New Zealand | 2
Kiwi indian it firm goes global

January 27, 2012 Volume 3, No. 19

New Zealand’s first Indian weekend magazine

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The Pulse of Kiwi Indians Bollywood | 26
Vidya balan sizzles


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New Zealand
d design firm ptimizer acquires AucklanHQ has acquired an Auckland O izer

Kiwi indian IT firm lists on German bourse
Dev NaDkarNI
A company founded by Kiwi Indian IT entrepreneur Manas Kumar in a bedroom eight years ago with just $10 start-up capital has now been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Joining just seven of New Zealand’s largest construction, dairy and telecommunications companies listed on the Deutsche Boerse, Optimizer HQ began trading on November 30. Expected to trade at 0.10 Euro, its share price rose to 0.40 Euro in just six hours. Optimizer HQ was established in 2003 as a web development company and now provides a raft of groundbreaking technologies to businesses who want to find and grow their customer base in the online market. Founder Manas Kumar immigrated to New Zealand from India to embark on a professional cricket career. Mr Kumar says his dream was short-lived and he was forced to swap the cricket pitch for a role behind the counter at a fastfood chain. “I had no money and worked every hour I could, in the end there was little point in going home so I’d just find somewhere to sleep in downtown Auckland before my next shift started.”

tim rman stock exchange, Op Af ter listing on the Ge pany. And there’s based motion graphics com sed animation, is the company’s new purchase. t few gn, an Auckland-ba ouncements over the nex Desai a ser ies of ann company plans to make more to come – the g, Mr Kumar said. weeks related to fundin was over the moon or Tan may Desai said he Desaign direct with Desaign in the right direction, and that it was a step was doing. Optimizer HQ is quite helping to explain what ip there … and Manas s quite a good par tnersh “It’ be a par t of the team.” really good to nder a visionary leader so it’s designer of Indian Weeke may Desai is the original Tan n for more than two years the publicatio and was associated with launch. erest from after its y had had invest ment int Since listing the compan h a ser ies of ers, Mr Kumar said, wit the likes of fund manag next few weeks. cements to be made in the funding announ

I had no money and worked every hour I could, in the end there was little point in going home so I’d just find somewhere to sleep in downtown Auckland before my next shift started

Mr Kumar says he was determined to make a better life for himself. With just $10 that he used to buy a domain name, Optimizer HQ was born in the bedroom of his Auckland apartment. His flagship product was an email marketing solution that allows businesses to communicate with their customers and grow their relationships. With international clients such as Harvard University, Burger King, Pfizer and Footlocker, and local customers like the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Post, Optimizer HQ currently employs 11 staff and is looking to expand further. “In the last 18 months Optimizer HQ has grown to the point which I could never have imagined back in 2003 when I set out on this incredible journey,” says Mr Kumar.

“Just last year we were delivering about 300,000 emails per month, which I was really happy with. Now we’re sending more than 400 million emails and expect to hit the one billion mark by next June.” Mr Kumar says listing on the Deutsche Boerse is the beginning of a new era for the company and one that allows it to showcase its technologies on the world stage. “This was such an important step for us as a company and one which we’re naturally incredibly proud to have achieved,” he says. “And just as the growth of Optimizer HQ has been a rapid one, the listing was rapid too - we achieved the listing in just 47 working days,” says Mr Kumar. At 31, Mr Kumar is the second youngest chief executive in the world to be listed on the Deutsche Boerse, behind Puma’s Jochen Zeitz.

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Indian kites Fly against all odds

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The Indian Kite Festival 2012 organised by Vaishnav Parivar was once again, like in previous years, extremely successful this year in spite of the bad weather. The Festival was to be held on January 7 but had to be called off due to heavy rain on that day. Yet so many people from Whangarei to Hamilton called Vaishnav Parivar and Radio Tarana enquiring about the event. Responding to such public interest Vaishnav Parivar decided to hold the 2012 Kite Festival on the following Saturday, January 14. That day too started with rain and again threatened the festival but the weather slowly cleared by midday and the event got under way in true festive style. One had to admire the dedication and perseverance of the organisers and volunteers who set up the scene and were ready to kick off as soon as the weather cleared.

Drawing and colour competition, free face painting and fun rides were some of the highlights of the 2012 Festival. Children and adults had great fun and enjoyment. There was something for everyone. Indian food, colourful kites and dancing to the tune of DJ music kept everyone entertained. Senior citizens mingled in the crowd and those who did not partake in kite flying or other entertainment were busy socialising with family and friends. The climax of the Festival was the drawing of the Raffle. The first prize of one return air ticket to India sponsored by Eco Travels of Mt Albert was won by Mrs Anila Shah. In thanking all their sponsors, supporters and participants especially the Lion Foundation, ASB Bank and Eco Travels, Vaishnav Parivar promised to hold a bigger and much improved Indian Kite Festival in January 2013.


Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |

Indian Indian
there were fewer than 10000, now there are more than 100,000 making Indians the second largest ethnic Asian group. The participation of Indians is huge. When I joined law, Indian lawyers could be counted on one hand now there is a whole roomful and more,” he added. While being Governor General, he had the occasion to attend several functions with “an Indian dimension” throughout the country, he said. Among these he recalled Diwali in many parts of the country, the diamond jubilee of the Wellington Indian Sports Club, the 85th anniversary of NZICA in Palmerston North and the NZICA Womens Conference in Wellington in 2008 that Lady Susan inaugurated. Touching upon relations between Indian and New Zealand, Sir Anand acknowledged the current negotiations on the free trade agreement and the commitment of Prime Ministers John Key and Manmohan Singh. He said there was “real substance” in the negotiations and that the relationship between the two countries “ was becoming closer in a substantive way”. Sir Anand described the Pravasi Bharatiya Award that was approach andhim atmusical The worldly presented to vast Vigyan Bhavan in of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has chervocabularyNew Delhi was one of his most long ished. While it richness of Indian his Indian transcended the made him proud of culture to heritage, it also reflected the greatness of invoke and engage with the broader world.a Now, for the first time, experience their ecstatic energy in performance on this historic New Zealand stage debut as the three Kings!!! What-when-where? Dates & Times: Friday, 24 February 2012, 19:30 - 23:00 PM Location: Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre, Auckland Tickets available at Yogiji's Food Mart - Carr Road, Mt. Roskill Auckland Indian Sweets - Otahuhu country like New Zealand where it was possible for a person of Indian, whose grandparents and parents were migrants, could stand proud with achievements as lawyer, judge, ombudsman and finally as Governor General. He said he looked forward to “restore the spontaneity and relative anonymity that comes out of stepping down from office.” He was carrying a multitude of memories with him, he added, many of these were shared closely with the Indian community. NZICA General Secretary Raj Thandi said, “Sir Anand is a great New Zealander and distinguished community leader. He is a fine example of a New Zealander who made good through hard work and a commitment to realising high goals. “The Association was very proud to honour Sir Anand and his wife, Lady Susan. A special plaque, designed by myself was presented to Sir Anand that symbolised the respect that he deserves.” About 200 members and guests, including representatives of the New Zealand Government attended the function. Sir William Birch, a former New Zealand Minister of Finance, Ramesh Patel, a New Zealand Olympian, Judge Ajit Singh, AucklandDominion Road Auckland Indian Sweets - City Councillor Des Morrison and Member of Parliament KanVastra - Papatoetoe waljit Singh Bakshi also www.Ticketdirect. Ticket Direct Website - attended the event among several other community luminaries. Or contact Agastya on 021 033 3333 Proudly sponsored by: Pan World Travel Mangere, Vastra (Papatoetoe), Rockkyz Minimart - Papatoetoe, Immigration Advice NZ Ltd - (Saif Shaikh) and Indian Weekender!!! Parking & Transportation: There are 700+ parking spots at the Event Centre. In addition there is a proper access to the venue from all corners of Auckland due to the motorway convenience.

New Zealand

Get ready for the three kings of Bollywood
Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa (SEL) are rocking Bollywood with their refreshing sound and have made a habit of delivering hits. They have composed fusion music and Indian rock for over fifty soundtracks across four languages and scored music in more than 48 Bollywood films, won over 20 prestigious national and international awards – next only to Oscar winning music composer, AR Rahman. A non-film background notwithstanding, S-E-L stand out mainly because of their understanding of script requirements and contemporary musical tastes. Their latest stupendous success of “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” stands testimony to their style. “It is an exhilarating feeling and the success of ZNMD on the 10th anniversary of “Dil Chahta Hai” and our 15 years has an almost spiritual feel to it. It is like another take off point for us to prepare for the years to come so that we can keep creating good music,” says Shankar Mahadevan. Their success owes to several contributing factors, among which are the adoption of interesting musical instruments and sounds as part of their Orchestral palette, introduction of new voices weaned on immensely popular TV musical talent shows and an obsession for the perfect “feel‟ for the movie scene necessitating the segue into a song sequence. Fresh from a sold-out debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall, ShankarEhsaan-Loy will lead a ten-piece band including Indian’s premier drummer, Darshan Doshi, in an extravagant performance of their greatest soundtrack moments including: Kajra Re Salaam-e-lshq Uff Teri Ada Rock On Mitwa Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna 45 number one songs More than 60 original soundtrack albums More than 20 film industry awards A groundbreaking union of classical, rock and electronic craft

Year of the Dragon in Parliament

membering a dear mate…
The Chinese Year of the Dragon will be celebrated at Parliament on 8 February 2012 at an event hosted by the new Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Hon Judith Collins. The dragon is considered to be the mightiest of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs and festivals welcoming the auspicious year are expected to be especially well attended and embraced. Prime Minister John Key will join around two hundred people at the function. They will witness the traditional lion dance, in which Mr Key will place a red envelope in the lion’s mouth as a symbol of good luck, prosperity and to dispel evil spirits. The Director of the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Mervin Singham says celebrating cultural festivals such as Chinese New Year reflects New Zealand’s strong and positive relationship with its ethnic communities. Ms Collins says the Chinese community




adds strength to the New Zealand economy through its entrepreneurial spirit and its links back to the economic power house of the Asia Pacific region. “The traits associated with this year of the Dragon include being innovative, enterprising, flexible, self-assured, brave, and passionate. These are exactly the traits that all of us need to build a bright and prosperous future.” 2012 also marks the 40th anniversary of New Zealand’s diplomatic relationship with China. It is a relationship that was cemented when New Zealand became the first western nation to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with Beijing in 2010. Mr Singham says engaging with ethnic communities helps inform New Zealand’s relationship with its trading partners and fosters trade links and economic growth.

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Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |



Employers must keep staff Kanu Patel honoured Hindu temples in Auckland with QSM
The Department of Labour is reminding employers that the law now requires them to keep signed written employment agreements for all their staff. Since 1 July all employers are required to keep signed copies of employment agreements or current terms and conditions for all employees, or they may face a penalty. “Employment agreements are required for all employees no matter when they started work,” says Annie Newman, the Department’s Acting Chief Adviser of Employment Relations. “This affects all employees including those hired on a verbal agreement or employees who do not have current written agreements in place,” says Ms Newman. “Having a clearly written employment agreement helps reduce the risk of misunderstandings and there are some provisions that must be included in employment agreements,’’ she says. They must include the name of the em-

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Diversity forum will focus on media
A multi-media study about Paul Henry and Hone Harawira is being presented by Wellington’s Centre for Applied Crosscultural Research at next month’s 2011 New Zealand Diversity forum jointly hosted by the Human Rights Commission and the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust. Its work examines the intense public arguments around comments made by prominent media figures in 2010, such as Henry’s deliberate mispronunciation of an international dignitary’s name and then repeatedly laughing about it, and Harawira’s alleged racist comments about Pakeha. The forum will also include activities that tackle race

teed diswith free es offeres, RWC ces. e will be national gadgets zone Exy of our account ass and work.”

Leading and employee, a description of the ployer community leader and respected and long time be performed, the place ofIndian Aswork to member of the Auckland employsociation, Kanu Patel, has been to work, the ment, times the employee is honoured with a wages or Service and an in recognition of serQueen’s salary, Medal explanation of services to the Indian community during the New vices available for solving problems. Year’s awards. employer’s responsibility to “It’s the “In receiving the up to date copy of each maintain and keep an Queen’s Service Medal in recognition of my services to a copy of employee’s agreement and provide the Indian the agreement if an employee requests it,” community, I thank my late father ChhaganMs Newman says. lal Gosai and the incredible team of volunteers who The Department of Labour has developed give their selfless services to the Indian an Employment Agreement Builder to help community without any recognition,” he told employers through Indian Weekender. this process. Failure to ensure hard for the community “My father workedan employment agreement life and for the founding Trustee all his is in place wasall employees may resultof in a labour inspector taking a penalty action Jalaram Temple in Leicester, UK, and was also against an employer. instrumental in building a temple in our village This Mr Patel said. in India,” involves a seven-day notice period to Outlining the influence of his father comrectify the breach and if this isn’t during plied with his youngerthen penalties may be sought in days Mr Patel said, “Two key the Employment Relations Authority of up values my father instilled in me at an early age to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for were honesty and credibility. To him they were companies. the pillars of living a successful life and more important than wealth.” Mr Patel praised the volunteers who have worked selflessly to make the Auckland Indian Association what it is today. “The Auckland Indian Association and Mahatma Gandhi Centre have been blessed with committed volrelations priorities identified in this year’s unteers and officers. Manyfeaturegiven longer Race Relations Report, and have the preservice toof the Annual Diversity have. I just sentation the community than I awards. happen to have a leadership role and my the A parallel youth forum is being held at services have been recognised by the New Zealand same time. The New Zealand Diversity Forum 2011 Government,” he said. is being held at Hamilton on 21-22been seeing “My greatest satisfaction has August Also on the programme on Sunday at 3.30the Indian community, and many others, enjoy5.00 pm is a forum on “Community Media ing the Mahatma Gandhi Centre facilities and and Diversity” hosted by the Community the spiritual blessings they receive at the Radha Access Temple.” KrishnaRadio Waikato Trust. Attendance on Sunday and Mr Patel Commenting on the future,for individ-said, ual forums is free. If you achieved but for “There is much more to beare attending we will half a day or more and goals for the regisleave future visionon the Mondayanother time. tration fee is $50.

The Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) Charitable Trust has recently compiled a list of Hindu places of worship in Auckland. According to the 2006 census, Hindus were the second largest faith-based community in New Zealand, with Manukau once dubbed “Hindu capital of New Zealand” by a former Mayor of the city. Here’s the list of Hindu places of worship in the Auckland area:

Bharatiya Mandir, 252 Balmoral Road, Sandringham. Tel: (09) 846 2677 Subramaniyam Temple 41 Stanhope Rd, Ellerslie. Tel: (09) 263 8854 Radha Krishna Temple 145 New North Rd, Eden Terrace. Tel: (09) 379 4463

Ram Krishna Mandir 25-27 Onslow Rd, Papatoetoe. Tel: (09) 278 6341 ISSO Swaminarayan Hindu Temple 10-12 Wentworth Avenue, Papatoetoe. Tel: (09) 277 5756 NZ Thirumurugan Temple 174a Marua Court, Marua Road, Ellerslie. Tel: (09) 525 1026

Sri Ganesh Temple 4 Dent Place, Papakura. Tel: (09) 298 8640 Shri Radha Giridhari Mandir (ISKCON) 1229 Coatsville-Riverhead Hwy 28. Tel: (09) 412 8075 Shri Swami Narayan Mandir (BAPS) 21 Barrhead Place, Avondale. Tel: (09) 828 2277

Under construction :

Shri Shirdi Saibaba Temple 12-18 Princes Street, Onehunga. BHOOMI PUJA - 4th February 2012

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Papatoetoe Celebrates 150 years
Papatoetoe will be celebrating 150 years since becoming a separate entity (in local body terms) throughout 2012. An organising committee for the 150th celebrations made up of local community representatives and chaired by Gary Troup has been formed. It will be encouraging the local schools, organisations, churches, temples and individuals to participate in some way and have their celebrations advertised in a Calendar of Events which will be shared within the Papatoetoe community. For many it may be a special celebration held each year that could have a Papatoetoe heritage aspect as well e.g. the Papatoetoe Hunters Corner Bowling Club and the Methodist Church celebrate 100 years in 2012. The organising committee is planning to get a DVD put together showing various aspects of Papatoetoe’s heritage which could also be shown. A website has been established. A Crest has been designed based on the former Borough and City of Papatoetoe crests. The design is an interpretation of the name of Papatoetoe, which means ‘an undulating area where the Toetoe was the predominant feature’. The Toetoe is represented by the formalised fronds in the centre of the Crest. The ‘undulating area’ is suggested by the undulating line dividing the main colour scheme of purple and gold, which are the Papatoetoe colours. The wheat sheaf is included as the main crop produced by farmers was wheat. The plough symbolises the pastoral and agricultural aspects in which the district has always been interested. The waka (canoe) on rollers, commemorates the famous portage from the Waitemata to the Manukau Harbours perpetuated by Portage Road. The motto ‘Kia Mahi Tahi’ at the top of the crest means ‘let us work together.’ The dates 1862-2012 represents 150 years since Papatoetoe became a separate district in local body terms. The committee is also interested in collecting photographs and/or film footage of Papatoetoe events over the years from personal collections that can be displayed or used throughout the year.

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Papatoetoe Hunters Corner Bowling Club and the Methodist Church celebrate 100 years in 2012. The organising committee is planning to get a DVD put together showing various aspects of Papatoetoe’s heritage

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Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |


New Zealand

Maori Research Institute leads India delegation
The Rotorua-based recently established Maori Research Institute will lead a Maori delegation to India to attend the Fourth International Conference of the Elders of Ancient Traditions and Cultures to be held from March 3 to March 7 at Haridwar, India. The conference is organised by the International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS) once in three years. The previous conferences were held at Mumbai (2003),a Jaipur (2006), and Nagpur (2009) in India. The conferences have served the purpose of bringing together members of diverse traditions and cultures across the globe with a common thread best described by the “Mitakuye Oyasin” – We are all related. “This is indeed an initiative that helps bring the wisdom of ancient peoples and cultures to the fore, and we would like to support such an international gathering of different cultures,” said Malcolm Short, Director of Maori Research Institute and the leader of the delegation from Aotearoa New Zealand. The theme of this fourth conference is “Nourishing the Balance of the Universe”. Delegates from over 50 countries are expected to attend this conference. The conference organisers have requested Dr Guna Magesan, a senior scientist with the Maori Research Institute, to identify one Maori Elder who is very much respected in the Maori community Prof Pathak said that the organisers are keen to recognise a Maori Elder from New Zealand, because the Maori community, in spite of many adversities, is socially, culturally and politically active; and at the world stage, Maori community is a role model for other ancient cultures that have struggled to maintain their identity. Preparations for the Maori delegation going to the conference are going well. In addition to the internaDr Guna Magesan discusses travel plan with Mr Malcolm Short, leader of the Maori delegation to India tional conference, the delegation will also attend two business meetings and who has done good work for their resume) was January 20, 2012. Up to 5 selected resumes will in New Delhi and Mumbai. They the revival of Maori tradition. The conference organisers aim to award be sent to the conference organis- will also visit places of tourist intera Maori Elder with an honorary ers and the final decision will be est in New Delhi and Rajasthan, and degree from the Research Institute made by the conference organisers the Taj Mahal in Agra. The delegation is made up of people from all of World’s Ancient Traditions, Cul- in India. The conference coordinator, walks of life – academics, kaumattures and Heritage (RIWATCH UniProf. Yashwant Pathak, said that the uas, artists, business leaders, etc. versity). The Maori delegation will be Dr Magesan feels that the Maori conference organisers will award an community should identify and honorary degree to one well respect- supported by two Hindu communominate a Maori Elder for the ed Elder from each continent. They nity members, Dr Rajiv Chaturvehonour. Emails have already been have already identified elders from di and Dr Guna Magesan from sent to a number of mailing lists. South America, Europe, and North New Zealand. This delegation is thus symbolising Hindu Maori The last day for nominations (with America. whakawhanaungatanga (kinship). “This is an opportunity for Maori business community to start linking with Indian business community at the grass root level,” Dr Magesan said. This is important in view of the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and India in pipeline. This is only a start. We hope to have more business delegations with time to come. For further information regarding conference, please visit website of ICCS

This is an opportunity for Maori business community to start linking with Indian business community at the grass root level,” Dr Magesan said. This is important in view of the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and India in pipeline.

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New Zealand

Vipassana for Auckland kids

Sitarist to perform in Rotorua
Prof. Prasanta Bhanja, a professional musician from one of the world's oldest traditions of music, will present a sitar concert on Sunday, January 29, at Linton Park Community Centre (16 Kamahi Place, Pukehangi, Rotorua) from 4.30 - 6.00 pm for the public. He will be accompanied by his wife, Tulu Bhanja, on the tamboura (stringed drone) and on the tabla by one of New Zealand's leading tabla players, Sharanpal Singh. The concert will consist of a short introduction to the history and aesthetics of Indian classical music, followed by approximately an hourlong performance. During his previous visits to New Zealand, Prof. Bhanja performed to critical acclaim in both the North and South Islands. During this time, apart from public concerts, he was invited to teach the fundamentals of Indian classical music to students of Western classical music. Prof. Bhanja was then hosted by various institutions including Auckland University, Wellington Conservatorium of Music, Massey University, and Otago University (as a William Evans visiting fellow).
Prof. Prasanta Bhanja and his wife Tulu Bhanja

Vipassana Centre is organising an introductory meditation course for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years, on Saturday, February 18, 2012, from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm, at a location in Onehunga, Auckland. Children learn Anapana, which is a technique of the observation of natural, normal respiration as it comes in and goes out. The Anapana technique: l Is simple yet scientific l Is morality-based but non-religious l Uses a natural object to focus l Is non-commercial The aim is to let children experience the benefits of meditation. Regular practice of Anapana technique gives many benefits, including: l Improved concentration and memory l More self-confidence l Greater capacity to study

l l

Ability to deal with agitation, fears, anxieties and pressures Increased goodwill for others

Meditation sessions are combined with discussion, creative activities, and games in smaller groups. Courses are run solely on the basis of voluntarily offered donations. Please visit website, for more information. To enroll for a course please l go to website www.medini. and click on “Apply for a course” tab on left menu and scroll down to “Teenagers' & children's courses” section and click on “Apply” or l contact on the phone number 630 7009 or email info@medini.

"We are grateful to have an artist of such calibre performing in Rotorua," said Murali Magesan, a member of Hindu Youth New Zealand and coordinator of this programme. Prof. Bhanja has dedicated his professional life to teaching and performing Indian classical music on the sitar. In the current visit to New Zealand, Prof Bhanja is interested in performing for all audiences, particularly to those who want to understand more, and want to learn to appreciate this wonderful form of music. Originally trained by his father, the late Pandit Sushil Bhanja, who was himself a student of the re-

nowned Ustad Allaudin Khan, Prof. Bhanja became a part of the Faculty of Music at Visva Bharati University – Santiniketan, West Bengal. This University was founded by the famous Hindu poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Prof. Bhanja has travelled to and performed in many counties around the world including Switzerland, France, Germany, USA, and Sri Lanka. His wife, Tulu, is also a very accomplished painter. She will be bringing over a selection of her paintings and drawings to exhibit in Rotorua. Prof Bhanja's visit to Rotorua is sponsored by the Hindu Council of New Zealand. People may know the venue by the name Rotorua West Bowling Club, where “Health for Humanity” Yogathon was organised. For more information, please contact Murali Magesan 07 350 1336; Mob: 021 034 5621; Email: hindu. Time and date of sitar performance: Sunday, 29 January 2012, 4.30 - 6.00 pm location: Linton Park Community Centre (16 Kamahi Place, Pukehangi, Rotorua) entry: Free, seating allows for 120 people (first come first served)

Looking forward to the year ahead
kaNWaljIt SINgh BakShI
2012 is upon us. I’m looking forward to another busy year as we focus on the issues that matter for our community, and for all Kiwis - a stronger economy and more jobs, better frontline health and education services, a safer New Zealand, and rebuilding Canterbury. We campaigned on some important policies and our new Cabinet will get to work straight away. It’s a privilege to be voted in by New Zealanders for a second term of Government. National has the skills and experience to provide the strong and stable Government New Zealand needs over the next three years. The global financial environment remains stormy but National is getting our books in order. We’ll halve the Budget deficit next year and return to surplus in 2014/15 as promised during the election campaign. Work is underway on extending the successful mixed-ownership model. The Government will offer a minority stake to investors in four state-owned energy companies, and reduce its stake in Air New Zealand, while retaining majority control. Mums and dads will be able to buy shares in these companies. This will free up $5 billion to $7 billion to invest in new assets, such as building schools designed for the 21st century, while reducing debt. As promised, National is continuing our work on welfare reform. In 2012 we’ll keep building a system that focuses on what people can do. We’ll provide support, training, and opportunities to get Kiwis back into work and away from long-term benefit dependence. The Canterbury earthquake last February claimed many lives, and left so many grieving. It created widespread devastation and Cantabrians need and deserve all our support. National remains committed to rebuilding Canterbury and we’ll focus the resources needed to make this happen. National is delivering high-quality, modern public services in health, education, and law and order for families. We’ll maintain a cap on staff in core government administration, continue to modernise the way public services are delivered, and find savings to put into the front line. That means more elective operations and less waiting in our hospitals, more opportunities for children in our schools, and better policing on our streets. After a refreshing break with family and friends I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and continuing to build the brighter future our community and all New Zealanders deserve. I hope you and your family have a happy and successful 2012.

