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Vol.4 No.50 April 7-13, 2012 60 Cents
No IRS probe into Haleys link in gurdwaras finances Will Sharon Mathai be The Voice of America?

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Army 'coup' report fizzles out, govt terms it 'alarmist' India, Page 12
S. Asian biz making presence felt in public square Features, Page 15

Pakistan hopes Manmohan-Zardari talks will push peace

Islamabad/New Delhi: India has maintained a studied silence over the forthcoming meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari even as Islamabad Thursday said all issues will be on the table and hoped that the talks will contribute to peace between two neighbors. With some rightwing elements in Pakistan like suspected 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed upping the pressure, Islamabad has stressed that the talks did not mean it has compromised on the "core issue" of Kashmir or its nuclear deterrence. In the first presidential visit from Pakistan in the last 7 years, Zardari, accompanied by a 40-member delegation including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, touches down in New Delhi Sunday morning. Zardari will holds talks with Manmohan Singh at PMs official residence before fly-

Attorney General agrees federal courts can rule on constitutionality of legislation after Presidents remark on the Supreme Court upholding Obamacare.

Obama setting up apex court as campaign issue: Report

Washington, DC: President Barack Obama is laying groundwork to make the majority-conservative Supreme Court a campaign issue in the election later this year, taking a leaf from the Republicans who have long railed against liberal judges who don't vote their way, reported Boston Globe. His partys strategy to paint the apex court as extreme was missed in the fracas following Obama's assertion Monday that overturning his health care law would be "unprecedented." The White House backtracked on Obamas statement, but he was making a political case, not a legal one, and he is likely to keep making it if the court's five-

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with President Asif Zardari who is visiting India Sunday. ing to Ajmer to offer prayers at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. With Zardari's sudden plan to visit India Continued on page 4

Conservative justices enjoy a 5:4 majority in the Supreme Court. member majority strikes down or cuts the heart out of his signature policy initiative. Continued on page 4

Several sportstars come together for humanitarian cause

By Parveen Chopra Hicksville, NY: Over 30 sportstars, including Super Bowl champions, were among 500 guests who came together last Friday to show support and create awareness about helping the needy in various parts of the world with food, supplies and healthcare. The occasion was the first Goodwill Global Ambassador Awards & Celebration Gala at The Woodlands in Woodbury, NY, organized by Bobby Kumar Kalotee, founder of the All American Political Party, USA three years ago, and chair of Friends for Good Health. JBF (Jack Brewer Foundation) Worldwide and United States Disaster Relief Command were Co-sponsors. Honorees included Ajay Bhumitra, Eddie Malhota, Shiv Dass, Anumolu Rao, Renee Lobo and Dr Kamal Zafar from the South Asian community. Bobby Kumar told The South Asian Times that he was humbled by the support received for the event, which was aimed to take the message to more and more people. He is also grateful to so many successful football players and entertainers descending on Nassau County on one platform. He added that he has now decided to devote more of his time to help humanityin promoting health, sports and education. Last year Bobby had organized a free medical camp in El Salvador, taking 40 doctors from here, and treated over 5,000 people suffering from diverse conditions. He has also taken disaster relief for victims Continued on page 4

Bobby K Kalotee (third from left) organized the event where attendees included Jack Brewer (NY Giants), Nate Jones (New England Patriots), Israel Idonije and Vernon Gholston (both Chicago Bears), Michael Clayton and Barrett Green (both NY Giants) and other famous football players.


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Tristate Community

April 7-13, 2012

Nikki Haley says she'd 'say no' to Romney job offer

Columbia, SC: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says she would decline an offer to be Mitt Romney's vice-presidential nominee or to serve initially in his administration should he be elected. Republican Haley has endorsed and campaigned for Romney, but she told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that she intends to complete her four-yearterm as governor. Haley said, "If offered any position by Gov. Romney, I would say no." She added, "The people of South Carolina gave me a chance. I have a job to do and I'm not going to leave my job for anything." Haley was elected in 2010 with heavy tea party support. She made history when she became the state's first female and first Indian American governor. Haley is promoting a new book that she hopes will encourage more people, especially women, to seek higher office. not actually up to them; the Republican presidential nominee (Romney, most likely) will make that call. Presidential candidates often make unpredictable choices. JohnMcCains pick Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was a sensation. George W. Bushs pick Dick Cheney surprised many at the time. For Romney, a pick from the minority/non-white community like Nikki Haley or Bobby Jindal (first Indian American governor in the country) can be advantageous. Louisiana governor Jindal has in the past denied interest in running for vice president.

Veep Stakes

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also said the expected when asked by ABC News, I'm not going to be the vice president in 2012." Rubio could be useful, he has Tea Party support, he comes from the battleground state of Florida, and the Hispanic factor is huge now in America. Haley and Rubio are simply doing what all potential vice presidential picks do: Play it cool, be coy, and play hard to get. But the decision to pic a running mate is

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Senator Marco Rubio from Florida are also being mentioned as potential Republican vice-presidential nominees.

MTA rules out extending No. 7 train to New Jersey

New York: The chief of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has put a lid on any hope Tuesday that a Bloomberg administration proposal to extend the No. 7 subway line to New Jersey might soon materialize. He said he could not see this happening in our lifetime. The MTA chairman, Joseph J. Lhota, said the proposal aimed to control chronic travel delays affecting commuters between New York and New Jersey was too costly to be feasible. Mayor Michael Bloomberg started pushing the plan for an extension of the subway line starting in Flushing after Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey killed a proposal for a commuter rail tunnel, known as the Access to the Regions Core, or the ARC tunnel, in 2010. Extending the No. 7 line to New Jersey seemed attractive at the time because the city was already extending the line to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, about a block from the waterfront; and unlike many major projects, continuing the extension would not require condemning blocks of buildings. The subway extension would have been able to reuse much of the research that had been used for the ARC tunnel. But Lhota, who last week successfully secured funding from Albany to continue work on major transportation projects, including the extension of the No. 7 line to 34th Street, was more skeptical. He told guests at a breakfast hosted by the New York Building Congress that he did not see how a further extension would work financially. Ive told the mayor this, Ive told the deputy mayor this: I cant see this happening in our lifetime, he said. I think the idea of putting a subway system underneath the Hudson River is one that is the expense of it is beyond anything that were doing. Lhota later said that he supported an alternative plan in which Amtrak would build two new tracks beneath the Hudson River. That project would be more dependent on federal spending.

Dish managers celebrate IPL rights and launch

By Vikas Girdhar/SATimes New York: Dish Network celebrated the launch and acquisition of rights to air the cricketing extravaganza Indian Premier League (IPL) by holding a party at Bombay Palace restaurant in Manhattan Tuesday. On the eve of the IPL season opener in India, managers from Dish interacted with local mediapersons to share the excitement of the South Asian community as a result of Dish-IPL deal. As a leading satellite television provider in the America, Dish will sell Cricket Pack deals that will allow the viewer to pay for options such as coverage from Neo Cricket, Willow Cricket and Ten Cricket. Dishs Manager of International Programming Jennifer Leslie expressed excitement about being able to offer extensive coverage of the IPL to its growing South Asian fanbase. Dish was the first to recognize the importance of the South Asian community, said Leslie. We understand what its like to be far from home and we know how important and how valuable it is to bring some true home entertainment to you here in this country. Were looking to build deeper relationships with South Asian industry leaders so that together we can support these programs. Leslie and Dish Marketing Manager Sameer Bathija fielded questions about the partnership and the positive impact it would have in both the community and its business. The two are pleased with the feedback they have received. Weve gotten a really good reaction, said Leslie. Last year, the IPL followed right after the World Cup.

(From right) Dish's Marketing Manager Sameer Bathija and Manager of International Programming Jennifer Leslie, and Triomphant Communicationss Monique Tapie. So, a lot of our marketing efforts revolved around the World Cup. What we were able to do this year was really develop promotional meterials and marketing and speak about IPL and the value it has. I think were going to see much bigger numbers than we have in the past. IPL kicked off in Chennai with Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan addressing the crowd by reciting a poem on cricketsetting off what promises to be a captivating season that is now readily available in America. Dish currently has 14 million subscribers and carries 90 channels available in 12 languages tailored for the South Asian community.

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April 7-13, 2012

Rajasthan becoming solar powerhouse

By Prakash Bhandari Jaipur: The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL), a government of Rajasthan nodal agency for solar projects, has invited applications for setting up solar projects for a capacity of 100 MW in parcels of 5 and 10 MW. Its a first for the government to invite bids. The Rajasthan government under the Centers Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission Migration scheme has approved 7 projects of 5 MW each and production has started in six projects. The state government is currently producing 38.5 MW of solar power and it is countrys No 1 state in solar power. The state government is processing applications for 547MW and the approved projects would produce 117 MW of additional solar power by 2013, said Jitendra Singh, Rajasthans energy minister. The Thar desert spread over several thousand miles in western Rajasthan would become the worlds biggest power house for producing solar power. The desert in its underbelly has millions of tonnes of gas and oil plus the sun that shines here is capable of producing trillions of units of electricity. Anil Ambani led Reliance Power Ltd has commissioned a 40 MW (AC) ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plant in village Dhursar, near Pokhran for Rs 700 crore. It is India's largest solar power plant and is targeted to provide 70 million units of clean power for average consumption of75,000 families and will be complete in five months. "Reliance Power's vision is to become India's largest green power company and the commissioning of this solar plant is the first major step in that direction," said Anil Ambani.

Lord Mahavir Jayanti was celebrated April 5 at Prime Ministers House in Delhi with Dr. Manmohan Singh, Acharya Lokesh Muni (right), the founder of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti, and Shri Prakash Jaiswal. has done work in Tennessee and Mississippi. He also supports Jack Brewer, National Football League (NFL) veteran, who focuses on sports to help kids stay in school and grow in well-being. Sports memorabilia silent auction at the Friday event benefited various JBF Global initiatives.

Obama setting up Apex court story Continued from page 1 The Supreme Court has lined up many more politically potent issues such as immigration and voting rights before the November election that could move Democratic supporters and even crucial independent voters. "We haven't seen the end of this," Supreme Court practitioner Tom Goldstein, who teaches at Stanford and Harvard universities, was quoted as saying. "The administration seems to be positioning itself to be able to run against the Supreme Court if it needs to or wants to." While Obama has predicted victory in the health care case now before the court, his administration could blame overreach by Republican-appointed justices if the law is rejected, said Goldstein, who wrote a brief supporting the law's constitutionality. What Obama said was that he was "confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." Fact is, the Supreme Court does sometimes overturn laws passed by Congress. Obama later clarified that he was referring to a narrow class of constitutional law, but even then Republicans and

some court scholars took issue. What's not in question is that the law wasn't approved by a strong majority -- the vote was a slim 219 to 212 in the House. A Republican-appointed federal judge took umbrage at the suggestion that federal courts might be powerless to overturn such laws, and ordered the Justice Department to provide written assurance. Attorney General Eric Holder took on that task himself, telling the judge Thursday that "the longstanding, historical position of the United States regarding judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation has not changed. Manmohan Zardari story Continued from page 1 taking both sides by surprise, Pakistan's foreign office said, "We are of the view that the upcoming meeting between the president (Zardari) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will contribute towards achieving the president's vision to promote intra-regional peace and prosperity in this part of the world." Ahead of Zardari's visit, there has been largely positive sentiments in both India and Pakistan except for a small group of hardliners. With the US targeting him with a $10 million bounty, Hafiz Saeed, the LeT

founder and alleged 26/11 mastermind, upped the ante. . Several Sportsman come together story Continued from page 1 of floods and earthquakes such as in Haiti, Malawi and Kenya. Locally, in America, he

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Tristate Community

April 7-13, 2012

New York: In a press conference on April 2, a Nepali immigrant worker who was subjected to abuse, fraud and egregious labor violations at the hands of his former employer, Long Island Indian fusion restaurant Masala Wok & Grill, announced the filing of his complaint against the restaurant and its owners, Shivaji Pathak and "Tony Malik" in New York Supreme Court. The worker, Rabin Kumar Biswokarma, is represented by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and is a member of Adhikaar, a Woodside-based human rights group. Biswokarma, who now lives in New York City, was hired as a kitchen assistant at Masala Wok & Grill in July of 2011. He was required to live in isolated group housing with

his co-workers, which included a basement space with extremely poor conditions that endangered his health. He chopped meat and vegetables, cooked and cleaned for a minimum of 10 to 12 hours a day often without breaks, once for 21 days straight. Pathak and Malik even denied him leave to seek medical attention after he injured his hand with a kitchen knife. Though Biswokarma had been promised a salary of at least $500 a week, Pathak and Malik gradually lowered his pay week by week, paying him as little as $100 a week and eventually paid him nothing at all. Because Masala Wok & Grill is located in Selden, a Suffolk County town located hours from New York City, Pathak and Malik essentially

forced Biswokarma to choose between homelessness or working indefinitely for little or no pay. "People must be free to work without being oppressed," said Biswokarma. "I want to speak out against the way I was treated. I am filing this complaint because I don't want other people to be entrapped by these restaurant owners." Biswokarma quit the restaurant at the end of October 2011 and approached organizers at Adhikaar to learn about his legal rights. Biswokarma's complaint, filed on March 30th in New York Supreme Court, Suffolk County, alleges violations of both New York state and federal laws, including unpaid wages, minimum wage, overtime and spread

Rabin Kumar Biswokarma of hours, against Pathak, Malik, and Tonimil Inc., the corporate name of Masala Wok & Grill. His complaint further alleges fraud based upon the false representations that Pathak and Malik made while hiring and continuing to employ Biswokarma.

India contributes a further $4.71 million to UN Democracy Fund

Lawyer Amit Mehta in Strauss-Kahns defence team

New York: An Indian-origin lawyer is part of the defence team of embattled former IMF chief Dominique StraussKahn who is fighting to have a civil lawsuit against him in a sexual assault case dismissed. Amit Mehta, along with William Taylor and Hugh Campbell, is defending Strauss-Kahn in the civil lawsuit filed against him by hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in a Bronx court here. Diallo has accused StraussKahn, a one time French presidential hopeful, of raping her in his luxurious hotel suite last year. Mehta presented Strauss-Kahns case before Bronx Supreme court judge Douglas McKeon arguing that ner at Washington law firm Zuckerman Spaeder. He had helped Strauss-Kahn defeat criminal charges in the sexual assault case in New York state court. The bespectacled lawyer was part of the defence team that won an acquittal for the former president of the Salt Lake City Olympic Bid Committee against federal charges of racketeering and fraud. He was also the primary brief writer for former Representative Tom Feeney in a case at the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2009. Mehta had a five-year stint as a staff attorney for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia before rejoining Zuckerman in 2007.

Amit Mehta
the case be dismissed as his client enjoyed diplomatic immunity, akin to that extended to a UN Secretary General, in his capacity as head of a multilateral organization. According the Mehtas bio published in the legal periodical National Law Journal, the 39-year-old is a part-

Amb. Hardeep Puri gave the check to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. United Nations: The Permanent Representative of India to the UN, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri handed over a check for $4.71 million to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN as a further contribution from India to the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF). UN Secretary General thanked India for its consistent support to the UNDEF and said that he was pleased to receive the contribution from the 'greatest democracy.' The United Nations Democracy Fund was initiated as a result of a partnership between India and the United States and was launched jointly by Indias Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, US President George Bush and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York on September 14, 2005. India is the second largest contributor to the UNDEF, having contributed $29.71 million by March 2012. At the inception of the Fund, India contributed $10 million. Thereafter, India made contributions of $5 million each in 2008, 2009 and 2011. India considers the Fund to be an effective instrument for the promotion of democratic values and processes and has played a prominent role in the UNDEF as member of its apex governing body - the Advisory Board. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. Since its inception UNDEF has funded about 400 projects in over 100 countries, bringing total disbursement to some 110 million dollars.

Indian immigrant found guilty of supporting Hezbollah

New York: An Indian citizen, living illegally in the US, has been found guilty by a US court of providing material support to Lebanese group Hezbollah and faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. Patrick Nayyar, 48, was convicted after a week-long jury trial before US District Judge Robert Sweet. He was found guilty of five counts related to the support he attempted to provide to Hezbollah, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara said Nayyar, who had been residing illegally in America, was convicted of conspiring and attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization; conspiring to make or receive a contribution of funds, goods or services to Hezbollah and conspiring to traffic in firearms and ammunition. The five counts carry between five to 20 years imprisonment and in all Nayyar faces a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison when he is sentenced on September 25. According to the superseding indictment filed in a Manhattan federal court and evidence presented at trial, Nayyar and his co-conspirator Conrad Stanisclaus Mulholland agreed to provide weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Hezbollah between July and September 2009.

NJ Indians advised to unite

By Ashok Ojha/SATimes Edison, NJ: Apparently disturbed by conflicting views in the community on burning issues, leading members of Indian community in New Jersey emphasized the importance of being united and working for the progress of the community at a spring get together here. Community members have expressed dissatisfaction over the indifference and silence of community leaders over matters that affected the image of the community in general. The event, organized by Indian Congress Party, USA, coinciding with celebration of the 50th birthday of its president Atma Singh, was attended by over a hundred people from the community who represented a variety of cultural, social and political organizations. Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, ConsulGeneral of India in New York was the chief guest. Our real strength lies in unity, Dayal reminded the audience. His message of unity was reinforced by many other prominent community leaders. Ram Gadula, Chairman and Harkesh Thakur, chief organizer, ICP USA promised to continue to work for the community. Colonel Virendra Tavathia conducted the proceeding of the evening. ICP USA President Atma Singh said that his team was committed to celebrate Indian national events, such as, Gandhi Jayanti and Indias Independence Day. We want to educate our kids about Indian history and traditions, he commented. A two page Hindi supplement in Desi Talk was released by the Consul General of India.

Tristate Community

April 7-13, 2012


Bagtas painting fetches $300,000 in Bonhams auction

previously unrecorded work by the master Indian artist Bagta fetched a record $302,500 at the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art auction here last month. This portrait of the imposing figure of Rawat Gokal Das celebrating 'holi' with his consorts (fl. 1761-1814) was consigned by a collector who bought the piece two decades ago for a modest $125, according to New York auction house Bonhams. Dated 1808 and measuring 16 x 22 inches this work is a rare representation of Bagta's larger scale depiction.

