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The South Asian Times

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Vol.8 No. 11 July 18-24, 2015 60 Cents

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After Modi-Sharif ice-breaker,


UN Security
India, Pakistan trade fire on border Council to
ratify historic
N-deal with Iran

New Delhi: India and Pakistan on


Thursday lodged protests against
each other after cross-border firing
in Jammu and Kashmir left one
dead and seven injured, days after
bonhomie between the prime ministers of both countries in Russia.
Stating that Pakistan was trying
to shift blame of ceasefire violations, India cautioned it about
"effective and forceful response" to
an unprovoked firing.
India, however, also reaffirmed
its willingness to take forward the
process for improving ties decided
at the bilateral meeting at Ufa, in
Russia. Indian Foreign Secretary S.
Jaishankar told media persons here
after a meeting of senior ministers
that Indian forces had effectively
Continued on page 4

India stands to gain from the deal

Refuting Islamabad claim, India said the purported downed


spy drone is of Chinese make and available off the shelf.

IPL Corruption: Gurunath, Kundra


and their teams punished
New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings
(CSK) and Rajasthan Royals
have been suspended from the
Indian Premier League (IPL) for
two years by the Supreme Court
appointed panel in the spot fixing
and illegal betting scandal that
rocked the cash-rich T20 tournament in 2013.
The Justice Lodha Committee
also banned for life Royals coowner Raj Kundra and Gurunath
Meiyappan, "team principal" of
CSK, from all cricket-related
activities undertaken by the
Board of Control for Cricket in
India (BCCI).
Run by BCCI, the IPL is the
richest of the world's T20 cricket
leagues and the scandal hints at
corruption in cricket at high
places. Gurunath is son-in-law of
former BCCI president and
Continued on page 4

DIPLOMACY 14

Raj Kundra was part owner of


Rajasthan Royals with wife &
Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

Gurunath Meiyappan, of
Chennai Super Kings, is
son-in-law of former BCCI
president & current ICC
chairman N. Srinivasan.

4 marines,
shooter killed in
Tennessee attack
Washington: Four soldiers
were shot dead by a gunman at
US military
offices in
Chattanooga,
Tennessee in
an act of
"domestic
terrorism",
authorities
Muhammad
said. The
Youssef
lone attacker
Abdulazeez
too was later
gunned down. The shooting
incidents, which lasted for
about 30 minutes, took place on
Thursday at a National Guard
office and a Naval Reserve centre about 10 km apart. The
shooter reportedly shot while
driving in an open-top Mustang.
The shooter is identified as
Muhammad
Youssef
Abdulazeez whose father
Continued on page 4

COMMUNITY CONVENTIONS 16-17

SCI-TECH 27

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister


Mohammad Javad Zarif have been nominated for the Nobel
peace prize 2016 for the landmark nuclear deal.

United Nations: The UN Security


Council is preparing to ratify the
nuclear accord reached between
major world powers and Iran by
approving a resolution that is
expected to be voted on very soon.
The resolution will endorse the
accord and "take other important
steps, including replacing the existing Security Council sanctions
architecture with the new, binding
restrictions agreed on in Vienna,"
US ambassador to the UN,
Samantha Power said in a communique.
Iran and a group of six nations
led by the US reached a historic
accord on Tuesday to significantly
limit Tehrans nuclear ability for
more than a decade in return for

SPIRITUAL AWARENESS 30

lifting international oil and financial sanctions.


The deal culminates 20 months
of negotiations on an agreement
that President Obama had long
sought as the biggest diplomatic
achievement of his presidency.
India, which has drastically
reduced its oil imports from Iran
under US pressure, stands to gain
from the accord. It has already benefited. Oil prices declined in recent
days, driven largely by expectations of more Iranian crude hitting
the market. According to India's
Finance Ministry, power-hungry
India saves nearly $1 billion in
import costs for every dollar drop
in global crude prices. But before
Continued on page 4

excellence in journalism

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July 18-24, 2015

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TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

Ali Najmi, Dromm join South Asian leaders to seek Diwali as school holiday

Queens, NY: New York City


Council candidate Ali Najmi stood
with Councilman Daniel Dromm
and South Asian community leaders
at a temple in Queens to urge the
Department of Education (DoE) to
recognize Diwali as a school holiday. Diwali is an important holiday
celebrated by many New Yorkers,
including Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and
Buddhist communities.
I am running for the City Council
to make sure that all communities
are respected and included. Diwali
should be acknowledged as the
important holiday that it is, said Ali
Najmi, a candidate for the 23rd
District. I urge Mayor Bill de
Blasio to demonstrate to our community the respect we deserve by
adding Diwali to the public school
holiday calendar. New York has a
wonderful tradition of adapting to
the needs of new and growing communities - lets continue that tradition by adding Diwali to the school
calendar.
Added Councilman Dromm,
Chair of the New York City Council
Education Committee: I am proud
to stand with Ali Najmi to demand

Ali Najmi standing for


Council seat from Queens

Ali Nazmi (a candidate for City Council, on the mike),


Councilman Daniel Dromm and community leaders including
Pam Kwatra (extreme left).

that Diwali be made an official


school holiday. The time has come
for the DoE to recognize the importance of Diwali and to use it as a tool
to promote acceptance and understanding.
In the past two years, Mayor de
Blasio has included Eid Al-Fitr, Eid
Al-Adha, and the Lunar New Year-essential holidays of emerging communities--in the school calendar as
holidays. New York is home to over
250,000 people of Hindu, Sikh, Jain,
and Buddhist faiths. Recognition of

IBAs 11th India Day Parade in NJ on Aug 9

Diwali will be an important


acknowledgement of their countless
contributions to New York.
Ali Najmi will be a Council
member who fights for all communities to get the recognition that they
deserve. We are proud to stand with
him today to call on the DoE to recognize Diwali as a school holiday,
said Pam Kwatra, Founder and
Chair of South Asians for Better
Choice.
Diwali is celebrated across New
York with different customs and in

IBA leaders at the parade kick-off event on July 8.

floats, marching bands, walking groups, Bollywood


celebrities, and elected officials.
The parade route begins in
Edison and ends on India
Square (Iselin). Parade groups
supporting the IBA hosted
event include professional
societies, business/trade associations, cultural groups, seniors associations, temples, etc
from across New Jersey.

diverse communities. We thank Ali


Najmi for being a leader in the
South Asian community and standing up for our schoolchildren and

campaign and was honored by the


New Kings Democrats for his
work as a community organizer.
He knows the community well
and has valuable experience as the
Legislative Director in the City
Council for Councilman Mark
Weprin. He was instrumental in
formulating civil rights legislation
and writing laws to protect religious freedom.
Ali belongs to a Muslim family
from Karachi. He was born and
raised in Glen Oaks, Queens.. He
is a co-founder of the Muslim
Democratic Club of New York.
Satnam Singh Parhar, IALI
president, has also joined the race
for District 23.
support his efforts to have Diwali
recognized as an official holiday,
said Dipika Basu of the New York
Puja Association.

US shipbuilder to pay $20 M to exploited Indian workers


Washington: More than 200 guest
workers from India agreed to a $20
million deal to settle their lawsuits
against Mobile, Alabama-based shipbuilder Signal International, said their
lawyers.
The announcement comes five
months after a New Orleans jury
awarded a group of five workers $14
million in a federal lawsuit that
alleged workers were lured to work
for Signal after Hurricane Katrina
with false promises of green cards and
permanent US residency.
Signal will also issue an apology to
guest workers who also sued in Texas

Edison, NJ: The Indian


Business Association (IBA),
supported by over 100 New
Jersey based community
organizations, kicked off its
11th annual India Day Parade
festivities on July 8 at the TV
Asia studios here. The parade
is scheduled for August 9.
The IBA parade on Oak
Tree Road generally attracts
over 35,000 people. This year
too the parade will include

criminal defense attorney


by profession, Ali Najmi
is a progressive Democrat
running for the NY City Council,
District 23, in Queens. He has a
deep commitment to social justice
and has made public service his
lifes work. If elected, he would
become the first New Yorker of
South Asian origin to serve in the
City Council.
The seat fell vacant when
Councilman Mark Weprin stepped
down to become Gov. Cuomo's
deputy secretary of legislative
affairs.
Ali has demonstrated a unique
ability to bring diverse communities together during the Obama

and Louisiana, the Southern Poverty


Law Centre, a legal advocacy organization that filed a case for the workers
said. The agreement, if approved by
the US Bankruptcy Court, would
resolve the 11 lawsuits still facing the
company, which has filed for Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection.
Those lawsuits represent more than
200 workers with the same claims as
those of the workers in the successful
SPLC lawsuit tried earlier this year.
In the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina, Signal used the US government's H-2B guest worker program to
import nearly 500 men from India to

Dilip Shah receives JAINA Ratna Award

work as welders, pipefitters and in


other positions to repair damaged oil
rigs and related facilities, SPLC said.
The workers each paid the labor
recruiters and a lawyer between
$10,000 and $20,000 or more in
recruitment fees and other costs after
recruiters promised good jobs, green
cards and permanent US residency for
them and their families.
When the men arrived at Signal
shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi,
beginning in 2006, they discovered
that they wouldn't receive the green
cards or permanent residency that had
been promised.
Dilip Shah was conferred
JAINA Ratna Award 2015 at
the biennial JAINA Convention
held in Atlanta, GA, over the
July 4 weekend. Seen in the
picture from left are: Ashok
Domadia, Incoming President
of JAINA; Dr. Nitin Shah,
Chairman, Awards
Committee; Prem Jain,
President of JAINA; Sarla
Shah; Dilip Shah, Past
President of JAINA; and Dr.
Dhiraj Shah, Past President of
JAINA who introduced
Dilip Shah

TURN PAGE

July 18-24, 2015

Better work rules for


battered wives
By SATimes Team
New York: On Wednesday,
President Obama issued a
Presidential Memorandum on
Modernizing and Streamlining the
US Immigrant Visa System for the
21st Century, the latest component
of the Presidents executive action on
immigration
announced
in
November 2014.
The announcement expands and
expedites work authorization and
economic opportunity for some
immigrant victims of domestic violence.
Specifically, Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) will allow
Violence Against Women Act
(VAWA) self-petitioners to simultaneously file for work authorization to
reduce wait times for survivors of
domestic violence, stated South
Asian Americans Leading Together
(SAALT) in a press statement.
According to the memorandum,

certain non-immigrant battered


spouses will also be eligible for work
authorization.
South Asian Immigration rights
groups although welcomed the new
changes pointed out that comprehensive immigration reforms is still
needed.
"Wednesdays announcement only
further underscores the importance
of the continued push for
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
legislation that includes a path to citizenship," said Suman Raghunathan,
Executive Director of SAALT.
The memorandum also provides
clarity in relation to job flexibility
and documentation required under
the H-1B visa program. These
include improvements that will provide increased guidance on job flexibility provisions for those seeking
new employment and modify forms
for H-1B extensions to provide documentation of previous adjudications
to simplify the process.

Greater New York Seniors celebrate July 4

Indian community members along with Mohamed Hack,


coordinator of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz celebrated
July 4th as organized by Shashikant Patel and Gopi Udeshi
at Sri Saneeswara Temple, NY.

UN Security Council to ratify historic...


Continued from page 1
India, which imports 70 percent of its oil supply,
turns back on the taps of Iranian oil, President
Obama has to sell the deal to a hostile Republican
Congress that has 60 days to review it. Obama has
vowed to veto any legislation that may scuttle what
he described as "a comprehensive, long-term deal
that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a
nuclear weapon".
Meanwhile, Tariq Rauf, director of the
Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Program at the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
(Sipri), said the top negotiators US Secretary of
State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif deserved the Nobel Prize
for their contribution at the marathon talks in
Vienna.
Israel, expectedly, is one country that has called
the n-deal a historic blunder, arguing that Iran is
now going to receive a sure path to nuclear
weapons.
After Modi-Sharif ice-breaker, India...
Continued from page 1
retaliated to repeated ceasefire violations by
Pakistan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj,
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defense
Minister Manohar Parrikar met on Thursday afternoon in the wake of "seriousness of unprovoked
firing" by Pakistan.
In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz
Ahmad Chaudhry met India's High Commissioner
T.C.A. Raghavan and registered a protest over the
firing as well as an alleged "Indian spy drone".
India raised the issue with Pakistani envoy Abdul
Basit, rejecting the Pakistani claim that the shot
down drone belonged to India.
The rising tensions along the Jammu and
Kashmir border -- where civilians have been hit
hard on both sides -- follow the July 10 joint statement between India and Pakistan, released after the
Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meeting at Ufa, to
build peace.
There have been at least six violations of the
2003 ceasefire by Pakistan in the last four days,
Foreign Secretary Jaishankar told media persons.
On July 12, Pakistani forces opened fire at Uri. A
day later, there was a firing at Kupwara and Samba.
On Wednesday, a woman was killed and four
people - two troopers and two civilians - were
injured in indiscriminate shelling by Pakistan
Rangers in Akhnoor sector. There was also an infiltration attempt in Jammu sector on Wednesday
New Delhi Bureau
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night.
Referring to the issue of drone, Jaishankar said its
photograph indicated that it was neither of Indian
design nor of any UAV category held in the inventory of the Indian armed forces. "It appears to be of
Chinese design, and is commercially available off
the shelf."
IPL Corruption: Gurunath, Kundra...
Continued from page 1
current International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman N. Srinivasan. Raj Kundra is part owner of the
Rajasthan team with his wife and Bollywood star
Shilpa Shetty. CSK is led by India team skipper
MS Dhoni.
Both Gurunath and Kundra were earlier found
guilty of betting. "Disrepute has been brought to
cricket, the BCCI and the IPL to such an extent that
there are doubts abound in the public whether the
game is clean or not," said former chief justice
Rajendra Lodha, who headed the panel.
Cricket commentators say the developments will
come as a blow to the eight-team league and raise
questions about how the Indian cricket board will
find replacements to fill the two empty places.
Failure to find replacements would lead to considerable loss of revenues for the league.
One analyst called the Lodha panel decision
incomplete: Considering that officials from both
teams have been found guilty of corruption, the
two teams should have been banned for life.
4 marines, shooter killed in Tennessee...
Continued from page 1
worked for the Chattanooga's public works department. Abdulazeez was 24 years old and a US citizen of Kuwaiti descent. It was an act of "domestic
terrorism", said US District Attorney Bill Killian at
a press conference.
A local police officer was among the three people
injured. The shooter was gunned down by local law
enforcement personnel, Chattanooga Mayor Andy
Berke said.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in
a statement that the agency was closely following
the incident and its aftermath and is supporting the
investigation, which is being headed by the FBI.
Reinhold added that the gunman, with "numerous
weapons" on him, appeared to act alone, adding
that the gunman did not work at the military facilities involved.
Though the motive for the attack is not clear,
media has reported that Abdulazeez lately showed
some signs of radicalization.
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July 18-24, 2015

Asian-American students' Nikki Haley brushes aside 2016 speculations


complaint against
Harvard dismissed
SATimes

Washington, DC: The US


Department of Education is dismissing a claim that Harvard
shows bias against AsianAmerican applicants because a
similar lawsuit has already been
filed in federal court.
Education Department's Office
for Civil Rights reportedly told
Bloomberg Business that it's dismissing the claim without evaluating its merit, because of a similar
lawsuit filed in federal district
court in Boston in November.
In May, a coalition of more than
60 organizations filed a complaint
with the federal government,
alleging that Harvard holds AsianAmericans to higher standards
than other ethnic groups, according to On Campus, a public radio
initiative produced in Boston.
They also complained the uni-

versity uses racial quotas lumping


all Asian-Americans - Indian,
Chinese, Pakistani - into a single,
broad category, and asked the federal government to investigate.
"We feel the Department of
Education and the Department of
Justice should have access to
Harvard's admissions records,"
Swan Lee who helped to organize
the coalition, was quoted as saying.
Civil rights activists suggest the
complaint is a back door attack on
affirmative action, and Harvard
says its admissions philosophy is
"holistic" and it complies with the
law. The group behind that lawsuit, Students for Fair Admissions
Inc., is also responsible for another
case against the University of
North Carolina, according to On
Campus.

New York: On Sunday South


Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
deflected speculation of her running
for vice president in 2016 elections.
In an interview with Chuck Todd,
NBCs Meet the Press while discussing the import of the moment
when the slavery era confederate
flag was removed from statehouse
grounds, she brushed aside discussion related to the national attention
she is suddenly receiving.
Its painful, nine people died,
said Haley.
In another interview, this time
with the Associated Press Haley further explained, If people are talking about that, then Im not working
hard enough to talk about the
(Emanuel) families. I dont want to
think about it or talk about it or even
acknowledge it at this point.
In the wake of her extraordinary
performance in dealing with the
Charleston Church shooting and
Confederate flag controversy, 43year-old Indian American Governor
suddenly came into the national
spotlight. This led to increased speculation about her as a potential

Navatman brings India to NY again


at 3rd Annual Drive East Festival
New York, NY: On August 10,
Navatman will launch its week-long
South Asian performing arts festival
at LaMaMas Ellen Stewart Theatre
on the Lower East Side. This oneof-a-kind event takes New Yorkers
on a creative journey across India
through 20+ concerts in just one
week. Artists from all over the globe
come together to display some of
the worlds rarest art forms such as
the Carnatic guitar, hammered dulcimer, Kathak, and Mohiniattam.
This year, the festival moves to
the largest theater LaMama has to
offer, a theater boasting 150 seats, to
accommodate Drive Easts regularly
sold-out line up.
Though the content is niche, by no
means is this a niche event: accessibility is the functional word when it
comes to this series. Weve specifically designed the concert length,
curation, and content to be accessible regardless of age and breadth of
knowledge about the art form. Its a

great way to introduce yourself to


South Asian classical arts - or fall in
love with them all over again, says
Sahasra Sambamoorthi, CoPresident, Navatman.
The dancers this year come from
all corners of the globe, from STEM
Dance Kampni, hailing from
Bangalore, India, to Ashwini
Ramaswamy, lead dancer at
Minnesota-based Ragamala Dance.
The concerts are no less exciting,
with artists such as Guitar Prasanna
(Carnatic Guitar), who has composed music for an Oscar-winning
film; and Max ZT, who plays the
hammered dulcimer and has played
with Ravi Shankar and Bon Jovi.
Navatman is home to Navatman
Dance, Navatman Music Collective,
and a South Asian classical arts
school of the same name. This is the
companys fifth year running; a
marvel in the tough world of the
competitive New York performing
arts scene.

Republican vice presidential nominee. Haleys handling of the June 17


Charleston shooting, that resulted in
death of nine people, and its aftermath has many politicians and pundits applaud her for raising bipartisan support to take down the controversial Confederate flag from state
grounds. This increased speculation
about her as a potential Republican
vice presidential nominee for 2016
elections.
David Beasley, the last
Republican governor who took on
the Confederate flag, which had
fluttered in front of the 19th-century
capitol building for 54 years, in

1996 lost his job, noted Politico,


an influential Washington news site,
but Nikki Haley may get a promotion.
The two term governor swiftly
and deftly convinced state legislature to vote to lower and remove the
Confederate battle flag that had
flown over the South Carolina
Statehouse for the past half century.
Shortly after she signed the bill
into law last Friday, a seven-man
South Carolina Highway Patrol
Honor Guard, which included two
African-Americans, slowly lowered
the banner from its pole alongside a
Confederate memorial near the
Capitol.
Haley's decisive action to drive
the final removal of the banner from
statehouse grounds quickly and relatively cleanly in the glare of the
national spotlight proved a welltimed audition for higher office
ahead of the 2016 Republican
sweepstakes, suggested Politico.
Nikki showed leadership in this
instance, and she represents a new
Republican face in the South,
strategist Steve Schmidt, who managed John McCain's 2008 presidential bid, told Politico.

Some of the featured artists for


Drive East 2015 are:

Rare Arts of India: Hammered


Dulcimer by Max ZT ; Tuesday,
August 11th, 7:15PM
Ashwini Ramaswamy:
Bharatanatyam Solo ; Tuesday,
August 11th, 6PM
STEM Dance Kampni:
Contemporary Kathak Group ;
Friday, August 14th, 7:15PM
Rare Arts of India: Carnatic
Guitar Solo by Guitar Prasanna ;
Friday, August 14th, 8:30PM
Shyamajith and Viraja Kiran:
Bharatanatyam Duet ;
Thursday, August 14th, 8:30PM
Navatman Music Collective:
Carnatic A Capella Inspired Group
Wednesday, August 12th, 7:15PM

Nassau County Executive Mr. Ed Mangano honored the Syosset


Girls Golf team on July 12th at the Roosevelt Building
auditorium for winning both the Nassau County High School
and Long Island Golf Championship for two years in a row.
Seen in the photo: Mr. Mangano, Malini Rudra, Leah Cullen &
Trisha Patel with coach Steve Naranjo.

