fearlessness to over-
come all lifes challenges and lose
our fear of death. We will contribute
to a world of nonviolence and attain
lasting happiness, bliss and joy.
Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is
an internationally recognized spiri-
tual leader and Master of Jyoti
Meditation who affirms the transcen-
dent oneness at the heart of all reli-
gions and mystic traditions, empha-
sizing ethical living and meditation
as building blocks for achieving
inner and outer peace. www.sos.org.
Meditation to know what lies Beyond
Concluding part of three part series of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharajs keynote address at the 26th International
Human Unity Conference held in Mexico City, Mexico, in November 2008.
By Sant Rajinder Singh
Ji Maharaj
We can experience
the souls immortal
nature when we go
within. We need not
experience the trau-
ma of a near-death
experi ence, nor
would we want to,
in order to find out
what lies Beyond.
Rather, we can
learn how the saints
and mystics from all
different religions
had thei r i nner
experiences. We can
l earn the
techni ques they
used and begin to
practi ce them
ourselves. This tech-
nique is meditation.
Heartiest Congratulations
Dr. JG Bhat, Dr. Dev Ratnam Mr. M S Taneja
On being honored by
Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation
At 30th Annual Gala Dinner
Rotary Club Hicksville South
"And all other honorees"
Ashok Varshney,
Harendra Singh,
Jerry Kohli
Jagadeesan Poola,
Kamlesh Mehta,
Raja Amar