Beachgoers warned on jellyfish
Following reports of rashes caused by stings from microscopic jellyfish, Auckland Regional Public Health Service is advising swimmers to take care at Hauraki Gulf beaches. The microscopic jellyfish – or hydromedusae – can cause a red, raised, itchy or painful rash, also known as sea bathers eruption, which tends to mainly affect areas that have been covered by a bathing suit or clothes, rather than uncovered areas. The jellyfish, which are transparent and too small to be seen, get caught inside swimwear. As the bather leaves the water the jellyfish become trapped and sting the areas covered by their swimwear. A tingling sensation is often noticed first. Over several hours, the rash develops. Medical Officer of Health, Dr Simon Baker says, “The only guaranteed way to prevent being stung is to avoid bathing at affected beaches. We have had reports from Long Bay, Milford and Takapuna beaches, although it is likely that this problem extends all along the Hauraki Gulf”. Auckland Regional Public Health Service recommends: The only certain way to prevent being stung is to avoid swimming at affected beaches, and to swim in a freshwater swimming pool instead Do not wear large baggy clothes into the water (but still stay Sunsmart) After swimming, remove your swimwear as soon as possible and then shower if you can – especially the area that was covered by your swimwear Don’t towel the area before showering – this will just set off the stinging If you develop a rash, have a shower, and get into cool loose clothing. Calamine lotion may help If the rash persists, visit your local pharmacy – mild steroid creams like hydrocortisone can be helpful, as can antihistamine tablets If problems are severe or persist or worsen, see a doctor Don’t put the swimwear back on until laundered properly, as the jellyfish can still sting even after they are dead. Until 2008 these rashes were thought to be caused by sea lice. However, sea lice tend to bite exposed areas of the skin while the jellyfish normally sting underneath swimwear. Jellyfish numbers increase in periods of warm weather.

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New Zealand
men and women from all cultures and countries need to be represented in early childhood education. “I congratulate NZTC for bringing student teachers with different experiences to New Zealand and for leading them to post modern concepts of education. I believe I have found the right path.” Mohanan says that anyone wanting to be an early childhood teacher will need to have a loving and respectful nature and a calm and caring attitude. New Zealand Tertiary College is a privately owned tertiary institution specialising in high quality early childhood education qualifications based in Greenlane, Auckland. Programs range from the six-month Certificate in Early Childhood Education (Introduction) to the two-year Master of Education (Early Childhood Education). If you are interested in making a difference to the next generation through a career in early childhood education like Mohanan, please contact Sanil on (09) 520 4000 or email to discuss your options. NZTC’s website www.nztertiarycollege., is continually updated with information.

International male Indian early childhood graduate shares his experiences
Mohanan Koodathinkal from Kerala in Southern India, completed his early childhood teaching qualification last year through New Zealand Tertiary International male Indian early childhood graduate shares his experiences College (NZTC) in New Zealand.
Mohanan began his professional career as a primary school teacher in India in the mid 80s. From this experience he grew to realise how crucial the early years are in deciding a person’s character. It was this realisation coupled with a revelation from his church pastor in 2008 that spurred him to pursue a career working with younger children as an early childhood teacher. “Put simply; I see my career choice as a spiritual mission... I have always believed in the famous quote “if your wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if your health is lost, something is lost; and if your character is lost, everything is lost.” In 2009, Mohanan attended an NZTC information evening held in Kochi City. It was here he spoke to NZTC’s Marketing Manager for India, Sanil Haria. Mohanan was impressed by the quality of
Mohanan New Zealand- where Kerala ing. The methods of teaching Napier, Koodathinkal (left), from his in Southern old daughter lived- early childhood 23-year India, completed his as well should be interesting to children. teaching qualification last year through New as offering him the flexibility of fit- The teacher’s approach should Zealand Tertiary College field practise Zealand. children’s curiosity and self ting study around his (NZTC) in New evoke Mohanan began his professional career as a Mohanan completed his home Mohanan says the College was primary for him every step in the mid 80s. there school teacher in India of the centre field practise at Kidspace From this experience he grew to realise how way: “New Zealand Tertiary Col- Quality Early Learning Centre crucial the early years are in deciding a person s lege supported me well to adjust in Napier. Despite men in early character. It was this realisation coupled with a with every new, challenging situa- childhood being scarce, Mohanrevelation from his church pastor in 2008 that tion. The to pursue a career working an spurred himlecturers help motivated with was warmly welcomed in the me to children the early literature centre. Some parents told him younger explore as anworld childhood teacher.


learning skills.”

and relate it to my own recent ex- openly that they were happy to perience and my career choice as a spiritual a man in early childhood and Put simply; I see my visiting lecturer see for field I have always believed thor- some children seemed to have a mission... practice placementsin the famous oughly supported and encour- more natural emotional attachquote if your wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if aged me.” your health is lost, something is lost; and if ment to men: “Quite interestingly your From his studies and lost. education and practical experi- character is lost, everything ispractical a few infants who were not ready ence NZTC’s programs offered experience Mohanan has learnt to settle with female teachers got In 2009, Mohanan attended an NZTC informationimportance in Kochi City. It was here he settled with me in my home and Sanil assisted him to enrol in the evening held of child-centred easily spoke to NZTCs Marketing Manager for India, S and child-directed impressed bycentre.” anil Haria. Mohanan was educathe the one-year Graduate Diploma of care quality of education and practical experience NZTCs programs offered and Sanil assisted He hopes to use what he has tion: “A teacher needs to nourTeaching (Early Childhood Eduhim to enrol in the one-year Graduate Diploma ofcognitive,(Early Childhood Education). Teaching emotional, social, learnt at NZTC to promote the imcation). Mohanan chose to study ish Mohanan chose to study via NZTCs unique online learning environment, NZTC Online,portance of early childhood eduwhich physical, linguistic and spiritual via enable unique online Napier, wouldNZTC’shim to study fromlearningNew Zealand- where his 23-year old daughter liveddomains. Role-modelling is an im- cation in global context, alongside environment, NZTC Online, which as well as offering him the flexibility of fitting study around his field practise placements. would enable him to study from portant aspect of effective teach- his Christian faith. He believes
Mohanan says the College was there for him every step of the way: New Zealand Tertiary College supported me well to adjust with every new, challenging situation. The lecturers help motivated me to explore the world literature and relate it to my own recent experience and my visiting lecturer for field practice placements thoroughly supported and encouraged me.

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Mohanan completed his home centre field practise at Kidspace Quality Early Learning Centre in Napier. Despite men in early childhood being scarce, Mohanan was warmly welcomed in the centre. Some parents told him openly that they were happy to see a man in early childhood and some children seemed to have a more natural emotional attachment to men: Quite interestingly a few infants who were not ready to settle with female teachers got easily settled with me in my home centre.
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From his studies and practical experience Mohanan has learnt the importance of childcentred care and child-directed education: A teacher needs to nourish cognitive, emotional, social, physical, linguistic and spiritual domains. Role-modelling is an important aspect of effective teaching. The methods of teaching should be interesting to children. The teacher s approach should evoke children s curiosity and self learning skills.

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Maha Shiv Darshan – celebrating Shiva Ratri 2012

The free programme “Maha Shiv Darshan” is open to the public on the 23rd of January 2012 from 9am-8pm at the Indian Cultural Hall, 48 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie in Wellington and the 5th of February 2012 from 7am7pm at the Shiv Mandir, 54 Holmes Road, Manurewa in Auckland.


Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |



Citi honours future woman leaders India is the greatest

Mumbai: Citi India, a premier locally-embedded financial institution, on Wednesday awarded nine first year management students from the leading business schools in the country with the Citi Woman Leader Award 2011-12 and named nine others as runners-up. This initiative, now in its second year, aims to identify young talent and promote future women leaders. Candidates are selected on the basis of demonstrating exemplary Leadership skills during their freshman year in college along with a strong academia and active participation in extracurricular activities. The winners are awarded congratulatory certificates, trophy and reimbursement of their second year tuition fees. Pramit Jhaveri, CEO, Citi India said, “We have very clearly recog-

nized diversity as an extremely important imperative and initiative for Citi India." Nominations for the Citi Woman Leader Award are invited for second year MBA students from the nine premier business schools in India including, Indian Institute of Management at Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode, FMS (Delhi), XLRI (Jamshedpur), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai) and S P Jain Center of Management (Mumbai). The nominees go through a rigorous three-phased selection process, which involves nominations from the Deans of each school as a first step. These students are then interviewed by members of the senior management team at Citi India. The final shortlisted 18 students attend a specially created assess-

ment center designed and conducted by leading consulting firm, Accenture which is followed by a final round of personal interviews at Mumbai. Explaining the objective of the Awards, Citi Human Resources Officer, South Asia, Stephen Cronin said, "The Citi Woman Leader Award, a first-of-its kind initiative in the Banking industry in India, is aimed to promote encourage young women leaders enter the Indian workforce. "We believe promoting diversity at the entry level gives us the opportunity to nurture and grow talented young women professionals who will take on larger board room roles in the years ahead.” “At Citi India, 40% of our junior to middle level managers comprises of women professionals,” said Cronin.

Jaipur: The grand dame of American talk show Oprah Winfrey is overwhelmed by her Indian odyssey and disputing her own earlier statement as quoted in media, she says she wants to come back again and again. She also called India the greatest show on earth speaking to TV journalists in interviews on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival. A day ago she said the visit to India is overwhelming but also her first and the last. But she said something different to news channels a day later in interviews aired. "You cannot see India in one week, or two weeks. It is complex. It is the greatest show on earth," she told in one interview. "India I will be back again and again," she said, hugely complimenting the people of the country. In another public chat at the JLF with TV host Barkha Dutt, she said: “What I will take with me is the calmness. Even though there are lots of people still there is a genuine respect." “The biggest thing that people just don’t talk religion here, they live it,” she added She said the vision of a woman in sari on a camel had hounded her in USA and that inspired her to come to India. From her Indian experience, she said she believes that "this is a country that has no respect for nursing homes because here Indians take care of their family." The talk show queen who strongly believes in education said: "For me education is the most important thing in this world because it opens the door of opportunities. I really appreciate educating girls.” Talking about real freedom, she said: "The greatest freedom in the world is the vision for freedom, is that you get to decide for yourself what to do with your life and that’s what real freedom is.” Speaking on author Salman Rushdie’s cancelled visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival she said: "I try to stay out of political decisions made by other people for whatever reasons, it doesn’t bother me because I was coming for my own reason my own agenda.” “When I heard that he was coming I was excited and then when I heard that he wasn’t coming I thought, well whoever made that decision, made that decision for reasons as they saw of it,” she continued. She is in India for her new show ‘Oprah’s Next Chapter’ in which she would travel around the world, interviewing celebrities, news-makers and others.

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Visiting India’s most
Dev NaDkarNI
Early this year, the Indian Posts and Telegraphs department honoured a simple, bespectacled, dhoti-clad Indian who has never spoken a single word for more than 60 years. Sporting horn rimmed glasses and with his thinning wisp of hair crowning his balding pate, the man, always wearing a checked coat, has been immortalised on a postage stamp. The man is one of India’s most well recognised cartoon characters: legendary cartoonist R.K. Laxman’s Common Man. Featured in every single “You Said It” cartoon on the front page of what is today the world’s largest selling English newspaper, The Times of India, Laxman’s Common Man has been a silent spectator to the goings on in the rough and tumble of Indian life since 1951. The postage stamp is among a string of great national and international honours that have come the way of India’s greatest ever cartoonist. Among the big awards he has received are the nation’s second biggest – the Padma Vibhushan – and the Ramon Magsaysay Prize, often called the Nobel Prize of the east. His ardent fans, of which there are millions, have been expecting India’s top honour, the Bharat Ratna, to come his way for a few years now. I’ve had the good fortune to know Laxman closely for many years – first, because my father was a long time columnist and writer with the Times of India and second because he had a home in the same street that I lived in the city of Pune. For many years, he would spend weekends away from the bustle of Mumbai, where he lived and worked, and dash of to the more salubrious climes and

Uncommon Man
relaxed pace of Pune – which is where we would meet for a long walk followed by a round of Scotch nearly every weekend. V i s i t i n g Laxman during my visit to Pune last month was different. The maestro, now 90, has been ailing for several years and lives permanently in Pune. A severe stroke about a year ago has left him without speech – like the Common Man, his uncommon creator is now silent. I spent a couple of hours with him and his genial wife Kamala and he conversed with me scribbling words on a notepad. His wit is still razor sharp and he is quite cogent and lucid but for his ability to speak. When he turned 90 last year, the Laxmans’ elegant Pune home played host to a legion of his well wishers and fans beginning from the President of India, Pratibha Patil, to chief ministers, political heavyweights – almost all of whom he had taken potshots at on the front page of the Times of India – industrialists, academics down to the common man in the street. A few years ago, Symbiosis, one of India’s most forward looking tertiary educational institutions erected a ten-foot statue of the Common Man on its premises in Pune, which is today quite a tourist attraction for visitors

to the city. The new postage stamp will now take the visage of the famously silent Common Man on to countless letters, postcards and envelopes around India, bringing a smile on the faces of millions of recipients – and fans of the master cartoonist.