July 18-24, 2015

TRISTATE COMMUNITY

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IN BRIEF

Sunita Viswanath selected as 'Champion of Change'


he White House
Born in Chennai,
has chosen IndiViswanath is known as a
an-American
fierce leader whose pasSunita
Viswanath
sion for women's rights
among 12 faith leaders
and faith-based activism
who will be honored as
has made her a beacon of
"Champion of Change"
hope for the people of
on July 20 for their conNew York City.
tinuous efforts towards
A central component of
climate change.
Sadhana
is
Project
Viswanath, who has
Prithvi, which is an enviworked in women's and
ronmental initiative.
human rights organizaAs part of Project
Sunita Viswanath
tions for almost three
Prithvi, Sadhana is indecades, "is being honvolved with cleaning up a
ored for her work to encourage Hindus in beach in Jamaica Bay, Queens which is a
protecting environment and communities place of worship for Hindus.
from the effects of climate change," the
Sadhana has officially adopted this beach,
White House said in a statement.
conducts regular clean-ups, and also does
Viswanath is co-founder and active board outreach through Hindu temples to advocate
member of the 14-year old women's human that Hindus worship in environmentally conrights organization Women for Afghan scious ways, said the interfaithcenter.org.
Women (WAW). Sunita is also co-founder
Viswanath was a 2011 recipient of the
and board member of Sadhana: Coalition of "Feminist Majority Foundation's Global
Progressive Hindus, living and building a Women's Rights Award" for her work with
Hinduism that prioritizes social justice, and WAW.
upholding the Hindu principles of ekatva
She lives in Brooklyn in New York with
(oneness), ahimsa (non-violence) and sad- her husband Stephan Shaw and their three
hana (faith in action).
sons -- Gautama, Akash and Satya.

Grand Interfaith Iftar Dinner


hosted in New Jersey

BAPS Charities hosts benet community


walk for Huntington Social Services Institute

Over 425 participated in this year's walkathon

n keeping with its theme, Building a


Better Community, One Step at a
Time, the BAPSCharities 16th annual walkathon was held on June 28 in New
York City, NY. Over 425 members of the
community participated in this years
walkathon. Coming together to walk for a
singular purpose, participants of all ages
joined hands and raised funds to support
this years local beneficiary, Huntington
Social Services Institute.
Walking for a community organization
is a worthwhile and rewarding experience, said Pritam Shah, BAPS Volunteer.
Being able to organize and bring to
fruition this kind of event is always an exciting opportunity for BAPS Charities.
Walkathons unite members of the com-

Hotelier and former banker admits to


defrauding investor of $500,000
otelier and former banker, Rajesh
C Patel, 55, of Duluth, Georgia
has admitted in a federal court to
defrauding an investor of $500,000 and
now faces a prison sentence, according to
a federal prosecutor in Tennessee.
Patel pleaded guilty Monday before federal Senior Judge William J. Haynes, Jr.,
in Nashville, Tennessee, to two charges of
wire fraud in defrauding the investor, according to the prosecutor, David Rivera.
Patel had received the money from the
Tennessee-based investor for a $3.75 million auction bid for a hotel mortgage, but
when he lost the bid he diverted the money to pay a debt, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Tuesday. He also
misrepresented the result of the auction to
the investor.
He has since, however, repaid the mon-

The event saw 1000 people from different communities participate

n July 9th, the American Muslim


Council (AMC) organized 4th Annual Interfaith Ramadan Dinner
2015 which brought together more than
1000 people from different religious communities across New Jersey to celebrate the
holy month of Ramadan with Muslim leaders at Royal Albert Palace, Fords, New Jersey.
The Iftar Party was a significant proof of
peace, harmony and diversity under one roof
where all the faiths gathered and prayed together and break the fast with Muslims.
AMCPAC founder & Chairman, Sam
Khan stated, "American Muslims are part of
the fabric of American society, The purpose
of this Iftar is for our community to break

bread with our Christian, Jewish, and Hindu


brethren during the month of Ramadan so
we can come together to honor those who
share our values of community service and
working for the good of humanity."
AMCPAC honored Thomas Lankey, Edison Mayor for his community services and
dedication towards the South Asian community of Edison Township along with Senator
Samuel Thomson with the Community Engagement Award.
AMCPAC is a New Jersey-based organization that promotes Muslim civic participation in the United States of America.
AMCPAC honored other awardees for
their contributions to those in need across
the United States.

munity, no matter the age, to serve other


causes. The enthusiasm behind this event
is really the driving force to ensuring the
success of the todays event.
Not only is it amazing how everyone
can come together to support one cause, it
is also great to walk with others who believe in giving to build a better community, said Nilesh Desai, Walkathon Project
Lead of BAPS Charities, NYC.
Huntington Social Services Institute has
local roots that aims to provide services to
members of the entire community.
In attendance at this years BAPS Charities Walkathon were NYC Councilman
Peter Koo. I am very happy to join you in
this very meaningful and wonderful walk
with BAPS stated Councilman Koo.

ey to the investor.
The maximum penalty Patel can receive
when he is sentenced Oct. 15 is 20 years in
prison for each of the offenses, in addition
to fines and property forfeiture. In practice, though, it is unusual for someone to
receive the maximum prison sentences to
run serially.
Patel and his brother, Mukesh "Mike"
Patel had been the main shareholders of
Haven Trust Bank in Duluth, Georgia,
which was shut down in 2008 by Georgia
state authorities.
Subsequently he and 14 others who were
directors or officials of the bank were sued
by the federal agency which guarantees
deposits made by bank customers. The
agency had accused them gross negligence and failure to carry out their duties
properly.

Megabus.com begins Name the Bus


campaign to honor New York
egabus.com the popular city-tocity, express bus company - has
announced a plan to name one of
their buses after each state in which they
operate. The bus names will be selected entirely by customer and resident votes in order to choose the moniker that best represents each state. All of the bus names on the
ballot were chosen because they are heavily associated with New York or commemorate a piece of the states history. We value
our customers opinions and are excited to

see the name they select to represent their


state, said Dale Moser, CEO of
megabus.com. This is our way of honoring
the customers of each of the states that have
helped our business to grow. Voting is now
open to residents of New York and the ballot includes the following options: The Big
Apple, The Empire State, Henry Hudson
and Niagara Falls. Customers and residents
can visit http://us.megabus.com/namethebus.aspx to vote online for their favorite bus
name on or before August 17.

NATIONAL COMMUNITY

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

Disney Desegregates Sikh Employee


Sunita Williams NASA's
commercial crew astronaut
The SATimes

Washington, DC: Indian American Sunita


Williams is among four astronauts who
have been selected by NASA for commercial ights to the International Space
Station (ISS) from the US soil.
They will work closely with company-led
teams to understand their designs and operations as they nalize their Boeing CST100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft
and operational strategies.
Williams, Robert Behnken, Eric Boe and
Douglas Hurley will be trained for commercial spaceights that will return American
launches to the US soil and further open up
low-Earth orbit transportation to the private
sector, the US space agency said. "These
distinguished, veteran astronauts are blazing a new trail -- that will one day land
them in the history books and Americans on
the surface of Mars," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
Williams, a US Navy captain, received
her commission in the Navy in May 1987
and became a helicopter pilot, logging more

than 3,000 ight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.


NASA chose Williams for the astronaut
program in 1998. She spent a total of 322
days in space and currently holds the record
for total cumulative spacewalk time by a
female astronaut (50 hours and 40 minutes).
She now ranks sixth on the all-time US
endurance list and second all-time for a
female astronaut.
"Congratulations to Bob, Eric, Doug and
Sunita and welcome to the Commercial
Crew team," noted John Elbon, Boeing vice
president.
"We look forward to working with such a
highly-skilled and experienced group of
NASA astronauts as we carve a path forward to launch in 2017."
The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama administration's plan to
partner with the US industry to transport
astronauts to space, create good-paying
American jobs and end the nation's sole
reliance on Russia for space travel.

Senate conrmation for Shamina Singh


Washington, DC:
for the Centers conThe U.S. Senate July
sistent achievement
15 conrmed leaders
of its mission to
from the nonprot,
advance sustainable
civic, and corporate
and equitable ecosectors to serve on the
nomic growth and
board of directors of
nancial inclusion
the Corporation for
around the world.
National
and
Previously,
she
Community Service
served as Global
(CNCS), the federal
Director
of
Shamina Singh
agency that adminisMasterCards
ters AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Government Social Programs.
Social Innovation Fund (SIF), and Prior to joining MasterCard, Ms.
other national service programs. Singh headed Government and
The new board members are: Rick Public Affairs for Nike and spent
Christman of Lexington, Ky.; ve years with Citigroup's Global
Mona Dixon of Tempe, Ariz.; Community Development Group.
Victoria Hughes of Millwood, Va.; Over the course of 15 years in the
Eric Liu of Seattle, Wash.; Dean A. public sector, she held senior posiReuter of Washington, D.C.; and tions within the Clinton
Shamina Singh of Purchase, N.Y.
Administration, the US House of
The board sets overall policy and Representatives, electoral camdirection for CNCS and its pro- paigns and national non-prot
grams. CNCS engages ve million organizations. Singh is a Young
Americans of all ages and back- Global Leader with the World
grounds, including 75,000 Economic Forum and a Henry
AmeriCorps members and 260,000 Crown Fellow with the Aspen
Senior Corps volunteers, in results- Institute. She received a B.S. from
driven service each year. Shamina Old Dominion University and an
Singh is Executive Director of the M.P.A. from The Lyndon B.
MasterCard Center for Inclusive Johnson School of Public Affairs at
Growth, where she is responsible the University of Texas at Austin.

New York: The happiest place on earth


just got a lot happier for a 57 year old Sikh
postal carrier.
For the past seven years, Gurdit Singh,
was segregated from visitors and other staff
members at Disney World because his
unshorn facial hair and turban did not comport with Disneys corporate image. He was
barred from a wider delivery route in the
theme park. He was limited to just one route
whereas his colleagues were rotated across
routes every three weeks. Singh came to see
it as "a daily humiliation because of his religious beliefs."
But thanks to the efforts of the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Sikh
Coalition, Disney just gave Singh a religious
exemption for the companys strict grooming guidelines.
After seven years of working from the
same route, Singh nally decided to ght for
his rights and he approached Sikh Coalition
who sent a demand letter to Disney along
with ACLU asking that Disney de-segregate
Singh.
Earlier this year Sikh coalition partnered
with ACLU and sent a forceful demand let-

Gurdit Singh

ter to Disney notifying them that their practices were violating the law, said Gurjot
Kaur, senior staff attorney at Sikh Coalition.
On June 22 Disney responded to the letter
agreeing to desegregate Singh and fully
accommodate his articles of faith.
In a response letter Disney mentioned that
the company was committed to diversity
and prohibits discrimination based upon
religion.
Racial or religious-based discrimination
has no place in our society. No one should
have to face daily humiliation of his or her
religious beliefs. I hope this decision opens
the door for other Sikhs and religious
minorities who wish to work for Disney,
said Singh in a press statement.

Sushma welcomes back Acharya Lokesh Muniji


Archaryaji was on 45 days Peace and Harmony Tour of the US; Indias efforts
of peace and nonviolence even more relevant now he says
New Delhi: Indias External Affairs
Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj while
welcoming Acharya Lokesh Muni,
founder of AhimsaVishwa Bharti
upon his return to India from Peace
and Harmony Tour to the United
States at External Affairs Ministry,
Janpath said that Unity in
Diversity is the key feature of
Indian culture.
Acharya Lokesh Muni made an
incredible effort to take great Indian
culture of Peace and Harmony to
the world during his 45 days World
Peace and Harmony Tour. He presented the importance of Yoga
effectively through his address on
the occasion of International Day of
Yoga at the United Nations. He
revealed the importance of non-violence by presenting the Peace education program to Mrs. Hillary
Clinton, the strong candidate of
USA Presidential elections during
their meeting.
Mrs. Swaraj said that violence
and terrorism cannot solve any

Acharya Lokesh Muni called on External Affairs Minister


Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi.

problem. Every problem can be


solved by dialogue following the
path of peace. He said that Peace
and non-violence are best paths
which can make world a better
place. Appreciating the efforts of
Acharya Lokesh Muni she said that
saints play an important role in
establishing world Peace and
Harmony.
Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni talking
about his tour said that violence and
terrorism are not only affecting

India but they are also affecting a


powerful country like USA. This is
the reason why Indias efforts for
peace and non-violence are even
more relevant in present times.
Acharya Lokesh on the occasion
talked about JAINA Convention
2015 organized at Atlanta in which
4000 representatives from 22 countries took part. He gave speech on
Bhagwan Mahavirs philosophy of
Nonviolence, Unity in Diversity
and Peace Education.

July 18-24, 2015

NATIONAL COMMUNITY

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Four Indians named Asia Jaipur Literature Festival heads to the USA
21 Young Leaders
New York: Asia Society announced
last week that four promising professional with ties to IndiaMishi
Choudhary, Manish Dahiya, Sanjay
Vijayakumar, and Aarti Wigwere
named Asia 21 Young Leaders.
They are among the newest members of the preeminent network of
young leaders from across the AsiaPacific, representing the private,
public, and nonprofit sectors.
Now in its 10th year, the Asia 21
Young Leaders Initiative has
become a robust network of more
than 800 young leaders from 30
nations. They are all in their own
ways focused on shaping a brighter
future for the Asia-Pacific region,
and confronting the most vexing
challenges facing the region today.
Asia 21 Young Leaders are selected
through a highly competitive
process based on outstanding
achievement, commitment to public
service, and a proven ability to
make the world a better place.
Mishi Choudhary, a technology
lawyer and an online civil liberties
activist, is the founding executive
director of SFLC.in, a pro-bono

legal services organization based in


New Delhi, India.
Manish Dahiya is the executive
director and Global Head of Energy
Complex at Noble Group Limited.
Sanjay Vijayakumar is the chairman of the board of Startup Village,
Indias first incubator for public-private partnerships, promoted jointly
by the Government of India and private sector entities. Aarti Wig is cofounder of the Indian arm of the
Yunus Social Business (YSB). She
helped set up the worlds first Yunus
Social Business Fund in Mumbai,
which has funded seven social
entrepreneurs across India.
The new class of Asia 21 Young
Leaders is a remarkable group. We
are excited to introduce these leaders of the Asia-Pacific region to the
Asia 21 Network, where they will
find mentors, potential collaborators, and, we hope, new friends,
said Asia Society President and
CEO Josette Sheeran. We welcome
this passionate group to the Asia 21
family, and look forward to the contributions they make to the public
good in the coming years.

New York: For three days in


September, the United States of
America will get a chance to witness the exhilarating madness that
is the Jaipur Literature Festival.
After the festival's huge success
in London for two years in a row,
the world's largest free literary fest
will travel to Boulder, Colorado
from September 18 to September
20, 2015. Known as JLF@Boulder,
the event will see more than 100
notable writers, thinkers, poets and
performers engage in dialogue and
debate about today's trending topics. Interviews and panel discussions, along with audience Q&A,
addressing timely themes of local
and international importance each
led by two to four authors will be a
part of JLF@Boulder.
Speaking about the development,
author and co-director of the Jaipur
Literature Festival, William
Dalrymple says, "Boulder is a long
way from Jaipur, and we are proud
to erect our literary 'Big Top' in
town and to bring the energy,
sparkle and brilliance of Indian
writing to a very different world."
The speakers confirmed for the
three-day edition of the festival
include international best-selling

9-year-old Shreya impresses Obamas


with 'garam masala' burger

New York: A nine-year-old


www.letsmove.gov.
Indian American girl left the
"I have been helping
Obama couple awestruck
them cook since I was
when she served a 'garam
three. I love to mix, measmasala' Quinoa Burger with
ure, chop, and even clean
'raita' to them -- and won a
up afterwards," she posted.
chance to dine with the First
"My grandma and I
Lady at the White House.
came up with this recipe
Hailing from Schaumburg,
together because we both
Illinois, Shreya Patel was
love sandwiches. We make
among 55 young cooks who
this recipe often to take to
Shreya Patel's quinoa burger won her a
were given a red carpet welschool for lunch or even
chance to dine with the First Lady at the
come at the White House
on picnics with friends,"
White House
during the fourth annual
said Patel who aims to
"Kids' State Dinner" recently. the winning recipe from Illinois. become a pharmacist like her
The competition was to create a She was invited for the lunch father.
recipe for a healthy lunch, the with Michelle Obama at a
Her Quinoa Burger dish was
flower-bedecked table in the enhanced with garam masala,
Chicago Tribune reported.
President Barack Obama and East Room on July 10.
cumin, ginger and grated serrano
"I have watched my mom and chillies.
his wife Michelle savored her
dish at the event and praised her grandma make all sort of deliThe "Kids' State Dinner" concious food in the kitchen with an test was open to children aged
effort, the daily said.
Patel's garam masala quinoa Indian twist since I was born," eight to 12 and nearly 1,000
burger with raita was chosen as Patel was quoted as saying on recipes were submitted.

The three day fest will be held Sept 18-20 at Boulder, Colorado

author Jung Chang, Pulitzer Prizewinning poet Vijay Seshadri,


Moroccan-American essayist and
novelist Laila Lalami, Israeli journalist, political commentator and
author Gideon Levy, ChineseAmerican best-selling author
Anchee Min, and journalist, historian and award-winning author
Simon Sebag-Montefiore.
"We at JLF are looking forward to
a stimulating and inspirational edition in beautiful Boulder,
Colorado," says Namita Gokhale,
author and co-director of the Jaipur

Literature Festival. The festival will


bring together Indian-American,
Asian and Latin American authors
to explore a variety of literary topics and themes of local and international interest. While in terms of literary works the focus will remain
on Native American, Latino,
African American, Asian American
and regional literature, a diverse
range of themes will be explored
like migration; politics and conflict;
environmental concerns; the poetic
imagination and Native American
voices.

Chicago suburb to host India's


Independence Day parade

Naperville: The Chicago suburb of


Naperville is to officially host the
India Independence Day parade this
year, making it the first city in
Midwest America to do so.
The parade is organized in many
American cities by private organizations like the Federation of Indian
Associations. The parade will be held
on August 16, a Sunday.
Naperville's Indian Community
Outreach Organization(ICO) and the
Alliances of Midwest Indian
Association have jointly organized
the parade and related celebrations
which includes hoisting the Indian
flag at the Naperville Municipal
Center. The organizers said that they
anticipated a large turnout, rivalling
the Independence Day parade in
Chicago's 'little India' Devon Avenue,
traditionally the biggest such event in
the area. The India Day Parade will
showcase India's rich and diverse culture, with several floats organized by

Indian cultural, business and political


organizations. Spectators will be
treated to a rich variety of Indian cuisine, ethnic arts, apparel and jewelry.
At an event to announce the parade,
senior city officials were unabashedly
enthusiastic. Naperville Mayor Steve
Chirico and Mayor Emeritus George
Pradel lauded the contributions of the
suburb's Indian American community.
There was even a proposal for Pradel
to be the 'parade marshal' attired in a
traditional Indian attire.
"Indian Americans are now a significant part of Naperville's population
in both numbers and impact," said
ICO chairman Krishna Bansal. The
community, which saw a dramatic
grown since the nineties, now comprises ten percent of the suburb's total
population. Moreover, with the recent
influx of information technology
workers and other professionals from
India, over 70 percent are first generation immigrants.