Bagta was featured in the landmark exhibition which opened at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, and was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York's 'Wonder of the Age, Master Painters of India, 1100-1900' exhibition until recently. "It was truly incredible to witness the sale of this work come to fruition. Bringing in a lot of this calibre has proven to be not only a highlight of my career but also a highlight for Bonhams and for this 2012 Asia Week," said Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams department specialist.

bilities in one evening - Rukmini Vijayakumar and Preeti Vasudevan (Thresh Dance), both trained in Bharatanatyam and Modern dance. Festival highlights include additional dance performances, dance workshops and panel discussions. On April, 14th a concert at the Asia Society brings the NYC premiere of PraNayam: Obeisances to God with internationally renowned dancer, Priyadarshini Govind ac-

companied by a live musical orchestra from India; and Trinayan Dance Theaters Prati Dhwani: Sacred Resonance in traditional Odissi repertory. The festival concludes on April 15th with a delightful family friendly performance of Stories of Krishna - The Playful Blue God at the Brooklyn Childrens Museum. For more information about the performances, venues and tickets please visit:

Nanubhai Foundations annual gala on April 27

elebrities will come together to commemorate eight successful years at the Nanubhai Education Foundations fourth annual gala on April 27th at the Angel Orensanz Foundation of Contemporary Art in New York City. Spokesman for Nanubhai Education Foundation, 90210 actor Manish Dayal, along with Heroes actor Sendhil Ramamurthy, actor Samrat Chakrabarti, actor Ami Sheth, celebrity photographer and star of Bravo TVs Double Exposure Indrani, former Canadian Cricket team captain Ashish Bagai and Philanthropist Karen Koeningsberg will come forth to honor and raise funds for the progress of education in rural India. The annual gala will be a glamorous evening of cocktails, Hors Doeuvres, entertainment, music, dancing, a live auction and much more. Spokesman for the foundation, Manish Dayal says Nanubhai's mission and work overall inspires me and I am honored to represent this innova-

Week long Erasing Borders DanceFEST begins on April 7

n a dance celebration of the vibrancy of spring, the IndoAmerican Arts Council (IAAC) and Trinayan Dance Theater collaborate to present a sevenday festival showcasing the exquisite dance styles of India and featuring internationally renowned performers. Presented at various venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the

festival commences on April 9th with a concert starring Prashant Shah one of the leading male Kathak dancers of his generation today and Sujata Mohapatra, a leading female Odissi artists of India. The April 10th performance juxtaposes two innovative choreographer-dancers with contrasting sensi-

tive organization which works to improve education in developing areas of India without incurring overhead that prohibits real change. Nanubhai is a solid example of sustainable and effective nonprofit structure. I look forward to growing with this organization and celebrating our success at our 4th annual gala in New York." The gala event is the primary source to raise funds for the Nanubhai Education Foundations fellowship program that partners experienced American educators with rural Indian high schools to mentor and inspire local teachers to become excellent educators. The Nanubhai Annual Gala is an incredible venue for our supporters to meet our India Fellows and celebrate and champion the impact they are making together in the lives of students in rural India says Raj Shah, Founder and President of the Nanubhai Education Foundation.

BAPS hosts balanced living conference for women

Edison: Contributing to the worldwide commemoration of the 101st International Women's Day, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated its fifth annual Women's Conference in Flushing, NY on Saturday, March 17th and in Edison, NJ and Washington DC on March 24th. This years focus was on the ancient Hindu teachings of the four purusharths (goals of life), which resonated with women within the Indian-American community who work hard to balance various aspects of their personal, career and social lives. Following the theme of Purusharth Balanced Living, experts ranging from college professors to healthcare professionals incorporated presentations discussing the four purusharths, namely Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Expressing her thoughts regarding the focus of the conferthat is encompassed within Dharma. She noted Dharmas importance in providing duty, purpose, structure, and order in our lives. She presented the audience with key questions about our roles and responsibilities and highlighted the exploration of these questions in discovering and fulfilling our spiritual and material aspirations. Dolly Swaroops talk in Washington DC focused on the Artha purusharth. She appreciated that monetary achievement is not precluded by Hinduism and that it is an innate human ambition. She highlighted, Hinduism teaches us that Artha is not the end goal of our life. Instead, it is a way to achieve the goals in our life. The principles of Artha help us balance and prioritize worldly ambitions with our spiritual ones. She also expressed how impressed she was by the number of career-oriented women in attendance and by their amazing ability to maintain their commitment to their families as well as allocate time for community service. Aspects of the Kama purusharth pertaining to balancing fulfillment of desires and observance of selfcontrol were presented by Dr. Shatabdi Patel, a neurosurgeon at the conference in Edison. She said, Happiness is in what we already have, not in what we dont have. The Moksha purusharth focusing on the true definition of what it means to be liberated from birth cycles was presented by Dr. Gargi Patel in Edison. Similar conference was organized all over North America at 9 centers with over 4000 women participating in it. Over 1000 women were in attendance at the conferences organized in NE region in Edison, New York and Washington.

The conferences were organized at 9 North America centers with over 4000 women participating ence, Womans Conference Lead great way to appreciate the Mita Desai noted, This is one of woman. the most exciting event, we can see In presenting the Dharma how each and every woman bal- purusharth at the conference in ance their daily living and can still New York, Ms. Hanna Kim an aim for ultimate salvation, this is Assistant Professor emphasized all

National Community

April 7-13, 2012

Sikkimese killed in Oikos University massacre

India proposes to take US to WTO on visa fee hike

New Delhi: India proposes to take the US to the WTO disputing "discrimination" against the Indian software companies which are being asked to pay higher H1B and L1 visa fee for their employees than the American firms for bringing more number of skilled immigrants to their country at lesser costs. "The Department of Commerce is working to build up a case of WTO violations by US resulting from the implementation of the visa fee hike," an official told PTI. He said the discrimination was the result of the US Border Security Act of 2010. India has been raising its concern for the last 18 months. The law, also known as the James Zadroga Act, substantially increased the fees for H1B and L1 categories of visas for applicants which employ more than 50 persons in the US or have more than 50 per cent their employees admitted on non-immigrant visas (the 50:50 rule). The official said both the Indian and the US service suppliers perform similar services but are "being treated differently...resulting in formally and substantively different treatment. This results in violations of the specific commitments of the US under WTO." Sources said during the Congressional debate in the US, it was widely acknowledged that four top Indian companies TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam - were to pay significantly higher fees. However, the large American high-tech corporations which may bring higher numbers of skilled immigrants into the US would not be affected, since vast majority of their work force is made of Americans. "It is the sovereign right of any country to hike visa fee, but the US move is mainly against the Indian IT companies. The law discriminates between an American and Indian company. This is a breach of national treatment and most favoured nation status," a Commerce Ministry official said. Although India has time and again raised its concern no satisfactory response has been received, he said. "Rather the US has continued to impose several new protectionist measures, including increasing the period of applicability of the enhanced visa fees under the James Zadroga Act," he said.

Davinder Kaul (left) was wounded in the shooting. One of the victims, Sonam Chodon was a Tibetan immigrant from India
Washington, DC: A Sikkimese native who was one of the seven people killed in a mass shooting at a US college when the alleged gunman stole his car was studying nursing and worked nights as a janitor. Tshering Rinzing Bhutia, 38, was killed when gunman One Goh allegedly stole his car outside Oikos University Monday morning, the Oakland Tribune reported. "I wish he had never come to this damn country," his friend Sandy Close was cited as saying. "He was illfated." Davinder Kaur, a 19-year old Indian American student, was among the three wounded in the shooting. Bhutia, who lived alone in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood and worked nights cleaning terminals at the city's airport, also was studying nursing at Oikos, a tiny Christian college. He had also worked in restaurants. Another shooting victim was a recent Tibetan immigrant from India, who worked for five years in the education department of Tibet's government-in-exile in Dharamsala. But after Sonam Chodon, 33, moved to the Bay Area about two years ago, she swiftly immersed herself into its tight-knit Tibetan-American community and decided to take up a new career in nursing, San Jose Mercury News reported citing her friends. The killing cast a pall on a Tibetan-American community that sent many aspiring nurses to the small Christian university, Mercury News said.

Indian-origin people close to being in 100 Americans

Washington, DC: People of Indian origin are close to making one percent of America's population of 308.7 million with their numbers shooting up by a whopping 69.37 percent over the last decade. Indians are now the largest Asian subgroup in 25 states in America, mainly in the South and Midwest, making them the main driver in population growth of Asian Americans, according to an analysis of US 2010 Census data by the California based India-West newspaper. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area had 526,133 Indian Americans in 2010, about 18.5 percent of the nation's total of 2,843,391 with a dramatic increase in their numbers from 1,678,765 in 2000. While California had the most Indian American residents at 528,176, and New York was second at 313,620. Indians have a higher percentage as a ratio of a state's total population in New Jersey. There are now 292,256 Asian Indians, as the Census Bureau terms Indian Americans, in New Jersey, 3.3 percent of the state's total population. Indian Americans in New Jersey numbered just 169,180 in 2000, so their number has increased almost 73 percent. The next states after the top three with the largest numbers of Indian Americans in 2010 were: Texas, 245,981; Illinois, 188,328, Florida, 128,735; Virginia, 103,916, Pennsylvania, 103,026; Georgia, 96,116; Maryland, 79,051; Massachusetts, 77,177; Michigan, 77,132; Ohio, 64,187; Washington, 61,124; and North Carolina, 57,400. Indian Americans are the largest Asian group in six of the 10 largest metro areas in the US. These with their national rankings by population size listed in brackets were: Chicago (3), Dallas (4), Philadelphia (5), Washington, D.C. (7) Miami (8) and Atlanta (9). The Indian American population increased due to several factors, including the influx of a large number of professionals, particularly those coming on H-1Bs, according to the India-West analysis. India was also a leading source of foreign students from 2000-10. Many have stayed to continue their studies or to work in the country. Many others who immigrated to the US in the 1980s and 1990s have sponsored relatives under the family visas. Another factor is the growth of small businesses run by Indian Americans, particularly convenience stores, hotels and motels and in the health-related fields.

National Community

April 7-13, 2012

No IRS investigation into Haleys involvement in Sikh temples finances

Washington, DC: According to ABC News report the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's involvement in a Sikh temple's finances. Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, "we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)". Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley's chief of staff Tim Pearson that "we determined an examination was not warranted at that time." Earlier this week, Logan Smith wrote for a little-known website, The Palmetto Public Record, that Haley, a Republican, faced a federal investigation of her finances and those of the Sikh Religious Society, with which her family has been associated: "There has been a great deal of chatter lately regarding a federal investigation of the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Nikki Haley's father, Dr. Ajit Randhawa. Speculation on the probe's target has run anywhere from delinquent taxes to money laundering and tax fraud, with varying accounts of the governor's own involvement in the temple's shady finances." In an exclusive interview in Columbia, S.C. this afternoon, Haley adamantly denied the allegations. "I was never an accountant for the temple," Haley said. "I have nothing to do with the temple. My dad and the Indian community started the temple, not him. There is no truth. I never did a deposit. I never wrote a check. I never touched the books. I never had anything to do with it.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley


Will Sharon Mathai be "The Voice" of America?

MoneyGram and India Post ramp up location availability

o n e y G r a m International, a leading global money transfer company, and India Post, the largest distribution postal network in the world, announced that their existing agreement to offer money transfer services through India Post outlets has expanded from an initial 100 locations to more than 650 locations across the country. In a presentation before community dignitaries and media, MoneyGram officials discussed the importance of postal networks as part of its global distribution strategy, as well as plans for continued roll-out to additional locations of India Post in urban and rural areas of the country. With 155,000 locations, India Post serves a critical role in facilitating the distribution of funds in a country where less than 50 percent of the population has a bank account. According to the World Bank, India is the worlds largest inward remittance market, with $53.1 billion in incoming remittances last year.

n 18-year-old Indian American singer, whose parents hail from Kerala, could well emerge as America's new singing sensation after making to the top 24 on NBC's reality singing show "The Voice." Sharon Mathai, a self-proclaimed brainiac and science expert who is a premed student, sang "Rumor Has It" by Adele for her blind audition in Season 2 of the contest that starts airing live April 2. In Monday's episode, the New York born adventurous, skydiving singer from Dallas, Texas, who goes by her last name on the show, battled with fellow singer Nicolle Galyon, covering "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. The two took turns singing parts of the verses and chorus and their celebrity coach Adam Levine was tasked with picking just one woman to advance onto next week's show. In the end, Levine picked Mathai to

Sharon Mathai

move on to the upcoming live shows. The live rounds begin April 2, when audiences will for the first time this season get to vote for their favorite contestants. Before auditioning for Season 2 of The Voice, Mathai, whose father is a psychiatrist and mother a nurse, both from Kerala, India had tried out for "The Glee Project" and made to the Top 24.

Two Indians among 2012 Yale World Fellows

A key direction of MoneyGrams growth strategy is to get closer to our customers where they live and work, said Harsh Lambah, MoneyGrams senior regional director for South Asia. International inward remittances are playing an increasingly large role in the economies of many countries, contributing to economic growth and to the livelihoods of less prosperous people, said India Posts Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications & IT. With MoneyGram, we will provide a valuable service to our customers, particularly in rural areas, who are not fully served by banks and other financial institutions, and its our intent to expand MoneyGram services to more post offices as quickly as possible. Lambah noted that MoneyGrams service is planned to expand to 5,000 India Post locations by 2014.

ale University has selected 16 World Fellows for 2012. Two of them are from India, bringing the total number of fellows from India to 11 since the program started in 2002. India and Britain - each with 11 fellows - have had more fellows in the Ivy League university's signature global leadership development initiative than of the 79 countries represented since its inception, the New Haven, Connecticut, based institution announced. Two fellows from India are Ayush Chauhan, co-founder and managing director, Quicksand and Ruchi Yadav, senior program officer, The Hunger Project. Chauhan heads up Quicksand, a multi-disciplinary design and innovation consultancy working at the intersection of business, development, and culture. He is also a partner at the Box Collective, where he conceptualized and launched UnBox, the first interdisciplinary festival in Delhi bringing together

leading voices from across the world for inspiration, debate and reflection. With a background in advertising, human rights, and the women's movement in India, Yadav's focus is to empower elected women representatives at the grassroots level as key change agents in local institutions of government across seven states in India. From August to December, the 2012 World Fellows will enroll in a specially designed seminar taught by leading Yale faculty; audit any of the 3,000 courses offered at the University; participate in weekly dinners with distinguished guest speakers; receive individualized skill-building training; and meet with US and foreign leaders. "We will be so fortunate to have these extraordinary men and women at Yale," said Yale President Richard C. Levin. "The university community is always so enriched by the World Fellows. We hope they take full advantage of all our community has to offer them."

Gurinder Singh elected to South Asian Bar Association of NY

urinder J. Singh, an associate in the New York City office of the law firm of Miller Canfield, was recently elected secretary of the board of directors of the South Asian Bar Association of New York. At Miller Canfield, Singh assists clients with international transactions including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic corporate structuring utilizing treaty-friendly jurisdictions, private placements, and private equity and venture funds. She chairs the firms India Team and focuses her practice on matters relating to India. She serves as ambassador of the firm at U.S. India Business Council and Chamber of Commerce meetings. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Illinois Bar Association and New York State Bar Association. She received her J.D. from Wayne State Uni-

Gurinder Singh

versity Law School and B.S.E. from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering.

National Community

April 7-13, 2012

Sri Lankas Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona (first from right), was felicitated at an awards ceremony organized at the United Nations by the Jack Brewer foundation, along with the Ambassadors of Mexico and Malawi for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) at the UN. This recognition acknowledges Sri Lankas rapid progress in realizing the MDGs, mandated by the UN General Assembly in 2000.

Punjabi museum opens in Yuba City

Yuba City: A multi-media museum celebrating more than 100 years of the Punjabi community in the US opened in the community-dominated Yuba City in California Saturday. A brainchild of the Punjabi American Heritage Society (PAHS), the multimedia museum, the first of its kind in the US, highlights the contribution of the Punjabi community to the social fabric of their adopted land. ``The museum is a multi-media record of the challenges and successes of generations of Punjabi Americans. It documents the hardships they faced on their arrival in California in the early twentieth century and their journey to 'Becoming American','' said prominent community leader Jasbir Kang. In his message to the community on the occasion, California Governor Jerry Brown said, "Showcasing the story of the Punjabi American and South Asian migration to the United States is a valuable and needed resource for current and future generations. ``I congratulate all the individuals and families along with the Punjabi American Heritage Society of Yuba City for their dedication and hard work for the successful completion of this project." California assembly members Jim Nielsen and Dan Logue, County Supervisors Jim Whiteaker, Larry Munger and Stan Cleveland, Yuba City Council member Tej Mann and former Yuba City mayors Kash Gill and Rory Ramirez were among the hundreds who attended the opening ceremony. In a press release, the organizers said: ``Since 9/11, Sikhs and South Asians have borne the brunt of mistaken identity by racist attacks, assaults and even murder. Through this exhibit, PAHS tells the story of Punjabis that have a long tradition of contributing to the success of their local communities. ``The story of the Punjabis, the Sikhs and the South Asians is the same as that of the Irish, the Italians and the Polish before them; it is an American story.'' Yuba City was one of the first destinations of Punjabi immigrants to the US in the early 20th century. Known as Punjab da Pind, the city has the largest concentration of the Punjabi community in the US and boasts many gurdwaras, temples and even a mosque.


US Affairs

April 7-13, 2012

US charges 9/11 mastermind, 4 others

Washington: The US Wednesday announced charges against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The charges were referred to a military commission in the case of "US v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi". As per the defense department, the five suspects are responsible for planning and execution of the terrorist attacks of Sep 11, 2001 in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, PA, resulting in the killing of almost 3,000 people, Xinhua reported. The five suspects are charged with terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians and civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war. The Pentagon has referred all charges to a joint trial. According to military commissions rules and procedures, the chief judge of the Military Commissions Trial

Transsexual Canadian Beauty Queen asks Trump to change rule

New York: Jenna Talackova, the Canadian transsexual beauty queen, has asked Donald Trump to eliminate the rule that Miss Universe contestants must be naturally born females. "I want Mr. Trump to state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer from the discrimination that I have endured," Talackova said. "I have never asked for special consideration. I only wanted to compete," Talackova said. Talackova was originally disqualified from the 2012 Miss Universe Canada competition because she was not a "naturally born female." Talackova had sexual reassignment surgery at age 19. The Trump organization announced Monday that it will not attempt to keep Talackova out of the competition. "The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (right), considered the 9/11 mastermind

Judiciary will assign a military judge to the case, and the five accused will be arraigned at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within 30 days of service of the referred charges upon them. The Pentagon also said it referred the case to a capital military commission, meaning if convicted, the five accused could be sentenced to death.

3 wins tighten Romney grip on GOP ticket

Washington: With decisive victories in Republican presidential primaries in three states, frontrunner Mitt Romney virtually assured himself of the party nomination to challenge President Obama in the November poll. Romney's wins Tuesday in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington DC will put him past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination and add to a wide delegate lead that he holds over the other three other candidates still in the race, according to CNN estimates. "Thank you to Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington. We won them all," Romney told supporters Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Analysis said the losses in the three states, particularly Wisconsin, may damage closest rival former senator Rick Santorum's ability to convince Republicans that he can stop Romney from getting the nomination. While Romney is far ahead of Santorum, Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and House member Ron Paul in the hunt for delegates, exit polls indicate Romney still has a problem locking in the conservative base of the party. Obama, meanwhile, clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday with primary wins in Maryland and Washington, CNN projected. Unlike the Republicans, Obama faces no serious opposition in his race.

Jenna Talackova standards established by other international competitions," Michael D. Cohen, Trump's executive vice president and special counsel, said in an email. But this statement was not enough for Talackova and her attorney. "It isn't just about her being able to compete," the attorney said. "It's about the elimination of the rule for others. Jenna is standing up for others, not just herself."