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Trinidad woos Bollywood, pitches LNG
Kolkata: Trinidad and Tobago is wooing the Bollywood film industry to shoot their film on its exotic locales while pitching its own oil and natural gas and LNG to the Indian government. “We are looking for market in India. We are offering oil and natural gas and our expertise on the same. India needs LNG (liquefied natural gas), they can get more energy from us,” Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said last week. Trinidad and Tobago has made a transition from an oil-based economy to one based on natural gas and about half of the country's natural gas production is converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Atlantic LNG facility in Trinidad and exported, making it the fifth-largest exporter of LNG in the world . The Prime Minister, who spoke ahead of a dinner Tuesday night at the Bengal Chamber in Kolkata hosted by the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), said her country is wooing the Bollywood film industry and her representatives are in Mumbai. “We are offering several incentives as part of our policy. We want the Bollywood film making industry to go there (Trinidad and Tobago),” she said. According to its official policy, for the prospective film producer, Trinidad and Tobago not only pitches its location sites but also a pre and post production facilities with key incentives to film companies who select TT for their production, including a rebate programme. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is now touring India and began with the attendance at Jaipur at the NRI and PIO meet known as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas as the chief guest this year, said she is looking for collaborations in Information Technology, maritime industry, fashion and education. She harped on fashion industry and lauded the strides in India in the sector. Known for her strong support to women’s cause worldwide, the first woman prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, said India is like the grandmother since a major section of the population there had its origin in India. Trinidad and Tobago foreign minister Surujrattan Rambachan said the prime minister has set upon herself the task of connecting globally for women issues. People of Indian origin (east Indians as they are known) constitute about 42 to 45 per cent of the total 1.3 million population of Trinidad and Tobago. Indians had gone there as indentured labourers after abolition of the slavery system in erstwhile British colonies in 1838. On 16 Nov 1844, the Indian Government legalised emigration to Jamaica, Trinidad and Demerara (Guyana). Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar is touring Kolkata to visit the Kolkata Memorial Monument by the Ganges from where her ancestors had set sail for Trinidad and Tobago in the middle of the 19th Century as indentured labourers. She is also visiting her ancestral village of Bhelupur in Buxar district of Bihar later in the day, though she said she is not too sure of the exact place. Meanwhile, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) top officials like Sunny Kulathikal and Mridul Pathak said they are trying to strengthen the organization’s activities globally. Malay Mishra, Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, urged GOPIO to be more active in the Caribbean nation.

Kolkata: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), India’s leading SUV manufacturer, on Wednesday unveiled the Mahindra XUV5OO at Kolkata. The XUV5OO is Mahindra’s first global SUV platform, with significant inputs in styling and development from customers across the globe. The XUV5OO will now be open for bookings for limited period of 10 days only, starting Jan 25. The bookings for the XUV500 will now extend to 19 cities in India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh/Panchkula, Ludhiana, Jallandhar, Patiala, Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut, Trissur, Coimbatore, Nagpur and Nasik. The XUV5OO price range starts at ex-showroom Kolkata - Rs. 11.3 Lacs for the W6 model and Rs. 12.66 Lacs for the W8 2WD model. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “The launch of our first global SUV platform, the XUV5OO is another proud moment in our automotive journey. I am confident that the XUV5OO will prove a worthy contender and find

Mahindra launches new SUV

favour in the West Bengal market”. Ashish Malik - Sr General Manager, Marketing – SUVs, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “The XUV5OO is our first global SUV that has been

completely designed and developed around the global customer, with extensive product validation and testing done across Europe, Australia, South Africa, and India." The XUV5OO is powered by a state-of-the-art 2.2litre mHawk diesel engine which delivers a power-packed 140bhp with 330Nm torque. The 2.2litre engine is meshed with a 6-speed transmission and the 5th generation Variable Geometry Turbocharger which takes the XUV5OO from 0-60kmph in a mere 5.4 seconds. The XUV5OO gives up to 15.1 kms per litre (ARAI-certified).

Pepsico initiative boosts Bengal potato growers
Kolkata: While reports of farmers' suicides in West Bengal rattle the new government, there is a silver lining in the commitment of a giant multinational to procure more potatoes from its growers in the state. Food and beverage major PepsiCo India on Thursday said the company has increased its potato procurement from farmers in West Bengal to 60,000 Metric Tons in the present year as compared to 22,000 Metric Tons in 2010. To witness such a stupendous improvement, the company did myriad farming programme in the villages of West Bengal on Hooghly-Burdwan district border. Jaideep Bhatia, Vice PresidentAg r onomy, PepsiCo India said: "PepsiCo India is the largest procurer of potato in the country and it has not just given more opportunity to potato farmers but also worked in close partnership with the farming community with a vision of creating a cost-effective, localized agrobase in India by leveraging its access to world class agriculture.” PepsiCo India’s farming programme in West Bengal currently operates in six districts – Burdwan, Hooghly, Bankura, Birbhum, Howrah and Midnapur West. The company on Thursday organized a media visit to one of the villages- Panparawhich is on the border of the Hooghly and Burdwan districts, to offer a glimpse of the collaborative farming initiatives. The company said it provides technical and financial support to more than 10,000 farmers for potato cultivation. Talking about this initiative, Jaideep Bhatia said: "The farmers do not have the capital to invest; we want to help them at each and every level such as in land preparation, transport, technology transfer etc.” It also picked up the initiative to educate the farmers. The company’s aid is not limited to its cultivation only; it has spread its helping wings to other sections as well like running a computer training center for children, organizing health awareness programme for children and campaigns for HIV+/AIDS awareness. The farmers seemed happy in Burdwan. “Weather is the only problem that we are facing but thanks to PepsiCo we are informed of the weather forecast through SMS (short messaging service) after every 8 hours,” said Amar Kumar Nayek, a potato grower in Burdwan. “If potato production in West Bengal has to be increased then companies like PepsiCo should take the initiative and come forward to help” he said.


Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |



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From the Editor


Sectarian politics affects Indians globally...
Almost Religion is the currency of politics in India. Without religion and caste no political party can ever grab the attention of the voting public before an impending election. Creating or engineering religious issues out of thin air before an election is an old trick politicians have repeatedly used – but the sad fact is that even after six decades of independence, masses of people are still fall prey to such trickery. Politicians, their lackeys and individuals who are after cheap publicity think nothing of wading into even a mere whiff of a controversy, making mountains out of molehills simply because of the publicity it generates and their grossly erroneous belief that it polarises people enough to strengthen their support base. Creating an ‘us versus them’ schism is their only stratagem to get the flock together – or so goes their belief. In two instances last week the Indian government decided to wade into events it would probably not have bothered to even consider had it not been for state elections which are round the corner. Its hasty, poorly though out stands on the controversy generated at the literary festival at Jaipur – where British author of Indian origin Salman Rushdie was to have delivered an address – and TV host Jay Leno’s show in which he made a reference to the Golden Temple have proved once again that Indian politicians have a long way to go in separating real life issues confronting people as against peripheral but emotional ones that they believe deliver votes. While there was no need whatsoever for the government to wade into these issues in the first place, it did so with gusto simply because there is an election at hand. In the process, it has not only tainted itself but Indians in every part of the globe as being hypersensitive, highly intolerant fundamentalists who have neither the intellectual capacity nor the broad outlook to take a different point of view in their stride. Its stand on the Rushdie affair has been rightly compared to the authoritarian Chinese government’s style of clamping down on free thought and free speech in that country. Minister Vayalar Ravi’s ill-considered missive to the United States government on the Jay Leno affair got the curt response it so richly deserved. The Indian government has exposed itself as being a mercenary guardian of narrow minded, intolerant religious zealots, which receives its payments in votes. And India prides itself as being the world’s largest democracy. The Indian ethos is one of the world’s most tolerant. India has been a melting pot of a range of religions, denominations, castes and creeds, which has not just survived but thrived over millennia. It has been the cradle of the eastern world’s four great religions, all of which have always lived in harmony, adopting one another’s practices and mores seamlessly. But every society has its fringe groups who are big on bluster but essentially small in numbers. But it is common for the typical Indian politician to fall for the bluster, ignoring the silent but eminently sensible majority and jockey themselves to don the mantle of the great saviour of these intolerant, extreme, fringe groups and individuals who thrive on the pyrotechnics that controversies invariably generate. The vast majority of people are only interested in getting on with their lives. A controversial author speaking at a literary festival or a highly popular television satirist making a passing comment can hardly affect their every day lives. But politicians taking up cudgels on behalf of the intolerant, publicity hungry lunatic fringe is what can severely affect their daily lives in many ways – something that the Indian political class fails to grasp. By wading into such non-issues and needlessly glorifying them with their involvement merely for achieving their narrow political ends, Indian politicians are doing a disservice to Indians not only in India but all over the world in an increasingly globalised society. The past week’s events have shown that the Indian politician and the government actually sponsors a narrow, sectarian mindset that is hardly representative of most Indians around the world. - Dev Nadkarni

U-21 T20 Cricket tourney in NZ
A first of its kind T20 cricket tournament is soon to be played in New Zealand. The tournament would provide a platform for domestic and overseas players to compete against quality opposition and the under-21 age group is a catalyst for promoting players to the National team. The title sponsors for the tournament will be Dunar Basmati Rice and the tournament will be called Dunar Cup. Dunar is marketed exclusively by Super Foods based in Auckland. George the Managing Director is a keen sports enthusiast and is very passionate in promoting young talent and cricket in New Zealand. The Media partner for the tournament is Humfm 106.2. Through this partnership Humm 106.2fm aims to promote and give extensive coverage of this tournament and help build more demand of the sport amongst the younger generation. They are taking this as a step forward in lifting the profile of cricket within our community and have full confidence in the sport growing even bigger in years to come. There will be a total of 16 games this year with an opening ceremony and a Prize giving after the Finals. There will be Man of the Match, Best Batsman, Best Bowler and Player of the tournament. The People involved in St Johns Cricket & Events NZ Ltd have the experience of organising and managing international cricket events in India, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Doha and Singapore. They also are experienced cricket coaches having played and coached first class teams in India. This tournament was conceptualised to provide opportunities for local and overseas under-21 age group cricketers to have more exposure and showcase their talent. This tournament is being conducted by St Johns Cricket & Events NZ Ltd in partnership with Auckland Cricket Association. The teams will be playing in coloured clothing and the matches will be played with white balls. Auckland cricket will be providing official umpires and scorers for all games. The tournament will be held from 29th January 2012 to 3rd February 2012 at Waikaraka Park, Onehunga in Auckland. It will then be an annual event with more overseas teams and other New Zealand provincial teams participating in future. Participating teams Auckland Hyderabad Colts (India) delhi (India) Hutt Hawks (Wellington) Northern districts (Composite) Title Sponsors dUNAR Media Partners Hummfm 106.2 Indian Weekender St Johns Cricket & Events NZ Limited in Association with Auckland Cricket Association