US AFFAIRS

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

No dumping Trump: Donald will


dominate rst GOP debate

Washington: Powerful Republicans


have started to accept that the first
TV debate next month in Cleveland
will be The Trump Show, but they
have their fingers crossed its a onetime performance, reports The Daily
beast. Whether its the winery-owning mega donor, or the Koch-backed
Hispanic outreach group or the former head of the American
Conservative Union, there is a distaste for the abrasive reality TV star
and real estate tycoon, Donald
Trump, whose wealth now stands at
$10 billion.
But although there was preliminary
chatter about finding a way to marginalize Trump or
keep him off the debate stage in Cleveland, Ohio, the
unhappiness with his recent insulting comments about
Hispanics has yielded to mere condemnation and an
unhappy acquiescence to his presence in the race.
Theyre bringing drugs. Theyre bringing crime.
Theyre rapists. And some, I assume, are good people, Trump said recently.
John Jordan, the multi-millionaire winery owner
and the third-largest donor to super PACs in the country in 2013, had originally contemplated gathering
signatures to keep Trump off the debate stage. But
now he says: Im content right now to let the process
play out, that is for the party and the candidates to fig-

ure out. Al Cardenas, the former


chairman
of
the American
Conservative Union and Floridas first
Hispanic GOP state chairman, said he
hoped the primary process would naturally weed out Trumps candidacy,
rather than a top-down effort to push
him out.
Its a mild form of censorship to
say that because we disagree with his
tone or comments about the immigrant
community, [he] should leave the
race, added Daniel Garza of the
Koch-backed Libre Initiative, which
seeks to appeal to Hispanic voters.
Alfonso Aguilar, the head of the conservative American Principles Projects Latino
Partnership, views Trumps insulting and baseless
comments as creating pressure on other presidential
candidates to step up their Hispanic outreach.
Instead of seeing him as a problem, I see it as an
opportunitybut one that requires strong leadership, he told the Beast. Hes a lunatic, but weve
had other lunatics run for president. The problem is
not that hes on stageits if you dont respond and
rebuke him. As for the Republican National
Committee, it wants no part in any effort to sideline
Trump. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had called
Trump to preach civility, but Trumps version is it
was a congratulatory call.

America is home to 5 % of the world's population, but 25 % of the world's


prisoners. One in every 35 African-American men is serving time.

Obama proposes fairer justice


system for minorities

Washington: President Obama has


urged the Congress to establish a
new criminal justice system, fairer
towards African-Americans and
Latinos and with reduced penalties
for those convicted of minor drugrelated crimes. Obama on Tuesday
presented his proposal for criminal
justice reform at the annual convention of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored
Peoples, or NAACP, the nation's
leading organization for the defense
of African-American rights.
NAACP is critical of the impunity
of white officers in the deaths of
African-Americans under disputed

circumstances. "One in every 35


African-American men and one in
every 88 Latino men is serving
time. Among white men, the number is one in 214. The bottom line is
that in too many places, black boys
and black men, Latino boys and
Latino men are treated differently
under the law," denounced Obama.
"America is home to 5 percent of
the world's population, but 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Our
incarceration rate is four times higher than China's. We keep more people behind bars than the top 35
European countries combined," said
the president.

Fed's Yellen reiterates she expects rate hike this year


Washington: Federal Reserve
strengthen over the remainder of
Chair Janet Yellen told
this year and the unemployment
Congress Wednesday that the
rate to decline gradually."
Fed still plans to begin raising
Yellen added that low oil
interest rates this year amid an
prices and job growth should
improving economy but that it
bolster consumer spending while
will likely push them up graduthe negative effects of a strong
ally.
dollar and low oil prices on
But the often-contentious
exports and business investment
hearing before the House
diminish.
Federal Reserve
Financial Services Committee
She didn't provide more
Chairwoman Janet
repeatedly veered into sharp Yellen testified before specifics about the timing of the
exchanges about the Fed's
first hike in the Fed's benchmark
the U.S. House
accountability to lawmakers.
rate since 2006, reiterating that it
Committee on
On the economy, Yellen said,
will depend on the progress
Financial Services.
"Prospects are favorable for
shown by the economy and labor
further improvement in the US labor market market. Many economists expect the Fed to
and the economy more broadly. In her semi- act as early as September; others say the cenannual monetary policy testimony, she added tral bank is likely delay the move until
that the Fed "expects US GDP growth to December or even 2016.

Bill on Obama's free community college plan


Washington: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) will introduce
legislation Wednesday to make community
college free for low-income students, fulfilling
a promise made by President Obama in his
State of the Union address this year.
In his February speech, Obama touted his
plan as a "chance to graduate ready for the
new economy, without a load of debt."
"Understand, you've got to earn it -- you've
got to keep your grades up and graduate on
time," he said. "Tennessee, a state with
Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city
with Democratic leadership, are showing that
free community college is possible. I want to
spread that idea all across America, so that two
years of college becomes as free and universal

in America as high school is today."


America's College Promise Act will provide
a federal match of $3 for every $1 invested by
states to waive tuition and fees at community,
technical and tribal colleges.
The legislation goes even further than
Obama's proposal by creating an affordable
path to a bachelor's degree as well. It would
cover a significant portion of the cost of two
years of college for low-income students who
attend qualifying minority-serving institutions,
such as historically black colleges and universities. Lawmakers estimate that this legislation
could help a full-time community college student save an average of $3,800 in tuition per
year and benefit an estimated 9 million students if every state participates in the program.

Corporate Office: 385 Seneca Avenue, Ridgewood NY 11385


718.821.3182, www.AtlanticDialysis.com

10

INDIA

July 18-24, 2015

Mumbai blasts convict Yakub


Memon to hang on July 30
Yakub
Memon.

Nagpur: Yakub Memon, convicted for his role in the March


12, 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts,
will be hanged on July 30, official sources said here.
He is likely to be be hanged in
the Nagpur Central Jail, where
he is currently lodged, following the rejection of his mercy
plea in April this year by the
president, said the official who
declined to be identified.
A chartered accountant,
Memon, 53, has filed his second review petition before the
Supreme Court which is expected to be heard July 21, but the
state government is making all
preparations for the hanging
with the warrant issued earlier
this week.
He was awarded the death
sentence by a Special TADA
Court in Mumbai on July 27,

2007 for his role in the blasts,


including arranging finances for
carrying out the 13 serial explosions which left 257 dead and
over 700 injured across the city
on March 12, 1993.
Subsequently, Memon - the
brother of one of the main
absconding accused Ibrahim
alias Tiger Memon - appealed
against the sentence in the
Bombay High Court, Supreme
Court and later filed a mercy
petition with the president, followed by a review petition, and
now a second review petition
which is pending.
Leading criminal lawyer and
a former defence lawyer in the
same case Majeed Memon
questioned the need for the state
government's "hurry" in the
matter even before the outcome
of the second review petition.

CBI files three FIRs


in Vyapam scam
New Delhi: A day after
holding a meeting with
Special Investigation Team
and its Special Task Force
officials in Bhopal in
Madhya Pradesh, the CBI
registered three cases in its
ongoing probe into the
Vyapam scam in the state.
The CBI registered a
First Information Report
against 21 candidates in
the 2010 Pre-Medical Test
(PMT) apart from one
against eight accused in
the 2011 Pre-PG exam.
The third case was registered against 28 persons
for alleged illegalities in
the Pre-Medical Test held
in Madhya Pradesh in
2009 and 2010.
The accused were
booked on charges of
criminal conspiracy, cheating by impersonation,
cheating and dishonestly

inducing delivery of property, forgery of valuable


security, forgery for purpose of cheating, using as
genuine a forged document
and knowing it to be
forged, and intending to
use it as genuine.
A 40-member CBI team
reached Bhopal following
the Supreme Court's order
to take over the investigation from the Special
Investigation Team (SIT)
of Madhya Pradesh Police.
According to CBI
sources, police teams from
Gwalior, Indore and
Jabalpur were probing various matters related to the
scam.
The STF, set up by the
SIT, and police teams
handed over many documents related to the probe
to the central agency,
sources said.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Modi seeks end to deadlock on land bill


New Delhi: Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said the deadlock
over land acquisition was seriously
impacting rural development, as
Congress chief ministers boycotted
the Niti Aayog meeting called by
him to discuss the contentious land
bill.
Addressing a meeting of the
Governing Council of NITI Aayog
here, Modi said political considerations should not come in the way of
a solution to the imbroglio over land
bill.
The meeting, days before parliament's monsoon session opens on
July 21, saw the participation of 16
chief ministers, including eight of
the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Congress, firmly opposed to
the land acquisition bill of the
National Democratic Alliance
(NDA) government, stayed away.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
later told the media that many states
were keen on having their own land
laws if there was a delay in building
a national consensus over the contentious land bill.
In his remarks, Modi said the central and state governments must
move together.
"The political deadlock over land
acquisition is seriously impacting
rural development, including the
creation of schools, hospitals, roads
and irrigation projects," he said.
He said there was no difference
between his government and states
on paying enhanced compensation
for acquired land.
Modi said several states had raised

Hazare to go on hunger
strike over land bill
Ralegan-Siddhi (Maharashtra): Social activist
Anna Hazare announced plans to launch an indefinite
hunger
strike
from
October 2 in
Delhi for implementation of the
'One Rank One
P e n s i o n '
(OROP) for exservicemen and
against the contentious land
Social activist
acquisition bill.
Anna Hazare
"I will launch
my fast at Ramlila Maidan in the capital from
October 2 on these issues," Hazare told media persons here.
Prior to the hunger strike, the 78-year-old former
army driver will honour war widows and mothers
of martyred defence personnel in Delhi on "Shahid
Din" on July 26, he said.
This will mark the start of awareness rallies of
farmers and retired defence personnel all over the
country.
Hazare recently wrote to Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on both the issues, but said there
has been no response from the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of the Skill India


Mission at NITI Aayog in New Delhi.

concerns about the land bill enacted


by the United Progressive Alliance
government in 2013, saying "development work was suffering" due to
its provisions. He said some chief
ministers also wrote to him seeking
changes in the 2013 act.
Modi told the meeting that the
views of states would be kept in
mind by the government.
Congress spokesperson R.P.N.
Singh said the party's chief ministers did not go for the NITI Aayog
meeting as the Congress stance on
"land bill was clear". He said the
Congress was against changes to the
2013 act.
Jaitley took a dig at Congress
chief ministers.
"Those who chose to boycott must
introspect whether not attending the
meeting is in tune with the spirit of

federalism. You can come and


express alternative opinion," he
said.
"The chief ministers (at the meeting) said that either the centre must
evolve a consensus or give enough
flexibility to states to frame their
own land law. (States) cannot wait
indefinitely for a consensus."
He said both Bihar Chief Minister
Nitish Kumar and Delhi Chief
Minister Arvind Kejriwal favored
the 2013 act.
Jaitley said the alternate view was
that states faced hurdles in economic development due to delays in land
acquisition.
"Land is needed for creating alternative employment for farmers,
laborers. It is required for development, infrastructure, industry, jobs,
housing," he said.

Russia chooses Reliance


Group for 'Make in India'
frigates
New Delhi: With India close to
choosing Grigorivich frigates
for its navy, Russia is partnering
Anil Ambani-led Pipavav
Defence to build these ships
under Prime Minister Narendra
Modi's "Make in India" initiative, official sources said.
They will be upgraded versions of Talwar-class ships, or
the Russian equivalent of
Krivak-III.
Confirming this to IANS, at
least two senior defense officials said a team from Russia
evaluated three-four private and
state-run shipyards as they were
keen on an Indian partner if the
ships were to be built in India.
This will be a pre-condition for
the order valued at $3-$3.5 billion.
The sites evaluated were

Pipavav's yard in Gujarat,


Larsen and Toubro's unit at
Ennore, and the state-run
Cochin Shipyard in Kerala.
Pipavav, a majority stake in
which was acquired by the
Reliance Group a few months
ago, emerged the winner.
"The Prime Minister's Office
is closely watching the development," one of the two officials
told IANS. "This is likely to be
an order that will be placed on
the government of Russia by our
government."
The idea is to have a 198-ship
naval force by 2027, up from
the current 137 vessels. Already,
48 warships are under construction at Indian shipyards, including aircraft carriers, frigates,
destroyers,
submarines,
corvettes and fast-attack craft.

INDIA

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Sonia Gandhi,
Rajnath Singh
and others at
the iftar
party hosted
by President
Pranab
Mukherjee in
New Delhi.

Minister Arvind Kejriwal.


Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav,
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad
Pawar, Trinamool Congress leader Derek
O'Brien and several diplomats were among
the attendees.
In his message, the President said
Ramadan was a month of blessings and forgiveness which reminds people of their duty
towards the poor and less privileged as well
as the need for charity and generosity
towards all.
"Let us during this holy month pledge to
spread love, affection and mutual trust
among all. May the spirit of Ramadan instill
in each one of us a sense of unity and pride
in the composite culture of India," he said.

Prices shoot up as Kashmir


readies for Eid
Srinagar: As people of Kashmir busied themselves with shopping for the
coming Eid celebrations, prices of
essential commodities as well as fancy
goods hit north in Srinagar and other
cities
and
towns
in
the
valley.
Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival of thanksgiving marking the end of holy month of
Ramadan, is likely to be held on July
18, depending on the sighting of the
New Moon.
Shoppers thronged the markets in
Srinagar, making shopkeepers stretch
working hours till late in the evening
to meet the heavy rush.
City centre Lal Chowk and adjacent
markets were decorated with colourful
banners and hoardings extending Eid
greetings as shoppers moved around to
buy mutton, poultry, bakery products,
vegetables, cottage cheese, clothes and
other items that took their fancy.
In city markets, enthusiastic children
were seen thronging shops with their
parents to buy clothes and firecrackers.
Typical of celebration times in
Srinagar, buyers were forced to pay
inflated prices for different items
while they griped over government
failure to ensure fair prices of essential
commodities during festive seasons.
Though consumer affairs and public
distribution department issued price

lists of essential commodities and got


these published in local newspapers
and put in place checking squads, official price lists were observed more in
breach.
As against the state administration's
retail price of mutton at Rs.310 per kg
and poultry at Rs.100 per kg, meat was
sold at Rs.400 and poultry at Rs.130
per kg everywhere in the city.
Similarly, other essential commodities
were sold at inflated prices.
"Unscrupulous shopkeepers know
how to deal with consumers. They first
create artificial scarcity and then
charge at will," said Javed Shah, 48,
outside a shop selling cheese in the old
city Srinagar.
Long queues were seen outside some
wellknown bakery shops in the city.
"My wife said I must buy bakery
from this shop only. I think I will have
to spend the entire day to fulfill her
wish," remarked Shabir Farash, 41, as
he tried hard to make his way to the
front of baker's shop in uptown
Srinagar city.
Traffic police faced tough time regulating throngs of people as well as
vehicles in the city, with frequent jams
reported across the city.
On the eve of Eid, provincial administration issued a traffic diversion plan
to decongest the city centre and other
busy markets.

11

Geelani not to attend Pakistan High


Commission's Eid milan

President hosts Iftar,


Modi conspicuous by absence

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee


hosted an Iftar party that saw leaders from
several political parties in attendance at
Rashtrapati Bhavan here, but where Prime
Minister Narendra Modi was conspicuous
by his absence.
Modi had a pre-scheduled meeting with
chief ministers of the northeastern states at 7
p.m. and hence did not come to the Iftar.
However, Home Minister Rajnath Singh
and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were
present.
Others who attended the Iftar included
vice president Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Jammu and Kashmir
chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,
Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief

July 18-24, 2015

New Delhi: In a surprise


move, hardline separatist
leader Syed Ali Shah
Geelani has decided
against attending the Eid
Milan being hosted by the
Pakistan High Commission
here on July 21 over the
Kashmir issue being
ignored
at
Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif's
meeting with his Indian
counterpart Narendra Modi
in Russia last week.
The hardline Hurriyat
Conference leader said that
he will register his protest
by not attending the Eid
Milan as the two prime
ministers did not discuss
the Kashmir issue during
their talks in the Russian
city of Ufa on July 10.
As the two prime ministers ignored the fate of over
10 million people of
Jammu and Kashmir in
their meeting, we reject
being a part of any of their
(Pakistan's) celebration,
Geelani said.
The Kashmir issue is
question of life and death

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

for us. Nobody can take us


for granted. And I will not
attend the Eid Milan in
New Delhi to register a
symbolic protest, he said.
Sources in hardline
Hurriyat Conference said
that no member from the
party will attend the event.
They said that the scheduled Iftar party at the high
commission earlier this
month - which was to be
attended by Hurriyat lead-

ers from various factions was canceled to create a


favourable atmosphere for
meeting of the two prime
ministers.
The Narendra Modi government had called off foreign secretary-level talks
with Pakistan in August
last year over Pakistan
High Commissioner Abdul
Basit meeting separatist
leaders on the eve of the
dialogue.

Kejriwal hosts Iftar; Pak envoy,


Jung among attendees

New Delhi: Political fault


lines in the Indian capital
took a hit as Delhi Chief
Minister Arvind Kejriwal
hosted an Iftar party, which
was attended by Lt.
Governor Najeeb Jung, with
whom he has been having a
running feud, and old political foe and former chief
minister Sheila Dikshit.
Vice President Hamid
Ansari, Pakistan's High
Commissioner Abdul Basit,
Trinamool Congress' Rajya
Sabha member Derek
O'Brien, and Delhi Police
chief B.S. Bassi were
among those who attended
the event hosted at the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Lt Governor
Palika Services Officers Najeeb Jung hug each other during an 'Iftaar Party' hosted
Institute at Nehru Park in
by Kejriwal in New Delhi.
Chanakyapuri area.
Janata Dal-United chief ly with Dikshit while Jung him and simply made eye
Sharad Yadav and party was seen chatting with contact.A large number of
Muslims from all over the
leader K.C. Tyagi were also Ansari.
There has been a tussle capital flocked to the event
present.
At one point, Kejriwal, between the Kejriwal govern- hosted by Kejriwal, who is
wearing a skull cap, was ment and Jung over transfers also the chairman of the Urdu
flanked on one side by Jung, and postings of senior offi- Academy.
cials in Delhi.
The only representative
and on the other by Dikshit.
When Bassi reached the from the Bharatiya Janata
Although Kejriwal and Jung
hugged warmly for the cam- venue, neither Kejriwal nor Party was opposition leader in
eras, the chief minister, while Deputy Chief Minister the Delhi assembly Vijender
seated on a sofa, spoke most- Manish Sisodia rose to greet Gupta.

12

OP-ED

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Silence on Kashmir could spell trouble for Sharif


By Harinder Baweja
rime Ministers Narendra Modi and
Nawaz Sharif finally succeeded in
breaking the ice when they met in
Ufa, Russia, and managed to take the
India-Pakistan relationship out of what
many strategic experts call the deep
freezer.
Relations between the two neighbors
had nosedived after the Modi government
drew a new red line in August last year
when it abruptly called off foreign secretary-level talks after the Pakistani high
commissioner met with Kashmiri separatists. Pakistans interference in Indias
internal affairs was unacceptable', was
the message that had been squarely delivered then. The decision surprised many
because it came within two months of
Sharif attending Modis swearing-in.
A few months later, when guns boomed
along the international border between
India and Pakistan, another stern message
was sent: The Border Security Force was
told to hit Pakistan hard and its officers
were instructed not to seek a flag meeting.
Indias response then was seen as part of a
new policy being carved out by Modi for
Pakistan in particular: Masculine nationalism.
The meeting in Ufa has changed that and
there seems to be a realization that

The Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meeting in Ufa, Russia means


that engagement is the best way forward.

engagement is the best way forward. Of


course, the change in stance comes a few
months after the power-sharing arrangement between the BJP and the PDP in
Jammu and Kashmir. PDP patron Mufti
Mohammad Sayeed had made talks with
Pakistan a pre-condition.
The thaw in Ufa has in fact come at
Indias insistence for it was Modi who
sought a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart. Till now, Pakistans position had

been that the first move must come from


India for it was the one that called off
talks.We cannot be dictated to. Talks
were suspended by your government and
the ball is squarely in Indias court,
Sartaj Aziz, Pakistans security and foreign affairs advisor, had told this paper
last year.
The Congress may be questioning the
breakthrough in Ufa, but the Centre has
been able to put much more into the joint

statement from Indias perspective than


Sharif has. Indias concerns on terrorism
have been flagged as has the issue of the
slow pace of the 26/11 trial which allowed
the Lashkar-e-Toiba military commander
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to walk free.
Quite unlike the infamous Sharm-elSheikh joint statement of 2009 in which
the Manmohan Singh government agreed
to delink terror and talks and surprisingly
mentioned Indias role in Balochistan,
the Ufa statement is totally silent on
Kashmir. The joint communiqu says both
sides are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues but the missing K word
is bound to create problems for Sharif as
soon as he returns home.
While Sharif manages the domestic fallout, he will also have to work towards
finding ways of delivering on the voice
samples of Lakhvi and the other 26/11
accused. The anti-terror court, the defense
lawyers of the accused and the
Pakistani Army and ISI who provide open
patronage to Lakhvi have been blocking the samples for years.
For the immediate, Ufa has opened up a
window of opportunity, one that extends
up to next year when Modi travels to
Pakistan for the Saarc Summit.
(The comment appeared in The
Hindustan Times)

Modi's bandwagon hits Vyapam roadblock

By Amulya Ganguli

he Vyapam controversy has the potential of being as damaging, if not more,


as the scams which sank the
Congress. The reason why it may prove to be
worse than, say, the spectrum scam is that
Vyapam is unlike any other scandal seen in
recent years.
While most of them related to malfeasance, the recruitment for government jobs
and admission to educational institutions via
the tests conducted by the Vyavsayik
Pariksha Mandal (whose acronym is
Vyapam) in Madhya Pradesh have been
marked by a seemingly unending series of
deaths.
There is patently something eerie and sinister about these demises, including the death
of the Madhya Pradesh governor's son,
which impart a spooky aura to the scandal. It
is this unsettling atmosphere which has made
union minister Uma Bharati say that she
fears for her life.
In spite of being the target of headlines like
"40 deaths and counting", the Shivraj Singh
Chouhan government made the situation difficult for itself by resisting the calls for
entrusting the probe into the deaths to the
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) till the
mounting pressure left him with no alternative but to request the high court to ask the
CBI.
But his retreat came too late. The Supreme
Court had by then taken the matter into its
own hands and asked the CBI to investigate

Curiously, it is Narendra Modi's refusal to speak on the various scams


which has drawn comparisons between him and his predecessor Manmohan
Singh who was also known for being tight-lipped.

the scam. As a result, there is little scope of


repairing the damage done to Chouhan's reputation and also to that of his Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP) and even Prime Minister
Narendra Modi.
Curiously, it is Modi's refusal to speak on
the various scams involving union ministers
like Sushma Swaraj and state governments
run by the BJP in Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh which has drawn comparisons
between Narendra Modi and his predecessor,
Manmohan Singh, who was also known for
being tight-lipped.