US Affairs


April 7-13, 2012

Economy remains No 1 poll issue

Washington: The health of the economy has remained the No 1 issue on voters minds in Republican primaries, all the way to Tuesdays contests in Maryland and Wisconsin and Washington D.C. In Wisconsin, 40 percent of those polled said they think the economy is getting worse and another 29 percent said it is staying the same. Fifty-five percent said they consider the economy the most important issue in the 2012 election. Half the Maryland voters polled said they think the economy is getting worse and that the economy is their top issue. Gallups latest poll, however, shows that nationally, economic confidence is at its highest level since January 2008. Confidence has improved for seven consecutive months, driven in part by increasing optimism on unemployment and a recent positive manufacturing report. However, economic confidence could be fragile. A key question is whether the US economy can continue its modest economic recovery as gas prices approach the key psychological level of $4 a gallon and the July 2008 record price of $4.11, Gallup said. Further, as [Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke] noted last week, questions remain about the sustainability of declining unemployment without stronger overall economic growth. Republican candidate Mitt Romney talked about how his lower corporate tax rate would help it in his Wisconsin victory speech. President Barack Obama lambasted the Republican budget plan Tuesday, calling it bad for the U.S.s economic future and a Trojan horse for Social Darwinism. Its antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone whos willing to work for it a place where prosperity doesnt trickle down from the top but grows outward from the heart of the middle class, Obama said at a gathering of newspaper editors. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy thats built to last education and training; research and development its a prescription for decline. The president also gave a rundown of how some of the budgets cuts penned by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and backed by the GOP presidential field will translate to actual numbers, including $1,000 less per student in federal college loans and 1,600 fewer medical research grants.

Now, Obama vs. Supreme Court

Washington: There has been no dearth of adversaries for President Obama. Now he might have added the Supreme Court to the list, and with it, a host of conservative judges across the country who have done bold to show their true political colors. One federal judge has gone so far as to request that Obama explain to him in three single-spaced pages why he said at a news conference that the Supreme Court's overturning his signature health care law would be "unprecedented," to which Attorney General Eric Holder says he plans to respond. "What the president said a couple days ago was appropriate," Holder told reporters in Chicago Wednesday when he was asked to respond to the request from Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith, a Ronald Reagan appointee in New Orleans. "The courts are also fairly deferential when it comes to overturning statutes that the duly elected representatives of the people in Congress pass." Holder, who also cited the landmark Marbury v. Madison case that established the court's right to review the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, repeated that the administration believes the Supreme Court will uphold the health care law as constitutional, an issue that reignited this week when Obama told the media that declaring the measure otherwise "would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." "And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group

The Supreme Court is said to be politically polarized: Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Standing): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law," he said. The health care law wasn't passed by a "strong majority," but rather by a small majority through a technical "reconciliation" measure in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, and a narrow vote in the House that didn't include a single Republican supporting it. House Speaker John Boehner's office has made a point of reminding the media of the vote -- 219-212 in the House, including 34 Democrats who voted against it -- since Obama made his comment Monday. Obama was asked Tuesday to clarify his comment, and he argued that "there is a human element" to the health law that is at stake if it is overturned. The White House has argued that Obama wasn't trying to intimidate the court by arguing that it shouldn't strike down the health care law. Press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama simply made an "unremarkable observation" that in 80 years, the Supreme Court has "deferred to Congress when it comes to Congress's authority to pass legislation to regulate matters of national economic importance, such as health care." "That is the reverse of intimidation," Carney told reporters. Legal analysts have noted that the Supreme Court is not tasked with considering the merits of "Obamacare," only its constitutionality, specifically the lawfulness of the so-called mandate to buy health insurance.

Tornados leave swath of destruction in Dallas suburbs

Arlington, Texas: The National Weather Service said as many as a dozen twisters touched down in a wrecking-ball swath of violent weather that stretched across Dallas and Fort Worth. The destructive reminder of a young tornado season Tuesday left thousands without power and hundreds of homes pummeled or worse. As the sun rose Wednesday over the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster, one of the hardest hit areas, it was clear that twisters had bounced in and out of neighborhoods, destroying homes at random. Vehicles were tossed like toys, coming to rest in living rooms and bedrooms. Despite the intensity of the slow-moving storms, only a handful of people were hurt, a couple of them seriously, and no fatalities were reported as of late Tuesday. The Red Cross estimated that 650 homes were damaged. Around 150 Lancaster residents stayed in a shelter Tuesday night. The exact number of tornadoes won't be known until surveyors have fanned across North Texas, looking for clues among the debris that blanketed yards and rooftops peeled off slats. Knight said city officials and weather experts were surveying the stricken areas Wednesday. April is typically the worst month

This image released by Google shows eyewear that meshes the online world with the real world. Google on April 4, 2012, gave the world a glimpse of its vision for letting people look at life through Internet-tinted glasses.

Doctor panels recommend fewer diagnostic tests

Washington DC: In a move likely to alter treatment standards in hospitals and doctors offices nationwide, a group of nine medical specialty boards recommended Wednesday that doctors perform 45 common tests and procedures less often, and to urge patients to question these services if they are offered. Eight other specialty boards are preparing to follow suit with additional lists of procedures their members should perform far less often. The recommendations represent an unusually frank acknowledgment by physicians that many profitable tests and procedures are performed unnecessarily and may harm patients. By some estimates, unnecessary treatment constitutes one-third of medical spending in the United States. Overuse is one of the most serious crises in American medicine, said Dr. Lawrence Smith, physician-in-chief at North Shore-LIJ Health System and dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, who was not involved in the initiative. Many people have thought that the organizations most resistant to this idea would be the specialty organizations, so this is a very powerful message. Many previous attempts to rein in unnecessary care have faltered, but guidance coming from respected physician groups is likely to exert more influence than directives from other quarters. But their change of heart also reflects recent changes in the health care marketplace.

Big-rig trailers were tossed into the air, spiraling like footballs. in a tornado season that stretches from March to June, but Tuesday's outburst suggests that "we're on pace to be above normal," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop. An entire wing at the Green Oaks nursing home in Arlington crumbled. Stunning video from Dallas showed big-rig trailers tossed into the air and spiraling like footballs. At the Cedar Valley Christian Center church in Lancaster, Pastor Glenn Young said he cowered in a windowless room with 30 children from a daycare program, some of them newborns. Meteorologists said the storms were the result of a slow-moving storm system centered over northern New Mexico.



April 7-13, 2012

Army 'coup' report fizzles out, govt terms it 'alarmist'

New Delhi/Visakhapatnam: The stir caused by a media report morning about an attempted "military coup" in January turned into a whimper by the evening after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it "alarmist" and Defense Minister A.K. Antony termed it "baseless" and vouching for the army's pro-democracy credentials. The nation woke up to an Indian Express front page report that said a Hisar-based mechanized infantry unit and elements from the 50 Para Brigade in Agra had moved towards the capital on the night of Jan 16 without following the standard operating procedure of informing the defense ministry in advance. The report said since this happened around the time when Indian Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh was waging a judicial battle against the government over his age row, it created unease and suspicion in Delhi. The report, soon after hitting the stands, went viral online, with several postings and comments for and against it. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, maintaining his cool and composure, called it "alarmist" and that it "should not be taken at face value." Defense Minister A.K. Antony too thrashed the report as "baseless" and added there was no doubt tionalizing" the issue. "The Express has tried to sensationalize the news, which is not proper," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said. "The media should be very careful as far as the army is concerned and should not sensationalize news," he said. Another Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said: "No fact has justified such speculation." The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick in wanting to put the government on the mat and sought the "proactive" role of the prime minister in resolving the "rising trust deficit" between the army and the government. "We must ensure, that there is no room for nor any apprehension or any sponsored story," BJP general secretary and spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said here. It also sought the ouster of Antony as defence ministry over the recent government tiff with the army. "The relationship between the army and political leadership of the country is at an all time's a matter of very deep concern," Prasad said. "The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) has messed up a whole lot of things in governance because of incapacity of leadership, governance deficit and a whole range of confusion...even army has become a victim of that. The balance between the army and the government needs to be reestablished with respect," he said.

An Indian Express report claimed that two army infantry units had moved towards the capital without informing the defense ministry in advance. about the patriotism of the armed swore by the "patriotism" of Indian forces. soldiers. He said the army moveThe prime minister also spoke on ment was a "usual, natural activithe reported tussle between the ty" and that there was "nothing government and Gen. Singh. unusual" about it. "The army chief's office is an Antony said the Indian Army and exalted office. All of us have an the other wings of the armed obligation to do nothing that low- forces "will do everything" to safeers its dignity," he said, when guard the country's democratic asked if there was unease between values. "I can guarantee you that". the government and the army The defense minister asked the chief. media not embroil the armed In Visakhapatnam, where forces into such controversies. Antony had gone to formally "My humble request to you is induct a nuclear-powered subma- that the Indian Army cannot afford rine, the minister clarified that the the luxury of these controversies." report was "absolutely baseless". The Congress, meanwhile The minister, looking poised, accused the newspaper of "sensa-

'Reports on troop movement absolutely stupid'

athmandu: Army chief Gen V K Singh has dismissed as "absolutely stupid" a report that the Indian government panicked for several hours in the face of unexplained troop movements near Delhi in January. "This is absolutely stupid," Singh said when asked to comment on the report. "Whoever is trying to make sto-

ries against army chief is deplorable," said Gen VK Singh. A report in The Indian Express had said that the government was "spooked" on the night of January 16-17, because of the movement of a mechanized infantry battallion from Haryana's Hisar and a sizeable section of 50 Para Brigade creating a storm in the government.

Hostage crisis: Odisha to release 27 prisoners

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to facilitate the release of 27 prisoners, including eight Maoists, to secure the release of an Italian tourist and a legislator, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said. The Maoists have held hostage Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo and Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka since March 14 and March 24, respectively. Paolo was abducted with another Italian, Claudio Colangelo, 61, from a forested area on the border of Ganjam and Kandhamal districts. The rebels March 25 released Colangelo as a "goodwill gesture" but kept Paolo, 54 insisting the government to fulfil their demands. "Considering the safety of Jhina Hikaka, the young tribal MLA of Laxmipur, it has been decided by the state government to facilitate the release of 15 members of Chasi Mulia Adibasi Sangha and also eight left wing extremists who are now lodged in jails," Patnaik told reporters. "Further, considering the demands of the Odisha state organizing committee of the CPIMaoist for the Italian national, who was abducted in the

Mario, Dharmendra, Shabana conferred Padma awards

New Delhi: Leading media personalities, film stars, industrialists, retired civil servants and educationists including the late cartoonist Mario Miranda, Bollywood veterans Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi, and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Nagarajan Vittal were conferred the prestigious Padma awards here Wednesday. The colorful ceremony was held at the Durbar Hall of Rastrapati Bhavan here, when Miranda's son Rahul received the Padma Vibhushan from President Pratibha Patil amidst thunderous applause from guests, including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and a host of other dignitaries. But the loudest applause was reserved for Dharamendra and Shabana Azmi, both of whom received the Padma Bhushan, and for

The Maoists have held hostage Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo (in the picture) and Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka. Kandhamal district, it has been decided to facilitate the release of four persons from the list given by the mediators for the Maoists," he added. After the announcement, Patnaik also appealed to the Maoists to immediately release both the hostages unharmed and in good health. While the Italian was abducted by the Odisha unit of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from Kandhamal district, the legislature was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee from Koraput district. The group responsible for kidnapping the Italian insisted the government fulfill 13 demands, including a ban on the visit of tourists to tribal areas, a halt to anti-Maoist operations and the release of several under-trial prisoners. Two negotiators backed by them were holding talks with the state government for the past several days on the Maoist's demands. The legislator's abductors were demanding the release of several activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) who they say have been booked on false charges in Koraput and Malkangiri districts.

President Pratibha Patil presenting the Padma Bhushan Award to Shabana Azmi at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. international archer Limba Ram Ahari and Olympic hockey gold medallist Zafar Iqbal. Among the Padma Bhushan awardees were Vittal, literary theorist Homi K. Bhabha, violinist M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Tata Steel Vice Chairman B. Muthuraman, former bureaucrat Mata Prasad, mathematician M.S. Raghunathan, international jurist P. Chandrasekhara Rao, neurologist Noshir Hormusji Wadia and former Singapore Foreign Minister George YongBoon Yeo, who is presently a governing body member of the Nalanda University. Among those not present at the ceremony, but whose awards would be sent to them, are eminent painter K.G. Subramanyan (Padma Vibushan), Satya Narayan Goenka and Jose Pereira (Padma Bhushan), and leading homeopathic consultant late Jugal Kishore.



April 7-13, 2012

Manmohan-Zardari meet: India need answers

New Delhi: Bolstered by the US unveiling a $10 million bounty for the capture of the Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, India is expected to up pressure for action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday. In the first presidential visit from Pakistan in the last seven years, President Zardari will come to India on a day-long visit. The purpose of the visit is primarily personal, with Zardari planning to offer prayers at the revered Sufi shrine in Ajmer. However, amid improving ties, Manmohan Singh plans to host lunch for the Pakistani leader in New Delhi and hold talks to review bilateral ties. The talks are expected to give a renewed momentum to the accident-prone bilateral ties that have recovered from the post-Mumbai low, but continue to suffer from a perception in India that Islamabad has not done enough to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice. Informed sources say that Indian agencies have witnessed an escalation of anti-India rhetoric by Hafiz Saeed in recent months and have pressed Pakistan again and again to take action against the man New Delhi regards as the architect of the Mumbai terror carnage. Pakistan has, however, tender to shelter behind legal subterfuge, saying there is no evidence against him. Against this backdrop, Manmohan

The journey to Ajmer Sharif - from Akbar to Zardari

Ajmer: From Mughal emperor Akbar who came praying for a son to a relentless stream of around 12,000 people who throng every day to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari who will visit it Sunday, the pull of the 12th century Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer remains undiminished. The marble-domed tomb of the Sufi saint, located 145 km from Jaipur, in the middle of Ajmer's walled city area, attracts a huge mass of people from all over the world who come here with an ardent wish and a prayer on their lips. The tomb is located at the center of a courtyard and is surrounded by a marble platform. It is believed that the remains of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, also known as Khwaja Garib Nawaz, lie buried at the shrine. Khadims, or priests at the dargah, claim to be his descendants and are authorised to carry out prayers at the shrine. The premises have eight more tombs, including those of the saint's family members. S.F. Hussein Chishti, a khadim, said that people come here with the hope to fulfil their wishes and offer 'chadar'. After their wish is fulfilled, they visit again to express their gratitude. "It used to be Mughal emperor Akbar's favorite destination for many years," said Chishti. He said the most spectacular thing about the shrine is that it is visited by not only Muslims but equally by those from other religions, including Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The shrine is set to complete 800 years in June. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti is said to have been born in 1142 A.D. in Iran. "He left the place to spread the teachings of Sufism. He came to

Manmohan Singh is expected to convey to the Pakistan President India's strong view on the need for action against LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. Singh is expected to convey to Zardari India's strong view on the need for action against Saeed, said the sources. However, both sides are keen not to let the long-standing terror issue affect what is otherwise seen as a feelgood visit that seeks to reinforce positive trends in bilateral ties since India and Pakistan resumed their peace process in February last year. The two leaders are expected to discuss the liberalization of the visa regime to encourage people-to-people contacts between the two countries. Meeting in the Maldives on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in November, Manmohan Singh and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had promised to open a "new chapter" in the history of the troubled India-Pakistan relationship.

Zardari will be the fourth Pakistani head of state or government to visit the dargah.
India and settled in Ajmer," added a khadim. "At that time, society had many social evils; so he spread the teachings of equality and brotherhood. Sufism is a moderate philosophy and Mughal kings were impressed and encouraged the spread of its teachings". He is largely famous for the Sufi philosophy that preaches brotherhood, harmony and prosperity, say the khadims. Julfikar Chishti, another khadim, said: "The deprived and the poor come barefoot, walking hundreds of kilometres. For the past three to four years, people from Europe and America are also coming here to learn the teachings of Sufism." Mohamed Aajam, a historian, said: "King Akbar came barefoot from Agra to the Ajmer dargah and wished for a son here. Zardari will be the fourth Pakistani head of state or government to visit the dargah. His late wife Benazir Bhutto and former presidents Zia-ul Haq and Pervez Musharraf also visited the shrine.



April 7-13, 2012

Rahul Gandhi to lead UP poll debacle review

immediate being the local body elections next month. However, the nature of questions given to assembly candidates raises doubts if it would be an incisive audit of reasons for the debacle. The post-mortem could bring to focus the campaign rhetoric of 'Muslim quota', Batla House and 'President's rule' that triggered controversies and projected Congress as desperate for power. Union ministers Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma and Sriprakash Jaiswal along with AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh could face criticism. A leader lamented, "It was a good campaign led by Rahul Gandhi. But suddenly there were too many voices and we lost focus." Despite the fear of postmortem opening up blood-letting, Congress may be forced to look at key issues to mollify leaders who also have a role in 2014 polls. These leaders feel Congress made a mistake in shedding its "sober" image by going for religion-based rhetoric by raking up 'Batla House encounter' and Muslim quota.

India congratulates Suu Kyi on election win

At the invitation of Myanmar, India sent Election Commission officials as observers for the elections. New Delhi: India congratulated prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after her National League for Democracy's (NLD) thumping election victory. "We welcome the successful conduct of by-elections in Myanmar," external affairs ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said. The results announced so far show that the New Delhi-educated Suu Kyi's NLD has bagged all 40 of the seats declared out of the 45. "We extend our heartiest congratulations to Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD. These elections represent a major milestone in Myanmar's transition towards multi-party democracy," Akbaruddin said. At the invitation of Myanmar, India sent Election Commission officials as observers for the elections. India's ambassador to Myanmar also observed the elections in Yangon region. "We congratulate the Myanmar Election Commission, the government and people of Myanmar on the peaceful and smooth manner in which elections appear to have been held," the official said. India's relationship with Myanmar has been boosted in recent months by visits to New Delhi by the president of Myanmar, the foreign minister, and a high-level parliamentary delegation. "As a close and friendly neighbor, India remains committed to extending all possible assistance and support to the process of national reconciliation and the further strengthening of democracy in Myanmar," he said.

Rahul Gandhi is likely to meet candidates who secured over 20,000 votes, newly-elected MLAs and MPs from the state. New Delhi: Did you get the support of Youth Congress? Did you get the support of NSUI? Of Seva Dal? Of AICC and PCC delegates? Of district Congress committee and city Congress committee? Of Mahila Congress? Reasons for defeat, names of party workers who did good work, suggestions for future ... These queries form part of the questionnaire issued by Congress to its 'performing candidates' for the review of Uttar Pradesh debacle, a move that could lead to fingers pointing at senior ministers and party managers. Rahul Gandhi is likely to meet candidates who secured over 20,000 votes, newly-elected MLAs and MPs from the state. The interaction is keenly awaited since the demoralized ranks are wondering what could be the way out for the crucial 2014 polls. Sources said the feedback would help Congress devise strategy for future battles, the

Record nuclear power output despite Kudankulam stir

Chennai: The stalling of the Kudankulam nuclear power project for nearly six months has not prevented the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, overseeing the controversial project, to surpass all records in electricity generation for the financial year 2011-12. The NPCIL, under which there are 19 nuclear reactors operating across the country, has produced 32,455 million units (MU) compared to 26,473MU produced last year-an increase of about 23%. NPCIL chairman S K Jain, in an official release, said, "The turnover of the company has increased to Rs 7,500 crore compared to Rs 6,000 crore last year. Among the nuclear plants, Tarapur Atomic Power Station unit-3 (TAPS-3) achieved a remarkable feat of a continuous operation for 522 days. It joined the fleet of 10 nuclear power reactors, which operated continuously for more than a year. Safety continued to be accorded highest priority in all the nuclear power reactors, and there were no incidents even while achieving the excellent operational performance."