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Follow the herd mentality skews Indian education
As large number of youngsters aspire to be ‘engineers’ despite lack of interest and appetite, the respect and charm associated with liberal arts courses is fading amidst the blind race. Vatsal Verma explores the trend that was fodder for films like 3 Idiots
Our country maybe celebrated on the world stage for introducing a clan of incredible artists in various fields of liberal arts ranging from literature and music to philosophy and theatre but humanistic disciplines that were once synonymous to those ‘great’ and ‘intellectual’ no longer seem to be a lucrative preference for the young scholars. Instead, they are considered as an alternative for those unable to digest hefty laws of physics or mind-bogging compounds of chemistry. The bygone year left so much awakening and self-realisation in the country but still a substantially large chunk of citizenry remains crippled with herd mentality while charting a future career. It seems the country has gone gaga over engineering. Almost every second student, regardless of interest and appetite for the subject, opts for engineering at the graduation level. Although, there is dearth of publicly available data dealing in this matter but whatever little statistics could be procured, they point towards a not-so-pleasant facet. A study conducted by Duke University in 2008 said that in India 3,50,000 engineers graduated in 2004 whereas in United States and China merely 70,000 and 60,000 did so. Worse, for every one million citizens, India produced only 200 technology specialists as opposed to United States and China, which produced 750 and 500 respectively. Keeping in focus the present wretched state of engineering in the country, the figures, undoubtedly, must not have improved. Jatin Chawla, an eminent educationist and Director of the Centre for Career Development (CCD) New Delhi, said, “A lot of students think about engineering because others are also thinking of the same and it is prestigious to do it. Understand if you are really interested in doing something technical or working in The theme of the movie 3 Idiots was a strong manufacturing or better still research comment on India's education system and development, then decide about among graduating engineers despite a spurt of engineering colleges, engineering. “A number of students just take up mainly in the private sector. Moreover, the commercialisation engineering after intermediate and work in computer programming area of education through coaching instior do Masters in Business Adminis- tutions specialized only for engineertration (MBA) and become manag- ing competitive exams, especially the ers. They must think properly before one for Indian Institute of Technoldeciding upon this”, added Chawla ogy (IIT), have only worsened the who has been doing a number of ca- situation. Kota, the hub of coaching reer-oriented shows on television and centres, alone has a record of more writes for various newspapers and than 40,000 students joining it annually in hopes of making to an elite magazines on the same issue. Unfortunately, the ‘rat-race’ is engineering college. Abhishek Gambhir, a first-year further beguiled by mushrooming of various private colleges across the student of Computer Science Engicountry. These colleges have no merit neering from IIT Ropar said, “Nowacriterion for admissions and one is days people don’t want to become good to be tagged as an engineer just engineers. All they want is to become IITians. However, one should realise by paying a lofty amount of fees. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean (Research that it is more important to have an and Development) of IIT Bombay in inclination for engineering itself than his book ‘Engineering Education in an inclination for IIT. Only if you India’ indicates the trend in recent have the former, you must opt for this few years whereupon the brightest field.” Interestingly, youngsters are students opt for engineering after the intermediate and how has this driven towards this mad rush despite resulted in significant unemployment lack of job opportunities and certainly without any scope for fame. Since the recession hit the country, only a handful of engineering graduates from reputed colleges are picked up by companies for a handsome salary. Those from mediocre private colleges largely remain unemployed. As far as the fame quotient lies, there has hardly been any engineer who has earned himself a name amongst the who’s who of this mad-after-celebrity country. The most deplorable factor that can be attributed for the miserable situation is the orthodox thought process of the country that is deemed to be an emerging super power. The society hasn’t evolved to a point where it can recognize or easily accept a male pursuing a liberal arts course. Certain professions have been linked to either genders and people find it difficult to deviate from the set guidelines. While technical professions like engineering and medical are assumed to be for males, those involving finer skills like literature, painting etc. are believed to be for their female counterparts. This is precisely the reason behind why apart from Birju Maharaj; the world has not witnessed any acclaimed male Kathak dancer from India. The splendid fabric of Indian history is replete with myriad artistic tints. To its making have gone the mellifluous music of Tansen, the literary works of Tagore, the stupefying Kathak of Shambu Maharaj and great philosophies of Swami Vivekananda, among others. The country indeed has a remarkable legacy of liberal arts, which is fast being eroded with the upcoming trend of ‘engineer-omania’. Unfortunately, those who try to break free from the web of illusions the society has weaved, are criticised and discouraged to the point where they are completely shattered and broken. Very few go ahead to become the likes of great men who have earned themselves a reputation in liberal arts field. Sagar Sachdeva, a student of English Literature in Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University said, “Deciding to take up Literature as a subject for college studies meant a long struggle to convince family members. Even in class, boys are in minority. Though I was able to persuade my parents to allow me to take up this course, there are many others who want to do it but still don’t get an opportunity to pursue it because of their parents or other so called ‘practical reasons’.” While education should primarily be seen as a value addition, existing competition makes it impossible not to attach monetary expectations accrued from professional competencies. However, whether running behind engineering to stay ahead of rat race will serve any purpose other than a life-long frustration of doing something one never believed in, is a larger dilemma, some are equally battling with.

Rabuka’s apology more about ulterior motives than sincerity
PaDmINI gauNDer
Almost quarter of a century after carrying out the coups in Fiji, Rabuka has thought it fit to repeat his apology for what he did in 1987. His reason seems to be that he has not apologised to Fiji as a whole as his earlier apologies were to individuals and groups. Somehow he also seems to feel that as the nation prepares for a return to democracy it is appropriate to offer an apology again. I cannot see how the apology is relevant to Fiji returning to democracy or how it can help the country in any way. It just helps to remind every one that Rabuka is still around. Perhaps that is what he wanted as he may have some hopes of getting back to public life. Some want him to tell who was behind him in 1987 making him do the wrong things he did. I suppose that would make him an innocent victim who was carrying out the evil orders of his superiors (chiefs) like the loyal and obedient soldier that he was. But was he ever such an obedient soldier? The commander of the army at that time, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, wanted to court martial Rabuka for disobeying orders. Rabuka, in turn, dismissed the commander and another officer who was superior to him and seized power by overthrowing the elected government. The coups were supposed to have been carried out for the benefit of the Fijians and the Fijian people believed him and adored him for what he did. He enjoyed their adulations and basked in the glory. Who really benefited from the coups, though? The then Lieutenant Colonel, who was facing court-martial, became the Major General. Rabuka became the darling of the Fijian people and he could do nothing wrong. Even when he dismissed the Governor General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, a high chief, there was not a murmur from anyone. Till then Fijians used to be very subservient and obedient to the chiefs but now no chief was equal to Rabuka for them. Soon he was made a life member of the Great Council of Chiefs. A few years later, in 1972, when elections were held he became the elected Prime Minister. His popularity was such that able, sincere and dedicated leaders like Kamikamica stood no chance against him and he got elected again. The one thing that he failed to gain was a knighthood though perhaps in that hope he agreed to revise the racist constitution he had promulgated and gave back the Indians the rights that he had taken away from them. Fiji was readmitted to the Commonwealth but by now his popularity with the Fijian people had declined. The majority of Fijians realised that they had not benefited from the coups. So many of them withdrew their support for his SVT party and supported other parties, including the Fiji Labour Party, in the 1999 general elections. After the defeat of his party Rabuka withdrew from active politics. Meanwhile, the Indian population, which was fifty per cent in 1987 became reduced to less than forty per cent. The Indians who fled the country in fear suffered many hardships before they were able to settle down in a new country. Apart from the Indians there were also others who suffered from the coups of 1987. The Pacific Islanders who were classified as Fijians at independence became ‘Others’ (which was mainly Europeans and part Europeans). Their ancestors were brought to Fiji to work as labourers before Indians were brought as indentured labourers and they were unhappy that they were no longer accepted as Fijians though Fiji was the only home they had known. (On the other hand, people who were classified as ‘Others’ before and were happy about it till then wanted to be known as ‘Fijian’ now Being Fijian offered many advantages in the racist constitution of 1990. A well publicised case was that of Jim Ah Koy). The Royal Fiji Military Forces, which was highly regarded until 1987 and held in great esteem, lost its reputation. The Methodist Church which was greatly admired for the brave and selfless work its missionaries did in stopping cannibalism and spreading literacy throughout the islands now was regarded with suspicion as it supported the coup and Rabuka continued as a lay preacher. So did the Great Council of Chiefs, which had been a revered institution since the 19th century. It was with the support of the chiefs that the Methodists were able to Christianise the islands. But now it seemed to be far from Christian as it supported the coup and many of the Fijian clerics preached that being nasty to the Indians was sanctioned by the church. Fiji, which was then the most advanced country of the South Pacific became an outcast. It was expelled from most international forums like the Commonwealth and it suffered in many ways as a result. Professional like doctors and teachers found it easier than most others to migrate and they were the first to leave. As there was an exodus of these people, those who were left behind suffered even more. Hospitals had few doctors and schools had a shortage of teachers. The progress Fiji had made in the seventeen years after independence came to a standstill. The capital, Suva, became a ghost town and the businesses struggled to keep open. Most of the people who left Fiji, however, after their initial struggle, seem to have settled down happily in the new country of their choice. They seem to have established their own networks like mandalis, Fiji shops and social groups. I have not been to Fiji for many years but I am told that there is a lot of poverty there and people are suffering because of it. If Rabuka is genuinely sorry for what he did and wants to make amends what he could do is to help the people in Fiji as he has amassed a lot of wealth when he was in power. (One of the first things his elected government did was to raise the salaries of all parliamentarians. All the members of parliament were happy about it and the only person to object was the Labasa member, Charanjeet Singh). Former residents from Fiji who are in New Zealand are trying to help the people in Fiji by having a fund raising concert in Auckland. There are many ways Rabuka can help the people there. That would be better than wasting money on advertisements in newspapers repeating his apology.



I feel ashamed by the Indian team's performance: Kapil
New Delhi: India's legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev was "ashamed" by the performance of the cricket team Down Under in the ongoing Test series against Australia and said every aspect of the game has gone wrong for the Indians. "As a cricketer, I feel ashamed by the Indian team's performance. They are not playing well and have gone wrong in every aspect of the game," said the 1983 World Cup winning skipper here. "However, it is unfair to call them names as this is the same team that was world no. 1 only about six months back and was doing well. These are the same players who have made us proud so many times in the past. But now if they are not doing well, what can be said?," added Kapil. Kapil refused to hold Twenty20 cricket responsible for the debacle. "The team was playing T20 and one-day cricket even a year or six months back and were still performing well in Tests, so I don't think it is fair to hold the shorter versions of the game responsible for the team's show in Australia," he said. The 53-year-old all-rounder there should not be any change in the team for the fourth and the final Test in Adelaide. "In the middle of the series, I don't think there should be any change in the team. They are a good side. I just hope that they can put their head together and play as a unit. We should back our team when the chips are down. "In the middle of the series, I don't think there should be any change in the team. They are a good side. I just hope that they can put their heads together and play as a unit. The team just needs to believe in itself and the captain must also believe in his side and look after himself as well as his team. It should try to script a comeback and we must all support the players in their endeavour," he said. Kapil said it was time for the fans to back the team. "Yes, India have played very badly and we are all unhappy, but let's talk about them only after the series," Kapil said. Kapil said criticisms of some of the seniors players were unwarranted. "It is unfair to call them names as this is the same team that was world No.1 only about six months back and was doing well. These are the same players who have made us proud so many times in the past. But now if they are not doing well, what can be said," said Kapil.

Indian killed in Nigeria violence, UN condemns attack
Abuja: At least one Indian is killed and several others, including two small children, were injured in the violence in Nigerian city of Kano on Jan 20 that left more than 150 dead. The Indian High Commission in Nigeria in capital city Abuja said a 23-year old Indian national identified as Mr Kevalkumar Kalidas Rajput has lost his life in the attacks carried out by by Islamist sect Boko Haram. "The unfortunate deceased belonged to Devgad Baria, Sanchagalo, Dahod in Gujarat state. He carried Indian passport Number J 0296137 issued on March 30 2010 by RPO Ahmadabad and worked for Kano-based company M/s Relchem since March 2011," the High Commission said in a press release. He and two of his co-employees Mr Hari Prasad Bhusal and Mr Raj Singh (both Nepali nationals) lost their lives when their car apparently entered a zone of hostilities. The High Commission said the parents of Rajput have been informed. It said it has also learnt that six other Indian nationals, including two small children, belonging to two families have received injuries from falling shrapnel and debris. They are being treated in Kano hospitals. The High Commission has reiterated its earlier advisory and requests to Indian nationals to register themselves with the Mission.

ADB expects above 7% India growth
Kolkata: While the World Bank has reduced India's economic growth to 6.8 % for this fiscal from 8.2% in 2011-12, Asian Development Bank (ADB) expected that the growth would be higher than 7% in this calender year. Addressing the 'Look East' Economic Summit 2012, Kolkata, Managing Director General of ADB Rajat M Nag said on Friday, "Despite the fragile economic situation in Euro zone we are confident that the economic growth of India would be higher than 7 percent." According to Asian Development Outlook 2011 (ADO 2011), the annual economic publication released in September last year by ADB, the forecast is of growth of 7.9 and 8.3 pct for FY11 and FY12 respectively which was contrasted with their April projections of 8.2 and 8.8 pct for the two years. Nag clarified that the Euro zone economic exigency has impact on India's growth scenario that finally downgraded the market. Earlier this year, the World Bank has trimmed the growth projection of India to 6.8% for this fiscal year. On Wednesday, the Bank has released its Global Economic Prospects and warned the developing countries to get prepared to face economic uncertainty and downturn as the world has entered in a serious situation. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that the growth rate would be around 7.2 percent during the current year. He said, "Due to current uncertainty in global economy with Euro zone crisis still unresolved and volatility in international commodity prices especially fuel etc, this is a very challenging year for all of us and we have to work together to meet these challenges."

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Govt betrayed all: Anna to PM
New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare has written yet another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reminding him that nation was "betrayed" by the government which came up with a weak Lokpal Bill. He urged the Prime Minister in a letter on Sunday to show courage and rise to the occasion to fight corruption with a strong law. He called the bill that was passed in Lok Sabha as one of a fraud enacted on the Parliament and said "if such an act could be performed by the government then the future of parliament and democracy would be indeed bleak." Anna wrote in Hindi that read like: "You are now 80 and this country has given you everything. Now it is asking you for something. It is asking you to come up with a strong Lokpal to fight corruption. You had shown courage in the case of nuclear deal and had put the government at stake which was wrong. Show the same courage for Lokpal." He also pointed out the issue of black money and the scams in land acquisition by duping of the farmers by land sharks and property dealers. Anna letter came after a gap owing to his illness. The self-styled Gandhian has now recuperated from his illness that had forced him to go for hospitalization. In what is seen as the ruling Congress party's orchestrated and pre-planned strategy of creating chaos in the House thereby stalling passage of the Lokpal Bill, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die at midnight on Dec 29 leaving the anti-corruption ombudsman law in limbo. The bill was, however, passed in the Lok Sabha earlier. The extended session of Parliament ended thus without a Lokpal Bill being passed.

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Punjab lost top spot in India: PM
Amritsar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh started his election campaign trail in Punjab on Saturday and said under the rule of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the state has lost its top spot in India. Addressing a rally in Amritsar, Singh said: "It is because of the negligence of the Akali Dal that Punjab has lost its spot as India's top state."