It may not amount to overstating the case


to say that the present scene bears more than
a passing resemblance to the atmosphere of
public despair which prevailed in the twilight years of the last government. The Modi
government, too, is currently grappling,
somewhat ineffectually, with the Sushma
Swaraj-Vasundhara Raje-Lalit Modi affair
and is now expected to face a backlash in
parliament and outside from the Vyapam
imbroglio.
It might have been able to shake off some
of the mud flung by its opponents if the

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

economy had shown signs of revival. But by


the time it does so - perhaps early next year - no one knows how the murky allegations
against the external affairs minister and her
family and the two chief ministers will pan
out.
There are other compulsions, too, like
"coalition dharma" which made former
prime minister Manmohan Singh turn a blind
eye, probably at the behest of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, to the telecom spectrum
scam because sacking the then telecom minister, Andimuthu Raja, might have persuaded
the latter's party, the DMK, to bring down
the government by withdrawing support.
At present, the question of coalition dharma does not arise because Modi runs a oneparty - some will say, one-man - government. But his government seems to believe,
like its predecessor, that it will be able to
ride out the storm.
There are differences, however, between
the two situations. While Manmohan Singh
and Sonia Gandhi faced little internal opposition when the various controversies were
eroding the Congress reputation, Modi is less
secure. Already, the BJP's octogenarian
patriarch, L.K. Advani, who is supposed to
visualize the right path for the party - Marg
Darshak - has hinted that those suspected of
wrong-doing should step down, as he did
when his name was mentioned in the hawala
scandal during the Narasimha Rao years in
the early nineties.
It is these multiple anti-government voices
within the saffron camp which differentiates
Modi's tenure from that of the Congress.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

BOOKS

July 18-24, 2015

13

Sequel to the classic 'To Kill A Mockingbird' raises questions


By Shiv Chopra
o Kill A Mockingbird is one of the
most famous American classics of
all time and until this Tuesday it
was the only book that Harper Lee had
ever published. Dug up from its grave, a
manuscript for the first draft of To Kill A
Mockingbird was found. It turned out to
be a completely different book, Go Set A
Watchman. Harper Lee finished writing it
in 1957. She took it to a shrewd editor
who told her to focus on Scout Finchs
early years which she did and three years
later she released Mockingbird. It went
on to sell 40 million copies and became a
required read for most high school students in America.
Watchman manuscript was discovered
in 2011. Thought to be an early draft of
Mockingbird by Lees lawyer, named
Tonja Carter, it was left alone until 2014
when she looked at the manuscript and
discovered a different book with the same
set of characters. Lees agent later took
the aging authors permission to get it
published.
It seems too good to be true that Harper
Lee would agree to publish a second book
after maintaining for 55 years that she
would not. The conspiracy theorists
believe that she was taken advantage of
because of her old age (89 years) and
declining health. Whatever the case, the
book is flying off the shelves and setting

Author of 'To Kill A Mockingbird',


Harper Lee was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom in
2007 by President George W. Bush.

Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 movie


based on Mockingbird, is the ideal father and most moral
alive. Harper Lee's second, new novel 'Go Set A Watchman'
(inset) besmirches the character.

sales records for Barnes & Noble chain


and even Amazon.
The book is set roughly 20 years after
Mockingbird and is marketed as a sequel
but it really isnt. It follows Scout Finch,
now an adult living in New York, as she
visits Maycomb County, her birthplace,
for a vacation. All is well until she discovers that Atticus Finch, her father, is a
racist and bigoted. Atticus tries to stop

lawyers from fighting for civil rights for


African-Americans. In this avatar he is
dramatically different from his character
in Mockingbird, where he is the most
moral man alive, where he fights for Tom
Robinson, a black man accused of rape,
and would go through anything to protect
him. That story is set in 1932 Alabama.
How could Atticus have become so different? Go Set A Watchman tangles with

that question and such inconsistencies


from the first book. For example, in the
first book Tom Robinson, despite Atticus
best efforts, is deemed guilty, but in
Watchman, he is deemed innocent and let
go. These disparities make it difficult to
see it as a sequel but rather as an unrelated book albeit with the same characters.
At a different level, what has disturbed
many is that the new novel besmirches
the name Atticus Finch, the heroic father
in Mockingbird immortalized by Gregory
Peck in the movie of the same name in an
Oscar winning role. What happens now to
all the boys named in his honor, the
Atticus Finches?
Shiv Chopra, now senior at high school,
read 'To Kill a Mockingbird' as part of
course work in 10th grade.

14

DIPLOMACY

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Modi visit: India, Kyrgyzstan boost defense cooperation

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan): India and


Kyrgyzstan have inked four agreements, including in defence cooperation and between their election
commissions, as Prime Minister
Narendra Modi held talks with
President Almazbek Atambayev.
Visiting Bishkek, the penultimate
stop of his tour of Central Asian
countries, Modi in his media statement said his visit to all five countries in the region "demonstrates the
importance that we attach to a new
level of relationship with Central
Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a key part of
that vision".
Modi said resource-rich Central
Asia has an important place in
India's future and both sides seek a
peaceful and secure neighborhood
and have a shared interest in combating extremism and terrorism.
The agreement on defense cooperation was in matters relating to
defense, security, military education and training, conduct of joint

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kyrgyzstan President


Almazbek Atambayev at Ala-Archa State Residence, in Bishkek.

military exercises, exchange of


experience and information,
exchange of military instructors and
observers.
Modi said their defense ties were
strong and the agreement would
help broaden their defense cooperation. The Special Forces of the

armed forces of the two countries


held joint exercise "Khanjar 2015"
in Kyrgyzstan in March, "which
reflected continuity in exercises
held in India in 2011. It was decided to hold joint exercises on an
annual basis", said the joint statement. The Kyrgyz side expressed

its appreciation to India for "training Kyrgyz military officers for


conducting
various
UN
Peacekeeping Courses, including
by the Centre for UN Peacekeeping
in New Delhi", the statement said.
Modi said the IT Centre in the
Kyrgyz Military Academy "is an
example of innovative cooperation
that is important to both countries"
and the new agreement would provide a framework to broaden
engagement.
Modi expressed happiness at the
cooperation agreement between the
election commissions and said he
looked forward to the visit of a
Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation to
India. The other two agreements
were
an
MoU
between
Kyrgyzstan's economy ministry and
the Bureau of Indian Standards on
cooperation in the field of standards, and an agreement on cooperation in culture. Modi said both
sides discussed at length about

boosting trade, investment, tourism,


culture and human resource development and added that the connectivity initiative between India and
Central Asia will further boost economic ties. Modi also thanked
Kyrgyzstan for its support to India's
candidature for a permanent United
Nations Security Council seat.
In the joint statement, India reaffirmed support of the candidacy of
the Kyrgyz Republic for the UN
Human Rights Council for 20162018. Modi said both sides would
hold a roundtable in Bishkek in the
field of agriculture to explore possible avenues for cooperation and
identify concrete projects.
India has offered to share its
experience in agro-processing,
greenhouse technology, water conservation, and agricultural research
with Kyrgyzstan.
Modi gifted the president a handknotted carpet of very fine grade
wool blended with silk.

India, Turkmenistan push for early completion of TAPI pipeline

Ashgabat: India and Turkmenistan


have agreed to push for early implementation of the ambitious TAPI
gas pipeline project as Prime
Minister Narendra Modi held talks
with
Turkmen
President
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The
two sides inked seven agreements,
including for cooperation in fertilizers and in defense.
Modi, who arrived in the
Turkmen capital on Friday evening
from Ufa in Russia, said in his
media statement after Saturday's
talks that the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI)
pipeline project was the "most significant initiative in our relationship".
"This could transform regional
economic cooperation and bring
prosperity along the route. We welcomed the agreements between the
four countries for the pipeline. We
underlined the need to implement
the project quickly," he said.
Modi said he proposed that both
sides should explore multiple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Turkmenistan President


Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the signing ceremony.

options, including the land-sea


route through Iran, for transporting
the gas.
The $10 billion TAPI project is
expected to bring Turkmen natural
gas from its giant Dauletabad and
Galkynysh gas fields to Pakistan
and India. The project is likely to
take off in December.
The joint statement said the TAPI
project "forms a key pillar of eco-

nomic engagement between the two


countries" and its implementation
will have "a transformational
impact on trade between the two
countries".
Both sides decided to "take measures for early implementation of
this important regional project".
Modi also said he conveyed
India's interest in long-term investment in the energy sector in

Turkmenistan. ONGC Videsh


Limited is to open an office in
Ashgabat.
Stressing on connectivity, Modi
expressed
gratitude
for
Turkmenistan's support to India in
joining the Ashgabat Agreement on
trade and transit.
The Ashgabat Agreement is a
transit agreement established in
year 2011 between the countries of
Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and
Oman. Kazakhstan has also joined
the bloc. Modi said he proposed
that Turkmenistan join the
International North South Transport
Corridor project, which aims to
connect Mumbai to St. Petersburg.
"Together with the KazakhstanTurkmenistan-Iran rail link, and
India's proposed investment in
Chahbahar Port in Iran, these initiatives will strengthen connectivity
between our countries," he said.
The two leaders welcomed the
signing of an MoU between the
state-led Turkmenhimiya and
Indian PSU Rashtriya Chemicals

and Fertilizers Limited to provide a


framework for long-term sourcing
of urea from Turkmenistan.
The leaders welcomed the Indian
proposal to set up a urea production
facility in Turkmenistan in collaboration with Turkmen entities, said
the joint statement.
In the field of terrorism, both
sides agreed to step up efforts
against cross-border threats such as
terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug-trafficking.
Both also welcomed the signing
of the Defence Cooperation
Agreement, which would provide a
framework for intensifying bilateral
defence and security cooperation
through exchanges of high and midlevel visits, training and dialogue
between the defence ministries.
Modi also laid a wreath at the
mausoleum of Turkmenistan's first
president Saparmurat Niyazov.
He also presented a specially
handcrafted horse saddle to
Berdimuhamedov, known to be passionate about horses.

Modi inaugurates yoga center in Turkmen capital


Ashgabat: Prime Minister
Narendra Modi inaugurated a traditional medicine and yoga center
here in the Turkmenistan capital.
Modi, who also unveiled a bust
of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre,
praised the local students for a
demonstration of yoga they presented.
"I give you 100 on 100 marks for
the yoga demonstration. Yoga
teaches people to be one with

nature. Its aim is not just physical


exercise, it also touches the mind
and soul," he said.
Modi referred to his meeting with
Turkmenistan
President
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov earlier in the day, and said the president had said this was a small
beginning towards his vision of a
world class yoga center, which
would demonstrate the effects of
yoga to the people. Modi hoped the

yoga center and the Mahatma


Gandhi bust would spread a positive message across Central Asia.
Earlier, Modi laid a wreath at the
mausoleum of Turkmenistan's first
president Saparmurat Niyazov.
"Honoring the memory of a
leader. PM @narendramodi lays a
wreath at Mausoleum of First
President Saparmurat Niyazov,"
tweeted external affairs ministry
spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witness a special yoga session in


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

DIPLOMACY

July 18-24, 2015

15

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has by now impressed one and all by his unlimited source of energy and moving
through an endless number of engagements in a day . Only he can visit one country in a day with a packed program,
and fly to another country the next day without showing any signs of tiredness or fatigue, is a comment often heard
now. (Shhh! the secret is yoga, people whisper). During his just concluded foreign tour from July 7-13 also, he covered
6 countries in 7 days from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, in between attending the BRICS summit in Russia.

Kazakhstan: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the various artists,
who performed during the official lunch hosted by the President of the Republic
of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at Akorda President's Palace,
in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 8.

Turkmenistan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi


inspecting the Guard of Honor during the
Ceremonial Welcome at Independence Square
in Oguzkhan Palace, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
on July 11. The President of Turkmenistan,
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is also seen.

Kyrgyzstan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of


Kyrgyz Republic, Temir Sariyev, unveiling a statute of Mahatma Gandhi
in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on July 12.

Tajikistan: Prime Minister Modi visiting


the Ismaili Somoni Monument at Dusti
Square in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
on July 13.

Indian CEOs called on the Prime Minister in Ufa, Russia on July 9.


Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley is also seen.
Prime Minister Modi planting a sapling at
the Independence Monument in Ashgabat,
Turkmenistan on July 11.

Modi visiting the India-Tajik


Friendship Hospital in
Quarghan Teppa, Dushanbe,
Tajikistan on July 13.

16

COMMUNITY CONVENTIONS

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

20th TANA meet in Detroit was


jam-packed and jubilant

Detroit: Over 12,000 people from all walks


of life and all facets of Telugu society passed
through the Cobo Hall here on July 4th, giving a perfect send-off to two and a half day
celebration of their society and culture organized by the Telugu Association of North
American (TANA).
Chief Guest, Central Minister M. Venkaiah
Naidu gave a scintillating speech and was
honored with the Lifetime Achievement
Award. A video message by Chief Minister
of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu,
was played at the meet.
There were 200 invitees who came from
India to participate in the 100 plus programs
at the 20th biennial TANA convention under
the leadership of TANA president Mohan
Nannapaneni and convention convener
Ganagadhar Nadella. Next TANA president is
Jamapala Chowdhary.
The main stage area holding scores of cultural programs was the central attraction.
Viewers were awestruck by the grandeur of
the stage with giant LED screens, mesmerizing backdrop graphics, as we as performances
by talented artists from US and India: including Shivathandavam by Perini Dance Troup;
sand art by Kanth Risa, Telugu Kala
Vaibhavam by Telugu Association of Greater
Boston.
The first day of the conference took off
with a procession by the artists, presenters,
organizers, and the leadership of TANA amid
divine chanting by the priests. The inaugural
dance ballet, TANA Seva Samskuthi, presented by the students of Natya Dharmi
Foundation for Performing Arts, under the
choreography of Guru Sandhya Atmakuri was
impressive.
Some outstanding programs included hip
dances to groovy movie songs, classical
dances, dance dramas, comedy acts by cine
comedians, scintillating sessions by cine

A giant idol of Telugu Talli, a


symbol of the Telugu people,
towered over the exhibition area.

Indias Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, the chief


guest, was honored by the TANA President Mohan Nannapaneni
(right).

actresses. The energetic youth of Detroit area


presented a tribute show for actor Venkatesh,
forcing him to join in with a jig.
Celebrity programs such as Shiva Reddy
Mimicry, Goreti Venkanna poetry, musical
melodies by star singers were also appreciated. Mani Sharmas musical night on July 4
was a befitting conclusion to the meet.
The exhibit area with 150 plus stalls was
decorated like the colorful streets of Telugu
villages. A giant idol of Telugu Tally adorned
the entrance to the hall. An art and craft area
was decorated with Telugu artifacts and cultural items.
Dignitaries in attendance included Andhra
Pradesh ministers Ayyanna Patrudu,
Kommineni Srinivas. Speaker of AP
Assembly, Kodela Sivaprasad, C.M. Ramesh,
an MP, and ex-MP Yalamanchili Sivaji took
part in a session on building Andhra
Pradeshs new capital Amaravathi and its historical significance for the Telugus. It was
suggested that the new capital should reflect
Telugus glory and aspirations. NRIs support
for the same was solicited.
Several forums on spirituality, immigration,
and matrimony were conducted. Discussions
on womens role in Telugu literature and cinema conducted by Suddala Ashoka Theja was
appealing. Spiritual programs included Sai
Satya Vratam and TTDs Srinivas Kalyanam.
Several programs engaged

A panel suggested
that Andhra
Pradeshs new
capital Amaravathi
should reflect
Telugus glory
and aspirations.

Telugu filmmaker K. Raghavendra Rao was


among the honorees.

Andhra Pradeshs rich culture was showcased at the event.

the youths such as a river boat cruise and


events with movies stars such as Victory
Venkatesh. Special yoga and meditation sessions were also conducted for them.
Glamour was provided by heroines Rakul
Preet Singh, Richa Gangopadhyay, and
Taapsee Pannu. Among the honorees were
cine director K. Raghavendra Rao and
(posthumously) film producer Dr. D Rama
Naidu. Some 40 people who promoted

TANAs mission of "To Share, To Care, And


To Serve The Needy" were honored. Before
the actual conference, TANAs signature program - Dhim Tana dance and singing competitions were held at 16 cities in America and
Canada. Winners from these regional competitions faced off during the conference. There
was also a beauty pageant for the crown to
select Teen TANA, Miss TANA and Mrs.
TANA.

Star power was provided by actresses Rakul Preet Singh, Taapsee Pannu,
and hero of many hits Daggubati Venkatesh.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

COMMUNITY CONVENTIONS

July 18-24, 2015

17

Pomp and pageantry at FeTNA


convention in San Jose

San Jose, CA: The Federation of Tamil


Sangams of North America (FeTNA) held its
28th annual convention with pomp and pageant in San Jose in the San Francisco Bay
Area July 3-5. The venue, National City
Civic Auditorium, saw an attendance of
2,000-2,500 each day.
Tamil scholars of literary, cultural, and
social eminence from South India and elsewhere participated with their resourceful
contributions. Tamil film stars and playback
singers added glamour to the musical
evening.
The 2-day main event commenced with
Thirukkural Marai Othal and Thamizh
Invocation Songs. Groups from the Bay
Area and other Tamil Sangams presented
many cultural programs on both days.
The Chief Minister of Northern Provincial
Council of Sri Lanka, Chief Justice C.V.
Vigneswaran, invited as a special guest,
added significance to the meet. In his
thought provoking speech, he underlined 3
key expectations from the Tamil diaspora.
One, making Tamil language grow and flourish. He said he is convinced to see the diaspora taking every effort in this regard by way
of Tamil cultural events, radio programs, circulation of Tamil books and periodicals, etc.
Two, preserving and making the Tamil language sustainable, for which children should
be taught at home and ensuring they speak
correctly and precisely in their mother
tongue. Finally, defending and safeguarding
the interests of the Tamil people.
The Chief Minister also asked the diaspora to help the Tamil people in the North and
East of Sri Lanka, who are in dire need in
socio-economic and cultural terms, as well
as access to education and work opportunities. Calling a spade a spade, he highlighted
how the Sri Lankan Tamils have suffered so
much for so long by endless wars and
pogroms. He called upon the Tamils the
world over to mobilize and turn the world
opinion to achieve the best political solution
for their people in Sri Lanka.
To commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of the Tamil Carnatic music maestro,
Papanasam Sivan, the Bay Area Tamil
Manram staged five of his compositions in a
group performance by children, which was
applauded by the audience. This special tribute was choreographed and presented by
Mrs. Sugi Shiva and Vidwan Mullaivasal
Chandra Mouli. FeTNA has been in the forefront in bringing the folk arts and music
from Tamil Nadu to North America. This
year it brought a Paraiyisai musician and a
folk singer. Parai is an instrument used for
5000 years in Tamil history. In the
KaviArangam by Prof. Abdul Kadher local
talents presented their poetry. A panel headed
by SumathiSree debated whether Tamil language or Tamil culture is supreme?
The SangangalinSangamam was the
highlight of the second days events. The
Tamil Sangams from many US states as well
as Canada bearing their respective banners
paraded through the overflowing convention
hall. The cultural events, such as Thirukkural

The Chief Minister of Northern


Provincial Council of Sri Lanka, Chief
Justice C.V. Vigneswaran asked the
Tamil diaspora to help their long
suffering brethren in North and
Eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

dance, Kolaattam, Kaavadiaattam, and


Silambam, depicting Tamil tradition and heritage, were staged after the parade. Tamil
Entrepreneurs Forum (TEF) was a daylong
parallel event organized by the San
Francisco Bay Area Tamil Manram and
FeTNA, in association with Tamil Nadu
Foundation, which attracted over 600 people. Eight people received the Tamil
American Pioneer (TAP) award.
Special speeches on Tamil literature by
Prof. Michael Witzel, Professor of Sanskrit,
Harvard University; Dr. V.S. Rajam, former
Tamil professor; Dr. S. Palaniappan,
President, SARII; and Dr. Margaret Bastin,
former principal of Kalai Kaviri College of
Arts, Tiruchirappalli added value to the convention.
Prominent Tamil scholars and literary personages who have greatly served Tamil language were felicitated. The proposal to set
up a Chair for Tamil at Harvard University
was discussed and applauded by all.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) session was attended by 90 physicians and coordinated by ATMA (American Tamil Medical
Association), FeTNA, and Emory University
School of Medicine, Atlanta.
8K Radio organized an entertaining
Program in which notable Radio Hosts
BadavaGopi and R. J. Dheena entertained
the audience as standup comedy and notable
Radio Host B.H. Abdul Hameed conducted
literature based dumb charades for couples.
In a first ever Youth Forum Tamil youths
interacted with leading Tamil professionals
from different fields such as sports, journalism, yoga, and literature. Meetings were held
for the alumni of Annamalai University,
PSG, and St. Joseph College, Tiruchirappalli.
The July 4 program ended with a Q&A
with actor Madhavan before the Bennet and
Band light music show with singers
Haricharan, Magizhini, Pooja, etc.
Behind the shows success were FeTNAs
coordinator for Bay Area, Thillaikumaran,
and FeTNA President Nanjil Peter, and
many volunteers.