US Commerce Secretary John Bryson visits Jaipur Foot

By Prakash Bhandari Jaipur: US Commerce Secretary John Bryson spotlighted the importance of deepening and broadening the US India bilateral relationship during a recent visit to the world famous Jaipur Foot, the world's largest prosthetic limb fitting organization here. Bryson is the first US secretary to visit Jaipur, demonstrating US strong commitment to fostering partnership throughout India. "After seeing the innovation at Jaipur Foot,which improves the quality of life for people worldwide,it is clear to me why people with big ideas want to come here and build here" said Bryson, adding that different people in each of India's regions have unique perspective and plans and I look forward to finding new ways to help business partner with leaders in places like Jaipur in order to strengthen India's infrastructure,drive innovation and promote more prosperity and more jobs for both of our countries". During the visit to Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata samiti (BMVSS) Jaipur Foot center, Bryson highlighted the partnership between the two countries in successfully applying innovative tech-

Kudankulam nuclear power plant After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the company conducted safety review of the existing operating nuclear power reactors and the reactors under construction and claimed that the reactors were safe from extreme natural events like earthquake and tsunami. "The achieved target included production from unit 1 of the Kudankulam plant. But unfortunately, the protests derailed our plans. But due to better performance of the other plants, we were able to meet the target," S A Bharadwaj, director NPCIL, told TOI.

US Commerce Secretary John Bryson with Dr. Mehta, founder and chief patron of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, at the Jaipur Foot manufacturing center. nologies for prosthesis manufactur- of BMVSS, the producers of Jaipur ing. The US research institutions Foot, Jaipur Knee and Jaipur Limb, like the Massachusetts Institute of explained him the manufacturing technology (MIT) and Stanford process. technical experts of the University are assisting in the com- Samiti. Dr MK Mathur and Dr mercialization of some of the tech- Pooja Mukul explained the technical nologies. aspects of the production. In case of MIT, Jaipur Foot is colBryson said he knows the miseries laborating with the university on the and pains of a handicap having seen development of an all-terrain wheel- his own uncle,who lost both of his chair that would improve the lives legs during the World War II and of many disabled people in the was hospitalized for three years in developing world. US. Jaipur Foot was established by The US secretary took a round of Dr. Mehta in 1975 with the objecthe manufacturing unit where Dr. tive of providing mobility and digniMehta, the founder and chief patron ty to the disabled.



April 7-13, 2012

Making inroads in the mainstream

New York: SONY Entertainment Television (SET) and SAB TV signs are now visible at many train stations in Metro Park, Edison, New Brunswick, Metuchen, Newark Penn, Newport Pavonia and even on buses plying these areas in New Jersey. The two TV channels recently embarked on an ambitious marketing campaign that brings a splash of color to the street with another large banner right in the heart of Mahatma Gandhi Square in Jersey City. The SAB TV message makes a bold splash announcing that the channel is now available free over-the-air in the New York Metro Area on Channel 23.4. Displaying their more popular programs ranging from I love My India, Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashmah, Chidiya Ghar, R.K. Laxman ki Duniya & Movers & Shakers, the channel has strategically placed signs in most Indian hot-spots. Jaideep Janakiram, SVP International Business-Head of North America, said, SAB TV

SONY and SAB TV make a splash on NJ streets

SAB TV on NJ Buses

SAB LADY Sign at Edison

SAB SARDAR Sign Metro Park

is Indias only comedy entertainment channel with the core brand promise of Asli Mazaa SAB ke Saath Aata Hai. Our objective is to add a smile to the viewers otherwise busy lifestyle. This initiative makes

it the first free-to-air channel in the NY metro and Dallas Fort Worth areas. All that viewers need to access the channel is a lowcost UHF antenna hooked to their TV sets.

SET at MetroPark

Tamasha culture show regales at Columbia

By Nupur Joshi New York: Once again students at Columbia University (CU) have proven that not only are they good in academics but are talented in the performing arts and event organization as well. On March 30, Club Zamana, a South Asian organization, held its well-known annual spring cultural show titled Tamasha: The Blackout. The club, initially called the Indian Students Association, has grown considerably since its foundation in the 1970s, especially in the past few years. This years show was one of the clubs best and was sold out by the night of the event. Tamasha was hosted by Vidur Kapur, a Kolkata-born comedian, and featured dance and vocal performances by groups both native to the university and from other universities across the country. Kapur did a commendable job of interacting with the audience. He successfully provoked laughter from the audience on multiple occasions by way of anecdotes regarding his parents and his homosexuality as well as by way of jokes regarding stereotypes associated with the South Asian community. The audience was also in awe of the performances by many of the dance groups. Notable performances included those by CU Bhangra, CU Raas, and CU Taal, among others. Both CU Bhangra and CU Raas made use of innovative choreography and tremendous energy. CU Taal effectively put a Western twist to the very traditional Indian dance forms of Bharatanatyam and Kathak while CU Jhatkas jhatkas and CU Dhooms great choice of music had the crowd at the edge of their seats. The show also featured vocal performances by CU Sur and Stanford Raagapella. Both capella groups performed in multiple languages and did a phenomenal job anticipating the audiences taste in music. The show attracted viewers of various ethnic backgrounds and age groups. In fact, the performing groups themselves were exceptionally diverse, showing the growing popularity of desi culture in America. Club Zamana does an outstanding job of raising cultural awareness at Columbia University through events such as Tamasha and hopes to continue doing so in the years to come.

(Clockwise from above) Performances by CU Bhangra, CU Raas and CU Taal. (Photos: Jasper L. Clyatt)


Ultimate Bollywood

April 7-13, 2012

'Kahaani' helps single screen theaters resurface

f Vidya Balan-starrer "Kahaani" has catapulted director Sujoy Ghosh into the big league, it has also benefited much-neglected single-screen theaters in the city that have done roaring business for three weeks now. "I personally feel that 'Kahaani' will do business worth Rs.3.15 crore to Rs.3.45 crore (over $670,000) in Kolkata. Bollywood films are hardly screened in rural areas, but the movie is really doing well in Kolkata and its outskirts," said Arijit Dutta, proprietor of Priya Cinemas and vice-president of the Film Federation of India. Ever since multiplexes came up in the city, the footfall at single screen theaters had thinned drastically. But Vidya's "Kahaani", the gripping tale of a

Vidya Balan in a scene from the film 'Kahaani.' woman in search of her husband, It's a boon for single-screen is such a hit that it is single- theaters which are suddenly handedly luring audiences to minting money. Some such thethese halls. aters are Jaya-1, Malancha, Elite,

Mitra, Ajanta-1, New Empire, Menoka and Ashoka. The price of tickets at Jaya-1 ranges from Rs.70 for the rear stall to Rs.110 for the balcony on week days. The price at Ajanta-1 ranges from Rs.60 to Rs.80 for the rear stall and Rs.100-120 for the balcony depending on show timings. " 'Kahaani' is doing very good. In the first week, the sale was 70 percent, in the second 85 percent and in the third week it's 75 percent. The movie is doing much better than other movies which have released around the same time," said Manik Bhowmick of Jaya cinema in Lake Town. "Kahaani" is set in the backdrop of Kolkata and Vidya plays a software programmer, who comes to the city from London in search of her husband, who is

the father of her unborn child. The thriller also features Bengali actor Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in prominent roles. Arijit Dutta, proprietor of Priya Cinemas and an actor himself, feels if a film is good it is bound to do well in single screens. "If a movie is good it is bound to do well in single screens because there are more single screens in West Bengal than multiplexes. Due to the high capacity of single screen theatres the footfall is much higher than multiplexes. The same thing happened with Salman Khan's 'Dabaang'," said Dutta. Released March 9, the film is going houseful in most places and the overall collection so far is Rs.54.55 crore.

Salman, SRK war of words continues

SRK chosen Yale's Chubb Fellow

ollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will join the roster of Yale University's Chubb Fellows, one of the Ivy League institution's highest honors, on April 12 for promoting human ideals through art. Through his films and his philanthropy Khan has been among his generation's most important examples of the power of art to promote higher human ideals and aspirations, the Chubb Fellowship noted. Chubb Fellowship roster has included heads of states, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders from every area of human endeavor who have inspired Yale students to see service to the public good as the

Chubb Fellows spend their time at Yale in close, informal contact with students and deliver a public lecture. highest calling to which a global citizen can aspire. Former Chubb Fellows include Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter;

authors Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes and Toni Morrison; filmmaker Sofia Coppola; architect Frank Gehry; choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov; and journalist Walter Cronkite. Established in 1936, through the generosity of Hendon Chubb (Yale College Class of 1895), the program is based in Timothy Dwight College, one of Yale's residential colleges. Each year three or four distinguished men and women have been appointed as visiting Chubb Fellows. Chubb Fellows spend their time at Yale in close, informal contact with students and deliver a public lecture.

Aishwaryaa miffed over Dhanush-Shruti closeness

Salman Khan with Shah Rukh Khan. hah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan don't seem to be ready to bury the hatchet yet, to go by their comments at two different events. Business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta organized a gala event last week to honor Sachin Tendulkar for scoring his 100th ton and invited several Bollywood stars, cricketers and politicians. From Aamir Khan to Salman to Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai - all big names from the film industry were present, but SRK was conspicuous by his absence. At the party, praising Sachin, Salman said: "I hope record ye toot jaye...koi na koi isse tod

de...main Aamir ka record bahut der se todney ki koshish kar raha hoon...toot hi nahin raha hai... "Sachin ke record todna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai...aur ye Don nahin main bol raha hoon. Aur bol bhi sakta hoon kyonki mera father (Salim Khan) ne likhi hai ye picture. Rights toh unhi ke paas ahin. Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) ne ki thi ye picture." Reacting to this, Shah Rukh told reporters Monday: "I get numb by the kind of stories I keep hearing about myself. I try not to take them seriously or comment about them." SRK was speaking at the unveiling of customer campaign for season five of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

he buzz in the industry is that Dhanush and Shruti's mindblowing chemistry on-screen is as a result of their reported closeness off screen - which has now supposedly caused a rift in his marriage. And it looks like it was the promotions of 3 that split their relationship wide open. "Numerous instances in the public forum over the last few weeks have lent credence to the fact that there are issues between the couple," says an industry source, "Dhanush, Shruti and Anirudh were on a radio show chatting away happily but the minute Aishwaryaa joined them, Dhanush feigned a headache and walked off the show." Some of the comments he has made about his director-wife in public have also allegedly not gone down well with her and fights have erupted as a result. At the premiere of "3" too, it looked like all was indeed not well with the couple. According to people present, Dhanush came in first followed by Shruti with whom he spent considerable time alone. When Aishwaryaa came in and the team stood for pictures, the two ladies, say witnesses, made it a point to look in opposite directions. Adds the source, "Dhanush is apparently doing his best at avoiding his wife in public and his closeness

The buzz is that Dhanush and Shruti's mindblowing chemistry on-screen is as a result of their reported closeness off screen. with Shruti has now become more evident for all to see. Aishwaryaa is said to be upset about the way Dhanush has been treating her." Meanwhile, we hear that Rajinikanth is also apparently upset with the domestic situation. Despite repeated attempts to contact Aishwaryaa and Dhanush, both of them remained unavailable for comment.

Ultimate Bollywood


April 7-13, 2012

'Housefull 2' packed with dirty dozen, laughter

un, frolic and laughter filmmaker Sajid Khan returns with all this in his "Housefull 2 - The Dirty Dozen". It promises to take the audience on a laughter ride when the film hits the screens this week. The director, who claims to make films from audience's point of views, has teamed up with Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh, known for their comic timing. And to spice up the cast, he also roped in John Abraham, Asin Thottumkal, Jacqueline Fernandez, Zarine Khan, Shazahn Padamsee and Shreyas Talpade. If this doesn't excite you, there is a team of old actors like Kapoor brothers - Randhir and Rishi as well as 1980s dancing

Max Mahadkar (John), Jai Bose (Shreyas) and Jwala Chaudhary (Riteish). All four of them cannot stand each other, but they are forced to live under one roof. The fun begins when they get married to four beautiful girls. Sunny marries Henna (Asin), Max marries Bobby (Jacqueline), Jai marries Parul (Shazahn) and Jwala marries drama-queen JLo (Zarine). Just when they thought of living a happily married life, their life takes a turn when their respective fathers-in-law arrive on the scene. Each father thinks he has the richest son-in-law, each wife thinks she has the richest hus-

A scene from Sajid Khan's 'Housefull 2 - The Dirty Dozen'. star Mithun Chakraborty. Boman In short, the film's cast is Irani, known for tickling audi- described as dirty dozen who are ence's funny bones, is also an here to tell the story of four conman - Sunny Sharma (Akshay), integral part of the cast.

band, while each son-in-law is pretending to be the richest. All the couples are invited to their fathers-in-law's house, and it turns out that they have to live in JLo's father JD's (Mithun Chakraborty) mansion. As they get inside the house, a title "Jolly" gets attached to their names. This is so because each father-in-law thinks that his sonin-law is called Jolly and hence kicks off a journey of hilarious situations and circumstances filled with confusion. Made at a budget of approximately Rs.45 crore, the film has been shot in Burghley House, Stamford Lincolnshire. The director also shot the film in London and Krabi, Thailand and it is getting a worldwide release.

Chitrangada uses Taylor Swift wins entertainer memories of sexual of the year award harassment in film
inger Taylor Swift has been named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. This is the second year in a row that Swift has got the award. "I am so happy about this. I want to say to my fellow nominees in this category, I respect you so much and I love you," she said while accepting the award. Swift beat Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton. Miranda Lambert won the award for the best album for "Four The Record", and also took home the prize for best female vocalist. Meanwhile, Swift, who was honored for her charity work by Michelle Obama, admits she was terrified at the prospect of meeting the US First Lady. Obama presented Swift with the big help award for her charity work at Kid's Choice Awards, and the 22-

Singer Taylor Swift with her award. year-old singer says she was very scared, reports

Jism2 shooting in Jaipur

By Prakash Bhandari Actor Chitrangada Singh.

few days ago, actor Chitrangada Singh finished shooting the climax sequence of Sudhir Mishras upcoming movie. Tentatively titled Inkaar, the film, also starring Arjun Rampal, revolves around sexual harassment at work places. And for her role, Chitrangada has taken cues from some of her own personal experiences. Since I spent most of my growing years in Delhi and Meerut, I have had my share of such experiences; a couple were really bad ones too, says Chitrangada, adding that most Indian women, especially those living in north India, have faced sexual harassment at some point of time in their lives. And I have mentioned north India because everyone is aware that that side of the country is a little aggressive by nature, she adds.

As part of her preparation, the Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003) actor also spent time talking to a few professionals who function in corporate set-ups, so she could understand the intricacies of sexual harassment cases and how women deal with returning to the same workplace after an incident. I got in touch with an HR head to comprehend the severity of such cases, and how harsh they are on someone who has been proven guilty, says the actor, adding that many women suffer in silence and dont come out in the open about such cases because of lack of evidence. I wanted to know what girls do in these situations and how the legal system handles this matter. Sometimes, justice isnt imparted to women because they choose to keep quiet. Probably, they believe their words will open a can of worms, she says.

ndo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone is currently in Jaipur shooting for upcoming movie Jism 2. She is shooting with Arunoday Singh and Randeep Hooda. This is Sunnys Bollywood debut and the film produced by Mahesh Bhatt is directed by his daughter Pooja Bhatt. It is the sequel to the 2006 movie directed by Amit Saxena. The film will be shot at Jaipur, Udaipur and Delhi. In Jaipur the film was being shot at a newly opened luxury resort Devi Ratn, which is a replica of Jantar Mantar, the world heritage site in Jaipur. I love this city and its truly historic in every sense. I am happy that the old monuments are preserved and this helps in tourism. I will see more of Jaipur in my month long stay at Jaipur, said Sunny relaxing in the company of Randeep and Dino Morea. Pooja Bhatt said the selection of the cast was done after consultation with her father. My father had seen Arunoday Singh in Jannat 2. He was kind of character my dad and I were looking for our film. Arunoday has the physical attributes and sensitivity needed to deliver what we expected from the role. Sunny Leone has potential as an actor and his porn star background did not influence us while we Porn star Sunny Leone has started shooting for Bhatts next

decided to cast her. We signed her after seeing her in Big Boss 5, said Pooja. Pooja played a key role in pursuing her father to have Sunny as the female lead in Jism 2. Yes I did push her case, but while finalizing the cast emotions do not figure. What is evaluated is how does a particular character fit into the role and we also evaluate how the person would deliver eventually when the film goes on floor, said Pooja. Karen Malhotra is Sunnys real name and while her father comes from Punjab, the mother is from Himachal. The porn star made her entry into the Bigg Boss House wearing the true lehnga choli. But in a promo shoot she appeared nude having covered her body with a while muslin sheet. She says if she succeeds as an actor, she will concentrate on Bollywood movies.


Art & Architecture

April 7-13, 2012

Forbidden Art: Small band keeping erotic legacy alive

Indian brown-skinned man who goes to France to live with his gay lover. However, at the beginning of the journey, the Indian hero foresees his death. In Paris, he discovers bath houses where he has several gay flings with men. The photoessay ends with the hero`s death outside the airport in Paris - the body lying sprawled with the Frenchman looking down on it. "The death of the hero in my photographs could be from poverty, HIV/AIDS or romantic love. In the original, the death was from nuclear holocaust," Gupta told reporters. Gupta, who is working on a photography project based on Alice Munro`s short stories, believes art with unconventional themes like alternative realities is part of the mainstream now. New wave artist Tejal Shah, who lives between Mumbai and Paris, has interpreted the lives of queer women in a project, "Queer Women Take a Holiday". It is a series of photographs of queer women with their faces blurred in the privacy of their surroundings. Last year she created a sensation in Germany with her portrayal of nude transsexuals and erotic collages. "Living in India has been a difficult proposition since it has been difficult for lesbian or transgender women to be out (visually) for varying reasons of safety that could lead to losing jobs, apartments and fracture further the relationship with families...," Shah says. Leading contemporary artist Mithu Sen studies aspects of sexuality, femininity, gender and society in her multimedia where human figures, anatomical specifics like teeth, hair and sexual organs are often juxtaposed with plants and animals. In her prize-winning conceptual work, "Black Candy", Sen translates "male psyche" on the canvas by capturing men in playful and intimate moods with sound installations. Bold references to sexuality and nude figures were found in early pioneer of contemporary art F.N. Souza`s art, inspired by Pablo Picasso, the 20th century master of dark eroticism. Artist Bhupen Khakhar, one of the iconic founders of the 1970s realistic movement in art who died in 2003, said "he had chosen homo-eroticism as a theme in art because he was gay". "For me, there is nothing unnatural about homosexuality," Khakhar said of his art. "What is happening now is that the body is central to political issues in which the body has become a fragile ecological entity. There has been a rethinking about the forms of human body and in looking at the female body," art curator Vidya Sivadas said. Depiction of same-sex love with explicit visuals are found in Vatsyayan`s "Kamasutra" that has a chapter devoted to alternative love with illustrations, says a translated version of the treatise in 1883 by Richard Burton. Alka Pande in her book, "Shringara", which explores the sensuous "rasa" as depicted in the history of Indian art, says "Indian mythology is replete with stories of the gods enjoying the intense amorous dalliances". It translates into early and medieval Hindu sculptures like those of the passionate ShivaParvati icons.