"Punjab is ruled by a government which does not do justice to the hard work and capability of the people here," he said. The PM also played up the electricity crisis and unemployment issue in Punjab. He also took up the Lokpal issue for a 'corruption free' India and said: "We are for a strong Lokpal in the country." Punjab will go to single phase poll on Jan 30. Punjab, with 1.74 crore voters, is spread across 117 assembly constituencies.


BY NEIL REID POLITICIANS have often displayed some fleet footwork down the corridors of the Beehive. But yesterday MPs showed different side-stepping skills on a rural rugby field in the heart of Tuhoe country, as they put their bodies on the line to tackle gang violence. Blood was spilled, shoulders crumpled and various muscles and ligaments tweaked as the Parliamentary All Stars XV faced off against an Invitational XV at the Murupara Rugby Club. The Parliamentary team – stacked with MPs, political advisers and a ‘‘ring-in’’ ex-All Black – won 26-12. But the scoreline didn’t matter. What did was raising money for the Te Hau O Te Ora charity, set up following the 2008 slaying of Murupara teen Jordan Herewini by a Mongrel Mob member. Jordan, 16 – who wasn’t a gang member – had been wearing his yellow school PE shirt at the time of his death. Yellow is the colour associated with the Tribesmen gang, while rival Mongrel Mob members wear red. Maori Party MP, Te Ururoa Flavell – whose Maori electorate Mumbai: Universal Music India encompasses Murupara – said whatunveiled Katyanchi his team-mates ever pain he and Makhmal, a Marathi ghazal album that brings endured was worth it. artists guys have bruises or whatever, ‘‘If like Dilip Pandharpatte, Sudit is all worth it,’’ Flavell told Sunday hakar Kadam, Suresh Wadkar and News. Vaishali Made together for the very ‘‘This first time. cause is fairly personal to me.The album was launched been I knew Jordan. There have by huge gains madeYashwant Deo and music directors by Te Hau O Te Ora since Patki set up to try of work Ashokit was in the presenceandDilip within the community to Kadam, Pandharpatte, Sudhakar address some ofWadkar and Vaishali Made Suresh the issues. ‘‘We are showing that there is here on Monday. support from Parliament for places This album comprises of 9 like this and real-life issues.’’ ghazals each teammate, ex-All Black of different moods and Flavell’s styles. Tonu’u, added: ‘‘Just like All Ofisa Suresh Wadkar has lent wants to Blacks, with MPs everyone his melodious voice for “Kalena Kasafield. take their head off on the rugby Ha Jagavegalawas worth it, “Gau Naye ‘‘But it Mi” and raising some


Suresh Wadkar sings Marathi ghazal

one in five Maori children in some parts of New Zealand are not getting any kind of formal early childhood education before they start school, Education Minister Anne Tolley told the Early Childhood Council’s annual conference in Wellington yesterday. She also said taxpayer investment in early childhood services had trebled over the past five years to about $1.4 billion but participation had increased by only about 1%. Tolley said the reasons so many when John passed New Delhi: Musician and artist tion... and young children were away, missing out the real difficulties Yoko Ono has said she was not re- it was then that on early learning opportunities were said. sponsible for the break up of iconic started to happen," shevaried and complex but the government New Delhi is hosting the first English rock band The Beatles. hoped to address the problem of musician Ono was in India to host her first art exhibition $91.8 million and artist through a Yokoprogramme which would create Ono in the Indian soils as she art exhibition in the country. It’s crunch time for Maori Party MP Te She has always captivated the at- dedicated her show to 3500 places for an extra the women of Ururoa Flavell. tention of her fans for being the wife the country. in high-need areas. children The Tolley said the Education 'Our exhibition titled of The Beatles' singer-songwriter Beautiful DaughJohn Lennon. Ministry was working closely ters' opened In fact, it is with families and communities on Thursday night often alleged that to establish the reasons for low at Vadehra Art Ono was responparticipation and then work out sible for the breakthe best waysGallery out to will to reach and families and get those children art showcase 20 up of The Beatles. Local shopkeeper the support they need. to the projects However, Ono Parliamentary team ring-in and former All Blacks ‘‘It might be building India. people of new negated such and Blues half Junior Tonu’u fires out a pass. centres to fill obvious gaps in Her art works claims and said services, supporting money for Murupara. We have been Jordan was twice run over by a that she was made value.’’ something of no including the communities famous 'The Wish to establish their hosted on a marae and while we stolen ute driven by Mongrel a 'scapegoat'. The scene was set for yesterday’s Vaishali Quentin “It's a great Kunihi there Ashi Hi Virani”.aBoth own more culturally focused exwere Ratra they gave us back- Mobster Made said,Pukeroa, later match not know, hours before kickTree', will be "I do about three songs are extremelywere playing. services, or looking atat different ground of why we unique in their achievementlife after to have sungguilty but when Labour MP Damien O’Conjailed for for me being found 3 off, they hibited projects (The own‘‘It’s a and will surely appeal have ghazals with Suresh Wadkar ji. I've way good cause – a lot of us to to engage with families in their of murder. nor, venues including Beatlesco-captain of the Parliament All members) the listeners. we cherish our chil- always wanted to work chairman Pem Stars XV with National’s Chris homes. families and Te Hau O Te Ora on a ghazal schools, hospitals, did not have ‘‘In some areas it’s almost dren.’’ Bird, also record is of the Maori Tremain, was told by a local shopVaishali Made on the other album and thispresidentlike a dream consulates, book anybody ‘‘Watch out for our boys, they to put working street by street,’’ the Parliamentary XV debutant Party, said: ‘‘On like to thank the hand has sung “Kiti Savrave Kase come true. I would January 25, 2008, a keeper: minister said. Gareth Hughes Olathe first Green entire team for making this pos– Jarasa Hota”, young man who attended the school the blame. I was the you guys’’. are keen to smash easy target... shops. Savrave, “Ghav told BBC that the exhibiyes, scapegoat..being an Asian isand Ono ‘‘The programme is about Party MP to play for Wata”, “Hasu here O’Connor, Tremain, Flavell “Dur Gelya Fulatalyathe side – said he sible.” was slain. It happened in an helping communities to develop would wear his post-match scars and encounter with a gang. Our response one and being a joined bythe com- tion is "dedicated to the women of Hughes were woman.. fellow MPs On this occasion, Mandar Umatale Dukh Bhogata…Gammant their niggles with pride. to that cruel slaying as tangata bination you knowMichael Woodhouse Todd McClay, was pretty disas- India". own solutions, and offering aahe” that elicit a pure combination Gupte, CFO, Universal Music India flexible options to visit ‘‘I am sore,lyrics and singing. it’s said, “Marathi Ghazals are catching very sore. But whenua was to establish ourselves trous," Chester Burrows. The side was This is Ono's firstensure to India and Ono told NDTV. of compositions, the death of Lennon. The 79-year -old artist said Richie certainly good to the album Suresh uparound a traditional custom where coached by former All Blackthat after families can easily access early raise money for the with the audience as one of the Talking about childhood services visited locals here,’’ he said. ‘‘Murupara is a there is an obligation to take care of, the presenceassistanceLennon had Guy, with of John from MPs Paul Earlier, she had that meet the Wadkar said: “The album is a record most popular genres in recent times. their needs.’’ town that has been through some look after and preserve the well- helped hera formerup with the situ- country along with her husband. Quinn – to cope New Zealand Maori that everyone can relate to and is very We are most confident that with Ono She said that as well as fans promised to her Indian ation. – and Parekura Horomia. troubles over the past decade.’’ being and sanctity of human life. star ghazals in the serene voices comclose to Hauheart. It was a great expe- of these‘‘We want a huge sense of of my O Te Ora – ‘‘the breath Te she will again comeback to "I The Te Hau with Ora Invitational had John O Te me and he that increasing participation, the rience–to have worked with Vaishali Suresh Wadkarji and Vaishali Made, life’’ was set up to try to rid the town munity well-being and wellness. was very supportive and protective Indiaearly childhood sector must also XV was spearheaded by ex-All in future years. Made, Dilip Pandharpatte, Sudhakar the audiences will love toworld for a Blacks hooker Hika Reid. The side of gang-related crime and provide People come into the listen to "Imaintain a high standard of rewill come back," she told about me. If John was not there it Kadam. I of Plentythe listeners will 'Katyanchi To have that again away in also featured veteran Maori rights services. the Bay am sure town’s youngsters purpose. Makhmal' taken and would have been a difficult situa- porters. again." enjoy this album very much.” with a safe environment. a callous way, reduces humanity to activist Ken Mair.


Didn't break Beatles: Yoko Ono in India

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heritage Fiji

And you thought only modern India was a republic!
ram lINgam
The independent republic of India was officially born on the January 26, 1950, after 89 years of British rule. However republican values have been home to Indians since 2000 BCE. While the President of India gets a 21-gun-salute on the 26th of January every year, it wouldn’t be unceremonious to give a similar gun salute to all those erstwhile republic states and confederations that existed in ancient India. The republics of ancient India clearly show that India practiced good old republican values in the form of ‘gana rajyas’ and the ancient Indian society was a ‘gana tantra’ at its best. A republic is one where absolute power does not lie with one individual or a monarch. In a republic there is “liberty and justice for all” irrespective of a minority. The Vedic literature, Jain and Buddhist texts show to us that ancient India was ruled by councils of thinkers and learned men. We even find instances of kings ruling under a republican influence guaranteeing justice to all. Though India had numerous kings and queens, they did not have absolute power as a monarch would. Not all kings were from a royal bloodline or ruled by divine right. Many were even elected kings. Why we forgot about the old Indian republics… Because of the political slavery that started with the invasion of India by the Mughal Babur in 1526 CE till the end of British imperialism in 1947, Indians forgot where they came from. Historical research has finally uncovered that ancient India was a knowledge society and had republics since ancient times. Another reason for this historical amnesia about republics in ancient India is the thought that republicanism started only after the French revolution when monarchy was given a serious toss. A number of states in ancient India had republican forms of government. Between 2000 BCE and 400 BCE a number of republics flourished in India’s river based civilisation especially in the Gangetic plains of present day Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. So where do we get this information about the old republics in India? The republican forms of government are known to us mainly from the surviving Buddhist and Jain religious texts, Greek sources, Sanskrit epics and ancient text books on politics. Greek writers about India such as Megasthenes and Arrian describe many of the states having republican governments like those of Greece. These ancient texts refer to a number of states having gana sangha, or councilbased governance, as opposed to monarchies. Some examples of old Indian republics… We learn about the rise of republics before the rise of the great Gautama Buddha. We had a Videhan republic, Vajjian republic and so on, we learn from the ancient texts. Another oft-mentioned example is of the sixteen mahajanapadas (republics) according to the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikkaya and the Jain text Bhagavati Sutra. A Lichchavi confederacy republic according to Jataka stories had as much as 7707 chiefs or counsels (Rajans as they called them). A Buddhist document says Lichchavis had 500 Rajans and a commentary suggests that the chiefs governed in turns. It was the same Lichchavi republic from where the mother of Jain Thirthankar Mahavir originated. There is also an example of a republic in the ‘Vajjian/ Vrijjian union’, which had Vaishali (in what is now Bihar), as its capital around 600 BCE. About this Vajjian union, it was the great Lord Buddha who said to his chief disciple Ananda thus: “For as long, Ananda, as the Vajjians will assemble regularly and assemble frequently surely growth is to be expected for the Vajjians not decline.” At the time of Alexander’s invasion in 327 BCE into the regions of ancient Afghanistan, the states of Arut and Balhika were affluent republics. These republics later became allies of the great Chandragupta Maurya (320 BCE–298 BCE). Though Chandragupta Maurya conquered almost the entire subcontinent, some of his annexed areas continued to function as republics and returned to being republics after the fall of his empire. Another case in point is Madra desh in northwestern India, which survived as a republic until the 4th century CE. How did the republic work … While the word for a republic was sangha or gana as in the “Bharatiya gana-rajya”, some were sovereign in their origin with no allegiance to any external authority. Though they were not all of the same type, they had certain features common to all. Each had its council assembly or parishad where people’s representatives were present from different age groups. The Indian historians R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri and Kalikinkar Datta in their seminal work ‘An Advanced History of India’ (1946) mention that, “Besides the Rajan, there were other functionaries styled uparajan (vice-counsel), Senapati (general), Bhandagarika (treasurer) etc. Tradition points to the existence of a succession of officials for the administration of criminal law in the Vrijjan state – the Vinishaya mahamudra (deciding magistrates), Vyavaharika (lawyer-judge), Sutradhara (canonist), Ashtakulika (representative of the eight clans), Senapati (General), Uparajan (Vice-counsel), and Rajan (Consul)”. Even today we can see the surviving village panchayats for whom the government of India has a dedicated ministry of Panchayati Raj has republican values as its core. In his famous minute of 1830, Sir Charles Metcalfe, the then acting governor-general of India wrote: “The village communities are little republics, having nearly everything they can want within themselves, and almost independent of any foreign relations …” In a republic society, legislation and law making is a collective effort of thinkers and ancient India was no exception. While a republic evolved as a remedy and revolution to monarchy in Europe, the concept and practice of a republic was integral to the Indian system of governance with or without a monarch. In fact, the 26th January gana-tantra divas (republic day) celebrations should can also be seen as a continuation of the republican values in the long and chequered history of India. Ram Lingam blogs his insights on India and Indian culture at



Valentines Day
In Celebration of Romance

Pehla Nasha

Get ready for Sonu, Auckland!
One of Bollywood’s most popular and enduring male voices, Sonu Nigam, is soon winging his way here to Auckland. Sonu is an amazing artiste and a performer par excellence who can energise an entire stadium with his mere presence. His voice has enraptured his millions of fans in every corner of the globe. Small wonder that he is often referred to as the undisputed king of Bollywood musicians. He continues to surprise his fans with his versatility. For example he sang the main song in the film Tees Maar Khan in as many as 54 different voices. Having won every major award in India for his dozens of unforgettable soulful renditions, Sonu is now truly an international star, showing that good music knows no geographical boundaries. He collaborated with pop diva Britney Spears on her track “I wanna go” to produce a desi remix version. Britney said she was excited about the collaboration and that Sonu’s voice added a different feel to the song. The youth icon has a following of more than 2.5 million on his FaceBook fan page. He recently was conferred the MTV Youth Icon award in 2011. So, Auckland, are you ready for Bollywood’s greatest musical heartthrob?