New York Tamil Sangam Board and members who attended FeTNA 2015.

Cultural events depicting Tamil


tradition and heritage were staged.

FeTNAs coordinator for Bay


Area, Thillaikumaran

Tamil scholars Prof. Michael Witzel of Harvard University and Dr. V.S. Rajam
were honored. A proposal to set up a Tamil Chair at Harvard was
discussed at the convention.

Dr Ramanathan
Raju (in black
suit) with NY
Tamil Sangam
President
Vijayakumar,
Kanchana Poola,
Diwakar and
Dr Paridivel

18

ULTIMATE BOLLYWOOD

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

India's fastest Rs.100-crore film is 'Baahubali'


fter marching into the Rs.100 club
within an astounding two days of
its release, lmmaker S.S.
Rajamouli's magnum opus "Baahubali The Beginning" minted close to Rs.140
crore in its rst weekend. Its international
business is also turning out to be "recordsmashing", say trade gurus.
"It took 'Baahubali' just two days to enter
the Rs.100 crore club worldwide. No other
Indian lm has achieved this rare feat
before. In its opening weekend, it is said to
have approximately grossed Rs.140 crore,"
trade analyst Trinath said.
Said to be made on a budget of Rs.250
crore, "Baahubali - The Beginning", the
rst in a two-part war drama, starring
Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty
and Tamannah Bhatia, is about two brothers at war for an ancient kingdom.
Released on July 10 in four languages -Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi -simultaneously, the lm has surprisingly
performed extremely well in all the languages. According to Trinath, if the lm
can sustain this week in cinemas, it may
turn out to be the biggest hit in the history
of Indian cinema.
"Monday numbers are very crucial. If
there isn't a big dip in the collections, then
it's good. The lm has to sustain through

'Bajrangi
Bhaijaan' to
enter Pak
but with
cuts
ndian superstar Salman
Khan's "Bajrangi Bhaijaan",
which is about a man discovering love during a journey
from India to Pakistan, will
release across the border, albeit
with a few cuts.
According to sources, it has

Never expected
big support for
'Baahubali':
Rajamouli
A scene from the magnum opus 'Baahubali - The Beginning.'
the week to rake in as much as it can before
this week's releases, including Salman
Khan's 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', hit the
screens," he said.
With the distributor nett share of Rs.42.3
crore on the rst day in the country,
"Baahubali" surpassed "Happy New Year"
(Rs.42 crore), "Dhoom: 3" (Rs.32 crore),
"Singam Returns" (Rs.31.8 crore),
"Chennai Express" (Rs.31 crore), "Ek Tha
Tiger" (Rs.30.3 crore), "Bang Bang"

(Rs.28 crore), "Kick" (Rs.26 crore), "PK"


(Rs.25 crore) and "Agneepath" (Rs.22
crore).
The Hindi version of the lm minted
Rs.22.35 crore in the rst weekend in
India, according to trade analyst Taran
Adarsh.
"#Baahubali is on a RECORD-SMASHING spree in international arena. Puts up
MASSIVE numbers. USA, Canada, UK,
Australia," Adarsh tweeted.

Salman Khan in a scene from 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan.'

already been censored in


Islamabad and Karachi, but
its fate will be determined
by whether or not it gets
approved by the Lahore censor
board. Terming the censor
screenings in Islamabad and
Karachi as a routine procedure, chief executive of
Eveready Pictures, Satish
Anand, said that the process of

censoring the film was the same


as it is for any other international film.
'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' has been
approved for Eid release by the
CBFC but with several cuts (to
the film), The Express
Tribune quoted the chairman of
Pakistan's Central Board of
Film
Censors
(CBFC)
Mobashir Hasan as saying.

The Kabir Khan directorial


narrates the story of a Hindu
man on a mission to take a
young Pakistani girl, who is
dumb and mute, back to her
country. It chronicles the
adventures and experiences he
stumbles upon during his road
trip.
The film also stars Kareena
Kapoor Khan and Nawazuddin
Siddiqui and will hit Indian
screens on Friday, before Eid
which is on July 18.
Hasan added that the panel
that recommended these
changes comprised members of
national security agencies, film
critics and members of civil
society, who made the decision
after a thorough discussion.
A slew of Indian films like
Baby, Ek Tha Tiger and
"Agent Vinod with the IndoPak theme in focus, faced a ban
in Pakistan.

Viswanathan was behind success of MGR, Sivaji


S
Late legendary composer
M.S. Viswanathan.

uperstar Rajinikanth said that


late legendary composer M.S.
Viswanathan has played a
prominent role in the success of
Tamil cinema doyens like M.G.
Ramachandran (MGR) and Sivaji
Ganeshan.
"You will rarely nd someone like
MSV in any industry. He lived life
like a seless saint, free from jealousy and lies. He was behind the
success of legends like MGR and
Sivaji," Rajinikanth said. In his

illustrious career lasting over four


decades, he composed music for
over 750 southern lms, mostly
Tamil. MSV was popular for his
collaboration with fellow composer
T.K. Ramamurrthy. The duo composed music for 86 Tamil lms during their association of over a
decade.
Having started composing together in 1952, they split in 1965. Some
of their best lms include
"Paasamalar", "Sumaithaangi",

"Server
Sundaram",
"Aayirathil Oruvan" and
"Enga Veetu Pillai".
Post the separation, MSV
went on to become more successful. Viswanathan's solo
hits include "Bama Vijayam",
"Galatta
Kalyanam",
"Deivamagan", "Moondru
D h e i v a n g a l " ,
"Rickshawkaran", "Bharatha
Vilas" and "Ulagam Sutrum
Valiban".

Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli.


ilmmaker S.S. Rajamouli,
buoyed by the response to his
latest release "Baahubali", says
he never anticipated the kind of support audiences have lent to the film,
which turned out to be India's biggest
opener. He said the entire team behind
the film is overjoyed.
"A big thank you to all my Twitter
friends for your great patronage. To
be very frank, I neither expected this
big a support nor the initial backlash
(sic)," Rajamouli posted on his
Twitter page.
"But the appreciation pouring in
from all quarters & all corners of the
globe, v r just overjoyed. Thanks
again on behalf of my team," he said.
Besides critics and audiences, several celebrities and even industrialists
have been raving about the film.
Tamil filmmaker S. Shankar posted
on Tuesday that "Baahubali" was
truly epic.
"Bahubali- epic thoughts! Poetic
imagination! Strong characterizations! Super heroism! Executed with
stunning visuals! Wowww! Cheers 2
Rajamouli n his team (sic), Shankar
shared.
Industrialist Anand Mahendra said
"Baahubali" is a staggering achievement in Indian cinema.
"'Baahubali' is a staggering achievement. Its scale & CGI finally unleash
the potential of Indian mythology &
folklore on the big screen (sic),"
Mahendra posted on Twitter.

ULTIMATE BOLLYWOOD

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

19

'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' will bring Bollywood continues to


back my innocence: Salman
serenade Chinese audience

fter showcasing his


Dabangg avatar and
going rogue in Ek Tha
Tiger, superstar Salman Khan
says he is on a mission to search
for his innocence and sincerity
through his next two release -Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem
Ratan Dhan Payo.
I didnt prepare for the film
(Bajrangi Bhaijaan) at all... This
movie needed sincerity and innocence which I had lost somewhere.
So, I have tried to bring back my
sincerity and innocence with both
my films -- Bajrangi Bhaijaan
and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo,
Salman told reporters during a promotional visit for Bajrangi
Bhaijaan here on Tuesday.
Along with Salman, director
Kabir Khan, actors Kareena
Kapoor Khan and Nawazuddin
Siddiqui, singers Mika Singh,
Adnan Sami, Jubin Nautiyal and
Amar Butala, CEO of Salman
Khan Films were also present at
the press conference.
The actor has entertained filmgoers by channeling rough and
brawny characters on the silver

A scene from the film 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'

screen through a slew of films be it


Wanted, Dabangg, Ek Tha
Tiger or Kick.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan also runs
high on action and emotional quotient. It is a story about a man discovering love during a journey
from India to Pakistan as he takes a
dumb and mute girl back to her
country. The film will hit the
screens on Friday.

Bollywood
pays no
importance
to music:
Pankaj Udhas
Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas.

hazal singer Pankaj Udhas,


who has launched his single
"Khwaabon
ki
Kahaani", says Bollywood isn't
paying much importance to music
and that seems to have brought its
standard down.
"Bollywood pays no importance
to music. The importance of music
has become practically zero in
Bollywood. The songs in movies
are only there to promote the film.
They are not an integral part of the
movie or the script.
"Earlier, one used to listen to
some good music and poetry
because the songs used to be
woven into the script and they used
to be relevant to the script. Today,
the songs in cinemas are not rele-

amir Khan-starrer "PK"


is set to become the
highest income-earning
Indian movie in China where
Bollywood films are gaining in
popularity and its songs can be
heard even in ringtones.
Following its release across
4,500 screens in China on May
22, "PK" made more than 120
million yuan (around $20 million) -- and it remains a hit.
"It's all set to become the
highest income-earning Indian
movie in the Chinese box office
history," a Chinese trade analyst
said.
Jimy Wangtso, director-general of the government information office of the Tibet
Autonomous Region, said the
craze for Indian movies dated
back to the days of the classic
"Awara".
"Awara" (The Tramp), a 1951
Hindi film, was a runaway hit in
China -- and in Russia too.
"I still love to see this movie
and to tap on its title song," said

vant to films. They have brought


the standard of music to the pedestrian level and there is nothing that
we can do about it," Udhas told
IANS.
A widely popular singer, Udhas
has sung songs like "Chitthi Aayee
Hai" and "Jiye toh jiye kaise" in
movies.
His latest single "Khwaabon ki
Kahaani" was launched on hungama.com, an on-demand digital
entertainment storefront, in the
hope of reaching out to a larger
audience and as an attempt to
revive ghazals.
He says the lack of revenues in
the music world is hampering the
quality, however, there's hope due
to the online platform.

Salman is also caught up with


Sooraj Barjatyas family entertainer "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo", which
stars Sonam Kapoor.
The actor will be seen revisiting
his popular cinema name 'Prem' in
the film, which is special for many
reasons. It also marks Salman's
return to a Barjatya film after 15
years -- after the 1999 movie
"Hum Saath-Saath Hain".

Jimy.The Chinese movie market


is sized at $4.8 billion, second
only to the US, and grew 34
percent in 2014. China produced over 600 films in 2014.
"Like '3 Idiots', 'PK' did a
roaring business in China,"
Indian journalist Atul Aneja,
who is based here, said. The
Chinese, he said, have special
love for Indian movies, soaps
and songs.
Hindi songs have invaded
China too. Transcending language barriers, they make their
presence felt in mobile ringtones and at functions.

'Baahubali: The Beginning' extravagant visuals, poor writing


Review
"Baahubali: The Beginning" has
everything Indian cinema hasn't
witnessed so far. It almost places
Telugu cinema on par with
Hollywood standards with its
vision, extravagant visuals and
the lavish scale on which it's
made. In his attempt to make a
world class product, Rajamouli
may not have passed in distinction but this attempt, despite its
inconsistencies, can't be forgotten
easily. But all that glitters is not
gold, and although Baahubali is
neatly enveloped in a golden
wrapper, what you find inside is
not utterly satisfying.
Like most Rajamouli's films,
"Baahubali..." too is a regular
revenge drama. The only difference is that it's set in an imaginary world made on a lavish
scale and against the backdrop of
a royal family. It's the story of a
son vying to avenge his father's
death for a kingdom. But
Rajamouli is no ordinary filmmaker. Only he can make a simple tale as entertaining, engrossing and awe-inspiring as
"Baahubali", albeit with some
minor flaws. Rajamouli's idea of

A scene from the film 'Baahubali'

two worlds separated by a mountain is impressive. He uses it to


separate good from evil. If
Mahishmati comprises people
who kill their own for the throne,
people from the tribe go out of
their way to save a life.
It's in the second half
"Baahubali..." is truly majestic to
watch. It provides the kind of
visuals; entertainment and action
that'll make you fall in love with
the film, though briefly. The 2030 minutes war sequences are
breathtaking, as an army of thousands lock horns on a battle field.
Senthil Kumar's spectacular camerawork is another reason why

every frame is beautiful and it


elevates the whole experience
when coupled with great sound.
Sabu Cyril and Srinivas Mohan
deserve thunderous applause for
creating incredibly realistic sets
and life-like visual effects.
If only Rajamouli had shown
half the creativity that he used to
choreograph the battle scenes in
his writing, Baahubali would've
been a much better film.
The kind of creativity that
turned a fly into a revenge-seeking character in "Eega". It needs
the kind of writing that'll make
you believe that Baahubali is
more than just gloss.

20 July 18-24, 2015

DIASPORA

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

New British work rules to hit Indian-origin schoolboy in UK


Indian students hard
develops new Alzheimer's test

London: The UK on Monday


announced that it will ban overseas
students from outside the European
Union to work while they study in the
country from the next month, under
tough new rules unveiled by home
secretary Theresa May. The move will
hit students from countries like India.
The new rules will only apply to
non-EU students, who accounted for
121,000 immigrants last year. Only
51,000 of those foreign students left
the UK, leaving a net influx of 70,000
and May pointed to these figures to
defend her efforts for the stricter rules.
She hopes to stop immigrants using
colleges as a "back door to a British
visa" and has banned 870 "bogus colleges" from accepting foreign students. UK immigration minister
James Brokenshire said that from next
month students from outside the
European Union who come to study at
publicly-funded further education
(FE) colleges in Britain will lose the
right to work for up to 10 hours a
week. "Immigration offenders want to
sell illegal access to the UK jobs market, and there are plenty of people

willing to buy," Brokenshire said.


"Hardworking taxpayers who are
helping to pay for publicly funded
colleges expect them to be providing
top-class education, not a backdoor to
a British work visa. Our reforms
which include introducing English
language testing, removing sponsorship rights from hundreds of bogus
colleges, and restricting students'
access to the jobs market are all of
our plan to control immigration for
the benefit of Britain," he said, as the
latest rules were launched in the UK
parliament.
Not only will non-EU student be
banned from working while they
study, but they will not be able to
apply for a visa when their course finishes either. As a further crackdown,
the term of the student visas issued for
FE colleges has also been cut from
three to a maximum of two years after
which they will have to leave the
country. FE colleges are educational
institutions operating outside the
realms of a full-blown university and
include a range of vocational colleges
in the UK.

London: A 15-year-old
Indian-origin boy in the UK
has developed a potential test
for Alzheimer's which could
allow the disease to be diagnosed 10 years before the
first symptoms appear and
even stop its progression.
Krtin Nithyanandam, of
Epsom, Surrey, has developed a 'trojan horse' antibody
which can penetrate the brain
and attach to neurotoxic proteins which are present in the
very first stages of the disease.
The antibodies, which
would be injected into the
bloodstream are also attached
to fluorescent particles which
can then be picked up on a
brain scan.
Krtin submitted his test to
the Google Science Fair
Prize and learned that he had
made it through to the final
last week. He will find out
next month if he has won a
prestigious scholarship and

Krtin Nithyanandam

mentoring to take his idea


further. "The main benefits of
my test are that it could be
used to diagnose Alzheimer's
disease before symptoms
start to show by focusing on
pathophysiological changes,
some of which can occur a
decade before symptoms are
prevalent," Krtin told 'The
Daily Telegraph.'
Neurodegenerative disease
like dementia are hard to
diagnose and treat because of

Karan Bilimoria appointed president of UK Council


for International Student Affairs
London: NRI entrepreneur Lord Karan
Bilimoria has been appointed as the president
of the UK Council for International Student
Affairs (UKCISA).
He will replace Baroness Usha Prashar as
she steps down, having served the maximum
term of nine years. This is the latest in a string
of higher education roles held by him.
Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer, is also
chancellor of the University of Birmingham, a
member of the advisory boards of the Judge
Business School at the University of
Cambridge as well as the Cranfield School of
Management, and was previously chancellor
of Thames Valley University.
Born in Hyderabad, 53-year-old Bilimoria
was the youngest university chancellor in the
UK when he became chancellor of Thames
Valley University, now the University of West
London. "I am very pleased with all the work
that UKCISA does to best represent the voice
and mass of the international student body,
particularly as I myself was an international

"Britain urgently needs more


skilled and talented graduates, yet
its disparaging
rhetoric towards
immigrants among
those in power,
paired with our
home secretary's refusal to
remove students from immigration targets, broadcasts the
wrong message to those hoping
to study here." -Karan Bilimoria
student," he said after his appointment.
He said this appointment enables him to
fully support the UKCISA manifesto and
make a full commitment to speaking on behalf
of Britain's talented international student community. "Britain urgently needs more skilled

and talented graduates, yet its disparaging


rhetoric towards immigrants among those in
power, paired with our home secretary's
refusal to remove students from immigration
targets, broadcasts the wrong message to those
hoping to study here. As a result, we have seen
members of the international student community turn its back on Britain in vast numbers,"
he said.
"I aim to do all I can to turn this worrying
trend around by promoting the huge benefits
of studying in Britain's great universities and
pushing for talented and highly skilled students to be able to stay in Britain after graduation, through schemes like the two year post
study work visa - which should be reintroduced. "These measures will benefit international students, while strengthening the British
economy and making Britain a hub for knowledge, skills and business," he added.
The UKCISA is the UK's national advisory
body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them.

the blood-brain barrier.


Krtin's antibodies can pass
through the barrier.
Lab tests even showed that
they 'handcuff' the toxic proteins, stopping them from
developing further which
could potentially stop
Alzheimers in its tracks.
"Some of my new preliminary research has suggested
that my diagnostic probe
could simultaneously have
therapeutic potential as well
as diagnostic," said Krtin
who attends Sutton Grammar
School.
Krtin moved to Britain
from India with his family
when he was a baby.
He suffered from hearing
problems as a child and
wants to study medicine
when he leaves school. "I
have personally seen what a
difference it can make to
people's lives and I want to
make a difference to the lives
of others," he said.