Photo essayist Sunil Gupta showcased "Sun City" about gay love across continents in India for the first time. small band of artists is ture". In the Victorian era, erotiexploring taboos of alter- cism was seen as a taboo in art, but native sexuality, erotic love it has revived after independence, and the body as a medium of the art historian said. One of India`s leading photoextreme expression of anger, passion and protest on the visual can- essayists, Sunil Gupta, showcased vas. They are keeping alive the "Sun City", a visual narrative about ancient legacy of eroticism in the gay love across continents in the country for the first time last week. Indian artistic tradition. Commissioned by the Centre "Sexuality has been a part of culture for hundreds of years in the Pompidou in Paris and funded by temple sculptures of Khajuraho the capital-based Vadehra Gallery, and in the visual portrayals of the photo essay with 10 frames is Krishna Leela," Sushma K. Bahl, a an interpretation of a 1962 science senior art critic, historian and fiction movie by Chris Marker, "La Jetee" or the "Jetty on the Pier" author, told reporters. Bahl said, "During the Mughal about the aftermath of holocaust, period, the bold depiction of time travel and death. human body in Indian art was Gupta has carried Marker`s replaced by more subtle portrayals theme of prophetic visions of death of women with the `zenana` cul- into a crossover story about an

Angkor Vat replica to come up in Bihar

bigger version of the famous 12th century Angkor Vat temple in Cambodia is set to come up in Bihar's Vaishali district. And with some help from corporate houses and rich Indians abroad, it aims to be the world's largest Hindu temple. The proposed temple will be named "Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir". It will house the idols of Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesh, Surya, Vishnu and the Dashavataram, the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. It will take up to five years to build and another five years will go into the finishing touches. Acharya Kishore Kunal, a retired police officer and the man behind the mega project, said it was initially decided that the temple would be built with public donations.

The Angkor Vat Temple in Cambodia "But now our plan has changed with likely financial help from business houses and rich men." Piyush Sompura, an Ahmedabad-based temple architect, has been roped in to design it. "We have decided to approach big names in the corporate sector in India and known businessmen of Indian origin settled abroad for financial assistance to build the world's largest Hindu temple,"

Sompura told IANS. "All big corporate houses and Indian origin businessmen abroad will be happy to be associated with this project," predicted Sompura, who has a personal rapport with many corporate houses in India and Indian origin businessmen in South Africa, the US, Britain, France, Germany and Russia. Sompura said it was a matter of pride for him to be associated with this project. "I will not only assist in the architectural design, I will also work to garner financial assistance from across the country and abroad," said Sompura, who belongs to the famous Sompura house, known as experts on temple architecture for centuries. Sompura said he will go for quality material from across the world for the temple. "This project is meant for cen-

turies to come, generations will feel proud of it. So there will be no compromise on quality," he said. Early this month, the 'bhumipujan' or foundation laying ceremony of the temple was conducted. To be built at a cost of Rs.100 crore, it would be a recreation of the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. "It will follow the architectural design of the Angkor Wat temples but it will not be the exact replica because our measurements vary from theirs," Kunal said. The five-story, 360-ft long, 360feet wide, 270-ft tall temple will be one of the tallest structures in the world, he said. "Land worth Rs.30 crore has been acquired," said Kunal, secretary of the cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust, which is building the temple.

Op Ed

19 April 7-13, 2012

The dangerous implications of India's N-romance

The age of insourcing

By Samar Halarnkar t may be hard to believe, but the US once tried to stop its citizens from drinking alcohol. During this age of prohibition in the 1920s, a time of gangsters, rum-runners, bootleggers and general chaos, a little five-man company called Master Lock was born in the city of Milwaukee. Federal authorities were locking bars and clubs, and they needed padlocks that could not be easily broken. Master Lock supplied government agents with these locks, laminated bank-vaultlike layers of solid steel, unlike the hollow locks of the period. Today, Master Lock (2010 sales: $3.2 billion) is the worlds biggest manufacturer of padlocks, building global markets from outsourced factories in Asia, particularly China. Recently, Master Lock took away 100 jobs from cheap Chinese contract labor and brought them back as full-time union jobs to Milwaukee. Now, when more than 12 million people are unemployed in a superpower wracked by selfdoubt and witness to the death of full-time blue-collar, unionized employment, 100 new jobs appear insignificant. Yet, the underlying trend that created these jobs should worry India (and, of course, China). Master Locks returned jobs have become something of a cause clbre for US President Barack Obama. Youve all heard enough about outsourcing, Obama said in a state-of-the-union address two months ago. Well, more and more companies like Master Lock are now insourcing. Theyre deciding that if the cost of doing business here is no longer much different than the cost of doing business in countries like China, theyd

The motivation behind India's nuclear romance is not the need for energy security, as the ruling establishment claims, but the overweening desire for big power status. By B.R.P. Bhaskar fforts are on to squelch the monthslong peaceful movement by villagers living in the neighborhood of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu which has delayed its commissioning. What brought the people out of their homes is the fear that the plant is a threat to their lives and livelihood. Repeated assertions by spokesmen of the national science and technology establishment, from former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam downwards, have not convinced them that the plant is accident-proof. Instead of talking to the people and addressing their concerns, the Government of India appears set to crush their movement using crude force. The arguments advanced by the official establishment to allay fears about the safety of the Kudankulam plant are irrational and unscientific, not to say dishonest. How can Abdul Kalam guarantee its safety when the Russian equipment suppliers are not ready to do so? In a bid to belittle fears of radiation emanating from the plant, the government points out in an advertisement placed in the newspapers, that the people are already exposed to radiation present in nature and used in medical treatment. It is absurd to cite the presence of natural radiation and its use for medicinal purposes to justify exposing the people to a possible nuclear catastrophe. One factor that complicates decision making on the Kudankulam project, the first stage of which is almost ready to be commissioned, is that the government has already spent about Rs.150 billion on it. When India signed an agreement with the Soviet Union in 1988 for setting up the project, the cost was estimated at Rs.40 billion. It shot up as a result of the inordinate delay in starting and completing the work, occasioned partly by the Soviet Union's collapse. But can a democratic government approach an issue involving people's lives and livelihood the way an auditor looks at a statement of expenditure? The argument that India cannot ensure energy security without nuclear power rests on questionable grounds. Currently nuclear power constitutes only three per cent of the country's energy requirement. Even if the projects conceived in the preFukushima period are implemented on time (which, going by the record, is most unlikely), the expectation is that nuclear plants will supply 25 per cent of the power by 2050. This means there is enough time to recast the energy plans in the light of current realities. The motivation behind India's nuclear romance is not the need for energy security, as the ruling establishment claims, but the overweening desire for big power status. Its achievements in the fields of nuclear and missile technology have generated a sense of pride not only in its scientific and technical personnel but in the nation as a whole. This sense of pride effectively camouflages the stark fact that very little original work is being done in the fields of science and technology. The Kudankulam line-up reveals the contours of a division within the country. Ranged on one side are various elements of the establishment: the central and state governments, the science and technology bureaucracy, the political parties, etc. On the other side are poor, marginalized people, backed by small, scattered groups of human rights defenders. A similar line-up can also be seen at other centers where nuclear plants are coming up as also at places all across the country where national or multinational corporations are trying to squeeze the poor people out to set up mega projects.

In the short-term, there are signs of revival in the US economy but is this momentum enough to push the US towards Obamas Made-in-America paradise? rather place their bets on America. Obama urges a reorientation of the US economy towards manufacturing. I dont want America to be a nation thats primarily known for financial speculation and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations, he said at a recent Insourcing American Jobs forum. I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words: Made in America. This is good rhetoric, but heres why it wont be easy: For a few decades now, the US has been making the transition to a services-based economy. Currently, US consumer spending is the weakest since World War II. About 8 million jobs were lost during the recession of the last decade. Skilled labor is declining, the skilled-labor workforce is aging, and wage growth is falling, depressing consumer spending. In the short-term, there are signs of revival nearly half a million manufacturing jobs have been added in the last 12 months, and manufacturing employment rose 31,000 in February but is this momentum enough to push the US towards Obamas Made-in-America paradise? Quietly, goaded by Obama, more companies are bringing jobs back to the US. Among them: Intel, Caterpillar, Ford, GE and Honda. The bets they are placing are still small, but so were the bets US companies placed on China for manufacturing and on India for information technology. India has already felt the backlash against IT outsourcing Infosys, TCS and Wipro plan to hire locals by the thousands in the US and if the made-inAmerica manufacturing idea catches on, there is reason to fear that the worlds largest market may turn its back on globalization. Either way, the US, which is doing distinctly better than Europe, will remain the worlds most important market for some time. China will overtake Japan and be the worlds second-largest consumer market by 2015, but it will still trail the US, says a BCG Consulting report. As insourcing gains momentum in what is the most important future destination for Indian manufactured goods, the window will close faster than we realize. Obama has launched the rhetoric that could reshape the US. Who will start the debate in India?

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



April 7-13, 2012

Is government serious about saving the Ganga?

Tibetan self immolations: is the world listening?

By Vijay Kranti ntil he became a burning sensation in the international media, the story of Jamphel Yeshi, 27, was no different from the few million Tibetans who live today in what Chinese leaders call a Socialist Haven or China's Tibet. He was one of those 10,000 odd young Tibetans who could smuggle themselves out of Tibet in recent years in search of better education or to find some breathing space for their suffocated souls. Like most of his fellow young compatriots in occupied Tibet, Jamphel too had never seen the Dalai Lama nor lived under what China brands the "feudal" rule of the "Dalai clique" that was dethroned by Mao's army 36 years before Jamphel was born. Jamphel quietly crossed over to India in 2007 and was going through a computer course in Delhi on the day he decided to take the extreme step of immolating himself during an anti-China, anti-Hu Jintao Tibetan rally near the Indian parliament. Hu is especially despised by Tibetan masses as the "Butcher of Lhasa". As the governor of Tibet, Hu used army tanks and armoured vehicles to effectively crush the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa in 1989. Three months later, it was the same "Lhasa Model" that was used by his seniors in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the Chinese youth's uprising against the Communist system. Jamphel was the 32nd in a chain of self immolations inside and out-

Last June, Swami Nigamanand gave up his life while fasting against rising pollution in the holy Ganga.
By Richa Sharma poned due to assembly elections and since then there has been no communique from the government. With no response from the prime minister, Rajendra Singh, Magsaysay award winner, and two other members resigned from the NGRBA in mid-March and are yet to get a response from the government. "The government has neither political will nor any executable plan. During the three and a half years of the NGRBA that was formed to restore the ancient place of pride and respect to the Ganga, it met only twice. Even the allocation of members' responsibility was not done, reflecting a non-serious attitude," Singh said. Last June, Swami Nigamanand gave up his life while fasting for over 75 days in Haridwar against rising pollution in the holy Ganga. Activists worry if the NGRBA will meet the same fate as the ambitious Ganga Action Plan (GAP) undertaken in 1985 by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

It establishes beyond doubt that resistance inside Tibet is alive and widespread even 61 years after the Chinese takeover side Tibet in past one year. On Wednesday, he became the 18th among the confirmed Tibetan deaths. The fate of the other 13 is known only to Chinese authorities. Following Jamphel's death, the government in New Delhi has, for obvious reasons, decided to further tighten measures to ensure a comfortable stay for Hu Jintao. Hu will soon return to China and the stink raised by the immolation is most likely to melt away in the flood of other important news. But Jamphel's moving inferno leaves behind some issues which may haunt a world community that expresses faith in democracy and civilised conduct. Just a few issues to ponder over: A long chain of self immolations by Tibetan youths, a majority of them monks and nuns, negates the oft repeated Chinese claims that everything is fine inside Tibet. Or that Tibetans love Chinese rule and despise the "feudal" Dalai Lama. At least 32 cases of self immolation by Tibetan youths and not a single case of stabbing, shooting, bombing or hostage taking against their colonial masters underlines the Tibetan people's deep faith in their leader Dalai Lama and his commitment to 'ahimsa' or Gandhian nonviolence. It establishes beyond doubt that resistance inside Tibet is alive and widespread even 61 years after the Chinese takeover and that the Dalai Lama is, perhaps, more popular that he was on the escape day to exile in 1959. Above all, Jamphel Yeshi has left the world community with a question: have we arrived at a stage where thousands of struggling communities across the world might lose faith in the efficacy of democratic and non-violent expression as a valid tool of conflict resolution?

he Ganga, deified by Hindus and intrinsic to its literature and lore while providing water to over 40 percent of India's population in 11 states, has become a victim of poor management, bad policy and lack of will by the government to save the river in the last 25 years, say experts. The government's apathy can be seen from the fact that the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) - a body constituted under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for cleaning the Ganga -- has met only twice since its inception in 2009. This despite the fact that all the seven members of the authority, having an annual budget of Rs.500 crore (100 milllion USD), unanimously wrote to the prime minister in November 2011 for holding a meeting and for allocation of responsibilities to them. The meeting was called in February this year but was post-

US move on Lashkar-e-Toiba: Better late than never

By Ravi M. Khanna he US move to announce a $10 million bounty on Pakistan-based planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is a huge step - huge for the US and its already tense relations with Pakistan and huge for India in several ways. The move brings to fruition India's diligent and meticulous efforts to convince the US over the last three years that Lashkar-e-Toiba is not only one of Pakistan's ISI assets often used against New Delhi, but that its tentacles are a lurking danger for the US and the whole world. It also vindicates several US senators including John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who with other US Congressional leaders have been urging the State Department to pressurize Pakistan to genuinely dismantle the group. Pakistan banned the group under the US pressure in 2002 but let its leader Hafiz Saeed roam around freely to spread poison against India and hide behind charitable institutions such as Jamat-ud-Dawa. The US move also proves what Washington always knew that it will not be able to keep on differentiating between Pakistan-based mili-

LeT leader Hafiz Saeed. tants who were attacking the US and other foreign forces in Afghanistan on the one hand and the ones staging terror attacks against India in Afghanistan and in India on the other. State Department officials were aware that one day it will become really hard to justify the difference, especially at a time when the US is leading the world in trying to eliminate terrorism. In the over three years following 26/11, there were a lot of discussions among think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, on how the US should also be concerned about the Lashkar militants just as it is about Al Qaeda

and the Taliban. They often spoke about how Washington has been pressing Islamabad to crack down on Al Qaeda and Taliban elements without applying the same pressure in the case of the Lashkar. Some experts felt it was because the State Department did not perceive Lashkar as a danger to the Americans. But some experts warned that Lashkar was not only anti-India but also anti-US. Several US officials told this writer before the Mumbai attack that they knew why Pakistan was not able to crack down on the Lashkar militants. The Lashkar, they said, was an asset Pakistan had used for terror attacks against India. So, they said, even the US can't pressure Pakistan to contain the Lashkar. The same reason applies to the Haqqani militant group that the ISI allegedly uses against Afghanistan. And then came the Mumbai attack that not only left several Americans dead but raised the possibilities of such attacks on five star hotels in Europe and the US. At the time, one expected that the perception about Lashkar will change in Washington. It did but only to an extent. US Congressional leaders were more vocal about the need to pressure Pakistan to dislodge Lashakar-e-Toiba and were ready to

even stop the US aid to Pakistan in case it did not seriously contain it. But the State Department pressed Pakistani leaders about it only in private while praising the Pakistani efforts in fighting terror in the public. Slowly, it also began saying in public that Pakistan was not doing enough to end terrorism on its soil, but without naming Lashkar. It seems the real game changer was the arrest of David Coleman Headley, nabbed in Chicago in 2010 with an accomplice and who admitted that he belongs to Lashkar. The revelation brought Lashkar squarely inside the US. As Headley was tried in Chicago, the buzz about Lashkar being a danger not only for India but also for the US became louder in Washington. In the US Congress, this writer attended several hearings held by Senate and House committees on how dangerous Lashkar could become for the Americans. India also increased its pressure on the US to share Headley's testimony with New Delhi, and allow Indian investigators to ask Headley some questions. The two things to watch in the coming days are: how it affects US relations with Pakistan, and how it deepens the cooperation on fighting terrorism between India and the US.



April 7-13, 2012

'Rogue Indians can destroy country's reputation in Ghana'

Accra (Ghana): A few rogue Indians can destroy the image of their countrymen, widely well regarded in Ghana, say police officials of the west African country, citing recent incidents of Indians figuring in the news for the wrong reasons. For Indians, who have long been seen as good ambassadors of their country in Ghana, especially when compared to their counterparts from some other nations, it is a warning bell. "It would just take a few cases to damage the image of the country. Last year, there was the case of some Indians arrested for engaging in human trafficking. Now we have a case of stealing which is not good for people who have long been seen as lawabiding ambassadors of their country," a Ghana Police Service official says. He was commenting on a recent warrant by an Accra Circuit Court for the arrest of two Indian nationals who have become the latest in the growing number of a few whose activities have come to dent the growing interest that Ghanaians have shown in the Indian government support for the country's development. The two, Jitendra Bhojwani Prakash Kumar and Rana Mansoor Ahmed Anjam, are to be arrested for allegedly stealing company property, including $102,000 in cash, two desktop computers, one laptop and one mobile phone, all valued at $105,700. The two had their pictures splashed in state-owned Daily Graphic and were described as wanted by police. This comes just days after Indian High Commissioner in Accra Rajinder Bhagat said India is trying to make Ghana a hub of Indo-Africa technology institutes.

Indian, Pakistani minors forcibly married in Britain

London: Up to 400 children, including from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, were coerced into or threatened with marriage in Britain last year, a government report has said. A girl aged five was the youngest victim, the Daily Mail reported citing figures from the Home Office's Forced Marriage Unit. Ministers are considering whether to bring in new laws to make it possible to prosecute families who compel children to marry. The maximum penalty could be two years in jail. The unit's head, Amy Cumming, said: "The youngest of these was actually five years old, so there are children involved in the practice across the school age range." Cumming said 29 percent of the cases the unit dealt with in 2011 were under the age of 18. The Home Office said most cases involved families from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and north and east Africa. There were over 1,500 cases in 2011, compared to 1,618 in 2008, 1,682 in 2009 and 1,735 in 2010. The cases frequently involve a girl being taken abroad, usually on the pretext of a holiday, then forced to marry a man they have never met in accordance with an arrangement reached by the two families. A Home Office spokesman said: "Forced marriage is an appalling form of abuse and we are determined to tackle it." Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said the government was working closely with charities and other organizations to make forced marriage "a thing of the past".

Indian victims of domestic violence in UK to get aid

London: Britain has changed immigration rules to ensure that migrant-spouses from India and other non-EU countries who become victims of domestic violence here are given access to public funds to help them escape abuse. Every year, many spouses holding Indian citizenship arrive in the UK to join their married partners, who are mostly British citizens of Indian-origin. Some of them face domestic violence soon after, and face considerable hardship to escape the situation and maintain themselves. Campaign group Southall Black Sisters and 26 other women's and human rights groups have hailed the change in rules as a victory. Until now, such foreign nationals did not have recourse to public funds. The Home Office announced

Anni Dewani seen happy before her murder: Report

London: Indian-origin bride Anni Dewani is seen beaming with happiness as she walks along a hotel corridor in Cape Town with husband Shrien just before her horrific contract killing, according to a new CCTV footage. Murder suspect Shrien's extradition to South Africa has been temporarily halted on mental health grounds. The CCTV image of November 2010 shows the casually-dressed couple on the morning of the killing, with Shrien carrying newspapers and a book, The Sun reported. Another footage shows the couple in the evening dressed for their night out. Shortly afterwards, they are seen posing with arms around each other in the hotel bar. Within a few hours, their taxi was hijacked by two gunmen who shot Taxi driver Zola Tongo, who drove the newlyweds to the area has admitted his part in the crime. He said in a plea agreement with prosecutors that Dewani ordered the carjacking and paid for a hit on his wife. Shrien's extradition to South Africa has now been halted on mental health grounds. Two High Court judges in London ruled it would be "unjust and oppressive" to order his removal. But they said it was plainly in the interests of justice that he should be extradited "as soon as he is fit" to be tried. Dewani, a resident of Bristol, denies any wrongdoing. He has been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. His lawyers say his life will be at risk if he is extradited.

that the new scheme targeted at such victims will assist foreign national spouses and partners who are victims of domestic violence. It provides victims, who would otherwise be destitute or have no access to public funds, with an avenue to escape abuse and access vital support services. The scheme, announced by Immigration minister Damian Green, follows a successful pilot scheme, the Sojourner Project, which helped 1,522 individuals.