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Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |



Khaiyum clarifies on PER amendment

Kiribati invites Fiji expertise on labour reform
Kiribati officials have requested technical assistance from the Fiji government’s Ministry of Labour to undertake their Labour Reform agenda in the fields of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and Labour Inspection procedures. In response, Fiji has proposed a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between the Ministries of Labour of Fiji and Kiribati for the Fiji Ministry of Labour to provide Technical Assistance for the period starting this month through to December 2013. According to the MOU, Fiji will provide assistance in labour inspection system review and design of

Attorney-General Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum has sought to clarify questions regarding the Amendment to Public Order Act at a recent media conference in Suva. “We have, in the past couple of days, seen a number of statements being made by individuals and couple of organisations—including a number of media outlets in New Zealand—on the amendments to the Public Order Act. “Unfortunately, after an analysis one could come to the conclusion that those parties in New Zealand are being obtuse…. Because if you look at the amendment to the Public Order Act, it is not in any way different—from a legal and philosophical perspective—to many other laws that exist in many other countries. “It is also unfortunate the New Zealand media seems to assess Fiji in isolation, but…they should look at other countries and other laws, in particular in countries like Australia. “As the Prime Minister pointed

out when he spoke on January 6, the Public Order Act (Amendment) Decree, is in fact far less onerous than what you have in other countries. “We’ve highlighted, for example, that if you are a suspect, if there is reasonable suspicion that you could be somebody engaged in terror, then they can actually control your movement, they can tell you to stay in your house, they can actually put a tracking device on you. “The Public Order Act (Amendment) Decree does not go that far, does not do that at all. "What also needs to be appreciated is that Fiji has a recent history where violence has emanated because of various politicians and religious organisations that have upped the ante as far as ethnic, racial and religious vilification has been concerned. This in fact has led to violence…. “I urge those media organisations to put things into context and not be hypocritical—to be transpar-

ent in their own analysis, to look at Fiji’s history, what has been our history and how we are trying to address this in order to have proper, open and frank consultations.” “Ordinary Fijians, who had been previously intimidated by the tactics of those…people who have used vilification, who have used violence to silence any liberal thinking, these people will now be given the opportunity to be able to voice their opinion. “This is what the legal framework creates and this is what needs to be appreciated. “There is no point to talk about common and equal citizenry, there is no point in talking about having proper consultation, when people will live under the fear or threat of demagoguery or being threatened….” “The Bainimarama Government is focused on the future. The Prime Minister announced consultations will commence in February. There is going to be further details about those consultations forthcoming. We have the electronic voter registration about to commence. And we have written to all missions in Fiji, as we had a meeting with them two days prior to the Christmas holidays… asking if they want to participate in this process. “We are all Fijians, and need to work together to look to the future and urge those who are trying to make political malice out of something, which there is not much merit in, to stop doing that and focus on our future. Let’s talk about the real issues.”

modern labour inspection system; training and development; overarching labour reform – Review of existing labour policies, labour laws, labour market institutions, values and practices; presentation of draft policies, laws and proposed institutions as recommendations to relevant stakeholders for consultations; and facilitate promotion and implementation of approved new labour policies and laws for the Kiribati government and relevant stakeholders. The consultation to be provided is turn key and to be completed in a tight time frame of 12 months.

Fiji to float infrastructure bonds
Fiji’s government has announced it will launch infrastructure bonds in the domestic capital markets this year. This is primarily with a view to finance the infrastructure projects outlined in this year’s national budget. The government’s plan is to raise F$195 million this year through the issuance of the Fiji Infrastructure Bond, with maturities ranging from two years to 15 years, according to a news release. The new bonds are set to replace the existing Fiji Development Loan bonds. Key capital projects that the

bonds will help finance include the construction and maintenance of roads, upgrading of ports and jetties, continuation of the rural electrification projects, upgrading of school buildings and classrooms, upgrading and maintenance of hospitals around the country; and purchase of new medical equipment as well as developmental projects in Fiji’s administrative divisions. The investment opportunity is open to the general public including individual retail investors, Provincial Councils as well as institutional investors.

Fiji hosts high-level Indian Trade delegation
Group to attend first Fiji-India Joint Trade Committee meeting Suva: A high-powered trade delegation from India will visit Fiji at the end of this month to explore investment and business opportunities here. The 15-member delegation which includes government officials and private sector representatives will attend the inaugural FijiIndia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting which will be hosted by the Ministry for Industry and Trade. Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the visit by delegation is an indication of Fiji’s growing influence as a hub in the South Pacific. He has also urged local entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the opportunity to do business with foreign investors. The Indian delegation will meet with their Fijian counterparts on January 30 in Suva and on January 31 in Nadi. Similar delegations from USA, Canada and Korea had visited Fiji last year with the aim to consider Fiji as their next investment and business destination.

Fiji mission appeals for flood relief
Due to the incessant rains in Fiji, the villages and settlements in the lower lying areas around Nadi are under water and the situation will likely worsen if the rains continue as forecasted. Ramakrishna Mission, Fiji is mobilising to begin primary relief by distributing essential ration parcels to the affected people as soon as they can be reached. Cooked food will be distributed if necessary. After the mission’s extensive 2009 flood relief services it created an emergency relief fund and have FJ$6084 to start-off the current relief services. “However, additional funds are needed to assist the affected people,” says a Mission communiqué sent to Indian Weekender. “We invite you to come forward to support this relief service by donating funds which will be used to purchase relief materials for distribution. “You may send us a cheque or direct deposit into our following Relief Account. Please inform us of your donation by email (rkmfiji@ so that we can send you the receipt,” the communiqué says. The funds can be transferred to the mission’s account at Westpac Bank’s Nadi branch Account No. 9802076475. BSB039004 Swift No. WPACFJFX

For enquiries please contact Sunita 0800 999 018 or 021 187 3391 auckland, New Zealand

Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |

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to connect with their situations and the different phases of life which they go through. Who is your inspiration behind such soulful music? Inspiration is not a particular thing or person. It is the nature’s beauty, soul’s purity. But mainly God’s creation inspires me a lot and I can visualize it in each and every object made by him. How much has your family been supportive in these 10 years of your career? During my initial years, my family did not support me as they did not want me to come in this musical world. But gradually when I was trying to establish myself and results were seen, they slowly reunited. Why is that you don't do too much playback singing these days? I sing for films but not that much; because people may get bored by my songs (laughs). Are we going to hear you sing Bengali songs? Yes, I’m thinking of doing an album on Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti in the near future. Which is your favourite track? ‘Ye jo desh hai tera’ from Swades and ‘Saiyaan’ from my album.

Rangeela is about life and love: Kailash
Kailash Kher speaks to correspondent Papri Chanda about his latest album Kailasa Rangeele. What is Rangeela all about? Rangeela is about life, about love and about the celebration of life. How many songs are there in the album? There are eleven tracks in the album. A song ‘Tu kya jaane’ from the album which is already topping music charts... Yes, people are liking it, loving it. It is a song which reflects the anger inside you. It is about love. When you are in love you are not simply in love, you share so many shades of emotions in a particular moment. This song is also the same. It will make you love, hate, laugh, cry, cheer up. Amitabh Bachchan has lent his voice to your album. How was the experience? It was a fantastic experience. He has sung a song for us in KBC. We requested Amit Ji to sing for our album. He agreed and that's how it happened. We all just loved it. Your two year old son Kabir has been featured in the album. Tell something about that. Kabir is a very good child. He is

Prateik turns Twitter expert
Mumbai: Prateik, the star of Ekk Deewana Tha, has turned out to be quite a Twitter specialist. Lately, he’s been highly active on the micro-blogging site, sending regular updates for his fans. Fans have been getting a lot of information from the star himself on the activities of the Ekk Deewana Tha team. The inauguration of the Registration for the Bone marrow Donation camp received a huge response thanks to the Prateik’s regular tweets through which he updated his fans on the minute details of the camp and the cause. The different aspects of the movie like the trailer launch, the movie tracks etc. have received more importance from the audience with Prateik tweeting about each and every element of the movie. His tweet, “humming HOSANNA as I prepare for a busy Monday... Makes it so easy”, has definitely made a number of his followers hit the ‘Hosanna’ play button a lot more times.

God’s gift to us. When we were making this album he was with us all the time. So one day we decided to grab him and put him in front of the microphone. It is only a 25-30 sec shot in the album. Youths connect more to your songs. Why? Youths have got something new after a long break with my album... thoughts were different; the songs had more depth in it. They are able



Hrithik becomes Hot Wheels captain
Mumbai: What is common between Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif? Well, besides the fact that both are Bollywood superstars and have a fan following of millions from across the world, they are also the top role models for kids in the country. In 2009, Katrina Kaif walked the ramp for Barbie and became a true inspiration to millions of girls with the launch of a doll. Continuing with the legacy of giving ‘kids’ a license to dream and discover a world with endless possibilities, leading toymaker Mattel Toys is out with a new plan. This New Year 2012, Bollywood icon and captain of Hot Wheels Team Xtreme Hrithik Roshan will paint the town 'blue' with the nouveau chic collection for boys across all ages by designer Narendra Kumar. Inspired by the Indian superhero himself, the collection will be showcased at the "Hot Wheels Team Xtreme: Buckle Up!" show at the upcoming Kids Fashion Week on 17th January. Team Xtreme is expected to don the “racer” avatar of Hrithik as captured by ace photographer Daboo Ratnani .

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After roping in the hottest stars of the industry to burn the stage with their stellar dance acts over the years, the world’s biggest viewers’ choice award - Zee Cine Awards 2012 is proud to announce that Bollywood’s “Silk”iest leading lady is all set to rock the stage at the glitzy ceremony in Macau this year. Following the announcements of SRK & Priyanka Chopra as hosts and Shahid Kapoor’s dancing tribute to Dev Anand, the latest addition to the glitzy star performers’ list will be the current darling of Bollywood – Vidya Balan! After her universally applauded performance in this year’s runaway hit ‘The Dirty Picture’, Vidya’s oomph quotient has shot through the roof and the actress has been brought on board to raise a toast to India’s southern sirens at ‘Pan Bahar presents Zee Cine Awards 2012’. As Balan performs to a medley of chartbusters from southern cinema, her moves will bring out the unmistakable flavor and inimitable style of the dancers from south Indian cinema. Burning down the stage with the raunchy ‘Naka Muka’, Vidya will finish the performance with a flourish, shimmying to her own ‘Ooh La la, Ooh La La‘ ditty. “My performance this year at Zee Cine Awards 2012 will be inspired by the immensely entertaining styles of some of the most iconic southern sirens including Silk. Let’s hope the audience has as much fun as I do when I perform live at The Venetian Macao!” said Vidya. Vidya is also a hot contender in the list of nominees for Best Actress at Zee Cine Awards ’12 for her no-holds barred performance in The Dirty Picture. Giving her stiff competition for the trophy are Priyanka Chopra for Saat Khoon Maaf, Kareena Kapoor for Bodyguard, Kangna Ranaut for Tanu Weds Manu and Katrina Kaif for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The actors vying for the Best Actor award this year will be Hrithik Roshan for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Ajay Devgn for Singham, Shah Rukh Khan for Don 2 and Ra.One, Salman Khan for Bodyguard and Ranbir Kapoor for Rockstar. Hosted by the Don-2 duo - Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra - Zee Cine Awards 2012 will be held at Asia’s leading destination for business, leisure and entertainment, The Venetian Macao. Since its inception in 1998, Zee Cine Awards has emerged as the biggest tribute paid to the world's largest film in-

dustry and has attracted stalwarts of both Indian and international cinema.. The awards will attract 600 million viewers to television screens the world over when it is telecast on Sunday, February 12 @ 19:30 Hrs SGT onwards only on Zee TV Asia Pacific.