NGOs to run community affairs


of Malaysian Indians: Report
Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian government has decided to disburse funds aimed
at development of the Malaysian Indian
community through non-governmental
organizations and training institutions following the leadership tussle within the
country's largest ethnic Indian party, a
media report said on Thursday. The
department
of
Socio-Economic
Development of the Indian Community
(SEDIC) would disburse the funds
through selected NGOs and training institutions, and not through individuals or
political parties, The Malaysian Insider
quoted SEDIC Director N.S. Rajendran as
saying. Among the 11 areas identified for
funding are development of Tamil
schools, issuing of identity cards to
undocumented Indians, university admissions and promoting Indian participation
in the public sector.
"The proposals will go through different
stages of screening before they are
approved by the prime minister,"
Rajendran said.

SUBCONTINENT

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

21

India, Tajikistan to boost anti-terror cooperation


Dushanbe (Tajikistan): India and
Tajikistan have agreed to intensify cooperation in combating terrorism and extremism
as well as in defense and connectivity as
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the
final stop of his Central Asian tour and
asserted that India must reconnect with the
region.
Modi, who held talks with President
Emomali Rahmon at the Qasr-e-Millat
(Palace of Nations), also assured India's support to Tajikistan in the field of agriculture.
Both sides inked agreements on culture
and human resource development.
Speaking on terrorism, Modi said both
nations were "located in the proximity of the
main source of terrorism. Combating terrorism and extremism has always been an
important and productive area of cooperation. At a time of growing threat of terrorism, we have resolved to intensify our cooperation further". The joint statement said
both agreed to re-invigorate official-level
interactions in counter-terror under the Joint
Working Group (JWG) on Counter
Terrorism. Modi said both agreed to
strengthen defense cooperation. "It is a

Narendra Modi with President Emomali Rahmon at the


Qasr-e-Millat (Palace of Nations).

strong pillar of our strategic partnership."


The joint statement said Modi reiterated
India's commitment to supporting the devel-

opment of Tajikistan's defense capacities to


enhance stability and security.
Both sides also stressed boosting trade and

connectivity links. Modi, addressing a workshop on agriculture later, said: "Today I


complete my tour of Central Asia. I return to
India convinced that India and Central Asia
must reconnect. It is important for the future
that we seek for our countries and our
region. "So we will improve our surface
connectivity, as well as our digital and air
connectivity. We will reach you through Iran
and other Central Asian countries," he said,
and hoped India and Tajikistan can connect
directly, "as we once were in history".
Earlier, in his media statement, Modi said
both sides have tasked the Joint
Commission to meet and finalise a concrete
roadmap to expand trade and economic ties.
On connectivity, Modi said both agreed to
promote the International North South
Transport Corridor, that seeks to connect
Mumbai with St. Petersburg.
Modi said he hoped both nations could
establish a direct link to promote prosperity
across the region.
Modi conveyed India's appreciation for
Tajikistan's continued support for India's
candidature for permanent membership of a
reformed UN Security Council.

Post-Russia, hiccups mar India Pakistan ties Sri Lankan president opposes
Islamabad/New Delhi: In what
appeared to a speed-breaker in
India-Pakistan ties, a top Pakistani
official said the Mumbai terror
attack trial can be expedited only if
New Delhi cooperates.
Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif's key advisor on
national security and foreign affairs,
also said that no dialogue process
will take place with India unless
Kashmir was discussed.
This comes three days after India
and Pakistan issued a joint statement
condemning terrorism and deciding
to expedite the trial of the 2008
Mumbai terror attack -- after Prime
Ministers Narendra Modi and
Nawaz Sharif met on the sidelines
of the SCO Summit in Ufa, Russia.
While the Indian government did
not react until evening to Aziz's
comments, the BJP, which had
hailed the Modi-Sharif talks, downplayed the statement, saying it was
meant for the domestic audience.
Aziz told the media in Islamabad
that "additional information" was
required to expedite the trial of the
Pakistanis accused of plotting the
attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead in Mumbai.
At Ufa, the Indian side reportedly
sought the voice sample of Zakiur
Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind behind the Mumbai terror
attack who is out on bail in Pakistan.
At the meeting with Modi, Sharif
too sought information on the
progress of the Samjhauta Express
blast trial in India that left many
Pakistanis dead, Aziz said.
The Pakistani media quoted Aziz
as saying that the Ufa meeting was
held on the request of Modi. He
underlined that it was an informal

Rajapaksa's nomination

Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's key advisor on


national security and foreign affairs.

discussion - and the "not the formal


start of a dialogue process".
No dialogue process will take
place with India unless the Kashmir
issue was included, he added.
"Sharif raised concerns on all
issues (with Modi), including India's
alleged interference in the internal
matters of Pakistan, particularly its
continuing support for insurgency in
Balochistan," Aziz said. The joint
statement issued after the Modi-

Sharif meeting steered clear of the


Kashmir issue. It was the first bilateral talks after a year. Bharatiya
Janata Party spokespersons
appeared reluctant to comment on
the latest development. But former
home secretary R.K. Singh, now a
BJP MP, said Aziz's statement was
meant for the domestic audience.
"This statement is addressed to their
(Pakistan) domestic audience, it
defies all logic," he said.

Much rhetoric in Pakistan, India talks: Daily


Islamabad: So far there seems to be "much rhetoric and little substance" following the talks between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and
his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, said a Pakistani daily.
An editorial in the News International "A taste of old wine" said that
the need is to "plan strategy carefully and with genuine commitment if
there is to be any real success in building the harmony that the region
needs". "So far there seems to be much rhetoric and little substance," it
added. Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National
Security Sartaj Aziz has given a briefing on the interaction between the
prime ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization in Ufa, Russia. "There was nothing said that
we have not heard before," said the daily. Aziz stressed that Track-II
diplomatic contact between the two sides would be stepped up, with a
host of issues to be discussed. "Though he did not say so in so many
words, it seems Kashmir may also be an issue taken up initially at least
at Track II level," the editorial said.

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Colombo: Sri Lankan President


Maithripala Sirisena said he was
opposed to former president
Mahinda Rajapaksa being given
nomination from his party to contest
the August 17 parliamentary elections.
Breaking his silence over the issue
after he drew criticism from his own
party members, Sirisena said he
never agreed to give nomination to
Rajapaksa and feels he will lose the
poll, Xinhua reported.
"I totally disagree with the party's
decision to grant nomination to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
However, he will be defeated at the
election, as he was defeated at the
last presidential election," Sirisena
said in a special statement to the
media on Tuesday.
Sirisena's party, the Sri Lanka
Freedom Party (SLFP), and its
alliance partners in the United
People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
had said Sirisena backed the decision to give Rajapaksa poll nomina-

tion in the best interest of the party.


However, after a long silence,
Sirisena said he never agreed to give
Rajapaksa nomination when the
matter was discussed with UPFA
leaders.
The president said he would
remain neutral ahead of the polls
and not openly support any political
party. Rajapaksa was among those
named as UPFA candidates for the
parliamentary elections when the
final lists were handed over to the
respective election offices in the districts when nominations closed on
Monday.
However, Sirisena, who was elected president on January 8 after
defeating Rajapaksa, said he will
never go back on the mandate given
to him in that election.
Sirisena is currently the president
of the SLFP and the UPFA, while
Rajapaksa is a senior advisor in the
SLFP. However, in January, Sirisena
decided to contest against Rajapaksa
who was then the head of the party.

22

INTERNATIONAL

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Indian among 20 arrested in China for 'terror links'

Beijing/London, : An Indian is
among the 20 members of a tourist
group whose excursion in China
"went horribly wrong" when they
were detained allegedly for having
terror links and held incommunicado for almost two days, said a
South African charity.
'Gift of the Givers Foundation'
said in a Facebook post that the
group was on a tour to explore
ancient China as part of "a planned
47-day journey for ten South
Africans, nine Britons and one
Indian national".
The Indian as well as the other
group members were not identified
in the post.
The charity said the trip "went
horribly wrong on Friday, July 10,
when they were arrested at Erdos
Airport, Inner Mongolia, at 9.40
a.m. local time". It said no reasons
were given for the arrests.
"Cellphones were confiscated,
there was no access to the
embassies of origin nor to their
families. They were detained without charge with no access to any
communication nor to legal repre-

India to provide consular access for


national held in China

The Indian as well as the other group members


were not identified in the post.

sentation.
"It was only on Sunday, 48 hours
later, when the tour operator
realised that something was amiss
and made the trip to Erdos, that the
first information on the detained
citizens came to light," the
Facebook post said.
It went on to say that the
Chinese, "now trying to find reasons for the detention suggested
that some members were linked to
a terror group, to a banned organi-

sation, to watching propaganda


videos in their hotel room". A joint
team from the South African
embassy and the British embassy
has met Chinese foreign ministry
officials in this regard.
The Chinese have now agreed to
release 11 out of the 20 detainees
but "they will remain in detention
without being charged until flights
can be found for them out of
China". "The other nine are being
held without charge at a detention

New Delhi: India is working to provide consular access to an Indian


national detained in China on charges of having terror links, official
sources here said. "We are working on providing consular access to
the Indian national arrested in China," official sources told IANS.
An Indian is among a 20-member tourist group whose excursion in
China "went horribly wrong" when they were detained allegedly for
having terror links and held incommunicado for almost two days, said
a South African charity.
'Gift of the Givers Foundation' said in a Facebook post that the
group was on a tour to explore ancient China as part of "a planned 47day journey for ten South Africans, nine Britons and one Indian
national".
The Indian as well as the other group members were not identified in
the post.The charity said the trip "went horribly wrong on Friday, July
10, when they were arrested at Erdos Airport, Inner Mongolia, at 9.40
a.m. local time". It said no reasons were given for the arrests.
centre on the accusation that they
were watching propaganda videos.
They are five South Africans, three
Britons and one Indian national,"
the charity said. The British
Foreign Office said that 11 Britons,
including two with dual British-

Greek PM defends choice of harsh debt deal

Athens: On the eve of the vote in the


Greek parliament for the ratification of
the agreement for the resolution of the
Greek debt crisis which was reached in
Brussels on Monday, Greek Prime
Minister Alexis Tsipras defended his
choice of sealing a harsh deal rather
than a disorderly default and Grexit.
The government chose a painful third
bailout that allows the country to avoid
the risk of Grexit and move forward to
restore growth, Tsipras said during an
interview with the Greek national
broadcaster ERT, Xinhua reported.
"I assume full responsibility for mistakes made and for signing a document
that I do not believe in, but I must
implement," he said, arguing that it
was the only way to avert a looming

bankruptcy, the collapse of the banking


system, a haircut on deposits and catastrophic consequences for Greece.
"I will not run away from my responsibilities," Tsipras said, when asked
whether he considered resignation so
that a national unity government takes
over, as local media reports have suggested.
Tsipras stressed that despite the
tough terms the deal had potential and
he was determined to try to materialize
his government's initial policy program
over the next four years.
He accused Greece's creditors of a
"vindictive stance" after his initiative
to call a referendum on their initial
offer on June 27.
Tsipras expressed confidence that

despite the prevalence of the pro austerity recipe this time, Europe's course
is not a one way road and it can
change.
The Greek leader revealed that former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis
had conveyed to him a proposal by
German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schauble in spring for a commonly
agreed Grexit.
For Greece there was never a Plan B,
Tsipras underlined, arguing that a
default and Grexit would have dramatic repercussions for Greek people.
Tsipras added that his government
explored all options in contacts with
the US, Russia and China, but Greece
was not offered alternative concrete
financial aid.

Key points of the Iran nuclear deal


ran and the P5+1 group the
United States, China, Russia,
Britain, France and Germany
have signed a deal which aims to curb
Tehran's nuclear program in exchange
for sanctions relief.
Here are the key points.

Centrifuges
Iran has agreed to operate around
5,000 IR-1 centrifuges out of 6,100
installed machines, for uranium
enrichment, for 10 years. This is less
than half of its current operating
capacity.

Weapons embargo
A ban on trade of items that could
contribute to Iran's ballistic missile program will remain for up to eight years.
Transfers of certain heavy weapons will
be banned for up to five years.

Stockpiles
Iran stopped enriching uranium
above 5 per cent fissile purity in
2013.
Material of a higher grade than 5
per cent is not normally used in
nuclear power plants. It has "downblended" or further processed its 20
per cent-enriched uranium stockpile.
Western countries say the step needed
to enrich uranium from 20 per cent to
90 per cent purity the level needed
for a bomb is relatively small.

Bomb breakout times


Senior Western diplomats have said
the calculation of breakout times
the amount of time it takes to produce
enough nuclear fuel for a single
weapon is flexible. Variables
include whether nuclear facilities are

assumed to be constantly online and


whether the construction of an actual
bomb and the conversion of uranium
gas into metal are included. The US
says the deal means Iran's breakout
time will be one year for at least 10
years. French foreign minister
Laurent Fabius says that after the first
decade, breakout time will remain
"significant" for the next five years.

Research and development


Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei said last month that freezing Iran's research and development
for 10 years was not acceptable.
The deal allows Iran to conduct
R&D using its more efficient centrifuge models for 10 years, without
being allowed to accumulate enriched
uranium.

South African nationality, have


been arrested in northern China.
The Guardian said it remains
unclear why the travelers have
been detained, as diplomats sought
more information from Chinese
authorities.

NASA probe beams 'phone


call' after Pluto fly-by
Wa s h i n g t o n :
After completing
the historic fly-by
of Pluto, NASA's
New Horizons
probe has successfully beamed
a
pre-programmed phone
call -- a 15Pluto and its largest moon as
minute series of
captured in the latest images.
status messages -(Photo: Courtesy, NASA)
to mission scienscience and for exploration.
tists on Earth.
US President Barack Weve truly, once again
Obama congratulated the raised the bar of human
NASA team for this historic potential," he added.
The "phone call" was
feat on Twitter.
"Pluto just had its first vis- beamed back to scientists at
Johns
Hopkins
itor! Thanks @NASA - it's a the
great day for discovery and University Applied Physics
American leadership," he Laboratory in Maryland
through NASAs Deep
tweeted.
The mission scientists Space Network.
With the successful flyby
have now instructed the
probe to spend the time of Pluto, we are celebrating
gathering the maximum the capstone event in a goldamount of data and not en age of planetary explosaid
John
communicating with Earth ration,
until it was beyond the Pluto Grunsfeld, associate adminsystem. We have inspired a istrator for NASA's Science
whole new generation of Mission Directorate in
explorers with this great Washington, DC. While
success and we look for- this historic event is still
ward to the discoveries yet unfolding -- with the most
to come, NASA adminis- exciting Pluto science still
trator Charles Bolden said in ahead of us -- a new era of
solar system exploration is
a statement.
This is a historic win for just beginning," he added.

BUSINESS

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

23

Indian rms invest $15 bn in US, FDI up 48 percent in seven


employ over 90,000
months of 'Make in India'

Washington: India-based companies have


invested over $15 billion across the US, creating an estimated 91,000 jobs, according to a
new report released by the Confederation of
Indian Industry (CII) and Grant Thornton
(GT). New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois
and New York are home to the most
Americans directly employed by Indian companies, according to the report, "Indian Roots,
American Soil" released here Tuesday at an
event on the Capitol Hill.
Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New York,
and New Jersey have the highest foreign
direct investment (FDI) from Indian companies, says the report which for the rst time
provides a state-by-state breakdown of tangible investments made by Indian rms.
The event highlighting the contributions of
Indian companies to the US economy was
attended by several members of the US
Congress and a delegation of CII membercompany CEOs from India.
"Today Indian companies are not just investing and creating jobs, they have also become
signicant stakeholders in the growth and
prosperity of their local communities," said
Indian Ambassador Arun. K. Singh. "The CII
study draws attention to the growing contribution and inuence of the Indian industry,
which forms an important component of our
growing and vibrant relationship with the

New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois


and New York are home to the most
Americans directly employed
by Indian companies,.

United States," he said. "As India surges forward to become the fourth fastest growing
source of FDI into the US, it is critical that we
recognize the positive impact of Indian business investments in the country," said Senator
Mark Warner, Democratic co-chair of Senate
India Caucus. "I believe that growing the economic partnership between India and the US
will benet both economies," said Ami Bera,
the only Indian American currently serving in
Congress and co-chair of the Congressional
Caucus on India and Indian Americans.
"The Indian American community and
Indian American business owners have been a
critical part of the economic and social fabric
of the nation," he said.

New Delhi: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country has seen
a 48 percent growth in the sevenmonth period from the launch of
'Make in India' initiative in
September till April 2015, an ofcial
statement said.
"The growth in FDI has been signicant after the launch of 'Make in
India' initiatives in September 2014,
with 48 percent increase in FDI equity inows during October 2014 to
April 2015 over the corresponding
period last year," the commerce ministry statement said.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the
In 2014-15, the country witnessed
country has seen a 48 percent growth in
unprecedented growth of 717 perthe seven-month period.
cent, to $40.92 billion of investment
by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), it apportioning of FDI as: "Services sector
said. "The FDI inow under the approval ($3.2 billion), telecommunication ($2.8
route saw a growth of 87 percent during billion), trading ($2.7 billion), automobile
2014-15 with inow of $2.22 billion industry ($2.5 billion), computer software
despite more sectors having been liberal- and hardware ($2.2 billion), drugs and
ized during this period and with more than pharmaceuticals ($1.5 billion) and infra90 percent of FDI being on automatic structure construction ($0.75 billion)."
India stands committed to an investorroute," the statement added.
Noting that these indicators showcase friendly FDI policy and regime that also
the remarkable pace of approvals and promotes investment leading to increased
investors' condence in a "resurgent manufacturing, job creation and overall
India", the ministry went on to list the economic growth of the country, it said.

India highest recipient of US Branding Nano as cheap car was wrong: Tata
economic assistance: USAID
Washington: The US provided
$65.1 billion as economic assistance to India between 1946 and
2012, according to the US
Agency for International
Development (USAID) statistics.
It was the highest among the
economic assistance provided to
200 countries and regions by the
US during the period.
The data, which was ination
adjusted, shows India received
$65.1 billion in economic assistance, followed closely by Israel,
which got $65 billion.
Pakistan, which received a
total of $44.4 billion from the
US, was among the top ve
countries of the total 200 nations
and regions getting the economic
assistance. Indian economic aid

was spread over various sectors


and programmes, including child
survival and health, development
assistance, HIV/AIDS initiatives,
migration and refugee assistance,
food aid and narcotics control.
Some $26 billion of the total aid
was provided for various USAID
programmes.
In comparison, of the total economic assistance provided to
Pakistan, $13.8 billion was given
for USAID programmes, while
$13.7 billion was attributed to
the Economic Support Fund and
Security Support Assistance.
USAID is the lead US government agency that works to end
extreme global poverty and
enable resilient, democratic societies to realise their potential.

Chennai: Branding Tata Motors


small car Nano as a cheapest car
was a mistake and was one of the
reasons for the model not taking
off as expected, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, said
here.
Tata, who was here to participate
in the 11th convocation of the
Great Lakes Institute of
Management, also took some questions from the students.
Answering a question on the
Nano car, Tata said the mistake
was branding the model as the
cheapest car instead of affordable
car. He said people did not want to
be associated with a cheap car.
Brand Gurus had earlier
expressed similar views to IANS
and said a car in India is a status
symbol and people do not want
their car to be known as a cheap
car. Tata urged the graduates to
focus on those things that make a
difference to people and always

Ratan Tata

ask themselves whether what they


are doing is right.
Later speaking to reporters on the
sidelines of the function Tata, the
former chairman of the Tata group
reiterated the same point on the
Nano's branding strategy.
He said the small car was
designed by people with an aver-

age age of 25-26 and was a success


beyond expectations.
However, he said the one year
delay in the car launch allowed
rumours to float around about the
car. Tata who is investing in startups said he was looking at those
outfits that would help the common man.