Anni Dewani with husband Shrein Anni dead. Anni, 28, a resident of Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple were traveling in was hijacked in Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town. She was found dead in the abandoned vehicle with a bullet wound to her neck.

Three Indians arrested for smuggling drugs in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Three Indians have been arrested in Malaysia last week for trying to smuggle banned narcotic substances.In the first case, a 42-year-old Indian, who had worked as a cleaner at Kuala Lumpurs Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) a decade ago, was arrested for trying to smuggle in drugs concealed in a microwave. Kuala Lumpur International Airport Customs deputy director Siti Baya said the suspect, who arrived at the LCCT from Kolkata at around midnight last week, aroused suspicion when the box containing the microwave tipped the scales at over 10 kg. A microwave is not that heavy, so our officers checked the box and found the drugs (methamphetamine) hidden in a special compartment at the bottom of the box, she said. nother Indian national, who arrived on the same flight, was also detained when a suspicious image cropped up while his luggage was being scanned. Officers found 5.04 kg of methamphetamine hidden in the base of the bag. Siti Baya however said they believed the duo operated separately. A third Indian national, who was flying in from Bangalore, was caught at the LCCT passenger checkpoint on last Monday, following a scan of his luggage. The 51-year-old suspect, who was on his third visit to Malaysia, was found to be carrying some 3.98 kg of heroin.

'Dr Death' to appeal conviction of manslaughter in June

Brisbane: Lawyers representing Jayant Patel, an Indian-origin surgeon in Australia, will appeal against his conviction for manslaughter in a special sitting of the high court in Brisbane in June. The Supreme Court in Brisbane found Patel guilty of the manslaughter of Gerry Kemps, 77, James Phillips, 46, and Mervyn Morris, 75, as well as guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles, 62. Patel was jailed for seven years in July 2010. The convictions are related to his time as a surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital between March 2003 and April 2005, The Courier Mail reports. The high court of Australia published a list of matters on its website that will be heard in June. Patel's case was one of two listed to take place in Brisbane. According to the report, Patel took his case to the Court of Appeal in

Pakistan to protect Hindu temples

Islamabad: Pakistan is committed to protecting shrines belonging to minorities, a minister said Sunday, following a protest by Hindus over illegal occupation of a temple in Punjab. Minister-in-charge for National Harmony Paul Bhatti said all steps were being taken to maintain Hindu temples, Online news agency reported. More than 30 Hindus from Zafarwal in Narowal district protested in front of the National Press Club here to seek an end to the occupation of the temple. Bhatti said no one should be allowed to occupy places of worship of the minorities, and ordered authorities to resolve the issue at the earliest. "Inter-faith harmony can only be achieved through inter-faith relationship. We should have interactions to understand eachother's point of views," Bhatti said.

Indian origin surgeon Jayant Patel Brisbane early last year, where he sought to have his conviction overturned. The appeal was, however, dismissed. But Patel's legal team travelled to Canberra in February this year, where they were granted special leave to have an appeal heard before the full high court.



April 7-13, 2012

US can contact me anytime: LeT chief Saeed

Rawalpindi: One of Pakistan's most notorious extremists mocked the United States during a defiant media conference close to the country's military headquarters, a day after the US slapped a $10 million bounty on him. "I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me," said Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, referring to the fact that the bounty was given to a man whose whereabouts are not a mystery. "I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to." Analysts have said Pakistan is unlikely to arrest Saeed, founder of the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, because of his alleged links with the country's intelligence agency and the political danger of doing Washington's bidding in a country where anti-American sentiment is rampant. Saeed, 61, has been accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six American citizens. But he operates openly in Pakistan, giving public his increasingly "brazen" appearances. It also offered up to $2 million for Lashkar-e-Taiba's deputy leader, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, who is Saeed's brother-inlaw. The rewards marked a shift in the long-standing US calculation that going after the leadership of an organization used as a proxy by the Pakistani military against archenemy India would cause too much friction with the Pakistani government. This shift has occurred as the US-Pakistani relationship steadily deteriorated over the last year, and as the perception of Lashkar-eTaiba's potential threat to the West increased. The US may be hoping the bounty will force Pakistan to curb Saeed's activities, even if it isn't willing to arrest him. But the press conference he called at a hotel in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on was an indication that is unlikely, and the bounty may even help him by boosting his visibility.

Bounty on Saeed: Pak seeks evidence from US

Islamabad: Pakistan has sought "concrete evidence" from the US against top Jamaat-ud-Dawah leaders Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Abdul Rehman Makki following the announcement of bounties for them, saying this was necessary to "proceed legally" in the matter. "Pakistan would prefer to receive concrete evidence to proceed legally rather than to be engaging in a public discussion on this issue," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in response to the US bounties on Saeed and his deputy Makki. Basit further said that "in a democratic country like Pakistan, where judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny". He did not give further details. The cases of Saeed and Makki are unusual as both of them are not in hiding, unlike other terrorists for whom the US State Department has offered bounties under its Rewards for Justice program.

Hafiz Saeed, 61, has been accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, including six American citizens. speeches and appearing on TV talk Deputy Secretary of State Thomas shows. Nides met Pakistani Foreign He has used his high-profile sta- Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in the tus in recent months to lead a nearby capital, Islamabad, for talks protest movement against US about rebuilding the two nation's drone strikes and the resumption of relationship. In a brief statement, NATO supplies for troops in Nides did not mention the bounty Afghanistan sent through Pakistan. offer but reaffirmed America's The supplies were suspended in commitment to "work through" the November in retaliation for challenges bedeviling ties. American airstrikes that accidentalThe US said it issued the bounty ly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. for information leading to Saeed's Hours before Saeed spoke, US arrest and conviction in response to

US envoy in Pakistan for patch-up talks

Hafeez Shaikh. A United States official said joint statements would be issued but that no press conference was scheduled. Pakistan's parliament is debating recommendations designed to reset the relationship with the United States following a series of crises, notably the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May and the November air strikes. "As parliament approaches the conclusion of its policy review, given that parliament is still deliberating, we're prepared to discuss a full-range of issues," the US official said. US lawmakers voiced fury at the discovery of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden living in Pakistan, which had received $18 billion in aid for cooperation since the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was killed in a US special forces raid.

3,000 Sikhs to visit Pakistan on Baisakhi

US Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides. Islamabad: A top US diplomat was in Pakistan for talks designed to help reset the troubled alliance but likely to be overshadowed by a US bounty on a Pakistani wanted over the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Washington billed the visit by deputy secretary of State Tom Nides as the next step in reengagement after the two countries' relationship suffered badly over US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. Nides was due to hold talks with foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and finance minister Abdul

Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak which is now in Pakistan. Islamabad: Around 3,000 Sikh devotees from India will visit Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak which is now in Pakistan, to celebrate Baisakhi festival. Sikh devotees would travel via the Wagah border April 10 through three special trains, the Online news agency reported. Guru Nanak was born in Nankana Sahib on Baisakhi, April 15, 1469. Nankana town is part of Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province. Baisakhi would also be celebrated in the Gurdwara Panja Sahib for three days. Gurdwara Panja Sahib, situated in Hasan Abdal, around 50 km from Rawalpindi, is one of the most holy places of the Sikhs. The gurdwara has a rock believed to have the hand print of Guru Nanak. The devotees would also visit Gurdwara Sahib Sacha Sauda, at Chuharkana in Sheikhupura district -- the place where Guru Nanak fed a group of ascetics with a sum of Rs.20 his father had given him. Later, the Sikhs would also visit Aimanabad on a pilgrimage to Gurdwara Rori Sahib.

Sri Lanka keen to implement war commission report

Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has told parliament that it has no objection in implementing recommendations of a war commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The government stand has been to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), Xinhua quoted Petroleum Minister Susil Premjayantha as saying. He, however, said there were doubts if the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was really keen to see the report implemented or had other ideas. The UNHRC adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka last month calling for full implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Sri Lanka said it would not fully implement the recommendations as the commission had gone beyond its mandate in some areas. The government felt the UNHRC was attempting to lay the groundwork to take action against Sri Lankan political leaders and military officials over allegations of war crimes during the final stages of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels, said Premjayantha. Premjayantha told parliament that the government will not allow any foreign government or institution to conduct investigations in Sri Lanka.



April 7-13, 2012

Syria violence killed Russian charged with selling 80 people: Monitors classified maps to US
Moscow: A former Russian serviceman has been charged with selling classified maps of Russia to the US Defense Department. The Prosecutor General's Office has initiated a criminal case against Vladimir Lazar, a former serviceman with the Topographic Service of Russia's Armed Forces. Lazar has been charged with transferring secret data to a former fellow student, Alexander Lesment, who had been actively collaborating with US intelligence since 1994, a spokesperson said. In 2008, Lazar, acting on instructions from Lesment, bought optical discs containing more than 7,000 images of topographic maps of Russia from a collector. Later, he digitalised the data and sold it in Belarus through an intermediary. The transfer of this information could cause serious harm to Russia's security, the spokesperson said. "According to US Defense Department experts, the topographic maps contain data that include state secrets," the spokesperson said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that nearly 58 civilians were killed. Beirut: At least 80 people, mostly civilians, were killed as Syrian forces pressed their crackdown on dissent despite a truce pledge, monitors said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that a total of 58 civilians were killed, including 20 who died in military assaults and in fighting between troops and rebels in Taftanaz region of restive northwestern Idlib province. Another 15 civilians were killed when the army pounded rebel holdouts in the central city of Homs, while the remainder died in other flashpoints across the country, the Britain-based Observatory said. It added that 18 soldiers were killed in Homs, Idlib and the southern Daraa province, while four army deserters died in Idlib. A previous toll by the Observatory said 44 people were killed across Syria on Tuesday, including 31 civilians. The surge in violence comes despite a pledge by President Bashar al-Assad to UN-Arab League peace monitor Kofi Annan that he would "immediately" start pulling back his forces and complete a military withdrawal from urban areas by April 10. The Observatory has charged that the army is torching and looting rebel houses across the country in a campaign that could amount to crimes against humanity. The United States accused Assad of failing to honor his pledged troop withdrawal, as the UN said it was rushing a team to Damascus to pave the way for peace monitors.

Blast rocks Somalia theatre, several killed

Somalia: A suicide blast during a ceremony at Somalia's newly reopened national theatre killed at least 10 people, including two of the country's top sports officials, officials said. Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu's ambulance service, said at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded. The dead included the president of Somalia's Olympic committee and the president of its soccer federation, according to Shafici Mohyadin, the federation's secretary. A survivor of the blast said he feared few inside the theater escaped death or injury. The witness, Zakariye Osman, said he counted at least eight dead bodies. Osman's clothes were covered in blood as he spoke outside the theater.

US hopeful of reopening NATO supply to Afghanistan

Washington: Amid a crucial review of Pak-US ties by Pakistani lawmakers, the US expressed the hope that Islamabad would soon open the crucial supply NATO route to Afghanistan. "With respect to the ground supply routes into Afghanistan, we remain hopeful that those routes will be reopened in the near future, and discussions with the Pakistanis continue on a range of issues," Pentagon press secretary George Little said. The supply routes were closed last November after Pakistani soldiers were killed in a NATO cross border fire. On the issue of two American generals who recently traveled to Islamabad to hold talks with their Pakistani counterparts, Little said they had "a very good session" and are looking forward to future discussions. "The relationship with Pakistan remains very important to the United States and we're always looking for ways to explore further cooperation," Little told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.

Hacking row: Murdoch Jr quits TV giant

dal, James Murdoch, who quit as the executive chairman of News International in February, resigned as chairman of the BSkyB satellite broadcaster. James Murdoch, 39, is expected to face criticism in a report later this month by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, before which he deposed twice last year, once along with his father, Rupert Murdoch, to explain the phone-hacking imbroglio. Murdoch's media empire in Britain has since faced sustained criticism and inquiries. In November, over 40% of BSkyB's independent shareholders voted against or abstained from voting for James Murdoch's re-election to the board. Murdoch's resignation as chairman at a board meeting was confirmed by BSkyB this afternoon. He will continue on the broadcaster's board as a non-executive director.He is being replaced as chairman by Nicholas Ferguson, currently deputy chairman of BSkyB.

Yahoo cuts 2,000 jobs

Washington: Yahoo announced it will cut 2,000 jobs, about 14 percent of its workforce, as the troubled internet company struggles to turn around its fortunes. This could be the first of several rounds of cuts, CNN reported. Yahoo's new CEO Scott Thompson, who joined the company in January, plans to provide more information about his strategy during the company's first-quarter earnings announcement, scheduled April 17. In a written statement, Thompson said the cuts "are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate." Yahoo said its job cuts will save the company $375 million a year

James Murdoch. London: Hemmed in by inquiries related to the phone-hacking scan-

Kate, William join the Royals at Madame Tussauds

London: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined the Royals immortalized in wax at Madame Tussauds. Despite being mere wax models, William and Kate still created a buzz of excitement among the media as they were unveiled, The Telegraph reported. The couple have been introduced in the museum in a pose and setting taken from the day their engagement was announced at St James's Palace. William stands with his hands clasped in front of him and Kate, in her now famous blue Issa dress, smiling broadly next to him. Madame Tussauds is expecting the couple to be the most popular wax figures and they may even surpass interest in the Queen at the London attraction.

when they are completed. It expects to take a $125 million to $145 million charge this quarter for severance costs. Yahoo has retained a massive user base, but has lost its edge in nearly every field to newer, nimbler rivals. The company gave up on search in 2009, and it's losing ground in display advertising to new entrants to the market such as Google and Facebook.

Annan to visit Iran next week on Syria

Tehran: Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League's joint envoy, will visit Iran next week for holding talks on Syria, the Iranian foreign minister said. The visit, which was initially slated for last week, was postponed due to Annan's tight schedule related to Syria, Xinhua quoted Ali-Akbar Salehi as stating. Salehi said Annan would visit Iran the following week. But Annan's spokesman was later quoted as saying that the former UN chief did not have such a programme scheduled.There is a way out of the current crisis in Syria, but the Syrian issue should be handled with "patience," Salehi said last week.

Kate and William at Madame Tussauds, London.



April 7-13, 2012

TCS faces legal battle in US

Washington: India's largest IT outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) faces a legal battle after a US court granted approval for a class action lawsuit alleging systematic violations of non-US citizen Indian workers' rights in the US. California federal judge Claudia Wilken granted class-action status to the suit filed by two former employees who accused the company in 2006 of forcing all nonUS-citizen workers to sign over their US federal and state tax refund checks to the company. Tata also deducted their Indian wages from their compensation, the suit filed by Gopi Vedachalam and Kangana Beri alleged. The judge authorized one national class of plaintiffs, comprised of non-US citizens who worked at the company between 2002 and 2005, to sue for contract violations. The court certified a separate class of employees to bring claims under California labor laws. "More than 10,000 current and former Indian nationals working for Tata in America now may have their day in court," Kelly Dermody, a lead attorney for the employees, said in a statement. However, TCS termed it as a procedural matter, saying the order of the court does not address the merit of the case. "TCS continues to believe that when this matter concludes, the court will find that the plaintiff's claims are without any merit," a TCS spokesman said. "I am very happy with the Court's decision today. It means that my former colleagues and I are one step closer to holding Tata accountable," Vedachalam said in a statement issued by his attorney.

Eurozone to return to modest growth soon

Paris: The eurozone, which entered a short recession in late 2011, will return to modest growth in the spring of 2012, official institutes from France, Germany and Italy forecast. The three statistics agencies, which offer a joint assessment of the eurozone economy every quarter, confirmed an earlier outlook of a 0.2 percent contraction in the first quarter of 2012 after a 0.3 percent contraction in the final quarter of 2011. For the third quarter of this year, the three institutes forecast stagnation, followed by a slim 0.1 percent expansion in the fourth quarter.

California federal judge Claudia Wilken granted class-action status to the suit filed by two former TCS employees.

Kim seeks Indias support for WB top job

New Delhi: Jim Yong Kim, the US nominee for the World Bank president's post, made a round of the Indian Capital to garner support for his candidature. The South Korea-born Kim, who met PM Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, did not get an assurance from the Indian government although the scale seem firmly tilted in the US nominee's favor. "The discussion was mostly around India's expectations at this crucial juncture when the world economy seems to be showing signs of revival," said a source privy to the discussions. Kim has received the backing of Japan and given the rift between the BRICS members and Europe's tacit agreement with the US, he is the front-runner in the threepronged race. The others in the

India to become third largest aviation market

New Delhi: India is likely to become the third largest aviation market in the world from its current position as traffic volumes grow exponentially, a top official said. "The growth of civil aviation is likely to push India from ninth to third position in the world in terms of volume of traffic, necessitating a very strong security system," said Gurjot Singh Malhi, commissioner of security (Civil Aviation), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). He was speaking at an event marking the silver jubilee of the bureau where a commemorative special cover was also issued by the Department of Posts. "The bureau has endeavored to help equip stake-holders responsible for the aviation security in the country with cutting edge technology, skill enhancement of security personnel, training in use of advanced technology and acquisition of security equipment," he said. According to Malhi, the BCAS had identified key focus areas which included identification of dangerous objects, difficulties in differentiating between harmful and harmless organic objects and detection of liquid aerosol gel to ensure civil aviation security. The Economic Survey presented in parliament by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee March 15 said that

Jim Yong Kim fray are Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian national and a professor at Columbia University and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister. If the US nominee wins the battle, it will continue the tradition of an American heading the World Bank, while an European leads the IMF.

The civil aviation sector had grown at 18.5 percent in the last seven years. the civil aviation sector had grown at 18.5 percent in the last seven years. The survey said domestic passenger traffic handled at Indian airports increased by 19.4 percent to 108.1 million during January-November, 2011 from 90.5 million in the corresponding period of previous year. "International passenger traffic and cargo handled at Indian airports grew by 7.7 percent during January-November 2011 and was placed at 33.6 million passengers and 1.4 metric million tonnes of cargo," the survey said.

Honda zooms past 'Hamara Bajaj'

New Delhi: It is one of the biggest upsets in the Indian two-wheeler industry. Within just over a year of going solo in India, Japanese giant Honda has beaten 'Hamara Bajaj' with a comprehensive lead to emerge as the second-biggest two-wheeler maker, behind Hero MotoCorp (erstwhile Hero Honda) of the Munjals. Honda sells two-wheelers through Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) after the split with Munjals. It has been aggressively ramping up production as well as sales, both in scooters and motorcycles. Bajaj, on the other hand, has been launching products only in motorcycles as its managing director Rajiv Bajaj has made a conscious decision to bid adieu to the erstwhile bread-and-butter scooter segment. According to industry

IMF chief calls on US for more cash

Washington: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde implored the United States to help back-stop debtridden European countries, wading neck-deep into bubbling US political waters. Speaking in the US capital, Lagarde said the 187-nation International Monetary Fund needed more firepower to tackle financial crises raging around the globe, arguing it was in the US interest to pitch in and help Europe. "Americans might ask themselves: why should what happens in the rest of the world concern us? Don't we have our own problems?" she said, according to prepared remarks. "The answer is simple: In today's world, we cannot afford the luxury of staying in our own mental backyards." "If the European economy falters, the American recovery and American jobs would be in jeopardy. So America has a large stake in how Europe fare -- and how the world fares." Legarde's comments came 64 years to the day after president Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan, an unprecedented loan to rebuild postwar Europe. But her comments will be anathema to politicians in Washington, as the country hurtles toward elections this November. US officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have for months trod a thin line between supporting the IMF's efforts to bolster its resources and actually kicking in some more cash.