‘I had wanted to be junior Madhuri Dixit’
While Vidya Balan is still basking in the success of The Dirty Picture, the actor is ready with her next release Kahaani, where she plays a seven-month pregnant woman who comes to Kolkata from London in search of her husband. Correspondent Sreya Basu catches up with the actor after the launch of the First Look of the film in Mumbai
You have emerged as the new ‘Hero’ of Bollywood post The Dirty Picture. How do you feel? Really film-making is team effort. It is very elating when people give the actor credit for the success of a film. So I will also not refuse to it. But I think it is team effort and I am hoping that the success of The Dirty Picture will help me get a chance to work with more good directors and good teams; so that I can continue my performance level. Your Dirty Picture dialogue says a film runs only on three thingsentertainment, entertainment and entertainment. What does Kahaani have that will make it run at the box office? See, there are different levels of entertainment. Even now I will say films only run on three things-entertainment, entertainment and entertainment-and you have to watch Kahaani to find out what kind of entertainment is there in the film. It’s a mystery. So it’s very different. Tell us about your transformation from a boombat avatar to that of a pregnant woman searching for her husband. Dirty hone ka yeh hi nateeja hota hai. I am just kidding. As you said in Kahaani I play a pregnant woman and it’s a mystery. But I can’t say anything more at this point about the film. None-the-less, I enjoyed playing a pregnant woman. I am glad that I am getting the opportunities to essay different characters. I am fortunate that I am getting to play characters like Sabrina (No One Killed Jessica), Silk (The Dirty Picture) and Vidya Bagchi (Kahaani). Do you think the films you signed in the earlier part of your career were mistakes? I don’t take them as mistakes but learning experiences that didn’t turn out very well. I think if at all they can be called mistakes, they were very important for me to commit so that I can reach here. It’s because of those films, you are calling ‘mistakes’, I realized what kind of work I actually enjoy doing, where I can put my heart-and-soul. So now that you are being acknowledged as an actor who can pull off a film on her own shoulders, are you refusing hero-oriented films? No, not at all. It’s God’s grace that my films have worked. But I like always say, it depends on the role and the overall film that’s being offered to me. I am a very greedy actor. I want to play different people, I want to do different kinds of films. So even if the man or the hero is the central protagonist, as long as I have enough to do, I am more than happy. Also let me clarify, money is more than welcome. Maine roles ke bare mein toh

Vidya to set mercury soaring at Zee awards
keh diya. But as for money, the more the merrier. When did you actually realize that you want to be an actor? I think when Ek Do Teen (song from Tezaab, 1988) was released, tab mujhe Madhuri Dixit ka bhoot chara tha. I used to stand in front of the mirror and dance all the time. I wanted to be Junior Madhuri Dixit. There is a buzz that you are planning to settle down at the end of the year now that your career has reached a peak… Why? Career is doing well…I am happy…emotionally, mentally I am in a very happy space. I am not at all thinking of marriage as of now. Uska bhi waqt aayega aur zaroor aayega (Time for that will come and surely). I believe in the institution of marriage. So I won’t postpone it for too long; but filhal ke liye taal rahi hoon (For now delaying it). There was a news that you were in New Zealand with Siddharth Roy Kapoor (boyfriend) recently where you escaped a mild earthquake. Is that true? Earth toh aab yahan quake ho raha hai. (Laughs) No, I do believe there was an earthquake in Christchurch. But I wasn’t there. So obviously I escaped it like the whole lot of people who weren’t there. But all of it was a bit dramatized.


Indian Weekender | January 27, 2012 |

H.D.H Hariprasad Swamiji coming to New Zealand
FAITH, SECT, RELIGION are terms always associated with the spiritual journey leading to the Supreme Godhead. Although seemingly different in the practices, all the religions advocates similar principles for revival if the spirit towards divinity. The Swaminarayan Faith is a remarkable blend of the spiritual essence of Hinduism with universal principles of other religions of the world. Lord Swaminarayan, Founder of the faith has propagated a code of conduct based on universal spiritual principles in a unique creed that cultivates the mind and moulds the spirit towards divinity. During the manifestation of Lord Swaminarayan, He consecrated the entire humankind with Four boons to His followers in the form of blessings from His Guru Ramanand Swami thus, 1) Let me suffer million times but not my devotee even a bit. 2) My devotee shall never go hungry even if he is the victim of seven famines. 3) I shall take my devotee to the abode of God – Akshardham at the end of his mortal life. 4) I shall be present on this earth eternally through the GodOrdained Saint who has renounced women, wealth and fame. He always said, 'The objective of My manifestation in this world is to cultivate Service and Devotion.' Service unto Humanity and Devotion unto God are the two goals which every follower of Lord Swaminarayan followed. In a nutshell, He was the propagator of Nishkam-Dharma, the spirituality of desirelessness. He initiated 500 Paramhansas (saints) in one night at the age of 21. He was the mentor of millions of persons who had never visualized the happiness that was to be their domain. Most of them were uneducated warriors and farmers. He conquered sword wielding warriors not by wielding sword but immersing them in His divine love. Legacy of this tradition was started with first ascetic saint by manifestation of Mool Akshar Murti Gunatitanand Swami, The man unbound by three physical bodies, the personality beyond material world and virtues. He was the incarnation of ‘Akshar Brahm’ where Lord Swaminarayan Himself declared that He was the embodiment of Parbrahm. He was the absolute aide of Lord Swaminarayan. Guruhari Shastriji Maharaj was Second ascetic saint in the legacy who initiated dual worship of Shri Akshar Purushottam doctrine, the essence of Swaminarayan sect. This dual worship helps the mankind to understand the intricacies of spirituality of pleasing Parbrahm with help of Akshar. A pupil needs teacher to accomplish the academic goals. Similarly, any disciple needs Akshar as his guide to realize his spiritual goal. Shastriji Maharaj built five great temples during the period of His manifestation on earth. These five temples are the pinnacles of accomplishments in the history of Shri Akshar Purushottam upasana. At the end of His mortal life, He initiated Guruhari Yogiji Maharaj as His successor, the manifestation of Sakar Brahm.


For Yogiji Maharaj, tolerance was the synonym and devotion was intrinsic. Insults were His eulogy and treated one as the offering from the Lord. In the legacy of this prophecy, Yogiji Maharaj initiated Prabhudasbhai as H.D.H Hariprasad Swamiji Maharaj, the present & fifth spiritual successor of Aksharpurushottam Upasana, is widely known as the most secular saint in the contemporary world. Guruhari Swamiji identifies all with Yogiji maharaj and that reason he is acclaimed as a universal saint who strives to cultivate humanity, devotion and harmony in an individual, in the family, in the society, nation and world. His dictum is, “O Lord, whether the other person becomes Atmiya (Spiritually Harmonious) or not, but please make me Atmiya” Thus cultivating the concept of Suhradbhaav within the society. Under His constant guidance and divine prowess, today there are hundreds and thousands devotees live a pious life, free of addiction and vices, proving to be an ideal model for generations to come. His life and work could be more justified when we navigate through the activities inspired by Him. H.D.H. Hariprasad Swamiji Maharaj is coming to bless the community of New Zealand in February and He will be blessing us all in general function th arranged at Mahatma Gandhi Centre on 11 February. On this auspicious occasion, Yogi Divine Society (NZ) Inc., takes a privilege to invite you, your family and friends to meet Him in person, listen to His divine discourses and to feel His blessings, thus inspiring us all to live prosperous, divine and happy life. Jay Swaminarayan.

Guruhari Yogiji Maharaj, the ultimate model of devotion and humility, inspite being head of Akshar Mandir at Gondal, He was found in kitchen in the wee hours of morning , noon and night.



Noureen DeWulf, an Indian American actress, is currently making waves with her looks and acting talent, reports Howard Cincotta
What is a common denominator for film, music, fashion and virtually every other manifestation of pop culture—whether Hollywood, Bollywood, New York, Paris, Tokyo or London? Correct answer: beautiful women in alluring poses.

A desi girl in Hollywood Jhansi Ki Rani Kratika back in ‘Punar Vivah’
said the film’s director to the British film blog EatSleepLiveFilm, “She outshines the burqa. When I see it now, I don’t see the burqa, I see the person. She knocked it out of the park.” “It is challenging and hard to not accept all the stereotypical roles that get thrown your She came. She set the battlefield ablaze with her bravado. She conquered. Kratika Sengar blew your mind away as the sword wielding Rani Laxmibai in Zee TV’s historical drama Jhansi Ki Rani, charging away on horseback and fighting with unmatched zeal for her soil. Having inspired millions of girls across the country with her impressive portrayal of India’s most revered female freedom fighter, Kratika went missing from the tube as Jhansi Ki Rani drew to an exciting finish in June 2011. She’s back now, with a bang, playing the lead opposite actor Gurmeet Chaudhry in Zee TV’s next primetime offering ‘Punar Vivah’. Punar Vivah is a mature, progressive show that sensitively captures the journey of a man and a woman, who having faced a debacle in their first attempts at marriage, are brave enough to give life a second chance. The show delves into the dynamics of re-marriage, showcasing the trials and tribulations that are a part of re-adjusting to a second life partner. What makes the re-marriage even more challenging is the fact that the man and the woman in question are both parents to young children.

Stunning Indian American actress Noureen DeWulf understands this fact as well as anyone, and she has graced her share of magazine covers, posed for publicity photos, and accommodated the desperate throngs of photographers on red-carpet runways. In 2007, Maxim magazine named her to its highly publicised “Hot 100” list of the most beautiful women in the world. But DeWulf, 27, has also combined her acting talent, range and commitment to become one of the most active and sought-after television and film actresses in Hollywood today. Since her 2005 debut in the musical film West Bank Story, DeWulf has appeared in 18 theatrical and television movies, plus 13 TV series and mini-series, often in multiple episodes. Her latest release is Breakaway, a comedy about an Indian Canadian hockey team. The animated film Zambezia is due out shortly. She also performs in improvisational theater in Los Angeles. “I put a lot of pressure to keep working,” DeWulf said to the radio-interview program Mr. Media. “And when I’m not working, my agent books three auditions a day…I’d rather go to the set and work.” Her acting roles also demonstrate a remarkable scope. DeWulf has played a Palestinian cashier working in a falafel shop (West Bank Story), a girlfriend with an attitude and a pronounced Indian accent (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), Jennifer Lopez’s friend and pet-store employee (The Back-up Plan), and a recurring role as a nurse in the TV hospital series, Hawthorne. Many fans of the TV spy comedy-drama, Chuck, fondly recall her epic martial arts battle in a yogurt shop with co-star Yvonne Stahovski. In the 2010 film, The Taqwacores, which deals with the unlikely subject of Muslim punk rockers in Buffalo, New York, DeWulf plays the role in a burqa, even as her character, Rabeya, challenges religious orthodoxy at every turn. Despite DeWulf’s covered face,

way,” DeWulf said to the online entertainment magazine Buzzine. “For me, I’ve been really, really lucky because I have been able to play a lot of different parts.” DeWulf was born in New York City to Gujarati parents from Pune and grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia. She is fluent in Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati. DeWulf quietly nurtured the dream of becoming an actress as a child, even though she wasn’t permitted to take theatre classes. At Boston University’s School of the Arts in Massachusetts, however, DeWulf threw herself into theatre courses and joined an acting company in Atlanta, Georgia during summer breaks. In 2005, without any friends, connections or agents, she moved to Los Angeles. “I was really nervous to come out here,” she told Buzzine. “You put yourself out there and perhaps you fail, then you have no job. I was kind of hesitant, but I made the leap of faith.” She addresses the contradictions of her strict upbringing and her Hollywood persona with refreshing candour. “Ironically, it was because I was raised as a Muslim in the South, that I realised the value in being true to who you really are,” she said to the fashion and entertainment magazine Details. “I’ve just got so many things going on inside. I don’t know how to resolve all of them other than being true to who I am.” DeWulf is frank in acknowledging that many of her film roles are not easy for her family to cope with. “But as I work in more roles, I think my parents are understanding it’s not me doing those things, but the character which I’m portraying,” she said to SAPNA, the magazine for South Asian American women and desi girls. At the same time, she observed, “I love my heritage both as someone who grew up as a Muslim and as an Indian—it’s part of who I am and I would never deny it.”

Will the two be able to bring happiness to each others’ lives and feel complete once again? Will the two feel the same intensity and excitement that they had experienced in their first brush with love? Will their children be able to come to terms with the idea of having a new parent enter their lives? Only time will tell! Speaking of her new role, Kratika said, “I received immense appreciation for the role of Rani Laxmibai so much so that people still recognize me as Jhansi Ki Rani in public places, months after the show has gone off air. After having essayed such a formidable historical figure, it’s very interesting to be playing the mature role of a contemporary Indian woman Smriti who is the mother of a young child and on the threshold of a re-marriage. The idea of giving life a second chance and attempting to find happiness all over again is what appealed to me the most. I’ll give the role my best shot and I hope the audience accepts me as Smriti and gives me as much love as they did when I played Jhansi Ki Rani.”

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