24

SPORTS

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Three cheers for India at Wimbledon


New Delhi: Indian tennis players
making their presence felt in the
Grand Slam as legendary Leander
Paes, Sania Mirza and youngster
Sumit Nagal cruised to
Wimbledon titles with their
respective partners at All England
Club over the past weekend.
World number one Sania created history by becoming the first
Indian to win a women's doubles
Grand Slam title with Swiss partner Martina Hingis in London.
Hingis, 34, and 28-year-old Sania
came from a set down and 2-5
behind in the final set to beat
Russian duo Ekaterina Makarova
and Elena Vesnina 5-7, 7-6 (7/4),
7-5.
Sania now has at all majors trophy in her kitty - Wimbledon
(2015 - Doubles), US Open (2014
- Mixed doubles), French Open
(2012 - Mixed doubles) and
Australian Open (2009 - Mixed
doubles).
Sania praised the support she
and Hingis received throughout
the tournament and hoped her win
will have a positive impact back
home in cricket-mad India. "I
hope it inspires a lot of girls and

Leander Paes, Sania Mirza (both played with Swiss player Martina Hingis) and youngster Sumit Nagal with their trophies.

makes them believe they can be


Grand Slam champions too," she
said.
17-year old Nagal also made his
country proud by entering into the
history books as only sixth Indian
to win a Grand Slam junior title
after winning the boys doubles
trophy with Vietnamese Nam
Hoang Ly on Sunday. The duo
overcame the fourth seeds Reilly
Opelka and Akira Santillan 76(4), 6-4 in the title clash that lasted 63 minutes. Yuki Bhambri was
the last Indian to taste success at
the top level in junior tennis when

he won the Australian Open boys


singles title in 2009.
A vintage Paes concluded the
championship with his 16th
Grand Slam title and gave India
their third trophy this year's
Wimbledon after clinching the
mixed doubles title with Swiss
ace Hingis.
Paes and Hingis, seeded sixth,
drubbed the fifth seeded AustrianHungarian team of Alexander
Peya and Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 in
the lop-sided summit clash which
was over in just 40 minutes on
Sunday.

Winning Wimbledon was special feeling, says Sania


Hyderabad: Back home after clinching her first-ever women's doubles Grand Slam title, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza said winning
Wimbledon with Swiss partner Martina Hingis was a very special
feeling. Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, she said it was a dream
come true as she as a child always wanted to play in Wimbledon. "I'm
so happy, these are the moments we live for," said an elated Sania at
her residence. The Hyderabadi dedicated the victory to India and her
supporters. "Prime minister, President and everyone that I can think
of has wished me. The amount of wishes that poured in from people....the pride the common people feel in it is amazing. I feel honoured to be from a country where people takes it so passionately
when they love or hate stars," she said.

Spot fixing: CSK, Royals suspended, Meiyappan, Kundra punished

New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings


(CSK) and Rajasthan Royals
were suspended from the Indian
Premier League (IPL) for two
years by the Supreme Courtappointed
Justice
Lodha
Committee in the spot fixing and
betting scandal that rocked the
cash-rich Twenty20 tournament
in 2013.
Former CSK team official
Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals
co-owner Raj Kundra, both of
whom were earlier found guilty
of betting, were suspended for
life from any cricketing activity
undertaken by the Board of
Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI). The guilty duo were also
suspended from any cricket related activity for a maximum period
of five years.
"His (Meiyappan) habit of regularly placing bets in IPL matches renders the argument of his
being first offender and unblemished antecedents in previous IPL
tournaments of no worth. That he
suffered loss of Rs.60 lakh in bets
shows that he engaged himself in
heavy bets. It is his bad luck that
he did not make money out of
these bets," Justice Lodha said at
a press briefing.
"Any agony suffered by him
because of media coverage or any
hardship that may have been
caused to him is too small in
comparison to the huge injury he
caused to the reputation and
image of the game, IPL and

CLT20 discontinued
with immediate effect

Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan


and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra.

BCCI," Justice Lodha said.


Meiyappan is the son-in-law of
former BCCI president and current International Cricket Council
(ICC) chairman N. Srinivasan.
When approached by media
channels, Srinivasan said: "Don't
want to speak on this issue, associated with CSK. It has nothing
to do with me, why should I step
down?"
Kundra is an Indian-origin
British businessman who is married to Bollywood actress Shilpa
Shetty. Kundra, who owned
11.74 percent of shares in
Rajasthan Royals before giving
them away in March, was also
handed the same sanctions as
Meiyappan, which the committee
said commence with immediate
effect.
In his initial reaction to the

committee verdict, Kundra tweeted:" Many inaccuracies. Have


requested for a copy of the judgment. Obviously very shocked
and disappointed."
Following pronouncement of
the order, BCCI president
Jagmohan Dalmiya said the
Indian cricket board will honour
the verdict.
"BCCI is committed to honour
and respect judicial decisions and
it would give its observations
after the entire report is read and
a collective decision is taken,"
said Dalmiya.
He added that the BCCI is committed to ensuring transparency,
accountability and cleansing the
sport in order to restore the faith
and confidence of millions of
cricket loving people in cricket in
general and IPL in particular.

New Delhi : After only six editions, the Governing Council of


the Champions League Twenty20
(CLT20) decided to discontinue
the unpopular competition with
immediate effect.
The council, comprising representatives of the Board of
Control for Cricket in India
(BCCI), Cricket South Africa
(CSA) and Cricket Australia
(CA)took the decision unanimously. As such, the 2015 edition, scheduled for September
and October, will not go ahead as
planned.
The competition was launched
in 2009 by the three boards. The
council determined that the discontinuation of the league was
the most appropriate decision
due to the tournament's limited
public following.
"This has been a difficult decision as the CLT20 provided
added context to a number of
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur
added: "We respect the verdict
and would undertake a collective
decision in a transparent manner
in the right direction and in the
larger interest of the game after

domestic T20 competitions


around the world such as the
Indian Premier League (IPL) in
India, Big Bash League (BBL) in
Australia and South Africa's Ram
Slam T20," BCCI secretary
Anurag Thakur said.
"It was a fantastic platform for
players from around the world to
showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly
enjoyed the experience over the
last six seasons."
Out of the six editions held
from 2009 to 2014, four were
held in India (2009, 2011, 2013,
2014) while two tournaments
were held in South Africa (2010,
2012). IPL franchises Chennai
Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai
Indians were the most successful
teams in the tournament winning
twice each while two BBL outfits
-- New South Wales Blues and
Sydney Sixers -- had clinched the
trophy once each.
the verdict analysed."
Justice Mukul Mudgal (retired),
whose probe panel earlier found
Meiyappan and Kundra guilty,
hailed the verdict and said it was
a strong step.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

26

FEATURES

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Hyderabad never sleeps during Ramadan


You don't get to see this atmosphere in any other part of the world, comment visitors. The economic spin-off is
also immense - the volume of business covering eatables, garments and footwear alone
exceeds an estimated Rs. 2,000 crore during the Ramadan month.
By Mohammed Shafeeq
t is past midnight but the traffic
is moving at snail's pace.
Scores of people are in their
cars, parked on both sides of the
road and relishing the haleem, a
Ramadan delicacy.
Dozens of young waiters of Pista
House and Shah Ghouse, the two
popular haleem makers, are on
their feet, vying with each other to
serve customers on the busy Toli
Chowki-Mehdipatnam stretch in
Hyderabad.
Shoppers, the faithful returning
from mosques, techies heading
home from IT hubs, and families
throng the dozens of food joints
serving piping hot haleem. Heavy
traffic, illuminated shops, and
crowded hotels and eateries give
one a feeling that it is day time.
And this is not the old city. So,
the situation in the famous markets
around the historic Charminar can
well be imagined.
With only days to go for Eid-ulFitr, Ramadan shopping in this historic city with a rich Islamic heritage has reached a feverish pitch.
While the city witnesses unprecedented commercial activity during
the entire holy month, it hardly

sleeps in the last 10 days.


The devout converge at mosques
for 'namaz-e-taraveeh' around 8.30
p.m. and the night vigil ends with
special prayers 'tahajjud' around
3.30 a.m. They make most of the
last days to offer prayers and seek
forgiveness from the Almighty -the goal of the holy month.
For most families, it's also the
time for Eid shopping.
From new clothes and footwear
to bangles, mehndi, 'attar' (natural
perfumes), crockery, household
items and vermicelli and dry fruits,
they buy everything.
Shops in the centuries-old markets in the old city and the gleaming malls in the central and new

Hyderabad are packed with men,


women and children.
As people feel tired due to fasting during the day and hardly find
any time to spare in the evenings,
the shopping is mostly done after 8
p.m. -- and it continues till 'sehr' or
the pre-dawn meals.
Dates and all varieties of fruits
flood the market during the entire
month as Muslims prefer it for 'iftar' or breaking the fast.
Thousands of vendors set up
businesses on the footpaths in areas
surrounding Charminar in the old
city. In recent years, Nampally,
Mallepally, Masab Tank, Asif
Nagar, Mehdipatnam, Masab Tank,
Toli Chowi, Golconda and other

Muslim majority areas outside the


old city have been witnessing hectic commercial activity during
Ramadan.
Hyderabad is the hot favorite
among Eid shoppers, including
many who come from other parts
of Telangana and neighboring
Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Karnataka.
With well-to-do families paying
'zakat' (Islamic wealth tax of 2.5
percent on their cash and other
valuables) and almost every family
paying 'fitra' (fixed this year at
Rs.100 per member), the poor also
join the festivities by buying
clothes, 'sewiyan', dry fruits and
other items for 'sheer khorma' -- a
sweet dish prepared on Eid.
With Muslims accounting for
about 30 percent of the city's estimated nine million population,
every commodity associated with
the festivities opens up huge business opportunities during the
month.
The volume of business, which is
mostly in the unorganized sector, is
beyond
anybody's
guess.
According to some estimates, the
business covering eatables, garments and footwear alone exceeds
Rs.2,000 crore.

Such is the economic spin-off of


Ramadan that thousands of people
get additional income by setting up
makeshift shops on footpaths to
sell various items. The authorities
also show leniency.
The city has no parallels in India
when it comes to Ramadan. It's no
wonder that many Hyderabadis
who live abroad make it a point to
visit home on Eid.
"You don't get to see this atmosphere in any other part of the
world," said Mohammed Jaffer, an
Indian American who has come
home with his family to be part of
the grand festivities.
"When it's Ramadan, we make
sure that we spend it here," Zaki
Ahmed, who lives in Abu Dhabi
with his family, told IANS. It is
also an occasion for the techie to
be with his parents to celebrate
Eid.
Many NRIs visit mosques like
Azizia Masjid in Mehdipatnam for
the night prayers and to hear the
sermons from eminent religious
scholars.
They point out that it is the mix
of both the religious activities and
the unique Hyderabadi culture
which make Ramadan so special
here.

Monsoon tourism takes off in India in a big way


By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
achin and Shikha Sharma
were told by their friends not
to travel during the monsoon.
But the couple, who got married last
August, wanted to again visit their
honeymoon destination Goa - this
time during the monsoon to enjoy
the rain. They were happy with the
travel package, but what thrilled
them more was that they were able
to prove the naysayers wrong.
"It was heavenly. This was the
first time that we travelled during
monsoon and let me tell you it was
something," Shikha, who works in a
BPO, told IANS.
"It (Goa) wasn't crowded as we
see during peak season (from
November to February) and that
added to its charm. The cool breeze,
the heavenly scent of the earth during rains, the food ..everything
added to sizzle our romance. I wish
I could have prolonged my stay.
"My husband was happy too as
the trip fitted our budget," she said.
The Sharmas are not the only
ones. More and more Indians are
now venturing out during the mon-

soon. They are mostly the adventurous kind or couples who want to
avoid the crowds and enjoy and
experience the rain.
D.S. Rawat, secretary general of
ASSOCHAM, said that monsoon
tourism (from June to October) is a
new concept, but "is fast emerging
as a potential season for hospitality
industry". Ranjeet Oak, of
MakeMyTrip, said the monsoon is
the best time for those looking for
nature-oriented experiences.
"It was not considered a popular
travel season in India, but the sentiment is fast-changing in the last
couple of years, with monsoon trav-

el picking up significantly," Oak


told IANS.
He said the huge drivers for this
are the fantastic deals offered by
higher-star hotels, especially resorts
and five-star properties, to boost
occupancy in this otherwise lean
travel period.
Also, airline flash sales fuel cheap
travel during this period.
The average spend for a monsoon
holiday ranges from Rs.11,000 to
Rs.45,000 per person depending on
the destination and category of
hotels or resorts. According to tour
and travel experts, Kerala and Goa
are the top travel destinations during

the monsoon.
These are followed by Coorg in
Karnataka; Udaipur and Mount Abu
in
Rajasthan;
Lonavala,
Mahabaleshwar and Matheran in
Maharashtra; Darjeeling in West
Bengal, Shillong and Cherrapunjee
in Meghalaya; Mussoorie, Nanital,
Rishikesh and Kasauli in
Uttarakhand; Leh in Ladakh and
Port Blair in the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands.
If you want to try out some
unbeaten tracks during this season
then, according to Hari Nair,
founder
and
CEO
of
HolidayIQ.com, try out Dhanaulti
and Munsiayari (Uttarakhand),
Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Kakkabe
(Karnataka), Netarhat (Jharkahnd)
and Panhala (Maharashtra).
Sharat
Dhall,
President,
Yatra.com, India's leading online
travel company, said this season
they are looking at growing about
57 percent as compared to the last
two seasons.
According to him, quick weekend
getaways for couples, DINKs or
groups of friends are the flavour of
the season.

"If we look at emerging trends, the


spending has certainly gone up and I
also feel that people are taking holidays more frequently than before,"
Dhall told IANS. He could be right
about that.
After their "beautiful" vacation,
Sachin and Shikha are already planning their next "weekend" trip at the
end of this month.
"I think this was the first time I
didn't mind the rain. It was fun getting wet. I had hired a scooty and
explored Goa like I had not done in
my previous trips. The ride through
the lush, greenery soothed me. It
was just beautiful," Sachin told
IANS.
"My wife and I had a fantastic
time. I don't know why people say
'don't travel during this time'. It is
comparatively cheaper too. I think
monsoon travel should be tried by
everyone. "I am now planning a
short trip this month, most probably
to the Valley of Flowers (in
Uttarakhand). I have heard this is
the time to visit it. I am already
looking forward to it," Sachin
added.
Happy rain-fed holidaying!

SCI-TECH

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

27

NASA probe flies past Pluto, clicks pix


NASA was expecting a dark grey
icy planet but the probe found it is
red and appeared to be oxidised
like Mars.
Earlier, the New Horizons probe
settled one of the most basic questions about Pluto - its size. Mission
scientists have found Pluto to be
2,370 km in diameter, somewhat
larger than many prior estimates.
The result confirms that Pluto is
larger than all other known solar
system objects beyond the orbit of
Neptune, the US space agency said
in a statement.
Plutos newly estimated size
means that its density is slightly
lower than previously thought, and
the fraction of ice in its interior is
slightly higher.
Its largest moon Charon lacks a

Washington: In what may rewrite


science books soon, NASA's New
Horizons mission - launched in
2006 that has traveled over 4.8 billion km so far at the speed of
45,000 km per hour - flew past the
mysterious dwarf planet on
Tuesday.
Crossing Pluto from a distance of
about 12,500 km on Monday, the
mission then sent back key images
of Pluto's surface to Earth. The
images will help scientists explore
the mysterious Kuiper Belt. It is a
huge band of planetary debris left
over from the solar systems formation 4.5 billion years ago.
The first images debuted on
Facebook-owned photo-sharing
website Instagram, NASA
announced.

substantial atmosphere, and its


diameter was easier to determine
using ground-based telescopes.
New Horizons observations of
Charon confirm its previous estimated size of 1,208 km across.
Two other moons - Nix and
Hydra - were discovered using the
Hubble Space Telescope in 2005.
Nix is estimated to be about 35
km across while Hydra is roughly
45 km across.
These sizes lead mission scientists to conclude that their surfaces
are quite bright, possibly due to the
presence of ice.
Plutos two smallest moons,
Kerberos and Styx, are smaller and
fainter than Nix and Hydra and are
harder to measure, the US space
agency said.

World on way to 'generation free


of AIDS': Ban Ki-moon
Addis Ababa: UN
Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon said
Tuesday the world
was headed for a
"generation free of
AIDS",
after
UNAIDS reported a
35 percent drop in
new HIV infections
from 15 years ago.
"The world has
delivered. We have
achieved
and
exceeded the... goals
regarding AIDS. We
have 15 million people on HIV treatment. We are on the way to a
generation free of AIDS," Ban said in the
Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he is
attending a global development summit.
According to the UNAIDS report released
on Tuesday in Geneva, there have been
remarkable strides since the advent in 1996 of
anti-retroviral drugs, which suppress the
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Though not a cure, the therapy creates a virtuous circle. The less the virus is in circulation,
the less likely it is that people become infect-

ed.
Although new HIV infections declined to
two million in 2014 against 3.1 million 14
years ago and the number of new infections
has noticeably decreased or remained stagnant, UNAIDS warned spending has plateued
and called for more to be done to roll back the
virus.
There are currently 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world. Around
March this year, 15 million of them were
accessing anti-retroviral therapy.

Plutos pictures captured by New Horizon mission


were posted on Instagram.

Phone notifications kill


concentration: Study
New York: Mobile phone notifications can ruin your focus
even if you do not actually pick
up the phone to respond to
them, a study says.
"Although these notifications
are generally short in duration,
they can prompt task-irrelevant
thoughts, or mind wandering,
which has been shown to damage task performance," lead
study author Cary Stothart was
quoted as saying.
"We found that notifications
alone significantly disrupted
performance on an attention-demanding
task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the
task," Stothart said.
Study authors, Ainsley Mitchum, and
Courtney Yehnert ran volunteers through an
attention-monitoring test to reach their conclusions.
Participants were found to perform significantly worse on a task when their phones
were buzzing or ringing. In fact, they were
three times more likely to make mistakes.
The level of distraction was comparable
to actually answering a phone call or writ-

ing a text message.


"If you really want to keep your mind on
a task, just ignoring your phone notifications is not enough. You need to disable
them altogether," the researchers said.
An earlier study from Rice University
found that phones can be detrimental to
learning process.
The research said while users initially
believed the mobile devices would improve
their ability to perform well with homework
and tests and ultimately get better grades,
the opposite was reported at the end of the
study.

Get ready for 3D printed customized pizza!


New York: We might soon be
getting highly customized 3Dprinted food items to eat. The
technology is poised to be widely used in the food industry in
the next 20 years to customize
foods and expedite delivery of
food to consumers, shows new
research.
"No matter what field you are
in, this technology will worm its
way in," said Hod Lipson, a professor of engineering at
Columbia University and a co-

author of the book 'Fabricated:


The New World of 3D Printing'.
"The technology is getting
faster, cheaper and better by the
minute. Food printing could be
the killer app for 3D printing,"
he added. Lipson put forth his
observations at 'IFT15: Where
Science Feeds Innovation' held
recently in Chicago.
He said 3D printing is a good
fit for the food industry because
it allows manufacturers to bring
complexity and variety to con-

sumers at a low cost. For example, users could choose from a


large online database of recipes,
put a cartridge with the ingredients into their 3D printer at
home, and it would create the
dish just for that person, Lipson
said. The user could customize it
to include extra nutrients or
replace one ingredient with
another.
Anshul Dubey, research and
development senior manager at
PepsiCo, said 3D printing

already is having an impact


within the company, even though
it is not yet being used to make
food. For example, consumer
focus groups were shown 3Dprinted plastic prototypes of different shaped and colored potato
chips. He said using a prototype
such as that, instead of just a picture, elicits a more accurate
response from the focus group
participants. The US military is
just beginning to research similar uses for 3D food printing, but

it would be used on the battlefield instead of in the kitchen,


said Mary Scerra, food technologist at the US Army Natick
Soldier Research, Development
and Engineering Centre in
Natick, Massachusetts.
She said that by 2025 or 2030,
the military envisions using 3D
printing to customise meals for
soldiers that taste good, are
nutrient-dense, and could be tailored to a soldier's particular
needs.

28

July 18-24, 2015

HUMOR

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Funny Side by Nury Vittachi

How a glitch made my fake name rich


once told people my name was Wazzupp
Nindood. The default greeting of that era
was Whats happenin dude? so my
name was on everyones lips and I was
famous at my new school for a while.
***

putting aside more cash than I am!