Japanese giant Honda has beaten 'Hamara Bajaj' with a comprehensive lead to emerge as the second-biggest two-wheeler maker.
sources, HMSI sold 2,12,812 units in March, while Bajaj could manage 2,10,383 units. HMSI had been taking pot shots at Bajaj's position for sometime now and is even believed to have surged past the Indian company once earlier, though it could not maintain the lead.



April 7-13, 2012

Mumbai Indians cruise to victory in IPL opener

Chennai: A 35-ball 50 (6x4, 3x6) by opener Richard Levi powered Mumbai Indians to an eight-wicket victory against defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the opening fixture of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League. There was hardly a false note in the Mumbai Indians performance as they dismissed the Super Kings for 112 in 19.5 overs with Suresh Raina (36, 26b, 2x4, 1x6) playing a lone hand before Levi paved the way with a blistering innings as the visitors reached the target in 16.5 overs. The only bright moments for the Super Kings, besides Raina's sparkling knock, was the hostile fast bowling by Aussie Doug Bollinger who sent back Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar in one over. Bollinger first struck Rohit Sharma on the box and then had him caught behind off the next delivery. Two balls later, he forced an ominously in-form Tendulkar (16, 15b, 1x4, 1x6) to retire after

Paes hits a half-century with Miami win

Bangalore: The red-hot pairing of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, seeded seventh, claimed their second title of the season, winning the ATP Masters event in Miami. It was a double celebration for the Indo-Czech pair as the win gave the Mumbai-based Paes a milestone 50th title. After blasting past the world No.1 pairing of Americans Bob and Mike Bryan in the semifinals, Paes and Stepanek gave a sublime performance to score a 3-6, 61, 10-8 win over Belarus' Max Mirnyi and Canada's Daniel Nestor. Paes, who became the 24th player in ATP Tour history to complete 50 doubles titles, claimed $24,270 in prize money and 250 points. "It's really, really special. 50 tournaments takes a little doing, 600 matches takes a little bit of doing," said Paes . The 38-year-old Paes also collected his third straight crown in Miami, having triumphed with Lukas Dlouhy in 2010 and Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011. Paes said, "It is awesome to have managed a three-peat here in Miami. Paes' next assignment is India's

Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek with the trophy. Davis Cup Asia-Oceania second round clash against Uzbekistan from April 6 to 8 on indoor clay at Namangan's sports complex. Paes will partner Bangalore's Rohan Bopanna in the doubles while Delhi boy Yuki Bhambri, ranked 263, will lead the singles line-up.

Sachin Tendulkar in action against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL-5. hitting the maestro on the fingers with a snorter. The sudden exit of three top batsmen put the brakes on the Mumbai Indians' chase, but Ambatti Rayudu (18 not out) and James Franklin (25 not out) played sensibly to guide the 2011 Champions League winners home. It was South African Levi who provided the early momentum to the Mumbai chase with a characteristic knock that was studded with powerful hits before he holed out off Dwayne Bravo soon after reaching his half-century.

Rivals expect Tiger to roar at Masters again

Augusta (Georgia): Tiger Woods has recovered the form that brought him 14 major titles and rivals at the 76th Masters expect him to produce roars from the crowd and at least a hint of his once-invulnerable aura. Woods snapped a 2 1/2-year US PGA win drought two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first tour-level triumph since the infamous 2009 sex scandal that rocked the golf world and destroyed his iconic marketing image. "It was a huge win for him to be successful this week," three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson said. "He's going to have a great week. To have won heading into this week gives him a lot of confidence. Sucks for us." Woods, chasing the record 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won a major crown since the 2008 US Open, when he limped through a playoff to beat Rocco Mediate, and has not won a Masters since taking his fourth in 2005.

IPL-5 rides high on glamour quotient

Chennai: From a bevy of Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor, as also US singer Katy Perry, the glamour quotient dominated the glitzy opening ceremony of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the YMCA Ground here. In his signature baritone, Bachchan set the stage alive with a heartwarming poem written by lyricist Prasoon Joshi. This was the actor's first stage appearance after undergoing abdominal surgery. He looked hale and hearty as he came on stage dressed in velvet coat and trousers, to recite "Janam Yadhi Phir Se Mile". The 69-year-old was accompanied by dancers from the Shiamak Davar troupe, who described the essence of the poem through their performance. His routine was followed by opened her act with her popular song "Aaj ki raat". She did away with her skirt for a sporty look as she was pulled up in the air with a harness for an aerial act on the "Don" tune. The 29-yearold mesmerized the audience with her confidence, and landed on the stage for a power-packed dance on the number "Dhantanaa" from the film "Kaminey". She moved around in the audience, and urged the front row members, including Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh, to dance. Bhajji, as the latter is lovingly called, was sporting enough to get up and join her for a jig. Later, Priyanka took to the stage again to interact with the cricketers of title holders Chennai Super Kings, who are led by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. She pulled Dhoni's leg, and asked the boys to join her for a dance on hit Tamil song "Nakka mukka". Kareena Kapoor then stole many hearts when she danced to her chartbuster "Chhamak chhallo" and swayed to "Dil mera muft ka" but the cherry on the cake was her warm "Vanakkam". Kareena set the stage on fire with "Chhammak chhallo", "Pyaar ki pungi", her latest mujra number "Dil mera muft ka" and grooved to some remixed versions of her songs like "Yeh ishq haaye", "Teri meri prem kahaani" and "Criminal". India's very own Michael Jackson, Prabhu Deva, performed some scintillating dance numbers as well. The audience's enthusiasm went up to the next level as the Tamil superstar performed his signature moves to songs like "Main aisa kyun hun" from "Lakshya" and "Tera hi jalwa" from "Wanted" in his hometown.

Actor Priyanka Chopra performing on-stage during the IPL-5 opening ceremony. Colonial Cousins, DJ Ravi Drums she went up in the air during her and Soth African percussionist performance, and got cricketer group 1st Project who mesmerized Harbhajan Singh to dance a little jig with her. with their peppy numbers. Looking chic in a black and white Bollywood's "junglee billi" Priyanka Chopra then took the sequined top, black pants and a red packed audience by surprise when wrap-around skirt, the actress



April 7-13, 2012

Cherries, the new superfruit Tobacco major cause of cancer deaths: Study

ealth experts in Kerala are hoping that a nationwide cancer mortality study which underscores the massive health burden of tobacco will galvanise the state and central governments into action and prevent hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths every year. Tobacco use is estimated to have caused nearly 120,000 deaths across India in 2010, according to research carried out by the Toronto-based Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) in partnership with Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital. Nearly 600,000 Indians die of cancer every year - over seven in 10 deaths (71 percent) takes place in the 30-69 age group, the most productive period of a person's life, says the report published in the latest issue of the Lancet medical journal. The study points out that Kerala had among the highest age standardised cancer mortality rates per 100,000 for men in the 30-69 age group (158.5 for all cancers and 53.9 for tobacco-related cancers). The cumulative risk for a man dying from cancer in Kerala before the age of 70 was estimated at 7.6 percent, the third highest after the northeastern states. Among women in Kerala the age standardised cancer mortality rates per 100,000 was measured at 90.3 for

Millions of people worldwide are at increased risk for cancer mortality caused by tobacco. all cancers, 16.8 for tobacco-related cancers and 11.1 for cervical cancer, with the cumulative risk estimated at 4.3 per cent. Paul Sebastian, director, Regional Cancer Centre said this landmark study suggests that significant social and economic gains could be achieved by effective cancer prevention and early detection strategies. "These should include tobacco control particularly through higher taxation of tobacco products, vaccination against hepatitis B, cervical cancer screening and early detection of oral and breast cancer. Such a strategy would be able to reduce cancer death significantly," said Sebastian.Satheesan Balasubramanian, director of the Thalassery-based Malabar Cancer Centre (MCC), believes that in order to prevent tobacco-related cancer mortalities in working age, it is vital that anti-tobacco messages target youngsters.

ove over your pomegranates fixation. Overlooked for long, luscious and juicy cherries could be the next superfruit. Not only are cherries high in antioxidants, many studies suggest the fruit could also be used to provide relief from pain and inflammation, serve as a sleep aid and become useful in sports nutrition. A report by market research group Euromonitor published last week, vaunts the health benefits of cherries and suggests it could be the next big flavour in functional foods that come with health claims. According to ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which

measures the antioxidants in foods, for instance, fresh tart cherries contain more free radical-busting agents than strawberries. Fresh cherries have also been shown to help the body excrete excess uric acid which causes gout, while their phytochemicals may help combat inflammation responsible for arthritic pain, the report points out. Tart cherries have also been found to contain high levels of melatonin a naturally occurring compound that helps regulate sleep cycles. In a 2011 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers concluded that the ingestion of tart cherry concentrate improved sleep duration

The antioxidants in cherries help reduce muscle damage.

and quality in healthy men and women. The fruits high antioxidant content also helps reduce muscle damage caused by intense strength exercise, helps speed up post-exercise recovery and improves performance. Cherry juice could prove to become a market rival for other red superfruit juices.

Laugh your way to good health!

n a breezy Sunday morning at in Sector 29 on Sunday they gather for Leisure Valley Park in Sector 29, Dr two consecutive sessions of 45 minutes Umesh Sahgal breaks into consecueach, free of cost. tive lung-filling roaring lion laughs. On a President of Delhi Laughter Club, Dr cue, the 60-odd people sitting in front of Umesh Sahgal, played a vital role in estabhim repeat the performance in unison, only lishing the club in Gurgaon. with a higher decibel level. Exercise has always been seen a solution Welcome to Laughter Together , a to prevent many modern-day ailments like Gurgaon-based laughter club formed by resstress, depression, gastric acidity, ulcers, idents of DLF City. The club, formed Laughter has often blood pressure, asthma, allergy, diabetes and around two months ago, aims at spreading been called the best obesity. What we do is not much different medicine. laughter among more and more people. from yoga. Here we do yoga while standing As of now, the club has 60 members, most of them in and by not being so serious, explains Sahgal. the age group of 40-60. They regularly perform yoga, When laughter is combined with exercising, it multibreathing exercises, mock laughter, lions laugh, sky plies the impact and heals pain quickly. It has mental walk, bow and arrow laugh, holy walk, self laugh and benefits, apart from physical advantages, he added. roller coaster laugh in unison. The club has kindled a ray of hope to live a happy life Thrice a week at J Block Park in DLF City Phase 2 among many. Usha Sehgal, a senior citizen, who used to on Wednesday and Saturday and at Leisure Valley Park be depressed, now feels cheerful.



April 7-13, 2012

Sound of music once more on Indian TV channels

elevision music channels in India were long ago taken over by adventure, love and fashion-based reality shows. But melody is slowly making a comeback on the small screen thanks to new channels that are offering Bollywood numbers from different eras 24X7. Sony MIX, 9XM and the newly-launched 9X Jalwa are among those bringing back music to Indian television while focussing on film numbers. The 9X network, which was already playing latest Hindi music on 9XM, non-stop Punjabi music channel on 9X Tashan and Marathi music on 9X Jhakaas, has launched 9X Jalwa, dedicated to music from the 1960s to early 2000. There was a "huge demand among viewers for melodious Bollywood music", Amar Tidke, head (programming) and senior vice president, 9X Media Pvt. Ltd, told IANS. "But then there was no channel that played these timeless Bollywood hits through the day." In the 1990s, youth would tune into MTV and Channel V to satiate their music thirst.

Newly introduced 9X Jalwa is helping bring back old Indian music. But over time these channels went beyond music with shows like "Roadies", "Splitsvilla" and "Dare 2 Date", forcing youth to turn to the radio for music. It is this music space that the new channels are hoping to tap on TV. "Television puts the context to a song; it's a medium used by viewers to discover a song. Also, viewers first like to see the visuals and the elements that make the song familiar and this is possible on the television medium. "Radio, on the other hand, is the medium that creates the immediate connect of the listener to the song after it has been played on television," he added.

Other existing music channels include Sony MIX, B4U Music, Mastii and MTunes. Some pep it up with animated characters, while some offer time bands catering to different age groups. Explaining the rationale behind launching Sony MIX, a pure music channel, Neeraj Vyas, its executive vice president and business head, said: "At the network level, music was a natural extension for MSM India. We have amazing brands in the genres of general entertainment, movies and comedy. Hence, with music we found our fourth pillar." So while some channels play old classics at night, some play latest hits, and others play evergreen numbers throughout the day, one wonders what's a heady mix for a good music channel? "A good music channel is one where everyone finds their favourites at their own suitable time," said Vyas. "So we selected the best of music from across all eras and scheduled it as per the genre's audience profile. We did extensive research to identify the audience profiles, which indicated that while youth was big on

music channels during the daylight hours, it was the senior target group of 25-44 years that sought music in the night," he added, elucidating on the channel's content strategy. Besides, as Tidke puts it, "the success of Bollywood music across the globe is research enough for any music channel to focus on music." According to Pritika Majumdar, 25, it is extremely relaxing to tune into a music channel at night, especially after a hard day at work. "Who has the patience to watch all the drama and crying on TV after a working day? It's best to put on some music on TV. It also helps me remain updated on the latest songs in upcoming films," said Majumdar. For 68-year-old Rajesh Khurana, the old melodies on music channels bring nostalgia. "There are such beautiful, old, romantic numbers that are played on these music channels at night. When I watch them at night with my wife, it brings back fond memories of our younger days. The beauty and simplicity of those songs are unmatched," he said.

Levi's unveils 'waterless' jeans for spring

oinciding with the World Water Day, global apparel brand Levi's Strauss & Co. unveiled its 'waterless' jeans collection for this year's spring season on March 29. "We have reduced water consumption in the finishing process by reducing the number of washing machine cycles, incorporating ozone processing into garment washing and removing water from stone wash," Levi's vice-president for global merchandising and design Erik Joule said in a statement here. The US jeans major has teamed up with to raise awareness for conserving water and make it accessible to a billion people who don't get clean drinking water the world over. "An average pair of jeans uses 42 litres of water in the finishing process. We have reduced the use of

Teens keeping late nights might be into risky behavior

hirty-six percent of teens, especially 15-year-old boys and girls, don't tell parents where they were at night, even though they might be into in risky behavior such as smoking or drinking, a study reveals. The finding is based on a longterm study of 40,000 British households, which asked more than 2,000 teenagers aged 10 to 15 years how frequently they stayed out past 9.00 p.m., without telling their parents. Researcher Maria Iacovou, from the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, who analysed the data, said: "Staying out late does not cause young people to smoke and drink, but regularly staying out late without telling their parents where they

Levi's saved 172 million liters of water in producing 13 millions pairs of jeans. water in the waterless jeans by 96 percent. As a result, we were able to save 172 million liters of water for producing 13 million jeans pairs," Joule said. As more water is used caring for jeans every time they are washed at home, the company's research showed that during the lifecycle of a pair of its jeans, the largest water impact came from the cotton growing process and through the laundry habits of consumers.

Earlier curfews for teens may be deterrents against bad behavior. are is symptomatic of a young person with underlying problems." The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), also found that staying out late, without telling your parents, may be affected by the quality of the emotional relationship the child has with their parents, according to an university state-

ment. Regularly staying out late is linked with visiting pubs or bars more often; with frequency of alcohol consumption; with smoking, and with cannabis use. Sixty-four percent of 15-year-old girls who stay out frequently past 9 p.m., without their parent's knowledge, consumed alcohol more than once in the last month, compared with only 25 percent of girls who hadn't stayed out in the past month. Eighteen percent of the teenage girls who have not stayed out past 9 p.m. smoked. This rises to 51 percent among girls who stay out frequently. Five times more boys who frequently stay out late, report ever having used cannabis, compared to boys who do not stay out late.

One out of 30 babies born in US is a twin

omen conceiving at older ages, thanks to the availability of fertility treatments, has spurred the birth of twins. In 2009, one in every 30 babies born in the US was a twin compared with one in every 53 in 1980, according to a new finding by Michigan State University researchers. "Prior to 1980, the incidence of US twin births was stable at about two percent of all births, but it has risen dramatically in the past three decades," said Barbara Luke from Michigan state. She noted that twin births increased for women of all ages, with the largest increases among women aged 30 and older. "Older maternal age accounts for about one-

The incidence rate for twins has risen dramatically since 1980. third of the rise, and twothirds is due to the increased use of fertility treatments," added Luke. Those fertility-enhancing therapies include both assisted reproductive technologies and ovulation stimulation medications. About 12 per-

cent of US women have had fertility therapies, according to a statement of Michigan State. "With multiple births though there are greater health risks," said Luke, researcher in the College of Human Medicine's Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology at Michigan. "Continued research is necessary to improve outcomes." Luke, who first reported the numbers in a report with Joyce Martin of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that births for triplets and higher numbers also grew: one in every 651 babies in 2009 compared with one in 2,702 in 1980.

A third of men on Facebook provoke others

omen spend 81 minutes times per day; women write daily on Facebook, writmore about emotions and relaing more about emotions tionships; 70 percent log in every and relationships, while men devottime they start their computer or ed 64 minutes per day. What's web reader; 26 percent feel ill at more, a third of male respondents ease if they do not get to log in reported provoking others on the regularly, 67 percent of young site - about twice the figure for users use Facebook to kill time; women, says a new study. 38 percent share negative inforOne quarter of the respondents mation in their status updates, Men and women both use Facebook to brag. People with according to a Gothenburg stateaverage over an hour on low income or low education in the ment. Facebook per day. surveyed group, who spend more Facebook is a habit-forming time on Facebook, also felt less happy and con- activity, 85 percent of the respondents use tent with their lives. Facebook as part of their daily routine. Almost These are some of the results of Sweden's half of them indicated that it is difficult to stay largest Facebook study ever, involving more updated and on top of things without Facebook, than 1,000 people in the 18-73 year group from and one quarter responded that they would feel June to September 2011, a project led by Leif ill at ease if they didn't get to log in on a regular Denti, doctoral student of psychology at the basis. "Facebooking may become an unconUniversity of Gothenburg. scious habit. A majority of the respondents log in The study found that the average user spends every time they start their web browser. This 75 minutes daily on Facebook, logging on 6.1 may even develop into an addiction," says Denti.