***

Anyway, its existence is clear proof of


evolution. Would my children PLEASE
NOTE that it grew from a single fake name
to a successful, active socialite with zero
financial investment. It can be done.
***

People who find it hard to think of fake


names just copy signs. Years ago, I had an
army cadet friend who adopted the pseudonym Private Keepout.
***
The topic of fake names arose when a
reader told me about a scandal in the US
state of Massachusetts. A pharmacy boss
told staff to write fake prescriptions which
must resemble real names.
But staff typed in the names Coco Puff,
Filet OFish and Bud Weiser. They got
caught.
This seems unfair. Theres almost definitely a Bud Weiser on this planet, and I know
for sure theres at least one guy whose real
name is Bud Light.
***
On my early journalistic visits to China,
arriving passengers had to fill in endless
forms for officials who clearly read no

The people I feel sorry for are real folk


with names which sound fake, especially if
they match their jobs.
I just hope Anna Sasin never becomes a
contract killer, Warren Peace never becomes
an author, and Cara Sterio never goes into
automobile music system sales in places
where they speak Italian English.
***
English. My colleagues and I signed in as
Disney characters, the Beatles, various US
presidents and Pope John Paul II.
Once I just wrote Fake Name as my fake
name.
(These days some read English and have
guns, so do NOT try this now.)
***
In 2006, when Gmail was invitation only,
an Indian civil servant named Manesh asked

me to set up an account for him using his


middle name (Vinod) and mothers maiden
name (Sarkar).
A year later, he set up an account using his
real name, but I forgot to delete his fake one.
After 12 months, the non-existent Vinod
Sarker began to evolve in the primordial
slime which is the internet.
With no help from me or Manesh, it subscribed to newsletters and junk mail, then it
joined LinkedIn, opened a Facebook
account and started getting lots of friends.
After three years, it got a mobile phone.
Recently it opened an account at ING
Bank. Its bank statement (which is copied to
me) says theres three million rupees in it,
which is about $48,000.
I am offended. Its a web glitch and its

A colleague forwarded me a news clipping


in which retired British military man Stan
Still complains that his commander used to
shout Stan Still, get a move on, and then
start laughing. Poor him. I bet that joke got
old quickly.
***
When I retire, I am going to buy three
budgerigars and call them Itza Bird, Itza
Plane and Itzu Perman.
And to ensure a happy retirement, Ill set
up another fake gmail account and pray that
it evolves into an account holder at some
fancy Swiss bank.
From now on, please address me as
Wazzupp Nindood, former celebrity.

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.

ASTROLOGY

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015

29

Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874


Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899
psharma@premastrologer.com; www.premastrologer.com

By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

July 18-24, 2015


ARIES: This is certainly a great week
for you. You will get your independence
on the family front that you crave. Being
with one who cares for you will keep you in an
upbeat mood. Your efficiency at work will be
appreciated by those who matter. You will
manage the financial resources for buying a
house or a flat. You are likely to join a group
of fitness buffs and derive immense benefit on
the health front. If you are still single, wedding
bells are not far ahead!
TAURUS: Things start improving for
you in all spheres. Excellent opportunity on the job front is about to come
your way, so dont let it slip by. Moonlighting
or doing side business is likely to fill up your
coffers. Your efforts on the health front are
likely to ensure that you achieve ideal figure
and physique. Love life has never been better,
so enjoy it to the hilt! Prospects of going out
someplace with your date cannot be ruled out.
Property issues get resolved in your favour.
GEMINI: Your desire for recognition
may be fulfilled on the work front.
Romance is likely to enter the lives of
those seeking it. Plans for an exciting trip with
friends and family may be put into action this
week. Renovation and refurbishing the house
may be on the agenda for some homemakers.
An interfering family elder will need to be
tackled diplomatically.
You may end up footing the bill for friends this
week, but you really wont mind. Some good
health options will help you achieve total fitness.

CANCER: You may need to prioritise the tasks on the professional front
to meet deadlines. Controlling domestic expenses may be the need of the hour for
some. Keeping a regular exercise routine will
be important. Someones attitude on the home
front may get you all upset. Serious differences on the romantic front cannot be ruled
out for some. A property dispute may lead to
litigation. You are likely to remain on a short
fuse this week, so exercise care while driving.
Keep those useful on your right side.
LEO: Romantic thoughts may dominate your mind this week. You will not
regret your decision to undertake a
journey which you were reluctant to in the first
place. A problem in the family will need
immediate solution, before it turns serious.
Dont expect instant recognition for your
excellent performance at work. Be careful of
how much you invest and in what on the financial front. Neglecting health can make you pay
dearly. Help may not be at hand for those stuck
with chores on the home front.
VIRGO: You will be able to find a
good buyer for a property you want to
dispose of. You will make parents succumb to your wish of going out with friends
on a trip. Those residing abroad may crave the
company of their near and dear ones. Children
may cause worry, but this may just be an overreaction to a current situation. An increase in
workload in foreseen on the professional front,
but you will be able to tackle it well. Control
expenses to avoid tight monetary situation.

LIBRA: A social cause taken up by you


will be much appreciated by the members of your social circle. Making all the
right moves on the professional front is likely to
keep you on the right side of a superior. Gains
accrue for those playing the stocks. Previous
investments promise to fetch handsome returns.
You will find no problems in adhering to a tough
exercise regimen. Love life will need overhauling to become exciting once again. Last minute
hitches may jeopardise your travel plans, so plan
things meticulously beforehand.
SCORPIO: A windfall is foreseen for
some on the financial front. A remedy
suggested by someone will come in
handy in curing a minor ailment. You will need
to be smart enough to thwart the designs of your
workplace rivals this week. Spouse may compel
you for something that you are in no mood of,
but little you can do about it! Distance may
prove an impediment in meeting lover on a regular basis. Some of you can get stuck in heavy
traffic this week, so take the roads less travelled!
SAGITTARIUS: Reality on the home
front will slowly dawn on you and it
will be in your interest to adapt to it.
You are likely to derive total job satisfaction
from your present occupation. Someone from
the opposite camp showing interest in you is
likely to brighten your prospects on the romantic front. An opportunity to travel to another
city may come to you. Refurbishing the house
is on the cards for some. Someone may make
you spend your money for a common cause, so
oblige.

CAPRICORN: A whirlwind romance


can very well end in wedding bells for
some! Travel will be exciting, especially if it is undertaken with someone close.
This is a good time to book an apartment or a
flat. Someone may get envious and try to tarnish your image on the social front. Not giving
your all to the job at hand may get you pulled
up at work. A tight situation on the financial
front cannot be ruled out. You retain good
health by taking all precautions.
AQUARIUS: An exhilarating time is
foreseen for those out on a vacation.
You ideas on the home front are likely
to be appreciated. Getting noticed by those
who matter on the professional front is possible this week. Planning something on the
social front may keep some gainfully
employed. Cupid is certain to smile on those
looking for love. Good company will ease the
boredom of long distance travel. Selling a
house is on the cards for some and will bring
them into a lot of money.
PISCES: An excellent option may be
on the horizon for those wanting to
switch jobs. Family will be supportive
of your ideas and extend all the necessary
help. Winning the affections of the one you
secretly love is likely for some. Taking someone you get along well with on a journey will
help shorten the distance.
Some of you may be planning some big
changes in your existing place of residence.
Strict watch may need to be kept on both
health and finance.

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week


18th July, 2015
Ruled planet: Mars Ruled by no: 9
Traits in you: Mars being your ruling planet blesses
you with intelligence, courage, energy, enthusiasm, and
so on. Your have strong decision making capabilities
and your decisions always stand correct. You have
strong analytical skills and you are very much diplomatic to handle any kind of problems in your personal
and professional life. You should control your temper to
improve as a person.
Health this year: You should avoid alcohol and smoking to remain healthy and physically fit.
Finance this year: You will be hugely benefited from
your past investments as it will earn you unexpected
money. Your legal matters may settle down and you will
be benefited from it. You may receive gifts from your
friends and relatives to hold your confidence high. You
will start your business with a high note.
Career this year: You need to concentrate on your career this year by putting your maximum efforts. You
may get satisfactory results for your efforts.
Romance this year: You will enjoy a happy personal
life during this year with love and support from your
spouse or partner.
Lucky month: October, February, May and June
19th July, 2015
Ruled planet: Sun Ruled by no: 1
Traits in you: As you are influenced by the Sun, you
possess the nature to become strong, truthful, reliable,
confident, responsible and creative. You are devoted to
your father as you consider him to be your friend, mentor and inspiration. Despite of being a well mannered individual, you are stubborn and careless. You need to
work on your negative characteristics to improve as a
human being.
Health this year: You will find peace of mind if you
follow spirituality.
Finance this year: You may go for transaction of your
properties. You may go for constructing new house or
renovating old one.
Career this year: Association with creative individuals
will help you gain a lot of knowledge, money appreciation, and recognition. This year your performance will
be exceptional and you can easily impress your seniors
and higher management. You will be able to showcase
your responsibility taking capacity in your profession
and that will allow you grow and reach new heights.
Romance this year: Your romantic life would be extra

ordinary this year. You will not find your spouse to be


supportive enough. You may suffer a lot in your personal life as well.
Lucky month: September, January, April and June
20th July, 2015
Ruled planet: Moon Ruled by no: 2
Traits in you: Under the influence of your ruling planet, you have obtained characteristics such as creativity,
emotions, honesty, simplicity and generosity. You are
very good at understanding critical situations and act according to the demand of the criticality of the situation.
You are also an eternal learner as you believe learning is
a never ending process and ever helpful. Though you
have an attractive and pleasing personality, you also
have shortcomings as a human being. You should not
show your mood swings as that creates a negative impression.
Health this year: As far as your health is concerned, it
will be sound. However, your parent's health may degrade and make you a bit worried.
Finance this year: You may plan frequent business trips
this year and all your trips will be successful as they will
earn you a lot of money and business.
Career this year: You will be confident enough to fight
any adverse situation or take any challenge in your life
this year. If you are looking for a job change, the middle
months of the year will be ideal to do so as you may receive exceptional job offers.
Romance this year: You will enjoy an exceptionally
good time with your partner. You may plan for marriage
this year as well.
Lucky month: November, April, July and October
21st July, 2015
Ruled planet: Jupiter Ruled by no: 3
Traits in you: Your governing planet bestows energy,
honor, ambition, dignity and intelligence on you. As you
have a charismatic personality, you will easily make
friends. Your commitment and honesty helps you gain
appreciation and rewards. You should control your ambitions as it may make you rude and careless at times.
Health this year: Your health will remain good provided you take a good care of your health. You may consult
doctor to take preventive vaccines and medicines to remain healthy.
Finance this year: If you are into consulting business,
this year will bring you lot more customers and of
course a huge income. You may invest but you should

be well aware of loses that may happen if you invest


without any prior research on the market conditions.
You should not behave extra friendly with strangers.
You should not disclose your innovative ideas or plans
to someone else as it may make you face loses later. It
is advisable not to lend or borrow money. If want to lend
money, then be extra cautious. You need to take care of
your valuable personally to avoid loss and theft.
Career this year: You may not find your new project
beneficial at once. However, it will grow gradually to
benefit you.
Romance this year: You may get involved in a new romantic relationship. If you have reached the age to marriage and you are financially stable, you may get married later this year.
Lucky month: October, February and June
22nd July, 2015
Ruled planet: Uranus Ruled by no: 4
Traits in you: As you are influenced by Uranus, you are
full of positive energy. You are honest, reliable, cheerful, and highly honorable. Your personality is pretty attractive and influential. You should not be lazy if you
want to grow mentally, physically, and financially.
Health this year: You should go for regular medical
checkups this year as there are chances of degradation
of your health conditions.
Finance this year: You may find new and innovative
money making business this year and it will also click
for you. You will be able to improve your financial conditions later this year. You may end up spending a lot in
maintaining a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle. You
may go forward investing on real estate and stocks as it
may bring you long term benefits. You should plan for
foreign trips to enhance the territory of your business as
it will result in monetary gain later.
Career this year: You have the ability to handle every
crucial task in a simple way and that makes you get appreciation from your peers and seniors in your profession.
Romance this year: You will be enjoying love, care,
and support from your spouse or partner throughout the
year. If you have become eligible for marriage, you will
receive many marriage proposals this year.
Lucky month: August, October and December
23rd July, 2015
Ruled planet: Mercury Ruled by no: 5
Traits in you: Mercury being your ruling planet blesses you with practicability, sensitivity, diplomacy and op-

timism. You are the master of a intelligent brain, sound


health, and an influential character. To grow as a better
human being, you should avoid being lazy and arrogant
at times.
Health this year: You may have to visit distant pilgrimages to attain mental peace. You will enjoy a sound
health but one of your aged family members health may
degrade and put you in immense stress.
Finance this year: You will be benefited from your previous investments. You may go for innovative ideas and
stat new thing in your life this year. You are advised to
create new contacts and make friends with new people
as they will come forward to help you later during your
financial crisis.
Career this year: As you are an intellectual person,
people in your professional surroundings will hold you
in a high esteem and sought your advice and help. You
should grab every opportunity come across you with
both hands as it will prove beneficial for you later.
Romance this year: You will improve your relationship
with your partner with lots of love, care and concern.
Lucky month: June, November, March and April
24th July, 2015
Ruled planet: Venus Ruled by no: 6
Traits in you: Your ruling planet Venus makes you the
master of a highly dynamic and charismatic personality.
You are independent, daring and ambitious by nature.
Being very social, you love to make friends with educated and intelligent people. You have the attractive nature to make friends with ease. You should avoid being
stubborn and lazy. You need to control your mood
swings to share a better relationship with your friends
and family.
Health this year: In spite of minor health issues during
the initial months of the year, you will enjoy a good
health throughout the year. You may practice meditation
and yoga for better results.
Finance this year: You will be benefited hugely financially this year. You may invest in real estate business as
it may bring you unexpected returns. You may go for
long trips to distant places for business purpose
Career this year: Your energetic performance in your
profession will bring you recognition and increment in
salary.
Romance this year: Your romantic life may touch new
heights this year as you may get married during the last
few months of the year.
Lucky month: December, February, March and June

30

SPIRITUAL AWARENESS

July 18-24, 2015

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

Life Itself is Restless for


Peace in the World

By Sant Rajinder Singh


Ji Maharaj
ystic poetry and literature
is rich in verses addressing the way to a peaceful,
calm life. One of the greatest mystic
poet-saints of the past century, Sant
Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj, has written a verse that captures the way to
lead lives in which we reduce stress
and anger to produce calm and
peace within ourselves and for the
whole world.
The verse by Sant Darshan
Singh Ji says:
Let this world become a temple of
love and peace.
Let love and Truth illumine the
world,
And the adversaries of peace
awaken to its Light.
This sacred land of God has been
trampled with the burden of
oppression.
Life is not a dagger stained with
the blood of hatred;

By Sant Rajinder Singh


Ji Maharaj

It is a branch filled with the flowers of love and compassion.


Life itself is restless for peace in
the world.
Let its noble dream materialize.
May the garden be illumined with
wave afterwave of Light.
May the wealth of love grow
greater and greater and enrich
every heart.
These verses capture the essence
of what I consider the purpose of
life and have been the inspiration of
my life. These penetrating words
by Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj,
a past master of meditation on the
inner Light and Sound, illumine a
way to achieve peace through
uncovering the Divine within. Once
this uplifting peace permeates our
being, it can spread to others,
bathing this planet in peace.
These verses describe the unity at
the heart of all creation. The poet
realizes that the same Light of God
within us is also in all others, making us one human family. Even science points to our ones through the
Genome project. Scientists have
found that more than 99% of the
genes of all human beings are the
same, with only less than 1% being
different, accounting for differences
in our hair, skin, and eye color, or
our size and shape. When we realize
we are all one family, we would not

are all children of the one Creative


Power.
Through meditation on the inner
Light and Sound within each of us,
we can have a firsthand experience
of our unity. Through absorption
into this Light and Sound current,

Knowledge Vs Experience

hen we start out on a spiritual path,


there are two elements involved in
learning the spiritual teachings.
One is the theoretical side in which we satisfy
our minds questions, and the other is the
practical side in which we experience the
spiritual truths for ourselves in the depths of
our soul. While it is important to be well
versed in both aspects, there comes a point in
which we must focus our attention on doing
the actual practice of meditation to gain true
experience. Overemphasis on the theoretical
side can take our attention too far away from
the practices we need to perform. While we
must satisfy the mind and have our questions
answered, we do not want to get trapped into
mental wrangling, for that is like a spider web
in which we may get stuck.
To illustrate this point, look at the wisdom
of the great Lord Buddha. Buddha spent
forty-five years selflessly teaching the spiritual truths. He wanted to help suffering souls
gain enlightenment and escape the karmic
wheel of life that binds them to this world.
Buddha was full of compassion and served
humanity without any concern for his own
comfort. He sacrificed himself so that others
could find the road to Nirvana. It is said
Buddha toured for eight months out of each
year to teach people the way to salvation.
The only time he did not tour was during
the rainy season, in which he stayed in one
place. He gave out his teachings to everyone,
irrespective of their caste, religion, color, or
social status. He gave all an equal chance to
find the way to enlightenment.

cause pain or suffering to others. As


we would not want to hurt our parents or children, we would not want
to hurt any other human being. The
walls that divide us through nationality, social status, or appearance
tumble down as we realize that we

we experience consciousness of
higher spiritual realms. This inner
journey leads back to the source of
this current and we experience oneness with the Creator. Saints and
mystics have described within us a
series of realms. Beyond the physical realm, there is the astral, causal,
and supracausal realms, and a purely spiritual realm, called Sach
Khand. Each realm contains greater
and greater light, celestial music,
joy, and love. We ultimately merge
back in the source of all consciousness, love, and light. Then, we recognize that all humans and all forms
of life are created by the Divine and
comprise one family. This nondenominational meditation practice,
called Shabd Meditation, or meditation on the Light and Sound, can be
performed by people of all cultures.
The introductory form of meditation, called Jyoti Meditation can be
practiced by any one at any place.
The more time we spend in meditation, the more we realize the unity
within each. Spiritual progress is
enhanced by an ethical life of nonviolence, truthfulness, humility,
love for all, and selfless service.
As we gaze at the wonders within
through meditation, we can experience the inner light, enjoy its nourishing peace and bliss, and radiate
that loving luminosity to all.

One day, a disciple by the name of


Malunkyaputta wanted an interview with
Lord Buddha. Malunkyaputta had a restless
mind, and during his meditations he was
always pondering questions such as, Is the
world infinite or finite? Or, is the soul identical with the human body? Instead of meditating and stilling the mind, he ended up
spending his meditation time thinking about
these philosophical questions. So, during his
interview with Buddha, the disciple told
Buddha of the difficulties he had in his meditations. The disciple said, O Blessed One,
please answer these questions. If you do, I
will remain on the spiritual path. If you do
not answer these questions, I will leave your
Holy Order.
Buddha replied, O Malunkyaputta, did I
ever ask you to take up this path and did I
promise you that I would answer these intellectual wranglings? The disciple sheepishly
replied, No. Buddha lovingly explained,
Whoever worries about these meaningless
speculations such as whether the world is
infinite or finite, or whether the soul looks
like the body, is taking away time from the
spiritual practices. It is just like someone who
is shot by an arrow who instead of letting the
doctor treat him to get out the poison starts
saying, I will not allow my wound to be
treated until I know who is the man who shot
me, what kind of person is he, is he tall or
short, what type of bow and arrow did he use,
or what color is his skin. The key is to get
treatment first. Similarly, if we say we will
not do our spiritual practices until we get

answers to these mental questions about


whether the universe is eternal or not, and
other such questions, then one may pass ones
whole life and never reach the spiritual goal.
Buddha further explained, I teach what is
important to know and not what is unimportant. I want to help people solve the problems
of sorrow and suffering in this life.
What is useful is how to lead the spiritual
life leading to enlightenment.
To further illustrate this point, one day,
while in the Simsapa forest near Kosambi,
Buddha was sitting with his disciples.
Buddha picked up a few leaves and asked
his disciples, What is your opinion?
Which is more? Is it the few leaves in my
hand, or the leaves in the forest around us?
The disciples said, O blessed one, you
have very few leaves in your hand, while
there are many more in the forest.
Buddha then told them, It is the same with
my teachings. Of everything I know, I have
only told you a little. What I have not told
you is much more, like the leaves in the forest. Why did I not tell you everything I
know? The reason is that all that information
is not useful. That information that will not
lead to enlightenment, I have not told you. I
have only told you that which you need to
know to gain the spiritual experience and find
salvation. As we think about our own lives,
many get involved in intellectual pursuits.
But there comes a point when we find that the
mind will never stop its wrangling. We have
to discriminate which questions will help our
spiritual progress and which ones are merely

Buddha spent forty-five years selflessly


teaching the spiritual truths. He wanted to help suffering souls gain enlightenment and escape the karmic wheel
of life that binds them to this world.

to satisfy the intellects curiosity. There are


thousands of pages written in all religions on
the theoretical side of mysticism. If we were
to start reading all those pages now, we might
never finish them all in our short life span.
People who are steeped in the theoretical side
of religion can spend years debating each
point found in the scriptural writings and
never find any solution. In this short time that
we have, it is far better to spend time in our
spiritual practices so that we can rise above
our limited intellect and come in contact with
our soul. Then, we will not have to wonder
about the answers, for we will know them for
certain and see them for ourselves. Our soul
has all the answers,because our soul is one
with the Lord.

TheSouthAsianTimes.info

July 18-24, 2015