April 7-13, 2012

Humor with Melvin Durai

n a highway in Chennai, I pass a luxury bus with the words 'Incredible India' emblazoned across its side. Underneath, in smaller letters, is an explanation that some genius in the tourism department found necessary to include: 'The mantra to woo tourists.' India is indeed incredible. And if you don't believe me, just ask some of the tourists who have been successfully wooed. British tourist, wiping his brow at a juice stand in Bangalore: 'It's incredible how hot it is over here.' American tourist, sitting in an auto-rickshaw in Mumbai: 'It's incredible how unruly the traffic is.' Australian tourist, relaxing on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala: 'It's incredible how few crocodiles there are.' India is incredible in many other ways, of course. It's a country where you'll find incredible poverty and also incredible wealth. Some of the world's richest people live in India, the type of folks who would wonder how Bill and Hillary Clinton managed to spend only $3 million on their daughter Chelsea's wedding -didn't they buy enough diamond and gold jewelry to put around the necks of the elephants? Didn't they spend a few million to ensure that a dozen Bollywood stars made appearances,

It's incredible how incredible India is

the street.' (But I'm still confused about the part that said, 'It's impolite to stare.') Very few of India's retail outlets are franchises -- most are independent businesses. McDonald's, like other fast food chains, has expanded to India, but you won't find the golden arches in every neighborhood -- not yet, at least -- and that's a good thing. I don't miss having a Big Mac, not when I can have a Big Dosa. I ordered an incredibly big dosa at one restaurant and, being a little careless while handling it, almost knocked over the man in the next table. Many a fight has been started by a poorly handled dosa. It's incredible what you'll see on the streets of India. The other day, I saw a man washing clothes on the side of a street, another man ironing clothes, and a third man standing in his underwear, saying, 'Hurry up! I'm going to be late for my interview!'

not to mention a former U.S. president? India's wealth is evident in the huge houses you'll see in many neighborhoods and the coterie of servants that the well-to-do employ. If you're lucky enough to be rich in India, you'll have someone to do your cooking, someone to do your cleaning, someone to write love letters to your wife. (A man can dream, can't he?) But you don't have to be rich to have domestic help in India. Even some of the maids have maids. What's truly incredible is the number of businesses in India. You'll find stores and stands on the side of almost every street in the city, most operated by smalltime entrepreneurs. Now I know what the tourism guidebook meant when it said, 'Don't be surprised if you spot a few people doing their 'business' on

I've seen young women wearing burkas -with only their eyes visible -- and also young women wearing short skirts. And you'll never guess which of the women were listening to Justin Bieber on their iPods. It's incredible how much progress India has made in the last decade or so. You can see it almost everywhere. The economy is churning, people are earning, and rupees they are burning. The people who rode bicycles to work a decade ago are now riding motorcycles, those who rode motorcycles are now driving cars, and those who drove cars are now relaxing on houseboats in Kerala. As the country develops, it may one day be flooded with tourists. Then I won't be surprised to see a luxury bus with the words 'Intolerable India' on it. And underneath, some genius in the tourism department will include an explanation: 'The mantra to shoo tourists.'

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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

Tech Life Online passwords are very unsafe: Study

London: Online passwords are so insecure that one per cent can be cracked within 10 guesses, according to the largest ever sample analysis carried out by a Gathes Cambridge scholar at the university. The research carried out by Joseph Bonneau will be presented at a security conference held under the auspices of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in May. Bonneau's research has featured in The Economist, a university release said. Bonneau was given access to 70 million anonymous passwords through Yahoo! - the biggest sample to date - and, using statistical guessing metrics, trawled them for information, including demographic information and site usage characteristics. He found that for all demographic groups password security was low, even where people had to register to pay by a debit or credit card. Proactive measures to prompt people to consider more secure passwords did not make any significant difference. There was some variation, however. Older users tended to have stronger online passwords than their younger counterparts. German and Korean speakers also had passwords which were more difficult to crack, while Indonesian-speaking users' passwords were the least secure. Even people who had had their accounts hacked did not opt for passwords which were significantly more secure, the release added. The main finding, however, was that passwords in general only contain between 10 and 20 bits of security against an online or offline attack. Bonneau concludes that there is no evidence that people, however motivated, will choose passwords that a capable attacker cannot crack. "This may indicate an underlying problem with passwords that users aren't willing or able to manage how difficult their passwords are to guess," he says.



April 7-13, 2012

Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874 Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899;

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

Stars Foretell: April 7-13, 2012
Aries: People whom you expect to provide help will let you down. You will feel annoyed and irritated. Stick to a simple and easy schedule, which includes sports and entertainment, as it will certainly make you feel better. If you feel like avoiding social gatherings, then do not think that you have surrendered yourself from public life. This is just a small phase, which will help you to energize your lost energy. Yoga and meditation should also be practiced for physical and spiritual gains. Travelling will be beneficial. Taurus: A stable period of growth and prosperity sees you shine with new confidence and enthusiasm. Use the resources that are available with you & you'll find new ways to complete difficult tasks. You'll also realize that all work & no play will leave you feeling dull. Take a break from what you've been doing and go out with your friends. Now is also the perfect time for completing creative hobbies or take a short pleasure trip that you have been contemplating for a long time. Gemini: This week people will seek your advice. At home this is a good time to sort out unresolved issues or discuss issues that have been bothering your mind. Your financial situation will be more or less stable. Growth opportunities will develop through interaction with influential people. Period is not good for making investment in real estate. You will make new friends if you get involved in evening parties and other social gettogether. Blessing of a holy man provides mental peace. Cancer: This week you are likely to be dominated by somebody who does not care much for your feelings. You will feel as if you are being misused because of your generous nature. Otherwise you will have an exciting week ahead. Gains from investment cannot be ruled out. Travel will be helpful in building new friendships and seeking important information. You'll take great pride in your ideas and will try to impress those around you with your work. Leo: This week you need to spend some extra time in dealing with domestic issues. Prepare yourself to experience the good as well as the bad when you touch personal issues. A positive approach will be very helpful. Your business sense will be upbeat and new ideas will bring you fresh gains. Residential moves will be beneficial, but it will not be an easy task to convince everyone that this is the right decision. Avoid speculation on all fronts. Virgo: This week you need to act in a very responsible manner to benefit from given opportunities. Your mind will be capable of taking quick decisions, but financial risk should not be taken without a second opinion. By focusing on your goals you will send a signal of your commitment and dedication. You will set an impression on others that will be long lasting and will enhance your popularity amongst your peers. Romantic encounters will be exciting, but short-lived. Entertainment should include sports and cultural events. Libra: This week relationship with others will be in the foreground. There will be a situation where lots of talking will be done but little action. Ultimately the outcome of the talks will depend entirely on how you handle the situation. Use your high energy and dynamic approach to win favours during this period. Expanding your knowledge and signing for new courses will be beneficial. Someone you work with will try to distract you from your future plans. Selective speculation will bring favorable results. Scorpio: This week jealous people will try to obstruct your plans or discourage you from going ahead with your work. Highly influential people will provide support and boost your morale. You will be able to share your workload and responsibilities with others. Avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. Religious feelings will arise making you spend more time on religious and spiritual activities. Romance will flourish during this period adding spice in your life. Sagittarius: Opportunities for romance will develop through clubs and social events, however it may not last very long, especially if you associate with those already married. Your quest for knowledge and learning will awaken your desire to read and attend seminars/exhibitions. Visitors will drop by unexpectedly, resulting in tension with your spouse. Minor health ailments due to untimely food habits will disturb your schedule. Capricorn: This week you should take advantage of your high spirits and meet new people and see new places. Opportunities for growth will develop through your contacts. Be prepared to come in front and face challenges if you want others to recognize you from far. Artists, writers, scholars and those in the field of advertising can look forward to rewards for their efforts. A new romantic alliance might develop for some of you. Aquarius: Reorganizing and completing your pending jobs should be the focus of attention this week. You also need to concentrate on many domestic issues. Simply dont assume that everyone will understand what you have to say. Financial gains are certain, but avoid speculation or risky financial schemes. Friends are likely to disappoint you if you expect too much from them. Property related disputes will settle amicably. You will tend to overspend if you go shopping this weekend. Pisces: Your creative mind will be at its best, so make the most of it. Venture out and expose yourself to new culture, people and places. Your personality and sense of humour will attract a large crowd. Financial gains are evident through investment. Do not let your family members distract you from your professional responsibilities. Regular morning walks and a controlled diet will keep you in perfect shape. Children are likely to be an important source of happiness in your life.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

April 07: Affected by number 7 and the planet Neptune, you are loving, alluring, moderate, brave, unique and sincere. You are good at heart and very obliging, but you have to curb your temperament to conduct yourself eager and angry to do well in your actions. Your stars will be in an approving position, getting you pleasure and wealth. Those who are occupied in arts and other inventive professions will accomplish credit and financial profits this year. Those who are single will tie the knot. Even though you will be in good health will but it will be vital to take essential safety measures. Offspring will make you feel pompous with their accomplishments. Pilgrimage or remote journey will be high on your schedule. The months of July, September, November and February will prove to be momentous. April 08: Leaded by number 8 and the planet Saturn, you are imaginative, full of life, positive, bright and an arty person. Your strong spirit always keeps you in front of others and makes you admired in your area, but you require to bring under control your towards being unpredictable, obstinate, behaving moody and envious at times. The coming year is probable to bring in success and rewards. Businessmen will enlarge their projects into novel and more lucrative revenue. Property disputes will be settled down to your contentment. Health will absolutely call for more consideration. Meditation and Yoga should be done for religious gains. Your spirits will lift up after hearing some elating news from your offspring. Travel abroad or monetary dealings from overseas will bring profits. The months of June, August, October and April will be lively and result oriented. April 09: Affected by number 9 and the planet Mars, you are agile, vigorous, reliable, responsible and methodical and sharp in taking judgments. You have a good control over your task which in return bring you rewards, awards and recognition, but there is need to check your inclination to behave revengeful and suspicious at any time. This coming year is good and helpful for judicial and government favors. Lengthy awaiting decision to agree will get sorted out and significant links will play vital role to produce some thing better for your economical status. An abrupt effect of an individual from the opposite sex will give a novel and exciting emotional change in your life style. In the later part of the year blessing from godly and pious person will provide comfort, ease, harmony and happiness of mind. Stay away from an unknown person who behaves like a friend and apology all those who approach you for temporary loans and economical support. Friends always prove helpful for you, but their demands can prove harmful for you. July, September and March will seem to be vital. April 10: Ruled by number 1 and the Sun you are nimble, energetic, authoritative, sincere, intelligent and a skilled person. You always hail new ideas, imagination, expectations and thought but there is great need to verify your tendency to conduct yourself excessive and obstinate at all times. New Year brings for you many chances to fulfill your dreams and imaginations and all these concepts can make you succeed. A pleasant excursion for an extraneous purpose would be very high on your memorandum. During this time you will settle on permanent basis with your novel contacts and productive partnerships. A lot of hope will prove beneficial for business. Contemplation and unanticipated gains will make your economical status much better than you hope. But in spite of all goodies little problems like tension, hypertension stress will always worry you but especially you should pay more attention towards the health of your parents and enhancement in house hold outlay. Your other half would be ready to lend a hand to your anxieties and will depicts love, attraction, attachment towards each other, but the kids might take benefit of your noble behavior and the result would be failure of expectation. This is so because they forget their real aim. The month of August, December, January and April seem to be noteworthy. April 11: Governed by number 2 and the Moon, you are simple hardworking, adaptable, and dedicated, love peace and harmony. You are fall of moves and new ideas, images and simple a skill in whatever work you want to do, but there is require commanding your tendency to be capricious and suspicious at all stages. New Year promises with you several latest astonishment and rewards, awards for you. Your all wishes are prone to be fulfilled on this coming year. Novel sources of revenue will increase your economical status and lift your faith and trust. Voyage undertaken for task idea would be fruitful and highly rewarding. Act of investing in a house and preferable stocks is suggested. Later in the year a remote excursion may be across the globe bring latest chance for your development and give you various opportunities to come in contact with old colleagues. Lawful matters are likely to be expanded for much longer than you hoped and also exhibit very costly. Kids will acquire glory in their respective area and will be helpful and comprehensive for you. As a result you can reach to peak point and get success in life. July, November, January and May will bring success. April 12: Ruled by number 3 and the satellite Jupiter, you are helpful, respected, emancipation, liberty and polite you are happy for having a good status and much regard for you at your work place, but despite this there are requirement to observe your tendency to behave exorbitant and to rule over at time. Do not be shy in expressing your latest ideas and thoughts on the New Year popularity and luck will be very fruitful for you because it makes you capable to catch the right chance. Novel relationships and attractions will grow bringing you best chance through out the year. Profits from investments are also expected. People always looking for matrimonial relations will find an apt life partner. As we know that health is wealth. So health will illustrate development in spite of the busy hours that you might put in your work place. Overseas performances of a business and across the global excursion will be full of incidents and momentous. June, August and February will be lively. April 13: Affected by number 4 and the satellite Uranus you are agile, eagerness, dynamic, brilliant, authoritative, full of energy and a talented person. You can do surprises in your profession with your capability and skill, but there is need to command your tendencies to behave restless, fanciful and inflexible at all times. The coming year promises many latest thoughts and ideas. Business will prosper and economical achievements will elevate your trust. Lawful matters that have been lingering on your mind will settle your gratification of desire. The act of promoting and profit makes you delightful. Alliance with close kith and kin might get stretched tightly over little important issues. Romance and fresh relations always look likely for those who are not attached. Aged people and kids in the family demand a lot of your attention and motivation. Health of male and female may be reason of concern and worry. Sportsmen and artist try to show best performance in order to gain fame and popularity at the end of the year and prove themselves best in the whole world. July, November, February and May will be considerable.

Before you consult...

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

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Spiritual Awareness

April 7-13, 2012

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

eople are searching for God. They pray to have a mystic experience of God. Through the ages, people have speculated about God, formed religions to worship God, and done countless rites and rituals to find God. Yet, the simple truth is that the only thing that stands between us and God is the ability to be still. We are so used to speaking rather than listening. In this connection, there is a humorous anecdote. A young man went to the great Greek philosopher, Socrates. The young man wanted Socrates to teach him how to be a great speaker. When Socrates greeted the young man, the young man proceeded to talk nonstop about himself for a long time. Finally, Socrates had to interrupt him and said, "To teach you, I need to double my fees." The young man was shocked and asked why. Socrates said, "Because it appears I must teach you two skills. One is to hold your tongue, and the other is to learn how to speak." It is hard for us to remain silent. How can we find God if we do not stay still physically, verbally, or mentally long enough to allow God to communicate with us? There are many ways in which we are able to stay still for worldly tasks. When we go to a dentist and are about to get an injection to numb our gums, the dentist says, "Stay still." We are certainly able to do so, lest he misses. When we go for a medical procedure in which the doctor has to give us an injection and he says, "Hold still," we definitely sit as still as we can. We know that any movement can be painful. If we ever went for a CT scan, we know we must lie still for a long time. If we move, the film or images they are taking of our body will not come out clearly. Not only does it cost several thousand dollars to have to do it over, which would be a waste of money and time, but the dye they inject which only lasts a short time would have to be done over and would expose us to more needless radiation.

Therefore, to get it right the first time, we find a way to remain still even if it is uncomfortable to do so when we undergo these tests. Some people who have to undergo radiation therapy for certain diseases must lie still. The radiation is targeting a certain area of the body, and if they move, the wrong place will be radiated causing the body unnecessary damage and harm and missing the area that needs the radiation. It is amazing how still we can be when undergo-

Stay still for God

the custom is that no one watching is allowed to speak. There may be thousands of people watching a golf tournament, and they all are able to keep silent long enough for the golfer to take a swing. Those who have a full eye exam from an eye doctor are told to look into the light without blinking for as long as they can. The doctors light is bright and it hurts the eyes to stare into, but we still do it because we know it is part of the exam. We are told to keep looking perfected sitting in silence. For example, when Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj moved to Beas, he moved into a small hut made of straw and branches. The hut was eight feet long by eight feet wide. It was then plastered with mud and a small cave was dug out. He would go into the cave and meditate in there for days. Sometimes he would stay in meditation there for two weeks, going without any food, as he was absorbed in the inner spiritual journey.

How can we find God if we do not stay still physically, verbally, or mentally long enough to allow God to communicate with us? There are many ways in which we are able to stay still for worldly tasks.

ing that type of treatment. If a mouse or insect gets into our house, and we want to catch it so we can escort it outdoors safely where it belongs, we remain quiet. We may hold a cup or a bucket as the creature lies still on our floor, and we are very silent as we creep up on it from behind to catch it in the bucket so we can take it outdoors. These examples show that we can be still and quiet when we choose to be. Those who are parents know the importance of being quiet when the baby finally falls asleep. When the baby is sleeping and we do not want noise to awaken him or her we are still. We know how long it took us to get the baby to sleep and we want to get our own rest. So, we tiptoe around and remain still so as to let the baby keep sleeping. When we throw a surprise party for someones birthday, we may have a room filled with many people trying to keep still until the person enters. We remain quiet until everyone yells out, "Surprise." If the person takes a long time entering the room, we remain quiet and no one wants to speak and spoil the surprise. When people are playing golf, and the golfer is on the tee box,

at the light, do not move, and do not blink. There are so many instances in worldly life, when we are able to stay silent. Yet, somehow, when it comes to meditation, we can neither stay still physically nor mentally. If we can stare into the eye doctors painful light for many minutes without moving or blinking, then how is it that we cannot gaze continually into the inner Light, which is not painful, but loving and warm, without mentally moving or blinking? Why is silence and stillness so important in meditation? We say we want to find God. But God can only be found in the stillness of our soul. We need to shut down the chatter of the world to hear God within. God comes to us within in the form of a divine Current. This Current is both radiant Light and celestial Sound. To see and hear it within, we need to silence the outer world and silence our thoughts. We need to sit physically still without any part of our body moving. We need to close our eyes. Then, we need to keep mentally still so no thoughts disrupt the silence needed to focus our attention into gazing within. All great saints practiced and

Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj used to meditate up to eight hours a day, even when he held a full time job, raised a family, and did selfless service. He would sometimes meditate by the river and even sit on a rock as a way to stay awake all night in meditation. We can see the efforts put in by spiritual Masters to perfect the art of stillness required for meditation progress. Can we expect to achieve the results we want when we can barely be still for a few minutes? Physical stillness requires control of our body. It is remarkable how much control we exercise over our body when it comes to worldly pursuits. For example, look at how many tasks we do to get our body in shape. We force ourselves to do aerobic exercises by spending twenty to thirty minutes a day on a treadmill or taking a brisk walk. We find time to do this to keep up our cardiovascular system. We spend time daily when we feel the need to lift weights or do workouts to keep fit and build our muscles. We snatch away time from our other pursuits when we feel something is important. We spend time daily preparing food that we feel will be delicious,

nutritious, or weight-reducing. This reminds me of a humorous story. A family had decided to all go on a diet. The husband was on a diet, the wife was on a diet, and the kids were on a diet. After many months, the husband remarked, "This does not seem fair. We have been on a diet for months and we are not losing weight. The only thing losing weight is the refrigerator." Whether we are eating food for taste, nutrition, or weight loss, we are still spending a considerable amount of time on feeding our body. It takes time to shop, to buy the ingredients we want, time to prepare the dishes, time to eat them, and then time to clean the pots and dishes. We spend time daily showering or bathing to keep our bodies clean, washing our hair, brushing our teeth, flossing, cleaning our nails, and all the other tasks involved in maintaining our bodies. We do all these repetitive tasks until our goal is achieved. Similarly, we are able to maintain mental stillness and concentration for worldly tasks without much problem. Look at how we concentrate mentally on different tasks in our everyday lives. For example, if we are going to school, we study for hours. When we want to pass a course or test, we find a way to tune out everything else and mentally focus on studying. We spend hours memorizing facts and figures. We train ourselves to turn off the television and take time away from our video games and friends to concentrate. Those who are in the computer field learn how to concentrate on the detailed task of writing computer code. They must concentrate with intensity lest they mess up the code! If we want to play a video game or a challenging game like chess, we find no trouble tuning out all distractions to concentrate on what we are doing. Millions of people read books and can do so in a crowded airport or train, at home with children running around the house, or even while the television is playing. When we want to concentrate on reading, we are able to train our mind to tune out all other noises and focus only on the words on a page. (To be continued...) Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions and mystic traditions, emphasizing ethical living and meditation as building blocks for achieving inner and outer peace.